AV 13th April 2024

Page 1

“As a Muslim woman, I felt a level of discrimination I had not experienced anywhere else” Understanding “The Khan Review” SE E PAGE - 11


Dementia is the UK's leading cause of death, yet one-third of the population, including members of the Asian community, affected by it remain undiagnosed, depriving them of access to essential care, support, and research prospects The new Blood Biomarker Challenge, aiming for early diagnosis of the condition, comes as a newfound hope for all Continued

BAPS Mandir Abu Dhabi, hosts interfaith evening ‘Omsiyyat’

Anusha Singh

A 2 0 2 3 s t u d y b y U n i v e r s i t y C o l l e g e London(UCL) suggests t h a t u p t o 1 7 m i l l i o n i n d i v i d u a l s c o u l d b e l i v i n g w i t h d e m e n t i a in England and Wales by 2040, representing a m o r e t h a n 4 0 % i n c r e a s e f r o m previous forecasts. As of February 29, 2024, t h e r e w e r e 4 7 8 , 8 2 2 p a t i e n t s w i t h recorded diagnoses of dementia according to the NHS

Countdown begins for the great Indian elections

side VOL 52 - ISSUE 48 13
19 APRIL 2024
noble thoughts come
us from every
Another Indian student dies in U S, 10th incident this year SEE PAGE - 1 9
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SEE PAGE - 14 Ambani breaks into top 10 in Forbes Global Rich List
Happy Vaisakhi! As the UK prepares to celebrate Vaisakhi and other festivals such as P o i l a B o i s h a k h , Puthandu, Ugadi, Vishu, Gudhi Padwa and Bihu Asian Voice extends h e a r t f e l t g r e e t i n g s t o o u r r e a d e r s F o r a special feature on this occasion, please refer to pages 16-17
Full story on
on page 12
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Full story on
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Dignitories attend Omsiyyat

pcoming General Election

According to a Survation super poll commissioned by Best for Britain, surveying over 15,000 individuals, the To r ie s a re p ro j e c t e d t o secure only 98 seats, their worst performance in 346 ye a r s T h i s a l a r m i n g prospect has spurred talk of le a d e r s h i p c h a n g e w i t h i n the party, with some senior Tories advocating for former Home Secretary Priti Patel to step up Praised for her intellect, c h a r i s m a , a n d e x t e n s i v e g o v e r n m e nt e x p e r ie n c e , Patel is seen as a unifying f i g u re wh o c a n b r i d g e

d i v i d e s w i t h i n t h e p a r t y Furthermore, her steadfast s t a n c e o n ke y i s s u e s l i ke immigration, cultural matters, and Brexit resonates strongly with the right-wing base

Amid growing concerns about the rise of Reform UK, Patel's leadership is seen as pivotal in regaining support f ro m d i s e n c h a nt e d Conservative voters On her part, Patel, a trusted ally of Johnson, has been actively cultivating alliances across different factions within the party, showcasing her broad a p p e a l a n d s t r a t e g ic a c umen

NHS introduce s futuristic tech for type 1 diabete s

A groundbreaking initiative led by the National Health S ervice (NHS ) is set to revolu tio nise diabetes care for tens o f th ousands of children and adults with type 1 diabetes across England

T h i s p io n e e r i n g e f fo r t introduces futuristic techn olo g y, k n o w n a s t h e Hybrid Closed Loop system or "artif icial pancreas," in a w o r l d-f i r s t rol lo u t L o c a l N H S s y s t e m s h av e c o mmenced the identif ication of e l i g i ble i n d i v i d u a l s l i v i n g

with type 1 diabetes who c o u l d b e n e f i t f ro m t h i s innovative system Professor Partha Kar, NHS National Sp e c i a lt y A dv i s o r fo r Diabetes, lauds the national rol lo u t , e m ph a s i s i n g i t s t r a n s fo r m a t i v e i m p a c t o n diabetes management

Postmaster's widow denied payout

Th e widow of a postmaster, wh o tragically took his own life h ours after a Post Off ice raid on his branch , has been denied compensation under the compensation sch eme Jayakanthan Sivasubramaniam, a father of two, is n o w k n o w n a s t h e f i f t h postmaster to have taken his l i fe a m i d s t t h e Ho r i z o n a c c o u nt i n g s c a n d a l H i s w i d o w, wh o w i s h e d t o re m a i n a n o ny m o u s , expressed her grief, stating, “My poor husband was not given the chance to prove his side and took his own life ”

Despite the Post Off ice a c k n o wle d g i n g t h a t t h e audit contributed to his suicide, they refused any com-

pensation to his widow, citing contractual technicalities Kevan Jones, a Labour M P o n t h e g o v e r n m e nt ’ s c o m p e n s a t io n a dv i s o r y board, denounced the Post Off ice's lack of compassion and demanded a reopening of the case

Jayakanthan, a successful businessman before joining the Post Off ice, saw his branch under investigation after the alleged discovery of missing funds Post Off ice

i nv e s t i g a t o r s r a i d e d h i s store, conf iscated f iles, and locked him out before he tragically ended his life The w i d o w re v e a le d t h a t h e r home was also raided, and despite the family’s f inancial hardships, the Post Off ice continued to pursue them fo r t h e a l le g e d ly m i s s i n g money D e s p i t e t h e w i d o w s claim for compensation, the independent panel, sympathetic to her plight, concluded that the losses did not arise from Horizon shortfalls

Voters unsure about L abour policies despite strong support

b u t a l s o s i g n i f ic a nt ly improves the quality of life for individuals affected by type 1 diabetes

Health Minister Andrew St e ph e n s o n a l s o u n d e rscores the profound impact of this advancement, highlighting its ability to alleviate the constant stress associated with blood glucose m o n i t o r i n g a n d s i m pl i f y diabetes management

The Hybrid Closed Loop system continuously monitors blood glucose levels and a u t o m a t ic a l ly a d j u s t s insulin deliver y through a pump, offering a life-changing alternative to traditional insulin injections This cutt i n g - e d g e t e c h n olo g y n o t only enhances medical care

Ofcom probe s alleged rule breach by L abour's L ammy

Ofcom is investigating a radio show hoste d by shadow foreign se cretary David Lammy following more than 5 0 complaints receive d by the broadcasting w atchdog

Airing on LBC on Good Friday, the programme is under scrutiny to determine if it contravened rules on politicians acting as news presenters Lammy has been hosting a Sunday morning show on the station since 2022, occasionally f illing in for other presenters and frequently standing in on Bank Holidays

His remuneration for each episode, around £1,000 according to the MPs' register of f inancial interests, places him among the highest-paid Labour MPs for his extra-

parliamentary work

Ofcom's website conf irms

53 complaints regarding the specif ic show aired on March 29 Lammy disclosed during the broadcast that DUP leader Sir Jeffrey Donaldson had resigned after being charged with historical sexual offences, which he is reportedly contesting vigorously

The trend of politicians hosting T V and radio shows has gained momentum recently, with f igures like Angela Rayner, Wes Streeting, and Reform MP Lee Anderson making appearances

A new po ll f ro m BM G Research suggests that while S ir Kei r Sta rm er's L abo u r Party is poised for a signif icant victory reminiscent of Tony Blair's land slide, voters are still uncertain about the party's policy d irection

T h e s u r v e y i n d ic a t e s t h a t L a b o u r h ol d s a n 1 8p o i nt le a d o v e r t h e Co n s e r v a t i v e s , p o t e nt i a l ly granting them a large majority in the Commons if mirrored in the general election However, despite this electoral advantage, the party has struggled to convey a clear policy agenda to voters

A c c o rd i n g t o t h e p ol l , only 50% of voters believe

that Labour is prepared for g o v e r n m e nt , w i t h 3 9 % expressing doubts Notably, t h e p ro p o r t io n o f 2 0 19

L a b o u r v o t e r s s c e p t ic a l about the party s readiness for power has doubled in the last six months, indicating p o t e nt i a l o p p o s i t io n f ro m Jeremy Corbyn's supporters

A c ro s s v a r io u s p ol ic y areas, respondents indicated a lack of clarity regarding L a b o u r 's pl a n s W h i le healthcare appears to be better understood , with over 40% of voters claiming comp re h e n s io n , o t h e r i s s u e s such as the economy, immigration, welfare, and education leave voters uncertain

about Labour's stance

Fo r i n s t a n c e , o n t h e economy, where Labour has prioritised reforms to make the UK the fastest-growing country in the G7, only 39% of respondents claimed to u n d e r s t a n d t h e p a r t y 's promises Similarly, immigration policies and Brexit s t r a t e g ie s w e re a l s o p e rceived as unclear by a significant portion of the electorate

Despite growing trust in St a r m e r 's le a d e r s h i p o v e r issues like economic, social, and foreign policies, some s e g m e nt s o f t h e p u bl ic remain unconvinced about his overall agenda

Liz Truss book may trouble Rishi Sunak

Liz Truss's u pcoming book, "Te n Yea rs To S av e T h e Wes t: Les s o ns F ro m T h e Only Conservative In Th e Room," set to release next week, serves as both a lesson plan fo r the futu re and a prime ministerial memo ir Co n s e q u e nt ly, i t h a s undergone thorough vetting b y t h e c i v i l s e r v ic e , w i t h Whitehall mandarins meticu lo u s ly s c r u t i n i s i n g t h e m a nu s c r i p t fo r p o t e nt i a l leaks or breaches of national

s e c u r i t y Gi v e n Tr u s s 's recent departure from government just 18 months ago, any disclosures about current government colleagues could generate signif icant media attention

W h i le c o nv e nt io n a l post-government memoirs typically avoid compromising material, Truss's reputation as a maverick suggests she may not adhere to such norms To maintain her selfappointed title as "the only Conservative in the room," Truss may divulge conversations and opinions of her former colleagues, including her successor Rishi Sunak Ho w e v e r, t h i s c o u l d spell trouble for the embatt le d P r i m e M i n i s t e r, wh o could do without explosive headlines revealing his private discussions or positions on key policies

60,000 people eligible for treatment of unknown virus

An expanded NHS testing initiative in England aims to diagnose and treat th ousan ds mo r e ind iv id u al s unknowing ly infected with hepatitis C, as part of the health ser vice's mission to eliminate the virus in the near future

Po r t a b l e t e s t i n g k i t s capable of delivering hepatitis C diagnoses within one hour will be deployed

i n c o m m u n i t y s e t t i n g s ,

particularly targeting individuals at higher risk of i n fe c t i o n , s u c h a s d r u g users or the homeless, who m ay f a c e b a r r i e r s t o a t t e n d i n g a p p o i n t m e n t s Additionally, liver damage scanners offering immediate results will aid in early detection of liver disease and liver cancer, improving treatment prospects

Testing facilities will be accessible on community

clinical outreach vans, at drug and alcohol support services, and through special events at selected GP p r a c t i c e s Id e n t i f i e d p a t i e n t s w i l l b e o f fe re d antiviral medication treatment This initiative marks t h e f i n a l p h a s e o f t h e NHS's hepatitis C elimination program, with plans to eradicate the virus by 2025, well ahead of the World Health Organisation's 2030


The NHS has extended its agreement with drug c o m p a n i e s t o s u p p l y antiviral drugs for an additional two years Since the p ro g r a m's i n c e p t i o n i n 2 0 1 5 , a p p rox i m

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David Lammy

Echoes of injustice

The UK Post Office Scandal stands as a haunting reminder of the profound injustices inflicted upon innocent individuals by those in positions of power At the heart of this debacle lies a web of deceit and manipulation that has shattered lives and left a stain on the very fabric of governance

For years, faulty computer software led to the wrongful imprisonment of over 230 post office workers on baseless charges of theft and fraud Thousands more faced similar accusations, their reputations tarnished and their lives upended by a system that failed to uphold justice Former Post Office CEO Paula Vennells, despite facing scrutiny over her role in the scandal, chose silence when confronted, betraying a callous disregard for the suffering of those whose lives were ruined under her watch

As investigations unfolded, it became increasingly clear that the failures of governance extended beyond mere negligence to outright exploitation Executives, including Vennells, reaped staggering sums in compensation while the workers they were meant to serve languished in despair The stark juxtaposition between executive earnings and the struggles of ordinary workers underscores the deep-seated inequalities that pervade our society

The UK Post Office Scandal epitomises a catastrophic failure in governance, showcasing a complete disregard for integrity, support, and rational decision-making – pillars of modern governance While other governance crises have stemmed from lax control, the Post Office scandal goes beyond mere negligence to exhibit a disturbing level of deliberate vindictiveness

At its core lies perhaps the most egregious failure in governance: persistent denial in the face of glaring problems This scandal will undoubtedly become the quintessential example used by governance professionals to illustrate this issue in the future

In this instance, Post Office leaders not only succumbed to this failure but perpetuated it, allowing innocent individuals to be unjustly targeted for nearly two decades It's a clear manifestation of corporate governance gone awry, a staggering display of incompetence and indifference towards the very people it was meant to serve

The exoneration of 39 sub-postmasters in April marked a long overdue reckoning with the injustices of the past Yet, for many, the scars of wrongful imprisonment and financial ruin will never fully heal Seema Misra, pregnant at the time of her unjust imprisonment, and Pramod Kalia, falsely accused and abandoned by those meant to protect him, are just two examples of the countless lives irreparably damaged by this scandal

Yet, for the victims of the Post Office scandal, justice delayed is justice denied The scars of their suffering run deep, and no amount of compensation can fully restore what was taken from them As we reflect on the horrors of the Post Office scandal, let us not forget the individuals whose lives were forever altered by the callous actions of those in power Their stories serve as a stark reminder of the enduring importance of integrity, empathy, and accountability in governance Only by confronting the injustices of the past can we hope to build a future where such atrocities are never allowed to occur again

BAPS temple strengthen India-UAE relations

Sanstha (BAPS) Hindu temple in Abu Dhabi, inaugurated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on February 14th, 2024, stands as an architectural marvel and an artistic statement symbolising universalism and harmony As the largest Hindu temple in the Middle East, its swift construction process reflects the determination of both India and the UAE to elevate cultural diplomacy

During the month of Ramadan, the BAPS Hindu Mandir in Abu Dhabi organised an interfaith cultural evening named Omsiyyat, which brought together more than 200 leaders and community members from diverse backgrounds This event, attended by prominent UAE figures including HE Sheikh Nahayan bin Mabarak Al Nahyan, Minister of Tolerance and Coexistence, served as a platform for fostering dialogue and u n d e r s t a n d i n g a m o n g d i f f e r e n t f a i t h s a n d c u l t u r e s T h e evening concluded with a vegetarian 'suhoor' meal featuring a blend of Arabic and Indian cuisine, prepared with care by temple volunteers

The significance of 'Omsiyyat' extends beyond its immediate impact it represents a milestone in the evolving relationship between Abu Dhabi and India The BAPS temple served as a beacon of cultural exchange and understanding, laying the foundation for deeper engagement and collaboration between the two nations This transformative event not only showcased India's rich cultural heritage but also highlighted the UAE's role as a bridge between East and West, fostering connections that transcend geographical boundaries It also underlined the pivotal role of religious and cultural institutions in promoting peace and dialogue

At the heart of this transformation lies the BAPS temple

itself, serving as a poignant symbol of tolerance and coexistence within Abu Dhabi, a predominantly Muslim state Its presence u n d e r s c o r e s t h e r e m a r k a b l e o p e n n e s s a n d a c c e p t a n c e embraced by Emirati society The fact that a Hindu temple stands in Abu Dhabi speaks volumes about the UAE's commitment to fostering an environment where individuals of all faiths can freely practise their beliefs

Arab culture places immense value on friendship and generosity, a sentiment beautifully demonstrated by the UAE's gracious act of donating land for the temple In a remarkable display of goodwill during the Year of Tolerance in 2019, the UAE further exemplified its commitment to pluralism and friendship with India by donating an additional 13 5 acres of land to the temple This act of generosity, coupled with ongoing efforts to facilitate and showcase representation in the temple's architecture, serves as a poignant symbol of the enduring friendship between the two nations

The partnership between India and the UAE, especially since Indian PM Narendra Modi’s national leadership, has transformed into a robust strategic alliance, characterised by common objectives and reciprocal esteem With the UAE ranking as India’s third-largest trading partner and second-largest export market, trade volumes are projected to surge, potentially doubling to $100 billion over the next decade

India and the UAE have extended their diplomatic collaboration to encompass cultural assets, recognising the significant employment potential and emotional impact of the cultural and creative industries Embracing the ethos of universalism and harmony exemplified by the BAPS temple in Abu Dhabi, both nations have taken substantial steps towards fostering peace and progress in today's challenging global landscape

Modi has proven worthy of India's admiration

Later this month, the world's largest democracy will commence its massive electoral process, with Indian citizens casting their votes over 44 days to elect 543 members to the 18th Lok Sabha, the lower house of parliament

This election, the largest ever held in the world's most populous country, is widely expected to reaffirm Narendra Modi's position as prime minister for a third consecutive term and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), under Modi's leadership, is poised to maintain its political dominance

Narendra Modi's popularity and influence are grounded in India's remarkable growth over the past decade, which has been globally recognised Despite challenges like adverse geopolitical developments and the Covid-19 pandemic, the Indian economy has maintained strong macroeconomic fundamentals As per the First Advance Estimates of National Income for FY 2023-24, India s Real GDP is projected to grow at 7 3 per cent, outpacing numerous developed nations

In the last decade, rural areas have made significant strides Data from the 2019-21 National Family Health Survey shows marked improvements compared to 2015-16 across various quality of life indicators, including access to electricity, better water sources, and expanded health insurance coverage Additionally, there's been notable progress in women's empowerment, reflected in increased involvement in decision-making, higher rates of bank account ownership, and greater mobile phone usage Whether in fields like STEM, agriculture, foreign relations, or overall quality of life, there has been improvement in every aspect over the last decade Modi has given India a confidence boost and has carefully

crafted an image of a strong leader, prepared to break through caste barriers and traditional customs within India, while displaying nationalist vigour on the global stage He has o p e n l y c h a l l e n g e d W e s t e r n l i b e r a l i d e o l o g i e s , a s s e r t i n g India's rightful place in the international spotlight He has powered a new India that refuses to be bullied to a corner

Yet, despite the anticipation of Prime Minister Modi's third term, he faces criticism from some who label him a "Hindutva" crusader advocating for a Hindu Rajya in a secular nation However, these accusations appear unfounded Just as Rishi Sunak is not criticised for practising his religion and proudly identifying as Hindu, Modi should also be afforded the same respect Like Sunak, Modi should not face unwarranted scrutiny for expressing his faith, especially when the leader works beyond caste and customs to serve the nation

Critics also allege that Modi shows intolerance towards the Opposition, but isn't such tension inherent in the dynamics of power and opposition? Their roles are to keep each other in check, preventing either from becoming too complacent in their duties to the nation

Although the timing of the Enforcement Directorate's actions against Hemant Soren and Arvind Kejriwal may raise questions, it's crucial to acknowledge that the government cannot manipulate the legal system to unjustly detain individuals

With a potential third term in office, Modi could be considered one of India's most impactful leaders since independence As India ascends as a significant global economy, the world may view India with admiration or apprehension, but the West must adapt to India's growing power and influence

Thought for the week

"Pessimism leads to weakness, optimism to power " William James

Political Sketchbook

Alpesh Patel

Is India ‘Offing’ Terrorists Abroad?

Social media co mmentators seem happy if terrorists wanted by Ind ia are killed by Indian agents A s they m ock the Guard ian article th ey w rite “to pu nish PM M odi for th is illegal act, I shall vo te for him again, to teach him a lesson”

But social media comment, or even public opinion, or indeed American standards is not the appropriate bar The law is And the law may well be on India’s side (If indeed India had anything to do with the killings )

The issue of extrajudicial killings, especially in the context of cross-border actions against terrorists, raises complex questions under international law The recent statem e n t s a t t r i b u t e d t o I n d i a n o f f i c i a l s a b o u t a c t i o n s i n Pakistan reflect a controversial area of both legal and diplomatic discourse, touching upon the sovereignty of nations, the right to self-defense, and the principles governing the conduct of hostilities

International law prohibits the arbitrary deprivation of life, which includes acts categorized as extrajudicial killings This prohibition is enshrined in every major human rights treaty and has achieved jus cogens status, meaning it is a norm from which no derogation is permitted In essence, jus cogens norms are accepted and recognized by the international community of states as a whole as being fundamental to the maintenance of the legal order

The concept of an extrajudicial killing is grounded in the principle that the right to life is fundamental and protected under international law The definition of what constitutes an extrajudicial killing can, however, be contested and subject to interpretation in litigation, reflecting the complexity and sometimes the ambiguity in international legal norms For instance, in the United States, the Torture Victim Protection Act establishes civil liability for extrajudicial killings, based on these international law principles, yet courts sometimes express uncertainty about the precise meaning of this term

When considering the legality of state actions that might fall under the category of extrajudicial killings, such as targeted attacks against terrorists in foreign territories, several legal frameworks come into play These include the law of self-defense under the United Nations Charter, international humanitarian law (IHL), and international human rights law (IHRL) The law of self-defense permits states to defend themselves against armed attacks, including through pre-emptive strikes in certain situations However, any action taken must adhere to the principles of necessity and proportionality IHL, applicable during armed conflicts, also stipulates that combatants must distinguish between military targets and civilians, with direct attacks against the latter being prohibited

T h e d i s c u s s i o n a r o u n d I n d i a ' s a l l e g e d a c t i o n s i n Pakistan highlights the delicate balance between combating terrorism and adhering to international legal standards

While states have a legitimate interest in protecting their citizens from terrorist threats, they must navigate the constraints imposed by international law, particularly the prohibitions against arbitrary deprivation of life and the respect for the sovereignty of other states

What might Chanakya think? Chanakya's teachings emphasize the importance of saptanga (the seven limbs of the state) and the maintenance of the mandala (circle of states) theory In this context, he might suggest that actions such as extrajudicial killings, particularly in another country's territory, require careful consideration of the diplomatic repercussions and the balance of power within the regional mandala The principle of realpolitik, which Chanakya is often associated with, would dictate a careful analysis of the risks and benefits of such actions, ensuring they serve the long-term interests of the state

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Continued on page 15

Man arrested for aiding offender; victim named NHS apologises for misdiagnosed illness in child

A man has been detained on susp icio n of aiding an offender following the tragic stabbing of a woman wh ile she was pushing h er baby in a pram in Bradford W e s t Y o r k s h i r e P o l i c e announced the arrest of a 23year-old man as part of their ongoing investigation The victim was identified as 27-year-old K u l s a m a A k t e r A u t h o r i t i e s r e s p o n d e d t o r e p o r t s o f a woman being attacked by a man who subsequently fled the scene on Westgate in Bradford city centre on Saturday afternoon

D e s p i t e e f f o r t s , M s A k t e r succumbed to her injuries in the hospital Fortunately, the baby was unharmed Law enforcement has initiated a manhunt

for Habibur Masum, aged 25, from the Oldham area, with ties

t o B u r n l e y a n d C h e s t e r

Described as an Asian man of slim build, Masum remains at large

NHS plagued by widespread sexual assault

Recent research has brought to ligh t the disturbing prevalence o f sexual harassment incidents endured by NHS staff while o n duty, ranging from expo su re to p o r no gr ap h i c ma ter ia l to u nwanted advances and e ven p hysical assault

The Unison union expressed shock at the results of a comprehensive survey, which revealed that one in ten healthcare workers had experienced harassment

The study, conducted among over 12,200 individuals in the health sector, unveiled a range of unwanted behaviours, includi n g i n a p p r o p r i a t e t o u c h i n g , demands for sexual favours in e x c h a n g e f o r b e n e f i t s , a n d derogatory remarks

Alarming statistics showed that nearly a third of respondents reported incidents of sexual assault, while half disclosed experiences of leering or suggestive gestures Additionally, one in four encountered unwelcome advances or demands for sexual favours The research highlighted that crude banter or jokes w e r e t h e m o s t f r e q u e n t l y reported issue, affecting three in five workers who experienced harassment in any form

Despite the severity of some incidents, half of the staff chose not to report the harassment to their employer, citing concerns of being labelled oversensitive or doubting their employer's willingness to take action

Reform UK drops two candidates for racist remarks

R efo rm UK h a s ta ken a cti o n against three of its election candidates following revelatio ns of o ffensive remarks uncovered by a Mail on Sunday investigation

Pete Addis, slated for South Shropshire, faced criticism for a h i s t o r y o f o f f e n s i v e p o s t s , including calling for Sir David A t t e n b o r o u g h ' s d e m i s e a n d u s i n g r a c i a l s l u r s H i s s e x i s t comments, such as referring to A n g e l a R a y n e r a s d e r o g a t o r y terms and making inappropriate remarks to journalist Ava Evans, were also condemned In a part i c u l a r l y d i s t a s t e f u l o u t b u r s t , Addis made vulgar comments regarding the origins of 'brown babies'

Amodio Amato, standing for the Stevenage seat, faced scrutin y f o r l a b e l l i n g L o n d o n a n I s l a m i c S t a t e a n d s p r e a d i n g conspiracies about public fig-

An Essex NHS tru st has issu ed an apology to th e family of Ivy Rup asinghe, a "bubbly, cheerfu l, and playfu l" two- year- old girl who tragically p assed away after h er il ln es s w as no t p r o p er ly id ent i fi ed as s er io u s i n th e weeks leading up to h er death Ivy, a resident of Harlow, w a s t a k e n t o t h e P r i n c e s s Alexandra Hospital in Harlow on October 8, where she was discharged with a prescription for what was believed to be tonsillitis Unfortunately, Ivy's condition deteriorated, and she was s u b s e q u e n t l y a d m i t t e d t o A d d e n b r o o k e ' s H o s p i t a l i n Cambridge, where she ultimately lost her battle and passed away on October 19

Following Ivy's passing, an inquest into her death concluded in March at Essex Coroners' Court, where it was determined t h a t s h e h a d s u c c u m b e d t o multi-organ failure and hypoxic e n c e p h a l o p a t h y c a u s e d b y a

severe Epstein Barr virus infection While the coroner did not attribute blame to the staff at Princess Alexandra Hospital for Ivy's death, it was acknowledged that there were shortcomings in her care

In response to Ivy's tragic d e a t h , h e r p a r e n t s , K e l u m

R u p a s i n g h e a n d T h u y L a m , l o d g e d a n o f f i c i a l c o m p l a i

had received, which was subsequently addressed during the inquest into their daughter's passing

Doctor falsely claimed NHS shifts while on vacation

Dr Rajeev Regh unath h as been deregistered after it was discovered that h e mani pu lated hi s time sheets to falsely claim over £40,000 from the NHS

Dr Reghunath, a locum psychiatrist, deceived the system by fabricating signatures to indicate he was working eight-hour shifts when he was actually on h o l i d a y i n v a r i o u s c o u n t r i e s including India, Turkey, and the United Arab Emirates

B e t w e e n A p r i l 2 0 1 9 a n d

u r e s I r i s L e a s k , r e p r e s e n t i n g

Reform in West Aberdeenshire and Kincardine, made bizarre statements advocating cannibalism and the extinction of the h u m a n r a c e R e f o r m U K promptly removed Amato and A d d i s f r o m c a n d i d a c y , w h i l e suspending Leask pending further investigation


UK's surge in popularity, following Nigel Farage's Brexit Party, has sparked concerns in Downing Street about F a r a g e ' s p o t e n t i a l p o l i t i c a l resurgence However, the party has faced criticism for recent c a n d i d a t e d i s m i s s a l s d u e t o social media activity

T h e M a i l h a d p r e v i o u s l y exposed several candidates with c o n t r o v e r s i a l b a c k g r o u n d s , i n c l u d i n g G a r r y S u t h e r l a n d , convicted of animal cruelty, and Amelia Randall, a fortune-teller with a history on a platform known for adult content

M a r c h 2 0 2 1 , D r R e g h u n a t h claimed payment for 35 eighth o u r s h i f t s , e a c h f e t c h i n g a r o u n d £ 1 , 3 0 0 , d e s p i t e b e i n g a b s e n t f r o m h i s d u t i e s H i s f r a u d u l e n t a c t i v i t i e s w e r e uncovered during an investigat i o n b y t h e M e d i c a l Practitioners Tribunal Service, which determined his behaviour to be both unacceptable and dishonest


Switching off landline phones could leave millions behind, sparking fears of loneliness Traditional landlines are being replaced with internet-based service Digital Voice by the end of next year While BT assures the change won't affect most users concerns arise for those in countryside areas with weaker signals Strong connections are crucial to ensure no one is left without access to essential communication


Amrik Sangha, aged 50, residing at Slough Road in Datchet, faced legal consequences for driving under the influence of alcohol

His appearance at Reading Magistrates' Court on March 22 stemmed from an incident that occurred on October 14 the previous year Sangha was apprehended while operating a Porsche Panamera on Windsor Road, Slough Subsequent testing revealed his blood alcohol concentration to be 48 micrograms in 100 millilitres of breath surpassing the legal limit for drinkdriving Following a verdict of guilt by the magistrates Sangha received a three-year driving ban Additionally he was fined £180 Moreover the court-mandated Sangha to cover £770 in court expenses along with a £72 victim surcharge


I n W h a t s A p p m e s s a g e s revealed during the tribunal, Dr Reghunath expressed remorse for his actions, admitting to the grave mistake and offering to repay the ill-gotten funds He acknowledged the severity of his misconduct and expressed willingness to accept any consequences imposed upon him by t h e G e n e r a l M e d i c a l C o u n c i l and the Trust

Dr Reghunath's actions not only defrauded the NHS but also breached the trust placed in him as a medical professional, l e a d i n g t o h i s p e r m a n e n t removal from the medical register

Despite restrictions due to COVID-19, Dr Reghunath continued his deceitful practices, s u b m i t t i n g f a l s e t i m e s h e e t s even while conducting consultations via video calls or phone f r o m o u t s i d e G r e a t e r Manchester, where he was not p e r m i t t e d t o w o r k r e m o t e l y The scam came to light after he departed the UK on a one-way flight to Bangalore in February 2021

Nearly 10 million people in England on NHS waiting list

A s ur ve y b y t he Of f i c e f or National Statistics suggests that nearly 10 million people acros s E nglan d m ay be awai ti ng a n NH S a ppo i nt me nt or tr ea tment, an increase of 2 million from previous estimates

The survey, encompassing about 90,000 adults, revealed that 21% of patients were awaiting hospital appointments or t h e c o m m e n c e m e n t o f N H S treatment, which extrapolates

t o a p p r o x i m a t e l y 9 7 m i l l i o n individuals In January, official NHS statistics indicated a waiting list of 7 6 million

T h e s u r v e y r e v e a l e d t h a t delays were particularly signifi-

c a n t a m o n g 1 6 - 2 4 - y e a r - o l d s , with one in five reporting waiti

and February, the survey was a component of the annual winter coronavirus infection study involving adults aged 16 and above

According to the ONS, this survey marked the first attempt to evaluate the experiences of a d u l t s a w a i t i n g h o s p i t a l appointments, tests, or medical t r e a t m e n t s T h e d a t a , s e l fr e p o r t e d b y p a r t i c i p a n t s , i s experimental and may diverge from other waiting list statistics

Andrew Gwynne, the shadow health minister, said: “Pull back the cover and the crisis in the NHS is even worse than it appeared One in every five people in England are stuck on waiting lists, and they are waiting longer than ever before

A recent survey conducted by the UK s largest education union has shed light on the condition of school buildings in England and Wales Among the findings, two in five teachers reported signs of vermin or pests, while over a quarter cited issues with sewage or wastewater leaks Of the 8,000 National Education Union members who participated in the online poll, 68% indicated that their workplaces experienced leaks, with 10% describing the problem as severe Additionally, one-third of respondents noted that students were being taught in excessively hot conditions during summer, and 16% reported severe coldness in winter Furthermore, more than half stated that the poor state of school facilities was adversely affecting the learning environment The dilapidated condition of England s ageing school infrastructure was highlighted by the recent Raac crisis resulting in emergency closures at the beginning of the school term


At Heathrow Airport, two passenger planes collided while one of the aircraft was being towed, sparking a brief but tense moment at the UK s busiest airport Video footage circulating on social media captured the Virgin Atlantic plane s wing overlapping with that of a British Airways aircraft, with emergency services swiftly responding to the scene The incident unfolded as a Virgin Boeing 787-9 plane, having just landed, was in the process of being towed by a separate private company to a different location on

Fortunately no passengers were aboard when the collision occurred Virgin Atlantic has initiated an investigation into the collision with the affected plane grounded for maintenance checks Similarly engineering teams are inspecting the stationary British Airways aircraft and affected passengers have been transferred to another aircraft

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Royal Mail proposes second class cut, NHS leaders worried

R o ya l M ai l i s p ro p o s i ng to red uce the frequency of secondclass post deliv eries to safeg uard the first-class service

In its submission to Ofcom's consultation on the future of t h e u n i v e r s a l p o s t a l s e r v i c e , Royal Mail has suggested discontinuing second-class deliveries on Saturdays, while maintaining a six-day-a-week service for first-class mail

T h e c o m p a n y p r e d i c t s " f e w e r t h a n 1 , 0 0 0 " v o l u n t a r y r e d u n d a n c i e s a s p a r t o f t h i s m o v e w h i l e p r e d i c t i n g t h a t implementing cost-cutting meas u r e s s u c h a s e x t e n d i n g t h e d e l i v e r y t i m e f r a m e f o r b u l k b u s i n e s s m a i l t o t h r e e d a y s instead of two could yield savings of up to £300 million annually On the flip side, NHS officials have raised concerns about potential risks to patient safety resulting from these cuts In a j o i n t l e t t e r a d d r e s s e d t o t h e Telegraph, representatives from the NHS, Healthwatch England, the Patients Association, and

N a t i o n a l V o i c e s e x p r e s s e d apprehension that the proposed Royal Mail cuts could exacerbate the already significant cost of missed appointments, which currently exceeds £1 billion

T h e l e t t e r h i g h l i g h t e d , "Provisional Healthwatch data suggest that more than 2 million people may have missed medical appointments in 2022-23 due to late delivery of letters, and this will only deteriorate under the proposed new plans "

Furthermore, health leaders stressed the urgent need to find a solution to streamline the handling of the vast volume of corr e s p o n d e n c e s e n t b y N H S teams, to mitigate disruptions for healthcare staff and patients alike

Recent data indicates that a p p r o x i m a t e l y 2 5 % o f m i s s e d h o s p i t a l a p p o i n t m e n t s a r e attributed to delayed arrival of l e t t e r s M a n y e s s e n t i a l N H S communications, including cruc i a l a p p o i n t m e n t s , t r e a t m e n t plans, and test results, rely on second-class postage stamps

Family alleges negligence for doctor’s death

D u r in g a n em o t i o na l inques t at Manch ester C o r o ne r s C o u r t , Dr Shivani Tanna, th e wife o f th e l a te P r o f e s s o r A m it P at e l , a d is t inguish ed medical practit i o ne r , s h a re d h e ar tbreaking details of her h us band's tragic pas sing Professor Patel, celebrated as o n e o f t h e n a t i o n ' s f o r e m o s t experts in stem cell transplantation and cellular therapy, succumbed to a grave illness at an NHS-operated hospital, despite his profound expertise in treating such conditions The professor exhibited symptoms indicative of hemophagocytic lymph histiocytosis (HLH), a severe immune diso r d e r e x a c e r b a t e d b y p o s s i b l e underlying ailments like Still's disease

a t t e n d i n g p h y s i c i a n s and inadequate monitoring of his critical status by hospital staff She lamented the shortage o f m e d i c a l p e r s o n n e l , which compelled her to undertake basic medical tasks for her husband during his hospitalisation

The inquest further exposed troubling procedural deficiencies, such as the alleged lack of precautionary measures during a diagnostic biopsy that resulted in a l i f e - t h r e a t e n i n g c o m p l i c a t i o n

Despite emergency interventions and transfer to Manchester Royal Infirmary, Professor Patel's condition continued to deteriorate u n t i l h i s u n t i m e l y d e m i s e i n October

Sadiq Khan vows to construct rent-controlled homes

Sad iq Khan h as unveiled plans to construct 6,00 0 new affordable h omes with capped rents tied to key w orkers ' incomes

Additionally, Khan is advo-

c a t i n g f o r c o m p r e h e n s i v e reforms to bolster renters' rights across the city Among his proposals is the establishment of a London licensing hub, backed by funding of up to £4 million, to empower boroughs in supporting renters He also intends to invest in initiatives to assist renters in asserting their rights effectively

F u r t h e r m o r e , K h a n h a s p l e d g e d t o e n f o r c e s t r i n g e n t housing standards for landlords, including suspending any City Hall funding if these standards are not met Expressing frustra-

t i o n w i t h t h e g o v e r n m e n t ' s reluctance to empower the capital with rent control powers, Khan asserts his commitment to d e l i v e r i n g r e n t - c o n t r o l l e d homes, starting with an initial p h a s e o f 6 , 0 0 0 u n i t s T h e s e homes aim to provide affordable rental options for key workers and middle-income Londoners

H o w e v e r , t h i s a n n o u n c ement comes on the heels of major housing associations in England cautioning that constructing affordable homes is increasingly financially unfeasible, exacerbating the decline in supply

The financing of new affordable homes, crucially needed at a r a t e o f 1 4 5 , 0 0 0 p e r y e a r i n E n g l a n d a c c o r d i n g t o t h e National Housing Federation, is set to be a central issue in the u p c o m i n g g e n e r a l e l e c t i o n Labour, the primary opposition party, pledges to provide the " l a r g e s t b o o s t t o a f f o r d a b l e housing in a generation "

British al-Qaeda terrorists released early

All sev en individ uals conv i ct ed al o ng s i d e alQa ed a' s 'd i r ty b o m be r' m as te rm i nd , D h i ren Baro t, have been released from p rison, despite being sentenced to a com bined 136 years in j ail back in 2007

T h e s e B r i t i s h m e n were part of a sleeper cell aiding Barot's plans for bomb plots in both the UK and the US Abdul Aziz Jalil, the last of the group to be released, was sentenced to 26 years and was considered Barot's 'minder ' He was granted parole in February 2024

Dhiren Barot


Victims and campaigners of the Windrush scandal are urging for faster and increased compensation payments Launched by the Home Office five years ago, the Windrush compensation scheme aimed to address the injustices faced by thousands of British citizens wrongly classified as illegal immigrants Despite over £80m being paid out across 2 233 claims by January this year concerns remain about delays impacting elderly victims access to compensation Jacqueline McKenzie, partner and head of immigration and asylum law at Leigh Day, has assisted over 400 Windrush victims since 2018 She emphasised the urgent need for the Home Office to expedite decision-making processes, noting that the delays are retraumatising an already vulnerable and elderly cohort, with hundreds having passed away


A m i d s t P r o f e s s o r P a t e l ' s struggle for survival, Dr Tanna revealed alarming lapses in his medical care, including purported i g n o r a n c e o f h i s c o n d i t i o n b y

D r T a n n a ' s a l l e g a t i o n s o f medical negligence have sparked s c r u t i n y o f M a n c h e s t e r

U n i v e r s i t y N H S F o u n d a t i o n T r u s t ' s p r a c t i c e s , p r o m p t i n g a r e b u t t a l f r o m t h e i n s t i t u t i o n ' s legal representatives

British 'navy sailor' bites motorcyclist in India

D is t u rb in g f o o ta ge f r o m I n dia depicts a partially clo thed Britis h m an attacking a pas sing moto rcyc lis t, biting him in a chao tic o utbu rst bef ore p ol ice intervention

Believed to be a Royal Navy member, he was with a group in C h e n n a i w h e n t h e i n c i d e n t occurred Allegedly from a ship

n e a r b y f o r m a i n t e n a n c e , t h e y were in Royapettah for an outing Intoxicated, he bit pedestrians as b y s t a n d e r s t r i e d t o s t o p h i m Despite police efforts, he briefly e v a d e d c a p t u r e , c o n t i n u i n g t o cause havoc

In a tense moment, he bit a motorist's shoulder before being subdued by police Accompanied

b y t w o B r i t i s h - a c c e n t e d m e n , chaos ensued Another shirtless individual attempted to reason with him Police reports indicate an alcohol-fuelled disturbance, allegedly originating from a mall dispute No formal case has been filed, pending Tamil Nadu police response The Royal Navy con-

f i r m s t h e i n c i d e n t , c u r r e n t l y under investigation

A s p o k e s p e r s o n f r o m t h e Royal Navy commented, "We can confirm an incident involving UK

s e r v i c e p e r s o n n e l i n C h e n n a i , India This incident is currently under investigation, so it would be inappropriate to comment further "

Chris Phillips, the former

H e a d o f N a t i o n a l C o u n t e r Terrorism in the UK, expressed concern over their release, highlighting the grave nature of their planned attacks Barot, a senior B r i t i s h a l - Q a e d a m e m b e r ,

orchestrated plans t o b o m b s e v e r a l high-profile targets, including the New Y o r k S t o c k Exchange and the L o n d o n U n d e r g r o u n d H i s plans also included u s i n g e x p l o s i v eladen limousines and radioactive 'dirty' bombs Jalil, along with his accomplices, played crucial roles in f a c i l i t a t i n g B a r o t ' s s c h e m e s , providing intelligence and support Despite not instigating the a t t a c k s , t h e i r a s s i s t a n c e w a s integral to Barot's plans

The Parole Board's decisions regarding the release of these individuals have sparked debate over public safety and the mana g e m e n t o f t e r r o r i s m - r e l a t e d risks

NHS-funded private patient's death raises concerns

A wom an tragically p assed away due to a delayed transfer to NHS

intensive care follow ing a critical illness while und er the care of Spire Healthcare

Sabrina Khan, the daughter of the deceased, criticised the hospital staff for not recognising

t h e s e v e r i t y o f h e r m o t h e r

N a f i s a s c o n d i t i o n S p i r e Healthcare has acknowledged the failings in Mrs Khan's care and apologised for the incident

This case is one among several deaths after surgeries at Spire Healthcare scrutinised by BBC Panorama Spire Healthcare, a major p r i v a t e h e a l t h c a r e p r o v i d e r , o p e r a t e s n u m e r o u s h o s p i t a l s across the UK

However, unlike most NHS hospitals, many private hospitals, including Spire, l a c k i n t e n s i v e c a r e u n i t s D r

N i c k W o o d i e r o f t h e H e a l t h S e r v i c e s S a f e t y I n v e s t i g a t i o n s B o d y h i g h l i g h t e d t h e r i s k t o patient safety, especially when there is a lack of understanding about a private hospital's capabilities

F o l l o w i n g P a n o r a m a ' s inquiry, Spire Healthcare update d i t s h o s p i t a l w e b s i t e s t o inform patients about the possibility of transfer to the NHS for intensive care In Mrs Khan's case, despite her critical condition, the ambulance to transfer h e r t o a n N H S h o s p i t a l w a s delayed until late at night She sadly passed away shortly after being admitted to NHS intens i v e c a r e S p i r e H e a l t h c a r e a d m i t t e d t o u n d e r e s t i m a t i n g the seriousness of Mrs Khan's condition and apologised for the lapse in care

Doctors have warned that vulnerable Britons with heart problems are dying unnecessarily each year because they are not prescribed antibiotics when visiting the dentist According to medical professionals nearly 400 000 individuals in the UK are at high risk of developing life-threatening infective endocarditis whenever they undergo dental treatment This condition results in the death of 30% of its sufferers within a year The refusal to authorise antibiotic prophylaxis (AP) in such cases means that up to 261 individuals annually contract the disease, resulting in up to 78 deaths It is claimed that this policy may have led to up to 2,010 deaths over the past 16 years The danger arises from the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) not adhering to international medical standards by failing to recommend antibiotics for at-risk patients before dental procedures, experts assert


A group of investors has initiated a £100 million fund aimed at financing the electrification of London's renowned red buses Aviva an insurer and Rock Rail a UKbased owner and asset manager of rolling stock have joined forces with the UK s stateowned infrastructure investment bank to devise an innovative funding mechanism for the expensive decarbonisation of Britain's fleet of over 35,000 mostly diesel buses The partnership has announced an initial commitment of £100 million to finance the deployment of up to 250 zero-emission buses across the UK The first batch of 60 batterypowered buses will be leased to the GoAhead Group, one of the largest transport operators in Britain, to operate on various routes throughout London


The head of the UK's largest education union has warned that teachers in England and Wales may strike again as soon as September Daniel Kebede, the general secretary of the National Education Union, cited "growing frustration" within the profession as the country approaches a general election This follows an indicative ballot where nearly 150 000 teachers voted for industrial action with further strikes still being considered The preliminary ballot results showed that 90 3% of voting members in England supported strike action with a turnout slightly surpassing the legal threshold of 50% before a full debate An emergency motion to be presented at the conference, stops short of demanding a formal ballot for strike action

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Sadiq Khan

Alan Bates urges prosecutions in Post Office scandal

Alan Bates h as advocated for the prosecution o f individuals accountable for th e Post O ffi ce s candal, e xpres si ng h is views p rior to his initial ap pearance at th e inqu iry i n ves ti ga ti ng t h e f law ed Horizon system

The Horizon software, u t i l i s e d b y P o s t O f f i c e s , inaccurately recorded losses on branch accounts, leading to over 900 sub-postmasters being erroneously prosecuted between 1999 and 2015 M r B a t e s , w h o s p e a rh e a d e d t h e c a m p a i g n f o r justice, had his ordeal adapte d i n t o a n I T V d r a m a Tuesday marks his inaugural testimony in the Post Office Horizon IT inquiry, commencing a phase that will scrutinise governance, redress, and responses from the Post Office and other stakeholders concerning the scandal

William Wragg resigns party whip amid honeytrap scandal

Wil l i am Wra gg, t he MP who confessed to sharing MPs' personal phone numbers with an individual on a dating app, has voluntaril y s urr en der ed t he Conservative whip

Consequently, he will now serve as an independent MP in the House of C o m m o n s A d d i t i o n a l l y , M r W r a g g h a s r e l i nquished his positions on the 1922 backbench comm i t t e e a n d t h e P u b l i c Administration Committee

Last week, he disclosed to The Times that he had been subjected to a suspected Westminster hon-

d e m a n d e d t h e c o n t a c t n u m b e r s o f o t h e r M P s "They possessed compromising information about m e a n d p e r s i s t e d i n harassing me I provided them with some numbers, but not all, he acknowledged

Police has verified that it is conducting an investigation into the messages sent t o M P s S i m i l a r l y , Leicestershire Police has stated that the force is curr e n t l y i n v e s t i g a t i n g a report of malicious communications

In an interview with the BBC, he asserted, People must be held accountable I've yet to see any indication of it, but I believe it's the next necessary step after the i n q u i r y P r o s e c u t i o n s should follow, along with t h e c o n s i d e r a t i o n o f r e c l a i m i n g s u b s t a n t i a l b o n u s e s t h a t h a v e b e e n awarded to individuals over the years " K e v i n H o l l i n r a k e , t h e P o s t O f f i c e m i n i s t e r , emphasised that individuals implicated in the scandal should face imprisonment He stated that the ongoing inquiry is uncovering substantial evidence, emphasisi n g t h a t w h e r e e v i d e n c e indicates culpability, indiv i d u a l s , i n c l u d i n g t h o s e b e y o n d t h e P o s t O f f i c e , should face legal repercussions

eytrap scheme

The MP representing Hazel Grove disclosed that he had engaged in conversation with an individual on a dating app, who later

Expressing regret, he conveyed to the newspaper, "I deeply apologise for the distress my lapse in judgement has caused others " Reports suggest that up to 20 individuals within p o l i t i c a l c i r c l e s h a v e received unwanted mess a g e s , s o m e c o n t a i n i n g

explicit photos

T h e M e t r o p o l i t a n

F o l l o w i n g t h e i n i t i a l r e p o r t b y t h e w e b s i t e Politico last week, reveali n g t h a t i n d i v i d u a l s i n W e s t m i n s t e r h a d b e e n r e c e i v i n g d u b i o u s m e ssages from senders identified as Charlie and Abi, s e v e r a l p o l i t i c i a n s a n d political journalists have started sharing their own encounters

H o l l i n r a k e r e m a r k e d , " T h e r u l e o f l a w h a s unequivocally failed these sub-postmasters If the evidence warrants it, criminal prosecutions should be purs u e d I f i n d i v i d u a l s a r e found guilty, I have no hesitation in asserting that they should be incarcerated

UAE President acquires £65 million Chelsea mansion

S h e i kh Mo h a mmed b i n Z a yed Al Na h ya n, t h e P r es i den t o f th e Uni t ed A rab E mir ates ( UAE ) a nd Cro wn Prince of Abu Dhabi, rep ortedly has acquired one o f London's mo st expensive residences

A c c o r d i n g t o Bloomberg, a mansion constructed on the premises of t h e B T E a r l s C o u r t t e l ephone exchange was purchased in November by a

c o m p a n y a s s o c i a t e d w i t h the UAE president The Chelsea residence was sold for £65 million, placing it among the select f e w o f L o n d o n ’ s p r i c i e s t properties to exchange ownership last year The most extravagant purchase, a £138 m i l l i o n M a y f a i r m a n s i o n , w a s a c q u i r e d b y A d a r Poonawalla, an Indian billionaire and heir to a fortune amassed from vaccines

British man's son criticises government over father's detention in India

T he son of a British man detained in an Indian jail for o ver five years awaiting trial h a s cr i ti ci s ed th e go ver nment's handling of the case Christian Michel, 62, an arms dealer, has been held in India since December 2018 following extradition from the United Arab Emirates regarding a helicopter deal

I n d i a ' s S u p r e m e C o u r t recently declined to intervene in the case which has g a r n e r e d i n t e r n a t i o n a l attention and is associated with a Dubai princess who alleges kidnapping

R i g h t s e x p e r t s h a v e u r g e d f o r t h e r e l e a s e o f Christian Michel, with the U N W o r k i n g G r o u p o n A r b i t r a r y D e t e n t i o n (WGAD) asserting that his imprisonment lacked a legal foundation In response to the recent court ruling, one o f M i c h e l ' s s o n s , A l

revealed that the family had previously reached out to former Prime Minister Boris J o h n s o n a n d t h e c u r r e n t leader, Rishi Sunak, regarding the case But he said they had not r e c e i v e d a r e s p o n s e f r o m either, which Alois Michel branded an “intolerable attitude towards one of their own nationals” The 26-yearold said they had also tried t o l o b b y t h e F o r e i g n C o m m o n w e a l t h a n d Development Office but had again failed to make headway

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Christian Michel William Wragg Alan Bates

Teachers report insufficient special educational needs and disability support

A recent poll conducted by th e N a ti o na l E du c at i on U ni o n (N EU ) re v ea l ed ala rmi n g gaps in s uppor t for pupils with special educational needs and disabiliti es (SEND) in schools The s ur ve y , w hi c h ga r ne r ed res ponses from 8,000 NEU members, found that one in th re e te a c he r s r e po rt ed having no behaviour support team for SEND pupils, whi le one i n f our l ac ked access to educational psyc ho lo gi s t s o r s pe e c h a nd language therapists

The overwhelming sentiment among teachers was that resources were inadequate to meet the growing demand for support Seven in eight teachers expressed concerns about insufficient resources, with three-quarters calling for more learni n g s u p p o r t a s s i s t a n t s i n classrooms

F u r t h e r m o r e , t h e p o l l highlighted deficiencies in access to counselling and occupational health specialists for SEND pupils, with 41% of respondents indicating a lack of such support

A d d i t i o n a l l y , m o r e t h a n half of the teachers (56%) expressed doubts about the effectiveness of referrals for SEND assessments or specialist support, raising concerns about whether pupils

w o u l d r e c e i v e t h e a s s i stance they require S o m e r e s p o n d e n t s shared distressing accounts of prolonged waits for support services, resulting in d e l a y e d i n t e r v e n t i o n s f o r pupils One teacher reported a six-year waiting period for support, leading to inadequate assistance for stud e n t s A n o t h e r l a m e n t e d t h a t w a i t i n g l i s t s m e a n t some children would never receive the help they need, a s i t u a t i o n e x a c e r b a t e d b y l i m i t e d f u n d i n g a n d resources

The inadequacy of educ a t i o n , h e a l t h , a n d c a r e plans (EHCP), legal documents outlining a child's needs and required support, w e r e a l s o h i g h l i g h t e d Teachers expressed scepticism about the efficacy of E H C P a p p l i c a t i o n s , w i t h some questioning the worthiness of applying due to perceived rejections or negligible outcomes

NEU General Secretary Daniel Kebede condemned the government s failure to address the SEND funding crisis, labelling it as "shamef u l " H e e m p h a s i s e d t h e d e t r i m e n t a l i m p a c t o n schools striving to support p u p i l s a m i d s t r e t c h e d r e s o u r c e s K e b e d e u r g e d s i g n i f i c a n t f u n d i n g c o mmitments from the govern-

ment to ensure adequate SEND provision and safeguard children's educational journeys

T h e N E U p l a n s t o address the SEND funding crisis at its annual confer-

e n c e i n B o u r n e m o u t h , where delegates will discuss

t h e u r g e n t n e e d f o r i n c r e a s e d g o v e r n m e n t f u n d i n g T h e m o t i o n e m p h a s i s e s t h a t c h i l d r e n and families are being let d o w n b y a s y s t e m i l lequipped to address their n e e d s , c a l l i n g f o r u r g e n t action to prevent further harm to future generations

I n r e s p o n s e , t h e Department for Education

u n d e r s c o r e d i t s c o m m i tment to supporting children with complex needs, citing significant funding increases over the past five

y e a r s T h e y h i g h l i g h t e d ongoing efforts to reform the SEND system, including training additional educat i o n a l p s y c h o l o g i s t s a n d increasing the number of t e a c h i n g a s s i s t a n t s However, the NEU s findings underscore the persist e n t c h a l l e n g e s f a c i n g schools and the urgent need for comprehensive governm e n t i n t e r v e n t i o n t o address the SEND funding crisis effectively P ro f e sso r D i n e sh Bhugra told us, “It is well

k n o w n t h a t n e a r l y o n ethird of psychiatric illnesses in adulthood start below the age of 15 Furthermore, c h i l d r e n ’ s b r a i n d e v e l o pment and functioning are related to how they form attachment patterns with important people in their c h i l d h o o d H e n c e s c h o o l mental health is incredibly important in the promotion of mental health as well as the prevention of m e n t a l i l l n e s s e s W i t h c h a n g e s i n c u l t u r e s a n d societies, as a society, we have a moral duty to ensure that children get the best start and that they develop resilience to mental illnesses Educational psychologists play a pivotal role in supporting students at all levels and teachers must be s u p p o r t e d i n e d u c a t i n g children and young people w i t h s p e c i a l e d u c a t i o n a l needs but for the student body as a whole ”

Psychologis t and Asian

V oi c e He a lt h c o lu mn i s t Mamta Saha said, “Having support for the student is p i v o t a l t o t h e i r l e a r n i n g For a teacher to have to manage a class of mixedability children and tend to a child with special needs is placing unnecessary undue p r e s s u r e w h i c h w i l l inevitably impact the wider cohort ”

Chinmaya Mission UK hosts vibrant Hanuman Jayanti celebration

In a world filled with uncertainties, fear has become an u nwelco me c om panio n for m any individuals From pers o nal a nxi eti es to g l o bal crises, it seems that there’s no escaping its grip In such t im es , s pi ri tu al t oo ls and c h ants o ft en s erve as anchors, and one such example is the Hanuman Chalisa

What would you like to achieve in the next 30 days?

Let's say we are dealing with a very short timeline, maybe of 30 days Wh at would yo u like to achieve in the next 30 days? If you have to put u p yo ur go al p o s t fo r next o ne mo nt h, where will it be? Wh at would it look like? What satisfaction will you derive from it?

Normally we deal with bigger goals planned for a year, or even longer periods On a day to day basis, our focus is on a daily To Do list But we seldom work on monthly targets Let's try this You have visibility of major items in your schedules, like travel out of the country, any major meeting, or event etc are already in your knowledge How would you like to place your other relevant targets in this period of 30 days? Can you come out as a winner in this short time period in at least one or two sectors? Maybe in terms of weight loss you target 3 kg, or in terms of travel you target 3 days' vacation, or in terms of saving, you target reducing your avoidable expenses Any kind of small or big goals that you feel would contribute to your larger goal as well as add to your discipline may be included here

If you are interested in reading, maybe you can target 3 books in the next 30 days You can watch 5 movies, or 2 series There can be plans for 15 sessions in the gym by hitting the floor every alternate day For writers, you can target 15,000 words at least As a video blogger, you might have the intention to create new content and targeting 10 videos of 10 minutes each is not too difficult to achieve, is it? Whatever you decide, it's manageable to implement in the next 30 days because of visibility of your schedule, less time for spillover and complete command in a short period For family, you might decide to take them for dinner twice, or celebrate a member's birthday in a swag You can also decide to do a full body check up to ascertain yours and family members' health status

But, when you plan your 3-4 major targets for the coming 30 days, be careful not to overdo it Don't crowd it too much It won t be possible to manage too many things in this short period of time Rather if you just target one goal each in the areas of career, health, family and entertainment, the result would be much better Afterall it is better to go deeper to get the oil out of the ground than going wider

Do you have something in mind to achieve in the next 30 days?

(Expressed opinions are personal)

Since its inception, the H a n u m a n C h a l i s a h a s emerged as one of the most widely recited and revered hymns among Hindus worldwide Its universal appeal has transcended time and geog r a p h i c a l b o u n d a r i e s , r e ndering it a cherished devotional composition

gating to worship the deity, and Chinmaya Mission UK is bringing a glimpse of this festival to the UK through its annual Hanuman Jayanti celebrations

D r a w i n g t h e h e a r t s o f m i l l i o n s , t h e h y m n h o l d s even greater significance on Hanuman Jayanti (the birthd a y o f L o r d H a n u m a n ) Temples across India witness millions of Hindus congre-

The Telugu Association of London (TAL) has effectively coordinated the TAL National Badminton Championships, held on Saturdays, March 16 and April 6, at the Osterly Sports & Athletics Centre in Isleworth, London (West)

Telugu players from London and neighbouring countries gathered to partake in the tournament A total of over 250 players participated across various categories, including Men’s Doubles, Men’s 40+ Doubles, Mixed Doubles, Women’s Doubles, Women’s 35+ Doubles, and Kids Under 16

I n a b i d t o p r e s e r v e H i n d u i s m a n d e n s u r e t h e passage of cultural values to f u t u r e g e n e r a t i o n s , Chinmaya Mission UK has organised a vibrant celebration featuring the chanting of the Hanuman Chalisa 108

times The event promises a day filled with love, energy, a n d d e v o t i o n , p r o v i d i n g attendees with the opportunity to quiet their minds and meditate on the significance of the Hanuman Chalisa

Hanuman Jayanti will be h e l d a t C h i n m a y a K i r t i , 2 Egerton Gardens, Hendon, NW4 4BA, and admission is free The event is scheduled for Sunday, April 21, 2024, from 9 am to 6 pm

Finsbury Park Mosque hosts community meal for Ramadan

Finsbury Park Mosque and Mu sl i m W el fa re H o us e joined forces to organise a co mmunity street iftar, with the backing of Islamic Relief


M u s l i m s o b s e r v i n g Ramadan break their fast at sunset, often accompanied by inspiring speeches from prominent figures such as Jeremy Corbyn MP, Rabbi Herschel Gluck, Cllr Kaya Comer Schwartz (Leader of the council), Pastor Edbert

A b e b e , T h e M a y o r o f

Islington Cllr Gary Heather, and Hina Bokhari (Liberal D e m o c r a t m e m b e r o f t h e London Assembly)

I s l a m i c R e l i e f U K , Finsbury Park Mosque, and The Muslim Welfare House have all actively served the l o c a l c o m m u n i t y t h r o u g h various projects, including

food distributions, fundraising activities, and youth services, to support individuals amidst the challenges of rising living costs

J e r e m y C o r b y n , M P

Islington North said: “This iftar and Ramadan is a great e x a m p l e o f w h a t M u s l i m communities do all over the c o u n t r y a l l y e a r r o u n d through Islamic Relief and other charities, giving help and support all around the world ”

Samarpan Meditation at the Navnat Centre Hayes on 28 April

Rev ere d I ndi a n s p i ri tu al leader, His Holiness S hree Shivkrupanand Swami, will be v is i ti ng t h e UK th i s month A meditation session is set to take place at the Nav nat C ent re H ay es o n Sunday, Ap ril 28, 2024, from 3 pm to 6 pm P a r a s M e i s h e r i , Managing Trustee of Shree Shivkrupanand Swami Trust

U K , r e m a r k e d , “ S a m a r p a n M e d i t a t i o n p r o v i d e s a n e x c l u s i v e o p p o r t u n i t y t o delve into inner peace and connect with one's soul in the presence of His Holiness Meditation and Yoga have a l w a y s b e e n f u n d a m e n t a l principles of Jainism They assist us in realizing the true nature of our soul Jainism is r o o t e d i n B h a v a ( i n t e r n a l reflection), and our spiritual progress is centred on reducing our Kashaya (passions) ” “Meditation can aid in spiritual growth while fostering inner peace, calmness, a sense of purpose in life, and equanimity Founded by the esteemed H H Shree

S h i v k r u p a n a n d S w a m i i n 1994, Samarpan Meditation

i s a n a n c i e n t H i m a l a y a n practice that transcends the

complexities of modern life Himalayan Meditation is a Samarpan Sanskar, emphasising surrender without the need for physical activities or complex methodologies It is inclusive of all, irrespective of religion, age, or gender, yet it strongly promotes the Jain teachings of non-attachm e n t , s u r r e n d e r , a n d t h e experience of inner purity w i t h i n e v e r y o n e B o t h S a m a r p a n M e d i t a t i o n a n d Jainism highlight the importance of inner transformation, ethical conduct, and the pursuit of spiritual liberation (Moksha),” he added It is a free event but due to limited places available, r e g i s t r a t i o n i s n e c e s s a r y through this link:

08 13 - 19 April 2024
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Shree Shivkrupanand Swami Jeremy Corbyn

Assessing Migration as Climate Response in South Asia: New Collaborative Partnerships

xciting new collaborations and research, backed by a generous £3 5 million funding fro m th e UK and Canadian go vernments, are delving deep into the p rofound effects of climate ch ange on hu man habitats

With a focus on South Asia, two innovative projects are underway to explore whether migration presents a viable, impactful, and equitable response to climate-induced challenges, spanning from vulnerable coastal areas to the rugged highlands

Partnering with esteemed universities and knowledge hubs in India, Bangladesh, Nepal, and Bhutan, both initiatives are bringing together a diverse team of Geography researchers from the University of Exeter, led by the visionary Professor Neil Adger Professor Adger emphasises the urgency of confronting the stark realities of rising global temperatures and their impact on communities' ability to flourish in their current locales The central question revolves around whether staying put or seeking new horizons offers the best chance for a thriving existence

Enthusiastically embracing the opportunity to collaborate with rising research luminaries in Asia, Professor Adger underscores the lofty ambitions set by the visionary funders Their mission? To forge ahead, hand in hand with affected

communities, in uncovering fresh insights and paving the way toward adaptive futures It's a challenge they're more than ready to tackle head-on

One of those eyeopening and wondrous initiatives is titled ‘CLAPs’:

The Climate Change Local Adaptation Pathways initiative, generously funded for a three-year duration by the UK Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office

This groundbreaking project is a collaborative effort involving esteemed research teams from the University of Exeter, the Indian Institute for Human Settlements, and the University of East Anglia

Make it known that these universities aren’t alone in this endeavour, but rather, they’re joined by dedicated civil society partners across India, including the Centre for Migration and Inclusive Development in Kerala and Gram Vikas in Odisha Dr Chandni Singh, leading the charge at IIHS in Bengaluru, highlights the urgency of the ingenious mission With communities across India facing the harsh realities of climate change, the ingrained focus is crystal clear: to identify effective strategies that empower vulnerable populations and create safe, sustainable environments; this approach is rooted in evidence-based policymaking, ensuring each and every single grain from the efforts leads to a meaningful impact

Moreover, the project zeroes in on climate change adaptation in India, particularly in rapidly

expanding metropolitan areas like Kochi and Bengaluru Here, the convergence of population growth, livelihood shifts, and urgent climate action demands innovative solutions CLAPs is pioneering new interventions that integrate migration into urban planning and architecture, laying the groundwork for resilient communities

Recently, thirty passionate team members from CLAPs came together in Sylhet, Bangladesh for a collaborative meeting with key external partners Led by Professor Nitya Rao, an esteemed researcher in gender and intersectional studies at the University of East Anglia, he articulated “We delved into a four-day Methods and Methodologies workshop

Early career researchers eagerly shared insights and honed their skills to address the critical challenges of migration as an adaptation strategy ”

But that's not all –“ our journey of exploration continued with masterclasses led by Dr Jelle Wouters from the Royal Thimpu College in Bhutan, Dr Tasneem Siddiqui from RRMRU in Bangladesh, and Dr Chandni Singh from IIHS in India Together, we explored participatory, qualitative, and creative research methods, enriching our toolkit to drive our mission forward ”

This initiative represents a pivotal step towards a more resilient, sustainable future in the face of climate change particularly for sensitive South Asian communities

Cameron: UK support for Israel not unconditional

F o r eig n S ec re ta r y D av id

Camer on h as emphasised i n a news p ap er co l u mn th at Britain's support for Israel hinges on its ad here nce t o in t er nat io na l h umanitarian law

H i s c o m m e n t s f o llowed an Israeli air strike in Gaza that resulted in the deaths of seven aid worke r s , i n c l u d i n g t h r e e Britons Cameron stressed that Britain's backing is not unconditional and expects Israel to uphold internat i o n a l h u m a n i t a r i a n l a w e v e n i n c h a l l e n g i n g c i rcumstances

While Britain has been a steadfast ally of Israel since the Hamas attack on southern Israel, Cameron's language has become more assertive in recent months

c o n c e r n i n g t h e d i r e humanitarian situation in Gaza He warned of the

looming threat of famine i n G a z a a n d a n n o u n c e d

British efforts to establish a m a r i t i m e a i d c o r r i d o r , including the deployment of a Royal Navy ship and c o l l a b o r a t i o n w i t h o t h e r nations P r i m e M i n i s t e r R i s h i Sunak reiterated Britain's support for Israel's right to d e f e n d i t s e l f a g a i n s t

Police Scotland faces overtime surge amid hate crime legislation fallout

Hamas terrorism but cond e m n e d t h e k i l l i n g o f

B r i t i s h a i d w o r k e r s i n

Gaza Sunak faces mounting pressure to halt arms sales to Israel following the tragic incident Several of Israel's key allies have also e x p r e s s e d o u t r a g e a n d called for an independent

i n v e s t i g a t i o n i n t o t h e attack

T h e B r i t i s h g o v e r nment is also under scrutiny to disclose its latest legal a d v i c e r e g a r d i n g I s r a e l ' s conduct in the Gaza conflict, which could impact

B r i t i s h a r m s e x p o r t s Cameron mentioned that a n e w a s s e s s m e n t o n t h i s m a t t e r i s u n d e r w a y a n d expected soon A significant majority of people in Britain support a ban on w e a p o n s a l e s t o I s r a e l , according to a poll published in The Guardian

Ac c o rdi ng to Da vi d Kennedy, the general secretary of the Scottish Police Federation, Police S co tland has been co mpelled to compensate control room personnel for overtime due to a surge in comp laints under Scotland's controversial new h a te c ri me l egi s lat i on Kennedy estimated that the expenses incurred in enforcing the law, including overti me pa ymen ts and ot h er ex p en di tu re s, w o ul d am o u nt to "h u n dred s o f thousands" of p ounds T h e H a t e C r i m e a n d Public Order (Scotland) Act, which came into effect on M o n d a y , h a s r e p o r t e d l y prompted over 6,000 comp l a i n t s T h i s l e g i s l a t i o n , supported by the SNP government along with Labour and the Liberal Democrats, e x t e n d s e x i s t i n g o f f e n c e s related to racist abuse to include age, disability, religion, sexual orientation, or t r a n s g e n d e r i d e n t i t y , excluding sex W h i l e a d m i t t i n g t h a t s o m e c o m p l a i n t s m a d e since the law's enactment w e r e " v e x a t i o u s , " H a m z a Y o u s a f , t h e S N P F i r s t Minister, acknowledged the strain on police resources Kennedy disclosed that the a d d i t i o n a l w o r k l o a d h a s necessitated overtime payments to control room staff, who are primarily responsi-

ble for sifting through the complaints

K e n n e d y e m p h a s i s e d that despite the influx of c o m p l a i n t s , o n l y a s m a l l percentage translated into a c t u a l i n v e s t i g a t i o n s H e clarified that control room personnel are tasked with r e v i e w i n g c o m p l a i n t s t o determine if they warrant further action, thereby minimising the impact on officers patrolling the streets

E x p r e s s i n g c o n c e r n s over the lack of additional f u n d i n g o r p e r s o n n e l t o a d d r e s s t h e n e w l a w ' s r e q u i r e m e n t s , K e n n e d y anticipated a lasting impact o n p o l i c e o p e r a t i o n s H e s t r e s s e d t h e s i g n i f i c a n t financial burden incurred by Police Scotland due to the legislation In response to Yousaf's plea to refrain from m a k i n g f r i v o l o u s c o mplaints, Kennedy reiterated t h e s t r a i n o n p o l i c e resources, highlighting the " d e t r i m e n t a l i m p a c t " o n other areas of the force He c r i t i c i s e d t h e a b s e n c e o f provisions for handling the a d d i t i o n a l w o r k l o a d imposed by the new law

Meanwhile, JK Rowling, in a series of tweets, chall e n g e d t h e l a w a n d i t s enforcement, prompting a p u b l i c e x c h a n g e w i t h Yousaf Despite the controversy surrounding the legislation, Police Scotland con-

f i r m e d t h a t R o w l i n g ' s actions did not constitute criminal behaviour

Calum Steele, a former g e n e r a l s e c r e t a r y o f t h e Scottish Police Federation, raised concerns about the diversion of resources from e s s e n t i a l b a c k r o o m f u n ct i o n s t o i n v e s t i g a t e h a t e c r i m e r e p o r t s W h i l e acknowledging the import a n c e o f a d d r e s s i n g h a t e c r i m e s , S t e e l e w a r n e d o f potential repercussions on f r o n t l i n e p o l i c i n g d u e t o resource allocation

P o l i c e S c o t l a n d h a s reportedly refuted Steele's assertions, maintaining that resources are not being redirected from other areas of t h e f o r c e t o h a n d l e h a t e crime complaints However, the force declined to comment on the specific costs

a s s o c i a t e d w i t h o v e r t i m e payments

A Scottish Government s p o k e s p e r s o n t o l d A s i a n Voice, “Police Scotland have c o n f i r m e d t h a t o n l i n e reports received since 1 April have been managed within Police Scotland contact centres and have not impacted frontline policing The laws have a high threshold for proving offences of stirring up hatred and the supporting materials explain how t h e t h r e s h o l d s o f t h e offences are assessed ”

09 13 - 19 April 2024 www.asian-voice.com AsianVoiceNews AsianVoiceNewsweekly asianvoicenews
David Cameron

Dithering, indecisive Labour

Conservatives have been in power for some 14 years No wonder most voters think it is time to give Labour an opportunity to provide an alternative choice, someone with fresh ideas and zeal to govern with dignity, efficiency and honesty

This is the strong point of having a flourishing democracy, to remove and change the government peacefully and legally with voters having the final say Unfortunately, Labour is not inspiring much faith, although it is some 20 points ahead in the opinion poll

But a week in politics is a long time No one can feel sure that Labour will retain this lead on the polling day! It seems Labour do not have a firm, popular leadership in the mould of Tony Blair who was a great orator and knew how to manipulate, exploit and seize any opportunity that may come his way He could turn a defeat into victory with his oratory, his persuasion power and sheer personality Unfortunately, he was more interested in sitting on the podium at the international level rather than concentrating on the home front

In my personal opinion, he was not a great leader, an opportunist who would seize any opportunity that may come his way with no moral dilemma or worry about the truth Who can forget the “Dodgy Dossier” he produced to justify the Iraq war!

His blind support for US President Bush got us involved in the Iraq war, to the detriment of our reputation as a great, honourable and friendly nation Rightly or wrongly, history would portray him as a great and successful leader It seems in today’s political arena, anything that shines is gold, perhaps “Fool’s Gold”

Sir Keir Starmer is a decent, honest, hard-working and dedicated politician who would do his best under the most difficult circumstances But he will be pitched against PM Rishi Sunak and his dedicated team who will fight tooth and nail to retain the power; to govern this mighty nation as long as possible

In Rishi Sunak, we have a great, dedicated PM with vision, foresight and hunger to serve this nation with dignity but unfortunately, he is too honest to be a successful politician Having been brought up in a lap of luxury, the richest PM in British history; is out of touch with reality at ground level, never experienced homelessness or gone to bed with an empty stomach that most of us have gone through in our lives, especially East African Asian” who were treated as “Stateless” although most had valid British passports made worthless by our own government

Perhaps it is the economy that will make or break the PM, as prosperity is the best way, the ultimate weapon to win or lose an election

Bhupendra M Gandhi

A fresh start

At the end of 31st March, we bid farewell to the closing of one chapter and eagerly await the beginning of a new one It's a time of transitions, reflections, and fresh starts

The closing of the financial year on March 31st marks the end of one financial cycle and the start of another on April 1st But beyond the numbers and spreadsheets, there are valuable life lessons to be learned from this annual transition

Just as we wrap up our financial accounts, we can take stock of our personal growth and achievements over the past year What were our wins and losses? What lessons did we learn? What can we do differently moving forward? It's a time for self-reflection and introspection, to celebrate successes and learn from failures

As we embark on a new financial year on April 1st, we have the opportunity to set new goals, make fresh plans and chart a course for the future It's a chance to turn the page, to start anew with renewed energy and enthusiasm The beginning of a new financial year symbolises hope, potential, and endless possibilities It's a reminder that we have the power to shape our own destinies and create the life we desire

Just like in life, the financial year is full of ups and downs, twists and turns It's important to stay resilient in the face of challenges and setbacks, to adapt to change, and to keep moving forward Every ending is a new beginning, and every setback is an opportunity for growth and learning

So as we close the chapter on March 31st and welcome the new financial year on April 1st, let's embrace the lessons learned, celebrate our achievements, and look ahead with optimism and determination Let's use this annual transition as a reminder that life is full of possibilities and opportunities and that we have the power to create the life we envision Here's to new beginnings, fresh starts, and a year filled with success and fulfilment

TS Karthik

Modi and Hindu nationalism

After somewhat grudgingly acknowledging Modi's many achievements, the usual bogey of Hindu nationalism is brought up India is a majority Hindu country and Hindu ethos and values will prevail It does not take anything away from any minority

The recent Easter event was endorsed by King Charles by going to the Church It is not called Christian nationalism by anyone Neither does it take anything away from the minorities There is one law for all in the UK, and India too wants one law for all its citizens You cannot have minorities with their own laws The claim that the Press is being stifled is a red herring The Western media is sending anti-Modi reports almost every day

The claim of targeting of Arvind Kejriwal the chief minister of Delhi is an insult to the fiercely independent judiciary of the country Kejriwal is being questioned about a scam involving a huge amount of money He had been sent over a dozen summonses which he ignored It has nothing to do with Modi Modi is accused of taking advantage of the Ukraine war by buying Russian oil Russian oil is still flowing into Europe one way or the other It is nonsense that the West is not getting Russian oil

The final charge is that by being a member of BRIC nations Modi is challenging Western economic policies Which country will not pursue its geo-political interests? It is not a crime Changing times challenge established hegemonies All it means is that the Western countries need to up their game

Ni ti n Me hta

World Health Day

World Health Day on April 7 focuses on and raises awareness around health issues that affect people all over the world It is necessary to make people aware that health is wealth We need to recognise that well-being is an essential factor in our lives

Keeping yourself fit and safe is significant It will help spread awareness by imparting information about health and fitness to the public, and World Health Day is instrumental in raising people’s consciousness The day brings the public’s attention to the relevance of global health World Health Organisation plans a theme every year, based on which different activities for World Health Day are held It targets all health-related problems as a day observed at both international and national levels

People should concentrate on eliminating unhealthy habits and behaviour and shift towards a healthier life, especially those who consume medicines for hypertension or other illnesses We should look at our reformed areas and reflect on how well our well-being can be and can lead our loved ones and us to a well-behaved, safe life So a big element of Health Day is a balanced lifestyle and a healthier world around you The theme this year for World Health Day is "My Health, My Right "

Jubel D'Cruz

Soneri Sangat

On Thursday 04 April 2024, we embarked on a virtual journey through the BAPS Mandir in Abu Dhabi with our e s t e e m e d G u e s t S p e a k e r , P a r a m P u j y a S h r i Brahmaviharidas Swamiji of BAPS, on ‘Soneri Sangat,’ an exclusive zoom series presented by Asian Voice and Gujarat Samachar

H H B r a h m a v i h a r i d a s S w a m j i , r e m i n d e d o f t h e power within us to effect positive change, no matter the circumstances or obstacles we face

He shared the remarkable journey of building a temple in Abu Dhabi, a task deemed next to impossible in a Muslim country Yet, through determination, hard work, and unwavering dedication, they challenged expectations and accomplished the unimaginable Their success serves as a testament to the power of truth, perseverance, and the ability to see beyond what others perceive as limitations

Read detailed coverage in Gujarat Samachar this week o n page number: 20-21-22 Watch full episode on our You tube channel: @abplgroup8 772

Explosive Views of British Muslims?

Kapil Dudakia

I returned from my holidays to be faced with a rep ort from the Henry Jackson So ciety that had commissioned a very specific survey (conducted by J L P artners) of attitudes held by th e British Muslim community and referenced tho se with attitudes o f the British public in general T he results are explosive

The mainstream media and many commentators seem to feel that this was a huge surprise, but those reading Kapil’s Khichadi would have already known that for decades I have been exposing these underlying sentiments

So what am I talking about? What is so explosive that one is rendered speechless? I have looked at the datasets of the survey, and whilst most commentators have just gone with a few headlines, I will share with you a lot more and do a comparative study to provide a context

Let’s start with the very basic issue of voting intentionsthat shows that 61% of the Muslim communitywould vote for Labour This is marginally lower than the 72% who voted for Labour in the last election This is quite a surprise because 56% of the same respondents felt that the Israel/Palestinian conflict would be a major issue for them at the next election Labour has taken a hit, but in the scheme of things they will accept this and feel they have got away it, with their stance on Gaza

Interestingly, 72% of the Muslim respondents felt that Israel was a racist endeavour Contrast this with the general British voter where only 28% feel that Israel was a racist endeavour

It gets worse, 49% of the Muslim respondents felt that Israel DID NOT have a right to exist as a Jewish homeland Basically, echoing the same sentiments as Hamas Whereas 57% of the British public felt IsraelDID have a right to exist

Astonishinglyonly 24% of Muslim respondents felt Hamas had committed murder and rape in Israel on October 7th (shamefully 39% felt Hamas DID NOT commit murder or rape) Contrast this with the general British voter where 62% felt Hamas had committed murder and rape

It actually getseven worse, 46% of Muslim respondents felt sympathy with Hamas (16% in the general population), and 29% expressed a positive view of Hamas (only 8% in the general population) Add to this that52% felt Hamas attacked Israel because it wanted to forward the Palestinian cause This raises the issue, for me at least, i s t h e r e r e a l l y a d i f f e r e n c e b e t w e e n H a m a s a n d Palestinians? After all, those in Hamas come from the families of the Palestinians, don’t they?

It's not a surprise therefore to find that 74% of Muslim respondents had a negative view about Israel

Coming back to Britain, 32% of the Muslim respondents would like to see the implementation of Sharia Law here 57% felt that Halal food should become compulsory in schools and hospitals And 32% also felt that Islam should be declared as the national religion Not sure what King Charles wouldsay about that!

Just these few indicators lay bare the massive gap between the views of some in the Muslim community and those of the British public in general A headline everyone should take note of, 79% of the British public felt that Islamist extremism is of concern to them

There is a lot that is embedded in this survey The underlying attitudes of some in the Muslim community have now been exposed Some people attempted to hoodwink us by saying that these extremist views were held by a very small minority What this survey shows is that quite a significant proportion of the Muslim community holdviews that are at odds with the British public, and one could go further and say, very much at incompatible with British values

The legitimate question arises about parallel communities, ghettos, and integration Mainstream media will conflate this by painting all minorities with the same tainted brush Let me make it clear, the Jewish, Hindu, Sikh and Jain communities are the most integrated, the most law abiding and the most productive in the UK It’s time mainstream media commentators had the spine to tell the truth, rather than hide behind appeasement platitudes and rhetoric Call a spade a spade

The General Election will not solve any of these issues In my view, if Labour secures governance, this situation will get worse

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 Anusha at anusha singh@abplgroup com

0 10 13 - 19 April 2024
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K A P I L’ S K H I C H A D I

Understanding “The Khan Review”

Th e c o r n e rs t o n e o f

B ritain's s tren gth lies in i ts diverse and unifi ed d em oc r a c y , f or g e d through c enturi es of hardfought struggles for rights and freedoms

However, it would be a mistake to assume that the work towards building an i n c l u s i v e a n d c o h e s i v e s o c i e t y i s c o m p l e t e Safeguarding and advancing our pluralistic democracy demands ongoing vigilance

In a recent report titled

'The Khan Review: Threats t o S o c i a l C o h e s i o n A n d D e m o c r a t i c R e s i l i e n c e ' , D a m e S a r a K h a n D B E , I n d e p e n d e n t A d v i s e r t o the UK Government for S o c i a l C o h e s i o n a n d Resilience, has highlighted a n e s c a l a t i n g c l i m a t e o f t h r e a t s a n d h a r a s s m e n t which is resulting in significant censorship affecting both politicians and the general public

Dame Khan identifies " f r e e d o m - r e s t r i c t i n g harassment" as a pervasive, s u b t l e , a n d o f t e n o v e rlooked risk to social cohesion and notes that this threat extends to academic f r e e d o m , p r e s s f r e e d o m , the arts and cultural sector, and civil society

The review, inclusive of a nationally represented s a m p l e o f 1 , 2 7 9 r e s p o ndents aged 16 and above revealed that 85 per cent perceive freedom-restricting harassment as prevalent in the UK, with 60 per cent believing the issue has w o r s e n e d o v e r t h e p a s t five years

Dame Khan substantiates her findings with case studies, including the incident at Batley Grammar S c h o o l a n d c o n s u l t i n g extensively with experts, practitioners, victims, and officials nationwide

In an interview with Asian Voice, she explains the report in simple terms, the suggestions and recommendations made and how the society can work together to aid social cohesion

What prompted this comprehensive review on social cohesion?

Could you elaborate on some of the key challenges identified in your review?

The Khan Review published on the March 25, 2024 identifies threats to social cohesion and democ r a t i c r e s i l i e n c e T h e s e include worrying levels of d i s i l l u s i o n m e n t w i t h democracy, the spread and impact of conspiracy theories and disinformation, a growing climate of severe harassment being experi-

enced by people which is then leading to censorship - or what the Review calls ‘ f r e e d o m - r e s t r i c t i n g h a r a s s m e n t , ’ a n d t h e impact of extremist activit y o n v i c t i m s a n d l o c a l areas - to name some of these threats

The Khan R e v i e w a r g u e s t h a t t h e Government has no strategic approach to deal with t h e s e c o h e s i o n t h r e a t s which if not dealt with, will not only undermine s o c i a l c o h e s i o n a n d o u r ability to live well together as a diverse nation - it will also lead to a gradual and c h r o n i c e r o s i o n o f o u r democratic way of life

Can you explain your suggestion of a new model for social cohesion in layman’s terms?

The Khan Review calls on the Government to create a new model for social cohesion and democratic resilience This includes establishing a new indep e n d e n t a n d i m p a r t i a l O f f i c e w h i c h w i l l h e l p gather data to assess the s t a t e o f s o c i a l c o h e s i o n a c r o s s t h e c o u n t r y a n d provide training and support for local authorities who are dealing with conf l i c t s a n d t e n s i o n s a n d o t h e r m e a s u r e s D a m e S a r a a l s o c a l l s o n t h e Government to publish a new Strategy and Action Plan to help promote and p r o t e c t s o c i a l c o h e s i o n , prevent disruptive activity

a n d h e l p a r e a s r e s p o n d and recover from conflict and incidents

Can you discuss some of the recommendations you've put forward in your review and how you believe they can address the challenges we're facing?

The recommendations put forward aim to:

v I m p r o v e o u r u n d e rstanding of the picture

o f s o c i a l c o h e s i o n a c r o s s t h e c o u n t r y including where social cohesion is weakening

s o w e c a n b e m o r e effective in supporting such areas

v Have a better unders t a n d i n g o f h o w t o p r e v e n t a n d r e s p o n d to conflict and activity that seeks to undermine social cohesion

v Be more effective in r e s p o n d i n g t o i n c id e n t s t h a t , i f n o t addressed quickly can r e s u l t i n a s e r i o u s b r e a k d o w n o f s o c i a l cohesion in different parts of the country

E n s u r e w e h a r n e s s t h e m a n y b e n e f i t s s o c i a l cohesion brings to our country, whether sup-

t r e n g t h e n i n g c i v i c a n d c o m m u n i t y engagement and social capital and many other adjacent policy areas v There are also recomm e n d a t i o n s f o r t h e

Gang leader convicted for murdering policewoman

Th e former m anag er o f a takeaway is facing a life sente nc e f o r o rc h es tr ati n g a robbery that resu lted in the tragic death of a police officer ov er 18 years ago Piran Ditta Khan, aged 75, was found guilty of the m u r d e r o f P C S h a r o n B e s h e n i v s k y , 3 8 , i n Bradford, West Yorkshire, o n N o v e m b e r 1 8 , 2 0 0 5

What role do you see for the government, local communities, and individuals in building and preserving social cohesion in the face of these challenges?

Everyone has a responsibility to build and preserve social cohesion The G o v e r n m e n t h a s a n important role but so do institutions, public bodies, b u s i n e s s e s a n d s o c i a l media companies Civic s o c i e t y ’ s c o n t r i b u t i o n i s also important We as citizens also have a responsibility to respect pluralism and the rights and freedoms of others Polling d e m o n s t r a t e s t h a t t h e British public values diversity and beliefs, and it is important that we can disagree and yet still come together We all have a r e s p o n s i b i l i t y t o p r o t e c t social cohesion

While the Tories have been accused of being Islamophobic, the Labours have been dubbed as antisemitic. Under these circumstances, how do you envision political parties addressing the issues raised in your review, especially in the context of an upcoming general election?

A s t h e K h a n R e v i e w outlines, the actions and language of political leaders are of utmost importance They have the abili t y t o r e d u c e t e n s i o n s , bring people together and p r o m o t e a p o s i t i v e a n d i n c l u s i v e v i s i o n f o r o u r country where all citizens are treated equally irrespective of our differences, race, religion or identity However, politicians also have the power to inflame, d i v i d e a n d p o l a r i s e o u r society which can undermine social cohesion and fuel disillusionment with democracy The responsib i l i t y t h a t f a l l s o n o u r politicians cannot be overs t a t e d A s w e h e a d towards a general election, politicians should be careful to avoid engaging in so-called ‘culture wars ’ as evidence shows that such t a c t i c s p o l a r i s e s o c i e t y , i n c r e a s e c o n f l i c t , c o ntribute to disinformation and undermine our ability to live well together

Khan, who acted as a lookout from a nearby car, was convicted of masterminding t h e r o b b e r y a t U n i v e r s a l Express, a travel agency hand l i n g m o n e y t r a n s f e r s t o Pakistan K h a n , w h o f l e d t o

Islamabad in January 2006, abandoning his family and business affairs in the UK, was apprehended in January 2020 following an internat i o n a l m a n h u n t H e w a s extradited to the UK in April

of the same year

Despite denying other charges, Khan admitted to the robbery However, he was found guilty of murder a n d m u l t i p l e f i r e a r m s offences by a jury at Leeds Crown Court The court heard that Khan, though not directly involved in firing the fatal shot, played a pivo t a l r o l e i n p l a n n i n g t h e robbery and was aware of t h e p r e s e n c e o f l o a d e d firearms

While Khan maintained a stoic demeanour during the trial, the jury s verdict marked the culmination of a lengthy legal process

Doctor suspended after ‘serious misconduct’

A n NHS g ynaecolo gist has b een s u sp e nd e d a ft er a series of mishand led d eliveries left new m oth ers traumatised and in d istress Dr Fakher Gendy, a 74y e a r - o l d c o n s u l t a n t w i t h five decades of experience, was found guilty of serious misconduct during two separate incidents During one d e l i v e r y , a n e w m o t h e r experienced severe bleeding, p r o m p t i n g D r G e n d y t o f r e e z e i n p a n i c a n d s e e k a d v i c e f r o m a c o l l e a g u e b e f o r e r e t u r n i n g t o t h e o p e r a t i n g t h e a t r e H i s d e l a y e d r e s p o n s e l e f t t h e

woman feeling like she was "giving birth to a calf," as she l o s t n e a r l y f i v e p i n t s o f blood and required a blood transfusion to recover

In another instance, Dr G e n d y s f o r c e f u l a c t i o n s during delivery resulted in b r u i s e s t o t h e n e w b o r n baby's neck, described by a paediatrician as the "roughest delivery" they had ever witnessed Following a trib u n a l h e a r i n g i n M a n c h e s t e r , D r G e n d y , from Lymm, Cheshire, was s u s p e n d e d f r o m m e d i c a l p r a c t i c e f o r n i n e m o n t h s due to serious professional misconduct

Dr Fakher Gendy

Despite his pleas for volu n t a r y e r a s u r e , t h e p a n e l o p t e d f o r s u s p e n s i o n instead

11 13 - 19 April 2024 www.asian-voice.com AsianVoiceNews AsianVoiceNewsweekly asianvoicenews
Anusha Singh
o r t i n g r e g e n e r a t i o n i n l o c a l a r e a s , s
D e p a r t m e n t f o r E d u c a t i o n , p o l i c i n g , l o c a l a u t h o r i t i e s a n d s
i a
o c i a l m e d
c o m p anies to name just a few
Dame Sara Khan DBE Piran Ditta Khan


Additionally, as of 2022, approxim a t e l y 3 % o f i n d i v i d u a l s w i t h dementia come from BAME (Black, Asian, and Minority Ethnic) communities, totalling around 25,000 people This figure is projected to double by 2026, with the most sign i f i c a n t r i s e a n t i c i p a t e d w i t h i n South Asian communities Studies indicate that BAME communities f r e q u e n t l y e n c o u n t e r d e l a y s i n dementia diagnosis and encounter o b s t a c l e s w h e n a t t e m p t i n g t o access services

This emphasises the growing importance of prevention, diagnosis, support, and quality of life init i a t i v e s f o r t h o s e a f f e c t e d b y d e m e n t i a a n d w o r k i n g t o w a r d s that very goal, two leading research teams are set to conduct nationwide trials to develop accurate and rapid blood tests for diagnosing dementia, aiming to address the UK's alarmingly low diagnosis rate

UCL and Dementias Platform

U K , b a s e d a t t h e U n i v e r s i t y o f Oxford, will leverage recent breakt h r o u g h s i n p o t e n t i a l d e m e n t i a blood tests and gather evidence for their validation within the NHS within the next five years

F u n d e d b y a m u l t i - m i l l i o np o u n d a w a r d f r o m A l z h e i m e r ’ s Society, Alzheimer’s Research UK, the National Institute for Health a n d C a r e R e s e a r c h , a n d G a t e s Ventures, including contributions from players of People’s Postcode Lottery, the initiative known as the Blood Biomarker Challenge seeks to transform dementia diagnosis

Blood tests can help overcome current limitations

D e m e n t i a i s c u r r e n t l y d i a gnosed using memory and thinking tests as well as scans that look at t h e s t r u c t u r e o f t h e b r a i n A ccord ing to Katherine Gray, Head of Research at A lzheimer’s Society, “These tests do not show the proteins that are building up in the brain, leading to the need for more advanced techniques Two ways we c a n d e t e c t t h e s e p r o t e i n s a r e t h r o u g h s p e c i a l i s e d b r a i n s c a n s ( c a l l e d P o s i t r o n E m i s s i o n Tomography or PET scans) or by measuring them in spinal fluid

However, both methods require a specialised workforce and equipment and are expensive and invasive They are also not widely available ”

Dr Ashvini Keshavan, who will be leading the ADAPT team of r e s e a r c h a l o n g s i d e P r o f e s s o r J

insight into this by highlighting that, according to the typical evaluation conducted in many memory clinics, there is approximately a 3 0 % p r o b a b i l i t y o f r e c e i v i n g a n incorrect diagnosis of Alzheimer's disease She also remarks that both the PET scans and the measurement of cerebrospinal fluid (CSF), apart from being available to a limited 2% of people attending memory clinics, are also impractical to roll out to the hundreds of thousands of people being assessed in memory clinics each year

She said, “Evidence suggests that, at least in specialist centres, the best blood tests are at least 9095% as accurate as PET or CSF m e a s u r e s W e p l a n t o a s s e s s whether the performance of these tests in the real world will be similar and whether they will be cost-

effective Importantly they will not be an alternative to current diagnostic methods but a tool to be

since 2006

According to him, dementia

d i a g n o s i s r a t e s a m o n g s t S o u t h Asian communities may be low as the data collected on ethnicity is fairly recent He said, “Somewhere between 20-25,000 South Asians in the UK are indicated to be living with dementia Of course, that would also mean many more are affected by dementia as family carers, partners etc ”

added to them ” Katherine further underscored the importance of blood testing given the fact that it is an inexpensive way to detect the diseases that cause dementia early and accurately She said, “This is crucial as it allows people to access the care and support they need, and plan for their future New treatments

a r e b e i n g d e v e l o p e d , s u c h a s lecanemab and donanemab, which appear to slow disease progression in people with early Alzheimer’s disease Therefore, for people to be eligible to receive them, they need an accurate and early diagnos i s R e s e a r c h i n t o b l o o d - b a s e d biomarkers will also allow us to understand the diseases better, including their causes and processes that are happening in the body ”

Dementia affects the South Asian community disproportionately

Dr Mohammed Akh lak Rau f MBE, the Fo under and Director of Meri Yaadain CiC, a non-profit

Highlighting the barriers faced by people with dementia in the South Asian community, he points o u t t h a t t h e r e i s n o w o r d f o r dementia in the main South Asian languages and that means many people are oblivious to the condition Highlighting more barriers, he said, “Some people do not go to the GP because they are scared that they will be seen to be going crazy, p u t t i n g p r e s s u r e o n t h e m s e l v e s and their families Family members struggle to understand why the relative is becoming strange This is hugely why South Asian people report dementia symptoms later rather than at earlier stages ”

Dr Rauf also feels that while the blood tests may well be helpful, there is an issue of people in the South Asian communities understanding the role of research and what getting involved means for them He believes that recruiters need to highlight these communities in their recruitment strategies “People in minoritised ethnic communities want to see posters that have people who look like them, perhaps some of the advertisem e n t s a r e i n A s i a n m e d i a a n d press The inclusion of main South A s i a n l a n g u a g e s w o u l d a l s o b e helpful as this demonstrates that the researchers are actively trying to reach out to otherwise sceptical or underserved communities ”

Adding to this disproportionate effect of dementia, Dr Keshavan revealed recent research indicating that South Asians are younger at dementia diagnosis and survive for a shorter time after diagnosis than White individuals, suggesting overall that by the time they are diagnosed, they have more severe illness Explaining further she said, “The reasons for this are unknown and many factors may contribute However, we must aim to reduce inequalities of access to accurate diagnosis as much as we can Blood tests might do this by widening access to populations outside of those served by academic centres, thus ensuring that they get the right care and support earlier in their illness ”

Katherine seconds Dr Rauf’s suggestions and Dr Keshavan’s opinion, stating, “People from ethnic minority backgrounds are often underrepresented in research

Part of the w o r k o f t h e B l o o d B i o m a r k e r Challenge is to make sure that the blood tests work, and the results can be interpreted correctly for everyone The project will look at how t e s t r e s u l t s v a r y b e t w e e n p e o p l e based on their ethnicity, age and gender

“Those involved in the Blood Biomarker Challenge could be part of a significant moment in history, changing how dementia is diagnosed and treated, which could have a huge impact on thousands of lives and we want to encourage people from all ethnic backgrounds to take part in the project ”

Hope for Parkinson’s Disea se?

Professor K Ray Chaudhuri is Professor of Neurology/Movement Disorders at King’s College Hospital ( KCH ) an d Di r e ct or of t h e Pa r k in so n Fou n da t io n Int ernational Centre of Exce llence at King’s College He expresses that the concern around the effect of dementia can also be extended to P a r k i n s o n ' s D i s e a s e ( P D ) , t h e fastest-growing neurodegenerative condition in the world that can also lead to dementia (in some subjects)

“Although it is far too early to comment on this with any certainty, these blood tests may have a value for Parkinson's as well”, he said

H e f u r t h e r s o u n d s c a u t i o n , stating, “We must not forget that many of us have a build-up of these proteins in the brain and may not develop dementia in our lifetimes

So a single blood test cannot be the a n s w e r I n b o t h A l z h e i m e r ’ s Disease and Parkinson’s Disease in future, if blood tests are used to predict diagnosis this must be supported by educative bespoke counselling as well as other tests, so that prediction can be made with confidence and importantly a wrong diagnosis is not given ”

The Home Office is contemp l a t i n g a m e n d m e n t s t o a B i l l aimed at addressing rough sleeping, intending to affirm that individuals sleeping on the streets will not face repercussions from law enforcement based solely on their personal hygiene

s u b j e c t i n g t h e m t o f i n e s a n d e v e n i m p r i s o n m e n t b a s e d o n t h e i r a p p e a r a n c e o r odour The current draft legislation grants police authority to displace homeless individuals deemed to be causing a "nuisance," including actions such as "damage to the environment," with listed examples including "excessive noise, odours, litter, or waste deposits " Officials were forced to clarify that the legislation did not refer to rough sleepers smelling, but was in fact about creating or leaving a mess that negatively impacted the environment or public safety Indian student group initiates visa

T h e Na ti o na l I nd ia n S t ud ent s an d Al u mni

Un i o n ( N IS A U) UK , a l ead in g In di an s tu de nt re pre sen tativ e o rgani sat io n i n t h e UK , h a s launched the 'Fair Visa, Fair Ch ance' camp aign in supp ort of the po st-study Graduate Route visa

Originally advocating for this visa, which permits international graduates to gain two years of w o r k e x p e r i e n c e a f t e r completing their degree, N I S A U n o w e x p r e s s e s concern that the ongoing review


o f t h e r o u t e c o u l d u n d o t h e progress achieved H o m e S e c r e t a r y J a m e s Cleverly has tasked the independ e n t M i g r a t i o n A d v i s o r y Committee (MAC) with reviewing the Graduate Route visa to ensure its suitability The committee is expected to deliver its report by next month “The ability to work for two years post-graduation helps international students to earn money to help pay for their degrees and enable some to get valuable work experience as well as to continue to build strong links with the

UK,” said Lord Karan Bilimoria, c o - c h a i r o f t h e A l l P a r t y P a r l i a m e n t a r y G r o u p o n I n t e r n a t i o n a l S t u d e n t s a n d patron of NISAU UK

“We are in a global race and h a v e t o o f f e r p o s t - g r a d u a t i o n w o r k o p p o r t u n i t i e s t h a t a r

t i v e


p e t i n

c o u n t r i e s , s u c h a s t h e U n i t e d States of America, Canada, and Australia The fear of the removal of the two-year post-graduation work visa is sending out unnecessary and damaging negative messages around the world, and universities are already seeing a huge decline in international students’ applications ”

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i v e r s i t y
o l l e g e L o n d o n a l s o p r o v i d e
o n a t h a n S c h o t t a t U n
r g a n i s a t i o n s i t u a t e d i n W e s t Yorkshire, has been dedicated to aiding South Asian communities affected by dementia, as well as family caregivers, through the provision of information, awareness initiatives, and advocacy efforts
Continued from page 1 www.asian-voice.com AsianVoiceNews AsianVoiceNewsweekly asianvoicenews
Dr Ashvini Keshavan Katherine Gray
Akhlak Rauf MBE
law clarifies protection for smelly rough sleepers
Professor K Ray Chaudhuri
Pro posed changes to homelessness laws may include clarifications to ensure rough sleepers cannot be di sp l ac ed s o le ly du e to bo dy odou r, amidst criticism of draft legislation
r o
e w o r d i n g o f i t s C r i m i n a l J u s t i c e B i l l , t h e
r e a t t o h o m e l e s s i n d i v i d u a l s , p o t e n t i a l l y
F o l l o w i n g c o n t r o v e r s y s u r
u n d
t h
Government faced backlash from critics who argued that it posed a t h
e a t t r a c
c o m
g w i t h
Lord Karan Bilimoria

From a player to coach: Adithi Banerjee’s cricketing odyssey

Adit hi Baner jee began her cricket jou rney fro m Bentley Woo d High S chool in Harr ow, wher e she developed a passion for the spor t At the age of 15, she joined Headsto ne Mano r Cricket Cl ub (HMCC) in Harrow, pr opelled by her love for the game Under the mentor ship of Co ach Vimal at the club, she initially served as a shadow coach, gradually transitioning into coaching roles with yo ung cricketers in programs such as All Star s and Dynamos To fu rther bolster her coaching exper tise, Adithi pur sued and co mplet ed the ECB Level 1 co ach qualification

Last year, she clinched the prestigious ‘Young Coach of the Year’ award for her exceptional contributions to HMCC The award was presented by the Middlesex Cricket Association at the Lords Stadium in the annual Middlesex Coaching awards

In an interview with Asian Voice, she spoke about the approach to coaching female cricketers and navigating challenges, memorable coaching experience, future of women cricket and more

How have your interactions with Sharon Eyers, participation manager and your participation in ECB and Middlesex Cricket programs influenced your approach to coaching female cricketers?

Both the ECB and Middlesex Cricket offer a wealth of training materials and programs for coaches, accessible online Actively participating in these programs, I've diligently absorbed the knowledge and insights they provide Engaging in discussions with fellow coaches at my club, we collectively tailor coaching methods and learning approaches specifically for female cricketers Among the notable individuals I've had the privilege to connect with is Sharon Eyers, a former Middlesex cricketer who now coaches within the Middlesex Cricket community Her guidance and support have been invaluable to me, particularly during challenging times Our relationship spans several years, during which her encouragement has consistently propelled me forward

Sharon has been instrumental in uniting women of different ages in cricket As one of the youngest

participants, I initially faced challenges navigating the diverse landscape of London's cricket clubs, which vary in their support for women's cricket

However, through Sharon's gatherings, we've collectively tackled club-specific obstacles, especially in male-dominated coaching environments She leads discussions aimed at bolstering support for female coaches and players, actively engaging with clubs to enhance the game and integrate female perspectives into coaching strategies

Union conference urges support for positive masculinity in schools

During a conference held by the National Education Union (NEU) i n Bou rn em outh , C ha rl ott e Keogh, a secondary school English te ac he r fr om W orc e s te rs hi re , em pha s i se d the i mp ort an c e o f ed uc at ors prom oti n g pos i ti v e ma s cu li n i ty i n s c hoo ls a c ro ss England and Wales

Keogh highlighted that boys and young men should be provided with support and guidance as they navigate concepts of masculinity, rather than facing puni s h m e n t o r s u p p r e s s i o n H e r remarks came amid discussions about addressing the increase in misogyny and combating sexism in schools, which has emerged as a pressing issue within the education sector and broader society

b o y s i n o u r c l a s s r o o m s w h o strongly identify with traditional masculinity They value physical prowess and take pride in traits they associate with manhood," she explained

The education system s failure to support boys in embracing traditional masculinity leaves them v u l n e r a b l e t o o n l i n e m i s o g y n y

This sense of demonization and i n a d e q u a c y c a n d r i v e t h e m towards figures like Andrew Tate or Milo Yiannopoulos, who exploit t h e i r d i s i l l u s i o n m e n t T h e "manosphere" becomes a refuge for many boys seeking hope

Can you share any memorable success stories or moments from your coaching experience?

During our summer training sessions, we welcome a diverse range of new kids, each with their own unique backgrounds and motivations

Motivating them, sharing knowledge, and maintaining engagement throughout the program is both challenging and rewarding Central to this effort is our collaboration with parents, recognizing their crucial role in fostering their child's passion for the game

The success of our summer camp is evident in the increased participation of children, including girls, compared to previous years As a result, many have transitioned into regular training programs organised by our club on a weekly basis

Notable highlights include my coaching experience with the girls' team for the London Youth Games in 2023

Recently, I witnessed a significant breakthrough when the children I trained, despite initial setbacks, rebounded with determination and resilience, ultimately securing a victory in their most recent game Their newfound confidence and commitment were palpable, with a collective determination to give their best effort regardless of the outcome Notably, the group comprised a mix of both girls and boys, underscoring the inclusive nature of our coaching approach

What is your vision for the future of women's cricket in terms of participation and representation, and how do you aim to contribute to shaping that future?

Women's cricket has undoubtedly made significant

strides, showing positive growth on a global scale However, there remains a pressing need for increased funding, training opportunities, and exposure on an international level It's essential for clubs and organisations, including the ECB, to acknowledge and appreciate small achievements, recognising the efforts of individuals such as coaches, clubs, and players who contribute to the sport's development At our club, we foster a culture of inclusivity by having both male and female team members training and playing together This practice could serve as a model to be implemented nationwide, facilitating the growth of the sport and encouraging the sharing of experiences and learnings By actively promoting participation from young girls and embracing diversity within the cricketing community, we can collectively propel women's cricket forward

What are your upcoming plans or goals in both your coaching career and your profession outside?

I am driven by a passion to encourage and inspire more girls to embrace cricket, envisioning the formation of an exclusive girls' team to compete in matches My aspirations extend beyond just coaching; I aim to achieve my ECB Level 2 certification and embrace new challenges in coaching Creating a more inclusive environment where individuals of all genders and abilities can come together to enjoy the game is a primary goal Concurrently, as I pursue veterinary nursing at Middlesex University, I am committed to successfully completing my studies and working with wildlife and animals Balancing my interests in both the sciences and sports realms, I strive to make meaningful contributions to both fields

Keogh addressed the conference, highlighting the significant setbacks faced by men and boys due to the decline of traditional industries such as steel, mining, and construction This decline has profoundly affected job prospects and aspirations, particularly for working-class boys "We still have

T h e m o t i o n , w h i c h p a s s e d , supported the broader implementation of the NEU's "It's Not OK" toolkit to address the issue in schools However, Keogh opposed the amendment, arguing that the toolkit should focus on promoting positive masculinity and offering support to foster this culture in schools and society at large, rather than silencing the expressions of purpose, ambition, and responsibility from young boys

UK finance sector reveals women earn a third less than male colleagues

Salar y data from 21 top financial fi r ms in B r i t a in , r e v i e we d by Reut er s, re ve als t hat women a re paid on a ver age 28 8% less t han their ma le counter parts This dispar it y pe rsist s d espit e t he fir ms' sta ted effort s t o incr ease fe male r e pr e s e n t a t i on i n h ig h e r -p a id se nior roles

UK banks, asset managers, and insurers have pledged to reduce l o n g s t a n d i n g g e n d e r p a y g a p s They attribute this gap primarily to a higher concentration of men in senior positions offering substantial bonuses, while a larger percentage of women occupy lower-paid, part-time, or junior roles, often with smaller or nonexistent bonuses Reuters' analysis of salary data

r e v e a l s a t w o - p e r c e n t a g e - p o i n t decrease in the gender pay gap at

top financial firms compared to last y e a r H o w e v e r , i t s t i l l r e m a i n s notably higher than the 10 7% mean average for all industries in Britain Since 2017, businesses with over 250 employees have been mandated to disclose pay and bonus disparities between male and female staff

Despite this requirement, many large finance companies face challenges in attracting and retaining female talent in senior roles, hind e r i n g i n d u s t r y p r o g r e s s S o m e firms have seen the situation worsen rather than improve

At Goldman Sachs' international division in London, the mean pay g a p b e t w e e n m e n a n d w o m e n increased to 54% in 2023 from 53 2% the previous year, maintaining its status as the largest among the 21 major finance employers reviewed by Reuters

Study finds Black women in England face severe birth complications

Analysis reveals th at Black women in England are u p to six times more prone to seriou s birth comp li c ati o ns c o mp ar ed t o wh it e women, a disparity described as "stark" and disheartening

F o r i n s t a n c e , B l a c k w o m e n accounted for 26% of cases experiencing the severe birth complicat i o n o f p r e - e c l a m p s i a s u p e r i mp o s e d o n c h r o n i c h y p e r t e n s i o n during delivery, despite comprising only 5% of all deliveries in England, as per a Guardian analysis of NHS data for 2022-23 Black women were six times more likely than their white counterparts to experience pregnancy complications, constituting 47 2% of such cases despite representing 70% of all deliveries Additionally,

they were 1 5 times more likely to develop preeclampsia compared to white women and overrepresented in cases of birth complications related to high blood pressure, a c c o u n t i n g f o r 1 6 % o f s u c h instances

T o t a c k l e t h e d i s p a r i t i e s i n b i r t h c o m p l i c a t i o n s , e x p e r t s emphasised the need to address e x i s t i n g h e a l t h i n e q u a l i t i e s , including the prevalence of preexisting conditions like high blood pressure among certain ethnicities

In the UK, Black women face a nearly fourfold higher risk of mortality during pregnancy and childb i r t h c o m p a r e d t o t h e i r w h i t e counterparts Additionally, Black babies are twice as likely to be stillborn

13 13 - 19 April 2024 www.asian-voice.com AsianVoiceNews AsianVoiceNewsweekly asianvoicenews
Subhasini Naicker Adithi Banerjee

Anusha Singh

Shazia Mirza, a renowned British stand-up comedian, writer, and actress, has garnered international acclaim, touring extensively across North America, Europe, and Asia. Born in Birmingham, England, she is the eldest daughter of Muslim Pakistani parents who immigrated to the UK in the 1950s

Known for her succ e s s f u l c o m e d y s h o w s such as "The Kardashians

“As a Muslim woman, I felt a level of discrimination I had not experienced anywhere else”

M a d e M e D o I t " a n d " W i t h L o v e F r o m S t T r o p e z , " M i r z a ' s m o s t r e c e n t p r o d u c t i o n , "Coconut," earned a nomination for Best Stand-up T o u r a t C h a n n e l 4 ’ s N a t i o n a l C o m e d y Awards In addition to her comedy career, she has p a r t i c i p a t e d i n s u r v i v a l shows like "Celebrity The Island with Bear Grylls" and Channel 5 ’ s "Celebs in Solitary " In an interview with Asian Voice, she offers insight into her career as a Muslim woman in comedy, addressing social issues and how one can truly only represent oneself

Can you share with us your journey into the world of comedy and what inspired you to pursue a career in this field?

I never, ever planned to be a comedian It wasn’t something that Asian women did, especially Muslim women Growing up, though, we loved watching comedy on TV My mum loved Larry Grayson, Frankie Howerd, and Kenny Everett (all the gay ones), and we watched sitcoms all the time But I never thought that’s what I could do because these were all white men, and that’s what they did, not what I did I did s o m e t h i n g r e s p e c t a b l e a n d b e c a m e a Science teacher It was hard and wore me out, and I decided to do a comedy writing course in the evenings as that’s what I was interested in The teacher said my writing was very funny and I should go out and ‘perform it’ I didn’t even know what that meant, but she said I should do it on the comedy circuit I had never heard of the ‘circuit’, and I had never been to a comedy club in my life before I did my first gig

What have been some of the unique challenges you've faced as a Muslim woman in the comedy industry, and how have you navigated them?

As a woman in any male-dominated industry, there are always barriers and challenges In comedy, it was difficult for me, as I was the first Muslim woman on the standup comedy circuit I was expected to be a walking, talking explanation of all things Muslim People asked me questions like, “ W h y d i d 9 / 1 1 h a p p e n ? ” “ W o u l d y o u become a Jihaadi Bride?” “Do your parents know what you do?” “Will they try to marry you off to an old man with three wives when they find out?” Women face many barriers in comedy, such as stereotyping, lack of opportunities, and discrimination based on gender, sexuality, race, and religion, but as a Muslim woman, I felt a level of discrimination that I had not experienced anywhere else

How do you balance pushing boundaries with being mindful of cultural sensitivities and avoiding stereotypes?

I simply tell the truth My comedy revolves around the truth of my life, my thoughts, the events I've witnessed, or my perspective on world events When your jokes are based on truth, there's not much people can argue with I don’t consider who might be offended or not when I decide what to write; otherwise, I wouldn't write

anything at all I believe in writing truthfully and authentically, and if it's funny, people will always relate

You’ve previously talked about the expected responsibility on you to address social and political issues early on in your career Has the scenario changed as you establish your name?

Yes, as time has gone on, I have become more confident to stand my ground and do whatever I want, and not worry about the responsibility that others put on me When you are the only one doing something, be it a woman, a person of colour, a person with a disability, or a person of a certain gender, you are automatically expected to represent that entire group of people But I have realised that you can only really represent yourself You can’t speak for an entire group of people; people are individuals I didn’t want to do that I wanted to share my experience, and hopefully, people would laugh and relate

In your recent piece for The Guardian, you talk about touring with your own halal, all-women comedy group. What was the experience like?

This was an incredible experience a one-off, a totally unique rollercoaster The event organisers, 'Twenty6' (@wearetwenty6), put us girls together and curated a unique show that had never been done before It was brilliantly produced and executed All the girls were fantastic; they are professionals who have been doing this for years They were all hilarious, and the women in the audience laughed like they had never laughed before We travelled from city to city in a minibus, where we talked about everything, laughed, and then did the shows It was a magical experience

On top of that, Twenty6 treated us like queens, and we had a life-changing experience The comedy was only a very small part of what we experienced together We are all so glad we found each other in this industry

What advice would you give to other Muslim women who aspire to pursue a career in comedy or any male-dominated field?

Work hard

Don’t be influenced or affected by other people’s opinions and don’t let people sway you on what you should or should not be talking about on stage In comedy, you can joke about anything, as long as it’s funny enough People have ideas about what women should or should not be talking about, but all that matters is what you want to say It is still a male-dominated business, but there are way more opportunities for women now than there ever were before, so things are definitely moving forward for women in comedy

Exploring the depths of Hindu philosophy

Som etimes, the simplest o f q u es ti o ns ca n h a v e t h e s tro ng e st im p ac t o n yo u r life and for P riya Virm ani, th i s q u es ti o n c am e w h e n she was in University and s o m eo n e as k ed h e r, " S o Priya, you guys h av e 3 m ill io n g o d s an d g o d d es s es , right?"

This question made her r e a l i s e t h a t s h e d i d n o t know much about her relig i o n S h e e x p l a i n s t h e m o m e n t s t a t i n g , “ D e s p i t e attending Diwali and Durga Puja throughout my life, I c o u l d n t e x p l a i n i t T h a t question stuck with me So, at the University of Bristol, a m i d s t m y a c a d e m i c r e s e a r c h , I f o u n d m y s e l f d r a w n t o b o o k s o n Hinduism in the library “ I l e a r n e d t h a t Hinduism isn't about multip l e g o d s , b u t r a t h e r t h e d i v e r s e m a n i f e s t a t i o n s o f one divine energy We see t h i s e n e r g y i n e v e r y t h i n g around us, from the wind to the sky And if we extend t h i s u n d e r s t a n d i n g , w e realise that divinity exists within each of us ” Two decades later, she p r e s e n t e d a s h o w a t t h e B h a v a n s i n L o n d o n l a s t

O c t o b e r D e s c r i b i n g t h e experience, she said, “This event aimed to explore the energetic meaning and sign i f i c a n c e o f t h e s t o r i e s around Indian culture and festivals, particularly relevant in today's era of techn o l o g y a n d i n f o r m a t i o n overload We delved into the d e e p e r m e a n i n g o f t r a d itions and how they apply to everyday life and the show was an overwhelming success ” Inspired by the success in London, Priya recently r e p l i c a t e d t h e c o n c e p t i n Kolkata with “The Trinity”, focusing on Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva, and their relevance in the 21st century “Using storytelling, vocals,

classical dance, and music, I presented the topic in an e n t e r t a i n i n g f o r m a t t o e n g a g e t h e a u d i e n c e a n d deliver the message effectively”, she shared

“The success of the show and the media has motivated me to take “The Trinity” concept to different cities worldwide, starting with my beloved London”, she added

A c c o r d i n g t o P r i y a , whether one calls it mytholo g y , s c r i p t u r e , o r w i t n e s s accounts, regardless of what we call them, the essence of these stories lie in applying their teachings to our daily lives “In today's world inundated with information, it's not enough to simply know t h e s e t e a c h i n g s ; w e m u s t practice them For instance, knowing hundreds of good h a b i t s w o n ' t c h a n g e o u r lives unless we put even two of them into practice”, she explains

P r i y a , a p o l i t i c a l a n d economic analyst and the f o u n d e r a n d d i r e c t o r o f Paint Our World, a humanitarian project dedicated to supporting underprivileged children, is deeply passiona t e a b o u t e m p o w e r i n g women and children

RSC announces cast for Pulitzer Prize-winning play "English"

T h e R oy a l Sh a k e s p e a re Company has revealed the full cas t and c reative team for "Englis h," a collaboration wi th the Ki ln Theatre Sanaz Toossi's Pulitzer P r i z e - w i n n i n g p l a y w i l l d e b u t i n E u r o p e a t T h e Other Place in Stratfordupon-Avon from May 9 to June 1, before moving to the Kiln in London on June 5

T h e e n s e m b l e i n c l u d e s N a d i a A l b i n a a s M a r j a n , Sara Hazemi as Goli, Lanna J o f f r e y a s R o y a , N o j a n Khazai as Omid, and Serena Manteghi as Elham Four of these actors will make their RSC debut under the inaugural season of Co-Artistic

B r i ti s h I n di a n entrepreneur and wi nner of 'The Apprentic e,' H a r pr ee t Ka ur , ha s secured a new role at t he B B C A s i a n Network

K a u r i s s e t t o become the new host of t h e o n g o i n g s h o w 'Everyday Hustle,' prev i o u s l y p r e s e n t e d b y Sonya Barlow, with her first episode scheduled to air on April 15 The radio program aims to educate listeners on topics such as technology, financ i a l m a n a g e m e n t , e n t r e p r e n e u r s h i p , a n d strategies for overcoming obstacles Under Barlow's tenure, the show earned the 'Best Radio Show' accolade

Directed by Diyan Zora, the creative team includes Anisha Fields as Set and Costume Designer, Elliot G r i g g s a s L i g h t i n g Designer, George Dennis as Sound Designer, Maria T a r o k h a s M o v e m e n t

Director, and Lotte Hines CDG as Casting Director D e t a i l e d b i o g r a p h i e s a r e available on the RSC website

Directors Daniel Evans and Tamara Harvey Set in an Iranian classroom, the play follows four a d u l t s g r a p p l i n g w i t h learning English as a second language As they work to master accents, pronunc i a t i o n , a n d v o c a b u l a r y , they realise that their exper i e n c e s t r a n s c e n d l a nguage

a t t h e 1 0 t h A s i a n M e d i a Awards in 2022

With Kaur now at the helm, there is considerable anticipation among fans to see her contribution to the show Kaur has previously appeared as a guest speaker, o f f e r i n g b u s i n e s

14 13 - 19 April 2024 www.asian-voice.com AsianVoiceNews AsianVoiceNewsweekly asianvoicenews
Shazia Mirza Priya Virmani
s insights In 2022, the 32y e a r - o l d e n t r e p r e n e u r c o m p e t e d f o r a £ 2 5 0 , 0 0 0 b u s i n e s s investment from Lord Sugar in the sixteenth season of BBC's reality series, 'The Apprentice ' Kaur emerged victorio u s a n d u t i l i s e d t h e investment to expand her dessert line, 'Oh So Y u m , ' b a s e d i n Huddersfield Known for its rigoro u s p r o c e s s , ' T h e Apprentice' tests the busin e s s a c u m e n o f m u l t i p l e e n t r e p r e n e u r s o v e r t w o months, with the winner r e c e i v i n g a s u b s t a n t i a l investment from business magnate Lord Sugar Harpreet Kaur to host BBC's 'Everyday Hustle' C o u r t e s y @ b b c a s i a n n e t w o r k / I n s t a g a m

Lord Dholakia hosts Sanskruti Centre's World Poetry Day at the House of Lords

L i n g u i st i c a n d cul t ur a l ex pressions in 20 languages o f I n d i a a n d So ut h A si a adorned Jalaanjali program a t t he Ho u se o f Lo r d s r e ce n t l y ma rk i n g W or l d P o e tr y D ay an d W or l d Wa te r Day , foste ri ng t he convergence b etween poetry and arts

The vibrant event was hosted by Rt Hon Lord Dholakia, Deputy Leader of the House and was organised by Sanskruti Centre for Cultural Excellence, an organisation that has been in the forefront for pres e n t i n g a n d h i g h l i g h t i n g h e r i t a g e a n d p e r f o r m i n g arts in the UK

In his opening words, L o r d D h o l a k i a r e i t e r a t e d

Brits are attempting fascinating DIY home improvements


68% of Brits have attempted DIY home improvements over the past year, according to a survey by Yell, with 64% doing so to save money

However, experts caution that DIY proj ec ts should be approac hed with care, as 79% of respondents admi t to having spent money hiring a professional to fix botched DIY jobs

Bav Shah appointed new High Sheriff of Bedfordshire

Bav S hah has been appo inted as the new High Sheriff o f Bedfordshire Fo llowing h i s ap p o i n tme nt b y H i s Majesty the King, Bhavesh ( B av ) S h ah ex p er ie nc ed immense delight as he was f o rma ll y In st al led as th e High Sheriff of Bedfo rdsh ire for the term 2024/25

The installation ceremony took place on Saturday, M a r c h 2 3 r d , a t t h e B A P S

Shri Swaminarayan Mandir in Luton Russell Beard, the o u t g o i n g H i g h S h e r i f f o f B e d f o r d s h i r e f o r 2 0 2 3 / 2 4 , o f f i c i a t e d t h e c e r e m o n y

The event was meticulously prepared by the dedicated volunteers of the Temple, ensuring a warm and joyful atmosphere for guests from near and far

Bav Shah

Bav, a native of Luton, has a rich background of global experiences, having worked and travelled extensively before returning to Bedfordshire to settle with his family He qualified as a C h a r t e r e d S u r v e y o r a n d gained valuable experience w o r k i n g w i t h p r o m i n e n t real estate firms in the UK a n d A u s t r a l i a H i s e n t r e p r e n e u r i a l s p i r i t l e d him to establish Business P r o p e r t y S o l u t i o n s Chartered Surveyors, a cons u l t a n c y s e r v i n g c l i e n t s r a n g i n g f r o m s t a r t u p s t o international brands

A d e d i c a t e d Rotarian and active m e m b e r o f v a r i o u s c o m m u n i t y o r g a n iz a t i o n s , B a v h a s s e r v e d i n a d v i s o r y roles for schools, coll e g e s , u n i v e r s i t i e s , charities, and professional bodies As one of the youngest individuals to hold the position of High Sheriff, Bav is committed to promoting youth development and fostering connections between d i f f e r e n t g e n e r a t i o n s a n d communities

B a v f e e l s d e e p l y h o noured to have been appointed to this prestigious role and eagerly anticipates collaborating with communities across Bedfordshire to f a c i l i t a t e p o s i t i v e c h a n g e and encourage greater community involvement

Senior doctors accept enhanced pay offer, ending strikes

S enior doctors in England

h ave agreed to an enh anced

o ffer from the government

r ega rdi ng p ay and co n ditions, alleviating strain on the National Health S ervice ( NHS) following months of disrup tive strikes

T h e B r i t i s h M e d i c a l A s s o c i a t i o n ( B M A ) t r a d e union reported that approximately 83 per cent of senior doctors, known as consultants, voted in favour of the offer, with a turnout of 62 per cent This development follows consultants' rejection of a pay deal in January

A separate ongoing conflict involves junior doctors, who conducted five days of strikes in February

In the past two years, strike actions have intensified pressure on the NHS, exacerbating the situation w h e r e o v e r s e v e n m i l l i o n patients are awaiting hospit a l t r e a t m e n t T h i s h a s r e s u l t e d i n t h o u s a n d s o f cancelled appointments and


"The cessation of consultant strike action within the NHS is fantastic news for patients," Sunak commented "It signifies that we can maintain our moment u m i n r e d u c i n g w a i t i n g lists, which have decreased for the fourth consecutive month "

The pay agreement for s e n i o r d o c t o r s , f e a t u r i n g alterations to a doctors' pay review body and a 2 85 per cent increase for those in senior positions for four to seven years, follows their rejection of a previous offer i n a c l o s e v o t e b a c k i n January

Junior doctors face p ressure to h alt strikes

NHS consultants have approved a pay deal in a vote t h a t p r o v i d e s r e l i e f t o patients following a year of strikes and increases pressure on junior doctors to

s o m e s e n i o r d o c t o r s w i l l receive a 19 per cent pay rise as they accept an enhanced package proposed by ministers, formally concluding a series of strikes

T h e a g r e e m e n t h a s added to frustration in government and the NHS that junior doctors have been far less willing to talk about accepting any deal that does not meet their demand for a 35 per cent pay rise

M i n i s t e r s a r e u r g i n g leaders of junior doctors to cease their "sabre rattling" and return to negotiations

Victoria Atkins, the health secretary, is actively seeking to restart preliminary discussions following months of deadlock However, withi n g o v e r n m e n t a n d t h e NHS, some have lost confidence in the possibility of e n d i n g s t r i k e s b e f o r e t h e general election, perceiving a lack of seriousness from

j u n i o r d o c t o r s ' l e a d e r s regarding reaching a deal

The survey identified the most common DIY projects undertaken by homeowners, with painting (64%), hanging pictures/shelves (47%), and bleeding radiators (36%) among the top choices

Despite the popularity of low-risk DIY tasks, there are risks involved, and mishaps can lead to unexpected expenses

Accidentally drilling through a water pipe, for example, could result in costly repairs ranging from £150 to £300

Social media platforms like YouTube are a popular resource for DIY enthusiasts, with 41% of respondents turning to online tutorials for guidance However, 1 in 10 believe they don't need any help with DIY, potentially contributing to the need for professional assistance later on Interestingly, while younger age groups are more likely to consult social media for DIY advice, older generations

aged 55+ are more inclined to contact a professional tradesperson first

Despite the risks, some homeowners are undeterred from attempting riskier DIY projects For instance, 1 in 12 individuals have tried to install a new bathroom themselves, despite the potential for water damage and flooding Other highrisk DIY tasks include fixing roof damage (6%) and rewiring (5%)

While DIY projects may seem like a cost-effective solution initially, the survey reveals that homeowners spend an average of £639 18 on DIY projects but end up shelling out £935 on hiring professionals to rectify mistakes In extreme cases, DIY blunders can result in substantial expenses, with one respondent admitting to spending £30,000 on a DIY project only to pay an additional £50,000 for professional repairs

Regional differences in DIY habits were also observed, with the East Midlands leading in DIY attempts (72%) and Greater London topping the list for DIY mishaps fixed by professionals (86%)

Greater London also sees the highest average spend on professional repairs, amounting to £1364

Given the potential pitfalls of DIY, experts recommend leaving certain

tasks to professionals Yell provides a convenient platform to connect with local electricians, plumbers, and handymen, ensuring efficient service and avoiding long waiting lists

Whether it s home maintenance or driving lessons, Yell's free enquiry feature allows homeowners to connect with local experts quickly and get

tasks completed with peace of mind

London-based, Chandni told Asian Voice about the DIY methods she applied in her kitchen

She said, “I am an amateur DIY person I tried painting my bedroom last year and made some minor cosmetic changes I bought DIY tools from Amazon and local hardware stores ”

She further explained that she used contact paper on the countertop and stuck tiles and stickers on existing tiles, near the window

Hari sh Dahya told the newsweekly, “I started off DIY tasks with painting and decorating Eventually I learnt plumbing from my friends to make do small fixings in the house - for which finding a professional person is difficult Later I learnt how to cut tiles, especially marbles - which helped me decorate and give my home a fresh new makeover ”

Is India ‘Offing’ Terrorists Abroad?

Continued from page 1

On Ethics and Morality:

While Chanakya's approach is often viewed as pragmatic and sometimes ruthless, it is grounded in the concept of dharma (duty/righteousness)

From this perspective, he might argue that the state's primary duty is to protect its citizens from harm, which could justify taking decisive actions against threats However, he would also likely advocate for adherence to dharma in such actions, suggesting that they should be conducted with a clear understanding of the ethical implications

and the potential for unintended consequences

On Military Strategy:

Chanakya’s Arthashastra contains extensive discussions on the use of force, including covert operations and assassination as tools of state policy He might view extrajudicial actions against terrorists as a form of covert operation, necessary under certain circumstances However, he would also stress the importance of strategic planning, ensuring that such actions are part of a broader strategy to secure the state and its interests

On Governance and Justice: Central to

Chanakya's teachings is the idea that the ruler (or government) has a responsibility to ensure justice and the welfare of the people In discussing extrajudicial killings, Chanakya might highlight the importance of ensuring that such actions do not undermine the rule of law or the principles of justice that underpin a stable and prosperous society He would likely advise that any action taken by the state should be measured, justifiable, and in accordance with both domestic and international law, to maintain the moral authority of the state

15 13 - 19 April 2024 www.asian-voice.com AsianVoiceNews AsianVoiceNewsweekly asianvoicenews
Chandni's DIY living room wallpaper Chandni s daughter Zoey helping in DIY painting at home Harish Dahya s DIY tile painting
r e a c h a s e t t l e m e n t W i t h o v e r w h e l m i n g s u p p o r t ,
on the importance of celebrating and preserving vario u s a s p e c t s o f c u l t u r e Concept Note was presente d b y R a g a s u d h a V i n j a m u r i , F o u n d e r o f Sanskruti
b y y o u n g a r t i s t s - M e e r a , Shravani, Sai
S u c h e t a a n d Y o s h i t a M e d h a v i n i , a P o s tG r a d u a t e i n d a n c e f r o m B a n g a l o r e U n i v e r s i t y h a s then presented dance on A m r u t a v a r s h i n i c o m p o s ition which asks to bring r a i n t o d r o u g h t a f f e c t e d a r e a s I n t e r e s t i n g a n d thought-provoking presentations were rendered by the participants
Centre, followed by dance on Sanskrit lyrics

Vaisakhi festival: A tapestry of history, harvest and harmony

V a is a kh i , a ls o kn o w n a s Baisakhi, stand s as a significant festival in Ind ia, particu l arl y i n th e n o rth e rn reg io n, marki ng th e co mm encem ent of the Sikh New Year and the adv ent of the h arvest seaso n It holds profound cultu ral and religio us i m p o r tan ce fo r th e S i kh c o m m un ity and r eso nat es w it h Hi nd u s i n c er tai n reg ions o f the cou ntry

Celebrated on the first day of the Vaisakh month in t h e N a n a k s h a h i c a l e n d a r , typically falling on April 13 or 14 in the Gregorian calendar, Vaisakhi holds a dual significance Firstly, it marks t h e e s t a b l i s h m e n t o f t h e K h a l s a P a n t h b y G u r u G o b i n d S i n g h , t h e t e n t h Sikh Guru, in 1699 This historic event, known as the Birth of the Khalsa, epitomises courage, sacrifice, and t h e u n w a v e r i n g c o m m i tm e n t t o r i g h t e o u s n e s s Guru Gobind Singh's call for volunteers willing to make the ultimate sacrifice led to the initiation of the Panj Pyare, symbolising the birth of the Khalsa brotherhood

M o r e o v e r , V a i s a k h i i s celebrated as a harvest festival in Punjab and other parts of North India It signifies the commencement of the h a r v e s t s e a s o n f o r w h e a t and various crops, invoking g r a t i t u d e t o w a r d s t h e Almighty for the bountiful harvest and seeking blessings for prosperity in the forthcoming year

R o o t e d i n t h e s o c i opolitical landscape of late 17th-century India, Vaisakhi

c a r r i e s h i s t o r i c a l s i g n i f icance amidst the tyranny a n d o p p r e s s i o n o f t h e Mughal rulers The establishment of the Khalsa was a response to the persecution faced by Sikhs and other non-Muslims, envisioning a community of saint-soldiers w h o s t o o d f i r m a g a i n s t injustice and advocated for the rights of all individuals, i r r e s p e c t i v e o f t h e i r r e l ig i o u s o r c u l t u r a l b a c kground

S y m b o l i c a l l y , V a i s a k h i represents the triumph of good over evil, emphasising the essence of selfless serv i c e a n d t h e c o u r a g e t o u p h o l d o n e ' s b e l i e f s T h e Khalsa epitomises these values, serving as a beacon of inspiration for Sikhs worldwide to reflect upon these teachings and renew their commitment to them

I n I n d i a , e s p e c i a l l y i n Punjab, Haryana, and parts o f H i m a c h a l P r a d e s h , Baisakhi is celebrated with i m m e n s e e n t h u s i a s m a n d fervour The festival is synonymous with colourful and lively celebrations, featuring

Sahadish Pall's mission for gender equality in Sikh/Punjabi communities

Subhasini Naicker

Raised in a h ome steep ed in Sikh v alues, Councillor S ahadish Pall BEM embodies resilience, compassion, a nd a co m m i tm en t to c o m m un i ty A s C E O o f S ikh Women’s A id and M D o f Gender Equality Matters

t r a d i t i o n a l P u n j a b i a t t i r e , vibrant bhangra and gidda performances, and visits to gurdwaras for prayers and blessings

C o l o u r f u l p r o c e s s i o n s s h o w c a s i n g P u n j a b ' s r i c h culture and heritage fill the streets, accompanied by trad i t i o n a l f o l k s o n g s a n d devotional hymns, creating a festive atmosphere filled with joy and merriment

C o m m u n i t y s e r v i c e , known as "seva" in Sikhism, forms an integral part of Baisakhi celebrations, with Sikhs engaging in various charitable activities, such as serving langar meals to the n e e d y V a i s a k h i f a i r s a n d melas offer a plethora of h a n d i c r a f t s , t r a d i t i o n a l foods, and cultural performances, providing a delightful experience for attendees

I n e s s e n c e , V a i s a k h i e m b o d i e s t h e s p i r i t o f courage, sacrifice, and community service, serving as a t i m e f o r S i k h s t o c o m e together, pray, and celebrate the timeless values instilled by Guru Gobind Singh in the Khalsa Panth

Vaisakhi at Trafalgar Square

T h e res i d e nts o f L o n d o n

c elebrated Vaisakh i at the T rafalgar Square on A pril 6

C o - h o s t e d b y t h e d y n a m i c d u o T o m m y Sandhu and Shani Dhanda, an exciting lineup of entertainment featuring artists like Kirpal Singh Panesar, R a v n e e t S e h r a , G r e w a l Twins, and many more were present at the event

A t t e n d e e s h a d t h e opportunity to witness the e x h i l a r a t i n g S i k h M a r t i a l

A r t , G a t k a , s h o w c a s e d b y B a b a F a t e h S i n g h G a t k a A k h a r a T h i s i n t e n s e a n d captivating art form was a must-see for everyone They were joined by the Dhol Academy, a prestigious and long-standing Dhol group in the UK, providi n g a n e l e c t r i f y i n g soundtrack that complem e n t e d t h e G a t k a d e m o n s t r a t i o n s w i t h v a r y i n g r h y t h m s t o heighten the excitement

G u e s t s i n d u l g e d i n c o m p l i m e n t a r y s n a c k s and Indian tea (langar) and seized the opportunity to dive deeper into Sikh culinary traditions

T h e y j o i n e d c o o k i n g demonstrations led personally by Amrit S Maan OBE

and his head chefs from the


t e n d e e s a l s o h a d the chance to meet the Sikh Games team and try their hand at Gatka, pickleball, and fitness training in the sports activity area The event also featured a Sikh art showcase, Sikh art exhibition, t u r b a n t

L td , she cham pions gend er e qu ali ty a nd s erv es as a beacon of emp owerm ent C u rre ntl y an el ec ted

L abo u r C o u n ci l lo r fo r G re at Br id g e, S an d w el l, and an Associate Trainer f o r S a feL iv es , S ah ad is h ' s d ed ication to serv ice and a d v o c ac y k no w s no bounds

In an interview with A s i a n V o i c e , s h e s p o k e a b o u t h e r S i k h i d e n t i t y , cultural and historical factors within Sikh/Punjabi

c o m m u n i t y , a n d S i k h Women’s Aid organisation Sikh id entity and its influence on her decisions

Sahadish was raised in a traditional Sikh household with a central focus on adhering to the teachings of Sikhism She said, “ R e g u l a r v i s i t s t o t h e G u r d w a r a a n d e n g a g i n g with Gurbani were fundam e n t a l a s p e c t s o f m y childhood The pillars of Sikhism, emphasising selfless service, diligent work, community contribution, and prayer, were instilled in me from an early age ” “ R e f l e c t i n g o n m y upbringing, I realise how much my current work is influenced by the values instilled in me during my childhood Selfless service, particularly, was strongly emphasised in our household and reinforced at the Gurdwara Concepts like aiding the less fortunate a n d f e e d i n g t h e h u n g r y were not just preached but p r a c t i s e d a c t i v e l y T h i s upbringing influenced my actions as a child, leading me to initiate fundraising efforts at a young age, such a s d u r i n g t h e E t h i o p i a n famine crisis”, she added As an adult, Sahadish continued to practise the S i k h i s m v a l u e s t h r o u g h volunteer work She said, “In 1996, I began volunteering at a South Asian W o m e n ' s R e f u g e , w h e r e homeless women and children sought shelter after experiencing domestic or sexual abuse This marked the beginning of my journ e y i n t o t h e d o m e s t i c abuse sector Over 27 years, I progressed from a volunteer to a project manager, offering services and delive r i n g t r a i n i n g D e s p i t e S o u t h A s i a n w o m e n reporting domestic abuse, Punjabi/Sikh women were notably absent from our services Recognising this gap, I co-founded a com-

m u n i t y o r g a n i s a t i o n t o support women from our communities and encourage reporting In 2021, our organisation officially registered as Sikh Women's Aid, later becoming a charity ”

Draws inspiration from history to ad vocate for gend er equality

Cultural and historical f a c t o r s w i t h i n t h e S i k h / P u n j a b i c o m m u n i t y w e r e i n s p i r a t i o n f o r Sahadish which led her to do something for women

She said, “I delved deeper into Sikh history and the struggles against oppress i o n I l e a r n e d a b o u t p r o m i n e n t S i k h f i g u r e s who championed equality, including the equality of m e n a n d w o m e n O b s e r v i n g d i s p a r i t i e s i n society compared to the t e a c h i n g s o f S i k h i s m spurred me to aspire for c h a n g e M y a m b i t i o n t o e n a c t p o s i t i v e c h a n g e stems from my desire to live out the principles of Sikhism, including selfless s e r v i c e , h a r d w o r k , a n d devotion ” “Inspiration from hist o r i c a l S i k h f i g u r e s l i k e Mai Bhago, who bravely f o u g h t a l o n g s i d e G u r u G o b i n d S i n g h a g a i n s t oppression, fuels our miss i o n D e s p i t e S i k h i s m ' s e g a l i t a r i a n p r i n c i p l e s , r e f l e c t e d i n s c r i p t u r e s a d v o c a t i n g f o r g e n d e r equality, pervasive inequali t y p e r s i s t s w i t h i n o u r c o m m u n i t i e s G u r u Gobind Singh introduced the Amrit ceremony, akin to baptism, as an initiation into the Khalsa Panth, welc o m i n g b o t h m e n a n d women equally This commitment to equality traces back to the foundation of Sikhism by Guru Nanak Dev Ji, who sought to abolish the caste system and promote equality among all individuals Despite this legacy, cultural norms and p r a c t i c e s c o n t i n u e t o oppress women within the Sikh /Punjabi community Historically, Sikhism has challenged harmful pract i c e s l i k e S a t i , w h i c h required widows to selfi m m o l a t e o n t h e i r h u sb a n d s ' f u n e r a l p y r e s , emphasising the value of l i f e A d d i t i o n a l l y , S i k h gurus denounced practices such as veiling, promoting equality between men and women within the faith,” she added S upporting Sikh wo men through our organisatio n S a h a d i s h h i g h l i g h t e d i s s u e s f a c e d b y Sikh/Punjabi women and d i s c u s s e d h e r o r g a n i s ation's assistance and ways others can support them She said, “Caste and colorism compound the chall e n g e s f a c e d b y w o m e n , reinforcing societal hierarchies and unequal treatm e n t T h e s e d i s p a r i t i e s f u e l v a r i o u s f o r m s o f abuse, including financial, sexual, physical, emotional, and psychological, perp e t u a t e d b y f a c t o r s l i k e dowry disputes, educationa l g a p s , a n d e c o n o m i c i n e q u a l i t y A b u s e w i t h i n relationships is pervasive, o f t e n r e s u l t i n g i n t r a g i c consequences for women

R e c e n t i n c i d e n t s u n d e rscore the misuse of relig i o u s c e r e m o n i e s , l i k e marriage, to exploit vulnerable individuals, leaving t h e m w i t h o u t l e g a l recourse ” “ A s a w o m e n - l e d organisation, we provide emotional support, advocacy, and counselling serv i c e s t o S o u t h A s i a n w o m e n e x p e r i e n c i n g d o m e s t i c a b u s e D e s p i t e the vital work we do, we struggle to garner commun i t y s u p p o r t , u n l i k e t h e n u m e r o u s o r g a n i s a t i o n s t h a t o f t e n r e c e i v e m o r e backing Fundraising and donations are essential for sustaining our operations and supporting our dedicated staff, including exper i e n c e d s u p p o r t w o r k e r s w h o s e s a l a r i e s w e m u s t fund We depend on volunteers for surveys, social m e d i a , m a r k e t i n g , a n d fundraising Any assistance in these areas would be g r e a t l y a p p r e c i a t e d a n d contribute to strengthening the infrastructure of o u r o r g a n i s a t i o n , ” s h e added She said, “In our quest to raise awareness, we aim to enlist community champions who can engage with local residents and spread o u r m e s s a g e e f f e c t i v e l y T h e s e v o l u n t e e r s w i l l receive guidance on how to c o m m u n i c a t e a b o u t domestic and sexual abuse, empowering them to initiate conversations and educate others Through this g r a s s r o o t s a p p r o a c h , w e hope to gradually expand awareness and reach those in need, reassuring them that support is available and that they do not have t o e n d u r e t h e i r e x p e r iences alone ”

16 13 - 19 April 2024 www.asian-voice.com AsianVoiceNews AsianVoiceNewsweekly asianvoicenews
Councillor Sahadish Pall BEM
o n i c P u n j a b C o v e n t G a r d e n p l u s g u e s t c h e f Manju Mahli BEM
b y
d i k a l a T u r b a n A c a d e m y , e d u c a t i o n a l t a l k s o n ‘ W h a t i s V a i s a k h i ’ b y B a s i c s o f S i k h i , a n d a c h i l d r e n ’ s marquee with free fun activities for families organised by Kiddie Sangat P h o t o c o u r t e s y @ d h o a c a d e m y / n s t a g r a m P h o t o c o u r t e s y @ d h o a c a d e m y / I n s t a g a m
i c
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C h a r

From Punjab to Assam: India's April festivities illuminate diversity

A s March transitio ns i nto

A p ri l, I nd ia w i tne ss es a v ib ra nt arr ay o f fe st i v al s, h eralding th e arriv al of the Hindu New Year On Ap ril 9 th, th e natio n celebrates the beginning of the new V ikram Sam vat, symbolising L ord Brahma's creation of the universe Across vario us s ta tes , U g a d i i n A nd h ra P r ad e sh , T el an g an a, a nd K arnataka, along with Gud i P ad wa in Maharashtra and Goa, mark the onset of the New Year

Chaitra Navratri spans the country's observances, followed by Vaisakhi in Punjab and Haryana on April 13th. April 14th sees the festivities of Puthandu in Tamil Nadu, Vishu Kani in Kerala, Bihu in Assam and Poila Boishakh in West Bengal, each commemorating the New Year. Furthermore, April 14th is widely recognised as Ambedkar Jayanti throughout India. Concluding the Chaitra Navratri celebrations, April 17th commemorates Rama Navami, honouring the birth of Lord Rama, considered the reincarnation of Lord Vishnu.

Vibrant festivities across the UK

A variety of celebrations are scheduled across the UK. On April 21st, the

S arboj onin Baba Lokenath A ss o c ia ti o n U K invites everyone to commemorate Poila Boishakh and Bengali New Year 1431, along with Pitha Utshob, from 5:30 to 10:30 pm at the Ripple Center. On April 27th, the J a g an nat h Ha ll A lu m n i A s so ciati on U K will mark Bengali Nabonorsho at the Mountnessing Village Hall, Brentwood, with rituals, cultural programs, and much more from 5 to 10:30 pm. Ad da will host Bengali New Year 1431 celebrations on April 27th from 6:30 to 10:30 pm at Norway Drive. The S u tt o n B en g al i A s s o ci ati o n has organised Bengali New Year festivities on April 20th from 4 to 10 pm at Carshalton. Hullor will celebrate Bengali New Year in Hounslow on April

20th at 11 am, with paid entry. Additionally, the Red brid g e Bo ish akhi M ela Trust presents the 'Baisakhi Mela' on April 14th at Ilford Town Hall from 2 to 8 pm, featuring live music, dance, stalls, and more.

T el u g u A ss o c ia ti o n o f L ond on (TAL) has organised Ugadi celebrations on 27 April around 1 to 10 pm at Sattavis Patidar Centre at Wembley Park with paid entry.

T h e N ew A rt G al ler y W als al l is set to host Vaisakhi 2024 community day on April 20th, from 12 to 4 pm, featuring live music performances, South Asian cuisine, and more. Following this, on May 12th, the UK's largest Vaisakhi celebrations, ' Vaisakh i P ark', will take place from 12 noon to 7 pm at Victoria Park, Smethwick which includes Gatka, Langar, fair and much more. Additionally, on April 7th, The S ri Guru S i ng h S abh a S o u th al l (SGSSS) organised their annual Southall Vaisakhi procession, known as nagar kirtan, which attracted participation from ten thousand individuals, starting from Guru Nanak Road (Havelock Road) Gurdwara and ending at the Park Avenue Gurdwara.

Sikh Vaisakhi celebrations at Manchester Museum

“BeingpartofaSikhfamily exposedmetomusicfroman earlyage”

Anusha Singh

Le eds-born sit ari st and compose r Jasde ep Singh Deg un recently mad e hi stor y by be co mi ng th e fi rst sitar pla ye r to cli nch a Roy al Phi lhar mo ni c Socie ty (RPS) Awa rd, tri umphi ng in th e Instrumental ist cate gory

Dubbed as the ‘biggest night in UK classical music,’ the RPS Awards spotlight outstanding musical individuals, groups, and initiatives that inspire communities nationwide. Competing for the Instrumentalist Award alongside cellist Ayanna Witter-Johnson and pianist Pavel Kolesnikov, Jasdeep has not only secured victory but also etched his name as the first Indian Classical musician to receive this prestigious accolade.

Jasdeep's musical journey commenced unexpectedly during his primary school days.

Growing up in North Leeds, which boasts a significant Indian population, his school recognised this diversity by offering harmonium and singing lessons. Intrigued, Jasdeep eagerly enrolled in both, discovering a profound passion for music along the way. Recognising his talent and dedication, the school encouraged him to join the singing and harmonium group.

Buoyed by his school experience, Jasdeep embarked on a quest for further musical opportunities. Encouraged by a teacher, he began attending classes at the local Gurdwara in Leeds. This decision marked a pivotal moment, as Jasdeep immersed himself in the rich musical environment there. Acknowledging his burgeoning passion, his mentors suggested pursuing formal music education.

In this issue of Asian Voice, he discusses his historic win and Vaisakhi memories.

How does it feel following your historic victory at the Royal Philharmonic Society Awards?

I'm deeply thankful and profoundly humbled to be the first Indian classical musician to receive a Royal Philharmonic Society Award in the 'Best Instrumentalist' category. I'm thankful for the invaluable guidance and support I've received

from my teachers, Ustad Dharambir Singh MBE and Gunwant Kaur, their unwavering dedication has been instrumental in my career so far. Moreover, I'm thrilled by the potential impact of this achievement, as I hope it will serve as a catalyst for the recognition of other Indian classical musicians and British Asian musicians from England. It certainly presents an opportunity to shine a light on the exceptional work being done by organisations and individuals within our musical community.

How has your cultural background and your community influenced your musical approach?

When I began my musical journey, I had the opportunity to learn Gurbani Kirtan at my local Gurdwara. I performed regularly during Vaisakhi celebrations at venues like Leeds Civic Hall and Millennium Square, engaging in kirtan every year. Being part of a Sikh family meant that I was exposed to music from an early age and thus, studying Indian classical music became important to me due to its significance in the Sikh community.

How have things changed since the Royal Philharmonic? Do you feel you're taken more seriously now, or do you see more opportunities coming your way?

Yeah, things are definitely scaling up for me. I'm receiving more opportunities to perform and compose new music, as well as acting as a consultant to many different organisations and projects. It's truly gratifying to see my

efforts acknowledged in this way. I hope to leverage this recognition to serve our Indian classical music community. After all, receiving an award is meaningful only if it's used to shine a light on the wider musical community. I'm committed to using this platform to benefit all my colleagues and friends. Can you share some of the cherished memories of Vaisakhi from your childhood?

Every year, my family and I participate in the Nagar Kirtan (or grand procession) which usually culminates at Millennium Square in Leeds City Centre. I remember being part of this annual tradition from a very young age, and of course, cherish having had the opportunity to sing Gurbani Kirtan during the procession. Additionally, visiting the Gurdwara on Vaisakhi holds special significance for me. It's where I recall first hearing the story of Guru Gobind Singh Ji and the creation of the Khalsa, which is immensely important for any Sikh growing up.

How do you plan to celebrate Vaisakhi this year? Are you participating in any community programs or celebrating with family?

So typically, we start the day with the Nishan Sahib sewa - the ceremonial cleaning and raising of the Sikh flagat our local Gurdwara. During the day, I spend time with family to then return to the Gurdwara for the evening prayers and kirtan. Vaisakhi is indeed a time of great celebration for us as a community.

17 13 - 19 April 2024 www.asian-voice.com AsianVoiceNewsAsianVoiceNewsweekly asianvoicenews
Jasdeep Singh Degun Manchester Museum organised Vaisakhi celebrations, in partnership with Manchester Sikh Foundation (Feed My City), on 6 April. The event included Langar, interactive workshops, including meditation sessions and Sikh martial arts performances. Courtesy: @SohalParvinder/X

Dear Financial Voice Reader,

I am very happy, and I admit, with a tear in my eye I write my weekly column having just received this email:

Sorry I’ve hardly been in touch since joining the GIP in 2021 I watched one of your videos today and thought I should check in and update you about my portfolio I started with £100K to invest in 2021, it started off rather rocky, but today have £397,415 in my portfolio I’ve added £40K cash to that (£20K/year), and have added another £20K this week but yet to invest it

I’ve had 2 babies in the past 3 years so have been quiet (and busy!), but I have watched nearly every video/read the material whilst feeding during the night/trapped under a sleeping baby/ in the car waiting to collect kids In the last 18 months or so, I’ve really found my own way of how I select stocks from the filtered list and charts, analysing the charts, how much I invest in a particular stock, when and how I add to positions if they continue to be on the list over months, when I exit and by how much, adjusted my own risk management plan, and now feel more confident that I have a good set up for how I construct my portfolio I don’t have any specific questions to ask so won’t waste your time with a scheduled call, but wanted to let you know I am still here and watching and learning, and most importantly to say thank you (!!) for helping to change mine and my families lives :)

Education is the best wealth I can spread Because as readers of this paper know, education is wealth Whether that stems from logic or my faith, it is true When I set up the free Campaign For a Million to teach a million people globally to add a million to their pensions across their lifetimes, I also set up a small private programme (GIP – the Great Investments Programme – to fund it)

Now, several years in, with 300,000 people on my TikTok videos and over a hundred thousand on my free educational resources from YouTube to free investment course, the fact is I have found my purpose in life It was not, as previous careers of mine, Barrister, or hedge fund manager, or even author of 18 books, or academic as a Visiting Fellow in Business at Oxford University, or as the UK Government’s Dealmaker in the Dept for Business or indeed as Bloomberg TV presenter

The purpose was this – Campaign for a Million –www campaignforamillion com because a billion for yourself may seem cool, but what’s really cool is a trillion for others – a million people being taught globally how to invest properly for their pensions and getting a million more across their lifetimes That’s a trillion

IFAs are not happy I can tell you that Workplace pensions are not happy either

I am happy

Parent company of Thames Water defaults on debt

The parent company of st ru g g li ng Th am e s Water has informed its cr ed it or s o f a d e bt default, raising concerns about potential restructuring or collapse

Kemble Water failed to make an interest payment and has asked creditors to refrain from action while exploring all options with stakeholders Britain's largest water company, facing scrutiny for its sewage disposal practices, announced last week that its shareholders had declined to provide the promised £500 million to stabilise its finances, raising doubts about its viability

Kemble, which relies entirely on dividends from Thames Water, intended to allocate a portion of the £500 million to repay loans owed by Kemble However, the parent company stated last week that it would be unable to repay a £190 million loan due by the end of April

The value of the £400 million Kemble bond, set to mature in 2026, has significantly declined in the past year, suggesting that debt holders anticipate a potential default by the company Alvarez & Marsal consultants are collaborating with Kemble to evaluate its alternatives and initiate discussions with lenders and bondholders regarding its future debt arrangement

K e m b l e s e r v e s a s t h e t o p - l e v e l p a r e n t c o m p a n y o f Thames Water, which caters to 16 million customers Despite Thames Water's substantial £15 billion debt burden, company executives assert that both Thames and its customers are shielded from any fallout if Kemble were to collapse

UK families may gain up to £3,000 from child benefit

Hundreds of thousands of families are p oised to s ee signif icant financi al relief , with some p otentially benefiting by up to £3,000, in the 2024-25 tax year

T h e g o v e r n m e n t h a s acknowledged that a child

b e n e f i t m e a s u r e i m p l emented 11 years ago has not been equitable, leading to this adjustment Among a series of changes marking the start of the new tax year is a reduction in national

i n s u r a n c e f o r e m p l o y e e s , dropping to 8% from the previous 10% Laura Trott, the Chief Secretary to the Treasury, highlighted that the budgetary revisions signify the government's commitment to rectifying the inequities within the child benefit system In addition to elevating the threshold to £60,000

annually, the government has also halved the penalty rate, ensuring that i n d i v i d u a l s l o s e their entire child

b e n e f i t e n t i t l em e n t o n l y o n c e t h e y e a r n £ 8 0 , 0 0 0

rates have witnessed an increase, rising from £24 to £25 60 per week for the e l d e s t o r o n l y c h i l d , a n d

from £15 90 to £16 95 weekly for each additional child This translates to substantial gains for those earning £60,000 with two children, amounting to £2,212 in the upcoming tax year For individuals with three children, the potential gain escalates to £3,094

Approximately 170,000 families with children will no longer be subject to the c h a r g e , w h i l e n e a r l y 500,000 families stand to save an average of approximately £1,300 each during the 2024-25 fiscal year, as outlined by Trott

Salary threshold to affect immigrant workers

New regulati ons aimed at priori ti sing B ri tis h workers and reducing overall migration have been implemented i n the UK

A s p a r t o f t h e s e changes, businesses hiring overseas workers on skilled worker visas will now face higher costs, with the general salary threshold rising by 48 percent from £26,200 to £38,700 This adjustment

i s i n t e n d e d t o s h i f t t h e focus of the immigration system towards attracting highly skilled individuals,

thereby contributing to the growth of the UK economy

w h i l e c o n t r o l l i n g o v e r a l l migration levels

Home Secretary James Cleverly said, “It’s time to turn off the taps and end the flow of cheap workers from abroad Mass migration is unsustainable and it’s simply not fair It undercuts the wages of hard-working people who are just trying to make ends meet ” He said the government was refocusing the immigration system “to prioritise

UK economy reaches turning point

The UK has exited recession as the e conomy gains momentum mark ed by two closely moni tored surveys indicating a "turni ng point" in growth

Research conducted by B D O , t h e c o n s u l t a n c y , r e v e a l e d t h a t o u t p u t i n March surged to its highest level since May 2022, coinc i d i n g w i t h a d e c l i n e i n inflation to its lowest level in over three years The BDO Output Index rose to 102 39, surpassing the 100point threshold that distinguishes growth from contraction This increase was driven by enhanced activity in both the services and manufacturing sectors

K a l e y C r o s s t h w a i t e , p a r t n e r a t B D O , s a i d : “Output reaching its highe s t p o i n t i n n e a r l y t w o years illustrates the UK’s robustness in the face of global economic adversities and is a big step towards e c o n o m i c s t a b i l i t y a n d

growth ”

The data corroborated findings from other surveys indicating expectations of imminent interest rate cuts and a moderation in price g r o w t h , w h i c h b o l s t e r e d o u t p u t l a s t m o n t h P u r c h a s i n g m a n a g e r s ' i n d i c e s f o r t h e s e r v i c e s , m a n u f a c t u r i n g , a n d c o nstruction sectors in March all surpassed the 50-point threshold that delineates growth from contraction T h i s m a r k s t h e f i r s t instance since June 2022 that all three readings have signalled growth

In the latter half of last year, the economy slipped into recession, experiencing contractions of 0 1 percent and 0 3 percent in the third and fourth quarters, r e s p e c t i v e l y T h e I n t e r n a t i o n a l M o n e t a r y Fund, set to unveil forecasts this week, anticipates the UK economy will grow by 0 6 percent this year

the brightest and best who have the skills our economy needs while reducing overall numbers”

In a move to prevent any sector from becoming overly dependent on immigration, the occupation list has been eliminated Employers a r e n o w p r o h i b i t e d f r o m paying migrant workers less than their UK counterparts

i n s h o r t a g e o c c u p a t i o n s Through consultations with t h e M i g r a t i o n A d v i s o r y Committee, a new immigrat i o n s a l a r y l i s t h a s b e e n

e s t a b l i s h e d T h i s l i s t w i l l exclusively feature skilled r o l e s e x p e r i e n c i n g s h o r tages

Against the backdrop of the government's £2 5 billion 'back to work' initiat i v e , t h e s e m e a s u r e s a r e i m p l e m e n t e d t o b o l s t e r support for British citizens The aim is to assist up to 1,100,000 individuals with l o n g - t e r m h e a l t h c o n d itions, disabilities, or enduring unemployment in findi n g a n d m a i n t a i n i n g employment

Asda under pressure as competitors overtake

As da, o wned by th e I s sa broth ers and T DR Capital, a private equity firm, is falling fu rt h er be h i nd i t s su p e rmarket competitors in the qu es t f o r sa les gro wt h , adding to the pressure on its billionaire owners to reduce costs

Over the past 12 weeks, s a l e s a t B r i t a i n ' s t h i r dlargest grocer increased by 0 8 per cent year-on-year

T h i s g r o w t h r a t e s i g n i f icantly lags behind its rivals, with Sainsbury's and Tesco recording growth rates of 7 9 per cent and 6 3 per cent, respectively, over the same

p e r i o d , a s r e p o r t e d b y research company NIQ

M a r k s & S p e n c e r a n d O c a d o , i t s m o r e u p s c a l e c o m p e t i t o r s , r e p o r t e d growth rates of 11 2 per cent and 13 per cent, respectively

During the 12-week period, A s d a ' s m a r k e t s h a r e declined from 12 3 per cent to 11 7 per cent At the time

o f i t s a c q u i s i t i o n f r o m

Walmart in 2021, the grocer held over 14 per cent of the market

I n 2 0 2 1 , M o h s i n I s s a spearheaded a heavily leveraged £6 8 billion takeover, s u p p o r t e d b y h i s b r o t h e r

Z u b e r a n d T D R C a p i t a l This move burdened Asda with substantial loans just before interest rates surged

The brothers sold their EG Group's UK and Ireland p e t r o l s t a t i o n f o r e c o u r t s business to Asda last year

W h i l e t h i s d e a l a i d e d i n improving EG Group's balance sheet, it burdened the supermarket chain with significant debts Asda's chief f i n a n c i a l o f f i c e r , M i c h a e l Gleeson, informed MPs in December that the superm a r k e t g r o u p s d e b t s amounted to £4 2 billion

Rothesay profits surge amid pension demand

Rot hesay Life is celebrating a r ecord year of g rowth, fuel ed by a sur ge in deals as comp anies look to transfer retirement risks t o insurer s

The pensions specialist reported twelve successful transactions last y e a r , r e s u l t i n g i n a s u b s t a n t i a l increase in new business premiums from £3 3 billion in 2022 to £12 7 billion Additionally, it hinted at forthc o m i n g d e a l s , c i t i n g o n g o i n g enhancements in pension scheme

funding levels and an unprecedented pipeline in the pension risk transfer market

Since 2021, higher interest rates have bolstered the funding positions of numerous defined-benefit pension schemes This improvement enables employers to transfer these longstanding pension risks to insurers, liberating themselves from unpred i c t a b l e l i a b i l i t i e s t h a t s t r e t c h decades into the future

Scheme trustees generally support these transactions because they shift pension promises to insurers w i t h s u b s t a n t i a l c a p i t a l r e s e r v e s , rather than relying on the sponsoring c o m p a n y , t h u s p r o v i d i n g g r e a t e r security

Last year, the Co-operative Group and Thales, the French defence company, were among the businesses that finalised deals to transfer their pension obligations to Rothesay

18 13 - 19 April 2024
P r e v i o u s l y , t h o s e e a r n i n g £ 6 0 , 0 0 0 f o r f e i t e d t h e i r entire child benefit F u r t h e r m o r e , c o mm e n c i n g A p r i l 6 t h , c h i l d benefit
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Ambani breaks into top 10 in Forbes Global Rich List

R el i anc e I ndu s t r ies b o ss

M ukesh Ambani continues t o be t h e ric hest Indian and has now br oken int o t h e wo r l d' s t o p 10

wealthiest persons in the l a t est F o r b es 2 024

B il l i o nai r e Li st A mb an i, 66, is r anked 9th on the l ist with a wealt h of USD 116 billion, up from USD 83 4 billion in the 2023 ranking, accor ding to For bes

Gautam Adani is the second richest Indian and is ranked at No 17 on the g l o b a l l i s t H e i s w o r t h

USD 84 billion, up from USD 47 2 billion in 2023 w h e n h i s c o n g l o m e r a t e was rocked by a damning report by US short-seller H i n d e n b u r g R e s e a r c h Adani group has denied all allegations in the report Adani, 61, was worth USD 90 billion in 2022 ranking

T h e F o r b e s 2 0 2 4

B i l l i o n a i r e s L i s t f e a t u r e s 2 , 7 8 1 i n d i v i d u a l s , a n

increase of 141 names from l a s t y e a r ' s l i s t T h e billionaires, according to t h e l i s t , a r e r i c h e r t h a n e v e r , w o r t h U S D 1 4 2 trillion in aggregate, up by USD 2 trillion from 2023 and USD 1 1 trillion above the previous record, also set in 2021 Fashion and cosmetics

g i a n t L V M H ' s B e r n a r d Arnault is at the top of the list with USD 233 billion wealth, followed by Elon

w i t h U S D 1 9 4 b i l l i o n F a c e b o o k f o u n d e r M a r k Zuckerberg comes next in the list with a net worth of USD 177 billion

The US has a record 813 b i l l i o n a i r e s f o l l o w e d b y C h i n a w i t h 4 7 3 billionaires India added 31 b i l l i o n a i r e s t o t h e l i s t compared to last year with the number now reaching 200

Indian economy to grow at 7.5% in 2024: World Bank

T he World Bank forecasts

I n di a's o u tp u t g ro wth to reach 7 5 per cent in FY24, driven by resilient activity in s e rvi c es an d i nd us tr y

H o wev er, gr o wth i s expected to moderate to 6 6 p er cent over the medium t erm T h e exp e c ted slowdown mainly reflects a deceleration in investment from its elevated pace in the p revious year

Ad ani Green Energy L im ited (AGEL) has surpassed 1 0,000 m eg aw at ts ( M W ) o f o p erat io nal p o rtf ol io , d el ive ri ng reli ab le, affordable, and clean power to the national g rid AGEL’ s o p erat io nal p o rtf ol io consists of 7,393 MW solar, 1, 401 MW wind and 2, 140 M W w i nd - so la r h ybri d capacity The milestone is a testam ent to AGEL and its development partners firmly moving towards the goal of 4 5 , 0 0 0 MW renew ab le energy by 2030

" W e a r e p r o u d t o b e India’s first das hazari in the r e n e w a b l e s s p a c e , ” s a i d Gautam Adani, Chairman of the Adani Group “In less than a decade, Adani Green E n e r g y h a s n o t j u s t

envisioned a greener future b u t h a s a c t u a l i s e d i t , growing from a mere idea to e x p l o r e c l e a n e n e r g y t o a c h i e v i n g a p h e n o m e n a l 1 0 , 0 0 0 M W i n i n s t a l l e d capacity

T h i s a c h i e v e m e n t i s a d e m o n s t r a t i o n o f t h e rapidity and scale at which t h e A d a n i G r o u p a i m s t o

facilitate India's transition to clean, reliable and affordable energy In our drive towards 45,000 MW by 2030, we are building the world's largest renewable energy plant in K h a v d a - a 3 0 , 0 0 0 M W project unparalleled on the global stage AGEL is not just setting benchmarks for the world but redefining them "

Tesla scouts Indian sites in bid to build $3 bn plant

Tesla will send a team to scout locations in India

I n f l a t i o n h a s r e m a i n e d within the Reserve Bank of India's (RBI) target range,

a n d f i n a n c i a l c o n d i t i o n s h a v e r e m a i n e d accommodative

D o m e s t i c c r e d i t issuance to the commercial sector grew by 14 per cent

y e a r - o n - y e a r ( Y o Y ) i n

D e c e m b e r 2 0 2 3 , w i t h

I n d i a ' s c o m p o s i t e purchasing managers index ( P M I ) s t o o d a t 6 0 6 i n F e b r u a r y , w e l l a b o v e t h e g l o b a l a v e r a g e o f 5 2 1 , i n d i c a t i n g e x p a n s i o n

Over the medium term, t h e f i s c a l d e f i c i t a n d government debt in India a r e p r o j e c t e d t o d e c l i n e , supported by robust output g r o w t h a n d c o n s o l i d a t i o n e f f o r t s b y t h e c e n t r a l government India's economic activity i n 2 0 2 3 Q 4 e x c e e d e d expectations, with an 8 4 per cent growth compared to the previous year, supported by increased investment and government consumption

f i n a n c i a l s o u n d n e s s i n d i c a t o r s s h o w i n g i m p r o v e m e n t F o r e i g n reserves increased by 8 per cent in the year to January 2024

th i s mo n th fo r a p ro p o s ed $ 2 to $3 b n el ec tr ic ca r p l an t, acco rding to two people with direc t knowledge of th e company ’ s plans

T h e s t e p t o w a r d s making vehicles in India

c o m e s a f t e r N e w D e l h i lowered tariffs last month on higher-priced imported

e l e c t r i c v e h i c l e s f o r companies that pledged to m a k e t h e m i n s i d e t h e country within three years

T h e t a r i f f c u t w a s a concession for which Tesla h a d b e e n p u s h i n g a s a

condition for investing

T h e p e o p l e w i t h k n o w l e d g e s a i d i t w o u l d send a team from the US by l a t e A p r i l t o s t u d y s i t e s , f o c u s i n g o n s t a t e s w i t h existing automotive hubs, including Maharashtra and G u j a r a t i n t h e w e s t a n d Tamil Nadu in the south

A c o n f i r m e d

T e s l a i n v e s t m e n t would be a boost to P r i m e M i n i s t e r Narendra Modi ahead o f t h e g e n e r a l election that begins t h i s m o n t h T h e government’s record on business and job creation will be in sharp focus during campaigning M o d i p u s h e d M u s k t o invest in India when the two met during a visit to the US last year Musk said then t h a t t h e e l e c t r i c - c a r manufacturer would “be in India as soon as humanly possible”

moving closer to targets, said Das, projecting

inflation for the current year at


has been mandated by the government to maintain

inflation at 4% with a 2% margin on either side Core inflation has declined steadily over the last nine months while fuel component remained in deflation for six straight months, Das said Robust growth prospects provide space for the policy to remain focussed on inflation, he added Shaktikanta Das

r k s e p a r a t e s expansion from contraction The survey is compiled from responses to questionnaires sent to purchasing managers in a panel of around 400 manufacturers

T h e m a n u f a c t u r i n g sector has recovered strongly a f t e r t h e p a n d e m i c a n d r o b u s t g r o w t h p r o p e l l e d o v e r a l l e c o n o m i c g r o w t h with GDP expanding at a scorching 8 4% in the OctDec quarter

Ola to shut operations in UK, Australia and New Zealand; focus on India

Ride-hai li ng services provi der Ola has decided to shut down operations in the UK, Australia and New Zealand an d will con ti nue to focus on I ndia

b usi n e ss , i ts p r omo t er A NI Technologies sai d

T h e S o f t b a n k - b a c k e d c o m p a n y said that it sees immense opportunity for expansion in India “Our ridehailing business is growing rapidly,

a n d w e r e m a i n p r o f i t a b l e a n d segment leaders in India The future

of mobility is electric – not just in personal mobility, but also for the r i d e - h a i l i n g b u s i n e s s a n d t h e r e i s immense opportunity for expansion in India

With this clear focus, we have reassessed our priorities and have decided to shut down our overseas ride-hailing business in its current form in the UK, Australia and New

Z e a l a n d , ” a n O l a M o b i l i t y spokesperson said

The company had launched these operations in phases in 2018

ANI Technologies has reported a narrowing of consolidated net loss to £77 22 mn in the fiscal 2023, according to a regulatory filing The company posted a consolidated loss of £152 23 mn in the financial year (FY) 2022

The consolidated revenue from operations increased by about 48 per

c e n t t o £ 2 4 8 1 3 m n i n F Y 2 3 f r o m £167 95 mn in the year-ago period

19 13 - 19 April 2024
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Adani Green Energy scales a new high in production of renewable energy
Musk with USD 195 billion and Amazon's Jeff Bezos Mukesh Ambani
key lending rate unchanged
the seventh consecutive time The decision was taken by
5:1 majo rity
nchanged The RBI had paused the rate increase cycle last April after six straight rate hikes of 250 basis points
May 2022 Inflation is
Vodafone Idea shareholders approve £2 bn fundraising plans T h e s h ar eh o l der s o f V o daf o ne I de a h av e app roved a prop osal to issue secu rities wo rth abo ut £2 bi ll i o n, th e de bt- l ade n tel ec o m s er vi ce s p ro vi de r said in an exchange filing, a day af ter th e co m p any 's vi rtu a l e xt rao rd in ar y general meeting (EGM) I n d i a ' s t h i r d - l a r g e s t telecom company would use the much-needed funding t o r e d u c e i t s l i a b i l i t i e s , l a u n c h 5 G s e r v i c e s c o m m e r c i a l l y a n d b e t t e r c o m p e t e w i t h t h e l a r g e r rivals by stemming marketshare loss “ T h e r e s o l u t i o n m e n t i o n e d i n t h e E G M notice stands
r e q u i s i t e m a j o r i t y , " t h e A d i t y a B i r l a G r o u pp r o m o t e d c o m p a n y s a i d Vodafone Idea’s board had a p p r o v e d a £ 4 5 b n f u n d r a i s i n g i n i t i a t i v e , including a £2 bn equity-
capital infusion from e x i s t i n g i n v e s t o r s , o n F e b r u a r y 2 7 W i t h t h e a p p r o v a l i n p l a c e , t h e t e l e c o m c o m p a n y i s
r I t r e m a i n s unclear whether promoters w i l l i n c l u d e B r i t a i n ' s Vodafone Group Plc as well The cash-strapped, lossm a k i n g m o b i l e p h o n e s e r v i c e s p r o v i d e r i s t h e laggard among peers with its biggest challenge being a ₹2 1 trillion debt and falling subscriber base As per latest data from Trai, the carrier l o s t 1 5 m i l l i o n u s e r s i n January this year, up from a 1 4 million subscribers it lost in December 2023 Its total s u b s c r i b e r b a s e s t a n d s a t 221 5 million as of January, l o w e r t h a n t h e s e c o n dlargest telecom firm Airtel that has 382 5 million users, and market leader Reliance J i o t h a t h a s 4 6 4 m i l l i o n users Manufacturing activity in India hits 16-year high in March: Survey The ma nufacturing activity in Ind ia r ose t o a 16 -ye ar high in March on the back of st r o n g i n cr e a s e in ou t p ut a n d n e w o r d e r s, wh ic h a ug ur e d w e ll fo r o v e r a ll economic growth, a survey showed T h e H S B C I n d i a Manufacturing Purchasing M a n a g e r s ’ I n d e x ( P M I ) climbed to 59 1 in March, f r o m 5 6 9 i n F e b T h e n o t a b l e i m p r o v e m e n t i n o p e r a t i n g c o n d i t i o n s reflected stronger growth of n e w o r d e r s , o u t p u t a n d i n p u t s t o c k s a s w e l l a s renewed job creation The 5 0 - p o i n t m a
keeps key lending rate unchanged T
(RBI) kept its
5% for
at t h e bi - mo nt h ly Mo n eta ry P o l ic y Committee ( MPC) meeting, said RBI G o ver no r S h ak ti ka nta D as An u nchanged repo rate means the loan interest rates too are likely to remain u
4 5%
passed with
expected to complete the equity fundraise by the end of June Existing promoters will be involved in the equity fundraise, the company had s a i d e a r l i e

Indian origin Singapore minister seeks to introduce children to Tamil language

S IN GAP O RE : An Indian-origin m i ni s t er i n S i n ga p o re h as emph asi sed the importance of T am i l l an gu ag e a s a mo t h e r tongue, u ndersco ring th e need to introduce ch ildren to one of th e four official languages in th e p rosperous city-state T h e S i n g a p o r e e d u c a t i o n s y s t e m e n c o u r a g e s m o t h e r tongue as a second language in schools which include Hindi, Urdu, Punjabi and other main

I n d i a n l a n g u a g e s a s w e l l a s T a m i l , M a l a y a n d C h i n e s e (Mandarin)

" W e n e e d t o e n s u r e o u r children have opportunities to be constantly exposed to Tamil language," said Indranee Rajah, m i n i s t e r i n t h e P r i m e

Minister's Office Tamil language acts as a passport that links all Tamil people, she said recently

Language has to be learnt as a living lesson, Rajah said, adding that it is not something that "you can just study, you need to put it to use"

"Be it through television, social media or print, as long as they are hearing, listening and using the language from young, we can keep it alive," Rajah was q u o t e d a s s a y i n g b y F r i d a y weekly Tabla! To uphold the rich legacy of the Tamil language in Singapore, the Tamil Language Council (TLC) has b e e n o r g a n i s i n g t h e T a m i l Language Festival (TLF) for the

Pakistan rules out talks with TTP, tells Afghanistan to tackle terrorists

IS L AM ABAD : P akista n rule d out h old ing talks with mi litants af ter the Afgh an Ta liban a u t h o r i t i e s a sk e d Is l a m a ba d and the outla we d Te hree k-eTali ba n Pakistan (TTP ) to si t to g e t h e r a nd ne g o t i a t e f o r peace a s vi olence , d ue to thei r f i g h t i ng , wa s sp r e a d i n g t o Afg hanistan

P a s t a t t e m p t s b y t h e Afghan interim regime to facilitate talks between the two sides had ended in deadlock, p r o m p t i n g I s l a m a b a d t o a c c u s e K a b u l o f p r o v i d i n g s a n c t u a r y t o T T P , a c h a r g e s t r e n u o u s l y d e n i e d b y t h e Taliban rulers

While urging Pakistan and TTP to end their war through t a l k s , A f g h a n i s t a n d e p u t y h o m e m i n i s t e r M o h a m m a d Nabi Omari had warned that fighting in Pakistan was also creating problems for his count r y “ T h e f l a m e s o f w a r i n P a k i s t a n a r e r e a c h i n g A f g h a n i s t a n , ” O m a r i s a i d , warning Islamabad that it cannot win this war (against militants) “It doesn’t matter if a

country’s army is a million or 10 million, it is our experience that you (Pakistan) cannot win t h i s w a r , ” O m a r i s a i d “Therefore, we ask the govt of Pakistan and advise the brothers (TTP) who are fighting with them to come together and talk (sic),” he added

K a b u l h a s b e e n p r i v a t e l y urging Pakistan and TTP to engage in direct negotiations

But this marks the first time that a senior Afghan Taliban figure has chosen to publicly speak on the subject

Ruling out any engagement with the TTP, Pakistan foreign office spokesperson Mumtaz Zahra Baloch said Islamabad expected Afghan authorities to take urgent action against terrorist outfits and their leadership for the crimes they were committing and the terrorist incidents they were responsible for in Pakistan She added that Pakistan remained committed to fighting against all terrorist outfits which had targeted Pakistan and symbols of Pakistan-China friendship

past 18 years Rajah launched this year s TLF last week The m i n i s t e r h a d e a r l i e r a l s o emphasised the importance for every generation to stay connected to their mother tongue, and in turn, their heritage and cultural identity


C hi ef Justic e Qaz i Faez I sa

opening the envelopes, the staff of two Islamabad HC judges

f o u n d s u s p i c i o u s p o w d e r S o m e m e d i a r e p o r t s s u g g e s t that the officials later experi-

e n c e d e x t r e m e i r r i t a t i o n i n their eyes and burns around their lips

Lahore deputy police chief

Ali Nasir Rizvi said the letters

w e r e h a n d e d o v e r t o t h e counter-terrorism department

f o r i n v e s t i g a t i o n a n d o t h e r courts were also being checked

Centred on the theme of " C a p a b i l i t i e s " , t h e T L C t h i s year is being held from March 30 to April 28, featuring 47 programmes "This year's theme was selected to inspire the crea t i o n o f i n n o v a t i v e p r ogrammes while harnessing our c o l l e c t i v e s t r e n g t h s , " T L C chairperson S Manogaran said More than 65 per cent of t h e p r o g r a m m e s h a v e b e e n organised by the youths, which h a s b o o s t e d T a m i l l a n g u a g e e n g a g e m e n t a m o n g y o u n g people through art, culture and literature initiatives

An Indian-origin man whose 11-year-old son was branded with a hot iron rod as part of a religious ceremony in 2023 has sued a Hindu temple in the US state of Texas and its parent company seeking more than USD 1 million in damages Vijay Cheruvu, a Fort Bend County resident, said his son was branded with a hot iron rod during a religious ceremony at the Sri Ashtalakshmi Hindu temple in Sugarland Texas in August last year According to a lawsuit filed this week in Fort Bend County, the boy suffered extreme pain and permanent disfigurement Cheruvu is seeking more than USD 1 million in damages in the lawsuit against the temple and its parent organisation, Jeeyar Educational Trust (JET) USA, Inc

Many of our youths today are finding a new purpose in l e a r n i n g a n d u s i

Maldivian politician regrets disparaging post mocking Indian National Flag

M A LE : A suspended junior minister o f Maldives’ ruling party ig nited controversy with a social m ed ia post, misusing elements o f the Ind ian national flag to target the o pposition party The now -deleted post by Mariyam

S h i u n a fe atu r ed a M al d i v i an Democratic Party’ s (M DP ) camp aig n po ster w ith th e p arty’ s l o g o rep l ac ed b y th e A sh o k

C hakra on th e Tricolo ur

B e l o n g i n g t o M a l d i v e s

P r e s i d e n t M o h a m e d M u i z z u ’ s party, Shiuna used the post as a political prop, saying, “The MDP is heading towards a big slip The people of Maldives don’t want to fall and slip with them ” This row came a few months after the same minister faced s e v e r e b a c k l a s h f r o m I n d i a n social media users for hateful remarks against Prime Minister Narendra Modi, which later led to her suspension, along with

two other deputy ministers

After the latest uproar over h e r p o s t , S h i u n a e x p r e s s e d r e g r e t f o r a n y c o n f u s i o n o r o f f e n s e c a u s e d S h e c l a r i f i e d t h a t t h e r e s e m b l a n c e t o t h e Indian flag in the image was unintentional and conveyed the M a l d i v e s ’ “ d e e p r e s p e c t f o r India ” “I would like to address a recent social media post of mine that has garnered attention and criticism I extend my sincerest apologies for any confusion or offense caused by the content of my recent post,” she said in a post on X “It was brought to my attention that the image used in my response to the Maldivian opposition party MDP bore a resemblance to the Indian flag I want to make it clear that this was entirely unintentional, and I sincerely regret any misunderstanding it may have caused ”

Zimbabwe unveils new currency as depreciation, inflation stoke turmoil

HA R AR E : Zimba bwe launched a new curr ency t o r eplace its previous one t hat in rece nt mont hs has be en bat ter ed by de pre cia -

t io n , a n d i n s o m e i n st a n ce s r e j e ct io n by t h e po p u la t i o n

Authorit ies hope th e n ew measur e will ha lt a curre ncy crisis unde rlin ing t he coun try ’ s ye ar s long economic t roubles Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe

in March, according to official figures


An Indian-origin sound engineer is among the five who were killed in a deadly apartment fire at a high-rise in Sharjah s Al Nahda last week Michael Sathyadass worked as a senior sound engineer with DXB Live DXB Live, the experiential agency of the Dubai World Trade Centre "He chose to be backstage and behind the scenes, literally and figuratively to ensure that others shine and sound better " his brother Danny Sathyadass said in a Facebook post He has worked for several artists, including AR Rahman, Colonial Cousins, Deep Purple, and Iron Maiden


A 4 8 magnitude earthquake recorded in New Jersey that shook residents in surrounding states and New York City on Friday morning was one of the strongest in state history The temblor was reported about 5 miles north of Whitehouse Station, New Jersey at about 10:23 am, according to the United States Geological Survey The epicenter was about 45 miles from New York City, where residents reported shaking furniture and floors “Earthquakes in this region are uncommon but not unexpected It’s likely people near the epicenter are going to feel aftershocks for this earthquake in the magnitude 2-3 range and there’s a small chance there can be an earthquake as large or larger following an earthquake like this ” Paul Earle a seismologist at the USGS Earthquake Hazards Program said



According to the FIR, the l e t t e r s i n c l u d e d a p a r t i c u l a r photo and the English word “Bacillus Anthracis”, apparently i n t e n d e d t o t h r e a t e n t h e judges The letters accused the judges of being responsible for problems faced by the people of Pakistan Bacillus anthracis is t h e b a c t e r i u m t h a t c a u s e s anthrax The letters in white envelopes were delivered with i n c o m p l e t e a d d r e s s e s o f t h e senders, stated the FIR

These letters surfaced after SC took suo motu cognizance of six Islamabad HC judges’ accusation that Pakistani spy agency ISI was interfering in judicial affairs and using intimidating tactics such as secret surveillance, abduction, and torture of their family members to influence the outcome of cases of interest to the organisation

Governor John Mushayavanhu said the new currency will be called ZiG, and will be anchored on gold reserves and a basket of foreign currencies It went into effect on Monday

T h e Z i m b a b w e d o l l a r h a s come under sustained pressure in recent weeks, making it one of t h e w o r l d ’ s w o r s t p e r f o r m i n g


Since January, the Zimbabwe dollar lost over 70% of its value on the official market, and was plunging even further on the thriving but illegal black market

Inflation increased from 26 5% in December last year to 34 8% this January before spiking to 55 3%

T r a d e r s w e r e i n c r e a s i n g l y rejecting lower denominations of the now scrapped currency, with many insisting on payment only in US dollars, which are also l e g a l t e n d e r i n t h e s o u t h e r n African country “We are doing what we are doing to ensure that our local currency does not die We were a l r e a d y i n a s i t u a t i o n w h e r e almost 85% of the transactions are being conducted in US doll a r s , ” M u s h a y a v a n h u t o l d reporters in the capital, Harare P e o p l e h a v e t h r e e w e e k s t o exchange the old notes with the new currency, he said T h e a n n o u n c e m e n t i s t h e latest of a cocktail of currency m e a s u r e s u n d e r t a k e n b y t h e Zimbabwean government The period saw the country at one p o i n t i s s u i n g a 1 0 0 t r i l l i o n Z i m b a b w e d o l l a r b a n k n o t e b e f o r e t h e g o v e r n m e n t w a s forced to temporarily scrap its currency

Pakistan’s jailed former PM Imran Khan said that an attempt to kill his wife Bushra Bibi through poisoning was made at his Islamabad residence, which has been turned into a subjail He alleged army chief General Asim Munir should be held responsible if she is harmed The Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) leader during a hearing of the Toshakhana graft case told the judge that the former first lady had marks on her skin and tongue as side-effects of the “poisoning” “I know who is behind it,” Express Tribune quoted the 71-year-old as saying when he blamed Munir Imran also said that members of an intelligence agency were controlling everything at his Bani Gala residence and at Adiala jail in Rawalpindi


The first patient to receive a kidney transplanted from a genetically modified pig has fared so well that he has been discharged from the hospital just two weeks after the groundbreaking surgery The transplant and its encouraging outcome represent are markable moment in medicine, scientists say, possibly heralding an era of cross-species organ transplantation Two previous organ transplants from genetically modified pigs failed Both patients received hearts and both died a few weeks later In one patient there were signs that the immune system had rejected the organ

20 13 - 19 April 2024
in brief
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g T a m i l
Indranee Rajah More judges from
SC and HC get threat letters
SL AM A B A D: Pakis tan i polic e
a da y after letters c o n ta i n i n g a p o w de r y s ubs tan c e a nd thre at en i ng m e ss a g e s w e r e d e l i ve r e d t o a l l judges of I slamabad hi gh court, sim ilar le tters were recei ved b y f ou r j u d ge s of L a h or e h i g h c o ur t a n d f i ve of S up r em e Court, inc ludin g
; many of the programmes are targeted at them," Manogaran was quoted as saying by Tabla!
reported that


An Indian national convicted of child sex offenses, but given light sentences, has been arrested after he was released from a Maryland detention center without any warning to federal immigration authorities, official said The 32-year-old man, who has not been identified, was arrested on March 20 near his home in Ellicott City He was arrested by Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO) Baltimore US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (CBP) said “This predator’s presence in our area constituted a significant threat to the children of our Maryland neighbourhoods,” said Matthew Elliston, the acting field office director for Baltimore’s ICE Enforcement and Removal Operations “We cannot allow non-citizen sex offenders to roam the streets of our community ERO Baltimore will continue to prioritise public safety by arresting the most egregious noncitizen offenders ” he said Without releasing the name the ERO Baltimore said the Indian national entered the US on December 12, 2019, at Dulles International Airport in Dulles, Virginia, as a non-immigrant visitor


The Indian embassy in New York has confirmed the tragic news that Mohammed Abdul Arfath, a 25-year-old student from Hyderabad who had enrolled for a Master’s program at Cleveland State University in 2023, is found dead in Ohio Abdul had been missing for almost three weeks The Indian embassy had previously communicated that they were coordinating the search efforts with Abdul’s family and local authorities

Today they announced his passing The embassy expressed their sorrow with the following statement: Anguished to learn that Mohammed Abdul Arfath for whom search operation was underway was found dead in Cleveland, Ohio Our deepest condolences to Mohammed Arfath s family This is the eleventh Indian to die in the US this year


Prominent builder and head of the Guru Nanak Sikh Temple in Canada s Edmonton, Buta Singh Gill, was killed after he was shot multiple times The incident took place at a construction site linked to Gill s business near the Millwood Rec Center in the Alberta province Maninder Singh Gill, managing director of Radio India, said that Sarabjeet Singh, a civil engineer who was also shot in the incident, is reportedly fighting for his life Gill said that as per preliminary reports three individuals were present at the construction site when an altercation ensued, resulting in an Indian-origin construction worker allegedly shooting both Gill and Singh before taking his own life While the cause of the altercation remains unclear investigations are ongoing


Livia Voigt a 19-year-old Brazilian student has claimed the title of the world s youngest billionaire, according to the 2024 Forbes Billionaires List Voigt has surpassed Clement Del Vecchio, heir to Essilor Luxottica, who is only two months older than her Voigt's wealth comes from being one of the largest individual shareholders of WEG, the largest manufacturer of electrical motors in Latin America The company was co-founded by her grandfather Werner Ricardo Voigt, alongside late billionaires Eggon Joao da Silva and Geraldo Werninghaus Voigt is currently attending university in Brazil and does not hold a seat on the board or executive position at WEG yet

Another Indian student dies in US, 10th incident this year

N EW Y O RK : An I ndian s tudent has died in the US s ta te of Ohio, the India n C on sula te in New York s aid, adding that an i nv e st i ga ti o n i s un de r wa y t o asce rtai n the cause of death

The student, identified as Uma Satya Sai Gadde, was pursuing his education in Ohio's C l e v e l a n d T h e I n d i a n Consulate expressed deep sorrow over the loss and extended c o n d o l e n c e s t o t h e b e r e a v e d family They assured that every p o s s i b l e s u p p o r t , i n c l u d i n g facilitating the transportation of his body to India, is being provided to the family during this distressing time " D e e p l y s a d d e n e


t h e u n f o r t

a t e d e m i s e o f U m a Satya Sai Gadde, an Indian student in Cleveland, Ohio, the Indian Consulate in New York wrote in a post on X "Police i n v e s t i g a t i o n i s u n d e r w a y @ I n d i a i n N e w Y o r k c o n t i n u e s to remain in touch with the f a m i l y i n I n d i a A l l p o s s i b l e

a s s i s t a n c e i s b e i n g e x t e n d e d , i n c l u d i n g t o t r a n s p o r t U m a G a d d e ' s mortal remains to India at the earliest " This incident marks yet another episode in a c o n c e r n i n g t r e n d o f deaths involving Indianorigin students in the United S t a t e s I n M a r c h , a n o t h e r I n d i a n s t u d e n t ,

demanding payment for his release

6% of Indian Americans live in poverty, least among Asians in US

NEW YORK: A recent Pew survey has highlig hted the socioecono mic disparities within the Asian American com munity, w ith Indian Am ericans and Filipino Americans emerging with the low est pov erty rates am ong Asian groups

Contrary to the common portrayal of Asian Americans as educationally and financ i a l l y s u c c e s s f u l , a b o u t 1 0 % o f A s i a n Americans overall live below the poverty line, as per a Pew Research Center analysis and US Census Bureau data The study, conducted in 2022, revealed that more than 2 3 million Asian Americans, approximately one in ten, were living in poverty

T h e p o v e r t y r a t e s v a r y s i g n i f i c a n t l y a c r o s s d i f f e r e n t o r i g i n g r o u p s B u r m e s e A m e r i c a n s ( 1 9 % ) a n d H m o n g A m e r i c a n s (17%) were identified among the Asian-origin groups with the highest poverty rates in 2022, according to Pew

An intriguing finding is that a considerable proportion of Asian Americans living in poverty, specifically one-third of those aged 25 and older, possess a bachelor’s degree In c o m p a r i s o n , o n l y 1 4 % o f n o n - A s i a n s i n poverty hold a similar degree Moreover, Asian Americans with at least a bachelor’s

Four Indian restaurants on list of NY’s 100 best of 2024

New York: Four restaurants s erving I ndian cuisi ne figure in the list of New York Ci ty’s 100 best restaurants of 2024 They were ranked in the New York Times b y its food critic , Pete We lls Located in G reenwic h Village, Sem ma takes the 7th s pot, clim bing five plac es from the previ ous year The others are: Dham aka (54) , Temple Canteen (80) and Hyderabadi Zaik a (95)

Both Dhamaka and Temple Canteen too have substantially improved their positions Dhamaka, situated on the Lower East Side, was ranked 74 in 2023 while

T e m p l e C a n t e e n , l o c a t e d i n F l u s h i n g , Queens, stood at 96 Hyderabadi Zaika, stationed in Midtown, Manhattan, is a new entrant

Seema’s chef Vijay Kumar was raised on a rice farm outside Madurai in Tamil Nadu “At Semma he serves two dishes from his childhood that you’d have a hard time finding at another New York restaurant One is nathai pirattal, snails stir-fried with onions and tomatoes, soured with tamarind and served in a small box made of banana leaves The other is Chettinad-style venison, a shank braised into sticky tenderness with star anise and a lichen called black stone flower that is one of the prized seasonings of the Chettinad pantry,” wrote Wells on Semma in 2022

degree are notably less likely to live in poverty (5%) than those with lesser formal education (13%)

Immigrants constitute a significant portion of Asian Americans living below the poverty line, with nearly six in ten falling into this category The survey indicates that a relatively small number of these immigrants are proficient in English, posing additional challenges in accessing resources and opportunities

Among Asian immigrants living below t h e p o v e r t y l i n e , 4 4 % a r e p r o f i c i e n t i n English, whereas 61% of those above the poverty line exhibit proficiency in the language

The geographical distribution of poverty among Asian Americans is also notable, with a b o u t o n e m i l l i o n r e s i d i n g i n 1 0 U S metropolitan areas Particularly, New York City, Los Angeles, and San Francisco harbor over 500,000 Asians living in poverty collect i v e l y , a c c o u n t i n g f o r 2 6 % o f a l l A s i a n Americans in poverty Fresno, California; B u f f a l o , N e w Y o r k ; a n d P i t t s b u r g h , Pennsylvania are among the metro areas with the highest poverty rates among Asian Americans

Quakes leave 12 dead in Taiwan

T AIP EI CI TY: Rescue worker s search de bris after Taiwan was hit by its stronge st ea rthquak e in al most 25 years, causing 12 de aths an d l eaving 1,100 injur ed, as b uil dings were l e v e l l e d a n d r a i l t r a ffi c st o p pe d It s t he strongest eart hquake in a lmost 25 y ears The effe ct wa s mitigat ed be cause of the infrastr ucture quality, forwar d plan s, immediate re lief, re ha biliation a nd more importan t t he mindse t of people of due diligence, just a small numb er of death an d limit ed damage was caused

T h e q u a k e h a d a m a g n i t u d e o f 7 2 according to Taiwan’s earthquake monitoring agency and 7 4 according to the US Geological Survey It struck off the east coast, 2 5 k m s o u t h o f H u a l i e n , a c i t y o f a b o u t 100,000 people At least 10 people remain unaccounted for

Natural disasters are supposed to be great levellers, rendering victims equally helpless whether rich or poor Images from Taiwan last week suggested this may not always hold true: 12 people died, compared with 88,000 killed in a quake in Sichuan, across the Taiwan Strait in China, in 2008

The vast disparity can be explained in part by the strength of the Sichuan quakemagnitude 7 9 - and the fact that the Sichuan area is more heavily populated than Taiwan’s east coast But a lot of the difference comes down to preparedness, including rules to m a k e b u i l d i n g s r e s i s t a n t t o e a r t h q u a k e s , according to seismologists and engineers

Consulate in Chicago promptly intervened, offering support to Ali and his family

The death of Neel Acharya, a s t u d e n t a t I n d i a n a ' s P u r d u e U n i v e r s i t y , a n d t h e b r u t a l k i l l i n g o f V i v e k S a i

among the Indian community in the US

i n c e t h e b e g i n n i n g o f 2024, there have been at least 10 d e a t h s i n v o l v i n g I n d i a n o r Indian-origin students in the US

Akshaya Patra lauded in UN for serving 4 billion meals

N E W Y O R K : In a n e v e n t t it l e d “ A c h ie v e m e n t s in Fo o d S e cu r i t y : In d ia ’ s S tride s Towa rds Sust aina ble De velopmen t G oals” at t he Unite d N at ion s hea dqua rt ers h ere , the A kshay a Pat ra Foun dat ion ce le br ate d its la ndma rk a chie ve ment of ser ving four billion mea ls

I n a t t e n d a n c e w e r e N o b e l L a u r e a t e

Kailash Satyarthi, N R Narayana Murthy the Chairman Emeritus of Infosys, and Madhu P a n d i t D a s a , f o u n d e r - c h a i r m a n o f t h e Akshaya Patra Foundation Together, they stressed the power of collaborative efforts to eradicate hunger and enhance education through nutritional support Satyarthi said, “Akshaya Patra has successfully kept millions of children from dropping out of schools who would otherwise be pushed into labor due to their socio-economic status ” N a r a y a n a M u r t h y a p p r e c i a t e d t h e i r efforts and said, “Akshaya Patra’s grand and noble battle to ensure that no child is denied education because of hunger is a crucial piece in this complex jigsaw puzzle ”

Madhu Pandit Dasa explained that in the past 24 years, Akshaya Patra has demonstrated a model for large-scale feeding in partnership with the government to meet the UN S u s t a i n a b l e D e v e l o p m e n t G o a l o f Z e r o H u n g e r R e i t e r a t i n g t h e c o m m i t m e n t t o serve “hot, nutritious, safe, and tasty meals” to children every school day, he thanked the stakeholders including the Government of India, the Ministry of Education, state gove r n m e n t s , c o r p o r a t e p a r t n e r s , i n d i v i d u a l donors, and the community at large for their support

Prime Minister Narendra Modi sent a m e s s a g e r e a d b y I n d i a ’ s P e r m a n e n t Representative to the UN, Ruchira Kamboj in which he congratulated the Akshaya Patra Foundation for its consistent initiatives to make into reality the global aspiration of Zero Hunger

T h e A k s h a y a P a t r a F o u n d a t i o n w a s established in 2000

Going a step ahead with the ISKCON temple’s tradition of feeding the hungry, it all began with feeding 1,500 children of five schools in Bengaluru This initiative grew to become the world’s largest (not-for-profit run) mid-day meal program, serving wholesome food to over two million children from 24,082 schools in 72 locations across 16 states and 2 Union Territories in India

21 13 - 19 April 2024 in brief
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BAPS Mandir Abu Dhabi , hosts interfaith evening ‘Omsiyyat’

The B APS Hindu Mandi r i n Abu Dhabi h os t e d a n i n t e r f a i th c u lt u ra l e ve n i n g ‘O m s i y y a t’ d ur i n g R a m a d a n , b r i n gi n g together over 200 leaders an d communi ty me mb ers f rom di vers e fa iths and b ac kgrounds Thi s event took place on A pri l 2

The convergence of faith, culture and d i a l o g u e , a t t e n d e d b y n o t a b l e f i g u r e s including HE Sheikh Nahayan bin Mabarak A l N a h y a n , M i n i s t e r o f T o l e r a n c e a n d Coexistence, HE Dr Thani bin Ahmed Al Zeyoudi, Minister of State for Foreign Trade, and HE Dr Mugheer Khamis Al Khaili, Chairman of the Department of Community Development, among others

In addition to local leadership, leaders of local religious communities were also in a t t e n d a n c e : R a b b i J e f f B e r g e r o f t h e A b r a h a m i c F a m i l y H o u s e , R a b b i L e v i Duchmann, Father Lalji of the Church of South India Parish, Bah ’ai community leaders, among others

"Unity in diversity is not just a principle; it's a practice, vividly demonstrated here tonight This event symbolizes our shared journey towards understanding and

respect," shared Rabbi Jeff Berger from the Abrahamic Family House on his feelings towards the event HE Sheikh Nahayan emphasized the tremendous impact of the BAPS Hindu Mandir, stating, “In these troubled times t h e B A P S M a n d i r b r i n g s h o p e t o t h e world I commend the BAPS for organizing this interfaith meeting Thank you for your commitment and dedication to promoting the values of peace, harmony, frat e r n i t y , a n d c o e x i s t e n c e , y o u r s t r o n g

resolve to work together across cultural and spiritual lines for the good of all humankind is truly noble ”

The evening was also enriched with the words of His Holiness Swami Brahmaviharidas, Head o f t h e B A P S M a n d i r While highlighting the m a n d i r ’ s m e s s a g e o f love, peace, and harmon y f r o m H i s H o l i n e s s Mahant Swami Maharaj, he expressed sincere gratitude towards HH Mohamed bin Zayed al Nahyan, the Ruler of Abu Dhabi, the UAE leadership, and the gathered wellwishers for their support and generosity

The gathering concluded with a vegetarian suhoor, blending Indian and Arabic cuisines, prepared by temple volunteers Guests, including HE Sheikh Nahayan, partook in the dinner and enjoyed the time spent together as a community ' O m s i y y a t – A n I n t e r f a i t h C u l t u r a l

Countdown begins for the great Indian elections

In d i a s 1 8t h g e n e r a l e l e ct i on i s fa st approaching, ca mpaigne rs are vigorously r all ying for vote s to gain momen tum Commen cing on Apr il 19, the elections wil l witness over 969 mill ion e ligible citizen s casting t he ir votes for the 543 se ats in Lok Sa bha, India's lower house of Parl ia me nt The polling for Lok Sab ha wil l unfol d a cross seven phases over t he course of 44 day s: April 19, April 26, May 7, May 13, May 20, May 25, and June 1 Bihar, West Benga l, and Utta r Pr adesh wil l see voting in a ll seven phases The cr ucial task of counting votes wil l occur on Jun e 4, as announced by the El ection Commission Sub seq ue ntly , t he par ty or coal ition t hat secure s a majority will nomin ate a ca ndidate for prime min ister ship a nd est abl ish the gove rnment

Presently, the Bharatiya Janata Party ( B J P ) g o v e r n s i n c o a l i t i o n w i t h t h e National Democratic Alliance (NDA) Recent opinion polls strongly indicate c o n t i n u e d f a v o u r t o w a r d s t h e B J P , Prime Minister Modi, and their allied parties Under Modi’s leadership, India's remarkable economic growth over the p a s t d e c a d e , r e a c h i n g 8 % l a s t y e a r despite challenges such as the Covid pandemic and global economic downturn The primary opposition to the BJP c o m e s f r o m t h e I n d i a n N a t i o n a l Congress, commonly referred to as "the Congress," which holds the only other party with widespread national appeal

Nonetheless, the Congress suffered significant defeats in the preceding two national elections, held in 2014 and 2019

In contest for the 2024 elections, the Congress has forged an alliance named t h e I n d i a n N a t i o n a l D e v e l o p m e n t a l Inclusive Alliance (INDIA), uniting with numerous regional parties, including the All India Trinamool Congress, curr e n t l y g o v e r n i n g W e s t B e n g a l However, signs of strain have emerged within the coalition The Trinamool Congress has raised objections to the Congress's insistence on fielding its candidates for several seats, particularly in regions like West Bengal, where the Congress lacks substantial voter support Additionally, Nitish Kumar, the chief minister of Bihar and a key figure in the formation of INDIA, has switched allegiance to the BJP-led coalition

Politica l cont roversies be fore the el ect ion

Leading up to the elections, numerous political parties became entangled in controversies The arrest of Delhi's Chief Minister, Arvind Kejriwal, in relation to an alleged liquor scam case was p a r t i c u l a r l y n o t a b l e I n r e s p o n s e , Kejriwal's Aam Aadmi Party promptly

d e c l a r e d i t s p l a n t o a p p e a l t o t h e Supreme Court Meanwhile, the Delhi H i g h C o u r t a c k n o w l e d g e d t h e Enforcement Directorate's presentation of statements by approvers, individuals who had previously been accused but were now cooperating with the govern-


In phase 2 of the election which is on April 26, votes will be cast for a total 89 seats across 13 states and one union t e r

ment Additionally, a candidate from the AAP in Goa claimed to have received kickbacks, adding another layer of complexity to the situation

Amidst the controversies, another significant issue arose from a massive data release by the State Bank of India (SBI), which oversaw the electoral bond scheme The SBI was compelled to disclose all information regarding the project following multiple hearings in the Supreme Court over the past month

This disclosure has placed numerous companies under government scrutiny

Adding to the turmoil, former Election

C o m m i s s i o n e r A r u n G o e l a b r u p t l y resigned from his position The sudden announcement has sparked a political uproar, with the Congress party alleging that Goel's departure reflects the gov-

accused a past Congress-led government of ceding Indian territory, specifically the Katchatheevu Island, to Sri Lanka, intensifying the political debate

Polling dat es of Lok Sabha

el ection 2024

Phase 1 of the election, commencing on April 19th, will witness voting for a total of 102 seats across 21 states and union territories These include Andhra Pradesh, Assam, Bihar, Chhattisgarh, M a d

M a n i p u r , R a j a s t h a n , T r i p u r a , U t t a r Pradesh, West Bengal, and Jammu and Kashmir

Phase 3 of the election, on May 7, will see voting for a total of 94 seats across 12 states and one union territory T h e s e s t a t e s i n c l u d e A s s a m , B i h a r , Chhattisgarh, Goa, Gujarat, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal and the union territory of Dadar and Nagar Haveli and Daman and Diu, and along with Jammu and Kashmir

D u r i n g p h a s e 4 o f t h e e l e c t i o n , scheduled for May 13, votes will be cast for a total of 96 seats across 10 states These states comprise Andhra Pradesh, B i h a r , J h a r k h a n d , M a d h y a P r a d e s h , Maharashtra, Odisha, Telangana, Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal, and the union territory of Jammu and Kashmir

Phase 5 of the election, scheduled for May 20th, will involve voting for a total of 49 seats across 8 states and two union territories These include Bihar, Jharkhand, Maharashtra, Odisha, Uttar P r a d e s h , W e s t B e n g a l , J a m m u a n d Kashmir, and Ladakh

Moving to phase 6 on May 25, voting will take place for 57 seats across 7 states These states are Bihar, Haryana, Jharkhand, Odisha, Uttar Pradesh, West B e n g a l , a n d t h e N a t i o n a l C a p i t a l Territory of Delhi

Lastly, phase 7 of the election, set for June 1, will see voting for a total of 57 s e a t s a c r o s s 8 s t a t e s T h e s e s t a t e s i n c l u d e B i h a r , H i m a c h a l P r a d e s h , J h a r k h a n d , O d i s h a , P u n j a b , U t t a r Pradesh, West Bengal, and the union territory of Chandigarh

Evening’ touched the hearts of those not only in attendance, but to the community of the UAE, and the world, showing that though interfaith harmony is an ongoing m i s s i o n , f o r a m o m e n t , i t h a s b e e n achieved

Delhi HC rejects Kejriwal's bail plea, CM to move SC

The Delhi H igh Court on Tue sd ay r ej ec te d the b ai l plea by D elhi Chief Minister Arvind Kej ri wal in connection with his arrest by the E n f or c em e n t D i re c t or at e (E D) in the alleged liquor policy sc am case Kejriwal will now move the Supreme C our t a g ai n s t th e h i gh c ou rt or de r , s a i d AA P sources

J u d g e S w a r n a K a n t a Sharma said the material

c o l l e c t e d s o f a r i n d i c a t e s that Kejriwal was involved in the alleged transactions, and it cannot go into the merits of the investigation by running a 'mini trial' at this stage The trial must be

done by the lower court

The judge also refused to accept Kejriwal's argument that the central government, controlled by the B J P , i s m i s u s i n g t h e Enforcement Directorate to suppress the political opposition

" J u d g e s a r e b o u n d b y law not politics Judgments are given on legal principles not political considerations

P o l i t i c a l c o n s i d e r a t i o n s cannot be brought before the court as they are not rele v a n t , " t h e j u d g e s a i d , a d d i n g t h a t E n f o r c e m e n t Directorate cannot be seen as an agency of the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party

22 13 - 19 April 2024 www.asian-voice.com AsianVoiceNews AsianVoiceNewsweekly asianvoicenews
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Brace for even bigger moves on graft in 3rd term: PM Modi

P ri m e M i n i s te r N a re n dr a M odi expressed confidence that BJP would wi n a third term and assured he was ready to make major decis ions to tac kle corruption i n the first 100 days of his third term

A d d r e s s i n g a r a l l y i n P u s h k a r ( A j m e r ) , h e s a i d , “Modi’s fight against corruption will continue And the third term of my govt is not far away In the first 100 days, the BJP govt is gearing up to t a k e e v e n b i g g e r d e c i s i o n s a g a i n s t c o r r u p t i o n Preparation for this has also begun That’s why I say what you saw in the last 10 years was just a trailer There is much more to come ” M o d i s a i d , “ E k t o h k a r e l a , d u j a n e e m c h a d h a (bitter gourd, with neem on top), it is a party of dynasties and equally one of corruption Modi has pulled down the shutters of their shop of loot That is why they are in a panic ” T h e P M a c c u s e d Congress of “outsourcing” its entire existence “The party seems to have delegated all i t s r e s p o n s i b i l i t i e s u n d e r contract With such a state, c a n C o n g r e s s e f f e c t i v e l y serve the nation’s interests,” he asked

H e c l a i m e d that in the past 10 y e a r s , o v e r £ 3 0 0 b i l l i o n h a d b e e n s p e n t o n v a r i o u s development policies, with benefi-

c i a r i e s r e c e i v i n g m o n e y d i r e c t l y i n t o t h e i r accounts “A Congress PM

o n c e c l a i m e d t h a t i f o n e rupee was sent from Delhi, only 15 paise would reach its d e s t i n a t i o n I m a g i n e t h e

c o n s e q u e n c e s i f t h e y h a d control over £300 billion It was discovered that Congress had created million of fake

b e n e f i c i a r i e s w h o n e v e r existed Schemes were initiated in their names, diverting rightful funds directly into hands of Congress middlemen, ” the PM alleged

If a terrorist flees to Pak, we will kill him there: Rajnath Singh

D e f e n ce mi n i st e r Ra jn a t h S i n g h ca u se d a se n sa t i on w h e n h e r e f r a i n e d f r om scotching a report in a foreign d a i l y a l l e gi n g th a t I n d i a n agen cies used hired guns to e limina te 20 Pa kistan -b ased terrorists w ho were on Indi a ’ s ‘most wanted’ list for k illings an d other acts of violence

Asked about a report in the UK daily 'The Guardian' tying a spate of mysterious killings inside Pakistan to Indian agencies, Singh told TV channel News 18, “You mean terrorists? If any terrorist tries to disturb peace in India, tries to create turmoil in our country, he will not be spared, he will be given a befitting reply Even if he enters Pakistan, we shall enter Pakistan and kill them ”

When told that his remarks were in line with the “yeh naya Bharat hai, ghar me ghus kar marenge ” stand delineated by PM Narendra Modi earlier in the day at his rally

in Churu in Rajasthan, Singh n o d d e d i n a f f i r m a t i o n a n d s a i d , “ T h e P M h a s r i g h t l y said this is the power of I n d i a , P a k i s t a n h a s a l s o realised it Though India has always tried to maintain cordial relations with its neighbours, there is no history of India trying to annex anyone ’ s territory, but if someone tries to threaten our country, and encourages terror activities, he will be shown no mercy ”

The Guardian report alleged that India rolled out a pre-emptive anti-terror policy after realising that terrorists in Pakistan

c o u l d c a r r y o u t m o r e P u l w a m a - t y p e attacks It also alleged that the policy was greenlighted by the country s external intelligence agency Research and Analysis Wing, which, inspired by the example of Israeli and Russian agencies, decided to nip terror threats before they matured and, for that purpose, set up a special cell in the UAE

Maldives thanks India for export of essential items

In a rare show o f bonhomie, after India allow ed exp ort of limited quantities of essential items to the Maldives for the 2024 -25 financial year, Male thanked India, saying the gesture signified the longstanding friendship between th e two countries Foreign minister S J ai s ha nkar res p o nd ed b y s ayi ng In d ia s tand s fi rm ly c o mm i tte d t o i ts ‘Neighbourhood First’ policy

“I sincerely thank EAM @DrSJaishankar and the govt of India for the renewal of the quota to enable Maldives to import essential commodities from India during the years 2024 & 2025 This is truly a gesture which signifies the longstanding friendship, and the strong commitment to further expand bilateral trade and commerce between our two countries (sic),” said Maldives foreign minister Moosa Zameer in a post on X “You are welcome, FM @MoosaZameer India stands firm-

ly committed to its Neighbourhood First and SAGAR policies,” responded his counterpart India last week allowed limited export of eggs, potatoes, onions, rice, wheat flour, sugar, pulses, stone aggregate and river sand to Maldives for the current financial year under the bilateral trade agreement, SAGAR, b e t w e e n t h e t w o c o u n t r i e s S A G A R o r ‘Security and Growth for All in the Region’ is India’s vision for maritime cooperation with other countries in the Indian Ocean Region

As per a commerce ministry notification, India will export around 427 million eggs, 25,513 tonnes potatoes, 35,749 tonnes onion, 124,000 tonnes rice, nearly 110,000 tonnes wheat flour and 64,494 tonnes of sugar India will also export 224 5 tonnes of pulses and 10,00,000 tonnes of stone aggregate and river sand each to Maldives during the current financial year

Isha Ambani sells her LA mansion for £49.4 mn

Isha Ambani, daughter of Mukesh Ambani, h a s s o ld h er lu xu r io u s ma ns i o n i n Lo s

A nge les to t h e H o lly wo o d c o u p le B en Affleck and Jennifer Lopez for £49 4 million, according to a report

The mansion holds significance for Isha Ambani, who spent considerable time there during her pregnancy in 2022 Nita Ambani, Mukesh Ambani’s wife, and Isha’s mother, also resided in the mansion alongside their expecting daughter

Sources indicate that the property had been intermittently listed for sale over the

China likely to use AI in bid to influence LS polls: Microsoft

A Microsoft report suggests that China may utilise AIg e ne r a t e d co nt e nt in it s a tt emp t t o infl ue nce t he Lok Sabha elections to be h e l d in se v e n p ha se s betwee n April 19 and June 1, with the re sults sche duled f or June 4 Howeve r, the report says the potentia l impact of such ef forts is expecte d to be minima l “With major elections

past five years before finally being acquired by Ben Affleck and Jennifer Lopez in a cash transaction

Situated across 5 2 acres in the prestigious Beverly Hills area, the sprawling mansion boasts an array of luxurious amenities, including a 155-foot infinity pool, an indoor pickleball court, a salon, gymnasiums, spas, and more With 12 bedrooms and 24 bathrooms, the estate also features an outdoor e n t e r t a i n m e n t p a v i l i o

kitchen, and expansive lawns, epitomizing the epitome of luxury living

w o u l d e l e c t t h e i r a n e w president in Nov

“The report highlights

N o r t h K o r e a ’ s i n c r e a s e d involvement in cryptocurr e n c y h e i s t s a n d s u p p l y chain attacks to finance its m i l i t a r y o b j e c t i v e s a n d intelligence activities

t a k i n g p l a c e a r o u n d t h e world this year, particularly in India, South Korea and t h e U n i t e d S t a t e s , w e assess that China will, at a m i n i m u m , c r e a t e a n d amplify AI-generated content to benefit its interests Despite the chances of such content affecting election results remaining low, China’s increasing experimentation in augmenting memes, videos, and audio will likely continue - and may prove more effective down the line,” Microsoft Threat Analysis Centre said i n i t s l a t e s t r e p o r t Elections in South Korea are scheduled for April 10, w h i l e A m e r i c a n v o t e r s

India abstains as UN body seeks arms embargo on Israel

In dia was amon g 13 countr ie s th at ab stai n ed f rom v ot i n g on a U N H uma n Rights Council resolution that called for an immediate ceasef ire in Gaza b ut also, i n a fi rst, sought an arms emba rgo on I srael

T h e r e s o l u t i o n w a s a d o p t e d a s 2 8 c o u n t r i e s v o t e d i n f a v o u r a n d s i x , i n c l u d i n g t h e U S a n d G e r m a n y , a g a i n s t I n a l l , the Council adopted 5 resolutions, including a text in w h i c h i t d e m a n d e d t h a t Israel immediately lift its blockade on the Gaza Strip, according to a statement by t h e U N H u m a n R i g h t s


T h e r e s o l u t i o n a l s o s o u g h t a c c o u n t a b i l i t y f o r possible “ war crimes” but Israel was reported to have dismissed it as “distorted text” The resolution called for pursuing accountability for “violations of internat i o n a l h u m a n r i g h t s l a w and international humanitarian law”

G i v e n i t s s t r o n g t i e s with Israel, India had been reluctant to back ceasefire in Gaza initially but later came around to voting in favour of a UNGA resolut i o n t h a t d e m a n d e d humanitarian ceasefire in

December The text of the UN human rights resolution, especially the call to cease the transfer of arms to Israel, meant India could only abstain

T h e r e s o l u t i o n c a l l e d for a report on both the direct and indirect transfer or sale of arms, munitions, parts, components and dual u s e i t e m s t o “ I s r a e l , t h e occupying power, and to a n a l y s e t h e l e g a l c o n s equences of these transfers” This may be of concern to I n d i a i f r e p o r t s a b o u t i t h a v i n g s u p p l i e d l e t h a l Hermes drones to Israel are true

23 13 - 19 April 2024
n , a w e l l - e q u i p p e d
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Credit: PTI File Photo

Stalin promises statehood to Puducherry if INDIA bloc voted to power

PU DU C H ER R Y : DMK pr esid en t an d Tamil Nadu Chief Minist er M K Sta lin said that if IN DIA bloc is voted to powe r a fte r Lok Sabha polls, it will provide sta tehood to Puducherry

Addressing an election rally here seeking support for Congress candidate and present MP V Vaithilingam, he said the DMK and Congress are firm that P u d u c h e r r y s h o u l d b e m a d e a f u l lfledged state

P u d u c h e r r y C h i e f M i n i s t e r N Rangasamy is a "puppet in the hands of the Centre," Stalin said and added, "We are keen that the rights of not only bigger states like Tamil Nadu, but also t h e r i g h t s o f u n i o n t e r r i t o r i e s l i k e P u d u c h e r r y s h o u l d b e p r o t e c t e d

Stating that Puducherry had not gained during the ten-year rule by the BJP at t h e C e n t r e , t h e T a m i l N a d u c h i e f minister said that the Prime Minister Narendra Modi was campaigning only in the name of religion and caste "PM Modi has not highlighted any measure to ameliorate the lot of the scheduled castes, scheduled tribes and w e a k e r s e c t i o n s , b u t h a s b e e n campaigning in the name of religion and caste," he said " F i s h e r m e n o f K a r a i k a l f a c e d hardship and arrests by the Sri Lanka navy and what measures had the prime

minister taken to prevent the sufferings of fishermen," he asked The prime minister had not done anything to realise the promise he had held out in the past to make the union territory "best Puducherry", he said

E x p r e s s i n g c o n c e r n o v e r t h e

d e t e r i o r a t i o n o f l a w a n d o r d e r i n P u d u c h e r r y , S t a l i n s a i d t h e r e c e n t i n c i d e n t o f s e x u a l h a r a s s m e n t a n d murder of a nine-year-old girl in the u n i o n t e r r i t o r y s h o c k e d t h e e n t i r e nation This incident is proof of the law a n d o r d e r b e i n g i n s h a m b l e s i n Puducherry, he said He also said that

w o m e n h a d n o p r o t e c t i o n i n t h e country during the BJP's rule

S t a l i n s a i d t h a t a l l t h e d e f u n c t undertakings in Puducherry would be revived if the INDIA bloc was voted to power Elections to the lone Puducherry

s e a t w i l l t a k e p l a c e a l o n g w i t h neighbouring Tamil Nadu on April 19

Man slits his throat inside Karnataka high court in front of chief justice

BEN GALU RU: A man allegedly at tempted to end his life inside the Kar nataka High Court by slitting his throat with a knife in front of Chief Justice Nilay Vipinchandra Anjaria in Court Ha ll One, the police said

According to the police, Srinivas, who is from Mysuru, handed over a file to the security staff at the entrance of Court Hall One, and before anyone could realise what was happening, he slit his throat in the presence of Chief Justice Anjaria

The security personnel responded immediately and rushed him to Bowring Hospital, where he is now being treated, a senior police officer said

"We don't know why he took such an extreme step He entered Court Hall One and slit his throat with a knife Our security staff saw it happen and immediately rescued him He has been hospitalised, he said No note was found at the spot, he added

Chief Justice Anjaria expressed concern about the security lapse on the High Court premises and asked those in charge how the man could bring a sharp object inside He also ordered the police to record findings and evidence from the spot

The contents of the file that Srinivas gave the security staff are unknown, and the court said it would not check the documents since it was not presented to the court by a designated advocate The High Court also said that the authorities must not receive any document without the court's order

The police are still trying to find out why the man attempt to die by suicide and are waiting to record his statement once he is declared fit by doctors

Chandigarh mayoral polls: Returning officer tenders unconditional apology to SC

NEW DEL HI: Anil Masi h, the r e tu rn i n g o f fi c e r fo r t he C ha ndigarh Mayor polls held o n J a n ua ry 30 t hi s y ea r , t e n de re d an un c on d i ti o n al apology to the Supreme Court i n r es pons e t o a s how -c a use n o ti c e i s s ue d to h i m f or a l le g ed l y m ak i n g a f a ls e s tatement bef ore the top court

The SC had asked him to show cause as to why contempt of court proceedings should not b e i n i t i a t e d a g a i n s t h i m f o r making a “false statement” that t h e b a l l o t s w e r e i n v a l i d A p p e a r i n g f o r M a s i h , s e n i o r advocate Mukul Rohatgi told a three-judge bench presided by C h i e f J u s t i c e o f I n d i a D Y Chandrachud, “I have made an a p o l o g y w h i c h i s c o m p l e t e l y unconditional ”


“He will withdraw the first affidavit and surrender to the magnanimity of this c o u r t , ” R o h a t g i s a i d T a k i n g n o t e , t h e b e n c h , also comprising Justices J B P a r d i w a l a a n d M a n o j Misra, said the court will h e a r t h e m a t t e r n e x t i n


Masih, who was pulled u p b y t h e t o p c o u r t February 19 for allegedly defacing ballot papers during the mayoral elections, had said in his first affidavit that before his court appearance “he was “ s u b j e c t e d t o i n c e s s a n t

NIA team attacked in Bengal's East Medinipur, officer injured

EAS T MED INI PUR ( BE NGAL) : A team of the National Investigatio n Agency (NIA) was attacked in Bengal's East Medinipur district during a raid in co nnection with a 2022 bomb blast case An officer of the anti-terro r agency h as been injured in the attack that h app ened in the Bhup itaninagar area D u r i n g t h e r a i d , a m o b s u d d e n l y a t t a c k e d t h e t e a m a n d v a n d a l i s e d t h e a g e n c y ' s c a r , r e s u l t i n g i n t h e v e h i c l e ' s windscreen being broken

A video showed several men and women blocking a police vehicle and shouting at the police, asking them to go back The women were seen sitting on the street in front of security personnel with bamboo sticks in their hands

A team of NIA officials arrested two people pertaining to the bomb blast case, including main accused Monobroto Jana The agency team was attacked when they were on their way back to Kolkata

An FIR has been registered with the local police regarding the incident under different sections The case has been lodged against Monobroto Jana, his family members and other unidentified persons An NIA source

s a i d t h a t t h e l o c a l p o l i c e s t a t i o n w a s informed beforehand about the raid, and yet proper security arrangements were not put in place According to police sources, the NIA team went to Bhupitaninagar at 5 30 am - much earlier than they were supposed toand then called for reinforcements The situation is under control now and the police have launched an investigation into the attack

The Bhupatinagar blast took place in December 2022 at a Trinamool Congress (TMC) leader s home in the Naryabila village under Bhupatinagar Police Station, killing three people The NIA began probing the matter in June 2023

The attack on the NIA team came just two months after an attack on a team of the Enforcement Directorate (ED) in Bengal's Sandeshkhali on January 5 Expelled TMC l e a d e r S h e i k h S h a h j a h a n w a s a r r e s t e d pertaining to the attack nearly two months after he was on the run Some of his associates, including his security guard as well as his brother have also been arrested by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) in connection with the January 5 attack on the ED team


A blast in a chemical reactor at a pharmaceutical company s plant in Telangana s Sangareddy district killed at least four people, including the firm’s director, and left 16 others grievously injured According to fire officials, the blast occurred around 4 45 pm, and triggered a massive fire at the factory of S B Organics Ltd about 100 km from Hyderabad While one of the deceased was identified as the pharma company’s director D Ravi the identity of three others was yet to be ascertained The injured all of whom have suffered third degree burns have been admitted to different hospitals At least five workers are said to be critical A case has been registered against the company Sangareddy SP Ch Rupesh said the victims were employees of the company, working at different levels A police officer said overheating of the reactor and the defunct sensors were suspected to have caused the explosion, but a joint probe by police and fire departments had begun to ascertain the exact cause


criticism, name calling and ad h o m i n e m s b y m e m b e r s o f political parties”, following the l e a k o f a p u r p o r t e d v i d e o r e c o r d i n g o f t h e e l e c t i o n process, and it “put” him and his “ f a m i l y m e m b e r s , u n d e r immense mental trauma and stress” He said he “ was suffering f r o m t h e a f o r e s a i d m e d i c a l i s s u e s , s o m u c h s o t h a t o n 10 02 2024 ” he “ was constrained t o c o n s u l t t h e P s y c h i a t r y Department of Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education R e s e a r c h , C h a n d i g a r h (PGIMER)”

Shameful if even one Sandeshkhali plaint true: Calcutta HC

KO LKATA: Even if one affidavit was found to be accurate, it would be a matt er of shame, Ca lcut t a high court re mar ke d, e xpr e ssi ng deep concern over the cont ents of affidavits prese nt ed before it during a hearing on a PIL seeking an independent investigation into the Sandeshkhali sexual harassment a llegations

A division bench comprising Chief Justice T S S i v a g n a n a m a n d J u s t i c e H i r a n m a y

Bhattacharya said district authorities and Trinamool Congress must take responsibility for the situation Bengal’s claim of being the “ s a f e s t s t a t e f o r w o m e n ” w o u l d l o s e credibility if the allegations were proven true HC reserved its judgment after hearing extensive arguments on petitions urging a c o u r t - m o n i t o r e d i n v e s t i g a t i o n b y a n independent commission into allegations of t o r t u r e , s e x u a l a b u s e o f w o m e n i

Congress leader Rahul Gandhi, party leader and local MP Shashi Tharoor KPCC chief K Sudhakaran, state Minister K Radhakrishnan and CPI s Annie Raja were among the high profile candidates who filed their nominations for the April 26 Lok Sabha polls in Kerala Polling will be held in all of Kerala s 20 parliamentary constituencies on April 26 for which the last date of filing nomination papers was April 4 Many of the candidates led road shows and foot marches on the way to filing their nominations at the district headquarters, to showcase their support Rahul Gandhi held a massive roadshow and attacked the BJP and the RSS, accusing them of "trying to destroy" the Constitution and democratic nature of India, before he filed his nomination for Wayanad Lok Sabha constituency, seeking a second term from there


A 55-year-old woman was assaulted and paraded semi-naked in Valtoha village in Tarn Taran district allegedly by her son's in-laws after he got married against the wishes of the bride s parents police said A purported video of the victim being paraded surfaced on social media The incident occurred on March 31 a few days after the victim s son eloped with a woman and married her against her family's wishes police said According to the complaint filed by the victim, she was alone at her home when her son s in-laws allegedly assaulted her and tore off her clothes They paraded her in the village in a semi-naked condition the victim alleged Five people have been booked in the case No arrests have been made in the case so far, police said



MINISTER West Bengal governor CV Ananda Bose directed Bengal govt to sack state education minister Bratya Basu prompting the latter to say this was “as laughable as myself recommending the removal of the governor to the President” Basu said governor Bose had not only revealed his true colours, but exceeded his constitutional brief in asking for his removal which is the constitutional prerogative of the CM The latest flare-up has its origins in a complicated legal tangle over the appointment of vice-chancellors to 31 state-run universities which is now in SC and which has precipitated a barrage of vexed statements and counter-statements by both Basu and Bose As chancellor of state-run varsities Bose has not kept the state in the loop while appointing officiating VCs and asked them repeatedly not to heed the govt

SOUTH INDIA 24 in brief
13 - 19 April 2024 PUNJAB
www.asian-voice.com AsianVoiceNews AsianVoiceNewsweekly asianvoicenews
Anil Masih
i o n a r
s e n t e d 6 0 0 a f f i d a v i t s f r o m S a n d e s h k h a l i w o m e n , d e t a i l i n g i n s t a n c e s o f l a n d - g r a b b i n g a n d torture, with
alleging gang rape
n S a n d e s h k h a l i
a n d l a n d - g r a b b i n g b y Trinamool strongman Sheikh Shahjahan and his associates Advocate Priyanka Tibrewal, a l s o a
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M K Stalin

Accomplishments so far just an appetiser, main course yet to come: PM Modi

P ri m e M in is ter Na rend ra

Mod i said at an election rally i n Rajasth an ’ s Ch uru that the accomplishments of his g overnment over the last 1 0 y ears w ere ju s t “ an appetiser”, and that the main course was yet to come “When you go to a big hotel for a meal, they bring an appetiser first They serve two-four savoury items So sometimes, you feel this is enough and the stomach is a l r e a d y f u l l W h a t M o d i has done so far is just the appetiser An entire plate of food is yet to come A lot has to be done, there are many more dreams,” he said

B J P h a s f i e l d e d P a r a l y m p i c s m e d a l l i s t D e v e n d r a J h a j h a r i a f r o m

C h u r u , a g a i n s t C o n g r e s s ’ s Rahul Kaswan, who recently switched over from the BJP

A d d r e s s i n g t h e r a l l y , Modi said that in 10 years, m i l l i o n s o f p e o p l e w e r e given pucca homes under the Centre’s housing scheme for the poor He alleged that earlier, when such schemes were implemented, the poor would not even get to know about them and the money m e a n t f o r i t w o u l d b e e m b e z z l e d b y t h o s e i n g o v e r n m e n t a n d i n t h e ruling party “But now, the money reaches the accounts

13 Maoists gunned down in Chhattisgarh

of the poor directly,” he said

The PM noted that in R a j a s t h a n , d r i n k i n g w a t e r connections were provided to around 50,00,000 homes, and 45 million people are being given free ration every m o n t h “ T h e B J P government stands with the p o o r T h e t h i n g s w h i c h weren’t done for decades, we did them in 10 years, ” he said, adding, however, these accomplishments were only a “trailer”

Recalling the last time he was in Churu, on February 26, 2019, he said, “At that t i m e , t h e c o u n t r y h a d c o n d u c t e d a i r s t r i k e s i n Balakot (in Pakistan), and we h a d t a u g h t t e r r o r i s t s a lesson I will now repeat the words I had said at the time in Churu: Saugandh mujhe is mitti ki, main desh nahi

m i t n e d u n g a , m a i n d e s h

n a h i r u k n e d u n g a , m a i n d e s h n a h i j h u k n e d u n g a Mera vachan hai Bharat Ma ko, tera sheesh nahi jhukne doonga (I swear on this soil, I won’t let the nation fade, stop, or bow down I give my word to Mother India, I will not let you bow down) ” He s a i d , “ t h e C o n g r e s s p r i o r i t i s e d a p p e a s e m e n t The country has seen limits to which they can go for a p p e a s e m e n t ” A d a y a f t e r declaring in Bihar’s Jamui t h a t B J P g o v e r n e d I n d i a “ghar mein ghus ke maarta hai (goes into the enemy ’ s home to strike)”, PM Modi r e p r i s e d t h e t h e m e i n Rajasthan’s Churu, harking back to how his last visit to the district on Feb 26, 2019, coincided with the Balakot airstrike

AAP MP Sanjay Singh, in jail since Oct, gets bail from SC

In a big re lief to Aam Aa dmi Party , whose top leade rship, in c lu di n g De lh i ch i e f min ister Arvind Kejriwal, is be h in d ba r s in mo n e y la u n de r i n g ca se s , Su pr e m e Cour t grant ed bail to its MP

Sanjay Singh in t he alleged scam re lating t o change s in e x ci se p o lic y a n d a llo we d hi m to e n ga g e i n po lit ica l activities a fte r coming out of jail

T h e r e s p i t e f o r t h e p o l i t i c i a n c a m e a s E n f o r c e m e n t D i r e c t o r a t e conceded and preferred not to oppose Singh's bail plea after the court asked it to make its stand clear whether it still wanted to keep him in d e t e n t i o n e v e n a f t e r s i x months

K e j r i w a l a n d f o r m e r D e l h i d e p u t y C M M a n i s h Sisodia are in custody in the s a m e c a s e a n d f o r m e r m i n i s t e r S a t y e n d a r J a i n i s also in jail in another money laundering case

A t lea st 1 3 Mao i s ts , including a woman, were gunned down in Bijapur in one of the biggest security o p e rat io n s i n B as tar divi sio n o f Chh attisgarh Additionally, two Maoists, c ar ryi n g a co mb i ned reward of Rs 43,00,000, were shot dead in a shoo tout in Balaghat district of Madhya P radesh , police said

The discovery of a light machine-gun, AK-47 rifles, and several under-barrel grenade launchers (UBGL) in Bijapur suggests the presence of a high-ranking Maoist leader among those killed Chhattisgarh police earlier gave the toll at 10 later revising to 13 as three more bodies were recovered Since the Vishnu Deo Sai-led BJP govt took office last Dec, a total of 47 Maoists have been killed in the state Police sources attributed the success of the operation to accurate and timely technical intelligence Authorities were alerted about the movement of around 100 heavily armed Maoists in the Gangaloor region, a known insurgency hot s p o t n e a r t h e T e l a n g a n a b o r d e r R e s p o n d i n g t o t h e intelligence, a joint force comprising CoBRA commandos, CRPF, District Reserve Guards, and Special Task Force mobilised to intercept them

The shootout ensued around 6 am when security forces engaged the Maoists in the forests between Lendra and K o r c h o l i v i l l a g e s i n G a n g a l o o r T h e e n s u i n g g u n f i g h t resulted in the recovery of the bodies of four Maoists initially, followed by nine more and additional weaponry and Maoist material

After 33 years, 3 freed Rajiv convicts return to Sri Lanka

A f te r a ga p of 33

y ea rs , t hre e f re ed convicts in the Rajiv Gandhi assassi nation

c a s e - V Sri h ar an

a li a s Mur uga n, R ob er t P ay as a nd J ayakumar - landed

i n C olo mb o l as t week and later proc eeded to their hometown Jaffna Sri Lankan immigration

o f f i c i a l s h e l d a n i n q u i r y with them for about three hours following their arrival

f r o m C h e n n a i T h e t r i o s p e n t a n o t h e r f i v e h o u r s w i t h C I D p e r s o n n e l , a n d answered all queries, said their lawyer P Pugalenthi, w h o a l s o a c c o m p a n i e d them to Sri Lanka

“ T o t h e o f f i c i a l s ’ a c c u s a t i o n t h a t t h e y h a d

l e f t t h e i s l a n d - n a t i o n i l l e g a l l y i n 1 9 9 1 , w e explained how a war-like s i t u a t i o n f o r c e d t h e m t o

Father-son duo develops machine for checking blindness

Dr Raj esh Mehta, former Dean of Sol a Ci v il H o sp i ta l in A hm ed ab ad , al on g w it h hi s engineer son Purna Mehta, has developed a machine capable of determining whether a person suffers from night bli ndnes s at a nominal cost

Dr Mehta said that after 27 years of research, he has created a machine that can diagnose n i g h t b l i n d n e s s f o r t h e f i r s t time without going a blood test a n d h a s a l s o a p p l i e d f o r a patent The idea of making this machine came to him in 1987 In 1987, Dr Mehta was returning from a medical camp in a village at night Then he saw that the p e o p l e o f t h e v i l l a g e w e r e walking fast in front of him s i n c e t h e y c o u l d n o t s e e properly in the darkness and have night blindness or vitamin A deficiency

With this idea, he developed

a device to know whether a person is blind or not Usually a n e y e d o c t o r e x a m i n e s a p e r s o n ' s e y e s i n a d a r k e n e d room for dark adaptation So he built a simple machine in 1989 to diagnose blindness In it, the l i g h t f r o m t h e s l i d e w a s d i m m i n g T h e n h e m a d e a n electric machine that dimmed the light with volume control T h e h i s t o r y b e h i n d developing this machine is also i n t e r e s t i n g H e w e n t t o a c o n f e r e n c e i n W a r d h a , Maharashtra, with the aim of c r e a t i n g a w a r e n e s s o f t h e machine that he had developed W h i l e h e w a s r e t u r n i n g t o Ahmedabad by train with this machine, the police suspected it t o b e a b o m b a n d b r o k e i t However, Dr Mehta did not give u p a n d c o n t i n u

h e machine

flee and that there was no t i m e t o a d h e r e t o procedural formalities On their part, at the end of the f i v e - h o u r i n q u i r y , C I D found that there were no cases pending against any of them in Sri Lanka They were, therefore, allowed to leave and proceed to Jaffna,” Pugalenthi said

T h e t h r e e l e f t f o r Chennai on being released f r o m t h e s p e c i a l c a m p Tuesday Their release was d e l a y e d a s o f f i c i a l s w e r e

w a i t i n g f o r o r d e r s f r o m deputy high commission of Sri Lanka in Chennai

Chinese bid to rename Arunachal sites ‘senseless,’ says India

After another Chinese exercise to “standardise” the nam es of 30 more places in Arunac hal Pradesh, India slamm ed Beijing for persisting with what it described as senseless attempts to rename places in the Indian state

I n a f o r m a l r e s p o n s e , t h e f o r e i g n m i n

rejected such attempts and that assigning invented names will not alter the reality that Arunachal Pradesh is, has been, and will always be an integral and inalienable part of India

China had last week for the 4th time released new names for places in the Indian state, looking to reinforce its claim of sovereignty over the state it calls Zangnan It had last released names for villages in Arunachal in 2023, shortly after India hosted a G20 meeting in the state Foreign minister S Jaishankar had responded earlier by reiterating India’s position that Arunachal has been and will always remain an integral part of India

“If I change the name of your house, will it become mine? Arunachal Pradesh was an Indian state, is an Indian state and will remain so in the future

Nothing will be gained by changing names, ” said the minister, while on a visit to Gujarat

After hearing extensively f r o m s e n i o r a d v o c a t e Abhishek Manu Singhvi, who contended that there was no substantial evidence against Singh and it was a fit case for b a i l a f t e r s i x m o n t h s i n custody, a bench of Justices S a n j i v K h a n n a , D i p a n k a r Datta and PB Varale asked additional solicitor general S V R a j u , i n t h e p r e - l u n c h session, to take instruction f r o m E D w h e t h e r i t s t i l l w a n t e d h i s c o n t i n u e d detention

The court said the AAP MP was not implicated by Dinesh Arora, one of the coa c c u s e d i n t h e c a s e w h o turned approver, in his initial statements and Singh's name cropped up much later and, m o r e o v e r , h e h a d n o t r e c e i v e d a n y m o n e y a n d there was no money trail It told the agency to keep in mind that if it wanted to argue the case, then the court would have to go by the merit of the case and it would pass an order keeping in mind S e c t i o n 4 5 o f P M L A T h e c o u r t a l s o s a i d a n y o b s e r v a t i o n c o u l d h a v e i m p l i c a t i o n s o n t h e t r i a l Section 45 of Prevention of Money Laundering Act, 2002 states that bail can be granted i f a c o u r t i s p r i m a f a c i e satisfied that an accused has not committed the offence and is unlikely to commit an offence after getting bail

Congress manifesto promises to amend law to raise 50% quota cap

Formally framing its Lok S abha electio n pitch as ‘ welfarism vs polarisation’, Congress released its 2024 manifesto focused on ‘ 25 gu arantees’ to demograph ics like women, yo uth , workers and backward classes, while announcing that in office, it will adopt a ‘Nav S ankalp Economic Policy’ with a vision of ‘work, wealth and welfare’

Called the ‘ nyay patra’, Congress has promised to remove 50% cap on reservations, caste census, extension of 10% EWS quota to all castes as against the present scheme of limiting it to non-SC/ST/ OBC (largely upper castes), law to extend caste q u o t a s t o p r i v a t e e d u c a t i o n a l i n s t i t u t i o n s , a ‘ d i v e r s i t y commission’ to “ measure, monitor and promote diversity in public and private employment and education” and changes in the law to ensure automatic disqualification of defectors It has vowed Rs 100,000/ year to poor households, a law on MSP and t h e a b o l i t i o n o f A g n i p a t h d e f e n c e r e c r u i t m e n t s c h e m e Releasing the manifesto with party president Mallikarjun Kharge, Rahul Gandhi warned that the Constitution is on the ballot, while claiming that the LS contest is much closer than is being projected and promising an upset like the one in 2004 when BJP, the favourite, had lost He said BJP would be ousted C o n g r e s s h a s a l s o p r o m i s e d t o i n t r o d u c e w o m e n ’ s reservation in assemblies from 2025, and in Parliament in 2029, reserve 50% jobs in central govt for women from 2025, end of contractual appointments and regularisation of all those on contract and recruitment for 30,00,000 vacancies in central govt and raising the minimum daily wage to Rs 400 The party said in office, it will follow the philosophy of “jobs, jobs, jobs” to revive employment, which has touched rock bottom under BJP govt Contrary to the expectations it had aroused, the manifesto did not promise the return of the old pension scheme saying that it had had held its hand because the matter is under review

Manifesto h as Muslim League imprint: P M Mo di PM Modi criticised Congress’s manifesto, denouncing it as a bunch of lies that on every page made evident its i n t e n t i o n t o “ d i s m e m b e r t h e n a t i o n ” a n d w a r n i n g t h e audience that it bore a strong imprint of Muslim League, while parts of it were influenced by Leftists “The (Congress) manifesto reflects actions similar to those of Muslim League during struggle for Independence Congress is imposing Muslim League’s ideology on the nation, and its manifesto is nothing short of an agenda to regress the country by a century,” Modi said at a rally in Pushkar

25 13 - 19 April 2024 www.asian-voice.com AsianVoiceNews AsianVoiceNewsweekly asianvoicenews
Narendra Modi Sanjay Singh
i s t r y s p o k e s p e r s o n , R a n d h i r J a i s w a l , s a i d I n d i a f i r m l y
o e x p e r i m e n t w i t h m a k i n g t
e d t

In every corner of the globe, t h e a r r i v a l o f s p r i n g h e r a l d s o n e o f n a t u r e ' s most enchanting spectacles: t h e b l o o m i n g o f c h e r r y b l o s s o m s F r o m t h e s e r e n e landscapes of Japan to the v i b r a n t s t r e e t s o f L o n d o n , these delicate pink and white petals captivate hearts and minds, drawing people from far and wide to witness their ephemeral beauty

Read along as Asian Voice e x p l o r e s t h e d i v e r s e d e s t i n a t i o n s w h e r e c h e r r y blossoms adorn the scenery, from bustling urban parks to tranquil countryside valleys L o nd o n : A p r i l t y p i c a l l y m a r k s c h e r r y b l o s s o m ( o r s a k u r a ) s e a s o n i n L o n d o n , a l t h o u g h t h e b l o o m s c a n emerge as early as March and linger into May For those eager t o i n d u l g e i n t h e b e a u t y o f t h e s e d e l i c a t e f l o w e r s , K e w Garden stands out as a prime destination Nestled behind the r e n o w n e d P a l m H o u s e , t h e rose garden boasts an array of cherry blossom trees in various h u e s , c r e a t i n g a c a p t i v a t i n g t a p e s t r y o f c o l o u r s B e y o n d Kew, cherry blossoms can also be found in London's Japanese K y o t o G a r d e n , K e n s i n g t o n Gardens, Greenwich Park, St Paul’s Cathedral, Regent’s Park, St James’s Park, and Herne Hill

S out h Kor ea : Thanks to KDramas, fans are well aware of the stunning cherry blossom displays that adorn the streets o f S e o u l e v e r y s p r i n g F r o m March to April, major areas in Seoul and provincial regions across the country burst into b l o o m w i t h f i e l d s o f c h e r r y trees In the heart of the city,

one can admire cherry blossoms a t i c o n i c l a n d m a r k s s u c h a s Lotte World, Namsan Park, and Gyeongbokgung Palace Jirisan

N a t i o n a l P a r k , J i n h a e (Changwon City), or Seokchon

L a k e o f f e r a n i m m e r s i v e e x p e r i e n c e , w h e r e c h e r r y b l o s s o m f e s t i v a l s o f f e r a plethora of activities amidst the enchanting pink-white petals

Sing apore : Although cherry b l o s s o m s a r e n o t n a t i v e t o Singapore, the city-state boasts its own version of these iconic blooms with its "trumpet trees," which typically flower between

M a r c h a n d A p r i l A v i s i t t o G a r d e n b y t h e B a y ' s a n n u a l cherry blossom event is a must to experience this enchanting display in a Japanese-inspired setting Here, you ll encounter not only cherry blossoms but a l s o p e a c h b l o s s o m s a n d a v a r i e t y o f o t h e r J a p a n e s ethemed decorations, including iconic torii gates, Marumado ( J a p a n e s e c i r c u l a r w i n d o w s ) , and Koinobori (Japanese carp streamers) Other places where


d celebrations and with around 30,000 cherry trees adorning M t Y o s h i n o , t h e a r e a transforms into a mesmerising p i n k p a t c h w o r k , w i t h a e r i a l t r a m s p r o v i d i n g p a n o r a m i c v i e w s o f t h e b l o o m i n g spectacle


Sp ain: The Jerte Valley in Spain offers a captivating field of cherry blossom trees As a m a j o r p r o d u c e r o f c h e r r i e s , J e r t e V a l l e y b o a s t s a n impressive million and a half cherry trees To celebrate the arrival of spring amidst this b r e a t h t a k i n g l a n d s c a p e , t h e valley hosts a two-week-long celebration Over 50,000 guests f l o c k t o t h i s a n n u a l e v e n t , where they not only revel in the beauty of the landscapes but also indulge in cherry wines, liquor, and jams Additionally, Cabezuela del Valle is blanketed i

"Kololo Hill" by Neema Shah

against the backdrop of political upheaval and racial tension, Shah skillfully crafts a compelling story that delves into themes of identity, displacement, and resilience.

The novel follows the experiences of the Mehta family, who are prosperous U g a n d a n A s i a n s , n a v i g a t i n g t h e treacherous terrain of Idi Amin's regime As the political climate becomes increasingly hostile towards Asians, they are forced to confront the harsh reality of being labelled as outsiders in the only home they have e v e r k n o w n T h e n a r r a t i v e i s c e n t r e d around Asha, the youngest daughter of the M e h t a f a m i l y , w h o s e c o m i n g - o f - a g e journey serves as a microcosm for the larger struggles faced by her community

S h a h ' s p r o s e i s b o t h e v o c a t i v e a n d haunting, as she captures the fear and uncertainty that permeated the lives of Ugandan Asians during this tumultuous period Through vivid descriptions and richly drawn characters, she transports the reader to a time and place fraught with danger and despair The sense of loss and displacement is palpable throughout the novel, as the Mehta family grapples with

Book Review

the painful decision of whether to stay and fight for their home or leave everything behind in search of safety

What sets "Kololo Hill" apart is its nuanced portrayal of the complexities of i d e n t i t y a n d b e l o n g i n g A s h a ' s i n t e r n a l struggle to reconcile her Indian heritage with her Ugandan upbringing reflects the broader tension between assimilation and cultural preservation Shah deftly navigates these themes with sensitivity and insight, o f f e r i n g a n u a n c e d e x p l o r a t i o n o f t h e myriad ways in which individuals negotiate their sense of self in the face of adversity

At its core, it is a story of resilience and s u r v i v a l i n t h e f a c e o f u n i m a g i n a b l e h a r d s h i p T h r o u g h t h e M e h t a f a m i l y ' s journey, Shah reminds us of the enduring power of hope and the indomitable human spirit It is a timely and necessary reminder of the importance of bearing witness to the u n t o l d s t o r i e s o f h i s t o r y , l e s t t h e y b e forgotten or erased

In conclusion, Neema Shah's "Kololo Hill" is a masterfully crafted debut that shines a light on a dark chapter in Uganda's history Through its vivid characters and powerful storytelling, it offers a poignant tribute to the strength and resilience of those who were forced to leave everything behind in search of a better future It is a book that will stay with readers long after they have turned the final page, leaving them with a deeper understanding of the universal human experiences of loss, love, and longing

This square set of nine vertical lines and nine horizontal lines contains numbers 1 to 9 in some cells and the remaining cells are empty You have to put a number between 1 and 9 in the empty box which is not repeated in a horizontal or vertical row. Not only that, the numbers from 1 to 9 come in the 3x3 box

The answer to thi s Suk odu wi ll be reve aled i n the co mi ng week .

26 13 - 19 April 2024 S P R I N G ' S S W E E T S Y M P H O N Y Cherry
www.asian-voice.com AsianVoiceNews AsianVoiceNewsweekly asianvoicenews
blossoms paint the world pink
can witness the blossom i n c l u d e J a p a n e s e C e m e t e r y Park, Bishan-AMK Park, Telok
h H i l l P a r k , a n d E a s t Coast Park J a p a n : J a p a n o f f e r s a p l e t h o r a o f d e s t i n a t i o n s f o r c h e r r y b l
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Shah's novel "Kololo Hill" is a poignant narrative that unravels the tumultuous history of Uganda during the expulsion of Asians in the 1970s, through the eyes of one family. Set
Sakura exhibition at Garden by
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Cherry blossom at Kew Gardens

Transformative world of mindfulness

Dear Readers,

Today, I'm thrilled to dive into the transformative world of mindfulness and how it can enrich your daily life Just like unlocking your potential, mindfulness offers simple yet profound ways to feel stronger and more connected to yourself and the world around you

Mindfulness is all about being fully present in the m o m e n t , w i t h a w a r e n e s s a n d a c c e p t a n c e o f y o u r thoughts, feelings, and sensations It's about embracing each moment with curiosity and compassion, without judgment or expectation Studies have shown the incredible benefits of mindfulness on mental and emotional well-being For example, a study titled "MindfulnessBased Stress Reduction and Health Benefits: A MetaAnalysis," published in the Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology in 2008, found that participants in mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR) programs experienced significant reductions in symptoms of anxiety, depression, and stress Similarly, research published in the Journal of Neuroscience in 2011, titled "Alterations in Brain and Immune Function Produced by Mindfulness Meditation, revealed that mindfulness meditation led to measurable changes in brain structure associated with improved attention, memory, and emotional regulation

So, how can you weave mindfulness into your daily routines to elevate your well-being? Let's explore some simple techniques together:

Mindful Breathing: Take a few moments each day to focus on your breath Close your eyes and tune in to the sensation of your breath flowing in and out of your body

Notice the rise and fall of your chest, the feeling of air passing through your nostrils Whenever your mind wanders, gently guide your focus back to your breath This practice can help soothe your mind, reduce stress, and cultivate a sense of inner calm

Body Meditation: Dedicate some time daily to practice a body meditation Find a comfortable position and bring your awareness to different parts of your body, starting from your toes and gradually moving up to your head Notice any sensations or areas of tension without judgment, simply observing them with gentle curiosity This practice can create greater body awareness, release physical tension, and promote relaxation

Mindful Walking: Transform your daily walk into a mindfulness practice by tuning into each step you take Pay attention to the sensation of your feet touching the ground, the rhythm of your stride, and the sights and sounds around you Whenever your mind drifts, gently guide it back to the present moment

Mindful walking can ground you in the here and now, creating a deeper connection to your surroundings and a sense of peace

Incorporating mindfulness into your daily routines is a powerful way to enhance your well-being and cultivate a greater sense of presence and contentment in your life

By embracing mindfulness with an open heart and a spirit of curiosity, you can tap into its transformative potential and embark on a journey of self-discovery and growth

I hope these mindfulness techniques inspire you to create moments in your daily life with moments of mindf u l n e s s a n d e x p e r i e n c e t h e b e n e f i t s i t c a n b r i n g

Remember, mindfulness is not about striving for perfection but rather about embracing each moment with kindness and curiosity

R e m e m b e r t o d o w n l o a d y o u r f r e e e b o o k a t www mamtasaha com and reach out to find out more about coaching and workshops

diet cuts Insulin use, reduces heart risk in diabetics

p ro mising o utcomes of a lo w-fat ve gan d i et f o r ma na gi n g Type 1 diabetes and lowering heart dis ease risk T his au to immune co ndition disru p t s i n s u li n p

the research indicates that dietary changes, notably adopting a low-fat vegan diet, could substant i

y d e c r e a s e i n s u l i n requirements and enhance overall health results

L e a d a u t h o r H a n a

M e d

nessed a 28% decrease in i n s u l i n n e e d s a n d a n impressive 127% increase in i n s u l i n s e n s i t i v i t y T h e s e o u t c o m e s w e r e l i n k e d t o c h a n g e s i n b o d y w e i g h t , with vegan diet participants a v e r a g i n g a f i v e - k i l o g r a m weight loss

n e , highlights the groundbreaking nature of the research, emphasising its potential to a l l e v i a t e c o n c e r n s s u rrounding the cost of insulin and enhance the management of blood sugar levels in Type 1 diabetes patients Involving 58 adults with Type 1 diabetes, the study

r a n d o m l y d i v i d e d p a r t i c ipants into either a low-fat vegan group or a portioncontrolled group Across 12 w e e k s , t h o s e a d h e r i n g t o the low-fat vegan diet wit-

Parkinson's treatment potential found in Diabetes medication

A study suggests that a diabetes medication could potentially decelerate the advancement of Parkinson's disease, marking a notable stride in its future management Patients administered lixisenatide exhibited reduced progression of motor symptoms, including tremors and slowed movement This treatment falls under the category of glucagon-like peptide 1 receptor agonists (GLP-1R agonists), sharing similarities with diabetes and weightloss medications like Ozempic and semaglutide

Professors Wassilios Meissner and Olivier Rascol, principal investigators of the study, said: “For 30 years, we have been trying to understand how to s l o w t h e d e c l i n e a s s o c i a t e d w i t h Parkinson’s disease over time ”

The findings “constitute a significant step forward in the future mana g e m e n t o f t h e d i s e a s e ” , t h e researchers added

Research has established a connection between Parkinson s and type 2 diabetes, indicating that individuals with diabetes face an elevated risk of d e v e l o p i n g P a r k i n s o n ' s M o r e o v e r , t h o s e w i t h b o t h c o n d i t i o n s o f t e n experience a hastened progression of s y m p t o m s H o w e v e r , i n d i v i d u a l s treated with medications like GLP-1R agonists, such as lixisenatide, show a r e d u c e d l i k e l i h o o d o f d e v e l o p i n g Parkinson's These agonists imitate the action of a natural gut hormone r e l e a s e d p o s t - m e a l , s t i m u l a t i n g insulin secretion from the pancreas, thereby aiding glucose absorption by cells The researchers underscored the need for more extensive trials before clinical authorisation In the study c o m p r i s i n g 1 5 6 r e c e n t l y d i a g n o s e d P a r k i n s o n ' s p a t i e n t s , p a r t i c i p a n t s received either lixisenatide or a placeb o a l o n g s i d e t h e i r s t a n d a r d Parkinson s medication

Physicians unveil the effects of vaping on heart health

New research sugg ests th at v aping co uld lead t o a "signif icant" r ise in the risk of heart failu re Individu al s wh o h av e vaped at any time showed a 1 9% h ig her likelih ood o f developing heart fail ure comp ared to t hose who have nev er used e-cig ar ett es, acco rding to th e f inding s D r Y a k u b u B e n e - A l h a s a n , t h e study’s lead author from MedStar Health in Baltimore, US, said: “More a n d m o r e s t u d i e s a r e l i n k i n g ec i g a r e t t e s t o h a r m f u l e f f e c t s a n d finding that it might not be as safe as previously thought “The difference we saw was substantial It’s worth considering the consequences to your health, especially with regard to heart health ”

As per the NHS, heart failure occurs when the heart is unable to effectively pump blood throughout the body, often due to its weakened or stiffened condition The British H e a r t F o u n d a t i o n e s t i m a t e s t h a t over one million individuals in the UK suffer from heart failure

The study included more than 1 7 5 , 0 0 0 p a r t i c i p a n t s i n t h e U S , encompassing both vapers and nonvapers Within a span of 45 months, 3 , 2 4 2 i n d i v i d u a l s d e v e l o p e d h e a r t failure

d t h

t individuals who used e-cigarettes

faced a heightened risk of heart failure with preserved ejection fraction, characterised by the heart muscle becoming stiff and inadequately filling with blood between contractions However, no correlation was observed with reduced ejection fraction, where the heart muscle weakens, and the left ventricle fails to contract adequately during contractions

Significantly, the study discovered that the higher intake of carbohydrates and f i b r e a s s o c i a t e d w i t h t h e vegan diet led to enhanced i n s u l i n s e n s i t i v i t y a n d d e c r e a s e d i n s u l i n n e e d s These results are consistent with earlier research correlating lower fat and protein c o n s u m p t i o n w i t h improved outcomes in managing Type 1 diabetes

Fever relief: Ayurvedic remedies for natural recovery

In A yu rveda, fev er is termed as Jwara roga, m arked by th e bod y's tem perature surpassing its u su al rang e, disrup ting norm al bodily pro cesses Typical fever s ym pto m s enc om p as s c hi lls , m us cl e p ains, sore th ro at, red uced ap petite, head ach es, and heightened body temperatu re

According to Ayurveda, fevers arise from imbalances in the body's doshas To restore health and prevent ailments, Ayurvedic principles suggest addressing t h e u n d e r l y i n g c a u s e s t h r o u g h Ayurvedic science

Wa rm ba th w i th nee m lea v e s: Prepare a neem leaf infusion by boiling neem leaves in water, then incorporate the strained liquid into your bathwater Neem's antipyretic qualities aid in fever r e d u c t i o n , w h i l e i t s a n t i m i c r o b i a l attributes facilitate healing

Raisin decoction: To alleviate fever, soak raisins in water overnight In the morning, crush them into a paste and blend it with water for consumption Raisins aid in cooling the body and enhancing immunity

Sand alwood paste: Create a paste by mixing sandalwood powder with water and apply it to the forehead Sandalwood s cooling characteristics can aid in reducing body temperature and offering relief from fever

Steaming with m int leaves: Inhale steam infused with mint leaves soaked in hot water Mint's cooling attributes assist in lowering body temperature and alleviating congestion often linked with fever

Crucial signs of high cholesterol to recognise

Hig h cho lesterol lev els p ose a sig nificant yet often overlooked risk facto r for cardiovascular disease Detecting and add ressing cholesterol levels early is crucial fo r prevention Here are some comm on indicators of elev ated ch olesterol:

Tingling feeling : A common consequence of high cholesterol is atherosclerosis, where arteries become narrowed This can lead to reduced blood flow, manifesting as numbness, tingling, or weakness in the hands, feet, or extremities

Breathlessness: Experiencing unexpected shortness of breath, especially during exercise, may indicate a constricted coronary artery, often associated with high cholesterol levels This constriction reduces oxygen supply to the heart muscle

Persistent h eadaches: Vascular changes due to high cholesterol could be linked to frequent headaches, notably migraines These alterations might affect blood flow to the brain, triggering headache symptoms

Reg ular blo ating or indig estio n: Persistent bloating, indigestion, or discomfort after meals could signal gastrointestinal issues linked to high cholesterol levels These issues may hinder the liver's ability to metabolise fats effectively

C hest p ain o r discomfort: Experiencing chest pain, discomfort, or tightness, especially during physical activity, may suggest reduced blood flow to the heart due to narrowed arteries, a frequent complication of high cholesterol

27 13 - 19 April 2024 www.asian-voice.com AsianVoiceNews AsianVoiceNewsweekly asianvoicenews
Health Views Disclaimer: The information provided is for general knowledge only and not a substitute for professional medical advice Unlock radiant skin with bananas Bananas are packed with vitamins A and C, vital for youthful skin Vitamin A reduces fine lines, while vitamin C brightens and evens skin tone Incorporating bananas into your daily diet can help maintain smooth, radiant skin and diminish wrinkles.
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After the recent leak of Taapsee Pannu and Mathias Boe's wedding video on social media, more information about the lavish event has emerged, offering a deeper look into the extravagant celebration

As per a report

m e d i a , T a a p s e e a n d

M a t h i a s e x c h a n g e d vows in an intimate

c e r e m o n y h e l d i n

Udaipur on March

2 2 T h e r e p o r t d e t a i l s T a a p s e e ' s w e d d i n g a t t i r e , n o t i n g t h a t h e r Danish ensemble was d e s i g n e d b y L a s s e S p a n g e n b e r g , renowned Danish desi known for his collaborations

w i t h t h e D a n i s h r o y a l t y

Additionally, Taapsee adorned an exquisite creation by Mani Bhatia for her Indian wedding attire, exuding joy and elegance throughout the celebrations

Furthermore, the report unveiled that Taapsee and

M a t h i a s ' w e d d i n g w a s meticulously planned by a team of experts to ensure flawless execution Offering insight o the behind-the-scenes angements, the source evealed that the event

b o a s t e d e x q u i s i t e d é c o r T h e

c e r e m o n y t o o k place at a luxurious

h o t e l i n U d a i p u r ,

Hans Zimmer and AR Rahman team up for Ranbir Kapoor's 'Ramayana

Jaya Bachchan describes Amitabh Bachchan as her 'ultimate confidant':

No secrets between us

On the finale episode of season 2 of the vodcast "What The Hell Navya," Jaya Bachchan, along with Shweta and Navya Nanda, delved into the topic of friendships

The veteran actor opened up about her circle of friends both within and outside the industry, highlighting her husband, Amitabh Bachchan, as her closest confidant.

When questioned about her best friend, Jaya revealed that it was Amitabh, emphasising the importance of honesty in relationships She also expressed her friendship with Navya, despite acknowledging certain limitations in their bond

However, Jaya disclosed that despite the strong familial bonds, she values having a support system outside of her family circle "I have friends from my college days who aren't associated with the film industry They serve as my pillars of

support," she remarked Navya chimed in, noting the humour she and Agastya find in observing Jaya interact with her friends, who often tease her, a dynamic not commonly found within the family "It's refreshing to have friends who keep you grounded," Jaya remarked, further revealing her fondness for befriending assistant directors on sets for some light-hearted banter

In the same conversation, Shweta opined that Gen Z wasn’t loyal when it came to friendships She said, “You make friends faster and lose them too, you don’t want to accommodate I also don’t understand the concept of parents being friends, parents are parents There need to be boundaries ”

Areport stated by Pinkvilla, filmmaker Nitesh Tiwari has commenced production on "Ramayana," featuring a starstudded cast including Ranbir Kapoor as Lord Ram, Sai Pallavi as Sita, Sunny Deol portraying Hanuman, and Yash as Ravana Notably, Nitesh and producer Namit Malhotra have enlisted the talents of Oscar-winning composers Hans Zimmer and AR Rahman for the project Hans Zimmer, renowned for his exceptional work on films like "The Lion King," "Man of Steel," "Interstellar," "The Dark Knight Trilogy," and "Inception," joins AR Rahman to bring their musical expertise to "Ramayana."

they are sparing no effort

t o r e a l i s e t h a t v i s i o n

Hans Zimmer is equally

c a p t i v a t e d b y t h e narrative of Lord Ram's tale and is fully prepared

t o c r a f t t h e s c o r e f o r 'Ramayana '" T h e s o u r c e a l s o mentioned that the music for "Ramayana" is b e i n g c o m p o s e d b y A R R a h m a n , emphasising, "It's a perfect collaboration

A source informed the portal, stating, "Hans Zimmer is preparing to mark his d e b u t i n t h e I n d i a n f i l m i n d u s t r y w i t h 'Ramayana ' Namit Malhotra and Nitesh Tiwari have consistently expressed their global aspirations for this Indian epic, and



Two renowned talents are joining forces to showcase India's narrative to the global a u d i e n c e " T h e f i r s t i n s t a l m e n t o f t h e Ramayana trilogy is currently in production a n d i s b e i n g h a i l e d a s t h e m o s t c o s t l y production in Indian cinema Ranbir, Sai, S u n n y , a n d Y a s h a r e a n t i c i p a t e d t o commence shooting for their roles shortly The film is slated for a potential Diwali 2025 release Recently, footage from the film set has emerged online




Bhardwaj's gangster saga 'Hussain Ustra’ News surfaced about Kartik Aaryan and Vishal Bhardwaj collaborating on a thriller film. Now, a significant update reveals that the film will revolve around the life of gangster Hussain Ustra, with a focus on Hussain and Lady Don

Sapna Didi

The role of Sapna Didi is yet to be cast, with the makers aiming for a prominent actress Initially, Deepika Padukone was considered for the role of Sapna Didi, while the late actor

A l t h o u g h t h e p r o j e c t r e m a i n e d i n c o m p l e t e , some scenes were filmed w i t h t h e a c t o r s f r o m "Piku " Now, Vishal is set to rejuvenate the project, making adjustments to the script to align with c o n t e m p o r a r y t i m e s I n i t i a l l y f o c u s e d o n Sapna Didi s perspective, t h e n a r r a t i v e w i l l n o w c e n t r e a r o u n d

Hussain Ustra Reports suggest a hefty budget of Rs 150 crore for the f i l m p r o d u c e d b y S a j i d

b h i l a s h T h a p l i y a l , D e l r a a z
u n s h a h , a n d a l i v e b a n d M o r e o v e r , a d d i t i o n a l
for b o t h t h e b r i d e a n d g r o o m , a l l c o n t r i b u t i n g t o t h e splendour of their
28 13 - 19 April 2024 AsianVoiceNews AsianVoic asianvoicenews Insights
f f e r i n g a n i d e a l setting for the couple's momentous occasion T h e r e p o r t a l s o h i g h l i g h t e d t h e g u e s t s '
l i g h t f u l e x p e r i e n c e a t t h
bration, where they were entertained D J G a n e s h , A
information has emerged regarding the expertly curated wedding photography, choreography, and makeup
special day
on Taapsee Pannu and Mathias Boe's quiet wedding after video leak

Kartik Aaryan worked for 14 months on Marathi dialect for Chandu Champion

Actor Kartik Aaryan has dedicated himself to his upcoming film "Chandu Champion " According to a source close to the production, the actor devoted 14 months to mastering the Marathi dialect for his role He worked closely with a language coach throughout this period to ensure proficiency.

Kartik unveiled the first look from "Chandu Champion" in August last year, portraying a character wearing an Indian blazer, sporting short hair, and exhibiting an intense expression, complemented by subtle injury marks on his face

The movie is scheduled to release in theatres on June 14, 2024 This marks another Eid release for Kartik, as Eid-alAdha falls on June 16, 2024

Kabir Khan has directed the film In January 2024, he finished the shoot for 'Chandu Champion' "In the Instagram caption, he wrote, "This RasMalai Tasted Like Victory ! Finally eating sugar after a year !! After more than a year of intense preparation and 8 months of day-n-night shoots across the globe, today we complete the shooting journey of #ChanduChampion And it couldn't have been sweeter than my fav, Rasmalai - from the Man himself who carved this challenging path for me you have been a profound inspiration Sir! @kabirkhankk (red heart emoticon) " Kartik will also be seen in director Hansal Mehta's upcoming film 'Captain India' and Anees Bazmee's Bhool Bhulaiyaa 3

Priyanka Chopra’s brother

Siddharth Chopra and Neelam

Upadhyaya get engaged

Priyanka Chopra's brother Siddharth Chopra is now engaged to actress Neelam Upadhyaya, known for her work in Tamil and Telugu films The couple took to Instagram to announce their engagement, sharing glimpses of their joyous ceremony held in Mumbai on March 30 Among the cherished moments captured, Neelam and Siddharth were seen posing with their parents, radiating happiness and excitement.

The joy of the couple was enhanced when Priyanka Chopra and her husband Nick Jonas, along with the Malti, joined the frame, along with other fam members A heartwarming moment capture the celebration showcased Neelam affection touching Malti s cheeks, while Priyanka look on with sheer delight at her daughter's expressions

The engagement ceremony was a delightful family affair, with Priyanka's cousin Mannara Chopra and her sister Mitali Handa joining the newly engaged couple alongside other relatives Siddharth looked stylish in a floral Bandhgala suit, while Neelam radiated elegance in a traditional purple embroidered outfit

Priyanka Chopra also took to Instagram stories to share a candid picture of herself with Siddharth and Neelam, capturing a special moment with Nick Jonas making an appearance in the frame as well

This engagement signifies a fresh chapte Siddharth Chopra's life, following his previo engagement to Ishita Kumar, which was cal before their scheduled wedding in April 201

Boney Kapoor on the possibility of a Sridevi biopic: "Will not allow this to happen"

Boney Kapoor, known for his candid revelations about both his personal and professional life in interviews, recently addressed the possibility of a Sridevi biopic When questioned by the media if he's considering a biopic on Sridevi, the producer of "Maidaan" firmly stated, "She was a very private person, and her life should remain private I don't think there ever will be, till the time I live, I will not allow this to happen."

This response comes in the context of "Maidaan" being a sports biopic centred on the legendary football coach Syed Abdul Rahim's determination and passion

For the unversed, before getting married to Sridevi, Boney Kapoor was married to Mona Shourie Kapoor Boney and Mona also share two kidsArjun Kapoor and Anshula K B ey and Sridevi got 996 and welcomed rs, Janhvi Kapoor Kapoor Sridevi ai due to accidental a bathtub in 2018 alking to the media oor opened up fe's death tioned, "It wasn't a ise but an ne Initially, I ussing it, having ken extensively he investigation ed to a clean chit ubai police Despite e from the Indian thorough rogation including ie detector test concluded it was accidental drowning "

Adah Sharma on buying Sushant Singh Rajput’s apartment: 'I got overwhelmed'

Last year, rumours circulated that Adah Sharma, known for her role in "The Kerala Story," had purchased the Mumbai apartment previously occupied by the late actor Sushant Singh Rajput before his demise. Addressing speculations during an interview with Siddharth Kannan, Adah discussed the constant inquiries she faced after being seen near the apartment. Sushant passed away from an alleged suicide on June 14, 2020. When questioned about purchasing Sushant's sea-facing house, Adah responded, "At this moment, I would simply like to say that I reside in everyone's hearts There's a time for everything to be revealed When I visited the property, I found myself inundated with media scrutiny I cherish my privacy; although I enjoy the limelight for my films, I've always valued my personal space "

The actor also expre it inappropriate to discu someone who is no long us, especially someone w contributed to cinema w such remarkable films I hold great respect for him, and I believe any discussion regarding him should be conducted wi the utmost respect I disapprove of casual commentary It doesn' sit well with me I've come across certain remarks made about him and it saddened me

Criticise me if you must but refrain from criticis someone who isn't here defend themselves or ha their story told I will ad my material living arrangements soon, but now, I find solace in res in the hearts of millions without charge "

AsianVoiceNews AsianVoiceNewsweekly ianvoicenews
Is Ranveer Singh to play a vital role in

Rajinikanth's upcoming film?

Rajinikanth's upcoming film, to be directed by Lokesh Kanagaraj, has been officially launched with the working title 'Thalaivar 171'. Lokesh Kanagaraj recently unveiled the first look of Rajinikanth from the film, igniting excitement among fans with the superstar actor's retro appearance With numerous reports circulating online about 'Thalaivar 171', anticipation for the mega-budget film is at an all-time high

The latest rumour circulating on social media suggests that a Bollywood actor will play a significant role in 'Thalaivar 171' Speculations point towards none other than Ranveer Singh, known for his portrayal of Kapil Dev in the cricket drama '1983', which resonated well with Tamil audiences Reports indicate that director Lokesh Kanagaraj has been in discussions with Ranveer Singh for a potential role in 'Thalaivar 171' The vital role of the Bollywood actor will be an extended one, and he has also reportedly expressed his interest in being part of the highly anticipated film Lokesh Kanagaraj last directorial 'Leo' featuring Vijay in the lead role also had Bollywood actor Sanjay Dutt playing a powerful role, and his role added power to the film

Rashmika Mandanna's intriguing poster as 'Srivalli' from Pushpa 2: The Rule’ is out

AsRashmika Mandanna celebrates her 28th birthday, fans are delighted with a surprise from the makers of the highly anticipated film 'Pushpa 2: The Rule ' The actress, reprising her role as Srivalli alongside Allu Arjun, receives a special birthday present in the form of an intriguing character poster With a captivating caption, the makers unveil Rashmika's character from the sequel film, extending warm birthday wishes to the talented actress The poster's release is accompanied by the announcement of the Pushpa 2 teaser scheduled for April 8th, heightening excitement among fans The capt i o n r e a d s , “ W i s h i n g t h e ������������ ' �� �������������������� ' S r i v a l l i ' a k a @iamRashmika a very Happy Birthday #Pushpa2TheRuleTeaser on April 8th # P u s h p a M a s s J a a t h a r a # P u s h p a 2 TheRule Grand Release Worldwide on 15th AUG 2024 ” Apart from Rashmika Mandanna, "Pushpa 2" also features the charismatic Allu Arjun in the lead role Last year, fans were captivated by Allu Arjun's striking first look poster from the film, portraying him in a bold avatar He was depicted wearing a saree with his face adorned in vibrant hues of blue and red

The poster showcased the actor in elaborate traditional attire, complemented by heavy gold jewellery, intricate makeup, jhumkas, nose ring, and bangles W i t h t h e r e l e a s e o f R a s h m i k a M a n d a n n a ' s c h

t e r , t

e excitement for "Pushpa 2: The Rule" escalates, offering fans a tantalising glimpse into the continuation of the Pushpa saga Scheduled for a worldwide release on August 15, 2024, the film has g e n e r a t e d s i g n i f i c a n t a n t i c i p a t i o n Recently, the makers unveiled a captivating poster announcing the teaser release date set for April 8 2024

Rishab Shetty's unseen Yakshagana performance pictures during his school days

Unearthed glimpses from renowned filmmaker and actor Rishab Shetty's formative years have emerged, illuminating his profound affection for Yakshagana dance and folklore. Beginning as a passionate Yakshagana enthusiast in sixth grade, Rishab's journey has evolved into a significant presence in Indian cinema


H i s u n w a

m i tment to Yakshagana, evident in the unearthed pictures, underscores his early devotion to art and entertainment

It appears that Lokesh Kanagaraj is keen on continuing the successful formula, and fans eagerly await an official announcement regarding Ranveer Singh's involvement in 'Thalaivar 171' The unveiling of the film's title is scheduled for April 22, promising an exciting teaser from the makers to introduce the fiery title to the audience

R e f l e c t i n g o n h i s a r t i s t i c e v o l u t i o n , R i s h a b S h e t t y remarked in a statement, "My journey as an artist started when I was in 6th standard when I performed Yakshagana Since then, I have always dreamt of bringing the folklore of my region to the big screen for the world to see " The revered folklore dance form Yakshagana played a pivo t a

s h a b S h e t t y ' s a c c l a i

f i

m ' K a n t a r a : T h e Legend ' Particularly, the traditional dance was intricately integ r a


i n t o t h e t r a c k '

a r a h r o o


' i n ' K a n t a r a , ' underscoring the director's dedication to preserving and spotlighting regional culture on a global scale Currently, Rishab Shetty is gearing up for the highly-anticip a t e d p r e q u e l t o ' K a n t a r a : Chapter 1' and the movie is said to be mounted on a much bigger canvas than the first film

I wasn’t even screen-tested: Prithviraj Sukumaran calls Dulquer Salmaan and himself ‘nepo kids’

While nepotism remains a heated topic of discussion in Bollywood, it's not as prominent in the South, particularly due to the prevalence of major stars coming from legacy film backgrounds. However, in a discussion with Mashable India, he candidly acknowledged that both he and Dulquer Salmaan are 'nepo kids' and have had certain advantages compared to their peers

accept the fact that I've had it easy I landed my first film solely because of my surname I w a s n ' t e v e n s c r e e n - t e s t e d ; s o m e o n e s i m p l y b e l i e v e d I ' d excel as an actor because of my lineage "

P r i t h v i r a j e x p r e s s e d h i s viewpoint that once individuals e n t e r t h e f i l m i n d u s t r y , t h e playing field becomes equal in t e r m s o f p r o v i n g o n e s e l f " I attribute my first film solely to my surname However, that's

h e

they reside near each other in Kerala and both come from film backgrounds


q u i r y , h e e m p h a s i s e d , " I ' l l speak solely about myself " He a c k n o w l e d g e d a n d e m b r a c e d the reality that his entry into the industry was facilitated by h i s f a m i l y n a m e P r i t h v i r a j

where it ends When it comes to F r i d a y r e l e a s e s , t a l e n t i s t h e ultimate decider There are no safety nets or boards of directors to intervene You're out there to face judgement," he emphasised Prithviraj acknowledged his privileged entry into the industry but remained cognizant that there are individuals more talented than him awaiting their chance

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Diljit Dosanjh unlearns things for Amar Singh Chamkila biopic transformation

Just four months into 2024, Punjabi singer-actor Diljit Dosanjh is dominating the year's headlines. From his musical endeavours to international collaborations and movie projects, he remains a prominent figure in the industry. Currently, his upcoming film 'Chamkila' is the talk of the town for all the right


In a recent media interview, Diljit openly shared insights into the intensive preparations he underwent for his role He also highlighted the invaluable guidance provided by acclaimed filmmaker Imtiaz Ali

Reflecting on his portrayal of Amar Singh Chamkila, Diljit disclosed that embodying the persona of such an iconic figure required a process of unlearning and self-discovery He expressed that it was a unique artistic opportunity for him to embark on this transformative journey Although starting from scratch could be daunting, Diljit viewed it as a chance for personal and professional growth While admitting that he didn't extensively delve into the preparations for the role, he credited Imtiaz Ali for his instrumental role in shaping the narrative Dosanjh remarked, "He had a clear vision about the character of Chamkila I knew Chamkila as an artist, but I had no idea about how he was as a person or how he would perform on stage I got a lot of help from Imtiaz, sir "

O s c a r s , h i g h l i g h t e d D e e p i

Shreya Ghoshal) from the movie

" B a j i r a o M a s t a n i , " d i r e c t e d b y Sanjay Leela Bhansali and starring Ranveer Singh, Deepika Padukone, and Priyanka Chopra Jonas

A d d i n g t o t h e e x

Singh joined in with a heartfelt comment,

"Deewani Mastani" from the film

T h i s h a s s p a r k e d e x c i t e m e n t among fans, especially admirers of Shreya Ghoshal and Deepika

The caption accompanying the p o s t b y t h e A c a d e m y A w a r d s , a f f e c t i o n a t e l y k n o w n a s t h e

a n d praising Shreya Ghoshal's s o u l f u l r e n d i t i o n complementing Deepika's on-screen charisma One user expressed, "Finally! T h i s m o v i e D E S E R V E S a t

Fardeen Khan makes a comeback with Sanjay Leela

Bhansali series ‘Heeramandi’

Sanjay Leela Bhansali's debut into the world of OTT with "Heeramandi: The Diamond Bazaar" is highly anticipated. Featuring an ensemble cast including Manisha Koirala, Sonakshi Sinha, Aditi Rao Hydari, Richa Chadha, Sanjeeda Sheikh, and Sharmin Segal, the show has already generated significant buzz Now, the makers have unveiled brand new posters introducing the male members of the cast Bhansali Productions has revealed four new character posters to introduce the latest additions to the cast Fardeen Khan is poised to make his screen comeback after 14 years with "Heeramandi " The new poster showcases the actor in a regal demeanour, lounging on a

couch with a tray of jewellery displayed before him

The caption read: “Caught in a whirlwind struggle of love and duty, Wali Mohammed attempts to reconcile his heart's desire with his royal responsibilities Fardeen Khan makes his spectacular return to the screen as Wali Mohammed!”

Shekhar Suman and his son Adhayayan Suman are also joining the cast of the Netflix series In a second post introducing Shekhar's character, the actor appears as a Nawaab, exuding pride Adhyayan Suman's portrayal as Zoravar also captured attention

The caption teases, "Zoravar’s affection for Lajjo burns bright, but will he answer love's call?"

Pankaj Tripathi speaks about evolution after portraying Vajpayee

Pankaj Tripathi, known for his versatile performances on screen, recently shared his deep admiration for Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayee, India's revered statesman and former Prime Minister His portrayal of Atal ji for the OTT project, released on January 19, garnered widespread acclaim. However, what truly amazed the actor were the personal transformations he experienced while embodying the character on screen. Despite never meeting him in person, Pankaj Tripathi expressed his honour in portraying Atal ji's rallies

The rallies taught him about leadership, effective communication, and how to connect with people He emphasised Atal ji's ability to inspire countless individuals through his words and actions alone Reflecting on the impact of portraying Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayee, Pankaj added that he gained insights into various aspects, from the former Prime Minister's patriotism to his skill in

uniting people

Atal ji’s quote - “We want peace to last forever,” left an indelible mark on Tripathi’s heart He expressed that portraying Vajpayee ji on screen transformed his outlook not only towards politics but also towards life itself He noted that he had evolved into a more compassionate individual, emphasizing sympathy, empathy, and understanding He mentioned feeling internally more d ocratic, refraining from disliking individuals based on criticism and instead respecting everyone's freedom He further stated that if someone were to express dislike for his film, he wouldn't harbor any esentment towards them

www.asian-voice.com AsianVoiceNews AsianVoiceNewsweekly asianvoicenews ATFORM
In an exciting announcement, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences thrilled fans by releasing a nostalgic video
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romance, "Bajirao Mastani " Directed by Sanjay Leela Bhansali, the film featured a stellar cast comprising Ranveer Singh, Deepika Padukone, and Priyanka Chopra in
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Jadeja helps CSK to score third victory

T h e 3 5 -yea r-o ld Rav i nd ra Jad ej a w as back to his menacing best at C h ep auk as h e bam boo zled th e

K olkata K nigh t Riders batters to steer the hosts to a sev en-wicket

w in Showing the capacity crowd

w hy he is C SK’s go-to bowler in the m id d le o v e rs , J a d ej a re tu rn ed

m atc h - w i nni n g f i g u re s o f 3 - 1 8 , w it h h i s e ff i ci en t p erf o rm a nc e h elping the hom e team to restrict the v isitors to a below-par score of 1 37-9 Th e chase was a w alk in the p ark for Sup er Kings, wh o got the jo b done with 14 balls to spare as K n ig h t Ri d e rs tas te d th e ir fi rs t d efeat of the seaso n Skipper and o pener Ruturaj Gaikw ad ( 67 not o ut) saw h is sid e through , gaining m u ch - ne ed e d c o n fi d en c e b y raising his first h alf-century of the season

MI seal fir st win

In the end, the 32 runs that Romario Shepherd scored in the last over off Anrich Nortje proved to be the difference as Mumbai Indians recorded their first win of t h e s e a s o n w h e n t h e y d e f e a t e d Delhi Capitals by 29 runs at the Wankhede Stadium on Sunday Till the 15th over of MI’s innings, DC would have felt that they have done a decent job of keeping the home sides scoring in check MI, after a brisk start in the Powerplay, where t h e y w e r e 7 5 f o r n o l o s s , w e r e reduced 138 for four at that stage having scored just 63 runs from overs 7 and 15 and lost four wickets

for just 41 runs

But just when DC thought that they had MI on the mat, their bigh i t t e r s - T i m D a v i d ( 4 5 ) a n d Shepherd (39) shared an unbeaten 13-ball 53 stand for the sixth wicket to turn the tables on DC

Tha kur a nd Stoin is power LSG

L u c k n o w : L u c k n o w S u p e r

G i a n t s w e r e c l i n i c a l w h i l e r e g i s t e r i n g a 3 3 - r u n w i n o v e r Gujarat Titans in their IPL 2024 match in Luckno on Sunday The Gujarat side could not mount a strong chase of 164 and ended at 130 all out as LSG pacer Yash Thakur (5/30) and spinner Krunal Pandya (3/11) came up with impact efforts

For GT, only opener Sai Sudharsan (31) could offer some resistance

E a r l i e r , a l l - r o u n d e r M a r c u s Stoinis hit a fine 50 while Nicholas Pooran played a cameo towards the end to guide LSG to 163 for five Opting to bat, LSG rode on Stoinis’ 58 off 43 balls and his 73-run stand off 62 balls with skipper KL Rahul for the third wicket to propel LSG

Buttler spoils Kohli pa rty

L e a v i n g b e h i n d t h e d i s a p p o i n t m e n t o f t h e p r e v i o u s t h r e e o u t i n g s , J o s

Buttler was back in business on Saturday as he ripped through the unheralded RCB bowling

a t t a c k w i t h a d o m i n a n t , unbeaten 100 off 58 balls to help Rajasthan Royals cruise to a six-wicket victory at the SMS S t a d i u m i n J a i p u r T h e o n s l a u g h t b y B u t t l e r n o t o n l y overshadowed, but also dampened t h e e x c i t e m e n t a r o u n d V i r a t Kohli’s unbeaten 113 off 72 balls e a r l i e r T h i s w a s K o h l i ’ s f i r s t century against the Royals and also his first at this venue With this win, Royals have extended their unbeaten streak with four wins in as many games Chasing 184, the partnership of 148 between Buttler and Samson (69) was broken by Mohammed Siraj in the 15th over, but by that time the damage was done and Royals only needed 35 to seal the game Punjab se al 200-r un chase ag ainst

Tit an s S h a s h a n k S i n g h a n d I m p a c t Player Ashutosh Sharma hauled Punjab Kings to a stunning three wicket triumph over Gujarat Titans at the Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad Shashank, who came in to bat with the Kings in perilh a v i n g l o s t S a m C u r r a n i n t h e ninth over at 70/4 - scampered for a leg bye off the penultimate ball to

Kashif Ali hits 237 as Worcestershire dominate at Edgbaston

Ka shif Ali followe d up his maide n first-cla ss ce ntur y in t he fir st inn ings wit h a n eve n bet ter one in the se con d as Wor ce ster shir e t oo k c h a r g e o f t h e ir Vi t a l it y C o un t y C hampionship ope ner ag ainst War wick shir e a t E dg ba st on Ha v in g sco re d 1 10 on t h e ope ning day t o help W orceste rshire to a t ota l of 36 0, the st ylish 26-ye ar-old ba tsman Ka shif A li mad e a comman ding 13 3 fr om 128 balls as his tea m amassed 237 for t wo t o lead by 264 g oin g int o t he fin al day

Warwickshire lost their last five wickets for 27 to fold to 333 all out, giving the visiting team a first-innings lead of 27, which they extended in breezy fashion

Kashif struck 16 fours and five sixes, and was ably supported by Jake Libby (75 not o u t ) , g i v i n g W o r c e s t e r s h i r e h o p e o f a victory in their first match back in Division One It was a sublime innings by Kashif, showcasing his strength in defence and attack with excellent footwork and smart shot selection He brought up both his centuries with sixes, showing his ability to p i c k u p l e n g t h q u i c k l y a n d d i s p l a y i n g extreme confidence for someone with such limited first-class experience Before this match he had played eight times, averaging 23 with a top score of 93

Kashif, who played second-team cricket for seven other counties before getting a professional contract with Worcestershire at 24, is a product of the South Asian Cricket Academy - the first SACA player to sign for a first-class county (although seven more have since followed)

Speaking after play on the first day, Kashif spoke emotionally about the role SACA has played in his breakthrough, “I’m struggling to speak at the moment, I just w a n t t o t h a n k h u g e l y S A C A a n d Worcestershire for this opportunity,” he said

Kashif, who was born in Pakistan, started at the Kent academy but was not offered a contract He then had second-team trials

w i t h E s s e x , N o t t i n g h a m s h i r e , Northamptonshire, Kent and Leicestershire, and was a prolific scorer for Bedfordshire in the National Counties Competitions

cap off wild celebrations in the Punjab camp Shashank, first with Sikandar Raza and then with Jitesh Sharma and Ashutosh, took the K i n g s t o a n i m p r o b a b l e a n d dramatic triumph Shashank (61) hit Noor Ahmad for a straight six in the 10th over before hitting Umesh Yadav for a six towards the fine leg in the next over With 25 needed off 12 balls, Ashutosh and Shashank smashed sixes off Mohit Sharma to reduce the target to seven runs off six balls Despite losing Ashutosh off the first ball of the last over, Shashank carried the team to a memorable triumph and ended the two game losing streak Knight Rider s d emolish Delh i W h i l e s k i p p e r S h r e y a s I y e r failed to fire for Kolkata Knight Riders, power-hitters Andre Russell ( 4 1 ) , R i n k u S i n g h ( 2 6 ) a n d youngster Angkrish Raghuvanshi (54) flexed their muscles on Delhi Capitals bowlers to help KKR post a gigantic total It took a pin-point yorker from Ishant Sharma to stop Russell mania from running wild in the final over as Kolkata posted 2 7 2 - 7 i n 2 0 o v e r s R u s s e l l a n d Rinku fired KKR to the secondh i g h e s t t o t a l i n I P L ' s h i s t o r y Playing a captain's knock for the Delhi Capitals, Rishabh Pant (55) s m a s h e d h i s f i r s t h a l f - c e n t u r y against KKR in the IPL Tristan S t u b b s a l s o p l a y e d a c o u n t e r a t t a c k i n g k n o c k ( 5 4 ) a l t h o u g h P a n t ’ s D C e n d e d u p

losing the contest by 106 runs

LSG outplay Ben galuru

L u c k n o w S u p e r G i a n t s outplayed hosts Royal Challengers Bengaluru by 28 runs in the Indian P r e m i e r L e a g u e C h a s i n g L S G ’ s competitive 181/5, RCB folded up for 153 in 19 4 overs If Quinton de Kock (81) wore his dancing shoes throughout his blistering knock, D e l h i y o u n g s t e r M a y a n k Y a d a v , made the RCB batters dance to his pace and precision The 21-yearold, who clocked upwards of 150 k m p h r e g u l a r l y , t o r m e n t e d t h e RCB batters Spinner M Siddharth, w h o c a m e i n a s i m p a c t p l a y e r

Quinton de Kock, made it count as Virat Kohli became the rookie’s maiden IPL wicket Kohli went for an expansive shot which barely connected and Padikkal got under t h e s k i e r a t b a c k w a r d p o i n t Padikkal had an off day with the bat, but was in electrifying form as a fielder

Ho w th ey stand


Now, Singapore rules out hosting 2026 Commonwealth Games

S ingap o re jo ined Malays ia in ruli ng o u t h osting the 2026 Co mmonwealth Games, further plunging the future of the multisp ort event into dou bt

The Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF) has been scrambling to find a new host after the Australian state of Victoria withdrew last year because of soaring costs

M a l a y s i a e m e r g e d a s a p o s s i b l e r e p l a c e m e n t b u t t u r n e d d o w n t h e opportunity last month because of the cost, despite the offer of a £100 million ($126

m i l l i o n ) s w e e t e n e r f r o m t h e C G F T h e f i n a n c i a l s u p p o r t i s a v a i l a b l e t o a n y prospective host

“Commonwealth Games Singapore and

Sport Singapore have studied the feasibility of hosting the 2026 Commonwealth Games and have decided not to make any bid to host the Games,” the two sports bodies said in a joint statement, giving no more detail Victoria’s sudden pullout, and the lack of an obvious alternative, have raised doubts over the future of the Games, which take place every four years with most of the competing teams drawn from former British colonies The Games were last hosted in 2022 by the city of Birmingham in England

The CGF hopes that the Games’ perceived strengths of inclusivity and integration, with para sports mixed in with able-bodied events, will secure a host just two years out

Cricket’s Big Three in talks to revive CL T20

T he cricket boards of India, England and A ustralia -the three mo st pow erfu l bodies of t h e g am e - a re ke en o n rev i v i ng th e C hampions L eague T20 , o r CLT20 as it was called, accord ing to C ricket Victoria CEO Nick C ummins However, w ith the men ’ s calendar being p acked currently due to many bi lateral s eries and IC C events, the first e d i ti o n o f ‘ C L T 20 2 0 ’ c o u ld fe atu r e a w o m en ’ s to u r nam ent o nly , C u m m in s rev ealed “I’m constantly talking to Nick Hockley,

Harendra returns as women’s hockey coach

Cricket Australia CEO, for a Champions League, because I think it’s pretty important to bring that back We still haven’t made out which league is the best IPL, PSL or the Big Bash? The only way we can show that is by having the Melbourne Stars play Karachi Kings or the Mumbai Indians

Soo n after Janneke Schopm an quit as the head coach of th e Indian wom en ’ s hockey te am , a to p c o nt en d er to su c c eed th e Dutch woman was a fam iliar nam e in hockey circles - Harend ra S ing h Sure enoug h, the D ro na ch ary a a w ard w i nne r, w h o h as coached v arious Ind ian team s inclu ding the s en io r m en and w o m en fo r o v er t w o decad es, has taken over as th e h ead coach of the senior wom en ’ s team Harendra, who until recently served as c o a c h o f t h e U S A m e n ’ s h o c k e y t e a m , returned to the country to join the women ’ s c a m p l a s t w e e k S o u r c e s i n t h e S p o r t s A u t h o r i t y o f I n d i a ( S A I ) c o n f i r m e d t h a t Harendra has been involved in pruning the 60-member assessment squad to a core group of 33 during the trials held on April 6 and 7

place for the Lok Sabha elections

A s a c o a c h , H a r e n d r a ’ s c a r e e r w i t h

It is learnt that Harendra is in the p r o c e s s o f p u t t i n g t o g e t h e r a t e a m o f support staff after most of them left along with Schopman An official announcement from Hockey India has been put on hold due to the Model Code of Conduct (MCC) in

Indian hockey began in 1997, and under h i m , I n d i a h a v e w o n 1 1 g o l d m e d a l s including the 2016 men ’ s junior World Cup, 2017 women ’ s Asia Cup and 2018 Asian Champions Trophy (men) Harendra was brought in as the senior men ’ s coach in 2017 During his tenure which lasted over a year, India claimed the bronze at the 2018 Asian Games and finished fifth at the FIH World Cup at home

“I think the (earlier edition) Champions League was ahead of its time The T20 landscape wasn’t matured enough at that point I think it is now I know that there’s a c t i v e c o n v e r s a t i o n s b e t w e e n C r i c k e t Australia (CA), ECB (England and Wales Cricket Board) and the BCCI (Board of Control for Cricket in India) about (reviving) the Champions League “It’s just trying to find a window as to when you actually play that, because you ’ ve also got all the ICC tournaments as well It maybe that the first iteration of the Champions League will be of the women So, (it may involve cricketers playing in the) the WPL, the Hundred and the WBBL,” Cummins said at the Cricket Club of India (CCI), at a KheloMore’s press

c o n f e r e n c e a n n o u n c i n g t h e l

Academy in partnership with Cricket Victoria

13 - 19 April 2024 32 www.asian-voice.com AsianVoiceNews AsianVoiceNewsweekly asianvoicenews
4 0 1 120 8 KKR 4 3 1 1 528 6 LSG 4 3 1 0 775 6 CSK 5 3 2 0 666 6 SRH 4 2 2 0 409 4 PBKS 4 2 2 -0 220 4 GT 5 2 3 -0 797 4 MI 41 3 -0 704 2 RCB 5 1 4 -0 843 2 DC 5 1 4 -1 370 2
a u n c h o f Melbourne Cricket
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