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16 - 22 FEBRUARY 2019 - VOL 47 ISSUE 40

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How rising living costs are making young Asians fly back to their nest!

inside: Vadra grilled over his ‘links’ to arms dealer and expensive overseas properties SEE PAGE 23

17 killed in Delhi hotel fire SEE PAGE 26

Mental Health Special Rupanjana Dutta Anuj Patel, 28, with a successful job in finance felt proud when he bought a one bed flat in London's Canary wharf, in 2016, and moved from his family home in Harrow to live on his own. But by the end of 2018, he decided to move back to live with his parents, as he could not bear the cost of living on his own as well as save for his future. Though the first generation British Asians often have lived in long extended families, the Millennials who are a part of the

'Boomerang Generation' have been choosing to live on their own, to maintain their choice of lifestyle and independence. However with increasing employment, financial and housing crises in the UK, same people are moving back to their parents' home, unable to cope with the financial stress. Quarter of 20 to 34 year olds are living with their parents according to a study by think tank Civitas. This has increased by 41% in London since 1998, where housing is most expensive, but by much less in cheaper areas like North-East England (14%) and Yorkshire and the Humber (17%). Continued on page 8

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16 - 22 February 2019

onetoone

WITH KEITH VAZ, MP

Tom Hendryk

Tom Hendryk was born in Evington, Leicester and was a member of St Paul's Roman Catholic School where he found his love for performing. After graduating from the Royal Birmingham Conservatoire in 2013, he is now a full time professional actor on stage and screen, performing on stages all over the country and also throughout Europe with The English Theatre Company. Aside from acting, Tom is a Theatre Director, having recently codirected The Polar Express Theatre Experience to a sold out run of 22,000 people in 2018. Tom is also a qualified Polish dance choreographer and instructor after obtaining his diploma in Rzeszow, Poland in 2011. He still performs today with Leicester group 'Polesie Song and Dance Company' where he is also Assistant Instructor.

1

Which place, or city or country do you most feel at home in? Leicester is my home and I am very proud to call it my city. Since my family heritage is Polish, Poland has a very special place in my heart. Krakow in particular is one of my favourite cities. I have a sense of calm whenever I travel back there, it really is a

Theatre Experience to a sold out run of 22,000 people has to be also right up there.

3

What inspires you?

2

What are your proudest achievements?

Performing on incredible stages such as Leicester Curve, Birmingham Rep, Manchester Lowry are always proud moments but directing The Polar Express

7

And the worst?

My family. My parents are successful in their own fields but they both had to work really hard for it. It can be difficult to compare, since acting is very different to what they do, but the life they have built for my sister and myself is very inspiring and drives me to work harder.

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What has been biggest obstacle in your career? Patience. I have always been someone who loves being busy. It is in those quiet, 'in between jobs' moments where you really have to believe in yourself. Some days are harder than others but you just have to keep working at it.

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Who has been the biggest influence on your career to date? Mrs Jane Grey was my Performing Arts teacher at secondary school and without her initial support and encouragement, I definitely would not be performing today.

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special city.

ing and delving into details. It's exciting! Plus, it's what makes me a real asset in quiz nights. Haha!

What is the best aspect about your current role? I am currently performing in a play called Brick Lane 78. It is all about the struggle and racial tensions concerning the Asian community when they came to the UK in the 1970s. Whenever I get a new project, I love learning about the subject matter. In this case, different cultures and their history. I love research-

Making sacrifices like missing birthdays and other occasions when on tour or on set. It can be a lonely place sometimes.

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What are your long term goals?

My goal is to have scripts coming to my door rather than me chasing them. That's when I know that I have done what I set out to do. I love performing, but I want to decide when I can have a break rather than the industry deciding for me.

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If you were Prime Minister, what one aspect would you change? I am lucky to live in a city with several wonderful theatres but funding for the arts has been significantly slashed in recent years, especially in schools and that is definitely one thing I would set right.

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If you were marooned on a desert island, which historical figure would you like to spend your time with and why. I wouldn't say he is 'historical' yet but Bear Grylls would be the smartest option. Plus he seems so lovely that you could have a laugh with him. That's of course after he continues to save my life on the desert island. Priorities! As a die hard Leicester City fan, Jamie Vardy would also be fun. Follow him @TomHendryk

Gants Hill letting agent raises Sham marriage punter from almost £80,000 for Indonesia Redbridge who tried to ‘cheat tsunami appeal immigration system’ A Gants Hill letting agent has raised more than £79,000 to support the thousands of people affected by the Indonesian tsunami. The Lint Group, Perth Road, is raising funds for Forest Gate relief organisation Abdullah Aid’s Indonesia appeal. More than 2,000 people were killed when the country was struck by a 7.5 magnitude earthquake in September. Another 220,000 are believed to have been displaced. A team of nine workers – Arif Patel, Arbaz Oomerjee, Asif Dakri, Ayyub Patel, Faisal Ahmedabadi, Hanif Loonat, Imran Patel,

Lint Group staff Zamil Abdullah, Hanif Loonat, Arif Patel, Arbaz Oomerjee, Ayyub Patel, Saleem Sheikh, Asif Dakri, Imran Patel and Faisal Ahmedabadi were ecstatic to have made it to the summit of Mount Snowdon. Photo: Lint Group

Saleem Sheikh and Zamil Abdullah – climbed to the top of Mount Snowdon in October as part of the fundraising effort. The firm has now extended its goal to £100,000, as it looks likely to hit its initial £80,000 tar-

get.

“Aim for the roof and you’ll hit the gutter. Aim for the moon and you’ll land on the stars,” said managing director Rizz Patel. Donate to the appeal at totalgiving.co.uk/mypage/s nowdoncharitytrek

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A phoney groom from Redbridge who bought a sham marriage in an attempt to flout immigration rules has been jailed. Pakistani national Zia Uddin, 34, of Wanstead Lane, was jailed at the Old Bailey on Wednesday, January 23. The court heard how he and Ameen Ul Haq, 31, of Longbridge Road, both tied the knot with imported Lithuanian brides, who would fly back home shortly after the nuptials, in a bid to extend their leave to remain in the UK. Ul Haq was sentenced in his absence having failed to attend court. An investigation by Immigration Enforcement’s Criminal and Financial Investigation (CFI) team found that Uddin had paid the one of the scheme’s ringleaders, 33-yearold Ayaz Khan, £11,850 ahead of his wedding at a Newham register office in October 2011. Khan’s 25-yearold wife Jurgita Zia Uddin Pavlovskyte also transferred cash to Ul Haq’s bride on October 31 2013, ahead of his wedding in April the following year. Both Uddin and Ul Haq both had limited leave to remain in the UK and submitted fresh immigration applications around the time that the marriages took place. Khan and Pavlovskyte,

Ameen Uddin’s sham wedding in October 2011 at Newham register office

the husband and wife team who masterminded the scheme, were both jailed in April last year. The couple, who lived in Danehurst Road, Redbridge, marketed the marriages as 3,000 Euro ‘business deals’. Brides ranged in age from 18 to 25.

Ameen Ul Haq

The fake grooms would later use their marriages documents as evidence to support applications for leave to remain. Hannah Shirley, the CFI team’s acting assistant director, said: “CFI officers played a vital role in this investigation, uncovering evidence to prove that these marriages were a

sham. “The individuals were attempting to cheat the immigration system and push ahead of people who play by the rules. “We will not allow people to exploit our immigration system in this way and anyone caught trying to do so will be brought to justice through the courts.” Ul Haq was sentenced to two years and six months in jail after being found guilty of securing the avoidance of enforcement action; and obtaining leave by deception. Uddin was jailed for 18 months after being found guilty of securing the avoidance of enforcement action. Anyone with information on Ul Haq’s whereabouts or about suspected immigration abuse can contact Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 anonymously or visit http://www.crimestoppersuk.org.


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COMMENTS

UK

3

16 - 22 February 2019

Banerjee shenanigans a disruptive exercise Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee three-day sitdown event was theatre of the absurd, beginning with a bang, ending in a whimper of proclaimed victory designed to save face. There can be no saving of face in the utterly disgraceful behavior of the local constabulary in arresting the men of the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) who had come to Kolkata to question the Police Commissioner Rajeev Kumar on the Sarada and Rose Valley scams. There were good enough reasons to suspect a coverup, as some leading figures of the Chief Minister’s Trinamool Congress (TMC) were widely perceived guilty of malfeasance. Police Commissioner Rajeev Kumar, was allegedly twice requested to present himself at CBI headquarters in New Delhi for questioning.. He chose not do so. In this, he clearly had the Chief Minister’s support. The Chief Minister’s claim that her gesture of defiance against the Centre was within the ambit of India’s constitutional federalism, of the rights of States was disingenuous. The Supreme Court, to which an appeal was made by the Centre, adjudicated that the Kolkata Police Commissioner Rajeev Kumar must subject himself to CBI interrogation, although at the neutral Shillong, capital of the hill state of Meghalaya, he was grilled. Rajeev Kumar, according to a detailed profile in the Kolkata-based Telegraph newspaper (February 10) is a truly formidable figure, unique in his successful pursuit of underworld dons, and in areas beyond the domestic circuit. He plans to complete his PhD under the supervision of the distinguished mathematician Mahan Maharaj of the Ramkrishna Math and Mission. Kumar’s two heroes are Albert Einstein and Rabindranath Tagore, whose portraits hang in his office. Is the Police Commissioner a Sherlock Holmes or his sinister adversary Professor Moriarty? Returning to Mamata Banerjee, she is at heart a street

fighter, which is why she became the driving force that toppled the Communist-led Left Front government from office after its 34 year stint. She did so against all the odds when a largely dispirited people had abandoned all hope of change to a more bearable life free of wild cat strikes, daily demonstrations, crippling power shortages, the flight of capital, urban and rural squalor. Mamata Banerjee made development the TMC’s mantra. Rural and urban uplift were its core, the transformation gaining greater traction in Kolkata and its surrounds, in particular, with a massive move to the private sector. Turn to page 12 to read Mukesh Ambani’s encomium on Bengal and Calcutta’s progress. The sum of the Banerjee parts is greater than its negative traits. Kolkata’s rebirth has been astonishing and is work in progress. The metro and road networks are expanding in every direction, power shortages are a diminishing memory, destitution, once endemic, is now a rarity. The City of the Dark Night that hovered on the brink of an urban disaster is a thriving hub of enterprise. Mukesh Ambani is close to Prime Minister Modi. He must share his business experiences in Bengal with the Prime Minister. For her part, Chief Minister Banerjee would serve her party and Bengal best by focusing her energies on that front and cease deluding herself about being an Indian king maker or even prime minister. Her place in history will be determined eventually by her achievements in her native Bengal and not networking and intriguing in and around Delhi. It is a feature of effective statesmanship to appreciate fully the art of the possible and not hallucinate on things beyond reach. Concentration of mind and body on a single target – the welfare and prosperity of West Bengal rather than dispersal on scattered goals. The decision is hers.

Tulsi Gabard: Voice of moderation pilloried Tulsi Gabard, the sole Hindu in the US Congress, represents Hawaii. She has put her name forward for the presidential race in 2020. Her campaign, she said, will be based on enlightened US foreign policy goals, based primarily on eschewing a looming nuclear and missile arms race with Russia that imperils all life on earth. It says something for the state of mainstream America that her eminently sensible platform for this new course has arouse the ire of the national broadcaster NBC, which has denounced her as an agent of Moscow and worse. President Trump in his State of the Union Address spoke eloquently of the damage caused to the US of wars of intervention in Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan, dwelt on their eventual futilit y, in destroyed lives, and of his determination to bring the brave soldiers home. He has also announced a second summit – this time in Vietnam – with his North Korean counterpart Kim Jong-un on the possible denuclearization of the Korean peninsula, starting with Pyongyang’s arsenal. These were encouraging words, but clearly out of sync with Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and National Security Advisor John Bolton, who appear to put a contrarian spin on their President’s goals. As if to assuage these rebellious spirits and the quell the dissatisfaction of America’s military industrial complex, President Trump promised increased defence spending to an obscene $ 750 billion in a bid to keep America ahead of the game with Russia, and possibly by Chinsa as well. The manic search for security leads inevitably to greater insecurity; the greatest threat to freedom from fear is fear itself, as the great American President Franklin Delano Roosevelt, remarked so memorably decades ago. President Trump has chosen to abort the nuclear nonproliferation treaties with the Soviet Union on the flimsiest

excuse of Russian non-compliance on an intermediate range missile. An invitation to the Trump administration to visit Russia and inspect the Moscow’s missile in question to assess non compliance was turned down because the decision had already been taken to begin work on new weapons systems to guarantee! US global supremacy. The US starter’s gun was the of a test of an Intercontinental missile; Russia responded immediately with a similar test of its own. The cycle of a new arms race has begun. The hate-Russia campaign in the US has risen to levels never seen before. Professor Stephen Cohen, a leading authority on Russian history at Princeton University expressed deep foreboding, on the Larry King talk show, of the of a calamitous war with Russia. The New York Times plumbed the depths of the gutter with a recent editorial that alleged corruption and aggression were embedded in the Russian gene. There was outrage among the considerable community of decent Americans, who wondered what the reaction would have been if a similar observation targeted Jews or African Americans or other ethnicities across the world. Hitler, in his day, described the Russians as Jewish-Asiatic scum worthy of subjugation by German colonists. He felt liberated turning East and declaring war. Russian reactions to American racial insult s have, thus far, been good humoured; no burning of American flags, no anti-American demonstrations in Moscow or elsewhere. Hopefully, good sense will prevail before Armageddon ensues. If Tulsi Gabbard’s voice is heard and gathers strength amidst the cacophonous calls for the fulfillment of America’s Manifest Destiny, humankind will have cause to count their blessings.

Indian exports to China rise India’s exports to China are moving to an all-time high this fiscal, thanks in part to the US-China face-off. Beijing has removed old barriers to market access giving Indian businesses opportunities to expand their footprint in the country and reducing the imbalance in bilateral commerce. The drivers of this Indian presence are marine products, organic chemicals, plastics, grapes, rice, according to India’s Ministry of Commerce. ‘India’s exports to China have grown after several years. India poised to achieve its highest ever to the country this fiscal. Between April and December 2018, exports were $12.7 billion, which is closer to last year’s exports of $13.33 billion, said the ministry release. ‘India was hopeful of signing new protocols for

exports to China. India’s trade deficit with China was a huge $63 billion, which is more than a third of India’s total trade deficit. Acknowledging the urgent need for steps to ease the situation, China signed three export protocols – on rice, fishmeal, and tobacco imports from India into the country. India is hopeful that new quotas on Indian sugar and rice will follow. With US sanctions on China’s telecom giant Huawei for spying and the EU following suit, India-China trade could optimize to new levels. China’s reiteration of its claim to the northeastern state of Arunachal Pradesh is yet another warning against investing a great a trust in Chinese goodwill.

Without inspiration the best powers of the mind remain dormant. There is a fuel in us which needs to be ignited with sparks Johann Gottfried von Herder (1744-1803)

Alpesh Patel

Why Kashmir is Not Disputed Some British Parliamentarians appear to support terrorists. I don’t mean Corbyn feeling sympathetic for the IRA, but British MPs who seem to support terrorist activities in Kashmir. These are the MPs who dispute Kashmir’s national heritage, who cannot understand that Pakistan is an occupying force and wants to carve a country out of Kashmir and carve Kashmir out of a country. And then there are those MPs who think that people voting for a party and by accidentally electing them, makes their views more important than those of the common person or that of the world’s largest democracy – we are bigger and better than you. To all those MPs I say this today: “Before all of you this land was mine. By lineage this is my land. I claim it by birthright...To those squatting upon the land of my Fathers. I claim it. By precedence this is my land...Shame on you to desecrate the consecrated. My Gods live on this land. For the ashes of my Fathers and the temples of my Gods I claim it. All of us everywhere in the world who have suffered at the end of an invading sword or imperial pen, we are all Hindustani Kashmiris. All of us, whose ancestors faced the choice, to convert or die, we are all Kashmiris. I am reminded of my trip a few years ago to India after visiting the Line of Control (LoC) with Pakistani Occupied Kashmir (PoK) and the Wagah border in Amritsar. ‘Here, in this place, they call it Hindustan, they call it Bharat’ I thought to myself as I approached the Indian border with Pakistan at the Wagah crossing to see the daily parade. Soldiers stomped their feet, Vande Mataram blasted through the loud speakers, as young girls ran with billowing Indian flags larger than themselves and the families shouted ‘Jai Hind’. I must have stood ten feet tall. Had my grandmother’s uncle not been busied bringing Hyderabad into the Union in 1947, leaving Kashmir to Nehru, there would not have been a divided Kashmir either. I’ve yet to meet an Indian who believes that that man, Sardar Patel, should not have been India’s first Prime Minister, instead of its first Deputy Prime Minister. Patel should have refused the Gandhi’s request to give the Premiership to Nehru. Let me tell you about the difference between India and Bharat. In Bharat there is no Line of Control. In Bharat we look at the Himalayas of Kashmir and know that for 5000 years without dispute, they are a part of Bharat. Governments, invaders, and imperialists come and go but Hindustan is eternal. As Kennedy said 'ich bin ein Berliner' (I am a Berliner) so we say 'I am a Kashmiri' . So I repeat, before all of you this land was mine. By lineage this is my land. I claim it by birthright. This is my land. To those squatting upon the land of my Fathers. I claim it. By precedence this is my land. I claim it. Shame on you to desecrate the consecrated. My Gods live on this land. For the ashes of my Fathers and the temples of my Gods I claim it. All of us everywhere in the world who have suffered at the end of an invading sword or imperial pen, we are all Hindustani Kashmiris.” Editor: CB Patel Asian Voice is published by Asian Business Publications Ltd Karma Yoga House, 12 Hoxton Market, (Off Coronet Street) London N1 6HW. Tel: 020 7749 4080 • Fax: 020 7749 4081 Email: aveditorial@abplgroup.com Website: www.abplgroup.com INDIA OFFICE Bureau Chief: Nilesh Parmar (BPO) AB Publication (India) Pvt. Ltd. 207 Shalibhadra Complex, Opp. Jain Derasar, Nr. Nehru Nagar Circle, Ambawadi, Ahmedabad-380 015. Tel: +91 79 2646 5960 Email: gs_ahd@abplgroup.com © Asian Business Publications


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16 - 22 February 2019

3 brothers launch baseball bat attack in Leicester street over 'petty' dispute Three brothers have been jailed for a vicious assault that left a man with multiple skull fractures and a bleed on the brain Shamir, Taseer and Taqueer Kazi were found guilty of grievous bodily harm at Leicester Crown Court February 11 following an 11-day trial. The court heard how the attack on Berners Street in Leicester was the result of a 'petty' dispute months before. The 22-year old victim was not actually the intended target of the attack by 21-year old Shamir, 24-year old Taseer and 27-year old Taqueer. The intended victim had left the area before the incident. The brothers inflicted multiple fractures to the victim's skull,

fractures to his eye and cheek leaving him with a bleed on the brain. He ended up spending eight weeks in hospital recovering following the attack in 2016. Detective constable Charlotte Mee, the investigating officer said: "This was a serious assault where the victim's life was hanging in the balance. "What was a minor dispute led to the vicious assault, the defendants came armed with baseball bats and intended to cause some harm. "We are pleased with [the] verdict however two of the three defendants were in the process of completing their further studies and had the prospect of promising careers ahead of

them. "They now have a criminal conviction and face a considerable time behind bars. There are no winners in this case. "The victim has had to relive the (From left) Shamir, Taqueer and Taseer Kazi events of that who subjected him to such a evening in the courtroom and no serious assault have been made doubt the memories still haunt to answer to their crimes." him. Shamir was sentenced to "We hope this verdict gives nine years in prison, while him some reassurance that jusTaseer and Taqueer were sentice has been done and those tenced to 11 years each.

Man wearing burqa and dress steals £7k Rolex watch in knifepoint robbery A man who robbed a shop at knifepoint while wearing a dress and made off with a Rolex watch worth thousands has been jailed. Imtiaz Patel appeared at Leicester Crown Court today (February 11) following an incident on January 5 this year in which he threatened a shop worker in Haymarket, Leicester city centre. The 42-year-old entered the shop at 9.40am wearing a dress, a burqa and with a scarf across his face. He was looking at a Rolex watch valued at £7,000 when staff became concerned about how he was acting. Patel then asked to see another watch, to which a member of staff told him she would have to put the first one away. He then produced a knife and

made threats to another member of staff who was stood near the shop door before running off with the watch. A Pc and a Pcso were on patrol in the area and saw Patel running down Church Gate. They followed him along Mansfield Street and into Short Street and spotted the watch in his hand. He was stopped and searched before the officers were informed about the robbery on the police radio moments later. Patel had dropped the knife as he fled from the shop and was picked up by a member of the public and taken back to the shop. He was arrested just five minutes after the robbery, at 9.45am. He was charged the same day with robbery and possession of a bladed article. He

pleaded guilty to both charges. Detective Constable Anna Thorpe said: "It was thanks to the quick-thinking and excellent response of the officers on patrol that Patel was detained so quickly. Their actions in catching Patel as he left the scene of the crime left him with no choice but to admit the offence today. "I'd also like to thank the victims of this offence for being fully co-operative with our investigation following what must have been a terrifying incident. Patel showed no concern for anyone else when he carried out this crime and the consequences of his actions could have been far worse." Patel was sentenced to four years in prison for the robbery and nine months for the posses-

They were granted legal aid to fight their case and Ahmed — who made girls he raped call him “Daddy” — was allowed to appeal to the European Court of Human Rights from jail. The beast, who got 22 years, tried to claim his convictions were a conspiracy by police and his jury to “scapegoat” Muslims. He lost. Alleged stalling tactics at appeals by the four were described as “weakening the rule of law” by Mr Justice Bernard McCloskey, the UK’s most

senior immigration judge. Aziz, Khan and Rauf finally lost their fight last August when judges upheld a decision to strip them of citizenship. But they and Ahmed have so far received £1,003,783 in legal aid, The Sun’s Freedom of Information requests reveal. MP David Davies said: “Their crimes were despicable. They should not have received any of that money. “No doubt it will go straight into the pockets of their human rights lawyers.”

Imtiaz Patel

sion of the bladed article. Both sentences will run concurrently. He was also sentenced to another two months imprisonment for breaching a community order. He will serve a total of four years and two months behind bars.

Kingswood Road, Moseley, was found guilty of bribery and was sentenced to three years and two months in prison. Singh-Derewal, an exemployee of Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS), and Gurpal Singh, approached several RBS bank staff members in February 2017. The pair had met them playing football, and Dilbaagh Singh-Derewal and Gurpal Singh

A man accused of helping migrants into the UK illegally has pleaded not guilty in court. Mohsen Mohamadi-Abd, 36, of no fixed address, denied facilitating illegal entry into the UK when he appeared at Canterbury Crown Court. He was remanded in custody to face trial there on 1 July. Mr MohamadiAbd was arrested on 7 January after eight migrants were found in Kent following the discovery of an empty dinghy on a beach in Dungeness.

WOMAN SEXUALLY ASSAULTED BY INTRUDER IN OXFORD HOME

A woman has been sexually assaulted by an intruder at a house in Oxford. The victim, in her 20s, did not know the man who attacked her at the property on Divinity Road at about 04:00 GMT on Saturday, police said. Police described him as Asian, in his 20s or 30s, short, of slim build with very short dark hair. He gained access to the home through an unsecured window. Thames Valley Police is warning nearby residents to be "vigilant" and secure their homes. The force described the assault as "very distressing" and said patrols in the area would be increased during its investigation. It has appealed for anyone with dashcam or CCTV footage from the Rectory Road, Cowley Road and Divinity Road area, between 00:30 and 04:30 on Saturday, to come forward.

A MP jailed for lying about a speeding offence is appealing against her conviction, the Commons has been told. Peterborough MP Fiona Onasanya was given a threemonth prison sentence last month after being found guilty of perverting the course of justice. Commons Speaker John Bercow said he had received a letter saying Ms Onasanya's appeal will be heard on 5 March. The 35-year-old claimed someone else was driving her car when it was caught speeding on 24 July 2017. Her brother Festus Onasanya received 10 months in prison after he pleaded guilty to three similar offences. Ms Onasanya is now an Independent after being expelled by the Labour Party. Parliamentary rules require the removal of an MP who is jailed for 12 months or more.

TAXI DRIVER WHO REFUSED GUIDE DOG LOSES LICENCE

Shabir Ahmed (top left), Adil Khan (top right), Abdul Aziz (bottom left) and Qari Abdul Rauf

Fraudsters recruitted RBS insiders while playing five-a-side A crooked bank worker and his accomplice have been jailed for trying to rope RBS colleagues into a £200,000 fraud scam. The duo were jailed after attempting to recruit bank staff they played football with into the plot. Dilbaagh Singh-Derewal, 24 of Acocks Green, pleaded guilty to bribery and was sentenced to two years and six months in prison. Gurpal Singh, 37, of

MAN DENIES HELPING SMUGGLE MIGRANTS INTO DUNGENESS

PETERBOROUGH MP TO APPEAL AGAINST CONVICTION

Rochdale paedophile gang handed £1m in legal aid to fight deportation Members of a paedophile gang have received more than £1million in taxpayer-funded legal aid to fight deportation. The four, from Pakistan, were among nine men jailed in 2012 for sexual offences, including rape, against underage girls in Rochdale. Ringleader Shabir Ahmed, 65, Abdul Aziz, 42, Adil Khan, 43, and Qari Abdul Rauf, 44, claimed a move to strip them of their citizenship in order to deport them breached their human rights.

in brief

approached them asking them to take part in an attempted fraud. The staff reported the attempted fraud to their line manager and the case was then referred to the Dedicated Card and Payment Crime Unit (DCPCU), a police unit sponsored by the cards and banking industry that targets fraudsters.

A taxi driver who refused to pick up a blind couple and their guide dog has lost his licence. Mark Whittle and his wife were waiting to be collected by Mohammed Saghir, 59, in Nottingham, in December. After a member of the public saw the driver pull up, look over and leave, Mr Whittle said the taxi firm told him it was because of his dog, Archer. Mr Saghir, who was previously fined at court, has now lost his licence after a council review.

LEICESTERSHIRE VEGANS HOLD VIGILS FOR COWS

Vegan activists have been "uttering soft words" to animals being driven to an abattoir to be slaughtered. The campaigners "bear witness" with the agreement of the slaughterhouse's owners in Melton Mowbray, Leicestershire. The National Pig Association said it has seen an increase in attacks against farmers by some hardline activists. But Dina Aherne, who leads Leicestershire Animal Save, said her group does not condone such behaviour.


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16 - 22 February 2019

Scrapping free tv license for elderly sparks anger among community BBC's consultation on scrapping the free tv licenses, has sparked anger and disappointment among elderly over 75 year, who now may have to pay more than hundreds of thousands of pounds a year combined, to watch television. Millions of older people across the country could lose their TV licence in 2020 despite the Conservatives’ 2017 Manifesto promise to protect free TV licences until 2022. As part of the last BBC Charter, the Government devolved responsibility for the free TV licence policy, and the cost, to the BBC. 75 year old Hrishikesh Bhukta told Asian Voice, “My children live in the US. I do community work, help underprivileged children with studies. My wife and I have friends and extended family in London. But the television is our day long companion. “We both worked and have paid taxes all our life. Today we live on our pensions- which barely keep us afloat. How does the government think 75 year olds will cough up £150 per year to just stay relevant?”

77 year old Janaki Nene lives alone. She lost her 84 year old husband Amrish last year. Recently widowed, Nene depends a lot on regular television soaps to keep herself engaged. “My husband and I d id many things together. Even if we weren't going out, we were at least kept each other company. My daughter lives away- she has her own family. The television is my only company in an empty flat. I pay for my own expenses. But why do we have to fall prey to such an unfair rule? I don't want to pay for tv license out of my pension fund- which is already quite small.” A recent study showed

free TV licences are scrapped completely, this will cost over-75s living in Southall area, a combined total of £665,210.00 a year. If the age threshold is raised to 80, local over-75s will pay a combined total of £273,910.00 a year. If free TV licences are linked to Pension Credit, altogether our oldest citizens will pay a total of £398,825.00 a year. By outsourcing responsibility for paying for free TV licences, this Government will be saving £745 million across the UK in 2021/22. This is in addition to the £220 million the Government will be saving that same year through changes to pension

credit. This money, nearly a billion pounds, is coming directly out of the pockets of pensioners. The prospect of elderly people losing their free TV licences makes a mockery of the government's claim that austerity is over. Virendra Sharma MP for Ealing, Southall told Asian Voice, “This Government has broken its manifesto promise to keep free TV licences until 2022, and now millions of elderly people are facing losing their free TV licences. “If these plans go ahead, people over the age of 75 in our community will pay a combined total of hundreds of thousands of pounds a year. “This is yet another Tory policy that punishes pensioners. Through scrapping free TV licences and changing pension credit alone, this Government would offload almost a billion pounds of costs onto our oldest citizens in a single year. “This Tory Government is picking pensioners’ pockets. Labour is calling on the Government to urgently reconsider and save free TV licences for over-75s.”

Amnesty failed to support researcher who committed suicide Gaëtan Mootoo

Amnesty International failed to support Gaëtan Mootoo, a researcher from West Africa, who committed suicide in his Paris office after feeling “abandoned and neglected” by the organisation, according to an independent inquiry commissioned by Amnesty. An investigation into his death concluded that multiple failings to support the employee of three decades amounted to “a serious failure of management”. Unite represents hundreds of Amnesty staff in offices around the world. It revealed that one in three employees recently surveyed by the union felt “badly treated or bullied at work since 2017”. The internal survey was

at the international secretariat, which has more than 600 employees. James Laddie, QC, found Mootoo, 65, had made a “long and valuable” contribution to Amnesty. Mootoo, a researcher for west Africa, was employed by the international secretariat. Laddie said of the researcher: “It is obvious that he touched people’s lives in a way that most can only aspire to.” But he found that Mootoo was “disregarded” as an “oldtimer” who would soon retire. Mootoo took his life at Amnesty’s Paris office on 26 May. He left a note in which he complained of work pressure and a lack of management support.


6 UK

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Brexit for Breakfast Unpredictable with a hint of confidence Kiran D Patel BA(Hon.) FCA, Director, Albury Associates, Chartered Accountants The weather in Britain is often defined as unpredictable (in particular the winter months), mainly due to the location and the fact that the cold polar air from the north and warm air from the tropics push against each other to create a changeable climate and unpredictable winters. The economy and politics sit on the same seat. Britain has been notorious, historically, for its unpredictability and yet it provides an atmosphere of stability and confidence. In my line of work, I often speak to potential investors from as far afield as the Middle East, Australia, Africa, South America and Asia. More recently, the question that I pose before even thinking about advising them is, “In Britain we are in the process of leaving Europe, which makes our journey completely unpredictable and erratic, with the prospect of substantial losses in the property values and currency fluctuations. Why do you see Britain as a place that you want to invest in?” More often than not the answer is, “Britain, however unstable it may sometimes seem, is more stable than other economies in the world.” In my opinion this is how the 'small' international investor sees our wonderful economy.

What makes us different? What makes us stable? What makes us attractive? These are questions that I have often pondered over. The answer lies somewhere within the British way of life. What makes us different? What makes us stable? What makes us attractive? These are questions that I have often pondered over. The answer lies somewhere within the British way of life. When it comes to property ownership, we have seen excessive boom and bust fluctuations but the underlying trend over a longer period of time has always been an increase in wealth. In Britain, if you own a property, provided you have settled your dues and complied with the law of the land, it will never be taken away from you. This is more than we can say for other economies. Governments, historically have encouraged property ownership by fiscal and taxation policies and ensured that there is a fair prospect of widespread ownership. Again, this is not always the case elsewhere in the world. Although there is a substantial amount of short-term volatility, with buyers dragging their feet and sellers desperately trying to complete transactions, the underlying trend is one of stability. As a small Practitioner, if there are to be any effects of Brexit, they certainly have not filtered through to the economy that I work in. Clients are still enthusiastic about doing business both within the United Kingdom and overseas, albeit a bit more cautiously. Retail clients are still showing trends of stable business, providers of services are still busy and banks and lending institutions are still open for business. My assessment may be a bit premature given that the full effects of Brexit may not have hit the economy but given historical trends of economic cycles, Great Britain does have a bright future whether a Deal or No Deal Brexit takes place or if the process is delayed. Great Britain plc will always bounce back. That is the beauty of Britain, we soldier on and make it work.

ACCOUNTANCY PRACTICE

Hero Cycles announces new export campaign to further UK-India ties Manchester-based Indianowned Hero Cycles is announcing their ambitious plans to unleash an export drive, in partnership with Cheshire e-commerce giant The Hut Group, for its new bike brand – Insync. Hero, the world’s biggest bike maker by volume, launched the new Insync range of 75 bikes for the UK market in May 2018 at Old Trafford football ground and is now launching the brand formerly overseas via its website. Sreeram Venkateswaran CEO of Hero’s UK subsidiary Avocet Sports said the new export drive aims to catapult the Insync brand and Hero Cycles into wider European markets. “This is one of Hero Cycles boldest ever moves, to grow its international footprint into Europe. Together with The Hut Group we have developed the Insync website to be specially optimised to operate across Europe which represents a new and potent market for Hero Cycles. This move shows Hero Cycles’ ambition to totally transform a UK company in Avocet, into a pan-European operation. “It has taken a lot of careful planning to arrive at

CEO of Hero’s UK subsidiary Avocet Sports, Sreeram Venkateswaran

this point. Having invested in our Manchester Global Design Centre and recruited a team of top bike designers, we now have a range of high-quality bikes offering great value to customers in UK and Europe. Plus, we have The Hut Group’s formidable digital knowhow to sell and promote the bikes into Europe online,” he said. Hero Cycles’ investment in the UK is a strong example of how Indian and UK companies can join forces sharing expertise and resources. Elaborating Mr Venkateswaran added, “India and Britain share a

common heritage, culture and language. “That bond makes doing business so much easier. Our venture in Britain is very much in line with what the UK Government wants to see post-Brexit, more UK and Indian companies working together targeting international trade. “In terms of India, our model fits with Prime Minister Modi’s ‘Make in India’ campaign, as the know-how, design and marketing have come from the UK but the actual manufacturing will take place in India. In addition, all the bikes bought via the Insync website will be distributed

worldwide from UK warehouses, to start with, operated by Hero and The Hut Group before eventually moving to warehouses closer to the core markets.” Hero Cycles is also kickstarting a large investment in a new ‘bicycle valley’ in the Indian state of Punjab. The valley is designed to offer customers greater efficiency and flexibility by bringing its manufacturing centre and supply chain together. The operation is already working well with around 90 per cent of bikes sold by Hero Cycles in the UK being sourced from its Indian factories.

OakNorth receives Sanjeev Gupta $44omn investment delays publishing from SoftBank accounts The chief executive of Oaknorth believes that a record-breaking $2.8 billion valuation placed on the British business lender is “modest”. The UK based financial start-up last week raised $440 million after accquiring investment from SoftBank’s Vision Fund as well as the Clermont Group. Rishi Khosla, who cofounded and runs the financial technology business, in his statement to The Times said that the valuation after a near-$400 million investment by the Softbank Vision Fund could be “low”, given the fintech’s record in its first two years and its prospects. Since its launch in September 2015, OakNorth said it has lent more than $3.7 billion to British businesses and its loans have also helped create over 9,500 new homes and 11,000 new jobs in the UK. Employing only 300 people, it increased its loan book by almost 160 per cent last year to £2.2 billion, while loans from licensing technology to other financial institutions jumped from $100 million to $4 billion. Khosla picked up the

Rishi Khosla

tricks of the trade while working for Lakshmi Mittal. One of these included his decision of deliberately staying away from diluting his stock in his start-up. That strategy seems to have worked for Khosla’s company, which has been billed as the fastest unicorn in Europe, with a billion-dollar valuation. Among the businesses that have benefited from OakNorth are Leon, the Tamarind Collection, SGS Hotels Group, an Indian hotels and property group which wanted to extend its footprint in the UK with the addition of the Best Western Calcot in Reading and Beaumont Capital, an investment firm which backs digital and online companies at a very early stage.

Sanjeev Gupta, the steel tycoon has delayed publishing the accounts of more than 20 companies, which has raised new questions about the financial health and transparency of his company. Gupta bought the remains of the Caparo steel business in 2015, and had attempted to buy Tata’s steelworks in Port Talbot South Wales. Over 40 of Gupta’s UK subsidiaries when analysed highlighted that about half have used an accounting tactic to postpone the filing of accounts at Companies House and this means that the last disclosed trading was almost two years ago. Gupta has spent hundreds of millions of pounds on acquisitions of businesses ranging from Steelworks and Aluminium plants to banks across the UK, America, Europe and Australia. At present the steel tycoon is eyeing the purchase of European steelworks from ArcelorMittal by his Liberty House operation. The Gupta Family Group Alliance, has more

Sanjeev Gupta

than 14,000 staff and reports about £11.5bn annual turnover. He plans to float parts of his empire on the US and Australian stock markets. However, suppliers in the UK and Australia are complaining about late payments and only last week he was forced to apologise to the Australian steelworks suppliers after a backlash from politicians. Private companies are required to file their accounts at Companies House within nine months of their year-end, otherwise they may be fined and struck off. However, many of Gupta’s UK companies have not revealed their trading performance since March 2017.


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Every Pound counts for Business Owners Every Pound a Small business makes counts for business owners whether its expansion and scaling up of the business or internal structuring. So if you do not know how much you have available a the end of the month how can you plan for these things. Many Sole Traders we come across have their own preferred software which can help monitor costs and revenue streams, however hiring an accountant is more than just for number crunching James Backhouse they can be your businesses life partner. Your software wont know your life situation future goals or that equipment you have your eye on. An Accountant will help you plan to fund your children’s education help towards a future house, they will know your current life situation and every step of the way help to overcome these hurdles to keep the business successful. So when you decide to hire an accountant there are you need to make sure you understand the 4 basic areas of expertise which all accounting practises will have: 1. Business advisory services. As above they should be able to advise you on every aspect of your business to make your money work harder, they should be a friend and a trusted advisor. 2. Accounting and record-keeping. These are perhaps the most basic of accounting disciplines. While it makes sense for many business owners to manage their day-to-day records, an accountant can help set up bookkeeping and accounting systems and show you how to use them. A good system allows you to evaluate profitability and modify prices. It also lets you monitor expenses, track a budget, spot trends and reduce accounting fees required to produce financial statements and tax returns. 3. Tax advice. Accountants that provide assistance with tax-related issues usually can do so in two areas: tax compliance and tax planning. Planning refers to reducing your overall tax burden. Compliance refers to obeying the tax laws. 4. Auditing. These services are most commonly required by banks as a condition of a loan. There are many levels of auditing, ranging from simply preparing financial statements to an actual audit, where the accountant or other third party provides assurance that a company's financial information is accurate. These four disciplines often overlap. For instance, if your accountant is helping you prepare the financial statements you need for a loan, and he or she gives you some insights into how certain estimates could be recalculated to get a more favourable review, the accountant is crossing the line from auditing into business advisory services. Choosing an Accountant The best way to find a good accountant is to get a referral. Then you need to grade what you are looking for as your most important assets and skills which personally you value. List them in importance from Location do they need to be local, or Personality do you want a friend or an associate someone to tell you how it really is or someone to sugar coat it. The cost what will you pay for their services. Once you’ve done this speak to the recommendations find out about them go home see how many boxes they tick and make a decision or call Liberty Williams.

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Racist Topshop tycoon calls staff "Bhaji" Sir Philip Green kissed, slapped and groped a female employee and told a black worker his “problem” was that he was still “throwing spears in the jungle”, it was claimed last night. According to The Times, he had called one Asian staff member “Bhaji” and “Curry” while asking another one if she had “eaten too many samosas.”

Additionally when a Chinese businessman visited the headquarters of Arcadia Group, one employee alleged that the tycoon had looked at him and asked- “What do you think, Mr. Ching Chong Charlie?” Sir Philip has abandoned a court action that had prevented the newspaper from reporting claims

Brunel University introduces sports hijab to boost participation Brunel University is launching a sports hijab in hopes of encouraging more Muslim women to play sports. According to the 2017 study by Sports England just 18% of Muslim women participate in regular sport, against 30% of the UK's female population. Sports hijab has been launched earlier by some sportswear brands but the university is directly supplying these hijabs to their students. Traditionally the hijab is made from cotton which can quickly become hot, sodden with sweat and uncomfortable when used for sport. But what is being supplied by the University has been made from materi-

als specifically designed to keep the wearer cool while also respecting their religious beliefs. Brunel hopes that other universities will follow its lead and introduce their own designs to further encourage participation.

Continued from page 1

For 23 year olds all over the UK, the number of people living with parents in 2017 has gone up to 49% from 37% in 1998. Culturally more conventional, Asian parents, who emphasise on children working at white collar jobs over as barristas, are mostly embracing their children back home with an open arm, but not everybody is happy to look after their adult children, living in the family home forever. Sunil Dhar, from University of Westminster, was looking for any possible job when he graduated in 2012. The job market in London was tough for a just out of college student, and housing costs were high. “There was no administrative work, no cafe or supermarket jobs either. I have been staying with my parents ever since. My sister has also moved back into our parents' house for similar reasons.” The move however has allowed him to invest in building a career as a business consultant, and save for retirement. He added, “It's one of the smartest things one can do. But just be aware there are certain things you need to do to make it work- like do not over depend on your parents, and try to contribute to the household wherever you can – financially or otherwise.”

Not all parents are happy

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According to a new study by the London School of Economics parents whose grown up kids move back to their otherwise empty homes are experiencing a decline in their quality of life. Grazia reported that the research analysed the wellbeing of parents across 17 European countries whose lives are now being interrupted by their adult children returning home

Sir Philip Green

by his former employees, among them racial harassment and sexual assault, these include accounts of female employees who was paid £1mn to stay silent after being harrassed. Sir Philip denies any unlawful racist or sexual behaviour and was criticised by MPs for continuing to threaten legal action against the employees

MPs call for Commonwealth soldiers to bring their families Senior MPs are calling for serving Armed Forces personnel to be exempt from the minimum income threshold. Under the present immigration rules, foreign workers must earn £18,600 to apply for their spouse to live in the UK. Whereas, the minimum income requirement to Sajid Javid bring over one child is Tom Tugendhat said- "If £22,400 with an additional they fight for us, they £2,400 for each child thereshould be able to live with after. A soldier’s basic pay us" after training is only £18,600 The Army Families a year, forcing many to take Federation (AFF) have said: on second jobs to afford to "Commonwealth memmove their families to the bers of our Armed Forces UK. make up a significant and At present over 6000 vital part of the UK’s personnel serving in the UK defence capability and as a Armed Forces are from fornation, we ask them to eign and Commonwealth make significant sacrifices countries. Conservative MP to do so.

HOME 'SUIT' HOME

after having previously fled the nest. Giving their quality of life a score between 12 and 48 based on factors that indicated ‘control’, ‘autonomy’, ‘pleasure’ and ‘self-realisation’, it was found that the parents of ‘Generation Z’ children had generally lower scores. Anurag and Mili Kapoor were looking forward to the days when their children would finally move out of the family home- living on their own. “We raised independent children. My boy is an engineer and daughter is a junior doctor. We hoped that they would move out after they find jobs. But they both still live in the same house as us. They simply cannot afford to work and save, living outside home. That means we are still cooking, cleaning and looking after their needs, which we do not want to do. But they work long hours, and their jobs don't pay enough. So we feel compelled to help out. Such a catch 22 situation.” But a recent study by Society and Mental Health has also discovered that young adults who lived independently were less depressed, better off financially and more likely to have wellachieved professionally. Moving back home after living on their own, even if it's in universities, can feel like a huge step backwards. So much so, that it can have a negative impact on their mental health.

Not all gloom and doom

Sanya Bhatt lives with her mother and brother in Birmingham. Recently widowed, her mother works as a teacher, while her teenager brother is studying in a school. Speaking to Asian Voice she said, “My first choice was living on my own. I got a job in a school in Manchester, after graduating with a degree in Maths. But I decided to move

back to Birmingham to help my mother, who could not cope alone after my dad passed away last year. It also helped me to save for future. I want to train in accountancy and take exams, which will need a lot of money. However the situation currently does not really help me to save as much, because I have to contributre equally to running the household.” While her mother Amina thinks Sanya is duty bound to contribute to the family as an adult, she finds it odd that her mum expects her to 'pull her weight'. Shreya Datta, who works in the education industry, studied history in the University of Warwick. She moved back with her parents in Orpington, because initially she did not have a job and had no choice. “Being a student I had racked up a big overdraft which I only recently have come out of. So I definitely couldn't have moved out right after graduation, and is still not feasible in the foreseeable future.” But all is not gloom and doom for Shreya. “Living with parents comes with its own perks. There is someone to look after me, I get hot food when I go home after a long day at work. Just that living in Kent and working in Central London makes the commute really long. Sometimes it also feels a loss of independence, always having to answer to and being far away from the city.” Akheel Alam, whose son has moved back to live with the family, feels it is odd that parents expect children to go away. We Asians are tuned to co-exist in big families with cousins, uncle, aunt and grand parents. I don't mind that my 25 year old son hasn't flown from the nest and still lives with us. We are looking forward to him getting married, living with us, and us growing old with our grandchildren.”


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16 - 22 February 2019

Rani Singh, Special Assignments Editor

Navin Singh Khadka, Environment Correspondent Investigating Stories for Our Time

T

he British media is still a place with few South Asians in powerful positions, but some plough their furrow and break through by working hard across different topics and by expanding their skill-base. Full of energy, striking and tall with a sleek appearance, dynamic Navin Singh Khadka is talking to me by his desk on the second floor of his vibrant newsroom. He’s the Environment Correspondent for the BBC World Service and reports across different media platforms; TV, radio, online, social media. Navin Khadka regularly gets audiences of tens of millions. He has 5,000 followers on Facebook and several thousand on Twitter, so probably many of his loyal digital followers will read this column in the Asian Voice. His stories are gaining in popularity, especially with young audiences. One secret to his success is that he is in many places at once; he’s a rare correspon-

Navin Singh Khadka dent able to report in four languages; Hindi, Urdu, English, Nepali. He has been based in London for 16 years.

Everest Stories

Navin Singh Khadka has broken a num-

Prince Charles unveils $100mn fund for South Asian women The Prince of Wales unveiled a $100 million fund to empower women in South Asia by channelling bond investors' funds which will create better education and job opportunities in the sub-continent. The Outcomes Fund announced at the Buckingham Palace reception celebrated the achievements of the British Asian Trust. The Prince of Wales, Royal Founding Patron of the charity, was accompanied by Her Royal Highness The Duchess of Cornwall. “I can only say that, as each year passes, it raises my spirits to see the growing impact of the Trust, which I founded a little over ten years ago together with leading figures from the British Asian diaspora. What started as a modest initiative has, I am proud to say, flourished into an organization that has had a positive impact on the lives of so many people and communities right across South Asia,” said the Prince. The British Asian Trust and its partners launched one of the world's largest Development Impact Bonds focused on education which pays a coupon only if, the pre-agreed social goals of the investment are met. Over the next four years,

ber of stories about Mount Everest, the tallest peak in the world. One was about a new route up the mountain – how expeditioners can climb in a way that avoids avalanches. “Another story was about how the precious little oxygen bottles are stolen. How the Everest mountaineers might be a few metres from the summit and find their stock gone. They have to abandon their expedition. Who takes them, what happens to them,” he says.

Doklam standoff between Chinese and Indian armed forces. Both the armies withdrew after 70 days. We exposed that China was not releasing Hydrological data that India needed and used for flood forecasting in its Assam state, while Beijing was sharing the same with Bangladesh. We exposed that and after the story went out, China has begun to reveal that data,” he recalls.

How China Handed an Accolade to India

Summits, Politics and Finance.

Navin Khadka was recently filmed atop Mr Khadka also attends big international another kind of mountain; a mountain of summits like climate change conferences recycling; a mortal amid piles of waste paper. where he has interviewed India’s environHe explains; “After China banned the ment ministers and met luminaries like Al recycling of papers, we found that the Gore. biggest importer of recyclable paper was Mr Khadka is the now India. We went to Gujarat and first Asian, indeed he is the first untradifilmed in one of the recycling plants tional, non-white there. We looked at how India is “We found that person, to have been managing this transfer.” the biggest appointed to his role. He’s Farmer Suicides in Maharashtra the first Environment importer of There’s a World Service radio Correspondent to have documentary that Navin Khadka recyclable paper graduated from the presented that was nominated for World Service Languages was now India.” the prestigious AIB award. Unit. Navin tells us; “Called Navin Singh Khadka. His stories have been Watching My Father, it is about picked up by the the psychology of farmers’ famiGuardian and the Washington Post. lies in rural areas of Maharashtra, in Examples of the kinds of stories he covthe wake of a record number of suicides ers are; the illegal trafficking of wildlife, committed by farmers in this Indian state. energy, and the major issue for our time; cliTens of thousands of farmers have killed mate change. But he points out that environthemselves in several states of India after ment stories also involve politics and they were unable to repay loans because of finance. failed crops and unfavourable market condiHe gives us an example. tions. The situation is such that families of farmers live with the fear that their bread“President Trump promised the US a winner might be the next to commit suicide. revival of its coal industry. He found it a Politicians in the state said our programme challenge to implement that promise. helped them in their campaign and the Trump invited PM Modi to the US. Together they signed something called the Strategic Maharashtrian government later announced Energy Partnership. Buried deep within that a loan-waiver for all farmers in the state.”    document is a chapter relating to coal and Indian Border Story oil. Now, the US can send its coal and oil to Navin Khadka also covered a story based India as one way of supporting those indusin a sensitive border zone. tries. See, that’s politics, that’s business.” “This is about what happened after the

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The Prince of Wales this Development Impact Bond aims to support the improvement in quality education for 300,000 children in Gujarat and Delhi. This Fund serves a twofold function that will see both financial and social returns. The event was attended by The Rt Hon Penny Mordaunt MP, Secretary of State for International Development; The Rt Hon Matt Hancock MP, Secretary of State for Health and Social Care; and, Her Excellency Ruchi Ghanashyam, High Commissioner of India. Other guests included ambassadors of the Trust, model Neelam Gill, founder

of New Look, Tom Singh, film director Gurinder Chadha. “It is such an honour to be here and I pinch myself over it to this day because my job is so fast paced and I am always looking towards the next step and progression. But it has been such an honour to be here and something that I am proud of and don't take for granted,” said Neelam Gill. The British Asian Trust will seek funding for new the $100 million project from the charity units of the big banks for the initial risk investment and national governments and other big donors for underwriting the final payment.

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Book Aid International - sending books to those who need them I’m the author of the award-winning Geek Girl series, and more recently The Valentines. I’m writing to ask if you will help send books to people around the world who need them, by fundraising for Book Aid International on World Book Day, which takes place on Thursday 7th March. Books changed my life. Without access to books, I would not have discovered the magic of getting lost in a story, or the power of loving and connecting to a fictional character. I would not have felt encouraged to my dreams of writing, and to eventually create stories of my own. And now, as an author visiting schools, I continually see the enormous impact books continue to have on young lives all over the UK. Having seen and experienced the value of books, it is devastating to know that millions of children around the world have never even held a new one. This World Book Day, I am asking you to consider fundraising for Book Aid International. Book Aid International is a brilliant charity that sends brand new books to thousands of libraries, schools, hospitals, refugee camps and prisons around the world. In the last three years alone, schools have raised over £350,000 by fundraising on World Book Day - that's enough to send over 175,000 brand new books! This year, we want to get more schools across the UK to take part. Just £2 sends another book, so no fundraising event is too small, and every single book could change a life. Books could reach Syrian children struggling to learn despite the conflict they face, stock the shelves of a donkey-drawn library going from village to village in Zimbabwe or reach pupils in one of the world’s largest refugee camps in Northern Kenya. There are many ways your school can fundraise on World Book Day – from dressing up as a favourite book character to holding a big Booky Breakfast, to something else entirely! Book Aid International has free resources to help you bring books to life while raising funds. This World Book Day, I hope that you will join me in supporting Book Aid International and help send books around the world to those who need them. Holly Smale Book Aid International Camberwell

Bollywood Movie Choice

Self-Harm by Teens

Last year, in 2018, viewers of bollywood movies all over the world displayed a major paradigm shift in their choice of motion pictures. The year witnessed the release of several big banners and super stars' movies. These included Thugs of Hindostan (Amitabh Bachchan & Aamir Khan), Zero ( Shahrukh Khan), Race 3 (Salman Khan) etc. Surprisingly, they all nosedived miserably at the box office. Thus bulky names failed poorly to tempt the audience. On the other hand, low budget films by lesser known film stars enticed the audience, pulled them to the movie theaters and created box-office records. Notable among these were Stree, Badhaai Ho, Razee, Andhadhun, Sonu Ke Titoo Ki Sweetie etc. This has been possible because the new generation directors have shown boldness to come out with innovative and more life-relevant themes. Moreover, the audience have matured enough to pick substance over stalwarts. As a final outcome, the trivial investment awarded a much higher return than lavish and futile show biz. Hopefully this trend will follow in 2019 too. Bharat Shah Rayners Lane

Teenage girl commits suicide after watching Instagram post, which is deplorable. There should be in place measures for suicide prevention of teenagers and drastic changes to Instagram’s approach on self-harm content. The situation among the teenagers is getting worst and needs to be tackled head-on. Self-harm can take lots of physical forms, including cutting, burning, bruising, scratching, hair-pulling and overdosing. There are many reasons why children and young people try to hurt themselves. And once they start, it can become a compulsion. That's why it's so important to spot it as soon as possible and do everything you can to help. The reason youngsters harm themselves are: low self-esteem and low confidence, loneliness, sadness, anger, numbness and lack of control over their lives. Also, there are links between depression and self-harm. Quite often a child or young person who is self-harming is being bullied, under too much pressure to do well at school, being emotionally abused, grieving or having relationship problems with family or friends. Head of Instagram Adam Mosseri earlier this week, wrote an article for the ’Telegraph’ admitting that Instagram has failed to protect vulnerable users from posts promoting self-harm and suicide, and revealing the platform’s plan to introduce “sensitivity screens” to self-harm posts. It is crying shame that so many young lives are lost every year because of this cancer of self-harm and suicides. To combat this problem organisations like NSPCC, Child-line, School Counsellors and GPs are providing help and advice. But that in itself is not sufficient the government have to bring in regulations to stop the social media from exploiting the young people. Baldev Sharma Rayners Lane, Harrow.

Guns galore We, in the UK, live on a knife edge where knife crime is on the increase. Every time we listern to the radio or read a newspaper, we are bombarded with news of someone killed or hurt with a knife. The ever fluctuating figures are also posted on the Internet. In the USA, it is the guns. Every so often we hear of a gunman going on a shooting spree and killing innocent people at random, or a grudge bearing school boy killing fellow students for no apparent reason. What kind of a society, in a supposedly libeal and affluent country like America, can allow this to happen? The gun culture must be going back to the early days of the settlers in the States where gun trotting cowboys, who due to the remoteness and isolation of their ranches, had to resort to the use of guns in order to protect their land and family from the ever elusive and ruthless cattle rustlers. Here there has been a worrying increase in the number of children carrying knives to schools. They learn from their siblings and peer groups. Very severe punishments which were meted out to the culprits of acid throwers has already put paid to that type of crime here. Similar harsh punishments may become instrumental in stopping knife crime too. Unless drastic measures are taken to stop the knife crimes, the victims will probably spend the rest of their life on a knife edge. Dinesh Sheth Newbury Park, Ilford

Misuse of Disable Friendly Label

High Price of Loyalty

With ageing population and chronic diseases on the rise, that includes Type 2 diabetes, hyper tension, high cholesterol, arthritis that lead to walking restrictions and a few more, including some heredity diseases, these people need help and understanding from growing number of business who project their image as disable friendly. But in reality they are anything but disable friendly, although there may be few exceptions. Their aim is to get business by any means, fair or foul, so often believing that these old age pensioners will buy their products at any price to make life comfortable. These include disable friendly holiday firms, stair-lifts, modified bathrooms; house extensions, especially for kidney patients who may want dialysis machine installed at home who may too fragile to travel to hospitals, as it is indeed a gruelling journey that takes whole day, repeated three times a week, specialized wheel chairs suppliers incorporating latest technology for totally disable persons that so often cost more than a small car. When we first installed stair-lift, we received quotations ranging from £1700 to £5000, although there was hardly any difference in quality. We went for cheapest one and after more than ten years, it is working perfectly well. But recently the firm who also serviced our Stair Lift closed down. We approached other local disable friendly firms for their help. But we were told unless you buy it from us, we could not help. That was the attitude, reply we received from most firms. If they are in business to help disable people, why should it matter! I also wonder what is the criteria to use disable friendly logo. I should also stress that big national businesses like energy, telephone, insurance, water and few more gives us excellent service if we register with them as disable person which we do without fail. Bhupendra M. Gandhi By email

When we receive reminders that our car or building and content insurance is due for renewal, we normally renew it without much thought, as most of us, especially hard working younger generation is too busy to go on internet and try to find out cheapest insurance quote available. It is even worse for mortgage loans, as normally by far most people stay with original mortgage provider until mortgage is fully repaid. As a result we pay £50 to £200 too much on our car and home insurance, as our insurance provider taking advantage of our loyalty and commitment, knowing well that by far most of us will renew our insurance without second thought. It is estimated that some 12 million people fall in this category, paying £4 billion over the odds, indeed staggering figure to comprehend! But it is different ball game for retired people like us, as we have plenty of time and inclination to find out best price on offer. After all, there are so many comparison web sites that will quote at least twenty premiums, starting with the cheapest. The insurance provider are notoriously well known in hooking customers by offering really good deal to new customers, then slowly but surely keep increasing our premiums year by year until customers become hens laying “Golden Egg!” One can easily avoid falling in such traps. When we receive reminder to renew our insurance, we go on-line and find out the cheapest insurance quote. This may involve making couple of telephone calls. Then we ring our insurance provider and ask them what their best quote is, giving details of the cheapest quote obtained online. Not only our insurance providers match the cheapest quote but better still they so often undercut the cheapest one, thus saving up to £100 that takes no more than an hour’s work. So when you receive a reminder next time, do bear this in mind and get best price possible from your own insurance provider without the hassle of moving! Kumudini Valambia By email

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

What do you think? We want to know your views on any issue. Write to: Asian Voice, 12 Hoxton Market, London N1 6HW or e-mail: aveditorial@abplgroup.com

Down with words ! I applaud readers D.R. Radia and Dinesh Sheth for liking shorter letters in this newspaper. If some letter writers cannot present their views concisely they should imagine that Asian Voice charged 50p for every word they penned. Suddenly surplus words would disappear, making their letters more readable and attracting a wider audience. Rudy Otter By email

Terse and lively letters for versatile and reasonable minds The publication of Asian Voice, as its name suggests, is primarily meant for views on various on going issues in India extending to Asia and all around the world in 'Reader's Voice' section. Letters focusing on issues concerning all British people in Britain are published in numerous and various publications and media. Each and every letter writer has contributed towards the versatility expressed in terse and lively letters published on page 10; and that itself is to be considered as a certificate to them from the editorial board of Asian Voice,who,it seems, tend to see trash is not published; and they wield their authority and control wisely. The editorial board has made known to the writers that they can use their discretion regarding which letters MAY or MAY NOT be published; as, irrespective of words' count limit, they happen to think it fit to publish even long letters if they contain important contents or themes making part of one's knowledge;and,as such, they do not expect to have harsh comments from any writer either towards the proficient editorial board or other writers. R.N.Patel By email

Additional letters page I refer to Dineshbhai’s letter, “Short, Sharp and Succinct” in last week’s Asian Voice. While he makes a valid point regarding length of letters, there is always an exemption to the rule. In any case quality of writing should always take precedent over the quantity. I have been reading Bhupendrabhai’s letters, articles for a very long time. He is a talented, prolific writer and his novels are also available in our local library. Kumudiniben’s letters are different from the norm. She tackles topics such as NHS, Insurance Fraud, Benefits, Rights and Entitlements that educates, informs, as well as warn readers about the ongoing scams, such as TV licence, thus saving us from kleptomanias, becoming their victims. Perhaps it is difficult to write on such topics within the constraints of 250 word limit. Perhaps AV could have separate page devoted to such meaningful, informative letters that matters, with liberal word limit. I feel we are fortunate to have such talented, devoted writers who shows ingenuity, take time to write week in, week out for our favourable weekly AV/GS. Dinesh Patel Edgware


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AsianVoiceNews

EDUCATION

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16 - 22 February 2019

'Pointless' GCSEs We're not lazy, we should be scrapped, just need more says senior MP sleep, say pupils GCSEs should be scrapped and A-levels should be replaced by a mix of academic and vocational subjects, says Robert Halfon, chairman of the Education Select Committee. His radical rewriting of England's exam system is designed to give young people a much broader range of skills for their working lives. The former Tory minister says GCSEs for 16-yearolds have become "pointless". The Department for Education defended GCSEs as "gold standard" exams. The exams taken by 16year-olds have recently been reformed in England, with a new numerical grading system from 9 to 1. The DFE, which shows no sign of supporting calls to scrap GCSEs, says that the most recent figures show that about 47% of young people who take GCSEs stay on to study Alevels. But head teachers' leader Geoff Barton said the idea of ditching GCSEs had a "lot of merit", as they belonged to an era when young people left education at 16. Lord Baker, who intro-

duced the exams as education secretary in the 1980s, said "the days of GCSEs are numbered". Mr Halfon, who presented his blueprint at an event in London run by the Edge vocational education charity, wants to end what he sees as an excessively narrow academic pathway in secondary schools. Instead of taking academic subjects at GCSE and A-level, he wants young people to have a broader curriculum, with vocational training alongside traditional subjects. The MP is proposing a baccalaureate system to replace A-levels, with a mix of arts, sciences and vocational subjects and exams at the age of 18. The former education minister says young people are leaving school without the skills needed for work, at the same time as industry is complaining of skills shortages. But scrapping GCSEs could raise questions for secondary schools without sixth forms - which under the proposed changes would no longer have the focus of any public exams.

As MPs prepare to debate a petition for schools to start at 10:00, teenagers tell the BBC about their own experiences with early school starts. The Parliamentary Petitions Committee heard evidence from more than 5,000 students, parents and teachers that teenagers need more sleep than younger children or adults. Sir George Monoux Sixth Form College in east London has for the past two years had a 10:00 start time in order, they say, to help students maximise their potential. College principal David Vasse says: "We noticed instantly we were able to have students coming in brighter. I definitely think a 10 o'clock start means we don't have a rushed start to the day - there's time to communicate. You only benefit from a 10' o clock start if you do it alongside other strategies to help the students' wellbeing." Mr Vasse made the decision to implement the later school start not only to ensure that students were being taught lessons during their "prime time", but also to create a more social start to the day.

Prof Russell Foster, director of the Sleep and Circadian Neuroscience Institute at Oxford University, said: "We do not have a full trial that shows a late start would be beneficial in the UK." The academic said late starts have been shown to be beneficial in the USA because many schools have moved an 07:00 start to an 08:30 start, whereas in the UK, schools already start at 08:50 or 09:00. Prof Foster is involved in the Teensleep Project, looking at adolescent sleeping patterns and the impact of sleep education on teenage students. "Our pilot study showed that about 25% of teenagers had clinically poor sleep can we justify late starts when it might only benefit 25% of students? Instead, we must introduce sleep education with parents, teachers and students. "We are not ruling out a later school start, but we need a good set of data to show this is having a huge impact on adolescents. Unless later starts are combined with sleep education, it may actually worsen the issue," warns Prof Foster.

Indian students lag behind the Chinese There are five times as many Chinese students as Indians studying in the UK. Recent figures show that Indian students continue to lag behind those from China and other countries who study in the UK. Approximately 12,500 students from India began their studies at universities in the UK in 2017-18 in comparison to the 62,000 students arriving from the EU, and over 76,000 from China according to a report from the UK

Higher Education Statistics Authority. Keith Vaz MP, the UK’s longest-serving Indian-origin Member of Parliament, argues that this raises questions about the UK's

immigration policy towards students from India. Keith Vaz MP said“Indian students are an incredibly important part of the UK education sector. UK universities are routinely ranked among the best in the world. It is therefore, shocking to see so few Indian students travelling to the UK. This will place the UK higher-education sector at a competitive disadvantage compared to the US and EU. I hope that the British Government takes note and reforms its immigration and higher-education policies to correct this enduring historical imbalance.”


12 MEDIA WATCH

AsianVoiceNews

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16 - 22 February 2019

SCRUTATOR’S President Rahul Gandhi’s comment that, having destroyed India’s farmers over the past five years, he was now consoling them with a paltry grant of Rs 17 per day. It is clear that Mr Gandhi hadn’t taken the trouble of studying the details of the government’s proposed financial package for the farming community. A prime minister in waiting is not expected to make remarks on the hoof on an issue of such importance, nor make an asinine comment

Kolkata’s street theatre fixated India: West Bengal’s maverick Chief Minister, Mamata Banerjee, exceeded any of her past performances in vaudeville by engaging in a sit down strike following an in incident involving members of the centre’s investigative agency (CBI) who arrived in Kolkata to interrogate the local police chief Rajeev Kumar on his alleged role in the state’s Sarada and Rose Valley scams, the former in particular, defrauded the poorest of the poor in society of their paltry savings. Political nadir

Bengal Budget

CBI sleuths were arrested by the local police resulting in an unprecedented standoff between the Central government in New Delhi and the State government in Kolkata. It brought Indian politics to a new low. Worse:: the Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister, Yogi Adityanath’s aircraft was prevented from landing in Purulia, where he was due to address a public meeting as part of the ruling BJP’s election campaign. Undaunted, Adityanath forsook his flight and opted for road transport for the planned meeting, which he duly addressed. This was an egregious act by the Bengal administration, a gross violation of the UP Chief Minister’s constitutional right to make an election speech in any part of the country he or his party chose. A rag-tag of Opposition leaders were at Ms Banerjee’s side in a gesture of alleged support, while others of their number hallooed from afar. Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Chandrababu Naidu was a BJP ally until recently; he and his ilk have their own agendas. Their showboating in Kolkata was a tawdry circus. Ms Banerjee, on an

While Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee dominated the media headlines for all the wrong reasons, her Finance Minister, Amit Mitra earned a short report on the State Budget for the right reason: it was predicated on the expectation of a revenue windfall of Rs19,900 crore, from the Goods & Services Tax (GST) for the year starting April 1, 2019. The GST plus the State’s share of the Central taxes and duties plus the Centre’s grants-inaid is expected to jump by 18 per cent to Rs30,670 crore for 2019 financial year. In addition capital loan recoveries, market loans etc are expected to rise by 10 per cent to Rs Rs53.327 crore. Total receipts for the State government would thus rise to a massive Rs2,06,000 crore. How these sums are disbursed remains to be seen (Business Line February 5) Reliance windfall, West Bengal Surprise, surprise, the Bengal Global Business Summit brought a bonanza from Mukesh Ambani’s Reliance Jio and telecom rival Bharti Air Airtel. The Reliance

Market cheers Kolkata Police Commissioner Rajeev Kumar

crore had been confirmed and 86 Memoranda of Understandings signed. Around 1 million jobs would be created (Statesman February 8,9) Budget bonanza

Equity benchmarks of the Bombay Stock Exchange and National Stock Exchange soared in the post- trade in Dalal Street as market participants, including brokerages, gave a big thumbs up to the Interim budget, despite the fiscal deficit rise from 3.3 to 3.4 of GDP (Hindu, Statesman, Times of India February 2) Railway in higher allocation The Rs 1,58,658 crore allocation for continuing rail modernization was the highest ever. Piyus Goyal is also Railways Minister. Passenger comfort, greener stations with amenities and wholly developed indigenous high speed engines are on track to make the entire rail network fit for purpose in the 21 st century (Hindu February 2) RBI rate cut

Piyus Goyal, the Interim Finance Minister

In all democracies, large or small, with developed or emerging economies, election time is when governments are their most generous. Votes do count and no party in government can afford to neglect populist measures within reason. India is no exception to such compulsions. The interim Budget (the general election being due in May/June) was presented to Parliament by Piyus Goyal, the Interim Finance Minister, in the absence of ailing Arun Jaitley.

Reserve Bank of India (RBI) Governor Shaktikanta Das brought cheer to India’s industry and commercial circles, the middle class and farming community with

India’s military modernization. ‘A stark indicator is the fact that capital allocation though it has increased in rupee value, has fallen in dollar value.’ (Hindu February 2) Manufacturing rise to 53.9 per cent India’s manufacturing sector rose by 53.9 per cent in January as companies continue to scale up production and employment, driven by the fastest rise in factory orders since December 2017, according to a monthly survey. This is the 18 th consecutive month that the manufacturing PMI remained above the 50 point mark. A point above 50 means expansion. According to the survey, the increase in factory output was the strongest in 13 months (Hindu February 2) Merchandise exports surge India’s merchandise exports in the current fiscal ending March 31, 2019, are expected to surpass the previous record of 2013-14 $314 billion, according to estimates of the Commerce Ministry. ‘This year, we are very confident that we will go past our earlier peak,’ said Commerce Secretary Anup Wadhawan, speaking to reporters in Hyderabad. This came in face of a challenging global economic environment (Statesman February 6) Expanding Indian presence in Africa India is expanding its footprint on the African continent with new planned embassies to number 47 out of the 54 nations overall, compared to the 29 today. The diplomatic outreach includes Cameroon, Cape Verde, Chad, Republic of Congo, Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, Guinea, Liberia, Mauritania, Rwanda, Sao Tome and Principe. The reasons for this expansion are strategic and economic. Africa is rich in minerals, and the scale of China’s presence appear to have energized the Indian response (Mint February 5)

‘Sop Opera’

Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee with Reliance head Mukesh Ambani

ego trip, has delusional hopes of replacing Narendra Modi as India’s prime minister. A hard landing is the likely outcome (See page 3 for comment) Bengal business summit The Bengal summit, designed to attract foreign investment, will be puzzle to congregating investors from the UK, Luxembourg, Italy, Poland, South Korea, Czech Republic, France, Australia, Finland and the United Arab Emirates. Their listed hotel arrangements appear comfortable, within easy reach of the convention centre. The rest is up to the gods (Times of India February 6)

Industries Chairman and Managing Director Mukesh Ambani announced a Rs 10,000 crore investment in West Bengal, while Ranjan Mittal, Vice Chairman and Managing Director, Bharti Enterprises, spoke of a likely Rs 5000 crore investment in the State. Rhapsodic Ambani Mukesh Ambani said: ‘It [Kolkata] is now the City of Hope… Bengal and its capital are not just leapfrogging; they are pole-vaulting to new heights of progress.’ Other big hitting industrialists, domestic and foreign, appear to share this optimidsm. Mamata Banerjee said investments worth Rs 2.84 lakh

Sop Opera was the front-page headline of one national broadsheet, which explained: ‘With a keen eye to the on the elections,, the Interim Budget 2019-20 contained elements aimed at benefitting three major segments of the population – farmers, informal sector workers, and salaried taxpayers – with an announcement of an income support scheme for farmers, an insurance scheme for informal sector workers, and tax exemptions for salaried workers.’ Prime Minister Narendra Modi stated: ‘It is essential to ensure that the benefits of development should reach all sections of society. This budget will empower the poor, a boost to the farmers and an impetus to economic growth.’ Congress leader P. Chidambaram (Finance Minister in the Manmohan Singh government) questioned the propriety of an Interim budget of such sweeping proportions. In contrast to this well taken point, came Congress

Mallya extradition Shaktikanta Das

Vijay Mallya’s life of ease and pleasure in the UK is fast approaching its end. The country’s

a rate cut by 25bps to 6.25 per cent, raising the limit for collateral-free farm loans. Announcing his first monetary policy review, Das stated: ‘It is noteworthy that the path of inflation has moved significantly downwards’ and was expected to be contained going forward and should stimulate investment (Business Line February 8) Defence budget rise Inadequate Although the Defence budget has risen by Rs 7.92 per cent to Rs3.18 lakh crore, the sum is inadequate in light of the modernization now underway, say experts. Commodore Uday Bhaskar (retired), Director, Society for Policy Studies, said the budgetary allocation for defence was inadequate for the required scale of

Vijay Mallya

Supreme Court has upheld the judgment of the lower courts that he had a case to answer on fraud, money laundering and embezzlement in India. British Home Secretary, Sajid Javid, having signed his extradition papers, has allowed Mr Mallya and his legal team a fortnight to appeal ( Business Line February 5)


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UK

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16 - 22 February 2019

Hertfordshire Humanitarian Investigation launched after De Montfort University shortlisted for prestigious reports 'issue' to watchdog International award A charity founder from from Welwyn Garden City has been shortlisted to win a coveted humanitarian honor. Anil Patel founded Carers Worldwide, the only organisation working exclusively with unpaid family carers in developing countries. When his own daughter was born with Down’s syndrome in the UK, Anil recognised the vital role of carers - especially those living in developing countries and decided to take action. Commenting on his award nomination, Anil says: “It is such an honour to be shortlisted for this award. For the past 8 years I have been working to raise awareness of the critical neglected role of family carers in low and middle income countries to enhance their social, physical and economic wellbeing. It is great that this issue is

being recognised on a global stage.” The Bond International Development Awards which is now in its sixth yearcelebrate the exceptional work undertaken in the development sector that often goes unrecognised. The Humanitarian Award specifically honors the hidden heroes helping to deliver this demanding work in creative, unusual and exceptional ways. Leanne Rayner from Carers Worldwide, says: “Anil has established 342 carers groups, 10 Community Caring Centres and 5 independent Carers Associations. None of this would have been possible without his vision, enthusiasm and dedication." Anil is joined by five other deserving finalists in this category, with the overall winner announced at a

prestigious ceremony on March 18 in London. Mike Wright, Director of Communications at Bond, says: “Each year we are delighted and humbled by the nominations we receive in this category. It is a great reflection of the hard work that goes on, often behind the scenes, by so many dedicated and innovative people like Anil. It is a genuine pleasure to be honoring such a diverse range of humanitarians and shining a light on these inspirational individuals and the incredible work they are doing.”

York to introduce £20 fines for idling car drivers Drivers in York who leave their car engines on while they are parked could be fined £20. The "anti-idling" plan approved by the city council would see drivers asked to switch off their engines. If

they refused they would be issued with a penalty notice. The fines will be introduced in June. Conservative councillor Peter Dew said that the focus would be on changing people's behaviour rather

than issuing fines. Officers added that electric vehicles will not be fined for idling. Signs will be put up at hotspots throughout the city and fines will come into force from June.

are working alongside our partners including Community Security Trust to ensure that those affected are fully supported." He added: "We are treat-

ing this incident as a hate crime and I want to send a clear message that incidents of this nature will never be tolerated in our communities."

Whitefield Jewish cemetery vandalism treated as 'hate crime'

Vandalism at a Jewish cemetery is being treated as a hate crime by police. Three chapels within the cemetery in Whitefield, near Manchester, had been damaged including a prominent headstone, officers said. Two windows and some sinks were also smashed between midday on Friday and Saturday morning. CCTV was also stolen by the offenders from a chapel at the Old Hall Lane site "in an attempt to cover their tracks", police added. Rabbi Shmuli Brown tweeted pictures from the scene on Saturday evening, describing it as "a horrible act of anti-semitism". He later retracted his remarks, saying the offenders "stole the sinks, pipe work and opened up one tombstone". Supt Paul Walker, from Greater Manchester Police, said: "We have launched an investigation and whilst the CCTV has been destroyed by the offenders - clearly in an attempt to cover their tracks. "I understand that this incident will have caused distress to many members of our community and we

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Universities watchdog The Office for Students says it is investigating 'regulatory matters at De Montfort University'. The Government body confirmed its investigation to a local newspaper. The statement was released minutes after De Montfort University confirmed its vice-chancellor Dominic Shellard had quit his £350,000 a year post. In a statement, an Office for Students (Ofs)spokesman, said: "We are looking into a

number of regulatory matters relating to De Montfort University, following the university reporting an issue to us in the autumn. "While this work is continuing there is no presumption of wrongdoing by the university and it would be inappropriate to comment further.” In reponse to the OfS statement a university spokesman said: “De Montfort University welcomed the statement issued by the Office for Students

today that it is ‘looking into a number of regulatory matters relating to De Montfort University, following the university reporting an issue to us in the autumn’. “The statement also stated that ‘while this work is continuing there is no presumption of wrongdoing by the university’. “The university can confirm that it is happy to cooperate fully with the Office for Students in this matter. It would be inappropriate for us to comment further.”

40 representatives elected to represent the town's young people in Youth Parliament Following a busy month of campaigning for votes, Slough youngsters have elected their chosen representatives to form a new Youth Parliament in the borough. 40 representatives from across Slough will now represent youngsters from across the town, helping to influence key decisions around local services.

More than 8,000 young people voted in the elections, with 75 percent of those eligible voicing their opinions. 20 different secondary schools took part with some schools achieving turnouts of more than 90 percent. Members of the Slough Youth Parliament will serve a two-year term and will now undergo the process of

electing one representative to represent the views of Slough’s young people at the UK Youth Parliament. Slough MP Tan Dhesi joined Slough Borough Council’s chief executive Josie Wrgg and lead member for education and children Councillor Shabnum Sadiq at a ceremony announcing the results at Beachwood School on 7 February.


14 UK

AsianVoiceNews

AsianVoiceNewsweekly

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16 - 22 February 2019

Golden Jubilee Kenya Exodus and Settlement in Britain

National Indian Arts Awards 2019: Honouring & Celebrating Great Talent and Achievement in Indian Arts in Britain

Winners of 2017 NIAA

Dear Readers, After a wave of positive and encouraging responses from a large number of readers, potential sponsors as well as other supporters, we feel a need to update you on related matters. Editors, journalists and revenue generators have received heartwarming responses from several Kenya connected individuals as well as organisations. We are especially delighted that British Asians with a Kenya connection and even others have responded to this initiative spectacularly, some even describing this as ‘historic’, 'unprecedented' and 'very helpful'. The general reaction is how the issue can particularly help them connect with their children, grand children and great grand children by sharing the herculean efforts of their ancestors to settle in UK swiftly after they migrated due to change in the political situation of Kenya at that time. Our younger generation and even their off springs would not only be inspired but as some readers have suggested, this will create a better understanding of their elder's struggle in a strange country. We have also been asked to publish similar magazines for Uganda and Tanzanian Asians residing in the UK. Some readers have enquired whether a project to collect, co llate audio/video recordings of these migrations will be under taken by ABPL. We are considering their suggestions. Our publication date is 30th March, 2019 and the advertising deadline is of 20th March, 2019, which should be understood as the latest and perhaps last minute advertising or sponsorship support. Ideally, the sooner we receive the information and details, including photographs, the bett er it will enable our journalists and graphics team to produce a better quality magazine with proper and attractive articles and layouts. The final date for this is 20th February. Advertising Advertorials: Ideal opportunity to share your history and promote your business. There are specially discounted rates for community organisations and charities. Print Run: Our normal print run for special magazine is of 20,000 copies. Each subscriber of Gujarat Samachar & Asian Voice will be supplied with a complimentary copy of this magazine. We also expect some organizations or individuals willing to purchase this magazine. It is proposed that the sales price of the magazine will be £5 each and we are willing to supply them bulk copies of 10 or more at an additional 50 % special discount. Editorial Board: We would like to have an Editorial board involving few persons of eminence and excellence, who will be sent all the articles for their perusal or comments. We are happy to inform that Lord Ranbir Suri has kindly accepted our invitation to be a member of the Editorial Board. We would welcome any other suggestions, especially of younger generation and professional background, especially from our ‘Nari Shak ti’ to give advantage of their perceptions. If you have any other suggestion which you feel may have been missed out or could be involved to make this project successful. ABPL

The National Indian Arts Awards organised by Milapfest will return on 6 June 2019, for the 5th year, to honour and celebrate the great contribution of the professionals who have devoted themselves to promoting, nurturing and developing Indian arts across the UK and beyond, as well as the rising stars of Indian music and dance who are shaping these artforms for future generations. The Awards are supported by Arts Council England.

The NIAA were established to recognise the work of countless individuals, schools, teachers, performers, and art organisations, up and down the British Isles, who are working tirelessly to provide generous opportunities to learn or experience Indian arts. They have been working tirelessly for the past 5 years to ensure that such dedicated work in the arts is acknowledged on par with the contribution of those in business, finance, medicine, and other professional cate-

gories. The establishment of these awards has created a better understanding of how such selfless work empowers and enriches the younger generation, and how it helps build bridges between communities and people. These awards significantly contribute towards providing more focus on the contribution of the Arts professionals working in the field of Indian Arts and provide opportunities for their work to expand in the years ahead.

Nominations are now open for a range of honours, to be awarded at this year’s glittering ceremony. Whether you are a teacher or performer of Indian music, dance, or a young artist at the start of a promising career, or work tirelessly for the promotion of Indian arts in any capacity, Milapfest encourages you to apply for an award as there are a number of categories open to applicants across a range of fields. For more see their website: www.milapfest.com.

British Airways Artist reflects his suspends pilots over racism claims

Captain Brendan O’Neal

Manish Patel

Manish Patel, a Boeing 777 captain, and former union representative at the British Airways has filed an employment tribunal claim over racist jokes and receiving emails which had racist language. Following which five pilots from British Airways have been suspended over allegations of racist behaviour and distribution of sexist messages. The "appalled" airliner has launched an investigation into the allegations, which include a captain repeatedly using the 'N' word against a fellow BA pilot with an ethnic minority background. The allegations - which also include a pilot sending filthy images of a man having sexual intercourse with a chicken - focus on BA staff who work part-time as trade union offi cials for British Airline Pilots Association (BALPA). According to Patel, he was called a "P*** lad" and a "chai wallah", the Mail on Sunday reported. He also claims jokes were made about him working in a

corner shop or as a taxi driver. Balpa said that while it concedes there have been instances of "inappropriate emails passing among a small number of Balpa representatives", the union is "committed to ensuring a good, modern-day work environment". It also dismissed Mr Patel's claims of racist language, and “will be robustly defended". Six emails revealed how Captain Brendan O’Neal, a senior union official who is also responsible for training aspiring pilots, sent a flurry of messages featuring the 'N' word back in 2012. In one message sent in 2012, as preparations for a Christmas pub lunch were underway, Mr O'Neal asked Mr Patel: "What food do you want n****?" While Mr Patel admitted he had himself sent offensive emails, he claims he was forced to do so in order to not be left out. Mr O'Neal has now stepped down from his position at the trade union as its executive president, Balpa said last night.

journey to India in forthcoming show Lincoln Seligman left a ‘boring City life’ to become an artist in 1980. With an enduring passion for India, he finds new inspiration on every journey. Currently spending time with his friend, the Maharaja of Dungarpar, his last year's his exhibition was an exploration of Rajasthan for ‘colour, palaces and flamboyant people, Gujarat for for deserts, fortress- Father and child: Rajasthan, child not playing es, and displays of ball with tourists. textiles.’ He will revered Haile Selassie. spend days in the Udai Bilas Another link with India Palace, where the Maharaja comes from his immersion of Dungarpar, has invited in the Jungle Book stories as him to stay, absorb and a child, Rudyard Kipling his paint in tranquillity. The mother’s friend and godfaMaharaja, a motor car ther. fanatic, has collected his This year Seligman's series‘ ‘Maharajas at Speed’ show at the Osborne Studio which Seligman describes Gallery in Belgravia, 14th till as ‘fanciful paintings of old 30th May 2019, is based on a cars, transporting hunting more idiosyncratic parties with a Cheetah on approach, not so much a the back seat.’ travelogue, but more time A connection with on the ground, in fewer India, and with art, may places. In his own words, have been a legacy from his "The people I’ve painted are grandmother Hilda, a sucthose I have chosen, considcessful artist and sculptor ered and analysed in more who lived in the Himalayas. depth. I hope this makes When living in Wimbledon, the paintings themselves Hilda’s closes friends were more exciting for the viewMahatma Gandhi, the er." Emperor of Ethiopia, the


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Britain’s Miss and Mrs Grand Finale announce its winners

Winners Category - Mrs Pooja Dahiya - Mrs Universe UK , Mrs Delicate, Mrs Fabulous Rujuta Phanse Kothare - Mrs Earth UK, Mrs Passionate Preeti Pande - First Runner up, Best Catwalk Shikha Kaushal - Second Runner up, Mrs Community Queen Anjali Gathibandhe - Third Runner-up, Mrs Photogenic Rachel Abraham - Fourth Runner up, Mrs Intelligence Kasturi Warde Sinkar - Congeniality Queen Julie Ruban - Goodwill Queen Vijaya Kumari Vakkanti - Brand Ambassador for knotty threads

Category Miss

Winners of Britain’s Miss and Mrs Grand Finale. Photo courtesy: Vineet Johri

Britain’s Miss and Mrs Grand Finale took place on 2nd Feb 2019 at one of London’s top luxury 5-star hotel, Grange St Paul's, next to St Paul's Cathedral. The invitee only event was attended by top industrialists, businessmen, jewellery and fashion designers. Judges included Rahul Nangare,

First Secretary, Trade, Indian High Commission, Cllr Rehana Ameer, Bollywood Singer/composer Navin Kundra, Miss Universe GB Grace Levy, Former Mrs England-crown Sheetal Rane, Samantha Coote, Mrs Sensational 2017-2018, Stephanie Hill, Miss World runner up 2017-2018, Soumya Lanka, a Skin Aesthetics

Doctor, Ash Oberoi, Sapnay team head, Harmeet Singh -Director of Vogue Couture Ltd and Hannah Batten, Mrs UK world owner. Priyanka Kanvinde, the organiser who is a winner of an international beauty pageant herself, organised this event at an international level with much care, diligence and precision.

Dharmic Ideas and Policy Foundation celebrates Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel and the Bardoli Satyagraha In February 1928, Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel wrote to the Governor of Bombay Leslie Wilson that unless the tax collection arrangements in Bardoli district were reviewed, the farmers from the region would refuse to pay taxes. In memory of this stirring start to the famed Bardoli Satyagraha in Gujarat, the Dharmic Ideas and Policy Foundation organised a four-city tour of Hindol Sengupta, the award-winning, best-selling biographer of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, Bharat Ratna and India’s first deputy prime minister, across the United Kingdom. Sengupta is the author of The Man Who Saved India: Sardar Patel and his idea of India (Viking/Penguin

Random House). He was in conversation with Dr. Gautam Sen, retired lecturer in political economy at the London School of Economics and the talks were held at Wembley in London, Leicester, Birmingham and Cardiff. The discussions, which drew hundreds of people, Sengupta spoke in detail about the life and legacy of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel. “Sardar Patel is the definitive architect of the very cartographic imagination of India,” Sengupta said. “What he achieved in bringing together the union of the modern Indian nation state is unparalleled for its scale, ambition and relative ease of operation and democratic reasoning. When we celebrate his life, we celebrate a

Sardar Patel

founding pillar of Indian democracy.” Dr. Sen said, “Sardar Patel was the son of a farmer and yet he had a uniquely global vision. He was wise, prescient and utterly grounded in his role as a nation builder. Sengupta has written a book that has brought Patel to life for a new generation and has become a definitive text in

Hindol Sengupta

the study of Patel.” DIPF communications officer, Mukesh Naker said, “Sardar Patel is a giant of the Indian national movement and we at DIPF have always been inspired by his work and legacy. Hundreds of British people of Indian origin from all walks of life attended these talks to share and rejoice in the memory of Sardar Patel.”

Kashmiri Pandits commemorate Exodus Day Kashmiri Pandits/Hindus in the UK organised Exodus Day by holding a special meeting in the House of Commons, London on Thursday 17 January, which was joined by Hindu organisations, British politicians, senior officials from the High Commission of India and students of the National Hindu Students Forum. The meeting started with a recital of a prayer by Dr Girdhari Bhan, followed by a minutes silence to pay homage to the innocent civilians, prominent Kashmiri Pandits and the Indian Armed Forces who

sacrificed their lives. The guests were welcomed by Krishna Bhan, President Indo-European Kashmir Forum. The selective killings of the Kashmiri Pandits/Hindus in the Valley in 1989-1990 resulted in their mass exodus from the land of their ancestors on 19 January, 1990. Kashmiri Pandits were subjected to terror aimed at ethnic cleansing, they became victims of genocide. The massacres carried out by militants were barbaric and inhumane. Bob Blackman MP mentioned his visit to Jammu

Virendra Sharma MP and Bob Blackman MP attending the event

and Kashmir three years ago and highlighted the appalling living conditions of the displaced community, living in two room makeshift apartments in Jammu.Virendra Sharma MP, speaking on this occasion stressed the need for

the Kashmiri Hindus to remain proactive in carrying out their struggle in seeking justice. The complete video recording of all speeches will follow shortly. A vote of thanks was given by Shri Satya Minhas, Co-Chair, Hindu Council UK.

Nisha George - Ms Earth UK, Ms Talented Asmitha Tawade - First Runner up, Ms Elegance Anvi - Second Runner up, Ms Glamourous Bhavika Parekh - Third Runner up, Ms Fitness Krishani Wijeratne - Fourth Runner up, Ms Popularity Nina Bondareva - Devoted Queen


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“define what a certain religion should look like or how should the community behave." According to the Government of UK's website there is no legal definition of bullying. However, it also mentions that bullying can take many forms including physical assault, teasing, making threats, name calling and cyber-bullying. She recalls of the incident from school when kids called her a “Lesbian who would make-out with an old teacher at school who nobody liked and they all laughed. I don't know what was so funny about it?” she murmurs. But bullying played only a part in her growing up years when she was fighting to scrape out of the negative feelings and depression that was caging her. Instead of having that conversation with a mental health counsellor or a family friend, Hafsa confessed how she was worried about being seen as ‘crazy’ as she was already seen as ‘weird’ and so, she resorted to unhealthy ways of coping, “I didn’t know how to ask for help and instead I turned to less healthy ways of coping- cutting and self-harming. I was worried about being a bur-

Hafsa Qureshi is a 25-year old woman from the Ministry of Justice who is ranked as the Bi Role Model of the Year by Stonewall for breaking stereotypes and giving voice to the isolated pockets of LGBT+ group in the BAME community. But the Muslim woman from Birmingham who started identifying the traits of not being 'normal' in her early teens has had her fair share of being 'bullied' at school, 'discriminated' at workplaces and, who 'ticked' off the “straight box” in employment forms until she had joined Ministry of Justice. Talking to the Asian Voice about the confusion that plagued her teenage years, she discloses how: “I had reached a point when I was 12-13 years old and I realised I was a lesbian. I really struggled with accepting my identity because gradually I realised I was a bi-sexual. I told myself, "It doesn’t mean I want to date them or be sexually active. I asked myself does dating women mean I can’t get married?” Stigma and shame are synonyms of the Asian community and its perspective towards the LGBT+ groups. That intersectionality of being religious and hailing from the LGBT community can often pose to be a barrier for these people who experience double isolation both from within their community and outside where they are subject to 'bullying' and 'homophobic' attacks because of their religion. Hafsa, however is quick to clarify that although she is religious she Pride Parade Cardiff has never attempted to

Straight people don’t have to ask themselves, do I have to be intimate with a man to prove that I am straight? There was a lot of back and forth in my head where I asked myself can I be a good Muslim if I am bi-sexual?

den to others and trying not to make a big deal out of anything. “And this is why I think it is so important to have that conversation, to reach out to younger people who are Hafsa Qureshi, struggling with these Ministry of Justice things. So, they can have a healthy mechanism to approach their family and friends,” she revealed. The Stonewall role model following an A levels degree had enrolled in University but had to drop out in the very first year because of her ill parents, who left her behind with heavy mortgages, for which she needed to start working full-time. Hopping between various jobs, Hafsa spoke about how she was discriminated in these jobs because of her sexuality. “I had co-workers who I have been good friends with but as soon as my sexuality has come out, immediately it seemed as if they had rescinded me and didn’t want to know me because I had done something wrong. It hindereded my career wherein people wanted to have minimum or no interaction with me and that put me in the worst position with the management. The same management that did not see me as a team player,” she explained. But it all changed for Hafsa when she started working in recruitment support for

Pride Parade Cardiff

Her Majesty’s Courts and Tribunal Service, part of MoJ, in Birmingham. Advised by her friend to apply for the civil services, she was worried that her lack of education and experience would obstruct her chances of being accepted for the position. But she sailed through the application process, got invited for a short interview and managed to secure a job all because of her presentation. Being declared the Stonewall icon of the year, she emphasises on the importance of finding organisations like the Ministry of Justice or other civil services which are diverse and inclusive. “We have diversity and we have inclusion. Diversity is being invited to the party and inclusion is being asked to dance and we can have a workplace with anti-discrimination policies but we need them to stand by those policies,” she reminisces.

I didn’t know how to ask for help and instead I turned to less healthy ways of coping- cutting and self-harming. I was worried about being a burden to others and trying not to make a big deal out of anything.

Talking Therapies encourage people to talk over taking a pill Rupanjana Dutta After my father passed away four years ago, my strong mother, otherwise extremely resilient and stoic, suffered from psychosis for three months. She had stopped recognising me as her daughter, could only remember me as a toddler, often asking for her mum who died 44 years ago, hallucinating, and often breaking out in arguments over something she had entirely imagined. As a primary carer, I did not sleep for months, looking after my mum, as we temporarily moved her base from a flat in a high rise in docklands to my in-laws in Kent. I worked from home, stayed up almost every single night to ensure my mother does not fall down the stairs or open the main door and wander away. Fast forward four years, she has recovered fully, has a razor sharp memory, back to her full-time high net worth job and has her own active social life. She would not have recovered from an acute and complicated case of psychosis caused by repeated traumatisation and accumulative sorrows. She was lucky she had a supportive family, who went out of the way to accommodate her, listen to her, provide her with a warm and nurturing environment, all the possible care, comfort, concern and familiar environment, and a very good psychiatrist as well as therapist. But we aren’t a conventional Asian family in the UK. We are among the minority Asians who have accepted, acknowl-

Dr Raj Kumar edged, talked about and fought with mental health issues, tackling them head on.

Time to Talk Day Thursday 7 February was observed as the Time to Talk Day, which this year focusses on encouraging people to have a conversation about mental health. With an estimated 1 in 4 adults and 1 in 10 children experiencing mental health illness, having these conversations is more important than ever. Research carried out by Time to Change partner, Rethink Mental Illness into attitudes towards mental illness in the South Asian community mostly

shows that the subject remains a taboo in the Asian community. Embarrassed about their family members, people from the community have often taken shelter under self proclaimed faith healers, taking recourse to exorcism. Causes of mental health illnesses often remain misunderstood- occasionally conformed with 'eating wrong food', and patients therefore isolated. Himali Sheth, speaking to Asian Voice said, “Shame, or in other words 'sharam', fear and secrecy surround mental illness, often leading to stigmatisation. Even if we are able to convince the person or family to see a doctor or a therapist, contacting them is really hard. Getting a GP to refer- often appointments are not available for weeks.”

Talking Therapies Indian-origin Dr Raj Kumar, is a GP in Rainham and also a Clinical Commissioning Groups’ GP lead for mental health for Barking and Dagenham, Havering and Redbridge. He told Asian Voice, how the NHS has found a solution for quick and personal access without any delays or hiccups, through Talking Therapies via website: www.mytalkingtherapies.org.uk or one can call at 0300 300 1554. The area which has a big population of Asians, is getting benefitted by the extra funds being injected in the mental health area, done in the con-

cept of 'parity of esteem' (valuing mental health equally with physical health). People can access these ther-

You could go to your family, friends or faith leader, but if nothing works, they should be assured that the health service has a mechanism in place. apists through their GPs or can call or contact directly. Dr Kumar who initially came from a career in psychiatry, changed over to a role as GP in 2005, is a bridge between the governing body and Primary Care Trusts. He provides strategic, educational and supporting role to primary care clinicians including nurses, managers and GPs. He also believes pharmacists could also be a key player, in identifying issues and improving access to psychology therapy. Talking Therapies facility ensures all the psychology teams have interpretors and approach the BAME communities through outreach programmes such as in places of religious

practices- mosques, temples and gurdwaras. “Often the religious aspects could be comforting for patients, when they have psychological problems. But it is giving the patient a choice. You could go to your family, friends or faith leader, but if nothing works, they should be assured that the health service has a mechanism in place,” he said. Emphasising on building a relationship of trust between the therapist and patient he further added, “The majority of the people could deal with it themselves, but what we want to encourage them to do is talk, rather than take a pill. We don't want to give a pharmaceutical solution. They can have a course of treatment, go online, speak to someone - one to one, have group work and go away see how it has been working for them after 6-18 sessions over months. If it does not work, they can always come back. “We have had a number of people who have been successful. Nothing completely easy. Some patients know what is causing the depression. Some patients don't. And therapists have to deal with whatever is in front of them. Through discussions they could discover something deeper. 18 sessions may not be enough then. You may be referred to a specialist in Central London. Vast majority of cases won't be like that. But rest assured there is a second tier after the talking therapies team for the patients.”

Parents call for stricter social media regulation National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (NSPCC) launches plan to tame Wild West Web and more than eight out of ten adults back social network regulation. This plan will include new criminal offence for gross breaches by tech companies and hefty fines of millions, shaming tactics and disqualification of directors. Debanjali Bhattacharjee is a mother of all trades and jack of none. She is a parttime worker at Sainsbury's

feel social networks are doing enough to keep children safe from sexual grooming. Ruth Moss, whose daughter Sophie took her own life at the age of 13 after looking at self-harm and suicide content on social media, is backing the NSPCC’s campaign for statutory regulation. Ruth said- “Sophie’s death devastated me. No mother, or family, should have to go through that. It was so unnecessary; she had so much to live for. She was

Insta 'grams' of success and perils of mental health Molly Russell, a 14-year-old girl committed suicide in 2017. Her father accused Instagram and other social media websites for killing his daughter; these websites where she saw graphic images of self-harm. After escalating pressures Instagram has announced its decision of removing such images. Today, 1 in 4 people suffer from mental health issues. As a subject which continues to remain under-resourced and neglected in the Asian Community, is Instagram's latest ban enough to finally start that conversation around mental health? “I think about social media

Jasmin Kaur Sehra colourism where Kaur talks

Neelam Gill

“I resorted to self-harm to deal with my anxiety”

and is the choice that an individual is entitled to”. But body shaming is not something that the actress stands for. “It is something that I deal with being in the public eye. And it is easy for people to sit behind the computer screen and say whatever they want but that can have very damaging consequences. I don't really respond to Instagram comments and negativity but every once in a while, I try to educate someone by saying that it is not okay to

I think about social media and it's impact a lot because I have two young sisters and I am 23 myself. and a full-time mother of two 11 and 16 year old sons. While away from home for most of the day, Debanjali ensures that dinner is family time. But that doesn't ward off her concerns emerging from the recent media reports about the improper use of social media. “It is easy to sign up for various social media apps these days even if you're under 18,” she says. In an effort to have that 'friendly relation' with their children, a lot of these parents are themselves joining social media and 'following' their children on Instagram and becoming 'friends' on Twitter. But while that maybe the case, it is difficult for them to monitor their child's activities with respect to their viewings. “Being away from home and not having enough time with the children makes it difficult to know what exactly they are 'consuming on the internet'. We try to have an open atmosphere at home where we can share everything with each other but children are not always comfortable in talking about everything and that is where these social media websites come into play,” she said. According to a new NSPCC Survey, 86% of the adults back regulation of social networks to make tech firms legally responsible for protecting children. More than half of adults in London approximately 56% do not think social networks protect children from sexual grooming, and the same proportion don’t think networks protect children from inappropriate content like self-harm, violence or suicide. Whereas across Britain, six out of ten parents did not

only 13. “I found out that she had been looking at completely inappropriate things online. Some of the images were so graphic that even as an adult, I was shocked. She was also communicating with people in their 30s and pretending to be older than she was, under a made up persona. Whilst the internet was heavily controlled at home and at school, Sophie had free Wi-Fi when she was out, making it very hard to 'police' her internet use 24 hours a day. Peter Wanless, NSPCC Chief Executive, said- “The support for statutory regulation of social networks is now overwhelming. The Government’s Online Harms White Paper must impose a legal duty of care on social networks. Our proposal to tame the Wild West Web would make the UK a world leader in protecting children online. We urge the Government to be bold and introduce these measures without delay.” A huge majority of adults in the NSPCC’s survey also backed a call for social networks to be legally required to make children’s accounts safe, including the highest privacy settings by default, friend suggestions turned off, not being publicly searchable, and geolocation settings turned off. Tech firms would have a duty to risk assess its platforms and promptly notify the regulator if children had come to harm or been put at risk on their sites. In the case of gross breaches, tech firms would be charged with a criminal offence and directors overseeing the duty of care could face disqualification.

and it's impact a lot because I have two young sisters and I am 23 myself. I sympathise with those people who feel the pressures of social media because I am one of them too,” said Neelam Gill to the Asian Voice. Neelam Gill clicks some button in the head. Some may recognise her as the first British-Asian face of L’Oréal UK, others may recall her story on colour and her journey into modelling industry and some yet, raving about the 150k followers she has on Instagram and 25k Twitter vigilantes. But while most would imagine Gill's life is as glamourous as the evening gown she is wearing to the next happening event, the teenager says it is contradictory. “We're all human beings and we all have insecurities and I think social media heightens it. But I think what needs to be done is that more people in positions of power need to speak up and let them know that Instagram is just a highlight reel. And that is why I try to be very authentic to my followers. I let them know when I am having a great day or when I am really down when I'm alone at home and feeling extremely low,” she continued. Body shaming, cosmetic surgery, brown skin and lighter filters, number of followers and the greater number of likes on the pictures posted have slowly penetrated our lifestyle, often dictating how we spend our #SundayFunday. But Gill provides a non-judgmental ear to the choices that people make in their life with the belief that “Whatever makes someone happy so long as they are not hurting someone else is fine

we have to constantly speak about- no matter how big or small,” Jasmin Kaur said. If one visits Kaur's website then one will immediately understand that a lot of her work is based around identity, empowerment, self-love, and, positivity. Hailing from a creative family background, Kaur achieved her degree in graphic design and illustration at the University of Arts London. She pursued her passion of painting regardless of the various phases of mental health and depression that she went through. But the artist started journaling her difficult days, that encouraged her to start talking openly about her issues with her close ones and to begin therapy.

about self-esteem issues that played an equal hand in her deteriorating mental health. “There were comments made on me about how dark I was and how should I wear certain colours like 'red' or 'yellow'. But times are now changing and we are moving away from those mindsets,” she said. Kaur continues to write a blog, through which she speaks about all these issues that is accompanied by her art work. Since leaving therapy again recently she says- “I can honestly say my life has changed for the better though it still gets difficult at times, but I try find ways to protect myself and my sanity. I write this to encourage anyone who might be going through this to not isolate yourself,, don't feel ashamed, most importantly communicate,” the Paradise Girl concludes. Her Instagram profile has beyond 6000 followers, a platform that she uses for urging people to come and join her mental health campaigns. Recently the artist collaborated with Hannah Hill at Tate Modern where she organised the therapeutic art session 'Late at Tate Britain: Don't Worry'.

Digital diaries to cure?

bully someone whether it is behind a screen or in person. There is no excuse for that,” she concluded. But Neelam Gill is just one of the many in public eye who confront the demons of mental health. Jasmin Kaur Sehra, most famous for her portrait on Mala Sen at Brick Lane commissioned by the Mayor of London, is a British Asian artist who actively campaigns for mental health.

Take your broken heart and turn it into art

“I openly speak about my mental health experiences, and although I’ve spoken about it before, I feel like it’s something

While Instagram is constantly criticised for creating social pressures among youngsters, there I JUST WANT MY ALL SECRETS BACK. are also organisations that I DON’T WANT ANYONE TO KNOW ANYTHING ABOUT ME are using the platform to breakdown stereotypes and urge people to finally start having that conversation. Under-18s are increasingly turning to apps, online counselling and “mood diaries” to help them recover from conditions that have left them feeling low, isolated and, VIXENS AND DRUGS in some cases, suicidal. They are able to receive fast, personal care and advice using their phone rather than having to wait “It was the stress of having up to 18 months to be treated by the thought that you need to an NHS mental health profesconform to what and how the sional. society expects you to be which makes you second guess yourself. I always felt like that outcast especially because I was that brown girl pursuing arts whilst my South Asian friends were pursuing something else. This definitely was a major part affecting my mental health,” she said. But accompanied with the isolation in her career is also her story of

I always felt like that outcast especially because I was that brown girl pursuing arts whilst my South Asian friends were pursuing something else. This definitely was a major part affecting my mental health.


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“define what a certain religion should look like or how should the community behave." According to the Government of UK's website there is no legal definition of bullying. However, it also mentions that bullying can take many forms including physical assault, teasing, making threats, name calling and cyber-bullying. She recalls of the incident from school when kids called her a “Lesbian who would make-out with an old teacher at school who nobody liked and they all laughed. I don't know what was so funny about it?” she murmurs. But bullying played only a part in her growing up years when she was fighting to scrape out of the negative feelings and depression that was caging her. Instead of having that conversation with a mental health counsellor or a family friend, Hafsa confessed how she was worried about being seen as ‘crazy’ as she was already seen as ‘weird’ and so, she resorted to unhealthy ways of coping, “I didn’t know how to ask for help and instead I turned to less healthy ways of coping- cutting and self-harming. I was worried about being a bur-

Hafsa Qureshi is a 25-year old woman from the Ministry of Justice who is ranked as the Bi Role Model of the Year by Stonewall for breaking stereotypes and giving voice to the isolated pockets of LGBT+ group in the BAME community. But the Muslim woman from Birmingham who started identifying the traits of not being 'normal' in her early teens has had her fair share of being 'bullied' at school, 'discriminated' at workplaces and, who 'ticked' off the “straight box” in employment forms until she had joined Ministry of Justice. Talking to the Asian Voice about the confusion that plagued her teenage years, she discloses how: “I had reached a point when I was 12-13 years old and I realised I was a lesbian. I really struggled with accepting my identity because gradually I realised I was a bi-sexual. I told myself, "It doesn’t mean I want to date them or be sexually active. I asked myself does dating women mean I can’t get married?” Stigma and shame are synonyms of the Asian community and its perspective towards the LGBT+ groups. That intersectionality of being religious and hailing from the LGBT community can often pose to be a barrier for these people who experience double isolation both from within their community and outside where they are subject to 'bullying' and 'homophobic' attacks because of their religion. Hafsa, however is quick to clarify that although she is religious she Pride Parade Cardiff has never attempted to

Straight people don’t have to ask themselves, do I have to be intimate with a man to prove that I am straight? There was a lot of back and forth in my head where I asked myself can I be a good Muslim if I am bi-sexual?

den to others and trying not to make a big deal out of anything. “And this is why I think it is so important to have that conversation, to reach out to younger people who are Hafsa Qureshi, struggling with these Ministry of Justice things. So, they can have a healthy mechanism to approach their family and friends,” she revealed. The Stonewall role model following an A levels degree had enrolled in University but had to drop out in the very first year because of her ill parents, who left her behind with heavy mortgages, for which she needed to start working full-time. Hopping between various jobs, Hafsa spoke about how she was discriminated in these jobs because of her sexuality. “I had co-workers who I have been good friends with but as soon as my sexuality has come out, immediately it seemed as if they had rescinded me and didn’t want to know me because I had done something wrong. It hindereded my career wherein people wanted to have minimum or no interaction with me and that put me in the worst position with the management. The same management that did not see me as a team player,” she explained. But it all changed for Hafsa when she started working in recruitment support for

Pride Parade Cardiff

Her Majesty’s Courts and Tribunal Service, part of MoJ, in Birmingham. Advised by her friend to apply for the civil services, she was worried that her lack of education and experience would obstruct her chances of being accepted for the position. But she sailed through the application process, got invited for a short interview and managed to secure a job all because of her presentation. Being declared the Stonewall icon of the year, she emphasises on the importance of finding organisations like the Ministry of Justice or other civil services which are diverse and inclusive. “We have diversity and we have inclusion. Diversity is being invited to the party and inclusion is being asked to dance and we can have a workplace with anti-discrimination policies but we need them to stand by those policies,” she reminisces.

I didn’t know how to ask for help and instead I turned to less healthy ways of coping- cutting and self-harming. I was worried about being a burden to others and trying not to make a big deal out of anything.

Talking Therapies encourage people to talk over taking a pill Rupanjana Dutta After my father passed away four years ago, my strong mother, otherwise extremely resilient and stoic, suffered from psychosis for three months. She had stopped recognising me as her daughter, could only remember me as a toddler, often asking for her mum who died 44 years ago, hallucinating, and often breaking out in arguments over something she had entirely imagined. As a primary carer, I did not sleep for months, looking after my mum, as we temporarily moved her base from a flat in a high rise in docklands to my in-laws in Kent. I worked from home, stayed up almost every single night to ensure my mother does not fall down the stairs or open the main door and wander away. Fast forward four years, she has recovered fully, has a razor sharp memory, back to her full-time high net worth job and has her own active social life. She would not have recovered from an acute and complicated case of psychosis caused by repeated traumatisation and accumulative sorrows. She was lucky she had a supportive family, who went out of the way to accommodate her, listen to her, provide her with a warm and nurturing environment, all the possible care, comfort, concern and familiar environment, and a very good psychiatrist as well as therapist. But we aren’t a conventional Asian family in the UK. We are among the minority Asians who have accepted, acknowl-

Dr Raj Kumar edged, talked about and fought with mental health issues, tackling them head on.

Time to Talk Day Thursday 7 February was observed as the Time to Talk Day, which this year focusses on encouraging people to have a conversation about mental health. With an estimated 1 in 4 adults and 1 in 10 children experiencing mental health illness, having these conversations is more important than ever. Research carried out by Time to Change partner, Rethink Mental Illness into attitudes towards mental illness in the South Asian community mostly

shows that the subject remains a taboo in the Asian community. Embarrassed about their family members, people from the community have often taken shelter under self proclaimed faith healers, taking recourse to exorcism. Causes of mental health illnesses often remain misunderstood- occasionally conformed with 'eating wrong food', and patients therefore isolated. Himali Sheth, speaking to Asian Voice said, “Shame, or in other words 'sharam', fear and secrecy surround mental illness, often leading to stigmatisation. Even if we are able to convince the person or family to see a doctor or a therapist, contacting them is really hard. Getting a GP to refer- often appointments are not available for weeks.”

Talking Therapies Indian-origin Dr Raj Kumar, is a GP in Rainham and also a Clinical Commissioning Groups’ GP lead for mental health for Barking and Dagenham, Havering and Redbridge. He told Asian Voice, how the NHS has found a solution for quick and personal access without any delays or hiccups, through Talking Therapies via website: www.mytalkingtherapies.org.uk or one can call at 0300 300 1554. The area which has a big population of Asians, is getting benefitted by the extra funds being injected in the mental health area, done in the con-

cept of 'parity of esteem' (valuing mental health equally with physical health). People can access these ther-

You could go to your family, friends or faith leader, but if nothing works, they should be assured that the health service has a mechanism in place. apists through their GPs or can call or contact directly. Dr Kumar who initially came from a career in psychiatry, changed over to a role as GP in 2005, is a bridge between the governing body and Primary Care Trusts. He provides strategic, educational and supporting role to primary care clinicians including nurses, managers and GPs. He also believes pharmacists could also be a key player, in identifying issues and improving access to psychology therapy. Talking Therapies facility ensures all the psychology teams have interpretors and approach the BAME communities through outreach programmes such as in places of religious

practices- mosques, temples and gurdwaras. “Often the religious aspects could be comforting for patients, when they have psychological problems. But it is giving the patient a choice. You could go to your family, friends or faith leader, but if nothing works, they should be assured that the health service has a mechanism in place,” he said. Emphasising on building a relationship of trust between the therapist and patient he further added, “The majority of the people could deal with it themselves, but what we want to encourage them to do is talk, rather than take a pill. We don't want to give a pharmaceutical solution. They can have a course of treatment, go online, speak to someone - one to one, have group work and go away see how it has been working for them after 6-18 sessions over months. If it does not work, they can always come back. “We have had a number of people who have been successful. Nothing completely easy. Some patients know what is causing the depression. Some patients don't. And therapists have to deal with whatever is in front of them. Through discussions they could discover something deeper. 18 sessions may not be enough then. You may be referred to a specialist in Central London. Vast majority of cases won't be like that. But rest assured there is a second tier after the talking therapies team for the patients.”

Parents call for stricter social media regulation National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (NSPCC) launches plan to tame Wild West Web and more than eight out of ten adults back social network regulation. This plan will include new criminal offence for gross breaches by tech companies and hefty fines of millions, shaming tactics and disqualification of directors. Debanjali Bhattacharjee is a mother of all trades and jack of none. She is a parttime worker at Sainsbury's

feel social networks are doing enough to keep children safe from sexual grooming. Ruth Moss, whose daughter Sophie took her own life at the age of 13 after looking at self-harm and suicide content on social media, is backing the NSPCC’s campaign for statutory regulation. Ruth said- “Sophie’s death devastated me. No mother, or family, should have to go through that. It was so unnecessary; she had so much to live for. She was

Insta 'grams' of success and perils of mental health Molly Russell, a 14-year-old girl committed suicide in 2017. Her father accused Instagram and other social media websites for killing his daughter; these websites where she saw graphic images of self-harm. After escalating pressures Instagram has announced its decision of removing such images. Today, 1 in 4 people suffer from mental health issues. As a subject which continues to remain under-resourced and neglected in the Asian Community, is Instagram's latest ban enough to finally start that conversation around mental health? “I think about social media

Jasmin Kaur Sehra colourism where Kaur talks

Neelam Gill

“I resorted to self-harm to deal with my anxiety”

and is the choice that an individual is entitled to”. But body shaming is not something that the actress stands for. “It is something that I deal with being in the public eye. And it is easy for people to sit behind the computer screen and say whatever they want but that can have very damaging consequences. I don't really respond to Instagram comments and negativity but every once in a while, I try to educate someone by saying that it is not okay to

I think about social media and it's impact a lot because I have two young sisters and I am 23 myself. and a full-time mother of two 11 and 16 year old sons. While away from home for most of the day, Debanjali ensures that dinner is family time. But that doesn't ward off her concerns emerging from the recent media reports about the improper use of social media. “It is easy to sign up for various social media apps these days even if you're under 18,” she says. In an effort to have that 'friendly relation' with their children, a lot of these parents are themselves joining social media and 'following' their children on Instagram and becoming 'friends' on Twitter. But while that maybe the case, it is difficult for them to monitor their child's activities with respect to their viewings. “Being away from home and not having enough time with the children makes it difficult to know what exactly they are 'consuming on the internet'. We try to have an open atmosphere at home where we can share everything with each other but children are not always comfortable in talking about everything and that is where these social media websites come into play,” she said. According to a new NSPCC Survey, 86% of the adults back regulation of social networks to make tech firms legally responsible for protecting children. More than half of adults in London approximately 56% do not think social networks protect children from sexual grooming, and the same proportion don’t think networks protect children from inappropriate content like self-harm, violence or suicide. Whereas across Britain, six out of ten parents did not

only 13. “I found out that she had been looking at completely inappropriate things online. Some of the images were so graphic that even as an adult, I was shocked. She was also communicating with people in their 30s and pretending to be older than she was, under a made up persona. Whilst the internet was heavily controlled at home and at school, Sophie had free Wi-Fi when she was out, making it very hard to 'police' her internet use 24 hours a day. Peter Wanless, NSPCC Chief Executive, said- “The support for statutory regulation of social networks is now overwhelming. The Government’s Online Harms White Paper must impose a legal duty of care on social networks. Our proposal to tame the Wild West Web would make the UK a world leader in protecting children online. We urge the Government to be bold and introduce these measures without delay.” A huge majority of adults in the NSPCC’s survey also backed a call for social networks to be legally required to make children’s accounts safe, including the highest privacy settings by default, friend suggestions turned off, not being publicly searchable, and geolocation settings turned off. Tech firms would have a duty to risk assess its platforms and promptly notify the regulator if children had come to harm or been put at risk on their sites. In the case of gross breaches, tech firms would be charged with a criminal offence and directors overseeing the duty of care could face disqualification.

and it's impact a lot because I have two young sisters and I am 23 myself. I sympathise with those people who feel the pressures of social media because I am one of them too,” said Neelam Gill to the Asian Voice. Neelam Gill clicks some button in the head. Some may recognise her as the first British-Asian face of L’Oréal UK, others may recall her story on colour and her journey into modelling industry and some yet, raving about the 150k followers she has on Instagram and 25k Twitter vigilantes. But while most would imagine Gill's life is as glamourous as the evening gown she is wearing to the next happening event, the teenager says it is contradictory. “We're all human beings and we all have insecurities and I think social media heightens it. But I think what needs to be done is that more people in positions of power need to speak up and let them know that Instagram is just a highlight reel. And that is why I try to be very authentic to my followers. I let them know when I am having a great day or when I am really down when I'm alone at home and feeling extremely low,” she continued. Body shaming, cosmetic surgery, brown skin and lighter filters, number of followers and the greater number of likes on the pictures posted have slowly penetrated our lifestyle, often dictating how we spend our #SundayFunday. But Gill provides a non-judgmental ear to the choices that people make in their life with the belief that “Whatever makes someone happy so long as they are not hurting someone else is fine

we have to constantly speak about- no matter how big or small,” Jasmin Kaur said. If one visits Kaur's website then one will immediately understand that a lot of her work is based around identity, empowerment, self-love, and, positivity. Hailing from a creative family background, Kaur achieved her degree in graphic design and illustration at the University of Arts London. She pursued her passion of painting regardless of the various phases of mental health and depression that she went through. But the artist started journaling her difficult days, that encouraged her to start talking openly about her issues with her close ones and to begin therapy.

about self-esteem issues that played an equal hand in her deteriorating mental health. “There were comments made on me about how dark I was and how should I wear certain colours like 'red' or 'yellow'. But times are now changing and we are moving away from those mindsets,” she said. Kaur continues to write a blog, through which she speaks about all these issues that is accompanied by her art work. Since leaving therapy again recently she says- “I can honestly say my life has changed for the better though it still gets difficult at times, but I try find ways to protect myself and my sanity. I write this to encourage anyone who might be going through this to not isolate yourself,, don't feel ashamed, most importantly communicate,” the Paradise Girl concludes. Her Instagram profile has beyond 6000 followers, a platform that she uses for urging people to come and join her mental health campaigns. Recently the artist collaborated with Hannah Hill at Tate Modern where she organised the therapeutic art session 'Late at Tate Britain: Don't Worry'.

Digital diaries to cure?

bully someone whether it is behind a screen or in person. There is no excuse for that,” she concluded. But Neelam Gill is just one of the many in public eye who confront the demons of mental health. Jasmin Kaur Sehra, most famous for her portrait on Mala Sen at Brick Lane commissioned by the Mayor of London, is a British Asian artist who actively campaigns for mental health.

Take your broken heart and turn it into art

“I openly speak about my mental health experiences, and although I’ve spoken about it before, I feel like it’s something

While Instagram is constantly criticised for creating social pressures among youngsters, there I JUST WANT MY ALL SECRETS BACK. are also organisations that I DON’T WANT ANYONE TO KNOW ANYTHING ABOUT ME are using the platform to breakdown stereotypes and urge people to finally start having that conversation. Under-18s are increasingly turning to apps, online counselling and “mood diaries” to help them recover from conditions that have left them feeling low, isolated and, VIXENS AND DRUGS in some cases, suicidal. They are able to receive fast, personal care and advice using their phone rather than having to wait “It was the stress of having up to 18 months to be treated by the thought that you need to an NHS mental health profesconform to what and how the sional. society expects you to be which makes you second guess yourself. I always felt like that outcast especially because I was that brown girl pursuing arts whilst my South Asian friends were pursuing something else. This definitely was a major part affecting my mental health,” she said. But accompanied with the isolation in her career is also her story of

I always felt like that outcast especially because I was that brown girl pursuing arts whilst my South Asian friends were pursuing something else. This definitely was a major part affecting my mental health.


18 FINANCE - UK

AsianVoiceNews

AsianVoiceNewsweekly

www.asian-voice.com

16 - 22 February 2019

Consultant Editor Financial Voice Alpesh Patel Dear Financial Voice Reader, What lessons are there for your business to go global from the UK, post-Brexit? In 2005 the Government launched from within the then UK Trade and Investment (UKTI), the Global Entrepreneur Programme (GEP). The aim was to use entrepreneurs as ‘Dealmakers’ to work with the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) overseas, diplomatic missions (Posts) to find outstanding entrepreneurs and technologies from around the world using the Dealmakers’ networks. These would then facilitate deals to bring the entrepreneur, intellectual property behind the intellectual technology (IP) and the company headquarters to the UK and thereafter, assist them to go global. As the Dealmaker responsible for India, Malaysia, Singapore, Southern China (but also dealing with companies from Europe, US, Australia) these are the key lessons of success from a decade of dealmaking for all companies wishing to go global from the UK base: Dealmaking typically involves undertaking a business plan, due diligence, business planning, customer acquisition, assisting in finding funding from venture capitalists, Angel investors or sovereign wealth firms. It requires business skills to land in the UK companies which otherwise would not have been caught for inward investment because UKTI focusses on small simple deals, or larger complex ones – but what about small complex high potential ones? That is where GEP comes in. The companies had to be of outstanding potential, yet require more handholding and dealmaking than conventional UKTI/FCO inward investment deals. The typical companies would be generating under $1m in sales, not be profitable, and have under 10 employees. But they would be expected an evaluation by the Dealmaker of the business plans and of the entrepreneurs to substantially increase revenues, profits, valuation, jobs and bring the flagship inward investment deals. GEP ‘would increase the entrepreneurial gene pool of the UK whilst bringing technologies of strategic importance and high growth potential to Britain’. Lesson 1: Understand Money Pitches Pitching for money is not about money. It is about partnership. To truly understand what benefits the partner gets and why you’re both a great fit beyond the capital; for instance to their goals, portfolio companies – why it’s a no-brainer for them other than the great returns you are promising. Lesson 2: Pitch the investment Don’t ramble – if you cannot explain why the world needs the investment, in 60 seconds, then you’re not ready. You must also tell me after you’ve spent the money, what then? Another raise? Think beyond the immediate sums. Lesson 3: Focus on what you want, money, deals, skills: with precision How much do you need, and for what? It needs to be specific. The pitches that don’t get funded are those which ask for more than they immediately need, which don’t stage their funding needs, that are unclear in terms of what the money will be used for, and how it will lead to sales and a return for the investor. Lesson 4: Why the UK is best according to the most profitable Indian companies For Indian companies, the UK is the most popular location in Europe for them to setup. The reasons I am told most successful, profitable companies I have brought to the UK are: a. Ease of business, access to Dealmaker networks to open doors to customers, advise on pitching for capital b. Access to R&D specialists for their business needs, at Universities c. Access to specialist incubators e.g. Cybersecurity d. Access to networks for business development e. Access to growth, capital through loans, equity, and angels f. Help with exports through business networks, communities, mentors, and UKTI It is critical you maximise the opportunities presented to you when in the UK. Reach out to the mentors, the funding sources, advisors such as the Dealmakers to help with deal structuring from shareholder agreements to due diligence overview on an acquisition. Sometimes dealmaking is a slow grind – it is being locked in a room for a day going line by line on deal documents, corporate finance structures, shareholder agreements. Sometimes it is a phone call, a meeting arranged, and the company pitches and gets a huge order! It is building the infrastructure around a company that makes it grow and reaches its potential – we accelerate and make the UK even more attractive. Never is Brexit mentioned by entrepreneurs setting up here. www.trading-champions.com

UK economic growth at its worst since 2012 The UK economic growth witnessed its slowest annual rate in six years in 2018 after a sharp contraction in December. Growth in the year was 1.4%, down from 1.8% in 2017 and the slowest rate since 2012, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) said. The ONS blamed fall in factory output and car production for the slowdown, among other factors. It forecasts slower growth in 2019 due to Brexit uncertainty and a weaker global economy. According to the ONS, quarterly growth also slowed, falling to 0.2% in the three months to December down from 0.6% in the three months to September. However, Chancellor Philip Hammond said the data showed the economy remained "fundamentally

strong" and that he did not foresee a recession. Head of GDP at the ONS Rob Kent-Smith said: "GDP slowed in the last three months of the year with the manufacturing of cars and steel products seeing steep falls and construction also declining. "However, services continued to grow with the

health sector, management consultants and IT all doing well." A slowdown was expected. But the economy has hit the brakes harder than economists thought it would. Growth over the quarter was weaker than the 0.3% anticipated. And over the month the numbers look positively worrying.

According to the ONS estimates, gross domestic product fell in December by 0.4%. This is the first time since 2012 that services, construction and production all fell. The ONS said the figures reflected a slowdown across a number of industries, as Brexit-related concerns weighed on business spending decisions. In the final quarter of last year, it found car manufacturing declined at its steepest rate in just under a decade, slipping 4.9%. Construction fell 0.3% while business investment dropped 1.4%. While Britain's dominant services sector continued to expand, growth slowed to 0.4% following a strong performance during the summer.

UK companies being lured to shift to Netherlands More than 250 British companies are in talks with Netherlands government to move out their operations before Brexit. The economic affairs ministry of the Dutch government said it had lured 42 companies or branch offices and 1,923 jobs from the UK last year. Among those who have chosen to invest in the Netherlands are the Discovery Channel, Sony and Bloomberg. Sony announced last month it was moving its European headquarters to Amsterdam, as companies in the UK continue to progress with contingency plans. Its rival Panasonic has already moved to the Dutch capital. The government report said another Japanese company, the investment bank Norinchukin, was also moving to Amsterdam, along with the global content company TVT Media, the financial services providers MarketAxess and

Azimo, and the maritime insurer UK P&I Club. While Mark Rutte, the Dutch prime minister, recently said he did not see Brexit as a business opportunity, countries including Ireland, France, Germany, Belgium and Luxembourg have been actively looking for opportunities to capitalise on Brexit ever since the EU referendum. Banks and other financial services are obliged to have operations in a member state if they want to serve a pan-EU market, while broadcasters who transmit across the EU need to have a licence in one member state to meet regulations. The BBC is considering setting up an international base in Belgium. The Dutch economic affairs ministry said: “In 2019, several companies, including Discovery and Bloomberg, have already announced their intention

to invest in the Netherlands because of Brexit. “Additionally, the Netherlands foreign investment agency is talking with more than 250 foreign companies to shift their operations following Brexit.” Most of the 250 companies were British, but some were American or Asian firms reconsidering their European branch structures, the report said. “These include companies in the financial sector, media and advertising, life sciences and

health and logistics.” The number of companies relocating to an EU member state is expected to grow. Both the Institute of Directors and the Confederation of British industry said recently that businesses needed certainty and visibility for investment and could not ride out the political uncertainty. France has identified 50 companies, including motor and pharmaceutical industries, that it is trying to entice across the Channel. Last month President Emmanuel Macron hosted an investment summit for more than 140 business leaders, including bosses of companies with a significant British presence, such as Goldman Sachs, Google and Siemens. Last week the boss of Siemens UK, Jürgen Maier, said Britain and the Conservative party were being held to ransom by hardline Brexiters in the European Research Group.

UK and Switzerland sign trade continuity agreement UK Secretary of State for International Trade and President of the Board of Trade Liam Fox MP, signed the UK-Switzerland agreement in Bern on Monday with Swiss Federal Councillor Guy Parmelin. The news has been welcomed by business groups, including the British Swiss Chamber of Commerce (BSCC) who say it will help to support jobs and ensure businesses can keep trading without disruption. The agreement simplifies trade and allows businesses to continue trading freely, without any additional tariffs. It continues the elimination of duties on the vast majority of

Liam Fox signed the trade deal in the Swiss city of Bern

goods traded between the UK and Switzerland. Trading on these preferential terms rather than on World Trade Organization terms will deliver significant savings and help to safeguard British jobs. This will help to further strengthen the trading relationship

between the UK and Switzerland, which was worth £32.1 billion in 2017. The British vehicles sector could avoid up to £8 million a year in tariff charges on their exports that would apply if the agreement wasn’t in place, while aluminium exporters could avoid up to £4 million

and precious stones and metals exporters could also avoid up to £4 million. Consumers in the UK will continue to benefit from more choice and lower prices on goods imported from Switzerland, such as clocks, watches, and pharmaceutical products. Liam Fox MP said: ‘‘Switzerland is one of the most valuable trading partners that we are seeking continuity for, accounting for more than £32 billion worth of trade a year. This is of huge economic importance to UK businesses so I’m delighted to be here in Bern today, ensuring continuity for 15,000 British exporters.’’


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AsianVoiceNews

REAL ESTATE VOICE

AsianVoiceNewsweekly

19

16 - 22 February 2019

WHEN TO DO THE DROP Currently, we are engaged with a few sellers’ lawyers with regards to purchasing some properties; we are going through a few contacts. We are planning to drop the prices on some of them just prior to exchange. Why? Well the one reason everyone is using is the one beginning with B.

Suresh Vagjiani Sow & Reap London Property Investment

Actually, truth be told, we’re just jumping on the bandwagon. We have confidence in the London market. It’s resilience and ability to bounce back has proved itself time and time again; after all it’s a 500year-old property market. Of course, this is not the whole of the market. Like any market it’s made up of sectors. People often forget there is a fundamental housing need which is not being fulfilled; and will not be fulfilled in the foreseeable future. Instead they get caught up in speculation. If you concentrate on investing with the fundamentals in mind you will unlikely go wrong. The lack of confidence exists mostly in the minds and psyches of the populace, and not in fundamental reality. So, we believe in the London property market. Our clients are still buying. It helps most if the others do not. Therefore, this can be used to negotiate a price drop.

There is an art to doing this. It cannot be prescriptive. Each situation is unique and needs to be looked at individually. To look for the weakest link in the deal and press it. Generally, our approach has been from the outset that the deal needs to make sense, and worse comes to worse, we’re happy to purchase at the price we agreed. A further drop would just be a cherry on the pie, and market sentiment is currently on our side. Once the deal has been agreed, money starts to be spent, both on the lawyers and the valuers. Therefore, it’s important it doesn’t get spent in vain. A price drop needs to be thought out and justified. During the conveyancing process things will come out of the wood work. Typically, for flats it will be management information, particularly relating to service charges. Agents are notoriously bad at investigating and disclosing this information upfront. Therefore, it only comes out after an offer has been agreed and money has been spent. As this information comes out, it can be used to negotiate the price down. It is best to do this at the point of exchange. When money is in the

AGONY AGENT IS HERE TO HELP! Q: What responsibilities does a guarantor have as far as my tenants are concerned? lawyer’s client account and s/he has their finger on the button. If the seller knows the deal will be done in the next few hours this could sway the decision. After all, a bird in hand is worth two in the bush. Generally speaking, it’s worth getting the agent on your side. Particularly if the seller lives in the country or abroad he may be reliant on the agent for all his decisions. In such cases, getting the agent on your side is the equivalent of having the seller on your side as well. Technically, the agent acts for who they get paid by, in this case the seller. The trigger point for them to get paid is getting the deal done. Therefore, they will do what’s necessary to get the deal done and be paid ASAP. There are a host of other factors which can be used. We will explore them in the next article. Do get in touch if you would like us to source investment property for you.

LANGUAGES OF LOVE There is an excellent book called The Five Languages of Love. The observation is that humans give and receive love in five ways:

“alien”. Getting it right is “sunshine”.

Words of affirmation Acts of service ● Giving gifts ● Spending quality time ● Physical touch

Every act you do for a loved one can be categorised in four ways. Was it proactive or reactive? Was it expressed as s/he likes it? Reactive/Alien; Reactive/Sunshine; Proactive/Alien and Proactive/Sunshine.

Expressing our love in a form the other person does not value is

How often do you proactively organise time to spend with a

● ●

BUY TO LET OPPORTUNITY London, W2 Purchase Price: £575,000 Specialists in Central London Property Sourcing

● ● ● ● ● ●

loved one? How do you know that the way you show your love is the way s/he likes to receive it? For a great relationship we want Proactive/Sunshine! Proactively expressing love in a way the other person values. This can be expanded outside of love, to business and the workplace. You just need to tweak the categories.

Next week’s article will be about applying this in the workplace. Abraham Goldberg

A: A guarantor would be responsible for any and all short comings or non-payments with the rent and damages to the property. So, if your tenants fail to pay, you are fully within your rights to approach the guarantor and furthermore take legal action against them. Now, when they signed the tenancy agreement, or a Guarantor Indemnity, there should have been wording to cover that either the guarantor guarantees the rent proportion for the tenant that s/he is acting for; or the guarantor will guarantee the total rental. The wording is a little more detailed than that, but the nuts and bolts are simply one person’s rent share or the complete rent share. Should you be renting your property out to students, I would recommend one guarantor per student. To reiterate, the guarantor has agreed to accept the liabilities on behalf of the tenant/s. Basically, in the event of a tenant being unable to meet their obligations under the Tenancy Agreement, if it is for overdue rent, damage to the property or whatever, the guarantor is legally bound to accept the liabilities on behalf of the tenant. To ensure this is enforceable, MAKE SURE you have the correct wording in place at the start. If you need any other lettings guidance, please do get in touch. Richard Bond

Bright two bed, two bath flat in a portered building Very good condition Excellent views from the ninth floor Will rent in days Long lease Similar two bed flats have been sold for £975/sq. ft. and above, while we have secured this flat for £824/sq. ft. at a discount of at least 18% Excellent yield of 4.5% per annum for a central London location Close to Connaught Village, Hyde Park and Oxford Street Close to Marble Arch and Edgware Road stations Very good long term buy and hold opportunity

● ● ● ● Call us now for more information!

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

Sowandreapuk

Turning land into cash Get in touch about our land opportunities


20 FINANCE - INDIA

AsianVoiceNews

AsianVoiceNewsweekly

www.asian-voice.com

16 - 22 February 2019

RIL may sell Jio infra Vodafone-Idea reports assets to reduce debt highest quarterly loss According to reliable sources, Brookfield Asset Management, one of the world’s top infrastructure and private equity investors, is in talks to buy controlling shares in Reliance Jio’s telecom towers and fibre assets valued at over $15 billion. The deal, if it happens, would be the largest private equity action, besides being one of the largest M&A's in India. Jio, the telecom arm of Reliance Industries (RIL), recently said it was spinning off tower and fibre into two separate entities, as part of an anticipated de-leveraging exercise. RIL is keen on retiring and refinancing a chunk of its £30 billion debt mostly soaked up to finance Jio's disruptive roll-out. Jio operates with a network of over 2,20,000 towers, including third party ones, and around

3,00,000 route km of optic fibre, in serving a subscriber base fast approaching 300 million. Canada-based Brookfield, managing assets worth more than $330 billion globally, has been eyeing telecom infrastructure assets in Asia’s third largest economy for a while. Brookfield had purchased the loss-making East West Pipeline - a 1,400 km pipeline connecting Kakinada in Andhra Pradesh to Bharuch in Gujarat entity owned by Mukesh Ambani and family for $2

billion last year. “Jio plans to take certain infrastructure assets out of the balance sheet as part of the de-leveraging exercise. It is exploring a deal with Brookfield to spin off assets which has the ability to carry huge debt when backed by long-term operating agreements,” aid a source. Brookfield, which has built a rapport with RIL, along with its global sponsors are keen on a full acquisition, but details would be flushed out only as talks move forward.

RBI cuts repo rate by 25 basis points The Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) of the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has decided to reduce the key policy rate or the repo rate by 25 bps to 6.25% in the last bimonthly policy review of 2018-19 while changing the policy stance to 'neutral' from 'calibrated tightening'. The rate cut is in line with expectations as retail inflation grew by 2.2% in December, its slowest in the last 18 months. While the decision to change the policy stance was unanimous, four out of six members voted for a rate cut

while two opted for status quo. This was the first policy review under the new Governor Shaktikanta Das. While reducing the interest rate, the Central bank said headline inflation is projected to remain soft in the near term reflecting the

current low level of inflation and the benign food inflation outlook. “Continuing deflation in food items, a sharp fall in fuel inflation and some edging down of inflation excluding food and fuel contributed to the decline in headline inflation,” the RBI said. Observing that actual inflation in the third quarter of 2018-19 was marginally lower than what was projected, the RBI said, “There have been downward revisions in inflation projections during the course of the year.

Following stiff competition from Reliance Jio, Vodafone-Idea – India's largest telecom company reported second-successive quarter of losses, despite working out business synergies and cost optimisation after their merger in August last year. In Q3 (October-December) Vodafone-Idea’s loss was £500.5 million (highest ever quarterly loss) compared to £497.4 million loss in Q2 (July-September). VodafoneIdea’s revenue in Q3 was £1.18 billion, down 2% on a sequential basis. The going looks tough for the company, which has now cleared plans to raise £2.5 billion to fund expansion and tackle competition. The fund-raising process is in progress, the company said. Vodafone-Idea said despite tough competition, it is moving comfortably on its business plans post the merger. “We are progressing well on our stated strategy. The initiatives taken during

the quarter started showing encouraging trends by end of the quarter,” Balesh Sharma, CEO of Vodafone Idea, said. He said the company is moving “faster than expected” on integration, specifically on the network front, and is on track to deliver synergy targets. “We remain focused on fortifying our position in key districts by expanding the coverage and capacity of our 4G network, and target a higher share of new 4G customers… proceeds from the announced capital raise will put us in a strong position to achieve our strategic goals,” Sharma added. The company said its subscriber base has come down as it shed customers, who were not paying minimum recharge. “The

introduction of ‘service validity vouchers’ on a national basis during the quarter, which require customers to make a minimum recharge of Rs 35 (28 days validity), contributed to a reduction of 35 million customers in the quarter. ‘Incoming-only’ customers or ‘minimal ARPU’ customers consolidated their spending from multiple to single SIMs.” The measure helped the company increase its average revenue per user (ARPU) by 1.5% in the quarter. “We expect to see further positive impact on revenue and ARPU from these actions.” VodafoneIdea expects tariffs to remain “stable”. “However, customers continue to migrate to lower ARPU plans. Within this context, the company has implemented various initiatives to improve its revenue, profitability and competitive standing.’’

2 banks put stressed accounts on sale State-owned State Bank of India (SBI) and Oriental Bank of Commerce (OBC) have put on sale various financial accounts to recover dues of about £574 million. SBI has invited bids from asset reconstruction companies (ARCs) and financial institutions (FIs) to recover an outstanding of £497.5 million. The bulk of accounts up for sale by SBI are of

small and medium enterprises (SMEs) that have dues of £466.7 million. OBC wants to sell 13 accounts with a collective outstanding of £76.44 million, according to the bid document. As many as 281 SME accounts are up for sale by SBI, belonging to those firms that have dues of up to £5 million. The collective dues on these SMEs are £466.65 million.

SBI will also sell three accounts - Dennis Steels Pvt. Ltd. with outstanding of £25.87 million, Shiva Speciality Yarns (£3.79 million) and Bansidhar Spinning & Weaving Mills Ltd. (£1.17 million). Among the major loan accounts invited for sale by OBC are Mittal Corp Ltd. (£20.72 million), Jayaswal Neco Industries Ltd. (£15.7 million) and NCS Sugars Ltd. (£10.66 million).

We miss Thatcher’s handbag - but life must go on...

Cllr. Abhishek Sachdev

Abhishek Sachdev founded Vedanta Hedging to provide transparency for corporates that use derivatives for risk management. Vedanta Hedging is now the UK’s largest firm of FCA Authorised derivative experts for SMEs with a combined 185-years of derivative expertise. Abhishek was also the first Indian Councillor to be elected in Hertsmere.

As I write, the Bank of England has retreated from plans for multiple interest rate rises as it downgrades its economic outlook amid mounting Brexit uncertainty and slowing global growth. The BoE cut its forecast for UK growth to 1.2% in 2019, the weakest level since the recession of 2009. In sending a dovish signal on monetary policy, the BoE has joined central banks from the US, India, Australia and Canada in stepping back from plans for tighter monetary policy and highlighting concerns about the economic outlook. In the face of the significantly weaker outlook, the Monetary Policy Committee indicated it was much less likely than before to raise interest rates, as it voted unanimously to hold the benchmark rate at 0.75% in the

February meeting. If Brexit concerns increased further, even with a deal, the BoE said it could easily knock another 1.5% off economic growth prospects over the next three years.

So, what does this mean for borrowers looking to hedge?

The cost of securing a fixed rate £10m loan over a ten-year period has actually skyrocketed by £285k since the start of 2018! It is important to remember that swap rates fluctuate continuously and are likely to react to market news before the MPC is able to. The below shows the volatility of 5-year fixed rates (i.e.swap rates) even just in the last two months. This simply shows that on a day-to-day basis, absolutely nobody can predict what future interest rates are being priced at by the financial markets. The current cost of a 5-year

fixed rate is 1.15%. However, property investors cannot stand still. Our clients are still acquiring pharmacies, nursing homes, hotels and commercial properties across the country. Refinancing terms are improving continually, not least due to a plethora of other lenders such as Atom Bank, OakNorth and, Aldermore, to name but a few. Banks are still requiring some of these property firms to protect (i.e. hedge) against interest rate risk. Not only are they entitled

to do so, but it is entirely prudent for both them and property investors to consider hedging parts of the ‘floating-rate’ debt. As a rule of thumb, we would strongly advise that any business owner with at least £2m of borrowing should speak to their Bank about hedging options. Even if you decide that it you do not wish to pay the costs of hedging ‘insurance’ at this stage, at least you have been made aware of the options. Just last week, we helped a commercial

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13 At Dubai summit, Pak PM warns of 'painful' reforms

that the IMF top management endorsed the stance of its staff negotiating with Pakistan. In September last year, Pakistan had decided to seek a bailout package to avoid default on its international debt obligations. But things could not move in the desired direction as the Pakistan government was unwilling to take politically unpopular decisions demanded by IMF. The IMF, according to sources, was asking Pakistan for further increase in electricity and gas prices, upward adjustments in tariff besides demanding a complete and meaningful free float exchange rate regime. Due to fear of political backlash, the government at that time was not ready to concede. It, however, has agreed to implement most of these measures now but only differs with the timing and pace suggested by the IMF.

Pak SC prohibits army from indulging in political activities ISLAMABAD: In a rare rebuke to Pakistan’s powerful military, the top court prohibited them from engaging in political activities and directed spy agencies like the ISI to operate within the law. Delivering a landmark verdict on the 2017 Faizabad sit-in by the hardline Tehreek-e-Labbaik Pakistan (TLP) and other smaller groups, a two-member Supreme Court bench also ordered the government to act against those propagating “hatred, extremism and terrorism.” “We direct the federal and provincial governments to monitor those advocating hate, extremism and terrorism and prosecute the perpetrators in accordance with the law,” the bench comprising Justice Qazi Faez Isa and Justice Mushir Alam ruled. The court directed all government agencies and departments, including those run by the army like spy agency Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) to operate within the limits defined by the law.

The bench ordered that members of the armed forces were prohibited from engaging in any kind of political activity, which includes supporting a party, faction or individual. “The government of Pakistan through the Ministry of Defence and the respective Chiefs of the Army, the Navy and the Air Force are directed to initiate action against the personnel under their command who are found to have violated their oath,” the court said. Several experts were of the view that Prime Minister Imran Khan was supported by the country’s powerful army in the last year’s general election. Pakistan’s powerful military has ruled the country through various coups for nearly half of the country’s history since independence in 1947. The military plays an important role in the country’s decision making. The apex court also outlawed religious edicts called fatwas that aimed to harm others. “A person issuing an edict or fatwa,

which harms another or puts another in harm’s way, must be criminally prosecuted under the Pakistan Penal Code, the Anti-Terrorism Act and/or the Prevention of Electronic Crimes Act, 2016,” the court ruled. The court upheld that subject to reasonable restrictions imposed by law, citizens have the right to form and to be members of political parties. They can also assemble for peaceful protest. It said the right to assemble and protest is circumscribed only to the extent that it infringes on the fundamental rights of others, including their right to free movement and to hold and enjoy property. The court ordered that those protesters who obstruct people’s right to use roads and damage or destroy property must be proceeded against in accordance with the law and held accountable. It initiated suo motu proceedings on November 21, 2017 after TLP blocked a main highway leading to Islamabad.

Voice Political & Public Life Awards 2019 NOMINATION FORM

The prestigious Asian Voice Political and Public Life Awards represent our modest effort to honour a number of outstanding individuals from different communities, walks of life and diverse political persuasions who serve society in their own special way, and who contribute significantly and making a big difference in their COMMUNITIES. Please

IMF chief Christine Lagarde and Imran Khan

also highlighted that decisive policies and a strong package of economic reforms would enable Pakistan to restore the resilience of its economy and lay the foundations for stronger and more inclusive growth." IMF tells Pak to adopt ‘decisive policies’ The IMF has asked Pakistan to take “decisive actions” as a prerequisite for the bailout package. The demand for implementation of drastic measures was made during a meeting between Lagarde and Imran in Dubai. “I also highlighted that decisive policies and a strong package of economic reforms would enable Pakistan to restore the resilience of its economy and lay the foundations for stronger and more inclusive growth,” a brief IMF handout quoted Lagarde as saying. The IMF described meeting with Imran as “constructive” but the tone of its handout suggested

16 - 22 February 2019

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PAKISTAN

DUBAI: Pakistan's Prime Minister Imran Khan said his nation needed "painful" economic reforms to cut back on its massive debt, just after meeting the head of the International Monetary Fund, signaling the former cricketer may be willing to slash government spending for a bailout. Khan made the comments at the World Government Summit in Dubai. Khan made a point in an address to repeatedly hit on the need for economic reforms as IMF chief Christine Lagarde looked on from the audience. "I repeat the reforms are painful. It's like a surgery. When you conduct surgery for a while the patient suffers but that improves," Khan said. "The worst thing that can happen for society is that you keep postponing reforms because of the fear that you would have opposition, the vested interests stand up and you don't do reforms." Before taking the stage, Khan met with Lagarde. Pakistan has been seeking an $8 billion bailout from the IMF. Pakistan has around $100 billion in external debts and liabilities, according to the State Bank of Pakistan. A statement from Lagarde called the meeting "good and constructive. I reiterated that the IMF stands ready to support Pakistan," Lagarde said. "I

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Lawmakers ask US govt to treat students held in visa fraud fairly WASHINGTON: A group of eminent American lawmakers has asked authorities to facilitate consular access to Indians held for enrolling in a fake university allegedly to remain in the US, and to treat them fairly and humanely after the community raised concerns over the manner they were detained. In multiple raids last month, authorities arrested 129 Indians and a Palestinian enrolled as students in the fraudulent university. The Farmington University was set up by the DHS’s investigating unit in Greater Detroit area to bust the “pay-

Indian students being arrested by immigration authorities

and-stay” racket. While immigration attorneys claimed the students knew nothing about the varsity’s illegal operation, the US state

department said they were aware that they were committing a crime to fraudulently remain in the country.

In a letter, the lawmakers led by Indian-American Congressman Raja Krishnamoorthi urged the department of homeland security and US immigration and customs enforcement to ensure students detained were afforded all rights provided to them under law, including access to an attorney and release on bond for those eligible. The letter also asked the DHS and the ICE to share full details and regular updates regarding the Indian students with the embassy and consulates of India, and to facilitate consular access for the detainees.

Hindi becomes third official court language in Abu Dhabi ABU DHABI: In a landmark decision, Abu Dhabi has included Hindi as the third official language used in its courts, alongside Arabic and English, as part of a move designed to improve access to justice. The Abu Dhabi Judicial Department (ADJD) made the decision focusing on the Indian community in the UAE, which constitutes 30% of the total population in the country. The body said it has extended the adoption of interactive forms of statement of claims filed before courts by including Hindi alongside Arabic and English in labor cases. The move is aimed at helping Hindi speakers to learn about litigation procedures, their rights and duties without a language barrier, in addition to facilitating registration

procedures via unified forms available through the ADJD website. According to official figures, the UAE population is estimated to be around 5 million of which two-thirds are immigrants from foreign countries. The Indian community in the UAE,

numbering 2.6 million, constitutes 30% of the total population. It's the largest expatriate community in the country. Yousef Saeed Al Abri, the undersecretary of the ADJD, said the adoption of multilingual interactive forms for claim

sheets, grievances, and requests, aims to promote judicial services in line with the plan 'Tomorrow 2021' and increase the transparency of litigation procedures. He indicated that the extension of the adoption of interactive forms in several languages comes under the directives ADJD Chairman. Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy PM and Minister of Presidential Affairs and ADJD Chairman, directed to extend the adoption of interactive forms. The adoption comes as part of the bilingual litigation system, the first phase of which was launched in November 2018, through the adoption of procedures requiring the plaintiffs to translate the case documents into English, if the defendant is a foreigner.

Foundation for BAPS temple in Abu Dhabi to be laid on April 20 ABU DHABI: The foundation stone for the first Hindu temple in Abu Dhabi will be laid on April 20, according to Bochasanwasi Akshar Purushottam Sanstha (BAPS) which is building the temple. The ‘Shilanyas ceremony’ will be presided over by the spiritual leader of the BAPS, Mahant Swami Maharaj. The Maharaj will be making his first official visit to the UAE from April 18 to 29. The announcement came as the temple marks a year after the ground-breaking ceremony during which the first rites of Bhumi Pujan were performed at the site in Abu Mureikhah area on February 11, 2018. Witnessing the ceremony through a live stream, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had revealed a model structure of the temple with seven towers representing the seven emirates in the UAE. Dubbed an icon of tolerance and religious harmony in the UAE, the temple is being built on 13.5 acres of

Members of the Indian community at the ground-breaking ceremony of the temple on February 11, 2018. Narendra Modi witnessed the ceremony live at the Dubai Opera.

land gifted by His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, to the Indian community. The UAE government later gifted an equal area of land for building

parking facilities in the temple premises. The complex that is estimated to cost Dh450m is being finalised and now going through approval processes. The pink stone from Rajasthan and marble from Macedonia are scheduled to reach the sculpting

sites in the coming months for the craftsmen to begin work. The Shilanyas ceremony in April will observe a sacred Hindu ritual wherein the first foundation stones are sanctified and fixed in the ground as the base of the Mandir. The Mandir’s foundation will then be made on these stones considered sacred. After these ceremonies, construction will begin in this Year of Tolerance, the BAPS said. Privileges offered for temple ceremony The Mandir is offering special privileges for attendees of the temple’s foundation stone-laying ceremony on April 20. “On that day, yajmans will participate in a special ceremony. And those who wish to become yajmans can contact outreach @mandir.ae,” the BAPS said in a statement. Yajmans or yajamanas are the ritual patrons, on whose behalf a religious ritual is performed by a priest.

in brief

BRITISH WOMAN JAILED FOR SLAPPING INDONESIAN OFFICIAL

A British woman who slapped an immigration officer on the Indonesian tourist island of Bali after missing her flight due to an expired visa was sentenced to six months in prison. Video showing Auj-e Taqaddas cursing and hitting an officer at Bali's international airport in July was widely shared on social media. The video shows the 43-year-old throwing a lengthy tantrum after being asked to pay a fine of $4,000 for overstaying her visa, which had expired in February last. After being sentenced, Taqaddas said the court was corrupt and she had been tortured by police. She was arrested at a shopping mall after she failed to appear in court several times.

GILANI BARRED FROM LEAVING COUNTRY

Former Pakistan Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani was stopped from leaving the country by security officials at the Lahore airport. According to the Federal Investigation Agency, Gilani had reached the airport to catch a flight for South Korea. However, his name was on the nofly list. At the immigration counter, Gilani was told that his name was on the black list and he could not leave the country. Reacting strongly, the senior Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) leader said he had always appeared in court in the different ongoing cases against him. "There was no point in placing my name on (the) no-fly list. I was not fleeing the country. Prime Minister Imran Khan's sole agenda seems to be targeting his political opponents," he said. Gilani is facing several corruption cases.

PAK GOVT ABOLISHES HAJ SUBSIDY TO SAVE MONEY

The Pakistan government’s decision to abolish the Haj subsidy will save Rs 450 crore to national exchequer, the country’s religious affairs and interfaith harmony minister Noorul Haq Qadri has said. The decision to abolish the Haj subsidy was taken during a federal cabinet meeting chaired by Prime Minister Imran Khan in Islamabad recently, sparking a debate whether Islam allows a subsidised Haj or not. “The previous (PML-N) government was paying Rs 42,000 subsidy on each pilgrim which put an additional burden of Rs 450 crore on national exchequer. Keeping the current financial situation of the country, the Federal Cabinet has decided to withdraw this subsidy,” Qadri was quoted as saying.

PAK PM ORDERS ACTION AFTER MISCREANTS VANDALISE HINDU TEMPLE

Pakistan prime minister Imran Khan ordered swift and strong action against the perpetrators who vandalised a Hindu temple in Sindh province. The miscreants set the holy books and idols on fire. Khan took to Twitter to call upon the provincial authorities to take swift action against the culprits “The government of Sindh must take swift and decisive action against the perpetrators. This is against the teachings of the Quran," Imran was quoted as saying. There was no caretaker at the temple because the community felt that it was safe enough, since it was surrounded by their houses. After the incident, the Hindus in the area held a protest in the city. Rajesh Kumar Hardasani, the adviser of the Pakistan Hindu Council, has demanded the formation of a special task force for the security of Hindu temples. Police said that they were hunting for the attackers but so far no arrest was made. Nobody or group took responsibility of the attack. Hindus form almost two per cent of the 220 million population in Muslim-majority Pakistan. Most of the Hindus live in Sindh province.


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16 - 22 February 2019

Vadra grilled over his ‘links’ to arms dealer and expensive overseas properties Much to the chagrin of the Rahul Gandhi/Priyanka Gandhi-led Congress, the Enforcement Directorate remains hooked to Robert Vadra, as its probe focuses on the acquisition of expensive properties abroad through allegedly benami transactions. Sources reveal that investigators, who had earlier questioned Vadra to clarify their suspicions about his links to a London flat at 12, Ellorton House, Bryanston Square worth over £2.6 million, have now asked him to also explain whether he was connected to the purchase of a Dubai villa, E-74 at Jumeirah, for £1.4 million. During the ED's interrogation of Vadra, husband of Congress General Secretary Priyanka Gandhi, he was asked about big cash deposits in Dubai-

based Skylight Investments, a company bearing a name with a striking similarity to Skylight Hospitality Pvt Ltd, he owns in India. It is reported Vadra was asked to explain his ties with CC Thampi, the person who was the shareholder of Skylight Investment FZE. Skylight Investment, suspected to be a shell company with no business to show, bought the property in London's Bryanston Square from fugitive arms dealer Sanjay Bhandari in June 2010 after money was transferred to Bhandari's firm. Sources also said that Vadra's denial that he had no links to Skylight Investment FZE, Dubai, was unconvincing. A source involved in the investigation said he “looked flustered”. The intense two-day

Robert Vadra

questioning of Vadra focused mainly on his abroad assets, especially in London and UAE. The investigation has purportedly opened a can of worms for his brother-inlaw Congress President Rahul Gandhi. The ED grilled Vadra for over eight hours last week, on the “ultimate beneficiary” of London

residencies and six flats which it alleged were bought by his associates through a web of companies. The ED has alleged that many of the properties were used for “routing kickbacks” and “round-tripping illegal wealth”. Vadra's name has come up in several other cases like: Money Laundering- The ED had last year filed a case

of money laundering against him for the purchase of the property at Bryanstone Square in London worth 1.9 million pounds. There were other two properties estimated at around 4 million pounds and 5 million pounds apart from other flats. The ED has alleged that Vadra and his associates received kickbacks in a petroleum deal inked in 2009 during the UPA regime. Haryana Land Deal Case- An FIR was lodged last September against Vadra and former Haryana chief minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda under the Prevention of Corruption Act and multiple sections of the Indian Penal Code (IPC). Bikaner Money Laundering Case- In 2015, the ED had registered a

money laundering case against Sky Light Hospitality owned by Vadra. The company had bought land in Kolayat, Bikaner at dirt cheap prices and sold it to Allegenery Finlease for £5,15,000 allegedly. The land was originally meant for rehabilitating poor villagers but was bought by Vadra through illegal transactions. ED also claimed that Allengenery Finlease was a fictitious company and had no real business. Fraud cases- The CBI had registered 18 cases of fraud against companies including an entity owned by Vadra on the recommendation of the then Rajasthan government, in August 2017. Out of these 18 cases, four were registered against his company.

CAG submits Rafale audit SC asks Mayawati to repay money used for statues report to President, to reach Parliament soon A report by the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG), into 11 defence deals including the one for the purchase of 36 Rafale fighter jets, has been submitted to the President and the government. It has been reported that the report may have side-stepped the controversial offset aspect of the deal. The opposition alleges that the old deal was scrapped and a new one signed, so as to benefit Anil Ambani's Reliance Defence. A government official said, “The draft report on the offset deals is ready and it has been sent to the ministry of defence for its comments, which are awaited. Once the comments are received, the final report will be prepared. The final audit report on offset deals may come after the elections.” The report has been divided into two sections one pertaining to 10 acquisitions and the second, exclusively on Rafale. Titled 'Capital Acquisitions of the Air Force', the report looks at major procurements over five years. The second sections reportedly focuses on the contentious pricing aspect of the Rafale aircraft deal.

A decade after BSP chief Mayawati’s term as Uttar Pradesh chief minister saw “hundreds of crores” of public funds spent on statues of herself and BSP’s party symbol, the elephant, the decision has returned to haunt her with the Supreme Court asking her to refund the money. A bench of Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi and Justices Deepak Gupta and Sanjiv Khanna, while hearing a 2009 PIL filed against the state government and Mayawati, observed: “Madam Mayawati, reimburse to the exchequer public money you spent on the elephants.

The government source said, “The report contains a comparative analysis of Rafale's pricing vis-à-vis the initial plan to buy 126 jets, including 18 in flyaway condition. The NDA government decided to buy only 36 Rafale jets, all in flyaway condition.” Scrapping of the original deal during the previous UPA regime, by the NDA has become controversial. A CAG official has said that the comparative analysis has been done in percentage terms; the actual comparative price of the jet was mentioned in the report but was redacted. They said, “The redaction has been done on the request of the defence ministry which cited national security as well as the confidentiality clause of the deal with the French

government. There have been many other CAG reports where sensitive information has been redacted earlier too.” Submission of the report comes a day after the Congress demanded that Comptroller and Auditor General Rajiv Mehrishi recuse himself from auditing the deal as he was the finance secretary when the deal was renegotiated. The Finance Ministry, however, refuted the allegations and said Mehrishi never dealt with expenditure proposals from the defence ministry. It released a statement saying, “To claim that finance secretary would have dealt with the expenditure proposals from the ministry of defence is totally a figment of imagination and stretch of facts.”

BSP chief Mayawati

We are of the tentative view that you should pay the public money from your pocket.” The bench said it will adjudicate the issue and posted the case to April 2 for final hearing. The Mayawati government allocated money from the state budget for 2008-09 and 2009-10 for the projects and

it is alleged that money to the tune of £200 million was spent. The PIL seeks direction to restrain the state government from misusing public funds for political gains. The petitioner alleged that 90% of the budget of the UP cultural department was used for the purpose. “Hundreds of crores of public money was spent by the government of Uttar Pradesh for personal glorification by erecting statues particularly of leaders who are presently (the reference was in 2009) in power,’’ petitioner Ravi Kant said in his PIL.

Taralaxmi Baa celebrates 100th birthday

Jyotsna Shah On January 26, Indian Republic Day, Pujya Taralaxmi Ratilal Shah completed 100 years of her life and received an invitation from Her Royal Highness Queen Elizabeth. Born on January 26, 1019, in MukallaAden, she stayed in Aden till 1965, and later till 1998 in India. After the sad demise of her husband in 1991, she came to London in 1998 to live with her son Babubha and daughter-in-law Pravinaben. She has held her family together all these years. In the past eight years, Taralaxmiben has been spending her life in Meera Nursing Home, based in Staglane, Kingsbury. For her

wide family of four sons, four daughters, 20 grandchildren, and 13 great-grandchildren, she is a thorough blessing. The secret behind her long life is her disciplined lifestyle, her positive attitude, her calm nature, and her lack of interest in materialistic things. Taraben has always given love to those around her. Even at the age of 100, she lives a relatively healthy life, albeit a hearing problem and loss of teeth. On her birthday, her entire family got together and celebrated her 100th anniversary.


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SOUTH INDIA

PM Modi mocks at coalition govt in Karnataka BENGALURU: Calling the Congress-JD(S) coalition government in Karnataka a "weak model of governance", Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday said the alliance of Opposition parties wants to replicate this model at the Centre also. Kicking off his poll campaign in the state with a massive rally in the BJP stronghold of Hubbali in North Karnataka, Modi said: "They want to impose this weak model of governance on the whole of the country, where the leader of the government is crying over his situation. They will steal from the country and the whole world will laugh at the country. This is the model they want to

Narendra Modi addressing massive rally in Hubbali in North Karnataka

inflict on the nation.'' "We need a new India that is strong, not weak. Every vote

should say whether the honest should rule or the dishonest, whether development will rule or dynasty, positivity or negativity, whether you want clarity or cover-ups - these are the questions that will decide the future of the country,'' he said. Attacking the state government, he said the coalition leaders were only concerned about their "selfish interests''. "Everybody is busy trying to protect their own chairs. Legislators are fighting with each other and cracking each other's heads," he said, referring to a brawl between two Congress legislators last month. "Everybody's punching bag is the

Chief Minister of the state. He is busy, day and night, in protecting his chair from the big leaders of the Congress. He also keeps talking about feeling weak in the current situation. There is a question mark over who is in charge of the government," he said. The Prime Minister also laid the foundation stone for an Indian Institute of Technology and an Indian Institute of Information Technology at Dharwad - Hubbali's twin city. He dedicated to the nation a gas distribution network and 2,350 houses built under the PMAY scheme in Dharwad, and two strategic petroleum reserve facilities in Mangalore worth £290 million.

PUNJAB

Kartarpur corridor: Pak delegation to visit India in March ISLAMABAD: Pakistan has announced it will send a delegation to India next month to discuss and finalise draft agreement for setting up a corridor to facilitate visit of Sikh pilgrims to the Kartarpur Darbar Sahib Gurudwara. Both neighbours have agreed to open up a special border crossing linking Gurdwara Darbar Sahib in Kartarpur, the final resting place of Sikh faith's founder Guru Nanak Dev, to Dera Baba Nanak shrine in India's Gurdaspur district. Kartarpur Sahib is located in Pakistan's Narowal district across the river Ravi, about four km from the Dera Baba Nanak shrine. The corridor will facilitate the visa-free travel of Indian Sikh pilgrims to Gurdwara

Darbar Sahib in Kartarpur. Pakistan Foreign Office spokesperson Mohammad Faisal announced on the internet that Pakistan also proposed a return visit by Indian delegation on March 28. He tweeted, “In a spirit of constructive engagement, Pakistan has proposed to India that the Pakistan delegation may visit India on 13 March followed by the return visit of the Indian delegation to Pakistan on March 28 to finalise the draft agreement for the Kartarpur corridor. Faisal further said that “we look forward to positive reciprocity from India.” Both countries last month floated proposals to host talks in order to give the final shape to the agreement. Pakistan has committed to open the corridor

Kartarpur Darbar Sahib Gurudwara

in November on the occasion of the 550th birth anniversary of Guru Nanak Dev. Vice President Venkaiah Naidu and Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh laid the foundation stone for the Kartarpur corridor in Gurdaspur, last year on November 26. Two days later,

Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan laid the foundation stone for the corridor at Narowal, 125 km from Lahore. Decision to build the corridor, from Dera Baba Nanak in Gurdaspur district to the International Border, was taken by the Union Cabinet on November 22.

WEST BENGAL

Kolkata police chief grilled over chit fund scam SHILLONG (MEGHALAYA): The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has questioned Kolkata Police Commissioner Rajeev Kumar in connection with Saradha chit fund scam for the third day on Monday. Former Trinamool Congress MP Kunal Ghosh was also questioned for two days in connection with the case. The CBI grilled Kumar and Ghosh for nearly 12 hours on Sunday in connection with the Rose Valley and Saradha chit fund scams. Ghosh was arrested on November 23, 2013, and sent to custody by the CBI on September 4, 2014, after it took over the investigation on the orders of the Supreme Court. In 2016, the Calcutta High Court had granted interim bail to Ghosh against a bail bond of Rs

Rajeev Kumar

2,00,000. The Kolkata Police chief, who has been accused of withholding some documents related to Saradha and Rose Valley chit fund cases, was questioned by the CBI in Shillong on Saturday as well. On February 5, the Supreme Court had directed Kumar to appear before the central investigative agency in connection with the matter. It had also said that no coercive

step should be taken against Kumar. The top court's directive had come against the backdrop of a ‘dharna’ organised by West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee in Kolkata earlier this month in protest against the CBI’s attempt to arrest the top cop. Kumar has been serving as Kolkata’s Police Commissioner since January 2016. He is said to have not responded to earlier summons from the CBI in connection with the probe into the Rose Valley and Saradha ponzi scams. The CBI had claimed in the apex court that Kumar allegedly tampered crucial evidence in the Rose Valley and Saradha chit fund scam. In line with the order, the apex court had asked him to ‘cooperate’ with the officers of the CBI.

IPS officers face action The Union Ministry of Home Affairs has reportedly told the West Bengal government to take stern action against IPS officers who had participated in a dharna staged by Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee earlier last week. It has reportedly also initiated a number of measures, including withdrawing medals, against them. It is reported that the West Bengal government has been told to act as per All India Services (Conduct) Rules and take action against serving officers who participated in the dharna. The MHA may also remove names of delinquent officers from the empanelled list and bar them for a certain period from serving in the central government.

in brief KAMAL HAASAN'S PARTY TO GO SOLO IN LS POLLS

Advocating equidistance from both, the ruling AIADMK and the principal opposition DMK, Kamal Haasan's party Makkal Needi Maiam (MNM- People Justice Centre) has decided fight the Lok Sabha elections alone. While the AIADMK has been dismissive of the actor-politician's political entry, the DMK has thus far avoided any criticism of him. However, neither have made any explicit overture to the actor for an electoral alliance. It has nearly been a year since the versatile actor launched his MNM at a massive rally in Madurai. Kamal Haasan said his party is ready to contest all the 29 constituencies in Tamil Nadu. “We would rather contest alone. We are very clear on it. No change in this stand,” he said to a question on whether his party would team up with the DMK. When asked if the party would contest all the 40 seats, he said, “We are working on that”.

KERALA FISHERMEN NOMINATED FOR NOBEL PEACE PRIZE

In a letter to the Chairperson of the Norwegian Nobel Committee, Thiruvananthapuram MP Shashi Tharoor has recommended Kerala fishermen for the esteemed prize. He wrote, “Peace is more than the absence of conflict. It is about transcending social identities to embrace all of humanity as fraternity. The fisherfolk of Kerala displayed immense courage and saved hundreds of lives during the floods last year. Their selflessness must be lauded globally.” He continued, “They took their boats inland, and with their expert knowledge of the local conditions, their participation in the relief operations proved to be a game changer, as not only were they able to pick up stranded personnel in their vicinity but were also instrumental in guiding boats of other rescue teams amidst the swirling waters.”

CRIMINAL COMPLAINT FILED AGAINST SUKHBIR BADAL

A former judge of the Punjab and Haryana High Court, Justice Ranjit Singh, has filed a criminal complaint against former Punjab deputy chief minister Sukhbir Singh Badal for his utterances against the commission of inquiry he was heading for looking into the sacrilege cases in Punjab during the previous SAD-BJP regime. He has reportedly invoked the provisions of the Commissions of Inquiry Act for seeking action against Sukhbir. Section 10-A of the Act deals with penalty for acts calculated to bring the commission or any of its members into disrepute. If the plea is allowed, Sukhbir may face proceedings for simple imprisonment for up to six months, or fine, or both.

BJP LEADER MUKUL ROY BOOKED

Hours after the West Bengal police booked BJP leader Mukul Roy in the FIR regarding the murder of Trinamool Congress MLA Satyajit Biswas, the senior BJP leader has slammed the TMC saying that when anybody is killed in West Bengal, the state government tries to implicate BJP leaders. Mukul Roy, a former TMC MP, demanded that the probe should be done by an independent agency. Mukul Roy also attacked West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee and said that she is scared of BJP's rising popularity in the state and he has been named in the FIR for this murder only on orders of Mamata. Biswas was shot dead in Nadia district of West Bengal by some unidentified assailants.


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HERITAGE HISTORY

AsianVoiceNewsweekly

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16 - 22 February 2019

Chhaptrapati Shivaji for Hindu-Muslim Harmony

• Maratha warrior proved the Hindu race can produce king of kings • Ramadas Swami’s influence on Shivaji was spiritual and not political

“W

hen the Prince of Wales himself laid the foundation of Shivaji’s statue at Poona in 1921, he spoke of Shivaji as one of India’s greatest soldiers and statesmen, and the founder of Maratha greatness. (The Times of India,21 November 1921) The word ‘greatness’, we think, was used by His Royal Highness in its most extended sense, including also Shivaji’s moral greatness. The fact that Shivaji respected the sanctity of mosques and the honour of women is accepted even by his enemies and this alone, in times when temples were constantly demolished and Hindu women violated or carried away as slaves by Mahomedans, would suffice to place him in the rank of the greatest heroes of the world,” records C. V. Vaidya in “Shivaji: The founder of Maratha Swaraj”.

Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj (19 February 1630- 3 April 1680), popularly remembered as Janata Raja and the founder of Hindvi Swaraj, followed Maharashtra Dharma without discrimination of caste, creed and religion. His Hindvi Swaraj should not be mistaken as Hindu Swaraj since he did not discriminate his subjects on religious line

and many of his confident Sardars were Muslims including the chief of his navy. His coronation took place on 6 June 1674 and Chhatrapati Shivaji died on 3 April 1680 at Rajgad. He borrowed the concept of AshtaPradhan from the Sukranitisara whereby the idea of 8 ministers with suitable changes was implemented with changes

Chhatrapati Shivaji with Ramdas Swami

in names and functions suited to his own requirements. Even after three centuries he is remembered as an ideal ruler. The duties of the eight ministers, as explained by

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Vaidya, were as under: (1) Pradhana: Shivaji called him Mukhya Pradhana. His duty was to look to all work. He should do all state business, should lead armies and should act with the consent of all. The medieval name of the Prime Minister was Amatya or Mahamatya. His Mahomedan name Peshwa, however, was too strong to be ousted and continued to the last. (2) Shachiva : War Minister. It is strange that he was not called Senapati. This name was introduced by Shivaji. His Sachiva was sender of letters who was called Surnis in the Persian. Sachiva, the keeper of the seal, was supposed to examine and correct every royal letter. He should also fight. (3) Mantri: Foreign Minister. With Shivaji Maharaj, he was house-hold officer called Waknis in Persian. The medieval name of this officer was Antahpurika or Pratihara. (4) Pradvivaka: Chief Judge. Shivaji changed this name, given in Smritis also, into Nyayadhisa, which was understandable. (5) Pandita: The Ecclesiastical Minister. Chhatrapati Shivaji created this new minister. His medieval name was Dharmadhyksha. (6) Sumatra: Accountant or Finance Minister. With Shivaji, he was foreign minister called Dabir in Persian. The medieval name of the foreign minister was Sandhivigrahika. (7) Amatya : Writer of letters etc. With Shivaji, he was the most important minister next to the Pradhana. He was both Accountant and Revenue Minister (in Persian name being Mujumdar). He had also to fight and administer conquered territory. (8) Senapati : This was a new office created by Shivaji. A Duta or ambassador (Persian Hejib) was not with Shivaji a special minister. Different persons were sent as Hejib and not one man. To avoid damages by traitors, Shivaji

no help or counsel from any implemented unique civil experienced minister or and military regulations. general. But his native Every fort and outpost genius, alone and unaided, (thanah) was placed under enabled him to found a three officers of equal status, compact kingdom, an viz., the havaladar, the sabnis invincible army and a and the sar-i-naubat, who practical and beneficent were to act jointly. No fort system of administration… was to be left solely under a Shivaji was the first to havaladar, lest a single challenge Bijapur and Delhi traitor should be able to and thus teach his deliver it to the enemy. The countrymen that it was havaladar and the sar-ipossible for them to be naubat were selected from independent leaders in war.” the Maratha caste and the Historian Jadunath Sarkar sabnis from the Brahmanasstates, “He has proved by his so that one caste served as a example that the Hindu race check upon another. The can build a nation, found a stores and provisions in the State, defeat enemies; they forts were in charge of a can protect and promote Kayastha officer called the literature and art, commerce Karkhanah-navis, who wrote and industry; they can the accounts of their income maintain navies and oceanand expenditure. In the trading fleets of their own, larger forts, where the and conduct naval battles on bounds were extensive, the equal terms with foreigners. walls were divided into five He taught the modern or six sections, and each of Hindus to rise to the full these was guarded by a special tat-sar-inaubat. The environs of a fort were watched by men of Parwari and Ramushi castes. The havaladar of a fort was empowered to change lower officers and to write official letters and seal them with his own seal. All letters from Government were to be addressed to him. Shivaji’s historic encounter with Mughal Sardar He had to lock the Afazal Khan. Chhatrapati was forewarned and fort-gates at accompanied by his trusted Muslim Sardar where sunset and open as Afazal had a Hindu lieutenant on his side. them at sunrise, stature of their growth.” carry the keys with himself While saying, “he has and sleep with them under proved that the Hindu race his pillow. He had to make can still produce not only frequent tours of inspection jamadars (nonin and outside the fort, pay commissioned officers) and sunrise visits to sentinels, chitnises (clerks), but also while the sar-i-naubat had to rulers of men, and even a inspect the work of the king of kings (Chhatrapati)”, patrolling parties and nightSarkar prefers to consider watch. Minute written Chhatrapati Shivaji as very instructions were given by liberal while analyzing his Shivaji for keeping in each religious policy. “He fort munition, provisions, respected the holy places of building-materials, and all creeds in his raids and other necessary stores made endowments for adequate to its size, and for Hindu temples and Muslim keeping proper watch; and saints’ tombs and mosques alike. He not only granted Next Column: pensions to Brahmin Memorable Lok Sabha scholars versed in Vedas, Elections and MPs astronomers and anchorites, but also built hermitages and these regulations were provided subsistence at his rigidly enforced. own cost for the holy men of “Shivaji was illiterate, he Islam, notably Baba Yaqut of learnt nothing by reading. Keloshi.” Even Shivaji’s Guru He built up his kingdom and Ramadas Swami’s influence Government before visiting on Shivaji was any royal Court, civilized spiritual and not city, or organized camp,” political. writes Jadunath Sarkar, a celebrated historian, in Dr. Hari Desai “Shivaji and his times” (The writer is a Socio-political Historian. and adds, “He received E-mail: haridesai@gmail.com)


26 INDIA

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16 - 22 February 2019

PM Modi commemorates Akshaya Patra's 3 billionth meal

Prime Minister Narendra Modi feeding the 3 billionth meal to a child.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi serves food to children at the Akshaya Patra Foundation in Vrindavan, Uttar Pradesh.

The Akshaya Patra Foundation is tackling the hunger problem in India. It started 18 years ago feeding children of just 5 schools in Bangalore is now the world’s first and largest NGO feeding 1.76 million children daily across 12 states in India a healthy mid-day school meal. In Gujarat itself, over half a million meals are served daily to children in government schools in Ahmedabad, Bhavnagar,

Vadodara, Surat, Kalol and Bhuj. On Monday, the Akshaya Patra commemorated its 3 billionth meal at Mathura in the presence of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. He addressed the gathering and showed his support to the Foundation’s initiative by serving the ceremonial 3 billionth meal. Akshaya Patra is today an integral partner of the government’s

mid-day school meal scheme, with an ambition to serve meals to 5 million children daily by 2025. These meals are not just essential to end hunger and malnutrition, but they play a key role in encouraging families to send their children to school, especially the girl child. With the support of the government, private sector, donors, and all the other stakeholders, the

organisation is poised to realise its vision ‘no child in India shall be deprived of education because of hunger.’ Apart from the children, Akshaya Patra also feeds other marginalized groups like widows, pregnant and lactating mothers in need, and people displaced by natural disasters. The Foundation is continuously leveraging technology to cater to millions of children and

action to adopt innovative other such beneficiaries. and scalable models like this Its state-of-the-art to help end hunger. Akshaya kitchens in 42 locations Patra is a story of innovation across India have become a and social impact. subject of study and attract They have now brought curious visitors from around their expertise to the UK, the world. Some of these and are feeding 2,000 meals kitchens produce daily in London to the over100,000 nutritionally needy. balanced meals in under 3 With plans under way to hours daily. With frugal scale up to produce 10,000 innovation and funding nutritious meals daily they from the government, they are aiming to tackle the are able to feed a child for an hunger problem entire month in just £1. experienced by children, Closer home, there is a homeless and elderly in the massive hunger problem UK in the next few month. too. With 3 million children at risk of going to bed hungry in the UK there is a need Saryuben Jashbhai Patel for urgent It is with profound sadness that we announce the demise of Saryuben Jashbhai Patel, on February 8. She passed away peacefully at home at the age of 85. Her funeral will be held at City of London Crematorium at Manor Park cemetery, Aldersbrook Rd, Manor Park, London E12 5DQ, at 11.00 am on February 17, Sunday. Those who wish to reach out to the family, please contact 01708 342068.

Obituary

17 killed in Delhi Celebrated poet Chaman Lal hotel fire Chaman passes away

A child was among 17 people who died in a major fire that engulfed several storeys of a central Delhi hotel early on Tuesday. Fire fighters received a call at 4.30 am, as sixstoreyed Hotel Arpit Palace caught fire in Karol Bagh. Dputy Commissioner of Police Mandeep Randhawa said approximately 35 people were rescued, but the death toll could further rise. Fire Chief Officer GC Mishra said most victims died of suffocation. The hotel comprises a basement, a ground floor and four other floors. At least 35 rooms were booked by members of a family, who were in the city for a special function. While the initial fire was reported on third and fourth floor, the blaze reportedly spiraled down as well. The only floors to not be affected were the basement and ground floors. Most of the damage was reported between the second and the fourth floor. The fire has since been controlled and the cooling process is underway. Mishra said, “When the fire tenders reached the spot, flames were leaping out of the building. Many people were still fast asleep at that time.” The blaze appears to have caused by a short circuit, he said. Fire Officer Vipin Kental informed that as there was wooden panelling on the corridor, people couldn't use corridors to evacuate. He said two people jumped off the building to save themselves from the blaze.

Legendary Radio TV broadcaster Chaman Lal Chaman passed away on February 4, in London after a heart condition. He was a poet, lyricist, writer, orator, author, and a well-known broadcaster and presenter. Chaman Lal worked as a radio presenter in Kenya and Britain and interviewed more than a hundred celebrities including, Sunil Dutt, Jawahar Lal Nehru and Naushad. Chaman Lal was also the writer of popular Punjabi song 'Saun Da Mahina', sung by Jagjit Singh in 1979. In 2010, he was presented with the Asian Achievers Gold Award for achievements in media, art, and culture. Born in a small village of Jalandhar, Chaman Lal was called to Kenya by his father after his mother died when he was a child. There, he worked as a presenter for Kenyan Radio The Voice of Kenya, in Nairobi. At the age of 13, he wrote a poem on Guru Nanak Dev's birthday and it was loved so much, Chaman received a rupee as an award. That stirred his inner poet and there on, he wrote several pieces, publishing three anthologies of his poems. In 1974, he moved to Britain and worked at the Asian service of BBC and Panjab Radio, UK. Chaman Lal began the first Indian commercial radio programme in London called Geetmala. He also anchored the weekly programmes on BBC's TV One and BBC Radio Four during the 1990s. On the 50th anniversary of the independence of India and Pakistan, Chaman Lal penned a play titled 'Sare Jahan Se Achha', which was directed by noted Punjabi writer Balwant Gargi and the music was composed by Jagjit Singh. The

Kamlaben Chandrakantbhai Brahmbhatt Chaman Lal Chaman

title came from a poem by famous Urdu poet Iqbal, which emphasised the sentiment that Hindustan was better than any other country. The play hit major success in London and other cities in Britain in 1997 and 98. He also wrote a Bhangra song for Gurinder Chadha's 'Bride and Prejudice', starring Aishwarya Rai with music by Anu Malik, and many songs and ghazals for Jagjit Singh and his wife Chitra Singh. His lyrics has also been sung by noted Indian singers like Asha Bhosle, Kumar Sanu and Sonu Nigam. Chaman Lal has contributed extensively to create understanding between British, Indian, and African cultures. During his stint as the Project Manager of Ealing Community Relations Council, he advised ethnic minorities who didn't speak English well. As the founderorganiser, he established Hounslow Multi Cultural Centre under Hounslow Community Relations Council to promote multi-cultural understanding through the medium of dance, drama, music, poetry and international cuisine. He was a caring, and warm person and all those who knew him, knew him to be a sincere man oozing with love and laughter.

It is with deep regret that we inform the passing away of nishthavan satsangi, Kamlaben Chandrakantbhai Brahmbhatt, who left the world in the early hours of February 10, Sunday. She is survived by her husband Chandrakantbhai, sons Dhiren and Dilip, daughters-in-law Rekha and Doli, grandchildren Vivek, Amrish, Krupa, and Dipali, and great grandchildren Viraj and Anoushka.

Arunkumar Naranbhai Patel It is with great sadness that we announce the demise of Arunkumar Naranbhai Patel on February 9. He passed away peacefully at his home in Manor Park, London, at the age of 76. His funeral will be held at City London Crematorium, Aldersbrook Rd, Manor Park, London E12 5DQ, on 16th February morning. Those who wish to reach out to the family, please contact Minaben Patel 07970 057 322 / 020 8553 4527.


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HEALTH & LIFESTYLE

AsianVoiceNewsweekly

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16 - 22 February 2019

Adding more fruit and veg to your diet boosts your mood and emotional wellbeing as much as landing a new job It has long been known that eating plenty of fruit and vegetables is good for our hearts. But now research suggests filling up on apples, carrots and bananas even gives our mental health a boost. Adding ten additional portions of fruit and vegetables to your daily diet has the same effect on our emotional wellbeing as going from unemployment into a job, a study found. And if you suddenly cut fresh produce out of your diet, your mental health declines more than someone who has just been widowed, scientists say. The research was carried out by the University of Leeds and led by Neel Ocean, a research fellow in behavioural economics. To build on past research that suggested a link between our diet and our mental health, the scientists analysed data from the UK Household Longitudinal Survey collected between 2010 and 2017. This survey is made up of information on both fruit and vegetable consumption, as well as mental wellbeing,

for around 50,000 people. Participants were asked how many portions of fresh produce they usually eat in a given day or week. A portion was defined as a piece of fruit, a cup - or fist-sized amount - of raw vegetables or half a cup of cooked vegetables. To determine their mental-health statuses, the participants completed The General Health Questionnaire, which asked about their happiness levels, self worth and any anxiety. Results revealed a person's mental health improves in proportion to the amount of fruit and vegetables they eat each day. And eating just one extra portion of berries, greens or salad boosts someone's mental wellbeing by the same amount as walking for an additional ten minutes for seven days over four weeks, the researchers wrote. Exercise has repeatedly been linked to a happier mood in past studies. The study also suggested going from eating lots of fresh produce to cutting your consumption by five portions a day causes the

same emotional distress as being diagnosed with a chronic condition. And going from no fruit or vegetables to four-to-six portions a day boosts someone's life satisfaction by the same amount as getting married. Although unclear exactly why fresh produce boosts our mental health, past studies suggest beans, oranges and spinach are rich in vitamins E and C, which lower inflammation and 'internal stress' associated with depression. The complex carbohydrates in fruit and vegetables may also boost levels of the feel-good hormone serotonin in the brain. Despite the emotional benefits of eating lots of fresh produce, the results

further revealed that 78 per cent of the participants consumed fewer than the recommended five-a-day. Although those who earned high salaries were the most likely to get their five-a-day, poor fruit and vegetable consumption was observed across participants' of all incomes. Being unable to afford fresh produce is therefore not thought to be the cause of a diet lacking in fruit or vegetables. Those over 64 were also less likely to get enough fruit or vegetables, which is thought to be due to the elderly eating less in general. In keeping with past research, the study also found the female participants ate significantly more fresh produce than the men.

Experts suggest 6 things to try as a study finds diet DOES influence mental health Depression is defined as a low mood that persists over a long period of time, affecting every aspect of everyday life. Mild cases of depression may not stop you leading a normal life, but low spirit can make everyday activities more challenging and less worthwhile. More severely, depression can be life-threatening and leave people feeling helpless, suicidal and losing the will and strength to live. This condition is hugely complex and characterized by many different factors.

While making healthy diet and lifestyle choices is certainly not going to cure or prevent depression, findings from a recent study carried out by Manchester University have added weight to the evidence that adopting healthy habits may improve the symptoms associated with the condition. With over 40 million people in the US struggling with depression, and over two million adults in the UK, many are clamoring for any new information that could help us combat men-

tal health issues. Surveys into mental health problems are typically based on adults living in private housing and may underestimate the extent of the problem as they do not include those with mental health difficulties who are homeless, in sheltered accommodation, hospitals or prisons. The overall number of adults with depression has not significantly changed recently. However, money troubles, unemployment, health concerns, family dif-

ficulties and Brexit worries can make it more difficult to cope. The way that we are managing conditions like depression is worsening, with the numbers of people experiencing suicidal thoughts or self-harming on the rise. Mental health problems drive thousands of people to take their own lives. In the UK, according to the Office of National Statistics, men under the age of 49 account for 75 percent of suicides making this the leading cause of death among this group.

Scan younger women at risk of breast cancer, charity says Younger women with a family history of breast cancer should receive annual screenings to pick up the disease earlier, a charity says. Breast Cancer Now funded a study which found cancers were detected sooner when 35 to 39-year-olds at risk had annual mammograms. NHS screening often starts at the age of 40 for women with a family histo-

ry.

Experts need to balance the benefits of doing more checks against causing any undue worry or over-treatment. The study's authors said that more analysis was needed on the risks, costs and benefits of extending the screening programme. But Baroness Delyth Morgan, the charity's chief executive, called for the government's forthcoming

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...

review of NHS screening programmes in England to consider the introduction of scans for women aged 35 to 39 with a family history of breast cancer. The study, carried out by researchers at the University of Manchester, offered scans to 2,899 women in this age group who were deemed to have a moderate or high risk of the disease after being referred by a GP to a family history clinic. The screening detected 35 invasive breast cancer tumours, most of which were small and identified before they had reached the

lymph nodes - a sign that they had not spread around the body. If annual mammograms for at risk younger women were made widely available across all four of the UK's NHS services, it could affect up to 86,000 women, the researchers said. Breast cancer is the most common cancer in the UK, with about 55,000 women being diagnosed each year and 11,500 dying from the disease. Between 5% and 15% of breast cancers are linked to a family history of the illness.

in brief STRAIN ON NHS AS HOSPITALS ARE THE FULLEST THEY HAVE BEEN ALL WINTER WITH 95% OF OVERNIGHT BEDS OCCUPIED

Hospitals last week became the busiest they've been all winter as only five in every 100 hospital beds were free for new patients. NHS hospitals entered their fifth consecutive week of being overloaded with inpatients as 94.9 per cent of beds were occupied – the highest figure yet this season. Not far below the worst point of last year's 'worst ever winter', which hit 95.2 per cent, beds have been above the NHS target of 92 per cent since the new year. The most recent figure came as snow last week blanketed much of the UK, with temperatures reportedly dropping as low as -16°C (3.2°F) in Scotland. To add to the pressure the number of beds closed because of norovirus, diarrhoea and vomiting spiked by more than a third in a week. The figures released by the NHS show A&E departments appear to be holding their own but staff on the wards are still under immense strain. The proportion of patients waiting 30 minutes or more to be seen after arriving by ambulance is its lowest since Christmas at 11 per cent. But hospital beds are full beyond the health service's safe operating limit. There are approximately 142,000 hospital beds in England, according to the King's Fund think-tank, with statistics suggesting around 135,000 of them were full on an average day last week.

PEOPLE WHO OFTEN SUFFER FROM THE INFECTION DEVELOP POOR MENTAL HEALTH, STUDY FINDS

People suffering from chronic sinusitis are more at risk of depression and anxiety, a new study found. Chronic rhinosinusitis (CRS) affects one in 10 adults and causes inflammation of the nose and paranasal sinuses that can make breathing difficult and cause face pain or tenderness. Sufferers have a reduced quality of life, need more medical attention and are more likely to be off sick. Chronic rhinosinusitis is sub-categorized by the presence or absence of nasal polyps. The overall incidence of depression during the 11-year follow-up was 1.51-fold higher in sufferers, the South Korean study found. The incidence of anxiety was 1.57fold higher. But if sufferers also had nasal polyps, there was at an even greater risk of depression (1.61-fold) and anxiety (1.63-fold) than CRS without nasal polyps. The study was based on the health insurance records of 48,672 South Koreans, of which 58.8 per cent were woman.

HAMSTERS COULD PROVIDE NEW CLUES TO ALZHEIMER'S AS THEY CLEAR BUILD-UP OF TOXIC PROTEINS FROM ITS BRAIN AFTER HIBERNATION

While many see hamsters as just a popular pet, the furry creatures may actually help scientists understand what causes Alzheimer's disease. A study found when the rodents hibernate, their brains undergo structural changes that help their neurons survive even during low temperatures. Any protein clumps - a hallmark of Alzheimer's - are also fully and rapidly reversed when the animals wake up. The researchers hope further studies will help uncover what happens in the brains of hamsters to protect their brain networks. The research was carried out by CEU San Pablo University in Madrid and led by PhD student Carolina Gonzalez-Riano, from the department of pharmacy. Alzheimer's is the most common form of dementia and affects more than 520,000 people in the UK, according to the Alzheimer's Society. The disease has around 5.7million sufferers in the US, Alzheimer's Association statistics show.

PEOPLE WHO ARE KIND TO THEMSELVES HAVE LOWER HEART RATES AND STRONGER IMMUNE SYSTEMS

The Greek storyteller Aesop famously said 'no act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted'. And now research suggests a bit of self-love is even good for our health. A study asked volunteers to listen to audio clips encouraging them to be compassionate towards themselves. After just 11 minutes, the participants' heart rates were significantly lower than those who paid attention to their tough inner critic. A low heart rate helps put us in a state of relaxation that 'gives us the best chance of healing', the researchers said. The research was carried out by the universities of Exeter and Oxford. It was led by Dr Anke Karl, a senior lecturer in psychology at the University of Exeter.


28 BOLLYWOOD

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16 - 22 February 2019

PeeCee appears on the 'Tonight Show' Actress Priyanka Chopra recently appeared on the 'Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon' and opened up about the thought of taking her husband, Nick's surname. “I always wanted to add his name to mine because I feel, like, you know, we're becoming a family and I'm a

little traditional and old school like that. But it didn't take away my identity. He gets added to who I am.” Priyanka also made several other revelations, including that she wanted to get married on an island. “I wanted to get married on some private island away from everything and we were like really stressed out about it. We thought Seychelles, Maldives, Mauritius or whatever. And nothing was working out. The

conversation took place when they were in Mumbai, and Nick said, 'Why aren't we doing this in India? Shouldn't I be taking my bride from home?” And that's how the two found their dream location. Priyanka also shared the moment when she freaked out before walking down the aisle with Nick Jonas for the Christian wedding. She said, “Right before I was supposed to walk down the aisle -- I

remember them putting the veil on me. The veil was like 75 feet - I was like, ‘I’m going to strain my neck muscles like the mother of dragons’. But I had a freak-out moment when I was standing right behind the curtains and they were going to tell me when to walk out and the music was going to start playing. I just started having a panic attack and then the doors opened and I saw him. And I cannot forget that moment.”

Salman set to play detective in remake of Korean hit 'Veteran' Salman Khan has been in the industry for almost three decades donning different genres and now, the 53 year old is set to play a detective in a Bollywood remake of Korean hit 'Veteran'. According to a media report. Salman's brother-in-law Atul Agnihotri has acquired remake rights to the film from CJ Entertainment and will produce it under his banner Reel Life Production. 'Veteran' is the story of a detective, who fights against a young millionaire, who escapes from bad situations through money and connections. The original movie was directed by Ryoo Seung-wan and featured Hwang Jung-min as the veteran cop and is currently the fourth-highest grossing Korean film of all-time. On the workfront, Khan is currently shooting the last leg of 'Bharat'. Both he, and Katrina will have five different looks in it, which will showcase their journey from 18 to 60 years. 'Bharat' is the official remake of a Korean film titled 'An Ode To My Father'. This is the third collaboration between Khan and director Ali Abbas Zafar after 'Sultan' and 'Tiger Zinda Hai'. 'Bharat' also stars Disha Patani, Sunil Grover, and Nora Fatehi in pivotal roles.

Anushka Sharma finds her American doppelganger

Bollywood actress Anushka Sharma found her doppelganger over the weekend. Instagram users flooded American singer Julia Michaels' profile commenting how much she resembles Bollywood actress Anushka Sharma. “You look almost like Anushka Sharma, a Bollywood actress,” a fan commented on one of her posts. Another stated, “I thought Anushka changed her hair colour.” A third fan said, “Omg, seriously,

she looks alike Anushka Sharma. I've listened her song Anxiety like five days ago, I never noticed.” Following the constant comments, Julia herself looked Anushka up and tweeted to her, “Hi Anushka Sharma apparently we're twins lol”. Sharma was quick to respond with “OMG YES!! I've been looking for you and the remaining five of our doppelgangers all my life.”

Kangana Ranaut calls Alia Bhatt, tells her to grow a spine

Actress Kangana Ranaut has launched a fresh attack at Alia Bhatt for not supporting her latest film 'Manikarnika'. Ranaut reportedly called Alia and asked her to “grow a spine”. This isn't the first time the 'Queen' actress has called out Bollywood for not supporting her films even when she always does the same for others. Kangana said while she attended the screenings of 'Dangal'. 'Secret Superstar' and 'Raazi', Alia and Aamir did not did to the same for her. Actor Kangana Ranaut has launched a fresh attack at actor Alia Bhatt for not supporting her latest film, Manikarnika. According to a report in Pinkvilla, Kangana made a phonecall to Alia and told her to ‘grow a spine’. Last week, at a press event for 'Gully Boy', Alia said she hopes Kangana isn't too angry at her. She said, “I hope she doesn't dislike me and I don't think she dislikes me. I don't think I have done anything intentionally to upset her. If I have, I will apologise to her on a personal level.” In response to an interview, Kangana said she called Alia and asked why she was so scared to see her film. “I reached out to Alia (Bhatt) and asked her what makes her think 'Manikarnika' is my personal controversy, it's a film whole nation is talking about and wondering why Bollywood is keeping quiet

on such a relevant work... I asked her if I can be courteous and gracious to acknowledge her requests for encouraging relevant work that she does, why is she scared to see my film.” Kangana added, “I added that she grows some spine and support an important film about woman empowerment and nationalism... if she doesn't have a voice of her own and her existence is all about being Karan Johar puppet then I don't consider her successful.”


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Mamta Mohandas AR Rahman's new post features an interesting hashtag takes part in the #10yearchallenge Malayalam actress Mamta Mohandas took part in the viral #10yearchallenge on World Cancer Day and she shared a collage of her recent picture along with a photo that was taken in 2009 when she was fighting cancer. She expressed her gratitude to the people who stood by her in the battle against the disease. “As it's WORLD CANCER DAY, I had decided that my #10yearchallenge will have to wait until today I GOT CANCER... CANCER DIDN't GET ME” she wrote in a Facebook once. Mamta, who battled Hodgkn's Lymphoma, wrote, “2009 was the year that changed everything for me and impacted every plan my family had for us. Last 10 years has been quite a challenge and as I look back come 2019, I'm proud to realise that I have fought tirelessly, stayed strong and survived. Staying positive and strong for several years is very hard but if I have done it, there are few people behind it. All Thanks to Dad-Mom(thank you is a speck of a word to express my gratitude to you), a few of my cousins who have shown me what sibling-love is and my dearest friends who always cared to call or text to check if I am ‘actually well’ and not just pretending to be ok, all the good work that comes my way and colleagues who challenge me to perform better and to all the opportunities given to me by the universe to realize what’s right for me and what’s not.” In the end she wrote, “Never forget Bald Heads Turn Heads.” On the work front, Mamta is currently waiting for the release of Malayalam movie 'Nine'.

Oscar-winning music composer AR Rahman was recently criticised for allegedly “forcing” his daughter Khatija to wear a niqaab at an event. And now recently shared a post on Twitter, which appears to be his response to the trolls. Sharing a picture of his wife Sairaa Banu and daughters Khatija and Raheema with Nita Ambani and wrote, “The precious ladies of my family with Nita Ambani ji”, and added the hashtag “#freedomtochoose”. In the photo, Banu has covered her head with a dupatta, Khatija wore a niqaab but Raheema did not. A couple of days ago, at an event in Mumbai to celebrate 10 years of 'Slumdog Millionaire', Khatija was invited on to the stage to speak about her father and his achievements, following which the internet bashed Rahman for making his daughter wear the niqaab. However, later in a lengthy Facebook post shared on an unverified account purporting to be Khatija's, she said that contrary to the claims made by trolls that her father

* Schedule is subject to change

MONDAY 18th - FRIDAY 22nd February 2019

TIME 15:30 16:00 16:30 17:30 18:00 18:30 19:00 19:30 20:00 20:30 21:00 22:00 23:00

TV PROGRAM NAMES SIRF 30 MINUTES THE GREAT INDIAN GLOBAL KITCHEN 2 RASOI SHOW CHHUTA CHHEDA RADHA PREM KI DEEWANI UTTARAN JAHAANARA INTERNETWALA LOVE ISHQ MEIN MARJAWAN MOHE RANNG DO LAAL BALIKA VADHU - LAMHE PYAAR KE RED ALERT TANTRA

SATURDAY 23rd FEBRUARY 2019 TIME TV PROGRAM NAMES 17:30 18:00 18:30 19:00 19:30 20:00 20:30 21:30 22:30

TIME 16:30 18:00 18:30 19:00 19:30 20:00 20:30 21:30 22:30

CHHUTA CHHEDA RADHA PREM KI DEEWANI UTTARAN KAHAANI AB TAK - JAHAANARA FAMOUSLY FILMFARE NAVRANGI RE RED ALERT ZINDAGI KI HAQEEQAT SE AAMNA SAAMNA CHHUTA CHHEDA

SUNDAY 24th FEBRUARY 2019 TV PROGRAM NAMES

MIRCHI TOP 20 RADHA PREM KI DEEWANI UTTARAN THE GREAT INDIAN GLOBAL KITCHEN 2 FAMOUSLY FILMFARE NAVRANGI RE RED ALERT ZINDAGI KI HAQEEQAT SE AAMNA SAAMNA CHHUTA CHHEDA

* Schedule is subject to change

SATURDAY 16th February 2019 TIME TV PROGRAM NAMES 17:00 17:30 18:30 20:00 21:30 23:00

Keys to Kismat Crime Patrol The Kapil Sharma Show Super Dancer Chapter 3 The Kapil Sharma Show The Kapil Sharma Show

SUNDAY 17th February 2019 TIME 16:30 17:30 18:30 20:00 21:30 23:00

TV PROGRAM NAMES Meet the Drapers Crime Patrol The Kapil Sharma Show Super Dancer Chapter 3 The Kapil Sharma Show The Kapil Sharma Show

MONDAY 18th February - Friday 22nd February

TIME 18:30 19:00 19:30 20:00 20:30 21:00 21:30 22:00

TV PROGRAM NAMES Vighnaharta Ganesh Mere Sai Yeh Un Dinon Ki Baat Hai Chandragupta Maurya Main Maayke Chali Jaaungi Patiala Babes Ladies Special Crime Patrol

Wednesday February 20, 2019 02:30 Film : Inteha 06:00 Film : Cheetah The Leopard 08:53 Film : Ek Taaqatwar - The Mighty 11:30 Film : Dhokha 14:00 Film : Mela * Schedule is subject to change 17:32 Film : Socha Na Tha Sunday February 17, 2019 20:42 Film : Shaapit 01:30 Film : The Killer 23:28 Film : Dus Tola 06:00 Film : Chor Bazaari-Ek Atrangi Prem Kahani Thursday February 21, 2019 01:50 Film : Kasoor 08:11 Film : Khel 06:00 Film : Bas Ek Tamanna 11:42 Film : Phool Aur Kaante 14:50 Film : Awaara Paagal Deewana 08:11 Film : Hum Hai Champions 11:45 Film : Tadipaar 18:15 Film : A Flying Jatt 14:41 Film : Satya 21:18 Film : Housefull 18:01 Film : Kya Kool Hai Hum 3 Monday February 18, 2019 20:46 Film : Agent Vinod 23:55 Film : Saaya 00:21 Film : Awarapan Friday February 22, 2019 02:35 Film : Yeh Zindagi Ka Safar 02:16 Film : Showbiz 06:00 Film : The Silent Heroes 06:00 Film : Sweekar Kiya Maine 08:20 Film : Jadugar Ki Kahar 08:47 Film : Naaraaz 11:14 Film : Jwalamukhi 11:12 Film : Gangster 13:30 Film : Krantiveer 14:03 Film : Tere Mere Phere 16:33 Film : Utthaan 17:42 Film : Jab We Met 19:24 Film : Star Stop 20:47 Film : Socha Na Tha 20:00 Film : Commando 2 23:51 Film : Sadiyaan 22:33 Film : Aatma - Feel It Around You Tuesday February 19, 2019 Saturday February 23, 2019 02:40 Film : Gunaah 00:36 Film : Yeh Hai Mumbai Meri Jaan 06:00 Film : Hiraasat 06:00 Film : Luv Shuv Pyar Vyar 08:46 Film : Dharmyudh 08:16 Film : Johny I Love You 11:15 Film : Josh 11:16 Film : Tumsa Nahin Dekha 14:30 Film : Agent Vinod 14:00 Film : Daraar 17:43 Film : Aitraaz 17:31 Film : Housefull 20:40 Film : Kya Kool Hai Hum 3 20:55 Film : Fitoor 23:16 Film : Four Pillars Of Basement 23:38 Film : Commando 2

SATURDAY 23rd February 2019 TIME * Schedule is subject to change

MONDAY 18th - FRIDAY 22nd February 2019

21:00

GATHBANDHAN

21:30

ROOP

has “double standards”, wearing a niqaab was “her personal choice” and “the choices she makes in her life do not have anything to do with her parents.” The post read, “The recent conversation of myself on stag with my dad has been doing the rounds, although I didn't expect such an overwhelming response. However, there were certain comments which said that this attire is being forced by my dad and that he has double standards. I would like to say that the attire I wear or the choices I make in my life does not have anything to do with my parents. The veil has been my personal choice with complete acceptance and honour.” "I'm a sane mature adult who knows to make my choices in life. Any human being has a choice to wear or do what he/she wants and that's what I've been doing. Hence, kindly don't make your own judgements without understanding the exact situation #FreedomOfChoice," read the concluding part of the post.

TV PROGRAM NAMES

SUNDAY 24th February 2019 TIME

TV PROGRAM NAMES

19:30

DESI BEAT 4.0

19:30

FAMOUSLY FILMFARE

20:00

NAAGIN - SEASON 3

20:00

NAAGIN - SEASON 3

21:00

KHATRON KE KHILADI JIGGER

21:00

PE TRIGGER

KHATRON KE KHILADI JIGGER PE TRIGGER

19:30

UDANN

22:00

SILSILA

20:00

SHAKTI ASTITVA KE EHSAAS KI

22:30

KHOOB LADI MARDANI

22:00

COURT ROOM

22:00

COURT ROOM

20:30

KESARRI NANDAN

JHANSI KI RANI

23:30

SITAARA

23:30

SILSILA


30 UK

AsianVoiceNews

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16 - 22 February 2019

Some university chiefs paid 13 times more than staff

Mahant Swami inaugurates BAPS Swaminarayan Temple in Dhule

Bochasanwasi Shree Akshar Purushottam Swaminarayan Sanstha head Pujya Mahant Swami is currently conducting his vicharan in Maharashtra. He was in Dhule till February 11. On February 5, Mahant Swami reached Dhule, where a huge Swaminarayan Nagar was erected for inauguration for a new, modern BAPS Swaminarayan Temple. Mahant Swami visited different departments inside the premises. On February 7, he gave Bhagwati Diksha to two saints. In the evening, donors were honoured. On the 8th, a rich yatra was conducted on the occasion of the inauguration of the new temple in Dhule. In the yatra, 21 idols were installed in various chariots. Large number of saints and devotees had joined the yatra. February 10 was celebrated as Vasant Panchami; It is Shastriji Maharaj's Pragatya Din, and on the very same day, Pujya Mahant Swami inaugurated the new temple. In his address to the people, Mahant Swami said, “The light of this temple will be cast across the entire world. People from the India and abroad will visit this temple.” On February 11, Mahant Swami left Dhule to conduct his vicharan in Nashik. On February 13, he will leave for Pune.

Coming Events ● London Sevashram Sangha to hold a Havan Yajna, and a lecture on the Divine Life of Acharya Swami Pranavanandaji Maharaj, on February 19, Tuesday, Maghi Purnima, 7.00 pm onwards, at 99A Devonport Road, London W12 8PB. ● Pushti Youth to hold Shyam Ki Prem Diwani, on February 16, Saturday, 5.30 pm onwards, at Shreejidham Haveli, 504 Melton Road, Leicester, LE4 7SP.

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Sneh Joshi

Some university vice-chancellors are being paid as much as 13 times the median pay of their staff, the university regulator has revealed. The Office for Students data also shows 62% of universities in England raised the number of staff paid over £100,000, between 2016-17 and 2017-18. The government says the OfS can require universities to justify high pay. But the University and College Union said its "lightweight" report exposed the regulator as a "paper tiger". The universities with the greatest increases in vice-chancellor pay were: - De Montfort University from £286,000 to £350,000 Bishop Grosseteste University - from £158,000 to £188,000 - The University of West London - from £266,000 to

£306,000 - The University of Essex from £257,000 to £289,000 - Anglia Ruskin University Higher Education Corporation OfS chief executive Nicola Dandridge said: "It is good to see signs of pay restraint at some universities, with some vice-chancellors refusing a salary increase. "A number of governing bodies have reduced the basic pay of their vice-chancellor, though we acknowledge that it can be difficult to revisit contractual obligations while a vice-chancellor is in post. We expect to see further progress next year." But the University and College Union said the regulator had failed to keep its promise of requiring universities to justify annual salaries above £150,000.

The report showed only four institutions out of 133 paid their vice-chancellor under £150,000 (in total remuneration) but contained no details about the justification for those awards, the union said. And it failed to look at the "excessive and arbitrary rises still enjoyed by some vice-chancellors" or tackle the expenses and other benefits in kind that have "plagued universities in recent years". In its conclusion, the report says: "Publishing information about remuneration and compensation for loss of office ensures this information is in the public domain. Where this is a matter of public interest, transparency will help providers' remuneration committees and governing bodies to benchmark more

Stay-at-home sons and daughters of the housing crisis A million more young adults in the UK are living with their parents than were two decades ago, research suggests. A quarter of 20 to 34year-olds do so, the study, by think tank Civitas, says. Since 1998, this has risen by 41% in London, where housing is most expensive, but by much less in cheaper areas like north-east England (14%) and Yorkshire and the Humber (17%). And for 23-year-olds across the UK, the proportion living with parents has risen from 37% in 1998 to 49% in 2017. Civitas editorial director Daniel Bentley said: "As owner-occupation and social housing have each become more difficult to enter, hundreds of thousands of young adults have taken one look at the high rents in the private rented

sector and decided to stay with their parents a bit longer instead." He added that it was essential the government took this into account when forecasting future housing need. A spokesman for the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government said: "For the last 30 years, governments of all stripes and types have failed to build enough homes, but we're turning that ship around. "We still need to deliver more, better, faster, but more than 222,000 homes were delivered in 2017-18, the highest level in all but one of the last 31 years. "We've also set out an ambitious package of measures to help build 300,000 properties a year by the mid2020s. "This includes over

£44bn investment, rewriting the planning rules and giving local authorities the power to build a new generation of council houses.

for varying your activities, widening your network of contacts and getting out and about. It is an excellent time for exercising your mental energies, clarifying your and other people's ideas and getting involved in discussion. Exercise caution when it comes to making financial decisions as being hasty will cost you !

TAURUS Apr 21 - May 21 The pace of everyday life will

gather momentum and there may be times when you find it hard to keep your act together. Any obstacles that have stood in the way of your heart's desires should melt into the background soon. Your self-confidence will be extremely high and this will be helped by various encouraging events.

GEMINI May 22 - June 22 Developments during this week

are likely to make you feel rather restless, perhaps because you have allowed yourself to fall into a routine that is now becoming jaded. If so, then the hint of change will be extremely welcome, even if it might entail an element of disruption. Adaptable and versatile, as you are, it is unlikely that even a major change will faze you. A good time for restructuring CANCER Jun 22 - Jul 22 and rethinking your aims and interests. You now have an excellent opportunity to sort out where things may be going wrong. The hard part is that you will have to be honest with yourself. Do not get over-anxious if everything seems to be in slow motion - it is time to pull a few strings. You are likely to experience some tension in close relationships.

Much enthusiasm goes into professional ambitions right now, but you need to be your own boss in many ways. Circumstances will make you more determined to place your lifestyle on a foundation of greater security. Taking a broad perspective on the prevailing cosmic pattern, far-reaching change begins to gather momentum.

LEO Jul 23 - Aug 23

Your communications are at their peak and any initiatives you take now will be well received by people in authority. You should take time off to involve yourself in your children's affairs and generally encourage them in what they are doing. If you are thinking of investments, then this is an opportune time to go ahead with your plans.

VIRGO Aug 24 - Sep 23

At work sometimes a little upheaval and chaos is exactly what you need to set things right again. There’s no need to be indecisive: the time is now. you’ll have no qualms about deciding what you want and going after it with total devotion. Unpredictable energies continue to influence your health sector, bringing erratic highs and lows. The key for you as always is balance.

LIBRA Sep 24 - Oct 23

Life appears to be focusing your mind on practical matters. So you will need to organise your time carefully if you are to avoid an "all work and no play" situation. Resist making any hasty moves when it come to finances - this is a time to focus on consolidation of current assets rather than attempting to make any new investments.

SCORPIO Oct 24- Nov 22

"We are also supporting investment in build-to-rent homes to improve supply and affordability in the private rented sector."

Sandeep Adhwaryu for Times of India

Disclaimer Asian Business Publications Ltd (ABPL) is not in any way responsible for the goods and services rendered by its advertisers. The ABPL management accepts all advertisements in good faith and it is entirely up to readers to verify advertisers’ products and services, should they feel the need to do so.

The UK’s leading Vedic writer and TV personality

ARIES Mar 21 - Apr 20 There will be increased scope

effectively." Education Secretary Damian Hinds said: "We set up the Office for Students to look out for students' interests and it is absolutely right that the OfS demands greater transparency from universities by requiring them to justify the pay and benefits of their vice-chancellors. "We have given the OfS powers to take action if universities do not do this and we expect them to be used where necessary." He added: "Of course salaries need to be competitive - but high pay must be justified by high performance on objectives such as widening participation for disadvantaged groups, low dropout rates, growing export earnings and pioneering innovative research."

020 8518 5500

With Mars in your Solar 6th house of health, there is good news for those who have felt rather lacking in vitality for some weeks now. Both physically and psychologically, Mars represents a strengthening process, so it is likely that you will feel a renewed vigour as the week progresses. There is a very pleasant light cast on domestic affairs.

SAGITTARIUS Nov 23 - Dec 21

CAPRICORN Dec 22 - Jan 20

This week you are energetic, eager and resourceful. Charm will be your ally in this week' s activities. Others will be responsive to you and your ideas. You are extremely warm and affectionate as a person and you look for just as strong a response from your partner. You will achieve success by being responsible and diplomatic. Your social graces will serve you well career-wise. Mixing business with pleasure will bring you benefits. You will achieve great success by being responsible and diplomatic. Ego confrontations with family members are possible now, but the best way to handle this energy is to do your best to strengthen your relationship with your family and your home base. Co-operative ventures are likely PISCES Feb 20 - Mar 20 to generate financial success. So, if hoping to drum up support or backing, it would certainly do no harm to adopt a more pushy and outgoing approach to life. As social life will tend to draw you into a wider circle, the chances of meeting someone attractive are greatly increased. The general pattern of things continues on a progressive and buoyant theme.

AQUARIUS Jan 21 - Feb 19


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16 - 22 February 2019

in brief FORMER INDIAN CRICKETER AMIT BHANDARI ATTACKED

Rohit Sharma becomes leading T20I run-scorer

Amit Bhandari

Rohit Sharma became the highest run-scorer in T20 Internationals when he overtook Pakistan's Shoaib Malik and New Zealand's Martin Guptill during India's second match against New Zealand in Auckland. Rohit also hit his 100th six in T20 Internationals during his innings last week. Rohit Sharma, the only man with 4 hundreds in T20 Internationals and 3 ODI double hundreds, was dismissed for 1 in Wellington as India failed to chase down 220 in the first T20 International against New Zealand. However, Rohit, standing in for Virat Kohli as India captain, came out all guns blazing in Auckland in a chase of 159. Rohit needed 35 runs to go past Guptill at the start of the innings. Having made his T20I debut in 2007, Rohit Sharma has played 92 matches in the shortest format for India with a highest score of 118. Rohit Sharma fell to Ish Sodhi for a 29-ball 50 but not before he had set India on the path to victory. Rohit now has a staggering record in T20 Internationals: in 92 matches, he has scored 2,288 runs. He also has the most 50+ scores (4 hundreds and 16 half-centuries). Rohit also has the most partnership runs (1,480 with Shikhar Dhawan). Rohit feat means Indian batsmen are now the leading runscorers in all three formats. Sachin Tendulkar leads the ODI and Test run-scoring charts. In 463 ODIs, Tendulkar scored 18,426 runs; in 200 Tests, he scored 15,921 runs in a glittering career from 1989 to 2013. Like Sachin Tendulkar, Rohit Sharma comes from Mumbai, a city known for producing some of India's finest batsmen. Rohit Sharma also has an impressive record in one-day internationals. In 201 ODIs, he has scored 7,808 runs including 22 hundreds. In 27 Tests, Rohit has 1,585 runs, including 3 hundreds.

Former Indian cricketer and Delhi and District Cricket Association chairman of senior selection committee Amit Bhandari was attacked with iron rods and hockey sticks in New Delhi's St Stephen's Ground, where the trials of the Under-23 team were going on. The attackers were suspected to be U-23 aspirants who reportedly weren't selected in the team. Bhandari is reportedly admitted in a hospital after receiving injuries on his head and legs. The goons fled the spot before the police could arrive. “Around 1 pm, two-three players came to him (Bhandari) and started hitting him with a bat on his head. He was bleeding and was rushed to hospital," a DDCA official said. One rejected player came to him and questioned why he was not selected. Then he started beating him (Bhandari). First he used his hands, then a stick to attack," DCP Nupur Prasad told reporters. "Let us wait what doctors have to say. We have not got any statement. Once we get it, we will be clear on the facts," Prasad added.

LANKA CRICKET CAPTAIN DROPPED FROM TEST SQUAD

Sri Lanka Cricket dropped out-of-form skipper Dinesh Chandimal from the Test squad for the upcoming tour of South Africa. Opening batsman Dimuth Karunaratne was named the stand-in captain for the two-test series, starting on February 13. Stumper Niroshan Dickwella will be Karunaratne's deputy. Chandimal's axing came after the right-hander scored 5, 0, 15 and 4 in their recent 0-2 Test series defeat to Australia. Lanka selectors wanted Chandimal to return to form by playing domestic cricket as they named three uncapped players in the squad against the Proteas. Batsman Oshada Fernando, seam bowler Mohmed Shiraz and left-arm spinner Lasith Embuldeniya were the fresh faces in the squad while all-rounder Milinda Siriwardana has been recalled for the first time in nearly three years. The first Test will start from February 13 in Durban, followed by the second at Port Elizabeth from February 21.

LANKAN CRICKETER SCORES DOUBLE CENTURIES IN FIRST CLASS GAME

Sri Lankan cricketer Angelo Perera has become the second player in history to smash two double centuries in the same first class match. The 28year-old achieved the Angelo Perera feat while playing for Nondescripts Cricket Club against Sinhalese Sports Club in Premier League tournament Tier A. Before Perera, the only cricketer to score two double centuries in a single game was Kent’s Arthur Fagg who did it in a county match against Essex, 80 years ago. In the first innings, Perera hit 201 off 203 balls while in the second innings, he scored 231 off 268 balls.

Indian women suffer series whitewash against New Zealand The Indian women’s team almost pulled off a dramatic win but failed to score a boundary in the final delivery to lose the third and final T20 International against New Zealand by a mere two runs in Hamilton on Sunday. Chasing 162 for a win, star opening batter Smriti Mandhana took the Indian team on course for a consolation win with a career-best knock of 86 from 52 balls but the visiting side failed to build on her scintillating knock to end their innings at 159 for 4. With the three-match series already lost after defeats in the first and second T20Is, India surprisingly named senior player Mithali Raj in the playing eleven and she contributed 24 not out from 20 balls after coming to bat at the fall of captain Harmanpreet Kaur (2). But she failed to hit a four from the final

delivery bowled by Leigh Kasperek as India lost the match by two runs. India needed 16 runs from the final over and Raj and Deepti Sharma (21 not out) raised hopes of a remarkable win by hitting boundaries in the first and third deliveries but were left to hit a four off the last ball. Captain Harmanpreet Kaur, whose indifferent form has hurt the team, said she was disappointed at the result and the 0-3 series defeat. India had won the three-match ODI series 2-1 before this T20 contest. “We are disappointed to lose the series like this, we could have done better. We have a lot of work to do,” she said after scoring just two on Sunday. “In T20 Internationals we need to make improvements in the final 10-over batting. More importantly, we need to sort out the batting order. “But there are

New Zealand women who won the T20I series.

positives from this series like the batting of Smirti and Jemimah as well as the performance of bowlers,” she added. Mandhana, who had scored 58 and 36 in the first two matches, continued her red-hot form by notching up her eight T20I fifty and second of the series as she dominated against New Zealand bowlers yet again. With one-down Jemimah Rodrigues (21), the other batswoman who has been in fine

touch, India reached 92 for 2 at the halfway stage. But after that, India could not force the pace of scoring and with captain Kaur failing to make a mark, the asking rate kept on climbing. When Mandhana was out in the 16th over, India needed 39 from 4.3 overs which was not an easy job. Raj and Deepti could not get too many boundaries and they were left with 16 to win from the final over.

Mithali to lead Indian women’s team for England ODI series Mithali Raj will lead the Indian women's cricket team as AllIndia Women’s Selection Committee picked up a 14member squad for the upcoming three-match ODI series against England, beginning February 22. The ODI series is a part of the ongoing ICC Women’s Championship and will be played at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai. While the second ODI will be played on February 25, the

third match will be held on February 28. The selectors have also picked the Board President’s XI squad that will play a one-day warm-up game prior to the ODI series in Mumbai on February 18. Following is the full Indian squad for the England ODI series: Mithali Raj (Captain), Jhulan Goswami, Smriti Mandhana, Jemimah Rodrigues, Harmanpreet Kaur, Deepti Sharma, Taniya Bhatia (wicket-

Mithali Raj

keeper), R Kalpana (wicketkeeper), Mona Meshram, Ekta

Bisht, Rajeshwari Gayakwad, Poonam Yadav, Shikha Pandey, Mansi Joshi, Punam Raut. Following is the team picked up for one-day warm match against England: Board President’s XI: Smriti Mandhana (Captain), Veda Krishnamurthy, Devika Vaidya, S Meghana, Bharati Fulmali, Komal Zanzad, R Kalpana, Priya Punia, Harleen Deol, Reemalaxmi Ekka, Manali Dakshini, Minnu Mani, Tanuja Kanwar


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16 - 22 February 2019

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British runner Susannah New Zealand deny India perfect finish, grab T20 series Gill wins World Marathon Challenge British runner Susannah Gill has won the World Marathon Challenge after completing seven marathons across seven continents in seven days. Gill, the 34year-old Communications and Corporate Affairs Director from London, was one of only two British runners to take part in one of the toughest endurance races on earth. She ran 295 km (183 miles) in a world record time of 24 hours 19 minutes nine seconds. Gill finished the final race in Miami in a time of 3:26:34 to set a new world record. She completed the 183mile challenge after finishing second in the first marathon in Antarctica and won each of the six remaining races. "It was a crazy ambition that I wanted to do. The challenge seemed absolutely irresistible to me," she said. "Ten years ago, I just wanted to get fit and run the London Marathon. Now, marathon running has literally taken me around the world." Over the past decade she has completed 45 marathons, including 10 London Marathons, with a fastest time of 2 hours 58 minutes. American Mike Wardian won the men's title after completing the final marathon in Miami in 2:53:03 for a total time of 20:49:30 for the seven races. Gill finished second in the first marathon in Antarctica, but won each of the remaining six marathons all run over the standard 26 miles 385 yards

(42.2 km) - on her way to overall victory. Competitors landed in Cape Town, South Africa on 29 January before travelling to Antarctica for the first marathon, where temperatures dropped as low as -35C. Just two days later in Perth, Western Australia - and having run a marathon in Cape Town the day before - Gill battled soaring temperatures of 35C. 'I ended up getting an hour's sleep on one flight because I just had to get up and eat a packet of peanuts, two packets of crisps and a chocolate bar.” Fewer than 200 people have completed the gruelling '777' challenge since Sir Ranulph Fiennes first achieved the feat in 2003. Competitors take in the sights of Nova in Antarctica, Cape Town, Perth, Dubai, Madrid, Santiago and Miami, flying more than 63 hours over 55,000 miles across the globe, providing vital time for rest and recovery in between marathons. "It's been an extraordinary week. I've loved it but it's been tough," said Gill. "Although none of us have slept in a bed for a week, and we've probably never had more than three hours' sleep at a time in a plane seat, strangely none of us want to go to bed because that means it's all over. It's actually more fun to be here and support other runners and make sure everyone gets home and gets their medal, which is what it's all about.”

New Zealand denied India a perfect finish to their highly successful Down Under tour by clinching the T20 series 2-1 with a narrow four-run win in the series-deciding third at Hamilton. India had earlier won a historic Test and ODI bilateral series win in Australia before recording their biggest ODI series win on New Zealand soil. India needed to knock off a stiff 213-run target to bring curtains on a memorable three-month tour in a befitting manner but fell just short. Exploiting batting friendly conditions at the small Seddon Park ground, New Zealand cut the Indian attack to shreds to post an imposing 212 for four. Krunal Pandya was the most expensive of the Indian bowlers, bleeding 54 runs in his four-over quota. If it was not for left-arm Chinaman Kuldeep Yadav (2/26)’s tight bowling in the middle-overs and Bhuvneshwar Kumar (1/37), India would have got a bigger target to chase. India captain Rohit Sharma, who usually bats explosive in such situations, made an uncharacteristical 32-ball 38 and it also hurt India’s chances. Vijay Shankar (43 off 28) played a useful knock though at the top after Shikhar Dhawan (5) fell early. Rishabh Pant (28 off 12)

New Zealand team with T20 trophy

and Hardik Pandya (21 off 11) infused some life into India’s chase with some brutal hitting but perished while trying to keep up with a steep scoring rate. Mahendra Singh Dhoni (2 off 4) also could not do much. India needed 16 runs off the final over and Dinesh Karthik (33 not out off 16) after taking a double off the first ball, stunned the crowd and his teammates by refusing to take a single in the third ball. Krunal (26 not out off 30) had reached the striker’s end but Karthik did not run, sending his partner back. This was after umpire did not give a clear wide bowled by Tim Southee. Karthik could only manage a single off the next ball as Southee bowled a straight ball. By then, the match had

clearly slipped out of India’s hands. Both Karthik and Krunal did exceedingly well to take the game into the final over but their unbeaten 63-run stand off 28 balls did not prove to be enough. New Zealand bowlers fared much better than India, consistently hitting the short-of-length, which proved to be key on this small ground. The runs came at a steady rate with just an odd boundary coming in between. Pant though changed the pace of Indian innings with his scintillating batting. It rained sixes as the Delhi left-hander took Sodhi and Santner to cleaners. But debutant Blair Tickner ended his stay and Hardik too began and ended his innings in the same fashion.

Indian team likely to travel to PV Sindhu strikes gold, signs Pak for Davis Cup tie sponsorship deal worth £5 mn India’s Davis Cup team, which has been drawn to play an away AsiaOceania Zone Group 1 tie against Pakistan in mid-September, will in all likelihood be allowed to travel to the neighbouring nation by the Indian authorities, sources said. The government has no intention of throwing a spanner in the All India Tennis Association’s (AITA) plans to make its Davis Cup team members travel to Pakistan in their bid to reenter the World Group qualifiers. India slipped back to the Group 1 of the AsiaOceania Zone following their disappointing loss to Italy in the World Group qualifiers recently in Kolkata. It’s an important tie for India since we are expected to comfortably beat the Pakistani side to qualify for the World Group. Otherwise, a no-show would mean the ITF imposing a heavy fine or

sanctioning India from competing in a few ITF events. It would also mean India would have to fight it out in the lower group of the Asia-Oceania Zone,” a government source said. Sources said the government doesn’t see any problem in the Davis Cup team making a short trip to Pakistan (matches are now played over two days as per the shortened Davis Cup format) since tennis may not attract the same political and public attention generally reserved for high-profile team sports like cricket and hockey. Moreover, the International Tennis Federation (ITF) has awarded the hosting rights to Pakistan only after

conducting a thorough security review of the possible venues in Pakistan. Also, since 2017, Pakistan has hosted Iran, Thailand, South Korea and Uzbekistan for Davis Cup ties under tight security cover and the ITF sees no threat for the Indians. “We are waiting for the AITA to submit a proposal. Once that comes to us, we will examine it and send it to the ministry of external affairs (MEA) for examining it. The MEA will have to look at it both from the political and security part. If they are OK with it, the sports ministry too will clear it. In case they have an objection, the ministry would explain to them the repercussions of not sending the team to Pakistan since it’s the equivalent of a World Cup tie in tennis and not a bilateral engagement. Nonetheless, the final call will be that of the sports ministry.

Olympic and World Championship silver medalist P V Sindhu has signed a record sports sponsorship deal in the tune of £5 million with Chinese sports brand Li Ning. The deal comes after compatriot Kidambi Srikanth was offered a cool £3.5 million over a period of four years by the Chinese company last month. “Sindhu’s deal is one of the biggest in world badminton. It is close to £5 million for sponsorship and equipment,” Mahender Kapoor, director, Sunlight Sports Pvt Ltd, the multinational exclusive partner of Li-Ning in India, said. “It will be a deal which is very close to Puma’s deal with Indian cricketer Virat Kohli in terms of yearly sponsorship. Sindhu will get £4 million as sponsorship while the rest will be for equipment, so it is close to £5 million,” Kapoor claimed. In 2017, Puma had signed Kohli for reported deal of £10 million endorsement

PV Sindhu

deal for a period of eight years, which came down to £1.25 million per year. Sindhu, who rose to stardom after becoming the first Indian woman to win a silver medal at the Rio Olympics, was listed as the world’s seventh-highest paid sportswoman on the Forbes list last year. This is Li-Ning’s second stint with Sindhu, who was with them for two years in 2014-2015 for a sum of £12,50,000 a year. In 2016, Sindhu was back with Yonex for a £3,50,000 per year contract for a period of three years.

Li-Ning also roped in men’s doubles pair of Manu Attri and B Sumeeth Reddy for a deal of £4,00,000 each for two years, while former Commonwealth Games champion Parupalli Kashyap has been offered a £8,00,000 deal for two years. The Chinese sports brand had also signed a twoyear deal with Indian Olympic Association last year. As part of the deal, it will provide Indian athletes and officials with competition and training apparel, leisure-wear and footwear for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

Profile for Asian Business Publications Ltd

AV 16th February 2019  

Asian Voice weekly newspaper (Issue 40)

AV 16th February 2019  

Asian Voice weekly newspaper (Issue 40)

Profile for abpl