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First & Foremost Asian Weekly in Europe Price 80p

Vol 45 | Issue 47

UNITED IN SOLIDARITY 1st April to 7th April 2017


Let noble thoughts come to us from every side

British Asians stand up to Islamist Terrorism

Oxford family to unite with Mother EXCLUSIVE

Wins judicial review against Home Office

Shashi Garg with mother Ratna

Rupanjana Dutta

Candlelight vigil at Trafalgar Square

Last Wednesday's terror attack in Westminster that killed 5 and injured more than 40 people, left behind the nation in shock. The diverse Asian community stood in solidarity to condemn the attack, including anti-terrorism march by the Muslims and prayers in the Temples and Gurdwaras. Anticipating severe

SA anti-apartheid icon Kathrada passes away

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backlash, the Asian community in Britain fretted that they may be targetted by bigots. In fact the world witnessed a glimpse of that racism towards a woman in headscarf, who was spotted walking across the Westminster bridge in the aftermath of the terror attack. She was called many things, including 'cold', 'unperturbed by

Asians feature among top business disruptors challenging establishments

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46 Church Road Stanmore Middx London HA7 4AH

killings', though she clearly looked in severe distress. She probably even feared for her life, but nonetheless she remained subject to harsh criticism. The Parliament, Westminster Bridge and the streets around remained full of floral tributes, as we went to press. A group of women from different backgrounds formed

Priti Patel MP awarded Pravasi Bharatiya Samman Award

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a human chain on the Westminster bridge on Sunday to show solidarity with the victims of this terror attack. People from a range of backgrounds including Hindus, Sikhs and Christians joined the event organised by Women's March On London. Many wore blue to symbolise hope. Continued on page 14

British Sikh Association celebrates Vaisakhi

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This Mother's Day was a special one for the Garg family from Oxford. Shashi Garg's 83 year old mother Ratna may be joining the family in the UK permanently, as they won the judicial review against Home Office last week, saving the family from being torn apart The Indian-origin family celebrated it with a trip to London to meet daughter Neha, son-in-law Kunal and their 10 months old grandson Rishi. Shashi's father Dr Pyare Lal Garg, an eye surgeon in India, passed away in June 2015. That left Shashi's mother alone in Muzaffarnagar in Uttar Pradesh, India, with a weak heart, partial disability and onset of dementia. After a brief discussion with his wife Manvi, Shashi decided not to leave his mother alone in India any longer, but bring her to live with them in the UK, at least for a short period. She arrived in the UK on a tourist visa, that was meant to expire in 6 months. While in the UK, she suddenly suffered a heart attack and this

made Shashi more confident about having his frail mother living with them permanently, especially under their personal and physical care. Shashi spoke to Solicitor Usha Sood from the Trent Chambers, a renowned firm dealing with Human Rights cases. They made an application for Ratna's leave to remain, which was rejected by the Home Office, also denying them a right to in-country appeal. It said, “You were receiving treatment in India for your medical conditions. Therefore treatment for medical conditions is available in India. Consideration has been given to the difference in the standard of medical facilities in India compared with that available here. Whereas it is accepted that the health care systems in the UK and in India are unlikely to be equivalent, this does nor entitle you to remain here...” Speaking to Asian Voice, in an exclusive interview, Shashi said, “I live and work in Oxford. I have a Masters and PhD from this country.

Continued on page 6


ONE ONE with Keith Vaz, MP

Asian Voice 1st April 2017



ing and said, “We can’t do this.” There have been many situations where I have negotiated three or four seemingly impossible obstacles and then made something work.

Imran Madden

Imran Madden has been Director of Islamic Relief UK since October 2015. He has more than 16 years of experience in the humanitarian sector, spending 11 years in leadership roles at Islamic Relief. Imran previously headed the Humanitarian Department at Islamic Relief Worldwide, where he was UK Manager from 2000 to 2002 and Emergencies Manager from 1997 to 2000. He has travelled extensively in the course of leading some of IR’s biggest humanitarian responses in Sudan, Bosnia, Kosovo, Philippines, the Central African Republic, Sierra Leone and Nepal. His achievements include delivering Islamic Relief’s very first institutionally-funded project in Sudan in 1993 and doubling IR UK’s income while UK Manager. He has appeared regularly on national and international television news and radio programmes to raise public awareness of humanitarian crises. A graduate from St Mary’s University, Twickenham in 1987, before working in humanitarian aid he was a teacher, including several years as Head of Geography in a London school. 1) What is your current position? I am the UK Director of Islamic Relief. 2) What are your proudest achievements? Apart from family matters, I think it would be leading on very challenging humanitarian responses from Kosovo to the Philippines and the Mediterranean refugee crisis.

3) What inspires you? Seeing the impact of timely and effective humanitarian action. There is currently a lot of debate and, dare I say it, scepticism about the effectiveness of aid. While some criticism is valid, I feel the public don’t always see the real impact of aid and the important role played by UK Aid and UK NGOs (NonGovernmental Organisations).

4) What has been the biggest obstacle in your career? I have had some great jobs – I was also a teacher for 10 years. There have been obstacles when I have planned humanitarian responses. Perhaps the biggest obstacle is trying to get people and systems to speed up, as this is sometimes frustrating. 5) Who has been the biggest influence on your career to date? Dr Hany El Banna, founding trustee of Islamic Relief. He instilled in us that everything is possible if you put your mind to it. You never went into a meet-

6) What is the best aspect about your current role? No two days are the same and I get to do wildly different things all in one day. It could be something around grassroots fundraising in the morning, a media interview in the afternoon about our humanitarian aid work, followed by some parliamentary engagement – our office is only 15 minutes away from Westminster. 7) And the worst? There aren’t many examples, but I would have to say stress. When five things go wrong in one afternoon, you have to be very philosophical. I have taught Year 9 schoolchildren on a Friday afternoon – so what could be more stressful than that? 8) What are your long-term

Parliamentarians help #bakeamillion for Comic Relief 2017 Lord Dholakia rolled up his sleeves last Tuesday to show off his cupcake decorating skills at an event marking Red Nose Day 2017 in Parliament. Masterchef presenter Gregg Wallace took on the role of judge as more than 60 parliamentarians of all parties competed to win first place in the Maltesers® and Sainsbury’s Red Nose Day Parliamentary ‘Bake a Million’ competition. Ian Murray MP (Lab, Edinburgh South) emerged triumphant from the closely-fought contest, with Ian Paisley MP (DUP, North Antrim) in

second place. The competition, which was organised by Maltesers® in partnership with Sainsbury's – the official retailer of the iconic Red Nose and Red Nose Day merchandise – was held to celebrate this year’s Red Nose Day, taking place on Friday 24th March. MPs were tasked with decorating a cupcake with an array of icing and toppings, including Maltesers® and Malteaster® Bunnies, expertly instructed by apprentices from Sainsbury’s recently opened Bakery College in

Bromley-by-Bow. The winning cake decorators chose a nominated Comic Relief project to which

Maltesers® and Sainsbury's will make a donation. MPs were also encouraged to share pictures of their creations on a social media platform of their choice with the hashtag #bakeamillion. The Maltesers® #bakeamillion campaign calls on the nation’s support and encourages people to get baking with Maltesers®. For each cake or bake photo uploaded, Maltesers® will donate £5 to Comic Relief, towards their £1million total contribution.

Brexit tougher than ever The Scottish Parliament has passed a vote supporting Nicola Sturgeon's call for a second independent referendum. The landmark vote that could witness Scotland leaving the UK, was postponed to Tuesday, following the attacks on Westminster. May will now be meeting Sturgeon but has no idea on the stand to take on Wales. Sturgeon, in the meanwhile has said that Brexit has unleashed a nationalism that has impaired the EU for good. Theresa May has ruled out holding a second referendum till the end of Brexit negotiations, stating that the focus should

be on the negotiations with EU and not on another vote. With the triggering of Article 50 and the Brexit negotiations in the anvil, many commentators are wary that concluding negotiations within the current timeframe could be unrealistic, and risky. Realistically, formal dialogue may not begin before the June French and the September German elections. It would also need to be ratified by 27 countries of the European Union. UK might find an interim way of signing-off a transitional deal, but Britain will be subject to EU regulations and will not have

the time to replace European bodies with a new British regulatory rules before two years. While Article 50 lays the foundations for a retraction from the agreement, the article was designed to avoid any member states from triggering it. Economists feel UK could risk seeing huge disruptions in their trade policies if they forcefully try to conclude agreements to prove that Brexit works. Activist Gina Miller said to The Independent as we went to press that “people like myself, calling for a transparent, scrutinised Brexit negotiation process, are accused

of wanting to tie the Prime Minister's hands. But it is the Eurosceptic Conservative MPs pushing for a clean break without any safety nets that are constraining her.” There's an undercurrent that the EU is in crisis and is creaking as it turns 60. The Pope Francis told leaders gathered at the 60th Anniversary summit that the EU faces a “vacuum of values” and a loss in the sense of direction. In a special feature at The Economist, John Peet argued that “the European Union is in a poor shape. It needs more flexibility to rejuvenate itself.”


goals? I am very honoured to be UK Director – it has enormous responsibility and huge rewards. I don’t tend to look too far ahead. 9) If you were Prime Minister, what one aspect would you change? Our political structures seem to promote confrontation and polemic posturing. I would like to see more cross-party joint action on key issues. Maybe we need a new House of Commons where MPs sit in a circle and intermingle a bit more. Do they have to sit opposite each other in such a combative manner? 10) If you were marooned on a desert island, which historical figure would you like to spend your time with and why? The most influential historical figure for me is Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him) but from recent history I think it would be the former President of South Africa, Nelson Mandela. He is often chosen for this spot, but to me he just stands out as a visionary who was entirely free from resentment and malice and for his pragmatic leadership that ended apartheid and started a new chapter of South African history.

Murder hunt continues after teenager shot dead in Ilford Murder detectives have made a fresh appeal for information after a teenager was shot at close range in a “ruthless” north London killing. Abdifatah Sheikhey, known to friends as Abdi, was blasted with a handgun as he sat in the passenger seat of a black Mercedes saloon in Woodlands Road, Ilford. Police believe the gunman attacked the 19-yearold after pulling up alongside his car in a white BMW X4 just before 10.10pm on March 21. The vehicle containing Mr Sheikhey was driven a short distance to Bedford Road where paramedics battled in vain to save his life. A post-mortem examination at East Ham Mortuary gave the Redbridge College student’s cause of death as a gunshot wound to the heart. Police say the BMW was found abandoned on March 22 in Express Drive, Goodmayes. There have been no arrests so far. Detective Chief

Inspector Chris Jones from the Met’s Homicide and Major Crime Command, said: "We urgently need the assistance of the public to find those responsible for this ruthless killing of a young man. "We are appealing for witnesses to the shooting and also anyone who saw this distinctive BMW being used or abandoned. Abdi's family are inconsolable and your information could help bring to justice those responsible for this heinous crime."

Police were called to reports of crime in a street in Southall on more occasions than they were to any other urban residential road in England and Wales, a study suggests. Officers were called to Chevy Road 244 times between July and December last year,

according to a study by address experts Hopewiser. The figure, obtained through newly released police data, makes it the highest in England and Wales during this period. Heathcroft Rise in Leeds was second with 161, while Manchester's Taplin Drive was third with 158.

Abdi Sheikhey who was shot as he sat in parked car

Study: Southall street 'most crime-ridden'

C MMENTS AsianVoiceNews


Asian Voice | 1st April 2017

World shares London’s tragic loss The civilized world was joined in grief by the tragic loss of four innocent lives by an act of mindless terror by an ISIS killer ISIS Khalid Masood (52), a radicalized black convert to Islam. That this nefarious attack occurred on Westminster Bridge within hailing distance of Parliament signifies the hatred and contempt for freedom and the rule of law by jihadi thugs. Driving a vehicle into people in public spaces has become the latest mode of execution: trucks and vans have driven into markets in German and French cities and towns, killing and injuring shoppers and bystanders. The day of the London incident was the first anniversary of the bombings in Brussels. Prior to this was the gruesome assassinations of the editorial staff of the French satirical magazine, Charlie Hebdoe. These and other acts received enormous coverage in the western media, and rightly so. However, double standards were detectable. Mumbai, India’s financial hub, was subjected to a sustained, meticulously planned jihadi attack from across the border in March 1993 in which over 300 citizens died. The reaction in western capitals was one of embarrassment. It was much the same in December 2001when jihadi gunmen penetrated the grounds of India’s Parliament and made for the entry into the chamber itself, but were thwarted by the courage of a young police woman who raised the alarm at the cost of her life. On November 26, 2008, yet another commandostyle killing spree in Mumbai resulted in 167 deaths; and more recently an attack on the Pathancot India Air Force base also claimed Indian lives. Western reports of these events were noticeably detached, since these

attack emanated from Pakistan, long a Cold War US ally and recipient of billions of dollars in military and financial aid. India’s Foreign Secretary (not minister) S Jaishankar, issued a calibrated statement in the wake of the London outrage, which reads: ‘Nothing has globalised more than terrorism, yet responses to it remain very tactical, National: therefore remain very limited.’ Readers would do well to mull over these wise and pointed words. The sad truth is that the West, especially US administrations, have used, and use, jihadi groups, whom they label ‘moderate,’ for political purposes. Take Zbgniew Brzezinski, once National Security Advisor to President Jimmy Carter, who boasted to a French magazine of how the administration (under his prompting) had targeted Russia, saying, ‘Which was more important in world history? The Taliban or the fall of the Soviet Empire? A few over-excited Islamists or the liberation of Central Europe ?’ Charles Cogan, a senior CIA official, quoted a colleague operating in Central and South Asia in 1993, describing thus the CIAIslamist partnership: ‘We took the means to wage war, put them in the hands of people who could do so, for purposes for which we agreed.’ The barbarians are no longer at the gates; they are through them. Grandiose rhetoric in Washington from representatives of the 67-member coalition of the willing cannot conceal the grim reality that minor gains on the ground in the Middle East - at huge human cost are heavily outweighed by intensified jihadi activities across Euro pe. Having sown the wind, the West is reaping the whirlwind.


Try to be a rainbow in someone’s cloud - Maya Angelou (1928-2014)

The World Loves the UK Day after London terror attack and before Brexit Article 50 not one single company in Singapore that my fabulous wife Aekta and I met for the High Commission was even the slightest bit less keen to invest and establish and go global from the UK. Not one. Victory. Now the hard work behind the scenes begins for us of getting them here; the investor agreements, the dealmaking.

to raise money for companies. Maybe 200 requests annually. Here are some ways you can help yourself: 1. Friends and Family (yours not mine) There are three groups of people who will invest in an idea which has no revenues and doesn’t have $1m already invested in it, or at least 1m users. These three groups are, in no particular

And it will be a joy to have the best in Britain. Nothing stops Britain. Nothing. No one. The world is looking to see how we would react. And we will never ever be found wanting regardless how difficult the times. Ever. What may make others flinch, merely increases our resolve. I write to you from Singapore, having launched for the UK’s Department of International Trade, as Dealmaker for them, the first ever StartUp Games in ASEAN. Through this we find the best entrepreneurs to set up in the UK. My wife, Aekta, who is Head of the Department’s Venture Capital Unit, brings in the capital and my role was to bring in to the UK the entrepreneurs and talent. I get asked each week

order: a. Friends (you’ll soon discover you don’t have as many as you thought; b. Family (your mother loves you, and thinks you are the next Warren Buffett); c. Fools (God bless them – but rich fools are pretty rare, because someone got to them before you did genius) 2. Get Revenues? Right, so you have some revenues – let’s talk. But before my connections will invest, they need a proposal. Don’t just send me a whole load of emails and expect me to do it for you. Don’t know how to make a proposal, a pitch? Wouldn’t it be great if there was some amazing thing on your computer which could answer questions for you in an instant, even show you examples, videos, templates? If only such thing existed. Continued on page 8

Yogi Adityanath as UP Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath’s appointment as Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh has been denounced in the expected quarters of media opinion as the funeral rite of Indian democracy. Yet it could turn out to be an inspired choice. Prime Minister has wrong footed his political opponents ever since he threw his cap into the ring in India’s general election in 2014.His campaign was brilliant; he sensed the mood of the country’s yearning for change; and the BJP won an absolute majority – a popular mandate to carry it through. He initiated a raft of economic reforms, which he applied with strategic vision step by step. On the international stage he has emerged as a formidable statesman. Those in the West who shunned him, following the Gujarat riots, welcomed him with open arms. He addressed Parliament in London and the Joint Houses of Congress in Washington to wide acclaim. With adept footwork, he kept his lines to Russia open and has taken the Indo-Russian relationship to the next level. The recent decision by Bangladesh and Sri Lanka to opt for Russian nuclear reactors for power generation has been predicated on the rider that the training of their scientists and engineers will be conducted at Kundakulam, the site of India’s nuclear facility built with Russian technology. [See Economic Times March 23]. Diplomacy is no zero um game. Chinese designs to enter this critical sphere have been aborted. Mr Modi has well understood the difference between party politics and the national interest. Hence what he opposed as Gujarat chief minister – the Indo-US nuclear deal of 2008, for instance - he accepted as India’s Prime Minister. Examining the full Modi narrative, what could be the calculation behind Yogi Adityanath recent eleva-

tion? First, is his vast following in eastern Uttar Pradesh, from where was elected to Parliament in four back-to-back general elections. While most media reports quoted liberally his incendiary comments on the Muslim community, only two reported that in his sanctum sanctorum he has a devoted Muslim staff who have served him loyally over the years. The Yogi’s first statement on taking his oath of office was to pledge to serve the entire community across faith and caste lines. If Mr Modi can grow in office, there is no reason why Adityananth should not do likewise. Power is not simply licence to do what one pleases but also a constraint on irresponsible conduct. Adityanath has two approved and trusted deputy chief ministers to render advice as and when required. Uttar Pradesh has long been India’s foremost badland of endemic crime and corruption. Yogi Aditynath as ascetic can be trusted to come down hard on evils, since he has no vote bank in both these criminal fraternities. Next, the decision to jettison the customary Muslim vote bank politics paid off handsomely. Blackmail and blandishments by the reactionary Muslim clergy have not worked. Development will apply to Muslims as it will to other communities. The new UP government will be judged by its ability to deliver a better standard of living based on more job opportunities. Vote bank politics kept back those most in need. Mr Modi’s investment in Yogi Aditynath carries an element of risk. No risk, no gain has been the motto of the most accomplished politicians and entrepreneurs. The Indian Prime Minister stroke may well pay rich dividends in the medium and long-term.. We shall wait and see.

Begum Samru: Tale of a remarkable woman Eighteenth century India witnessed the slow disintegration of the Mughal state and the rise of myriad regional contestants, large and small, who jostled for power in the emerging space. B egum Samru was born to a Mughal nobleman, Latif Ali Khan, whose estate was situated some 80 miles from Delhi in what today would be recognized as Uttar Pradesh. Following his death, the elder wife in the harem, threw out the younger wife and her daughter. Reduced to penury mother and ten-year daughter eked out a precarious life in the city’s narrow, congested streets. On the death of her mother, the orphaned daughter, trained as dancer under a courtesan Khatum Bai. Adopted by the blind Emperor Shah Alam II, she caught the eye of an Austrian soldier of fortune named Walter Joseph Reinhardt, and lived with him. His sombre looks had earned Reinhardt the sobriquet Le

Sombre, which, in due course, evolved into the Hindustani Samru. Reinhardt’s army was on hire to the highest bidder. When Shah Alam was besieged by the Jats, Reinhardt’s force came to his rescue, earning him a principality near Meerut called Sardhana. After Reinhardt’s death, the diminutive Begum obtained the sanad to this vast estate. She built her own army and became one of the most formidable soldiers of her time. She rescued the emperor from the Rohilla chief Abdul Qadir, was duly rewarded, managed her estate with skill and earned substantial revenues. She took the name Joanna after Joan of Arc and built the beautiful church of Our Lady of Graces in Sardhana. It was designed by an iconic Italian architect and completed in 1820 under the direction of her heir David Dyce Samru. Visitors throng the site for its engrossing architecture and ambience.

Asian Voice is published by ASIAN BUSINESS PUBLICATIONS LTD Karma Yoga House, 12 Hoxton Market, (Off Coronet Street) London N1 6HW. Tel: 020 7749 4080 • Fax: 020 7749 4081 Email: Website: © Asian Business Publications



The CWGF commissions a film to commemorate Indian soldiers during the World Wars Smita Sarkar The Commonwealth War Graves Commission CWGC has commissioned a short-film titled “India Remembers” to commemorate the servicemen and women who played a part in the two World Wars. According to Peter Francis, Media and PR Manager of CWGC, “India Remembers has an Indian and UK dimension – so we want to raise awareness within India itself but also within the UK. “We have been working with the United Service Institution of India to raise awareness of the contribution and sacrifices made by India’s servicemen and women since 1914, with CWGC partnering with USofI on those elements related to the commemoration of India’s war dead from the two world wars. “The CWGC is proud of the fact that India is one of our member governments and we feel privileged to honour the memory of more than 160,000 Indian servicemen and women who died during the two world wars. We care for the graves and memorials to India’s war dead in more than fifty countries. The new film, through interviews with veterans and descendants, tells just some of the stories of those we commemorate,” said Peter. The Producer, Tracey Hobbs, Creative Director of Samuel Frank Media Limited told the Asian Voice that the film will be made both in Hindi and English and made into DVDs. “We've been talking to people in Delhi, historians and the descendent of soldiers... we are going through the archive of the Commonwealth War Graves Commission and pulling out all the material relevant to India to highlight the amazing part they played in the World Wars,” she said. The film includes the story of Noor Inayat Khan, a descendent of the Indian Royalty who was recruited as a secret agent. She was the first woman radio operator to be dropped into Paris and she survived for three months until she was betrayed, sent to a prison in Germany for ten months and eventually executed at Dachau Concentration Camp, at the young age of 30. “Noor was posthumously awarded the British George Cross and the French Croix du Guerre,” said Tracey. The biography “Spy Princess” was written by Srabani Basu and her bust has been installed at the Gordon Square. Between 1914 and 1916, about 12 thousand Indian soldiers who were wounded on the Western Front were

brought across the Channel to be treated in England. The film showcased the loyal story of Manta Singh, one of those brave men who was treated at the Royal Pavilion. He saved the life of his officer, Captain Henderson, who lay wounded in no mans land. This led to a friendship between the

two men’s grandsons Jaiml Singh Johal and Ian Henderson, which continues to this day. The film has interviews of the two grandsons. It also showcases testimonials of Lt Col Raj Singh Gursey, whose grandfather Subedar Pat Ram was stationed in Basrain October 1914 and died in a prisoner of war camp. His name is commemorated by the Basra Memorial.

Man who stabbed stranger in park given hospital order A man who stabbed and killed a stranger in a park has been given an indefinite hospital order. Umesh Parekh, 34, was stabbed in Waverhill Park, Handsworth, Birmingham on 19 June last year. Ranjit Singh, 41, stabbed Mr Parekh in the chest with a knife during an argument about an invitation to visit a temple, West Midlands Police said. Singh, of no fixed address, admitted manslaughter and was sentenced at Birmingham Crown Court on 17 March. Police said Singh had later admitted he was in a state of mind where he would attack anyone who posed a threat to

In Brief


Asian Voice | 1st April 2017

him. At the time he was hearing voices telling him to kill and sometimes thought he was in a Bollywood movie, they added. Singh was arrested for the murder on 21 June last year after walking into West Bromwich police station and confessing. He was given a full mental health assessment and later sectioned. After a psychiatric assessment, the court heard that at the time of the attack he was suffering from paranoid schizophrenia, police said. Singh was sentenced to an indefinite hospital and restriction order, under Section 41 of the Mental Health Act.

India will feature in other activities of the CWGC to commemorate the centenary celebrations Andrew this year. Fetherston, Archivist of CWGC told Asian Voice that the “portable version of the centenary exhibition will touring in India, along with other countries like Australia, Canada, New Zealand and South Africa.” The exhibitions will be showcasing stories through historical artefacts, using archival materials. CWGC will be launching a new website that would make it easier to search for records of the war dead and a mobile-friendly design making it easily accessible online. “We would like to collaborate with (Asian) communities and welcome you to upload photos and information about your ancestors in a Public Archive,” Andrew said. David Richardson, Director of Horticulture at the CWGC, had worked in the war memorials in different cities of India - Chennai, Kolkata, Mumbai, Pune, Imphal, Kohima, Digboi and Guwahati for nine years. He talked to us about CWGC's global plans for horticulture. “The challenge in India is the climate is very different. How do you create that sort of look when you are dealing with that palette of plants and you are dealing with the challenges of extreme heat and drought... In India one of the things that we will be looking at is water and water availability and how we can maintain grass and ornamental horticulture when resources including water are very much in demand,” said David. In terms of the global commitment, sustainability is the key for an organisation that is 100 years old and is now looking at another 100 years to go, according to David. “It was established in perpetuity, so all the nations that were a part of the British Empire at that time – we have a historic stage and we are dealing with things that are ageing, so how can we look after them in the best way into the next century, is our aim,” he said.

Manchester mosques urged to step up security following attack Mosques around Greater Manchester are being urged to step up security amid fears of anti-Islamic hate crime following the deadly terror attack in London. Mohammed Shafiq, chief executive of the Manchesterbased Ramadhan Foundation, has written to 1,500 mosques and Islamic centres and warned them to be vigilant. His warning comes a day after the outrage in Westminster in which the British-born attacker was shot dead. The so-called Islamic State has claimed the attacker, who was known to MI5, was a ‘soldier of Islamic State’.

Mr Shafiq, who has previously suffered death threats for his stand against terrorism, paid tribute to PC Keith Palmer who died during the attack but warned fellow Muslims about vigilante attacks. Greater Manchester Police is also reviewing security.


Leicester's first balti house has closed down

The owner of Leicester's first balti house has closed his restaurant's doors for the last time. Abu Taher shut up shop for good on Sunday after running T&K Balti, in Green Lane Road, Evington, for 25 years. Mr Taher, 52, has blamed tough immigration rules for forcing him to close down the business because he cannot find skilled chefs. He said he had been overwhelmed by the number of customers wishing him well for the future. Mr Taher, who was given an MBE for services to the Bangladeshi community in the UK and hosts an event at his restaurant for the lord mayor's charity every year, said it had been a very emotional day for him.

Police release image after Leicester bus driver is spat at during row with passenger

Police released these CCTV stills of the man officers want to trace.

Police have released CCTV images of a man officers want to trace after a bus driver was allegedly spat at. Leicestershire Police said the driver was assaulted during a 'disagreement' on an Arriva bus in Leicester last month.

Partner of Scot held in Indian jail raises safety concerns

Billy Irving, from Argyll, was among 35 sailors and guards who were arrested on the anti-piracy ship MV Seaman Guard Ohio on 12 October 2013. His fiancée Yvonne MacHugh raised concerns about his safety after an alleged assault on another British man also being held in the prison. innocent." Former soldier Mr Irving is among six UK nationals arrested after the anti-piracy ship they were working on strayed into Indian waters without permission.

Man denies murdering ex-wife whose body was found in suitcase A 50-year-old man has denied murdering his ex-wife and dumping her body in a suitcase. Ashwin Daudia pleaded not guilty to killing Kiran Daudia during an appearance before a judge at Leicester Crown Court via video-link from prison. The administrative hearing was told that Daudia is alleged to have killed his former wife on January 16 this year. A member of the public found the 46year-old's body inside a suitcase in an alleyway off Cromer Street in Leicester the following day. Daudia, from Leicester, was assisted during the hearing by a Gujarati interpreter and spoke only to give his name and plea and confirm that he could hear the proceedings. The father-of-two will appear for a further hearing on June 12 and face trial at the same court on June 26. In a statement issued shortly after her death, Ms Daudia's family described her as a much-loved mother, daughter, sister and aunt who would be deeply missed. Asian Voice | 1st April 2017 AsianVoiceNews



Priti Patel MP awarded Pravasi Bharatiya Samman Award Priti Patel, the UK Government’s Secretary of State for International Development and first ever UK-India Diaspora Champion, has been awarded India’s highest honour for members of the Indian Diaspora. The Pravasi Bharatiya Samman award was granted to Ms Patel by the President of India, Pranab Mukherjee for her exceptional contribution to national and international politics, her role strengthening UKIndia relations, and for supporting the Indian Diaspora in the UK. She was joined at the India House by her parents Sushil and Anjana Patel and husband Alex. The award was presented to Ms Patel by the Indian High Commissioner to the UK, His Excellency Mr. Y.K. Sinha, at special ceremony at India House in London. In receiving this prestigious award, Ms Patel joins an illustrious list of previous winners. Ms Patel, who is also the first female Indian origin MP to join the UK Cabinet, said: “It is a tremendous honour and privilege to be given the Pravasi Bharatiya Samman award. This is one of the highest honours a member of the Indian Diaspora can receive and I am humbled and grateful to have been given this award.” “I have had the pleasure of working closely with so many members of the Diaspora here in the UK and with the Indian Government over a number of years. The relationship between our two great countries is getting stronger by the day as we trade more and share more cultural ties. The Indian Diaspora in the UK are fantastic at keeping


Priti with parents Sushil and Anjana Patel and husband Alex

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Rt Hon Priti Patel MP receiving the Pravasi Bharatiya Samman from HE Y K Sinha, High Commissioner of India to UK and AS Rajan, Minister (Coordination), High Commission of India

this relationship strong and work hard every day to support the UK and India reach our potential.” “The UK is fortunate to have over one and half million members of the Indian Diaspora contributing to our country. I pay tribute to all members of the Indian Diaspora in the UK and this great award serves as an inspiration to me to carry on

standing up and championing the interests of the Diaspora and working to strengthen the UK’s relationship with India.” Priti is the first Patel to receive this prestigious award. To celebrate this occasion, she was also gifted a beautiful box of dry fruits and a wisdom calendar by Geminiben and Diptiben from Brahma Kumaris.

5th Annual British Sikh Report launched The fifth annual British Sikh Report (BSR) was successfully launched at Parliament on Tuesday 21 March. Based on a survey of over 2,000 Sikhs throughout the country, it aims to provide robust and reliable data on the views and opinions of Sikhs as well as give a snapshot of the British Sikh community. Hosted by Pat McFadden MP, the launch was attended by MPs, Peers, government officials, leading civil servants, representatives from a variety of NGOs and interfaith charities, and over 100 members of the Sikh community from across Britain. According to the BSR 2017, 13% of Sikhs say they have been victims of hate crimes since the Referendum, but there is also a strong sense of duty and national pride amongst


British Sikhs, with 69% of them saying they would support their son or daughter joining the Armed Forces. The BSR also highlighted that over 72% consider violence and sexism as affecting British Sikh women, whilst 84% felt that female mental health support should be provided in gurdwaras. Other key findings relate to attitudes towards Partition in 1947, the impact of Brexit upon the Sikh community, and other issues affecting British Sikh women. At the launch, the Lib

Dem peer Lord Dholakia commended the BSR 2017 for its “recognition of the issues that need to be tackled” by the Sikh community.” The evening concluded with an opportunity for the attendees to network with each other as well as speak to the accomplished team behind the BSR 2017. Following the proceedings, some of the BSR team members spoke at length to the armed police officers standing guard outside Portcullis House and discussed issues regarding safety in London.

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Asian Voice | 1st April 2017

Oxford family to unite with Mother Wins judicial review against Home Office Continued from page 1 My children, my wife and Iall are British. All parents have the right to enjoy support from their children when they are retired and finding it difficult and lonely to cope with ageing issues. Not allowing our

to go back to India and stay all by herself. Of course the care level in the UK and India are not the same. We are not comparing the systems. The issue is more on human grounds. My mother is old, frail, lonely and unwell. More than medical assistance, she

of Human Rights). And we demanded for an oral hearing, which was held on 20 March. I tried raising funds to cope with the high costs of litigation and I have spent so much money for this case from my own pocket and savings” The review fortunately

A happy family reunion: Shashi Garg with daughter Neha, son Anush, mother-in-law Dr Bazyar holding baby Rishi, wife Manvi, mother Ratna and son-in-law Kunal

parents to come to UK is to take away their rights to live with their children in their old age. “Though we had expected this rejection, it was heart breaking to think my helpless mother would have

needs physical and personal care from her immediate family- and we are all settled here. So we went ahead with a Judicial Review in the Upper Tribunal, on the basis of Article 3 and 8 of the ECHR (European Court

turned out to be in the family's favour. The Judge allowed the grounds in full, as she was convinced that the Home Office had not responded to the application fully and some of the main arguments in the ini-

tial application, went unanswered. “The Judge has also made it clear that if refusal is maintained, the applicant must be given the right to in-country appeal and payment of reasonable costs, which we are keeping reserved for the time being. We just hope her leave to remain is granted,” said Shashi.

ADR Challenge in Court of Appeal

The new rules since 2012, demand that only those adult dependent relatives who need to be physically close to and cared for by a close relative in the UK are able to settle here. Since the government has been ruthless with cutting costs, this has directly affected families who are in genuine need of support and compassion from the authorities. Last year an organisation called BritCits challenged the government's virtual prohibition on the entry of adult dependant relatives (introduced in 2012), but it was dismissed. BritCits was formed in 2012 as a direct response to the attack on British citizens and residents with nonEEA family members. To their challenge, the Government said, “...The lawfulness of the new rules for adult dependent rela-

tives was upheld by the High Court on judicial review on 20 April 2016 and, overall, we believe that the rules are having the right impact and are helping to restore public confidence in the immigration system.” BritCits have issued an Appellant’s Notice, and the case is now pending a hearing before the Court of Appeal in May 2017. A petition that has reached almost 26,266 sig-

Since the government has been ruthless with cutting costs, this has directly affected families who are in genuine need of support and compassion from the authorities natures, as we went to press, stated that 'all parents have rights to seek support from their children when they are retired and suffering health and financial issues. Not allowing them to come to UK is to take away their rights to live with their children in their old age.' Home Office responsing to the petition reiterated“As per the rules in the current scenario, the adult dependent relatives must demonstrate that, as a result

AsianVoiceNewsweekly of age, illness or disability, they require a level of longterm personal care that can only be provided in the UK by their sponsor here and without recourse to public funds. The new rules seek to ensure that only those adult dependent relatives who need to be physically close to and cared for by a close relative in the UK are able to settle here. Those who do not have such care needs can be supported financially in the country in which they live by their relative in the UK. The route now provides for those most in need of care, but not for those who would simply prefer to live in the UK.” If the signatures reach or cross 100,000, the petition will have to be debated in the Parliament, before any subsequent law changes are proposed. While the Garg family awaits Home Office's decision, things are looking up for them. This happy case may serve as a light of hope for those hundreds of people awaiting justice for their family life, in the Court of Appeal. To sign the petition see: https://petition.parliament.u k/petitions/185283 For more information on the case see: https://www.crowdjustice.or g/case/mothers-plea-to-staywith-son/

British Sikh Association celebrates Vaisakhi The British Sikh Association hosted its Annual Dinner on 23 March at the Lancaster Hotel, London to celebrate the festival of Vaisakhi. The Chief Guest at the grand and glittering event was the Rt. Hon. Sir Michael Fallon MP, Secretary of State for Defence and the Guest of Honour was H.E. Mr Y.K. Sinha, High Commissioner of India to the United Kingdom. Over 650 distinguished guests were in attendance. The event commenced with the spectacular Band of the Brigade of Gurkhas performing the national anthems of India and the United Kingdom followed by a oneminute silence to remember the bravery and sacrifice of PC Keith Palmer, the bravery of all our emergency service men and women and those who have lost their lives or were injured in the terror Attack in Westminster on 22nd March 2017. An emotional video presentation on Sikh involvement in the British Army and both World Wars was given by Mr Matthew Ward of History Needs You in which he spoke of the strong bond of friendship developing between the British and Sikh soldiers. In his welcome address, Dr. Sukhbir Kapoor OBE, Secretary General, the British Sikh Association and the Vice Chancellor of World Sikh University, London highlighted the innate bravery of the Sikhs and how in 1699, Guru Gobind Singh inaugurated the Khalsa and how its formation inculcated the strength, bravery and heroism of the Sikhs. Dr. Rami Ranger CBE,

L-R: Dr Sukhbir Kapoor, Mr Amarjit Singh Dassan, HE Y K Sinha, Secretary Michael Fallon, Dr Rami Ranger CBE and Mr Manjit Singh Chadhok. A limited edition WW1 Sikh Memorial Fund Bust handsculpted by Mark Bibby was presented to Mr Fallon and Mr Sinha

Chairman of the British Sikh Association, spoke of the growing need for the contribution of Sikhs in both World Wars to be taught as part of the curriculum in our schools. It is scantly known the over 84,000 Sikh soldiers died and over 109,000 injured over the two world wars and there should be a better understanding of our shared history. He spoke of the need to resurrect a Sikh regiment within the British army to keep alive the bravery of those who defended the empire with their lives, he stated that the regiment will only be in name and will be open to people from other faiths to join as Sikhs by their very nature believe in being inclusive and never insular. Dr Ranger was met with rousing applause when he announced the £1 million pledge for the recruitment campaign for the Sikh regiment. As part of Dr Ranger’s clos-

ing he requested that Mr Virendra Sharma MP for Southall and Ealing and Ealing Council leader Cllr Julian Bell support the BSA in its call to erect a memorial in Southall for the fallen Sikh soldiers. His Excellency Mr Y.K. Sinha, High Commissioner of India to the United Kingdom was delighted to be at the event and spoke of his own family history with the His Excellency’s father serving in the Gurkha regiment and later becoming the President of the Gurkha regiment. The High Commissioner also spoke about Guru Gobind Singh and how he was proud to have been born in Patna, the birthplace of Guru Gobind Singh. His Excellency spoke of Sikh soldiers being the brave hearts of the Indian army and they continued to make sacrifices for India and the World. In closing His

Excellency spoke of the delight of seeing the growth and development that the Sikh community had given to the UK. The Rt. Hon. Sir Michael Fallon MP, Secretary of State for Defence, congratulated the great Sikh community on forthcoming Vaisakhi. He highlighted that the Sikhs add an immense contribution to the UK economy. The Secretary of State paid tribute to the bravery of the soldiers at the Battle of Saragarhi and to Flight Lieutenant Jon Singh who, when serving in Afghanistan whilst under fire, landed his helicopter in the most difficult of circumstances. He spoke of the post Brexit era where there is a greater need to reach out to mutual and important friends such as India and the Commonwealth. The Secretary of State’s speech was followed by a special presentation of a Limited Edition WW1 Sikh Memorial Fund Bust hand-sculpted by Mark Bibby to the Rt. Hon. Sir Michael Fallon and HE YK Sinha. A specially commissioned Saragarhi portrait was also presented to Major General Paul Nanson CBE, Commandant of the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst. The special presentations were followed by the Sikh Jewel Awards for outstanding contribution being presented to Mr Jasminder Singh OBE, Chairman of Edwardian Hotels London for Charitable Causes and to the Hospitality Industry; Khalsa Aid for Charitable Causes; Captain Jagjeet Singh Sohal for Journalism and Ms Gurinder Chadha OBE for her pioneering achievements in the film indus-

try. A graduation ceremony by the World Sikh University London followed where PhDs were awarded to Ms Harmanjit Kaur Sandhu, Mr Wazir Singh Sidhu, Mr Mohinder Singh Rai and Mr Dilbadshah Singh. The University also awarded Honorary Doctorates to Mr Gursharan Singh Chadha and Mr Atul Pathak OBE for their outstanding contribution to business and society. Lieutenant General Andrew Graham CBE, made an appeal on behalf of Combat Stress where he is Chairman. He gave an insight into the psychological trauma some our brave soldiers have gone through on the battlefield. Lieutenant General Graham was then presented with cheques for a total of £15,000 which comprised of £5,000 donations from the British Sikh Association Mr Executive Committee; Jasminder Singh OBE, Chairman of Edwardian Hotels London and Mr Amit Patel of Auden McKenzie. A further £10,000 was pledged by Mr Gopichand Hinduja, Co-Chairman of the Hinduja Group and £5,000 from CB Patel, Publisher/Editor of the Asian Voice newspaper. Mr James Greenrod introduced the Armed Forces Covenants which over 1,500 businesses and organisations across the UK have already signed, making practical pledges that have made a difference across the Armed Forces community. Dr Rami Ranger CBE, signed the covenant on behalf of the association alongside Secretary Fallon. Asian Voice | 1st April 2017

‘I know I look good on the dance floor But I don’t know how much my pension will be’

Get to know yours Find out when your State Pension begins and how much it’ll be. Search ‘your State Pension’




Nominate your favourite charity AsianVoiceNews

Asian Voice | 1st April 2017

Top 10 Charities by Accountability & Transparency Empowering Donors. Supporting Charities. That’s what Charity Clarity is all about. CC have come up with a special rating system which assesses a charity across 18 metrics for Financial Health, Accountability and Transparency, and Accessibility. We have 390 charities on CC right now, and will have around 500 in May 2017. These are the Top 10 Charities in the category of Accountability & Transparency from the ones we have measured, according to Charity Clarity. They are assigned a rating out of 5, based on 7 metrics assigned different weights. 1. International Society For Krishna Consciousness London - 4.80 2. Magic Bus UK - 4.43 3. iPartner India - 4.35 4. Sense International - 4.35 5. London’s Air Ambulance Limited - 4.33 6. London Sri Murugan Temple - 4.25 7. Shree Kutch Leva Patel Community (UK) - 4.20 8. The YMCA Indian Student Hostel - 4.20 9. Divine Onkar Mission - 4.10 10. Akshar Educational Trust (The Swaminarayan School) - 4.05




Nomination deadline 31 March 2017.

Do you know of any UK based charities / individuals who are solving pressing social issues of our time, both in Britain and globally Nominate them for the Asian Voice Charity Awards 2017 by visiting our website w

If you are interested about Charity Clarity, get in touch at Contact Charity Clarity is an independent charity rating agency.

Business Minister urges FTSE 350 CEOs to improve diversity and inclusion Business Minister Margot James has written to the chief executives of all FTSE 350 companies urging them to improve diversity and inclusion in the workplace. In her letter, she called on the UK’s largest companies to take up key recommendations from the Baroness Ruby McGregorSmith Review into black and ethnic minority progression in the workplace, including: l publishing a breakdown of their workforce by race and pay l setting aspirational targets l nominating a board member to deliver on those targets

Business Minister Margot James said: “It simply makes no business sense for people to be left behind because of their ethnic background and I am asking FTSE 350 companies to play their part in driving the agenda for greater diversity in the workplace. “Genuine and lasting change must come from within the business community and I encourage companies to take forward Baroness McGregorSmith’s recommendations.” Baroness McGregor Smith, who published her independent review last month, said: “I’m delighted to see the Government playing its part in calling

on the UK’s largest businesses to improve diversity and inclusion in the workplace. “FTSE 350 companies must help to bring about change by committing to greater transparency and accountability on this vitally important issue as set out in the recommendations in my review.” In the coming months, Margot James will chair the first meeting of the Business Diversity and Inclusion Group set up following the publication of the McGregor-Smith Review. The group will bring together business leaders and organisations to coordinate action to remove barriers in the workplace.

The World Loves the UK

Continued from page 3 If Google didn’t exist, there would be no point inventing it, because you don’t use it. 3. Revenues, Great Pitch Great, now I’ll work for free for you. What’s that, my friends you want me to introduce you to. Cool – LinkedIn – they’re all on there, and better still LinkedIn is meant for introductions. Hmmm… you didn’t know that about LinkedIn? Well I’m starting to question your IQ again. Maybe it’s a bad idea you’re in charge of any company. Angel groups, venture capital firms, startup loans – an introduction is a great way to get you ahead of the queue and make sure you get money before all those cold callers – I’m only kidding. An introduction works when it’s an amazing offer – and an amazing offer gets through their cold calls anyway. 4. Why You Are Being Rejected

So why are you being rejected? The pitch is not great, there is no interest except in your imagination (your mother’s fault again – ever watched Britain’s Got Talent or X-Factor, and thought ‘what made that person think they could sing’, well that’s you. Now you see why Simon Cowell is so pissed off. He hates mothers who make their little Dick or Kitty think they have got it, when they clearly don’t.). The reason is never, ever, ever, that one magical person has not seen your offering. Great offerings, brilliant offerings are so good, so amazing, that people borrow money to invest in them – but you first. If you don’t, well, the rest of us won’t. 5. Most People Should Give Up You see most pitches I see, are actually only going to work as donations, as a grant, as a gift of money. They’re not compelling. So in those cases you come to

me, and are actually asking me to find donors in the guise of a great business model. My greatest hits have come from propositions where the entrepreneurs were so hard working, so focussed, so well researched, I barely had to do anything. Most people don’t do that. They waste their time with second rate propositions they wished worked, thinking some fool will come along, and are in denial. Worst still, they are wasting my time too. So am I a pessimist – heck no. You keep going chipper, and one day, like the little ant that could, you too will make it. Keep reading the self-help books in the meanwhile. (Actually seriously, don’t give up, but do do do do learn, research, learn some more first). I look forward to meeting some of the best from around the world in the UK!

The Awards ceremony will be held on Friday 19th May 2017 at the Hilton, Park Lane , London

Award Categories

For Charities and Not-for Profit Institutions n Charity of the Year

This award recognises a UK-registered charity for their outstanding work and contribution to society, as well as demonstrated excellence service and achievement in its work over the last five years.


Start-Up of the Year

This award is similar to Charity of the Year, but specifically for charities that have been operational for three years or less.

n Outstanding PR Team

This award recognises excellence in charity PR, either in-house at a charity, or an agency undertaking a PR campaign on behalf of a charity

n Most Enterprising

This award recognises a social enterprise or the trading arm of a charity that has made a significant difference to beneficiaries through its ability to generate income to meet its social goals over the last two years.

n Social Impact Award

This award recognises an organisation for the social impact they have created and their contribution to society.

For Corporate Partnerships: n Excellence in Corporate Social Responsibility

This award recognises the best corporate partnership and corporate responsibility programmes. It honours a company which goes beyond simply CSR projects to engage in partnerships in the last two years with either UK-registered or international charities, social enterprises or unincorporated charitable projects, to demonstrate quantifiably positive impact to the community.

For Individuals: n Inspiring Individual

This award recognises an individual who has demonstrated dedication, professionalism and integrity over a sustained period of time, and who has produced an identifiably profound effect on the social sector in the UK or otherwise through their work, which could be voluntary or otherwise.

n Inspiring Young Person

This award recognises a young individual who has demonstrated dedication and integrity through their work with the social sector in the UK or otherwise over the past year.



UK Asian Voice | 1st April 2017 AsianVoiceNews


Rani Singh, Special Assignments Editor

Anoushka Shankar; Sitarist, Now Composing for Classic Silent Film Shiraz This is a look at the surprise fact that Anoushka Shankar (daughter of late maestro Ravi Shankar) turns out to be not just an accomplished musician, she is also a talented composer.

filling. But I've never written for film before and that's something I've been looking forward to for a while.” Anoushka was just about to take a first look at Shiraz, the 1928 silent film by Himanshu Rai in which Rai plays the architect who designed the Taj Mahal.

Anoushka was one of the star guests at the recent launch at the British Film Institute of a special season of films to mark the 70th anniversary. She revealed then that her father Ravi composed the enitire soundtrack for Satyajit Ray's Pather Panchali over one eight hour night, after being played each scene one by one by Ray. Anoushka Shankar was delighted to tell us afterwards in interview about how she came to composing. “I started composing my own music back in 2005 and my albums since then have been either self composed or in collaboration. I am used to writing, and that is something I love very much, Anoushka Shankar it's creative and it's ful-

The film has been restored and Anoushka Shankar will be composing the score which will premiere in October 2017 at the BFI as well as in front of the Taj Mahal in India later on. Anoushka says she has been wanting to find “the right first project. Nothing could be more ideal than Shiraz. It's such a beauty of a film, such a rare and historic piece, that it feels like it's the right place to begin. I'm looking forward to it, very much.” With children, a husband and an illustrio u s

career, how does she plan her work? How does she create a performing/composing schedule? “It varies as I am working all the time. When I'm touring, that's much more about performing every day. It's not so much about composing. Whereas when I'm home, I'm in my home studio a lot more. I'm writing the creative process to more and I've also got two flow? little boys. Sometimes it's “For me it's about stayall about family and not ing in contact with it as work, so every day is differmuch as possible. I mean ent. Routine is really helpjust playing. When I'm ful but it's hard to have playing I'm in tune any kind of daily with my instruschedule as a touring performer I have to put ment and thereI'm more because not myself in the fore deeply connectevery day is the position of ed to music. So I same. One day can be more creI'm in Nevada. receiving an One day I'm in idea and listen ative more easily because if I think Switzerland and out for it of something my one day I'm in hands are kind of London so you in tune with one can't have a routine process and so the crethat way. ative idea can come out It becomes much more very easily. Whereas if I've about the discipline of havbeen disconnected I can sit ing to work when I work, with a pen and paper for and be really focussed and ages and nothing will really efficient. And to come. It just feels like I allow the creative prohave to put myself in the cess to happen as it position to receive an idea will. and listen out for it, really. So how does she Composing is different make that space for


because obviously we are playing in response to something but for me it is stll the same process of trying to stay connected to that intuitive voice while also applying that to the scale of composing for a film.” I test Anoushka with question about challenges in her life, some of which she has been quite open about in the press. She sums it up this way. “My life has had a lot of opportunites and challenges. One can't pick out one challenge through a lifetime but it's been a wonderful and rich life, like any other, I guess. I'm a big fan of leaning into challenges. It feels like when something is dificult I've got to go through it. I can be an avoider sometimes if something's scary. But I've learnt, the older I get, that if I avoid something, it's still there. And it doesn't go away so I'm going to have to face it at some point. So if something's a challenge I try and face it. And I do that with support. I'm not afraid to ask for help any more. That used to be hard. I've got a really good support system of people I love and trust. I hold people's hands and I take support and I bulldoze through, I guess.

Act FAST if you see someone having a stroke

Every second counts when you’re having a stroke. The condition can strike anyone, of any age, at any time. That’s why recognising the signs of stroke and calling 999 is crucial. "I couldn't believe it. I thought strokes only happened to older people," said Deya Chauhan, 33, from Oadby in Leicestershire, who had a stroke five years ago. "I was at work as a dispensing optician when I began to suffer a crashing headache. I couldn't grip a patient's spectacles in my left hand - that side of my body from the top of my arm right down my leg had gone numb. "I thought it was because I hadn't had much breakfast, but when I answered the phone, I began swallowing my words. I looked in a mirror and the Deya Chauhan with her family left side of my lip was slightly drooping. "I thought about the FAST advert but was convinced I couldn’t be having a stroke." Deya was alone in the shop at the time but it was her manager who called 999 immediately. She was paralysed down her left side after her stroke but after intensive physiotherapy, she can now do most things again. Her son was born two years ago. Deya said: "I love being a mum. I can do everything for Trishen except for bathing as I can't open the fingers on my left hand." She said: "In the Asian community, we often shy away from such publicity. I think it is crucial that more people are aware of how devastating a stroke can be. I was lucky that my manager spotted the FAST signs and called 999.” According to the Stroke Association, people with their origins in South Asian countries like India, Pakistan, Nepal, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh, are more likely to have a stroke at a younger age than white people. The charity offers information, support and advice for survivors and families through its Stroke Helpline (0303 3033 100), community services and website ( Juliet Bouverie, chief executive of the 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."

Would you know how to do the FAST test? Every second counts when you’re having a stroke. A stroke can strike anyone, of any age, at any time. Do the FAST test. Don’t wait and always call 999 if you see any one of these signs. Learn it. Share it. You could save a life.



Asian Voice | 1st April 2017

Communities united The Council and Police invited Community leaders to a meeting on Friday 24 March, 2017 at 2.00pm at the Civic Centre in Harrow regarding the incident in Westminster, which was attended by the Leader of Harrow Council, Chief Executive, GLA member and other key Councillors. The Borough Commander also attended in order to ensure that all communities are aware of the key messages for Harrow from the Metropolitan Police following tragic attack in Westminster. It was heartening to see a very good turnout of Community leaders and religious leaders of Harrow. This showed that all communities are united in Harrow and willing to work together and co-operate with the Council and the Police to face any terrorist threat. Harrow being the most religiously diverse borough of London has set an example of how communities of different backgrounds and religions can have good relations and work in harmony to each other. Also participate in each other’s cultural activities. This unity ensures any backlash against any community will not be tolerated and will be tackled it head-on. This was shown some years back when the racist and fascist organisation of English Defense League and National Front came to Harrow to demonstrate against the Central mosque. They were driven out of Harrow by united front of Harrow Police, Harrow Council and Community leaders by facing them and giving them a strong message that they could not mess about or cause divisions in Harrow. After that they left quietly. Therefore, It is a matter of pride for all Harrovians for peaceful co-existence and community cohesion we have in Harrow. Baldev Sharma Harrow

We’re only human

I was interested in the reincarnation views expressed by reader Dinesh Sheth in a recent issue of Asian Voice. His account, from the Jain standpoint, coincides with those of reader Ramesh Jhalla and myself. The ultimate aim of life, Sheth says, "is to liberate the soul from the eternal cycle of birth, misery, death and rebirth". So far, so good, but here comes the bombshell. Sheth adds that when we folk are reborn over and over again we may return "perhaps as humans, perhaps not." Let us rewind here. I thought the belief was that all living entities progressed through different life-forms (animal, bird, fish, insect and so on) throughout the ages until they eventually attained human status, after which they would keep returning only as humans, possibly flipping between male and female genders each time. Jhalla would agree. Last week he wrote: "It is impossible for a human to be reborn in a non-human body." In other words, once a human being, always a human being, in incarnation after incarnation. Sheth, however, makes a totally acceptable point: "The nature of our rebirth is determined by the accumulated effects of our actions, attitudes and modes of life in this and previous lifetimes." What do other readers think? Do they believe in reincarnation? Or do they feel that once you are dead, you are dead, and that is the end of you? Rudy Otter By email

A lunatic in London

Donald Trump, the American President, had said that it is not safe for Americans to come to Europe and the UK. How right he is. After the atrocities in Paris, Nice, Berlin and Brussels, one would feel unsafe to come to any European country. Thursday, 23 March, was indeed a black day for London when a lone wolf went on a rampage and killed 4 and wounded 40 innocent people at Westminster. This was in the wake of similar atrocities in other cities. These terror attacks would corroborate what Trump said that it is not safe for Americans to come to Europe and the UK. Indeed we are no longer safe walking in the streets of London. This latest killings in our city was carried out by a home-grown self radicalised ideologist. As our prime minister has said, this is an attack on free people everywhere. There must be a way of stopping such killings from happening again and again. How can we make the world a safer place for us, our children and the posterity to live in? Inequality causes hatred and jealously. The inequality between the haves and have-nots must be the culprit and needs to be tackled in order that people the world over who are oppressed and hungry can feel satisfied and content with their lot. Religion must also be playing a part because many killings in the past and present have taken place in the name of religion. Dinesh Sheth Newbury Park, Ilford

Hinduism accommodating Christianity

Reading Jubel’s letter “Don’t take advantage of Christians in India” I feel obliged to share my experience with AV readers. While visiting Kerala, we went on early morning bird-watching excursion on River Karmana, leaving early without breakfast. We stopped for refreshment at relatively large island called Edayer, in the middle of the lagoon, home for 250 Hindu families. Being Sunday, we attended early morning service with our English friends, Marlina and Michael, an accomplished wild-life photograph. We donated Rs 1000 which attracted the attention of Italian Catholic priest who started conversation, when he learnt we were tourist from England. He moved here ten years back when forced out of neighbouring Pakistan, building this church, attached to “Primary Medical Care Centre”, an audacious move, as there were no Christians. With imposing personality, he soon gained trust of residents and managed to convert fifty families. He was joined by local nun, qualified nurse, employing two local islanders, with the purpose of converting everyone to Christianity, with free primary medical care and nursery education as bribe. I had fruitful conversation, mentioning that when we go back, I will encourage our devoted VHP members to build temple with associated facilities. He was horrified, fearing that their presence on the island will create tension, will dent his conversion agenda but agreed under pressure that only Hindus could be so accommodating to Christianity. Perhaps Jubel with his imaginary, persecuted mentality should appreciate accommodating Hindu religion before it is too late. Bhupendra M. Gandhi By email


Attack on the heart of democracy

Although everyone knew terrorist attack on London was unavoidable, in view of senseless killings in Paris, Berlin and Brussels, still the recent events came as surprise. It proved how unprepared Government, Scotland Yard is. Uniform and plain cloth police guarding high profile places like HOC, HOL, Shopping Malls and Football Stadiums should be armed, with bullet-proof vests and at least lazar guns if not firearms that they could use in an emergency. It is obvious this was not the case with police guarding the seat of democracy that resulted in avoidable death of loyal police officer. Home Office has even drastically reduced police budget when it should be going up, instead preferring to waste tax payers’ money on bottomless Foreign Aid pit, ignoring need of NHS, Police and other departments struggling to stay afloat under difficult circumstances. Our bleeding heart politicians living in Ivory Tower are out of touch with reality at ground level. Watching PM May being escorted out of HOC was nothing short of fiasco, as no one knew which car to use, making her sitting target if it was concentrated terrorist attack armed with automatic guns. One may wonder why there is no proper bomb proof shelter within Palace of Westminster where Cabinet members can take shelter in emergency which could be much safer than unruly evacuation; a time for introspection indeed. Kumudini Valambia By email

Catholic weddings A wedding in a Catholic family is a beautiful occasion for relatives and friends to gather around the bride- to be or groom-to-be in support or encouragement and also to bless them. Traditional ceremonies like the roce for Goans and Mangaloreans and the Umbracha Pani for East Indians have added to the fun and excitement in preparation for the wedding day. The application of coconut juice and milk as a sign of ritual cleansing or a bath with the water drawn from the village well has a certain significance for the person going to get married. But unfortunately, over the years, these ceremonies have degenerated into meaningless rituals because the 'fun' element has meant the unnecessary smashing of eggs or the pouring of chilled beer or other smelly concoctions on the persons going to get married. Someone should enlighten on this unique East Indian custom of ‘Umbracha Pani’ to the modern generation who know very little about this tradition and customs of the community. During the celebration of weddings and other events, one should remember the orphans and donate a small portion of their budget to them. These children who have no one to take care of them, except the religious sisters, will feel happy and have a smile on their faces. Jubel D’Cruz, Mumbai, India

The Rajputs Mr Bhupendra Gandhi, says that 'It was disunity, jealousy and lack of patriotism, respect for Indian culture, that brought this once mighty nation to its knees. Rajput kings hated each other more than they hated Greek, Mogul and British invaders." It's quite obvious that the only jealousy shown in his statement is his very own. Bhupendra has forgotten, that the very wealth and culture of India, was created and maintained by the very Rajputs he denigrates, and that though a very small number did side with the Moguls, a vast majority of Rajputs fought against them and the Britshers too. I will go beyond this, and say, that if it was not for these "jealous and hateful' Rajputs, then Bhupendra and a majority of the Indian nations would by now had had Muslim names, and would have been busy doing pilgrimages to Mecca. Rajputs were very few in number compared to the vast swathe of humanity in India, but their small numbers did mighty deeds against all of it's invaders, and they remain as the forefront of Hinduism's defenders, and the Culture of India. The Sikhs were the other great force that helped India through its terrible times, and they too get maligned by such ill-informed people. Where was your bravery when India need you Mr Gandhi? What culture did India have without it's great Maharajahs and Maharanis? The Rajputs have sacrificed more than just their lives and land, and for what? For you Mr Gandhi, and the millions who call themselves Bharatas. I am very sure that this response too, will draw many more comments, just as you had said. Kishorsinh D Jadeja By email


They say Islam and the majority of Muslims are peaceful. I note there is deathly silence amongst Muslims. Where is their voice of condemnation? They are ‘up in arms’ and protest loudly on the rise of Islamophobia and hate crimes against Muslims in the UK and the West. Aren't they hypocrites? Your readers may be interested to see the following link ( of a debate that took place in the US on the 4 Americans that were killed by rebels in Bengazi, Libya, An American Muslim student asked a specific question to the panel. A very powerful response was given by one of the panelist. Well worth watching/listening. All I can say is, well said, Brigette Gabriel. Mohindra Master By email

Letter writers are requested to write and debate about new issues or current affairs every week and refrain from writing about the same subjects. - Editor

EDUCATION AsianVoiceNews


Asian Voice | 1st April 2017

Council tax in London boroughs on the rise Council tax has shot up across London with 14 boroughs increasing bills by the maximum of almost five per cent. Seventeen out of 33 authorities took advantage of the Government’s adult social care precept which allows them to hike council tax by three per cent – an average of £46 a year - to fund services. A further 11 used the precept to increase bills by the slightly lower two per cent. But, on top of that, 25 councils added an extra 1-2 per cent to the core council tax used to pay for other services. Just four councils chose to freeze council tax altogether. They are Hillingdon, Newham and the City of London. One, Kensington & Chelsea, is raising council tax without the additional adult social care precept. The Asian boroughs

increasing council tax by the full 4.99 per cent are Croydon, Enfield, Harrow and Redbridge. This means that Enfield residents, for example, face paying an extra £61.08 per year for a Band D property. It is increasing by the slightly lower margin of 3.99 per cent in Brent, and Hounslow. Barnet increased it’s bills by three per cent, while Ealing residents are facing just a two per cent hike - meaning a £25

increase. The four London authorities who froze council tax make up 17 per cent of the 23 councils nationally who are not increasing their charges this year. One of those, Newham Council, has staved off the effects of "savage cuts from Whitehall" by launching a small business initiative which "transforms existing (council) services and turns them into commercial enterprises".

Holidays behind quarter of school holidays Term-time holidays accounted for a quarter of unauthorised absences from schools in England, analysis of official figures shows. Almost a million children missed at least one day of school in England, despite the threat of fines. Teachers said the fines were a "blunt instrument" and the problem was down to the price of holidays. The Department for Education

said unauthorised absences damage children's life chances. Across England, termtime holidays accounted for an average of 27% of all missed "sessions" of school. There are two sessions of school each day, morning and afternoon. The figures cover 2015-2016. In May 2016 a father won a case at the High Court to overturn a ÂŁ120 fine levied for taking

his daughter to Florida during term time. If a school declares an absence unauthorised, the council can fine a parent ÂŁ60 per child, which doubles to ÂŁ120 if not paid within 21 days. However, the fines appear to have not proven a deterrent as the number of unauthorised holiday absences has continued to rise.

A Story of Hope from Hope for Children

Hope for Children, the official charity for the forthcoming Anand Mela in June, has been working in India, since 1995, where It is estimated that there are in excess of 100,000 children living on the streets of Delhi alone. We have been working with specific groups of these children, providing an informal education at contact points around the city, for those who otherwise would have no opportunity to get any form of schooling. This is the inspirational story of one of those we have helped. Purnima, a hardworking and kindhearted 15-year old girl, lives with her family in a slum area of Delhi, among a migrant community. They originally came from a less-developed part of Northern India, but moved to Delhi with the hope of a better life. Soon after moving to the city, Purnima, her three sisters, and her mother were left to fend for themselves when their father left. This is an all too common situation resulting in single mothers having to cope on their own to care for their children, and often going to dangerous lengths to do so. Purnima's mum took it upon herself to provide her for daughters, working tirelessly, until she was involved in a devastating accident. Her injuries meant she was no longer able to work full-time, and it fell to Purnima, as the eldest sibling, to work so the family could survive. During a day working, Purnima came across one of our pop-up street classrooms in Delhi. She started to attend whenever she could, and quickly flourished in the informal education it provides. With our help she has progressed so well and so quickly that she has been enrolled into school – where she is now top of her class!

Purnima's mum is now focused on getting all of her girls through education, after seeing the hugely positive impact the pop-up street classroom had on Purnima – who is now, thanks to her experience, focused on becoming a teacher herself.

Tech students at De Montfort looking at renewable energy for children in India Students from De Montfort University Leicester (DMU) are using their skills and knowledge on a range of schemes to support the Gandhi Ashram in Ahmedabad, which is home to youngsters from some of India’s poorest families. The ashram is supported by DMU Square Mile India, and students from DMU regularly travel to the ashram to work with the children and the community. Students and staff from DMU’s Faculty of Technology visited the ashram to assess its current energy system and see how they could harness renewables like solar and water to improve reliability and cut costs. M e c h a n i c a l Engineering student Nasir Balera was in one

of three groups who each looked at a different aspect of the process. Information gathered was then brought back to DMU with the groups working on solutions that will then be taken back to India later this year. They visited a community centre and looked at the ways in which energy was used and a girls’ school, which uses some solar panels for its electricity. “It’s about seeing what could be possible and the kind of projects which exist already, and seeing how well they

to provide internal units to deal with troubled pupils, he added. Ofsted said effective behaviour management was essential for pupils' learning, development and wellbeing. Mr Bennett told the BBC: "Behaviour has not been taken seriously enough in the past, and the official data underestimates the

extent of the problem in all schools." Mr Bennett said he wanted behaviour to be tracked at the school level and pulled together in an anonymised survey. Even though, he said, that in any school, at most times, behaviour was largely civil and co-operative.


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work,� he explained. “It makes what we learn in the lectures more relevant because we can see the issues we have to work around, as well as get the chance to talk to people who will be using the systems about what they want and make it relevant to them.� David Pilsworth, a Mechatronics student, said one of the main problems was the unreliability of electricity from the grid. By creating and storing their own power, the ashram would be able to solve this.

Poor behaviour 'not taken seriously enough in schools' The issue of poor behaviour in schools has not been taken seriously enough, says a review by England's behaviour tsar Tom Bennett. The extent of the problem has been underestimated in official data kept by Ofsted, he warns. Schools with particular problems should be funded

MONDAY, 13TH, 09:30AM-6:30PM Holi (Festival of Colours) Pooja in the temple from 9:30am and colour playing session from 4pm. RSVP to or call on 020 861 9600.

We are as committed as ever to changing the lives of children in India, and we have exciting plans to expand our work. In our next article, we will give more details about a vital school sanitation project we are hoping to launch later this year and how you can help too. In the meantime, if you are interested in learning more about Hope for Children or volunteering with our team at the Anand Mela, please contact us at

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MEDIA WATCH AsianVoiceNews

Asian Voice | 1st April 2017

Yogi Adityanath was sworn in as Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister on March 19 in Lucknow, with Prime Minister Modi and BJP Secretary Amit Shah were present for the occasion. Akhilesh Yadav, head of the beaten Samajwadi Dal, and his father Mulayam Singh Yadav, were also present at the ceremony, pictured with Narendra Modi and Amit Shah in jovial mood. That is as it should be in a mature democracy. The verdict of the people demand respect, and the people of their choice should be congratulated for their victory.

Srinagar two-and-a-half hours. (Hindu March 19).

Long-Term support for Sukhois, MiGs,T90 tanks

Arunachal teenager’s goggles for the blind

Indian Institute of Technology (IIT)-Kharagpur, has designed the country’s first superpower drone, naming after the second of the Pandavas of the Mahabharata. For those searching for context, Bhim, like Hercules, was noted for his exceptional physique and the phenomenal strength which came with it. An IIT research, this machine is under a metre in length with an unmanned stateof-the-art aerial device protection shield, superior imagery, hitherto unexplored capabilities.

As Mr Jaishankar was pressing the buttons in Moscow, two longterm pacts were signed in new Delhi by Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd and the United Aircraft Corporation and the Engine Corporation for maintenance of the life cycle for the Sukhoi 30MKI-30 aircraft, the mainstay of the Indian Air Force, Similar pacts were signed for MI-17, helicopters, MIG 29K aircraft and aircraft carrier INS Vikramaditya. The pacts provide for an upgraded schedule for delivery of spares, formerly acquired from Russia, can hereon be manufactured in India. (Business Line March 18).

A high school student in Arunachal Pradesh has invented a unique pair of goggles for the blind through the use of ultrasound and infrared sensors enabling the visually impaired to detect obstacles on on their path. The State government has assured him of financial support to develop his gadget to the next level. Anang Tadar, a class XI student of New Galaxy Academy, Nirjuli, was awarded the Dinanath Pandey Smart Idea Innovation Award. Impressed by his innovation and keen to launch it on the market, the National Innovation Foundation setup of the Department of Science and Technology, has asked Anang to make a few prototypes for tests (Hindu M arch 18).

IIT’s cutting edge BHIM drone


Prime Minister Narendra Modi, BJP National President Amit Shah at Yogi Adityanath oath taking ceremoney at Smriti Upvan in Lucknow

This lesson in good manners eludes the Congress party leader Rahul Gandhi, who refused the invitation and stayed away from the function. To lack brains and etiquette reinforces growing pleas for him to quit. It is the one great service to party and country that is still in his gift. Congress was crucified in the State Assembly elections, with a mere seven seats out of a total of 403. Congress was pole-axed because it bore the heavy cross of this unelectable upstart. (Times of India, Hindu, Telegraph, March 20).

Merger makes Telecom giant

UK’s Vodofone and India’s Idea Cellular, of the Aditya Birla Group in what has been described as a ‘merger of equals, have created a telecom giant.

Business Line, M int March 21).

Cabinet clears GST Bills

The GST rollout scheduled for July took a significant step forward with the clearance of four crucial bills by the Cabinet, ushering in the biggest indirect tax reform in India’s modern history. (Business Line March 21).

Doing business in India to jump

BHIM can create a Wi-Fi zone within a kilometre radius when it flies over conflict zones. It has a battery back-up that can keep in flight for seven hours. It can fly into a conflict or disaster zone, create a seamless communication network for security forces rescue teams. It can para-drop supplies. BHIM has an actual vision-based guidance built-in intelligence that enables it to identify a crowded area, in which case it would land elsewhere that is safer to do so. The controlling and guiding algorithms in the drone were developed in-house in the IIT lab. (Times of India March 20).

Jaishankar resets

The government is targeting a jump of 40 places on the scale of doing business India, from the present 130 to 90 by 2017-18 and to 30 by 2020. The table is compiled by the World Bank. Better rank by in ease of doing business and greater awareness about opportunities in India ‘s manufacturing sector (Mint March 21).


Moscow button

Kumar Mangalam Birla of Aditya Birla Group and Vodafone Group CEO Vittorio Colao after announcing the Vodafone-Idea merger

They have agreed to merge their India operations in $23. 2 billion deal, creating the India’s biggest telecom provider with a 396 million customer base. and a 40 per cent share of the revenue in the world’s largest mobile telephony market after China. The merger was prompted by a consolidation wave across the telecom industry following Mukesh Ambaniowned Reliance Jio sparked a price war with its offer of free services till March 2018,under a membership scheme of a nominal Rs 99. Aditya Birla and Vodofone CEO Vittorio Colao. Colao said India was Vodofone’s jewel (Telegraph, Times of India,

India’s longest tunnel ready India’s longest road tunnel on the Jammu-Srinagar highway is set to open on the completion of current trial run. Work on the 9.2 km project commenced in May, 2011., and is part of the overall 286-km four-lane linking the two cities. The tunnel, which is situated at an elevation of 1,200 metres, will be India’s first such venture to be equipped with an integrated with a world class tunnel control system, fire control, communication and electrical systems, all subject to automatic leverage. This will reduce travel time by between Jammu and


Foreign Secretary S. Jaishankar visited Moscow to firm up Prime Minister Modi’s upcoming trip to the St Petersburg Economic Summit of June 1 and 2. Mr Jaishankar held talks with Russian Deputy Foreign Ministers Igor Morgulov and Sergey Ryabkov in Moscow. ‘They discussed the complete range of bilateral relations between India and Russia, including the forthcoming 18th India-Russia Annual Summit, participation of Prime Minister as the Chief Guest at the St Petersburg International Economic Forum on 1-2 June 2017 and plans to celebrate the 70 th Anniversary of the establishment of Diplomatic Relations between India and Russia,’ said the Ministry of External Affairs in a statement in New Delhi on March 18. Mr Jaishankar also held talks with President Putin’s principal foreign policy aide, Yuri Ushakov, and with Konstantin Kosachev, Chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee of the Federation Council. (Hindu March 19).

Juvenile hysteria

Shashank Joshi of the Royal United Services Institute in London, was targeting India, when he fired a broadside at Russia, as no great power, but ‘full of sound and fury and not much clout.’ A Rand Corporation-Pentagon war game estimated that it would take Russia a maximum 60 hours to blow away the Nato-led coalition in the Baltic. The sound and fury emanates from the British security establishment and the hysterical British media. Messrs Modi and Jaishankar need no advice from a whippersnapper preening himself on the edit-page of the Hindu newspaper (March 21).

China rages at India over Tibet

China’s Foreign Ministry issued a warning to India over the Dalai Lama’s participation in a conference on Buddhism at Nalanda, one of the great seats of Buddhist culture and learning two millennia ago. A hectoring Chinese statement warned India to clearly recognize the anti-Chinese separatist nature of the Dalai clique….[and] respect China’s core interests ,’ charging that ‘Recently, India ignored China’s solemn representations and opposition and insisted on inviting the 14 th Dalai Lama to attend an

Yamaha India R&D global venture

Japanese motorcycle manufacturer, Yamaha shuns the label ‘cheap,’ preferring instead to emphasize style, performance and safety. Its ‘Indra’ project in India is to ramp up India-based Research and Development and hit markets running. India is the third-largest market for motorcycles in the world; Indonesia being the first and Vietnam second.. But market projections appear to suggest that by 2020, India will displace Indonesia in top slot. There at present 80 people devoted to research and development, but this number is expected to rise to 200. Yamaha Managing Director Yasuo Ishihara says the company plans to make India its principal hub for international markets (Business Line March 17).

Banker Parekh at LSE

Deepak Parekh is arguably India’s most successful and reputable banker, having taken Housing Development Finance Corporation to the heights. In a talk at the London School of

Dalai Lama

international Buddhist conference organizes by the Indian government.’ (Times of India, Hindu, Business Line, Telegraph March 21). Solemn absurdity best describes the ‘representation.’ Its minatory tone tells of an autistic political culture, and of ‘pride beyond human understanding,’ as the Proconsul Lord Curzon memorably remarked more than a century ago.

Economics, he spoke with nostalgia of his days as a student there, describing his time there as the happiest years of his life. His principal regret today was that he had too few years left to experience the full import of the rapid transformative change taking place in India. Now was the time to return to the country and take advantage of its unfolding opportunities. (Telegraph March 20).

UK Asian Voice | 1st April 2017 AsianVoiceNews


Bogus faith healers still at large in Leicester Police and trading standards officials set out to tackle the scourge of 'spiritual healers' such as Karamba Tunkara last year after they claimed a big scalp in the form of a con artist who fleeced his victims for more than £600,000. Mohammed Ashrafi, who called himself KamalJi, tricked people into believing he was a holy man who could help them win the lottery – as long as they gave him tens of thousands of pounds. Like Karamba Tunkara, Ashrafi took money from his victims by making a series of outrageous promises to them. Police and trading standards said con artists such as Tunkara and Ashrafi are still operating in the city. Officials warned that tricksters advertise in foreign language newspapers or by putting business

Mohammed Ashrafi

cards through letterboxes or leaving them on car windscreens. Many claim to be able to use prayer to lift curses, heal broken marriages and solve financial problems. Others say they can cure illnesses, including cancer and HIV. Community leaders helped officials to spread the word across the city that the faith healers' claims should not be believed. Leaflets were produced

in various languages and we continue to distribute them in areas where these services have been advertised. Ashrafi, 51 from Leicester, was jailed for nine years in February last year after he was convicted of 15 offences of fraud and one of blackmail, chiefly against families in Leicestershire. He was back in court at the end of 2016 for a hearing under the Proceeds of Crime Act. A hearing at Leicester Magistrates' Court saw his original nine-year prison sentence extended by five years as he had not paid back £613,500 conned from his victims. However, the additional sentence will not be served if Ashrafi pays the cash. The court has heard previously he has extensive assets, including property and land, overseas, chiefly in India.

Budding mathematicians at Reddiford School in Pinner celebrate winning number challenge Budding mathematicians at a primary school celebrated beating other pupils in a series of number challenges. Pinner High School held its first maths challenge for Year 5 schoolchildren on Tuesday, March 14. Aaditya Pupils Bhandarkar, Ananth HariNarain, Shaina Vadher and Shreya Patel represented Reddiford School, in Cecil Park, Pinner, and came first with 67 points. Cannon Lane Primary School, in Pinner, and

Pupils at Reddiford School in Pinner

West Lodge Primary, in West End Lane, came joint second after competing in a number of number puz-

zles. Pupils at St John Fisher School, in Harrow also took part.

Armed police in Whitley after gun-wielding man raids shop Armed police were scrambled after a robber wielding a handgun raided a shop in Whitley. The robber showed staff his weapon and demanded they handed over cash at Newsmasters in Northumberland Avenue on last Friday. But the robber fled empty handed

after another customer came into the shop. Armed officers were called to the scene at 10.50am. Police have stepped up patrols in the area after the incident. The offender is described as a black man in his 40s, slim, around 6ft tall. He had a white beard

and was wearing a dark bobble hat, a dark green or black waist length jacket, dark trousers and a green face covering. He was riding a large blue mountain bike which had silver pedals and front suspension. He is believed to have left the scene in the direction of Hexham Road.

Dagenham takeaway hit with £8,000 bill after 'serving cockroach in lamb curry' Court. Shapla was fined £3,500, with an extra £330 for Mr Miah. He was also ordered to pay legal costs, bringing the total up to £8,292.


Earn an extra £500

An east London curry house has been hit with an £8,000 bill after a cockroach was served in a lamb dish there. Shapla, in Dagenham, was raided by council inspectors following a customer complaint about a bug in their takeaway curry. Officers attended the

restaurant, which offers a chicken korma for £4.25, and discovered a cockroach infestation as well as “filthy” kitchen equipment and work surfaces. Afjol Miah, the owner of Shapla, pleaded guilty to serving food at high risk of contamination at Barkingside Magistrates'

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Mayor Sadiq Khan urges EU not to punish UK for Brexit The EU should not try to "instil fear" by threatening to "punish" the UK for Brexit with a bad deal, the London Mayor has warned Brussels. Sadiq Khan says the EU should not try to "secure its future by fear" and said a bad deal for Britain's capital would hurt Europe too. Mr Khan's intervention, in a speech in Brussels, comes the day before Theresa May is to trigger Article 50 - the official two-year divorce process. He said: "Now is the time to be confident in the European Union, and to act with confidence. There is no need - as some have suggested - for the EU to send a message, or to instil fear, by punishing the UK. "Because a proud, optimistic and confident institution does not secure its future by fear." He added that a "bad Brexit deal that hurts London would hurt the European Union too". The mayor's address set the scene for a series of high-level meetings with key EU figures to send the message that London wants EU trade and investment after Brexit. He will be holding talks with European

Sadiq Khan

Commission president Juncker, Jean-Claude European Parliament president Antonio Tajani, and the European Parliament's Brexit negotiator, Guy Verhofstadt. When asked if he wanted Britain to face an EU punishment deal, Mr Verhofstadt said: "Not at all." However, the spectre of a $60bn (£52bn) Brexit bill indicates a potentially hostile start to negotiations. EU negotiatior Michel Barnier wants to get the issue settled quickly so both sides can reach the outlines of a Brexit agreement within 18 months. Brexit Secretary David Davis said the UK would not be paying the EU that amount of money. He said: "We will, of course, meet our international obligations be we expect also our rights to be

Theresa May

respected too. "I don't think we are going to be seeing that sort of money change hands." Mr Khan also called on Mrs May to work to make an early deal on EU citizens living in the UK. Speaking on Question Time on Monday, Mr Davis said that immigration levels might need to rise "from time to time" suggesting the Government could be looking to quotas in the wake of Brexit. He said: "The first issue here is to bring this back under the control of the UK Government, the UK Parliament, to bring migration under control. "I don't think most people oppose migration, I think most people are in favour of migration so long as it's managed. The point is, it will need to be managed."

14 COMMUNITY AsianVoiceNews

Asian Voice | 1st April 2017

Continued from page 1 One of those forming the human chain was Fariha Khan, 40, a GP from Surbiton. She told the ITV "The feeling of what happened here on Wednesday was really strong," she said. "We thought of the ordinary people who were here and were mown down, standing here like this, it was very overwhelming." There were many from Ahmadiya Muslim community as well. Jaspreet Singh, a City worker told Asian Voice, "I am born and bred in the UK. Growing up in north, in a fairly white society, my turban always stood out. But I did not fear for my life or for my identity. Since 7/7, I have been called what not on the streets, including Bin Laden. Sometimes I fear for my life. Someone ignorant can attack me anywhere on the road, taking me as a Muslim. I am not saying they should attack Muslims. But living with the fear of your life is very hard." Manjit Gill said, "My faith since inception teaches us to fight against injustice and atrocities on innocent people. That's true Sikhism. But how to fight the enemy within our society? For someone ignorant the first reaction would be violence towards similar looking people as the terrorist and how to counter that?" Mahira Akhtar told Asian Voice, “People kill in the name of Islam. It is a shame that our name gets tarnished in such incidents. Our religion does not ask people to kill in the name of God.”

What happened on that fateful day?


Seema Malhotra MP, Shailesh Vara MP and Lord Jitesh Gadhia were among the nearly 400 MPs, who were told not to leave the building until it was safe- during and immediately after the attack. Tisa D'cruz, who worked in the nearby hospital said, "doctors, nurses and paramedics ran towards the incident. We were locked down in the hospital and could not step out for safety. My children were in the nursery nearby but there was a lockdown and there was no way I could go and pick them up. It was a severe panic moment.” Pooja Raval, who was out with her brother Neelkamal Joshi to the London Aquarium, popped out to buy tickets for the Tower of London from vendors standing on the Westminster Bridge. As she started climbing the stairs, to

Khalid Masood, a 52 year old man from Kent and a possible lone wolf, drove over Westminster bridge hurting several people, mostly Asian doctor first to treat tourists, including children victims at Westminster from France on a school trip. He then abandoned Junior doctor Jeeves his car and ran towards the Wijesuriya, the first Parliament, where he was to respond to the stopped by two unarmed recent attack on policemen. Masood hit PC Westminster, reportKeith Palmer with what edly wasn't even on seems to be a machete, duty the day he perinjuring him beyond formed emergency repair. When he went to treatment on two of lash out on the other the injured victims. policeman, he was gunned Believed to be of Sri Lankan origin, down by police in plain Jeeves said he entered the police corclothes. MPs and Peers don to attend to PC Palmer and the were locked inside the attacker. "I heard the screaming so ran Parliament. People ran to help and the police ran me in," he aimlessly on the road, fear- stated in an interview. He said emering for their lives. gency services and police were "incredMasood's action killed ible as we tried to save both the officer 4 and injured more than and the assailant. We spent some time 40, many of who have suf- trying to resuscitate them both." fered life changing injuries. His bravery was commended by Many people were also Tory MP Tobias Ellwood. Fellow medic treated for shock to have and surgeon Simon Fleming compliwitnessed the killing, mented him on Twitter with a tweet memories that will haunt saying, "Chairman of the junior doctors them forever. committee doing his job as responder. Bobi and Sunita Nagi Patients first. #Proud." who were witnesses to this President of the Royal College of attack reportedly said, Paediatrics and Child Health, Neena “People were flying in the Modi said, "We're proud of you and air, there was a big sound everyone who stepped up. All sympaas he kept hitting people. thies with those affected by yet another It's very sad. This whole senseless tragedy." incident has traumatised NHS medics from nearby St my family- our children. Thomas Hospital who responded to the Something you have only atrocities have been applauded for seen in Hollywood films, to rushing to help the wounded. A see that in person is trau- spokesperson of the British Medical matising." Association said all the emergency serI n d i a n - o r i g i n vices involved in the "tragic incident Parliamentarians Rt Hon showed immense dedication and bravKeith Vaz MP, Valerie Vaz ery. Our thoughts go out to the victims MP, Virendra Sharma MP, and their families at this difficult time."

get on the top of the bridge, she saw people running, crying, in panic for their lives. That is when she realised there was a terror attack on the bridge. Her brother remained locked down in the basement of the Aquarium till 6pm. Indian Foreign Minister Sushma Swaraj took twitter asking for the wellbeing of Indian nationals if they were caught amidst the attack.

Defiant Londoners went back to work the next day

Defiant Londoners headed back to their work as normal on Thursday urging not to let terrorists create a culture of 'fear' in the city with the hashtag #WeAreNotAfraid. It trended on social media as people vowed to defiantly stand up against hate. Addressing MPs in the House of Commons Prime Minister Theresa May said: 'We are not afraid and our resolve will never waiver in the face of terrorism.' The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, who said facing terrorism has become a part of urban life, invited all Londoners and visitors to the capital to a candlelit vigil at the Trafalgar Square on Thursday 23rd, to stand in solidarity with the victims of the incident in Westminster.

What Leaders have to say

Rajesh Agrawal, the Indian-origin Deputy Mayor of London wrote in City AM that, “I am truly proud and humble to be deputy mayor for business of this great capital, which showed such resolve and resilience in the wake of the terrorist attacks on Westminster last week. “Our capital’s response was to show that we will not be cowed by terrorism and instead we showed unity, solidarity and exactly what it means to be a Londoner.” Rt Hon Priti Patel MP in a statement said: “The terrorist incident in Westminster was horrific and shocking. My thoughts and prayers are with the families and relatives of those who died and with the injured victims. The events that unfolded are being thoroughly investigated and we all stand together to show that we will not be defeated by terrorism.” “I commend the police, emergency services and medical staff for the swift action and bravery they showed yesterday. They put


and on the values that we hold so dear, but it seeks to destroy the way of life of people across the globe. I hope that the message will go out to all decent and civilised countries that we must all redouble our resolve to deal with this evil.” Lord Meghnad Desai said, “I was on my way to India by an Air India flight which leaves at 8.45am. It was only after we landed in Adelphi, local time midnight that our mobile phones were found to have messages from friends about how I was. Then I found out switching on TV what had happened. I could see that it must have been a lone wolf attack.” Virendra Sharma MP said, "It was chilling to see how fragile the operation of our democracy was, and that terror can strike at the heart of our nation. I would however like to pay tribute to all the members of security and the emergency services that performed their role so well, saving lives and keeping people safe. We

themselves in harm’s way and in danger to help and protect people. I pay tribute to PC Keith Palmer for his Remembering PC Keith Palmer courage and bravery. His family have my condolences and he will be Rupanjana Dutta in all of our thoughts Asian Voice hosts many and prayers.” events in the Lord Jitesh Gadhia Parliamentseveral told Asian Voice, “Last magazine launch and Wednesday's terror one of our award cereattack occurred just monies. There have before the House of been instances when we Lords was due to start have met PC Palmer on its afternoon session. Our Chamber was our way in or out, and one incident I immediately sealed and recall when he particularly asked me if I I found myself locked was carrying a laptop or iPad in my bag. down in Parliament for Having toldg I was only carrying a kinseveral hours. At first, dle, he said, “I like that one.” In my 10 there was limited infor- years of experience as a political journalmation since the securi- ist, visiting the Parliament, every second ty services were still day to cover a story, so many times we establishing the scale have passed by this brave and friendly and and scope of the officer. It is extremely saddening to think we will never see him again. Our sincere incident. “Gradually, we were tributes to this man, who lay his own life moved from the to save the lives of so many. Chamber to Speaker's Court and then Westminster Hall can never guard against the irraand ultimately Westminster tional behaviour of an individual, Abbey - where Peers, MPs and but it is important that we remain Cabinet Ministers all found vigilant. I urge peace, unity and themselves in what could be cooperation, we must stand described as the ultimate refuge together as a community not in London. This was certainly an apart and not scared, unbent and unnerving and harrowing ordeal unbowed. which brought things into sharp "...Britain is a multicultural perspective. nation, and stronger for it. We are “As news of the incident built on our differences, but as Jo spread, I started to receive mesCox said, 'we are far more united sages from around the world and have far more in common enquiring about my safety. I am with each other than things that genuinely touched by all these divide us’." expressions of concern and supRt Hon Keith Vaz said, “The port. However, it was others who attack on Westminster was an paid the ultimate price, particuattack at the heart of our democlarly Police Constable Keith racy on the values that we all hold Palmer, who the Prime Minister true. I, like my colleagues, was on rightly described as "every inch a my way to the Chamber to vote hero" and other innocent visitors and was caught up in the commocrossing Westminster Bridge. tion by the Members’ Entrance. “Our thoughts and prayers are The reaction of the House of with the victims, and their famiCommons staff and the Police lies, of this dastardly attack on force was admirable, ensuring democracy. The entire British that everyone was quickly and Indian and British Hindu efficiently moved to safety. Community stands shoulder to "I would like to send my conshoulder in their hour of grief. dolences to those that lost their We have one simple message for lives and suffered life-changing those who attempt to shake our injuries last Wednesday. I must confidence and divide our comalso pay tribute to the bravery of munities through terror: we are PC Keith Palmer, who sacrificed not afraid.” his life to protect us all. His bravShailesh Vara MP said, “We ery will never be forgotten. saw an attack on this centre of "This attack will not change democracy and on the citizens of us. I believe it will only make us 10 countries. The message that stronger. It is during the darkest we need to take away from here is times that the best of Britain that not only is this evil ideology comes into the light.” an attack on western countries

SP AsianVoiceNews


pendent mayor Lutfur Rahman was made to quit in 2015, after an Election Court found him guilty of corrupt and illegal practices. He however, faced no criminal prosecution. Rahman is now attempting to secure a comeback before next year's election under a new party. City Hall sources said Linden's letter was prompted by rising concern over the initial police investigation. "The public need to have the highest level of confidence that any and all criminal prosecutions have been considered and pursued," she said. The London Assembly said the Met should be scrutinised for its "major failings" in the case, and accused it of missing opportunities in its inquiries. It has also been accused of taking a political decision, not to pursue Rahman and his Tower Hamlets First Councillors because it was afraid of getting involved in a sensitive political situation.

Names of aspiring BAME authors announced

Dhiren Katwa Penguin Random House, the publishing group, has announced a shortlist of 12 writers to take part in their WriteNow mentoring programme. Of the 12, six are from a Black, Asian & Minority Ethnic (BAME) background. They were selected, based on the quality of their writing, from 2,000 applicants and will receive one-to-one mentoring from editors who have particular experience in their genre. Together, the writers and editors will develop their manuscripts to make them the best they can be and ready for publication. The six from BAME backgrounds are EmmaJane Smith Barton, a second generation British Pakistani woman from South Wales; Manjeet

Mann, pictured, an actress and playwright from Walsall, Midlands; Nazneen Ahmed, a selfproclaimed devourer of fiction, a British Bangladeshi Muslim, mother to a threeyear-old boy; Nelson Abbey, a media executive and journalist of Nigerian descent; Elizabeth-Jane Burnett, a senior lecturer in Creative Writing in Birmingham, a poet and critic and environmentalist; and Charlene Allcott, a part-time carer for young people, as well as for her three-year-old son who has autism. Tom Weldon, CEO, Penguin Random House, said: “Our role is to seek out voices that speak to all of society and make sure those books and stories are for everyone. That’s why programmes like WriteNow are so important.”


Asian Voice | 1st April 2017

HMIC to probe Met over Hamlets poll fraud case Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Constabulary will soon launch an inquiry into the Metropolitan police's dealing of electoral fraud and malpractice allegations in Tower Hamlets. London Deputy Mayor Sophie Linden, who holds the legal power to initiate an investigation, wrote to the official police watchdog asking for a look into the investigation of the 2014 mayor race. "It is right, particularly in cases such as these, that there is no political pressure whatsoever applied to the police and that they should be able to carry out their investigations, which are ongoing, without fear or favour. That said, I am keen to ensure the investigations can command the trust and confidence of Londoners and particularly residents of Tower Hamlets, who are keen to see the integrity of the democratic process robustly secured," she wrote. Tower Hamlets inde-


Aditi Shorewal: Digital Storytelling Sunetra Senior

Head of Media Relations at DMA Media and a former digital journalist with TOI and NDTV, Aditi knows well the secret of storytelling- especially in a modern and well-connected age. From her work leading a highly successful social media strategy during her time at NDTV to her current position articulating the expansive yet personal stories of luxury brands such as Lamborghini and Audi, she always keeps in mind the powerful tool of veracity to attract a large audience: “it is key to maintain your integrity in both the journalistic and marketing fields because these are the stories that connect and gain traction with respective audiences.” In the same way passionate, human stories drive the media industry, Aditi elaborated, communicating the intentions of great, noteworthy businesses impact on the international economy: “whatever the context good narratives will accurately reflect the spirit and events of the situation, as well as giving you a macro picture of what is unfolding.” *** Indeed in a recent entry for her blog with The Times of India – entitled ‘Move Over Democrats, say hello to a new class of Trump haters in the UK’ – Aditi forthrightly discusses students banding together through their mutual desire to veto a particular world magnate and at once predicts what this might mean for the general American public: ‘would Americans too choose Clinton because they didn’t approve of Trump, or would their vote mean they genuinely have faith in Clinton’s leadership.’ Similarly when discussing her process with brand stories Aditi told us the importance of highlighting the company’s core values and with it the valuable innovative vision they can bring as reliable masters in their field. With human faces and hard-working team behind them, such corporates are interested in being represented purely: “people might have the misconception that marketing material is all lies, but the business often targets people who’d benefit from their services anyway, wishing to elucidate them of information that would better one's life. Many also demonstrate a deep sense of corporate social responsibility.” Also Editor-in-Chief of The Guardian’s award-winning student newspaper, Roar News, you can then trust Aditi when she tells you: “ultimately being a successful content provider epitomises a practice of virtue”, where there is always a genuine and nuanced connection with the world-conscious consumer: “this is what generates a loyal customer base and accomplishes longevity. This has always been the case, and is now tangibly so with the advent of social media.”

In a quick summary, what does it mean to be a digital storyteller for you? Keeping in touch with my audiences 24/7 and communicating accurately what is happening. That sometimes means operating in a more informal environment where I can converse with my audience and act on and reciprocate feedback: it’s not simply a one way street as with traditional media such as radio and TV. For example some media organisations might adopt social media, but forgo the full potential when they still anchor themselves in an old approach; not responding and really interacting with their readers. The Huffington Post engages with their audience, taking on board the views of people from different backgrounds and situations, giving a slice-of-life flavour. Audiences are ready to be more interactive, and are capable of contributing news too. Say, God Forbid, there is a terrorist scare, people can send in pictures, opinions and alerts becoming legitimate contributors themselves. Through detailed google analytics you can even cater to local people and news and be very specific in the way that you tell stories. Of course, the drawback of that has been its easy exploitation, otherwise known as Fake News

Yes, Fake News is a huge problem what do you think could be done to counter that? Obviously Fake News went viral through social media so it requires a two-pronged publically rooted approach. Established and morally conscious media outlets should verify their news more, and set a good example to aspire to. It’s easy to get a lead

but you need to double-check your sources too. At the same time, the publications who do unethically rely on click-bait – i.e. to the detriment of facts - should be monitored more intensely and called out for their malpractice.

You help big brands to tell their stories; what do you keep in mind to this justice? The client’s message is important and you must deliver that. You’ve also got to be clear and highlight the relevant details. A lot of individuating factors, such as the brand perhaps contributing to a particular charity could easily go unnoticed. You’ve got to keep true to the brand’s principles and make no compromise on that.

'Every small achievement matters to me'

And would you say brand marketing involves a marriage of creativity and self-promotion? Yes, but it’s also about substantial content: there has to be a strong heart behind it all.

What have been some of your highlight moments in the job? Honestly, every small achievement matters to me. Two big ones are when I was selected by the Israeli Foundation to visit Gaza and really immerse myself in the situation at the border there. I had the privilege of getting a real idea of how the Israeli/Palestine conflict was affecting people there. I learnt so much

about their lives. The great part was that it wasn’t about getting a story but rather exploring and learning about the situation. Journalists are mouthpieces and it’s important to report what is going on first-hand. If I ever did write on the situation out there, I’d know exactly what I was dealing with. I’m also proud of my scholarship to Kings to study asset and media management.

What’s been a favourite project of yours? Being part of the social media strategy at NDTV when we were covering the US elections: while I was there we won an award for the best social media strategy in Asia. The NDTV platform managed to get the maximum attention and hits and that was incredibly rewarding. What’s a current political topic that fascinates you? Trump! No article on him ever fails to entertain.

Finally, what was your primary media technique when you won the award at NDTV? To keep pace with the ever evolving social media space, the rule of thumb for me was experimenting and adapting: interacting with audiences on different platforms in different formats. Then deconstructing which format (picture, video, text) would work for which platform and so on. The Social media space changes very quickly, so it’s important to be able to act effectively and quickly without comprising the journalistic standard.


MOTHER'S DAY SPECIAL Asian Voice | 1st April 2017 AsianVoiceNews




MOTHER'S DAY SPECIAL Asian Voice | 1st April 2017

Maya Dipak performing with Bahvinbhai, Shrikunj Gadhvi and Pareshbhai



Patel (Pic 2). Bouquets were also

bestowed to mothers Hansa Gadhia, Hemlata Ladwa (Pic 1) and Bharulata Kamble. Kantaben Prabhakant Patel received a bouquet for her long standing support to Asian Voice and Gujarat Samachar (Pic 2). It was our former Managing Editor Jyotsna Shah's birthday and she was given flowers, with Maya Dipak breaking into a small birthday song for her. ABPL could not be more grateful for the over-


whelming response from the readers and wellwishers. Lord Jitesh Gadhia congratulated the entire team at Asian Voice and Gujarat Samachar for conceiving and executing such a memorable event. Matru Vandana will be held in Barking on April 1, Tyseley, Birmingham on April 2, Leicester on April 7 and Preston on April 8. Photo courtesy: Raj D Bakrania, PrMediapix Videography: Vineet Johri Audience mesmerised with Mayaben’s performance

Maya Dipak

MATRU VANDANA A memorable musical tribute on Mother's Day

The launch of the magazine Matru Vandana, Asian Voice and Gujarat Samachar's magazine on Mother's Day

Smita Sarkar

Asian Voice and Gujarat Samachar organised Matru Vandana, a musical evening to celebrate Mother's Day, launch the special Mother's day magazine and pay homage to all mothers at the Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan on the 26 March. It was a beauteous evening as Asian Voice and Gujarat Samachar's readers and wellwishers started pouring into Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan. After relishing a scrumptious vegetarian meal laid out for all the guests, they settled into their seats, waiting eagerly for the programmes to begin. Compere for the evening was Gujarat Samachar News Editor Kamal Rao. Lord Jitesh Gadhia was one the Chief guests; the other dignitaries included distinguished businessman Dr Rami Ranger, CBE,

Kamal Rao, News Editor, Gujarat Samachar

MP Virendra Sharma and M N Nandakumara- Executive Director of Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan. Revered singer Maya Dipak was flown down from India to delight the audiences with an evening of sugam sangeet in her versatile, distinguished and melodious voice. Trained in Hindustani Classical, Dipak is a famed artist in Gujarat and has toured all over Europe, Muscat, India and Dubai to give live performances. She left the audiences enthralled by her songs on mathru vandana, mathru bhasha (mother-tongue) and mathru bhumi (motherland). The evening commenced with prayers by Parvati Nair, Office Supervisor of the Bhavan. The MPs and other prominent leaders took to the stage after the brief prayers to speak fondly about their beloved mothers, expressing their

Dr Merul Patel, Director, ABPL Publications

love and gratitude for them. “When we want to respect something, it is always prefixed with 'mother'. Mother Earth, Mother India, Mother Ganga, Mother Teresa,” said Gadhia. Gadhia was locked inside the Parliament for six hours on the 22 March and this “harrowing experience brought certain things in perspective. People were anxiously enquiring about my safety. They called my mother." “Tonight we should pause for a moment and send out our thoughts and prayers for the victims and families of the dastardly attacks on our democracy. Today the daughter and mother of Head Constable of police Keith Palmer must be feeling an irreplaceable loss. And all of us, the entire British Indian and British Hindu community we all British and British Asians stand shoulder to shoulder in their hour of grief,” said Gadhia.

Parvati Nair, Office Supervisor, Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan

The sacrifices and the contributions made by any mother whether an affluent or a poor mother needs to be saluted, said Virendra Sharma, MP. He spoke about the mother's commitment towards their family, reiterating that “no mother teaches her child to be an evil person. They always ask you to serve the society... we need to pay respect to the most important human being in the world – the mother.” Mr Nandakumara said that we will never be able to repay the debt to our mothers and should be eternally grateful to the universal mother. “There is no greater deity than one's mother. I am grateful to CB and to all of you who have come here to pay tribute to our mothers. Lets all say together “matro devo bhavah.” Dr Rami Ranger, CBE spoke about how people with vision can progress a great deal. “Mother is very important because she has to shape your next generation. It was my mother's vision that has shaped us... I am the only one in the country who has been honoured by HM The Queen on eight occasions. This is a mother's vison.” Flowers were presented by Dr Merul Patel, Director of Asian Voice and Gujarat Samachar to his mother Pushpa Patel and aunt Saroj

CB offering a bouquet of flower to Hansa Gadhia


MOTHER'S DAY SPECIAL Asian Voice | 1st April 2017 AsianVoiceNews




MOTHER'S DAY SPECIAL Asian Voice | 1st April 2017

Maya Dipak performing with Bahvinbhai, Shrikunj Gadhvi and Pareshbhai



Patel (Pic 2). Bouquets were also

bestowed to mothers Hansa Gadhia, Hemlata Ladwa (Pic 1) and Bharulata Kamble. Kantaben Prabhakant Patel received a bouquet for her long standing support to Asian Voice and Gujarat Samachar (Pic 2). It was our former Managing Editor Jyotsna Shah's birthday and she was given flowers, with Maya Dipak breaking into a small birthday song for her. ABPL could not be more grateful for the over-


whelming response from the readers and wellwishers. Lord Jitesh Gadhia congratulated the entire team at Asian Voice and Gujarat Samachar for conceiving and executing such a memorable event. Matru Vandana will be held in Barking on April 1, Tyseley, Birmingham on April 2, Leicester on April 7 and Preston on April 8. Photo courtesy: Raj D Bakrania, PrMediapix Videography: Vineet Johri Audience mesmerised with Mayaben’s performance

Maya Dipak

MATRU VANDANA A memorable musical tribute on Mother's Day

The launch of the magazine Matru Vandana, Asian Voice and Gujarat Samachar's magazine on Mother's Day

Smita Sarkar

Asian Voice and Gujarat Samachar organised Matru Vandana, a musical evening to celebrate Mother's Day, launch the special Mother's day magazine and pay homage to all mothers at the Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan on the 26 March. It was a beauteous evening as Asian Voice and Gujarat Samachar's readers and wellwishers started pouring into Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan. After relishing a scrumptious vegetarian meal laid out for all the guests, they settled into their seats, waiting eagerly for the programmes to begin. Compere for the evening was Gujarat Samachar News Editor Kamal Rao. Lord Jitesh Gadhia was one the Chief guests; the other dignitaries included distinguished businessman Dr Rami Ranger, CBE,

Kamal Rao, News Editor, Gujarat Samachar

MP Virendra Sharma and M N Nandakumara- Executive Director of Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan. Revered singer Maya Dipak was flown down from India to delight the audiences with an evening of sugam sangeet in her versatile, distinguished and melodious voice. Trained in Hindustani Classical, Dipak is a famed artist in Gujarat and has toured all over Europe, Muscat, India and Dubai to give live performances. She left the audiences enthralled by her songs on mathru vandana, mathru bhasha (mother-tongue) and mathru bhumi (motherland). The evening commenced with prayers by Parvati Nair, Office Supervisor of the Bhavan. The MPs and other prominent leaders took to the stage after the brief prayers to speak fondly about their beloved mothers, expressing their

Dr Merul Patel, Director, ABPL Publications

love and gratitude for them. “When we want to respect something, it is always prefixed with 'mother'. Mother Earth, Mother India, Mother Ganga, Mother Teresa,” said Gadhia. Gadhia was locked inside the Parliament for six hours on the 22 March and this “harrowing experience brought certain things in perspective. People were anxiously enquiring about my safety. They called my mother." “Tonight we should pause for a moment and send out our thoughts and prayers for the victims and families of the dastardly attacks on our democracy. Today the daughter and mother of Head Constable of police Keith Palmer must be feeling an irreplaceable loss. And all of us, the entire British Indian and British Hindu community we all British and British Asians stand shoulder to shoulder in their hour of grief,” said Gadhia.

Parvati Nair, Office Supervisor, Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan

The sacrifices and the contributions made by any mother whether an affluent or a poor mother needs to be saluted, said Virendra Sharma, MP. He spoke about the mother's commitment towards their family, reiterating that “no mother teaches her child to be an evil person. They always ask you to serve the society... we need to pay respect to the most important human being in the world – the mother.” Mr Nandakumara said that we will never be able to repay the debt to our mothers and should be eternally grateful to the universal mother. “There is no greater deity than one's mother. I am grateful to CB and to all of you who have come here to pay tribute to our mothers. Lets all say together “matro devo bhavah.” Dr Rami Ranger, CBE spoke about how people with vision can progress a great deal. “Mother is very important because she has to shape your next generation. It was my mother's vision that has shaped us... I am the only one in the country who has been honoured by HM The Queen on eight occasions. This is a mother's vison.” Flowers were presented by Dr Merul Patel, Director of Asian Voice and Gujarat Samachar to his mother Pushpa Patel and aunt Saroj

CB offering a bouquet of flower to Hansa Gadhia



Tata Steel UK workers accept cuts to pension benefits AsianVoiceNews

Asian Voice | 1st April 2017

Tata Steel workers in Britain voted to accept pension benefit cuts in return for safeguards on jobs and investment, although the proposal still faces regulatory hurdles. The vote allows Britain's largest steelmaker to close its 15 billion pound British Steel Pension Scheme (BSPS) to future accrual and replace the final salary scheme with a less generous defined contribution scheme. "Steelworkers have made great sacrifices ... Those sacrifices must be repaid by Tata Steel honouring its commitments on

investment and job security. Nothing less would be a betrayal and add to the deep mistrust that steelworkers now have for the company," said Tony

Brady, national officer of the Unite trade union. In return for pension changes, Tata Steel has pledged to guarantee production and jobs at

Britain's largest steelworks in Port Talbot, Wales, for five years and to invest 1 billion pounds in its UK business over the next decade. The company's new defined contribution scheme will cover its existing 11,000 UK employees. The firm is, however, seeking rare regulatory approval to cut benefits for all 130,000 BSPS members and to spin off the scheme into a standalone entity. Tata says its UK unit, which is set this year to post its first profit in five years, will fail if it has to keep ploughing funds into a scheme with 13 times

more pensioners than paying employees. The company is also seeking to spin off the pension scheme because Germany's Thyssenkrupp (TKAG.DE), with which it is in merger talks, is not prepared to take on any UK pension liabilities in the event of a tie-up. "Steelworkers have taken a tough decision. It is vital that we now work together to protect the benefits already accrued and prevent the BSPS from free-falling into the pension protection fund (PPF)," said Roy Rickhuss, general secretary of the


union Community. The PPF is a lifeboat for failing UK pension schemes. Tata Steel's UK workers were under pressure to back a deal that secured jobs and investment because if the company fails, they will face deeper benefit cuts under PPF payout terms. Stephen Kinnock, member of parliament for Aberavon, Wales, said: "What we have seen today is that the workforce will strain every sinew to save our industry. If fulfilled, the package voted on today should secure the future for Port Talbot."

Banks yet to take action against GST bills introduced in Lok Sabha 1,080 wilful defaulters Despite the Reserve Bank of India instructing the banks to launch legal proceedings, including criminal action against wilful defaulters and promoters in 1,080 cases of wilful default accounts involving an amount of £767.3 million as of September 2016, the banks were yet to take any action in this regard. In response to an RTI query, the RBI said, “the amount outstanding in respect of wilful defaulters of Rs 2500,000 and above pertaining to non-suit filed accounts is £767.36 million as reported by banks and financial institutions to credit information companies as on September 30, 2016.” This means banks are yet to file criminal charges against 1,080 wilful defaulters who siphoned off funds or are yet pay up despite having the capacity to pay up. The non-suit filed wilful default accounts were £1.24 billion involving 1,654 accounts in September 2014, the RBI said. However, the RBI declined to divulge the top 10 wilful defaulters saying that the matter is in the Supreme Court. “The information requested by you is confidential in nature under the RBI Act 1934. Moreover, in a pending case (Centre for Public Interest Litigation vs Housing and Urban

Development Corporation and others), the RBI has submitted to the Supreme Court a list of wilful defaulters of above £50 million in a sealed cover claiming that the said information is confidential in nature and requesting that it may not be revealed to the public,” the RBI said in the reply. “The matter is still under consideration of the Supreme Court. We are therefore unable to provide the information,” the country’s central bank said. According to Cibil (formerly Credit Information Bureau (India) Ltd), banks and FIs have filed suits against 7,873 wilful default accounts involving an amount of £8.52 billion as of September 2016 as against 6,638 accounts involving £6.38 billion in September 2015. State Bank of India has topped the list with 1,007 suits to recover £1.37 billion. It was followed by Punjab National Bank with suits

against 802 borrowers for recovery of £1.01 billion and Central Bank of India 654 accounts for £397 million. “We are vigorously pursuing recovery of stressed assets. With the proposed strengthening of recovery measures, this problem is likely to be tackled,” said an official of a nationalised bank. The RBI has said there was scope even under the existing legislations to initiate criminal action against wilful defaulters under the provisions of Sections 403 and 415 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC). “Banks are, therefore, advised to seriously and promptly consider initiating criminal action against wilful defaulters or wrong certification by borrowers, wherever considered necessary, based on the facts and circumstances of each case under the above provisions of the IPC to comply with our instructions and the recommendations of JPC,” it said.

SpiceJet becomes 2nd most valued Indian airline SpiceJet, the airline which was once on the verge of closure surged past Jet Airways, its much larger peer, in terms of market capitalisation. At Thursday's close, SpiceJet had a market cap of £559.9 million, compared to Jet Airways' £546.4million, BSE data showed. Interglobe Aviation, the owner of IndiGo which has a market cap of about £3.53 billion, remains the most valued airline com-

pany in the country. SpiceJet founder Ajay Singh, who had sold the airline to the Chennaibased Maran family in 2010, paid just Rs 2 to buy it back from Marans in January 2015. At that time, the stock price of the low-cost airline hovered around the Rs 16.50 level. Since Singh took charge of the airline, the stock price has risen steadily and on Thursday it closed at Rs 93.50, a

surge of nearly six times in about 26 months. In comparison, the stock price of Jet Airways, which was at about Rs 400 in early 2015, has fluctuated between Rs 525 and Rs 250, and on Thursday closed at Rs 481. According to a report by SBICap Securities, by the end of this fiscal, SpiceJet should have 50 aircraft, compared to 113 by Jet Airways and 132 by IndiGo.

India's finance minister Arun Jaitley has introduced four bills in the Lok Sabha aimed at rolling out the Goods and Services Tax (GST) and usher in landmark tax reforms in the country. Jaitley introduced the Central GST, Integrated GST, Union Territory GST and the Compensation Law for passage by Parliament to implement the one-nation, one-tax regime. The government proposes to launch GST from July 1 and was hoped that rolling out of the GST would add up to 2 per cent to India's economic growth. Earlier, Jaitley had emphasised the urgency to pass the GST laws during the current session of Parliament, saying the Centre and the states will otherwise lose their right to collect indirect taxes after September 15. The approval of Parliament, coupled with separate nods by all the State Assemblies, will complete the legislative process for the roll out of onenation, one-tax regime by merging central taxes like excise duty and service tax as well as state levies like VAT. The GST Council has already approved four-tier

Arun Jaitley

tax slabs of 5, 12, 18 and 28 per cent plus an additional cess on demerit goods like luxury cars, aerated drinks and tobacco products. The work on for putting various goods and services in the different slabs is slated to begin next month. Govt plans mega public outreach: Meanwhile, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has asked ministers and MPs to engage in a major public outreach over the GST. The PM told a recent meeting of the cabinet that the government needs to vigorously explain the benefits of the tax reform that he thinks would be a significant milestone for the NDA government. He was understood to have spoken of the need to involve the party organisation and MPs as well.

Modi has flagged the need to explain the tax measures with the common man as a key target for his ministers and party MPs as the government believes the benefits of one of the biggest tax reform initiatives needs to be communicated properly, especially when there are concerns over the impact on prices. Publicity through media channels is already underway. The exercise comes as the GST Council, comprising state finance ministers and the Centre, is ready with the final plan and is hoping to roll out GST from July, three months behind the original deadline. But briefing lawmakers is only a small part of the blitzkrieg lined up by the finance ministry, which has instructed its commissioners to fan out in the field and work along with the state tax bureaucracy. Officers have been asked to organise at least one town hall meeting with tax practitioners, lawyers and businessmen in every town which has a population of 100,000 or more. “In Mumbai and Delhi, we will have hundreds of meetings with trade bodies and other stakeholders,” said a source.

RIL barred from equity derivatives market for a year Markets regulator Sebi has banned Reliance Industries and 12 of its associate companies from trading in equity derivatives for one year “directly or indirectly.” The regulator also directed India's largest private sector company to pay within 45 days, £44.7 million plus interest on it at 12% for almost 10 years -which adds up to nearly £100 million for alleged fraudulent trading in a case that dates back to 2007. Derivatives are financial instruments traded on exchanges which include futures and options (F & O) contracts, the prices of which are directly depen-

dent on the price of the stock. The case relates to alleged fraudulent trading in the F&O segment in Reliance Petroleum, which was a subsidiary of RIL and has since been merged with the petroleum-to-telecom major. Sebi's whole-time member G Mahalingam said the the ban was imposed taking into consideration the magnitude of the fraud across the markets. The 12 other entities are Gujarat Petcoke and Petro Product, Gujarat Petcoke and Petro Product Supply, Aarthik Commercials, LPG Infrastructure India, Relpol Plastic Products, Fine Tech Commercials, Pipeline

Infrastructure India, Motech Software, Darshan Securities, Relogistics (India), Relogistics (Rajasthan), Vinamara Universal Traders and Dharti Investment and Holdings. The RIL group had earlier sought to settle the case, but Sebi had refused. The proceedings in the long-pending case were expedited in the last few months. RIL to challenge order: In response to a query, an RIL spokesperson said the company was seeking legal opinion and would challenge what it dubbed “untenable findings” in the Sebi order.


Suresh Vagjiani

Sow & Reap London Property Investment


The London Help To Buy Scheme, is an underused scheme. It was introduced in February 2016, off the back of the wider already existing Help to Buy Scheme. The government recognised the biggest obstacle for new buyers to purchase their homes is the deposit. The scheme aims to bridge this gap by providing a loan of up to 40% of the purchase price; this means a new buyer can purchase a property with only 5% of their own deposit. This scheme is valid for first time buyers and home movers. It is restricted to a maximum purchase price of £600k and valid for new builds only. This is the interesting part, there is ZERO interest on the loan for five years. After which it attracts an interest rate of only 1.5% + base, currently this come to only 1.75%.

AGONY AGENT Each week, we answer a reader’s rental property question, from first-time landlords to experienced owners. Agony Agent, is here to help! This week’s question seems to be a common issue, as this question has come up a few times. Q. Please can you give me some advice regarding my tenants who are withholding rent for maintenance. The tenants have taken it upon themselves to withhold a full month’s rent after apparently being told this was ok by the Citizens’ Advice Bureau!

A. What does give a tenant the right to withhold rent? So far as the deduction is concerned, it depends on what it is for. Tenants are entitled to get work done themselves and deduct the cost from their rent, so long as they do it the proper way and have your consent. However, you are right, they are not entitled to make a deduction for compensation for their inconvenience. What costs can be ‘set off’? It is important to note that only the cost of repairs required under Section 11 of the Landlord and Tenant Act 1985 can be


St John’s Wood Road, London NW8 Purchase Price: £1,100,000

Given that the buyer will be putting down a larger deposit, this means they will qualify for a more favourable interest rate from the lender. Higher rates of interest tend to be applied for mortgages of 95%, as the risk is higher for the lender. This is as good as it gets in this environment. Pre credit crunch, deals were done with no money in the property, if structured in the right way. At times if the purchase price was low enough you could even get a cash back on purchase. Yet the take up was relatively poor. There was a lack of belief this was even possible. This is very interesting, not only from the view point of an end user purchaser, but also a developer. The headline in the Evening Standard, withheld from the rent. Any other deductions, such as compensation, should either be agreed between the parties or be awarded by the court (and I’m sure you don’t want them bringing a court claim against you!). Deductions for works not being carried out in a timely fashion, that do not fall under the Act, must be mutually agreed between the parties (preferably in writing). Personally, I feel that you should offer an ex gratia payment to them to compensate them for the problems they have suffered. You need to get these tenants back on your side, otherwise you are going to have a rocky ride with them.

dated 16th January 2017, read: End of the £300,000 London home is in sight. The article went on to explain that last year there were 104 wards where you could purchase a home for less than £300,000 in the beginning of the year, by the end there were only 40. There are more homes priced over £1m than there are for £300,000 and less.


Asian Voice | 1st April 2017

investors, owners who don’t live in what they own.

Why is this figure important? Because the average household income is £50k, which enables a borrowing of £250k, assuming they can save up a deposit of £50k, therefore their purchasing power is £300k.

On the flip side this is a very important point to note for developers, given the acute lack of shortage of homes in general, and specifically homes at this level. If new developments can be designed with the criteria of the Help to Buy Scheme in mind, they will fly off the shelves even before they are built; even at a premium to other similar properties outside of the criteria, because of the acute shortage.

Homes at this value disappearing is very problematic; it means you will have hollow communities where homes will be owned mostly by

It is with this backdrop we are investing into an office to residential scheme in West London. The majority of the units will be designed to fit the

For example, if, when the problems first occurred, you had apologised profusely, given them a couple of bottles of wine and agreed a modest reduction to the rent that month, I am sure they would have felt quite differently about things and it would in the long run have cost you less.

must follow in order to fully comply with the rule of ‘set off’.

They may be wrong in deducting a full month’s rent from you, but it sounds as if they have had a pretty ropey experience in your property so far.

It may be no-one’s fault precisely, but they are the ones paying for the service. A fundamental part of any tenancy agreement is the tenant’s obligation to pay rent to live in the property. In return, the tenant can enjoy a private and peaceful residency without interference and have the peace of mind that the property is maintained by the landlord and kept in a habitable condition.

What steps must the tenants take?

The rule of ‘set off’ explained

The procedure has several steps which the tenant

A landlord must make repairs to the interior and


Well regarded development l Right opposite the Lord's Cricket Ground l Two bedrooms, two bathrooms l En-suite shower room l As it is market value expected to be around £1,450,000 Call us now to reserve!


criteria of the government scheme and we anticipate a quick off plan sell out of the whole development, for the reasons given above and due to the high demand given the location. The deal is fresh, and requires an investment of circa £1.35m, with an anticipated return of investment within a year. Get in touch now, if you are interested in this deal. exterior structure, and make any installations when required to do so. If the landlord fails to make the repairs within a ‘reasonable’ time after the tenant has reported them, then the landlord could be in breach of their repairing obligations. This type of situation cannot always be avoided but it is the way you handle this type of situation that matters, build the relationship and come through the other side as better landlords or tenants. For more help and advice contact me at our office. Richard Bond Lettings Manager


FINANCIAL VOICE Asian Voice | 1st April 2017

Consultant Editor Financial Voice Alpesh Patel

Dear Financial Voice Reader, 4 Rules To Scale from $1 to $100m and beyond: Onshoring in the UK I write to you from Kuala Lumpur, before Singapore and thereafter Indonesia and then India. I love de facto living out here. I am here to see the biggest and best companies from the region and do the deals to land them in the UK. As an asset manager, I know how to raise money, invest money and go from $1m to $100m – it’s my business. As the British Government’s Dealmaker for India, China, and SE Asia, I am asked more than any other question: How do I scale from the UK? What if you could hire anyone to scale your business? What if all the money you think you need from VCs could be reduced drastically because your wage bill will not be astronomical? A 28 year old sold his company for over $200m, and had relied solely on freelancers for most of the company’s growth and life. That company – The reason most companies need initial funding is to hire people. People cost a lot of money. If you are looking to scale and expand your business, getting this right will be critical. But here are some truths: 1. You can’t scale because of catch-22 that you wait for funds to scale - you don’t need a big payroll Warren Buffett, the world’s richest man, employs 14 people. You can go from zero to a billion dollar company in the space of a few years. 2. You can’t scale because you don’t know you can company culture is less important today Culture is important, but they’re going to have to hit the ground running and believe it’s going to be a billion dollar company and be motivated by the concept, or the incentivisation – and most importantly, that they are part of something big and with purpose. 3. You can’t scale because you don’t know what skills you need The problem with many freelancer websites is that we don’t know what to ask for. And then we get so much rubbish pitching, and the best often are so busy, they don’t pitch at all. So is it any wonder you can’t scale through them? And by the time you’ve vetted them, a couple of weeks have gone, and the momentum is gone. That’s why I prefer sites which reverse the process. They tell you what they will do for a fixed price. People Per Hour is one such site. What do I love about this? Many are in the UK – like me – so it’s easier when they need to make calls, or I need to be on the same timezone – onshoring! 4. You can’t scale because you hire to tick a box, not to succeed Tom Singh, the Founder of New Look Plc and mentor to me, advised me his secret was to hire people cleverer and better than him. That is easier said than done. I want freelancers who blow my socks off. Most people are too afraid to hire such people, or are happy just to hire anyone. When I wrote my book on how to outsource well, about a decade ago, I knew then that the trick is to have the right attitude with freelancers as you do with fulltime employees. They are an investment in your company. Would you invest in them if they were a company? Would you buy their shares? We think freelancers are cheap, so we don’t take the same care. After all, we can get rid of them. But what’s the point of making a poor hire, just to tick a box that someone somewhere is working, if the work is second rate?

Bharti to buy Tikona's 4G spectrum In a bid to enhance the data carrying capacity in key states such as such as Uttar Pradesh, Gujarat, and Rajasthan, Bharti Airtel will acquire 4G spectrum and sites of Tikona Networks for £160 million. Tikona has 20 MHz spectrum in the 2,300 MHz band in Gujarat, UP (East), UP (West), Rajasthan and Himachal Pradesh circles. With this acquisition, Airtel will be the second company, after Reliance Jio, to have pan-India presence in the

2,300 Mhz band - which has the second-largest ecosystem of 4G devices. “We believe that combining our capacities in TDLTE (4G technology for 2300 Mhz band) and FDLTE (technology for 1800 Mhz and other spectrum bands) will further bolster our network, and help us provide unmatched highspeed wireless broadband experience to customers,” Bharti Airtel MD & CEO (India & South Asia) Gopal Vittal said.


Luxury Italian car manufacturer, Maserati, and The Sunday Times have announced the third annual ‘Maserati 100’ index; the 2017 edition, which is a definitive list of one hundred British business disruptors- that innovative start-ups pumped with smart technology, who are challenging established players. The diverse list which includes members from the Asian community, published in The Sunday Times on 26 March 2017, celebrates a range of vibrant success stories, start-ups and business influencers, who are using ground-breaking practices to revolutionise their respective industries. Over 75% of the entrepreneurs named in the list are aged under 50 years old, with the average age of the disruptors being 38. Almost half of the businesses are based in London, with 25% based in major northern cities and the rest spread across England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland. The food and drink industry is represented by 19 individuals whilst the technology industry makes up over 25% of the index. Below are some of the Asian names mentioned on the list.


Oxford University graduate Desai, 33, co-founded peer-to-peer lender Funding Circle in 2010 after a stint as a consultant for Olivant. The platform, run from London, has facilitated more than £2bn of loans. It was valued at $1bn in 2015.

Amazon plans to invest $ 500mn in food retail India's food processing minister Harsimrat Kaur Badal said that US e-commerce major Amazon has drawn up plans to invest $500 million in food retail in India. She said Germany's Metro Cash & Carry has also shown interest in starting 50 stores in the country, including food retail. Apart from these, two ecommerce giants, Big Basket and Grofers, have submitted their FDI plans to enter the food retail segment through brick and mortar stores. After the government allowed 100 per cent FDI in food products, foreign firms were showing huge interest to enter India, she said. The government last year allowed 100 per cent FDI in the food processing sector to save domestic farmers and to reduce wastage in fruits and vegetables. Some foreign retailers want the government to allow them to sell other products apart from food. Estimates suggest that absence of access to markets results into nearly 40% of the produce going waste. Metro Cash & Carry entered the domestic market in 2003. It now operates 23 wholesale distribu-



Madhvani, 42, is cofounder of GP Bullhound, a London-headquartered investment banking firm that launched in 1999. Since then his brainchild has advised on mergers and acquisitions for the likes of Spotify and WPP.

Panesar, 31(pictured) and Summers, 26, are the driving force behind, Europe’s largest support website for diabetics, which Panesar co-founded in 2010. The business has used the experiences of 475,000 members to develop digital health advice.



Selling tea to China has been the big idea for Kothari, 37, a former management consultant. His company offers one-serve tea sachets in micro-perforated packaging “sticks” that double as a stirrer. He sold 4m last year, with 85% exported, mainly to China and India.

tion centres across the country. Amazon said it was encouraged by the government's FDI policies. “We are excited by government's continued efforts to encourage FDI in India for a stronger food supply chain. We have sought an approval to invest and partner with the government in achieving this vision,” said an Amazon spokesperson. Bigbasket founder and CEO Hari Menon said the government's move will propel further investment from the company into the farm sector. “We are sourcing about 80% of food products directly from farmers. Now, we will further invest in the farming sector. We have started setting up back-end infra and government's announcements will act as catalyst,” said Menon. “Offline is key to food retailing. Now, we are hoping that we get final approval from FIPB soon so that we can start stocking and selling directly to end-consumers,” said Grofers CFO Ashneer Grove.


What he claims to be Britain’s first online mortgage broker was begun by Malhi, 27, in 2015 after a stint working in mortgages at Bank of America. Trussle, based in Highbury, north London, has backers including the Zoopla property group.


Passi, 34, started Missguided with a £50,000 loan from his father in 2009. Thanks to clever marketing and collaborations with the likes of model Jourdan Dunn, he presides over one of the hottest fastfashion outlets in Britain, with sales of £117m. Its buyers order up to 500 copies of a garment, then “repeat big” if they get a reaction from shoppers.

Steep fall in remittances by overseas Indians Remittances from overseas Indians has been dropping continuously for the last five quarters, contributing to the widening of current account deficit (CAD). The trade gap has also widened due to lower software exports. Balance of payment data showed that net personal transfers - which are largely remittances by Indians employed overseas - fell to $13.6 billion during the demonetisation quarter from $14.9 billion, a drop of 9.7%. According to numbers released by the RBI, the current account deficit widened to $ 7.9 billion (or 1.4% of GDP) in Q3FY17 as compared to $ 7.1 billion (1.4% of GDP) in Q3FY16 and $ 3.4 billion in (0.6% of GDP) in Q2FY17. The CAD is the difference between income from exports and imports plus the difference from between outbound and inbound investment income. A statement issued by the central bank said that the CAD widened despite a slightly lower trade deficit year-on-year, primarily on account of a decline in net invisibles receipts. Invisible includes remittances from soft-

ware, services and money sent by Indians working oversea. Net services receipts moderated compared to Q3FY16, due to a fall in earnings from software, financial services and charges for intellectual property rights.During April to December, however, the deficit halved to 0.7%, from 1.4% a year ago. This was primarily because of fall in earnings from software, financial services and charges for intellectual property rights. Earnings from software exports have been declining YoY, but the third quarter has seen a sequential increase in software exports over the second quarter. The net foreign direct investment of $9.8 billion during the reporting quarter was marginally lower than last year. The RBI said that there was a net outflow of portfolio investment of about $11.3 billion during the period in both equity and debt segments, as against a net inflow of $0.6 billion in the year-ago period. During the current fiscal, net FDI rose 12.3% to $30.6 billion as compared to April-December 2016.

WORLD Asian Voice | 1st April 2017

Indian-Americans honour Ian Grillot for his heroism In Brief AsianVoiceNews

HOUSTON: The 24 year old American who intervened on the fatal night when Indian engineer Srinivas Kuchibhotla lost his life, Ian Grillot has been felicitated by the Indian-American community in Houston. Jiten Agarwal, Chair of India House Houston's annual gala, was all praise for the young man as could be seen from his statement posted on Facebook. “It is not every day that one meets a genuine hero, a person who risks his life for another, and takes a bullet for a complete stranger. Ian Grillot is a man who reminds us of the promise of America and its greatness,” he said. In the statement, India House,


to match every dollar raised by India House for this cause. With such generous support from Yalamanchili, India House raised $100,000 that will help Ian buy a house in his hometown in Kansas. This initiative was strongly encouraged and supported by the Consul General of India in Houston, Dr. Anupam Ray, according to the statement. Kuchibhotla was shot dead on February 22 in Kansas in an alleged racial attack, after the gunman, Adam Purinton, 51 who is a Navy veteran was heard shouting "get out of my country". The incident also left two others injured, including Grillot who stood up to the adversity.

Ian Grillot (second from left) receives a check for $100,000 from India House Houston trustee Charlie Yalamanchili (left)

on behalf of the entire IndianAmerican community in Houston, recognised his act and extended gratitude by helping him buy a house with

a $1,00,000 cheque. Charlie Yalamanchili, a prominent Houstonian of Indian origin, proposed the house purchase, and offered

Dozens arrested for attacks on Hindus in Bangladesh DHAKA: Bangladeshi police have arrested dozens of people after violent attacks against Hindus in the country raised concerns. It was brought to light that authorities were not doing enough to protect the region's biggest minority. Just last week, Hindu homes and temples in the Brahmanbairs district of eastern Bangladesh, was attacked after a local youth allegedly shared a post on Facebook that several claimed rebuked the Masjid al-Haram. Muslims protested and called for action against the

Hindu youth, who denied sharing the post. While the young man was arrested for hurting religious sentiment, it did little to defuse tension and pacify rioting. Officerin-charge of Nasir Nagar police station, Abu Zafar said that so far, 53 people have been arrested on suspicion of involvement in attacks and looting from Hindu homes. As the riots continue, the Bangladesh Hindu, Buddhist, Christian Unity Council estimated that over 100 Hindu homes and 17 temples have been vandalised and looted since the violence began on October

30. General Secretary at the BHBCUC, Rana Dasgupta said, “The purpose of the attacks is to free this soil from the minority community and also to occupy their properties and assets.” The country's National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) has launched an investigation into the attacks. Head of its fact-finding committee said the violence was the result of a “preplanned conspiracy” and criticised local authorities for allowing the demonstrations that triggered the rioting to go ahead.

Investigate hate crimes against Indian-Americans: Tulsi Gabbard WASHINGTON: The first Hindu lawmaker in the US Congress, Tulsi Gabbard, has expressed concerns over the recent spate of hate crimes against IndianAmericans. She has asked the Justice Department to initiate investigations into all violent acts motivated by bigotry. “I'm very concerned about this. It's always dangerous to our people and our community when you have these violent hate crimes that are motivated out of bigotry,” she said. “This is something that I urge the Justice Department to investigate and to continue to inform and educate people, and to promote a society that is a pluralistic society that respects people no matter their religion, their race, ethnicity, their social status in life or anything else that makes each of us unique.” The statements came in response to questions regarding hate crimes in the country. Gabbard is the first ever Hindu to ever be elected to the US House of Representatives. A threeterm lawmaker from Hawaii, she was recently elected as the Democratic Co-Chair of Congressional Caucus on India and Indian-Americans. “This is something that not only

Tulsi Gabbard

affects Indian-Americans or Hindus, but really is something that should be important to every American.” M e a n w h i l e , Congressman Ami Bera expressed grief over the attacks as he spoke at a Congressional briefing organised by the South Asian Americans Living Together. “As a nation, we must come together to stand up to these disturbing acts of hate violence - starting with the President. I am saddened and outraged when I hear about any American being warned not to speak their language or wear traditional clothing in public out of safety concerns. These hateful attacks do not reflect who we are as a nation of immigrants, but such violence could do irreparable damage to our reputation around the world.” Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal along with Congressman Joe Crowley has introduced a resolution

against hate crimes. “We will continue to be resilient to counter the fearful, hateful people who think they can control us- they cannot.” Congressman Raja Krishnamoorthi too voiced a similar opinion. “The hate-motivated crimes we have witnessed these past months have been an attack on the very spirit of America. As we confront this wave of hate, it is heartening to see so many Americans- from the South Asian community and others, coming together for essential meetings, like this briefing, to speak out and stand up for the values of our country.” Congressman Ro Khanna exuded full confidence that the country will stand together, on a bipartisan basis, against hateful words and actions. "We must prosecute any hate crimes to the full extent of the law," said Khanna in his remarks at the event which was joined by several other influential lawmakers. The disturbing uptick in hate violence targeting South Asian, Muslim, Sikh, Arab, and Middle Eastern communities is appalling and must end, said Congresswoman Judy Chu, chair of the Congressional Asian pacific American Caucus.

“The administration, including police, were negligent and callous in handling such a sensitive issue,” NHRC's Enamul Hoque Chowdhury said. The violence comes amid international concern about rising militancy in Bangladesh and the growing influence of Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) in the country. In July, assailants carried out an attack on a cafe in an upscale district of the capital, Dhaka, in which 22 people were killed - mostly non-Muslims and foreigners, including one American.


Bodies of Indian woman, son found in USA

VIJAYWADA: An Indian woman and her seven year old son were found dead in their home in New Jersey, USA. The bodies of Sasikala, 40, and son Anish Sai, were found by her husband N Hanumantha Rao, when he returned home from work last week. The couple, originally from Andhra Pradesh, were working software professionals, and had been living in the US for nine years. According to reports, the victims were strangled to death. This is the latest in a series of growing incidents involving Indian IT professionals.

Russian ex-MP shot, Ukraine blames Kremlin

KIEV: Ukraine accused Russia of “state terrorism” after a former Russian lawmaker and key witness in a treason case against former President Viktor Yanukovich was shot in central Kiev. Russia called the allegation “absurd.” Denis Voronenkov was killed by an assailant who was armed with a pistol and later died in hospital after being shot by the exMP's bodyguard. Voronenkov fled to Ukraine last year and was helping the authorities build a treason case against Yanukovich, Ukraine's pro-Russia former president.

Pak military courts get two-year extension

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan's National Assembly passed the constitution amendment bill to reinstate and expand the jurisdiction of military courts to try civilians for terrorism-related offences. The Constitution (Twenty Eighth Amendment) bill and the Pakistan Army (Amendment) were passed amid opposition with two-thirds majority. Following the attack by Pakistani Taliban on Army Public School in Peshawar that killed 148, government had created military courts in 2015 for a two-year period.

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Republicans in disarray after defeat in getting Obamacare scrapped Asian Voice | 1st April 2017

WASHINGTON: The Republican party celebrates remorse, and threats of retribution, as it fails to repeal former US president Barack Obama's healthcare law. President Donald Trump had pulled out all stops, including threatening hold-outs that he could have them defeated in elections if they wrecked the American Health Care Act (AHCA), also known as TrumpCare of RyanCare. However, the Freedom Caucus remained firm on their decision claiming the bill did not meet their demands for a complete revoke of Obamacare. Later, it was Trump who directed House Speaker Paul Ryan to withdraw the bill rather than risk a humiliating floor defeat. Trump asserted that the vote would have been

President Trump attends a meeting with truckers and CEOs regarding healthcare at the White House in Washington

very close, but by all accounts, over 50 GOP lawmakers revolted against the bill, with several of them calling it Obamacare Lite. Conservative legislators call for more free-market

features, and less government subsidies, most of which benefit women, seniors, minorities, lowerincome people. The recent defeat comes as a blow to Trump, who has frequently

boasted of his ability to make deals. Trump slammed the Democrats, calling them “losers” in the battle over American healthcare. “The losers are Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer because now they own Obamacare,” he said. “They own it. One hundred per cent own it.” He said Obamacare would implode soon and he would be open to working with Democrats to craft a new legislation. “It's going to happen (explode). There's not much you can do about it. Bad things are going to happen. There's not much you can do to help it. It's not sustainable.” While Obama remained mum over the defeat, Bernie Sanders called the cancelled vote a “major victory” for the American working class.

Pak starts fencing Afghan border to stop militants ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Army Chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa said the country has begun building a fence on its disputed 2,500 km border with Afghanistan to prevent incursions by militants. Islamabad has often cited Pakistani Taliban militants based on Afghan soil, responsible for a spate of attacks at home in the recent past. General Bajwa said initial fencing will focus on “high threat zones” of Bajaur and Mohmand agencies in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas, which border eastern Afghan provinces of Nangarhar and Kunar. “Additional technical surveillance means are also being deployed along the border besides regular air surveil-

White man shouts at SikhAmerican girl

NEW YORK: A SikhAmerican girl faced harassment on a subway train when a white man, mistook her to be from the Middle East and allegedly shouted “go back to Lebanon” and “you don't belong in this country.” Rajpreet Heir was on her way to a friend's birthday party in Manhattan when the white man began shouting at her. She recounted the ordeal in a video for a media section. She said she was looking at her phone when the man shouted at her saying, “Do you even know what a Marine looks like? Do you know what they have to see? What they do for this country? Because of people like you.” He said he hoped she was sent “back to Lebanon” and used expletives. Heir, born 30 miles from Lebanon, the American state of Indiana, not the country, said she saw a young white woman in the train staring at her “with tears in her eyes” as the man left the train.

Pakistan Army Chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa

lance,” the military said in a statement. Relations between Islamabad and Kabul have turned sour in recent years, with both countries accusing each other of not handling Pakistani and Afghan Taliban militants well. Afghan has accused Pak

of turning a blind eye to Afghan Taliban commanders on its soil, and even of supporting the militant group, something Islamabad vehemently denies. Bajwa said Pak was working on plans to “evolve a bilateral security mechanism” with Afghanistan. “A better man-

aged, secure, and peaceful border is in mutual interest of both brotherly countries who have given phenomenal sacrifices in war against terrorism,” Bajwa added. Pakistan has long harboured ambitions to seal its border, which is largely unpatrolled and mountainous for large chunks. In 2007, the military said it was fencing and mining a 35 km (22 miles) stretch of border in the North Waziristan region of FATA to prevent militants crisscrossing the rugged terrain. Efforts to establish a more permanent presence on the disputed frontier have angered Kabul. Last year, Pakistan's attempt to build a barrier on the main Torkham crossing ended in brief crossborder skirmishes.

SA President Zuma recalls finance minister Gordhan from London trip CAPE TOWN: South African President Jacob Zuma has instructed Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan to effectively return from an investor roadshow to Britain and the United States. The statement came without a reason. “Zuma has instructed the Minister of Finance, Pravin Gordhan, and Deputy Minister Mcebisi Jonas to cancel the international investment promotion roadshow to the United Kingdom and the United States and return to South Africa immediately,” the President's Office said in a statement. A government source clarified that “the Presidency did not give permission for the trip.” Political analysts predict another bout of political uncertainty and possibly a cabinet reshuffle. “Any suggestion Zuma is interfering with Gordhan's business dealings will be a concern for investors and could signal political instability on the

President Jacob Zuma and Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan

horizon,” said political analyst Daniel Silke. It is widely known that the President has an uneasy relationship with Gordhan. Just last year, fraud charges against the FM had shaken financial markets and spurred accusations of a political “witch hunt”. The charges were, however, dropped in October. Markets were also affected last year when rumours of his removal began to do rounds. Gordhan has stated that it is Zuma's prerogative to fire him if he

sees fit. Moody's, which put South Africa on negative watch in its latest review, is due to review that rating on April 7, followed by S&P at the beginning of June. Gordhan first served as finance minister from 2009 to 2014. Zuma reappointed Gordhan in December 2015 after his decision to replace the respected Nhlanhla Nene as finance minister with a little-known politician triggered a steep selloff in South African assets.

In Brief



Pakistani pardons Indians who killed his son in UAE

NEW DELHI: A Pakistani man has pardoned 10 Indians who are on death row after being convicted of killing is son in Abu Dhabi in 2015. A UAE court has approved the request that the father be paid 'blood money'. The court still has to rule on the pardon, but it appears likely the 10 men will be freed. Under Islamic law or sharia, which the UAE follows, the victim's family can file an appeal in court against the death penalty for the convicts if the two reconcile and the former pardons the latter. "It was unfortunate that I lost my son. I have forgiven these 10 individuals. In fact, Allah has saved their lives," said Mohammad Riaz, the father of Muhammad Farhan, who was killed by the Indians following an altercation. "The lives of at least 10 people, including a wife and children, hinge [financially] on one person [who comes to work in the UAE]. I appeal (to) the young generation not to indulge in such fights," said Riaz.

Egypt’s Hosni Mubarak walks free

CAIRO: Hosni Mubarak, Egypt’s ousted president was freed from a military hospital after six years in custody over charges of killing more than 200 protesters during the 2011 Arab Spring uprising that toppled him. The 88-year-old Mubarak left the Maadi Military Hospital in southern Cairo and went to his home in the northern suburb of Heliopolis, his lawyer Farid El-Deeb said. Earlier this month, the Appeals Court gave its final verdict and acquitted Mubarak over charges of taking part in killing protesters during the 2011 revolution that dislodged him from power. He had been at Maadi Military Hospital since 2013, when he was transferred there on bail from Torah prison.

US grants asylum to teenage Singaporean blogger

SINGAPORE: A US immigration judge granted asylum to a Singaporean teenage blogger, according to a statement by his lawyer. The judge ruled in favour of the 18-year-old Amos Yee who has been detained in Chicago by immigration authorities since his arrival last December after considering that he had been unfairly persecuted for his political opinions, Efe news reported. The judge also deemed Yee's fear of future persecution by authorities in Singapore as credible and real. The granting of asylum to the teenager will only be approved if the Department of National Security does not oppose the measure.

Hong Kong gets first woman leader

HONG KONG: A committee dominated by proBeijing elites chose Hong Kong's next leader on Sunday in the first vote since huge pro-democracy protests erupted over the election system in 2014. Carrie Lam, the government's former No 2 official and Beijing's favoured candidate, received 777 votes, defeating former finance secretary John Tsang, who received 365 votes. Lam will become the first female leader for the city and its fourth since British colonial control ended. China's communist leadership had lobbied for her, so Lam's victory was no surprise. Lam will take over from incumbent Leung Chun-ying. Lam is an efficient and pragmatic administrator but unpopular with Hong Kongers because she's seen as a proxy for Beijing. Tsang, in contrast, is popular because of his easygoing persona and use of social media.

In US, judge grants person right to be genderless

PORTLAND (US): An Oregon judge who last year ruled that a transgender person can legally change their sex to “non-binary” has given the OK for a Portland resident to be genderless. Multnomah County Judge Amy Holmes Hehn on March 10 granted a petition allowing Patrick Abbatiello to go from male to “agender” and switch to the single name Patch. People who are agender see themselves as neither a man nor a woman and have no gender identity. The 27-yearold Patch writes and designs video games and had been using the name Patch since well before the decision to legally change. An acquaintance applied it more than a decade ago and it stuck.

INDIA - WORLD Asian Voice | 1st April 2017

Germany lauds Make in India Mittelstand initiative


BERLIN: The German government has praised the Indian Embassy's Make in India Mittelstand (MIIM) programme as an extraordinary initiative towards the overall IndoGerman business relations. Uwe Beckmeyer, Parliamentary State secretary, Federal Ministry of Economic Cooperation and Energy, spoke at the 3rd Make in India Mittelstand Exchange Platform, applauding MIIM's success in facilitating investment from German SMEs into India. Currently facilitating 72 German SMEs in their market entry into India, the MIIM program has so far mobilised a declared investment of about Euro 650 million and creating about 4,000 employment opportunities in India. The program is being run with support of Department of Industrial Policy &


Promotion (DIPP) and other Central and State agencies. Beckmeyer said that such initiatives speak of the Indian government's continued efforts towards creating a business friendly environment for German companies in India. Ambassador of India to Germany, Gurjit Singh addressed the gathering, highlighting the huge opportunities the country offers to German compa-

nies. He called upon the German industry to take up consortium-based approach to fully participate and take advantage of the huge opportunities in several key sector of Indian economy like Railways, Infrastructure, Smart Cities, Civil Aviation, Port Development, etc. Embassy of India also launched the Executive Summary of its Special Report on “New Frontiers

for Indo-German Partnership in Clean and Green Technology”. The objective of this study is to highlight the areas of synergy in sectors of Energy, (Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency), Water and Waste Management, present the market landscape and potential in India in the relevant sectors, and promote business collaborations between India and Germany. German companies already part of the MIIM initiative noted that the Program has provided a unique one stop solution for their business needs and a structured network of Program Partners and service provides under one source which was earlier not present. It has generated a lot of comfort and ease for the German Mittelstand companies intending to localize in India.

Indian American teens sweep Brain Bee Championship MARYLAND: An IndianAmerican teenager claimed this year's USA Brain Bee Championship held at the University of Maryland. The annual championship was won by Sojas Wagle, 15, a sophomore at Springdale's Har-Ber High School in Arkansas. He beat runner up Aarthi Vijayakumar of Minneapolis and Amit Kannan of Indianapolis, who came third. “I studied harder and kind of perfected the neuroanatomy section to make sure I was familiar with all parts of the brain and could point those out on a brain

PIO nominated to key judicial post

WASHINGTON: IndianAmerican luminary Amul Thapar has been nominated by US President Donald Trump for a key judicial position on the powerful US courts of appeals. Thapar, 47, is the first PIO to be nominated for the top judicial post earlier this week. Once confirmed, he will be part of the powerful US 6th circuit court of appeals, which hears appeals from Kentucky, Tennessee, Ohio, and Michigan. Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell applauded Trump's decision. “Throughout his already impressive career of public service, Amul has shown an incredible intellect and an unshakeable dedication to the law. He has earned the respect of his colleagues, and I know that he will bring the 6th circuit the same wisdom, fairness, and ability that he has shown on the district court. President Trump made an outstanding choice,” he said.

won an eight-week internship in a neuroscience laboratory. A donation will also be given to the brain-disorder charity of his choice, it was reported. This year's top three winners, all come from the Indian-American community.

Rajkot’s Kadambari Upadhyaya mixes two of her interests together- Yoga, and Piano. She began learning music at the tender age of 5, and yoga at the age of 7. However, what is remarkable is her ability to play the 52-second long Indian National Anthem while holding a yoga pose. Kadambari has so far won 65 certificates and 11 medals.

The top three winners of the USA Brain Bee Championship (l-r): Amit Kannan, who came in third place; winner Sojas Wagle; and runner-up Aarthi Vijayakumar.

model,” Wagle said. The teen is considering a career in medicine, possibly neurology. Following the win,

not only will he go to Washington DC, in August for the International Brain Bee Championship, he also

Indian racially abused, assaulted in Australia MELBOURNE: A man of Indian-origin was allegedly assaulted by a group of teenagers, who hurled racial abuses at him at a restaurant in Tasmania, Australia. The incident came to light a week after a Catholic priest of Indian heritage was stabbed in the neck at a Melbourne church. Li Max Joy, 33, alleged that five people, including a girl, hurled racial abuses like “you bloody black Indians” at him, and assaulted him at the McDonald's restaurant at North Hobart. He said that the five were arguing with a worker inside the store but soon turned towards him the moment they noticed him. While they did leave when others in the outlet telephoned the police, they came back later and assaulted him again. Joy was admitted to the Royal Hobart Hospital with bleeding wound, and he reported the incident to the police when he was

later discharged. “They were angry at the McDonald's staff but turned their anger on me in the car park and then inside the store.” A part time taxi driver pursuing a nursing course, he has been living in Hobart for the last eight years. He said, “The racial mood is definitely changing. It is continuous now. Many other drivers have been abused but not everyone reports it to the police.” Joy has sought intervention of the external affairs ministry to make sure the accused are punished. He also alleged that there was no serious efforts from the authorities to bring the guilty to justice. On 20 March, an Indianorigin Catholic priest was stabbed in the neck at a church in Melbourne by a man who called him unqualified to say mass as he was an Indian, prompting the Indian consulate to take up the matter with the police.



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Karnataka refuses to release Cauvery water to Tamil Nadu Asian Voice | 1st April 2017

BENGALURU: The Karnataka Government declared there was no question of releasing water to its neighbouring state Tamil Nadu since it did not have enough for its people. The statement will possibly put it in a face-off with the Supreme Court that had ordered it to release 2,000 cusec of water every day. Karnataka water resources minister MB Patil said the state wouldn't comply with the court orders. “Where do we release 2,000 cusec water

Mysuru & other towns and villages,” he said. He explained that things would have been different if the state had water and did not release it. “But we do not have water and there is no question of

from? Let me make it very clear, we have 3-4 TMC shortage to cater to the drinking water needs of Bengaluru,

AIADMK splits: Sasi gets ‘hat’, OPS ‘pole’

O. Panneerselvam and VK Sasikala

CHENNAI: Following the irreparable rift in the AIADMK party, the VK Sasikala faction has decided to call itself the AIADMK (Amma) and has chosen the hat symbol, while the O Panneerselvam group has called itself the AIADMK (Puratchi Thalaivi Amma) and will use the electric pole symbol. Both the sides have been locking horns, with the latest fight being over the filing nominations for Amma's constituency RK Nagar. Both the estranged sides submitted their new names and poll symbols to the Election Commission last week after it barred them from using the undivided party's two leaves symbol. Party sources revealed the EC accepted Sasi-faction's hat symbol. The poll panel said both the groups shall be

known by such names as they may choose for their respective parties. “Both the groups will also be allotted such different symbols as they may choose for the list of free symbols notified by the Election Commission,” it said. The RK Nagar bypoll was necessitated after the demise of former Tamil Nadu CM J Jayalalithaa. With both the factions contesting for the constituency with their respective members, the EC blocked the AIADMK's two leaves party symbol. “Neither of the two groups led by the petitioners (E Madhusudhanan, O Panneerselvam, and S Semmalai) and the respondents (VK Sasikala and TTV Dinakaran) shall be permitted to use the name of the party 'All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam' simplicitor,” the EC ordered.

Will demolish VIP culture in Punjab: Amarinder CHANDIGARH: Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh said his government would put an end to the VIP culture in the state, and put a ban on the use of red beacons on government vehicles. “The VIP culture has eroded the democratic system of the country and alienated the common people from their own leaders, whom they elect with a lot of hope and expectations. I urge public figures to respect people's sentiment,” he said. Singh also urged all political leaders and others to support the initiative to purge the debt-ridden state of irrelevant power symbols. He said the state can not afford such luxuries and these had no place in a progressive society. The CM also said that every small step would boost the state's fiscal health and bringing it back on

the road to prosperity. “My government was committed to demolish the VIP culture in the state, as mandated by the Congress manifesto. Such VIP frills were a legacy of the pre-independence era and had no place in a democratic and progressive society like ours,” he said. Singh also met with Prime Minister Narendra Modi, putting forward the loan waiver issue of farmers in the state. “I mentioned the debt waiver issue to the Prime Minister. It was an extension of the demand we made earlier when we had gone to meet the Prime Minister as part of a Congress delegation led by party vicepresident Rahul Gandhi. I said the debt loan waiver should be extended to Punjab farmers along the lines of Uttar Pradesh.”

release.” As per the Central Water Commission in Delhi, the water level in the state's major

water reservoirs was 37 per cent less than the normal. However, the crisis runs much deeper in Tamil Nadu, where 80 per cent of its reservoirs are deficient. This would be the second time Karnataka defies the top court. Last October, the state government had refused to release water to TN, in compliance with the SC's directive to release 6,000 cusec of water for 6 days. It later did step back after the court berated the authorities.

Kerala minister quits over sleaze talk row THIRUVANANTHAPURA: Kerala's transport minister A.K. Saseendran has resigned from the ministry following sexual harassment charges againt him. Saseendran resigned after an audio tape of alleged sexual harassment was aired on a regional channel. "I am resigning on moral grounds. I am making it clear that all allegations and charges against me are absolutely baseless. But I am now tendering resignation as it is not right on my part to continue in this position when an investigation is underway. It is up to the Chief Minister and government to investigate the matter and they can investigate with any agency. Also I don't want the government to be on the back foot," Saseendran said. Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, meanwhile, said the matter would be thoroughly probed. A Malayalam regional channel Mangalam has aired an audio tape of the conservation between Saseendran and a woman who approached him to submit a petition. In the tape, the minister allegedly speaks with sex-

In Brief



Rajinikant cancels Lanka visit

CHENNAI: After facing opposition from Tamil fringe groups, superstar Rajinikanth has called off his proposed visit to Sri Lanka to inaugurate a housing scheme in Jaffna. “VCK chief Thirumavalavan and MDMK chief Vaiko urged me not to visit Sri Lanka. I accepted their request because of cordial relationship,” Rajinikanth said. The decision came after he met with opposition from pro-Tamil outfits in his state. Rajinikanth was to participate in a charity event, slated to take place on April 9.

Former Karnataka CM SM Krishna joins BJP

NEW DELHI: Former Karnataka chief minister SM Krishna joined the Bharatiya Janata Party in Delhi after quitting the Congress. Speaking to the press, he said, “I am grateful that I am joining the party which was led by the great leaders. I see great India emerging under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and ably supported by the party President Amit Shah.” He had resigned from Congress on January 29, citing that the party was in a “state of confusion” on whether it needed mass leaders or not.

Jaya's 'son' now faces arrest

A.K. Saseendran

ual intention to the lady. The authenticity of the tape is not confirmed yet. “Before evaluating the right and wrong, it is important to safeguard the integrity of the party. The party has a moral responsibility. Neither the government nor the party will have to hang its head in shame because of me,” the LDF leader and Elathoor MLA said. Saseendran is the second Minister in the LDF government to step down. Kerala Industries Minister EP Jayarajan resigned in October 2016, following allegations that he appointed his own family members as heads of public sector undertakings in the state.

Sidhu may finally get to do comedy show CHANDIGARH: Cricketerturned-politician Navjot Singh Sidhu may continue with his television programme after all, as the Punjab attorney general ruled there's “no case of office for profit”. The remark came as a relief to Sidhu who wants to continue hosting 'The Comedy Nights with Kapil', even after his appointment as Punjab minister. Last week, Centre's Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi had said as a public servant, Sidhu should refrain from doing television shows. He cited “moral responsibility” for discontinuing any activity of a commercial nature owing to his holding public office, although there are no laws which would bar such a move. “There is a moral and ethical responsibility as per which a public servant must disassociate from any commercial activity,” Rohatgi said in an interview. Meanwhile, Sidhu said he

Navjot Singh Sidhu

would juggle his government duties along with his TV career. When asked questions about his involvement with the entertainment business, Sidhu said, “Should I run a transport company like Sukhbir Badal? Should I indulge in corruption? A lawyer practises law and even Manpreet Singh Badal (Congress) has said that a farmer will always do farming. If Sidhu does TV shows, why should anyone have a problem?” He said he did not “ply buses at the cost of Punjab Roadways or indulge in any dhandha (dubious business) as done by the SAD-BJP government. Navjot Singh Sidhu does honest work.”

CHENNAI: The man who moved the Madras high court seeking to be declared himself to be the son of late chief minister J Jayalalithaa, is now facing arrest. He even furnished a copy of a 'will' signed by his 'parents' Jayalalithaa and Telugu actor Shoban Babu. After the police found that the documents were forged, Justice R Mahadevan directed police to take appropriate action against the man, J Krishnamoorthy. "He has not only cheated the court but also prepared forged documents," said the judge. Following the direction by the court, the police scrutinised the documents submitted by Krishnamoorthy and found them to be fake.

60 kg of gold stolen from jewellery store

CHENNAI: Burglars reportedly broke into a jewellery store at Palayamkottai in Tirunelveli, and escaped with 60 kg of gold jewellery worth millions of rupees. Preliminary investigations revealed that they entered the three-storey building from the terrace. The theft came to light only the next day when the employees opened the store, and alerted the police. Investigations are currently being undertaken and the police are questioning several people, including the employees.

Rioting, arson in Gurdaspur jail

GURDASPUR: Prisoners in the Gurdaspur central jail went on a rampage after two staffers were assaulted, forcing the police to fire into the air to contain rioting. Trouble started when a jail staffer was attacked as he tried to bring two gangsters out of the solitary confinement cells. Jail Superintendent DS Saini, who tried to intervene, was also assaulted. This triggered a clash between two groups of inmates. Later more security forces arrived and brought the situation under control. An inquiry has also been ordered. Inmates were reportedly teargassed after they sat on a fast.

SYL canal issue: INLD boycotts all-party delegation

CHANDIGARH: Refusing to join Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar's all-party delegation, the Indian Lok Dal (INLD) has announced that it would meet the Union Home Minister on the Sutlej-Yamuna Link canal issue separately. Leader of Opposition Abhay Chautala and state INLD president Ashok Arora said they had decided not to be a part of the all-party delegation since the government didn't seem serious about the issue. “We will apprise the Union Home Minister of the latest situation and urge him to get us an appointment from the Prime Minister. Also, we will put forth our demand of appointing a Central agency to dig up the SYL canal,” Abhay said. He maintained that the government was only trying to “put up a show” of action by leading an all-party delegation.

HERITAGE - HISTORY Asian Voice | 1st April 2017


Orissa States like Ulcer, be Cured or Eliminated AsianVoiceNews


Even Rajput Pilgrims to Puri stayed back to establish Principalities

Dr. Hari Desai What a coincidence, the person, under whose chairmanship the British Government formed a committee in 1929 on linguistic affinity demanding a separate Oriya province, was to declare on 20 February 1947 , as a Prime Minister, that the British were to leave India after the partition ! He was Clement Atlee. The modern state of Orissa(Odisha) was established on 1 April 1936, as a province in British India and is consisted of predominantly of Oriya speakers. Cuttack remained the capi-

tal of the State for over eight centuries until 13 April 1948 when Bhubaneshwar was officially declared the capital. Odisha is the modern name of the ancient Kingdom of Kalinga which was invaded by the Mauryan Samrat( Emperor) Ashoka in 261 BCE. The Marathi V i s h w a k o s h (Encyclopaedia), published by the Government of Maharashtra institution, records : “ Orissa is mentioned as the land of Utkal in Puranas. Vayupuran claims that the first person on this earth appeared on this land.” Ashoka, the ruler of Maghadh, having Pataliputra ( Patna) as the capital of his vast empire, waged a bitterly destructive war against the state of Kalinga. He conquered Kalinga, which none of his ancestors had done. After witnessing nearly 200,000 deaths in the Kalinga war, he embraced Buddhism. Ashoka, the Great, was the first to formulate firm tenets for the governance of a people. His empire extended from what is now the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa ( earlier North West Frontier Province) in Pakistan in the west, to the eastern boundaries of present India in the north, and certainly, up to the Vindhya Range in the south. Ashoka

Dr. Harekrushna Mahatab, the Premier of Odissa, 1946-’50

was responsible for the widespread proselytization of people into Buddhism. He sent his son, Mahendra, and daughter, Sanghamitra, for this purpose to as far south as the present country of Sri Lanka, Sinhal Dweep in ancient times, and Ceylon during the British Empire. Orissa has been a land of temples. Shri Jagnnath Mandir at Puri and Konark Mandir of Sun God have been attracting millions of pilgrims every year. Some of the rulers were descended from Rajput pilgrims, who , having come on pilgrimage to Puri, stopped on their way back and carved out principalities for themselves; while others were

descended from petty aboriginal chiefs. Most of them were under the suzerainty of the Moghuls and later under the Mahratta Bhonslas of Nagpur. Hence, the origin of these States is obscure, according to V.P. Menon, ICS. From Ashoka to Akabar, the present day Odisha had different masters. During the British Empire, after the bifurcation of Bengal on 22 March 1912, the Bihar Province including Orissa was formed. After sharing a common destiny and histo-

Gandhiji and Sardar with Netaji Bose, who was born in Cuttack

Maharaja Pratapchandra Bhanjdeo of Mayurbhanj, the largest Princely State The Konark Sun Temple, a UNESCO Heritage site

ry for around 24 years, Orissa was born from the womb of Bihar on 1 April 1936. During the British rule, there were 26 Princely States in Orissa, eleven “A” class, twelve “B” and three “C” class-exercising varying degree of jurisdiction. The biggest, Mayurbhanj, had an area of 4000 square miles and a population of about 10 lakhs. The smallest was Tigiria with an area of 46 square miles and a population of a little more than 20,000. These Orissa States constituted one of the greatest forest areas in the country and quantities of manganese, copper, iron, coal, limestone, mica etc., abound all over this region, states Menon in “Integration of Indian States”. Menon knew how important it was to have the Princely States of Orissa merged with the Indian Union. He was the Secretary to States Ministry under Sardar Patel. Both were busy with Junagadh, Kashmir and Hyderabad affairs which caused the delay in tackling the Orissa States. Some of the States were facing agitations. Some rulers were not cooperative with the Indian Government. The Maharaja of Patna was keen on the Eastern States Union of various Princely States. This Union was a short-lived (1947-48) Union of Princely States in newly-independent India that gathered most of the Princely States of the former Orissa Tributary States and Chhatisgarh States Agency in order to fill the vacuum of power created after the departure of the British and the rapping up of Raj. Sardar was very much disappointed with the attitude of the rulers. Even the agitation of Tribal leaders of Chhotanagpur, Santhal Pargana etc, demanding a separate tribal majority state, was also bothering Patel. As such it was late to take up the issue of Orissa but once the Sardar made up his mind, he was all for fulfilling his mission. It was on 13 December 1947, Patel along with Menon reached Cuttack.

They met the Premier Mahatab and other provincial ministers as well as the Governor. The next day meetings were scheduled with the rulers of the States in batches. Only twelve rulers agreed to the merger and signed the agreement. When he was to meet the “A” class rulers, Patel arranged in such a way that none could show any excuse. Menon records, “He told them that the Orissa States were like ulcers on the body of the province and that they must either be cured or eliminated. If they listened to his advice, they could be cured; otherwise they might find themselves uprooted by the peo-

ple.” Thanks to the Rajah of Dhenkanal being taken into confidence by Menon, the Maharajas came round. They were scared of the Government of India taking over the administration of the States. On 15th morning, Patel was waiting for Menon at the railway station since both were to leave for a meeting with the rulers of the Chhattisgarh States in the evening. Menon came with the merger agreement signed by the rulers of “A” class States. The Sardar was pleased to receive him along with Mahatab. There was criticism of Sardar-Menon duo efforts to convince the rulers for merger. Even Patel had to send Menon to Gandhiji to explain the circumstances.

The merger of 25 States except Mayurbhanj became effective from 1 January 1948. The Maharaja of M a y u r b h a n j , Pratapchandra Bhanjdeo, who was keen to join Bihar, merged his biggest State with Orissa on 1 January 1949 and merger of all the States in the province was completed. Even after nearly seven decades of merger by the Maharaja of Kalahandi, Pratap Kishor Deo, the movement for rethinking on the merger is still on. Though Kalahandi is infamous for poverty in present days Orissa, there was no scarcity of food in the Princely State. During Bengal famine of 1942, Kalahandi alone had supplied One Lakh Tonnes of rice to Bengal. The present movement tries to expose discrimination towards the centrally located areas of the Princely State. Odisha is proud of being the birthplace of Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose. Next Column : Bihar State of Great Rulers, Buddha and Mahavir ( The writer is a Sociopolitical Historian. E-mail : )



SA anti-apartheid icon Kathrada passes away


Asian Voice | 1st April 2017

Leaving behind a legacy rife with social justice, noted South African antiapartheid activist, a Robben Island prisoner and one of Nelson Mandela's closest colleagues, Ahmed Kathrada died on Monday, aged 87. His charity foundation said that he took his last breath in a hospital in Johannesburg where he was admitted after a short illness following brain surgery. Kathrada, who served as parliamentary counsellor to president Mandela from 1994 to 1999, in the first African National Congress (ANC), had spent 26 years and three months in prison,

18 of which were spent on notorious jail Robben Island. Kathrada, born in 1929, joined the fight against white-minority apartheid rule at the age of 17. He was amongst the 2,000 “passive resisters” arrested in 1946 for defying laws that discriminated against Indian South Africans. Retired Archbishop Desmond Tutu described him as a “man of remarkable gentleness, modesty and steadfastness. These were people of the highest integrity and moral fibre who, through their humility and humanity, inspired our collective self-

Ahmed Kathrada

worth- and the world's confidence in us,” Tutu said. The ANC released a statement saying, “The nation has lost a titan, an outstanding leader and a great patriot. His life is a les-

son in humility, tolerance, resilience, and a steadfast commitment to principle.” Kathrada is known to be an extremely popular figure in South Africa. Cape Townbased journalist Yazeed Kamaldien, who has accompanied him to Robben Island a couple of times, said the main reason for his popularity was his genuine attempt to engage and listen to everyone. “He never asserted his ego. You never felt that he was trying to impose his experience or knowledge,” he said. Kathrada, in an interview back in 2015, said he had made over 300 trips to

the infamous jail since his release. He has even conducted guided tours for global leaders and icons, including former US president Barack Obama. Kathrada was also known for his support to the Fees Must Fall movement that began across South African universities calling for the end of tuition fees and better access to higher education. Lovingly called Kathy, the leader had played teacher for fellow prisoners during his time in jail and a strategic thinker who made part of the ANC delegation in the negotiations that ended apartheid.


Newly Born

Name: Aman Patel

D.O.B.: 11.02.2017 Father: Mayank Patel Mother: Mandip Patel Tooting, South London Grandfather: Harendra Manibhai Patel (Nar-Gujarat)

Grandmother: Urvasi Harendra Patel

Shiv Sena MP barred from flying, AI cancels his return ticket Air India stands firm on its decision of banning Shiv Sena MP Ravindra Gaikwad as it once again cancelled his ticket last week. Sources said the MP tried to book a MumbaiDelhi AI flight through a call centre, and wanted to fly AI 806 at 8 am on Wednesday. A senior AI official said, “We have standing instructions not to allow the honourable MP on any of our flights. He can try to get his open tickets endorsed on our flights (meaning get confirmation to fly on a particular flight) but will not be able to fly.”

Poundland places 99p Stores into administration

UK-based store chain Poundland has placed discount chain 99p Stores into administration. After taking over the chain and its 252 shops in 2015, it soon began rebranding them and reassigning leases. It even blamed previous management for its downfall. “We can confirm that the separate 99p Stores company has entered administration,” a spokesman for Poundland said. “It's no secret that the previous management of Poundland had difficulties digesting its 99p Stores acquisition. However, we've largely completed the store closure programme that addressed the remaining overlaps from that 99p acquisition, importantly, with very limited impact on jobs because we have stores located near to those we're closing. The administration has no impact on Poundland itself, which of course, is a robust, thriving business serving over seven million shoppers a week.” The 60 stores which it did not rebrand, have been closed as they are believed to be “unprofitable”.

AI is amongst other airlines that have decided not to allow Gaikwad on their flights. Private players like Jet, IndiGo, SpiceJet, GoAir, and Vistara, remain adamant despite massive pressure from the political class to have the ban revoked. After being turned down by all airlines, the MP is said to have taken the Mumbai-Delhi Rajdhani. Even the Aviation Ministry faces heat to get airlines to start flying Gaikwad again. “We will not take a stand on this case and are looking at the issue in entirety whether airlines can ban a

Ravindra Gaikwad

person indefinitely from flying under existing rules. We will soon have a national no fly list that will bar people from flying from varying periods of times for different

offences,” said a senior ministry official. All airlines claim to be on “high alert” as Gaikwad plans to be in New Delhi on Wednesday and will try to fly. “Luckily his is not a common name. We will run checks on any Ravindra Gaikwad booking a ticket, especially on sectors where he is likely to try to fly on, to ensure that the 'honourable' MP does not get on our flights,” a private airline official. Angry at being given an economy class seat in a flight with no business class section, Shiv Sena MP Ravindra Gaikwad

beat up an airline staffer with his slippers “25 times”. “The MP had a business class coupon. His office was clearly told that AI 852 was an all-economy flight that did not have a business class. There were two other Pune-Delhi flights which had business class,” informed a senior AI official. On his way to Delhi with the Parliament in session, trouble began when the flight landed. “After the plane landed, he did not alight from it for half an hour or so. He was angry at being made to travel in economy despite

having a business class coupon. Our ground staff repeatedly requested him to alight from the plane as the aircraft had to be dispatched for another flight,” an official said. He reportedly became so agitated, he took off his slipper and beat up one of the AI ground staffers requesting him to get off the plane. Making matters worse for himself, Gaikwad boasted of his doing. “I am not a BJP MP. I am a Shiv Sena MP and will not tolerate any insult. Let the employee complain. I will complain to the Speaker and other authorities.”

UK Parliament tables move against Don't lobby for transfers & Pak occupation of Gilgit-Baltistan postings, Modi tells UP MPs LONDON: The UK Parliament has tabled a motion condemning Pakistan's “arbitrary” move to declare the strategic Gilgit-Baltistan region as its fifth province. Conservative Party MP Bob Blackman who has often seen speaking in support of Kashmiri Hindus rights, tabled the Early Day Motion titled 'Annexation of GilgitBaltistan as by Pakistan as its fifth frontier' on March 23. The motion said that the region has been illegally occupied by Pakistan since 1947 and the country is attempting to annex the already disputed area. The EDM noted that “GilgitBaltistan is a legal and constitutional part of the State

Bob Blackman

of Jammu and Kashmir, India, which is illegally occupied by Pakistan since 1947, and where people are denied their fundamental rights including the right of freedom of expression.” It also said, “That this House condemns the arbitrary announcement by Pakistan declaring Gilgit-Baltistan as its Fifth Frontier, implying its attempt to annex the

already disputed area.” It also said that the “attempts to change the demography of the region comes in violation of State Subject Ordinance and forcibly and illegally to build the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor, which further aggravates and interferes with the disputed territory.” Pakistan's Minister for Inter-Provincial Coordination Riaz Hussain Pirzada told the media on March 14, that a committee headed by Advisor of Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz had proposed giving the status of a province to GilgitBaltistan. India has already termed the move “entirely unacceptable” as the region borders disputed PoK.

Pakistan arrests over 100 Indian fishermen off Gujarat coast Over 100 Indian fishermen were arrested, and 19 of their boats seized by Pakistan for allegedly fishing in their territorial waters off the Gujarat coast. Pakistan Maritime Security Agency arrested the fishermen and seized the boats off Jakhau coast in Kutch district. The news was confirmed by a PMSA spokesman who said they have been handed over to

the local police for further action. “We have become used to this routine now as these Indian fishermen get arrested illegally fishing in our waters every month or so,” the official said. They would be presented in a court, from where the judicial magistrate would send them to jail as per the procedure. Manish Lodhari, Secretary of India's National Fishworkers Forum, said,

“We learnt that more than 100 fishermen who were on board around 18 fishing boats were apprehended by PMSA near the international maritime boundary line off Jakhau coast. The fishermen who escaped (the arrest) have informed us about it.” “All the boats are from Okha and Porbandar towns. The fishermen are from various coastal villages.”

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi had quite an advice for BJP MPs from UP last week. He asked them to refrain from lobbying for transfers and postings that proved to be the bane of previous governments in the state. Modi spent almost two hours with the MPs from both houses, including ministers, as he listed out dos and don'ts. “Refrain from lobbying for bureaucrats' transferposting,” Modi is understood to have said. “Previous governments had made transfer-posting a business. Refrain from doing the same.” He also asked party MPs to avoid discrimination in development work irrespective of the poll result and support for BJP. “Rather, we should be more focused on areas where the

party has lost.” Following the change of government, people have frequently been talking about a massive overhaul of the bureaucracy. The PM told MPs to allow the government to restructure the administration on merit and without political interference. The PM said there might be party workers' pressure for several works for which MPs should approach the chief minister and make suggestions as per viability. He also reiterated his appeal to party lawmakers about effective communication with common people about the welfare and development schemes initiated by the Centre and the state. “MPs could be the most instrumental in apprising people about the government's initiatives,” he said.

Ahmedabad-Newark AI flight suffers bird hit An Air India Dreamliner aircraft suffered a bird hit last week and had been grounded in London. Air India flight AI-171 left Ahmedabad, and only after it landed in London that authorities noticed a huge dent on the radome. The Ahmedabad airport director said that their ATC hadn't registered any incident of bird hit. Of the total

230 passengers, 50 flyers to Newark were accommodated on a different flight, while those on the return leg of the journey from London to Ahmedabad were accommodated on AI's LondonMumbai flight. The plane is currently undergoing repair and maintenance, and will be ready for the next return journey from London to Ahmedabad.




could also be hampering you for getting a good night's sleep? According to a research study done by Nagasaki University in Japan, cutting down on salt can help you get good sleep by reducing the number of trips to the toilet. The need to pee at night or nocturia affects most people over the age of 60. Although it seems a simple problem, the lack of sleep can lead to other problems such as stress, irritability or tiredness, and so can have a significant negative impact on quality of life. The new study presented at the European Society of Urology congress in London suggests that a slight dietary tweak can help tackle the problem. Reducing the amount of salt in one's diet can sig-


nificantly reduce excessive peeing, both during the day and when asleep, the study said. "Night-time urination is a real problem for many people, especially as they get older. This work holds out the possibility that a simple dietary modification might significantly improve the quality of life for many people," said lead researcher Matsuo Tomohiro from Nagasaki University in Japan. The researchers studied a group of 321 men and women who had a high salt intake and had problems sleeping. The patients were given guid-

ance and support to reduce salt consumption. They were followed for 12 weeks, and salt consumption measured biochemically. As a result of the intervention, 223 members of the group were able to reduce their salt intake from 10.7 gm per day to 8.0 gm per day. In this group, the average night-time frequency of urination dropped from 2.3 times per night to 1.4 times. In contrast, 98 per cent increased their average salt intake from 9.6 gm per night to 11.0 gm per night, and they found that the need to urinate increased from 2.3 times per night to 2.7 times per night. The researchers also found that daytime urination was reduced when salt in the diet was reduced. "This is the first study to measure how salt intake affects the frequency of going to the bathroom, so we need to confirm the work with larger studies," said Tomohiro.

Vitamin C could halt the growth of cancer Vitamin C could help stop cancer from spreading throughout the body, controversial research suggests. Found in high levels in oranges, kale and peppers, British scientists discovered the nutrient starves tumours in laboratory tests.

Laughter is the Best Medicine

Giving patients high doses is 10 times more effective than some drugs being trialled in the battle against cancer, the study claims. By injecting patients with it, sufferers can get up to 500 times the amount than they would through eating.

Three contractors bid to fix a broken fence at the White House. All three go with a White House official to examine the fence. The first contractor takes out a tape measure and does some measuring, then works some figures with a pencil. “Well,” he says, “I figure the job will run about $900. $400 for materials, $400 for my crew, and $100 profit for me.” The second contractor also does some measuring and figuring, then says, “I can do this job for $700. $300 for materials, $300 for my crew, and $100 profit for me.” The third contractor doesn’t measure or figure, but leans over to the White House official and whispers, “$2,700.” The official, incredulous, says, “You didn’t even measure like the other guys! How did you come up with such a high figure?” The contractor whispers back, “$1000 for me, $1000 for you, and we hire the second guy to fix the fence.” “Done!” replies the government official. *** A Scotsman who was driving home one night, ran into a car driven by an Englishman. The Scotsman got out of the car to apologise and offered the Englishman a drink from a bottle of whisky. The Englishman was glad to have a drink. “Go on,” said the Scot, “have another drink.” The Englishman drank gratefully. “But don’t you want one, too?” he asked the Scotsman. “Perhaps,” replied the Scotsman, “after the police have gone.” *** A thief stuck a pistol in a man’s ribs and said, “Give me our money.” The gentleman, shocked by the sudden attack, said, “You cannot do this, I’m a United States congressman!” The thief said, “In that case, give me my money!”

But experts warn it is impossible to get the required amount through fruit, and that the results are still very early on. Also called ascorbic acid, its effects on cancer stem cells, which are known to fuel the growth of fatal tumours, had never before been evaluated. However, University of Salford researchers believe they have pinpointed exactly how it starves cancer stem cells. By inhibiting the breakdown of glucose, the mitochondria — considered the ‘power-


| Asian Voice | 1st April 2017


Lessen Your Salt Intake to Get Good Night's Sleep Love sprinkling salt into your bowl of salad, curries, stir-fries and snacks? While salt instantly adds flavour to the dishes, excessive amount of it could also put you at health risk. According to a report by World Health Organisation (WHO), Indians consume excessive amounts of salt in their food, much beyond the permissible limit. It is no doubt a necessary ingredient in cooking, but there needs to be some sort of discipline while using it. Like they say, too much of something is not good for health. Moderation should always be followed. Most processed food items, snacks, street foods, and even restaurant food contain excessive slat levels, regular consumption of which can put one at serious health consequences.Did you know that having too much salt


house’ of cells — are unable to gain vital energy it needs to thrive. Given as an add-on to chemotherapy, it could be used to prevent tumour recurrence and further progression of the disease. It has been studied internationally as a potential treatment for cancer patients for more than four decades.



07767 414 693 Worldwide Repatriation Service G Scattering Ashes G Horse Drawn Funerals G Weekend Funerals G Use of Large Private Shiva Chapel for Viewing & Ritual Service Ritual Items Provided G Full Washing and Dressing facilities G Choice of Coffins G Priest Arrangements G Funeral arrangements at Home or Funeral Home G




Just 10 Minutes of HighIntesity Exercise May Cut Diabetes Risk in Kids

The role of regular exercising has long been deemed important to prevent a host of lifestyle diseases including cancer, diabetes among others. The World Health Organisation recommends at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise or 70 minutes of vigorous exercising for adults in a week to maintain a healthy lifestyle. Kids between 5-17 years should undertake at least 60 minutes of moderate to vigorous physical activity daily to maintain good health and optimum physical development. A recent report published in the journal Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, suggests just 10 minutes of high-intensity physical activity every day for kids to keep heart problems and metabolic diseases at bay. Researchers from

Wake Forest Baptist Medical Centre in the US found that replacing lightintensity physical activity with brief periods of vigorous exercise may provide significant cardio-metabolic benefits in young people with relatively large waist measurements and elevated levels of insulin in their blood. For the study, the team analysed 11,588 young people aged between 4 and 18 from countries like the US, Brazil and other European countries. Participants' age, gender, level of physical activity and at least one biomarker of a cardiometabolic risk were studied. As a result only 32 significant associations out of a possible 360 were found while evaluating the relationships between the biomarkers and vigorous physical activity.

28 Asian Voice

Nayanthara Rajinikanth surprises Anirudh okays film with Soori A as hero? AsianVoiceNews

1st April 2017


When Akshara Haasan loses her cool

ecent buzz in K-town is that a newcomer narrated an out and out comedy script to Nayanthara, who reportedly okayed it. It is also reported that the proposed film will have Soori as the male lead. Unconfirmed sources said that the project is only in the initial stages and it could take some time for official announcements, that too if everything falls into place.


amal Haasan's youngest daughter, Akshara Haasan triggered criticism with her alleged upsetting behaviour at an event last week. Present at the Raheja Classique Hotel in Mumbai, for the promotion of her upcoming film 'Laali Ki Shaadi Mein Laaddoo Deewana', a press interview was arranged for by the actress by senior distributor Sunny Khanna. When the interview went longer than scheduled, the actress seems to have lost her composure. She reportedly yelled at Khanna for his mismanagement, even misbehaving with a journalist waiting to interview her. She however, had a change of heart and gave the interview before walking away from the scene.

Dhanush cuts through to your heart


railer of 'Power Paandi' is out and the multi-talented Dhanush has marked his entry as a director. The newly unveiled trailer tells the life journey of Paandi played by Rajkiran. Revathi's stint as the lead-

ing lady once again looks promising, while Sean Roldan's music maintains an upper hand. Bankrolled by Dhanush's home production Wunderbar Films, the film also stars Prasanna and Chaya Singh in pivotal

roles. Also, Madonna Sebastian has been roped in to star opposite Dhanush who will make a cameo. The film is apparently packed with action, and love between the aged, a subject rarely touched in Tamil cinema.


nirudh of 'Why This Kolaveri Di?' fame was in for a pleasant surprise when last week Rajinikanth paid a surprise visit to his recording studio. The 26 year old who debuted as a music composer in the film '3' by his cousin Aishwarya Dhanush, shared a photo of the two on his twitter handle. It looks like the superstar praised him for his work. Anirudh is currently composing music for Ajith's 'Vivegam', Suriya's 'Thaana Serndha Kootam' and Sivakarthikeyan's 'Velaikkaran'.


Attacks on paparazzi at Rajinikanth's '2.0' sets

wo photojournalists were reportedly manhandled on the sets of Rajinikanth's upcoming science-fiction action film '2.0'. One of the photojournalists, Ragunathan, said that bouncers at the insistence of the film's assistance director assaulted him and his colleague. "They were not following rules. You can't shoot in public place after 6 am. It was 8 am and they were still shooting. By not following rules, they were causing lot of problems for the public. I clicked photos to make them realise it. The bouncers quickly surrounded me. Even before I could ask them to move, I was assaulted." Ragunathan said he and his colleague had filed a police complaint against the film's assistant director and some members of

the crew. However, he said they withdrew it after they were approached by the film's team. A source said the film's shooting was going on at the Triplicane neighbourhood which caused a massive commotion. "When two photojournalists tried to click pictures, the assistant director and some crew

members attacked them. This forced the journalists to file a police complaint," the source said. A sequel to 2010 blockbuster 'Enthiran', the film is being directed by Shankar and is on the verge of completion. The film also stars Amy Jackson, Akshay Kumar and Sudhanshu Pandey.

Speaking to the media, he said that he has two unique film ideas in mind. One, a script that is based on the truth of Tamil Nadu politics, and the other, a story of an Indian guy who flies abroad to see his fiancĂŠ.

The director has Ajith in mind for the political flick, while the latter, an all-inall Hollywood film, will feature Vijay. Raj says he has talked to the actors, and believes to kick-start his films soon.

Vijay & Ajith in Hollywood director's film?


wo of Tamil Cinema's biggest stars, Ajith and Vijay, have their respective films coming up this year. NRI filmmaker Raj Thiruselvan announced his interest to direct films with the superstars.


Sunny Leone's smart way to tackle haters AsianVoiceNews


unny Leone is no stranger to social media trolls. In fact, she was even virtually attacked by filmmaker Ram Gopal Varma who wrote a rather distasteful tweet about her on International Women's Day. However, she remained unfazed, and has always positively handled haters. In a recent interview, when asked if all the negativity on such open platforms affects her, she said, "No. Because I have the block button. I don't give two hoots about it. I know my following has been by my side for many years, and I love them for it. Leone entered the Indian film industry after a thriving stint in the adult film industry in the West. "I can't do anything about stereotypes. That's just how the world works everywhere," she said. The 'Jism 2' actress has featured in several movies, many of which didn't fare well at the BO. "I


definitely try to make the right decision based on what's on the table. It's just all about that. My team and myself decide what's best for the brand. Sometimes it's good, and sometimes it's not," Sunny said. She admitted there was still a lot of struggle in finding good work. "Everyone has their own journey and mine is different in its own way. We have to struggle to make the steps forward. I'm very proud of Daniel (Her husband) and my whole team for the work they have done." On the work front, the actress is next expected in 'Tera Intezaar', where she will be seen sharing screen space with actor Arbaaz Khan. Talking about the film, the chirpy bombshell said, "It's a film we both like. It's in the romantic thriller space and I hope people like it."

Sonakshi wants to ask Salman the 'marriage question'

Asian Voice | 1st April 2017


Rishi's love story to be made into a play

O Katrina’s intense fitness training


atrina Kaif's smoking hot bod has been the source of envy of many a people. On the path to wellness for the last two years, Katrina made sure she didn't compromise on her workout during her shoot in Austria. The 'Baar Baar Dekho' actress has reportedly taken her fitness trainer Reza Katani with her to the European nation. Shooting for 'Tiger Zinda Hai' with Salman Khan, it is said the 'Ek Tha Tiger' sequel has plenty of action sequences, some of which would be helmed by

Kat. Reza is said to be together to get her to master the art of doing the plank, an exercise where one holds their body parallel to the ground, giving the illusion that you are floating mid-air. Plank ensures a comprehensive core workout that helps tone and strengthen the chest, shoulders, upper back, lower back and the glutes. And she does need the perfect 10 fit bod for performing stunts opposite Salman Khan, who will reportedly take on a pack of wolves for a particular sequence in the movie.

romoting her upcoming movie 'Noor', our very own Sonakshi Sinha said if she were a journalist, she would ask Salman Khan the very question everybody asks his marriage plans. Talking to reporters at a special event of the film, Sona, when asked what questions she would ask daddy Shatrughan Sinha, she replied, "If I had to ask my dad a question, I would ask something to which he won't say khamosh. To Salman, I would ask the same question everyone is asking him for years." Sona plays a journalist in the new movie which is based on Pakistani author Saba Imtiaz's novel 'Karachi, You're Killing Me!' The actress feels that as an artist, she would love to be asked questions about the craft of acting. "If I were a journalist, I would ask questions regarding an artist's work, the amount of hard work that goes behind a film is often not known. As an artist I would like them to see what kind of hard work is put into it." Speaking of her experience playing a journo, she said she got to experience the "other side" of the things. "It was a great experience. It was great to be on the other side of the mike, behind the camera. But of course, the kind of journalist I play in the film is not the kind of journalist my character wants to be."

ne of the stories from Khalid Mohamed's 'Faction' is all set to be converted into a play. 'Love in the Time Of Telegrams', a story by Rishi Kapoor, from the original compilation of by-invitation short stories by Bollywood's big names, including Shyam Benegal, Sai Paranjpye, Ashutosh Gowariker and Karan Johar, to A-list actors like Akshay Kumar, Deepika Padukone, Sonam Kapoor and Rishi Kapoor, released in 2014. The one in particular was very well received and both, Rishi and Khalid decided that it would made for a dramatic stage production. "I started developing the story into a script and narrated it to Rishi. He kept adding his inputs and soon we had Rishi, a play in two acts, adapted by me from a love story by Rishi Kapoor," Khalid said. He however, still has to finesse the finale. "I went on the 'Kapoor & Sons' location in Coonoor but the prosthetic make-up was too intricate for him to concentrate on anything else." The romantic musical which includes a medley of Rishi and wife Neetu Singh's chartbusters, however, faces issues related to insufficient budget. Khalid was offered an amount of Rs 1500,000 by the NCPA which wanted to produce it.

Hrithik Roshan receives a surprise thank you note


ctor Hrithik Roshan received a handwritten letter from a boy whose actual name is Rohan Bhatnagar, his onscreen name in 'Kaabil'. A college student from Ranchi, the real Rohan wrote him to express gratitude for making his common name special with his much-loved performance. Hrithik played a visually impaired man in the movie. While his role was much appreciated, such a letter wasn't expected. When contacted, Hrithik said, "I am realising the significance of playing Rohan Bhatnagar after the release of the film. There is so much of love that this character seems to have generated. Everyday I discover something more about its effect. I am also glad that people are making efforts and reaching out to me in this manner." He added, "As an actor we play a character and we ourselves don't know in what possible ways it will connect with people. I couldn't have thought of something like this." In the letter, Rohan wrote, "My name is Rohan and I am a student from Ranchi. Yes, I am a real Rohan Bhatnagar. This let-

ter, if it ever reaches to you, is to thank you for something that you have unknowingly done for me. Since childhood, I wished that my name was something else and not just a Rohan Bhatnagar. The fact that it's too commonplace was shared by almost everyone around me except for my parents who could hard-

ly care about this feeling of mine. But since this January, things have changed. Whenever my full name is being called there are smiles on people's faces. It's become something special about me that I am being called Rohan Bhatnagar, name of the character that you played in 'Kaabil'."


UK AsianVoiceNews


Asian Voice | 1st April 2017

Redbridge fun run will help fund elderly outreach services Redbridge Mayor’s Annual Family Fun Run will take place on Sunday 2nd April and a section of the borough’s elderly community is set to benefit. The Disabled Asian Women’s Network (Dawn) provides services for older women with disabilities at its Cardinal Heenan Centre, High Road, Ilford, and is one of three charities which the mayor, Cllr Gurdial Bhamra, has chosen to support. “We’ve been here for the last 23 years,” said Neelam Pahl, project worker for Dawn. “There was a demand for services for elderly and disabled people but there was nothing, we were the

Matru Vandana

first in Redbridge and never looked back. There is still a demand, this is shown through our members – 73 attend on Wednesday and the same number again on Thursday.” Neelam says Dawn has reacted to social changes – one of which is the issue of isolation among the elderly. “They are more isolated because their families are all out working, it has affected them. That’s why we are thinking about bringing counselling in because there’s a lot of mental health issues springing up, like anxiety and depression.” Dawn offers a range of services, from dementia

Paid subscribers of Asian Voice will receive a copy of our Mother’s Day special magazine with their newspaper

Neelam Pahl, right, with members from the DAWN.

support to days out, but the most important aspect, for Neelam, is that it provides a place for members to enjoy themselves in the company of others. “We have professionals come in to give talks about health and social welfare, we do yoga, meditation, arts and crafts and cultural activities. It’s like a busy hub for elderly Asians, they are a very happy, jolly lot. I think a lot of our members forget they are disabled.”

The Family Fun Run will take runners, and walkers, on a 5k course which starts and finishes outside Redbridge Town Hall. Competitors are encouraged to collect sponsorship either for the Mayor’s Charity or for a charity of their own choice. The run begins at 9am. Entry costs £6 with concessions for families. To take part go to

Muslims in Barking raise more than £15k for Syria’s war victims


The winner from Comedy Night competition is Dipak Shah. The organisers of the show will directly get in touch with you.

Coming Events

l Sree Sree Anukul Chandra's Satsang on April 1, Saturday, 6.30 pm onwards, at Reading Hindu Temple, 112 Whitley Street, Reading RG2 0GD. l Leicester Friends of Oxford Centre for Hindu Studies will host Dr Brainerd Prince for a lecture on Grace in Vaishnavism, on April 1, Saturday, 6.30 pm to 9.00 pm, at the Belgrave Neighbourhood Centre Leicester.

are in a brilliant period ARIES Mar 21 - Apr 20 You for increasing your earning

power and you'll be busy taking charge of your finances. Achieving a sense of security becomes a priority. Anything or anyone that drains your time and energy should be re-evaluated. It’s time to use that creative imagination of yours to create grandeur in your life. With Mercury and Mars in

TAURUS Apr 21 - May 21 your solar first house, your

disposition is more intellectual than usual and selfexpression comes easily. It is an especially fruitful time for any endeavour that requires communications. Your demeanor is more youthful and easy going attracting like-minded people. While Mercury transits the GEMINI May 22 - June 22 twelfth house of your solar

chart, your mind is focused on private matters. This is a time when you are searching for answers. This is a good time for research, quiet contemplation and meditation. You are likely to require a certain amount of solitude in order to get your thoughts together or to be mentally productive.

With Mercury and Mars riding high in your chart, you should enjoy a very popular phase in your life where everyone wants to invite you to parties. This will give you a chance to meet people of your own calibre and pursue any romantic liaisons that might present themselves.

CANCER Jun 22 - Jul 22

Muslims raised £15,050 for child victims of Syria’s civil war with a pop-up car wash. Volunteers at Al Madina mosque in Victoria Road, Barking, washed about 50 vehicles in the car park Monday, with one driver donating £300 and another £200. Mosque secretary Ash Siddique, 48, praised the fundraisers’ “excellent

Sneh Joshi

effort”, with the proceeds paying for an ambulance for humanitarian group Anaya Aid and Unity convoy. “This was a great effort by our volunteers, who worked hard all day and provided a first class service,” he said. “The event was well-supported by the community with some really generous donations.”

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Mercury and Mars are both transiting your solar tenth house. Career matters are busy at this time, and there can be plenty of thoughts and/or conversations about your profession, your reputation, or your social standing during this cycle. It's a good time to analyze your work tasks and to streamline them or improve your skills.

LEO Jul 23 - Aug 23

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020 8518 5500

You need to pay more attention than usual to your everyday work dairy. Meetings, work hours and organised breaks could play havoc, unless you're prepared to re-group on the spur of the moment. Try to be meticulous but flexible about your schedule. Play your cards right and you can pull strings in you favour.

SAGITTARIUS Nov 23 - Dec 21

The cosmic energies are decidedly invigorating at the moment. If you are taking a holiday, so much the better ! Not only do you have Mercury putting a favourable emphasis on travel but, with Mars you can be sure of deriving the utmost pleasure from adventures and excursions. There are influences around you now that will give you great confidence.

Mars and Mercury illuminate your fifth house. After a period of “nesting”, you are coming out of your shell, ready to perform and to express yourself creatively. You are feeling inspired creatively and romantically. At this time, you instinctively know how to place yourself in the best light in order to make a good impression on others.

Although all kinds of opportunities are coming your way, there are many obstacles between you and the fulfilment of any of these. As you clear your path you will get closer to achieving your dreams. Relationships and romance are both under scrutiny by the presence of Mars and Mercury in your 7th house – don’t lose your cool.

PISCES Feb 20 - Mar 20 Your communications are all-abuzz with planetary energies firing you up. Give yourself plenty of physical outlets to drain off some of the excess mental stimulation. Increased energy and a renewed feeling of confidence is with you now, so take advantage. There's nothing wrong with it.

VIRGO Aug 24 - Sep 23

Legal matters are likely to occupy your attention this week. A long-standing problem or disagreement will need to be sorted out before allowing you to restructure both personal and joint financial interests more efficiently. You will be able to resolve issues only diplomatically as Mars and Mercury are both transiting your 8th house.

LIBRA Sep 24 - Oct 23

SCORPIO Oct 24- Nov 22

CAPRICORN Dec 22 - Jan 20

Mars and Mercury transiting your solar 4th house creates a lot of activity in the home. This could be in the form of negative energy and loose ends to tie up. You are likely to find tension in your family connections and experiences. Re-assessment for home improvements and renovations are also favoured.

AQUARIUS Jan 21 - Feb 19

England cricket plans to organise T20 tournament AsianVoiceNews


The English cricket took a step towards launching a Twenty20 competition when the counties gave it overwhelming backing, but the new tournament is likely to be delayed until 2020 to maximise television revenue. A meeting at Lord’s between the England & Wales Cricket Board and the 18 counties and MCC concluded with an agreement that could see the end of more than 120 years of tradition. The eight team tournament, featuring new teams and played in a window at the height of the summer, will be the first professional domestic competition in England to not feature the counties. The ECB proposed five options for the future of Twenty20 but it was the one featuring the new competition with teams based at eight Test match grounds that Colin Graves, the board chairman, and its chief executive Tom Harrison, presented as the only realistic choice. It is understood Graves

Bangladesh level series; win first ODI

Bangladesh made their 100th test a memorable one by beating Sri Lanka for the first time in the longest format of the game and levelled the series 1-1. They carried forward that confidence and momentum by winning the first of three One-Day Internationals at the Rangiri Dambulla International Stadium in Dambulla. Bangladesh beat Lanka by 90 runs after setting them a record 325 to win in the first ODI. Led by a brilliant knock of 127 off 142 balls from Tamim Iqbal, Bangladesh took a 1-0 lead in the series after bowling Sri Lanka out for 234. This was the first time that Bangladesh have successfully defended a total against Sri Lanka; their other wins have come chasing.

asked counties at the meeting if they were in favour of this being the only option to be further explored and just three (Surrey, Sussex and Kent) said no. He received the backing of 16 others giving his authority a huge boost, but will now have to provide further details before the next ECB board meeting on Oct 18. Harrison’s team will now have to thrash out specifics such as where the new teams will be based, their identities, how they will be formed, how a player draft will work and the size of squads. The ECB has promised cash of

around £1.5m per year to each county from the new tournament plus staging fees for the grounds hosting teams. But this will need a television deal to underpin the ECB’s costs. The original plan was for the tournament to be launched in 2018 but with Sky owning rights to English cricket until the end of 2019 it would prevent the ECB selling their new asset on the open market. Waiting until 2020 is understood to be now favoured within the ECB because it would bring BT Sport into the picture

opening up the possibility of a bidding war and also potentially attract a terrestrial broadcaster as well. There is still a long way to go before the new tournament becomes a reality. There will be a backlash from county members concerned if their club will be marginalised. All but three of the counties are still owned by their members and chairmen could face being removed by those members if they fail to convince them the new tournament is the way forward. The introduction of a new tournament will require a formal vote to change the ECB’s constitution and this is expected later in the year. All 41 members of the ECB, which includes recreational board and the counties, will be balloted with the motion for change requiring a two thirds majority. The ECB believe this new competition is vital for attracting a new audience to the game and help drive up participation.

Pak cricketer spared jail for beating wife with bat A Pakistani cricketer who hit his wife with his bat and made her drink bleach escaped jail as the judge said he was not convinced the victim was vulnerable and thus paved the way for the cricketer to play for a top club. Mustafa Bashir also slapped and choked his wife and ridiculed her for wearing western clothing and called her friends as "English slag girls". Bashir's lawyer claimed in court that the 34-yearold would sign a contract with former county cricket champions Leicestershire as a professional player after being offered a contract shortly before his arrest. However, a spokesman for the club denied those claims, saying it has never spoken to Bashir or his agent, or offered him a contract. Manchester Crown Court heard how Bashir and Fakhara Karim met in their native Pakistan and

married in 2013, but he controlled her and how she spent her money. During the stormy marriage he struck his wife Karim over her back with his cricket bat because he felt she spent too long talking to a friend on the phone. The incident occurred at their home on New Year's Eve in 2014, with Bashir snatching his wife's phone and telling her he would search it to look at her messages. The cricketer also tried to force his wife to drink bleach and take tablets. Bashir, who plays for a local cricket league in Oldham, Greater Manchester, grabbed his

wife by the neck and squeezed until a member of the public intervened, the court heard. One day he took her to the bathroom where he grabbed a bottle of bleach and made her drink the bleach so she would kill herself. She spat that out as she was unable to swallow it. "Then he gave her tablets from the house and told her to take them. She did but again she was unable to swallow them. Judge Richard Mansell QC said he didn’t believe the victim was vulnerable as she was "an intelligent woman with a network of friends" and had a college degree. Passing an 18 month jail term suspended for two years, Judge Mansell QC ordered Bashir to attend a workshop entitled "building better relationships" and pay £1,000 costs, and banned him from contacting Karim indefinitely under the terms of a restraining order.

and Grade C will be paid Rs 5000,000 per annum, which is double the amounts paid in the earlier years. The match fee

enhancement for men cricketers will be effective from October 1st 2016 onwards and Rs 1500,000 per Test, Rs 600,000 per ODI and Rs 300,000 for T20 international will be paid. The seven cricketers in the top bracket are Dhoni, Kohli, Pujara, Ajinkya Rahane, Ravichandran Ashwin, Jadeja and Vijay. While seniors like Yuvraj Singh and Ashish Nehra have found place in Grade B and C respectively, the biggest name missing is Suresh Raina, who

Mustafa Bashir


Indians bag 73 medals in 2017 Special Olympics Asian Voice | 1st April 2017

India's 'special' athletes have once again done the country proud. They have raked in a rich haul of medals in the 2017 Special Olympics World Winter Games held in Austria including 37 gold. The team for specially-abled sportspersons of the Special Olympics Bharat (SOB) not only competed with 2,600 athletes from over 105 countries, but also won a total of 73 medals. In the event, held in Austria between March 18 and March 24, a total of 37 gold, 10 silver and 26 bronze medals were added to India's kitty. The games included seven disciplines, including Alpine Skiing, Snow Boarding, Snow Shoeing, Figure Skating, Speed Skating, Floor Hockey, Floor Ball (and Unified floor Ball), at the mega event. While three team events - Floor Hockey (male), Unified Floorball and Traditional Floorball-logged in 30 gold medals, the highest number in a single day, the 'special' women hockey team also collected 16 bronze medals. The Unified Floorball (Male) event won gold in a match against SO Nigeria. Floor Hockey came next where the team of male athletes clashed with SO Lithuania defeating them 7-2. An unbelievable excitement reverberated as India won 8-0 against Austria bagging its third gold all in a day, sky rocketing the medal tally to 73 on the last day of the games. Other 'special athletes' fared well in Alpine skiing raking in a total of 10 medals, including 3 gold, 3 silver and 4 bronze. They were closely followed by sportspersons participating showcasing their talent in Snowboarding with 8 medals, including 4 gold, 2 silver and 2 bronze medals. Athletes participating in Snow Shoeing also fared well with a total of 5 medals, including 2 silver and 3 bronze. Speed and figure skating collected 4 medals, with 3 silver and 1 bronze. While Punjab lad Shamsher Singh opened the medal tally for India at the world winter games after they were thrown open on March 18, Himachal young woman Megha also created history by becoming the first Indian to win a gold medal in the games which were held in Graz, Schladming and Ramsau in Austria. This 20-yearold bagged the gold for Alpine Skiing clocking a time of 1 min, 3.11 seconds beating her rivals, USA and Romania. She later picked a silver for the same discipline. Shamsher picked up a silver and later a bronze during the games. Other athletes, too, shone through their performance at the games. Intensive training and hard work paid off for 11 sportspersons. They each picked up two medals during the games. Sanjay Kumar another 'special-list' from Himachal hauled two golds for Snowboarding. Despite intellectual disabilities and severe speech impairment, Sanjay's enthusiasm towards sports propelled him to excel. A student of Paradise Special School in Chamba, he joined SOB in 2008. His coach Nitika Sharma attributed his success to his discipline and devotion to the sport besides unending support of his father, who earns a meager Rs 750 per month. Believing in him, Sanjay's school has also employed him as a peon making him self-reliant and more confident.

BCCI doubles retainer fees of contracted players

The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has rewarded Ravindra Jadeja, Cheteshwar Pujara and Murali Vijay for their all-round show in the just concluded test series and elevated them to Grade A in the annual contracts for 2017-18 season. The Committee of Administrators (COA) met to decide on the annual player contracts for men cricketers for the period ending 30 September 2017. The annual retainer amounts have been dou-

bled for all the categories and Grade A players will be paid £200,000 per annum, Grade B will be paid £100,000 per annum


till recently was a permanent member of the limited overs fixtures. Young Rishabh Pant is a part of Grade C contract. Raina had in fact played after October 1, 2016 but is not there in the 32-member list. Harbhajan Singh and Gautam Gambhir are not in the list as they have played before the said date, from which the contracts are to come into effect. Grade A: Virat Kohli, MS Dhoni, R Ashwin, Ajinkya Rahane, Cheteshwar Pujara,

Ravindra Jadeja, M Vijay Grade B: Rohit Sharma, KL Rahul, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Mohammed Shami, Ishant Sharma, Umesh Yadav, Wriddhiman Saha, Jasprit Bumrah, Yuvraj Singh Grade C: Shikhar Dhawan, Ambati Rayudu, Amit Mishra, Manish Pandey, Axar Patel, Karun Nair, Hardik Pandya, Ashish Nehra, Kedar Jadhav, Yuzvendra Chahal, Parthiv Patel, Jayant Yadav, Mandeep Singh, Dhawal Kulkarni, Shardul Thakur, Rishabh Pant


Asian Voice | 1st April 2017

India reclaim Border-Gavaskar Trophy

India crushed Australia by eight wickets to win the Border-Gavaskar Trophy on the fourth day of the fourth Test at the HPCA Stadium in Dharamsala on Tuesday with Lokesh Rahul hitting an unbeaten half-century. India thus won the four-Test series 2-1 to end the home season on an emphatic note. As expected, Australia ensured that India didn't have it easy. Murali Vijay (8) endured a tough time before Pat Cummins ended his misery by having him caught behind with a good outswinger with India still 60 runs short of victory. India's highest run scorer in this series, Cheteshwar Pujara, was then run out for a duck with a direct hit from Glenn Maxwell to briefly lift Australia's spirits, but Rahul and Ajinkya Rahane then made sure India didn't have any more hiccups. Rahul scored a solid half-century, his sixth of the series, but it was the whirlwind 38-run knock from the stand-in Indian captain that nailed the series. Cummins moved around the stumps in an attempt to intimidate Rahane at the start the 20th over and banged his first ball in, but an undeterred Rahane pulled it nonchalantly over midwicket for a stunning six. The next ball was pitched short and wide outside off stump, and anticipating it brilliantly Rahane gave himself room and smashed it over the covers for a six. A gutsy statement was made. The winning runs came when Rahul moved from 49 to 52 with a whip past midwicket, and both batsmen celebrated the victory animatedly. This victory rounded off India's home season of 13 Tests on a resounding note, and is their fourth in row over Australia at home after 2008/09 (2-0), 2010/11 (2-0) and 2012/13 (40). Bowlers hand India advantage against Australia: A superb display of both pace and spin bowling by the Indians saw Australia losing five wickets in the second session to be in a spot of bother at 92/5 at tea on the third day. Australia have a lead of 60 runs with only Glenn Maxwell as the specialist batsman at the crease. Umesh Yadav gave India the first breakthrough when he had David Warner (6) caught behind by Wriddhiman Saha off a good length delivery. Warner, who was dropped in

the previous over by Karun Nair at third slip off Bhuvneshwar Kumar, was all at sea against some hostile bowling by the Indian pacers. This was the sixth time that Umesh dismissed Warner. Bhuvneshwar then got the prized wicket of Steve Smith when the Australian captain played on a delivery onto his stumps. Smith started off in his innings with his trademark flicks and looked set for another big score till he opted to pull a delivery from outside off stump instead of cutting it. Smith, one short of 500 runs this series, got a bottom edge and the ball went on to hit the stumps. Matt Renshaw was peppered with short deliveries and such was the intensity by the Indian pacers that the Australian opener was forced to make an error and he was squared up by a brilliant delivery by Umesh that was just short of a length and rose onto the chest to take the edge for Wriddhiman Saha to do the rest. Peter Handscomb and Maxwell added 56 runs for the fourth wicket before a superb catch by Rahane at first slip broke the resolute stand. The edge induced by Ashwin flew to Rahane's right but the ball stuck in and he used his left to cup it in quickfire time. Jadeja struck in the next over when he had Shaun Marsh caught by Cheteshwar Pujara at short leg at the stroke of tea. Earlier, Jadeja scored a fine half-century to help India overhaul Australia's first innings lead as the hosts were 332 all out at lunch. Nathan Lyon took 5/92 as India secured a 32-run lead over Australia thanks to Jadeja and Wriddhiman Saha. Pat Cummins tested Jadeja


with sheer pace and bounce at the start of Day 3. Jadeja's start was scratchy but he hung in there and gradually got his eye in, fended off Cummins' bouncers and was more than aware to cash in on anything pitched up and came up with an elegant straight drive that went screaming past the fast outfield for four on the first ball of his second over of the day. Jadeja broke the shackles by hitting a six off Nathan Lyon's first over of the day. The Aussies looked clearly rattled and verbals were exchanged first between Josh Hazlewood and Jadeja and then between Wade and Jadeja, who was not the one to stay quiet and gave it back only to be calmed down by the umpires. Last Test centurion Saha, who was dropped on 9 by Matt Renshaw at first slip off Cummins on Day 2, underlined his importance to the team and reached 1000 Test runs during his match-saving stand with Jadeja. The Aussies could do nothing except show their frustration and a couple of words came from Hazlewood in his follow through. Jadeja was ably assisted by Saha as the duo added 96 precious runs for the seventh wicket - a stand that clearly frustrated the Aussies as Jadeja went on to score his seventh Test fifty, his second of the series. Cummins gave Jadeja a torrid time with his bouncers but after getting his eye in, the Indian left-hander smashed a four and a six off the short deliveries in one over after getting hit on the helmet. Jadeja lost his wicket when he edged a Cummins delivery onto his stumps as the Aussie had to come round the wicket for the breakthrough and pulled off a bluff by bowling

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Smith apologises for losing control over emotions

the wide length ball after bowling short for a long time. Jadeja, expecting a bouncer, went for it without moving his feet away from the body and got a thick inside edge back onto the stumps. Jadeja hit four sixes and four fours in his 63-run knock. Saha batted with great application and determination to take India to safety before fending off a nasty bouncer from Cummins over second slip for Australian captain Steve Smith to take a brilliant diving catch. Saha scored 31 runs with the help of two boundaries. Australia made a strong comeback in the last half hour of the session as Lyon registered his ninth five-wicket haul, but India took the lead, however slender it may be. On day one, debutant Kuldeep Yadav took 4-68 after Steve Smith (111) scored his 20th test hundred to take Australia to 300 runs. He put on 134 runs for the second wicket with David Warner (56). Mathew Wade scored 57 runs. On day two, half-centuries from Rahul (60) and Cheteshwar Pujara (57) shaped the Indian reply even as Australian bowlers tied down the scoring rate. Nathan Lyon finished with 4-67. Ravichandran Ashwin (329) and Ravindra Jadeja (324) shared six wickets as Australia collapsed on day three to be all out for 137 in their second innings. Umesh Yadav also took 3-29 after Jadeja had scored his seventh test half-century to help India finish their first innings on 332. Brief scores: India 332 & 106/2 (Rahul 51*, Rahane 38*: Cummins 1/42) beat Australia (300 & 137) by 8 wickets to win series 2-1.

Steve Smith

part of. The way we adapted & challenged Indian in these conditions was really fantastic," he said. The hotly contested series gave rise to several controversies and reached to a level that forced the cricket boards of the two teams brokering a pre-match meeting between Smith and India captain Virat Kohli to ensure peaceful proceedings ahead of the third Test in Ranchi. But, it did not seem to have much effect as the intense rivalry and mind-games continued resulting in more controversial moments including one where Glenn Maxwell could be seen mocking Kohli's shoulder injury and in turn the Indian accusing the Australians of showing disrespect to Indian physio Patrick Farhat. Smith praised India and particularly their bowlers for stepping up on Day 3. "Credit to India, they bowled particularly well yesterday. Umesh Yadav has bowled brilliantly all series," he said.

Australia captain Steve Smith has apologised for losing control during the course of the four-Test series against India. Speaking at the post-match presentation, Steve Smith said, "It's been pretty intense throughout the series. At times, I have lost control over my emotions. I apologise for that." On Monday, video clips showed Smith using cuss words against Murali Vijay after the Indian fielder had claimed a catch and started rushing towards the dressing room to put his pads on. Replays showed the catch wasn't cleanly taken and following that video emerged of Smith apparently calling Vijay "f*****g cheat." Smith had brilliant series, scoring 499 runs, the most by any batsmen from either side and hit three centuries to top the batting charts. The 27-yearold said that this was one of the best series of his playing career. "(This is) Probably one of best Test series I've been

New York - 3 Nights Millenium Broadway 4*



Travel : 15 May 17 - 18 Jun 17

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Highlights : Dambulla- Sigiriya & more



Travel : 1 Apr 17 - 30 Jun 17



Travel : 1 Apr 17 - 15 Jul 17


AV 1st April 2017  

Asian Voice weekly newspaper (Issue 47)

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