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13 - 19 APRIL 2019 - VOL 47 ISSUE 48

JUSTICE FOR JALLIANWALA?

inside: All set for first phase of polling on April 11 SEE PAGE 24

UK court rejects Mallya’s plea to appeal against extradition SEE PAGE 26

Priyanka Mehta

Jallianwala Bagh Centenary special see p16-17

As the centenary of the Jallianwala Bagh massacre approaches, UK government has failed to use the opportunity of a parliamentary debate in the Westminster Hall to apologise for their atrocities. It in fact flagged “financial implications” as one of the factors it had to consider while reflecting upon demands for a formal apology for the Jallianwala Bagh massacre to mark its centenary this week. The debate in Parliament on Tuesday, which saw cross-party MPs join in the call for an apology, led to wider questions about Britain’s approach to the carnage, its historical amnesia and the dark days of its colonial past. Conservative MP Bob Blackman from Harrow East again raised the subject of issuing a formal apology for the massacre in the gardened wall in Amritsar in 1919. Former Prime Minister David Cameron, in his visit to India in 2013 had said that the attack was a “deeply shameful event in British history”. He had gone on record to speak about how “we must never forget what happened there” when General Reginald Dyer had opened fire at the 20,000 peaceful protestors who had gathered against the atrocities of the British Raj. Continued on page 8

British Hindus help UK government to update crematoria facilities Rupanjana Dutta A package of measures to update crematoria to reflect the needs of different cultures and faiths in modern Britain has been announced on Monday 8 May. The Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government want to revise national guidance for crematoria provisions and facilities, especially on the siting and design of crematoria, subject to further consultations and finally offer support to community groups interested in operating their own crematoria or associated facilities. Continued on page 6


2 UK

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13 - 19 April 2019

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WITH KEITH VAZ, MP

Irfan Latif

Irfan Latif is the Principal of DLD College London. Established in 1931, DLD is an awardwinning co-educational boarding school for ages 14–19 situated on the bank of the River Thames. Irfan was educated at Emanuel School and read Chemistry at King’s College, University of London where he graduated with honours. He started his teaching career at the prestigious Haberdashers’ Aske’s School for Boys where he taught Science and was Assistant Housemaster. Prior to DLD College, Irfan – a former Head of Chemistry and Director of Science at St Benedict’s School in Ealing, London, Senior Housemaster at Whitgift School and Deputy Head at Bedford School – he was Head Master of Sexey’s School, Bruton, a state boarding school in Somerset in the South West of England. He has been the Chairman of the State Boarding Schools' Forum and Chairman elect of the Boarding Schools' Association. He regularly lectures at the Royal Institution of Great Britain, is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry and is also a Justice of the Peace (magistrate). As well as being a school Governor, he is also the trustee of various charities and used to sit on the Board of Education at the Diocese of Bath & Wells. He is a keen cook, traveller and adventurer and recently led expeditions to Everest Base Camp, Venezuela and the Red Sea. He is married to Jocelyn, a science teacher, and they have two young daughters, Zara and Emma and their Jack Russell dog, Rodney.

1

Which place, or city or country do you most feel at home in? London is where I feel most at home and

one of the drivers for moving back to the city after spending five years in the countryside. I was born in Chelsea and lived in

Clapham for my formative years - London has many special memories for me.

2

What are your proudest achievements?

Successfully leading a group of 50 students and staff from Bedford School to Everest Base Camp - that was a tough expedition but a once in a life time opportunity which I will never forget. It taught us a lot about ourselves especially the qualities of resilience and character.

3

What inspires you?

My wife Jo inspires me - the creator of Karma Curry who runs her business alongside being a science teacher and an outstanding mother. She keeps our family together and is always looking out for others. Teachers also inspire me - going that extra mile to support and get the very best out of their students. We all remember a good teacher and my old housemaster, Harry Jackson, still inspires me after some 35 years! What has been biggest obstacle in your career? Mount Everest was quite a big obstacle! But on a serious note, there really have not been any obstacles. Friends and colleagues have always been supportive, and I have managed to progress rapidly my career in a variety of leadership roles and schools where the experiences in each have been unique and rewarding.

4

Who has been the biggest influence on your career to date? My previous Head Master, John Moule at Bedford School where I was Deputy Head supported my aspirations to be a head. I was the first Asian Deputy Head of an HMC public school and the only one in the South West of England. Hopefully more BAME teachers will aspire to leadership roles in the education sector - it can be done!

5

What is the best aspect about your current role? Watching my students grow and flourish in a tolerant and respectful environment making a positive difference to the lives of our students and staff. We take wellbeing and mental health seriously at DLD College London and are being very innovative in the educational sector to improve the outcomes for our students and staff.

6

And the worst?

The bureaucracy of school inspection - I understand why it’s needed to ensure that educational standards are maintained, but it can become the sole focus for schools which is detrimental to the students. The regime needs to be more supportive rather than punitive which can be damaging.

7

What are your long-term goals?

Being the Principal of an iconic independent boarding school in the heart of London has provided the school and myself many unique learning opportunities and I would like to use these to help social mobility and further improve the educational outcomes for children - possibly a role in Government where I can influence change and make things happen.

8

If you were Prime Minister, what one aspect would you change? Increase educational funding in our schools - many are at breaking point and therefore damaging the life chances of children. This must change rapidly in order to support the next generation of creative thinkers and leaders.

9

If you were marooned on a desert island, which historical figure would you like to spend your time with and why. Nelson Mandela - he could teach me a thing or two about resilience and survival!

Police campaign reveals how to BHF to celebrate make a silent 999 call Tagore's birthday Do you know how to alert the police if you are in imminent danger but need to keep quiet? A new campaign explains how you can make yourself heard Have you heard the rumour that police will automatically attend if you make a silent 999 call? Turns out, that’s more of a myth; police assistance won’t be deployed just by making a call. If you’re already aware of this, you may have heard of the Silent Solution system, which prompts 999 callers to press 55 on mobiles to signify they are unable to talk. The system, which has been in operation since

2002, is well-established in the UK. But, it is only effective if the public knows and understands how it works. Approximately 20,000 silent emergency calls are made in the UK each day, a quarter of which are transferred to the Silent Solution system by handlers. The police watchdog has revealed that of these 5,000 calls each day, the instruction to send help is only detected in around 50 calls. Unfortunately, those callers unaware of the Silent Solution method could be assumed to be accidental or hoax callers and cut off; call handlers are unsure whether they are genuine if they have

received no response after 30 seconds. To tackle this problem, the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) is launching a new campaign, backed by a how-to guide, aimed at “debunking the myth” that a silent 999 call alone will automatically bring help. It could, in extreme situations, potentially save a life. The Silent Solution is only applicable for calls made on mobile phones - if a silent call is made from a landline, the operator can choose to connect a police

call handler if they think necessary. So, if you are ever in danger and are too afraid to speak (or it’s not safe to), these are the steps to remember: ● Dial 999 ● Listen to the questions that you’re asked ● Respond to the operator by coughing, tapping the phone or, when you’re asked, press 55

Taxi driver loses licence after driving on pavement twice A Hackney carriage driver who was caught driving on the pavement on two separate occasions has had his taxi licence revoked. The first offence committed by Manzoor Hussain, of Combe Road, Tilehurst was spotted by police officers on 5th April

2018. Officers witnessed the 44-year-old driving from St Mary’s Butts to Oxford Road via the pavement in front of Metro bank and across the entrance to the Broad Street Mall to avoid traffic. On 16th May 2018 he was caught on CCTV driv-

ing across the pavement outside Tesco Express on Oxford Road to avoid having to reverse into a parking space. The Council’s Licensing Committee revoked Mr Hussain’s licence at a meeting on 1st August 2018 as members concluded he was not a fit and proper person to hold

a licence. Mr Hussain subsequently appealed the decision of the Licensing Committee and had his case heard at Reading Magistrates Court on 18th March 2019. The court dismissed his appeal and ordered him to pay legal costs of £500.

At a time when the conservative upper-class Bengali society kept their women confined to ‘Andarmahal’ (inner chambers), Rabindranath Tagore was privileged to have grown up in a household that nurtured the most progressive strong-willed, independent, and talented women that India had seen. They had a profound influence in Tagore’s life as well as in his works. Every year, on Tagore’s birth anniversary or Rabindra Jayanti, India’s global poet, songwriter, and philosopher, is commemorated all over the world through his songs, poetry, and dramas. This year the Bengal Heritage Foundation (BHF) will celebrate Rabindra Jayanti through the women in Tagore’s life and his works. The hour and half long program will take place at Nehru Centre, the cultural wing of Indian High Commission in London, on 10thMay 2019 from 6.30 pm. The event is open to all. The evening will be celebrated through songs (Rabindra Sangeet), poetry,

and dance all written and composed by Tagore. In addition to celebrating women in his dance-dramas such as Chitrangada and Chandalika, the members of BHF also bring a unique performance called ‘Sruti Kabya’ or visual poetry which will bring to life the important and influential women in Tagore’s life and inspiration for some of his best poetry and song-lyrics – his sister-in-law and confidante in his youth Kadambari Devi, his unsung and rarely mentioned wife Mrinalini Devi to his Argentenian muse Victoria Ocampo.


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13 - 19 April 2019

Britain's colonial past should bring a measure of shame, sadness and humility but not pride The UK government on Tuesday assured MPs seeking an apology for the Jallainwala Bagh massacre on April 13, 1919, saying the issue is a ‘work in progress’ among ministers, officials and the British high commission in New Delhi, even slightly suggesting it may happen later in the year. The former Prime Minister David Cameron, during his visit to Amritsar, India, in 2013, had marked the massacre as a 'deeply shameful event' but had not officially apologised for the colonial power's wrong doings. On Tuesday 9 April 2019, as we went to press during the much awaited debate in Westminster Hall, Foreign Office Minister Mark Field continued with the policy of expressing a ‘deep regret’, but added that there is an ‘ongoing sense of consideration’ in the government on the issue. A century ago, on 13 April 1919, hundreds of Indians attending a public meeting were shot dead by British troops in the northern Indian city of Amritsar in Punjab. The crowd that had more than 20,000 people were not armed rebels. They were local residents and villagers, mostly men of Hindu, Sikh or Muslim faith, from surrounding area, who had come to listen to political speeches or spend peaceful hours in the gardens, as they celebrated Vaisakhi on the day, which marked the anniversary of the creation of the Khalsa or Sikh community. (See page 14-15 to read our special on Punjabis celebrating Vaisakhi and P16-17 to read our Jallianwala Bagh Centenary special). But Brigadier General RH Dyer had rushed to Amritsar a few days earlier to suppress what he believed to be a major uprising. Nobody exactly knows what happened later on that

day and what exactly triggered and led to the mass killing. The Empire insists Gen Dyer only opened fire as a final resort when the crowd ignored his warning to disperse. However the general himself was quite clear that he gave no such warning.Whatever happened, it led to the death of many innocent people- men, women, children- something Britain needs to own up to, given they ruled India at that point. It is perhaps a lot to ask for an official apology from a British government in the throes of Brexit. During the colonial era, many lives have been taken in the name of defending the colonies by the British. The coordinated famines in Bengal that killed 3 million people, the persecution of Mau Mau in Kenya, mass killings in the concentration camps during Boer War- are some of its notable atrocities in 20th century. Britain saw its colonial role as shouldering the “white man's burden” to spread civilisation to the dark and savage parts of the world. Something they perhaps believed they were entitled to. Today's Britain is 'supposedly' much different to the colonial era, with many Indian-origin MPs and Peers in the UK Parliament, but in reality, Britain voluntarily remains blindeyed to their own mistakes and the emphasis that that modern Britain stands unblemished by its colonial atrocity actually reveals their historical amnesia. As Kehinde Andrews rightly says in The Guardian, while Britain's history should bring a measure of shame, sadness and humility, it instead and unbelievably manages to actually evoke feelings of pride in Britain- something that desperately needs to change for the country's own good.

Mother of all elections The Lok Sabha election in India which begins on April 11 looks like an increasingly close contest between BJP and Congress. Politicians of all stripes are already in campaign mode for what will be the world's largest exercise in democracy - a mammoth undertaking that will take place over several weeks to ensure the voices of hundreds of millions of Indians across the country are heard. All Indians aged 18 and above can participate in the election. In the last general election, in 2014, more than 830 million Indians were eligible - and more than 550 million voted. Now over 900 million voters are eligible to vote. The main opposition party is the Congress, led by Rahul Gandhi, the scion of India's most influential political dynasty. But numerous other regional parties also wield significant influence across the country, with some for and others against Narendra Modi - all of which can help define the outcome. In the 2014 contest, there were a total of 464 political parties and more than 8,000 candidates courting voters across the nation. In India's Westminster-style model, parties field candidates for seats in the Lok Sabha. There are 543 seats at stake. An additional two seats are filled by nominees from the Anglo Indian community. Framed to protect the rights of Anglo Indians when British colonial rule ended, the rule gives the President the power to nominate two members of the community if he/she feels they aren't adequately represented in the legislature. Whichever party wins the majority of seats gets to choose the prime minister. For the BJP, the candidate is Narendra Modi, who became Prime Minister in 2014 when his party won 282 Lok Sabha seats in what was the biggest majority secured by a single party in 30 years. With its allies, the coalition notched up an impressive 336 seats. If no one party wins a majority, a coalition of different parties can come together to form the next government. To ensure the integrity of the process, and allow for election and security resources to be moved around the country, polling

unfolds in seven phases covering different regions. A total of one million polling stations will be set up across India. Polling ends on May 19, with votes counted by May 23. Voting is spread across India's 29 states and seven union territories. Some areas carry more weight than others because of the number of Lok Sabha constituencies in each state or union territory, something that's based on how populous they are. The bigger the state, the more seats it has. And the biggest battleground is the northern state of Uttar Pradesh. It's India's most populous state, with about 200 million inhabitants that accounts for 80 seats in the Lok Sabha, making it critical to the formation of any Indian government. Other key regions to watch will be western state of Maharashtra, which accounts for 48 Lok Sabha seats; West Bengal in the east with 42 seats; Bihar in the north, which accounts for 40; and in the south, Tamil Nadu, which has 39 seats. The political parties are wooing the electorate with many inducements. The ruling BJP has focused on national security, an ambitious expansion of income support to all farmers, pension for marginal farmers and traders, one million accident insurance for traders under GST and a promise of lower taxes and £1,000 billion investment in infrastructure. BJP also called for revocation of Article 35A along with a promise to scrap Article 370 and giving a free hand to security forces to respond to terrorism. It also called for all efforts within the constitutional framework to facilitate a Ram mandir in Ayodhya. The Congress promises to scrap the sedition law, dilute AFSPA and withdraw the citizenship amendment bill, besides offering populist pledges on jobs, income support for the poor, healthcare and education. It also comes out with a promise to transfer Rs 72,000 annually to 20% of the poorest families, with promises on job creation and doing away with permissions for new business, apart from tax and wage laws, a “kisan budget” and right to housing. It also promises anti-hate law to check mob lynching.

Rahul’s search for a safe second seat shows nervousness Congress president Rahul Gandhi’s decision to contest a second seat from Wayanad in Kerala shows that he is not confident of winning from his traditional seat in Amethi. Congress leaders claim this is Rahul’s outreach to south India, where he has done better than Prime Minister Narendra Modi in opinion polls. But the optics in north India and this signalling to the south are not quite in sync. In 2014, Rahul had faced a stiff contest in Amethi. Smriti Irani, who lost to Rahul, has kept up the pressure with repeated visits to the constituency. To confound the picture for Rahul, Congress had lost all four seats in Amethi in the 2017 UP assembly polls. Comparisons with Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s contest from Vadodara and Varanasi in 2014 are misplaced. Modi was eyeing the rich symbolism of storming to power from Hinduism’s most important and holiest city. In contrast, Rahul has chosen a seat of little significance, comfortably won by Congress in successive elections, and therefore a safe bet. Given Rahul’s aggression against BJP in recent years and his raised political profile, the defensiveness is a

little out of character. But Rahul could be following in the footsteps of Indira and Sonia Gandhi, who contested from two seats in 1980 and 1999 respectively, spooked by Congress’s tenuous hold over the Hindi heartland. Modi has remarked that Rahul has run away to a seat where the “majority” is in a minority. Congress claims that Wayanad is near the trijunction of Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and Kerala and that Rahul can simultaneously wield influence in these states. However, Wayanad is also a remote district tucked away in the Western Ghats with little influence, even on Kerala’s politics. In 2009, Congress-led UDF had won 16 of Kerala’s 20 seats and will eye a repeat sweep in 2019 with Rahul in the fray. Rahul’s candidature has, unsurprisingly, irked the ruling CPM-led LDF which was counting on Kerala to make up for losses in Bengal and Tripura. The weeks of uncertainty that preceded the announcement also revealed Rahul’s penchant for Hamletian indecision. Rahul’s claim of playing “on the front foot” in UP is belied by his own actions.

The ideals which have lighted me on my way and time after time given me new courage to face life cheerfully, have been truth, goodness, and beauty. The ordinary objects of human endeavour - property, outward success, luxury - have always seemed to me contemptible - Albert Einstein (1879-1955)

Alpesh Patel

A Government for the People As I write, it is the anniversary of the end of the American Civil War, and an important lesson for Brexit from possibly the greatest political speech in history: “Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent, a new nation, conceived in Liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal. Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation, or any nation so conceived and so dedicated, can long endure. We are met on a great battle-field of that war. We have come to dedicate a portion of that field, as a final resting place for those who here gave their lives that that nation might live. It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this. But, in a larger sense, we can not dedicate—we can not consecrate—we can not hallow—this gr ound. The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract. The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here. It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us—that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion— that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain—that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom—and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.” So what are the lessons for Brexit? Parliament unusually lacks authority and legitimacy on Brexit for both remainers and exiters, for Conservatives and Labour supporters. So, what solution? In a divorce the arbiter is a court and both sides abide by the result. That isn't relevant here. There is only one left - the people again. But on what? The same thing Parliament is voting on, after all, they are, why shouldn't the people. All the options on the type of Brexit. And sadly, it may be 21% vote for one option and 19-20% on each the four others and you have something which 80% did not agree with. That would still be more legitimate than Parliament. And the most possible legitimate option - the least worst option. 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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Sajid Javid launches compensation scheme to 'right the wrongs' of Windrush scandal Thousands of Windrush scandal victims will share in an "uncapped" compensation scheme launched by the Government. A two-year Government initiative aims to “right the wrongs” suffered by people who faced difficulties demonstrating their immigration status. The Home Office expects up to 15,000 eligible claims will be lodged, according to their “central planning assumption.” Confirming there will be no cap on the total amount awarded, Sajid Javid told MPs his department's "baseline estimate" was approximately £200 million. An official impact assessment said the final figure could range between £120 million and £310 million. Staffing costs are expected to be between £4 million and £6 million a year. Opening the scheme, Mr Javid described the treatment of some members of the Windrush generation as "a terrible mistake". He said: "We've been working tirelessly to fulfil that promise ever since and have helped more than 3,600 people secure the citizenship they were entitled to. "But it's right that we com-

pensate those who faced extreme difficulties and hardship, and this scheme will go some way in doing that. "The Windrush generation have given so much to this country and we will ensure nothing like this ever happens again." Satbir Singh, chief executive of the Joint Council for the Welfare of Immigrants, claimed the announcement was "short on detail" and will "fail to reassure Windrush victims that they will be adequately financially compensated for the losses and

hardship inflicted on them". He said: "Thousands of members of the Windrush generation suffered for years and then had to wait a further year to hear how they might be compensated." Shadow home secretary Diane Abbott said: "This compensation scheme has fallen woefully short of its expectation and of what is fair. "The Government has been disgracefully slow to do the right thing by the Windrush generation."

Payments will be available to those who did not have the right documentation to prove their status in the UK and suffered "adverse effects" on their life as a result. These could include a loss of employment or access to housing, education or NHS healthcare, as well as emotional distress or a deterioration in mental and physical health. People who were wrongfully detained or removed from the UK can seek compensation under the scheme.

'Grenfell' officer denies possessing child abuse image A senior Metropolitan Police officer has denied possessing an indecent image of a child. Supt Novlett Robyn Williams, 54, was previously commended for her community work following the Grenfell Tower fire. She is accused of failing to report sibling Jennifer Hodge to police after allegedly receiving a video via WhatsApp in February last year. Supt Williams denied the charge at the Old Bailey on Tuesday, alongside her sister. Social worker Ms Hodge, 55, of Brent in north-west London,

denied one count of sending the video, which allegedly depicted a young girl performing a sex act on a man. Supt Williams is accused of one count of corrupt or other improper exercise of police powers and privilege by a constable, and one count of possessing an indecent photograph of a child. Bus driver Dido Massivi, 61, also of Brent, is charged with two counts of distributing an indecent photograph of a child, and one count of possessing an extreme pornographic image involving an animal. All three

Student jailed for blackmailing porn users worldwide A student who made hundreds of thousands of pounds blackmailing pornography website users with cyber attacks has been jailed. Zain Qaiser from Barking, London, used his programming skills to scam visitors to pornography sites around the world. Investigators have discovered about £700,000 of his profits - but his network may have made more than £4m. Qaiser, 24, was jailed for more than six years at Kingston Crown Court. The court heard he is the most prolific cyber criminal to be sentenced in the UK. Judge Timothy Lamb QC said: "The harm caused by your offending was extensive - so extensive that there does not appear to be a reported case involving anything comparable." His jail sentence of six years

and five months is a second major success for the National Crime Agency (NCA) after the jailing earlier this year of a British man who broke an entire nation's internet. Qaiser initially denied the crimes and claimed he had been hacked, before pleading guilty to 11 charges - including blackmail, fraud, computer offences and possessing criminal property. The ransomware offences were committed between 2012 and 2014.

Supt Novlett Robyn Williams (centre) is accused of failing to report sibling Jennifer Hodge (left) after she shared a video of child sexual abuse

pleaded not guilty to all charges and were released on bail.

Their trial will be held at the Old Bailey, at a date yet to be fixed.

Steven Bishop admits mosque bomb plot A man has admitted planning a bomb attack on a south London mosque. Steven Bishop, 41, admitted buying fireworks and possessing instructions on how to make an explosive. Bishop, of Thornton Heath, was believed to have been targeting Morden Mosque when his home was raided by police on 29 October last year. He will be sentenced on Wednesday after changing his plea on the opening day of his trial at Kingston Crown Court. He had originally been charged with preparing an act of terrorism, but prosecutors accepted a plea to a charge of possession of an explosive substance with intent to endanger life or property on Monday. Bishop previously pleaded guilty to possession of information likely to be useful to a person preparing an act of terror-

ism, specifically a handwritten note on how to make explosives. When he was arrested he told the police he wanted revenge for the death of eightyear-old Saffie Roussos who died in the Manchester Arena bombing in 2017. The court heard Bishop has a history of mental health problems and a number of psychiatric reports had been prepared ahead of his trial. He was remanded in custody until Wednesday,

in brief

LONDON’S NEW POLLUTION CHARGE BEGINS The Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) has come into force in central London. Drivers of older, more polluting vehicles are being charged to enter the congestion zone area at any time. Transport for London (TfL) hopes the move will reduce the number of polluting cars in the capital, and estimates about 40,000 vehicles will be affected every day. Mayor of London Sadiq Khan said it was "important we make progress" in tackling the capital's toxic air. However, the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) said many small firms were "very worried about the future of their businesses" as a result of the "additional cost burden". Most vehicles which are not compliant will have to pay £12.50 for entering the area each day, in addition to the congestion charge. Vehicles can be checked using TfL's online checker but broadly speaking, those which are non-compliant are: Motorbikes that do not meet Euro 3 standards (pre-2007 vehicles) Petrol cars and vans that do not meet Euro 4 standards (vehicles pre-2006) Diesel cars and vans that do not meet Euro 6 standards (vehicles pre-2015) Buses, coaches and lorries will need to meet or exceed the Euro 6 standards or pay £100 a day Anybody who does not pay the charge will face a fine of £160, although a first offence may result in only a warning letter.

SAFE CAR WASH APP REVEALS HUNDREDS OF POTENTIAL SLAVERY CASES

Nearly 1,000 reports of potential human trafficking were made in the first five months of an app enabling hand car wash users to report concerns over workers. The Safe Car Wash app was launched by the Church of England's anti-slavery arm, the Clewer Initiative, and the Catholic Church last year. Users of the app have flagged up fearful workers, lack of protective clothing and workers living on site. These are among the signs people might be working in conditions of slavery. The Home Office estimates there are more than 10,000 victims of human slavery in the UK - people being forced to work for little or no pay in a variety of industries. One area where exploitation is thought to be widespread is hand car washes. The National Crime Agency, which is supporting the app, said hand car washes were a high-risk business for exploitation, and the report into the results of the Church's mobile phone app gave a further insight into the problem. Between June, when it was launched, and December 2,271 completed entries were made via the app. Organisers said in 41% of these cases - 930 entries - users were told, after responding to a number of questions, there was a likelihood of modern slavery at the hand car wash and advised to to call the Modern Slavery Helpline. But only 18% of those people actually went on to make the call. Of the app users who reported concerns: 48% commented workers didn't have access to protective clothing 80% said the car wash had a cash only policy 17% said workers looked fearful The data collected by the app is anonymised and shared with the National Crime Agency and the Gangmasters and Labour Abuse Authority, who are targeting modern slavery in the UK.


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Change4Life Mums share how they are reducing their children’s sugar intake

T

he recent Change4Life campaign highlighted that children in England are consuming too much sugar – an extra 2,800 sugar cubes per year. That’s equivalent to 312 cans of sugary cola,469 higher-sugar yoghurts or 562 chocolate bars! Too much sugar is bad for children’s health and has contributed to increased obesity levels. It can also lead to the build-up of harmful fat on the inside that we can't see. This fat can cause weight gain and serious diseases like type 2 diabetes, which people are getting younger than ever before, heart disease and some cancers. Too much sugar can also cause painful tooth decay; shockingly every 10 minutes, a child (in England) has a rotten tooth removed in hospital. We talked to three mums with children aged 4-11 who have become more aware of their children’s sugar intake and have taken action to reduce it by making simple everyday swaps and giving them healthier versions of the foods and drinks, they enjoy. They also told us about the challenges they face when making these changes, especially when it comes to cultural foods and family members such as grandparents.

Reducing sugar intake Ketul Nandini, mum of two said “My kids mainly drink water and low fat milk. Occasionally I give them a juice drink, but I know it can be high in sugar so I opt for a no added sugar one which is a better alternative.”

the ‘traffic light’ labels brought to life.”

Dealing with sugar in cultural foods

Rupal Kantaria

Mum of two, Rupal Kantaria shares “I’m careful with breakfast cereals as I know a bowl of highersugar cereal can have around 3 cubes of sugar per serving – so I give my kids healthy alternatives such as wheat biscuit cereal, porridge or eggs.” Fellow mum, Raakhi Hurry believes that you have to be proactive in cutting back on sugar to help children eat well. She adds “Making just one or two simple swaps can really make a difference. When shopping, I check the pack labelling for its sugar content. We’ve also downloaded the Change4Life Food Scanner app, which my kids love to use to see

Ketul shares “My children love eating Indian food. Sugar is commonly used in some Gujarati dishes like sweet kadhi or daal, but when we prepare these dishes we don’t add any sugar. My kids still enjoy the flavours just as much without it.” Rupal adds “When it comes to mithai and other sweet treats, which contains a lot of sugar, I encourage my children to only have them occasionally - usually at special occasions. I’ll also make sure they have small portions. My kids understand that too much sugar can cause painful tooth decay, which helps.”

The influence of family members

which very much focuses on ‘the more chapattis eaten the better!” Raakhi thinks it’s important for grandparents to understand the link between serious diseases like diabetes, heart disease and sugar to encourage them to start making healthier choices for their family. “Many South Asians know all too well about diabetes and heart disease as the prevalence of these diseases are high in our community. More understanding of the link between these diseases and sugar would go a long way. Also they need to see how much sugar is in everyday foods and drinks. If grandparents understood the risk associated with too much sugar in our children’s diet they could help us to make these swaps.” Ketul shares “At the beginning my in-laws couldn’t understand my approach – but when I tell them how much sugar is in everyday foods and drinks, they are surprised. Also, when they see that my kids eat a variety of foods without any fuss and are not eating a lot of sweets or sugary foods, they proudly tell others to follow my example.”

Getting the kids involved Rupal firmly believes that involving her children in food decisions can help encourage good longterm habits. “As a family, we plan our meals together, so my kids input into what they are eating. Not only does this help healthier meal preparation but it also helps my kids understand how to make the right choices from a young age.” Her advice is “Don’t do it to your children – do it with them. Make it your family project to reduce your sugar intake.” Ketul also believes it’s important to make children comfortable in the kitchen and involve them in making their meals “We spend time cooking and baking together as opposed to buying desserts. It brings us together as a family and the kids really enjoy it.” Change4Life is here to help you and your family cut back on sugar. Download the Change4Life Food Scanner app to see the sugar content of everyday popular items or search Change4Life for healthier swap ideas.

Grandparents can play a significant role in their grandchildren’s diet, especially for children living in multigenerational households. This can be challenging for some parents, especially when grandparents’ attitudes may differ - for example, some may consider an overweight child as being healthy. Rupal recognises this challenge “Grandparents can be a big influence and often default to the mindset which they have grown up with,

Ketul Nandini


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13 - 19 April 2019

Hor & Cold Inside

UK’s Curry House Britain’s Curry Industry And Brexit No Longer Have A Hot Future Oli Khan, FRSA; Chef, Commentator; Secretary General of the Bangladesh Caterers Association The country has been a deeply divided nation since the 2016 referendum. The effects of Brexit, large or small, can be felt in almost every industry in the UK. We have heard repeatedly about the large businesses who have decided to relocate from the UK because of the uncertainty, but what will Brexit mean to the small businesses on our high-streets, particularly the ethnic food industry, to which I belong, who do not have the luxury to move because we are rooted in communities? For the British curry industry, Brexit was pitched as a lifeline, providing hope that changes to immigration laws may boost access to the highly skilled chefs that we desperately need. Almost two decades after chicken tikka masala was announced as Britain’s national dish, pro-leave politicians promised restaurants greater arrivals We were sold the idea that immigrants from the commonwealth would be given priority over those from the EU, giving us access to the much needed talent we wanted, from areas where it is abundant. However, recent news reveals that the promises made to secure the ‘leave’ vote from those with a vested interest in the industry will not be fulfilled. Brexit is betraying the hopes of many who campaigned for it. Politics aside, the Brexit discussions shine a light on a pre-existing issue that could see the collapse of an industry worth over £4bn, unless we can adapt quickly. As of now an increasing number of our second generation youth do not want to work in the family run business. This has put a pressure on curry house owners, where nine out of ten, who like me, are British Bangladeshi. We now have to go and look for cooking talent from our home country. However, the government policies such as a £2,000 fee on importing skilled labour and a salary cap of less than £30k have been a big setback for restaurants; an amount, out of reach for most small restaurants. Now our much needed chefs are in short supply. The industry, which contributes $5.5 billion to the British economy a year, is struggling to find 30,000 additional workers it needs. Consequently, it is estimated that three to four curry restaurants are closing weekly across the UK. The government needs to remember that our curry houses and takeaways are a British institution. Every town has, at least one curry restaurant. We are integral to local communities and high-streets, where we generate an income that feeds into the local economies. If we disappear, communities and highstreets will feel the loss. Losing a large part of the UK’s catering workforce will have a detrimental effect on the industry itself and our national economy. The UK has a reputation of being a culinary capital, which is reliant on foreign restaurant investors and chefs being able to easily bring their ideas to this country. We are now on the brink of losing this legacy.

British Hindus help UK government to update crematoria facilities Continued from page 1

Faith Minister Lord Bourne has written to local authorities to inform that all reasonable steps should be taken to allow the needs of those with different faiths to be met in public buildings, encourage providers to be more transparent about their services, and have appropriate staff training to understand different faith requirements. The announcement follows the review of crematoria provision and facilities, where the Government received around 150 responses, most from Hindu community as well as from many other faiths and belief groups. The plan will help make sure communities of different faiths have facilities that are fit for purpose and sensitive to their needs. The review into the size and provision of crematoria facilities was announced in autumn 2015, with a formal review published alongside the 2016 March Budget. Out of the 150 responses the government received, 110 provided statistical information through the on-line survey. 43 of respondents were from the Hindu communities (particularly in North and West London and Leicester) but there were also representations from faith groups such as 5 from Sikhs and 2 from Jain background and other belief groups, as well as those with no faith.

crematoria. This is partly as members of the faith group are reasonably well versed in accessing the number of crematoria that friend/ families have used before and secondly the majority of the Sikh temples have a Board Management and members know (from previous experience) which funeral directors to approach.” Others highlighted concerns regarding slots, particularly in Leicestershire and North-West London where there are large Hindu, Sikh and Jain populations. Federation of Hindu and Jain Communities, Leicestershire said, “At times the community have to book and make arrangements to travel to Loughborough or Nuneaton. It is difficult to find adequate slots for cremations in Leicester. These occur on regular basis and the communities have to wait for days to cremate their loved ones thus causing a lot of stress and anxiety.” 73 out of 103 faith or other community groups responded to the question of the problem with the size of the crematorium. 71% (52 respondents) reported that they had experienced problems. Most respondents highlighted that crematoria struggle to accommodate the

Issues highlighted during consultation The responses highlighted several issues, in this order of priority- capacity of crematoria to accommodate large groups as well as problems with car parking; difficulties with the design of crematoria (for example, fixed seating or catafalque) and a lack of facilities to carry out specific rituals (including separate prayer rooms, washing facilities, a viewing room to witness the committal of the coffin or proximity to water); difficulties with booking slots, slots being too short and/or having to pay higher prices for weekends; the need for new crematoria, and/or travelling long distances to access a crematorium in specific localities and insensitive or inflexible iconography or other services, such as prayer books or music. The majority of respondents commented on access to crematoria in specific localities. 35 out of 48 providers responded to the question and 23% (8 respondents) stated that they considered there was a need for new crematoria in their area. 44 users also answered this question, with 68% (30 respondents) indicating that they considered there was a need for new crematoria in their area. Some felt that there was good access to crematoria locally. For example a Sikh respondent, from Keighley, West Yorkshire said, “There have not been any problems in accessing any

large numbers of mourners present at Hindu, Sikh and Jain funerals. However, concerns about space were not just restricted to the areas of high Hindu, Sikh and Jain populations who responded to questions on access to crematoria; one Sikh respondent highlighted similar concerns at crematoria in Yorkshire and the North East. Several respondents highlighted that there are no crematoria facilities in Harrow and those users need to travel to either Hendon or Golders Green. Some respondents argued that there was a need for a new crematoria in Hertfordshire to accommodate the Hindu, Sikh and Jain population and their typically higher number of mourners. This was endorsed by the Institute of Jainology who claimed that people in London need to travel long distances and therefore have to allocate a full day to attend the ceremony if it is scheduled for the middle of the day. More broadly, respondents highlighted that in rural areas, a family’s choice PART/FULL TIME MALE PRIEST REQUIRED for cremation may involve a long journey. Faith Minister, Om Sai Ram Lord Bourne said, Must have experience of working in Hindu Temple “Cremations have preferably Shirdi Sai Baba with ability to perform become more and poojas & abhishek for the Deith. The applicant must be more common. able to sing Aaratis in Marathi and communicate in This is why it is English or Hindi. vital that there are high quality crePh. 020 8902 2311 matoria that Email sai@shirdisai.org.uk | info@shirdisai.org.uk respect cultural and religious tradiBaba Malik tions of all faiths

FOR SHIRDI SAI BABA TEMPLE

and beliefs, and those of no faith. “This package of measures will make sure that local authorities and providers offer the appropriate facilities that reflect the communities they serve.” Cremations have become more and more common. In 2017 there were 467,748 cremations representing 77.05% of all deaths, with each crematorium having an average of 1,607 cremations in 2017. Community reaction to the consultation Anil Bhanot, Founding Member, Hindu Council UK said, “We welcome the Government’s decision to upgrade the Crematoria provisions and I’d like to thank the Faiths unit under Lord Bourne for seeing this long standing issue through. For Hindus, Jains and Sikhs cremation of the body with the right and proper ceremonial prayers is of utmost importance, to satisfy our belief in the soul’s journey to heaven and then at the appropriate time its reincarnation into another body. Reincarnation requires that the dead body is cremated and its ashes returned to earth washed through water, primarily so that the soul bears no attachment to its past body and is absolutely free to journey onwards and reincarnate into a new body. “As Hindus we only bury a body where either the soul has not yet developed an attachment to, as in the case of a baby, or where the soul has transcended all material attachment, as in the case of an enlightened Sadhu. For the vast majority of Hindus cremation and its associated ceremonies represent the ultimate 16th stage of life, the Antam Sanskaar, and that is why people coming to pay their final respects can run into several hundreds. “Thus the time slots at Crematoria definitely need to be extended to accommodate larger ceremonies, in extended chapels to seat larger congregations and with water facilities to wash as a minimum. Ponds and Streams running through would be an added advantage for the Ashes immersing ceremonies.” Ishwar Tailor,Vice President, Gujarat Hindu Society told Asian Voice, “I think we have one or two Asian funeral directors like Chandu Tailor providing services not available everywhere. In remote places we need to have a standards- for example in Preston, English funeral directors need to understand how the Hindu rituals are done, so they are seeking guidance from the community. I think the community is guiding them but we dont have the same facilities in each town.It's important that the Hindu community groups assist the local funeral directors, especially where there are no Asian ones- like how to help take ashes to India. These consultation could help to create awareness for mainstream funeral directors UKwide.” However not everybody has been aware of the government's consultations and some feel disgruntled to be at the helm of such issues, yet be left out during these important engagements. Vinod Popat, Trustee of Shantidham, who has been campaigning for a Hindu crematorium in Leicestershire, told the newsweekly, “The government has not consulted with Shantidham on this matter. They know the work we are doing, but nobody consulted us nor I know of anyone who have been consulted in Leicester.”


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Lemon.Connect to attract overseas FinTech companies to do business in the UK Avril Braganza Are you a budding entrepreneur, looking to start a FinTech business in London? Who better to guide you than Subhash R Ghosh, the man who began his career with Vodafone India (formerly known as Usha Martin Telecom). Founder and owner of Lemon Group — a set of boutique technology consulting firms in the UK, Singapore and India that offersTech Transfer, Knowledge Transfer, and Business Transformation, in over 30 countries along with his innovation, Lemon Audit Services —Ghosh is organising a four-day FinTech conference called Lemon.Connect from April 23-26, in London. With over 18 years of corporate experience, followed by eight successful years as an entrepreneur, Ghosh is a veteran in the telecom, media and converged technology space. He was the person who launched Reliance Broadnet services (from Reliance Communications) across 129 cities in India, was the first to launch Asia’s first mobile combo tariff plan on CDMA network, and the first to launch the mobile app business in India, Malaysia and Singapore. After almost two decades of professional experience in the digital transformation, product innovation and telecom sector, Ghosh went on to establish Lemon Group. The company focuses on four sectors: Technology, Media and Telecommunications(TMT); FinTech; HealthTech; and Aviation & Defense. Born in Kolkata, Ghosh spent many of his formative years across India. During his entrepreneurial days, he travelled extensively between Mumbai and other parts of the globe between

Subhash R Ghosh

2011-2018. He finally settled down in the United Kingdom in May 2018, after being a recipient of the Tech Nations Tier-1 Exceptional Talent Visa for Digital Innovation. Ghosh feels that this probably was the best thing that could have happened to him, since he believes that UK is ‘the’ place to be for entrepreneurship and digital innovation. The Tier-1 Exceptional Talent Visa requires a fair amount of credibility and the person applying for it has to demonstrate his capabilities, his innovations, and put forth his plans of how he can contribute to the UK’s technology scene. “I applied for a Tech Nation visa, as I believed I had the attributes and relevant knowledge that would help me contribute to the UK tech scene in the digital and innovations space,” said Ghosh. He then shifted base to the UK, where he has established his global headquarters. At the same time, given his presence in Asia, and with his wide reach and contacts across the globe, he lives up to his commitment of giving back to the start-up

community. In keeping with this commitment, he set up a platform called Lemon.Connect and one of its first initiatives is organising the Lemon.Connect FinTech Conference. They have received a huge support from both the UK Government (DIT, London & Partners, techUK, Tech Nation) and private sectors (Techstars, Barclays, NatWest). “We are attempting to get at least 100 early stage FinTech companies from various parts of the world to this event in London, which is considered to be one of the FinTech capitals of the world, ” said Ghosh, who is also a certified STEM Ambassador in the UK and a mentor with London Mayor, Level39, Techstars, NatWest and many more. The conference promises plenty of networking and fund-raising opportunities; workshops, speaker sessions and panel discussions focusing on several topics, including the application process for Tech Nation visas, and the benefits extended by the UK government to tech entrepreneurs who are looking at setting up their global headquarters in the UK. The event will also have members from the Department of International Trade (DIT), UK talking about the Global Entrepreneurship Programme. “We have a huge network in the FinTech sector in more than 30 countries. Through the Lemon.Connect FinTech Conference 2019, we are hoping to get many overseas FinTech companies to do business in the UK,” Ghosh added. For more information see: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/lemo nconnect-fintech-conference-tickets-53538815037

MP backs calls for naming ‘Vichai Circle’ Leicester East MP Keith Vaz has given his backing to calls to rename a major roundabout in Belgrave after the late owner of Leicester City Football Club, and the establishment of a suitable landmark on it. Khun Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha died last year, but he would be celebrating his 61st birthday on Thursday 4thApril 2019. A statue of Khun Vichai is going to be erected at the King Power Stadium, however local residents and their local MP Keith Vaz have called for something to be named after him in the city. Khun Vichai, the founder and CEO of King Power Duty Free, became owner of Leicester City in 2010, renaming the club’s ground the King Power Stadium. His tenure saw the club return to the Premier League in 2014, before their historic 2015-16 championship-winning season which captured the imagination of the world. The proposal is that the

major roundabout at the end of the Belgrave Road should be renamed from Belgrave Circle to Vichai Circle, with a suitable monument to be placed on it to remember the work that he had done for the city. Thousands of people will pass this tribute every day. It has been suggested that part of the site should see the recreation of an English garden which was a favourite of the late owner. At his funeral in Bangkok, such a garden was recreated. Some residents have suggested that a possible landmark could be two giant elephants. Rt Hon Keith Vaz MP, a long-standing supporter of the Foxes, said, “We are immensely proud of the contribution that Khun Vichai and his family have made to the city of Leicester, taking us to the very pinnacle of football. It is right that there should be a memorial to him at the King Power stadium. It is also important that local people in Leicester remem-

COST OF LIVING ALONE HITS 92% OF INCOME Latest data from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) shows that the number of one person households is continuing to rise, up 16% to 7.7 million over the two decades from 1997 to 2017. This is projected to hit 10.7 million by 2039. This has largely been driven by older age groups and as a result of greater numbers of children born in the 1960s and exacerbated by an increase in singles and divorcees. The higher cost of living on your own has also been highlighted, with those doing so spending 92% of their income leaving little room to save. The biggest expenditure is housing costs including rent and bills. Those living alone are also less likely to own their own home giving them less opportunity to accumulate wealth through buying their home or paying off a mortgage. In addition, living alone also has implications that stretch beyond the financial burden. One person households have the lowest measure of wellbeing of all house hold types.

ONE IN TEN PEOPLE OVER 50 YEARS WITH PENSION CLAIM TARGETTED BY FRAUDSTERS New research from a wealth management company Succession Wealth, with more than £7.75 billion of investments under management for over 20,000 clients, reveals that 10% of people aged 50 and over with pension plans, believe they have been approached by pension scammers trying to access their savings. One in twenty of those contacted (5%) – as many as 125,000 people - say they have lost money through one or more pension scams. The scale of this problem could be greater than many assume because the research reveals that only 22% of people aged 50 and over who believe they have been targeted by pension scammers, said they reported this to the authorities. Of those contacted by pension scammers, 84% claim to have been approached by them in the past 12 months, with six percent saying they were contacted by them more than 10 times. Succession Wealth’s research reveals that 68% of people who believe they have been targeted by a pension scammer said they were contacted via the phone, with 27% saying it was via email. Some 4% said they were visited by them in person.In terms of the tactics used by pension scammers, the findings reveal that 62% of those who believe they have been targeted by them said they were offered a ‘free’ pension review, and 42% were told about an investment scheme that promised high guaranteed returns. Some 27% said they were put under pressure to give an answer quickly, and nearly one in five were told about opportunities to use their pension savings to invest in other products but were given no details of these. Mark Stokes, Head of Communications, Succession Wealth said: “Our findings are very alarming and illustrate the potential scale of the problem that is pension scamming. Some of the people being targeted are vulnerable and more needs to be done to protect them. The FCA’s Scamsmart initiative is very helpful in this regard. “We are writing to all of our 20,000 plus clients to warn them of this problem. Given that we manage many of their pension plans, Succession is able to help clients ensure that they don’t become victims of this crime.”

KNIFE CRIME EPIDEMIC CONTINUES, TEEN STABBED IN KINGSBURY Rt Hon Keith Vaz, MP and Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha

ber this very great man who did so much for the city. “Residents have suggested that this gateway to Leicester from the Belgrave Road should be named after him. Some have suggested that we put on a couple of giant elephants with their trunks intertwined, signifying a special lucky memorial. I know from my many conversations with him that he believed elephants brought luck to the club,

and putting them there on the circle that is to be named after him would be very special. “It would also be very nice to recreate an English garden, because I know how much he loved the gardens of England.” Mr. Vaz has written to the Mayor of Leicester Sir Peter Soulsby asking for the Council’s approval, and he has also informed the Football Club.

On 6th April in the middle of the night officers were called to Kingsbury Road following reports that a teenager had been stabbed. But when cops arrived at the scene there was no trace of the victim or suspects. Another two attacks happened in London within hours of each other as another man was stabbed in Brixton, and a woman was stabbed in the stomach near the Emirates Stadium. A Met spokesperson said- “Enquiries established that the injured male, aged 19, had attended a north London hospital for treatment to injuries that are not life threatening. No arrests have been made at this time but enquiries continue.” Meanwhile, Section 60 search powers had been authorised today in Harrow from 9:30am until 12:30am on 7th April for parts of Harrow according to the Metropolitan police's tweets following a non fatal shooting in Harrow. Details for the incident are still awaited.


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Lord Dolar Popat Prime Minister’s Trade Envoy to Rwanda and Uganda

Rwanda Kwibuka 25

Lord Popat and Baroness Scotland with President Paul Kagame and the First Lady during the walk of remembrance in Kigali

This weekend I was in Kigali to commemorate the 25th anniversary of the genocide in Rwanda. It is incredible to think that already a quarter of a century has passed since the horrors of 1994, where 1 million Tutsi people were murdered by their Hutu neighbours over a 100 day period – a faster killing rate than Hitler achieved with all the industrial mechanisms of the Holocaust. The event is significant in more ways than one. It reminds us that we can never afford to be complacent, and that evil knows no bounds. And we must never forget that unlike the Holocaust, which was prosecuted under the cloak of the Second World War, the Rwandan genocide unfolded before our very eyes, under the glare of the media, with the world as a witness. We saw. We knew. We did not stop it. And that will forever be to our shame. And yet, only 25 years later, in the shadow of intense trauma, a remarkable story is emerging: a story about healing and catharsis; about forgiveness and reconciliation; and most of all, about refusing to dwell on the past, and looking positively to the future. The commemoration activities this weekend focused around the flame-lighting ceremony at the memorial. The flame will burn for 100 days - the time it took in 1994 for about a tenth of the country to be massacred. President Paul Kagame then led a vigil at the Amahoro National Stadium, which was used by United Nations officials to try to protect Tutsis during the killings. I had the honour of walking with the President during the walk of remembrance from parliament to the stadium. About 2,000 people were said to have joined the march. A number of dignitaries, including 14 Heads of State were present for the service. This included Prime Minister Charles Michel representing the former colonial ruler, Belgium and European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker. Speaking at the vigil, President Kagame said, “The decimation of Rwanda was more absolute than any known weapon of mass destruction. Not only bodies were destroyed, but the idea of Rwanda itself. The only conclusion to draw from Rwanda’s story is profound hope for our world.” 25 years later, Rwanda is Africa’s great success story. I often refer to the country as the continent’s ‘rising star’. Not only has it managed to smooth over ethnic divisions through policies designed to promote cohesion and a unified Rwandan identity, the country's economy is booming, life expectancy has risen, human capital is being transformed through education and women’s rights are one of the most advanced in the world. Much of this transformation is done to the sterling leadership of President

Kagame who I have had the pleasure of working with over the last few years. Despite being one of the smallest countries on the continent, Rwanda has sustained one of the fastest rates of economic growth of any country in the world, with GDP increases averaging around 7 per a year. Its business-friendly environment coupled with a zero-corruption policy is attracting trade and investment from far and wide. As the Prime Minister’s Trade Envoy to Rwanda, I was pleased to campaign with Baroness Scotland QC, Commonwealth Secretary-General, for the next Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) to be held in Rwanda in 2020. CHOGM will be a huge opportunity for Rwanda to showcase its tremendous potential. I am genuinely excited at connecting UK businesses to the opportunities there because I know that these will be followed through swiftly and efficiently. Rwanda abides by the precept: where there is a will, there is a way. I always say, if you want something done, ask the Rwandans! Even Prime Minister Narendra Modi remarked on this last year when he visited Rwanda to pay tribute to the progress made after the genocide. However, the bitter-sweet sentiments of transformation against the backdrop of the genocide continues to haunt Rwanda. President Kagame touched on this during the vigil by quoting a poem he had heard from a girl some years ago: “There is a saying that God spends the day elsewhere, but returns to sleep in Rwanda. But, where was God on those dark nights of genocide? Looking at Rwanda today, it is clear that God has come back home to stay.” My Guru, Morari Bapu will be hosting a 9 day recital in Rwanda from 20th to 28th April to touch on these sentiments and commemorate the 25th anniversary of the genocide, whilst also celebrating the positive transformation that has taken place in the country. The Katha will be held at the Kigali Convention Centre where over 1000 people are expected to attend from across the world. Bapu will be received personally by President Kagame and Bapu is expected to use the Katha to speak on pain and forgiveness, which continues to burden many Rwandans. The Katha is widely welcomed by the Rwandan community to help enforce the importance of peace and compassion. Rwanda teaches us many lessons. Amid the sadness of remembrance burns the flame of hope. Visit Rwanda and you will see what hope can achieve. You will be amazed by the transformations. You will be inspired by the country’s strength and vision. You will fall in love with the people who have overcome so much adversity, against all odds - and in such a short time.

JUSTICE FOR JALLIANWALA? Continued from page 1

But he had stopped short of an official apology and at the debate on Tuesday,MPs likeLabour MP, PatMcFadden from Wolverhampton South East said that he believes, “the approach of the 100th anniversary of this event provides an opportunity to go further and to issue an official apology”. But the question remains, is the UK government ready to issue a formal apology to a community that only helped the country in building its empire? More fundamentally, will an apology bring closure to the massacre and end bias in Britain by creating a more informed society where history will no longer be taught as a legacy? Prime Minister Theresa May and her government's official stand regarding the Jallianwala Bagh massacre is that it is a ‘work in progress’ subject that is being discussed among ministers,

officials and the British high commission in New Delhi, with indications that this may happen later in the year. But be it Churchill or Cameron 100 years have passed since the event and the UK is still stuck to the same “deeply regret” record of the brutality of the British Raj. Mark Field defends Britain UK Foreign Office minister Mark Field told the debate that while it was important to draw a line under the past over the “shameful episode” in history, repeatedly issuing apologies for events related to the British Raj came with their own problems. He said, “I have slightly orthodox views on Britain’s colonial past. I feel little reluctant to make apologies for things that have happened in the past." He further added, “There are also concerns that any government department has to make about any apology, given that there may well be financial implications to making an apology. “I feel we perhaps debase the currency of apologies if we are seen to make them for many, many events.” However, while reiterating the UK government’s "deepest regret” over the

massacre in Amritsar on April 13, 1919, Field stressed that the issue of appropriately marking the sombre 100th anniversary remains a “work in progress” and an active debate was taking place amongst ministers and senior officials. “Importantly, our modern relationship with India is focussed on the future, on pooling our strengths… However, I also recognise that the relationship is framed in part by the past... “Something is holding us back fulfilling the full potential of the flourishing relationship (with India) and I do accept that it (Jallianwala Bagh) perhaps grates particularly strongly,” the Minister said. 'It shouldn’t take 100 years to say sorry for such a terrible crime' “I have written a cross-party letter to the Minister, calling for the Government to consider this call for an apology anew. It shouldn’t take 100

years to say sorry for such a terrible crime, but saying sorry 100 years on is better than not saying sorry at all,” said Labour MP PatMcFadden, from Wolverhampton South East. Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt has said that he would give “consideration” to the “profound” suggestion by the chair of the parliamentary committee that the U.K. should mark the anniversary by seeking forgiveness from the Indian people for one of the “worst crimes of the colonial period”. But government sources indicate that the apology would definitely not be arriving anytime during the commemoration of the massacre in the upcoming week. The origins of the hostile environment Also, present at the event was Labour MP for Ealing, Southall,Virendra Sharma, who condemned the “historically distant but still today important and emotive event”. “We had unanimously passed motions at our National Conference denouncing the killings. There was no majority support for him [General Dyer] in this country, though a conservative newspaper, which later merged with the

Telegraph, did raise funds for General Dyer and collect the modern equivalent of one million pounds for him. The origins of the hostile environment perhaps,” said Virendra Sharma, Labour MP for Ealing, Southall. But the Labour MP also doesn’t believe that an apology will end all. In 2017 when he had tabled an Early Day Motion, which was supported by members of all the major political parties, he had been “calling not just for an apology, but also for education and commemoration." “And last March I asked the Prime Minister whether she would lend her weight to the campaign for remembrance of this brutal day. I want children across the country to benefit from learning about the Jallianwala Bagh massacre, I want them to learn not just about a thousand years of British success and innovation but also about the human cost across the world

of expedition, exploration and exploitation," added Sharma. Today, the common belief shared among the community members remain around needing that sense of acknowledgment that the event regardless of the circumstance were a terrible mistake. But most importantly, to avoid such horrific tragedies and prevent racial discrimination, colonial history should not be taught as a legacy but an oppressive empire. “The government must realise that time has come to look at this event in the way that gives closure to people and allow them to move forward in terms of the relationship that they have with the United Kingdom,” said Khalid Mahmood, Labour MP from Birmingham, Perry Barr. Yet, the issue continues to be debated in Parliament and Mark Field MP for London and Westminster will take the “message” back to Downing Street for further discussion. “Jallianwala Bagh massacre should be taught to our children in schools and apologising for this aweful event will take forward our friendship with India,” concluded Bob Blackman, Conservative MP from Harrow East.


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13 - 19 April 2019

Diaspora survey across Europe finds NRIs and OCIs overwhelmingly supporting BJP Results from Bridge India’s first annual diaspora survey show that NRIs and OCIs in the UK would overwhelmingly vote for the BJP if they had the right to vote in Indian elections starting this week. This is the only survey of its kind done in the UK and – to our knowledge – globally, ahead of the Elections to understand how the Indian diaspora would vote. The survey received nearly 350 responses during March this year, mostly from the UK, but also some from across Europe. One-third of the respondents were NRIs, and two-thirds were OCIs. From those that provided a response, 20% identified themselves as left of centre on the political spectrum, 22% as centrist and 29% as right of centre. To the question of how they would vote, if they were able to, in the Indian General Elections starting this week, 62% said they would vote BJP, 24% said Congress, with 8% choosing AAP. Name recognition amongst the regional parties in India was low amongst both NRIs and OCIs. A third of respondents did not wish to say or did not feel they had enough information to make a decision. This was particularly true of OCIs, who felt somewhat connected to India, but did not feel they had sufficient information to

have an informed opinion. Amongst the NRIs that responded, 79% said they would vote for the BJP. This reflects a significant mobilisation of NRI support in the UK by the BJP, through a strong grassroots structure built particularly amongst the Gujarati community. However, respondents voiced frustration at not being able to easily vote in the elections. NRIs can currently only vote in Indian elections by travelling back to their constituency to cast their vote, but less than 6% were happy with the status quo. 61% said that they should be allowed to instead vote at their local Consulate or Embassy and 17% said they should be allowed to appoint a proxy to cast their vote for them. More than 60% also strongly agreed with the statement that Indian should be allowed dual citizenship, which is currently not allowed. Bridge India is a new progressive non-profit think tank dedicated to discourse on public policy for the betterment of India, launched in October 2018. It’s first office was established in London, with further European branches in the coming year. It is the first such Indian diaspora think tank in Europe and has sought to engage with stakeholders, policy makers and business leaders through curated events, seminars and

though leadership. The full results of the diaspora survey, which covered questions around economic development, charity, and wider social engagement between Indian diaspora and India, will be released later in Summer 2019. NRI voting A source from the High Commission of India told Asian Voice, NRIs can register themselves to vote, but as India does not support e-voting, the only way a voter can exercise his/her rights is by personally visiting the booth. Postal ballots and proxy votings arereserved for government and armed forces personnel only.

Touching lives in India A day spent walking around some of India’s cities will give you a rough idea of the number of underprivileged children and families, deprived of basic education, medical aid and sanitation. Around 40 years ago, however, a ray of hope shone down on some of India’s poor in the form of Help A Poor Child (HAPC), a UK-based charity run solely by volunteers. HAPC was founded by London businessman Derrick Pereira, in 1980, when the late Mother Colombiere, former headmistress of St Anne’s School in Mumbai, suggested that Pereira, ‘do something for India’s poor’. Ever since, the charity has supported deprived families across Mumbai, Goa, Chennai and Kolkata. HAPC’s work across India’s states, has involved clothes, books and stationery distribution programmes to students; providing disabled children with wheelchairs; and organising event gettogethers for poor children. Most notable, however, is HAPC’s support towards education — several beneficiary families received a regular monthly stipend per child. Each child was supported from primary school up to Year 10. In a few deserving cases, HAPC went on to help

these children until they completed Years 11 and 12 — two brothers in a family of 13 children were enrolled in a six-month airconditioning course, fully funded by HAPC, after their Year 10 examinations. Through HAPC’s initiatives, the prospects of many young people have been enriched. HAPC funding helped a Fransciscan Hospitaller nun, Sister Rosita, to work with slum children in Mumbai. The charity also issued a grant to the Jan Kalyan Trust, which works with poor tribes in the Raigad district of Maharashtra. In Kolkata, HAPC provided financial and medical aid to students from the Marian Education Centre, which catered to school dropouts from the community. Today, one of their former students teaches Mathematics at the Centre, and several others are on track to completing their college education. HAPC’s child sponsorship programme ran successfully in Chennai, which provided poor families with the means to care for their children who would otherwise have been left to roam the streets and slums. Telephone: 020 8905 2761 and Email: info@hapc.co.uk

South Asia Solidarity Group protests against BJP On 6th April South Asia Solidarity Group along with the School of Oriental and African Studies, (SOAS) organised a protest outside the India House in light of the upcoming Parliamentary elections in India. “Who killed Mohammed Akhlaq? BJPRSS,” were among the few slogans chanted as members of the diaspora community gathered to oppose the ruling BJP government. Citizens echoed their concerns around lynchings of Muslims, Dalits and Christians by RSS-led mobs, assassinations of dissenters, rapes and escalating violence against women and girls, the arrests and incarceration of human rights defenders and progressive intellectuals have indeed turned India into a republic of fear. The Parliamentary elections in India commences on April 11 and the results will be expected around May 23.

Members of the South Asia Solidarity Group and SOAS protesting outside the India House

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13 - 19 April 2019

Brexit upheavals It would a great disappointment for many if Brexit doesn’t happen. Theresa May’s sincere and tireless efforts to honour the result of referendum despite lack of cooperation and challenges from fellow MPs are commendable. Failing to deliver on Brexit is undermining democracy. The biggest downside of staying in EU is uncontrollable immigration. The immigration authority has consistently let down the British public on this issue year after year since UK joined EU. The ministers responsible must accept responsibility for their failure in this vital matter. It is up to them to find the solution for smooth transition to Brexit and get us out of the mess the country is going through. Britain has its strength. EU needs Britain as much as Britain needs EU. Good trading and other relations between these two are for their mutual interest. When things cool down, EU policy can be more flexible and accommodating. In UK crime rates are escalating. NHS is under crisis. Country is divided. Uncertainty is looming. Businesses are suffering and economy disrupted. If the PM is confident about the deal that it will work for Britain,the cabinet members need to trust and respect her judgement and go ahead with it. It is high time Britain recognises its strength and think positive. No matter whatever decision taken,remain or leave, all will not be pleased. Let democracy be upheld and Brexit delivered. Niranjan Vasant By email

Brexit bothers Now that the time for Britain’s exit from the European Union (EU), is fast approaching, there are still uncertainities surrounding the whole issue and people are talking of a second referundum. Since there are concerns about our exit from the mighty EU, why not go for a second referundum? After all, the first referendum, when people voted 51 to 49 in favour of coming out was not very convincing. A second referundum may well produce a more convincing outcome. Better be sure now than regret later. Brexit has already taken its toll causing the resignations of a number of ministers. Also, businesses are closing down and jobs are being lost. There are demands for the Revocation of article 50 and going back to square one. While the negotiations are continuing and time of our exit from the European Union (EU), is fast approaching, let us pause and contemplate on what could happen if we were to leave the EU without a deal. Would that mean that there would be a shortage of medicines? Would diabetics die en masse without the import of life saving mediciens, say for example, insulin? Would there be a famine like situation without the import of grains and meat from the EU countries? How would we survive without the import of these essential commodties from Europe? Even without Britain, EU would remain a force to be reckoned with but Britain may not get easy sailing without the support of the EU. Dinesh Sheth Newbury Park, Ilford

Segragation in temples You had a report in you newspaper 23rd-29th March 2019 of International Women's Day conference at Neesdon Temple. I wonder if the irony of that was noticed by anyone, the priests at the temple do not even allow women in their presence. Bhagwan Purushatam is a new God on the block, I have not been able to understand why the Swaminaryan Santha do not allow women to have any direct contact with the priests after all they also had mother like everybody else. Are they afraid of Women? Baroness Flather By email

MAKE YOURSELF HEARD Write to our ‘Reader’s Voice’ section about what you think regarding the various ongoing issues all around the world. Please send your letters to aveditorial@abplgroup.com Make sure they are NOT more than 400 words. Any letter longer than the limit may not be published. Note that all your letters are subject to being edited by our team for valid reasons. - Asian Voice

Open letter to residents following Edmonton Stabbings Dear Residents, I am writing to you following the five serious stabbing incidents that have occurred in the N18 area of Edmonton over the weekend and into Tuesday this week. My thoughts are with the victims and their families. We have all been deeply unsettled following these seemingly random and unprovoked attacks on local people in our borough. I hope that I can give you some assurance from Enfield Council and update you on the role we play in supporting the Police when events like this occur. Events of this nature are led by the Police, and the role of the council is to do everything we can to support them in their investigations. Council officers are in daily dialogue with the Police and I remain in direct contact with the Borough Commander. Over past few days, we have assisted the Police with their enquiries by providing any helpful information we may have from across all our council departments. Council officers together with the Police have also been providing community support and reassurance where we can – but I know whilst Police investigations are in progress residents across Enfield continue to feel anxious. In response, the Police are deploying extra officers into the area, many coming in from other parts of London. Extra Police and specialist resources, both uniformed and plain clothes, are in the Edmonton area. A Section 60 notice has been requested and issued. This means that police officers can use enhanced search powers should they be required. This year our borough has already experienced too many incidents involving young people and violence. However, the Police have confirmed that the latest incidents in Edmonton are not being treated as gang related. It has also been confirmed that arrests have been made in connection with the recent attacks and the investigation is progressing at pace. There are five crime scenes, meaning that there is a significant amount of CCTV and forensic material to collate and assess, which Police officers are working to process as fast as possible. I know the most important thing to you is feeling safe in the borough and that we are all able to return to our daily routine as swiftly as possible. The Police are not advising people to stay indoors but are asking you to be alert and aware of your surroundings. In the meantime, if you have any information that can help with the investigation, however small, please report it to the Police on 101. If you feel under threat, please contact the Police on 999 immediately. Cllr Nesil Caliskan Leader of Enfield Council

Knife crime in Harrow In view of the recent stabbings in Harrow, it is with great concern we see knife crime and killings spilling over into Harrow. This is an unacceptable situation for the leafy and peaceful borough. It was not expected to see such crimes to happen here. Now that this epidemic has spread to Harrow, we have now to tackle it robustly before it gets any worse. It is incumbent on the Police, schools, councillors, community leaders, parents and the general public to co-ordinate and find ways to means minimise such crimes. A glut of cocaine flooding the country has been partly blamed for the country's violent crime. Knife crime in Britain is on the rise - with London especially seeing unprecedented numbers of stabbings. Policerecorded crime has risen by 10% across England and Wales – the largest annual rise for a decade – according to the Office for National Statistics. Home secretary said police resources are important in tackling the problem Police have called for immediate cash to help fight the problem Sajid Javid has vowed to treat knife crime as a “disease” after the issue came back into the spotlight following a recent spate of fatal stabbings. Theresa May’s reluctance to acknowledge a link between officer numbers and bloodshed. Police have called for immediate cash to help address the issue after knife crime in the UK was described as a “national emergency. It is time now to put a stop to these unnecessary killing of young men and women. Government has to urgently put in place enough resources and manpower to tackle this menace before it gets out of control and cause more damage. 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

The Menace of Knife Crime I vividly remember good, old days when we first landed on these shores in late sixties. Traditionally East End was first port of call for new arrivals, whether they were Jews fleeing persecution in Germany and Russia or refugees fleeing divested countries at the end of WW2 for economic reasons. Although East End was one of the most deprived areas in London, there were no crimes, ladies were able to enjoy Navratri, walk back home late at night in complete safety. So why East End has changed beyond recognition! Government slogan was “Tough on crime and tough on reasons behind crimes!” as if fancy slogans could be the easiest way to reduce crimes, fool the public rather than invest in police, put more bobbies on the beat, open or rather not to shut youth clubs and such other places where bored youngsters can spend their time in safe environment, under watchful eyes of volunteer social workers. When it comes to social care funding, government pleads poverty but not when it comes to Overseas Aid and Defence Spending which is much higher than super rich countries like Germany who depends on us for their safety! In the Land of Blind, one eyed Jack is the king; that is how our politicians behave, whether it is Brexit, NHS, Transport or Immigration. No wonder Britain is at odds with EU! No one has mentioned parents’ role or how much family can influence in reducing knife crimes. Many children are brought up in one parent family, mainly by mothers who struggle to make the end meet. The tradition of family dinner where whole family sit on the dining table together and week-ends spend in parks during summer months has become the thing of the past. Parents have neither time nor inclination for such tradition and children brought-up in such environment prefer the company of other children, gathering on street corners that lead to formation of gangs, drug trafficking and ultimately knife crime. Prosecuting these children may not work, as so often it is seen as a “Badge of Honour” not a deterrent. The answer lies in combination of measures, including name and shame, perhaps corporal punishment in worse case scenario but without increase funding which has been cut to the bone, nothing will work, especially government policy to involve teachers, doctors and nurses who are already working long hours, loyal to their profession beyond call of duty! Let us call, spade a spade without fear or favour! Kumudini Valambia By email

Unbelievable poverty in land of plenty It is indeed heart rendering to watch news on our TV about sufferings people have to endure in a so-called land of plenty, especially in London, a city so often referred as one of the richest city in the world. It is a misconception beyond belief, unless it refers to the “City Square Mile”, home of banks, stock market and center for financial wheeling dealing, a natural haunt for whiz kids, where millions are made and lost in a matter of minutes! The food bank phenomenon was not so alien to British people. But now food poverty is joined by period poverty and the new phenomena to come to our attention is Baby Poverty where the mother to be struggles to prepare for the new arrival, with baby-cot, nappies, buggies and other such items necessary for new arrival. So such “Baby Banks” are mushrooming in the most deprived areas of cities like London, Birmingham and Manchester, a few amongst many deprived hot-spots. Government has just announced increase of £500 million in “Overseas Aid Budget” taking it up to £14:50 billion, more than entire police budget, the sum government finds it difficult to spend wisely. Am I alone in thinking that our government behaves like “Robin Hood” overseas and “Shylock” at home, that charity begins in far-off lands rather that here at our front doors! If ordinary people like us find it difficult to watch such depressing, distressing news, along with overcrowding, struggle to see GP, long waiting in A & E department that elderly, chronically sick and disable people find it difficult to endure, so often they go away without receiving any treatment. How come this does not trouble the conscious of our politicians who are on most part, kind and caring, always able and willing to help their constituents in their hour of need! In MP Priti Patel, we had a sensible, caring and knowledgeable Secretary of State for Overseas Aid. Unfortunately PM is prone to losing most effective and dedicated Ministers, like David Davis, Boris Johnson, Priti Patel, Sailesh Vara and many more, for one reason or another. Could it be that British people who are so kind, caring and generous to a fault but politically not as astute as those of France and Germany! Most of our MPs are over the age of fifty, perhaps it is time to bring in young blood who may be street wise, in touch with people at grass-root level, understand our pain, our need and not blinded by empty political slogans and act accordingly for the good of British public! Bhupendra M. Gandhi By email


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13 - 19 April 2019

Bid to clear names over visa test cheat claims

An Indian woman living in Scotland has spoken of her fight to clear her name over fraud allegations on a scandal-hit English language testing programme. Nidhin Chand was accused of using a stand-in to sit an English language test for her visa application. The Home Office cancelled 36,000 student visas after cheating and fraud was uncovered at test centres. It said the study visa system has since been reformed and "these reforms are working". The scandal came to light as a result of a BBC documentary that looked at centres administering the Test of English for I n t e r n a t i o n a l Communication (TOEIC). Ms Chand - who is engaged to Linlithgow SNP MP Martyn Day - tutored English in Kerala, south India, before completing a master's degree in the UK. The 41-year-old told BBC Scotland's The Nine: "They say I have used a

the police station they said, 'It is about UKVI (UK Visas and Immigration) and [the Home Office] has taken a decision, you are illegal, you have done Nidhin Chand is engaged to Linlithgow SNP MP something wrong, there are deception Martyn Day charges'. I haven't proxy. I have told everyone I deceived anyone." haven't used a proxy. In 2014, an investigation "I said, 'Please talk to me by BBC Panorama revealed and then you will realise systematic cheating and whether I have to use a fraud on TOEIC exams at proxy or not, tell me test centres in England. whether you can underAs a result, the Home stand my English…'." Office ordered the US firm Due to her spouse visa, providing the exams, Ms Chand is no longer at Educational Testing Service risk of being removed from (ETS), to check over 58,000 the UK. However, she said tests taken between 2011 she is desperate to correct and 2014. her record. Voice-recognition softShe continued: "I have ware suggested proxy test been crying every day… It is takers were used in more painful when someone calls than 30,000 cases. More you a fraud and arrests you than a thousand people in front of the public and were removed from the humiliates you. country as a result of the "When they took me to investigation.

Website gets young people in the zone A new smart phone friendly website is enabling young people aged 11-19 in Brent to search for activities, opportunities and relevant services. Brent Youth Zone is packed full of things to do for young people to do locally, and includes volunteering opportunities, sports activities and apprenticeship roles. In addition to this there are also information pages about health, personal safety and employment advice. Many of the activities

and services are inclusive, welcoming young people with SEND. Young people were key in the development of the website and their feedback was vital as the council developed the site. The Brent Youth Zone logo was inspired by a Year 7 pupil from Capital City Academy who entered a borough wide competition to brand the Brent Youth Zone. Cllr Mili Patel, Cabinet Member for Children and Young People said: "This website does a great job of

bringing together all the great opportunities for young people in one place." "The best part is that young people helped the design and development of the website. It really is a website for young people, by young people and we want to keep it that way. We are always on the lookout for more opportunities and ask that if young people know of any activities or events that should be included on the site, they get in touch with us."

Ofsted inspection grades challenged Parents should have more reliable measures than Ofsted grades to compare schools in England, says a report from a new education think tank. The EDSK report challenges the accuracy of grades such as outstanding, good or requires improvement. Think tank director Tom Richmond says there is no evidence to support "summarising an entire school in a single number or phrase". But Ofsted rejected the claims about inspectors' grades as "inaccurate". The report warns of a lack of consistency and reliability in the ratings given to schools. It proposes that there should no longer be a single, overall grade, and instead parents should have a more detailed set of comparisons and information about schools. A spokeswoman for Ofsted dismissed the think tank's claims. "There is little new in the report and several inaccuracies. Some of it we have said ourselves and are

addressing through our new inspections, which will launch this autumn," said the Ofsted spokeswoman. "We are open to serious debate about how we inspect, as shown through our recent consultation on a new inspection approach. We will be publishing the outcome soon." This consultation on changes to Ofsted inspections is about to close, with suggestions from the watchdog that there should be less focus on exam results and performance data. Ofsted chief Amanda Spielman has warned about the risk of schools being steered by inspections to focus "too narrowly on test and exam results". Mary Bousted, joint general secretary of the National Education Union, said there needed to be a "fundamental overhaul of the accountability system". She said that "tinkering with the Ofsted framework will make no helpful difference to the government's desire to improve teacher or head teacher recruitment, retention or wellbeing".

The Association of School and College Leaders welcomed the proposed change of emphasis as a "step in the right direction". The heads' union leader Geoff Barton said this could be an "important reform". Nick Brook of the National Association of Head Teachers said: "The ambition in Ofsted's proposals is sound, but the reality is problematic. We recognise the good intent, but school leaders are unconvinced by the detail." Earlier this week, two other head teachers' organisations, the Headteachers' Roundtable and WorthLess?, sent a joint statement rejecting the grading system for inspections as "hugely problematic". The heads groups said there was an "absence of any independent empirical evidence" for the "reliability of the grades produced and the validity of conclusions". They warned that the outcome of inspections could be too "dependent on a school's intake rather than its effectiveness".

“Our London”

Navin Shah

GLA Member for Brent and Harrow

Action Against FGM After a sabbatical to reenergise I’m glad to be back with you to share my thoughts and issues. I have a number of issues lined up in my head! Here is the first one. Early this year in a landmark ruling, a mother-of-three became the first person in Britain to be found guilty of female genital mutilation (FGM), a gruesome practice that has been outlawed in the country for more than three decades. Following this, I seconded a motion in London Assembly to seek Londonwide action. Nimco Ali, a British Somali anti-FGM campaigner and survivor of FGM said “it has taken 34 years for us to secure a successful conviction, but now that we have, I know things will change. Those within communities such as mine who thought police were too scared to act now know this is not the case. Young people are joining the cause, to ensure everyone knows that we all have a role to play in the fight against FGM”. There is a sense that real change is coming and I sincerely hope that the first conviction will lead to further convictions for those who carry out this crime and eventually lead London to be a zero cutting city. The ‘Let’s Protect Our Girls’ campaign does excellent work in raising awareness of FGM and it’s lifelong consequences on women across the country. It brings attention to the brilliant work the NSPCC have been doing in this area. I commend the work of the Mayor’s Office of Policing and Crime (MOPAC) ‘FGM Early Intervention Model’ that was piloted across five London-Boroughs. The FGM clinics set up under this pilot scheme have brought a holistic approach, combining health, social care and

therapeutic services working together with community-organisations. I understand that women who have been referred to these clinics reported that the benefits of attending are considerable as they have gained knowledge and understanding about their own experiences with FGM, as well as an understanding of how to protect their children from it, whilst being offered practical and emotional support to deal with this difficult issues. I hope that this scheme will help shape our future approach to tackling FGM in London. Another important part of ensuring London is a zero cutting city, is to educate about FGM and it’s dangers. I commend Norbury School in Harrow for their pioneering work on this. They raise awareness of FGM amongst children and families, and also work to spot signs of possible FGM in children, and work to safeguard them. They deliver specific FGM awareness lessons to children aged 7 and up and promote the NSPCC’s ‘PANTS campaign’ to all pupils across the school. Their approach involves a number of different voices, centred on the children, but bringing together parents, community-groups, health services and the police. Norbury has gained a fantastic reputation as leaders in this field and their work acknowledged by the Mayor of London and also in the House of Commons. I sincerely hope that we can see that MOPAC scheme expanded beyond current 5 boroughs, particularly in Brent and Harrow with some of the highest recorded figures of FGM in the country. I am planning a multiagency roundtable conference to take this issue forward. Important that we grab the sense of change and work together to eradicate FGM.


12 UK 13 - 19 April 2019

SP

TLIGHT

AsianVoiceNews

Dr Samir Pathak S

amir created the international sports initiative, Cricket Beyond Boundaries, in 2011 to help those from disadvantaged backgrounds utilise cricket to improve their quality of life. Working with several handpicked, British educational institutes, including the prestigious Cheadle Hulme and Durham Schools, and renowned cricket authorities, such as the cricket academy of former Indian cricket captain, Dilip Vengsarkar and various selected orphanages, overseas in India, the former accomplished cricketer has successfully set up a philanthropic program whereby poor Indian youth can have the opportunity for a better, elevated life via the passion of cricket.

he didn’t want to go back – I think his suitcases were overweight from all the gifts his classmates had given him!” With Cricket Beyond Boundaries then, the practice extends from their dissolving of global boundaries to the emotional barriers within. *** In fact, cricketing and its inherent soft skills have greatly enhanced Samir’s career, who currently works as a liver and pancreatic surgeon: “I am in my final year of specialist training as a liver and pancreatic sub-specialist, but have continued to play cricket recreationally. I also work as a clinical lecturer with the University of Bristol, researching surgical innovation: over time, cricket has helped sharpen my concentration, the ability to prioritise time, and work collaboratively and alongside people

“Having played a lot of the gentlemen’s sport growing up, later on going to play at league level and represent English universities,” Samir opened, “I wanted to spread the benefits of the sport to those who were less fortunate.” Indeed, to date, “20 young cricketers have benefitted from the scheme.” This includes Prithvi Shaw of the Delhi Daredevils and Sarfaraz Khan of Kings XI Punjab. More specifically, the organisation facilitates the travel of financially struggling cricketers to Britain for short rather than competitively.” periods of time to play and develop However, despite his undeniable their cricketing abroad in Britain, connection to cricket - Samir was allowing them good education and an recently appointed to the renowned invigorated outlook on future Marylebone Cricket Club committee– prospects along the way. The younghe made sure to emphasise the generalsters can ascend to play Club cricket ly constructive impact of sport as a diswith teams in the Yorkshire and cipline itself: “everyone is equal on any Durham leagues during their time in playing field: some of our youngsters, the country: “Some have for example, know they are good returned two or three cricketers but being able to times on the scheme.” do that in a different 'It can be This also provides environment and reina great advantage forcing the sporting quite intimidating upon the young talent builds courage to go from an cricketers’ return yet more– all sport is to India, boosting also an excellent environment of their sporting platform for bringpoverty to that of careers as well as ing people of differalternative desired ent cultures and privilege, but this at employment, even backgrounds togethonce pushes youth inspiring others in er. Just go to any to value their their challenging sports final or social situation. “The arena[SP1] !” From crickabilities' chosen children are given eting to football and table the opportunity to be tennis, sport is an unspoken immersed in a new way of life, yet highly accessible, “shared lanwhich builds both confidence and guage.” In fact, the mutual cultural reshope. It’s about more than just cricket: onance cricket has with both India and we want to open up a wider experience Britain braces the anchor provided for to them. It can be quite intimidating to Indian youth to feel at home in go from poverty to an environment of England.” As Samir stated: “if Rugby privilege but this at once pushes youth were more widely played in India, you to value their abilities and realise their can be quite sure it would have the worth alongside honing the sport. If same effect on the CBB candidates,” you can surmount those challenges, giving them that grounding force. you can acknowledge having a Also, elaborating on his medbrighter future and overcomical background outside of ing any obstacle. Additionally, CBB, Samir continued: “as 'We go candidates can acquire good such a wide range of people beyond English and vocational experare present at sporting tise, and really bond with the events, it presents an opporcricket' British children so everyone tunity for public health gains cross-culturally: they screening: you could screen embark on an exciting and positive people for common conditions journey together.” The charity had one such as diabetes and use the opportunicandidate, for example, “Rupash ty to raise public awareness: for examBorade, who lost his parents at just the ple NHS transplant last year used a test tender age of six, and was subsequently match to create more dialogue around placed in Chembur Children’s Home in organ donation, and kidney donation Mumbai. He was quite timid when he in particular as there is a high requirecame over initially, but by the end of ment for kidney transplants in the his time with CBB, he was so sociable Asian community due to the higher

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MAN CHARGED WITH MURDER EXTRADITED TO UK FROM INDIA

Cricket Beyond Boundaries

Sunetra Senior

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Dr Samir Pathak

rate of Diabetes.” [SP2] And so, Cricket Beyond Boundaries doesn’t just demonstrate the universal power of physical recreation but also the professional merit in being a wellrounded individual: especially in the expansive, personal field. Samir concluded: “of course, we’re very proud of the high-profile success stories the cause has generated, but equally so of its wider contribution to orphaned and underprivileged cricketers who’d have never had the chance to develop themselves at all: it’s about giving the faceless a chance to succeed. Some may not become high-flyers or play international cricket, but at least they are given a chance to truly seize life.”

Tell us a bit more about Cricket Beyond Boundaries: what you do and your future vision? Eventually, we’d like to get disadvantaged youth from England to have a similar experience of cultural exchange in India, and expand the scheme to all cricket playing nations. We’d also like to help potentially disabled cricketers as well as getting more female cricketers into the program. On practical terms, we have a solid team of cricketing experts and excellent players recommending us the youth who could benefit from the program. We have great people on the ground. When coming to England, we always make sure there is physical training worked into the youngsters’ schedule to keep them connected to the sport. In terms of support, the British High Commission and schools here has been very supportive, and our team is so diligent and hardworking. We are developing a great track record all round[SP3] . Finally, we host charity events, for example at the House of Lords with such notable cricketers as Sachin Tendulkar[SP4] , Rahul Dravid, and Sunil Gavaskar. Having been a big cricketer yourself, what are some of your strengths? I was quite a good wicket-keeper! What especially pulled you towards cricket? It’s been an organic love for the game. I’ve grown up with it – there are certain players who I love to watch, and styles they have which I’m drawn to. The game has an imitable sense of team spirit, comradery. Does cricket Relieve the pressure for your work as a doctor? Certainly. Cricket builds the emotional energy to replenish me for sometimes stressful medical work. Finally, you work across two very intense passions. Do you think that ambition itself can be passed on? I’m not sure about that – it’s more innate, I think. W:http://cricketbeyondboundaries.co m/our-team/

A man has appeared in court charged with the murder of his estranged wife and their two children in 2006. Mohammed Abdul Shakur, 45, appeared at Barkingside Magistrates’ Court, Monday, 8 April Juli Begum charged with three counts of murder, after being extradited to the UK from India, here he has been imprisoned for immigration offences since 2012, making him perhaps one of the first Bangladeshi to be extradited to UK from India. Proceedings for his extradition began in 2013 but have only recently been completed. Juli Begum, 26, was found deceased with her children Anika and Thanha Khanum, aged five and six respectively, Anika and Thanha Khanum at her home in Nelson Street, E1 in January 2007 after concerns were raised for their welfare. They were strangled to death. The Metropolitan Police said at the time of the deaths that no forced entry took place at the address as they tried to trace Shakur. Shakur appeared at Barkingside Magistrates Court on Monday 8th- more than 12 years after the deaths charged with three counts of murder. He arrived in the UK at Heathrow Airport on Saturday, 6 April. He was taken into custody and charged on 7 April. He will next appear at the Old Bailey on Wednesday, April 10.

EX-WIFE CLAIMS SIGNATURE FOR PROPERTY TRANSFER WAS 'FORGED'

A couple are in dispute after the ex-wife has claimed that her signature was forged to 'sell off' her share of a house, that she wanted to keep for her daughters- 12 and 18 years old. Anbreen Nadeem, 47, is now fighting Nadeem Ullah, 49, a lawyer, over her rights to a five-bedroom house in an exclusive Greater Manchester village, Hale Barns, The Times has reported. On Monday 8th, a Manchester court ruled that Mr Ullah could sell the property for £1.8 million if he could find a buyer and complete the deal by the end of the month. The court also ordered him to pay £1.1 million into a third-party bank account, which will hold the funds until the allegations over the signature are resolved. The court reportedly heard that Mr Ullah had previously agreed to sell the house to Marcos Rojo, 29, a professional football player with Manchester United. But the deal fell through after a fire damaged the house’s kitchen, the report said. Ms Nadeem has argued that the property should not have been sold without her consent and the true value was £2.2 million. According to Daily Mail, Mr Ullah has claimed that Ms Nadeem has no legal right over the property because they never lived in the property and never derived any legal or beneficial interest from it. Mr Ullah also told the court that he and Ms Nadeem were never legally married under the English law, but by a Muslim marriage ceremony in 1999. The court has been given document that appears to be signed by him, Ms Nadeem and a witness. Ms Nadeem has claimed that she did not authorise the transfer of ownership and that her signature was forged by an “unknown third party”. The case continues.


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Eye camp in India helps hundreds thanks to Slough Rotary Club A free Eye Camp for Cataract operations organised by the past president of Slough Rotary Club has helped 468 patients. The camp for blind people from the villages around the town of Shahabad Markanda in the State of Haryana (100 miles north of Delhi) in India was run with the help and co-operation of the town's own Rotary Club. The Shahabad Markanda Rotary Club had distributed leaflets in Hindi and English. This Free Eye Camp was the15th annual camp organised by Ram Bedi, Past President of Rotary Club of Slough. This year Ram and his wife Shubi could not

travel to India due to Shubi's serious illness. However Ram's younger brother from Northern Ireland who happened to be travelling in India at the time represented the family. He was chief

guest at this function. A total of 468 patients were registered and examined at the Shiv Mandir complex for Eye Screening and 101 patients were selected to be operated at the Dr.

Veena Choudhrey Foundation Eye Hospital, Shahabad. The remaining patients were either given medicines or glasses. Each cataract operation cost just £25 (cost of one lens).

High Sheriff of Berkshire presents Slough resident with award for community work The High Sheriff of Berkshire gave the founder of the Asian Carers Group in Slough a special award at an awards ceremony in Newbury last week. Mrs Pushpa Kharbanda was presented with the award by Graham Baker in recognition of the many years of service to the community in Slough Mrs Kharbanda has given. Over the course of the last 40 years, Pushpa has worked tirelessly to empower Slough residents, in particular Asian women, to have a voice. She established the Asian Carers Group over 25 year ago whilst working at Slough Social Services after

she recognised a gap in services for residents who had language barriers. The group allows carers respite from their duties by organising trips away. It also provides information and advice to carers and allows fellow carers to share common ideas and the problems affecting them. Amongst her other work in the local community, Pushpa is the Secretary of the Milan Day Centre, which organises social activities for the elderly Asian community in Slough. She was also one of the first members of the Indian Women’s Association and spent 12 years on the management committee of the

Pushpa Kharbanda being presented with her award

Slough and District Victim Support. Pushpa said “I am thrilled and honoured to receive such a prestigious award. I meet so many amazing people through my

work who have challenging lives, and they have inspired and motivated me over the years. I am grateful for the recognition and I would like to dedicate this award to them”.

Websites to be fined over 'online harms' under new proposals

Internet sites could be fined or blocked if they fail to tackle "online harms" such as terrorist propaganda and child abuse, under government plans. The Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) has proposed an independent watchdog that will write a "code of practice" for tech companies. Senior managers could be held liable for breaches, with a possible levy on the industry to fund the regulator. But critics say the plans threaten freedom of speech. The Online Harms White Paper is a joint proposal from the DCMS and the Home Office. A public consultation on the plans

will run for 12 weeks. The paper suggests: ● establishing an independent regulator that can write a "code of practice" for social networks and internet companies ● giving the regulator enforcement powers including the ability to fine companies that break the rules ● considering additional enforcement powers such as the ability to fine company executives and force internet service providers to block sites that break the rules Outlining the proposals, Culture Secretary Jeremy Wright said: "The era of self-regulation for online companies is over. Voluntary actions from

industry to tackle online harms have not been applied consistently or gone far enough." Discussing potential penalties on BBC Breakfast, he said: "If you look at the fines available to the Information Commissioner around the GDPR rules, that could be up to 4% of company's turnover... we think we should be looking at something comparable here." The plans call for an independent regulator to hold internet companies to account. It would be funded by the tech industry. The government has not decided whether a new body will be established, or an existing one handed new powers. The regulator will define a "code of best practice" that social networks and internet companies must adhere to. As well as Facebook, Twitter and Google, the rules would apply to messaging services such as Snapchat and cloud storage services. The regulator will

have the power to fine companies and publish notices naming and shaming those that break the rules. The government says it is also considering fines for individual company executives and making search engines remove links to offending websites. It is also consulting over blocking harmful websites. And freedom of speech campaigners Article 19 warned that the government "must not create an environment that encourages the censorship of legitimate expression". A spokesman said it opposed any duty of care being imposed on internet platforms. They said that would "inevitably require them to proactively monitor their networks and take a restrictive approach to content removal". "Such actions could violate individuals' rights to freedom of expression and privacy," they added.

CIIr Ketan Sheth Councillor for Tokyngton Wembley Brent Council’s Chair of Community and Wellbeing Scrutiny Committee

Chance to Shape a Healthier Future

The announcement that plans to close Ealing and Charing Cross A&Es will no longer go ahead was not a surprise to those of us who work closely with the North West London NHS. In recent meetings in public, they have been very open about the fact that they were reconsidering their plans given the lack of available capital and the context of the new NHS Long Term Plan. What was a little surprising was the way in which the news was broken. It seemed odd for the Health Secretary, Matthew Hancock, to make the announcement on the 26th March 2019 in response to a parliamentary question from an MP. It was clear on the day that many in the NHS had not been made aware of what Mr Hancock was planning to say. We hear much from the government about the importance of the NHS and local councils like mine working together in partnership to develop plans for services in their area. Most of us are doing what we can to support this. Making an announcement like that over all our heads was not a very good example of such partnership working. Nonetheless, the NHS decision to shelve those parts of the Shaping a Healthier Future programme that had caused most public controversy does give us a real opportunity to move forward together in North West London. There are major challenges facing health and social care across our eight boroughs and neither the NHS nor local authorities can resolve these alone. Making sure all of us get the care we need and that that the right staff are there to deliver it are matters that should concern us all. If you add in the problems of crumbling buildings and lack of money - the North West London NHS has a massive problem with its estate, with some of our hospitals close to falling down - then you can see there is an agenda where local authorities and NHS leaders should be working together. And government support will be needed too. It is not all doom and gloom. Despite the lack of money, there are real opportunities to work with local people to improve their health. We should be working together to keep people well, to make sure they don't keep having to provide the same information to numerous doctors and nurses and to help them navigate a health and care system that can seem very complex. Better support for our children and young people, the frail elderly and people with mental health issues or long term medical conditions are areas where the NHS and local boroughs need to cooperate closely to have any chance of success. And if we can make our local residents active citizens - both physically and in terms of helping to shape and improve their local services - then we have the potential to deliver real and lasting change for our residents. The proposed A&E closures were always a divisive and difficult topic. The local NHS is clear that the decision not to go ahead with them does not mean that nothing will change. The scale of the challenges we face is too great to say that. But while some difficult decisions will still have to be made, we should now see a real opportunity to work together to make our local services the best they can be - and actually shape a healthier future for local people.

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Priyanka Mehta Davinder Toor was only eighteen when his deepseated passion for art led him to volunteer at the Victoria & Albert Museum's ground-breaking exhibition on Sikh Art just before his University started in 1999. The 'Art of the Sikh Kingdom' was an eye-opener for the medical pharmacist from Watford which became an inspiration for

him to trace the heritage of Maharaja Ranjit Singh. Two decades on, Davinder continues his journey of discovering the 'stolen' treasures of the 19th century Sikh Kingdom, those that are scattered around the world today. “My journey of collecting Sikh antiques began with discovering arms and armoury. Eventually, my interest in Sikh and Islamic arts led me to start collect-

Maharaja Sher Singh wearing the Koh-i-noor Diamond. Schoefft (1809-1888). Courtesy: Toor Collection

ing paintings and ornaments among other things,” says Davinder. It is difficult to put a number on his collection. But the artist says, that roughly 400-500 miniature and majestic pieces of Sikh Art are in his possession including the official receipt that confirms the transfer of the Koh-i-noor diamond from Sikhs to the UK. “This [receipt] is probably the closest we will ever come to getting back the Koh-i-noor from the British,” says Davinder. Up until a few years ago, Toor recalls that the receipt of the Koh-i-noor was in possession with Dr. John Logan, who was once the guardian of the Treasury of Citadel in Lahore. Over the years, the debate over the return of Koh-i-noor diamond has been a boiling pot in the UK-India relations. But, this diamond is only the tip of the iceberg in the long history of confiscation of jewels by the British Raj when it had colonised India. According to him, there were a total of 600 pieces of precious jewellery and ornaments that were confiscated from Maharani Jind Kaur by the British establishment when she had first come to London. She was the last and youngest wife of Maharaja and out of these

Picture Courtesy: Bini Nandra

Davinder Toor in pursuit of the Sikh empire

Davinder Toor

600 pieces, Davinder says, that merely four of them now exist out of which he has successfully located three of them. Now, Davinder shares the history of some 100 pieces of heritage that he has acquired in his forthcoming book 'In Pursuit of Empire: Treasures from the Toor Collection of Sikh Art, to be published by Kashi House in May. The book has a foreword from the Scottish historian William Dalrymple, and binds together vintage photographs of the darbars of Maharaj Ranjit Singh and is collated with in-depth research that sheds light into the integrated culture of the Sikhs. Back in the era of 1800s, the fledging Sikh empire was expanded by his highness Maharaja Ranjit

Singh to the majority of the northwestern Indian subcontinent. This empire encompassed Pakistan, Afghanistan, Persia (Iran) and even parts of Tibet, countries that were carved out of the Sikh empire in the post-colonial period. “Through these objects I wanted to tell the story of the rise and fall of the Sikh empire. The ancient bygone civilisation of Sikhs was a melting pot that blended different cultures which is quiet evident in some of these paintings where the artists have captured the Persian verses to the Mughal culture,” says Davinder. Discussing his favourite oil canvass painting with a gold plated frame before us which portrays a group of thugs preparing to strangle a lone Sikh Warrior, Davinder

speaks about integration and multi-cultural symbolism of the Sikh empire. “A lot of these artists were Hindus and Muslims but their subjects captured the Sikh legacy in great detail. It is only then that we realise that the Sikhs comprised of only 10% of the Punjab's population in those days,” Davinder discloses. Today, through the various exhibitions held across cities of London, Singapore and even Canada where Davinder displays his art, he hopes to bridge that gap that exists between communities, facilitate integration and highlight the achievements of the Sikh empire. His book about the Sikh Empire can be found here: https://www.kashihouse.c om/books/in-pursuit-ofempire

Women who built the Sikh Empire On Saturday 6th April, at Ruddock Performing Arts Centre in Birmingham, Dr. Priya Atwal presented an educative session where she spoke about the women who built the Sikh empire in the 19th century. The fundraising event was held to support a charity 'Unite In Virtue' which is run by families from Hindu, Muslim and Sikh backgrounds and who support the homeless in the local community by providing them with food and clothes. “There is a lot written about Maharaja Ranjit Singh but my interest started in Sikh women by reading about Maharani Jind Kaur who was the last wive and the ruler of the Sikh Empire in the last half a decade of the 19th century Sikh Empire before it collapsed,” said the teaching fellow in Modern South Asian History at King's College London. Dr. Atwal's started studying about the Sikh women when she was nineteen and delved deeper

into academic research where she explored the role of the Sikh women in politics, expansion of the empire and active diplomatic representations in terms of hosting galas and dinners for the British guests. “During my PhD I looked at how Rani Jind Kaur justified herself and specifically amidst the 41 wives that the Maharajas (Ranjit Singh and his two sons and grandson) had between them. Looking at the Persian courtly chronicles that were published in Ranjit Singh's darbar, it was dominant that most of these women were Sikh but some were Hindus and Muslims as well,” explains Dr. Priya. Perhaps, these marriages which were often seen as political alliances led to the establishment of such a multi-cultural and integrated Sikh Empire between 180050. However, digging through the pension records, court verses and other academic archives, Dr. Atwal was unable to trace if these wives had any tensions amongst

Maharani Jind Kaur

Maharani Mehtab Kaur

Dr. Priya Atwal

themselves. “There was gender insubordination to the extent that they were hierarchically placed beneath the Maharajas but they had their own independence in terms of land ownership, commission of architectural projects and running the army,” she said. “However, there was tension between Ranjit Singh's first and second wive after the latter was able to bear a son called Kharak Singh and takes the higher stage in hierarchy. This left the first wive Mehtab Kaur in a very difficult position,” Dr. Atwal reveals.

But there was also competitive rivalry among the women where in one instance Ranjit Singh had held a courtly darbar with all his wives. When the maharaja was asked to name his most beautiful wive he had instantly replied that it was his first Muslim wive and did not agree with the suggestion that he perhaps meant to talk about his Hindu Rajput wive. When he disagreed with the view, according to Dr. Atwal, it impacted deeply on the wives' mental health who overdosed on some unknown drug at night and killed herself.

“This incident, apparently, led to Ranjit Singh mortified to the extent where he stopped holding any more darbar events,” Dr. Priya shares. Talking about gender discrimination, insubordination and parity, Dr. Atwal mentions that the Sikh women have traversed a long way from the 19th century Sikh kingdom where they were seen more as political weapons. However, there still remains a long way for them to go. The event also had Eshmit Kaur performing poetic verses at the event.


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Sharing our story: Life in Afghanistan as a minority Preeti Bali After the fall of the Soviet Regime in 1989, Afghanistan was ploughed into anarchy and chaos. Nine years of invasion left behind a withered land, costing the lives of roughly 15,000 red army soldiers and two million Afghans. The war also sowed the seeds of the subsequent takeover of Afghanistan by the Mujahedeen, followed by the Taliban. Both brought with them a new wave of persecution and terror, under the Mujahedeen rule alcohol was banned and women were pressured to cover their heads in public and adopt the traditional Muslim dress. Under the Taliban era who came to rule in 1992, TV sets and other forms of entertainment was banned, men who failed to grow beards and leave it untrimmed were fined and jailed. Women were forced to give up employment and had to leave the house with a male relative and the right to education was denied. For the Sikhs and Hindus who were a minority, they endured a perilous journey of decades of religious persecution and discrimination at the hands of those with extremist views – views that do not align with the teachings of Islam. Numbering at 80,000 in the 1980s the Sikh and Hindu population is now estimated to be less than 1,000 – their existence in Afghanistan is almost at near extinction. Once an economically thriving community they played a prominent role in finance and trade, its community members were mainly business owners. But years of religious persecution, targeted violence, social prejudice, harassment and the illegal occupation of their properties forced many Hindus and Sikhs to flee, with a large number seeking refugee in the West, mainly Germany, Belgium, the United Kingdom and the US. A significant number of the population have built new lives in Southall. Those from the Hindu faith, have gone onto found the Asami community centre. It is a place of worship, as well as where religious and community events are held. The people here are extremely warm and forthcoming,

one can feel the warmth of kindness and serenity in the air. But many here carry with them untold stories of years of brutality and religious persecution. Sharing their stories with Asian Voice are Dr. Kakkar, Ashok, Komal and Sachdeva. Dr. Kakkar who lived in Kabul Afghanistan, spoke on the extent of the religious discrimination minorities faced “they would call the Sikhs kachalo it means potato and they would beat us if we didn’t chant Islamic verses”. Funeral rites remain a significant issue, police protection is required to cremate their dead due to the harassment received by those who oppose of their customs. In Qabal, an area situated on the South West of Kabul, a cremation place that had been in use for over 25 years, can now no longer be used “the residents surrounding the crematorium place become violent when a dead body is taken there. They throw stones and hurdle abusive language. It is impossible to use that place”, says Dr Karrkar. Those who take the painstaking decision to leave Afghanistan, leave not just behind fond memories, their home, family and businesses but also their cultural and religious history. “We have lived in Afghanistan for centuries, we didn’t move from Pakistan or India, our ancestors and grandparents have lived here, our history dates back 700 centuries ago and even more than that. We were here when the religion change came, we saved our religion in Afghanistan and we moved from

L-R: Bharat Chitkara - Trustee of Asami cultural trust, Lekh Kulwant Zada, Komal Sapra, Ashok Bhasin, Amar Kakkar and Seema Kumar

Afghanistan to save our religion”, says Dr Kakkar. Under the Taliban, to identify their faith Sikhs and Hindus were forced to wear yellow bands around their wrists or tie a yellow or orange flag to their house. And the exclusion continues on today. Whilst Dr Kakkar believes there has been a little change, not all agree. Sachdeva believes the changes are temporary he says “nobody knows what government is coming and what they are going to do tomorrow morning. There is no law and order, which is why the situation is getting worse day by day”. Komal, was 15 when she left Afghanistan for a new life in Britain, speaks about the harsh realities for females “there was no right to education, as an ethnic minority we were mostly expected to stay at home. Women didn’t have no rights, let alone children. My Mum couldn’t take me out of the house. We were in a close-knit

society, the only places we would go to is our relative’s house and that to covered in a Burka. If there were females in a Hindu or Sikh family, the Taliban expected them to get married to a Muslim family, the girls would have to convert, if not they were persecuted, threatened with rape and in some cases killed – it is actually dreadful living in that place and things haven’t changed”. The men from the Hindu faith faced a different reality to women, whilst they were free to leave their house alone it meant hiding their identity by growing a moustache and having a turban. If their identity was discovered, they were expected to convert. Ashok has lived in the UK for 20 years, says there is no protection “warlords would promise us protection and safety, in return we gave them our money and businesses, but it became a vicious circle of asking for more and more, at the present moment there aren’t many prop-

erties left, those living there seek shelter and sanctuary in the few remaining temples and gurdwaras”. Sachdeva recalls how his cousin brother living in India, moved back to Afghanistan in order to get his belongings and property back, but was unable to. As peace talks take place between the US and Taliban, it is unclear what the future holds for the Hindus and Sikhs. In an interview with WION’s diplomatic correspondent, Sidhant Sibal, the Taliban’s spokesman Zabiullah Mujhadid referred to the Sikhs and Hindus are their countrymen further adding all Afghans would have rights and the rights of Hindu and Sikh countrymen would be guaranteed. But after years of seeing no change, and having witnessed the brutality of the Taliban, Dr. Kakkar, Ashok, Sachdeva and Komal, are not convinced by his promises. “Things will only get worse” says Dr Karrkar.

Hundreds attend opening of the Sikh Memorial Garden in Bristol The Bristol Sikh Memorial Garden was opened at the Castle Park area on last Tuesday (2 April 2019), making it a moment of history in the UK. This garden, next to St Peter's Church, has been built to commemorate the Sikh soldiers that served in World War I and II. Money to build it was fundraised by Sikh temples and the Sikh community in Bristol. Along with blooming flowerbeds, there are several display boards that provide further information about Sikh soldiers and a bench for passerby to sit on. Almost 83,000 Sikh soldiers lost their lives in the First and Second World Wars and more than 100,000 were seriously wounded. During the First World War, Sikhs were often called the 'Black Lions'. With Vaisakhi or the Punjabi

New Year on 14 April 2019, this memorial has been a peaceful way to commemorate the contribution of these soldiers. The garden on the day was officially opened by the Duke of Kent. He arrived to a large gathering accompanied by Lord Mayor Cleo Lake, Lord Lieutenant Peaches Golding. Many people from the community has also attended the official opening. Deputy Mayor Asher Craig and several other cabinet members joined the official unveiling. The ceremony began with Sikh men in traditional attires singing Kirtan, having walked through a congregation of service men and women, before the garden was officially unveiled by the Duke of Kent. Despite some showers, the crowd stayed there and later celebrated with a community gathering in the Marriott Hotel.

Unveiling of the Sikh Memorial Garden


16 JALLIANWALA BAGH CENTENARY

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'Eyewitnesses at Amritsar' with Amandeep Madra

Shoojit Sircar to direct biopic on Udham Singh

Britain's colonial history in school curriculum is the apology UK owes to India Rupanjana Dutta British Indian author Saurav Dutt has released a historical novel to re-examine the brutal massacre that eventually brought about the end of the British empire. The book ‘Garden of Bullets: Massacre at Jallianwala Bagh’ coincides with the centenary of the Jallianwala Bagh massacre on 13 April 2019. This is a historical novel collated through research from the Partition Museum (set up by The Arts and Cultural Heritage Trust), Amritsar, India and from interviews of descendants whose ancestors lived through the era of the original massacre.

Vicky Kaushal

This is the first ever visual representation of the Amritsar Massacre. It was created by the artist Eduard Thöny for the German satirical magazine Simplicissimus in January 1920.

Ratan Devi went to the Jallianwala Bagh looking for her husband in the dead hours of the evening in 1919 after hearing about Sir Brigadier General Reginald Dyer and his troops opening fire at the protesters in the Bagh. Searching through piles of bodies that lay scattered around her feet, she spent the longest night of her life seated by her husband's dead body with a stick in her hand as dogs attempted to feed off the massacred. She later documented the trauma of losing her husband to the Indian National Congress (INC) Committee an account that is now reproduced by Amandeep Singh Madra and Parmjit Singh in their book “Eyewitnesses at Amritsar- A visual history of 1919 Jallianwala Bagh Massacre.” As the Centenary of the Jallianwala Bagh massacre approaches this month, the duo compiles accounts of 40 such witnesses from the archives of the Hunter and the INC Commissions with some images even sourced from private collections of families that have not been published anywhere before. “Our book is a series of eyewitness accounts, of people who were there at the heart of the attacks as victims or perpetrators and how they recovered from the repercussions that followed,” said Amandeep Madra OBE. None of these survivors or witnesses quoted in the book are alive today. However, 100 years after the massacre where the British troops opened fire at the unarmed group in Amritsar, the debate surrounding the number of victims actually killed and injured in the Bagh continues even today.

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A compensation list and smuggled photographs This book attempts to document the harrowing incidents of these families but also reproduces an extract from the original compensation list provided by the Government of India. This list includes the names of the people who were killed. But it also provides an insight into the calculations that determined the valuation of these victims based on their age and the dependents they left behind them.

“A 12-year-old Madan Mohan was the first name on the list and on reading through this compensation list, one realises that the calculations made by the British are very stark and unemotional,” said Amandeep. But some of the 100 images re-produced in the book chronicle beyond the emotional and physical loss suffered by the relatives of these victims. One of the most shocking images for the author himself were the visuals of the “two armoured cars with machine guns” that Dyer had access to and had brought

'As desired in the official notification, I give below a brief account of the tragic death of my son, Madan Mohan, which occurred in the Jallianwala Bagh on the 13th April last. The delay in submitting this information is due to my absence from Amritsar to Mussoorie hills. Jallianwala Bagh is at a distance of about three minutes’ walk and is the only open place near my house which is opposite the Clock Tower. My son, Madan Mohan, aged about 13 years … along with his playmates used to visit this open square for play almost daily. On the 13th April last he went there as usual and met his tragic end, having been shot in the head which fractured his skull, he bled and died instantaneously. I with eight or nine others had to search for about half an hour till I could pick up his corpse as it was mixed up with hundreds of dead bodies lying in heaps there, who met their respective ends under circumstances well known. This is how my innocent child of innocent age was murdered by those who allege they acted in the name of justice, law and order.’ When the British authorities called for the residents of Amritsar to submit the names of relatives killed at Jallianwala Bagh, Dr Mani Ram, a dental surgeon, was among the respondents. He was eventually awarded 8,362 rupees in compensation for the loss of his son. with him to the city. According to the historian, the Bagh's narrow entrance prevented Dyer from driving into the grounds and therefore, meant that he had to park his vehicle outside the Bagh. “Had Dyer been able to drive these cars in, the carnage would have been much worse. It had taken him only 30 seconds to enter the Bagh and start shooting which meant that he had already made up his mind,” believes Amandeep. But beyond the physical and financial loss, some photographs reveal the humiliation that followed the massacre with the imposition of martial law and the crawling order with a couple of these images being sourced from families of Army Officers who had “smuggled these images out of India and to the UK.” “If you were in the British Army, you were not allowed

to take photographs especially at a time when photography was considered as a form of war propaganda. “What we re-produce are photographs which are captured almost secretly by Indian Army officers that are now possessed by their families,” reveals Amandeep. Some of these images also reveal the history behind the crawling order which was issued following an attack against a white British schoolteacher and missionary during the Rowlatt protests. This attack meant that any Indian citizen, mostly the local residents who even saved her, who passed the area of the attack had to crawl on their bellies as punishment. Today, Amandeep although born and brought up in the UK travels back to his roots in the Punjab and document his culture and heritage in his work.

Udham Singh has been considered a nationalist hero by many in the Punjab and even in India after he had assassinated General Michael O'Dwyer, the former lieutenant governor of Punjab in pre-Independence India, to avenge the Jallianwala Bagh massacre in Amritsar in 1919. The movie about the “daring martyr” will be produced by Ronnie Lahiri under the banner – Rising Sun Films. Singh was subsequently tried and convicted of murder and hanged in July 1940. Earlier, Irrfan Khan was supposed to play the part of Udham Singh however, considering the “strenuous phys-

ical action that this film would require”, Shoojit and the veteran actor are now working on some other movie. On casting Vicky as Udham Singh, Shoojit said to the CNN, "I have been waiting to tell the heroic tale of Shaheed Udham Singh for a very long time. It is a story very close to my heart. For it, I needed an actor who could give his heart and soul to the film, be with me and tell the story together. Vicky fits the bill perfectly. I have seen his work and the dedication he brings to it. I'm very happy he is on board this project."

The book explores important issues of social political and cultural debate providing historical context and looking at narratives around Empire and the Raj, focusing on the Jallianwala massacre itself and exploring the impact and legacies of the massacre referencing India's freedom struggle. Revisiting the event, its causes and aftermath, the nuanced book explores what we remember, how we remember it, and what we have forgotten, in India and the UK. The book raises awareness of the peaceful protest and direct action, martial law, the divergent British and Indian inquiry findings, and the ongoing social, political, and cultural response. It explores the causes for

Saurav Dutt

the unrest in the Punjab before, during and after the events which took place on 13 April 1919 when British troops opened fire on peaceful Indian protestors.

Connection with Jallianwala Bagh Protestors had gathered to challenge British rule before they were set upon by Colonel Reginald Dyer and his troops. Confined within an enclosed area of wasteland called Jallianwala Bagh in the Indian city of Amritsar, hundreds of Indians were killed and thousands injured. This was a defining moment in the fight for Indian independence, inspired by the Satyagraha movement (non-violent conflict) led by Mahatma Gandhi and the eventual demise of the British Empire in

South Asia. A Bengali by birth, with roots in Kolkata in India, Dutt is has written extensively for several prominent journals that cover issues of sociology, media and political economy, but he is an unusual candidate to be speaking on the topic, having no personal link with Amritsar or the butchered community 100 years ago. Speaking to Asian Voice about his connection with Jallianwala Bagh, Dutt said, “West Bengal and the Punjab share one thing, which is intolerance of colonialism and imperial rule and they fought it preindependence with the same ambition, fortitude and heart, often in different ways and methods. Growing up in Kolkata and the UK, I was always aware of this horrible and tragic event but was concerned at how it was often framed, as a one off, a solitary event of barbarity. In fact it perfectly encapsulated the racism, bigotry, unethical nature and unjust soul of the colonial enterprise. As a Hindu Bengali, it was a sense of pride to know that Tagore returned his knighthood in disgust at what had happened and this always resonated with me as well.” Dutt, who has publicly campaigned for a formal apology from the British government, is using the book to take a lead on addressing the need for a Global South perspective on the use of violence by British forces against peaceful

protestors and its legacy. He told the newsweekly, "This dark era marked the turning point of British imperialism in the Indian subcontinent. It was the defining moment when the veil was lifted across the Global South, when the Indian populace and the world realised that this colonial project was not benign, not a force for good nor one that believed in justice and fair play; instead it revealed their rapacious, racist and ruthless spirit in its unholy glory. It was an event of ghastly barbarity and bloodletting, punctuated by the unethical and unjust response that followed in its wake. Never again would India take the British empire at its word and instead the massacre gave its revolutionary movements and fight for self-determination a momentum and direction that it had been hitherto lacking; it took the blood of hundreds of innocent men, women and children to make that happen. He added, “It's a deliberate and concerted effort to turn attention away from the undesirable and unsavoury. When they do talk about they describe it as a one-off, the isolated actions of a man not in his right mind (they say the same about Udham Singh, when they refer to him at all!) but given the diverse society we live in, the number of South Asians in society, and the desire to forge stronger ties with India post-Brexit, it is worthwhile to offer a nuanced and mature perspective around the

massacre as well as other dark episodes of history such as the Bengal Famine. They have come to a realisation about this over the Mau Mau uprising in Africa, so why not the Jallianwala Bagh Massacre? In my opinion, it is THE reason the drive towards independence came about the way it did. Prior to the massacre, Gandhi and the Indian Congress fought mainly for dominion status and political self-determination, a half way house towards freedom.”

Colonial history in British school curriculum However concluding his interview with a demand for a public apology, Dutt told us that, if Brexit did not dominate the political conversation this year, the apology may have already come and certainly so if Labour government was at the helm. However a great fan of the realistic and mature approach, he believes a befitting apology would have been to include colonialism in the UK school history curriculum. Dutt is touring the book and doing a reading at the House of Lords on the centenary, where it will be formally launched. He is also speaking at the Centre of Sikh and Punjabi Studies at the University of Wolverhampton, University of Birmingham and University of Oxford. He is hoping to launch the book at the Kolkata Book Fair in Kolkata, early next year.

Udham Singh the 'Patient Assassin' who waited 21 years to exact revenge Priyanka Mehta A century ago Udham Singh had vowed to shoot General Dyer following the Jallianwala Bagh massacre and eventually assassinated Sir Michael O'Dwyer who had praised and supported the British attack. Today, Anita Anand, documents the series of events as they happened and vows to build an understanding between societies, in her efforts of bringing closure to the monstrosity of the British Raj's attack. But as the centenary of the Jallianwala Bagh approaches why and how is Udham Singh's story still relevant today? “I call him [Udham Singh] the 'Patient Assassin' because he waited for 21 years to fulfil a vow that he made of killing General Dyer after the brutal slayings of civilians at the Jallianwala Bagh,” says Anita, a journalist by profession, and an author by passion. 13th April 2019 marks the centenary of the massacre where Udham Singh was one of the hundred other victims who was injured but fortunate to have survived. The number of protestors, caught unarmed when General Dyer had opened fire in the walled garden, injured and dead are disputed. British

became radicalised. This is a story of radicalisation in my view which has resonated with community even today. But ultimately, I allow the readers to make their own mind and decide for themselves if his actions were justified,” she said. In the process of trawling through piles of academic research, Anand bumped into interesting nuggets of information wherein she discovered that she had her own family connections with Singh through a distant great uncle, after years of being married to her husband. Udham Singh it was later known used to have connections with members of the pedlar communities in the Great Britain.

sources suggest that 379 people were killed with 1,200 injured but Indian sources indicate that the victims are more. Having survived the attack, Singh had pledged to kill General Dyer but he died of natural circumstances and so, Singh re-directed his revenge in his plans to assassinate Michael O'Dwyer. In her latest book, Anand chronicles Singh's journey to the UK through years of research where she traces his footprints across countries in Nazi Germany, Bolshevik Russia, and, also in California. A contemporary story of radicalisation “I ended up in countries that I never assumed I would go. But in that journey, I learnt about the number of chances Singh had had to lead a happy life but he jettisoned them in order to keep coming back to this promise that he had made to himself,” she reveals. Today, Singh is a great nationalist hero in the Punjab, but until now not much has been written about him. Through this book Anand hopes to “explain the circumstances” that moulded his intentions and his character. The same circumstances that she believes led to the assassination of

Anita Anand

Michael O'Dwyer. But additionally, she intends to sketch the characters of the British military men as well who were at the heart of this event. “I have produced quite a contemporary story of a young man who was very little, and while living in his own country felt oppressed and eventually

Distant family connections and meeting Caroline Dyer “This showed me that there is a fifth string that I could follow and there were people who exist in this country who either are the repositories of memories or have their own stories. One of them is Lord Indarjit Singh in the House of Parliament who used to

play with Udham Singh as a child,” she discloses. Anand goes back to Udham's childhood and in reconstructing his story, and in the process she speaks about the emotional journey she had to undertake especially while dissociating herself from the characters. “I found that I had to keep walking away from it. The difficult part was trying to humanize these people who were either portrayed as evil or heroic. “Every time I was trying to humanise Dyer or O'Dwyer, I felt like a part of me was betraying my family and the only way that I was able to do that was by uncoupling them with their names. So, I started calling Dyer “Rex” which gave me a portal into his childhood. Whereas for O'Dwyer, I called him Michael, visualising him as a grieving boy from Tipperary, Ireland who then becomes Sir Michael,” she explains. But aside from relying on academic papers, Anand also attempted to trace his Mexican wife Lupe and then his children, who she says “disappear out of the picture after his interrogation, when he had spoken about his two boys”. But interestingly, the author also happened to meet Caroline Dyer the

great grand-daughter of General Dyer and they made plans to together visit Amritsar, in her attempt of explaining the intensity of the massacre. Empty words don't help, an acknowledgment and acceptance does “I met a woman who was brave enough to meet and talk to me considering the complexity surrounding the issue and we are poles apart. She is very loyal to her family and thinks that Dyer did nothing wrong and I believe the exact opposite. I just wanted her to understand. “I would like understanding and acceptance of what the colonial rule meant. I am born and brought up in this country. I have studied history at school and I have become very tired of this rose-tinted view of empire. It is all about Maharajas and Princesses and the sheer monstrousness that was used to keep the larger population under the thumb are not really talked about,” concludes Anand. The Patient Assassin is available here https://www.simonandschuster.co.uk/ books/The-Patient-Assassin/AnitaAnand/9781471174216


16 JALLIANWALA BAGH CENTENARY

AsianVoiceNews

AsianVoiceNewsweekly

www.asian-voice.com

www.asian-voice.com

AsianVoiceNews

JALLIANWALA BAGH CENTENARY

AsianVoiceNewsweekly

13 - 19 April 2019

13 - 19 April 2019

'Eyewitnesses at Amritsar' with Amandeep Madra

Shoojit Sircar to direct biopic on Udham Singh

Britain's colonial history in school curriculum is the apology UK owes to India Rupanjana Dutta British Indian author Saurav Dutt has released a historical novel to re-examine the brutal massacre that eventually brought about the end of the British empire. The book ‘Garden of Bullets: Massacre at Jallianwala Bagh’ coincides with the centenary of the Jallianwala Bagh massacre on 13 April 2019. This is a historical novel collated through research from the Partition Museum (set up by The Arts and Cultural Heritage Trust), Amritsar, India and from interviews of descendants whose ancestors lived through the era of the original massacre.

Vicky Kaushal

This is the first ever visual representation of the Amritsar Massacre. It was created by the artist Eduard Thöny for the German satirical magazine Simplicissimus in January 1920.

Ratan Devi went to the Jallianwala Bagh looking for her husband in the dead hours of the evening in 1919 after hearing about Sir Brigadier General Reginald Dyer and his troops opening fire at the protesters in the Bagh. Searching through piles of bodies that lay scattered around her feet, she spent the longest night of her life seated by her husband's dead body with a stick in her hand as dogs attempted to feed off the massacred. She later documented the trauma of losing her husband to the Indian National Congress (INC) Committee an account that is now reproduced by Amandeep Singh Madra and Parmjit Singh in their book “Eyewitnesses at Amritsar- A visual history of 1919 Jallianwala Bagh Massacre.” As the Centenary of the Jallianwala Bagh massacre approaches this month, the duo compiles accounts of 40 such witnesses from the archives of the Hunter and the INC Commissions with some images even sourced from private collections of families that have not been published anywhere before. “Our book is a series of eyewitness accounts, of people who were there at the heart of the attacks as victims or perpetrators and how they recovered from the repercussions that followed,” said Amandeep Madra OBE. None of these survivors or witnesses quoted in the book are alive today. However, 100 years after the massacre where the British troops opened fire at the unarmed group in Amritsar, the debate surrounding the number of victims actually killed and injured in the Bagh continues even today.

17

A compensation list and smuggled photographs This book attempts to document the harrowing incidents of these families but also reproduces an extract from the original compensation list provided by the Government of India. This list includes the names of the people who were killed. But it also provides an insight into the calculations that determined the valuation of these victims based on their age and the dependents they left behind them.

“A 12-year-old Madan Mohan was the first name on the list and on reading through this compensation list, one realises that the calculations made by the British are very stark and unemotional,” said Amandeep. But some of the 100 images re-produced in the book chronicle beyond the emotional and physical loss suffered by the relatives of these victims. One of the most shocking images for the author himself were the visuals of the “two armoured cars with machine guns” that Dyer had access to and had brought

'As desired in the official notification, I give below a brief account of the tragic death of my son, Madan Mohan, which occurred in the Jallianwala Bagh on the 13th April last. The delay in submitting this information is due to my absence from Amritsar to Mussoorie hills. Jallianwala Bagh is at a distance of about three minutes’ walk and is the only open place near my house which is opposite the Clock Tower. My son, Madan Mohan, aged about 13 years … along with his playmates used to visit this open square for play almost daily. On the 13th April last he went there as usual and met his tragic end, having been shot in the head which fractured his skull, he bled and died instantaneously. I with eight or nine others had to search for about half an hour till I could pick up his corpse as it was mixed up with hundreds of dead bodies lying in heaps there, who met their respective ends under circumstances well known. This is how my innocent child of innocent age was murdered by those who allege they acted in the name of justice, law and order.’ When the British authorities called for the residents of Amritsar to submit the names of relatives killed at Jallianwala Bagh, Dr Mani Ram, a dental surgeon, was among the respondents. He was eventually awarded 8,362 rupees in compensation for the loss of his son. with him to the city. According to the historian, the Bagh's narrow entrance prevented Dyer from driving into the grounds and therefore, meant that he had to park his vehicle outside the Bagh. “Had Dyer been able to drive these cars in, the carnage would have been much worse. It had taken him only 30 seconds to enter the Bagh and start shooting which meant that he had already made up his mind,” believes Amandeep. But beyond the physical and financial loss, some photographs reveal the humiliation that followed the massacre with the imposition of martial law and the crawling order with a couple of these images being sourced from families of Army Officers who had “smuggled these images out of India and to the UK.” “If you were in the British Army, you were not allowed

to take photographs especially at a time when photography was considered as a form of war propaganda. “What we re-produce are photographs which are captured almost secretly by Indian Army officers that are now possessed by their families,” reveals Amandeep. Some of these images also reveal the history behind the crawling order which was issued following an attack against a white British schoolteacher and missionary during the Rowlatt protests. This attack meant that any Indian citizen, mostly the local residents who even saved her, who passed the area of the attack had to crawl on their bellies as punishment. Today, Amandeep although born and brought up in the UK travels back to his roots in the Punjab and document his culture and heritage in his work.

Udham Singh has been considered a nationalist hero by many in the Punjab and even in India after he had assassinated General Michael O'Dwyer, the former lieutenant governor of Punjab in pre-Independence India, to avenge the Jallianwala Bagh massacre in Amritsar in 1919. The movie about the “daring martyr” will be produced by Ronnie Lahiri under the banner – Rising Sun Films. Singh was subsequently tried and convicted of murder and hanged in July 1940. Earlier, Irrfan Khan was supposed to play the part of Udham Singh however, considering the “strenuous phys-

ical action that this film would require”, Shoojit and the veteran actor are now working on some other movie. On casting Vicky as Udham Singh, Shoojit said to the CNN, "I have been waiting to tell the heroic tale of Shaheed Udham Singh for a very long time. It is a story very close to my heart. For it, I needed an actor who could give his heart and soul to the film, be with me and tell the story together. Vicky fits the bill perfectly. I have seen his work and the dedication he brings to it. I'm very happy he is on board this project."

The book explores important issues of social political and cultural debate providing historical context and looking at narratives around Empire and the Raj, focusing on the Jallianwala massacre itself and exploring the impact and legacies of the massacre referencing India's freedom struggle. Revisiting the event, its causes and aftermath, the nuanced book explores what we remember, how we remember it, and what we have forgotten, in India and the UK. The book raises awareness of the peaceful protest and direct action, martial law, the divergent British and Indian inquiry findings, and the ongoing social, political, and cultural response. It explores the causes for

Saurav Dutt

the unrest in the Punjab before, during and after the events which took place on 13 April 1919 when British troops opened fire on peaceful Indian protestors.

Connection with Jallianwala Bagh Protestors had gathered to challenge British rule before they were set upon by Colonel Reginald Dyer and his troops. Confined within an enclosed area of wasteland called Jallianwala Bagh in the Indian city of Amritsar, hundreds of Indians were killed and thousands injured. This was a defining moment in the fight for Indian independence, inspired by the Satyagraha movement (non-violent conflict) led by Mahatma Gandhi and the eventual demise of the British Empire in

South Asia. A Bengali by birth, with roots in Kolkata in India, Dutt is has written extensively for several prominent journals that cover issues of sociology, media and political economy, but he is an unusual candidate to be speaking on the topic, having no personal link with Amritsar or the butchered community 100 years ago. Speaking to Asian Voice about his connection with Jallianwala Bagh, Dutt said, “West Bengal and the Punjab share one thing, which is intolerance of colonialism and imperial rule and they fought it preindependence with the same ambition, fortitude and heart, often in different ways and methods. Growing up in Kolkata and the UK, I was always aware of this horrible and tragic event but was concerned at how it was often framed, as a one off, a solitary event of barbarity. In fact it perfectly encapsulated the racism, bigotry, unethical nature and unjust soul of the colonial enterprise. As a Hindu Bengali, it was a sense of pride to know that Tagore returned his knighthood in disgust at what had happened and this always resonated with me as well.” Dutt, who has publicly campaigned for a formal apology from the British government, is using the book to take a lead on addressing the need for a Global South perspective on the use of violence by British forces against peaceful

protestors and its legacy. He told the newsweekly, "This dark era marked the turning point of British imperialism in the Indian subcontinent. It was the defining moment when the veil was lifted across the Global South, when the Indian populace and the world realised that this colonial project was not benign, not a force for good nor one that believed in justice and fair play; instead it revealed their rapacious, racist and ruthless spirit in its unholy glory. It was an event of ghastly barbarity and bloodletting, punctuated by the unethical and unjust response that followed in its wake. Never again would India take the British empire at its word and instead the massacre gave its revolutionary movements and fight for self-determination a momentum and direction that it had been hitherto lacking; it took the blood of hundreds of innocent men, women and children to make that happen. He added, “It's a deliberate and concerted effort to turn attention away from the undesirable and unsavoury. When they do talk about they describe it as a one-off, the isolated actions of a man not in his right mind (they say the same about Udham Singh, when they refer to him at all!) but given the diverse society we live in, the number of South Asians in society, and the desire to forge stronger ties with India post-Brexit, it is worthwhile to offer a nuanced and mature perspective around the

massacre as well as other dark episodes of history such as the Bengal Famine. They have come to a realisation about this over the Mau Mau uprising in Africa, so why not the Jallianwala Bagh Massacre? In my opinion, it is THE reason the drive towards independence came about the way it did. Prior to the massacre, Gandhi and the Indian Congress fought mainly for dominion status and political self-determination, a half way house towards freedom.”

Colonial history in British school curriculum However concluding his interview with a demand for a public apology, Dutt told us that, if Brexit did not dominate the political conversation this year, the apology may have already come and certainly so if Labour government was at the helm. However a great fan of the realistic and mature approach, he believes a befitting apology would have been to include colonialism in the UK school history curriculum. Dutt is touring the book and doing a reading at the House of Lords on the centenary, where it will be formally launched. He is also speaking at the Centre of Sikh and Punjabi Studies at the University of Wolverhampton, University of Birmingham and University of Oxford. He is hoping to launch the book at the Kolkata Book Fair in Kolkata, early next year.

Udham Singh the 'Patient Assassin' who waited 21 years to exact revenge Priyanka Mehta A century ago Udham Singh had vowed to shoot General Dyer following the Jallianwala Bagh massacre and eventually assassinated Sir Michael O'Dwyer who had praised and supported the British attack. Today, Anita Anand, documents the series of events as they happened and vows to build an understanding between societies, in her efforts of bringing closure to the monstrosity of the British Raj's attack. But as the centenary of the Jallianwala Bagh approaches why and how is Udham Singh's story still relevant today? “I call him [Udham Singh] the 'Patient Assassin' because he waited for 21 years to fulfil a vow that he made of killing General Dyer after the brutal slayings of civilians at the Jallianwala Bagh,” says Anita, a journalist by profession, and an author by passion. 13th April 2019 marks the centenary of the massacre where Udham Singh was one of the hundred other victims who was injured but fortunate to have survived. The number of protestors, caught unarmed when General Dyer had opened fire in the walled garden, injured and dead are disputed. British

became radicalised. This is a story of radicalisation in my view which has resonated with community even today. But ultimately, I allow the readers to make their own mind and decide for themselves if his actions were justified,” she said. In the process of trawling through piles of academic research, Anand bumped into interesting nuggets of information wherein she discovered that she had her own family connections with Singh through a distant great uncle, after years of being married to her husband. Udham Singh it was later known used to have connections with members of the pedlar communities in the Great Britain.

sources suggest that 379 people were killed with 1,200 injured but Indian sources indicate that the victims are more. Having survived the attack, Singh had pledged to kill General Dyer but he died of natural circumstances and so, Singh re-directed his revenge in his plans to assassinate Michael O'Dwyer. In her latest book, Anand chronicles Singh's journey to the UK through years of research where she traces his footprints across countries in Nazi Germany, Bolshevik Russia, and, also in California. A contemporary story of radicalisation “I ended up in countries that I never assumed I would go. But in that journey, I learnt about the number of chances Singh had had to lead a happy life but he jettisoned them in order to keep coming back to this promise that he had made to himself,” she reveals. Today, Singh is a great nationalist hero in the Punjab, but until now not much has been written about him. Through this book Anand hopes to “explain the circumstances” that moulded his intentions and his character. The same circumstances that she believes led to the assassination of

Anita Anand

Michael O'Dwyer. But additionally, she intends to sketch the characters of the British military men as well who were at the heart of this event. “I have produced quite a contemporary story of a young man who was very little, and while living in his own country felt oppressed and eventually

Distant family connections and meeting Caroline Dyer “This showed me that there is a fifth string that I could follow and there were people who exist in this country who either are the repositories of memories or have their own stories. One of them is Lord Indarjit Singh in the House of Parliament who used to

play with Udham Singh as a child,” she discloses. Anand goes back to Udham's childhood and in reconstructing his story, and in the process she speaks about the emotional journey she had to undertake especially while dissociating herself from the characters. “I found that I had to keep walking away from it. The difficult part was trying to humanize these people who were either portrayed as evil or heroic. “Every time I was trying to humanise Dyer or O'Dwyer, I felt like a part of me was betraying my family and the only way that I was able to do that was by uncoupling them with their names. So, I started calling Dyer “Rex” which gave me a portal into his childhood. Whereas for O'Dwyer, I called him Michael, visualising him as a grieving boy from Tipperary, Ireland who then becomes Sir Michael,” she explains. But aside from relying on academic papers, Anand also attempted to trace his Mexican wife Lupe and then his children, who she says “disappear out of the picture after his interrogation, when he had spoken about his two boys”. But interestingly, the author also happened to meet Caroline Dyer the

great grand-daughter of General Dyer and they made plans to together visit Amritsar, in her attempt of explaining the intensity of the massacre. Empty words don't help, an acknowledgment and acceptance does “I met a woman who was brave enough to meet and talk to me considering the complexity surrounding the issue and we are poles apart. She is very loyal to her family and thinks that Dyer did nothing wrong and I believe the exact opposite. I just wanted her to understand. “I would like understanding and acceptance of what the colonial rule meant. I am born and brought up in this country. I have studied history at school and I have become very tired of this rose-tinted view of empire. It is all about Maharajas and Princesses and the sheer monstrousness that was used to keep the larger population under the thumb are not really talked about,” concludes Anand. The Patient Assassin is available here https://www.simonandschuster.co.uk/ books/The-Patient-Assassin/AnitaAnand/9781471174216


18 FINANCE - UK

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AsianVoiceNewsweekly

www.asian-voice.com

13 - 19 April 2019

Consultant Editor Financial Voice Alpesh Patel Dear Financial Voice Reader, I have been obsessing over my pension and my son’s savings account. Why? Well all the adverts to use the tax allowances before the end of the tax year is one reason, but also because I’ve been lucky in my life to have some huge opportunities to make fortunes. And some opportunities I’ve missed and other’s I’ve taken. A big miss was staying in the US in the mid-90s when working in Congress and investing in Silicon Valley stocks. But I want to use my expertise for my son, because I know when people talk about wealth, it’s two main sources (excluding inheritance and business, the former is out of your hands and the latter results in many failures and chance). Those sources are property and stocks. In the UK it was largely property investments. My wife would tell me about people in Hounslow and Southall in West London, barely able to speak English who would be wealthier from their investments in property with their minimum wage work at Heathrow airport, than most professionals she knew at Deutsche Bank. High income poverty is a real thing in London; as people earn more, they spend more. In America, the story of shares would often be the reason for ridiculous wealth. I am no property guru but I am a world authority on investing (don’t mean to brag, but international bestsellers and TV programmes and Oxford fellowships don’t go to clueless people). So I want to use this for my son. And this is what I did for his first birthday. Firstly, I used a tax efficient savings account. In the UK that is an ISA and a SIPP (there are junior versions of both). I then, using my know-how researched using online tools and software I’ve created companies which have performed well over good and bad economic cycles and weighing more heavily performance over the past few years. I wanted companies preferably paying a dividend, as they would always have shareholders who would prop up the demand for those shares and so the share price for that reason alone. And I wanted the value of the companies, despite good performance to remain cheap compared to other counties. To me this means, when I am buying a share, I am buying future income streams and so I wanted to pay as little as possible for that. And the best measure of future income, is profits. So I want to pay no more than 20 times for each $ of profit. The names I came down on, to add to my previous holdings in Google, Facebook, Amazon, Apple were: AES, Globant, Veeva Systems, HCA, Waters, Autozone, Chegg, Intuit, Cisco, Yum China. I want my son to have these for 18 more years. So they had to be good. From all my research they are.

Standard Chartered expected to pay over $1 bn to resolve US, UK probes London-based Standard Chartered is expected to pay more than $1 billion (£765 million) to resolve a nearly five-year-old investigation of potential US sanctions violations tied to its banking for Iran-controlled entities in Dubai, as well as a related UK probe, sources said. Standard Chartered has been operating under deferred prosecution agreements with US authorities since 2012, when it paid $667 million for illegally moving millions of dollars through the US financial system on behalf of customers in Iran, Sudan, Libya and Burma. The agreement has been extended numerous times, the last one extended for 10 days and set to expire on Wednesday. The expected total payout also covers a roughly $134 million penalty from Britain’s Financial Conduct Authority related to historical financial crime controls. Standard Chartered declined to comment. The US Department of Justice, the US Attorney’s office in

Washington, the Federal Reserve, the Manhattan District Attorney and the New York Department of Financial Services all declined to comment. The FCA also declined to comment. The latest US investigation stems in part from evidence found during a probe of French bank BNP Paribas, which paid a record $8.9 billion in penalties and pleaded guilty in 2014 to sanctions-related charges, sources added. Investigators found BNP had done business with a Dubai-registered corporation that acted as a front for an Iranian entity, a person familiar with the matter said in 2014. Investigators said the company also once had an account with Standard Chartered, the person said. Two former Standard Chartered bankers operating out of Dubai also have been under scrutiny for possible misconduct and could face criminal charges in the probe, another source said.

Estate agents reportedly misleading sellers by overvaluing properties An investigation by The Times reveals that estate agent chains in the UK are currently overvaluing properties by up to a fifth in a practice that is allegedly misleading sellers into paying higher rates of commission. Over 200,000 properties listed online were analysed and it was found that overvaluations are rife and the worst offenders are the biggest agents. Data collected by The Times suggests that agents with the highest commissions are over-valuing properties the most to attract homeowners. The properties then sell at lower prices, but the agents take big fees. Nearly two-thirds of homes listed by Foxtons, the biggest agent in London, have to be reduced from their initial price before they can be sold, almost double the national average. Foxtons charges a commission of 3 per cent, which is more than twice the average. When properties marketed by Foxtons had their asking prices cut, the average reduction was 10 per cent, or

£56,000. The Times showed Land Registry data on a sample of these homes shows that the sale price was lower still, falling 16 per cent of £85,000 from the original asking price. Research shows that the ten agents that overvalue the most, including Hamptons International and Chancellors, charge twice as much on average as the ten agents who overvalue the least. The analysis said sellers using the ten worst offenders will pay the equivalent of £5,500 on a £300,000 home compared with only £2,200 with the best agents. Some agents, however, charge upfront fees rather than commission, so sellers

would have to pay irrespective of whether their property actually sold. The National Association of Estate Agents said that not all price reductions were due to overvaluing, although it admitted that some "unscrupulous agents" would try to win business by quoting a higher asking price. The 200,000 properties represent a snapshot of those on Zoopla that had been sold subject to contract in December. The vast majority were first listed last year, but some date back earlier. The data shows that 32 per cent of properties were reduced and of these, the average adjustment in asking price was 6.9 per cent or £23,400. Actual sale prices

are likely to be lower still. Foxtons said, "We always price properties competitively in partnership with homeowners, helping them to get results that unlock what their property is truly worth. Data from surveyors and the independent consultancy TwentyCi shows that on average Foxtons is able to achieve a 6.3 per cent price premium after fees compared to our closest 20 competitors when the average house sale price is analysed. Foxtons is the best place to sell... despite a challenging London market where buyers are increasingly undercutting asking prices." Meanwhile Chancellors said, “We strive to get the very best price for every client and achieve record prices for the local area. We work closely with our clients on their marketing strategy and we are proud to say that we have achieved an average of 98 per cent of our clients’ asking prices so far this year and operate on a success-fee basis to achieve this.”

Shoppers avoiding big buys due to Brexit uncertainty – retailers British retailers have warned that uncertainty caused by Brexit is holding consumers back from making bigger purchases, after a disappointing month for sales in March. The British Retail Consortium (BRC) and the accountancy firm KPMG said sales growth dropped to 0.5 per cent in the year to March, down from an annual growth of 2.3 per cent a year ago, as consumers held back from spending on big-ticket items. The BRC said the timing of Easter, on April 21 this year after falling on April 1

in 2018, was likely to have distorted the sales figures, as many shops were yet to experience a rush in sales ahead of the holiday period. Chief executive of the BRC, Helen Dickinson said, "Retail sales slowed in March, even when the Easter distortions were accounted for, as greater uncertainty caused people to hold off from splashing out." She added, "Brexit continues to feed the uncertainty among consumers. For the sake of everyone, MPs must rally behind a plan of action that

avoids no deal, and quickly, or it will be ordinary families who suffer as a result of higher prices and less choice on the shelves." Retailers have warned that a no-deal scenario could lead to shortages of goods in the shops and higher prices for households. Retail sales have, however, been stronger in recent months than expected, in a boon for the economy. Separate sales figures from Barclaycard, which processes almost half of credit and debit card transactions in Britain, suggest that sales rose by 3.1

per cent a year in March. The BRC said that shoppers were cautious not to overspend in March amid the failure to break the deadlock in Westminster, with falling sales of biggerticket items such as furniture. Total food sales rose by 1.3 per cent in the three months to March, below the 12-month average of 2 per cent. The chief executive of grocery research firm IGD, Susan Barratt said the proportion of shoppers worried about the strength of the economy was relatively unchanged from a year ago.

JLR begins Brexit shutdown as sales fall Jaguar Land Rover has begun its week-long factory shutdown as part of its plans for Brexit, on the day the company posted lower sales in Europe and China. JLR's four main UK manufacturing sites, at Castle Bromwich, Solihull and Wolverhampton in the West Midlands, and Halewood in Merseyside which employ 18,500 people, are closed from Monday to Friday. The production shutdown at Britain's biggest carmaker is in addition to its usual Easter closure, which runs from next week until April 23. The extension was agreed with staff in January to prepare

for potential Brexit disruption, when the UK's scheduled departure date from the EU was March 29. Workers at JLR's UK factories will be paid during the production shutdowns but will have to make up the hours at a later date. The company has also started cutting 4,500 jobs from its 40,000 global workforce, affecting mainly management roles in the UK. Mick Graham, Unite's

plant convenor at Solihull said, "We had to make some plans to protect the business as best we could and we started talking about this in January. We knew we had to take reactive action to mitigate the potential effect of a bad Brexit or no-deal Brexit. Suppliers need notice to get their parts across to us. It was a prudent thing to do." JLR, along with other major carmakers, has been stockpiling vehicle components, but can prepare for only days of disruption, rather than weeks, as it uses 25m separate parts per day. BMW

brought forward its annual maintenance to April and warned that a no-deal Brexit might force it to stop making the Mini at its Cowley plant near Oxford. Britain’s main car industry group, the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders, reiterated last week that a “no-deal scenario would have a devastating impact on investment and our hard-won reputation – risking the UK’s position as a leading global market and a centre of excellence for innovation.” JLR’s factory shutdowns began as the carmaker, which is owned by the Indian conglomerate Tata, released full-year results.


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REAL ESTATE VOICE

AsianVoiceNewsweekly

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13 - 19 April 2019

HIDDEN IN PLAIN SIGHT new legislation and apply it retrospectively, this means what was legal now becomes illegal.

I recently met a property trader / developer. He’s been around for decades, and he is second, if not third, generation real estate family.

However, if one does their research properly there are some exceptional gems out there which are perfectly legal (and within the spirit of the law) and can be used to enhance your property investment; both in terms of the taxation on the profit and in terms of stamp duty. With the current levels of stamp duty, this can represent a massive saving of 10% if the property is above £1M.

He knows all the movers and shakers in London. We have done business together, though inadvertently via an intermediary.

Suresh Vagjiani Sow & Reap London Property Investment

At the time, he purchased a large freehold house in Ealing. The garden was literally the size of a football stadium. There was massive development potential both on the property and in the rear. He purchased the property for £1.7M, and paid over £117,750 in stamp duty, which is at the lower end of the scale.

We have successfully executed transactions where no stamp duty has been paid. The lawyers were very resistant to the idea, but they gave way once we showed them the legislation. However, the onus of proof was upon us and not them.

There’s not a lot he doesn’t know about property, and therefore his ears pricked up when I told him he should not have paid stamp duty on the transaction, especially if he is trading the deal on, which is his aim.

I had a similar experience some years ago, when a client was buying a freehold property with ten studios in it. Under the old regime of stamp duty this attracted a flat 4% rate. The purchase price was £1.1M, this meant the stamp duty payable was £44K - according to the solicitor.

He did have some interaction with a company which specialises in saving stamp duty. His lawyer would have none of it. You do not need a scheme. Any scheme whether to do with stamp duty or tax in essence is a ticking time bomb.

However, as the property contains ten studios you have something which is known as multiple dwelling relief. Under this relief, the rate applicable to the whole building is what is applicable to the average price of one unit. In other words each studio equates to £110,000, and therefore attracts a

The powers the HMRC have are formidable. Even if you comply with the letter of the law, you may not so in spirit. They can create

AGONY AGENT IS HERE TO HELP! Q: Does my tenant have right of access to the garage? rate of actually zero percent. Although, there is a proviso a minimum rate of 1% must be applied. Therefore, the applicable rate on the whole transaction is only £11K as opposed to £44K. We saved our client £33K, by pointing this out to the lawyer. The lawyer pushed back on this, he was trying save face in front of the client. He then reluctantly gave way, after we showed him examples from the HMRC website. This relief is an interesting one, and can still be claimed in the current environment. It remains unaffected despite the two rounds of hikes. These are examples of some of the interesting tools out there which can be used in your property transactions. They are not always obvious to the professionals used, but come from insiders who are in the trade. A property transaction requires a 360 degree view point, even a small one needs planning and thought.

PRINCIPLES VERSUS EXPEDIENCY No-one challenges the success of Sir Alex Ferguson. The manager of Manchester United from 1985-2013, he won 38 trophies. So acclaimed is he that Sir Alex has lectured at one of the world’s top business schools, Harvard.

“principles” being more important than “expediency” when making decisions.

In his book “Leading” he talks about the importance of

He cites a time in 1995 when he suspended a top player and it

When he refers to “principles” he is not talking about “morals”. He is talking about behaving in a consistent manner.

BUY TO LET OPPORTUNITY London, SE2 Purchase Price: £220,000

cost him ten premiership points. He recalled how this decision cost him the title. However, by suspending the player, he maintained the message he wished to inculcate into the club. Had he acted expediently, the famous discipline would never have prevailed at the club, and many of those 38 trophies may never

have been won. The lesson is it is important to set and define your governing principles of how to lead and manage; and then stick to these principles rather than swerving around them when the facts become inconvenient. Abraham Goldberg

A: Well, this depends. And I have some questions of my own… for example, where is the garage located? Is the garage an integral part of the building or a separate entity in a block, or a communal row of garages? Regardless of whether the garage is integral or separate, it is important to verbally inform the tenant that the garage is out of bounds at point of viewing, and then make this clear in a separate specific and detailed addendum in the tenancy agreement. This keeps things nice, easy and clear from the outset. The problem arises when your tenant is currently in tenancy and has been using the garage, and you then decide that you want to take back possession! In this situation the tenant doesn't have to relinquish rights of the garage. If you have not stated that the garage is restricted in the tenancy agreement then you might just be stuck. If you need your garage back, I would suggest that you contact your tenant and explain the reason why, who knows, you may be lucky and they might hand this back without any issues. Or, it might simply be worth offering to reduce the tenant’s rent by £50 or £25 a month for example, just to make it more agreeable. If you need any other lettings guidance, please do get in touch. Richard Bond

● Three bedroom, split level flat with a private balcony ● Close to a Crossrail station ● Journey time to Canary Wharf and Bond Street will be 11 mins and 25 mins respectively on Crossrail

● Close to local schools and shops ● Excellent yield of 5.4% per annum ● Long lease & low service charges ● £80K cash required to close this deal, subject to mortgage criteria ● Sustained long term growth due to Crossrail Call us now for more information!

Specialists in Central London Property Sourcing

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

Sowandreapuk

Turning land into cash Get in touch about our land opportunities


20 FINANCE - INDIA

AsianVoiceNews

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13 - 19 April 2019

RBI to come out with new circular on loan defaulters The Supreme Court has ruled that the Reserve Bank of India's February 12, 2018 circular by which the central bank promulgated a revised framework for resolution of stressed assets was ultra vires of Section 35AA of the Banking Regulation Act, 1949. A bench of Justices RF Nariman and Vineet Saran said that as a result "all actions taken under the said circular, including actions by which the Insolvency Code has been triggered must fall along with the said circular." The bench, which examined the circular in the light of banking laws, agreed with the contention that under Section 35AA which was introduced by way of an amendment with effect from May 4, 2017, the RBI could direct initiation of insolvency under the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code, 2016 only with the authorisation of the Central government and also only in the "specific cases of resolution of non-performing assets" and not generally across the board. "…Banking Regulation Act specifies that the Central

Shaktikanta Das

Government is either to exercise powers along with the RBI or by itself. The role assigned, therefore, by Section 35AA, when it comes to initiating the insolvency resolution process under the Insolvency Code, is thus, important. Without authorisation of the Central Government, obviously, no such directions can be issued", it said. The court was dealing with a bunch of petitions challenging the Constitutional validity of Sections 35AA and 35AB of the Banking Regulation Act, 1949 introduced by the said amendment. The RBI issued a revised circular on how banks should deal with delinquent borrowers after the Supreme

Court order. Responding to the SC order, RBI governor Shaktikanta Das said the central bank stands committed to maintain and enhance the momentum of resolution of stressed assets and adherence to credit discipline. Das said, "The SC order has not taken away any powers from the RBI, the powers remained vested. We will exercise the power that Parliament has given us and see that resolution is done fast." He however, maintained silence on whether the new circular will reiterate RBI's earlier stance on scrapping restructuring schemes and stick to insisting on banks recognising loans as nonperforming assets (NPAs) for a one-day default. While the RBI said that lenders are free to drag defaulters to the bankruptcy court, analysts are skeptical of banks doing a clean-up without an RBI push. Research analyst with investment bank Macquarie, Suresh Ganapathy said, "Scrapping of the circular leaves room open for banks to keep kicking the can down the road.

Further, fundamental issues with power projects like coal availability, power purchase agreements and discom health remain unresolved." He added that according to RBI's filings to the SC, out of the 157 companies affected by the circular, not even one company has been resolved so far. "So, it remains to be seen how effectively banks utilise this additional flexibility," he added. Das, meanwhile, indicated that the RBI was free to direct banks to initiate insolvency proceedings as long as they named the borrower. He pointed out that all the major cases which were referred to the National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) were not affected because they were referred to specifically. “Thus, the order of the Supreme Court mandates the RBI to exercise its powers under Section 35AA ‘in respect of specific defaults by specific debtors’. The powers of the RBI under Section 35AA and other sections of the Banking Regulation Act, 1949 are, therefore, not under doubt,” said Das.

Jet’s life-support reduced to £20 mn The £150 million emergency funding expected by Jet Airways has been shot down to £20 million in the best case scenario, as lenders led by SBI await RBI's fresh norms for debt restructuring after Supreme Court last week struck down the central bank's controversial February 12 circular. Bankers said the funding will enable Jet to part pay dues to agencies such as airports, oil companies and statutory charges. A senior banker said, "This money is meant for crisis management while the bidding process starts." However, airline sources said that the private

carrier is now on the razor's edge as a small funding is unlikely to help the airline live long enough to wait for the bigger infusion that is required. A source in the know said, "They (lenders) are putting in very small amounts only in dire situations like two small banks (not SBI) giving £3.3 million to Jet last Friday when Indian Oil cut off fuel supply. It is a very touch-and-go situation. Whether the airline can afford to wait for the new circular and then emergency funding to flow in or will shut down before that remains to be seen." The airline is in deep waters with salaries of only highly-paid

Govt faces direct tax shortfall of £6 bn The government is expected to close 2018-19 with a £6 billion shortfall in direct tax collections with mop-up till last week estimated at £113.8 billion, compared to the revised target of £120 billion. Only a savings on the spending side can help the Centre meet its fiscal deficit target as tax officials also fret over deficit in central goods and services tax (CGST). Officials from the Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) said the overall kitty for the last financial year is only expected to swell by a small amount over the next few days as there may be a few pending transfers, leaving a hole that is virtually impossible to fill. But, the government is happy with the fact that it has seen collections rise 13.5 per cent on a strong base, making it the third straight year of strong growth in collections. While the officers always feared that the revised estimate would be tough to meet, the CBDT brass was pushing hard to meet the target and managed to mop up nearly £10 billion during the last three days of the fiscal year. Apart from collections of £111.8 billion reflected in the tax department's system, another £2 billion has been estimated to have collected in the Central TDS wing.

personnel like pilots, engineers and senior management being delayed in the past few months. The March salary has not been paid to anyone, including the low-rung employees. A source said, "Lenders are waiting for RBI to come out with a similar circular. Till then they may keep giving some oxygen. If the circular takes long or no bidder comes for Jet, then Jet is staring at insolvency and closure." The airline’s international flights on wide-body aircraft are no longer offering inflight entertainment as the content is licensed and needs to be paid for. Lounge access for premium

passengers has been discontinued at many airports. The airline did not comment on this issue. The Jet management is likely to send a communique to employees on the pay issue. The airline’s pilots and engineers have said they may strike work from April 15 unless the airline “substantially” clears their January, February and March salary dues and gives a firm road map for the remaining amount. Meanwhile, the expression of interest “for change in control and management of Jet” was issued by SBI and SBI Caps and the last date for submission of EOI will be April 10.

India needs to focus on exports: World Bank economist World Bank Chief Economist for the South Asia Region, Hans Timmer said that India's economic growth in recent years has been "too much" driven by domestic demand and its exports were about one third of its potential. Timmer praised attempts to liberalise markets within India and said "that is what is needed to become more competitive." In an interview, he said, "At the same time you've seen also of the last couple of years that the current account deficit widened- an indication that increasingly growth came from the non-tradable sector, from the domestic sector, and that makes it difficult to export more." He said in the last five years, India's overall growth

in brief GOVT SELLS £110 MN WORTH OF ‘ENEMY SHARES’ IN WIPRO

The government of India sold over £110 million worth of Wipro shares. The shares were lying with the Union home ministry’s institution, Custodian of Enemy Property of India (CEPI). The shares, belonging to Pakistani nationals, were seized by India under the Enemy Property Act passed in 1968, following the conflicts with Pakistan and China in the 1960s. CEPI sold 43 million shares in the Azim Premji-owned company for Rs 258 apiece. Most of it, 39 million, was bought by the Life Insurance Corporation of India (LIC). An estimated £300 million in shares and over £10 billion in immovable property (mostly land) are said to be with Custodian of Enemy Property. The sale of Wipro shares became possible following an amendment to the Enemy Property Act in 2017.

RBI REDUCES KEY LENDING RATE BY 25 BPS

The Reserve Bank of India once again reduced the benchmark lending rate by 0.25 percentage points to 6 per cent. Four members of the monetary policy committee (MPC) voted in favour of the rate cut, while Deputy Governor Viral Acharya and Chetan Ghate voted for maintaining the status quo. The central bank has maintained 'Neutral' stance on the monetary policy. The MPC noted that the output gap remained negative and domestic economy was facing headwinds, especially on the global front. "There is need to strengthen domestic growth impulses by spurring private investment which remained sluggish," the RBI said. While projecting the gross domestic product (GDP) growth for 2019-20 at 7.2 per cent, the RBI revised downward retail inflation estimate to 2.4 per cent in Q4 FY-19.

INDIA SET TO GROW AT 7.2 PC THIS FISCAL: ADB

India's growth is set to pick up and is expected to grow at 7.2 per cent in the current fiscal on strengthening consumption, Asian Development Bank said in its report. "Growth slowed from 7.2 per cent in fiscal 2017 to 7 per cent in 2018, with weaker agricultural output and consumption growth curtailed by higher global oil prices and lower government expenditure," according to the Asian Development Outlook (ADO) 2019. It is expected to rebound to 7.2 per cent in 2019 and 7.3 per cent in 2020 as policy rates are cut and farmers receive income support, bolstering domestic demand, the report stated adding that subregion wise, southeast Asia will sustain growth at close to 5 per cent this year and the next.

DAVID MALPASS NAMED WORLD BANK PRESIDENT

was "too much" driven by domestic demand, which resulted in double digit growth of imports, and four to five per cent growth in exports. "In more recent months, that turned around somewhat. But the broader picture was that's a minus," he said. Timmer said that the pluses were, "we have seen the GST trying to create more flexibility within the country, so that it's easier to trade between states. That's what you need if you want to

trade also with foreign countries." Responding to a question, Timmer said the focus of the next government should be on reducing the stimulus of domestic demand. He said, "That would be one. I think looking at trade liberalisation on the import side, that would be another to create more competition. I would look at what people feel as impediment in the labour market.

Top Trump administration official David Malpass was selected as the 13th president of the World Bank. The World Bank’s executive board unanimously selected 63year-old Malpass, who is currently under secretary of treasury for international affairs, as the bank’s 13th President for a five-year term beginning April 9. All 13 presidents of the of the development lender have been American men. The World Bank president is chair of boards of directors of the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD) and International Development Association (IDA). The president is also ex officio chair of boards of directors of the International Finance Corporation (IFC), Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency (MIGA), and the Administrative Council of the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID).


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WORLD

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13 - 19 April 2019

US okays sale of submarinehunting helicopters to India NEW YORK: The US has approved the sale of 24 submarine-hunting MH60R Seahawk Multi-Mission helicopters to India in a $2.6 billion deal aimed at strengthening their strategic relationship, according to the Defence Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA). The DSCA said that it received the approval from the State Department for the sale and it has notified the Congress about it. "India will use the enhanced capability as a deterrent to regional threats and to strengthen its homeland defence," it said.

The helicopters, nicknamed "Romeo", will give India the capability to perform antisurface and anti-submarine warfare missions and also perform peacetime operations like search and rescue. While the approval has been granted for the sale, it is yet to be concluded, the DSCA added. The agency indicated that offsets, which usually require some parts of the equipment or something similar to be manufactured in the country buying the equipment, could be a part of the deal.

The DSCA said: "The purchaser typically requests offsets. Any offset agreement will be defined in

negotiations between the purchaser and the contractor." "This proposed sale will support the foreign

policy and national security of the US by helping to strengthen the US-Indian strategic relationship and to improve the security of a major defensive partner which continues to be an important force for political stability, peace and economic progress in the Indo-Pacific and South Asia region." However, the agency added that "the proposed sale of this equipment and support will not alter the basic military balance in the region". The approval for the sale comes as India and the US strengthen their strategic

cooperation, with President Donald Trump raising India to the status of a major defence partner in his administration's vision for a secure Indo-Pacific region buttressed by the two major democracies at either end. China is becoming more assertive in the region and also expanding its reach beyond it, making the US look to allies for enhancing regional security. According to Lockheed Martin, 300 MH-60R helicopters are in operation around the world with the navies also of Denmark, Australia and Saudi Arabia.

Will use all resources to blacklist Azhar, US tells China WASHINGTON: The United States stated it will “utilize all available resources” to ensure Jaish-eMohammad founder Masood Azhar, was held accountable countering Chinese charges that it has circumvented UN security council’s sanctions committee to blacklist the Pakistan-based terrorist leader. “While we strongly prefer that UNSC designations take place through the committee process, the United States and its allies and partners, including those on the UN Security Council, will utilize

all available avenues to ensure that the founder and leader of the UN-designated terrorist organization JeM is held accountable by the international community,” a US state department spokesperson said. The spokesperson also confirmed “that we circulated a draft UNSC resolution with UK and French support.” The state department was responding to China criticizing the United States, France and the United Kingdom for moving a draft resolution at the UNSC as “not a constructive move” and that

Landslide win for Nasheed

US invoking RICO Act likely to British Indian actor Himesh to star in musical force Nirav Modi back to India Patel comedy ‘Yesterday’

Mohamed Nasheed

MALE: Former Maldives president Mohamed Nasheed vowed sweeping reforms and an end to government corruption after leading his party to a landslide victory just five months since returning from exile. Nasheed, 51, made a dramatic return to the top of the national parliament, with his Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) securing more than two-thirds in the 87-member assembly. Nasheed promised to use his party’s mandate to usher in a new era of stability and democracy in the Indian Ocean archipelago as it emerges from years of strongman rule, political crises and corruption scandals miring the government and judiciary. “Our foremost duty is to bring peace to the government,” Nasheed told supporters in the capital on Sunday.

NEW DELHI: While diamond merchant Nirav Modi undergoes extradition proceedings in the United Kingdom (UK), sources in the Enforcement Directorate (ED) in India said that if Nirav is charged with violating the stringent Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) Act in an American bankruptcy court, this could pave the way for speedier extradition to India. Nirav is presently in Wandsworth Jail in the UK. “The US may also try to extradite Nirav Modi and hence his troubles have increased,” said a source privy to the investigation. In February 2018, three companies linked to Nirav – Firestar Diamond International, A Jaffe and Fantasy Inc – filed for bankruptcy protection in the United States of America (USA). A court-appointed trustee probed the companies and filed a complaint against Mihir Bhansali, CEO of Firestar Diamond and Fantasy; Ajay Gandhi, a senior executive in

Masood Azhar

it “set a bad example”. Beijing has said the process should have stayed

Nirav Modi

all three companies; and Nirav. The trio was accused of breaching fiduciary duty, aiding and abetting breach of fiduciary duty, corporate waste, and violations of the RICO Act. “The case in the US is also linked with his [Nirav’s] scam in the country,” said a source in the ED. Nirav is the prime accused of fraud and money laundering amounting to USD 2 billion in India. Under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA), the maximum punishment Modi would face in India is seven years’ imprisonment. A conviction under the RICO Act could see Nirav, Bhansali and Gandhi facing up to 20 years in prison. Sources in the ED believe that if Nirav is faced with this possibility, he may not contest India’s

in the 1267 sanctions committee where progress had been made and that the

extradition request as aggressively as he is now. Officers familiar with the case revealed that when the Westminster magistrates court denied Nirav bail a second time last week, the diamond merchant was visibly “shattered”. The court denied him bail after the prosecution raised the prospect of him fleeing the UK, influencing witnesses and destroying evidence in the high-profile case. As evidence of Nirav being a flight risk, his attempt at acquiring citizenship of Vanuatu, which allows citizenship by investment, was cited in court. Vanuatu had rejected Nirav’s request in December 2017. “Vanuatu found out that Indian agencies such as Directorate of Revenue Intelligence and Income Tax had conducted searches on premises linked to him,” said the officer. He said Nirav had applied for Vanuatu’s citizenship since India does not have an extradition treaty with them. The next hearing of Nirav’s case in the UK is on April 26.

United States was aware of it and yet it “insists on pushing” the UNSC draft resolution. The United States, France and the United Kingdom moved a draft resolution at the UNSC last week after what they saw was China’s failure to agree to the designation by removing the technical hold it had put three weeks ago on a proposal the three powers had moved before the sanction committee following the Pulwama attack on a CRPF convoy that killed 40 troopers. They were understood to have agreed among

C A L I F O R N I A: British Indian actor Himesh Patel has secured leading role in Academy Awardwinning director Danny Boyle’s Himesh Patel new musical comedy, “Yesterday.” He acts as Jack Malik, who rises to fame with The Beatles’ beloved songs that no one, except him, has heard before. “Yesterday, everyone knew The Beatles. Today, only Jack remembers their songs. He is about to become a very big deal,” reads the film’s poster. Malik is a struggling singersongwriter in a tiny English seaside town whose dreams of fame are rapidly fading, despite the fierce devotion and support of his childhood best friend, Ellie, played by Lily James (“Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again”). Actress Kate McKinnon and singersongwriter Ed Sheeran round out the cast. Then, after a freak bus

themselves to give discussions with China some more days, but not weeks and month. They were prepared, at the same time, to escalate the issue to the full Security Council for an open debate and vote, to force China to either agree or end up defending a known terrorist. China had blocked or put a hold on four proposals to list Azhar a ‘global terrorist’ so far. The draft resolution set off “informal discussions”, which could lead to that open debate, but not if the designation was cleared in the interim.

accident during a mysterious global blackout, Jack wakes up to discover that The Beatles have never existed… But he remembers their songs. Performing songs by the greatest band in history to a world that has never heard them, and with a little help from his steel-hearted American agent, Debra (McKinnon), Jack’s fame explodes, according to the official synopsis. But as his star rises, he risks losing Ellie - the one person who always believed in him. With the door between his old life and his new closing, Jack will need to get back to where he once belonged and prove that all you need is love. The film, described as a “rock-n-roll comedy about music, dreams, friendship, and the long and winding road that leads to the love of your life,” is from Richard Curtis, the Oscarnominated screenwriter.


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SOUTH INDIA

In TN, politics makes a slow shift from Dravidian identity CHENNAI: The ruling AIADMK has sought to make Tamil one of the official languages in all central government offices. The move comes years after the DMK manifesto opposed in 1962, compulsory learning of Hindi and demanded a constitutional amendment to make English an official language. The compulsions of being in power for more than five decades have changed the way the Dravidian majors approach their poll manifestos. The demands of a separate Dravidian land and shunning Hindi have given way to the language of development in the parties' recent manifestos. Veteran journalist TN Gopalan said, "DMK gave up its demand for a separate Dravidian land even before it entered electoral politics in 1957. During the Sino-Indian war of 1962, party chief CN Annadurai made it official that the party was

DMK Chief MK Stalin

Tamil Nadu chief minister E. Palaniswami

dropping the secessionist demand. By then, DMK was the principal opposition party in the Tamil Nadu assembly. But then, it spearheaded the anti-Hindi agitation in 1965, which catapulted the party to power in 1967. I don't believe they were not strong in their convictions.

As they tasted power, they perhaps realised that they can work the system to their advantage. If they can benefit from the systems, why fight against it." Political analyst V Suryanarayan believes over the decades, Tamil Nadu politicians

PUNJAB

have also lost their relevance on the international scene. He said, "The Tamil issue in Sri Lanka has gone back to where it was in the early 1980s. Today, Lanka is not ready to concede even the demands it had agreed to in 1987. Tamil Nadu politicians are in no position to influence Lanka either." While the Dravidian majors have fallen silent on Tamil identity, Naam Thamizhar Katchi, founded by film director Seeman in 2010, is seeking to occupy that space. There aren’t many takers for Seeman’s Tamil nationalist agenda though. “Even DMK and AIADMK had rabble-rousers in the past but they were relevant in a different era. Rabble-rousers have no future in present-day politics. Seeman’s support base has not grown for years,” says retired bureaucrat and political commentator MG Devasahayam.

Not sulking, says Sidhu as he returns from ‘self-imposed exile’ CHANDIGARH: Punjab Local Bodies Minister Navjot Singh Sidhu has "returned" from his "self-imposed exile" of almost three weeks. His long absence from office has reportedly led to work piling up in the most "public dealing" department of the government. The firebrand minister had gone incommunicado for the part three weeks. He was reportedly in Delhi, but had "refused to get in touch" with anyone from Chandigarh. His close aides maintained he was not talking to anyone because of a "dental procedure he underwent", during his absence. Highly-placed sources in the government said that Sidhu had even refused to talk to

Punjab Chief Minister Capt Amarinder Singh, who tried to reach out to him twice. Sidhu's rather long absence from work now and the alleged delay in his decision making has been a sore point within the state unit of Congress. When contacted, Sidhu said, "It is wrong to suggest that I was sulking. I had undergone a dental procedure and was advised bed rest. I decided to prolong my bed rest till I felt better." When asked about his role in the Congress during the general elections, Sidhu said, "I have not been assigned any role by the Congress High Command, including campaigning for the party. I am waiting for them to assign me a role appropriate to

my stature." The leader added that he had never sought any ticket to contest the election. He said, "I was sounded well in advance about my role in campaigning. I have already told my party that I will not contest from anywhere other than Amritsar. I had left the BJP only because they wanted me to contest from Kurukshetra." Reports of Sidhu sulking come from earlier when he was reportedly snubbed by the office of Congress president Rahul Gandhi, when he was not allowed to share stage with the latter at the rally in Moga last month. His name was also not included in the list of star campaigners released by the Congress party.

Navjot Singh Sidhu

Meanwhile, the leader's wife Navjot Kaur Sidhu had also not been granted the party ticket for contesting the Lok Sabha polls from Chandigarh- a seat she had been eyeing for herself. She had even expressed her "disillusionment" over not being considered for the party ticket, after Pawan Bansal was announced to contest the seat. Returning to his office after 19 days, Sidhu cleared some files, sources said. An official source said, "that he attended office and cleared 25 files of change in land use; issuing of charge-sheets.

WEST BENGAL

in brief

MONEY FLOWING INTO POLL-BOUND TAMIL NADU

Seizure of £1.15 million in cash at a cement godown in Vellore has apparently confirmed the Election Commission's worst fears about the influence of money in the Lok Sabha polls in Tamil Nadu. Intelligence sources estimate that over £1 billion could be pumped in by various political parties into campaigning and for bribing voters in TN and Puducherry by April 18, the polling day. The poll panel has already designated all 40 LS seats in Tamil Nadu and Puducherry, along with 70 other seats across the country, as "expenditure sensitive". So far, £7.81 million in cash has been seized in the state. IT sleuths found new currency bundles dumped in gunny bags and cardboard boxes at a godown owned by a DMK functionary, in Vellore, in northern Tamil Nadu. Many bundles were in Rs 200 denomination. Some were neatly packed in envelopes with details of municipal and village wards written on them.

SHIV SENA LEADER SHOT DEAD IN PUNJAB

A Shiv Sena leader was allegedly shot dead in Punjab's Gurdaspur district last week by three youths over a dispute. Ajay Thakur, 25, was about to board a bus from a bus stand in Purana Shalla area. Three youths, who have been identified, came on a motorcycle and one of them pulled out a gun and opened fire at Thakur. He was rushed to a hospital where he succumbed to his injuries, the police said. Senior police official Swarndeep Singh said, "There is no terror or any other angle behind this incident. The only thing which has come to the fore so far is that the accused had a dispute with him over some issue."

EC REMOVES KOLKATA POLICE CHIEF, 3 OTHERS

The Election Commission has removed four IPS officers, including police commissioners of Kolkata and Bidannagar, ahead of the Lok Sabha elections. BJP national secretary Rahul Sinha said this would gain confidence of the voters. Sinha said, "The police establishment in West Bengal has become a B-team of the Trinamool Congress government. I welcome the move of the ECI." A candidate for the North Kolkata constituency, Sinha claimed free and fair elections were impossible under these IPS officers. The EC removed Kolkata Police Commissioner Anuj Sharma and replaced him with Rajesh Kumar. It also removed Bidhan Nagar police chief Gyanwnat Singh and transferred the Birbhum SP and Diamond Harbaour SP.

Modi, Mamata exchange barbs in Bengal rallies KOLKATA: Prime Minister Narendra Modi and West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee kept each other in their cross hairs as they addressed election rallies in the state last week. When on one hand Modi dubbed Banerjee a "speedbreaker known as Didi" for allegedly slowing down development, Banerjee claimed that if the Bharatiya Janata Party's "expiry babu" returns to power in 2019, LS elections would no longer be held as that party would modify the Constitution. While Modi accused the CM of obstructing his development juggernaut in the state and striking at the morale of India's armed forces by questioning the Balakot strike, Banerjee dubbed him an "expiry babu", meaning he had

reached the end of his term, and alleged "fascist" and a "rioter". The Trinamool Congress chief said, "If the BJP returns to power in 2019, Lok Sabha polls will not be held anymore because they will change the Indian Constitution." She unleashed a scathing attack on Modi, accusing him of being "communal" and "anti-poor" and taking care to repeatedly call him "expiry babu" to drive home that the tenure of the present government was nearing its end. Banerjee also echoed an allegation made by Aam Aadmi Party's Arvind Kejriwal, claiming for the first time that the BJP would fundamentally change the Constitution if it came back to power. Most part of her 40-minute speech focused on Modi, whom

she accused of misleading the people and using the armed forces for political gain. Banerjee asked, "You claim to be chowkidar of the country. In that case, why did you fail to protect the soldiers who died in Pulwama, despite having intelligence inputs on the terror attack? What right do you have to call our armed forces 'Modi Sena'?" Meanwhile, the PM urged the people to eject the TMC from the state to get the full benefits of his brand of development. He said, "I have not been able to deliver development in Bengal at the pace I have achieved in other states. This state has a speed breaker, which is known as Didi." Modi also took potshots at Banerjee for raising questions on India's airstrike in Pakistan's Balakot,

undertaken in retaliation to the suicide attack on a Central Reserve Police Force convoy in Pulwama that killed 40 troopers on February 14. “We hit there (Balakot) but it hurt Mamata Banerjee and Narendra Modi people here. Kolkata’s said in Siliguri. Didi was more pained than people He also accused Banerjee of in Islamabad and Rawalpindi. We denying the people of the state the hit them by entering their benefits of the Ayushman Bharat territory, but Didi did not like it. health insurance project, the Kisan Not only she, all other leaders of Samman Yojana and the Real the mahagathbandhan [grand Estate Regulations Act, among alliance] too. They shouted so others. He claimed that Banerjee much that they became heroes in did not care about the poor. “If Pakistan. There is a conspiracy to poverty is removed, her politics weaken our armed forces. will end. The same is true for the Wouldn’t you foil this conspiracy? Communist Party of India This election is also for showing (Marxist),” he said. respect to our armed forces,” Modi


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BJP promises Sankalpit Bharat, Sashakt Bharat; Cong pitches ‘wealth with welfare’ The Bharatiya Janata Party released its election manifesto on April 8, Monday. Titled 'Sankalp Patra', it was released by manifesto committee president Rajnath Singh. With the tagline 'Sankalpit Bharat, Sashakt Bharat', the BJP said it would deliver on 75 promises in India's 75th year of independence. Addressing the gathering at the BJP headquarters, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said the party's manifestos aims at 'One Mission, One Direction' reiterates the party's 2014 campaign, which was 'Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas'. PM Modi said, "India is a diverse country with different languages and culture, which is why we have tried to make our developmental processes multi-layered." He added that the party has also tried "to make the manifesto multi-dimensional." BJP president Amit Shah, who spoke before the release of the manifesto, said, "The BJP manifesto that we are releasing today will fulfil the aspirations of people. We have 75 promises for 75 years of Independent India in 2022." He added, "We have consulted millions of people before making this manifesto. This is an election about aspiration of people and I am sure that people will help us in taking our promises to every corner." Amit Shah said in February, the BJP held an event where it announced that it would send suggestion boxes across the country where people could contribute their thoughts to 'Bharat Ke Mann Ki Baat, Modi Ke Saath'. Amit Shah said the manifesto release is a culmination of that campaign. What 'Sankalp Patra' said on key issues The manifesto has addressed key issues, including national security, IT, and Agriculture. In its section on national security, the BJP manifesto mentions the surgical strikes and air strikes that were carried out during the tenure of the Narendra Modi government. The manifesto read, "We will continue to follow our policy of giving a free hand to our security forces in combating terrorism." Speeding-up purchases of outstanding defence related equipment and weapons and selfreliance in the defence sector via 'Make in India in Defence' also found mention, with the BJP saying this initiative will generate employment and encourage investment in the

defence sector. On combating infiltration, the BJP manifesto states: “There has been a huge change in the cultural and linguistic identity of some areas due to illegal immigration, resulting in an adverse impact on local people’s livelihood and employment. We will expeditiously complete the National Register of Citizens process in these areas on priority. In future we will implement the NRC in a phased manner in other parts of the country.” Also finding special mention is the contentious Citizenship Amendment Bill under national security in the BJP manifesto. We are committed to the enactment of the Citizenship Amendment Bill for the protection of individuals of religious minority communities from neighbouring countries escaping persecution. In agriculture, the Sankalp Patra goes one step ahead and suggests that it will develop young agriscientists to take advantage

Prime Minister Narendra Modi and other BJP leaders releasing the manifesto titled 'Sankalp Patra'.

Urban Affairs (MoHUA) and National Institute of Urban Affairs (NIUA). Comparison of the BJP and Congress manifestos Both manifestos cover a range of issues that have been a burden to citizens -

that the Congress manifesto is majorly focused on economic reforms while the BJP has prioritised national security. Both manifestos have kept national security as a top priority. While the BJP's security doctrine

combat terrorism and about speeding up the purchases of outstanding defenserelated equipment. Meanwhile. the Congress party said it will "reverse the trend of declining defence spending" under the NDA

focuses on acting against terrorism and extremism, Congress has focused more on defence procurement. The BJP for instance, mentioned in its manifesto that it will "firmly continue" their policy of giving a free hand to security forces to

government. It also promised to ensure that defence spending is increased to meet the requirements of the Armed Forces. "Congress promises to take strategic and hard measures to defend the territorial integrity of India and ensure the safety of our people." Jammu and Kashmir The northern region is another important promise in both the manifestos as the parties were related to restoring peace in Jammu and Kashmir. BJP said it is "committed" to overcoming

Congress released its manifesto for the 2019 Lok Sabha elections last week.

of artificial intelligence, machine learning, blockchain technology, big data analytics, etc., for more predictive and precision in agriculture. For villages, the BJP says in its manifesto that it will ensure that every gram panchayat is connected with a highspeed optical fibre network by 2022. The Sankalp Patra, however, lacks any reference to the Smart Cities project and government plans on National Urban Innovation Stack (NUIS). NUIS has been conceptualised as a national digital infrastructure for urban e-Governance by Ministry of Housing and

from jobs to women safety as well as national security and countering terrorism. The Congress manifesto, titled "Congress Will Deliver" was launched on April 2. A comparison between both manifestos indicates

PM Modi said, "India is a diverse country with different languages and culture, which is why we have tried to make our developmental processes multi-layered." Congress said it will "reverse the trend of declining defence spending" under the NDA government.

all obstacles that come in the way of development in the northernmost state of the country. While BJP has promised "adequate" financial resources for the region, it also reiterated its stand for the abrogation of Article 370, which gives autonomous status to the state and allows grant of certain special provisions. The Congress on the other hand clearly mentioned that "nothing will be done or allowed to change the Constitutional position" with regards to Article 370. It also promised to review certain clauses of the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act (AFSPA) and the Disturbed Areas Act in the State. "Suitable changes will be made in the text of the laws to balance the requirements of security and the protection of human rights," Congress stated in its manifesto. Northeast & NRC BJP promised in its manifesto to expedite the process of completing the National Register of Citizens (NRC) process to weed out illegal immigrants. "We will continue to undertake effective steps to prevent illegal immigration in the north-eastern states," stated the BJP manifesto. It further committed to the "enactment of Citizenship Amendment Bill" for the protection of individuals of religious minority communities from neighbouring countries. The Congress promises to "restore special category status to the north eastern states, withdraw the infamous Citizenship Amendment Bill and enhance financial assistance to the Autonomous District Councils."


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Rahul looks at Wayanad for safe seat With elections right across the street, Opposition Congress has fielded its prime ministerial candidate and party chief Rahul Gandhi from two constituencies. The Gandhi prodigy is set to stand from Amethi, a traditional NehruGandhi bastion in Uttar Pradesh, and Wayanad, a northern forest district in Kerala. While Amethi was an obvious choice. However, the choice of the second constituency in Kerala is full of implications. Wayanad is a relatively large district with a relatively prosperous population with a literacy level of over 80 per cent despite the fact that it is a tribal belt. Approximately 30 per cent of the population are natives of the hills, whose indigenous lifestyle and traditions were overrun by an influx of industrious Christians from southern and central Kerala in the second half of the last century. While on one hand the movement contributed to the large-scale conversion of the hilly area into farmland, paddy fields and cash crops, the natives found themselves marginalised, and to a considerable extent, dispossessed of their land. In the last few years, because of the affirmative policies of the state government and the selfless work of several voluntary organisations, the tribals are now considerably well off. Christians however,

remain the dominant community in Wayanad in population and political clout. The Indian elections are a seven-phase event, with Amethi going to polls in the first week of May, and Wayanad lining up at the booths in the third week of April. It is deciphered that one of the reasons Congress chose Wayanad is that it gives Gandhi enough time to recoup from his North Indian battles and campaign for his newly adopted constituency. Gandhi has always polled ahead of Modi in the south. Wayanad is a trijunction constituency, bordering three southern states, which are expected to have a “Rahul ripple effect”. The Congress is a serious contender in Kerala and now with Gandhi in the fray, it is expected to do extremely well in the 20 Kerala Lok Sabha seats. Gandhi's move has not gone down well with the Left as they reacted with outrage, portraying a sense of betrayal. They said they will go all out to defeat Gandhi. Gandhi is trying the southern gambit to help his party increase its seat tally and overcome the existential crisis the Congress faces. He even tried to reach out the CPM when he filed his nomination while accompanied by his sister and party general secretary Priyanka Gandhi. Rahul said

he would not utter a word against the Left but would keep treating them as allies. "I understand that they will want to attack me but, I won't," he had said. Meanwhile, Wayanad seemed to be charmed by the Gandhi siblings as they provided help to a local journalist who was injured. It was the second time Gandhi helped an injured journalist. The Congress chief has for a long time been mulling an outreach to the south because except for Karnataka, the BJP has been unsuccessful in making a headway in the south. Rahul said he felt the south of India is being isolated, with the central government seemingly attacking their culture and way of being. Gandhi has touched a receptive chord with his nomination from Wayanad. Senior Congress leaders say Gandhi has always believed in cultivating an all-India leadership to distinguish the Congress from the BJP, which is still perceived as an upper caste north Indian party. According to reports, 48 per cent of the populations are Muslims, 40 per cent Hindus and 12 per cent Christians. A characteristic aspect of Wayanad is a large Adivasi population. Though they are in the Hindu fold, primitive forms of worship still prevail among them. Another interesting fact about Wayanad is that it is

Rahul Gandhi filing his nomination from Wayanad last week

the only district in Kerala where the Jain religion still has a presence. Wayanad has a small Jain community consisting of the Gounders who came from Karnataka. Almost all sections of Christianity are well represented here. Muslims constitute 48 per cent of the population. They are Mappilas who came from Malappuram and Kozhikode districts. Hindus of different castes like Nairs, Thiyyas, etc. who settled here from different parts of Kerala, form 40 per cent of the population. Rahul's Amethi nomination The Congress' strategy is that while the party will be happy to support any antiModi front, it will not keep ceding the Congress vote share as has happened in Uttar Pradesh. While

Gandhi calls Amethi his "karmabhoomi", but the work has made him realise that the Congress is nearly extinct in the state. Both, Rahul and Priyanka believe that they have to get back UP if they are in politics for the long haul. Amethi has always been a high profile Lok Sabha constituency. It's been a family bastion of the Gandhis for over three decades. Rahul has been contesting and winning from Amethi since 2004, he is contesting from Amethi in 2019 as well. Between 1980 and 2004, Amethi was represented by Sanjay Gandhi, Rajiv Gandhi, Sonia Gandhi, and Satish Sharma, a close aide of Rajiv. However, this year, the Congress announced Rahul contesting from Wayanad too, in addition to his

traditional seat of Amethi. This has been interpreted as the first signs of the Congress fortress in Amethi under threat from BJP's Smriti Irani and hence the reason for Rahul choosing Wayanad as a backup. While Amethi is being seen as a tight contest, Wayanad is perceived as a "safe seat". While the Congress has maintained that Rahul's decision to contest from the Kerala district is because of requests from many leaders from Southern states like Kerala, Tamil Nadu and Karnataka urging him to contest from their state. However, this move has bolstered the BJP’s charge that the Congress president is "running away" because he is unsure of winning from Amethi.

All set for first phase of polling on April 11 C

ampaigning for the phase one of Lok Sabha elections 2019 has ended as political parties made one final effort to woo voters in 91 seats spread over 20 states and union territories. Polling process for the general elections of the world's biggest democracy will begin from April 11, Thursday. The elections to the 17th Lok Sabha are being held in seven phases. Subsequent polling dates are April 18 (97 Lok Sabha constituencies), April 23 (115), April 29 (71), May 6 (51), May 12 (59) and May 19 (59). The counting of votes will take place on May 23.

Criminal connection 1)

2)

3)

First phase of polling will be held in the following seats: 1. Andhra Pradesh: All 25 seats 2. Arunachal Pradesh: All 2 seats 3. Assam: 5 seats 4. Bihar: 4 seats 5. Chhattisgarh: 1 seat 6. Jammu and Kashmir: 2 seats 7. Maharashtra: 7 seats 8. Manipur: 1 seat 9. Meghalaya: All 2 seats 10. Mizoram: 1 seat only 11. Nagaland: 1 seat only 12. Odisha: 4 seats 13. Sikkim: 1 seat only 14. Telangana: All 17 seats 15. Tripura: 1 seat 16. Uttar Pradesh: 10 seats 17. Uttarakhand: All 5 seats 18. West Bengal: 2 seats 19. Andaman and Nicobar Islands: 1 seat only Lakshadweep: 1 seat only

4)

5) Millionaire candidates The Election Commission has revealed that there are 401 candidates with assets worth £100,000 and more. Among the major parties 69 out of 83 candidates from Congress, 65 out of 83 candidates from BJP, 15 out of 32 candidates from BSP, 25 candidates from TDP, 22 out of 25 candidates from YSRCP and 17 candidates from TRS have declares assets worth over £100,000. The average asset per candidate contesting in the Lok Sabha phase 1 election is £663,000.

Phase 2 election

In Phase 2, elections will be held on April 18 for 97 seats spread across 13 States Assam, Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Jammu and Kashmir, Karnataka, Maharashtra, Manipur, Odisha, Tamil Nadu, Tripura, Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal, and Puducherry.

Phase 2 (April 18) 1. Assam: 5 seats 2. Bihar: 5 seats 3. Chhattisgarh: 3 seats 4. Jammu and Kashmir: 2 seats

213(17%) out of 1266 candidates have declared criminal cases against themselves. 146(12%) out of 1266 have declared serious criminal cases against themselves. 12 candidates have declared convicted cases against themselves. 10 candidates have declared cases related to murder (IPC Section 302) against themselves. 25 candidates have declared cases related to attempt to murder (IPC Section 307) against themselves

5. Karnataka: 14 seats 6. Maharashtra: 10 seats 7. Manipur: 1 seat 8. Odisha: 5 seats 9. Tamil Nadu: All 39 seats 10. Tripura: 1 seat 11. Uttar Pradesh: 8 seats 12. West Bengal: 3 seats 13. Puducherry: 1 seat only


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Caste plays major role in selecting candidates in Gujarat Caste and community considerations play major while choosing candidates for the Lok Sabha elections in Gujarat. Both the BJP and the Congress have selected candidates belonging to castes who have greater vote share in concerned constituencies. After all, what matters is the number of seats won or

lost. And the stakes are as high as they could be. In Gujarat, in 15 of the 26 Lok Sabha seats both BJP and Congress have chosen candidates from the same castes or sub-castes. For example, Congress candidate Paresh Dhanani, a Leuva Patidar, has been pitted against another Leuva Patidar, Naran

Kachhadiya for the Amreli seat. In Mehsana, both BJP and Congress have chosen Kadva Patidar candidates. For the Dahod (ST) seat, the candidates of both the parties are from the Bhil community. In the Koli community dominated Surendranagar seat, candidates of both the BJP and Congress are Kolis.

That’s not all. For the Banaskantha seat, candidates of both the BJP (Parbat Patel) and the Congress (Parthi Bhatol) are from the Anjana Patel sub-caste under the OBC category. In Sabarkantha, both the parties have fielded candidates from the Thakor community. Both BJP and Congress

candidates for the Rajkot seat and the Ahmedabad East seat are Kadva Patidars. Porbandar seat will witness a contest between two Leuva Patidars – Ramesh Dhaduk of the BJP vs Lalit Vasoya of the Congress. In Jamnagar, BJP’s Poonam Maadam will take on Congress’s Mulu Kandoriya. For the

Junagadh LS seat, the BJP and Congress have fielded Ghediya Koli candidates. In Panchmahal, BJP’s Ratansinh Rathod, a Bariya Kshatriya will face another Bariya Kshatriya, Congress’ V K Khant, while on the Chhota Udepur (ST) seat, both BJP and Congress have fielded Rathwa community candidates.

Constituency-wise list of candidates Gandhinagar

Amit Shah BJP

C J Chavda – Cong

Ahmedabad West

Kirit Solanki Raju Parmar – Cong – BJP

Ahmedabad East

Hasmukh Patel – BJP

Geeta Patel – Cong

Surat

Darshna Jardosh – BJP

Ashok Patel – Cong

Banaskantha

Amreli

Jamnagar

Bardoli (ST)

Parbat Patel Parthi Bhatol – Cong – BJP

Paresh Dhanani Naran – Cong Kachhadiya – BJP

Mulu Kandoriya Poonam – Cong Maadam – BJP

Tushar Chaudhary Prabhu – Cong Vasava – BJP

Navsari

Bharuch

Surendranagar

Patan

C R Paatil – Dharmesh Patel – Cong BJP

Sher Khan Mansukh Vasava – BJP Pathan – Cong

Sabarkantha

Junagadh

Bhavnagar

Porbandar

Punja VanshRajesh Cong Chudasama- BJP

Manhar Bharti Shiyal – BJP Patel – Cong

Lalit Vasoya Ramesh – Cong Dhaduk – BJP

Dipsinh Rathod – BJP

Rajendra Thakor – Cong

Dr. Mahendra Munjpara – BJP

Soma Patel – Cong

Jagdish Thakor Bharat – Cong Dabhi – BJP

Vadodara

Ranjan Bhatt – BJP

Prashant Patel – Cong

Mehsana

Sharda Patel – BJP

A J Patel – Cong

Kheda

Devusinh Chauhan – BJP

Bimal Shah – Cong

Panchmahal

Ratansinh Rathod – BJP

V K Khant – Cong

Rajkot

Lalit Kagathara Mohan – Cong Kundariya – BJP

Anand

Mitesh Patel – BJP

Bharatsinh Solanki – Cong

Kutch (SC)

Vinod Chavda – BJP

Naresh Maheshwari – Cong

Dahod (ST)

Jashwantsinh Babu Katara – Cong Bhabhor – BJP

! CANDIDATES FOR ASSEMBLY BYPOLLS ! Chhota Udepur (ST)

Geeta Rathwa Ranjit Rathwa – Cong – BJP

Valsad

K C Patel – BJP

Jitu Chaudhary – Cong

Manavadar

Jawahar Chavda – BJP

Arvind Ladani – Cong

Unjha

Asha Patel – K M Patel – Cong BJP

Dhrangadhra

Parshottam Sabariya – BJP

Dinesh Patel – Cong

Jamnagar Rural

Raghavji Patel – BJP

Jayanti Sabhaya – Cong

BJP-led alliance to win thin majority, poll shows ahead of vote Prime Minister Narendra Modi's ruling alliance will win a thin majority in a general election that starts on April 11, an average of four opinion polls showed, with a focus on national security appearing to trump concerns over other issues. The coalition led by PM Modi's Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is expected to win 273 of the 543 parliament seats at stake, one more than the halfway mark required to rule. In the last election, the alliance

won more than 330 seats the biggest mandate in three decades. Most of the polling agencies that released surveys in the last four days said Modi got a boost from recent tension with archenemy Pakistan after a militant group based there killed 40 Indian paramilitary troops in Jammu and Kashmir in February. "In today's India we have seen perhaps for the first time security issues

competing with, and outdoing, a bread and butter issue like unemployment," CVoter said in a statement. Primarily, the BJP has been unable to sufficiently distinguish itself from Congress when it comes to making people feel the difference in terms of their livelihoods and economic interests. "However, when it comes to controlling and responding on terror the same set of respondents do feel a clear and visible

difference." CVoter's poll is the most conservative, predicting 267 seats for the ruling group, while the Times Now-VMR's poll is the most bullish, with 279 seats. The main opposition Congress and its allies are expected to more than double their seats to about 141 on average. Pre-election opinion polls in India, with thousands of respondents, have proved unreliable several times in the past in a

vast country of about 1.3 billion people, of whom about 900 million are eligible to vote. Congress has accused the BJP of using retaliatory air strikes on Pakistan as a political tool and has instead highlighted job creation, tackling farm distress and empowerment of women, among its top priorities. But the BJP has doubled down on national security issues, promising in its manifesto released on

Monday to strip decadesold special rights from the people of Jammu and Kashmir. Modi has said he will retain power with a bigger mandate than before, while Congress says its plan for annual handouts of Rs 72,000 to the poorest families will help fuel its comeback. The election will be held in seven phases and votes will be counted on May 23, with results likely to be clear the same day.


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India planning star wars weapon After successfully testing an anti-satellite (A-Sat) missile last month, India is now also working to develop other counterspace capabilities like directed energy weapons (DEWs) and co-orbital killers as well as the ability to protect its own satellites from electronic or physical attacks. “We are working on a number of technologies like DEWs, lasers, electromagnetic pulse (EMP) and co-orbital weapons etc. I can’t divulge the details, but we are taking them forward,” said DRDO chief G Satheesh Reddy. The A-Sat missile that destroyed the Microsat-R satellite, at an altitude of 283-km in the low-earth orbit (LEO) on March 27, was a “directascent, kinetic kill” weapon. It’s “feasible” to target multiple satellites with multiple launches of

the three-stage interceptor missile, which can go up to 1,000 km into space, said the DRDO chief. A co-orbital weapon, in turn, is basically a satellite equipped with some explosive, weapon or DEW device, which is first put into orbit and then later manoeuvred to target the enemy satellite. Apart from these kinetic kill weapons, other A-SAT weapons like lasers, jammers, EMP and high-powered microwaves are being rapidly developed by China, which first tested an A-Sat missile against a Leo weather satellite in January 2007. Trying to play catch-up, sources say India’s longterm aim is to develop A-Sat weapons against satellites in both LEO and GEOsynchronous orbits as a credible deterrence against emerging threats to its growing space-based assets.

“Conversely, EMP hardening of our satellites and sensors, apart from other measures, can be done to protect them from our adversaries,” said a source. No move to conduct additional tests for now, says DRDO There is also the plan to

launch mini-satellites on demand for the armed forces if the main satellites are targeted,” said a source. DRDO for long has also been running programmes on a wide variety of DEWs like high-energy lasers and high-powered microwaves capable of destroying aerial

and ground-based targets, but whether they can be successfully developed into A-Sat weapons remains to be seen. Reddy, on his part, said it was for the government to decide on the issue of weaponisation of A-Sat systems or the creation of a full-fledged

Aerospace Military Command. “Space has gained importance in the military domain. The best way to ensure security is to have deterrence,” he said. The DRDO chief made it clear that there was no move to conduct additional tests of the new A-Sat missile as of now. “Though we tested the interceptor missile for an altitude below 300 km as a responsible nation after multiple simulations, it has the technical capability to go beyond 1,000 km. That will cover most of the orbiting satellites in LEO. For the same purpose, we don’t need more tests,” he said. The target satellite was hit with an accuracy of less than 10 cm, on a par with “the best reported performances” of such A-Sat missiles worldwide. “So, it meets all our objectives.,” Reddy added.

UK court rejects Mallya’s plea to appeal against extradition In the longstanding Vijay Mallya extradition case, recent developments suggest that the lawyers of 'King of good times' can make a renewal application for a brief oral hearing before the same court, in another attempt to push for an appeal hearing. Justice William Davis at London’s High Court has rejected businessman Mallya’s application for permission to appeal against the extradition order against him. However, now Mallya’s legal team can make a renewal application for a

“The appellant has five business days to apply for the oral consideration,” a spokesperson for the judiciary explained. “If a renewal application is made, it will be listed before a High Court judge and dealt with at a hearing.” the spokesperson continued.

Court of Human Rights (though he would not be able to appeal if he were denied permission to appeal at the oral hearing). Vijay Mallya, continues to remain on bail even after Home Secretary Sajid Javid has signed the extradition order against him in early February.

Obituary Vijay Mallya

brief oral hearing before the same court, in another attempt to push for an appeal hearing. If it were to

be rejected at this stage there would be no further recourse in terms of the appeal process.

PM Modi names Ahmed Patel, alludes to Gandhi family in Agusta scam Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched a direct attack on the Congress leadership, saying the party and corruption were “inseparable partners” and alleged involvement of Congress’ first “family” in the AgustaWestland chopper scam. Addressing a rally in Dehradun, Modi pointed out that alleged AgustaWestland scam middleman Christian Michel had been singing to his interrogators. “One was ‘AP’ and the other was ‘Fam’. ‘AP’ stands for Ahmed Patel and Fam stands for family. Have you heard of Ahmed Patel? Which family is he close to?” Modi asked the crowd. “Congress and corruption are inseparable partners. Wherever the party comes to power, corruption accelerates while development is put on ventilator,” Modi said, addressing a crowd of over 25,000 at Parade Ground in

But if he was to apply for an oral hearing, then it would incur a lengthy process, requiring time to be found in front of a judge at the High Court. Beyond this court, Mallya would potentially also have appeal opportunities to the Supreme Court and eventually the European

Dehradun. Modi’s broadside at Congress and the Gandhis came after the Enforcement Directorate claimed in a supplementary chargesheet that Michel had said “AP” stands for senior Congress leader Ahmed Patel and the abbreviation “Fam” was for family. The chargesheet has details on lobbying for the VVIP chopper deal and references to a leader “who will be PM” and political conduits. The developments in the case, which Congress said was politically motivated, have heated up the political atmosphere, and the PM spared no effort in targeting the party and its leadership. In a TV interview, Modi countered the charge and said Congress needed to answer why cases were buried during its tenure. “I am only keeping my word that the cases, originating previously, are investigated,” he said.

While the PM took on Congress in his rallies, finance minister Arun Jaitley said the opposition party must explain allegations against its senior leaders in the VVIP chopper deal. “Are these ‘RG’, ‘AP’ ‘Fam’ hypothetical names, Congress should clarify,” Jaitley said and added that the same names were mentioned in documents recovered in Switzerland in 2013. He said the chargesheet clearly mentioned documents which were recovered by Swiss police from the house of the mother of another middleman, Guido Haschke, in Lugano, Switzerland. “The chargesheet is based on oral and documentary evidence. To whom is the reference of ‘RG’, ‘AP’ and ‘FAM’ being made? Investigators have quoted in the chargesheet the statements of the concerned persons,” Jaitley said at the press conference.

Maganlal Punja Haria Maganlal Punja Haria, son of late Jashmaben and late Punja Devshi Haria, was born on 15th May1922 at Changa near Jamnagar in India. At the age of 16, he decided to make a better life and made his way to Kenya in late 1930s. He quickly learned to speak the local language Kiswahili fluently within a month. After working for his relations for a few years, he decided to open his own business, selling educational books, stationery and bicycle spare parts in a small town called Ruiru. He married Ramaben and they both worked very hard and diligently. He was married for 69 years. His moto was always to be honest and humble to his customers and he followed it in his personal life till his last breath. His son Jayendra says, “All my life that I have been with him, l have never known him to have grudge on anyone. He had quite a sharp memory, one example being, if you gave your name, your father’s name and your grandfather’s name, he would be able to tell you, who else you are related to and more. He loved the company of having people around him. When he attended any gatherings ,whether he recognised people-or not, he would make a point of saying hello, young or old alike. He left behind two sons, Harish, born in Nairobi and Jayendra born in Ruiru. He decided to leave Kenya for good in 1969, headed for India, and then migrated to the UK in 1970. In the UK, he worked for Smiths Industries until he retired. Prior to getting a job at Smiths there was a requirement of passing maths test. The test normally took 15 minutes but Maganlal did it in 2 minutes. Maganlal had fantastic ability to keep calm under pressure. He passed away on 27th March at Northwick Park Hospital aged 96. Over 3,000 people attended the prayer meeting and over 600 people attended his funeral at Golders Green crematorium.

Narendra Harjivandas Makanji It is with deep regrets we announce the untimely death of our beloved brother Narendra Harjivandas Makanji Unadkat on Thursday, 4th April 2019 at the age of 66. Narendra suffered a heart attack whilst going about his normal routine. His funeral will be on 13th April at 11 am at Marylebone Crematorium, Finchley, London N2 ORG. Contact No 077 69704854.


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Nehru on Sanskrit as a Global Language

• Present-day Urdu contains nearly 80 per cent words derived from Sanskrit • Pashto and Singhalese have roots in the great unifying ancient language

R

ecently, while presenting the President’s awards to scholars of Sanskrit, Pali, Prakrit, Arabic, Persian, Telugu, Kannada, Odia and Malayalam, M. Venkaiah Naidu, the Vice President of India, expressed concern about the vanishing languages or dialects: “Studies by experts estimate that almost 600 languages are on verge of extinction and that more than 250 languages have disappeared in past 60 years. When a language dies, an entire culture dies. We simply cannot let that happen.” India is a multilingual country where more than 19,500 languages or dialects are spoken. However, almost 97 per cent of the population speaks one of the 22 scheduled languages. Modern Indian languages have ancient roots and are derived in some way from the classical languages. Sanskrit is one of the oldest Indo-European languages, dating back to the second millennium BC. Tamil literature dates back to 500BC, Telugu to 400 BC, Kannada to 450 BC, Malayalam to 1198 AD and Odia to 800 AD. during the five months, Unlike the popular April to September 1944. perception, Jawaharlal “Prison is not a pleasant Nehru, the first Prime place to live in even for a Minister of India, pays great short period, much less for tribute to the rich heritage long years. But it was a of Sanskrit apart from his privilege for me to live in love for British English and close contact with men of Hindustani. Barrister outstanding ability and Nehru devotes one full culture and a wide human chapter “Vitality and outlook which even the Persistence of Sanskrit” in passions of the moment did his book “The Discovery of not obscure,” records Nehru India”, written in in the preface. Ahmadnagar Fort prison

One can come across Nehru’s love and respect for Sanskrit and the Sanskrit treasure but he did not favour Sanskrit as a national language unlike Dr. B. R. Ambedkar and some of his supporters in the Constituent Assembly who tried to move a resolution to make Sanskrit a National Language. Nehru writes: “Even present-day Urdu, itself wholly an Indo-Aryan language, probably contains 80 per cent words derived from Sanskrit…Pashto, one of the Indo-Aryan languages derived from Sanskrit, is the popular language in the North West Frontier Province as well as in

Next Column:

Indira fulfilled Patel’s Sikkim Dream Afghanistan….The language of Ceylon is Singhalese. This also an Indo-Aryan language derived directly from Sanskrit.” He does

mention in “The Discovery of India”: “Practically every German university had a Sanskrit department, with one or two professors in charge of it,” adding, “Indian scholarship, which was considerable, was of the old style, uncritical and seldom acquainted with foreign classical languages, except Arabic and Persian.” “Sanskrit is a language amazingly rich, efflorescent, full of luxuriant growth of all kinds, and yet precise and strictly keeping within the framework of grammar which Panini laid down two thousand six hundred years ago. It spread out, added to its richness, became fuller and more ornate, but always it stuck to its original roots.” “Even in the days of Kalidas, it was not the people’s language, though it was the language of educated people throughout India.” Nehru writes, “Sanskrit, it is now well recognized, is allied to the European classical and

£28.1 mn 'collection racket' busted in MP The Delhi Directorate of Income Tax on Monday detected a "wide spread", "organised" racket of unaccounted cash of about £28.1 million in Madhya Pradesh. The team raided several properties that belong to businessmen, politicians and people related to other public services. "A part of the cash was also transferred to the headquarter of a major political party in Delhi, including about £2 million which was moved through hawala recently to the headquarter of the political party from the residence of a senior functionary at Delhi's Tughlak Road," news agency ANI said quoting its sources. The development comes even as the Income Tax department's searches against close aides of Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Kamal Nath and others continued on the second day on Monday. The poll body had on Sunday told enforcement agencies to inform it about any such exercise before undertaking it. "The Election Commission strongly advises that all enforcement actions during the election period, even when conducted ruthlessly with a view to curb the blatant electoral malpractice (of using money power to influence voter behaviour),

be absolutely neutral, impartial and nondiscriminatory. Further, in case of suspected use of such illicit money for electoral purposes, the Chief Electoral Officer should be kept suitably informed while the Model Code of Conduct is in force," a letter issued by the EC to investigation agencies read. News agency ANI further quoted its CBDT sources as saying that unaccounted cash of £1.46 milion, 252 bottles of liquor, few arms and hide-skins of tiger were also found. "Searches in Delhi in group of a close relative of the senior functionary led to seizure of incriminating evidence, including cash book recording unaccounted transactions of Rs 230 crore," they said. It added that the searches in Delhi in the group of a close relative of the senior functionary have further led to the seizure of "incriminating evidence, including cash book recording unaccounted transactions of Rs 230 crore, siphoning off money through bogus billing of more than £24.2 million and evidence of more than 80 companies in tax havens." The CBDT said several unaccounted/benami properties at posh locations in Delhi have also been

Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Kamal Nath

detected. It said these "instances of violations of the model code of conduct are being brought to the notice of the Election Commission". The searches, on charges of alleged tax evasion and hawala transactions during the ongoing poll season, continued on Monday at various premises in Bhopal, Indore, Delhi and the national capital region. The department had on Sunday launched pre-dawn raids at 52 locations of people and associates linked to Kamal Nath. Sources said that there is a "strong possibility" of the cash recovered during the operation being used as an election inducement to fund political campaigns and bribe voters in the pollbound state and in Delhi. A preliminary report of the raids has also been shared by the department with the CBDT and the Election Commission in Delhi. A cash van with large-sized trunks has been sent by the

department at a location in Bhopal to seize and collect the cash found during the raids, they said. Those searched included Nath's former Officer on Special Duty (OSD) Pravin Kakkar, former adviser Rajendra Miglani, Ashwani Sharma and executives linked to his brother-in-law's firm Moser Bayer and a company of his nephew Ratul Puri. Nath had reacted to the development. "The situation about the I-T raids is not clear yet. It would be appropriate to speak on this after the situation is clear. But the entire country knows how the constitutional institutions were used and against whom they were used during the past five years," he had said. "These institutions were used to scare people. When they do not have anything to say on development and their work, they used this kind of tactics against their opponents," the CM's statement had said.

Nehru in Language Controversy. cartoon by Shankar Pillai of Shanker’s weekly

modern languages. Even the Slavonic languages have many common forms and roots with Sanskrit. The nearest approach to Sanskrit in Europe is made by the Lithuanian language.” According to the Census 2011, only 24,821 people out of 1.21 billion population of India speak Sanskrit! One comes across thousands of Sanskrit words in the Webster’s English

dictionary but no systematic and scientific efforts are being made to identify them despite Sanskrit being considered most suitable language for the computers.

Dr. Hari Desai (The writer is a Socio-political Historian. E-mail: haridesai@gmail.com)

UAE to confer highest civilian award on Modi

PM Narendra Modi with Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi.

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) government has announced that it will confer the country’s highest civilian award, the ‘Order of Zayed’, on PM Narendra Modi. India's ministry of external affairs said that this honour was in recognition of the government’s efforts under Modi’s leadership to develop the strategic partnership between India and the UAE. “The UAE is home to the largest number of our citizens outside India, and is our partner in diverse pillars of cooperation, including investment, energy, defence and security,” MEA spokesperson Raveesh Kumar said. Thanking Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, Modi tweeted, “Under your (Al Nahyan) visionary leadership, our strategic ties have reached new heights and this friendship is contributing to the peace and prosperity of our people and planet.”

No decision has been taken yet on whether Modi will travel to receive the award in the middle of the election campaign. Sources here said the possibility of Modi visiting the UAE was under discussion. “We have historical and comprehensive strategic ties with India, reinforced by the pivotal role of my dear friend, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who gave these relations a big boost. In appreciation of his efforts, the UAE President grants him the Zayed Medal,” Al Nahyan said on Twitter. In another statement, the UAE said that as an international statesman, Modi had given a “new direction to this (ties with the UAE) relation and today India’s relations with whole Islamic world is at its best.” “I am extremely happy to welcome the announcement of Order of Zayed for a great son of India, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, by His Highness Mohamed bin Zayed,” foreign minister Sushma Swaraj tweeted.


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Kangana opts out of Anurag Basu’s 'Imali' Bollywood actor Kangana Ranaut has opted out of filmmaker Anurag Basu's next 'Imali' as she intends to pour more focus on her directorial venture. The project which also stars Rajkummar Rao, would have marked her third collaboration with Basu after her debut 'Gangster' and 'Life in a Metro'. The actress had to opt out of the project as she has three films in the pipeline right now- 'Mental Hai Kya',

'Panga', and the recently announced 'Jayalalithaa' biopic. She said, "Last year, when I announced 'Panga' and 'Imali' together, Anurag Basu's film was supposed to go on floors in November 2018. But I had to direct and reshoot 'Manikarnika: The Queen of Jhansi'. So, I had to push 'Imali'. I was also meaning to be a director for a while, so I couldn't have said no to this. Meanwhile, 'Panga' had already started and I couldn't do that." Kangana said, "Anurag and I have spoken about it. I feel extremely bad because 'Imali' was

giving me an opportunity to work with my mentor again, but I'm on the verge of announcing my own film in a few weeks from now. That has taken a lot of my time and I have conveyed it to Anurag who understood my situation." She added her focus right now is on her next directorial. "We will work together at some point. 'Imali' is a beautiful love story and we can do that later. But right now, my focus is on my next directorial venture because I've just delivered a Rs 100 Crore film and it's the right time for me."

Will Smith dances to 'Radha Teri Chunri' on 'Student of the Year 2' Filmmaker Karan Johar has finally fulfilled Hollywood star Will Smith's dream. The 'MIB' actor features in a track titled 'Radha Teri Chunri' from Johar's

upcoming 'Student of the Year 2'. In a teaser from Smith's show 'Bucket List', he can be seen grooving to the tunes. The episode will showcase his experience in Bollywood. Ahead of the release, Will shared a teaser which shows him trying to dance the Bollywood way. The actor is seen sharing the sets of 'Student of the Year 2' and dancing with stars Tiger Shroff, Ananya Panday and Tara Sutaria. After some practice, the actor tells the camera, "I don't know who it was but I elbowed someone very hard while getting the flute up." Tiger is also seen

practising in the same place, however, both actors are never seen in the same frame. Will's show 'Bucket List' was launched this year, wherein every week he goes on a set of real-life adventures where he tries to complete everything he wants to do in a life as his "bucket list". A source said, "He shot for the episode, which also features his interactions with 'Student of the Year 2' actors Tiger Shroff, Tara Sutaria, and Ananya Panday on their film's set, at a Juhu pub with Ranveer Singh and Karan Johar. It will conclude with Will's understanding of the industry based on his personal encounters." So far, according to his bucket list, Smith has swam cage-free with sharks, bungee jumped into the Grand Canyon, ran a half marathon, tried his hand stand-up comedy and experienced formula racing with his son.

Ranbir visits parents in the US, cheers them amidst lows Actor Ranbir Kapoor has made a much-needed trip to the US, cheering his parents, veteran actors Rishi and Neetu Kapoor. Rishi is currently undergoing treatment for an undisclosed illness in New York and has been staying there with his wife since September, last year. Neetu shared two photos with her son and husband, and captioned them, "That amazing feeling in your lows when there is positivity! Happiness, love and that wink!" Having won Best Actor in the recently held Zee Cine Awards, Ranbir had spoken about his father. He had said, "I would like to dedicate this award to very special people in my life, starting with my father. He is going through a little bit of a rough patch in his

life and I have often heard that whenever you come at crossroads in your life, you can really tell who you are as a person." He added, "Whenever I speak to him,

Heartbreak is part of growing up: Alia Bhatt A stunner and achiever, Alia Bhatt has created quite the stir in the industry with films like 'Raazi' and 'Gully Boy'. She hit the headlines with her personal life too as the 'Brahmastra' actress has found love in the notorious Ranbir Kapoor. Speaking to Grazia magazine where she features on the cover of its April issue, Alia, who had earlier dated Sidharth Malhotra, said it is important to go through heartbreaks. She said, "It's a very important part of growing up. If there's one thing I am certain of, it's that love is the most powerful feeling in the world. The

cycle of going through the piercing pain of a heartbreak, only to come out stronger and fall in love all over again, is something everyone should go through that some point in their life." She added, "For me, the challenge is not only to stay at the top of my game, but to also push myself as an actor every day. I really believe that if I continue to have fun with what I am doing then it will reflect positively in my choices, and attitude towards work." Alia also spoke about her upcoming film 'Kalank', especially a song titled 'Ghar More Pardesiya' song.

"I had to do this entire song with Madhuri Dixit, which was unnerving. But Madhuri Ma'am was so helpful, and so comforting, and genuinely made me feel like she was there for me through all of it." "Kalank has created a very interesting world. It brings together a great cast of actors from Sonakshi, Adi, Varun, Sanju sir and Madhuri Ma'am, to a lot of new faces who the audience will be seeing for the first time. This film is very different from what I have done before, so I am really excited to see the response we get."

he only talks about movies. He only talks about ‘how is this film?’, ‘how is this film doing?’, ‘how is this performance?’, what are you doing in this scene?’ And more so, he speaks to me about his insecurities that when he gets back, will he get to work in movies? Whether people will offer him films? Will he be able to act in movies?” The 'Brahmastra' actor had earlier revealed Rishi is set to return to India soon. He had said, "He's doing very well, and he will be back very soon. He is missing the movies and working in films. I really hope that with all your wishes and prayers he comes back very soon." RK had even taken his girlfriend Alia Bhatt to meet his parents in the US.


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American TV continues to embrace Indian actors Diversity on American television seems to be on the rise as actress Pallavi Sharda is the latest Bollywood actress to bag a show in the US. Pallavi, who has featured in Bollywood films like “Besharam” and “Hawaizaada,” has been chosen as the female lead opposite Mike Vogel in the ABC drama “Triangle.” Directed by McG, “Triangle” poses the question, what if the Bermuda Triangle was not a watery grave in the middle of the ocean but a land lost in time that has trapped travellers over the course of human history?

Earlier this year, veteran actor Anupam Kher shared on Twitter that his series “New Amsterdam” has been confirmed for Season 2. The actor played a neurosurgeon in the first season of the show inspired by Bellevue, the oldest public hospital in the US. He had also featured in the American web television series “Sense8”, that starred his son Sikander Kher, actor Purab Kohli and actress Tina Desai as well. Last month, there were reports about Priyanka being in talks with Amazon Prime Video for some projects.

Before that, Priyanka made waves in the US with her show “Quantico.” Nimrat Kaur is another Indian actress who has been successfully maintaining a balance between her work internationally and in the Hindi film industry. The “Jhakaas” actor Anil Kapoor featured in the eight season of American series “24”, starring Kiefer Sutherland. Actress Mallika Sherawat was also seen in the popular TV series “Hawaii Five O.” Veteran actor Kabir Bedi had featured in “The Bold and the Beautiful” as Prince Omar Rashid.

Kareena teases Akshay about the money he is making Actors Kareena Kapoor and Akshay Kumar are all set to reunite on the big screen after almost a decade in a upcoming film 'Good News'. In a recent joint interview, Akshay opened about his equation with Bebo. He said, "Whenever we meet, whether it's on a film set or an awards night, our equation has remained the same. We are extremely fond of each other. Bebo and Lolo tease me about the amount of money I'm making and I tease them about having a flat in every building in Bandra. That's our fun banter." Meanwhile, Kareena is all praises for her colleague, calling him the most disciplined actor. She said, "Working with him is always fun. The best part is that he doesn't waste time, so, we go on set, wrap up and I can head home to be with my son, Taimur." She also spoke about Akshay's growth during the years. "He has grown fantastically as an actor. If you see in the last few years, it has been higher than anybody else. It's also because of the way he functions. But otherwise, he's hardly changed as a person. He's extremely loving and wellmannered." Both actors play a married couple in the movie who are trying to have a baby. The film also stars Diljit Dosanjh and K i a r a Advani. Akshay

and Kareena were last seen together in the 2009 film 'Kambakkht Ishq' and share a special camaraderie both on, and off camera. 'Good News' will hit theatres on September 6 this year.

Janhvi defends choice to repeat outfits, set to reinvent glamour Repeating outfits in the film industry has been considered a major fashion faux pas, that is until young actor Janhvi Kapoor reinvented the rules. The 'Dhadak' actress has often repeated her clothes, even hitting back at trolls who slammed her for the choice. Recently appearing on Anaita Shroff Adajania's chat show, J a n h v i defended herself and shot at her trolls saying, "How can they? Itna bhi paisa nahi kamaya ki har roz naye kapde!" (I haven't earned so much money that I would wear new clothes every day) Janhvi added that she is not affected by those on the internet finding fault in her clothes. "You can't please everyone. Especially with this. I guess

you would take their criticism seriously if it was to do with your work and then work on that. But how I look outside the gym isn't really my job." On the work front, Janhvi is shooting for 'Kargil Girl', which brings the story of IAF pilot Gunjan Saxena alive on celluloid. The pilot h a d h e l p e d e v a c u a t e injured soldiers from Kargil in 1999. Actor Angad Bedi will be seen as Gunjan's brother Anshuman Saxena. while Pankaj Tripathi will play their father. The film is helmed by debutant director Sharan Sharma and is being produced by Dharma Productions.

Big B calls Abhishek his 'dearest friend' Megastar Amitabh Bachchan calls his son and actor Abhishek Bachchan as his “dearest friend.” “When he not just wears your shoes, but also shares the same number of chairs to sit on, then he is not just a son but your dearest friend,” Amitabh wrote on Instagram along with a photograph in which the father and son are seen seated on three stacked chairs each and engaged in a serious conversation. The photograph was taken on the sets of Big B’s debut Tamil film “Uyarndha Manithan.” Abhishek too has often expressed his love towards his father on social media. Earlier this year, when Amitabh completed his 50 years in Indian cinema, Abhishek wrote an emotional note for him, calling him his “icon”.

“Icon! To me, he is so much more. My father, best friend, guide, best critic, greatest support, idol – hero! 50 years today he started his journey in films. Even today, his passion and love for his craft and work is the same as I’m sure it was on the first day.” They have even shared screen space with each other. They both featured together in movies like “Kabhi Alvida Naa kehna”, “Sarkar” and “Paa”.


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Bachchan calls himself a disciple of Shivaji Ganeshan Veteran Bollywood actor Amitabh Bachchan is currently working on his Tamil debut, 'Uyarntha Manithan', alongside Ramya Krishnan and SJ Suryah. The actor recently paid tribute to Shivaji Ganeshan in a unique way, also revealing himself to be a disciple of the late actor-filmmaker. Amitabh Bachchan shared pictures from the sets and tweeted, “T 3141 - Two disciples under the shadow of the MASTER - Shivaji Ganesan .. Surya and self ! Shivaji the Ultimate Iconic Legend of Tamil Cinema .. his picture adorns the wall .. my respect and admiration , i touch his feet !” One of the pictures shows Suryah and Amitabh looking up while the other one has Big B dancing all alone in a room. Both pictures show Shivaji’s picture hanging on the wall. Shivaji was an actor, producer, and composer who ruled the Tamil industry for decades. He has more than 250 Tamil films, apart from Telugu and Malayalam titles to his credit. The filmmaker has been honoured with four Filmfare Awards South, one National Film Award (Special Jury) and the Dadasaheb Phalke Award. 'Uyarntha Manithan' is currently being shot and pictures from the sets have been doing the rounds on the internet. The films brings together Ramya and Amitabh around 20 years after they worked together in 'Bade Miyan Chote Miyan'.

Rajini’s cop look from 'Thalaivar 167' leaked online Images of Rajinikanth's character from the sets of AR Murugardoss' film 'Thalaivar 67' have leaked online. According to a report, the leak took place from a photo shoot that was done on April 4, at a popular studio in Chennai. The image shows Rajni in khakhi. Thalaivar's representative released a statement saying, "I request all the Thalaivar fans not to share the leaked stills and try to preserve it until releases officially... kindly help us to do in better way to all the fans." The film stars Nayanthara in a supporting role. Cinematography is by Santosh Sivan and music by Anirudh Ravichander. The film will reportedly be Rajini's second to be predominantly shot in Mumbai, after 'Kaala'. Produced by Lyca Productions, a popular Bollywood actor is expected to play the movie's villain.

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SUNDAY APRIL 14, 2019 00:35 FILM : FOUR PILLARS OF BASEMENT 05:00 FILM : LOGIN 07:05 FILM : JASHNN 09:42 FILM : HERO 13:00 FILM : BAADSHAH 16:40 FILM : AGENT VINOD 19:50 FILM : WELCOME BACK 22:54 FILM : ZANJEER MONDAY APRIL 15, 2019 01:20 FILM : SANTA BANTA PVT LTD 05:00 FILM : PRITHIPAL SINGH... A STORY 07:00 FILM : PYAR KI KAHANI 10:01 FILM : EK AKELA HIMMATWALA 12:52 FILM : SINGH IS BLING 15:46 FILM : YEH HAI JUDGEMENT HANGED TILL DEATH 18:33 FILM : STAR STOP 19:05 FILM : CHAAR DIN KI CHANDNI 22:00 FILM : DASTAK TUESDAY APRIL 16, 2019 00:45 FILM: ANJAANE - THE UNKNOWN 05:00 FILM: AAR YA PAAR 07:55 FILM: KAHANI KISMAT KI 10:43 FILM: TADIPAAR 13:33 FILM: JAMES PANDU 16:15 FILM: WELCOME BACK 19:19 FILM: EK SE BURE DO 22:10 FILM: GANGSTER

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SATURDAY 13TH APRIL TIME TV PROGRAM NAMES 17:00 KAUN BANEGA CROREPATI 18:30 THE KAPIL SHARMA SHOW 20:00 SUPER DANCER CHAPTER 3 21:30 THE KAPIL SHARMA SHOW 23:00 THE KAPIL SHARMA SHOW SUNDAY 14TH APRIL TIME TV PROGRAM NAMES

Vijay and Andrea voice characters for Tamil 'Avengers: Endgame' Actors Vijay Sethupathi and Andrea Jeremiah have rendered their voices for 'Avengers: Endgame'. While Vijay has dubbed for 'Iron Man,' Andrea has dubbed the dialogues for 'Black Widow.' Tamil dialogues for the movie have been written by director AR Murugadoss. The news was shared by entertainment industry tracker Sreedhar Pillai, who tweeted, "#AvengersEndgame @VijaySethuOffl has dubbed for #IronMan in Tamil and @andrea_jeremiah for #BlackWidow. Dialogues Tamil version @ARMurugadoss. Tamil anthem @arrahman #AvengersEndgameApril26 via @Marvel_India." The news was earlier tweeted by film critic Taran Adarsh, who had said the song would be made in three languages: Hindi, Tamil, and Telugu. He tweeted, "#BreakingNews: AR Rahman joins 'Avengers: Endgame'. The ace music composer will create an all-new song for Indian fans in three languages: Hindi, Tamil, and Telugu. The song will be released on 1 April 2019." One of the makers of 'Avengers', Joe Russo was in India to launch the anthem. Speaking about the film, Joe said that wrapping up 10 years of storytelling was not at

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MON 8TH - FRI 12TH APR 2019 18:30: KHATRA KHATRA KHATRA 19:30: UDAAN 20:00: SHAKTI ASTITVA KE EHSAAS KI 20:30: KESARRI NANDAN 21:00: GATHBANDHAN

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all an easy task. He said, "It was very difficult. There's a lot of focus on a lot of characters, and (has) incredible amount of stories... (It is) 11 years of narrative culminating in one movie." The 'Avengers: Endgame will be the last in the 22-film generation including 'Spiderman,' and 'Iron Man.' The last film is slated for release on April 26.

MON 8TH - FRI 12TH APR 2019 15:30: SIRF 30 MINUTES 16:00: THE GREAT INDIAN GLOBAL KITCHEN 2 16:30: RASOI SHOW 17:30: CHHUTA CHHEDA 18:00: RADHA PREM KI DEEWANI 18:30: UTTARAN 19:00: JAHAANARA 19:30: BEPANNAH 20:00: ISHQ MEIN MARJAWAN 20:30: MOHE RANNG DO LAAL

WEDNESDAY APRIL 17, 2019 00:25 FILM: BLUE ORANGES 05:00 FILM: PYAAR KE KABIL 07:56 FILM: SWEEKAR KIYA MAINE 10:52 FILM: THE KING AND COMMISSIONER 14:00 FILM: MELA 17:30 FILM: WOH LAMHE 20:02 FILM: AKAASH VANI 22:59 FILM: JASHNN THURSDAY APRIL 18, 2019 01:18 FILM: WOH 7 DIN 05:00 FILM: BAAT BANN GAYI 07:10 FILM: LASHKAR 09:45 FILM: ARUNDHATI 12:42 FILM: JUNGLE 15:50 FILM: DEEWANE HUYE PAGAL 19:00 FILM: TEEN PATTI 22:00 FILM: MAIN KHILADI TU ANARI FRIDAY APRIL 19, 2019 01:30 FILM: AKAASH VANI 05:00 FILM: CHEETAH THE LEOPARD 07:53 FILM: WOH 7 DIN 10:50 FILM: MR. INDIA 14:25 FILM: AAKHREE RAASTA 17:48 FILM: HUFF! IT'S TOO MUCH 19:52 FILM: BADLAPUR 22:28 FILM: D-DAY SATURDAY APRIL 20, 2019 01:15 FILM: INTEHA 05:00 FILM: BLUE ORANGES 07:15 FILM: THE KILLER 09:40 FILM: MAIN KHILADI TU ANARI 13:15 FILM: DEEWANE HUYE PAGAL 16:27 FILM: TEEN PATTI 19:26 FILM: ALL THE BEST 22:23 FILM: 1920 LONDON 17:00 KAUN BANEGA CROREPATI 18:30 THE KAPIL SHARMA SHOW 20:00 SUPER DANCER CHAPTER 3 21:30 THE KAPIL SHARMA SHOW 23:00 THE KAPIL SHARMA SHOW MON 15TH APR - FRI 19TH APR TIME TV PROGRAM NAMES 16:30 BEYHADH 17:00 EK DUJE KE VAASTE 17:30 KUCH RANG PYAR KE AISE BHI 18:00 VIGHNAHARTA GANESH 18:45 MERE SAI 19:30 YEH UN DINON KI BAAT HAI 20:00 CHANDRAGUPTA MAURYA 20:30 MAIN MAAYKE CHALI JAAUNGI 21:00 PATIALA BABES 21:30 LADIES SPECIAL 22:00 CRIME PATROL 21:30: ROOP 22:00: SILSILA 22:30: KHOOB LADI MARDANI JHANSI KI RANI 23:00: SITARA SAT 13TH APRIL 2019 18:30: DESI BEAT RESET 19:00: NAAGIN - SEASON 3 20:00: FILMFARE AWARDS 00:00: SITAARA SUN 14TH APRIL 2019 18:30: FAMOUSLY FILMFARE 19:00: DESI BEAT RESET 20:00: NAAGIN - SEASON 3 21:00: RISING STAR - SEASON 3 22:00: COURT ROOM 21:00: BALIKA VADHU - LAMHE PYAAR KE 22:00: RED ALERT SAT 13TH APR 2019 17:30: CHHUTA CHHEDA 18:00: RADHA PREM KI DEEWANI 18:30: UTTARAN 19:00: NAVRANGI RE 19:30: GLOBAL KITCHEN 20:00: KHATRON KE KHILADI 22:00: ZINDAGI KI HAQEEQAT SE AAMNA SAAMNA 23:00: CHHUTA CHHEDA SUN 14TH MAR 2019 18:00: RADHA PREM KI DEEWANI 18:30: UTTARAN 19:00: NAVRANGI RE 19:30: GLOBAL KITCHEN 20:00: KHATRON KE KHILADI 22:00: ZINDAGI KI HAQEEQAT SE AAMNA SAAMNA 23:00: CHHUTA CHHEDA


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13 - 19 April 2019

Ravi sabha organised in Botad in the presence of Pujya Mahant Swami

Plans for new register for home-educated children

Bochasanwasi Shree Akshar Purushottam Swaminarayan Sanstha head Pujya Mahant Swami is currently in Sarangpur. On April 2 and 4, sant shibir was held. Pujya Mahant Swami give directions and advice to all saints present there. On the 4th, after his early morning pooja, Mahant Swami held an Ishtika poojan for BAPS temples being constructed in Madhusudanpur and Bhavnagar's Palitana. On April 7, Mahant Swami reached Botad. He was received devotees and volunteers. In Botad, people of different community honoured him with flower garlands. Later, a Ravi Sabha was held in his presence. It's main topic was 'Bhagya Mota A Bhumi Na'. Several saints gave talks on the topic. In his address, Pujya Mahant Swami said, "This honour is not for me, but for Lord Swaminarayan." He thanked everyone for the respect they bestowed upon him. As head of BAPS, the last person to visit Botad was Pujya Pramukh Swami in 2005. 14 years later Pujya Mahant Swami visited the small town. Approximately 11,000 saints, devotees, and volunteers participated in the Ravi Sabha.

Chilling 999 call husband made after murdering wife knee to her chest, markings to her ankle and lower shin that implied she was tied up for a significant period of time. Following her death, the 32-year-old covered her body with a white sheet and then went to sleep with his children. He called the emergency services and admitted to slaying Nazia. In the call, the telephone operator can be heard asking him: "How did you kill your wife?" Ali replied: "With a scarf and I held her neck." Ali was found guilty at the Old Bailey on Thursday, April 4 and will be sentenced on April 17.

Police have released the chilling 999 call from a man who had just murdered his wife. This was what Mohammed Anhar Ali told the 999 operator six hours after killing his wife , Nazia Begum Ali, in a brutal and prolonged attack at her home in Ellesmere Road last year. Evidence showed Ali buying two knives, rope, a hammer and a screwdriver at a Bethnal Green Road shop on October 21 before he went to his estranged wife's house and hid in a cupboard, waiting for her to come home. Nazia, 25, had bruising and lacerations to her upper neck and face, fractured ribs, perhaps caused by a

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Look to this day: For it is life, the very life of life. In its brief course Lie all the verities and realities of your existence. The bliss of growth, The glory of action, The splendour of achievement Are but experiences of time.

- attending an unregistered school - not receiving an education at all Mr Hinds said the term "home education" had acquired a much broader meaning than it used to have and was now a catchall phrase to refer to all children not in a registered school. "So whilst this does include those actually getting a really good education at home, it also includes children who are not getting an education at all or being educated in illegal schools where they are vulnerable to dangerous influences," he said. "The truth is, we just don't know. "As a government, we have a duty to protect our young people and do our utmost to make sure they are prepared for life in modern Britain. "That's why this register of children not in school is so important - not to crack down on those dedicated parents doing an admirable job of educating their children in their own homes but to prevent vulnerable young people from vanishing under the radar."

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ARIES Mar 21 - Apr 20 If you are your own boss,

then you can look forward to a fairly good week. Arians who face a strict schedule may find the next seven days a little frustrating, because this is a week where you will need a certain amount of personal space. You may be absorbing new ideas about how to create financial independence. Others may not understand, so you may have to keep your ideas to yourself.

and Venus continue TAURUS Apr 21 - May 21 Mercury to journey through your solar

eleventh house. This is a time when various networking activities are much appreciated and offer you learning experiences. Your ideas are progressive and you are also interested in spending time with people who are like-minded.

GEMINI May 22 - June 22 With Sun and Venus in your

solar 10th house, your career is lit up and bodes well for the coming weeks. Some of you will be in a reflective mood and taking stock of your lives and working out the best direction to take. This is a good time to re-assess your home and work balance. Venus and Mercury continue to grace your solar ninth house. During this cycle, your ideals in love are set high. You could also enjoy a trip, or a new adventure of sorts. In fact, you are attracted to anything that is non-routine. It's a good period for personal charm and attractiveness in general.

CANCER Jun 22 - Jul 22

The government is consulting on plans to launch a new register of children in England who are being educated at home. Under the plan, it would be parents' responsibility to register their child if they were not attending a state school or registered private school. Ministers say a register would help councils intervene when standards were poor or if children were at risk. The education department estimates the number of children being home educated in England has risen to 60,000. The government is also consulting on proposals that would require local authorities to provide support for home-educating families, such as teaching resources or financial contributions towards exam fees. At present, there is no mandatory registration system for families who choose to educate their children at home, although some local authorities run voluntary registration schemes. This means that the number of home-schooled children remains uncertain. This latest call for a register is likely to anger some home-educating parents but Education Secretary Damian Hinds said the government had a duty to make sure children were safe and receiving a good education. He said it would also help the authorities spot young people who may be: - receiving a solely religious education

Look To This Day

Venus and Mercury continue to move through your solar eighth house. You are attracted to the deeper elements of relationships and social interactions now. Mysteries fascinate you and you question other people’s motives for their actions. It's also a strong cycle for discovering your own hidden talents.

LEO Jul 23 - Aug 23

Beautiful energy is with you for self-expression and spirit as Mercury, your ruling planet and Venus transit your opposite sign. Others are likely to find you inspiring and they see you in a good light. There can be renewed interest in, and commitment to, broadening your horizons and learning about different ideologies.

VIRGO Aug 24 - Sep 23

Venus and Mercury graces your solar sixth house now. Establishing a happy and harmonious work environment through friendly relations with co-workers comes into focus now. You're most successful doing tasks that involve cooperation and team harmony. Romantic and social activities may revolve around your working environment.

LIBRA Sep 24 - Oct 23

Venus and Mercury continue to trek through your solar 5th house of romance. Meaningful and harmonious relationships--both social and romantic--define you during this cycle. If single, you are more willing to enter into a committed relationship. In general, you are adaptable when it comes to your affections.

SCORPIO Oct 24- Nov 22

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Venus and Mercury transit your solar fourth house now. During this cycle, you are especially fond of spending more time at home around the family. You are more receptive and tend to be sentimental or nostalgic now. Loyalty and sensitivity in your relationships are more important to you than typically.

SAGITTARIUS Nov 23 - Dec 21

Venus and Mercury are transiting your solar third house now, indicating a more light-hearted and intellectual approach to love and pleasure. You enjoy talking about what interests you, and you see value in the exchange of ideas. Sometimes this transit brings benefit through siblings, communications, or short trips.

CAPRICORN Dec 22 - Jan 20

AQUARIUS Jan 21 - Feb 19 Make hay while Mercury and Venus transit your Solar 2nd house. There is a lot of energy to make the most of money-making opportunities and this is a very resourceful time for you. However, beware of conflicts over ownership and other legal issues. Also avoid being extravagant and trying to prove yourself to others using your material possessions. PISCES Feb 20 - Mar 20 With Mercury and Venus in your solar first house, your disposition is more intellectual than usual and self-expression comes easily. It is an especially fruitful time for any endeavour that requires communications. Your demeanour is more youthful and easy going so others will find it easy to talk with you.


32

Sport

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13 - 19 April 2019

AsianVoiceNews AsianVoiceNewsweekly

Kings XI edge out SRH in thriller Kings XI Punjab kept their home win-record intact as they defeated Sunrisers Hyderabad by six wickets in a closely-contested tie in Mohali on Monday. It was Kings XI’s third consecutive win in Mohali this season. They have not lost a single game at this venue in their last seven outings. Kings XI’s chase was anchored by KL Rahul (71 not out) and opener Mayank Agarwal (55) as they were involved in a rollicking partnership of 114 run, which came off 84 balls. Kings XI needed 11 runs in the last over. Rahul and Sam Curran (5 not out) held their nerve and guided their team to victory. Earlier, Sunrisers Hyderabad rode on a steady half-century from David Warner and a late flourish from Deepak Hooda to recover from a sluggish start and post a below par 150 for 4. Warner remained unbeaten on 70 off 62 balls but more importantly held one end to anchor the visitor’s innings. It was an uncharacteristic knock from Warner but he step up the gas to score 100 from the last 10 overs. It was Warner’s fourth half-century of this season. KKR hand Rajasthan royal drubbing It took Steve Smith five Indian Premier League games to strike form. The Australian batting ace played an unbeaten knock of 73, to guide Rajasthan Royals to 139-3 against Kolkata Knight Riders. However, it never seemed that would be enough. In the end, it wasn’t as Kolkata Knight Riders pulled off a convincing eight-wicket win, chasing down the target in just 13.5 overs. For the Kolkata outfit, the opening pair of Chris Lynn and Sunil Narine came up with a 91-run stand, which literally ran away

with the match. Lynn rode his luck for a half-century, being dropped before a Dhawal Kulkarni delivery hitting the stumps, but refusing to dislodged the bails. With four defeats in five outings, Royals' chances of qualifying for the playoffs are now slim. Delhi make capital of Challengers’ largesse There is an unusual calmness on Virat Kohli’s face, or rather he masks his frustration well on most occasions. But there is little else the Royal Challengers Bangalore skipper can do as he marshals a team which slumped to its sixth loss on the trot, on Sunday. In their green match of the season, the home side, who were put into bat by Delhi Captials, came out in neon green outfits. However, only the colour of their uniform changed, not their fortunes. The script played out more or less the same way it has this season – a batting effort which left a lot to be desired, uninspired bowling and dropped catches. On a tricky M Chinnaswamy stadium pitch, the Captials bowlers, led by the red-hot Kagiso Rabada (4/21) restricted the home side to 149/8. Although they lost a few wickets late in the chase, Prithvi Shaw (28) and skipper Shreyas Iyer (67), who was dropped by Parthiv Patel when he was on 4, had laid the foundation for the team to register a comfortable four-wicket win with seven balls to spare. MI humble SRH Young West Indies pacer Alzzari Joseph made a dream IPL debut by recording the best bowling figures in tournament's history as Mumbai Indians picked up a 40-run win over Sunrisers Hyderabad in a low-scoring

game. Keiron Pollard hammered an unbeaten 46 off 26 balls, helping Mumbai Indians recover to 136 for seven after an ordinary start. While Pollard was the stand out batsman, another West Indian in Joseph made all the difference in the bowling department, ending with sensational figures of six for 12 in 3.4 overs. Hyderabad were all out for 96 in 17.4 overs. It was the third win for Mumbai Indians in five games while Hyderabad suffered their second loss in five matches. CSK on top spot Led by seasoned Harbhajan Singh, Chennai Super Kings spinners put on a dominating show to help the side reclaim the top position with a 22-run win over Kings XI Punjab. Defending 160 for three, CSK restricted Punjab to 138 for 5 despite half centuries from K L Rahul (55) and Sarfaraz Khan (67). The visitors scored at a low pace and required to score 26 off the last over, bowled by IPL debutant Scott Kuggeleijn. The Kiwi paceman had no trouble defending those runs and also dismissed Sarfaraz. Harbhajan was the best bowler for the hosts with the figures of 4-1-17-2. Russell blitzkrieg helps KKR beat RCB Andre Russell once again snatched victory from the jaws of defeat by smashing an unbeaten 13-ball 48 as Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) beat Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) by five wickets in a rip-roaring encounter. Russell came out to bat with KKR needing 67 off 26 balls. Skipper Dinesh Karthik (19) got out in the next over and in the last three overs, the away side needed 53 runs off 18 balls. It is from there that Russell took over, smacking seven

KL Rahul, Mayank shine as Punjab defeat SRH in last-over thriller

sixes and a four to help KKR win with five balls to spare. KKR posted 206/5, their highest run-chase in IPL history. RCB, thus, remained winless after five games. SRH make short work of DC It’s taking forever for Delhi franchise, rebranded as Capitals this year, to get rolling in the IPL since it decided to be the breeding ground for young and raw Indian talent. It started with mentor Rahul Dravid’s vision in 2016. Four seasons on, with Ricky Ponting at the helm for two editions now, the investments are yet to pay off handsomely. The deflating fivewicket loss in 18.3 overs after painstakingly scrapping to 129/8 against a tactically smarter and skillfully superior Sunrisers Hyderabad, would have got the franchise management revisiting the drawing board. The Kotla pitch played slow. But then that shouldn’t be a surprise to anyone who has followed cricket at the venue, let

alone being a home team. The unravelling of a batting lineup, heavily dependent on the likes of Prithvi Shaw, Shreyas Iyer and Rishabh Pant besides the experienced Shikhar Dhawan, would have made a lot of experts cringe. Save Pant’s chip to long-off, every top-order batsman has been guilty of losing shape and playing across the line. Mumbai halt CSK juggernaut Chennai Super Kings suffered their first defeat in this edition of the IPL as they went down to Mumbai Indians by 37 runs. Chasing a challenging 171 runs to win, Chennai batsmen never got going and could manage

only133 for eight in 20 overs. Kedar Jadhav waged a lone fight for Chennai as he made a 54-ball 58 but his team never looked like reaching the target after a bad start when they were reduced to 33 for three in five overs. Earlier, Riding Hardik Pandya's blitzkrieg, Mumbai Indians creamed 29 runs in the final over to reach 170 for five against Chennai Super Kings. Hardik then bowled beautifully to take three wickets. He was ably supported by Lasith Malinga who also took three. Jason Behrendorff, playing his first match this season, took wo wickets.

IPL 2019 - Points Table Teams Mat Won Lost Tied 1 0 Chennai Super Kings 6 5 Kolkata Knight Riders 6 4 2 0 Kings XI Punjab 6 4 2 0 Sunrisers Hyderabad 6 3 3 0 5 3 2 0 Mumbai Indians Delhi Capitals 6 3 3 0 Rajasthan Royals 5 1 4 0 Royal Challengers Bangalore 6 0 6 0

Pts 10 8 8 6 6 6 2 0

NRR +0.310 +0.614 -0.061 +0.810 +0.342 +0.131 -0.848 -1.453

Neeraj, Sindhu picked for ESPN India Multi-Sport Awards Olympic silver medallist P.V. Sindhu and star javelin thrower Neeraj Chopra were named as female and male sportsperson of the year in the ESPN India Multi-Sport Awards for their achievements in 2018. Sindhu got the nod for the top women’s award for her season-ending BWF World Tour Finals tournament in China and her impressive performance at the 2018 World Championships. Neeraj was picked for the top men’s award for his gold at 2018 Commonwealth Games and P.V. Sindhu and Neeraj Chopra Asian Games, setting the Saina Nehwal won the national record of 88.06m. award for the ‘Comeback of The 2012 London Olympics the Year’ after bagging the bronze medallist shuttler bronze at the 2018 Asian

Games. Jaspal Rana, coach of the Indian shooting team, claimed the ‘Coach of the Year’ award after India

picked up 16 medals in shooting at the 2018 Commonwealth Games. The Indian women’s table tennis team took home the award for ‘Team of the Year’ after it clinched its first ever gold medal at the 2018 Commonwealth Games. The ‘Moment of the Year’ award was decided through public poll and has been awarded to the Indian women’s 4x400m relay team for

winning the gold at the Asian Games. The awards recognised achievements across 11 categories, of which winners across 10 categories were selected by an independent 14-member jury. Eminent people in the jury include Abhinav Bindra, Rahul Bose, Chetan Baboor, Ashish Ballal, Manisha Malhotra, Nisha Millet, Ashwini Nachappa, Aparna Popat, Renedy Singh, Devarajan Venkatesan and Rohit Brijnath.

The Award Winners:

Sportsperson of the Year (Male) - Neeraj Chopra (athletics) Sportsperson of the Year

(Female) - P V Sindhu (badminton) Comeback of the Year Saina Nehwal (badminton) Coach of the Year Jaspal Rana (shooting) Emerging Sportsperson of the Year - Saurabh Chaudhary (shooting) Team of the Year Women’s team (table tennis) Match of the Year - Amit Panghal vs Hasanboy Dusmatov (boxing) Differently-abled athlete of the Year - Ekta Bhyan (para-athletics) Moment of the Year Women’s 4x400m relay Lifetime Achievement Award - Pradip Kumar Banerjee (football).

Profile for Asian Business Publications Ltd

AV 13th April 2019  

Asian Voice weekly newspaper (Issue 48)

AV 13th April 2019  

Asian Voice weekly newspaper (Issue 48)

Profile for abpl