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17 - 23 AUGUST 2019 - VOL 48 ISSUE 16


inside: Indian Independence Day special SEE PAGES 14-17

Rupanjana Dutta The Indian government's decision to withdraw the special status of Jammu and Kashmir has launched a heated exchange of letters and tweets between the Tories and Labour. Conservative MP Bob Blackman hand delivered a letter to 10 Downing Street (pictured below), accusing the Labour Party of breaking from Britain's long-held position that any matter concerning Kashmir is a “strictly bilateral issue".

Saudi Aramco to acquire 20% stake in RIL oil SEE PAGE 26


Pakistan isolated on Kashmir issue SEE PAGE 26 Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi with UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson

2 UK



17 - 23 August 2019



Asha Patel was born and grew up in Leicester. She attended university in Southampton and graduated with a degree in Writing Fashion and Culture. She became an Editor for the Degree Magazine and was acknowledged for Editorial contribution at her graduation. Today, she writes for the Leicester Mercury as part of the £4.5m Community Journalism Project, which is funded by Facebook and led by the National Council of Training for Journalists (NCTJ). Along with other journalists across the UK, Asha is giving communities a voice through news reporting. Which place, or city or country do you most feel at home in? Whenever I travel, I manage to feel at home wherever I go. But I was born in Leicester and the UK will always be home to me.


What are your proudest achievements?

"One of my proudest achievements has to be raising money for Alzheimer’s Society when I completed the London Landmarks Half Marathon in 2018.

Meet and Mingle founder dies after brave battle with cancer The much loved founder of a charity that brought friendship, fun and companionship to lonely and isolated people across Slough has died after a courageous battle against cancer. Aksa Marshal lived in Farnham Common with her family. After being made redundant in 2013 from Slough Borough Council's sports and leisure department she found a new goal in life when she founded Meet and Mingle - a social club for women which became a lifeline for many. It organised social gatherings and outings that helped members expand their horizons and make new friends. It was so successful that it expanded to


Aksa Marshal

include a men's section. Mrs Marshal was awarded a Volunteer of the Year award in 2015 by Slough Council for Voluntary Services. She did not let her battle against ovarian cancer stop her work with Meet and Mingle. She got special permission to leave her hospital bed to attend a cancer awareness conference she had organised at Slough's Copthorne Hotel, soon after


THE COURT OF THE HON│BLE PRINCIPAL JUDGE, FAMILY COURT. (RAJKOT) Opp. I.P. Mission School, Fast Track Court Building, Family Court, Rajkot, Gujarat.

APPLICANT : DARSHANA D./O. VINODRAI THAKKAR, W./O. CHETANBHAI POPAT Residing at:- C/o. Ex. Saileshbhai Ratilal Bhagdev Court No.: 03 House, ─Shree Jay Bhavani Nivas┌, Family suit No.: 223/2017 Ajay Tenaments, Block No. C/8, B/H. YashComplex, Hearing date: 7/9/2019 150 FT Ring Road, Rajkot, Gujarat-360007, India. V/S DEFENDANT : CHETAN VRAJLAL POPAT, Residing at:- 151, Byron Road, Weald Stone, Middlesex, Harrow HA3 7TB, London, United Kingdom. Email:, Cell No.:- 0044 7967 209 226

By this inform to you this public notice Defendant that above family suit application. This Court Applicant has entered by Decree of Divorce under Hindu Marriage Act, Section 13(1), 13(1-ia-ib), 13(2) (iii) and this above application next date 07/09/2019. So present in this court on Date 07/09/2019 at Hrs. 10:30 (IST) Morning, If you fail to do so, according to the rules order by the court. Today, Date 03rd August, 2019 with my signature and court seal. Prepared By:Approval By:S. V. Vaghela R.B. Chudasama (Senior Clerk) (Senior Clerk) Family Court, Rajkot Family Court, Rajkot

Court Stamp

included in this unique role. The best (and main) aspect is giving wider communities in Leicester a voice.



What inspires you?

And the worst?

"People. I speak to people constantly as part of my job and almost everyone has a story or an interesting story. You can learn something from everyone."

Asha Patel


My most recent is becoming a community journalist. Being able to put my education to use in a new role is a big thing for me."

Order By:R.C. Vyas (I/C Registrar) Family Court, Rajkot

her charity raised £10,000 for the Imperial Health Charity's Ovarian Care Fund. Shortly before she died about 200 members of her charity visited her at the hospice in Hatch Lane where she was being cared for, presenting £600 they had raised to its chief executive Debbie Raven. The money was gratefully received by the hospice which relies on public subscriptions. Stephanie Peters, head of marketing at the hospice, said: "Mrs Marshal is an incredible woman. So many people were concerned about her and wanted to see her because she had touched their lives." After her death her husband and daughters Asa and Ana said on Facebook: "She fought her two year battle with cancer full of strength, bravery, positivity and with a smile up until her last breath. She passed peacefully surrounded by family. There is no doubt she will be missed my many and forgotten by none. Please do keep us in your prayers as we are heartbroken over her loss, but know she is not suffering any longer and is at peace in a much better place. Rest in peace my darling. With love always, Marshal, Asa & Ana."


What has been biggest obstacle in your career? "My biggest obstacle has been my confidence. But being part of the Leicester Mercury has given me the opportunity to learn from a talented team. In doing so, my confidence has grown."


I’m incredibly happy in my current role. Every job has its challenges - but it wouldn’t be exciting otherwise.


What are your long term goals?

My long term goals are to continue working as a journalist and reach corners of communities that are rarely explored. I’d also like to broaden my knowledge of different cultures. There are so many other goals I’d like to achieve - but I don’t think I could fit them into this one column.

Who has been the biggest influence on your career to date? I don’t think I can pinpoint anyone in particular. Seeing young people who work in the journalism and media sector has always been a big influence on me. We have more platforms to speak out about issues in our communities today and seeing people use them has influenced me too.

If you were Prime Minister, what one aspect would you change? I don’t think I could handle that kind of responsibility! What I would look to change would be the representation of ethnic minorities in the media and the education system.



What is the best aspect about your current role? The Community Journalism Project is new and there are so many great elements


If you were marooned on a desert island, which historical figure would you like to spend your time with and why. I would prefer not to say!

Young children being lured into crime by ‘chicken shop gangs’ Criminal gangs are recruiting children into a life of crime by offering them free food. The claim was made in written evidence submitted to the youth select committee as part of its investigation into the UK's knife crime epidemic. The criminals - also known as chicken shop gangs - persuade children to deal drugs for them, particularly targeting those who had been excluded from school. The evidence said: "Some [young people] shared that their peers had been targeted by gangs outside of Pupil Referral Units, as well as outside sports centres. "They also said that sometimes children are recruited through an offer of food (referred to as chicken shop gangs) and they felt that schools could do more to keep children in school as it could be a protective factor from gang involvement." Various video and poster campaigns are warning children and parents of the dangers, with one poster saying: "There's no such thing as free chicken! Friends of friends who buy you things often want something in return." Mark Bentley, online safety and safeguarding manager at London Grid for Learning, said: "In terms of schools or parents who


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might think this wouldn't happen in this leafy area, chicken shops are legion, and kids like to hit the chicken shop on the way home from school. "It's so easy for them to think, 'oh, I can save a couple of quid', and it's easy to get sucked in." The news comes a month after The Children's Society warned that drug gangs moving drugs and cash between cities and towns are recruiting children as young as seven. Natasha Chopra, the charity's London disrupting exploitation programme manager, said cuts to youth services have led to more children spending time in places where they could be targeted. "Young people tend to go to places like fast food chains of a cheaper cost. Young people may use certain fast food chains as a place to socialise," she said. "In terms of exploitation, these exploiters know that these young people are going to be at a vast range of fast food chains. "That's when the 'targeted' stage comes in, because exploiters will actually watch and observe the young people. "They will watch and they will check and think,

'ok this particular young person comes in at this time, they leave at this time. Why are they not going home?' "That's the way it will start, with a conversation like: 'hi, here's some chicken or here's some chips' and that relationship can form quite easily." Ms Chopra said a child could then be offered around £20 to act as a lookout before becoming "hooked" on having access to money and feeling like they are part of a family or moving up the ranks. Once they are part of the gang, children are stopped from leaving with threats towards family members and friends, or with videos of them performing sex acts or inserting drugs into their bodies, she said. Ms Chopra said it is difficult to put a figure on the number of children being exploited in this way, but added: "It's happening anywhere and everywhere... I think it can be any child that can be subjected to criminal exploitation." In January, the National Crime Agency warned as many as 10,000 children may be involved in "county lines" drug dealing, with profits estimated at around £500m a year.






17 - 23 August 2019

Independence Day anniversary: Challenges to India The early post-Partition years for India were a battle for survival. Droves of western Jeremiads then and later predicted the country’s lapse into civil war and famine and, failing that, a turn to military rule. The London Times Correspondent in Delhi, Neville Maxwell, in the final dispatch wrote that the general election of 1967 would be the last before an army takeover. Maxwell extolled Maoist China’s Great Leap Forward, the People’s Communes and the Cultural Revolution as the only sure road for Third World salvation. Mercifully India opted sanity, perseverance and struggle. The Green Revolution led to an exponential increase in grain output which banished the spectre of famine, while in a parallel development the foundations of industry were established. There was bureaucratic sloth, errors of economic policy and much else that confined India to what was derisively described by an Indian economist as the ‘Hindu rate of growth’. In 1991, landmark economic reforms under the stewardship of Dr Manmohan Singh, empowered by then Congress Prime Minister Narasimha Rao, released India from its bureaucratic shackles of licence-and-permit raj. Yet, during this period, the foundations of nuclear and space science were laid by physicists Homi Bhabha, Homi Sethna and Vikram Sarabhai with financial help and cooperation from the Nehru and Indira Gandhi dispensations. The sources of Indian strength today, warts and all, were thus diverse and should not be forgotten for party political advantage, India being the sum of its parts. We come thus to the security challenge confronting India in Kashmir. State broadcasters abroad including the BBC start their reports with the anodyne statement that India and Pakistan went to war over the disputed territory of Kashmir. Would statements ascribing the origins of the First and Second World Wars to simple territorial disputes suffice, without subjection to critical scrutiny the broader aims, and hence the culpability of the Kaiser’s Germany and its Hitlerite Nazi successor? The rulers of the Princely States of British India were given the choice of opting for the new India or Pakistan. Maharaja Hari Singh, the sovereign of Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh, was hesitant. India and Pakistan agreed on a standstill agreement to give Hari Singh time to make up his mind. However, the Pakistan government and army, commanded by Akbar Khan, under the nom de guerre of Tariq, the general who led the Islamic assault on medieval Spain bespoke a holy crusade or jihad against the infidel. Warrior tribes from Pakistan’s North West Frontier Province, armed and abetted by the Pakistani regime headed by Mohammed Ali Jinnah poured through the passes in October 1947 into the Vale of Kashmir, killing, looting and raping. Hindus, Muslims, Christians and Sikhs were butchered. The state constabulary were overwhelmed, and the raiders were soon at the gates of Srinagar. His hand forced, Hari Singh signed the document of accession to India. Sheikh Abdullah, the popular Muslim leader, endorsed the plea for Indian help. Indian troops were flown in and the invasion was halted and reversed. The Pakistan Army took over the reins,

India went to the United Nations and under its auspices a ceasefire took effect on January 1, 1949. A UN brokered plebiscite was to be held on condition of a prior withdrawal of Pakistani forces from Kashmiri territory. This condition was bnever fulfilled. We may now turn to the account of V P.Menon, Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel’s principal aide, who in his classic work, Integration of the Indian States, wrote: ‘When I recommended to the Government of India the acceptance of the accession of the Maharaja of Kashmir, I had one consideration and one consideration alone, viz, that the invasion of Kashmir by the raiders was a grave threat to the integrity of India. Ever since the time of Mahmud of Ghazni, that is to say, for nearly eight centuries...India has been subjected to periodic invasions from the north-west. Mahmud Ghazni had led seventeen of these incursions in person. And within less than ten weeks of the establishment of the State of Pakistan, its very first act was to let loose a tribal invasion through that north-west. Srinagar today, Delhi tomorrow. A nation hat forgets its history or its geography does so at its peril. Menon’s conclusion is revealing: ‘India had no territorial ambitions in Kashmir. If the invasion by the raiders had not taken place, I can say in the face of any contradiction that the Government of India would have left Kashmir alone.’ The crusader’s zeal has led Pakistan to repeated military misadventures. In 1965, its incursion was repelled; in December 1971 its army of occupation in East Bengal, now Bangladesh, was routed, despite the military and political support of the Nixon-Kissinger administration, and its then de facto ally, Maoist China. By severing diplomatic and trade ties with India, the Imran Khan government has miscalculates again. The hollow, rancid bombast of conventional and nuclear war with India, and the country’s deepening hallucinatory anti-Indian obsessions, even as the country’s economy is significantly smaller than that of the Indian state of Maharashtra, Pakistan’s anti-blasphemy laws targeting its minority Christians and Hindus will not be lost on the international community. Pakistan’s minor exports are textiles, leather and basmati rice, the last, a part repayment of loans to the Gulf monarchies. Its major export, the world has come to recognize, is jihadi terrorism. The national hypnosis of Pakistan as a Great Power is sleep walking its leadership into yet another calamity. Meanwhile Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s conciliatory outreach to the people of Kashmir assuring them of a return to democratic norms – elections, legislative assembly, government of popular choice and much else including massive privates sector and government investment , of which the broad mass of the Kashmiri people have been starved by the selfperpetuating Huuriyat fat cats. How Kashmiri society in the main responds to his message will become clear in the coming weeks and days. Hopefully good sense will prevail, leading to a new dawn of prosperity and development for the entire region, Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh. (See page 12 for background).

Bangaluru outpaces Indian rivals Once a pensioner’s nirvana, now a global hi-tech centre of excellence: Bangaluru is galloping ahead of Delhi – as capital and state – and also Greater Mumbai, both currently in the shadows by comparison. What features most in Bangaluru’s rise to eminence? The movement of venture capital is the likely answer. From January to August, Bangaluru-based companies amassed $405 million in venture capital investments from 100 deals, according to Venture Intelligence. Over the same period Delhi received $239 million in 67 deals, while Mumbai got $209 million from 48 deals. This is no temporary phenomenon, it appears to be a long -term trend sentter.\ Chennai-based Venture Capital’s co-founder and Managing Director Arun Natarajan remarks: ‘If you use Venture Capital as a filter, Bangaluru’s head- andshoulders above any other city.’ Every quarter, almost inevitably, it’s Bangaluru in front. At places two and three, Delhi and Mumbai have been left well behind. A city of around 12 million inhabitants today, in the mid 1980s, Bangaluru’s population was no more than four million, when the first tech company, Texas Instruments, arrived. Since then Bangaluru has become India’s principal hi-tech hub. In the process it has grown beyond the software services, which were once its gateway to the

future. There are myriad transformative initiatives today, from multitudes of start-ups, 30 per cent of the country’s aggregate, to electric vehicles that auto makers hope will capture a vast unfolding market. Bangaluru is now the for the global automotive manufacturers such as DaimlerBenz, BMW, Bosch and Volvo, which have engineering support services in the city. Many banking and fintech firms have bypassed India’s financial capital, Mumbai, to roost in Bangaluru. These include global giants like Morgan Stanley and Gokldman Sachs. Says Biocon head Kiran Mazumdar Shaw: ‘Bangaluru’s got an ecosystem the soft-and –hard infrastructure in technology. There’s also engineering talent. Bangaluru is the headquarters of long established firm. Hindustan Aeronautics; the city and its environs have brought US mega-companies Boeing, Pratt & Whitney and Sikorsky into its fold. ‘The best companies come here, and the best people follow,’ said a local business consultant. The city has become the magnet of the country’s best IT talent, Bangaluru has 1.9 million tech workers, predicted to reach 2 million by 2021, overtaking Silicon Valleyin raw numbers. Bangaluru symbolizes India’s future, and it works

The challenge of modernity is to live without illusions and without becoming disillusioned -Antonio Gramsci (1891- 1937)

Alpesh Patel

10 Things the Media Won’t Tell You About Kashmir Not one mainstream media article from a non-Indian in favour of India’s decision on Kashmir? So let me educate my fellow journalists. And I will keep to facts, away from opinion and emotion. 1. It is democratic for an elected Government to implement its manifesto. Our friends keep quiet that the BJP manifesto made totally clear it is their policy in Government to revoke article 370 giving Kashmir special status. 2. More people live under the Indian constitution than any other democratic constitution in the world. It’s good enough for a billion Indians. To deny Kashmir coverage by it, when Pakistan does not have parallel measures over Pakistan occupied Kashmir, shows the overwhelming backbending India has done to accommodate the territory and it has led to resentment from the majority, and not helped the territory or its inhabitants. 3. The UN resolution Pakistan refers to calling for a plebiscite in Kashmir actually states that as a precondition of India, yes India, for the UN recognised Kashmir ceded to India, granting such a plebiscite, would only be possible if Pakistani troops remove themselves from Kashmir. Pakistan has ignored the UN’s pre-condition to plebiscite. 4. Indians and foreign nationals, such as myself freely move around Kashmir. It is only when terrorists threaten the State's security that our movements are restricted. 5. Over 80% of stone pelters, paid to pelt stones often times, turn soon into terrorists – ie using explosives or guns to attack security forces. The statistics are easy to confirm from co-relating images of those pelting stones, with those caught with guns and explosives and are shared by the Indian Army with photos and corroborating evidence needed to bring prosecutions. 6. An internet blackout to protect lives and ensure security is not unusual in times of potential terror attacks. Think free speech trumps threats to life – go shout ‘fire’ in a cinema tonight and see what happens. Don’t think there was threat to life? Wake up. 7. Hindu Pandits were massacred in the 1990s and forced to leave Kashmir. That was the original attempt to change the demographics of the region. 8. The BJP seeks overtly and tacitly not to give special status to Muslims in law (and not to Hindus either for that matter). Special status granting to any religious grouping is usually considered undemocratic. Hence why the BJP removed the Muslim divorce rules. Of course not all BJP members do this for reasons of religious or gender equality. Some do it because they do not like Muslims, any more than some Muslims do not like Hindus. That should not cloud the issues here – that special statuses should not be the blanket norm in a liberal democracy. 9. An instrument of accession to India was signed by Kashmir. That legal instrument cannot be denied on the basis it was done under duress by Pakistan, as the duress was the invasion of Pakistani troops, because Kashmir would not accede to Pakistan. They cannot be the beneficiary to their own wrong-doing in law, and their invasion, as noted by the UN, was proof there was not a voluntary accession to Pakistan of the territory. That Pakistan wants the border with India to be at Punjab (actually, at Gujarat and Rajasthan, as they want a Khalistan too), is to do with its military who call political shots. The American President in 2018 made clear Pakistan supports terrorists. India cannot on security grounds alone allow the border to be closer. 10. Hyderabad refused to clearly accede to India in 1947, until Sardar Patel made clear Indian troops would march into Hyderabad. Any argument that Kashmir is not a part of India would have to state, and Pakistan never has, that Hyderabad is not either a legitimate Indian territory. Indeed, the case for invalidating the Hyderabad instrument of accession is stronger because it was under Indian duress, unlike Kashmir’s accession. By the way, no other Indian territory had a plebiscite to decide accession in 1947. To this day, the United Kingdom has never had one for Wales. And in 300 years, only had one for Scotland. It’s not how territories are decided. Not because of lack of democracy, but because territorial integrity and national security trump such votes. (Opinion expressed by the author is his personal)

4 UK



17 - 23 August 2019

London Mayor Sadiq Khan backs call for British slavery museum in London Sadiq Khan has backed calls for a British slavery museum in London to tackle currentday racism in the UK. The Mayor said understanding Britain’s role in the slave trade would “strengthen our commitment to fight racism and hatred in all its forms”. London was one of three major UK ports – along with Liverpool and Bristol – to profit from slavery. It is now among the most diverse cities in the UK, with 3.5 million black and minority ethnic residents making up around 40 percent of the population. The Mayor described the museum proposal as “both welcome and timely” for the capital. He said: “It’s right and fair that all Londoners see themselves and their history reflected in our city’s museums and cultural institutions. “Learning more about the uncomfortable nature of

Sadiq Khan

our city and our nation’s role in the transatlantic slave trade can serve to deepen our understanding of the past and strengthen our commitment to fight racism and hatred in all its forms.” The museum proposal comes as part of a series of mayoral policy suggestions in a report from the Fabian Society. The Labour-affiliated think tank has laid out its ideas for Sadiq Khan’s second term as Mayor, if he is reelected next year. In the report’s chapter on race equality, Omar

Khan, director of the Runnymede Trust, a leading race equality think tank, said a slavery museum would help address present day race inequalities in Britain. He said: “It is time to add the history of enslavement to our commemorations. “We gain greater moral reflection from considering the times in the past when we failed to live up to the values of humanity, freedom and democracy than we do we portray ourselves as always being on the right side of history.” The Runnymede director said the Government and London’s financial sector would have a “moral obligation” to support the museum if the Mayor pursued the policy. The proposal comes as racism is rising in the capital. There were 1,586 race or faith related hate crimes in London in June – up three

percent on the previous month, and four percent in the last year. Labour assembly member Florence Eshalomi said Londoners were not always aware of the history of slavery in UK, because black history is still missing from school curriculums. She said: “Unfortunately there is a reality where some people still don’t understand what happened with the transatlantic slave trade. “It’s important that history is captured and the truth of what happened is recorded.” Ms Eshalomi also reiterated the call for museum funding from the central government. She said: “It’s good the Government has apologised [for the impact of slavery] but they would be putting their money where their mouth is by supporting something as historic as this museum.”

heard. Ian Ball, prosecuting, said Javed repeatedly turned up at her place of work and had to be escorted off the premises The victim's father collected her and, on one occasion, the defendant ran after her van. On another occasion, he threw pebbles at the teenager's window. Javed also smashed the victim's mobile phone by throwing it against a concrete bollard. Passing sentence, Judge Richard Bond told him: "She was only 17 and you had what I would describe as a controlling relationship with her. "You controlled her not just in subtle ways but in

quite deliberate ways. You told her what she should wear and who she should speak to. "She was constantly in fear of meeting you and your attitude was that you simply did not care. The only person you are concerned with is yourself She ended up having to look over her shoulder. "She did make a complaint to the police and you were arrested and bailed with conditions to keep away from her but you immediately broke those conditions by contacting her on email and Instagram. Very serious distress has been caused to the victim."

'Controlling' stalker so obsessed with ex that he enrolled on her college course

A stalker who was so obsessed with his ex-girlfriend that he enrolled on the same college course has been locked up for harassment. Hassan Javed turned up at her place of work, college and home and bombarded her with messages on social media. The 20-year-old, of Cuthbert Road, Winson Green, had previously admitted stalking and criminal damage. He was locked up for 18 months. Birmingham Crown Court heard the pair were in a relationship from late 2017 to the summer of last year, when the 17-year-old victim broke it off But Javed, an

accountant, was unable to accept it was over and started to follow her. His behaviour became so "overwhelming" it caused the victim to drop out of college, the court heard. She began an apprenticeship and attended a college course one day a week but Javed turned up in the same class before he was eventually removed. The victim blocked Javed on her mobile but he set up different Instagram accounts to message her and also managed to contact her by phone. Some of the messages were abusive and indicated he was jealous, the court

Woodford County High pupils raise £1,500 for Cancer Research in Pretty Mudder challenge This week's Recorder/ Rotary Young Citizen nominees went the distance when they took part in a Race for Life and together raised more than £1,500 for charity. On Saturday, July 27, Zara Mirza, Riya Mistry, Sanai Dixon-Thomas and Simra Taher-Choudhury, all pupils at Woodford County High, participated in this year's Race For Life 'Pretty Muddy 5K' challenge at London's Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park. Together they decided to make a difference to those suffering from the effects of cancer. They worked tirelessly to raise awareness and fundraise for Cancer Research UK. "It was great when we all crossed the finish line together.

experience and I enjoyed every moment!" And Simra said: "I was so nervous but I shouldn't have been! The race was so much fun and I was so proud of my team once we crossed the finish line! It was an amazing experience." Zara Mirza, Riya Mistry, Sanai Dixon-Thomas And Riya added: and Simra Taher-Choudhury participated in "Completing the race this year's Race For Life 'Pretty Muddy 5K' was incredible and challenge at London's Queen Elizabeth that feeling was Olympic Park something I will "To know that we are never forget. able to help somebody "It means so much to affected by cancer is quite know that we have helped so overwhelming and we hope many lives defeat this brutal to do more in the future. disease and I look forward to Sanai told the Recorder: doing this or something "I was so excited to start the similar in the future again! race and doing it didn't feel Special mention must challenging. also go to Riya's dad Manoj, "It was a rewarding who volunteered to accom-

pany the girls as they were too young to enter the race on their own. To donate to the group's efforts, visit ns The Young Citizen Award is about celebrating the amazing young people in our borough, run by the Recorder in conjunction with Redbridge Rotary Club. A monthly winner will be chosen from the nominees, the finalists will be invited to the Mayor's Community Awards night in March and the overall winner will be announced. The winner will receive £100 from Redbridge Rotary Club and will, along with the runner-up, go through to the national Young Citizens final run by Rotary International in Great Britain and Ireland.


Drug crime is increasing in many small towns and villages even as it falls significantly in city centres, the BBC has found. Police data shows drug crimes in England and Wales have fallen by more than 50,000 in the past five years. But national averages hide a major shift in where drug crimes are being committed. It comes as the government pledged an extra £85m to prosecutors to help deal with a rise in violent crime. In the area around Westhumble in Surrey, which has a population of 649, drug crime has more than quadrupled in the past five years, from nine cases to 42. Surrey Police said the crimes involved cannabis possession and were not gangrelated. But just 20 miles away in Westminster, central London, drug crime more than halved over the same period, from 4,041 to 1,832. The pattern is repeated in many other areas around the capital, a BBC analysis of police-recorded crime showed.


Police believe thieves have been targeting homes for high-value Asian jewellery

Members of the Asian community have been urged to avoid keeping gold in their homes after an elderly couple were attacked by masked men. Three burglars armed with screwdrivers stole gold from a home in Earley, near Reading on Tuesday. Asian communities were "more likely to be vulnerable" to attacks due to it being "wedding season", police said. Gold jewellery is often bought as a wedding gift in British-Asian families and passed down through generations. Det Con Shannon Walker said officers were still searching for the three masked men and a fourth suspect, who is believed to have driven the group away from the scene. She added the attack was "extremely scary" for the 71-yearold man and 69-year-old woman, who were in bed at the time. The force said it was "keeping an open mind" as to whether the burglaries were linked with previous offences. A BBC investigation found than £140m worth of Asian gold jewellery has been stolen in the UK over the past five years.


The leader of Brent Council has been Cllr M Butt nominated for a national award that celebrates those from ethnic minority backgrounds Cllr Muhammed Butt is on the ten-person shortlist of ‘political figures’ for the 2019 Ethnicity Awards. He is one of only two councillors – alongside Liverpool representative Cllr Anna Rothery – up for the accolade. MPs David Lammy, Marsha De Cordova, Rosena Allin-Khan have also been nominated, along with Lord Waheed Ali, Baroness Valerie Amos and Lord Tariq Mahmood Ahmad. The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, and the Mayor of Bristol, Marvin Rees, make up the list. The awards were created in 2018 to recognise “those working to ensure that all people are afforded equal opportunity, regardless of race or ethnicity”. Last year’s political winner was shadow home secretary Diane Abbott. The judges who compiled this year’s shortlist noted that Cllr Butt has used his platform to “speak out against government cuts”. They added that he has been a keen fundraiser, working with charities to support Brent’s most vulnerable families. The programme covers various categories, with actor Dev Patel, grime artist Stormzy and the Duchess of Sussex, Meghan Markle, among those up for awards. Voting for the awards is open until September 6. The winners are announced at a central London ceremony on October 25.


UK 5


17 - 23 August 2019


A Sikh man has been detained in Birmingham on Friday for carrying a kirpan, despite having the legal right to carry the religious dagger, according to a report by the Metro. The man reportedly told the police officer, “I’m a Sikh. I can carry this if I want to.” A Kirpan is part of a religious commandment in which Sikhs must wear five articles of faith at all times. However, the officer allegedly accused him of being aggressive and called for back-up from other officers. The PTI reported that the incident has been condemned by the British Sikh Council after being posted on a British-Punjabi Facebook group. The group said, “If he’s a practicing Sikh then there shouldn’t be an issue.” Police have been criticised for “not knowing the law” after the footage emerged of the man being confronted over his ceremonial knife, the report said. A spokesman for West Midlands Police said: “Police on patrol in Birmingham city centre spoke to a man who was acting aggressively just before 6:30pm on Monday August 5 in Dale End. He was advised regarding his behaviour and no further action was taken.”


Ishaan Khatter

Tabu Tanya Maniktala

A Suitable Boy is believed to be the first BBC drama without a British actor, although it has been written by Andrew Davies, 82, who is known for his adaptations of Pride and Prejudice, vanity Fair and Bleak House. The Indian cast unknown to the average British viewer and is based on a novel that, at 1,535 pages long. The corporation announced that the six-part drama will star 22-year-old newcomer Tanya Maniktala in the central role, alongside the renowned Indian actress, Tabu and young star Ishaan Khatter. Set in the 1950s, A Suitable Boy does not concern itself with the British in India, as classics such as The Jewel in the Crown or A Passage to India have done.


Newlywed couples could be branded as criminals or fined £1000, within days of their wedding, if they fail to follow a new system for registering their marriages, the Archbishop of Canterbury's marriage licensing office has reportedly said. Under the system, which could be in force by the end of the year, couples will no longer be given a marriage certificate at the end of the service, but will be asked to sign a single 'marriage schedule' which they have to take to the local register office to record it, before they are given a certificate.

WORLDWIDE ACCEPTANCE OF INDIA'S STAND: LABOUR LUKEWARM Rupanjana Dutta The Indian government's decision to withdraw the special status of Jammu and Kashmir has launched a heated exchange of letters and tweets between the Tories and Labour, especially after a group of mainly British Muslim MPs from the Opposition issued a letter to Prime Minister Boris Johnson, demanding that the UK should 'strongly condemn' the actions of the Indian government. The Labour party leader Jeremy Corbyn tweeted saying, “The situation in Kashmir is deeply disturbing. Human rights abuses taking place are unacceptable. The rights of the Kashmiri people must be respected and UN resolutions implemented.” He was supported by Labour MP Singh Tanmanjeet Dhesi who in a tweet said, “Well said @jeremycorbyn- we cannot remain silent in the face of human rights abuses. We need to stand in solidarity with the #Kashmiri people in their hour of need.” Corbyn's tweet was heavily criticised by Manoj Ladwa, a London based lawyer and political strategist, Founder and Chief Executive of India Inc. Group, who was Narendra Modi's director of communications during the 2014 Indian election. He said, “I am afraid you are blinded by an ideological perversion which gives fuel to terror, rubbishes international law and denies the rights of women, Dalit, Hindu, Buddhist, Jain, LGBTQ minorities in J&K.” British Muslim MPs from the Labour Party wrote a letter to Boris Johnson demanding that the UK “strongly condemn" the actions of the Indian government and described the decision to revoke Article 370 as an “orchestrated coup" by India. The letter called on the British Prime Minister to consider the wider context of the action led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. It has been drafted by UK Shadow Minister for Justice Yasmin Qureshi and signed by eight other mostly Pakistani-origin MPs. Bob Blackman MP, representing a significant proportion of British Asians living in his constituency in response hit back by hand delivering a letter to 10 Downing Street, accusing the Labour Party of breaking from Britain's long-held position that any matter concerning Kashmir is a “strictly bilateral issue". Supporting Modi, Blackman in his letter wrote that as a democratically elected government, the Indian Prime Minister is “perfectly entitled" to implement his party's election manifesto. He added, “Constitutional changes are an internal matter for India. There is a widely respected convention that we do not interfere in the domestic affairs of a third country, especially a long-standing friend and ally like India...” He also made a reference to the Kashmiri Pandits and how they were forced to flee their homeland. In a statement, Blackman told the Asian Voice, “I strongly support the revocation of Article 370. Jammu and Kashmir has always been an integral part of India and Article 370 has always been anomaly: it has held the area back by starving it of investment, through the prevention of external ownership of land. “Kashmiri Pandits must be guaranteed

right of return after they were the victims of ethnic cleansing and this move should prevent any other minority groups being forced to leave the Kashmir Valley. “The valley provides excellent opportunities for agricultural and cultural handicraft exports, the development of hydro-electric power and tourism. “Most important, however, is clearing the area of terrorists – high security is paramount. “Narendra Modi has again shown proper and strong leadership in honouring the manifesto of the BJP – now is the time to properly integrate Jammu and Kashmir into the Indian constitution.” The Tory MP has accused the Opposition MPs of making provocative claims against India which he said, “has a long-established tradition of respecting all faiths, unlike other countries”. The letter attracted wide support on social media from many a BJP supporters. Manoj Ladwa added, “Alongside the (rather effective) political point scoring, Bob Blackman makes very serious points which merit equally serious response from the Labour Party. Surely you can’t allow unrepresentative minority of MPs to hijack the long-standing friendship.” Labour MP Virendra Sharma told the Asian Voice, "I have seen concern expressed by many at the current political situation in India, particularly in Jammu and Kashmir. All parties should enter into a constructive dialogue and seek to do everything possible to reduce tensions and find a peaceful solution. I am concerned about the situation, not only in India but around the world where recent weeks have seen the continuing detention of nearly one million Uighurs in Xinjiang who need our support and the continuation of demonising attacks on migrants in America along with growing violence by white extremists. The UK has an international responsibility to support communities to come to agreements and peaceful resolutions around the world. It is our duty to ensure that conflicts around the world do not bring division to the UK, that our society is not divided but instead brought together." The Global Kashmiri Pandit Diaspora, a Kashmiri Pandit civil society movement of selfless volunteers drawn from all major Kashmiri Pandit organisations across the globe, along with several friends from Jammu and Ladakh issued a statement signed by 115 organisations and individuals said, “Global Kashmiri Pandits diaspora (GKPD) unequivocally rejects the petition submitted by 64 citizens (comprising Pandits, Sikhs and Dogras) condemning the abrogation of article 370. GKPD is also outraged at attempts by some sections of the media to project this as the views of all the people of Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh. Individual opinions of a group of people cannot be considered the voice of the people of the erstwhile state. “GKPD congratulates Honourable Indian Prime Minister Shri. Narendra Modi and Home Minister Amit Shah for this historic and landmark decision. As major stakeholders in the Union territory of Jammu and Kashmir and the Union territory of Ladakh, we pledge to work alongside Government of India to make the dream of “One Nation One Constitution” a reality. We will work together with all communities to ensure that the glory of Jammu & Kashmir and Ladakh is restored to how it was before it was ravaged by terrorism. “Abrogation of article 370 is a tribute to nationalist forces across the country and a

step towards further integration of Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh with mainstream India. “We strongly condemn the attempts by sections of media to maliciously highlight the views of a few individuals while ignoring the views of the vast majority of the people of Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh who are strongly in favour of the abrogation of Article 370.” Downing Street has not made any official statement on the issue. But from a telephone conversation between Johnson and Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan last week, the situation was referred to as “serious". The Downing Street in a statement said, “The leaders discussed the serious situation in Kashmir and agreed on the importance of maintaining dialogue.” UK foreign secretary Dominic Raab, when asked about the issue during his visit to the US, said, “We've expressed some of our concerns around the situation and called for calm, but also had a clear readout of the situation from the perspective of the Indian government.” In a previous statement, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) spokesperson had said the UK was following developments closely and supported calls for the situation to remain calm.

Protests across the UK British Kashmiri groups have staged protests on last Friday in the UK against the Indian government's decision. The “Stop Killing in Kashmir" protest organised by the Tehreeke-Kashmir pro-independence outfit saw a group of protesters holding anti-India banner, gathered outside the Consulate General of India in Birmingham at a demonstration. In the meantime, some British Kashmiri and Pakistani groups, condemning Indian government's decision, have planned a protest outside the High Commission of India in London on India's independence day (15 August) in early hours of the day. To counter-protest, the Indian diaspora has also planned to gather outside the embassy, in solidarity with the government's decision. Social media platforms have erupted with several messages, with several funny ones. One message said, “If you hate India so much, you should stop calling your Pakistani restaurants as Indian and call them Pakistani instead.” On the other hand, film director Shekhar Kapur on twitter criticised BBC World after they called Kashmir as 'India occupied Kashmir.' He said “Each time you call #Kashmir 'Indian Occupied Kashmir', I keep wondering why you refuse to call Northern Ireland 'British Occupied Ireland'?” NRIs in the UK mirrored this sentiment, with several memes, one of which said, “United Kingdom is made of four countriesEngland, British occupied Scotland, British occupied Northern Ireland and British occupied Wales. If you didn't know this, no problem, you know it now, educate others! #BBC.”

6 UK



17 - 23 August 2019

NCA report reveals record number of Asians missing

Businesses concerned about £36k migrant salary proposals

Priyanka Mehta A recent report published by the National Crime Agency has revealed that over 10,000 Asians have gone missing in the UK in 2016-17 alone. The report compiled through statistics provided by Police forces of England and Wales has highlighted that Asians comprise 4% of the total number of people who have gone missing in the UK.

Fatima Ali

Paresh Patel

Mohamed Ali is one such husband who last saw his wife Fatima on Friday, 12th February 2016 at their Newhaven home in Sussex. The 52-year old Indian woman has gone missing ever since with neither her family nor police being aware of the reasons behind her disappearance. “We have been married for 37 years now. It was a regular Friday when I reached home at 02:00 in

According to her husband, Fatima was completely fit and active without any history of mental illness or the family facing any financial troubles. Suicidal thoughts, depressive thoughts,

“Through our charity, we publicise the information of the missing person in an appeal for people in neighbouring communities to come forward with any information they have on the concerned person. We can then forward this information confidentially to the police and assist them in their investigation. “Simultaneously, we also directly reach out to the missing person and communicate about our free confidential helpline where they can contact our experts and

the afternoon. I knew something was wrong when she was not home and I couldn't get in touch with her. I let an hour pass by thinking that she may return, and when she didn't we contacted the police,” said Mohamed. Whilst the police have opened an investigation into her disappearance, Mohamed says in the last three and a half years, nothing has come up on their radar barring a CCTV Footage with a possible sighting of her, which came to spotlight only last year. “The CCTV footage, from last summer, has only recently come to light and we are issuing it to see if we can establish whether it is her or not. “The woman who knew Fatima says she thinks she saw her running for a bus.

dementia, and relationship breakdowns, child exploitation are some of the common reasons for people to go missing. According to the NCA, most youngsters between the age of 15 and 21 either choose to run away because they feel unhappy or are unsafe in their homes or in care. Today, apart from Sussex Police, Mohamed is also assisted by the charity 'Missing People' who have actively campaigned for Fatima's return. Missing People is an independent charity in the UK is dedicated to bringing missing children and adults back together with their families. However, in some cases, local police are challenged by limited resources and do not have leads to further investigate and look for these missing people.

discuss their problems,” said Paul Joseph, Head of helpline, Missing People. In November 2018, a 48year old Paresh Patel’s body was found by police divers near Limekiln Lock close to Abbey Park nearly three weeks after his family had reported him missing from his home in Belgrave. This report is limited to data cummulated across Wales and England and it is not possible to comment on trends for Northern Ireland or Scotland. But, it states that there has continued to be an increase in the number of missing-related calls received by police in England and Wales, with a substantial increase in the number of missing incidents recorded since 2015/16; 124 more recorded per day with 10,953 Asians recorded missing of the 249,315 in 2016-17.

Extensive enquiries were carried out in the area and CCTV cameras from a nearby bank in North Street captured a woman running for a Brighton and Hove bus just before 6pm on Monday 7 August 2017," said PC Kath Nevill, Sussex Police.

Factors for missing people

Ghanshyam Nabar

Dr. Rami Ranger CBE

Oli Khan FRSA

In a latest Brexit negotiating spin-off, the Centre for Social Justice (CSJ) has urged Home Secretary Priti Patel to raise the proposed minimum salary thresholds from £30,000 to £36,700 in a bid to secure jobs for low skilled UK-born employees. CSJ is an independent think-tank co-founded by Conservative MP Iain Duncan Smith.

report has urged that the Home Office “consider constructing a list” of jobs which are strategically important to the UK. These sectors including the NHS should be exempt from the threshold. However, a coalition of British Retail Consortium, London First, Universities UK, and UK Hospitality among others have warned that more than 60% of all jobs in the UK were currently beneath the £30,000 cutoff. Professionals across the south Asian diaspora are also concerned about dampened prospects of attracting inward investment into cities such as Manchester, and Birmingham. Some believe that any potential increment around salary thresholds will also adversely affect investments from non-EU countries like India. “This is a very sensitive issue and will need to be managed carefully given there are new Governments which have taken charge from both the sides [Indian and the UK] and are proinvestment. “There are two interesting dimensions to this increment, the first is to address the issue of up-skilling the local resources available and hence enable the companies to recruit more locally. An up-skilling programme will automatically have a strong effect from creating a skilled population and workforce locally. The other perspective is to have regional thresholds which will take into consideration the local economic factors, standard of living and hence the figure can be balanced. This will definitely allow companies to

look beyond the capital region and invest into cities like Manchester where the threshold compared to London can be much lower,” said Ghanshyam Nabar, a professional from Manchester. According to the report the significant increase in low-skilled immigration has led to downward pressure on wages for UK-born workers at the bottom of the income spectrum as well as arguably reduced social mobility. “I feel the limit of £36,000 may be detrimental to many businesses in the hospitality industry in view of Brexit. The staff's income is usually supplemented by the tips and gratuities that they receive. So, this threshold may prohibit businesses from recruitment of staff and I will never like to fix salary thresholds and rather work along market rates,” said Dr. Rami Ranger CBE, Founder of Sun Mark Ltd. In the meantime, Mayor Sadiq Khan has also criticised government plans for a salary threshold, which will potentially damage London’s economy. “Far from raising the minimum salary threshold, the Mayor believes the government should instead be lowering it to £21,000 and welcoming the skilled migration that London, and the rest of the country, will desperately need postBrexit,” a spokesperson for Khan said to City A.M. Income thresholds currently only apply to migrants from outside the EU, but are set to be extended to EU workers after Brexit.

However, experts across businesses are concerned about the adverse effect this proposal can have on their firms and challenges it can pose to the overall economy's growth. “We have been trying to save the 'British curry industry' which is operating under immense pressure owing to staff shortages. “The current requirements which mandate an employer to provide a minimum salary of £30,000 to secure a visa for a chef from South Asia, has shaken up the curry industry. Over 100,000 people are working in this industry and approximately 6-7% of these workers are from Europe. Mr. Duncan's recent proposal can negatively impact a lot of these curry houses who may have to shut down under such high thresholds,” said Oli Khan FRSA, Senior Vice President of Bangladesh Caterers Association. The BCA represents 12,000 British Bangladeshi restaurants and takeaways across the UK making for a £4bn industry. But it is not just the curry houses who will remain at stake if the proposal was approved by the Home Office. The

Johnson unveils immigration shakeup to attract 'brightest and best' Boris Johnson has unveiled a new fast track immigration system that would attract “the brightest and the best" in the fields of science, engineering and technology. The plans include removing the need for immigrants to have an offer of employment before they can arrive in the country, and lifting the cap on the number of "exceptional talent" visas which are currently handed out. He had earlier pledged a new 'Australian style' points-

based immigration system. He said immigrants' dependents will also be given full access to the labour market, while more universities and research institutes will be allowed to endorse candidates. Johnson, who has already pledged to scrap Theresa May government's target to bring net migration below 100,000 a year, said: "Britain has a proud history of innovation, with home-grown inventions spanning from the humble bicycle to the light bulb. "We

were home to the world’s first national DNA database, we discovered graphene, and our cutting-edge scientists should be proud to follow in the footsteps of titans like Ada Lovelace. "But to ensure we continue to lead the way in the advancement of knowledge, we have to not only support the talent that we already have here, but also ensure our immigration system attracts the very best minds from around the world.”





17 - 23 August 2019

Family urges for help from community to 'Save Sheena' An eighteen year old Watford girl, who is an aspiring doctor has five weeks to find a bone marrow match to save her life. Sheena Shah, suffering from leukaemia, has had chemotherapy for just over a month and needs to fine a bone marrow match to continue her treatment. A local paper reported that if Sheena does not find a match, her parents will reportedly donate their bone marrow, but the doctors have warned that this may not be successful, as they are not a match. But since she

Sheena Shah

is of

Indian origin, it is difficult to get a match easily in the UK. Sheena has been half way through her A-levels, when the leukamia relapsed. She had volunteered in a ward at the University College London Hospital before her diagnosis and has now been admitted to the same ward as a patient. Sheena's family has since launched a global campaign for people to join the bone marrow register to find her a match. The campaign leaflet, urging everyone to help 'Save Sheena' from her parents said, “Our loving daughter, Sheena, was diagnosed with Leukemia at the age of 15. At the end of 2018, after two and a half grueling years of chemo treatment we thought she was in the clear and ready tocarry on life as a young adult. However, last month, we were told that the Leukemia has returned. “Sheena urgently needs a bone marrow if she is to stand any chance of surviving. Unfortunately, we have no match yet and time is running out.

“We are making a plea for you to consider being tested to see if you might be the life saving match for our Sheena. All it takes is a quick and free cheek swab test. “Sheena is currently undergoing chemo to reduce her leukemia, blood transfusions, high dose of steroids, lumbar punctures and other medications. “Sheena is a strong, spirited and positive person full of energy needing your help to have a chance in life.” To be a donor and check details of services that can help with the testing process, one can go to Anthony Nolan, NHS or DKMS. Speaking to Asian Voice, Sheena's father Minesh Shah said, “We are urgently looking for donors. We have put words out in the community- among the Oshwals and other temples. Anthony Nolan and DKMS are helping us too. There is one person willing so far, but he has to go through may tests before we can confirm if he is a tissue match at all. It's a long way. We are urging the community to help us save our daughter.”

Welcoming young readers to write in our Diwali issue Dear Readers, Diwali this year is on Sunday 27th October. The New Year is knocking at the door waiting to bring in colours and light to our lives with fervour of joy and ever lasting happiness. Asian Voice and Gujarat Samachar will once again be publishing the ‘Diwali Special’ Magazine for our fabulous and supportive readers like yourself. This year we are once again inviting our young readers to send in their articles for the English section. 1. If you are between 5-25 years of age, write an article in English on either of the following topics in no more than 350 words, along with a suitable photo: ● how do you celebrate your Diwali every year OR ● Your most memorable Diwali with friends and family OR ● how do you celebrate Diwali in your school'. 2. If you are 2-25 years of age, you can also draw/paint a picture of what Diwali means to you or your memorable Diwali, with a suitable photo caption, your full name, age; scan and send the picture to the the below address, by the mentioned deadline. 3. If you are within 9-25 years of age, you can also write a short story within 350 words or a poem within 150 words for our Diwali special. 4. If you are a part of an organisation, which has a youth wing or support youth activities, please tell us how your young members or youth wing celebrates Diwali in 300 words with 2 pictures (in no less than 300dpi). Send your articles/stories/poem with your photo and/or painting/picture to Last date of entry: 30th September 2019. - Asian Voice

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8 UK



17 - 23 August 2019

India wins freedom 2.0

First ever book on lassis launched in the UK

A major shift took place in the Indian subcontinent on Monday when the government of India revoked the special status it had conferred on its only Muslim-majority state – the State of Jammu and Kashmir (J&K).

Tarek Fatah In doing so, India demonstrated a spinal cord of steel, this coming after 1,000 years of Arab, Turkic, Persian and Afghan Islamic invasions, followed by Portuguese, French and British colonization, had reduced it to mere spaghetti. India today stands as tall as the Himalayas and walks as gracefully as the Bengal tiger. As expected, Pakistan invoked its selfstyled role as the godfather of India’s Islamists. The country’s military-backed Prime Minister Imran Khan made a barely concealed threat of a nuclear attack unless India revoked its actions taken on its own sovereign territory. Khan told a joint session of the Pakistan parliament, “if we fight a war till we shed the last drop of our blood, who will win that war? No one will win it and it will have grievous consequences for the entire world,” he thundered. Then, as if to mollify his threat of a worldwide nuclear catastrophe, Khan fooled no one by insisting: “This is not nuclear blackmail.” Khan then played the race card: “What they (Indian government) did in Kashmir is in accordance with their ideology. They have a racist ideology … ingrained in their ideology that puts Hindus above all other religions and seeks to establish a state that represses all other religious groups.” India’s actions were taken through a change in two articles of its constitution that won approval in both houses of the country’s parliament. The fact this led Pakistan to threaten nuclear war tells us why so many of us consider the country not just a state sponsor of terrorism, but a threat to world peace under a military that is carrying out a genocide on its own people in the occupied once independent country of Balochistan. India has a peculiarity to its history. Unlike the Persian and Egyptian civilizations that crumbled in the face of Islamic expansionism of the 7th and 8th centuries, India’s Hindu society was able to survive despite the total erasure of Hinduism from the 5,000-year-old Indus Valley Civilization by the Arab marauder Muhammad Bin Qasim and later murderous plunderers such as Tamerlane and the Moguls ending with the looting of its rich-

es and resources by the British. When they finally left in 1947, Britain amputated India’s limbs to partition the ancient land into three, with the Islamic State of Pakistan flanking India on both its eastern and western borders. On paper India had won its freedom in August 15, 1947, but on the ground the ancient plundered land was not free until Monday. Acting in good faith and making India secular to accommodate its Muslim minority, for decades its Hindu leaders distanced themselves from their heritage. India’s first education minister came from a family in Mecca that claimed to be a direct descendent of Prophet Muhammad. In fact, India is the only major civilizational country where you are systematically taught to hate your heritage and glorify the invaders who came to destroy it. And this absurdity is called “secularism.” Anyone standing up for the rights of India’s Hindu heritage of its indigenous and aboriginal population, who took pride in their ancient Vedic texts was labelled by the slur of being an “ultra-right Hindu nationalist,” while those who propagated the total Islamization of India under the Arab doctrine of “Ghazwa-e-Hind” and the eradication of every Hindu Temple were free to claim such hate as being their “right” to practice their faith. But in the words of Bob Dylan, “the times, they are a changing.” India has finally won its freedom from the clutches of those who mock its heritage and wish it harm. Under this new freedom, India’s Hindus, Muslims, Sikhs and Christians will be equals before the law and not hide behind “special status.” -Article courtesy: Toronto Sun, as published on 6 August 2019

(The writer is a Pakistani-Canadian journalist, writer, broadcaster, secularist, and liberal activist. He is an advocate of gay rights, separation of religion and state, opposition to Sharia Law, and advocacy for a liberal, progressive form of Islam. Mr Tarek is known for his open criticism of Pakistan, and, is even banned from making public speeches or lectures in the country).

Panel discussion at the book launch hosted by Radha Bhatia, moderated by Rohit Agarwal with guest speakers food blogger and author Mira Manek, Professor at London School of Economics Ian Angell and Chef Rohit Ghai of Chelsea’s Kutir restaurant regarding the health benefits of lassis

Rupanjana Dutta Radha Bhatia, author and Chairperson, Bird Group, on Thursday launched “Lassis of India – Smoothies with a Twist” in London. The interactive evening was held at Nehru Centre, London and featured a delightful Lassi tasting session and a panel discussion with guest speakers; food blogger Mira Manek and author of Prajna, Ayuvedic rituals for happiness and recipe book Saffron Soul; Michelin-starred chef Rohit Ghai of Chelsea’s Kutir restaurant; Professor at London School of Economics Ian Angell. The discussion was moderated by Rohit Agarwal. Lassi, a staple yoghurt drink that accompanies the diversified Indian cuisine because of its sublime taste and therapeutic properties. A successful entrepreneur running several multifaceted businesses is just one of the many roles that Radha Bhatia has been juggling for decades. A wife, mother, grandmother, champion of women empowerment, she’s also an accomplished cook. The book which is an amalgamation of recipes and stories and has undergone an extensive research which explores Indian cul-

tural roots, local customs, climate and cuisines, featuring a compilation of 17 traditional recipes from various states blending with the local food and climate. The other 57 recipes are lassis with a twist – prepared with herbs, fruits and nuts, which appeal to a younger generation. All the recipes in the book are simple to follow and intended for those who love to cook at home. During the launch Mrs Bhatia said, “Lassis of India is an attempt to revive our age-old elixir with a twist of contemporary blends along with the traditional recipes to suit the modern lifestyle. While unearthing the recipes, it led me to many mythological stories and interesting folk lore - starting from the mythical story of the origin of Charnamrit (holy water) by churning of the oceans by Gods and Demons and thus making a delightful discovery. This is the first ever book that focuses on Lassis and also encapsulates the health benefits of its consumption. “Research has shown that probiotics can keep your intestines happy and have a healing effect on the gut walls. They also improve your body’s ability to fight infection, a wonderful qual-

ity for any food to have in these polluted times People today are juggling between a fast-paced hectic life and healthy eating habits, these recipes ranging from ‘Meethi Lassi’ of Punjab to ‘Talicha More’ of Tamil Nadu present as a healthy alternative and also includes herbs, fruits, and nuts. With their own unique tastes, the lassis are light on the stomach, refreshing to drink and aid smooth digestion.” Sharing his unique idea about Lassi, famed journalist, Mr. Vir Sanghvi who has done extensive research on fondness for yoghurt and in different countries has written in his foreword “Dahi (Yoghurt) essentially cools the body. It is extremely versatile and can be used to make beverages as well as desserts. It is also very beneficial to the digestive system. The most uniquely Indian invention from Dahi is Lassi and this book perfectly captures the Indian romance with yoghurts with its wonderful recipes and beautiful pictures. This book is an extension of the grand tradition of yoghurt drinks”. The proceeds from book sales was donated to Mrs Bhatia’s chosen charity, Consortium for Street Children.

Sitara: Jazz-ing up the curry culture From hole in the wall pubs in Camden, to converted railway arches in East London, jazz music appears to be returning to its heydey nearly after a century of being absent in the maze of pop, EDM and hip-hop culture. Clarinettists such as Arun Ghosh and Sarathy Korwar have now been finding their audience in the young British Asian diaspora settled in the UK. The jazz renaissance is being reflected in festivals and ticket sales, with British jazz featuring heavily in this year’s Glastonbury line-up. At the heart of this growing popularity for jazz, is Sitara, a restaurant that has been jazz-ing up the curry culture. Established for 30 years by Chaman Sharma, the restaurant

today hosts a monthly jazz night with live band performances whilst serving rich Indian flavours and traditional curry. “I came to London in 1960 when I was 17 years old with only 300 Rupees. In the following 17 years I worked as an engineer and was engaged in maintenance of the machinery. But aspiring for a better life, I sold off my house to set up this restaurant which suffered a heavy loss in the initial three years of operation,” says Sharma. There are several curry houses in London but very few provide a fusion of authentic English music with authentic curry. The concept of jazz is something unique to their restaurant alongwith the atmosphere at the restaurant.

Sitara's Indo-British fusion is their USP. “Introducing jazz in our restaurant has actually brought the much needed edge and increased our revenues. I should credit my son Raj who has been working with me at the restaurant from early ages. His love for jazz has enabled the restaurant's footfall to surge and further more established a young customer base pre-dominantly of Asians and Europeans,” he said. This year EFG London Jazz Festival is also being hosted on 31st August at the Royal Albert Doc by Fusion and mixed by Rita Ray. The EFG London Jazz Festival was created 27 years ago by Serious, one of the UK’s leading producers and curators of live

jazz, international and contemporary music. The aims of today’s Festival remain around celebrating the breadth of jazz, presenting a mix of new work from international and British artists and a commitment to education activity. Apart from Sitara, restaurants such as Dishoom, Ijazz, Masala Zone and The Delhi Brasserie are some of the leading Jazz restaurants in London spicing up the curry culture.


Dealer with knife forced to handover drug deal profits A drug dealer who was chased through Cardiff wielding a huge hunting knife has had thousands of pounds of his dirty money confiscated. Muaz Tarafdar has been stripped of £13,875 made through his illicit activities after a Proceeds of Crime Act hearing before Judge Eleri Rees at Cardiff Crown Court. During the hearing, the court was told of an incident in which the 21-yearold assaulted a police officer

after being witnessed in an apparent drug deal. Hashim Salmman, defending, said his client achieved GCSEs and was working hard as a waiter at his family’s restaurant before he became addicted to crack cocaine. He will now have three months to pay and would have to go to prison for six months if he did not. His property is already with the prosecution and is due to be auctioned.

Muaz Tarafdar

ISIS children not welcome to UK? Children of British Daesh (Islamic State) members in Syria will not be allowed to return to the UK, the government has ruled. The decision was made by Sajid Javid in one of his final acts as Home Secretary. Currently, at least 30 British children are being held with their mothers in camps in northern Syria, after being detained as they fled the shattering Isis caliphate. Debates on the fate of children born to British jihadis came to spotlight earlier this year after the death of Bethnal Green Shamima Begum's son. After joining the Daaesh in 2015, Begum had been found pregnant when she was interviewed at the Al-Roj camp in northern Syria and had expressed a desire to return to the UK, saying she

wanted a better life for her unborn child. The baby, named Jarrah, was born three days later, but died of pneumonia on shortly after Begum was stripped off her citizenship. Kurdish authorities have said the decision was a “big mistake” as it risked leaving children vulnerable to terrorist recruitment. “If these children are not returned to their country, rehabilitated and reintegrated into their communities, they will all become future terrorists,” Abdulkarim Omar, foreign affairs chief for the autonomous administration that controls the camps, told The Independent. “These children were brought up in a terrorist environment and imbued with the terrorist ideology



of Isis, especially children aged over eight years. Staying in the radical camp environment means creating a new generation of terrorists that will pose a threat to us and to the entire international community,” he added. A Foreign Office spokesman said, "The Government is aware that there are British national minors in Internally Displaced Persons camps in Syria who, because of their age, are innocent victims of the conflict. "But we must be clear that there are things we cannot do because we do not have a consular presence within Syria. The Foreign Secretary also stated that he will not jeopardise the lives of civil servants."

Richard Braine of UKIP slammed for Islamophobia


Richard Braine

The recently elected leader of Ukip has been slammed for Islamophobia after a footage emerged of him saying it should be illegal to publicly distribute the Quran in the UK. “We have laws against incitement, and yet there are people handing out Qur’ans in Leicester Square off a trestle table – a book which tells people to kill us to please God. We’ve got to stop incitement in public places like that,” said Richard Braine. Braine replaced Gerard Batten as the leader of the anti-immigration party at the weekend. In a ballot of members, Braine received 53 per cent of the vote, more than double of his closest rival.

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Rohit Vadhwana The inauguration ceremony of World Zoroastrian Organisation was held in London on 10 August at their new building in Feltham. The building, with facility for prayer, community events and library, is made open to community. The World Zoroastrian Organisation was established in 1980 and has worked for the welfare of the community living all over the world, as it is the central organisation for global Zoroastrians. Zarathustra, born in 628 BCE is the founder of Zoroastrianism which was perhaps the first religion to propagate monotheism, one god, in the form of Ahura Mazda. Main holy book of the religion is Avesta which was originally written in Avestan or Pahlavi script and three pillars of the religion is summed up in the phrase, ‘good thoughts, good words, good deeds’. Zoroastrians worship fire and keep it burning in temples. The community, also known as Parsi in India, has origin in Iran from where they migrated to India during 8th to 10th century. As the story goes, a group of Parsis arrived at Sanjan Port, Gujarat and sent a messenger to the local king requesting permission to live in his kingdom. The local king sent a bowl full of milk which meant that the kingdom was full and there was no more space to accommodate them. The leader is said to have added sugar in the bowl of milk and sent it back to the king, conveying that they would mix with local population like sugar in the milk. The king is believed to have happily permitted them to live in his kingdom.

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However, Lord Bhikhu Parekh, in his scholarly speech at the event, discredited the story saying that Parsis had been in trade relations with Indians even before the said migration and they had established settlements in coastal towns of Gujarat. Truly, connection between Iran and India is ancient and this story is more of popular belief than having historic authenticity. But there exists other popular stories too about migration of Parsis to India and that is about their speaking of Gujarati language, wearing of traditional Gujarati attires and many other aspects. This community has lowest population in India, 0.006%, but has made perhaps highest contribution in every field. As per 2001 census, Parsis numbered less than 70,000 which further reduced to about 57,000 in 2011 census. The reducing number of Parsis in India is mainly attributed to migration to the western world, including UK and USA, and also childlessness in the community. There were only 7 child birth per 1000 persons in Parsis in India and aged population is more than young. Arguably, the first freedom fighter Dadabhai Naoroji, first space scientist Vikram Sarabhai, first physicist Homi Bhabha, first industrialist Jamshedji Tata – all were Parsis. Their contribution in other fields is also noteworthy.

Saturday 24-8-2019

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17 - 23 August 2019

A tribute to the Parsi community



Monday 26-08-2019

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17 - 23 August 2019

Rakshabandhan In reference to Mr Jubel D'Cruz's letter dated 10th-16th August 2019, a brother enters into a bond with a sister to protect her in any eventuality, as the bond has social, religious and cultural bearing in response to sister's goodwill for brother's well-being, while 'Raksha', a symbol of their sisterly and brotherly mutual love and respect, is being tied. It is true that traditionally this festival is celebrated by Hindu brothers and sisters since the inception of Vedic Sanatan religion; and as it is strictly confined to the bond to promote simply brotherly-sisterly concerns, it is not intended to cover other purposes,such as, to appreciate the complimentary gifts of a man and woman, moments for women's liberation and rights, to promote politically intended brotherhood and equality among the citizens of India, or to expect each other as boyfriend or girlfriend etc. It is erroneous to say that the festival was actually started by Noble laureate Rabindranath Tagore as stated by the author; while it was a red religious string and not a Raksha that was tied around a fellowman's wrist for a different purpose. The premise of the promise of brotherly and sisterly love should not be tainted with other types of relations, and it must always be kept pure, as it is also prevalent in other faiths as well. R. N. Patel By email

New Era for Kashmir Hats off to Modiji for his bold move in scrapping Article 370 and 35A to restore peace, prosperity, and security in the troubled region of Jammu and Kashmir for over six decades after weighing all pros and cons. The duo of Modi and Shah are well-prepared for any consequences that may ensue. Kashmir is an integral part of India and will remain so. Pakistan's claim for Kashmir based on Muslim's majority is absurd. The long-suffering of Kashmiris, casualties to Indian security forces and uncertainty needed a new approach. Modiji’s action is righteous and well justified. In time to come, Kashmir will be a paradise on earth; peaceful, prosperous, safe and secured for Indians irrespective of caste, creed, and religion to advance and progress. India houses approximately 200 million Muslim. They are much safer and better off than their counterparts in Pakistan. Rest assured, good days for the Kashmiris are on the way. Niranjan Vasan By email

The light is extinguished BJP stalwart Sushma Swaraj, the External Affairs Minister in PM Modi’s last government, passed away at a relatively young age of 67. She was a courageous, honest and well liked politician across political divide, following into the foot-steps of PM Atalji who command the support of the opposition in the Parliament on many occasions. As she was in poor health, had kidney transplant in 2016, she retired from politics just before the last election, she did not even go to Rajya Sabha which is the norm for high calibre politicians like Sushmaji and Shri Arun Jetly who was Finance minister with Sushmaji. Coincidently Arunji is also in ICU in the same hospital. Her body was kept at BJP headquarters for three hours to let BJP workers, leaders and foreign envoys to pay their tribute. Being Foreign Minister, she had established close personal relations with many foreign governments and diplomats. Her last rights were performed at Lodhi Road crematorium, according to her Hindu faith. Coincidently, it was Sushmaji’s wish to see Jammu and Kashmir integrated into Indian Union, to abolish article 370 and 35A so that every Indian, from Kashmir to Kanyakumari enjoy equal rights, equal privileges and equal responsibility, loyalty to Mother India. India is the only secular nation in the region where minorities can enjoy same privileges, unlike Pakistan. Her last message to PM Modi was to congratulate him and Home Minister Amit Shah for taking such a courageous step to assimilate J & K into Indian Union. It seems Sushmaji who was in poor health, was just waiting to see her dream come true before departing, saying final goodbye to her family, friends and people of India. She will always be remembered with affection by the Indian public whom she served with such honour and dedication. May God open the gates of heaven for such a distinguished person! Kumudini Valambia By email

Gandhi and Parsis

In black and white

In his article on, 'Gandhi and Parsis' Lord Parekh tries his very best not to credit the majority Hindu community for welcoming the Parsis to Gujarat and giving them total freedom to follow their religion and way of life. He brushes away the story of how the Parsis arrived and how they communicated with the Hindu king by mixing sugar with milk, indicating that they would mix with the people of India. This incident has been recorded in History and indeed Malcom Deboo president of the Zoroastrian Trust has often sited this incident in his talks. What proof does Lord Parekh have to refute this part of Parsi history? For Lord Parekh it was no big deal that a host country welcomes a persecuted people. By highlighting a local difficulty in Mumbai Lord Parekh cannot bring himself to acknowledge that over the last 200 years Parsis have lived fearlessly in India. Lord Parekh says the Parsis thought Indian's were not ready for independence. Unless he can prove this claim Lord Parekh will have misrepresented the Parsi community. He also went on to say that the Parsis feared Gandhi's mass movement and collective action. Parsis had no cause to fear. They had no doubt that under an independent India they would have every opportunity to aim for the skies. And History has proved that right. Lord Parekh claims that the Parsi community did not see why they should remove traces of Western influence from their own ways. Gandhi's campaigns were not to remove any Western influence but to gain India's independence. The Jewish people have lived in India for over 2,000 years and they proudly claim that they have never faced any persecution. In the middle of the city of Delhi there is a beautiful Baha'i temple. Another persecuted minority that have found a safe home in the Hindu majority India. Respect for all religions has been in the DNA of Hindus well before the West coined the term Secularism. In his zeal not to acknowledge any Hindu values Lord Parekh has misrepresented the Parsi community. All it does is question the professionalism as well as the bias of an academic. The grudge some Indian origin people hold against the land of their birth is breathtaking. Nitin Mehta Croydon

Can the Queen intervene to stop no deal Brexit? The issue of ‘no deal ‘Brexit is getting muddier by the day. PM Boris Johnson is intoxicated by power and thinks he can get away with a ‘no deal’ Brexit without the approval of the parliament. If he does any such thing, he will create a political and constitutional crisis, then the question would be whether Her Majesty the Queen can intervene to stop him in his tracks. According to former MP George Galloway she has the power to block a Brexit vote deadlock, as UK is a ‘constitutional l country without a constitution’ but he is not sure she will do it. Brexit is currently in a state of chaos and many members of the British public have now lost faith in politicians and their ability to deliver Brexit. Queen Elizabeth II has ruled for 67 years, longer than any other British monarch and during which time 13 prime ministers have been in office. While officially the Queen, as Head of State, is dutybound to remain strictly neutral with respect to political matters, she does have important ceremonial and formal roles as regards the UK government. The clearest way in which the Queen could stop a no deal Brexit, or Brexit entirely, is if a vote of no confidence was passed in the House of Commons. In theory, if a vote of no confidence was passed the Queen might be called upon to choose between two rival claims to form a government. The Queen could then choose a party that wished to stop Brexit or a no deal Brexit. If an existing prime minister refused to leave, a strategy mooted by some in recent months, the plan might be to force a general election rather than to let others test whether they could command the confidence of the House. The Queen has voiced her frustration with today's politicians and their 'inability to govern correctly', it has been claimed. She is not happy with the MPs arguing all the time. The 93-year-old monarch remains scrupulously neutral in public but is said to have told aides of her 'disappointment in the current political class'. She made the comments in 2016 but her feelings have only intensified since then amid endless political turmoil over Brexit, sources told The Sunday Times. Royal aides were said to be surprised by her statement, describing the Queen as 'really dismayed' by the state of UK politics. It comes amid fears that the Queen will be dragged into the political arena in the lead-up to Britain's October 31 Brexit deadline. It will be a great shame if Boris Johnson drags the Queen into Brexit chaos. I hope the Queen’s message to politicians hits home. Baldev Sharma Rayners Lane, Harrow

It is sad to see so many Asians obviously using skin-whitening substances in the hope of making themselves look more acceptable to white folk. Complexion, in my view, is only skin deep. What resides in a person’s heart and mind is far more important. I once heard a black woman say to a friend: “If only I was white, all my problems would be over.” What nonsense! As if whites don't have problems! Curiously, while Asians and blacks yearn to be white, we see white folk happily toasting their bodies on sun-drenched days longing to acquire a tan. Does the grass always seem greener on the other side of the fence? Rudy Otter By email

Resting on my laurels Having published over 500 letters so far mainly in AV and some in GS, I had thought that I would put my feet up and rest on my laurels. But that has not to be. I keep pondering about new topics to write about or to express my opinion on some of the current affairs. In all this, my age old computer is keeping up pace with me. My most memorable publications have been my mini autobiography under the “Remember, recollect, recharge” column and the visits a couple of times at Royal Garden Parties at Buckingham Palace which I had the privilege to attend at the invitation of the Lord Chamberlain. I have also written about the privilege I had of speaking with Princess Margaret, the Queen’s sister, when she made a whistle stop visit to my place of work at the then Department of Education and Science accompanied by Margaret Thatcher, who was at the time Education Secretary, and she too oozed charm and dignity. My other notable work has been alerting readers about the scourge of old age where as we grow older, we tend to forget things – lose our marbles - we find that gradually we tend to forget things. The first thing we notice is that we find it difficult to put names to faces. We struggle to remember people’s names or other important things about them. Then forgetfulness takes hold on us and it is a downhill ride. Dinesh Sheth Newbury Park, Ilford

Donald Trump shedding crocodile tears after shootings in America Donald Trump, America’s President, spoke on Monday Aug 5 “In one voice, our nation must condemn racism, bigotry and white supremacy” in response to the racially motivated murder of 22 people in El Paso and another mass shooting in Dayton Ohio. There are Trump’s carefully scripted words and then there are his actions - a barrage of racist tweets, speeches and presidential orders that have done more than anything to foster the climate in which the El Paso massacre seemed tragically inevitable. He is the head of government who told four US congresswomen of colour to “go back” to the countries they came from. How can any one believe him when lies and false statements is his signature of governing. The CNN Editor-at-large in his June 10 analysis in CNN politics very rightly said “Donald Trump lies more often than you wash your hands every day.” He has no respect for women as he was alleged of raping and abusing women and girls and got away by his money power. Billy Graham, renowned clergyman of America, once quoted: “When wealth is lost, nothing is lost,when health is lost, something is lost, when character is lost, all is lost”. This quote rightly applies to him. If I find any of our relatives, friends or acquaintances of his type of character I will totally cut off relation with that person. Gun violence will never stop in America as long as they want to enjoy second amendment of freedom of owning gun and big gun lobby and National Rifle Association whole heartily supporting in the lust of making huge profits and no respect of human life . Last but not least we convey Happy Raksha Bandhan, Happy India’s Independence Day and Janmastmi - birth anniversary of Lord Krishna wishes to all readers of Asian Voice and Gujarat Samachar. God bless all. Suresh and Bhavna Patel Markham, Canada

MAKE YOURSELF HEARD We are grateful to all letter writers for more and more versatile letters. If you wish to contribute to our ‘Reader’s Voice’ section regarding the various topics covered or any ongoing issues around the world letters can be emailed to

Make sure they are NOT more than 350 words. Any letter longer than the limit may not be published. Note: all letters sent are subject to being edited by our team for valid reasons and won’t be published without name of authors being provided. - Asian Voice





17 - 23 August 2019

Cllr Maru seeking to be GLA Newham Council to tackle hate crime in new ‘Safe Newham’ project candidate in 2020 Cllr Ajay Maru has been one of the Labour members seeking to be candidates in the London Assembly 2020 elections from Brent and Harrow. Cllr Maru, from Kenton West, has been a local Councillor for the last 9 years and lived in the Harrow area for almost 20 years with family and with a business in Kenton. He has been in the local Labour Party- a Chair for Harrow East CLP, a member of LCF, a deputy Whip for the Labour Group on the Council and currently Cabinet Assistant for Business and Enterprise.

Newham Council is taking part in a scheme to help increase the reporting of hate crime in the borough after securing a government grant to tackle the issue.

Together with the Labour Party he is a member of the GMB trade union and a CoOp Party member. Speaking to Asian Voice, he said, “I will be an active member of this GLA constituency working on local issues and holding the Mayor of London to Account on behalf of my constituents. I am always being mindful of people’s welfare and wellbeing. Given the government cuts and the austerity I would continue to challenge Boris Johnson and the Tory government for the rights of the people. “At strategic level I

Cllr Ajay Maru

would contribute to London Assembly and Labour Groups work on London’s economy (including small businesses) regeneration, community cohesion, housing and safety of our communities (policing and crime).”

Sikh worshippers object to longer alcohol and entertainment licensing hours at sports bar and music venue The MK11 sports bar, in Keller Close, Kiln Farm, applied to the council to extend to 5.30am on occasional dates so they can show American wrestling bouts. The sports and music bar, along with the Ramgorhhia Sabha Sikh temple, and business units, sit close to each other on the same site on an industrial estate in MK. Tuesday’s Licensing Sub Committee heard there are issues of parking, access, and noise, which disrupts prayers. Narinderjit Singh Ubhi said: “Peace, quiet, and tranquility are at the forefront of our thoughts. The congregation should be able to contemplate and pray without distractions. On occasions we have continuous reli-

gious services running for 48 hours and have up to 400 visitors but we are troubled by this noise.” In submissions totalling 200 pages of claim and counter-claim between MK11 and the Temple, MK Council licensing officer Ed Fisher said he had “run out of letters of the alphabet” for all the appendices. Other submissions presented to the council stated that MK11 produced so much noise that the priest who lives on the site could not sleep and worshippers were not able to pray in peace. Worshippers are worried that the priest will get fed up with the noise and want to move on. The operators of MK11, Mark and Simon O’Brien, said that they were open to

resolving complaints but the Temple had consistently failed to respond, to raise issues, or to provide any evidence. They are planning to use squash courts at the former social club as a better performance area, which includes high-tech sound limiting equipment. The applicants said they had been responsible with parking by employing parking and security wardens, but the Sikh temple “do not take responsibility for their parking.” “We really do make a huge effort,” added Mr O’Brien. “It’s our livelihoods and our living. There have been so many wild accusations, that I do not know where to begin. We just want to get on with running our business.”

The scheme, called ‘Safe Newham’, will support 12 third-party reporting sites to allow hate crimes to be reported more easily. There is often a reluctance to report hate crime for a variety of reasons, including language barriers, cultural obstacles, and distrust towards local authorities. This project aims to increase the reporting of hate crime in Newham, allowing residents to feel safer and provide better support to victims. Councillor James Beckles, Cabinet member for Crime and Community Safety, said, “Nobody should have to endure hate crimes in this day and age, and giving victims the support to report these crimes is an important step in reducing them. “This administration wants to encourage closer

bonds between the residents of Newham. In a borough as diverse as ours, integration is essential and our social integration strategy will help balance important but detached cultural networks with wider engagement. “The Safe Newham project is an important step to combat hate crime and encourage cohesive communities within the borough.” As part of the scheme, nationally accredited hate crime training will be issued to 40 frontline council staff, 40 society and faith leaders, alongside 20 youth champions. The training will provide an understanding of hate crime and why it is important to report incidents. The council will also launch 12 community-based third-party reporting sites. These will allow victims to report hate crime to trained members of staff as an alternative to going to the police. These will be located across the borough at: Green Street, Forest Gate, Manor Park and Custom House and Canning Town libraries, Forest Gate and Beckton

Globe youth centres, Roma Support Group, Shpresa and Renewal Programme community centres and Plashet Grove, Manor Park and Forest Gate mosques. Each of these reporting sites will also will host community hate crime workshops for local residents. These workshops will raise awareness of the reporting sites, increase understanding of hate crime, and give residents a chance to give their views. Hate crime is defined as acts of violence or hostility directed at people because who they are or someone thinks they are. This can be due to a person’s disability, gender identity, race and ethnicity, sexual orientation, religion and belief, immigration status or nationality or any other perceived difference. The project will be delivered by Protection Approaches with the support of Newham Council’s Community Neighbourhoods team. Protection Approaches is a London Based charity working to end identity based violence.

Record number of students expected to secure places in clearing as universities scramble to fill vacancies A record 80,000 students are expected to take up places on degrees through clearing this year as universities scramble to fill courses, the head of the admissions service has predicted. With less than a week to go until A-level results day, three in four of the country’s leading institutions have vacancies on their undergraduate pro-

grammes. A total of 30,000 courses still have spaces, including more than 4,600 courses at the elite Russell Group universities, which are the most selective in the country. Eighteen of the 24 top universities have course advertised on the Ucas clearing site ahead of results day on Thursday, an analysis from The Independent

found, including law courses at 12 of the institutions. Last year, 66,770 people found places at British universities using the clearing process. Clare Marchant, chief executive of Ucas, said the figure could reach 80,000 – almost double the number of students that used the system a decade ago – describing admissions as a “buyer’s market”.

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17 - 23 August 2019

SCRUTATOR’S unlike in 1991. If you look at our inflation rate, it is quite low, if you look at our reserves, they’re quite high.’ (Business Line, August 5).

India awoke to day of drama. Article 370, the provisional constitutional status of Jammu, Kashmir and the Himalayan territory of Ladakh was abrogated in the Rajya Sabha by a two-thirds majority, followed by a comfortable majority in the Lok Sabha [Lower House]. Most Opposition parties including Akali Dal, YSR Congress, AIDMK, Akali Dal, BSP, AAP, AGP and RPI voted for the bill, with Congress, the two Communist parties, the Samajwadi Dal, Bengal TMC and NCP opposing it.

Rajasthan bans Lynching

President Putin

Constitution and in keeping with the Simla and Lahore declaration of 1972 1nd 1999 respectively, to which was a signatory. That said, Russia called foir talks between India and Pakistan and hoped for a peaceful resolution of the Kashmir dispute Times of India, Hindu, Startesman, August 11). RBI rate cut

PM Modi addressing the nation

However, there was a significant break in Congress ranks, when senior leader Jyotiraditya Scindia voted with government because he felt a national interest was at stake The Muslim majority Kashmir valley including its capital Srinagar, and Hindu majority Jammu would henceforth be a single political and administrative entity with its Legislative Assembly, while Buddhist Ladakh will constitute a Union Territory ruled from New Delhi, as had long been the wish of its people. (Times of India, Statesman, August 6). Muslim leaders appeal for calm Maulana Ashad Madani of Jamiat Ulama-i–Hind said: ‘J&K is part of India and we want that there should be focus on grassrootslevel development in the state so that people get the benefit of development in a safe and secure environment.’ Feroz Bakht Ahmed, Chancellor, Maulana Azad National Urdu University, said: ‘In order to avoid bad blood and bloodshed Articles 370 and 35A should have been abrogated a long time ago while Jawaharlal Nehru was PM ...I urge my Kashmiri brethren to accept the change positively as the valley would be on a fast track of development.’ (Times of India, August 6). Jihadi violence Organized civic unrest dominated by well-drilled stone throwers and jihadi gun and bomb toting squads contesting the established authority in the Kashmir valley. This had blighted normal political and social life, with the separatist Hurriyat leaders truculent and unbending in their demands for union with Pakistan or for full independence. Their menacing words on the pages of Indian broadsheets, when invited to air

their views, was a sign of their chronic inability to feel the national pulse. India would not, and could not be bullied into submission to jihadi diktat. After all, the valley had been ethnically cleansed of its Hindu Pandit population in the late 1980s.They either had fled to Jammu or to Delhi and lived in camps as internally displaced refugees. The governments of the day in Delhi, to all intents, made no demur, made no appeals to internal bodies to highlight the tragedy of this targeted expulsion from their ancestral homeland by marauding jihadi fanatics aided and abetted by Pakistan. Political posturing, with back channel financial inducements oiling the wheels of selfenrichment, and the acquisitions of high value real estate or rolling business properties by Hurriyat leaders tells its own tale. Cheers in Jammu, Ladakh People in Jammu were out on the streets celebrating and distributing sweets at news of the Article 370 abrogation. Many were refugees from the valley by jihadi squads committed to the formation of an Islamist state. The leaders and people of Buddhist Ladakh were opposed to being bracketed with the Kashmir state government based in Srinagar for the past seven decades. Jemyang Tsering, the BJP MP made an impassioned speech in Parliament, welcoming Ladakh’s new status as a Union Territory, which drew the plaudits of Prime Minister Modi and Home Minister Shah (Times of India, August 6) See page 3 for comment. Russia supports Indian position India’s stand on the status of Jammu and Kashmir in the context of Article 370, has been upheld by Russia as consistent with the letter and spirit of Indian

With an eye to kick-starting private investment, the Reserve Bank of India announced a bold 35-basis point cut in the repo rate. RBI Governor Shaktikanta Das said: ‘In view of the evolving economic situation...a balanced call was reduce the policy repo rate.’ While all six members of the of the Monetary Policy Committee voted unanimously reduce the repo rate by 35 per cent, two voted for a 25 per cut. Following the rate cut, the repo rate iwill now be 5.40 per cent against the earlier 5.75 per cent. HDFC profit Surge Mortgage lender Housing Development Finance Corporation (HDFC) reported a first quarter profit, ended June 30, of 46.2 per cent. Its standalone net profit was Rs 1,320.10 crore for the same period. AS on June 30, the loan book grew 11.2 per cent to Rs 4,36,597 crore, against Rs 3,74, 575 crore for the same period of the previous year. Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman told reporters that the government would be investing a massive Rs 10,000 crore in affordable housing (Business Line, August 3, 5).

The Congress state government of Rajasthan led by Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot passed two separate bills through the Legislative Assembly against lynching and honour killings, which forthwith will be nonbailable. Honour killings will carry the death penalty (Hindu, August 6). Big bucks in India AustralianSuper, Australia’s superannuation fund, and Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan, Canada’s largest single-profession pension plan will invest $1 billion each in the National Investment and Infrastructure Fund (NIIF) of India’s Master Fund. These investments will enable the NIIF invest at the scale required for India’s large core infrastructure requirements such as transportation, energy and urban infrastructure.. The Master Fund has a 15-year tenure (Business Line, August 7). Reliance, BP in India deal Mukesh Ambani’s Reliance India Ltd (RIL) and British energy giant BP have formed a new joint venture targeting 5,500 retail stations across India for the next five years. RIL will hold 51 per cent

to BP’s 49 per cent in the joint venture, which is expected to focus on the highways, where the real money is concentrated in diesel sales to the transport sector (Business Line, Times of India, August 7). GLC comes in big GLC, an investment arm of the Singapore government, is investing Rs 4,400 crore to pick up a 49 per cent stake in nine build-operate-transfer road projects, which are currently owned by IRB Infrastructure Developers, a leading Indian roads and highways development company, set to invest in 1,200km along Haryana, UP, Rajasthan, Gujarat, Maharashtra and Karnataka (Times of India, August 7). Yeh dosti: India, Israel bonding Israel greeted India on Friendship Day with a Twitter message that featured the popular Bollywood song Yeh Dosti from the film Sholay, The Israeli Embassy in Delhi tweeted: ‘Happy Friendship Day 2019 India. May our ever strengthening friendship and growing partnership touch greater heights’. The tweet included a montage of the various meetings between Mr Modi and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu with the lyrics of the song from Sholay in the background. Mr Modi responded with a tweet in Hebrew: ‘Thank you and wishing a Happy Friendship Day to Israel’s wonderful citizens and to my Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu...’ (Times of India, Hindu, Statesman, August 5).

Sushma Swaraj: A glory has passed

Jalan take Sushma Swaraj

Bimal Jalan

Former RBI Governor Bimal Jalan said the government had already announced many reforms and it was now a question of implementation’ Growth slowdown was cyclical and reversible. He explained: ‘India is in a very strong position today,

Sushma Swaraj who died, aged 67, was a truly remarkable woman: in a career spanning four decades, she was lawyer, multilingual scholar, social and gender emancipator, politician in opposition as well as in government, eventually becoming India’s Foreign Minister during the first term (2014-2019) of the present BJP-led government. No Foreign Minister in the history of modern India was as accessible to the public. Cases of Indians in trouble abroad were handled with the utmost urgency by Indian missions on her explicit instructions. A Christian priest from Kerala was kidnapped by suspected Taliban operatives in Afghanistan, with his family back home appealing to her for help. Diplomatic wheels were immediately set in motion from Afghanistan to the Arab Gulf kingdoms and beyond and his release secured. There were other instances, among them a deaf and dumb mute, who, with the Kerala priest, extolled Sushma Swaraj on TV for saving them. Whence comes another? Sushma Swaraj was an eloquent and impassioned speaker, whether at the UN General Assembly or the Organization of Islamic Conference, in putting across the Indian viewpoint. She combined courtesy, charm and steely resolve in defence of Indian interests. Politicians across the political divide spoke of her warmth in personal relationships. Sushma Swaraj was cremated with full state honours in Delhi.





17 - 23 August 2019


A British Subject CB Patel At any point over the last twenty years my friend Dolar Popat could have released a book worthy of our collective attention. With a moving foreword by David Cameron, Dolar uses this book to outline his love and affection for the country he is proud to call his home – the UK. This is one of the few books I thoroughly enjoyed reading from start to finish. It is an amazing book I found that I – and many others could easily relate to. A British Subject comprises a universal story for thousands of immigrants like us that spans hundreds of years of history but is most relevant to the world we live in now. For those who have read his columns in Asian Voice over the years, there will be little surprise when I say that Dolar doesn’t pull any punches. Britain is, in his opinion, the greatest country in the world and succeeds because of its values. He speaks movingly of what it meant for the Ugandan Asians to be given a home in Britain after their expulsion, and goes as far as to call Britain his ‘second God’. He cites Britain’s values as the reason why so many want to move to this country, and addresses increased immigration directly. The book champions integration, and highlights the lengthy efforts that the British Indian community and the Jewish community in Britain have undertaken to be part of the wider society. He’s critical of those who move to Britain who don’t speak English, don’t work and claim welfare, and even more dismissive of those who preach against Britain’s values. As he puts it, it’s about learning to embrace different parts of your identity: “You have to learn to embrace the hyphen – or hyphens – of your multifaceted ethnic status, but make sure that the main verb of your identity is being British. So you might be a British-Indian person or a BritishIndian-Ugandan person, but you must still say definitively, ‘I am British.’ It’s a matter of actualising identity in the widest sense, of being true to yourself, with all your mixedup DNA and experience, but also being loyal to the context in which you find yourself.” Identity is a central theme of the book. From his early years in Uganda to his time in North London in the 1970s, Dolar speaks candidly about why things are different – or at least feel different – because of his brown skin. Many of us will identity with the often-covert racism we’ve experienced over the past forty years, and it’s nice that Dolar makes clear that he even sees it in the Mother of all Parliaments. 0Perhaps that is why Dolar has found himself in some unusual circles. In the book he talks about his love of the Conservative Party, but how, when he started as an activist under Thatcher’s premiership, he was one of very few British Indians involved. He speaks of how difficult it was to fill a hall with British Indians willing to meet the then Prime Minister in Finchley, and how he was forced to improvise by paying people’s

bus fares to attend. It seems a world away, yet I remember attending some of these events. I too have seen the Conservative Party’s activist base move on from its pale and stale roots, reaching a new peak with the recent Cabinet. With Priti Patel, Sajid Javid and Rishi Sunak now at the top table. Dolar tells the story of how we got there; how John Major tried to blaze that path, but how it was really David Cameron who understood and built such strong links with our community.

In the book, Dolar speaks of arranging the Diwali reception in Millbank that was attended by nearly a thousand people. I remember thinking that it was unprecedented for the Conservative Party to make such a big overture to our community, and Dolar was always there in the background, plugging away. Yet, as Dolar proudly points out, it worked. In 2015 the Conservative Party got a majority of British Indian votes. Reading the book, it feels like this is his proudest achievement. Yet it’s clear that Dolar is a proud of how much progress has been made, both of how much racism has declined in Britain and also the giant strides the British Indian community has taken in Britain. An entire chapter is dedicated to documenting the statistics and names of some of our community’s pioneers, and it really does make astonishing reading when compiled in this way. But beyond identity, immigration and integration, Dolar also envisions a very different future for Britain economically. His years as a Business Minister and as the Prime Minister’s Trade Envoy to Uganda and Rwanda show him at his most passionate, and it is increasingly clear that Dolar feels we have to position ourselves internationally alongside emerging markets like India and many African nations, rather than alongside our European neighbours. As he puts it, “Our membership of the European single market and customs union has engendered apathy in many of our businesses. British businesses that have created what should be world-leading products have limited themselves to exporting to only our nearest trading partners and neglected emerging markets and the

Commonwealth – the places we really need to be focusing on.” It’s an interesting vision, and one that is backed up by considerable personal evidence. Although he had a substantial business career in the 1980s and 90s, these successes – and one near bankruptcy – are rattled through. It’s clear that Dolar isn’t particularly keen on bragging about his personal successes, and he humbly points out that he’s been luckier than most when it comes to business. But it’s also clear that Dolar much prefers discussing his current role rather than looking back. As he puts it: “The envoyship marries my love of east Africa, my entrepreneurial spirit and my knowledge of business and finance, as well as my desire to get things done quickly: in ninety-minute meetings with Museveni and Kagame, I think I have been able to cover matters that would normally take the government six months to build up to discussing. I am very proud of this. It feels as if my complex national and cultural identity perfectly equips me to make the most of this opportunity at this particular point in time.” Dolar’s work as a Trade Envoy to Uganda and Rwanda means the book goes full circle, with him now returning to a very different East Africa to the one so many Asians were expelled from. Within the book he talks about the transformation, and the strange feeling of walking the same streets and seeing the same landmarks that framed his childhood. Yet it is perhaps in the early chapters about his childhood where we find the most surprising revelations. Humiliation, beatings and depression all hang over his formative years, and all of a sudden, we’re exposed to a side of this man that few knew ever existed. They’re constantly referred back to in the book, no matter how far Dolar travels, he still struggles to escape the feelings of inadequacy that plagued him as a youngster. We are fortunate as a community that we have numerous people who can tell stories about how they arrived in Britain with no money and are now incredibly successful in their chosen professions. Yet few of those stories are told with the humility, warmth and honesty that Dolar brings. He may have arrived in London in 1971 with £10 in his pocket and a point to prove, but he’s ended up at the forefront of business, politics and our community. And it is perhaps most fitting to Dolar’s own positions on integration and identity that the book features a foreword by David Cameron and a closing chapter from Morari Bapu. Walking the walk and not just talking the talk, Dolar shows in his own story that you can be British, British Indian, Ugandan Asian and a Hindu all at the same time, and celebrate all of those different facets. Very few authors speak with such modesty and frankness. This is undoubtedly a book worth reading by every British Indian. A British Subject is available to buy from Amazon this week. (– A British Subject – How to make it as an immigrant in the best country in the world)

A mental health group for South Asians will 'change conversations'

Left to Right: Co-facilitators Jennal Amin and Sagar Vyas, and life coach guest speaker Manoj Sanghany.

A new mental health support group for South Asians will 'change conversations' for Harrow’s diverse demographic. Mental Wealth, a community led mental health support group is providing a culturally sensitive space for South Asian residents in Harrow aged between 35 to 60. The group hopes to unite South Asians in order to ‘share stories’ and ‘change conversations’ about mental health in an environment of culturally like-minded individuals. Mental Wealth is based on an existing group, Re:Route, which offers a similar service for younger South Asians aged between 18 to 35. Jennal Amin founded Mental Wealth after being

involved with the work of Re:Route. She said: “Group discussion is the foundation of peer support. It is a space where we share our struggles and listen actively to each other, giving and receiving feedback or words of encouragement. “And while we certainly don’t have all the answers, we believe good mental health is a journey – one which won’t go far unless we start opening up on how we really feel.” Both Mental Wealth and Re:Route are registered with Rethink Mental Illness, a mental health charity which supports around 150 groups similar to Mental Wealth. The next Mental Wealth meeting will take place on Saturday (August 10) at Harrow Arts Centre, Hatch End.

Nesta appoints Indian-origin chief executive

Ravi Gurumurthy

Nesta, the UK’s leading innovation foundation, has announced Indian-origin Ravi Gurumurthy as its new chief executive, who will be taking charge at the end of this year. Gurumurthy, is currently the Chief Innovation Officer and Founder of the Airbel Center at the International Rescue Committee in New York, will replace Geoff Mulgan, who has led Nesta since 2011. Sir John Gieve, chair of Nesta’s Board of Trustees

said, “I am delighted to welcome Ravi to Nesta. His record of strategic thinking and innovation will help him build on Geoff Mulgan’s achievement in transforming Nesta from a quango to an independent charity promoting innovation for social good.” In his current role, Gurumurthy is responsible for the International Rescue Committee’s work in designing, testing, scaling products and services for people affected by the crisis in over 40 countries.




17 - 23 August 2019

India’s concept of Indo-Pacific is inclusive and across oceans

Huma Siddiqui


he acceptance of the Indo-Pacific as a single strategic construct linking the contiguous waters of the western Pacific and the Indian Ocean has gained currency in the last few years with the shift in the geopolitical center of gravity to this region. Globalization, trade dependence, the seamless connectivity of the maritime domain and the changing nature of the maritime threat becoming more transnational in nature has blurred physical boundaries and raised awareness of the importance of ensuring secure seas for the unhindered movement of trade and energy. This has also coincided with the remarkable rise of China, unprecedented historically by its sheer scale and ambition. It's territorial claims in the South China Sea, its belligerence in the East China Sea and its rapid advance into the Indian Ocean through ambitious strategic and economic initiatives like the Belt-and-Road Initiative have challenged an established international rules-based system which respected the oceans as the common heritage of mankind.

What did Modi say at Shangrila Dialogue in 2018?

In his speech he had clearly indicated the geographical reach of India’s idea of the Indo-Pacific starting from Africa to the Americas, which covers both the Indian and Pacific Oceans, in tandem with that of Japan. He had also emphasized on a few major aspects which reflect India’s policy perspective on Indo-Pacific, which included

“inclusiveness”, “openness”, “ASEAN centrality” and that the concept was not directed against any country. Similarly, while the US does not consider China a part of its Indo-Pacific construct, India has gone to great length to highlight it as an inclusive construct for the whole region, a fact also highlighted by Prime Minister Modi at the same Shangrila Dialogue. The other major powers which can shape the regional maritime environment like Japan, Australia, South Korea and the ASEAN nations too have differing perspectives. The focus of the Indo- Pacific initiative is on connectivity, enhancing maritime security, counter-terrorism, nonproliferation and cyber issues. Last November, senior officials from the US, Australia, India, and Japan had met in Singapore for consultations on the IndoPacific region. And shared support for a free, open and inclusive region that fosters universal respect for international law, freedom of navigation and overflight and

sustainable development.

Indo-Pacific Maritime Dialogue & Exercises

In continuation of the process of engaging the global strategic community in an annual review of India’s opportunities and challenges in the Indo-Pacific region, the second edition of Indo-Pacific Regional Dialogue (IPRD) - 2019 was held in New Delhi in March this year. The participating countries discussed five main issues including solutions for achieving cohesion in the region through maritime connectivity; what steps can be taken to attain and maintain a free-and-open IndoPacific; a regional approach to the region’s transition from the existing ‘Brown’ to a ‘Blue’ economy; what is the opportunities and challenges arising from the maritime impact of ‘Industry 4.0’; and India’s ‘SAGAR’ and ‘SAGARMALA’ could be made mutually-reinforcing on a regional level. Countries of the Indo-Pacific Australia, Bangladesh, Canada, China, Indonesia, Israel, Japan, Seychelles,

Singapore, South Korea, Sri Lanka, the United Kingdom, and the United States of America participated. The theme of this annual dialogue is a review of India’s opportunities and challenges in the IndoPacific region. Being extremely careful of its relationship with China, India has tried to keep away from several military and naval exercises. Though it is one of the major Indo-Pacific powers, it has not allowed countries like Australia to participate in the annual, Indian-led multinational Exercise Malabar. The first Malabar naval exercise was a joint Indo-US Naval exercise which started in 1992. However, there was a gap from 1998-2002 when the exercise was suspended due to India’s nuclear weapons tests. Since 2002, every year there has been the naval drill and Japan became a permanent participant in 2015. In the 22nd edition of the Malabar naval exercise in 2018, held for the first time in waters off the coast of Guam, involved aircraft and ships from the Indian Navy, the US Navy, and the Japan Maritime Self Defense Force (JMSDF). Hence while the Indo-Pacific construct is the US-led maritime initiative and is yet to find the right direction amongst its partners, it has actually been taken to heart by China which, in the meantime, has extended its naval footprint from Djibouti at the western extremity of the Indian Ocean where it has established a base to the eastern extreme of the western Pacific where it stakes a claim to the land and sea features.

(The writer is a Senior Correspondent in The Financial Express Newspaper, New Delhi)

India’s Climate Change Policy: Towards a Better Future A

Shyam Saran

s a populous, tropical developing country, India faces a bigger challenge in coping with the consequences of climate change than most other countries. There are both external and domestic dimensions to India’s climate change policy which has been articulated through two key documents. One is the National Action Plan on Climate Change (NAPCC) adopted on June 30, 2008. The other is India’s Intended Nationally Determined Commitments (INDC) submitted to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) in October 2, 2015. The NAPCC has an essentially domestic focus. The INDC is a statement of intent on climate change action announced in the run up to the Paris Climate Change summit held in December the same year.

The NAPCC incorporates India’s vision of ecologically sustainable development and steps to be taken to implement it. It is based on the awareness that climate change action must proceed simultaneously on several intimately inter-related domains, such as energy, industry, agriculture, water, forests, urban spaces and the fragile mountain environment. This need for inter-related policy and coordinated action has been recognized, only several years later, in the adoption by the UN of the 17 Sustainable

Development Goal (SDG). The National Missions are on Solar Energy, Enhancing Energy Efficiency, creating a Sustainable Urban Habitat, Conserving Water, Sustaining the fragile Himalayan Eco-system, creating a Green India through expanded forests, making Agriculture Sustainable and creating a Strategic Knowledge Platform for serving all the National Missions. The NAPCC acknowledged that climate change and energy security were two sides of the same coin. It was India’s hope that the ongoing multilateral negotiations under the UNFCCC would yield an agreed outcome, based on the principle of Common but Differentiated Responsibility and Respective Capabilities(CBDR), which would enable developing countries like India, through international financial support and technology transfer, to accelerate its shift towards a future of renewable and clean energy. While India has made significant progress in implementing several of the national missions, its expectations of a supportive international climate change regime based on equitable burden sharing among nations, has been mostly belied. Prime Minister Modi has been one of the world leaders who has taken a keen interest in climate change issues. Under his leadership India decided to adopt a more

pro-active, ambitious and forward looking approach in the run-up to the Paris Climate summit. This is reflected in the country’s INDC. It links India’s commitment to ecologically sustainable economic development with its age old civilizational values of respecting nature, incorporating a sense of inter-generational equity and common humanity. The targets India has voluntarily committed itself to are unprecedented for a developing country. The energy intensity of India’s growth will decline by 33-35% by 2030 compared to 2005 base year. There is confidence that based on the achievements of the national mission on enhancing energy efficiency, this target will be met. The INDC has set a target of 175 GW of renewable energy by the year 2030 on the strength of the outstanding success of the National Solar Mission. It is reported that

this capacity may well be achieved 10 years in advance. The government may raise India’s target to 227 GW for 2030. The target of achieving 40% of power from renewable sources by 2030 is likely to be achieved several years in advance. The figure is already 21% as of date. India is also committed to not building any new thermal plants which are not of the most efficient ultra-supercritical category. India played a major role in assuring the success of the Paris Climate summit and Prime Minister Modi’s personal intervention in the adoption of the landmark Paris Agreement was acknowledged by several world leaders. His initiative on the setting up an International Solar Alliance for promoting solar power worldwide was welcomed. 32 states of the Indian Union have formulated and begun implementing their own State Action Plans on Climate Change (SAPCC). There is also an active and vibrant civic society which is promoting citizens’ awareness of the threat of climate change and what each of us can do as individuals to meet this threat. It is hoped that India’s leadership in dealing with its own challenges of climate change and energy security will act as a spur to other countries to raise their own contributions to meeting this global and existential challenge.

(The writer is a former Foreign Secretary of India)





17 - 23 August 2019

“Where is home?” Kavita Puri traces Partition Voices in a complex Brexit driven UK 'T

Priyanka Mehta

document The Empire's role in dividing India and Pakistan, casting a light on the political upheaval caused in the region and the shadows of which continue to contour relationships within the diaspora communities settled here in Britain. But Puri distances herself from the politics plaguing history and instead poignantly paints the cultural and spiritual heritage of South Asia that many in the community, especially the youngsters, are caught unaware of. Speaking of her personal experience, she discussed her father's 70

years of silence and the significance of teaching about The Empire in British schools today, “The knowledge of the Empire is still not very well known in the UK. I know that because people from across the community would reach out to me on my Radio programme and tell me about how they were unaware of the detail around Partition and the UK's shambolic exit,” she said. As a child, Puri would bury her nose in history books to educate herself about the Empire at a time when there was an “institutional silence” around the subject both in schools, communities, and families. In her attempt to invoke that conversation, Puri embarks on an eight-month research journey and documents stories of 40 individuals from across religions- Hindu, Muslim, Sikh, Parsi, Christian and engages in a dialogue with interviewees of different origins- India, Pakistan, Bangladesh and England to provide a comprehensive narration of their perception of Partition. “There was a complex reason behind why some of these memories were shrouded in silence in Britain. And, I believe that understanding the Empire is essential to understand the reason behind migration- the explanation behind Britain's diverse face today and the kind of influence that South Asia has had on the UK's culture today,” she explains. Divided into three parts: End of Empire, Partition and Legacy, the book sheds light into the united front demonstrated at the Indian Workers' Association where immigrants “lumped together as Asians” fought to “improve their working lives” and

combat racism. Puri dedicates each chapter of her book to individual stories and helps them understand “where and what is home today”. Kavita Puri, BBC At an increasingly journalist and author divisive time with of Partition Voices complex identities where individuals are labelled as British Bangladeshis or British Indians, Puri documents the humane relationships and support systems that bind the community even today. “People may have shared fragments of their Partition stories. But there were also quite a lot of contradictory stories. People would gather and talk about “home”. But home may not be a place on the Indian subcontinent where all the extended family lived. My father and their friends would talk about Lahore but I didn't know of anyone who lives in Lahore. That was very confusing. And for some home can be a place in Pakistan but it was also a place in India,” she says. “Dotted across homes in Britain are some of those who, like my father, witnessed the traumatic birth of two nations and who subsequently migrated to post-war Britain. Yet their partition story is barely known.” Through Partition Voices, Puri discusses the human cost of division and brings to the forefront the unheard voices of South Asia that are imperative in understanding the national British history.

In the first half of the 20th century, Indians abandoned servitude, found a leader in Mahatma Gandhi who gave voice to this new spirit, and by winning freedom in 1947 ended Europe’s colonial project. In the second half of the century, India met and defeated external forces hell-bent on sabotaging the country’s unity, but faltered on the economic front, thanks to the drag of pseudo-socialism. India has corrected its economic compass, consolidated its economic and political strength, and is ready to claim a legitimate place in the forefront of the 21st century. India's foreign policy is currently focused on improving relations with neighboring countries in South Asia, engaging the extended neighborhood in Southeast Asia and the major global powers.Even before independence, the Government of India maintained semi-autonomous diplomatic relations. After India gained independence it soon joined the Commonwealth of Nations and strongly supported independence movements in other colonies. During the Cold War, India adopted a foreign policy of not aligning itself with any major power bloc. However, India developed close ties with the Soviet Union and received extensive military support from it. In Narendra Modi's second term as Prime Minister, India is readying to lay the foundations of New India’s rising role in world affairs. At the heart of Modi’s foreign policy is a humanitarian vision inspired by a fundamental tenet of Indian philosophy, that the world is one family. Nationalism and humanism constitute the fulcrum of Modi’s vision. Equally impressive is the manner in which India has maintained relations across binaries. Better relations with UAE

and Saudi Arabia have not come at the cost of traditional relations with Iran. The International North South Transport Corridor, which envisions a ship, road, and railway route connecting India, Iran and Russia, along with the Chabahar port in Iran, have been two of India’s large scale projects in the region. China, however, is using its economic strength to expand its relations with India’s neighbours such as Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Nepal and Myanmar and has attempted to control India’s rise, while simultaneously supporting Pakistan’s development. Beijing has realized that maritime strength in the Indo-Pacific will provide it the strategic leverage necessary to become a regional hegemon. The largest and most discussed has been China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) which envisages a large road and railway network. The China-Pakistan-Economic Corridor or CPEC, gives China easy access to the Arabian Sea. In Sri Lanka, Beijing acquiring the strategically located Hambantota port in the country. These projects in Pakistan and Sri Lanka have given China, strategic access points in the oceans surrounding India, a key area of Indian influence. Faced with these new foreign policy challenges, India has sought to reorient its priorities and relationships. Acting on its perceptions of China’s increasing footprint in South Asia, India has awakened, to the realization of the importance of establishing its own footprint in the larger subcontinent. New Delhi has gone from championing decolonization and non-alignment to a new found interest in ASEAN countries, Central Asia and its neighbours in the Bay of Bengal

region. India has taken steps to increase its diplomatic engagement with Central Asia, as a part of it “extended neighborhood”, expanding relations in areas of economic, political and security cooperation as well as assisting Central Asian countries in areas of information technological, mining, construction and industrial production. India has used different bilateral and multilateral strategies to pursue a regional leadership role in South Asia. With SAARC proving to be a “dysfunctional” grouping, India began to look for other multilateral regional/subregional organizations that are devoid of Pakistan. Bay of Bengal Initiative for MultiSectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation (BIMSTEC) fit the bill. India started trying to energize and develop BIMSTEC as almost a parallel to SAARC. BIMSTEC comprises seven states; five from South Asia - Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Nepal and Sri Lanka - and two, Myanmar and Thailand, from Southeast Asia. While some analysts have interpreted India’s intensified engagement of BIMSTEC as aimed at isolating Pakistan, this could be much more. It should be seen that without a strong outreach to BIMSTEC member states, India’s attempts at achieving its “Act East” policy goals will lack momentum. There are strategic motivations as well behind India’s growing interest in BIMSTEC. China’s influence and presence in India’s neighborhood has grown enormously on account of BRI initiatives. Debt burdens have forced India’s neighbors to hand over assets to China. These factors are all set to fundamentally reconfigure the geopolitics of South Asia.

he British Empire' was the largest ever known legacy worldwide and today as it appears to be on the brink of collapsing, the debate around immigration has been reinforced into spotlight once again. Against this backdrop whilst India moves ahead to celebrate its 72nd Independence Day, Kavita Puri's Partition Voices time travels through decades to record testimonies of individuals who have survived 1947 and lived to narrate their experiences to the younger generations of South Asian British community.

The British Empire' was the largest ever known legacy worldwide and today as it appears to be on the brink of collapsing, the debate around immigration has been reinforced into the spotlight once again. Against this backdrop whilst India moves ahead to celebrate its 72nd Independence Day, Kavita Puri's Partition Voices time travels through decades to record testimonies of individuals who have survived 1947 and lived to narrate their experiences to the younger generations of South Asian British community. “Born in Lahore, Pakistan, an adult life lived in England, he now rests somewhere along the most sacred and blessed river [Ganges] in India,” Puri, a BBC journalist, chronicles about her father's demise in Partition Voices. Many historians have attempted to

Messages from MPs... I want to offer my heartfelt best wishes and salutations on the gracious occasion of India celebrating her Independence Day. As she goes from strength to strength, may I extend my hopes for the great future ahead. Bharat mata ki. Jai Hind! Bob Blackman MP

I would like to wish all the readers of Asian Voice and all of my fellow brothers and sisters of Indian origin in the Britain and worldwide a very happy Indian Independence Day. This day celebrates what makes India great, fantastic people, democracy and freedom. Virendra Sharma MP Chair of the Indo-British APPG

India's renewed influence on neighbourhood







17 - 23 August 2019

17 - 23 August 2019


Dr Kavita A Sharma


ndia is a vibrant democracy, dynamic economy with a great potential as it has a population of 1.3 billion people of whom more than 65% are under the age of 35 years.


ndia’s Moon Shot is well on its way to the Moon and if all goes well the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) hopes to soft land a robotic craft on the lunar surface in early September.

Human Way of Life

Red Fort In Delhi

bhakti yoga controls his desires and emotions and karma yoga teaches him righteous and disinterested performance of his duties in action. This is the triune path explained in the Gita. Other kinds of yoga include Hatha Yoga for control and perfection of body; Kundalini Yoga, to awaken the dormant and potential powers

of the world. Hence the Upanishads boldly proclaim Ayam Atman Brahman or this self is the absolute reality; or Aham Brahmasmi or I am the absolute, or Tat Tvam Asi or that thou art.


All creation being rooted in the same Brahman, is necessarily interconnected

Concept of a Human Being

In Indian thought,a person is seen as the microcosm of the whole or macrocosm. Therefore, an individual can only understand his relationship with the universe and other beings by studying and understanding his own self. Human beings share natural traits with animals motivated by instincts, or pravrittis. But unlike animals, they have Buddhi or intelligence to discriminate between proper and improper in the exercise of natural propensities, strengthen some and weaken others while delaying the satisfaction of some others. According to Indian thought, human consciousness has three main aspects: awareness or gyana; desires and emotions or ichcha; and action or kriya. All three have to be perfected through yoga – yoga being nothing but the discipline of mind and its instincts to enable an individual to understand himself, his environment and his relation with all beings around him. Gyana yoga widens his consciousness;

Moon Shot: India harnesses space technology for the benefit of all

Pallava Bagla

It is a young country but an ancient civilization that has successfully withstood the vicissitudes of time. While the country has embraced modern science and technology, beliefs that come from its civilizational thought are yet ingrained in the people. Indians call their culture “Manav Dharma” or “Manava Sanskriti” that is human way of life, which has been made so comprehensive that all can derive something from it. It has never tried to convert anybody but its inclusiveness, plurality, flexibility and the power of its ideas, have taken it beyond the shores of India. The vitality of Indian culture lies in its catholicity by which mutually contradictory creeds live peacefully together. The ultimate reality is Shunya (nothing) for the Nihilists, Brahman for the Vedantist, Purusha for Sankhya philosophers, Ishwara for the followers of Yoga, both Self and Not-Self, something in between for the Madhyamikas, and “All” for others. All prayer is to the ultimate power that pervades the universe by whatever name called Anekantaveda articulates the thought that people are bound to differ in their views and judgments about the same object. Its corollary is Syadvada or restraint in making judgments because these can only be partial and not absolute truths. Integral to its multiplicity and diversity is the readiness of Indian culture to interact with other cultures and to accept and accommodate their aspects into itself. There has been much give and take between Greeks and Indians. India welcomed Christianity within the first century of its birth. In medieval times, it absorbed elements of Islamic culture. And soon after contact with Europeans, it began to absorb the best in the modern scientific civilization of the West.


Karma and Reincarnation

These experiences can be used to explain the idea of karma and reincarnation. Just as we return from deep sleep to the waking stage so also after death we come back to the world. This is the law of karma. The belief is that all our voluntary thoughts and acts are rewarded or punished according to the law of justice called Rtathat operates in the cosmic order. The universe is not a haphazard mass of elements and events, but an ordered whole according to the inflexible laws of harmony, to which all is subordinate from the vast galaxies down to the nucleus of an atom. Cosmic justice being part of cosmic order creates a strict balance of action and reaction. The personality of the doer never dies. It comes back and can evolve learning its lessons or it can continue till it learns them. There would be chaos and rule of injustice in the universe if a person were to cease to exist without undergoing the consequences of his deeds both good and bad. This in essence is the law of karma and reincarnation.

Four Goals of Life

Taj Mahal at Agra

beyond consciousness; and Raja-Yoga to experience Samadhi through gradual concentration of the mind. The yogas do not depend only on sensory observation but refine and perfect the processes of introspection, intuition and Samadhi or mystic experience. They make one realize that an individual is the centre of a circle whose circumference is nowhere i.e. it is infinite. Also, in his deeper nature, he is identical with the deepest spirit that sustains and pervades the universe. In his ultimate essence he is one with the essence

although apparently isolated on the surface. That is why Isha Upanishad states that whosoever beholds all beings in the same self and the same self in all beings does not hate anybody. When a man knows that all beings are ultimately the self and realizes this unity in experience, then there remains no delusion or grief for him. However, such a realisation can only come, through an awareness of the various experiences that every individual passes through because of the structure of his being. He has three shariras or bodies. He is the physical body or the Annamaya Sharira through which he functions in his waking state. The subtle body or the Sukshma Sharira is constituted by the pranas or the vital energies, sensory and motor powers or gyananendriyas and karmendriyas and the subtle elements of mind, intelligence and ego. Through this, an individual functions both in the waking and in the dream state. Finally, the causal body or the Karana Sharir which is the deep sleep state when all cognizance comes to an end but potentialities remain. All of us pass through all the three states everyday in our lives giving a variety to our experiences.

There are four purushastras or goals to guide the individual through life. These are dharma or duty, artha or wealth, kama or desire including sexual desire, and moksha or ultimate liberation from all desire. There are many interpretations of these terms but in essence, any thought or action that supports, nurtures, consoles, and uplifts is dharmic or right conduct. Hence, it is human duty to attain wealth and fulfil desires but in a way that is dharmic, that is it must sustain and contribute to the good of all. And moksha is not some sterile cessation of desire but a state of perfect equilibrium, indifference to both pain and delight; like and dislike; without any prejudices or biases aware that everything is rooted in the self same Brahman.


The final resolution to all ambiguities and contradictions is the reliance on one’s own Buddhi or reason or intelligence to determine the truth or falsity of a judgement. The greatest prayer in the Vedas, the Gayatri Mantra, that asks for inspiration for right and proper dharma so that there is harmony and balance between the aspirations of the individual and that of society.

(Author is President of South Asian University, New Delhi)

Dr K Sivan the Chairman of ISRO has described the Chandrayaan-2 (Moon Vehicle) as the `most complex space mission ever undertaken by India’. India has a total of fifty operational satellites that provide navigation services, weather forecasting, help smart cities, aid satellite television and even help in banking operations, today `touching lives and saving lives is the Hallmark of ISRO’ says Sivan. India has end-to-end capabilities in space making its own satellites, rockets and launching them from India. Many foreign companies use India’s rockets to launch their satellites. The South Asia satellite launched in 2017 is a unique friendly bird in the sky that helps connect India’s neighbours, providing this communications satellite at no cost to the South Asian countries. Most recently on the hot and humid afternoon of July 22, 2019 at India’s rocket port the Satish Dhawan Space Centre at Sriharikota exactly at 2.43 pm India’s most powerful rocket the Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle Mark-3 nicknamed the `Baahubali’ lifted off into the monsoon clouds carrying India’s Chandrayaan-2 satellite into space. In less than 17 minutes the 640 tonne rocket, equivalent to the weight of 1.5 Jumbo Jets, which stands as high as 15 storey building at 44 meter in length completed its mission by putting the Chandrayaan-2

satellite in a `better than expected orbit’ said Sivan. Possibly the rocket was compensating for the heartburn it caused when a week earlier on July 15, 2019 the launch had to be aborted less than an hour before liftoff due to a `technical snag’. Scientists at the Indian space agency burnt the midnight oil and fixed the glitch, bouncing back with aplomb. Speaking about the rapid come back Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi said `if you ask me what the two greatest lessons I have received from Chandrayaan2, I shall say they are faith & fearlessness.’ Modi is a known space enthusiast who knows how to deploy space technology for effective governance of the 1.3 billion Indians, he further added ` the second important lesson is – never lose hope in the face of stumbling blocks or obstacles. The way our scientists rectified technical issues in record time, burning the midnight oil, is

in itself an exemplary, unparalleled task. The world watched the `Tapasya’, the awesome perseverance of our scientists. We should also feel proud of the fact that despite hindrances, there is no change in the arrival time [on the moon] … many are amazed at that. We have to face temporary setbacks in life… but always rememberthe capacity to overcome them resides within us.’ Earlier this year India also carried out another spectacular space experiment when on March 27, 2019 India shot down its own low earth orbiting satellite Microsat-R using a custom made missile launched from the Kalam Island in the Bay of Bengal. Called an Antisatellite weapon test (A-Sat) it was dubbed `Mission Shakti’ and according to Dr G. Satheesh Reddy, Director General of the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) which spearheaded this test said `India acted responsibly by conducting the test at a low

altitude so that minimum space debris was generated’. Prime Minister Modi said `through the A-Sat, we have acquired the capability of destroying a satellite three hundred km away in a mere three minutes. India became the fourth country in the world, possessing this capacity’ after USA, Russia and China who have demonstrated this lethal capability to knock down satellites in space. This was a demonstration by India that it will do all what it takes to protect its vital space assets in space. Indian satellites help the country’s economy and are a vital space borne infrastructure for New Delhi. Chandrayaan-2 is India’s second moon shot the first was launched in 2008 named Chandrayaan-1 and it was an orbiter where `India was the captain and several countries like USA, UK, the European Space Agency were players as India lofted their instruments all the way to moon free of cost’. Chandrayaan-1 made global

history when this under $ 100 million mission made the startling discovery of the presence of water molecules on the parched lunar surface. This renewed twenty first century `back to the moon’ effort in way was spurred by Chandrayaan-1 and now USA seeks to send astronauts back to the moon in the next few years. Chandrayaan-2 according to Sivan `is a three in one mission’ where there is an orbiter that will go around the moon, a lander named Vikram that will attempt a soft landing near the South Pole of the moon and small six wheeled moon rover called Pragyaan. Modi says `Chandrayaan-2 is Indian to the core. It is thoroughly Indian in heart & spirit. It is completely a `swadeshi’, home grown mission. This mission has proved beyond doubt, once again, that when it comes to attempting an endeavour in new age, cutting edge areas, with innovative zeal, our scientists are second to none.

They are the best… they are world class.’ India has sent 13 indigenously made scientific instruments that will analyse the lunar surface, map the topography search for water and measure moonquakes among other things, this time also India is carrying a small instrument for the American space agency NASA on board the Vikram Lander. The Indian moon rover is powered by artificial intelligence and is expected to do its long march on the moon surface for about half a kilometre in its nominal life of 14 days. ISRO hopes to soft land on the lunar surface on September 7, 2019, and if it succeeds India will become the fourth country after USA, Russia and China to have the capability to soft land on another planetary body. Sivan says `there will be 15 terrifying minutes when the Vikram lander goes in for its final landing manoeuvre ’. This is not all, by the end of this year India has another ten space missions lined up which includes the much awaited heart stopper the demonstration of the Small Satellite Launch Vehicle (SSLV) or the `Baby PSLV’ a low cost rocket with a short turn-around time that can hoist 500 kilograms in space. India also has plans to send a planetary explorer to Venus, have another robotic mission to Mars in the next few years. The mother of all missions Gaganyaan is also well on its way where, by 2022 India hopes to send an Indian astronaut into space on an Indian rocket from Indian soil. India is no doubt betting big on space technology. Modi says `I fervently hope that the Chandrayaan-2 mission will inspire our youth towards science & innovation. After all, science is the path to progress.’

The challenges facing India

India India has a great deal to celebrate its 73rd independence day commemorating thousands of stalwarts and freedom fighters who laid down lives for the vision of Independent India. It is important to remember, and a case in point where every major decision regarding the change of government since 1947 has been through the power of ballot boxes and not through any armed forces involvement. Interestingly countries like Greece, Spain, Portugal, Italy and even France with so much military power and strategic alliances could not succeed in achieving the way India did it. With the ever evolving world, comes the temptation to compare everything and everyone. Even today, the Indian Union has to address challenges like poverty, casteism, corruption, unemployment, illiteracy, and now lynching. After more than seven

decades of independence, India faces poor student-teacher ratio, crumbling infrastructure, corrupt officials, caste differentiation, lack of proper toilets and sanitation among other issues hampering nation's pride. It is heartening to know that systemic corruption is worst in India. India continues to be among the most corrupt countries in the world. A free run of the parallel economy is currently underway in India; the corrupt practices raise difficult questions about morals and spiritual values, prejudice, tolerance and identity. An estimated 300 million people are clearly under the poverty line and low per capita income is further aggravated by the estimated shortage of about 25 million jobs. If more people are educated, more new jobs are created, and poverty can be removed, as

it is estimated at about 32.5 % of the population still lives below the poverty line. The Tribal people, Dalits, and casual workers remain the poorest class in India. The widespread unemployment has implied broader skills gap, unfavourable labour policies, and inadequate training in the working class. Skills gap often refers to the massive pool of untapped talent which usually has severe consequences like economic under-performance, social unrest, fear, anguish and despair. To make the situation worse, a strong religious polarisation is currently underway in India. Lynching and mob violence has started getting undue attention and response during recent times. Names such as Junaid, Mohammad Akhlaq, Pehlu Khan, Ayub Pandit are some of the unfortunate reminders of the mad, frantic, and frenzy

mood of fear and communal violence gripping India. There are tough questions to be answered about prejudice, resentment, tolerance and identity. India, therefore, is turning into a breeding ground for anger, frustration and resentment. Regrettably, over the past few years, violence against women in India has risen. The data presents a grim reality of women being targeted and being the victims of horrific crimes like trafficking, prostitution, molestation, online harassment, and rape.




17 - 23 August 2019

Consultant Editor Financial Voice Alpesh Patel Dear Financial Voice Reader, Reliance has said they will announce investments in Kashmir. Almost exactly to the day, 10 years ago, I wrote some of these. You judge – has India lived up to the promise? “Meeting a California Silicon Valley billionaire who has re-emigrated back to India is perhaps one of the more striking proofs of India’s potential. These, the most successful of Indians, who moved to the US in the 1960s from an opportunity-shorn India, return today with their millionaire colleagues, to capture the types of opportunities few, if any places on earth can match. After, all, no other major capitalist economy will even come close to matching India’s growth for decades. Imagine a business person with a time machine. They would probably choose to go back to the beginning of last century to the US to make their fortune – the time of Rockefeller and Getty. Consider during that century, the Dow advanced from 66 to 11,497. This gain, though it appears huge, shrinks to 5.3% when compounded annually. And that nevertheless was the American century – the century when the US became a super power. Consider that that growth rate transformed a backward nation from the horse and carriage to one which freely sent man to the moon. Yet India today exceeds and is projected to exceed for our working life times that return-rate of 5%. The baton of Rockefeller and Getty is truly carried by Ambani and Tata. If your investment options were binary: US, the world’s largest economy, or India, think now about this century. For investors to merely match that 5.3% market-value gain, the Dow – recently below 10,000 – would need to close at about 2,000,000 on December 31, 2099. We are nearly a decade into this century, and we have racked up none of the 1,990,000 Dow points the market needed to travel in this hundred years to equal the 5.3% of the last. Whereas, India, with the real economy targeting 8% for the foreseeable future is far more likely to provide the types of returns to match the transformation the United States had since 1900. Where would you invest? To describe India in statistics would be to describe the Taj Mahal by its dimensions; you can do it, but it denies any beauty. But if you want statistics, consider theses: India has among the higher returns on foreign investment than China according to the US Department of Commerce. By 2032 India will be one of the three largest economies in the world. Indeed today on purchasing power parity it already is the third largest economy in the world and one quarter the size of the US economy. With 300m consumers and the world’s largest pool of English speaking scientists and engineers. A place where 75million phone subscribers annually, 8 million TV sets are sold annually. By 2015 over 63 million households are expected to have income over $30,000 in PPP terms. India, although the seventh largest country in the world, has the second largest area of arable land in the world – it feeds the world – as the world’s largest producer of milk, sugarcane and tea and the second largest producer of fruit, wheat, rice, vegetables. Comparisons to the US are obvious. An economic superpower needs not just persevering and innovative peoples, but abundant natural resources and an openness to the capitalist ideal – India, like the US of last century, fits the bill. Investment needs the assurance of heritage. And for investors in India, lies more than any country a heritage of innovation. After all this was the land of medicine and astronomy before the Greeks, navigation before the Romans. Their number system allowed the rest of the world to count. Or as Dan Sheinman of Cisco put it, ‘ We came to India for the costs, stayed for the quality and are now investing for innovation.’ Indeed one fifth of Fortune 500 companies have set up R&D centres in India and India is among only 6 countries in the world to have satellite launch capabilities.” So, you tell me? Happy?

Thomas Cook shares plunge Shares of troubled travel operator Thomas Cook have slumped after it said it was seeking to raise another £150m from investors, shortly after already asking for £750m, in a bid to stave off a Christmas cash crunch. Thomas Cook said it was in advanced discussions with its banks and Fosun, the Chinese conglomerate and its biggest shareholder, over the "substantial new capital investment." The travel company has struggled in recent years due to a large debt pile, intense competition and structural change to a travel industry lumbered with large branch networks. In recent months, unseasonable weather and the impact of Brexit on consumers' travel plans have added to its woes, pushing it to a £1.5bn loss for the six months to March 31.

Britons stockpiling goods in case of no-deal Brexit New research suggests that Britons have spent £4 bn stockpiling goods in preparation for a possible no-deal Brexit. The survey by finance provider Premium Credit reveals one in five people are already hoarding food, drinks and medicine, spending an £380 each. They also found that about 800,000 people have spent more than £1,000 building up stockpiles before the October 31 Brexit deadline. Another similar research in the weeks leading up to the original deadline for the UK to leave the EU found that about 17 per cent of the population had spent some money building up supplies, with a total stockpile calculated at £4.6 bn ahead of the March 31 deadline. Seventy four per cent of those surveyed said they had bought extra food, 50 per

cent bought medicines and 46 per cent bought drinks. According to the report, Brexit-related stockpiling is also hitting cash flow, with companies taking out credit to cover the cost of insurance and other fixed costs. Adam Morghem of Premium Credit, said "the level of stockpiling by British businesses and households is well documented, but there has been little focus on the impact this has had on cash

flow, which has been quite negative." He added, "interestingly, over the past three months we have seen an increase in clients looking to use premium finance to pay for their insurance, and we believe a key factor behind this is the impact of stockpiling on cash flows, forcing more businesses and households to spread the cost of their insurance. Businesses should also check with their brokers to

make sure their stockpiled goods are properly insured." Even the elite and rich are importing more luxury cars ahead of the Brexit deadline in order to avoid tariffs that might be introduced following a hard Brexit. More than 3,800 luxury cars were imported in the past year, a 16 per cent increase on the previous 12 months, according to the law firm Boodle Hatfield. Fred Clark of the firm said, "A no-deal Brexit could mean luxury car imports become 32 per cent more expensive overnight. There is a possibility that moving cars into and out of the UK will become more difficult if the UK leaves the EU with no deal. More individuals are now taking that risk seriously and bringing vehicles into the UK from the EU."

Indian origin 'chicken king' faces more problems Britain's Indian-origin "chicken king", whose poultry operations is battling a hygiene scandal, face more problems as the price of its bonds hits a record low. Concerns have been raised about the strength of heavily indebted Ranjit Boparan’s 2 Sisters Food Group as it changed hands for as little as 50p in the pound recently. Britain’s biggest chicken supplier has bought back £250m of debt, but has more than £600m of

high-interest bonds outstanding, split across two tranches. Those bonds have plummeted in value as 2 Sisters struggles a squeeze from supermarkets and crumbling consumer confidence. In November 2017, the credit ratings agency Moody's downgraded its debt rating deeper into junk territory on fears over meager profit margins and huge debts. The 51-year-old tycoon, based in the Midlands

region of England, left school at 16 and turned 2 Sisters into Britain's largest poultry supplier Ranjit Boparan through a series of Goodfella’s pizza and acquisitions, including a Donegal Catch, and is also £342m takeover of quoted disposing his Matthew rival Northern Foods in Walker Christmas puddings 2011. But this acquisition business. 2 Sisters said: “Our spree left him saddled with business turnaround is well debt and a pension deficit on track as evidenced by our that totalled £269m last recent results showing year.In an effort to cut debt, positive profit generation, Boparan has been selling which we expect to continue businesses, including in the coming quarters.”

More holidays and better pay to increase productivity A newly-emerged report suggests more public holidays and raising wages could boost the strength of the British economy. The New Economics Foundation said that driving up the spending power of consumers would give firms a greater incentive to raise their productivity, as they could have greater confidence there would be demand for their products and services. The claim that putting more money in workers' pockets and to give them more time to spend it comes as the UK struggles to improve the efficiency of the British economy as Brexit looms and after a decade of faltering gains. The report from the left wing thinktank was welcomed by shadow chancellor John McDonnell. He said, "This important analysis shows only an ambitious plan for economic transformation, of the kind Labour proposes, will lift the UK out of the productivity crisis that the Tories have left us in." Boosting Britain's productivity is an important target for the government

through its industrial strategy, as improving the efficiency of the economy can help companies raise workers' pay levels and drive up living standards. Britain improved its productivity by about 2 per cent per year over the last four decades before the financial crisis. However, productivity growth has slipped to about 0.7 per cent a year since then. Economists fear that Brexit could compound the problem, with firms freezing their investment plans due to political uncertainty. A part of efforts to improve Britain's productivity track record, the foundation said the government should drive up the minimum wage faster than already planned and ramp up spending on public services by as much as £32bn a year by the mid2020s. British workers have among the fewest paid days off in Europe. The UK minimum is 28 days, while in the EU it

ranges from 30 to 40 days. The thinktank suggested that years of austerity and weak wage growth had eroded demand, with an impact on UK firms' investment plans. Alfie Stirling, the head of economics at the foundation said, "Raising demand by putting more cash in the pockets of the UK's poorest workers, while giving people more paid time off from work to spend it, should now be part of a radical mix of options for any government that is serious about increasing productivity in a way that works for people and society."





17 - 23 August 2019

WHEN TIME IS TICKING AND THE PRICE STARTS REDUCING We spent a large amount of time on a deal in Willesden High Rd. The property is part commercial, and part residential. The residential component is ill arranged. They are rented as four 4 bedroom apartments and one 2 bedroom apartment. This property has been clearly neglected, it seems by someone who bought it several decades ago, when Willesden was a less desirable area. Not that you would necessarily describe it as desirable now. From a property investment perspective, it’s not a cheap area, caused by its proximity to central London and transportation links. The starting price of a flat here is £350K. You can be in Baker Street from Dollis Hill station within 15 mins. Suresh Vagjiani Sow & Reap London Property Investment

The deal was interesting, as the property is producing a yield of 5.6% from the outset. The benefit of this is two-fold. One: the property is mortgageable, with a reasonable ‘High St’ rate. Two: the pressure for getting planning, and reselling is reduced. Planning has many variables, moving parts, and its own timelines; therefore, trying to predict this is sometimes like asking how long a piece of string is. To give the developer more security in this regard, one could opt to only go for planning which falls under permitted development. This is a clearly laid out policy which means you do not have to go through the full planning process. It is a more

streamlined process, which has to be granted within 56 days. It cannot be however be automatically assumed. It requires adherence to certain processes and procedures. A more accurate description is that it is a more tightly defined planning process. The most known criterion under permitted development is the conversion from office to residential. This has been followed so aggressively in certain locations that the opposite started to occur; meaning there became a lack of office space, leading to an increase in office prices, leading to many developers doing a U-turn on the schemes they had just got planning for and turning them back into high grade offices! There are many other less well known conversions which the permitted development rules cover.

region of £6.2M. The purchase price was quoted as £2.4M. However, as time started ticking the price started reducing. This property was being flipped by someone who was very fortunate to have picked it up for £1.8M. The idea was for the incoming buyer to take over his contract, making the original buyer a handsome profit of £600K on an investment of £180K within a month.

I know of investors who only focus on deals which fit under the permitted development banner, as it strips away much of the variables associated with planning deals.

Instead, as the completion day approached the price reduced to a whisker above what the original buyer paid. In the end the original buyer completed.

With this property having an income it takes the stress out of the time taken for planning, as there is an income coming in on a monthly basis. The amount of money tied in the deal is also minimised.

This was a great deal for the reasons outlined. By the time planning comes through the market hopefully would have picked up putting the wind in the sales for this deal.

The intention was to develop 16 residential units on this site through a combination of remodelling the existing properties and creating new build ones too. The end value once developed would be in the

Given the market, many investors don’t like the idea of being flipped to. This is a psychological barrier and not one steeped in reality.


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Notes: 1: Total fee includes lender's arrangement fee, valuaton fee, legal fee, redemption fee, funds transfer fee, etc. and would vary on a case to case basis. 2: The above mortgage rates are based on a property purchase price of £350,000 and LTV of 65% on a term of 20 years and is for illustration purposes only.

3: Mortgage rates, fees, etc. would change on a case to case basis. 4: All applications are subject to lending criteria and underwriting. 5: The interest rates stated above are available as on 12/08/2019. 6: The Financial Conduct Authority does not regulate Business Buy To Let Mortgages. 7: Your Buy to Let property may be repossessed if you do not keep up repayments on your mortgage.


Email or call 0207 096 1083

Sow & Reap Limited is an Appointed Representative of Connect IFA Ltd 441505 which is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. The FCA does not regulate Business Buy to Let Mortgages and Commercial Mortgages to Limited Companies.

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17 - 23 August 2019

Indian industry leaders seek £10 bn stimulus Indian industry leaders demanded a stimulus package of over £10 billion to kickstart investment cycle and revive the economy which is showing signs of a slowdown. They also said that the government has assured them to take action soon to boost the economic growth. In a meeting with top industry leaders, called by finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman to discuss ways to revive the growth, Assocham president B K Goenka said that amid the current slowdown in global and domestic market, there is need to have quick-fix solutions. “The economy requires a critical intervention by introducing a stimulus package. We have suggested for a package of over £10 billion,” he said. After the meeting, industry leaders also said the government has assured to take action soon to revive the industry and push

Nirmala Sitharaman

economic growth. Sitharaman and ministry officials met captains of the industry to deliberate upon the issues about the economy and sagging industrial growth. JSW Group chairman Sajjan Jindal said: “It was decided that the government is going to take action very soon to revive the industry and it is a matter of sentiments. We got positive

Consumer confidence dips, biz sentiment weak: Survey An RBI survey has indicated that consumer confidence was not only negative for three of the five parameters in July but was expected to deteriorate further compared to two months ago. A year down the line, however, they expect the sentiment to improve a bit. Consumers’ perceptions on the general economic situation and the employment scenario softened, while their assessment of their own incomes turned out to be less optimistic than in May 2019. RBI’s latest consumer confidence survey showed that respondents perceived a rise in the price level and the majority expect prices to rise during the year ahead. While this boosted sentiments on overall spending, they were less optimistic about discretionary spending, which may reflect in a demand slowdown for consumer durables and automobiles. Already, some of these sectors have been hit by lower consumer spend, partly due to difficulty in accessing loans from NBFCs, many of which are going through a rough patch. A weak consumer sentiment is also reflecting in the business sentiment, with respondents being less upbeat about production order book and capacity utilisation during the second quarter.

feedback from the finance minister.” The minister in clear terms gave assurance that “very soon” solution would be found, he said, adding the industry is suffering from issues in sectors like steel, NBFC and automobile. Piramal Enterprises chairman Ajay Piramal said that the industry raised several matters such as reluctance of banks to lend to the industry. “It is not that there was lack of liquidity in the banks, but lending was not taking place. There is stress on the economy as far as NBFC sector was concerned,” he said. He added that the NBFC issue is impacting sectors like auto, home loan, and MSME. “I am told that there will be action soon. So, we will wait for that,” he said. Industry leaders said that the government has assured them punitive penal provisions concerning noncompliance with CSR spending

norms under the companies law would not be pursued. Piramal said that the industry demanded that oversight on CSR spending should not result in any imprisonment. Further CII vice-president T V Narendran said that the government sought views on ways to further stimulate the country’s economic growth. “Across the board, we discussed the key issues,” he said adding slowdown in the auto industry would have an implication on the steel sector. Sandip Somany, president, Ficci, said transmission of cut in interest rate to consumers by banks is a big issue. “Banks must be encouraged to pass on the benefits of rate reduction to consumers and borrowers. We are hopeful of further rate cut. It is encouraging that the RBI has reduced rates by cumulative 110 basis points,” he said.

Agarwal’s family trust withdraws EoI for Jet Air In a big blow to Jet Airways’ revival hopes, mining and metal baron Anil Agarwal’s family trust Volcan Investments (VI) has withdrawn its expression of interest (EoI) for the grounded airline. VI was among three international entities who had submitted their EoIs for Jet till deadline of last Saturday and now two little-known players Anil Agarwal - Avantulo Group and RA Creator - are left in the fray. Volcan withdrew hours after Jet’s 24% stakeholder Etihad said it did not submit an EoI due to “unresolved issues concerning Jet’s liabilities” and it is “neither feasible for nor responsible of Etihad to reinvest in Jet at this time.” Anil Agarwal said in a statement: “The EoI for Jet Airways by Volcan was exploratory in nature. On further evaluation and considering other priorities, we intend to not to pursue this further. Jet Airways was the pioneer to open skies in India after Air India.. a world class airline with finest team and connected numerous global and domestic destinations. India is amongst the largest and fastest growing aviation markets in the world

and I am sure many airlines and investors will look at this opportunity.” The resolution professional (RP) handling Jet case after SBI took the airline to insolvency court has so far received claims for payment of about £ 2.4 billion from Jet by different stakeholders. It has accepted claims from 33 banks for £846.2 million and is examining the remaining payables sought by employees and other creditors. Bidders to submit plan by Sept 12 The insolvency proceedings started on June 20 when lender State Bank of India took Jet to the NCLT after failing to find any suitor to take over the airline. The bankruptcy court had ordered a speedy resolution - within 90 days - considering the “national importance” of the matter. India had three full service carriers (FSCs) - Air India, Jet and Vistara - till April 17, and now there are only two. Air India itself faces an uncertain future with the government planning to start its divestment process.


Iconic jewellery brand Tiffany & Co will make its entry into the Indian market, thanks to Mukesh Ambani. According to reports, Reliance Brands has signed a deal with Tiffany & Co to re-launch the brand in India. The same report also mentioned that designer brand Tory Burch will also be launched in the country. Tiffany & Co had an unsuccessful franchising deal with a local jeweller in the country years ago, hence this is an attempt to re-launch the brand in a market that they have been trying to enter for a long time. But Tory Burch will be a new entrant in the Indian luxury market. Both the brands are set to be launched next year at the Jio World Centre Mall which will be opened in Mumbai in April next year. None of the three companies involved have yet confirmed these partnerships.


Naresh Goyal, the founder of grounded Jet Airways, approached the Delhi HC to withdraw his petition seeking permission to travel abroad. Goyal, in a fresh application, said the investigation by the Serious Fraud Investigation Office (SFIO) in an alleged fraud case of £1.8 billion was commenced and he was extending full cooperation and not pressing for the petition at this stage. Besides permission to travel outside India, he has also challenged a lookout circular issued against him on the ground that as on May 25, when he was deboarded from a flight to Dubai, no ECIR/FIR was registered against him. Goyal has said he came to know of the LOC on May 25 when he and his wife Anita were off-loaded from a flight to Dubai with an onward connection to London. In the fresh application, he said when he had filed the petition in July, he was in an urgent need to travel abroad. Thereafter, he received summons from SFIO for recording of statement regarding the probe.


The Bombay high court has struck down a public interest litigation (PIL) challenging online sale of medicines. The PIL was filed against the Union government and epharmacies. The HC noted that guidelines to regulate such entities would be announced soon and, hence, they would “comply with substantive laws.” The petition had said certain categories of drugs (schedules H and X) cannot be sold without a prescription, that is, only through physical stores. In other words, the case challenged e-pharmacies where these critical medicines can be ordered online even without prescription in certain towns and cities. (Schedule H drugs include key antibiotics, and schedule X drugs are related to opioid and psychotropic substances - both categories cannot be sold without the prescription of a registered medical practitioner).

Could we pay to lend to the UK Government ?!?!

Abhishek Sachdev

This week we have seen for the first time all government bond yields in Germany out to 30-years, yield less than Zero! With the 10 year yield at -0.60bp - a new record low. To put this in context if you bought 10-year German Government debt and held it to maturity you would

receive back less than you paid! In a connected global capital market, this is having a knock-on effect with Uk Government Bonds, (gilts) also reaching new lows. Recent weak economic data globally, adds to the view that the world economy is faltering with risks to the downside increasing. The US Federal Reserves cut in its benchmark rate by 25bp to 2.25% the first cut in 11 years and signalling a readiness to cut further if the economy weakens all adding to the gloomy outlook. In the UK a benign inflation report from the

Bank of England coupled with heightened risk around Brexit after Boris Johnson’s appointment as Prime Minister and the elevated prospect of a nodeal Brexit, all helped to weaken both the stock market and Sterling with the latter reaching an 11 month low against the dollar at 1.2080 and the Euro at 1.0810. Also, the recent byelection defeat for the conservatives, losing to the Lib Dems, cuts the Government + DUP majority to a wafer-thin margin of just 1. Similarly, Donald Trump’s threat to impose a further 10% tariff on the

remaining $300bn of Chinese imports from the 1st of September has sent investors rushing for the sidelines and into safehaven assets such as the Yen and the Swiss Franc. In the UK faced with the backdrop of weakening domestic demand, increased risk, and falling yields, it's not surprising to see new products enter the market to stimulate activity such as “Virgin Money” offering the first-ever 15year fixed-rate mortgage at 2.25% for borrowers with a 35% deposit. As mediumterm rates fall further for both domestic and international reasons mentioned above, further

new innovative fixed-rate products are expected to help boost demand and levels of activity. So back to the title; Can we pay to lend to the UK, in the short term, it is unlikely given the political backdrop before the 31st of October and, the possibility of a snap election potentially leading to a Labour Government. In the Longer-term, a continuation in global risk aversion and an escalation in the trade/currency wars (China/USA) means the likelihood is more uncertain. As the UK’s largest FCA authorised provider of hedging advice, we are

continually helping our clients succeed by delivering individually tailored solutions and advice to achieve their desired hedging profile, consistent with the appropriate level of risk for their business. You can monitor key market rates by subscribing to our FREE market rate sheet, updated daily, or alternatively download by visiting our website.

Tel: 020 7183 2277





17 - 23 August 2019

in brief


A 68-year-old man from India was found dead after a man carjacked his vehicle at gunpoint in the US state of Florida. Mathew Korattiyil was carjacked by history-sheeter James Hanson, at Valrico town in Florida. Korattiyil had gone to the Center State Bank in his locality. When he was about to leave the bank, Hanson carjacked Korattiyil at gunpoint, said Tomy M, a close relative of the victim. Hanson fled in Korattiyil’s car with Korattiyil in the passenger seat. Later, police located the car and chased it until Hanson crashed the vehicle into a roadside barrier. Hanson was arrested, but Korattiyil was missing from the car. His body was later found near a community centre in Valrico.


A statue of Maharaja Ranjit Singh, who ruled over Punjab for close to 40 years in the early 19th century, was vandalised by two men in Lahore. The nine-feet statue, made of cold bronze, was unveiled at the Lahore Fort in June on the 180th death anniversary of Maharaja. Police have arrested two men and registered a case against them under the country's blasphemy laws. The two men were angry after India revoked the special status to Jammu and Kashmir last week. The suspects belonged to Tehreek-Labbaik Pakistan of radical cleric Maulana Khadim Rizvi.


The US has removed restrictions imposed last year on the movement of Pakistani diplomats and diplomatic staff stationed in the country, according to a media report. Under the US restrictions, Pakistani diplomats were banned from moving further than 25 miles from the cities in which they were posted. They were also required to seek permission from the US state department five days in advance if they planned to visit another city. Pakistan had announced ‘reciprocal’ travel curbs on US diplomats. Dawn reported that Islamabad also has restored the facilities that US diplomats had enjoyed in Pakistan until last year.


Saudi Arabia has derecognised postgraduate medical degree programmes of Pakistan and asked several Pakistani doctors in the kingdom to be ready to leave or be deported. The Saudi ministry of health said the Pakistan’s MS (Master of Surgery) and MD (Doctor of Medicine) programmes lacked structured training, which is mandatory to hire medics in high positions. Hundreds of medics have been affected by the decision. Qatar, the UAE and Bahrain are also following the Saudi government’s move to de-recognise Pakistani medical programmes, the report said. Most of the affected Pakistani doctors were hired by the Saudi health ministry in 2016 when it conducted interviews in Karachi, Lahore and Islamabad, it said.


A Taliban car bomb aimed at Afghan security forces ripped through a busy Kabul neighborhood, killing 14 people and wounding 145 shortly after the extremist group and the United States reported progress on negotiating an end to Afghanistan's nearly 18-year war. The bombing was one of the worst attacks in Kabul this year, and it again raised fears among Afghans about what will happen once the estimated 20,000 US and NATO troops in their country go home. The explosivespacked car detonated at a security checkpoint outside police headquarters in Shiite neighborhood in western Kabul. The Taliban said they had targeted a recruitment center for security forces.

Pak told to show 'visible progress' in action against terror outfits ISLAMABAD: The United States has asked Pakistan to show some "visible progress" in its action against proscribed terrorist organisations and their leaderships to strengthen its case to move out of the grey list of Financial Action Task Force (FATF). The FATF last year placed Pakistan on the grey list of countries whose domestic laws are considered weak to tackle the challenges of money laundering and terrorism financing. A US delegation was in Islamabad to have an independent assessment of steps, actions and measures identified during the Florida meetings of the Paris-based anti-money laundering watchdog in June this year and the progress made by Pakistan since then, a senior government official said. In June, the FATF said that Pakistan failed to complete its action plan on terror financing. It warned Islamabad to meet its commitment by October or face action, which could possibly lead to the country getting blacklisted. The US delegation's visit comes after Prime Minister Imran Khan visited Washington and held talks with President

Donald Trump. The US delegation comprising Acting Assistant Secretary of State for the Bureau of South and Central Asian Affairs Ambassador Alice G Wells, US Treasury officials Scott Rembrandt, Grant Vickers, David Galbraith and others met Adviser to the Prime Minister of Finance and Revenue Abdul Hafeez Shaikh. The adviser briefed the visiting delegation on the measures pertaining to economic reforms being undertaken by the Government of Pakistan to ensure economic discipline, efforts being made towards implementation of the FATF Action Plan and the key

challenges being faced, said an official statement. The official, who has been part of Pakistan's team interacting with the FATF and Asia Pacific Group (APG) over the past year, said that Islamabad had taken significant steps since the FATF meetings in June. He informed the US delegation that the National Assembly's standing committee on finance had cleared two critical bills relating to amendments in foreign exchange regulations and antimoney laundering law. However, the visiting delegation was interested in a time frame when they would become laws, properly passed by

the parliament and signed by the President of Pakistan, the report said. "The US delegation had rather strong position on taking actions against banned outfits, their activities and movements of their leaderships and key operatives and wanted some visible progress by the authorities to address adverse opinions from majority of FATF members," the official said. He said the international partners helped Islamabad engage foreign consultants to support and prepare key stakeholders such as the Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP), the National Counter-Terrorism Authority (Nacta), the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) and the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) to take actions and formulate reports keeping in view the international perspective. He claimed that the Pakistani authorities had made significant progress during the past one year, particularly over the past couple of months, but the international perspective in various presentations and reports to the APG and FATF was missing. He expressed hope that international experts in the four key organisations would bridge those groups.

Hafiz Saeed held guilty by antiterrorism court in Pakistan ISLAMABAD: Jamaat-udDawah (JuD) chief Hafiz Saeed, arrested by Pakistan's CounterTerrorism Department after booking him in 23 cases, has been held guilty on some of the charges by Anti-Terrorism Court based in Gujranwala. Saeed's case has been shifted to Pakistan's Gujrat for further adjudication, the reports added. The 26/11 terror attack mastermind was arrested by Pakistani authorities on July 17 over charges related to terror financing and was sent to seven days in judicial custody, which was later extended by 14 days -

on July 24. Saeed, a UN-proscribed terrorist whom the US has placed a USD 10 million bounty on, was travelling to Gujranwala from Lahore to get pre-arrest bail in terror financing cases registered against him. On the same day, he was presented before the ATC that sent him on judicial remand for seven days. The CTD on July 3 had registered 23 FIRs against 13 top leaders of Jamaat-ud-Dawah (JuD) including Saeed on the charges of "terror financing" in different cities of Punjab province.

US President Donald Trump had hailed Saeed's detention and said it was a result of "great pressure" exerted by his administration on Pakistan in the last two years. Trump has repeatedly asked Pakistan to abide by its UN Security Council commitments to deny terrorists safe haven and block their access to funds. The US Department of the Treasury has designated Saeed as a Specially Designated Global Terrorist since 2012. Saeed-led JuD is believed to be the front organisation for the LeT which is

responsible for carrying out the 2008 Mumbai attacks that killed 166 people. He was listed under UN Security Council Resolution 1267 in December 2008.

condemnable. On July 31, the 45year-old Maryam was questioned by the anticorruption agency in connection with the alleged money laundering and income beyond means charges against her and her family. The National Accountability Bureau (NAB) arrested Maryam from the Kot Lakhpat jail in Lahore where her father is serving a seven-year prison term since December 24, 2018 after he was convicted in one of the three corruption cases filed in the wake of the apex court’s July 28, 2017 order in Panama Papers case. “We have arrested Maryam

Nawaz in the Chaudhry Sugar Mills (CSM) case as she was facing money laundering and income beyond means charges,” a NAB official said. Maryam had been given a questionnaire based on six questions in the CSM case, which she was due to answer on Thursday last. However, the NAB officials reached the jail and detained her, the Dawn reported. According to the NAB officials, Maryam had excused herself from appearing before the accountability bureau and had gone to meet Sharif in the jail. She is now being taken to the NAB headquarters.

Hafiz Saeed

Maryam Nawaz arrested, remanded in custody till Aug 21

LAHORE: Maryam Nawaz, daughter of former prime minister Nawaz Sharif and a scion of the family that dominated politics for three decades, was arrested and later remanded to custody on corruption charges filed by a national anti-graft agency. “I knew that it would be a tough situation for me to launch a political struggle but I will not budge,” Maryam told reporters shortly before she appeared in court in Lahore, to be denied bail and remanded until August 21. “The NAB has made a baseless case against me,” she added, referring to Pakistan's

Maryam Nawaz

National Accountability Bureau. PML-N chief Shahbaz Sharif condemned her arrest, saying it was a “political revenge” by the Imran Khan government. “Arresting Maryam in front of her father and kids is highly




17 - 23 August 2019

Former Lanka strongman's brother to run for president COLOMBO: Nandasena Gotabaya Rajapaksa, who was a livewire in Sri Lanka's military campaign to end a long civil war but faces allegations of human rights violations, was nominated as the opposition's candidate for the presidential election to be held later this year. Gotabaya, a brother of former strongman President Mahinda Rajapaksa, was a powerful defense bureaucrat under his brother's government, which defeated the Tamil Tiger rebels' 26-year insurgency in 2009. Rajapaksa announced his brother's candidacy at a rally in Colombo. Earlier at the rally, Rajapaksa was named leader of the Sri Lanka People's Front, under which Gotabaya will contest. "I thought of a man who is sought by the country's history to build a future," Rajapaksa told the gathering. "Whether I chose or not, he has become your brother, whether I chose him or not, he has already won your hearts. I hand over my

Nandasena Gotabaya Rajapaksa with his supporters

brother as a brother to you. He is no other, he is Gotabaya," Rajapaksa said. Gotabaya is a hero to many majority Sinhalese, who see him as a prospective strong leader, but is feared by minorities and victims of human rights abuses. As secretary of defense ministry under his brother's rule, Gotabaya played a key role in ending the Tamil Tigers'

campaign for an independent state for ethnic minority Tamils. But he was accused of using extralegal methods and cracking down on those who criticized his style. Gotabaya was accused of running abduction squads known as "white van" squads that whisked away rebel suspects and journalists deemed to be overly critical. Some of the

abductees were released after torture, while others were never seen again. Gotabaya was also implicated in the killing of rebels and civilians who tried to surrender with white flags under a pre-arranged deal in the final days of the civil war. Ethnic Tamils say they handed over their children for investigations at the request of the military but did not see them again. According to a UN report, some 45,000 Tamil civilians were killed in the last months of the war alone. After the war's end, Gotabaya also took up the extra role of city development in which he used the military to evict people from their homes for land acquisition. In his speech, Gotabaya said he has always strived to fulfill his duties to his best and in doing so he has never been confined to laid-out norms. He will follow the same philosophy even as president, he said.

There is sense of frustration among Lankans: outgoing British High Commissioner COLOMBO: There is a sense of frustration among the citizens of Sri Lanka as the greater progress has not been made in the areas of good governance and transparency, says outgoing British High Commissioner to Sri Lanka James Dauris. Before bidding farewell to the country, Dauris, however said the country has made progress in the areas of peace and reconciliation. He cited the constitutional changes that were made to establish the Right to Information a fundamental

Speaking on the Easter Sunday terror attacks, D a u r i s highlighted the importance of putting in place the structures that allow different agencies in the country to pool the information that British High Commissioner to Sri Lanka James Dauris they have, in right of the citizens as an order to lead the decisionexample in this regard. makers as well as collaborating

with international partners in dealing with modern terrorism. He added that collaborating with international actors in this regard helps put together the pieces of a reliable and timely picture on the nature of the challenge that a country itself is facing. Stating that holding elections to timetables is an important part of the democratic process, Dauris raised concerns over the delayed provincial council elections in Sri Lanka.

Bangla mobs lynch eight people over child abduction rumours DHAKA: At least eight people have been murdered by lynch mobs in Bangladesh over fabricated allegations of child abduction, police said. Officials said the deaths were linked to rumours that children were being kidnapped and sacrificed in order to build the Padma Bridge, one of Bangladesh’s biggest infrastructure projects. A rumour that “human heads and blood are required to build the Padma Bridge” reportedly spread online. “We have found that none of those killed in mob violence were child abductors,” said Mohammad Javed Patwary, the inspector general of police. He said eight people had been

murdered by lynch mobs and 103 arrested over these incidents, according to The Dhaka Tribune. Officers shut down at least 60 Facebook accounts and 25 YouTube channels which spread the human sacrifice rumour, he added.

One of the victims, Taslima Begum Renu, was killed while visiting a school. The single mother had arrived at the building to enquire about enrolling her children, but a mob killed her after assuming she was a child kidnapper. “We

could do nothing against the wave of people,” a teacher at the school said. At least 36 lynching attacks took place in Bangladesh in the first six months of 2019, according to Ain O Salish Kendra (ASK) a Bangladeshbased human rights watchdog. At least 175 people have been killed by lynch mobs since 2015, ASK said. “Spreading rumours is leading to unrest in the country,” said Sohel Rana, the assistant inspector general of police. The force has asked members of the public not to spread rumours and to not participate in mob justice. Patwary said that a week-long awareness campaign against spreading rumours will be conducted in the country soon.


Pro-India banners which appeared in different parts of Pakistani capital hailing India's decision to revoke the special status of Jammu and Kashmir have been removed by authorities who arrested a man in this connection. The banners carried a map envisioning "Akhand Bharat" (undivided India) showing parts of the present-day states of Pakistan, Afghanistan and Bangladesh and warnings about Balochistan. They carried a message of Shiv Sena leader Sanjay Raut. "Aaj Jammu & Kashmir liya hai Kal Balochistan, PoK lenge. Mujhe vishwsas hai desh ka PM Akhand Hindustan ka sapna poora karenhe," said the message written on the banners.


At least 42 people were killed and 14 went missing in eastern China in a landslide triggered by a major typhoon, which caused widespread transport disruptions and the evacuation of more than one million people. Typhoon Lekima made landfall in the eastern province of Zhejiang with maximum winds of 187 km per hour, although it had weakened from its earlier designation as a "super" typhoon. Thousands of flights were cancelled in eastern China, according to the country's aviation regulator, with most flights into and out of Shanghai's two major airports cancelled. China's weather bureau issued an orange alert, its second highest, after posting a red alert earlier, when the storm forced flight cancellations in Taiwan and shut markets and businesses on the island.


A Kenyan lawmaker was kicked out of the parliamentary chamber for bringing her infant daughter in with her, in a move that drew outrage from some fellow politicians and the public. The lawmaker, Zuleikha Hassan, said she took her baby with her to work at the National Assembly in Nairobi, the Kenyan capital, after an emergency had left her without child care. I said, ‘Why should I stay at home and not go to work, just because of the baby?’ she said in an interview. “Why should they criminalize having a baby? So, I said, ‘I’m going to Parliament with a baby. She also lamented the lack of child care facilities at the government buildings. In video from inside the chamber, a baby’s soft babbling can be heard in the background as the speaker of Parliament demands that Hassan leave.


Almost 400 more people died in the Netherlands during Europe's recent recordbreaking heatwave than in a regular summer week, Dutch national statistics agency CBS said. In total, 2964 people died in the Netherlands during the week that started on July 22, the CBS said, which was around 15% more than during an average week in the summertime. Temperature records tumbled across Europe during late July's heatwave, and for the first time since records began topped 40 degrees Celsius (104 Fahrenheit) in the Netherlands on July 25.


Zimbabwe President Emmerson Mnangagwa has fired his tourism minister, who was last month charged with corruption involving $95 million, a senior government official said first cabinet minister to be charged by the newly formed anti-graft agency, which says it is on a drive to bring to account senior government officials suspected of corruption. Mupfumira has been in detention awaiting trial since a court appearance on July 26 on charges over money from the state pension fund after questioning by the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission. In a letter, chief secretary to the president and cabinet Misheck Sibanda said managing had removed the minister from office "with immediate effect for conduct inappropriate for a government minister."





17 - 23 August 2019

Families want India to exert pressure on Iran for release of captured crew

Mitali Maheshwari

Iran's Revolutionary Guards captured British oil tanker Stena Impero in the Strait of Hormuz on 19 July after alleged accident with the Iranian fishing boat. The tanker has 23 crew members onboard, out of which 18 are Indian and the rest are of Russian, Latvian and Filipino nationality. Tension between Iran and the UK spiralled after Britain seized Grace 1, an Iranian super tanker, in Gibraltar of violating European sanctions by taking oil to Syria, a charge Tehran denies. India's Minister of State for External Affairs, V Muraleedharan, has said that they are working to get the crew released. Consular access to the 18 Indian sailors was sought on July 20. Clearly, the families are petrified by the whole incidence and are worried about the well being of their kin abducted by the Iranian officials. All their hopes are rested on the Indian Ministry of External Affairs who can put pressure on Iran to release the

crew members. “My husband Chief Officer Abhishek Bonerjee is one of the crew members of Steno Impero which was seized by Iran,” said Almas Mirza who was deeply concerned about the well being of her husband and rest of the crew members. Almas who is in direct contact with the Indian embassy in Tehran said the officials are attempting to free the Indians stuck in the dispute but no concrete plans seem to

Incessant rainfall across several parts of the country has battered normal life with water-logged streets, flooding, traffic congestion and even bigger problems across the country. Over 200 people have lost their lives in the recent monsoon rains in four flood-hit states of Gujarat, Kerala, Karnataka and Maharashtra, while nine people were killed in landslides in Uttarakhand and Jammu following heavy rains. Rains subsided in many parts of the flood-hit states where over 12,00,000 people have been affected and the water level has started receding in the flood -ravaged areas. The Army, Navy, Coast Guard, NDRF, police, volunteers and fishermen are involved in the rescue operation in various places. Reportedly, 3,000 defence personnel have rescued 35,000 people across 4 floodhit states In Kerala, flooding has claimed lives of at least 88 people across 14 districts while 40 went missing, even as rains abated after pounding the state for days. In Karnataka, floods claimed the lives of 48 people in 17 districts while 12 others went missing. In Maharashtra, the death toll increased to 43 and nearly 4,50,000 people were evacuated from flood-hit areas, including 4,04,000 from Kolhapur and Sangli, officials said, adding that 761 villages in 69 taluks have been affected by floods. Several parts of central Gujarat, Saurashtra and Kutch regions have been receiving heavy rains continuously for three days, claiming at least 40 lives. Meanwhile, heavy showers lashed Uttarakhand and Jammu leaving nine people dead in landslides. Also, five people were killed in West Bengal and Odisha in rain-related incidents. IMD has issued a red alert for Central states like Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh and east Rajasthan, while "orange alert" has been issued for the southern states for the next five days. Kerala A year after the devastating deluge, northern Kerala is flooded again as heavy rains and widespread landslides claiming many lives. The death toll in Kerala, the worst affected state in the south, rose to 88 in 14 districts between August 8 and 12. Fifty seven people have been reported missing while 32 people injured are getting medical help. As per reports, so far 265 houses have been fully damaged due to inundation. Over 2,51,000 people have taken shelter in 1,639 relief camps. The Kerala government issued red alert

for four districts: Wayanad, Idukki, Malappuram and Kozhikode. IMD forecast the likelihood of very heavy to extremely heavy rainfall. Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan met with officials of the State Disaster Management Authority at their control room to oversee coordination of relief and rescue operations. Vijayan, who reviewed the situation, said, “The worst-ever landslides occurred in Puthumala near Meppadi in Wayanad. These two regions have been totally cut off,” he said. The flight operations at the Kochi international airport resumed on Sunday afternoon, two days after it was shut due to inundation of the runway area. Army swung into action for the disaster relief and rescue operations in the flood hit Wayanad in Kerala and Kodagu District in Karnataka. DSC Centre, Kannur has deployed two columns of DSC personnel, one each to Virajpet in Kodagu and Wayanad respectively. One column consists of one Officer, three Junior Commissioned Officers and 55 other ranks, said the spokesperson. Karnataka With no signs of respite, Karnataka continued to remain on edge as the death toll due flood-related incidents reached 40. Media reports said 5,82,000 people, till Sunday, were evacuated. Of which 3,27,000 were shifted to to 1,168 relief camps. Looking at the grim situation, Union Minister Amit Shah conducted an aerial survey of flood-affected areas in Belagavi district. He was accompanied by Karnataka Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa. Meanwhile, the IMD has issued a red alert as heavy downpour is expected to hit coastal, central and southern regions of the state in the upcoming 4-5 days. The most affected districts are to be on the coastal side-Dakshin Kannada and Udupi. Four NDRF teams comprising of 60 personnel have been deployed in the affected areas. Two teams of SDRF of 43 persons, eight columns of Maratha Light Infantry comprising of 400 personal (rescue and engineering task force) have been deployed in the district. The Chief Minister asked the Deputy Commissioner of Dakshina Kannada to release Rs 10,000 immediately to each of those families who have lost their houses and whose houses have been partially

be in place. “As very little progress is being made since the vessel was seized, I urge governments involved in the matter to find a swift resolution so that all the 23 seafarers can return to their families,” she added. Almas said that her husband and rest of the crew is allowed to talk to their family daily for few minutes and are moved to the ship but are not allowed to work. However, initial days were quite intimidating for everyone. “They are treated well and are ‘doing fine’ as per the statement given by the foreign ministry officials but we are concerned as earlier there were 16 armed guards and now they have 20 armed guards on board. I just hope they return home

soon.” “It was a retaliatory action by Iran and the ship has been captured just because it is British flagged. The ship is registered in Britain and follows British laws but the owner of the ship is Swedish. The crew is confined on the vessel for no fault at all,” said Captain Birsha Haldar, a close friend of Abhishek. Birsha said the Indian ministry should directly intervene and pressurise Iran to release the sailors. “So far I think requests have been done according to the diplomatic protocol. Unless and until a high level intervention by the external ministry is done this matter will keep on lingering,” he said. He also urged the British govt to intervene to assure the safety of the crew members as the ship abides by the British laws. Reportedly, Britain may facilitate the release of the detained Grace 1 which shows glimmer of hope of Iran reciprocating the same.

Floods continue to wreck havoc in India

Water rushing out after 26 gates of Narmada Dam opened last week

damaged in the district. All rivers are in spate in Karnataka where the UNESCO world heritage site in Hampi, on the banks of the Tungabhadra River in Ballari district, has been inundated after over 1,70,000 cusec water was released from a reservoir. Tourists in Hampi have been shifted to safer places, officials said. Around eight trains been cancelled in the wake of restoration work being carried out between Shiribagilu (SVGL) and Subrahmanya Road (SBHR) railway stations in the Mysore section. Maharashtra Maharashtra is grappling floods that have claimed 43 lives in 5 districts of Pune division while 3 are still missing. Nearly 4,74,226 people were evacuated from 584 villages and 596 temporary shelter camps have been set up. Kolhapur and Sangli districts are the worst affected districts. The two districts have been battered by rain in the last few days. Team of 45 with 30 doctors from KEM, Sion & Public Health (medicine, paediatrics, gynaecologists & general) along with Pest Control officers & staff was sent for the flood victims. Teams of the Territorial Army, the Navy and the NDRF conducted rescue operations in Kolhapur and Sangli. “Five districts in western Maharashtra are affected by floods and 16 people have lost their lives. The administration had shifted a total of 132,000 people to safer places,” said Dileep Mhaisekar, Pune divisional commissioner. Navy teams reached Kolhapur from Goa to aid with air-lifting affected residents to safety. 40 killed in Gujarat Even as heavy rain abated in Gujarat, the

death toll increased to 40 with 14 more deaths reported from Saurashtra region. Nearly 125 people stranded on a road washed away by floods in Gujarat's Kutch district were rescued by the Indian Air Force (IAF). The NDRF teams also rescued 47 students and six teachers from flood-ravaged Morbi district. On Sunday, highest rainfall of 321 mm was recorded Nakhatrana taluka of arid Kutch district. Bodies of five fishermen, who had drowned in the rough sea was on Saturday night, were washed ashore near Rupen port and Okhamadhi near Dwarka. On Sunday too five fishermen had drowned after three boats capsized in rough sea off Porbandar coast and 10 are still missing. Heavy downpour triggered by a deep depression, which crossed Odisha coast, battered several parts of the state creating a flood-like situation and disrupting train services in some areas in the southern region. At least three wagons of a goods train derailed in Odisha's Ambadola station. Special Relief Commissioner (SRC) said six districts have received more than 100 mm of average rainfall since Tuesday, adding that Kandhamal recorded average rainfall of 183.3 mm, while Rayagada got 163.4 mm, Malkangiri 129.3 mm, Koraput 113.9 mm, Kalahandi 109.4 mm and Ganjam received 104.6 mm rainfall. Heavy rains in Andhra Pradesh resulted in an increase in water levels in major rivers of the state with the threat of flood looming in Vamsadhara river in far-off Srikakulam district. The Met department has issued a warning of "very heavy rainfall" at few places in five districts of Chhattisgarh, including Raipur.




17 - 23 August 2019


Yediyurappa remains one-man cabinet in Karnataka BENGALURU: It has been almost two weeks since BS Yediyurappa was sworn in as chief minister of Karnataka. But he still remains the only one in the cabinet. Yediyurappa's party, the BJP, took over in the state after the coalition between the Congress and the Janata Dal Secular (JDS) lost a trust vote in the assembly last month. Yediyurappa proved majority in a House that had shrunk in numbers after the disqualification of 17 Congress and JDS MLAs. The coalition says the BJP engineered the collapse of its government - and that rebels were promised rewards by that party. Those rebels cannot contest elections until the end of the current assembly as ruled by the then speaker, Ramesh Kumar, but they have all approached the Supreme Court on the matter.

BS Yediyurappa

As it stands, they cannot be given berths in the new BJP government, but the BJP may want to keep some berths vacant as a token of faith in case the Supreme Court gives them relief. There are also several senior BJP leaders among the party's 105 MLAs who would need to be included. Yediyurappa visited Delhi

recently to sort out the cabinet situation with national leaders of his party. He met Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The death of former Foreign Minister and BJP veteran Sushma Swaraj may have delayed that process. But the BJP is hopeful the proposed list will soon be cleared and at least part of the cabinet will be sworn at the earliest. On his return from New Delhi, where he met leaders on the expansion, Yediyurappa left immediately for Belagavi in flood-hit northern Karnataka. "I met the national leaders and spoke to them about the state. Amit Shah said 'instead of worrying about the cabinet - go to the flood-affected areas. I will go again to Delhi after three or four days to discuss the cabinet and finalise it. They said the priority is the flood. Go there

first then come here again," Yediyurappa told reporters in Belagavi. Cong, JDS going on the offensive The Karnataka Congress tweeted: "As Karnataka reels from floods, Chief Minister Shri @BSYBJP is not even in the state and is camping in Delhi. And there is no sign of a cabinet to deal with the emergency. @BJP4Karnataka is yet again proving their incompetency in governance." The Janata Dal Secular tweeted: "@BSYBJP While the state is reeling under severe floods, you've not formed the cabinet yet, & on a selfish trip to Delhi. Do you get sadistic pleasure by seeing lakhs of people in distress? Is this why you toppled a perfectly functioning govt? To see people suffer? Shame on you!"


SGPC alters protected monument, draws flak CHANDIGARH: The Punjab Archaeology Department has criticised Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) for allegedly tampering with Diwan Todar Mal’s historic Jahaz Haveli in Fatehgarh Sahib. Historically, Todar Mal had sold his house (known as Jahaz Haveli) to buy a small piece of land to perform the last rites of Guru Gobind Singh’s two sons who were martyred by the Nawab of Sirhind. The monument has immense historical significance for Sikhs and was declared protected in the 1980s under the Punjab Ancient and Historical Monuments and Archaeological Sites and Remains Act, 1964, but the state’s Department of Cultural Affairs, Archaeology and Museums did not acquire the land and was owned by private individuals for decades.

Diwan Todar Mal’s historic Jahaz Haveli in Fatehgarh Sahib

It raised many eyebrows when Mohali-based Punjab Virasat Charitable Trust, run by the family of the former Director, Department of Cultural Affairs, Archaeology and Museums, Navjot Pal Singh Randhawa, purchased the land along with the monument in 2007. The SGPC acquired the land from the trust in 2008. However, all these years the building was lying without much conservation work. A few

years ago, instead of conserving the structure which has been crumbling, the SGPC first constructed a room inside the compound. It recently laid foundation stone for another structure comprising three rooms, which doesn’t gel with the historic structure. Last month a team of the Archaeology Department was fumed to see the construction in full swing around the monument. On July 20, the Director, Archaeology, shot off a letter to the SGPC manager and asked him to stall the work immediately as it amounted to tampering with the protected monument. The rule 29 (2) of the Act prohibits any construction in 100 metre from the protected monument. Karnail Singh Panjoli, member of executive committee of the SGPC from Fatehgarh

Sahib, under whose supervision the work was being carried out, confirmed that they had stopped the work. “The construction wing of SGPC is following up the matter with the department,” he said. Historical importance The government declared 2 kanals and 17 marla and Todar Mal’s Jahaz Haveli on it as protected monuments on June 17, 2003. It was built in the 17th century and was the residence of Todar Mal, a trader of Sirhind who served as diwan in the court of Nawab Wazir Khan, governor of Sirhind under the Mughal Empire. As per Sikh legend, on December 13, 1705, Mal performed the cremation of Sahibzadas Zorawar Singh and Fateh Singh and Mata Gujari. Mal paid for the land required for the purpose with a large number of gold coins.


India's first transgender couple tie the knot in Bengal KOLKATA: A transgender couple from Kolkata, Tista Das and Dipan Chakraborty, tied the knot at a traditional Bengali ceremony setting a new precedent for the LGBT community in what is believed to be the state's first "rainbow wedding". The couple pledged their love for each other in Kolkata, the capital of West Bengal state. Thirty-eight-year-old Tista has been a popular face of the transgender community in Kolkata having worked as an actor in films and TV. She met Dipan, 40, from Assam's Lumding a few years back and the two struck a chord instantly. The duo announced their decision to tie the knot in April on the occasion of National

Tista Das and Dipan Chakraborty

Transgender Day of Visibility. "We are all ecstatic, not just me but each and everyone who has supported us. It has indeed been a tough ride, facing stiff social stigma. Therefore, this day has special significance in all our lives. And what adds to it is the fact that we could chose our life partner," said Das, Bengal's first transsexual woman with a voter ID card. "We are out of the

gender box and we love to be an exception and we think this is a strong bond between us," Tista Das said. While Dipan's family stayed away from the social event, Tista's mother has been steadfast in her support. Born as Sushanto Das, a man from a Kolkata suburb, Tista gave herself a new identity as a transwoman 15 years ago. She underwent a sex reassignment surgery (SRS) in 2004 after being diagnosed with gender dysphoria in her childhood. Since then, Tista has been a vocal champion of the transsexual rights making

numerous public appearances challenging gender stereotypes and prejudices. Das said she battled for a long time to "achieve her identity as a woman, as a human being", adding: "I was not even considered as a human being in this brutal society." A transgender friend of the couple, Anurag Maitrayee, said the ceremony was a "beautiful, emotional union of two hearts and two souls". Official estimates for India's transgender population are not known but they are thought to number several million. Transgenders often live on the extreme fringes of Indian society, with many forced into prostitution, begging or menial jobs.

in brief DMK CANDIDATE WINS VELLORE LOK SABHA SEAT DMK’s Kathir Anand won the Vellore Lok Sabha seat, defeating AIADMK’s A C Shanmugam with a margin of 8,141 votes. Vellore was the Kathir Anand only constituency in the entire country that did not vote in the April-May Lok Sabha elections, as polls were cancelled after the seizure of illegal currency from the house of DMK stalwart Duraimurugan. The polling for the seat was held on August 5 which saw nearly 14,32,000 voters spread across six Assembly segments casting their votes. Nearly 71.51 per cent votes were polled through the EVM and VVPAT system. During the counting, AIADMK was ahead initially. But, after the 10th round, DMK marched ahead and finally won the seat.

TN CM DROPS IT MINISTER MANIKANDAN In a surprise move, Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami dropped state Information and Technology Minister M Manikandan from the council of ministers. This is the first time that Edappadi has dropped a minister. The Tamil Nadu government’s cabinet strength has now reduced to 31. The move comes after Manikandan said the decision to reduce the cable TV monthly subscription was taken by the Chief Minister without his concurrence and criticised his cabinet colleague Udumalai K Radhakrishnan for conflict of interest on the cable TV issue. Manikandan's ouster by the CM is being seen as a strong message to his entire cabinet.

PUNJAB SEEKS CENSOR BOARD TO CURB SONGS GLORIFYING DRUGS In a bid to curb the rising trend of songs glorifying the songs of drugs and violence, the Punjab government has approached the central government for allowing the state to have a censor board. In his reply to question, minister of cultural affair Charanjit Singh Channi acknowledged that there is need to maintain pristine culture of Punjab and the government is serious about curbing songs which promote drug addition, vulgarity, violence and criminal acts. The minister said that the matter comes within the preview of central government and state government has taken it up with the central government to legislate on this “most urgent matter”. Punjab State Women Commission chairperson Manisha Gulati has also been advocating setting up of a censor board for vetting songs in Punjab.

CAMPAIGN TO RENAME SEALDAH STATION AFTER SYAMA PRASAD A mass signature campaign, aiming to collect 1,00,000 signtures, is initiated by the members of Hindu Sanhati demanding the Sealdah station be renamed after Bharatiya Jana Sangh founder Syama Prasad Mookerjee. The organisation's workers started their campaign the Sealdah station premises and also fanned out to nearby railway stations. The campaign would continue till August 14, said the organisation's leader Debtanu Bhattacharya. According to him, millions of people who were forced to come as refugees to West Bengal from Pakistan after the 1947 partition of India found strong backing from Mookerjee, who worked untiringly for rehabilitating the refugees.





17 - 23 August 2019

Lord Krishna’s Ghazni connection

Diary of a new Canadian Immigrant

• Gajpat established Ghazni, Aspat married Caliph’s daughter and embraced Islam Bigotry Be Gone • Descendents of Narpat, Gajpat and Bhupat are Jadejas, Chudasamas and Bhatis


he name of Ghazni itself reminds us of a bloody history of the invasions on the Hindushahi of the present-day Afghanistan and Pakistan as well as the Somnath Temple being attacked and looted by Mahmud Ghazni or Ghaznavi (971-1030 AD), the Sultan of Ghazni. Though a son of a Hindu or Buddhist slave convert father, Sabuktigin or Shakt Singh, according to a celebrated historian Shanbhuprasad Harprasad Deshai, Mahmud is remembered as a hero of Islam by some, as a defiler of Hindu, Jain and Buddhist shrines by others. It is a well-known fact that till 14th century Kabul had Hindu rulers. (Read ‘Lohana Kings of Kashmir and Kabul’ by this author in ‘Asian Voice’ One should not be surprised to know that the Ghazni of Sultan Mahmud was established and even ruled by the descendents of Lord Krishna unlike the Lohana rulers who are considered the descendents of Lord Rama! This is not just a mythology but according to “Shri Yaduvanshprakash ane Jamnagarno Itihas” (Shri Yaduvanshprakash and History of Jamnagar) written by Mavdanji Ratnu under the instruction of the Jamsaheb Ranjitsinh of Nawanagar published in 1940. Egypt (Shonitpur-Babylon) was ruled by 57 Rajas including Vajranabh, the great grandson of Lord Krishna for 3,200 years. Vajranabh was the grandson of Pradyumn, son of Krishna by his Chief Queen Rukmini. Even Deshai, IAS (Retd.) confirms this history in his book “Prabhas ane Somnath” published by Shree Somnath lord krishna and rukmini Trust in 1965 with the preface by Balwantrai Mehta, the Chief Minister of retired additional secretary with the Gujarat. Government of Gujarat and a relative of the Since Pradyumn had married Usha or former ruler family of Morbi state, used to Okha, the Princess of Banasur of Babylon interact with this writer for hours on the who had no male descendent, history and roots of Rajputs Next Column: Vajranabh became the ruler of with Ghazni and other areas Babylon. After King Devendra, The Ganesh Festival and which are now part of Islamic Lokmanya Tilak who was 82nd descendent of world. Unfortunately, he Lord Krishna, died and expired recently but till last day Shonitpur was attacked by the Muslims, of his life he was on WhatsApp discussing Devendra’s four sons, Aspat, Narpat, Gajpat various aspects of the proud history of and Bhupat had to shift towards presentRajput rulers. “Shri Yaduvanshprakash” day Afghanistan. Gajpat established Ghazni states that since Aspat, the eldest of the in 652 AD. Following increasing influence four sons of King Devendra, had embraced of Islam, the Ghazni Kingdom was handed Islam, his descendents are known as over to Aspat who married the daughter of Moghuls. Till 1,300 AD, Kabul was ruled by Caliph and embraced Islam. Other three the Hindu Kings but gradually the Muslim brothers migrated to Central Asia and rulers took over after Sultan Mahmud of established smaller States like Khurasan Ghazni defeated Hindu Ruler JayPal who around Kabul. Gradually, they came to committed suicide later. Even today India and became the ancestors of Bhati, Hindus and Sikhs reside in Afghanistan but Jadeja and Chudasama Rajputs. Till 955 AD, they are at mercy of the Muslim rulers or Ghazni was ruled by a Hindu King Anoop Talibanis. till Alaptgin and Sabuktigin defeated and killed him, according to Deshai. Dr. Hari Desai The descendents of Narpat are called (The writer is a SocioJadejas. Likewise, the descendents of Gajpat political Historian. and Bhupat are known as Chudasamas and E-mail: Bhatis respectively. Kanaksinh Jadeja, a

Dear Readers, On August 3, the US and world were witnesses as 31 people died in two mass shootings in El Paso and Dayton. With gun violence increasing by the hour, we find it's not just an epidemic spread in the US. Just yesterday, a man was sent to the hospital in a life-threatening condition after being shot in a suspected daylight home invasion in Markham. The incident occurred too close to our home and has us losing our night's sleep. Last week, in a nearby area frequently visited by me and our friends, a man on a motorcycle opened fire killing a man and gravely injuring a woman. Times are crazy and one now thinks twice before venturing out. The first thing that needs to be addressed here is the general attitude towards “immigrants” in the west. While there is no evidence suggesting that the local incidents here were of racial nature in any way, the US shootings as they always are, were more or less fueled with an innate hatred towards the non-whites. All these years, I have read more news about racerelated violence or abuse, than I wish to admit. To be honest, they are what covers the most part of any newspaper or publication. Racial hatred is so common, reading about them or watching events over the news don't even make us flinch anymore. Race plays an important part in our lives. It defines who you are, it highlights your pedigree, your culture. The colour of your skin decides how you would be treated in this society. It is 2019, and we are still fighting the war against race. It's abysmal to say the least. I never truly realised what a privilege it was to sit in the comforts of my home back in India, bask in the entitlements organically passed on to me by my family and workplace; and look at the incoming reports of racist attacks and abuses. The West is just as brutal as forgiving, I used to think. All these people who were a couple shades darker than the respected skin tone, rushing to live the dream, make a better life. Why would they even migrate I remember asking myself. It wasn't until last weekend when I faced a mild case of bigotry that I realised it never comes when expected. After being called a not-soflattering word, directed specifically at

Mitul Paniker

Warning issued by Amnesty International for travelers to the US, in the aftermath of the El Paso and Dayton shootings

southeast Asians, at an upscale restaurant in downtown Toronto my friends and I left the place fuming. The rest of the evening I kept thinking why the female felt the need to say what she said. Racism in Canada is a lot different than that in the US. It's more passive, aggressive, served in such small doses that more often than not they go unnoticed. It's not rampant either. I discussed the incident with my husband and he had the textbook answer for me. Canada is not exempt to systemic racism. While it is a cultural haven and the most accepting of all kinds of races, it too has issues that run generations deep. I am aware of the “What to expect in the West” manual. I know what I went through was no where close to what people of brown skin went through in the past. But even if all these years, after all the struggle, after all the lives that were lost in the fight of equality, the fight for cultural and religious esteem, if a single non-white person in this day even so much as feels uncomfortable in their own skin tone, it is one case too many. Among all the things and issues that require immediate attention, racism does not need to be one.

Sonia Gandhi appointed as interim Cong president Sushma Swaraj cremated with state honours Sonia Gandhi was appointed as interim Congress president, returning at the helm after almost 20 months following the resignation of Rahul Gandhi from the post on 25 May. The Congress Working Committee made a last ditch effort to persuade Rahul Gandhi to continue as the party president, and proposed that if Rahul still doesn’t relent, Sonia Gandhi should be the interim president and oversee elections for the top post. However, Rahul stuck on his stand and refused to withdraw his resignation. “The CWC unanimously resolved to request Sonia

Sonia Gandhi

Gandhi to take over as interim president pending the election of regular president by the All India Congress Committee (AICC)," K C Venugopal, Congress' general secretary in charge of organisation,

told reporters after the marathon meeting. Earlier in the day, Sonia and Rahul had recused themselves from the consultation process saying that they cannot be part of it as they have been Congress presidents in the past and would not like the opinion of the party leaders to be influenced in any manner. Sonia Gandhi, who has been the longest-serving party president in her earlier stint, will take over the party's responsibility at a time when it is fresh from its second-worst defeat in the national elections and ahead of key state polls later this year.

Sushma Swaraj, former foreign minister and BJP veteran, who died last following a cardiac arrest was cremated on Wednesday with state honours in the presence of top leaders, including Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Home Minister Amit Shah and BJP patriarch LK Advani among others. Her body was kept at the BJP headquarters for party workers and leaders to pay tributes and then moved to the Lodhi Crematorium for cremation. Swaraj’s daughter Bansuri Swaraj and husband Swaraj Kaushal saluted her as she was laid to rest with full state honours. Political leaders across party lines as well as people on social media expressed shock and grief at her sudden death. President Ram Nath Kovind, defence minister Rajnath Singh and Vice President Venkaiah Naidu also paid tributes. Sonia Gandhi was seen hugging Swaraj's daughter Bansuri. Her son

Rahul Gandhi and former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh too visited Swaraj's home. Opposition leaders Ghulam Nabi Azad, Ashok Gehlot and Anand Sharma also paid their last respects. Among other VIPs who visited Swaraj's home was former Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister and BSP chief Mayawati, former Kerala Chief Minister Oommen Chandy, BJP lawmaker Hema Malini and yoga guru Ramdev.




17 - 23 August 2019

Pakistan isolated on Kashmir issue matter. Last week, in a big snub to Pakistan, UNSC did not take up Qureshi's letter of August 6 following the developments in Kashmir. Poland which holds the presidency of the UNSC for the month of August, blatantly told that Delhi and Islamabad should find a solution bilaterally, putting a lid for time being. Sources said that Foreign Minister Jaishankar dialed the Polish Foreign Minister and briefed him on India's position concerning the modified status of J&K. China brings up Kashmir issue When foreign minister Jaishankar met his Chinese counterpart Wang Yi in Beijing, the Kashmir issue was raised. Jaishankar told Wang Yi that it was an internal matter of India with no implications for external boundaries or the Line of Actual Control. Jaishankar cautioned

Pakistan has accepted that it will be difficult for it to find support if it rakes up Kashmir in front of the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council - China, France, Russia, UK or US- or even before a section of Muslim countries. The development comes exactly a week after New Delhi abrogated the special status enjoyed by Jammu and Kashmir and bifurcated the state into two union territories. Addressing the media at Muzaffarabad in Pak-occupied Kashmir, Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi said the issue may not go Pakistan’s way once it reached the UNSC, which is contrary to popular expectations in the country. In comments that reflect the absence of any significant support for Pakistan from even Muslim nations and Arab countries in particular, Qureshi said the Ummah, Muslim community and others have financial interests in Indian markets.

Qureshi asked Pakistanis not live in a “fool’s paradise” and expect the UN Security Council to “wait with garlands” to support Islamabad’s objections against developments in Kashmir. There shouldn't be any ambiguity on that, do not live in a fool's paradise," Qureshi said addressing the press. Qureshi also urged all the political parties in the country to hold a united front on the Kashmir issue and not politicise the matter. Over the weekend, Russia became the first “country to openly back New Delhi's decision on Kashmir, calling it India's internal matter taken "within the framework of the Constitution of the Republic of India". The US state department has also "noted" that India declared the issue an internal matter. Two members of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) - United Arab Emirates and Maldives - have also supported New Delhi's decision on Kashmir, calling it an internal

In Loving Memory of

Born 13th May 1937 (Tanzania)

Wang that the “future of India-China relationship will depend on mutual sensitivity to each other’s core concerns... Properly managing differences is therefore vital. That is how India-China relations can remain a factor of stability in an uncertain world”. The plain speak indicates that scrapping of J&K’s special status and reorganisation of the state have created some friction in India-China ties. Kashmir celebrates Eid The festival of Eid-ul-Zuha was observed largely peacefully in J&K as security forces kept a close watch, restricting congregations to small gatherings in neighbourhood mosques. IGP (Kashmir) Swayam Pani said there were "a few situations" in which some people were injured. However, he added that most congregations dispersed peacefully after prayers

Saudi Aramco to acquire 20% stake in RIL oil

Mukesh Ambani with his mother (Left) and wife (centre)

Demise 1st August 2019 (London)

Pramod Jashbhai Patel Alias – Narendrabhai (Nodhana)

It is with deep sadness that we announce the loss of our beloved father, brother, uncle and dada on 1st August 2019. He was the rock of our family and we will all remember him as a special and remarkable man who never grumbled or complained, he just got on with life and supported all of us in our endeavours. His determination and advice made us the family we are today. He will be greatly missed by us all and will be forever in our thoughts and hearts. Our family wishes to express our love and gratitude to all our relatives, friends and neighbours for their continued support during this difficult time. May his soul rest in peace. Dakshesh Patel (Son) and Nikunjben Patel (Daughter in law) Nilesh Patel (Son) and Kashmiraben Patel (Daughter in Law) Devan, Premal and Pritesh (Grand Children) Avniben, Hetalben, Hitesh, Sandeep, Vimal, Vijendra, (Nieces and Nephews) Subash, Rajuvir, Kailash, Nalin, Vijendra, Ashwin, Bhupendra, Jitendra, (Cousins)

Tel: 020 8500 2336 Mobile: 07831 197 871 279 New North Road, Hainault, Ilford, Essex. IG6 3DX

In what could be the largest foreign direct investment in India, Saudi Aramco has proposed to sign a non-binding Letter of Intent (LOI) to acquire a 20 per cent stake in Mukesh Ambani's Reliance Industries' refining, petrochemicals and fuels marketing businesses. Saudi Aramco’s potential 20 per cent stake which is based on an enterprise value of $75 billion for the division is worth around $ 15 billion. “I am truly delighted to welcome Saudi Aramco, one of the largest business enterprises in the world, as a potential investor in our oil to chemicals division. We have a longstanding crude oil relationship with Saudi Aramco and we would be happy to see this further strengthened with this investment. Saudi Aramco’s interest is a strong endorsement of the quality of our assets and operations as well as of the potential of India,” Ambani said addressing RIL's 42nd annual general meeting on Monday. “The deal with Aramco will include of Reliance’s refining and petrochemicals assets as well as the remainder of stake the firm has in fuel retailing business after selling 49 per cent to BP of Britain.” Will reduce RIL debt The company has been sitting on a huge pile of debt. The gross debt stands at £28 billion. This deal could reduce the debt of the company by over 30 per cent after considering the reduction of interest on debt. This could impact the EPS by 1718 per cent. RIL and Aramco, the world’s largest integrated oil and gas company producing one in every eight barrels of crude oil globally, had been negotiating the deal for the last couple of months. Aramco’s proposed investment of over $15 billion could turn out to be a big booster shot for the sagging investment scenario in the country. “We expect to complete these transactions within this financial year subject to definitive agreements, due

diligence, regulatory and other customary approvals. The commitments from these two transactions are about £11 billion,” Ambani said. He said the company will become debt-free by 2021. “We have a very clear road map to becoming a zero net debt company within the next 18 months that is by March 2021,” he said. “As we achieve our zero net-debt target, I assure you my dear shareholders that we will reward you abundantly through higher dividends, periodic bonus issues and other means, and at a more accelerated pace than any time in our history.” After TCS, RIL is the second most valued company in India with a market capitalisation of over £7.36 billion. Under the non-binding LOI, the proposed investment is subject to due diligence, and the executed definitive agreement will be subject to regulatory and other customary approvals. The parties will make an announcement once a definitive agreement is executed, Ambani said. The company had last week announced that BP is acquiring 49 per cent stake in its fuel retailing business. Reliance will get £700 million from BP for this transaction. RIL’s Jamnagar refinery is the largest and most complex refinery in the world. The proposed investment would result in Saudi Aramco supplying 500 KBPD of Arabian crude oil to the Jamnagar refinery on a long term basis. Meanwhile, public sector oil companies have proposed a $44 billion oil refinery with Saudi Aramco and Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC) in Maharashtra. Though the refinery was initially proposed to be built at Nanar, Ratnagiri district, farmers refused to surrender land, fearing it could damage a region famed for mango and cashew plantations.





17 - 23 August 2019

Migraine diet: how much coffee is too much? A new study has said that drinking excessive caffeine in the form of coffee may increase risks of migraine in drinkers. Migraine is a condition characterised by recurrent headaches that vary in intensity from moderate to severe. Other symptoms of the disease include nausea and an increased sensitivity to light and sound. Certain hormonal changes, stress, exercise and some foods and drinks act as triggers of migraine headaches in sufferers. A new study has said that drinking excessive caffeine in the form of coffee may increase risks of migraine in drinkers. The study has indicated that consuming three or more servings of the caffeinated beverage may be linked with increased incidence of migraine. Earlier research has also linked this popular caffeinated drink with risks of migraine.

The study was published in the American Journal of Medicine and it looked at the potential role of coffee and other caffeinated beverages as a trigger for migraine. For the study, researchers asked 98 participants with episodic migraines to fill out electronic diaries recording their intake of caffeinated beverages like tea, coffee, soda, energy drinks and their servings in the morning and in the night. They also recorded whether or not they experienced headaches, as well as the intensity of these headaches and their onset

and their duration, and finally the medication used. Participants also revealed other common triggers for migraines including sleep patterns, menstrual cycle, psychological stress, alcohol intake, physical activity, depressive symptoms etc. The researchers found that intake of one or two servings of coffee and other caffeinated beverages was not associated with headaches on the same day or the following day. But three or more servings of these drinks increased the odds of migraine episodes either the same day or the following

day. "While some potential triggers - such as lack of sleep - may only increase migraine risk, the role of caffeine is particularly complex, because it may trigger an attack but may also help control symptoms, caffeine's impact depends both on dose and on frequency," said Elizabeth Mostofsky from Harvard University. She added by saying, "One serving of caffeine is typically defined as eight ounces or one cup of caffeinated coffee, six ounces of tea, a 12-ounce can of soda and a 2-ounce can of an energy drink. Those servings contain anywhere from 25 to 150 milligrams of caffeine, so we cannot quantify the amount of caffeine that is associated with heightened risk of migraine. However, in this self-matched analysis over only six weeks, each participant's choice and preparation of caffeinated beverages should be fairly consistent."

Asthma deaths highest they have been in decade Charity slams 'unacceptable' rise and blames it on a lack of basic NHS care

Asthma deaths are the highest they have been for a decade, statistics show. Data from The Office for National Statistics (ONS) reveals fatalities from the common lung condition have risen by more than a third over the past 10 years. Experts blame a lack of basic care, with 2.9 million (60 per cent) patients in England and Wales missing out on the annual review they are entitled to. A Coroner ruled this contributed to the deaths of a nine and 10-year-old, who were seen by the NHS dozens of times between them, but never received an action plan on how to manage their condition. Others point the finger at climate change, with extreme hot and cold weather triggering wheezing, breathlessness and a tight feeling in the chest. One in 12 adults (4.3 million) and one in 11 children (1.1 million) in the UK are

being treated for asthma, Asthma UK statistics show. And in the US, one in 13 people have the lung condition, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. More than 12,700 people died from an asthma attack in England and Wales in the past decade, the ONS data shows. Last year alone, the condition killed over 1,400 people; an eight per cent increase from the number of fatalities in 2017. It was also a 33 per cent rise from the 1,071 deaths in 2008. The

figures also show an increase in the number of men dying from the condition, with 436 men passing away last year compared to 370 in 2017. Among the 35to-44 age group specifically, there has been a 42 per cent rise in the number of asthma deaths in the past year. The South East of England seems to be the worst affected. The number of fatalities rose by nearly a quarter (24 per cent) from 191 in 2017 to 237 last year. In London, the number of deaths increased by 17 per cent from 151 in 2017 to 176

in 2018. Asthma UK claims 2.9 million (60 per cent) patients in England and Wales are not receiving basic care as recommended by national guidelines. Every asthma patient is entitled to an annual review with a GP or specialised nurse. During these sessions, a patient's inhaler technique is checked and they are given a written action plan on how to manage their condition. The National Review of Asthma Deaths (NRAD), which was commissioned by the NHS and Department of Health five years ago, found that two-thirds of asthma deaths could have been prevented by better basic care. While asthma deaths among children are rare, there has been a few cases of young patients who have died in recent years because they failed to get the care they needed.

Children who enter puberty early have strongest bones as adults 'and may face a lower risk of osteoporosis' Children who enter puberty early have the strongest bones as adults, a study has shown. Scientists at the University of Bristol studied thousands of British children, taking bone scans over the course of 15 years. They found the later a child hit puberty - defined as the later they had their growth spurt - the weaker their bones were. Growth in bone strength starts to halt in the early twenties, therefore those who hit puberty late still had weaker bones into their adult life. This can be a crucial factor for whether an

adult goes on to develop conditions such as osteoporosis later in life, experts said. Researchers collected data on 6,389 children who had bone scans between 10 and 25 as part of the Children of the 90s Study. They calculated the age a child hit puberty by looking at when they had their largest growth-spurt - called 'age at peak height velocity'. Children who hit puberty earliest - before 10.5 years in girls and before 12.5 years in boys - had 12 per cent more bone strength during puberty than those who hit it later - from 12.7 years in

girls and 14.5 years in boys. Although teens who had their pubertal growth spurt later than their peers had lower bone-strength, they did 'catch-up' to some degree. By the time they were 18, their bones had acquired density at a much quicker speed. Particularly, boys had a more intense growth. But it wasn't quite enough â&#x20AC;&#x201C; by age 25 those who hit puberty later still had almost five per cent less bone strength than early maturers. Puberty is a key life milestone when teenagers go through a growth in their skeletal system, among

other things. The greatest gain in bone size and strength occurs during adolescence because of hormones. But bones keep growing in strength well after puberty, reaching their maximum strength - called 'peak bone mass' - in the early 20s. Peak bone mass at the end of teenage growth spurts is thought to be an indication of later risk of fractures and osteoporosis. The study, considered to be the first of its kind, was published in the Journal of the American Medical Association's Network Open.


Women going through the menopause are facing a national shortage of hormone replacement therapy (HRT). Many of the most commonly prescribed forms of HRT, which helps deal with the symptoms of the menopause, are out of stock in some pharmacies. The Department for Health and Social Care said it was aware of "ongoing supply issues" due to "manufacturing delays". A spokesperson said alternative HRT products were available. Affected patients should discuss alternatives with their doctor, they said, adding that the government was working closely with suppliers to "maintain the overall flow of medicines to patients". Several women have told to the BBC how they have been affected, with one saying she feels "absolutely devastated" and another suffering "considerable discomfort and distress".


The estranged wife of Boris Johnson has urged women "to make time" for smear tests after having surgery, following her cervical cancer diagnosis in May. Marina Wheeler QC had two operations after a routine screening revealed she had developed the disease, she told the Sunday Times. The 54year-old now considers herself "cancer-free", she added. She said: "I know the take-up of smear tests is way down. I know they can save your life. If people are willing to listen - as they seem to be - why not say so? Why be afraid? I would urge other women to make the time and do the tests." Describing her own reaction in May, after a doctor told her of her cancer diagnosis, she said she thought: "That's absurd. I have no time for this. Quite apart from everything else, I have a book to write." She said her experience made her appreciate "the incalculable value of holding close those who you love and trust". Ms Wheeler is the second wife of Prime Minister Johnson and the couple share four children. The UK's leading cervical cancer charity said it is "fantastic" Ms Wheeler has talked so openly to raise awareness of the disease, which affects women of all ages. Robert Music, of Jo's Cervical Cancer Trust, said: "Cancer can be very isolating and Marina's story may help others facing diagnosis feel less alone. While cervical screening does not prevent against all cervical cancers, it provides a high degree of protection against the disease. By using her experience to highlight the importance of the test, Marina may prevent others from going through the same as her."


Two cosmetic surgery companies have gone into administration amid "Brexit uncertainty", with debts of ÂŁ6.5m between them. Combine Opco and TFHC operated from more than 30 clinics and hospitals across the UK. The business and assets have been acquired by a single entity - The Transform Hospital Group - and the services carry on.It said staff and patients would be unaffected by "challenging" conditions. Describing the companies that previously ran the business as among the UK's "leading providers" of cosmetic surgery, administrators handling the move cited a lack of Brexit "clarity". They said the firms had found it hard to adapt to consumers spending less on "discretionary items" considered "high cost". Administrators also said the companies had been facing a "substantial risk" of unaffordable "penalties" linked to "HMRC's decision to deem certain services" subject to VAT, despite the firms receiving "professional advice" that such provision was VAT-exempt.


Women in labour are being given virtual reality headsets to see if they can help manage the pain of childbirth. University Hospital of Wales in Cardiff is carrying out a trial and it could be rolled out across Wales, if successful. Midwife Suzanne Hardacre, said the technology offered an alternative for pain management. Mother-to-be Hannah Lelii, who tested the kit ahead of the birth of her first baby this month, likened it "to a simulator". "It's genuinely 360 degrees, so when I turn, I've got the view that would be behind me or to the side of me," she said. "It helps to get me in a state of relaxation." The health board will arrange a feedback session in future to gauge the response of the first raft of new mums to trial the headsets.

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...




17 - 23 August 2019

Parineeti doesn't want to fight for pay parity Actor Parineeti Chopra has said that she doesn't talk about the pay gap in the Indian film industry as she feels women make up for it by doing more endorsements than men. Speaking in an episode of Tapecast, where she was promoting her new film 'Jabariya Jodi' with co-star Sidharth Malhotra, she said, "I always felt like I deserved a little bit more but I only got this much. But then we make it up with endorsements. Girls do a lot of endorsements so we kind of make it up. So that is why I never talk about it because the boys don't do as many endorsements as girls. I hope I'm right. We do so many beauty commercials and hair commercials like so many brands and I think we kind of

cover it up." Parineeti’s comments have been criticised online as being ‘shallow’. A Twitter user said, "Who cares about pay parity when you can do is beauty and hair commercials." Another Twitter user said, "Lol. And clearly she is ok with it!" Actresses like Deepika Padukone and Taapsee Pannu have spoken about the necessity of equal pay in the industry. Meanwhile, Parineeti also provided some insight into how much she made for her debut film 'Ladies VS Ricky Behl'. She said she made Rs 500,000 for appearing in a supporting role in the film. She said for her third film, 'Shuddh Desi Romance', filmmaker Aditya Chopra hiked her fee

himself. Parineeti said she couldn't argue for more money several times, even though she felt she deserved it. She said she has seen the paychecks of her male costars, who sometimes make four times what she does, despite being on roughly the same level as her.

Ghazal maestro Pankaj Udhas to perform in UK & Europe Ghazal Maestro and Padmashri recipient Pankaj Udhas is coming to the UK for a series of concerts. There isn’t a music lover whose eyes don't well up on hearing the song “Chitti Ayi Hai” by the legend. This anthem of longing still tugs at our heartstrings and evokes a deep sense of nostalgia. Four million views with the geet having breached the 104 million mark. That is greatness of the soulful voice of Pankaj Udhas. With a singing career spanning over 35 years, Pankaj Udhas continues to be a music icon to millions of fans around the globe. Amidst the cacophony

of sounds that dominate today’s music scene, Pankaj Udhas’ velvet voice and melodious music makes a distinguished presence. His albums always embed a soul that stays with his listeners. Pankaj Udhas concert tour this summer in August 2019 covers centres across the UK and Europe. He will regale the audiences with his popular ghazals, including the soulful 'Aur aahista keeje baatein', 'Jiye to jiye kaise' and 'Ye gam e zindagi kuch to de mashwara'; racy numbers 'Chandi jaisi rang tera,' 'Na kajre ki

dhar,' 'Aaj phir tum pe pyar aaya' and some ‘intoxicating’ ghazals such as 'La pila de saakhiya,' 'Maloom mai sharabi nahi' and 'Hui mahangi sharab ki todi todi piya karo.' And with this reputation comes great social responsibility. Pankaj Udhas is committed to promoting new talent in music and keeping the tradition of Indian music alive in the hearts of the younger generation. His annual offering “Khazana- A festival of Ghazals” gives young, new talent a platform to showcase their musicality to an eager audience. Sharing the stage with stalwarts from the industry, this is indeed a golden opportunity for upcoming stars. The proceeds of the show are used for the benefit of cancer and thalessemia patients. Pankaj Udhas feels blessed to be a vehicle of this

remarkable charity and has been donating the proceeds of his landmark event “Khazana” for many years now.

Upcoming concert dates: Fri, 16 August 2019, 8-11pm, Morningside Arena, Leicester Sat, 17 August 2019, 7 pm onwards, Eventim Apollo, London

I am still a rising superstar: Shah Rukh Khan At the Melbourne Film Festival last week, filmmakers Sriram Raghavan, Karan Johar, Zoya Akhtar, and actors Arjun Kapoor and Tabu represented their films and the entirety of the Indian film industry at the fest. They were joined by Bollywood actor Shah Rukh Khan. Speaking at the festival, celebrating its 10th anniversary this year, Shah said, "Many years ago in 2006-07, I came here when I was a rising superstar giving hit films after hit films. And now I am back here again, still a rising superstar not making as many hit films, as much as I would want to do so." He added, "I thank everyone for the opportunity to speak here. It's heartening that

because of the Indian diaspora, the second generation of Indians here, Indian cinema is getting noticed. It's extremely gratifying and makes every Indian proud. I speak for everyone on the dais today, that we are happy to be here." Filmmaker Karan Johar who also spoke at the event, mentioned the great films made in the country this year. "It's not the films but the people behind the festival who make it what it is. When I see this fantastic panel and we say the theme is courage, I say the panel is reflective of the glorious courage of our films and changing face of Indian cinema. It represents three feature films that have

changed the way we look at Indian cinema and how it has travelled across the globe, making Indian cinema so proud." Johar added, " And what to say about Shah Rukh Khan, he fully represents super stardom. I firmly believe, in the era we belonged to, the term is understood because of him. It's not just about his large heart but his tremendous presence and aura. The fact that he is an outstanding actor is icing on the cake." Shah Rukh was felicitated with the Excellence in Cinema honour at the awards. He was presented and the award was presented by Linda Dessau, first female Governor of the State of Victoria.

Ayushmann Khurrana talks about challenges in his forthcoming films With back to back hits, there is no stopping Ayushmann Khurrana. The poster boy of content cinema has four upcoming interesting projects under his belt. He has entertainer 'Dream Girl' in which he will be shown as someone with a special ability of talking in female voice, 'Bala' that deals with premature balding in men or 'Shubh Mangal Zyada Saavdhan' where he will be championing the issue of gay relationships in India. He also has 'Gulabo Sitabo' in the works, where he will share screen space with Amitabh Bachchan. "All these four films will present me in absolutely different avatars that no one has ever seen me play. I’m actually supremely excited about

doing such different films because they push me in different directions. I’m relishing the challenge they have posed," Ayushmann said. His upcoming line-up is also rich on content as is his forte. "I've been consciously working towards disrupting content and constantly giving audiences something new to see, to talk about and to enjoy. The next four films are some of the best scripts I've ever read in my career and it's meant for audience who love to see good cinema." The actor calls himself "restless" and said that's what drives him. "I've always chosen the new and walked the unknown path because it has always triggered me creatively. It has always pushed me

to perform and deliver the best. I like big risks because it gets the best out of me and my upcoming films will again see me challenge myself. I live to entertain audiences and I hope these films will deliver the maximum dose of entertainment," he said. He added, "I've worked really hard to win the confidence of some of the best filmmakers of our country. I'm only grateful that they've trusted me with their vision and made me a part of their beautiful cinematic world. I'm glad to be able to be a part of films that are as diverse as it can get and they will instantly remind audiences the type of cinema I stand for."





17 - 23 August 2019

Rishi Kapoor praises Sara Ali Khan's humble attitude Just hours after pictures of actor Sara Ali Khan wheeling her own luggage at the Mumbai airport surfaced online, actor Rishi Kapoor praised her for her humble attitude. He tweeted, "Wonderful Sara. You set examples how celebrities should behave at the airport. No harm at all tugging your own baggage, no chamchas to receive and the icing on the cake! No dark glasses or an airport look. You show confidence with no insecurities. Atta girl!" A video taken by the paparazzi shows the actress

accepting the greetings of a photographer who clicked her coming out of the airport. She is seen responding to them with, "Hello! Kaise ho aap (How are you)" with a big smile on her face." Even fans couldn't stop praising her either. Rishi's post attracted several positive comments for Sara too. One user said, "She's raised very well and her mannerisms shows she is very sweet and knows how to talk and what to say over all a great person." Another wrote, "She is very well brought up. Unlike the other star kids who think they have descended from heaven." On the work front, Sara will be seen next in Imtiaz Ali' 'Love Aaj Kal' sequel, with her reported boyfriend Kartik Aaryan. She will also feature in 'Coolie No 1' opposite Varun Dhawan.

‘Uri’ wins four National Awards, ‘Badhaai Ho’ bags 2

Hindi cinema bagged the lion’s share of the 66th National Film Awards 2018, with ‘Uri: The Surgical Strike’ winning four, ‘Andhadhun’ and the controversial ‘Padmaavat’ three and ‘Badhaai Ho’ getting two awards each in various categories. The best feature film was bagged by Gujarati film ‘Hellaro’, a film on women empowerment in a patriarchal society. ‘Badhaai Ho’ won the award for best popular film providing wholesome entertainment. Surekha Sikri also won the award for best supporting actor (female) for her role in the 2018 blockbuster film.‘Chalo Jeete Hain’, a short film inspired by events from the childhood days of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, won the National Award for best non-feature film on family values. AS Kanal, chairman of the non-feature films jury, said the film was judged on the basis of its content

and the jury was not aware that the film was inspired by the PM’s childhood. The josh was high for the biggest winner of the day, ‘Uri’, which won awards for best direction, best audiography, and best music direction. The film’s lead actor, Vicky Kaushal, also shared the best actor award with ‘Andhadhun’ actor Ayushmann Khurrana.

Full list of winners:

Best non feature film: 'Son Rise' by Vibha Bakshi and 'The Secret Life of Frogs' by Ajay and Vijay Bedi; Best Educational Film: 'Sarala Virala'; Best Director: Uri : The Surgical StrikeAditya Dhar; Best Feature Film: 'Hellaro' a Gujarati film directed by Abhishek Shah Best Actor: Ayushmann Khuranna for 'Andhadhun' and Vicky Kaushal for 'Uri: The Surgical Strike';

Best Actress: Keerthy Suresh for 'Mahanati'; Best Supporting Actor - Swanand Kirkire for 'Chumbhak;' Best supporting actress - Surekha Sikri for 'Badhaai Ho'; Best Action Direction: 'KGF Chapter I'; Best Choreography: 'Padmaavat' for Goomar Best Film for National Integration: 'Ondalla Eradalla' (Kannada); Best Cinematography – 'Olu' (Malayalam) to MJ Radhakrishnan; Best Popular Film: 'Badhaai Ho'; Best film on Environment issues – 'Paani'; Best Debut Film of a Director: 'Naal' (Marathi); Best film on Social Issues: 'Padman' Best Child artist: P V Rohith (Kannada), Sameep Singh (Punjabi), Talha Arshad Reshi (Urdu) and Shrinivas Pokale (Marathi); Best Children's Film: 'Sarkari Area Prathamika Shaale' Kasaragod Best Cinematography: MJ Radhakrishnan for Olu, Malayalam

Taapsee Pannu refuses to apologise for comment on Kangana Ranaut Actor Taapsee Pannu has refused to apologise for her "double filter" comment about fellow actress Kangana Ranaut for which she faced flak from the latter's sister and spokesperson Rangoli Chandel. The argument began with Chandel attacking Pannu on Twitter. She had tweeted, "Kuch log Kangana ko copy kar ke he apni dukaan chalate hain, magar pls note, they never acknowledge her, not even a mention of her name in praising the trailer. Last I heard, Taapsee ji said Kangana needs a double filter, and Tapsee ji you need to stop being a sasti copy."

She went all out on Taapsee and others of the film fraternity for not mentioning Kangana's name while praising the trailer of 'Judgemental Hai Kya'. In her response, Pannu said, "Seriously, I will not apologise for my honest opinion. I did not know that she has a patent on curly hair because I was born with curly hair, and my parents are responsible for that. So, I cannot apologies for that either. Rest, I do not know what else I have copied." She added, "However, if I am a copy of a

good actress like her, and I always maintained that she is a good actress, I take it as a compliment. I am also called 'sasti' (cheap). Yes, I am not the highest--paid actress, so that way you can call me 'sasti'." Taapsee also said, "I did not reply to that individual because they do not matter in my scheme of things. Why should I pay attention to people who do not matter to me? They are taking time out to say things to me, meaning I matter to them. Everyone knows how to bully, and even I know how to answer back. But there is a certain use of language and vocabulary that I have not learnt and I never will. So, I answered in my way." Pannu was speaking at a media interaction to promote her upcoming film 'Mission Mangal'. She has been

busy this year with multiple releases. The 'Game Over' actress said negative comments like Rangoli's do not affect her spirit. "When a journalist asks me a question, I answer because through your medium I can tell my audience who I am. So, you people matter to me." The entire charade began a while back because Taapsee mentioned in an interview that Kangana needs a "double filter" because she is brutally honest and that puts her into trouble. Chandel didn't like the comment too well and launched a tirade against Taapsee.




17 - 23 August 2019

Offers poured in for Aditi Rao Hydari after Mani Ratnam films Actor Aditi Rao Hydari is on a career-high right now with a slew of films lined in her kitty. She feels she has found a strong footing in the southern film industry, and can't thank filmmakers enough for extending support and showing faith in her. Hydari said, "After I did two of Mani (Ratnam) sir's films back-to-back, the entire Tamil and Telugu region sort of opened up for me. I feel humbled to be approached by a number of good directors. In fact, when 'Padmaavat' released last year, I was not in Mumbai. I was shooting one film after another, and was there for just a month." She was seen in Mani Ratnam's 'Kaatru Veliyidai' and 'Chekka Chivantha Vaanam'. The actress also spoke about her experience in the film industry and said she could not let go any of the offers she got in southern cinema. "I didn't let go of the opportunities because of the directors, actors and most importantly the challenges these films were offering. I was not thinking about the language. I was working, thinking 'Oh my God, I'm going to work with this director, I am getting to do such interesting characters. So, I decided to do all of them. It was literally a boom that happened," she said. Aditi added that she was super impressed with the pace of films shot in the south, "Which gives actors a lot of time to do a greater number of films." When asked if she would cut down on Hindi films, considering the inflow of southern movies, she clarified that she wants to strike a balance. “Hindi is the language I speak, so obviously I’d love to do Hindi films. I’ve already signed one project but again, I can’t talk before the announcement is made. Yes, I’m more consciously trying to balance my career in the south and the Hindi film industry and hopefully, I’ll be able to do so,” she said.

'Doctor Strange' director Scott Derrickson endorses 'Baahubali 2'

SS Rajamouli's magnum opus 'Baahubali: The Conclusion' is by far India's top most grosser and that movie has worked wonders across seas. Hollywood filmmaker Scott Derrickson of 'Doctor Strange' fame, shared a fight scene from the film, impressed by its direction. Sharing the clip on micro-blogging site, he wrote, "Behold, India's 'Baahubali 2'!" The clip was originally shared by a Twitter user with a caption that said, "The full scene with sound is just the greatest scene I've ever watched." The said scene shows actor Prabhas' character Mahendra Baahubali launching an attack on Bhallaladeva's fort in Mahismati by landing on its terrace with a rather innovative technique. Reacting to the video, a user commented to the post, “I spent a day and watched both of these back to back. Honestly, loved them a lot. A lot of heart poured into making two epic movies oozing pure entertainment.” A viewer from Canada wrote, “I loved both of these movies. Had such a blast watching them two years ago when they first arrived on Netflix Canada. I have been recommending them to all my friends.” One more user wrote, “Watched this for the first time recently and I absolutely lost my mind.”

TV Listing

* Schedule is subject to change



* Schedule is subject to change


































Producer Suresh Kamatchi has revealed that he has dropped actor Simbu from upcoming Tamil political thriller 'Manaadu'. He said that he will now make the film with another actor in the lead. In a statement, he said he has dropped Simbu from the project because he's tired of waiting for the film to take off. He also thanked Simbu for graciously accepting the offer in the first place. Director Venkat Prabhu, who was to join hands with the actor for the first time in the movie, shared a heartfelt post on Twitter. He tweeted, "It's very unfortunate that I couldn't work with my brother Simbu in #maanaadu. Everything is time bounded. Considering the amount of emotional and financial pressure that the producer is going through, I have to respect the decision taken by the producer. Thanks for all the love". The project was supposed to go on the floors from July after being deferred multiple times. When Simbu couldn't take out time as promised, Suresh had to go ahead and drop the idea of making the film with him. Makers of the movie have signed Kalyani Priyadarshan as the leading lady. On the work front, Simbu who was last seen in Sundar C's 'Vantha Rajavathaan Varuven', is currently busy shooting for Tamil remake of Kannada blockbuster 'Mufti'. The movie also stars Gautham Karthik as one of the leads.


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'Baahubali: The Conclusion' (also called 'Baahubali 2') was the follow up of 'Baahubali: The Beginning' and broke all records during its initial release in April 2017 by collecting £170 million worldwide. It was the first film that collected the fastest £10 million at the box office in India. Besides Prabhas, it also starred Rana Daggubati, Anushka Shetty, Tamannaah Bhatia, Ramya Krishnan, Sathyaraj and Nassar in prominent roles.

Producer drops Simbu from 'Manaadu', looking for replacement



* Schedule is subject to change








17 - 23 August 2019

Mahant Swami in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania

BAPS chief Mahant Swami arrived at Dar es Salaam in Tanzania on 8 August along with Harikrishna Maharaj and other saints. Mahant Swami was welcomed by children, devotees and saints of the Swaminarayan temple. Various camps have been organized during Swamiji's visit where devotees from across the continent of Africa will participate. On 10th, Swamiji payed visit to Akshardham temple. On that day, a recital was presented. Mahant Swami paying tribute to the Pramukh Swami said, “Swamibapa was really great man. He never encouraged discrimination. He only spread happiness.” The Pramukh Memorial Meeting was held in the evening. Pujya Tyagvallabh Swami shared his experiences with Pramukh Swami that touched his life deeply. On 11,th Swamiji inaugurated 'divyam' themed camp organised for the volunteers.

Coming Events ● National Association of Patidar Samaj celebrates India’s Independence Day, Date: 15 August, Thursday, Time: 11.15 am onwards Venue: 26b Tooting High Street SW17 0RJ ● Annual Anniversary Celebration by SKS Swaminarayan Temple, Date: 19 August to 25 August 2019 Morning to Evening, Venue: Swaminarayan Sports World, Sports Ground, Blake Hall Road, Wanstead, London E11 2QW Contact: Kishor Varsani - 07720 067594 ● Talk on 'Emerging your Spiritual Identity' Speaker: Sister Indu, Date: 25th August 2019, Sunday Time: 6:30 pm – 8:00 pm, Venue: Harold Road Center, 170 Harold Road, Upton Park, London, E13 0SE Contact: or call 07440 415 635 ● Bhajan Evening with Sanatan Bhajan Mandal Free entry with donations in aid of St Luke’s Hospice Date: 7 September, Saturday, Time: 7:00 pm to 11:00 pm Venue: Claremont High School, Kenton

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Raksha Bandhan celebrates brotherhood and love and is celebrated on the full moon in the month of Sravana in the lunar calendar. Traditionally, during the festival sisters tie a rakhi around their brothers' wrists to celebrate their relationship. Today the festival has developed with others joining in the festivities: ● Rakhis are often shared between close friends. ● Women tie rakhis around the wrists of the prime minister. ● Rakhis are tied around the wrists of soldiers. It is believed that when a woman ties a rakhi around the hand of a man it becomes obligatory for him to honour his religious duty and protect her.

Traditional stories state that rakhis are blessed with sacred verses and are encompassed by them. Sometimes rakhis are consecrated in rice and grass before they are given, and they are traditionally tied by people familiar with the Vedas.

Why Did He Choose - Poem by Rabindranath Tagore

Why did he choose to come to my door, the wandering youth, when the day dawned? As I come in and out I pass by him every time, and my eyes are caught by his face. I know not if I should speak to him or keep silent. Why did he choose to come to my door? The cloudy nights in July are dark; the sky is soft blue in the autumn; the spring days are restless with the south wind. He weaves his songs with fresh tunes every time. I turn from my work and my eyes fill with the mist. Why did he choose

This festival has evolved over the years to encompass the importance of many people in Hindu society, yet foremost it continues to honour and uphold the relationship between a sister and brother. This year it will be on Thursday 15 August.

to come to my door?


Janmashtami is an annual Hindu festival that celebrates the birth of Krishna, the eighth avatar of Vishnu. It is observed according to Hindu luni-solar calendar, on the eighth day (Ashtami) of the Krishna Paksha (dark fortnight) in Shraavana of the lunar Hindu Calendar and Krishna Paksha in Bhadrapad of the lunisolar Hindu Calendar, which overlaps with August and September of the Gregorian calendar. It is an important festival particularly to the Vaishnavism tradition of Hinduism. Dance-drama enactments of the life of Krishna according to the Bhagavata Purana (such as Rasa lila or Krishna Lila), devotional singing through the midnight when Krishna was born, fasting (upavasa), a night vigil (ratri jagaran), and a festival (mahotsava) on the following day are a


part of the Janmashtami celebrations. It is celebrated particularly in Mathura and Vrindavan, along with major Vaishnava and non-sectarian communities found in Manipur, Assam, West Bengal, Odisha, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Gujarat, Maharashtra, Karnataka, Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh and all other states of India. This year Janmashtmi is on Saturday 24th August.

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What’s on ● Up at The O2: Ever wondered what London looks like from 53 metres above North Greenwich? No? Bet you’re wondering now! You can find out with a ticket for Up at The O2, which is the ultimate AAA pass and gains you access to the roof. From there you’ll be able see across the capital, spotting famous sites like the Olympic Park, Thames Barrier, The Shard and Canary Wharf. Up at The O2 is suitable for ages 9+ and at least 1.2 metres tall; and accessible tours for those with disabilities, including wheelchair-users, are also available. Don’t forget socks! Address: The O2, Peninsula Square, London, SE10 0DX Opening Hours: Daily from 10am Transport: Tube North Greenwich Price: From £26 For more information please visit ● Blow something up at The Science Museum’s Wonderlab: Don’t believe the haters, science is awesome. Look at Dr Frankenstein, Bunsen Honeydew and that bloke in ‘Despicable Me’. The Science Museum’s Wonderlab is the perfect place to get hands-on and disrespectful with the forces of nature. Get involved with explosive demonstrations, test friction on their indoor slides and watch a lighting bolt strike from a giant Tesla coil. They’ll call you insane, but one day you’ll rule the world. Ages six-plus. From £6. Address: Exhibition Road, SW7 2DD Opening Hours: Daily 10am - 6pm (last admission 5.15pm) Transport: Tube South Kensington

For more information please visit ● National History Museum’s Family Yoga Classes under the Moon: Join NHM under Luke Jerram's magnificent installation of the Moon for a special yoga experience that kids won't forget. The family yoga classes hosted in collaboration with East of Eden - are a perfect way for children and adults to explore gentle yoga through stories, easy breathing and meditation. Afterwards you will also enjoy exclusive access to part of the Museum before the summer crowds enter. This event is for visitors with children aged 5-11. Adults must purchase tickets and accompany children in the class. Please bring your own yoga mat for this event. Address: Cromwell Road, SW7 5BD Dates: 15th and 29th August - 08.45 to 09.30 Price: Public: £14 Members: £12.60 ● National History Museum’s LEGO® Life Forms: This summer, budding space scientists can explore what life might look like on different planets and create a Mars rover in two LEGO® building events. Explore distant worlds and imagine life throughout the galaxy with LEGO® Life Forms, a fun, playful activity for the whole family. Unleash your imagination, build a LEGO life form and discover how creatures are adapted to different environments: Frozen oceans - Jupiter's moon Europa Deserts - Proxima Centauri b exoplanet

Rocky mountains - TRAPPIST-1e exoplanet Volcanoes - Jupiter's moon Io Address: Cromwell Road, SW7 5BD Event location: Waterhouse Gallery Event times: Daily, 11.00-16.00, drop-in Tickets: Free, no ticket required Suitable for ages 7+ ● Pop-up Family Cinema: Showing family favourites like the Jungle Book and modern hits like Moana, pop-up cinema is a great day out this summer. 19th August: - Finding Nemo, PG, 10.30 - Night at the Museum, U, 13.00 - Dumbo (2019), PG, 15.45 20th August: - Zootropolis, PG, 10.30 - The Jungle Book (2016), PG, 13.15 - Lego Movie 2, U, 16.00 21st August: - Beauty and the Beast (2017), PG, 11.30 - The Lost World: Jurassic Park, PG, 15.00 Ticket prices: Adult (17 years and over): £10 Child (19 months to 16 years): £6 Family (up to two adults and two children): £24 Baby (18 months and under): free Adult Member: £9 Child Member: £5.40 Family Member (up to two adults and four children): £21.60



17 - 23 August 2019

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Kohli breaks Miandad’s 26year-old record India captain Virat Kohli on Sunday shattered a 26-yearold record when he surpassed Pakistan’s Javed Miandad for most runs by any batsman in ODIs against the West Indies. Kohli was 19 runs shy of the landmark when he came into bat in the second ODI against the West Indies and he overtook Miandad’s tally of 1,930 runs with a single in the fifth over bowled by Jason Holder. This was Kohli’s 34th ODI against the West Indies while Miandad had accumulated his runs from 64 matches. The prolific Indian captain has so far hit seven hundreds against the West Indies and has an average of over 71 in ODIs against the Caribbeans. Australia’s Mark Waugh is a

distant third with 1,708 runs from 47 matches, followed by South Africa all-rounder Jacques Kallis (1,666 runs in 40 matches) and Pakistan’s Rameez Raja (1,624 runs in 53 matches). Kohli played his first ODI against West Indies in the 2009 Champions Trophy in Johannesburg in which he scored an unbeaten 79. His first hundred against the West Indies came in 2011 in Visakhapatnam. Kohli’s domination against the West Indies can be gauged from the fact that he struck four back-to-back centuries against it between July 2017 and October 2018. India beat Windies by 59 runs Meanwhile, Kohli guided his team to a 59-run

win over West Indies on Sunday, and a 1-0 lead with a game remaining in the series. Chris Gayle reached two milestones in his team's defeat, becoming the alltime leading scorer for West Indies in the format while also becoming the first West Indian to play 300 ODIs. India posted 279-7 after winning the toss at Queen's Park Oval and choosing to bat. West Indies was all out for 210 in 42 overs chasing a revised target of 270 from 46 overs because of rain. Kohli scored 120 from 125 balls and passed Sourav Ganguly's career mark to move into No. 2 on India's all-time list of ODI scorers behind only Sachin Tendulkar. He was finally dismissed by Carlos Brathwaite (3-53).

His 42nd ODI century included 14 boundaries and one six and lifted his career tally to 11,406 runs in ODI cricket. Tendulkar retired with 18,426 ODI runs. Shreyas Iyer also contributed for India,

Cricket programme engages 1,700 disadvantaged young people, most from BAME background

The biggest residential festival in the history of the Lord’s Taverners Wicketz programme took place at Repton School where nearly 150 young people from projects across the country took part in a three-day residential consisting of competitive cricket, coaching masterclasses and vital life-changing workshops. The Lord’s Taverners’ Wicketz programme was initially aimed at hard-toreach youngsters aged 8-16 within areas of high deprivation across the UK, using cricket as a hook to engage young people who live in communities where there are few opportunities to play the game regularly. This year Wicketz

went from strength to strength with projects launching in Hull and South Wales and over 117

workshops delivered nationally, engaging over 1,700 disadvantaged young people, 69 per cent of which are from a BAME

background. L u t o n - b a s e d participant Raza Ramzan said, “What I like about

Wicketz is the community spirit! Everyone comes together from different backgrounds, different ethnicities and plays

together. No arguments, no nothing, we just play and have fun.” Top-quality, highenergy cricketing masterclasses formed the backbone of the activity on the second day in Derbyshire, with the former England Cricket head coach Peter Moores and former Lancashire batsman Karl Brown leading fielding and batting clinics respectively. For the firt time, the Royal Navy put the boys through their paces with assault courses, team building exercises, leadership and communication drills and talks on healthy eating. LT CDR Suzanne Lynch said, “We were delighted to be invited here today to work with these youngsters and get them to work on working as a team and cooperation. We’re working on showing them that they’ve got an active voice and they’re people that we should be listening to. When we serve overseas, we know that our country supports us, so it’s lovely to work with community groups who are now flourishing because of what Wicketz is giving them.”

scoring 71 from 68 balls before he was bowled by Jason Holder. Gayle opened for the West Indies and passed Brian Lara's West Indies' mark (10,348) before he was trapped lbw for 11 by Bhuvneshwar Kumar (4-31).

Gayle, who made his ODI debut in 1999 and will turn 40 next month, now has 10,353 runs in 297 ODIs for the West Indies. He also scored 55 runs in three official ODIs for an ICC World XI in 2005.

Shubman smashes record with double Shubman Gill became the youngest Indian cricketer to score a first-class double century and combined with skipper Hanuma Vihari to help India A give West Indies A a challenging total in the third unofficial test. The 19-year-old Gill, being seen as the next big Shubman Gill thing in Indian cricket, scored an unbeaten 204 off 250 deliveries to break former India opener Gautam Gambhir’s record on the third and penultimate day of the ongoing match. Gambhir was 20 when he notched up 218 for India Board President’s XI against the Zimbabweans in a tour match in 2002. India A resumed at the overnight score of 23 for three, and Gill, starting at 2, reached his century just at the stroke of lunch. His overnight partner Shahbaz Nadeem fell for 13, after resuming on five, early in the day. Captain Vihari (118 not out) then joined Gill in the middle and the two resurrected the Indian innings after the top-order collapse. The duo notched up an unbeaten 315-run stand for the fifth wicket before India A declared on 365 for 4 soon after Gill scored his double ton.

Hashim Amla retires from international cricket Hashim Amla, the only South African to score a triple century in Tests (311* vs England at Oval in 2012), announced his retirement from international cricket, just days after fast bowler Dale Steyn said he was quitting Tests. Amla, 36, said he was retiring from all international cricket after a 15-year career during which he hit 55 centuries in 349 matches across Hashim Amla all formats. An elegant right-handed top order batsman, Amla overcame a shaky start in international cricket, during which his technique was criticised, to become one of South Africa’s all-time leading batsmen. Amla scored 9,282 runs at an average of 46.64 in 124 Test matches and 8,113 at 49.46 in 181 one-day internationals. He also made 1,277 runs in 44 Twenty20 internationals at an average of 33.60. He hit 28 centuries in Tests and 27 in One-Day Internationals. His Test tally included four double centuries.

Profile for Asian Business Publications Ltd

AV 17th August 2019  

Asian Voice weekly newspaper (Issue 16 Vol 48)

AV 17th August 2019  

Asian Voice weekly newspaper (Issue 16 Vol 48)

Profile for abpl