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First & Foremost Asian Weekly in Europe

Vol 46 | Issue 24


14th October to 20th October 2017

Let noble thoughts come to us from every side


l Home Office rule changes are discouraging people to join their British families l Leave to remain granted to foreigners has plummeted by 73% since 2006 Rupanjana Dutta

A recent report has revealed that the number of foreigners including Indians granted leave to remain in the UK has plummeted by 73% since 2006. Analysis of immigration statistics published by The Independent, reveals that the number of children, partners and dependant relatives able to live permanently in the UK through a “grant of settlement” has been declined, including entry clearances, creating more and more 'skype families'. Campaigners and politicians have told the media, that the ongoing clampdown on immigration by the Conservatives through rule changes, have discouraged people to join their British families. Speaking to Asian Voice, a woman said how her husband has not been able to move to the UK for

London witnesses a spectacular display of collaborative culture at the Independence Gala See page 14

over a year, ever since they have been married in India. Ratna Srivastava from Liverpool told Asian Voice, “I married my husband a year back. For him to move to the UK, I need to earn around £18,600 per annum as well as have a fixed bank balance for a continuous period, and I don't earn so much. So he is still away from me, and we talk every day over facetime. It's painful. This is not how I thought my marriage will turn out to be.” A rule change in 2012,

which saw the period one had to live in the UK before applying for a permanent residency increase from two years to five years, will also have contributed to the steep decline in grants of settlement, which has plummeted by 77% since the change took place. Visas granted for partners of British nationals have fallen by 45% since 2006, with success artes down from 86% to 76%. Entry clearance visas granted to “other” family members, which refers to those who have dependent

relatives in the UK who require their support, has decreased even more dramatically, by 57%, indicating that far less foreigners are now able to move to the UK as carers for vulnerable family members. Brit Cits a campaigning group were fighting for the rights of settlement for elderly parents of naturalised British Indians in the UK, but even after trying for a considerable time, they were not successful. Continued on page 16

GP Hinduja and Lakshmi Mittal at JITOPRENEURS 2017, London. See page 8

Mayor of London to visit India and Pakistan on a trade mission See Page - 5


Asian Voice | 14th October 2017





Keith Vaz, MP

Omar Mashjari Omar Mashjari is a British-Yemeni lawyer and writer. He is the Executive Director of Adalah Yemen, the country’s first international law NGO. Omar holds a firstclass Law degree, a distinction grade LL.M and is an admitted solicitor and accreditor mediator. He has experience of providing legal counsel and civil society capacity building in conflict zone. 1) Which place or city or country do you most feel at home in? Oh, that’s always difficult to answer. I’ve always loved Yemen, I’ve spent beautiful summers there growing up but definitely Liverpool. The streets, the football, how sociable the people are, it’s all so vivid in my mind. I am a Scouser at heart! 2) What are your proudest achievements? Definitely forming Adalah. Only a few years

ago, I would have never imagined myself working tirelessly day in, day out in order to raise up this organisation from its infancy. Also, leaving corporate law to pursue this, I work a lot more now but it’s so much more fulfilling. 3) What inspires you? The strength of the Yemeni people. Throughout all that’s been happening, they are some of the most resilient, hospitable, and hopeful people out there. How can I be anything

other than inspired? 4) What has been the biggest obstacle in your career? Coming from a family of first generation immigrants has always posed a challenge for me. I had always wanted to be lawyer from the age of six, but with no contacts or other lawyers, I had to figure it out on my own which was initially challenging to the complexity of the profession. 5) Who has been the biggest influence on your career to date? It has to be my father. The man came to the UK with no formal education, no English and no family here to create a better life for his children. You have to have a certain type of determination, grit, and ambition to do that kind of thing. I’m privileged by comparison.

Islamic State fanatic who tried to make nail bomb in bedroom jailed for life

Zahid Hussain

An Islamic State fanatic convicted of trying to make an improvised bomb using fairy lights for a potential attack on Midland trains has been jailed for life. Zahid Hussain, 29, considered targeting railway lines after he was radicalised in his bedroom by viewing hundreds of IS images of the war in Syria. The former doorman, aged 29, was sentenced at Winchester Crown Court today after being found guilty of Preparing for Acts of Terrorism at an earlier trial. He will serve a minimum of 15 years but will remain on licence for a further 30 years. Officers searched Hussain’s home after he was arrested in August 2015, when he was stopped in Alum Rock and found to be in possession of a knife and crowbar and hand written notes detailing instructions for devices. At his flat, they discov-

Zahid Hussain's home in Naseby Road INSET: Home-made pressure cooker bomb (Image: West Midlands Police/PA Wire)

ered he had constructed a home-made pressure cooker device, filled with shrapnel and adapted Christmas tree lights in an attempt to construct an improvised explosive device (IED). Police also seized dismantled mobile phones and bottle of hydrogen peroxide, together with text books detailing guerrilla warfare techniques and small arms combat and further dismantled electrical items including alarm clocks and doorbell chimes. Hussain was re-arrested on suspicion of terrorism-related matters and charged with preparing for acts of terrorism, contrary to Section 5 of the Terrorism Act 2006. Following an examination by medical staff,

Hussain was sectioned and detained under the Mental Health Act and remains under the care of mental health professionals. Following a hearing in January 2016 he was declared fit to stand. His trial at Birmingham Crown Court was told how he wrongly believed his non-viable “bomb” - packed with shrapnel - was capable of causing devastation. It also heard how Hussain attempted to create a remote-control “initiator” for a device by modifying a wireless doorbell. Hussain, who was captured on CCTV clambering into a storm drain near a high-speed railway line, was arrested in August 2015 after being seen “patrolling” the streets near his home.

6) What is the best aspect about your current role? The peace-making, being able to wake up and know that today I might be able to make a real, positive change. Also, the diversity of people and cultures that I work with, although that might be the Brit inside me. 7) And the worst? The flip side of making a change is that you have to constantly be bombarded with what’s happening. All the sad news hits you first thing in the morning, and it’s not easy to wake up to, and it definitely doesn’t help you fall asleep. 8) What are your long term goals? To develop Adalah into an NGO that’ll be here in 20-30 years’ time. An organization that can say it helped stabilize and develop Yemen. Real long-lasting positive

change. 9) If you were Prime Minister, what one aspect would you change? I would support the development of mediumsized

business and make them the backbone of the UK, and increase regionalism whereby regional capitals are able to fully carve out a future for themselves where they would support businesses with subsidies, taxes, centers of excellence, and the like.

10) If you were marooned on a desert island, which historical figure would you like to spend your time with and why? Most definitely, George Orwell. I’d like to hear his thoughts on how 1984 panned out and what comparison can be drawn in 2017!

Man with walking stick wades into mass brawl outside court

Footage revealing the terrifying moment a violent mass brawl erupted outside a court of law in Birmingham has emerged. The first video, which was taken by an onlooker, captured the moment the huge group of people gathered outside Birmingham Magistrates Court and began viciously throwing punches and kicks at each other. One man with a walking stick is captured whacking people with it as another is pushed to the ground at the junction of Corporation Street and Newton Street. The large group then flock to the other side of the road and surround him, kicking him as he cowers on the curb. The brawl continues as the men - and one woman - pull and push each other against the backdrop of the Magistrates Court on Friday, October 6. The same woman is captured pulling an older man to his feet after he was knocked down in the

One man used a walking stick as a weapon in mass brawl

brawl. At the end of the clip, a shopper is seen with a small child trying to squeeze by the wall of onlookers and escape the violence. Another perspective of the brawl was captured by a second bystander and highlights the sheer volume of people involved in

the fight - and also the amount of onlookers who witnessed it. Police are now investigating after they were called to reports of a disorder at at 11.10am on Friday. It is alleged the incident was linked to a court case.

Man appears in court charged with robbery after carjacking A man has appeared in court charged with robbery after an alleged victim was carjacked after placing an advert for his Audi A3 in Auto Trader. Last month Nazim Moghal, 28, called in police after a would-be buyer had allegedly jumped into the driving seat and drove off with

the vehicle following a test drive. CCTV footage showed the incident which took place outside the victim’s home in Hall Green. Mr Moghal had posted an advert for the £30,000 car on the Auto Trader website after losing his job as a telecoms engineer. He had bought the

brand new Audi 18 months ago for £31,400. He put it up for sale on Auto Trader two weeks ago after losing his job. Tamoor Gul, 37, has appeared in court charged with robbery and other offences. He was remanded in custody to appear at Birmingham Crown Court on November 3. AsianVoiceNews



Home truths for the United States New Delhi’s cocktail circuit is convulsed by the Indian government’s refusal to grant a ticketless entry to wouldbe Rohingya asylum seekers. Votaries from the ranks of the great and good are out in force as special pleaders. Some have appealed to the Supreme Court of India, arguing that the decision was a violation of Rohingya human rights, others have chosen to air t heir case in hospitable sections of the Indian media. One such person is Radha Kumar, who, in the Hindu newspaper, draws attention to American advocates of easier entry into the United States to counter the Trump Administration’s travel ban on people from designated countries, most Muslim, because they posed a threat to national security. The US Supreme Court, to the best of one’s knowledge, has not ruled against the government, so the ban stays. Ms Kumar’s citing of the American justice system as an anchor for the rule of law must cause a measure of amusement to monitors of international affairs. Most have taken note of police brutality in America’s inner cities, where members of the black community are frequent victims of arbitrary arrest and detention and prone, thereafter, to lose their lives in suspicious circumstances. Young black children in public parks have been gunned for no justifiable cause. One 12 year innocent, playing in a park, was shot for a playful gesture with a toy pistol. When such cases come to court, all-white juries are prone to dismiss the charges and free the suspects. These decisions commonly lead to rioting and arson; surely Ms Kumar in the solitude of her sumptuous New D elhi mansion watches TV and reads a newspaper or two reporting such unsavoury events. Instead of indulging in empty pieties on the Balkans in the 1990s and specious observations on Indian policy vis-à-vis the neighbourhood, why not engage with truth for a change? The Indian government has passed a law permitting Hindus, Buddhists, Sikhs and Christians fleeing oppression and violence in Afghanistan, Pakistan and Bangladesh the right to enter India and seek asylum. This automatic right is not granted to Muslims, but exceptions are made, a notable case being that of Taslima Nasreen, the Bangladeshi writer who now resides in India. Jihadi terrorism is now a tragic fact of life. Mumbai suffered horribly in March 1993 and again in November 2008 from the depredations of crazed jihadfi killers wedded to the doctrine of a holy war against all infidels. This has also been the American and European experience. German Chancellor Angela Merkil has paid severely for her indulgence in letting in a tide of

displaced humanity from the Greater Middle East and North Africa Violence against German women has risen exponentially. As a result the Alternative Germany party’s performance in the recent national polls has produced 274 MPs in the 703-seat Bundestag. Ms Merkel appears to have awoken to the unpleasant reality much too late, shutting the stable door after the horse had bolted. Let us now turn to the utterances of US Senator Bob Coker, Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee at its hearings to confirm the appointment of the country’s new envoy to India. Senator Coker expressed concern at rising religious intolerance in India and the oppression of minorities in the country. He pointed the Indian government’s refusal to give foreign NGOs a blank cheque to enter India. Experience in India and elsewhere has long shown that some NGOs enter with subversive intent, that they have been proven instruments of regime change. A decade and more ago a rural agitation of some strength broke out in Tamil Na du in the vicinity of the nuclear power plant being built near Chennai with Russian technology and assistance. Southern India faced a crippling shortfall in power and this was impeding industrial development. Then Indian prime minister, the eminently decent Manmohan Singh stated publicly that the Kundakulam project was being derailed with foreign money routed through London. A German member of an NGO was expelled from India. The project has been running smoothly ever since, and the southern grid supplies every regional State with all the power it needs for development. Finally, US Defence Secretary James Mathis was recently in India, hoping to persuade the government to send an Indian Army contingent to Afghanistan to aid the US military quell the jihadi insurgency in the country. His plea was turned down by India’s new woman Defence Minister Nirmala Sitaraman. Economic aid, yes, but no Indian boots on the ground, she said. When Secretary Mathis criticized Pakistan for not doing enough to curb terrorism, she responded by telling him that since Islamabad was his next port of call, he should translate his words into actionable deeds. Sanctions against Pakistan not Iran would make sense. Meanwhile, Afghanistan’s former president, Hamid Karzai, speaking to the Hindu newspaper, warned that ‘India should not fall for US designs,’ and maintain an independent position’. Caveat Emptor!

Creative face of America The recent tragedy at Las Vegas in which a lone gunman killed 58 innocent citizens, and injured many more, is the enduring curse of the all powerful American gun lobby; its twin, the military industrial complex is a continuing blight on the country’s foreign and defence policies. Yet there exists cheek by jowl the creative cutting edge science and technology, where new frontiers of knowledge are crossed and human experience enriched. American Nobel laureates in Physics, Chemistry and Medicine are a reminder of the country’s true strength, which vainglory and political posturing should not obscure American strengths that are humanity’s blessing. In this short space of reflection, it is difficult to take in the scale of Albert Einstein’s phenomenal brain. It was his General Theory of Relativity that predicted the existence of gravitational waves, which it took a century and more for the joint efforts of scientists Rainer Weiss, Barry Barrish and Kip Thorne confirm with data gleaned by the latest technologies and the collaboration of

scientists and engineers across continents. Humans will eventually go back in time and discover the cause and moment when the miracle of the Universe took birth. Breathtaking! The Nobel Laureates in Medicine, Jeffrey Hall, Michael Rosbash and Michael Young were honoured for their discoveries pertaining to the body’s clock, opening up whole new fields of research and raising awareness of the importance of sleep, and getting enough of it, throughout one’s life. The three Laureates also received recognition for their pioneering studies on genetic mechanisms behind circadian rhythms that adapt the bodily functions to different phases of the day, influencing sleep, behavior, hormone levels, body temperature and metabolism. Their experiments were conducted with fruit flies. ‘I am very pleased for the fruit fly. ‘ said Professor Rosbsash of Brandeis University, and ‘ I’m a little overwhelmed. I stand on the shoulders of giants. This is a very humbling award.’

Indian contribution to gravitational wave discovery As many as 37 Indian scientists from the nine institutions including the Inter University Centre for Astronomy and Astrophysics (IUCAA) at Pune made critical contributions to the gravitational wave discovery. These gravitational waves were caused when two black holes collided more than a billion light years ago before reaching the earth. Around 12 IUAA scientists co-authored the first paper on the discovery. Twenty-five others from different institutions joined them in the endeavor. The pioneer was the IUCAA’s Dr Sanjeev Dhurandhar, who has been working in this field for the past 30 years. The group under him did the foundational work on developing data analysis techniques to detect the gravitational wave signals buried in the detector’s noise

by looking for the best match between the calculated wave forms and the detector’s signals. IUCAA Director, Professor Somak Raychaudhury, said the Nobel Prize is restricted to three persons as a rule, but the discovery in this instance, involved 1,500 scientists across the world. He said: ‘Dhurandhar will be proud today. He built this activity in India. Many others who were a part of this project, were his students…if there were 20-25 to be named for the Nobel, he would have been among them.’ Tarun Suradeep, spokesman of the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory (LIGO) India,, said the discovery had opened new vistas for Indian scientists already working in the field and for generations of future scientists who aspired to do so.

Asian Voice | 14th October 2017


The whole of life is about another chance and, while we are alive, till the very end, there is always another chance -Jeanette Winterson (2011)

Alpesh Patel

Keeping the Peace As the Saudi King visits Russia, seeking peace and stability in the Middle East, I noted on the BBC that that stability is not helped by killing children in Yemen or Syria or a blockade of Britain’s ally Qatar, from whose military basis drone strikes by UK forces target ISIS. A week too when the Nobel Peace Prize was announced – what brings world Peace today? Below is what I wish the Indian Ambassador to t he UN had said. He didn’t. At the end, I reveal who did actually say what is written below. “Mr President, India considers the actions of the Government of Syria in killing children to be an act of war upon humanity and as a member of the family of nations, India shall act to defend the citizens of Syria and considers itself as of now formally in a state of war with the nation of Syria. Up to the very last it would have been quite possible to have arranged a peaceful and honourable settlement between Syria and its people, but Assad would not have it. He had evidently made up his mind to attack whatever happened; and although he now says he has put forward reasonable proposals which were rejected, that is not a true statement. The proposals were never shown; and although they were announced in a broadcast on Thursday night, Assad did not wait to make comment on them, but ordered his troops to cross the frontier villages. His actions show convincingly that there is no chance of expecting that this man will ever give up his practice of using force to gain his will. He can only be stopped by force. We and Britain are today, in fulfilment of our obligations, going to the aid of Syria's citizens, who are so bravely resisting this wicked and unprovoked attack on her people. We have a clear conscience. We have done all that any country could do to establish peace. The situation in which no word given to Syria's ruler could be trusted and no people or country could feel themselves safe has become intolerable. And now that we have resolved to finish it, I know that you will play your part with calmness and coura ge. At such a moment as this the assurances of support that we have received from the Commonwealth are a source of profound encouragement to us. When I have finished speaking certain detailed announcements will be made on behalf of the Government. Give these your closest attention. The Government have made plans under which it will be possible to carry on the work of the nation in the days of stress and strain that may be ahead. But these plans need your help. Now may God bless you all. May He defend the right. It is the evil things that we shall be fighting against – brute force, bad faith, injustice, oppression and persecution – and against them I am certain that the right will prevail." Actually, the Indian Ambassador to the UN did not say the above. No, the British PM said it. He said it in 1939 when Britain declared war on Germany for acts of genocide. But then there was not Russian and China or UN to block such action by veto. Editor: CB Patel

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Asian Voice | 14th October 2017


‘Bhakti Unites Us’: ISKCON Bhaktivedanta Manor Welcomes His Holiness Mahant Swami Maharaj

By Gauri Das

Following a recent visit to the BAPS Neasden temple, Sruti Dharma das, Temple President of ISKCON Bhaktivedanta Manor, casually invited Mahant Swami Maharaj, international spiritual head of BAPS, to visit the Manor. Considering the Swami’s elderly age and his international priorities, Sruti Dharma had not expected the call he would receive on Sunday 8th October: “Mahant Swami has accepted your invitation and will arrive at Bhaktivedanta Manor tomorrow at 10.15am’. And there he was, surrounded by over twenty saffron turbaned sadhus and a huge entourage of followers, at 10.15 on the dot. Mahant Swami Maharaj along with Atma Swarup Swami, and the European head Yogvivek Swami, were received with mantras, lamps and a shower of flower petals. In the temple, Mahant Swami

His Holiness Mahant Swami visiting the Goshala cows His Holiness Mahant Swami pictured with Sruti Dharma Das pictured with other santos and representatives of Bhaktivedanta Manor His Holiness Mahant Swami prayed to the presiding placing a garland on murti deities Shree Shree Radha of Srila Prabhupada Gokulananda and offered a

garland to the murti of ISKCON’s founder Acarya, Srila Prabhupada. Sitting in the sacred rooms of Srila Prabhupada, Mahant Swami address the august gathering of ISKCON and BAPS leaders: “From the moment I received your invitation, I had decided to accept. Bhakti has brought us together. Bhakti unites us, when embraced with the spirit of das-anudas bhava,

unconditional love and service.”

New BAPS Swaminarayan Hindu mandir opens in East London

His Holiness Mahant Swami doing darshan of the newly installed murtis

His Holiness Mahant Swami Maharaj inaugurated the new BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir in Chigwell, East London, on Sunday 8 October 2017. He and accompanying swamis performed the murtipratishtha vidhi – a special Vedic ceremony infusing the images with the divine presence of the deities. It marked the first such opening of a temple in a London borough, and the first performed by Mahant Swami Maharaj in the UK. BAPS Satsang activities in East London have grown steadily since 1963 when religious assemblies and festivals were conducted at various houses and hired halls with a handful of devotees. The new mandir (Hindu temple) will not only serve as a place of worship for the enthusiastic local fellowship, but also as the hub of children’s, youth, educational, healthcare and other charitable activities

in the East London area. Mahant Swami Maharaj had reinforced the need for such a mandir during his visit to East London in 2015. A site in Chigwell was subsequently acquired and on 29 January 2017, the Bhumi Pujan ceremony was performed there. The morning festivities on Sunday included an annakut, a ceremonial offering of food to the deities as a mark of thanksgiving. The congregation also offered prayers for peace to prevail throughout the local community. Devotees enjoyed a live telecast of the ceremony at the nearby Chigwell Hall. Young children welcomed Mahant Swami Maharaj to the mid-morning assembly, creating a spiritually charged atmosphere. Youths also performed a vibrant welcome dance. The history of Satsang activities in East London

was presented through discourses and video presentations. Mahant Swami Maharaj concluded the celebrations by speaking of the divine happiness experienced through such ceremonies and also prayed that worshippers and members of the local community can benefit from the new mandir. An inspiring cultural programme of dances, dramas, devotional songs and discourses in honour of the new temple was also held on Thursday 28 September 2017 at BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir, London. Lead volunteer Girish Patel shared his impressions: “The Mandir will play an important role in our society and we are absolutely delighted to see so many members of our community coming together to celebrate this momentous occasion with us.”

Since visiting the early ISKCON temple that was

once in Bury Place, London in the 1970’s, along with HH Yogiji Maharaj, HH Pramukh Swami Maharaj, Mahant Swami has deeply admired the work of Srila Prabhupada in establishing temples all over the world. ISKCON and BAPS have worked closely together for the last two decades on spiritual and humanitarian initiatives. Uniting their members in devotion, the organizations submitted a joint response on the recent ‘caste’ consultation, joined together in interfaith, supported Diwali in London

and launched Diwali in the European Parliament. As the sadhus and visitors arrived on the site of ISKCON’s future Haveli building, Mahant Swami offered flower petals praying for the success of the project. The visit was concluded with darshan of the Tulsi temple and visiting the Goshala cows. As Mahant Swami held out a large bundle of fresh green grass, the cows came with excitement to eat from his hand. With that he turned, beaming with smiles, and said that he was himself was blessed by the visit.

84th Birth Celebrations of His Holiness Mahant Swami Maharaj

ing the congregaThe 84th birth celtion and encourebrations of His aged everyone to Holiness Mahant see the greatness Swami Maharaj within others. He were joyously celealso expressed his brated in his pressincere wish to ence on Saturday bless the lives of 23 September 2017 one and all. at BAPS Shri The event also Swaminarayan saw the release of Mandir, London. ‘An Introduction to Swamis sang devotional songs His Holiness Mahant Swami with a copy S w a m i n a r a y a n Theology’ honouring His of ‘An Introduction to Swaminarayan Hindu Hindu Theology’ printed by Holiness in the morning. The Haveli C a m b r i d g e powerful impact of his hall was also decorated University Press. The gentle and compassionwith birthday cards made 350-page book - written ate words. Their mesby children and a rangoli in English - provides a sages were further sup(traditional Indian decocomprehensive doctrinal ported by testimonies rative pattern) of more account of the from Yogiji Maharaj and than 8,000 small cakes Pramukh Swami Maharaj, Swaminarayan tradition’s prepared by devotees. A belief system. Authored shared through historical by Paramtattvadas special magazine introvideo footage. Swami, a sadhu ordained ducing the life and work Other enlightening by His Holiness Pramukh of Mahant Swami presentations provided a Swami Maharaj, the pubMaharaj was published in deeper understanding of lication draws on a rich honour of his visit to the Swamishri and his spiricorpus of theological litUK. This was presented to tual connection with erature, including the Bhagwan Swaminarayan Pramukh Swami Maharaj. teachings of Bhagwan and formally released Sadguru Pujya Swaminarayan himself during the morning fesIshwarcharandas Swami and classical commentivities. offered a prayer to taries on the Upanishads, The evening proMahant Swami Maharaj gramme explored Shrimad Bhagavad Gita on behalf of all swamis Swamishri’s serenity, and Brahmasutras. and devotees. Swamis divine grace, humble The book was officialthen honoured Swamishri nature and attachment to ly released in the preswith a decorative garland God – virtues which won ence of His Holiness to formally welcome him the hearts of his gurus Mahant Swami Maharaj to London. Yogiji Maharaj and in Robbinsville, USA, on 6 A troupe of 112 chilPramukh Swami Maharaj. September 2017, and dren and youths from again in London, UK, on The assembly began around the UK performed 25 September 2017. with devotional songs. a vibrant celebratory Esteemed members of the Visiting swamis then dance as part of the fesAmerican and British shared a montage of tivities, further infusing academy were present, as touching incidents from the assembly hall with was Michael Duncan, Mahant Swami Maharaj’s devotional fervour. Senior Global Marketing life which encompassed In his blessings, Manager for CUP, from his saintliness and devoMahant Swami Maharaj New York. tion, and explained the expressed his joy at see-

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Asian Voice |


14th October 2017

Six cities, six days: Mayor of London to visit India and Pakistan on a trade mission Charusmita The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, has announced on Tuesday, a six day visit to India and Pakistan later this year. His itinerary includes Mumbai, Delhi and Amritsar in India, before heading to Lahore, Islamabad and Karachi in Pakistan. The primary goal is to promote the capital in both countries and strengthen trade and cultural ties in line with the ‘London is Open’ post EU Referendum. The Mayor pointed out that London had not witnessed any lack of investment from either India or Pakistan since the Brexit vote last year. Khan is expected to meet senior politicians, business leaders and city chiefs in both countries during his short visit. He is the first major British politician in recent times to be visiting both countries. Having ancestral roots both in India as well as Pakistan, his personal affinity for the subcontinent has strengthened his mission to reclaim London as the number-one destination for education, business and investment for both India and Pakistan. Accompanying The Mayor will be his Deputy Mayor for Business, Rajesh Agrawal, who will be leading discussions on business and investment. A delegation of business leaders taking part in the Mayor’s International Business Programme will meet Sadiq Khan in Mumbai ahead of the business delegation’s further visit to Hyderabad and Bangalore. Since the election of the Mayor, more than 340 companies have enrolled under the above programme.

Rajesh Agrawal with Sadiq Khan

These companies have secured close to £ 120 billion worth of investment, and their presence in this visit seems promising for the country’s financial-tech sector. UK has been the second largest destination for Indian investment between 2005 and 2016, and London is the base for 44 per cent of the fastest growing Indian companies. The Indian investment in the UK is more than their investment in the rest of the Europe combined, and Indian companies employ close to 110,000 people in this country. In February, a published research by the CBI revealed that the UK is still the single largest G20 investor in India. As part of the India-UK Year of Culture, the year of bilateral cultural exchange, the Mayor will also meet prominent figures from Bollywood as well as representatives from the tech, education and sports sectors. The trade between the UK and Pakistan is valued at £2 billion, and in

2015, five Pakistani companies were listed on the London Stock Exchange with a total market value of £10.5 billion. Owing to the improving Pakistani economy, its rapidly growing middle class, and a national population of 207 Million, over 100+ British businesses involved in business in Pakistan are optimising the tremendous opportunities it is offering. London is the third largest investor in Pakistan and the major London businesses operating there are Ernst & Young, Shell, Reckitt Benckiser, Bestway, AON, Ashmore, GlaxoSmithKline, Unilever and Standard Chartered. The UK is the fourth largest source of foreign investment in Pakistan, following the UAE, US and China. The Mayor will also meet leading figures from Pakistani cultural, sporting and financial sectors. This visit will also witness discussions on the issue of immigration, specifically visa for students, post-study work visa, and the entrepreneurial visa. The Mayor assured that he is lobbying for an increased inflow of international students to the UK, expressing a grave concern on London’s falling position as India’s and Pakistan’s preferred destination for education abroad. The issue of student visas has been raised by the Asian media frequently and the two primary reasons for the reducing number of international students have been the revocation of Post-Study Work visas as well as the inclusion of students in the immigration cap. Today, London ranks third in international student market and is in competition with major cities around the

around to attract international students and highly skilled workers. The delegation will also include looking for opportunities to support and foster the SMEs in London, as close to half the employed population of London works for SMEs, making them a fundamental brick to London’s financial setup. The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, said: “As someone whose grandparents were born in India, and whose parents moved to London from Pakistan, I feel a deep affinity for the subcontinent. "But what excites me most about this trip is that I know it can deliver real benefits for Londoners. Benefits in terms of business and trade, jobs and investment, and in terms of cultural and technological exchange. “This is a really important mission as there are so many areas in which London can work with its counterparts across India and Pakistan. Not only in business but in tackling some of the biggest challenges we all face – such as air pollution and climate change. “I am passionate about showing that my city will always be open to engaging with partners from around the world, and I look forward to strengthening the bonds between London and our friends in India and Pakistan later this year.” On being asked about the issue of tensions between India and Pakistan, he responded, “In London we are a beacon of tolerance, respect and diversity, which I will try my best to demonstrate.” Further details of the itinerary will be announced closer to the da te of his visit.

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Asian Voice | 14th October 2017

More than 40,000 people gathered on Sunday night to mark the beginning of Diwali festivities in Leicester, where the festival had humble origins in the 1950s but has now become mainstream and hailed as one of the east Midlands city's poster events. Billed as one of the largest Diwali celebrations outside India, the event attracted people from different parts of Britain and from several religions and communities. The arterial Belgrave Road and its environs turn into an Indian district during the two-week festivities. Sunday’s event was to switch on 6,000 lights along the road, sponsored by the Leicester City Council. It was followed by a prolonged fireworks display as people enjoyed some of the finest Indian cuisine in the UK to the accompaniment of Bollywood music and dance. Another major fireworks display is scheduled for October 19.

Courtesy: Leicester City Council

Diwali lights spark new high in Leicester

The event underscored the distance the city has travelled in the area of immigration and community integration. Immigration from the Indian subcontinent increased after independence in 1947, but reached a new high after Idi Amin expelled Asians from Uganda in 1972, when many arrived in Leicester. That year, the same council that today celebrates Diwali took out a newspaper advertisement in Uganda to advise the thousands of Indians facing expulsion that said:

“In your own interests and those of your family you should...not come to Leicester.” A Leicester City Council spokesperson told Hindustan Times that attendance at this year's event was more than 40,000. Festivities included a range of workshops, music, drama, talks and live performances in a specially created “Diwali Village” near Belgrave Road, the hub of Asian business and culture where several Indian banks have branches. The large gathering at

the switch on ceremony was addressed by Leicester mayor Peter Soulsby, Leicester Hindu Festival Council president Maganbhai P Patel and deputy mayor Piara Singh-Clair. Increasingly seen as a mainstream festival in the UK, major Diwali events are reported and planned in public places in London, Manchester, Birmingham, Edinburgh and other cities. This year, the iconic London Eye will be lit up on October 15 in an event called “Light Up London – Diwali”.

the cash machine of the supermarket on Trinity Street in Coventry city centre. Chander, of Leamington Spa, Warks., appeared at Warwick Crown Court on Monday charged with two counts of causing death by dangerous driving and two counts of causing serious injury by dangerous driving. The former Labour councillor, wearing a dark blue pinstripe suit and carrying a walking stick, sat motionless during the 45-

minute hearing where he spoke only to confirm his name. He was granted unconditional bail with the date of next hearing to be confirmed, provisionally at Birmingham Crown Court in the week commencing December 11. His employer, Midland Red South Ltd, was in court after pleading guilty to two counts of failing to discharge the employer's general duty under the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974.

Kailash Chander

happened at 6pm on October 3, 2015. Dora Hancox, 76, also died when she was hit by the bus as she walked past

The nationality of people stopped by immigration officers in Birmingham - and most are British One out of every four people stopped by immigration officers in Birmingham are British nationals, a new report has revealed. The data was obtained as part of a nationwide investigation by The Bristol Cable and The Bureau of Investigative Journalism .

Mumbai Vadapau fetches 4.4 Crores a year in London When London-based Sujay Sohani reached out to his college-mate Subodh Joshi for help after losing his job, little did he know that his one statement will determine their futures. A couple of days after he told his friend that he barely had enough cash for a measly vadapav, it struck him to take the food item into business in London.

frequented by Southeast Asians. We started looking for a stall there.” They eventually chanced upon a Polish ice cream cafe and put up two tables. Their first vadapav and dabeli were sold on August 15, 2020. “We first began serving vadapav for £1 and dabeli for £1.50.” They said described their profits as abysmal for the first

That was in 2010. The idea has since then evolved into three branches across the region and an annual turnover of £5,00,000. Both the young men first met at Bandra, Mumbai's Rizvi College in 1999, where they studied hotel management. “After completing the course, we decided to pursue a post graduate degree in London. When we finished the course, we got jobs in reputed hotels and were earning well. Everything was fine, until the recession hit us,” Joshi said. The starting of their joint venture saw several anxious moments like the best possible venues in the city. Sohani said, “Hounslow was a good spot, since it is

month. “We realised that to popularise our product, we had to advertise it.” Sohani said, “As burgers were being sold in other shops for nothing less than £5, we promoted our item as the Indian variant that was available to them for less than half the price at £2.” Eventually, their business began gaining strength. The two were approached by the owners of a Punjabi restaurant called Big Bite. “We decided to give a shot, and that's how the Shree Krishna Vada Pav stall turned into a restaurant.” Now, with 35 employees spread across three branches, the men have no regrets about their pasts.

Thousands of people gathered for the Diwali lights switch-on ceremony on Sunday night

Ex-mayor, 79, who became bus driver 'killed seven-year-old boy and elderly pedestrian when he crashed in city centre' A 79-year-old bus driver has appeared in court charged with killing a seven-year-old passenger and a pedestrian in a city centre crash. The former mayor of Leamington Spa Kailash Chander is accused of losing control of the 13-ton Stagecoach bus which rammed into a Sainsbury's supermarket. Seven-year-old Rowan Fitzgerald was sitting on the top deck with his grandfather when he was killed in the crash which


The Home Office only released the figures after a seven-month freedom of information battle. That rate was significantly higher than the one-in-five average recorded for the 11 cities covered by the investigation. Britons also topped the list of nationalities

This week paid subscribers of Asian Voice will receive a copy of the ‘Gauravshil Gujarat’ magazine with their newspaper

stopped in Birmingham, ahead of Indians and Pakistanis, who each made up 20 percent of the total. The figures released gave a breakdown of people questioned by nationality, No details regarding the ethnic background of those stopped was released. Edgbaston Labour MP Preet Gill said the figures raised as many questions as answers and called for more transparency from the Home Office. Gill said: “It concerns me that we are being given data that we cannot really understand. The very fact that the data does not have details of the ethnic background of those stopped — and the fact that it took so long for the Home Office to release the information — raises real

concerns about racial profiling.” Between January 2012 and January 2017, immigration officers stopped 1,966 Brits in Birmingham out of a total of 7,516 stopped in the city. Birmingham came near the top of the list for the number of Britons stopped and questioned, behind London (8,002) and just behind Manchester (2,143). A Home Office response to the figures said all operations were intelligence-led and respected anti-discrimination laws. But as well as Gill, other several campaigners have voiced concern that the figures released no details about the ethnic background of the people stopped by immigration officers.

Labour council's jihadi cover girl A jihadi jailed for helping the London July 21 bombers got a high-profile council job after lying about her past. Mulumebet Girma, 33, joined Southwark Council after colleagues failed to realise she was linked to one of the country’s most notorious attacks. The Ethiopian former model rose through the ranks and was even put on the cover of a council magazine to promote its apprenticeship scheme. But she was sacked after her conviction was exposed for assisting brother-in-law Hussein Osman, who tried to blow up a packed Tube train in 2005. Her employment raises questions about what measures are taken to vet staff, some of whom have access to databases of vulnerable people. Details of her convictions can be found in seconds with a simple Google search, aided by her

unusual name. But senior staff said she was not given any access to police ‘watch list’ information and a review of her computer usage uncovered nothing suspicious. Girma was recruited by the south London local authority as a trainee customer services assistant in 2013, shortly after she was released early from a 10year jail term. She did not declare her criminal past and the council failed to uncover it despite her having a key role in one of Britain’s highest profile terror trials.

UK AsianVoiceNews



Asian Voice | 14th October 2017

May urged to act on the race audit findings fighting disparities Theresa May’s racial disparity audit which details levels of inequality in the UK has been dismissed as “vacuous guff� by the Labour party. A new government Ethnicity Facts and Figures website published on Tuesday highlighted how people of different races are treated in areas including health, education, employment and the criminal justice system. However the findings that show that majority people in England feel British irrespective of ethnicity, the highest being Asians among the BAME community. But the Labour party said what really mattered was tackling inequalities not just listing them. Launching the new Ethnicity Facts and Figures website on Tuesday, Theresa May hosted a discussion round the Cabinet Table involving key stakeholders at Downing Street. She told them the audit will become an “essential resource in the battle to defeat ethnic injustice� which must be confronted at all levels of society – from central Government to local communities. The new website – a first of its kind in terms of scale, scope and transparency - contains thousands of statistics covering more than 130 topics in areas including health, education,

employment and the criminal justice system. Dawn Butler, the Shadow Secretary of State for Women and Equalities, said the Prime Minister had “done nothing but exacerbate the problems� of inequality during her time in government.� In a letter to The Times a number of prominent BAME activists - including former deputy mayor of London Munira Mirza - hit back at the government’s “crude and tendentious� approach to the issue, saying the policies could “harm the very communities they aspire to help�. But communities secretary Sajid Javid denied the claims, saying he believed the audit would have “quite the opposite impact�. He told a Radio 4 programme: “I think there will be people out there today taking note of this, whether they are from black, minority ethnic backgrounds or not, and thinking this is exactly the kind of thing they want their government to do. “We are a government that said its going to work for everyone, a country that works for everyone and that means, where there are injustices, that we are

doing everything we can to tackle and reveal them.� Key findings include employment rates that are higher for white people than for ethnic minorities across the country, with a larger gap in the North than in the South (13.6% compared to 9%). Education attainment data shows there are disparities in primary school which increase in secondary school, with Chinese and Asian pupils tending to perform well and white and Black pupils doing less well, particularly those eligible for Free School Meals. It also revealed that ethnic minorities are under-represented at senior levels across the public sector, white teenagers are far more likely to smoke than their minority ethnic counterparts, Roma children are falling well behind their peers at school and black men face the highest likelihood of being found guilty in court. The figures come alongside new research that suggests minority ethnic women are being hardest hit by austerity. The report by the Runnymede Trust and Women’s Budget Group claims black and Asian households have faced the biggest drop in living standards, of 19.2% and 20.1% respectively. That amounts to a real-terms average annual loss of £8,407 and £11,678. The website will be a permanent resource, with new datasets being added over time. A special-

ist unit, run from the Cabinet Office under the First Secretary of State Damian Green, will consider and co-ordinate the Government’s work. The Prime Minister said, “People who have lived with discrimination don’t need a government audit to make them aware of the scale of the challenge. “But this audit means that for society as a whole – for government, for our public services – there is nowhere to hide. These issues are now out in the open. And the message is very simple: if these disparities cannot be explained then they must be changed. “Britain has come a long way in my lifetime in spreading equality and opportunity. But the data we are publishing today will provide the definitive evidence of how far we must still go in order to truly build a country that works for everyone.� The Prime Minister ordered the audit shortly after taking office, as part of the agenda she set out in her first speech on the steps of Downing Street to tackle injustices in society. The delay in publishing the report raised questions about her intentions within the community. L i b e r a l Democrat leader Sir Vince Cable said: "This audit shows that prejudice and bias based on the colour of

someone’s skin continues to blight people’s life chances, and this is utterly unacceptable in 21st century Britain. It is not right that people in the UK find themselves far less likely to have a job or own their home based on nothing more than their ethnicity - it is an unfairness that should have ended long ago. "This audit lays out the challenges we face as a society and that will only be overcome if we all work together across party lines. “Theresa May’s decision to shine a light on this issue means she can't now shy away from tackling the causes of this inequality – including cuts to public services and a shrinking state. Tackling inequality will need the devotion of all her ministers. "Where ministers act, they will in turn have our support. Where they hesitate, we will push, cajole and confront them until they do the right thing." Lord Jitesh Gadhia said, “Sunshine is often the best disinfectant. By shedding light on racial disparities, Theresa May’s Government is bringing transparency to areas where more work must be done to tackle persisent inequality and prejudice. I would encourage the Continued on page 16

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Asian Voice | 14th October 2017

As I See It

CB Patel

Outstanding JITO Conference Wins Hearts Dear Readers, II recently had the honour of attending the ongoing Jain International Trade Organisation (JITO) conference held at the Hotel Park Plaza Riverbank, London. Set up along the beautiful river Thames, the conference is undoubtedly one of the most productive, and positive convocations I have been to in some time. The conference saw an impressive line-up of guests from over 16 different nations. They spanned across different sectors including trade, industry, banking, investment, accountants, lawyers, etc. It would be fair to say that these delegates cumulatively account for $30 billion. Men and women of the global Jain community, most of them under their 50s, I observed, gathered and held discussions on various different topics. The Jain International Trade Organisation, or JITO as it is called is a worldwide group of Jain businessmen, entrepreneurs, professionals and workers. Headquartered in Mumbai, it has approximately 57 chapters, and over 6000 members. I feel it is important to know who Jains are, here. Considering the large strength of all existing religious communities around the world, the Jain community is a small group. As per the 2011 census, there are approximately 4.5 million Jains in the over 1.2 billion population of India. Meaning, the community accounts for just 0.36 per cent of the total population. According to the Oxford Handbook of Global Religions, a total number of 25,000 Jains reside in Britain. However, what they lack in numbers, they more than make up for it with their educational achievements, business acumen, trade, industry, and performances in other fields. The JITO conference hosted attendees from India, South Africa, East Africa, Europe, Britain, and America. I was awestruck. The management of the programmes, the arrangements, the intentional yet humble exhibition of Jain values. One of the most striking qualities of the Jains are that they maintain their values assiduously. It despite being a business conference, there was no alcohol seen being served, no non vegetarian food, and I want to make a special mention of the way the Navkaran Mantra was presented gracefully and keeping with tradition. I remember two interactions in particular. One of them was the candid open Q & A session with steel magnate Lakshmi Niwas Mittal. The 67 year old answered all questions unhesitatingly. Be it about his humble beginnings or the challenges he faced, all questions were factually answered. It was admirable to see a man of his stature take pride in the hardships he has had to face to reach where he stands today. Yet, the most memorable speech I remember was the one made by Gopichand Hinduja. In a frank and highly entertaining way, the 75 year old opened his book for the audience. The Hindujas are the richest family in the UK. Their businesses have travelled across 110 countries, in trade, investment banking, and various other sectors except tobacco, alcohol, and gambling. Why? Family principles. Gopichand talked on various topics, including the cardinal principles of the Hinduja family. His speech was dotted with funny anecdotes, all of those kept the listeners engaged. He stated that all four generations of the family remain united. For those of you wondering why I


Jain corporate titans convene for JITOPRENEURS 2017

find it important to mention these statements here, I must say- I know only a handful who have made their home away from our country and maintained a business resonating of their cultural principles. Dear readers, you must know by now how excited I always am to share my thoughts and philosophies with you. I took the liberty of jotting down few points, bullets, if you may, from Gopichand's light-hearted and enlightening speech :-

EVERYTHING BELONGS TO EVERYONE, NOTHING BELONGS TO ANYONE The sentence is simple yet complex at its own tone. Let me elaborate, Gopichand Hinduja said that no one person in their family is owner to any business. Everything is run for everyone. At a time when two brothers can't run a father's business, four generations of the Hindujas run an empire together!!

IMPORTANCE OF CULTURAL VALUES I have always had a special, reserved respect for those who stick to their roots despite the contemporary way of life. Gopichand said religion, tradition, and moral values rank high in their family. They always work to make sure their principles remain intact.

FAITH IS PARAMOUNT GP described his family's faith and said we all do pray regularly. A lady whom I recollect as Santoshben, went to the platform and requested GP if he could sing his prayer. And lo and behold! The Man of 75, person of his eminence sang the beautiful song 'Ae Maalik Tere Bande Hum' from the film 'Do Aankhein Baarah Haath'. Surprising? Not with the Hindujas.

CONTENTMENT Despite expanding their business at every step, the Hindujas are content with what they have now or whatever stage they were at. At some point, a person has to stop, and be content with what they have- a gentle gratitude towards the fruits of their hard work. Gopichand said that at no point was their aim to just acquire more wealth.

ALL ARE TREATED EQUALLY GP said, we have relations with people from different stratas of life. Be it the prince or the pauper, we interact with them in a uniform way. A way of respect.

DIFFICULTIES ARE A WAY OF LIFE Be it your personal life or your professional, small and/or big issues will prevail. No matter how hard you try, you will never erase them completely. Troubles, challenges are there. With the rise comes the fall, which is why the question is, how well are you climbing? Learn from the phoenix- how it rises from its ashes. Dear friends, GP's 'journey' was extensive and educative at the same time. After the completion of his speech, several JITO leaders were conferred awards. I noticed that a couple who came to stage to receive theirs, could not stop smiling. GP noticed it too. He promptly started crooning, “Kisiki muskuraahato pe ho nisaar, kisi ka dard mil sake toh le udhaar...” as the audience cheered.

High profile entrepreneurs at the event

Cecil A Soans

Objectives of JITOPRENEURS 2017

JITOPRENEURS 2017, the third international business and networking conference organised by JITO G2G Going Global commenced on 8th October at London's Hotel Park Plaza. JITO (Jain International Trade Organization) is a unique community of visionary Jain industrialists, businessmen and professionals with a shared passion to shape the future of society at large. Formed in 2009 JITO's membership strength of 6,000 plus is spread across 57 chapters. JITO is currently chaired by Motilal Oswal, Managing Director of Motilal Oswal Financial Services Ltd. The 4 day event was attended by some of India's biggest Jain business owners with an estimated market cap of over US$30bn, as well as Jain business owners from 16 countries. The organisers estimated approximately 200 plus entrepreneurs and high net worth individuals from around the globe including India, USA, UK, UAE, Europe, Kenya and Japan representing various facets of industry to participate with a vision to explore new business opportunities and network. Besides several corporate big-wigs, special guests including GP Hinduja (Hinduja Group), Lakshmi Mittal (Arcelor

l To enhance Indo-UK business collaborations. l To promote global speed networking and networked learning. l To promote Indian investments in UK and vice versa. l To promote entrepreneurship for both the countries. l To explore novel business (B2B & B2C) opportunities in UK & Europe. l To leverage and understand the investment banking and finance segment. l To learn from some of the leading 'corporate gurus' on branding and marketing l To learn the execution of strategies of growth from leading professors and corporate honchos. l To learn inspirational business success stories and their corporates practices. l To promote and launch start-ups.

Satish Parakh, Ashoka Buildcon, Nashik (2nd left) and CB Patel, Chairman, ABPL Group presenting a token of appreciation to Sonali Shah (BBC) for hosting the panel of discussion. Anand Surana, Micro Labs, Chennai is on the extreme left

Mittal), Dilip Mehta (CEO, Rosy Blue), Paras Chandaria (UST Global), Motilal Oswal (Chairman, MOFSL) and Anil Agarwal (Vedanta Resources) gathered to take forward JITO's core objectives of econom-

ic empowerment, knowledge and service. This third edition of JITOPRENEURS follows the success of two other conferences in Dubai (2015) and Silicon Valley (2016).

Panel discussion (L-R)) – Motilal Oswal, Chairman & MD (Motilal Oswal Financial Services Pvt Ltd), Nirmal Jain (Chairman & MD, India Infoline Ltd), Paras Chandaria (Chairman, UST Global), Dilip Mehta (CEO, Rosy Blue NV) with host Sonali Shah (BBC)

Asian Voice | 14th October 2017

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Asian Voice | 14th October 2017

Wealth Creation and Philanthrophy

The report in the latest edition of Asian Voice about our excellence in entreprenuership naming some nine persons of Indian origin whose companies are progressing with enormous success is a very inspiring news for all others who aspire to do well in both business and commerce. These nine individuls have created a very large sized enterprise predominantly with their own initiative, perserverance and diligence. It was very satisfying editing that Asian Voice mentioned in detail about the Patel couple in Florida, USA, who have donated a whopping sum of $200 million. Not only that but I am also particularily impressed that they have decided to build a state of the art medical college in their ancestral village in the district of Vadodara. I belong to a place called Dabhoi and I knew the family of Pallavi Shah and I feel so very proud of these two outstandingly successful Indian entrepreneurs who live in the US. Along with the nine people and families you have mentioned I have also been encouraged by the rising trend of philanthrophy amongst our successful entreprenuers from various communities. May I be allowed to convey my heartfelt gratitude to all these generous people and offer my congratulations for their ongoing successes. Jayant Shah Harrow

EU’s hypocrasy on Catalonia

We visit Spain on holidays all the time, as it is our favourite destination. People are friendly, climate is mild and Spain is on our doorstep, only some two hours' flight time. But this time we were caught right in the middle of Catalonia's referendum, their struggle for independence, in line with the aspiration of the Scottish people. The main difference is that while our democracy is strong enough to let Scottish people decide their future in a fair and election, Spanish police tried to suppress their aspiration by brutal force, we witnessed first hand. It was akin to lathi charge on peaceful demonstrators led by Mahatma Gandhi during quit India movement, injuring some 900 people standing in a queue to express their democratic right to vote. This was the worse police brutality since the Franco regime who came to power after the most brutal civil war in Europe's history, with some half a million casualty. EU led by Germany and France maintained undignified silence, as unity of EU is more important to them than the freedom, democracy and people's aspiration, unless Britain, US and Russia are the culprit. Speaking to Spanish people in their own language and studying opinion poll, it was clear that by a tiny majority, Catalonia's will reject independence. But the hostility by Spanish government, use of brutal force and general hostility towards Catalonians people changed the political scenario, people opting for independence by a vast majority, although due to police smashing polling stations, beating up and dispersing queues, only 42 percent were able to caste their votes. The next few months will decide the future of Spain and EU's credibility. For once Brexit may take a back seat, Catalonia hugging the headlines. Bhupendra B. Gandhi By email

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Diwali is one of the loveliest festivals of the Hindus. But sadly, people are forgetting the real meaning of Diwali. For them it is not a festival of lights, but a festival of crackers. With every household burning crackers, noise pollution and air pollution increases manifold and it causes more sickness to the already sick and suffering people. Diwali must be celebrated in an eco-friendly manner. Noisy crackers and those emitting a lot of toxic gases should not be burned. People are prone to breathing problems when they inhale smoke. Those suffering from asthma, bronchitis and hypertension suffer a lot. If we cannot refrain from burning crackers, then let us at least make Diwali safe. Plastic sheets from rooftop of houses should be removed in order to avoid accidental fires during Diwali, especially when burning dangerous firecrackers like rockets and atom bombs. Jubel D’Cruz, Mumbai, India

Acid Attacks

Acid attacks especially on women are on the increase. It is a very gruesome crime, worse than causing actual bodily harm. It completely disfigures the victims for life leaving deep psychological effect on them. Not only it does harm the victims physically but mentally also. It means their lives will not be the same again. The Guardian has spoken to victims, community workers, support groups, ex members of gangs, and the police – and all warned that such attacks were of increasing concern. One male former gang member said: “Young gang members are more ruthless than they used to be. It’s now become part of the natural thought process to use acid; it’s on the roster.” Deputy Commissioner Craig Mackey was told that unless it was urgently tackled it was in danger of becoming an epidemic. The capital has seen a rise in acid attacks with 455 in London over the last year, two thirds of which were against people ore being attacked and was too scared to go to the police. Banning the sale of acid and corrosive substances for under 18 years old will not solve the problem, because the perpetrators will use third parties older than 18 years to get them the stuff. Acid has now become new weapon as it is easily obtainable. Acid attacks should be treated like a knife and gun crime and the guilty young men be sentenced accordingly. Jermaine Lawlor, founder of Violence4Youth Against Violence said: The criminal justice system is failing the victims and their families. To obtain proper data on the acid related crimes as to which groups were targeted, admissions and crimes need to be consistently and accurately recorded. It is time for serious actions to be taken by the Police to put a stop to this horrendous crime. Baldev Sharma Rayners Lane, Harrow

Moral Values

My 30-9-17 letter was intended to be an implied response to Mr Biswas's letter to explain spiritual unity and peace in India. A saffron banner -'Bhagwa zanda' - indicates 80% Hindu's religious unity to live in peace, and each brave Hindu takes pride in holding the saffron flag as Shiwaji Maharaj used to do so. Sanatan Hindu's national God is the universal God - the Super Soul - the 'Paramatma' - the formless'Nirakar' and attributeless - 'Nirgun'; so is the Christians' 'Father', and the Muslims' 'Allah', all are the same and the only one with different names. Arya Samaji - a section of Hindu religion pray to 'Super Soul' directly without idols ,as Muslims do to 'Allah'; and the rest of Hindus pray to the 'Super Soul' through idols of Rama, Krishna etc as Christians pray to 'Father' through Jesus Christ. Most of the people listen intently to their religious preachers to put moral values of life in practice. I agree to Ramesh Zala's view point about the ground realities that are created by foreign and local factors, and that thwart the political unity and peace in India. The Congress government during their 70 years' rule openly treated Hindus as second class citizens by dividing and stratifying them into special tribes/castes, other backward classes etc and deepening their communal roots, which requires to be reviewed now in terms of educationally meritorious performance and economical position for justice, and rapid and excellent progress in India to compete with other countries. R.N.Patel By email


The Bombardment Has Restarted

After a lull of a few months, the bombardment has begun again. No, we are not talking about Donald Trump’s bombing of North Korea, nor North Korea’s testing of its atomic weapons, or even the evil firing in Las Vegas which killed 58 and injured scores of people last week, it is the incessant ‘phone calls which have started pouring in again. The callers now ask us to take part in a survey on “save today- how to save money on household services and products”. Even if I tell the callers that I am not interested in taking part in any survey, they do not want to take no for an answer. These callers have the habit of taking you by surprise at inopportune moments while you are having dinner or are in company or watching your favorite TV programs. Having got fed up, and having drawn a blank in my attempts to stop them, I simply do not answer the phone unless I was expecting calls from someone I knew. Later on I dial 1471 to see who the call was from and then ring back that person. What is the proper and permanent solution to this as we do not want to be rude to the caller as the poor chap is only trying to earn a living? I have invested a in a telephone with a “call blocker” but you can only block a call after you have received one. Dinesh Sheth Newbury Park, Ilford

Political Sketchbook

Alpesh Patel’s “Political Sketchbook” asking “Why couldn’t Kashmir have been like The Falklands” is thought provoking. The British had experience of 5 centuries of ruling an Empire, high handedness and trampling enemy underfoot. Britain was and is one nation united under one flag, religion and majority. Can you say same about India which had 550 states and at present have vestiges of parochial loyalty? India was waking up from “ahinsa”/ “passive resistance”. India had no experience of fighting when under Mogul, later British. It watched aggression by Muslims and by Pakistan. Rift between Nehru and Sardar Patel showed absence of unity of thought and spirit of collective strength which is persisting even today. Powerful pro Muslim/ pro Pakistan lobby, increasing Muslim population, Pakistan acquiring Nukes and blatant backing of China are current handicaps. Kashmir is on slippery slope of ceding. Policy makers are conniving with separatists to oppose any altruistic moves by India. Kashmir problem will never be solved till India matures to the level of Britain. It must defeat home grown liberals, leftists and bigots. Sardar Patel brought 550 states under one Centre. Now we must bring all Indians under one national banner. Deadwood philosophies must be replaced with action. Ramesh Jhalla By email

PM’s Half Hearted Attempt To Eliminate Organ Shortages

While 5400 patients are waiting eagerly to receive life saving organs, especially kidneys , with three patients needlessly dying every day, PM's limited initiative may be a step in the right direction. If people do not opt out, then NHS will be able to remove vital organs for transplant from any one over the age of eighteen. But these initiatives come with too many restrictions. Relatives will have the right to veto, especially on cultural and religious concerns, thus devaluing the legislation. Similar scheme is already in operation in Wales with limited success rather than eliminating organ shortages for good. The most successful scheme in operation in many EU nations is a compulsory " In or Out" scheme where if one is In, then NHS do not need permission that quickens and simplifies the procedure without involving third party. If one opts out, then it is made absolutely clear that they will not be entitled to receive organs in their hour of need. This tough approach with heart to heart talk with health professionals results in more or less complete cooperation with surplus rather than shortage of organs, thus saving many lives and reducing overall NHS burden, as these patients become economically active, less dependent on benefits. It is human nature that religious or cultural sensitivities do not come into equation when our lives depend on such an action. It is time for our dithering politicians to show the courage of their conviction, stop sitting on the fence and to move away from vote bank political scenario. Kumudini Valambia By email


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Asian Voice | 14th October 2017

Tragedy laced with farce, is never a distant spectacle in India. Close ups are what you can normally expect. Mumbai, known as the Maximum City, because of its teeming, ever growing population, with migrants pouring from all parts of the country in search of a better life, has a creaking infrastructure. Heavy monsoon rain brought a crumbling four-storied tenement in the poorer quarters crashing to the ground, taking its toll of lives and injured; elsewhere, one flooded street concealed an open manhole which sucked in a pedestrian, who perished. The local Shiv Sena mayor fled the scene, scared off by a swelling crowd of enraged citizens. If this wasn’t bad enough, the Elphinstone footbridge at a suburban rail station, unable to bear the combined weight of commuters from two trains which had entered the station simultaneously, leading to a stampede in which 22 passengers died and many more injured and hospitalized. ‘The expected blame game took off as if from a starter’s gun; public anger went viral as TV reports crisscrossed the country. The pretender to the Shiv Sena’s throne, Raj Thackeray swore on television that he wouldn’t permit a stone to be laid at Mumbai for the projected high speed bullet train to Ahmedabad. The matching hooligan voice of the unelectable Rahul Gandhi called for the arrest of Suresh Prabhu and Piyush Goyal, the former and present Railways Ministers, for homicide, adding to the unseemly circus of politicians determined to extract every ounce of advantage from the situation.

Responsibility, neglect Pinning responsibility for such disasters is both easy and difficult. The relatively easy bit is to point the finger at those in authority now; the difficult bit lies in accepting the accumulated inertia and negligence of the past. The Railways were perceived as cash cows by ministers devoted to reckless expansion of rail track without matching development of passenger safety and convenience. Thus trains are overcrowded, time-keeping is abysmal, and the railways experience a nightmare. Inquiries come and go as their reports and recommendations gather dust.

Modernization Prabhu was the first minister in decades to set in motion railway modernization, with safety and

public comfort in mind. A rusted behemoth cannot be put right with one or two measures; but a raft of sweeping coordinated, across-the board reforms. This, realistically, will take years of dedicated service to accomplish. Minister Prabhu, now in charge of the Commerce Ministry, used his broom for purpose as Railways head; the baton has been passed to Piyus Goyal for his outstanding record as Minister of Power. He has a daunting challenge ahead of him as the new Railways Minister, but he has the intellect, determination and administrative experience to make a success of his new ministry (Times of India October 2, earlier media reports).

Darjeeling strike called off Gorkhaland leader, Bimal Gurung, suspended the strike in the hill districts of Darjeeling following a direct appeal from Home Minister Rajnath Singh, who assured him that talks would commence within a fortnight on a separate Gorkhaland carved out of West Bengal (Times of India, Hindu September 27).

by a coordinated operation by the paramilitary Central Reserve Police Force and Border Security Force. The three-man jihadi squad, holed up in nearby house, died fighting. A BSF soldier was also killed. Acting on an intelligence tip-off from a Pakistani-based jihadi, the security force intercepted the three Jaish-e-Mohammed operatives(Hindu, Times of India October 4).

Astra launch revisited Returning to the recent Astra missile test, its advanced features – including its Beyond Visual Range - are comparable with the best state-of-the art systems available anywhere today. For instance, the missile with its smokeless propulsion capability can be launched at its target without giving away its position; it is also equipped with a RF seeker, whose development owes most to the vision of the late APJ Abdul Kalam. Astra has an advanced Electronic CounterCounter measures (FCCM) capability to surmount defensive methods to defeat its purpose.. Finally, Astra is endowed with superb maneuverability, thanks to its cutting edge technologies in avionics, navigation and missile guidance in which subsystems and components, including sensitive sensors, play a critical role (Financial Express September 18).

G. Sateesh Reddy, Scientific Advisor to the Defence Minister and Director General, Missiles & Strategic Systems (the brains behind Astra), addressing a convocation at Hyderabad

India’s paramilitary Border Security Force (BSF) launched a commando strike across the line of control in Kashmir on the farms and dwellings of senior Pakistani military officers in retaliation for Pakistani firing targeting civilian areas in which a number of children were killed. Clearly, it is no longer a tooth for a tooth, but a knock-out blow for every transgression. Pakistan sought a ceasefire without further ado (Times of India September 27).

A terrorist attack targeting Srinagar airport was neutralized

Ministers Suresh Prabhu, Piyush Goyal

Overall outlook Summing up, Dr Reddy cast his gaze on the entire range of transformative technologies across strategic sectors under the umbrella of the Departments of Atomic Energy, Space, Defence Research and Development and foresaw them playing a critical role in taking the country forward to the next level through innovation cooperation. He predicted the India would generate 30,000 MW from the Atomic Energy Department during the next decade (Business Line October 3).

Bases readied for Rafels The Indian Air Force is undertaking major infrastructure upgrades in its base at Ambala, Haryana, - some 220kms from the Pakistan border to prepare for the arrival in

$6 trillion GDP prediction Goldman Sachs, the US-based global financial services major, India is expected to be the world’s fastest growing large economy to reach a GDP of $ 6 trillion in the next 10 years. Growth has risen to 6.9 per cent from the 5.8 per cent of the 1990s. Digitization, said its report, would boost digitization by 50-75 bps, enabling India to reach the predicted $6 trillion (Business Line October 3).

Core sector growth rise in August Core sector growth of 4.9 per cent in August rose to a fivemonth high on augmented industrial activity, with improved coal and electricity production and increases in car sales and motorcycle sales, which have crossed 2 million. Maruti Suzuki, leading the pack in India, registered 10 per cent growth, South Korea’s Hyundai was second, with Tata Motors, on the comeback trail in

Aerospace PSUs Super integrators

Operation Arjun

Jihadi attack on Srinagar foiled

aircraft. Dr Reddy dwelt on the success of BrahMos, the world’s only supersonic cruise missile developed jointly with Russia.


Ambala Air Force base

September 2019. of two squadrons of fourth generation + French Rafele warplanes manufactured by the Dassault Aviation Company. Several Dassault teams have arrived to advise on the upgrade. Currently, the base is home to two squadrons of Jaguars and one of the MiG 21Bison. A second base at Hasimara, West Bengal, will accommodate the second squadron of Rafels (Hindu October 2).

Rupee surge hedge

University, said large public sector undertakings (PSUs) in the aerospace and defence sector were self-transforming into super integrators, with the private sector providing critical inputs in the new business environment.

The Reserve Bank of India taking advantage of the current surge in foreign exchange reserves to over $400 billion to by US dollars as a precautionary move against a sudden outflow in the future. The rupee’s present strength at 68-65 to the dollar is seen as satisfactory.

HAL’s success

Rajan legacy

Citing Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL), Dr Reddy said the company had successfully developed and tested the Light Combat Aircraft or Tejas for the Indian Air Force, enabling India to join a select band of counties with the capability to design and manufacture frontline fighter

It was the policy of the previous Governor of the RBI, Raghuram Rajan, to strengthen India’s foreign exchange reserves. When he took charge in September 2013, these reserves stood at $277 billion. Its present figure shows an increase of 45 per cent (Business Line October 2).

G. Sateesh Reddy

third position, registering 18 per cent growth in September. (Times of India, Business Line October 4).

Tom Alter Son of American missionaries, Tom Alter was born in Mussoorie and educated at Woodstock School, then went to Yale University in the United States, returning to India without completing his studies and trained at the Pune Film Institute starting o small parts on screen and stage in Bombay on the strength of his mastery of Urdu and Hindi. His break to stardom came with his role as young Captain Weston in Satyajit Ray’s classic ‘Shatranj Ke Khilari’, in which his encounter with Richard Attenborough as Sir James Outram is etched in the memory of those privileged to have seen the film’s premiere in 1977 at London’s South Bank.. Thereafter, he acted in major roles in Hindi cinema under such famous directors as Shyam Benegal and Raj Kapoor. His stage rendering of Maulana Abul Kalam Azad and the greatest Urdu poets, Ghalib, were an unforgettable experience for lovers of theatre. Tom Alter died in Mumbai of skin cancer on September 29, aged 67. He had a good many years left when he left his many friends and admirers with only memories to cherish.

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Asian Voice | 14th October 2017

Rani Singh, Special Assignments Editor

Kulbir Pasricha, Police Staff Tackling Sensitive Issues The winner of the 2017 Asian Achiever’s Award in the Uniform and Civil Category is Kulbir Pasricha, now Kent Police’s Deputy Lead for Domestic Abuse, Prevent and Hate Crime. We take a look at how she got to do this job and why she does it. Background Kulbir was born in Middlesex in the 1970s. Her parents arrived from India a few years earlier but had a hard time, and were not wealthy. The parents said that they found a racist atmosphere in the UK during that period. Kulbir is Sikh and her late father wore a beard and turban. Both her parents had degrees but could not get paid professional work. So they took up selfemployment. Kulbir Pasricha is a carer for her mother, who is also her inspiration. Kulbir Pasricha worked her way up the NHS career ladder from a personnel assistant to HR manager while studying part time. Why Kent Police?  In 1998, Kulbir joined Kent Police, believing that the fundamental role of policing is to protect the vulnerable. Her career

Kulbir Pasricha

spanned being a central crime reporting unit investigator, a Family Liaison Officer, Trauma Risk Management Practitioner and Critical Incident Advisor.     Hate Crime  Kulbir says that the rise in hate crime nationally mirrors trends following other major national or interna-

tional events. “There are other factors that may have contributed to the increase, including the increased awareness of third party and reporting mechanisms. Our engagement with communities increased trust and confidence, and there was an increased awareness in the media.   Anyone who thinks they may have experienced or witnessed hate crime can report it by calling the Police on 101, ontacting Crimestoppers o r using our True Vision website ( where you can also find advice about staying safe. Deaf or speech-impaired people can text  message the word  ‘police’  then leave a space and write their message and send it to 60066. We have translators

where required.” Terrorism and Preventing Radicalisation  Kulbir says that defeating terrorism is everyone’s responsibility but there is a need to understand what factors make someone vulnerable to radicalisation and provide support early on. “Terrorism is aimed at dividing communities and causing hatred. It is important we stand together in countering hate and intolerance. Reporting anything suspicious early on is vital.  Stay alert  and not alarmed but if anyone finds themselves in the middle of a terror incident, then stay safe principles on  are to RUN, HIDE, TELL. There is a new website called “Let’s talk about it” which aims to stop people becoming radicalised and drawn into terrorism by highlighting how to spot signs, get support early on and how to stay safe on line.” Domestic Abuse Kulbir Pasricha says, “There is no excuse,  cultural or otherwise,  for Domestic Abuse. No religion condones domestic abuse. It is unlawful and wrong to force somebody

to marry against his or her will.” We know that community silence is a major barrier to tackling Honour Based Abuse and Forced Marriages so it was really important to get across the seriousness of these crimes, and emphasise the secure and confidential way in which we manage any concerns reported to us.

“I will continue to empower, encourage and involve others.” Kulbir sends a plea out through this column. “I ask you, the community, to help me protect these individuals. To speak out against those criminals/ offenders who believe it is acceptable to harm another human being. Those offending use cultural difference to hide their acts, to hide their victims. They rely on others and a sense of false loyalty to assist them. Please do not be silent, speak out, and help those who may not be able to help themselves.” 

Acid attacks causing concerns with the Asian Community Kulbir Pasricha says, “There are concerns from the Asian community around the increased acid attacks and advice the police and NHS can provide. This type of assault remains rare but it has been recognised nationally that there has been an increase in the use of corrosive chemicals such as acids and alkalis in attacks. The one report we have had in Kent relates to gang issues. However the advice is if someone has acid sprayed on them then they should 1) Report through 999, 2) Remove (Contaminated clothing should be carefully removed and affected skin rinsed in running water until help arrives) and 3) Rinse with plenty of water. Always dial 999 if there is an emergency, crime is in progress or life is in danger.” On her own philosophy of life, Kulbir says, “From here I will continue to empower, encourage and involve others to make a difference in the world of policing.”


COMMUNITY AsianVoiceNews

Asian Voice | 14th October 2017



Zaki Cooper is on the Advisory Council of the Indian Jewish Association.

Supporting each other in times of need When my daughters go to school, they have to walk through a gate, manned by security guards. This is the grim reality of Jewish life in London in the twenty first century, given the dangers of antiSemitism. Similarly, the footballer Gary Neville recently tweeted after driving through Manchester on a Jewish holiday, how depressing it was to see so many security people patrolling outside synagogues. The third article of my series, therefore, is about prejudice. Indian communities know what it’s like to face discrimination and be singled out because of their religion or race. They know what it’s like to walk down the street and face abuse for nothing more than their identity. The Jewish community, likewise, has a long history as victims of persecution and anti-Semitism, and sadly it still persists today. I’d like to say something about antiSemitism, past, present and future. I think anti-Semitism is not just a problem for Jews but for the whole of society. History has shown us that it is often a bellwether for wider racial and religious prejudice. Anti-Semitism may start with the Jews, but it is often reflective of something fundamentally ugly about society. I think there are some helpful lessons and learnings for those tasked with combating hate in each of our communities. First, on the past, the history of the Jewish people has been blighted by centuries of hatred. Early forms of antiSemitism came from Christians who accused Jews of killing Jesus. This is not the place for a long theological exposition. Countless books have been written on the subject. Overall there is little reason to think that the Jews were responsible for Jesus' crucifixion, and many reasons to think they were not. But the idea took root, and spawned terrible attacks on Jews in Europe and beyond. The UK was shamefully at the forefront of this. The blood libel, the accusation that Jews murder non-Jews in a religious ritual and drink their blood, has its origins in this country. It first took place in Norwich in 1144 when a Christian boy, Hugh, was found murdered, and the Jews were blamed and subsequently attacked. Such was the continuing climate of hostility towards the Jews in the Middle Ages that they were expelled by the King, Edward I, in 1290 (they were not to resettle until the seventeenth century). The history of anti-Semitism shows that it has been remarkable for its contradictory claims. Jews have been hated for being rich and poor, capitalist and com-

munist as well as cosmopolitan and parochial. The hatred has been compared to a virus that mutates. Whereas once it was religion-based, it's focus changed over time to race. The Nazis believed that their Aryan race was superior to the Jews, which provided the framework for the tragedy of the Holocaust when six million Jews were murdered. These days, much of modern day anti-Semitism sees Israel as responsible for the ills of the world. That brings us to the second point about today’s anti-Semitism. Whereas several years ago, it was confined to the far-right, it now is also found in Islamic extremism and the so-called “New Left” (the problems with a number of antiSemitic episodes in the Labour party is a manifestation of the latter). The latest survey of anti-Semitic incidents, published in August, showed that, in the first half of the year, there were 767 recorded incidents in the UK. This marked a 30per-cent increase from the 589 incidents recorded during the same period in 2016. The Jewish community is experiencing heightened attack, but is not in despair. The situation is bleak, but is in no way comparable to the situation faced, for instance, by Jews in Germany in the 1930s. One of the reassuring factors is that the community has developed its own security infrastructure. It has its own organisation, the Community Security Trust, which protects schools, synagogues and other community buildings. On occasion, CST has worked closely with the Hindu community to advise on its own security arrangements, such as with the Temple in Neasden. This type of cross-communal cooperation builds bonds of trust between our two communities, and is welcomed by the government. I have talked about the past and present, but what of the future? It is hard to see the levels of anti-Semitism abating. With radical Islamic posing such dangers, and a proliferation in the channels of spreading hate through social media, we need to be on our guard. As has been famously said, “the price of peace is eternal vigilance." Clearly all faith and ethnic communities, particularly those which are visibly identifiable, suffer from discrimination, and we all need to watch out for each other. Just as I welcome non-Jews condemning anti-Semitism, we should all stick up for each other where we can. At the same time, we should count ourselves fortunate to live in a country like this one which not only espouses values of tolerance and cooperation, but lives them, and has the rule of law to enforce this.

Jews and Muslims celebrate festival of Succot The Al Khoei Islamic Centre hosted the Brondesbury Park Synagogue’s Succah on Sunday 8th October. Organised by Faiths Forum for London, this was the second year that the Jewish and Muslim communities have come together to celebrate the festival of Succot. The communities shared a Kosher Succot brunch in order to further strengthen the bonds between two religious and

Yousif Khoei, Rabbi Baruch Levine, Aliya Azam and Rev. Lawrence Hillel

local communities. This unprecedented partnership between a British mosque and syna-

gogue was initially inspired by the terrorist attack on a Jewish Kosher Supermarket in Paris 2015.


London witnesses a spectacular display of collaborative culture at the Independence Gala Rupanjana Dutta The deep cultural ties, partnership and the long relationship between India and the UK over the past 70 years was marked on last Wednesday at the Independence Gala in London's Royal Festival Hall, with a richly diverse showcase of the very finest dance and music from both nations. A succession of spectacular performances and multi-art form collaborations, highlighted the unique aspects of each distinct genre while using the universality of dance and music to create a seamless whole. The evening began with a contiguous showcase over a score of music and dance performances including Indian regional and classical dances, tap dance, hip hop, opera and choir and was preceded by a thundering headline performance by Radiohead guitarist Jonny Greenwood and Israeli composer and musician Shye Ben Tzur in collaboration with Indian band Rajasthan Express who enthralled audiences with material from their critically acclaimed album, Junun. The event that was organised by the High Commission of India, and was launched in February by Indian Minister Arun Jaitley and Her Majesty the Queen in Buckingham Palace. After inauguration in February, the Independence Gala was the biggest event to mark the year of culture. The purpose of the evening was to showcase the best of both Indian and British cultures on the stage of the prestigious Royal Festival Hall. The High Commissioner of India to UK, His Excellency Y K Sinha, who was celebrating his birthday on the same day, addressing the audience said, “The Independence gala promises to be a vibrant cultural extravaganza celebrating the rich and multi-faceted ties between India and the UK. The events under the India-UK year of culture are indeed a unique opportunity to underline and renew the inextricable threads of our cultural heritage and to enhance our engagement at a people-to-people level. The independence gala, is a fitting celebration of the 70th anniversary of India's independence, showcasing some very unique artistic collaborations. The Gala brings together distinctive

art forms and performers from India and the UK in an enchanting medley of dance and music. I am hopeful that the partnership forged during the year between the people and organisations in both coun-

Kuchipudi by Arunima Kumar Dance Academy, Bharatnatyam by Natyasri Dance Company, Mohiniyattam and Kathakali by Lasya Academy of Mohiniyattam, Chau dance by Nichuapada

Sangeeta Datta (centre) with Deepa Nair Rasya and Patricia Rozario

tries will serve us well in the years to come.” Speeches were also given by the UK-India Year of Culture event director Sanjoy K Roy, sponsor representative from Diageo and Mr Dev Sanyal from British Petroleum. Sanjoy K Roy, Managing Director of Teamwork Arts, said “Independence Gala, the highlight of the yearlong UK-India Year of Culture 2017 programme, celebrated the relationship between India and United Kingdom based on the shared values of democracy, diversity and appreciation of the arts.

Uttarsahi Chhau Nrutya Pratisthan, and Gotipua by Silpika Society of Culture. Music included vocal by Deepa Nair Rasiya and Sangeeta Datta, Sarod by Soumik Datta, and Sarangi by Ustad Surjeet Singh. Among the western performances, there was Opera by Patricia Rozario, the only Indian Opera singer, Hip hop/contemporary by Avant Garde Dance company, Tap dance by Old Kent Road, Latin and ballroom dancing by Step Change Studios that included a disabled performer on wheelchair with others. Choir was presentGotipua performance by Silpika Society of Culture

“India’s flavourful cultural matrix created by a formidable past legacy and a new contemporary identity was brought to life and enriched by the exciting new collaborations with various UK artists presented on stage at the Southbank Centre last night. “It is the arts that celebrates differences and that bring us all together. The Independence Gala was a shining example of that.” The first half of the gala featured a medley of dances and music representing different states of India, as well as the native cultural display. Performances included Kathak by Ankh,

ed by London Contemporary Voices, Violin by Philip Granell and the phaedra ensemble, vocal by Rosabella Gregory, Bass guitar player Tadej Kampl. In the second half of the event, a composition of Sufi Qawwal songs were sung in Urdu and Hebrew, from the evocative album Junun, composed by Ben Tzur. This diverse spectacular gala embodying a collaboration of exquisite flavour of both cultures was directed by Sanjoy K Roy from Teamwork Arts with music composed by Sharat Chandra Srivastava and choreography advisor Gilles Chuyen.


Asian Voice | 14th October 2017




Akram Khan announces his final full-length solo production





One of the most celebrated and highly regarded dance makers working today, Sadler’s Wells Associate Artist Akram Khan has announced a new production, Xenos, which will mark his final performances as a dancer in a full-length piece. The production, commissioned by 14-18 NOW, the UK’s arts programme for the First World War centenary, is inspired by Greek mythology with a particular focus on the myth of Prometheus, and by specific events from the First World War. Xenos, co-produced by Sadler’s Wells, will premiere in 2018, sixteen years after the debut of Khan’s acclaimed first full-length production Kaash. Sadler’s Wells will present the UK premiere from 29 May - 9 June, as part of its Spring 2018 Season, and the production’s international tour. Xenos, meaning ‘stranger’ or ‘foreigner’, seeks to express tales of loss, hope and redemption, through a movement language that shifts between classical kathak and contemporary dance. Working from a text by acclaimed playwright Jordan Tannahill, alongside his world-class team of collaborators Khan will draw on the story of a shell-shocked Indian soldier trapped in a trench during the First World War, through the lens of the myth of Prometheus - the Titan who stole fire and gave it to mankind. Akram Khan said, “My interest lies in both the mythological body and the technological body. I want to explore our connection with our past and our future, investigating specific questions that confront me more and more every day, such as how does ‘myth’ play a part in today’s society? “Xenos explores the central question at the heart of the myth – was Prometheus’ gift the blessing or the curse of mankind? And at its centre is a colonial soldier, one of over 4 million men mobilised on behalf of the British empire. 1.5 million of these recruits were Indian, mostly peasant-warriors from North and North-Western India, and they fought and died in Europe, Africa and the Middle East. Many sepoys were buried abroad, while those who returned home, often mutilated and traumatised, were estranged from their own histories, homelands, and countrymen, becoming xenoi. “So, do we need to tell other people’s stories just in case they vanish? Who are the ‘other’ people? Are stories of human journeys told and retold again and again, so we can eventually learn from our mistakes? Who are ‘we’, a collective or many individuals? What makes us human? Are we still human?” This autumn Khan’s work has been seen on the Sadler’s Wells stage with English National Ballet’s reprisal of Giselle, and he will curate and perform in the theatre’s inaugural presentation of the Darbar Festival, the established celebration of classical Indian music and dance from 9-12 November. Also in November, he presents a new Channel 4 documentary Can We Live With Robots? In this unique project for the channel, he explores the impact robots and AI are having today on human relationships, and meets the cutting-edge robots of the future.

n honour of World Space Week, which took place from the 4th – 10th October last week, Asian Voice spoke to Dr Manoj Joshi, a prolific Senior Lecturer at the University of East Anglia, specialising in Climate Dynamics. Joshi moved to the area of theoretical modelling of climates and climate change after extensive work into the circulation of planetary atmospheres, such as that of Mars and the very topical phenomenon of exoplanets – planets which closely resemble Earth’s atmosphere, and could thus potentially possess life forms. Of his time under the worldclass institute, NASA, at the Ames Research Centre near Silicon Valley, the friendly lecturer shared with us: “going to the research centre on a fellowship was of course very exciting. Especially at a time when the Mars Global Surveyor had just landed. We were using feeds from satellites with a delay so there was a point at which we weren’t even sure whether the surveyor had actually landed or crashed. It’s interesting how the work of hundreds of people, from engineers to the researchers, hinges on that one, deciding moment: whether this equipment will function or not. It’s nervewracking and thrilling all at the same time.” ***

Computer-simulated image (Copyright: NASA) of first exoplanet: 51 Pegasi b.

derful,” he aptly added. As Corollary to this, although the discipline is not known for being the most lucrative, “let’s not underestimate the liberation of flexible hours and not having to wear a suit!” he said. Thus, though assisting in the prediction of weather and the external by profession, Joshi champions the challenges of the unpredictable in inner life.

Joshi has also spent time as a scientist at the SETI (Search for Extra Terrestrial Intelligence) Institute as a research scientist before moving to the Met Office in the UK and gravitating closer towards his current earthly post. He commented that there are many similarities between the atmospheres of Earth and Mars which are universally enlightening: “A fundaWhat’s been one of your most mental fact with climate dynamics exciting breakthroughs? is that a planet spins on its axis so It underpinned my research into there are certain rules that apply to exoplanets: there are potentially both weather systems and planets that orbit a star features, which their cliwhich is not The Sun. 4 mates will tend to out of 5 stars are not obey; this gives us a yellow like the sun better physical but rather red and ‘Terraforming – the idea of how the small. As a result, question of finding planets’ climate for the planet to planets that can be features exist get as much radihabitable like Earth – comparatively ation as the and our underEarth and have is still speculative standing of clithe same temperbut carries profound mate generally." ature, they have to importance’ Featured in several be very close and high-profile publicawhat we call ‘tidally tions by this point, locked’; one side always including the Bulletin of faces the star while the the American Meteorological other is turned away. Some people Society and Nature Climate Change, have suggested that this face is boilJoshi then effortlessly demonstrates ing during the day time while comhow intellectual curiosity can be a pletely frozen at night. Earth’s powerful motivator in success. equivalent would be the Tropics and “Academia is an incredibly demandthe Polar regions. However, we used ing lifestyle, but the reward of havan atmospheric model to show that ing your passionate and meticulous a lot of heat is transferred from dayfindings corroborated by journals side to nightside and the initial preand other people’s papers is wondiction turns out not to be true.

Pop Culture has become increasingly obsessed with Mars being the miracle cure for our environmental problems; to what extent do you think that’s true – and do please take the question with the pinch of salt - or rock dust - that it is? Terraforming – the question of finding planets that can be habitable like Earth – is still speculative but carries profound importance. It is certainly an exciting time. Since the discovery of the first exoplanet in 1995, hundreds have been found. Of course, this tremendous discovery and spending our efforts on fixing the mess we’ve made on Earth are not mutually exclusive. We can effectively tackle environmental issues while continuing space exploration. What is a significant step we can take to help preserve the environment, in your opinion? Looking at planet modelling, this is a big issue. I think everyone doing simple yet significant everyday things will have the impact. Was it your concern for the planet that drew you closer to environmental studies? It was a mix of motivations. I have a PhD in the area of planetary and climate modelling , and as I said there is a lot of overlap between Earth’s atmosphere and that of other planets. It was my scientific experience as well as the hope to do something useful which drove me. What is your advice to young people considering an academic career? You’ve got to really love it as you won’t be doing it for the money. Do your higher studies; a MA or a PhD can also be a route into the research industry. That can be very different from academia, sometimes demanding more practical applications as well as the theory. What’s one thing about being a scientist that people might have a misconception about? People tend to think you’re locked away in a little, dark room, but you do have to have the people skills too!


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Asian Voice | 14th October 2017


TEARING FAMILIES APART Continued from page 1 The report revealed by The Independent said that family members being granted entry clearance visas, which they must obtain in order to move to Britain to apply for settlement, have also dropped from 70,119 in 2006 to just 38,119 last year, marking an decrease of 46%. Chai Patel, legal and policy director at the Joint Council for the Welfare of Immigrants (JCWI), told the Independent: “It is a shame that fewer spouses and children are given permission to join their partners and parents in the UK and we are a poorer nation as a result. This is also just the tip of the iceberg. “This Government is hellbent on making the UK hostile to immigrants and have created one of the harshest family migration systems amongst developed countries. For integration and communities to succeed, parents should not be separated from children, nor should partners who are in love be forced to live in different countries. We need an immigration system that respects family life.� Responding to the fig-

ures, Diane Abbott, the Shadow Home secretary said, “As a constituency MP I have heard these heartbreaking stories firsthand. Splitting families apart and unlawfully disregarding children’s welfare, as the Supreme court ruled earlier this year, this is a direct result of the Tory Government’s failed immigration policy,� she toldThe Independent. “Their target of reducing net migration to below 100,000 has never been met but they are willing to resort to desperate, damaging and quite frankly cruel policies to achieve it.� Seema Malhotra, speaking to Asian Voice at an interview during 2017 election said, "Theresa May's immigration plans have torn families apart." Malhotra has been approached by several of her constituents, complaining about this issue. A Home Office spokesperson reportedly said: “The British public have been clear that they want to see a reduction in net migration and that is what this Government is delivering. We continue to welcome the foreign partners and children of those settled in the UK but it’s

important that they can stand on their own feet financially. “The Supreme Court has endorsed our approach in setting an income threshold for family migration that prevents burdens being placed on taxpayers and ensures migrant families can integrate into our communities.�

Increasing visa fees Following outrage earlier this year when the Home Office revealed plans to charge visa applicants to contact their support service, there has been fresh criticism directed at their increasing application fees. A leading UK newspaper has reported that the Home Office is allegedly making profits of up to 800% on some visa applications, and the margins are so lucrative that there is an alleged incentive to reject applications to prompt repeat applications. An indefinite leave to remain for a dependant could cost upto ÂŁ3000 or more, but it reportedly costs home office only ÂŁ423 to process the application. This means that the application costs 688% more to apply that it costs

to process. The majority of the visas listed in the Home Office’s figures cost much more to apply for that they cost to process. When asked for a comment on the inflated visa fees, the home office reportedly commented that the high fees were “only rightâ€?. The Home Office has reportedly argued that the inflated fees are in order to ease the burden on the taxpayer to control the border. They also cite the cost of operating the citizenship and immigration application system in areas that are not backed by any funding. A 28 year old young entrepreneur who has invested upto ÂŁ500,000 in a London restaurant and recruited more than 20 staff, complained that inspite of investing so much the entrepreneur visa that went for a renewal was at the home office for over seven months, stopping her from travelling to India, to see her ailing family. Anokhi Mehra, speaking to Asian Voice said, “It's just not about the money. Then there are cases of wrong spellings. After waiting for 9 months my biometric card came but it had my name wrong.

We are already paying a bomb for our visa renewal, yet the service is often appalling. I have heard there are even 2 years delay in some cases.� If any company wants to recruit anybody from outside EU, the company now needs to pay more

than ÂŁ1000 per applicant, as a sponsorship fee. This obviously deters companies to recruit non British.

May urged to act on the race audit findings Continued from page 7 Government to come forward with a pro-active agenda to tackle these issues. “At the same time, we should also be proud of the fact that certain minority groups, notably the British Indian community, have integrated well and are making an outsized contribution to Britain in many different fields. “The data released by the Government shows that British Indians come top in earnings and education. An analysis of household income shows 35% of Indians earning ÂŁ1000 or more per week week, versus an average

of 24% in this income bracket across the population. Similarly, data on average hourly wages shows British Indians earning 15% above the national average and 38% above the lowest group British Pakistanis and Bangladeshis. “On education indicators, British Indian children are consistently the top performing group for academic attainment with 14% of Indians achieving 3 A grades or better at A Levels. “British Indians provide a role model for how a minority community can integrate successfully into British society and make a positive contribution to this country.�

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Asian Voice | 14th October 2017

Lighting the candle: (Left to Right) Vaughan Gething (his son) - Secretary of Health, Well-being and Sport - Patron for HCW, Cllr Janice - Mayor of Vale of Glamorgan, Raj Aggarwal OBE, Indian Consulate in Wales - Patron for HCW, Naran Patel - HCW Treasurer, Satish Dhupelia Gandhiji's great grandson, Julie Morgan AM - Patron of HCW, Meredith Morfudd - Her Majesty's Lord-Lieutenant of South Glamorgan. Bob Derbyshire - Mayor of Cardiff

Mahatma Gandhi statue was unveiled in Cardiff, Wales, on his birthday, in a ceremony that was abuzz with great enthusiasm and anticipation by the Hindu Council of Wales which has worked on this project for the last three years with the support of member organisations, Assembly Members , Cardiff Council volunteers and all the donors for their generous contributions. The statue was unveiled jointly by the First Minister of Wales. Rt. Hon. Mr Carwyn Jones & His excellency, Mr Y.K. Sinha, High commissioner of India in the presence of hundreds of Gandhiji's followers including Gandhiji's great grandson Shri Satishbhai Dhupelia who came from South Africa specially for this event. Satishbhai is a humble and a very intelligent gentleman whose thinking is at a high level, both in words and actions. He is key member of Gandhi development trust and manages the Phoenix settlement established by Gandhiji. Another member of Gandhiji family - great granddaughter Bhanuben Patani (maiden name Gandhi) came from London with her husband Dineshbhai for this special event. In his speech, Satishbhai said, "The people of Cardiff and Wales are a warm hearted friendly group of people with an aura of peace and love. The erection of this statue will remind visitors not only of Gandhi’s philosophy of peace, unity and non-violence but also tells us that lovely people of this city

have accepted and imbibed his philosophy so it is a testament to Gandhi and the community of Cardiff. Cardiff was once the largest exporter of coal. Today, I hope that the steady flow of visitors, their interaction with the wonderful people of this place, and viewing of this statue will establish Cardiff as the greatest exporter of the message of peace, love, non-violence and tolerance.” HCW said that Gandhi might not have visited Wales but his spirit and teachings are alive and more so we were proud to have two family members of Mahatma Gandhi at the unveiling ceremony – Satishbhai Dhupelia from South Africa and Bhanuben Patani (Gandhi) from London. Bhanuben’s daughter Shriti and grand children Shivali and Shamil live in Cardiff. London lawyer, Deepesh Jayantbhai Upadhyay of Wheatland Cheese and Company Ltd. said, "A quote of Gandhiji 'Our ultimate capital is not the money we have, but our courage, our faith, our truthfulness and our ability' is very true in today's times where the most valuable commodity is our human values.” HCW are grateful for the children of Fitzalan High school who played steel pan and all the singers for the entertainment programme. Pradyuman Halai, all the volunteers and whole team of HCW worked tirelessly to organise the successful event.

(Left to Right) Some Committee members for Hindu Council of Wales, Rajesh Kerai - Board member, Sandip Raha – Board Member, Pradyuman Halai - Youth co-ordinator, Radhika Kadaba - General Secretary, Siva Sivapalan – Board Member, Vimla Patel MBE - Chair person, Nirmala Pisavadia - Board Members, Sudha Bhatt - Board Members, Dr Sakti Guha-Niyogi - Vice Chair, Jane Hutt - Assembly Member, Taraknath Das - Board member, Naranbhai Patel MBE – Treasurer, Badrinath Gargeshnari – Board member

L to R : Dr. Bhanuben (Gandhi) related to Gandhiji, with her husband Dineshbhai Patani, Shivani and Shamil (children of their daughter Shriti and Niraj Vyas)

Voluntaires Benaben, Maguben, Shantaben, Satishbhai, Hasuben, Puja, Darshnaben

Young children of community singing National Anthems of India and Wales

The gathering was escorted by children playing the Lezium band

Swaminarayan Temple youth group leading the procession in the authentic way playing drums

Picture Courtesy: Pradip Kotecha of PK Arts and Raj Pisavadia of V V Digital

Atreyee Saha from Wales Puja Committee

Children of Fitzalan High school played steel pan

HCW were privileged to have blessings from Swaminarayan Santos “Sadguru Balkrushna Dasji, Shastru Aksharmuni Dasji and Purani Ramanuj Dasji

School children of Mount Staurt Primary school, reciting Gandhi quotes led by Deepesh Jayantbhai Upadhyay of Wheat Land Cheese Co., Totenham



Asian Voice | 14th October 2017

Female MBA students are undeterred by Silicon Valley’s sexism Sexism in the tech world is nothing new. This year, all the gender-based harassment and bias in the Silicon Valley came to light. Several cases drew the limelight, most of them cringe-worthy. Women have pointed their fingers at firms like Uber for fostering environments where sexual harassment and discrimination are common visitors. Google has been blamed of wage disparity, a case which has the Department of Labour sniffing around. Now, approximately 90 former employees are suing over similar discrepancies. Women have for years witnessed, endured, and fought sexism in Silicon Valley. Stanford Business School's courses by Fern Mandelbaum on diversity and the “power of inclusion” have become so pop-

Indian services activity returns to growth A monthly survey said that activity of the services sector in India expanded for the first time in three months in September as it rebounded from GSTrelated contractions, driven by a surge in new business orders that supported job creation. The Nikkei India Services PMI Business Activity Index rose to 50.7 in September, from 47.5 in August. It found out that the combination of marketing campaigns by companies and strengthening demand conditions led to new business growth in September. The latest services PMI follows the manufacturing one announced last week which showed that industrial activity registered the second straight month of expansion in September. Economist at IHS Markit, and author of the report, Aashna Dodhia said, “The Indian private sector regained some lost ground since the implementation of July's GST as service providers, followed the manufacturing industry back to growth.” The improving economic environment supported job creation, with services employment increasing at the fastest rate in almost six-and-a-half years. “The labour market was strengthened over the month as the pace of job creation quickened to the fastest since mid-2011, led by the transport and storage and consumer services sub-sectors,” Dodhia said. Input cost accelerated in September, on the inflation front, while output charges rose at the weakest rate since June.

Amrita Mainthia

ular, she had to add a third this year. Her latest course, 'Equity by Design: Building Diverse and Inclusive Organisations' show stu-

dents how to spot and deal with unconscious bias, hire candidates from diverse backgrounds and design systems to support equality at work. Her MBA students include women who want to work in technology. Given the rising number of cases, these students, instead of being discouraged, sense an opportunity to fix Silicon Valley's issues with the fairer sex. Harvard Business School student and copresident of the school's tech club, the largest student group on campus, Amrita Mainthia remains unfazed. “Women are interested in entering this industry, to contribute to the progress that we all know can be done,” she said. She just completed an internship at a small venture capital start-up that

invests in media tech companies. Anne Kuriakose, senior vice-president at MIT Sloan's technology club, said, “There is this overarching desire to want to be the ones driving change and innovation. Now, more than ever, it's important for women to go into tech.” Even with all the outward enthusiasm, female MBA students are cautious about what companies they target. Prof Mandelbaum said female students are wary of companies with poor records on gender equality. “An inclusive culture is one that respects, values and hears their employees, that thinks about their career progression, that has managers who help their people be successful. Who wouldn't want to be at a place like that?”

Two Indian Americans among most powerful women in banking American Banker has announced its 15th annual ranking of the Most Powerful Women in Banking and Finance. The 25-person list that recognises the most influential female leaders in the banking industry, includes two Indian-Americans, Nandita Bakhshi and Ranjana Clark. President and chief executive officer of Bank of the West and coCEO at BNP Paribas USA, Bakhshi stands fourth on the list. The publication described her as a 30-year industry veteran with extensive experience in retail banking and payments. It said when she arrived last year at Bank of the West, she embarked on a listening tour across the San Francisco-based lender's 23-state footprint. She also launched a virtual office called Nandita's Corner, where the bank's 10,000 employees were encouraged to share their

Nandita Bakhshi

Ranjana Clark

ideas. One of the key initiatives during her first year as CEO was the launch of the bank's logo. Bakhshi began her career as a parttime teller and said in the report, “When you get to the position where you are hiring and training people, you don't settle. Make sure you recruit first-rate talent and it will improve your whole organisation.” Head of transaction banking for the Americas and San Francisco Bay

Area president of MUFG Union Bank, Clark came at number 19 on the 25-person list. She is a 34-year veteran of the financial industry who had done stints at PayPal, Western Union, Wachovia, and Deutsche Bank, before joining MUFG Union in 2013. “Clients are seeking more of a self-service model to access information and perform operations,” she said in the report.

India to reduce number of banks Indian Finance Ministry's principal economic advisor Sanjeev Sanyal said the country would have 10-15 public sector banks with government's majority stake, down from 21 at present as part of its plan to consolidate banks. Speaking at the India Economic Summit, he said, “There are something like 21-22 public sector banks. The numbers will be reduced in terms of consolidation, but somewhere to the 10-15 range. We are not going to take it too far down... We need to consolidate some of these large number of banks, but be

clear that we are not going to reduce these down to some people think like 4-5 national champions.” He added, “We recognise that that will lead to too many 'too-big-to-fail' banks. Currently, we have one large bank State Bank of India... We do not want to create a large number of them. Then we will have a real problem in terms of concentration of risks.” Sanyal said consolidation of banks is longer term commercial decisions, whereas recapitalisation of PSBs is “more an urgent issue” in order to get the banking system running

again. The RBI has already begun recognising the bad assets, provision them and is taking some of them to bankruptcy and insolvency process. “Now, the second step consequently is recapitalisation and getting these banks running again... that will be done in next few months. The government is fully aware that we need a much larger banking system by factors of multiple than what it is today,” Sanyal said. He added that India's banking system is way too small for future and needs to be expanded significantly.


Gordon Sanghera develops a gadget to diagnose unwell children in minutes Gordon Sanghera wishes for a future where parents can diagnose unwell children in minutes. Oxford Nanopore, his notion of “cheap and easy genetics” is considered to be one of Britain's rare “unicorns” today. The unlisted technology company is valued at over $ 1 billion. Its devices can read codes of DNA in minutes, threatening to disrupt an industry which, as you read, is skyrocketing. The company's flagship DNA-sequencer, the MinION has long been used to track the infamous ebola virus across West Africa, and research Zika in South America. A London hospital recently used it to show how a deadly infection had reached its intensive care ward. Sanghera believes the equipment will soon be in every home, hospital, and research laboratories across the globe. While his products such as GridION, PromethION, and the MinION aims researchers for now, he is set to reach out to consumers soon. His SmidgION, which will plug into a smartphone, is all set to be launched next year. “The vision is that parents would buy this thing instead of going to a GP.” He admits it won't be cheap. “If you go to JP Morgan,” he said, “and speak to every banker with kids, they will buy it.” Considering it as a Christmas gift? “You could put a bit of saliva on the device in the morning and over Christmas dinner it will build your genealogy tree,” Sanghera said. Son to Indian immigrants, he grew up in a stereotypical crowded four-bedroom house, based in Swindon, Wiltshire. His mother died when he was 11. He and

Gordon Sanghera

his three younger siblings were cared for in the house by his father, grandparents, and four aunts. After graduating in Chemistry, he proceeded to do a PhD, to escape an arranged marriage, he admitted. “My daughter, who is in her second year at Leeds University, has so much advice from my wife and I. I didn't have any of that,” he said. He stated he suffered from a “mid-life crisis” at the age of 43. His earlier position in the research lab of professor Allen Hill at Oxford led to his first role at Medisense, a company that sold to Abott Laboratories in 1996. “The problem with Abbott is the final salary pension scheme. By 50, it becomes very difficult to leave. But people are there because this carrot is dangling.” While he was doing “OK, financially” at Medisense, he decided to have another go. “To get another chance on the swings and roundabouts, the second time round you savour it more. You are more determined.” Oxford Nanopre will eventually list in London, when the timing is right, he said. Sanghera is clear his company will not run out of money. He expects it to be profitable within the next two to three years.

RBI lowers India's GDP forecast The Reserve Bank of India kept key rates on hold, while reducing its growth forecast for the fiscal year ending March 2018 to 6.7% from 7.3%. It put the onus of reviving the economy on the government, calling for structural reforms. Announcing the decision of the Monetary Policy Committee, RBI governor Urjit Patel cautioned against a fiscal stimulus, pointing to the combined (central and states) fiscal deficit of 6%.“We should be very cautious lest fiscal actions undercut macroeconomic stability,” he said. The government has indicated that it is planning measures to revive the economy, raising expectations of a spending boost.

Explaining the decision to hold rates, Patel said he expected inflation to move up to 4.2% to 4.6% in the second half. Besides rising crude oil prices, wage hikes for government employees are expected to fuel inflation. Patel, however, said the door was not shut on future rate cuts as there was also a possibility that lower commodity and food prices could keep inflation down. While the MPC voted to hold rates, RBI reduced the statutory liquidity ratio (SLR)- the mandated portion of deposits that banks must park in government bonds - from 20% to 19.5%. This will provide banks more room to lend as and when credit demand picks up.




Last week I was introduced to a pub in central London, which I was assured was a bargain. The price tag is £2m for a lump of building, which consists of over 4,000 sq. ft. This, on the surface, is extremely cheap.

Suresh Vagjiani

Sow & Reap London Property Investment

We have had some experience with a pub just around the corner. We purchased this for our client, in 2013 from memory. At the time, it was a working pub, so we purchased this as what's known as a going concern. This meant, contrary to what we were being told by the sellers - who happened to be a major chain of pub owners - the deal would not attract VAT. This saved the hassle of paying a full 20% extra for the site and then having to claim it back later on down the line. The tenant of the pub was a nice fellow, but one who didn't always pay his rent on

We were advised that it was not a good idea to get rid of the pub, as this would have been seen to be too drastic in terms of planning. A pub is seen as something of ‘community use’, personally I cannot fathom how a facility which enables a community to pour alcohol down their throats is of any help; it’s arguable that it is of detriment to the fabric of the community, but there you go.

Our architects advised for us to go for a pre app, and then follow with a full application. The idea of this is to ensure the application does not hit any posts when you submit it - that's the theory anyhow.

In terms of planning we were advised to retain the pub, and ground and lower ground levels, and get the planning for the residential flats above. There was a possibility of getting planning for the pub, but we would have needed to demonstrate we had been marketing the pub for a tenant for a period of 12 months without success.

AGONY AGENT IS HERE TO HELP! From time to time I am asked about the importance of a good internet connection, which may seem obvious but can be easily over looked. In a world where going online has become an everyday occurrence for the majority of the population, expectations for internet and Wi-Fi access, as well as broadband speed, in rented homes have increased rapidly in recent years. In the past, internet access may not have been near the top of very many tenants' priority lists.

Now, however, it seems to have become one of the more important things tenants consider before moving into a rental property. Some landlords provide internet in their properties, while others leave it for the tenants to sort out. Either way, it's becoming increasingly vital that tenants are given the best opportunity possible to have access to reliable, fast broadband, as well as being up and running in next to no time when moving in. Many private tenants are students - who require broadband or Wi-Fi


ELYSTAN STREET SW3 Purchase Price: £995,000

Specialists in Central London Property Sourcing

Asian Voice | 14th October 2017

time. When someone is a little too friendly on your visits, by plying you with complimentary drinks, you should be suspicious; as there is no such thing as a free lunch. It was obvious he was preparing us for future irregular rent payments. Issues such as irregular rent payments are ground level issues; on a strategic level our plan was to get planning and sell the pub off with the benefit of planning.

The application was smooth, both during pre app and full application stage. The property was granted planning for 9 flats, within 9 months.

access to complete their course work - while more people are now working from home, a scenario which again requires fast and reliable access to the internet. How can you, the landlord, help? There are several views for and against you providing broadband access for tenants, but what’s most important is that whether you choose to provide it or not, you make sure tenants have the best possible chance of getting access to a good internet service quickly when they move in to your property.


The planning came

Firstly, you’re purchasing at £400 per sq. ft., which is extremely cheap.

Although, this is not the way to truly measure a development deal. It merely gives you a crude indication. This property has outside space, and can be demolished, meaning it is not listed. Furthermore, it is empty, which potentially means there is a greater chance of a more wholesome conversion opportunity, without the need for VAT on the build. The deal is ready to be executed, and we hope to report an exchange of contracts on this site in next week’s article!

If you're looking to let to younger tenants, and the property you purchase is in an area with poor connectivity and signal, you'll certainly find it harder to occupy. It’s wise to check the speed of your connection as well as what type of broadband is available in your area. If the signal in parts of your property is poor this could be offputting to tenants, particularly in a House in Multiple Occupation. There are a range of relatively inexpensive signal boosters that you can install which could help to generate an even coverage in the more farflung parts of the proper-

ty. If you choose to provide internet access you should make sure you get the best package possible and that everything is set up when tenants move in. Meanwhile, those landlords that don't pre-provide internet access must ensure that when tenants do sort out their broad-

band provision, everything is in place for a smooth and hassle-free process. We are here to help and assist you with any questions that you may have, so, please do get in touch. Richard Bond Lettings Manager Sow & Reap

through, and we sold the pub for £1.75m at an auction, from a purchase price of £1.25m only 9 months prior. Given this experience, and the fact it is the same council, I do not see why the same cannot be replicated on these new premises. In addition, there are significant comparative advantages to this site, in relation to our previous deal.

l Entrance hall, reception room, good size kitchen, two bedrooms, one with en-suite bathroom l Access to beautiful communal garden areas and great leisure facilities including swimming pool

l Share of freehold l Expected resale is £1,450,000

Call us now for more information!

0207 993 0103 27 Gloucester Place, London, W1U 8HU SowandReapProperties


Turning land into cash Get in touch about our land opportunities



Asian Voice | 14th October 2017

Tesco staff ‘quit as fears of accounts fraud grew’

Consultant Editor Financial Voice Alpesh Patel Dear Financial Voice Reader, How To Trade Online Without Making the Mistakes 90% of Losers Do Of course it also helps I run my own asset management company and have been trading since age 12. So building on years of research, including from my time lecturing at Oxford University on how financial education can make you a better trader, these are the most important characteristics of private investors, like you, who become more profitable. Before we begin, some basics. Spread trading is easy. You go to a website, like or you open an account (takes about 5 minutes), you fund it (with as little as £1,000), you then buy something, say Apple, Vodafone, Lloyds, USD against GBP, for a certain profit for every point the price moves eg £1 for every penny Vodafone goes up. You can also just as easily bet £1 for every penny it falls. Of course the risk is you can lose more than your initial capital – so we need to know which traders get rich doing this and how do they do it? 1. They make sure their profitable trades do not turn into losing trades The best most profitable traders do not let profitable trades become losing ones. Once they have a profit of 1% of their total trading risk capital, they say, ‘I will exit one a worst case at the price I initially go into this trades, so now, I cannot lose money’. 2. They Add to Winning Positions The richest traders will add to a winning trade. They say ‘every time each trade I have makes profit of 1% of my risk capital (eg £100) I will open a new trade to add to my existing winning position and risk the profits I have made to make more profits from this trade going my way.’ Oh, and they never ever add to losing positions – tempting though it may be. 3. They Have No Big Losing Positions Rich traders make sure they never have big losing trades. What is the definition of ‘big’? They never lose more than 1% of their total risk capital. If they think they are right, and the trade will return to profit, then they still exit, but re-enter when the price moves back above their original entry price. They would rather have some small losses, then their big profit, than have the risk of a big loss. 4. They reduce stress by having only 2 or 3 strategies. To make money trading you must know these things: When to buy, When to sell, When to exit at a profit, When to exit at a loss. The rich traders only followed a couple of strategies regularly and didn’t complicate matters with hundreds of strategies. For instance ‘momentum’, ‘breakout’ and ‘pullback’ strategies were the most popular for their simplicity and profitability. 5. They Never Bet Too Large Rich traders do not make big bets. You may be shocked to read this. But our research was clear and in line with the best hedge funds, including my own. They work out how much to bet by making sure they never lose more than 1% of their total risk capital. So if their total risk capital for all their trading is £10,000, then 1% is £100. They would place a bet of say £1 per point if they think that ‘I will know I am wrong and my strategy is not working if the price drops 100 points, since I must only lose £100, then my bet size should be £1 per point.’ Good luck!


Amid raising concerns about accounting practices at the retailer, two Tesco employees have resigned. The resignations came to light on the third day of the trial of former executives, Christopher Bush, John Scouler, and Carl Rogberg. Bush, former head of Tesco UK, Soucler, former UK commercial food director, and Rogberg, former UK finance director, are alleged to have inflated Tesco's interim profit forecast in 2014 by improperly recognising income from suppliers. They are also accused of falsifying accounting records and of concealing information from auditors. Each faces a charge of fraud and one of false accounting. Southwark Crown Court was told that the employees who resigned in the summer of 2014 were Richard Parsons, a finance project manager, and Aysen Nadiri, an accountant. Sasha Wass, QC, for the prosecution, said that two members of staff “felt so compromised” by the mis-recording of profits that they resigned “rather than engage in what they considered to be practices that were unlawful.” Wass said that Parsons felt so compromised that he “did-

Former Tesco executive Carl Rogberg arrives at Southwark crown court, South London

n't feel able to share what he was going through with his own wife” and that he was aware of colleagues “being in tears”, of some people already having left the company and of concerns that they could lose their accounting qualifications. Nadiri resigned despite not having another job to go to because she “felt she no longer wanted to be a part of the company” and be in a situation where senior employees were allowing incorrect income to be recorded. “Ms Nadiri became increasingly concerned about the message from senior management because

they refused to accept that targets could not be met and they had a disregard... for proper accounting principles. Ms Nadiri said that she was nervous about things going on. She was uncomfortable that things would not stand up to audit and she felt compromised as a financial professional,” Wass said. Senior accountant Amit Soni raised the resignations with Rogberg, saying that people were “having nervous breakdowns”. Wass said, “Mr Rogberg's reaction was, 'Fine, go and hire more people'.” Soni is said to have been secretly compiling a report

on the payments brought forward by Tesco from suppliers, and sent an email on September 3, 2014, telling colleagues that the “whistle is about to blow.” The secret report was allegedly later shown to the defendants, but frustrated by their reaction, he passed the report to the retailer's legal department, where a colleague was said to be “Staggered”. The report which allegedly identified a £250 million hole in Tesco's accounts, was sent to Dave Lewis, chief executive of Tesco, who was in a “complete shock” after reading the contents.

Indian startups back on radar of global investors Global hedge funds and asset management companies are making a cautious return to India's resurgent start up ecosystem, 18 months after they pulled back amid a churn in the domestic market. Several Hong Kong-based funds, including Janchor Partners, are in talks with Droom Technology, an online marketplace for used automobiles, for its next fundraising, estimated at about $50 million. Chief Executive at PolicyBazaar, Yashish Dahiya said, “We have taken money from Steadview Capital and

Tiger Global. Look, it's easy and non-interfering capital, with its own pros and cons. But it's mostly been pros.” He added, “At every stage you need different things. If you want someone to just give you

capital, and one in a while guidance, it's great. But if you are looking for specific leverage, on-the-ground support, then may be not.” Managing Director at investment bank Signal Hill India, Nitin Bhatia

said, “What we are seeing now is a very credible set of investors... Assets that have created scale and competitive moats are clearly the targets for these funds to make early investments. The markets here now are much more in line with their global peers, and it is easier to justify valuations now.” Some of the funds that are currently closing or negotiating deals had scouted for investment opportunities in India during the start up boom years of 2013-15, but had held back from closing transactions due to multiple reasons.

Noel Edmonds asks the FCA - ‘Deal or No Deal’?

Abhishek Sachdev

Vedanta Hedging has advised many businesses who have been forced to enter RBS’s Global Restructuring Group (GRG unit), due to missold interest rate swaps. In recent news, RBS settled a GRG/swap claim

worth £670 million against one of our clients, Opal Properties. The largest component of a legal hedging dispute is often the consequential losses/indirect losses. Many of our clients have recovered fees from the GRG Review Process and/or consequential losses via legal settlements. So, what was the GRG unit? Natwest and RBS’s GRG unit was a business support unit for troubled

SME’s. The stated aim of the GRG unit was to put companies into intensive care with hopes to turn them around, and restructure their debts if necessary. A study into the turnaround unit was commissioned by the FCA, almost four years ago. Despite being completed some time ago, the regulator refused to publish its findings. Pressure has been building on the FCA to publish its investigation into the taxpayer-owned bank’s GRG unit, after it

was leaked to the BBC last month. The broadcaster reported that SME’s placed under the supposed care of the GRG almost all suffered some form of financial abuse, whether it raised borrowing costs or an increase in their fees. Television Presenter, Noel Edmonds acquired a copy of the leaked FCA report into the treatment of SME’s by RBS’s GRG unit. He announced at the SME Alliance event “The claims that RBS would receive, would be in excess of £100bn. The

bank is worth a quarter of would be the end of RBS”. However, Mr. Edmonds has been threatened by the FCA on criminal charges if he releases his copy. Noel Edmonds has previously taken an interest in banks’ treatment of small companies after his threat to sue Lloyd's over the loss of his former business, Unique Group, demanding over £300m compensation in connection with the fraud scandal at HBOS. Whether you have

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Tel: 020 7183 2277


Foreign Exchange


Asian Voice | 14th October 2017

Banks forecast higher UK interest rates Paresh Davdra is CEO and Co-Founder of RationalFX

Sterling rallied mid-last month after Bank of England Governor Mark Carney reiterated the central bank’s new view that interest rates are likely to rise in the coming months at the IMF’s headquarters on Washington. The fall in the value of the pound since the referendum has caused prices to jump to nearly 3 percent - above the BoE’s 2 percent target and has squeezed the spending power of many households and has slowed growth in the UK economy. To add to the hawkish sentiment, two of Britain’s “Big Four” banks also forecast higher UK interest rates over the coming year. Sterling also strengthened off the back of rumours that Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson could quit if May favours paying for access to the European Union’s single market on a perpetual basis. Although Johnson later denied the claims, many investors have argued that Johnson’s resignation would free May’s hand in pushing through a softer Brexit which would be positive for sterling. Investors now looked ahead to the Prime Minister’s hugely anticipated speech in Florence in which she was expected to set out her vision of a two-year

"implementation period" to avoid the prospect of cliff-edge, and to outline a bespoke future trade model. A report published a day before the speech even indicated that May would signal the UK’s willingness to pay £17.65 billion to the EU in the months after Brexit conditional on access to the single market which eased concerns that she would opt for a softer Brexit. However in the speech the PM revealed that a Brexit implementation period would last for around two years, but failed to deliver any further insight in to the heavily debated topic of the Brexit bill and the UK government’s willingness to pay. Theresa May came under further pressure later in the month after a conference in which the Bank of England governor Mark Carney told the UK prime minister that her plans for Brexit would lead to weaker real income growth and there was nothing the central bank could do to mitigate the pain. With Mrs May sitting directly in front of him Carney said the central bank could only smooth the economic cycle rather than boost prosperity. He also re-iterated the Bank’s view that Brexit will inflict damage on the UK economy in the


medium term by making it harder to trade with the rest of the EU. The next opportunity for a change in interest rates is the Bank's monetary policy committee meeting on 2 November The pound then slipped to a three-week low last Tuesday after data showed construction sector activity tumbled in September, and as investors worried about political and economic uncertainty surrounding Brexit. Speaking at a conference Brexit minister David Davis said that Britain wants to negotiate an exit agreement with the EU but is ready to walk away with no deal, and that officials were “contingency planning” to make sure all scenarios were covered. Investors are now becoming increasingly concerned that Theresa May could be ousted from her position as the U.K. prime minister after her speech last Wednesday, which failed to impress some of the most senior members of the cabinet. There are also worrying signals of disunity as well as leadership bids from rivals in the government some of which are in favour of a harder Brexit. The dollar steadied close to its highest level in ten weeks on near the beginning of October,

with strong U.S. wages data at the end of last week giving investors’ confidence that the Federal Reserve will hike interest rates in December. The greenback reached 14-year highs at the start of 2017, but it had spent most of the rest of the year weakening, as weak economic data as well as doubts over U.S. President Donald Trump’s ability to push through tax reforms weighed on the currency. Since then, though, the dollar has recovered almost 3 percent against a basket of major currencies, on signs that Trump’s tax reform plans could be back on track, and on a firming-up of bets that the Fed will in December hike rates for the third time this year. The closely watched nonfarm payrolls report showed the first fall in U.S. employment in seven years, but investors reckoned that was down to the temporary effects of Hurricanes Harvey and Irma, and focused on the largest gain in U.S. wages since December.The dollar continued its bullish run yesterday as strong data from the U.S fuelled speculation of a rate hike by the Federal Reserve in December.

Weekly Currencies

As of Tuesday 10th October 2017 @ 12.20pm GBP - INR = 86.04

USD - INR = 65.27 EUR - INR = 76.92 GBP - USD = 1.32 GBP - EUR = 1.12

EUR - USD = 1.18 GBP - AED = 4.84

GBP - CAD = 1.65

GBP - NZD = 1.87

GBP - AUD = 1.69

GBP - ZAR = 18.09

GBP - HUF = 347.92

Information provided by RationalFX. None of the information on this page constitutes, nor should be construed as financial advice. The exchange rates used are the commercial foreign exchange rates provided by RationalFX. For a live quote or to find out more about how RationalFX can help you, call us on 0207 220 8181.

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Asian Voice | 14th October 2017

Protesters decry inaccurate portrayal of Hinduism CALIFORNIA: The continued controversy over the allegedly inaccurate portrayal of Hinduism and Indian culture in California's elementary school textbooks was raised yet again on September 27 in Sacramento as the California Department of Education's Instructional Quality Commission reviewed drafts of new editions. A statement issued by the Hindu Education Foundation claimed that the proposed revised texts continued to “demonise Hindus and Indians by promoting Orientalist narratives and including pictures of Hindu Deities, slums and poverty, and trash to represent ancient Indian civilization and Hinduism.” Shantharam Nekkar of the Hindu Education Foundation released a statement saying, “While the dis-

Japanese died after clocking 159 hours of overtime TOKYO: A woman in Japan died from overwork after logging 159 hours of overtime in the month leading up to her death, labour inspectors have ruled. Miwa Sado, a political journalist at the country's national broadcaster, suffered heart failure in July 2013, though her employer only made the case public this week. Officials in Tokyo deemed the 31-year-old had died from karoshi - death due to overwork - after taking just two days off in the 30 days before she died, reports The Japan Times. As a journalist for NHK, Sado covered the Tokyo metropolitan government, dying just three days after reporting on a local election in the House of Councillors. Masahiko Yamauchi, a senior official at the broadcaster, said Sado's death was a “problem for our organisation as a whole.”

Indian Americans stood outside the California state capitol building in Sacramento to protest the allegedly inaccurate portrayal of Hinduism and Indian culture in elementary school textbooks.

paraging images were rejected and a few positive changes were made, many of the textbook narratives still contain extensive inaccuracies and stereotypes. Moreover, several items that are mandated in the California History-Social Science textbook framework

(state guidelines) for India and Hinduism are also being ignored by some publishers.” He added, “We will continue to seek the accurate inclusion of our history, including Yoga, Hindu philosophy, Sanskrit, and Tamil Sangam literature, Jainism, and the

contributions by Hindu Dalit saints and sages.” A ninth grader who testified at the IQC hearing, said, “The textbooks show all cultures in a positive way, but sadly only Hinduism and India are singled out and shown with pictures of trash, slums, and poverty.” As the state rejected drafts from one publisher whose texts showed India as primitive, poor, and dirty, organisations cheered at the progress. A petition signed by over 8,000 people demanding the withdrawal of biased and inaccurate content was also submitted to the Department of Education. Krishna Maheshwari of Hindupedia said, “Some improvements have been made, but significant additional changes are required to present India and Hinduism in an accurate and equitable manner.”

Billionaire Vinod Khosla complies with court order, reopens beach CALIFORNIA: IndianAmerican billionaire and co-founder of Sun Microsystems, Vinod Khosla has re-opened access to a beach in California's Half Moon Bay. The reopening came two days after legal papers were filed demanding him to comply with a court order. The move has been quoted as a victory for surfers. However, lawyers sense the case is not over. Lead attorney for nonprofit Surfrider Foundation, Joseph Cotchett said, “I think this man is so embarrassed by his conduct that somebody must have said to him, 'open the gate and let the courts figure it out down the line'.” The foundation sued Khosla in 2013, arguing that the shoreline had been open to all since at

Vinod Khosla

least 1918, and belonged to the public. It was filed that the entrepreneur had no right to block public access without first obtaining a permit. Cotchett said that Khosla and his lawyers are attacking the California Coastal Act, a law established by the state legisla-

ture in 1976 to protect public access to the shoreline. He said the businessman's actions is a victory to the entire state. His lawyers told the court in August that any interference by the state with his “fundamental right to exclude the public from private property” would be a type of confiscation that requires compensation under the US Supreme Court property-rights rulings. The public was allowed to access the beach by paying a $5 to $10 parking free before it was sold to the founder of Khosla Ventures in 2008 for $37 million. After, access continued for about two years. Later, Khosla locked the gate and hired security guards to roam the beach and fend off any stray people.

Over 120 MPs call for publication of Brexit Economic Impact Studies BEIJING: In an letter coordinated by Labour Members of Parliament and Seema Malhotra MP and David Lammy MP, over 120 Members of Parliament are today calling on Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union David Davis MP to publish the findings of analysis undertaken by his Department into the impact of leaving the European Union on over 50 sectors of the economy. The letter, signed by Labour, Liberal Democrat and Scottish National Party Members of Parliament, accuses the Government of

keeping “not only Parliament but the public in the dark”, and preventing Parliament from holding the Government to account. The letter also accuses the Government of contradicting its position by arguing that Brexit will repatriate sovereignty to our Parliament whilst simultaneously attempting to bypass Parliament by supressing these impact assessments. The MPs’ call on the Government to ensure there can be “full and frank debate about the impact of Brexit on our economy, jobs, trade and

living standards and what can be done to mitigate risks” by publishing the impact studies. Seema Malhotra MP said: “This is yet another sign of the Government desperate to avoid scrutiny and seeking to bypass Parliament and the public. Publishing both the list of sectors and the results of the studies is clearly in the public interest and vital for protecting our jobs and economy. This is now not about leave or remain but a nation planning together for a big change ahead. It is about leadership, clarity and responsibility.”

David Lammy MP said: “We have to wonder what exactly the Government are hiding in refusing to publish these reports. Parliament and the public have a right to know what analysis the Government has done on the impact of Brexit, particularly if this analysis reveals that a hard Brexit will be a disaster for our economy, jobs, trade and living standards. So we are calling on the Government to come clean and publish these studies so we can have a full and frank debate about the impact of Brexit with all the facts and analysis out in the open”.


Congressman Ami Bera’s father released from prison

CALIFORNIA: Babulal Bera, the 84-year-old father of Indian American Congressman Ami Bera of Sacramento, California, was released from prison, two months ahead of his one-year sentence because of good behaviour. The elderly man – who has suffered from spinal stenosis with failed back surgeries and prostate cancer must now serve three years of probation and also pay a $100,000 fine. According to court documents, Babulal Bera allegedly funnelled about $300,000 to his son’s bids for Congress in 2010 and 2012. Babulal Bera and his wife Kanta made the maximum allowable contribution of $2,400 each election cycle. He then asked family members and friends to also make the maximum contribution and said he would pay them back the full amount, a practice known as using straw donors. Prosecutors stated that Bera was aware of what he was doing, as he would issue refund checks from five different bank accounts. Investigators found more than 130 improper campaign contributions involving about 90 contributors.

Trump's nominee Ajit Pai confirmed to head FCC

WASHINGTON: The Senate has confirmed President Donald Trump’s nominee to serve as chairman of the Federal Communications Commission despite Democratic complaints that Ajit Pai will undermine net neutrality. The vote was 52-41 for the Indian American, who has served as a commissioner at the FCC since 2012. The nomination turned into a proxy fight over Obama-era net neutrality rules established in 2015. Those rules mean service providers such as Verizon, AT&T and Comcast must treat all content the same and not favour their own websites and apps over others, such as a movie streaming service. Pai has tried to roll the rules back, drawing more than 22 million comments and ire from Democrats.

Hema Malini honoured in Moscow

MOSCOW: Veteran actress and politician Hema Malini, who was in Moscow to receive an award for her contribution to cinema, was overwhelmed with the love she has received in Russia. She says people want to see her in part two of her memorable film "Seeta Aur Geeta." Hema, 68, was in Moscow to attend the 4th Indian Film Festival of Russia (IFFR), which was honouring her and filmmaker Madhur Bhandarkar. Sharing glimpses from her trip and the event, Hema Malini tweeted: "In Moscow to receive an award for my contribution to Indian cinema and popularising it in Russia and the world. The way Russians are crazy about me is unbelievable. Especially 'Seeta Aur Geeta.' They are ready to see part 2 if I'm going to act in it even now 40 years later!"

PIO stabs wife 40 times over affair, jailed

NEW YORK: A 48-year-old Indian-origin man in the US has been sentenced to 20 years in prison for killing his wife by stabbing her nearly 40 times after she told him she was having an affair. Nitin P Singh must serve 85% of the sentence on the single charge of firstdegree aggravated manslaughter before he is eligible for parole under the terms of the sentence handed down by superior court Judge Linda Lawhun in New Jersey. Authorities said the July 2016 stabbing of 42year-old Seema Singh, a Collingswood shopkeeper, occurred in the couple's apartment while their three children slept nearby. The children were not injured. Nitin told the court that he attacked his wife after she said she was leaving him and would be taking all of his money and their children with her. He said that he went into a rage and picked up the first thing he saw, a knife, and began stabbing her.

S African healer jailed for beheading of Indian-origin woman

JOHANNESBURG: A South African traditional healer has been sentenced to life in prison for motivating the brutal beheading of an Indian-origin woman by promising four youths over USD 150,000. Sibonakaliso Mbili had promised one of the four coaccused, Falakhe Khumalo, to pay 2 million Rand (USD 153,000) for bringing head of an Indian or a white or a coloured woman, to be used in illegal witchcraft purposes, officials said. Khumalo, with the help of three other youths, lured Indian-origin Desiree Murugan to a sports field in the sprawling Indian township of Chatsworth near Durban in 2014. The four had killed and decapitated Murugan after stabbing her 192 times. Khumalo, who earlier confessed to the murder, is serving a life sentence for killing the woman. Two others were sentenced to 15 years each while the third one will serve 12 years behind bars.

WORLD-INDIA AsianVoiceNews


Asian Voice | 14th October 2017

Top US officials to visit Pakistan with 'tough message' WASHINGTON: President Donald Trump will dispatch his top diplomatic and military advisers to Pakistan in the coming weeks, turning up the heat on a nuclear-armed ally accused of harbouring terror groups. Weeks after Trump accused Islamabad of providing safe haven to “agents of chaos,” secretary of state Rex Tillerson plans to depart for Pakistan later this month. He will be followed by secretary of defence Jim Mattis, according to US and Pakistani sources. The one-two punch is designed to drill home Trump's message that Pakistani state support for jihadist groups has to end, according to officials briefed on the visits. Washington has long been frustrated by Pakistan's willingness to offer cross-border safe havens to Taliban factions and armed jihadist groups. Visiting Washington, Pakistan's foreign minister Khawaja Asif appeared unwavering. “Instead of accusations and threats we should cooperate with each other for the peace in the region,” he said. US govt tells Pakistan to deliver regional peace Talks between the US and

inside the country. As a result, Tillerson framed US-Pakistan ties in the regional context rather than giving it any bilateral lift. Asked if the US has a reliable partner in Pakistan now, this was his response: “Yes, I believe we do. I think the Pakistan relationship and the US relationship is extraordinarily important regionally. And as we rolled out the South Asia strategy, we spoke Mattis, Tillerson visiting Pakistan this montht with 'tough message' about it in a regional the familiar laundry list of context. It is not just about Pakistan on Islamabad's role complaints and disclaimers, Afghanistan. in fomenting terrorism and despite warnings from the “This is about the imporinstability in Afghanistan and Trump administration that it tance of Pakistan and the sub-continent have yieldwas running out of time Pakistan's long-term stability ed little, with principals on before Washington initiates as well. We have concerns both sides distracted by punitive action. about the future of Pakistan's domestic developments. The little that Tillerson government, too, in terms of Embroiled in a messy controsaid -ahead of his talks with them - we want their governversy at home over his purAsif - was not entirely flatterment to be stable and we want ported rift with the US ing to Pakistan. It revealed the it to be peaceful. And many of President and whether he Trump administration's disthe same issues they're strugcalled Trump a moron, US secquiet over the state of affairs gling with inside of Pakistan retary of state Rex Tillerson in Pakistan, including its conare our issues,” he added crypengaged his Pakistani countinued subversive role in the tically. Further remarks sugterpart Khwaja Asif with little region, its confrontation with gested Pakistan could regain enthusiasm. Pakistan's forIndia, and reports of a growfavours in Washington only if eign minister, on his part, ing rift between the military it stopped its regional subverbrought nothing to the table, and the civilian leadership sion and delivered peace. at least publicly, other than

Pak military admits ISI has links to militants

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan military has admitted that its Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) has connections to “militants”. It, however, added that this does not mean it supports terrorist organisations, while asserting that political wing of banned Jamaatud- Dawa, Milli Muslim League, is free to contest elections. Major General Asif Ghafoor, director general, ISI Public Relations, while answering a question about US claims of links between the two entities, said, “There is a difference between support and having links. Name any intelligence agency which does not have links. Links can be positive, and the US

defence secretary James Mattis did not say there was support. The narrative that I talked about is relevant here as well. We should not be a part of it. We have our own narrative.” Addressing a press conference in Rawalpindi, he said Pak's eastern border is unsafe due to India's “inappropriate reactions”. He said 222 Pakistani civilians were killed along the line of control this year in ceasefire violations, more than any other year before. “But India has also paid a price with our response and we will continue to respond if it does not act with restraint. We are a peaceful country and we do not want war with them, but we will defend

ourselves and have the capability to do so... War is not the solution, so we are talking to them at all levels to stop this,” he said. Ghafoor said Pakistan was facing a strategic threat on the western border as well, forcing the country to keep the Army on the border. “Our western border also meets Iran. Our deployment is not against Iran or Afghanistan but against the Tehreek-iTaliban Pakistan and other such non-state actors,” he said. When asked why a press release was not issued after special corps commanders conference at Army's General Headquarters (GHQ), he said, “Silence is also an expression.”

Sharif's daughter, son-in-law get bail ISLAMABAD: Former Pakistan prime minister Nawaz Sharif's daughter and son-in-law have been granted bail by the country's anti-graft court in the Panama Papers scandal. Maryam Nawaz and husband, former army captain Muhammad Safdar returned from London to appear in the Accountability Court. The latter was arrested on

arrival as the court had issued non-bailable arrest warrant against him. Both, Sharif and his sons remained absent during the hearing as they are currently in London to attend his wife Kulsoom who battles throat cancer. The court accepted bail applications from Maryam and Safdar, postponing the hearing till October 13. It also ordered to start the


process of declaring Sharif's sons- Husain and Hasan, proclaimed offender as they have failed to appear before it so far. Sharif's lawyer Khawaja Harris asked the court to adjourn hearing for 15 days, committing Sharif's appearance. The court decided to conduct separate trials of Husain and Hasan from the rest of the family.

18 killed in suicide blast at Sufi shrine in Balochistan

ISLAMABAD: At least 18 people, including a police constable, were killed and more than 30 injured in a suicide attack on a Sufi shrine while a `dhamaal', a form of devotional dance, was in progress in Pakistan's southwestern Balochistan province. The bombing took place at the entrance of the shrine, Dargah Fatehpur, in the Jhal Magsi district of the volatile province, as scores of people had gathered for prayers that were to follow the `dhamaal'. “A suicide bomber blew himself up after he was intercepted by police guards on duty outside the shrine, killing 18 people including three children under the age of 12 and two policemen, and wounding at least 27 others, 14 of them seriously,” provincial home secretary Akbar Harifal said.

Iraqi forces capture Hawija from Islamic State

BAGHDAD: Iraqi forces have captured the town of Hawija and the surrounding area from Islamic State, the military said in a statement. With the capture of Hawija, the militants' last stronghold in northern Iraq, the only area that remains under control of Islamic State in Iraq is a stretch alongside the western border with Syria. Hawija is close to the oil-city of Kirkuk. The offensive on Hawija was carried out by USbacked Iraqi government troops and Iraniantrained and armed Shi'ite paramilitary groups known as Popular Mobilisation. "The army's 9th armoured division, the Federal Police, the Emergency Response division and Popular Mobilisation liberated Hawija," said a statement from the joint operations commander, Lieutenant-General Abdul Ameer Rasheed Yarallah. Iraq launched an offensive on September 21 to dislodge Islamic State from the area north of Baghdad where up to 78,000 people were estimated to be trapped, according to the United Nations.


INDIA AsianVoiceNews

Asian Voice | 14th October 2017


EPS, OPS camp stakes claim over AIADMK symbol SC has directed the EC to decide by Nov 10 the claim of rival factions over election symbol

NEW DELHI: Both, the O Panneerselvam and E Palaniswami camps that merged recently have staked claim over the AIADMK and its 'two leaves' election symbol before the Election Commission. The Sasikala Natarajan camp which too approached the EC seeking control over the party, will present its case before the poll panel on October 13. At a hearing that lasted two hours, the EPS-OPS camp told the Election Commission that Sasikala and her nephew TTV Dhinakaran who was

appointed deputy general secretary of the AIADMK by her, have been removed from the party and cannot stake claim over it or the party symbol. Their counsel and former attorney general Mukul Rohatgi told the Commission that Dhinakaran was not even a member of the party the day Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa passed away on December 5. In March this year, the Commission in an interim order had barred then rivals OPS and EPS from using the party's name or its election symbol in the RK

BJP leaders march against killing of party workers in Kerala KANNUR: BJP chief Amit Shah has announced a two-week 'padyatra' against the CPI(M) for allegedly targeting his party's workers in Kerala. Addressing a rally in Kannur, Kerala, Shah said Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan was responsible for the violence in the state, adding that BJP workers were victims of “political murders”. Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath participated in the yatra that took place on October 4, along with Union ministers Jitendra Singh and Vijay Goel. The BJP said as many as 120 BJP workers, 84 in Kannur alone, have been killed in the state since 2001. Fourteen people were killed in Kannur since the CPI(M) came to power last year. Shah said Kerala Chief Minister Vijayan was responsible for the violence in the state, adding that BJP workers were victims of “political murders”. Shah flagged off a 'Jan Raksha Yatra' in the state, announcing that 'padyatras'

would be organised in all the state capitals over the issue of political violence. Shah said the violence instigated by the Left in Kerala is a “blot on Indian democracy”. He claimed that the BJP protest was aimed at preserving the Gandhian principle of non-violence, democratic values and the country's culture. He also urged other political parties to pay heed to the violence allegedly perpetrated by the “Communists in Kerala”. Yogi spoke at the yatra saying there was no place for violence in democracy. “The yatra is a mirror for communist governments in Kerala, West Bengal, and Tripura. They should put an end to political killings,” he said.

Fund crunch hits Punjab AAP, Delhi refuses bailout CHANDIGARH: Fund crunch hits Punjab AAP, Delhi refuses bailout. The central leadership has virtually deserted the party as the state unit struggles to keep going. A senior leader said they had recently approached the main leadership in Delhi asking them to provide some funds for the by-election. The request was, however, plainly turned down stating they themselves were short of funds. The leader said state party members even requested the high command to lend them some money, promising to return it after the elections, “but that too was turned down”. Sources said when the poll campaign was at its peak, the party had just Rs 10,000 with them. Some senior leaders then contributed money from their own pocket to run the campaign. He said the state unit does not have its independent bank account. “So whatever money comes from Punjab goes to the account controlled by Delhi.

Leave aside providing funds for the election, they have been asking us about contribution from Punjab,” he said. Sources said the issue did not affect the funds, but AAP's top leadership wanting to teach the state unit a lesson for blaming Delhi leaders for a debacle in the Assembly elections. The state unit lately, picked the by-election candidate on their own, going against guidelines of the high command. The leadership did not take it in an accepting way. “That is why they cold shouldered the Punjab unit. They not only refused funds, but also none from Delhi campaigned in Gurdaspur. We have been deserted by them.” Meanwhile, AAP leaders are joining the BJP. Former party leader Joginder Chinna, who had contested the Punjab assembly polls from Dinanagar seat, joined the BJP, accusing AAP's Punjab unit chief Bhagwant Mann of converting the party into a “private company”.

Nagar assembly by- poll necessitated due to demise of Jayalalithaa. The by- poll which was later cancelled due to alleged bribing of voters is yet to take place. “All the members of the AIADMK have buried the hatchet and now only Dhinakaran, who claims to have only 18 disqualified MLAs, is on the other side,” Rohatgi said. Dhinakaran had moved the EC, the Madras High Court, and the Supreme Court seeking more time to file fresh affidavits. However, his pleas were rejected by all

of them. The SC has directed the EC to decide by November 10 the claim of rival factions over the AIADMK's election symbol and allowed it to proceed with the scheduled hearing in the case. One of Dhinakaran's counsels N Raja Senthoor Pandian said that the Sasikala camp demanded cross-examination of those who had filed fresh affidavits in support of the EPS-OPS camp. He said the EC accepted to hear the arguments of the Sasikala camp on October 13.

Few gather to welcome Sasikala in Chennai CHENNAI: Almost eight months after she was jailed for corruption, VK Sasikala drove into her sister-in-law's house in Chennai, her home until her parole ends. The homecoming was a sad sight as only around 500 people were gathered to receive her, including a dozen women from former chief minister Jayalalithaa's RK Nagar constituency. A lot has changed since she entered jail in Bengaluru to serve her four year sentence in the assets case. Large crowds had dotted the posh area and at Jaya's memorial to bid her goodbye. After the merger of her handpicked E Palaniswami and rebel O Panneerselvam, her nephew TTV Dhinakaran who she had brought in and made her deputy in the party revoking Jaya's order, hasn't been able to keep the party under his control. Of the party's 135 AIADMK legislators, only 18 MLAs have stood

NEW DELHI: Superstar Kamal Haasan is all set to float his political outfit on the occasion of his 63rd birthday on November 7. The actor met with his fans in Chennai to chalk out a strategy and give it a final shape before his birthday. Haasan has stated that none of the already-existing parties represented his beliefs, which is why he wants to launch one of his own. Talking about his high-profile meeting with Arvind Kejriwalm he said, “I did not go to Kejriwal, he came to me. It was kind of him.”

HC notice to TN govt over Jaya’s Poes Garden residence

CHENNAI: The Madras High Court has ordered issuance of notice to the Tamil Nadu government on a plea moved by J Deepa, niece of late chief minister Jayalalithaa, challenging its decision to convert her Poes Garden residence in Chennai into a memorial. Deepa moved the petition on the ground that the property belongs to her and her brother J Deepak under the Hindu Succession Act. Deepa said her paternal grandmother had purchased several properties and died in 1971 leaving her son Jayakumar and daughter Jayalalithaa to succeed the estate. Thereafter, the siblings lived together at the Poes Garden residence.

HC adjourns hearing of disqualified MLAs’ plea

VK Sasikala

with her and they have been disqualified. Sasikala's visit to Chennai to visit her husband who had liver and kidney transplant has created a lot of buzz as she is expected to meet several lawmakers and a few ministers who want to prove their loyalty. While there are tough restrictions in place disallowing her from meeting people or addressing the media, it is said she would exploit her visit to recover some lost political ground.

Honeypreet gave £1,25,000 to incite violence: police PANCHKULA: The adopted daughter of rape convict Dera Sacha Sauda chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh, Honeypreet Insan, has been arrested last week from a highway in Punjab, over a month after she was absconding. The Panchkula police claimed she was the main handler of cash generated and distributed in the Sirsa-headquartered Dera. Several family members of Gurmeet were even “living at her mercy” as she was the one giving them cash. She is particularly alleged to have distributed £1,25,000 to some Dera men to arrange logistics for inciting violence in Panchkula on August 25 if the dera chief was convicted in the rape case. Police Commissioner AS Chawla addressed a press conference saying, “We have evidence, including recovery of Rs 24,00,000 from one of the dera followers that clearly indicated that money used to incite violence was routed through her.” Sources said the woman's role came to the limelight after Gurmeet's private security in-charge

Kamal Haasan to launch political party on Nov 7

CHENNAI: The Madras High Court has adjourned further hearing of cases filed by 18 disqualified AIADMK MLAs to November 2, after Chief Minister E K Palaniswami's lawyers sought time and took strong exception to the MLAs coming up with fresh pleadings in their additional affidavits and rejoinders after the hearing began. Concurring with Palaniswami's lawyers, Justice K Ravichandrabaabu told senior counsel representing the disqualified MLAs that it would be appropriate to hear the case only after all written pleadings were placed before the court.

5 Patiala farmers penalised for burning stubble

PATIALA: In the first of its kind incident, five farmers have been penalised Rs 2,500 each for burning paddy stubble in violation of orders. The orders were issued after the National Green Tribunal banned stubble burning in December 2015. The Punjab Pollution Control Board has so far recorded 350 cases of stubble burning in the state just this year. The DC also instructed officials of the Revenue and Rehabilitation department to make a red entry in the girdawari register against farmers involved in stubble burning.

Four suspected Babbar Khalsa terrorists nabbed

Honeypreet Insan

Preetam Singh was arrested. Sources added that the dera chief’s private secretary Rakesh Kumar too had testified on Honeypreet’s role in the violence. A senior official said, “A lookout notice was issued for her with the intervention of senior officials that very night when it was learnt that she had eloped from outside the Rohtak jail. That was to make sure she did not leave the country.” Chawla said she was “showing resistance” during the interrogation. “She was taken to different places in order to certify what she said in her interrogation. But she is misleading in many of her statements. If she will not cooperate with the police, we will seek her further remand when she would be produced before local court.”

CHANDIGARH: Four suspected terrorists of Khalistani terror outfit Babbar Khalsa were arrested last week from Ludhiana, Punjab. They were nabbed following the interrogation of seven members of the outfit, after the police busted a terror module with direct links to the Khalistani terror outfit. Three pistols and some ammunition was also seized from the men arrested earlier. Ludhiana Police Commissioner RN Dhoke told the media that the group planned to target those opposed to or writing against Khalistani ideology and radical Sikh organisations.

Police remand for rape accused ex-minister

CHANDIGARH: Former Akali Dal minister Sucha Singh Langah, who faces rape and cheating charges, has been sent to police remand. The move came after he surrendered before the court of Chief Judicial Magistrate in Gurdaspur town in North Punjab. Langah was booked under various Sections of rape, extortion, cheating and criminal intimidation of the Indian Penal Code. The case was registered after a woman constable of the Punjab police alleged that she had been sexually exploited and raped by Langah since 2009 under the threat of death. She also claimed to be a classmate of Langah's daughter in college.




Asian Voice | 14th October 2017

Dr. Hari Desai

Sanskrit, the language of Ghazni Durbar

No doubt, Ghazni’s inhuman antihindu acts must be condemned but the history of Ghazni and her association with Lord Krishna would definitely make an interesting study

Mahmud attacked Somnath Temple with a Hindu army Chief Tilak The Moghul Rulers in India were the Descendents of Lord Krishna

written the preface find that one of the of the book and four Princes of the appreciated Deshai’s King Devendra, a “scientific temperadescendent of Lord ment in analyzing Krishna at 82nd genthe historical facts” eration, Gajpat estaband his knowledge of lished Ghazni in 652 Persian language AD! Devendra ruled too. Mahmud, the over the present-day eldest son of Egypt. He had four Sabuktigin, the slave sons i.e. Aspat turned ruler(Amir) (Ashvapati), Narpat of Ghazni, had to (Narpati), Gajpat fight for two years to (Gajpati) and Bhupat gain control over (Bhupati). The eldest Ghazni since his of them, Aspat, who father had nominatsucceeded Devendra ed his younger stepas the King of brother, Ismail, as Misr(Egypt), embraced his successor. Before Islam and the Mughal any invasion, Emperors in India Mahmud used to colwere his descendents, lect information according to the histoSultan Mahmud Ghazni, the Amir of about the enemies ry written by nonGhaznavid Empire through spies. It was Marxist historians, in 1017 AD, at the behest of Hindu traditions in family Mavdanjee Ratnu Sultan Mahmud, Alberuni affairs. Gurudwara Shri (“Yaduvansh Prakash”) and aka Al-Biruni, travelled to Dera Baba Nanak Sahib is a Shambhuprasad Harprasad India to learn about the major Sikh pilgrim centre Deshai (“Prabhas ane in Gurdaspur District, Somnath”). The other Punjab. I have visited the three Princes arrived in place. It is only 500 meters Afghanistan via Syria and away from Pak border. Iran. The rulling blueThere is a Shiv Ling of blood Rajputs in Gujarat about 6 to 7 feet. Emperor and Sind, Jadejas, Akbar prayed and perChudasama and Bhattis are formed puja of Lord the descendents of Narpat, Shiva  here before his coroGajpat and Bhupat respecnation as successor to tively. Humayun. A coronation “Religious differences seat -- Sinhasan --of stone hardly mattered and the is there on a 3 feet high polity was important in platform of 100 x 100 feet.” earlier centuries for the And even Sultan matrimonial alliances,” Mahmud Ghazni(2 October asserts Kanaksinh 971- 30 April 1030) too was Jadeja(Vadharava-Malia), a son of a Hindu slave, former Advisor to the Sabuktigin, who got conGovernment of Gujarat, Somnath verted to Islam, records the who devotes most of his Hindus. He remained in historian, Deshai, who time studying history of India for thirteen years, retired from the Indian the Rajput Rulers after his learnt Sanskrit and other Administration retirement. He notes: languages and came out Service(IAS). Deshai, who “Following defeat of King with his scholarly work hailed from the adminisDevendra of Syria against “Tarikh Altrative Naagar clan of the Caliph, his elder son Hind”(Alberuni’s India). Junagadh, describes the Aspat was imprisoned, the Mahmud was keen to history of Sabuktigin in his Caliph got his daughter be declared Ghazi, one of book “Prabhas ane married to Aspat and the greatest champions of Somnath”, published by returned his kingship. His Islam, by the Caliph. He Shree Somnath Trust in descendents were was ruthless in not only 1965. The then Chief Mughals. The Mughals follooting India but also razMinister of Gujarat, lowed Rajput royal tradiing the temples to the Balawantrai Mehta, had tions which are called


hazni is a province in Afghanistan but when someone talks about Ghazni in India, bitter memories of Mahmud Ghazni of the Ghaznavid Empire attacking the Somnath Temple and looting it, his anti-religious acts of breaking the pious Shiv Linga and massacre would resurface. No doubt, Ghazni’s inhuman antihindu acts must be condemned but the history of Ghazni and her association with Lord Krishna would definitely make an interesting study. The Ghaznavid Empire, centered in Ghazni and ruled much of Persia, Transoxania, and parts of present day Pakistan, was established by a Hindu Turkish slave, Sabuktigin, Shanta Pande, who taught history at Delhi University for 35 years, states that the language of Ghazni Durbar was Sanskrit and Mahmud got the bilingual Arabic and Sanskrit coins minted in Lahore in 1028. He ascended to the throne in 998 AD and died in 1030 AD. Not only Ghazni, Ghaznavi or Ghazana as a town established even before the birth of Islam on the earth but Mahmud Ghazni, the villain for most of the religious Hindus on the Glob, had definite roots and linage with not only the Hindus but also with Lord Krishna too. One should not be surprised to

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Sultan Mahmud Ghazni

ature on Sind and Hind is obsessed with idolatry. The Arab rulers of Sind even sent cartloads of idols to Bagdad in lieu of revenue.” Like a Marxist historian, Romila Thapar, even a nonMarxist historian, Deshai, does present the facts that the Chief of Mahmud’s army was a Hindu, Tilak, and his army had lot many Jat Hindus, when Ghazni attacked Somnath in 1026 AD. This was his sixteenth eastward invasion. Jain says, “Equally awkward is Thapar’s claim that substantial numbers of mercenaries in the Ghaznavid armies ‘were Indians, and, presumably Hindu.’ Surely she does not suggest that the Turkish conquest of India was a Hindu-Turk joint venture?” One must not forget two things : First, Ghazni under Mahmud had Hindus as subjects in his State. Second, when Mahmud came to loot and attack Somnath, the cowardly King of Gujarat, Bhimdeva I, escaped from his capital city, Anahilwad Patan, leaving his subjects at the mercy of the invader Ghazni ! Next Column: Diwali Celebrations in Mughal Courts (The writer is a Sociopolitical Historian. E-mail:

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ground and breaking the idols converting the temples to mosques. Caliph Al Kadir Bi-Ilah honoured him with a standard and the title of Kahfu-d daulat wau-I Islam (Guardian of the State and of Islam. Vinod Kumar contributes a well-researched article titled “ Rewriting History and Mahmud Ghazanvi” in ‘Kashmir Herald’ where he quotes from some fourteen authentic histories, Utbi’s (Secretary of Mahmud) to Tarikh-I-Badauni, pertaining to Mahmud’s invasions. In “Somanath: The Many Voices of a History”, the celebrated Marxist historian, Romila Thapar prefers to quote the medieval Jain literature, making it a most controversial book since it states “contemporary Hindu sources are silent about Mahmud’s attack on Somanath because the looting of a temple (was) not such an extraordinary event, given that some Hindu rulers also attacked the temple of those they had conquered, or in order to confiscate the wealth of the temple.” Meenakshi Jain, the right-wing historian and a Member of the newly constituted Council of Indian Council of Historical Research(ICHR), is highly critical of Romila Thapar’s book. She writes: “Strangely for a historian, Thapar takes no cognizance of the Prophet smashing 360 idols at Kaba and Quranic injunction : ‘Fight them until idolatry is no more and God’s religion is supreme.’ Artificially insisting that political and economic motivations superseded iconoclastic compulsions, she never explains why all Muslim (and not just Turk) attacks on temples always resulted in the desecration of idols. Indeed, Arab liter-





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INDIA-WORLD AsianVoiceNews

Asian Voice | 14th October 2017

Bhole-bhakt Modi warns opponents conspiring against him Prime Minister Narendra Modi issued a stern warning to his opponents on Sunday, saying that those “conspiring” against him would only bite the dust. On his first visit to native town Vadnagar, Modi used the Lord Shiva's poison analogy to lash out at his opponents. He said he has the blessings of “Bhole Baba” who has given him the strength to deal with all those who have been spewing venom against him since 2001. After offering prayers at the Hatkeshwar Mahadev temple in Vadnagar, Modi said, “The blessings of Bhole Baba gave me strength to digest poison. As a result, I was able to counter all those who spewed venom against me since 2001. This ability gave me the strength to serve the motherland with dedication over these many years.” Later, speaking in Bharuch, he said the previous government had only fooled the farmers by making only 30 per cent neem coating of urea mandatory. “But we made 100 per cent neem coating mandatory and it can be used only in agriculture now. The theft and black marketing area has

stopped and (urea) thieves have started conspiring against him.” Modi added, “But I am Modi. I have risen from the land of Gandhi and Sardar. So it does not matter how many thieves come and go, but ultimately truth and honesty will win.” Modi hit out at the opposition Congress party throughout his 30minute address to the people in Vadnagar, without naming the party. “You will be surprised to know the way country was ruled earlier. It was only when Atal Bihari Vajpayee become the PM, a health policy was framed. But the subsequent government that ruled for 10 years despised the idea of development. They were insensitive to the well-

being of people. But we have now come out with a new health policy,” he said. Foundation laid for £140.5 mn Rajkot airport Prime Minister Modi on Saturday laid the foundation stone for the £140.5 million greenfield airport for Rajkot, sixlaning of AhmedabadRajkot National Highway and four-laning of RajkotMorbi state highway at a function held in Chotila taluka of Surendranagar. He also dedicated to the nation a fully automatic milk processing and packaging plant and a drinking water distribution pipeline for Joravarnagar and Ratanpur area of Surendranagar. The proposed Rajkot airport near Hirasar, 30

km from Rajkot city, is expected to become operational in the next five years. At present, people from Saurashtra have to travel to Ahmedabad to board flights for abroad. Rajkot, the commercial capital of Saurashtra, is a home to auto parts, engineering goods and imitation jewellery, while nearby Morbi is the biggest ceramic cluster in Asia. In July 2017, the Union ministry of civil aviation granted approval and `site clearance' for the new Rajkot International Airport that will be spread over 2,500 acres. The present domestic airport is right in the middle of the city and has no scope of expansion. The present air strip can cater to only small planes. Rajkot currently has five daily flights -four to Mumbai and one to Delhi. According to AAI, the new airport will be developed in phases to maintain operational continuity. The area of the building will be done depending of the final passenger capacity and cargo traffic calculations. The overall capacity of the completed terminal will be balanced with present days assessment of future maximum runway capacity.

Louboutin and Sabyasachi collaborate for exquisite shoe collection French luxury designer Christian Louboutin announced the launch of an exclusive collection of women's and men's shoes along with small leather goods created of handcrafted sari fabrics created in collaboration with Indian designer Sabyasachi Mukherjee. In a press statement, Louboutin said, “Indian handicraft is the best of the best in the world. The luxuriance of Indian workmanship is at the maximum. I would love the world outside of India to love it as I do.” Both the fashion world hotshots met at Sabya's Mumbai boutique. An immediate connection was made over mutual adoration and fondness of Indian culture,

exquisite craftsmanship and love of food. Sabya said, “India has been at the heart of luxury since the age of the Maharajas. Working with

Christian revisits that couture tradition, connecting our handicrafts with his eclectic point of view to create bespoke delights for cultural magpies.” The col-

lection features women's shoe styles including thigh-high boots crafted with delicate leather strips designed to harness and highlight the leg. Named Tall and Deep, a couple of pairs will be available worldwide as an exclusive, made-to-measure item. Louboutin chose to revisit select iconic styles from his collections. Both the designers had first associated in July 2015, when Louboutin conspired to create extraordinary shoes that walked the runway of Sabyasachi's annual couture show in Mumbai. They came together again in October 2016, with a small number of exquisite handbags added to pair with the shoes.

Trump's policy may helps Indian professionals WASHINGTON: In farreaching immigration reform proposals that were relayed to the Congress, US President Donald Trump proposed ending extendedfamily chain migration by limiting family-based green cards to spouses and minor children, while replacing it with a “merit-based system that prioritises skills and

economic contributions over family connections.” Trump also called for establishing a new, pointsbased system for awarding of Green Cards (lawful permanent residents) that takes into consideration factors that allow individuals to successfully assimilate and support themselves financially, while

eliminating the “Diversity Visa Lottery,” which limited Indian immigration. Diversity visa lottery broadly makes available 50,000 permanent resident visas annually and aims to diversify the immigrant population in the United States, by selecting applicants from countries with low rates of immigration in the five

years prior. This favours smaller countries vis-à-vis countries with large pool of immigrant hopefuls such as India, China, and Mexico. The new proposals are broadly favourable to Indian immigrant hopefuls who are young, academically well-qualified, highlyskilled, fluent in English etc.


Indian woman found dead after 'falling into the sea'

Police has launched investigation into a death of an Indian woman from Telengana, in the southern state of India, who died after allegedly 'falling into the sea.' Thirumalagiri Swathu lived with her husband Sripathi Rajesh in Kent, who works in an software company in London. Rajesh had migrated into London after a brief stint in Singapore. The girl's family has alleged that the untimely death was caused over dowry demands by Rajesh's family, and they were staging a protest

outside Rajesh’s house in India. Though Rajesh was unavailable for any comment, a local community representative who knew the couple said, the girl may have been driven to take her own life, because of depression caused by differences with her own parents. The reason of differences were however unknown to them. The representative added, “It is wrong to speculate at the moment, as the police is investigating the death. Let's wait for the police report to come out.”

Young Brit-Indian gives life to desi superheroes Ishani Kantaria's 108 Puzzles has brought cultural and religious stories to life. With the aim of finding innovative ways for the upcoming generation to connect with Hindu mythology powerful texts, she launched the first puzzle on Diwali last year. It was dedicated to Lord Hanumana, an ardent devotee of Lord Rama. The revered Hanuman Chalisa is brought to life with a 108-piece colourful illustration along with a handy translation explaining each verse. Inspired by her renowned grandfather Pujya Rambapa and her par-

ents, Ishani strongly believes in the values and strength that is imparted from universal teachings. Even though it is mainly aimed at youngsters, there is no age limit. “The idea is that they can open up conversations and bring people closer together, be that siblings, grandparents, and grandchildren or friends,” she said. This Diwali, 108 Puzzles will launch Ganesha World. Inclusive of 24 pieces, children will put together a beautiful illustration of Shiva, Parvati, and Ganesha in Kailash.

HDH Acharya Purshottampriyadas Swami meets President Kovind His Divine Holiness Acharya Shree Purshottampriyadasji Swami, head of Shree Swaminarayan Gadi Sansthan called upon President Ram Nath Kovind. During the meet, Kovind expressed his wish for India to be the world guru by spreading the significance of peace and prosperity. HDH Swamiji, on his part, assured that India's richest legacy is in believing in 'Vasudhaiv Kutumbakum'. He said, “Our respect for the others and nature of making oth-

ers great will surely make the world acknowledge the Indian culture and recognise India as World Guru.”



health lifestyle

Eat your greens for a healthy heart

n Vitamin K in kale, spinach and broccoli keeps the organ pumping Eat your greens for a healthy heart, new research suggests. Vitamin K, which is found in kale, spinach and broccoli, maintains the size of the vital organ's left ventricle, a study found, which is responsible for pumping oxygen-rich blood around the body. Insufficient levels of the vitamin cause the left ventricle to enlarge, the research adds. Previous research reveals large hearts do not pump blood as efficiently as they should, which can result in fatal heart attacks. The more vitamin K a person has, the less likely they are to develop an enlarged heart, the study found. Past research suggests vitamin K may activate a protein involved in maintaining heart size.

Researchers from Augusta University analyzed 766 healthy teenagers aged between 14 and 18. The study's participant's diet and activity levels were measured over seven days via self-reporting and devices that assess acceleration. Their heart's structure and function was investigated via ultrasound scans. Results reveal consuming insufficient amounts of vitamin K substantially increases the size of an individual's left ventricle. The left ventricle is the thickest of the four heart chambers and is responsible for pumping oxygenated blood around the body. The more vitamin K a person has, the less likely they are to develop thick muscle in their left ventri-

Time-wasting patients are placing more strain on the NHS by not turning up to their GP appointments, damning research suggests. Frustrated doctors have revealed that around one in 20 of their consultations are 'wasted' by patients who fail to attend. Around 17 million

appointments, which each last for around 10 minutes, are lost on a yearly basis because patients don't turn up, a survey suggests. Leading medics have branded the figures as 'disappointing', as general practice is already considered to be 'at breaking point'. Desperate patients now routinely have to wait


Previous research reveals enlarged hearts are less able to pump blood around the body, which can result in fatal heart attacks. Past studies also suggest vitamin K activates a substance, known as the matrix Gla protein, involved in maintaining heart size. According to the current trial's researchers,

their findings 'clarify the importance of [vitamin K] intake to cardiovascular development'. They add the results could 'lead to [vitamin K] interventions in childhood aimed to improve cardiovascular development and to reduce the subsequent risk of [cardiovascular disease].' The findings were published in The Journal of Nutrition.

Time-wasting patients are placing even more strain on NHS by not turning up to their GP appointments

My husband was waterskiing when he fell into the river. As the boat circled to pick him up, he noticed a hunter sitting in a duck boat in the reeds. My husband put his hands in the air and joked, “Don’t shoot!” The hunter responded, “Don’t quack.” *** As I waited for my luggage at the airport, a man lifted my suitcase off the baggage carousel. “Excuse me,” I shouted. “That’s my suitcase.” The man shot back defensively, “Well, somebody took mine!” *** The flight attendant on a trip was handing out plastic pilot wings to some kids. As one passenger in an Army uniform stepped forward, she jokingly offered her one, but she passed. Pointing to the her Army uniform, she explained, “The last time someone gave me wings, I had to jump out of the airplane.” *** A man vacations on a tropical island, and the first thing he hears is drums. He goes to the beach and hears the drums; he eats lunch, he hears the drums; he tries to sleep, he can’t—drums. Finally he storms over to the manager. “I’ve had it! Can’t you stop those drums?” he begs. “No!” says the manager. “It’s very bad if the drums stop.” “Why?” “When the drums stop, the bass solo begins.”

Asian Voice | 14th October 2017

three weeks to see their doctor, while surgeries are struggling to recruit as GPs leave in droves. The new poll, undertaken by GPonline - a website aimed at doctors, was based on answers from 217 GP partners. It calculated that the average practice loses 5.1 per cent of appointments each year to patients who don't turn up. However, it believes the figure could be much higher as one in seven GP partners said they lose significantly more than that. Figures estimate that 340 million appointments are conducted each year. Angry doctors have before demanded that NHS patients should pay for their routine appointments, stating it to be the only way to end the crisis. Some respondents in the survey suggested a similar practice should be adopted for those patients who repeatedly miss their appointments. A controversial scheme that sees receptionists screening patients

to cut the number of GP appointments has been introduced in recent months to free up doctors' time. But some believe doctors are to blame. MPs in April warned millions of patients are being denied appointments because surgeries have two-hour lunch breaks. In a damning report, they said that half of England’s 7,600 surgeries shut down at some point during the core hours of 8am and 6.30pm.


To Our Readers

We are publishing these items in good faith, kindly consult your Doctor before you try to implement any advice. We do not hold any responsibility for its efficacy...

Picky eating could be genetic

n Scientists identify genes which make some people have hyper-sensitive tastebuds

Picky eating could be in your genes, new research reveals. Two genetic variations that code for picky eating habits have been identified for the first time by scientists. Both genes are related to bitter taste receptors, but one is linked to children who just don't like the taste of certain foods, while the other is associated with fussiness and meal-time power struggles. This new understanding of how children's tastes develop could help the researchers from the University of Illinois's Transdisciplinary Obesity Prevention Program (I-TOPP) develop strategies to help parents introduce healthy diets to their children. These findings dispel the notion that poor parenting is solely to blame for picky eating. Instead, it's caused by a combination of parent's genes and environmental factors. The study, conducted at the university's

Urbana-Champaign campus, examined children between the ages of two and four. At this stage, pickyeating is common, but for some children it can develop into a more lasting issue that makes a healthy diet harder to maintain. Some studies have even linked picky eating during childhood to problems with being over or under weight, or struggling with eating disorders later in life. Lead study author Natasha Chong Cole and her team have been studying picky eating from both 'nature' and 'nurture' angles. In previous research, they were able to make the distinction between the three kinds of picky eaters, those that were taste-particular, those that were behaviorally temperamental about food, and those that refused meals. Further studies are needed to see how children's preferences are influenced by the look or smell of food.



07767 414 693 Worldwide Repatriation Service G Scattering Ashes G Horse Drawn Funerals G Weekend Funerals G Use of Large Private Shiva Chapel for Viewing & Ritual Service Ritual Items Provided G Full Washing and Dressing facilities G Choice of Coffins G Priest Arrangements G Funeral arrangements at Home or Funeral Home G




28 AsianVoiceNews

Asian Voice | 14th October 2017


We can recreate magic of 'Queen':

Tamannaah T

‘Secret Superstar’

A young Muslim girl aspires to become a singer but faces restrictions from her conservative father. She happens to cross paths with a musician, and what unfolds is an exciting journey.

Rahman to compose music for PT Usha biopic

amannaah Bhatia is confident that the magic of Kangna Ranaut-starrer "Queen" will be recreated in its Telugu version which was officially launched recently. The remake, to be directed by Neelakanta Reddy, has been titled "Queen Once Again". "It's an exciting project and I love doing roles that talk about women empowerment. I'm confident we can recreate the magic of the original. At the same time, not make our film look like a frame-toframe remake. We'll adapt it to suit Telugu sensibilities," Tamannaah said. Ever since she saw the Vikas Bahldirected "Queen", she wanted to be a part of its remake. "I wasn't even sure if it was going to be remade. What makes 'Queen' special

'S A

d filmmaker Revathy Varma is reported to be all set to begin work on her upcoming feature film, the biopic of the famous Indian athlete, PT Usha. Revathy is known for directing the Jyothika and Khushboo starrer, 'June R.' Reports suggested that Priyanka Chopra, who played Mary Kom in her biopic has been approached for this project and that AR Rahman will be composing the score for this film. When Revathy was approached for an official confirmation on the same, and this is what she had to say. "Yes, we will be doing the biopic on PT Usha and AR Rahman will be scoring the music for the film, but it is not confirmed yet that Priyanka Chopra will be playing the lead." If Priyanka Chopra can essay this character, it is going to be a visual treat for film lovers. It is also to be noted that this film will be a multi-lingual project.


Case filed against Prakash Raj

ational Award-winning South Indian actor Prakash Raj has recently been making the news for statements he claimed to have not make. The actor had spoken about the death of the famous journalist, Gauri Lankesh, questioning Prime Minister's silence. He also spoke about how people were going around acting as if nothing had happened and that he would like to give his National Award to them for their acting. His statement was misinterpreted by some journalists and it was reported that Raj would be returning his National Awards fighting against the killing of Gauri Lankesh. He later trashed the reports by saying he is not a 'fool' to return them as he received them for his body of work. Now, a complaint that has been lodged against the actor by a lawyer in Lucknow for his words against PM Modi. Raj said, “When such killings are celebrated and the Prime Minister of the country decides to remain silent, it hurts me. This is what I said, and I have a right to say this. It is that simple as that. All this hype saying Prakash Raj is going to reject his National Awards as a protest against the government is something I did not say.”

is that it's one of those rare women-centric films which succeeded in reaching out to everybody, across all sections of the audience," she said. "Queen" is the story of the self-exploration of a young Punjabi girl, played by Kangana, who embarks on her honeymoon to Paris alone after her fiance calls off the wedding. Last week, the Tamil and Telugu versions of "Queen" were launched. The Tamil version, which has been titled "Paris Paris", stars Kajal Aggarwal in the lead. The Kannada version, which has been titled "Butterfly" and stars Parul Yadav, has already gone on the floors. Actor-filmmaker Ramesh Aravind is directing the Tamil as well as Kannada versions.

Rajinikanth praises 'Solo' trailer

olo,' the Malayalam-Tamil bilingual film starring Dulquer Salmaan and directed by Bejoy Nambiar was released 5th of October. 'Solo's' producer Anil Jain and director Bejoy Nambiar have met Super Star Rajnikanth at his residence and showed him the movie’s trailer. After watching the trailer, the Superstar is said to have heaped praises about the trailer and its brilliance. He seemed to have loved it thoroughly and appreciated the director and producer for their work. He also wished the team great luck on its release. 'Solo' team is on cloud nine after this compli-

ment from the super star. Solo is an anthology that talks about four dif-

ferent people, each story revolving around four different elements: Earth

(Rudra), Fire (Siva), Water (Shekhar) and Wind (Trilok).

Malayalam actor Dileep released on bail


alayalam actor Dileep was released on bail by the Kerala High Court in the actress abduction case. This was his fifth plea for bail,

and the third before the high court. He was arrested on July 10 for his alleged role in the conspiracy behind the abduction of the actress in February this

year. Justice Sunil Thomas granted bail to the actor under strict conditions. He has been directed not to influence witnesses and

appear before the investigating team as and when required. The actor was also asked to surrender his passport and furnish a bail amount of Rs 1,00,000. The 31-year-old actress was returning from a film shoot on February 17 when she was allegedly abducted by a gang of criminals and sexually assaulted in a moving car in Kochi. The assailants allegedly recorded the assault on their mobile phones and threatened to release the clip if she dared to approach the police. During the attack, the main accused – Pulsar Suni – allegedly hinted they were committing the crime at somebody else’s behest. She lodged a complaint with the police, who arrested all the accused allegedly involved in the crime. AsianVoiceNews


Hrithik breaks silence on the spat with Kangana

Katrina too heading to Hollywood?



here is no end in sight to the spat between Hrithik Roshan and Kangana Ranaut. Recently Hrithik took to his Facebook page and poured his heart out. The actor shared that he has never met the "lady in question one on one" (Kangana) and also asserted that the alleged 7-year long, passionate affair had no trail left behind. "No evidence, no paparazzi pictures, no witnesses, not even a memento," he wrote. While Kangana spoke her mind in various interviews, Hrithik has now broken his silence. Here's what he wrote: "I choose to be on a path of creativity, productivity and constructive work. Anything that isn't in alignment with that, I tend to ignore, sidestep and treat as a distraction. I believe that ignorance, non reaction and staying on the path of dignity is the best way to discourage any persistent unwanted intrusions. But just like a nagging health issue sometimes ignored can turn malignant, this situation for me has unfortunately turned malignant. “I don't see any grace in adding to this circus by testifying in defence of my character in a situation that I have no involvement in whatsoever. I have been dragged into a dirty mess without a choice in the matter. This is something that is not of my making. The truth is, I have never met the lady in question one on one in my entire life. Yes, we have worked together, but there has been no meeting in private. That is the truth. “Please understand, I am not fighting against an allegation of an affair. Or being childish trying to uphold a 'good guy" image. I am very aware of my faults, I am in fact protecting myself from something far more serious, sensitive and destructive than that. Sadly, very few from the media or the public seem to be interested in the truth. This has been a hard-learnt fact for me. If the people are comfortable with a lie because it doesn't threaten their model of the world where a girl is the victim and the man the aggressor then so be it. I am ok with that too.”

fter Priyanka Chopra, Deepika Padukone and Nargis Fakhri, Katrina Kaif too may join Hollywood bandwagon. While Katrina has never been quite vocal about her Hollywood ambitions, it looks like she is also going Westward! The 'Tiger Zinda Hai' actress was holidaying in Los Angeles, but it looks like there was work in her mind. According to rumours, Katrina had secret meetings with Fox studios, accompanied by her trainerfriend. The latter had even put up a picture from there with a caption “Sometimes life takes you on adven-


Asian Voice | 14th October 2017

tures.” But the speculations doesn’t end here – after her secret meeting with the Fox executives, Oscar nominated star Jeremy Renner began following her on Insta, and she is the only Bollywood actor that he is following. Jeremy Renner is well-known among the Indian movie buffs for his recurring role as Clint Barton/Hawkeye in Marvel’s 'The Avenger' series. Earlier, in an interview, when Katrina was asked about her Hollywood ambitions, she had replied, “Why not… If it is a right film, in the right time and at the right place.”

DJ Chetas rocks London

Malayalam actor Parvathy to star with Irrfan Khan

ollywood actor Irrfan Khan’s next film 'Qarib Qarib Singlle' is all set to hit the theatres on November 10. The movie is being touted as a fun adventure, featuring Irrfan opposite Malayalam actor Parvathy, who makes her Bollywood debut with the Tanuja Chandra directorial. Parvathy made her acting debut in 2006. She won the 2015 Kerala State Film Award for Best Actress for her performances in the Malayalam films 'Ennu Ninte Moideen.' Chandra, who has directed films such as “Sangharsh” and “Dushman,” confirmed the news, saying this time she has tried her hand at a different genre with the slice of film. 'Qarib Qarib Singlle’ is a contemporary love story of two people who embark upon an unusual journey which becomes a mad adventure. I’ve made plenty violent thrillers – now to something that’s slice of life and fun!” she said. The film is being presented by Zee Studios and Sujay Kutty from the company said they were excited to collaborate with Irrfan after his latest “Hindi Medium”.


Jacqueline finds 'Race 3' role quite challenging


ctress Jacqueline Fernandez who is part of the third instalment of the hit franchise 'Race 3', says that she found her role in the film quite challenging. "It's a very different role. I am really excited to play my character because it's actually a role that sees me in very different light," said Jacqueline. 'Race 3' has been directed by Remo Fernandes with Salman Khan in the lead and Jacqueline said that it would be a completely

new take on 'Race' as a franchise. In this film also all the characters have a shred of negativity. They all are negative until you see who actually is good and who is bad." Jacqueline will be sharing the screen space with Salman Khan again after working in 'Kick'. "After 'Kick', my career changed a lot for the better. I really do owe a lot to him (Salman) for that. He put in his faith in me and did a film such as 'Kick' at the time where I didn't have faith in myself."


he first-ever Indian DJ to feature in the world's Top 100 DJs, DJ Chetas is undoubtedly one of Bollywood's best. He recently released a free download album, 'Life is a Mashup' on October 8. The set features an intriguing 'east meets west' concept where songs from Indian films are mashed together with a Western mainstream hit.

One of the most sought after music jockeys, he gave a banging performance in London at O n e Embankment, on October 7. A sold out show with the audience getting what they wanted, DJ Chetas played his exclusive mixes all night. Chetas is one of the most followed DJs in the world. His mixes and music are known to be streamed and viewed by millions worldwide. He is particularly known for his “mashups”. An official DJ for Shahrukh Khan's Kolkata Knight Riders, he made his Bollywood debut as a composer with 'Oye Oye' for the film 'Azhar'. SJ Chetas also has a new release scheduled in 'Golmaal 3' which will be out in cinemas this Diwali.


UK AsianVoiceNews

Asian Voice | 14th October 2017

Coming Events

l Leicestershire Brahma Samaj presents Musical Evening by Panchal Live Entertainment, on October 29, 3.00 pm to 6.00 pm, at Shree Lohana Mahajan Hildyard Road, Leicester, LE4 5GG. l Nagrecha Charitable Trust presents Gaata Rahe Mera Dil, with Rajendra Pala and Madhvi Thakkar, on October 14, at Hariben Bachubhai Nagrecha Hall, 198-202 Leyton Road, E15 1DT. l The Bhavan presents Manthan- Exhibition by Manali K Bhatt, on October 22 to 25, 11.00 am to 7.00 pm, at 4A Castletown Road, West Kensington, London W14 9HE. l Enroll your children at Mandhata Gujarati School. Classes held at Barham Primary School, every Saturday, 10.00 am to 12.30 am. l Sree Sree Thakur Anukulchandra's Satsang to be held on October 14, 6.30 pm onwards, at the Brent Indian Association Hall, 116 Ealing Road, Wembley, London HA0 4TH.

Diwali Celebrations:

l BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir , celebrates Diwali and Annkut on October 19 and 20, at 105119 Brentfield Road, Neasden, London NW10 8LD. l Shree Swaminarayan Temple Willesden celebrates Dhanteras, Kali Chaudas, Diwali, and Annkut Darshan, from October 17 to 20. l Jaspar Centre celebrates Diwali and Annkut on October 19 and 20, at Rosslyn Crescent, Harrow, HA1 2SU. l Croydon Hindu Council presents Diwali Mela, on October 22, at Surrey Street, Croydon CRO 1RG. l Hanuman Hindu Temple celebrates Annkut Darshan on October 20 at 51 Beech Avenue, Brentford, TW8 8NQ. l Shree Navyug Jain Pragati Mandal celebrates Diwali and New Year on October 22, at St Alphage Hall, Playfield Road, Burnt Oak HA8 ODN. l Shri Vallabh Nidhi UK celebrates Diwali and New Year from October 17 to 21, at Shrinathji Sanatan Hindu Mandir, 159-161 Whipps Cross Road, Leytonstone, London E11 1NP. l Shri Vallabh Nidhi UK celebrates Diwali and New Year from October 17 to 20, at Shri Sanatan Hindu Temple, Ealing Road, Wembley, HA0 4TA. l Leicester Jalaram Mandir celebrates Diwali on October 19, at 85 Narborough Rd, Leicester LE3 0LF. l Gujarat Hindu Society Preston presents Diwali Mahotsav, on October 19, at S Meadow Ln, Preston PR1 8JN. l Celebrate Diwali on October 15, at Queensbury Park, Honeypot Lane, Harrow, HA7 1QL. l Light up London, Diwali at the London Eye. On 15 October 2017, Diwali lights will be switched on at the London Eye to mark the Festival of Lights.

Sneh Joshi

ARIES Mar 21 - Apr 20 Jupiter's year long transit of

your solar 8th house energizes your sector of transformation, sexuality, personal growth, joint resources and taxes. Intimate matters are especially important to you during this cycle. This is a time of increased accumulation of wealth and in some cases, a significant tax refund or inheritance, or other such benefits.

TAURUS Apr 21 - May 21 Jupiter, the planet of expansion and good luck has just moved into you solar 7th house for a year's transit. The accent’s very much on relationships. The opening up of a more diverse social life is a point in favour of romantic attachments. This transit makes you feel invincible, but the way forward is to create a balance between expansion and conservation.

GEMINI May 22 - June 22 Jupiter has begun its year long transit in your solar 6th house. During this cycle, you take more pride in the work you do and in your health routines. This is a good time to build your skills, to get organized. If your ambitions have been undefined, don't worry as from now on, you understand exactly what kind of impact you need to make on the world.

CANCER Jun 22 - Jul 22 Jupiter,planet of growth and expansion begins a year-long transit in your solar 5th house that points to an especially opportunistic period for romance, children and recreational pursuits. You are likely to see benefits, and experience growth, in these areas. For single Cancerians meeting a special person is highly likely.

Exclusive Diwali 2017

magazine will be sent out to all Asian Voice and Gujarat Samachar subscribers very soon

We will not be publishing the weekly issue of Asian Voice date 21st October 2017 as our offices will be closed for 2016 Diwali from Monday 16th till Friday 20th October. Asian Voice, and Gujarat Samachar would like to wish all their readers, subscribers, advertisers and well wishers a very Happy Diwali and a Prosperous New Year! £3.50

Couple give up millionaire lifestyle to retrain as GPs As investment bankers, Deepali Sharp and her husband Kristian lived a millionaire lifestyle that most of us can only dream of. The couple ate out every night at exclusive restaurants, both drove a top-of-the-range Porsche and they always travelled first class. But their gilded world was thrown into sharp relief when their first child was stillborn. Inspired by the medical care they’d received, they gave up their jobs and used their savings to train

Deepali and Kristian Sharp, with children Sachin, 13 and Amika, 11

as doctors. Now, they have finally qualified as GPs – and although they have given up their designer clothes and exotic holidays, they say they are happier than ever.


Whales roar a glorious noise at the National Poetry library!

Yogesh Patel introducing the event, his book Swimming with Whales, published on the day, and poets (R-L), Debjani Chatterjee, Rishi Dastidar, Bashabi Fraser and Mona Dash

On 4 October, with the help of the British Council and the Poetry Library, Yogesh Patel, the directorpoet of Word Masala Foundation and Skylark Publications, hosted a rare outing of British-Indian poetry to celebrate the four fresh collections of poems published this year. Yogesh Patel uniquely introduced each poet with his critical analysis of their work and specially written poems on them. Mona Dash read from her collection, A Certain Way, published by Skylark in March. Rishi Dastidar and Dr Bashabi Fraser received Word Masala Award presented by Chris McCabe, the librarian, and Dr Vijay Anand, the editor of Confluence. Their books, Ticker-tape and The Homing Bird came out in June. Yogesh Patel launched his long-awaited and critically acclaimed collection, Swimming with Whales, at this event. After reading from her own work, poet Dr Debjani Chatterjee introduced Yogesh Patel as “This is a man who not only writes

his own poetry but has made his mission to promote diaspora poets”. Yogesh Patel read his poems from the new collection with the haunting whale music and sounds playing in the background. For the audience, the evening was even more fun because of the raffle organised by Skylark. PN Review is an extraordinary poetry journal no poetry lover sho uld be without,’ Yogesh Patel said. ‘So, I feel lucky that Michael Schmidt, its editor, agreed to donate a one-year subscription to the winner of this raffle.’ Writing to Yogesh, afterwards, Daisy Leitch of the British Council Literature Department summed up the event neatly. “Congratulations on the wonderful event and launch of your new collection. We were very pleased to be associated with such an interesting and successful evening.” The library has recorded the full event for its archive and can be heard free at ylibrary/this-glorious-noise

020 8518 5500

The UK’s leading Vedic writer and TV personality

Very important time ahead. Jupiter, the planet of plenty graces, entered your solar house of home and family on the 10th October beginning a year-long transit. This transit will bring noticeable improvements to your environment. This is a time when you put down roots and focus on cultivating and nourishing your inner foundations that support you and your growth.

LEO Jul 23 - Aug 23

Very important time ahead. Jupiter, the planet of growth and expansion entered your solar 3rd house of communications on the 10th October. This year-long transit opens doors for you through new contacts and friendships, opportunities to learn and improve skills. During this period, communicating your ideas successfully is extremely important to you.

VIRGO Aug 24 - Sep 23

LIBRA Sep 24 - Oct 23

Jupiter, the planet of plenty, begins a year-long cycle in your solar 2nd house of abundance. During this cycle, you are likely to see and enjoy benefits to your earning power and this will boost your own sense of security and wealth. Money matters can improve greatly, but you have to avoid over-indulgence in order for Jupiter's promise to materialize.

Jupiter's entry into your sign on the 10th October is a time of expansion and new beginnings. The urge to improve and grow is strong. You project confidence, optimism, and enthusiasm, and others receive you especially well. This cycle should be a relaxed, fortunate, and hopeful time in your life. Furthering your personal ambitions come more easily.

SCORPIO Oct 24- Nov 22

Jupiter transits your solar 12th house for a whole year. For you, it's a cycle of regeneration and spirituality. You are building a very solid support system and focusing on emotional security and stability. Periods when you completely relax and retreat. Meditation and retreats may be particularly helpful to you now, as they regenerate and invigorate your spirit.

SAGITTARIUS Nov 23 - Dec 21

CAPRICORN Dec 22 - Jan 20 Jupiter's movement into your solar eleventh house on the 10th October, begins a year long transit for you. With Jupiter, riding high in your 11th house, you should enjoy a very popular phase in your life where everyone wants to invite you to parties. This will give you a chance to meet people of your own calibre and pursue any romantic liaisons that might present themselves.

AQUARIUS Jan 21 - Feb 19 Jupiter, the planet of expansion, begins a new one-year cycle that brings opportunity and expansion into your professional life. Expanding professionally and developing your skills, will be a strong theme in the coming year. Some of you will be taking stock of your lives and working out the best direction to take. A good time to re-assess your home and work balance. PISCES Feb 20 - Mar 20

Jupiter moves into your solar ninth house, where it will transit for just over a year. You will have energy for adventure, learning, and travel. Your desire to expand your horizons and to reach out beyond your usual circles brings opportunity and reward. Business dealings, particularly long-distance ones, are likely to be profitable now.



Jeakson Thounaojam etched his name in the history books of India. The tall midfielder rose above time and space to head in India's equaliser against Colombia in the U-17 World Cup group stage match in New Delhi on Monday. This was India's first goal in the football World Cup - in any age category - as Jeakson leapt to defy gravity, notions, and years of under-achievement, to head home Sanjeev Stalin's wickedly curling corner in the 82nd minute. India had barely finished rejoicing when Juan Penaloza restored the lead with a simple finish after the Colombian midfielder had earlier given them the lead just after half time. That made it 2-1 in Colombia's favour and that is the way it stayed. India's coach Luis Norton de Matos clapped all the way to the tunnel at half-time, leading India's U17 boys to the dressing room after a gallant fight against Colombia, big in reputation and built. In the gentrified atmosphere of the stadium, Anwar Ali showed enough promise to serve India in the long run. Winning aerial battles against the marauding Yadir Meneses and the giant Colombian captain Thomas Gutierrez, Ali's towering presence gave confidence to


Jeakson Thounaojam became the first Indian to score a goal in FIFA World Cup

the group. USA had already earned six after their second straight win in the earlier match against Ghana. Ringing four changes from the last match, de Matos had raised a few eyebrows but the first-half performance justified his decision. Boris Thangjam, as the right back, kept the dangerous Campaz in check while T Jeakson added a lot of muscle in the midfield. Rahim Ali started alongside Abhijit Sarkar while Namit Deshpande partnered Anwar at the heart of defence. Mumbai-born Deshpande is an import from the US, and the first NRI to don an Indian shirt. If de Matos was frustrated with Komal Thatal's profligacy and Anwar Ali

hitting the horizontal against the US in the first match, the Portuguese must have felt even greater pain seeing Rahul Kannoly's volley come to grief seconds before the halftime whistle was blown. The terraces screamed to shake the sky as Boris Thagnjam, one of the new call-ups, picked out Kannoly unmarked on the edge of the box. The attacking midfielder did nothing wrong, picked his spot with a leftfooted volley, that nine out of ten times would find the net. It was Kannoly and India's bad luck. In the opening encounter, the burly Americans defeated India 30 though Indian colts fought valiently.

Mithali Raj hopeful of playing in 2021 world cup Indian women's cricket captain Mithali Raj is hopeful of playing the sixth World Cup in 2021 provided form and fitness don't let her down. The 34-yearold, who led India to the final of the 2017 edition, had earlier said that the tournament that took place in England in June-July earlier this year would be her last. Now it seems the leading run-getter in ODIs has had a change of heart. "I am not writing off playing the next World Cup but I will have to get through these next three years to get into the fourth year for that World Cup," Mithali said. "It is also important for me to see and analyse how my form is by then (2021), so right now I am looking at the World T20 and the other matches I get to play in 2018." The Indian team has had no cricket since July and only play their next series in February. With their stellar showing in the World Cup, the players

Asian Voice | 14th October 2017

After Stokes, Hales, 3 more English cricketers in trouble

Jonny Bairstow

his teammates up the park as well as to Dheeraj Moirangthem, India's last line of defence. Showing De Gea-like reflexes, Dheeraj denied Leandro Campaz's header from close and Meneses' left footed drive to keep India in the game. However, the citadel could not be defended for long. After the changeover, Juan Penaloza, Colombia's right-sided midfielder, advanced down the channel, made room for himself with a drop of his big shoulder, and found the net with a left-footed shot. It was just four minutes in to the second session. Having lost their opening encounter to Ghana, Colombia needed to log three points to stay alive in

Mithali Raj

have become household names and attended a series of felicitations ever since returning home. "It has been really busy since July but it feels nice to be appreciated and treated at par with men's cricket. People want to know more about the lives of women cricketers. It was not the case back in 2005," she said, referring to the World Cup 12 years ago when India's final appearance went unnoticed. Looking ahead, Raj said the players will start their preparation for the ICC

ODI Championship opener against South Africa in December. As part of the competition, India will play three games in South Africa from Feb 5-10. "The domestic season starts in December and that will act as preparation for the South Africa tour. It will also be the beginning of getting back into the game for players after a three-month layoff," she said. Mithali is also a part of the BCCI's special committee for women's cricket which recently made some changes in the domestic

structure by making the U16 category a pan India affair. It also decided to introduce A tours for the fringe India players. Mithali feels organising India A tours will go a long way in preparing the squad for the next World Cup. "With the introduction of India A tours, after the players get into the main national squad, there will be positions available in the A squad and the youngsters can get exposure and experience. Eventually they will become the second string. "So, you always have a back-up in case of an injury. And with this policy in place, we will have at least a bunch of 20 -25 girls who will be competing against each other to build a strong squad for the next World Cup." The ICC has been using the limited overs format to promote women's cricket and Test matches are far and few between with India playing their last five-day game back in 2014.


Liam Plunkett

Three more England cricketers were punished for off-field misbehaviour, a week after Ben Stokes and Alex Hales were suspended from national-team duty following an incident on a night out. Jonny Bairstow, Jake Ball and Liam Plunkett, each accepted a written warning and were handed an undisclosed fine, the England and Wales Cricket Board said, following an investigation into their "unprofessional conduct" during the recent ODI series against the West Indies. The investigation was unrelated to that involving Stokes and Hales, who have been suspended on full pay and are the subject of a separate disciplinary hearing. Stokes was arrested after video footage purportedly showed England's test vice-captain throwing punches in a street fight. Hales was out with Stokes that night and both are under investigation. As it stands, Stokes won't travel with England for the upcoming tour of Australia despite being selected in the squad. England's players fly out on Oct. 28 and the tour starts on Nov. 4. "No final decision has been taken on his involvement in Australia," England said about Stokes. To cover for the potential absence of Stokes, England added fast bowler Steven Finn to its 16-man test squad for the Ashes series. Stokes and Hales did have their central contracts renewed, however.

Bangla teenager dies after being struck by cricket ball

A Bangladeshi teenager died after he was struck by a ball while umpiring a cricket match, police said. Rafiqul Islam, 17, was declared dead at Dhaka Medical College Hospital after being rushed there in critical condition following the incident at Balur Math ground in Bangladesh's capital. "A group of youths were playing cricket in the field and the boy was the umpire. He collapsed on the field after a ball hit him in the chest," local police chief Enamul Haque said. His parents who were poor buried him later. The incident comes three years after the tragic death of Australian batsman Phillip Hughes in similar circumstances.

De Villiers returns for Bangladesh ODIs AB de Villiers will be back in the South African side for the three-match one-day international series against Bangladesh starting on October 15. Star batsman De Villiers was not available for the Test series against Bangladesh, but is due De Villiers to play for the Titans in a first-class match this weekend - his first appearance in a first-class match since January 2016. De Villiers gave up the one-day captaincy after the Champions Trophy in England earlier this year, enabling Faf du Plessis to be captain in all three international formats. Left-handed batsman JP Duminy, who retired from Test cricket after a poor tour of England, will also be in what looks like a powerful batting line-up. Fast bowler Dane Paterson is the only player in the squad who has not yet appeared in a one-day international. South Africa squad: Faf du Plessis (captain), Hashim Amla, Temba Bavuma, Farhaan Behardien, Quinton de Kock (wkt), AB de Villiers, JP Duminy, Imran Tahir, David Miller, Wayne Parnell, Dane Paterson, Andile Phehlukwayo, Dwaine Pretorius, Kagiso Rabada.

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Asian Voice | 14th October 2017




Travis Head and Moises Henriques put up an unbeaten 109-run stand as Australia beat India by 8 wickets in the second Twenty20 International to level series 1-1 at the Barsapara Cricket Stadium in Guwahati on Tuesday. Chasing a 119-run target, the Australian run chase got off to a woeful start as they lost both their openers inside three overs. Indian captain Virat Kohli first held a skier to dismiss his counterpart David Warner off Jasprit Bumrah in the second over and in the next over took a simple catch off a Bhuvneshwar Kumar delivery to send Aaron Finch back to the pavilion. But Head (48*) and Henriques (62*) put up a quickfire unbeaten partnership to steady the run chase and took their team to victory without any more hiccups with 27 balls to spare. Henriques reached his second T20I 50 off 42 balls with a six over mid-wicket off Kuldeep Yadav. Earlier, rookie Australia pacer Jason Behrendorff ran through India's star-studded top-order before the hosts were bundled out for 118 runs. Behrendorff, playing only his second international match, ended with dream figures of four for 21 in four

Sri Lanka will play a three-day warm-up match in Kolkata ahead of their series against India starting November 16, the Indian cricket board said. The island nation will play three Tests, three oneday internationals and three Twenty20 matches between November and December. This will be Sri Lanka's return tour following their 9-0 rout by the Virat Kohli-led team earlier this year.


November 11-13 three-day warm-up tie, Kolkata November 16-20 1st Test, Kolkata November 24-28 2nd Test, Nagpur December 2-6 3rd Test, Delhi December 10 1st ODI, Dharamsala December 13 2nd ODI, Mohali December 22 2nd T20I, Indore December 24 3rd T20I, Mumbai

Malinga left out of Sri Lanka squad for Pakistan ODIs overs. The 27-year-old from Western Australia swung the ball both ways on a helping pitch with Rohit Sharma (8), Shikhar Dhawan (2) and Virat Kohli (0) among his high-profile scalps. It was the first international game played at the venue and the packed crowd was in for a shock after Rohit hit two crisp fours in the opening over bowled by Behrendorff. Behrendorff showed remarkable maturity to bounce back from those two boundaries to trap Rohit plumb in front with an inswinger. Kohli departed two balls later after getting a faint inside edge while attempting a flick and the looping ball was caught by none

other than the left-arm pacer. Behrendorff then had Manish Pandey caught behind with one that swung away just enough before Dhawan fell to a spectacular running catch by opposition captain David Warner. His spell of four overs was enough to break the backbone of Indian batting which was hardly tested in the ODI series. The figures were also Behrendorff's best in the T20 format. With India in deep trouble at 27 for four, Kedar Jadhav (27) and MS Dhoni (13) tried to get going in the middle and ended up with a 33-run stand. However, Australia were able to tighten their noose around India in the middle overs through

Adam Zampa (2/19 in four overs). He had a charging Dhoni stumped with a perfect leg-spinner before finding Jadhav's stumps to leave India in more trouble at 67 for six. Hardik Pandya (25) hit a cracking six over midwicket, much to the entertainment of the home crowd but it was not enough to take India to a competitive total. India win 1st T20 In the first T20I, India won the rain truncated match via D|L rule. Shikhar Dhawan and Virat Kohli scored the revised six-over target of 48 with 3 balls to spare after a Steve Smithless Australian side succumbed to batting frailties.

Qatar under pressure to give up World Cup A top Emirati official has claimed that the blockade of Qatar by its neighbours will cease if it is stripped of or surrenders the 2022 World Cup. A link between the staging of the tournament by the Gulf state and the boycott of it by four Arab nations has been drawn for the first time by Dubai’s head of security, lieutenant general Dhahi Khalfan. “If the World Cup goes out of Qatar, the crisis in Qatar will end because the crisis was made to break it,” Khalfan wrote on Twitter. This came soon after a row broke out over whether the country’s hosting of the World Cup was under threat after a report warning of “an increasing political risk” to the tournament was leaked. The tournament has not come up in the demands previously made by the boycotting countries, though losing the World Cup would represent a bitter defeat for the tiny peninsular nation that’s pushed itself onto the

India-Sri Lanka series starts on Nov 16

world stage with its bid and its Al-Jazeera satellite news network. Bahrain, Egypt, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates all cut diplomatic ties and began a boycott of Qatar on June 5, in part over allegations that Doha supports extremists and has overly warm ties to Iran. Qatar has long denied funding extremists and restored full diplomatic ties to Iran amid the dispute. Doha shares a massive offshore natural gas field with Iran that makes its citizens incredibly wealthy. Khalfan targeted the

FIFA tournament in his tweets. “If the World Cup leaves Qatar, Qatar’s crisis will be over … because the crisis is created to get away from it,” he wrote. He added: “The cost is bigger than what the Hamadein have planned,” likely referring to Qatar’s former ruling emir Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani and former Foreign Minister Hamad bin Jassim Al Thani. Some believe both still wield influence within Qatar’s current government now ruled by the former emir’s son, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani. As the crisis has dragged

on despite mediation by Kuwait, the United States and European nations, Qatar’s opponents have begun targeting its hosting of the FIFA cup. They’ve pointed to allegations of corruption surrounding Qatar’s winning bid, as well as the conditions that labourers working in Qatar face in building infrastructure for the games. While FIFA ethics investigators found that the Qataris used a full range of lavishly funded state and sports agencies to win the 2010 vote to host the tournament, authorities concluded there was no “evidence of any improper activity by the bid team.” When Qatar’s sole land border with Saudi Arabia was closed and sea traffic cut off by the boycott, World Cup organizers were forced to instigate a “Plan B,” including bringing in supplies from Turkey. Asked about Khalfan’s comments, FIFA said: “We do not comment on speculation.”

Sri Lanka has dropped Lasith Malinga from the one-day international squad to face Pakistan in a fivematch series starting this week, raising doubts if the fast bowler will feature in the team's plans for the 2019 World Cup. Malinga, feared for his awkward action and toe-crushing yorkers, returned to international cricket during June's Champions Trophy following a knee injury that kept him out of the World Twenty20 last year. But the 34-year-old has not been as effective since his return and has managed 10 wickets from 13 ODIs since his return. He has taken 301 wickets from 204 matches in his career. Sri Lanka, who lost 5-0 to India at home recently, will also be without former captain and all-rounder Angelo Mathews, who is struggling with a calf injury. The first ODI will be played on Oct. 13 in Dubai with the teams also slated to play a three-match Twenty20 series.

Squad: Upul Tharanga (captain), Dinesh Chandimal, Niroshan Dickwella, Lahiru Thirimanne, Kusal Mendis, Milinda Siriwardana, Chamara Kapugedara, Thisara Perera, Seekuge Prasanna, Nuwan Pradeep, Suranga Lakmal, Dushmantha Chameera, Vishwa Fernando, Akila Dananjaya, Jeffrey Vandersay.

ICC set to approve Test championship, says report According to reports, the International Cricket Council (ICC) is set to approve plans for its longawaited World Test Championship at a meeting in New Zealand. The sport’s governing body has argued for years that a Test championship is needed to boost the five-day format’s popularity as crowds and television viewers flock to the big-hitting Twenty20 version of cricket. But squabbling over formats and fears that some nations will be disadvantaged have twice stymied efforts to launch a league structure since 2010. The Sydney Morning Herald reported that plans for a nine-nation Test championship were now well advanced and the ICC was set to give the concept a green light at a meeting in Auckland. Two-year cycle It said the first edition of the competition would run over a two-year cycle beginning in 2019, culminating in a final between the top two teams at Lord’s. Cricket Australia chief executive James Sutherland said the league competition would give Test series a broader international “context,” making them more than stand-alone bilateral contests. Purists view Test cricket as the pinnacle of the sport but it has struggled, particularly in Asia, as lucrative T20 competitions such as the Indian Premier League have caught the public’s imagination.

AV 14th October 2017  

Asian Voice weekly news paper (Issue 24)