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First & Foremost Asian Weekly in Europe

Price 80p Vol 46 | Issue 28

TM

18th November to 24th November 2017

Let noble thoughts come to us from every side

WHY WIDOWS NEED YOUR HELP

 There are 46 million widows and over 100 million of their children in India, the largest in the world. Sadly, many get subjected to degrading treatment and are excluded or marginalised.

 Invisible and forgotten, these widows suffer in silence. Our aim is to EMPOWER disadvantaged widows and EDUCATE their children - giving them the fundamental freedoms and human rights to lead a life of dignity.

Get involved

All donations to the charity are exempted. UK: Under gift Aid, USA: under 501 © (3)

PRITI PATEL EPISODE: GOVT PANICS AS MP APPEARS RELIEVED

Fierce ambitions come at a price. Last week, the British cabinet faced massive chaos as former I n t e r n a t i o n a l Development Secretary Priti Patel's unofficial meetings with Israeli politicians came to light. The past week was nothing but chaos, as the media scrambled for first-hand coverage, ministers scurried around trying to save their behinds, and the Prime Minister- who already suffers with a severe bout of public indisposition, visually struggled to handle the issue. It was Patel's poised calmness that seemed strange yet admirable during the whole charade. Patel has been replaced by Penny Mordaunt, minister for disabled people, who received a call from Theresa May asking her to join the Cabinet. Seen as a rising star in the party, the 44 year old was a prominent Brexiteer during last year's referendum campaign, and had openly

backed Andrea Leadsom in the Tory leadership contest. Regarding her appointment, she said, “I'm delighted to have been appointed by the Prime Minister to be the new Secretary of State for I n t e r n a t i o n a l Development. I'm looking forward to working with the team here to continue

building a safer, more secure, more prosperous world for us all and really giving the British public pride in what we do.” Driving force behind Patel's off-radar meetings- Lord Stuart Polak Patel's Israel visit was reportedly organised by Lord Stuart Polak, presi-

For more information, visit www.theloombafoundation.org or Email Smita Sarkar: smita@theloombafoundation.org

dent of Conservative Friends of Israel (CFI). He arranged a dozen meetings during her summer holiday in Israel and was known to be in attendance at all, except one of them. He was also present in Patel's meetings in September with an Israeli minister Gilad Erdan, and a government official Yuval Rotem. Patel's meetings were efforts of increasing cooperation between the Department for I n t e r n a t i o n a l Development (Dfid) and Israeli defence forces carrying out humanitarian work in southern Syria. The whole strategy however, went down the drains when the story exploded all across the media. Ms Patel’s visit to Israel was organised by Lord Polak, president of Conservative Friends of Israel (CFI), which has lobbied on behalf of the Jewish state within the Continued on page 16

Prince Charles and his wife, Duchess Camilla meeting Prime Minister Narendra Modi in New Delhi. Report on Page 26

Modi calls for joint efforts with ASEAN to fight terror Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi called for intensifying regional cooperation to effectively deal with terrorism, also pitching for a rulesbased security architecture for the resource-rich region. At the ASEANIndia summit held in Manila, the Philippines, Modi identified terrorism and extremism as the major challenge facing the region and said the time has come for the countries of the region to join hands to collectively deal with it. He said, “We have individually strived very hard to fight terrorism and violent extremism. It is time that we jointly address this challenge by intensifying cooperation

in this crucial area.” Referring to the South China Sea (SCS) dispute, Modi said India would continue its support to the ASEAN for establishing a rules-based security architecture. “India assures the ASEAN of its steady support towards achieving a rules-based regional security architecture that best attests to the region's interests and its peaceful development.” China's aggressive military build up in the SCS was one of the main topics of deliberations at the summit. The dragon claims sovereignty over all of SCS, which is also a huge source of hydrocarbons. Continued on page 26


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Asian Voice | 18th November 2017

AsianVoiceNews

to

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with

Keith Vaz, MP

Peter Harding Peter Harding is the Chief Operating Officer of Lucozade Ribena Suntory Ltd (LRS). Peter became COO of LRS in January 2014 when the company was formed following the acquisition of Lucozade and Ribena by Suntory Beverage & Food, the Japanese global drinks producer. He is responsible for all aspects of the company’s operations and in 2013 he oversaw the successful transition of the Lucozade and Ribena brands to new owners Suntory. Peter is particularly proud of the work the company has done to significantly reformulate all of its iconic brands, removing 50% of sugar from its portfolio. This forms part of the company’s wider health and wellbeing ambition, which sees LRS investing £30m to help the country move more as well as encouraging all staff to live life to the full and make LRS the healthiest place to work. He is currently Chairman and council member of the British Soft Drinks Association. He is also on the Board of Directors of Barretstown, a charitable organisation which helps children suffering from cancer to rebuild their lives. Peter is a keen sportsman and has represented Great Britain in his age group in triathlon including the World Ironman Championships in Hawaii. He holds a BA in Economic History from Durham University. He lives with his wife Madeleine and their four children in the UK. 1) Which place or city or country do you most feel at home in? Norfolk – it’s a home from home. Its stunning beaches, big sky and beautiful countryside have been the setting for many family holidays. 2) What proudest

are your achieve-

ments? My four amazing children. Either them or representing Great Britain at the World Ironman Championships in Hawaii! I’m also fiercely proud of working with Barretstown, a charity founded by Hollywood star Paul Newman which helps children suffering

Kamil Ahmad death: man jailed for murder

A mental health patient who was found guilty of murdering his neighbour in a "savage and sustained" attack has been jailed for life. Kamil Ahmad's murder took place hours after Jeffrey Barry, who has paranoid schizophrenia, was released from a psychiatric hospital. It ended with Barry, 56, slicing off the Kurdish refugee's penis. Sentencing, Mrs Justice May said the decision to release Barry had been "nothing short of calamitous". Barry had denied murder but admitted manslaughter by diminished responsibility at Bristol Crown Court. "Once inside Mr Ahmad's flat, you subjected him to a frenzied attack, and the pathologist describes over 70 separate knife injuries," she said. "Mr Ahmad bled to death. After he died, you cut off his penis and then you went downstairs and phoned the police." Barry was told he would serve at least 23 years. The court was told Barry had stabbed his 49year-old neighbour to

Victim: Kamil Ahmad

death at his flat in Wells Road in Bristol at about 02:00 BST on 7 July 2016. Last month a jury unanimously convicted Barry, who is being held at Broadmoor Hospital, of murder following a twoweek trial. Barry falsely claimed victim Mr Ahmad was a rapist and terrorist. The jury was told he was racist towards Iraqiborn Mr Ahmad and had previously assaulted him. A post-mortem examination found injuries to Mr Ahmad included 25 stab wounds to his face and eyes. Barry had told a community psychiatric nurse he was "criminally insane" in a phone call he made minutes before the fatal attack. But police discovered a note in his room reading: "The fact is, I have acted out my entire psychiatric history. I'm very well. Sorry."

from cancer to rebuild their lives. 3) What inspires you? A company like ours faces so many challenges that it can only prosper with the help of brilliant employees. We are fortunate to have a great breadth of diversity amongst our teams and have talent that is creative, resourceful and entrepreneurial. I’ve been COO for a number of years and yet I’m still inspired by them every day. 4) What has been the biggest obstacle in your career? The consumer backlash on sugar. Before we began our reformulation, our drinks were forever being (unfairly) highlighted as solely responsible for fuelling the obesity crisis. However, we launched our health and wellbeing plan in 2016 – producing healthier drinks and inspiring people to be active – and turned our big obstacle into a purpose that has inspired the whole company 5) Who has been the biggest influence on your career to date? Indirectly, Shinjiro Torii. Suntory’s founder was a trailblazer and

entrepreneur who built a drinks empire, but remained humble and always strived to contribute to society. What better role model to have. 6) What is the best aspect about your current role? We have a great opportunity at Lucozade Ribena Suntory to help improve the health of the nation with our health and wellbeing plan. Few other companies would be brave enough to reduce the sugar content of their drinks by 50%. Being part of a company that puts health and exercise at the top of the agenda- including a £30m investment to encourage the nation to move more – is what gets me out of bed every morning. 7) And the worst? Not having time to do everything we want. I head up a hugely ambitious company with an aspiration to revolutionise soft drinks by bringing new healthier drinks to market and inspiring more people to exercise more often. But this won’t happen overnight and we aren’t the only company that needs to act. It will take time, resource, other com-

Datchet rapist, Kapil Dogra, jailed for 13 years A man who raped a woman in Datchet has been jailed for 13 years. Kapil Dogra, 35, of High Street, Addlestone, Surrey showed 'no remorse' for his actions over the five-day trial at Reading Crown Court, in which he was convicted by an unanimous verdict. Detective Constable Sara Harrison, of Maidenhead Police said: "At no point during the trial did Dogra show any remorse for the terrible ordeal he put his victim through, which meant the victim had to face her attacker in court. "The victim has been extremely brave throughout this process and I commend her for standing up to her attacker, and I hope his sentence will help her move on." Dogra attacked his victim, an 18-year-old woman, on April 12, shortly after she had left Datchet Railway Station. The victim was on the phone with her partner at the time of the attack. Her boyfriend heard the initial moment Dogra launched the attack and the panic in his girlfriend's voice. As she pleaded for him to call the police, the phone went

Kapil Dogra

dead. Dogra grabbed her, switched off her phone, and threatened to stab her. He then dragged her to a section of wooded land beside the junction of Major's Farm Road and Ditton Road, where he then raped and sexually assaulted her. Dogra was arrested six days later, on April 18, and charged the following day. Dogra was found guilty of one count of rape, two counts of assault of a female by penetration, and one count of causing a female to engage in nonpenetrative sexual activity. Dogra admitted in court that he had come to Datchet to buy class-A drugs. Dogra was jailed at his sentencing earlier this month. He will be on licence for two years after his release, and will have to sign the Sexual Offenders Register.

panies, industry bodies and government to effect change on the scale we want. 8) What are your long-term goals?

To inspire other businesses to take the same bold moves we have. My ambition is to inspire the great many small and mediumsized enterprises in the country to join us in promoting health, mindfulness and fitness to employees and customers across the country. 9) If you were Prime Minister, what one aspect would you change? I believe in taking personal responsibility and, as Prime Minister, I would foster through education and action the idea that we all have to manage our individual health and wellbeing. I’d start early by making this a core part of the school curriculum

and creating programmes that empower the public to take time to look after themselves and boost their activity levels. 10) If you were marooned on a desert island, which historical figure would you like to spend your time with and why? Jack Nicklaus – who’s still alive. Not only is he the best golfer in history, he has his own golf course design business. We could create a golf course together and – with all that sand – he could help me practice my bunker shots. Oh, and the great Mahatma Gandhi to help me blissfully meditate the endless hours away!

Much-loved grandma killed in hit and run Krishna Devi Droch, aged 62, was hit as she crossed a junction in Handsworth last Thursday. Despite the efforts of paramedics, she was pronounced dead at the scene. Three people were arrested on suspicion of causing death by dangerous driving and have since been released pending further investigation. A fourth person, a 47-year-

old man, handed himself in at a police station last night and was after being arrested on suspicion of causing death by dangerous driving.

Langley drug smuggler, Dev Anand, jailed for 7 years A corrupt baggage handler at Heathrow Airport has been jailed for smuggling drugs into the UK. Dev Anand, 24, of Willoughby Road, Langley, was jailed for 7 years and 8 months during his sentencing earlier this month at Birmingham Crown Court. His accomplice, fellow baggage handler Vaughn Henry, 46, was jailed for 10 years and 8 months. Anand and Henry had been working together to smuggle a suitcase from Brazil, containing three kilos of cocaine, out of Heathrow and into a waiting taxi for transportation to Birmingham. As they were passing the drugs over, however, they were

Dev Anand

arrested by National Crime Agency officers. The taxi driver, Adnan Ahmed Malik, 24, was sentenced to nine years, while the ringleader of the gang, London-based drug trafficker Grattan Samuels, 23, was sentenced to 16 years. Anand pleaded guilty to conspiring to import drugs during the trial.


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COMMENTS

Brexit: Whither Indo-British relations? Britain, remarked a US Secretary of State, long years ago, has lost an empire and not found a role: hyperbolic perhaps, but a nice turn of wit with more than a grain of truth. The role, such as it is, has been to cleave to the United States in self-abnegation. A huge pity since a Britain, true to herself, has much to offer the world. Indo-British relations are more talked about than fulfilled. Pessimism of the intellect once had an understandable context: India was perceived as a basket case, if not wholly, very substantially. Aid India consortiums were annual fixtures for the bounteous. But since the country’s release from the licence-and-permit raj, things have changed, and are changing with increasing momentum. Two-way trade and investment in recent years have been impressive, but the best surely is yet to come through educational enterprise and easier

movement of labour and capital. The political relationship would truly take-off with deeds replacing pious words if the de-hyphenation of India with Pakistan took true effect. This would be an encouraging start.. An Indo-British relationship, hostage to jihadi vote banks in Britain, cannot move in the desired direction. Jihadi attacks on Indian cities funded, armed and operated from across the Pakistan border is terrorism and hence precludes normal Indo-Pakistan ties. Kashmir and human rights are fit subjects for close scrutiny in the private sphere. India’s deep security concerns must be appreciated, since Britain in recent years has also been subjected to jihadi depredations. Put brutally, the choice is between an India going somewhere and a Pakistan going nowhere. The cloak of policy should be cut from the cloth of the national self-interest, should it not?

Understanding America’s global disorder The American republic established over two centuries ago, notwithstanding the exalted sentiments of its Constitution, was blighted by slavery at birth. Its founding fathers were members of a slave-owning aristocracy; their successors for the better of the next hundred years presided over the genocide of indigenous peoples of the North American continent, condemning the dwindling descendants to miserable lives in Reservations, better described as Bantustans. The American uprising against British colonial rule was a rebellion against unjust taxes and nothing more. America was a land of opportunity for the poor and oppressed peoples of Europe; its manifold achievements in business, science, technology and cinema have been (and continue to be) astounding. But its centuries of territorial expansion, largely at the expense of Mexico, and its dismal record of oppression and violence in Latin America cannot be expunged by an embellished narrative. Its political is dysfunctional, its corporate oligarchs greedy and corrupt, the media toxic, the judiciary biased towards wealth. The hunt for enemies, real or imagined, enemies, has the fevered excitement of the chase. There are disasters aplenty abroad. The Greater Middles is a ruin. A conflict fuelled by profligate US arms supplies to regional clients looms large. The Wahabi kingdom of Saudi Arabia, mired in Yemen, is looking to engage militarily with Iran in a wider conflagration. President Trump, meanwhile, on his jaunt through

Asia left North Korea unfazed with his threats. Mr Trump cornered Japan and South Korea for perceived malpractice in trade, thence to China and a red carpet welcome, followed by a sumptuous banquet at the Forbidden City, topped up with commercial deals worth $250 billion, and promised Chinese cooperation on North Korea. China, as the largest holder of American debt is tied to Uncle Sam by an umbilical cord neither party can afford to sever just yet. The Trump odyssey journeyed to Vietnam for APEC summit, where the President indulged in inebriated talk of America’s Manifest Destiny. A brief handshake with Russia’s President Vladimir Putin, who vigorous denied any Russian meddling in the 2016 US Presidential election followed; this was followed by a sensible joint statement by the two Presidents pledging to cooperate on defeating Islamic State in Syria. With US-Russia relations at an all-time low, the US Air Force has built a weapon for space warfare. Caligula’s horse could have shown more horse sense: the arms race is set to take a more dangerous and unpredictable turn in the new orbit of confrontation. And what of the touted 21st century’s defining relationship between the United States and so beloved of the salivating Indian media? Volunteer for action alongside NATO in Afghanistan or Iran, or wherever free world duty calls? Without this promised aphrodisiac of an American embrace their hallucinatory world will fall apart until, that is, when President Trump wags his little finger and sets them hallucinating again.

Reflections on the Russian Revolution It was an edit-page article in the China-leaning Hindu newspaper by a professor at the Harayana-based Asoka University, a privately funded institution, of which the Soros Foundation could well be the most generous of its donors. George Soros, a billionaire financier, who acquired his wealth betting against the pound sterling in the 1990s has devoted his last years to character assassination of targeted individuals and organizations for their perceived association and collaboration with the Russian government reminiscent of Senator Joseph McCarthy’s witch hunt of the early 1950s. The professorial piece in the Hindu manifested intellectual indigence and was light years distant of recognizable scholarship. The Russian Revolution 0f 1917, like the French Revolution of 1789, occurred during the breakdown of society in a period of intellectual ferment. Each was a world-historical event of far-reaching significance. The message of each was universal, yet the national setting and tradition played a seminal role in their subsequent development. The Russian state, founded by Peter the Great in the late 17th century, by the end of the 18th, under Catherine the Great, had become a great European power. In the early 19th century, Tsarist Russia destroyed Napoleon’s invading Grand Army in a conflict of epic scale and endurance. The churning of the 1917 Revolution led to the empowerment of the disadvantaged sections of society, especially the poorer land hungry peasantry and the industrial proletariat. Its impact on the anti-colonial movements of the 20 th century was immense. An agrarian and largely illiterate nation was transformed into an industrialized giant that obliterated the abomination of Hitler’s Third Reich, saving the world from a new Dark Age. At end of the Second World War, Soviet Russia emerged as the second superpower after the United States. The stupendous achievement of Russian arms is well

described by the iconic American General Douglas MacArthur (no friend of Communism or communists), who writes: ‘During my lifetime I have participated in a number of wars and have witnessed and have witnessed others, as well as studying in great detail the campaigns of outstanding leaders of the past. In none of them have I observed such effective resistance to the heaviest blows of a hitherto undefeated enemy, followed by a smashing counter-attack which is driving back to his land. The scale and grandeur of the effort mark it as the greatest military achievement of in history.’ The price was the heaviest of the war: 27 million Russian dead, 11 million and more on the battlefield. Britain and America between them lost less than a million troops. The US Ambassador in Moscow, at this time, Averell Harriman, recalled his wartime experience. ‘Stalin the War Leader… was popular and there can be no doubt that he was the one who held the Soviet Union together…I do not think anyone else could have done it, and nothing that has happened since Stalin’s death induces me to change my opinion…I’d like to emphasize my great admiration for Stalin the national leader in an emergency – one of those historical occasions when one man made such a difference. This in no sense minimizes my revulsion of his cruelties but I have to give you the constructive side as well as the other.’ The Russian Revolution had its triumphs in space and science and more than its share of human tragedy. This calls for a just balance in judgment. The historian and biographer Isaac Deutscher does so admirably in his assessment of Stalin’s legacy. ‘The better part of Stalin’s work is certain to outlast Stalin himself as the better parts of the works of Cromwell and Napoleon have outlasted them. But in order to save it for the future and give its full value, history may have cleanse reshape Stalin’s work as sternly as it once cleansed and reshaped the work of the English revolution and of the French after Napoleon.’

Asian Voice | 18th November 2017

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Promise me you'll always remember: You're braver than you believe, and stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think. - A. A. Milne

TYING THE KNOT THE SECOND TIME During my recent visit to India, I met the Hon’ble Chief Minister of Madhya Pradesh, Mr Shivaraj Singh Chouhan and Smt Archana Chitnis, the Hon’ble Minister of Women & Child Development. We had some meaningful meetings and both the Indian leaders were very keen on supporting our cause, of improving the conditions of widows and their children in India. Following my meeting, I was pleasantly surprised that the Hon’ble CM has announced that the government of Madhya Pradesh will give Rs 2 Lakhs to the person who would marry a widow. The government also said that it was the first such initiative in the country and the MP government is setting aside Rs 20 crore a year for the scheme that should kick off in the next three months. As the Founder and Chairman Trustee of the Loomba Foundation, a charity that has been taking care of widows and their children across the world for the past two decades, I am really pleased by this initiative. This very encouraging step is expecting 1,000 widow remarriages every year, to begin with. However, the brainwave to promote widow remarriage could have possible gaps, and the government needs to be cautious of these. The first catch is that the bride must be below 45 years of age. This scheme isolates the older and the more vulnerable

Lord Raj Loomba

widows of the society, as nothing is in the anvil for them, exposing them to the ills of widowhood in India. The cash reward for widow remarriage can be a luring factor for getting married, more like a bribe, and could expose the wife to mistreatment, or even abandonment after the groom receives money from the government for marrying her. But, to ensure that the scheme isn't misused, there are some conditions — the most important being that it should be the man's first marriage. Second that the couple will have to get the marriage in the district collectorate. I strongly welcome similar proposals by other Chief Ministers of India. The Loomba Foundation is an UNaccredited NGO as we have worked in many countries, including Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, India, Nepal, Syria, Kenya, Uganda, South Africa, Malawi, Rwanda, Chile and Guatemala. However, our focus at present is on India, as the country has a record 46 million widows – by far the largest widows residing in any country of the world.

www.theloombafoundation.org The Loomba Foundation Loomba House 622 Western Avenue London W3 0TF 020 8102 0351

Editor: CB Patel

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Leeds manslaughter jury bribe gang jailed Seven men who attempted to derail a manslaughter and fraud trial in which two of them were defendants have been jailed. The gang offered £500 to five jurors to return not guilty verdicts against Raja Hussain and Shahrear Islam-Miah. Hussain and IslamMiah were accused of killing Betty Laird, 88, in a cash-for-crash scam they were running. All seven men were sentenced at Leeds Crown Court earlier to prison terms ranging from two to 15 years. The men had either admitted or been found guilty of conspiracy to pervert the course of justice. The sentences were: - Raja Hussain, 31, of no fixed address: Five years - Jonaade Hussain 27, from Leeds: Five years - Shahrear Islam-Miah, 27, of no fixed address: Six years - Abdilahi Ahmed, 27, from Leeds: Four years and six months - Jamie Lawson, 28, from Leeds: Three years and one month - Waqas Ahmad, 26, from Leeds: Two years and nine

Uber driver accused of sex assaults loses private hire licence

Clockwise from top left: Raja Hussain, Jonaade Hussain, Sharear Miah, Abdilahi Ahmed, Zarfarullah Ahmad, Waqas Ahmad and Jamie Lawson were jailed at Leeds Crown Court

months - Zafarullah Ahmad, 21, from Leeds: Two years Raja and Jonaade Hussain were each sentenced to a further 10 years for firearms offences. The court heard members of the jury were identified as they gathered outside Leeds Crown Court after Waqas Ahmad deliberately set off the fire alarm. The gang then approached five of the

jurors, offering each money to return a not guilty verdict in the trial involving Raja Hussain, Islam-Miah and two other men. However, the jurors reported the approaches to the judge who then dismissed the jury and returned verdicts in the case himself. Det Insp Lee Fletcher said: "These men were involved in a carefully planned and deliberately orchestrated attempt to

derail a manslaughter and fraud trial in which two of them were defendants. "Despite these men's efforts to stop the trial or influence the verdicts, the judge made use of a rare legal power to continue without the jury, and the defendants were convicted and sent to prison." Mrs Laird died in hospital after the car she was a passenger in was hit on Old Lane in Beeston in September 2014.

'Manchester Gas Man' spared jail over nitrous oxide sales A drug dealer who was caught with over 41,000 nitrous oxide canisters he was selling under the name of "Manchester Gas Man" has been spared jail. A police search of Zubair Iftikhar's Fallowfield home uncovered the gas, along with business cards, hoodies and bags adorned with his trading name.

The 31-year-old admitted two counts of possession with intent to supply. He was sentenced to 10 months in prison, suspended for a year at Manchester Crown Court. The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) said police found 41,400 nitrous oxide canisters while searching Iftikhar's home on Langley Road on

26 January. They then found a further 6,500 canisters in his car on 10 February. Nitrous oxide, which is also known as laughing gas, was banned under Psychoactive Substances Act 2016. The CPS's Brett Gerrity said Iftikhar had sold the gas to students and continued "dealing in large

An Uber taxi driver accused of sexually assaulting two of his passengers in Leeds has lost an appeal to keep his private hire licence. Leeds City Council claims Naveed Iqbal used his brother's Uber driver login while he was away and assaulted two women on separate occasions. The city's crown court heard no charges had been brought, but a judge said it was him who carried out the attacks "on the balance of probabilities". He was told to pay £1,500 in fees. Mr Iqbal, 39, shared a Volkswagen Sharan people carrier with his brother, also an Uber driver, and picked up fares at night while his sibling worked in the day. The court heard two women were picked up in Leeds city centre after nights out in December 2015, with the women sitting in the front passenger seat on both occasions. Providing evidence via video-link, one woman said she fell asleep in the cab and woke up to find the driver of the vehicle fondling one of her breasts. Another told the court she was taken to a dark road near her home and the Volkswagen's driver "put his hands on my chest and under my clothes". Leeds City Council found the Uber driver account logged in at the time of the assaults belonged to Mr Iqbal's brother, but he was in Pakistan at the time. Mr Iqbal denied using his brother's Uber login and sexually assaulting the two women, blaming a "technical fault" on the phone or the Uber app.

Sathnam Sanghera's The Boy with the Topknot premieres on BBC

Sathnam Sanghera was back in Wolverhampton for the premiere of The Boy with the Topknot. The drama is based on the critically-acclaimed memoirs of the journalist, which told his story of growing up in the city. Born to Punjabi parents in the West Midlands, Sathnam's memoirs are a humorous, touching and emotional story of a second generation Indian growing up in Britain. The 90-minute, one-off drama for BBC Two stars Sacha Dhawan and Himmut Singh Dhatt as young Sathnam. The Boy with the Topknot airs on Monday, 13 November at 21:00 on BBC Two.

Leisure Centre opens amounts from his home" after the law change. Iftikhar was also given a community order to do 220 hours of unpaid work.

Guru Nanak birth anniversary celebration Dhiren Katwa Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn paid a glowing tribute to the Sikh community in the UK for their historic sacrifices and their continued contributions, in every way. Mr Corbyn was speaking at Gurupurab, the birth anniversary of Guru Nanak, founder of Sikhism. He described Guru Nanak "a reliever of the poor". The event last Tuesday was organised by Sikhs for Labour. Its Chair, Neena Gill CBE, MEP for the West Midlands, reminded guests of Guru Nanak's ethos and values, among which, "no one person is superior than another", also, "tolerance and understanding". She also cited the Labour Party's slogan, "for the many, not the few".

Mr Corbyn used his opportunity to speak to reference the paradise papers scandal. "The paradise papers have indicated just how massive the gap is between the rich and poor". On the Amritsar mas-

sacre of 1984, Mr Corbyn said: "Covering up the past doesn't help us bring peace for the future," adding, "I urge the PM to launch a new, fresh, independent full enquiry into the UK's involvement in this." One delegate chal-

lenged Mr Corbyn on the low number of Sikh MPs and sought a guarantee that more Sikh MPs would be elected. Mr Corbyn said while he could not give a guarantee he pleged to do everything possible to ensure that Sikhs were represented in the Houses of Parliament. Speakers included MPs Tanmanjeet Dhesi, Sandy Martin and Mohammad Yasin. A special coach was organised from West Browich. Guests included Mr Corbyn's wife Laura Alvarez, former leader of Telford & Wrekin Council Cllr Kuldip Singh Sahota, Gurinder Singh Josan, who is standing for Labour's NEC, London Assembly Member Dr Onkar Sahota and Rajinder Kaloya from Wolverhampton.

Sparkhill Baths formally open

Sparkhill Pool & Fitness Centre in Birmingham was officially opened last Wednesday. The honours, red ribbon-cutting and unveiling of a commemorative plaque, were done by the leader of Birmingham City Women's Officer Sharda Lavingia Council Cllr Ian Ward talks to Birmingham City Council and special guest, for- interim leader Cllr Ian Ward pool, an 80-station fitness mer Olympian and TV presuite, dance studios, cafe senter Colin Jackson OBE. and community room as As part of the opening, well as a sauna and steam dignitaries were given a facilities. tour around the site of the Guests were welcomed new £7.5mn leisure centre. by Centre Manager The state-of-the-art Rajvinder Kahlwan, for Centre includes a 6-lane, whom praises were sung 25m pool with viewing throughout. areas, along with a learner


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18th November 2017

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£500 Tesco Gift Card to be won

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The prize draw is open to individuals aged 18 or over who make a MoneyGram cash to bank account and/or mobile wallet transaction in England, Scotland, and Wales. Excludes Tesco Bank and MoneyGram employees, their immediate family members, or any anyone directly connected with the planning or administration of the prize draw. For full terms and conditions visit tesco.com/international-money-transfer. Tesco Bank is a trading name of Tesco Personal Finance plc. Tesco Personal Finance plc is an agent of MoneyGram International Limited in the provision of money transfer services. MoneyGram International Limited is an authorised payment institution regulated in the United Kingdom by the Financial Conduct Authority. MoneyGram and the Globe are marks of MoneyGram. All other marks are the property of their respective owners. © 2017 MoneyGram. The promoter of this advert is Tesco Personal Finance Plc. Registered Office: 2 South Gyle Crescent, Edinburgh EH12 9FQ.

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Inter-faith

Insights

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

Values that unite Indians and Jews

If there is an area that unites Indians and Jews, it’s their values. In both cultures, the family occupies a central place in the social structure, education and aspiration are cherished and there is an obligation to look after those less fortunate. Whilst you have Sewa, performing an act of kindness without the expectation of reward, we have Mitzvahs, which are positive commandments to do good. In the fifth article of my series, I’d like to talk about charity and philanthropy, dwelling on the Jewish approach. If you ever visit the National Theatre and walk around the ground floor, you will see the Clore Learning Centre, the Max Rayne Centre and the Dorfman Theatre. The casual visitor will realise that these are all named after philanthropists. But what they may not appreciate is that Sir Charles Clore (1904-79), Max Rayne (1918-2003) and Lloyd Dorfman (1952-) are all very successful Jewish businessmen, passionate about putting something back not only to their own community but also British society generally. The fact that these Jewish philanthropists were major donors to the National Theatre is a microcosm of a wider story about the Jewish contribution to philanthropy. This is no accident. Charity is woven into the fabric of the Jewish religion. Our holiest scriptures, including the Bible, emphasise the importance of charity. The Hebrew word for charity "Tzedakah" literally means justice. This implies an obligation on the part of those who are in a position to give. In contrast, the English word charity comes from the Latin word “caritas” – meaning “from the heart” and implies a voluntary donation. The medieval Jewish scholar Maimonedes (1135-1204) codified eight levels of giving. The highest level is finding a job for someone in order to give them financial independence. Jewish communities throughout the ages always tried to look after the poor and vulnerable. Collections were made in the synagogue to provide support for those in need. When the Jews resettled in the UK from 1656 onwards, several wealthy members of the community saw it as their duty to help the poor. The Jewish Association for Visiting the Sick was formed in 1665 in response to the Great Plague. In 1806, the Jews' Hospital in Mile End was opened, soon followed by the Jews' Orphan Asylum in 1831. In 1859, the Board of Guardian was founded to help the "strange poor", defined as poor immigrant Jews (which much later became Jewish Care). Sir Moses Montefiore (1784-1885), one of the great philanthropists of Victorian Britain, embodied the values of social responsibility. Someone once said to him "Sir Moses, what are you worth"? He pondered and suggested a figure. His questioner challenged him,

"but surely your wealth is worth more than that?" Sir Moses responded "you didn't ask me what I owned. You asked what I am worth, so I worked out how much I have to charity this year. Because we are worth what we are willing to share with others." Today, the Jewish community in Britain is much admired for its charitable work. A report last year, “Charitable Giving among Britain’s Jews”, showed that there are over 2,300 Jewish charities in the UK, with an annual income of £1.1 billion, spanning education, welfare, healthcare, culture and a whole range of sectors. Furthermore it showed that charity is not just done by a few wealthy people at the top, but has mainstream reach. 93% of UK Jews give something to charity every year, compared to 57% of the British population as a whole. Jews also tend to support both general and Jewish community specific charities (60% of British Jews give to both general and Jewish charities). Giving is not just about money, but about time and skills as well. Volunteering for a charity is a popular activity in the Jewish community. Some of the larger Jewish charities have thousands of volunteers. The largest welfare organisation in the community, Jewish Care, for instance, has 3,000 volunteers. In my own case, I volunteer for my local synagogue's security rota and also to lead prayer services at an old-age-home. On Sunday 19 November Mitzvah Day will encourage the Jewish community to engage in a day's volunteering. But in truth, every day, people in the Jewish community volunteer in a myriad ways. The Jewish and Hindu communities are part of the abundant source of social capital provided by faith groups through charitable giving and volunteering. Without it, UK society would be a lesser place. More than 25% of the 187,495 registered charities in the UK are faith-based. These 50,000 or so charities provide 1.9 million volunteers and support millions of people with problems, from sickness and unemployment to homelessness and family breakdown. Jewish and Hindu communities are good at looking after our own but we appreciate that, as proud Britons, we have obligations to wider society. As one of our greatest compatriots, Sir Winston Churchill, once said: "We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give."

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Jihadi Jack's parents slam 'completely obstructive' Foreign Office

The parents of Jack Letts nicknamed Jihadi Jack have said the Foreign Office are being "completely obstructive" as they bid to help their son who is being held by Kurds in Syria. Mr Letts, who turns 22 on Tuesday, converted to Islam and travelled to Syria in 2014. The former Oxford Alevel student has previously told the BBC he is in solitary confinement in a jail in Kurdish-held northeast Syria. Sally Lane, Mr Letts' mother, told the Guardian the FCO and Boris Johnson have refused to help in getting their son released. The 55-year-old told the paper: "The Foreign Office have been completely obstructive.

Jihadi Jack

"Alistair Burt (a Foreign Office minister) has sent us four identical letters saying that they can't do anything." Meanwhile, his father John Letts said he was angered by comments made by international development minister Rory Stewart who said the only way of dealing with British Islamic State fight-

ers in Syria is to kill them in almost every case. The family dispute claims their son travelled to Syria to join the socalled Islamic State, and Mr Letts said: "Surely this is illegal. In a democratic system in this country, you don't have the death penalty and you can't just go and kill anyone if you think they're guilty." An FCO spokeswoman told the paper: "We have consistently made clear over the last few years that people should not travel to Syria and parts of Iraq. "As outlined in the FCO's travel advice, the government is unable to provide support to British nationals in Syria as the UK government does not have consular representation there."

ISIL accused asked MP to help with asylum in UK

In an attempt to claim asylum an alleged terror plotter enlisted the help of Labour MP Margaret Beckett. Munir Mohammed, 36, is on trial along with chemist Rowaida ElHassan, whom he allegedly recruited to help him with a terror attack. He had claimed asylum in February 2014 after coming to the UK in the back of a lorry, but it

is believed his case had not been decided more than two years later. In August 2016, Mr Mohammed, who is originally from Eritrea, turned Munir Hassan Mohammed, to Mrs Beckett for Rowaida El Hassan. (Image: help, and the MP for Picture: Julia Quenzler) Derby contacted the immigration departBoth Mohammed and ment shortly before he El-Hassan, 33, deny allegedly embarked on a preparing terrorist acts. plan for an attack. The trial continues.

Boris Johnson apologises over Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe case remarks

Boris Johnson Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe, pictured here with her husband Richard and child, is serving a five-year sentence in Iran

Boris Johnson has apologised for his remarks about a British-Iranian mother who is being held in prison in Iran. Nazanin ZaghariRatcliffe says she was on holiday when she was arrested in 2016 - a claim the foreign secretary appeared to contradict this month. Apologising in the Commons, Mr Johnson said he would meet her husband, Richard Ratcliffe, on Wednesday and will visit Iran "before the end of the year". He retracted "any suggestion she was there in a professional capacity". The row over the imprisonment of Mrs Zaghari-Ratcliffe - who

has been held in Iran for more than 18 months - has intensified since Mr Johnson gave evidence before a Commons committee on 1 November. During the hearing, the foreign secretary said Mrs Zaghari-Ratcliffe had been teaching journalism in Iran - something her family and employer say is incorrect. Campaigners say she could face an increased prison sentence in Iran as a result of the comments. Responding to an urgent question in Parliament, Mr Johnson was asked to apologise for the remarks. "Of course I apologise for the distress, for the suffering that has been

caused by the impression I gave that I believed she was there in a professional capacity. She was there on holiday," he said. Mr Ratcliffe has called for his wife to be granted diplomatic protection, which under international law is a way for a state to take diplomatic action on behalf of a national. Earlier, Downing Street said it was "one of the options" it was considering in the case. Asked by Labour about the prospect, Mr Johnson told MPs that he would be answering the question "in person" and would meet Mr Ratcliffe this week. He said he was also planning to visit Iran before the end of the year and would discuss the possibility of Mr Ratcliffe accompanying him.


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Asian Voice | 18th November 2017

'Cash for crash' gang who caused 41 collisions ordered to pay back £37,000 A gang of criminals who carried out a £500,000 “cash for crash” scam across Derbyshire has been ordered to pay back more than £37,000 from their ill-gotten gains. The group engineered 41 collisions, 10 of which were at or close to Markeaton Island in Derby, then fraudulently claimed for non-existent injuries, damage and storage costs. The trial heard how “lone or elderly” motorists were targeted by the 12strong gang, who would drive in convoy, looking to cause crashes. A lead car would “swerve violently”, causing the second car to brake suddenly and the target car would crash in to the back of it. In each case, the insurance firm of the target car would pay out for personal injuries, damage and costs for storage which the crooks would pocket, often under stolen or false names. Earlier this year, the group were put behind bars for a total of 42 years and seven months. Now a confiscation hearing has ordered them to pay back a grand total of £37,493.96. The prosecution came about following a joint

Dharminder Singh Nagra

police investigation with the Insurance Fraud Bureau (IFB). Jason Potter, IFB had of investigations, said: “This gang was a group of calculated individuals who were putting the lives of innocent motorists at risk for profit without a second thought. “The prison sentences they are currently serving already demonstrate how we are clamping down on these criminals and these confiscation orders go a step further to send a clear message that insurance fraud will not be tolerated.” A trial, held earlier this year at Nottingham Crown Court, heard how the fraud took place between 2011 and 2013. Sentencing the men and women, Judge John

Burgess said the crime was a “sophisticated and wellorganised conspiracy”. He added that the motorists targeted had been “harmed emotionally and physically”. Five men – the organisers of the fraud – received five years in jail at their sentencing hearing in April, plus they were disqualified from being a director of a company for eight years. They were: Muhammed Tanzil Asghar, then 28, who pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit fraud. He has been ordered to pay back £60.95 - Dharminder Singh Nagra, then 47, pleaded not guilty to conspiracy to commit fraud, but was found guilty after a trial and has been ordered to pay back £67.48 - Davinder Singh Nagra, then 40, pleaded not guilty to conspiracy to commit fraud, but was found guilty after a trial. He has been ordered to pay back £2,500. - Martin Walker, then 29, who pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit fraud, has been ordered to pay back £13,253.94. - Naseer Ahmed, then 26, who pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit fraud, has been handed “a nominal order”.

Bipin Desai 'made elderly father a lethal smoothie to help him die'

A respected chemist facing a murder charge 'helped his father die' by giving him a smoothie laced with painkillers and injecting him with insulin, a court has heard. Bipin Desai, 59, watched football on TV before pouring a highlyconcentrated dose of the painkiller into a drink for his 85-year-old diabetic father whose body was later found at their lavish family home in Surrey. The chemist lived with his father, Dhirajlal, at their £1,273,000 house on the county's stockbroker belt in Dockenfield, near Farnham. The jury sitting for the second week of his murder trial at Guilford Crown Court watched his second police interview. They had last week been told he admitted assisting in a suicide and two charges of theft by an employee, relating to the insulin and morphine he stole, but denied murder. Tapes showed him discussing making the fatal mixture after dinner on August 26 last year, while his wife and two children were away in London. He told detectives: 'I just picked up some food bananas, apples, nec-

Bipin Desai

tarines - from in the kitchen. I chopped them up and put them in the blender. And some orange juice and then just whizzed it. That was the smoothie made and then I poured it in to a glass.' He then described getting a £4.98 20ml bottle of Oramorph - a concentrated morphine solution - which he had kept at the back of his stationary drawer, in a chest of drawers in his study. Prosecuting, William Boyce QC has claimed he bought the mixture at Vaughan James Pharmacy where he worked in Farnham on February 20 and it was delivered the next day. The 59-year-old admitted he was 'nervous and anxious' but knew 'the time was right'. He added: 'My father was still having his meal

and I said to him that I had made the mixture and he said "Good". 'I was felling nervous, anxious, but I also felt that we had come to a time when it was the appropriate time to help my father. 'I think over a bit of time he had been telling me to help him do something and it just felt like this was possibly the right time because none of my family were there. 'We didn't want anyone, especially my children, to see him.' His father had lived in Zambia before moving to stay with family in Zimbabwe and then eventually moving in with his son in the village of Dockenfield in February 2015. Mr Desai told the officers his father went upstairs to his room after he had finished eating. His father had lived in Zambia before moving to stay with family in Zimbabwe and then eventually moving in with his son in the village of Dockenfield in February 2015. Mr Desai told the officers his father went upstairs to his room after he had finished eating. The trial continues.

GP Labs launches Vegan cosmetics range for the health conscious consumer GP Laboratories is a healthcare distribution and solutions provider with over 85 years’ experience within the healthcare sales and marketing field. With presence in over 20 countries sourcing, supplying and developing pharmaceutical and healthcare products for hospitals, pharmacies, wholesalers and retailers. Our success is based on our mission to introduce unique and innovative products of the highest world standards and to facilitate medical advances. Working towards our values and goals we identified and developed Vegan Fox – a healthcare range for the socially, environmentally and health conscious consumer. All 33 products are certified by Vegan society and Halal society. These products are not exclusively or limited to the vegan or Muslim community, these products have gained market amongst those who associate these products with an ethical outlook. The ingredients are all derived from natural quality sources, the packaging is eyecatching yet recyclable. We have taken the hard work away and presented our products in total transparency. We want to show

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people that you can look and feel fabulous without either the exploitation or cruelty to animals. This is the ethos of Vegan Fox. Vegan Fox is just one the latest of projects that has been delivered by GP Laboratories Ltd, we have been involved in research into the development of natural solutions to enhance the immune system and novel treatments in drug and alcohol systems. Additionally, we have been instrumental in developing the supply of medicines into Brazil, Caribbean, Central and Latin America, Middle East, Eastern Europe whilst raising awareness of falsified medicines. There are exiting times ahead for 2018, as we will be looking to expand the product range and possibly look into shampoos and conditioners! Products are available to purchase on our online pharmacy worldwide at www.gplpharmacy.com To find out more contact us on 01933 698 255 or visit www.veganfox.co.uk


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As I See It

CB Patel

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.

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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


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Asian Voice | 18th November 2017

Rani Singh, Special Assignments Editor

Lekshmi Menon; Using British Beauty Knowledge to help Indians One UK graduate has taken something British women often take for granted and used her passion for the topic to enhance the lives of others. Meet Lekshmi Menon, beauty expert to the underprivileged. Lekshmi Menon spends much of her time in the UK, having fallen in love with the country when she came here from India to study. Since her childhood, she has had an interest in make up and beauty and now pursues this as a fulltime profession. Lekshmi uses her experience to help others feel better about themselves through workshops and classes. Looking nicely made up herself, she told us, “The UK beauty scene helps me to understand about the latest colours in makeup, texture, and formulations that are being used in the western world. I study the research and influence of renowned British makeup artists like Charlotte Tilbury, Lisa Eldridge and Pat McGrath. I source brands from the UK’s small scale manufacturers that provide quality

products at affordable costs. I introduce these British brands during my classes so as to make my students familiar with them. I blend techniques used by these UK makeup artists with my own knowledge of Indian makeup. This combination, which I call Induk makeup methodology, helps my students to understand a product, experience its feel and apply it to best effect.

My mum caught me and asked me not to w e a r Shingar, ever. She bought me my f i r s t l i p stick t o

Men hesitate to encourage women and women are reluctant to experiment with beauty. There are many in the profession

How Lekshmi’s childhood made her fix on makeup I grew up in Kerala, where our family often got involved with society events. I remember, at the tender age of four, seeing beautiful, elegantly dressed women at these parties and getting inspired. I often wondered how their lips were pink or red. Since my mother never wore lipstick I thought it was liquid Eyetex Shingar (liquid bindi in a tube) that these women applied on their lips. One day at home I saw my mum's Shingar and I applied it on my lips.

Lekshmi Menon

play with. It was pink. I dabbed it on my lips lightly before going to every event, new year parties or occasions with my family.

What made Lekshmi decide to help ladies with skin and make up? In the Indian community there are innumerable preconceived notions about makeup. It is still considered superficial in society.

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but their skills lack refinement and an understanding of how art meets science. There is little effort to understand about changing makeup trends, new product releases, different kind of formulations. This inspired me to work with ladies and develop their makeup skills.

How Lekshmi Teaches Lekshmi researches and

sources quality cosmetic products from the UK and studies their formulations, finish and quality. She says, “I conduct classes where people learn numerous makeup techniques. After the classes, I encourage them to be in regu-

We are helping them to differentiate themselves from others. lar contact so that I can provide them with advice/ mentor them about various products and the latest trends. Since most of my students are short of money, I encourage them to take advice before buying products so they are getting the right products for their work, and also let them know of cheaper alternatives available.

The Lekshmi Effect “I have had numerous instances where people have spent considerable amounts of money and time to learn at other

places and are now in a desperate situation as they are not only under pressure from family as they spent a significant amount of family money to study but are also not skilled enough to work with others. When they come to me for learning, I not only have to rebuild their confidence in this profession, but also make them fall in love with makeup again.

How Lekshmi Helps the Poor I believe in the Chinese Proverb, “Give a Man a Fish, and You Feed Him for a Day. Teach a Man To Fish, and You Feed Him for a Lifetime�. I am offering people the skill set that will help them to work with other men and women who want to look their best. This helps them to generate enough money for their livelihoods. The feedback which I have getting is that we are helping them to differentiate themselves from others who are offering similar services, thereby helping them to generate more business and a sustainable livelihood.


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READERS’ VOICE

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Asian Voice | 18th November 2017

Priti Patel’s Resignation

Rtn Hon Ms Pritiben Patel MP (Cabinet Secretary for International Development) respectfully resigned and it is indeed big loss to country and British Indian community. She is experienced conservative and member since PM John Major’s time. Possibly Thatcherite. Objective of this letter is to highlight her clear intentions to help the country and appreciate her efforts which helped to build relations with important countries including India, Israel, Africa. She was only British Indian to hold such post in any conservative governments probably. She is backed by influential and globally spread Gujarati - African Patel lobby. Her meetings with Indian PM and other leaders globally were fast track and in right direction. With due respect to her decision and government decision on resignation, is it not appropriate to comment why her resignation? But I would recommend retaining competent and influential team members if possible by issuing improvement notice and other practical solutions while we are heading for challenges. Can u find such enthusiastic elected representative who pays from her own pocket and cross boundaries to help country? We know how Patels work? – efficient, fast and action oriented approach. Less theory but practical. She is a Nationalist. Basic principle of democracy – For The People is observed here. I have a feeling that we had not realistic “impact assessment” of post Brexit scenario before the referendum and still difficult to estimate either so we should be prepared for shocks & surprises in next few years. We must make sure that country emerges as winner, more prosperous and stay united. Good Luck Great Britain Vidyut Mehta Monmouthshire South Wales,U.K.

A Priti Poor Show

After leaving her Cabinet post as international development secretary, Priti Patel was televised stomping around wearing her smug trademark smile. Alas, there was nothing to smile about. What she did was ill-judged and foolish, shattering her chances of ever becoming prime minister, a role to which she earnestly aspired. What a pity we have lost the services of such an able and dedicated politician. When all the fuss has died down, let us hope she will make a comeback on Westminster's front benches. The sooner the better. Rudy Otter By email

Unbelievable Neglect of Our Elderly

As widely reported in national newspapers, at least two elderly people die every week either in Care Homes or in Hospitals, unbelievably due to hunger or dehydration, while we are obsessed with our ever bulging, wasteful “Overseas Aid Budget”. Does it make sense? Why, Oh Why for our masquerading politicians, charity always begins overseas, our people are last on their priority list when it comes to housing, NHS, elderly care. Could it be that they are living in comfort zone, with subsidised lunches and dinners, as well as bars serving drinks to omnipresent politicians to their hearts’ content? Even in NHS, most politicians receive better treatment than we could expect in private hospitals. Some 4500 downtrodden people are sleeping rough in London, in a city considered to be one of the most prosperous in the world. Is it true or political propaganda! I do not see widespread prosperity except for super-rich few with bank accounts, investments in “Off-Shore” tax heavens! Many of these rough sleepers may not survive if we get really bitter winter with heavy snow-fall. Such rough sleeping is practically unknown in Scandinavian countries as well as Germany, Switzerland, Austria and many more. Daily Mail’s “Dignity for Elderly” campaign has highlighted this long overdue neglect. We are indeed fortunate that we have print media who always pickup misbegotten matters close to our hearts, whether it is wildlife, elderly neglect, pollution, NHS or drink and drug misuse. As so many of our grand-parents live in “Sheltered Accommodations” and “Care Homes” it is our solemn duty to keep an eye, visit them regularly and take up neglect at first sign with the authority without hesitation. Kumudini Valambia By email

First Indians in British Cabinet

The honour of being the "first Indian origin" member of the British Cabinet (Asian Voice 11-17 November), goes, jointly, to Lord Sinha of Raipur, the first and only Indian hereditary Peer, and General Maharaja Sir Ganga Singh of Bikaner, and not Ms Priti Patel, who were appointed members of the Imperial Peace Conference and the Imperial War Cabinet in 1917. Kusoom Vadgama By email

Quagmire that is Brexit

Brexit is in a quagmire instead of going forward it is paralysed and is standing still. The Brexit negotiators having only one plan that is to have no deal for which they have already been secretly planning since July. Thus they are heading towards a cliff edge. Otherwise why is there no breakthrough so far. It looks like there is no meeting of the minds to solve this impasse. The Brexiteers are painting a rosy picture for UK when we leave the European Union, everything will hunky dory. They are deliberately hiding the immense pitfalls that will be facing UK and are spreading misinformation just as they did during the referendum time. To get the ball rolling UK has to come up with reasonable payment to EU, £20 million will not do. It could be settled by offering between £40 - £60 million. The EU citizens working in UK be given full rights as requested by EU and similarly British citizens settled and working in EU be given the same rights. This is main hurdle that is stalling the negotiations. Once that is done then meaningful trade talks can commence which are mutually beneficial to both parties. It is very easy to say we are leaving the EU but not Europe, yet the government’s actions are giving the opposite message. UK will have to grab the bull by its horn and get on with the job, no more dilly dallying. ‘Brexit’ is a historic mistake say the French. ‘Brexit’ was won on a ‘big lie’ claims Hilary Clinton. We will vote down key Brexit bill warn Tory rebels. Alastair Campbell stated: ‘ Time has come for Theresa May tell the nation Brexit can’t be done’. The British and European business leaders are worried and jittery because they are in the dark about the outcome of the slow going negotiations. They need clarity, certainty and urgent breakthrough, so that they can make their future business plans. Britain is set to be the sick man of Europe says Brussels. Now there was a wiff of smoke that there was Russian interference in Brexit referendum. If proven true then the result of the referendum would be null and void. Hence no divorce with the EU but reconciliation. Russian seems to have their tentacles everywhere Baldev Sharma Rayners Lane, Harrow.

Stunning Naivety of Priti Patel

Elocutionist Priti Patel came on the political scene like a breath of fresh air. She is smart, extremely hard working and popular among her colleagues. So her recent naivety does not fit with her profile. Was she over confident in view of the disastrous election result, the own goal scored by PM May? The “Fake News” media had field day, distorting her visit to Golan Heights, her concern for Syrian refugees who enter this disputed land where they are well looked after by Israeli army. Her offer of aid was humanitarian gesture, especially for the field hospital and refugee camps set up by the army to treat malnourished, tormented and brutalized refugees fleeing one of the most destructive civil wars in the region. Her gesture of aid was deliberately misinterpreted by certain press and especially Social Media, as if this humanitarian aid was meant for Israeli army to buy guns and weapons to oppress civilians. Israel is civilized, free, democratic nation compared to neighbouring countries, with 15% Palestinian Arab population who live side by side in Israel with full rights, while all neighbouring Islamic States have ethnically cleansed their countries where Jews once lived and thrived. It is similar situation to Indo-subcontinent where in secular India; everyone enjoys equal rights but not so in Pakistan. It seems sudden, unexpected rise of luminary Priti Patel, first female of Indian origin to hold such high office, has not gone down well with certain section of the population. Her advisers have badly failed her, in not protecting, advising and guiding her through the political minefield. Her penitent, sincere apology in her letter of resignation will serve her in good stead for the future. Bhupendra M. Gandhi By email

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Importance of Meditation

Meditation is a mental and spiritual discipline that teaches us to work with our minds and souls in a way that we can see the true meaning of things that cannot be seen easily. It enables one to develop devotion and has untold powers. People must seek solitude from time to time for intense spiritual practice. Devotion enables a person to accept both joys and sorrows with equanimity of mind. The mind that engages with the world acquires its mundane qualities whereas if it is trained to meditate in solitude, wisdom results. Meditation is a practice that gives balance physically, emotionally and mentally. Today, people are using meditation to treat anxiety, stress, and depression. Jubel D’Cruz, Mumbai, India

Ram Rajya

R.N.Patel’s letter covers many aspects of current condition prevailing in India. He draws parallel between Gandhiji and Jesus, but there are marked differences as well. Gandhiji believed in non violence-ahimsa, and Jesus preached love, compassion and forgiveness. But Christians have added “tooth for tooth and eye for eye,” which is conveniently hidden by clever preachers. Love, forgiveness and compassion are practiced after opponents are severely dealt with, defeated and exterminated. Thus hostility is pushed underground but not wiped off. Peace is just a mirage. But when ahinsa/ nonviolence practiced before, during and after any campaign, by the aggrieved against dominant parties, both remain friends after the end of campaign. Statues of Gandhiji are ample proofs of amicability between freedom fighter, Gandhi and rulers the British. As for Ram Rajya in India, there cannot be one as India is secular. Also, please note that there was no competitive religion during times of Ram. One dissident, Ravan was exterminated. Today there are many great religions in India; of which 5 have foreign roots. Even 4 Indo originated religions do not unite under one vedic banner, how can we expect foreign rooted religions to accept Ram Rajya? Indian government have not been able to convince all and any religion about safety enshrined in India’s Constitution. Pseudo secularism suppresses religion of the majority. Ram rajya is further deterred by “unremitting spite and hatred between two major political parties”( vide Editorial). Instead of highly improbable Ram Rajya, India must stop in its track to “destroy itself”(vide Editorial.) Ramesh Jhalla By email

Identities

The United Kingdom of Great Britain - peoples of these isles want their own identities away from UK/GB. Now most people of these isles also wish to be away from the European Union(EU). The Catalans want to be away from Spain. The old Yugoslavia just melted away after the death of Tito. They never wanted to be together but geo-politics after WW1 saw to that. Everyone wants to go to the USA. A number of us East African 'Asians' did not wish to leave those lands but had to, for various reasons. Now in Bhaarat, many states are being sub-divided as people want to carve out their own identities. The Sikhs want a separate 'Khalistan state' with a view in due course to be an independent nation I imagine. Now the Kurds in different countries in and around Turkey will be looking to carve out a national identity. More displaced peoples. Peoples from sub-Saharan countries do not wish to be where they are/were and are heading for Europe. This world of ours in in a state of exodus with I believe some 60+ million peoples are displaced. An Islamic group want to carve out an Islamic world! Closer to us, as individuals, our families are being torn apart by children wishing to live a separate lives away from their family. This supposedly gives them freedom I am told but this only destroys love and togetherness. Values and Knowledge ('parampara and sanskruti') are being lost. For the want of change in the Bharatiya culture, the baby is being thrown out with the bathwater! Whilst penning this letter, I am listening to Pandit Jasraj sing ' Koyi nahi hai apana'. Magic. My Gurudev always says 'except for your God'. I suppose this is our only belonging. Yogi Pandya By email


EDUCATION

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Swaminarayan School 6th Former gives a speech in the Common’s as part of YMP On Friday, 10th November 2017, one of Swaminarayan School 6th Form student, Jai Patel, gave a speech in the Houses of Parliament Common’s Chamber in front of The Speaker and a full chamber with members of UK Youth Parliament. His speech reflected on equal rights for LBGTQ group. Jai Patel joined The Swaminarayan School in Year 7 and has blossomed ever since. He achieved 11A* 3A at GCSE and is now a member of the Brent Youth Parliament. Jai Patel is currently in the Upper 6 Form at The Swaminarayan School, studying English, History and Mathematics. He is also the Head Boy.

He completed the Duke of Edinburgh Silver Award in 2016 and achieved 11A* 3 A grades at GCSE in 2016 Jai is hoping to read PPE (Politics, Philosophy and Economics) at Oxford University. Last summer he spent a few weeks in Madagascar volunteering in an ecological project and is a Member of the Brent Youth Parliament. Jay described the experience of speaking in

the House of Commons as “simply amazing, an honour he will remember for a long time.’ Jai’s speech can be watched on the link below between approximately 3.33-3.37pm. The Speaker of the House was so impressed with him that he offered his hand to Jai after the speech, commending him the “deep” impression it left on everyone in the chamber. For more information please go to http://w w w.parliamentlive.tv/Event/Index/ c404bd10-a3cb-4ee085e2-2f2175a4128f or contact The Swaminarayan School Headteacher Nilesh Manani.

Student loans fraud exposed by Panorama

The chairwoman of Parliament's spending watchdog wants a police probe after the BBC's Panorama uncovered evidence of fraud in the student loan system. One education agent was secretly filmed offering to get bogus students admitted into a governmentapproved private college for a £200 fee. This was to allow the bogus students to fraudulently claim student loans. Then for £1,500 a year, the agent offered to fake attendance records and to provide all their coursework. Public Accounts Committee chairwoman Meg Hillier said: "There is criminal fraud going on from what you've shown me. It needs to be referred to the police." BBC Panorama spent 10 months investigating dishonest education agents and bogus students who are committing frauds that target private colleges - also known as alternative providers - which offer courses approved for student loans. Agents were secretly filmed supplying fake documents, including a qualification certificate to a BBC undercover researcher posing as a bogus student, who want-

Imran Saeed Sheikh offered to fake the college attendance of bogus students

ed to cheat their way on to courses and apply for student loans. The National Union of Students has also called for an inquiry into the abuses exposed by Panorama. The government is keen to expand the sector as part of reforms designed to make degree and diploma courses more accessible to people who might otherwise find it difficult to enter higher education. Students on government-approved courses at private colleges in England, Wales and Northern Ireland are entitled to - depending on circumstances - £11,000 in maintenance loans to cover living expenses and up to £6,000 in tuition fee loans, paid direct to colleges. This year total student loan debt, from uni-

READERS’ VOICE Greed Governs

In the later part of the 20th century the West espoused the human rights, freedom of expression, gender equality and democratic values after burying their violent and inhuman past. Now in the 21st century those values, it seems, are entombed in preference to gratification of the material greed. The West’s leader president Trump during his visits abroad loudly proclaimed agreements on (mainly armaments) contracts worth billions of dollars at various capital cities in the world

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versities and private colleges, topped £100bn. Acting on a tip-off, Panorama approached Imran Saeed Sheikh, an agent and fraudster who owns a chain of barber shops in east London. Mr Sheikh said that for a £200 fee he could get Panorama's undercover students on to a two-year Higher National Diploma (HND) business course, at Grafton College in central London, so they could get student loans. He added that once a bogus student was admitted he could provide everything they would need to stay on their course, in return for an annual cut of their loan money. Neither Imran Sheikh nor his assistant responded when approached by the BBC for comment.

with total disregard to non-commitment to their espoused values by the countries of those capitals. It is also true for the rest of the Western countries. The UN (which was created to maintain peace and advance humanity in the world) is unable to play their assigned role either without the firm backing of the West or for the greed of receiving funding from wealthy offending donners. Is the world being governed by the greed alone? Narsibhai Patel New Malden

Grandparents help more UK mums get back to work Grandparents are helping more mothers get back to work but the rising pension age means they may face a conflict over providing care in the future. A report from the University of Birmingham shows women's participation in the workforce rose by 26% when their parents or in-laws helped out. Dr Shireen Kanji said: "People arrive at the doorway of work, but a lot goes on behind them to get them there." However, she said grandparents could face more pressure to continue in work. The report states that "a competitive job market and expensive childcare options" mean mums rely heavily on their families. It looked 14,000 mothers in the UK who had a child in 2000. It examined who they named as their main source for after school and weekend care for children aged between four and five years old. It found that 36% of single working mothers primarily relied on their parents - usually their own mother - for childcare. That dipped slightly to 32% of women with a partner. The report said it was

not just part-time work that mothers were returning to, it said that "fulltime employment has also increased". The report's author, Dr Kanji, said: "Grandparents are providing a lot of care at the moment. It is having a causal affect - these women would not be in work if they could not get grandparents' care." The data found proximity played a key role in helping women, with 40% of working mums living within 15 minutes of their own parents. Dr Kanji said it was important to recognise the contribution that grandparents were making: "Unpaid work is hidden but it is fundamental to the way that society functions." However, she said: "Grandparents themselves

are under pressure to extend their paid working lives as a result of recent changes to the state pension age." The female pension age is in process of rising to 65 years old to match male retirement. The state pension age will then rise to 66 for both genders by 2020 and, under the Conservative government, will reach 67 by 2028. Life expectancy is also growing. According to insurance brokerage Willis Towers Watson, a woman turning 65 in 2000 could expected to live to 86.3 while a man might live until he is 83.4. A woman reaching 65 in 2017 could live to 88.8 years old and a man could survive until 86.6. Dr Kanji said the rise is not necessarily something that will affect people who are grandparents now as "they might not have worked in the past". But she said: "For people working now, it will become an issue." She said that families would have to have a discussion about childcare in the future: "It is not an easy choice. They may feel a moral obligation to provide this care, but it will have an impact on them."


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MEDIA WATCH

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Demonetization and the Goods and Services Tax (GST) have led to customary abuse of chare and counter-charge between the BJP-led government and the opposition Congress party. When there is more heat than light truth is the likely casualty. A top ranking World Bank economist recently averred that the success or failure of these measures would require more time before a just evaluation could be made. Ranen Banerjee, Partner, Public Finance & Economics, PwC India, said much the same thing: more data was necessary for final judgment (Business Line November 6). Gujarat, Himachal polls For both parties, however, the real issue is the Gujarat State elections, and the high octane rhetoric that is seemingly obligatory for such events. As Rahul Gandhi is a proven political lightweight, Congress fielded its heavyweight, the former prime minister and economist, Manmohan Singh. Dr Singh, well past his meridian, is less likely to make the desired impact on the Gujarat electorate. Local bookies – normally closer to the public pulse - were quoted as saying that BJP would win in Gujarat and Himachal Pradesh (Business Line November 6).

Major review of GST rates To the great relief of industry and consumers, the GST Council announced a tax cut of 28 per cent on 178 items, with 50 remaining in that category. The Council took the decision on reduction to 18 per cent, for chocolates, washing powder, shampoos, after-shave

the ups and downs.’ (Times of India November 7).

Suzuki focus on scooters, bikes Suzuki Motorcycles India is exiting the commuter motorcycle business to concentrate its best energies on the expanding scooter and the higher end motorcycle markets. ‘We want to hit 1 million units by the financial 2018-20, of which 800,000 units will be scooters and 200,000 motorcycles.’ said Satoshi Uchida. ‘Our current plant near Manesar has a peak capacity of 1 million units and once we cross that we will think of building another plant,’ he added (Times of India November 8).

Azhar aides killed by security forces

Masood Azhar, Pakistani-based Jaish-e-Mohammad, mastermind of the jihadi attack on the Indian Air Force base at Pathancot, lost a nephew and two aides in a shoot-out with Indian security forces in Kashmir. USmade weapons, presently under NATO, were recovered from their bodies. Pakistan’ InterS e r v i c e s directorate with C h i n e s e support has b l o c k e d attempts to Finance Minister Arun Jaitley have Azhar named as a deodorants, granite and marble terrorist by the United Nations and a host of other items Security Council. Meanwhile the (Business Line, Times of India National Investigation Agency is November 11). keeping up its drive to unearth slush funds used to fund jihadi Silicon Valley’s activities (Times of India Altman bullish November 8). San Altman, President of Silicon Valley’s most influential startup Y Combinator is betting big on India, having inducted 18 Indian startups this year, its largest figure since its presence in India a few years ago. YC has backed a portfolio of companies worth $85 billion, and hence has the confidence to discern future trends in India. He says, ‘We have been going to India for the last few years. We’ve been fortunate enough to be an investor in a few of the companies…We continue to believe that something real happening in India… we try and take a very long-term view here [India] and not get distracted by

Terror ring busted in Punjab

A Pakistani ISI-funded terror ring, which had targeted and assassinated a number of religious leaders in the State in a bid to sow inter-faith conflict, has been busted and key members arrested, said Chief Minister Amarinder Singh in a media briefing. Four persons had been arrested, he said. Their handler was an ISI operative. Three of the arrested men were tracked down in Punjab, the fourth was a British national of Punjabi descent (Times of India November 8).

India test fires Nirbhay missile Following failures and setbacks, India finally broke the negative cycle with the successful testfiring of a subsonic cruise, nuclear capable missile from the launch pad on India’s east coast. Nirbhay with a range of 1,000 kms (or more), is equipped to carry a nuclear warhead. A statement from the Defence Research & Development Organization, which designed and produced the missile, said: ‘The flight test achieved all mission objectives complete from lift-off till the final splashdown.’ Nirbhay is highly maneuverable and able to ‘loiter’. The BrahMos supersonic cruise missile, produced jointly with Russia, is already in service with all three branches of India’s armed forces (Times of India November 8).

DRDO railguns for Indian Navy Scientists at India’s Defence Research & Development Organization (DRDO) have developed electromagnetic railguns (EMRG) which are undergoing trials. Capable of firing missiles at 6 mach (4,500 miles per hour), this is touted as one of the future technologies as they use kinetic and laser energy instead of controlled explosives. These weapons will give the Indian Navy a devastating force multiplier against land and sea targets and may lead to changes in the country’s military doctrine, said an expert (Russian news agency Sputnik report from Delhi, November 10).

Panama hub to aid Indian IT exports

Justice done in Nun rape case In March 2015, West Bengal was convulsed by an armed robbery at the Jesus and Mary Convent at Ranaghat, Nadia, 20-30 miles or so from the State capital Kolkata. The robbery was accentuated by the rape of the head of the institution, a 71 year old nun, who now lives in seclusion far from the scene. The guilty men Bangladeshis - were lured back by detectives in cooperation of local traders, then apprehended and brought to trial.

Judge’s verdict Sessions Judge Kumkum Sinha in a comment preparatory to the sentences said: ‘Bengal is the land of Sister Nivedita and Mother Teresa. Such an act is a shame on all of us.’ Nazrul Islam was sentenced to life imprisonment for rape, with no remission; his four accomplices Mohammed Salim Sheikh, Ohidul Islam, Khodadar Rahman and Milan Kumar Sarkar received 10 year sentences for robbery, while Gopal Sarkar, convicted for sheltering the above mentioned men, was sentenced to7 years in jail. All the accused were also heavily fined. The head of the global the Jesus and Mary order, Mother Joseph said: Today is a red-letter day because justice has been meted out.’ She thanked the police, the State government for their efforts in the case. The Papal Nuncio telephoned to the Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee and thanked her. The children in the school expressed their satisfaction at the outcome (Times of India, Telegraph November 9).

Call for revamped Indo-Russian ties Coinciding with anniversary of

the 70th diplomatic

relations, two think-tanks, one Indian, the other Russian, have made a call for a revamped relationship in the context for changing ground realities across the world. The Indian document prepared by the Delhi-based Vivekenanda International Foundation (created by Ajit Doval, the government’s National Security Advisor) and Russian International Affairs Council in Moscow, called for increased ministerial and bureaucratic interaction, observing that exclusive reliance on annual Indo-Russian summits was no longer fit for purpose. Delhi desires an enlarged Russian diplomatic footprint in India’s neighbourhood, for example in Nepal, while Russia favoured greater Indian involvement with the Islamic states of Central Asia. Both sides, in a word, would need to coordinate their respective positions and responses to acts of international terrorism.

Polavaram Naidu’s Mission Completion of the mega Polaravaram Godavari river project on was his life’s mission, declared Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Chandrababu Naidu during a debate on the Pattiseema lift irrigation project

Chandrababu Naidu

in the State Assembly The linkage of the Godavari and Krishna Rivers had brought massive benefits to local farmers. (Business Line November 11).

Royal couple in Delhi

Panama has offered to set up a Special Economic Zone for Indian IT – technology companies seeking to enter the United States and Latin American markets. The proposal was made to India’s Commerce and Industry Minister Suresh Prabhu during a meeting with Panamanian officials. The Indian government has been scouting for a platform to increase export volumes (Times of India November 9).

Telangana tops ease of business list

Amarinder Singh

impressive 61.83 per cent of implementation measures set out by the Centre. Haryana is second with 54 per cent implementation, with Odisha third, Chaattisgarh fourth and West Bengal fifth, at 45.70 per cent, 45.43 per cent and 44. 35 per cent respectively (Hindu November 19).

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Telangana currently tops the ease of doing business table of Indian states. This relates to speed economic reforms in which the State scored an

Prince Charles and his wife, Duchess Camilla met Narendra Modi in New Delhi

Prince Charles and his wife, the Duchess of Cornwall, on a two-day visit to Delhi, met with Prime Minister Narendra Modi and gave him an official invitation to next year’s Commonwealth Summit in London. The Indian government was committed to deepening ties with Britain, said the Prime Minister in a media briefing.


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Men who masterminded supercar thefts ordered to pay back £400,000

In Praise of Priti You may well ask, ‘how is that Boris Johnson risks the life of a British citizen, and it’s Priti Patel who is de facto sacked?’ There are two types of critics of Priti. First, there are the holier than thou. These people are especially harsh on Priti, because they are British Indian. This makes no sense and is hypocrisy of the highest order. She will be back in the Cabinet I forecast in 6 months. As I write this at midnight in Hong Kong, I am watching on CNN the testimony of US Attorney General for not disclosing under oath to a Congressional enquiry his meetings with Russians. Priti, whatever the rights and wrongs of undisclosed leaks, met our closest allies in the Middle East. Transgressions for sure, but, being hounded by the press and on social media like being chased by a bunch of wild rabid dogs is all the more reason not to ask that person’s resignation. That would have shown Prime Ministerial strength. We need to learn from the Americans and stand up to the press. There is another reason I do not like the holier than thou critic – they too often come from our own community. It’s the same people who supported Keith Vaz in the good times, then when he was in trouble – sniggered behind his back. Maybe it is in our DNA. Similarly, with Priti, we must support our own. Not because of some racial prejudice on our part, but because that image of a British Indian at the Cabinet table

cannot be neglected. You may disagree with her politics, and you may wish it was Seema Malhotra at the Cabinet table, but whoever it is from our community, must be supported – we are too small a minority to forget we have yet far to travel. Complacency has cost us dear time and again. Those who campaigned against Priti even becoming an MP, put too much else above their community. They betray their true allegiances. I went to a private fundraiser for Priti before she was even an MP. Margaret Thatcher and about a dozen others were at the home of a senior Conservative MP. We support our own. From that initial meeting of her, to her becoming a Cabinet member is extraordinary. Her powerbase in the Party is very strong. I would simply say to her, all publicity is power and she will be back. The second type of critic is truly vile. It is the social media critic. The twits on Twitter are either mentally defective or imbeciles or both. I am sure all parties have them – but there is a category of ‘nasty Labour’ supporter just as they claim there is ‘nasty Tory’. So rejoice at how much our community has achieved, and show your support to a victim of politics and be grateful she will be back and our community is uplifted when she is. You may have told her how proud of her you were before. Now is actually the time to say how proud you still are.

Slough Borough Council leader Sohail Munawar porn video probe The leader of the council, who has been suspended by his own party, is being investigated for sending a pornographic video to members of staff. Cllr Sohail Munawar has been removed as leader of the Labour Group pending the outcome of an investigation by the Labour Party. A letter to Cllr Munawar from the Labour Party head office, seen by the Slough Observer, said: “These allegations include conduct which is in breach of the Party’s bullying and harassment procedure towards other Party members.

“There is also an allegation of sexual harassment in the form of an explicit video sent over Whatsapp to a number of other Party members. “It is important that these allegations are investigated and the NEC

Police have charged two men with manslaughter in connection with the death of father of three Mohammed Rasheed who was found with fatal head injuries after enjoying an evening out in Windsor. Mr Rasheed died in hospital two days after being found unconscious in the Goswell Hill service road near the taxi rank at 2am on Sunday September 10. He had been seen earlier in Bar Yello. Members of the public tried to help him and he was taken to Wexham Park Hospital, Slough before

being transferred to the John Radcliffe Hospital in Oxford where staff were unable to serve his life. His death led to a major manhunt as police released cctv images of members of the public who had been in the vicinity, in a bid to track down as many potential witnesses as possible. They also appealed to people who might have mobile phone footage that could help and taxi drivers who might have dashcam footage. Ashley Ball, 28, of Wheatsheaf Lane, Staines and Kirk Bentley, 31, of

Cllr Sohail Munawar.

(National Executive Committee) will be asked to authorise a full report to be drawn up with recommendations for disciplinary action if appropriate.” The Observer understands that Cllr Munawar accidentally forwarded a pornographic video, which featured a cucumber, to contacts on his phone. In an interview on Asian Star radio, Cllr Munawar said the situation had “torn my family apart,” and they were “in pieces” and also said that his daughter, mother and sister were among the recipients of the video.

Mohammed Rasheed: two charged with manslaughter

Mohammed Rasheed

Church Street, Staines were charged with manslaughter on Wednesday. They have both been released on conditional bail to appear at Slough Magistrates' Court on December 12.

Two men convicted of stealing and exporting dozens of exotic cars have been ordered to repay more than £400,000 in compensation. The men were leaders of an organised crime gang convicted of conspiracy to steal motor vehicles in Reading in 2014. On Friday, November 3, Mahmood Khalid, 39, of Duffield Lane, Stoke Poges, Slough was ordered to pay £407,619.60 in compensation to be paid within three months. Khalid is serving six years and four months’ in prison given to him in July 2014 for his part in the conspiracy. If he fails to pay the amount within three months, he have to serve another four years behind bars. Khalid was ordered to repay the cash at Salisbury Crown Court. Irfan Rehman, 44, of New Bedford Road, Luton, was ordered to pay £28,500 on Friday, June 9. He was jailed for three years and nine months in July 2014. The men were caught following a Thames Valley Police investigation, codenamed Operation Sorrel, into the theft of high value motor vehicles and their subsequent export via Antwerp to East Africa, where they were sold as new cars. The cars were mostly Range Rover models such as Vogue, Sport and Evoque worth at least

£50,000 each. Others included top end Mercedes and BMW models. The thieves also stole a particularly expensive Mercedes SLR McLaren, Rolls Royce Phantom and a B e n t l e y Continental val-

Mahmood Khalid

Irfan Rehman

(Image: Police release)

A Rolls Royce Phantom

ued at £154,400. More than 30 cars were stolen or targeted by the gang. The thefts relied on the vehicles having ‘keyless access systems’, in which the proximity of a key fob within the car allowed the ignition to be started by a push button. If the car thieves accessed the vehicle they could download its security settings, then create a third key fob. Once they had obtained access to the vehicles, the thieves fitted trackers which then enabled them to steal the cars at a time and location to suit themselves. The men were originally charged for their crimes at Reading Crown

Court . Khalid admitted conspiracy to steal motor vehicles in Reading on Friday, October 4 2013. Rehman was convicted of one count of conspiracy to steal cars on Tuesday, May 13, 2014 in Reading after pleading guilty halfway through the 11 week trial. Another man, Amran Iqbal, 39, of Derby Road, Beeston, Nottinghamshire, was found guilty by a jury of conspiracy to steal vehicles at Reading Crown Court on Friday, June 6, 2014. Iqbal was sentenced to three years’ imprisonment along with Rehman and Khalid at Reading Crown Court on Friday, July 18, 2014.

'Dragged' man robbed at knifepoint in Nottingham A man was held at knifepoint before being dragged to a cash machine and robbed in Nottingham, police have said. The victim was walking along North Sherwood Street when the offender threatened him with a knife at about 17:40GMT on Thursday.

Nottinghamshire Police said the suspect then dragged him to a cash machine on Mansfield Road, which was out of order. The victim was robbed of his phone, wallet and two bank cards, which were used to withdraw £300.

The suspect has been described as an Asian male, about 25-years-old, about 5ft 10ins tall and of medium build. He was wearing a black and white bandana and a cap. Officers have appealed for witnesses and anyone with information to contact them.

Police officer at scene not to blame for teacher's death

The police officer assisting at the scene of an accident did not contribute to the death of Slough teacher Ahmed Bafadhel an investigation has decided. Mr Bafadhel, 28, from Slough died after his Honda motorbike collided with a second motorbike and a Mercedes car on the A355 Amersham Road near Amersham on Sunday, July 31 last year. The teacher was airlifted to the John Radcliffe Hospital in Oxford but staff could not save him. Mr Bafadhel was head of technology at Slough and Eton School and a member

of the Deen Riders, a Muslim motorbike organisation that works with charities around the world. He was also the carer and main support network for his elderly parents and provided bike safety classes to pupils at school. The second rider, Babar Gull from Wooburn Green was later given a suspended jail sentence for causing death by careless driving. The Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) later begun an investigation into the actions of the police before

the collision, as a Thames Valley police vehicle was at the scene. But over a year later the officer PC Matthew Carson - who had stopped to help the driver of a broken down Mercedes on the crest of a hill on the A355 between Amersham and Beaconsfield - has been cleared of any blame.


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Britain marks How to complain about bad charities Remembrance Sunday

Pratik Dattani

At Charity Clarity, we come across a number of instances of poor governance at charities within the Indian community (as with others) which raise concerns with volunteers, donors and even others within the management committee. This article helps you understand how you can complain about a charity if internal dialogue is not working. Charity Clarity is a due diligence platform for charities. Our aim is to Empower Donors and Support Charities. Often this means educating trustees and the team how they can better serve their charitable purposes. We find that in most instances, the trustees are well-meaning, but may lack sufficient knowledge about their responsibilities. There are several ways to complain about a charity. Trustees are responsible for running a charity successfully and it is appropriate to raise a concern to them first, unless you suspect illegal activity that requires others to intervene. If you have a complaint around the way you’ve been asked for donations or how fundraisers have behaved with you, you can complain to the Fundraising Regulator, which regulates charitable fundraising. They set standards for best practices of fundraising but also investigate cases. The Advertising Standards Authority, UK’s independent regulator across all media, can be approached for any advertising campaigns that are thought to be misleading or offensive. Any individual can raise a complaint directly to the independent

regulator of charities in England and Wales, the Charity Commission, about any concerns they might have by simply logging in to their website. The Charity Commission deals with serious concerns, such as the charity not doing what it claims to do, losing lots of money, harming people, being used for personal profit or gain or being involved in illegal activity. An employee can also raise the same concerns by emailing whistleblowing@charitycommission.gsi.gov.uk. These cannot be personal grievances. The whistleblower is protected by law in case they report any criminal offence, injustice, violation of law by the charity. If you think the charity is doing anything illegal, you can call the Police by dialing 101 too. What are the types of complaints that the Charity Commission most commonly deals with? This could be: a charity losing significant funds of money e.g. 20% of the charity's income; losing significant assets, e.g. land or buildings; serious harm coming to the people the charity helps; criminal or illegal activity; terrorist activity; a charity set up for illegal or improper purposes; a person or

organisation receiving significant financial benefit from the charity; or not following charity law, with damaging consequences to its reputation and the public's trust in charities generally. You would need to inform the Charity Commission whether you would like your name to be disclosed to the charity (or not), and provide full evidence of the attempts you’ve made to contact the charity to get clarity on this already. The first of these requirements puts off many such complaints, especially when they are within your own community. But remember that you can inform the Charity Commission not to disclose your name. Your complaint

should also not come across as a personal grievance, but instead be properly evidenced. One recent such example in the Hindu community is that of the National Council of Hindu Temples. In the last five years, according to its regulatory filings, the charity has spent significantly more than it has earnt. It’s General Secretary hold six trusteeships, a number many sector experts would advise may be too many to adequately conduct the duties of each. However, these are not typically the types of issues that the regulator would investigate – these are for trustees and members to deal with internally or at AGMs. However, a member of the public did complain about the charity in three separate instances in the last two years. In the first, in 2015, the Charity Commission said NCHT’s actions were “not a legitimate activity for a charity”, and in 2017 the regulator asked NCHT to “refrain from making such statements”. Both related to guidance that charities “must not encourage support for any particular party or candidates.” The Charity Commission is once again looking into the activities of the charity, this time for an unrelated matter. In the first two instances, a member of the public was able to submit a complaint to the Charity Commission on their website. In the third instance, the individual and several other charities and advocacy groups wrote an open complaint letter, supported it with a PR campaign, and submitted it to the Charity Commission. The Charity Commission is often overwhelmed with communications from the public. Its advice is often focused on “guidance” – their aim to help the charity became aware of their challenges and therefore improve. Rarely is a charity is shut down. If you want to find out more, or want to confidentially talk about your concerns with us, then email us at contact@charityclarity.org.uk

HRH Prince Charles at the Remembrance Service on Sunday representing The Queen

Politicians, members of the Royal Family and veterans are commemorating those who lost their lives in conflict as the UK marks Remembrance Sunday. A two-minute silence was held across the country and wreaths were laid at memorials. Prince Charles attended the annual ceremony at the Cenotaph in London and Big Ben chimed at 11:00 GMT. At the Cenotaph on Whitehall, the Last Post was played shortly before the Prince of Wales laid the wreath. The royals were joined by Prime Minister Theresa May, other senior politicians, religious leaders and dignitaries from around the Commonwealth. Commenting on Remembrance Sunday, Major Naveed Muhammad, Chairman of

the Armed Forces Muslim Association and a serving British Army Officer said: “Remembrance Sunday is about paying tribute to all the brave men and women who have served in the British Armed Forces and also recognize those who have made the ultimate sacrifice in service of our country. It is also marked to remember those who serve today and will do so in the future. “Britain, more than any other nation in the world, has always been an amalgamation of many different faiths and cul-

Rememberance Ceremony at the Hague

tures, and the Armed Forces have and will always strive to reflect this diversity. The Values and Standards which guide us on a daily basis, include Courage, Loyalty, Respect and Selfless Commitment bond seamlessly with those valued by diverse communities all over the UK ”

of their armed forces who have died in the line of duty. On the day, a special photo exhibition showcasing the contribution of Indian soldiers in World War-I was displayed by the Embassy of India at the Westduin cemetery in Netherlands after the service. The photo exhibition will be moved to the City Hall in The Hague and will be opened by Ms Pauline Krikke, Mayor of The Hague on Monday. The exhibition will continue until November 17, 2017. Meanwhile, in London, Deputy Indian H i g h Commissioner Dinesh Patnaik Sikh Regiment marching paid respect to fallen soldiers during WW1 of two World Wars in traditional Hindu To recognise India’s way at Remembrance contribution to the world Sunday commemorations wars the Embassy of India at the Cenotaph in London hosted a Commonwealth Remembrance Day Service this morning. at the Westduin Cemetery The Indian Army durin The Hague. The ceremoing First World War conny was attended by over tributed a large number of 300 people despite divisions and independent inclement weather. brigades to the European, In addition, Mediterranean and the Remembrance Day was Middle East theatres of war in First World War. observed at Delhi War Over one million Cemetery. Remembrance Indian troops served overDay is a memorial day seas, of whom 62,000 died observed in and another 67,000 were Commonwealth of Nations wounded. In total at least member states since the 74,187 Indian soldiers died end of the First World War during the war. to remember the members


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Medic accused of ‘grinding’ crotch claims they could feel his Nokia phone An A&E doctor accused of becoming 'pleased' to see two female colleagues on a hospital ward has denied sexual misconduct - claiming he had a mobile phone in his pocket. Dr Mohammed Yasin, 30, was said to have been sexually aroused when he approached the student nurse and healthcare assistant then hugged them tightly at the New Cross Hospital in Wolverhampton. He was also accused of moving his hands down their bodies and allegedly thrusting against them and pressing his upper legs into them. But at a medical tribunal Yasin denied wrongdoing claiming the women may have been confused about his intentions as he

had a Nokia Candybar handset and car key fob which were always in his trouser pocket. He also said he hugged the women because he wanted to 'fit in' and had seen other colleagues of a similar background to himself doing the same. The Medical Practitioners Tribunal Service in Manchester heard the encounter occurred on April 2 last year when the two nurses and Dr Yasin, who was working as a locum, were on a night shift together. Yasin, from Birmingham, was reported after the two women spoke to each other about their experiences. Yasin denies sexual misconduct. The hearing continues.

A mother who was jailed along with her partner for running a brothel in Hounslow has had her sentence cut after winning an appeal. It means Tasleem Yasin, 47, will be back home for Christmas with her twin four-year-old children as her initial 27month sentence was reduced to 19 months. Appeal lawyers argued the sentence was too tough, given the devastating impact the imprisonment is having on her children. The mother was in charge of the day-to-day running of the Kingsley Road brothel with her common-law husband, Carl Smith, responsible for recruiting prostitutes, staff rotation and supplying cannabis for use, the court heard. It is thought that between 2015 and 2016

the couple, of Prince Regent Road, made around £70,000. She was jailed at Isleworth Crown Court in June for conspiracy to keep a brothel and offering to supply cannabis, and possession of the drug, but on Tuesday (November 14) her jail sentence was cut by eight months following an appeal by her lawyers. "We conclude that justice can properly be done in this case by reducing the sentence," appeal judge, Sir John Royce, told the Court of Appeal, sitting alongside Lord Justice Hickinbottom and Mrs Justice O'Farrell. Due to time served on remand, Yasin will be freed imminently. The court heard how Yasin and Smith were caught following police surveillance of the brothel and at another property in Aldridge Close.

Lady Margaret Road in Southall has reopened to the public, nearly 72 hours after a man was fatally injured in a shooting. Khalid Abdi Farah was gunned down while he sat in a car in the early hours of Saturday (November 11) morning. Police were called to the scene at 1.23am and the 26-year-old, from Greenford, was taken to a central London hospital where he was pronounced dead a few hours later. Police sealed off part of the road as the Met’s Homicide and Major Crime Command launched a murder investigation. It finally reopened just before 10pm on Monday

(November 13). Mr Farah was sitting in a Ford Focus outside shops on Lady Margaret Road when a black SUV vehicle pulled up beside it. Detective Chief Inspector Andy Partridge, who is leading the investigation, said: “An occupant of the black SUV then approached the victim on foot and fired directly into the car. “The suspect then returned to the SUV and it left the scene at speed.” Police say the vehicle travelled along Lady Margaret Road towards Ruislip Road and then along Parkway heading towards the M4. No arrests have been made.

Mum jailed for running brothel has sentence cut following appeal

Southall shooting

Asian Voice | 18th November 2017

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LIEUTENANT HARMEET NIJJAR: SP

TLIGHT

OPENING UP ABOUT THE ARMY

Sunetra Senior

Nijjar answered our questions with the speed and precision one expects of an Officer who is excelling in the army. But with an extra, unexpected turn. Currently training in the Army Air Corps for his Army pilot ‘Wings’, after having completed his preliminary training at the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst, Nijjar also let us know of the welcoming and affable side of his, sometimes misunderstood, trade. “The public do have the misconception that the Army heavily focuses on physical aptitude, and that the institution itself is socially challenging- rife with racism and prejudice - but this is not the case. I would say it is your individual attitude that is absolutely pivotal in your success. If you are positive, willing and enthusiastic that is always reflected back to you. In my experience, superiors have always recognised people’s skills and drive over their background. Discrimination is certainly not ingrained in the everyday chain of command - it’s not systemic. Furthermore, the armed forces are very proactive about promoting diversity nationally: part of my wide-ranging day to day duties is public engagement. I promote awareness amongst potential candidates in schools, universities and at various formal events to recruit people from different walks of life. We want to reflect the society that we serve.”

The heavy-weight Apache helicopter

personal liberation as it is emotional discipline, drills, and the pragmatic. “Honestly, it’s the rewarding digression from a traditional career that really drew me to the force. I’d had early exposure to physical training when I was 17 when I joined the territorial army, and always knew I’d *** come back,” Nijjar aptly stated. “I Indeed, the activity and condidn’t think a desk-bound job stantly changing nature of was for me. As long as I can his call to duty is what continue to have a fulfilling keeps Nijjar invested. trajectory in the armed We want to “The variation and forces, I’ll be happy whatdynamic days are my reflect the ever the future. It’s more favourite parts of the society that than about titles. Just job.” This includes posfocussing on the immediwe serve sibilities for the future. ate, and gradually qualify“At the moment I’m ing for each necessary level training with Squirrel heliis the greatest feeling.” copters so eventually advancing to operating the famed Apache heliHow has your Law degree copters is definitely on the cards. entered into your Army expeBut there’s also the option of movrience? ing away from aviation altogether. It’s been a good foundation to For example, perhaps going down start with because so much of my the command route. That’s more initial training at The Royal Military about managing and guiding fellow Academy Sandhurst involved stusoldiers and officers and helping dious learning, and I enjoy that too. them progress within their own As I say, the Army incorporates a lot careers.” It is interesting that Nijjar of unexpected life elements. also stated that a highlight moment in his career is undoubtedly: “the Can anyone really join the sheer thrill of the flying. I’ll be able Army? to go away on a Land Away with a Honestly, if I can do it, anyone handful of people from the RAF base can. Meaning, whatever skill level in Shawbury to North London to and ability you come in with, the have lunch, and then fly right back military will work with you to make in one day. It’s great to be paid to sure that everyone is on that even learn such exciting, new skills and playing field after just a short time. to be blessed with such unique It is not beyond anyone’s reach. experiences.” With an alternative As a corollary to this, as menpoint of professional comparison at tioned before, it is primarily about his disposal– Nijjar completed a your outlook. You are treated the degree in Law prior to joining the way you behave. If you’re a good armed forces – the young Officer’s person, and want to do better, you’ll eloquent insights then demonstrate be treated well. Your character is how the Army can be as much about what people judge you on, and it’s

Squirrel Helicopter'

important in a career where you are being so highly socially interactive. You do have an older brother in the profession; have you found that sense of solidarity to be very helpful. And indeed, family support altogether? Yes, having a brother in the same trade, job and regiment is of course very encouraging; I get a heads up of what’s to come. Spending time with family and receiving their support has been key in keeping up my morale in the army too. Is interactive recruitment effective? Yes, you are able to directly connect with someone who might not have otherwise considered the nuances and perks. That educative element is key in putting our message forward. Sum up the attractive factors of your profession? Meeting new people, the fact that every day is different and getting to travel the world. When did you first become drawn to the army? I was never drawn to it as a career at a young age because I wasn’t given a way to understand the ins and outs. However, at the age of 16, I had the opportunity of seeing where Apache helicopters were held. Just seeing that was great and planted a seed. Finally, what’s a motto you have? It’s more advice than a motto, but I’d say – always remain flexible. It’s helpful whatever you do in life.


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Priti Patel Episode: Govt Panics as MP appears Relieved Continued from page 1 Tory parliamentary party. Last year CFI paid for 21 Tory MPs to travel on a fact-finding mission to Israel, the West Bank and Gaza’s border. Ms Patel is a former vice-chairwoman of CFI. In the same year the Conservative Middle East Council, a pro-Arab group, paid for a further seven MPs to travel to the region. Until he returned to government last year Sir Alan Duncan was chairman of the council. Ms Patel was trying to broker increased co-operation between the Department for International Development (Dfid) and Israeli defence forces carrying out humanitarian work in southern Syria. Her supporters suggest that she held the meetings, including with Benjamin Netanyahu, the Israeli prime minister, while on holiday so as not to involve the Foreign Office. The strategy failed when the department found out. Lord Polak has given 28 years lobbying on behalf of the Israeli state. An associate said, “He's given his entire life to CFI, when the Conservatives have been in government and out, and Israel has had lots of friends. It's his life's work. He's built ups contacts over generations of Tory MPs, and is seen as someone who's really put in the graft, in the community.” His role in the Patel meetings have been termed an uncharacteristic misjudgment. “He’s not a headline grabber – not because he’s some shadowy figure,

was in fact prepared for what was to come. In typical characteristics of a Patel, the Gujarati-speaking 45 year old was clicked laughing and talking to the media. She said she will now focus on her constituency. “I look forward to returning to Parliament on Monday where I will continue to be a strong voice for Witham and Britain.”

but because he doesn’t look for a public profile himself. He was chuffed to get a peerage because it gave him a place even closer to government to do what he does. But it was never his intention to become part of the story,” said a former colleague. Is Sir Alan Duncan to blame? Several Patel-supporters have raised fingers at Foreign Office Minister Sir Alan Duncan for having “means and the motivation” to brief details of the meetings conducted by the secretary in Israel. Sir Duncan has been blamed for instigating the row that led to her quitting office. It is no secret that he he remains a critic of Israeli policy in occupied territories, contrary to Patel's views. Sources claim that the Foreign Office was fully aware and decided to leak the information right when May met with Israeli premier Benjamin Netanyahu, to “settle a score”. The Foreign Office had a bone to pick with Patel, for her time as head of the Department for International Development when she campaigned to use aid as “leverage” for nations post-Brexit. One Patel-ally said, “The blame is on Alan, and Boris (Johnson) too as it's his department and did nothing to stop him.” Another senior Tory said, “Let's just say if Priti had met President Macron in the south of France, the Foreign Office wouldn't have been as annoyed.” Sources believe

Sir Alan at the very least “stoked” the story and may have been responsible for tipping off the BBC (who broke the story) about her trip. “Allies of Priti firmly believe it was him. There was information in the original story that was only known by a small number of people in the Foreign Office. We are sure the leak didn't come from Dfid. Only someone like Alan Duncan had both the means and the motivation to do it,” a source said. Everyone knows about the age-old rivalry within the Foreign Office, between political heads and senior servants. One has to accept that within the Cabinet and the government, there has always been competition and one-upmanship. Meanwhile, supporters of Duncan have completely

dismissed the allegations, saying he had nothing to do with the case. “This whole episode was entirely of her (Patel's) making and there would be no need for anyone to leak anything as there were pictures of some of her meetings no Twitter,” they said. Popularity with the masses post-resignation Priti Patel was the first Indian-origin member of the British Cabinet, who was democratically chosen. She has always been proud of her Indian background, and has established a close connection with Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The country remains fascinated with Patel, as several organisations come forward in support of her. Last week, a reported 230,000 people used a live

flight tracker app to watch her eight-hour, 4240 mile journey from Kenya to London when she was ordered to return to hold talks with PM May. Analysts believe her flight was the most monitored flight in and out of the country ever. Elated with the support, she said, “I've been overwhelmed with support from colleagues across the political divide. Of course, nothing is more humbling than the support I've received from my constituents.” Seemingly unaffected by ongoing events surrounding her, Priti was all smiles during the annual Armistice Day of remembrance at Witham War Memorial in her constituency of Essex. It appeared as if the MP remains unaffected by the government's decision, and

Whose loss? Whose gain? A big Tory asset, supporter and promoter of ethnic minority voters, a working-class Thatcherite as some reports called her, Patel was without a doubt one of the prime assets of the British government. Her resignation was the last thing May's administration, which hangs by a single thread, needed. Yes, she failed to hold ministerial protocol, but when you look at it, there was no need for her to resign. May losing one of her colleagues shows her in a bad light. Patel's only offence was to conduct meetings without fully informing the Foreign Office or No. 10. As a Cabinet Minister, The Daily Telegraph cites, she was entitled to hold meetings about her portfolio with overseas governments. She had apologised for her mistake, and as unwise as her judgment was, she did not require to pay such a hefty price. The minister's resignation reflects at the lack of authority in the administration. The PM could have, if she wanted, handled the whole episode differently.

POLL CAMPAIGNING GATHERING MOMENTUM IN GUJARAT GUJARAT ELECTION

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Narendra Modi

From calling PM Narendra Modi a jadugar who has been tricking people, to the online release of Hardik Patel's sex tape, political campaigning is gaining steam in poll-bound Gujarat. As several parties prepare to lock horns next month, the fight in Modi's home town is of pride for one, and prestige for another. The elections will be held in two phases- December 9 and 14. In the first phase, 89 seats of Saurashtra, Kutch

May in trouble as MPs claim no confidence About 40 Conservative MPs are reportedly prepared to sign a letter of no confidence in Theresa May as the Prime Minister keeps getting hit with a never-ending series of challenges. The number increased in recent weeks. The letter is eight MPs short to a vote of no confidence, which, if lost, would lead to a Conservative leadership contest. “Patience is wearing very thin and in some cases, it has snapped,” a senior Tory MP said. May has a lot on her hands, including a sexual harassment scandal, loss of ministers Sir Michael Fallon and Priti Patel, a rather serious faux pas by Boris Johnson leading to a British woman's longer jail term in Iran, and aggressive divisions over Brexit. It is official, the Prime Minister is losing control. Tory rules dictate 48 MPs need to sign a letter of no confidence, and present it to the chair of the backbench 1922 Committee for a probable vote on May's future. The move came after a secret letter from

Theresa May

Boris Johnson and Michael Gove came to light, in which they have given the PM instructions on how to run Brexit. They wrote that transition arrangements for the exit must end on June 30 2021, and urged her to ensure members of her top team fall behind their plans by “clarifying their minds”. May's ability to deliver a

just Brexit is shrouded in doubts, all while threat to her leadership grow. The Labour party and other opposition have now warned that she has no longer enough authority over the Conservatives to secure the Bill's passage. Labour's Shadow Brexit Secretary Sir Keir Starmer wrote a letter to the PM raising concerns that she no

longer has the influence over her own party to deliver key facets of a successful Brexit. It read, “Over recent weeks, it has become increasingly clear that you alone do not have the authority to deliver a transitional deal with Europe and to take the necessary steps to protect jobs and the economy.” He pointed out how cabinet ministers like Foreign Secretary Johnson and International Trade Secretary Liam Fox had appeared to make statements that contradicted her Brexit plans as set out in a major speech in Florence earlier this year. Meanwhile, SNP's Stephen Gethins said, “If it wasn't clear before, it is now. Theresa May has lost all authority and credibility in government. The revelation that leading Brexiteers Boris Johnson and Michael Gove are now brazenly able to dictate their hard Brexit demands … goes to show that they think they can say and do as they please, knowing fine well Theresa May is powerless to act.

Vijay Rupani

and South Gujarat are covered while rest, north and central Gujarat in the second phase. Poll results will be out on December 18 along with Himachal Pradesh. Boris Johnson

Theresa May is Prime Minister only by title.” In the past days, May lost Fallon, Patel, and her deputy Damian Green remains under investigation over allegations of inappropriate behaviour. Johnson meanwhile, find himself busy against calls to resign over a diplomatic gaffe relating to Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe, a British woman who is imprisoned in Iran. Messy Brexit Talks between Britain and the European Union

Michael Fallon

appear to have reached near-stalemate, resulting in the EU giving a deadline of two weeks to the UK to agree on a figure for the 'divorce bill'. With negotiations reaching a crucial point, May and her government finds themselves knee-deep in trouble over attempts to push through the legislation that will allow leaving the EU. Debates and votes are expected to be conducted in a month as lawmakers from all parties put forward hundreds of amendments to the EU Withdrawal Bill.

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BJP The ruling BJP will be shifting pace from Amit Shah's ongoing door-todoor canvassing to a highvoltage carpet bombing with senior leaders coming down to Gujarat, ahead of the first phase of polling. The party has planned about 10 days of high-profile campaigning, November 20 onwards, with Prime Minister Narendra Modi scheduled to fly in and out of the state and other ministers maintaining the momentum. Sources said the party will send out 30odd leaders on a single day,

Amit Shah

to spread across the region and address rallies in all 89 constituencies that will go to polls on December 9. BJP will also reportedly hold a similar day-long mega exercise before the second and final phase. Dates for the huge outreach and roster of leaders and their venues are yet to be drawn. Apart from Modi and Shah, campaigners include Union Ministers Rajnath Singh, Smriti Irani, Nitin Gadkari, Rai Shankar Prasad, Prakash Javadekar, and Piyush Goyal. Also involved will be chief ministers Yogi Adityanath, Vasundhara Raje, Shivraj Singh Chouhan, and Devendra Fadnavis. NaMo will be in-charge of the state campaigns, and is set to address one big rally in each of the 32 districts, along with holding roadshows in major cities like Surat, Vadodara, Ahmedabad, and Rajkot. Deputy Chief Minister Nitin Patel said, “We are contesting the polls under the leadership of our Prime Minister Narendra Modi. PM Modi's campaign plans are being worked out by the party in consultation with the Prime Minister's Office.” Modi has visited Gujarat almost 10 times in the past six months, for different government events, including laying foundation stone for the ambitious Delhi-

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Asian Voice | 18th November 2017

Mumbai bullet train project, completion of the Narmada dam and inauguration of a ferry service linking south Gujarat and the Saurashtra region via sea route. Union Textiles and Information and Broadcasting Minister Smriti Irani shifted her focus to Gujarat as she visited Surat last week stating that the Congress is trying to incite small businessmen and traders from embracing GST. She said they are ready to be tax compliant, and that her ministry is doing everything to solve the problems they are facing in shifting to GST. Campaigning for BJP candidates, she engaged voters in a door-to-door campaign in parts of Ahmedabad and distributed written copies of Modi's message. She also assured that the GST council is working out to remove any glitches that may have occurred in the process of implementation. BJP MLAs keep hopes of poll tickets BJP MLAs have several apprehensions on gaining election tickets as they expect Modi and Shah to implement their signature move of denying tickets to sitting members in a bid to beat anti-incumbency.

Nitin Patel

However, there are several hopeful that the high command could avoid the move this elections to keep a check on possible defections. Modi had denied tickets to 47 sitting MLAs in 2007. The figure however, came down to around 30 in 2012. BJP leaders are likely to keep the new caste equations in mind, and also, with the Congress roping in young leaders like Hardik Patel, Jignesh Mewani, and Alpesh Thakor, it may need to bring in fresh faces. Congress' KHAM (Kshatriya, Harijan, Adivasi, Muslim) formula leaves the BJP with the upper caste (10 per cent), and OBC (20 per cent). Given its brush against the 2015 Patel quota demand, it cannot bank on the whole 15 per cent of the community.

CONGRESS Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi began his campaigning for Assembly polls in north Gujarat with a visit to the famous Akshardham temple. The temple which belongs to the Swaminarayan sect, holds a huge following among the Patel community, which the party is trying to woo. The party is working on making sure the elections remain a local battle and does not turn into a national Rahul Gandhi versus Narendra Modi. It has targeted local governance, law and order, and is questioning the leadership skills of Chief Minister Vijay Rupani, and his predecessor Anandiben Patel. A senior party leader said, “We are questioning the Gujarat model, which is touted as a success story. Our entire campaign is based on busting the myth of Gujarat model. Privatisation of education, growing unemployment, closure of industries, housing crisis, expensive healthcare, farm distress, unfair land acquisition- all these are grass-root issues where we would question Gujarat model of governance.” Congress said it does not want to make it a national contest. Another leader said, “We don't want to run a negative campaign. It has a negative impact. People think we are criticising the PM, who won a landslide mandate, for the sake of criticising.” Gandhi arrived in Gandhinagar on November 10, kick-starting his threeday tour covering six districts. The only national issues it plans to cover are price rise, demonetisation, and GST.

Rahul Gandhi

different people. “Students, women, small businessmen and farmers will be the focus of our meetings over the next five days. Instead of declaring a manifesto, the Congress has decided to listen to people and reflect their demands in the manifesto,” Pitroda told the media in Ahmedabad. “I am a Vishwakarma and the son of a carpenter. Reservation helps in uplifting those who are underprivileged, but that does not

Hardik Patel

stop anyone from achieving his or her own goals,” he said. Congress had already announced before Ahmed Patel’s election to the Rajya Sabha that all sitting MLAs will be allotted tickets this poll. If it's true, Congress candidates for 43 seats are already decided.

Alpesh Thakor

Cong ropes in technocrat Sam Pitroda Bowing to his moral responsibility to assist the party as Rajiv Gandhi was a dear friend, Sam Pitroda landed in Gujarat last week to campaign for the party. He travelled to major cities in the state, over the next five days, and meet with

Young community leaders put their strength to test These Assembly polls are just as much about a brand new set of local leaders in the state as it is about Gandhi and Modi. The growing popularity of Hardik Patel, Alpesh Thakor, and Jignesh Mewani is no secret, especially given the amount of fight big fishes put to rope them in. Patel is the convenor of the Patidar Anamat Andolan Samiti, which has been agitating for reservations for

the Patidar community. He grew to prominence in 2015, during the protests, claiming to be the fresh face of the group. Part of the OBC, SC and ST Ekta Manch and Kshatriya Thakor Sena, Thakor propagated a counter-narrative to Patel's demands, representing the state's 51 per cent OBC population. While there are about 146 castes in the OBCs, Thakor and Kolis are the majority, and impact 68 seats mostly in central and north Gujarat. Lawyer-cumactivist Mewani of the Rashtriya Dalit Adhikar Manch, is the face of the 7 per cent Dalits, a community that is deeply affected by gau rakshaks. Aware that he cannot face the BJP alone, Patel welcomed the Congress with open hands. However, the latter cannot agree to his demand because of the SC cap on quotas at 50 per cent. While Thakor who has already allied with the Congress, is not ready to

Jignesh Mewani

share the 27 per cent OBC quota with him. Patel can only back the Congress if it publicly supports his quota demand. Mewani, who desires to build a DalitMuslim compact with the Congress, finds troubles with the internal community issues with OBCs and Patels.


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Priti Patel Episode: Govt Panics as MP appears Relieved Continued from page 1 Tory parliamentary party. Last year CFI paid for 21 Tory MPs to travel on a fact-finding mission to Israel, the West Bank and Gaza’s border. Ms Patel is a former vice-chairwoman of CFI. In the same year the Conservative Middle East Council, a pro-Arab group, paid for a further seven MPs to travel to the region. Until he returned to government last year Sir Alan Duncan was chairman of the council. Ms Patel was trying to broker increased co-operation between the Department for International Development (Dfid) and Israeli defence forces carrying out humanitarian work in southern Syria. Her supporters suggest that she held the meetings, including with Benjamin Netanyahu, the Israeli prime minister, while on holiday so as not to involve the Foreign Office. The strategy failed when the department found out. Lord Polak has given 28 years lobbying on behalf of the Israeli state. An associate said, “He's given his entire life to CFI, when the Conservatives have been in government and out, and Israel has had lots of friends. It's his life's work. He's built ups contacts over generations of Tory MPs, and is seen as someone who's really put in the graft, in the community.” His role in the Patel meetings have been termed an uncharacteristic misjudgment. “He’s not a headline grabber – not because he’s some shadowy figure,

was in fact prepared for what was to come. In typical characteristics of a Patel, the Gujarati-speaking 45 year old was clicked laughing and talking to the media. She said she will now focus on her constituency. “I look forward to returning to Parliament on Monday where I will continue to be a strong voice for Witham and Britain.”

but because he doesn’t look for a public profile himself. He was chuffed to get a peerage because it gave him a place even closer to government to do what he does. But it was never his intention to become part of the story,” said a former colleague. Is Sir Alan Duncan to blame? Several Patel-supporters have raised fingers at Foreign Office Minister Sir Alan Duncan for having “means and the motivation” to brief details of the meetings conducted by the secretary in Israel. Sir Duncan has been blamed for instigating the row that led to her quitting office. It is no secret that he he remains a critic of Israeli policy in occupied territories, contrary to Patel's views. Sources claim that the Foreign Office was fully aware and decided to leak the information right when May met with Israeli premier Benjamin Netanyahu, to “settle a score”. The Foreign Office had a bone to pick with Patel, for her time as head of the Department for International Development when she campaigned to use aid as “leverage” for nations post-Brexit. One Patel-ally said, “The blame is on Alan, and Boris (Johnson) too as it's his department and did nothing to stop him.” Another senior Tory said, “Let's just say if Priti had met President Macron in the south of France, the Foreign Office wouldn't have been as annoyed.” Sources believe

Sir Alan at the very least “stoked” the story and may have been responsible for tipping off the BBC (who broke the story) about her trip. “Allies of Priti firmly believe it was him. There was information in the original story that was only known by a small number of people in the Foreign Office. We are sure the leak didn't come from Dfid. Only someone like Alan Duncan had both the means and the motivation to do it,” a source said. Everyone knows about the age-old rivalry within the Foreign Office, between political heads and senior servants. One has to accept that within the Cabinet and the government, there has always been competition and one-upmanship. Meanwhile, supporters of Duncan have completely

dismissed the allegations, saying he had nothing to do with the case. “This whole episode was entirely of her (Patel's) making and there would be no need for anyone to leak anything as there were pictures of some of her meetings no Twitter,” they said. Popularity with the masses post-resignation Priti Patel was the first Indian-origin member of the British Cabinet, who was democratically chosen. She has always been proud of her Indian background, and has established a close connection with Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The country remains fascinated with Patel, as several organisations come forward in support of her. Last week, a reported 230,000 people used a live

flight tracker app to watch her eight-hour, 4240 mile journey from Kenya to London when she was ordered to return to hold talks with PM May. Analysts believe her flight was the most monitored flight in and out of the country ever. Elated with the support, she said, “I've been overwhelmed with support from colleagues across the political divide. Of course, nothing is more humbling than the support I've received from my constituents.” Seemingly unaffected by ongoing events surrounding her, Priti was all smiles during the annual Armistice Day of remembrance at Witham War Memorial in her constituency of Essex. It appeared as if the MP remains unaffected by the government's decision, and

Whose loss? Whose gain? A big Tory asset, supporter and promoter of ethnic minority voters, a working-class Thatcherite as some reports called her, Patel was without a doubt one of the prime assets of the British government. Her resignation was the last thing May's administration, which hangs by a single thread, needed. Yes, she failed to hold ministerial protocol, but when you look at it, there was no need for her to resign. May losing one of her colleagues shows her in a bad light. Patel's only offence was to conduct meetings without fully informing the Foreign Office or No. 10. As a Cabinet Minister, The Daily Telegraph cites, she was entitled to hold meetings about her portfolio with overseas governments. She had apologised for her mistake, and as unwise as her judgment was, she did not require to pay such a hefty price. The minister's resignation reflects at the lack of authority in the administration. The PM could have, if she wanted, handled the whole episode differently.

POLL CAMPAIGNING GATHERING MOMENTUM IN GUJARAT GUJARAT ELECTION

AsianVoiceNews

Narendra Modi

From calling PM Narendra Modi a jadugar who has been tricking people, to the online release of Hardik Patel's sex tape, political campaigning is gaining steam in poll-bound Gujarat. As several parties prepare to lock horns next month, the fight in Modi's home town is of pride for one, and prestige for another. The elections will be held in two phases- December 9 and 14. In the first phase, 89 seats of Saurashtra, Kutch

May in trouble as MPs claim no confidence About 40 Conservative MPs are reportedly prepared to sign a letter of no confidence in Theresa May as the Prime Minister keeps getting hit with a never-ending series of challenges. The number increased in recent weeks. The letter is eight MPs short to a vote of no confidence, which, if lost, would lead to a Conservative leadership contest. “Patience is wearing very thin and in some cases, it has snapped,” a senior Tory MP said. May has a lot on her hands, including a sexual harassment scandal, loss of ministers Sir Michael Fallon and Priti Patel, a rather serious faux pas by Boris Johnson leading to a British woman's longer jail term in Iran, and aggressive divisions over Brexit. It is official, the Prime Minister is losing control. Tory rules dictate 48 MPs need to sign a letter of no confidence, and present it to the chair of the backbench 1922 Committee for a probable vote on May's future. The move came after a secret letter from

Theresa May

Boris Johnson and Michael Gove came to light, in which they have given the PM instructions on how to run Brexit. They wrote that transition arrangements for the exit must end on June 30 2021, and urged her to ensure members of her top team fall behind their plans by “clarifying their minds”. May's ability to deliver a

just Brexit is shrouded in doubts, all while threat to her leadership grow. The Labour party and other opposition have now warned that she has no longer enough authority over the Conservatives to secure the Bill's passage. Labour's Shadow Brexit Secretary Sir Keir Starmer wrote a letter to the PM raising concerns that she no

longer has the influence over her own party to deliver key facets of a successful Brexit. It read, “Over recent weeks, it has become increasingly clear that you alone do not have the authority to deliver a transitional deal with Europe and to take the necessary steps to protect jobs and the economy.” He pointed out how cabinet ministers like Foreign Secretary Johnson and International Trade Secretary Liam Fox had appeared to make statements that contradicted her Brexit plans as set out in a major speech in Florence earlier this year. Meanwhile, SNP's Stephen Gethins said, “If it wasn't clear before, it is now. Theresa May has lost all authority and credibility in government. The revelation that leading Brexiteers Boris Johnson and Michael Gove are now brazenly able to dictate their hard Brexit demands … goes to show that they think they can say and do as they please, knowing fine well Theresa May is powerless to act.

Vijay Rupani

and South Gujarat are covered while rest, north and central Gujarat in the second phase. Poll results will be out on December 18 along with Himachal Pradesh. Boris Johnson

Theresa May is Prime Minister only by title.” In the past days, May lost Fallon, Patel, and her deputy Damian Green remains under investigation over allegations of inappropriate behaviour. Johnson meanwhile, find himself busy against calls to resign over a diplomatic gaffe relating to Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe, a British woman who is imprisoned in Iran. Messy Brexit Talks between Britain and the European Union

Michael Fallon

appear to have reached near-stalemate, resulting in the EU giving a deadline of two weeks to the UK to agree on a figure for the 'divorce bill'. With negotiations reaching a crucial point, May and her government finds themselves knee-deep in trouble over attempts to push through the legislation that will allow leaving the EU. Debates and votes are expected to be conducted in a month as lawmakers from all parties put forward hundreds of amendments to the EU Withdrawal Bill.

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BJP The ruling BJP will be shifting pace from Amit Shah's ongoing door-todoor canvassing to a highvoltage carpet bombing with senior leaders coming down to Gujarat, ahead of the first phase of polling. The party has planned about 10 days of high-profile campaigning, November 20 onwards, with Prime Minister Narendra Modi scheduled to fly in and out of the state and other ministers maintaining the momentum. Sources said the party will send out 30odd leaders on a single day,

Amit Shah

to spread across the region and address rallies in all 89 constituencies that will go to polls on December 9. BJP will also reportedly hold a similar day-long mega exercise before the second and final phase. Dates for the huge outreach and roster of leaders and their venues are yet to be drawn. Apart from Modi and Shah, campaigners include Union Ministers Rajnath Singh, Smriti Irani, Nitin Gadkari, Rai Shankar Prasad, Prakash Javadekar, and Piyush Goyal. Also involved will be chief ministers Yogi Adityanath, Vasundhara Raje, Shivraj Singh Chouhan, and Devendra Fadnavis. NaMo will be in-charge of the state campaigns, and is set to address one big rally in each of the 32 districts, along with holding roadshows in major cities like Surat, Vadodara, Ahmedabad, and Rajkot. Deputy Chief Minister Nitin Patel said, “We are contesting the polls under the leadership of our Prime Minister Narendra Modi. PM Modi's campaign plans are being worked out by the party in consultation with the Prime Minister's Office.” Modi has visited Gujarat almost 10 times in the past six months, for different government events, including laying foundation stone for the ambitious Delhi-

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Asian Voice | 18th November 2017

Mumbai bullet train project, completion of the Narmada dam and inauguration of a ferry service linking south Gujarat and the Saurashtra region via sea route. Union Textiles and Information and Broadcasting Minister Smriti Irani shifted her focus to Gujarat as she visited Surat last week stating that the Congress is trying to incite small businessmen and traders from embracing GST. She said they are ready to be tax compliant, and that her ministry is doing everything to solve the problems they are facing in shifting to GST. Campaigning for BJP candidates, she engaged voters in a door-to-door campaign in parts of Ahmedabad and distributed written copies of Modi's message. She also assured that the GST council is working out to remove any glitches that may have occurred in the process of implementation. BJP MLAs keep hopes of poll tickets BJP MLAs have several apprehensions on gaining election tickets as they expect Modi and Shah to implement their signature move of denying tickets to sitting members in a bid to beat anti-incumbency.

Nitin Patel

However, there are several hopeful that the high command could avoid the move this elections to keep a check on possible defections. Modi had denied tickets to 47 sitting MLAs in 2007. The figure however, came down to around 30 in 2012. BJP leaders are likely to keep the new caste equations in mind, and also, with the Congress roping in young leaders like Hardik Patel, Jignesh Mewani, and Alpesh Thakor, it may need to bring in fresh faces. Congress' KHAM (Kshatriya, Harijan, Adivasi, Muslim) formula leaves the BJP with the upper caste (10 per cent), and OBC (20 per cent). Given its brush against the 2015 Patel quota demand, it cannot bank on the whole 15 per cent of the community.

CONGRESS Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi began his campaigning for Assembly polls in north Gujarat with a visit to the famous Akshardham temple. The temple which belongs to the Swaminarayan sect, holds a huge following among the Patel community, which the party is trying to woo. The party is working on making sure the elections remain a local battle and does not turn into a national Rahul Gandhi versus Narendra Modi. It has targeted local governance, law and order, and is questioning the leadership skills of Chief Minister Vijay Rupani, and his predecessor Anandiben Patel. A senior party leader said, “We are questioning the Gujarat model, which is touted as a success story. Our entire campaign is based on busting the myth of Gujarat model. Privatisation of education, growing unemployment, closure of industries, housing crisis, expensive healthcare, farm distress, unfair land acquisition- all these are grass-root issues where we would question Gujarat model of governance.” Congress said it does not want to make it a national contest. Another leader said, “We don't want to run a negative campaign. It has a negative impact. People think we are criticising the PM, who won a landslide mandate, for the sake of criticising.” Gandhi arrived in Gandhinagar on November 10, kick-starting his threeday tour covering six districts. The only national issues it plans to cover are price rise, demonetisation, and GST.

Rahul Gandhi

different people. “Students, women, small businessmen and farmers will be the focus of our meetings over the next five days. Instead of declaring a manifesto, the Congress has decided to listen to people and reflect their demands in the manifesto,” Pitroda told the media in Ahmedabad. “I am a Vishwakarma and the son of a carpenter. Reservation helps in uplifting those who are underprivileged, but that does not

Hardik Patel

stop anyone from achieving his or her own goals,” he said. Congress had already announced before Ahmed Patel’s election to the Rajya Sabha that all sitting MLAs will be allotted tickets this poll. If it's true, Congress candidates for 43 seats are already decided.

Alpesh Thakor

Cong ropes in technocrat Sam Pitroda Bowing to his moral responsibility to assist the party as Rajiv Gandhi was a dear friend, Sam Pitroda landed in Gujarat last week to campaign for the party. He travelled to major cities in the state, over the next five days, and meet with

Young community leaders put their strength to test These Assembly polls are just as much about a brand new set of local leaders in the state as it is about Gandhi and Modi. The growing popularity of Hardik Patel, Alpesh Thakor, and Jignesh Mewani is no secret, especially given the amount of fight big fishes put to rope them in. Patel is the convenor of the Patidar Anamat Andolan Samiti, which has been agitating for reservations for

the Patidar community. He grew to prominence in 2015, during the protests, claiming to be the fresh face of the group. Part of the OBC, SC and ST Ekta Manch and Kshatriya Thakor Sena, Thakor propagated a counter-narrative to Patel's demands, representing the state's 51 per cent OBC population. While there are about 146 castes in the OBCs, Thakor and Kolis are the majority, and impact 68 seats mostly in central and north Gujarat. Lawyer-cumactivist Mewani of the Rashtriya Dalit Adhikar Manch, is the face of the 7 per cent Dalits, a community that is deeply affected by gau rakshaks. Aware that he cannot face the BJP alone, Patel welcomed the Congress with open hands. However, the latter cannot agree to his demand because of the SC cap on quotas at 50 per cent. While Thakor who has already allied with the Congress, is not ready to

Jignesh Mewani

share the 27 per cent OBC quota with him. Patel can only back the Congress if it publicly supports his quota demand. Mewani, who desires to build a DalitMuslim compact with the Congress, finds troubles with the internal community issues with OBCs and Patels.


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FINANCIAL VOICE

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Asian Voice | 18th November 2017

India's ED probing over 3,700 laundering, hawala cases The Enforcement Directorate is reportedly investigating over 3,700 cases of money laundering and hawala transactions, involving tainted assets worth £993.5 million, as part of its drive against black money post-demonetisation. The agency said it carried out a “risk assessment” of these cases, registered after last year's November 8 note ban and found 43 per cent of financial crimes were carried out by perpetrating bank frauds and cheating financial institutions through a maze of shell firms. Another category of postnote ban financial crimes being probed by the ED include cases of corruption (31 per cent), drugs and narcotics trade (6.5 per cent), arms and explosives (4.5 per cent) and others (8.5 per cent). “The head of this demon (black money) is the

money of corruption and illegal wealth acquired through banking frauds. A general review of the cases post-demonetisation show that businesses and professionals have collaborated with each other to use shell companies for converting illegal wealth into legitimate assets,” an ED report said. Agency director Karnal Singh said they were “committed to work against the menace of black money and corruption and

to bring professionalism in its working.” The ED has registered and is probing 3,758 cases (3,567 under forex laws and 191 under the anti-money laundering act), issued 777 show cause notices and attachment orders and conducted 620 searches since November 8 last year to September. The study also found that financial institutions like banks were the most “vulnerable” to money laundering crimes at 48 per

cent followed by real estate at 35 per cent, precious metals like gold investments at 7 per cent and the rest 10 per cent in other sectors. The ED also arrested 54 people post-demonetisation as part of these investigations. They found that “proceeds of crime were laundered mainly through financial institutions (like banks) using shell companies and real estate.” The ED said, “Even in real estate sector, the money for investments has been coming through financial institutions using a maze of shell companies. The shell companies, therefore, are the major modus operandi through which money is laundered.” Official sources said the agency had a number of politicians and bureaucrats under its scanner as part of these investigations.

China to ease curbs on foreign business in finance, autos A senior Chinese official has said that the Dragon is all set to ease restrictions on foreign ownership stakes in the financial sector and reduce tariffs on automotive imports, after receiving criticism from the US and other trading partners. Addressing a briefing following President Donald Trump's state visit to China, Vice Finance Minister Zhu Guangyao said they would lift limits on foreign ownership stakes in securities, fund managers and futures companies from 49 per cent to 51 per cent and end restrictions after three years. He added that China would similarly raise such limits in insurance companies and eliminate curbs after five years. He said, “In other words, foreign owners can have full ownership of such companies” after three to five years. China will also “abolish” limits on foreign ownership stakes in banks, the minis-

Donald Trump meeting Xi Jinping in Beijing

ter said, without stating when the move would take effect. A single foreign investor could not own more than 20 per cent of one bank, until now, and a bank could have not more than 25 per cent total foreign ownership. Beijing will also gradually reduce tariffs on automotive imports, without providing details. “This opening up is decisive and the effect will be far-reaching,” Zhu said. The US President has prioritised narrowing the

US trade deficit with China. US Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross said the topic was a “central focus” of Trump's talks with President Xi Jinping. Trump's visit saw Chinese and American companies sign a series of multibillion-dollar business agreements in a tradition aimed at blunting criticism of Beijing's trade policies. Commerce Minister Zhong Shan said agreements signed at a ceremony, totalled $253.4 billion, even though many were

memoranda of understanding or other arrangements that were less than firm contracts. Such contract signings are a fixture of visits to Beijing by foreign leaders and are meant to defuse foreign complaints about China's trade surpluses and market barriers. They often represent purchases already made by Chinese mobile phone makers, airlines and other customers that are collected for the visit, which means they have little effect on the trade balance. The contracts give Trump the opportunity to claim a rare political win following a first year in office marked by little legislative progress on health care and taxes. China's trade surplus with the United States in October widened by 12.2 per cent from a year earlier to $26.6 billion. The total surplus with the United States for the first 10 months of the year rose to $223 billion.

Future GDP growth to come from manufacturing: Prabhu

Commerce and Industry Ministry Suresh Prabhu said the services industry had grown at the expense of manufacturing and agriculture, and that his government would look at increasing the share of manufacturing to 25 per cent in an expanded GDP. He said, “The future of India's GDP growth should come from manufacturing. We need to get new manufacturing ideas into India

Suresh Prabhu

and identify 6-7 greenfield areas to focus on so that we can leapfrog globally.

The ministry has started an exercise to identify these sectors. We have to ensure a different kind of manufacturing keeping in mind future of technology.” Prabhu urged the Indian manufacturing sector to be part of the global supply chain and benefit from these linkages. During an interaction with members of Confederation of Indian Industry, Pune,

he stated that unlike China, India's growth story is private sector-driven. The government is focused on making it easier for entrepreneurs to do business and reduce the problems they face and India had worked its way to 100 from 130 in the “ease of doing business” ranking. “All elements of exports will be on one platform and this can be a game changer,” Prabhu said.

AsianVoiceNewsweekly

Air India gets £150 mn loan from Bank of India

Crumbling under the weight of growing debt, state airlines Air India has received a loan worth of £150 million from Bank of India to meet urgent working capital needs, less than a month after floating a tender in this regard. This is the second time in the past months that the flagship carrier has received loans from a public sector lender. A source said the loan was given after tender was issued by the carrier on October 18, in which government guaranteebacked short-term loans totalling up to £150 million to meet “urgent working capital requirements”. AI had previously borrowed £325 million as short tenure loans from two lenders- IndusInd Bank and Punjab National Bank. The loan was for meeting urgent working capital needs and the ten-

der was floated in September. As part of efforts to revive the ailing carrier which holds a debt burden of over £5 billion, the government is preparing contours of its strategic disinvestment. The airlines is currently surviving on taxpayers' money under the bailout package extended by the previous UPA government in 2012. As part of a turnaround plan, Air India is to receive up to £3.02 billion from the government over a ten-year period subject to meeting certain performance thresholds. The Air India group flies to 44 overseas and 75 domestic destinations. There are flights to Copenhagen, Tokyo, Washington, Stockholm, Sydney, Hong Kong, Kabul, Colombo, Seoul, Singapore and London, among other foreign cities.

33 Indians get promotion as MD from Jan 1: Goldman Sachs

American multinational Goldman Sachs has said that 509 people have been promoted as Managing Directors, including 33 people of Indian nationality, effective from January 1, 2018. A statement released by the investment company said, “33 people of the 509 promoted to Managing Director are of Indian nationality.” It said that 17 per cent of new MDs are part of engineering organisation, while 47 per cent of the class worked in multiple divisions. Lloyd C Blankfein, chairman and chief executive officer, said, “Our new Managing Directors have demonstrated an outstanding commitment to our people, clients and culture during their tenures at the firm, and we wish them continued success as they take this important next step in their careers.” The company stated that 66 per cent of new MD class started at the

firm as an analyst or associate, while 21 per cent were interns. The statement said that new managing directors have citizenship in 47 unique countries, and 44 per cent of new MDs are millennials, born in 1980 or later. Those promoted to MD in India are, Karthik Anbalagan, Technology Division; Lavanya Ashok, Merchant Banking Division; Vineet Birman, Securities Division; Rohini Eapen, Operations Division; Reto Frei, Internal Audit Division and Ankit Jain, Risk Division. Others in the list are Gaurav Jaitly, Securities Division; Nitin Kulkarni, Operations Division; Ram Kulkarni, Technology Division; Devarajan Nambakam, Investment Banking Division; Shunil Ohrie, Securities Division; Sathiya Padmanaban, Finance Division and Mahesh Sharma, Technology Division.


REAL ESTATE VOICE

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Asian Voice | 18th November 2017

We have a relatively small rental department, which has been born off the back of our sourcing business; we manage several properties in central London, and a few outside.

Suresh Vagjiani

Sow & Reap London Property Investment

One particular property in Wembley had been let out directly by the landlord, for several years, to a family, who in turn had sublet the property out to several more occupants, effectively turning the property into an HMO. We were asked to get involved at this point in the cycle. Generally, after this type of occupation, once the property is returned it requires a considerable amount of work in order for it to be rented again. So, we started the process of getting quotes, with the intention to start works as soon as possible.

The landlord was aggrieved at the state of his property, and was reluctant to put more money into the property, especially as his cash flow didn’t allow for it; and every day the property was empty, he was losing further money. Looking at the property I personally did not think there was any hope this property could be rented without any works done to it at all. This was my assumption. We tested my assumption by placing the property on the market. Within 48 hours I had two offers for the property, one for £1,700 and another for £2,000. A short while later the offer for £1,700 was backed by a two month deposit, with cleared funds in the account. I was actually extremely surprised, and glad to be

AGONY AGENT IS HERE TO HELP! Q: How do I go about renting out my parking space? A: Renting out your parking space can be a great way of earning a bit of extra income. If parking is difficult where you live, you could end up earning around £100 a month – and could even reach as much as £250 per month in the certain areas. You can rent out your parking space as long as it is owned by you, and not by a landlord or third party. Remember that it doesn’t have to be a drive-

way, renting out a parking space in the underground parking of a block of flats is also very popular. If you rent out one parking space on your driveway, you can, of course, still use the other. You could also rent out the parking space for a set amount of time (e.g. office hours), so you can use it at other times. The income you will earn will depend on where you live and how much people are prepared to pay. London is always popular and most desirable in terms of rent. If your

BUY TO LET OPPORTUNITY

Maida Vale, London W9 Purchase Price: £350,000

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parking space is covered and secure, people with more expensive cars, or with vans full of expensive equipment, will find it more desirable and possibly pay a little more. If your area has parking permits, which are usually for residents, then businesses may also be keen to get their hands on your parking space as permits may be scarce (although you will need to check the terms and conditions of your parking permit use). Where can I advertise my parking space?

wrong. Of course, references will be taken, prior to the signing of the tenancy agreement. At the moment, we are in the process of carrying out due diligence on a Pub, in Shepherd’s Bush, which we have sourced recently on behalf a client. A part of this process is looking at whether we should destroy the building, or look at keeping it and renting it; whilst we go for planning. Destruction has many benefits, firstly, it cannot be occupied by squatters and people cannot steal lead from the roof etc. The insurance premium is minimal when there is no building to protect. In considering the rental ability of the asset we first had to look at its usage. The top part of the property had been registered as a 52 room hostel. This would rent at £15 per

night per bed. Again, this was a revelation for me; I did not realise you could sleep anywhere in Shepherd's Bush for this kind of money. When you multiply the two figures, the daily rental income comes to £780 per night, which equals a whopping £284,700 per annum. This is a yield of over 16% on the purchase price. This is not the end game, however, as the plan is to get a scheme of 18 units on the site, with a view to

There are various websites where you can advertise your parking space.

Do remember, that the income you receive is taxable.

These include:

Are there any disadvantages to renting out a parking space?

l www.yourparkingspace.co.uk l www.parkatmyhouse.co.uk l www.parklet.co.uk

These websites will give you a good estimate of how much your parking space is worth, based on your postcode, and they will put you in touch with potential customers. You can then meet the potential customer and come to an agreement. If this sounds too much like hard work, then we would be more than happy to handle this process for you.

There are always pros and cons to this, however, with a shortterm rental like this, you can easily change your mind with short notice and have your parking space back. If you rent out a parking space, you obviously must make sure that the space is available when the parking space ‘tenant’ needs it, and that no-one is in the space at that

sell on, or not, depending on what’s going on internally, and the market situation. We are still in the process of understanding how logistically this will operate. If it is implementable, we will be very relaxed in regards to the timing of when the planning will come through. We can also afford to push harder on aspects like the S106 agreement, which is the deal you make with the council in regards to how much social housing the site would have.

time. To do this you may have to put up notices informing drivers that unauthorised vehicles will be removed, or you may need to put up a parking post. Do get in touch if you would like any assistance. Richard Bond Lettings Manager Sow & Reap

l A bright apartment offering a beautifully presented living space with a private balcony l Two good size double bedrooms, one bathroom, separate kitchen and reception room l Potential to convert terrace into third room, subject to planning permission l Expected rental yield is 6% l After conversion, expected resale is £750,000 Call us now for more information!

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FINANCIAL VOICE

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Asian Voice | 18th November 2017

Consultant Editor Financial Voice Alpesh Patel Dear Financial Voice Reader, I write to you from Hong Kong. I was asked a great question recently: “What are you greatest success and failures in trading forex?” My success should be broken down into educational and trading. You see trading, like all activities worth doing in life, requires life-long learning. Educational • When I decided I no longer wanted to commute and be a barrister (lawyer) but far more enjoyed the markets, I knew my passion alone would not be enough. I knew I would have to find a way of learning from the best traders in the world. So I approached the Financial Times and the world’s ten leading traders from London, New York and Chicago. The traders I approached agreed to meet me, and the Financial Times agreed to publish all I learnt. The traders included the world’s largest forex trader - Bill Lipschutz, Global Head of Forex at Salomon Brothers whose Chairman was Warren Buffet. (For those interested that book is called ‘The Mind of a Trader’) • Another educational triumph for me was when I converted the best lessons from my 18 books into videos. Books became something people did not learn from. And the best way to continue learning is to teach. So by creating such free videos for people, it was a learning triumph for me. These videos added the personality of my talks which I was able to give worldwide. Trading • The biggest success in trading, is not a single trade as you might expect. Trading success is finding a process and system which allows consistency of profits over a prolonged period of time. To me that was the key to success. That takes time. But, it is well worth it. That to me has been my greatest achievement. What does such a system and process entail? • Working out that the best traders in the world use certain simple rules was a huge triumph. These can be summarised as ‘stop losses’ – they always know when getting into a trade, when they will get out. They make sure such risk of loss is limited by ensuring that the loss will be small by making sure you place very little money in a trade. You also ensure when you are profitable, you reinvest those profits into a winning position. Most losing traders instead take their profits too quickly and run and miss out on bigger gains. Failures? There have indeed been failures. All the systems that did not work, all the processes. But just like Edison looking to invent the lightbulb, I found 100 ways of not to make a light bulb! Also, when the credit crunch happened, we failed to foresee it. It meant that we did not raise as much money into the hedge fund as we might otherwise have done. Such cycles happen. Alpesh.patel@tradermind.com

As Saudi limits US crude shipments, Iraq steps in In a trend set to grow in coming months, Saudi Arabia's efforts to reduce a worldwide crude supply glut by cutting shipments to the United States has other countries, notably Iraq filling in. US imports of crude from Iraq rose by 41 per cent from a year ago, over the summer, meanwhile similar shipments from Saudi Arabia have dropped by 22 per cent. The trend has steadied, proving that Saudi's role in reducing world supply is also costing it market share in the world's largest oil consumer. Imports to the US have also increased

from OPEC members Iraq and Nigeria, along with Canada, and refiners are relying more on rising US shale production. Sandy Fielden, director of research, commodities and energy at Morningstar, said, “For every barrel (the Saudis) don't produce they're losing market share. Refiners go to an alternate in that situation and obviously the Iraqis took advantage.” Saudi cut shipments to the US since June, as part of an ongoing effort by the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries to cut supply.

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India's exports to China surge 39% in first half of FY18 India's exports to China have surged 39% during the first half of the current fiscal amid indications that Beijing is more accommodating in addressing New Delhi's long pending trade concerns. Latest data available with the commerce department showed that exports have grown faster than the pace of import expansion with India's largest trading partner, although the trade deficit has widened given the massive shipments of electronics and pharmaceuticals from across the border. A large part of the jump was driven by three sectors: iron ore, cotton yarn and ferro alloys, all raw material and inputs that feed into China's manufacturing chain. But the government is looking that steps to ensure that the best quality iron ore does not flow out of the country and only those

with lower ferrous content gets loaded for ships that sail to Chinese ports, said sources. Sources said that commerce and industry minister Suresh Prabhu has also flagged several issues with the Chinese authorities to push the export of Indian goods, many of which face restrictions. The government is looking at easier rules for export of agricul-

tural products, including non-basmati rice, identified as an item of significant potential and the issue is being flagged. Now, the government is moving in to bridge this gap by checking imports too. Prabhu is planning to set up a task force under commerce secretary Rita Teaotia to rationalise the trade deficit with a sector-specific strategy, sources said. While the

government realises that it may not be possible to completely choke the flow of smartphones and other electronic items from China, it wants to put in place standards for a host of other products to ensure that the near unabated flow is stemmed. Separately, given the high dependence of Indian pharmaceutical companies on raw material from China, the government is keen to initiate steps to get domestic players to claw back into the space. While this has been discussed for years, there has hardly been any movement on this front. Similarly, the issue of setting product-specific standards too is being pursued by the commerce department for the last few years and Prabhu is backing it to rationalise exports. But he also needs other ministries on board.

Entrepreneurship will be strength of Indian economy: Jaitley Indian Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said entrepreneurship will be a strength of the Indian economy as jobs in the public and organised private sectors are not enough for the country's huge working population. Addressing the National Entrepreneurship Awards 2017 event, Jaitley said, “The strength of the Indian economy is going to be entrepreneurship. There is relevance of both, skilling and entrepreneurship in India. In the government, both at Centre and the states, as also public sector enterprises, there is limited capacity of job creation.” “In private organised sector, there is a larger capacity for job creation. But even if the two are taken together, the jobs are not adequate to service the population,” he added. Jaitley said on the skilling front, there was a

Arun Jaitley

need to “chisel” the large human resource and train them for jobs as the Indian economy expands the requirement for skilled workforce will be large. He said while in developed countries where the population was stabilising or reducing, it was not the case in India. “In developed countries, they have difficulty in finding human resource to service

their economy. But not so in India. We have more large population and more younger population, that is, more working hands.” The FM said India had enough young population to service not only in the country, but also in other countries that has resulted in a large Indian diaspora. “We have to use the excess population for economic benefits. How do we link it with jobs because (educational) degrees do not have nexus with the kind of vocation. Thus, areas of skilling are huge... so that it gets related to certain trades,” Jaitley said. He pointed that the economy was changing and with it, the country would need specialised and skilled people. Recounting the benefits of entrepreneurship, he said once the youth moves out of the prohibitions and restric-

tive framework of job, he can create new ideas for himself. "It is the survival of the fittest. Whoever comes out with the best entrepreneurial idea, he will be successful," he added. Minister for Skill Development Dharmendra Pradhan, who was also present at the function, said that by 2022, India's workforce will reach about 600 million. Emphasising on the role of the working population in creating growth for the country, Pradhan said that in order to take Indian's GDP to double digits, the country's youth can play an important role. He said that there is no alternative to skilling for India's youth. In order to promote entrepreneurship, the government has already given £40 billion in Mudra Yojana, of which 30 million people are new beneficiaries, he said.

Tata Motors Q2 profit surge to 195% on JLR sales Tata Motors' quarterly profit rose almost threefold to £250.2 million during JulySeptember, beating analyst estimates, as its British luxury unit Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) earned higher margins. However, according to the management, the profit was lower by £11.2 million due to the conversion impact from pounds to rupees. JLR's earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation stood at 11.8%, surpassing a 10.6% estimation, according to a Bloomberg's analyst survey. The better margins were a

result of higher sales of its new models, particularly Range Rover Velar. The second-quarter retail sales at JLR grew 5% to 1,49,000 units, with its top market China clocking an increase of 27%. The UK subsidiary also boosted Tata Motors' revenues, which expanded 10% to £7.02 billion.

I n t e r e s t i n g l y, Tata Motors has managed to halve its losses at its local unit to £29.6 million in the second quarter of fiscal 2018 from £63.1 million a year ago. The company's MD & CEO Guenter Butschek has been aggressively making efforts to turn the India business around and the strategy seems to be delivering. The domestic business registered a double-digit growth rate in sales in the three months through September, helped by new product launches and

complemented by costreduction efforts. Revenues climbed 30% to £1.34 billion, while operating profit jumped nearly two times to £97.1 million. JLR CEO Ralf Speth said, "We have delivered solid growth in quarterly profit and revenues amid rising demand for our products." However, Speth added that the company faces headwinds and uncertainty in some markets, but it will continue to focus on achieving profitable and sustainable growth for the rest of the fiscal.


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India, US, Japan & Australia hold ‘quadrilateral’ meet MANILA: India, the US, Japan and Australia resurrected their “quadrilateral” grouping and gave a thumbs up for a “free, open, prosperous and inclusive Indo-Pacific region” after the first meeting of officials on the sidelines of the Asean summit in Manila on Sunday. The “quad” meeting came even as Indian prime minister Narendra Modi and US President Donald Trump met for a few minutes as they arrived for the gala dinner hosted by the Philippines. Modi and Trump later held a bilateral meeting on Monday afternoon. At the quadrilateral meeting, India was represented by Pranay Verma, joint secretary in charge of East Asia, and Vinay Kumar, joint secretary (south). The US was represented by assistant secretary of state Alice Wells while Japan sent deputy minister for foreign policy Satoshi Suzuki. As a first effort, the exercise was quite successful, sources said. “The discussions focused on cooperation based on their converging vision and values for promotion of peace, stability and prosperity in an increasingly inter-connected region that they share with each other and with

upholding the rules-based order in the Indo-Pacific... freedom of navigation and overflight, increase connectivity, countering terrorism and upholding maritime security.” Japan, too, issued a similar statement as did the US. But while the US, Australia and Japan emphasised talks on the N Korea nuclear issue, the MEA skipped the discussion on it in its readout. Raveesh Kumar said, “They agreed that a free, open, prosperous and inclusive Indo-Pacific region serves long-term interests of all countries in the region and

of the world. Officials also exchanged views on addressing common challenges of terrorism and proliferation linkages impacting the region and on enhancing connectivity.” The American South Asia strategy and Asia-Pacific strategy closely hew to the Indian point of view. Indian sources said that for now, the US and India were on the “same page” when it came to both Afghanistan and China. Trump openly renamed AsiaPacific as the new IndoPacific, a sign that USA would put India front and centre in its Asia strategy. This has many connotations, including cooperative security strategies in the Indian Ocean and western Pacific. For the first time, an Indian warship in the East China Sea was refuelled by a US ship earlier this week, an example of the Logistics Exchange Memorandum of Agreement being put into action. While all four members deny any connection of the quadrilateral to China, there is absolutely no doubt that the rise in Chinese power has led the four countries to balance that rise and perhaps contest it.

women who are owed money for court judgments awarded against Choudhury - will not be paid in full. They include Miki Jaffa Bodden, former head of legal and international affairs at Choudhury’s yoga school who has an $8 million claim stemming from a wrongful dismissal case that included sexual harassment claims. “Bikram Choudhury created a hypersexualized, offensive and degrading environment for women, among other things, demanding that female staffers brush his hair and give him massages,” Bodden said in her

2013 lawsuit. She also accused him of pressuring her to cover up sexual harassment of women, and in a separate lawsuit filed this year, of fraudulently transferring assets such as luxury cars, including a Ferrari and a Bentley to avoid paying judgments against him. A warrant for Choudhury’s arrest was issued in May. Restructuring experts have mentioned Chapter 11 bankruptcy as an option for the Weinstein Company to avoid mounting legal claims against its founder, Harvey Weinstein, over alleged sexual crimes.

Narendra Modi, Donald Trump, Shinzo Abe and other leaders meeting at Manila

other partners,” MEA spokesperson Raveesh Kumar said. The top items at the dialogue included ways of mainThe officials examined ways to achieve common goals

taining the “rules-based order” in the Indo-Pacific theatre, a review of the happenings in the Indo-Pacific and North Korea. An Australian statement issued at the end of the talks said, “The officials examined ways to achieve common goals and address shared challenges in the region. This includes

Bikram Yoga files for bankruptcy in US CHICAGO: Bikram Choudhury Yoga Inc, the studio that popularised doing yoga in sauna heat, has filed for US Chapter 11 bankruptcy, dogged by $16.7 million in legal judgments and numerous lawsuits and allegations of sexual misconduct. Founder Bikram Choudhury, who built a worldwide following with classes of 26 yoga postures in rooms heated to 40.6 degrees Celsius, has been accused of sexual assault by his yoga practitioners, students, instructors and teacher trainees. The Simi Valley, California-based company

Bikram Choudhury

said in a bankruptcy court filing, that its liabilities were worth up to $50 million. It listed assets of up to $1million, suggesting that its largest creditors -

Over 400 killed as quake jolts Iran-Iraq border ANKARA/BAGHDAD: More than 400 people were killed in Iran when a magnitude 7.3 earthquake jolted the country, state media said on Monday, while rescuers were searching for dozens trapped under rubble in the mountainous area. At least six have died in Iraq as well. Iran’s state television said more than 407 people were killed in the earthquake, making it the deadliest earthquake of 2017. At least 6,600 people were injured. Local officials said the death toll would rise as search and rescue teams reached remote areas of Iran. The quake, which struck on Sunday, was felt in several

western provinces of Iran but the hardest hit province was Kermanshah. More than 300 of the victims were in Sarpole Zahab county in Kermanshah province, about 15km from the Iraq border. Iranian state television said the quake had caused heavy damage in some villages where houses were made of earthen bricks. Rescuers were labouring to find survivors trapped under collapsed buildings. Iranian media reported that a woman and her baby were pulled out alive from the rubble on Monday in Sarpol-e Zahab, the worst hit area with a population of

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85,000. The quake also triggered landslides that hindered rescue efforts, officials said. At least 14 provinces in Iran had been affected, media reported. The US Geological Survey said the quake measured magnitude 7.3. An Iraqi meteorology official put its magnitude at 6.5, with the epicentre in Penjwin in Sulaimaniyah province in the Kurdistan region, close to the main border crossing with Iran. Tempers frayed in the quake-hit area as the search went on for survivors amidst the twisted rubble of collapsed buildings. State TV aired footage of damaged

buildings, vehicles under rubble and wounded people wrapped in blankets. Kurdish health officials said at least six people were killed in Iraq and at least 68 injured, adding that in northern Iraq Kurdish districts seven were killed and 325 wounded. Iraq’s health and local officials said the worst-hit area was Darbandikham district, near the border with Iran, where at least 10 houses had collapsed and the district’s only hospital was severely damaged. “The situation there is very critical,” Kurdish health minister Rekawt Hama Rasheed said.

Sikh man Ravinder Bhalla elected mayor of US city

NEW YORK: Ravinder Bhalla has become the first ever Sikh mayor of New Jersey's Hoboken city after a stiff competition that turned ugly when he was labelled a terrorist in slanderous flyers. Bhalla was endorsed by current Mayor Dawn Zimmer, who announced his decision not to run for re-election in June. Bhalla will be the first Sikh to hold elected office in New Jersey. Bhalla, who has been on the city council for more than seven years. The race turned ugly in recent days when doctored campaign flyers began circulating anonymously calling Bhalla a terrorist. The flyers had a photo of Bhalla and a slogan above it saying: “Don't let terrorism take over our Town!” A Jersey City man had previously tweeted: “How the hell did Hoboken allow this guy to be a councilman.”

Indian techie in US jailed for funding Qaida

WASHINGTON: A 39-year-old Indian engineer has been sentenced to more than 27 years in prison in the US for providing material support to al-Qaida leader Anwar al-Awlaki and plotting from his cell to kill a judge who oversaw his trial. Yahya Farooq Mohammad pleaded guilty in July to charges of conspiracy to provide and conceal material support or resources to terrorists and solicitation to commit a crime of violence. Following his arrest on terrorism charges, Mohammad had tried to orchestrate the killing district judge Jack Zouhary who presided over his case, from his prison cell, prosecutors said. In 2016, while awaiting trial in his terrorism case, Mohammad told another inmate that he wanted Zouhary kidnapped and was willing to pay $15,000 to make it happen.

Indian-American teen killed in road rage

NEW YORK: An Indian-American teenager has been killed in a road rage when a driver ran his truck over her after a minor collision in the city's suburb of Levittown, according to media reports. Police in Nassau County adjoining New York City were looking for the driver who allegedly attacked dental student Taranjit Parmar, 18. Police told the family that the pickup truck's license plate could not be seen on a surveillance video. Police released the video and asked the public to help find him. Parmar's brand new jeep was hit by a red pickup truck that was attempting to make a turn, police said.

Indian American elected mayor of New Jersey

NEW JERSEY: Electrical engineer Hemant Marathe won the mayoral race for West Windsor, New Jersey, becoming the first Indian American mayor of the small town. “I was very thankful that people voted on the issues facing our community, rather than party labels,” Marathe said. Marathe took 3,327 votes, or 48 per cent, beating out fellow Indian American Kamal Khanna, who came in second place with 31 per cent of the votes; and Yan Mei Wang, who captured 20 per cent. Khanna had received the endorsement of outgoing Mayor Shing-Fu Hsueh. Marathe served 12 years on the school board. He has also served as council liaison to the Affordable Housing Committee, Zoning Board, and the Parking Authority.

Sharif indicted in 3 graft cases

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan's accountability court indicted ex-PM Nawaz Sharif in three separate corruption references filed against him and his children by the National Accountability Bureau. It also revived the summons for prosecution witnesses and adjourned the hearing until November 15. Rejecting his plea to club all the cases together, the judge called the former PM to the rostrum and read out the charges to him in each of the three references. Calling the probe “malafide and politically motivated,” Sharif pleaded not guilty to all charges. Sharif also said since the SC had given six months for to wrap up the cases against him, the court will have to decide each of the references within 45 days. The judge assured that all cases would be heard simultaneously and concluded within the time frame.


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Pak cleric's supporters seek strict blasphemy laws

Many armed with sticks and iron rods, have blocked a main entrance to Islamabad ISLAMABAD: Thousands of supporters of a firebrand Pakistani cleric, many armed with sticks and iron rods, have blocked a main entrance to Islamabad since last week, demanding the resignation of the country's law minister and a strict adherence to blasphemy laws. Led by Khadim Hussain Rizvi of the Tehreek-e-Labaik Pakistan party, at least 3,000 protesters were staging a sit-in on one of the main highways leading to the capital. Officials say they suspect some of the protesters are carrying lethal weapons, and there is concern that the standoff might turn violent. In response, the government has blocked several other roads to stop the protesters from moving to important government buildings. Crippling, hour-long traffic jams have resulted. Long lines of vehicles could be seen for much of the past week on the roads leading to Islamabad from the suburbs and neighbouring Rawalpindi. Several schools near the protest site remained closed. Shipping containers barricading the main streets are a ubiquitous sight. "Hectic efforts and negotiations are on to resolve the issue," said Kamran Cheema, the assistant commissioner

Supporters of firebrand cleric Khadim Hussain Razvi staging a sit-in on one of the main highways

of Islamabad. But the leaders of the protesters remained defiant. "We will lay our lives, but we will not step down from our demands," Rizvi, the cleric, said from atop a stage set up on a cargo truck as his supporters chanted "Labaik Ya Rasool Allah, Labaik" (I am here, Prophet of God, I am here). The sit-in underscores the difficulties the government faces in dealing with right-wing extremist groups. The governing political party, Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz, is already reeling from the fallout over the disqualification in July of its leader Nawaz Sharif, as prime minister, over a corruption investigation. Any violent confrontation with hard-line clerics would further exacerbate a tumultuous political situation. The latest controversy

Musharraf's 'grand alliance' falls apart ISLAMABAD: In a setback to Pakistan's former dictator Pervez Musharraf, several parties have dissociated themselves from his Awami Ittehad alliance only a day after he announced the formation of a "grand alliance" of 23 parties. Two major partners of the alliance the Pakistan Awami Tehrik and the Majlis Wahdat-e-Muslimeen denied being part of the coalition headed by Musharraf, reports said. Addressing media persons through video conferencing from Dubai, the 74-year-old former president had said all parties representing the Muhajir community should be united. Musharraf, himself a Muhajir, had left Pakistan for Dubai in March last year after the interior ministry issued a notification to remove his name from the exit control list. Muhajirs are Urdu-speaking people who migrated from India during the partition. The grand alliance named Pakistan Awami Ittehad is headed by Musharraf, while Iqbal Dar has been appointed as Secretary General. First the Pakistan Awami Tehrik distanced itself from the alliance and later Majlis Wahdat-eMuslimeen (MWM) also denied being part of the alliance. "Neither anyone has consulted us over an alliance nor any of our leaders attended meetings of any political or electoral alliance," the paper quoted the MWM sources as saying.

erupted last month, when the government introduced changes to electoral laws. A change in the wording of an oath for lawmakers that dealt with a declaration of Prophet Muhammad as God's final prophet quickly set off a furore among opposition parties, especially the religious groups. They protested that the change amounted to blasphemy.

Blasphemy is a combustible issue Blasphemy is a particularly combustible issue in Pakistan often leading to violent riots and vigilante justice. Critics and rights groups say the blasphemy laws are used to persecute religious minorities, especially the Ahmadis, who are considered non-Muslims, according to the country's Constitution.

The government quickly reversed the change to the oath, but the damage had been done. It remains unclear what prompted the alteration of the electoral oath. Officials initially said the change had been the result of a "clerical error." The law minister, Zahid Hamid, is now in the centre of the storm. Religious leaders have accused him of blasphemy and of being an Ahmadi. Hamid has denied both accusations, and in a video message last week, emphatically stated that he believed that Muhammad was God's final prophet. But the protesters are calling for Hamid to be fired - a demand unacceptable to the government. Rizvi, a virtual unknown few years ago, belongs to the Barelvi sect and has built his reputation as a staunch defender of the country's blasphemy laws. In the process he has amassed considerable political muscle. His sermons are often laced with invectives and profanities aimed at religious minorities and opponents. In September, Rizvi's party entered the political fray and - to the surprise of many observers - won more than 7,000 votes, or 6 per cent, in a by-election in Lahore, for the seat vacated by the ouster of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif.

Pak fears ‘foreign spy agency’ plot to kill Hafiz Saeed ISLAMABAD: In a veiled reference to India’s intelligence agency Research and Analysis Wing (RAW), Pakistani authorities responsible for countering terrorism have asked the home department of the Punjab province to beef up security for the detained mastermind of Mumbai terror attacks Hafiz Saeed, claiming that a plan was hatched by a “foreign spy agency” to kill him through members of a banned militant outfit. According to official sources, the National Counter Terrorism Authority (NCTA), Pakistan’s internal counter-terrorism authority, has sent a letter to Lahore-based home department of Punjab, claiming that a “foreign spy agency” had paid Rs 80 million to two activists of a proscribed militant group to kill Saeed. NCTA was formed in 2009 and has been mandated to devise a counter-terrorism strategy to address short, medium and long-term

cers who handled the Mumbai attackers. He identified the other two as Major Ali and Major Iqbal. However, Pakistan did not acknowledge the existence of Major Abdul Rahman or the other two.

Hafiz Saeed

goals for security challenges faced by Pakistan besides plans for their implementation. 4 of his aides walk free Four aides of Saeed, who had been detained along with the JuD chief since January, have been released. Abdullah Ubaid, Malik Zafar Iqbal, Abdul Rehman Abid and Qazi Kashif Hussain walked free as the judicial review board refused to extend their detention. Incidentally, David Headley, the PakistaniAmerican Lashkar terrorist, had identified one Major Abdul Rahman as one of the three ISI offi-

Security upped around Saeed’s residence NCTA asked the home department to ensure strict security measures in the surroundings of Saeed’s Lahore residence, which has been declared a prison for him by the Punjab’s government. Saeed was put under house arrest earlier this year. His banned outfit Jamaat-udDawa (JuD), a front for terror organization Lashkare-Taiba (LeT), had launched the Milli Muslim League this year in August, but the Election Commission of Pakistan had rejected to register it as a political party. In 2012, the US had announced a $10 million bounty for information leading to Saeed’s arrest and conviction.

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Pak diplomat shot dead in Afghanistan

KABUL: A Pakistani diplomatic official was shot dead in Afghanistan, officials said, but the motive for the deadly attack was not immediately clear. Two assailants riding a motorbike opened fire on Nayyar Iqbl Rana, 52, at a shop in the eastern city of Jalalabad, Pakistan's ambassador to Afghanistan Zahid Nasrullah Khan said. “When he went to the hospital he was pronounced dead,” Khan said. No arrests have been made so far. Rana was the assistant to the consul general in Jalalabad, the capital of restive Nangarhar province, which borders Pakistan. The foreign ministry statement said Rana had finished “his three year tenure in Jalalabad and was due to return to headquarters.”

22 killed as bus falls into ravine in Pakistan

ISLAMABAD: At least 22 people were killed and 51 others injured when a passenger bus fell into a ravine in Attock district of Pakistan's Punjab province, police said. Zeeshan Afzal, an officer from Punjab Highway Patrolling Police, said the accident happened in Dhok Pathan area of Pindi Ghep region of Attock. Local people, police and rescue teams rushed to the spot and shifted the bodies and injured to hospitals in nearby cities. At least 18 people died on the spot while four others succumbed to their injuries later. The doomed bus was carrying 82 passengers to a religious congregation in the provincial capital of Lahore from Attock.

53 detained over attacks on Hindus in Bangladesh

DHAKA: The Bangladesh police have detained 53 people in connection with arson attacks on the homes of Hindus over a rumoured Facebook post by a local man. More than 30 homes belonging to Hindu families in Rangpur's Thakurbari village were ransacked and looted before being set on fire by a mob over the "derogatory" status posted by a Hindu man. One person, 30-year-old Habibur Rahman, was killed when the police opened fire to ward off the angry mob that turned violent and set fire to several homes. Eleven others were injured in the violence. Police filed two cases over the incidents and arrested 53 people, said Police Superintendent Mizanur Rahman.

Bangladesh CJ resigns amid row with Hasina govt

LOS ANGELES: Dhaka: Bangladesh’s first Hindu chief justice Surendra Kumar Sinha, facing graft and money laundering allegations, has resigned a month after he went on leave abroad amid a row with the Sheikh Hasina-led government over a crucial SC verdict, an official said. Sinha assumed office on January 17, 2015, as the country’s 21st chief justice. He is scheduled to retire on January 31next. “His (Sinha’s) resignation letter has reached Bangabhaban (presidential palace),” President’s press secretary Joynal Abedin said. Officials familiar with the development said, Sinha submitted his resignation letter to Bangladesh embassy in Singapore on the last day of his month-long leave on Friday, where he had gone for medical check-ups.

Islamist militants kill six soldiers in southern Philippines

MANILA: Pro-Islamic State militants killed six soldiers and wounded four others on a southern Philippine island, the military spokesman said, as the army focused on the remaining rebel groups after regaining control of Marawi City. The army shifted its operations on Basilan island after ending the five-month combat operations in Marawi last month after killing the militants' top leaders, including Isnilon Hapilon, the emir of pro-Islamic State groups in Southeast Asia. "We were going after the Abu Sayyaf elements who continue to exist in Basilan," military spokesman Major-General Restituto Padilla said. Militants from the Abu Sayyaf were notorious for bombings, beheadings, extortion and kidnap-forransom.

German nurse may have killed over 100 patients

FRANKFURT: A German nurse serving prison sentence for murdering two patients is suspected of killing 102 people, more than previously known, police said. If found guilty, it would make him Germany's deadliest serial killer. Niels H has admitted to deliberately injecting patients at two clinics with deadly drugs and then trying to revive them in order to play the hero. Probe has now led to evidence that he may have killed 38 people at a clinic in the city of Oldenburg and 62 at one in Delmenhorst, Oldenburg police said. This does not include the murders for which he was sentenced in 2015. The toll could rise further still, the statement said.


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Lankan president urged to abolish executive presidency

UNP leader Wickramaratne said they had backed Maithripala Sirisena’s candidature as he had accepted to do away with the executive presidency COLOMBO: The UNP has stepped up pressure on President Maithripala Sirisena to abolish the post of executive presidency without further delay or face the consequences. Key government strategist MP Jayampathy Wickramaratne, spearheading the new constitutionmaking process and Deputy Minister of Power and Renewable Energy Ajith Perera said that their postpresidential election understanding with President Sirisena in respect of the abolition of executive presidency wasn’t negotiable. Addressing a meeting organised by a trade union collective backing ongoing high profile government project to introduce the new Constitution. Among those on the podium were Health Minister and government spokesman Rajitha Senaratne, UNP Badulla District MP A Aravindh Kumar, Convenor of the National Movement for Social Justice (NMSJ) Sarath Wijesooriya and trade union activist Saman Ratnapriya.

Maithripala Sirisena

Wickramaratne said the UNP had backed Maithripala Sirisena’s candidature as he had accepted to do away with the executive presidency. Had Sirisena not accepted that, the UNP wouldn’t have backed him at January 2015 presidential polls, the MP said. According to Wickramaratne, the executive presidency should have been abolished during President Sirisena’s 100-day programme. However, that plan had to be abandoned as President Sirisena couldn’t muster the required support among UPFA MPs. The constitutional affairs expert said that had they been able to

keep to their original plan a referendum would have taken place ahead of the parliamentary polls in 2015 August. Asserting that President Sirisena remained committed to abolish executive presidency in accordance with his understanding with the late Ven Maduluwawe Sobitha and the UNP, Wickramaratne said the SLFP should support President Sirisena to fulfil his obligations. Wickramaratne insisted that their flexibility on those issues shouldn’t be construed as readiness to give up the insistence on a referendum. Comparing President Sirisena’s promised stand on a new Constitution with that of his predecessor Mahinda Rajapaksa, who in his manifesto for the last presidential poll had promised a new Constitution, Wickramaratne said that both would have had to adopt the same path, namely referendum followed by a two-thirds majority in parliament. Wickramaratne discussed the reports that had been

Criminals indulging in human smuggling: Lanka minister COLOMBO: Sri Lankan minister of law and order and southern development Sagala Ratnayaka says that human smuggling is attractive to criminals, who view migrants as simply one of many commodities to be smuggled, as it is a highly profitable illicit activity with a relatively low risk of detention. He said studies found that networks in the Western part of Sri Lanka were better organized and centralized compared to those in the Southern part. The minister said that the network along the coastal belt of the Western and North Western provinces involve “wealthy businessmen” mobilizing their own boats and field agents with defined tasks for the entire operation. “Western Sri Lanka has had a long history of making profit through migration.” In the South, smaller groups or boat owners, contracted captains, crew and field agents join together to facilitate people smuggling, he said. “It is more isolated and scattered compared to the more long-running better established networks on the Western Coast.” Addressing the opening ceremony of the Interpol Project Relay, specialized training to

Ratnayaka said there have been instances where it was reported that the officers of the Sri Lankan law enforcement system accepted bribes from agents in exchange for allowing their vessels to cross the sea border. “We, as a government, have Sagala Ratnayaka adopted various measures to combat migrant smugcounter migrant smuggling, held in Colombo, he gling in Sri Lanka. While said that immigrant smugstrengthening our defence gling specially in this part apparatus and the law of the world contribute to enforcement system, we other forms of criminal also work closely with our activities as well. international partners on The Minister also said, finding ways to counter “the connection between this problem, in a sustainimmigration officials and able manner.” smugglers in Bangladesh, The minister stated Sri Lanka and India leads that the government of Sri to dysfunctional immigraLanka is committed to tion screening, allowing upholding the rule of law migrants to travel without and ensuring law and any trouble despite having order which includes incomplete or fraudulent fighting crime, organized documents.” The bitter crime, drugs and corrupreality is that genuine tion amongst many other documents, such as passareas. “This is not only to ports or birth certificates, make Sri Lanka safer for its can be produced by bribing people but to be a good government officials in neighbour, a responsible this part of the world – neighbour to other counparticularly in South Asia, tries in the region,” he he said. said.

submitted by six sub committees that dealt with fundamental rights, judiciary, law and order, public finance, public service and centre periphery relations. He also explained the Steering Committee’s interim report that dealt with six vital subjects, nature of the state, executive, parliamentary elections, principles of devolution, religion and state land. The MP claimed that they hadn’t even thought of a Draft Constitution yet. Deputy Minister Perera alleged that some leaders had directed their henchmen to justify the continuation of the executive presidency so that they could contest again. The UNPer warned that had they failed to reach consensus on far reaching constitutional reforms soon, there would be another presidential election in three years. He said that it would be a grave mistake on the SLFP’s part to believe pressure could be applied on the UNP to give up its push to abolish executive presidency.

Asian Voice | 18th November 2017

US non-committal on Odinga's election concerns NAIROBI: The State Department's top Africa official has declined to say whether the US accepts or disputes Raila Odinga's contention of rigging and unfairness in Kenya's presidential election process. Donald Yamamoto, acting Assistant Secretary of State for Africa, mentioned in a conference call with reporters that he had met with Odinga during the Nasa leader's recent visit to Washington. "That conversation - we can't go into great detail," Yamamoto said in response to a question regarding the US' assessment of the Nasa leader's complaints. Yamamoto noted that both President Kenyatta and Odinga "have stated there are issues where they need reform of the electoral process." "It is a work in progress," Yamamoto said in regard to democracy in Kenya. "It is something we will continue to focus on." He added that,

Raila Odinga

"the US remains firmly committed to moving the democratic process forward not just in Kenya but across the continent." The teleconference was intended to call attention to a November 17 conference in Washington involving the foreign ministers of 37 African countries and senior officials in the Trump administration. The talks will cover the broad topics of economic growth, democratic governance, and peace and security, Yamamoto said. One day prior to that ministerial meeting, US officials are scheduled to engage in an annual "highlevel dialogue" with African Union officials.

Indians make their mark on political landscape of America

CALIFORNIA: Indian American candidates who were vying to claim city council, school board and other local seats in their respective cities, came away winning a vast majority of the elections. Among the winners during the November 7 elections were a slew from New Jersey including Sam Joshi and Falguni Patel in Edison, Virbhadra ‘Viru’ Patel in Woodbridge, Sangeeta Doshi in Cherry Hill, Shanti Narra in Middlesex County, and Deven Patel and Joyce Mehta in South Brunswick. Other victorious Indian Americans throughout the country included Vijay Kapoor in Asheville, N.C.; Seema Singh Perez in Knoxville, Tenn.; Dimple Ajmera in Charlotte, N.C.; Satwinder Kaur and Maya Vengadasalam in Kent, Wash.; and Tanika Padhye in Redmond, Wash. Joshi won one of the three fouryear council seats available. His 11,827 votes was second among the six candidates, behind vote leader Robert Diehl (12,382) and ahead of the other winner Alvaro Gomez (11,717). All three winners are Democrats; all three losers are Republicans. Doshi was among a group of four Democrats who won the four threeyear-termed seats in the Cherry Hill Township. The eight-candidate race saw all

23

the Democratic winners tally more than 7,000 votes while none of the Republican losers scored more than 3,903 votes. Doshi finished fourth with 7,296 votes, nearly 700 behind top vote-getter David Fleisher. Viru Patel was among the five Democrats to claim a Woodbridge City Council seat, doing so in the town’s 4th Ward, representing the Iselin and Menlopark Terrace neighbourhoods. Patel topped his Republican counterpart, Paul Danielczyk, by tallying nearly 1,000 more votes, 2,239 to 1,272. Patel took over the 4th Ward seat from James Major when he resigned last year. The Indian American is very active in Woodbridge's thriving Indian business community. Falguni Patel was among the three winners for the Edison School Board, overcoming racist flyers circulated days before the election. She and a Chinese American candidate, Jerry Shi, were targeted in mailings that said that they should both be deported and that "Chinese and Indians are taking over our town.” Deven Patel won the South Brunswick School Board seat, coming in second of the three winners with 4,118 votes, seven ahead of third place Patrick Del Piano (4,111) and more

than 700 votes behind top vote-getter Arthur Robinson (4,833). Coming up short in the school board election were Deep Shukla (2,885 votes) and Mahendra Patel (1,974). In Washington state, a plethora of Indian Americans were looking to claim seats. In the Kent City Council race, Kaur earned a seat with her 54.8 to 45.2 percent (5,846 votes to 4,814) over Paul Addis for position No. 2. Vengadasalam won the Kent School Board seat, running unopposed as the incumbent. Padhye was the winner in Redmond’s No. 4 City Council seat, winning convincingly 61 percent to 39 percent over Eugene Zakhareyev. Padhye, an Indian American former civil rights attorney, was appointed to the post earlier this year. Others who came up short included Hari Pillai in the Cambridge, Mass., City Council race; Preeti Shridhar in Seattle for the Port of Seattle Commissioner seat; Rituja Indapure in the Sammamish, Wash., City Council race; Rekha Nandwani in Jersey City, N.J., for a City Council seat; Bangladeshi Mohammad Rahman in the New York City Council race; and Krisha Chachra in the Blacksburg, Va., Council race.


24

INDIA-NORTH, SOUTH, EAST

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Asian Voice | 18th November 2017

100 accounts of Sasikala’s companies frozen

CHENNAI: The Income Tax Department has frozen 100 bank accounts of shell companies managed by Jaya TV managing director Vivek Jayaraman, nephew of convicted AIADMK leader VK Sasikala. The move came three days after IT searches were conducted at 188 premises owned by Sasikala, her relatives, and associates in Tamil Nadu, Puducherry, Bengaluru, and Hyderabad. The searches revealed £600,000 in cash, 8.5 kg gold and documents relating to investments worth £120 million of

unaccounted money. Several valuables were recovered from unused hostel rooms of a women's college owned by Sasikala's brother V Dhivaharan. A senior IT official said, “We froze 100 bank accounts after we found that they belong to 20-odd shell companies. Several millions were deposited in them soon after demonetisation was announced. The accounts were operated by Vivek Jayaraman.” The IT department continued their raids at several premises for five whole days. The search was

VK Sasikala

carried out in connection with unexplained routing of cash post-demonetisation through shell companies allegedly connected to Sasikala and her nephew TTV Dhinakaran. The IT department will look at the

routing of funds within India while other agencies will look into the routing of money outside India. An official said the nature of this search operation “is different” and it is not just searching the premises and seizing unaccounted cash. “We have information about shell companies and the search is in connection with their operations.” A team of around 1,800 IT officials knocked at the doors of 187 premises-residences, offices, and farmhouses, to carry out one of the largest searches on Sasikala's family and associates.

Rajnikanth may make political debut on birthday CHENNAI: Following on Kamal Haasan's footsteps, Rajnikanth is reportedly all set to announce his political prowl on his birthday, December 12. A source close to the actor said, “Rajni would form a separate party. He will not join any other party, including the BJP.” They added that even if the BJP is keen on roping in Rajni before the Lok Sabha election, the actor will save his energy for the assembly election, which he intends to be a Stalin vs Rajni fight. “Being spiritual, Rajni cannot be a Leftist. Not being a hardliner, he cannot be a Rightist too. He will be a centrist as that alone will attract all sec-

7 from Punjab go missing JALANDHAR: At least seven young men have disappeared from Punjab without a single trace, while trying to enter the USA illegally. The disappearance has raised alarms of human trafficking from the states. The victims reportedly last called home from the Bahamas and Panama, informing they would soon be taking a boat the US, only to leave with no news. A group consisting of six friends from Kapurthala, Hoshiarpur, Gurdaspur, and Amritsar went missing in the Bahamas three months ago. They had last called up home on August 2, saying their handlers had taken away their passports and would be taking away their mobile phones as well, as they take a boat to the US. Of those missing, families of three had struck a deal of Rs 35,00,000 with travel agents, and had paid Rs 12,00,000. The other three had paid Rs 52,00,000 after taking hefty loans and selling property.

Rajnikanth

tions of the society.” Writer Stalin Rajangam, however, said that the veteran actor is unlikely to involve himself in caste-centric politics in Tamil Nadu, when he has the advantage of being an outsider. “People like his subaltern style and identity. In movies, Rajni is just

playing the roles that his directors give him. Rajni is a known dalit activist and his movies are bound to have undertones of dalit resurgence. 'Kabali' was a reaction to the 2012 Dharmapuri caste clashes. They do not reflect Rajni's political thoughts or plans,” he said. Both the actors will possibly compete for the neutral votes of people who look for a change beyond the AIADMK and the DMK. “As on date, the DMK looks all set to wrest power in the state as there is no strong rival. Rajni's entry will change that dynamics. Apart from neutral voters, Kamal would try to eat into the anti-

Hindu rationalist base, which may give hiccups to the DMK,” said analyst M Kasinathan. He stated that Rajni's disadvantage would be that the minorities would see him as BJP's tool. Also, the actor cannot win the election on his own credentials. His success will depend on stitching together a winnable alliance, but that remains a big challenge. He can't approach the DML with chief ministerial aspirations, and in case he approaches the AIADMK and the BJP, other party leaders will have to bow down their goals for him. Rajni will end up being the government's mascot.

Amarinder seeks incentive to prevent stubble burning CHANDIGARH: Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh has written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, seeking compensation for farmers for crop resident management. The move was made in a bid to check stubble burning, which has become one of the major causes of the toxic smog that has covered northern India. Singh requested Modi to convene a meeting of chief ministers of all affected states, along with the Union Ministers for Agriculture, Food, and Environment. He also sought a bonus of Rs 100 per quintal as incentive to compensate the farmers to manage the crop residue scientifically, instead of burning paddy straw. Singh said that the problem was mostly scientific and economic, which is why the issue could not be tackled through other ways. Captain Amarinder said, “Scientific management and disposal of paddy straw entails significant cost for the farmers and the cheap-

Amarinder Singh

er and easy solution of burning the crop residue is 'naturally preferred'.” He added there were no technical or biological systems for managing this farm operation that were economically attractive to the farmer. Stating that the current pollution crisis was largely triggered by burning of paddy straw in paddy-growing areas of Punjab, Haryana, and Uttar Pradesh, he asked Modi to get the matter examined on priority and announce a compensation of cost management of crop residue at Rs 100 per quintal on wheat, and later for paddy to incentivise the farmers to

not burn their crop residue. This was the third letter written by the chief minister to Modi on the issue. Singh also refuted any possibility of a meeting with Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, saying the issue of pollution crisis had “nothing to do with Kejriwal, as it is a much bigger issue involving all states contributing to pollution”. Kejri had earlier sought a meeting with Singh, in a Twitter interaction, to discuss the issue of smog, to which the latter had explained that the issue could only be solved by the Central Government. Kejri had also said that the Punjab government should give subsidy on loans to farmers to tackle the issue. Singh had responded saying, “Mr Kejriwal is a peculiar person who has views on everything without understanding the situation. There is 20 million tonne of paddy straw. Where do I ask the farmers to store it? So Mr Kejriwal doesn't understand this problem.”

AsianVoiceNewsweekly

TMC targets Mukul Roy, gets son to address counter-rally KOLKATA: The Trinamool Congress has declared they will arrange a counter-rally where one of the main speakers will be BJP member Mukul Roy's son, a day after he alleged that 'Biswas Bangla' was actually a business entity owned by Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee's nephew Abhishek. TMC MLA from Bijpur in North 24 Parganas, Subhrangshu remained loyal to the party despite his father's loud defection, stating that Mukul was his father, but Banerjee was his leader. Topics of the rally will vary from issues such as Hindutva, demonetisation, GST, to the BJP's attempts to break TMC and other parties. Meanwhile, Mukul had written a letter to West Bengal Home Secretary Atri Bhattacharya and principal secretary, micro, small, and medium enterprises Rajiva Sinha for defending Mamata and Abhishek over

Mukul Roy

allegations he had levelled against them. The letter read, “Your press briefing on 11th November, 2017 was incorrect and false and has largely and absolutely mislead the citizens of West Bengal and the public of this country, thus, unbecoming of an IAS officer bound by the All India Service (Conduct) rules 1968.” A copy of the letter was sent to MoS Dr Jitendra Singh, requesting a probe against both, Bhattacharya and Sinha.

Centre allowed to withdraw forces from Darjeeling NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court has allowed Central government to withdraw seven of the 15 companies of Central Armed Paramilitary Forces (CAPF) stationed in Darjeeling and Kalimpong districts of West Bengal. The Centre had appealed for withdrawal of forces, so they can be stationed in Himachal Pradesh and Gujarat for election duties. The Supreme Court asked West Bengal government to file its reply within a week. Centre's plea came against Calcutta High Court's order directing it to allow all 15 companies of the forces to remain in the state. The matter will now be heard in court on November 27. Withdrawal of CAPF from the controversial region of Darjeeling till October 27, had been stayed by the HC, after the Mamta

Banerjee government approached it against the Centre's decision. Additional four companies of the CAPF were deployed in the region after the High Court had ordered the Centre on July 14 to deploy forces in addition to the 11 that were already present in the hills. The West Bengal government had written to the Centre seeking an extended deployment of CAPF till December 25. It was told that of the 15 companies present, 10 would be withdrawn on October 15 and the rest by October 20.

Doctor suspended over Facebook post

KOLKATA: In recent news, the West Bengal Health Department suspended a doctor for allegedly accusing the state government over the prevailing dengue conditions in Kolkata. Dr Arunachal Dutta Choudhury wrote a post on social networking site Facebook, claiming that the government was trying to suppress facts relating to the dengue menace in the state. The MD claimed that 500 people were admitted to the Barasat District Hospital, where he was posted, on October 6, adding about his struggle to diagnose the patients,

Dr Arunachal Dutta

many of whom were lying on the floor. The suspension order said Dutta' post amounts to “misinterpretation in the public and (are) derogatory to the hospital administration”.


HERITAGE HISTORY

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25

Asian Voice | 18th November 2017

Dr. Hari Desai

Nehru opposed the “Quit India” Resolution When Congress leaders were jailed, HM shared power with Leaguers Muslims, Christians and Parsees were in forefront to support Gandhi

The Indian history has many shades or interpretations as per the convenience of the rulers or those who interpret.

Meherally, the founder of Congress Socialist Party(1934) and a Gujarati Mayor of Bombay, coined both the slogans, “Quit India”(1942) and “Simon Commission Go Back”(1928). He was elected Mayor of Bombay while being imprisoned in Yerawada Central Jail in 1942. When Japan was knocking at the doors of India by penetrating into Imphal, Sir Stafford Cripps, a prominent Labour member of the British War Cabinet, came to India in March 1942 to seek India’s cooperation to fight the war. Despite offering certain proposals to negotiate an agreement with Indian leaders, Cripps Mission failed, leading to Gandhiji’s call for the Quit India. Dr. Chaudhari describes the chronology of the events and meetings: Sir Cripps was a friend of Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru. He invited Congress President Maulana Azad to discuss the package deal on 23 March 1942. Azad argued that with Defence in British hands, it would be impossible for him to go to the people to tell them to join Army. Moreover, suppose that Indians in Subhash Babu’s INA (50,000 Indian prisoners of war in Japan-conquered territories) invaded India, how could Congress ask Indians to oppose them when they were infact coming only to drive away the British? Nehru argued on the same lines, his main theme being, “ a National Government without Defence is nothing”. Sardar Patel and Dr. Rajendra Prasad were totally opposed to the proposals in principles and practice, while Gandhiji “found nothing good at all in them”. The Mahatma asked

H

istory is full of contradictions or different interpretations of the same event. The Jain philosophy has coined a word for different interpretations of an event or issue. That is called “Anekantvad”. The Indian history has many shades or interpretations as per the convenience of the rulers or those who interpret. Hence, we need to base our presentations on the basis of the facts and documentation which may lead to near neutral analysis of the facts. The Quit India movement of August 1942 had a lasting impact on the Indian Freedom movement; leading the British to vacate “Partitioned India” in August 1947. Some years back Dr. K. K. Chaudhari, the Executive Editor and Secretary, Gazetteers Department of Maharashtra Government and an eminent historian, literary shocked me by showing a copy of “The Times of India” dated July 1942 which had headlined: “Nehru opposes the Quit India Resolution”. Unfortunately, Dr. Chaudhari could not incorporate the photocopy of it in his well-researched book “Quit India Revolution : The Ethos of Its Central Direction” to avoid controversy. Nehru was not just the only Indian leader to oppose the Quit India resolution but since he was so close to Mahatma Gandhi, his opposition was considered significant. Yusuf

Pandit Nehru and Mahatma Gandhi

Cripps: “ Why did you come if this is what you have to offer? If this is your entire proposal to India, I would advise you to take the next plane home.” While not a word of encouragement was forthcoming from the Viceroy, many in the Viceregal Lodge gave a cold shoulder to Cripps and

Sardar Patel and Maulana Azad

opposed even what Cripps had offered. Dr. Chaudhari records : “If the Japanese reach India, there was every chance that Master Tara Singh (Akali Dal) and V.D. Savarkar ( Hindu Mahasabha)would lead their followers into the enemy’s camp.” Shortly after the Cripps debacle, Mahatma Gandhi announced his demand “British Must Go”. The Congress Working Committee was to meet at Allahabad at the end of April. Mahatma sent a draft

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Ambedkar, was feeling neglected but was invited to join the Viceroy’s Executive Council in July 1942. “The English supplement of the ‘Vande Mataram’ of 5 October 1942 accused Jamnadas Mehta of getting Rs.13,000 from the Government Treasury every month, along with M.N.Roy, for pro-government propaganda by the Indian Labour Federation.” Mohammad Ali Jinnah was jubilant, but not all Muslim leaders felt so. Asaf Ali was imprisoned. Aruna Asaf Ali hoisted the Indian National Congress flag at Gowalia Tank Maidan (now known as August Kranti Maidan). Even the Indian Christians and the Parsees were in forefront in supporting the Congress in

Hindu Mahasabha Leaders V.D. Savarkar with Dr. Syama Prasad Mookerjee

Mahasabha. The Moderates were eager to walk into the Viceroy’s Executive Council. The list comprised of M.R.Jaykar, Sir Tej Bahadur Sapru, B.Shiva Rao, Sir Chimanlal Setalvad, Sir Purshottam Thakurdas, N.M. Joshi, Sir C.P. Ramaswamy Iyer, etc. Sir Chimanlal arged that, if India would not cooperate with the British, there was sure to be Japanistan and Kabrastan of all Indian hopes of independence. Sir C.P. wanted to make India safe for the British. The Depressed Castes leader, Dr. B. R.

1942. Dr.Chaudhari notes: “In the summer of 1942, history was moving very fast, and Mahatma Gandhi was ordaining the end of a mighty Empire. He was aware that anarchy might lead to an internecine warfare for a time or to an unrestricted sabotage. Yet it was a case for Swaraj or death.” Next Column: Mahatma Gandhi opposed Interfaith Marriages (The writer is a Socio-political Historian. E-mail: haridesai@gmail.com)

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resolution demanding British withdrawal from India and sent it through Mira Ben, his disciple. To Nehru he wrote, “If you do not like my resolution, I really cannot insist. The time has come when each of us must choose his own course.” Even after the Allahabad resolution of the Congress, which was much diluted by Nehru, Maulana and Rajgopalachari, were still dissenting voices. Hence, Gandhiji had to ask for Rajaji’s resignation from the Congress as well as from the Madras Assembly to which he had been elected on a Congress ticket. “Even on eve of adopting the Quit India resolution at Wardha (in July 1942), Gandhiji found that Nehru and Maulana had drifted apart from him. Gandhiji indeed expressed “a suspicion that Maulana Saheb does not entirely approve of the proposed action…Therefore I suggest that the Maulana should relinquish presidentship but remain in the Committee ; the Committee should elect an interim President and all should proceed unitedly.” In the end, Maulana Azad fell in line and continued to serve as President. The Working Committee authorized Mahatma Gandhi to take charge of the movement and to lead it. Gandhiji had the support

of Sardar Patel who stood by him like a rock. When Mahatma Gandhi gave a call for Quit India in August 1942, most of the Congress leaders were arrested and were imprisoned at Pune, Ahmednagar or Naini. Even Mrs. Indira Gandhi who returned after her honeymoon was arrested where as her husband, Pheroz Gandhi, preferred to go underground and run the activity in support of the call given by Gandhiji. When most of the Congress leaders were arrested, the Hindu Mahasabha leaders including Dr. Syama Prasad Mookerjee were holding ministerial posts with the Muslim Leaguers! In Bengal and Sindh , there were coalition ministries of Muslim League and Hindu

 

 

   



  



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INDIA-WORLD

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Asian Voice | 18th November 2017

Prince Charles and wife Camilla brave the Delhi smog Their Highnesses Prince Charles, Prince of Wales, and Camilla Parker-Bowles, Duchess of Cornwall arrived in India for a twoday visit last week, at the final leg of their 10-day, four-nation tour including Singapore, Malaysia, and Brunei. They arrived in the Capital as New Delhi suffers from a severe bout of smog. Prince Charles held talks with Prime Minister Narendra Modi on wideranging issues, including strengthening bilateral cooperation. He also invited him to attend the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting to be held next year in the UK. Modi has already received a letter from the Queen inviting him to attend the meeting, Prince Charles was supposed to follow up the request by a personal invitation. External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Raveesh Kumar said, “A relationship marked by mutual respect and string bonds of friendship. Prime Minister Modi welcomed Their Royal Highnesses, the Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall at Hyderabad House, wide ranging issues on strengthening bilateral cooperation were discussed.” Speaking at the High

The royal couple paint an elephant sculpture during an 'Elephant Family' charity event in New Delhi

Commissioner’s reception in New Delhi, Prince Charles said, “The Commonwealth, built as it is on a firm foundation of shared associations and values, offers us an unparalleled means to build bridges between our countries, and fairer societies within them, so that under-

standing and aspiration might be the inheritance of the generations that follow us.” He added, “Ladies and gentlemen, as I discussed with Prime Minister Modi when he was generous enough to host me for dinner, as the world’s largest democracy, India’s role in all of this could not be

more crucial, nor her contribution to the Commonwealth more essential. In so many areas – such as Prime Minister Modi’s impressive and admirable focus on renewable energy – India offers a compelling example for others to follow.” “The world can learn so much from India today as, indeed, it has done throughout history – and, ladies and gentlemen, as I have done myself throughout my own life.” India and the UK have strong economic ties. Their current trade stands at USD 12.19 billion. India is the third-largest investor in the UK and the second-largest international job creator in the UK. The Indian diaspora in the UK is one of the largest ethnic minority communities there, with the 2011 census recording approximately 1.5 million people of Indian-origin in the UK, contributing 6 per cent to the country's GDP. The royal couple were treated to artistic performances and music recitals. They also helped plant a Banyan tree to commemorate 70 years of the British Council in India. This was Prince Charles' ninth visit to India since 1975.

Modi calls for joint efforts with ASEAN to fight terror Continued from page1 The authority has, however, been questioned by several members of the group, including Vietnam, the Philippines and Brunei. India has for long supported freedom of navigation and access to resources in the SCS in accordance with principles of international law, including the 1982 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea. Modi also talked about shared values and common destiny between India and ASEAN, stating that 1.25 billion people in India were eagerly waiting to receive leaders of the ASEAN at the Republic Day celebrations in January next year. During the two-day summit, Modi met a series of world leaders, including Australian counterpart Malcolm Turnbull. He held a bilateral meeting with Vietnam Prime Minister Nguy n Xuân Phúc. In back-to-back meetings, he met with Japan's Shinzo Abe and Sultan of Brunei Hassanal Bolkiah. Trump, Modi vow to enhance defence ties During the bilateral meeting between Modi

Prime Minister Narendra Modi meeting US President Donald Trump in Manila

and US president Donald Trump, both the vowed to enhance defence ties. Supporting India’s rise as a global power has been a US objective going back to the last two (Democratic and Republican) administrations. But never before has the goal been stated in such starkly militaristic terms. Inasmuch as Trump has been an enthusiastic salesman for US military hardware to allies and friends, the continued reference by his administration to the ''Indo-Pacific'' region, including at the Asean summit, suggests Washington is firmly set on helping expand India’s military capabilities vis-avis China for geostrategic reasons, while helping its large military-industrial complex to Indian lolly. A White House read-

out on the Trump-Modi meeting said ''the two leaders discussed the comprehensive strategic partnership between the United States and India and their shared commitment to a free and open Indo-Pacific region. They pledged to enhance their cooperation as major defence partners, resolving that two of the world’s great democracies should also have the world’s greatest militaries.'' The read-out would not have come without an Indian nod, suggesting that New Delhi is on the same page as Washington, particularly after it has also been shepherded into the American idea of a USJ a p a n - I n d i a -A u s t r a l i a ''Quad.'' The US statement said President Trump also expressed appreciation

that Indian purchases of oil from the United States have surpassed 10 million barrels in recent months, and expressed confidence that stronger energy cooperation will be a geopolitical and economic game changer for both countries. India recently began purchasing oil from the US – half a world away – expanding its traditional sourcing from the Gulf region, a move that not only keeps Washington and its lawmakers happy, but also dilutes India's dependency on a region whose stability and reliability is always suspect. In his opening remarks, the PM said, “India-US ties are becoming broader and deeper and you too can feel that India-US ties can work together beyond the interest of India, for the future of Asia and for the welfare of humanity in the world.” The 10-nation Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) is considered one of the most influential groupings in the region and India along with several other countries including the US, China, Japan and Australia are its dialogue partners.

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Record 75% turnout in Himachal election On a bright Sunday, people came out in record numbers, clocking 75% turnout in the elections to the 68-seat Himachal Pradesh assembly for which the ruling BJP and Congress are locked in a straight fight. While the high turnout could mean that both the parties succeeded in mobilizing their supporters, it could also signify a close finish as witnessed in Uttarakhand earlier this year. Himachal is also being seen as a bellwether state, since there is perhaps less suspense about the likely outcome in Gujarat, which will go to the polls next. Both BJP and Congress have high stakes in Himachal and the surge in polling has predictably left both the parties claiming the advantage. This is the highest ever polling percentage in the state since it held its first election in 1972, a year after it was carved out of Punjab. The state saw 74.51 % turnout in 2003. In 2007, the polling percentage was 71%. The BJP, with 43.7% of the popular votes, won 41 seats against the Congress' 38.9% votes which helped it emerge victorious in 23 seats. Independents won three seats and the BSP one. BJP claimed the turnout showed people's power against UPA at a time of corruption, scams and price rise while the Congress said it was an anti-incumbency surge. Both parties will now have to wait till December 20 for the results. The results of the Himachal Pradesh assembly elections will decide the political future of BJP's chief minister Prem Kumar Dhumal and Congress boss Virbhadra

Singh. Other parties like the BSP, NCP, CPM and CPI, too, have fielded candidates, while Trinamool Congress began its northern foray by fielding 28 candidates. There were 459 contestants. BJP is hoping to script history in Himachal Pradesh by going the Punjab way, where the Akali Dal-BJP combine returned to power. Trends in the past five elections from 1990 show Himachal voters have opted for change in every poll. In snowbound tribal areas of Himachal, massive participation of voters was witnessed and women outnumbered males. While tribal Lahaul-Spiti district recorded 75.05% polling, Kinnaur, which shares its boundary with China, registered 76.3% polling. Kinnaur also witnessed a historical feat as independent India's first voter, Shyam Saran Negi, 90, cast his vote on Sunday - the 27th time in his life, including both general and assembly polls. Polling for the 68 constituencies began in the morning at slow pace with only 9% voting recorded till 9am. It was only after the sun spread its warmth that the people came out in large numbers and brisk polling was seen in the afternoon. Chief electoral officer Narinder Chauhan said polling concluded peacefully. "No untoward incident had been reported so far from any part of the state on poll day," he added. Deputy election commissioner Alok Shukla said the EC took several steps to ensure a higher voter turnout by making use of multiple media sources.

PPF accounts to be closed, interest lowered to expats Non-resident Indians (NRI) can no longer avail same rates in select small savings schemes like Public Provident Fund (PPF) and National Saving Certificates (NSC). As per new rules issued by the government, these investments will be deemed closed on the day the investor becomes a non-resident. Also, they will be paid interest at the much lower post office savings account rate at 4 per cent p.a. The government notified the amended rules in an official gazette. Amendment to the Public Provident Fund Act, 1968 read, “If a resident who opened an

account under this scheme subsequently becomes a non-resident during the currency of the maturity period, the account shall be deemed to be closed with effect from the day he becomes a non-resident.” Interest will be paid at the rate of 4 per cent applicable to the post office savings. The Public Provident Fund (Amendment) Scheme, 2017, said, “Interest shall be paid at the rate applicable to the post office savings account, from time to time, from such day and up to the last day of the month preceding the month in which it is actually encashed.”


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health lifestyle

4 everyday items that can hurt your health

Some of the items which we use daily can cause health hazards. We may watch what we eat, drink and use seat belt to protect us on the road. Yet many health hazards are lurking around us in not-so-obvious places. Here, a few to steer clear of: Scented candles

What’s more, just burning something is a source of particle pollution. The smallest of these particles can permeate the lungs, kicking up irritation and asthma, and may over time set the stage for cancer. Smoke may also penetrate blood vessel walls leading to heart attack and stroke. Burning the occasional candle is fine, but don’t make it an everyday ritual. Pizza boxes

A fragrant candle may help you unwind and destress. But burning those containing a chemical called limonene, often used for citrus-scented candles, as well as many cleaning products, can produce fumes that are downright unhealthy. Recent research found that households with a high levels of limonene correlated with high levels of formaldehyde, which irritates the eyes and throat and may lead to nose and throat cancers. Limonene reacts with gases in the air to create formaldehyde.

The box in which pizza is delivered to you is likely to contain perfluorinated compounds, or PFCs. PFCs are resistant to stains and repel water. The problem is that they are associated with adverse health effects, such as cancer, obesity, thyroid disruption, high cholesterol, and low birth-weight and size. Scientists recently released a statement calling on governments to require more testing of PFCs. Research has already shown that they accumulate in the body and the

Gary was having a yard sale. A minister bought a lawn mower but returned it a few days later, complaining that it wouldn’t run. “It’ll run,” said Gary. “But you have to curse at it to get it started.” The minister was shocked. “I have not uttered a curse in 30 years.” “Just keep pulling on the starter rope—the words will come back to you.” *** When my husband, James Rowles, was in the seminary, he was invited to preach at a small rural church. However, the man who was to introduce him to the congregation had trouble pronouncing his name. So James offered this verbal clue: “Remember rolls, like hot buttered rolls.” It worked. When it came time for the introduction, the man announced, “We are pleased to have with us the Reverend James Biscuits.” *** An old guy walks into a bar and the bartender asks for ID. “You’ve got to be kidding,” he said. “I’m almost 60 years old.” The bartender apologized, but said he had to see the license. The guy showed his ID, then paid and told the bartender to keep the change. “The tip’s for carding me,” he said. The bartender put the change in the tip cup. “Thanks,” he said. “Works every time.” *** The average age of people living in our military retirement community is 85. Recently, a neighbor turned 100, and a big birthday party was thrown. Even his son turned up. “How old are you?” a tenant asked. “I’m 81 years old,” he answered. The tenant shook her head. “They sure grow up fast, don’t they?”

environment. They contain carbon-fluorine bonds, which are extremely stable and degrade very slowly, if at all, the scientists said.

Toys and everyday products Toys and everyday products from popular dollar stores can sure save you money. But could the savings come at the expense of your health and that of those who love? The researchers recently tested 164 products purchased at the US dollar store chains for questionable chemicals, including lead, phthalates, and polyvinyl chloride plastic (PVC or vinyl). The result are that more than 80 per cent of the products tested contained at least one hazardous chemical above safe levels. Children are most at risk. Phthalates used in many inks, paints, and other materials - may interfere with the body’s hormone system, causing birth defects, reduced fertility, prostate and testicular cancer, learning disabilities, asthma and allergies, and diabetes. Lead, which is often used in PVC and to produce metal products like jewellery, harms brain development. It’s linked to learning disabilities, lower IQ, and behaviour and attention problems. Present in many

plastics, PVC releases harmful chemicals, such as mercury, vinyl chloride, and dioxins. These chemicals are linked to everything from liver damage to cancer. Anti-bacterial soaps Anti-bacterial soaps

might promise to germproof your home or workplace. However, the risks associated with regular, long-term use of these products could outweigh any benefits, especially if the product contains chemical ingredients like triclosan and triclocarban, which can have unwanted hormonal effects. Studies show that triclosan interferes with the body’s regulation of thyroid hormone, which could contribute to infertility, early puberty, obesity, and cancer in humans. And research shows that long-term exposure to the chemical may increase the children’s allergy risk. Another potential problem is that anti-bacterial soaps might contribute to increasing anti-microbial resistance.

Benefits of lemon! When it comes to lemon, it is one vegetable that is used for culinary and non-culinary purposes because of its numerous benefits. From pulp to the skin, every part of this humble vegetable is good for the human body. Following are some unbelievable benefits of lemon. Helpful in digestion The idea behind drinking a glass of lemon water every morning is to i n c r e a s e metabolism. It also helps in digestion leading to the reduction in bloating and mood upliftment. Cleanses liver Lemon contains a chemical compound called ‘Naringenin’, that is very effective in reducing liver inflammation. Lemon is also filled with eriocitrin, a

flavonoid that helps protect the liver against oxidative stress. Cleanses Skin According to skin experts, lemon is an effective treatment for acne, as it has antibacterial and antifungal properties. Also, the citric acid present in lemon can help lighten dark spots and blemishes.

Asian Voice | 18th November 2017

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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...

Healthy food swaps to help you slim down fast Healthy food swap is one of the easiest ways to shed pounds without giving up your favourite meals. Losing weight is not as tough as it seems. Cutting off some calories from your diet can help you in losing those extra pounds. Making small changes in your diet without compromising on taste is the best way to improve your health and lose weight. Fat is important in your diet, but you need to include the right type of fat. These healthy food swaps will satisfy your taste buds and help in shedding those extra pounds. Ghee for vegetable oil Experts believe that in the process of refining vegetable oil, it is denuded of all its health benefits, whereas, pure ghee is full of nutrition. But do not have more than one teaspoon of ghee a day as it is also a rich source of saturated fats. Honey for Sugar Honey is a better choice than sugar as it is packed with nutrients like vitamins and minerals. It has certain beneficial antioxidants and anti-microbial properties which are not present in sugar. Mustard sauce for mayonnaise Mustard sauce is low in calories and also has a flavourful taste, whereas mayonnaise is loaded

with artery clogging saturated fat. Himalayan salt for table salt Himalayan salt contains abundance of minerals like potassium, iodine, calcium, iron, and magnesium than table salt. Himalayan salt has a sodium content lower than that of table salt. Brown rice for white rice Brown rice contains a lot of nutrients and is rich is fiber. It has a low glycemic index and makes you feel fuller for long. Oatmeal for Granola If you are restricting your intake of calories, oatmeal is the healthier choice as it has 150 calories per serving whereas a bowl of granola has 225 calories. Mashed cauliflower for mashed potatoes Cauliflower is rich in nutrients, fiber and vitamin C. It is easier to digest than mashed potatoes. If you are cutting on calories, cauliflower may be the healthier choice. Popcorn for chips Chips are higher in fat and calories than popcorn.

We have a vacancy for a

Funeral Director

Duties Include: Making arrangements and conducting funerals, home arrangements, weekend funerals, out of hours preparation of deceased. The position requires excellent communication skills in a number of languages, along with a compassionate nature and a high level of professionalism.

Full training will be given along with a competitive salary and non-financial benefits. There are also opportunities for career progression. If you think you have the qualities we are looking for, then please email a CV to: manuel.hermida@dignityuk.co.uk


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Adah Sharma

makes her K-Town debut with Prabhudheva

‘Tumhari Sulu’

A movie highlighted with music, humour, and quirk, 'Tumhari Sulu' is a story depicting the endless grit of a housewife. A charming family feature that will warm your heart.

‘Aksar 2’

Sequel to 2006 hit 'Aksar', this thriller takes us on a roller-coaster ride as a husband's plan to break up his family for another woman backfires.

Grand reception to Samantha, Naga Chaitanya

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t was recently reported that Prabhudeva and Nikki Galrani are coming together for a sequel to Sakthi Chidambaram's 'Charlie Chaplin'. Well, the latest buzz is that the two will be joined by Bollywood actress Adah Sharma. Remember the sweet girl who scared the wits out of you with her possessed character in '1920'? THAT Adah is now all set to join the cast in Goa. A source said, “Adah is a known name in the Hindi and Telugu

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arish Uthaman is not your every day, typical Kollywood bad guy. To begin with, he has a standout, warm smile. “It is not that I don't want to play a hero. But I don't know, do I really look like a romantic hero?” he said in a recent interview. Speaking about his experience working with superstar Thalapathy Vijay, Uthaman who played an important role in 'Bairavaa', said, “During the shooting, Anal Arasu master warned me that no one can beat Vijay sir, and you are going to do that on

film industries. She's also made a cameo appearance in Simbu's 'Idhu Namma Aalu'. And now, she will be finally making her Kollywood debut as the lead, with 'Charlie Chaplin 2'. She is paired opposite Prabhudeva in the sequel, and has already started shooting for it. The two started by shooting a song in Goa.”

Thalapathy Vijay fans threaten villain Harish Uthaman screen. He asked me to be careful. It made me more nervous and I didn't know what to do.” Uthaman also described Vijay fans' reaction to the fight scene. He said, “After the movie released, the fans on social media threatened me and started to ask 'en thalapathy melaye kai ve c h u t i y a '. (Why did you raise hand

on Thalapathy?) I clarified and made them understand that it is just a film. Vijay sir, as a human, is a very big inspiration for me, and who'd like to hit a man like him? Si I explained them all these, and they were okay by then. They understood the reason.” Harish said, “I should also tell 'Bairavaa' is an

important film in my career. The film helped to increase my mileage and visibility among the common public. Sharing screen space with Vijay sir is something that is very special and a big chance for a budding actor like me. I am now being spotted by the people, and the main reason for that, is 'Bairavaa'.”

Tamannaah boosts fitness regime for 'Queen' remake

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amantha Ruth Prabhu and husband Naga Chaitanya put an end to their wedding celebrations with an over-thetop reception in Hyderabad last week. Photos from the lavish event was shared on social media, and it was revealed that the reception saw several A-list guests in attendance. The beaming bride and groom played host to friends like Ram Charan, Venkatesh Daggubati, Allu Arjun, Varun Tej, and Rajul Preet. The spotlight was, however, taken by superstar Chiranjeevi who greeted and blessed the

newly-weds. The couple was photographed greeting several biggies from the south film industry, including SS Rajamouli and veteran actors UV Krishnam Raju, Krishna and Nandamuri Harikrishna were all spotted at the reception. Samantha looked stunning in an embellished gown, with minimal accessories, while Naga looked dapper in blue formals. A family photo was also released with the couple standing alongside Chay's father Nagarjuna, mother Amala Akkineni, brother Akhil Akkineni, and Sam's father, veteran actor Prabhu.

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amannah Bhatia, who is all set to essay Kangana Ranaut's role in the Telugu remake of 'Queen' is reportedly working harder for her look in the movie. Titled 'Queen Once Again', the film will be helmed by National Award-winning director Neelakanta. Skipping the traditional gym routine, Tamannah chose to train on the beach for her character. “It's a non-polluted environment and I feel it's doing wonders to my overall well-being. Instead of three times a week which I generally practice in India, I'm doing six times a week in France,” the actress said. “My trainer felt I needed to shed a few

more kilos, so I'm making up real everyday to ensure I can give in those two dedicated hours. In fact, I have started skipping, something I have never done before and 'Queen Once Again' is making me do things I have never attempted before,” she added. The original was based on a transformational journey of Rani (Ranaut), who goes on her honeymoon to Paris alone, after her fiancé, played by Rajkummar Rao, called off the wedding at the last minute. Rao's role will be played by Sidhu Jonnalagadda, while Shibani Dandekar will play Lisa Haydon's character.


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Motherhood has not changed Vidya Balan opts out of my work life: Kareena Meena Kumari biopic

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Asian Voice | 18th November 2017

otherhood is definitely one of the momentous times of a woman's life, and while it turns everything upside down for normal people, actress and diva Kareena Kapoor Khan said her professional life has not been affected much. 'My family is my priority. I am ambitious, but I've always had time for my family. For me, it's not always like work, work, work, I think I have managed to balance between my professional life and personal life since the starting of my career.” The actress who gave birth to adorable little royal, Taimur Ali

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Khan, last December, was already on her feet the very next month, fulfilling her professional commitments. Bebo said she and husband Saif Ali Khan now avoid late nights because she has to get up really early in the morning for the baby. She admitted that while her work hasn't been changed, her lifestyle certainly did. “My whole timing has changed and this is a big lifestyle change for me and Saif both.” The actress is currently shooting for her upcoming film 'Veere Di Wedding', alongside Sonam Kapoor and Swara Bhaskar.

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ctress Vidya Balan, who was in the talks of essaying the role of yesteryear actress Meena Kumari in a Tigmanshu D h u l i a directed biopic, has reportedly chosen to opt out of the project. The 'Tumhari Sulu' actress confirmed the news saying, “No, I'm not doing the Meena Kumari-biopic any more. It didn't quite work out. I love Meena Kumari. If I had a girl crush on somebody, it would be her. If she was alive, I'd probably land up to see her all the time. I am that fascinated by her. I always wanted to play her.” Explaining her decision, she said, “The script has to do justice. It can't just be a sensational account of her life, even if she is not around. It has

to present different episodes of her life and not just the ones that will grab eyeballs. So, I decided not to do it.” On the work front, Vidya is currently busy promoting her upcoming 'Tumhari Sulu', directed by Suresh Tiwari. The film revolves around a middle-aged housewife with an extraordinary calibre. Vidya called it a happy film. “People are saying that it is a slice of life film and tells story of a middle-class family... Sulu is a very energetic woman who wants to try everything once. After watching the film, people will leave the theatre with a smile.”

'Fanney Khan' on Eid 2018 (June 15). We decided on Eid because the lead character Fanney Khan, played by Anil Kapoor, is a Muslim character and there's no better day than Eid.” A source said, “It will be an exciting clash, since Aishwarya and Salman's relationship continues to hold the audience's attention, even years after it went kaput. While Salman boasts of tremendous boxoffice pull, Ash and Anil too have a huge fan following and will draw the audiences to the theatres.” While the muhurat for

'Race 3' has been completed, kick-starting the shoot, work on 'Fanney Khan' meanwhile, has already begun. Ash and Salman dated for two years, from 1999 to 2001. Things however, soon turned sour, with reports of the 'Bajrangi Bhaijaan' actor banging on her door to be let in till 3 in the night. There are also reports of Ash being physically assaulted during the break up phase. While bygones are bygones and both the actors lead happy lives separately, we can't resist the excitement of a film stand-off between the two.

SRK & Anushka find a Aishwarya and Salman are all set to lock horns new obsession A

ctors and co-stars Shah Rukh Khan and Anushka Sharma have found a new obsession, and it is a humbling game called Ludo. The duo, who is currently shooting for Aanand L Rai's next, spend their free time on sets playing the game. While Shah Rukh was already hooked to the game and liked to play in his free time, he found his gaming partner in Anushka. It is reported that whenever they get a small break, they pull in crew members and play Ludo on sets. Even the director began joining them in sessions, prompting other crew members to show interest too. The yetuntitled film sees SRK in the role of a dwarf, and Anushka Sharma and Katrina Kaif as the female leads. Rai, had earlier said that it irks him when the project is referred to as a “dwarf film.” He had said that dwarf is not the character, but just defines the size of his character. He said that just like his films Raanjhanaa and Tanu Weds Manu, this film will tell the story of a man and a woman.

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ollywood's biggest clash! While we all enjoy the annual clash of the Khans, it will be former lovers Salman Khan and Aishwarya Rai Bachchan who will face it off at the box office next year. Khan's 'Race 3' and Aishwarya's 'Fanney Khan', are both scheduled to release on June 15, next year. The face-off comes as the juiciest piece of entertainment, given both the actors' history. A statement released by KriArj Entertainment, producers of 'Fanney Khan', said, “We have locked the release date of


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Asian Voice | 18th November 2017

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Ajay Devgn’s 'Golmaal Again' beats Salman’s 'Tubelight'

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jay Devgn's 'Golmaal Again' has achieved the £20 million milestone in domestic market, as the film continues to perform beyond expectations at the overseas box office. The horrorcomedy crossed the £4.5 million mark, and is expected to achieve £5 million in the international market soon. In the global box office, the film has already cross £30 million. What is to be noticed is that the film has beaten Salman Khan's 'Tubelight', which had collected $7 million in international markets. 'Golmaal Again' has officially become the third-highest grosser of the year, after 'Raees' and 'Jab Harry Met Sejal'. Sharing the exciting news, Shibasish Sarkar, CEO, Reliance Entertainment, said, “'Golmaal Again' entered the top 10 films ranking after surpassing the previous Diwali blockbuster 'Prem Ratan Dhan Payo'. We are extremely happy with the acclaim that 'Golmaal Again' has received not only in India but worldwide.” Director Rohit Shetty was delighted with the response received by the film. “I am overjoyed by the continuous love shown by the fans of 'Golmaal' and this is evident by the sheer numbers at the box office,” he said.

Sexy Parineeti Chopra goes geeky

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akers of upcoming 'Sandeep Aur Pinky Faraar', after releasing the first look of Arjun Kapoor as a tough cop, has now released the look of Parineeti Chopra's character too. Breaking the internet, with a photo that screams boss girl, the actress is seen wearing a white and black stripped shirt, tucked into a black pencil skirt. Another shows her in the same outfit, with a black jacket to complete the formal quotient and a bright red lipstick to finish of the look. Pari's completely corporate avatar comes as a clean break from her usual bubbly, outspoken, modern girl. While there have been many speculations on her character, it is now confirmed that

she will play a very ambitious woman who works in a leading company in Delhi. And of course, we love it! Spilling the beans on her character, the actress said, “I'm playing a fiercely ambitious girl from the corporate world. She is the perfect example of how you would describe a girl, who has single-point-focus on her career. She is based in Delhi and is extremely clear of what she wants from life.” She added, “Our endeavour is to present a completely new avatar of mine that hasn't been seen before, so it is very challenging. In some parts of the film, it is going to be my most restrained performance but in other parts, it will be extremely dramatic too.”

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Nobody is allowed to harass me:

Mahira Khan P

akistani actress Mahira Khan, who was recently in the news for catching a smoke with Bollywood actor Ranbir Kapoor, in a white backless frock, is currently promoting her upcoming film 'Verna'. While she refrained from addressing her controversy back then, she spoke about the ongoing Hollywood sexual harassment case. When asked how she has been successful in protecting herself from such sexual predators, Khan replied that nobody is allowed to harass her, irrespective of her conduct. She said all the women who got harassed were both very young and vulnerable or were not in a position to speak up against it. Mahira added that she was lucky enough to have worked with the right people. She added that she came into acting after she became a mother so she was not as vulnerable as a teenager.

Madhuri, Anil Kapoor set to make a comeback after 16 years

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he 90s are coming back, and we are thrilled!!! Dhak dhak girl Madhuri Dixit and jhakaas boy Anil Kapoor are all set to

revive their lost magic, to share screen space after 16 long years. Yes! Who isn't aware of their hit pairing in 'Ram Lakhan', 'Parinda', 'Beta', and

'Pukar'. A recent report has suggested that both actors have been finalised for 'Total Dhamaal'. The news was con-

firmed by director Indra Kumar, who said, “Yes, Anil Kapoor and Madhuri Dixit have been paired in 'Total Dhamaal' which goes on the floors in January in Mumbai. However, this film is essentially a comedy so don't expect any dhak dhak but I promise total dhamaal. Anil and Madhuri have always been a great pair to work with and getting them together again is a dream.” When asked about casting the actress, he said, “I approached her a couple of months ago and the script worked its dhamaal on her and everybody else.” The director said he was aiming for a Diwali 2018 release, adding, “The final decision on the release date would be taken by the studio we tie up with but it would be great to have a dhamaal Diwali next year.”


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World Music Conference a huge success Dhiren Katwa Dignitaries from all across England and far beyond came together for the formal launch of the three-day inaugural World Music Conference which ended last Saturday. Hosted by the University of Wolverhampton and organised by the British Carnatic Choir, the conference, themed 'Exploring the intersection of Science, Technology, Engineering & Maths, or STEM, and World Music' featured stage performances, discussions, presentations, workshops and much more. Guests included Deputy Mayor of Wolverhampton, Cllr Phil Page, University of Wolverhampton Vice Chancellor Professor Geoff Layer, Deputy Lieutenant of the West Midlands Nasir

Awan, Jaffer Kapasi, Honorary Consul General of Uganda and Dr Aman Puri, Consul General of India in Birmingham. The free event, believed to be the only one of its kind to be hosted in the UK, brought together artistes, academics, music educators from across Africa, Europe, USA and India. Performances included the amazing Kol Kinor Jewish Choir and Konnakol - the art of performing percussion syllables vocally in South Indian music, the Carnatic

Shopkeepers given breathalysers to deter street drunks Shopkeepers are being armed with breathalysers by police in a crackdown on street drinking. In what is believed to be a first in Britain, shop workers in Cardiff have been given hand-held breath test devices by officers to turn away anyone too drunk to serve. Police have received an increase in complaints from tourists about drunken behaviour on the streets of the Welsh capital. Now two Spar stores in

the city centre are using the breathalysers to make it easier to refuse to serve suspected drunks. Rohat Hamed, 40, a shop manager, said: “We’ve used it hundreds of times already - we just grab it and if anybody who tries to buy alcohol looks drunk we tell them to blow into it.”

Sneh Joshi

ARIES Mar 21 - Apr 20 The cosmic energies are decidedly invigorating at the moment. If you are taking a holiday, so much the better ! Mercury puts a favourable emphasis on travel but, with Mars in your opposite sign you can be sure of deriving the utmost pleasure from adventures and excursions. There are influences around you now that will give you greater confidence. The feedback you are receiving from others is helping to strengthen your self-image. TAURUS Apr 21 - May 21 Legal or official matters are

likely to occupy your attention this week. A long-standing problem or disagreement will need to be sorted out before allowing you to restructure both personal and joint financial interests more efficiently. Decision making will prove to be a bit of a bind because of your wavering mind - seek professional advice and then steam ahead.

GEMINI May 22 - June 22 Mercury in your opposite sign makes you feel invincible, but the way to utilise this transit is to sift through all the opportunities that come your way. You know you have no choice but to streamline and reassess your priorities. Try to create a balance between expansion and conservation. Take up a keep fit regime.

CANCER Jun 22 - Jul 22

Mercury, the communicator and Saturn, the task master transit your solar sixth house and highlights your health and also makes you take pride in your day to day work. Hence, you should enhance your skills, get organized and take up a health regime for your well being. This transit highlights the need for efficiency and as such you should bring in the new and get rid of the old ideas that do not work.

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music performance art of vocal percussion – by members of NANDI, a popular band. The keynote address, entitled ‘Is Music a Universal Language?’ was given by Dr Hans Neuhoff from Cologne University of Music and Dance. The Conference received goodwill messages from the British Prime Minister Rt Hon Theresa May, India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Lord Kumar Bhattacharyya, founder chairman of the Warwick Manufacturing Group,

British Education Secretary Rt Hon Justine Greening & Lord Karan Bilimoria CBE DL, founder, Cobra Beer. Among those honoured for their contributions and support in making this Conference possible were Professor Nazira Karodia, Dean of the Faculty of Science & Engineering at the University of Wolverhampton, and Santosh Kumar, CEO of Green Valley Infinity, the charity. Organiser Dr Chithra Ramakrishnan FRSA said this was a "dream come true". She added: Our vision and mission is to promote peace, togetherness and to learn to respect one another for who we are and our backgrounds through music, a universal language and the glue of a harmonious and tolerant society.”

One in three motorists is driving with eyesight below the legal standard even when advised not to do so, a survey shows. A third of optometrists have seen patients in the past month who have ignored advice and continued to drive with below-standard eyesight. According to The Times newspaper, some 91 percent of eye healthcare specialists also believe that the sight requirements for a driving licence are insufficient because they allow people to drive without any further eye checks after passing their initial test. An additional public poll shows that 30 per cent

of road users have doubted whether their vision is adequate, yet have continued to drive. A further 26 per cent say that they have delayed getting their eyes checked despite suspecting that their vision was deteriorating while 6 per cent admit to delaying a test for more than a year. The survey by the Association of Optometrists (AOP) also found that only 40 per cent of people would stop driving if they were told that their vision, even with glasses or contact lenses, was below the legal standard for driving.

Third of motorists stay on road despite poor eyesight

British Punjabi Magazine 2017 As much as you love reading our special issues on vibrant and important subjects, we love bringing them to you. This year's British Punjabi Magazine features valuable topics and people. The glossy magazine will be received by all subscribers of Asian Voice.

Coming Events

l The Legacy of Shirdi Sai- A Cultural Evening, on November 18, Saturday, 5.00 to 8.00 pm, at Event Hall, Shri Sanatan Hindu Mandir, Ealing Road, Wembley, HA0 4TA. l Sree Sree Thakur Anukulchandra's Satsang on November 18, Saturday, 6.30 pm onwards at VHP Hindu Temple, 43, Cleveland Rd,Ilford, Essex, IG1 1EE. l Indic Talks by Ram Vaidya on Spoken Sanskrit, and David Stollar on Coals to Newcastle- an Englishman teaches Sanskrit to Hindus, on November 19, 1.00 pm to 5.00 pm, at Laxmi Narayan Temple (near Hounslow Central Tube Station).

Parents block mosque tours A council has said it will offer “virtual” tours after parents blocked their children from going on school trips to mosques. Staffordshire County Council has released new guidance for teachers on dealing with parents who protest at school visit to religious buildings. The guidance says objections are “most frequently about visits to mosques, which raises the bigger issue of

Islamophobia and how this can be addressed.” It says children who feel “uneasy” can be offered a “virtual tour of a sacred space via the internet or film clips.” The council’s guidance includes a sample letter to be sent to parents explaining the visit and similar documents have previously been released by Cumbria, Surrey and Derby councils.

Wife found politician hanged after seeing note Labour politician Carl Sargeant was found hanged in a room at his home that he had left a note telling his wife not to go in, his inquest was told. The 49-year-old Welsh Assembly Member was found dead last Tuesday by his wife Bernadette four days after being removed from his

Cabinet role after allegations of sexual harassment were made against him.

020 8518 5500

The UK’s leading Vedic writer and TV personality

With Mercury in your 5th house of romance and creativity, you should enjoy a very popular phase in your life where everyone wants to invite you to parties. This will give you a chance to meet people of your own calibre and pursue any romantic liaisons that might present themselves. Work is still an ongoing matter, some of you will move and others reassess different options around them.

LEO Jul 23 - Aug 23

Domestic and home matters are disturbed and a source of concern to you. You could find family members hostile and difficult to reason with. It is a period of handling matters with utmost diplomacy and calmness. Mercury in your solar 4th sign ensures that you are extremely communicative and that people will listen to what you have to say.

VIRGO Aug 24 - Sep 23

Plans can change suddenly, but the diversion you take now may be helpful overall. There may be some drama regarding a relationship or a significant discovery about one. It's not the time to push yourself too hard with Mars in your solar 1st house. You should try to get away from mundane realities of life, but choose any escape routes wisely.

LIBRA Sep 24 - Oct 23

SCORPIO Oct 24- Nov 22

Your energy and attention will be very much devoted to financial matters. The tide of fortune continues to run strongly in your favour for some time to come. You will be working harder than usual, intent on getting things done. Close personal relationships will improve with Jupiter in your sign.

With Mercury in your solar first house, your disposition is more intellectual than usual and self-expression comes easily. It is an especially fruitful time for any endeavour that requires communications. Your demeanor is more youthful and easy going attracting like-minded people. Others will also trust your judgement.

SAGITTARIUS Nov 23 - Dec 21

CAPRICORN Dec 22 - Jan 20 Your mind is focused on private matters and past issues while Saturn, your ruling planet and Mercury transit the twelfth house of your solar chart. This is a time when you are least likely to express yourself freely. You're examining the past for answers. This is a good time for quiet contemplation, and meditation.

AQUARIUS Jan 21 - Feb 19 Mercury continues to journey through your solar eleventh house. This is a time when various networking activities are much appreciated and offer you learning experiences. Your ideas are progressive and you are also interested in spending time with people who are like-minded. Saturn there too will offer maturity to the groups thinking. If your ambitions have been undefined, don't worry as from now on, you understand exactly what kind of impact you need to make on the world. Saturn, and Mercury in your solar 10th house rules your career and status. All those little details should run perfectly, without you constantly worrying. That means you can focus on matters that are important to you. You will be more disciplined than ever before.n

PISCES Feb 20 - Mar 20


Sport 32

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Asian Voice | 18th November 2017

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ENGLAND WOMEN SECURE DRAW TO KEEP ASHES HOPE ALIVE

England women kept alive their hopes of reclaiming the Ashes by securing a draw in the lone day-night Test at the North Sydney Oval on Sunday (November 12). Heather Knight led from the front, scoring a dodged 79 not out, as England reached 206 for 2 in their second innings on the final day before the captains shook hands midway through the final session of play. Resuming their innings with a deficit of 128 at the start of the fourth afternoon, England suffered two losses in the first session but not before the overnight pair of Tammy Beaumont and Lauren Winfield took their partnership from 40 to 71. Beaumont was the first to depart, done in by an Amanda-Jade Wellington delivery that turned square, and Winfield followed her back into the hut soon after, trapped plumb in front off

Tahila McGrath with Tea eight overs away. Georgia Elwiss and Knight took minimal risks before the session break and after it. The pair took England to Tea at 98 for 2 and then added 54 runs in the pre-dinner session as the Australians struggled for a breakthrough. Knight picked

up some pace just before the break to push England's total past the 150-run mark. Knight and Elwiss seemed hardly troubled by the second new ball either as they put on a defiant 117-run partnership for the third wicket. The skipper raised her second 50 of the game in the over after Dinner and went on to top-

score in the second innings with an unbeaten 79 off 220, while Elwiss finished nine short of a half-century. Ellyse Perry bagged the Player of the Match award for her stunning double ton that handed Australia the advantage on the penultimate day. Australia and England spilt the four points on offer equally, meaning the hosts lead the multi-format series 6-4. England now need five of the six points from the upcoming three-match T20I series to win the Ashes while Australia need only a win to claim the silverware. Brief scores: England Women 280 (Tammy Beaumont 70, Heather Knight 62; Ellyse Perry 3-59) and 206/2 (Heather Knight 79*; Georgia Elwiss 41*; Tahila McGrath 1-12) drew with Australia Women 448/9 decl (Ellyse Perry 213*; Sophie Ecclestone 3-107, Laura Marsh 3-109).

Mary Kom wins her 5th Asian gold at 34 Just when everybody thought that she had given up her boxing career, M C Mary Kom decided to script another glorious chapter in her inspiring story. At 34, Mary Kom, now a Rajya Sabha MP, returned to the ring and promptly won a gold at the Asian women boxing championships in Ho Chi Minh City last week. Returning to her favourite 48kg category after five years, Mary won the 2012 London Olympics bronze - India's most decorated pugilist brought home her fifth Asian gold medal and first since 2012. One of two India boxers to enter the final, along with Sonia Lather (57kg), Mary outclassed Hyang Mi Kim of Korea with a unanimous 5-0

verdict. “I was confident since I started training in the 48kg category a few months back. The federation has been helpful in aiding my comeback,” a delighted Mary said. The federation supported me with training facilities and sparring partners. I knew if I maintained my fitness throughout this tournament, I will be unbeatable. This is not overconfidence but belief in my ability,” Mary Kom said. Mary Kom got off to a brilliant start, launching a blistering attack. She landed most of her punches which put her ahead in the opening round itself. The Korean tried to stay in the fight, packing a few of her own. In the second round, Mary eased up a little, preferring to be a little cau-

tious. She used her defensive abilities and attacked only on the counter. “The Korean was a tricky opponent I felt. She is tall, very tall in fact. Ever since I have returned to the 48kg category, I have noticed that most of the girls are much taller than me. I have had to adapt my game according to that and training with girls of similar taller height has helped me out,” the fivetime world champion said. “The Nationals is the next event for us in December. But I have some commitments as a Rajya Sabha member as well and I'll request the federation if I can be excused to fulfil those commitments. The Parliament position only came to me because of my achievements in the ring. At

Mary Kom

the same time, I can't stop dreaming as I am already thinking about winning an Olympic medal for India, but this time it should be a gold,” Mary said laughing out aloud. Meawnhile, world championship silver-medallist Sonia, had to be content with a runners-up finish for the second time at this event after she went down in a split verdict to China's Yin Junhua in the final. India signed off with a gold, a silver and five bronze medals in the event.

Sizzling Saina surprises Sindhu Shuttlers Saina Nehwal and HS Prannoy stunned hot favourites PV Sindhu and Kidambi Srikanth to emerge champions in the 82nd Senior National Badminton Championship at Nagpur last week. The dream summit clash between Saina and Sindhu lived up to expectations with both the players slugging it out for each point resulting in long and pulsating rallies. Saina, seeded second, proved a point or two to her detractors by upsetting top seed Sindhu 21-17, 27-25 in 54 minutes to clinch her

PV Sindhu and Saina Nehwal

third title. The 27-year-old thus maintained her perfect

record in the Nationals with three titles in as many

appearances. Incidentally, she marked her comeback to the Nationals after a gap of almost 10 years with the crown. Earlier, the men's singles final between Srikanth and Prannoy also saw a big upset. Second seeded Prannoy edged out top seed and world No. 2 Srikanth 2115, 16-21, 21-7 in a battle which lasted 50 minutes. It was a special moment for Prannoy as he had never won any National title in any age group.

England players to donate cash to Samoan Rugby Union

England’s players have decided to donate part of their match fees to bankrupt Samoan Rugby Union. Mako Vunipola, the Saracens prop who comes from a Tongan family, proposed donating at least £1,000 per player. England players each receive a £22,000 match fee - which far outweighs the £650 payment to each of the Samoans from a sold-out match at Twickenham on November 25. The RFU confirmed that it would donate £75,000 towards the Samoan Rugby Union as a goodwill gesture. Under World Rugby’s tours agreement policy, Samoa are entitled to nothing more than expenses from the host nation. The RFU’s donation, which amounts to just two per cent of the near £5 million turnover it is expected to generate from the game, has been welcomed but far more needs to be done according to Dan Leo, the head of the Pacific Rugby Players Welfare association, who has also launched a fundraising campaign. Samoa's Prime Minister, Tuila’epa Sailele Malielegaoi, who is also chairman of Samoa Rugby Union, claims the union has become insolvent with debts that are thought to be around £300,000. He accused World Rugby of turning a blind eye to the situation on the Pacific Islands. “We have been holding our breath waiting for a level playing field since the game went professional in 1995 and we are not much closer 20 years later,” Leo said. Leo argues the tours agreement, which entitles the host nation to keep all the profits from a home game, is inherently unfair. Even though Samoa have visited England twice in three years, England have yet to play a match in the Pacific Islands, although a date is due to be confirmed after 2019. Even when Samoa hosted New Zealand in 2015, they ended up losing £200,000 as the All Blacks’ travelling costs which the host nation must pay - outweighed what they could generate in a country where the minimum wage is £1.81 an hour.

15-year-old picks 10 wickets for no runs In a mind boggling feat during a T20 game between two cricket academies in Rajasthan, a 15-year-old bowler grabbed 10 wickets all by himself. That’s right but what makes the achievement even more unbelievable is the fact that he conceded no runs. This is no writing error as Akash Choudhary, a left-arm seamer, bagged 10 wickets, giving away no runs while playing for Disha Cricket Academy against Pearl Academy in Jaipur. Cricket statistician Mohandas Menon also tweeted about Choudhary. After the game, speaking to Sportskeeda, he said, “I cannot thank God enough for this. A five-wicket haul in a T20 is possible on a good day, but a 10wicket haul, without giving away a single run, is all luck.” He further added, “I took two wickets in the first over, another two in the second over, another two in the third over and four wickets in my last over, which included a hat-trick off the last three balls. I am a huge fan of Zaheer Khan’s bowling and hope to make it as big as him one day.”

AV 18th November 2017  

Asian Voice Weekly Newspaper (Issue No. 28)