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First & Foremost Asian Weekly in Europe

PRIME MINISTER NARENDRA MODI TO VISIT THE UK IN APRIL Vol 46 Issue 36

20th January to 26th January 2018

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Let noble thoughts come to us from every side 80p

Hundreds of Sikhs Celebrate 350th Anniversary of Guru Gobind Singh in Cardiff

Rupanjana Dutta

Indian Ministers Suresh Prabhu and Kiren Rijiju visiting the UK from 11-14 January have confirmed that the Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi will be visiting the UK this April. The time estimated of his visit will be around the week of 16 April, during the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) in London and Windsor. He will also be signing two MoUs on illegal immigration and a shared record for combatting international crimes. NaMo had last visited the UK in November 2015, after being invited by the former Prime Minister David Cameron, and had addressed a gallery of more than 40,000 people at the Wembley Stadium.

In November 2017, Prince Charles visited India and discussed a wide range of issues with the Indian Prime Minister, including that of CHOGM in April 2018, and had invited him to attend. After NaMo's visit to the UK last time, our Prime Minister Theresa May visited India in 2016 and discussed many issues including visas and illegal immigrants. It is imminent that such matters will be discussed during her Indian counterpart's visit to the UK. As UK leaves the EU, India and UK are looking forward to forge a new relationship with each other in matters of trade and commerce. The Commonwealth is a diverse community of 52 nations that work together to promote prosperity, democracy and peace. In April 2018 (starting from 16th), the UK will host

Full story on page 8

We believe in India: Benjamin Netanyahu

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu stressed the need to develop economic, military and political power to emerge as a strong nation. While inaugurating the third edition of the geo-political conference, 'Raisina Dialogue', Netanyahu appreciated the efforts being made by the Modi government to cut bureaucratic red tape and improve ease of doing business. Prime minister Narendra Modi and External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj also attended the inaugural session. . Netanyahu, who is in India for a 6-day official visit, visited the Taj Mahal in Agra along with his wife. He returned to New Delhi in the evening to inaugurate the 3rd annual Raisina Dialogue. Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall met Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi last year

the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) when leaders from all the member countries are expected to gather in London and Windsor. They will come together to reaffirm our common values, address the shared global challenges we face and agree how to work to create a better future for all our citizens, particularly young people.

12th JETCO & Minister Suresh Prabhu's visit Minister Suresh Prabhu's meetings on this trip included bilateral and trade investments talks leading up to CHOGM in April, meet up of group of companies for the Access India programme to encourage SMEs to invest in India. Besides that he has had roundtables with Confederation of

Indian Industries (CII), Confederation of British Industries (CBI), UK India Business Council (UKIBC) at the High Commission of India. He also participated in the 12th annual Joint Economic and Trade Committee (JETCO) on Thursday 11 January. International Trade Secretary, Dr Liam Fox, met with Minister Prabhu, to discuss greater cooperation between the two countries and identify barriers to trade and investment that must be addressed in order to boost future prosperity. Ministers were joined by a delegation of senior UK and Indian officials for the 12th meeting of the UK-India JETCO, which will build on progress made by the UK-India trade working group that was established in 2016. Continued on page 16

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Mittal meets Mamata at her Kolkata residence

Full story on page 26


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Asian Voice | 20th January 2018

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Keith Vaz, MP

Maggie Meer Maggie Meer is the Founder of Diabetes Professional Care (DPC), the UK’s only national free-to-attend, CPD-accredited event for healthcare professionals (HCPs) involved in the prevention, treatment and management of diabetes. Launched in 2015, DPC has gone from strength to strength, with DPC2017 attracting a record numbers of visitors. Maggie has type 2 diabetes among other serious health issues and DPC was born out of her own experience with diabetes healthcare. Frustrated by the non-joined up way in which her care was managed, she saw a desperate need to provide education and training to HCPs to provide better help to patients with diabetes. As an event organiser for more than 20 years, Maggie decided to solve the problem herself: she researched the market and met with healthcare industry professionals, and the result was DPC. From the outset, DPC’s focus has been on realworld, practical education, and it also addresses the budgetary constraints on NHS staff by remaining free to attend. Prior to DPC, Maggie founded and ran Europe’s first Cloud Computing event, Cloud Expo Europe, which is now the biggest Cloud event in the world. 1) Which place or city or country do you most feel at home in? London, where I was born and bred. I now live in the New Forest, which is beautiful and a lot better for my health, but I miss London’s multi-culturalism, ethnic diversity and vibrancy. 2)

What

are

your

proudest achievements? My daughter and Diabetes Professional Care (DPC). I get such a buzz when we open the doors to the show, knowing we’ll be making a difference to the lives of people with diabetes. 3) What inspires you? Anyone who makes a dif-

ference and does real good in the world, especially when they achieve this against the odds. I’m so inspired by exceptional yet selfless people, such as Malala Yousafzai, Rigoberta Menchu and Kaylish Saytharthi. 4) What has been the biggest obstacle in your career? My health. But, conversely, it has also been the biggest instigator. If I didn’t have diabetes I would never have been inspired to help provide education and training for healthcare professionals (HCPs) involved in diabetes care, and so wouldn’t have launched DPC. 5) Who has been the biggest influence on your career to date? My dad. He always said I could do anything I put my mind to, and was so positive about me “getting out there and giving it some”. Also, Hugh, my partner – for the opposite reason: his initial response to my ideas is usually to tell me “you can’t do it” – knowing full well that means I’ll definitely do it!

India Garden at Chelsea Flower Show to celebrate 70 years of the British Council in India Visitors to this year’s RHS Chelsea Flower Show will see the show’s first Indian garden from award-winning designer Sarah Eberle. Her design is sparked by the hopes and dreams of young people in India, and also draws on the UK and India’s shared love of cricket. The garden has been commissioned by the British Council in partnership with the Piramal Group supported by Tata Consultancy Services, the JSW Group and Dr Gita Piramal. It celebrates 70 years of the British Council in India and the culmination of the UK-India Year of Culture. Sarah Eberle has an esteemed record in RHS shows, having won eight Gold medals, Best in Show and twice winning the George Cook award for innovation. She comments: “The British Council Garden will celebrate the connections between the UK and India, drawing on the horticultural connections between both countries. I am working with artisans in Jaipur to develop the exhibit and schoolchildren in India are creating lanterns for the garden.” Planting will include: Himalayan Blue Poppy, Blue Orchid, Sacred Lotus and Roses. The Royal Highnesses The Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall met the organising committee of the British Council

Garden at Chelsea during their November 2017 visit to India. Their Royal Highnesses planted a mini-banyan tree donated by Tata Consultancy Services to mark 70 years of the British Council in India. Alan Gemmell OBE, Director India, British Council said, “2018 marks 70 years of the British Council in India. We’ve supported the ambitions of millions of young people through our work to train over one million teachers in Government schools and by investing in thousands of scholarships and academic exchanges. The British Council Garden at Chelsea continues our mission to inspire people in Britain and India to build connections for the next seventy years.” Shankar Narayanan, Vice President and Country Head, UK & Ireland, Tata Consultancy Services said: “We are delighted to be part of this special project celebrating the beauty of India in one of the UK’s most historic and prestigious events; the Chelsea Flower Show. 2018 is a key year for Tata Consultancy Services as it marks our 50 years in business and Tata Group's 150th year anniversary. By supporting the British Council, TCS celebrates our strong commitment to the Indian and British economies: I hope that this garden is just the start of another 70 years of close partnership between India, the British Council and TCS.”

6) What is the best aspect about your current role? When doctors and nurses come up to me and thank me for what me and the DPC team are doing. At DPC2017, a nurse, who had attended every show, wanted to have her photo taken with me because she thought what I was doing was so special! This brings home to me that HCPs appreciate what we’re doing and it really makes a difference to them. 7) And the worst? Not having enough hours in the day. It’s so frustrating; if only I had more time, I feel I could achieve so much more. 8) What are your long term goals? To replicate DPC so we can educate HCPs and empower patients around the world. In China, for example, 114 million adults are living with the condition. This is due to changing diet and lifestyle, and there’s a desperate need for better education, for both HCPs and patient empowerment.

9) If you were Prime Minister, what one aspect would you change? I’d address with food manufacturers how much sugar and salt is added to food. I’d also get back to basics at school. Kids need to do more exercise – I’d put it up there with maths and English, with far more time allocated to it each week. I’d also make home economics and cookery compulsory, so kids understand where their food comes from, and how to make healthy economical meals. Finally, I’d allocate more NHS money to educating and helping HCPs. 10) If you were marooned on a desert island, which historical figure would you like to spend your time with and why? Mahatma Gandhi. Apart from the fact that he was an amazing man with a powerful will and a kind heart, there are a few stories behind his famous quote, ‘You must be the

change you wish to see in the world’, but I’d read one that went as follows: A woman asked Gandhi to speak to her young son about eating less sugar. Gandhi told her to come back in two weeks and he would talk to her son then. When she returned in two weeks, Gandhi advised the boy to stop eating sugar. After thanking Gandhi, the mother asked why he didn’t do this on their first visit. He replied that he too was eating sugar then and couldn’t teach her son not to eat sugar if he hadn’t done so himself. I really want to ask Gandhi if this story is true because the sugar connection is so apt for DPC – and that’s always been my favourite quote!

Prime Minister records her first ever Pongal message for British Tamils The Tamil community in the UK celebrated Pongal on last Sunday and organisations continue to celebrate it at many venues across the UK in the coming 2 weeks. A huge gathering has been organised by FeTa UK in the High Commission of India. At another gathering, at least 100 Tamil families from Orpington will be participating to celebrate Pongal. On the day of Pongal, the UK Prime Minister for the first time gave out a message for the community. Theresa May speaking in a video said, “As Thai Pongal begins, Tamil families here in the UK and around the world

“I want this to be are coming together a country where to celebrate. It’s a everyone, regardless time to cast out the of their background, old and embrace can play their part opportunities to and achieve their come. A time to give thanks not just for ambitions. Our the harvest, but Tamil community is also for friends, a fantastic example family and neighof what that looks bours. like, helping make PM Theresa May “And it’s also a Britain the diverse, great opportunity for all of us to successful country we are all so reflect on the contribution proud of. made by Britain’s Tamils. Your “So to everyone celebrating community punches well above today and in the days to come, its weight, making a real differlet me wish you all a happy Thai ence to countless lives right Pongal, and an auspicious year across the country. ahead.”

Married Leeds father snared by paedophile hunters after grooming 14-year-old girl A married father who thought he was going to meet a 14year-old girl in Leeds after grooming her on the internet was snared by paedophile hunter group Justice for Kids. Leeds Crown Court heard Haider Hussain, 25, spotted a girl's photograph and profile on web app ‘WeChat’ on October 19 last year. Prosecutor, Robert Stevenson, said Hussain, who admitted attempting to meet a girl under 16 following grooming, engaged in sexual conversation with the girl called ‘Paige’ on WeChat and

WhatsApp. Mr Stevenson, said: “During their conversations Paige made it clear she was only 14-years-of-age. The defendant asked several times to meet Paige." The court heard Hussain, of Edinburgh Grove, Armley, arranged to meet Paige on Kirkstall Road in Leeds at 11.30am on November 18 last year. Mr Stevenson said Lisa Marshall from Justice for Kids and another witness went to meet Hussain and detained him until police arrived.

The court heard Hussain has a wife and child who live abroad and he has not told his wife about his arrest. Mitigating, Robin Frieze, said: "He lives at home with his parents. He tells me he has never had any other social media contact with any female of whatever age." The Recorder of Leeds, Judge Peter Collier QC sentenced Hussain to a 12-month prison sentence, suspended for two-years and told him he must complete an accredited group work programme to address his sexual offending.


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COMMENTS

Phobic response to China’s rise unwarranted

M.K. Naryanan, once director of India’s Intelligence Bureau, national security advisor to former Indian prime minister Manmohan Singh and retired governor of West Bengal, is a frequent columnist on international affairs in the Hindu newspaper. His recent offering, ‘Dark clouds across Asia,’ is an unduly pessimistic assessment of the outcome of China’s rise across the continent and beyond. The first general truth worthy of close scrutiny is the scale of Asia’s cultural diversity, of which the multitude of written scripts is but one example, and its contrasting political institutions, philosophies and economic platforms. The second is their workings and inter-Asian relationships, and how these relate to the wider world. There is no denying China’s spectacular rise, no questioning China’s emergence as an economic and military giant, but the giant before us is hobbled by feet of clay and racked by debilitating insecurities. An ironclad autocracy tolerating not the slightest internal dissent reflects a serious lack of confidence. The spectacle of the passive Farlung Gong sect, the peaceable Dalai Lama and Buddhist monks in Tibet, and the delirious denunciations of them makes the regime’s soaring ambitions is a mockery of its pretence as a paidup member of the exclusive superpower club. Beijing’s decision to close down the website of the Marriott Hotel because of an error on its map concerning the status of Tibet and Taiwan tells of a deep neurosis requiring treatment by a qualified shrink. Jeanne-Marie Gescher’s ‘Becoming China: The Story Behind the State,’ is a notable work of scholarship, insights and wisdom, much of it drawn from her personal experience of the country for over two decades, is notable for its textured exposure of the regime’s darker, hidden side. The demolition of a Christian church in full public view was relayed by the BBC and was reproduced subsequently in an Indian broadsheet. Christianity in China operates largely in secret in private dwellings, much as they did in the declining years of the Roman Empire; there are no European or American evangelists in China today preaching the Gospel. Mr Narayanan is blown by China’s regional and global swagger. He would do well to read the American strategic thinker, Edward Luttwak’s book, ‘The Rise of China versus the Logic of Strategy.’ Luttwak attributes the autism in Chinese policy that alienated India and Vietnam – the latter once an ally of China but now an implacable regional adversary closest to India. Why Mr Narayanan should be so suspicious of Chinese demarches in Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and

Myanmar et al is a mystery. Diplomacy in this day and age is no zero sum game. The countries alluded require no tuitions on safeguarding their national interests; they value their relations with India in a multitude of fields. Andrew Small, the author of the well researched title, ‘The China-Pakistan Axis: Asia’s New Geopolitics,’ writes: ‘Beijing can count its reliable friends on the fingers of one hand. The North Koreans have proved to be truculent and resentful, and are a standing risk to Chinese strategic interests in North-East Asia…a common cause in resisting Western hegemony have not yet eradicated the deep-seated mutual suspicion in the Russia-China relationship…Pakistan is the only friendship China has that has been tested over decades, commands deep support from across the political spectrum…’ Taking the analysis forward, the United States and Russia were on the same page on Pakistan’s support of jihadi terror groups in Afghanistan. In a report to the parliamentary standing committee on external affairs, the Indian government said that American and Russian support had ensured that the international and Financial Action Task Force, in its meeting in Argentina, (had) called on Pakistan to report on the action it was taking to curb terror financing (Mint January 9) Mr Naryanan refers to a dilution of Russian support to India. The evidence points the other way. Consider the extensive analysis of India-Russian cooperation on defence by Arvind Gupta, former Deputy Director, National Security Agency (NSA), in The Economic Times (December 22, 2017). He informed his readers that 68 per cent of India’s defence acquisitions are Russian, 10 per cent American, and 7 per cent Israeli. However, the Indian government could best help its cause by speeding up the long pending Russian deal on the joint production of the Fifth Generation Fighter Aircraft. Finally, the barometer of India’s ties with Russia is Vietnam, which is a member of the Russian-backed Eurasian Economic Union. India intends to follow suit.The bulk of Vietnam’s military hardware is Russian. Repairs and enhancement of equipment are carried out in India, while certain high profile weapons systems manufactured jointly by India and Russia are supplied to Vietnam with full Russian acquiescence, such as the game-changing BrahMos supersonic cruise missile. India’s recent tri-services military exercise with Russia in Russia’s Far East points surely to a future that works. India has little serious to fear from China except fear itself.

India-Israel ties set for new high The visit to India of Israeli Prime Minister Benyamin Netanyahu marks an irreversible high in bilateral ties between the two countries. The curtain raiser was Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s landmark visit to Israel last July (2017). The relationship got off to a slow start, diplomatic missions being set up in each other’s capitals only 25 years ago in January 1992. There has been no dearth of momentum on either side to make up for the lost time. India-Israel bilateral trade in the early 1990s was a mere $200 million; it has since taken off to reach an impressive $ 4 billion and rising. In the wake of the Kargil war with Pakistan, then Israeli prime minister Ariel Sharon was given a personal letter of thanks delivered in person by prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee’s special emissary, for Israel’s prompt supply of key military equipment in repelling the sudden Pakistani attack which had caught India offguard. Prime Minister Netanyahu’s visit is designed to ignite the relationship with India to a higher orbit of performance and ambition. He arrived at the weekend with a large business delegation to strike far-reaching agreements of mutual benefit. Mr Netanyahu brushed

aside India’s vote against Israel in the United Nations General Assembly on the status of Jerusalem, saying that he would have preferred India’s support, but would not allow the glitch to stand in the way of a closer accord on what is becoming a seminal relationship. The status of Jerusalem is done and dusted, which no UN resolution can unscramble. Netanyahu well understood India’s imperatives to keeps its relations with Arab states in sound working order. Trade, investment, intelligence and defence cooperation would power ahead, said the Israeli Prime Minister in a media briefing on the eve of his departure for India. What should be looked for is the Free Trade Agreement that has been in the pipeline for several years. India, with its billion plus population constitutes a market too large to ignore; Israel, with its 10 million plus population is miniature market in comparison. Reciprocity in tariffs on goods may be beyond reach for now, but services, science and technology cooperation may level the playing field. Talk in the corridors of power would appear to suggest a sector-wide deal that in time would include the entire spectrum of the economy. Watch this space.

Indian students a boon to Britain’s economy The presence of Indian students in Britain has long been tied to the vexed issue of immigration, creating an avoidable barrier to a relationship of transcending potential, with Brexit seemingly irreversible, and new economic partnerships looming to replace the old. Suresh Prabhu, India’s Commerce Minister was in London for exploratory talks with his British counterpart, Liam Fox, on the future paradigm of an economic partnership between their countries It is in this broad context the subject of Indian students seeking to study at British universities needs careful and imaginative scrutiny. They, in common with

other foreign students, numbering in all a yearly intake of 230,000 men and women, contribute a net of 20.3 billion pounds to the British exchequer, according to the data published by the Higher Education Policy Institute in London. The greatest economic impact of this presence was in London, which stood to gain 4.6 billion pounds net. The Policy Institute’s head, Nick Hilman, said: ‘Trying to persuade the Home Office that international students nearly always benefit the UK is like banging one’s head against a brick wall.’ If the Berlin wall could be brought down by the force of ground realities, so can the one at the Home Office.

Asian Voice | 20th January 2018

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If you're walking down the right path and you're willing to keep walking, eventually you'll make progress. - Barack Obama

Alpesh Patel

The Politics of CryptoCurrencies A plea to Parliamentarians. Look at this so we in Britain do not get left behind or left out. You know Google is fined every year by some Government or other? Sometimes billions. Hold that thought. I know in my years of fund management, what attacks on companies and their share prices to take note of as fatal (very few – eg Napster) and which are warning shots, requiring pivots (eg Netflix). Cryptos are Netflix, Google and not Napster. Recent falls in Crypto have centred around the Asian attitude to regulation (control) compared to the Western (liberal). So what does the future hold. Oh, don’t weep for Crypto owners – in the past 3 months Bitcoin cash holders are up 700%, so are Ripple holders, and poor Monero and Litecoin holders are only up 300%. They’re doing fine. Something this useful and popular will not be outlawed, anymore than alcohol could be, as the Americans discovered. Instead, we need to think how Governments are likely to work with it. Decentralization, the novel idea that was proposed by a still unknown person or group by the name of Satoshi Nakamoto has had the unforeseeable effect and traction that no one ever thought was possible. The idea that no one is in ultimate control, and that no single entity is answerable to, not even government is the core idea that has been fueling the rapid rise of the cryptocurrency and blockchain industry and one of the reasons it continues to attract billions of dollars in investment and media attention all over the world. Utopian as it may seem, the idea of a decentralized non-answerable infrastructure where people can add and transfer anything of value without having to use banks or any kind of middleman has had untold negative consequences that even its initiator, we might safely assume didn’t want to happen. The cryptocurrency industry through its lure of billions of dollars with profits promises has become a hot bed for fraudsters who make up products without ever having the intention of delivering. Pumping it up to attract investors and then cart away the money into thin air, with investors holding on to what are useless tokens. With the increase of case of fraudulent ICOs, and epic debate rages on with some saying it is high time the industry submits itself to some form of regulation governmentally, which will protect investors and guarantee the industry does not create a backlash with investor apathy. Others say the lack of any form of regulation is the intrinsic magic that attracts people into this brave new world and as such any form of regulation or restriction in the way funds are raised for its growth will amount to a betrayal of the basic tenets of capitalism. With the raging debate and no compromise seeming to be possible in the nearest future between the aforementioned parties, a third column has recently been getting more vocal and gaining supporters as a compromise between privacy and usability of the blockchain technology on one side and integrity and ridding itself fraudsters on the other side, is being mulled over. Proponents of this new call say that both proponents and detractors of regulation in the crypto world have valid points which are not necessarily going to last in the exclusivity of the other. They say that in order to move from an industry that is frequently labeled anarchic in nature and enable it finally reach its true potential, the blockchain technology with its crypto sector taking first step needs to structure up a self-regulatory mechanism that will both protect its users and lend the system the credibility that is exclusively enjoyed by their centralized rivals. Britain has to take a lead and give a direction other Governments can follow. If not our way, then we will end up following solutions set by others to suit themselves.


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Wife wins restraining order against “coercive” and “controlling” husband A 38-year-old senior NHS clinician from Sale in Greater Manchester, has won a restraining order against her husband after accusing him of controlling her with violence and sleeping with escorts. Mother-of-three, Dr Manju Luckson claimed that her husband, Francis-Augustine Luckson, 38, would allegedly arrange to meet escorts from the internet and would allegedly rebuke and assault her when she would confront him about it. Her husband stood as an independent candidate in the 2017 General Election. Dr Luckson is the manager for the National Institute for Health Research in Manchester and lectures at Manchester Metropolitan University. According to the Daily Mail, when Dr Manju Luckson asked her husband about his recent business trip, he had allegedly repeatedly slapped her in the face saying, “Who are you to ask me questions? I am the man and I have the right to go and if a woman wants to sleep with me because I have a big c**k who are you to question that?” Dr Luckson also claimed that she was “forced” to take out loans to help her husband set his business up, as well as to buy him a Land Rover. In November, their eldest child called the police on 999. The police arrived at the couple's £350,000 home and found Dr Luckson in a “distressed state. She then filed a 14-page statement against her husband. The couple are both originally

Francis-Augustine Luckson

Dr Manju Luckson

from Kerala, South India. They had an arrange marriage in 2004, three years after arriving in the UK. Francis-Augustine Luckson was accused of “controlling or coercive” behaviour against his wife between 2015 and 2017 and was due to stand trial at Manchester's magistrates' court. Dr Luckson refused to give evidence against him and hence, the charges were dropped against him. However, the court gave him a 12month restraining order, banning him from contacting his wife. Prosecutor, Lynn Rogers said, “There has been both physical and mental abuse but she has never reported these incidents to the police... The noise [from the couple's fight] woke up two of their children and they tried to get their father to stop beating her.”

'Staggering' trade in fake degrees revealed

Many of Axact's online universities - such as Baychester University - share the same format and use stock photographs

Thousands of UK nationals have bought fake degrees from a multi-million pound "diploma mill" in Pakistan, a BBC Radio 4's File on Four programme investigation has found. Buyers include NHS consultants, nurses and a large defence contractor. One British buyer spent almost £500,000 on bogus documents. The Department for Education said it was taking "decisive action to crack down on degree fraud" that "cheats genuine learners". Axact, which claims to be the "world's largest IT company", operates a network of hundreds of fake online universities run by agents from a Karachi call centre. With names such as Brooklyn Park University and Nixon University, they feature stock images of smiling students and even fake news articles

singing the institution's praises. According to documents seen by BBC Radio 4's File on Four programme, more than 3,000 fake Axact qualifications were sold to UK-based buyers in 2013 and 2014, including master's degrees, doctorates and PhDs. A trawl through the list of Axact UK buyers, seen by the BBC, reveals various NHS clinical staff, including an ophthalmologist, nurses, a psychologist, and numerous consultants also bought fake degrees. A consultant at a London teaching hospital bought a degree in internal medicine from the fake Belford University in 2007. The General Medical Council (GMC) said it was up to employers to verify any qualifications additional to medical degrees.

In a statement read to the court, PC Philip Drummond said, “On 4th November 2017, I attended an address in Sale where there had been an allegation of assault that needed further investigation. I spoke to the complainant and she was visibly upset and confirmed that she was happy to support a prosecution. She told me that she was very scared and because she had told the police that she would hurt her. She wasn't just in fear for herself but for her children who are 12, five and three. I spoke to the two eldest children who said they had been woken up by their youngest sister who saw her father hitting her mother.” Mr Luckson agreed to the terms of the restraining order and understood that he would have to liaise with a third party if he wishes to see his children. It is said that he told the hearing, “I don't ever want to see my wife again. I am filing for divorce.”

Student, 19, knifed to death at house party A student who was knifed to death at a house party in Walsall has been named as Rezwan Ali. The 19-year-old died in a knife attack at a house in Willows Road , Chuckery, in the early hours of Sunday morning. Police were called to a disturbance at around 1.45am and discovered Rezwan collapsed in the kitchen, having

suffered a knife wound to his chest. He was pronounced dead at the scene. Detectives have launched a murder inquiry and are appealing for people with information to get in touch. They have already spoken to several people who were at the party but are appealing for anyone else to contact the investigation team.

Almost Famous sous chef and barman 'decline to cooperate' with inquest A sous chef and barman working at Almost Famous have 'declined to cooperate' with the inquest into the death of a teenager who collapsed after suffering an allergic reaction. Manchester University student Shahida Shahid, 18, from Worsley, died of a severe allergic reaction after a meal at at the restaurant in the Great Northern Warehouse in January 2015. She had been out with a group of four other friends celebrating her first term at university. The inquest at Manchester Crown Court has previously heard that Shahida had informed the

barman taking the order, Reiss Balfour, she had allergies to dairy, nuts and fish. The chicken she ate had been marinated in buttermilk. Now the jury have been told that neither Mr Balfour, nor the Mathieu Pierre, the sous chef who cooked her food, will be giving live evidence to the inquest. Assistant coroner Sally Hatfield told the hearing: "Neither of them lives in the UK any more and both have declined to co-operate with this enquiry. We have asked whether they would participate via video link... but neither has agreed to do so and I have no powers to compel them.”

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GP on trial for allegedly committing sex acts on male patient

Leicester GP, Farouk Patel, 35, is currently on trial after allegations of committing sex acts upon a male patient who had gone to his surgery to get his bad back inspected. Dr Farouk Patel, denies any wrongdoing at the Belgrave Medical Centre, claiming that the patient had also com- Dr Farouk Patel plained of a groin problem. The doctor has pleaded not guilty to two sexual assaults upon the patient and causing the alleged victim to engage in sexual activity without his consent. The alleged incident is said to have taken place on 25th July 2016. At Leicester Crown Court, prosecutor Adrian Langdale claimed that Patel had posed as a happily married heterosexual man during his interview with the police. However, scientific evidence of Patel's DNA and of four unknown men which were allegedly found in the rooms of two surgeries he worked at, suggested that “risky” homosexual activity had taken place in the consulting rooms. The prosecutor also alleged in court that the consultation with the victim was scheduled for five minutes, however, it took half an hour. The trial continues.

Millionaire care home owner banned from nursing for life

A millionaire care home owner who left left his residents to live in squalor while he partied in paradise has been banned from Soondressen Cooppen and nursing. his wife Maleenee Urine and mould were found in three care homes in Surrey, owned by Soondressen Cooppen and his wife Maleenee, in an inspection by the Care Quality Commission (CQC). Residents staying in Cooppen's care homes were found to be malnourished and dehyrdrated and as a result he has been struck off the nursing register for life. Following the closure of Merok Park in Sutton after residents were evacuated Cooppen escaped criminal prosecution. Despite the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) stating that he 'abused his position of trust'. Pictures previously emerged of Cooppen, who lives in a £2.5million house in Surrey, partying in his native Mauritius while residents were living in filth in his care homes. Meanwhile residents who were charged £500 a week to stay at Merok Park were unable to access the bathroom after the lift broke down - one resident developed scabies as a result. In another home owned by the Cooppens, Grantley Court, also in Sutton, residents had to put up with ill fitted 20-year-old mattresses.

Uber driver denies attacking police with a samurai sword

An Uber driver accused of attacking police officers with a samurai sword outside Buckingham Palace as part of an alleged terror plot will go on trial. Terror suspect Mohiussunnath Chowdhury, 26, is accused of driving a blue Toyota Prius at a marked police van on Constitution Hill on the evening of August 25 last year. It is alleged that he then reached for a four foot long samurai sword he had stored in the well of the car, but was sprayed with CS gas and arrested as he shouted 'Allahu Akbar'. Two officers were taken by ambulance to hospital with minor cuts and discharged a short time later. A third injured officer did not require hospital treatment. As part of the attack Chowdhury wrote a suicide note, it has been claimed.


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Asian Voice | 20th January 2018

Small shops in England set Home Office employee accused of distorting documents ing in conduct as part of all lawyers, Sheikh Croydon Crown Court to charge for plastic bag an agreement which Muhammad Usman, 45, heard how a gang includ-

paigned for the charge to be extended to all retailers in England, as is already the case in Scotland and Wales, and would welcome steps to make the charge universal.” Prime Minister Theresa May intends to set out the Government's 25-year plan to improve the environment. Theresa May stated, “People often think about environment issues and wonder whether the government can have an impact on that. If you just look at one thing that we've done, Small retailers in England could in 2015 we introduced be forced to charge for bags the 5p charge on carrier bags, on plastic bags. under government plans Actually we now see nine billion fewer plastic charge 5p for plastic bags. bags being used. It's makThe first scheme, which was introduced in ing a real difference.” 2015, legally required The Department for retailers in England with Environment, Food and more than 250 workers to Rural Affairs said, “We are charge at least 5p for plastaking significant steps to tackle plastic bags out of tic bags, and the extra procirculation with out carrier ceeds are donated to charbag charge and introducity. ing a ban on plastic Chief executive of the microbeads. Our latest figAssociation of ures show the 5p plastic Convenience Stores, James bag charge has been an Lowman believes that the enormous success in 5p charge is an effective changing consumer way of reducing the circubehaviour, reducing use by lation of plastic bags. He 83%.” said, “We have long camThe Government plans to tackle a “throwaway culture” as England will follow Scotland and Wales in extending the 5p charge for bags. Smalls retailers across England could involuntarily have to

ing a Home Office worker allegedly conceived a plot to allow illegal immigrants to stay in the UK. 61-year-old Home Office worker, Shamsu Iqbal was allegedly the anchor of the group who used his position to distort documents. Investigators identified 437 cases for the period of over 5 years. Jurors heard how Iqbal changed the records of migrants who had permission to stay in the UK, giving their identities to those who were in Britain illegally. Co-accused, who are

Mohammad Khawar Aftab Hussain, 49, and Mohammad Ibrahim Ali, 47, allegedly contacted the Home Office to “straighten out” the status of “impostors” who took on someone else's identity. Prosecutor Alexandra Felix told the court, “The result would be the impostor would end up with documents in their own names which enable them to be in the UK should they ever be challenged when they are not properly entitled to be here. This case is about these defendants engag-

enables people who are not entitled to be in the UK to stay in the UK. Mr Iqbal is the lynchpin. It is his ability to access Home Office records that really enabled it.” The four accused deny charges of conspiracy to assist unlawful immigration. Mohammad Ibrahim Ali also faces a count of unlawful possession of two British and 11 Bangladeshi passports associated to someone else – a charge which he also denies.

The trial continues.

Shamsu Iqbal

Indian food to be flown to France for Brits craving curry

Ever since Sake Dean Mohamed from Patna, India, opened London's first Indian restaurant in 1810 called Hindoostane Coffee House in Marylebone, Britons have had a great love affair with Indian food. A love affair so strong that Britons based in Bordeaux, who are deeply missing the tingling taste of their favourite curry, have organised a special flight to have their favourite food delivered to them from a popular Indian restaurant in Portsmouth. The flight called

“Curry By Air”, is scheduled to take off on 13th January from Leeon Solent airfield with food packed from Akash restaurant. Orders for food are placed online at £32 per person from a choice of four curries, a vegetarian side dish, as well as naan bread. The organisers have stated that orders can only be placed by customers in France. The food will be arriving in Bordeaux in a

Diamond DA42 aircraft, operated by a flying school in France, Iroise Aéro Formation. A France-based British aviation trainer, James Emery, came up with the idea with Faz Ahmed from

Akash restaurant. Emery said, “Indian food in France is standardised for French tastes and I've never had anything that resembles what you get in an Indian takeaway in Britain. It's a bit of a hare-brained scheme but we love flying and we love curries and we thought it would get the year off to a good start. Everything is a bit miserable, what with Brexit, and I thought it would be good to have some fun.”

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The ultimate gift from the murdered shop worker Mr Vijaybhai Patel

Asian Voice | 20th January 2018

Dr Harsha Jani

An emotional Prakashbhai Patel the younger brother of Mr Vijaybhai Patel confirmed that once the murder investigations being conducted have concluded and the coroner’s report has been submitted, the organs of Vijaybhai will be donated. This ultimate gift will save several lives. Many floral tributes now lie at the spot where Vijaybhai Patel, 49 was lying in an unconscious state last Saturday night after being attacked outside the shop where he worked. On Monday, Vijaybhai died of his injuries. In a quiet North London suburb, at around 11.45pm

Vijaybhai Patel

three black youths walked into the shop and asked for cigarette paper and when Vijaybhai refused to serve due Family members, Prakashbhai Patel (younger brother), Hetal and Shruti paying an emotional tribute to age concerns. The in shock’ said Arunbhai ing ‘we all feel robbed of a victim of this heinous crime Trivedi who has lived in the genuine person but he is in a Vijaybhai, leaves behind his area for 40 years. Another happy place now’. wife Vibha and two young lady Andrea, came and conSuch is the outpouring of sons aged 16 and 21. soled Vijaybhai’s family sayemotions that the local ‘The local community is Jewish Rabbi Yitzchak Schochet who set up a crowd-funding appeal for after they attended a cenThe target was to raise Vijaybhai has confirmed tral London police station £1,000, however, they have that the money keeps pourbeen inundated with generon Wednesday 10th ing in and has exceeded the ous donations and have January. target. With two young sons reached £28,474. On the The Death of Vijay Patel to support for higher educaJust Giving page, Rabbi has had a great impact on tion studies, every penny Schochet wrote, “As the many people from diverse will help Vibhaben the communities. The Rabbi of Mill Hill Jewish community widow of Vijaybhai Patel. Mill Hill Synagogue, it is appropriate that we Yitzchak Schochet set up a demonstrate compassion •• To donate to the Just Giving crowdfunding for something so tragic that crowd-funding appeal for page to help the family of happened in our immediate Vijaybhai Patel visit: justPatel. neighbourhood.” giving.com/crowdfunding/

Sikh teenager jailed for bomb plot

19-year-old Gurtej Randhawa has been jailed for eight years by Birmingham Crown Court after he bought a car bomb and a remote detonator to allegedly target his parents during an argument over his white girlfriend. The police replaced the bomb for a dummy before it was delivered. In November 2017, Randhawa was found guilty of maliciously importing an explosive with intent to endanger life or cause serious injury. He also admitted attempting to import the bomb. While passing sentence, Justice CheemaGrubb told Randhawa, “You are plainly highly intelligent and capable of determined manipulation. “I have no doubt that this offence was motivated by your desire to live with your girlfriend and attend university together. How the major changes in your life that you wished for were to be achieved, including endangering the life of your father by setting of an explosion. This was an offence of astonishing audacity.”

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Display of mobile phones in car leads to rise in theft

Experts have claimed that drivers who leave their mobile phones on show after using them as Sat-Navs are causing a rise in thefts from cars. In 2017, over half of the police forces recorded an increase in the number of thefts from vehicles, among concerns that drivers have become more complacent about leaving their mobile phones or gadgets on display.

Retired men who do chores are 25% healthier

£28k raised for family of heroic Vijay Patel Following the demise of Vijay Patel, who was attacked by three black teenagers as he refused to sell them cigarette paper due to the fact that they were underage, police arrested two boys in connection to his murder who have now been granted bail. Two males aged 15 and 16, cannot be named for legal reasons, were arrested

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Gurtej Randhawa

Paralegal beat girlfriend over threat to reveal pregnancy A Muslim paralegal has been accused of beating up his girlfriend when she allegedly threatened to reveal to his friends that she was pregnant. 24-year-old Harris Imran is said to have been “shunned” by his family after they found out that he was in a mixed-race relationship, and hence, it is alleged that he did not want to inform them that his partner was pregnant. Teesside Magistrates' Court heard that Imran received a phone call from a friend on 21st December 2017, but lied to his girlfriend that the call was from his grandmother. When his girlfriend found out that he had lied, it is said that she threatened to message his friend to reveal that she was pregnant. This allegedly caused Imran to “flip out”. Prosecutor Lynne Dalton told the court that Imran got his girlfriend into a “headlock and grabbed her by the throat”. She added, “She was 17 weeks pregnant at the time. His girlfriend threatened to call his friend to tell them

Harris Imran

she was pregnant after the argument. He was concerned the friend wouldn't have been happy with the pregnancy because of his Muslim background.” She added that Mr Imran's parents, who live in Dubai, told him he had "brought shame to his family and had disowned him" over his relationship with the woman, from Stockton. Mr Imran, who pleaded guilty to common assault, had previously worked in Newcastle as a paralegal and was due to begin a law practice course later this year. Harris Imran was given a 12-month conditional discharge and was ordered to pay £105 costs.

The results from a research conducted on over 35,000 over-65s across the globe, retired men who help with household chores are likely to be 25% healthier than those who don't help. The study found that women spend nearly five hours a day doing chores such as cooking, cleaning, DIY, gardening as well as shopping, whereas men spend three hours a day on housework.

Cost of divorce rises by 17% since 2014

According to a report by Aviva, the cost of divorcing had increased by 17% since 2014, costing an average of £14,561. The report found that associated legal fees have increased more than double the price, and couples are now also spending a lot more due to higher childcare and the cost of housing. Furthermore, the report also reveal that 16% of couples end up living together after separating because they cannot afford to move.

Police mocked for hunting motorist who drove through puddle

The police force are being mocked for wasting resources to hunt a motorist who drove through a puddle and soaked a mother and her two children. The incident took place on 4th January in St Ives. Under the Road Traffic Act 1988, it is illegal to drive without reasonable consideration for others, and can lead to a £5,000 fine. Lisa Hawksford, 46, from St Ives said, “Police should be focussing on burglaries, theft and assault... I understand this lady got drenched, but it's just one of those things.” Stef Barnes from Cambridge posed on Facebook, “Have the police really got nothing better to do than hunt down a car that drove through a puddle and splashed a few people? Hardly a major crime is it?”

Financial worker made £15k fake claims from TFL

47-year-old financial worker, Manish Patel, allegedly claimed £15,000 in phoney refund from Transport For London (TFL), admitting to making 2,000 claims using 6 bank accounts and 50 names, the Old Bailey heard. Manish Patel, who claims to have dyslexia, has been spared jail and he Manish Patel promised to repay the money to TFL from his sons' trust fund. Patel was given a two-year suspended sentences, as well as 200 hours of unpaid work. He also has up to 9th February 2018 to repay the money to TFL.

Three men to face trial for burglary

Three men will be facing trial for mopedrelated burglary charges. Zakir Hossain, 40, from Hannibal Road, Stepney Green, and Iftehar Amhed, 32, from Tarling Street, Stepney, appeared in custody at Highbury Magistrates' Court on Saturday 6th January. Hossain and Ahmed have been charged with conspiracy to commit burglary with intent to steal, and with conspiracy to receive stolen goods. They are remanded in custody and will be appearing at Blackfriars Crown Court on 26th March to face trial. The third man accused, Munna Miah, 30, from Manchester Road, Isle of Dogs has been bailed and will face trial as he is charged with conspiracy to receive stolen goods. The three accused were arrested in March 2017, but were only recently charged on 5th January.


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Asian Voice | 20th January 2018

Pensioners arrested on suspicion of murdering Sikh woman over 30 years ago West Yorkshire police have arrested a 75-yearold man and a 74-yearold woman on suspicion of the murder of a Sikh woman who disappeared in 1985. Harbans Kaur Lally, nĂŠe Ranu, a.k.a Susuan, disappeared at the age of 19, possibly after a trip to India. The victim lived in Leeds during the 1980s, and worked at Burton Group in Yorkshire until April 1985. In 1984, she married in Rugby before moving to Leeds and then returning to Rugby before her disappearance. It is believed that she have birth to a daughter after

moving to apparent disappearRugby in 1985. ance, which we are A 53-yearnow treating as a old man was murder investigaalso arrested in tion. We are currentBirmingham on ly trying to build up suspicion of pera picture of her life jury. He has at the time she disbeen released appeared and we are under investivery keen to hear gation while Harbans Kaur Lally, from anyone with a.k.a. Susan the elderly man any information that and woman have been could assist us. We would released on police bail like to speak to anyone pending further enquiries. who knew Harbans, who Nicola Bryer, Detective was also known as Susan, when she lived and worked Chief Inspector of West in Leeds in 1984 to 1986, Yorkshire Police's and also anyone who knew Homicide and Major her when she was growing Enquiry Team said, “We up in Rugby, either have recently received through school or in the information that raises area she lived. We are parconcerns about Harbans'

ticularly interested to speak to anyone who knew her when she returned there in 1985. We would like to reassure people that we will treat all information in the strictest confidence and would urge anyone who does know something that could assist the investigation to contact us.� If you have any information regarding this case, contact West Yorkshire Police Homicide and Major Enquiry Team via 101 quoting “Operation Parryton�. Alternatively, you can call the independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

Families of Westminster attack victims want investigation on online extremism

Westminster Bridge attacker: Khalid Masood

Bereaved families of those who died in the Westminster Bridge attack in 2017 want an investigation into the failure of tackling online extremism and radicalisa-

tion in prisons. 52-year-old Khalid Masood was shot dead by the police on 22nd March 2017, after he drove a rented car into pedestrians on Westminster Bridge, and then fatally stabbed PC Keith Palmer, 48, who was on duty at the Palace of Westminster. At the Old Bailey, Gareth Patterson QC called for the coroner to investigate the problems that emerge in “terrorist trial after terrorist trial�. He

said, “Terrorist trial after terrorist trail shows the same problems. Why is it that radical material continues to be freely available on the internet? We do not understand. Patterson also wanted the inquest to clarify “how it was this attacker was able to get through those gates and how it was PC Palmer was apparently stationed alone and unarmed with, it seems, inadequate body protection�.

Last Viceroy of India's daughter left lying on hospital trolley for 20 hours

The daughter of the last Viceroy of India who was one of Queen Elizabeth II's bridesmaid at her wedding, Lady Pamela Hicks (nĂŠe Mountbatten) was left lying on a hospital trolley for 20 hours after being rushed to hospital to be treated for pneumonia, according to her daughter, India Hicks. Lady Pamela's mother, Edwina was a glamorous heiress, and her father Louis Mountbatten, fondly known as “Dickieâ€?, was a third cousin to the Queen and Prince Philip's uncle.

Lady Pamela Hicks

She was taken to an A&E department in early

January, however, there were no beds available and hence, she had to be admitted to a neuroscience ward. It is understood that she was treated in hospital for three days. The former lady-inwaiting to the Queen, Lady Pamela stated, “I arrived in A&E on a busy, busy, busy night. I stayed in hospital for about three days. I'm now recovering from pneumonia at home. The NHS were brilliant. The staff were fantastic and I had wonderful care when I was in hospital.

Furthermore, the court also heard that Khalid Masood was allegedly high on anabolic steroids when he drove the vehicle into pedestrian and killed the police officer. An inquest at the Old Bailey into the deaths of the five victims is to take place from 10th September, expected to last up to four weeks. A separate inquest by jury will follow into the death of Masood.

Male BBC stars face pay cut Following accusations on gender bias in regards to remuneration, as reported in last week's Asian Voice, the BBC's highest earning male stars are facing pay cut as the British corporation attempts to handle the controversy about gender discrimination. Several eminent men at BBC have already accepted a pay slash ever since Jeremy Vine could have his their pay was made ÂŁ700k+ pay cut public in the summer earning male presenters. of 2017, and more negotiaThe new culture secretions are expected to take tary, Matt Hancock said, place after a review of on“This is not just a matter air talent was released this of levelling women's pay month. up; it is a matter of pay Insiders suggest equality. To work for the Jeremy Vine, who is a BBC is a public service and Radio 2 presenter and also a great privilege, yet some hosts TV shows such as men at the BBC are paid Panorama, Eggheads, and far more than other equivPoints of View, is earns alent public servants.â€? between ÂŁ700,000 and MPs have also accused ÂŁ749,999, could have his the BBC for “suppressing salary reduced and have coverageâ€? of the controsome of his roles given to versy regarding equal pay other presenters. after BBC Radio 4's preMPs have backed the senter, Winifred Robinson ex BBC China editor, was allegedly taken off air Carrie Gracie's call to have after he tweeted his supequal pay among colport for equal pay at the leagues by reducing the BBC. salaries of the highest-

  

                                             

ISIS sympathiser planned to bomb “smart people�

Kingston Crown Court was told how a terrorist suspect who called himself “Captain the illiterate� planned a suicide bomb attack in the capital to kill “smart people�. The court was informed how 28year-old Mohammed Kamal Hussain, from Whitechapel in East London, collected bombmaking methods in order to strike an attack in London last summer, and also allegedly downloaded a photograph of Queen Elizabeth II. Prosecutor Simon Davis told the jury how

Hussain had allegedly told his contacts he wanted to arrange a “barbecue party�, which is said to be a code for an attack, and also planned to “do something big�. Going by the name “Captain the illiterate�, which he allegedly told the police was missing the word “of�. It is said that Hussain told a female contact, “I'm a simple man... I hate the smart people.� He terminated this conversation on 29th March by saying, “I'm bored of this world.� Furthermore, the pros-

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ecutor suggested that it was clear Hussain was “aligned with Islamic State� and allegedly wanted to join the group. Along with Hussain's arrest in July, police arrested his associate, Mohammed Ashfaqur Hemel, 31, as well. Mohammed Kamal Hussain denies preparing acts of terrorism, support for a proscribed organisation and two charges of encouragement of terrorism. He also denies encouraging terrorism. The trial continues.

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Asian Voice | 20th January 2018

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UK Bengalis celebrate Poush Mela and ‘Pithey Utsav’

LSU ladies at Pithey Utsav

Rupanjana Dutta Bengalis in UK have been celebrating various events from Saraswati Pujo, to Rabindra Jayanti to Durga Pujo or Kali Pujo, even Jagadhatri Pujo- but possibly for the first time, this year, they set up a Poush Mela Event with Pithey Utsav! Pithey is a Bengali sweet dish delicacy to celebrate Shankranti and not very easy to make. Therein lay the success of the event. Initiated by London Sharad Utsav (LSU), but adopted by the community as a whole, this event became the only point of discussion amongst the diaspora in recent times.

Hounslow, came up with the first ever diaspora magazine in Bengali, called Paanchmeshaliwith contributions from all over UK. The online version of the magazine will be hosted by Indian Bengalis in UK, the very active Facebook Group, managed by Dalia Singh. Another unique free gift for the visitors was English and Bengali Calendar with the Bengali dates marked out in English font also and calling out the dates of the events of various organisations in UK- whether it’s the Harrow Music Festival or the LSU Cricket Day or Panchamukhee Durga Puja or the Biletey Bangali Jagadhatri Puja. But possi-

A snapshot of Bristol Pithey Utsav Pithey Utsav 2018 was organised on 14th of January by a Bristol Ladies group called “DebiBoron”. It was an enthusiastic collective initiative by its 23 members. The ladies belonged to different Indian states but predominantly from West Bengal and also Bangladesh. They cooked many varieties of traditional Pitheys to share it with others and invited other interested friends to the event to make it more enjoyable. The evening showcased an array of authentic homemade patishaptas, malpuas, bhapa pithe,bhaja pithe,

Pithey Utsav in Bristol

The afternoon and evening of the 13th January, Saturday, at the Victoria Hall, Harrow, had a strong cultural line up also, with folk based performances by the Bengalis living in the UK. Milly Basu drove down all the way from Leeds to be part of the Festival. Nandan Sengupta from Cambridge was another non Londoner, but actively involved in the event. Spurredby a Facebook post of wishing for a Magazine by the Bengali diaspora in UK, on this day was the launch of a new quarterly magazine by Chandrayee Sen and supported by large organisations like LSU, ICS Cambridge, Adda Slough, WPC Cardiff and BAM, Birmingham. Chandrayee and her friends Abir Lal Bose from Newcastle and Annie Mukherjee of

bly the most significant part of the Calendar is on its backside- 12 Pithey Recipes being given in the 12 pages and being called Pitheypaedia (inspired by Wikepaedia!). The day also saw the logo (designed by London based artist Mahua Bej) launch of the Bengal Heritage Foundation, by its President Sourav Niyogi. BHF is a new umbrella organisation set up to work in various developmental Projects in the Health, Art, Education and Industrial sector of Bengal. Prasenjit, from LSU, managed the event along with LSU ladiesSudeshna, Pritha, Ranjana, Sandhya, Nandini, Bidisha, Saheli, Jhuma, Tania,Esha and Sampriti- its time to convert the wonderful recipes into pitheys to be served at the Festival!

gokulpithe,chusir pithe,doodhpuli,chitoi pithe and tilgur. Recipes and special utensils like steamers used were handed down by mothers and grand mothers from homeland.A small interactive session was also arranged with the kids to help them know about Makar Sankranti and Pous Parbon. Festive winter songs were sung by the ladies followed by Antakshari between the men and women. The event ended with a ‘Luchi and Alurdum’ dinner made by the ladies.It was a beautiful warm event that carried the social message of fellow feeling and celebrated togetherness. Asian Voice wishes its readers a very Happy Pongal, Bihu, Uttarayan, Lohri and Shankranti.

Hundreds of Sikhs Celebrate 350th Anniversary of Guru Gobind Singh in Cardiff A major Sikh event was organised in Cardiff last Saturday to celebrate the 350th anniversary of the birth of Sikh Guru Gobind Singh. Several dignitaries from Wales were in attendance of the 350th Pratash Utsav event at the Sikh Gurdwara on Pearl Street, Cardiff, including the head of the Sikh Council of Wales Gurmit Singh Randhawa MBE, the Indian Honorary Consul General Raj Aggarwal OBE DL and Mr D.P. Singh from the Indian High Commission. Local dignitaries included HM Lord Lieutenant Morfudd Meredith, Deputy Lord Mayor Daniel De’Ath, and Matt Jukes the Deputy Chief Constable of South Wales. The event started in the morning and the children from various Sikh temples in Wales performed Kirtan (chanting), Kavita (Hindi poetry) and Sakhi (recounting of events in Sikh history). There was also be a Dastar (turban) tying competition for the children. Over 500 people attended the free event which was open to the

public and there was a speech by Raj Aggarwal and the Anand Sahib prayer read by Bhai Satbir Singh ji followed

celebration of the Sikh tradition. The Sikh community in Wales are hard-working and prosperous and are an amaz-

by a Jatha (parade), and a well attended meal laid on after the ceremony. Gurmit Singh Randhawa, Chairman of the Sikh Council of Wales said: “The message on the day was simple, it was one of communities coming together and celebrating the birth anniversary of Guru Gobind Singh Ji, the common and most respected Guru who stood for the poor and down trodden people in up holding the principles of justice, equality and freedom for all.” Indian diplomat Raj Aggarwal said: “It was a beautiful ceremony and

ing asset to the country. This was a huge anniversary for all Sikhs in Wales and it was especially fantastic that it is open up to people of all religious faiths to come and share such a joyous occasion and for all communities in Wales to come together to enjoy our wonderfully diverse and inclusive society.” And he added: “There have been huge celebrations organised all over the world for the 350th Pratash Utsav and all of India and the world will share with the joyous celebrations of this amazing landmark.”

India League and High Commission of India to host Gandhi Martyrs’ Day The Indian High Commission and India League will host Gandhi Martyrs’ Day on Tuesday 30th January, 2018, at Tavistock Square in the London Borough of Camden. Like every year, many esteemed members of the British Indian community, including MPs, Peers and Councillors will gather at the iconic statue to pay tribute to Gandhi on

his death anniversary, followed by a musical tribute from the students of Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan (UK). The programme will include dignitaries paying floral tribute to the statue followed by short speeches, bhajans and vedic prayers. This Gandhi Nirvaan Divas is usually attended by the Indian High Commissioner Y K Sinha

and Deputy High Commissioner Dinesh Patnaik and Mayor of Camden. They will be joined by India League Chairman CB Patel. The event is open to public. To learn more about India league, see our special story at https://w w w.asianvoice.com/Culture/India -League


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Asian Voice | 20th January 2018

Rani Singh, Special Assignments Editor

Dr Rangan Chatterjee, Star of BBC 1’s Doctor in the House Series Dr Rangan Chatterjee is the UK’s new popular media doctor, though he never set out to be a TV star. No. This 40-year old medic is passionate about public health. He aims to help 100 million people change their lifestyles and gain optimal health in the process. Dr Rangan Chatterjee is the star of BBC 1’s documentary shows, Doctor in the House. He has been the lynchpin of two series, both of which have scored high ratings with average audiences of five million per show. His carefully thought out approach focuses on four pillars; movement, food, sleep and relaxation. No wonder his book, the 4 Pillar Plan, is flying off the shelves. Genesis of the Four Pillar Approach After nearly 17 years in conventional medicine, as a GP Rangan felt he was only helping roughly 20% of his patients since the health industry is so focussed on treatment using pharmaceutical solutions to problems. “My father, a Consultant at the Royal Manchester Infirmary, had to retire through ill health in his late fifties. He had to have kidney dialysis for 15 years, during which time I was his carer. Suddenly I was on the patient side of things,” he says. Felling intuitively that there must be a better way to treat health, Dr Rangan Chatterjee decided to research newer remedies and started frequenting US medical conferences, engaging with some of the

Banks predict no-deal Brexit is less likely

According to analysts at JP Morgan and UBS, the probability of the government being unsuccessful in reaching a Brexit deal is decreasing. This should reduce the risk that the economy is facing and reinstate confidence into investors, as well as businesses. UBS said “the progress made on Brexit negotiations will likely have lessened uncertainty” for business investments and hiring as “the UK looks set to enter a transition agreement” where “little should change operationally for most firms”. Economist Dean Turner stated, “Unquestionably, uncertainty about a final agreement will linger, so we consider it too early for a rebound of business investment. Still, the threat of a sharp near-term slowdown should diminish.”

Dr Rangan Chatterjee

world’s best experts in immunology, gut health, nutrition and lifestyle. He used his own days off and annual leave for this transatlantic study. “I wanted a bigger toolkit than what I was taught at medical school, though that too was fantastic,” he adds. One lady he saw was presenting 15/17 menopausal symptoms. Dr Chatterjee reduced the number to 2/17 just by treating her levels of stress- with 15 minutes of evening downtime like listening to music, or having

a bath, in addition to five minutes of morning meditation and breathing. He also modified her diet and asked her to take 10,000 steps a day. “If the mind is constantly active, cortisol levels are up,” Rangan explains. “This has a downstream effect on other hormones. Another thing is that in 2018 there is a sleep deprivation epidemic. Sleep deprivation is associated with nearly every chronic disease that we have.” Winning Doctor in the House.

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One day, while Rangan was busy in his former NHS practice in Oldham, an email from a colleague arrived asking for a new doctor for a BBC series looking at what GPs would do if they had more than the standard 10 minutes with each patient. It’s a topic that resonated with Rangan, so he applied in order to answer that question using his own research and philosophies. The producers found his natural passion and honed knowledge base refreshing. He went through three more months and seven or eight interviews to beat off the other 1,000-odd doctors who had also applied. Rangan forms the central part of the hit ongoing series, providing his brand of effective lifestyle remedies for chronic ailments. In each show, Dr Chatterjee lives with a family for a period to assess what changes can help a member who suffers from serious, debilitating symptoms. Case Studies “Your readers, Asians in particular, are prone to blood pressure problems

and Type 2 Diabetes,” says Rangan. “I can almost always reduce how much medication they’re tak-

Change your lifestyle to change your biology. ing.” His own mother was once taking 14 pills a day. Through using techniques like Rangan’s five minute kitchen workout, his mother is now down to zero pills a day.

Try the free easy workout for yourself at https://drchatterjee.com/5 min-kitchen-workout/ -

the good doctor says he has 80 year olds and 20year olds doing the same simple exercises and benefitting. Dr Chatterjee still sees patients regularly in Cheshire, where he lives. Treating patients is his first priority, and he will continue to do that. But he appreciates that through television, he reaches bigger numbers than he could ever hope to do practising on his own. “If five million are watching, and if only 1% of them changes their lifestyle, that’s 50,000 people. If it goes to 10%, that’s half a million. I want to make an impact on public health. You know, about 80%of our modern ailments are in some way related to lifestyle. Around one in four people suffers from mental problems. Diet can help improve the symptoms, and I also apply a no tech rule for 90 minutes before bed time- switch off all gadgets like mobiles- and I apply this myself. Change your lifestyle to change your biology.”Link for book http://amzn.to/2yGfpuB


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READERS’ VOICE

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Asian Voice | 20th January 2018

Big nuclear button

It appears as though Kim Jong-un, the North Korean leader and US President Donald Trump are competing as to whose nuclear button is bigger. There is no actual push button, for the US president to push as he uses what is called the ‘Nuclear Football’ and got it’s name from the time of President Eisenhower when the nuclear war plan was code named ‘Dropkick’. There are actually three ‘footballs’ - one briefcase that travels with the President, another accompanying the Vice-President and a spare that is stored in the White House. The most dangerous nuclear push button of all is in the UK and is at ‘Sellafield’ which contains about 100 tons of plutonium. It only takes 8 kilograms of plutonium to make a nuclear weapon so there is enough to make a lot of weapons. The government has been made aware of it and it should take very urgent action to remove the plutonium to a safe storage place. God forbid, if the terrorist get lucky, at Sellafield it will turn the UK into a nuclear wasteland and cause a nuclear winter and destroy the world’s economy. Peace between nations is better than war, as there is already so much of poverty and suffering in this world. All countries should sign a treaty of nonaggression and incorporate within it a treaty of human rights, so that should any country attack another or is attacked by terrorists then other countries would go to its aid, and at the same time, it would put a permanent end to terrorism. At the same time, if any one violates the human rights of its citizens then they would be tried, in an international court of human rights. Mr Jal Framji Wilmslow, Cheshire

Divert overseas aid cash to NHS: demands British public

Climate change

The magnitude of climate change is dominating the discussions globally. Every country is experiencing the effects in their environments of floods, drought, hurricanes, storms, mud slides, earthquakes, heat waves, melting of glaciers in the Artic and Antarctic and untimely snow falls. Having seen the havoc climate change has wreaked in the world, it makes no sense in denying its existences and the consequences of global warming that entail. Some sceptics - and even deniers - are in position of power and influence. Knowing these facts President Donald Trump of USA took the wrong step of withdrawing from the Paris Climate Agreement, when rest of world accepted it. These anti-global warmists are harming the environment by their denial of the facts of global warming. They are giving false hopes to the people. Climate change depends primarily on the amount of heat trapping green gases emitted globally and how sensitive the Earth’s climate is to those emissions. Climate warming trends over the past century are due to human activities. This has been backed by leading scientific organisations worldwide. Global warming is a growing threat to humanity Professor Stephen Hawking has long advocated that we're treating our planet so badly that we will have to leave it soon -- in 100 years, perhaps. This human-induced climate change requires urgent action. Rapid societal responses can significantly lessen negative outcomes. Time for action is now before it is too late. Baldev Sharma Rayners lane, Harrow.

As I See It column

ASIAN VOICE is published by

Your column “As I see it” regarding excellent opportunities for Indian diaspora took me back to my life in Kenya from birth till 1982. I was witness to role played by Indian diaspora towards development of Kenya, and utilisation of opportunities that unfolded. While role of European explorers is highlighted, role of early Indian pioneers is important too. These traders risked lives and limbs and took donkey loads(no lorrys yet), of merchandise across uncharted country in hazardous inclement weather risking man eating lions. As a witness, I can never forget names of Rughnath Jeram Thakkar -dynasty, Ibrahim Karimbux dynasty, Harisingh Gujabhai, Pujya Hirjibapa of Vishnu Lord Company, V.G.karia, K. Naranji, D.L.Patel of the press, House of Manji, Lalji Nangpar Shah, S.D.Shah dynasty, Jasraj Sheth who fascinated me as a child. You have covered tangible aspects viz commerce, politics, social aspects. But I saw Swami Vivekananda’s forecast, “waves after waves of spirituality will travel to the world etc”. I was witness and participant “bhakta” at temples opened in many towns of Kenya and Tanzania. I witnessed establishment of ISKCON, Brahmakumari movement, Saibaba groups, H.S.S., Theosophial Society, Swaminarayan temples, Geeta groups, and Pujya Morari bapu, Sadhvi Uma Bharati, Satyamitranand Giriji, Late Pramukh Swamiji, etc. I remember convention by Ismailia community in about 1949. Memorable leaders visited Kenya were Appa Saheb Pant and Ex-President Neelam Sanjeeva Reddy, lawyer Chamanlal Bazaz etc. These positivated image of Indians among Africans, many of them became vegetarians, attended temples participated in bhajans, kirtans. Congregations of Indians at number of religious and other occasions amazed me as a child. Zenith of this is recognition of Divali as Kenya’s national holiday. Another astounding effect is recognition of Indian words “Har” and “Ambe” “HARAMBEE” as Kenya’s national slogan for united effort. Today, Indians are recognised as a Kenyan tribe. Ramesh Jhalla By email

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According to latest opinion poll carried out by “Researchers at One Poll” for leading national newspaper, 84% people would support diverting cash from bloated, largesse “Foreign Aid” budget to severely underfunded NHS facing unprecedented winter crisis. One surprising aspect of this finding is that healthy younger generation, who do not visit A & E during height of winter mayhem, voted in favour by 77%, rising to 87% among elderly. Perhaps these liberal, considerate and caring younger generations have witnessed at first hand the struggle their elderly family members have to face if obliged to attend A & E department during Christmas holidays. I listened to PM in utter disbelief when during weekly Q & A session, she replied to Labour Leader’s question on the crisis, that NHS is indeed better prepared than ever to handle the crisis, although 55k operations were cancelled, sixty leading A & E doctors wrote to PM, urging her to inject cash as a matter of priority, as elderly people are left in corridors, on trolleys, many die prematurely, due to chronic shortages of beds, doctors and nurses. Our NHS bed ratio per capita is the lowest in EU. Yet PM was adamant that our NHS is the best in the world, better than France, Germany, Canada, America or Australia, although there are neither queues, nor people dying prematurely, left on trolleys in these countries. Are we the laughing stock? PM never listens to people, even after her humiliation at the last election when Conservatives lost their overall majority when they were expected to double it, enjoying hefty 24% opinion poll lead at the start but out smarted and out performed by JC at every level. Would these pampered, cocooned politicians of every political persuasion living in their “Ivory Tower” cut off from reality ever learn! It is time for government to appoint “All Party Committee” to probe how best NHS could be funded, give us NHS that British people need and deserve. Bhupendra M. Gandhi By email

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Losing one’s marbles

Imagine your plight when you go out of the house and forget where to return to your home? Or keep forgetting where you have placed your keys or wallet or do not remember whether you have turned the television off before retiring to bed at night. With modern medicine and excellent health care available in the advanced countries like the UK, more and more of us live longer and longer. The blood pressure and cholesterol levels lowering drugs, as well as the Metformin tablets or insulin injections to control diabetes available free of charge to elderly people give them a longer lease of life. But what about our brains or mental capacity? As we get older, dementia and Alzhaimer diseases, the scourge of modern living, get a grip on us and even though our limbs are in working order through hip and knee replacement operations, our brains are unable to keep pace with today’s fast moving life and modern technology. We need to keep our brains ticking through mental exercises like solving the puzzles like sudoku or doing the weekly crosswords in Gujarat Samachar: by taking part in various activities at social gatherings or mixing with a lot of people in our peer groups. It has been said that almonds are a good source of brain food. We may make use of them as they are available in plentiful supply. Going for long walks also helps to release good hormones and lubricate the brains Dinesh Sheth Newbury Park, Ilford

Significance of Makar Sankranti

Makar Sankranti, apart from being a harvest festival, is also regarded as the beginning of an auspicious phase in Indian culture. It marks the end of an inauspicious phase, which according to the Hindu calendar, begins around mid-December. Makar Sankranti (also known as the ‘kite festival’) is observed with great fanfare all over India. As it is the festival of the Sun God, and he is regarded as the symbol divinity and wisdom, the festival holds an eternal meaning to it. Jubel D’Cruz, Mumbai, India

Murders most foul on London streets

Six youngsters were brutally murdered on the streets of London in first two weeks of the New Year. Unfortunately both the victims and the perpetrators are from ethnic minorities, victims of so called “Knife Crime” that is spiralling out of control, forcing police to strengthen “Stop and Search” policy that was wind down, as there was some concern, opposition from black community who were more inclined to be searched. Add to this some 300 acid attacks in London during 2017, mainly in East London, covering boroughs of Hackney, Tower Hamlet, Newham, Barking and Walthamstow, it indeed paints a bleak picture for the well-being of youngsters living in these areas. There is no set pattern or specific targets. But the main motive is robbery, to steal mobile phones, attack pizza delivery drivers to steal cash and especially their scooters, valuable getaway vehicles in snatch and grab raids. I remember well how these areas were once safe haven for immigrants like us, East African Asians, free of such physical attacks when we first moved here in late sixties. During Navratri festival, ladies used to be out late at night, so often on our own, without any concern for our safety. Then it was not a materialistic society, the needs of youngsters were limited, visiting pizza and burger outlets was the height of day’s outing. The family, so often three generations living under one roof, was the norm. The brutal stabbing of Vijay Patel, by three youths, in broad daylight, in the respectable area of Mill Hill has shaken the peace-loving, extremely law abiding Gujarati community, that also for petty reason of asking the youths for the proof of their age, before being served tobacco products. It is difficult even to imagine the pain; the trauma Vijay’s forlorn family is going through for this senseless loss of life, depriving the family of bread winner. Kumudini Valambia By email

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Top state school bans hijab for girls under 8 The country’s best state primary school, St Stephen’s Primary School in Upton Park, Newham, East London, has called on the Government to take a strong decision on young Muslim girls wearing the hijab, as well as fasting in classrooms, instead of leaving schools to create their own rules. It has emerged that St Stephen's school, which was number 1 in the Sunday Times Parent Power school league in 2017, has banned girls under the age of 8 from wearing headscarves in school. Parents have also been informed that children are not allowed to fast during the school day in the month of Ramadan, as many pupils may have to sit exams in the summer. The chairman of governors at St

Stephen's, Arif Qawi said that the Department for Education should “step up and take it out of our hands”. Although there has been requests for clear national guidelines, the education department asserts that uniform policy is for headteachers and governing bodies to decide, which Qawi said is “unfair”. He stated, “We did not ban fasting altogether but we encouraged them [children] to fast in holidays, at weekends and not on the school campus. Here we are responsible for their health and safety if they pass out on campus. It is not fair to us.” The school's headteacher, Neena Lall said that these changes were implemented to help children integrate into modern British society. She said, “A couple of years ago I asked the children to put their hands up if they thought they were British. Very few children put their hands up.” Qawi said that although they received criticism from some families, many were happy with the school's

Headteacher Neena Lall

decision. He met some mothers with their children at school. He said, “I could not see their faces because they were fully veiled. But I could see their eyes – which were sparkling. They were pleased we had taken it out of their hands. I always ask, 'Do you want your daughter to grow up to be like you or like Neena?' They say, 'Like Neena.' When I hear that I think we have done our job.”

Oxford Union Invites Author, Influencer & Producer Twinkle Khanna to Address Oxford University Students Twinkle Khanna, India’s bestselling female author, film producer, woman's rights activist, interior design entrepreneur, and former actress, was invited to speak at The Oxford Union, the world's most prestigious debating society, at 5pm on Thursday 18th January. Approaching its 200th anniversary, The Oxford Union has an unparalleled reputation for bringing international guests and speakers to Oxford, with the aim of promoting debate and discussion not just in Oxford University, but across the globe. Former participants include US Presidents Reagan, Nixon, and Carter, Sir Winston Churchill, Albert Einstein, Malcolm X, Mother Teresa, Sir Elton John, the Dalai Lama, Michael Jackson, Malala Yousafzai, Morgan Freeman, Shashi Tharoor, and Buzz Aldrin, to name but a few. Twinkle Khanna is popularly known as Mrs Funnybones, also the title of her first book and her column in the Sunday Times of India. Her first book Mrs Funnybones sold over 100,000 copies, making her the highest-selling female author in India and her second book, The Legend of Lakshmi Prasad, featured a collection of short stories, debuting at number two on Amazon India’s bestseller list. One of the stories, Salaam, Noni Appa, has been adapted for a stage production and another story about a man who invented a machine to

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wide, and how movies have the potential to become movements. Pad Man will become the first Indian film to be promoted at The Oxford Union, presenting a milestone for Indian cinema. Releasing in cinemas worldwide on 25th January, the film Pad Man traces Arunachalam Muruganantham’s international journey from an outcast exiled from society for his endeavours to delve into such a taboo subject, to becoming a super-hero of India’s modern history, as he followed his dream to bring a Twinkle Khanna, Arunachalam Muruganantham and Akshay Kumar revolution to menstrual hygiene in rural India 20 years make low-cost sanitary hygiene in India. The movie is pads had cinematic potenago. nothing short of an impulsive, tial, so Twinkle Khanna At the event, Twinkle flamboyant and driven turned producer to develKhanna is set to explain why it entrepreneur extraordinaire, op it for the big screen. is important the world knows who refused to give up in the The result is her latest about Pad Man’s story, the wake of scrutiny and ridicule, endeavour, Pad Man, the imperative need to spotlight using his resilience and initiaworld’s first feature film issues relating to menstrual tive to invent India’s low cost on menstrual hygiene, hygiene, tackling taboos and sanitary napkin making based on the life of social breaking down the stigma machine. entrepreneur and activist attached to periods globalA r u n a c h a l a m ly as a means to empower Muruganantham, who revgirls and women worldolutionised sanitary

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Newham headteacher who led 95% of his pupils into university is nominated for prestigious award An inspirational headteacher who gave up a sixfigure salary as a city lawyer to lead Newham Collegiate Sixth Form to success has been shortlisted for a prestigious teaching award. Mouhssin Ismail, pictured, is in the running for the TES Further Education (FE) Leader of the Year Award after his work resulted in 95 per cent of pupils at the sixth form college in East Ham gaining a place at a Russell Group university. The Awards ceremony will take place on February 23. Thanks to Mr Ismail’s contacts, pupils have benefited from Eton style work experience opportunities including placements in Abu Dhabi with top law firm White & Case LLP and at Kyoto University in Japan. The sixth form this year hope to send 20 pupils to Oxbridge and replicate last year’s success of sending a pupil to a top US university after helping Tafsia Shikdar get a place at MIT in 2017.

Teacher banned after inspectors find 'terror' leaflet by banned 'extremist'

A teacher who ran an unregistered school that was criticised by inspectors over child safety and the quality of its education has been banned from the classroom. Naveed Hussain, the owner of Bordesley Independent School, was handed a prohibition order preventing him from working as a teacher. A professional conduct panel heard that, on one inspection visit to the Birmingham school, leaflets were found titled “Islam and terrorism?”, written by an individual that “had been found to have been denied access to the UK due to his extremist views”. During three different visits to the school, no evidence was found that Disclosure and Barring Service checks had been carried out, with Mr Hussain’s explanation that classroom doors were left open to “mitigate any risk” found by the conduct panel to be “manifestly inappropriate”. Inspections also found that the curriculum provided to pupils was too narrow, and that the RE syllabus only dealt with Islam “to the exclusion of any other religions”, the panel’s report said. It also noted that an inspection in November 2015 found that the school premises were inadequate, and that there was no running water in the toilet area.

AK Productions presents a Bollywood production

AK Productions presents a fun sizzling Bollywood comedy and dance production. Mrs Kapoor cordially invites you to her daughter’s wedding. Being the mother of five daughters, she is overly keen and excited for this big fat Indian wedding. Join us as we take you on a journey on a typical Indian wedding with Bollywood dancing, live singing and comedy sketches which will leave you in stitches of laughter. Directed, produced and choreographed by Archana Kumar, featuring Youtuber and BBC presenter Parle Patel, West End singer Shahid Khan, AK Bollywood dancers and Rhythm ‘n’ Bass dhol players. Date: 11th March 2018 Showtimes: 2.30pm and 7.30pm Earlybird offer - Book before Sunday 21 January to get tickets for £19.50 and Under 16's for £16.00 Book online on the link here www.becktheatre.org.uk or call 020 8561 8371


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MEDIA WATCH

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In yet another triumph for the India’s Space Organisation (ISRO), its workhorse PSLV –C40 put 31 satellites into orbit at the weekend.. Seven of these belonging to foreign partners were placed in two orbits. Its primary payload was the fourth satellite in the advanced remote sensing Cartosat-2 series, whose images will be used to develop geographical information system applications; it weighs 70 kgs and was placed in a circular polar synchronous orbit 505 km from Earth. The satellite’s design life is all of five years.

so doing these companies can tap into a rich client pool, connecting with customers, and trading via the e-commerce route across continents. The Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) estimates that around 1.4 billion people globally made online purchases in 2015, a figure likely to reach 2 billion in 2019. The Indian business community is already using the internet to promote sales in developed markets, sometimes within weeks of launching their companies (Economic Times December 21, 2017).

TCS wins $2.25 billion Nielsen deal

Indian satellite launch plus team group of ISRO Chairman, A.S. Kiran Kumar and successor K. Sivan

More significant were the two other Indian satellites in C-40’s payload. Designated technology demonstrators, the microsatellite and nano-satellite displayed capability of the miniaturization to follow. ISRO Chairman A.S. Kiran Kumar will hand over the reins to K. Sivan, Director, Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre. Both men were present at the launch (Hindu, Business Line, Times of India January 13).

Industrial output in 17-month high India’s industrial output in November, driven by manufacturing growth, registered its fastest expansion in 17 months, hence raising expectations of stronger second half growth for the current fiscal ending March 31. The index of industrial production rose 8.4 per cent from the previous year, according to data released by the Central Statistics Office at the weekend. The recovery is broad based, so the numbers will bolster the government ahead of the budget on February 1. (Economic Times, January 13).

Skilled Indians moving to Canada from the US Despite the Trump administration’s decision to suspend the threatened H-1B visa entry to the United States, his mood swings have introduced an element of uncertainty about the future of the skilled Indian workforce force in the country. The Trudeau government of next door Canada has stepped into the breach with a fast-track visas applicants to 10 working days weeks instead of the several months it took previously to process such applications. Prime Minister Trudeau’s new Global Skills Strategy is in takeoff. Released data for the period June 12-September 20, 2017 shows Indians topping the list with 988 successful applicants, China second with 296, France 92, Brazil 75, South Korea 68 and the

United States 52. (Times of India December 20, 2017).

Scientists home-word bound Increasing number of Indian scientists have been returning to India from prestigious institutions abroad, according data released by the Department of Science and Technology from 2012-17. During this period the numbers rose by 70 per cent. This is primarily due to the Ramaujan Fellowship scheme and the Innovation in Science Pursuit Inspired Research Faculty Scheme, by the Ramalingaswami project coordinated by the Department of Biotechnology. These programmes have facilitated the return of ‘high-calibre’ Indian researchers to relocate to Indian institutions, said Y.S. Chowdhury, Minister of State, Science and Technology, in reply to a question in Parliament (Hindu, December 29, 2017).

Small businesses eyeing Global markets With around 430 million internet users, India has become one of the largest online populations globally. There is growing interest among India’s youth, digitally savvy and confidant of using technology to spur company growth and hone their entrepreneurial skills to scale the heights. Hence, the Indian e-commerce has passed the cusp of massive expansion into a more exciting orbit. India’s online retail is estimated to grow more than 1,200 per cent to $200 billion by 2026, according to a report by USSbased financial services firm Morgan Stanley.

New horizons Small and medium-sized businesses, in particular, have well understood the eyewatering opportunity in ecommerce openings and are therefore digitizing at speed. In

Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) has won an outsourcing $2.25 billion contract, the largest ever bagged by an Information Technology firm, from television ratings measurement company Nielsen. The deal signals the renewal of TCS’s engagement with Nielsen, which first awarded a $1.2 billion, ten-year contract to the Mumbai-based company in 2007. This has now been doubled to expire 2025. The renewal of the contract is a boost to the reputation of Rajesh Gopinathan, as Chief Executive Officer in succession to N.Chandrasekaran, who, in February 2017, was appointed Chairman of Tata Sons Ltd, the group’s holding company (Mint December 22 2017).

JLR India sales grew 49 per cent n Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) India, a part of Tata Motors, has reported 49 per cent volume growth for the calendar 2017, thanks to new product offerings at competitive

Akash missile launch

Tata steelworks, internet ‘is probably the biggest game – changer we are witnessing,’ says Ashish Mathur, Managing Director of Jamshedpur Utilities and Services Company Ltd, which provides utility services such as water, power and waste management to the city (Mint January 5).

India unveils its fastest supercomputer India’s supercomputing prowess took a significant step forward with the unveiling of ‘Pratyush’ that can deliver peak power of 6.8 petaflops, one petaflop being a million billion floating point operations per second. It is the fourth fastest computer in the world dedicated to weather and climate research, following those of Japan, the United States and the United Kingdom. Its study of the Monsoon will be especially valuable (Hindu January 9).

Defence acquisitions Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman cleared two defence acquisitions worth Rs 1,714 crore for 240 precision guided bombs from Russia and 131 Barak missiles from Israel. The former worth Rs 1,254 crore is for Russia’s ‘smart’ KAB -1500 laser-

Jaguar India model car

prices and superior customer satisfaction. It sold 1,954 units during this period including a raft of new and eye-catching models for the high-end market. The figure must be viewed in the context of its small base, but with affluence spreading across major urban centres, JLR’s future prospects in the country are bright. JLR has the highest sales in the luxury segment of Western markets (Hindu January 5).

Indian technology start-ups surge Indian technology start-ups recorded $9.4 billion investment in January-September 2017, a rise of 1.35 per cent compared to the entire period of 2016, with Jamshedpur, in Jharkhand is well on the road to becoming a smart city beyond the remit of the central government’s list of upcoming smart cities. Known also as Tata Nagar because of the

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of the indigenous 25-km short range surface-to-air Akash missile designed and developed by the Defence Research and Development Organization, and looked to enhancement of its capabilities (Hindu January 10).

Russian helicopters in Navy’s sights Russia’s Ka-226T helicopters – the mainstay of its navy - are set to enter the Indian Navy’s $3 billion light Naval Utility Helicopters (NUH) as replacement for its vintage Cheetah and Cheetak choppers. The Defence Acquisition Council, chaired by Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, gave its approval to the order on October 31, 2017 under the ‘Make in India’ project under which 16 choppers will be bought off the shelf, with the remaining 95 to be manufactured in India (Business Line December 16, 2017).

Shia Board for shutting down madrassas The Shia Central Waqf Board has urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi to shut down the country’s madrassas, alleging that their education encouraged students to join extremist Islamist groups. The Shia body demanded that the madrassas be replaced by schools affiliated to CBSE or ICSE , which could offer an optional Islamic course in the secular syllabus (Economic Times January 10).

Allahabad High Court cases pending from 1970s

Nirmala Sitharaman

guided bombs for the Sukhoi30MMKI, in service with the Indian Air Force, to enhance its offensive capability. The 131 Barak-1 missiles have been acquired from Israel’s Rafel Advanced Defence Systems Ltd will be fitted on 14 Indian warships (Times of India (January 3).

Army satisfied with Akash missile The Indian Army expressed satisfaction at the performance

It is scarcely surprising that the administration of Uttar Pradesh – India’s most populated State of 100 million and more – invites derision and scorn in much of the country, when its principal High Court takes 12 years, on average, to dispose of a case. Justice delayed is justice denied. UP Chief Minister ntaka pouring vitriol on its Congress government is both pitiable and tragic for his benighted bailiwick (Times of India, January 7) India’s External Affairs Minister Sushma (from Uttar Pradesh, alas) is hell-bent on promoting Hindi as a language in the United Nations, whatever the cost, she said. Hindi is the mother tongue of six or seven of India’s northern States. Why not spend the money saved from a harebrained scheme to improve the lot of the common man and woman in the Hindi belt at home?


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BBC newsreader George Alagiah's cancer returns BBC newsreader George Alagiah will undergo further medical treatment for cancer, after the disease returned. Alagiah's agent Mary Greenham said in a statement: "George Alagiah, the presenter of BBC News at Six, is to undergo medical treatment after a recurrence of cancer. He was first diagnosed with bowel cancer in April 2014 and returned to the screen in November 2015 after extensive treatment. He is in discussions with his medical team about treatment options and the way forward." In a statement, the BBC said: "Everyone at the BBC sends George and his family their best wishes as he undergoes treatment and we will be thinking of them." His wife Frances Alagiah had previously spoken of the moment she learned George had the disease, and the toll 17 rounds of chemotherapy took on their family. In 2016, she told the Daily Mail that the couple didn't think anything was wrong when he found blood in his stools. "He wasn't losing weight, he was full of energy, so there were no alarm

George Alagiah pictured with wife Frances and sons Adam and Matt who supported him through 17 gruelling rounds of chemo

revealed. George was eventually given the all-clear and returned to the BBC in November 2015 after an 18-month break. He agreed to undergo scans every three months so doctors could keep an eye on his progress and was also left using a stoma bag, which limited his diet and forced him to cut out all fruit and vegetables and anything with roughage. But despite the horrific experience, George said at the time that cancer had left him a "richer person". "I realised I wouldn't give back a single day of the previous year's experience. I am a richer person for it," he told the Telegraph.

Worker dies after falling from 'fragile' roof at Leicester clothing firm

A clothing factory where a worker was killed after he fell from a ‘fragile’ roof has been fined £100,000 after it admitted breaching safety laws. Ranyodh Singh was working with another employee on the roof at IKO-Design, in Leicester, when he fell in October 2014. The 33-year-old suffered severe injuries in the fall and died about six months later. He had only been with the company, in Parker Drive, off Abbey Lane, for a matter of weeks when he fell. The firm was prosecuted by the Health and Safety Executive, HSE),

following an investigation. Adam Farrer, prosecuting, on behalf of the HSE, told Leicester Crown Court that a gas heater needed to be moved to make room for another machine. This required the installation of a new chimney. The regular maintenance employee was instructed to go onto the fragile corrugated asbestos roof. Mr Singh volunteered to help and both men went up and sat on the edge of the roof to carry out the work, the court heard. The maintenance man then left to get a tool, leaving Mr Singh alone.

Another employee in the factory heard a crash from behind him and saw the new employee lying on the floor. Defence counsel Oliver Powell told the court the business was started four years prior to the accident and there had been no incidents before or since. The company cooperated fully with the HSE afterwards, implemented recommendations and took remedial action to prevent anything like that happening again. An independent consultant was engaged to provide a comprehensive health and safety policy.

‘Britain First supporter’ who drove into Harrow restaurant released from prison A man who said he wanted to “kill a Muslim” before he drove his van into an Indian restaurant has been released from prison after serving his 33-week sentence on remand. Marek Zakrocki, pictured, went on an alcohol-fuelled rampage through the town centre culminating in him crashing into Spicy Night restaurant in Alexandra Parade. A court heard how, on 23 June 2017, the 48-year-old had downed

Disclosure in Criminal Proceedings - Miscarriages in Criminal justice are real and this is one area where we should have got it right

Rubin Italia

bells. We were so convinced there was nothing wrong and that it was probably a case of piles that I didn't go with him to the final test, the colonoscopy," she said. But George's doctors revealed he had stage four bowel cancer - the most advanced stage - and it had already spread into his lymph nodes. In addition, he had eight tumours in his liver and had to undergo three operations as well as extensive chemo to give himself a chance. "It was clear from the beginning that George couldn't cope with us being incredibly upset. So we tried to ensure we did not do our falling apart in front of him," Frances

two bottles of wine before grabbing his wife forcefully and telling her and his daughter he was going to attack a religious building with the intention of harming a Muslim. When he was stopped by police later that evening, he was found to be carrying a knife and a baton-torch in his van. They also found a Nazi coin in his pocket upon arrest and discovered fly-

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ers and newspapers centred on the far-right group Britain First at his home in Harrow. Zakrocki was sentenced at the Old Bailey to 33 weeks’ imprisonment – 32 weeks’ for dangerous driving, six weeks’ to run concurrently for drinkdriving and seven days’ to run consecutively for beating his wife. He was released having served his sentence on remand.

In 2017 HM Crown Prosecution Service Inspectorate published a report criticising the police and the prosecution concerning the disclosure process to the defence.

The process of disclosure requires the police to identify non-sensitive unused material. The officer in charge of the investigation tasked with this is the “disclosure officer.” At the time of writing 46.3% of prosecutors and defence practitioners believed schedules were poorly prepared: “Our findings show that the police do not understand what constitutes sensitive material and are routinely not scheduling sensitive material correctly.” Inspectorate report robbery case study; “A defendant[…]refuted his guilt[… ]claiming that the victim was a violent drug dealer who had actually robbed him. Neither at the point of charge nor upon receipt of the defence statement did the police or CPS make any enquiries to ascertain whether any intelligence existed to support his claim. The Crown Advocate subsequently reviewed the case[…], contacted police and received intelligence that confirmed the claims[… ]. As a result, the prosecution offered no evidence at court and the case was dismissed. The defendant had been remanded in custody for over six months and the defence subsequently submitted a formal complaint to the directorate of professional standards of the relevant force, on the grounds that crucial disclosure […] had not been forthcoming.” Liam Allan, a student accused of rape, had his case dropped after 40,000 messages disclosed saw the victim request meetings of casual sex,

according to reports. The BBC reported that a case, involving a man accused of raping a minor, was also discontinued on the basis of disclosure. Some insist that the police are under pressure due to funding cuts, causing failings. Whether that is true or not, the Inspectorate report identifies issues with training that need to be addressed. The report’s recommendations mostly involved the CPS and police. The CPS reported incidents in the media, attempting to distance themselves from the police, despite lacking compliance with recommendations. It is then left to the defence to force issues of disclosure, which can prove impossible, without any notion of their existence. The laws which preceded the disclosure rules were placed due to historic miscarriages. If these are not followed by the police or CPS, we may return to those days. Author Rubin Italia, Duncan Lewis’ Crime Director, is ranked in Chambers 2017/18 and a and Partners Recommended Lawyer in Legal 500 2017. He has experience in a wealth of criminal areas, including counter-terrorism, the London Riots and serious drug offences. Duncan Lewis Crime Solicitors Duncan Lewis' Crime Department is recommended as a Top Tier criminal defence practice by Chambers UK 2018 and Legal 500 2017. Duncan Lewis has a significant practice defending clients in complex criminal cases, providing police station representation up to Crown Court trials, appeals and judicial review. For expert legal advice contact Duncan Lewis Solicitors on 03337720409 or for our 24 hour emergency service call 03337720607.

Care worker with £10k parking fine bill used pensioner's Blue Badge to avoid further fines A care worker who totted up £10,000 of parking fines, took an elderly woman’s Blue Badge permit so she could leave her car wherever she wished for free, a court heard. Suriya Shoukhat (26) failed to return the permit to the 72-year-old pensioner – who she was employed to care for after taking her on a shopping trip. When asked by her employers, Sevacare (Leicestershire) Limited, if she knew where the permit was, she lied saying she handed it back to the client and had no idea where the Blue Badge was. Simon Hunka, prosecuting on behalf of Leicester City Council, said there were 12 occasions, between July 3 and

November 2, 2015, when the badge was noted as being used in the defendant’s vehicle – which entitled her to park for free and avoid being fined. Shoukhat admitted fraudulently using the Blue Badge when she was not entitled, during a three month period. She was given a 12 month

community order and placed on a four month electronically-monitored 7pm to 7am home curfew.

Part/Full time Male Priest & Van Driver required for Shirdi Sai Baba Temple

Priest:- Must have experience of working in Hindu Temple preferably Shirdi Sai Baba with ability to perform poojas & abhishek for the Deity. The applicant must be able to sing Aaratis in Marathi and communicate in English or Hindi. Van Driver:- Must have a Valid driving licence & permit to work full time.

for further details ring 020 8902 2311 Email: sai@shirdisai.org.uk. info@shirdisai.org.uk.Baba Malik


14

COMMUNITY

British-Gujarati girl competing for place in Miss England Semi-Finals

www.asian-voice.com

Asian Voice | 20th January 2018

Reshma Trilochun

Women of Asian ethnicity across the globe have made a mark for themselves in reputable fields, be it in the medical field, or entertainment. In 2017, Manushi Chillar made India proud by bringing the Miss World crown to India after a long hiatus. And now embarking to make a mark for herself, Aarti Rana has reached the semi-final heats of the Miss England pageant. 24-year-old Aarti Rana is a simple girl-next-door, born in Gujarat and raised in Leicester, UK, to a religious Hindu family. She was led to believe that being a business woman is all about success, and hence studied Accounting & Business Management at De Montfort University. However, right from her childhood, Aarti has always been passionate about acting. She decided to make her passion into her profession by becoming an Indian television actress. She was recently seen enacting the role of Bela on Chakravartin Ashoka Samrat on Colors TV.

Aarti Rana

Post the end of the show, she returned to the UK to spend ample time with her family and also took the decision of participating in Miss England. Aarti has many ambitions, including creating and building her own school in India. About her philanthropic work, she

said, “My profound passion for volunteering started throughout my journey of growing up. I am doing charities- like helping people with food and clothing. In the future, if I get the opportunity then I would like to help people from our community who suffer from diabetes and heart

problems.” Aarti would like to encourage and inspire girls to be confident in their own skin and strive to achieve their dreams, regardless of what people may think of them. She said, “The ultimate reason why I would like to become Miss England is because I would like to give all the girls who feel less confident and comfortable about their bodies – the push they need even if they don't have the 'right' height or size. They need to be able to try new things. We are not all the same and that's okay. I would like to see more girls feel confident in themselves.” She added, “I think Miss England is an excellent platform to be able to encourage all the ladies out to try and gain confidence, as well as get out of their comfort zone. This pageant has no height or size requirements and that is the kind of self-acceptance I want to promote.” If you'd like to vote for Aarti Rana in the Miss England competition. Text: MISS SEMI01 to 63333. Texts cost 50p plus the standard network rate. Voting closes at 12pm on Wednesday 31st January.

Join the battle of the brains at St Luke’s Hospice Quiz Night

St Luke’s Hospice will be holding its annual Quiz night on Saturday 24 February at St Gregory’s High School, Harrow. Why not challenge yourself and put your knowledge to the test! It will be an evening of brain teasers, head scratchers and conundrums! Get together a group of family and friends or come along and meet new people as St Luke’s puts you to test! The Annual quiz is a fun and friendly evening where you will also be raising essential funds for your local Hospice. Tickets cost £17 and includes pizza, garlic

bread, salad and snacks throughout the night. There will be a raffle with great prizes and a bar selling a selection of drinks, including tea and coffee. To book tickets call 020 8382 8112 or visit www.stlukes-hospice.org/quiz. The Quiz

will take place at St Gregory's Catholic Science College, Donnington Road, Harrow, HA3 0NB Doors will open at 7pm and the quiz will start promptly at 7.30pm

Pravasi Bhartiya initiative- 'Day of the Diaspora'

On Tuesday 9th January 2018, several MPs and Lords from the UK – including Lord Popat, Priti Patel MP and Lord Raj Loomba - joined Parliamentarians from around the world for the inaugural Persons of Indian Origin (PIO) conference in New Delhi. The prestigious event celebrated the annual Pravasi Bhartiya initiative ‘day of the diaspora’ - which historically honours the contribution made by men and women of Indian heritage towards their homeland. The conference was officially opened by Minister of External Affairs, Sushma Swaraj MP, while Prime Minister Narendra Modi delivered the keynote speech. Other speakers included Shashi Tharoor MP and Priti Patel MP, who spoke on behalf of the UK delegation. The event was attended by some 120 parliamentarians of Indian origin (out of a total of 135 globally) - including many third-generation Indians - from such diverse countries as the UK, USA, Guyana, South Africa, Portugal, the Netherlands and Switzerland. The UK delegation included Lord Popat, Priti Patel MP, Lord Dholakia, Baroness Verma, Baroness Prashar, Lord Patel, Keith Vaz MP, Virendra Sharma MP and Mayor of Brent, Councillor Chauhan. Pravasi Bhartiya Divas has

Lord Dolar Popat, Baroness Sandip Verma, Rt Hon Priti Patel MP, Rt Hon event will provide a unique Virendra Sharma MP, Lord Navnit Dholakia, Baroness Usha Prashar, Lord platform for mutual collabKamlesh Patel with others

grown tremendously to be one of India’s heritages. The event is marked on 9th January every year – the date of the return of Mahatma Gandhi from South Africa in 1915 to lead the freedom march of the nation. Since its inception in 2003, PBD is one of the most eagerly anticipated events of the year but this is the first time a Parliamentary conference has been held to formally celebrate PBD, and focus on the achievements of PIO Parliamentarians far and wide. The conference also signifies Prime Minister Modi’s new diplomatic strategy, which places fresh importance on the positive role of the diaspora in India. This is a significant step. India has in the past referred to its diaspora as NRIs – “not required Indians”. But as Shashi Tharoor eloquently stated, NRIs are in fact the

“natural resource of India” whose collective potential should be channelled for the good of all Indians. There are over 31 million people of Indian origin living outside of India, across 102 countries. Their presence is robust and far-reaching, as is their impressive record in contributing to many aspects of political, intellectual and cultural life in the countries they call home. Recognising these achievements, Mr Modi aims through a variety of initiatives to strengthen ties with the diaspora, deepen mutual understanding and build a strong future for the community as a whole. In his welcome message, Prime Minister Modi said: “India is among the select few countries in the world that has an extensive series of programmes aimed at the diaspora. I am confident this historic

oration between India, PIO Parliamentarians and help strengthen the engagement of India and her diaspora.” Praising the successful integration of Indians in their home countries and the unshakable bond that exists amongst Indians around the world, Prime Minister Modi said: “India may not be your home, but it will always be your mother country”. Priti Patel MP, who spoke on behalf of the UK delegation, said: “The achievements of the Indian diaspora all over the world have been transformational. It is a matter of great pride that the UK is home to such a talented and ambitious diaspora of 1.5 million people. As PIO parliamentarians, we want to bring our experience to set a new agenda, strengthen our bonds to create a bright and prosperous future.”

Speaking after the event, Lord Popat said:

“It was truly an honour to participate in this wonderful event which highlights the positive impact persons of Indian origin continue to make in India. The conference provided PIO Parliamentarians with a valuable opportunity to share our journeys, to learn from each other and lay the foundation for greater understanding and friendship. I was moved to see Parliamentarians with different backgrounds, languages and experiences, coming together to embrace our common heritage. Needless to say, each of us is a proud and patriotic citizen of our home country – but together we will always remain part of the Indian family.” On the heels of this landmark event, PM Modi is this week welcoming Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to India for a State visit. Significantly, Israel is home to a burgeoning Indian community, thousands of whom attended a rally addressed by PM Modi in Tel Aviv during his visit to Israel in July 2017 – the first official visit by an Indian Prime Minister to the country.


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UK 37th annual Xmas lunch Seventh-Day Adventist Church

Nitin Mehta We had our 37th annual a Vegan lunch on Sunday 17 December. This event was started to promote friendship with our Christian friends, to introduce them to the delights of Indian food and to convey the message that the Indian community is proud to be British. If all Indian organisations held similar events, the impact would be amazing. The leader of Croydon Council Tony Newman said, ' this event

signifies all that is positive about Croydon'. Around 120 people enjoyed a feast. The menu was: Starters: Samosa and Patra, Main course: Hot Rotis, Potato, Aubrigine Sabji, Salad, Dahl and Rice followed by Vegan Cake, Tea and Coffee. Members of SeventhDay Adventist Church who also promote Vegetarianism sang Carols. For 37 years this event has continued!

“Aussie flu” affect thousands in the UK In the recent weeks, thousands more patients went to hospital with flu after cases increased by 50% in a week, This has led to renewed calls for compulsory vaccination for frontline NHS staff. It is said that General Practitioners (GPs) saw over 20,000 patients who were suffering from the flu and the Royal College of GPs said that cases of flu had “taken off”. Family doctors have urged people to not visit surgeries as there is no treatment for the flu. In the previous week, over 5,000 patients are said to have gone to hospital with flu, which is four times the level in 2017. 48 people have passed away due to the flu in the UK this winter. The H3N2 flu, also known as the Australian or “Aussie” flu,

is said to be more severe than the destructive swine flu (H1N1) outburst in 2009. Medical chief officer, Professor Dame Sally Davies said, “Aussie flu is a misnomer – it's one of the strains of flu that we've seen over the last few years.” She has also urged people to use tissues and wash their hands more thoroughly. She added that she would be happy if flu jabs were made compulsory for NHS staff, and also acknowledged that there evidence to support it was limited, but reiterated that NHS England must consider flu jabs for its staff.

Coke bottles to get smaller and pricier

Coca-Cola has confirmed that the size of their bottle will be getting smaller yet will become pricier in March 2018. The changes are being made in response to a public health drive in attempt to reduce sugar consumption, which includes the introduction

of the sugar tax. The company will be minimising their 1.75l bottle to 1.5l and increasing the price by 20p. Cocoa-Cola, however, has no plans or intentions to change its classic recipe, unlike IrnBru and Lucozade which resulted in a consumer backlash.

Asian Voice | 20th January 2018

15

ANAYA BOLAR: MORPH DANCE SP

Sunetra Senior

Having qualified for the nationally televised dance competition, BBC’s Young Dancer, not once but twice in a row – making it to the South Asian dance final- elegant yet highly driven dancer, Anaya, is now getting ready for her first big show with Morph Dance Company. Recently receiving a bursary from the Imperial Society of Teachers for Dance, she has taken her life-long love of classical dancing back to its home ground of India, where she has perfected and modified her movements to appear in the three-woman show, currently dubbed Triple A: “we are in the intermediate phases of putting together the show, and that’s part of the excitement!” Very much like dance itself then, the process is constantly shifting and, of course, morphing. “Working with incredible choreographer, Subhash, the piece was initially called Triple A to represent the idea of women being objectified and used to serve very few functions,” elaborated Anaya. “At the moment, we are looking especially at how holy Indian scriptures will show women as revered, and their daughters as Goddesses, but that existing in strange contradiction. Why then are there so many horrible stories of rape and injustice? I am working with two other Kathak dancers to weave in myths and stories that expose the idea of unequal treatment, including a very powerful poem, written by actress Kalki Koechlin. This was about the machine-like proliferation of news stories reporting rape culture, where instead of paying attention, we often leave this atrocity and the pain of these women as unresolved statistics. Working under the tutelage of Subhash, we’ve been experimenting with how to display such messages through traditional dance (Bharatanatyam) and innovative physical movement. Though we are examining difficult matter, perhaps even controversial, the mood is very energetic: incorporating elements of the comical as well as the more meditative.”

TLIGHT

added. “Personally, I can remember aunties and extended family constantly enquiring about me: from weight gain and loss to academia. In a way, it's very condescending and I feel it's right to question that. That is, in part, why I was so attracted to the ‘Triple A’ project. Why should judgement be such a big part of our lives? Why are we constantly told who we should be? Women’s autonomy and freedom is an issue Subhash, the fel-

low female dancers and I feel very passionately about.” Here, the extra context of Anaya’s deep love for Bharatanatyam becomes particularly significant. A dance form that was first practiced by the respected Devadasis, it was moved from “the more sacred platforms of the temples to more staged spaces” during the British invasion, tainting them by a more sexualised male gaze along the way. However, with professional traditional dance academies on the *** rise, such as that of Anaya’s Anaya went on to explain own mother, Chitraleka how she’s enjoyed the Dance, where the young practice of “breaking Why are women mover first discovered apart a selection of classical dance, and constantly told classical steps so South Asian women that it emerges an becoming increasingly who they entirely new artistic confident, such as Anaya should be? herself - she has also taught expression. It is the same conventional dance movement dance– the history is being but selectively extracting it from made over in an emancipatory, the traditional routine and placing it modern way. “I have certainly within the show’s unique context enjoyed incorporating modern makes it appear intriguingly differdance into my usual repertoire,” ent.” Indeed, as a critique of femininiAnaya said. “It’s been great fortifying ty, this dancer approach sounds true the revered traditional dance over the to the intense corporeal scrutiny to years, and growing from more conwhich many women are subjected. temporary influences. I’ve been From her wrists, to the eyes to the opened up to a whole new way of movadornment of necklaces and shoes, ing. It’s very different to classical every little bit of the female form is structure and certainly feels expanisolated and in that sense, her identity sive. Every dance, I continue to strive fragmented. An experience of wholefor that feeling of devotion. Classical ness is undercut because women are dance is there to show stories and tell forced to focus their energies so superpeople tales – this show symbolically ficially. This shallow shaping is also breaks apart the traditional moves and extended “to how smart - or indeed puts them back together in an inspiranot smart - you are,” Anaya aptly tional way. The instinctive classical

dancing is still the foundation and wired into my body movements, but with a very gendered current twist.” Thus, through her incredible passion, Anaya doesn’t simply demonstrate the precise yet poignant nature of her art form, but incisive observational comments with which it is intimately linked. When was the moment you decided to commit to dance professionally? When watching one of my friends’ performances while studying Sports Therapy at university. I thought: ‘wow, this is really what I want to do.’ I’d been hiding from my more artsy calling. Obviously, Sports Therapy is closely interconnected with dance and physical movement already and my plan is to finish my degree, while continuing to dance. I want to push myself past my limits. After BBC Young Dancers, I know it’s possible to take my dancing to greater audiences, worldwide. I want to inspire more youngsters to take on classical dancing as a beautiful artform. Tell us more about the critique of femininity in your upcoming show? Different female characters and stages will be depicted; older and younger women. One who embodies great devotion to more modern depictions. We will unpack this more. Why dancing as a passion? Dance is another language; it’s a way for a person to speak without using any words. I have always used my hands to gesticulate what I’m feeling, and some of the best dancers can tell a story with just their eyes. Will your show be using props? For example, masks? Yes, we are currently playing with props to complement the dance. We do touch on being fake by way of survival for some women in the piece. Women are always asked to repress feelings, and though we are experiencing a lot, are not always allowed to articulate those difficulties. Finally, who has been your biggest inspiration? It may sound like a cliché, but my mum! She was the first ever Indian dancer I saw. Also: Rukmini Vijayakumar and Malavika Sarukkai. Show Details: Sat 7th July, 7pm at Peepul Centre Insta: anayavasudha_dance.


UK

Prime Minister Narendra Modi to visit the UK in April

16

www.asian-voice.com

Asian Voice | 20th January 2018

Continued from page 1

Dr Fox announced that the national export credit agency, UK Export Finance (UKEF), has more than doubled its financial support to enable UK businesses to trade with India. It means £4.5 billion will now be available for UK companies exporting to India as well as Indian buyers of UK goods and services. India and the UK already enjoy a strong trading relationship, worth £15.7 billion in 2016, with UK exports to India amounting to £5.8 billion. Indian foreign direct investment (FDI) in the UK was worth £1.5bn in 2016, while UK investment into India rose to £13.2 billion in 2016. The minister also took part in a Commonwealth Enterprise and Investment council meeting organised by FICCI at the Lalit hotel, moderated by Manoj Ladwa, followed by a talk at the London School of Economics. On Saturday, he attended a diaspora meet organised by FICCI at the high commission of India. An industry roundtable coorganised on 11 January in London by the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII), Confederation of British Industry (CBI), UK India Business Council (UKIBC) and the High Commission of India, bringing together over 25 UK business leaders for a high-level discussion with Minister Suresh Prabhu, His Excellency Y K Sinha, High Commissioner of India to the UK and several officials from the UK Government and British High Commission also joined the discussions. Key industry leaders from across sectors including Advanced Manufacturing, Engineering, Pharmaceuticals, Financial Services, Food & Drink and Tourism were represented by com-

World Trade Organisation and its influence on sustainable growth and made comments on climate change issues, that could be solved through renewable trades.

Minister Kiren Rijiju's visit

Indian High Commissioner HE Y K Sinha, Minister Suresh Prabhu, Minister Kiren Rijiju and Deputy Indian High Commissioner Ambassador Dinesh Patnaik at the diaspora meet on Saturday 13th January

panies like JCB, Pernod Richard, Reckitt Benckiser, GSK, BAE Systems, Diageo, G4S, RELX, Renishaw, Standard Chartered, TVS, TWI, Vodafone and Cox and Kings. On Friday 12th January, Prabhu told a press conference that his meetings with the UK counterparts have been about the bilateral trade in areas of start ups, smart cities, investment in India and innovation in energy. There will be 20,000 new companies in India and how UK’s innovation could accelerate that. He also spoke about possibilities to use new tech innovation, tidal, solar

and wind energy and exporting those innovations to India. He spoke about Commonwealth trade issues and multicultural trading system. When asked if Brexit would benefit India’s relationship with UK, he assured he is in conversation with both UK and EU and are hoping a to foster a better relationship with both the blocs. He is also hoping that the free trade will increase possibilities of a further robust and healthy economic tie. Speaking at the London School of Economics, Prabhu addressed an auditorium full of students and professors on importance of the

Diaspora demands automatic approval of visit visas for family

The diaspora in the UK with British citizenship have started a new petition to urge the government for a separate visa category to grant automatic approval of visit visas for their families. The petition that has already reached over 42500 signatures, as we went to press, wants the government to consider that family members of UK citizens shouldn’t have to meet the same criteria as other applicants for a visit visa. It says, “Not being a citizen doesn’t make our parent, siblings, children or grandchildren any less a part of our family. The only requirement should be that a British relative sponsors them.” Nieva Restarick who started the petition in January 2018 said, “If we can support our family, there is no reason to reject an application. The same restrictions would still apply: no public funds; no ability to work, and checks to ensure no threat to national security. My sister has visited four times. She’s never overstayed or worked but is now refused a visa to visit me with

my mother. A lot of families are heartbroken because relatives cannot visit. Let’s bring families together and recognise the right to a family life for British citizens and their families.” If the petition reaches 100,000 signatures, it has to be debated in the Parliament. Being over 10,000 signatures the government needs to send a formal reply to the petitioner and are already delayed by 3 days. This is not the first time the diaspora have demanded a better treatment for their visiting families. Brit Cits, a forum campaigned very long to acquire rights for their parents to come and live with them in the UK. Though some individual cases succeeded, the campaign could not bring about justice to this tax paying lot.

Akash Raj, who works in Leeds with a big company told Asian Voice, “This is the second time my parents have been denied a visa. They have immense wealth back in India, they were just coming to see my pregnant wife and help her for a few days and take her to India for delivery. They don't want to live here forever. The UK Home Office rejected their visa for the second time. I do not understand what is their argument.” Many others are on the same boat and are frustrated by the Home Office decisions. The social media has witnessed several such discussions and demands to take the campaigns to their local MPs. Currently family of the British Indians have to highlight the same documents required for any other visitors including financial papers, bank statements and proof of return to India.

If you would like to sign this petition, please see https://petition.parliament.u k/petitions/206568

Minister of State for Home Affairs Kiren Rijiju initiated two MoUs have been initiated with his UK counterpart- one on illegal immigration and another on criminal record register to combat international crimes. These MoUs will be signed when Prime Minister Narendra Modi visits the UK in April 2018. This is the first time India has officially announced Mr Modi’s participation in CHOGM in UK. He also met the new Chairman of Conservative party- Brandon Lewis. Rijiju also discussed about cyber crimes, small fractions of Khalistani agitations in the UK, and also suggested a model for UK to see and learn how India has such less radicalisation cases. He discussed cases of illegal Indian immigrants, 14 pending cases of extradition to India, the plight of the Indian women abandoned by their husbands settled in the UK and issues of students’ visa. Speaking about the recent Jagtar Singh Johal arrest in Punjab, India he said that there were evidences found against Johal, who was in the centre of many illegal activities- hence he was arrested. However he has confirmed that the allegation of torture against police by Johal is not true and they have had three panels of independent medical examinations to confirm that. The matter of the extradition of tycoon Vijay Mallya was also a part of his discussion.

Diaspora meet A get together with the Indian diaspora was organised by FICCI

Indian Muslim Federation hosts a reception for the Indian High Commissioner The Indian Muslim Federation UK held a reception for the Indian High Commisioner, Mr. Y. K. Sinha in a visit to Newham, London 16th January 2018. He was greeted by Indian heritage residents drawn from all sections of the diaspora Indian community. The Deputy Mayor of Newham, Cllr Ken Clark formally welcomed him on behalf of Newham Council and held a civic reception along with delgations from Indian origin Mosques, Temples and Gurdwara's who were in attendance along with local Councillors and other dignatories. IMF President, Shamsuddin Agha spoke of the needs to deepen the links between the Indian Community in the UK and the High Commission and later the High Commissioner himself announced a regular surgery to be held in the borough, details to be announced in due course. The Newham Chair, Saeed Mohmed spoke of the historic links with India and gave a moving personal story of how he came with other in the 1950s and 1960s as first generation migrants. The evening ended with a general introduction of the High Commissioner to the delegates and a photo session.

and the High Commission of India at the India house in London, was joined by the two Indian ministers. Minister Rijiju at his address said, “today the distance has reduced between countries because of internet. In the global platform India did not got its due recognition, but things have changed in the past few years. Partly because of the role diaspora plays and partly because of India’s own role. The flow of people between countries should be very smooth and legal. We have taken concerns of the diaspora on board and done whatever we can do. Online visa has been extended to 160 countries and a few more I will sign when I go back. As for security arrangements we would like to see in India needs to be in integration with globally. Like criminal records etc. All my meetings with various ministers have been fruitful. You diaspora are our pride and today briefly meeting you powerful lot has been a great privilege.” Minister Prabhu went to the Ambedkar house in North West London on Saturday morning to pay his homage. Prabhu said, “I strongly believe in the strength of diaspora and the role of the diaspora. All of you continue to have great interest in the country of your ancestor. Some of you must left India quite a few years ago, but read about India everyday. What strikes us two things: you always feel bad about the problems in India at the same time you are also struck by the potential of India. India and Indians’ potentials everywhere are legendary. That’s why when Narendra Modi was chosen as the Prime Minister he wanted to solve issues and unleash India’s potential. 2022 we will celebrate our 75th Independence Day and we hope to solve most of India’s problems by then.”

Theresa May i and ethnic m

Last week, the UK Prime Minister Theresa May carried out a cabinet reshuffle, touted as being more inclusive of ethnic minorities and women. However, it appears to be that the current government has fewer women than the 2008 Prime Minister, Gordon Brown's government. The number of ministers who attended state schools has also decreased to less than half. Theresa May dismissed several white men as she promoted ethnic minority and Theresa May women MPs to create a ment government that “looks more and e like the country it serves”. The inclu number of women in Theresa the May's government increased were from 29 to 38. Women now mino make up 32% of her governthere ment, where as it was 34% in S Brown's government with the ters inclusion of 40 female minisMay' ters. MP f In Gordon Brown's govern-


UK

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New British Army adverts aimed at Muslims and women

80-year-old Barbara Peters becomes Britain's oldest ballet dancer

Asian Voice | 20th January 2018

One would probably advise an elderly friend or relative to rest more and not carry out activities which they used to do during their prime years. However, Barbara Peters has proved them all wrong by becoming Britain's oldest ballet dancer, as she passed her grade seven dance exam from the Royal Academy of Dance at the age of 80.

The British Army's "Keeping My Faith" advert

A set of new television adverts have released in attempt to target Muslims and women to join the British Army. A new television advert titled as Keeping my Faith, shows a Muslim soldier kneeling in prayer during a combat patrol, while his comrades sit on the hillside waiting while turning down a crackling radio so that he is not disturbed while praying. It is believed to be the first time that the British Army has featured a Muslim soldier praying in their advertisement. This advert is part of the army's £1.6 million television, radio and online campaign implemented to boost their recruitment. A retired colonel, Richard Kemp claims the campaign neglects “the main group of people who are interested in joining”. However, senior officers assert that the British Army must reach beyond its tradi-

tional demographic of white British men between the age of 16 and 24. Currently, the army is 4,500 short of its target strength of 82,000 soldiers. In another advert, titled Facing My Kryptonite, a young soldier is shown being encouraged by his peers to do pull-ups, while a young female soldier leads a squad of troops who have been dropped off on patrol by a helicopter. In 2016, a ban on women in close combat roles was removed. In a statement released by the Ministry of Defence, the soldier who performed pull-ups in the advert said, “When I first joined the army I found the physical side of things pretty tough.” The assistant director of army recruitment, Colonel Simon Stockley said, “The adverts show the support the army gives to all soldiers to encourage them to achieve personal and professional goals through a shared sense of belonging.”

includes more women minorities in cabinet

t, there were seven black ethnic minority ministers, uding Sadiq Khan. Before recent reshuffle, there five black and ethnic ority ministers and now e are nine. ome of the Asian minisappointed in Theresa s cabinet are Alok Sharma, or Reading West; Rehman

Rishi Sunak

Chishti, MP for Gillingham and Rainham. Rishi Sunak, the MP for Richmond in Yorkshire. 37year-old Rishi Sunak will serve as the Parliamentary Undersecretary of state at the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government. Educated at Oxford and Stanford, Rishi Sunak has been touted by some modernisers as potentially becoming a future prime minister.

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Barbara Peters as a teenager

60 years after winning a place at the elite dance academy, Barbara took her 55-minute practical dance test last month, and received her results last week on the eve of her 80th birthday. She received the good news in the form of a text message. Barbara shared, “It [text message] told me I had passed with merit the

grade seven exam and have become the country's oldest dancer. I am thrilled, it was the best gift I received... My mark was 67%. The pass mark for merit is 55% and a distinction in 75, so I am pleased I did so well.” Barbara took her practical test 58 years after her last ballet exam. She said, “Ballet has kept me fit and raising my leg a metre high to place my foot on the barre was easy. I also held my leg straight out front and side on at a 90 degree angle for a few seconds. I can only do two pirouettes on the trot but still do cartwheels, though I haven't done the splits for ten years.” The inspirational dancer started dancing at the age of 2, and took her first exam at 9 years of age, and went on to gain a place at the Royal Academy of Dance in 1957. She was the daughter of a mechanic and a domestic servant. She said, “I couldn't get a grant so I worked on the buses as a conductor to earn money to fund my course.” During the 1950s, she was unable to take her final exam. “I passed all my exams but could not take my final grade six exam as I'd broken my arm. There wasn't a grade seven back then. So when I got the opportunity to take the test I thought, 'Why not?' I trained for two hours a day over three weeks and the exam went without a hitch.” Passing her ballet exams has renewed a sense of energy and purpose into Barbara's life. She states, “I've no plans to hang up my dancing shoes just yet. In fact, there is a grade eight exam I might consider doing.” Barbara Peters is indeed an inspi-

Barbara Peters

ration to one and all. She proves that if you put your mind into doing something, then undoubtedly you can achieve it. She also reinstates that age, is in fact, just a number.

Indian woman to embark on an expedition to Antarctica In a month’s time, Purvi Gupta, originally from Delhi, will be embarking on a journey of the lifetime. Currently living in London, she will be the only Indian, and 1 in 80 women in science, who will embark on an expedition to Antarctica as part of Homeward Bound. Homeward Bound is a 12month leadership program which culminates in a three-week intensive voyage to Antarctica. The initiative, turned global movement, aims to heighten the influence and impact of women in science (STEMM), in order to impact policy and decision making as it shapes our planet – within 10 years. Purvi is part of the second cohort of Homeward Bound – the 2018 program participants include 80 women from 13 countries such as India, Australia, Kenya, China, Italy, Venezuela, Nigeria, Peru, Mexico, the UK and the US. Amongst the participants will be a Maori researcher, a science TV presenter,

CSIRO scientists, shark researchers, marine biologists, neuro scientists and an economist. All participants from the inaugural 2016 program will act as

to be future doctors, engineers and scientists – especially the women. Over the last year, Purvi has been invited to deliver leadership talks at engineering and

mentors to at least one of the new cohort. Purvi who is from India, living in the London for years, said that she is a strong believer of human potential and the innate desire to make the world a better place for ourselves, our families, communities and the future generations. She believes in over-investing in young minds training

MBA schools in India and Europe. She also hosts a blog where she writes about leadership, inclusiveness and gender parity. With one month to go, Purvi continues her fundraising efforts to raise the cost of the Antarctica expedition for this cause. She studied engineering at IIT Madras, India where less than 10% were women.

She recounts how as a girl on campus, she never ‘felt invited to the party’. Today, she strives to expose students to the upside of diverse teams. Having grown up in India, she has strong affiliation to emerging markets and deep commitment to public health. Purvi worked for 6 years with GlaxoSmithKline across London, Mumbai and Singapore, and currently works at McKinsey’s London office as a consultant. Purvi comes from a middle class family, her grandfather worked in government enterprise and her father worked in Indian Railways. Due to the transferable nature of her father’s job, she grew up as adaptable and flexible. She continues to seek out new adventures and is comfortable in meeting and adjusting to new people and cultures. She has previously worked and lived in Singapore for 2 years. Later, she studied her MBA at INSEAD, France further building on her experiences.


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Asian Voice | 20th January 2018

India to regain fastest growing economy tag: World Bank The World Bank has projected that the Indian economy would grow to 7.3% in 2018-19 and 7.5% in the medium term on the back of revival of private investment as businesses adjust to the Goods & Services Tax (GST), thus regaining the fastest-growing major economy tag from China. In 2017-18, the economy is forecast to grow 6.7% due to short-term disruptions from the newly introduced GST. India's Central Statistics Office (CSO) estimates the economy to grow 6.5% in 2017-18, marginally below the World Bank projections. The latest projections also showed that India will regain the tag of the fastest growing major economy in the world from China in 2018-19 when China’s economy is estimated to grow 6.4%, slower than India’s 7.3% expansion. China is expected to slow to 6.4% in 2018 from 6.8% in 2017. It said that over the medium term, the GST is expected to benefit economic activity and fiscal sustainability by reducing the cost of complying with multiple state tax systems, drawing informal activity into the formal sector, and expanding the tax base. India's GDP growth to touch 7.3% in 2018-19 India's Gross Domestic Product (GDP) is expected to grow by 6.7 per cent in FY 2017-18

TCS bags over $2bn deal from US life insurer Transamerica Tata Consultancy Services (TCS), India’s largest software services exporter by revenue, said it signed a multi-year deal worth more than $2 billion with Transamerica to transform the life insurer’s US insurance and annuity business lines. The mega deal comes less than a month after TCS won a $2.25 billion outsourcing contract from television ratings measurement company Nielsen. TCS is the only Indian IT services company that has won billion dollar deals. TCS said it would make job offers to all of the applicable Transamerica employees currently supporting the life insurance, annuity, supplemental health insurance, and workplace voluntary benefits business lines. This, it said, would ensure “a consistently excellent experience for Transamerica customers and protecting approximately 2,200 American jobs.

and will pick up to 7.3 per cent in 2018-19, and to 7.5 per cent a year in the medium term, another report said. The report titled 'Global Economic Prospects' for 2018 noted that the GDP figures of 6.7 per cent for FY 201718 can be attributed to short-term disruptions arising from the introduction of the Goods and Services Tax (GST). "Strong private consumption and services are expected to continue to support economic activity, while private investment is expected to revive as the corporate sector adjusts to the GST; infrastructure spending increases, partly to improve public services and internet connectivity; and private sector balance sheet weaknesses are mitigated with the help of the efforts of the government and the Reserve Bank of India (RBI)," the report read. The World Bank noted that over the medium term, the GST is expected to benefit economic

activity and fiscal sustainability by reducing the cost of complying with multiple state tax systems, drawing informal activity into the formal sector, and expanding the tax base. It also takes cognisance of the recent recapitalisation package announced for public sector banks by the Prime Minister Narendra Modigovernment, which is expected to help resolve banking sector balance sheets, support credit to the private sector, and lift investment. Further, trade recovery at a global level is expected to lift exports, it claimed. However, the outlook noted that certain underlying risk elements can hamper numbers, such as setbacks to reforms to resolve corporate and financial sector balance sheet deterioration, debt write-offs for farmers, corporate debt overhangs and high levels of nonperforming loans. Potentially, India's growth rate is expected to hover around the range of six to

eight per cent in the postcrisis period. India's recent reforms, such as the "Make in India" initiative and demonetisation are expected to encourage formal sector activity, broaden the tax base, and improve long-term growth prospects despite short-term disruptions, particularly in the case of demonetisation. The World Bank further lauded the government's approach to improve the business climate, such as shortening approval times for trademarks and patents to enhance property right protection, lowering restrictions on foreign direct investment (including foreign ownership restrictions) in various sectors, and accelerating investment in energy and transport infrastructure, which, it believes, helped improve the ease of doing business ranking. While the GST caused temporary disruptions in manufacturing and is linked to the recent weakness in the Purchasing Managers' Index and industrial production growth, the World Bank said it is expected to simplify tax compliance, deepen economic linkages between Indian states, broaden the tax base and improve revenue collections. In turn, this is expected to enhance the broader business environment and help foster investment and employment.

India's direct tax collection up by 8.2% The direct tax collection by the government of India has jumped by 18.2 per cent during the first nine months of current fiscal at £65.6 billion. Direct taxes are made up of income tax paid by individuals, wealth tax and corporation tax paid by companies. According to the finance ministry, the net direct tax collections represent 67 per cent of the total budget estimates of direct taxes for FY 2017-18 (£98 billion), the statement said. The gross collections have increased by 12.6 per cent to £76.8 billion during April to December, 2017. And in the same period, the government issued a refund of £11.2 billion. According to the Finance Ministry, the collection of advance tax has also gone up. "An amount of £31.8 billion has been received as Advance Tax up to December 2017, reflecting a growth of 12.7 per cent over the Advance Tax payments of the corresponding period of last year," the ministry said. While the country's

direct tax collection has seen rise, the indirect tax collection has been on decline for the last two months. Last year in December, the government released the indirect tax collection data for November. In November, the GST revenue stood at £8.08 billion, down from over £8.30 billion in the previous month. Even in October, the tax collections were not in expected line. The GST for October had slipped by almost 10 per cent to £8.33 billion as compared to £9.21 billion in September. Last year in July, India overhauled its taxation system by introducing GST for

indirect tax collections. The first month revenue under GST was over £9.5 billion, however, in August the figure came down to £9.10 billion. Decline in GST collections could be attributed to multiple factors such as compliance and tax rate adjustments. In November, the GST Council brought down the taxes on over 200 goods by 10 per cent. As many as 178 items of daily use were shifted from the highest tax bracket of 28 per cent to 18 per cent. Reports suggest that the GST Council is expected to meet on January 11 to deliberate on latest downward trend in revenue collection.

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Boohoo reaps in sale profit The popular online fashion retailer, or you could say etailer, Boohoo has triumphed as it has boosted its sales for the year for the third time, thanks to a galore of acquisitions including NastyGal and PrettyLittleThing. Boohoo's revenue has doubled to £228.2 million for the four months to 31st December 2017. Online sales such as the Black Friday Bonanza has also aided, and now it is touted that the company should grow 90% for the year to February. The online e-tailer

targets young consumers and they seem to have become a hit with them. Boohoo's share price has also leaped over 170% since it emerged in the London Stock Exchange in 2014.

6th bid to auction Kingfisher House For the sixth time, Kingfisher Airlines' erstwhile headquarters has been put on the block by the Debt Recovery Tribunal Bangalore. The reserve price is £8.2 million, which is over 45 per cent lower than the asking price in the first auction. The tribunal has said that the sale will take place on February 13, 2018 through e-auction. The fifth auction in May last year had failed with no one making a bid for the property. The earlier reserve price was £9.2 million. According to real-

estate brokers, although the property is at a prime location, close to the airport there are no takers as the original reserve price was way out of line from the prevailing market price. Although lenders have valued the property at £15 million, real estate experts say that the property has limited value because of height restrictions due to proximity to the airport. The property presently consists of four levels - basement, lower ground, ground and upper floor.

Bengaluru-based firm acquires startup company in US

In a significant development, Bengaluru-based mobile ads firm InMobi said it would be acquiring California-based startup AerServ for $90 million. AerServ helps mobile publishers increase revenue through its online platform where they can manage several ad networks at the same time. This is InMobi’s fifth and biggest acquisition till date and comes at a time when it is struggling with lower-than-expected revenue growth. “Their key offering is very specifically header bidding in the app space,” said Abhay Singhal, cofounder and chief revenue officer at InMobi. “The second offering is very strong video solutions, and video is the highest-growing format worldwide today.” After this acquisition, InMobi’s video ads and programmatic ads businesses will account for 35% of the firm’s total revenue. And within the next four years, InMobi is aiming to earn at least half a billion dollars in revenue, riding on AerServ’s platform. Video is another opportunity that has InMobi all charged up. “Look at the overall OTT (over the top services) space, connected

TV space,” Singhal said. “It feels like 2009-10 of the app economy. When it was coming up, people didn’t understand how it would work, but look at it today.” OTT allows content providers to bypass cable or television service providers and sell content directly to consumers. In India, the OTT video content market is currently valued at $280 million, with nearly 100 million subscribers. Need for growth Founded in 2007 by four IIT friends - Naveen Tewari, Mohit Saxena, Abhay Singhal, and Amit Gupta InMobi is far off the $1 billion revenue mark that its CEO Tewari had set back in 2011. Tewari had expected to reach that target by 2014. Perhaps that’s why InMobi chose profit-making AerServ over the other firms it evaluated. “Not many companies have been able to scale because their tech becomes very expensive,” Singhal said. The acquisition is also in line with InMobi’s pivot away from nurturing tech talent in just Bengaluru. Over the last year, InMobi has worked to house critical tech functions in North America.


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THE FORTUNE AT THE BOTTOM OF THE PYRAMID AsianVoiceNews

Suresh Vagjiani

Sow & Reap London Property Investment

AsianVoiceNewsweekly

Whilst in Mumbai I met up with a property developer, who is the scion of third generation family wealth. His great grandfather made his money in shipping in the early 1900s. He wisely invested the money earned into land; lots of it. To the point they became one of the largest owners of land in Mumbai. As the generations expanded, the land ownership and wealth got diluted amongst the family members. However, my colleague had the foresight to buy the other family members out piecemeal by piecemeal. So now all the wealth has been re-concentrated, under single ownership.

a nominal figure. Unsurprisingly those with land were not prepared to give in so easily. Instead, they transferred their land to the local mafia at a price higher than the nominal figure offered by the government, this in turn ensured the land was nicely occupied by slum dwellers in very little time, leading to the birth of many of Mumbai’s slum areas.

The meeting was a quick lesson in the politics and law applied to land owners, also known as zamindars.

In November 2007, this act was repealed in Maharashtra. This meant the landowners could reclaim the land back. The titles were clean, however, they had the added issue of the land being occupied by thousands of slum dwellers, who had by now firm homes and community networks all over them.

The Urban Land Ceiling Act came into force in 1976 under the socialist policies of the Congress Government. In essence it meant, if any one person owned more than 500 square metres, it would be sold to the government for

There were two ways to solve this situation, by the stick or the carrot. The stick approach, though told to me verbally is not worth writing about here. The other approach, the way of the carrot, fortunately is what my col-

AGONY AGENT IS HERE TO HELP! Q: My tenant is potentially looking at ending her tenancy early. What should I do? The tenant has only just recently signed into a Fixed Term Tenancy; however, she is struggling financially and may be separating from her partner, who is also a named tenant on the agreement. A: Ending a tenancy agreement early depends on having a break clause or an understanding landlord. This is unfortunately a fairly common issue for landlords, and I have been asked many times as to what the responsibilities are of both. What is a Fixed Term Tenancy? A Fixed Term Tenancy is a tenancy agreed for a term

– in most cases as an Assured Shorthold Tenancy – this is between 6 months to 3 years. We are seeing a definite increase in the demand for longer term tenancies. The tenancy will have an agreed start date and end date, and unless there is a significant breach of the agreement, or the agreement contains a break clause, this agreed term is contractually binding on both parties, and may be enforced by either party. A Fixed Term Tenancy may include a break clause allowing both to terminate the agreement early. If you give a Fixed Term Tenancy with no break, you will only be able to seek possession if one of the grounds for possession in the Housing Act 1988 apply, and if the

Specialists in Central London Property Sourcing

terms of the tenancy allow for it to be ended on any of these grounds. Ending a tenancy agreement early with a break clause A break clause is a term in a Fixed Term Tenancy agreement, which allows either person the right to end the agreement before the end of the agreement. Having a break clause can give both parties flexibility to end the agreement early. At times tenants and landlords like the flexibility provided by a break. It seems sensible when including a break clause, that both parties can give the same notice period, e.g. two months. Mutual agreement between landlord and tenant

league chose. He seduced the slum dwellers to vacate the land in exchange for decent apartments. The term ‘slum dweller’ has very negative connotations. Perhaps the statistics will put this into perspective, Dharavi, the largest slum in not just India, but Asia, sprawled over 530 acres, produces over $1bn per annum. Slum dwellers have money, and aspirations. Many of the families have worked hard and put their children through education in good schools. They wish now to have stable living accommodation. This offer led to some horse trading. Initially, the slum dwellers were suspicious of the deal offered and the paper work involved. So, they started the ball rolling on a very small scale. As they realised the promises made where kept, the word spread and now the developer is in a position where every apartment he makes is oversubscribed by the former slum dwellers. The apartments have conditions set by the

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Asian Voice | 20th January 2018

government, rather like the council houses do over here. This means once they have been bought they cannot not be resold for a period of ten years. But like many laws, where there’s a will (and a good lawyer) there is a way around.

Estate in Mumbai has been rising heavily over the last few decades. It has now been priced outside of the range of the majority of the population in Mumbai. This bottom end of the pyramid is very resistant to fluctuation, in stark contrast to the top end of the market.

These apartments occupy only 269 sq. ft. This exercise has now led them to not only offer them to the slum dwellers, but to the wider market at large. There is a massive appetite in the bottom end of the market. Real

At the bottom you have the basic human need, in the same way humans need to eat and breath they also need shelter. Parallels can be drawn in the London market. Now the fortune is at the bottom end of the pyramid.

ancy agreement early. This usually requires the outgoing tenant to continue to pay rent until a new tenant is found and they would also agree to pay for the cost of finding a tenant. Once

a new tenant is found and referenced, the landlord would agree to an early termination date.

In the situation above you are not under any obligation to agree to ending the tenancy agreement early with the tenant. Regardless of the tenant’s personal circumstances they are contracted to pay the rent to you for the remainder of the fixed term. Personally though, I would prefer not to have a tenant living in my property who is struggling financially, and always having to worry whether the rent will be paid on time every month. I also prefer to have a positive relationship with my tenants, so I’d choose to work with them to come to an agreeable solution. As part of our full management package, we have worked with many landlords and tenants to reach a solution to ending a ten-

0207 993 0103

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Richard Bond Lettings Manager Sow & Reap

Turning land into cash Get in touch about our land opportunities


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Consultant Editor Financial Voice Alpesh Patel 2018 To Be As Exciting as 2017 for Crypto? Dear Financial Voice Reader, For all the clampdowns and negative press of late about Crypto coming out of Asia, specifically South Korea (worried about addiction to Crypto – ie it’s too popular) and China (worried about electricity consumption – ie it’s too popular), I cannot on chatboards, twitter and Facebook groups find sellers. Even level 2 pricing on exchanges shows the major Crpto’s are well bid, with the 2017 strategy of ‘buy on dips’ still in favour. Of course you hardly need yet another risk warning about volatility – at least as a Crypto trader you got a real-life education in trading volatility. A Rising Rollercoaster Ride – To Repeat in 2018, or Derail? 2017 began as bland as the markets have been for some time with the alpha cryptocurrency Bitcoin trading at just under a thousand dollars. And though there were ups and downs along the road, nothing interesting was happening in the markets until just around midyear, when a sudden unexplainable spike in interest in the industry saw prices rising with a few altcoins already recording hundreds of percents in gain of value. Bitcoin was not be left behind as the king of them all, also joined the fray making outstanding gains that no one could really understand or explain the reason for. Despite huge scares from pronouncements of big banking chiefs like Jamie Dimon of JP Morgan who labeled Bitcoin as a fraud (Dimon by the way just recently retracted his claim), and the Chinese government’s crackdown on the proliferation of ICOs and forcing its big exchanges to close their Mainland shops, Bitcoin and the industry as a whole showed great maturity as they shrugged off these trying moments and continued their searing surge with Bitcoin peaking at over $20,000 mid December. And like the epic movie you have never watched before, this is when Bitcoin began to have its worst week probably since its creation where it shed about a third of that outstanding value that saw some of its biggest backers like Mike Novogratz put on hold their mega plans for the currency in the New Year. Although Bitcoin has not really managed to maintain its iron grip in the overall share of the market, as it has dropped from having over half market value to just over a third as at present, the industry overall has had a positive opening as it has increased in overall value from New Year Day till present of over $150 billion, according to CoinMarketCap. Despite recent falls, Ethereum for example continues to break its own record prices, as it trades as at the time of writing this at around $1200 compared to the $600 it was trading in the last week of 2017. Alpesh Patel Alpesh Patel and Juventus Football Club are Official Partners of 24Option.com brokers. Alpesh.patel@tradermind.com

Sanjeev Gupta buys aluminium smelter from Rio Tinto UK industrialist Sanjeev Gupta announced plans to build a global aluminium business after reaching an agreement to acquire Europe’s biggest smelter from Rio Tinto for $500m. He said the purchase of the 280,000 tonne a year Dunkerque smelter was part of a €2 billion plan to build a manufacturing business in northern France producing components for the automotive industry. Car markers are set to use more aluminium over the next decade, as they look to produce lighter vehicles that are more fuel efficient and have a lower carbon footprint. Gupta said the GFG Alliance, his family’s privatelyowned conglomerate, wanted to capitalise on that trend by developing manufacturing activities around the smelter, which employs

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Foreign airlines allowed to invest up to 49% in AI The government of India unveiled a fresh round of liberalisation of the foreign direct investment (FDI) policy, allowing foreign airlines to invest up to 49% in Air India, and opening up 100% FDI in single brand retail under the automatic route. Similarly, 100% FDI has been allowed via the automatic route in real estate broking services. Under the existing rules, foreign airlines are allowed to invest under the government approval route in the capital of Indian companies operating scheduled and non-scheduled air transport services, up to the limit of 49% of their paid-up capital. However, this provision was not applicable to Air India, thereby implying that foreign airlines could not invest in Air India. FIIs, FPIs can invest in power exchanges via primary

market It has now been decided to allow foreign airlines to invest up to 49% under approval route in Air India subject to the condition that foreign investment (s) in Air India including foreign airlines shall not exceed 49% either directly or indirectly,” the government said. But it said that substantial ownership and effective control of Air India shall continue to be Indian. The cabinet also allowed 100% FDI under the automatic route for single-brand retail as well as easing sourcing norms. Under the present policy only 49% FDI is allowed under the automatic route. Government approval is needed beyond 49% and up to 100%. The government has decided to permit single brand retail trading entities to set off their incremental

sourcing of goods from India for global operations during the initial five years, beginning April 1 of the year of the opening of first store against the mandatory sourcing requirement of 30% of purchases from India. Incremental sourcing will mean the increase in terms of value of such global sourcing from India for that single brand (in rupee terms) in a particular financial year over the preceding financial year, by the non-resident entities undertaking single brand retail trading entity, either directly or through their group companies. “After completion of this five-year period, the single brand retail entity shall be required to meet the 30% sourcing norms directly towards its India operation, on an annual basis,” an official statement said. Retailers are, however, eyeing further

relaxation. “…while it is (a step) in the right direction, we look forward to the same relaxation for the period beyond the initial five years as well, which works towards ease of doing business in India,” said Janne Einola, country manager at H&M India. The government also clarified that real-estate broking service does not amount to real estate business and is therefore, eligible for 100% FDI under the automatic route. Foreign institutional investors (FII) and portfolio investors (FPI) have been allowed to invest in power exchanges through the primary market as well. Current policy allows 49% FDI under the automatic route in power exchanges. However, FII/FPI purchases were restricted to secondary market only.

Fraud investigator takes Mallya to court

The Serious Fraud Investigation Office (SFIO) has filed a case against fugitive tycoon Vijay Mallya and 18 others, including Air Deccan founder Captain G R Gopinath, levelling a host of charges ranging from window dressing of published financial statements to non-compliance with mandatory accounting standards in the Kingfisher Airlines loan default case totalling £640 million. The Bengaluru city civil and sessions court has issued summons to Mallya. The white-collar crime probe agency’s list of accused include former officials of audit and merchant banking firms KPMG, Grant Thornton, SBI Caps and Ambit. The UB officials named in the SFIO list are former group CFO Ravi

Vijay Mallya

Nedungadi, Kingfisher finance director A Raghunathan and former UB Holdings managing director Harish Bhat. Registrar of Companies (RoC) has submitted a report to the ministry of corporate affairs (MCA) and pointed out key irregularities, including impropriety on part of promoter directors for claiming and booking guarantee commission without the concurrence of

secured lenders and misstatements in published account. Taking cognizance of serious wrongdoings on the part of Kingfisher Airlines, the MCA asked for an investigation. The central government while exercising power under the Companies Act of 2013 had issued instructions and sanction to file and initiate prosecution against the accused persons for violations and offences under various provisions. SFIO has alleged that SBI Caps ignored the business plans and financial projection by aviation experts Seabury and did not hold due diligence on the valuation of brand Kingfisher Airlines, which was valued at £411.1 million and formed more than 60% of securities offered to

lenders. SBI Caps was mandated to prepare information memorandum for seeking the mandate for a fresh bailout for Kingfisher Airlines. The merchant banking arm of SBI prepared a package of additional assistance of £119 million, excluding the conversion of part of debt into equity. SFIO alleged that Mallya influenced the bankers to bail out Kingfisher Airlines. The filing said Mallya tricked the bankers by stating that the very mention of corporate debt restructuring (CDR) in the bailout package would trigger default clauses under the aircraft lease agreement. The intent was to avoid monitoring by bankers under a CDR package.

Black money: Govt to deregister 1,20,000 firms Sanjeev Gupta

almost 600 workers and is powered by nuclear energy supplied by EDF. The Anglo Australian mining company is also seeking buyers for its Isal smelter in Reykjavik and its Pacific Aluminium business as it looks to focus on its best performing assets. Gupta has bought a number of distressed or unwanted industrial assets, with a vision of revitalising UK manufacturing based on recycling scrap metal and powered by renewable energy.

The government of India said it has decided to strike off the names of 1,20,000 more companies from the official records for various non-compliances as part of its continuing fight against the black money menace. Nearly 2,26,000 companies have already been deregistered and around 3,09,000 directors associated with these entities have been disqualified. The latest decision to strike off more 1,20,000 companies from official records came after a review meeting of the actions taken with respect to deregistered firms last week. Minister of State for Corporate Affairs P P Chaudhary, who chaired the review meeting, has

directed officials to expedite action against the companies that are to be struck off the records. For various non-compliances, around 1,20,000 more companies have been identified for striking-off, the corporate affairs ministry said in a release. Till the end of December 2017, over 2,26,000 companies were deregistered for various non-compliances and being inactive for long. These moves are part of larger efforts to curb illicit fund flows. According to the release, 1,157 cases had been filed with the National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) for restoration of deregistered companies. "Out of these cases, NCLT had given

orders for considering restoration of 180 companies, of which 128 companies have already been restored by the concerned Registrars of Companies (ROCs) after completion of the requisite compliance formalities," it said. With respect to 992 court cases pertaining to disqualification of directors that are pending with various high courts, the ministry said around 190 cases have been disposed of. Besides, the minister has asked for handling cases under the Condonation of Delay Scheme on a priority basis in order to ensure that eligible companies can avail the benefit. The scheme, which would be operational till

March 31, 2018, provides an opportunity for defaulting companies to submit their filings. The ministry also said there is now a trend of increasing compliance after the strikingoff and disqualification exercise. More and more companies are coming forward to file their annual returns and statements on the MCA21, it added. All filings under the Companies Act are to be made through the MCA21 portal. The minister emphasised that message should be sent out to company secretaries and directors of all companies to ensure that filings are made on time, which would also help prevent unnecessary litigation and prosecution.


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PAKISTAN

BANGLADESH

Pakistan erupts over rape, murder of 8-year-old

UK funded vaccines save Rohingya children from diphtheria

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan erupted over the alleged rape and murder of an eightyear-old girl in Pakistan’s Punjab province. At least two people were killed when police opened fire as the protest turned violent. Kasur town, located a short distance from the border with India, had been tense after the girl disappeared on January 4 while on her way home from a tuition centre. Her parents were away on a pilgrimage to Saudi Arabia, and her family circulated CCTV footage on social media that showed her with an unidentified man. Later, a constable deputed to trace the girl recovered her body from a garbage heap, with police saying she seemed to have been killed four or five days ago. Reports said she was allegedly been raped several times before

People attend a funeral of the girl who was raped and killed

being strangled. Later the demonstrators armed with sticks and stones tried to storm the deputy commissioner’s office during protests over the girl’s death. Two people died of gunshot wounds after the police opened fire on the protestors and several others

were injured. Footage on television showed policemen firing directly at the mob before being told by their superiors to fire in the air. The girl’s father, on returning to Pakistan, told the media that he would not bury her till justice was done. He also accused police

of only being concerned with the security of politicians and not acting against persons who had been identified in connection with his daughter’s killing. Punjab law minister Rana Sanaullah appealed for calm and said that the provincial government had “taken notice of the case”. According to the report, police confirmed the girl had been strangled and officials described the incident as a “serial killing”. Local media reports said the girl’s murder was the twelfth such case in Kasur over a period of one year. Kasur had hit the headlines in 2015 when a gang of paedophiles running a child sex ring was busted in the town. The gang allegedly abducted and sexually assaulted 280 children and blackmailed the families of some victims since 2009.

Pak suspends intelligence-sharing with US ISLAMABAD: After the US has decided to suspend military aid to Islamabad, Pakistan has stopped sharing of key intelligence with the US. Pakistan was no longer sharing information collected from sources on the ground in the border region with Afghanistan, Pakistani officials said. “The human intelligence involves a range of sources, from suspects coming from Afghanistan who are caught by our forces to our own intelligencegathering mechanisms. All that is on hold for now,” said an official.“The US drones

Court notice to Pak PM LAHORE: The Lahore High Court has issued notice to Pakistan Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi for making an "anti-judiciary" remarks in an "inflammatory" speech in Sialkot. Notice was also issued to the government and the Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (Pemra) when the court heard a petition alleging that the Prime Minister had termed the Supreme Court's Panama Papers decision a "piece of trash". Advocate Azhar Siddiqi filed the petition, arguing that Abbasi's remarks amounted to contempt of court, Dawn reported. Presenting his case in the court of Justice Shahid Kareem, the petitioner said that by making such an "inflammatory statement, the PM was trying to make the judiciary controversial". He said ousted Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and his daughter Maryam had also openly criticised the apex court and its judges in their speeches, and tried to whip up public sentiment.

Khurram Dastgir Khan

which fly over the Pakistani side of the border at times collect intelligence information. But no drone can do the

100 per cent job.” The move follows the decision by US President Donald Trump to suspend around $2bn of annual military aid to Pakistan unless it does more to tackle Islamist militants in the Afghan border region.Washington has long been frustrated by what it sees as duplicity by Islamabad, which it says accepts billions of dollars of US aid to help it eliminate militancy while offering a haven to some extremist groups. Khurram Dastgir Khan, Pakistan’s defence minister,

said some intelligence-sharing with the US would be halted. But it had been unclear until now what that would entail. Khan said Islamabad was still considering the more radical option of preventing US forces using Pakistan as a land route to Afghanistan. Political leaders said another option would be to increase the fee charged to use it to compensate for the lost aid. “If the Americans choose to stop our aid, we can only raise the cost of the passage,” an MP from Pakistan Muslim LeagueNawaz party said.

Pak bureau chief of Indian TV channel escapes kidnap bid ISLAMABAD: The Pakistan correspondent of an Indian TV channel was forcibly piled into a car by “10-12 armed men” and beaten up before he managed to jump off the speeding car on a busy motorway. Taha Siddiqui, who is the Pakistan bureau chief of WION (World Is One), had been receiving insistent messages from Pakistan’s Fedeal Investigation Agency’s counter-terror wing since May 2017 to appear before it for his comments on social media against the military. Islamabad Police ordered a probe into the “kidnapping attempt” following a complaint by Siddiqui. Journalist Asad Hashim, who accompanied Siddiqui to the police station, tweeted that Siddiqui was “beaten (and) threatened with death”. “He (Siddiqui) only escaped by running through oncoming traffic,” Hashim said in another tweet. Later, Siddiqui posted a message via Dawn journalist Cyril Almeida’s Twitter account, recalling the details of the kidnapping attempt.

Taha Siddiqui

“I was on my way to airport when 10-12 armed men stopped my cab, forcibly tried to abduct me.” He further said that he had managed to escape the kidnapping attempt and that he was “safe and with the police now”. “Looking for support in any way possible,”

Siddiqui added, ending his tweet with the hashtag # S t o p EnforcedDisappearances. Siddiqui had filed a petition in the Islamabad high court alleging harassment by FIA over the phone. Siddiqui had alleged that a man named Noman Bodla, who identified himself as member of FIA’s counter-terrorism department, had called him and attempted to pressure him into appearing for an ‘interrogation’ at the FIA headquarters. He had expressed his reluctance to appear before the FIA to the HC by citing instances wherein scribes who had appeared before it had either been detained illegally or had disappeared. Some of Pakistan’s leading journalists expressed strong protest against the attack on Siddiqui. Hamid Mir of Geo TV wrote: “Journalist community must condemn the kidnapping attempt of Taha Siddiqui with full unity... no compromise on harassment of media.”

DHAKA: UK has once again led the response to the Rohingya crisis in Bangladesh, by contributing to a vaccination programme which will protect more than 350,000 vulnerable Rohingya children from a deadly outbreak of diphtheria. The campaign, which began in December, is due to run till February, has already ensured more than 315,000 children aged between sixweeks and 15-yearsold, living in or near the world’s biggest camp in Cox’s Bazar, are protected. Overcrowded camps in Cox’s Bazar are a breeding ground for contagious diphtheria, with 100 new cases every day. Since late 2017, there have been nearly 4,000 suspected cases and at least 31 deaths. More than half the deaths relate to children under the age of five. Diphtheria is especially dangerous for children. It is fast spreading and fatal, causing extreme breathing difficulties, inflammation of the heart which can lead to heart failure, problems with the nervous system and fatal paralysis. Along with the vaccination campaign, which is being carried out by UNICEF, the UK has also provided specialist expertise in the form of British doctors, nurses, paramedics and midwives, who are treating diphtheria patients. The skills of the 40-strong UK aidfunded Emergency Medical Team have made a significant difference and saved countless lives, including that of four-yearold Anowar. He was referred to the treatment centre on January 8, in a weak and lethargic condition and displaying symptoms of diphtheria. Anowar’s symptoms were so severe; the clinicians decided that he needed diphtheria anti-toxin

immediately in addition to a course of antibiotics. That afternoon his health had improved significantly, and he was soon released to complete his treatment in the care of his relieved family. He is now doing well and looked healthier when he visited the treatment centre for a check-up. The intervention of the UK medics undoubtedly saved Anowar’s life but it has also had a wider impact as clinicians were also able to treat his entire family with precautionary antibiotics, preventing them from going through the same suffering as Anowar. The Rohingya have fled to Bangladesh from neighbouring Burma following persecution by its military. In November 2017, the International Development Secretary visited Cox’s Bazar where she announced extra UK aid for the humanitarian crisis, ensuring more lives are not put at risk when international funding starts to run out in February 2018. International Development Secretary Penny Mordaunt said: “It is difficult to comprehend the depth of human suffering among the hundreds and thousands of Rohingya who have fled persecution in Burma. Many have sought refuge in Bangladesh, but their plight is far from over as diphtheria, an entirely preventable disease, is claiming the lives of those who thought they had finally reached safety. “British expertise and aid is saving lives in Cox’s Bazar, preventing and treating this deadly infection, helping children like Anowar. "In today’s world, no child should die from a preventable disease. The UK is giving hope and a chance to Rohingya families.”


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AFRICA

Dispute on role of Raila derails unity talks NAIROBI: Foreign diplomats pushing for dialogue between the National Super Alliance and President Uhuru Kenyatta want the public to determine the role opposition leaders Raila Odinga and Kalonzo Musyoka should play in the aftermath of the elections. It has emerged that lobbying, spearheaded by the US, UK and Germany and the clergy is not aimed at the ultimate formation of a government of national unity, an idea repulsive to the Jubilee Party. Diplomatic sources revealed that they were yet to propose any particular roles for Odinga and Musyoka - who claim to have won the August 8, 2017 elections - in the talks they have so far held with them. “There are no particular roles suggested

for Raila and Kalonzo. An agreement on their future should be spearheaded by Kenyans themselves,” said the source. On Monday, Odinga confirmed that the diplomats, who he met alone at his Capitol Hill office in Upper Hill, Nairobi, with his co-principals Musyoka (Wiper), Musalia Mudavadi (ANC) and Moses Wetang’ula (Ford-K), have not suggested any position for him in the current set-up. Instead, he said US ambassador Robert Godec was pushing for talks between the two political sides over electoral reforms. “They have not gone to the details of what it should be. They only talk of bringing on board more stakeholders. But I have stated that they are interfering in what is

Raila Odinga

basically a Kenyan affair which should be left to Kenyans to solve,” he said on the telephone. Dialogue Last week, Godec said the US is not particularly pushing for any rewards or position for politicians but dialogue that will bring all Kenyans on board. “The US continues to be committed to a national conversation involving all Kenyans to build national unity,

Uhuru Kenyatta

address long-standing issues and resolve divisions exacerbated by 2017 elections,” he said in a statement. Earlier, some allies of Odinga claimed that the US was pushing to have Odinga elevated to a statesman as part of efforts to end the political standoff. The plan, they claimed, was to elevate the position to that of hierarchy of the ... State, complete with the trappings of state power.

EU parliament to debate situation in Kenya STRASBOURG: The European parliament is scheduled to discuss the situation in Kenya, days after their mission published a report on its observations during the two rounds of presidential elections last year. The parliament is meeting in Strasbourg, France, and is scheduled to hold the discussions. Marietje Schaake, who was the chief observer for the European Union Election Observation Mission in Kenya, is among those looking forward to the discussions. Clash Schaake last week clashed with the Kenyan government after she released the observation mission’s report in Brussels after a dispute with the authorities in Nairobi. While she claimed that the government had said it was not ready to receive the mission, the

Ailing Ugandan MP dispels death rumours KAMPALA: Ailing Bukomansimbi South MP Deogratius Kiyingi has dismissed rumours about his death as doom, spread by ill intended politicians. “It is false and since I came here, doctors have been working on me and my situation is not worrying,” said Kiyingi in a Whatsapp message. “Please disregard any rumours of doom about my death. I know those who are perpetuating it,” he added. The lawmaker was flown out of the country and admitted to Phyanthai Hospital in Bangkok, Thailand.

Marietje Schaake

government said releasing the report without its input was unprocedural, condescending and disdainful. Schaake said that with the deadline agreed in June last year fast approaching, she had no option but to release the report from a “remote” location. Kenya’s Ambassador to Belgium, Johnson Weru, said it was actually Schaake who had gone against the memorandum of agreement. The final report, uploaded on the EU

website after Schaake’s address, has 29 recommendations which the observers say Kenya has to implement if it has to improve its election procedures. They include strengthening independent institutions, promoting democracy within political parties, and developing the Kenya Broadcasting Corporation into a “genuine public service broadcaster with full editorial and financial independence”.

State resources The observers question a long-held requirement that people aspiring to be leaders need not be bankrupt. They also wonder why there are educational requirements for vying. The EU also accuses Jubilee of using its incumbency to abuse state resources. “However,” the report adds, “the advantages of incumbency at county level were evidently to the benefit of both political camps. During the 141 rallies watched by observers, 27 instances of misuse of State resources in 16 counties were witnessed. “These included 18 instances involving Jubilee and four involving Nasa. This primarily concerned the use of official county and national government vehicles to and from campaign events, including one military helicopter in Makueni County.”

Ban on sale of liquor to Lankan women removed COLOMBO: Sri Lankan women of 18 years and above can now legally buy alcohol for the first time in more than 60 years. The government said that it was amending a 1955 law which was deemed discriminatory against women. The amendment also means that women will be permitted without prior approval to work in places that sell alcohol. While the previous law was not always strictly enforced, many Sri Lankan women have welcomed the change. Women took to social media to thank the government for its decision, which was announced

by Sri Lanka's Finance Minister Mangala Samaraweera. Under the new law, women will no longer require the approval of the state's excise commissioner in order to work or drink "in licensed premises", including restaurants. While the move has been widely welcomed,

some argue that it might lead to more women becoming addicted to alcohol. In Sri Lanka, a majority of women traditionally choose not to drink alcohol as they see it as against Sri Lankan culture. However in 2016, Sri President Maithripala Sirisena, who runs an antialcohol campaign in the country, said that alcohol consumption among Lankan women had increased "drastically" in recent years. "We all are aware that drug abuse has become a pressing national issue," he said at the time.

The US wants the position to come with an office, a motorcade, staff and a commensurate package that will allow Odinga to travel the world promoting Kenya’s image and giving talks on democracy, one of them told the Nation. The allies said part of the package would be a retirement deal commensurate with Odinga’s long career in the public service and a further promise to support his push for reforms. Rejected However, the former prime minister is said to have rejected the proposals, saying they do not represent the interests of Kenyans yearning for electoral justice. A source in Nasa said Odinga also rejected the proposal because it does not take

care of the interests of the larger Nasa family. “Assuming I accept, what will I do with my colleagues in Nasa?” Odinga is reported to have asked the ambassador when the proposal was made. Odinga who is walking through a tricky path with his plans to be sworn in as the people’s president told the diplomats to keep off. “They cannot come to tell us who should be this and that. We are talking about a stolen election and our aim is reforms to bring about electoral justice. We have never talked anything about that,” he said. Nasa leaders have set January 30 as the deadline for talks with Jubilee party, failure to which Odinga will be sworn in as the people’s president and Musyoka as his deputy.

SRI LANKA

Violence in Lankan parliament over bond sale scandal

COLOMBO: Violence erupted in the Sri Lankan parliament as Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe read a statement over a Treasury bond scam at the central bank. Opposition legislators launched a protest in the middle of the House as Wickremesinghe read his statement, calling for the parliament speaker to divulge the details of the Treasury bond scam which had been probed by a special presidential commission.The situation soon turned violent when an object was hurled at the Prime Minister. Speaker Karu Jayasuriya suspended sittings for 10 minutes to restore normalcy. "I am told that never in history had there been a brawl in the Chamber like the one just now," Deputy Minister of Policy Planning and Economic Development Harsha De Silva tweeted. "Utter pandemonium in parliament. Apparently someone threw an object at the PM while he was speaking in the Chamber. Didn't see who it was. Disgraceful." Even after the 10-

minute suspension, a fist fight was reported between opposition and government legislators. The Prime Minister was unhurt in the clashes. However, Kavinda Jayawardena of the ruling United National Party was taken to the parliament medical centre after he was injured in the brawl. The Treasury is said to have lost (Sri Lankan) Rs 11,145 million (about $72 million) due to the bond scam and other malpractices which were allegedly committed during the watch of former central bank chief Arjuna Mahendran and some bank officials when the new government took office in 2015. Mahendran was appointed the central bank chief in 2015 by Prime Minister Wickremesinghe before the bonds scam allegedly took place. He resigned a year later. President Maithripala Sirisena appointed a three-member presidential commission to probe the bond scam in January 2017. The commission has handed over its report to the President last month.


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Malaysia signs deal with US firm to find missing MH370 KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia signed a deal to pay a US seabed exploration firm up to $70 million if it finds the missing Malaysia Airlines aircraft MH370 within 90 days of embarking on a new search in the Southern Indian ocean. The disappearance of the aircraft en route from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing in March 2014 with 239 people aboard ranks among the world's greatest aviation mysteries. Australia, China and Malaysia ended a fruitless A$200-million ($157 million) search of a 120,000 sq km area in January last year, despite investigators urging the search be extended to a 25,000-square-km area further to the north. Malaysian transport minister Liow Tiong Lai said a Houston-based private firm, Ocean Infinity, would search for MH370 in that 25,000-sq-km priority area on a "no-cure, no-fee" basis, meaning it will only get paid if it finds the plane. "As we speak, the vessel, Seabed Constructor, is on her way to the search

The signing ceremony between the Malaysian government and Ocean Infinity Limited in Putrajaya, Malaysia

area, taking advantage of favourable weather conditions in the South Indian ocean," Liow said. The search will begin soon, said Ocean Infinity Chief Executive Oliver Plunkett, who attended the signing event. Ocean Infinity will be paid $20 million if the plane is found within 5,000 sq km, $30 million if it is found within 10,000 square km and $50 million if it is found within an area of 25,000 square km. Beyond that area, Ocean Infinity will receive $70 million, Liow said. Its priority is to locate

China to fund counterterrorism base in Afghanistan BEIJING: China will fund construction of an Afghan counterterrorism base in Badakshan province to block cross-border infiltration of the ethnic Uyghur militants. Fergana News Agency (FNA) has quoted Gen. Dawlat Waziri of the Afghan Defence Ministry as saying that China will provide financial support to build the base, whose precise location inside Badakshan, in northern Afghanistan, is yet to the determined. Gen. Waziri said that the Chinese side would cover all material and technical expenses for this base - weaponry, uniforms for soldiers, military equipment and everything else necessary for its functioning. The decision to build the facility was taken during last month’s visit to China by Afghan Defence Minister Tariq Shah Bahrami. During his visit, Bahrami met his Chinese counterpart Chang Wanquan, and Xu Qiliang, Vice Chairman of China’s Central Military Commission. According to China Military Online, a website affiliated with

the People’s Liberation Army (PLA), Gen. Xu said during his meeting with Barhami that China was willing to “strengthen pragmatic cooperation in areas of military exchange and anti-terrorism, and safeguard the security of the two countries and the region, making contributions to the development of China-Afghanistan strategic partnership of cooperation”. FNA said that Bahrami and his Chinese counterpart, Gen. Chang Wanquan agreed that their counter-terrorism focus should not only be confined to Badakshan, but Afghanistan’s entire northern region. Afghan analysts said that the largest group of Uyghur militants already resides in Badakhshan, from where they can rapidly shift to China. The Afghan Defence Minister’s visit follows the first meeting of the foreign ministers of China, Pakistan and Afghanistan last month. “China has been able to establish itself as honest broker in the eyes of the Afghans,” a source told The Hindu.

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the wreckage or the flight and cockpit recorders, and present credible evidence to confirm their location within 90 days, Liow added. "They cannot take forever or drag it on for another six months or a year."

Unique solution Ocean Infinity's vessel carries eight autonomous underwater vehicles that will scour the seabed with scanning equipment for information to be sent back for analysis. It has 65 crew, including two government representatives drawn from the Malaysian

navy. The ship could complete the search within three or four weeks, and cover up to 60,000 square km in 90 days, or four times faster than earlier efforts, Plunkett said. "It was a unique problem that required a unique solution ... We looked at it and said, 'Let's do something different than what other people would do,' and that's the essence of our business." Ocean Infinity's core business is in the oil and gas industry, as well as subsea exploration services for tasks such as underwater cabling and seabed mapping, he said.

Indian-origin man loses US citizenship for fraud NEW YORK: A naturalised American from India has been stripped of his US citizenship, the first case under a government initiative designed to clamp down on fraudulent immigration, widened under the Trump administration. Baljinder Singh, 43, from Carteret, New Jersey, became a naturalised citizen in 2006 after marrying his American wife. But he arrived in the US in 1991, flying into San Francisco without travel documents or proof of identity, giving his name as Davinder Singh, the justice department said. He dodged a subsequent court hearing and was ordered to be deported in January 1992. A month later he filed for asylum under the name Baljinder Singh, which he then abandoned after getting married. The department of justice, which moved a petition in this regard before a US court last September, said that Singh in his citizenship application concealed prior orders of exclusion and his deportation under different identities. Last week, a federal judge in New Jersey revoked his naturalisation, reverting him back to lawful permanent resident, which means that he can be subject to removal proceedings. “I hope this case, and those to follow, send a loud and message that attempting to fraudulently obtain US citi-

Indicted Indian American businessman tries to flee US NEW YORK: Indicted Indian American businessman Nik Patel tried to flee to Ecuador. Nik Patel, 34, had been scheduled for sentencing in federal court. But he tried to fly to Ecuador, federal authorities said in a court filing. “On January 6, 2018, Patel travelled from his residence to the Kissimmee Airport for the purpose of fleeing United States…,” prosecutors said in a request for a warrant. FBI agents saw Patel heading toward the airport and stopped him there, according to an affidavit filed in court. Patel now faces an additional charge of flight to avoid prosecution, according to the court docket. Patel was first nabbed in September 2014, for selling about 26 fake loans to a Milwaukee financial firm, Pennant Management. He was later indicted for falsely saying his loans were guaranteed by the US Department of Agriculture. Patel was also sued in civil court, and most of his assets became part of a civil-court receivership. Having pleaded guilty more than a year ago, Patel had been free on bond while he supposedly helped the court recover money he stole. Patel’s cooperation was expected to help reduce his time in prison, but the new developments could mean he’s facing much more time. He

had numerous sentencing hearings postponed over three years. Patel was the owner of First Farmers Financial who was buying up hotels in Orlando and other cities. He also invested in restaurants. But Patel’s world collapsed after the FBI filed criminal charges against him. Investigators have recovered about $100 million by selling off Patel's hotels, cars and other property. But the scope and damage of his alleged crimes widened over time, too. Patel is accused of using Pennant's money to buy five hotels, three in Orlando, and personal luxury items. The hotels were auctioned off to raise $80 million. Patel’s legal trouble began in 2014. He was also arrested on April 4 in Panama City for DUI, refusing a sobriety field test, driving on a suspended license and failure to change his address on his license.

WASHINGTON: The execution of Indian prisoner, convicted of killing a baby and her Indian grandmother, has been set for February 23. In 2014, Raghunandan Yandamuri, 32, was given the death penalty for kidnapping and killing a 61year-old Indian woman and her 10month-old grand-daughter. However, he may get a reprieve because of a 2015 moratorium on the death penalty by Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf. “The law provides that when the governor does not sign a warrant of execution within the specified time period, the secretary of corrections has 30 days within which to issue a notice of execution,” Pennsylvania Department of Corrections said. According to the report, Wolf imposed a moratorium on the death penalty in 2015. State officials are awaiting the results of a study conducted by the

Pennsylvania Task Force and Advisory Committee on capital punishment, before moving forward with any executions. Pennsylvania has not seen any executions in the last nearly 20 years. Since 1976, three persons have been executed in the States between 1995 and 1999. A native of Andhra Pradesh, Yandamuri had come to the US on H-1B visa. He holds an advanced degree in electrical and computer science engineering. Following his conviction, he asked that death penalty be imposed upon him. Later, he appealed against his sentence, but lost in April last year.

Nik Patel

Date set for execution of Indian prisoner in US

zenship will not be tolerated,” said US Citizenship and Immigration Services director Francis Cissna, a Trump administration appointee. The justice department said it was the first denaturalisation under Operation Janus, a department of homeland security initiative against fraudulent immigration. Last September the initiative identified 315,000 cases where fingerprint data was missing, raising concerns that at least some may have tried to circumvent criminal record and other background checks in the naturalisation process. The USCIS has plans to refer 1,600 other cases for prosecution. The government filed the complaint against Singh last September, along with two other cases against Pakistanborn naturalised citizens in Connecticut and Florida. President Trump has stepped up a broader crackdown on illegal immigration since taking office in January 2017.

Raghunandan Yandamuri


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WEST BENGAL

SOUTH

Will Kamal Haasan join hands with Rajini in politics? CHENNAI: A promise to "reach out to friends" in actor Kamal Haasan's weekly column "Ananda Vikatan" has triggered excitement among fans, who have read it as a hint in working with friend Rajinikanth. Last month, Rajinikanth has followed Kamal Haasan into the political stage, announcing his intention to set up a political party and contest all seats in Tamil Nadu in the next assembly elections. Kamal Haasan was one of the first to congratulate him, tweeting, "I greet Rajini's social concern and political debut. Welcome welcome".

Later, in his weekly column, Haasan wrote, "I'd not antagonise my friends to secure my position like usual politicians. Nor is the youth ready to continue under such leadership. I'd attempt to reach out to Kamal Haasan with Rajinikanth elders and flew into the national stafriends too". Last week, the dium of Kuala Lumpur in a two actors went to chopper. Both actors have Malaysia to attend a fundstepped into the political raiser that featured 250 void left in Tamil Nadu members of the Tamil film after the death of former industry. In true Tamil Chief Minister and blockbuster fashion, they

AIADMK chief J Jayalalithaa. In November, Kamal Haasan made the announcement that he would form a new political party, while Rajinikanth announced the formation of his party. In his column, Kamal Haasan explained the delay in the launch of his party, saying he was being cautious as he wanted to build an organization that would outlast him. "There can be no mistakes. That's why the delay in party launch. My work should be a manifesto even beyond my life. We should launch parties for generations," he wrote.

Gutkha scam: I-T dept’s note seized from Sasikala's room CHENNAI: In a damming disclosure to the Madras high court, the income tax department has said a confidential note written by it in the multi-crore gutkha scam was recovered from AIADMK leader VK Sasikala's room in former Tamil Nadu chief minister Jayalalithaa's house in Poes Garden. The I-T department's letter had been forwarded through the then DGP to Jayalalithaa but was found from a room occupied by Sasikala. "During a search by the department on November 17, 2017 in the rooms occu-

pied by Sasikala, a note dated September 2, 2016 signed by the then DGP addressed to the then chief minister enclosing copies of secret letter dated August 11, 2016 addressed by then principal director of income tax department to DGP in connection with the gutka scam was found," said Suise Babu Varghese, the principal director of the department, through an affidavit filed in the court. Varghese made the submissions in a PIL filed by DMK legislator J Anbazhagan seeking a CBI probe into the alleged gutka scam. The letter dated

VK Sasikala

November 11, 2016 was addressed to both the then chief secretary and the DGP with copies of the relevant accounts from the seized materials and copies of the extracts of sworn statements recorded from

Madhava Rao, partner in the gutka company involved in the scam, evidencing payment to various parties connected with the state government, and requesting necessary action against the persons concerned, Varghese added. This apart, in the sworn statement, Rao has stated that the payments were made to various officials and explained that the abbreviation of 'HM' and 'CP' in the diary seized from the firm denotes health minister and commissioner of police respectively, the officer has said.

NORTH

Haryana CM asks BJP men to get into poll mode CHANDIGARH: Reportedly cautious with the approach taken by the Congress and INLD in pre-election year, Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar has asked party leaders to get into election mode. In the first review meeting held by the CM, leaders from 17 Assembly segments from over four districts Gurugram, Kaithal, Sonepat, and Rewari were present. Khattar encouraged the leaders to send him a list of pending projects, in a bid to address concerns of party leaders and MLAs, assuring to expedite the work on priority basis. “I have made around 3,600 announcements concerning development works. Work on about 65 per cent of these has been completed and is in progress with respect to the rest,” he asserted. BJP media in charge, Rajiv Jain said the party would hold similar feedback sessions at regular intervals in a

Manohar Lal Khattar

way to gear up party organisations for next year's Lok Sabha and Assembly elections. Meanwhile, Khattar urged party leaders to make the electorate aware of development projects initiated by the Central and state governments. Political activity in Haryana has speeded, with the INLD gearing up for a Delhi rally on the SYL issue on March 7, and Bhupinder Singh Hooda and Ashok Tanwar factions of the Congress announcing programmes to highlight various acts of omission and commission of the BJP government.

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Ram Rahim’s second daughter faces arrest CHANDIGARH: There seems to be no end to the troubles of the associates of Dera Sacha Sauda chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim. After authorities arrested his adopted daughter Honeypreet Insan, they are now tightening the noose around Vipassana Insaan, the Dera's chairperson. Once among the top contenders to succeed Ram Rahim, she now faces arrest. The Panchkula court has issued an arrest warrant against Vipassana in connection with violence after Ram Rahim's conviction in August. Vipassana was interrogated by the Special Investigating Team of Haryana police in October 2017, in connection with the violence that broke out following Ram Rahim's conviction in two rape cases. Known as the second adopted daughter of the Dera chief, the 35 year old joined the cult right after completing her college studies.

Vipassana Insaan

Vipassana was grilled in October 2017 by the investigating team in connection with the violence which broke out following the conviction of Ram Rahim. As the spokesperson of Dera, she was heard appealing for peace soon after Ram Rahim was convicted. Vipassana is better known by Dera followers as the second adopted daughter of Ram Rahim after Honeypreet. T h i r t y- f i ve -ye a r- o l d Vipassana joined the Dera right after completing her college studies and is currently the chairperson of Dera Sacha Sauda.

Gorkha leader ready for dialogue with Mamata NEW DELHI: Gorkha Janmukti Morcha leader Bimal Gurung said that he was ready to hold talks with West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee to defuse the crisis in Darjeeling and asserted that his fight was for Gorkha identity. In his interaction with reporters following a long and violent agitation in Darjeeling last year, Gurung also rejected Banerjee's accusation that he was a separatist, saying his party's demands were within the purview of Indian Constitution and he believed in national integrity. He claimed that the state police had implicated him and his party's workers in over 350 false criminal cases and sought an independent inquiry into the matter. Gurung said he had been on a run before the Supreme Court asked the police to not take any coercive measure against him. Asked if he was willing to hold dialogue with Mamata, he answered in affirmative. "I'm ready for dialogue. Dialogue is the way ahead," he said. Though his party has been demanding a separate state of Gorkhaland to be carved out of West Bengal, he did

Bimal Gurung

not touch upon the issue in his comments. "Our agitation is for Gorkha identity," he said. He said he had nothing against the people of Bengal but the language and culture of Gorkhas were distinct from them and whatever they were demanding was within the ambit of the Constitution. Gurung accused the state government of acting in an "one-sided" manner following the start of an agitation in Darjeeling in June last year. Eleven Gorkhas died in police and other violent action, he said. In his absence, a group of other Gorkha leaders led by Vinay Tamang had claimed to be the real representatives of people. Mamata appointed Tamang as the head of Gorkhaland Territorial Administration (GTA) after Gurung, who was its chief, and his associates resigned.

TMC and BJP men clash over Swami Vivekananda’s legacy KOLKATA: Kolkata city was turned into war zones as Trinamool Congress (TMC) and BJP supporters clashed to claim Swami Vivekananda’s legacy on his 155th birth anniversary. They clashed at least four times barely 500 metres away from the spiritual leader’s ancestral home. The clashes cast a shadow on the already fraught relations between the BJP-led Centre and the Trinamool-led state, prompting the state BJP to demand President’s rule in Bengal and Union transport minister Nitin Gadkari to cancel his visit to the state government’s annual event ‘Bengal Global Business Summit (BGBS)’, which started on Tuesday. The fights also attracted Calcutta high court’s notice after its special officer, Rabi Shankar Datta,

submitted that his car was vandalised and he sustained minor injuries. The HC had appointed Datta to oversee a motorbike rally by BJP Yuva Morcha. The court directed the BJP youth wing to suspend its programme for two days and resume it later. BJYM had planned its motorbike rally, Pratirodh Sankalpa Abhiyan, to coincide with Swamiji’s birth anniversary. BJP state president Dilip Ghosh, who was scheduled to join the rally from Swamiji’s ancestral home, said, “We started the rally with the court’s go-ahead but the ruling party did not pay heed even to the court order. The state government does not deserve any courtesy or cooperation from the Centre. Union minister Gadkari will not be coming for the BGBS,” he said.

Bengal man arrested for harassing Sachin's daughter

MUMBAI: Debkumar Maity, a 32-year-old man from West Bengal, has been arrested for allegedly harassing Sachin Tendulkar's daughter. He has called at least 20 times on the ex-cricketer's landline number since January 2, police said. He made obscene comments about Sara Tendulkar and even

threatened to kidnap her. Sachin had filed a complaint with the police after which the cyber cell of the Mumbai police traced the number to Mahishadal in East Midnapore district of West Bengal. The West Bengal police were informed and the man was arrested.


HERITAGE HISTORY

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Asian Voice | 20th January 2018

Dr. Hari Desai

Whither Indian Republic after 68 years

Churchill’s prediction of disintegration has proved wrong Hero-worship, a sure road to degradation and dictatorship Even before India was to be free in 1947, Winston Churchill had predicted that post independence India would disintegrate and fall back into the Middle Ages. Even the Chief Architect of the Indian Constitution, Dr. B.R. Ambedkar had expressed the possibility of India losing her independence for the second time and turning to dictatorship. Fortunately, even after 68 years of India turning republic on 26 January 1950, she could safeguard her territorial sovereignty and democracy as well.

O

f course, India must have faced certain obstacles during last seven decades including the Black Emergency (1975-’77) of Prime Minister Indira Gandhi and wars with Pakistan and China apart from the terrorist threats and attacks, but it could successfully resist the dangers of disintegration, continued to progress and prosper. On 25 November 1949 while making his final speech in the Constituent Assembly of India, Dr. Ambedkar, the first Law Minister of India, expressed fear of India losing her independence by the infidelity and treachery of some of her own people. He recollected the history and told the Assembly: “In the invasion of Sindh by MahommedBin-Kasim, the military commanders of King Dahar accepted bribes from the agents of Mahommed-Bin-Kasim and refused to fight on the side of their King. It was Jaichand who invited Mahommed Ghori to invade India and fight against Prithvi Raj and promised him the help of himself and the Solanki Kings. When Shivaji was fighting for the liberation of Hindus, the other Maratha noblemen and the Rajput Kings were fighting the battle on the side of Mughal Emperors. When the British were trying to destroy the Sikh Rulers, Gulab Singh, their principal commander (who was to be the Maharaja of J

& K) sat silent and did not help to save the Sikh Kingdom. In 1857, when a large part of India had declared a war of independence against the British, the Sikhs stood and watched the event as silent spectators.” “Will history repeat itself? It is this thought which fills me with anxiety. This anxiety is deepened by the realization of the fact that in addition to our old enemies in the form of castes and creeds, we are going to have many political parties with diverse and opposing political creeds. Will Indians place the country above their creed or will they place creed above

In ancient times, India had Janapadas or Mahajanpadas like in Maurya period. The Chairman of the Constitution Drafting Committee says: “It is not that India did not know what is Democracy. There was a time when India was studded with republics, and even where there were monarchies, they were either elected or limited. They were never absolute. It is not that India did not know Parliaments or parliamentary procedure.” After Centuries India became democratic republic and it is not only the duty of the political leadership, but every citizen must see to it that democracy is not only saved but has to be strengthened. There are three warnings one has to be cautious to protect democracy in India. (1) We must do is to hold fast to constitutional methods of achieving our social and economic objectives. It means we must abandon the bloody

Indian Parliament

country? I do not know. But this much is certain that if the parties place creed above country, our independence will be put in jeopardy a second time and probably be lost forever. This eventuality we must all resolutely guard against. We must be determined to defend our independence with the last drop of our blood.”

methods of revolution. It means that we must abandon the method of civil disobedience, non-cooperation and satyagraha. When there was no way left for constitutional methods for achieving economic and social objectives, there was a great deal of justification for unconstitutional methods. (2) The second thing we must do is to observe the

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Map of Maurya Empire which had Janapada system

Winston Churchill

caution which John Stuart Mill has given to all who are interested in the maintenance of democracy, namely, not “to lay their liberties at the feet of even a great man, or to trust him with power which enable him to subvert their institutions”. For in India, Bhakti or what may be called the path of devotion or hero-worship, plays a part in its politics. Bhakti in religion may be a road to the salvation of the soul. But in politics, Bhakti or hero-worship is a sure road to degradation and to eventual dictatorship. (3) The third thing  we must do is not to be content with mere political democracy. We must make our political democracy a social democracy as well. Political democracy cannot last unless there lies at the base of it social democracy. On 24 July 2017, while giving the farewell speech as the President of India, Pranab Mukherjee, put stress on non-violence and tolerance. He said: “The soul of India resides in pluralism and tolerance. India is not just a geographical entity. It carries

“Various distortions that a history of ideas, philosohave been taken place in phy, intellect, industrial the past two decades have genius, craft, innovation however added an altoand experience. Plurality gether new dimension to of our society has come the whole problem and about through assimilacreated a situation which tion of ideas over cennow threatens the very turies. The multiplicity in existence of the Indian culture, faith and language Union and its democratic is what makes India spepolity.” Prasad talks about cial. We derive our “a close nexus between strength from tolerance. It contractors, leaders of has been part of our colMafias and criminal gangs lective consciousness for and many persons with centuries. There are divercriminal antecedents, gent strands in public disincluding prominent course. We may argue, we politicians.” Now the scemay agree or we may not nario has changed to such agree. But we cannot deny an extent that the Mafias the essential prevalence of and criminals are entering multiplicity of opinion. the legislatures and the Otherwise, a fundamental Parliament. Some of them character of our thought even become the Cabinet process will wither away.” rank holders and call the Of course, one shots. This is the should be under of no illusion that Next Column: tragedy Indian democeverything in Humour of racy. And India is in Mahatma Gandhi hardly any order. The picture is not and Sardar Patel political party is exception. This gloomy either. is not the democratic But one cannot Indian republic the Father ignore the warning bell by of the Nation, Mahatma a retired civil servant, Gandhi, Pandit Nehru, Ranchhor Prasad, is quotSardar Patel, Jayprakash ed in “Indian Republic: Narayan, Dr. Rammanohar Issues and Perspectives” Lohia or Pandit Deendayal by M.G. Chitkara and Bansi Upadhyaya had visualized. Ram Sarma (1997):

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INDIA

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Mittal meets Mamata at her Kolkata residence

Continued from page1 Lakshmi Mittal, the chairman & CEO of ArcelorMittal, and his wife Usha met Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee at her residence in Kolkata last week. During the meeting which lasted more than 30 minutes, they discussed about investment opportunities in Bengal. Mamata had met Mittal on November 14 at his Kensington Palace Gardens residence during her visit to London. The CM was in the UK capital to unveil a commemorative plaque at Sister Nivedita's family home at Wimbledon. Mamata had invited the Mittals as special guests for the ‘Biswa Banga Sammelan’ to be held in January in New Town, Kolkata. Sources said Mittal promised Mamata that he would try his best to attend the event. They are believed to have discussed business matters in that meeting too. ArcelorMittal has a design and engineering centre in Kolkata’s electronics hub at Salt

Lake’s area which provides consultancy services for steel companies. The Mittals last came to Kolkata in July 7 this year to inaugurate ‘Lakshmi & Usha Mittal Foundation Building’ at St Xavier's University. Mittal completed his graduation in Commerce in 1976 from Kolkata’s St Xavier's College. He left for Indonesia to expand his father’s steel business. His father ML Mittal set up a steel business in Kolkata in the 60s.

Mamata pitches for investment in Bengal Inaugurating the Global Business Summit, an annual investors meet organised by the State government, Mamata on Tuesday made a pitch for investments in the eastern region and not just for West Bengal. “Invest in Bengal. Bengal means business. But, also invest in the other eastern states like Bihar, Odisha and Jharkhand. They too have a lot of potential,” the Chief Minister said.

4 SC judges, who rebelled against CJI, resume work

Supreme Court judge Jasti Chelameswar along with justice Ranjan Gogoi, Madan Lokur and Kurian Joseph at the press conference in New Delhi

Four senior-most Supreme Court judges, who had held an unprecedented press conference and raised issue of assignment of cases against Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra, on Monday attended court and took up routine work. The four judges - justices J. Chelameswar, Ranjan Gogoi, Madan B. Lokur and Kurian Joseph - have taken up their respective business on the first working day of the top court after the 12 January press conference. Attorney General K K Venugopal said the issue has been settled. “Now everything has been settled. The courts are functioning. It was a storm in a tea cup,” Venugopal said. In the presser, these judges had flagged some problems, including the assigning of cases in the apex court, and said there were certain issues afflicting the country’s highest court. On Sunday, Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra had met a seven-member delegation of the Bar Council of India and Supreme Court Bar Association President Vikas Singh and had assured them that the crisis would be sorted out soon and congeniality would prevail. The four judges held a press conference on the lawns of Chelameswar’s bungalow on Tughlaq Road, barely 200 metres from the CJI’s residence on Krishna Menon Marg. They alleged serious infirmities and irregulari-

ties in administration and assigning of cases for hearing to benches in the SC. The judges, who have traditionally been camera-shy, said they were forced to hold the PC, a first, because a letter they had sent to the CJI two months ago pointing out mistakes had gone unanswered. “We tried to persuade the CJI that certain things are not in order. Unfortunately, the efforts failed. We are convinced that unless corrective steps are taken immediately, the judiciary will lose its strong and independent tag, an essential hallmark of a vibrant democracy,” Chelameswar said, taking the lead in the PC. Referring to the letter sent to the CJI signed by the four judges, he said, “We wanted a particular thing in a particular manner. That thing was done, but that raised further questions about the integrity of the institution. Today also, we went to meet the CJI and pointed out that a particular thing was not in order and requested him to rectify it. Despite senior most colleagues requesting him to correct the anomaly, he was not amenable to correct it.” The matter immediately took on a political dimension with Congress president Rahul Gandhi seizing upon the development to demand a probe into Loya’s death. CPI leader D Raja called on Chelameswar, who had earlier taken issue with two previous CJIs — Justices T S Thakur and J S Khehar.

Investment in the east and particularly, West Bengal would mean a better connectivity to the North-Eastern States and improved regional connectivity to neighbouring countries like Bangladesh, Nepal and Myanmar; and to ASEAN nations like Indonesia, Myanmar, Singapore and others. Union Road Transport and Shipping Minister Nitin Gadkari who was supposed to attend the event boycotted it after reports of clashes between the BJP and TMC in West Bengal over the last few days. However, top-line industrialists like Mukesh Ambani, Chairman, Reliance Industries; Mittal; Ajay Singh, Chairman, SpiceJet; Uday Kotak, CMD, Kotak Mahindra Bank; Future Group’s Kishore Biyani and Sajjan Jindal, Chairman, JSW Group were present at the event. Also present were city businessmen that included the likes to Sanjiv Goenka, Chairman, RPSanjiv Goenka Group; Sanjiv Puri, CEO, ITC Ltd; CS Ghosh, MD

and CEO, Bandhan Bank; Saroj Poddar, Chairman, Adventz Group; Umesh Chowdhary, MD of Titagarh Wagons; and others.

Red Carpet for Industry Banerjee, however, was clear that while she was ready to roll out the red carpet for industry, agriculture had to coexist. According to the Chief Minister, industry and industry captains would not be hounded in the state. And even, her party members would not be spared if they tried to disrupt industry. “Industry can not be disturbed at any cost. And even my party members will not be spared if they try to disturb industry,” she said. However, agriculture too has to coexist. “Industry and agriculture are like sisters and they need to be happy together,” the Chief Minister said. Investment Commitments So far, West Bengal has secured investment commit-

ments to the tune of over £1.5 billion. While Sajjan Jindal’s JSW Group committed to drawing up an investment plan of £1 billion to be made towards steel, cement and paints. Mukesh Ambani’s Reliance Industries Ltd committed to an additional £500 million of investments in non-Jio business; apart from investing towards laying of optical fibre cable network for Jio services. Sanjeev Goenka, Chairman of RP Sanjiv Goenka Group will invest £100 million towards its power distribution business; and also promised to set up a FMCG park (whose investment has not yet been specified). On the other hand, Saroj Poddar committed to another £100 million investments in the state. SpiceJet, according to its Chairman, Ajay Singh, will explore making operational flight services from the Andal airport to Hyderabad and Bengaluru. It will also explore beginning sea plane services in the state.

We believe in India: Benjamin Netanyahu Continued from page1 The Raisina Dialogue is India's premiere foreign policy and geo-political conference. The three-day conference, has an impressive line up of more than 150 speakers and over 550 delegates. The Dialogue is jointly organised by the Ministry of External Affairs and the Observer Research Foundation, and will take place at the Taj Palace Hotel in Delhi's diplomatic enclave. The theme of the Dialogue this year is 'Managing Disruptive Transitions: Ideas, Institutions and Idioms'. “Democracies bind and connect to each other in natural ways. I saw sympathy and friendship of people. When I walked in streets of India, just like in Agra, someone said to me, we are so happy that you are friends with our PM, we are friends with you & Israel. The alliance of democracies is important to secure our common future, I believe possibilities are endless. In this visit, we have discussed how we can strengthen our two nations in civilian, security and in every area. The weak don't survive, the strong survive, you make alliances with the strong, you are able to maintain peace by being strong. So, therefore the first requirement was to achieve minimal strength required to assure existence.” Modi and Netanyahu will travel to Gujarat on Wednesday, where they will be attending various programmes. The two will proceed to Sabarmati Ashram from Ahmedabad Airport and pay homage to Mahatma Gandhi there. Netanyahu's visit underlines celebration of 25 years of diplomatic relations between India and Israel. Netanyahu hails Modi as a 'revolutionary leader' The strong bonding

Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu with Indian PM Narendra Modi

between Modi and Netanyahu was in full display on Monday as the Israeli premier called Modi a "revolutionary leader" who had transformed India-Israel ties and the Indian PM reciprocated, promising big steps in cooperation in agriculture, science and defence. "You are a revolutionary leader and you are revolutionising India. You are catapulting this magnificent state into the future. And you have revolutionised the relations between Israel and India," Netanyahu said after talks with Modi. He even offered to do some yoga stretches with the Indian PM. Etching out commonalities in their personas to emphasise convergence of Indian and Israeli interests, Modi said, "I have a reputation for being impatient to get results and so do you, PM Netanyahu. We will strengthen our cooperation in areas that affect the lives of our people — agriculture, science and technology and defence." The sentiment was iterated more concretely at the India-Israel business summit that saw the digital launch of the 'I4Fund call for proposal website' for joint research and development projects. "I welcome Israeli companies to come take advantage of the liber-

al FDI in India's defence sector," Modi said. The catchy 'know how to show how' tag line of the India-Israel initiative is intended to fund affordable technological innovations in areas like water, agricul-

even showed up during the official lunch where Israeli officials apparently cheerfully hummed along with "Eechak dana" being played in the background. The two leaders met for 'restricted' talks in the morning where defence, security and geopolitics were discussed. On Sunday evening, NSA Ajit Doval met his counterpart Meir Ben-Shabbat as they discussed security, counterterrorism and defence cooperation. Among the nine agreements signed on Monday was one that expands the scope of cyber security cooperation from businesses to governments, including India's CERT institutions. A joint statement issued after the talks spoke surprisingly briefly about terrorism, even though coop-

Netanyahu and his wife Sara Netanyahu at Taj Mahal

ture, energy and digital technologies. Hailing a new era of India-Israel cooperation, Netanyahu worked up the personal chemistry between the two leaders to say that he could even join Modi for some yoga. "Finally, this is perhaps the most important statement I can make here, my friend Narendra, any time you want to do a yoga class with me, it's a big stretch but I will be there," he said. The relaxed atmosphere

eration in this field is a big part of bilateral ties. Announcing the next meeting of the joint working group on homeland and public security in February, the statement said, "There can be no justification for acts of terror on any grounds whatsoever and advocated strong measures against terrorists, terror organisations, those who sponsor, encourage or finance terrorism or provide sanctuary to terrorists and terror groups."


HEALTH & LIFESTYLE

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Lentils, nuts and cereals and soy beans make breast cancer treatment less effective

n New study: common forms of disease fueled by hormone estrogen, which these food compounds resemble Soy beans, cereals and lentils contain estrogenlike compounds that counteract the effects of a common breast cancer therapy warns new research. Of the more than 200,000 American women diagnosed with breast cancer each year, two thirds will have one of the most common forms that are fueled by the hormone estrogen. One of the most effective therapies for these cancers use a combination of hormone therapy and an anti-estrogen drugs to combat the growth of cancer cells, doubling survival times for many women. But a new study from Scripps University in California found that women on this combination treatment should avoid foods rich in these estrogen-mimicking compounds because they may reverse the medicine's effects. These compounds are not biodegradable so they are stored in our fat cells. Two kinds of xenoestrogens had particularly

adverse effects on the treatment. The first, zearalenone, is primarily produced by the mold on corn barley, wheat and other grains. It has been linked to birth defects and abnormal sexual development in pigs and other livestock, and is suspected of having caused an outbreak of early breast development among girls

Scientists at The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI) have discovered these two estrogenlike compounds appear to potently reverse the effects of the anti-cancer co m b i n a t i o n , palbociclib and letrozole. The combination hormone therapy was approved by US

in Puerto Rico in the 1970s. The second, a compound called genistein, is produced in certain plants including soy beans, nuts, cereals bean, lentils and rich and is often highly concentrated in food supplements.

regulators in 2015 after a clinical trial showed it doubled the the survival time for women with these common forms of breast cancer and stopped the disease from spreading. Letrozole blocks the production of estrogen, thus reducing the growthpromoting stimulation of ERs on breast cancer cells. Palbociclib blocks a different signaling pathway to impede cell division and the therapy has become standard for estrogen-related breast cancers. The study, published in Cell Chemical Biology, worked out what the individual effects of each of the two drugs were on cancer cells.

Crawling babies 'kick up' a dust storm of dirt but it's good for them, say experts

Q: What goes up and never comes down? A: Your age! **** Police officer talks to a driver: “Your tail light is broken, your tires must be exchanged and your bumper hangs halfway down. That will be 300 dollars.” Driver: “Alright, go ahead. They want twice as much as that at the garage.” **** Why did the physics teacher break up with the biology teacher? There was no chemistry. **** Husband: “Oh the weather is lovely today. Shall we go out for a quick jog?” Wife: “Hahaha, I love the way you pronounce ‘Shall we go out and have a cake’!” **** Optimist: The glass is half full. Pessimist: The glass is half empty. Mother: Why didn’t you use a coaster! **** I asked my daughter if she’d seen my newspaper. She told me that newspapers are old school. She said that people use tablets nowadays and handed me her iPad. The fly didn’t stand a chance. **** A boy breaks an old vase at a rich uncle‘s house. The uncle gets extremely angry and yells: “Do you even know how old the vase was? It was from the 17th century!” The boy sagged in relief: “Oh, good that it wasn’t new.” **** I’ve always thought my neighbors were quite nice people. But then they put a password on their Wi-Fi.

27

When babies crawl, they 'kick up' a dust storm of dirt, skin cells and bacteria which they breathe in, research has found. Their movement across floors, especially carpeted surfaces, kicks up high levels of debris which also includes pollen and fungal spores. They inhale a dose of these substances in their lungs that is four times what an adult would breathe walking across the same floor, scientists say, Not only does their movements stir up more particulates into the air, their mouths and nostrils are much closer to the floor where the concentrations are greater. However, as alarming as that sounds, the experts who carried out the study – which is the first of its kind – say that this isn't necessarily a bad thing. Indeed, a host of research claims that our obsession with cleanliness is weakening our children's immune systems. Lead researcher Brandon Boor of Purdue University in Indiana, US, said: 'Many studies have shown that inhalation exposure to microbes and

allergen-carrying particles in that portion of life plays a significant role in both the development of, and protection from, asthma and allergic diseases. 'There are studies that have shown that being exposed to a high diversity and concentration of biological materials may reduce the prevalence of asthma and allergies later in life.' Cou nt eri nt uit ive ly, perhaps, this may be just what nature intended, the team suggested. In the late 1980s, British epidemiologist David Strachan was the first to propose the "hygiene hypothesis", which theorizes that too clean of an environment may suppress the development of the immune system. Allergists also sometimes refer to this as "the farming effect". The study was published in the journal Environmental Science & Technology.

To Our Readers

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

Weight loss more effective than drugs for type 2 diabetes

According to a new study by researchers at the University of Glasgow, losing weight can be more effective than medication for many type 2 diabetes sufferers. Researchers tracked 1,500 patients who followed a simple lifestyle programme and compared them to those who did not. The patients completed a 16-week course and researchers found that their blood sugar was more stable, and half of the patients were likely to move on to take insulin. According to the study published in Diabetes Obesity and Metabolism, the patients who participated in this 4month course were also an average 8kg lighter than what they used to be three years ago. Furthermore, researchers have also stated that losing 5kg in weight can significantly improve a patients' blood sugar even after three years. The lead author of the research, Jennifer Logue said, “Weight management programmes... can have a longlasting, meaningful clinical effect on type 2 diabetes. Our hope is that this study will convince patients, clinicians and NHS managers that these inexpensive programmes can make a clinically significant difference to patients.”

Chewing mints makes bad breath WORSE instead of freshening it

One in five people regularly use mints in a bid to freshen their breath, according to new research – but they're only making the problem worse. That's according to a dentist who said the sugar not only rots teeth but causes odours. Australia-based James Buchanan said: 'Mints are a popular way to expel bad breath. However, mouth bacteria turns sugar in mints to acid which wears down teeth and causes bad breath. It is best to use something like a sugar-free gum.' Instead, he recommends eating yoghurt and fruit for breakfast to clean your mouth and freshen your breath. Celery and apples will also help by increasing your saliva and washing away odour-causing particles. The Vital Statistics poll on behalf of White Glo surveyed 2,000 people about their dental hygiene habits. Alarmingly, only 52 per cent reported brushing their teeth twice a day, which is the recommended amount. The most common cause of bad breath is poor oral hygiene, although other reasons are food and drink, smoking and certain medications and medical conditions.

Junk food is as harmful to your body as a life-threatening DISEASE, study claims

Eating burgers and fries can be as harmful as catching a life-threatening illness, according to a new study. Scientists at the University of Bonn discovered that junk food causes the immune system to go haywire, as if they were being attacked by a serious disease. A fast food diet makes immune cells more aggressive over time, increasing the risk of developing major illnesses - these effects can last long after a switch to a healthier diet of fruit and vegetables. Researchers say the findings could explain the link between fast food and the hardening of arteries, since the typical deposits largely consists of lipids and immune cells. Fast food meals are typically high in fat, sugar and sodium. They've been linked to many adverse health effects, including an increased risk of diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and colon cancer.


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AsianVoiceNewsweekly

Four Actresses, Four Movies, One Queen ‘Vodka Diaries’

'Vodka Diaries' is a thriller film set in Manali. The story revolves around a club called Vodka Diaries, where a number of murders have happened and ACP Ashwini Dixit is investigating them. The film is being directed by Kushal Srivastava. The leading actors are Kay Kay Menon, Raima Sen, Mandira Bedi etc.

I

n a case of alleged tax evasion by registering luxury vehicles in Puducherry, Kerala High Court has directed South actress Amala Paul to appear before the crime branch of state police. The order was given by Justice Raja Vijayaraghavan, after considering the anticipatory bail plea filed by the actress. Police authorities say that the actress, a resident of Kerala, had availed vehicle loans from the state, and bought her S class Benz worth Rs 1.12 Crore on August 4 last year from Puducherry. The vehicle was registered in Puducherry, for which Amala had paid only Rs 1.75 Lakh as tax, saving almost Rs 20 Lakh. Investigation revealed that the address submitted by her was occupied by an engineering student, who was unaware that a vehicle was registered under his name.

R

Kajal Aggarwal

emake for Kangana Ranaut's super hit 'Queen' has been in the works for a long time. The project has now grown to four movies, with the original being remade in Tamil, Telugu, Malayalam, and Kannada. Makers of the films have roped in 4 actressesTamannaah Bhatia for 'Queen Once Again' in Telugu, Kajal Aggarwal for 'Paris, Paris' in Tamil, Parul Yadav for 'Butterfly' in Kannada, and Manjima

Parul Yadav

Mohan for 'Zam Zam' in Malayalam. Along with starring in the film, Yadav will also co-produce all four movies. The first schedule for the films was shot simultaneously in Frejus, a small city in France. It would be interesting to know that even though there are four remakes, there are just two directors, Ramesh Aravind, who will work on the Kannada and Tamil versions, and Neelakantha, who will

W A

P

direct the Malayalam and Telugu versions. Music will be composed by Amit Trivedi, who rendered his expertise to the original too. “I began working on the project recently. It is too early to comment on the music but it won't be the same as the original. The music will be influenced by the languages. Since it is a remake, the approach may be the same, but the treatment may differ,” he said in a statement.

'Thaanaa...' reminds 'Dhuruvangal 16' director signs third film Suriya of his earlier days

'Agnyaathavaasi' off to a record-breaking start in the US

awan Kalyan's 'Agnyaathavaasi' is off to a tremendous start as it entertained and impressed not only its Indian audience, but also those abroad. After premiering in 500 locations in the US on January 9, the film has reportedly started off with a bang. Not only did it make the 2nd highest opening after 'Baahubali 2', it also broke a couple of records. The film collected nearly $1.47 million on day one at the American box office. Industry tracker and trade analyst Ramesh Bala tweeted, “#Agnyaathavaasi is now all time 2nd highest premiere in North America after Baahubali2. If you consider only single language, it is No 1.” The movie is Pawan Kalyan and Trivikram's third film together, and the former plays a software professional. It also stars Keerthy Suresh and Anu Emmanuel.

Manjima Mohan

Tamannah Bhatia

Kerala HC directs Amala Paul to appear before crime branch police

fter making a terrific debut in 2016 with mystery film 'Dhuruvangal 16', filmmaker Karthick Naren has just completed work on his second film 'Naragasooran' starring Arvind Swami, Indrajith Sukumaran, Sundeep Kishan and Shriya Saran. Tipped to be a horrorthriller, the movie is believed to have been wrapped up in flat 45 days. Occupied with postproduction, Naren now revealed that he has signed his third project and will share details soon. Speaking to a media

source, the director said, “Unlike my previous ventures which were thrillers, this film is going to be a light-hearted film. Also, it won't have one protagonist; there will be more characters playing the lead. We are in the process of locking the names. We will come out with the title poster of the film soon.” He added, “We will be producing the film under our home banner Knight Nostalgia Filmotainmen. Another production house is teaming up with us. It is too early to disclose the name of the company now.”

ith 20 years in the industry, superstar Suriya has become one of the biggest names in Kollywood. In an interview, he revealed that Vignesh Shivan's 'Thaanaa Serndha Koottam' (TSK) reminded him of his early days in the industry. “With every profession, we learn as we go. As we learn, we tend to mature. After twenty years, I agreed to this film because of the way Vignesh Shivan writes. It took me back to my younger days. Something about Vignesh is very fresh, and it will be seen on screen in this film,” Suriya said. Based on a true incident- the Opera House heist of 1987, the film has a strong ensemble cast involving Ramya Krishnan, Senthil, and Karthik, along with others. “While 'Special 26' was based on the same incident, there is a lot more background and

emotional conundrums woven in. This is another take of that incident,” Suriya said. The actor said that each of his co-stars has a meaty role in the film. “Nobody can replace Karthi sir. Directors even today mention him when they narrate a love scene. Watching him perform is like watching a film- his command over the craft is flawless. You don't even know when he prepares. I have a long list of people to talk about,” he said. The film will also release in Telugu as 'Gang', and Suriya has dubbed for it himself. “I loved dubbing for myself in Telugu. It took me only 6 days as I completely enjoyed voicing for my parts. I now know how Karthi learnt Telugu quickly- it is mainly due to dubbing. Since it is my first film there might be traces of Tamil, but I will keep improving to perfect it,” he said.


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Little Taimur already getting offers

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Ansari refutes sex abuse claims, says it was consensual

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ziz Ansari, the comic actor who won the Golden Globe for best actor in a television series, has been accused of sexual misconduct by "Grace," a 23-year-old photographer based in Brooklyn, during a date the two went in September. In a statement, Ansari essentially agreed with the woman's account of the evening. "In September of last year, I met a woman at a party. We exchanged numbers. We texted back and forth and eventually went on a date. We went out to dinner, and afterwards we ended up engaging in sexual activity, which by all indications was completely consensual. The next day, I got a text from her saying that although “it may have seemed okay,” upon further reflection, she felt uncomfortable. It was true that everything did seem okay to me, so when I heard that it was not the case for her, I was surprised and concerned. I took her words to heart and responded privately after taking the time to process what she had said. I continue to support the movement that is happening in our culture. It is necessary and long overdue,” wrote Ansari.

robably the most photographed star kid today, Taimur Ali Khan became the paparazzi's point of focus since the day he was born. Given the little one's popularity, it has been known that several brands are approaching parents Saif Ali Khan and Kareena Kapoor-Khan for endorsements. However, the two aren't too keen on signing him up any time soon. “Taimur is very young. While a lot of other parents may be too happy to have their children model, parents who are in Bollywood

don't want to expose their children to a lot more attention than what they are already privy to. Hence, both Saif and Kareena will be wary of such offers and won't agree at this juncture,” a source said. In a recent interview, Saif revealed how looking at Taimur take his first steps was like watching a drunk baby. “He's a very cute kid. Watching him walk for the first time is like watching a drunk baby. It's hysterical and so cute. So, it's a wonderful part of our lives,” he said.

Death threats to Salman S alman Khan had a tough start to the new year, as he received death threats from Rajasthan gangster Lawrence Bishnoi, after he recently appeared at a hearing in Jodhpur in connection with his decadelong blackbuck poaching case. The actor, while no stranger to threats found him in an ugly situation when armed men landed at the sets of his next film 'Race 3' at Film City. However, thanks to the quick thinking of the police, they alerted the superstar, and escorted him home. “The police arrived at the 'Race 3' set in Film City and told Salman and producer Ramesh Taurani that the shoot had to be stopped immediately as

the actor needed to head home as soon as possible. Salman was escorted in another car by six cops, while his own car was driven back to his residence by another group of cops,” a source said. Salman's father, Salim Khan confirmed the news saying, “While I don't know the exact details about when he left the sets, I do know that there were some

threats. But Salman has a good team of security personnel. This is not the first time that he is getting such threats. In this industry, people keep getting such threats a lot.” A senior inspector said, “The police are taking Bishnoi's threat seriously but we have assured Salman that he will receive maximum police protection. We are also investigating the motive behind Bishnoi's threat to Salman. There are additional bouncers, guards, personnel to afeguard Salman and the unit at all times.”

musician Sir Elton John. Last year's awardees were Anne-Sophie Mutter, Forest Whitaker, and Shakria. The award ceremony will take place on January 22 on the first day

of the five-day annual meeting of Geneva-based WEF. One of the leading actors of the Indian film industry, Shah is also the founder of the non-profit Meer Foundation which provides support to female victims of acid attacks and major burn injuries through medical treatment, legal aid, vocational training, rehabilitation and livelihood support. He has also supported childcare centres with free boarding for children undergoing cancer treatment. “With victims of acid attacks, I have had the privilege to witness the unparalleled courage and compassion that women are capable of. I have seen the transformative strength of goodness and the healing power of gentleness,” Khan said.

Shah Rukh to get Crystal Award

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ollywood's king Shah Rukh Khan will get the Crystal Award at the World Economic Forum's Annual Meeting in Davos later this month. He will get the award for “his leadership in championing children's and women's rights in India,” as revealed by the World Economic Forum. The Annual Crystal Awards ceremony that opens the WEF summit in the Swiss ski resort celebrates the achievements of outstanding artists who have shown exemplary commitment to improve the state of the world. Announcing this years recipients, WEF said, “Each of them in their own way has taken action to uphold human dignity”. The other two artists to get the award are Hollywood star Cate Blanchett and legendary

Asian Voice | 20th January 2018

Have Kangana and KJo kissed and made up?

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fter months of taunts, jibes, and media addresses calling each other out for promoting nepotism, being delusional, and “using the woman card”, Kangana Ranaut and “movie mafia” Karan Johar have supposedly reconciled, with the former set to be a guest judge in 'India's Next Superstars', Johar's upcoming TV news. The filmmaker reportedly invited the actress for the show, a “warm” gesture she not only accepted happily, but also welcomed. “I am looking forward to being on the show. It is a professional commitment for which I'm being paid. What is delightful is that Karan is okay with doing the show with me and seems to be slowly warming up to me,” Kangana said to the media. Stating that she has not compromised on her ideologies by accepting the invitation, she said her image and fight

against nepotism matches the tagline of the show 'Na Khandaan, na sifarish... Bollywood ko hai sirf talent ka intezaar' (No reference, or recommendation... Bollywood awaits for true talent). “I am the epitome of the tagline being a self-made woman and actress myself, which is precisely why the channel wants me. I have not gone back on my ideology. I stick to what I believe in,” Kangana said. “I am happy that Karan is making me feel so welcome, but I think I have been worthy of every platform I have been on. I have earned my place and deserved to be on it. Nobody has to open my doors for me, I am capable of opening all the doors myself,” she said. For those who aren't aware, the ugly, public spat between the both the industry hot shots began from Karan's talk show 'Koffee with Karan'. Will this show be an extended version of the spat?

Vidya Balan to play former PM Indira Gandhi

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ational Award winner Vidya Balan is all set to play India's most controversial prime minister, Indira Gandhi, in a project based on journalist-author Sagarika Ghosh's book 'Indira: India's Most Powerful Prime Minister'. Releasing a statement, Balan said, “I am happy to have acquired the rights to the book, because I have always wanted to play Indira Gandhi. I haven't decided yet whether it should be a

film or a web series, but that will take a while anyway.” The book is a biographical portrait that addresses questions like why Gandhi revoked the Emergency, her son Sanjay's authority over her, her bad marriage, and love affairs. Happy about the contract, Ghosh tweeted, “Most excited to see 'Indira' on-screen!” She also revealed that adapting the book to a web series could also be a good option.


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Asian Voice | 20th January 2018

Visa refusal means married couple live 4,000 miles apart

If your child has a good joke, poem or any suggestions they would like to share please email us with the name, age and school. Email:- support@abplgroup.com THOUGHT OF THE WEEK

Hitesh Maggu met Chavi Meattle while she was studying in London and the pair married last year

ago I bought a house to live in with my wife but it is just empty. We have a 'Skype' relationship, we only see each other through video calls." In its decision notice, seen by the BBC, the Home Office said the couple did not earn enough - income of at least £18,600 a year. It said checks with HMRC showed Mr Maggu had been paid a gross total of £12,000 in 2016/17. But Mr Maggu, a director of a private limited IT consultancy company, said he had made £46,000 gross in that financial year through a mixture of salary and dividends and the dividends had not been taken into account. The decision notice also said Mr Maggu had not provided acceptable evidence of his earlier divorce, which was granted in India in November 2016. He is also challenging this. When contacted by the BBC, the Home Office said it would not comment on the case because the appeal was still in progress.

A man has spent the first year of his marriage living 4,000 miles from his wife after she was denied a UK visa. Hitesh Maggu, who lives in Telford, Shropshire, married Indian national Chavi Meattle in 2017 and they applied for a spouse's visa. But their application was turned down due to concerns about the couple's income and queries over divorce papers from Mr Maggu's first marriage. They say "ill-judged decisions" by case workers saw the visa wrongly refused. Mr Maggu, 35, met his wife-to-be in October 2015 while she was studying at the London School of Economics. He has had UK citizenship since January 2017, but has lived in the country for almost a decade. They married in India on Valentine's Day last year. The visa bid was refused in October and they started an appeal the following month, but say they have heard nothing since. Mr Maggu said: "I have no personal life. Two years

Coming Events

l AK Productions presents a fun sizzling Bollywood comedy and dance production that is ‘Mrs Kapoor’s Daughter’s Wedding’ - a journey to a typical Indian wedding with Bollywood dancing, live singing and comedy sketches which will leave you in stitches of laughter. Date: 11th March 2018 Showtimes: 2.30pm and 7.30pm Earlybird offer - Book before Sunday 21 January to get tickets for £19.50 and Under 16's for £16.00. Book online on the link here www.becktheatre.org.uk or call 020 8561 8371

Sneh Joshi

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

TAURUS Apr 21 - May 21 More than any other time of

the year, your focus is drawn to your career and standing in the society. This is the time when you are more interested in, and focused on, accomplishing something important. Contact with authority figures is more likely during this period. Recognition will come your way whether you ask for it or not, and the responsibility that goes with it.

GEMINI May 22 - June 22 Venus and Sun grace your solar

ninth house. During this cycle you might become inspired by perspective or way of someone who might awaken a new thinking in you. You could also enjoy a trip, or a new adventure of sorts. In fact, you are attracted to anything that is nonroutine and beyond your comfort zone.

CANCER Jun 22 - Jul 22

until you change “You'll never change your life secret of your The y. dail do you something y routine” dail r success is found in you n C. Maxwell Joh -

Facts You Didn't know about Science

l Water can boil and freeze at the same time, it's called the l l l l

'triple point', and it occurs when the temperature and pressure is just right for the three phases (gas, liquid, and solid) of a substance to coexist in thermodynamic quilibrium. Cats always land on their feet, thanks to physics. A single solar flare can release the equivalent energy of millions of 100-megaton atomic bombs. The hottest planet isn’t closest to the sun. On Venus a day is longer than a year.

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The Experiment Of Instant Ice How to make instant Ice at home? For water to turn ice, it necessarily a nucleus in order for solid crystals to form. Normally, water is loaded with particles and impurities that enables ice to form. But purified water isn't. Because of this, purified water can reach an even colder temperature before becoming solid.

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Joke of the week Little Susie, a six-yearold, complained, "Mother, I've got a stomach ache." "That's because your stomach is empty," the mother replied. "You would feel better if you had something in it." That afternoon, her father came complaining that he had a severe headache all day. Susie perked up, "That's because it's empty," she said. "You'd feel better if you had something in it."

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ARIES Mar 21 - Apr 20 Venus and Sun transit through

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

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Venus, the planet of love and romance with Sun throws a pleasing light on affairs of the heart. It is certainly going to be a fortunate time for those already married or in an established relationship. The keynote is emotional enrichment through close interaction with a loved one.

LEO Jul 23 - Aug 23

VIRGO Aug 24 - Sep 23

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

LIBRA Sep 24 - Oct 23

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

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

SCORPIO Oct 24- Nov 22

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

SAGITTARIUS Nov 23 - Dec 21

CAPRICORN Dec 22 - Jan 20 Venus and Sun grace your solar 2nd house. Your energy and attention will be very much devoted to financial matters. The tide of fortune continues to run strongly in your favour for some time to come. You will be working harder than usual, intent on getting things done. Close personal relationships may come under some stress and strain.

AQUARIUS Jan 21 - Feb 19 The Sun and Venus transit your first house and this affects your personal identity, appearance, outward behaviour, and self-expression. This marks the peak of your physical solar cycle, and you are in the position to make an impression on others, and to assert your personal influence. Increased energy and a renewed feeling of confidence is with you now, so take advantage of your charisma to achieve your goals. PISCES Feb 20 - Mar 20

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


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1,122 PLAYERS REGISTER FOR IPL PLAYER AUCTION 2018

The Indian Premier League (IPL) keeps getting bigger with every edition as the cash-rich T20 event is all set to witness a whopping 1,122 players, the most ever in its 11-year history, to go under the hammer at the upcoming player auction later this month. The mega IPL auction scheduled to take place in Bengaluru on January 2728 with England's Test captain Joe Root also throwing his hat into the ring and will be the latest entrant to the world's most popular T20 league. The list that has been sent out to the eight IPL franchises has 281 capped players, 838 uncapped players, including 778 Indians and three players from the Associate nations. A fierce bidding war is expected to break out when Indian stars Gautam

Asian Voice | 20th January 2018

Rahul Dravid and Sunil Joshi's sons score centuries

Samit Dravid and Aryan Joshi Gautam Gambhir

Gambhir, Yuvraj Singh, off spinners R Ashwin and Harbhajan Singh, Ajinkya Rahane, mystery spinner Kuldeep Yadav and openers KL Rahul and M Vijay go under the hammer. The franchises will do everything when Chris Gayle, Ben Stokes, Chris Lynn, Eoin Morgan and pacers Mitchell Starc and Pat Cummins come up for VIVO IPL Player Auction 2018. Dwayne Bravo,

Yuvraj Singh

Carlos Brathwaite, Evin Lewis and Jason Holder will add the Caribbean flavour to the league. Lasith Malinga will lead Sri Lanka's entourage that includes Angelo Mathews, the exciting Niroshan Dickwella, and Thisara Perera. Showing his full range of strokes will be Glenn Maxwell, allrounder Shane Watson and Mitchell Johnson, who bowled Mumbai Indians to

Joe Root

their third title last season with his final over heroics. Hashim Amla, who hit two centuries for Kings XI Punjab in the 10th season will be hoping for a high bid with compatriots Faf du Plessis, Quinton de Kock, David Miller and speedsters Morne Morkel and Kagiso Rabada. Kane Williamson, Colin Munro and Tom Latham from New Zealand will add their charm to the league.

Mithali Raj to lead Indian women Jemimah Rodrigues, the talented Mumbai batter, has been picked in the 16member squad for the One-Day International series in South Africa, the Board of Control for Cricket in India announced. The three ODIs will be part of the ICC Women's Championship and will be played on February 5, 7 and 10. Mithali Raj will lead the side while Harmanpreet Kaur continues to be her deputy. The selectors have also decided to pick a backup wicketkeeper in Taniya Bhatia apart from regular wicketkeeper Sushma Verma. Bhatia takes the place of Nuzhat Parween, who was part of the 2017 World Cup squad. Rodrigues, all of 17, shot to limelight when she smashed 202 in the InterState women's Under-19 one-day tournament for Mumbai against Saurashtra. She became only the second player to

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Former India cricketer Rahul Dravid's son Samit seems to be following his father's footsteps. Playing in the Karnataka State Cricket Association's (KSCA) BTR Cup Under-14 tournament, Samit scored a match-winning century for Mallya Aditi International School as they defeated Vivekananda School by a massive margin of 412 runs. Samit played a stupendous knock of 150. However, his was not the highest score of the match as that feat went to the son of another former India international cricketer. Aryan Joshi, son of Sunil Joshi, top-scored with 154 and together shepherded the team to a colossal 500/5 in 50 overs. Joshi and Dravid Jr.'s efforts were backed up by their bowlers, who skittled Vivekananda School for a lowly 88. This isn't the first time that Samit has hit headlines for his cricket. Samit has been a constant scorer in the Under 14 category and two years ago, representing Bangalore United Cricket Club (BUCC), which his father used to serve as a President, Dravid Jr. stroked 125 against Frank Anthony Public School in the Tiger Cup cricket tournament, decorated with 12 boundaries. Samit was also awarded the 'Best Batsman' in a U-12 Gopalan Cricket Challenge in September 2015. Back then, he scored three match-winning halfcenturies with scores of 77*, 93, and 77 in the final playing for his school Mallya Aditi.

New Zealand beat Pakistan by 183 runs in 3rd ODI

hit a double century in an Under-19 fixture after Smriti Mandhana. Pooja Vastrakar, the Madhya Pradesh allrounder, has also earned a call-up and will replace pacer, Mansi Joshi, who is undergoing rehab for a knee injury that ruled her out of the Challenger Trophy.

The team will play a warm-up clash in Bloemfontein on February 2 before playing the first two ODIs in Kimberley. The last match of the series will be played in Potchefstroom. The series will be followed by the two teams playing a five-match Twenty20 International series. Squad: Mithali Raj (c),

Harmanpreet Kaur, Sushma Verma (wk), Ekta Bisht, Smriti Mandhana, Poonam Yadav, Punam Raut, Rajeshwari Gayakwad, Jemimah Rodrigues, Jhulan Goswami, Deepti Sharma, Shikha Pandey, Mona Meshram, Pooja Vastrakar, Veda Krishnamurthy, Taniya Bhatia.

Trent Boult took 5-17 as New Zealand bowled out Pakistan for 74 to win the third one-day cricket international by 183 runs and take a winning 3-0 lead in the five-match series. Boult took three wickets in the first four overs to leave the tourists three wickets down for two runs. At 16-6 in the 15th over, Pakistan was in danger of being bowled out for the lowest score in the history of one-day internationals Zimbabwe's 35 against Sri Lanka in 2004. The tourists escaped that ignominy with an unbeaten 14 from captain Sarfraz Ahmed and scores of 14 and 16 by tailenders Mohammad Amir and Rumman Raees. A French-cut four by Amir from the bowling of Lockie Ferguson took Pakistan past the dreaded total of 35, then Sarfraz managed to guide his team beyond Pakistan's lowest-ever one-day total of 43 against the West Indies in 1993. Some hit and hope cricket in the last few overs carried Pakistan to a total which was only its second lowest in one-day internationals, matching its 74 against England in 1992. Boult bowled magnificently to prevent any chance of Pakistan challenging New Zealand's 257.

India on record chase in 2nd test against South Africa In a Test match, day four proceedings mostly determine the outcome. South Africa, starting the day with a lead of 118 over India, had the edge, but Mohammed Shami's three-wicket burst in the first session and Ishant Sharma with a doublestrike in the second, had reignited India's hope. However, those hopes were doused, first by the blockathon in the second session by Faf Du Plessis and Vernon Philander and then by SA bowlers

who chipped away at India's top-order. Set a target of 287, India found themselves reeling at 35 for three at stumps at the Supersports Park on Tuesday. Virat Kohli's fourth innings average before this innings was an incredible 58. However, he was trapped in front for just five with the one that came back in from debutant Lungi Ngidi. That was, if not the death knell for India, a big blow. The openers had once

again failed to see off the opening spell from the South African quicks - KL Rahul wafted at a rather innocuous outside off delivery from Ngidi to gift his wicket away, while Murali Vijay was undone by the one that kept low. Cheteshwar Pujara and Parthiv Patel held the fort till the close of play with final day staring at them. Miracles can happen, but how much would you bet on that to happen on day five at

Centurion? Earlier in the day, Faf du Plessis' 141-ball 48-run grind allowed South Africa to set a stiff target, which would be a record 4th innings total for a win, if India manage to chase it down and make the threematch series 1-1. Starting the day at 90 for 2, SA were buoyed by AB de Villiers' 80, 30 of which came on day four in just 43 deliveries, Dean Elgar's feisty 61 and du Plessis' innings of substance helped South Africa to 258

in their second dig. India would not have been overly disappointed neither overly happy as the disciplined showcased by the restricted SA from taking the game away, but a 46-run stand for the sixth wicket between du Plessis and Vernon Philander frustrated India and with the last three adding 95 runs in total, India would have been better placed if they had bowled South Africa early. For India, Shami,

Ishant Sharma and Hardik Pandya toiled hard but both du Plessis and Philander were in no hurry to score and presented the full face of the bat when the opportunity presented. Short pitch stuff was evaded easily by the duo and even though there were a few close calls, India failed to get the breakthrough. Brief Scores: India 35/3 (Pujara 11*; Ngidi 2/14) & 307 trail South Africa 258 & 335 by 252 runs


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INDIAN YOUTH BEAT AUSTRALIA IN ICC U19 CRICKET MATCH

India’s U19 team got off to a winning start after defeating Australia youth by 100 runs in their opening match of the ICC U19 Cricket World Cup 2018 in New Zealand. Chasing 329, Australia were bundled out for 228, thanks to a disciplined bowling performance by Indian bowlers Shivam Mavi and Kamlesh Nagarkoti. They both scalped three wickets each. Earlier, batting first skipper Prithvi Shaw led from the front with a 94-run knock and shared a 180-run stand with fellow opener Manjot Kalra (86) to power India to a challenging total. The splendid top-order batting vindicated Shaw’s decision to bat in their tournament-opener. There was no respite for the Australian bowlers even after the departure of Shaw and Kalra with Shubhman Gill tormenting the bowlers with his 63-run knock. It was not that Shaw and Klara plundered boundaries, instead, they raised their knocks with some stupendous risk- free batting. Shaw, though, missed out on a century by six runs as he was caught behind off Will

Sutherland, son of former Cricket Australia CEO James Sutherland. The Indian captain faced 100 balls and scored eight boundaries, including two sixes in his knock. His opening partner also missed out on a ton, falling for 86 which came off 99 balls with 12 shots to the fence and on over the ropes. There were no steady partnerships after their departure even as Gill kept one end solid with his 54-ball knock which had six fours and a six. The middle order

Lanka name Lakmal as Test vice captain

Aanchal Thakur gives India its 1st international medal in skiing

Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) named paceman Suranga Lakmal as the Test vice captain, while announcing the squad for the brief two-Test tour to Bangladesh, starting January 31. After ending 2017 on a below-par note, which saw the Islanders being outplayed by India both at home and away, the Islanders under new coach Chandika Hathurusingha, have already made a few changes, including reappointing Dinesh Chandimal as the leader of the Test team. The Test squad also sees the return of batsmen Kusal Mendis and Danushka Gunathilaka while there is an added emphasis on pace, with Dushmantha Chameera and 20-year-old Lahiru Kumara being picked. Sri Lanka Test squad: Dinesh Chandimal (Captain), Dimuth Karunaratne, Angelo Mathews, Danushka Gunathilaka, Kusal Mendis, Dhananjaya de Silva, Niroshan Dickwella (WK), Roshen Silva, Rangana Herath, Suranga Lakmal (Vice Captain), Dilruwan Perera, Dushmantha Chameera, Lakshan Sandakan, Akila Dananjaya, Lahiru Gamage, Lahiru Kumara.

Manali resident Aanchal Thakur made history by winning India's first-ever international medal in skiing. The 21-year-old clinched bronze in the coveted Alpine Ejder 3200 Cup organised by the Federation Internationale de Ski (FIS) skiing's international governing body - at the Palandoken Ski Centre in Erzurum in Turkey. She won the medal in the slalom race category. "Months of training have finally borne fruit. I started well and managed to take a good lead, which helped later in getting the thirdplace finish," Aanchal said. Her feat is special given that there is no culture or even infrastructure for winter sports in India. Also, those participating in winter sports in India get negligible support from the Union sports ministry. Roshan Thakur, father of Aanchal and the secretary general of the Winter Games Federation of India (WGFI), was elated. "This is a breakthrough for the sport in India and the entire skiing fraternity is proud of her achievement," he said. "Aanchal called me and showed me the medal. I thought it was some kind of

batsmen lost their wickets, trying to accelerate the runrate as Himanshu Rana (14) and Anukul Roy (6) fell cheaply. Abhishek Sharma though managed to come up with an 8-ball 23-run cameo which propelled India past the 300-run mark. He hit two sixes and as many fours. As Indian batsmen looked for some quick runs, Australian medium fast bowler Jack Edwards ended up taking four wickets. It was Edwards, who dismissed Rana and then later added wickets of Abhishek and Shiva Singh

(10) to his tally. In response, Australia’s chase got off to a decent start with openers putting a half-century stand. However, the former champions lost wickets at regular intervals and thus the required run-rate kept creeping up. For Australia, opener Jack Edwards was the top scorer with 73 runs. Once Ankul Roy accounted for his wicket, India were in total control of the match. India next faces Papua New Guinea at Bay Oval in Mount Maunganui.

England announce squad for New Zealand tour

England dropped Ashes trio of Gary Ballance, Jake Ball and Tom Curran while including paceman Mark Wood and uncapped batsman Liam Livingstone for the two-Test tour of New Zealand in March. Another surprise inclusion in the team was controversial all-rounder Ben Stokes, though his involvement remains subject to any relevant legal or disciplinary developments in relation to a brawling incident in Bristol in September. Despite their poor outing with the willow in the 0-4 Ashes humiliation against Australia, James Vince and Mark Stoneman have retained their places in England's Test squad. Vince averaged 26.88 batting at number three in the Ashes and opener Stoneman averaged 25.77. Commenting on the selection of Livingstone, England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) national selector James Whitaker, said: "Liam has been a player that we have been impressed with for quite some time, having performed well in the county system with Lancashire and over the past couple of years with the England Lions." "He is a very talented and tough cricketer who has the ideal qualities and character to be successful in the Test arena," he added. England face the Black Caps, who are one place ahead of them in the ICC Test rankings in fourth, in a day-night Test in Auckland from March 22-26 and then in Christchurch from March 30-April 3. England squad: Joe Root (Captain), Moeen Ali, James Anderson, Jonny Bairstow (WK), Stuart Broad, Alastair Cook, Mason Crane, Ben Foakes, Liam Livingstone, Dawid Malan, Craig Overton, Ben Stokes, Mark Stoneman, James Vince, Chris Woakes, Mark Wood.

Afghan teenager breaks Don Bradman's record

Aanchal Thakur

a souvenir given at the end of every FIS event! But she told me that she won a bronze," said her father. Anchal's journey in international skiing has either been financed by her father or FIS that, at times. Her father rues the fact that there has been no monetary support from the Centre. "The bureaucrats in the sports ministry do not acknowledge skiing as a sport," Thakur said. A professional skier requires skis, boots and bindings, poles, helmets, suits, goggles and gloves to compete. Just the equipment

costs around Rs 5 to 10,00,000. "I hope Aanchal's medal helps our cause (in getting financial support from the Centre). I want to see my daughter and son represent the country in the 2018 Winter Olympics," Thakur added. "The Centre only funds travel and logistics from one Olympic to another. Rest of the time, you have to fend for yourself." Aanchal hails from Burua, a small village in Manali. She learnt the ropes from her father. Later, Heera Lal, a former Olympian, honed her skills.

Afghanistan teen cricketer Baheer Shah has achieved an exceptional feat which no other batsman in the history has managed to do. The 18-year-old Shah amassed 1,096 runs from seven matches and 12 innings with whopping average of 121.77, betterBaheer Shah ing Australian legend Sir Don Bradman's average of 95.14 in First Class cricket, the highest for cricketers with more than 1,000 runs. Shah had a stellar debut for Speen Ghar Region, making an unbeaten 256 against Amo Region which is also the second highest score in the history of First Class cricket after former Indian cricketer Amol Muzumdar's 260. He already has five centuries and two half-centuries to his credit in a short career of one year and two months. Five innings later, the young batsman went on to add a triple century to his name that made him the second youngest First Class triple centurion behind Javed Miandad. "That was an unforgettable moment for me," Baheer was quoted as saying. "I stayed at the wicket for two days, staying very comfortable. I worked on my fitness before the tournament, and the coaches taught me how to bat well. For everyone whenever they get the best score in their life it's a very enjoyable."

AV 20th January 2018  

Asian Voice weekly newspaper (Issue 36)

AV 20th January 2018  

Asian Voice weekly newspaper (Issue 36)