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FIRST & FOREMOST ASIAN WEEKLY IN EUROPE

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Let noble thoughts come to us from every side

12 - 18 JANUARY 2019 - VOL 47 ISSUE 35

HOME-LESS OR

HOMELESS?

inside: Modi govt approves 10% quota for economically poor SEE PAGE 26

Priyanka Mehta About 600 homeless people died on the streets or in temporary accommodations in England and Wales in 2017, up 24% between 2013-17 in the last five years, according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS). While the Tories boast about creating more jobs, it is undeniable that there is a growing poverty issue across the country. Sikh Welfare Awareness Team volunteer with a rough sleeper

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onetoone WITH KEITH VAZ, MP

Iqbal Singh An experienced clinician specialising in care of the elderly, pioneer in ethnic health and diversity, combined with board level GMC and Healthcare Commission Service. He is a Medical Leader with great credibility in the wider community, particularly in relation to equality and inclusion matters. Professor Singh is a member of the Health Honours Committee. He was appointed in August 2018 and is deeply committed to widening access and outreach and embedding fairness and equality in systems. He is a member of the National Platinum Awards Committee and medical vice chair of the Advisory Committee for Clinical Excellence Awards North West and led the way for stakeholder engagement. As Founder and Chair of the Centre of Excellence for Safety in Older People’s Care, Professor Singh has led on training and education of the workforce within the health and social care sector on issues around improving skills and knowledge and equally focusing on embedding a culture of compassion and respect.

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What is the best aspect about your current role? To be able to make a meaningful contribution to address the challenges of older people living longer, healthier and more independently and also improvements and achievements in fairness and equality.

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My contributions to the care of older people over almost four decades, improving the safety and quality of care and embedding dignity and compassion in healthcare and equality and inclusion more widely.

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What inspires you?

My patients and colleagues over the years and seeing and delivering improvements in healthcare. What has been biggest obstacle in your career? Not an obstacle, but the limited resources within which NHS staff have been working, especially over the last many years and the need for cultural change.

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Who has been the biggest influence on your career to date? My parents who always believed in the wellbeing and the good health of all, especially those who need it the most. They always felt that people who devoted their life to the service of others were really very lucky.

And the worst?

I try to focus more on the positives rather than the negatives, of course there are impediments and areas that may need changing, or could be improved, but working in health one realises that the best way is to do your utmost with the limited resources and support available.

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What are your long term goals?

To contribute to health care, health and medical regulation and improving ethnic health and embedding inclusion and diversity in all aspects.

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If you were Prime Minister, what one aspect would you change? Ensure that there is adequate funding for health and education and that staff are valued and recognised and supported and that everyone’s potential is realised and maximised.

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If you were marooned on a desert island, which historical figure would you like to spend your time with and why. Sir Garfield Sobers and how he managed hit six sixes in an over.

Takeaway riders 'are renting their jobs to illegal immigrants Deliveroo and Uber Eats couriers are renting out their jobs to alleged 'illegal immigrants' online, an investigation has revealed. Drivers and couriers from both firms are advertising their jobs in private Facebook groups and not taking the necessary precautions in vetting who they subhire, found The Sunday Time's Kenza Bryan. A whistle-blower told the journalist that 'illegal immigrants' are coming in from France, Belgium and Italy in

A shop owner was fined more than £4,000 after he was caught selling knock-off tobacco products. Ziad Hassan-Pasha, 35, of Victoria Road, Wembley, admitted to peddling cigarettes and vaping products that did not have the required warnings on them. He stored hundreds of the dodgy e-liquids, vape kits and cigarettes at his shop, Al-Pasha, in High Road, Wembley. After a Trading Standards investigation, he was ordered to pay a £250 fine per offence, in addition to costs and a victim surcharge – totalling £4,366. Cllr Tom Miller, responsible for stronger communities at Brent Council, said this punishment highlights the authority’s attitude towards those trying to make money inappropriate-

ly. He said: “Shops that sell tobacco products without the proper health warnings are putting the public at potential risk and this is simply unacceptable. “This conviction shows just how serious we are about coming down hard on those found to be selling illegal cigarettes and tobacco products in Brent. “Our message to traders is simple: it’s your responsibility to make sure that your

products are compliant and have the proper health warnings, or we will take formal action if you disregard the law.” He urged members of the public to support the council’s enforcement teams if they suspect people are selling illegal tobacco products. They can report them to Trading Standards via the Citizens’ Advice Consumer Service on 03454 050506.

Pinner Wood School SATs annulled after errors

Which place, or city or country do you most feel at home in? Very much at home in Blackburn and the UK and equally at home in Punjab, India. I was brought up in Chandigarh and qualified in Amritsar and have been a consultant in Blackburn for over 30 years. What are your proudest achievements?

Wembley shop owner fined for illegal tobacco products

lorries and 'renting other peoples' accounts.' The companies allow couriers - who are selfemployed - to sub-let their accounts to people, given they carry out the necessary checks on their substitute, but Deliveroo doesn't ask for confirmation that this happens. Uber Eats asks for proof of right to work along with the substitute's driving license within 24 hours. They also say riders must inform restaurants of the change, if they

can't verify a substitute's details within two weeks, they deactivate the account. This means that illegal immigrants could be working in the UK without the right to do so, not paying rent and not having faced a check on their criminal background. Uber Eats said the right to a substitute is a legal requirement, Deliveroo said the reports of illegal riders working as couriers were 'alleged only' and 'completely unproven.'

A primary school had a set of SATs results annulled after an investigation uncovered administrative errors. Former Year 6 pupils at Pinner Wood School, in Harrow, will see their July results removed from the record after the Standards and Testing Agency found evidence of “maladministra-

tion”. The school pointed out that the children affected will not be disadvantaged during their secondary education and they will have the chance to prove themselves again during their GCSEs. Head teacher Sarah Marriott said she will take

any advice on board and assured those associated with the school that it will continue to operate at the highest standard. Pinner Wood was forced to temporarily relocate after a chalk mine was discovered underneath its site. It returned to Latimer Gardens in January.

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12 - 18 January 2019

Christmas to remember In West Bengal, the bonds between the majority Hindu community and their minority Christian brethren have been close and enduring. Language, culture, shared values have cemented this relationship over time.. Leading Christian figures contributed significantly to the 19th century Bengal Renaissance, which became the catalyst for the broader Indian awakening. The Reverend Krishna Mohan Banerjee was an outstanding Bengali and Sanskrit scholar, the author of a Bengali encyclopedia and a linguist of note.. Among his many languages were Tamil, Greek and Latin. He presided over the inaugural meeting of the Indian Association at the Town Hall, Calcutta, in 1878. The Association, together with its sister Association in Bombay were to merge to form the Indian National Congress founded on 28 December 1885, which guided India to Independence in August 1947. Today Christian educational institutions are thriving as they have over the past century and more. St Xavier’s College, now a University, is one of the best in the country and plaudits near and far. Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has been a tower of strength in the growth of St Xavier’s. She has made it a point to attend the midnight service in Kolkata’s foremost cathedral, where one of Rabindranath Tagore’s songs was sung. The canvas is rich and uplifting.

However, the moral moment of Christmas this year was its celebration at the Ramkrishna Mission Institute in Kolkata, where the Chief Guest was the Catholic Archbishop Thomas D’Souza. The Ramkrishna Mission Secretary Swami Suparananda echoed his Master Ramkrishna’s message that many are the paths to God, that violence between faiths is a travesty of the inner peace that true faith brings to the worshipper. The Archbishop echoed the message of brotherhood in a shared humanity. His host Swami Suparananda responded: ‘Jesus was like an elder brother to Ramkrishna and a guiding spirit for Swami Vivekenanda. Thus, Christmas is a sacred day for the mission as well.’ Archbishop D’Souza related that, when Swami Vivekenanda and his following decided to opt for a monastic life, they took their vows on Christmas day. Christmas with its message of love, compassion was close to Swami Vivekenanda’s heart. When we live in peace, harmony comes. What a wonderful life we can have if we live like brothers and sisters as conceived by Swamiji.,’ said Archbishop Thomas D’Souza. With India and the world riven by hatred and discord, the words of Swami Suparananda and Archbishop Thomas D’Souza brought solace, comfort and inspiration. Peace and goodwill to all.

Surge in technology trends in 2019 According to the latest data, the surge in technologies will set the pace in India’s ongoing social transformation in 2019. Exciting times are ahead for banking, financial services, insurance and healthcare in particular, driven by regulatory challenges, monetary cycles, talent, innovation, risk management, business partnerships and much else that feeds into the ecosystem. Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning are being integrated into a vast, enabling process of product delivery to a market hungry for more of the best. Coming into play will also include Internet of Things, Mobility, Automation and the inevitable Blockchain. Artificial Intelligence has grown to Artificial Intelligence-enabled chips, which will lead to speech recognition, image and video filtering, analysis and processing and go a long way in identifying patterns and personalizing experiences. This cognitive technology will lead to easy applications, better relationships between banks and customers as part of an ongoing experience. Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning will be an

enabling process to handle large swathes of data and also help to bring isolated or distributive data for more informed decisions. There will be further adoption of tools like chatbots, straight through processing to robotic processing and robotic process automation for routine repetitive processes. The convergence of Internet of Things and Artificial Intelligence will cresate new opportunities for insurers and better and more customized premiums for the insured. This will enhance process transparency and service delivery. Data science and analytics have become regular aspects of organizations across industries. Data and data value management are set to dominate industry over the forthcoming decades. With the quantum of data generated every nano second, it is now imperative for business and IT leaders to find efficient solution frameworks to store data from all directions; provide easier access; and offer faster computing and analytics on such cumulative information for customer benefit. New horizons beckon.

India’s unfolding Great Game The Great Game, Rudyard Kipling’s sobriquet for the Great Power rivalry between the British and Russian Empires in Central Asia has had an extended time line beyond it original 19th century setting. With a resurgent China creating its markers – ‘core interests’ is how Beijing describes them – the Great Game has taken on board new contestants. India and China have had a troubled relationship – barring a few Hindi-Chini bhai bhai [Indians and Chinese are brothers] years in the early 1950s – a hallucinatory period replaced by continuing mistrust since the military conflict of late 1962. Despite softening rhetoric the ground realities are unlikely to change anytime soon. China has pegged its regional policy to its ‘all-weather friendship’ with Pakistan’ that has included the transfer of nuclear weapon technology to Islamabad, including Islamabad’s jihadi terror operations on Indian soil in a bid to keep India, cabined, cribbed and confined. In its latest arms deal, China is building advanced technology frigates for the Pakistan Navy. As part of this exercise, Beijing has constructed what has been described as a ‘string of pearls,’ that is, bases and relationships with local powers on India’s periphery as an instrument to strangle its perceived regional rival. China, is constructing a naval base in the Pakistan port city of Gwadar on the Persian Gulf. ‘Pakistan is China’s Israel,’ said General Xiong Guanhai. With India’s close ties in place with Jerusalem, China is welcome to the counterfeit lslamist article in Islamabad. Throwing down the gauntlet, China already has an acknowledged naval base at Djibouti in the horn of Africa. India has countered with a collaborative presence in Indonesia and in Singapore, guard posts on each side the Strait of Malacca in the South China Sea, complemented further down the line towards the Indian Ocean, by naval, air and army bases on the Nicobar and Andaman Islands. It has a security presence in Mauritius in the Indian Ocean

between India and the east coast of Africa and at Duqm in Oman in the Gulf of Oman bordering the Arabian Sea. In addition to the port of Chabahar in Iran, not far from Pakistan’s China-built-Gwadar, which India has constructed with three considerations in mind: first, as a railway hub to western Afghanistan; second, as a stepping stone to the Iranian port of Bandar Abbas at the terminus of the Persian Gulf; and third, to use Bandar Abbas as a base for commercial traffic by rail to the Caspian region covering Armenia, and thence to Russia, Belarus and beyond into Central Asia. India has joined the Ashgabat Agreement entailing the International North –South Transport Corridor to access markets in Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan and Kirgizstan. Prime Minister Narendra Modi was the first Indian Prime Minister (in 2017) to visit these Central Asian states (all in China’s backyard) on his way back from Moscow. Trade between India and these States has taken a quantum leap and is set to grow exponentially. This growth area is complemented by cultural agreements, educational exchanges and military exercises. India’s ties with Mongolia – long coveted by every Chinese regime - and Vietnam are close, exceptionally so with the latter through vast defence ventures. China, currently, is engaged in a tariff war with the United States. Despite tall talk and Middle Kingdom bravado to impose by force its fiat on Taiwan, Beijing is ready to reduce its import tariff on American cars by a significant 15 per cent as a peace offering to the Trump administration. Truth is that the Chinese economy is slowing, and the country’s national debt has ballooned to 28 trillion dollars, with a property bubble much in evidence. President Xi Jinping’s clampdown on even marginal domestic dissent, his repression of the minority Muslim Uighurs in Xinjiang and in Buddhist Tibet is surely a reflection of Beijing’s abiding insecurity. The Great Game could well be China’s riveting endgame.

Mother Earth is not a resource; she is an heirloom - David Ipinia

Alpesh Patel

A most dangerous year? Russia and US at conflict, Syria, the Saudi’s blockading Qatar, Chinese and US conflict, global warming, ISIS. Well, let me add one more we should not forget. Happy New Year. So what may cause such a catastrophe? Iran and the US? Where better to look than the roof of the world and Kashmir. If you want to know what taxes the State of Pakistan you only need to examine the web home page of their Foreign Ministry. There you will find links regarding Pakistan’s view on the Kashmir dispute. Kashmir incidentally has the longest serving UN observer force based there. To understand how much the issue concerns the people of Pakistan, you only need to visit this website, and…Bradford. Obsessive behaviour concerns me, because it leads to irrationality. And field command of nuclear weapons in the hands of an irrational soldier is a serious possibility. As the web site states, “India took the matter to the UN Security Council in 1948. The UN Security Council through its Security Council Resolutions No. 47 (1948), 51 (1948), 80 (1950) and the United Commission for India and Pakistan resolutions of 13 August 1948 and 5 January 1949 declared that accession of Jammu & Kashmir to India or Pakistan should be decided through the democratic method of a free and impartial plebiscite.” What worries me is that when you click on the link to UN resolution 47, it is an error page. Looking up UN resolution 47 elsewhere you discover ‘The resolution recommended that in order to ensure the impartiality of the plebiscite Pakistan withdraw all tribesmen and nationals who entered the region for the purpose of fighting.’ Of course Pakistan has made no such withdrawal, nor does it make reference to such a requirement. They say truth is the first casualty of war. The Governments of Pakistan and India are required to exchange lists of their respective nuclear installations and facilities in accordance with Article-II of the Agreement on Prohibition of Attacks against Nuclear installations and facilities between Pakistan and India of 31 December 1988. In accordance with the Agreement, a list of requisite facilities in Pakistan was given to the Indian High Commission Official at the Foreign Office on 1st January. Also on 1st January India and Pakistan in pursuance to the agreement between the two Foreign Ministers in New Delhi on 27 July 2011, the Sixth Round of Expert Level Talks on Nuclear Confidence Building Measures (CBMs) issued a statement. Both sides reviewed the implementation and strengthening of existing CBMs in the framework of Lahore MoU, and agreed to explore possibilities for mutually acceptable additional CBMs. Editor: CB Patel Asian Voice is published by Asian Business Publications Ltd Karma Yoga House, 12 Hoxton Market, (Off Coronet Street) London N1 6HW. Tel: 020 7749 4080 • Fax: 020 7749 4081 Email: aveditorial@abplgroup.com Website: www.abplgroup.com INDIA OFFICE Bureau Chief: Nilesh Parmar (BPO) AB Publication (India) Pvt. Ltd. 207 Shalibhadra Complex, Opp. Jain Derasar, Nr. Nehru Nagar Circle, Ambawadi, Ahmedabad-380 015. Tel: +91 79 2646 5960 Email: gs_ahd@abplgroup.com © Asian Business Publications


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Boy 'stabbed and killed man hiding in garage' A teenage boy stabbed a young man to death after finding him hiding in his home, a jury has heard. The 16-year-old found Risaan Udayakumar, 18, in the garage of the property in Watford on 10 July. St Albans Crown Court heard that Mr Udayakumar, described by his family as "bright and caring", had been visiting a young woman at the house. The accused, who is now 17 and cannot be named for legal reasons, denies murder. Mr Udayakumar and the woman were in her bedroom

when they heard angry knocking on the door, said prosecutor Michael Speak. She hid the young man in the garage and opened the bedroom door to the teenager, who pushed past her, said Mr Speak. The jury was told he was shouting "where is he... where is he?" and "who is with you?" After searching the bedroom and bathroom, the boy went into the garage where he found Mr Udayakumar crouched in a corner and began hitting him, shouting, "get out of the house what are you doing?"

Risaan Udayakumar

The woman did not realise the boy had armed himself with a knife but when she tried to separate the two teenagers, she

saw blood coming from Mr Udayakumar's mouth, blood in his shirt and a pool of blood forming on the ground, said Mr Speak. It was then she realised he had been stabbed and saw a knife in the boy's hand, the court heard. A passer-by who heard screams called 999 and police arrested the 16-year-old at the scene. Mr Udayakumar was taken to Watford General Hospital but died later the same day from a stab wound to the chest. The trial continues.

Arson inquiry after Leicester fire damages buildings on Golden Mile Police launched an arson inquiry after a fire ripped through a shopping centre on Leicester's so-called Golden Mile, amid reports of floors collapsing. At its height more than 60 firefighters tackled the blaze at the Belgrave Commercial Centre, on Belgrave Road, which started at 22:00 GMT on Sunday 4th Janauary. Leicestershire Police believe the fire was "started deliberately"

and have launched an investigation. The centre contains units including a grocer and clothes retailer. The Mirch Masala restaurant has been damaged by the fire. No-one has been reported injured in the incident. Det Insp Mark Parish said: "A number of people were in Belgrave Road at the time of the fire, including people recording the incident on their mobile phones.

"Please check these, and if you have any information which you believe may help us - no matter how insignificant it may seem - get in touch." He has also urged anyone with CCTV or dashcam footage to contact the force. Shamira Ayoob, who lives nearby, said she had been receiving texts from worried family and friends since it started. "We're safe, we're not in dan-

ger but just sad that it's all gone," she said. Several businesses seem to have been damaged inside the centre, but the emergency services have not confirmed any details. Belgrave Road has reopened to traffic, although Macdonald Road and Law Street remain closed. The Golden Mile is renowned for its shops selling gold and saris as well as its authentic Indian restaurants.

Oxford Street terror plotter 'took orders from IS' A man who planned to kill 100 people in a London terror attack was instructed by an Islamic State (IS) commander to make the British people "pay in their blood", a court has heard. Lewis Ludlow, 27, from Rochester in Kent, said he was told to set off a truck bomb after being refused permission to leave the UK. He then carried out "reconnaissance" and planned to target Oxford Street. Ludlow pleaded guilty in August to preparing acts of terrorism. He is giving evidence at the Old Bailey ahead of sentencing as there are still disputed issues between the prosecution

and defence. The former Royal Mail worker said a Filipino extremist, known as Abu Yaqeen, told him to scout potential targets, take pictures, and prepare an oath of allegiance to IS. The court heard on Thursday how Ludlow was working with the government's de-radicalisation programme, known as Prevent, while planning the attacks. Images taken by Ludlow, by then under intensive police

surveillance, of various London landmarks, including Madame Tussauds and the Disney Store on Oxford Street, were shown to the court. In a torn-up note recovered from a bin hear his home, Ludlow had written "it is a busy street it is ideal for an attack. It is expected nearly 100 could be killed." Ludlow, a Muslim convert who used the name Ali Hussain, had planned to join Abu Yaqeen in a conflict-scarred area of the Philippines, but was prevented

from doing so by the police. His passport was subsequently cancelled. He said the cancellation of his passport "literally broke my heart". He said Abu Yaqeen then encouraged him to carry out a terror attack in the UK. Abu Yaqeen instructed him to "do something against the kuffar (non-believers) in the land", Ludlow told the court. He said Abu Yaqeen - who is now under arrest in the Philippines - had told him that in order to achieve "a spectacular attack we should use a truck bomb attack to achieve the desired effect".

'US troll' probed after armed police called out to UK homes Police are probing allegations that a US-based cyber troll has left UK families "emotionally destroyed" by sending armed police to their homes. Gee Hussain, from Littleover in Derby, said he was woken in the early hours to find his home surrounded by officers responding to reports of a hostage. Mr Hussain is linking his case to several hoax police call-outs in Manchester that followed online abuse. US courts said a woman had been charged with harassment. New Jersey Courts said Nibah Gazi, 40, had been charged with one count of harassment in relation to another case. Ms Gazi's attorney, Martin J Jennings Jr, said Ms Gazi would be denying the charge and he was "unaware" of any complaints relating to other alleged victims. Mr Hussain, a music promoter, said a woman he believed to be Ms Gazi had contacted him via social media in September, pretending to be a major promoter in the US. After initially liaising with her, he began to get suspicious

and tried to cut contact. He claimed she then smeared him on social media and sent abuse and threats to his mobile phone. On 7 October at 05:30 GMT, Mr Hussain was woken by security lights outside his home and saw an armed police response unit on his drive. "I opened the door. My hands were above my head. The police were shouting at me and I was shaking," he said. The police said a neighbour had claimed he was hitting his wife's head with a gun. "I said 'my wife's asleep upstairs'. They searched my house and spoke to my wife. It was terrifying. We have a quiet life here and this woman has emotionally destroyed us," Mr Hussain said. He said the police had been called to his house "more than 10 times". Derbyshire Police confirmed Mr Hussain had been the victim of a hoax on a number of occasions and it was changing the way it dealt with such calls. The force said it was working with police in New Jersey to

in brief TEACHER JAILED FOR GROOMING BOY A science teacher who groomed a 15-yearold pupil with sexually explicit messages has been jailed for 14 months. Father-of-three Syed Raza, a teacher in Bedfordshire, exchanged more than 1,250 texts and 125 calls with the boy, and gave him a 'Mr Perfect' Mr Men figure. Raza, 46, admitted engaging in sexual communication with a child between September and December 2017. Judge Richard Foster called Raza's offences "disgusting, unacceptable and a gross breach of trust". Luton Crown Court heard Raza, of Blakeney Drive, Luton, would tell the boy about his sex life with his wife, and send him messages confessing his love. In one message read to the court, he wrote: "Missing you and wishing you were here. I love you. I wish you were my son and don't you wish you could live with me?" After a heart attack in October, the teacher sent the teenager pictures of himself in his hospital bed. The relationship was discovered when the boy's mother found a portable speaker and a 'Mr Perfect' Mr Men figure the teacher had bought him. When she checked his phone she found explicit messages and called the police. In a statement after his arrest, Raza said he had only been having banter and had no sexual interest in the boy. The victim said in a personal statement that he was "quite confused" by what happened and was not now comfortable being alone with teachers. Raza must register as a sex offender and abide by the terms of a sexual harm prevention order for 10 years.

'DANGEROUS PREDATOR' JAILED FOR RAPING MAN A man described as a "dangerous sexual predator" has been jailed after being convicted of rape. Deukumar Limbu, from Reading, attacked a 22year-old man who had asked him for directions in Oxford Road in the town after getting lost on a night out. Limbu led the victim to a park in Beresford Road where he sexually assaulted and raped him. The 43-year-old was sentenced to 13 years in prison for three counts of rape and one count of sexual assault. Det Con Natalie Powell thanked the victim for his "courage" and giving "compelling evidence" at Reading Crown Court following the attack on 6 June 2018. She added "vital" witness evidence resulted in the conviction of a "dangerous sexual predator", who was sentenced on 4 January.

KILLERS OF HARUN JAMA STILL AT LARGE ONE YEAR ON Gee Hussain

pursue an alleged perpetrator in the US but had not yet pressed charges. It said it viewed Mr Hussain as the victim of a crime known in the US as "swatting", which refers to bogus reports designed to ensure police or SWaT (Special Weapons and Tactics) teams are called to an address. A similar pattern of online contact followed by hoax calls targeted Rizwan Mahmood, 38, a singer from Moss Side, Manchester. "She said I was killing a child at my home. They have come round three times in the early hours and once we were out and they smashed through my door. It's so worrying. I've got two sons, aged 13 and seven, and they

Sangeetha Singh

were really shaken up," he said. Sangeetha Singh, 55, from Gorton in Manchester, whose daughters Aashana and Sonalia are well-known Bollywood dancers, said a troll had pretended to be her stillborn baby. "It was sickening to the core," she said. She said she believed there was a pattern to the abuse. "We are all in the entertainment industry with open social media profiles so our personal details are easy to find," Ms Singh said. She said the police told her they lacked the resources to deal with an alleged abuser based in the US.

Police are still hunting for the killers of a 16year-old boy who was "brutally" stabbed to death one year on from the attack. Harun Jama was found bleeding in Friars Wharf, Oxford, in January last year. He later died in hospital. Thames Valley Police said despite a number of arrests, no-one has been prosecuted for his murder. Det Chf Insp Andy Howard said the force was "committed to bring to account the people responsible". He said over the year-long investigation, police had taken 700 statements, seized 1,100 items, taken CCTV from 90 buses at the time of the stabbing and recovered large volumes of mobile data. Det Chf Ins Howard implored anyone who had concerns about coming forward with information to speak to police. Harun, from Birmingham, was stabbed between 19:00 and 20:00 GMT on 3 January 2018. He was attacked in the towpath area of Friar's Wharf between Folly Bridge and the black and white old gasworks bridge.


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Brexit for Breakfast Diminishing confidence amongst entrepreneurs Ali Akbor, Chief Executive, Unity Homes & Enterprise Next week, the House of Commons will vote on the future direction of the United Kingdom. MPs will be asked if they support Theresa May’s Brexit deal with Brussels which sets out the terms on which Britain will leave the European Union. But as things stand, the vote seems unlikely to go in the Prime Minister’s favour. In my two decades as Chief Executive of Unity Homes and Enterprise, I have not known an atmosphere of such deep uncertainty in the communities we serve. Unity was formed in 1987 to address the housing needs of black and minority ethnic communities across Leeds. Our work has since expanded beyond the city to other parts of Yorkshire, and we manage properties for tenants from all communities and ethnic backgrounds. But we have never forgotten our roots, and are proud to describe ourselves as a BME-led organisation which works to safeguard the welfare of some of the most vulnerable members of society. Unity tenants want to live side by side with people respectful of each other’s differences. To my deep frustration, the aggressive tone and negative rhetoric we have heard from both sides of the Brexit debate have become a combined threat to community cohesion. Politicians who advocate a ‘my way or no way’ doctrine and denigrate those who hold a different viewpoint to their own are playing an irresponsible game. And it does appear to be a game to some of them. Should Mrs May’s deal not receive Parliament’s assent, two alternative outcomes pose particular perils. The first is a no-deal Brexit. Despite vacuous claims from prominent members of the Leave campaign, I see no clear benefits from a cliff-edge departure. No one can be sure what unforeseen consequences will result and that is a risk I do not want our tenants to endure. I also do not wish to see another referendum. The scars of the June 2016 vote still run deep. It will not take much to reopen the wounds. I also suspect that the result of a re-run would be equally as close, whichever side triumphed, and would fail to deliver closure on the issue. Some would demand a third vote. This would be in no one’s interest, other than those who crave division. Unity is not a political organisation and has no desire to become one. But I do believe that MPs from across the political divide have a responsibility to reach an agreed way forward on Brexit before the country is plunged into a state of chaos. The wheels of government have ground to a halt. This is not a criticism, it’s a fact. The Integrated Communities Strategy Green Paper and the Social Housing Green Paper – both vitally important to housing associations - are gathering dust in Whitehall, with the attention of Ministers almost exclusively focused on Brexit. Businesses are also being adversely impacted. Unity Enterprise, our not for profit subsidiary, hosts more than 80 companies in three centres close to Leeds city centre. The ability of these businesses to expand and create new employment opportunities in communities which need more jobs is being restricted because of diminishing confidence amongst entrepreneurs. Existing posts may also be at risk. These enterprises need clarity to enable them to plan for the longer term and make investment decisions. For the sake of the country, our politicians must agree a shared way forward. The Prime Minister’s Brexit deal is far from perfect but is the only fully worked-up solution currently on offer. MPs need to do their jobs and then empower the housing association sector to get on with ours.

Homes &

Housing

Tech-firm liberating staff with four-day working week Lab, a digital agency, has liberated the way people work, by reducing length of the working week. The trial was the idea of Jonny Tooze, Lab's founder and managing director, as he spent a May bank holiday in a retreat in 2017 on the Isle of Wight. He then decided it was time for him to look at the liberating potential of automation, wrote The Sunday Times. 35 year old Saumya Pant, who is a part of the experiement, has been shortlisted for the Mrs India UK 2019, while she works

Saumya Pant

for Lab. Tooze told the newspaper, that there was widespread scepticism in September when Frances O'Grady general secretary of the TUC said unions had helped to create two day weekend, and the next aim was four day. But Tooze thinks it's inevitable. He added, “We are automating things which means people will lose their jobs, he said, He felt personally responsible because Lab is immersed in robotisation. "Within few decades

we will have an incredibly developed technological workplace and unless you are a technologist, you wont reallt have a place in the work sphere.” He moved his company from 37.5 hour week to 36 hours over four days, with some taking Monday off or Friday off. Tooze also believes that as work increasingly involves interacting with computers, it is important for humanityespecially as it enables unadulterated time when we can switch off and think for ourselves.

'Biometrics to be the future for credit card security': Ajay Bhalla Ajay Bhalla is president of cyber and intelligence solutions for Mastercard. His mission for the last four years has been almost inconceivable, to guarantee the security of more than 70bn transactions processed every day. He leads the team that develops product solutions to ensure the safety, security and experience of Mastercard products and solutions for consumers, merchants, partners and governments around the world. Ajay also serves on the company's management committee. Technology built by Bhalla's team can actually predict when fraudsters may try to steal credit card details and alert the bank in advance so that transactions can be blocked. He told The Daily Telegraph, “We are getting into predicting what

card number could get compromised in future. We have solutions for early detection now which advise a bank in advance, saying that we believe based on the statistics, and data that these cards are going to present a problem. It's being used by banks globally.” Though the company's objective is to build an impermeable system for the hackers, it has necessarily not always worked. But Mastercard's drive to stop hackers with predictive technology is gaining momentum. His team is also planning to release a technology to check identitities faster and stop false credit card declines- a huge problem that the financial service sector faces, the daily reported. Ajay is pinning his hopes on Mastercard's biometric

Ajay Bhalla

technology, which will be used by millions of people from April 2019, as banks plan to roll out payments online and in store that can be approved by customers' fingerprints or pictures of their faces, rather than a just pin number or password verifications.

Prior to his current role, Ajay was the president of the Digital Payment Services business for Mastercard. He led the development and growth of the business in e-commerce and innovative payments processing establishing Mastercard as a pioneer and leader in many markets in this space. Ajay has also been president of Mastercard for South Asia and Southeast Asia, where he led the business in 18 markets. During his tenure, Mastercard became a market leader in many markets/segments and grew the business multifold launching several innovative payments solutions. Before joining Mastercard, Ajay held key leadership positions at HSBC and Xerox.

Women's coding school in UK that funds women's digital education in India Anisah Osman Britton is turning heads with 23 Code Street, a coding school for women where every paying student funds a digital skills lesson for disadvantaged student in the slums of India. Amazing as she is, Anisah lives on a boat with her dog for the last five years, and started 23 Code Street in 2016 because while working in the tech industry, she could see the lack of women in it. She was born in London but when she was 3 moved to Spain with her family. When she was 11 she moved to India, an experience she calls 'enriching' as well as moving. The family returned to the Midlands, where she completed her GCSEs and then the International Baccalaureate at college before refusing to apply for UK's top universities.

pairs brands with The Independent tech startups, wrote that she got when she was placements in realised that I n d i a , she was Tanzania, really pasKenya and sionate o t h e r about the European gender divercountries and eventually came sity problem back to the UK. in the tech A ni sah Osman But she grew frustratworld ed to see her student In an a recent friends with no money to Guardian article, she wrote, do things with her, so she “I could see the lack of started her first company, women (in the industry) PocketMUni.com. She then was a problem. They were moved to a role at the The not part of the decisionBakery, a company that making. I'd see stuff being

built and think, a woman's never going to use that!” Speaking to Independent about her initiative, Anisah said, “We’ve tried to make coding accessible to women.” 23 Code Street even has a payment plans for women struggling to pay £1,500 for the 12 week course upfront. It allows them to pay it over three to six months, and also offers scholarships. In 12 weeks, 23 Code Street promises to give their women only students the foundation that they need to become developers.


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AsianVoiceNewsweekly

12 - 18 January 2019

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8 UK

AsianVoiceNews

AsianVoiceNewsweekly

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12 - 18 January 2019

As I See It

When, if ever, the glass ceiling be broken? CB Patel

Few months ago the Home Office and even the Theresa May government were under enormous stress because of the Windrush scandal. Simply due to colour, hundreds if not thousands of much needed migrant labourers were firstly invited, eventually were vilified and victimised by the Home Office of different governments. The search was on for someone who can bring stability, respect and acceptance for the Home Office as well as the British government. Unanimously one name was proposed by almost all- and Sajid Javid became the first non white Home Secretary, making Asians proud. Some even predicted him as the first British Asian Prime Minister of the Great Britain. A man of impeccable track record and outstanding temperament brought stability and confidence not only in the Home Office but made life easier for Theresa May, who in the Sajid Javid recent times has been the longest serving Home Secretary for Tory government. Forward to a few months later. During Christmas break some 100 migrants made a bee line crossing the English Channel from European mainland. Sajid Javid had to cut his family holiday short and rush back to chair a meeting with senior officials at the Border Agency and National Crime Agency. He tried to handle the situation in a very objective way. The media went into a frenzy and immigration led the headlines everywhere. It's an example how the coverage of migration in the media and political rhetotic affect reality or fuel misconceptions. Not only just for general public, but for nationally vital issues like Brexit, immigration has become the top reason why a majority of UK voters supported Brexit. Funnily only 13 percent of Britons are immigrants, 6 percent from EU- and 12 percent of this 13 percent from abroad are in prison. As usual the reports have various tan-

gents, some question Mr Javid's judgement, others think he has done the right thing, some even denounce his approach. That is acceptable if it does not aim at below the belt line. I fear that situation will be like in the famous poem 'The Patriot'. Sadiq Khan is also on the same boat. Elected with a large majority in spite of being a Muslim, to speak bluntly. At one stage he was described as the most popular Labour politician. Of late he is facing umpteen number of arrows from not only the Conservatives but also the Labour party. Whenever a non-white rises distinctly in politics, profession, business or other public services, in the initial stage Sadiq Khan they are welcome, praised, adored and somehow a stage reaches where they are targeted just because of vested interests. It is a pity. I recollect a member of the House of Lords in 1988 from a non BAME background who told me that, “Today the four non white members of the House of Commons (Paul Boateng, Keith Vaz, Dianne Abbott and Barney Grant) are fetted, but watch the space. Sooner or rather than later for various reasons they will be marginalised, ignored or prevented from progressing further.” I was also told that the Jewish community has created a powerful lobby to safeguard such a calamity falling on their brethren. Blacks and Asians will have to wait for a while to have that umbrella. He was also very clear that US faced the same fate. But that was long before a Black man went to Whitehouse. The America today is different from 1955, or for that matter 1988. Britain has come a long way from the 'Rivers of blood.' But as the morning shows the day, it perhaps will never be ready for a BAME Prime Minister, more because UK is characterised by an absence of collective voices assuring the truth.

Lucky EuroMillion couple asked to “burn the begging letters”

To All members of the British Darji Community in UK We have been given an opportunity by Asian Voice to publicise in a special supplement the remarkable progress the Darji community has made, since their parents travelled from all over India to Africa and onwards, making UK their ultimate home. The first generation of Darjis continued with the tradition of working in the field of tailoring and as the 2nd and 3rd generation children grew up and educated in this country they have excelled in fields of Business & Commerce and in professional field IT, doctors, engineers, Pharmacists solicitors designers and some have played key roles in local authorities, Armed Forces and in the Civil Service. This publication is to highlight the achievements of the community both of young and old who are making a valu-

able contribution in the wider society and regarding Britain as their home. I feel privileged that I, Ishwer Tailor, has been asked to coordinate and edit the special supplement and tasked to approach the community and collate information of interest that can be published in the Asian Voice very soon. If you have a business or are involved any particular field of interest and have made regional or national contribution we would like to hear from you. The deadline for short articles must be received by 4th January 2019. Please note publication of articles is at the discretion of the editor and editorial committee. Please forward your articles to Ishtailor@hotmail.com or for further information contact me on 07801 849 402

UK-Kerala host “Re-building Kerala” together

Leeds University, UK and Kerala’s TKM College of Engineering hosted ‘Rebuilding a Resilient Kerala after the Floods’ a two-day international workshop in Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala. The workshop brought academics, people from various industries, and government agencies together where stakeholders from both countries jointly identified the challenges of reconstruction of critical and civil infrastructure, building capability to cope with any future floods due to climate changes, land use planning for a sustainable and resilient society

and, educating the next generation of engineers. Eminent experts from the UK and India for the research paper presentations included Shaarad Sharma, Royal Academy of Engineering, Dr P.A. Muhammed Basheer, University of Leeds, Dr K.P. Sudheer, IIT Madras and Dr P.P. Mujumdar, IISc Bangalore. The workshop was cohosted by the Kerala State Planning Board, Government of Kerala and the Royal Academy of Engineering (UK) under the aegis of the NewtonBhabha Fund to support the UK-India bilateral sci-

ence and innovation collaboration. Deputy High Commissioner Jeremy Pilmore-Bedford said, “I’m delighted that the jointly funded UK-India NewtonBhabha Fund has been able to support such a vital discussion in Trivandrum to help rebuild a resilient post-flood Kerala. “The Newton-Bhabha Fund has supported 61 projects and grants in Kerala in sectors like public health and wellbeing, sustainable cities and urbanisation, energywater-food, big data, advanced manufacturing and skills.

UK clears extradition of Sanjeev Chawla, alleged “match-fixing bookie"

The Lucky EuroMillion couple, Patrick and Frances Connolly, are planning to share their £115million lottery pot. But previous lottery winners have advised them to burn any letters if they do not recognise the sender. Both Patrick and

Frances have pledged to divide their fortune between as many as 50 friends, relatives and charities and they have received praise for their generosity. However, former lottery winners have warned the couple that they should now expect an

onslaught of “begging letters” as others will attempt to cash in on their newfound wealth. The couple have become the fourth largest lottery winners in the history of the UK by going public, a decision taken just by 15% of the winners.

The Westminster magistrates court on Monday has ruled that Sanjeev Kumar Chawla, who is accused in the match fixing scandal of 2000 involving Hanse Cronje, the former South African captain, should be extradited, a UK court has ruled. The case will now be sent to the UK Home Secretary. This extradition to India comes following the November 2018 judgement

of the high court. The high court had ruled that conditions in the Tihar Jail in Delhi did not pose any “real risk” to Chawla’s human rights. This was the only ground on which the Magistrates Court had blocked his extradition in October 2017. If after considering the case, the Home Secretary thinks extradition should go ahead, he has to order the extradition within two months of the date the mat-

ter was referred to him. Whatever that decision, the losing side now has up to 14 days within which to approach the High Court and seek leave to appeal. Any appeal – if granted – will be heard at the Administrative Court (High Court)”. The lower court was satisfied that there is a prima facie case for him to answer on the basis of evidence gathered by the Delhi police.


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12 - 18 January 2019

Queen's Guard plays rendition of Bohemian Rhapsody The Queen’s Guard delighted onlookers with their rendition of Bohemian Rhapsody outside the Buckingham Palace. The Band of the Grenadier Guards played the tune on Monday, hours after it was announced that Rami Malek had taken two of the top awards at the Golden Globe for his performance in the drama Bohemian Rhapsody. The

film follows the rise of the band and its lead singer Freddie Mercury. The Queen’s Guard have a history of responding to popular cultural events which was the most prominent when they had paid tribute to Aretha Franklin after her death by performing her hit R.E.S.P.E.C.T. While in 2014, they made headlines by playing the Game of Thrones theme song.

Jameela Jamil struggles with her body image Jameela Jamil, 32, has revealed to the Red Magazine how she struggled with her body image, in her initial career phase when her pictures were airbrushed. “I was given a whiter face, a little English nose and perfect skinny thighs. It makes me feel gross. I still suffer from body dysmorphia” said the actress of South Asian origins. At the age of 17 she was hit by a car and spent two years on complete bedrest and prescribed to steroids which along with her diet

GOLDEN JUBILEE KENYA EXODUS AND SETTLEMENT IN BRITAIN Dear Readers Asian Voice and Gujarat Samachar have, besides providing news, views and features, persistently motivated and encouraged British Asians, promoting them and pushing them to the forefront of recognition. As the biggest Asian newsweeklies in Britain, we have made it our goal to lift our community with every opportunity we get. In Asian Voice issue of December 15, we published column on Kenyan Asians, titled, 'The Golden Jubilee Of Mass Exodus Of Kenyan Asians And Settlement In The UK'. The mass exodus of Kenyan Asians was seen accelerated in February and March of 1968. Following Kenya's independence in 1963, Kenyan Asians holding British citizenship were pushed towards migration, many of whom sought to arrive in the UK. Cut to 50 years later, the Kenyan Asian community is one of the most affluent communities in Britain. They are well-respected, recognised and are an integral part of the British society. As a way to celebrate the golden jubilee of the exodus of Kenyan Asians, we have decided to publish a special magazine in their honour. The magazine to be published in March 2019, will feature relevant information about their migration from undivided India to East Africa, particularly to Kenya. It will also record their contributions to the Kenyan economy and society. We would like to invite you to submit any relevant information or stories; personal and/or their friends' and family's experience in the UK, latest by January 20. If you have a success story of people in public and political life, and know entrepreneurs and professionals, please send in their narratives. Asian Voice and Gujarat Samachar's sole aim is to encourage, so fresh suggestions on topics and articles are also welcome. We also seek your participation and support through sponsorship, advertisement and advertorials in this special publication. Those interested, please write to me or any of my colleague.

CB Patel: cb.patel@abplgroup.com Kokilaben Patel: kokila.patel@abplgroup.com or call (07875 229 177) Jyotsna Shah: jyotsna.shah@abplgroup.com or call (07875 229 223) Kishor Parmar: kishor.parmar@abplgroup.com or call (07875 229 088) Surendra Patel: surendra.patel@abplgroup.com or call (07875 229 220) L George: george@abplgroup.com or call (020 7749 4013) Cecil Soans: cecil.soans@abplgroup.com or call (020 7749 4089) Shrijit Rajan: shrijit.rajan@abplgroup.com or call (+91-9879882312)(India Office)

Jameela Jamil

led to an increase of 5.5 stones of weight.

Yours Sincerely,

CB Patel Publisher/Editor Asian Voice & Gujarat Samachar


10 READERS VOICE

AsianVoiceNews

12 - 18 January 2019

Kenya Exodus and British Darji Community Profile Dear Readers, After the recent announcement on our upcoming projects, Kenya Exodus and British Darji Community profile, we have received several responses and suggestions from our readers and well wishers. People have welcomed these ideas wholeheartedly. Our valued readers wish us to carry on with these projects and even extend the themes to other communities as well. We will be most grateful for any further suggestions or advice from our Readers. If anyone is willing to join us , Full Time or Part Time in editorial or revenue generation, we would welcome your co-operation for this projects. Kindly forward us your updated CV, along with your experience and preferences to cb.patel@abplgroup.com at the earliest.

It’s time to be more accepting of others sexual orientation Asian Voice is becoming more readable and much more inclusive which makes me proud of my preferred weekly newspaper. Your detailed report about the marginalised or, if i may say so, hidden people of different sexual orientation was very innovatice and most welcome. Whatever your personal taste, one ought to accept that they are also human beings. By hiding one’s sexual instincts you create unfold trajedies like those of Shrien Dewani, Mitesh Patel and many more. Dear God has created a garden full of different flowers and fruit trees which all exist as part of God’s amazing creation and a civilised society is judged by tolerance, acceptance and even celebration. Variety is, after all, the spice of life. Keep up the good work. Harman Vaishya Harrow

Kenya exodus and their excellent settlement in UK

Yours, C.B. Patel (Publisher/Editor, Asian Voice & Gujarat Samachar)

Use it or lose it The information technology, so often perceived to be scourge for the elderly who prefer saunter life-style, is moving so fast, at breath-taking speed that it is difficult if not impossible for Senior Citizens to keep abreast and in touch with changes in order to use computers, iPads and mobile phones which is a child’s play for younger generation. One victim of iPhone craze could be “Land Lines” as their usage has halved in just six years, the time we spend talking has fallen from 103 billion minutes to just 54 billion minutes, as youngsters are less interested in talking person to person and more in sending texts, email and webchat, especially when dealing with firms, buying online. The usage of mobile phones, especially since the introduction of iPhone has surged ten-fold, as most users hate paying land-line charges that very from £15 to £25 per month which is considered by many to be unfair, unnecessary and avoidable. But most septuagenarians prefer landline chats, especially those who may have age related decline in hearing and they feel land-line to be clearer, easy to use and affordable if one picks special deal offered from time to time, that includes free phone calls within Britain and so often it may include international calls as well. But then who can put a price-tag when it comes to self-preservation! But our concern for land-line goes beyond arcane world of information technology. Land-lines may be safe, at least for the time being, as we need it for broadband, a must for every home, as computers are as common as TV that dominates our lives. But who can guarantee that one day we may not need landline for broad band connections that could signal the demise of land-line, just like Fax machines, once a must for business but now a relic of the past no one misses! Kumudini Valambia By email

Gujarat has turned out to be India’s great cricket nursery Whilst enjoying your article above, I notice a glaring omission, regarding Gujarat and it's cricketing legends! Whilst the Gaekwads of Baroda were deservedly mentioned, yet some of the biggest stars were completely forgotten, i.e. Maharajah Ranjitsinhji Jadeja of Jamnagar (Navanagar), and his nephew Duleepsingh Jadeja! I have outlined some interesting facts about Sri Ranjitisinhji, below: - 'Ranji' not only became the first Indian to play a Test, but he also made his debut special by scoring 62 and 154 not out. - The Maharajah went on to become the king of county cricket, when he exceeded 1000 runs in 10 successive seasons from 1895 onwards, passing 3000 in 1899 and 1900. - In August 1896, 'Ranji' scored two hundreds at Hove on a single day, becoming the first cricketer to do so in a single day in a First-Class match. He scored 100 and 125 not out in the match on a single day, a feat nobody else has ever repeated. - 'Ranji' made 15 appearances for England and scored 989 runs at an average close to 45. His First-Class record was even more impressive; more than 24,000 runs at 56.37 and 72 tons. - He mentored nephew Duleep, who displayed exceptional talent as a batsman and arranged for him to receive full instructions at home. Duleep too travelled to Cambridge, following the footsteps of his illustrious uncle, and when he scored a scintillating 173 at Lord’s against Australia in 1930, a proud Ranji was cheering from the stands. - The 'Ranji' Trophy, was named after him. Whether Ranjitisinhji contributed to sport in India, or not, is a different matter, but in the cricketing world, he was undoubtedly a legend! Kishorsinh D Jadeja By email

The full story needs to be told and especially now at the time off it’s golden jubilee. No other newspaper or magazine other than Asian Voice can, with it’s strong East African connection, can embark on such an important mission. I wish you all the best and promise you my best efforts to help promote the project and provide some valuable information. I was born and raised in Nairobi. Amongst my many friends were several Gujaratis and, of course, the Punjabi community which is my own. I knew a number of Gujaratis from various walks like Tailors, Valands and others and many of them are also now well settled in the UK. The Lohana community, of which you published an extensive article by Subhash Thakrar as well as some others in the last few weeks, have inspired me a lot. The Darji community in the UK have progressed extremely well from the traditional trade into various walks of life in the enlightened and progress environment of Great Britain. I happen to know Ishwar Tailor from the bigone days and am aware of his sterling achievements in Preston and Lancashire in various fields. He is the ideal person to coordinate the content of the Darji profiles in the UK. May I also suggest that in due course you similarly provide space and opportunity for other communities like the Punjabis, Sikhs, Ismailis, Bohras, Memons and many others. Since our forced migration in 1969 not only have we flourished in the UK but our younger generation with the added advantage of a British education and a positive environment are now engaged in several unimaginable and creative entreprises. Ranjit Sharma Harrow

Perennial homeless crisis Every year around Christmas time and the winter season we are confronted by the never ending crisis of homeless people. No one seems to have an answer to this blot on our country, there is a lot of rhetoric and concern shown but no worthwhile action taken by the government and civic bodies. Last year, 112,070 people declared themselves homeless in England – a 26% increase in four years. At the same time, the number of people sleeping rough in London grew by 75% to a staggering 6,437. Why? A £7bn cut in housing benefit, welfare reforms and a huge lack of affordable housing. Cutting the Local Housing Allowance - a form of housing benefit has affected social housing. Restriction on the Social Fund which previously helped homeless people to stump up rent in advance, pay for a bed, fridge and other essentials have aggravated the problem. There are many factors that can lead to someone becoming homeless, including relationship breakdown, leaving an institution such as care, and physical and mental health problems. Nearly half of all homeless people have had problems with mental health, according to Crisis. Chief executive of Crisis, said: “The sad reality is that homeless people who ask their councils for help are being turned away to sleep on the streets. That’s why Crisis is calling on party leaders to review the support given to single homeless people under the law. In this day and age, no one should face the horrors of the streets. Housing is an issue that successive governments have failed to address and needs to be dealt with promptly without further dilly dallying. Because of lack of proper planning and political will to tackle the perennial ever-widening gap between housing supply and demand has caused the serious homelessness crisis. It is time for the government to bite the bullet. Baldev Sharma Rayners Lane, Harrow

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

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Due to Shankranti holiday, publication of Asian Voice will be defered by a day next week. Subscribers will receive their copy of the newspaper latest by Saturday 19th or Monday 21st Jan 2019. Sorry for any incovenience. Streets paved with gold In olden days, India was regarded as a land of milk and honey where it was believed that the streets were paved with gold. This attracted invaders from other Asian countries who came to our lands to plunder our temples of gold. This was followed by the Portuguese and the British who came in their droves to settle and rule over the ever hospitable peoples. Now the tables have turned and people from Asian and African countries come here to escape strife and poverty in their countries and receive free hand outs from the State. In the process many lose their lives. Over the Christmas period, 65 people in five separate groups came to Britain after a journey by boat across the English Channel. This was preceded a few months ago when at least 400 migrants who were trying to reach Europe from Libya were killed after their boat capsized. The capsized boat, which was carrying about 550 people, flipped over around 24 hours after leaving the Libyan coast. Before that, more than 500 migrants had already died crossing the Mediterranean so far this year. Also,a fishing boat trying to smuggle up to 700 migrants to Europe capsized near Lampedusa in Italy. So what could be done to prevent such incidents occuring again? Prosperous countries like Britain and America should consider ways to alleviate poverty in African countries so that these people do not need to migrate to the shores of wealthier places. Dinesh Sheth Newbury Park, Ilford

Homelessness at festive times Christmas is most important events in Christian calendar, commemorating birth of Jesus Christ. The word Christmas derived from Christ’s Mass, celebrated on 25th December, is public holiday throughout civilized world. It is festive time, the event that changed political, social and cultural environment of Western world, which was dominated by Rome, ruled with brutality, slavery, loot mentality and empirebuilding at its heart. Christmas is family event when entire family gathers under one roof, enjoying Christmas dinner, exchanging gifts, having fun-filled holidays, although traditional turkey dinner is slowly losing its appeal, as many Westerners, especially British, are turning to vegetarianism, a healthy life-style! Hollywood has exploited this era, this theme to give us block-buster movies in droves and TV has shot so many interesting and informative documentaries, chartering the course of this era with research, speculation and soft propaganda. My favourite movie set during the height of Roman Empire is Spartacus, for beautiful setting, scenery and splendid acting of Kirk Douglas. This is also my favourite time to watch TV, as so many movies, shot with Christmas theme, get saturated coverage with inevitably happy ending, triumph of hope, aspiration, truth and faith over greed, selfishness, brutality and such human failings. In sharp contrast, our soaps like EastEnders spread gloom and doom, with sex, murder and family breakdown as main attraction! I am sure followers of Hinduism, a religion thousands of years older than Christianity, who celebrates Lord Krishna’s birthday in August with equal zest, panache and enjoyment, will not miss similarity between these two noble religions, sharing so many events that could not be just coincident, such as parting of sea and virgin birth! One downside of this festive season is homelessness that is so often the theme of locally produced TV soaps that brings home ever widening gap between “Rich and Poor, Have and Have Not” generation that is shame on us, the fifth biggest economy, yet some 600 homeless people died in 2017 on our streets with average age of 44 years! Yet, this does not stir politicians’ conscious, even though couple of homeless died just outside Westminster, “Seat of Power” for Britain. We are more interested in policing the world, looking after world’s poor with ever-rising Foreign Aid budget; increasing “Defence Budget” to look after super rich countries like Germany, our Defence Secretary going to Ukraine to express our solidarity with Ukrainians when he should be at Gatwick airport that was shut down for three days by supposedly “Rogue Drone Operators” spoiling holidays of thousands of innocent people, due to failures of this out of touch government which stumbles from one crises to another, yet nothing stirs their conscious! Bhupendra M. Gandhi By email


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12 - 18 January 2019

Universities warn no deal School head says private schools should fund less is 'biggest-ever threat' well-off pupils

University heads are warning a no-deal Brexit is "one of the biggest threats" the institutions have ever faced. Higher education leaders have written to MPs to say it is "no exaggeration" to warn that it would take universities "decades to recover". They say it would undermine scientific research and threaten universities' £21bn contribution to the UK economy. The government has said its immigration plans will keep universities "open to the talent we need from Europe". A joint letter from university groups including Universities UK, the Russell Group, Guild HE, Million Plus and University Alliance was sent to all MPs on behalf of the heads of 150 UK universities says: "Vital research links will be compromised, from new cancer treatments to technologies combating climate change. The valuable exchange of students, staff and knowledge would be seriously damaged." Dame Janet Beer, president of Universities UK, warned that "time is run-

ning out". She says that without "cast-iron assurances" about the UK's access to European research networks, worldleading researchers will be lost to other countries where "funding is not at risk". But the journalist and educationalist Toby Young, who says he backs a "clean Brexit", dismissed the warning as "the usual ultraRemainer hysteria", accusing vice-chancellors of "fearmongering". "In the event of a nodeal Brexit, I'm sure the government will use some of that £49bn windfall to compensate British universities for any short-term losses," said Mr Young, associate editor of the Spectator magazine. The Russell Group of leading research universities says there has already been a downturn in EU students wanting to study in the UK. Data from its 24 universities shows a 3% fall in EU students in the current intake - which they believe is because of uncertainty over Brexit. The letter warns MPs of the dangers to the UK's universities if they lose

their place in European research networks. It gives two examples of funding at risk - the European Research Council and Marie Sklodowska-Curie Actions which would be worth £1.2bn to UK institutions over the next two years. University leaders say that in the event of a no-deal Brexit, UK institutions would "immediately become ineligible" for this funding. After next year, there is a wider pot of European research funding at stake, worth more than £90bn. Universities want assurances that any lost research funding will be replaced by the UK government. But they are also worried by proposals for new restrictions on EU students after Brexit in the government's White Paper on migration, published before Christmas. These 130,000 EU students will need to have visas and be sponsored by universities - and the Russell Group has warned that it is "unrealistic and unsustainable" to expect universities to take on the administrative burden.

Families in England are waiting too long for special needs support Thousands of children in England with special educational needs are waiting too long for an education, health and care plan (EHC), the BBC has learned. The EHC plans set out a child's needs and the support to which they are entitled. Once a plan is requested, the law says councils should normally finalise them within 20 weeks. But through Freedom of Information requests, the BBC has learned around four in 10 plans have taken longer. The BBC asked 152 councils in England about the time it took to issue EHC plans. Sixty-five councils provided comparable data for the last four academic years, starting in 2014-15. Over that period, 26,505 applications took longer than 20 weeks to finalise including more than 6,000 last year alone. The longest wait for an individual application was in Suffolk - where it took the council 1,023 days, or nearly three years, to finalise

one EHCP application. Suffolk County Council said an increased demand for EHCPs had proved particularly challenging - happening at the same time as the transfer from the old system of Statements of Special Educational Needs (SEND). Councillor Gordon Jones, the council's cabinet member for education and skills, said: "Our priority is to ensure every child gets the correct help and support they need to prosper and develop. "The increase in demand for education, health and care needs assessments for children and young people in Suffolk is a matter that I am taking very seriously. "The development of our SEND strategy is driving improvement across SEND and all agencies involved in Suffolk." Fifty-two councils told us that they had taken more than a year to finalise an EHC plan for at least one child. While thousands of families are still waiting

longer than 20 weeks for a finalised plan, the data suggests the mean and median waiting times are improving at many councils. The number of parents taking councils to tribunal to challenge them at various stages of the EHCP process nearly doubled over the four years - up from 1,041 in 2014/15, compared with 1,988 in 2017/18. Fifty-eight councils provided comparable data on these appeals. Nadhim Zahawi, Minister for Children and Families, said: "Our ambition for children with special educational needs and disabilities is exactly the same for every other child. "We are pleased to see that local authorities are improving the speed at which they are assessing SEND children. "Where a local authority is performing significantly below the national average, we have been working with them through our specialist team of SEN advisers to improve performance."

A leading headmistriss has said private schools should stop trying to compete for the best students by luring them with scholarships and instead spend the money on bursaries. Emma Hattersley, head at the £32,000-a-year Godolphin School in Salisbury, said that scholarships for exceptionally talented pupils should be “phased out” in favour of fee assistance for pupils from less-well off families. During the last five years as headmistress at Godolphin School, Ms

Hattersley said she has made a “conscious decision” to slash the fee discount for music, drama or academic scholars from over 20 per cent to ten per cent. Swapping merit-based scholarships for means-tested bursaries is something that all private schools should consider, Ms Hattersley said. Her comments come amid mounting pressure on the country’s most prestigious private schools to step up their efforts to help less well-off pupils. Three quarters of

independent schools in England are registered as charities, earning them favourable business rates and VAT exemptions on fees. Independent schools could allow state educated pupils to join their classes in subjects such as languages and Classics, it suggests. Private schools could also share facilities such as science laboratories with nearby state schools, it adds, while teachers from fee-paying institutions could share lesson plans and resources.

Council might owe yet more cash after Carillion crash Oxfordshire County Council may have understated the money it owes after the collapse of outsourcing giant Carillion. The authority said it paid Carillion about £118.7m in its outsourcing contract from 2012 – until it terminated the deal with the company in December 2017. Carillion collapsed a month later, meaning trou-

ble for public services across the country as major infrastructure projects, including a new hospital in the West Midlands, were delayed. Now auditors have told the council they believe it may be understating the amount it needs to pay, but also overstating the money it is owed by the collapsed firm. Across the term of the

contract, projects range from a value of £10m at Great Western Park in Didcot to £54 at St Mary’s Catholic School in Bicester. The FOI request notes a total of 599 projects were completed by Carillion or its contractors. The average cost of a project completed by Carillion was nearly £200,000, according to the figures.

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12 MEDIA WATCH

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SCRUTATOR’S There were a number of notable events that rounded off, the old year for India, events that have a permanent niche in India’s march to a developed, industrialized state with matching science and technology. India launched its Mk-II satellite, the GSLV-7A, the heaviest weighing 2, 250 kg with indigenous cryogenic powering into geosynchronous orbit. ‘It will be a major booster and force multiplier for the Indian Air Force. GSLV-7A launch

components functioned as per requirements (Hindu (December 24, 2018). Women breach Sabarimala wall Two young women entered the Sabarimala Ayyappa temple, trigging antgovernment demonstrations across Kerala from orthodox forces opposed to the entry of women. Supreme Court last September deemed the ban unconstitutional and a violation of Womens’ human rights. The State’s Left Front sent in police to enforce the court’s decision. (Hindu, Times of India January, 2018).

When we talk network-centric warfare, such systems will help achieve full network centricity. From this perspective, it’s a major value addition to the IAF,’ said Ajay Lele, Senior Fellow at the Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses. Air Chief Marshal B.S. Dhanoa dittoed these observations, saying that GSTA-7A would enhance the networking and communication capabilities of the Air Force. The Air Chief Marshal was speaking at the Jodhpur airbase interacting with contingents of the Indian Air Force and that of the Russian Aerospace Forces, participants in a joint exercise ‘Aviaindra 18’ to end on December 21. (Hindu December 20, 2018). China- Pak military ties enhanced China and Pakistan have enhanced their military ties with a leap into new weaponry including the latest Chinese aircraft, missiles, radar and much else in hardware. From the Pakistan perspective this is a turn from the previous dependence on the US; reflecting also a downturn in relations between Washington and Beijing. Apart from this aspect, the move also targets India. Further, the Gwadar naval base on Pakistan’s west coast will enable China’s outreach to the Middle East and beyond. All this is linked to China’s Belt One Road project, hitherto proclaimed as an economic venture, but now military, and hence of a strategic dimension and a challenge to India’s security (Hindu, Times of India December 21, 2018). Agni IV tested India tested its 4000km range nuclear-capable missile from the Integrated Test Range at the Abul Kalam Island off the Odisha coast in the Bay of Bengal. The missile’s

Putin attacks West’s double standards Russian President Vladimir Putin, in annual four-hour press conference with the Russian and international media, launched a scathing attack on the West’s double standards on a whole range of issues. Answering a question on Russia’s perceived goal of world domination, he pointed to the defence budget of the US, which exceeded $700bn [$11 trillion unaccounted for in recent years], as opposed to Russia’s $46bn. If the US were to withdraw from any nuclear arms limitation, Russia would respond appropriately with the aim of maintaining the balance. The latest Russian hypersonic missile test travelling to its target at over 20 times the speed of sound was proof of deterrence capability. Economic sanctions were aimed at keeping Russia weak, he said. This would never happen; sanctions would backfire. (RT December 20, 27 2018). Chinese warning to US over Tibet China has warned the US that it would take counter measures following President Trump’s signing a new law that imposes a visa ban on Chinese officials who denied American citizens access to Tibet. The US President signed the Reciprocal Access to Tibet Act of 2018 into law after Congress approval (Business Line December 22). US documents reveal licence for Pak bomb According to released US State Department documents, China’s paramount leader Deng Xiaoping played a major role in persuading the Carter Administration (197680) to accede to Pakistan’s secret development of a nuclear bomb, as India under Indira Gandhi was pro-

Soviet.(Hindu December 22) The Reagan administration (1980-88) followed the Carter line on Pakistan. China supplied Pakistan with nuclear weapon technology from the 1980s onward (See Adrian Levy & Catherine Scott-Clark, Deception: Pakistan, the United States and the Global Nuclear Weapons Conspiracy, p 258). Six top jihadis Eliminated Six jihadis, killed in an operation by security forces in the Pulwara district of Kashmir, and members of the Ghazwat-ul-Hind, were linked to al-Queda. Among them Zakir was Zakir Musa, its Vice president. A week lsater four more were killed in an encounter with security forces ( Hindu December 23, 30, 2018). GST reduced on 17 items The Goods and Services Tax (GST) Council reduced rates on 17 items including cinema tickets, TV sets, gaming consoles. Only cement at 28 per cent remained unchanged. (Hindu December 23, 2018). India’s pharma exports end on a high India’s pharmaceutical exports raced past $11bn in the first seven months of the current fiscal ending November 2018. ‘If the trend continues, we will cross $20bn, or at least $19bn, said Ravi Uday Bhaskar, Director General, Pharmaceuticals Export Promotion Council of India. (Hindu December 18, 2018). Ratings agencies hail Govt measure Government’s decision to inject an additional Rs 41,000 crore into public sector banks has been welcomed by rating agencies on the ground that it would enable them to meet the credit needs of the economy (Business Line December 22) NDA in seat-sharing deal in Bihar The BJP-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) signed a seatsharing deal in Bihar with the Janata Dal (United) during the general election due May/June 2019. Meanwhile, in Uttar Pradesh, Samajwadi Dal leader Akhilesh Yadav will partner Mayawati, leader of the Bahujan in next year’s general election. Hindu December 2 (Hindu December 24, 2018).

foremost design schools in her country. Her specialty is designing clothes from jute, a fibre like no other, for the Italian company she has joined. She looks forward to buying bulk jute from India. Dean of the Institute Sushanta Chakraborty said he was just as proud of Cllio’s achievement as he was of the other students. ‘We hope our Institute …will be a natural choice for foreign nationals.’ (Times of India December 24, 2018). Strengthening India-Bhutan ties The Prime Minister of the newly elected government of Bhutan paid a visit to India at the end of December to a warm welcome by his hosts in New Delhi. Premier Dr Lotay Dorji and his Foreign Minister Tandi Dorji were in the

guilty of corruption and given a seven year sentenced in jail and a 10-year ban, after he had served time, on holding public office. The verdict was announced by Pakistan’s National Accountability Bureau(Hindu December 25, 2018). IS terror module busted The National Investigation Agency busted a huge Islamic State network, including its various affiliates across Delhi and extending to Lucknow and other towns in Uttar Pradesh. These groups were planning to launch suicide attacks bomb blasts on the county’s Republic Day on January 26. Arms caches, triggering mechanisms for bombs, explosives, guns, ammunition, mobile phones and much else; also considerable quantities of cash were recovered from hideouts, which included the Amrobha mosque in Uttar Pradesh. Sixteen cites were raided and 10 arrests made. (Hindu, Times of India, Mint December 27, 2018). Triple talaq bill passed

Some Muslim men, required only to say to Bhutan Prime Minister Dr Lotay Dorji with PM Modi their spouses, ‘I divorce thee thrice’, for the triple talaaq to take capital to mark the 50th effect. A petition by a group of anniversary of the establishment of divorced Muslim wives, left to diplomatic relations between the fend for their young families, two countries. They discussed joint petitioned the Supreme Court of power projects and Indian India. The court ruled that triple economic aid for Bhutan’s Five talaq violated the Indian Year Plan. Premier Lotay Dorji Constitution, and was thus illegal. called on the Congress Party Lacking the numbers in the President Rahul Gandhi for a House, Government applied the cordial conversation. Both measure through an ordinance. endorsed the close ties between With the required numbers in their countries and looked forward place, and having consulted the to moving to the next level. (Hindu Opposition, it incorporated a December 30, 2018). number of amendments to their original draft and put it to the Nawaz Sharif jailed vote. The bill was duly passed into law. The Congress party walked Nawaz Sharif, the former prime out in protest.(Hindu. Mint, Times minister of Pakistan was found of India December 28, 2018).

India’s longest bridge PM Narendra Modi cuts the ribbon inaugurating Bogibeel Brudge over Brahmaputra River in Assam

French woman earns PhD from IIEST Cllo Zandliet, a French woman student, was the first from her country, indeed from Europe, joined other recipients at the convocation at the Indian Institute of Engineering Science and Technology, Sibpur, in the environs of Kolkata, as her name was called to step forward take her degree. Journey from Toulouse Cllio comes from the French city of Toulouse. She took her first degrees from the Arts Et Metiers, Ensamble, Paris, one of the

Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated India’s longest bridge over the mighty Brahmaputra river, connecting Assam on the plains to the mountainous state of Arunachal Pradesh bordering Tibet The rail-cum-road Bogibeel Bridge spans 4.94km. The bridge with its unique features is a marvel of engineering. The bridge has economic and strategic dimensions (Hindu, Mint December 26, 2018).


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Condoms, drugs, food and fashion : Veganuary 2019 Priyanka Mehta Veganism in the last three years has probably seen a higher increase in its followers than many of our political leaders' twitter accounts have- from an estimated half a million people in 2016 to more than 3.5 million- 5% of our population today. From Instagram feeds to Twitter hashtags, and influential documentaries such as 'Cowspiracy', veganism has put the spotlight onto the intensive meat and dairy industry, exposing the illtreatment of animals and disclosing the effects on the wider environment. The extent? Tyson, the world's biggest purchaser of beef is watching the plantbased meat market at a time when the UK market for meat-free foods has grown up from £539m only two years earlier to reportedly valued at £572m today according to Mintel. But what are the different aspects to veganism and how has it infiltrated consumer consciousness when buying food, fashion, wine and even condoms? I was disgusted at commercial production of dairy Two and a half years ago, Eana Vagjiani turned vegan after she and her husband had gone hiking with a couple of their friends and whilst on her vacation, she met a vegan couple, who explained their reasons for going vegan. This conversation, followed by lots of research, over-turned her vegetarian dietary habits that she had followed right from her childhood.

“I was horrified and felt disgusted when I saw how the cows were treated and how they were separated from their calves. That is when I decided that I will not consume commercial dairy produce!” Eana explained. She spoke about how earlier she had had no issues of consuming any of these dairy products owing to the unawareness of the ill-treatment of these animals and researched online about veganism. To date, over 250,000 people from 193 countries have taken the month-long pledge to try veganism, according to The Vegan Society, which

Nishma Shah, Shambhu’s

expects a further 300,000 people to join them in their journey towards adopting a plant-based diet by the end of January. But while Eana has been one of the recent followers of the trend, Nishma Shah and her husband have been vegan for about 20 years now.

Garden Gourmet brand, is all set to release a plantbased patty called the 'Incredible Burger' which will be made from soy and wheat protein. Apart from that Nestlé’s agenda also includes dairy-free bever-

Ahimsa: No animal should become my food Nishma runs a vegan education training and catering centre, Shambhu's. It caters for all sorts of events from weddings to office lunches providing a vegan selection of dishes and creating rich Indian Mughlai foods using cashew nuts, vegan creams and sometimes often adding lentils to pastas. “For me, the whole concept of veganism is following Ahimsa – no animal should be killed to become my food. I didn't want to be part of the animal cruelty.” Over the years, apart from catering for such events, Nishma has been invited as the London Vegan's monthly guest speaker and even runs a Gujarati masterclass class called 'Made in Hackney'. She tells me that the “ethos behind these classes is to convey how vegan food is light and can be filling because of the fibrous nutritional values. It is not “Rabbit Food” as a lot of them think it is.” And joining Nishma on this veganuary run is Gordon Ramsay. Gordon Ramsay goes Veganuary Ramsay has recently announced that his restaurants will take part in Veganuary. Even Nestle under its

and everything from food to the ambiance is vegan. So there are no leather sofas, and even the music playing in the background will be birds humming or water trickling” But while food is the easier option to adapt to what people like Param Singh often find it difficult to compromise with is leather. “I don't buy leather jackets anymore but I have limited my purchase of leather shoes to once in a year,” Param said explaining how three years ago he went Vegan after watching a video where a Canadian Professor showed the atrocities that the animals have to go through in the canning industry. “It is not about religion and it is not about culture. Cows are treated as machines and I love animals. But, I am not a staunch vegan. I do go out sometimes and have Daal Makhani and that has butter in it which is okay. But I try to follow as much as is feasible for me” said Param. Condoms, drugs, and wine: Vegans are fine While most condoms are made of naturally occurring latex, not all of them are vegan. Sustain's condoms

ages, specifically, purple milk made with walnuts and blueberries, as well as a blue latte containing spirulina algae. Meanwhile, Pizza Hut as part of its embrace of the vegan trend has introduced the Vegan ‘Jack ‘n’ Cheese’ Pizza from 1st January of this year which is priced from £11.20 and features Violife’s award-winning non-diary cheese alternative. This pizza will be available for one month only, but the company plans to make the Jackfruit pizza a permanent item on the menu if sales exceed 10,000 units during Veganuary 2019. Sanctua: No leather sofas Whereas, Bindu Patel is slated to start a complete vegan restaurant “Sanctua” in Leicester with the menu centred around plant-based dishes. “Here at sanctua we want people to have a surreal environmental experience

Matrimonial

25 year old UK born Londoner, Gujarati girl with a Bachelor in Economics. Working as a government policy advisor. Enjoys travel, politics and cooking vegetarian food. Looking for UK citizen, kind, smart, caring and fun person with a good education.

Email: polka.dot.p13@gmail.com

Bindu Patel, Sanctua

are free from Nitrosamine, which is a carcinogen formed when the latex in condoms is heated and moulded. They also use fair trade rubber, are crueltyfree, and vegan. This also means that your condom is free of casein, which is an animal byproduct. The National Crime Agency has even issued a warning about some dealers labelling drugs as “vegan or

ethically friendly” to appeal to the middle-class drug substances. And among other trends, cosmetics and wines have also caught up to the growing Vegan trend. But it’s not just members of the public who we are challenging to take part in Veganuary. This year, the Veganuary campaign included a call on Parliament to ditch meat and dairy in January.


14 COMMUNITY

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12 - 18 January 2019

HOME-LESS OR HOMELESS? Continued from page 1

The evidence is there for all to see. sThe number of people officially recorded as homeless and sleeping on the streets of England rose from 1,768 in 2010 to 4,751 in 2017, but charities estimate the true figure has been more than double. There has also been an increase in homeless families housed by local authorities in temporary accommodation, rising from 50,000 in 2010 to 78,000 in 2017. And in London alone there are an estimated 225,000 “hidden homeless” people aged 1625 – arranging their own temporary accommodation with friends or family. Meeting Inderjeet Singh, a roughsleeper in London Inderjeet Singh sat huddled opposite JD sports in the Stratford Shopping Centre. Legs outstretched and crossed in front of him, he had his left hand fisted in his threadbare woollen hoodie and his right toying with the bottle cap of the drink he had just finished. “I'm one of them” he nods off in the direction of the queue, all of them similar looking yet different in their mismatched worn-out woollens. Noticing my frown he clarifies- “I am a Sikh and I'm from India!” 17 years ago, Inderjeet migrated from Punjab to London and started working for a construction company. But since the last three months, he has been sleeping rough and wandering around the city for warm shelter and one-square meal. “You know the Whitechapel?” he slurs, his voice barely inaudible, noncommittally replying- “I go there in the morning, take a shower...have some breakfast, coffee and go...” Where does he take-off, half the days even he doesn't know! Talking about his family and relatives in the UK, he tells me about an estranged daughter and a broken marriage because of “the way his life is”. He resumes the twisting of the bottle cap as he mentions out of the blue about his application for permanent citizenship in the UK. How much of what he told me that day is true may be debatable, chances were he might have been under influence or suffering from mental health issues. But, what was clear to me from the empty styrofoam containers, plastic bottle and his blanket lumped beneath him was that he was “homeless” and shame colouring the dark patches beneath his eyes. His twitch, the most persistent when “his friends” curiously looked down upon us. All these friends who

queued up outside the campsites of Nishkam Sikh Well-Awareness Team (SWAT) for their share of the night's hot meals. Seva from Sikh Welfare Awareness Team: 3000 meals a week SWAT is a charitable organisation based in West London which started its homeless project in 2012 after discovering that more than 200 people were sleeping rough in their local area, Southall, Middlesex. “Today we serve up to 3000 meals which effectively means serving 3000 people on a weekly basis across 21 outreach sessions in the UK!” said Harnam Singh, a volunteer working for SWAT.

The numbers are rising not necessarily because people are becoming homeless. One of the factors that Harnam says they have noticed is how some of these “people have homes and they are struggling in paying their bills but after all these expenses they are left with little or no money for food which is pushing them to poverty lines” So, sometimes these SWAT homeless drives to some people often serve as a food bank relieving the people of their struggles of buying fresh food. This comes at a time when retailers lifted their prices by an annual 0.3 percent, the biggest increase since April 2013, according to the British Retail Consortium and market research firm Nielsen. What comprises a SWAT meal though? A breakfast bar, a fruit, a drink and a hot meal which can vary from Italian Pizza slices to daal

and rice depending upon what is being cooked and organised by his team of 850 volunteers. These volunteers are from the community who want to contribute to the society and come to about SWAT through word of mouth. But before commencing they have to undergo a 90-minute training session wherein they learn how to deal with people suffering erratic conditions. “They have to ensure their own safety as well as the safety of the members around them while on these outreach session when it comes to interacting with these people and being aware of how to deal with them should they have sudden fits!” Harnam explained especially talking about how

among their team of volunteers are also some doctors who help out with general counselling and medical assistance. 9% Asians are homeless In 2017/18, there were 56,580 households in England in 'statutory homelessness', which is when a household is unintentionally homeless and is considered a priority (for example, because it has dependent children). 9% of all homeless households were Asian, 4% were from a Mixed ethnic background and 4% were from the Other ethnic group; ethnicity wasn't known for 6% of homeless household. London had the highest overall number of homeless households; it also had the lowest percentage of homeless households made up of White households. “We've got one ambulance apart from the 9 delivery vans which we use in

emergency medical situations,” Harnam told me. This whole concept of food for the homeless is derived from the Sikh concept of Langar. And while they have volunteers cooking for these sessions, SWAT also receives contributions from different restaurants that supply with fresh and sometimes leftover foods. Companies like British Airways and GlaxoSmithKline also donate their bit in ensuring that people have all the basic necessities, especially in these adverse weather conditions. “A positive challenge for us today is that there are more and more people are turning up to these drives and it is unfortunate that this crisis is growing but we want to reach out to as many people and bring smiles on their faces” Harnam concludes. Food for All and Emergency Shelters Following along similar lines is the “Food For All” project organised by the Hare Krishna Mandir which started back in 1988. But aside from campaigns the Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, ordered the opening of cold weather shelters for the first time this year, providing an extra 700 beds for rough sleepers and others in need. These shelters, which are located across the capital, will remain open throughout the weekend after a Severe Weather Emergency Protocol (SWEP) alert was declared. Last year, following the Beast from the East snowstorm the Al Manaar Centre yet again helped the local community during these freezing nights by opening their doors and setting up sleeping bags in the main hall for the homeless to spend the night. They also helped in providing warm clothes. Over the course of time, Inderjeet has his own share of friends, a diverse group of Eastern Europeans, South Asians and even Africans who look out for each other. None of them know what will be there home for the next day and neither of them are aware if they will end up meeting each other later on, but they circle around on the floor ravaging their meals. People tethering on the brink of poverty lines have permeated to the extent of being “normal” often seen as “quirky” when tourists put down pound coins on the national flags chalked up by these people in Central London. But till the time the deeper issues of substance abuse, mental health or even unemploy-

NRIs invited to campaign for PM Narendra Modi in 2019 election

Narendra Modi and Prince Charles during the Prime Minister’s UK visit in 2018 announcing a new India-UK trade partnership

The Overseas Friends of BJP (UK) is inviting interested candidates to witness and 'be a part of history' by contributing to the re-election campaign of BJP in the ensuing Lok Sabha election 2019. This came after it was widely reported that Global Indians for Bharatiya Vikas (GIBV) headquartered in the US, will campaign across US for the rest of the six months to ensure maximum voting and help one political party secure an absolute majority in the forthcoming general elections. While the organisations did not name the party, it had reportedly worked with NRIs asking them to vote for BJP in 2014 elections. OFBJP has activated its volunteers in 25 countries to campaign for it. The Indian diaspora that has has been considered among the most influential in decision making, has been called 'the living bridge' by the Prime Minister during his visits to the UK in 2015 and 2018. Vijay Chauthaiwale, the head of BJP's Foreign Affairs cell reportedly said, the party would enlist the Indian diaspora platform of OFBJP massively during the 2019 campaign. In mid-December the OFBJP in UK had also conducted a workshop in London to mobilise volunteers and several such workshops are now lined up for the future. ment are not resolved, having outreach sessions or opening up shelter homes serves only as a temporary band-aid to the homeless crisis. Shelters in West Midlands Local authorities across the West Midlands are trying to ensure that no one sleeps rough this winter. Working together with partners from the public, private and voluntary sectors in the West Midlands Homelessness Taskforce, councils are trying to help rough sleepers by locating them and support them to access a place of safety. Work has already begun to match the first people with homes for the regional Housing First pilot, which has secured £9.6M from Government and is being led by Birmingham City Council. The West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA) is also trying to

access severe weather provisions. This includes people whose needs are complex, pet owners, couples, those who have no recourse to public funds, people who may have previously been banned from support services and those with no local connection. Andy Street, Mayor of the West Midlands, told Asian Voice, “Local authorities in the West Midlands have come together with charities and businesses to agree this Winter Plan for Rough Sleepers, with its commitments to severe weather provision, Housing First, Change into Action and other support. “There are many dedicated people who work incredibly hard for local authorities and charities throughout the year to help vulnerable people. Over the next few months we will all need to work even harder to support them.”


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UK

TLIGHT

15

12 - 18 January 2019

UK

Sonal Dave

IELTS MADE EASIER FOR NURSES AND MIDWIVES

Toastmaster & Ceremonies Celebrant Extraordinaire

The Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC), United Kingdom has made changes to its English language proficiency requirements for foreign nationals aiming to work in the nurses and midwives wishing in the country. Following the change they will still be required to achieve a minimum overall level of 7 in the test. However, a level 6.5 in writing will be accepted alongside a level 7 in reading, listening and speaking. The decision comes after widespread engagement with key stakeholders, who told the NMC that, despite being able to communicate to a high level in English, many nurses and midwives taking the IELTS test were just missing out on achieving a level 7. IELTS results under two years old that meet the new requirements will be considered by the regulator. The change is just one part of an extensive review the regulator is undertaking of its international registration processes wherein there is a general shortage of professionals in the Healthcare space.

Sunetra Senior

mination to stand her ground and emanate a boldness even greater. "I s a top-notch Toastmaster & have faced discrimination, bullying and Celebrant, hosting and co-ordiovercome many hardships. It has made nating various vibrant cereme value my individuality." monies, from signature weddings and Today, having created a living out fashion shows to civic and corporate of celebrating this, Sonal has made proevents across the globe, Sonal defies jecting uniqueness a veritable tradethe stereotype of a quiet, compliant mark. Prior to her becoming a luxury woman, and in an empowering social toastmaster & Ceremonies Celebrant in context. "People are becoming more 2018, she had actually been appointed a individual nowadays: they aren't as magistrate in 2004, in another unconbound by others anymore. They don't ventional career twist, in which she necessarily want a standard directly drew from her difficult approach. life experience. "Again, a magisAs someone who naturally trate's post was historically typbelieves in self-expression, my work ically given to older white men has always been about respecting who command authority. my clients and ensuring that they However, I could thrive have the unique experience that because I had that empathy they deserve: whether it be for people being put in grand and ornate or intimate front of me in the court. and small. I've had a request for Magistrates have been a 60s -70s wedding for examnotoriously privileged ple, which involved a lot of and where some could big frills and collars. Another not relate to the strughad a Motown theme to it, gles and pressures and soon I'll be conducting placed on persons in one based on the This Is the cases, I knew what Your Life television show. it was to work hard in That particular couple the face of adversity to wants to look back on their escape the odds." fonder memories in a more quirky, Sonal continues her interpersonal humorous way." Though the typical philanthropy by donating to a number formal suit and attire aren't always preof children's charities. She is also sent then, the feisty performer's preparing to open a series of gigs are distinctly eventful. confidence-building Indeed, you can workshops at the end imagine Sonal, in what of January to help is her signature red women with pubtailcoat, energetilic speaking. My cally leading the aim is to help shows: "I am a many "dare to loud visual presdream and dare ence," she told us. to be different," and really enjoys she beamed. entertaining her "To reach in audience. As the and tap into that only full time pracinner spirit that ticing South-Asian allows them to feel woman in the trade in themselves and the UK, I'm especially entirely whole." Thus, proud. I'm good at speaking, Sonal beautifully demonand can keep guests happy but strates how having a stake in remain professional and vocal. I preindividual freedom can be a bastion for serve the chosen thematic concept as a wider modern liberty: "I strongly well as managing the practical matters believe that it's better to be working as involved around the event: for something you are passionate example, if you've ordered a about as opposed to working string quartet, need to do under someone else in I encourage a last-minute check on exchange for a fearful the venue, or need sort of safety. Self-love women to someone to cover and waking up with a stand up and unexpected disrupsmile are more importions during the show, tant than following take the I manage this, but with what someone tells you social stage. that extra invested to do to the detriment of enthusiasm intact!" your intuition and potential." Showing that the *** working world can be mouldHer digression from a traditionaled into a creative lifestyle, the ly placid gender role, is certainly the colourful maverick not only highlights reason Sonal has been so successful at the importance of courage, but also the her specialist profession. "I was never connection to the self as one exercises going to be a typical worker bee it. "If you hold yourself in a digniwho worked a 9-5 job," she fied way, you can overcome any commented. "A child perobstacle. Don't be distracted I'm a loud former for the English by the superficial trimmings. National Opera and There's a true story, deep visual Sadler's Wells, I was outdown in everyone just waitpresence. spoken and breaking the ing to be told." Ultimately,the norm from a very young trick, Sonal seems to tell us, is age." In addition to her culturto invest in yourself and find it. al circumstances, the sparky organiser has also had to fight an invisIs humour a big component ible disability, which made the deterin the spoken aspect of your work?

A

Sonal Dave

Absolutely. Whatever the event, there is a high degree of stress so it is important to have levity. I am also a natural entertainer, who doesn't resort to crude jokes and interacts responsively with the crowd. I also bring my own journey to people. It allows people to relate, and enhances the work. Occasionally, I'll also act as a peacemaker or mediator, and being light hearted is important there too.

What exactly is a celebrant? Usually, you'll have a ceremony conducted by a registrar, minister or another type of religious leader, but what I do is secular, individual and very open. You can write your own vows, have your own sort of naming ceremony, renewal of vows, funeral or suggest whatever respective plan you wish. In that sense, I'm more spiritual and celebratory. What do you love best about your work? I love the way people can personalise their events. It's great helping in that and seeing the playful fervour come out. When you really listen, everyone has an interesting vision to give. Do you do other empowering entertainment work? My husband has a great band, D26, and I sometimes perform in that! What's most important in your career? Being a well-rounded person. Do you roast while you toast? No, I won't actively take the mickey, but I'll call people out in good spirit. So...don't be boring! Tell us more on what are you hoping to achieve with your workshops? I want to encourage women to stand up and take the social stage. For me, life is a continuous learning curve so it pains me to think that some women think life ends with marriage and settling down, and nothing else. For example: a woman I know is an amazing artist and has just recently started drawing again. It's stunning. I hope to keep inspiring people and evoking a positive domino effect. The fact that I am a tangible role model should also help. A lot of women aren't exposed to self-expression as a choice. I want to create a safe environment where women feel comfortable opening up emotionally. Finally, what are some, no doubt gushing, descriptors people have used to describe you? Humble, well-organised, professional, authentic, inspiring and plucky. Essentially: you cannot do without me! W: https://www.sonaldave.com/ E: sonal@sonaldave.com


16 TAMIL SPECIAL

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TAMIL SPECIAL

12 - 18 January 2019

5 - 11 January 2019

World Tamil Organisation

British Tamils celebrate Pongal, their traditional harvest festival

celebrates

Rupanjana Dutta

The Asian community in the UK is now an integral part of the decision making policies. Among Indian communities, Gujaratis and Punjabis have engaged in a reciprocal political behaviour, especially at the Parliamentary level. The Tamil Indian community and Sri Lankan Tamils are a recent migrant community in the UK. They are politically salient in UK's Labour party especially at the local level, but have also been able to change the way the Tory party has looked at them as voters. They were even successful in persuading the then Prime Minister David Cameron to participate in the 2013 Commonwealth Heads meeting at Sri Lanka.

NHS@70 JRCPTB (Joint Royal Colleges of Physician's Training Board), Group Chief Medical Director of the Royal Free London (RFL) Group of Hospitals, President- BAPIO (British Association of Physicians of Indian Origin), Editor- British Journal of General Practise and senior representatives from all the Royal Colleges. Winning the Lifetime achievement award for his contribution to the world of medicine was Dr. Arokiaswamy Velumani, an Indian scientist and entrepreneur who is also the Founder, Managing Director and CEO of ‘Thyrocare’, a Thyroid testing company in India with close to 1200 outlets across India, Nepal, Bangladesh and the middle east. Speaking at the ceremony Dr Velumani said, "I quit my job and took a huge risk of starting a company, but it was worth it. I am very rich, but I do not have a house. Because I do not like a loan. One must always try to strive and do

Participants, organisers and winners UK-Global Medical Excellence Award

things differently.” The other medical professionals who were awarded at this event included: l Physician Musicologist Award- Padma Shri Dr Sirkazhi. G. Sivachidambaram, Dean of Perambalur Medical College and a Carnatic music vocalist, with a qualification from the Trinity college of music. l Award for the selfless elimination of Human sufferingDr Sanjiv Nichani, Founder of 'Healing Little Hearts', con-

ducting children's cardiac surgery charity camps in India, Africa and Asia l Pride to the Profession Award- Dr Premila Nalini Webster, Director of Public Health Education and Training, University of Oxford who has been conferred with the Most excellent Order of British Empire (MBE), for services to Public Health. Seven other doctors from various specialties of medicine including

London to host its first ever Tamil short film festival London based a South Indian Film Academy has organised a short film competition, that purely purely focuses on new generation of visual creators & young talented film makers with exceptional narrative skills - to provide a platform to exhibit their work for international audience. Regional films in India are a prime example of its diversity as a nation. Each regional film industry upholds the evolution of the present generation without compromising on its traditional and cultural values. Speaking about the upcoming awards, which will announce three winners as well as showcase the films in a London venue, Dr Revathi Rangaswamy told Asian

education. Aston university in rate cultural identities. The n fact the current Prime a research said that though Tamils as a diaspora have also Minister Theresa May in cultural similarities connect done the same in the UK- and her first ever message for these two historic Tamil very successfully have set up Pongal celebration in 2018 homelands, such as through influential organisations, that said, “As Thai Pongal begins, work in different areas- from Tamil families here in the UK films and religion, but due to international politics to art and around the world are different political situations and culture to business. coming together to celebrate. at home, their ethnic asserMathew Godwin, an It’s a time to cast out the old tion in the UK have been author with special interest in and embrace opportunities to extremely different. ethnic and migration studies come. A time to give thanks However when it comes wrote about the diaspora as a not just for the harvest, but to an event as festive as force in foreign affairs. In his also for friends, family and Pongal, both come forward to article published by the neighbours. welcome the four day celebra“And it’s also a great tions in the UK with equal London School of Economics, pomp and gaiety. Godwin said, “Engaging diasopportunity for all of us to pora organisations construcreflect on the contribution Origin and practice tively can enhance the UK’s made by Britain’s Tamils. role as a peacemaker in conThe origins of the Pongal fesYour community punches flicts abroad and encourage tival may date to more than well above its weight, making the inclusion of diverse com1000 years ago as evidence a real difference to countless munities in British public life suggests the celebration of lives right across the country. – making politics more reflec“I want this to be a counthe Puthiyeedu during the tive of the country’s growing try where everyone, regardmedieval Chola empire days. diversity.” less of their background, can Puthiyeedu is believed to repplay their part and achieve resent the first harvest of their ambitions. Our Tamil This year Pongal is from the year. Tamil people refer community is a fantastic to Pongal as "Tamizhar 15-18 January 2019 example of what that looks Thirunaal," the festival of like, helping make Britain Tamizhs. The day preceding Pongal Though both branch of the diverse, successful counis called Bhogi. On this day the community viz. Indian try we are all so proud of. people discard old belongings and Sri Lankan Tamils are “So to everyone celebratand celebrate new possespolitically active, there is a ing today and in the days to sions. The main event, also vast difference in how they come, let me wish you all a known as Thai Pongal, takes happy Thai Pongal, and an express themselves or identify place on the second of the auspicious year ahead.” with the term 'diaspora'. The four days. This day coincides Traditionally when differSri Lankan Tamils have mostent communities arrive in a ly migrated to the UK as with Makara Sankranti, a new country for the first time, refugees, after prolonged civil winter harvest festival celethey set up organisations for war. Indian Tamils have brated throughout India. cultural propagation. It is evimigrated to the UK as highlyIn the Tamil language the dentially the first step of inteskilled workers such as docword Pongal means 'overgration by establishing sepators, engineers or for higher flowing,' signifying abun-

I

The National Health Service (NHS) in Britain celebrated its 70th birthday in 2018. South Asian doctors, especially from the Indian sub-continent are described as the major migrant architects and the life bloods of the NHS. Not only as doctors, but they have become a highly-valued members of the communities in which they practice. World Tamil Organisation (WTO-UK), representing the Indo-UK community took this perfect opportunity to celebrate it as a curated event, to join the celebrations marking the 70th birthday of National Health Service (NHS) and recognise these every day heroes, helping from behind the scenes, representing various institutions in India and the UK, for the exemplary services they play in our lives. Kicking off the birthday party in style, the first of events was the UK-Global Medical Excellence Awards ceremony, which was chaired by Virendra Sharma MP, Lord Anderson and Baroness Prashar. 11 topmedicaldoctors, consultants and surgeons were awarded in what was a star-studded evening at the Houses of Parliament, Westminster. Various stakeholders from across the NHS supported the event by their presence and in felicitating the award winners. This includes Medical Director of the

17

Voice, “The short film competition will be the centre stage to showcase our South Indian regional cinema including feature films, short films, documentaries, web series etc together with networking & film marketing opportunities to the film makers. Our ultimate goal is to give global visibility & applause to our South Indian regional films that they truly deserve.” The award function is going to be held on April 14th, 2019 in London and the organisers are looking for sponsors and supporters to make it a great success. The jury includes Kollywood actor, director and screenwriter Samutirakani, actress and tv anchor Anu Hasan, film director

and producer Arun Vaidyanathan, film producer S R Prabhu, film editor Antony and writer and director Sriantan Anand. The online submission that started on 17 October 2018 offers 17 categories for submission. Films need cannot be any longer than 25 minutes, created not before August 2018 and topics could vary from social awareness, comedy, documentary, musical or even drama. The films need to be subtitled in English and in HD format. The applicant also needs to submit a poster presentation along with their submission. For more details please contact Revathi [07492854668] or see https://www.sifauk.com.

Diabetology, Cosmetic Surgery, Peri-natal Psychiatry, Ophthalmology and Max Fax Surgery were felicitated during the summit. "We want to recognise the efforts of these legends and their contribution must be rewarded. " said Chairman of WTO, Jacob Ravibalan. WTO is a registered charity organisation with an objective to promote the welfare of the Tamil Community in several aspects including arts, culture and humanitarian

issues. Associated with the NHS for 15 years, Project lead Dr Prabhu Rajendran said "NHS has transformed the health and well-being of the nation and become the envy of the world. This summit has given an opportunity to explore ways to nurture and foster this very special India-UK relationship, encouraging bilateral training program for healthcare professionals as well as strengthening healthcare related infrastructure.”

dance and prosperity. During the festival, milk is cooked in a vessel. When it starts to bubble and overflows out of the vessel, freshly harvested rice grains are added to the pot. Maatu Pongal is celebrated on the third day. Tamils regard cattle as sources of wealth for providing dairy products, fertilizer, and labour for plowing and transportation. On Maatu Pongal, cattle are recognised and afforded affectionately. Features of the day include games such as the Jallikkattu and taming bull. Kaanum Pongal, the fourth day of the festival, marks the end of Pongal festivities for the year. The word 'kaanum' in this context means "to visit." Many families hold reunions on this day.

A pongal meal offered to the family deity

Honouring Thiruvalluvar statue

Today’s UK households celebrating Pongal with usual chores, but it is a day of tradiS Kavya is a software professional at a tional Tamil food, and my family loves large firm in the UK. She lives in the UK it.” suburb with children and husband, who Ashanti Omkar, presenis of German-origin. Born in ter of the South Indian Rameshwaram, Kavya every year celebrates Pongal traditionally at her resiand Sri Lankan show at dence, with simple food, especially the BBC Asian 'sweet pongal'. Network told Asian “My husband is not Indian or Tamil. Voice, “It is a day of traBut he is very keen to celebrate the fesditional clothes and celetivities with the children. It is important bration. Like every year I will go to watch that the children also learn about my this year's Tamil releases (Petta and Viswasam) as well as celebrate the music culture,” said Kavya. “They are British, on my show. German, as well as Savoury pongal “I also make Pongal at Indian-Tamil. My by Ashanti Omkar home with coconut milk. And daughter who is the key is boiling water over now 10, is learning the pan- to denote abundance.” how to dance Vinaya Ganesan, Bharatnatyam. My a lawyer by son who is 5, loves profession is to eat 'sakkara ponoriginally gal' (sweet pongalfrom Vellore. a dish made of rice, milk and sugar). Married to a We start the day Tamil from

Sakkara pongal (sweet pongal)

Maharashtra, she said, We always celebrate Pongal at home. I cook sweet pongal in morning or after work. The pongal is cooked in a traditional pot that is decorated with sandalwood paste and kumkum (vermillion). A turmeric pod with leaves is tied around the pot.” Nandni Nagarajan is a mumpreneur, whose interest lies in importing coconut products from their farms in South India. She is now busy with her 8 month-old son and told Asian Voice, “This year Pongal will be a bit more special because Ram's grandparents are here. Back in India we'll probably go to our farm to celebrate - because Pongal itself is about celebrating the current years harvest & praying for a better bounty for the coming year. In the UK, we'll do a small puja and celebrate with a good breakfast/lunch that includes Sakkara (sweet) pongal, vada, payasam.”

Boiling over of milk to denote abundance

Celebrating the contributions of the great Tamil poet Thiruvalluvar, on Thiruvalluvar day, as well as to celebrate Pongal, FeTAUK (Federation of Tamil Associations in UK) will be gathering outside SOAS on 18th January 2019, 3:304:30pm. Tamil poet and philosopher Thiruvalluvar's wellloved statue has been part of SOAS for the last 23 years. Thiruvalluvar also known as Valluvar is best known for authoring Tirukkural, a collection of couplets on ethics, political and economical matters, and love. The text is considered as one of the finest works of the Tamil literature. The statue was unveiled by His Excellency Dr L M. Singhvi, High Commissioner for India to UK on 13th May 1996. In the Presence of Sir Robert Wade-Gery, Chairman, Governing Body, Mr Michael McWilliam, Director, School of Oriental

and African Studies. The sitting statue of the poet was presented to the university by the then government of Tamil Nadu. This will be followed by an elaborate celebration at India House, the High Commission of India, which will be joined by Her Excellency Mrs Ruchi Ghanashyam, the current High Commissioner of India to UK. A registration only event will be open to only Indian passport or Overseas Citizen of India (OCI) card holders. Newham, a home for London's Tamil community as a borough, celebrates Pongal in a grand scale. They have even had their first street party to observe the formal festivities in 2017. The London Tamil Sangam in Newham, one of the oldest ethnic community organisations, which is also funded by the borough, also celebrates Pongal every year with cultural programmes.


16 TAMIL SPECIAL

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TAMIL SPECIAL

12 - 18 January 2019

5 - 11 January 2019

World Tamil Organisation

British Tamils celebrate Pongal, their traditional harvest festival

celebrates

Rupanjana Dutta

The Asian community in the UK is now an integral part of the decision making policies. Among Indian communities, Gujaratis and Punjabis have engaged in a reciprocal political behaviour, especially at the Parliamentary level. The Tamil Indian community and Sri Lankan Tamils are a recent migrant community in the UK. They are politically salient in UK's Labour party especially at the local level, but have also been able to change the way the Tory party has looked at them as voters. They were even successful in persuading the then Prime Minister David Cameron to participate in the 2013 Commonwealth Heads meeting at Sri Lanka.

NHS@70 JRCPTB (Joint Royal Colleges of Physician's Training Board), Group Chief Medical Director of the Royal Free London (RFL) Group of Hospitals, President- BAPIO (British Association of Physicians of Indian Origin), Editor- British Journal of General Practise and senior representatives from all the Royal Colleges. Winning the Lifetime achievement award for his contribution to the world of medicine was Dr. Arokiaswamy Velumani, an Indian scientist and entrepreneur who is also the Founder, Managing Director and CEO of ‘Thyrocare’, a Thyroid testing company in India with close to 1200 outlets across India, Nepal, Bangladesh and the middle east. Speaking at the ceremony Dr Velumani said, "I quit my job and took a huge risk of starting a company, but it was worth it. I am very rich, but I do not have a house. Because I do not like a loan. One must always try to strive and do

Participants, organisers and winners UK-Global Medical Excellence Award

things differently.” The other medical professionals who were awarded at this event included: l Physician Musicologist Award- Padma Shri Dr Sirkazhi. G. Sivachidambaram, Dean of Perambalur Medical College and a Carnatic music vocalist, with a qualification from the Trinity college of music. l Award for the selfless elimination of Human sufferingDr Sanjiv Nichani, Founder of 'Healing Little Hearts', con-

ducting children's cardiac surgery charity camps in India, Africa and Asia l Pride to the Profession Award- Dr Premila Nalini Webster, Director of Public Health Education and Training, University of Oxford who has been conferred with the Most excellent Order of British Empire (MBE), for services to Public Health. Seven other doctors from various specialties of medicine including

London to host its first ever Tamil short film festival London based a South Indian Film Academy has organised a short film competition, that purely purely focuses on new generation of visual creators & young talented film makers with exceptional narrative skills - to provide a platform to exhibit their work for international audience. Regional films in India are a prime example of its diversity as a nation. Each regional film industry upholds the evolution of the present generation without compromising on its traditional and cultural values. Speaking about the upcoming awards, which will announce three winners as well as showcase the films in a London venue, Dr Revathi Rangaswamy told Asian

education. Aston university in rate cultural identities. The n fact the current Prime a research said that though Tamils as a diaspora have also Minister Theresa May in cultural similarities connect done the same in the UK- and her first ever message for these two historic Tamil very successfully have set up Pongal celebration in 2018 homelands, such as through influential organisations, that said, “As Thai Pongal begins, work in different areas- from Tamil families here in the UK films and religion, but due to international politics to art and around the world are different political situations and culture to business. coming together to celebrate. at home, their ethnic asserMathew Godwin, an It’s a time to cast out the old tion in the UK have been author with special interest in and embrace opportunities to extremely different. ethnic and migration studies come. A time to give thanks However when it comes wrote about the diaspora as a not just for the harvest, but to an event as festive as force in foreign affairs. In his also for friends, family and Pongal, both come forward to article published by the neighbours. welcome the four day celebra“And it’s also a great tions in the UK with equal London School of Economics, pomp and gaiety. Godwin said, “Engaging diasopportunity for all of us to pora organisations construcreflect on the contribution Origin and practice tively can enhance the UK’s made by Britain’s Tamils. role as a peacemaker in conThe origins of the Pongal fesYour community punches flicts abroad and encourage tival may date to more than well above its weight, making the inclusion of diverse com1000 years ago as evidence a real difference to countless munities in British public life suggests the celebration of lives right across the country. – making politics more reflec“I want this to be a counthe Puthiyeedu during the tive of the country’s growing try where everyone, regardmedieval Chola empire days. diversity.” less of their background, can Puthiyeedu is believed to repplay their part and achieve resent the first harvest of their ambitions. Our Tamil This year Pongal is from the year. Tamil people refer community is a fantastic to Pongal as "Tamizhar 15-18 January 2019 example of what that looks Thirunaal," the festival of like, helping make Britain Tamizhs. The day preceding Pongal Though both branch of the diverse, successful counis called Bhogi. On this day the community viz. Indian try we are all so proud of. people discard old belongings and Sri Lankan Tamils are “So to everyone celebratand celebrate new possespolitically active, there is a ing today and in the days to sions. The main event, also vast difference in how they come, let me wish you all a known as Thai Pongal, takes happy Thai Pongal, and an express themselves or identify place on the second of the auspicious year ahead.” with the term 'diaspora'. The four days. This day coincides Traditionally when differSri Lankan Tamils have mostent communities arrive in a ly migrated to the UK as with Makara Sankranti, a new country for the first time, refugees, after prolonged civil winter harvest festival celethey set up organisations for war. Indian Tamils have brated throughout India. cultural propagation. It is evimigrated to the UK as highlyIn the Tamil language the dentially the first step of inteskilled workers such as docword Pongal means 'overgration by establishing sepators, engineers or for higher flowing,' signifying abun-

I

The National Health Service (NHS) in Britain celebrated its 70th birthday in 2018. South Asian doctors, especially from the Indian sub-continent are described as the major migrant architects and the life bloods of the NHS. Not only as doctors, but they have become a highly-valued members of the communities in which they practice. World Tamil Organisation (WTO-UK), representing the Indo-UK community took this perfect opportunity to celebrate it as a curated event, to join the celebrations marking the 70th birthday of National Health Service (NHS) and recognise these every day heroes, helping from behind the scenes, representing various institutions in India and the UK, for the exemplary services they play in our lives. Kicking off the birthday party in style, the first of events was the UK-Global Medical Excellence Awards ceremony, which was chaired by Virendra Sharma MP, Lord Anderson and Baroness Prashar. 11 topmedicaldoctors, consultants and surgeons were awarded in what was a star-studded evening at the Houses of Parliament, Westminster. Various stakeholders from across the NHS supported the event by their presence and in felicitating the award winners. This includes Medical Director of the

17

Voice, “The short film competition will be the centre stage to showcase our South Indian regional cinema including feature films, short films, documentaries, web series etc together with networking & film marketing opportunities to the film makers. Our ultimate goal is to give global visibility & applause to our South Indian regional films that they truly deserve.” The award function is going to be held on April 14th, 2019 in London and the organisers are looking for sponsors and supporters to make it a great success. The jury includes Kollywood actor, director and screenwriter Samutirakani, actress and tv anchor Anu Hasan, film director

and producer Arun Vaidyanathan, film producer S R Prabhu, film editor Antony and writer and director Sriantan Anand. The online submission that started on 17 October 2018 offers 17 categories for submission. Films need cannot be any longer than 25 minutes, created not before August 2018 and topics could vary from social awareness, comedy, documentary, musical or even drama. The films need to be subtitled in English and in HD format. The applicant also needs to submit a poster presentation along with their submission. For more details please contact Revathi [07492854668] or see https://www.sifauk.com.

Diabetology, Cosmetic Surgery, Peri-natal Psychiatry, Ophthalmology and Max Fax Surgery were felicitated during the summit. "We want to recognise the efforts of these legends and their contribution must be rewarded. " said Chairman of WTO, Jacob Ravibalan. WTO is a registered charity organisation with an objective to promote the welfare of the Tamil Community in several aspects including arts, culture and humanitarian

issues. Associated with the NHS for 15 years, Project lead Dr Prabhu Rajendran said "NHS has transformed the health and well-being of the nation and become the envy of the world. This summit has given an opportunity to explore ways to nurture and foster this very special India-UK relationship, encouraging bilateral training program for healthcare professionals as well as strengthening healthcare related infrastructure.”

dance and prosperity. During the festival, milk is cooked in a vessel. When it starts to bubble and overflows out of the vessel, freshly harvested rice grains are added to the pot. Maatu Pongal is celebrated on the third day. Tamils regard cattle as sources of wealth for providing dairy products, fertilizer, and labour for plowing and transportation. On Maatu Pongal, cattle are recognised and afforded affectionately. Features of the day include games such as the Jallikkattu and taming bull. Kaanum Pongal, the fourth day of the festival, marks the end of Pongal festivities for the year. The word 'kaanum' in this context means "to visit." Many families hold reunions on this day.

A pongal meal offered to the family deity

Honouring Thiruvalluvar statue

Today’s UK households celebrating Pongal with usual chores, but it is a day of tradiS Kavya is a software professional at a tional Tamil food, and my family loves large firm in the UK. She lives in the UK it.” suburb with children and husband, who Ashanti Omkar, presenis of German-origin. Born in ter of the South Indian Rameshwaram, Kavya every year celebrates Pongal traditionally at her resiand Sri Lankan show at dence, with simple food, especially the BBC Asian 'sweet pongal'. Network told Asian “My husband is not Indian or Tamil. Voice, “It is a day of traBut he is very keen to celebrate the fesditional clothes and celetivities with the children. It is important bration. Like every year I will go to watch that the children also learn about my this year's Tamil releases (Petta and Viswasam) as well as celebrate the music culture,” said Kavya. “They are British, on my show. German, as well as Savoury pongal “I also make Pongal at Indian-Tamil. My by Ashanti Omkar home with coconut milk. And daughter who is the key is boiling water over now 10, is learning the pan- to denote abundance.” how to dance Vinaya Ganesan, Bharatnatyam. My a lawyer by son who is 5, loves profession is to eat 'sakkara ponoriginally gal' (sweet pongalfrom Vellore. a dish made of rice, milk and sugar). Married to a We start the day Tamil from

Sakkara pongal (sweet pongal)

Maharashtra, she said, We always celebrate Pongal at home. I cook sweet pongal in morning or after work. The pongal is cooked in a traditional pot that is decorated with sandalwood paste and kumkum (vermillion). A turmeric pod with leaves is tied around the pot.” Nandni Nagarajan is a mumpreneur, whose interest lies in importing coconut products from their farms in South India. She is now busy with her 8 month-old son and told Asian Voice, “This year Pongal will be a bit more special because Ram's grandparents are here. Back in India we'll probably go to our farm to celebrate - because Pongal itself is about celebrating the current years harvest & praying for a better bounty for the coming year. In the UK, we'll do a small puja and celebrate with a good breakfast/lunch that includes Sakkara (sweet) pongal, vada, payasam.”

Boiling over of milk to denote abundance

Celebrating the contributions of the great Tamil poet Thiruvalluvar, on Thiruvalluvar day, as well as to celebrate Pongal, FeTAUK (Federation of Tamil Associations in UK) will be gathering outside SOAS on 18th January 2019, 3:304:30pm. Tamil poet and philosopher Thiruvalluvar's wellloved statue has been part of SOAS for the last 23 years. Thiruvalluvar also known as Valluvar is best known for authoring Tirukkural, a collection of couplets on ethics, political and economical matters, and love. The text is considered as one of the finest works of the Tamil literature. The statue was unveiled by His Excellency Dr L M. Singhvi, High Commissioner for India to UK on 13th May 1996. In the Presence of Sir Robert Wade-Gery, Chairman, Governing Body, Mr Michael McWilliam, Director, School of Oriental

and African Studies. The sitting statue of the poet was presented to the university by the then government of Tamil Nadu. This will be followed by an elaborate celebration at India House, the High Commission of India, which will be joined by Her Excellency Mrs Ruchi Ghanashyam, the current High Commissioner of India to UK. A registration only event will be open to only Indian passport or Overseas Citizen of India (OCI) card holders. Newham, a home for London's Tamil community as a borough, celebrates Pongal in a grand scale. They have even had their first street party to observe the formal festivities in 2017. The London Tamil Sangam in Newham, one of the oldest ethnic community organisations, which is also funded by the borough, also celebrates Pongal every year with cultural programmes.


18 FINANCE - UK

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Consultant Editor Financial Voice Alpesh Patel Dear Financial Voice Reader, I get about a hundred financial reports a week from various banks. The key is to distil the relevant and important from the detail and unimpactful. For me clarity is not a problem and here a dose of it for those who are confused. Despite the US Government shutdown, and tariff wars, the reports are surprisingly bullish and positive. Based on valuations and on outlook either these bankers are overoptimistic or stupid or both. That is possible. This tells me that American stocks will in the New Year rise because there prices have been depressed compared to the profits they are making. So I like US stocks. When I look at specifics like Apple, I can with analysis it is undervalued! That is, I expect to double my money over the coming five years with it. Amazon is another easy one to like. How could I possible comment on the UK? Am I to say that the uncertainty is irrelevant and that the economy will be resilient and exports helped from the depressed pound make buying UK stocks a good idea. Or am I to say – Brexit. All bets are off? I will go for the former analysis. As for Europe – I think it too is resilient and has that resilience built into the system from the credit crunch. Now, I don’t like uncertainty, but we always find ourselves with that one way or another anyway don’t we? Resilience and preparing for the worst and hoping for the best is the only way in life and financial markets – no secret potion or tip there. As for India, with elections and all, no matter how far the pound falls, the Rupee never seems to get stronger of the longer term sadly. We still see no prospect of much of the economy opening up and that puts a drag on the much needed foreign capital. You may not see that as a problem, but it does mean slower growth. India is no China with a wealth of overseas capital from its exports. And unless India suddenly discovers the oil of Saudi, capital will remain in short supply. I do have one tip for India, taken from many a company – rebrand. Change the name to Bharat. Alpesh Patel Her Majesty’s Government’s Dealmaker For a free online trading course visit www.alpeshpatel.com

Barclays threatened with boardroom shake-up An activist investor of Barclays has threatened a boardroom shake-up as he announced plans for a shareholder vote on the bank’s leadership. Edward Bramson, who has spent about £900m building a 5.5% stake in Barclays through his investment vehicle Sherborne Investors, told his own shareholders that a vote was necessary, given that “consistent engagement” with Barclays had failed to yield results. He is pushing Barclays to scale back its investment banking business, which he says has “strategic weaknesses.” Bramson believes more resources should instead be funnelled towards the bank’s “attractive” consumer operations. “It seems increasingly likely that, for any progress to be made on our concerns, we will be required to seek a shareholder vote to make changes in the composition of the board,” Bramson said. However, the bank’s performance is not out of line with its peers – Lloyds and RBS have each fallen just shy of 30% over the same period. Bramson has been jostling for a position on the Barclays board. However, the bank’s directors told him that while they looked forward to continued engagement, his board representation would not be needed, according to Sherborne’s shareholder letter. The prospect of an activist investor on the board of an important UK bank would likely face hurdles from regulators that may have questions over potential risks to financial stability.

Open Banking one year later This month sees the first anniversary of Open Banking, a set of reforms aimed at increasing competition in the UK’s banking sector and providing more choice for consumers. While consumer awareness of the reforms remains low and while the big banks have been slow to embrace them, there are in fact plenty of ways in which banking customers can benefit already from them. At its simplest, Open Banking provides a secure and easy way for consumers to choose to give financial providers permission to access their financial information (such as their spend-

ing behaviour). The idea is to give consumers a say over the sharing of their banking data with third parties - it’s their data, after all, and should be used for their benefit - while at the same time allowing digital banks and fintech firms to develop consumerfacing retail banking services and apps that use this data to help customers manage their money better. One example of this is the Marketplace from Starling Bank, leading UK mobileonly bank offering personal, joint and business accounts. Rather than upselling their own financial products, Starling gives customers seamless access to a curated

selection of products and services all from its banking app. Personal customers can access bill management apps, insurance, mortgage brokers or online investment providers, while business customers can integrate with online accounting software providers such as Xero. Once the Starling customer has given permission, the partner can pull data from Starling such as name and address to speed up the sign-up process. In addition, customers can then choose to share data from several partners back into their Starling app. This allows the Starling app to become an easy to access and secure hub that

provides a holistic understanding of their financial lives: ISA, pension and current account balances can be displayed alongside their life insurance or phone insurance details. Starling is opening doors for customers to connect with best in class products on the market - a collaborative approach to other full-service banks. Find out more about Starling Bank, visit www.starlingbank.com.

Namal Nawana rejects break-up of Smith & Nephew The new chief executive of Smith & Nephew, Namal Nawana, has rejected a potential break-up of the medical devices company despite pressure from an aggressive American activist investor. Nawana instead is seeking to turn the company around via an expansion drive, including acquisitions. Smith & Nephew is one of the world's biggest medical devices groups, tracing its roots to 1856 when Thomas James Smith opened a pharmacy in Hull. The £12 billion company operates worldwide and generated profits of $879 million in 2017 through the sale of products ranging from knee replacements to wound care. However, following underwhelming financial performance in recent years there is speculation that it could be exposed to a potential takeover from a

Namal Nawana

rival, including Stryker, a bigger American company. Nawana, 48, was appointed amid speculation that Elliot Advisors, the activist investor, had taken a stake and was pushing the company to

offload parts to make it a more attractive takeover prospect. Nawana said since taking charge he had reviewed the business and had concluded that “there's fantastic valuecreation opportunities just by growing our business and operating it better. We believe we've got the core elements that we need... I think we will be a great independent company based on the plans that we have.” He said the focus would be improving the performance of certain devices and markets, such as Europe. He also said Smith & Nephew had a war chest capable of making acquisitions, with bolt-on deals such as last month's takeover of Ceterix Orthopaedics for up to $105 million, and larger-scale mergers and acquisitions.

UK house prices take pre-Brexit hit, says survey Data released by mortgage lender Nationwide reveals British house prices took a pre-Brexit hit in December, rising by their slowest pace in nearly six years in annual terms. House prices fell by 0.7 per cent from November, the biggest monthly fall since July 2012. Compared with a year earlier, prices rose by only 0.5 per cent in December, the slowest annual rate of growth since February 2013, followed by only 0.5 per cent in December, the slowest annual rate of growth since February 2013, and followed a 1.9 per cent increase in November. Nationwide said it expected prices to rise at a “low single-digit pace” in 2019 but its forecast was dependent on the

economy continuing to grow modestly, something that looked “unusually uncertain”. Britain's housing market has weakened since the June 2016 Brexit vote, led by price falls in London. At the time of the referendum, Nationwide's measure of house prices was rising by

about 5 per cent a year. Jonathan Samuels, chief executive of the property lender Octane Capital, says, “Brexit has smashed property market sentiment to smithereens.” He said, “Borrowing rates may be low and the jobs market strong but a deep undercurrent of uncertainty is causing the vast majority of people to sit on their hands. What growth there is, is in the north, which hasn't experienced the over exuberant price inflation of the capital and other areas of the south.” Bank of England governor Mark Carney said last month that in the event of a “disorderly” departure from the EU, not the central bank's base-case scenario, house prices could slump by 30 per cent as part of a broader economic shock.

UK shares jump as retailers back in demand UK shares jumped to their highest in almost a month on Tuesday amid hopes of a US-China trade deal and as supermarket chain Tesco led a revival in retailers after upbeat sales data that helped offset Morrisons’ disappointing holiday update. Investors pinned hopes of a possible truce in the protracted trade dispute as US Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross said overnight the world’s two biggest economies could reach a trade deal as talks in the Chinese capital continued. But uncertainty around the UK’s tumultuous divorce from Europe and

ahead of a Parliamentary vote next week on a draft deal continued to weigh on sentiment, keeping many investors on the sidelines. Volumes were just 22 per cent of the 90-day average daily turnover. British and European officials are discussing the possibility of extending the formal exit process amid fears that Prime Minister Therea May’s deal will not be approved by March 29, reports said. While the data showed that discount shops Aldi and Lidl gained market share, overall grocery sales in the 12 weeks to

Dec 30 rose 1.6 per cent, according to Kantar Worldpanel. The sector FTNMX5330 rose 2 per cent to its highest since Dec. 7, led by Tesco after it chalked up a gain of 0.4 per cent in the three months. The market leader, which will publish its holiday trading update on Thursday, was crowned Xmas winner. The data also lifted Next and Marks & Spencer more than 4 per cent and comes after positive updates from Aldi UK and other high street chains that brought back some appetite for consumer shares and bucked the high street woes.


REAL ESTATE VOICE

WHEN THE STARS ARE ALIGNED

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Currently, we are working on a specific location with a defined strategy. Generally speaking in the current environment you cannot purchase a property with the hope of reselling in a few months’ time for a profit. Therefore, the alternative way to exit needs to be by way of refinance. This allows one to add value and extract most or all the capital back out. Suresh Vagjiani

Sow & Reap London Property Investment

In the current environment if you purchase a property for X amount there is a chance it will be X-5% in a month or two. This is the reason why many people are sitting on the fence and nervous about entering the market.

This will target two objectives. One is to enhance the rental to over 75% more than the property would attract as is. The second objective will be to use the enhanced rental income to extract funds out of the property, releasing trapped funds, so you can be in a position to invest again.

This was the case in 2013 when we purchased 23 apartments in Kilburn, on behalf of our client, for £2.675M. At the time this equated to only £299 per sq. ft. This deal was presented to us when the buyer at the time (who was at a higher level) was dragging his feet. There were

This strategy can be followed in many locations. There was a recent survey prompted by the rise in train ticket prices which analysed several

GENERATE INSPIRATION FOR 2019 When we love, we feel enthused. These emotions drive inspiration. And these emotions, when unblocked and channelled, flow from one part of our life to our entire life.

allowed some resentment to build up towards my sister and that some old wounds remained open but buried.

I started the Christmas holidays being a bit of a grouch.

Denial does not eliminate pain. It transforms it into something more malign.

And I examined my own heart. What I found was that I had

Deeply buried.

I wrote a very intimate, open letter to her. Paper and pen. Old fashioned style. She was absolutely delighted and

BUY TO LET OPPORTUNITY

Bull’s Eye London, NW1 Purchase Price: £350,000 Specialists in Central London Property Sourcing

AGONY AGENT IS HERE TO HELP! Q: Due to a huge leak in my flat the tenants cannot live there until it is fixed. What should I do?

At the moment, we are looking at smallish lumps, from £350K to £550K freehold properties in a specific location; the aim will be to turn them in to HMOs.

However, this means there exists motivated sellers in the market and insufficient buyers, leading to a drop in price and an opportunity on occasion to get a cracking deal. In years to come people will be surprised such opportunity even existed.

Then I considered the underlying message of love that Jesus taught. Not religion. Just simple love.

12 - 18 January 2019

many issues with the building and decisions had to be made. From my perception it seemed the buyer was leaning on the lawyer to deal with the issues, and the lawyer predictably was covering himself from future claims. Therefore, the deal was not moving forward. His slow approach allowed us to swoop in and take the deal at a bargain.

19

we met up last week. The gettogether was honest, loving and we left on a very positive note. Love is the fountain of inspiration and happiness. A dam has been unblocked. I feel light and energised. This immediately flows positively into my business ideas and actions. Some may say that they are not good at expressing this kind of sentiment and the worry is that one may be misunderstood. However, you get better with

locations which were close to London. The analysis was based on three variables: house prices, commuter times to London and train ticket prices. On the surface this looked like an interesting article. But on closer inspection it fell short, it was based too much on theory, and took no account of how underlying prices will perform in the years to come. Our decision to focus on this one specific location is backed by 18 pages of in house research. We believe the underlying asset will perform extremely well in years to come, in a sustained and steady manner. In addition, your funds will not be trapped in the property and it will be yielding a positive cash flow. A mean feat anywhere in London.

practice. Like everything, the more you practice love the better you get. And one thing is for sure - if you say nothing you will be misunderstood. For sure. The lesson is to take the time to self-examine, take action, express the truth and reach out to the other person.

A: Apart from the obvious problem of the leak, your major problem is your tenants and where to put them! Act quickly. Find a hotel locally and book a room for them. Now, we are not talking a hostel, and neither are we talking about a luxury hotel. Something in the middle. Unless of course your flat is high end, in which case a decent hotel will be necessary. Now comes the painful question: do you have landlord insurance? If you don’t then this is going to be very very expensive for you. If you do have this in place then you need to give them a call. Most landlord insurances will cover the issue you have with the leak in terms of repair works, loss of income (as you will not be able to charge the tenant’s rent for an unhabitual property) and fingers crossed the alternative accommodation for your tenants. All insurance companies work differently. Some will want you to rent a self catering apartment and they will pay for it, and some might ask you to pay for it and then claim it back from them. Keep on top of the insurance company and give your tenants daily updates on the situation. If you need any other property management guidance, please do get in touch.

Love changes your world. Richard Bond Abraham Goldberg

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India set to replace UK as 5th biggest economy A report by Nomura Holdings Inc. stated that India's economy grew at a faster pace than most major nations in 2018, and is set to overtake the UK to become the world's fifth-biggest. The journey however, it said, won't be smooth. The outcome of general election due by May is a potential pitfall for the nation that is already affected by emerging market turmoil and a currency rout last year. The agency estimates global growth will ease to around 2.8 per cent in 2019 from 3.2 per cent in 2018, led by a slowdown in China, and a moderation in the US and euro-area toward long-term trends. Nomura analysts said, “As cyclical impulses become less favourable, we expect exports, manufacturing and the investment cycle to weaken” in India. With demand slowing and oil prices easing, inflation is expected to average toward the RBI's medium-term target of 4 per cent in the first quarter of 2019. The six-member monetary policy committee may even be in a position to lower interest rates in the first half of the year, according to some analysts. Data for the three months through

SC notice to Anil Ambani on Ericsson's plea The Supreme Court has issued a notice to Anil Ambani-led Reliance Communication, seeking response on contempt plea filed by Ericsson India Private Limited within four weeks. The plea was filed by Ericsson India over non-payment of dues to the company to the tune of £55 million. Ambani's firm has agreed to deposit £11.8 million with the court's registry after accusing the unsecured creditor of sensationalising the issue and conducting a media trial. Ericsson has, however, refused to accept the offer. Ambani has been given four weeks to explain why Ericsson's contempt plea should not be honoured and his firm said it remains committed to clear dues after sale of spectrum. Reliance Communications and Reliance Jio had written to the Department of Telecommunication (DoT) over the spectrum and mobile tower deal but the government has refused to provide immunity to elder Ambani's firm from any past-payment liabilities that may arise after the deal.

CHOKSI’S £1.3 BN THAI FACTORY ATTACHED As part of its probe into money laundering case against diamond merchant Mehul Choksi, the Enforcement Directorate (ED) has attached a factory in Thailand worth £1.3 million. The factory is owned by Abbeycrest (Thailand) Limited, a part of Choksi’s Gitanjali Group. ED is in the process of the getting Choksi, an accused in the PNB scam along with his relative Nirav Modi, declared as a fugitive economic offender. The investigating agencies have found that Choksi would purchase labgrown (machine-made) diamonds from China through his companies in Hong Kong and ship them to India, where they are believed to have been sold as genuine ones at high rates.

WARRANT ISSUED AGAINST STERLING BIOTECH OWNERS September showed growth eased to 7.1 per cent from the 8-plus per cent pace seen in the previous quarter. Spending pressures intensified last month following disappointing results for PM Modi's Bharatiya Janata Party in state elections, and farm loan waivers announced by the opposition Congress party in three states it

won from the BJP. It is said the government is studying three options, including a cash handout for farmers, to ease the distress for farmers and to shore up popular support ahead of elections. It's already slashed taxes on some goods and services and announced exemptions on pension withdrawals to appease voters.

Merger of Dena, Vijaya Bank with Bank of Baroda cleared The Union Cabinet has approved the merger of Vijaya Bank and Dena Bank with Bank of Baroda (BoB), which will create the country's second-largest public-sector lender after SBI. The amalgamation will be the first-ever three-way consolidation of banks in India. Shareholders of the merging banks will receive Bank of Baroda shares. While Vijaya Bank's 1,000 shares will fetch 402 of BoB's, a similar number of Dena Bank shares will get only 110 of the acquiring bank. The swap ratio was announced by BoB following a board meeting. Analysts believe that BoB will have to bear the pain of the merger, which would include fair valuation of assets and the cost of integration. The merged bank will have a loan book of over £78 billion, 9,475 branches, and a network of 13,544 ATMs. The government said the

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merger, which is effective from April 1, will bring a host of benefits. It, however, is unclear how the new management structure would evolve. BoB CEO PS Jayakumar, who completed his term in October 2018, was given a one

year extension by the government ostensibly to oversee the merger. Vijaya Bank MD and CEO RA Sankara Narayanan's term ends next January. Karmam Sekar, who moved from SBI to head Dena Bank, has the longest residual service among the three CEOs, until June 2020. One proposal that the government considered to reduce the disruptive impact of the merger was to retain the operations of the two merging banks as business units with their original business name for branch outlets with eventual amalgamation. The Centre has clarified that there will not be any job loss and every permanent employee of the transferor banks shall become employees of BoB and receive employee benefits that are at least on a par with what they would have drawn earlier.

Parliament panel wants to examine RBI's powers A parliamentary panel has recommended setting up of a committee to evaluate the role, powers and authority of the RBI in its entirety and has said it expects the central bank to provide a coherent roadmap for 11 public sector banks to come out of its prompt corrective action (PCA). In its report tabled in Parliament, the standing committee on finance headed by Congress leader Veerappa Moily said, “The committee would thus recommend that the government should constitute a highpowered committee to evaluate the role, powers and authority of RBI in its entirety while also appraising the economic impact of the various NPA resolution guidelines/schemes formulated by RBI from time to time.” It also said, “The proposed committee should look into those provisions of the RBI Act, Banking (Regulation) Act and other relevant statutes with a view to ensuring the accountability of RBI as the regulator of the banking sector, including the matter of

having RBI nominees on the boards of banks.” The panel said both the RBI as the regulator and the central government as the majority stakeholder in public sector banks should formulate coherent policy responses, which will enable and empower the banks to overcome the present challenges and chalk out their growth path. “In this connection, the committee would like to emphasise that the present crisis which the Committee believes is transient, should not become an alibi for privatisation of public sector banks,” it said. The panel also said that with a view to utilise the expertise of senior bankers, the retirement age of CEOs of PSBs can be raised to 70 years as in the case of their private sector counterparts. Regarding the state-run banks under PCA plan, the committee said it would expect the RBI to provide a road map for each of these 11 banks to come out of the PCA framework within a stipulated timeframe, so that they can resume their normal banking operations.

A Delhi court issued non-bailable warrants against four directors of a Gujarat pharma firm in a £810 million money laundering probe case. Additional Sessions Judge Satish Kumar Arora allowed the Enforcement Directorate’s plea seeking issuance of NBW against Sterling Biotech Ltd (SBL) directors Nitin Jayantilal Sandesara, Chetankumar Jayantilal Sandesara, Dipti Chetan Sandesara and Hiteshkumar Narendrabhai Patel. The ED has registered the alleged bank fraud case against the firm under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA). The accused are also being probed by the ED for allegedly bribing senior income tax department officials as part of an earlier criminal complaint.

JET CREDIT RATING CUT AFTER LOAN REPAYMENT DEFAULT Crisis-ridden Jet Airways has defaulted on loan repayment to banks, following which its credit rating has been downgraded. In a statement to BSE, the airline said: “Payment of interest and principal instalment due to the consortium of Indian Banks (led by State Bank of India) on December 31, 2018, has been delayed due to temporary cashflow mismatch and the company has engaged with them in relation to the same.” In another regulatory filing, the airline said: “ICRA Limited has revised the long term rating (assigned to long term loans and non-convertible debentures) to ICRA-D from ICRA-C. The short term rating has been revised to ICRA-D from ICRA-A4. This rating downgrade considers the delay by the company in the payment of interest and principal instalment due on December 31, 2018, due to cash flow mismatches and delays in the implementation of proposed liquidity initiatives by the company.”

GOVT MAY MISS DIVESTMENT TARGET The government may end up with a shortfall of £1 to 1.5 billion in disinvestment receipts for the current fiscal year, which may pose some worries for the Centre battling a tough fiscal situation. Data from the Department of Investment and Public Management (Dipam) showed that the government has so far raised £3.41 billion against the budget target of raising £8 billion from share sale in state-run companies. Officials said there are several factors which point to the government missing the disinvestment target this year. “The stock market has been volatile and this has meant that we have delayed accessing the market for follow-on issues,” said an official, adding that they are watching the situation closely. With nearly three months left for the financial year to come to an end, the target looks tough.


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The success story of Vedanta’s Anil Agarwal Anil Agarwal, the founder and executive chairman of Vedanta Resources, was born on 24th January 1954 in Patna, Bihar to a lower middle class family whose financial condition was not that strong. His father had a small business of making aluminum conductors. Anil is a matriculate from Sir Ganesh Dutt Patliputra High School; Bihar where, Lalu Prasad Yadav was his classmate. Anil holds a B.E degree from the Malaviya Regional Engineering College, Jaipur. Anil enjoys cycling, which has been one of the major activities in his childhood too. He is a strict vegetarian Anil Agarwal and is a devotee of God Krishna. He is married to his family friend and fellow cyclist, Kiran Gupta. The couple has a son named Agnivesh and a daughter named Priya and now live in London. Anil's Career Much before the Vedanta Group was found; Anil served as the Chief Operating officer of Orient Ceramics & Industries Ltd and gained an experience of over 31 years as an Industrialist. In 1976, he founded Sterlite Industries, a business operating in the industrial sector and then slowly and gradually he developed and founded Vedanta Resources bringing the variety of businesses, owned by the family, together. Later Anil was also the Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director of Sterlite Industries India Ltd; a subsidiary of Vedanta Resources from 1980 to 2004. He has been a Director of Sterlite Gold Ltd. since January 1999 and Sterlite Industries India Ltd. since 1978. He is the Executive Chairman of Vedanta Resources since March, 2005. Anil has been the Chairman of Sterlite Industries India Ltd. since October 2004. Not only has he been the Non Executive Chairman of Sterlite

Technologies Limited since October, 2006 but he also serves as the Chairman of the Board of Bharat Aluminium Company Ltd. (BALCO) and Sterlite Gold Ltd. He is also the Director of Copper Mines Of Tasmania Pty Ltd. He also served as a Director of Hindustan Zinc Ltd (HZL) from April, 2002 to March 2009. His achievements Anil Agarwal is a member of many boards. Some are as follows: Chairman of the Board, Bharat Aluminium Company Ltd; Director, Copper Mines of Tasmania Pty Ltd; Director, Vedanta Resources Holdings Ltd; Non-Executive Chairman and Member of Remuneration Committee, Sterlite Industries (India) Ltd; Chairman, Member of Compensation & Benefits Committee and Member of Audit Committee, Sterlite Gold Ltd; Former Director, Hindustan Zinc Ltd; Founder, Executive Chairman, Chairman of Nominations Committee and Member of Executive Committee, Vedanta Resources Plc; Non-Executive Chairman, Sterlite Technologies Limited; Chairman and Member of Remuneration Committee, Sterlite Energy Ltd.

Tulsi Parida notching up masters degrees to stay relevant A former New York high school teacher, Tulsi Parida, 27, has two masters degrees on top of her original undergraduate qualification from Northwestern University and is now studying for a third, an MBA at the University of Oxford's Saïd Business School. “After I did my initial masters (in teaching) I did not think I would do any more. But you should never say never,” she said. She hopes her new qualifications will enable her to switch roles and move into investing in education startups which have a beneficial social impact. Parida is not the only graduate topping up their learning to stay in the race. There are in fact, several business schools who are Tulsi Parida preparing to embrace the radical change. Peter Tufano, dean of Oxford Saïd believes longer lives and the growth in people taking second careers will create more demand for such life-long learning. Most of us will not take multiple masters degrees like Parida, but his plan, which he calls “one plus” is for Saïd’s oneyear MBA students to follow their degree with a pipeline of courses taken after graduation, while working, which would

update their knowledge over the next 10 years of their career. Bodo Schlegelmilch, chair of AMBA and a professor of international management and marketing at the Vienna University of Economics and Business, said business education changes every few years and that business schools need to change their business model. He said, “I see that the education industry overall is too conservative, and obsessed with past achievements.”

Muhtar Kent – Man behind Coca-Cola's success Muhtar Kent serves as the global chairman of the board and global chief executive officer of Coca-Cola India Private Limited. Kent has been the chairman of the board at The Coca-Cola Company since April 23, 2009 and served as its chief executive officer since July 1, 2008 until April 30, 2017. Kent served as the president of the Coca-Cola Company until August 13, 2015. He served as executive vice president of Coca-Cola Co. since February 16, 2006 until December 2006 and served as its chief operating officer of North Asia Eurasia & Middle East Group from May 2005 to January 2006. He served as an unite president at The Coca-Cola Company from May 2005 to December 2006. He served as the president of the Muhtar Kent Coca-Cola Company from December for Southeastern Europe and Eurasia. He 2006 to June 2008 and as its chief operating serves as a director of Catalyst, Inc. and officer from December 2006 to June 2008. Council on Foreign Relations, Inc. Kent has He served as the president of Coca-Cola been a director of the Coca-Cola Company International from January 2006 to since April 16, 2008. Kent has been December 2006, where he was responsible independent director of 3M Company since for Coca-Cola operations outside North April 1, 2013. He serves as a director of America. He served as president of North Special Olympics, Inc./Special Olympics Asia Eurasia & Middle East Group of CocaInternational. He has been a director of Cola Co., from May 2005 to 2006, where he Ronald McDonald House Charities, Inc. had been responsible for its operations since September 2008. He has been a across a broad and diverse geographic region member of board of trustees at Center for that included China, Japan and Russia. Strategic and International Studies, Inc. He joined Coca-Cola Company in since October 2008. Atlanta in 1978 and held a variety of He serves as a trustee at Emory marketing and operations roles throughout University. He served as a board member of his career. He served as the president and Coca-Cola Icecek. He served as the president chief executive officer of Efes Beverage of the Coca-Cola Company. Kent is co-chair Group from 1999 to May 2005. He served as of The Consumer Goods Forum, a fellow of the president of Coca-Cola Co's East Central the Foreign Policy Association, a member of Europe division and senior vice president of the Business Roundtable, a past chairman of Coca-Cola International, with responsibility the US-China Business Council and the for 23 countries from 1989 to 1995. He served chairman emeritus of the US ASEAN as a managing director of Coca-Cola AmatilBusiness Council. He was also appointed as a Europe, covering bottling operations in 12 member of the Eminent Persons Group for countries from 1995 to 1998 and served as a ASEAN by President Obama and Secretary general manager of Coca-Cola Turkey and of State Clinton. Kent holds bachelor of Central Asia since 1985. science in economics from the Hull Kent served as the chairman of USUniversity, England and master of science in China Business Council, Inc. and as its vice administrative sciences from Cass Business chairman. He served as a co-chairman and School, City University London. director of The Business Advisory Council

Vijay Advani plays multiple roles in Nuveen Vijay Advani is responsible for Nuveen’s strategy, distribution and operations, as well as the investment affiliates that comprise Nuveen's multiboutique structure. Before joining the firm in 2017, Vijay was Co-President of Franklin Templeton Investments, where in a career of more than 20 years he was responsible for long-term strategic initiatives and the firm’s investment management, trading and global retail and institutional channels. Prior to joining Franklin Templeton, Vijay spent 11 years at the World Bank advising governments on developing Vijay Advani their financial markets and arranging equity, quasi-equity and debt financing. He worked in several emerging economies in the former Soviet Union, Asia, Middle East and Africa. Vijay is a member of the Board of Governors of the Investment Company Institute ( ICI), board member at Jumpstart and the US - India Business Council (USIBC). He is also an advisory board member for The Hive Incubator in Palo Alto, advisory council member of DocuSign in San Francisco, charter member of TiE Silicon Valley and

past board member of the US - India Strategic Partnership Forum (USISPF) and the Center for the Advanced Study of India (CASI) at the University of Pennsylvania. Vijay is a committee member of the San Francisco-Bangalore Sister City Initiative, member of the India Advisory Committee and Investment Committee at the Santa Clara University (SCU) and former board member of Lok Foundation. He earned a bachelor’s degree from the University of Mumbai and an MBA from the University of Massachusetts Amherst.


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in brief PAKISTAN-BANGLADESH

Hasina sworn in as Bangladesh PM for fourth term DHAKA: Sheikh Hasina was sworn 2017. Opponents accuse her of jailing arch-foe Khaleda Zia on politically in as Bangladesh’s Prime Minister motivated charges, mass arrests, for fourth term after a landslide enforced disappearances and passing election victory marred by deadly Draconian anti-press freedom laws to violence and claims of widespread try to cling to power. rigging. Hasina, 71, has presided over Hasina was abroad in August 1975 record economic growth in the when a group of renegade military country of 165 million but critics officers assassinated her father, have accused her of creeping Bangladesh's first President Sheikh authoritarianism. Her ruling Awami Mujibur Rahman, his wife and three League party and its allies won the sons. She started her political career as a December 30 elections by a hero of the people, returning from exile landslide, securing 288 seats in the in 1981 to take over as Awami League 300-seat parliament compared to leader and beginning a long struggle to just seven for the main opposition. restore democracy in Bangladesh. The campaign saw mass arrests Hasina joined forces with Zia's BNP to of opposition activists and Bangladesh President Abdul Hamid (L) administering oath to Sheikh Hasina help oust military dictator Hussain candidates and allegations of The opposition, which last week boycotted Muhammad Ershad in 1990 but the pair widespread rigging, including ballot stuffing the oath taking ceremony of the newly soon fell out and were branded the “Battling and voter intimidation. Seventeen people elected MPs, has demanded fresh polls under Begums.” Their rivalry has dominated were killed on the election day violence. The a neutral caretaker government - something Bangladeshi politics for the last 30 years. European Union has called for a probe into Hasina and the election commission have Hasina was first elected prime minister in allegations of irregularities, saying rejected outright. 1996 and lost the 2001 contest. She returned “significant obstacles to a level playing field... Mother of humanity to power after winning the December 2008 tainted the electoral campaign and the vote.” President Abdul Hamid administered the polls by landslide, just months after she was The United States expressed concern about oath to Hasina in a ceremony. A 47-member imprisoned by a military-backed “credible reports of harassment, cabinet with many new faces was also sworn government on corruption charges. She has intimidation and violence.” The United in. To her supporters, Hasina is known as been in power ever since, presiding over Nations said there were indications that Bangladesh's “mother of humanity” for economic expansion of more than six per “reprisals” have targeted the opposition since allowing in hundreds of thousands of cent every year since 2009. GDP growth last the election, including physical attacks, Rohingya refugees fleeing a military year was 7.86 per cent and Hasina has arbitrary arrests, harassment, crackdown in neighbouring Myanmar in promised to take that into double digits. disappearances and filing of criminal cases.

Sharif denied helper in jail, told to maintain room on his own LAHORE: Pakistan’s incarcerated former premier Nawaz Sharif will maintain his jail room on his own as the Punjab province government refused to provide him a prisoner who could serve as his orderly, according to a media report. Sharif has been serving a seven-year jail term in Lahore’s Kot Lakhpat jail in the Al-Azizia Steel Mills graft case and being a former prime minister he is entitled to better facilities, including an orderly who is from prisoners. Punjab’s Inspector General of Prisons Shahid Saleem Beg said that Punjab government decided that it could not provide a prisoner to Sharif who could serve as his orderly and that he would have to maintain his room on his own, the Dawn reported. The prisons chief said Sharif has been asked to maintain his room” to serve out the seven-year “rigorous” imprisonment handed down to him in the Al-Azizia Steel Mills/Hill Metal Establishment reference. Speaking to media in the presence of Punjab Governor Chaudhry Sarwar at the

Nawaz Sharif

Governor House, the prisons chief said Sharif’s case was highly sensitive and he could not be allowed to go outside his barracks in the prison. He said Sharif’s rigour had been kept within his barracks. According to the jail manual, he said, the former premier had been asked to maintain his

room himself. However, he later clarified to the daily that Sharif had not been put to any rigour, adding that the manual allowed elderly inmates certain concessions on that count. Any issue related to Sharif in jail could bring a bad name to Pakistan, Beg said. An anticorruption court in Pakistan on December 24 sentenced the ousted premier to seven years in jail but acquitted him in the Flagship Investments case, concluding a series of three court cases against the Sharif family in the high-profile Panama Papers case. The Al-Azizi Steel Mill case was about setting up steel mills in Saudi Arabia allegedly with corruption money. Three cases – Avenfield properties case, Flagship investment case and Al-Azizia steel mills case – were launched against the Sharif family by the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) on September 8, 2017 following a judgment by the Supreme Court that disqualified Sharif in the Panama Papers case in July last year.

Want ‘great’ ties with Pak but can’t as it ‘houses enemies’: US President WASHINGTON: The US wants a “great relationship” with Pakistan but cannot do so as the country “houses enemies,” President Donald Trump said on America’s strained ties with Islamabad, months after he stopped $1.3 billion in military aid to its former ally. Speaking to his Cabinet colleagues, President Trump, however, said a meeting with the new leadership in Pakistan under Prime Minister Imran Khan will take place “very soon.” He said his administration has initiated peace talks with the Taliban in war-torn Afghanistan. Trump also told his colleagues that he has ended $1.3 billion in aid to Pakistan because “this South Asian country houses enemies.” “We want to have a great rela-

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tionship with Pakistan, but they house the enemy. They take care of the enemy. We just can’t do that. So, I look forward to meeting with the new leadership in Pakistan. We will be doing that in the not too distant future. But I ended $1.3 billion that we paid. I think it was water, we were just paying to Pakistan. So, I ended that,” he said. Trump also alleged that Pakistan had not been fair to the US. In November last year, Trump defended his administration’s decision to stop hundreds of millions of dollars in military aid to Pakistan, saying Islamabad does not do “a damn thing” for the US and its government helped late alQaeda leader Osama bin Laden hide near its

garrison city of Rawalpindi. Earlier, South Carolina Senator Lindsay Graham, who is considered close to President Trump, said in an interview that if Pakistan helped the US in bringing the Taliban to the table for negotiations, the US would focus on counter-terrorism and the IS. Khan was sworn in as Pakistan’s PM in August last year. The cricketer-turned politician said in January last year that meeting President Trump would be a “bitter pill” to swallow. Secretary of state Mike Pompeo met Prime Minister Khan in Islamabad in September last year and pressed him to take “sustained and decisive measures” against terrorists threatening the regional peace and stability.

SLAIN PIO COP HONOURED WITH PROCESSION The flag-draped casket of a California police officer who authorities say was shot dead by a man in the country illegally was carried in a procession through the streets he once patrolled to a public viewing in a community theatre. The killing of corporal Ronil Singh has rekindled a debate over California’s sanctuary law that limits cooperation by local authorities with federal immigration authorities. President Donald Trump called Singh’s family to offer his condolences, the White House said. People waving American flags lined up along the streets of the Central Valley town of Newman, where a viewing was held for Singh, who was shot on December 26 during a traffic stop.

HINDU TEMPLE VANDALISED IN BANGLADESH A Hindu temple was vandalised in clashes between two groups in Bangladesh’s central Tangail district, a media report said. The family of the temple’s owner was also attacked by a group in Batra village of the district, Dhaka Tribune reported. Chitta Ranjan acquired the land and built a temple of lord Shiva over 20 years ago, it said. The group of miscreants, led by a local resident of the same village, tried to forcefully seize the land where the temple is situated by vandalising Ranjan’s home and attacking his family members, the report said. Ranjan said people have been performing religious activities at the temple for more than 20 years. The accused had attempted to forcefully seize the land several times before as well, he claimed. Police visited the spot and ordered a probe.

30 GOLD MINERS KILLED IN AFGHAN TUNNEL COLLAPSE At least 30 Afghans were killed when the tunnel they were digging in to mine gold in Afghanistan collapsed, officials said. Officials said the victims were villagers who were mining for gold illegally. “Poor villagers during winters try to compensate their earnings by pursuing illegal mining,” Nek Mohammad Nazari, a spokesman for the provincial governor, said. He said the tunnel had caved in. A police spokesman for Badakhshan province earlier said the cause of the accident, which occurred in heavy snowfall, was a landslide. Villagers had dug a 60-metre (200feet) deep shaft in a river bed to search for gold. They were inside when the walls fell in. The spokesman said seven people were injured. About 50 illegal miners were present when the incident occurred and two rescue teams were deployed to help the injured.

WOMAN IN COMA FOR 14 YEARS GIVES BIRTH Police in Phoenix, Arizona are investing a possible case of sexual abuse after a patient who has been in coma for 14 years has given birth. The alleged sexual assault victim has been a patient at a healthcare facility for at least a decade. The patient was reportedly assaulted by someone who had access to her and the staff did not know she was pregnant until the baby was born. A source said, “None of the staff were aware that she was pregnant until she gave birth. From what I’ve been told she was moaning. And they didn’t know what was wrong with her.” The baby is alive and healthy and are being treated.

TEACHER ACCUSED OF CALLING STUDENTS ‘MONKEYS’ A school teacher in the US has allegedly been sent on paid leave after she compared her students to monkeys in a Facebook post, media reported. “The monkeys to my zoo came back today,” the teacher from the Watson Elementary School wrote on Facebook after school resumed after the winter break, the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette reported. “I’m tired! It’s difficult to train monkeys again,” she added. The post has since been deleted.


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in brief DEATH TOLL IN PHILIPPINES STORM RISES TO 126

At least 126 people have died and 28 remain missing in floods and landslides caused by storm Usman as it passed through the Philippines, officials said. According to the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC), 37 new fatalities were from the worst-hit Bicol region, which now has an overall total of 105 deaths. The NDRRMC said that 308,451 people were displaced and 60 were injured. Out of the total number of people affected, only 30,960 were in shelters set up in the central and northern regions of the country which were worst hit. Local authorities declared a state of calamity in Camarines Sur, a province in Bicol region, which has a population of almost 2 million. Eastern Visayas, along with Bicol, was another region hardest hit by Usman, a tropical depression.

MAN CLIMBS MOBILE TOWER IN PAK DEMANDING PM POST A man climbed a mobile tower in Islamabad, demanding that he be made the country`s Prime Minister. The man from Sargodha city claimed that he can improve Pakistan`s economic condition and repay debts within six months and thus should be made the premier. When asked to come down, the man said he will only speak to Prime Minister Imran Khan or district police officer of Sargodha city. However, rescue officials used a lifter and with the help of police brought him down. The man was then taken to a police station.

US ISSUES NEW CHINA TRAVEL WARNING AMID DETENTIONS The US State Department has urged Americans to "exercise increased caution" when travelling to China after a spate of high-profile detentions. The new advisory warns of so-called exit bans which prohibit foreign citizens from leaving China. It says the bans have been used "coercively" to "lure individuals" back to the country. It also adds that US citizens have been detained for years and subjected to harassment while under an exit ban. "US citizens may be detained without access to consular services or information about their alleged crime," the advisory reads. It also warns of "special restrictions" on those who hold dual USChinese citizenship. It advises US passport holders with a valid Chinese visa and asked officials to notify the US Embassy immediately if one is detained or arrested. The warning comes as three US citizens were accused of committing "economic crimes" and barred from leaving China in November.

5 FACE DEATH PENALTY IN KHASHOGGI KILLING Saudi Arabia announced that it will seek the death penalty against five suspects in the slaying of Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi, a killing that has seen members of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman's entourage implicated in the writer's assassination. Prosecutors announced that 11 suspects in the slaying attended their first court hearing with lawyers, but the statement did not name those in court. It also did not explain why seven other suspects arrested over the Oct. 2 killing at the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul did not immediately face formal charges. The kingdom previously announced 18 people had been arrested. Saudi officials did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

'Bohemian Rhapsody' wins big at the Golden Globes Egyptian actor Rami Malek collected his first Golden Globe for best actor in a drama for his portrayal of Queen lead vocalist Freddie Mercury in 'Bohemian Rhapsody'. The 37 year old actor beat out tough competition for the coveted award, including Bradley Cooper for 'A Star is Born', Willem Dafoe for 'At Eternity's Gate', John David Washington for 'BlacKkKlansman' and Lucas Hedges for 'Boy Erased'. 'Bohemian Rhapsody' is a USA television series is where Malek first rose to prominence, before landing the lead role in the 2018 'Queen' biopic. For his acceptance speech, he praised the late icon for his impact. He said, “Thank you to Freddie Mercury for giving me the joy of a lifetime. I love you, you beautiful man. This is for and because of you, gorgeous.” He also said that through playing the character, he was able to draw personal connections with Mercury. In a press room speech after the film's win, he said, “I tried to find the humanity in him. I related it to him being an immigrant struggling to discover his identity. I tried to take everything he was struggling with, his complication, his chaos, his turmoil, and this beauty inside of him. He lifted me up to be everything I could be in this film.”

Rami Malek and Freddie Mercury

Freddie Mercury was born in Zanzibar to Parsi parents from India. After growing up in Zanzibar and then India, his family moved to Middlesex, England. He formed the iconic band Queen in 1970 with guitarist Brian May and drummer Roger Taylor. He has written numerous hits for Queen including 'Bohemian Rhapsody', 'Killer Queen', 'Somebody to Love', 'Don't Stop Me

Now', 'Crazy Little Thing Called Love', and 'We Are the Champions'. The Golden Globes is known for being Hollywood's most rollicking show. 'Killing Eve' actress Sandra Oh created history this year by being the first person of Asian descent to host the show. She also became the only second Asian to win a Golden Globe for Best Actress in a TV Drama Series.

Keith Vaz MP: There is rare opportunity to bring peace to Yemen - will we grasp it? A New Year’s resolution to which we can all aspire in 2019 is peace in Yemen, but what needs to occur to make that happen? Keith Vaz MP explains. Yemenis, including children, continue to endure starvation, disease and the constant threat of violence. Thousands of land mines have been laid while hopes have been dashed at the prospect of any resolution to a conflict now into its fourth year. However, there is a rare opportunity to bring peace to Yemen. At the end of 2018, the two warring parties – the Houthi-backed rebels, and the Coalitionbacked government – met in Stockholm in December for their first talks since 2016. The result was a truce agreed in Hudaydah, whose port will be managed by the UN. Discussion is the key to making sure this peace happens. UN Special Envoy Martin Griffiths worked hard in bringing together the various actors after the break down of three sets of talks. His meetings with the relevant states – including Saudi Arabia, the UAE, the US, and the UK – have emphasised the urgency of the situation. The UK has been part of this process in recent weeks. The arrival of the new Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt has made a real and substantial difference. Whereas the UKsponsored draft Resolution placed before the UN Security Council in November 2018 failed, it secured support for a Resolution after the Stockholm talks – the first UN Resolution in over three years. Further peace talks are planned in January. The scope of what will be discussed remains uncertain. There are immense challenges to the peace process that cannot be overlooked. The country outside of Hudaydah remains in the depths of a severe conflict that has likely claimed the lives of over 60,000, according to the Armed Conflict Location & Event Data Project (ACLED). The UN estimates 20 million Yemenis are food-insecure, while Save the Children believes 85,000 children have died of malnutrition. Away from events on the ground, regional geopolitics continue to fuel this local conflict. The Saudi-led coalition secured Western backing to prevent the spread of Iranian influence. Meanwhile, disagreements have emerged between the UAE and Saudi Arabia.

Displaced children who recently fled from Hodeidah stand outside a house in a village in western Sanaa, Yemen. Photo Credit: Mohammed Mohammed/Xinhua News Agency

This also makes any agreements difficult to implement on the ground. It remains to be seen if what was promised at Stockholm will last: recent reports accuse the Houthis of hampering food-aid distribution. It is up to each side, working with international partners, to ensure a political situation remains viable. One international partner whose presence is central to any development is the United States. With growing disenchantment at their involvement in the conflict, the Senate passed a resolution calling for an end to US support; against the wishes of President Trump. The position of the US on Yemen remains crucial to any settlement of the conflict, and so these conflicting positions will need careful monitoring in 2019. Charities and development groups are essential to alleviating the catastrophic effects of conflict in Yemen. The work of organisations such as Save the Children, the Norwegian Refugee Council, the International Rescue Committee and Oxfam among many others continues to remind different governments of Yemen’s dire situation. Growing international attention to the long ‘forgotten war’ may force the various sides to a political settlement. Jeremy Hunt has visited the region, including Iran, while

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is planning to discuss America’s Middle East policy in Cairo this month. Western governments must keep up this energy. All need to make further visits to the region and meet their counterparts in Riyadh, Abu Dhabi, and Tehran. They also need to attend future peace talks to show there is no doubt that the highest levels of government – both in Britain and its allies – endorse this route to ending conflict in Yemen. A New Year’s resolution to which we can all aspire in 2019 is peace in Yemen. What needs to occur to make that happen? The initial truce in Hudaydah must become permanent and expand its spatial scope; humanitarian access must be allowed without delay; and, in the longer term, Yemeni institutions, infrastructure and homes must be rebuilt. But first, there needs to be further talks and confidence-building measures, agreed upon by the two factions and with the support of their various backers. Peace in Yemen can only be achieved if there is a permanent settlement guarantee by the UN and co-sponsored by the Saudiled Coalition. Not one child must die as a result of the conflict in 2019. For Britain and the British Parliamentarians that must be our red line in the sand.


24 INDIA

AsianVoiceNews

AsianVoiceNewsweekly

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12 - 18 January 2019

in brief

SOUTH INDIA

Over 100 injured in violence over Sabarimala issue THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Kerala was marred with violence last week as BJP-Sangh Parivar workers seeking to enforce a 12-hour dawn-to-dusk shutdown clashed with police and activists of rival parties, a day after two women created history by becoming the first of their sex between the ages of 10 and 50 years to enter the Sabarimala temple. Over 100 people, including 21 police officers were injured in the violence. Also, Three BJP workers were stabbed in a clash with activists belonging to Social Democratic Party of India (SDPI), the political front of militant Islamist outfit Popular Front of India. The scale and intensity of the violence prompted governor P Sathavisam to seek a report on law and order from Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan. The protests turned violent after one of the volunteers, Chandran Unnithan, 55, an active Sabarimala Karma Samithi worker, succumbed to injuries sustained in stonepelting by CPM workers. The Chief Minister tried to pass off the death as a result of cardiac arrest but the preliminary post-mortem report indicated that a deep wound in the head had bled excessively. Police used batons and water cannon to disperse protesters armed with sticks and brickbats at various places. Around 100 state transport corporation buses were damaged by protesters. Pinarayi Vijayan tweeted, “It's politically created violence and an attempt to sabotage the SC verdict. The government cannot tolerate violence in any form and has to take stern action against it.” However, Opposition and senior Congress leader Ramesh

BJP activists stage a protest march against the entry of two women of menstruating age into the Sabarimala temple.

Chennithala said violence was bound to occur “when senseless people rule the state.” “Chief

clarified, “We followed the SC order and provided security to both the ladies, they were

10 WOMEN HAVE SO FAR VISITED SABARI: POLICE Video footage shot by the Kerala police shows three Malaysian women of Tamil origin at Sabarimala on January 1, a day before Bindu Ammini and Kanakadurga prayed at the hill-top temple and were formally declared as the first women under 50 to have had Ayyappa darshan since the September 28 Supreme Court verdict. Police now claimed that there are unconfirmed reports of least four more women below 50 having visited Sabarimala since January 1, taking the total number to 10. It is reliably learnt that police have collected details of all these women, to be produced before a court of law if required. Minister Pinarayi Vijayan is solely responsible for what is happening here. He has created the platform for the Sangh Parivar forces to go berserk and create mayhem.” Vijayan

not given any special preference.” He also stated that the violent protests were meticulously planned by BJP, who pelted stones as cops and media persons.

PUNJAB

Punjab AAP against alliance with Cong for 2019 polls NEW DELHI: A group of Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leaders and workers from Punjab have expressed concern over the possibility of an alliance with Congress for the 2019 Lok Sabha polls at a meeting with party's national convener Arvind Kejriwal. In a four-hour meeting of the Political Affairs Committee (PAC) of the party held at Kejriwal's home in New Delhi, the party's Punjab unit showed reservations about joining hands with the Rahul Gandhi-led Congress. Senior party leader Gopal Rai told reporters that the PAC will consider the opinion of party leaders and workers from Punjab, Haryana and Delhi in a meeting after January 5. AAP leader and Rajya Sabha MP Sanjay

Amarinder Singh and Arvind Kejriwal

Singh said, “As of now, we have no alliance with any party. We are not saying anything on the future plans of the party.” The National Council of the AAP had in its meeting last week decided to contest all 33 Lok Sabha seats in Punjab, Delhi, Haryana,

Goa, and Chandigarh. It is, however, still undecided over any pre-poll alliance with the Congress or the Mahagathbandhan of different non-BJP parties. Rai said, “In the meeting with Kejriwal, some persons pointed out AAP was the main opposition in Punjab where Congress is the ruling party, which has failed to fulfil its promises, so it will be difficult to contest the elections.” Rai said Punjab AAP unit's core committee has been asked to shortlist the names of candidates on five seats in the state. The booth-level organisation in Punjab will be strengthened under the stewardship of block-in-charges till January 30.

WEST BENGAL

Bengal BJP leader urges people to attack police KOLKATA: The Bharatiya Janata Party in West Bengal has been accused of instigating violence by encouraging its party workers to launch attacks on police officers. BJP leader Kalosona Mondal, while addressing a gathering in Birbhum, said the party's main opponent was not the Trinamool Congress, but the police force. Mondal said, “There is nothing to expect from police in this district. If you show them weapons, only then will they listen to us. Don't hit the TMC people. If you hit them, there will be a case. They are not our competitors, the police are. Hit the police, nothing will happen.” State BJP Mahila Morcha President Locket Chatterjee recently asked women to “resort to violence when required”. She reportedly said, “(In a) few incidents that

have occurred in past few days, police has taken no steps for that. That's why I am requesting the women to equip themselves with arms in order to protect themselves.” Amid tensions between the BJP and TMC in

the state, the Supreme Court has agreed to hear the former's plea against a Calcutta High Court order not allowing its Rath Yatra in the state. The matter was mentioned for urgent hearing before a bench comprising Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi and Justice SK Kaul which agreed to hear it this week. The party had approached the apex court seeking permission to hold the campaign 'Save Democracy Rally', which would cover 42 parliamentary constituencies in the state ahead of the 2019 general elections. It had challenged the December 21 order of a division bench of the high court which had set aside the order of a single judge allowing the yatra. In the plea, the BJP had said that their fundamental right to hold a peaceful yatra cannot be withheld.

CENTRE DROPS MOVE TO CUT SHORT NAIDU’S DAVOS VISIT Andhra Pradesh government was in for a surprise, when it sought mandatory political clearance for a 17-member delegation and for a seven-day visit to Davos from the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) for WEF's 49th annual meeting from January 20 to 26. The state received a communication from the MEA restricting the number of days to four and pruning the size of the delegation to 10. The restrictions kicked up a row, in the wake of strained relations between the TDP and the BJP. The information has leaked out and some TDP leaders now describe the MEA's recommendations as ridiculous, alleging that the Centre was trying to sabotage Naidu's Davos trip. They saw a political angle behind the move, accusing the Centre of showing discrimination and coming in the way of the State government's attempt to attract investments.

VIJAYAWADA GIRL IN GLOBAL TALENT SHOW A five year old from Andhra Pradesh is set to represent India in the 3rd edition of 'World Rising Stars 2019'- an international beauty talent and fashion awards event to be held in Georgia from January 8. Yamini, is the elder daughter of Vijayawada-based businessman Patibandla Venkat, and studies in the 1st standard in Delhi Public School. Her mother Jahnavi said, “Yamini is quite active and well trained in singing and reciting shlokas from the Bhagvad Gita.” She said her daughter had earlier participated in the city-based Little Princess Competitions-2018 and won. “She has been the brand ambassador of some fashion websites. When we learnt about the event in Georgia, we contacted them. They conducted online auditions and Yamini was selected.” The young girl, who is confident about bringing the crown home, said, “I'm happy to represent India in 'World Rising Stars 2019'. I love my parents and teachers for encouraging me.” The event will be held in five rounds and participants from around 40 countries will participate in the six-day event.

FREED YOUTH AKALI LEADERS GET GRAND RECEPTION Senior leaders and workers of Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) and its ally BJP gave a hero's welcome to two Youth Akali Dal (YAD) leaders who were released from Ludhiana Central Jail, after getting bail in Rajiv Gandhi statue defacement case. Huge crowds of SAD-BJP workers stood and started showering flower petals on them as accused Gurdeep Singh Gosha and Meetpal Singh Dugri came out of the jail premises. They were later also presented a siropa before they entered a pick-up jeep. A procession followed their vehicle, which involved hundreds of vehicles in a cavalcade. Gosha said he had no regrets for his actions. “Congress leaders have cleaned black paint from the statue of Rajiv Gandhi but how will they clean his black acts due to which thousands of Sikhs were massacred in 1984? How will they remove black paint of killings associated with Gandhi's name. It is shocking that even after conviction of Sajjan Kumar, Congress president Rahul Gandhi is not accepting that Congress leadership was indeed involved in this genocide.”


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HERITAGE HISTORY

AsianVoiceNewsweekly

25

12 - 18 January 2019

The bond between Sultans and Rajas • Great empires in India often fell because of internal contradictions • Qutb Shahi Sultan changed his name from “Ibrahim” to “Abhirama” could only lead them towards the he Indian history is not just restricted to a frequently described frontier of the southern emperor, clash between Hindu and Muslim rulers but has important aspect just as the latter’s ancestral conflict of a Ganga Jamuni Tehzeeb, the culture of the central plains of with Orissa’s monarchs would Northern India, especially the doab region of Ganges ( Ganga) and have mobilized Vijayanagar’s Yamuna rivers, which is regarded as a fusion of Hindu and Muslim armies towards the north.” elements. The history is dominated by the clash between Mughals and “Persian sartorial tastes and Marathas where as the bond between the Hindu Kings and Muslim much else from the Islamicate Sultans in Deccan has been mostly neglected. The Deccan attracted world touched life in people from Iran, Iraq, Europe, China, Africa and Southeast Asia. It was Vijayanagar—its temple the hub of the trading world with some of the finest port cities. The sculptures, architecture, and even immigrants from Persia and Africa and mercenaries from within the the famous bronze of Krishnadeva region rose to the ranks of nobles, becoming contenders to the throne and Raya and his wives in the Tirupati successfully establishing great kingdoms. temple, stand testament to this. A queen stabbed to death and Manu S. Pillai, a 29 year old Vijayanagar princess was given Ibrahim II of Bijapur, a Muslim historian, through his “Rebel once in marriage to a sultan, while prince who venerated Hindu gods, Sultans” facilitates our journey another emperor is believed to to Malik Ambar, the Ethiopian from Allauddin Khilji to Shivaji. In have toyed with the idea of seeking warlord, and Krishnadeva Raya on 1707, when Emperor Aurangzeb a bride from Catholic Portugal.” Vijayanagar’s Diamond Throne, went to his grave, the Mughal Certainly, right up to and Rebel Sultans reminds us of a empire began to crack into a including Shivaji, the cultural hundred fractured pieces. It was identity of exalted power the lure of the Deccan that throughout the Deccan is drained this conqueror’s endlessly fluid. Perfectly energies, putting him on a course illustrative is Alauddin Shah, the of collision with his most very founder of the Bahmani threatening adversaries. Sultanate, said even then to be “The Deccan was a land that “half a Mussulman and half a inspired wonder. Its treasures Hindu.” As Pillai writes, he were legendary, and its kings “became one of the earliest magnificent. It was a horizon of Muslim kings in India to declare rousing adventure, attracting that ‘no  jiziah  should be levied talent from beyond oceans. A from non-Muslims in lieu of traveler here might encounter military service’, a policy most bands of European snipers famously associated with the available for military hire or Mughal emperor Akbar who forbidding fortresses where ruled many generations later…A African nobles scaled the heights number of prominent local of power. Diamonds and pearls Hindu princes were invited to lay heaped in the Deccan’s the Bahmani court which was bazaars, while in its courts established at Gulbarga. In thrived Persians and Marathas, Statue of Shri Krishna Deva Raya with his queens Chinamma 1352, endearingly, the Sultan Devi and Tirumala Devi at Tirumala Balaji Temple Portuguese and Georgians, even opened his eyes to the different age and a different time presiding over a world of drama glories of Buddhist and Jain in the Deccan–one that ended an and betrayal.  A thousand fortunes traditions by visiting the Ellora empire and rewrote India’s destiny. were made in the Deccan, drawing caves, taking with him a scholar to Pillai analyses the chronology the formidable envy of generations interpret all that he saw there in its of the historical events in one of of Mughal emperors.” ancient frescoes and carvings.” his articles in January 2019: “To In Rebel Sultans, Manu S Pillai think of India divided between two narrates the story of the Deccan Next Column: dominant powers allows for a from the close of the thirteenth Nehru rightly favoured grand (even if entirely imaginary) century to the dawn of the Economic criteria picture: the Mughals with their eighteenth. Packed with riveting influence stretched across the tales and compelling characters, he Pillai states quite bluntly about Gangetic belt, and from takes us from the age of Alauddin the internal contradictions of the Afghanistan to Bengal, while all Khilji to the ascent of Shivaji. We empires when there is a fashion to that lay south of the Narmada witness the dramatic rise and fall blame external enemies all the became the dominion of the heirs of the Vijayanagar empire, even as time: “If Vijayanagar had survived, of Krishnadeva Raya. At some we negotiate intrigues at the India might have entered the point the two would certainly have courts of the Bahmani kings and modern age looking a great deal clashed—Mughal ambitions and the Rebel Sultans who overthrew different. Its experience with the the ballooning of their empire them. From Chand Bibi, a valorous European trading companies that

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sought to colonize this land could have taken a different shape—a powerful emperor in the peninsula might have been able to contain Portuguese, Dutch, and English influence. Many later heroes—from Shivaji down to Tipu—might not have emerged at all, had Vijayanagar’s imperial order held. But fantasy is perhaps best tempered with the evidence left by reality: great empires often fell not because of external enemies but due to internal contradictions; because of the misguided policies of proud rulers than the arms of a terrible invader. So, for all we know, if Vijayanagar had survived after Talikota, it may yet The cover page of Rebel Sultans by Manu S.Pillai have collapsed a few Catholic priests to his court and generations later, limited minds his Persian text, Nujum aland incapable men bringing about Ulum  (Stars of what the Deccan’s Sciences), included sultans achieved in paintings of Hindu 1565 by force of arms.” deities and a The ‘Hindu’ rulers translation of a of Vijayanagar Sanskrit text on patronised Sanskritic Varshik astrology. His culture but also successor, the famous adopted the sartorial Ibrahim Adil Shah II, fashions from West styled himself as the Asia. They constructed son of Lord Ganapati temples, whose pillars and Goddess had engravings of Saraswati and Hindu Turkish and Arabic Gods like Shiva and figures and adopted Parvati and Hindu titles like  Hinduraya “Ganesh Bakta” Ibrahim Adil Shah II epics influenced his Suratrana  meaning w r i t i n g s . ‘Sultan amongst the Hindu kings’ Commissioning a painting of and  Yavana Rajya Sthapana Saraswati in which the goddess Acharya, ‘the monarch who was depicted as a Deccani established the kingdom of the princess, art under Ibrahim also Turks’. Influenced by the Telugu evinced the influence of European world of the Vijayanagar kingdom, styles. This makes us to believe we have the ‘Muslim’ Qutb Shahi that the Ganga Jamuni sultan changing his name from Tehzeeb extends even to Ibrahim to Abhirama. The Adil the Deccan! Shahis of Bijapur were perhaps one of the most eclectic rulers whose Dr. Hari Desai attitudes defied all religious (The writer is a Socio-political Historian. stereotypes. Ali Adil Shah invited E-mail: haridesai@gmail.com)

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26 INDIA

AsianVoiceNews

AsianVoiceNewsweekly

www.asian-voice.com

12 - 18 January 2019

Modi govt approves 10% quota for economically poor In a historical decision, the Union Cabinet approved 10 per cent reservation in jobs and educational institutions for the economically backward section in the general category. Sources said the reservation will be over and above the existing 50 per cent quota, adding that the government is likely to bring a constitutional amendment bill in Parliament. A source said, “The reservation will be given to those economically backward poor people who are not availing the benefit of reservation as of now.” The reservation is for people who earn less than Rs 8,00,000 per year. In order to bring about a law for this, Articles 15 and 16 of the constitution will have to be amended. Union Minister of State for Social Justice and Empowerment Ramdas Athawale called the decision a “good start”. He said, “The issue of reservation caused a lot of conflict between Dalits and Savarnas. My demand has always been for 25 per cent reservation for the upper caste poor, 10 per cent is a good start.” However, former union minister Yashwant Sinha, who quit the BJP in April last year, said the move is another “jumla”. Who the bill benefits Families with annual income below Rs 8,00,000, across all religions, and those with farm land below five acre, house less than 1,000 square feet, or less than 100 yard plot in notified municipal area, plot below 200 yard in non-notified municipal area. Apart from claims of affirmative action for economically weaker sections, the move appears to be an attempt by the BJP to open fresh opportunities given the reenergised Opposition. A senior government functionary said,

Narendra Modi

“everyone was talking about the narrative. Let us see what happens now,” suggesting that the ruling party hopes to rise above the Opposition-dictated narrative ahead of the polls. Congress spokesperson Abhishek Manu Singhvi tweeted that the government announced the decision only three months before the model code of conduct will be put in place for the general elections. A Union minister said the bill once passed will amend the Constitution accordingly to give reservation to the poor among the general castes and classes. “The bill will provide a shelter for upper castes under the rubric of fundamental rights. The court's rule of the maximum 50 per cent quota cannot fetter Parliament's right to amend the Constitution,” they said. The constitutional

Court declares Vijay Mallya fugitive economic offender Absconding chairman of the defunct Kingfisher Airlines, Vijay Mallya, earned the dubious distinction of becoming the first person to be declared a “fugitive economic offender” by a special Mumbai court under the provisions of a tough new law enacted last year. The plea was moved by the Enforcement Directorate that has already attached his assets worth £900 million, roughly the amount he owes a consortium of banks led by the State Bank of India. Mallya is currently in the UK, battling extradition proceedings, after a Westminster court ruled in favour of his return to India. The branding of the controversial liquor baron as a fugitive, under the Fugitive Economic Offenders Act, would help the anti-money laundering agency confiscate and sell his assets both in India and abroad in case the businessman continues to evade returning to India and joining the investigation here. The court rejected Mallya’s contention that the Act could not be applied retrospectively. He has already lost a case in London where a court has ordered his extradition to India. The Act was framed by the Modi government in the wake of pressure to act against fugitives such as Mallya, former IPL czar Lalit Modi and, more recently Nirav Modi and Mehul Choksi. ED identifies Mallya’s assets The ED identified Mallya’s assets worth over £1.25 billion, including £900 million

Vijay Mallya

attached earlier, which can be disposed of to settle his outstanding with the Indian banks where he defaulted on repayments. Mallya’s case is a boost for investigative agencies which have an accumulated a list of more than 30 economic fugitives who have fled after defaulting on huge loans from public sector banks. A similar petition is pending in a Mumbai special court against Nirav Modi and Choksi, the two main accused in the £1.36 billion Punjab National Bank letters of undertaking scam. The ED has prepared a list of at least 12 such economic offenders, including Mallya, Nirav Modi, Choksi, Lalit Modi, Jatin Mehta, Nitin Sandesara and Chetan Sandesara.

amendment bill would be required as the constitution does not provide for reservation on the ground of economic conditions. The Bill needs special majority of two-third of members present in each House, not less than half the strength in both. It has to be ratified by at least half of the state legislatures. Legal challenge, if any, to its Constitutional validity. Political leaders championing social justice, however, appeared divided over this decision ahead of the 2019 elections. Given how the BJP had subtly used Modi’s backward class credentials to woo a large section of nondominant backward class communities, the move has the potential to upset his image among backward communities. “The entire social justice politics has an undertone that reservation is an exclusive political right of the backward castes. Extending it to upper castes takes away that political bragging right, and creates confusion since it can be widened further to erode their exclusivity in future,” said an upper caste leader, well versed in the caste politics of the Hindi heartland. In fact, BJP governments in Haryana (Jats), Gujarat (Patidar) and Maharashtra (Marathas) have faced a backlash from dominant castes who have been demanding reservation for their communities since 2014. Breaching the 50 per cent reservation ceiling has the potential to open a Pandora’s box because it could harden the stance of dominant communities seeking backward quota benefits. Whether this move - of extending quota benefits to a larger amorphous category - endears them will be tested in the coming days in the run-up to the Lok Sabha elections.

SC brings back Alok Verma as CBI chief The Supreme Court on Tuesday reinstated Alok Verma as CBI Director over two months after the government stripped him of his powers and sent him on leave on October 23. A threejudge bench headed by Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi overturned the Chief Vigilance Commission order recommending Verma’s removal and returned him to the post. The court has, however, directed Verma not to take any policy decisions till the statutory committee meets within a week and decides further on the matter. The statutory committee comprises the Prime Minister, CJI and the Leader of the Opposition. Both Verma and his deputy, Rakesh Asthana, were divested of their powers following a bitter fallout. Joint Director M Nageswara Rao was appointed as the interim chief of the agency. The Supreme Court has also set aside the appointment of Rao. Verma challenged his removal in the apex court, saying the decision was against the rules that mandate that the CBI chief has two years in office. Verma’s two-year tenure as CBI Director ends on January 31. Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said the Centre would comply with the Supreme Court verdict. Adding that the action was taken on the recommendations of the CVC, Jaitley said, "The government wanted to protect CBI. The court has taken a "balanced view" in the case, he added. During the hearing, the government had justified its action by arguing that the two officers were fighting like "Kilkenny cats." But Senior Counsel Fali S Nariman, appearing for Verma, contended that the differences did not happen "overnight" and that the authorities could have approached a selection committee. Attorney General K K Venugopal opposed this argument and said that the action was "in effect only a

Alok Verma

suspension" and that the argument that it was a transfer was "highly artificial." Reserving its verdict in December, the bench reminded the government it had to be "fair." "It (Infighting) has been going on since July. It has been developing since three months... It's not something that has happened overnight to require immediate action," it told the Central Vigilance Commission, which supervises the CBI's functioning and on whose recommendation the Centre stripped Verma of his powers. Solicitor General Tushar Mehta who appeared for the CVC called it a "surprise situation" and said that the "two senior officers instead of investigating serious cases were investigating each other, were raiding each other...Unless CVC has the power to act in surprise situations, it will become a toothless body."

Obituary Prem Nath Gogia It is with deep regret that we announce the sad demise of Shri Prem Nath Gogia who passed away on December 28 in Lucknow. The Shanti Havan took place at Nottingham Hindu Temple, Carlton Road NG3 2FX on January 6.


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HEALTH & LIFESTYLE

AsianVoiceNewsweekly

27

12 - 18 January 2019

Study reveals compound in spirulina can relax arteries

in brief

The superfood has been described as 'most complete food source in the world'

Researchers have identified two biomarkers that could help in the diagnosis of a heart condition that raises the risk of stroke. Atrial fibrillation (AF) is the most common heart rhythm disturbance, affecting around 1.6m people in the UK. But it is often only detected after someone has had a stroke. The British Heart Foundation said the study could pave the way towards better detection of people with AF and targeted treatment. At the moment, an electrocardiogram (ECG) which measures the electrical activity of your heart, is usually used to screen patients for atrial fibrillation. This study, by researchers at the University of Birmingham, found that three clinical risk factors and two biomarkers had a strong connection with AF. Those most at risk of the condition were older, male and had a high BMI. Lead author Yanish Purmah said: "The biomarkers we have identified have the potential to be used in a blood test in community settings such as in GP practices to simplify patient selection for ECG screening." The research was carried out by scientists from the Institute of Cardiovascular Sciences and the Institute of Cancer and Genomic Sciences at the University of Birmingham's College of Medical and Dental Sciences and is published in the European Heart Journal.

Spirulina, a 'superfood' made from algae, could help to reduce blood pressure, according to a study. A specific protein in spirulina was found to relax arteries in the laboratory and in animals. Spirulina is widely used in supplements and smoothies for a host of conditions including weight loss, hay fever, PMS and diabetes. Celebrities such as Miranda Kerr have described it as 'the most complete food source in the world' because it contains protein, iron, potassium, magnesium, and many other minerals. But there is limited scientific evidence for the positive effects of the algae, which experts are still investigating. The latest research, however, shows the ingredient's potential for counteracting hypertension, known as high blood pressure. Spirulina, scientifically called arthrospira platensis, is technically a type of bacteria. Researchers at the Mediterranean Neurological Institute in Pozzilli, Italy, isolated certain molecules from the spirulina to test its health benefits.

They simulated the effects of digesting spirulina on isolated arteries and animals in the lab. Lead author Dr Albino Carrizzo said: 'We reproduced what happens in the human gut after ingesting the substance. This way we have been able to isolate the peptides that would be absorbed by our body.' The spirulina triggered relaxation of the artery, a process called vasodilatory action, which can help lower blood pressure by increasing the amount of blood pumped in one motion. This is an effect caused by nitric oxide, a chemical known for maintaining healthy blood pressure. One of the molecules in spirulina, called SP6, was believed to have been discovered for the first time in the study, the authors said in the journal Hypertension. SP6 lowered the blood pressure of animals with high blood pressure when it was given to them by researcher. When put into the body SP6 is thought to interact with a pathway in the peptide SP6 is thought to stimulate a process in the body which releases nitric oxide. More research is needed into the potential of spiruli-

na, but the findings are promising for the future of 'natural' treatments for high blood pressure, the researchers said. Professor Carmine Vecchione, Professor at the University of Salerno, said: 'We know that hypertensive patients often have a defect in the natural processes that, by the action of nitric oxide, regulate endothelium (the inner wall of blood vessels). The peptide we isolated in spirulina extract acts positively on this mechanism. SP6 could be a natural [way to] combat hypertension.' High blood pressure affects almost a third of

adults in the US and UK, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and Blood Pressure UK. Finding a cost-effective, safe, natural compound that helps reduce blood pressure could improve the lives of thousands, and help save lives of the roughly 75,000 who die from hypertension annually in the UK. The Duchess of Cambridge, Kate Middleton, has been said to use spirulina in her health regime whilst Oprah Winfrey was said to have used a supplement of spirulina to level out her blood sugar while losing weight.

'Miracle op' eye surgeon faces being struck off following investigation into implant treatment GMC has spent the past 18 months investigating Dr Quereshi's practice It was the news that raised hope for millions of Britons facing age-related blindness – June Brown, the actress who plays Dot Cotton in EastEnders, had been saved from blindness by what was described as a ‘miracle’ eye implant operation. Having struggled to even recognise the faces of her own children, she was once again able to read and praised the ‘astonishing’ results. But an investigation by a London newspaper revealed that scores of patients, some in their 70s and 80s, alleged they were left with little or no difference to their eyesight after paying up to £25,000 for the heavily advertised procedure at the London Eye Hospital in Harley Street. Now Bobby Qureshi, the surgeon who developed the procedure, faces being struck off by the General Medical Council following an 18-month investigation. The consultant ophthalmologist has been summoned to appear before a disciplinary

panel in Manchester facing allegations of dishonesty and misconduct. Publicly available documents reveal many of the allegations have been made against the clinical conduct of Mr Qureshi in relation to 24 patients treated at the Harley Street clinic. The surgeon will face further accusations over a claim published about his procedure for age-related macular degeneration (AMD) in paid-for national newspaper advertisements, which was ‘unsubstantiated and that he knew was unsubstantiated’, according to the documents. The allegations will be disclosed in full on the first day of the tribunal, which is set to begin on January 14. The hearing is expected to run until the end of March and the case has been described by a GMC official as ‘unusually long’, partly because of the high number of patients involved. The panel will decide whether Mr Qureshi is fit to contin-

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ue practising as a doctor in Britain. While the allegations could yet be dismissed, the panel could choose to give him a warning, suspend him from the register or even strike him off. An interim hearing the following month placed restrictions on Mr Qureshi’s practice while a probe was launched.

Dr Bobby Qureshi

NHS to focus on prevention 'could save 500,000 lives' NHS bosses in England say a new 10-year plan could save up to 500,000 lives by focusing on prevention and early detection. GPs, mental health and community care will get the biggest funding increases. But unions are concerned that staffing shortages could undermine the ambitions - one in 11 posts are currently vacant. The aim is to curb the reliance on hospitals, leading some senior doctors to warn they were facing a "near-on impossible task." Society of Acute Medicine president Dr Nick Scriven said he was "staggered" by the plans given the problems facing hospitals.

Many trusts are missing all three key waiting time targets for A&E, cancer care and routine operations, and are struggling to balance the books. The full details of the plan are to be unveiled later by NHS England chief executive Simon Stevens and Prime Minister Theresa May. But ahead of the publication, NHS England confirmed a third of the extra £20bn the NHS will get in 2023 will go on GPs, community care and mental health. Currently they account for less than a quarter of spending, while hospitals take up around half of the £114bn frontline budget.

BIOMARKERS IDENTIFIED TO HELP DIAGNOSE HEART CONDITION

WORRY LESS ABOUT CHILDREN'S SCREEN USE, PARENTS TOLD There is little evidence screen use for children is harmful in itself, guidance from leading paediatricians says. Parents should worry less as long as they have gone through a checklist on the effect of screen time on their child, it says. While the guidance avoids setting screen time limits, it recommends not using them in the hour before bedtime. Experts say it is important that the use of devices does not replace sleep, exercising and time with family. It was informed by a review of evidence published at the same time in the BMJ Open medical journal, and follows a debate around whether youngsters should have time on devices restricted. Most of the evidence in the review was based on television screen time, but also included other screen use, such as phones and computers. Meanwhile, a separate study has found that girls are twice as likely to show signs of depressive symptoms linked to social media use at age 14 compared with boys. The Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health (RCPCH), which oversees the training of specialists in child medicine, has produced the guidance for under-18s. It said there was no good evidence that time in front of a screen is "toxic" to health, as is sometimes claimed. The review of evidence found associations between higher screen use and obesity and depression. But the college looked at this and said it was not clear from the evidence if higher screen use was causing these problems or if people with these issues were more likely to spend more time on screens. The review was carried out by experts at University College London, including RCPCH president Prof Russell Viner.

CHILDREN 'EXCEED RECOMMENDED SUGAR LIMIT BY AGE 10' Children in the UK exceed the maximum recommended sugar intake for an 18-year-old by the time they are 10, according to experts. This is based on their total sugar consumption from the age of two, says Public Health England (PHE). Children consume much more than they should, around eight excess sugar cubes a day or 2,800 excess cubes per year. PHE said a pudding tax should be considered if companies fail to reduce the amount of sugar in their products. The organisation also wants families to cut back to help tackle obesity, tooth decay and other illnesses linked to excess sugar. Choosing lower-sugar foods and drinks can make a difference. The recommended daily maximum of sugar for children aged four to six is five cubes or 19g. For children aged seven to 10 this rises to six cubes (24g) and up to seven cubes (30g) for those aged 11 and over. However, UK children are consuming around 13 cubes or 52g of sugar a day, says PHE, based on results from the National Diet and Nutrition Survey. Half of the sugar in children's diets comes from sugary drinks, sweets, biscuits, cakes, puddings, sugary breakfast cereals and higher-sugar yoghurts and puddings.


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12 - 18 January 2019

Kat compares Bollywood to a dysfunctional family Over a decade since she set foot in the industry, actress Katrina Kaif has managed to create quite a rage with her soft sensual looks and her choice of roles. Despite maintaining a dignified silence over her personal life, she has managed to create several friends and foes in Bollywood. During a recent interview with a leading publication, the actress revealed that while some of her relationships with her contemporaries were "wonderful", others were not so good. However, even with all the differences, she still considers them to be their family members. “We are all part of this industry,

and we have all been here together for a good few years. It's almost like a dysfunctional family. You may not like some of your family members in some cases, but they are still your family members. For me, at least, it has become like that. We may not have had the best relationship, but we still had a relationship for so many years,” the actor said. She added, “The other day, I was feeling that when we go into the details of the equation we share with our colleagues in the industry, it is wonderful, or fun or that of angst or not-so-good.” When asked what has changed for her as an actor in the 15 years since she made her debut, she said, “I think

that nervous feeling is not there anymore. I'm calmer and centered, but as someone said to me, I'm very curious to know the audiences' response. It's an unusual feeling. I'm genuinely not uncomfortable, jittery or anything. I wait for the first show when everyone sees the film, I want to talk to someone who has seen it.” On whether she gets bothered about her personal life being discussed more than it should be, Kat said, “It has never crossed my mind. I still am extremely fortunate to be working with the best directors and the best co-stars, the best talent of the industry, and that’s the most important thing for me.”

It's seamless and beautiful: Alia on relationship with Ranbir Kapoor Alia Bhatt had an eventful 2018, with her blockbuster film 'Raazi', and a whirlwind romance with Ranbir Kapoor. While the actor was quick to acknowledge the affair, Alia took her own sweet time until recently when she confirmed their relationship and called it beautiful. It is no surprise as the actress has always refrained from talking about her personal life. However, constant speculations and rumours about her relationship status barely touch her. When asked why she chooses to stay silent, Alia said, “I don't like talking about it is because somehow, it diverts all the attention.” She admitted being in a relationship with RK, saying it is an important part of her life. However, she stressed she doesn't want to celebrate it at the moment. Instead, she wants to keep it safe and warm to grow. “You can say that it's like a cat in my life that I want to protect.” Considering the long list of actresses Ranbir has dated in the past, Alia seems to be his family's favourite. The actress is now pictured with the Bollywood's First Family, even accompanying the 'Ae Dil Hai Mushkil' actor to New York to ring in the New year. The couple have seemingly taken their relationship to the next level, getting a green signal from Ranbir's parents and sister. Ranbir admitted to be in love with Alia during an interview a couple of months back. He said that although the relationship needed time, the feeling of love was exciting. “When I see her work, when I see her act, even in life, what she gives is something that I'm aspiring to for myself,” he said about her performances. On the work front, the couple will star together in Ayan Mukerji's 'Brahmastra'. It is while shooting for this movie that the two fell in love, and spent time together.

Why Ranveer Singh stays away from his own hype It would be an understatement to say that 'Simmba' actor Ranveer Singh had a heck of year in 2018. Both personally and professionally, the actor saw growth. His marriage with fellow actor Deepika Padukone and back-to-back hits in 'Padmaavat' and 'Simmba' managed to score a permanent slot for him in the headlines throughout last year. The actor said he is aware how it can affect a person's outlook. “When this happens around you, there are two possibilitiesyou either believe it or you are simply aware of it. While I am aware of it, I don't start believing in my own hype. My experiences have shaped me to be the kind person I am,” he said. Singh said he keeps himself grounded by constantly reminding himself of his struggle period. “I had a proper struggle period of three and half years, so today when opportunities come my way, I value them tremendously. I

never lose sight because I have a vivid memory of the times when I had none of this.” “I try and adopt the middle path- don't get too carried away with the success and don't get bogged down by failures. I feel happy when I succeed, you must do that. But then quickly immerse yourself in the current moment again,” he added. The 'Takht' actor said the child hin him still considers his journey to success in Bollywood as a “fairy tale”. “This one kid, out of nowhere, had a dream and he's now living it. Everyday my heart is filled with gratitude. I pray before I go to work and always say thank you because I value it. It is surreal what is happening with me, or around me. This love keeps me grounded and humbled. When fans ask me to get clicked with them, what I am actually thinking is What? Me? Do they really want to be clicked with me!”

Hrithik Roshan tops list of World's Most Handsome Actors in 2018 Bollywood actor Hrithik Roshan has secured the top position in a list for World's Most Handsome Actors. He left behind gorgeous hunks like Henry Cavill, Chris Evans, Tom Hiddleston, David Boreanaz and more. Roshan has been the heartthrob of the industry and leaves fans drooling over his dance skills. After starting his career as a model, he gained prominence with his debut film 'Kaho Na Pyaar Hai'. He then went on to deliver back-to-back hits with 'Mission Kashmir', 'Kabhi Khushi Kabhi Gham', 'Main Prem Ki Diwani Hoon', 'Koi... Mil Gaya', 'Krrish', 'Dhoom 2', and m a n y more.

On the work front, Hrithik is currently working on Super 30, which is scheduled to hit the silver screens on January 25, 2019. Directed by Vikas Bahl, the film also features Mrunal Thakur, Virendra Saxena and Pankaj Tripathi. The actor was last seen opposite Yami Gautam in 'Kaabil' where he was playing the role of a visually impaired voice artist. Although, the film did not appeal to the audience and tanked at the box office, Roshan was highly praised for his performance.


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12 - 18 January 2019

Dubbing union asks Chinmaya Sripada to pay Rs 1,50,000, apologise

Allu Arjun announces next Last seen in 'Naa Peru Surya, Naa Illu India', Allu Arjun has finally announced his next project with director-writer Trivikram Srinivas. The due have previously worked together in films like Julayi and S/O Sathyamurthy, both of which performed really well. The upcoming will be produced under Geetha Arts and Haarika & Haasine Creations by Allu Aravind and S Radha Krishna. Preproduction work on the project is already complete and the makers will announce details about the cast and crew of the project soon. The movie is expected to roll in January 2019. There were also reports that the project with Trivikram would be a remake of hit Bollywood movie 'Sonu Ke Titu Ki Sweety' starring Kartik Aaryan and Nushrat Bharucha. Following the failure of 'Naa Peru Surya...', Arjun had told his fans to patiently wait to hear about his next project. It was speculated that the actor would next star in a young director's project. Allu Arjun had apparently spent time on hearing scripts of Sankalp Reddy, who gave Tollywood films such as 'Ghazi Attack' and 'Antariksham', and 'Parasuram' whose Geetha Govindam starring Vijay Deverakonda had worked wonders at the box office.

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RASOI SHOW THE GREAT INDIAN GLOBAL KITCHEN 2 THE GREAT INDIAN GLOBAL KITCHEN RADHA PREM KI DEEWANI UTTARAN DIL KI PUKAR INTERNETWALA LOVE ISHQ MEIN MARJAWAN JAHAANARA BALIKA VADHU - LAMHE PYAAR KE RED ALERT TANTRA JAHAANARA

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ISHQ MEIN MARJAWAN - WEEKEND KA MAHA EPISODE RADHA PREM KI DEEWANI UTTARAN DIL KI PUKAR THE GREAT INDIAN GLOBAL KITCHEN 2 DANCE DEEWANE ZINDAGI KI HAQEEQAT SE AAMNA SAAMNA TANTRA

Tamil singer Chinmayi Sripada has been asked by the dubbing union to pay Rs 1.5 Lakh as membership fee and write an apology if she wants her membership back. The union took away her membership last month for a non-payment of subscription fees. However, she said she did not receive any notification about it. In a tweet, Chinmaya wrote, “Apparently I have to pay Rs 1.5 Lakhs, send an apology letter and THEN the dubbing Union will reinstate me and let me work in Tamilnadu in Tamil films. The Union has made lakhs from my Income since 2006. And I have to pay 1.5 lakhs again for my right to work.” Head of the union is actor-politician Radha Ravi, a name that made headlines

Nivin Pauly's 'Mikhael' to release on January 18 Ace Malayalam actor Nivin Pauly's upcoming movie 'Mikhael' is all set to release on January 18. This would be the actor's first release of the year and considering his fantastic performance in 'Kayamkulam Kochunni', expectations are running high. Directed and written by Haneef Adeni, the movie also stars Unni Mukundan and Majima Mohan in pivotal roles. Makers of the film had recently also revealed character posters of Unni, Siddique, Sudev Nair, and KPAC Lalithaa. Sudev will play the character Francis Davi, while Lalithaa will play the role of Mariam. Unni, meanwhile, is the antagonist in the film. Nivin also has other projects in the pipeline, such as 'Moothon', in which he will play the role of Abkar. The bilingual movie will release in Malayalam and Hindi, and is directed by Geetu Mohandas. Pauly will also be seen sharing screen space with Nayanthara in 'Love, Action, Drama'.

Wednesday January 16, 2019 01:01 Film : Jeet - Born To Win 06:00 Film : Krishna Arjun 08:33 Film : Ek Aur Lofer 11:35 Film : Shikaar 14:18 Film : Nazar Ke Samne * Schedule is subject to change 17:00 Film : 16 December Sunday January 13, 2019 * Schedule is subject to change 20:14 Film : 1920 London 01:36 Film : Inteha SATURDAY 12th January 2019 22:30 Film : Zeher 06:00 Film : Utthaan Thursday January 17, 2019 08:40 Film : Woh Lamhe TIME TV PROGRAM NAMES 01:05 Film : Aar Ya Paar 11:15 Film : Aakrosh 17:00 Keys to Kismat 06:00 Film : Login 14:02 Film : Yes Boss 17:30 Crime Patrol 08:02 Film : Insaniyat ki Jung 18:30 The Kapil Sharma Show 17:26 Film : Deewane Huye Pagal 10:47 Film : China Gate 20:00 Super Dancer Chapter 3 20:41 Film : Tanu Weds Manu 14:20 Film : Yeh Hai Judgement Hanged Till Death 21:30 The Kapil Sharma Show 23:00 Film : Alone 17:12 Film : Tutak Tutak Tutiya 23:00 Crime Patrol Monday January 14, 2019 20:00 Film : Wah Taj 01:30 Film : Machine SUNDAY 13th January 2019 22:20 Film : 1920 London 06:00 Film : Prithipal Singh... A Story Friday January 18, 2019 TIME TV PROGRAM NAMES 08:00 Film : Main Joshilaa 00:40 Film : I Am 24 10:49 Film : Hafta Vasuli 16:30 Meet the Drapers 06:00 Film : Cheetah The Leopard 13:50 Film : Super Shastri 17:30 Crime Patrol 08:53 Film : The Perfect Girl 18:30 The Kapil Sharma Show 16:43 Film : Singh is Bling 11:00 Film : Dastak 20:00 Super Dancer Chapter 3 19:31 Film : Star Stop 14:00 Film : Naseeb 21:30 The Kapil Sharma Show 20:02 Film : Ek Se Bure Do 17:51 Film : Ghatak 23:00 Crime Patrol 22:55 Film : Tumsa Nahin Dekha 21:02 Film : Zanjeer MONDAY 14th Januay - Friday 18th January Tuesday January 15, 2019 23:50 Film : Woh Lamhe Saturday January 19, 2019 01:32 Film : Fareb TIME TV PROGRAM NAMES 02:10 Film : Fox 06:00 Film : The Silent Heroes 18:30 Vighnaharta Ganesh 06:00 Film : Prithipal Singh... A Story 08:20 Film : Main Hoon Sherdil 19:00 Mere Sai 08:00 Film : Naseeb 11:15 Film : Mrityudand 19:30 Yeh Un Dinon Ki Baat Hai 11:45 Film : Bombay 14:30 Film : Big B Hai Badshah 20:00 Chandragupta Maurya 14:30 Film : Hero 17:12 Film : Tanu Weds Manu 20:30 Main Maayke Chali Jaaungi 18:00 Film : Wah Taj 19:34 Film : Star Stop 21:00 Patiala Babes 20:18 Film : Welcome 20:12 Film : Tutak Tutak Tutiya 21:30 Ladies Special 23:35 Film : Gunaah 22:50 Film : Showbiz 22:00 Crime Patrol SUNDAY 20th January 2019 SATURDAY 19th January 2019

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when the MeToo movement gathered heat. Chinmaya added, “And I wonder why exactly I m being forced to * apologise * to the Dubbing Union and to Mr Radha Ravi? The Dubbing Union By Law says 2,500/- is the fee to become a new member. What is this random 1.5 Lakh fee + apology?” However, joint secretary of South Indian Cine Television Artistes and Dubbing Artistes Union, Rajendran called it an administrative decision that had nothing to do with MeToo. He said, “She hasn’t paid her subscription fee for the last two years. There are lifetime members, and others have a yearly subscription, and that’s a very meager amount. When dubbing artistes who do not even have a proper income pay the fee every year without defaulting, why can’t Chinmayi, who earns well, pay it? She hasn’t cared at all.”

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30 UK

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AsianVoiceNewsweekly

12 - 18 January 2019

Ghar Sabha is proof that all problems can be solved: Pujya Mahant Swami

Head of Bochasanwasi Shree Akshar Purushottam Swaminarayan Sanstha (BAPS) Pujya Mahant Swami is currently in Mumbai for his vicharan. January 2 was Akshar Purushottam Day. On that day, a question answer session was hosted with scholar on Swaminarayan languages Bhadresh Swami. He informed that it was with the blessings of Guruhari Pujya Pramukh Swami and Pujya Mahant Swami that he could complete his commentary. Gharsabha Din was celebrated on January 3. Families get together and conduct a sabha on this day. In his aashirvachan, Mahant Swamiji said, “Ghar Sabha strengthens the belief that all problems can be solved.” Brahma Killol Din was celebrated on January 4. Children, youth and elders played musical chairs and other games. Pujya Mahant Swami during his Mumbai vicharan, met several celebrities and blessed them. On January 4, Chinese Consulate General Tang Guocai had called upon Mahant Swamiji. Goucai invited Mahant Swamiji to China.

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Sneh Joshi

The new year heralds a new beginning for a historic site in Hertfordshire, as the former Falconer Hall in Bushey reopens as the Shrimad Rajchandra Mission Dharampur (SRMD) London Spiritual Centre. The refurbished centre opens its doors to an array of spiritual and community service activities, establishing ancient Indian traditions in this quiet Hertfordshire town. From spiritual discourses, yoga, meditation, and inter-faith sessions, the centre will also serve as a place of worship, spiritual practice, and charitable activities for its members, breathing new life into the historic site. To mark the opening of the centre, the first day of 2019 was greeted with a spectacular celebration in the form of a traditional Indian procession. Pujya Gurudevshri Rakeshbhai; spiritual visionary and guiding light of SRMD, arrived on a majestic 16ft tall mechanical elephant, heralding the start of the celebrations. In her opening speech The Worshipful Mayor of Herstmere, Cllr Brenda Batten welcomed SRMD UK to Bushey, remarking on the contribution of the Jain community to the British way of life. This sentiment was echoed by Lord Dolar Popat who was delighted to join the celebrations despite having just arrived from India. Lord Jitesh Gadhia, and Sri Ramana Devi of Shiva Trust also graced the occasion. Lord Popat also referred to the universal values of non-violence, peace and tolerance that underpin the Jain religion emphasising their importance in today’s world. These values also greatly influenced India’s iconic leader, Mahatma Gandhi through his spiritual

Special guests present at the procession were The Worshipful Mayor of Hertsmere, Cllr Brenda Batten, Lord Dolar Popat, Pujya Gurudevshri Rakeshbhai and Lord Jitesh Gadhia

mentor Shrimad Rajchandra. This great Jain saint and philosopher is the inspiration and guiding light of SRMD and his life and luminary works continue to provide spiritual growth to thousands of seekers around the world. The Procession commenced with a ceremonial flag-off, as classic British carriages and cars carrying deities, devotees and Pujya Gurudevshri Rakeshbhai flowed out of Bushey Academy School, followed by over 1,800 participants. Celebrants danced in joyous rapture to the sound of traditional drums and devotional chants. Local residents and spectators could not help but be intoxicated by the joyous energy that engulfed the once-quiet streets of Bushey, even offering rose petals to deities in the passing carriages. They were all joining in the celebrations, dancing and chanting with attendees from as far afield as Australia, Kenya, Dubai, India and Ireland. Live TV coverage of the event allowed viewers from remote villages in India to those in Hawaii to be a part of the joyous event. The procession culminated in a powerful religious ceremony that stirred the

heart and soul of each person present as the SRMD London Spiritual Centre was sanctified as a Jain place of worship. This grand procession was the pinnacle of a fourday event in London which included a special residential retreat where participants from all over the world enjoyed five illuminating discourses by Pujya Gurudevshri, bringing in the new year with the sounds of ancient Japanese drumming, mystical Sufi poetry readings and cultural performances by participants. Over the last decade, SRMD UK has demonstrated a steadfast commitment to serve and bring joy to all living beings through the global ten-fold programme, Shrimad Rajchandra Love and Care (SRLC). SRLC has led and executed diverse local community projects including tree plantation drives, organ and blood donation drives, blanket distribution to the homeless, food and clothing donations, elderly care and prisoner welfare, and emergency relief aid. Fund raising activities have raised thousands of pounds for many worthy causes, including Sense International and St Francis Peace Hospice in Hemel

The UK’s leading Vedic writer and TV personality

ARIES Mar 21 - Apr 20 Relationships look great as Mars

helps to enhance your personal magnetism and puts you in a gregarious mood. There are subtle transformations taking shape in you life and a feeling of helpful influences in the background. There is much to suggest that you are in tune with your inner self. The fiery planet Mars is the

TAURUS Apr 21 - May 21 moving force in regard to

amorous experience, giving more than just a hint that links between lovers will be rather intense and passionate. Your attitude to material interests is likely to undergo some deep change. On a material level the trend greatly favours anything geared towards financial stability. It would be unwise to take any

GEMINI May 22 - June 22 risks, particularly in regard to

joint interests and investments. So be extra careful if you need to deal with complex legal matters and necessary red tape. If love has left you feeling rather dejected or cynical, it looks as though soon events will pull you out of this mood of despondency.

You have the dynamic planet Mars in your solar 10th house. This planet indicates a desire to push forward, to assert yourself mentally and physically. This also means that you want to improve your work prospects. Of course, there are still challenging issues on both a personal and practical level - tread carefully

CANCER Jun 22 - Jul 22

1,800-strong procession revels on the streets of London on New Year's Day

It is essential that you adopt a very open attitude now for this is a time of lucky opportunity and a chance to greatly enrich your life. New windows on the world are about to open and this is bound to have a maturing effect on you from now into the future. There is a rather secretive aura surrounding new romance, which could turn into something very special.

LEO Jul 23 - Aug 23

VIRGO Aug 24 - Sep 23

Four planets illuminate your fifth house. After a period of “nesting”, you are coming out of your shell, ready to perform and to express yourself creatively. You are feeling inspired creatively and romantically and you express your loving feelings quite openly now. At this time, you instinctively know how to place yourself in the best light in order to make a good impression on others.

LIBRA Sep 24 - Oct 23

The outlook remains optimistic as developments bring you a sense of real achievement. Relationships look great as Venus and Mars help to enhance your personal magnetism and put you in a gregarious mood. Venus, the planet of love and romance throws a pleasing light on love and creativity, make the most of this phase.

Your communications are allabuzz with planetary energies firing you up. Give yourself plenty of physical outlets to drain off some of the excess mental stimulation. Increased energy and a renewed feeling of confidence is with you now, so take advantage. There's nothing wrong with achieving your personal goals, it's time to carve your own path in life.

SCORPIO Oct 24- Nov 22

Hempstead. This year to highlight SRMD UK’s commitment to the pledge of reducing plastic use as an environmental initiative of the SRMD Love and Care programme, all cups, plates, tissues and cutlery used in the serving of meals at the London Spiritual Centre from 1st January 2019 will be made from environmentally friendly materials. The London Spiritual Centre will facilitate daily practice of prayer and devotional hymns, spiritual discourses, group meetings for members of varied age groups, value-based education for children and young adults, meditation retreats and self-development workshops, community service projects under SRLC, celebrating Jain festivals and other auspicious occasions, hosting multi-faith events, open days to introduce the principles of Jainism, and classes on yoga, wellness, and healthy cooking amongst others. The London Spiritual Centre will stand testament to India’s spiritual wealth and share its benefit with all members of the community in London, providing a beacon of love and peace for all who enter this reinvigorated community space.

020 8518 5500

SAGITTARIUS Nov 23 - Dec 21

With Mars being the prime mover in the romantic sphere, it is likely that new developments will be swift and passionate. Your experience in love is likely to be dramatic but also deeply satisfying emotionally. Whether you are seeking relaxation or want something more challenging, all tastes will be catered for this week.

CAPRICORN Dec 22 - Jan 20

Four planets embrace your sign and this affects your personal identity, appearance, outward behaviour, and selfexpression. Personal freedom is especially important to you right now. Improved productivity marks the beginning of the week, but your efforts may slacken later. Take care that introspection doesn't cause you to withdraw from others.

AQUARIUS Jan 21 - Feb 19

Four planets travel through your twelfth house now, marking a time of retreat and regeneration. This also heralds a time for research and unfinished behind-the-scene activities. Matters which have dragged on for a while should now be re-assessed and put to rest. There is likely to be a powerful incentive to tie up loose ends.

PISCES Feb 20 - Mar 20 Four planets put a spotlight on your solar eleventh house. As Mercury is one of them, you will benefit from networking in this period and you might find some great ideas through others now. Working in a team will also benefit you. You are more attracted to that which is progressive or unconventional during this cycle.


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SPORT

AsianVoiceNewsweekly

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12 - 18 January 2019

in brief 'HONEST' RAHUL IMPRESSES UMPIRE Having failed to impress anyone with the willow in the Test series in Australia, India opener KL Rahul amazed onfield umpire Ian Gould with his sincerity on the field during the KL Rahul third day's play of the fourth Test in Sydney on Saturday. While fielding at mid-on, Rahul made a remarkable effort to grab a lowly catch off the bat of Marcus Harris. From the naked eye, it appeared as if he has taken a stellar catch with a dive. But Rahul immediately signalled that the ball had bounced before he completed the catch. In the backdrop of Indian players celebrating the dismissal, Rahul's honest approach moved on-field umpire Ian Gould. In the video shared by cricket.com.au, Gould can be seen in awe of the Rahul's honesty on the field. He also encouraged the 26-year-old cricketer for his noble action with a thumbs-up gesture. After getting a lifeline, Harris went on to score 79 off 120 balls.

SIDDLE BACK IN OZ ONEDAY SQUAD Australian selectors has named veteran pacer Peter Siddle in the 14-man squad for the upcoming three-match ODI series against India. They also recalled offspinner Nathan Lyon and Test batsman Usman Khawaja for the limited-overs series. However, they left out batsmen Travis Head, Chris Lynn, D’Arcy Short and Ben McDermott and all-rounder Ashton Agar, much to the dismay of former players who have flayed the selectors for being whimsical. Australia squad: Aaron Finch (capt.), Jason Behrendorff, Alex Carey (wk), Peter Handscomb, Usman Khawaja, Nathan Lyon, Mitch Marsh, Shaun Marsh, Glenn Maxwell, Jhye Richardson, Peter Siddle, Billy Stanlake, Marcus Stoinis, Adam Zampa

ACHREKAR, SACHIN'S COACH, IS NO MORE Sachin Tendulkar’s coach Ramakant Achrekar, who took him along on his scooter from one ground to the other in the 1980s so that the boy could get to bat in as many matches as possible in a day, passed away at his Shivaji Park home in Mumbai last week. In a telling tribute, his most illustrious disciple said in a statement, “Achrekar sir taught us the virtues of playing straight and living straight.” The coach, 87, had been battling age-related ailments for a long time, and his condition had worsened over the last three days. A selfless individual and an unparalleled servant of the game, Achrekar shaped many careers, without expecting anything in return from his students. Apart from Tendulkar, Vinod Kambli, Ajit Agarkar, Balwinder Singh Sandhu, Pravin Amre, Chandrakant Pandit, Lalchand Rajput, Paras Mhambrey, Sameer Dighe and Ramesh Powar went on to play Test cricket for India after learning the ropes from the portly coach at his Shivaji Park nets.

DELHI GIRL WINS BRITISH OPEN TITLE Delhi girl Anahat Singh scripted a stunning victory to win British Junior Squash Open (girls’ singles under-11) in Birmingham. She defeated top seed Whitney Wilson from Malaysia 13-11, 11-9, 7-11, 11-9 in the final and became the 6th Indian to win the coveted title. In the semifinal, she edged past 2nd seed Sohayla Hazem Farouk from Egypt 11-8, 9-11, 11-7, 11-9. It was a stand out day for India as in under-13 category, Asian Junior champion Yuvraj Wadhwani won a bronze.

Ace shooter's query on cash reward irks Haryana minister Twitter witnessed an unseemly war of words between Haryana Sports Minister Anil Vij and ace shooter Manu Bhaker over a promised cash reward. The controversy was sparked off by a tweet from the 16-year-old sportsperson, who wondered if Vij actually intended to honour his promise of giving her a cash reward of£2,00,000 for winning the Youth Olympic Games-2018. Her post contained screenshots from the politician's Twitter handle and a simple query: "Sir, Please confirm if it is correct... Or just Jumla (false promise)..."

Anil Vij

The screenshots showed Vij announcing that Haryana government will grant the sportsperson a cash prize of £2,00,000, as opposed to the Rs 1,00,000 monetary awards given by previous governments. Bhaker's question gave rise to an uproar on social media, forcing the politician to come forth again with a clarification that the government does intend to award her. And then came the rebukes. "Manu Bhaker should have first confirmed it from the sports department before posting (such questions) on the public domain. It is disgusting to denounce a state government that's giving the highest awards in the country. Bhaker will get the £2,00,000 as tweeted by me, and as per the notification at the time," Vij tweeted. Vij continued in another tweet, "There should be some sense of discipline in players. Bhaker should feel sorry for creating this controversy. She has a long way to go. She should focus on her game only." Bhaker has made her mark in shooting ranges across the world, winning multiple golds in the

Manu Bhaker

ISSF World Cup and Commonwealth Games, besides the top prize at the Youth Olympics last October. Early last year, sportspersons had locked horns with the Haryana government over a controversial order requiring them to deposit one-third of their income from professional sports or commercial endorsements with the state sports council. Chief minister Manohar Lal Khattar later suspended the order.

Chhetri overtakes Messi as India thrash Thailand 4-1 to create history

Appointment of women's coach still in limbo

Indian football’s goal machine Sunil Chhetri struck twice to help the country stunningly outplay Thailand 4-1 and record its first victory in the Asian Cup since 1964. Playing in his second Asian Cup and 105th match, Chhetri scored in the 27th (penalty) and 46th minutes for his 66th and 67th goals to become the second highest international goal scorer among active players. Midfielder Anirudha Thapa and second half substitute Jeje Lalpekhlua then struck in the 68th and 80th minutes to completely outclass Thailand at the Al Nahyan Stadium in front of a sizeable Indian supporters. With his two strikes, the 34-year-old Chhetri went past Argentine superstar Lionel Messi, who has so far scored 65 goals from 128 matches. Portugal superstar Cristiano Ronaldo is the highest scorer with 85 from 154 matches. Thailand captain and striker Teerasil Dangda pulled one back for his side in the 33rd minute of the Group A match. A draw in either of the two coming matches against UAE and Bahrain

Almost a fortnight after he was appointed as the coach of the Indian women’s team, WV Raman’s case continues to hang in limbo. The reason: Diana Edulji continues to oppose the appointment. Soon after the Chief Financial Officer (CFO) of the BCCI Santosh Rangnekar sent a mail to Supreme Courtappointed Committee of Administrators (CoA) asking for their approval with regards to approval of the professional fee to be given to the newly appointed coach, CoA head Rai wrote to his colleague Edulji to approve Raman’s contract. Edulji’s reply to Rai, though, highlights the increasing discord in the two-member CoA. In a strongly-worded mail to the CoA chief, Edulji reminded Rai about how the timelines were extended by the BCCI to appoint Ravi Shastri as head coach of the Indian men’s team last year, and questioned why the same couldn’t have been done in the case of the women’s team too. The former India women’s captain wants Raman to be sent to New Zealand as the interim coach, and for the Cricket Advisory Committee (CAC) to pick the new coach. Edulji has sent a copy of her mail to the BCCI office-bearers, the BCCI’s professional team and the Amicus Curiae Gopal Subramanium.

Sunil Chhetri

could see India through to the knockout round. Ranked 97th in the FIFA charts, India went into the match eyeing a win against their 118th ranked opponents, but the scoreline and impressive show by the players, especially in the second half, was unexpected. Chhetri, who is the only one in the current squad to have played in the 2011 edition, also become the highest Indian scorer in the Asian Cup, surpassing Inder Singh, who struck twice in the 1964 edition when the country had finished runners up.

No problem with Mithali, says Harmanpreet One of the major cricket controversies of 2018 surfaced when Mithali Raj was dropped from the Indian XI during the semi-finals of the Women's World T20. After India's exit, Mithali went on to accuse former coach Ramesh Powar for treating her poorly. India's T20 skipper Harmanpreet Kaur didn't regret dropping Mithali. She has now opened up on the current situation. Kaur said, "I don't think there has been any problem between us. I can speak for myself. You have to speak to her and ask if she has a problem with me. I have always respected her as a senior. We are mature enough to handle the situation. We will have to play as a unit to take the team forward. We are more team players than individuals. I

Harmanpreet Kaur and Mithali Raj

have met her and spoken to her after all these events and we seem to have moved on," said Harmanpreet Mithali had amassed 56 against Pakistan and then notched a gritty 51 against the Irish eves in the coveted event. She was rested for the game against Australia and then in a vital

semis clash, she was dropped. India went on to lose the match against England. Kaur in her post-match conference said she stood by her team selection. Mithali had stated all her grievances in a letter to the BCCI, saying, "For the first time in a 20-year-long career, I felt deflated, depressed and let down. I am forced to think if my services to my country are of any value to a few people in power who are out to destroy me and break my confidence." Powar countered every charge levelled against him by Mithali. "Mithali Raj- a senior player in the team. Minimum inputs in team meetings were expected, but not a single word of appreciation after finishing at the top of the table," Powar had said in a meeting.


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Historic Test series Bumrah rested for Australia ODIs, NZ tour win for India in Australia

Gujarat cricketers Cheteshwar Pujara, Ravindra Jadeja and Jasprit Bumrah played important roles as India scripted a historic test series win against Aussies on Australian soil for the first time on Monday. Having already retained the Border Gavaskar Trophy thanks to their win at Adelaide and Melbourne, the number one-ranked India clinched the four-Test series 2-1 as the fifth day of the final Test in Sydney concluded in a draw due to persistent rain. Cheteshwar Pujara has been adjudged the Player of the Series for his splendid 521 runs, which includes three tons at an average of 74. "It is a great feeling for all of us. We have been working hard to win a series overseas, and winning in Australia has never been easy. And really pleased with my contribution. For me, the first hundred was special. Scoring a ton at Adelaide and going 1-0 up is what we were aiming for," Pujara said at the post-match presentation. "This is the best Indian side I have been part of. And I would also like to congratulate all our bowlers. We have had four bowlers, and it is not easy taking 20 wickets, so credit goes to all our fast bowlers and spinners," he added. The hosts Australia was bundled out for 300 on the fourth day, which also forced them to follow-on at home for the first time in 30 years. Last time the hosts had to follow-on was in a Test match against England in 1988. Usman Khawaja (4*) and Marcus Harris (2*) were holding the crease for Australia in their second innings before the day was called off and forced early stumps due to bad light and subsequent drizzle.

Ravindra Jadeja

Australia were still 316 runs behind the visitor's massive first innings total. Kuldeep Yadav claimed five wickets, Mohammed Shami and Ravindra Jadeja shared four wickets each and Jasprit Bumrah picked up a piece to join the party. Opting to bat in the final Test, India took a commanding

position as Cheteswar Pujara and stumper Rishabh Pant scored 193 and 159-run respectively to guide India to a massive 622/7 in their first innings. Pujara was one of the main reason behind India's historic win as the Saurashtra batsman accumulated 328 runs from three games, averaging 54.67. Pujara also slammed three tons in the crucial Border-Gavaskar series. Kohli also effectively supported with 259 runs from three games. In the bowling

India's premier fast bowler Jasprit Bumrah has been rested for the upcoming three-match ODI series against Australia and also the limitedovers tour of New Zealand. The BCCI announced that the pacer will not take part in these series despite having been initially named in the squad. "Keeping in mind the workload of the bowler, it was best felt to give him adequate rest ahead of the home series against Australia," the BCCI release said. The Australian cricket team is scheduled to tour India in February and March. The BCCI named Siddarth Kaul pacer Mohammed Siraj and Siddarth match ODI series against Australia on Kaul as his replacements. Siraj is set to take January 12. The final match is set to take JB's place in the ODI series against Australia place in Melbourne on January 18. India will travel to New Zealand next for five ODIs from January 23 onwards. They play the final of the three T20Is on February 10, 2019. Squad for ODIs: Virat Kohli (c), Rohit Sharma, Lokesh Rahul, Shikhar Dhawan, Ambati Rayudu, Dinesh Karthik, Kedar Jadhav, MS Dhoni, Hardik Pandya, Kuldeep Yadav, Yuzvendra Chahal, Ravindra Jadeja, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, K Khaleel Ahmed, Mohammed Shami, Mohammed Siraj. T20I squad for NZ series: Virat Mohammed Siraj Kohli(c), Rohit Sharma, Shikhar Dhawan, Lokesh Rahul, Rishabh Pant, Dinesh and New Zealand. Kaul will replace JB for Karthik, Kedar Jadhav, MS Dhoni, Hardik the T20Is against the Kiwis. Both these Pandya, Krunal Pandya, Kuldeep Yadav, pacers have shown good form in the Ranji Yuzvendra Chahal, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, K Trophy recently and were rewarded for their Khaleel Ahmed, Siddarth Kaul. impressive outings. India start their three-

Centurions Pujara, Pant sign honours board at Sydney

Cheteshwar Pujara and Jasprit Bumrah

department, pacer Jasprit Bumrah turned out to be the most effective bowler for the visitors after bagging 21 wickets from four games while his partner Mohammed Shami also scalped 16 wickets. My biggest achievement, says Virat India captain Kohli termed his team’s historic series win as his ‘biggest achievement’ which will give the current team a ‘different identity’. Eight summers back at the Wankhede, Kohli was the youngest member of a star-studded team led by Mahendra Singh Dhoni which lifted the World Cup but this according to him will remain on ‘top of the pile’. “By far this is my best achievement. Has to be on top of the pile. When we won the World Cup, I was a young player. I saw the others getting emotional. This series will give us a different identity as a team. What we’ve been able to achieve is something to be really proud of,” Kohli said at the presentation ceremony. He was all praise for Pujara and Bumrah. The skipper also praised young Mayank Agarwal and Rishabh Pant. “Want to give a special mention to Pujara. He’s one guy always willing to accept things. He’s the nicest man around. Special mention to Mayank Agarwal too. To come in on Boxing Day and play like that against a high quality attack. Someone like Rishabh as well, coming into his own and dominating attacks,” he said.

Cheteshwar Pujara and Rishabh Pant scored 193 and 159 not out respectively in the first innings of the fourth Test between India and Australia that was being played at the Sydney Cricket Ground (SCG). The SCG honours the player who scores a century or takes five wickets in a single innings or 10 across both innings in a Test match at the iconic cricket venue by adding his name to the Honours Board in the away dressing room. Pujara and Pant, who helped India post a mammoth total of 622/7 before Virat Kohli dedided to declare the first innings were asked to sign in from of their names on the board after the play was abandoned due to rain. Pujara brought up his third century of the ongoing four-match series and 18th of his career on Thursday, while Pant became

the first Indian wicket-keeper to get a Test hundred in Australia on Friday. With 521 runs under his belt so far, Pujara is the highest-run scorer of the series, that the visitors lead 2-1. The century in Sydney is also Pujara's fifth in Tests against Australia. This is also the first time Pujara has scored more than one century in an overseas Test series. With this century, Pujara has surpassed former India batsman VVS Laxman, who has 17 Test centuries to his name. As far as Pant is concerned, with the second Test century of his career, he became the only second visiting wicket-keeper to register Test centuries both in England and Australia. Jeffery Dujon, with hundreds in Manchester and Perth in 1984, was the first.

Profile for Asian Business Publications Ltd

AV 12th January 2019  

Asian Voice weekly newspaper (Issue 35)

AV 12th January 2019  

Asian Voice weekly newspaper (Issue 35)

Profile for abpl