First & Foremost Asian Weekly in Europe
BLUE STAR SECRETS: A VOLCANO? R
Vol 46 Issue 44
17th March to 23rd March 2018
Let noble thoughts come to us from every side 80p
Sikh community infuriated by the non-disclosure of facts about UK's involvement in the 1984 Operation Blue Star Rupanjana Dutta
The Sikh community in the UK, as well as some of the key members of the Labour party have been demanding the release of the classified documents dating back to the period of Operation Blue Star in 1984, disclosing UK's involvement in the event. A lack of a proper closure for the community seems to have fueled much of the anger. But last Thursday's
Margaret Thatcher with Indira Gandhi
hearing in the UK seeking the declassification of files has now revealed that it could affect international relations with India due to its political sensitivity, infuriating the community further. Dr Opinderjit Takhar, a senior lecturer at Wolverhampton University and an expert in Sikh studies, reportedly said: “No Sikh can overlook the events of 1984 Continued on page 26
Diaspora celebrates Holi across the UK
Photo story see page 13
Indian Supreme Court allows passive euthanasia and living will
In a milestone verdict, India's Supreme Court expanded the right to life to incorporate the right to die with dignity by legalising passive euthanasia and approved “living will” to provide terminally ill patients or those in persistent vegetative state a dignified exit. The verdict was passed by a constitution bench of Chief Justice Dipak Misra and Justices AK Sikri, AM Khanwilkar, DY Chandrachud, and Ashok Bhushan. In a rare unanimity of thought, CJI Misra led his colleagues to harmonise life and death. This now empowers a person of sound mind and health to make a “living will” specifying that in the event of him/her slipping into a terminal medical condition in future, they should not be prolonged through a life support system. The person can also authorise through the
will, any relative or friend to decide in consultation with medical experts when to pull the plug. With its ruling, the SC has recognised that an individual with terminal illness or in a state of irreversible vegetative condition has the agency to decide whether he/she would like to die. “There comes a phase in life when the spring of life is frozen, the rain of circulation becomes dry, the movement of body becomes motionless, the rainbow of life becomes colourless and the word 'life' which one calls a dance in space and time becomes still and blurred and the inevitable death comes near to hold it as an octopus gripping firmly with its tentacles so that the person 'shall rise up never',” CJI Misra said. Continued on page 26
Asian Voice | 17th March 2018
Keith Vaz, MP
Rani Moorthy Rani Moorthy is an Artistic Director of Rasa, which celebrates the migrant experience through powerful theatre. She has written 12 plays for Rasa. ‘Pooja’ had 3 national tours in Sri Lanka and Malaysia. ‘Curry Tales’ at Traverse Theatre (2004) toured 80 venues nationally and then South Africa, USA, Zimbabwe, Mauritius and Singapore. It was nominated for a MEN Award for Best Fringe Performance. ‘Too Close to Home’ was nominated for the MEN Best New Play Award. ‘Looking for Kool’ was part of the Alchemy Festival at the Southbank Centre. ‘States of Verbal Undress’ (2014) was a finalist in the Asian Media Awards. ‘Whose Sari Now?’ has toured in 2015 and 2016. 1) Which place, or city or country do you most feel at home in? I am a migrant born in Malaysia to a Sri Lankan Tamil family, educated in Singapore and now I live in Manchester. So my concept of home is only informed by a group of loving people who have cooked great food for each other and have stories to tell and retell. 2) What proudest
are your achieve-
ments? A play I wrote called ‘Pooja’ was picked up by the British Council at the Edinburgh Fringe to tour Sri Lanka during a narrow window of peace in the North in 2003. I was the first Tamil artist to perform in Jaffna in 20 years. I was invited to perform my one woman show “Curry Tales” at the Market Theatre in Johannesburg, the place where anti-apartheid activists and artists like
Kishan Devani FRSA to be appointed Treasurer's Envoy for the Liberal Democrats
Kishan Devani FRSA with the Treasurer of the Lib Dem Party, Lord Michael German
Kishan Devani FRSA has been appointed a Liberal Democrat Party Treasurer's Envoy by the Treasurer of the Party, Lord Michael German. It is a great milestone for a party that is looking to widen its appeal amongst the BAME communities. Appointing Kishan Devani who up until recently was a former senior London Conservative (Deputy Chairman of the London Conservative Party & Parliamentary/GLA Candidate) & is a leading member of the BAME community is a clear intention by the Liberal Democrats to be a party that can cross political divides & backgrounds. Lord German, the party's Treasurer, is looking to attract supporters
from all diverse communities in the UK. He said '‘I have asked Kishan to be Treasurer’s Envoy to seek out new supporters on behalf of the Party’. Devani said 'I am honoured & privileged to have been asked by Lord German to be Treasurer's Envoy. Mike is someone who understands the needs of SME businesses which are the back bone of our country, his vision of reaching out to all is one to be highly commended. Sir Vince has also set out his vision of being the Party of Business at our spring conference. It makes me proud to be a part of a party that is outward looking & that is committed to reach out to the diverse communities we live in.'
Athol Fugard and John Kani created historic theatre. 3) What inspires you? Creating extraordinary characters from stories gathered from apparently ordinary lives. 4) What has been biggest obstacle in your career? Myself. As a South Asian, a career in the arts isn’t a valued path in life. As an Asian woman, the arts is at best a hobby or usually a faded dream. It took me a long time to call myself an artist even though I was earning a living. I was an academic for a while teaching theatre, being a shadow artist. Everyday I grapple with the censor and naysayer in my head. Conquer that and all the other perceived obstacles, lack of opportunity, racism, misogyny, the whole list, just seem to fall away. 5) Who has been the
biggest influence on your career to date? My father, who told me stories, opened my mind to George Orwell and Jazz. He never doubted that I could rule the world and was always shocked at my lack of self-confidence. There is a part of him in everything I write. 6) What is the best aspect about your current role? In ‘Handlooms’, I play an Indian mother who wants to take the Sari business into mass production, online sales and couture. It hopefully upends the usual stereotypes of Asian mothers. She is funny and powerful like most Asian women I know. 7) And the worst? As Writer and Artistic Director of my Theatre Company of ‘Handlooms’ set in a working Sari shop Alankar in Manchester and Anokhi in Leicester, there is the usual fear of the huge risk as an
8) What are your long term goals? My long term goal is to keep being a creative person. 9) If you were Prime Minister, what one aspect would you change? To find a way to keep and
improve the NHS. 10) If you were marooned on a desert island, which historical figure would you like to spend your time with and why. The writer and thinker James Baldwin who will always be ready with good Scotch, good stories and make me see the world in a fresh, enlightened way.
Sadiq Khan warns racial abuse online could put BAME people off political career The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan has revealed that he has been called a “muzzie terrorist” and also faced death threats on the internet. He warned that racial abuse on social media could dissuade Asians, blacks and ethnic minorities from pursuing a career in politics. At the South by Southwest technology conference in the US, the Mayor of London read out six abusive tweets he received as part of his speech and said he “could go on and on”, and also accused the government of
a “dereliction of duty” for not regulating big technological companies. Some of the threats he received on Twitter were: “I say kill the Mayor of London and you will be rid of one Muslim”, by @billwall69, and “I'd pay for someone to execute Sadiq Khan”, tweeted by @SpeedwagonPRST. Khan said, “What happens when young boys and girls from minority backgrounds see this kind of thing on their timelines, or experience it themselves? Or someone thinking about becoming a politi-
Two 18-year-old male students at Nottingham Trent University were arrested and released under investigation after another student filmed the duo chanting “we hate the blacks” and “blacks and whites will never be together” outside her room. Rufaro Chisango tweeted the one-minute long video in which at least two men were heard making racist remarks while another lady retorted back and said, “Leave her alone.” Chisango, who is the only black student living on her floor said that the incident made her feel shocked, as well as uncomfortable and isolated. On Twitter, Chisango shared, “Words cannot describe how sad this makes me
feel, in 2018 people think this is acceptable. They were chanting this outside my door so don't be surprised to why I didn't leave my room. I told the reception and they said this will be dealt with Tuesday morning... it's Wednesday night and they haven't. If I had broken their table or anything they would have dealt with it straight away, but not this. ” The two male students have been suspended by the university pending a full inquiry. A spokesman from the university shared, “We are also working with our accommodation partner to understand why the university was only alerted to this on Wednesday.” The National Union of Students officer, Ilyas Nagdee, 23, who repre-
Sadiq Khan at the SXSW Conference 2018 in Texas, USA
cian? And what about young girls and women who are driven from these
platforms, reversing our long fight for gender equality?” He continued, “No business or industry should ever consider itself above the local rules, or laws set by democratic processes. Social media platforms already have a legal obligation to remove content that breaks local laws. But this is not always happening, or happening quickly enough. With the skills and resources these companies have at their disposal – I believe it's possible to go further and faster.”
Two students suspended for “we hate blacks” chants at university
Rufaro Chisango was forced to hide in her room as the men chanted "We hate blacks" inside her hall of residence
Ilyas Nagdee, National Union of Students officer said racism was "common"
sents students of Asian, African, Arab and Caribbean descent stated that these experiences are “common”. He said, “We've seen examples of incidents like the racist writing on bananas at Warwick, the Confederate flag at Manchester and now shouting through the door in Nottingham. These
are just the stories that go viral over social media. But unfortunately this is the day-to-day experience of students of colour across the country and it has been going on for decades. I'm contacted at least a couple of times a week by students asking me for help after experiencing racism.”
Not in our name: Defacing statues unacceptable The outbreak of mob violence in Tripura resulting in the pulling down of Lenin’s statue met with retaliation in West Bengal with the defacing of Shyma Prasad Mookerjee’s statue in Kolkata, he being the founder of the Jana Sangh, the parent of the present-day BJP. A BJP vandal defaced the statue of Periyar, an iconic Dravidian leader in Tamil Nadu, leading to widespread protests across the State, while similar treatment was meted out to the busts of Dalit leader and icon B.R. Ambedkar, at four sites in Uttar Pradesh. Subramaniam Swamy, justified the destruction of Lenin’s statue with the egregious remark that the architect of the October Revolution in 1917 was a ‘terrorist.’ The founder of modern, post-apartheid South Africa, the revered Nelson Mandela, was perceived as a ‘terrorist’ by the Central Intelligence Agency (CI A) and successive administrations of the United States, as the country ritually projects itself as ‘the land of the free’ despite a century of black slavery. Swamy, no doubt, would call Abraham Lincoln a ‘terrorist’ too, and hail his assassin John Wilkes Booth as the true liberator. The Thatcher government in the United Kingdom, always in step with the United States, initially branded Mandela a ‘terrorist’. Before the situation plumbed the depths of national disgrace, Prime Minister Naendra Modi denunced such behavior and, in consultation with Home Minister Rajnath Singh, demanded that the State authorities take stern action against the vandals. The new Chief Minister of Tripura, Biplab Kumar Deb, undertook to do so and promptly redeemed his promise. Three thugs were held by the police. Ironically, Swamy and the BJP’s voice on Television, Nalin Kohli, both of whom were enthusiasts for destroying statues of ‘foreigners’ as a seasonal sport, have suddenly gone silent. The Talibanization of India evokes deep disgust and revulsion; the vandals clearly share the
Taliban spirit. The BJP President Amit Shah proclaimed that the ‘golden era, for the party would only arrive when West Bengal, Odisha and Kerala fell into its lap. That is likely to be a tough call. Chief Mamata Banerjee’s Trinamool Congress is deeply entrenched in West Bengal and will be difficult to shift anytime soon. Navin Patnaik’s party in Odisha was once a BJP coalition partner, as was the Trinamool Congress. The parting of ways in Odisha occurred after an anti-Christian riot in the tribal belt engineered by RSS cadres who accused local Christians of murdering a Hindu leader. It subsequently transpired that it was the Maoists who were the guilty ones. A shaken and disillusioned Patnaik broke ranks with the BJP. Mr Shah would do well to mull over these facts. Mr Modi was truly prime ministerial when he walked over to the erstwhile Tripura chief minister Manik Sarkar and escorted him to the dais where the top BJP leadership were seated. He was warmly welcomed by one and all. They recognized the selflessness of the man, who has no private house and a pittance in the bank to his name. He made the Communist-Left Front electable in six elections over 25 years, and had done for Tripura what his comrades in West Bengal had signally failed to do. Mr Modi’s gesture to Manik Sarcar caught the public eye. ‘Magnanimity in politics is not seldom the truest wisdom; and little minds and a great empire go ill together,’ pronounced the philosopher Edmund Burke two and a half centuries ago. India is a deeply polarized society. Its political life is more fractious than anyone can remember. Reasoned debate in Parliament has been subsumed by unseemly brawls and scrimmages. Public esteem for this institution is at an all-time low. This is not as it should be. Democracy and the rule of law are brought into ridicule. Nothing could be more dangerous for India’s future, going forward.
Self-flagellating posturing flavor of the season Sudheendra Kulkarni, a Sinbad-like voyager from far left to far right, to confected lunacy from both spectrums, went into special pleading mode for a conjuncture of India, Pakistan and China, in an Alice in Wonderland fantasy of a novel regional nirvana. The Mumbai bombing of March 1993, which claimed over 300 innocent lives, the Pakistan-incubated jihadi assault on the city in November 2008, in which 167 people perished, and numerous terror attacks betwixt and between were silently brushed aside with forgiving solicitude to an ethical cause as densely complicated as the String Theory in modern physics. If this were not enough, the Hindu piled on a disquisition (on its editorial page) by its Diplomatic Correspondent, Suhasini Haider, whose latest offering includes the following pearl of wisdom: ‘India is sliding towards a situation where it is neither feared nor loved by other South Asian countries.’ Hyperbole, more often than not, misses obscures reality. For a start, effective diplomacy should neither be predicated on fear nor on love in the haystacks, but on multiple areas of national interest, where convergence affords a bridge of concord. These include trade, commerce, investment, science, technology and layers of soft power. Ms Haider cites the cases of Nepal, a familiar fallback for breast-beating and handwringing, Maldives, Afghanistan and Pakistan. As Nepal has been dealt with before, let us pass to the Maldives: India has issued a statement deploring the present Islamist regime’s coup and suspension of constitutional government, as have a number of other nations and the UN and EU. If China
wishes to snuggle up to the regime, so be it. China’s mediation in Afghanistan, so admired by Ms Haider has brought few tangible results on the ground. The Afghan government’s peace initiative to the Taliban looks promising with a positive Taliban response, and the peace process going forward must be awaited with hope and expectation.The sticking point for Ms Haider is Pakistan: India’s surgical strikes have been met with a truculent response from Islamabad: more firing from across the Line of Control in Jammu and Kashmir. True enough. Cricket, lovey-dovey talk, briyani dinners, joint pie-in-the sky statements of good neighbourly ties, the Vajpayee acclaimed peace journey to Lahore and its Kargil war byproduct, coupled with the serial bombings of Mumbai by Pakistani-sponsored jihadis bombings across Mumbai, and other attacks in different parts of India constitute the India’s Pakistan experience over past decades. The international terror watchlist on Pakistan includes its ‘all-weather friend China’, in addition to the US, Russia, the UK, France and Germany. Islamabad is on three months’ notice to cease aiding and abutting terrorism across its borders or face telling economic sanctions – loss of US aid, suspension of loans by the World Bank, IMF and other such dispensers. With Pakistan’s fragile economy, and the prospect of such international sanctions don’t bode well for the country’s future development. The unconventional conflict with Pakistan is a long game. Suhasini Haider would well to display patience before rushing to judgement.
US Senators call for nuclear weapons accord A group of US Senators, in a belated display of sanity, have called on President Trump to open negotiations on new nuclear arms accords with Russia, as the ones previously reached will lapse 2021. They pointed to the increasingly dangerous levels of tensions between US and its allies and Russia. The possibility of miscalculation or error could lead to a global holocaust, they opined. During the Cold War and its vicissitudes both the US and the Soviet Union were aware of the other’s red lines and limits of tolerace. That is no longer the case, as antiRussian hysteria in the US, UK, an d certain East European countries have reached a pitch of intensity not seen since the days of Hitler, Goebbels and the Nazi ideologue Alfred Rosenberg. ‘Facts are sacred, comment is free,’ was an ideal proclaimed many moons ago by a distinguished English newspaper editor. Pressing forward from that principle, President Putin’s State of the Nation speech to Russian Federation lawmakers should be subjecte d to close scrutiny. He said Russia had no aggressive intent against
any country and never did; second, that Russia was a nuclear power, with whom none of its western counterparts were prepared to sit down and talk seriously; that Russia, too, had security interests, which it was prepared to defend. Having set out his stall, President Putin informed his audience and Russia’s adversaries abroad that Russia possessed a range of fearsome nuclear weapons and delivery systems that could penetrate any current defensive shield, the statement accompanied by telling video graphics which bore no denial, as a the subsequent US reaction told of awareness of these developments of Russian technologies. There was no ‘boasting,’ no ‘threats’ as the AngloAmerican media and the Reuters news agency spuriously proclaimed. Instead of rattling the NATO sabre, why not negotiate sensibly and rationally. Accustomed to wield the big stick with the perceived lesser breeds of the Third World, the West might be better served by offering the Russian bear a carrot.
Asian Voice | 17th March 2018
You cannot milk a cow with your hands in your pockets - Russian proverb
Lord Navnit Dholakia, OBE, PC, DL
Deputy Leader of the Liberal Democrats House of Lords
The Indian Professional Forum The Indian Professional Forum is to be congratulated for arranging a high level Seminar on ‘Post-Brexit UK and India: Perspective for Business and Innovation' at Chatham House last week. The keynote Speaker was John McDonnell MP, Shadow Chancellor of Exchequer. Since the Referendum result, the process of Brexit seem to be shrouded in secrecy. Theresa May started with the slogan ‘Brexit is Brexit' without giving any clarity about what we were negotiating and its impact on British economy. John McDonnell was right to say that UK economy is still scrapping the bottom and that there was such an emergency in the Public Services that Chancellor should make new spending commitments. Theresa May’s folly in calling the last General Election after denying that this was her intention is a clear indication that there is no clarity about what Brexit is all about and she was rightly routed by the electorates. It is no surprise that the price for support meant a bonanza for the Democratic Unionist in Northern Ireland in receiving billions of pounds in its budget. Money that could have been spent on our National Health and Care Services. So what are the choices open to Britain. A hard Brexit that points to leaving EU including the single market.It is clear that even with a trade agreement,UK would find it difficult to trade without dire impact on our economy. A soft Brexit which points to leaving EU but being part of the Customs Union may mean that we could trade with certainty and solve the Irish border problem.The last option is to stay in EU if the exit deal do not meet UK’s expectations.That is where we started before the Referendum and option rejected by the Brexit lobby. Serious negotiations are shortly to begin. Cherry picking is not an option open to UK. The remaining EU countries are least likely to agree to Theresa May’s demands. It is also unlikely to receive a positive response from countries like India and China whose main interest lies in building links with a market of 350 million EU citizens. India has been the source of frequent visits by British politicians.There should be a clear message for the visitors. Stop discriminating against Indian students. Stop using them as immigration statistics and ensure that rights of EU citizens living here are protected. It is no secret that UK has a love/hate relationship with EU. This dates back from the days of Prime Minister John Major and has followed through to David Cameron who forgot that first rule is to govern and not rely on referenda to sort out your problems. There is still time to soften the impact of Brexit. Continued on page 6 Editor: CB Patel
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Asian Voice | 17th March 2018
Telford back in spotlight over child sex abuse claims
and said the government’s The latest claims about the scale of Independent Inquiry into Child abuse in Telford have surfaced more Sexual Abuse (IICSA), which is than four years after a police investilooking at how institutions gation first revealed the organised across the country dealt with abuse and exploitation of children. allegations of abuse, would cover Demands for a dedicated public concerns raised by Ms Allan. inquiry came from the borough’s The investigation dubbed Conservative councillors and MP Lucy Operation Chalice led to the Allan in 2016. They said victims and the prosecution of seven men and public deserved answers over what had was launched in 2009. happened during two decades of abuse Officers said that they also in the town. Two national newspapers have believed up to 200 men from reported cases going back several years, across the country had been all of which have been featured in the involved in the ring – with a The leading figures in the network of abusers Shropshire Star. Both the Sunday Mirror were brothers Ahdel, left, and Mubarek Ali, from “huge percentage of them” Regent Street, Wellington and the Daily Mail portrayed Telford as unidentified. being home to one of the UK’s ‘worst The trial had heard evidence Allan has reiterated her call, and said an ever sex abuse scandals’. from four women who were between 13 inquiry is essential for people to have Reports from the Sunday Mirror and 16 when they were abused between faith in the authorities. claim that analysis of fresh evidence 2007 and 2009. She said: “News reports in the indicates that as many as 1,000 children The leading figures in the network Sunday Mirror concerning child sexual had been abused by sex gangs over a 40of abusers were brothers Ahdel and exploitation in Telford year period. Mubarek Ali, from Regent Street, are extremely serious Wellington. West Mercia Police and shocking. There Both men, who variously sexually said they were aware must now be an indeabused, raped, and controlled child of the information in pendent inquiry into the Mirror reports but prostitution involving four of the CSE in Telford so that that “it is not new”. teenage victims, received lengthy senour community can have Seven Telford men tences after an eight-week trial. Ahdel absolute confidence in were jailed in 2013 as a Ali received a 26-year extended senthe authorities. result of Operation tence and Mubarek Ali was given a 22“In 2016 Telford & Chalice, during which year sentence. Wrekin Council, togethpolice revealed they Also convicted were Mohammed Ali er with its safeguarding had identified more Sultan, 26, of Victoria Avenue, partners, assured the than 100 girls who had Wellington; Tanveer Ahmed, 40, of Home Secretary that no been targeted by a Urban Gardens, Wellington; inquiry into CSE in child sex abuse gang. Mohammed Islam Choudhrey, 53, of Telford was necessary as Telford MP Lucy Solway Drive, Sutton Hill; Mahroof ‘progress had been Allan has repeatedly The Daily Mail portrayed Telford made’ Khan, 35, of Caradoc Flats, Kingshaye and lessons called for a as being home to one of the UK’s learned. In the light of Road, Wellington, and Mohammed “ R o t h e r h a m - s t y l e” ‘worst ever sex abuse scandals’ these new allegations, I Younis, 60, of Kingsland, Arleston. inquiry. In 2016 she said that an invesYouth workers first raised the alarm would urge the authorities in Telford to tigation carried out by Telford & Wrekin when teenage girls in Wellington, some commission an independent inquiry at as young as 13, started telling them the Council should have been followed by a the earliest opportunity.” same stories about men they were seededicated inquiry. In 2016 Telford & Wrekin Council ing. In light of the latest reports Ms rejected the call for a specific inquiry
Midlands’ highest-ranking Asian policewoman honoured
The most senior Asian woman at West Midlands Police has been recognised for her services to diverse communities across the region. Harvi Khatkar, who received her accolade as part of International Women’s Day, has held a number of roles since joining the force in 1993. First as Neighbourhood Policing Officer and most recently as Superintendent. Accepting her honour, Superintendent Khatkar said she was “absolutely thrilled” at her accolade and that it had come as “a huge surprise”. She added:“While I wholeheartedly accept this reward, I attribute this to my colleagues at West Midlands Police who collective dedication and commitment to making our region safer for us all is next to none. I am genuinely humbled.” Also honoured was Her Majesty’s Vice Lord Lieutenant for the West Midlands, Dr Beverly Lindsay OBE OD DL. Born in Jamaica, Dr Lindsay came to British shores as a teenager. In 2011, she was awarded an OBE for her services to business and to the community in Birmingham. The honours have become an integral part of the annual Birmingham Thyagaraja Festival (BTF) organised each year by Shruthi UK, a Solihull-based South Asian arts & culture organisation. The BTF is dedicated to Thyagaraja, one of the legendary composers of Indian and Carnatic classical music.
Award-winning Superintendent Harvi Khatkar with young participants
Thyagaraja is also known as the singing saint who composed thousands of devotional hymns, most in praise of the Hindu God, Lord Rama, many of which remain popular today. The Festival, which took place last Saturday (10th March) at Dorridge Village Hall, brought together people of all ages and from all faith, race and cultural backgrounds. The Chief Guest was Dr Paul Sabapathy CVO CBE, Her Majesty’s former Lord Lieutenant for the West Midlands. A charity raffle raised funds for the British Heart Foundation. Lord Mayor of Birmingham, Councillor Anne Underwood, said: “I am proud to be part of such a vibrant and culturally City, and to be able to participate in events such as the wonderful Birmingham Thyagaraja Festival.” Participants had travelled from far and near distances including from Middlesbrough, Sweden and London.
Curry house was covered in so much rat poo, it had to be closed immediately
The owner of a popular curry house in Swansea has been fined a staggering £26,000 after rat droppings were found among food in the kitchen. Health inspectors visited the Nawab, on Christina Street, in March last year for a routine inspection. But they were so shocked by what they found, they urged emergency powers to immediately close the restaurant because of the risk to public health, Swansea Magistrates Court heard. Sarah Thyer, prosecuting for Swansea Council, said the inspectors found dirty conditions in the restaurant’s kitchen, with rat droppings littering the floor including, around the tandoori oven, behind bins, and under food preparation tables. The floor itself was stained and unclean, with food debris scattered around, and the cooker hood was dirty. They also found a mouldy lettuce being stored among other vegetables, evidence of rodent activity in a storage cupboard, and the Nawab’s hygiene rating sticker not being properly displayed.
'Punish a Muslim day' letters probed by terror police
Letters encouraging recipients to take part in "Punish a Muslim Day" have reportedly been sent to addresses across the country. Images of the A4 notes, which contain a list of violent acts alongside a number of points for performing them, have been widely shared online. They have prompted a chorus of condemnation, with campaigners and MPs describing them as "disturbing". Counter-terrorism police are treating the letters as a possible hate crime. Tell Mama UK, which monitors anti-Muslim activity, said it had received reports of people in Bradford, Leicester, London, Cardiff and Sheffield getting the letters. Director Iman Atta said: "This has caused quite a lot of fear within the community. They are asking if they are safe, if their children are safe to play outdoors. We have told them to keep calm and to phone the police if they receive one of these letters."
Investigation at scene of Leicester explosion complete
Investigations at the scene of an explosion in Leicester which claimed five lives are due to formally conclude Monday. Two weeks after the explosion which demolished the mini supermarket and two storey flat above it, police, fire and specialists were due this morning to hand the site over to Leicester City Council. No date has yet been announced for when the city-bound stretch of Hinckley Road will re-open, but the Mercury understands it will be at least a week before the council has carried out the work it needs to do to make the route safe. Leicester City Council will now continue to clear the site and carry out repairs to the pavement and road in order to re-open Hinckley Road. It is likely that a safety cordon will be in place for at least one more week and the inbound lane of Hinckley Road, from its junction with Woodville Road, will remain closed for the time being, said a police spokesperson. Three men have been charged with five counts of manslaughter and with arson with intent to endanger life.
Protest held against violence directed at Muslims in Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka protest in Leicester city centre (Image: Dan Martin)
A protest was held last week in Leicester against violence directed at Muslims in Sri Lanka. Members of the city’s 400 family Sri Lanka community gathered in Humberstone Gate this lunchtime to call for an end to the rioting that has engulfed parts of the country in recent days. The Sri Lankan Government has declared a state of emergency and deployed police and troops to disperse Buddhist rioters who have attacked mosques and Muslim-owned businesses in Kandy. The authorities had feared retaliation after a young Muslim man's body was found in a burnt-out building in Kandy last Tuesday. The BBC has reported fresh clashes between mobs from the majority Sinhalese and minority Muslim communities broke out. More than 100 people took part in the noisy protest chanting “Justice” and carrying placards calling for peace.
McDonnell: Labour will not discriminate against students from India
Nominate your favourite charity Asian Voice | 17th March 2018
Rupanjana Dutta Labour's Shadow Chancellor of the Exchequer while speaking at the Indian Professionals Forum event in Chatham House on Thursday, expressed his strong commitment towards forging strong economic relations with a fast-growing India. The event focused on the future scenario of UKIndia partnership in the context of Brexit and accelerating the pace of technological innovations and investment in the country. In his keynote, covering Brexit and business, John McDonnell MP said, “Labour is a longstanding friend of India, dating back to the foundation of our party at the start of last century…right through to the close ties that continue today. Since the EUIndia trade deal talks broke up in the last few years, there has been a significant opportunity for both Britain and India in agreeing a new Free Trade Agreement- one that matches the specific strengths and needs on both sides.” He stressed that to strengthen economic relationship between the two countries, Britain need to understand what is needed on the Indian side as well. “It means not continuing to discriminate against students from India studying here. More generally, we don't agree at all with the government’s policy of setting targets for migrant numbers – it makes no sense to fix a target and then worry about the economic impact.” “And it means dropping the foolish and frankly patronising talk we have heard from senior Conservatives about our post-Brexit ‘Empire 2.0’. If Brexit is to work for Britain, that sort of Empire nostalgia is a barrier to creating the new economic partnerships we will need. Instead, we need to recognise on the British side that the world economy is changing and fast. The old division of the world, there since the Second World War, between a developed North and an underdeveloped South, just doesn't fit anymore. “ He sees opportunities for symbiotic relationship between British and Indian companies in the technology sector. He also said that the hands-off, laissez-faire attitude of previous governments has failed. “Britain since 2010 has turned itself into an increasingly low investment, low productivity, low wage country… Countries that fail to invest ideas and new tech-
Do you know of any UK based charities / individuals who are solving pressing social issues of our time, both in Britain and globally John McDonnell speaking in presence of Dr Mohan Kaul
nology, or in training their people, lose out. ” Labour’s vision for Britain is that he stated, “we have to turn this country around into a high investment, high productivity, high wage economy.” The keynote address was followed by a panel discussion featuring Chatham House’s Asia Programme Head Dr Champa Patel, Maggie Rodriguez-Piza, Chief Executive of Funding London, Jaime Reed, Head UK Civil Space Exports at Airbus Defence and Space, and, TS Narayanan of Colt Technology. The panellists raised concern about a flight of talent from Britain because of Brexit. Jaime Reed, Head UK Civil Space Exports at Airbus Defence and Space said, “We are working hard today to become global. We want to build local supply chains. India has fantastic talent. We need to involve Indian engineers in start-ups, telecom and data. We want to do this with India. We also want to explore how to get together with India to grow in space sector.” On Brexit, he said, “We are worried about Brexit. It will affect our R&D. We cannot invest in UK without public support. Countries like India might benefit. On the other hand, benefit from Brexit is that it is forcing us to look globally and India stands out to be a good idea for future.” Maggie RodriguezPiza, Chief Executive of Funding London, said, “We invest in C stage tech companies. It is very representative of what’s happening in London. UK market is too small, even European market is too small. We want to look to India. We work with mayor of London to help them access those markets. Ability for companies to navigate these markets is difficult. We want to see more export supporting networks.” On Brexit, she said, “Biggest concern we have is access to talent- we need high skilled labour
coming in. Since referendum we have seen a sharp decline in talent coming from Europe. Sitting here in London, the impact of Brexit is felt very heavily.” TS Narayanan of Colt Technology, said, India and Brexit Britain can have a strong symbiotic relationship. He sais there was no dearth of ideas in India, but the challenge is that for India’s future potential to be realised India will have to educate 120 million people. “Traditional education methods won’t work. Robotics, tech can help. India has scale. So, symbiotic investment with India will help Britain. India does not have maturity of technology. UK can help here.” In his concluding remarks, Dinesh K. Patnaik, Deputy High Commissioner, India, said, “It’s true that India-UK trade has stalled. We need to look outside London for growth – we need to look at the Northern powerhouse. SMEs from UK also need help to go to India. We need to focus on that. Future lies in symbiotic relationship- there is scale in India. In return, India needs advance technology, Britain can play a crucial role here. Dr Mohan Kaul, Chairman IPF, said, “Brexit offers great opportunity for Britain and India to forge closer ties. An appropriate Technological and Financial Eco System will encourage Innovation, energy and enterprise from young engineers and start-ups to provide a tremendous boost to the UK tech industry in the years ahead and the scope for collaboration between professionals of both countries are great. “About 15% of startups in Silicon Valley in USA are set up by Indian entrepreneurs. There is a tremendous opportunity of growth in the UK given the appropriate technological and financial eco system. Indian businesses and professionals can be integral part of its future,“ he added.
31 March 2018.
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Asian Voice | 17th March 2018
Saudi Prince's UK visit proves controversial The crowned prince of Saudi Arabia, Mohammed bin Salman Al Saud, 32, was given a warm welcome by Downing Street and Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II in Britain. However, his visit has not been welcomed by some political figures who have criticised the Saudi Prince's visit, and spoken out against Saudi bombing Yemen. There were many demonstrators outside Downing Street who protested against the Prince's visit as they demanded an end to the violence in Yemen, as well as an immediate halt in the UK selling weapons to Riyadh. Retired international development worker, Denis Hawes said, “The Saudis are bombing Yemen indiscriminately and selling them arms is not the answer. But the UK is so desperate for trade.” The leader of the Labour Party, Jeremy Corbyn accused Prime Minister Theresa May of “colluding in what the UN says is evidence of war crimes”, while the Liberal Democrat leader, Vince Cable stated that the British Government gave the “red carpet equivalent of a state visit” to “the dic-
PM Theresa May with the crowned prince of Saudi Arabia, Mohammed bin Salman Al Saud
tatorial head of a medieval, theocratic regime”. Cable also stated that the Saudi prince was “actively seeing to undermine” the Iranian nuclear deal, as well as attempted to “fan the flames of sectarian conflict” in Qatar, Syria and Lebanon. Amid all the criticism, Prince Mohammed, also known as MBS, is known for the modernisation of Saudi Arabia by introducing the nation to the 21st century. He has launched an anti-corruption campaign, as well promised to liberalise the economy.
Restaurant accused of racism after refusing British-Asian duo table An Asian man and woman were allegedly subjected to racial discrimination and believe to be victims of “racial profiling” as they were refused a table at a popular restaurant chain. Cote Brasserie is investigating claims by Dr Fatima Rajina, 30, a British-Bangladeshi woman, and Nasar Rahman, 28, a BritishPakistani man, alleging that they were refused a table at the restaurant in Welwyn Garden City, Hertfordshire. The restaurant allegedly told the two friends that it was “reservations only” despite having some empty tables. However, when Rahman called the restaurant after putting on a different voice, he was told that a table would be made available immediately. Rahman said, “The man at the door looked me up and down really distastefully, and I found it rude. There were lots of empty tables for two but he instead they were fully booked. We went outside and Fatima said we had
Dr Fatima Rajina
just been victims of racial profiling. I couldn't believe that would be the case in 2018 but I phoned the restaurant to see if I could get a table if I put on a white-sounding voice. Straight away, the woman on the phone said they had tables free and we should come within five minutes.” A teaching fellow at SOAS, Dr Rajina said, “Both of us felt a mix of emotions: upset, angry and a deep sense of not being welcome because of our racial/ethnic backgrounds. The incident reminded me of the famous signs from the '80s, 'No Irish, No Blacks, No Dogs', just it was invisible yesterday.”
Women driving was prohibited in Saudi Arabia, but he has revoked this rule and allowed women the freedom to drive. Furthermore, the Saudi Crown Prince has also promised a more moderate version of Islam in comparison to what has governed the kingdom for generations. However, the war in Yemen, and having formed an unlikely alliance with Israel against Iran could be some of the many factors for the backlash to his UK visit. The British
Government signed an outline deal with Saudi Arabia for the sale of 48 Eurofighter Typhoon jets, which yet again sparked another dispute with the Labour party regarding the sales of weapons and the war in Yemen. The controversial aid deal between UK and Saudi Arabia in which the British Government signed a £100 million aid agreement with Riyadh, has been branded as a “national disgrace”. The shadow international development secretary, Kate Osamor said, “Theresa May implied she would lobby Mohammed Bin Salman to stop bombing civilians and end the use of starvation as a weapon of war. Over 22 million Yemeni lives depend on permanent, full access for aid, food and fuel in Yemen. Instead, she had won no concessions and simply handed on a plate to Saudi Arabia a new humanitarian partnership and an endorsement from DfID [the Department for I n t e r n a t i o n a l Development], the world's best aid agency. It will whitewash Saudi Arabia's reputation and role in the war, and it is a national disgrace.”
National Geographic focuses on “race” after ignoring the issue for years The April edition of the National Geographic magazine is focussed on one prime subject, looking into the issue of race after admitting to have ignored this topic for years. National Geographic, which was first published in 1888, has acknowledged that they portrayed barebreasted women and brown-skinned tribesmen as unsophisticated, savage and unintelligent. The new edition, titled The Race Issue, has twin sisters, Marcia and Millie Biggs, one who is black and the other who is white, on the front cover, representing them both to be equal, rather than one being superior or inferior because of the colour of their skin. The front cover also stated, “Black and White – These twin sisters make us rethink everything we know about race.” In an interview, the editor-in-chief at National Geographic, Susan Goldberg said, “We had to own our story to move beyond it.” In a letter titled “For Decades, Our
Coverage Was racist. To Rise Above Our Past, We Must Acknowledge It”, Susan Goldberg wrote, “I knew when we looked back there would be some storytelling that we obviously would never do today, that we don't do and we're not proud of. But it seemed to me if we want to credibly talk about race, we better look and see how we talked about race. The coverage wasn't right before because it was told from an elite, white American point of view, and I think it speaks to exactly why we needed a diversity of storytellers. So we need photographers who are African-American and Native American because they are going to capture a different truth and maybe a more accurate story.”
Ilford takeaway feeds 300 people for free every week
According to figures released by the charity Shelter in 2017, over 300,000 people in Britain are officially recorded as homeless or living in inadequate homes. This is the equivalent to one in every 200. It would certainly be absurd to disregard the fact that homelessness is indeed a dire issue that ought to be addressed substantially. A takeaway in Ilford is doing their bit to help homeless people by offering free meals every Thursday between 3pm and 7pm. Naeem Qureshi of The Chicken Spot, Ilford, and Patrick Williams, Chair of the Redbridge MacMillan Fundraising Group feed an average of 300 people for free every Thursday. Qureshi prepares hot meals and distributes them among pensioners,
rough sleepers, as well as to those facing financial difficulties. While walking through Ilford and seeing people struggling on the streets on a daily basis, Naeem Qureshi felt compelled to take initiative and help in his own way. He said, “I see so many people who are thankful to have a meal. After handling out my food, one woman burst into tears and was so touched by it all. That is why I do this – to help. If everybody did things, it would be a fantastic area.” Patrick Williams said, “If everyone did what Mr Qureshi is doing then perhaps we as individuals would help to diminish homelessness not by force but by compassion and just by helping someone. We need more people like him to make a significant difference.”
2 lorry drivers face jail for M1 crash Two lorry drivers, Ryszard Masierak, 31, and David Wagstaff, 54, face a prison sentence after the M1 crash which killed a minibus driver and seven passengers on 26th August 2017. They will be sentenced at Aylesbury Crown Court on 23rd March. It is said that Masierak had been drinking and was twice over the limit. Wagstaff admitted causing eight deaths and serious injury to four others by careless driving, however, he was acquitted of dangerous driving at Reading Crown Court. Masierak was convicted of causing eight deaths and four serious injuries by dangerous driving.
Minibus driver, Cyriac Joseph died in the crash
The minibus driver, Cyriac Joseph died alongside his passengers, Panneerselvam Annamalai, Rishi Ranjeev Kumar, Vivek Baskaran, Lavanyalakshmi Ramasubrmanian, Karthikeyan Pugalur Ramasubramanian, Subramaniyan Arachelvan and Tamilmani Arachelvan, who were all from India. There were on a trip to Disneyland Paris from Nottingham.
The Indian Professional Forum Continued from page 3 It means UK citizens maintain the right to live, work and study in Europe. Guranteed right to visa free travel and maintain EU employment protections laws.
The Chatham House seminar was right to identify the scale of problems faced by UK. Let us hope that John McDonnell’s proposed visit to India will be an eye-opener about the issues that needs to be resolved.
Gurkha's murderer behind bars for 8 years
Man Limbu (left) was killed by Sun Tamang
A 51-year-old woman, Sun Tamang, who was accused of strangling a former Gurkha before attacking his wife while armed with a rolling pin and a traditional Nepalese knife has been put behind bars for eight years. It is said that Sun Tamang killed the 75year-old former Gurkha, Man Limbu using his neck warmer after an argument at her residence in Hamphire in March 2017. While Limbu lay dying on the floor, it is alleged that Tamang dragged him to the kitchen and slipped a plastic bag under his head to prevent his blood from flowing onto her carpet. It is alleged that Tamang then went to
Limbu's home with a traditional Gurkha knife, the kukri, and a rolling pin and let herself into the house with his keys and attacked his wife, Gavatri Dev Limbu. Man Limbu, who had served in the 7th Gurkha Rifles was found dead by Tamang's children. Tamang was cleared of murder, however, was convicted of manslaughter and of causing bodily harm. While giving the jail sentence to Tamang, Justice Nicholas Lavender QC said, “You deprived him of his life and you have caused suffering and misery to his family. Your conduct after his death is also something which I need to take into account.”
Asian Voice | 17th March 2018
Priti Patel revolts against the use of ‘patronising and insulting’ BME label Former Cabinet Minister Priti Patel has expressed her displeasure in being labelled as 'BME' by her colleagues in an interview with BBC Radio Kent. She told at the interview that she found the commonly used abbreviation for Black and Minority Ethnic (BME) "patronising" and "insulting" and had warned her colleagues not to use it to 'label' her. She was speaking at a Conservative event in Broadstairs, Kent for the International Women's Day. The Witham MP said she wanted to encourage moreand more Indian origin people to to get involved in politics and follow in her footsteps. But Ms Patel, the daughter of Indian immigrants of Gujarati origin, was not sure if the UK could ever have a Prime Minister from the minority background. She reportedly said there was a lot of "patronage" in the British political system and lot of institutional barriers, but added that she would "love to see it" as it would show the country was a "true meritocracy".
When asked if it could be her, she said: "Who knows?" Priti was the first female Indian-origin Cabinet minister in the UK. The former I n t e r n a t i o n a l Development Secretary and a leading Brexiteer did not rule out a bid for the Conservative leadership at some point either. The BBC reported that Ms Patel further added that it would be a "regressive step" for any political party or government to put people in posts "just because they are women or because they represent a minority group (such as Indians).
"I don't like the labelling of people. I don't like the term BME. I'm British first and foremost, because I was born in Britain. "I challenge all my col-
leagues in the Conservative Party and in Westminster: Don't label me as a BME. I've said that to people in the cabinet. I've said that to civil servants. I think it's patronising and insulting." She added that the term was "totally unhelpful because we are people and everybody wants to be recognised for their individual merits". The general election last year seen more BME MPs elected than before. The House of Commons now has 52 BME MPs, amounting to eight per cent of seats, a two per cent increase since 2015.
Police Constable pleads guilty to fraud and perverting the course of justice A Police Constable attached to the Waltham Forest borough, London, has changed his original plea and pleaded guilty to fraud and perverting the course of justice. 25-yearold PC Jasvir Raju appeared at Snaresbrook Crown Court on Tuesday 6th March for a pre-trial hearing. The charges are in relation to a damage only
road traffic collision on 1st February 2017 on the A12, Havering, where PC Raju allegedly reported his vehicle as stolen and an insurance claim was subsequently made. PC Raju is said to have been off-duty at the time of the incident and was consequently charged with the two offences on 23rd November 2017, and first appeared at Barking
Magistrates' Court on 23rd December 2017. He is due to be sentenced on Wednesday 28th March 2018. PC Jasvir Raju is currently on restricted duties; however, a suspension request will be submitted for consideration. He will now be subject to a misconduct review by the Directorate of Professional Standards.
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As I See It
Asian Voice | 17th March 2018
India China: The Race is On CB Patel
Over 30 years ago, the Far Eastern Economic Review from Hong Kong published a 5 part series on ‘the race between a hare and a tortoise’, focussing on the India-China competitive situation at that stage. The race has really begun nowespecially in the last 3 years and 10 months- since the advent of the Modi government.
GLA Member for Brent and Harrow
London Assembly Members recently scrutinised the Mayor’s £16 billion Final Draft Budget for 2018/19 with the following key issues addressed by London Assembly. Inspite of severe austerity cuts in funding from government, the Mayor presented a budget with ambitious plans such as keeping Londoners safe and dealing with the challenges of housing crisis.
government was forced to convert the loan into equity, thereby leasing a vast track of land to China for 99 years (may be Hong Kong in the making as the imperial power Britain leased Kowloon in 1897). Pakistani voices are now arising that Chinese money comes with different conditions than US or aid from other western democracies. 'One belt, one road' is being built along with power stations and other infrastructure projects in Pakistan. Balochistan is becoming a difficult terrain for both Pakistan, and especially for China, where the campaign for self-determination has taken lives of several Chinese workers already.
What is India doing? India is watching carefully and forging new, surprisingly unheard of alliances with democratic countries especially with US, Japan, Australia and some others. In a way France has agreed to be a partner in this strategy. Chinese borders over 10 countries from Russia, Mongolia, North Korea, Japan, Vietnam, Myanmar, India, Pakistan and others. With alsmost every neighbour China has taken up arms at some stage in the last 70 years except Pakistan. North Korea is proving to be a hot potato for China at the moment. The summit, between US president and the North Korean dictator could be worth watching.
China Russia Alexander Lukin is a well known Russian scholar of China. Recently he published a book ‘China and Russia: The New Reapprochement’. The question is the relationship between
China and Russia. Could it be an alliance of permanence or marriage of convenience? Historically as well as recently there is diverse interest and distrust especially in Moscow, Russia of the Chinese intention. The teaming millions of China would eye with glee the vast and fertile land of the Russian federation. China may wish, but can Russia forget the bloody war along river Amur a few decades ago?
Democratic India is an asset The tortoise has been running at the traditional Hindu rate of growth up until now, when Indian is achieving faster than China. This is likely to continue and improve. The Indian economy and social progress have been slow due to the checks and balances of a working democracy. China has on the back burner several regional and other trouble spots brewing over the 70 years of the communist dictatorship. History says such an oppressive state cannot last forever. What will be the corrective? What will be the catastrophe? China India relationship is on, in a way, even kill (see the statement from Foreign Minister of China, on page 12, Scrutator’s column). Doklam has proved to be the turning point, so to say. The road ahead for India is not easy and is full of challenges. But the odds are as in the story, the tortoise will be the ultimate winner.
A picture speaks a thousand words The Picture Bexley competition, launched at the end of 2017, asked local residents and community groups to send photographs capturing the concept of what community means for them. The competition has three winners, one Devasya the from being Foundation depicting the unity of the South Asian diaspora in Bexley. The picture, titled as Faith, shows the South Asian community coming together at what appears to be a community
“Our London” LONDON MAYOR’S AMBITIOUS BUDGET
West has got China wrong Now China is militarily challenging America and its allies, not only in the South China seas but in the Far East as well as in the Indian Ocean. The earlier desire, wish or a plan of the American capitalism that with the improvement of the economy and the living standards of the Chinese people, the natural urge for democratic norms, and peaceful coexistence with the neighbours will evolve over time. Even Henry Kissinger got it wrong that the Chinese communist dictatorship is different and certainly now knows it is unpredictable. Historically China has always followed both internally and externally the policy of “might is right”. Was it not the Mao Tse Tung who spoke about the power of the barrel of the gun? China has surely and surprisingly sooner, become the gigantic economic power. It is without any shred of doubt a centrist planned, communist economic policy with all the facade of pseudo capitalism, ie creation of wealth, primarily for the state and the state owned enterprises. Now with the bountiful resources, China has embarked on encircling India, which is perceived to be the real challenge to the policy makers of China, whose main tool of the trade is mighty and ever becoming mightier with the 'Red Army' as the power base. China has allocated billions to Sri Lanka, Maldives, Djubuti and other countries around India. Pakistan is a special case. The gigantic “one belt one road” corridor linking Gwadar port on the Arabian Sea with the western provinces of China primarily Xinjiang is estimated to cost more than 60 bn dollars. At one stage people in Pakistan were excited and even celebrating such a bumper legacy from their “all weather friend”. Several countries in Africa and Asia especially Sri Lanka have realised now that Chinese funds are not a free gift or grant but they are charged with huge interest. Sri Lanka’s port project at the Humberton is lumbard with billions of dollars of debt and the present
event and enjoying a meal together. Cabinet member for community safety, leisure and environment, Cllr Peter Craske said, “We had a really wide range of fantastic entries from groups and individuals across the borough. It was very interesting to see how people pictured their community.” The competition prizes were an annual pass for Hall Place & Gardens, Bexleyheath Cineworld vouchers, as well as High Street vouchers.
Tackling policing and crime issues are one of the top key priorities for the Mayor. The Mayor intends to increase the average Band D precept by £14.21 per year (under 4p per day) which will be allocated to police and fire rescue services. Overall the Mayor will be investing an additional £110million into the Metropolitan Police in the next year: l Increasing Police Numbers: £5 million to be spent on recruiting additional police officers in the coming year. From 2019-20, Sadiq will invest an additional £59million annually raised predominantly from business rates income to support an extra 1,000 police officers than would otherwise be affordable by using income raised from business rates. l Knife Crime etc: £49 million to be raised by a 5.1 per cent council tax increase. This will be spent on combating knife crime, a two per cent police pay increase and boosting officer numbers. l Mental Health: This will lead to a £3.3 million annual saving in interest payments that will be spent on improving support for those taken in by the police with mental health problems. l Female Genital Mutilation (FGM): The Mayor’s additional funding allocation is much needed as this vital resource will be put in place to tackle FGM in our capital. Norbury School in Harrow have actively put in place initiatives with pupils and parents to high these issues and I’m looking at furthering campaigns in Brent and Harrow with local community organisations. l
Affordable Homes: The Mayor is tackling London’s housing crisis from the dreadful situation he inherited from the previous Tory Mayor and is investing £3.15 billion to support 90,000 new genuinely affordable homes in London. l New Draft London Plan: To assist the scale and speed of development the Mayor is bringing about significant changes to planning strategy and policies through the New Draft London Plan. The new policies will protect and enhance London’s green and open spaces. l
Tube Fares and Hopper Bus Fares: Given the concerns about government’s austerity plans and negative economic impact of Brexit the Mayor is keen to assist those under ‘greatest pressure’ so his budget confirms freezing of all TfL fares (for four years) and introduction of the new Hopper bus fare. l Accessibility: The extra funding provided for bringing forward access to tube stations will continue to benefit Londoners. Harrow has already benefitted from this allocation by funding announcements for Harrow On The Hill and Sudbury Hill Stations. I will be seeking to press TfL for funding for stations in Brent e.g. Northwick Park station.
Faith by the Devasya Foundation were among one of the winners of the Picture Bexley competition
The Mayor is concerned about thousands of premature deaths. To help tackle this, amongst other measures: l The Mayor has introduced in central London the Toxicity-Charge (T-Charge) and will introduce the Ultra-Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) in 2019. He is consulting on expanding the ULEZ up to the North and South circular roads in 2021.
Asian Voice | 17th March 2018
In England Mother’s Day falls on different date in March while in North America it is usually in second week of May month. As usual while reading on internet Asian Voice I came to know that this year it was on March 11 Sunday so on behalf of my family and friends I extend warmest Happy Mother’s Day wishes to all and I went in to memory lane of 22 years back of March 1996. At that time my Late mother Maniben Patel used to live in Southall with my younger brother and me and my wife Bhavna almost every year during our vacation used to come and spend quality time with her. Due to her old age on and off she wasn’t keeping well. One morning in March of 1996 my brother-inlaw Mahendrabhai Patel called me,saying that my mother is in hospital and her health is deteriorating so I took time off from my work and came there and spent most of the time in hospital with her. One day prior to Mother’s day in England upon finishing my vacation and before leaving for Canada I went to see her in the hospital and she asked my younger brother that what will Sureshbhai eat in plane! Make sure you give him food.I was speechless as she was on death bed and still she was worrying about her 54 years old son.I came back to Canada and following day of Mother’s day she died. Not on Mother’s day, not on March 18,1996 which was my younger daughter Aarti’s birthday and not on March 20, 1996 which was my nephew Keyur’s birthday with whom she was living. Mother’s unconditional love,sacrifices and strong will power to face all hurdles come in her way cannot be measured in terms of it’s monetary values. It is totally priceless and we must appreciate and before we pray God we must pray to our mother/parents as they are equal to God and spend quality time with them and by doing that their inner blessings come from their heart will make us and our children happy and never ever use them only for our selfish motive. Happy belated Mother’s Day to all mothers living or no more in this world. Suresh and Bhavna Patel Canada
At last books are balanced?
Britain’s years of austerity has at last paid dividend. Books are not only balanced but it is in surplus to the tune of £3:8 billion, on current account, day to day spending but excluding capital expenditure. Although surplus is just a drop in the ocean, considering huge overall debt the nation has accumulated, it is still great achievement, a milestone and a boost on the road to giving the nation a budget in surplus, first such surplus since 2001. This is due to huge sacrifice on part of British people who suffered drop in living standard, unbelievable hardships on NHS, Social Services front and made sacrifice on all front. So the praise should not go to bumbling bureaucrats or patronizing politicians but to ordinary, decent, hard-working British people. When Conservatives took reign in 2010, they inherited budget deficit of £100 billion with Britain’s financial reputation in tatters, forcing Chancellor Osborne to make deep and hurting cuts in public spending to restore fiscal competence and regain trust at international level to attract foreign investment. In reality Britain needs budget surplus of £30 billion upward for decades to come, to reduce huge national debt approaching £2 trillion and put Britain on the road to recovery, prosperity and financial selfrespect we mortgaged during Great Recession of the early 21st Century! The question is would Chancellor Philip Hammond be able to resist pressure from every department, from NHS, Education, Environment to Defence for more spending as nation’s infrastructure is in ruins, students up in arms over tuition fees and morals of GPs and NHS employees at rock-bottom! Most will agree that it is time to loosen the purse in “Chancellor’s Spring Budget”. But revenue should come from higher taxes at upper end and cut in Overseas Aid, not at the expense of going back into red, devaluing British people’s sacrifice. Bhupendra M. Gandhi By email
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Partition of India
In Asian Voice, in the ‘Back to the Roots’ column and other news items as well as Letters, I have read about the future union of Pakistan, India and Bangladesh. Such thinking is both baseless and dangerous. My great grandparents and our entire family perished in the largest force migration at the time of partition. What has happened since then? With all it’s problems by and large, India has been progressing on a peaceful path of prosperity and regional coexistence. Though I see some good signs in Bangladesh, I caution against such wishful thinking of the original Hindustan. Let by gone be bygone. Amrik Singh Southall
At their beck and call
In my lettter entitled, “Being taken for a ride”, under this column a few weeks ago, I tried to draw attention to the plight of elderly parents who are being taken advantage of by their children who are dependent on the parents to ferry their grand children to and fro school and to involve them in other househlod chores while the son and daughter-in-law go out to work or enjoy their social outings. In the event, in the twilight years of their lives, the retired elderly people get confined to their homes. They give up their social life, stay at home being miserable and lose the opportunity to mingle with their peers at social gatherings for senior citizens. The letter received favourable comments from people who said that the contents reflected their own position. In corroboration, some have stated that in the olden days, the daughters-in-law were in awe of their mothers-in- law. But now the tables have turned and the situation seems to have reversed where the elderly parents, even though not financially dependent on their children, have to rely on them for company and to avoid being lonely. The mothers in law are then at the beck and call of the daughters in law who take advantage of the situation. The parents make sacrifices and try to make the most of rather uncomfortable situation. They fear that otherwise they would spend the rest of their life being lonely and neglected. Dinesh Sheth Newbury Park, Ilford
Deep Benefit cuts
It is horrifying to see such deep benefit cuts announced by the chancellor. The cuts will affect around 11 million families, including 5 million of the struggling families that the prime minister stated she would focus on. The cuts of £12 billion from the welfare budget is huge. Under the Universal Credit for the first time tax credits and family benefits will be limited to the first two children. This will have a devastating on 870,000 families with more than two children. Most working age benefits have been frozen for four years from 2016. The benefit cap will be reduced from £26,000 a year to £23,000 a year in London, and £20,000 in the rest of the country. Those aged 18 and 21 will no longer necessarily receive housing benefit. Such severe austerity measures will be hurting the poor and low paid, the very ones that need to be given more support to save them from falling below the poverty line. We are already seeing numbers of homeless people increasing rapidly all over the country. The 2016 benefit cap limits most payments to £26,000 a year, across the UK. From April 2017 were cut to £23,000 in London, and £20,000 elsewhere. Up to now 45% of households affected by the cap have been in London. Those who exceed the cap receive a cut to Housing Benefit. The benefits excluded from the cap include: Working Tax Credit, Disability Living Allowance, Personal Independence Payments and the WRAG element of ESA. This state of affair will have debilitating effect on struggling families in UK and deserved to be looked into as a matter of urgency. UK being the fifth richest economy in the world and can easily provide relief to its hardest hit citizens. Baldev Sharma Rayners lane, Harrow
First summit of the ISA
The first summit of the International Solar Alliance took place at Delhi last Sunday (11th March). It was co-hosted by President Ram Nath Kovind and French President Emmanuel Macron. The idea of such an alliance was floated by Prime Minister Shri Modi in a speech in November 2015 at Wembley Stadium. The aim of the 121 member countries in the tropical region is to research, promote and implement solar energy infrastructure. France is the only advanced and wealthy country which has supported the alliance and announced almost a billion dollars of investment. We hear a lot of bellicose noises from other wealthy countries about climate change and consequent danger to life on earth. Why aren’t they supporting this pertinent, noble and important alliance of the developing countries? They are pumping billions of tons of poisonous gases in the atmosphere under their agenda of material progress. Do they know there are billions of people in villages and towns in this region who are suffering without electricity in their houses and hospitals? It is in the interest of every country to support the advancement of solar projects (mainly in financing) of tropical areas where sun energy is intensive and available for a longer period and hence economical. This effort will not only reduce overall carbon emission in our mother earth’s atmosphere but also help the humanity in those less developed countries to advance. Narsibhai Patel New Malden
Euthanasia and the destruction of Putin’s statue in India
Euthanasia is less about suicide and more about the right to have the choice to end your life when you choose, when death is inevitable. It is a more dignifying way to die than letting an illness take full control of your body. Why do we make an already terminal person suffer more with useless, expensive treatments? Some may argue that the family will suffer from one’s decision to be euthanised, but the patient is already going to die. It gives more comfort to those who are affected to be there for that person when he or she takes a final breath in a comfortable, controlled situation. The religious aspects of euthanasia are personal opinions. The person who is making the decision probably isn’t too worried about the religious beliefs of others. Euthanasia is an unfortunate choice, but a personal choice that people should be allowed to make. The stigma behind it needs to be addressed. Terminally ill people should be allowed to do what they believe is best for them. Meanwhile the pulling down of Vladimir Lenin’s statue in Tripura (North-east India) is not just an attack on left ideology. It is an assault on the plurality of ideas and diversity of thought that has been a characteristic of Indian civilization. Lenin was a Russian communist, a revolutionary, a politician and a political theorist and was considered as one of the tallest leaders of the world. Such acts of vandalism reflect the extreme levels of intolerance and are contrary to the argumentative tradition embedded in the Indian civilisational values. Indian revolutionaries like Shahid Bhagat Singh and Chandra Shekhar Azad believed in the teachings of Lenin. Dr Deol, the biographer of Bhagat, refers to the great Indian revolutionary studying the life of Lenin. Gopal Tagore, another biographer, retells that a few days before his death, when asked what his last wish was, Bhagat Singh replied that he was studying the life of Vladimir Lenin and wanted to finish it before his death. Jubel D'Cruz, Mumbai, India
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“Hinglish” is the way forward
The hybrid of English and Hindi, “Hinglish”, is widely and commonly used in Hindi films, music and advertisements, and has been used in both India and Britain since the 17th century. And now for the first time, Hinglish will be taught at UK colleges in attempt to help the UK win business in India. Portsmouth College has introduced a new course teaching Hinglish as a subject. The Collins English Dictionary also has a number of English words that stem from Hinglish. Words such as “shampoo” from the Hindi word which means massage or kneading; “cushy” which comes from the Hindi word meaning pleasant; and “thug” which comes from the Hindi word for thief or cheat have been included in the dictionary. The use of the hybrid of English and Hindi language has become mainstream, so much so that is has even become the preferred choice in India's prospering business community; in other words, learning Hinglish could be be ideal for students who are looking for international opportunities in India- one of the world's
largest economy. Common Hinglish phrases include, “Time kya hua hai?”, meaning “What time is it right now?” Teacher Viraj Shah expressed, “Films are being watching by a lot of Indian people and right from the titles to the script, everything is in Hinglish.” Hybrid Bollywood film titles have become prevalent and popular, such as “Love Aaj Kal”, “Jab We Met”, and “Pyaar Mein Twist”, etc. James Watters, a department head at Portsmouth College said, “It's great to hear that our future generation of workers are taking into account that things are happening around us.” Watters also suggests that the course teaching Hinglish would make students “socially aware and better prepared for situations they may be faced with.” So far, 18 students have signed up to Hinglish lessons at the sixth-form college. The deputy principal, Simon Barrable said, “The you people are very aware we are leaving the EU and I suppose this helps prepare them for the post-Brexit world.”
Study finds Indian parents most keen to help kids with schoolwork
Indian parents are among the worlds most keen to spend time with their children on schoolwork and are also the most optimistic about education standards in the country, a new worldwide education study has revealed. The Global Parents Survey, commissioned by UK-based Varkey Foundation compared attitudes and priorities of over 27,000 parents across 29 countries. Indian parents emerged as the most likely to help their children with their education at 95 per cent and they also reported to spend longer helping their children with schoolwork, with 62 per cent spending seven or more hours a week. This contrasts with
parents in the UK, who are much less likely to spend more than an hour per day helping with their childrens schoolwork. Among other key findings, nearly threequarters (72 per cent) of Indian parents said that education standards have improved in the last 10 years, higher than any other country surveyed and 87 per cent of Indian parents rated the quality of teaching at their childs school as good, compared with a global average of 78 per cent.
Asian Voice | 17th March 2018
Sikh student asked to leave bar for wearing turban Rupanjana Dutta
The Sikh community in the UK has been left infuriated after a student from the community was asked to leave a bar, because of wearing a turban. Some are also considering boycotting the bar after this incident. They have taken social media to voice their disgust, many planning to call the bar to tell them what they feel. Student Amrik Singh, a Sikh, was asked to leave Rush, a bar in Mansfield, Nottinghamshire by the security, on the grounds that the bar had a 'no headwear' policy. They did not seem to be able to differentiate between a turban and a ‘headwear’ like a cap - an ignorance unacceptable in today’s 'so called' multicultural and
diverse Britain. The Sikhs are famous for their role in British army, especially in World Wars and the Palace of Westminster also has a few turbaned Parliamentarians. Singh recorded himself explaining to the security of the bar that his turban is a religious requirement and was then allegedly told: "I didn't think you were allowed to drink anyway." Singh, 22, pictured, is a law student at Nottingham Trent University. He went to Rush with friends on Friday night. He was initially allowed in but was later approached and told he had to remove his turban. He reportedly said: "I explained that a turban isn't just headgear, but part of my religion and that I was allowed to wear a turban in public. The bouncer allegedly ignored
this and said I needed to take it off. "I refused and was subsequently dragged away from my friends." Singh said he then demanded to speak to whoever was in charge as he felt "victimised" and recorded the conversation. He even repeatedly explains the significance of his turban but is told any headgear is against club policy, "like trainers". He was eventually
allowed back in but told in future he would be barred. He said: "This experience ruined my night. It broke my heart. "I'm very fortunate that I'm well spoken and I am able to stand up for myself. What if it was someone who wasn't confident was told to leave? I am disgusted." He said that he has not reported the incident to police as he did not believe a law had been broken but was "considering legal options". He added that he wants the main impact of the case to be one of education "about what is it like to be treated this way". The bar's management has been reported to have apologised to Singh, calling it "absolutely unacceptable" and confirming the staff member in question had been suspended.
Away Arts, said: "I think this documentary is important because it states the past and present problems with caste discrimination and consciousness and it’s a voice that has been silenced for too long. I decided to take part because I am responsible to speaking out. “Others won’t step up so I have stepped into their silence. My ancestors went through a lot because of their so-called caste and I can't bury that because this toxic is not dead yet. I am an activist not a passivist. If it affects one, it affects us all. This documentary might be a hard pill to swallow but it
reflects only truth and truth is my currency." ‘Caste Aside’ has been broadcast on television and is due to be shown at locations across the UK over the coming months and will be screened at the British Association for South Asian Studies’ Annual Conference in April 2018. Caste discrimination has been on the British Government’s agenda for a number of years, resulting in a public consultation in late 2017 and an expected announcement of their final decision in 2018. For more info see: h t t p s : / / w w w. c a s t e a side.com
University graduate addresses caste discrimination in a new film
A documentary charting a Birmingham City University graduate’s battle against caste discrimination in BritishAsian communities has been generating a buzz within the community. Reena Jaisiah, who graduated from Birmingham City University in 2013, shares her own story in the documentary, ‘Caste Aside’, which looks at the caste discrimination and has been screened at several locations in London and broadcast on television since its release in January. After graduating with a BA honours in Sociology in 2003, Reena began raising awareness of caste discrimination and founded a theatre company called Caste Away Arts to address the issue in a creative way. She was named Birmingham City University’s Alumni of the Year in 2013 for her work on community engagement and leadership. Reena is believed to be one of the first people to
speak out publicly about caste issues in Britain, having done awareness work for the past 15 years on the subject, and ‘Caste Aside’ highlights her journey. The documentary has been screened in London and broadcast on television. It was premiered in West London in January and received nearly 100 registrations and a live post-screening debate. Reena Jaisiah, Birmingham City University graduate and Artistic Director at Cast
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Asian Voice | 17th March 2018
A political earthquake struck India’s North East, its epicenter Tripura, where the incumbent Communist Party of India (Marxist) led by Chief Minister Manik Sarkar was roundly defeated by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and ejected from office. What made the victory truly remarkable was that the CPI ((M) had won a string of six back-to-back victories in the State over 25 years, and that the BJP, prior to this poll, had no representation at all in the Legislative Assembly.
marked improvement recently. The Doklan stand-off at the Trijunction of Tibet, Bhutan and Sikkim had been defused through talks between the two sides with mutual trust. The Foreign Minister said the Chinese Dragon and the Indian Elephant should dance together and not fight. ‘With political trust, not even the Himalayas can stop us from friendly exchanges. Without it, not even a level land can bring us together…Let me put this to our Indian friends: our shared understandings far outstrip our differences. China is ready and willing…to inherit and take forward traditional friendship, and be a friend and partner of the Indian people.’ (Hindu, Times of India March 9).
Sino-Indian river data in full flow
New Tripura Chief Minister Biplab Kumar Deb with PM Modi, BJP President Amit Shah
Manik Sarkar: An honourable man (see comment page 3)
Elsewhere in the North East, with its majority Christian population, the BJP secured a foothold in Nagaland and Meghalaya, where they had established electoral alliance with regional parties and will thus be partners in coalition governments. Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s campaign in these States reassured its people that they had nothing to fear from the BJP, that stories of the party being anti-Christian were untrue; he referred to instances where his government had rescued Christian priests from the clutches of jihadi groups in Afghanistan and the Middle East, his message being reinforced by a Christian member of the Modi government in New Delhi.
the Manik Sarkar government was prone to favour party members in handouts. Right or wrong perceptions matter. Leading voices in the ousted regime complained of electoral money laundering, but this is an over simplification of the result. In neighbouring West Bengal, the Communist-led Front was pulped, with every State minister losing his/her seat. If the truth be told, the Communist parties, as of now, are a discredited rump (Hindu, Times of India March 4, 9).
Discredited dynasty The tragedy is that Congress has a pool of young talent and older men with proven ability, such as the present Chief Minister of Punjab Amarinder Singh. In BJP-ruled Rajasthan, young Sachin Pilot is creating waves, with Congress sweeping the municipal polls. Put forward as its prime ministerial candidate in the 2019 general election, the Congress might become more credible than it is at present (Print, TV, March 4-9).
Wang Yi upbeat on Sino-Indian ties
Excellent field work
The Communist-led Left Front was complacent. It underestimated the strong campaign mounted by the BJP. There was also a perception that
Road building on border on track The government has cleared 73 strategic roads along the Chinese border in wake of the Doklam crisis in August last year. Inclement weather and hostile terrain have been offered by way of explanation for delays in project implementation. Of these 73 roads, 27 involving around 804km are being constructed in Jammu and Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh, Uttarkhand, Sikkim and Arunachal Pradesh. Last year the Comptroller Auditor General was severely critical of the Border Roads for ‘defective construction which resulted in delay in completion of strategic roads.’ (Hindu March 4).
Dawood aide extradited by UAE
The BJP owed its success to superb organization. It put their top man Ram Madhav in the field, and it worked. He was joined by Hemanta Biswa Sarma, once a minister in Assam in the Congress government Tarun Gogoi in Assam, and by an old BJP hand, Sunil Deodhar. Working closely with their local ally, the People’s Front of Twipra (a tribal grouping), the two partners won 43 seats of the 59 seats in the Assembly.
India and China are to share data on trans-boundary rivers, a move seen as a major step forward in Confidence Building Measures. This mechanism, set up in 2006, was designed to further cooperation in sharing floodseason hydrological data, emergency management and related issues regarding the Brahmaputra and Sutlej rivers whose headwaters lie in Tibet and flow across the border into India. The mechanism was put on hold in 2017 during the Doklam crisis but is being restored as India, China ties have improved (Economic Times March 9).
Twenty-five years on, Farooq Takla, an aide to Dawood Ibrahim, was extradited by the UAE and arrested by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) for his role in the serial Mumbai bombings of March 1993 in which over 300 people lost their lives. The fugitive Takla was flown to Mumbai and arrested forthwith (Hindu, Mint March 9). Wang Yi
China’s Foreign Minister, Wang Yi, addressing an annual press conference in Beijing, struck a note of optimism on his country’s ties with India, which he claimed have been showing
Supreme Court validates Hadiya’s marriage The Supreme Court of India set aside a Kerala High Court order annulling the marriage of Hadiya to Shafin Jahan, whom she had married after converting to
Hadiya with her husband Shafin Jahan
Islam. In a ruling coinciding with Women’s Day, the court validated Ms Hadiya’s marriage. A three-judge bench of Chief Justice Dipak Misra, Justices A.M. Khanwilkar and D.Y. Chandrchaud pronounced that, ‘The moment you allow public law of relations between individuals and the State to encroach into marriage, you are letting the state interfere in individual choices of a citizen,’ said Justice Chandrachaud (Hindu March 9).
Appeal to India to bridge Japan’s IT skills deficit As Japan faces a shortage of 200,000 Information Technology professionals owing to an ageing population and falling birth rate, India had the capability to fill the gap with its huge talent pool, said Shigeki Maeda, Executive Vice President of Japan External Trade Organization in Bangaluru.
‘There is an immediate shortage of more than 200,000 IT professionals in Japan…and the shortage is likely to touch 800,000 by 2030. India can bridge that gap. If a company in Japan has an immediate demand for, say, 5000 engineers, only India can come to their aid.’ Japan has eased rules for issuance of green cards and permanent resident status for highly skilled professionals. He suggested that Indian IT professionals opt for Japan rather than the United States, as they would find life easier in Japan (Hindu March 9).
Suzuki in talks with Andhra, Telangana Suzuki Motor Corporation is in talks with the governments of Andhra Pradesh and Telangana on setting up its second twowheeler plant in India. At present its scooters and motorcycles are, and have been,
manufactured at their Gurugram facility in Haryana for the past decade. ‘We have some proposals which are being examined. These are predominantly from the South with Andhra Pradesh and Telangana proactively leading the way,’ said Sanjeev Rajasekharan, Executive Vice President, Suzuki, Motorcycle India. ‘The South is a large twowheeler market, and it makes sense to have a location there to complement our operations in the North .’ The final decision on which of these States gets the nod will be made in the next month (Business Line March 8).
India to build nuclear facility in Bangladesh India, Bangladesh, Russia have signed a tripartite Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on the construction of the Roopur power plant in Bangladesh. ‘Today (March 3)was a landmark event for both our countries – and the industry as a whole. We are confident that this is the first step towards the formation of a new, forwardlooking cooperation agenda in the region,’ said Nicolay Spassky, Deputy Director General for International relations of Rosaton, the Russian State Atomic Energy Cooperation. The MoU was signed in Moscow by India’s Department of Atomic Energy and by the Bangladesh Ministry of Science and Technology and Rosatom (Hindu March 3).
Amazon determined to succeed in India Having lost out in China to Alibaba and JJD.com, Jeff Bezos is determined to make a success of his India operations in a market of 1.3 billion people discovering the pleasures of shopping. Amazon has committed $5.5 billion and selected Amit Aggarwal to spend it wisely and well. The company has set up a credit operation for people without bank accounts, built streamlined mobile app so it doesn’t crash the cheaper phones typically used by the small-town populace. ‘In India we are building everything from the bottom up, and more than half of our investments have gone into erecting delivery stations and warehouses and such,’ says Amit Aggarwal. It’s tough going competing with local firms like Flipkart, but nothing ventured, nothing gained (Business Line March 7).
Asian Voice | 17th March 2018
“No DSS”: How Landlords are Failing Private Renters on Welfare Benefits
Diaspora celebrates Holi across the UK Indians in London (Orkut) also organised a great Holi celebration ‘Rang Barse’ at the Indian Gymkhana in Osterley on the weekend. The event was graced by London's Deputy Mayor for Business, Rajesh Agrawal
photo courtesy: Facebook
Indian Ladies UK's Holi celebration took place over the weekend, at Haverstock School in Camden a school whose former pupils included the ex Labour leader Ed Miliband. As ever, the true community spirit came to light when everyone involved – whether they were organisers, venue management or the audience – came together to make this beautiful festival of colours and love a super success.
The increasing trend of raising renting costs and the percentage that wages go up each year decreasing means that having a full-time job no longer guarantees that you will not Manjinder require help with your Kaur Atwal housing costs. However, recent statistics show that if you do receive this help, you could be openly discriminated against. It is unfortunate that our overheated rental market leaves renters with few rights and little market power. Tenants looking to rent privately come across “No DSS” adverts on letting agents’ websites or front windows. This stands for the Department for Social Security, a government department which no longer exists but was previously responsible for welfare benefits. “No DSS” means that the landlord or letting agent will not rent to anyone receiving housing benefits. It can be argued that “No DSS” is a form of discrimination as it stems from an erroneous labelling of people in receipt of benefits and some solicitors have argued that, in cases where people receive benefits due to a disability, “No DSS” may be in breach of the Equality Act 2010. We believe this should be legally challenged. In a recent case, a single mother’s attempt to rent a private property in Birmingham was blocked by a lettings agent because some rent was to be discharged via housing benefits. The mother issued a claim for discrimination against the lettings agents in a County Court after her letter of complaint was dismissed. Subsequently, the lettings agent admitted indirect discrimination on the grounds of sex, settling out of court with £2,000 compensation.
Unfortunately, cases like this are common. In the last few years, landlords willing to rent to housing benefit tenants have fallen dramatically due to welfare benefit cuts, problems with the Universal Credit system and other issues. Not all landlords discriminate or voluntarily refuse to accept tenants receiving housing benefits. This can be solely down to their landlord insurance prohibiting them from taking tenants on housing benefits when their tenancy starts, or as stipulated in their mortgage terms. One other issue is that, instead of social housing stock increasing, it is in fact being reduced. Local Authorities and Housing Associations should therefore be encouraged to build and acquire properties available to tenants receiving benefits. Manjinder Kaur Atwal is a Housing Director at Duncan Lewis Solicitors specialising in Landlord and Tenant litigation. Her main areas of practice include housing disputes, consumer and contractual matters, debt recovery and enforcement. She has extensive experience in possession matters, disrepair and injunctions, nuisance cases, unlawful evictions, homelessness and judicial reviews. For expert housing advice, contact Manjinder on 02031141269 or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org. Duncan Lewis Housing Solicitors Duncan Lewis housing solicitors advise on debt management, disrepair, housing benefit, landlord obligations, tenancy disputes, Local Authority housing, mortgage repossession, notice to quit, planning permission and appeals, Right-toBuy, Right-to-Rent, tenancy agreements and unlawful eviction. For expert legal advice call Duncan Lewis housing solicitors on 0333 772 0409.
Essex Indians (EI) also celebrated 4th consecutive year Holi at Brentwood on 3 March, but for the first time, amidst a white background resulted from the week long snowfall
New Centre for Sikh and Panjabi Studies launched at the University of Wolverhampton The University of Wolverhampton has launched a new Centre for Sikh and Panjabi Studies which will be the first of its kind in the UK. The new Centre was officially launched by Dr Satinder Sartaaj, renowned Punjabi singer and poet, in the Chancellor’s Hall at the University’s City Campus at a celebratory ceremony attended by members of the local community, University staff and students as well as local dignitaries. Dr Opinderjit Kaur Takhar, Course Leader in Religious Studies in the School of Humanities and an internationally-recognised researcher in Sikhism who has published extensively on the Sikh and
Panjabi community, has been appointed Director of the Centre. The Centre will offer PhDs and Master’s level courses in Sikh studies, as well as continuing professional development (CPD) courses for teachers and managers of diverse workforces such as national and
local government, the NHS and the emergency services. It will also offer training for Granthis and Gianis, individuals taking the religious lead in Gurdwaras, short courses in religious literacy and language to address the loss of the Panjabi language in younger genera-
tions, as well as teaching in English to promote bilingualism and skills for life. The Centre will be involved with the exchange of knowledge on an international platform using the links it has already established with Sikh Studies scholars across the globe. Opinderjit said: “The Centre for Sikh and Panjabi Studies will be based around a nationally-leading research hub, with large-scale research projects into Sikh history, art and literature, diaspora, identity, inter-religious dialogue, culture, community and place, all within the context of a 21st century global society. “To highlight our research we will create an open access peer-reviewed scholarly journal, an annual Sikh Studies research conference, a public lecture series and research-
informed exhibitions. “We aim to be a centre of academic excellence by becoming the national voice for academics active within Sikh and Panjabi Studies and through links with overseas institutions, particularly with universities in Panjab, we will provide opportunities for student exchanges and other collaborative projects to encourage understanding around the world. The focus will be on lifelong learning from both interfaith and inter-disciplinary perspectives with an aim to increase knowledge and promote dialogue. “Our aspiration is to create a space for current and future generations in which they can feel comfortable in enquiring about their faith, its principles and ethos. The Centre will be a ‘go-to place’ for any individuals or organisa-
tions wanting to know more about the Sikhs and their faith, and it will be the first of its kind in the UK.” Ninder Johal, Chief Executive Officer of Nachural Group and Independent Governor at the University, said: “The Sikhs are an important part of the United Kingdom and play a substantial role in the global economy. But too often this young religion has not had a voice that represents its views politically, economically and theologically. “The Centre for Sikh and Panjabi Studies will correct this with both academic and real-world rigour. It will offer everyone an opportunity to work with a leading university so that we all have a better understanding of this fantastic and globally sympathetic religion.”
Asian Voice | 17th March 2018
NHSF (UK)’s National Sports Competition 2018
Asian Restaurant Awards Winners revealed at glittering award ceremony
- Neelam Chhabhadiya, NHSF (UK) Events Team On Saturday 17th February 2018, over 500 university students, from 30 different universities across the UK gathered at one of National Hindu Students’ Forum (UK)’s largest events, National Sports Competition 2018. This was the fourteenth annual National Sports Competition hosted by NHSF (UK), bringing together all its affiliated Hindu societies across the country to compete against each other in football, badminton, netball, kho-kho and kabaddi. The day saw not only an amazing atmosphere throughout, with some fierce competition, but was an opportunity for students from different parts of the country to bond through sport. NHSF (UK) was honoured to have a variety of organisations and distinguished guests attend the event. Run Birmingham led a warm-up for students in the morning and talked to students about the importance of regular exercise. Representatives from Sewa UK were able to promote their sponsored cycling event, Cycle 4 Sewa, to students as part of NHSF (UK)’s aim to encourage healthy living. Coolherbals were on hand throughout the day to provide free massages to students. In particular, NHSF (UK) were honoured to host representatives from all three of the Armed Forces, our main sponsors for the event, who introduced their values and work to students. The Armed Forces’ reaction simulator was a hit with attendees, and the students who attended judo classes given by the Royal Navy came away with positive experiences. NHSF (UK) was delighted to host Mr Adrian Bailey MP, the Member of Parliament for West Bromwich at the event, as well as the Rt Hon Councillor Ahmadul Haque MBE, Mayor of Sandwell, who presented
Babita Sharma hosting the Asian Restaurant Awards 2018
NHSF's National Sports Competition 2018
the trophy for the men’s kabaddi competition to the winning team from Imperial College London. Five other universities were victorious on the day, with Nottingham Trent University winning in football, King's ‘College London in badminton, the University of Nottingham coming out as victors in netball, the University of Kingston winning in kho-kho, and a team from the London School of Economics and Political Science winning the second-ever women’s kabaddi competi-
tion held by NHSF (UK). For our students, National Sports Competition is about much more than winning: it is a chance for them to develop their characters through sport, by practising honesty, integrity and respect at all times whilst on the field of play. NHSF (UK) Chapters played competitively but in a friendly manner, showing honesty when playing and respecting one another throughout the day, regardless of the result of their game. In this way, we look to encourage our students to develop strong ties to ultimately bring the whole student community together. We hope to see many more students from an even wider range of universities attend the event in the coming years, and build their characters through sport.
New play brings to life the colours of saris
There used to be a time when when it was a usual sight to see Asian women dressed in a sari on a daily basis doing their usual day-to-day activities, such as shopping for groceries or household chores. As time has passed, it is more than likely that you'll see an Asian woman in the UK dressed in a more “comfortable” western attire, only choosing to drape a sari on special occasions such as attending a wedding. Mostly the older generation of SouthAsian women still continue to wear a sari as their preferred choice for daily wear. In 1977, Alankar House of Sarees first opened in Manchester in 1977 by Gokuldas Modha, who later went on to open another store in Leicester, Anokhi House of Sarees. His granddaughter, Poonam Modha, 34, has been dedicated in running
Rani Moorthy with Poonam Modha
the family business. These two sari shops have become the set for a new play called Handlooms, by writer Rani Moorthy and her company Rasa Theatre, made in collaboration with Manchester's Contact theatre. Rani Moorthy said, “People will think it's a gimmick, because sitespecific [theatre] is the thing now. But really it's completely germane to the
themes of the play. When you enter the space immediately you are sensing this is slightly different. You can't really recreate the smells and the sounds elsewhere.” The play, Handlooms, directed by Alan Lane, tells a tale of a mother and son who disagree about the way to deal with downfall in their sari business. The play also looks into the authentic style of
selling and buying saris which has come under threat in today's contemporary era. Moorthy shares, “A lot of the sari shops are becoming more boutique style, looking aesthetically un-Indian and more westernised. I wanted people to experience that chaos of colour you encounter in these traditional shops. In my memory there are about 20 sari shops on this road, but there aren't any more. You struggle to find one person walking around and doing her everyday chores in a sari, whereas when I first came here in 1996 there were women in saris everywhere, doing daily chores, doing shopping, going to the post office.” One can experience the play Handlooms at Alankar House Sarees in Manchester until 24th March, and then at Anokhi House of Sarees in Leicester, from 10th- 22nd April.
On Monday 5th March, the glittering Asian Restaurant Awards ceremony hosted by BBC TV news anchor Babita Sharma, was held at the Manchester Hilton, attending by over 500 leading restauranteurs, chefs, food journalists, as well as VIP guest. Some of the winners at the award night were Ziya Restaurant, Manchester (Best Bangladeshi Restaurant); Asha's. Manchester (Fine Dining of the Year Restaurant); Sapna, Southall, London (Best Event Caterers – South);
The Naz, Manchester (Best Indian Restaurant); while Abdul Ahad of Nazma Group of restaurants (Scotland) was bestowed with a Lifetime Achievement Award. The Asian Restaurant Awards was organised by the Asian Catering Federation (ACF), which represents the nation's 30,000 Asian and Oriental restaurants. ACF Chairman Yawar Khan declared the Asian Restaurant Awards a great success and promised to return next year with “an even bigger and better event”.
Music of the three worlds
The Asian Music Circuit (AMC) is following its now well proven formula of having a high quality exhibition with a symposium and related concerts of live music. The exhibition “Music of the three worlds”aims to explore how people in India expressed their yearning for the divine through various styles of music, temple architecture, poetry, meditation and chanting. The exhibition will be on at Asia House in Marylebone, London, from 3rd July to 8th July 2018. This is an expertly curated and written exhibition with contributions from Prof Richard Widdess (SOAS) Prof Katherine Schofield (Kings College), Dr. Richard Williams (SOAS) and Dr. Jasmine Hornabrook (Goldsmiths). It has many illustrations along with the texts as well short films. The exhibition explores early Hindu and Buddhist traditions, including the architecture and associated arts such as the songs of the mystics, dances of the devdasis, the instruments used as channels of communication with the
divine, the development of the arts in the Mughal period, Sufi devotional genres in the shrines of their saints. Tajjalan, premiering on 29th June 2018, is inspired by Miserere of Allegri but using beautiful melodies of Indian ragas. This is performed by RUBYTHROAT a choral ensemble of students of Trinity Laban under the artistic direction of Linda Hirst. Manorama Prasad and Sunanda Sharma will be singing at this event. On 1st July, Pts Rajan and Sajan Misra, singers of classical music will give two concerts. They will be performing at the Cockpit Theatre in the afternoon, and the Royal Albert Hall in the evening. On 4th July, Imran Khan will be singing ghazals with Babar Latif on the tabla at The Bhavan. Saleem Hasan Chishti and his group will perform qawali. At Watermans Arts Centre on 5th July, there will be a double bill of Anand Gopal Das and group, and the Buddhist monks of the Tashi Monastery. For more information visit: www.amc.org.uk
Neasden temple celebrates International Women's Day
Dawn Butler MP and other dignitaries celebrating IWD at Neasden Temple
The Women’s Forum of BAPS Swaminarayan Sanstha (BAPS) in the UK hosted a nationwide observance of the UN’s International Women’s Day, which falls annually on 8 March, with an inspiring conference titled ‘Celebrating Women: Strength in Unity’. It formed one of the thousands of events held throughout the world to inspire women and celebrate their achievements. More than 1,800 women of all ages at BAPS centres around the country gathered for the conference, including at BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir, London (popularly known as the ‘Neasden Temple’) on Saturday 10 March 2018. The conference focused on three important themes for promoting unity that are inspired by His Holiness Mahant Swami Maharaj, the spiritual leader of BAPS. The first theme, ‘Be Kind’, covered elements of generosity and selflessness through organ donation. The second theme, ‘Be Mindful’, focussed on the importance of reducing the growing intergenerational gap in families and society. And the third theme, ‘Be Aware’, dealt with the potential negative impacts of social media and the need to manage external influences. These topics were presented through an interactive programme of sketches, multimedia presentations, discussion panels, game shows and speeches by esteemed women of the community. Dawn Butler, MP for Brent Central, was one of the guest speakers of the evening. She paid tribute to the contribution of women internationally. She also said, “If you edu-
cate a woman, you educate a whole nation. If you treat women well, your country will be well.” She concluded by encouraging everyone to recite and believe that they are ‘phenomenal’ and urged them to share this message amongst women far and wide. Mrs Meena Modi OBE, a former headteacher at a school in Watford, also joined the conference and explained her journey to transform Chater Infant School into an “outstanding” Ofsted-rated school. She also shared details of her kidney donation to her husband, and how this act of selflessness positively impacted her wider family. This was echoed by Kanchan Bhagat, who received a kidney from her daughter Swati. Both women also addressed the assembly. Delegates were inspired from their accounts and gained an appreciation of the “gift of life” that organ donation provides. ‘Being kind’, they learnt, has the ability to transcend the barriers of age and background and unify people across the world. A number of delegates shared their impressions of the conference.Sheila Patel, a working mother of two children, stated, “Thank you so much for organising this enlightening conference which gave me the belief that I can manage my career, my family as well as make positive contributions in so many other areas. The stress and anxiety management workshops were particularly useful.” After the conference, attendees enjoyed the opportunity to network over dinner and share their perspectives on the various inspiring themes of the day.
Asian Voice | 17th March 2018
Nisha is a culinary maverick and judge on the BBC’s upcoming cooking series: Best in Shop. The first ever female South-Asian barrister to practice in Liverpool, the charismatic chef has just continued to break down barriers, both professionally and socially:“the Mowgli Street Food team and I recently took home the Emerging Concept Award at the Retailers’ Retail Awards,” she told us, “which is voted on by other professionals in the industry. It was incredible to not only be recognised for our signature home-style cooking, but also as northern restaurateurs in a largely commercial, London-based circle!” Nisha’s first serious foray into the colourful world of Indian cooking happened on YouTube, now with an international following, where she set up a channel to educate people of ancient familial recipes, with her modern playful twists. “I believe that we need to preserve the recipes of first generation Indians, or you lose the taste of say, your mum’s yummy dahl. It’s that tangible feeling of being at home with home-cooking that really matters. For example, I might add some dry plums to my dad’s lamb curry, but the central component remains the same.” So, Nisha’s nation-wide progress shows us, great worldly cuisine always has an inclusive, bubbly quality. “It was at the age of 8 that I got my first pan,” she continued. “I was cooking very early on,” quite literally with gas. “South Asian families do to tend to be more relaxed too, so I was allowed to explore the kitchen much more freely. That expression of love for people through cooking always drives me.” Indeed, today with thriving restaurants in Liverpool, Birmingham, Manchester, and soon to be opened in Oxford, the Mowgli Street Food ethos of “being your Indian family down the street,” is slowly but sincerely inching the franchise into the mainstream and big metropolis.
television show, Best in Shop, is “the opportunity it provides for families to put forward their recipes, to show their particular heritage to the world. It especially allows older women to forge a new life based on their passions. It’s not just a competition but also informative and inspiring and chocked full of amazing personalities.” As with her own multi-faceted career, Nisha then shows that “age and wisdom is just as valuable a skill. There’s a hard, deep affinity with what you’re doing. You don’t always have to be a generation x hipster to be a successful entrepreneur.” Thus, through her humour, smarts, and the vibrancy of her professional medium, Nisha at once demonstrates that what is for you a source of life, will be what opens it up. Spiritedly handling your hunger for a dream is what propels one through any, or a diverse, vocation. However, and whenever, you should choose to start. What is your main goal with Mowgli home-cooked
food? To provide people with good quality, flavoursome and affordable recipes and dishes. Throughout my previous legal career, if I had money to spend, it’d go on food!
Tell us more about your personal mood in the *** Mowgli kitchens? “When something is As I say, I possesses Moving your passion, you have a maternal model and forwards to do it or you just can’t loving approach in the doesn't always sleep,” Nisha comkitchen. There is zero mented. “Because I’ve mean heatedtolerance for lack of been so successful as a respect. I bring what I ness and lawyer, people somecan as a mother and aggression times think there’s a woman to the business compulsive element to my world. For example, even current successes, but my when I was working as a barlove for cooking is entirely real rister, I found that some women and uncalculated. I gave up a steady tried to ape the angry masculine salary just to pursue it.” After the approach. Whether or not you’d like online portals, cook-books – her new to see it as biological or socially recipe collection dubbed, Mowgli: learnt, woman do have access to difStories and Recipes from the Mowgli ferent skill sets, and that can work Street Food Restaurants – Nisha has positively for them, across all indushad yet more affection to give. tries. “Having two daughters of my own, I also look after my team as if they How have your skills as a were my own. I champion the ideals barrister served you in the of grace, intelligence and grasp in culinary world? the kitchen. I don’t believe that movI can talk well and take risks. I ing forward in the industry has to be could strongly articulate my passion all aggressive attitude, as with some about Mowgli as a business and had celebrity chefs. You simply have to be the guts to see it through. attentive and invested.” However, as the name of Nisha’s franchise itself indicates, Mowgli dishes go beyond timeless and virtuous cooking to being ageless and also representing an impartial truth outside of the chef kingdom. “Mowgli is obviously the onomatopoeic name for a feral child,” Nisha elaborated, and part of her love for her fast-approaching
use onions and garlic. We’re simpler. But within that simple creativity are layers of flavour as if fugues on the piano. Many of your dishes are vegan. That’s very much on the pulse of society. My father was Brahmin, Hindu so simplicity very organically came into the food. There were many strictures on the way we cooked. Just simple twists such as cumin seeds and lemon juice or a little bit of chilli. For example, my dish, Calcutta Tangled Greens, involves frying up some healthy cabbage. As a South-Asian cook, I can do wonders with basic British ingredients such as potatoes and leeks. All vegetables, really!
Your dishes are simple but creative: is it that the flavour being pure, while the spices and tweaks make it imaginative? Yes, completely. My first cook books were actually called, Pimp My Rice and The Spice Tree. I’m from a Bengali background too so we don’t
What else do you love about cooking? It’s a good way to meet and make friends. It’s incredibly creative: every time you cook, it’s a little different. When I travel the world, I look for cardinal ingredients that constitute a national cuisine. There’s whole worlds to explore. Who are some culinary influences? As an Indian, my passion is hugely determined by family. I do love cookery programs and books, but if you speak to anyone from a SouthAsian background, they’ll be most influenced by immediate family. Finally, what’s some advice for cooks starting out? Don’t think the world owes you. Be honest and unique. Look at the market and see where you can cook into the gaps: it’s crowded, and unless you have an idea that you’re salivating over, no one else will. Check yourself for originality. You’re only as good as your last dish. T:@NishaKatona
Asian Voice | 17th March 2018
You can’t be what you can’t see
Inspirational women in the India-UK business corridor Shuchita Sonalika, Director and Head – UK, Confederation of Indian Industry
Women’s economic empowerment is not a women’s issue. Rather, it is a business issue. When more women work, economies grow, says the United Nations. Research from the McKinsey Global Institute estimates $12 trillion could be added to global GDP if we fully bridge the gender gap. The global average of women’s contribution to GDP is 37 percent, and India is much farther behind at 17 percent as one of the lowest regions in the world. Jhumar Johnson, Open University In a recent meeting I attended at
Wilton Park, an FCO think tank, drew on the work of a High-Level UN Panel on Women’s Economic Empowerment. While there isn’t a magic formula for removing the systemic constraints that hold women back, there is an important role for institutions to bring about change. The meeting focused on 3 areas for impact: opportunities for financial, digital inclusion and entrepreneurship for women-owned and women-led enterprises; addressing adverse norms, discriminatory beliefs and limiting practices that affect women’s economic participation; and the unrecognised care economy. Gender parity at work influences and enables greater parity in society – so if we want social norms to change, we’ve got to get better at including and integrating women in the workplace at all levels.
“But you can’t be what you can’t see”, said a passionate participant at Wilton Park and this quickly became one of my favourite phrases, almost like a mantra. So I pledged that I would do more to highlight inspirational women around me. We’ve got to see more women in leadership roles, and role models around us. Take a moment to identify women that you can look up to – who may be a few steps ahead of you, who you can relate to, and you can aspire to be. You’ll be surprised to see so many strong and supportive women. 11 Inspirational women in the IndiaUK business corridor To mark International Women’s Day, I turn the spotlight on inspiring women who are playing an important role in the India-UK business corridor, where my work is focused. This is not a complete or comprehensive list. These are women, who have been beside me, ahead of me and rock solid behind me, in my journey. It is inspiring to hear their ideas and the challenges they have faced, and the contributions they have made in their journeys to break the glass ceiling and challenge the status quo.
Bina Mehta, KPMG Bina is a champion of women’s participation and career growth. Having mentored many young entrepreneurs, she is one you quickly count in your close networks. “Pay it forward” is her biggest advice. “Successful businesses build an inclusive environment where colleagues can achieve their full potential. There is a great deal that businesses can do to empower women. Mentoring for female rising stars is particularly successful. Flexible working options support women to balance work and home. Having succeeded, female leaders should pay it forward, and support younger women starting out in their careers to be the best that they can be.”
Jhumar has combined social cause, education, technology, money and passion into one amazing career path. “I have always believed that a woman can have it all. The choices we make are shaped by the support from our friends, family and colleagues,” she says. However, women’s diffident attitudes can come in the way of their success. “My plea to women would be to stop sabotaging themselves. Stop using apologies as punctuation. Stop devaluing your contribution with justifications. Empowered women are enlightened women. They accept their realities and push through to redefine their possibilities. What if we stopped believing in ceilings? And what if, businesses led the way in setting the example, celebrating their heroines so generations to follow can find their new 'Hero'?”
Joanne Ahmed, Deloitte Jo is a familiar face in the India-UK corridor. Recounting her journey, she says, “I was asked in 2017 to take up the co-leadership of the India Services Group at Deloitte. My first reaction was one of pride but I was also worried. I had worked on the corridor for many years but I suddenly wondered how I would be accepted as a woman. I decided that the best thing to do was to be true to myself, my style of working, communication and leadership. You must not be afraid to challenge or debate where necessary. I can honestly say after12 months in the role, I have never felt that being a woman is in point, as it is ultimately your actions that define you, not your gender.”
Lopa Patel MBE, Entrepreneur Lopa, a digital entrepreneur with her love of science and technology, is a charismatic w o m a n . Recognised with the Queen’s Award for Enterprise Promotion, she supports women, entrepreneurship and skills. “Women have to realise the power they have in changing the world for other women. I find that support of female friends can often help overcome challenges, raise confidence and aim higher. We should invest in women-led businesses; recommending women employees for promotion, and sharing their skills with younger women. I am often asked for tips on how to succeed as an entrepreneur and the answer is always the same: build your professional network and become more resilient.”
Mira Kaushik OBE, Akademi Mira, the Director of Akademi, a renowned SouthAsian perming arts center, has the opportunity of shaping a new-age work culture. She has developed Akademi as an efficiently-run, woman-led organisation, with a majority female workforce, known for its excellent working conditions. “An equal opportunities policy and transparent HR guides Akademi to make fair decisions. Regular training opportunities, encouragement to communicate freely and board mentorship schemes enable the team to evolve”, says Mira. “Akademi celebrates motherhood through flexible work policies, allowing employees to invest time in child care and self-care. This has helped in getting the best out of the team!”
Kiran Khatri, High Commission of India Kiran is a Special Advisor to the High Commissioner of India in London. Managing everything behind the scenes, with her hallmark hyperefficiency, she works to ensure the most productive use of resources and time to bolster the India-UK relationship. “In India, the public sector is a beacon of best practices when it comes to gender equality and equity. I am fortunate to be a part of the Indian Foreign Service, head by Hon’ble Minister Sushma Swaraj, which comprises 135 women officers who have reached the highest offices with their competence,” she beams.
Nandita Sahgal Tully, ThomasLloyd Group Nandita, Managing D i r e c t o r , ThomasLloyd Group, climbed her way to the top. “It never ceases to amaze me that brilliant, capable women bow out of fulfilling their career potential because the workplace is often not flexible to have both– family and career,” she says. When she was appointed CEO, she shattered that glass ceiling, but such positions can make it quite difficult to balance home life. “I had 12 days annual leave in 2 years! Balancing work and family remains a paramount challenge for women. But if organisations have more women in leadership roles, it can help ensure that more women are in positions with the authority to decide and negotiate on issues that affect them.”
Baroness Sandip Verma, House of Lords Baroness Verma, a former UK Energy and Climate Change Minister, and the co-founder of POWERful Women, says “Research demonstrates women in business would add trillions of dollars to the global economy.
Women run businesses take greater account of risk, offer a safer investment for banks and funding institutions, and are more likely to invest more in developing their workforce. Given that the majority spend is by women, surely it makes business sense to bolster the number of women operated or owned businesses. A no brainer!”
Shehla Hasan, Confederation of British Industry India Country Director for the Confederation of British Industry for nearly 6 years, Shehla has championed the UK India W o m e n ’ s Leadership Network. “Businesses suffer from unconscious bias. Decisions are taken by both men and women which may be biased against women, without intending to. This affects women’s professional growth prospects and their negotiating ability vis-a-vis their male counterparts. Family is the first unit where women give more but think they deserve less. Indeed, the first glass ceiling that needs to be broken is at home,” she says.
Sophie Charbonneau, Varana World Sophie is the Managing Director of Varana World, high-end fashion boutique in Mayfair inspired by Indian traditional textiles. “Empowering women in business is not a matter of positive affirmation but true recognition of talent and experience,” says Sophie. “Having worked in some of the most prestigious fashion houses, I have crossed paths with very few senior women. Although the industry comprises of a majority of female clientele, it is still middle age, grey-haired, white men at the CEO and Chairman levels. Diversity of race, gender and education is key for any organization to grasp modern world complexity.”
Baroness Usha Prashar, House of Lords Baroness Prashar, Deputy Chair of the British Council, has been at the forefront of the India-UK Year of Culture as the Chair of the Board of Patrons. She has seen the confidence and assertiveness of women growing over time, and she couldn’t be more pleased. “The onus today lies with both- companies to reach out to women, and for women themselves to claim their seat at the table,” she says. “They deserve to be at the table, but they’ve got to grab the opportunity. We must bring men into this discussion. It is about mutual benefit by enabling diverse perspectives and new age ideas from both men and women!”
Asian Voice | 17th March 2018
Celebrating 110th International Women's Day at India House Reshma Trilochun
8th March commemorates, celebrates and appreciates women across the globe. On this day, International Women's Day is marked and women from all walks of life are acknowledged and appreciated for their contribution, not only to society or within the workforce, but as nurturers for creating life and raising children to become respectful and insightful individuals. Marking 110th International Women's Day, the High Commission of India, in association with Enfield Saheli, All Ladies League UK, and the Confederation of Indian Industry hosted a networking lunch and panel discussion at India House, in Aldwych, London. Women from distinct and diverse professions, such as the media, the Royal Air Force (RAF), the Metropolitan Police, as well as entrepreneurs attended the event which highlighted women's contribution to humankind all over the world. Some of the special speakers on the panel were Bina Mehta, Partner of KPMG; Jhumar Johnson, Director of Development at the Open University; Kate Osamor MP, Shadow Secretary of State for International Development; Wendy Rothbery, Group Captain at the RAF; Raageshwari Loomba, Bollywood actress, singer and mindfulness speaker; as well as Vandita Pant, Group Treasurer and Head of Europe at BHP Billiton, plus many more. Attended by mostly women, Lord Swraj Paul was one of the few men who had graced the occasion. He said, “For me, Women's Day is 365 days a year and not one day.” He went on to speak about the disparity between the number of females
in higher education in India compared to men. “In India, unfortunately, only 35% of women go to university. If we have more women going to university and into higher education, they would be a great asset to their country. Women [compared to men] are more serious, are far more intelligent.” While addressing the attendees as the event, Kate Osamor MP said, “I'm really proud to be standing here in front of three powerful women that organise together, always remember each other, and more importantly know there has to be access to economic empowerment for women to be able to stand on their own two feet and not rely on a man, even though we need our brothers, we need our husbands, we need our partners, but that's what makes us who we are. But if we do not have money in our pockets, unfortunately, we are not empowered fully... There is so much work we still need to do. We are still campaigning about equal pay, or the lack of equal pay. There are so many women in high power jobs who are not being paid the same as men. And there are so many women in low paid jobs who are not being paid the same as men. So we have a long way to go still.” Wendy Rothbery, spoke about
Guests at the International Women's Day celebration at India House, London
the 100th year of the RAF and the Women Royal Air Force (WRAF), which was formed on 1st April 1918. She went on to speak about women's role and contribution to the air force over the last century. “We've come a long way since the early days in the Royal Air Force and we're in a better place than we were 100 years ago, certainly, but we've got a lot of work to do. And we're excited about the next hundred years.” The relevance of Women's Day differs from person to person, hence, I asked some of the esteemed guests who were at the event to speak about what this day means for them. The inspirational Raageshwari Loomba shared, “For me it means [International Women's Day] as women, we should not use our power against men – we need to use our power over ourselves. It is not a battle against men; in fact, on Women's Day we need to unite with them because most of the problems can be solved if we truly unite firstly with women, and then unite with men. When I say unite with women, I mean do you really support your daughter-in-law, do you really support
your mother-in-law and sisterin-law. Do you support your friends in the true sense of the word and are you truly happy with their success... For me on International Women's Day, I think women have a great responsibility because they are nurturers and they give birth; basically they can create miracles. But use your power with love, compassion and respect, and then you'll be able to make a paradigm shift.” Reena Ranger, Founder & Chairwoman of WE (Women Empowered) said, “I think it's a day to celebrate all the women who have come before us and the progress they have pressed for and the progress that they have achieved. I think it is a reminder that we must continue to press for progress for all those women who do not have perhaps opportunity, equality and all the advantages, in order to continue with our fight so that we get gender parity and equality.” When asked about International Women's Day, Varsha Kumari Mistry, the Deputy Chair of the Metropolitan Police Hindu
Association said, “Anything that gives a lady confidence is always a good thing. The upliftment of women in whichever circle they might be is so important to make the world more balanced and a more progressive place for everybody. In the professional environment, in the home environment, for me International Women's Day is about highlighting shortcomings and inequalities that face women, and for bringing sisterly support together.” For Warrant Officer at the RAF, Balbir Singh Flora MBE, International Women's Day is about “equality, not only in the job world. Not only should all jobs be open to ladies, it should also be about equal pay as well. I work for an organisation that provides both, so I'm very, very proud of it. Here we are celebrating it [International Women's Day] as a day, but we should be celebrating everyday because women have a lot to contribute. If it wasn't for women, we wouldn't be here”. There was a time in history when women were treated abhorrently and were not given their respective due. We are fortunate to be living in a society today where women can live with their heads high and choose their lifestyle and make their own choices for themselves. However, we must not disregard those unfortunate and unprivileged women in many parts of the world who are still struggling and fighting to get their voice heard and to be treated as an equal counterpart. The day we truly are globally considered at par with men is probably when we would no longer need a specific day in the year to celebrate our existence – the celebration and recognition would be every single day.
Women make History in the Mother of all Parliaments
As part of International Women’s Day celebrations last week, British-Indian women took to the floor of the House of Lords in a historic debate. The event, which was hosted by Lord and Lady Popat, was the first time that non-Parliamentarians were permitted to hold a debate in the Moses Room, the prestigious second chamber of the House of Lords. Chaired by Baroness Usha Prashar and following the same rules and procedures of a normal parliamentary debate, 20 pre-selected speakers, including journalist Yasmin Alibhai-Brown and Lady Desai, came together to discuss the achievements and challenges of women of BritishIndian heritage. Lady Popat delivered the opening speech. Recounting her own journey following her family’s expulsion from Uganda by the dictator Idi Amin, Lady Popat paid tribute to Britain for providing her family with opportunities she never believed possible, and to British values which helped pave the way for Indian women – and indeed the whole Indian community – not only to progress but to thrive in the top profes-
sions such as medicine, law and banking. She also praised the Indian culture and her spiritual upbringing in giving her the strength and self-belief to fulfil her potential and pursue her aspirations. Lady Popat stressed that the Indian success story was made possible by the community’s willingness to immerse themselves in the British way of life: “we immigrated, and we integrated”. At the same time, Lady Popat recognised that there is more to do. She spoke of a paradox within the community, which expects women to be successful on the one hand, and take on the traditional roles in the home which in turn can limit women’s prospects. She called for a change in mindsets and attitudes that could help free up women to play a full part in the economy and society. The other speakers present used their voices to talk about their own experiences, describing the different paths they travelled and the different issues that are close to their heart. Education was widely
acknowledged as the foundation of any, and all, success and equality. The lack of representation of women in the top ranks of business and in the fields of technology and engineering was another common theme, as was the gender pay gap and the challenges facing working mothers. Speakers also laid bare some of the more uncomfortable truths – highlighting the terrible suffering of women and girls in war torn countries, as well as the continuing violent mistreatment of women around the world, including within certain communities in the UK today. Through the rich myriad of issues raised and diverse opinions expressed, the discussions produced a clear common and purpose and pledge: that it was
incumbent on all women and all men to press for progress in the hope of creating a better future for women and girls in the community, in the country and around the world. After the event Lord Popat said: “It was an honour for me to welcome these remarkable ladies to the House of Lords in this historic event to celebrate women in our community. Despite the progress made, gender equality continues to elude us. No society can truly flourish if it leaves half of its talent behind. I believe this is not only a woman’s issue. Men have a duty to create a future where equality and progress is a normal reality, not a headline.” Lady Popat said: “Today we started an important conversation. I feel privileged to have shared this prestigious platform with my Indian sisters who, despite our different ages, faiths and journeys, share the same aspirations and challenges.
From the start I emphasised that International Women’s Day will mean different things to different women and I wanted all speakers to be free to use their voice to speak about issues they care about. This was a day for us as individuals to connect and create new mindsets as proud Indians and proud Brits.” Rupal Sachdev Kantaria, who works extensively on corporate diversity and social impact, closed the debate in the traditional manner of a minister, drawing all themes and speakers together in the concluding speech. She said. “I feel very proud to be British and Indian today. I was humbled by the inspirational contributions of all ladies who spoke. There was a terrific sense of camaraderie – while we had different takes on a very broad subject area, there was a sense of solidarity and sisterhood. Ms Kantaria led the group in a visualization of the World they wanted to live in, and made a powerful pledge for action: “International Women’s Day should not simply be a day of words, but a rallying call for action. I hope we will use our bonds to bring change together.”
Lord Loomba urges progress through deeds on International Women's Day
980 jobs at risk under New Look's rescue plan
Asian Voice | 17th March 2018
This year's International Women's Day challenge "“Press for Progress” is a noble cause to drive gender equality forward and utilise the momentum of mass media coverage to push for change globally, in all countries, at all levels and within all spheres of life," Lord Loomba stated. Speaking during the debate in the House of Lords on pressing for progress on inequality Lord Loomba urged the Government to "stop paying lip service," by asking what steps are the Government taking to "do deeds, to press for progress for gender equality here and abroad?" Citing a report by the UN last year: “gender inequality persists worldwide, depriving women and girls of their basic rights and opportunities,” Lord Loomba noted the work done over the years in attempting to improve life for women and girls. "[W]e have been talking about gender inequality, the pay gap, domestic violence, human trafficking,
modern-day slavery and sexual abuse against women and girls in areas of conflict by the powerful against the powerless," he said; and yet "[t]hese are all uncivilised and barbaric practices that we are [still] grappling with even in the 21st century." Lord Loomba believes that whilst these situations persist progress on the Sustainable Development Goals is hindered. Noting that our Government is firmly committed to delivering the SDGs both home and abroad Lord Loomba stated: "[t]o ensure that we deliver on SDGs, there is a need for more than just DfID covering these points: there needs to be some coming together between the various organs of government to facilitate a cohesive process that keeps the commitment on track both at home and abroad." A consolidated approach, he thought, was especially needed for Goal 5 which aims to: "achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls." Goal 5, Lord Loomba
Lord Raj Loomba
pointed out, has nine target areas. "One area of huge concern which affects many women, girls and widows," he said, as he declared an interest as founder and chairman of the Loomba Foundation, "is violence against women and girls, including widows." This area is covered by a target that aims to “eliminate all forms of violence against all women and girls in the public and private spheres, including trafficking and sexual and other types of exploitation.” Whilst the target to reduce poverty has been particularly successful "the fight continues to
educate and empower women and girls," and "the issue of widowhood remains underrepresented and unaddressed," Lord Loomba argued. "Millions of widows suffer social marginalisation, higher susceptibility to disease, the loss of their livelihood or their children and the threat of death, to name a few of the experiences that women and girls across the world must endure as a result of a tragic event over which they have no control—the death of their husbands. Sadly, widows are victims of double discrimination: they are women and they are widows." Noting that [t]hese grave injustices are most prominent in the developing world," Lord Loomba stated that these issues are "thus becoming a critical absence in the development agenda." "These women and girls," he said, "have been excluded not only from their own families and
societies but from the agendas of development experts and practitioners across the world that devotes their careers to ensuring that no one is left behind." "There needs to be a step change in attitudes," Lord Loomba said. "[W]e need to do more at an earlier stage," to improve things such as through education for boys. "It is really and truly only by bringing the other half of the population on board that we will make real progress, " he declared. Pointing out the inequality of female participation in both the House of Commons and the House of Lords, and the slow progress for women generally in political life Lord Loomba stated: "[i]f we are to truly make progress, we need to set an example— if we cannot do it ourselves, how can we ask others to do it?" "We really must get our own house in order first," he said, "and ensure that there is gender equality here to improve matters for women and for their complete participation in the democratic process."
Spring Statement: Chancellor Hammond's outlook for Britain
On Wednesday 13th March, Chancellor Philip Hammond introduced the first Spring Statement in Britain, in which he unveiled upgraded projections from growth while predicting falling inflation, debt and borrowing.
The Spring Statement, introduced by the Chancellor in 2016, gives an update on the overall shape of the British economy and the OBR forecasts, gives an update on progress since the Autumn Budget, while it also invites businesses and people to give their opinion on changes the government is considering. Major tax or spending changes are now made once a year in the Autumn Budget, and this has not gone down well with certain figures from politics. John McDonnell, Labour's shadow secretary said, “Does the Chancellor really believe the NHS can wait another eight months for the lifesaving funds it needs? How many people
1.4% to 1.5% by the Office for B u d g e t Responsibility (OBR). The forecast for 2019 and 2020 remains unchanged at 1.3%. The Chancellor spoke on public spending, the housing market, Brexit and many more issues. In terms of business, he announced that the Government would bring forChancellor Philip Hammonds ward the evaluahave to die waiting in an tion of business rates and ambulance before he will “champion those who acts?” create jobs and wealth, not McDonnell also raised demonise them”. concerns regarding fundHammond also stated ing for the emergency serthat £80 million of funding vices, local councils, as well will be released to support as schools. He said “austersmall businesses and ity was a political choice enterprises to engage with and not an economic apprentices, as well as £50 necessity”, and “we were million extra support for never all in this together as the introduction of new they claimed”. technical qualifications In his 26-minute long called T-levels. speech at the House of According to the OBR, Commons, the chancellor Britain's annual payment, said that the growth in although “small” to the 2018 was forecast from
EU, as per the divorce bill, it will continue until 2064. The Chancellor also said that the Brexit financial settlement is expected to be £37.1 billion. Seema Malhotra MP for Feltham and Heston has been critical of the Spring Statement. She said, “The OBR stated that they 'still have no meaningful basis for predicting a precise outcome'. We are on the verge of the biggest change to our economic and social fabric in 70 years and the Government have yet to inform the Parliament or the public on how they will pay for it – but we do know that we will be paying the ‘divorce bill’ until 2064. Households are now over £600 worse off since the referendum, according to a study by The National Institute of Economic and Social Research, and we are yet to leave the EU. ONS figures have shown that real wages are lower now than in 2010 and have fallen for the last 9 months, productivity is at the worst level the Napoleonic era, we have an epidemic crisis
in social care and more than 400,000 more children live in poverty than 5 years ago across the UK according to the Joseph Rowntree Foundation, with wards in my constituency having up to 40% child poverty. Local Councils are at breaking point due to the Tories cuts, the Local Government Association warned that local government will face a £5.8bn funding gap even after seven years of austerity.” According to the Leader of the Liberal Democrats, Vince Cable believes, “The Spring Statement was a non-event. The OECD gave us the clearer picture – that the economy is bumping along the bottom of the G20, well behind the likes of Australia, Canada and the Euro area. The OBR's fresh forecasts are still a long way behind the figures estimated in March 2016 before the EU referendum. It is time the government was honest with the public: there will need to be tax increases to pay for the NHS and social care, police and schools.”
As part of a rescue deal to help avoid going into administration, the British fashion retailer founded by Tom Singh OBE in 1969, New Look plans to close 60 stores nationwide. From a 15,300strong UK workforce, about 980 staff members face losing their jobs, while the rents at around 400 New Look stores, out of its 593 stores, will be reduced significantly. The retail company also hopes to reposition employees within the New Look's chairman, Alistair McGeorge states that the cutes were “tough but necessary”, and also acknowledged that the main problem was the retailer's “over-rented UK store estate”. A form of compromise deal that will allow the firm to avoid going into administration (Company Voluntary Agreement) is being handled by Deloittle. A Partner at Deloittle, Daniel Butters said, “[This has been] driven by weaker consumer confidence, the implications of Brexit and competition from online channels. New Look is an iconic brand on the High Street and the Company Voluntary Agreement will provide a stable platform upon which management's turnaround plan can be delivered. It is important to stress that no stores will close on day one, and employees, suppliers and business rates will continue to be paid on time and in full.” The rescue plan still needs to be approved by creditors. The UK has seen a series of closures of retailers on the High Street. Most recently, Toys r Us fell into administration, as well as Maplins, putting thousands of people at risk of losing their jobs. Restaurant chains Prezzo and Byron also announced closure.
REAL ESTATE VOICE
PROXIMITY AND PRICE AsianVoiceNews
Sow & Reap London Property Investment
Whilst looking at a deal that we are considering in W1, I noticed the disparity which exists on the doorstep of this property. The deal we are looking at is at £1,100 per sq. ft., across the road the properties in Quebec Court have a comparable at £1,700 per sq. ft. This is a low comparable for a sale in late 2017. Previous comparables are even higher at £2,000 and £1,800. We sourced a property in Quebec Court back in 2016, for a client. It was 550 sq. ft, on the 7th floor. The market price was £800k, we secured this deal for £625k, which equates to only £1,136 per sq. ft. The current valuation of this property, based on the last comparable, will be £935k. The deal was done in September 2016, this means the property has increased by roughly £300k
in a year and a half. This means the investor has doubled his money, as only half or less would have been put into the transaction, the rest of the funding would have been raised by way of mortgage. The odd thing is the block we are looking at purchasing is selling at £1,100 per sq. ft., and Quebec Court, which is close, is selling for £1,700 per sq. ft. They are only a 3 minute walk away from each other, or 0.2 miles according to Google. And, if you walk a further 0.2 miles down you will get to a tower, which doesn’t exist at this point in time. But it doesn’t stop the developer Almacantar from selling it off plan. I have heard from a good source that someone has recently purchased an apartment there, at £4,400 per sq. ft. This is a location I know well, our office used to
AGONY AGENT IS HERE TO HELP! Q: Can I use my property as an HMO and how would this benefit me? A: An HMO is a house occupied by more than two people who are not members of the same family. The ideal property for an HMO would be a house or a large apartment with two plus bedrooms excluding the lounge. It would be ideal for the lounge to be enclosed, and not open plan with a kitchen, as this could be used as an extra bedroom. More often than not, your
property will fall into the category of HMO if it: has three habitable floors; has at least two/three unrelated tenants who are not members of the same household; has a number of tenants who have separate agreements; is a bedsit or hostel-type of setup; is student accommodation; is a building which was converted into a number of self-contained flats but does not yet comply with the 1991 Building Regulations. Do not take this list as gospel, as this varies from council to council. It would be best
BUY TO LET OPPORTUNITY
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to check with the local housing department in the area. It is not easy to set up an HMO, so you need to ask yourself if you prepared for some start-up costs, improvements and changes to comply with the regulations. Becoming an HMO landlord is a whole different kettle of fish to an AST tenancy. It will start with talking to your mortgage lender about a specialist mortgage – they may not allow you to purchase an HMO, or intended HMO, with a
Asian Voice | 17th March 2018
occupy the tenth floor of this building until they, like everyone else in central London, decided to make good use of permitted development. Under this scheme you can get office to resi conversion without the need of planning. The developer took advantage of this and is converting the former office block into high end residential apartments. It is now being marketed discreetly, as they do not publish their prices on their website. The hike in prices relative to the short distances between the buildings is stunning. And I have been in and around this location for over 15 years. Still this disparity amazes me. A new build apartment like a new build car carries a premium. What is being built there is also a superior product, as it will have many facilities which standard buy to let mortgage, so it is best to double check. Even if your new investment property is already set up as an HMO, it will require a licence in your name. The licence entails inspections, fees and will need to be renewed every twelve months. Complying with the inspections will mean installing some of the basic requirements, for example, fire alarms must be installed in all bedrooms and shared areas, with heat detectors supplied in the kitchen; fire extinguishers; illumined means of
the other two blocks will not. The maintenance of these will be reflected in a hiked up service charge no doubt. However, the fact that you have access to them will be reflected in the property prices themselves.
The bottom line is, you have a price differential of 60% from one building to another, which is only a stone throw away, and then a hike of 260% with another block the same distance further south. All of these share almost the same post code, and if you take a 5 minute walk from Marble Arch, north down Edgware Road, you will come across all three
This shows that although the deal we are looking at may seem high to the outsider, a closer analysis will reveal we are coming in at the lower end of the scale relative to the area. We feel the deal we are looking at will rise to match the rest of its neighbours, in a relatively short amount of time. Get in touch if this deal interests you.
escape must be provided; gas supply and fittings must be checked by a registered engineer annually; electricity safety checks must be carried out every five years; the facilities supplied must be suitable for the number of tenants living in the property; and remember all communal areas must be maintained to a reasonable standard by you.
say four people and charge £250 per room per week, increasing your weekly income by 100%.
In terms of the benefits of an HMO, the biggest benefit to you would be the financial side, as you could potentially take a standard £500 per week property, rent it out to
£1,000 per sq. ft. is not a big deal anymore. Ex councils are selling for this sort of level in the right places. Areas in Wembley are being valued and sold for £650 per sq. ft.
Being an HMO landlord is more for the serious landlord, who is prepared to invest time and money for a better return. It’s not for the fainthearted, however, if this sounds like your kind of challenge, the rewards can be substantial. We can support you, whether you want to manage your own properties or take advantage of our fullymanaged service. Richard Bond Lettings Manager Sow & Reap
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FINANCIAL VOICE -INDIA
Asian Voice | 17th March 2018
India to surpass the UK to be the fifth largest economy this year
Consultant Editor Financial Voice Alpesh Patel Dear Financial Voice Reader,
Which stock that may be affected by the impending tariff war?
Just a few days ago, Trump signed the deal on tariffs. More specifically, a tariff on aluminum and steel imports that will take effect soon in full force. This move has brought caused people to speculate on a possible trade war. For us traders, it begs the same questions traders always ask, ‘what does this mean for me?’ However, before going any further, let us first start by defining tariffs. According to CNN, a tariff is a form of taxes imposed on a category of imported goods. This then causes the particular goods or products to be more expensive. In turn, this should benefit the manufacturers of the product. This then begs the question, what prompted such a move from President Trump? His move was prompted by the need to revive two industries in the U.S: The aluminum and steel industry. These particular industries have been performing poorly in terms of employment rate and so forth . The tariff that President Trump is imposing is a 10% tariff on the aluminum imports. Whereas, he is imposing a 25% tariff on steel tariff imports. This move, of course, was much anticipated after President Trump assumed office. Nonetheless, experts foresee a possible trade war, perhaps even a global one. Why so? It is very likely that the country affected will retaliate as well. Of course, the retaliation will be in the form of tariffs of their own. This would not only hurt the country's economy, it would affect stock markets as well. Of course, they are a lot of theories on this matter. Stock markets are likely looking at a negative future due to impending trade wars. Which stock markets, specifically, are going to be affected by this move? It goes without saying that the Tech market is definitely not directly affected, but tech stocks could be the subject of, say, Chinese retaliation. However, steel companies are affected, and not in a positive way. Since the announcement, certain companies such as Steel Dynamics (STLD) experience a drop in stocks. The S&P 500 experienced a decrease as well. More specifically, a 1% decrease. The copper and aluminum industry seems to have also been affected. In recent news, they have experienced a drop by 1%. Most experts expect the drop to increase if, in fact, a trade war breaks out. Treasuries are also said to have increased considerably. Moreover, most investors expect inflation to increase rapidly, as a result of looming trade wars. Back to America’s strong global brand in the corporate world - when I look at Tech stocks over the past 2 weeks on Sharescope.co.uk, I find it difficult to see much impact as a cause of anything to do with tariffs. So you are left with the conclusion as ever in the markets to ask the question: ‘is the market underpricing, or correctly pricing, the news?’ Personally, as I said on the BBC – the market is correctly pricing the threat – and that is not something which will happen in any meaningful, significant way. Alpesh Patel Alpesh Patel and Juventus Football Club are Official Partners of 24Option.com brokers. Alpesh.firstname.lastname@example.org
Major change is expected this year, and reports suggest, India will take the lead. By the looks of it, India is all set to surpass the UK and France to become the world's fifthlargest economy. A report by Centre for Business and Economic Research (CEBR) published in December last year predicted that India is in the race to become the world's fifth-largest econo-
my in dollar terms. The CEBR's World Economic League Table gave a positive view of the global economy, boosted by cheap energy and technology prices. CEBR deputy chairman Douglas McWilliams said, “Despite temporary setbacks... India's economy has still caught up with that of France and the UK and in 2018 will have overtaken
them both to become the world's fifth largest economy in dollar terms.” He said India's growth had been slowed by restrictions on high-value banknotes and a new sales tax. It added that while Britain looks set to lag behind France, Brexit's effects on its economy will be less than feared. It also said that China will most likely overtake the US as the world's No. 1
economy in 2032. “Because the impact of President Trump on trade has been less severe than expected, the USA will retain its global crown a year longer than we anticipated in the last report.” While there is some time before China passes the EU, with the UK leaving the union, there are chances of it happening sometime in the middle 2020s.
Nik Patel jailed for 25 years in Orlando loan fraud Orlando businessman Nikesh “Nik” Patel was sentenced to 25 years in prison in a $179 million loan fraud scheme that lasted from 2010 to 2014. While delivering the judgment, Chicago District Judge Charles Kocoras said the scheme perpetrated by Patel was the biggest he’d seen in nearly four decades on the bench. Federal prosecutors accused Patel of engaging in a new multimillion-dollar loan fraud - an additional $19 million - while he’s been on bonded release. He was originally arrested in September 2014 and had
pleaded guilty in December 2016. Patel had persuaded Kocoras to let him remain free on bond because he was trying to recover money for victims of his fraud. Patel was arrested a sec-
ond time on January 6 at the Gateway Kissimmee Airport. The FBI has said in court documents that he was trying to flee to Ecuador, where he sought political asylum, and planned to purchase one of the world’s rarest diamonds using $35 million in “dirty money.” Patel, of Windermere, admitted in a plea agreement with prosecutors that as CEO of the Florida-based First Farmers Financial LLC, he orchestrated the sale of 26 fake loans to Milwaukee investment firm Pennant Management for $179 million and blew the
Amazon video service to add more Indian regional content Amazon.com Inc's video service is all set to add more regional content in India, competing with a host of global and local players for a bigger share of a f ledgling online streaming market. Tim Leslie, global Vice President at Amazon Prime Video said the company's bet on original Hindi shows and a library of films in five local languages has paid off, and that India is the fastest growing market for its Prime Video service. Asia-Pacific content head James Farrell said Prime Video has also been
broadening its film catalogue in southern Indian languages such as Tamil and Telugu, beyond Hindi shows and Bollywood movies. “We want to figure out how do we do more in the South. We haven't announced any originals yet from the South but we are looking to do as much as can be done,” he said. Both of them refrained from giving subscriber numbers, instead saying they have tens of millions of Prime customers. India has grown to become a key market for Amazon's global takeover. Along with
online retail growing in the country, the media and entertainment market is also tipped to grow to over $31 billion in two years. Other players in the field include Twenty-First Century Fox-supported Hotstar, Network18 Media, Investments Ltd and Viacom Inc's Voot, and others. When asked if Amazon could begin streaming cricket in India, the executives said they were looking at sports content opportunities globally. Leslie said, “It's day one in sports for us and we're getting involved in it.”
keep interest rates on hold, but struck a very hawkish that is to say, “worried” about inflation - tone in its latest Inflation Report, also released today. The MPC warned that earlier and larger rate rises would be needed to counteract the impact of the booming global economy on UK inflation. So, what does this mean for borrowers looking to hedge? The cost of securing a fixed rate £10m loan over a ten-year period has actually skyrocketed by £285k since the start of the year! It is important to remember that
swap rates fluctuate continuously and are likely to react to market news before the MPC is able to. What does the interest rate hike mean for importers/exporters? Exporters have suffered over the past few weeks; the Pound has recovered much of the ground lost against the Dollar post-referendum, and now stands at 1.40, up nearly 4.00% since January 1st. Nevertheless, there is still some distance to go before the pre-Brexit level of 1.44 is in sight. Putting that into context, your US customers would need to spend $535k more to import £10m worth of UK goods today than if
100% increase in interest rates during 2018?
this means that the cost of fixing your debt has gone up 1/3 in just over one month!
Fixed (i.e. swap) rates are soaring with the eagles these days. Since the start of 2018, the five year swap rate has increased sharply by nearly 30% from 0.97% to 1.24%, while the ten year swap rate has climbed 25%, from 1.21% to 1.51%. In simple terms,
Such a rapid rise after months of stability comes on the back of expectations that the Bank of England will raise rates twice this year, after the UK economy grew 0.50% in the last three months of 2017, up from 0.40% in the
third quarter and stronger than expected. With wage growth and inflation around the 3.00% level, there is considerable pressure on the Bank to raise rates from current “emergency” levels; an upgrade to growth forecasts is expected along with an interest rate hike in May, with a further rise expected in November. As I write, the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) has just unanimously voted to
cash on real estate investments and a lavish lifestyle for himself and his family. Before he was sentenced, Patel apologized for his behavior, saying he “would not rest” until every penny of what he took had been paid back to his victims. He choked with emotion when he talked about being separated from his daughters. Prosecutors had recommended a 30-year sentence. Patel’s attorney, Andrew DeVooght, had filed a response to the government’s recommendations, saying 30 years was not appropriate.
PPF accounts of NRIs can be to continued Finance Ministry, Government of India, had notified on 3rd October, 2017 that PPF (Public Provident Fund) account for NRIs would be deemed / presumed to be closed effective from the day such person became NRI. But on 23rd February 2018, Finance Ministry has issued a circular stating that this instructions are not to be implemented till further order. As such PPF accounts of NRIs which were opened before can be continued as such. RAJESH H DHRUVA Chief Executive femaonline.com you had made the sale at the close of 2017. In the current economic climate, the potential for future rising interest rates could have a significant impact on your business. You can keep track of key market rates by subscribing to our FREE market rate sheet. Updated daily, this concise summary covers swap rates (i.e. fixed rates for loans), FX rates and more. Visit our website for more details.
Tel: 020 7183 2277 www.vedantahedging.com
Asian Voice | 17th March 2018
Protesters in PoK demand 49 killed in Bangladeshi plane crash abolition of Kashmir Council
M U Z A F FA R A B A D (PAKISTAN-OCCUPIED KASHMIR): Protests have erupted in cities across Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK) over a demand to abolish the Azad Kashmir Kashmir Council headed by the Prime Minister of Pakistan. They have demanded constitutional amendments to ensure full empowerment to the elected government of PoK by transferring all powers of Kashmir Council to the government. Ishtiyaq Ahmad, Leader, UKPNP, Muzaffarabad, said, "We believe that Kashmir Council is a clear divide between Pakistan and PoK. The people of Kashmir feel that Pakistan has been ruling over Kashmiris through the Kashmir Council. It necessarily needs to be abolished because 52 departments in PoK come under the Kashmir Council, which is headed by the Prime Minister of Pakistan. After it gets abolished, the power will come to PoK government. PoK resources will directly be used for the benefit of the local residents. The demand to abolish the Kashmir Council is praiseworthy. The people of PoK and Gilgit Baltistan support Azad Kashmir's demand to abolish the Kashmir Council."
The protests have intensified after the Prime Minister of Pakistan-occupied Kashmir Raja Farooq Haider Khan said that PoK was not going to become a province of Pakistan. Rather, his government wants the Kashmir Council to be abolished. The PoK has its own elected President, Prime Minister, Legislative Assembly and the Supreme Court, but important matters, including the budget and tax affairs are dealt with by the Kashmir Council. Adnan, Advocate, Supreme Court, PoK, said, "We demand that besides holding agitation, the need is to practically implement the demand of abolishing the Kashmir Council. All rights to be directly given to the government of Azad Kashmir, so that people gets empowered, Azad Kashmir government gets empowered. The Kashmir Council needs to be abolished urgently.
Sardar Karam Dad Khan, another advocate, said, "This institution (Kashmir Council) was created with the tax collected from the people of Azad Jammu and Kashmir. But, this institution is neither answerable to Azad Kashmir assembly nor to Pakistan assembly. Even the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) is not able to audit this department. We had a demand from Azad Kashmir government and PML (N) government to abolish this institution." Pakistan has misruled the region for more than seven decades. There is a Prime Minister and President in PoK, but they are merely stooges who have been helping Islamabad fill its treasuries through economic depredations. The people of the region have been denied basic fundamental rights and are meted out with severe brutality if they demand for it.
Pakistan under pressure to rein in blasphemy law LAHORE: Pakistan has been under international pressure to amend the blasphemy law. Under the present law, the simplest act can spiral into charges that can bring the death penalty. In January, the US State Department cited the law as one of the reasons as it put Pakistan on a watch list of countries accused of "severe violations of religious freedoms." Opponents of the blasphemy law say it has turned into a force corroding Pakistani society, feeding extremism, implicating the justice system in radicalism and ultimately undermining rule of law. Often the law is used to punish rivals in personal feuds. Just making an accusation is enough to convince neighbors or others in the community that the defendant is guilty and must be punished, whipping up a vengeful anger even if the courts find the accused innocent. Authorities are often too afraid to push back against the public fury. Militant groups have embraced the law, using it
to cultivate support and attack those who try to break their power. "It has become much more dangerous over the last few years. The reason is that they have created a sense of fear," said Zahid Hussain, a political analyst and the author of two books on militancy in Pakistan. At least 1,472 people were charged under Pakistan's blasphemy laws between 1987 and 2016. Of those, 730 were Muslims, 501 were Ahmedis while 205 were Christians and 26 were Hindus. While Pakistan's law carries the death penalty and offenders have been sentenced to death, so far no one has been executed. A key test will come when Pakistan's Supreme Court rules on the case of Aasia, a Christian women sentenced to death after a mob of villagers accused her of insulting Islam and the Prophet Muhammad. Aasia's case even reached the Vatican, where Pope Francis last month met with her husband, Ashiq Masih, and daughter
Eisham, who travelled to Rome. "The blasphemy law is misused in Pakistan," Masih said in an interview. "It has nothing to do with the Holy Prophet or Islam, it is just to settle grudges." Aasia's lawyer, Saiful Malook fears the Supreme Court will buckle to extremists' pressure and reject his client's appeal when it hears it later this month. Her only hope in that case would be a presidential pardon, he said. Hussain, the analyst and author, said most Pakistani politicians privately acknowledge the need to change the law, but are too afraid. Also they often use religious groups when they need them to win elections. "Neither the military nor the civilian government has a clear strategy how to deal with extremism or militancy in this country," said Hussain. "For me this is the biggest threat to Pakistan because if extremism is not controlled or contained . . . it is going to destroy the social fabric of this country."
KATHMANDU: A Bangladeshi airliner with 71 people on board crashed and burst into flames while landing in Kathmandu on Monday, killing 49 people and injuring more than 20 others on Monday. The USBangla Airlines flight from Dhaka swerved repeatedly as it descended towards Tribhuvan International Airport, witnesses said. The plane crashed during a second attempt to land after an unexpected turn in cloudy weather, they added. The Bombardier Dash 8 aircraft came down east of the runway and careened into a football field. Rescue teams had to cut apart the mangled and burned wreckage of the upturned plane to pull people out. “Forty people died at the spot and nine died in hospital,” police spokesman Manoj Neupane said, adding another 22 were being treated in hospital, some in a critical condition. A statement from airport authorities said the plane was “out of control” as it came in to land. The authorities also told a news conference the pilot descended from a route opposite to the one assigned by air traffic con-
trollers. The twin-engine turboprop airliner was carrying 67 passengers and four crew members, said airport spokesman Prem Nath Thakur. The two pilots and two cabin crew were Bangladeshi nationals. The passengers included 33 from Nepal, 32 from Bangladesh, and one each from China and the Maldives. Local media reported some of the Nepalese passengers were college students returning from a holiday. There was also a group of 16 Nepalese travel agents in the aircraft. Huge plumes of smoke were seen over the airport after the plane crashed and caught fire. Officials said the air traffic controllers repeatedly asked the pilot why he
had changed the alignment and route assigned to him for approaching the airport but there was no response. The conversation between the air traffic controllers and the pilot, which was made public, suggested the pilot ignored instructions from the ground. Raj Kumar Chettri, general manager of the airport, said the aircraft was permitted to land from the southern side of the runway but it changed direction and attempted to land from northern side. “This was main reason behind the accident,” he said. “In our preliminary findings, the aircraft might have sustained some technical glitches but we are yet to ascertain the reason behind the unusual landing.”
Asian Voice | 17th March 2018
Multi-millionaires who helped Tanzania grow
DODOMA: The East African country of Tanzania has found substantial growth with a rising economy that outrank that of others in the region. A small share of credit for the development goes to a group of business moguls who continue to contribute to the country. It is safe to say that these businessmen have built their multi-million/billion dollar empires with their own sweat and labour. While some of the names are recognisable and some are not, what matters is their benefaction to Tanzania.
Mohammed Dewji With a net worth of $1.3 billion, Dewji has a successful business enterprise, one he established after obtaining the ownership of several production plants owned by the Ugandan government. With 75 per cent ownership of METL group, the 42 year old was regarded as the youngest billionaire on the list of 50 richest Africans 2017.
Rostam Azizi Owner of various companies including Caspian Mining, the 53 year old emerged as the very first billionaire the country produced. According to Forbes, he owns nearly 18 per cent of Vodacom Tanzania, the country's largest mobile phone company, with 15 million subscribers. He previously owned 35 per cent of the company via Cavalry Holdings, however sold 17.4 per cent
shares to Vodacom Group of South Africa for an estimated $250 million. His net worth stands at $1 billion.
Said Salim Bakhresa Founder and chairperson of the Bakhresa Group of Companies, Said is a well-known industrialist in the mainland of Tanzania and island of Zanzibar. A humble beginning has helped keep him rooted despite his net worth of $575 million. A fact worth commending is that the 68 year old established his vast empire in just over three decades. Not just as the founder of Azam TV, he is also known for generating employment for over 500 people. His fields of business include petroleum trading, ferry services, and food beverages.
Reginald Mengi The Tanzanian media mogul sits on the throne of one of the largest media conglomerates in entire Africa. His IPP Media Group owns 11 newspapers, radio, and television stations and internet properties. His IPP Resources mines gold, uranium, copper, chrome, and coal. With modesty as one of his biggest virtues, Reginald is a devout philanthropist and sends hundreds of Tanzanian children suffering from heart ailments to India for treatment every year. With a net worth of $560 million, he is considered to be one of Tanzania’s self-made millionaires.
“The 36 year old entrepreneur who built a $1 billion oil company in Tanzania”, Ally has built himself a reputable business empire with his involvement in oil trading and services. After being authorised by a license, he initiated his petroleum firm Lake Oil Group, which works on the import and distribution of petroleum within the country.
million dollar organisation in a span of just two decades. His Group comprises of over 15 different companies and has multimillion dollar investments in steel, mining, cement, plastics, paints, FMCG, food processing, hospitality, construction, and cable. He heads the investment and expansion of the group in Tanzania, Zambia, Uganda, and Mozambique. Subhash also indulges in several charitable activities. Motisun Group owns a collection of some of Tanzania’s finest hotels and resorts, including the popular Sea Cliff Resort in Zanzibar and the Hotel White Sands in Dar es Salaam. Ghalib Said Mohamed
The 35 year old Shekhar Kanabar is the CEO of Synarge Group, a 50-year old family-owned Tanzanian conglomerate with branches in lead manufacturing, battery recycling, and automotive spare parts. The business which was founded by his father in the 60 as a cloth trading business, has since grown to become one of the biggest multi-company enterprise in the country with over 150 employees and a revenue worth millions of dollars.
Tanzania’s multi-millionaire Ghalib got a head start by working for his father's cashew farming and general trading business. He later founded the GSM Group, a wideranged organisation that deals with general trading, transportation, logistics, media, manufacturing, real estate, retailing, and financial services. Fida Hussein Rashid
Founder and chairman of Motisun Group, Subhash created a multi-
A prominent name in Tanzania’s automotive industry, Fida and his Africarriers Group became part of the country's first set of companies to trade in secondhand vehicles. The company also became the first East African company to engage in the importation of Toyota and other Japanese automobiles.
Kenyatta, Odinga make peace to heal Kenya divisions
Kenyatta, Odinga talk unity, to heal Kenyan political divisions
NAIROBI: In the surprise meeting, Kenyatta and Odinga agreed to work toward unifying the country after last year’s divisive presidential election. The two – who, after their meeting, appeared together to give separate statements to the press – acknowledged the country was heading in the wrong direction. Odinga, who has refused to recognize Kenyatta as president, paraphrased US president Abraham Lincoln. He said Kenyans needed to know where they are and where they want to go before they can better judge what to do and how to do it. "Fifty-four years since independence, we are challenged to audit our progress toward the ideals for which our fathers
fought to establish a free and independent country and for which many of our compatriots died." As leaders, said Odinga, they had a duty to reflect on their performance in reaching Kenya’s goals since independence: justice, unity, peace, liberty and prosperity for all. Kenyatta said the two men came to a common understanding that for Kenya to come together, its leaders must come together. "And this is what me and my brother have agreed," Kenyatta said, referring to Odinga. "That starting today, we will begin a process of bringing our people together. That we will begin a process discussing what ails us and what creates division amongst us."
Fresh violence in Lanka COLOMBO: Fresh violence erupted in Sri Lanka after a Muslim-owned restaurant was attacked in an alleged hate crime incident in the north western province on Sunday, a day after President Sirisena appointed a commission to probe a spate of antiMuslim riots in the violence-hit Kandy that prompted him to impose a nationwide state of emergency. The restaurant located 130km from Colombo, was targeted in the morning even as police are keeping a tight vigil following eruption of communal clashes that left at least two people dead and damaged several homes, businesses and mosques in Kandy. Tensions remain high across the country after the violence broke out following the death of a man from the mainly Buddhist Sinhalese majority last week. President Sirisena appointed a three-member commission to probe the communal clashes in the Kandy district. Meanwhile, Kandy’s central province CM Sarath
Ekanayake said that all government schools which were closed on March 7 due to the unrest will reopen. Ranjith Madduma Bandara is new Law & Order Minister A worried President Sirisena divested the law and order portfolio from Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe and appointed Ranjith Madduma Bandara, a senior politician from Wickremesinghe’s United National Party, in his place. A total of 81people, including the main suspect, who had led antiMuslim violence have been arrested so far. “A man, named Vidanapathiranage Amith Jeewan Weerasinghe, who is believed to be the main suspect and nine others were arrested on Thursday,” a police spokesman said. “They were arrested for inciting communal violence and hate speech,” the spokesperson said. He said since March 4, there have been two deaths due to clashes.
Asian Voice | 17th March 2018
50 years of Independent Mauritius The once “mini India” has successfully paved its independent way of life Reshma Trilochun
On 12th March 1968, the victorious Island of Mauritius gained its independence from the British. Geographically located in the Indian Ocean, off the southeast coast of Africa and east of Madagascar, Mauritius is an amalgamation of cultures, languages, religions and people who came together and formed the Mauritian culture and Mauritian way of life. This year marks the 50th independence of the Republic of Mauritius and it was celebrated with magnificence and grandeur at Champ de Mars Racecourse in the capital of Mauritius, Port Louis. 12Th March also marked Mauritius' 26th anniversary as a Republic. On this historical event, the President of India, Ram Nath Kovind graced the occasion as a chief guest, where he sat alongside the President of Mauritius, Ameenah GuribFakim, and the Prime Minister of Mauritius, Pravind Jugnauth. The nation witnessed an array of colours, music and dance spectacles, parades, as well as fireworks and an aerial parade of helicopters. In his message to the nation aired on the national channel, MBC (Mauritius Broadcasting Corporation) Pravind Jugnauth spoke about empowering women, as well as spoke about a vision of seeing a female Mauritian Prime Minister in the near future. He said, "The education of a mother is the education of a whole generation. We have already recognised the contribution of women in different sectors. Some already hold positions of responsibility and make important decisions for the progress of the country. I believe that women still have a bigger role to play in the future of the country. Why not in the future have a woman as Prime
N Korea ready to freeze N-tests, talk with US SEOUL: North Korea’s leader, Kim Jong-un, has told South Korean envoys that he is willing to begin negotiations with the United States on abandoning its nuclear weapons and that it would suspend all nuclear and missile tests while engaged in such talks, South Korean officials said. US President Donald Trump reacted with guarded optimism to the news, which potentially represented a major defusing of one of the world’s most tense confrontations, while China said it hoped that the two Koreas can continue their efforts to advance reconciliation. During the envoys’ visit to Pyongyang the two Koreas also agreed to hold a summit meeting between Kim and President Moon Jae-in of South Korea on the countries’ border in late April.
Minister.” Addressing the youth of Mauritius, the Prime Minister saids he has confidence in them. "The world we live in offers a lot of opportunities for young people to make the right choices in life. Choose a hobby that will allow you to grow healthy. Take advantage of opportunities in education, sports, culture and get ready to develop your skills to take over. Do not be dragged into bad routes." He went on to say that it is unfortunate that children and those who are vulnerable become victims of drug
From left: President of Mauritius, Ameenah Gurib-Fakim; President of India, Ram Nath Kovind; and Prime Minister of Mauritius, Pravind Jugnauth at the Independence Day celebration
Brief historical outline of Mauritius and Indian labourers
Mauritius was first claimed by the Dutch in 1598 and named it after their head of state, Maurice, Prince of Orange and Count of Nassau.
Flag hoisting ceremony at 50th Independence Day commemoration in Mauritius
abuse or become prey to drug lords. He advised, "Learn to say no and come to us if you feel vulnerable. Youth is one of our greatest riches."
In 1715, French East India Company claimed Mauritius for France and renamed the island Ile de France. And in 1767, the
French East Indian Company sold Mauritius and the transferred the control of the island to the French Government. After defeating the French in battle at Cap Malheureux in 1810, British forces land in Mauritius. And in 1814, Mauritius, along with Seychelles and Rodrigues were granted to Britain under the Treaty of Paris. The British abolished slavery in 1834 and introduced an indentured labour system a year later in which hundreds of thousands of workers arrived on the island from India to work on the sugar estate. Indian labourers were mainly drawn from Bihar and Uttar Pradesh provinces, but also from Southern Provinces of colonial India, passed through the gate of Aapravasi Ghat in the capital of Mauritius. The indentured labour system was abolished in 1910. Between 1834- 1910, 451,776 Indians were brought to Mauritius to work, of which
157,639 returned to India. During the indentured labour system, after arriving at the Aapravasi Ghat, labourers either stayed on in Mauritius to work as indentured labour in the sugar plantations or elsewhere, or sailed on to further destinations, such as Guyana, Suriname and Reunion Island. In 2018, the island has an estimated population of 1.27 million, two-thirds of the total population are made up of people of Indian origin, while the remaining ethnic groups comprise of Creoles, Sino-Mauritians (Chinese), and FrancoMauritians. It is remarkable that with so there are so many people who belong to different cultures and religion who live together in communal harmony, and have been doing so for many decades without fail. Many nations can take a leaf or two out of Mauritius' book, in terms of taking pride in themselves as well as setting as example of how to live harmoniously with one another despite their differences.
Chinese president Xi Jinping can Mauritian President to resign continue in power indefinitely
BEIJING: China’s parliament last week paved the way for president Xi Jinping to continue in power indefinitely by reversing the 35-year-old rule limiting the tenure of a president to two fiveyear terms. Xi’s 10-year term is supposed to end in 2023. The constitutional amendment bill was ratified by an overwhelming support from the delegates of the National People’s Congress (NPC), China’s parliament. The bill was passed by 2,958 votes, just six short of a complete majority. Only two delegates voted against, three abstained and there was one invalid vote. Critics of the move said China has shifted from “one-party rule” to essentially a “one-man rule” and the move blocks the emergence of an alternative leader, putting unbridled
Clampdown on Muslim Uighurs
power over the party, the military and the state administration in Xi’s hands for years to come. The two-term rule was incorporated in the Constitution to block accumulation of power as was seen in the excesses during the Cultural Revolution under Mao. The Communist Party, however, said the “speculation has no basis” claiming the decision was aimed at strengthening coordination between the party,
Security and surveillance in China's Xinjiang region has almost doubled as the country tightened its grip on millions of ethnic minority citizens, particularly Muslim Uighurs. Security spending rose by 92 per cent to ($ 9.16 billion), according to government data, eight times higher than the growth rate for China's overall public security budget. Xinjiang's security costs have increased 10-fold in the past decade, vastly outpacing the rest of the country. the military and the country. “It is an important measure to prioritise coordination between the party, the military and the country,” said Shen Chunyao, party spokesman.
PORT LOUIS: President of Mauritius and Africa's only female head of state, Ameenah GuribFakim will be resigning from her post following a financial controversy. In 2015, the renowned scientist became the first woman to be appointed as the President of Mauritius. Gurib-Fakim has been accused of using a bank card provided by the London-based charity Planet Earth Institute (PEI), to make personal purchases worth tens of thousands of dollars. The 58-year-old president denies any wrongdoing, and stated that she had refunded all the money, Reuters news agency reported. It is suggested that the president will resign from her position after the 50th anniversary of Mauritius' independence. Without
President of Mauritius, Ameenah Gurib-Fakim
mentioning the chosen date, the Prime Minister of Mauritius, Pravind Jugnauth said, “The president of the republic told me that she would resign from office and we agreed on the date of her departure. The interest of the country comes first, and I am proud of Mauritius' image as a model of living democracy in the world.”
Asian Voice | 17th March 2018
TDP pulls ministers out of Narendra Modi’s Cabinet AMARAVATI: Andhra Pradesh's Telugu Desam (TDP) has formally pulled out of the central government following a conversation between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Andhra Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu that failed to stop the break up of the allies. The development came after Naidu announced that his party would withdraw its ministers as the Centre had failed to grant AP special category status. “Public anger over the neglect of AP's interests has left me with no option,” a close aide quoted Naidu telling Modi. Andhra Pradesh
N Chandrababu Naidu
Agriculture Minister S o m i r e d d y Chandramohan Reddy said, “In coming days we will take appropriate decision at appropriate time.” The statement came a day after TDP's P Ashok Gajapathi Raju (Civil Aviation) and YS Chowdary (Science and
Technology) submitted their resignations. “The party took a decision that we should resign. We have resigned now. It was a matter of courtesy that we met the Prime Minister and presented our resignation,” they said. In response, the BJP has also pulled out two of its ministers from the Naidu government in Andhra. Party leaders rejected the “betrayal” charge as “baseless and unfortunate”. They argued that the Modi government had moved to deliver a significant part of the assistance promised when Telangana was created. “The assistance was to be over 10 years. Most
of it has been delivered in four years,” said BJP state unit chief Hari Babu. Modi reportedly sought a dialogue with the state's leadership and Naidu. However, the CM indicated that the TDP's patience had run out after four years of waiting. While Modi said the issue “could have been resolved” had both the leaders “sat and discussed it”, Naidu reportedly said his party and the state had “waited patiently and moved out after four years”. He also added, “Ultimately we had to take the decision.” Naidu said the decision to pull out was taken “in deference to the people's sentiment”.
Karnataka ready with its own flag BENGALURU: A red, white, and yellow flag designed for Karnataka has been approved by the state's Siddaramaiah government, which will now ask the Centre for permission to use it. The “tricolour” features the state's emblem, “Ganda Bherunda”- a two-headed mythical bird. The “Naada Dwaja” borrows two colours from a flag that is
already associated with Karnataka and is “unofficially” used in functions, including the state's formation day. “It was decided
to have a flag for the state as a symbol of the pride of Kannadaspeaking people. It was the intention, opinion and voice of Kannadigas,” Chief Minister Siddaramaiah said. Siddaramaiah had faced criticism when he set up a panel to choose a flag design in July last year. Now, critics have drawn
comparisons with Jammu and Kashmir, which is allowed to fly its own flag besides the national flag, because of its special status under the constitution. Karnataka CM has, meanwhile, expressed confidence that the flag would be cleared by the Centre. “There is nothing in the Constitution that says States should not have a flag,” he said.
Haryana CM favours all-party meet to discuss SYL issue CHANDIGARH: The INLD staged two walkouts in Chandigarh during the reply to the debate on Governor's Address by Manohar Lal Khattar even as the CM favoured an allparty meeting on the Sutlej-Yamuna Link (SYL) canal issue, asking the Opposition not to politicise it. Khattar said, “The Opposition should refrain from using the SYL issue as a ladder to climb to power as the public is well aware of its political gimmicks. For the Opposition, the SYL only means 'Satta Yun Hi Lunga'.” He reiterated the resolve of the state government to get every single drop of its share in the river waters through the SYL, and offered to convene and all-party meeting to draw a line of action on this issue. Leader of Opposition Abhay Chautala had a day before Khattar's speech, threatened to launch a “Jail Bharo Andolan” on May 1, if the government failed to start the canal's construction. Khattar, meanwhile, said the three-and-a-halfyear-old BJP government
Honeypreet may get life imprisonment if convicted
Biplab Kumar Deb sworn in as Tripura CM
Biplab Kumar Deb (right) with Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP chief Amit Shah
AGARTALA: Biplab Kumar Deb was sworn in as the Chief Minister of Tripura's first BJP government in Agartala. Held at the Assam Rifles ground, the ceremony was attended by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, BJP chief Amit Shah, Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh, and senior BJP leaders Lal Krishna Advani, and Murli Manohar Joshi. Also present were Chief Ministers of BJP-ruled states like Vijay Rupani of Gujarat, Shivraj Singh Chouhan of Madhya Pradesh, Sarbananda Sonowal of Assam, and Raghubar Das of Jharkhand. Outgoing Tripura CM Manik Sarkar also attended the event. “Treat me as your son, brother, not as the CM. Pull my ears to put me on the right track if I err in providing you good governance,” he said to the 3.7 million people in the state. Addressing the Left Front leaders, Prime Minister Modi said that their long experience in running government in Tripura can guide the newly-formed inexperienced one. The new state ministry include Sudip Roy Barman and Ratan Lal Nath, both defected from the Congress party. Rio takes centre stage in Nagaland In Nagaland, Neiphiu Rio was sworn in as the Chief Minister for the
Manohar Lal Khattar
had ensured equitable development, brought transparency in recruitment and curbed corruption. “A strong message has gone out that now jobs are given only on merit. This government represents 25 million people of Haryana. We believe in 'Sabka Saath Sabka Vikas'.” The CM said that his government had aensured equitable development. “Earlier, there was a perception that more development works remained concentrated in regions from where Chief Ministers came,” Khattar said. He claimed that 3,200 of the 4,500 CM's announcements had either been completed or was nearing completion.
Honeypreet being brought to court
CHANDIGARH: Adopted daughter of convicted Dera Sacha Sauda chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh, Honeypreet Insan may get life imprisonment if found guilty in connection with a sedition and criminal conspiracy case. The “Papa's Angel” has been charged for allegedly conspiring and inciting violence in Panchkula following conviction of Gurmeet in two rape cases by the local CBI court. Honeypreet was produced before a session court in Panchkula last week. Twenty two people, including Honeypreet, have been given sedition charges by the special investigation team (SIT) of the Haryana police. The
chargesheet describes that she hatched the conspiracy to spread violence in Panchkula at the Dera headquarters with the 45member management committee. Currently in Ambala Central Jail, Honeypreet is booked under various sections. If the court finds her guilty under section 121A and section 120B of the IPC, Honeypreet can be convicted with life imprisonment. Last year on August 25, Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh was convicted of raping two female followers. Large-scale violence spread in Panchkula and Sirsa following the conviction, causing the death of 38 people and injury to 264 others.
fourth time in Kohima, along with 11 cabinet ministers, six of them from ally BJP. Governor PB Acharya administered the oath of office to the 12-member council of ministers at Khuochiezie. The venue is of significance as this was where Nagaland's statehood was announced on December 1, 1963. Rio's Nationalist Democratic Progressive Party (NDPP) has four berths in the council of ministers. Two of which, went to the lone JDU legislator G Kaito Aye and Independent Tongpang Ozukum- both who support the NDPP-BJP government. The BJP has 12 MLAs in the 60-member assembly. His swearing-in ceremony was attended by Amit Shah, Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, Union Minister of State for Home Kiren Rijiju, North East Democratic Alliance convenor Himanta Biswa Sarma, and Chief Ministers of five BJP-ruled states in the northeast. Rio promised to remove VIP culture from the state, promote meritocracy, ensure good governance, transparency, and working together with neighbouring states with a spirit of understanding. HE said an early and final settlement to the protracted Naga political issue would remain foremost on his government's priority list.
Clash over purification of statue SERAMPORE (WEST BENGAL): The workers of the Bharatiya Janata Party and the Trinamool Congress clashed over the ''purification'' of a bust of Jan Sangh founder Syama Prasad Mookerjee at Serampore in West Bengal's Hooghly district. Three persons were arrested in connection with the incident, the police said. The ''purification'' of the bust followed the defacement of another statue of Mookerjee in Kolkata on March 7. The statue was attacked a day after two statues of communist icon Lenin were vandalised in Tripura in the wake of the declaration of the Assembly poll results in the north-eastern state.
The clash took place when BJP supporters had gathered at the RMS ground for the ''purification'' of the bust with milk and water, the police said, adding that a group of TMC workers stopped them and poured milk on the bust.
Asian Voice | 17th March 2018
Dr. Hari Desai
Gita and Qur’an Unite the World’s People India has been a cradle of all major religions in the world: PM Modi Both Holy Books ask to desist from fighting, if the enemy seeks peace
The King of Jordon, Abdullah II bin Al Hussein, graced the occasion. Prime Minister said: “Islamic culture is flourishing across India. The influence of Sufism spreads the message of love, peace and brotherhood. The Government of India is leaving no stone unturned in empowering the Muslim youth.
n continuation of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s declaration to fight terrorism and redicalization, he gave a call to de-redicalization and expressed his faith in the plural society in the Conference on “Islamic Heritage : Promoting Understanding and Moderation” on 1 March 2018 at Delhi. The King of Jordon, Abdullah II bin Al Hussein, graced the occasion. Prime Minister said: “Islamic culture is flourishing across India. The influence of Sufism spreads the message of love, peace and brotherhood. The Government of India is leaving no stone unturned in empowering the Muslim youth. We want them to have the Qur’an in one hand and a computer in the other.” He stressed on fighting terrorism and militancy. While saying India does not believe in campaigning against any religious belief, PM Modi called India a cradle of all major religions in the world. When the King of Saudi Arabia, Salman bin Abdulapziz Al Saud, visited India in April 2016, PM Modi gifted him a goldplated replica of the Cheraman Juma Masjid in Kerala situated in Thrissur district. The Cheraman Masjid is believed to be the first mosque built in India by Arab traders around 629 AD, and symbolic of active trade relations between India and Saudi Arabia since ancient times. According to oral tradition, Cheraman Perumal was the Chera King and a contemporary of the Holy Prophet who went to Arabia and embraced Islam after meeting the Holy Prophet
at Mecca. Some years later, he sent letters to his relatives and the ruling chieftains of Malabar through his friends Malik bin Dinar and Malik bin Habib who, along with their companions, were then given permission by the local rulers to build the mosque at Kodungallur. The Indian Prime Minister is trying to break the myth that Islam arrived in India with Holy Qur’an in one hand and sword in another. Right from an early era, even the Islamic scholars as well as Hindu scholars have made efforts to draw parallels in both the religions and the Holy
The Gita and The Qur’an by Pandit Sunderlal
books like Gita and Qur’an. In an ancient Sanskrit, the phrase like “Vasuddhaiv Kutumbkam”, meaning the whole world is a family, is commonly used and modern-day Hindu-Muslim cultural bond is called “Ganga-Jamuni Tahzeeb or Sanskriti”. The British historians tried to play down the role of their countrymen in subjugating the native kingdoms in India by all means. It was left to a few diligent historians to carry out painstaking
research and unravel the facts. Pandit Sunderlal was one of such persons who vigorously exposed the British plan to enlarge their sphere of influence in India slowly and steadily through a number of dubious methods. In writing the foreward for Pandit Sunderlal’s book “How India Lost Her Freedom”(published by Popular Prakashan-Sage Publishing, 2018), originally published in 1929 and banned by the British, Rajen Habib Khwaja, IAS(Retd.), calls Pandit ji “the rarest of the rare combination of spiritual, intellectual and human quality” and adds: “Perhaps his most unique aspect was his unconditional and complete belief in humanism in its most complete sense, which he practiced like a true Karmayogi.” Apart from “How India Lost Her Freedom”, Pandit ji’s great contribution is in his original work titled “Bharat Mein Angrezi Raj” published before independence and was banned by the British. Gandhi ji called it most authentic historical work and after independence, the Publication Division of the Government of India published it. “Pandit ji has irrevocably exposed the deep, sinister and unfortunate prejudices of British historians who have dis-
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Bharat Mein Angrezi Raj by Pandit Sunderlal
thereby establishing their colonial rule.” Khwaja, presently the Director-General of Administrative Staff College of India at Hyderabad, was fortunate to interact with Pandit Sunderlal since his father A. M. Khwaja and Pandit ji shared many common values. Being a great scholar of Islam, Pandit ji gave a scholarly, powerful and compelling discourse which included recitation of the verses from the Holy
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torted original sources through selective misquotations and false translations of some original texts. Their basic objective was the splitting of Hindus and Muslims, promoting hatred among them, dividing the Indian society and
Qur’an in Arabic and their translation in simple Hindustani. Originally, Pandit Sunderlal was a revolutionary and a member of the Ghadar Party. But after he came in contact with Mahatma Gandhi, he became a Gandhian and a true practitioner of nonviolence or Ahimsa. He was jailed seven times for participating in the freedom movement. While being a Member of Parliament, he chaired the Hyderabad Police Action Atrocities How India Lost Her Inquiry Committee of Freedom by Pandit which the report was so Sunderlal explosive that the then PM Qur’an” is an interesting Pandit Nehru and his example of a book, which Deputy PM Sardar Patel examines the interreladid not release it. Though tionship of differing till date the report is not faiths. Written by Pandit released officially but it is Sunderlal and translated leaked out by certain by Syed Asadullah, it scholars which puts an offers us a side-by-side estimate of killings comparison of Hinduism between 25,000 to 40,000 and Islam. In all religion people during the basic themes of humanity Operation Polo in are to the fore, themes, September 1948. which should unite the According to R. H. world’s people and not Khwaja, the three key life divide them. missions of Pandit ji In the seven chapters included: promoting of the book of hardly 150 essential unity of all relipages, Pandit Sunderlal gions; promoting commuends with the gist of both nal harmony between the Holy books: “Even Hindus and Muslims; and like the Gita, the Qur’an practicing the composite permits its followers, culture of India. In 1944, under certain conditions, he published his famous to take up arms in the book “Gita Aur Qur’an” defence of their faith. simultaneously in Hindi Both ask them to desist and Urdu. Later, the book from fighting, if the was translated in to enemy seeks peace. There Gujarati, Marathi, Bengali is no compulsion in reliand Arabic. Its English gion. That is a basic prinversion was published in ciple of the Qur’an. In 1957 and republished in every field of activity, the 2016. “In today’s turbuclear Qur’anic direction is lent times, the need for : ‘It is always good for reading “Gita Aur Qur’an” man to forgive the wrongs cannot be overeminflicted on him by phasized.” One and Next Column: others cannot underendure them stand the Patri Sarkar with patience greatness of and return against British in I n d o - Ve d i c good for evil.’ Maharashtra civilization For ‘God is graunless one reads cious and forgives Pandit Sunderlal. all.’ Verily, “God loves Pandit Sunderlal’s those only who do good book “Gita Aur Qur’an” to others.” was rendered into English by Syed Asadullah and (The writer is a published from Varanasi Socio-political Historian. in 2005. Bob Gibbons E-mail: opines: “The Gita and the email@example.com)
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Blue Star secrets: A volcano?
Asian Voice | 17th March 2018
Continued from page 1
“No Sikh can overlook the events of 1984 and the atrocities that the Sikh community has suffered. Hence, many in the diaspora feel that they must do more towards seeking justice.” The Counsel for the Cabinet Office said India holds particular sensitivity against the issue of “Sikh separatism” or “proKhalistani movement”. The files are meant to contain information on Britain’s involvement in the Indian military operation at Golden Temple in Amritsar in 1984, under Indira Gandhi's government. The Counsel reportedly added, “Just the passage of time does not diminish the significance of this case.” The UK authorities have also linked the classified information with wider national security concerns and claimed that extracting any portions of it, to make it available for public, will cross the Cabinet Office’s “red lines”. The UK Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO), a party in the hearing, questioned the impact on UK-India relations with the release of the documents saying India is a country governed by the rule of law, with a “sophisticated democracy” and there should be no reason to presume that it would not respect the UK’s need to follow the rule of law, the PTI reported. UK-based freelance journalist Phil Miller’s counsel, arguing in favour of the files being made available to public under Freedom of Information (FOI), emphasised on wider public interest in the case and concluded that it was
not simply about seeking a “smoking gun” in terms of UK-India bilateral relations in the 1980s, adding, “The documents may well allay concerns and help reassure the Sikh community. So there could be good news in no bad news.” Miller had come across the information about Britiain's military advice under Thatcher government to Indian forces prior to Operation Blue Star, during some unrelated research in the UK’s National Archives in 2014. The then British Prime Minister, David Cameron, immediately had ordered for a review, but that led to a statement in Parliament declaring that Britain’s role was purely “advisory” and the Special Air Service (SAS) advice only had “limited impact” on the military operation at the Amritsar temple in June 1984. The judge at the First Tier Tribunal hearing, Murray Shanks, has reserved judgment in the case, which is expected later this year. Miller's request involves the need to establish if Maragret Thatcher's government did offer arms deals or such assistance to India. He also believes the BJP led government in India would welcome the release of the files for the sake of transparency, since Congress party is no longer in charge. During his evidence, in open session, Owen Jenkins, former FCO Director for South Asia and Afghanistan, said that there were no consultation with the Indian government on the issue of the release of the classified files in question. However sources from the Indian High Commission said it was for
the British government to decide on the matter and and Indian government did not have a stand for or against the declassification of these files. But Jenkins emphasised, “This remains a highly sensitive issue and release of the information could have a detrimental effect on our relationship with India,” and gave much of his evidence in closed session due to the apparent “sensitivity” of the material. A community member, who did not want to publish his name told the Asian Voice, "This approach is wrong. It is not about Khalistan or any separatist movement. I don't support anything against India as a nation. But if UK had any involvement in a mass massacre in the 1980s, the country has to own up to its doings. Many innocent people lost lives because of an erratic operation. It is a matter of humanity, our rights. We deserve to know. We are pinning our hopes in PM Modi." Jasvir Singh OBE, Chairman of the City Sikhs Network said, "It's very disappointing to hear that the Government is still refusing to disclose all documents relating to the British involvement in Operation Blue Star. There is currently a deficit of trust between the Sikh community and the British government on this issue, and the disclosure of all documents relating to this episode would go some way to help restore that relationship. The Labour Party has made a commitment to this point, and I would hope that other political parties would follow suit."
Spy poisoning: Theresa May issues ultimatum to Russia
Prime minister Theresa May has issued an ultimatum to Russian to explain how a former spy was poisoned in Salisbury. She said that if there was no response from Moscow, she would conclude that it was an “unlawful use of force” by the Russia against the UK. She told MPs that it was “highly likely” that Russia was behind the attack on Sergei Skripal and his daughter, Yulia. She warned that Britain would not tolerate such murderous attempt on innocent civilians on its soil. May said the evidence had shown that Skripal had been targeted by a “military-grade nerve agent of a type developed by Russia”. Describing the incident as a reckless act, she said that foreign secretary Boris Johnson had
summoned the Russian ambassador to Whitehall and demanded an explanation by the end of Tuesday. Russian officials hit back, with Maria Zakharova, the spokeswoman for the Russian foreign minister, calling the remarks “a provocation” and described the event as a “circus show in the British parliament.” The prime minister said that there
was just two plausible explanations, “Either this was a direct act by the Russian state against our country, or the Russian government lost control of this nerve agent and allowed it to get into the hands of others.” May made clear that she believed there was already “a backdrop of a well-established pattern of Russian state aggression” – listing the illegal annexation of Crimea, violating European airspace and a “sustained campaign of cyber-espionage and disruption,” including “meddling in elections, and hacking the Danish ministry of defence and the Bundestag, among many others”. She also spoke of the extrajudicial killing of terrorists and dissidents outside Russia and the murder of Litvinenko.
French President visits Taj Mahal with the love of his life
French President, Emmanuel Macron, with wife Brigitte
The French President, Emmanuel Macron is currently on a four-day official visit to India. Along with his wife, Brigitte, he visited the monument of love- the Taj Mahal. Photographs evidently show the love they have for each other as they have broken all stereo-
Wings India 2018 gets underway The Indian government has awarded 56 airports under the Regional Connectivity Scheme UDAN, in the last two years. Eighteen of these airports have been operationalised and every month, two functional airports are added under the scheme. Speaking at the Wings India 2018, organised by FICCI jointly with the Ministry of Civil Aviation and Airport Authority of India, Civil Aviation Secretary RN Choubey said the government was committed to connecting the cities and towns to increase regional connectivity in the country. Senior Vice President, FICCI, Sandip Somany said that UDAN merits a special mention. “It provides greater connectivity to under-served and unserved airports of the country,” he said. The four-day event will see the presence of 125 exhibitors and 35 CEOs. Wings 2018 will also see representation from 10 countriesUSA, Japan, UK, Russia, Singapore, France, Germany, Malaysia, Hong Kong, Italy, and Iran.
Princess Diana visited the Taj Mahal in 1992
types to be together, proving that love triumphs in the end. Brigitte is 24 years senior to the French President, however, Macron has proved that age is just a number when it comes to matters of the heart. If we rewind back to 1992, the classic shot of
the late Princess Diana still resonates in people's minds. Seeing her sit in front of the monument of love without Prince Charles gave a sense of loneliness, and also gave a glimpse of what married life entailed for the royal couple, which was later unravelled to the world.
India, France ink 14 pacts In French President Emmanuel Macron's maiden visit to India, both the countries strengthened their cord by inking 14 pacts in key areas of defence, security, nuclear energy, and protection of classified information along with resolving to deepen cooperation in the Indo-Pacific region. The agreements were signed after extensive talks between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Macron, that included the topic of changing security dynamics in the Indian Ocean and Pacific. The signed pacts include reciprocal logistic support between the armed forces of the countries, and protection of classified or protected information. “Our defence cooperation is very strong and we consider France among the most trusted defence partners,” Modi said at a joint press address. He said the pact on reciprocal logistic support between the armed forces was a “golden step” in defence relations. Modi stated that both sides have agreed to strengthen cooperation in ensuring freedom of navigation overflight as Indian Ocean will play a key role in ensuring regional
peace and stability. Macron, on the other hand, talked about the Scorpene submarine project for the Indian Navy and the fighter jet deal for the Air Force. He said, “India had made a sovereign decision in this respect (Rafale Fighter Jet) and we are monitoring the progress in the field. We very much want to continue the programme. It is a long-term contract which is mutually beneficial. I personally consider it as the heart of the strategic partnership.” A government-to-government deal was signed by India with France in 2016, to buy 36 Rafale fighter jets at a cost of approximately Rs 58,000 Crore. “The values of liberty, equality, and fraternity echo not just in France but are also deeply enshrined in India's Constitution as well,” Modi said. Macron reiterated the feeling by saying, “The trust that we share is protecting us as our interests are aligned. We want India as our first strategic partner here, and we want to be India's first strategic partner in Europe, and even in the western world.”
SC allows passive euthanasia and living will Continued from page1 The SC, in a 538-page judgment containing four opinions, said passive euthanasia or a provision of passive euthanasia through “advance directive” or “living will” would
save “a helpless person from uncalled for and unnecessary treatment when he is considered as merely a creature whose breath is felt or measured because of advanced medical technology.” The bench also provid-
ed for stringent guidelines for preparing and giving effect to “living will” and administration of “passive euthanasia” by involving multiple medical boards comprising several experts and judicial officers.
HEALTH & LIFESTYLE
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...
Survey suggests people mistakenly believe stress causes cancer According to a survey of the public's knowledge of what causes and what does not cause cancer, half of Britons mistakenly believe that stress can lead to cancer, although there has been no evidence to support this belief. The results from the survey by YouGov for the World Cancer Research Fund (WCRF), reveal that out of 2,070 adults questioned, 50% stated that they think stress increases your risk of getting cancer. Although the WCRF are adamant that there is no evidence to back up that stress can cause cancer, they said, “People under stress can sometimes behave in unhealthy ways, such as smoking, overeating or drinking heavily, which do increase their risk of many cancers. If you're under stress, it's important to try to find other ways of coping, such as doing physical activity.”
In its public information. Cancer Research UK (CRUK) states, “Stressful events can alter the levels of hormones in the body and affect the immune sys-
tem... there is no evidence that these changes could lead to cancer. It has been suggested that stress can cause cancer, particularly breast cancer. But the evidence for this has been poor. While a few studies have found a link, they have often only looked at a small number of participants or asked women to recall if they were stressed before they developed the disease, which isn't a reliable way of measuring stress.”
TV LISTINGS 19th March
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Asian Voice | 17th March 2018
Men's fertility clock Day-case bypass can also aid diabetes also ticking away Women are usually subjected to remarks and retorts about their biological clock, and at times pressurised or hastened to have children before they are biologically unable to do so. However, scientists have said that men should also face the Alike women, the clock is also ticking on men's fertility same pressure as proven fertility treatments women to start a family in men means that more while they are still young women are having to have so that there are more sperm inserted into their chances of having chileggs. dren. In the Human Scientists have sugReproduction journal, gested that the lack of three fertility experts stated, “[Women] have suffered invasive treatment on behalf of male infertility management.” Allan Pacey of the University of Sheffield said that men thought they could put off trying for a baby. However, their age could be a big factor in them successfully getting their partner pregnant. He said, “You are half as likely to get your partner pregnant if you are 40 or over as you are before the age of 25.”
The procedure of gastric bypass has proven to aid weight loss in obese patients. However, bariatric surgery has also shown to reverse cases of type 2 diabetes within 48 hours by changing levels of gut hormones. The surgical procedure does not take a long time. St George's hospital in Tooting, South London, has started offering patients with day-case surgery, meaning you could have the bypass in the morning and expect to be at home by afternoon. A diabetic patient who
19th MARCH - 25th MARCH 2018
had the operation at 8am was sent home by 4pm. Consultant general surgeon at the St George's University Hospital trust, Omar Khan suggests that 20% of gastric bypass patients could be eligible for day-case surgery. He shared, “[Staying in hospital} is not a pleasant experience for anyone. The idea that you can be sleeping in your own bed with the knowledge that there is 24-hour back-up, that you can be walking into surgery at 8am and out at 4pm – I think that will get people to move forward.”
Dhoop Sultanat Chalo Ishq Ladaaye Dishkiyaoon Banjo Phir Hera Pheri Jeet - Born To Win Kaccha Limboo
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Blue Oranges Majaal Samay - When Time Strikes Tanu Weds Manu Tanu Weds Manu Returns Shaurya Utthaan Dashavtar
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The Perfect Girl Sikka Indra-The Tiger One 2 Ka 4 Phir Hera Pheri Baazigar Rabba Main Kya Karoon James
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THE ART ROOM (RR) / JEET GAYI TOH PIYA MOREY (RPT)
ZEE NEWS (ORG)
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AAPKE AAJANE SE (RPT) / KALEEREIN (ORG)
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Asian Voice | 17th March 2018
Adah turns singer for Sakthi
Based on real events, the film revolves around Amay Patnaik, a fearless Income Tax officer who carries out a non-stop raid at the mansion of Tauji, the most powerful man in Lucknow.
Rahman to give music to 'Fault in Our Stars' remake
ollywood actress Adah Khan, of '1920' fame, has reportedly rendered her voice to Sakthi Chidambaram's 'Charlie Chaplin 2', a movie that will mark her debut in Kollywood. A source said, “Adah has learnt classical music and often uploads videos of her singing and dancing on social media. During one such live interaction with her followers online, she had sung a song from her Telugu film 'Heart Attack'. That's when a few members from
the unit of 'Charlie Chaplin 2' heard her sing and soon, producer Siva and director Sakthi asked her to record the title track. Amrish has composed the song, which is an out-and-out dance number. It has already been picturised on the cast.” The source added, “Her roots are from here, but she was raised in Mumbai. She knows Tamil quite well and it was easier for her to grasp the lyrics and get the pronunciation of the words right.”
Rajini joins Instagram and Facebook
ctor-politician Rajinikanth has expanded his presence on social media, joining Facebook and Instagram. The first post on his Insta page is a still from his super-hit film 'Kabali', with a tongue-in-cheek caption saying, “Vannakam! Vandhuten nu sollu!” (Let them know I have arrived). The line is a popular dialogue from the very film. Both the accounts have received a verified
blue tick. Within hours of making his account, Rajini had over 14,000 followers, and over 1,00,000 likes on Facebook. The '2.0' actor had made his Twitter account in 2014, and has seldom used it to promote his movies. It has been noticed that he only uses the micro-blogging site to share his comments and sentiments on issues of national interests. Meanwhile, Thalaivar's Insta post assumes significance considering his political plunge. Growing on the internet can be seen as a clear step towards his initiation to connect more with the youth. On the work front, Rajinikanth is awaiting the release of two of his films, 'Kaala' and '2.0'. He will then act in Karthik Subbaraj's film, which is set to go on floors soon.
Dhanush happy to be arrested?
Chay and Sam to reunite on screen
rammy-award winner, AR Rahman, who currently has an entire slew of movies, including 'Beyond the Clouds', 'Le Musk', and Rajinikanth's '2.0' in the pipeline, has reportedly taken up a Hindi film. It has become official that the music maestro will score music for the Hindi remake of popular Hollywood film 'The Fault in Our Stars'. To be directed by Mukesh Chhabra, the film features Sushant Singh Rajput in the lead role. “When I heard the narration of their Indian adaptation of 'The Fault in Our Stars' and especially how music is so beautifully woven into the narrative, I got quite excited,” Rahman said. Chhabra is ecstatic over getting Rahman onboard. “As a casting director, I have worked on many films with Rahman Sir but it was like a dream come true when he agreed to do the music for this film,” he said. “It is truly a hand of encouragement and boost for a debutant director like myself to have AR Rahman sir on board,” Chhabra added. Adapted from a John Green novel by the same name, the film is based on two teenagers, both suffering from cancer. Produced by Fox Star Studios, the Indian adaptation marks Chhabra's directorial debut. While the original focused on the female and her relations, casting of a female lead in the Hindi remake is currently under development.
fter their mesmerising performances and chemistry in 'Ye Maaya Chesave', 'Manam', and 'Autonagar Surya', Samantha and Naga Chaitanya are back as a pair! The married couple will star together after four years, in Shiva Nirvana's untitled project. Chaitanya announced the news on his Twitter account on the occasion of Women's Day. He wrote, “Happy to announce my next directed by shiva produced by @Shine_Screens and will be sharing screen space (if she gives me any ;-)) with my better half @Samanthaprabhu2 ..feels good to be back to being able to take you through another journey of love.” Speaking to a media source, director Shiva said, “After 'Ninnu Kori', I wanted to take a gap and do films in different genres. But I struck upon an exciting idea and felt like if I turn it into a story then it'd suit Chaitany. So I went and pitched the idea, and Chaitanya really liked it. I also suggested that it'd be nice to have
Samantha as part of this story, and he asked me to go and pitch the story to her. She got really excited after she heard the story.” He added, “Chai is on the verge of completing 'Savyasachi' and he also has Maruthi's next. We haven't locked the shooting days yet. We are most likely to go to the sets once he's relieved of both the projects. Meanwhile, Samantha will also finish her current commitments.” Samantha is currently shooting for the Telugu and Tamil remake of Kannada indie thriller 'U-Turn'. She also awaits the release of 'Irumbuthirai', and is at present working on Thiagaraja Kumaraja's 'Super Deluxe'.
fter a lengthy wait of three years, multi-talented Dhanush's much anticipated movie 'Vada Chennai' has completed its shooting. Makers of the film shared posters of the actor, and it is intriguing at best. The poster released by Wunderbar Films shows Dhanush's character, Anbu, stepping out of the back of a police van in handcuffs, with a big grin on his face. A second poster shows him suspended from a height, holding on to a rope with a dagger in his mouth. The makers are yet to disclose details about his character. The movie, which means North Chennai, reportedly chronicles the lives of residents of a village over 35 years. Termed to be one of the most ambitious projects in the entire career of director Vetrimaan, there were talks of a trilogy, however, makers have now said they will decide on a second movie based on the responses to the first. Impressed with the script, Dhanush gave 200 days of his schedule for the project. “'Vada Chennai' is not an art-house film. It will be an ultra-commercial movie. We are shooting each part separately. We will shoot the next part after the release of the first part.”
Celebrities who were found dead in a bathroom
eath comes in mysterious ways, and weird places. Generations have seen their beloved celebrities die in the most unbelievable ways. The latest death of India's first female superstar Sridevi was sensational and what followed for weeks was high-end speculation on how she passed away. In Dubai for a wedding, Sridevi's death was finally found to have been caused by “accidental drowning” in her hotel room bathtub. Such deaths remind us of the end to the otherwise glamorous lives of the stars. Elvis 'The King' Presley One of the most popular American singers of the 20th century, Elvis Presley needs no introduction. Still worshipped by many, the King was found dead in the bathroom in his Graceland mansion in Memphis on August 26, 1977. The 'Heartbreak Hotel' singer was found lying dead in a pool of vomit by his own staff. While his first autopsy cited the cause as cardiac arrhythmia, it was later admitted that he had taken a cocktail of ten prescription drugs in amounts that would guarantee death.
Lara Dutta set to launch own skincare range A
ctress Lara Dutta Bhupathi is all set to create another mark in her glorious career of 15 years, with her own skincare range of products under brand name ARIAS. After a long involvement in the glamour industry, the mommy of six year old Saira, has now partnered with research laboratories in Singapore and with credible dermatologists specialising in skincare. “For years, ever since I was a model, I would be asked about what I did for my skin. So extending my own brand to include skincare seems almost organic to my progression. The product range has been carefully created and focuses on age man-
Whitney Houston The 'I Will Always Love You' singer was reported to be erratic a couple of days before the unfortunate day. On February 11, she was found submerged in the bathtub in Suite 434 at the Beverly Hilton Hotel. While the cause of death was not immediately known, local police found no criminal intent. It was later reported that her death was caused by drowning and the effects of atherosclerotic heart disease and cocaine use.
agement and control in the most effective manner. The range is created using the best ingredients from around the world that have been proven to show results. My vision has been to make sure we offer world-class products that are readily accessible to the Indian consumer at affordable prices,” Lara said. Besides, she has also ventured into the world of producing, and has been busy with several projects. Also, the 40 year old will be seen as a judge on dance reality show 'High Fever: Dance Ka Naya Tevar'.
Sanjay Dutt fan leaves all belongings to him
Jim Morrison Lead singer and founder of American rock band 'The Doors', Morrison died at the age of 28, on July 3, 1971. While his cause of death remains unknown, he was found dead in a Paris apartment bathtub next to his longterm companion Pamela Courson. The medical examiner who went to the scene of his death, claimed no foul play, and so did not perform an autopsy on his body. His cause of death continues to be a source of speculation because of the lack of concrete answers. Judy Garland Dorothy from 1939's 'The Wizard of Oz', Judy Garland was a versatile actress and won several awards including the Juvenile Academy Award, the Cecil B. DeMille Award, Grammy, the Golden Globe Award, and a special Tony. The actress was found dead in the bathroom of her rented house in Chelsea, London, on June 22, 1969, by her then husband Mickey Deans. Her cause of death was cited as an “incautious self-overdosage” of barbiturates. The overdose was claimed to be accidental and not an attempt for suicide.
Asian Voice | 17th March 2018
unnabhai' actor Sanjay Dutt was in for a surprise, when he received news informing him that a deceased fan has left him with her belongings. Family members of Malabar Hill resident Nishi Harishchandra Tripathi knew the 62 year old was a fan of Dutt, but just how big, they were not aware. Dutt, on the other hand, had no idea who Tripathi was until he received a phone call from the police informing him that she had died and had willed the money from her account and bank locker to him. The deceased, on died on January 15, after battling terminal illness, was a homemaker residing her her 80 year old mother and siblings Arun, Ashish, and Madhu. The family resides at a 3BHK flat that costs over Rs 10 Crore. They found scores of letters issued by Tripathi to her bank, willing all she had to the actor. Dutt, has made it clear that he did not want anything to do with the money or property, and that all of it should go to her family. His attorney Subhash Jadhav said the
actor has issued a letter to the Bank of Baroda, saying all contents of the safety vault bequeathed to him, be handed over to her family members. A bank representative shared a detailed letter and nomination form that she had submitted to the bank a few months before her death. The bank said the nominee mentioned was “Film star Sanjay Dutt” and the nominee's address was that of Dutt's Pali Hill home. Speaking about the incident, Dutt said, “As actors, we are used to fans naming their children after us, chasing us down the street and even giving us gifts. But this has shocked me. I will not be claiming anything, I did not know Nishi and I am very overwhelmed by the entire incident to speak about it.” Jadhav said, “We have communicated that Sanjay Dutt will be seeking no claim on the belongings and will adhere to any legal proceedings necessary to transfer the valuables back to the family.” Tripathi's family only knew about her will after her prayer meeting, when the family's legal advisor informed them about the development.
Aishwarya gets emotional on stage A t an event organised by international cleft charity Smile Train in Mumbai, actress Aishwarya Rai Bachchan was emotionally choked as she spoke about her father Krishnaraj Rai. Addressing guests, she spoke about his involvement with the organisation. A sight for sour eyes, Aishwarya who was dressed in a Manish Malhotra anarkali, appeared visibly sentimental as she paused
while talking about her father, slightly choking. “Last year, Smile Train very generously offered to honour my father, late Mr Krishnaraj Rai, by announcing his birthday, 20th of November, as the 'Day of Smiles'. Thank you because this meant so much to us. My father worked with me, with Smile Train. And you all who know me over the years will know that I like to always do something more effective and concrete on every personal
occasion of our family. That's what my parents always taught me,” Aishwarya said. She added, “My daughter’s birthday is on the November 16 and my father's on 20th, so it was the year before, his last, that we celebrated Aaradhya and dad's birthday together. This year was particularly emotional for us as a family and I really wanted to do something very, very effective, and with daddy, it had to be about smiles.”
Asian Voice | 17th March 2018
Partner at London law firm allegedly racially abused by client The Inner London J o n a t h a n Crown Court Sherwood. heard how a partSherwood is accused of racially ner at a law firm in aggravated harassLondon was ment against allegedly called a Mankad between “scumbag” and July 2015 and July racially abused in 2016. a year-long Jurors were harassment camSiddhartha shown messages paign by a dissatMankad from twitter sent isfy client who from accounts allegedly believed he had been associated with cheated by £2.5 million. Sherwood's companies, in Chief operating officer which they were attacking at Kemp Little LLP, Kemp Little LLP. Siddhartha Mankad, was Sherwood denies a allegedly called a “P*ki” charge of racially aggraand was accused of “ripvated harassment, while ping off clients” in phone Kemp Little also denies calls, emails and in mesany wrongdoing. sages on social media from The trial continues. his client, businessman
Splendours of the Subcontinent
The Queen's Gallery, Buckingham Palace from 8 June-14 October 2018 in the exhibition Splendours of the Subcontinent: Four Centuries of South Asian Paintings and Manuscripts, alongside paintings, prints, drawings and photographs from the wider Royal Collection, exploring the 400-year shared history of the British monarchy and the rulers of South Asia. The establishment of trade routes to South Asia and the formation of the East India Company, sanctioned by Elizabeth I in 1600, opened up the glories of the subcontinent to Britain.
The Royal Collection contains one of the finest groups of South Asian paintings and manuscripts in the world, held in the Royal Library at Windsor Castle. Featuring outstanding examples of the literary and artistic output of the area historically called India, now covered by India, Pakistan and Bangladesh, the collection includes exquisite illuminated manuscripts, vivid depictions of the Mughal court, royal portraits, architectural studies and vibrant illustrations of Hindu epics. For the first time, highlights from the South Asian collection will be shown at
The Bhavan presents Hindustani Vocal Concert by Nandan Shastri on March 24, Saturday, 6.00 pm onwards, at 4a Castletown Road, West Kensington, London W14 9HE. l Rediscover Dance: Get Creative with Movement, on March 25, Sunday 10.00 am to 3.00 pm, at 4a Castletown Road, West Kensington, London W14 9HE. l Sree Sree Anukulchandra's Satsang to be held on March 17, 6.30 pm onwards at the VHP Ilford Hindu Centre, 43-45 Cleveland Road, Ilford IG1 1EE. l Hare Krishna! The Mantra, The Movement, And The Swami Who Started It All- to premiere in the UK on April 23, Monday, followed by a global release in target Odeon cinemas. l
professional ambitions right now, but you need to be your own boss in many ways. You will be determined to place your lifestyle on a foundation of greater security. Taking a broad perspective on the prevailing cosmic pattern, far-reaching change begins to gather momentum.
TAURUS Apr 21 - May 21 You are endowed with a level
of determination that others sometimes find formidable. Once you set your mind on a goal you stay the course no matter what obstacles you encounter. Saturn and Mars placement in your solar 9th house often denotes a phase of restriction, sometimes frustration, in one's life.
GEMINI May 22 - June 22 Don't take short-cuts in legal
or official matters. It will be only too easy to feel exasperated by bureaucracy but you won't be doing yourself any favours if you lose your cool. This is a fine time for you to get away from the mundane realities of life and relax. Some of you will probably go abroad. Strengthen close ties of affection, sort out emotional differences and proffer the olive branch to your loved one. You often sabotage your emotional interests by keeping too much inside. However, your inner pressure builds up and manifests as irrational moods that others find hard to understand.
CANCER Jun 22 - Jul 22
If your child has a good joke, poem or any suggestions they would like to share please email us with the name, age and school. Email:- firstname.lastname@example.org
THOUGHT OF THE WEEK
the best, a Heart Always pray to have Eyes that see that forgets the bad that forgives the worst, a Mind . and a Soul that never loses faith -Unknown
Facts You Didn't know about Chemistry
l Humans breathe out carbon dioxide (CO2). Using energy from sunlight, plants convert carbon dioxide into food during a process called photosynthesis. l Athletes at the Olympic Games have to be careful how much coffee they drink. The caffeine in coffee is a banned substance because it can enhance performance. One or two cups are fine but they can go over the limit with more than five. (update - as of 2004 caffeine has been taken back off the WADA banned list but its use will be closely monitored to prevent future abuse by athletes.) l Helium is lighter than the air around us so it floats, that's why it is perfect for the balloons you get at parties. l .Although it is still debated, it is largely recognized that the word 'chemistry' comes from an Egyptian word meaning 'earth'. l Chemical reactions occur all the time, including through everyday activities such as cooking. Try adding an acid such as vinegar to a base such as baking soda and see what happens! l Around 1% of the sun’s mass is oxygen.
ENVIRONMENTAL WORD SEARCH
Ecosystem Conserve Recycling Energy Earth Climate Diversity sustain Preserve
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Joke of the week
Q: What did the beach say as the tide came in? A: "Long time, no sea". Q: Why can’t you give Elsa a balloon? A: Because she will let it go! Q: What do you call cheese that isn’t yours? A: Nacho cheese! Q: What did one wall say to the other wall? A: I'll meet you at the corner!
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Sudoku Answer Edition 11
3 1 7 8 2 4 6 9 5
SUDOKU - 011 5 8 6 3 1 9 4 2 7
9 2 4 7 5 6 8 1 3
6 3 5 2 8 7 1 4 9
7 4 2 1 9 5 3 8 6
8 9 1 4 6 3 7 5 2
4 5 3 9 7 8 2 6 1
1 6 8 5 3 2 9 7 4
2 7 9 6 4 1 5 3 8
Drawing competition for
You need to pay more attention than usual to your everyday work dairy. Meetings, work hours and organised breaks could play havoc, unless you're prepared to re-group on the spur of the moment. Try to be meticulous but flexible about your schedule. Play your cards right and you can pull strings in you favour.
LEO Jul 23 - Aug 23
VIRGO Aug 24 - Sep 23
Mars and Saturn placement in your chart sets a rather challenging theme. Although this gives increased potential for tension and conflict with other people, it also means that you are able to confront issues and sort any problems out. If this involves a close relationship, you can now resolve your differences.
LIBRA Sep 24 - Oct 23
At home, be at your diplomatic best and try not to tread on anyone's toes. Passions will run from hot to cold, and relationships may suffer. Even the most strong-willed Librans will be more open to compromise to keep the peace. Plan your spending and set sensible budgets. All things considered, your health should be robust.
SCORPIO Oct 24- Nov 22
You will continue to be in a restless mood for some time to come. This makes you impatient with restrictions and even more determined to cut your own path. Do not get over-anxious if everything seems to be in slow motion - it is time to pull a few strings. You are likely to experience some tension in close relationships.
(Make your mum proud)
Send it to us to have a chance of winning Asian Voice Mother's day Drawing Competition. You will get an opportunity to have your Name, Photo and Drawing will be published in next edition of Whizz kids Corner. Please fill up this form: Name.................................Age.................. Address..................................................... Postcode................School......................... Send your entry together with this completed form for Mother's Day Drawing Competition to below address. Gujarat Samachar & Asian Voice 12 Hoxton Market, KarmaYoga House, Off Coronet street, London N1 6HW You Can Also Email on Support@abplgroup.com
Experiment Of the week:
Make a Balloon Rocket:
Things you will need: 1) 1 Balloon (round ones will work, but the longer “airship” balloons work best) 2) 1 long piece of kite string (about 10-15 feet long) 3) 1 plastic straw 4) Tape What to do next: 1. Tie one end of the string to a chair, door knob, or other support. 2. Put the other end of the string through the straw. 3. Pull the string tight and tie it to another support in the room. 4. Blow up the balloon (but don’t tie it.) Pinch the end of the balloon and tape the balloon to the straw as shown above. You’re ready for launch. 5. Let go and watch the rocket fly! How does it work? So how does it work? It’s all about the air…and thrust. As the air rushes out of the balloon, it creates a forward motion called THRUST. Thrust is a pushing force created by energy. In the balloon experiment, our thrust comes from the energy of the balloon forcing the air out. Different sizes and shapes of balloon will create more or less thrust. In a real rocket, thrust is created by the force of burning rocket fuel as it blasts from the rockets engine – as the engines blast down, the rocket goes up!
The UK’s leading Vedic writer and TV personality
ARIES Mar 21 - Apr 20 Much enthusiasm goes into
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Guard against being too impatient and restless. Avoid get-rich-quick schemes and be cautious about other people's enthusiasm which is likely to be misplaced. Make a very conscious attempt to stick to main priorities. Organise your time so that it is not taken up entirely by the demands of other people.
SAGITTARIUS Nov 23 - Dec 21
CAPRICORN Dec 22 - Jan 20 Now is the time to cultivate an easier relationship with life, get out and about, explore fresh possibilities and make new friends. Any effort to enrich your life by making changes is almost certain to work in your favour and you will be surprised how circumstances help you once you make the initial move. AQUARIUS Jan 21 - Feb 19
You may find yourself hard at work behind the scenes, although that may not be apparent to others. You may find yourself caught up in a whirlwind of activity, with opportunities to advance on both the inner and outer level. There’s a sparkle to your social life and you will have fun communicating with others.
You could work with someone on a project that calls for clear communication and a high degree of cooperation. You may also find yourself thinking deeply about what it is you really want to do, and who you really want to be with. The decisions you make now will be important for the path you take.
PISCES Feb 20 - Mar 20
INDIA TOP MEDAL TALLY AT SHOOTING WORLD CUP
A podium eluded them on the final day but India had done enough to finish their best-ever campaign at the ISSF World Cup in Guadalajara, Mexico, at the top of the medals tally with four gold, one silver and three bronze for a total of nine medals. Two-time Olympic champion Vincent Hancock of the USA won the men's skeet competition, the concluding event of the year's first International Shooting Sport Federation (ISSF) World Cup. Shahzar Rizvi, Manu Bhaker, Akhil Sheoran and Om Prakash Mitharval won the gold medals in the competition, Anjum Moudgil bagged a silver, while established names such as Jitu Rai, Ravi Kumar finished with bronze. Though he did not win a medal, Sanjeev Rajput too shot very well and missed out by a whisker. Akhil Sheoran shoots gold Akhil Sheoran, 23, clinched gold in men’s 50m rifle 3position event on Sunday. Sheoran, who had qualified fourth with a score of 1174, shot 455.6 in the final. Compatriot
Asian Voice | 17th March 2018
Archery: India bag 6 medals, share top spot with Russia
Promila Daimary Akhil Sheoran
Sanjeev Rajput, who got off to a strong start in the final after qualifying with a national record score of 1176, fumbled in the standing series and finished fourth with a score of 430.9. Sheoran, who had lagged till more than half of the 45-shot final, made a splendid comeback to stun a strong field of shooters. The finalists included Rio Games bronze medallist and current World No. 1 Alexis Raynaud (France), former World Champion Sidi Peter (Hungary) and multiple World Cup gold medallist and World No. 2 Istavn Peni of Hungary along with Olympian Sanjeev Rajput.
The gold is Sheoran’s first medal in his second World Cup appearance since 2013. But more than the medal, it was Sheoran’s self-confidence that was at stake, since being on a shaky ground for past two years. Anjum shoots silver Chandigarh shooter Anjum Modgil took silver in her maiden appearance in the finals. Her medal in the women’s 50 m rifle 3 position. A former pistol shooter, Ajum switched to rifles after non-availability of pistols during her NCC stint in school. It was to prove a blessing in disguise. “I was a bit apprehensive before the final
but I was confident owing to my performance in the qualifiers. I told myself that I had been waiting for this moment for long,” an elated Anjum said., “I don’t know whether I would have been able to reach this far, if I had stuck to pistol.” The 50m rifle 3 position is considered amongst the toughest events in shooting, and while Anjum also reached her highest score of 1,170, it wasn’t India’s first World Cup silver in this category. Anjum emulated Lajja Gowswami’s 2013 silver in the 2013 World Cup in Spain, the difference being Anjum’s effort came with double number of shots.
Path to Success launches women in disability sport initiative As part of International Women’s Day celebration, leading disability charity Path to Success has announced the launch of a new campaign to support talented British women in disability sport. The charity will provide sponsorship for women competing in four major disability sports; Para-Equestrian Dressage, Para Powerlifting, Wheelchair Basketball and Wheelchair Tennis. The Path to Tokyo will provide financial support for women in disability sport who need funding to pursue their dream of competing for a medal at the Paralympic Games. The first athletes to benefit from the scheme are Para-Powerlifter Louise Sugden, 33, and London Titans Wheelchair Basketball player Sophie Patterson, 19. Both will receive funding towards coaching, training, travel costs, and specialised sports wheelchairs as they pursue their goal of representing Team GB in 2020. Louise Sugden has already participated at international level, she has
Pictured from left to right: Bethany Wheeler, Anita Choudhrie and Louise Sugden
won five European Championship bronze medals and represented UK at the 2008 Beijing Paralympics and London 2012 as part of the GB Wheelchair Basketball side. She has recently changed discipline to move into Para-Powerlifting, and represented Great Britain at the World Championships in Mexico. Sophie Patterson said: “The sponsorship is a lifechanging chance which will
give me the opportunity to take my game to the next level.” Despite the success of London 2012 Paralympics in raising the profile of disability sport in the UK and team GB’s second-placed finish in Rio 2016, many para athletes remain seriously underfunded, meaning they are forced to give up on their dreams if they cannot generate their own funding. Anita Choudhrie, founder of Path to Success,
said: “In the years that Path to Success has supported athletes with disability, I have always been inspired by the skill, determination and positive attitude taken by those who we support. Our mission is to secure the legacy of disability sport in the UK, and to inspire a new generation of British female Paralympic stars. If we can change the world of one person, then this campaign will be a success”.
India bagged six medals, including three gold and three bronze, to finish joint first with Russia in the Asia Cup Stage I archery meet that ended in Bangkok. After the gold medal-winning displays by Muskan Kirar and Promila Daimatry in women’s compound and recurve events, respectively, the Indian trio of Akash, Gora Ho and Gaurav Lambe claimed gold in the recurve team event, getting the better of Mongolia in the final. The Indian men qualified as the top team, getting past Bangladesh, Malyasia and Kazakhstan by an identical 6-2 margin. In the summit clash against Mongolia, the Indians won 5-4 via tie-
break after being locked 4-4 at the end of four sets. In the tie-breaker, India hit 27 to pip Mongolia by one point. Later Kirar picked up her second medal, this time a bronze, when she combined with Divya Djayal and Mrinal Hiwrale to finish on the podium in the women’s compound team event. The women’s trio lost 224-227 to Vietnam after defeating Singapore 229-223. In the bronze medal playoff contest, they subdued Indonesia 227221. In individual categories, Madhu Vedwan claimed a bronze in the women’s recurve category while Lambe picked the same medal in men’s recurve event.
Leander Paes returns to Davis Cup fold The 44-year-old Leander Paes made a return to India’s Davis Cup fold. The national selectors named him in the Indian team that will take on China in the Asia-Oceania Group 1 second round tie in Tianjin on April 6-7. It’s a major turnaround for Paes who suffered a public humiliation when he was dropped from the squad for the corresponding tie against Uzbekistan in Bangalore last year. Apparently, the selection committee headed by chairman SP Misra overruled “reservations” expressed by Rohan Bopanna, with whom Paes’ relationship is estranged, to put it mildly. “How can a player decide whom he will play with? It can’t be a personal decision,” an AITA source said. The source said that Bopanna had requested to be omitted for the tie if the selectors wanted to bring in Paes, but it didn’t go down well with
the AITA or the selectors, who noted that the former also receives grants from the government as part of the TOP Scheme. “The idea is to field the best team, and you have to play. You can’t make excuses like personal reasons for not being available,” he added. Captain Mahesh Bhupathi refused to comment beyond the customary “it’s a full strength team, will give us a great chance.” As did Paes himself. “It’s always an honour to play for India. I respect Rohan’s talent and am looking forward to playing with him. I am looking forward to wearing the Blue (Indian jersey) again,” Paes said.
Asian Voice | 17th March 2018
INDIA BEAT SRI LANKA IN NIDAHAS TROPHY
India beat Sri Lanka by six wickets to continue their winning run in the Nidahas Twenty20 Tri-Series in Colombo on Monday. Opting to bowl, young Shardul Thakur (4/27) registered his best T20 bowling figures as Sri Lanka lost their way in the middle overs to be restricted to 152 for nine. The match was reduced to 19-overs-a-side affair after over an hour was lost due to rain. Later chasing the modest target, India overcame early jitters riding on Manish Pandey’s unbeaten 42 and Dinesh Karthik’s 39 not out to overwhelm Sri Lanka’s total with nine balls to spare. But it was not easy as India witnessed a horrendous start to their chase, losing both the openers - skipper Rohit Sharma (11) and Shikhar Dhawan (8) early. Rohit’s lean patch with the bat continued as he once again perished early. To make matters worse for India, Dananjaya struck again an over later, this time getting the wicket of Dhawan who gave a simple catch to Thisara Perera at mid-on. In came Suresh Raina (27) and made his intentions clear with a couple of fours and sixes to lift India. But the left-hander looked in a hurry and in the process lost his wicket, as India slumped to 63 for three after seven overs. KL Rahul (18), who came in place of Rishabh Pant, looked in good tough during his short stay before being dismissed in
a strange manner. After surviving a close run out chance in the previous ball, Rahul got out hit wicket while trying to work a Jeevan Mendis delivery into the leg side. But thereafter, Pandey and Karthik ensured there were no more hiccups as they stitched 68 runs for the fifth wicket to guide India home comfortably. Earlier sent into bat, Kusal Mendis once again shone bright for Lanka scoring 55 off 38 balls before Indian bowlers led by Thakur brought their side back into the game with wickets at regular intervals. Thakur returned with impressive figures of 4/27, while Washinton Sundar (2/21)
scalped two wickets as India made a strong fightback after leaking runs in the first 10 overs. Vijay Shankar (1/30), Yuzvendra Chahal (1/34) and Jaydev Unadkat (1/33) also accounted for a wicket each. But initially it looked Rohit Sharma’s decision to bowl first backfired as Sri Lanka got off to a flying start by scoring 24 runs off the first two overs. Thakur gave India the breakthrough when he dismissed Danushka Gunathilaka (17) in the third over with Suresh Raina taking a stunning catch at midwicket. Sundar then cleaned up in-form Kushal Perera (3) in the next over as the batsman went for a reverse
sweep. But thereafter Kusal Mendis took the the Indians bowlers to task in Upul Tharanga’s (22) company as the duo added 62 runs for the third wicket to help Sri Lanka reach 94 for two after 10 overs. But India pulled Sri Lanka back again with quick wickets in the form of Thisara Perera, Jeevan Mendis. The big blow for Lanka came when Kusal Mendis departed next, giving away a soft catch to Rohit off Chahal. Brief Scores: India 153/4 (Manish Pandey 42*, Dinesh Karthik 39*; Akila Dananjaya 2/19) beat Sri Lanka (Kusal Mendis 55; Shardul Thakur 4/27)
Australia women win first ODI against India Australia took the lead in the three-match ODI series by beating the Indian women’s team in the first game at Reliance Stadium in Vadodara on Monday. The Aussies showed their intent to dominate the series by first bowling out India for just 200 runs and then chasing the target with 17 overs to spare. Already playing without their lead pacer Jhulan Goswami, India suffered another setback in the morning as its skipper Mithali Raj too had to sit out due to viral fever. The hosts began their innings on a confident note after winning the toss and choosing to bat first. Openers Poonam Raut and Smriti Mandhana played some fluent strokes to cobble up 38 runs in 9 overs. But Smriti mistimed a flighted delivery off Ashleigh Gardener as Aussie skipper Meg Lanning took a simple catch at mid-on. Jemimah Rodrigues too fell soon as she edged behind a delivery off Amanda Wellington. Raut was trapped leg before by Wellington on 37 and India
were reduced to 60 for three in 18th over. With wickets falling at the other end, skipper Harmanpreet Kaur played a cautious game scoring just nine off 29 deliveries before falling to Megan Schutt. She was caught behind while try-
ing to steer Schutt down to third man region. Veda Krishnamurty tried to counter attack Aussies but Wellington removed her in 31st over leaving India tottering at 110 for six. Pooja Vastrakar and Sushma Verma stitched a valuable ninth-wicket partnership
of 76 runs to save India from an abject collapse. Pooja scored her first ODI fifty, while Verma (41 off 71 balls) stood firmly at the other end. Thanks to some sluggish fielding and a dropped catch, India managed to reach 200 but it was always going to be an inadequate total against a strong Australian batting. Aussie openers Nicole Bolton and Alyssa Healy went after the Indian bowlers from the word go and took maximum advantage of the fielding restrictions. The duo scored 60 off nine overs before Shikha Pandey removed Healy. But Bolton, who eventually scored a century off 101 balls, continued attacking the bowlers in the company of skipper Meg Lanning. Harmanpreet praised Pooja for her performance but she had a word of criticism for Smriti and Deepti Sharma who, she felt, threw away their wickets away. “We couldn’t rotate strike too,” Harmanpreet said.
Cricketer Shami booked for murder bid, rape and assault Kolkata police have charged India pacer Mohammad Shami under several sections of the IPC, including the non-bailable ones of attempt to murder, rape, assault and criminal intimiMohammad Shami dation, on the basis of a complaint filed by his wife, alleging domestic violence and infidelity. A senior officer said that a notice would soon be sent to Shami asking him to present before investigators. Shami's mother Anjuman Ara Begum, sister Sabina Anjum, brother Mohd Hasib Ahmed and his wife Shama Parveen were also booked. Police filed the FIR on the basis of Hasin Jahan's complaint. "Kolkata police's detective department has already started an investigation. We will look into all the allegations and carry out a thorough probe," joint commissioner (crime) Praveen Tripathi said. "The sections merit Shami's arrest, but the cops do not need him in their custody as it is a marital dispute. Moreover, he is so famous that he cannot flee without being noticed. But he may be arrested if he refuses to cooperate," a criminal lawyer said. A police picket was posted outside Jahan's apartment in Jadavpur. Jahan alleged that, last December, Shami had forced her into a room at the family's Amroha residence in Uttar Pradesh with his elder brother and locked the door. "He said since I was a model, these things should not bother me much and forced me into a room with his brother, who started touching me inappropriately. He opened the door and let me go only when I screamed," she alleged. Shami, reacting to these allegations, told reporters in Amroha, that his wife might have lost her mental balance. “I think she has lost her mental balance or it might be her plan to sabotage my career," he said.
Shubhankar accepts Masters invitation India’s latest golfing sensation Shubhankar Sharma has accepted a special invitation to compete in the Masters tournament, the first Major of the season, to be played at Augusta National Golf Club between April 5 and 8. “Golf Shubhankar Sharma is a global game, and throughout our history we have extended invitations to deserving international players not otherwise qualified. Shubhankar Sharma is a remarkable young player and we look forward to welcoming him to Augusta National,” Fred Ridley, chairman of the Augusta National Golf Club said. Shubhankar, who has won twice in the past four months (Joburg Open and Maybank Championship), had finished T9 at the WGC-Mexico Championship last week after leading till the final round.
Asian Voice Weekly Newspaper (Issue : 44)