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• Sikh group demands public inquiry into UK's role in 1984 Operation Bluestar P5

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• Mayor to take message to Europe that ‘London is Open’ P18

MOTHER OF ALL STATE POLLS IN INDIA

• Why the Donald could be Trump card for business 18th February to 24th February 2017 P21

Fight for power commenced early February, as five major states in India began to vote. National parties, PM Narendra Modi's BJP, Sonia Gandhi's Congress, and Arvind Kejriwal's AAP find themselves in a headlock, trying to clinch as many states as possible. As the major parties fight for votes, what they failed to comprehend is the role of regional parties, and their influence on their respective regions. Regional parties, and independent candidates often serve as a trump card for the winning party. However, there are states like Uttar Pradesh, where the Yadav rule is so strong, not even Akhilesh's 'gundaraj' could prevent his loyal voters from choosing him yet again. Punjab has AAP written all over it, as the northern state strikes as having lost tolerance for the ruling Badal family. The year 2017 seems to be the year for state parties, as the BJP and Congress play second fiddle in their own orchestrated drama. The thing worth noticing is that Punjab, Goa, Uttarakhand, and Manipur, put together do not even account for half of Uttar Pradesh's population. Some pundits believe that BJP could put up a good show in Rajya Sabha after the elections. Meanwhile, if the Samajwadi Party and Congress doesn't fare well, it may become difficult for them to survive. PUNJAB Turning Punjab Assembly elections upside down, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind

Kejriwal's A a m A a d m i Party is giving ruling Shiromani Akali DalBharatiya Janta Party and the Congress, a run for their money. With an almost lethal combination of a political campaign riding on the incessant drug abuse issue in the state, and people's disenchantment with the Badals, Kejriwal seems to have finally found the recipe to success. Political analysts and election surveys have bet their money on AAP, after the February 4 voting, vote banks seemed to lean their preferences towards the

46 Church Road Stanmore Middx London HA7 4AH email@travelinstyle.co.uk

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Local boy Dev Patel wins BAFTA

Let noble thoughts come to us from every side

party. I f t h e HuffPost-C Voter pre-poll survey is to be believed, AAP is all set to take over Parkash Singh Badal's Punjab. It had predicted that the AAP is poised to win 63 of the 117 seats in Punjab Assembly elections, with Congress maintaining the second place with 43 seats, and SAD-BJP alliance with a petty 11. It expects the Akali-BJP vote-share to halve, with the AAP's victory in the state to be bigger than the combine's last victory tally. But such predictions have proved to be wrong in the past. UTTAR PRADESH Phase 1 of the UP Assembly elections is over, and it appears that the state has locked down in a triangular contest. With Mayawati's

Bahujan Samaj Party, Narendra Modi's Bharatiya Janta Party, and UP Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav's Samajwadi Party in alliance with Congress. Not only do the two regional parties make BJP's chance of winning very problematical, Modi's November 8 cash ban did nothing to boost his prospects. To break it down in percentage, Mayawati's BSP can smoothly finish the ride with 20 per cent of the state's Dalits and half of the Muslim population which accounts for 19.3 per cent of the overall population of the state. Add to it 2 per cent Brahmin vote banks and Maya can install yet another statue of herself right in front of Akhilesh's house. Meanwhile, the SP finds support with 10 per cent of UP's Yadavs, 12 per cent of the Muslim vote, 2-3 per cent of the Thakur vote bank, and 5 per cent of other backward classes. Muslim vote is anticipated Continued on page 26

Harrow boy Dev Patel has become the first Indianorigin actor to win a BAFTA Award as the Best Supporting Actor on Sunday for his performance in 'Lion', a film about an Indian boy, which also got the Best A d a p t e d Screenplay honour. He was joined backstage by his family, who cheered for his new earned accolade. The 26-yearold had wooed his audience with his happy go l u c k y teenage character

in Slumdog Millionaire, the movie that went on to win many Oscars in 2008. Continued on page 16

Guilty, says SC, ends Sasikala’s CM dream Sasikala

The Supreme Court of India squashed AIADMK General Secretary VK Sasikala's hopes of becoming the Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu, by sentencing her to four years in jail for conspiring and abet-

ting with the late J Jayalalithaa's design to "launder ill-gotten wealth" up to £5.36 million. The bench consisting of Justices PC Ghose and Amitava Roy restored Continued on page 26


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ONE ONE with Keith Vaz, MP

Asian Voice 18th February 2017

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to

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Alexander Kleanthous

Alexander Kleanthous is regarded as one of the rising stars of the North London Business community. He is the Manager of the Amber Suite and runs various events at the Hive London the home of Barnet Football Club. After finishing school he attended Art College where he studied for his A-levels. Alexander later went on to pursue a career in mechanics, where he received in his first year level 3 BTec and obtained a high level of experience in the working world, working for a specialist Porsche garage. He was then given the opportunity by his father, Anthony Kleanthous, the Chairman of Barnet Football Club, to start working in the family business of sports, leisure and events. Under his father’s advice and guidance, Alexander started working in the kitchens and serving at the bar before making his way up to higher managerial roles. During this time he worked across all areas of the business until his level of understanding of each role led him to a management position. An opportunity then arose for Alex when the Amber Suite created in 2013, allowing him to take the lead and work with his father to build a new and exciting venture for the business. In 2015 Alexander took charge of the Amber Suite and expanded the events business, always seeking ways to dominate the various different markets in the events world. Many Asian community events including weddings take place in this prestigious North London venue. 1) What is your current posibelieve all achievements are nection? essary in order to character Amber Suite Manager at The build, I guess I am happy with Hive London. becoming the person I am, I guess that’s an achievement in 2) What are your proudest itself. achievements? 3) What inspires you? My proudest achievement, that’s It's less of what and more of always a hard one, I don’t have a who, my family play a huge role single one off achievement that I in my life, just like in most peoam proud of over another, I ples. I guess seeing my father’s

obstacle in your career? Like most people in life my biggest obstacle in my career is also the same in my life. This obstacle I would suggest is temptation. Temptation to do the thing I want to do and not the thing that's the right thing to do. 5) Who has been the biggest influence on your career to date? My father.

work ethic and knowing he came from very little to what he is now is my inspiration, it's not however that he came from nothing but it is his passion to succeed, humbleness and his work ethic that inspires me. People who have these traits inspire and drive me the most, no matter their back ground. 4) What has been the biggest

6) What is the best aspect about your current role? Being able to work with my father. To learn from the man you most respect and admire, is priceless. Not many people have the privilege to be able to work and learn at the same time. 7) And the worst? Assumptions that others have of you. 8) What are your long term goals? To carry on my father’s hard work and to ensure the good name that he has created for our family is never questioned nor

Crash girl's 'last act in this world' saved cousin A young girl who died in a motorway crash used her "last act in this world" to help save the life of her three-year-old cousin, her family have said. Iman Zainab Javed was killed when a lorry collided with two cars on the M61 near Bamber Bridge, Lancashire, at about 22:30 GMT on 23 January. Her family said she had had a "special bond" with her cousin, Aaima Vasim who suffers from a serious heart condition - who she helped out of the wreckage before she died. Police said the 11-yearold's father, who was driv-

Iman with her young cousin Aaima

ing, remains "critical". Iman, of Rochdale, was in the back of a VW Sharan heading southbound that collided with a Renault Clio before a lorry struck both cars. Three other people suf-

fered less serious injuries in the crash. Linda Cotton, Iman's head teacher at Norden Community Primary School, said her death had been a "tremendous shock".

Man jailed over Blackburn iPhone robberies A man who admitted using an imitation sawn-off shotgun and a glass bottle to rob mobile phones has been jailed. Sikander Khan threatened a 16year-old boy with a glass bottle before stealing his iPhone in Blackburn town centre on 28 November last year. Ten days later, he robbed a man, aged 20, of his phone using an imita-

tion firearm in Oozehead Lane, Blackburn. Khan, 23, of no fixed address, was jailed for five years and seven months at Preston Crown Court.

He admitted two counts of robbery and one offence of possessing an imitation firearm. Det Con Andy Lever said: "Sikander Khan is clearly a dangerous offender who showed reckless disregard for his victims. "While no-one was harmed, Khan used the threat of violence to steal the items."

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tainted. To build a legacy with him being the foundation. 9) If you were Prime Minister, what one aspect would you change? I would look to tighten the benefit system, ensuring those that really need benefits are gifted with them, People who physically or mentally can not work, I would ensure that those that are gifted with the ability to work to give something back to the community, whether this be cleaning parks, streets, community security or helping the elderly and disabled, a minimum number of hours in supporting the community would be required. 10) If you were marooned on a desert island, which historical figure would you like to spend your time with and why? That’s a hard one! I guess I would have to go with Abraham Lincoln, I mentioned work ethic, passion to succeed and humbleness earlier on, Mr. Lincoln was definitely a man who had all of those traits. Hopefully if I ever made it off the island I would have learned how to apply these traits upon my return!!

Apple boss visits UK The most important man in world's tech industry, Apple boss, Tim Cook, visited the UK and spent a day meeting with British politicians. He first went to Glasgow, where he was awarded an honorary degree from its University on 8th February. On 9th morning he was invited to 10 Downing Street for a discussion with the Prime Minister Theresa May where they spoke about the tech giant's business plans in the UK, after last year

Tim Cook with Mayor Sadiq Khan and Deputy Mayor for Business Rajesh Agrawal

announcement about their move to new offices in Battersea. Cook then made his way to the City Hall where he met with Mayor Sadiq Khan and Deputy Mayor

of Business, Rajesh Agrawal. In a private meeting, the two discussed digital skills, access to talent and again, Apple's investment in London and Brexit.

Harrow Council leader to go behind bars for charity Pinner’s police station will hold Harrow’s Council Sachin leader Shah and other community leaders to help raise money for a worthy cause. Cllr Shah will be behind bars as part of the Jail and Bail event organised by St Luke's Hospice in Kenton Grange, Kenton. He is hoping the public will help set him free, as his bail money is set at £1,000 that will go towards the hospice. St Luke’s Hospice cares

for people with cancer and other serious progressive illnesses, such as motor neurone disease and heart, lung and kidney failure. Cllr Shah said: “I am feeling quite nervous about going behind bars for St

Luke’s. It is not something I ever thought I would end up doing, but it’s great that I will be doing it for a good cause. I just hope I will raise enough money to be let out. I don’t want to be in there for too long.” He will be joined by Lead Member for Community Wellbeing, Dudden Hill, Cllr Krupesh Hirani and local supporters, Parvin Faridian and Brian Butler behind bars on April 28.

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Asian Voice |18th February 2017

Geopolitical challenges facing India Geography is the core of geopolitics. Around this core cleave other multiple problems. To sift through these layers is the essence of foreign policy. Hence India’s relations with Pakistan are conjoined to the Sino-Indian relationship, as Pakistan and China are ‘all weather friends’ whose primary focus is India. Taking this a step further, Pakistan has long been using jihadi terrorism, from its incubation, funding organization and export, as an instrument of statecraft. State and non-state actors are part of this destabilizing enterprise. So when China blocks India’s attempt to get the United Nations Security Council brand the jihadi Pakistan-based Jaish-e-Mohammed leader Masood Azhar, - the mastermind behind multiple terrorist actions in India - an international terrorist, China stepped in to help its ‘all weather friend’ Pakistan by blocking the Indian move, drafted into a formal resolution by the United States. If the truth be told – and it rarely, if ever is, in this instance – Pakistan’s value to China lies in its partner’s willingness to make jihadi terrorism a weapon to bleed India. China’s economic corridor in Pakistan and much else related to it, is simply a secondary tool to blindside international opinion. China is the only member of the 15 who make up the US Security Council to block the resolution, or to put it ‘on hold.’ The Chinese casuistry wouldn’t fool a demented idiot as to its true purpose. The most recent Indian demarche to China will be brushed aside as others in the past have been brushed aside. The American writer Andrew Small’s meticulously researched book, The China-Pakistan Axis: Asia’s New Geopolitics tells of Chinese nuclear weapon and missile technologies funneled to Pakistan. He quotes General Xiong Guandei’s boast: ‘Pakistan is China’s Israel’ – proof surely of China’s dysfunctional Great Power autism. Tiny Israel is a global powerhouse in science and technology, hence the comparison is breath-taking illiteracy. Time and the unfolding, red hot coals on the ground may persuade the ‘all weather friends in Islamabad and Beijing to think again, and think hard. Pakistan-based terror groups have become an existential threat to Afghanistan, and beyond, to Iran as well. Uzbekistan and Tajikstan and kindred Islamic polities that were once part of the Soviet Union and now constitute part of the southern flank of the Russian Federation, are vulnerable to this baleful menace. Moscow’s invitation to

India to participate in a conference in the in the Russian capital on the present state of Afghanistan, with similar invitations to Iran, Afghanistan, China, has been welcomed by New Delhi. To this must be added the deepening concern in Washington on Pakistan’s links with jihadi terrorism. Republican Senator John McCain has requested the Trump Administration to re-examine US policy on Pakistan. Significant also is the open letter drafted by a constellation of leading American think tanks calling for a tougher US policy on Pakistan. Its signatories include regional experts such Lisa Curtis and Bruce Riedel and academic specialists such as Christine Fair and Husain Haqqani. They write: ‘US interests are not served by Pakistan’s strategic thinking, which is fuelled by the belief that India seeks to weaken and then dismember it. Nor are US interests compatible with Pakistan’s desire to steer Afghanistan events in Afghanistan and counter any Indian role there. Continued US aid, offered in the hope of a gradual change in Pakistan’s terrorism policies, provides Pakistan a cushion and better quality military equipment to persist with those policies.’ Diplomacy in its most absurd moments provides a level playing field for the devil’s advocates. Take, for example, Nafeez Zakaria, the Pakistan Foreign Office spokesman, who at a media briefing in Islamabad accused India of building what he described as a ‘secret nuclear city’ stockpiled with plutonium to be used for the clandestine manufacture of nuclear weapons to ‘undermine the strategic balance of power in South Asia.’ He also claimed that India had isolated itself from the international community. There is, however, no copyright to absurdity. A former Indian foreign secretary, Ms Nirupama Rao, in a recent edit-page article in the Hindu newspaper, pleaded for the restoration of the Indian Consulate General’s office in Lhasa, which India had closed in 1962 during the Sino-Indian border conflict. What if Tibetans wishing to flee to India sought asylum on its premises? Should they be handed over to their Chinese tormentors? Would this not be further complication to an already fraught relationship? This is the sort of hallucinatory junk that is the staple of a broadsheet given to special pleading on China. With friends like Ms Rao on New Delhi’s cocktail counselling circuit, who needs enemies?

Anish Kapoor awarded Genesis Prize Britain’s leading sculptor Anish Kapoor has been awarded the 2017 Genesis Prize, dubbed the ‘Jewish Nobel.’ His career has been little short of astonishing. Born in India to a well to do Punjabi Hindu father, who served in the Indian Navy and Jewish mother, he was educated at Doon School, spent time in Israel, hoping to be an engineer, then travelled to London and discovered his true vocation as an artist and sculptor. He was awarded the prestigious Turner Prize in 1991 and has received a knighthood. The award by the Genesis Prize Foundation, the Office of the Prime Minister of the State of Israel and the Jewish Agency for Israel ‘recognizes the individuals who have attained excellence and international renown in their fields and whose action and achievements express a commitment to Jewish values, the Jewish community and the State of Israel.’ It has been a tradition for winners of the $1 million prize to donate the money to ‘meaningful causes they

feel passionate about.’ Mr Kapoor decided to use his donation to highlight the plight of refugees. He said: ‘I am not a politician, and I feel I must speak out against indifference for the suffering of others. There are over 60 million refugees in the world today – whatever the displacement, the refugee crisis is right here on our doorstep.’ Among his sculptures, are the iconic ‘Turning the World Upside Down’ at the Israeli Museum in Jerusalem; ‘Holocaust Memorial’ for the Liberal Jewish Synagogue in London and ’70 Candles for Holocaust Memorial Day in Britain,’ in 2015 to commemorate the 70 th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz, which is also situated in London. Anish Kapoor explained: ‘As inheritors and carriers of Jewish values it is unseemly, therefore, for us to ignore the plight of people who are persecuted, who have lost everything and had to flee as refugees in mortal danger.’ Compassion is a reminder of our common humanity.

Art galleries for long distant trains One of the features of long distance rail journeys is boredom. Apart from reading a newspaper – a relatively fast exercise – or a book, there is little to do save look out of the window as mile after mile flashes past. With moves afoot to make the railway experience more comfortable for passengers, the Railway Board has transformed the long corridors into art galleries through which customers can saunter as they look at the paintings and line sketches on view. For art lovers in particular these are moments to savour. The works of art on the SHATABDI Expresses belong to disabled artists using brushes or pencils with feet or mouths. Known as Foot and Mouth artists, their venture began in London many decades ago with Christmas and New Year cards. Worthy causes mercifully travel as fast as unworthy ones. Disabled artistes in major Indian cities, like their British peers, are organ-

ized as collectives and market their products accordingly. India has made a start with Western Railways launching the project on the Mumbai-Ahmedabad Shatabdi Express. The plan is to extend it to other such long distant city to city trains. Says Mukul Jain, Divisional Railway Manager, Western Railways: ‘Our intention is to make the journey for passengers more interesting and, at the same time, collaborate for a cause. In this case, our association is with the Indian Foot and Mouth Artistes.’ The pictures displayed are high-quality digital prints purchased from the Indian Foot and Mouth Artistes organization at market prices. They carry the name of the artist with a small message alongside. Long may this venture endure and prosper and deepen public awareness of noble cause.

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Every great dream begins with a dreamer. Always remember, you have within you the strength, the patience, and the passion to reach for the stars to change the world. - Harriet Tubman

You’re an Immigrant, a guest…thank God! When the Rochdale sex grooming gang had their citizenship revoked after 40 years of being British and got deported back to Pakistan, I was able to say all the things which if white people had said it, they would have been called racist, but I know my readers also agree with me on: “Deported. British nationality revoked. Sent back to where they came from. You were always a guest. You didnt know it. British justice. My poor heart bleads....for the children they abused. Good decision. The European Convention on Human Rights wont save them. The fact they lived here for 40 years wont save them. Bye bye paedo. Loud and clear message.” This is silently powerful not like Trump’s failed ‘Muslim ban’ which laughingly does not include those from the country which housed and homed Osama Bin Laden – the man who kicked off the post 9/11 terror events anyway. This British policy that no matter how long you have been in Britain, if you previously held another nationality then you can be deported. There will be no crying that your family life is broken. Immigrants who so often want to take advantage of lax liberal policies of the host country, who are not grateful, have their message. It will be no reply to say ‘but others do it, why should I not have the same equal protection of the law’? You’ve been taking advantage of the law for too long. We have proven

our liberal credentials. We do not need to be stupid to prove them any further. And I am not being nationalist, other than in favour of Britain. I am not being nationalist because India and Pakistan have a longstanding animosity. I am being pro-British nationalist. Oh and while we are at it, it will not be any excuse to say that ‘its cultural’ we can have many wives, our own legal system, and beat our wives. When your culture attacks the way of life and values in which we believe, our values in this country come first. And those values of tolerance do not include a tolerance for violence to girls and women. We will not tolerate that. How long before the presumption of innocence and the burden of proof moves from the country, to the individual? We will stop presuming you’re wearing a bourka is not a political statement about your rejection of British values. I see a time where we will assume if you decide to clothe from head to toe in black it is because you are claiming to be superior, rejecting liberalism. It is a political piece of clothing. And we will not consider that an unreasonable thing to assume with the burden on the wearer to prove we are wrong. Our liberties have to embraced, not just tolerated. We are not here as guests of the bourkawearer, but as guests of Her Majesty the Queen. And God save the Queen!

Editor: CB Patel

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Woman wins landmark fiance pension battle An unmarried woman whose long-term partner died has won a lengthy legal battle to receive money from her late fiance’s pension in a landmark decision that is likely to improve the pension rights of unmarried couples in the public sector. Forty-two-year-old Denise Brewster was denied payments from Lenny McMullan’s pension as he failed to nominate her on a form. In 2009 McMullan, from Coleraine, Northern Ireland, died suddenly from a haemor-

rhage at the age of 43 just two days after they got engaged. Brewster argued that she was the victim of “serious discrimination”. If Brewster and McMullan had been married she would have automatically shared the pension that he had built up. Brewster, a lifeguard from Coleraine, and Lenny McMullan lived together for 10 years and Lenny McMullan, pictured with Denise owned their own home. Brewster, died suddenly at They both paid into the Christmas in 2009

pension pot. She won her case at the UK’s highest court. The Supreme Court ruled that she was entitled to money under the scheme. Nurses, teachers, civil servants, police and fire officers all have to fill in a nomination form if they want their partners to share in their pension if they die. In this case, the form has been condemned as “unlawful by the discrimination” Supreme Court because you do not have to fill it in if you are married.

Rochdale child sex gang members face deportation to Pakistan Four members of a child sex grooming gang who were jailed for grooming girls with drink and drugs have lost a legal battle to maintain British citizenship. The Rochdale child sex abuse gang members are facing deportation after losing an appeal to remain in the UK. Shabir Ringleader Ahmed, Adil Khan, Abdul Rauf and Abdul Aziz, all from Rochdale, challenged a government move that could pave the way for them to be deported to Pakistan. These four members were among nine gang members jailed in 2012 for exploiting girls as young as 13. On Thursday (February 9, 2017), the Upper

Tribunal of the Immigration and Asylum Chamber rejected their appeal. Rochdale's MP called for the men, originally from Pakistan, to now be deported “as soon as possible”. Simon Danczuk said: “We welcome many people coming to the UK to contribute, but if they break the law they should lose their right to live here. Foreign-born criminals should not be able to hide behind human rights laws to avoid deportation.” Sixty-three-year-old ringleader Ahmed had previously claimed his convictions were a conspiracy to “scapegoat” Muslims. The four men can apply for permission to appeal against the tribunal's deci-

Shabir Ahmed, Adil Khan, Abdul Aziz and Abdul Rauf - four members of a child sex grooming gang from Rochdale facing deportation to Pakistan

sion. Ahmed was convicted of two rapes, trafficking, conspiracy and sexual assault. While Ahmed remains in custody, the other three have been released on licence.

Halal meat trial: Accused 'would have made at least £250,000 from scam' A meat wholesaler accused of dishonestly selling turkey as halal lamb in a profitable scam told the police that he ran a legitimate company, a court has heard. Mahmudur Rohman (46) claimed he did not mislead his customers, when running the now defunct Peterboroughbased Dutch Bangla Direct Ltd which supplied dozens of restaurants, takeaways and shops in Leicestershire. Leicester Crown Court heard the alleged fraud led to countless diners unknowingly consuming non-halal turkey, believing it to be halal lamb, throughout the East Midlands and beyond. Rohman (46), from Peterborough, is on trial with three other men, who all deny conspiring to defraud customers by making false representations about the kind of meat being sold, between 2013 and 2014. They are Mohammed Anwarul Hoque (56) and his son, Mohammed Zunaid Hoque (25), both from Leicestershire, and Kamal Rahman (54), from Peterborough. The court heard that following his arrest, Rohman confirmed to the police, in a prepared statement, he was the director of Dutch Bangla Direct Ltd which imports meat. When questioned,

Mohammed Anwarul Hoque and son, Mohammed Zunaid Hoque

Mohammed Anwarul Hoque told the police that his son worked for the company and he occasionally helped his son and was not aware of food being wrongly labelled. His son, Mohammed Zunaid Hoque said, in interview, that he was a part-time delivery driver since June 2013. Kamal Rahman said in interview he ran restaurants in the Peterborough and Cambridge area and had assisted Rohman with contacts in the trade. The alleged fraud came to light during an investigation into the then recent national horse meat scandal – and food tests discovered turkey DNA in dishes that were supposed to be lamb. Between October 2012 and November 2014 the company allegedly imported 116 tonnes of turkey, mainly from Germany, paying between £1 and £1.50 per kilo which was sold on as lamb for

In Brief

AsianVoiceNews

Asian Voice |18th February 2017

between £4.75 and £7 a kilo. As well as the conspiracy allegation, all four deny selling food which was not the substance demanded by the customer and selling food labelled with a false description. Rahman also denies intending to pervert the course of justice. Rohman, Hoque and Hoque deny five counts of Food Safety Act breaches. Rohman denies forgery, possessing an article for use in fraud, selling food with a false description, failing to have in place adequate systems and procedures to provide food traceability to the authorities and failing to notify the authorities of premises where food production, processing or distribution was taking place. Hoque (senior) denies possessing a false halal certificate for the use of fraud. The trial continues.

Khan, Rauf and Aziz were convicted of conspiracy and trafficking for sexual exploitation charges. All the men had acquired British citizenship by naturalisation.

Speeding motorist jailed for killing cyclist in hit-and-run

A motorist drove dangerously at 67mph along a city road before ploughing into a cyclist and then leaving her for dead. If Muhammed Hamza Javid had been within the 30mph speed limit, he could have avoided colliding with Victoria Gayle, Leicester Crown Court was told. Miss Gayle, a graduate from Canada who was visiting Leicester, died of her injuries. Javid was sentenced last week to 40 months of detention and banned from the road for 54 months. Javid (20) pleaded guilty at an earlier hearing to causing the death of Miss Gayle, 25, by driving a Toyota Yaris dangerously in Upperton Road, Leicester. He also admitted failing to stop after the crash, at the toucan crossing for the Great Central Way, at 12.20am on Monday, June 6. Miss Gayle was cycling with friend Stephen King when the tragedy happened.

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The way you cook rice matters

Here's some news for rice eaters. The humble rice may not be as good for your health as you may think it to be. According to a recent study done by the Queens University Belfast in England, the chemical from the industrial toxins and pesticides in the soil contaminate the rice that is endangering the health of millions of people. Putting more water in the pan or even steeping it overnight is the best way to flush out traces of the poison arsenic, scientists found. Rice is causing what is known as Arsenic poisoning. Chronic exposure to the toxin has been linked to a range of health problems, including developmental problems, heart disease, diabetes and cancer.

Sikh footballer told by referee that he can't play - for wearing a bandana

Leicester Nirvana footballers refused to play a match - after a referee told one of their Sikh teammates he could not take to the pitch in a bandana. Striker Gurdeep Mudhar, 21, was challenged by the match official during the warm up ahead of the club's away clash with Huntingdon Town FC. He was wearing the bandana, according to his religious beliefs, in lieu of a turban for the game. Nirvana officials said that although it is within the rules for players to sport headwear, the match official approached him and said he could not play in the United Counties Football League Match on January 21. There was a brief stand-off while Mr Hajat called UCL officials. Gurdeep scored both Nirvana goals in a 21 victory - including a 92nd minute penalty. The club has however made a complaint to the FA about the referee and says more needs to be done to make officials aware of the rules to prevent similar situations in the future.

Birmingham student tried to join Islamic State in Syria

A Birmingham student took part in terrorism training at a paintball centre before a failed trip to try and join Islamic State in Syria. Humza Ali, 20, told a friend he would “fight and die” for the group Humza Ali before flying out to Turkey in January 2015 - but was turned back at the border. Birmingham Crown Court heard he trained for terrorist combat at a paintballing centre in Hockley Heath, Solihull, where he posed for photos alongside three other men linked to ISIS. Ali also shared videos with fellow student Zeb Ali glorifying martyrdom and showing beheadings and other Islamic State atrocities. Zeb, 20, pleaded guilty at the start of the trial to three charges of distributing extremist literature.

Hero shopkeeper used Bear Spray to chase off armed robber whose gun jammed

A hero shopkeeper who once fought against Saddam Hussein’s forces used a BEAR SPRAY to chase off an armed robber - whose gun jammed as he tried to shoot him. CCTV footage captured the terrifying moment the gunman entered Kobani Stores on West Bromwich Street in Walsall. He took a worker hostage and then tried but failed to shoot Kurdish shop owner Shikha Mahsum who sprayed him in the face with a bear deterrent, stored behind the counter. Brave Shikha, 39, chased the robber out the premises where three more assailants were waiting outside. The gang fled after jumping into a waiting car.


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Local MP leads delegation to discuss post-Brexit opportunities with India

AMAZING G FLIGHT O OFFERS Virendra Sharma MP, Jonathan Reynolds MP, Charlotte Leslie MP, Edward Argar MP, Oliver Dowden MP, Marie Rimmer MP, Bob Blackman MP and Lord Northbrook with Indian PM Narendra Modi

Virendra Local MP Sharma as Chair of the Indo-British All Party Parliamentary Group has led a delegation of eight MPs and Peers to India to discuss post-Brexit opportunities for the UK and India. The delegation have met with Mr Modi the Prime Minister of India and Mr Arun Jaitley the Finance Minister to discuss the potential for increased trade and cooperation in key sectors. The cross-party delegation led by Mr Sharma is also made up of Jonathan

Reynolds MP, Charlotte Leslie MP, Edward Argar MP, Oliver Dowden MP, Marie Rimmer MP, Bob Blackman MP and Lord Northbrook. The group arrived in Delhi on Monday and have already met with key members of the Government and Parliament. The delegation organised by the Indian High Commission in London has also served as a fact finding mission for several Members of Parliament less familiar with India. Virendra Sharma MP who is also co-Chair of the TB

APPG has used this as an opportunity to promote cooperation on eradication. Mr Jaitley spoke earlier this month of plans to eradicate TB within a decade and Mr Sharma has spoken to both the nascent parliamentary group and the Prime Minister about the work that needs to be done. Jaitley is scheduled to visit the UK later this month, to attend the formal launch of the IndoBritish Year of Culture by the Queen at the Buckingham Palace.

Sikh group demands public inquiry into UK's role in 1984 Operation Bluestar Sikh Federation, a UKbased Sikh group has written to the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) has demanded a public inquiry into Britain's alleged involvement in the 1984 Operation Bluestar. They are working on a report titled 'Sacrificing Sikhs: The need for an investigation', which claims to have evidence regarding the full extent of the UK's alleged role in the military action. "It is of crucial public importance that the allegations are investigated, in an effective and transparent

manner," reads the letter, addressed to Indian-origin foreign office minister Alok Sharma, in charge of India and the Pacific, the PTI reported. On 2 February the FCO replied saying that "The Foreign and Commonwealth Office is considering the points raised in your letter. You will receive a full response shortly.” The latest exchange followed a call by the UK Opposition Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn for a "fresh, independent investigation" into the issue, after a letter

to British Prime Minister Theresa May last month. Corbyn reportedly said, "Given concerns regarding the effectiveness and integrity of the January 2014 review, I believe we must consider a fresh, independent investigation into this episode in British history. It is clear to me from my discussions with Sikh groups in the UK that there remains significant resentment that over the 30 years since this most appalling event, questions remain about the role which the United Kingdom played.”

Trump's visit to Britain could move to B'ham US President Donald Trump’s controversial State visit to Britain could move from London to the Midlands to allow the him to address a mass rally and raise money for Armed Forces veterans, the Daily Telegraph has reported. Ministers have also said the trip could be delayed from June to July to coincide with Mr Trump’s visit to the G20 summit of developed nations in Hamburg. Trump advisers and senior Foreign Office figures have discussed how to save the controversial visit. One idea, which has been suggested to the White House, is for President Trump to address a rally in Birmingham where the audience would pay to enter, with profits going to the Royal British Legion. Venues such as the

National Exhibition Centre are being considered for a large rally at which Mr Trump could speak. It is felt that a gathering in the Brexit heartland might offer President Trump a more sympathetic hearing as a supporter of Britain out of the European Union. He will follow in steps of the Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi who had addressed 60,000 people at the Wembley Stadium in November 2015. More than 1.8mn people had signed a petition to stop President Trump from visiting the UK, but Prime Minister Theresa May has formally rejected it. The Government's response to the petition said it "recognises the strong views" of those who supported the petition but said he should be extended the "full courtesy of a State

visit". It went on to say: "During her visit to the United States on 27 January 2017, the Prime Minister, on behalf of Her Majesty the Queen, invited President Trump for a State Visit to the UK later this year. The invitation was accepted. "This invitation reflects the importance of the relationship between the United States of America and the United Kingdom. At this stage, final dates have not yet been agreed for the State Visit."

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Asian Voice |18th February 2017

SOAS partners with Noor Inayat Khan Memorial Trust, launches The Liberté Series By Charusmita Last Tuesday, on the 7th of February, the SOAS South Asia Institute in association with the Noor Inayat Khan Memorial Trust organised the Noor Inayat Khan Memorial Annual Lecture: The Liberté Series on ‘The Struggle for Human Rights in India’. The event was held at the Brunei Gallery Lecture Theatre, which was packed with attendees ranging from students, journalists to human rights activists, among others. Noor Inayat Khan, GC, MBE, Croix de Guerre with Gold Star, was a descendant of Tipu the legendary Sultan. She was a secret agent who unhesitatingly went on a dangerous mission and was dropped behind enemy lines in the Second World War. The founder of the Trust, Shrabani Basu,

who authored a book on Noor titled ‘Spy Princess’ (2006), opened the event with her journey of how she founded the Trust, and how she and her team campaigned to build a memorial in the name of Noor at Gordon Square (Bloomsbury), from where Noor left for her last mission. The Trust also awards an annual prize to a post-graduate student from SOAS, University of London, working in the area of gender studies and South Asian history. The speaker, Vrinda Grover, is one of the most noted advocates in Supreme Court, India. She is also a researcher and a human rights activist based in New Delhi. Vrinda is also actively involved with the women’s rights movements in India. Her expertise is sought in representing victims and survivors of sexual violence,

Noor Inayat Khan

communal conflict, extra judicial executions, and custodial torture. Vrinda highlighted several case studies of Indian women in the past few years, who had been raped, murdered, abused, suppressed, and also commented on jurisprudential issues relating to accountability for violence against women and other communities that were

vulnerable. The discussion was chaired by Razia Iqbal (BBC), and it dealt with the current scenario of judicial apathy and lack of accountability displayed in cases such as the Ishrat Jahan ‘encounter’, Muzaffarnagar gang rapes, and Kashmiri parents whose children have been mysteriously missing, among others. Her arguments also referred to a growing trend of perpetrating hatred to dominate electoral politics that is happening across the world. She urged the people, on a global level, to come together and understand the politics of divisiveness and to not give in to this current environment of mistrust and misconceptions that lack simple, hard facts. In 2013, 'TIME' magazine listed her among the 100 most influential people in the world.

Stroke - new ACT FAST campaign Emmerdale actor Bhasker Patel is calling on South Asians to know the common signs of stroke highlighted in the latest Public Health England national Act FAST campaign. Stroke is now the fourth largest cause of death in the UK and South Asians are at a higher risk of having a stroke than their white counterparts due to diabetes and high blood pressure being significant factors causing stroke. New statisitcs reveal that stroke kills over 40,000 people a yearand almost two thirds leave hospital with a disability. People are most likely to have a stroke when they are 55 years of age or older, but South Asians are at a greater risk of experiencing a stroke at a younger age. Research shows that

Bhasker Patel

24% of people would wait to call an ambulance because they wrongly believe that they need to see two or more symptoms of stroke to be sure. Other barriers to dialling 999 include feeling that they need permission to act on behalf of others. As part of the campaign new films will encourage

Anjem Choudary still a threat

Anjem Choudary

Hate preacher Anjem Choudary may be in jail, but the threat posed by the terror network of Choudary continues to grow, according to a report by The Sunday Times. The report said one of Choudary’s acolytes has taken over his mantle to champion the Isis cause online, amid fears that

some of his followers will return to Britain from the battlefields of Syria to plot attacks. The warning about Choudary’s continued influence comes after five of his supporters were jailed for a total of more than 23 years on last week for praising Isis at speeches in Luton attended by young children.

everyone not to hesitate and make the call immediately when they see any of the key stroke symptoms: l Face – has their face fallen on one side? Can they smile? l Arms – can they raise both their arms and keep them there? l Speech – is their speech slurred? Bhasker Patel, Emmerdale actor said: “South Asians are twice as likely to have a stroke than white people – and we have a greater chance of having a stroke at a younger age.” “I urge you to save your life, or somebody you love, think and Act FAST, call 999 if you notice any single one of the three key signs of a stroke. The speed in which you react can make the difference between life and death.” As part of the campaign

Public Health England, has released a series of films encouraging people to call 999 if they notice the symptoms of stroke in themselves or anyone else. Featuring in the new films are television stars, Chizzy Akudolu and Emmerdale actor Bhasker Patel, alongside healthcare practitioners and stroke survivors. Juliet Bouverie, Chief Executive, Stroke Association said: “We know people recognise the signs of stroke but they aren’t taking the right action at the right time. A stroke is a brain attack and acting fast makes a huge difference. “You are more likely to survive a stroke and make a better recovery if you call 999 on spotting any one of the symptoms. The quicker you act the more of the person you save.”

Magazine initiative applauded by readers Last week Asian Voice and Gujarat Samachar published a very useful magazine " SHANTI " to help our readers and their family prepare for many important legal aspects and decisions of life before death, especially information on Will, Inheritance Tax and Funeral. The magazine was very well received by the readers and we have got some fantastic feedback. This magazine is an initiative of ABPL but the brainchild of Harshad Kothari, pictured, Advertising Business Consultant of ABPL who

has put in a lot of effort to make sure it is something relevant and useful for the community here in the UK. We thank our readers for their positive comments.

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2 huge trees crash down in garden after council denies axing them

Kamran Chaudhary with the trees

Two huge 20-metre high beech trees have collapsed in a Reedley man’s garden, leading him to accuse a council of ‘gambling’ with the lives of his family. Burnley Council had forbidden him from cutting them down. Thirty-six-year-old Kamran Chaudhary has criticised the council of negligence after he expressed fears over the danger posed by the two giant trees, only to be told that they were protected by preservation orders as they complemented the area. Despite Chaudhary having sought an expert opinion and been told that the trees were dying and dangerous, he was informed that he could not cut them down, even when they began to lean. The IT contractor, who rents the property to his parents, his brother, sister-

in-law and nephews, lives around the corner in Patterdale Close. He said: “It was like a big bang and a scrape and it woke us up. My wife and I were not sure what had happened. It wasn’t until the next morning when my brother texted me to say what had happened that we realised. I think the council has misjudged the safety of these trees immensely. They could have killed someone. I think they have gambled with my family’s life as well as the lives of the people who use the footpath. They could have fallen at any moment and when they did fall you could see how rotten the roots were.” Cllr Trish Ellis, who represents the area on Burnley Council, said: “I have told the council that we must do everything we can to help and closely monitor the situation.”

People-smugglers using garlic to distract sniffer dogs It has emerged that European people-smuggling gangs are using garlic to put sniffer dogs off the scent as they attempt to sneak people into the UK. The tactic came to light at the trial of four Bulgarian men in England who are accused of trafficking people. When border officials in Dover found nine illegal immigrants in the hidden compartment of a van, they found a large stash of garlic which they believe was

being used mainly to confuse sniffer dogs. The group was discovered when immigration officers heard the sound of a child crying and found a two-tier compartment hidden behind a false bulkhead. The men are accused of smuggling five Afghans – including three children aged 15, 11 and 2 plus a brother and sister aged 16 and 21 from Iraq, and two Iranians aged 41 and 14 – into the UK. The trial continues.

Wanted man arrested after mid-air drama A wanted man has been arrested from the Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) Heathrow bound flight, PK-757, which landed at Stansted airport. The passenger jet flying from Lahore had to be diverted when police got an anonymous threat regarding the aircraft. The flight PK-757 – carrying at least 200 passengers – was deviated from its route and escorted to Stansted Airport by Royal Air Force Typhoon jets after reports of disruption on board. Essex Police reported that the issue at hand was not a hijack or a terror attack situation but

involved a disruptive passenger. However, Scotland Yard has confirmed that a bearded man led off the flight by cops was wanted by the Met Police. Fifty-two-year-old Khalid Baqa, a UK national of Priory Road, Barking, has been charged with committing fraud by false representation. Police have confirmed his arrest was not connected with any incident onboard the plane. Stansted Airport, in Essex, is the default airport for any security threat but remained open with the aircraft held away from the main terminal.


UK Asian Voice | 18th February 2017

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Priti Patel aims to give DfiD role a complete new direction By Rupanjana Dutta Rt Hon Priti Patel took over the Department for I n t e r n a t i o n a l Development as a Minister, 6 months back, giving 'international aid and development' a complete new direction. During her recent visit abroad, the Minister clarified that UK wants the aid and development money it gives to poor countries to mainly focus on trade, creating jobs, investment, education and skills and not just the “traditional” aid programmes of handouts to alleviate immediate crises. In an exclusive interview with Asian Voice, Patel insisted that the new focus for UK aid is not simply about moving away from traditional humanitarian aid. But she insisted that UK is clearly focused on helping countries move away from aid-dependency towards becoming modern middle-income trading nations such as the Ethiopian economy, which is heading within the next nine years. Top of her discussion agenda included humanitarian issues- leadership matters, global security, child labour and traffick-

Priti Patel visits Azrak camp, Jordan

ing threats, education and skill supports, as she promised to make 2017 'a year of multilayered reform and transparency'. Creating a job, a livelihood, educating or training them for it, she said, is the best way to alleviate poverty. Spending aid and development money on helping countries to create factories where international investors could create jobs is fundamentally in Britain’s interest, Patel

added. Last month she was the first in DfiD history to encourage private investments and export growth in poor countries, hoping they would become Britain's trade partners in the future.Calling her recent trip to visit Lebanon as a 'humbling experience' the Minister insisted that a foreign aid consisting of just money cannot suffice in today's day and time. While she remained aware of the horror and

MPs urge for 'fast-track visas for our friends in Commonwealth' 45 Conservative MPs, recalling historic contributions of India and other Commonwealth countries have told the Home Secretary that their citizens citizens should have UK visas fast-tracked to send out an 'important message' for newer trade relationships after Brexit. In a letter to Home secretary Amber Rudd on Sunday, the MPs urged her to “extend the hand of friendship to our Commonwealth partners”, and make UK more welcoming. The MPs suggested that visa rules should be eased for visitors from the 52 Commonwealth and recalled that the Commonwealth countries stood with Britain “as we faced existential threats from abroad but as we pivoted to Europe, increasingly, our Commonwealth allies were left in the cold”. The letter published in The Sunday Telegraph does not seek easier visa terms, but easier conditions for Indian and Commonwealth citizens once they land in different ports of the country. It mentions a scenario faced by many Indians, who wait in long queues at immigration. The recommendations are due to be discussed in parliament on 26

February. The MPs said, “The focus of this meeting is renewed trade and friendship between the UK and Commonwealth...It will be a shame to let this opportunity pass by.” Justice Former Minister Shailesh Vara MP signing the letter to the Home Secretary said:‘‘As Britain leaves the European Union it is vital that we do all we can to build stronger relations with the rest of the world. In so doing we need to maximise our existing links with countries and in the case of the Commonwealth those links are very strong and deep, in so many ways. And that includes increased trading with Commonwealth countries of whom five are members of the G20 and recognising that the Commonwealth has a combined GDP of $10.4 trillion. "Britain remains a popular destination for Commonwealth citizens, both for business and nonbusiness purposes and we should seriously consider making it easier for those people to enter our country. Doing so would send a loud and clear message to the Commonwealth that we really do value them and it can only serve to make the UK’s relations

shocks children have suffered in regions like Syria, Patel elaborated that Britain is not just offering shelter and security, but giving something longlasting to these displaced children. There are generations that are lost, she said. “We have a duty to ensure that we invest in these children”- and education is one of the best ways to do so. She told Asian Voice, “The UK operates in the most fragile countries

because these are the places where the poorest are dying from starvation, drought and disease; these are the places where conflict and economic failure drive mass migration; and these are the countries where it is in the UK’s direct national interest to keep them stable and secure. “In the last three years DfiD has overhauled its approach to fraud, meaning our robust systems are better at preventing and detecting fraud, and better at getting taxpayers’ money back. We expect all international agencies to have the same zero tolerance approach to fraud that we have if they are to receive taxpayers' money. “It is time for the global aid community to be honest about the challenges it faces to increase the transparency and accountability of the international aid system.” While the departnent has lost £3.2mn to fraud over the past 5 years, sitting in her Whitehall office, Priti told Asian Voice that the department has now recovered two thirds of that amount, explaining that the National Audit Office has zero tolerance approach towards fraud, and

acknowledges the comprehensive and strengthened measures DfiD has in place to tackle and eliminate it. While British MPs recently requested Priti to tackle Trump's anti-abortion steps, Patel told Asian Voice, that US is a global leader when it comes to development; and family planning essentially remains a country's own responsibility. Speaking about India, which is close to Priti's heart, she added that the special bond with PM Narendra Modi and the country of her origin, is here to stay. Reiterating what she had said during her visit last time, Patel told AV, “The two countries are on a new threshold to push forward the economic and trade agenda and enhance the economic partnership...”. India does not receive any financial aid from the UK any longer. UK's support for Indian economy can be determined in two folds now- funds and equity investments, especially in innovative businesses, promising more people to help access skills, set up businesses and help the poor by UK investing in private sectors.

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with the Commonwealth ever closer.’’ The Hindustan Times Prime reported that Minister Theresa May during her November visit to New Delhi announced that India would be the first visa country to be offered the Registered Travellers Service for business travellers. Visitors from eligible countries can apply for RTS membership, if you have a UK visa or have visited the UK at least 4 times in the last 24 months. Lord Marland, the former energy minister and chairman of the Commonwealth Enterprise and Investment Council told the Sunday Telegraph, “Visas are a constant source of antagonism for Commonwealth countries.” A Home Office spokesman said, “Once we have left the European Union, it will be the Government that sets our immigration rules.”

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Asian Voice | 18th February 2017

'Stop being so defensive,' Deputy High Commissioner tells Indians at the Bhavan Anand Pillai The 68th Republic Day of India was celebrated at the Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan on February 8 at a function marked by speeches from dignitaries, including Deputy High Commissioner of India to the UK, Dinesh Patnaik, Lord Bhiku Parekh and Lord Navnit Dholakia, followed by a short cultural programme of music and dance. Speaking on the occasion, chief guest Dinesh Patnaik lamented the defensive attitude of Indians despite doing so well in every walk of life. He said: “We are a 1.5million-strong community here, we are one of the strong foundations of this country, we have done well in every walk of life but yet we are always defensive. We are the largest democracy in the world, fastest growing economy among large democracies in the world and yet we have always been defensive about what we are.” The Deputy High Commissioner said Indians here don’t demand their rights. “I meet MPs, Lords and businesspeople. What I find is they listen to people but we don’t approach them. Our constituents don’t write to MPs saying that they should be more close to India, our people don’t actually go for and

Joginder Sanger, HE Mr Dinesh Patnaik & Mrs Poonam Patnaik

make it their own by constant participation. “And the point of Republic Day is to remind ourselves from time to time that we are not just a democracy but we are also a republic committed to certain great ideas.” Lord Navnit Dholakia said: “If you want to see how a community develops itself and continues to work for the betterment of the country and then look at the Indian community here. This is a community that keeps it to itself but contributes to wider society, this is a community which came to this country with just 3 pounds in their pockets and developed the economy of this country, set up cultural and educational institutions. This is also a country which has produced a large number of prominent Indians who are playing an important role in the UK. “The contribution of our community in making this country has been so unique. Who would have thought a few years ago

Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan chairman Joginder Sanger speaks on the occasion. Others on the dais are Lord Navnit Dholakia, HE Dinesh Patnaik, Lord Bhiku Parekh and Padma Shri Dr John Marr

demand their own rights. When it comes to debate on Indian Parliament I find only 2 MPs who stand up and speak and 27 MPs speaking on the other side. This makes me feel sad BECOME FINANCIALLY FREE

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5 initiatives that will shape the future of NHSF (UK) 25 years on, NHSF (UK) continues to change the lives of Hindu students throughout the country. Our philosophy remains simple – that Hindu students can and will make a positive impact on the British community. On the National Committee, we are constantly working to better facilitate the various dialogues that our chapters (Hindu societies) want to have with their members and the communities around them. “25”, our silver jubilee celebrations, will see a host of new initiatives being launched and here, we identify 5 of those that have the potential to redefine our work forever.

Adopt a Mandir Project

sometimes because this is not what it should be. We are stronger than them, we are more than them and we are a prosperous community, everybody recognises the great contribution the Indian community is making but we can’t get together. This is, for whatever reason, happening.” He said the High Commission is doing its best to reach out to Indians here. “We are reaching out to Indians. We are going to talk to you but we also need you to talk to us. We need you to give us ideas, to speak to us, to be able to speak to your constituents, to your people in your constituencies, in your area, in your communities, to your MPs, to the representatives. I found there are certain MPs who have, let’s say 10% Indians in their constituency and 5% of some other community. But that 5% is able to build a greater influence on them than the 10% Indians and this should change. I need your support in this. If we all are ambassadors of India then

we should start behaving like this.” Shedding light on democracy and republic, Lord Bhiku Parekh said democracy refers to a form of government, while republic refers to a form of social order. He said: “A republic is committed to social and economic equality. The other thing is Republic implies, what Dr B R Ambedkar calls, ResPublica – a public institution. It should not be used for private purposes. And it also implies active citizenship. Citizens must take active ownership of the state and

that Narendra Modi will be received both by the Palace and the British Prime Minister which has raised the profile of our community in this country.” He added the Indian High Commission has changed a lot. Instead of just being part of the diplomatic setup in the UK, they are now reaching out, giving that helping hand to the Indian community. Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan chairman Joginder Sanger and executive Dr M director, Nandakumara, also spoke on the occasion.

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With fewer young Hindus attending their local Mandir, and with youth Mandir committees being practically non-existent, serious questions will soon start to arise around the longevity of the current state of Mandirs up and down the country. We need to drive our youth to take up positions at their local Mandirs, taking with them new skills, technology and community awareness that will help to reenergise what has always been the central hub of the British Hindu community. NHSF (UK) chapters will adopt their local Mandir, making them the focus of local Sewa efforts, building stronger links between the university and the Mandir and creating a strong support network for all to benefit from, student and non-student alike.

Chapter Development Fund

For years, NHSF (UK) chapters struggle to finance and refinance their activity. Student Union bureaucracy, lack of available sponsorship and the insufficient time between committee handovers are only some of the issues that have crippled chapter finances since our inception. Nationally, we recognise the need for better financial support and it has always been difficult to provide due to the limited resources within the national pot. The National Finance Team has been working hard however, and they have potentially found a solution with the Chapter Development Fund, a collective pot that will start small but will grow with the support of our chapters,. The Chapter Development Fund will create a mechanism that will allow chapters to support one another, whilst the National Finance Team will take on any accounting work necessary to make the Fund a success. Here, you wouldn’t be blamed for the urge to shout “Sanghatan Mei Shakti Hai” (Unity is strength)!

100in100 and the Chapter Well-Wisher Scheme

Similar to the Chapter Development Fund, this initiative is designed to help strength our chapter finances. Wellwishers have been integral to the national organisation for almost 15 years now and their unwavering support has given NHSF (UK) the much needed stability and confidence to continue working for the Samaj. The Chapter Well-Wisher Scheme scales down the National Well-Wisher Scheme to focus on individual chapters. Chapters will be able to create their own network of wellwishers who will contribute a fixed amount every year, whilst the National Finance Team will manage the entire system. Building on this network yearon-year, we hope that every chapter will create a strong network of well-wishers that will rid them of any future financial

concerns, allowing them to do what they do best – support and empower Hindu students at university. This year, we kicked this all off in a massive way with 100in100, a drive to reach 100 wellwishers over 100 days.

NHSF Alumni Network

The NHSF Alumni Network has been a project that has been at the back of our mind at NHSF (UK) for many years. It feels almost natural that a national student body that has inspired thousands, where its members graduate once every 3 to 4 years, has its own alumni network. With a drive to launch the NHSF (UK) Alumni Network as soon as possible, we hope that former university students and NHSF (UK) Alumni will create a supportive network for current students and for one another. Imagine a network of over 100,000 young Hindus collaborating to build a bright future.

The Ambition Run

Let’s build a stronger, fitter, more ambitious and more mindful young generation of Hindus. Let’s create a new generation of leaders, role models and ambassadors that will bear the flame of Hindu Dharma. That is the aim. That was the drive with which NHSF (UK) held its first stall at the Hindu Half Marathon 25 years ago and it is the ambition we still hold dear today. Over 5,000 people will run a half marathon with us carrying this dream with them and together we will succeed! And could there be a more appropriate name to give this run than “The Ambition Run”?

Queen becomes UK's first ever monarch to mark her Sapphire Jubilee Queen Elizabeth II has become Britain's first ever monarch to mark her Sapphire Jubilee on 6 February 2017. It's 65 years since she became Queen following the death of her father King George VI. Princess Elizabeth, who was then 25 years old, was in Kenya on a royal tour with her husband Prince Philip at the time. As Britain's longest reigning sovereign, this is a milestone in her reign that the UK has never seen before with any other monarch.

To mark the occasion Buckingham Palace rereleased a photograph of

the Queen wearing distinctive sapphire jewellery, given to her by King George VI as a wedding present in 1947. The picture was taken by the photographer David Bailey in 2014 for the GREAT campaign, a publicity campaign to promote Britain around the world. To mark the day gun salutes were fired in Green Park and at The Tower of London. But there are no grand national celebrations planned for the Sapphire Jubilee.


UK Asian Voice | 18th February 2017

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Rani Singh, Special Assignments Editor

Britain’s Best Loved Indian Actress, Nina Wadia, Ambassador for Anti-Trafficking Over the last fortnight famed actress Nina Wadia  hosted the first BBC Radio 4 appeal to help the fight against human trafficking on behalf of the British Asian Trust.  Why does she care so much? And with an ongoing successful TV career, how has Nina learnt how to live a balanced life? These are questions we wanted answers for. With long- term lead roles in TV series EastEnders and Goodness Gracious Me, it’s no surprise that she was approached by the Prince of Wales’s charity, the British Asian Trust, to be its ambassador. The Trust was founded by His Royal Highness the Prince of Wales, who wanted to do something about the widespread poverty and hardship that he saw in South Asia. He turned to the entrepreneurial spirit of the British Asian diaspora, bringing together visionary philanthropists and supporting grassroots initiatives that enable peo-

ple to help themselves. The Trust empowers disadvantaged people to transform their lives. Nina was keen to discuss the charity work before turning to anything else. “In 2007, the Prince of Wales together with his core group of charities

decided to set up something specific for the Asian diaspora. The British Asian Trust collaborates with front line organisations, the private sector and governments to get communities together, to eradicate trafficking and get lives back on track.

Hope for Children to be Charity Partner of 2017 Anand Mela

Hope for Children is delighted to be the charity partner for the 2017 Anand Mela taking place at the Harrow Leisure Centre on 17th and 18th June. We are a Hertfordshire-based charity, founded in 1994, to help those children who fell through the gaps left by both society in general and the larger charitable organisations. We work in 8 countries around the world, supporting projects with local partners to help with access to education and healthcare as well as helping families long-term, by providing small loans. These enable them to set up businesses to generate an income for themselves, whilst developing their confidence and self-esteem. In particular, we have been working with street-connected children in Delhi, where they often lack access to the necessary basics, including education, healthcare, food and shelter. There are an estimated 50,000 such children across the city and we have established a successful system of non-formal education to begin the learning process for street-connected 6-16-year-old children to lead them on to formal school enrolment. Over the next 3 years, we plan to work with some of the most marginalised and disadvantaged groups of children and communities in and around Delhi, Mumbai and Hyderabad. This programme of work will impact over 26,000 children and their families a year. For example, we will be working with groups of children who are at a greater risk of abuse, rape, exploitation, mistreatment, child labour and child marriage. We will also be addressing the

absence of toilet and sanitation facilities in certain rural schools which leads to the spread of disease, absenteeism, drop-outs and hampers educational attainment. In addition, we aim to establish collective farming to produce for the rapidly growing organic market in urban areas, going through bulk suppliers and direct retail outlets. Farmers will be trained on alternative production practices, safe handling, storage and quality control. If you are interested in learning more or helping by joining us on our stand at the event, please contact us at hope@hope4c.org www.hope-for-children.org

£45.00 takes care of a year’s support and counselling for a survivor to overcome trauma and be able to settle back into everyday life. But we are urging people to give whatever they can to work towards anti-trafficking in India, solutions Pakistan, and Sri Lanka,” said Nina to us before the appeal launch. As an ambassador, she studies reports from the charity about labour, child forced marriage, bride buying, sexual exploitation, domestic servitude, and sex tourism. She found one story particularly moving. “Shaheen, 15, was trafficked by her husband into Mumbai’s red light district after she married him. Rescued by the British Asian Trust, she was aggressive and self harming. She had mental health issues brought on by trafficking. With counselling and support from the BAT, she trained to do a tailoring course. She settled back into her family with her

father and reintegrated into the community. The charity has rescued nine and half thousand girls and supported 18.000 families. 70 per cent of the victims are women.”

Background

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lead. The closest I got was doing the Scottish play with Mark Rylance. I ended up playing First Witch and understudying Lady Macbeth. EastEnders was my turning point in drama.”

Nina was born in Mumbai. Challenge The actress says that her Her father was an early biggest challenge is makinfluence on her career. ing sure that she is work“My dad worked with ing at a consistent level. airlines. He was quite a “Sadly when character. He loved working in TV acting and movies. and film, you Growing up I would sit and I want to be the have to be in public eye watch all these kind of person the more than movies with that I want you want to him.” be. My biggest Next, Nina’s my kids to challenge is parents moved to grow up balancing a Hong Kong and into career and ran a restaurant home life; being there. Meanwhile, a mother and havshe was writing ing a family to supsketches for school and port.” college. Nina’s solution is a “One day when I was practical one. “A lot of red doing my A Levels, one of wine (only joking); a lot of my sketches was meant to good friends as my parents be a performance after have both passed. Family school. The girl who used and friends.” to do all the main stuff couldn’t do it. I was the Solution only one who knew all the To deal with Nina’s lines - because I had writextremely busy life, she has ten them! I performed had to order her weeks a them and got such a buzz little better since becoming out of it that I decided that a mother. “I was very disthis is what I wanted to do organised, but I have for a living,” she explained. become very organised since becoming a mother. I Turning Points want to be the kind of perNina Wadia’s turning son that I want my kids to point was Goodness grow up into. I had to Gracious Me, she feels. “I’d change a few bad habits to been doing theatre for do this.” seven years and never got a

Celebrating Mothers' Day... "God could not be everywhere, and therefore he made mothers," aptly said by writer Rudyard Kipling. To honour the innumerable sacrifices made by mothers, for their families, ABPL will be releasing 'Matru Vandana- Mothers' Day Special Issue' in March, for the occasion of Mothers' Day. Also, to express gratitude to mothers, Gujarat Samachar and Asian Voice, will be organising several musical events featuring Maya Dipak and her group, throughout March and April. On March 26, when UK celebrates Mothers' Day this year, cherished singer Mayaben, along with local singers, will recognise and celebrate mothers all over the world, through their music. The musical jamboree- Matru Vandana will be organised by Gujarat Samachar and Asian Voice, at London Bhavans, on the 26th, and at Laxminarayan Temple, Birmingham, on 2nd April. To ensure that everyone gets a chance to savour the event, we have scheduled the programme in different cities like Leicester, M a n c h e s t e r , Wellingborough, and

Preston, among others. Management authorities of social organisations, mandals, and temples, who are interested in conducting Matru Vandana, are requested to contact us. A mother's love is always selfless. To present our love to all the strong women, who spend their lives living for their loved ones, we also dedicate a special issue to mothers. Featuring in the magazine will be exclusive interviews with mothers, heartfelt words dedicated by families, insight into the lives of single, and divorced mothers, dedicated poems, and other articles. Those who wish to feature stories on their mothers, or articles-profiles, write-ups along with a photo of their mother on the cover page, put up adverts in the magazine, or just know more, can contact us on 020 7749 4085 or sales@abplgroup.com


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READERS’ VOICE

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Shanti supplement

I congratulate Asian Voice on producing the recent “Shanti” supplement. I found the supplement very useful, which provided practical advice on preparing for death; from writing wills, succession planning, arranging funerals and also conducting last rites. The supplement emphasised the importance of accepting death and being well prepared for it, as opposed to burying our heads in the sand for the inevitable. I am sure many households will endeavour to keep this supplement as a reference guide to refer to in the future. Cllr Ameet Jogia, Harrow

Call on MPs to do more for unaccompanied children

Less than a year ago the Government promised that this country would do its bit to help with the greatest refugee crisis Europe has faced for 70 years. They agreed to help some of the most vulnerable unaccompanied children arriving into Europe to be transferred to the UK. It was a proud moment, which is why it is so heart-breaking that we have now learned that the 'Dubs' scheme will be closed long before it has done its job. In 2016, over 30,000 unaccompanied children arrived by sea in Greece and Italy but the Government has announced they will transfer a total of just 350 vulnerable children from Europe under the Dubs scheme before it comes to an end. We are told that the scheme is ending because local councils cannot take any more children. By the time it comes to an end, councils with responsibility for children in the UK will have taken an average of less than two Dubs children each. To claim that this is all that can be managed is an insult to our councils. On 23 February there will be a major debate in Parliament on this issue and it's up to every MP to make clear that the government must do more for refugee children in Europe and that our communities stand ready to help. I’d urge your readers to write to their MP, asking them to attend the debate and ensure the Government does more to protect vulnerable refugee and migrant children in Europe. Sol Oyuela, Director of Public Affairs Unicef UK

Space Travel: Pride and Prejudice

Shawna Pandya, 32 year old neurosurgeon from Alberta, Canada, will become the third woman of Indian origin to travel to space, following into the foot-steps of her famous predecessors Kalpna Chawla and Sunita Williams. It is indeed a feather in the cap of Indian Americans, Canadians, one of the most educated, hard-working, law abiding and thriving community among recent arrivals on the American continent, making their marks at the highest level, especially in the field of medicine, science and IT where their skill and dedication is much in demand. Although Shawna was born in Canada, her parents migrated to Canada from Mumbai. Besides being neurosurgeon, she has BSc and MSc in space related studies from the famous Space Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University (ERAU) in USA. She is also fluent in French, Spanish and Russian languages, Russian being the most important language for aspiring astronauts, as Russia is the only country at present capable of sending astronauts to orbiting space Station. She, along with her companion was chosen from 3200 aspiring applicants and will be flying to Russian space station, a joint project with USA, in 2018, making her mark and going down in history for all the right reasons. Let us wish her a great success in her chosen profession. Kumudini Valambia By email

NHS Crisis

The NHS is in doldrums for over a decade, the demand is higher than the NHS can cope with. It has been a shining example to the rest of the world for providing universal health care to the people of the UK. Now it is going downhill. The NHS was born on 5 July, 1948. When health secretary Aneurin Bevan launched the NHS at Park Hospital in Manchester (today known as Trafford General Hospital), it is the climax of a hugely ambitious plan to bring good healthcare to all. For the first time, hospitals, doctors, nurses, pharmacists, opticians and dentists were brought together under one umbrella organisation to provide services that are free for all at the point of delivery. The central principles were clear: the health service will be available to all and financed entirely from taxation, which means that people pay into it according to their means. The NHS set out the guiding principles of the NHS and your rights as an NHS patient which included: Working together for patients; Respect and dignity; Commitment to quality of care; Compassion; Improving lives and Everyone counts. The current crisis in the NHS shows none of these commitments are being met in full: n The standard ambulance response times of 95% has not been met since May 2015 n There is shortage of doctors, consultants, nurses and support staff. n Increase in bureaucracy and mangers. n Outdated procurement practices and compliance. n Less efficiency n Fraud and waste. The Five Year Forward View forecast that the NHS would have a £30bn gap in funding by 2020/21 if current demand trends continued, the NHS received flat real terms funding and no further efficiencies were delivered. This equates to NHS funding growing from £101.0bn in 2015/16 to £119.6bn in 2020/21. While this implies a short fall of £22 billion by 2020/21. Yet we are spending less percentage of our GDP compared to France, Germany, Sweden and Italy. Why is that so? One can see a big hole on the funding side. The Government cannot close its eyes to this huge deficit. People are prepared to pay extra taxes ring-fenced for the NHS, so that they can get a better and efficient service. Immediate action is required by all concerned, be they the ministers, MPs, councilors and community leaders, otherwise the NHS will be privatised through the backdoor very soon.. Baldev Sharma Harrow

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Spanner in the works

Donald Trump suffered the biggest defeat of his presidency when James Robart, a US district judge, issued a temporary restrainiing order halting a ban imposed by him. This ban, in the form of an executive order, was made by the president to restrict the travel to the US of people from several muslim countries. So a high court judge in the US has put a spanner in the works for the president and overruled the later’s ban on people of these countries from entering America. Therefore, a single judge, “that person”, to quote the president, has in effect become more powerful than the most powerful person in the world. One wonders how one person, a mere judge, can have more authority than the president. God forbid and if anything untoward happens in the US, who would bear the responsibility? There are recent precedents in Europe when terrorists struck in Paris, Brussels, Germany and Turkey. The president must be right in trying to prevent such attacks taking place in his country. This begs the question. Can a mere judge be higher than the most powerful person in the world? How can a judge undermine the authority of the president of the US? There is a lesson in all this for India’s PM. He should take a leaf out of Donald’s book and stop the insurgents from neighbouring hostile countres which are harbouring terrorists from infiltrating the land of Lord Rama, Krishna, Mahavira, Gandhi et al. Dinesh Sheth Newbury Park, Ilford

Celebrating St Valentines

Jyotsna Shah’s write up, “Prem Shabda nahin.etc” in Gujarat Samachar is refreshing amid gloomy reports. It is healthy lateral thinking about St Valentine Day celebrations versus traditional/familial values that are observed by Hindus. Hindus appear to be stoic, conservative and narrow minded in present free for all rebellious environments and peers. But we must not forget that Hindu sages recognized sentiment of love and some flirting. Such recognition preached the art of loving known as “Kama sutra”, thousand years before St Valentine. Hindus are prone to exuberant fun and romance if and when endorsed and accepted by parents and society at large, and observed in religious ethos and in controlled environments. St Valentine’s day appears to be out of place in society where love, romance and marriages are arranged. Parents frown upon youngsters who behave as if parents have no say in matrimonial matters. Parental involvement is basic foundation block of family, community and whole society. Parents act as marriage consellors and fortify the marriage in times of crises. Arranged marriage is considered as guaranteed successful marriage, where the joy cascades to parents et al. That is why some groups oppose celebrations that allow flirting without responsible commitment by the couple. Ramesh Jhalla By email

West Bengal on a slippery road to anarchy

Reading editorial piece in last week’s AV, I fondly remember Bengal as it was, heart and soul of Bharat. Before partition, Bengal was jewel in India’s crown. It was a cultured State and gave the country patriotic freedom fighters like Subhas Chandra Bose, Maulana Abdul Kalam Azad, Chitranjan Das and the youngest freedom fighter Khudiram Bose who was martyred at the tender age of 18. At one time, Bengali people were best educated, morally incorruptible, dominating most sectors, with prestigious writers, scientists, musicians with famous names like Rabindranath Tagore who wrote India’s national anthem, won Noble prize for literature. India’s national anthem was recently declared as the best by UN. Bengalis used dominate film industry with actors, singers, directors and musicians like Hemant Kumar, Mohamed Rafi, Alka Yagnik, Guru Dutt, Sharmila Tagore, Satyajit Ray, Suchetra Sen and highly talented trio, brothers Ashok, Kishore and Anoop Kumar. The list is endless. Bengal’s descent into anarchy, construed indifference, political corrosion after independence is puzzling. It started when Maoist Communist Party came to power who were more loyal to China than India. It has continued unabated under present leader Mamta Banerjee who wants to remain in power at any cost, using corruption, vote bank politics and mass immigration from Bangladesh as her tool. Surely Bengalis deserve better leaders. Let us hope they will wake up before it is too late. Bhupendra M. Gandhi By email

Elections and demonetization

The word ‘election’ comes from the Latin word ‘eligere’. ‘Eligere’ means ‘to choose, select or pick’. To elect, or vote, means to select or to make a choice. The word ‘voting’ is derived from Latin word ‘votum’ meaning ‘to wish for’. Voting refers to the process of choosing or electing a candidate to run the government’s affairs, usually through a ballot. In democratic India, general elections take place every five years. All those who are eighteen years of age have a right to vote. A number of candidates seek the election. They move from door to door. They hold public meetings and explain the programmes of their parties. If they get majority of votes, they win; but if they do not, they lose. An election, therefore, is like a battle. But this battle is fought in a peaceful way. It is a battle of ballots, not a battle of bullets. Meanwhile in the last 100 days of demonetization, people have faced a lot of hardships. They could not even withdraw their own money from banks and ATMs. All thanks to our Prime Minister, Narendra Modi and his mesmerizing talks. He promised ‘Achche Din’ (good days) for us, but the ‘Achche Din’ are yet to arrive. The ‘Achche Din’ are only for him because he keeps enjoying himself by going abroad every now and then on the common man’s hard-earned money which they pay to the government in the form of taxes. Since May 2014, after he became the Prime Minister of the country, he has visited almost every country in the world. He has even visited our enemy countries like Pakistan. Its high time Modi cared for the people of India and stopped going abroad to enjoy himself. I wonder what he does there because he does not even know that the people are laughing at him for his foolishness. Jubel D’Cruz, Mumbai, India


EDUCATION

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Cambridge student taunts homeless man by trying to burn £20 note A Cambridge University student has been expelled from the university’s Conservative Association over claims he taunted a homeless man by burning a £20 note. Pembroke College law student Ronald Coyne – a distant relative of Nicola Sturgeon, Scotland’s first minister – was filmed in Cambridge on February 2. The video, shared on Snapchat, showed him dressed in white tie and tails, trying to set fire to the money. The footage was published by The Tab, an online student publication. The allegations are being investigated by uni-

Ronald Coyne

versity officials. A statement posted on Cambridge University Conservative Association’s website said the “committee was made aware of the private behaviour of an individual member which we considered to be abhorrent and repugnant. We

took immediate action to revoke his membership and expelled him from the association”. Cambridgeshire Police said it had not received any reports or complaints. The force said it was not a crime to burn a banknote.

Muslim school still not meeting standards: Ofsted A boarding school for Muslim girls in Nottingham which was partly closed due to worries over ‘extremism’ still does not meet standards, inspectors have said. A new Ofsted inspection report shows there are still major problems at the independent Muslim feepaying school, which currently has 237 pupils on roll – 153 of which are boarders. Lead Ofsted Simon inspector Hollingsworth said: “The level of the secular-based courses is too low to ensure

that students achieve qualifications that enable them to prepare effectively for life after they leave the school.” One of the previous concerns was that the school did not promote British values but this has largely been addressed. Jamia al-Hudaa was opened in August 1996 and is part of the Madni Trust. The government has been trying to shut down the college since a BBC inquiry last year found that pupils were uncertain of the purpose of parliament and had little idea of

careers except teaching Islamic studies. The school is backed by Rafi Usmani, a cleric believed to have belonged to Harkat-ul-Jihad-ulIslami. The principal, Raza ul Haq, said: “We think we are meeting the standards.”

British teens not a happy lot: Survey An international study has found the UK’s ‘Generation Z’ (classed as those aged 15 to 21) is among the unhappiest in the world. Anxieties about money, school and succeeding in life were found to be major influences on the mental health of UK children, whose low mental wellbeing score was surpassed only by Japan. The study, compiled by the Varkey Foundation, found that youngsters in France, Italy and Turkey reported being far happier than their British counterparts, with adolescents in Indonesia taking the happiness top spot. It was found that 46% of all those surveyed felt pressured by school, yet there was no clear link between the education performance of the country and young people’s happiness or mental health. Only 15% of Brits said they had enough time to sleep, relax and exercise – important factors for a healthy, balanced lifestyle. Extremism and the rise of global terrorism was the issue that concerned young people in the UK the most – something they shared with 12 of the other 20 countries.

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Poor pupils lag further behind richer peers Clever pupils from poorer homes in the UK are lagging behind their as able but wealthy peers in maths, science and reading, according to a research by University College London and the Sutton Trust. The study finds the highest-performing pupils from poorer families are 32

months behind in maths, science and reading – an increase of six months on the figures for 2012. The analysis also indicates that the gap is even more pronounced for bright disadvantaged girls – who trail their male peers by a further nine months for reading and eight months for science.

Swastika and 'Rights for Whites' sign found in Exeter halls of residence A leading UK university is conducting an investigation after a swastika and a “Rights for Whites” sign were found in halls of residence, raising concern about antisemitism and racism on campuses. The incidents at the University of Exeter follow reports last term that students were pictured wearing T-shirts with handwritten antisemitic and racist slogans at a sports club social event. According to the university’s student news website Exeposé, the swastika had been carved into a door in on-campus halls Birks Grange, while the “Rights for Whites” sign decorated with a union flag was spotted on the door of a student room in Llewellyn Mews. According to the

Guardian newspaper the incident follows a claim by Britain’s first higher education adjudicator, Ruth Deech, that some Jewish students are avoiding certain universities because of concerns about antisemitism. Deech, who is now a crossbench peer, told the Daily Telegraph that hostility towards Israeli government policies went so far in some instances as to constitute antisemitism. The Union of Jewish Students (UJS) said the discovery of a swastika at the University of Exeter was concerning. According to the UJS, similar leaflets have also been found at three other universities – University College London, the University of Edinburgh and the University of Glasgow.

Catch Sunidhi Chauhan live in action Bollywood's leading female playback singer Sunidhi Chauhan will arrive in UK for what seems to be not one, but two stellar shows. Filmfare Award- winner, Sunidhi is currently on cloud 9 with the promotions of Kangana Ranautfeaturing 'Rangoon'. A plain spoken singer with an earthy voice, Sunidhi recently made an appearance in reality TV show 'Dil Hai Hindustani' with Ranaut. An absolute Bollywoodstyle entertainer, she has sung several hits including 'Beedi', 'Sheila ki Jawani', Mehboob Mere', 'Dilliwali Girlfriend', 'Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani'. She has also received several awards for her stealthy playback. Her high energy vocals have however always been stereotyped in item numbers. She once received praise from Indian classical musician Rahul Sharma, who said, "Chauhan's voice has an element of sensuality which is also very versatile and I admire the quality of her voice and the kind of emotions she can bring out." Ganesh Anantharaman called her voice "good, expressive" in his book 'Bollywood Melodies: A History of the Hindi Film Song'. Getting a break in the Indian movie industry was not easy for her. Sunidhi was helped by singer Sonu Nigam, to get her first break in the industry. She has often described him as a "catalyst to fuel my career". When compared with other contemporary singers, like Shreya Ghoshal, Sunidhi had said, "I am con-

tented to have my own are in the current music world. Likewise, Shreya Ghoshal has her own. I personally respect Shreya for her talents and nice songs, whom people consider as a threat to me." Organisers Rock On bring shows scheduled in London and Leicester this month. The 'Je'taime' singer will perform in The SSE Arena, Wembley, on 25 February, and in the De Montfort Hall, Leicester, on 26 February.


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MEDIA WATCH

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Tamil Nadu held its breath as AIADMK Members of the Legislative Assembly get ready to elect their next Chief Minister. The contenders for the post is the interim Chief Minister O.Panneerselvam and his rival V.K.Sasikala. The clear majority of legislators, MPs and party office-bearers, it would appear, belong to the Sasikala camp. A headcount among MLAs showed that 125-130 had pledged their support to her, while remaining five stood behind Panneerselvam. Susequently some amomg them had crodded over Panneerselvan.

Rivals for power, Tamil Nadu Chief Minister O.Panneerselvam, S.K.Sasikaka

Tamil Nadu Governor C.Vidyasagar Rao will oversee the election, then confirm the verdict. The excitement cooled somewhat with the news that the election would be deferred until the Supreme Court of India had passed judgment on a case pending against Sasikala. The prospect of wielding power usually gives rise to a feeding frenzy associated with sharks.(Hindu February 9, 11, 12) Elsewhere in Punjab and Goa the State Assembly polls went off peacefully, with a high 70 plus percent casting their ballots in the former and around 83 percent in the latter. The counting results will be known in midMarch, when polling in Uttar Pradesh will have ended and the simultaneous announcement of the three results. Meanwhile the first round of elections in Uttar Pradesh – India’s largest and most populous State - passed off peacefully.

Bengal chaos continues

The one thing one has to concede about West Bengal politics is the scale of its unpredictability. With a maverick Chief Minister in Mamata Banerjee unexpected events appear to ambush the media every hour of the day. The State’s Advocate General Jayanta Mitra – the senior-most law officer – tendered his resignation, which was followed by his top colleagues in the legal team. Mitra is a well respected figure in legal circles, but after two years in the job he decided wisely that he had had enough, preferring hereon to concentrate on his more rewarding private practice as barrister.(Telegraph February 8).

Dismal Uttar Pradesh record

Uttar Pradesh is on the cusp of State Assembly elections, hence a recently published report makes dismal reading. With a population numbering 200 million, it is, says the writer M. Ramesh, is riven by caste loyalties, soaring crime and hobbled by low eco-

nomic and social development, notwithstanding the beguiling urbanity of Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav – who may con-

ambassador to the US, and noiw an exiled academic in the country, has long held that the folly of Islamabad’s zero sum game on the subject was unlikely to yield the desired results. If proof be needed, the Times of India published a substantial report on the Republic Day honours list, which included the leading Army commandos responsible for the surgical strike on jihadi bases in Pakistani-occupied Kashmir. It was a dusk-to-dawn operation of raw courage and brilliant planning. Different teams fanned out across the territory in valleys and jungle to strike their targets with deadly precision. Prime Minister Sharif and the bombastic jihadi fraternity must understand that India is prepared for the long haul, and that the Partition file, with the creation of Pakistan, was closed in August 1947 (Times of India February 9).

ceivably win a second term. Yadav took the reins of office in March 2012 but every parameter of social and economic development it appears to be at the bottom of the pile.

Railways Minister Suresh Prabhu divulged disturbing news that 18 attempts had been made to derail Rajdhani Express which links Delhi to Dibrugarh had the fishplates removed, the discovery made in the nick of time, thus preventing a serious accident. The minister told Parliament that 18 attempts had been made at sabotage of rail track in Bihar. (Times of India February 9).

Tata Steel posted its first net profit in five quarters, thanks to a robust performance in the December quarter by its Indian business, buoyed by a tailwind of high demand. To interpret this as a sign of industrial revival would not be inaccurate. Tata profit was Rs230.90 crore (Mint February 8).

RBI refrains from rate cut

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has ended the rate cut cycle

Revealing statistics

According to the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion, UP ranks 14 th among states in 2016, from the 10 th position it held in the previous year. Data reveals that UP, with the third largest number of households earning an average monthly income of less than Rs 5,000 puts it behind Madhya Pradesh and West Bengal. It has the dismal characteristics common to the Indo-Gangetic plain (Business Line February 10).

Surgical strike men honoured

Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif reiterated for the umpteenth time that IndoPakistan ties cannot be normalized until India agreed to a Kashmir settlement on the lines proposed by Islamabad and its separatist allies in the Kashmir Valley. This was the ‘unfinished business of Partition’, said Sharif. Husain Haqqani, distinguished Pakistani historian and former

Maruti leads the way

Maruti Suzuki has established a niche in the small car market, but in the last nine months it has been creating waves in the midsized sedan with its Ciaz, the compact SUV with the Vitara Brezza, and the premier hatch-

Sabotage rail bid foiled

Tata Steel in profit

Akhilesh Yadav

Telemetry and Tele-Command Processor (TTCP) had been successfully developed and that its manufacture is to be undertaken soon in collaboration with Indian industry. The processor replaces expensive imported equipment. The TTCP will be used to integrate spacecraft testing of low earth orbit and interplanetary spacecraft. The new processor will be deployed for the first time to check-out the GSAT-19 satellite. (Business Line February 9).

Dr Urjit Patel

because of fears about inflation. The RBI’s Monetary Committee headed by Governor Dr Urjit Patel, decided unanimously that the policy emphasis from ‘accommodation’ to ‘neutral’, hence left the repo rate 6.25 per cent untouched. This means that the RBI is unlikely to make a rate cut anytime soon (Mint February 9).

ISRO signals from Earth to space

Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) said that its

back with the Baleno. According to industry data, Ciaz has outsold competitors such as Honda City, Hyundai Verna, Volkswagen Vento and Skoda Rapid but also clocked the best growth in the SUV segment. The company’s network of showrooms and superior purchase experience, say auto analysts, have put Maruti Suzuki ahead of of the game. (Times of India February 7).

Long arm of ISI terrorism

When the Islamic State operatives at headquarters in the Middle East identified a potential terror recruit faraway in the southern Indian city of Hyderabad, they got down to work on teaching their charges in the skills of bomb making and related systems to sow death and destruction. For 17 months the IS handler guided his pupil, a young engineer named Ibrahim Yazdani through every step in what was planned as the first ISI strike in India. Instructions were camouflaged in talk about food but detectives saw through the ruse and started wiretapping conversations and arrested their man. The tentacles of international jihadi terrorism have reached India (Telegraph February 6).

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profit of Rs 604 crore for the third quarter of the current fiscal (October-December 2016). This was 1,376 per cent better than the Rs 40 crore of the previous third quarter of the previous fiscal. The oil and gas major said that its proposed merger with Vedanta Ltd was approved by shareholders and that the transaction should be completed next month (Business Line February 10).

ABB India bags record orders

Power and automation company ABB India received its highestever orders worth Rs 12,000 crore in 2016 – a 54 per cent jump from the previous year, said Sanjeev Sharma, the company’s Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer. ABB India’s biggest order involves the construction of a 1,830 km transmission link between Rajgarh in Chaattisgarh and Pugalur in Tamil Nadu. ‘The project will meet the electricity needs of 80 million people, said Sanjeev Sharma (Hindfu February 10).

India request for Mallya’s extradition

India has made a formal request to Britain for the extradition of Indian businessman Vijay Mallya. Bangalore-based Mallya’s extensive business empire from airlines, collapsed with vast unpaid financial liabilities. The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has brought serious charges against the absconding businessman, who owns prime properties in the UK. His case is before a court in India, before which Mallya should stand trial.(Times of India, Hindu, February 10).

Mistry out of Tata Sons

Cyrus Mistry the 48 year-old former chairman of the Tata Group, has been removed as director of

Jihadi youths leave India on terror trail

A group of Kerala youth have left India to conduct terrorist operations, possibly in Afghanistan, according to the National Investigation Agency (NIA). At least two men, Mohammed Sajid Kuthirrummal (25) and Murshid Mohammad (24) left Mumbai for Abu Dhabi on a Jet Airways flight. Their movements were tracked to Iran , after which they disappeared from the radar (Hindu February 7).

Cairn India Report card

Cairn India has reported a net

Cyrus Mistry

the holding company, Tata Sons. Shareholders voted him out with the required majority. Mistry’s removal as director of Tata Sons was the last position he held in the Tata Group. He has steadily lost ground in his bitter attritional dispute with Ratan Tata, whom Mistry succeeded as Chairman of the Tata Group. (Telegraph February 7).


UK Asian Voice | 18th February 2017

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£1m raided from tenants' deposits by letting agents Letting agents raided more than £1m from tenants' deposit schemes last year, a BBC investigation can reveal. Fourteen letting agents were prosecuted in the UK in 2016 for helping themselves to tenants' cash. Despite the Tenancy Deposit Scheme being introduced to protect tenants' money, deposits can still be held in a bank account controlled by the landlord or agent. Property expert Ajay Jagota said this is the sector's "dirty little secret". Since 2007, landlords and their agents have had a

Ajay Jagota said properties should be insured against careless tenants instead of taking cash deposits

legal requirement to put every tenant's deposit in a government-backed scheme, such as the Tenancy Deposit Scheme. But deposit money can either be held in a custodial

account run by the scheme, or it can be held in a bank account, which the landlord or letting agent can access at any time. Mr Jagota said: "An average small independent agent would probably be managing about 200 properties which would equate to £300,000 in tenancy deposits. We think this is the sector's dirty little secret where they can dip into this account when they see fit." He said there is "no need" to take cash deposits and properties should be insured against careless tenants.

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Harrow Mayor hosts funraising Ball The Mayor of Harrow, Councillor Rekha Shah, was delighted to host the Mayoress’ Committee Ball with her Consort, Navin Shah AM on the evening of Saturday 4th February at Elliott Hall, Harrow Arts Centre. This fundraising event was a great success with over 150 guests attending on the night, which raised a record-breaking amount for the Mayor’s charities; The Mayor’s Special Appeal in aid of

L To R: Mr Panjak Patel, Cllr Navin Shah AM, Mayor of Harrow, Cllr Rekha Shah, Mr Unmesh Desai

Parkinson’s Harrow Branch and Harrow Bereavement Care, as well

as the Mayor’s Charity Fund which aids vulnerable Harrow residents.

Ali Quazimaj trial: Jury told of cash transactions on Sylvia Stuart's bank card The trial of Ali Qazimaj, who is accused of the murders of Sylvia and Peter Stuart from Weybread, has been told a bank card belonging to Mrs Stuart was used to pay £25 at Goodies Farm shop in Pulham Market, Norfolk, where she and her husband were seen on CCTV for the last time on morning of 29 May 2016. The next day, at night, £300 was taken from the account in two quick withdrawals from a cash machine in Grays in Essex. The jury at Ipswich Crown Court was told that in the

The Mayor of Camden, Cllr Nadia Shah, and her Consort, Mr Joe Shah, L. George, Asian Voice / Gujarat Samachar, Mr Manubhai Ramji (King’s Kitchen), The Mayor of Harrow, Cllr Rekha Shah, The Mayor of Brent, Cllr Parvez Ahmed, Mr John Purnell, GM, QPM, DL and Mrs Margaret Purnell and The Deputy Mayor of Brent, Cllr Bhagwanji Chohan

Cyber security lessons offered to schools next few hours further attempts were made to withdraw a total of £1,300 from other cash machines in the area but all declined. Ali Qazimaj is accused of the murders of Mrs Stuart, who's still missing,

and her husband who was found stabbed near their Suffolk home last June. But the defendant denies it and claims he's the victim of mistaken identity. The trial continues.

Man in court over 'carrying pipe bomb at airport' A man accused of carrying a pipe bomb in his hand luggage as he waited to catch a flight from Manchester Airport appeared at Westminster Magistrates' Court on Monday (February 13). Forty-three-year-old Nadeem Muhammed, of Tinline Street, Bury, is charged with possessing an improvised explosive

device following a security alert at the airport. He was arrested on January 30 this year when it was alleged that he had a pipe bomb in his hand luggage as he attempted to board a Ryanair flight to Bergamo, Italy. The Pakistani national was remanded in custody and is due to appear at Southwark Crown

Court on March 13, although the court heard the case is likely to be transferred to Manchester. Katie McCreath, defending, indicated that he would be pleading not guilty to the charge at the future hearing. It is understood the case will not proceed under the terrorism protocol.

Boy, 16, appears in court on murder charge A 16-year-old boy has appeared in court accused of murdering teenager Irfan Wahid, who was stabbed to death. Irfan, also 16, died from a single stab wound to the chest after he was attacked in Harehills Lane, Leeds, on Friday afternoon. The teenage suspect, who cannot be named due to his age, appeared at Leeds Youth Court charged with murder and possession of a bladed article and was remanded in custody to appear at Leeds Crown Court on Thursday.

Irfan Wahid died as a result of a single stab wound to the chest

Teenager charged with causing death by dangerous driving A 17-year-old boy has been charged with causing death by dangerous driving, after a man died after he was hit by a car in Levenshulme. Shahid Tarafdar, 45, was hit by a Peugeot 307 on Stockport Road at about 15:45 GMT on 7 February. He was taken to hospital but later died. Michael Joyce, 21, from Manchester has been

charged with perverting the course of justice. Both have been remanded to appear at Manchester Magistrates' Court later. The teenager has also been charged with a number of other driving offences including driving whilst disqualified, failing to stop and report a collision and using a motor vehicle without insurance.

Schoolchildren in England will be offered lessons in cyber security in a bid to find the experts of the future to defend the UK from attacks. It is hoped 5,700 pupils aged 14 and over will spend up to four hours a week on the subject in a five-year pilot. Classroom and online teaching, "real-world chal-

lenges" and work experience will be made available from September. A Commons committee last week warned that a skills shortage was undermining confidence in the UK's cyber defences. The risk that criminals or foreign powers might hack

into critical UK computer systems is now ranked as one of the top four threats to national security.


14 COMMUNITY

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Asian Voice |18th February 2017

Welsh and Indian cultural exchange receives £450K Government Funding

Raj Aggarwal with Carwyn Jones and Dancers at Diwali Event

Eleven arts projects will get funding to take Welsh culture to India as part of the UK-India 2017 cultural season. Welsh and Indian creative professionals will travel to each other's countries to work together and produce new works including books, music and dance. The projects will get a share of the £450,000 India Wales Fund. It is a joint Wales Arts International and British Council scheme which aims to help build relationships between the two countries. Performances will take place in India and Wales and some of the work will be available online, with artists and audiences in both countries benefiting from workshops, tours and talks. Indian Honorary Consul to Wales, Raj Aggarwal, said: "Wales and India share a love of music, dancing, theatre and literature so this cultural exchange is a fantastic opportunity for each country to share the heritage of each other's performing arts. "A collaboration of Welsh, English and Bengali writers will bring together the works of six writers with live performance and the publication of a new tri-lingual work. "This is an amazing opportunity not just to see and enjoy the other

country's culture and talent, but to actually work together to create a hybrid from the two that fuse our nation's cultures in the future." The projects include: Theatr Iolo will work with ThinkArts, an Indian company that produces arts events for children, to develop new theatre for babies and youngsters Parthian Books will work with India's Bee Books on their project Through the Valley, City, Village, which will see Indian and Welsh writers working together in Bengal and Wales to produce a new book Welsh theatre company Living Pictures will tour India with their production Diary of a Madman, working with Indian company QTP Entertainment to provide technical skills workshops - a performance will take place at the Tata Steel-sponsored Literature Live event in Mumbai. The full list of selected projects will be announced at the Wales Millennium Centre by Economy Secretary Ken Skates. He said: "The UKIndia Year of Culture 2017 offers an important opportunity for Wales and India to refresh and strengthen these links and also to create new dynamic connections and creative collaborations.”

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‘Yugpurush – The Play' coming to theatres across the UK Friday 10th February saw the International launch of ‘Yugpurush - the Play’ by Shrimad Rajchandra Mission Dharampur UK (SRMD UK), at the Bushey Academy in Bushey Hertfordshire. Announcing its first International Tour beginning in the UK from April 27th to 10th May 2017, Mr Mayur Mehta President of SRMD UK confirmed that the UK tour comprises over 15 shows, planned in cities including Manchester, Leicester, London and Southampton. A UK premier of the play will commence the tour in Manchester, on 27th April. Yugpurush is the untold story of two philosophical titans of Indian history, Mohandas Karamchand Gandhiji and his spiritual mentor Shrimad Rajchandraji. It portrays their heart-touching relationship that helped transform Mohandas into Mahatma. The year 2017 marks the 150th birth anniversary of Shrimad Rajchandraji. It is in commemoration of this occasion, and under the able Pujya guidance of Gurudevshri Rakeshbhai, Founder of Shrimad Rajchandra Mission Dharampur and inspiration for the Yugpurush Drama, that SRMD presents ‘Yugpurush - Mahatma na Mahatma’ to UK audiences. An audience of over 250 VIP guests from all sectors of the Gujarati and Hindi speaking community around the UK gathered at the Grand Hall in Bushey, to watch reviews, video clips and hear the latest news about this drama. Since its world premiere in Mumbai on 14th November 2016, it has been staged all over India, with 150 sell out shows in under 90 days in over 30 cities, with another incredible further 200 shows already planned. Guest speakers Mr A S Rajan, Minister of Co-ordination from High

CB Patel, A S Rajan, Mayor Rekha Shah, Cllr Krupa Patel, Lalubhai Parekh and other invited guests

Commission of India and Mr C B Patel, chairman of APBL Group addressed the audience with anecdotes underlining the importance of the key principles of compassion, non-violence and truth in the modern world. Mr A S Rajan commented that it is vitally important at this time, that the world looks to the message of Gandhian values and the power of non-violence instead of weapons and policies that cause mass destruction. He had often wondered how a man such as Gandhiji had been empowered to achieve so much in many different disciplines, and realises now there was a spiritual guide and force behind him in the form of Shrimadji, who inspired his values and guided his journey. Mr C B Patel, himself a keen admirer of Shrimad Rajchandraji for many years, added that he has a personal connection with Shrimadji through his great-grandfather who had met him in his home town of Bhadran in western Gujarat. He feels that this play will be a turning point in the understanding of the contribution made by non-violence and truth, values imbibed by Gandhiji, to the Indian independence struggle against British rule. 60 organisations were represented at the launch, spread across the Indian

diaspora in the UK, including Shree Swaminarayan the Anoopam BAPS, Mission, Sangam Ladies Association, Brahma Kumaris, Lyca Media, Lohana Community and the Gandhi Foundation. Opportunities to sponsor the UK tour and specific shows were announced with many partnerships immediately taken up. ‘Yugpurush - The Play’ is also being recognised for critical acclaim by the arts and drama Industry having recently received four nominations in the 16th annual Transmedia Gujarati Screen and Stage Awards 2016 including Best Play and Best Director! Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi of India on the occasion of India’s 70th Independence Day said, “The country is celebrating the 150th birth anniversary of Shrimad Rajchandraji, Mahatma Gandhiji’s Guru. In one of His letters to Gandhiji, Shrimadji writes ... the principle of non-violence has existed ever since the existence of violence. What is important is which one do we utilise for the welfare of mankind.” A question that underlines the relevance of this profound relationship in today’s turbulent world. The great-grandson of Mahatma Gandhi, Shri Tushar Gandhi, shared his thoughts after watching the

world premiere of 'Yugpurush in Mumbai. He said, “What is important for me is the humility and the selflessness that Shrimadji instilled in Bapu, because of which an ordinary man could rise to become a Mahatma. I hope you take this play all over the world, but especially to those places that need it the most – where the message of ahimsa is absent. These two greats have sown in us the seeds of becoming better human beings. It's now upon us to irrigate it with our own experiences, and with the humility of the belief that we are nothing but instruments." The Play will also support the cause of Shrimad Rajchandra Hospital – a new 200-bed multi-specialty charity hospital for the economically underprivileged in one of the poorest rural area’s of Southern Gujarat. SRMD’s aim behind the year-long celebration of Shrimad Rajchandraji’s 150th birth anniversary is to spread Shrimad Rajchandraji's values of non-violence and truth that shaped Gandhiji's beliefs, and to bring His spiritually uplifting teachings to the maximum number of people from all walks of life. For more information and tickets, visit www.yugpurush.org/uk

London gearing up for grand celebration of Bengal Heritage launched by LSU and SOAS Charusmita The Bengal Heritage Project (BHP), an initiative of the London Sharad Utsav (LSU), other noted organisations, and supported by the SOAS University of London, was launched on Sunday, the 11th of February at Victoria Hall, Harrow. BHP aims to showcase Bengal’s exceptionally rich cultural legacy to a global audience, to create a conducive environment for wider commercial success of its art, tourism, and culture. Saturday's launch saw extraordinary performanc-

es by two Patachitra artists from Naya village, Kharagpur (Bengal). They exhibited two paintings based on the stories of Komagatamaru as well as Lord Krishna, and enchanted a packed hall of audience with their authentic Pata Gaan. The event also had a food festival with stalls serving traditional Bengali cuisine. There were ethnic wear, jewellery, and natural cosmetics’ stalls which had the hosts handpicking clothing, cosmetics and ornaments from all parts of

India – West Bengal, Punjab, Maharashtra, Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu, and Delhi. From traditional Dokra jewellery and Kantha embroidery (West Bengal), to Phulkari (Punjab), the chosen collections were a favourite

among the attendees. The launch started with Saraswati Pujo, followed by an introduction to the BHP by the LSU Team, and words of encouragement from the South Asia Institute at SOAS. The occasion was graced by Councillor Sue Anderson (Harrow Council), and ExCouncillor Mrinal Choudhury. First of the live performances was Shri Rabindranath Tagore’s composition, Ananda Loke (“Abode of Joy”) by Team LSU. This was followed by

the Pata/Pawter Gaan, and a dance depiction of Durga by a student of SOAS. The event concluded with dance acts by the LSU team and young performers from Sanskriti, which also supports the BHP in UK. The proposed events of the BHP in 2017 include an art exhibition in March, UK Rabindra Jayanti workshop with food fest in May, a music festival in June, and the grand UK Durga Pujo in October. The highlight of the initiative is the installation of a Durga idol in the City of London. This idol will be made by a noted Indian

sculptor from Kolkata, who will travel to the UK to create the masterpiece. The sculpting process will be filmed and documented by a Kolkata-based institute, iLead. The idol will be a modular art piece in which every year the head of Goddess Durga will be sculpted afresh. The idol will also have a new look each year, promoting one traditional art form at a time. The clothing and ornaments will showcase various forms of Bengal's textiles- Jamdani, Pata, Kantha, Baluchari, Murshidabad silk, among others.


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It pays to stay together in the long run

People who continue to stay with their spouse despite unhappy marriage are better off in the long run, a new research by Marriage Foundation claims. The campaign group says that “unhappiness in a marriage is often just a short-term and fixable problem”. Researchers found the majority of couples – who are unhappy when their first child is born – feel happy 10 years later. The Foundation claimed that seven out of every 10 couples stayed together following the birth

of their first child despite being unhappy and 68 per cent of them were happy 10 years later. In fact, 27% said they were “extremely happy”, giving their relationships a score of seven out of seven. The research suggests that a “grin and bear it” approach may well prove fruitful in the long run. This data was gathered as part of the Millennium Cohort Study conducted by the Centre for Longitudinal Studies, an economic research organisation based at the University of London.

A new report says the average household will spend almost £2 million over a lifetime, with nearly £50,000 of that goes for alcohol. According to the report called The Cost of Tomorrow, the wealthiest quarter of households spend half as much again at almost £3 million. It calculated that £1 in every £25 earned (the equivalent of nearly £75,000 over a lifetime)

will go to energy suppliers. The average household will spend £210,000 on food. Britons will spend only £22,000 on their health, compared with the £13,000 they blow on tobacco and narcotics. Another £77,000 will go on clothing, £64,000 on furniture and floor coverings. By the time the average person touches 50, their household will have spent £1 million in today’s prices.

A survey has indicated that family doctors are not offering at-risk patients a preventive breast cancer drug. Only half of GPs are

aware that drugs like tamoxifen can cut the risk of breast cancer by over a third, a poll of almost 1,000 doctors found.

A research shows the over80s are enjoying better sex lives than those 30 years younger. The study found that 25% of women in their 50s have trouble becoming aroused. But those over 80, only 35% of women reported having problems. The University of Manchester study of over

7,000 people aged 50 and over found that at least a quarter of men and one in 10 women over 85 were sexually active. Report author Dr David Lee, from the University of Manchester, said: “There is a perception among society as a whole that sex stops once you are 80. That clearly isn't the case.”

Three out of four workers have been eating the same lunch every day for the past nine months, a study shows. One in six have been eating the same meal for the past two years. The ham sandwich is the most common repeat lunch, ahead of cheese sandwiches, chicken sandwiches, baguettes and

salad, the poll of 2,000 adults by New Covent Garden Soup finds. Egg sandwiches, pasta and jacket potatoes are also among the lunchtime staples. A staggering 84% of people are ‘bored’ by their lunch choices and 31% even said other people have noticed and commented on their ‘boring’ lunches.

You will spend £77,000 on clothing alone in your lifetime

Many GPs unaware of drug's use in cutting cancer risk

Over-80s having better sex lives than middle-aged

Most workers have same lunch daily: Study

TLIGHT

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Dipna Anand: The Piquant Prodigy Asian Voice | 18th February 2017

Sunetra Senior

At 23 years old, chef Dipna had 'Business already received an award from the British Nutrition savvy is Foundation, for her innovative important, work in Food Technology at A but you should Level, and been invited to teach a BTECH course at the never think same London university that yourself above was offering her a post-gradua menial ate scholarship. And this is only the aperitif. The young cuisinière task' also holds a First-Class Honours degree in Hospitality and Catering, and has since gone on to become a lecturer, writer and well-recognised TV host, helping to elevate her father’s business to the status worthy of its great namesake: Brilliant. The Brilliant Restaurant, whose unique selling point is its healthy yet hearty Indian dishes, has been in the Anand family business for over 150 years. The establishment boasts such high-profile admirers as celebrity royalty Prince Charles, who commented that it was among the best traditional cuisine that his palate had ever experienced. Only ever increasing in momentum - absorbing modern flavour into its age-old wisdoms - Brilliant restaurant has also been featured on Gordon Ramsay’s Best Restaurant and The Hotel and garnered The British Curry Award for ‘Best Indian Restaurant in London subWhat attracts Brilliant quality urbs’ for 4 years in a row. you most to consistency is *** the process of reflected in the sim“Of course there was great inspiration in cooking? ple but rich colours of watching my father and mother work in the our restaurant interiThe pride and love in ors, which like our logo, being part of a long restaurant growing up,” Anand told us, “and is a tasteful mix of black and proud tradition of this forms a huge part of my drive. But I was and orange. family cooking. Also the fact always naturally drawn to more hands-on that cookery is so vast and subjects at school – food technology, for there is much to experiment Tell us more about the example, asked of both intellectual and with. There’s never enough to creative aspect of practical skills. My family always encouraged learn about spices and all the cooking? a good education, but also stressed the different yet precise combinaThe presentation of dishes is importance of creativity and constructive tions. My father always says the important because we eat with action in an ultimate admirable profession. secret to Brilliant’s success is our eyes. When you’re cooking that perfect ratio of spices to your mind automatically The A Level project that won the BNF award, ingredient. If you just becomes more imaginafor example, was borne of my emotional and smell our food, you tive. When I’m teachtheoretical interest in the realm of recipes. I can tell. It’s very ing my students at was deeply moved when my very talented homely and comuniversity and 'We eat father tragically suffered a heart attack. This forting in a way. In they’re carrying out inspired me to produce a whole range of with fact, I love the fact their final practical low-fat recipes using familiar national ingrethat what some assessments, I’ll our eyes' dients. Bringing my personal experience to people might call always say: ‘don’t failure is a functionbe afraid to play with the table, this organically became definitive ing part of the cooking your ingredients and of the Brilliant Restaurant’s special allure.” process – you can only ever entertain those aesthetic Dipna is now in charge of the Brilliant learn from your mistakes and thoughts.’ Punjabi branch - the regional gastronomy in create beautiful products along which she academically specialises. This the way. This drive and curiosity Finally, what are two involves training chefs across the company – cooking from the heart – is tips you can give us as well as aspiring cookery students: “gone what makes my success. from your long time in the are the days when your curries were swimfood business? What’s your favourite First of all: always be passionming in oil – you can have tasty, satisfying cooking technique? ate and motivated. Secondly: dishes, such as Gulab Jamun skewers and never underestimate the value Tandoori cooking – it can be chicken biryani, and still enjoy a longer and of hands on intervention and very healthy! healthy life. One of my fat-trimming tricks is the wearing of different hats. to artfully substitute with yoghurt or olive oil.” Business savvy is important, Does Brilliant restauAnd Anand represents as a businesswoman but you should never think that rant have a particular too, positively redefining a tired, prescribed you’re above any task. To this branding technique? place in the kitchen. Her impressive culinary day my father will step in if one Making good food and relying command, in a notoriously gender-biased of his team needs help – on word of mouth; we don’t whether it be the chef, head spend any money on marketindustry, earned her the Personality of the chef, a kitchen porter or the ing. Food speaks for itself when Year in 2012, announced by then PM David waiter. Don’t underestimate the you’ve prepared it well. We Cameron. “That really was an incredible value of working together. practice the philosophy that moment,” Anand fondly recalled. Together That’s part of having your busionce you’ve won that one cuswith the fact that she has also compiled a ness hat on and being a Jack tomer over, they will be yours best-selling cook book, Beyond Brilliant – of all trades. for life. spurred on by her glass ceiling-breaking moment - has a second in the proverbial You can catch Dipna on her Do you think the dining new lifestyle cookery proatmosphere of your pipeline, and basically invented her own gramme, Dip in Kitchen, on restaurant complements the jalebi-flavoured ice cream, the celebrity chef B4U Music Channel. cooking? shows that though one can hone a talent, Absolutely – refined ambience nothing can ever replace that fundamental, and good customer service is a fiery base. key part of our brand. This www.brilliantrestaurant.com

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Viceroy’s House world premiere at the 67th International Film Festival AsianVoiceNews

Asian Voice | 18th February 2017

The much talked about and anticipated film, the Viceroy's House, by BAFTA nominated director Gurinder Chadha celebrated its World Premiere at the 67th Berlin International Film Festival on Sunday February 12, 2017, and will run till February 19th. Chadha said, “I am honoured that Viceroy's House has been selected by the Berlin Film Festival. My film is an inspirational intensely personal true story about the traumatic events that took place at the end of the British Empire in India, events that tore my own family apart. The festival gives us a brilliant opportunity to showcase my passion project to a global audience.” The film will be released in cinemas by Pathe in the UK and by Reliance Entertainment in India on March 3, 2017.

BACKGROUND Viceroy’s House begins with the tagline “History is written by the victors”, often attributed to Winston Churchill. The film tells the true story of the final months of British rule in India and its release will coincide with the 70th

anniversary of the Independence of India and the founding of Pakistan. The British cast is led by Hugh Bonneville (Downton Abbey, Paddington) as Lord Mountbatten; Gillian Anderson (The X Files, The Fall) as his wife, Lady Mountbatten; Lily Travers (Kingsman) as their daughter, Pamela; and Michael Gambon (Harry Potter, Quartet) and Simon Callow (A Room With A View, Four Weddings and a Funeral) as key civil servants. The Indian and Pakistani cast is led by Manish Dayal (The Hundred Foot Journey), Huma Qureshi (Gangs of Wasseypur) and Om Puri (The Hundred Foot Journey, East Is East). The roles of the principal political leaders are played by Tanveer Ghani (Nehru), Denzil Smith (Jinnah) and Neeraj Kabi (Gandhi). Viceroy's House is directed by Gurinder Chadha. The screenplay is by Gurinder Chadha, Paul Mayeda Berges and Moira Buffini. The film is produced by Deepak Nayar, Gurinder Chadha and Paul Mayeda Berges. The executive producers are Pathé’s Cameron

McCracken, Reliance’s Shibasish Sarkar, former head of BBC Films Christine Langan, the BFI’s Natascha Wharton and Ingenious Media’s Tim O’Shea. The film has been sup-

ported by the BFI through its National Lottery funding. REVIEW: WHAT MEDIA HAS TO SAY While the Times has given the film 4 stars, The Guardian has pointed out that the movie does not respond quite so readily to the tragedy of mass migration and massacres. The movie also does not touch on Lady Mountbatten’s rumoured affair with India's

Local boy Dev Patel wins BAFTA Continued from page 1 That role was followed by many other films like Chappie (2015) and Best Exotic Marigold Hotel (2012), where Patel still appeared as the 'boy next door' – lean, clean shaved, with a youngish or geeky charm. However, he completely upped his glamour for the film Lion, where he underwent visible physical transformations. He doubled the size of his teenage self – thanks to an eightmonth daily gym regime – and his hair, a luxuriant mane which looks just about the right length. GROWING UP YEARS Born on April 23, 1990, Patel started his acting career with the British drama Skins. In 2010, he appeared in the fantasy film The Last Airbender, his portrayal of Neal Sampat on the HBO television series The Newsroom (2012–2014) earned him a NAACP Image Award nomination for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series. In 2015, Patel also starred as the mathematician Srinivasa Ramanujan in the biopic The Man Who Knew Infinity. Dev was born to Anita and father, Raj. His parents are of Gujarati Hindu background and both of them were born in Nairobi, Kenya. They came to England separately in their teens, and only met in London. Patel grew up in Rayners Lane and attended Longfields Middle School. He had his first acting role

as Sir Andrew Aguecheek in the school's production of Twelfth Night. Patel was given the Best Actor award for his performance. He later attended Whitmore High School, receiving an A* in GCSE Drama, for his “self-penned portrayal of a child in the Beslan school siege”. His drama teacher Niamh Wright has reportedly said: “Dev was a gifted student who quickly impressed me with his innate ability to communicate a wide variety of characters imaginatively and creatively. He was awarded full marks for his GCSE performance to a live audience and the visiting examiner was moved to tears by his honest portrayal.” He completed his AS Levels in PE, Biology, History and Drama in 2007 at Whitmore High School, while he was working in Skins. Patel as a child was apparently supremely energetic and therefore used to get into trouble at school. He started training at the Rayners Lane Academy of Taekwon-do in 2000 to channelise his energy. He competed regularly in both national and international championships, including the 2004 AIMAA (Action International Martial Arts Association) World Championships in Dublin, where he won a bronze medal. ACTING CAREER In 2006, Patel began his acting career when he auditioned for the E4 teen drama television series

Skins. Patel's mother saw the casting ad in a newspaper and took him to the audition even though he had a science exam the next day. After two auditions, he was cast in the role of Anwar Kharral, a British Pakistani Muslim teenager. The char-

first Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru. The newspaper further went on to say, that the Viceroy’s House may not have a whole lot of depth, Chadha always shows her irrepressible and good-natured flair for storytelling, and sharp observational eye for the clenched unease of Britain’s patrician ruling class. The film is also interesting as it's one of the very few historical dramas that shows UK's ex-Prime Minister Winston Churchill as the bad guy. Everyone knows about Churchill’s dig at Gandhi as the “half naked fakir”; this goes further and suggests Churchill’s bad faith in secretly contriving at Partition as a self-serving trick. Pakistan was avowedly created as a Muslim state to prevent the victimisation of a Muslim minority. But, as one character angrily remarks, divide-and-quit was a well-established British technique in Ireland

and Palestine (Cyprus lying in the future) – a bit untimely (or too futuristic) for this drama, given its background, setting, age and era. While the newspaper touched on the nuances of a generation of British, never returning to India again, a home they knew, calls this film 'a nimble and watchable period drama'.

the 2009 BAFTA Television Awards. Patel made his feature film debut when he was cast in the role of Jamal Malik, the central character in Danny Boyle's film Slumdog Millionaire – an Indian Muslim boy born and brought up in the poverty of Mumbai, India. Boyle considered hundreds of young

slums for himself. He also worked at a call centre for a day and in a hotel, where he washed dishes. After the success of the film, Patel went on to date his on screen heroine Freida Pinto, 32, for 6 years, even calling her his “soulmate” – but they broke up in 2014. He is currently single, but reportedly 'too busy to date'.

A scene from the film Lion

acterisation of Anwar was partly based on Patel's personality and the role was written specifically for him after he was cast in Skins. Patel, who had no professional acting experience, said that on “the first day of shooting I didn't really know what to do”. The first series of the show was aired in January 2007 and went on to win the Rose d'Or for Drama in 2008 and receive a nomination for Best Drama Series at the 2008 BAFTA Television Awards. Patel reprised his role as Anwar for the second series of Skins, which was aired in February 2008. The second series of Skins won the Philips Audience Award at

male actors, but found that Bollywood leads were generally “strong, handsome hero-types”, not the personality he was looking for. Boyle's 17-year-old daughter Caitlin pointed him to Skins. After five auditions for the role, the actor was eventually cast in August 2007. The film's producer found the original choice for the lead role, Ruslaan Mumtaz, too good looking for the role. Boyle had reportedly said, “I wanted a guy who didn't look like a potential hero; I wanted him to earn that in the film.” To prepare for the role, Patel went along with Boyle while scouting for filming locations, where he was able to observe the Dharavi

CHADHA ON BREXIT AND TRUMP Chadha, who made one of the most successful British movies of all time with 2002’s Bend It Like Beckham, is a Punjabi Briton whose own family was displaced by the Partition. She said she aimed to challenge the received wisdom on it. The Hindustan Times quoted Chadha as saying: “There was a far bigger game at play which was the geopolitics of the time, which are not too dissimilar to the geopolitics playing today in that part of the world.” Chadha indicates in the film that the British fomented religious hatred based on a “divide-and-rule” strategy and planned for the

EMBRACING HIS INDIAN ROOTS Though by heart a local British boy, discussing about his decision to move to the US, in an interview with Mirror, Patel said,: “I feel like I don’t just belong in one place any more. I’d describe myself as a global citizen. London was where I was born and I love the place. “But also much of the time I have spent in India for movies, and revisiting my heritage has helped me grow as a man. Then there is America, land of opportunity.” He also opened up about the difficulty he faced embracing his cultural heritage as an Indian-origin boy in London while growing up in the UK. Speaking to Radio Times, Patel said, “I didn't fully embrace my culture when I was at school because I wanted to fit in and not get bullied” referring to his school days, reported the Mirror. “It was only when I went to India with Slumdog that I started to appreciate the country. I was educated out of all those preconceived stereotypes about my culture,” he added. Patel is seen alongside Nicole Kidman, Rooney Mara, Nawazuddin Siddiqui and many others in Garth

AsianVoiceNewsweekly

Partition. Although she began working on the project seven years ago, long before Brexit or Donald Trump’s run for US presidency, she said the film’s themes of poisonous divisions and the destructive power of walls resonated more strongly now. “Here we are releasing the film when the politics of hate and division are so prevalent and are defining not just America at the moment but...(also) Europe,” she said. “I feel this film is a timely reminder of what happens when you promote hate and division and start to criminalise a group of people. The end result is violence and death and history tells us that.” Huma Quereshi also acknowledged that “the scars are still very deep” on the subcontinent, “so much so that even now, no policy, no decision can be made without a reference to the Partition”. (Watch this space for our own review of the film and interview with actor Huma Qureshi and Director Gurinder Chadha) David's 'Lion', which is in theatres now. PATEL ON TRUMP Dev was recently found to have criticised Trump's immigration policies. In a Hollywood.com interview, he reportedly asked, “What are we doing walking these red carpets when people can’t even walk out of an airport?” The actor said he is distraught people were being turned away from the US purely because of their religion, just as he is being accepted in Hollywood for his culture. “I’m at a moment in my career that I’ve worked really hard for, where I’ve been accepted for my culture, for my uniqueness,” he explained. “I’ve been pushing so hard to be embraced, and it has finally happened. While outside, in the real world, there are people being turned away from these shores and being thrown back into the conflict zones. So you’re constantly thinking, What does this even matter?” Patel credited 'Lion' for being especially poignant in the ongoing political battle over the Muslim ban. “Without giving (Lion) too much importance – because it’s not going to cure anything – if it’s going to be a salve or provide some relief or hope, then that is amazing because all we’re doing is trying to entertain and enlighten. “A film like this, particularly, feels quite poignant right now because it’s about a love that transcends continents. It’s about a love that transcends race, ethnicity, religion,” he added.


SPECIAL Asian Voice | 18th February 2017

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17

Holly Beckons: Indians fancy the West AsianVoiceNews

Times are good if you are an Indian actor with innate talent and charisma. Indian movie industry, or Bollywood as we call it, is no stranger to artists aspiring a call from the West. For years, despite the ocean of artistry in India, it has always been a great deal when any actor makes his or her way to the big league. Years have passed, and the industry has changed, however, what remains fresh is the lust to gain screentime abroad. Over the years, Indian actors and artists have managed to make a mark; get themselves and the film sector recognised as one of the leading and most promising industries across the globe. Actors and actresses have often featured in different roles in English movies- some quirky, some grave, but all serving the same purpose: Changing how our industry is viewed. Appeal of the West dates back to the early years of Cinema. The first ever actor to appear in a Hollywood movie was Sabu Dastagir, who made his debut as Toomai, in

AsianVoiceNewsweekly

Priyanka Chopra

nent mark in Hollywood, Priyanka Chopra has already clinched star status in Hollywood. She features as lead in ABC television series, 'Quantico' and, plays villain in upcoming movie 'Baywatch' along side Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson and Zac Efron. Priyanka has earned several awards and recognition, her fandom in the United States growing by the hour. Not only her, leggy lass Deepika Padukone starred opposite Vin Diesel in 'xXx: Return of Xander Cage', prompting positive reviews. Between then and now, is a slew of actors who did groundbreaking roles with dignity and panache.

Sabu Dastagir

1937's British movie 'Elephant Boy'. He also featured in 'Jungle Book' (1942), 'The Thief of Bagdad' and, 'Rampage'. Indian model and actress Persis Khambatta is best known for her role as Lieutenant Ilia in 1979

Classic actor Om Puri, who

his name. He has also acted in international television series such as 'White Teeth' and 'Second Generation'. What even are movies without a Bad Man? Gulshan 'Bad Man' Grover has several great roles to his credit in the West. He has acted in films such as 'The Second Jungle Book', 'Prisoners Of The Sun', 'Cape Karma', 'Nephilim', 'Honour Killing', 'We're No Monks', an Italian movie 'Les Mysteres de Sadjurah', 'Blind Ambition', 'Sweet Amerika' and 'My Bollywood Bride'. Multi-talented Irrfan Khan, who is loved for his effortless acting skills is not only a personal favourite, but also has several fans abroad. He has been involved in international projects for quite some time and has acted in movies like 'The Namesake', 'New York', 'I Love You', A Mighty Heart', 'The Darjeeling Limited', 'Slumdog Millionaire', 'The Amazing Spider-Man', and 'Life of Pi'. Oh, did we mention how he beats Tom Hanks as the coolest guy in the room? Khan starred oppo-

and style icon Amitabh Bachchan is a well-known name. One of his memorable roles has been Meyer Wolfsheim, his cameo in Leonardo DiCaprio starrer 'The Great Gatsby' (2013). Breaking into the monopoly of men, Aishwarya Rai Bachchan, is one of the most internationally loved Indian faces. A regular on the red carpet of Cannes Film Festival, Aish has done a couple of international projects such as 'The Pink Panther 2', 'Bride and Prejudice', 'Mistress of Spices', and 'Provoked'. Nimrat Kaur of 'The Lunchbox' fame was seen twice at Cannes, representing her films 'Peddlers' and 'The Lunchbox' in 2012 and 2013. She also clinched a massive deal playing an ISI agent in 'Homeland'. The luckiest actor however, is Anupam Kher, who had the opportunity of sharing screen time with ace actor Robert De Niro. Kher has been in several great international ventures such as 'Bend It Like Beckham', 'Lust', Caution', and the 'Silver Linings Playbook'. Calling to the West is not limited to just Bollywood. In one of the most groundbreaking news last year, Southern superstar Dhanush announced

his Hollywood debut with 'The Extraordinary Journey Of The Fakir Who Got Trapped In An Ikea Cupboard' opposite Uma Thurman. Indian-origin actors in Hollywood Credit for changing Indian stereotypes goes to Indian-origin actors in Holly. For years Indian characters were portrayed as either drivers, convenience store owners, or the worst-snake charmers and capable of magic. India has grown accustomed to banking on these artists to break out of the regularly, and unsavoury, ethnic characters and stand up. How do you fancy 'Harold and Kumar' without the Kumar? Kalpen Suresh

Kunal Nayyar

Modi, remains one of the most popular Indian faces

in America. Equipped with

Freida Pinto

a funny bone, he vouches for a box office hit. Mumbai-born Freida Pinto, who found glory with 'Slumdog Millionaire', has not only been a part of several blockbusters, but also managed to bag a role in Woody Allen's 'You Will Meet A Tall Dark Stranger'. Doing more than justice to shy Indian astrophysicist Rajesh Koothrapalli, Kunal Nayyar is undoubtedly everybody's favourite. Vera Mindy Chokalingam AKA Mindy Kaling not has a sitcom dedicated to herself, but has also starred in movies like 'No Strings Attached', '40 Year Old Virgin' and 'Night At The Museum: The Smithsonian Battle'.

Irrfan Khan

Persis Khambatta

movie 'Star Trek'. Also in the list of early actors who got a taste of Hollywood, is Kabir Bedi, who played Gobinda in 1982's James Bond movie 'Octopussy'. He is also a famous name in Europe for playing 'Sandokan' in the television mini series. Late actor Amrish Puri featured as Khan in Richard Attenborough's 'Gandhi'. When you look at contemporary actors, making, what seems to be a long withstanding if not perma-

had aced several roles in Bolly, starred in English television series 'The Jewel in the Crown' in 1984. He is one of the very few actors to have enjoyed a steady stint internationally, with movies such as 'City Of Joy', 'Wolf', 'The Ghost and the Darkness', 'My Son The Fanatic', 'Such a Long Journey', 'East Is East', 'The Mystic Masseur', 'The Parole Officer', 'Code 46', 'Charlie Wilson's War', 'West Is West', 'The Hundred-Foot Journey' to

site Hanks in the very recent 'Inferno' and just as smoothly took away all his thunder. He has also worked along with Angelina Jolie in 'A Mighty Heart'. The actor who refuses to age, Anil Kapoor garnered positive response for his performance in Danny Boyle's 2008 blockbuster 'Slumdog Millionaire'. He also made a touch and go cameo in Tom Cruise starrer 'Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol'. Megastar

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18

FINANCIAL VOICE

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Mayor to take message to Europe that ‘London is open’ AsianVoiceNews

Asian Voice | 18th February 2017

Rupanjana Dutta

The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, has announced he will visit five major European cities next month to declare that London remains the number-one destination for investment, business and tourism, and to discuss London’s needs from the Brexit negotiations. He will be accompanied by his Deputy Mayor for Business, Rajesh Agrawal. He is also expected to make a trip to India, in the coming months, to secure better relationship between London and the country, and to establish a fresh link after Brexit. Khan made appearance at the London Transport museum, celebrating the successes of London’s fastgrowing companies. The exclusive event also marked the achievements of the companies and entrepreneurs enrolled on the Mayor's International Business Programme (MIBP). The Deputy Mayor for Business, spoke about the importance of supporting London businesses in a post-Brexit context and London’s relationship with Europe. The Mayor and Deputy Mayor gave away a few awards, to the winners of the programme which included companies such as Network Locum (highest growth), Onfido (Highest investment secured), Future Learn (highest no of jobs) and Emma Sinclair MBE (MIBP Ambassador). Present among the guests were companies that were looking to do business with India, including one associated with the Clean India project. Sandra Sassow, CEO and Founder of SEaB energy clarified that they are planning to work closely with India, in providing technology to convert waste products into a source of energy.

Rt Hon Sadiq Khan, Mayor of London, addressing the gathering

RELATIONSHIP WITH MAJOR EU TOWNS

Shortly after the Government is expected to trigger Article 50 and begin formal negotiations with the EU, the Mayor will visit Berlin, Brussels, Paris, Madrid and Warsaw over six days in March to strengthen the historic economic, business and cultural ties London shares with its European neighbours. Sadiq will use the trip to make it clear that London continues to welcome people from across the world to work, study or visit. His 'London Is Open' programme is expected to include meetings with senior politicians, city leaders and business leaders. Talks are expected to cover London’s needs from the Brexit negotiations and key issues that the capitals have in common with London, including air quality, the night-time economy and the need for greater social integration. There will also be discussions of the importance of joint security work in the aftermath of Brexit, to help keep London and Europe safe from terrorist attacks. The Mayor of London

told Asian Voice: “I want to take the message directly to Europe that London will always remain open to engaging, trading and doing business with our friends across Europe. Our connections on the continent are more important than ever before and, regardless of Brexit, we will continue to work closely together for our mutual benefit. “I promised to be the most pro-business Mayor this city has ever seen and it is vital that we demonstrate to our partners overseas that despite Brexit we remain open to business, investment, talent and ideas. London will remain the best place in the world to do business and our collaboration with other major

Rajesh Agrawal, Deputy Mayor for Business with a winner of MIBP

European cities will not cease.” Representatives of companies that have participated in the Mayor’s International Business Programme – an initiative to help London-based companies with growth and export opportunities overseas, will accompany the Mayor to Berlin, Paris and Madrid. Sadiq will help some of London’s fastestgrowing businesses from the life sciences, technology and urban sectors to drum up new trade opportunities. Last September the Mayor led a trade delegation of 30 fast-growing companies to the United States to strengthen business links between London, Chicago and New York. The

Present guests at the event in London Transport Museum

start-ups accompanying the Mayor met with investors, business leaders and entrepreneurs, generating investment and trade opportunities for London. As a direct consequence of the visit several of those companies are now negotiating deals with major US clients and one London business has already doubled its US revenue following the trip. INDIAN INVESTMENTS IN THE UK Indian companies are the second biggest investors into London, according to data provided by London & Partners, the Mayor of London’s promotional company, initially started by Boris Johnson. In the last ten years, London has attracted more foreign direct investment from India than Japan and China and second only to the United States. India is also a leading trading partner for London and a significant market for London based businesses looking to expand into Asia, with the value of London exports to India amounting to £1.29bn in 2014. From the beginning of

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2005 to the end of 2015 there was a 117 per cent increase in investment from India into London across all business sectors. During that time London & Partners has helped some of India’s largest companies to setup and expand in London including HCL Technologies, Tata ELXSI and Infotech Enterprises. London’s booming tech sector is particularly attractive for Indian investors, with a 133 per cent increase in tech companies investing in the city, accounting for 46 per cent of all projects. To further strengthen business links between London and India, London & Partners opened applications for India Emerging 20 (IE20) initiative, a programme to discover some of India’s most innovative and high growth companies with global aspirations. The applications for the second round was launched in October 2016 and still open. Last year’s competition saw over 10 times as many applications as places from companies all over India and across the life sciences, technology and professional services sectors. The final twenty companies selected for the programme will be given the opportunity to come to London to meet and learn from senior business leaders, venture capital investors and decision makers from major global companies. Since being chosen for last year’s programme a number of companies have attracted investment and expanded into London including Teabox, Kyazoonga and Seclore which have all received venture capital funding and data analytics company LatentView which recently opened an office in London. Photo courtesy: London and Partners

Tussle at Infosys may lead to changes in co's board Analysts believe Infosys founders' discontent with matters of governance at the company could prompt changes in the board. Founders of the company who own 12.75 per cent stakes, remain particularly critical of the £1.7 million severance payment to former CFO Rajiv Bansal and the alleged absence of proper disclosure of why the payout was made when senior executives who had left before Bansal, did not receive any such payment. They blamed the board chairman and head of remunerations committee for not going through due process. Promoters sought the appointment of a co-chair and replacement of the head of the nominations

and remunerations committee. Co-founder NR Narayana Murthy has proposed NYU Stern School of Business professor Marti Subrahmanyam as co-chair, and has also suggested that board member DN Prahlad should replace Prof Jeffrey Lehman as the head of the remuneration committee. Phil Fersht, CEO of IT consulting firm HfS Research, is among those who expect there will be new faces and replacements over the next few weeks. He thinks Subrahmanyam will come back. "The battle between the legacy founders and the new blood to pivot the Infosys strategy is reaching boiling point. The firm has to start focusing 100 per cent on shareholder

Narayana Murthy

Vishal Sikka

value and dictating new governance policies to make this happen. Until they get the governance set right and all the key stakeholders aligned, they will keep struggling on a go-forward strategy. Changing the roster at the top is inevitable and necessary," he said. CEO of Everest Group,

Peter Bendor-Samuel said the struggle to determine the board make-up is clearly playing out. "The outcome will determine if the current management team and digital-first strategy will continue. The board must decide which strategy to back and then move forward with a board which reflects this

strategy. If major board changes are made, we can expect it is a vote for a different path forward for Infosys. One way or the other, the board needs to decide on its path forward as a protracted debate will start to affect Infosys' morale and performance," he said. A lot rides upon the decision of other major shareholders in the company. Keeping in mind the relatively good performance of Infosys under CEO Vishal Sikka, it remains highly unlikely of them to favour any dramatic changes. One of the major s h a r e h o l d e r s , Oppenheimer Developing Markets Fund has already written a letter in support of Sikka and the board. "The bottom line is that, in

our opinion, Dr Sikka has achieved much in his tenure as the first nonfounder CEO. After many years of internal volatility and competitive underperformance, it is encouraging to see that Vishal has stabilised the core and articulated a clear and appropriate, long-term strategy to help Infosys thrive amid industry disruption," said Justin Leverenz, portfolio manager of the fund. "We would strongly encourage the board of directors to restrain divisions in the firm and contain inappropriate interventions by non-executive founders. Let Vishal do what he was hired to do, without distractions. And appraise him on his efforts."


REALESTATEVOICE

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TOPSY TURVY AsianVoiceNews

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I’ve just finished looking at a property with an agent, the price isn’t cheap at £2.5m. The property is a duplex, with its own entrance, and is facing a beautiful green square.

Suresh Vagjiani

Sow & Reap London Property Investment

Four people are interested in buying this property, and one contract is already out on it at full asking price. What’s the attraction? It certainly is not the economic environment, neither is it the price bracket at this level as the market is soft and a little unstable. So why the high interest? Very simply it’s a rarity to get a property like this with such features of high ceilings, a private entrance, and access to a square which no one seems to use. This is probably the closest you

AGONY AGENT Each week, we answer a reader’s rental property question, from first-time landlords needing pointers about contracts to experienced owners. Agony Agent, is here to help! Q: Last week you wrote about how to ensure a smooth check-out at the end of a tenancy, but what happens if there’s a dispute with the deposit? A: Deposit Protection Schemes (DPS) and the procedure of returning or keeping the money are in the hands of a third party – the Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) service.

Here are a few things to keep in mind: l The deposit belongs to the tenant until decided otherwise The deposit is automatically the tenant’s. This means that you cannot make personal use of it throughout the tenancy, even if it’s in an insurance-based scheme, and especially not to jet off to the Bahamas. If a dispute arises, you must put the disputed amount into the scheme in the allotted time frame you are given by the administrator. l Proving a case is the landlord’s responsibility

BUY TO LET OPPORTUNITY

Asian Voice | 18th February 2017

will get to living in a house. You will have Hyde Park a few minutes’ walk away and a huge square as your front garden. Perfect for a family and dog lovers. It’s simple demand and supply. If you want to live in a square you have a very limited supply in Central Locations. Even in a soft London market, with the uncertain economic environment, here is a situation where if the current buyer does not move fast there is a real chance he will be gazumped, perhaps even by us. For this is a beautiful property and in a strong market I see it attracting a very solid price to the tune of £4m, maybe even higher. It’s the only one in the road with its own private

If there is a dispute, the burden of proof rests on you because it is the tenant’s money. This is why an in-depth inventory should always be taken before the tenant moves in. l

Avoid the dispute in the first place Arguing over deposit money often means going around in circles, particularly if the proper preliminary measures haven’t been taken. These include a well-planned tenancy agreement, a list of reasonable tenant instructions and a detailed inventory. The inventory is the most important

entrance. The above situation shows the fundamentals of the property market do not change, whatever the weather. There is a finite supply of stock and the demand comes from all corners of the globe. So, when a rare diamond surfaces, unsurprisingly buyers will come out of the woodwork.

in 2016, was London, ranking above New York and Paris.

Clearly someone on an average wage in Westminster of £36,000 could not afford this. A large chunk of the demand is currently foreign money, as the current softness in the pound means there’s a discount when purchasing London property. The Knight Frank Report confirms the top property investment destination for high net worth individuals

If you do not have this kind of budget you still can invest in Central London, without compromising on the most important mantra in property, which is location. This can be done through Codeinvesting at https://www.codeinvesting .com, where you can invest from as little as £1,000 and still jump onto the property ladder.

document you can have when involved in a deposit dispute. If it is thorough, contains clear photographs and has been signed and dated by both parties, then it will be able to prove whether or not the tenant has damaged something. If you can convince your tenant that they don’t have a leg to stand on (in the nicest way possible!), you may well avoid the extra hassle of the ADR. Also, remember that a landlord can’t claim for fair wear and tear – a deposit is not a general maintenance fund to spruce things up between tenancies – so try to be reasonably forgiving if it’s a borderline issue.

Communicate clearly with your tenant about the deposit and try to come to an agreement before going further. Try to do it by email so that you have proof of your interactions. Make notes of phone conversations. This will come in handy if the dispute makes it to the ADR. As well as the inventory, you’ll need any relevant invoices, receipts and quotes for repairs and/or replacements, bank statements, and bills.

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l Dealing with a formal dispute If you and your tenant are at odds over deposit money, your DPS provider will arrange an ADR. The precise details of the

This is very convenient solution for the following reasons. Firstly, you can come in low. Secondly, it avoids the need to obtain a mortgage, which is becoming more and more cumbersome, and you need a larger deposit due to the increase rental cover. Thirdly, there are tax changes which will mean for a high rate tax payer you will be unable to offset the interest element from the rental. This will force many BTL investors to start selling.

procedure will vary according to your particular scheme but there are some general rules. Neither party is required to meet with the adjudicator, nor will the adjudicator visit the property. The process is purely evidence-based. Before an ADR can go ahead, it requires both parties’ consent. The decision is binding, although it can be challenged in the Courts, always seek legal advice before proceeding with this final step.


20

FINANCIAL VOICE

Asian Voice | 18th February 2017

Consultant Editor Financial Voice Alpesh Patel

Dear Financial Voice Reader The American stock market is worth more than $20 trillion dollars. And all the stocks I keep mentioning continue rocking up and up, especially Amazon. The problem is most people do not invest because they do not know how. They do not know how to open an online broker account to buy shares. They do not know how to transfer money into it. They do know how to shop online, it is just that they think shopping for shares is different. It is not. You are looking for a bargain. But before you know something is a bargain you need to know which store to shop at. That is which broker to use. Now if you are investing, then I prefer high street names like Barclays because if I give you a name you have not heard of, but I have, you will throw back a hundred names no one has heard of, because there are hundreds of brokers out there. And don’t think investing is the same as spreadbetting or trading. Go onto Google, and search for Barclays Stockbrokers or Lloyds or NatWest any high street name. We are talking about buying some shares for your children. We are talking about names like Amazon. Now do not fear the fact these are American companies. You can buy British. What about currency moves? Don’t even think about trying to predict those. Sometimes you will win, sometimes lose. But more importantly, how do you find a good stock? Well the answer is not some small high risk company mining gold. Yes you may get lucky. But again, I am talking about something for the future for your children. Do not try to outsmart the market. Are a lot of people buying the products? Like Apple, or Amazon? Well, yes the company may or may not be overvalued today. But a good company over the long term like a house may or may not be overvalued today but in the long term will be a good gift to your child. I could bore you about company valuations. But a good company is like a house. Hold it forever and it will give you a good return. The temptation is to gamble. Gambling is trying to time the market, trying to trade, trying to find a hidden gem, buying a tiny no-name company with no track record, buying a story. Hey, gamblers sometimes win. But they are still gamblers. Oh, I also love Disney too!

Kotak, Axis deny merger rumours Following stock market buzz of prospects of a merger between two private banks Kotak Mahindra, and Axis Bank, both of them have strongly denied the rumours. "Axis is one of the strongest financial institutions in the country, with a large customer franchise. We urge you to exercise extreme caution in dealing with this misinformation," said an Axis Bank spokesperson. Kotak spokesperson Rohit Rao said, "We do not comment on rumours and specula-

Abhishek Sachdev

Back in December, I highlighted how SMEs in the UK have been sold complex currency derivative products which are totally unsuitable for their business and exposes them to increased risks rather than reduce risk.

tion." Kotak Bank currently has a market capitalisation of £14 billion and Axis Bank is worth £1..6 billion. "If the two are merged at current valuations, the holding of the Kotak family in the merged entity will come down to about 17.5 per cent," said a financial sector analyst. "The synergies are huge. Kotak Bank has a very strong corporate banking franchise, while Axis is strong on the retail front," said a top fund manager.

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HC orders winding up of Mallya's United Breweries AsianVoiceNews

In a big blow, Karnataka High Court has ordered the winding up of liquor baron Vijay Mallya's United Breweries Ltd, parent company of UB Group. Justice Vineet Kothari, in his order allowing petitions by banks and aircraft lessors, said, "This court has come to a conclusion that the respondent company UBHL deserves to be wound up for failure to discharge their duties to pay up their creditors." He pronounced the order through video conferencing. He said assets of the respondent company cannot be left under the control of UBHL and could be handed over to official liquidator to achieve the winding up process as per the law. The court was moved by creditors including BNP Paribas, State

Vijay Mallya

Bank of India and aircraft lessors and engine makers such as Rolls Royce and IAE, to get back their dues of £14.6 million. Justice Kothari also disposed of all interlocutory applications filed by UBHL. UBHL had given corporate guarantees for loans to run Kingfisher. Mallya owns 52.34 per cent in the company. Extradition request: India has handed a formal request to the UK for

Mallya's extradition to face trial in India. Confirming the development, foreign ministry spokesperson Vikas Swarup said the request, as received by the CBI, was handed over to the UK high commission in New Delhi. "We have an extradition treaty with the UK, and we believe we have a legitimate case against Mallya," he said. After the UK refused to deport Mallya last year, CBI's request for the liquor baron's extradition was sent through the foreign ministry. A non-bailable warrant has been obtained against Mallya after filing a chargesheet last month. Following the Securities and Exchange Board of India's directive on January 25, United Breweries has asked him to step down, barring him

from holding the position of director in any listed Indian company. Officials said the extradition request had to be issued as Mallya didn't respond to requests by the CBI and the ED to join investigations over the last 11 months. In the meantime, United Breweries will call for an extraordinary general meeting of shareholders to evict its chairman Mallya, if the latter fails to accede to a request made by the board of directors to step down, after Sebi barred him from holding any post in public listed companies. This could also coincide with Dutch beer giant Heineken, which owns 43 per cent stake, moving to take "effective management control" of the Kingfisher beer maker.

FEMA expert writes to RBI governor on deposit of demonetised notes As the government vouches for the consequences of the demonetisation move announced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi are finally over, analysts remain sure that troubled times still continue. Affecting not only the economy and big/small businesses, banning of high denomination notes really drove a wedge between the people and Modi Sarkar. Rajesh Dhruva, Chartered Accountant advising overseas Indians in matters related to Foreign Exchange Management Act, 1999 (FEMA) and, Chief Executive of Femaonline, sent over a presentation to Reserve Bank of India Governor Urjit Patel citing deposit of demonetised currency by foreign citizens of Indian origin, and deposit of balances retained in India by Indian citizens as also foreign citizens of Indian origin. The Indian community abroad were amongst those affected by the banning of 500/1000 rupee notes. In a carefully mapped out letter,

Dhruva draw attention to several miss outs by the RBI, that he cites has created severe hardships for NRIs. The discreet letter first states that RBI press release- Notification No. RBI/2016-17/205 DCM (Plg) No. 2170 / 10.27.00/2016-17, dated December 31st, grants the facility to exchange SBNs during grace period to just Indian citizens. Them being, resident Indians who were abroad between 9th November to 30th December, and NRIs who were not in the country during the same period. It also adds that resident Indians won't bear restrictions about the amount of deposits, but "NRIs are restricted to tender a maximum of Rs 25,000 subject

to production of Indian Customs certificate of import of SBNs." Drawing out the variations in the notification, Dhruva points out that "Foreign Citizen of Indian Origin i.e. Person of Indian Origin (PIOs) who are also NRIs are not granted the facility and are eliminated in total." He added, "There are a large number of NRIs who have adopted Foreign Citizenship and the entire class of these Foreign citizen NRIs are excluded from this facility which is restricted only to NRIs who are Indian Citizens. For sure, this seems to be a drafting error and not the intention of the Reserve Bank of India nor the Government of India." Dhruva also brings to attention, the bias in issuing a restriction on the maximum amount of deposit. "Whereas resident individuals are granted facility to deposit any amount of SBNs, NRIs are restricted to deposit maximum amount of Rs 25,000. This restriction seems to be based on the

cially for the unsophisticated end-user that doesn’t have expensive pricing software or the understanding of option pricing theory, this is very profitable area to be in for brokers. So why this ‘strategic’ shift? Could it be due to the current and potential future disputes being raised about selling complex FX derivatives? As I also stated in the Reuters article, ‘in many of the cases he has worked on involving forex products, what starts as a simple hedging contract is restructured many times until the customer is unknowingly

taking on excessive levels of risk.’ We are aware of 25 cases involving currency products of which 15 clients have already instructed solicitors. These cases don’t just focus on World First, but many other mainstream banks and FX brokers that sell FX options to SMEs. So do we expect other brokers to follow World First? Yes, almost certainly, we believe that momentum is now gaining as more and more businesses are becoming aware that they can challenge their brokers if they believe they were missold. The issue often manifests itself after the bank or broker asks a business for a

What have jeans got to do with it?

SMEs (and indeed all global firms) that import or export goods, typically want to remove the worries of large foreign exchange moves by hedging some of this risk. Hedging is very effective in removing the immediate worries of large sudden market moves in a market that can dramatic implications to a business's net profits. The problem, however, arises when products sold as a ‘hedge’ turn out to be highly leveraged speculative punts. This is exactly what happened to a small but global jeans maker, Newstar

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Garments. In a story published by Reuters on the 9th February, Newstar alleges that the currency broker World First sold it derivatives of an ‘exceptionally high level of complexity’ that led to losses of over four million pounds, according to court filings seen by Reuters. Interestingly, with almost uncanny timing that I will leave for you to think about, World First said last week it will exit the FX options business, citing a change in its ‘strategy’. Due to the opaque nature of the FX options market, espe-

assumption of SBNs being carried out of India and brought back in India as a condition is also laid down about certificate of Customs Authorities for import and subsequent deposit of SBNs up to Rs 25,000 as FEMA Regulations permit an individual to carry a maximum of Rs 25,000 only out of India. Offering a set of suggestions, Dhruva stated, "No doubt by virtue of A.P. (DIR Series) Circular No. 24 of 3rd January 2017 extension has been granted to Foreign Citizens to exchange SBNs up to Rs. 5,000/- per week up to 31st January 2017 which will squarely include Foreign Citizens of Indian Origin but as that would not allow import of SBNs by Foreign Citizen NRIs, Reserve Bank of India should allow up to 30th June 2017." Also said that "Foreign citizens of Indian origin NRIs should be recognised at par with Indian Citizen NRIs as regards to deposit of SBNs up to 30th June 2017." ‘margin call’ (which means extra cash is required due to an exposure created by an adverse move in the relevant FX rate). The most important area to consider is the complexity of the products and the unintended risks a company can be exposed to. If you have entered into any FX options with banks or brokers in the past or would like advice on how to use them sensibly, please contact us to discuss.

Tel: 020 7183 2277 www.vedantahedging.com


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Why the Donald could be Trump card for business AsianVoiceNews

Bhanu Choudhrie The election of President Trump has led to marches, street protests and mass hysteria in the media yet business confidence in the United States has never been higher. The Dow Jones share index broke through the 20,000 point barrier for the first time ever in a resounding demonstration of growing investor confidence. So, what is going on and how do we explain this disparity? I would argue that it’s because business leaders are innately practical and understand the need to look at the longer-term picture. Forget all the talk of a rigged campaign or an electoral system that’s no longer fit for purpose, Trump is President and nothing is going to alter that fact. Far better to focus on what the next four years hold in store instead of being swept up in

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the current frenzy. Strip away the bravado and, at his core, Trump is a president whose promises hinge on his pro-business stance. One thing the new commander-in-chief has already demonstrated is a willingness to follow up on his promises – see how quickly he withdrew from the Trans-Pacific Partnership and enacted the controversial travel ban. It is therefore safe to assume that Trump will be equally predictable in his unwavering commitment to stimulating American business. Investors don’t have to admire Trump the man to be enthused about Trump the deal maker who can turbo-charge the US economy. As a businessman, he understands how to create an environment that allows businesses to flourish. Business likes certainty and he will certainly offer that. A move to a lower-tax economy, deregulation and removal of red tape will benefit US companies. I have business interests in the United States, including my role as board member at Customers Bank; it’s a very dynamic challenger bank which has attracted Millennials who prefer virtual banking to an outdated bricks and mortar model and we instinctively welcome anything that strips

away needless regulation. Meanwhile, Trump’s promise to boost US infrastructure spending will stimulate key sectors of the economy, with echoes of President Roosevelt’s new Deal in the 1930s. Theresa May wasted no time in moving to forge a relationship with the new president, and she is not alone in her thinking. The Japanese government are actively courting closer ties with the new Trump administration. Prime Minister Abe is gathering information from major corporates regarding their levels of investment in the US ahead of a concerted move by Japan to form closer ties with the White House in the coming years. It is not just politicians who can see that there is potential. Despite Trump’s criticisms of Boeing throughout, and then after his successful presidential campaign, Boeing CEO Denis Muilenberg has spoken of how impressed he has been by the way Trump is engaging directly with business leaders – something that Muilenberg believes bodes well for the future. I expect this practical approach to be taken up increasingly by key figures across business and politics. A boost to the US economy can be a catalyst to facilitate growth on a global scale.

Trump’s unflinching willingness to take on vested interests – evidenced by his withering attacks on the entire pharmaceutical sector – will cause disquiet in some quarters, but will also win him popular support as long as he chooses his targets wisely. Entrepreneurs will not want to see the president sinking entire industries on a whim. Question marks do remain over Trump’s intentions globally. While he has been pragmatic and outward looking about forging a trade deal with the UK he has taken an incendiary stance to the EU and his immediate withdrawal from the Trans-Pacific Partnership betrays an insular undercurrent to his thinking. He certainly has no qualms in admitting that he is not, contrary to his predecessor Barack Obama, globalist in his worldview. Overly-vociferous protectionism, border tax and some of the astronomical tariffs that have been mooted over the past 12 months would be bad news for investors. Some believe it could help China assert itself as the major trading power on the world stage. Free movement is a point of contention that looks set to run and run. Some of America’s biggest brands are particularly

unhappy about the travel ban, given the diversities of their workforce, while tariffs are set to impact upon their various lines of supply from around the world. And for all of Trump’s straighttalking, it’s only natural that people harbour concerns about the volatility of some of his rhetoric. Given our global interests at C&C Alpha, we will be watching developments on tariffs closely as we instinctively welcome free trade rather than protectionism. Trump will see his first duty as to the American people, but he must ensure he does not alienate external entrepreneurs and investors as he shapes a dynamic economy revolving around American products and American jobs. I take a balanced view on the future. As an investor, it would be counterproductive to view the coming years as an unparalleled disaster before they have begun. As is ever the case with change, opportunity knocks. And where many people see risk, savvy investors will see fertile ground to turn this change to their advantage. (Bhanu Choudhrie is founder of C & C Alpha Group, a private equity business headquartered in London)

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Pak kicks off 37-nation naval drill

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan kicked off a naval exercise with 36 countries including the US, Russia, China and the UK in the Arabian Sea off the coast of Karachi. Aman-17 is the fifth such exercise that Pakistan has organised every alternate year since 2007. It includes search and rescue operations, gunnery drills, anti-piracy demonstrations, replenishment at sea and maritime counter-terrorism demonstrations.

Pakistan kite flyers arrested

LAHORE: Authorities in Pakistan arrested at least 107 kite flyers for flouting a Supreme Court ban on kite flying, media reports said. Police arrested a total of 107 kite flyers on Sunday and seized thousands of kites, rolls. Basant, a very popular festival celebrated by thousands of local people here, was banned by the Supreme Court in 2005 due to multiple deaths caused by the use of glass-coated string.


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Majority of Europeans favour a Trump-style Muslim ban Asian Voice | 18th February 2017

LONDON: The Chatham House Royal Institute of International Affairs - a London-based think tank, has conducted a survey across 10 European countries on their views on a Muslim ban and a majority of Europeans are in favour of a Muslim ban that would go much further than American President Donald Trump’s order. It asked respondents if they would support “all further migration from mainly Muslim countries should be stopped.” Such a ban would be well beyond President Trump’s executive order, which was issued after the poll was conducted. Trump’s order imposed a 90-day moratorium on refugees and immigrants from seven terror hotspots, did not directly

target Muslims, and excluded major Muslim countries such as Indonesia, Pakistan and Saudi Arabia. However, despite the question going well above and beyond what Trump enacted, and specifically targeting Muslims, an average of 55 per cent of participants agreed with an indefinite halt. “Our results are striking and sobering. They suggest that public opposition to any further migration from predominantly Muslim states is by no means confined to Trump’s electorate in the US but is fairly widespread,” experts at the think tank concluded. While only 47 per cent in the UK agreed with that statement, and 41 per cent in Spain, in other countries,

strong majorities backed a ban, with numbers as high as 71 per cent in Poland and 65 per cent in Austria. However, 53 per cent support the measure in Germany, where Chancellor Angela Merkel is engaged in a tough re-election battle after her support plummeted in the wake of her decision to let more than a million Syrian refugees into the country - a move that triggered a continent wide crisis. In France, 61 per cent of respondents agreed with the measure. France has been hit by a number of Islamist terror attacks in recent years, and National Front presidential candidate Marine Le Pen, running on an antiimmigration, anti-Islamist platform, has surged to the

front of the polls ahead of the country’s presidential election in May. Socialist President Francois Hollande has seen his approval ratings dip to as low as four per cent, in part due to his support of Merkel’s refugee policies. The poll also shows 51 per cent support for the measure in Italy, where Prime Minister Matteo Renzi resigned in December, and populist Beppe Grillo’s Five Star Movement is set to make gains in elections in elections before May this year. The poll also found that there was a widespread perception in many countries that the arrival of refugees would increase the chance of a terror attack, with an average of 59 per cent holding that belief.

Indian-origin girl becomes America’s top young scientist TEXAS: Fourteen - year -old Indian-American girl Maanasa Mendu has entered the Discovery Education 3M Young Scientist Challenge with her HARVEST energy device and won first place. Maanasa’s device was created with the goal of supplying sustainable energy to thirdworld countries which are severely lacking. Along with the title of America’s Top Young Scientist, Maanasa was awarded $25,000 to further her academic studies. When asked how she plans to further its reach, she said,

Maanasa Mendu

“Every summer my family visits India, and there I experienced persistent blackouts. This meant no lighting or air conditioning for my family. But for over one fifth of the

global population, darkness remains a permanent reality. Energy is fundamental to modern society and provides a sustainable source of electricity to our entire world.” When asked how does it work, she said, “My bioinspired device harvests mechanical energy in the forms of wind and precipitation through the Piezoelectric effect (an amazing phenomena in which certain materials produce electricity when exposed to mechanical strain), and solar energy through organic photovoltaics in a single design.

Since my device targets third-world countries, I used recycled, and waste materials whenever possible, and this led to the recyclable “3 leaf harvester” being under $5. She said, “First, I plan on maximizing the efficiency of my product by testing different materials and configurations. Then, I plan to conduct further practicality testing to determine any other environmental implications. Finally, I plan on reaching out to businesses and nonprofit organizations to deploy my innovation across the world!”

VFS Global wins contract to manage India visas in Spain MADRID: The Embassy of India in Spain and VFS Global have signed a fouryear contract to manage India visa processing services in three cities in Spain: Madrid, Barcelona and Las Palmas. The new centres in these cities are expected to launch in April 2017. VFS Global won the contract in July 2016 but were delayed due to a petition filed by BLS International disputing its disqualification from the bid

process. Last month the Delhi High Court dismissed BLS’s petition, ruling in favour of the Indian Government’s decision to award the contract to VFS Global, a Kuoni Group company headquartered in Zurich, Switzerland. The Indian diaspora in Spain is expected to significantly benefit from the new centres, which will also offer a wide range of consular services as well. Earlier,

applicants were required to travel to Madrid and apply at the Indian Embassy for these services. Anirudh Singh, Head – Europe, VFS Global said,“As per our exclusive arrangement with the Indian Embassy in Madrid, we plan the open 3 new application centres in Spain. These centres will accept visa, passport and consular applications in the country. Recently, in August 2016, the company successfully won the

Government of Belgium contract through a competitive process, to launch Belgium Visa Application Centres in 11 countries - Saudi Arabia, China, UAE, India, Nigeria, Pakistan, Philippines, Palestine, Thailand, Turkey and Vietnam. This win was followed in December with the award of the Austria Global tender involving the set-up of Visa Application Centres in 119 locations around the world.

Muslim fashion designer makes history with hijab collection in New York NEW YORK: A Muslim fashion designer has made history as the first ever designer to feature hijabs in every outfit on a New York Fashion Week catwalk. Indonesian designer Anniesa Hasibuan, 30, delighted crowds with her Spring Summer '17 collection D’Jakarta. Models wore flowing trousers and skirts in silk, lace and chiffon in an array of pastel colours. One stand-out garment included an intricate gold lace dress, featuring metallic embroidery at the bust and a fringed lace train. Each model wore a hijab in gold, pale pink or dove grey silk. It is believed to be

the first time a New York Fashion Week catwalk show has featured hijabs on every model. Ms Hasibuan also made history as the first Indonesian designer to be featured at the fashion week and says her designs were inspired by her home city of Jakarta, where she also has a

boutique. O n l i n e lifestyle magazine Muslim Girl welcomed the collection, with reviewer Maha Syeda writing: “The Indonesian d e s i g n e r brought together the perfect elements of her cultural home country and the metropolitan western fashion world to create a beautiful harmony of fashion and modesty.” Fans of the designer took to social media to praise for the collection, with one fan calling the show “absolutely

breathtaking”. Another wrote “this was everything!” The designer said: “I am so proud and thankful for everyone on the team who helped me so this event could happen, and I am so thankful to international and local media from Indonesia for exposing my show. I did not realise the result can be this amazing, and I am thrilled and humbled by the welcome reaction given.” Ms Hasibuan has previously held shows at major fashion capitals including London and Paris but this was her first catwalk in the US.

In Brief

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Court bans Valentine's Day in Islamabad

ISLAMABAD: A Pakistan court has banned public celebrations of Valentine's Day in Islamabad, saying they are against Islamic teachings. The Islamabad High Court's order prohibits all Valentine's Day festivities in government offices and public spaces. The order had been sent to Pakistan's media regulator to ensure a blackout on any Valentine's Day promotions in print or electronic media. The orders were a response to a private petition which argued that Valentine's Day was contrary to Islamic teaching. The ban does not affect shops and restaurants, but it is the first time such a ruling has been imposed in the capital, and the ban applies only to Islamabad as its high court has no jurisdiction beyond the city.

Telangana youth shot dead in US

WARANGAL: In what appears to be a case of racial attack, a postgraduate engineering student from Telangana was shot dead at Milpitas city in Santa Clara, California, US, in the early hours of Sunday. The victim, Mamidala Vamsi Reddy, 27, was returning home in a car from his job when he was stopped and shot at by an unidentified man. The US police informed the victim's father Sanjeeva Reddy, a farmer, about the attack on his son.

Salman Rushdie to release new novel

NEW DELHI: Author Salman Rushdie's new book "The Golden House,” is slated to be released in September, said a statement released by Penguin Random House on Feb. 7. The forthcoming book from Rushdie is a breathtaking new novel on a sprawling canvas. A modern-day thriller, it follows a mysteriously wealthy family from Bombay that is desperately seeking to forget the tragedy they left behind as they feverishly reinvent themselves in New York City. The novel is copiously detailed, sumptuously inventive, brimming with all the razzle-dazzle that imbues his fiction with the lush ambience of a fable.

13 killed in Philippines quake

MANILA: At least 13 people were killed and 100 others injured after a 6.7 magnitude earthquake hit Philippines' Surigao city, officials said. Surigao Governor Sol Matugas said the quake struck late Friday night, 14 km northwest of the city. Matugas said that the earthquake caused power outages in the city, destroyed the airport runway, bridges and buildings, including hotels and schools.

Olympian in hijab detained at US airport

LOS ANGELES: Fencer Ibtihaj Muhammad, the first American to compete in the Olympics wearing a hijab, has said she was recently detained at US Customs for two hours without any explanation. Ibtihaj said she did not know if she was held as a result of the Trump administration's travel ban but is sure the move was a result of her ethnicity. “I don't know why. I can't tell you why it happened to me, but I know that I'm Muslim. I have an Arabic name. And even though I represent Team USA and I have that Olympic hardware, it doesn't change how you look and how people perceive you,” she said. Ibtihaj won bronze in team sabre at the Rio Olympics last year.

16 killed in blast outside Punjab assembly

LAHORE: Three top police officers were among 16 people killed when a suicide bomber blew himself up targeting them during a protest rally outside Pakistan's Punjab assembly that also left 60 others injured. Punjab Health Minister Khawaja Salman Rafique said more than 60 people suffered injuries. The condition of some 11 injured is stated to be critical, the minister said. A TV footage shows that a motorcyclist dragging his bike close to police officers and blew himself up. Punjab Law Minister Rana Sanullah confirmed that it was suicide blast and 'some police officers' have been killed. He said the agencies had issued a threat alert that terrorists might target Punjab Assembly building and Governor's House on the Mall Road.


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Ford scion in Gujarat to raise funds for Iskcon temple AsianVoiceNews

Great-grandson of Henry Ford, founder of the Ford Motor Company, Alfred Ford, has joined in the mission to build the Temple of the Vedim Planetarium, with the world's second tallest dome. Chairman of the ISKCON project, Ford was initiated into Vaishanavism by Srila Prabhupada in 1974, Hawaii. During his tour of Gujarat, he visited Ahmedabad on February 4, where he held meetings at ISKCON temples, and raised funds for the proj-

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Alfred B Ford

Artist's impression of Mayapur temple

ects. Vice-president of ISKCON, Kalanath Chaitanya Das said that during his visit to the city, he gave a talk in the

planned temple to be constructed in Mayapur, West Bengal, birthplace of Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. He visited Vallabh Vidyanagar, Vadodara, and Surat, before he came to Ahmedabad. Alfred has already donated approximately £25 million to the project, that is expected to cost £50 to 70 million. Not only that, he has also been actively involved in numerous ISKCON projects around the world, including Bhaktivedanta Cultural Center in Detroit, the Oxford Center for Hindu Studies at Oxford

University, and Srila Prabhupada's Pushpa Samadhi in Sridham Mayapur. The to-be-constructed temple will depict the Vedic perspective on lifeand a huge detailed model of the universe as described in Srimad Bhagvat, will be created within the planetarium. Spread across 350 acres, the Mayapur complex will flaunt a 113 metres high dome, only second in height to St Peter's Basilica in Vatican City, which is 138 metres tall.

Rajkot organises full Marathon Gujarat chief minister Vijay Rupani flagged off Rajkot's full marathon at 5.30 am on February 5. Organised by the Rajkot Municipal Corporation, and city police, it was touted to be one of the biggest in the country in terms of total registration of 63,594 people and second biggest in Asia after Hong Kong's. "There was 100 per cent people attendance of all those who had registered. We also had 19 athletes from Kenya and Ethiopia

running besides 360 elite runners from various

armed forces and professionals," said

Banchhanidhi Pani, Municipal Commissioner. Over 16 international athletes had landed in the city a day prior. There were eight Kenyans and just as many Ethiopians among them. Last year's winners were, however, missing. Winners of the full marathon, both in men's and women's categories, got about Rs 250,000 each as a prize, while halfmarathon winners received Rs 100,000.

Tata Steel UK signs deal to sell unit to Liberty Tata Steel said it has signed a definitive agreement to sell Speciality Steel business in the UK to Liberty House Group for £100 million. UK Business Secretary Greg Clark said, "Acquiring Tata's Speciality Steels business in South Yorkshire and West Midlands, which manufactures high quality steel for some of the UK's world leading industries such as aerospace and automotive is a great opportunity for Liberty House. We want to work with the steel industry on proposals to transform and

upgrade their sector as part of the modern Industrial Strategy so we can build on our strengths and extend excellence into the future." UK-based Liberty House Group, led by executive chairman of Indianorigin Sanjeev Gupta, said the deal secures the future

of around 1,700 jobs directly, and thousands more in the supply chain and regional economy. The sale comes after an extensive due diligence period, after the parties entered exclusive discussions last November. "This is good news for Speciality Steels and for Tata Steel's core business in the UK. Like our former Scunthorpebased Long Products business which we sold last year, we will be handing over a business which has been transformed following difficult decisions to restructure and refocus on

higher-value markets," said Bimlendra Jha, CEO of Tata Steel UK. The deal will make Liberty House, one of the largest steel and engineering employers in the UK, with over 4,000 workers at plants located across Britain. Tata Steel turns the corner: Meanwhile, Tata Steel has turned the corner by posting a consolidated net profit of £23.14 million for the December quarter as against a consolidated net loss of £274.77 million in the corresponding quarter of the previous fiscal.

Indian-American professionals express concern over H1B bills Indian American IT professionals have expressed concern over new bills on H1B visa being introduced in the US Congress by the Trump administration, saying it would adversely affect the community. Over a hundred Indian-American technology professionals gathered in the Silicon Valley recently to express their concerns on the issues and felt the need to create an awareness on this issue among lawmakers and policy makers. "While we support, reforms to curb any abuses, most of the bills are targeted to increase minimum salary and requirements very high that would adversely impact fresh Indian graduates from US universities as well as skilled professionals with

fewer years of experience and they would not be able to find employers who can be ready to pay the minimum salary as required by the criteria eg one of the bills is suggesting USD 130,000 per annum," said Khanderao Kand, president of Global Indian Technology Professionals Association (GITPRO). The H1B visa is a nonimmigrant visa that allows US companies to employ foreign workers in speciality occupations that require theoretical or technical expertise in specialised fields. The technology companies depend on it to hire tens of thousands of employees each year. Following the meeting, GITPRO recommended to create awareness among

policy makers as well as industry leaders, to set salaries appropriate for skills, experience in a given geographical zone according to a market rate. In a letter to India's External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj, Rao said that currently, Green Card (permanent resident) applicants from India are unfairly being impacted due to a country-wise quota set for green cards. "As a result of it, the applicants from India have to wait for more than a decade to their priority date become current compared with a less than one year wait for countries like Pakistan. Their children may lose an opportunity to have resident status for studying in Universities," he said.

GITPRO has recommended to create awareness to support HR392 bill that has been introduced in the US Congress to abolish unfair country-wise quota. Noting that currently, dependent spouse of H-1B visas are allowed to work in the US, Rao said a reform or bill has been in discussion to revoke the same. "As a result, most of these talented professionals won't be eligible to work in the US if the bill is approved," he said. As such GITPRO has recommended to create awareness among policy makers as well as industry leaders, to create awareness about the impact of approval of this bill may lead to employees lose their ability to work in the US.

THE HINDU WAY: To make their 50th marriage anniversary more memorable, Mexican couple Oscar Vargas Varela, 81, and wife Maria Guadalupe Hernandez Vargas, 76, remarried, but in Hindu tradition. Touched by Indian culture and traditions, the AFS volunteers who were in Ahmedabad tied the knot the Indian way.

LOVE LIFTS: It wasn't a usual sight at an all caste mass marriage function in Vastral, Ahmedabad as mill worker Chandrakant Parmar, 25, performed the pheras with his poliostruck wife Meena in his arms. Despite people trying to talk him out of the wedding, Parmar remained adamant on marrying the woman he fell in love with.

MOB FURY: Class 2 officer Dharmin Vyas faced the wrath of a mob as he was force-fed currency notes with pickles and sauce by Lokrakshak Seva Samiti activists, for allegedly taking bribes from firms.


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Karnataka passes bill to allow buffalo race In Brief AsianVoiceNews

Asian Voice | 18th February 2017

BENGALURU: The Karnataka Government has passed an amendment bill in the state Assembly to legalise the traditional buffalo race Kambala. The Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Bill, 2017, was introduced in the Assembly on February 10. This development came a month after Tamil Nadu passed a bill to allow Jallikattu. The clamour for Kambala was spurred by the success of the stir in Tamil Nadu for allowing Jallikattu, which led to the state government bringing a similar amendment to the Central act. Protests were held at several places by Kambala

Committees and various Kannada organisations, against the ban. Given the significant role played by the traditional sports event, in preserving and promoting traditions and culture among the people in the state and their vital role in ensuring survival and continuance of native breeds of cattle, the govern-

Judge who banned Jallikattu seeks SC shield NEW DELHI: Former Supreme Court judge Justice KS Panicker Radhakrishnan has moved the Supreme Court seeking quashing of proceedings against him in the Madurai bench of the Madras HC, which has issued notice to him on a PIL asking him to return a PETA award received in 2015, couple of months after his retirement. During peak of the pro-jallikattu agitation in Tamil Nadu, a 62 year old agriculturist had filed a petition in the HC alleging that since a bench headed by Justice Radhakrishnan had banned use of bulls in Jallikattu in May 2014 on petitions by Animal Welfare Board of India, PETA, and others, the ex-SC judge committed constitutional impropriety by receiving PETA's 'Man of the Year' award in 2015. He was issued a notice by the high court, on January 31. Agriculturist Salai Chakrapani, alleged that by accepting the award for the verdict, the ex-judge had vio-

lated the constitutional provision which bars judges from receiving any favour from anyone for any judgment. He requested the HC to direct Justice Radhakrishnan to return the award. In response, the Judge rushed to the SC and cited Section 3 of the Judges Protection Act, 1985, which says, "No court shall entertain or continue any civil or criminal proceedings against any person who is or was a judge for any act, thing or word committed, done or spoken by him when, or in the course of, acting or purporting to act in the discharge of his official or judicial duty or function." Referring to additional constitutional protection given to judges to independently discharge their duties, Justice Radhakrishnan said the HC had "unfortunately and irrationally" drawn the proceedings without proper application of mind to the provisions of the Constitution and Judges Protection Act.

ment had decided to exempt their conduct, the bill said. The Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1960, was enacted to prevent the infliction of unnecessary cruelty and suffering on animals. It recognises the need to exempt the application of its provisions in certain circumstances. Meanwhile, the amendment bill states that there was no extra expenditure involved in the proposed legislative measure. Amid growing protests for lifting the court stay on

Kambala, the Karnataka Cabinet on January 28 had decided to amend the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act to pave the way for the traditional sport. A Karnataka High Court Division Bench, headed by Chief Justice S K Mukherjee, had in November last year, stayed holding of Kambala on a petition by the People for Ethical Treatment of Animals, challenging it in view of orders passed by the Supreme Court on Jallikattu. PETA noted that the buffaloes are whipped to race faster in slush paddy fields for their owners to win cash prizes from Rs 10,000 to Rs 500,000.

NRI banker killed over extra-marital affair HYDERABAD: A 35-year old NRI working with the National Bank of Abu Dhabi, was found murdered and his body buried at an under construction house in Bandlaguda area. Police said Syed Imran had been missing from Falaknuma area since February 4. The case was solved after a missing complaint was lodged by the victim's mother Syeda Afshan. He had come home on holidays last month. Police exhumed Imran's body and said that he was killed for having an extra marital affair with a citybased woman. Further investigations led to the arrest of Saif Bin Sabeth Barabood, who told police that the miss-

ing person was having an extra marital affair with Fatima, the wife of his elder brother Sayeed Bin Sabeth Barabood, who is an Army man in Qatar, and also his elder sister. Notably, Imran was already married and has a child. Saeed, who had also come home on holidays, learned about this affair and hatched a plan with his brother to kill Imran. As per their plan, Fatima brought Imran to a rented house in Jamal Banda. Saeed and Saif threw chilli powder in his eyes and slit his throat. Police said after committing the crime, Saeed returned to Qatar. Search is on for Fatima, who is absconding.

Fearing hung House, parties woo independents

SC refuses to ban `Sardar' jokes NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court ruled out any blanket ban on 'Sardar' jokes, saying the judiciary could not lay down moral guidelines for citizens and that it should not pass orders on how people should conduct themselves. A bench of Justices Dipak Misra and R Banumathi said it was part of the fundamental duties, as laid down in the Constitution, that people should respect each other and no particular community should be made the butt of jokes. However, it also expressed reservation in passing an order to ban jokes. "Courts cannot lay down moral guidelines for citizens. Although fundamental duties are part of the Constitution, and people must have respect but how can court pass order on such issues?" the bench asked as it referred to Article 51A which says that it shall be the duty of every citizen of India to promote harmony and spirit of common brotherhood amongst all the people transcending religious, linguistic and regional or sectional diversities. The court has been examining the case since

October 30, 2015, when it agreed to hear a PIL seeking a ban on Sardar jokes for being racist, ridiculing Sikhs, and projecting them as foolish and naĂŻve. Petitioner, advocate Harvinder Chowdhury contended that cracking jokes on a particular community amounts to racial abuse and hurting religious sentiments. "There are more than 5,000 websites that spread jokes on Sardars projecting Sikhs as unintelligent, stupid, idiot, foolish, naĂŻve, and not well versed in English... It amounts to violation of the fundamental right to life and to live with dignity, as guaranteed under the Constitution," she had submitted. She also alleged that the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes have a law to protect them from any insult but the Sikh community did not have such law and pleaded to the court to intervene. But the bench said it was for the Parliament to frame laws. "Some people laugh when they hear jokes, some are reserved. How can we issue guidelines as to how people should conduct themselves?"

Simarjit Singh Bains and Rajdeep Kaur

CHANDIGARH: The ball is in the Independents' court now, as all major parties competing for power at the Punjab Assembly election, are doing the best in their capacity to woo them. As fear of a hung Assembly spread across the state, party leaders have taken it upon themselves to keep Independents on their side. Various Independents like Congress rebel Naresh Puri from Sujanpur, Rajdeep Kaur, sister of former gangster Jaswinder Singh Rocky from Fazilka, and Tarlochan Singh Soond, sitting Congress MLA from Banga, who contested as rebel after being denied ticket, are being considered strong by all parties. Ludhiana MLA brothers, Balwinder Singh Bains and Simarjit Singh Bains, who floated their own Lok Insaaf Party and aligned with the Aam Aadmi Party, are also considered strong Independents. AAP had left

five seats, four in Ludhiana and one in Amargarh, for them. Congress sources claimed that Puri and Soond were already associated with Congress and if the need arose, and they won their respective seats, they would go with the party. A SAD leader said, "We are in touch with each one of them. In case we get close to the winning mark and are short of a few seats, we will have plenty of Independents in hand." Both, Congress and SAD feel that the Bains brothers did not join AAP. "They had five members, who contested on their symbol. Even if only two win, we will have two Independents. A deal with them would not be loss making at all," said a Congress leader." Another SAD leader said, "Why should Bains brothers have any issue? They can go to any side. They are not part of AAP."

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BJP worker hacked to death

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: A BJP worker was allegedly hacked to death by CPM workers in Kerala. Nirmal, 20, was killed after a tussle during celebrations at Kokkulangara temple near Thrissur. The BJP alleged that the youth was killed due to political reasons. BJP state president Kummanam Rajashekharan expressed his shock over the murder. The BJPCPM fight has only been growing, ever since Pinarayi Vijayan's Left Front government came to power in the state. An RSS activist Ezhuthon Santhosh was allegedly murdered by CPM workers in January, and BJP Kerala's vice president PP Vava lost sight in one eye after a clash with police, earlier this month.

Karnataka gets Lokayukta

BENGALURU: Former High Court judge Justice P Vishwanath Shetty has been sworn in as the Karnataka Lokayukta, a year after the post fell vacant. Shetty was administered the oath of office by Governor Vajubhai R Vala at a ceremony at Raj Bhavan. Present at the ceremony were Chief Minister Siddaramaiah, state ministers, judges of the High Court, and senior officials. Governor Vala had given his assent to Shetty's appointment after the government replied to clarifications sought by him. The post remained vacant since Y Bhaskar Rao, former High Court Chief Justice, stepped down in December 2015 following an alleged bribery scandal.

Principal held for sexually abusing girls, women staff

BENGALURU: A Kendriya Vidyalaya school principal was arrested for alleged sexual abuse and harassing girl students and women staff. DCP Chandragupta said, "We arrested the principal Kumar Thakur of the Kendriya Vidyalaya school situated at Sadashiv Nagar after receiving a letter from Vasudeva Sharma, Nodal Director of Bangalore Childline Nodal Centre, stating that the principal was sexually abusing and harassing girl students, particularly of Class X and XII standard over a three-year period. Kumar also allegedly harassed women staff sexually, using his authority and power to punish those who questioned or disobeyed him.

Akali Dal sees 'conspiracy' against Sikhs

CHANDIGARH: Punjab's ruling Shiromani Akali Dal claimed "certain" elements were indulging in "a deep-rooted and dangerous conspiracy" to weaken the Sikh community in the state. Party general secretary Harcharan Singh Bains issued a statement after the party's core committee meeting, saying, "The party feels that there is a deep-rooted and dangerous conspiracy by forces inimical to the Khalsa Panth to create confusion and sow seeds of disunity in Panthinc ranks." It also added, "These elements, operating with the help of the latest weapons of technology, are using massive misinformation and disinformation as tools in their modes of warfare to weaken the Sikh community as also to strike at the foundations of Punjabi unity. Their sustained and highly motivated campaign is aimed at depriving the Sikh masses of a credible single socio-political and religious platform. "

4 arrested on murder charges

TARN TARAN: Police arrested former Akali sarpanch Gurpreet Singh "Babbu", Amarpal Singh "Pala", Jaswant Singh "Nihang" and Vikramjit Singh "Vicky" for allegedly killing a Dalit man at Palasaur village, 10 km from Tarn Taran. Surjit Singh, 30, was killed and his brother Jaswant Singh suffered injuries, after around 50 Akali workers, including former sarpanch Gurpreet Singh, allegedly barged into their house and opened fire on the family. Senior Superintendent of Police Harjit Singh said the accused were arrested, and an unlicensed 12-bore gun and four cartridges were recovered from the former sarpanch, while a 32-bore revolver and three bullets were recovered from his brother Amarpal Singh. The attackers reportedly held a grudge against the Dalit family.


HERITAGE - HISTORY Asian Voice | 18th February 2017

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Josh Malihabadi’s defection to Pakistan AsianVoiceNews

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Padma Bhushan Awardee Urdu Poet and friend of Pandit Nehru repented his decision, wanted to return to India but Maulana Abul Kalam Azad got in the way

Dr Hari Desai Born in an affluent Afridi Pathan family of Malihabad, 13 miles from Lucknow, Shabbir Hassan Khan “Josh” (5 December 1898 Malihabad, India – 22 February 1982 Islamabad, Pakistan) wrote a lot of fiery patriotic verses, and came to be known as Shair-eInquilaab – Poet of the Revolution. The first Prime Minister of India, Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru, held him in high esteem and hardly missed a chance to attend the

Josh and Nehru with Kalra family

mushaira at Lala Kishan Lal Kalra’s United Coffee House where Josh used to be the star attraction. Josh Malihabadi himself was not sure about his date of birth. He wrote in his autobiography “Yadon ki Baarat” (A Cavalcade of Memories): “There was no tradition of getting the date of birth registered in my family. Of course my grandma, who was the historian of our tribe, used to tell me that I was born in 1896 or 1898, unable to recollect correctly. What difference it makes if the age is two years more? Hence take it as I was born in 1896.” Since he was not sure about his date of birth, one would find different dates of birth (from 1894 to 1898) in various writings. The rebel in Josh was always alive and would never hesitate to crop up in his writings even if it would cost him his job. In 1925, he joined the Osmania University, in the Princely State of Hyderabad, to supervise translation work from where he was exiled for

Josh Malihabadi - Despite his communist leanings, Sardar Patel appointed him the Editor of Aaj Kal

writing a nazm against the ruler, Nizam of Hyderabad. Soon thereafter, he founded a magazine, Kaleem (meaning: interlocutor), in which he openly wrote articles in favour of independence from the British Raj in India. As his reputation spread, he came to be called Shaayar-eInquilaab (Poet of the Revolution). He was also a noted journalist and commentator and edited several literary journals, including the distinguished Aaj Kal. His appointment as the Editor of Aaj Kal, the Urdu journal of the Information Ministry of the Government of India, was okayed by Sardar Patel. R K Murthi has described the episode in his book “Great Men Great Deeds”. Information Minister

Patel was in a dilemma. The Union Ministry of Information wanted to appoint Josh Malihabadi as the Editor of “Aaj Kal”. Undoubtedly, Josh was a leading Urdu writer. He had found a niche for himself in the world of Urdu literature. So he was the right man to edit the journal. Set against this were Josh’s political views, which showed communist leanings. Patel was still mulling over the issue when his Secretary V Shankar walked in. “You must have read Josh Malihabadi’s poem,” the Sardar asked him. “Yes. Sir. He is a master of Urdu poetry. He does wonders with words. He has a simple style. His appeal is very direct. He has made a lasting impact on Urdu poetry. He will remain, forever, a star on the Urdu literary scene,”

PM Jawaharlal Nehru stole time to attend mushairas with Josh

Shankar replied. “Aha, you seem to hold him in high esteem,” Sardar Patel remarked. “Of course, Sir. He speaks for the masses, he reflects their hopes and aspirations in the songs. He raises his voice in protest against injustice and inequality. He demands a fair deal for all. He is almost militant when he calls for social justice,” Shankar added. “That is right. He thinks like communists.

issuing the appointment letter to Malihabadi. Josh was a close friend of both Nehru and Maulana Abul Kalam Azad, the Union Minister of India. He saw the face of a “criminal” in Patel but on advice from Nehru, when Josh met the Sardar, he was all praises for him. He did narrate it in his autobiography too in the chapter titled “Hizarat” (more than mere migration, it is a defection). He defected to Pakistan in 1956 even after

Josh Malihabadi with Aghajani Kashmeri and Majnu Lucknowi

Right?” “No doubt, he has communist leanings,” Shankar admitted. “Do you think such a man can be appointed to a Government post?” “What?” “I have with me a proposal for appointing Josh Malihabadi as the editor of the Urdu journal Aaj Kal.” “He would be the right-man, Sir.” “Even though he is enthused by communism!” “Yes. Sir.” Shankar sounded confident. The Sardar asked him to recite some of Josh’s poems. He did. The Minister agreed with Shankar and added, “But, I want you to talk to Josh. I want you to tell him that he must not let his personal belief interfere with his official duties.” Patel even penalised his department Secretary N C Mehta for delay in

his friend PM Nehru honoured him with Padma Bhushan in 1954 for literature and education! He defected, but was ditched and soon he got disillusioned. He wanted to return to India but Azad was keen to arrest him if he returned. Both Nehru and Maulana were hurt as Josh did not accept their offer to send his family to Pakistan and he could be with the Indian Government, visiting his family for four months taking leave from the job. As time passed his outspoken temperament in Pakistan made him critical of not only the founder of Pakistan Mohammad Ali Jinnah but also of Field Marshal Ayub Khan and other rulers. He was branded as anti-Pakistan, a traitor and even an Indian agent. Blacklisted by the General Zia-ul-Haq government, the world

renowned poet's works were taken off from the textbooks too. His 800page autobiography “Yadon Ki Baarat” written in 1970 was banned in Pakistan. Only in 1999, a postal stamp was issued by the Pakistan Government in his memory since it was the centenary of the great poet. In 2012, Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari conferred Hillal-IPakistan, the top civilian award, posthumously to Malihabadi. Urdu linguistic experts in Pakistan had applauded the step of the democratic government to confer the highest prestigious civil award to Josh in recognition of his great service to Urdu poetry and literature. His grandson Farrukh Jamal Malihabadi, born after Partition, brought out a well-researched book in 2014 on the legendary Urdu poet i.e. “Josh Malihabadi: Malihabad sey Islamabad Tak”. But no Pakistan Minister attended the launch function of the book! Like Jinnah and the Nawab of Junagadh, Josh Malihabadi too repented going to Pakistan but they could not revoke the decision and died in anguish despite all the name and fame they earned. The lifelong mission of Josh Malihabadi can be summed up in his own words: kaam hai mera taghayyur, naam mera shabaab mera na’ara: inqilaab-oinqilaab-o-inqilaab (My task is change, my name is youth! My slogan: revolution and revolution and revolution!) Next Column: A Telugu State over Sriramulu’s Sacrifice (The writer is a Sociopolitical Historian. E-mail: haridesai@gmail.com)


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INDIA

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What Makes Jammu a “Ticking Time Bomb” AsianVoiceNews

Asian Voice | 18th February 2017

Brig Anil Gupta Consequent to eruption of militancy in Kashmir in late eighties and its extension to Doda District and Rajouri– Poonch in nineties migration of Hindu families to Jammu began. This was soon followed by migration of Muslims belonging to the militancy infected areas. Large number of Gujjar settlements also erupted all of a sudden close to International Border and around Jammu City. Jammu is predominantly Hindu region but in the last decade or so, there has been a spike in the number of Muslims in the region, a majority being migrants and refugees. Jammu has now become the refugee capital of not only refugees from within the country but also International refugees. Illegal foreign migrants

belong to Bangladesh and Myanmar first came into Jammu during the period 1998-2012 and have since then settled down in regularised colonies around the Hindu neighbourhoods. Many of them have even managed to acquire Citizenship and Voter Cards. Since these are illegal migrants, their figures are not included in the Census-2011. If their numbers are also added to the official figures, the increase in Muslim population will be even higher upsetting the demographic balance. As per government version 13,400 Myanmari and Bangladeshi migrants are living in Camps in Jammu. The actual figures are much more than the official figures. As per official estimates there are 36,000 Rohingya refugees (from Myanmar) settled in seven states in

India namely, UP, West Bengal, Andhra, Kerala, Assam, J&K and Delhi. Jammu and its adjoining areas have also become safe haven for illegal Bangladeshi migrants who were brought here in the nineties by unscrupulous contractors with the promise of migrating to Pakistan through the Jammu border. After repeated failed attempts to cross over to Pakistan, they gradually started to settle in Jammu. As per the government of India figures given in Rajya Sabha in November 2016, there were around 2 crore illegal Bangladeshi immigrants staying in India. Their exact number in J&K is not known but is guessed to be approximately 10,000. Since they have not been granted a refugee status and are not registered with UNHCR, they are all illegal. Majority of the male

members work as skilled labour like electricians, plumbers, welders, guards, gardeners, black smith etc., while the female members work as domestic help generally with Muslim families. They speak Hindi fluently and have merged well with local population. They even migrate in summers to the Valley with well to do Muslim families, bureaucrats and police officers. Many of them have managed to obtain ration cards, voter cards, Adhar cards and Permanent Residence Certificate (PRC). They are suspected to be involved in crime as well as antinational activities. Implications of demographic change are manifold. A) it will lead to increased influence of Hurriyat and other proseparatist and pro-Pakistan elements in the communally sensitive Jammu region

Peugeot buys Indian iconic car brand Ambassador French car manufacturer Peugeot has bought the iconic Ambassador from its maker Hindustan Motors in a deal that highlights the changing era in Indian motoring history. The CK Birla Group that owns HM, said it had signed an agreement with Peugeot SA to sell the Ambassador for 800 million rupees.

Fondly called "Amby", the sedan was the only luxury car available in India till the mid-1980s. HM had stopped manufacturing it in 2014, after over 2,200 cars were sold in 2013. Modelled after the British Morris Oxford III, the Ambassador remained largely unchanged for over five decades - a status sym-

bol in 70s, ferrying Indian elite, including prime ministers, visiting heads of states and celebrities. Its lumbering shape was suited for Indian pot-holed roads, and rugged terrain, however, poor gas mileage and a lack of luxury features diminished its demand, as the Indian middle class preferred to

own cheaper and newer models. It remains unclear what exactly the French maker plans to do with the brand. Just last month it signed an agreement with Birla to return to the fast-growing market, saying it will invest $107 million in Hindustan Motors manufacturing facility in Tamil Nadu.

which has so far displayed maturity and tolerance; B). assist in Pakistan’s design of portraying the entire state of J&K as disturbed and disputed; provide a trigger for communal violence; C) Provide logistics assistance and rest and recoupment base for terrorists; D) create a dormant terror network to be activated at an opportune moment. Demographic shift in favour of a particular community having record of supporting antinational elements can have an adverse impact on national security interests. One of the two foreign terrorists killed in South Kashmir in October last year was identified as a native of Myanmar; make the area vulnerable to “radicalisation”. A few notorious families also indulge in smuggling of bovines thus hurting the local senti-

AsianVoiceNewsweekly

ments and creating a sense of fear and panic among the locals through crimes and mafia like activities. It is evident from the foregoing that silence of those who oppose any move of honourable return of Kashmiri Pundits to Valley, Sainik Colonies for veterans and issue of Domicile Certificate to West Pakistani refugees on the pretext of attempt to change the demography is not only perplexing but smells of communalism. If not addressed well in time it could become a communal flash point in the hitherto peaceful region. Jammu is fast emerging as a ‘Ticking Time Bomb’. The writer is a Jammu based political commentator, columnist, strategic and security analyst. He can be contacted at anil5457@gmail.com

Mother of All State Polls in India

Continued from page 1

in lieu of Akhilesh and Congress alliance. Either ways, national BJP finds

high. UTTARAKHAND Polling for 69 Uttarakhand Assembly

Guilty, says SC, ends Sasikala’s CM dream Continued from page 1 the Bengaluru trial court's conviction order and sentencing "in toto" while setting aside the Karnataka High Court judgment that acquitted Jaya, Sasikala, Sasikala's sister-in-law Ilavarasi, and nephew VN Sudhakaran. All those convicted will also have to pay £1 million each as fine and their assets such as gold and diamond jewellery, found to be disproportionate to their known sources of income, will be confiscated by virtue of the Supreme Court judgment. The bench held that Sasikala and her two relatives were accommodated in Jaya's house not out of humanitarian concern or for social living, but "pursuant to the criminal conspiracy hatched by them to hold the assets" of the former AIADMK chief and "to launder the ill-gotten wealth" for purchasing properties in the names of shell firms. Judgment in the matter remained pending since Jaya's death on December 5, the SC abated proceedings against her in the 1996 case, maintaining that her "inextricable nexus" with Sasikala and other co-accused was duly proved by way of overwhelming evidence to establish charges of active abetment and conspiracy against the co-accused.

"The trial court was meticulous, sensitive, vigilant and judicious in appraisal, stands authenticated by the fact that in valuing the assets, as warranted… the impugned judgment and order of the High Court (of 2015) suffers from manifest errors on the face of the record, both on facts and in law and is liable to be set aside," the bench said. It directed Sasikala and others to surrender forthwith before the trial court, which was further directed "to take immediate steps to ensure" that they serve out the remainder of the sentence. The three had served 21 days in prison after their conviction by the trial court in September 2014. Justices Ghose and Roy, in the 570-page order, wrote a concurring verdict, underlining that "the percentage of disproportionate assets as 8.12 per cent, as computed by the High Court is based on completely wrong reading of the evidence on record compounded by incorrect arithmetical calculations." They however, said that it did not need to make fresh calculation of the assets and liabilities to arrive at a number since the trial court had already undertaken this exercise in a correct manner and the assessment was "unexceptional". Hours after the convic-

tion, Sasikala expelled 20 rebel leaders from the primary membership of the party. In a two-page statement, Sasikala said the cadres should not have any truck with the expelled leaders in the future. Sacked leaders include, former Speaker P H Pandian, former ministers C Ponnaiyan, Natham R Viswanathan, K P Munusamy, P Mohan, K A Jayapaul, K P Rajendra Prasad and Parithi Ilamvazhuthi. Former Union minister E Ponnusamy, legal wing former secretary P H Manoj Pandian, minorities wing former secretary J C D Prabhakar, former MLAs K Thavasi, S K Selvam, K Ayyappan and S Muthuselvi, MGR youth wing joint secretary K A K Mukil, North Chennai (South District) presidium chairman V Neelakandan and Madurai rural district former secretary M Muthuramalingam also faced the axe. All the expelled leaders stated Sasikala has no authority over them as she was ousted by them last week. Manoj Pandian, one of the sacked leaders said, "She has been rejected by the cadre, people and now by the court. When she rejected by all sections, she has no authority to sack us." Eight MPs from Panneerselvam camp

issued a letter to the Election Commission, rejecting claims of Sasikala's appointment as general secretary of the party. They cited Rule 20 (2) of the by-law, stating that the general secretary shall be elected by primary members of the party units of Tamil Nadu, and members of other states like Pondicherry, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Kerala, and the Andaman and Nicobar Islands. "While Rule 43 states the general council will have powers to frame, amend and delete any of the rules of the party constitution. The rule that general secretary should be elected only by all the primary members cannot be changed or amended since it forms the basic structure of the party," they said. Meanwhile, Tamil Nadu PWD and highways minister Edappadi K Palaniswami, who was elected as AIADMK legislature party leader, met Governor C Vidyasagar Rao staking claim to form the government. He was accompanied by 11 leaders, including AIADMK presidium chairman KA Sengottaiyan, and ministers D Jayakumar, P Thangamani, SP Velumani. Palaniswami submitted a letter of support from legislators to prove majority to his claim.

itself on its way back to the Capital. GOA The state registered a record turnout of 83 per cent in the elections held on February 4. This year, the ruling BJP finds itself in a fight with Opposition Congress, AAP, and a Goa Suraksha ManchMaharashtrawadi Gomantak Party-Shiv Sena alliance, for the 40 member House. It is expected that several BJP loyalists to swing towards MGP-GSM-Shiv Sena alliance, while AAP is believed to have found support from Catholics, who have until now, remained Congress supporters. Former bureaucrat and AAP's CM candidate, Elvis Gomes said, "Our chances are improving by the day. We declared 36 candidates 15 days before the election dates were announced but the other parties are still struggling with their candidates." This year, Goa election finds itself in a four-cornered fight, with regional parties riding

seats will be conducted on February 15. The last couple of months have been dramatic, with the BJP calling Congress Chief Minister Harish Rawat of turning the 'Devbhoomi' into 'Lootbhoomi', and the Congress claiming that the Central party makes tall promises which the people of Uttarakhand will reject. MANIPUR The upcoming Manipur election, as Uttarakhand, will be a close and straight fight between the Congress and the BJP. Having won more than a two-third majority in the 2012 assembly elections, and staying in power for three consecutive terms, Congress appears to have higher stakes. On-hand state issues are - formation of new districts, a 79 day old economic blockade by the United Naga Council, and territorial integrity of the state in view of ongoing talks between the Centre and insurgent group NSCN. Given the problems, people's sentiments remain with the Congress.


HEALTH - INDIA - WORLD

AsianVoiceNews

FOOD

FITNESS

AsianVoiceNewsweekly | Asian Voice | 18th February 2017

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LIFESTYLE

Taking more than 5 pills may increase frailty in elderly S

cientists say that taking more than five pills a day may increase frailty in the elderly. According to them medications interact to affect our ability to function well as we age. Frailty is a problem associated with ageing. Someone who is frail can be weak, have less endurance, and be less able to function well. Frailty increases the risk for falls, disability, and even death. As we age, we tend to develop a number of chronic health conditions and concerns. Often, managing health problems can mean that elder people may take different medications. When older adults take five or more medicines (a scenario called “polypharmacy”), it can increase the risk for harmful side effects, researchers said. Scientists from German Cancer Research Centre (DKFZ) and University of Heidelberg in Germany

examined information from nearly 2,000 participants of a large study of older adults to learn how taking more than five medicines might affect frailty in older adults. Follow-ups on participants were conducted after two, five, eight and 11 years. People in the study were between 50- and 75years-old when the study began. At the eight-year follow-up, study physicians visited the participants at home for a geriatric assessment. Participants were asked to bring all medications

they took – both prescription and over-the-counter (OTC) – to assess the kinds and number of medications participants were taking. The researchers then separated participants into three groups – those who took up to 4 medicines (non-polypharmacy); those who took five to nine medicines (polypharmacy); and those who took 10 or more medicines (hyperpolypharmacy). Two pharmacists individually reviewed all medications taken and excluded medicines and supple-

ments that were not known to cause side effects. After adjusting for differences in patient characteristics including illnesses, researchers found that people who were at risk for frailty, as well as people who were frail, were more likely to be in the polypharmacy or hyper-polypharmacy groups compared with people who were not frail. Researchers also found that people who took between five to nine medicines were 1.5 times more likely to become frail within three years compared with people who took fewer than five medications. People who took more than 10 medicines were twice as likely to become frail within three years as people who took less than five. They concluded that reducing multiple avoidable prescriptions for older adults could be a promising approach for lessening the risks for frailty.

TIMES NOW marks its presence in 100 countries India's largest media conglomerate, The Times Group is all set to launch its No. 1 English News Channel in Europe, marking its presence in 100 countries. The expansion will help the Times Network add a potential audience of 1.4 million Indians in mainland Europe, with countries like Belgium, Germany, France, Italy, Netherlands, Spain, Sweden, and Switzerland. Bollywood actor Hrithik Roshan joined the revelry by cutting a cake on the occasion. MK Anand, MD and CEO, Times Network, said, "Today, with India's growing participation in international affairs, engaging the

To Our Readers

We are publishing these items in good faith, kindly consult your Doctor before you try to implement it. We do not hold any responsibility for its efficacy...

Indian diaspora is equally important towards our economic development. I feel, as India's leading English broadcast network, it's the right time for us to create a global presence for ourselves and for our country. Through our approach towards television news journalism, which revolutionised the way news was presented in the country, we plan to present a modern, vibrant, successful, and vocal news to the world." Roshan said, "Times

Laughter is the Best Medicine

A last-minute filer walked into the state income tax office and handed his returns. Just as he did, a peal of laughter could be heard in another room. Glaring at the officer, he grumbled, "What are they doing back there, counting the money?" *** The teenager lost a contact lens while playing basketball in his driveway. After a brief, fruitless search, he gave up. His mother took up the cause and within minutes found the lens. "How did you do that?" he asked. "We weren’t looking for the same thing," she explained. "You were looking for a small piece of plastic. I was looking for $150." *** When he blew a wad of money at my blackjack table in the casino, a customer stood up and yelled, "How do you lose $200 at a $2 table?!" Before I could speak, another customer replied, "Patience."

Now, thank you for having me here to celebrate Times Now reaching 100 countries. This is an exceptional achievement. Supplying objective and unbiased news to the world to make

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them aware of their environment is one of the noblest services that we can provide and I wish the entire team of TIMES NOW for this milestone hope that the entire team of TIMES NOW reaches more than 183 countries in the coming year. Finally, I personally believe and admit that no success is achieved solely but by the efforts of an entire team and that’s what TIMES NOW has managed to do." Flagship channel of Times Network, Times Now has consistently been the most watched English News Channel over the last nine years, and continues to dominate the market.

"I have come with funds for your political party. Take it quickly, the police is coming after me."

Sharif’s daughter denies UK visit linked to Panama Papers Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s daughter Maryam Nawaz denied reports that her week-long UK visit was linked to Panama Papers leaks case, a major legal battle that could alter the premier and his family’s political future. Maryam’s sudden departure from the country has fuelled speculation that the visit may be related to the Panama Papers leaks case being heard by a five-judge bench of the Supreme Court. However, Maryam, who arrived in London, clarified on Twitter that she came to the UK to meet her son. “In UK to see my son. Will Insha’Allah be back in a week or so. The spin being given to my benign visit by a section of media is ridiculous,” she tweeted. Last month, the German publication Suddeutsche Zeitung - the original source of the Panama Papers leaks released documents supposedly linking Maryam to Minerva Financial Services Ltd, the company that owns the Park Lane flats in London. The family of Prime Minister Sharif has been

Maryam Nawaz

named in the Panama Papers, one of the biggest leaks in history. The leak, comprising 11.5 million documents from Panamabased law firm Mossack Fonseca, shows how some of the world’s most powerful people have secreted away their money in offshore jurisdictions. Among those named are three of Sharif’s four children - Maryam, who has been tipped to be his political successor; Hasan and Hussain, with the records showing they owned London real estate through offshore companies administrated by the firm. Sharif and his family have denied any wrongdoing. The hearing in the case is expected to resume soon after it was postponed due to the ill-health of Justice Sheikh Azmat Saeed.

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A stylish villain for the super stylish Arvind Swamy Asian Voice

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fter gaining positive reviews from fans and critics alike, for his performance as a villain in Ilayathalapathy Vijay's 'Bairavaa', Daniel Balaji has two new promising projects in his kitty. While one is Gaurav Narayanan's 'Ippadai Vellum', starring Udhayanidhi Stalin and Manjima Mohan in lead roles, the other is lead villain in Selva's 'Vanangamudi' featuring

Arvind Swamy, Ritika Singh, and Nandita Shweta. Balaji confirmed the news, stating that he will play a stylish villain in the film, as opposed to his recent outings. With Arvind Swamy setting new standards for the stylish and suave villain in Tamil cinema with 'Thani Oruvan' and 'Bogan', it should be interesting to see how Balaji handles the challenge.

Aamir, Rajini and Mohanlal to unite for Rajamouli’s 'Mahabharat'? AsianVoiceNews

18th February 2017

ith 'Baahubali 2' up for an April 28 release this year, SS Rajamouli has reportedly begun brainstorming on his next epic trilogy based on the 'Mahabharata.' It is said that he wishes to cater to a larger audience this year, and give it a pan India appeal. A source said, "Rajamouli is currently busy with 'Baahubali 2', but he is thrilled about 'Mahabharata.' He wants to take Aamir Khan, Rajinikanth, and Mohanlal on board for this project. He is yet to decide on the characters these stars will portray." However, this isn't the best part. The filmmaker hopes to rope in outstanding actors Aamir Khan, Rajinikanth, and Mohanlal in the film. Yes, let that seep in. With these three superstars in a single

project, the trilogy will no doubt be one of the biggest hits of the century. While Rajamouli remained skeptical about working with the superstars earlier, Aamir Khan, in an event recently, expressed interest

Spirituality attracts GVP to romance Samantha and Hansika? Rajinikanth more than money

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ear 2017 seems to be a good year for GV Prakash Kumar, who has been signing films left and right. With 'Bruce Lee' ready for release this month, his upcoming films include '4G', 'Adangadhey', 'Ayngaran', and the ARRRajeev Menon project.

Latest reports also suggest that he will be starting yet another project with Hansika Motwani and Samantha in the lead. While no other details are known, we wish GVP the best of luck and pray his career moves full steam ahead!

Naga moves wife Amala

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ega star Nagarjuna moved wife Amala beyond tears, with his overwhelming performance in devotional film 'Om Namo Venkatesaya'. Naga revealed that she was so touched by the movie, especially its climax, that she remained speechless and held his hands for a long time. Not only her,

even Chiru was in tears as he watched the movie. Nagarjuna has given his best so far, playing the role of legendary saint Hathiram Baba, who brought the sacred streamlines to Tirumala temple. Touted to be a musical, 'ONV' has received brilliant response in Telangana and Andhra Pradesh.

u p e r s t a r Rajinikanth, who is busy with his megabudget sci-fi entertainer '2.0' recently graced the centenary year celebration of Yogoda Sastanga Society founded by Sri Sri Pramahamsa Yogoda, and released the spirituality book 'Deiveega Kadhal'. Addressing the gathering about the immense greatness of spirituality, the 66 year old said, "Am always proud to be a spiritual person. I like spirituality more than money and other

things. Spirituality gives me more power." He also traced his history of learning spirituality. "My first Guru is my brother Sathyanarayana. My first spiritual Guru is Sachidanandhar. After his death, I have been following various Gurus. I learn devotion from Raghavendra. I learnt to search who I am from Ramana Maharishi. P a r a m a h a m s a Yogananda's autobiography created a big impact on me. My search of spirituality still continues."

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Pandiraj on social media over the music. While Kural said he had worked hard on the music, the director said it was not good enough for the movie. Meanwhile, Nayanthara refused to shoot a pending song, after which Adah Sharma stepped in and a special number was shot instead. Long story short, the movie is going to hit theatres and director Pandiraj believes that it will appeal to the audience.

in the tentative project. He even said, "I am a huge fan of Rajamouli's work and if he ever plans to make 'Mahabharata,' I'd love to play Krishna or Karna. I might actually go with Krishna."

Initially it was reported that the trilogy will be made with a budget of a whopping ÂŁ40 million, and will be shot in three languages - Telugu, Tamil, and Hindi, simultaneously.

Vijay's costly gift to 'Bairavaa' unit members

Simbu-Nayanthara's 'Idhu Namma Aalu' to hit theatres on May 27

uch-delayed film 'Idhu Namma Aalu' is finally slated to release on May 27, after being surrounded by several controversies. Starring Simbu and Nayanthara, the film is directed by Pandiraj. Actor Simbu said that it wasn't easy making the movie. He initially had issues with the director. Then his brother Kuralarasan who will debut as a music director in the film, engaged in a war of words with

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layathalapathy Vijay's Pongal release 'Bairavaa' has fared well in screens over Tamil Nadu. Following the habit of distributing gifts to the unit members following the release of his film, Vijay invited the entire crew of 'Bairavaa' and gift-

ed them each a gold chain. All of them are on cloud nine to get such a precious gift from precious hands. Vijay is presently busy shooting for 'Thalapathy 61' directed by Atlee. The shooting started last week at ECR and has been continuing there.


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Madhuri Dixit launches Indian Academy Awards in California AsianVoiceNews

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n a bid to bring Bollywood on a global platform, India-based Cineyug, and Brainstorm Entertainment has put together the first Indian Academy Awards. The glamorous evening will unfold in the Silicon Valley on July 7-8 at the Oracle Arena in Oakland, California. The event promises at least two stellar performances by Shah Rukh Khan and Madhuri Dixit Nene. "We want to create a platform for Indian cinema and world cinema," said Vandana Krishna, cofounder of Brainstorm Entertainment. "The whole idea came when we were looking at cinema and how it was going global; we figured out that the Indian film industry is going global today. Therefore, the awards are a celebration, a dedication to this democratic academy. These awards are for the people, by the people and of the people." Krishna announced an open voting system, stressing that the process would be "transparent, honest, and absolutely credible." She said, "We will be doing a global voting to

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I used to memorise my lines: Sunny Pawar

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t wasn't just Meryl Streep who garnered attention for her powerful speech at the Golden Globes this year. Eight year old Sunny Pawar became the talk of the town when he appeared on stage with co-star Dev Patel at the Golden Globes to introduce their movie 'Lion'. When asked, Pawar, who plays the younger

engage viewers across the world who are cinema lovers to vote and choose their favourite stars." The awards, which will be hosted by Shah Rukh, will be a two-day extravaganza of live performances featuring stars from Bollywood, South Indian Cinema, and Hollywood, all choreographed by dance guru Shiamak Davar. Close to 60,000 people are

expected to attend. "We are expecting a full house. The idea is to also create glamour and business opportunities for those designers and for people to buy those clothes. It's not only about showcasing; it's also about converting it into business." While the line up has not been revealed, Krishna said there would be five/six dance performances.

A&R and incubation initiative JAM8, he's doing something different with the film's soundtrack. "There are 29 songs in all," he said. When pressed further, he said, "You see, Ranbir Kapoor stutters throughout the film, the only time he doesn't is when he sings. And every time he expresses an emotion strongly, it's through songs. Think of the effort-

lessness and the way the songs are featured in 'La La Land'. They are part of the story. And the narrative flows forward through it." 'Jagga Jasoos' starring ex-couple Ranbir and Katrina has already created a stir among fans. While a reconciliation is certainly not on the cards, it is said that the two would promote the film together.

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Ranbir, Katrina’s 'Jagga Jasoos' to have 29 songs

he musical trailer of Anurag Basu's 'Jagga Jasoos' should have been a major hint for what to expect from the movie. It is reported that the Ranbir Kapoor- Katrina Kaif starrer musical will have a total of 29 songs composed by music director Pritam Chakraborty. In a recent interview, he revealed that after his

SRK deserved an Oscar for 'My Name is Khan:' Paulo Coelho

Asian Voice | 18th February 2017

Saroo Brierly in the movie, how many interviews he does in a day, he said, "I don't know. I lost count. I get quite tired." It has been a roller coaster ride for him, meeting celebrities and famous people like the Obamas, Stephen Colbert, and several popular American icons. Living in a slums in Mumbai, Pawar was picked out of 2,000 children who auditioned for the role. When asked about the shoot that mainly took place in India and Australia, he said, "We roamed around a lot. I really liked Australia. It was fun to feed the kangaroos and play cricket with Nicole." Only fluent in Marathi and Hindi, he said he "used to memorise my lines. It took a lot of hard work." 'Lion' is a movie adaptation from book 'A Long Way Home.' The story revolves around a five year old who gets lost on a train that takes him thousands of miles across India, away from home and family. He ultimately gets adopted by an Australian couple, however, 25 years later, with the help of Google Earth, he sets out to find his lost family and returns to his first home.

f all the praises Bollywood Badshah Shah Rukh Khan has garnered over the years, this one should be the most special. Acclaimed novelist Paulo Coelho is of the opinion that Shah Rukh deserved an Academy Award for his performance in 'My Name is Khan'. The 69 year old tweeted on the occasion of the seventh anniversary of the Karan Johar directorial. "'My Name is Khan and I am not a terrorist'. Congratulations @iamsrk for the 7th anniversary of this wonderful movie!" wrote Paulo. He also posted a screenshot from his Facebook

page, where he also wrote that the 2008 movie was the only time he saw Shah Rukh's work. "His first (and only) movie that I watched (this year, even if it was released in 2008) was My Name is Khan. And not only was the movie excellent, but SRK deserved an Oscar if Hollywood was not manipulated. He kindly offered to send the other titles - as you probably guess, it is not easy to find them in Switzerland." Flattered by the gesture, Shah Rukh replied saying, "Thank u so much. My next journey is to try and meet u in person. Love and health to u."


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UK

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Asian Voice |18th February 2017

Seema Malhotra MP secures commitment from Minister in Brexit negotiations Seema Malhotra, Member of Parliament for Feltham and Heston, has secured the Government’s commitment that they are considering all options for collaboration in education across the EU post-Brexit. Two amendments tabled by Seema Malhotra to the Brexit Bill called on the Government to stand up for the rights and opportunities of British young people so that they are not left worse off than their European counterparts after Brexit. This includes the right for under 25s to work, to study at colleges and universities to travel without visas within the EU and to participate in schemes such as the Erasmus scheme - so they don't lose out from the opportunities

MP Seema Malhotra

provided by membership of the EU. New Clause 167 called on the Government to publish an impact assessment of the effects of Brexit on the rights and opportunities of young people and New Clause 166 would ensure the Government must seek to maintain the current rights and opportunities British young people enjoy as they negotiate Brexit.

Coming Events

Mahashivratri Celebration (February 24)

l BAPS Shri Swaminayarayan Mandir will celebrate the auspicious festival, at the BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Temple, 105 119 Brentfield Road, Neasden, London NW10 8LD. l Malawi Shiv Satsang Mandal will celebrate their 18th Mahashivratri Mahotsav on February 26, at Ramgarhia Sikh Community Centre, 231-234 Plashet Road. The program will begin at 12:00 pm and end with Aarti at 5:00 pm. l Shri Bharatiya Mandal will perform the Mahashivratri puja at the Indian Community Centre, Union Road, OL6 8JN. l Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan will organise prayers, and a dance performance at 4 A Castleton Road, West Kensington, London W14 9HE. l Chinmaya Mission UK will organise shastriya nritya, puja, abhishek, and bhajan, from 8:00 to 12 midnight, at Agtorn Gardens, Hendon, London, NW4 4BA. l Vishwa Hindu Parishad invites all for Mahashivratri celebrations, at their South London branch, Thornton Heath, CR7 6JN, on February 23. l Shri Ram Krishna Centre Temple has arranged to perform Shiv Abhishek from 10:00 am, followed by aarti, Shiv Katha, puja.

ARIES Mar 21 - Apr 20 The Sun travels through your

twelfth house now, marking a time of retreat and regeneration. This also heralds a time for research and unfinished behind-the-scene activities. Matters which have dragged on for a while should now be reassessed and put to rest. Some of you will be looking to spiritual enlightenment and take up yoga and meditation.

TAURUS Apr 21 - May 21 The Sun illuminates your sec-

tor of friends, social gatherings and group activities. You will be in constant demand and will be in a position to network with new-found friends who will promote your cause. Personal relationships are also to the fore and some of you might even find true love. This is a time to follow your dreams and ideals, and to plant a seed in the form of a wish for the future.

GEMINI May 22 - June 22 Venus and Mars transit

through your solar eleventh house. This is a good time for networking with friends and work colleagues creating ripples for business or just having a great social life. If there are any issues with anyone, this is a great time to iron out the differences. Personal freedom is especially important to you right now.

CANCER Jun 22 - Jul 22 The Sun continues to put a spotlight on your solar ninth house. During this transit you will seek to expand your horizons through philosophical thinking, higher education, travel, or simply activities that take you away from your everyday routines. Your energy is strong and you are much bolder and adventurous than usual.

In responding to her amendments, the Parliamentary UnderSecretary of State for Exiting the European Union, Robin Walker MP, said: “I welcome the intention behind the new clause, but we can do that by coming together to represent the 100%, focusing on the future, getting the right deal for the UK in a new partnership with the EU and working together to deliver the opportunities those young people want. ... The new clause also mentions the importance of Erasmus. The Government recognise the value of international exchange for students and are considering all the options for collaboration in education and training post-Brexit.”

Police paper shredded after police inquiry declared

While last of Stephen Lawrence's alleged killers is still walking loose on the streets of Eltham, the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) has reportedly said that it has evidence that the Met has allegedly destroyed or shredded paperworks kept by National Domestic Extremism and Disorder Intelligence Unit in May 2014. The document was allegedly destroyed after Theresa May, the then Home Secretary announced an inquiry into undercover policing, following a series of scandals about the way officers in a controversial unit (officers spying on political groups and other organisations) had behaved.

Sneh Joshi

Delegates from Indian Bar Association visit UK

Zaiwalla & Co, Europe’s first international law firm established by a person of Asian origin, Mr Sarosh Zaiwalla, hosted delegates from the Indian National Bar Association (INBA), the largest voluntary Bar Association from New Delhi in India, at The Law Society in a closed door, interactive networking session, to introduce Indian law students to the UK legal landscape and profession. The event’s aim was to spearhead cross country partnerships between the Indian and British legal sector, with the view to expand the scope and interest of Indian students to pursue world class education in the field of law at some of the world’s finest universities based in the UK, offering

Migrants’ Rights Network is launching a UK wide effort to track and map out racist and xenophobic hate crime and incidents using the online platform iStreetWatch. The launch comes as new figures compiled by the Press Association show that police forces in England and Wales have reported record levels of hate crime since the EU referendum. iStreetWatch is an online mapping and reporting tool that was created by volunteers in reaction to the spike in report-

ed hate crime and incidents following the EU referendum. The site asks anyone that has been a victim or witness of a racist or xenophobic attack to submit reports of their experiences to the website, in confidence, using a simple form. The incidents are plotted onto a map to create a visual of of racist and xenophobic incidents in the UK in real time. A report produced with the data collected in the four weeks after the EU referendum concluded that the Brexit anti-immigra-

The UK’s leading Vedic writer and TV personality

The Sun is transiting your solar seventh house--your partnership sector. It's not the time to push your personal plans forward; rather, it's a time to give. Focus should be on reconciliation, diplomacy and one-on-one interactions. You may feel a little drained physically but remember it is only temporarily.

VIRGO Aug 24 - Sep 23

LIBRA Sep 24 - Oct 23

The Sun puts a spotlight on your solar sixth house. This is a busy period that finds you tending to many different aspects of your daily routine and health matters. You are in a very fortunate position to be able to improve your health and diet and also tackle any problems at work, which have been a source of irritation for some time.

SCORPIO Oct 24- Nov 22

International law practitioners the benefit of utilising their degree to qualify practising in New York, UK, Australia, Singapore, India and other Commonwealth countries upon giving their respective bar exams. The other advantage is that both Indian and UK laws are based on common law, therefore providing graduates with the flexibility of returning home to practice. Delegates from INBA included its representative Manuj Bhardwaj, along with students from various Indian law colleges such as from University of Delhi, School of Law Alliance University, Chanakya National Law University, University of Allahabad and Punjabi University.

Hate crime tracking platform relaunches as new figures show nationwide surge in hate crime

The Sun highlights your solar eighth house. Your attention turns inward on a deeper level to personal transformations. There may be a strong focus on other's money, such as the resources of a partner, inheritance, banking and loans, or taxes. This transit should be positively dealt with to achieve any benefits.

LEO Jul 23 - Aug 23

direct access to the country’s legal market. This event was an eye-opener for students to understand and familiarise themselves with the possibilities in the legal sector, and especially the benefits of the British legal sector. The UK’s legal system is globally recognised and used in commercial and financial centres around the world. Despite the number of Indian students studying in UK universities reducing by 10%, Indian students looking to enrol in law courses internationally still deem the UK to be one of the top choice destinations. Each year, around 18,000 students enrol on more than 1,500 law courses in the UK. Studying law in the UK offers prospective

The Sun is transiting your solar fifth house. This is the time of year when you are ready to perform and express yourself creatively. It's a good time for recreation, romance, connecting with children, and enjoying "performing arts". Make sure you do not get over-sensitive if things do not go according to plan.

tion rhetoric contributed significantly to a rise in xeno-racist hate crime incidents. By documenting incidents and mapping them in real time, Migrants Rights Network aims to: n Make these now everyday incidents visible to a wider community; n Help people at risk map which areas are safter to be in. n Collect data over time to help monitor the correlation between these incidents arnd inflammatory speech from the media and politicians.

020 8518 5500

The Sun continues to put a spotlight on your solar fourth house. This is a time to recharge yourself, get in touch with your innermost feelings, connect with your roots, and spend more time with your loved ones. Use this opportunity to find ways to improve your family relations and your home environment.

SAGITTARIUS Nov 23 - Dec 21

CAPRICORN Dec 22 - Jan 20 You are exploring and searching now, making connections, and paying attention to your immediate environment. Socially you are very popular and your communications strengthen your connections. You will be busy with errands, paperwork, phone calls, and light socializing. Siblings, neighbours, close relatives, friends, and co-workers may play a more important role than usual in your life during this period.

AQUARIUS Jan 21 - Feb 19 The Sun highlights your second house of finance, and your focus is on material affairs and comfort issues. This is a good time to plan your future investments carefully to maximise your profits. Your communications are extremely high making it easy to close those lucrative deals. Also, a good time to pursue any romantic liaisons that might present themselves. PISCES Feb 20 - Mar 20

The Sun transits your first house and this affects your personal identity, appearance, outward behavior, and self-expression. This marks the peak of your physical solar cycle, and you are in the position to make an impression on others, and to assert your personal influence. Increased energy and a renewed feeling of confidence is with you now, so take advantage of your charisma to achieve your goals.


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Jadeja, Ashwin anchor India to 208-run win over Bangladesh AsianVoiceNews

Bangladesh fought valiantly on the fifth and final day of the Hyderabad Test but it wasn't enough to stop one of the most successful home Test bowling pairs of Ravichandran Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja from leaving a telling impact. They combined to snuff out eight Bangladesh wickets, dismissing the visitors for 250 in their second innings and win the one-off Test by a comprehensive 208-run margin. The other two wickets went to Ishant Sharma, who bowled his heart out to pick up two important wickets in the second session. Once that was done, Bangladesh lost their final four wickets for 37 runs. India took their unbeaten streak in Test matches to 20. India have now won six consecutive series since Sri Lanka in 2015 - their best streak ever. They had won 5 in a row between 2008 and 2010. Resuming the day on 103/3, once again Bangladesh's hope of not losing an early wicket was dented by Jadeja in the third over itself. Bowling round the wicket, the ball pitched on one of the footmarks and took off to kiss Shakib Al Hasan's glove and was taken by Cheteshwar Pujara at short leg. With plenty of turn and

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bounce on offer, Virat Kohli brought in five closein fielders around the bat. Fresh off a century in the first innings, Mushfiqur began cautiously before deciding to move his feet to Ashwin. In the past, batsmen have been found guilty of playing him on the backfoot so perhaps Mushfiqur had a plan in mind. When he hit a sublime cover drive for four off him the ploy seemed to have begun well. But two balls later, Mushfiqur offered a leading edge and threw his wicket away. Credit must also go to Jadeja for constantly bowling at Mushfiqur's pads and frustrate him. At the other end, as India applied pressure through Ishant and Umesh Yadav's reverse,

Mahmudullah held his ground. He scored his first boundary off the 46th delivery faced and even that was an edge after Ishant had squared him up outside off. But with the wicket of Mushfiqur, Mahmudullah opted to get a move on. He did so by skipping down to Jadeja and sending him for successive boundaries in the 50th over. Another streaky four past the slips brought up Mahmudullah's 50, while Sabbir Rahman plundered a six and a four to remain not out on 16. A few quick boundaries were scored which took Bangladesh's tally for the session to 99 runs. As India have regularly done in the match, they struck again right at the beginning of a session,

this time thanks to a lively spell from Ishant. He bowled with pace, control and aggression, and first, took out Sabbir out leg before. That was the beginning of the slide. The eighth wicket stand between Mehedi Hasan and Kamrul Islam Rabbi frustrated India, scoring 17 runs in 14 overs and a catch going down, before Jadeja dented them further with the new ball, seeing the back of a defiant Mehedi for 23. The amount of drift Jadeja and Ashwin received was too good for the Bangladesh lower-order. Brief scores: India 687/6 decl. and 159/4 beat Bangladesh 388 all out and 250 all out (Mahmudullah 64; Ashwin 4/73) by 208 runs

Ashwin becomes fastest bowler to claim 250 wickets Indian spinner Ravichandran Ashwin has claimed 250 wickets and became the fastest bowler to reach the milestone. He has surpassed Australian legend Dennis Lillee's record by taking just 45 matches to reach the landmark - three matches quicker than the former Aussie pacer. Ashwin had a record-breaking last year for India as he picked up 72 wickets in 12 Test matches to finish as the highest wicket-taker in the world for the second consecutive year. The 30-year-old reached the milestone on Day 4 of the one-off Test between India and Bangladesh when he

India scored yet another victory against Pakistan in a World Cup match and this time, the Men in Blue delivered in the final of the Blind T20 World Cup. The nine-wicket victory meant skipper Ajay Kumar Reddy and his men avenged the defeat to their arch-rivals in the league phase of the competition, as they successfully defended their trophy in front of an adoring crowd. Pakistan, who came into the title clash at the M

wickets during the first Test against New Zealand in September last year. Ashwin achieved the milestone in his 37th Test match, bettering Waqar and Lillee, who both took Ravichandran Ashwin 38 Tests. claimed the wicket of visitSitting top of the pile is ing captain, Mushfiqur former Australia leg-spinRahim. ner Clarrie Grimmett, who Ashwin had earlier took just 36 Tests to get to beaten Pakistan great the 200th wicket mark. Waqar Younis and Lillee to Ashwin has not just been become the second fastest creating waves with the bowler to take 200 Test ball but also made a big

impact with the bat, scoring 612 runs in 14 innings at an average of 43.71 with two hundreds and four half-centuries in 2016. Therefore, it comes as no surprise that the Indian offie is the number one ranked Test all-rounder in the world. Though, it was expected that Ashwin would claim his 250th wicket much sooner in the one-off Test but found stubborn Bangladeshi resistance standing in the way. The Tamil Nadu bowler managed to take just one wicket on Day 3 of the one-off Test but Day 4 proved to be lucky as Mushfiqur became Ashwin's 250th victim.

SPORT

3 Pak cricketers suspended over corruption charges Asian Voice | 18th February 2017

Just a day after Pakistan national team players Sharjeel Khan and Khalid Latif were provisionally suspended from Pakistan Super League (PSL) as part of an anticorruption investigation, another cricketer of the country has also been sent home from Dubai on the basis of corruption allegations. Left arm fast bowler Mohammad Irfan became the third player to be suspended from the league over corruption allegations. All his personal belongings, including his mobile phone, have been seized by Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) officials. The PCB was investigating whether an international syndicate had attempted to influence matches in the Pakistan Super League, it said in a statement. PSL Chairman Najam Sethi said in a statement that they were working with PCB's and International Cricket Council's anti-corruption units to root out corruption. "The investigation of the PCB Anti-Corruption Unit backed by the ICC ACU has been effective in dealing with this case to date and we will continue to work in the closest collaboration as the investigation proceeds," he said. "We are all absolutely committed to relentlessly pursuing anyone who would seek to damage the integrity of our sport." Sharjeel is a regular member of Pakistan's limited-overs team and made his test debut against Australia in Sydney last month. Irfan has played four Tests, 60 ODIs and 20 T20s while Latif has been part of five ODIs and 13 T20 matches.

Lanka recall Lasith Malinga

Sri Lanka pace spearhead Lasith Malinga, who has recovered fully from knee injury has been recalled in the 15-man T20 squad for the three-match series against Australia beginning February 17 at the Melbourne Cricket Ground. Malinga, who has appeared in 191 ODIs and 62 T20Is for Lanka, played his last match in the Asia Cup held in Bangladesh in February, 2016, and could not make his way back into the team because of various medical reasons. Allrounders Dasun Shanaka, Milinda Siriwardana and batsmen Dilshan Munaweera, Chamara Kapugedara have also been included in the national side after being dropped against South Africa. Squad: Upul Tharanga (captain), Niroshan Dickwella, Asela Gunaratna, Dilshan Munaweera, Kusal Mendis, Milinda Siriwardana, Sachith Pathirana, Chamara Kapugedara, Seekkuge Prasanna, Nuwan Kulasekara, Isuru Udana, Dasun Shanaka, Lakshan Sandakan, Lasith Malinga, Vikum Sanjaya.

Azhar Ali steps down as Pak ODI captain

Wicketkeeper-batsman Azhar Ali has stepped down from the post of Pakistan ODI skipper in the wake of mounting pressure on his leadership following the 1-4 defeat in the five-match ODI series against Australia. Sarfraz Ahmed, who has led Pakistan in one ODI and four Twenty20 Internationals, will now take over reins of both the sides. Azhar, in a meeting with Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) chairman Shaharyar Khan in Dubai, had informed that he wants to quit from the post in order to shift his focus entirely on his batting, following which the PCB immediately appointed Sarfraz as the captain. Under Azhar's leadership, Pakistan won only five out of 10 bilateral series, two of them were against Zimbabwe, and one each against Ireland, Sri Lanka and West Indies. Besides, Pakistan also slipped to a record-low ninth spot in the ODI rankings under him.

Men in Blue retain Blind T20 World Cup

Chinnaswamy stadium with nine wins out of nine, won the toss and decided to bat first. The visitors got off to a modest start with openers Badar Munir and Mu Indian fielders excelled. Munir soldiered on and reached his half-century but he was dismissed for 57, caught by Ganesh Babubhai Mundakar off the bowling of Ketan Patel. The loss of their inform batsman hurt Pakistan as they lost wickets at regular

intervals thereafter. Still, they posted a challenging

197-8 in their quota of 20 overs.

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In reply, India were in no mood to let the opportunity slip away as vicecaptain Prakash Jayaramaiah and Hammad Jamil taking the team past the 50-run mark. However, Jamil was run out for 24 on a day when the Reddy stitched together a first wicket stand of 98 runs. While the skipper was run out for 43, his opening partner scored a fine half-century. No. 3 Ketan Patel chipped in with a handy 26 before he

retired hurt. Man of the Match Jayaramaiah, who fell short of his ton by a run, then helped the hosts seal the deal with nine wickets to spare. An overjoyed Indian team then thanked supporters -some of whom included Sandalwood and reality television star Kirik Keerthi, fellow actors Sabyasashi Mishra and Mayuri Rajguru apart from the other teams involved in the competition -with a lap of honour.


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Asian Voice | 18th February 2017

Joe Root named England Test captain

Joe Root, the lynchpin of English batting line-up, was named the new Test captain of the team. The news comes days after Alastair Cook stepped down from the post. While the move was expected, the England & Wales Cricket Board (ECB) on Monday officially confirmed the news through a statement. Colin Graves, Chairman of the ECB, approved the appointments following the recommendation of the selectors under the guidance of Director of England Cricket Andrew Strauss. “Joe Root is the perfect choice for England Test captain," said Graves. "I’m delighted that he has accepted the role and will now help to take the team to the next level. The role of Test captain is an honour and a responsibility

Joe Root

which he thoroughly deserves. When I spoke to him you could feel the

excitement and sense the pride – he can’t wait to get started.

“Joe is a fine player and a fine person who has the respect of the players, the selectors and all at the ECB. He also has a changing room with experienced players and leaders who will support him from the start. The role of Test captain is an honour and a responsibility which he thoroughly deserves. Joe has maturity beyond his years and having seen him develop at Yorkshire over the last 10 years I know his qualities well. “I offer my congratulations to Joe for becoming Test captain and, once again, my thanks to Alastair Cook for the way he has developed the team, the timing of his decision and the platform he has given his successor.” Joe Root made his Test debut in December 2012 and was named vice-cap-

tain to Alastair Cook in summer 2015. He scored the first of his 11 Test centuries at Headingley in May 2013 and currently has a total of 4,594 Test runs at an average of 52.80, placing him third in the ICC rankings for Test batsmen. Meanwhile the ECB said all-rounder Ben Stokes would succeed Root as vice-captain of the Test side. Cook, England's alltime leading Test runscorer, is set to continue his international career and could play under Root during the 201718 Ashes in Australia, as well as this year's home series against South Africa and the West Indies. Root will also be able to call upon the experience of new-ball duo James Anderson and Stuart Broad, as well as coach

India colts clinch series against England The Indian colts took the one-day series against their English counterparts 3-1 as the fifth and last one-dayer ended in a tie after the hosts lost their final wicket on the last ball of the match at the Wankhede stadium in Mumbai. But, the Indian boys under the leadership of Rahul Dravid had already won the series 3-1. Chasing a modest 227, Dravid's boys needed just one run off the final ball with the last pair at the crease, but post a lengthy discussion with partner Heramb Parab, pacer Ishan Porel suffered a bout of nerves at the worst moment possible, as he spooned Liam Patterson White to Max Holden at short midwicket. It was an inconsequential game as India clinched the series earlier and Dravid made as many as nine changes to the playing XI. England U-19 looked like they would finish the series on a high when India U-19 slipped to 137 for seven in the 33rd over while chasing 227, before tail-enders Ayush Jamwal (40), who had earlier taken three wickets, and Yash Thakur (30) brought their team back into the contest with

their fighting 65-run stand for the eighth wicket. However, both were out as India inched closer to the target, as the final moments of the game saw India needing 19 off three overs, then 12 off two and finally, six off one. Earlier, S Radhakrishnan, playing his first game of the series, scored 65 off 93 balls to rescue India from a preTM

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carious 54 for four with a 47-run partnership for the fifth wicket with keeper Het Patel. The England U19 team did much better this time, with seamer Henry Brookes (3-30) being the most successful of the bowlers. “It is a priceless experience. If they learn from this and if they go on from here, it is something that will hold them in good

stead. We had made a lot of changes. A few new guys were in as well. It was really nice for them to get a game like this, we would have liked to have won but a tie is the next best result in that sense. Just the closeness of the game and the way the lower order batted will give them good confidence,” felt Dravid. In the morning, the

Indian bowlers, who won high praise from the batting legend, continued their impressive run, restricting England to 226 for nine in 50 overs. George Bartlett's 47 and then a 55-run stand in 66 balls between wicketkeeper Ollie Pope and Will Jacks followed by a 14-run last over allowed England to put up a respectable score.

Trevor Bayliss. Root, who has little in the way of senior leadership experience behind him, will have several months to prepare for his first match as captain, with England's next Test not starting until July 6, when they face South Africa at Lord's. England will be looking to bounce back after a difficult 2016 in Test cricket, with Cook resigning following a 4-0 series defeat in India at the end of last year. Prior to the South Africa series, England's programme will consist solely of limited overs fixtures, including June's Champions Trophy ODI tournament on home soil. Last week, Strauss made it clear he wanted Eoin Morgan to remain as England's ODI captain.

Delhi cricketer scores triple 100

An unheralded 21-year-old Delhi cricketer Mohit Ahlawat became a sensation as he scored 300 not out off 72 balls having hit 39 sixes and 14 fours in a T20 game. The tournament where Ahlawat did the unimaginable, was held at Lalita Park in East Delhi and was not recognised by the Delhi and District Cricket Association (DDCA). However, with no DDCA-backed tournaments taking place in the city, several local cricketers are playing in these clubbased tournaments to stay match-fit. When the news of his jaw-dropping triple spread, the wicketkeeperbatsman had got a call from the Delhi Daredevils management for a trial. Ahlawat made his Ranji debut in Nov 2015 but failed to impress. He has been on the fringes ever since. Last week's match was just another game for him in a season where you hop from team to team to get maximum match exposure. This time he got a call from Maavi XI to play against Friends XI in the quarterfinal of the Friends Premier League.

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AV 18th February 2017  

Asian Voice Weekly News Paper

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