Asian Voice | 18th November 2017
As I See It
Full Steam Ahead for Priti Patel Dear Friends, The past week has been rather stressful for the British government, especially Prime Minister Theresa May. She lost yet another one of her ministers, all amid growing discontentment over her governance. Former I n t e r n a t i o n a l Development Secretary Priti Patel's resignation is a result of a very general lack of judgement and does not require much traction. Details of the entire episode have been given in our paper this week. Fingers are being pointed, sides are being taken. Scene at the administrative level does not look pretty. Of all things that are happening, one thing seems very clear to me- Priti Patel is solely entitled to the pride of becoming the first person of Indian-origin to serve in the British Cabinet. Friends, having lived 51 years in the UK I have seen my share of leaders of Indian and Pakistaniorigin who have climbed up the ladder. It is a fact that as they join the British government, they eventually choose to refer to themselves as “Asians”, to appeal to a wider community, of course. Priti, however, is the first such leader, or minister, who openly and almost stubbornly identified herself as an Indian. Along with calling herself the first Indian Cabinet Minister, she used to claim that Prime Minister Theresa May has given her the responsibility of maintaining Britain's relations with India. As I retrospect, I can't help but comment, don't the men and women of our
community, who receive a title of peerage or a knighthood, receive the honour, at least partly because of their Indian background and their close ties to us? It is a completely different thing that once they gain power they dutifully neglect our interests. Croydon-based Gujarati Nitin Mehta has constantly written that such leaders reach success only with the support of people like us, and once on the peak, they somehow come under the delusion that their success is entirely their own. They adopt a religion of convenience, putting India, Indian culture, and Indian interests in the back to rot. It is quite possible that Priti Patel is the only leader who believes that even though I am a Cabinet Minister, married to an Englishman, the blood running through my veins is Indian. With her resignation, the question of who will defend us and our concerns, arises. How did this happen? It is well known that Cabinet Minister of Foreign and Commonwealth Office and Priti Patel are good friends. There are several reports the Minister of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs Sir Alan Duncan being responsible for the resignation, doing the rounds. There have been several cases in the past where ministers have found officers of their own department or the foreign office creating problems for them. Majority of the senior civil servants are known to be men, who hold a patriarchal view of the society, which is why, it
becomes difficult for them to report to a woman on senior post. Also, I have apprehensions about PM May's claims of being kept in the dark about Patel's visit. British-Israel relations hold a strong history- especially in the defence sector. There is a long-established British Embassy in capital Tel Aviv, where several top diplomats work. When you give May's statements enough thoughts, it seems impossible that the Foreign Office and the PM were clueless about a Cabinet Minister's visit and various meetings there. As the controversy began to froth last week, Patel was mature enough to admit that she did in fact, hold meetings with ministers and other leaders in Israel. She also placed her resignation voluntarily. May claimed to have called her back immediately from Kenya when she heard the news. Priti's meeting with the PM last Tuesday lasted mere six minutes. It appears to me that the higher authorities were already clear of what they wanted to do. In which case, it seems rather unnecessary for May to have directed the MP to return from East Africa on an urgent basis. A media report suggested that Patel had her eye on No 10. and with this episode, the dream has been killed. She was clear about her stand on Brexit, and found strong support from other members of the Parliament. Now you tell me, for someone who had strong roots in the most turbulent of times, would this small event even matter?
Jews and Hindus unite in Spinal Garden makeover munity’s national camLast Sunday teams paign for social action. of volunteers from The local team Stanmore and decided to tackle the Canons Park hospital garden by Synagogue and the joining forces with S h r e e their neighbouring Swaminarayan Hindu community Temple joined through their equivatogether to translent Sewa Day, making form the gardens surrounding one of Councillor Amit Jogia pictured with other this an important local interfaith project. the UK’s leading volunteers Juliette Harris, one spinal injury units. The hospital of the Stanmore The gardens which surapproached Stanmore and Synagogue co-ordinators round the London Spinal Canons Park Synagogue for Mitzvah Day, said “Our Cord Injury Centre at the for help. They then worked members of all different Royal National with their local Councillor ages in partnership with Orthopaedic Hospital in Ameet Jogia who connectour Hindu neighbours Stanmore are used by ed the synagogue to the joined together to do numerous patients every local Hindu community. something beneficial for year as part of their rehaEvery November our wider community. This bilitation. In recent years Stanmore Synagogue takes project has been an the gardens have been part in Mitzvah (do a good extremely rewarding and neglected and had become deed) Day, the Jewish comworthwhile experience.” quite overgrown.
Top honours for Dr Nik Kotecha Dr Nik Kotecha OBE, CEO of Morningside Pharmaceuticals, a Leicestershire based business, has been named amongst the UK’s 100 most inspirational and innovative individuals from across the private, not for profit and public sectors. He has been named on the 2017 ‘Faces of a Vibrant Economy’ list, produced by business and financial adviser, Grant Thornton UK. Grant Thornton firm has compiled the list to identify and highlight individuals, from emerging entrepreneurs to big business names, who have developed a culture that empowers, develops and motivates their people, who make a positive contribution to the local and wider national community, and that demonstrate excellence in growth, innovation and purpose. M o r n i n g s i d e Pharmaceuticals Ltd, based at Loughborough’s Castle Business Park, is an established manufacturer, wholesaler and exporter of branded and generic medicines with products supplied to UK
NHS hospitals and pharmacies twice daily. Dr Nik Kotecha, OBE, is committed to helping everyone access quality healthcare, and since launching the business in 1991, he and his wife Moni have built it into one that exports to more than 100 countries and operates across the public and private sectors. M o r n i n g s i d e Pharmaceuticals has dedicated itself to delivering high quality medicines that make a significant difference to the lives of patients globally, and has supported emergency disaster relief and supplied products to the United Nations, charities and NGOs – including Red Cross and the World Health Organisation. In 2016 Dr Kotecha
took part in the Prime Minister’s trade visit to India, and during the visit Theresa May said, “I am showing off the best of British on my trade trip to India – and Morningside Pharmaceuticals is a great example of what the United Kingdom can offer the world as we leave the EU.” Dr Kotecha says he is motivated by “a strong passion for giving back to the local community, country and international aid sectors”, and of being named one of the UK’s 100 Faces of the Vibrant Economy, adds: “It is an honour to be given this individual recognition, but also for the business’ commitment to innovation to be identified as amongst the country’s most inspirational.”
Prideview Group host annual Investment Seminar
Andria Koukounis, Nilesh Patel & Vishal Patel (Prideview Group), Marios Hajiroussous, Vinay Patel , Veeral Patel, PD Kukadia, Shailesh Patel (Prideview Group), Shashi Shah, Sharad Parikh
The Prideview Group hosted their annual Investment Seminar in Central London on 8th November, which was attended by over 100 private investors. Their guest speaker was George Walker, Partner and Auctioneer at Allsop, the leading com-
mercial property auction house, who discussed the current market and the results of their £150m October auction sale (their highest since 2006). The investors present came from as far as Europe and Africa, and many of the new faces were former residential investors look-
ing at commercial property investment due to the recent residential tax changes. Accordingly part of the seminar was focused on buying shops with flats (which are not subject to residential tax rates) and ways to add value to commercial properties.
the allegations but has praised the university for its approach to the situation. The 55-year-old’s teaching, supervising and examining duties will be reassigned and he will not
be present at the university or college. Born in Switzerland in 1962, the grandson of Hassan al Banna, the founder of the Muslim Brotherhood, Prof Ramadan studied philosophy, literature and social sciences at the University of Geneva and Arabic and Islamic studies for his PhD. A controversial figure, Prof Ramadan was previously ejected from the United States as an extremist, judged to have provided material support to terrorist organisations.
Oxford University Islamic Studies professor Tariq Ramadan accused of rape
A professor at Oxford University accused of rape said he will devote his energies to his defence after agreeing to take a leave of absence. Tariq Ramadan, professor, pictured, of Contemporary Islamic Studies, has been accused of rape by two women in France. The scholar, a senior research fellow at St Antony’s College, has also been accused of sexual misconduct by four Swiss women. Prof Ramadan denies