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21 - 27 SEPTEMBER 2019 - VOL 48 ISSUE 21

‘HOWDY MODI’ TEMPTS TRUMP Prime Minister Narendra Modi will be joined in by US President Donald Trump at the ‘Howdy, Modi!’ event in Texas, Houston, on September 22. Full story on page 26

inside: “We have to be funnier than these funny politicians,” Mirza SEE PAGE 6

Indian Army Memorial Room re-opens in Sandhurst after significant refurbishment SEE PAGE 16

PM Modi addresses Namami Devi Narmade Mahotsav SEE PAGE 26


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onetoone WITH KEITH VAZ, MP

Gracie Mae Bradley Gracie Mae Bradley is a human rights campaigner and sometime writer. She is currently Policy and Campaigns Manager at the human rights NGO Liberty, where she works to defend civil liberties across policing, immigration, counter-terror and surveillance. She previously spent several years working with survivors of torture and organised violence to navigate the UK’s immigration system, and campaigns with Against Borders for Children against government use of pupil data for border control purposes. She holds degrees from Trinity College, Oxford and the LSE. Her most recent writing includes a chapter in 'After Grenfell: Violence, Resistance and Response', edited by Nadine El-Enany, Daniel Bulley, and Jenny Edkins.

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Which place, or city or country do you most feel at home in? Anywhere I can wild swim - pond, lake, sea, river - if it isn't indoors, I will be at home in it.

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What are your proudest achievements?

My work with fellow troublemakers in the Against Borders for Children campaign to orchestrate a 200 000-person-strong boycott of the school census to stop schools being turned into an outpost of the hostile environment.

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What inspires you?

People who have a political vision and moral courage that is untempered by the received wisdom of the present. People who, despite all of oppressive and dehumanising structures lined up against them, insist on a flourishing life for themselves and their loved ones.

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What has been biggest obstacle in your career? People who insist that "we shouldn't let the perfect be the enemy of the good."

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Who has been the biggest influence on your career to date? A slightly weird mix of philosophers and family: Aimé Césaire, Frantz Fanon, Albert

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Camus, my aunties, my mum, and my grandma. And Helen Bamber.

ple who are oppressed towards more freedom for all of us.

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What is the best aspect about your current role? Being able to work with so many amazing grassroots groups who are organising for justice.

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If you were Prime Minister, what one aspect would you change? For many reasons, but namely my mistrust of the state, I could never be Prime Minister.

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And the worst? Seeing the government and public bodies try to get away with authoritarian, discriminatory practices whether that's ramping up suspicionless stop and search, rolling out facial recognition technology, or criminalising people for being homeless.

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What are your long term goals?

Living a life that is politically honest, which to me means acting in solidarity with peo-

Harmeet's poetry - helping others to overcome their anxieties A 36-year-old mum who turned personal experiences of anxiety and heartbreak into powerful and inspiring poetry has just published her second book. Harmeet Kaur Bharya lives in Wexham with her husband Harminder and daughter Harleen, eight. She works as an accounts manager for the Langhams

Estate Agent run by her husband in Slough High Street. Harmeet successfully struggled against post natal depression after the birth of her daughter - but losing the twins she was expecting through a miscarriage in 2015 had a devastating affect on her mental health. So she started writing poetry. Her first book Poetic Secrets,

A group of people behind the UK’s biggest ever visa scam have been spared jail. The fraudsters set up a network of 53 fake companies and created bogus documents allowing 900 immigrants stay in the country illegally. Among the companies they set up they used the names Immigration4u, Mo’s Spice Inn and Empire Finance, Southwark Crown Court heard last Thursday. They fabricated payslips and gave false information for entrepreneur visas that suggest applicants have access to at least £50,000. The gang also temporarily transferred money into their clients’ bank accounts to make it appear as though they were earning more than they actually were. The money was then

transferred back and forth until the visa requirements were met. One of worker’s details suggested he was earning £50,000 while working at a fast food restaurant. But despite their deception, taxi driver Jillur Rahman Khan, 43, married couple Mazharul Haque, 46, and Maksuda Begum, 45, and Shaheda Roxsanna, 47, have all been spared jail. Millions of pounds are believed to have been laundered through the fake companies and the immigrants’ bank accounts between 2008 and 2013. Tax officials believe it would have meant a tax loss of £16.6million. The immigrants were charged at least £700 each by the gang in the fraud that was described by judge

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Martin Griffith as being carried out on an ‘industrial scale’. They were given sentences ranging from 10 months to two years, but they were all suspended for two years. They worked alongside another gang who were sentenced last year, including law student Abul Kalam Muhammad Rezaul Karim, 42, who is still on the run and was given a 10-year jail sentence in his absence in November 2018. Four others, former immigration advisors Enamul Karim and Kazi Borkot Ullah, both from Dagenham, accountant Jalpa Trivedi, from St Albans and former immigration adviser Mohammed Tamij Uddin, of east London, were jailed in November last year.

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published last summer through Troubador, has been a great success. Her second book Poetic Gratitude launched last week hit number three on the Amazon hot new releases chart for poetry within just a few hours. She has dedicated her new book to her daughter Harleen.

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If you were marooned on a desert island, which historical figure would you like to spend your time with and why. Some of my ancestors. My grandparents were from Leicestershire, Philadelphia, Antigua and Ghana, but I didn't get the chance to meet them all. I recently read Zora Neale Hurston's 'Barracoon', and then spent a long time trying to imagine what our lives were like before slavery, before colonialism, and before capitalism.

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21 - 27 September 2019

Work visa for foreign students The good news is the British government’s decision to reintroduce the post-study work visa for foreign students, with Indians amongst the highest numbers. Prime Minister Boris Johnson must be credited for his enlightened common sense, in contrast to his predecessor’s paranoia linking it to immigration. For years, university vice chancellors and captains of industry had deplored such short sightedness. Foreign students contributed not merely fees, but also to the spirit and goals of higher educational institutions. The two-year work visa would enable them to defray part, if not the whole of the expenses incurred at the university. Consider this: Oxbridge heads make regular visits to India to recruit its most promising students. They wouldn’t do so if there no dividends for their institutions. That said, The Times Education Supplement has listed Oxford University as the world’s best, with Cambridge third, which is a tribute to the high academic standards in the UK. By contrast, India has

performed poorly, highlighting the mediocrity of its higher educational institutions. Queues of Indians thus seek admission to the best institutions in the UK, US, Australia and New Zealand – all Englishspeaking – to better their professional prospects. Those with knowledge of French or German likewise travel to France and Germany. Results are on the whole positive. Indian Americans are the best qualified per head of population and hold skilled jobs with high incomes. A broadly similar experience has been replicated in the UK. These communities are the most durable bridges with India. Mutual benefit is the name of the game. The currently hard pressed Boris Johnson has kept his eagle on the ball of higher educational exchanges and deserves praise for his efforts. He could easily have passed the buck with anodyne assurances of action, and shelved them for another day when Brexit was done and dusted and its fevers abated.

Bolton bolts, or sacked The Trump administration lightened its overload of concerns by unloading its National Security Adviser John Bolton. He was its loose cannon: for every season and every crisis his one solution was the big stick and war, or else regime change, wherever and whenever he deemed it necessary. Mr Bolton’s line of vision was limited by his partially sighted view of the national interest. Hence, for Mr Bolton, it was not merely America first, it was America first and last, betwixt and between, no questions asked, none tolerated. The United States of America in its chequered history has rarely been short of hawks. Culling hawks was tantamount to sacrilege. Thus did the fledgling republic grow and expand in every direction, mostly at the cost weak polities unable or fearful of upsetting the continent’s Leviathan. The United States developed a passion for war judging by the frequency of its formal declarations, its ground invasions over land and sea, to the beat of press tom toms. Speaking softly and using the big stick, as President Theodore Roosevelt recommended, became the staple of American statecraft. So Mr Bolton was not entirely a fish out of water – his is the only country to have used the atom bomb on the helpless Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, not to save lives and end the Second World War, but to message potential rivals of the peril awaiting violators of Uncle Sam’s diktat. In the fullness of time the US lost its monopoly of nuclear weapons, delivery systems, chemical and bacteriological agents. Asymmetrical warfare in certain conditions, from Vietnam to Afghanistan - now the longest in American history - is draining the national will and the national exchequer. Imperial overstretch has played a significant role in reducing the country boasting the world’s largest economy to the world’s largest debtor. The $30 trillion debt and rising tells of a mortgaged future since the dollar itself is destined to come under pressure when trading nations turn increasingly to transact in national currencies. The once Republican presidential contender Patrick Buchanan in 2011, wrote: ‘The debt of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac and the Federal Home Loan Banks grew an average of $184 billion annually from 1998 to 2008, helping fuel a bubble that drove home prices up by 102 per cent between 2000 and mid-2006, according to the S&P/Case Shiller Home Price Index.’ Buchanan again: ‘In the space of a single fiscal year, 2009, debt soared from 41 per cent of the

gross domestic product to 53 per cent. This sum, which does not include what the government has borrowed from its own trust funds, is on track to rise to a crushing 85 per cent in the economy by 2018.’ [Patrick J. Buchanan, Death of a Superpower], p 24-25] Incessant wars are breaking rising numbers of bodies and minds of hapless participants, while intensifying the domestic race war and widening the racial divide. Space weapons and bloated military budgets are a delusional response to cloying insecurity. In the overall context of the American past, John Bolton is not quite the absurdist mareick the mainstream media make him out to be. His dilemma stemmed from the single string to his bow and its solitary tune. Talking peace, reason and goodwill in between times has been a sedative for nervous disorders. The fallen John Bolton may soon be seen on television’s Fox News or CNN, with an occasional invitational column in The New York Times or Washington Post, as relief from the tedium of American political discourse and praxis. Donald Trump’s presidential campaign promising to cut back on the country’s military interventions abroad struck a chord with a war weary public and its hopes of enduring peace - pearls cast before the Gadarene swine. For the US deep state permanent peace is an anathema, a betrayal of America’s Manifest Destiny. President Trump started off, confronting countries listed as enemies. His early statements on North Korea were brutal; after a time came the Singapore summit with President Kim, and a disturbingly emollient President, to many of his critics back home. A similar pattern may emerge in US relations with Iran. Such giddy mood swings and ideological roundabouts contributed surely to John Bolton’s crash, from authority to possible oblivion. However, nothing will have changed fundamentally. Democratic Party voices calling for explorations to international peace have been sidelined by party managers, and hence lack a secure national platform to air their views. The no-changers, Joe Biden, for instance, will be the public face of ‘moderate’ hawks and big buck defence spending, so satisfying the ravenous appetites of the country’s military industrial complex. The manic search for mythical security is guaranteed to continue under the prevailing order, and hence the numberless dark conspiracies and plots of elusive enemies of the state, people and their hallowed way of life.

World body takes up Bengal project A rural project conceptualised and implemented in the Indian state of West Bengal by the governing Trinamool Congress, led by Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, will be rolled out across India by the World Bank and the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). Eric Falt, UNESCO Director, speaking in New Delhi at a national seminar, described the project called, Rural Craft and Cultural Hubs, as a trail blazer for the rest of India. The project was launched in 2013 by the state government in association with UNESCO generating rural incomes through awareness of local heritage. ‘It is an eye opener and West Bengal has shown the way. This was a pioneer project in India to stop rural migration and market intangible heritage. Following its

inception in 2013, we have renewed our involvement here in 2016. Now we shall roll out this model in o0ther states. The second state we have identified is Rajasthan which, too, has a great heritage, said Mr Falt. West Bengal Commerce and Industries Minister Amit Mitra had set a targeted revenue of Rs 200 crore from clusters in 15 districts, an increase from the present Rs 100 crore. ‘The project started with only 3000 artisans and now it has 25,000 artisans. I am confident that it will be possible to take that figure to 1 lakh (100,000) in the near future,’ he said. From a monthly income of Rs 500, artisans now earned Rs 7,500. Around 120,000 tourists have visited these hubs – making this a true success story indeed.

Behave as if everything you do matters, because you have no idea which thing might - Gloria Steinem

Alpesh Patel

Domestic Abuse and 'the law is an ass' When I was training to be a barrister, I recall well the now famous case of the British Indian woman who set fire to her husband whilst he slept. She was charged with murder, which carries a mandatory life sentence wherein the judge has no discretion. She pleaded the partial defence of provocation, which means she was provoked by circumstances to commit the murder, namely her husband's behaviour over a period of time, and which if proven would reduce her crime to one of manslaughter. The act of manslaughter does not have a mandatory life sentence. The judges decided that whilst previously the law of provocation meant that the defendant had to have ‘snapped’ in the moment, that since women did not tend to ‘snap’ like men, and instead would need to plan and plot any such attack, being in a position of weakness in any event, that provocation could now include such long prolonged planning. There remain those who think the law is wrong of course. And the most recent high profile case of the ‘law being an ass’ is that of Geoffrey Boycott who was convicted for hitting his then girlfriend. He denies this and many newspapers have made clear they too think the case was one of the victim creating evidence to sell her story to the press and making a financial gain. Geoffrey who many a time has denied India a victory over England on the cricket pitch, was a first time offender. And he has been knighted. So can the law really ever get things wrong? Do miscarriages happen? Worst still as the law in this area has now introduced crimes such a ‘controlling behaviour’ which is imprisonable, one worries exactly how little evidence is needed to be convicted? Moreover, given a guilty plea attracts a lesser sentence, one can imagine many people deciding to plead guilty than roll the dice with a jury at the hands of a planning manipulative spouse. When I was young, my family often provided refuge to battered wives, indeed we have had family members who have been victims – and we’ve collected them from their marital homes to end their marriages. This I’ve known as an issue from childhood in our community. But, now, these laws move from assault, battery, to criminalising ‘behaviour’. Now, like you, I too kneejerk to making most things I don’t like a crime. But consider that a crime tends to be something which the State believes it ought to revoke your liberty, thereby, ending your career, destroying your finances, and placing upon you a status which in most circumstances ruins the rest of your life. So when I come across bad laws, or injustices, whether this or any case, I say, fight, before, during and especially after a conviction. Rally your friends, tell your story, explain the background. Was the perpetrator really as they wish in this age of Instagram the portrayal they claim? You have after all the freedom of speech, and that too, is a power granted by the State. Geoffrey Boycott believing himself to be innocent, said this week, he doesn’t ‘give a damn’ that people think he did it. He denies it. The law is indeed an ass according to him. Editor: CB Patel Asian Voice is published by Asian Business Publications Ltd Karma Yoga House, 12 Hoxton Market, (Off Coronet Street) London N1 6HW. Tel: 020 7749 4080 • Fax: 020 7749 4081 Email: aveditorial@abplgroup.com Website: www.abplgroup.com INDIA OFFICE Bureau Chief: Nilesh Parmar (BPO) AB Publication (India) Pvt. Ltd. 207 Shalibhadra Complex, Opp. Jain Derasar, Nr. Nehru Nagar Circle, Ambawadi, Ahmedabad-380 015. Tel: +91 79 2646 5960 Email: gs_ahd@abplgroup.com © Asian Business Publications


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Wembley’s Shri Vallabh Nidhi temple in brief SHOP SELLING KNIFE TO hold special organ donation event TEENAGERS IS CAUGHT IN Shri Vallabh Nidhi UK (SVNUK) organised a special event at their Wembley Temple Gokaldham Centre on Saturday 14th September 2109. The event was hosted to explain the upcoming Spring 2020 change in law for Organ Donation, and to encourage the Hindu Community in and around the Wembley area to actively support organ donation. It was supported by the Jain & Hindu Organ Donation (JHOD) Team and NHS Blood and Transplant. Around 210 attended including many dignitaries and leaders from other local communities, Brent Council, the Gujarati Press, etc. His Worshipful the Mayor of Brent Cllr. Ernest Ezeajughi, the Leader of the Council Cllr. Mohammed Butt, Cllr. Trupti Sangani and the First Secretary (Trade) of the Indian High Commission Mr Rahul Nangare were amongst

POLICE 'STING' OPERATION ON ISLE OF DOGS

those who attended. Leaders of the Narayan Sewa Sanstha, Maa Krupa Foundation and Bhatia Community also attended. Narendrabhai Thakrar, Chairman of SVNUK, welcomed everyone and said we should all be proud to actively support this very important project. He thanked Kiritbhai Modi, Chair of JHOD Steering Group for his support of the event, and that he was looking forward to seeing his presentation. Shivum Kakkad and his mother Jaiminiben also attend. Shivum shared his experience, as his father passed away recently and

they donated his organs. SVNUK honoured both mother and son for their “gifts of life” to others from their sad loss. A presentation was given by Mr Modi on Organ Donation, and was elaborated mainly in Gujarati to suit the audience. The change of law from Spring 2020, the donor statistics, the need for more donors and the main concerns of the Hindu Community about organ donation were all addressed. A short video clip was shown with leaders from various Hindu temples across the UK who supported organ donation and

explained the rationale behind this. Questions were asked at the start as to how many attendees knew about the change of law, how many had already signed up for organ donation and how many had discussed the subject of organ donation with their families. The same questions were asked at the end and the results were very gratifying! The majority understood the new law change; Seventeen people were already registered and Fourteen new people registered on the day. A further 51 people said they would sign up later after discussion.

West Midlands Police's first Sikh female superintendent A cop is proving an inspiration to others after becoming the most senior Sikh female officer in the history of West Midlands Police. Harvi Khatkar is the first woman from a black or ethnic minority background to reach the rank of superintendent after progressing her career through the force. The bobby has been with the force for 25 years and has fulfilled a wide range of roles including neighbourhood policing, response, offender management and

Harvi Khatkar

force incident manager. She is a firearms and public order commander. Harvi has made her mark across the region after

spending time based in Birmingham, Dudley, Sandwell, Walsall and Wolverhampton as part of her rise through the ranks. She was the most senior BME officer in Wolverhampton before becoming part of the WMP2020 programme to help create a more modern, agile police force for decades to come. Harvi - who is also the force’s business crime lead went through a rigorous promotion process before

successfully being named as a new superintendent. But the modest officer does not consider herself a role model; although she hopes her achievement will inspire others to pursue their own ambitions of a police career. WMP is currently staging its largest recruitment drive in years, as the force seeks to build on a national campaign intended to attract thousands of potential applicants to consider a police career.

Woman 'slowly dying' with months to live makes desperate plea for transplant A woman who is 'slowly dying' and has just months to live has made a desperate plea for help. Sunaina Paul needs a

liver transplant and fears she may die before she manages to find a match. Tragically the 31-year-old, from Birmingham, has dete-

riorated alarmingly in past few months. To make matters worse, she has rare Blood Type B, drastically restricting the chance of a

Sunaina Paul

donor. Next Spring, all adults will automatically join the Organ Donation Register – but for Sunaina that’s too long to wait. According to the NHS organ donation website 6,278 people are currently waiting for a transplant in the UK. Matters have reached the stage where only a liver transplant offers the chance of a longer life – but so far the outlook remains bleak. Sunaina is using her story to campaign for those from a minority ethnic background to register for organ donation to save a life just like her own. It may not be in time for her, but it will be a lifeline for others.

A warning has been fired to traders by Tower Hamlets Council to stop selling knives over the counter to teenagers after a shop was caught out during a sting operation on the Isle of Dogs. Deputy mayor Asma Begum urged them to check youngsters' identities and to refuse purchases if in doubt. "Shopkeepers need to be aware that selling knives to children can have serious consequences," Cllr Begum said. "We also urge people to report any knives found or seen on the streets." A bread knife was sold at Docklands Halal Grocers in Castalia Square, Cubitt Town, during a test purchase by two girl cadets aged 14 and 15 and witnessed by a council trading standards officer. The cadets were posing as customers, but no attempt was made to ask their age or identity, Thames magistrates were told. The company, REH Investments, was fined £158 with £1,561 and on August 29. The man who sold the knife, Razzak Miah, 39, was fined £130 with £115 costs at an earlier hearing after admitting selling it to someone under 18. The shop has since stopped selling knives.

GARETH THOMAS PETITIONS TO PREVENT CLOSURES OF WALK-IN CLINICS A Harrow MP is holding a petition to prevent the further closures of walk-in clinics. Petitions backed by Harrow West Labour MP, Gareth Thomas, are being shared to prevent the closures of walkin services from Belmont Health Centre and The Pinn Medical Centre, following the previous closure of the walk-in services at Alexandra Avenue Health Centre. The petitions are timely due to the impending closures of Belmont Health Centre walk-in centre in November 2019, with the Pinn Medical Centre expected to halt their walk-in service in 2020. By gaining signatures from Harrow residents, Mr Thomas hopes to bring the importance of the walk-in clinics to the attention of Matt Hancock, Secretary of State for Health. Mr Thomas said: “Immediately following the removal of the walk-in service at Alexandra Avenue, in November 2018, we saw increased pressures begin to mount on Hospitals and GP services across North West London. “The closure of walk-in services at Alexandra Avenue has contributed to unacceptable numbers of sick people waiting too long to be get treated. “The Secretary of State for Health, Matt Hancock, must listen to people of Harrow, these centres provide a hugely valuable service, we want to keep them, and we want to reopen walk-in services at Alexandra Avenue.” Alexandra Avenue’s closure stopped the nearly 40,000 walk-in appoints each year, with further closures expecting to deprive Harrow residents even further. On Facebook, Mr Thomas wrote that “we need to send a clear message” about the vitality of walk-in clinics.

MAN JAILED AFTER KILLING FRIEND IN SLOUGH CAR PARK A man who stabbed his friend to death in the mistaken belief he was having an affair with his wife has been jailed. Aqib Pervaiz, 27, killed Nadeem Uddin Hameed Mohammed, 24, in an underground Tesco car park minutes after purchasing a large kitchen knife from the store. Pervaiz, who admitted murder, was convinced his Poundland colleague had been seeing Saima Munir despite attempts to convince him otherwise. At Reading Crown Court, he was ordered to serve a minimum of 22 years. Mr Mohammed's wife, who was eight months pregnant at the time of the murder, has returned to India with the daughter he never got to meet, the court was told. In a statement, his family said: "It is impossible to explain how deep and profound his loss is to the whole family." Pervaiz, of Rochford Gardens, Slough, was also sentenced to 18 months in prison for possession of a bladed article, to run concurrently.


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“We have to be funnier than these funny politicians,” Mirza How stand-up comedy conquered politics Priyanka Mehta Stand-up comedians are running for office whereas some politicians today are a laughing stock, especially on social media platforms. This role reversal is perhaps most prominent through the election of Volodymyr Zelensky, the stand-up comedian who became Ukraine's President and in contrast the latest Jacob Rees Smug memes that dominated Brexit debate earlier this month. As the west stands divided around immigration, identity, and ideology, some stand-up comedians have effectively delivered the “joke is on you” punchline. Shazia Mirza is one such award-winning stand-up comedian who will now participate at Young Muslim Voices. This a social start-up which works with diverse

Shazia Mirza

casts in performing monologues written by young Muslims about their real-life experiences. “I am just going to do stand-up comedy that I have written. It will catalog my everyday experiences but essentially it will be a reflection of the current political and social affairs in the world. “There is so much going on already and it is so funny

but we have to be funnier than the ridiculousness paraded by some of these politicians. Trump is the leader of that ridiculousness and I like watching him because he is highly entertaining even when he is not a comedian. So, as a comedian, I have to be funnier than him and that itself is a very challenging task," said Shazia. Today the hallmarks of comedy are not the attributes traditionally demanded of the briefcase politicians. They are often required to demonstrate competency, accountability to their people and infallibility. Now, humor and cynicism have become an essential ingredient to build political narratives and agendadriven policies. And unsurprisingly, quite a few politicians have directed such

Jacob Rees Mogg

humor towards the migrant community. However, this far-right rhetoric has been crucially challenged by an increasing presence of Asian stand-up comedians. Some of these famous names include Hasan Minhaj, an American comedian, and a political commentator whose Netflix series the Patriot Act has garnered quite a viewership across the world and is described as the “best kind of infotainment” by the Forbes Magazine. Other headlining names include Romesh Ranganathan who

was nominated for Best Newcomer at the 2013 Edinburgh Comedy Awards, Sindhu Vee, Anuvab Pal, among others. Shazia believes that a decade ago, there were rarely many Asian individuals pursuing their careers around their passion in the field of performing arts and culture. Today, although faces like those of Aditi Mittal, one of the first women to do stand-up comedy in India, have surfaced in comedy, not many people still pay and watch it. Today, aside from being commis-

sioned for their work, some stand-up comedians even find themselves entangled in the debate between the right to free speech and defamation suits. But for artists like Shazia, being pigeonholed in a certain category and being defined by labels is perhaps the biggest issue that needs to be addressed. She said, “I have had lots of labels- Muslim, female, Asian comedian from Birmingham. I don't need all of this. Just call me a comedian like all my male counterparts are referred to as.”

Adda Slough to create Kolkata's 'Maddox Cameron 'haunted' by Brexit mess Square' for inaugural Durga puja For everyone from Kolkata, Maddox square Durga Puja occupies a special space in their heart. Vast area, big pandal (shamiana), innumerable stalls, performance by celebrities make it the ideal destination for Bengalis to sit and enjoy with all. This year it will not be missed in London as Adda Slough, organising its first ever Durga puja from 4 to 7thOctober, and will recreate the muchyearned 'Maddox square' Puja ambience for Bengalis. A big 110 ft x 70 ft x 25 ft pandal will house the deity at Slough Cricket

Club. Durga Puja also means adda, good cultural, finger-licking food for Bengalis. So Central London’s famous and aristocratic Indian restaurant ‘Little Kolkata’ will set up an exclusive Kolkata Food Court in the venue. Adda is a Bengali community organisation based in Slough, UK. It was set up in 2012 and well known for its various community activities. Adda, Slough as it is better known, is well reputed for its Kali Puja which it is organising since 2013. Over the years Adda’s popularity has grown stronger. It is also famous for its grand Saraswati Puja and children’s pro-

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gramme. Apart from Pujas, Adda organises several sporting events in cricket, football and badminton. Last year the tournament was blessed by Sourav Ganguly and this year Adda organised a tournament and coaching day in association with MS Dhoni cricket academy. It also strongly promotes connections between groups and individuals and helps in outreach of Bengali film industry abroad. Talking of Adda’s first Durga Puja this year, Adda President Nilotpal Mandal said, “Our Kali Puja met with tremendous response and our visitors wanted more from us. We were flooded with requests to organise annual Durga Puja and that’s how we landed in our journey on this. We are getting a lot of support from local community, council, several Indian organisations for the event. We are expecting a huge crowd like our other events.” When asked on what the prime attraction for this puja would be, executive member Prasenjit Bhattacharjee said, “We are going to build a Pandal which is quite unprecedented here in UK Pujas because most of the Pujas happen in community

halls or hotels as opposed to open ground with a pandal. Several local Indian communities like Assamese, Rajasthanis, Odia, Gujaratis etc are going to help to design the Pandal to decorate and give it a Pan-Indian look. Folk artist Shinjini Thakur will take part in the cultural. Celebrated fashion designer Garima Saikia Garg will be presenting her creations in a fashion show.” Cultural organisers Pradyumna Dutta, Indrani Dasgupta and dancer Esha Chakravarty emphasised on Adda’s long term commitment to promote Bengali culture and children’s performance. Apart from Puja activities Adda has also planned for big Bijoya festivities. Organiser Aniruddha Dey said, “Famous Bollywood singer and star Zubeen Garg is going to perform at our grand Bijoya concert in Slough on 12th October 2019. There is already a huge demand for tickets for this. “On 27th October Adda is going to organise UK Premiere of Bengali movie 'Password' to be attended by actors: Dev (Dipak Adhikari), Rukmini Maitra and director K a m a l e s h w a r Mukhopadhyay.”

Former Prime Minister vents fury in his memoirs at his old colleagues over their stance on Brexit and compares Leave campaign to racist Tory electioneering in 1964. The former Prime Minister poured out his anger on both his former colleagues Priti Patel, the current home secretary, and Dominic Cummings, the No 10 adviser, in extracts from the book published on Sunday. He also revealed that Patel’s attacks on his government’s immigration record “shocked me most” but he did not want to fire her and create a “Brexit mar-

tyr”. In the same memoir he has also called both Johnson and Michael Gove “ambassadors” of the post truth world. Cameron writes that Johnson’s claims of concerns about British sovereignty were “secondary to another concern for Boris: what was the best outcome for him?” Johnson “risked an outcome he didn’t believe in because it would help his political career” and was open to a second referendum after a renegotiation, according to a Sunday Times account of Cameron’s book, For The Record.

London mayor praises Priti Patel and Johnson In an unprecedented move Mayor of London has praised Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Home Secretary Priti Patel for “waking up” to the realities of knife crime in the capital. The government has recently pledged to recruit 20,000 more police officers over the next three years. Sadiq Khan's praise appears in light of the recent revelations made by the Home Secretary where she has accepted the links between the government cuts and violent crime. He said, “Violent crime began rising in London in 2014,

serious youth violence since 2012. We are doing lots of things from City Hall to grapple with this and the good news is that this Prime Minister and this home secretary finally accept there is a link between massive cuts and an increase in violent crime. “Priti Patel is my fourth home secretary. She understands the importance of investing in police. I am trying to persuade her and the government to also invest in youth services and preventative services. Let’s divert young people away from criminal gangs and picking up a knife.”


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A Doll’s House

Legacy portraying the Empire’s women

Rupanjana Dutta A famously intelligent playwright Tanika Gupta MBE, a recipient of our Asian Achievers Awards, has written over 20 stage plays that have been produced in major theatres across the UK. Her recent play 'A Doll's House' has been recreated in adaptation of Henrik Ibsen's 'A Doll's House'. Ibsen's play, is set in a Norwegian town and was first performed in 1879 at the Royal Theatre in Copenhagen, Denmark (which I visited in 2018) and created a storm of controversies. Gupta's play, directed by Rachel O'Riordan, is set in India in the British colonial era around 1879, where the female protagonist Niru breaks free from the shackles of her patriarchal marriage. She is raised by a much 'Anglicised' father with assistance from domestic help and nanny Uma, who goes on to live with Niru even

after she got married. Niru is married to a much older Englishman Tom, a colonial tax administrator, who 'worshipped and exoticised' her. Such unions were actually common in the 18th century colonial Kolkata (then Calcutta), creating the city's Anglo-Indian community that exists today. The backdrop of this play is set in Kolkata, after Queen Victoria became the Empress of India. There was a sudden shift from the way East India Company ruled over India to an effort of recreating a world of equilibrium under The Crown. However, the Sepoy Mutiny in 1857 had already started anti-English storm across India, much of which stemmed from Bengal. There were existential crisis for English educated youth, who questioned everything that the colonial rulers imposed on them, from tax to laws. The increasing racial intolerance also made Eurasian (or Anglo-Indian)

marriages rarer. Niru in that hostile Bengal represents an upperclass English-educated, converted Christian, Bengali woman with dual life – one where she enjoys a luxurious lifestyle (even under debt), full of grand parties, shopping and hosting gala dinners; the other of 'Jalebi' loving, kathak dancing quintessential Indian- even admired by her husband's friends (like Dr Rank). However Niru's friend Mrs Lahiri stands for the other struggle of womanhood. She is widowed at a young age (thankfully not burnt on the husband's pyre after abolition of Sati in 1829). Married off to an older man early, to cut expenses by poor family, struggling to make ends meet under the British rule, and in the end left to fend for herself after husband's untimely death. The actors Elliot Cowan (Tom Helmer), Arinder Sadhera (Uma), Colin Tierney (Dr Rank), Tripti Tripuraneni (Mrs Lahiri),

Anjana Vasan (Niru) and Assad Zaman (Kaushik Das) have done their best to portray their characters to perfection. They are natural, emotive and tipped the balance. But there are a few underlying issues. Often the pronunciation of words by actors as Indians would, came in the way of their natural ability to speak as British actors- especially in case of Kaushik Das (who sounded a bit like Apu in The Simpsons) or that of Mrs Lahiri (while singing a Bengali folk song with Niru). Second, Bengali women, young or old, after marriage, especially during the 19th century ran their household with a certain poetic grace, much like Rabindranath

Tagore's 'Charulata' (also portrayed a Bengali wife in the 1870s). Niru, though meant to be a bit more naturally childlike and flirtatious, has seemed too chirpy for her age and background. Third, the transformation of Niru, from breaking out of the patriarchal shackles into a modern woman, not defined by how her husband or father or children perceived of her, has seemed a product of sudden enlightenment and not organic. Personal attacks or selfish masculinity in a male society, where men assess how women should behave, or do, or even think- the desire to break such preformed archaic notions is a gradual process in every human. Niru has seemed to have no

such thoughts till she suddenly stumbles upon a man's judgement of her so called 'earth shattering wrong doings' disregarding her momentary impulse to save her husband on her own ability. Either ways, A Doll's House, as imagined by Gupta supported with Arun Ghosh's melodious music is a thought-provoking delight. It touches upon the right questions- about a modern woman in a modern man's world and does not elude from a reliable portrayal of a colonial Bengal and its famous 'progressive' society. A much recommended watch, running at Lyric Hammersmith Theatre till 5 October.


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The way Shantabaa made it Kokila Patel

Initially she started a nursery with 5-6 kids. Seeing her care and compassion, the number of kids started to increase. Just in few months, her demand rose and she had to conduct three sessions in a day. Baa survived us for 15-16 years running this nursery and also educated us likewise. "The virtues of philanthropy and service have been ingrained in us by our beloved baa. We used to live in a 10X8 room. Baa used to keep 10% of her income through nursery for charity works. She used to gather all of her savings in a box and

"Kenya Special" published by "Gujarat Samachar Asian Voice" was received by our subscribers last week on Friday. Pictures of many inspirational personalities who started off the clear blue were printed on the Magazine's front page. One of which is Pujya Shantabaa, whose divine soul has departed for her onward journey on 13th Setember. was shocked to receive the message from my spiritual brother, Vijaybhai on the fateful 13th September sent me a message about her sad demise, which read "Pujya Baa is no more with us. She passed

I

the next day. Around 700 people from and outside London gathered at the Banqueting Hall of City Pavilion to pay their homage to Baa. An ideal teacher, she nurtured kids with all the virtues. Few of

we were not allowed to take a single penny out of that box. Baa taught us to stay grounded while climbing the ladder of success." Shantabaa lived a unique life. A self-made woman she surpassed all social and financial challenges and played an instrumental role in the upbringing of her two sons and in the establishment of a thriving empire across the sectors of pharmacy, property, private equity and philantropy. Perhaps, the secret to her acceptance across the family and community was in her humility and kindness.

TRIBUTE TO SHANTABA

away in the morning at 8". I was not able to accept the fact that the virtuous lady has passed away and is no more with us! Last Friday, on 6th September when I met both the brothers, Bhikhubhai and Vijaybhai, at Asian Achievers Award ceremony, they asked me to visit Baa as she has been remembering me. CB and I had decided to visit her on 13th evening itself. The unfortunate news of the sad demise of our Baa, at the age of 98, in the presence of her family members was conveyed quickly among friends and relatives. Both the brothers, Bhikhubhai and Vijaybhai decided to commemorate their late Mother who happily lived with four generations of his family. The brother organised a memorial service at City Pavilion in Romford followed by Bhajan Sandhya and dinner

her students also came to pay her a tribute. Popular Shiv Upasak – Arpan Shiva and Mital, along with their music group payed a musical tribute through melodious Bhajans-Kirtans. Bhikhubhai shared the struggles that Pujya Shantabaa faced and managed her ways to nurture all of her three children. Her daughters in law, Shashiben Bhikhubhai and Smitaben Vijaybhai presented a beautiful song 'Ek Pankhi Aavine Udi Gayu', which encapsulated the life of Baa, and moved everyone into tears. She treated them more like daughters Paying his tribute, Bhikhubhai said, " My Baa was a mighty woman who sailed through the adverse challenges of life. At a young age of 14, Baa married to my father, Chotabhai Kalidaas. During the World War, she migrated from Porbandar to

Baa – a lady whom we all loved very much for her propensity to be “everybody’s Baa”, and a stranger to no one. A humble lady, always very well dressed in a simple sari, head covered, with bright eyes and a sweet smile on her face – that was Shantabaa. She cared for everyone that entered her life and their well being. She believed in honesty, hardwork and caring for others. She was a real fighter, who knew that life is not about thinking about the obstacles in front of us but more so, finding the solutions and moving ahead. Baa had the gift of remembering everything - from events many years ago in her life, to names of not only everyone she had met but also everything described in conversations with her. She took a true interest in people she would meet, be it family, relatives or friends and loved to talk about children, health, business and just about everything. Above all she was kind and generous, we will all miss her dearly. May God rest her soul in peace. - Subir Patel East Africa in a boat, with just one metal bag. My father expired at a young age of 42 due to heartattack. At that time, my sister

Manjulaben was 9 years old, I was 7 while my brother Vijaybhai was five. Despite of being a 7th grader, Baa decided to stay in Kenya.

(L-R): Bhikhubhai Patel paying tribute to his late mother in presence of wife Shashi, sister-i-law Smita and brother Vijay

Four generations of Patel family paying homage to Shantabaa

Rehman Chisti appointed Special Envoy for Freedom of Religion or Belief On 12th September Thursday, Prime Minister Boris Johnson appointed Rehman Chisti MP as the Special Envoy for Freedom of Religion or Belief. In his new position, Chishti will bring together efforts across the UK Government, with faith actors and civil society to promote the religious tolerance abroad. The Special Envoy will continue to lead the implementation of the recommendations from the

recent independent review into FCO support for persecuted Christians led by the Bishop of Truro. He will also advocate for the rights of all individuals here in the UK and around the world who are being discriminated against and persecuted for their faith or belief. The Envoy role was previously held by FCO Minister Lord (Tariq) Ahmad who will continue to champion human rights in his Ministerial capacity. This appointment will

therefore increase the number of people working on the issue of religious freedom across government. He was previously the Vice Chairman of the Conservative party covering faith and communities. He said, “I am delighted to have been appointed as the PM’s Special Envoy. I have championed freedom of religion and beliefs for much of my life. I shall use the UK Government’s global network to take real action to support those perse-

cuted for their faith or belief, and promote greater understanding and respect between faiths. “As someone whose family came to the UK when I was six years old, and my father had taken up a role as an Imam, my family and I have always been able to openly and freely practise our faith. I want to ensure every citizen around the world is able to enjoy this basic right. Freedom of Religion, practice and belief is one of the foundations of a free society.”

Rehman Chisti, MP


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Priyanka Mehta Reports around hypnotic crimes have surfaced in the community. These are not the regular financial scams around tantric performing “black magic acts” to cure social, familial or health problems. Instead, these are ordinary individuals who pretend to be practising professionals or social workers. They approach members of the community in public places with discussions around helping the vulnerable. The modus operandi is usually the same. There is an unsuspecting victim, perhaps someone emotionally troubled or naive, and a community social worker or a group who taps the victim's shoulder or shakes their hand. Then it is straight to the bank, the ATM, or the safe. The victims empty their bank accounts, give up their smartphones, and even raid the jewelry box—all under the control of these malevolent hypnotists. Asian Voice and Gujarat Samachar have been the pioneering Asian publications in the UK which have stopped taking advertisements or contents around astrology, and black magic.

A doctor, a solicitor and an illegal resident Laxman Jadva Kandi is a resident of Willesden in North London and was approached by one such man who pretended to be a

believe that he was drugged with Scopolamine, a drug from Columbia which renders a person incapable of exercising his free will. Whilst the police are still investigating the case, Laxman errs on the side of caution and advice people branch and retrieved cash to be extremely careful of worth £5k. In the meanaccepting pamphlets from time, the Nepalese fell ill strangers or drinks from and upon examination, the street vendors. These can doctor said he needed to be prove to be areas for such hospitalised. Highly suspiindividuals to mix or spray cious now, Laxman then substances and take undue demanded to be dropped advantage. Laxman has home. However, Kandi says heard of his neighbour that once he entered home being a victim to a similar he had no recollection of incident and says there what transpired next. have been other such with“Nobody was at home. I drawals at ATMs and resivaguely remember opening dencies in Harlesden, and my safe, taking out some areas of East London. In money and handing it over some of these to them. They later incidents, indiasked for some viduals have warm water and He was drugged also posed when I with Scopolamine, a as immireturned from drug from Columbia gration the kitchen which renders a officers they had and influperson incapable of already gone,” enced or exercising his he said. robbed espeIt was later free will cially old peothat he realised ple. all his ID proof and Such crimes are wallet was in the doccommon in countries like tor's car and subsequently Indonesia and Malaysia phoned his son. They where police routinely lodged a case against these warn people to be on the offenders to the police and lookout for thieves with reported his stolen documystical mind control ments including his bank powers. These incidents card. The CCTV footage of are now being reported in his home has been examthe UK as well. ined for further evidence. Additionally, a thief He was then taken to St. who forcefully hugs or kissMary's Hospital where he es her victims before says that he may be wrestling away gold jewdrugged at some point of ellery is also being hunted time to be able to withdraw by police. money and pass it on. They

Drugs and hypnotism The mind-controlled financial thefts doctor. He does not remember the name of the offender today but discloses their first meeting at Nuffield gym where the good doctor preached about helping the poor and suffering. A few minutes later, both the doctor and Laxman departed the gym each after the other. As he left the gym Jadva says he was then approached by a helpless man who appeared to be a Nepalese citizen. “I don't recall any names now but the man who approached me told me that he was shipped in a container from Nepal and is an illegal citizen here in the UK. He further added that he needed assistance in meeting a solicitor who had promised to help him with his papers,” said Laxman. Laxman discusses his initial reluctance in helping the man and during his dilemma was once again approached by the doctor. He says, the Nepalese continued to forcefully hug him begging for his help. The doctor further persuaded Laxman to at least help the Nepalese citizen to reach Watford where he was expected to meet his solicitor. “The doctor called up the said solicitor using the contact details provided by

Forced hugging and kissing before gold bangles stolen

the Nepalese man. The solicitor then asked both Laxman and the doctor to carry their proof of residency with them,” says the Willesden resident. Although reluctant, he is coerced by the doctor to go to his home and collect his ID proof and wallet. Laxman says he only agreed to assist the doctor as he had a prior patient appointment and furthermore as the scared looking Nepalese insisted on his presence. “We crossed the Nuffield gym again when the solicitor called up again and said that the helpless

man should have at least £5000 in cash with him. “The Nepalese man immediately produced a bank draft of £25k and upon asking how he had accquired such a large sum, he told us about working at some local restaurant,” said Laxman.

Under the influence of Scopolamine Initially, the doctor proposed for Laxman to deposit the draft amount in his account and retrieve cash. When he refused, the doctor pretended to stop at the closest Barclays bank


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There has been no remorse on their end The above words are directly quoted from Shri CB Patel’s column “As I See It” of last week which was on the subject of plunder and mayhem carried out on the people of Bharat by Britain. There has been no remorse on the part of Britain for their atrocious deeds. The way to address these past atrocities, could be by establishing a “Truth and reconciliation commission” (TRC) as was done by South Africa at the end of apartheid era. Canada and several other countries as well as the UN has dealt with the racial and the human right issues within a country in a similar manner by establishing dozens of such TRCs. The purpose of these TRCs is to bring out the truth and reconcile but not to punish the guilty as it was done in the Nuremberg Trials. However, there has been no such TRCs ever established for atrocities carried out by one state and its culture on another state and its culture. The USA is the only country which has used nuclear weapons on innocent people of Japan and large scale chemical weapons like “Agent Orange” on innocent people of Viet Nam. There has been no remorse on their end. Arabians and their converts from Turkey, Iran and Afghanistan have carried out numerous invasions on people of Bharat in which they looted wealth, destroyed places of worship and murdered millions of people. Mohmud Ghazani who was a son of a Turkic slave marched from Ghazani to Somnath in 1025 CE and razed the famous temple to the ground. How many innocent people were killed by the huge army of fierce invaders on their passage through 2400 km round trip? Muhammad Ghori carried out several raids on Bharat in which he was defeated but each time he was allowed go free as per our cultural norms. In the year 1192 CE, Ghori eventually defeated Prithviraj Chauhan, reaped out his eyes and took him to his land where he was cruelly killed. How many innocent people were butchered in more than a dozen such raids? Nader Shah of Iran in 1739 CE captured Delhi and he stated in his autobiography that his army killed one lakh innocent people in a single night. There has been no remorse on their end. Will there be any TRCs for these terrors and mayhem carried out by one country and its culture by another country its culture? Narsibhai Patel New Malden

Significance of Gandhi Jayanti Gandhi Jayanti, which is celebrated on October 2 every year, is a national holiday in India. This day is celebrated to honour the Father of the nation, Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi, popularly known as Mahatma Gandhi. Internationally, this day is celebrated as the International Day of non-violence as Gandhiji was a preacher of non-violence. He was a symbol of peace and truth. Jubel D'Cruz, Mumbai, India

Harassment of Disable People at Indian Airports We often hear cases of disable people being harassed at major Indian airports, like Delhi, Mumbai and Ahmedabad, few among many airports overseas Indians routinely use while visiting their motherland. Recent case of Virali Modi, “Disable Rights Activists” drew headlines in Indian papers when she was stopped at Indira Gandhi International Airport, while trying to board a plane to catch a flight to Mumbai. She had to surrender her wheelchair to put it in cargo compartment but was provided with complementary manual wheelchair with a porter. In 2006, Virali had suffered spinal cord injury in 2006 resulting in paralyses, unable to stand-up. Security staff at Check-In point demanded that she should stand-up for “Mandatory Security Check-Up”, accusing her of acting and drama queen. She was allowed to board the plane after senior staff gave her body check. As she is frequent traveller and have all proper documents pertaining her disable status, she should have body check without getting up, as is the norm at most airports. She complained to Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) awaiting their reply. I must admit our experience is different. At one time, we used to travel often to Goa and Kerala where we were treated with respect. On one occasion, when I was standing in short queue at Trivandrum airport, to board chartered flight to London, with my Zimmer frame, I was approached by an officer who offered his help to bypass the queue. As there were only few people ahead, I politely declined, believing that I will be able to board soon, did not realize that this was first of five such queues. On the third queue, there were some 100 people. My wife approached the gentleman who first approached us and with his help we avoided all queues and boarded the plane. When I offered him hundred rupees, he politely declined, stating that it is his duty to help people like us! Bhupendra M. Gandhi By email

Are Universities going vegetarian! Recently I read in national newspaper that Goldsmiths University in London has banned sale of beef burgers on Campus to combat climate change, as animals like cows produce methane gas that is more polluting than other forms of polluting menace, that include cars, air travel and use of fossil fuels. It seems trend world-wide is to move away from carnivorous diet to vegetarian one that is now considered to be healthy, well balanced and environmentally friendly, only sensible way to save planet Earth for future generation. Unfortunately there is misconception in certain culture and tradition that diet that lacks meat is incomplete, lacks protein, vitamins and other body-building essential ingredients, harmful for the good health, especially the young, developing children. This is myth created by meat industry, as they fear that meat diet will become as unpopular as smoking, which was once “Status Symbol” in twenties and thirties, as no hero in Western movies would be seen without cigarette in his hand. It was same for Bollywood, as I distinctly remember our heroes Ashok Kumar, Raj Kapoor and Dev Anand were ardent smoker, on and off the screen. Risk of vegetarian diet is the same as any imbalanced diet. Eating meat without greens, fruits pose even worse health risk than vegetarian diet. If one looks at nature, healthiest and longest living animals are vegetarians, including elephants, gorillas, rhinos, even giant whales that survives on sea planktons, not forgetting tortoises for whom life longevity of a century is the norm. In comparison, carnivorous animals like lions, tigers, leopards and cheetahs hardly move out of their twenties! There is also misconception through ignorance that vegetarian diet lacks variety and taste. Far from it, hundreds of dishes can be cooked using rice, wheat, maize, oat and various types of flour, lentils, roots, fruits, vegetables and dairy products. Moreover spices are the main ingredient that gives vegetarian food taste and variety! Kumudini Valambia By email

Homelessness crisis The situation of homelessness is getting worse by the day. Lot of lip service is given by the government of tackling it but no resources are put in to address the issue. Also people want to know who are these unfortunate homeless persons and why they are in such a dire situation that they have to sleep rough. A majority of the people found sleeping rough were from the United Kingdom, with people from the central and eastern Europe being the second largest. According to statistic the breakdown of rough sleepers is White 62.7%, Black 13.0%, Gypsy/Romany/ Irish Traveller 6.8%, Asian 6.5%, Other 3.2%, Mixed 2.2%, Arab 0.7%, Chinese 0.1% The shortage of affordable housing which has been going for decades with each government giving empty promising of building more housing to meet rising demand but nothing is done. It is really a great shame the world’s fifth largest economy in the world is unable to provide the much needed housing to the poorer section of its community. Government has to stop the cuts and austerity policy and embark on a positive and urgent action to solve this perennial problem. Ministers and MPs should give homelessness support to reverse the scandal of mounting homelessness. PM Boris Johnson and his Chancellor of the Exchequer Javid Sajid are embroiled in the Brexit issue and have also launched their general election campaign but there is no mention of important homelessness issue. It is time this issue is tackled as a matter of urgency. Baldev Sharma Rayners Lane, Harrow

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Welcoming young readers to write in our Diwali issue Dear Readers, Diwali this year is on Sunday 27th October. The New Year is knocking at the door waiting to bring in colours and light to our lives with fervour of joy and ever lasting happiness. Asian Voice and Gujarat Samachar will once again be publishing the ‘Diwali Special’ Magazine for our fabulous and supportive readers like yourself. This year we are once again inviting our young readers to send in their articles for the English section. 1. If you are between 5-25 years of age, write an article in English on either of the following topics in no more than 350 words, along with a suitable photo: l how do you celebrate your Diwali every year OR l Your most memorable Diwali with friends and family OR l how do you celebrate Diwali in your school'. 2. If you are 2-25 years of age, you can also draw/paint a picture of what Diwali means to you or your memorable Diwali, with a suitable photo caption, your full name, age; scan and send the picture to the the below address, by the mentioned deadline. 3. If you are within 9-25 years of age, you can also write a short story within 350 words or a poem within 150 words for our Diwali special. 4. If you are a part of an organisation, which has a youth wing or support youth activities, please tell us how your young members or youth wing celebrates Diwali in 300 words with 2 pictures (in no less than 300dpi). Send your articles/stories/poem with your photo and/or painting/picture to aveditorial@abplgroup.com. Last date of entry: 30th September 2019. - Asian Voice

Write to us (Survey) A general election seems to be fast approaching the UK. We are calling all the young Asians (21-30 year olds) to share their views about the political party they would vote for and why in the next general election. UK News

Lifestyle website for Muslim teens covertly funded by Home Office A Muslim online lifestyle platform targeting British teenagers is covertly funded by the Home Office’s counter-extremism programme, the Observer has learned. The revelation about funding of the project has led to a row between its owners, a former Muslim employee and its Muslim audience. SuperSisters was built in

2015 by J-Go Media, a company of nine staff members from east London that describes itself as “a not-forprofit community group” and has two decades of experience of engaging with Muslim communities in East London. SuperSisters is promoted as a “global platform for young Muslimahs in east London to share and create inspiring and empowering content”.


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LSE launches new India programme The London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE) has announced an exciting new LSE-India programme, designed to advance the relationship between the School and India and provide new opportunities for Indian students and academics. The programme will support new courses on Indian economics, politics and society and will promote a ‘leadership programme’ of activities and events for Indian students at the School.

In addition, the programme will support visits to India by groups of students and faculty to deliver courses and contribute to teaching and research. Likewise, it will encourage visits and research-stays at LSE by faculty from India. All of these activities will be supported by an LSE-India fund. The launch of the new programme was announced when the Director of LSE, Dame Minouche Shafik, visited India.

University of Roehampton appoints Indian-origin professor as Director of Business School Professor Sunitha Narendran, pictured, has been appointed by the University of Roehampton as the new Director of its Business School, and will start at the University ahead of the new academic year. Professor Narendran joins from the University of East London where she was Head of the Department of Business. Before beginning her time at UEL in 2016, she was the Head of the Department of Management at Kingston Business School, Kingston University, where she held a range of key academic posts. Sunitha is a Fellow of the CIPD (Chartered

Institute of Personnel and Development); Associate Fellow of the BPS (British Psychological Society); Fellow of CMI (Chartered Management Institute) and a Fellow of the RSA (Royal Society of the Arts). Her international leadership experience in Higher Education includes academic and leadership roles in Singapore, Malaysia, India and China.

UK re-introduces two-year work visas for foreign students Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced reintroduction of two-year post-study work visa for international students studying in British universities by two years, in a move abrogating Theresa May's strict immigration policies. The policy was scrapped in 2012 by the coalition government. May, the then home secretary, said the two-year post-study work visa was “too generous”. The Prime Minister announced this as one of the government measures to attract more overseas students after Brexit. At present, the graduates with bachelors degrees or above are allowed to stay for four months to search for jobs. From next year onwards, all international graduates could qualify for a two-year period to work in the UK, increasing their chances of finding long-term employment after studying. Under the new policy, the visas would have no cap on numbers and would allow graduates to apply for jobs regardless of their skills or the subject they studied. The government said part of the aim

was to recruit talented graduates in disciplines such as maths, engineering and technology. Announcing the strategy, the Department for Education (DfE) said, "There is no limit on the number of international students that can study in the UK. To ensure, UK continues to attract and welcome them, the post-study leave period will be extended to six months for undergraduate and master's students, and a year for doctoral students." The announcement said the government would consider "how the visa process could be improved for applicants and supporting student employment." The DfE said the new immigration route would be open to international students “who have successfully completed a course in any subject at undergraduate level or higher at a higher education provider with a track record of compliance, and have tier 4 [visa] at the point the route is introduced,” starting from next year. “Those on the route will be able to switch on to the skilled work route if they find a job which meets the skill requirement of the

route,” the DfE added. Universities in UK, which represents 130 institutions, upheld government's decision enthusiastically, with its members braced for falling numbers of students from the EU in the event of Brexit. Last year, UK universities graduated around 460,000 international students, not including those from within the EU. The government aims to increase the number to 600,000 over the next 10 years. “The most impacted were Indian students, who repeatedly told us that they needed this post study work visa for a number of reasons, including the ability to gain global work experience and the chance to work for a few years to pay off some of the high loans they had taken to

study in the U.K.We are immensely grateful to Lord Karan Bilimoria, who as our Patron and former UKCISA President has championed this cause for years, as well as MPs Jo Johnson, Paul Blomfield and Virendra Sharma for their sponsorship and support in the campaign,”commented Sanam Arora, founder and chairperson of the National Indian Students and Alumni Union UK (NISAU). They have now written to the Rt. Hon Boris Johnson MP, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, requesting that international students with valid leave to remain at the point of announcement of the scheme i.e. on 10 September 2019, and afterwards, be eligible for the Graduate visa.


12 MEDIA WATCH

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SCRUTATOR’S Restrictive measures in the Kashmir Valley re being reduced progressively, said India in a deposition to the United Nations Human Rights Council. However, challenges remained, principally from cross-border infiltration of terrorists from Pakistan. ‘Despite the fraught circumstances, Jammu and Kashmir’s Civil Administration is ensuring basic services, essential supplies, functioning of institutions, mobility and nearly full connectivity. Democratic processes have been initiated. Restrictive measures are being phased out,’ said Vijay Thakur Singh, Secretary, Ministry, External Affairs. In response to UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet’s call to India to end the lockdown in Kashmir, Vijay Thakur Singh replied: ‘Those who abet, finance and support terrorism ...are in truth the worst violators of human rights...We must speak out. Silence only emboldens terrorism,’ she said, reiterating that India’s abrogation of Article 370 was an internal affair warranting no external interference (Hindu September 11). China, Pakistan declaration rejected India has rejected the SinoPakistan declaration on the economic corridor designed to pass through Kashmir. ‘We reject the reference to Jammu and Kashmir in the joint communiqué issued by China and Pakistan after the recent visit of Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi...India has consistently expressed concern to both China and Pakistan on the projects in socalled China-Pakistan Economic Corridor, which is on the territory of India that has been illegally occupied by Pakistan since 1947,’ said a spokesman of the Ministry of External Affairs in New Delhi (Hindu September 11). Asylum bid in India Baldev Kumar, aged 43, a former Pakistan legislator and member of Prime Minister Imran Khan’s Tehreek-e-Insaf party, has sought political asylum in India, saying

India, Nepal oil pipeline

Finance Minister Nirmala Sithraman, speaking to reporters in Chennai, said GDP growth and slowdown were part of a cycle. Which was not say that the government was unconcerned at the dip in India’s GDP to 5 per cent. Indeed, she had taken several critical steps to address the issue and restore faster growth. Turning to a question on the Reserve Bank of India’s recent massive transfer of funds to the government, the Finance Minister replied that the move was recommended by a panel of experts including former RBI governor Bimal Jalan. For her part, she was keeping close watch on the steep decline in the auto sector alongside the captains of industry (Hindu September 11).

The India- Nepal relationship is set to deepen with the opening of the first oil pipeline from India to Nepal. Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his N Nepalese counterpart K.P. Sharma Oily launched the project on a video link. The Indian Oil Corporation and Nepal Oil Corporation piloted the project (Hindu September 11).

‘Golden Arrows’ to fly Rafale aircraft

Vijay Thakur Singh

minorities, deprived of their basic rights, were vulnerable to state and religious pressure. He referred to the recent case of a Sikh girl who was forcibly converted to Islam and married to a Muslim husband. Blasphemy laws targeting Hindus, Christians and Sikhs entailed long prison sentences, death sentences or mob violence ending in death of the victim. Baldev Singh, now in Indian Punjab, hoped Chief Minister Amarinder Singh would help his asylum application to the Indian government Statesman September 11). Regional hegemon India, alongside Vietnam and other South East Asian countries are learning lessons on Chinese diplomacy and statecraft. Any obscure scroll will do to underwrite Chinese acquisition of land or maritime rights, no matter what its smaller neighbours say. Old habits die hard. Middle Kingdom conceit and arrogance based on the system tributary states and the ceremonial kowtow to the Son of Heaven in Beijing have bequeathed a mindset and pride beyond human conception. The omens for enduring peace and stability are bleak, however many or long the bogus summits with the Chinese leadership. Local polls by end of month

Baldev Kumar

GDP slowdown normal cycle: FM

The scheduled 316 Block Development Council elections in Jammu and Kashmir are to be announced shortly with the polls to be completed before the State is formally declared a Union Territory on October 31. That said, a curfew was imposed in Srinagar and certain other parts of the Valley as a preventive measure against Shia Muharram processions that might ignite Shia-Sunni tensions. Meanwhile the Indian Army has reported an enthusiastic response to recruitment in the State (Hindu September 11).

The Indian Air Force has restored its once famed Ambala station for the first squadron of French Rafale fighter aircraft, among the world’s most lethal. The ceremony was presided over by Air Chief Marshal B.S. Dhanoa. Three batches each of Indian pilots and engineers will undergo advanced training on the aircraft in France, as per the contract. The Indian Rafale has incorporated the specific enhancements listed by the IAF (Hindu September 11). Enhancing India’s defence capability India has finalised a five-year roadmap estimated around $130billion for the modernisation of its armed forces to enhance their combat capability in any possible conflit with a regional adversary. The plan includes procurement of of a range of missiles, air defence systems, fighter jets, advanced warships, submarines, drones and development of defence infrastructure to facilitate the use of Artificial Intelligence. Indian defence expenditure has been steady for the past 15 years, but with China ramping up defence spending and regional instability, India appears to have woken from its slumbers (Statesman September 11).

India, South Korea in naval logistics deal India and South Korea have concluded a military logistics agreement during the visit of Indian Defence Minister Rajnath Singh’s visit to Seoul. The two Powers also designed a roadmap for closer bilateral defence industry cooperation, following talks between Minister Singh and his

Key jihadi terrorist arrested Asadullah Sheikh, aged 35, an absconding operative of the Jamaat-ulMujahideen from east Burdwan district, West Bengal, was arrested in Chennai, Tamil Nadu, by the Special Task Force of the Kolkata Police. He had been living in a rented house under a false name. He is Defence Minister Rajnath Singh with South Korean counterpart believed to have been South Korean counterpart Jeong involved in the Bodh Gaya bombing in April 2018. He was a Kyeong –doo. The areas of recruiter at a Burdwan Madrassa cooperation also included aero and (Statesman September 11). naval systems, research and development, testing, certification Lankan boycott India’s doing and quality control (Hindu September 7). The refusal of 10 leading Sri Lankan cricketers to tour Pakistan Pakistan Taliban chief has been attributed to a ban on is global terrorist: US their appearance in the lucrative On the anniversary of 9/11, when Indian Premier League, said jihadi terrorists crashed their plane Science Minister Fawd Choudhry. into the Twin Towers building in Whatever next? (Times of India New York, leading to some 3,000 September 11). fatalities and hundreds injured, the US administration has branded the Ram Jethmalani Larger than life Ram Pakistan Taliban chief Noor Wali Masood a global terrorist. Mehsood Jethmalani, eminent jurist, is among 12 specified global lawyer, politician, maverick died terrorists belong to a variety of in Mumbai, aged of 95. A sturdy groups, from Palestine, Philippines individualist, he feared none in to West Africa’s Boko Haram authority and was respected by all. (Times of India September 12). He fought some of the most Archbishop Justin Welby’s atonment for massacre The Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby prostrated himself at the site of Amritsar’s Jallianwala Bagh massacre of April 13, 1919, by British troops of Indians - Sikhs,

Iran envoy deplores ban on Iranian oil An upset Iranian Ambassador to India, Ali Chegeni, has deplored India’s alleged ban on imports of his country’s oil at the behest of the United States, when Turkey, Russia and China, for example, had ignored US sanctions. Such sanctions lacked the UN imprimatur, and hence are not binding on member states. The envoy also alleged that India’s construction of the Chabahar port in Iran had slowed. The Ministry of External Affairs in New Delhi has a case to answer (Hindu September 11). An Iranian woman set fire to herself in protest at the government’s ban on women attending stadiums, where sporting events for men were held. She subsequently died in hospital. This is utterly shaming, a blot on the country and its leaders

Ram Jethmalani

memorable cases of his generation in the Bombay High Court, his unswerving principle that a man or woman was never guilty until proven guilty under due process - the essence of democracy and the rule of law. Newspapers carried full obituaries of this remarkable man, the best in Business Line (September 9). Tharoor’s lifeline to Congress Congress leader Shashi Tharoor has suggested that the party resolve its current impasse to hold internal elections as the only way forward to stem the rot of exiting membership (Hindu September 10).

Justin Welby

Hindus, Christians and Muslims, writing thus in the visitors’ book: ‘It is deeply humbling and provokes feelings of profound shame for me as British Christian to visit this place that witnessed such an atrocity over a century ago...The pain and grief that has transcended the generations since must never be forgotten or denied.’


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CIIr Ketan Sheth Councillor for Tokyngton Wembley, Brent Council’s Chair of Community and Wellbeing Scrutiny Committee

“The exodus of Kenyan Asians” Magazine launched at Asian Achievers Awards

NHS plugs the fiscal deficit Some local residents may have been concerned after reading that the North West London Collaboration of CCGs – which includes Brent – have written a letter to the local GPs. The letter has asked them to ‘restrict’ specialist referrals in order to plug a gap in their finances. Having studied the letter, I believe it appears to be an attempt by the CCGs to contain an unexpected overspending in their budgets this year. They are asking GPs to refer, where possible, to hospitals within NW London, so that the money stays within the local NHS and to prevent paying tariffs to providers outside our area. They are also asking GPs to make sure that all referrals are appropriate and within clinical guidance. Their view is that the approach they are taking is not, as claimed, a restriction or rationing of services, but is more about good housekeeping and reducing waste. Alongside specialist referrals, the CCGs are reviewing a number of other areas, including patient transport and outpatient services. More detail is expected on these subjects shortly. While there is certainly a case for making sure that public money is spent wisely and not wasted – the CCGs say a number of patients end up attending routine outpatient appointments when they do not need to – I would need a clearer understanding of what

changes they are proposing and why. Likewise, I would want to be assured that patients who need transport to hospital continue to have access to it. The CCGs say their letter to GPs is the first step of their long term plan to get their finances in order. They have a financial deficit of £100m and the whole of the local NHS deficit (including provider trusts like local hospitals) is over £300m. They are required by NHS England to address the deficit and are developing a long term plan to balance the books by 2023, rather than attempting to do so within this financial year. They say they won’t be making any decisions to change patient services without involving local residents properly. In my roles on the local and regional scrutiny committees, I fully intend to make sure this happens and hold them to account. With a general election now looking very likely, the NHS is going to be thrust into the spotlight once again locally and nationally. We have read much about additional investment in local services, but this might ring hollow if you live in NW London and are hearing about financial recovery plans. Certainly it is important to understand how this deficit has arisen, how the local NHS plans to tackle it and how this will impact the patients. I will be monitoring the situation closely to ensure that residents are not adversely affected.

(L-R) Bharat Shah, Bhikhu Patel, Vijay Patel, Sunil Pankhania, Lord Ranbir Singh Suri, Pradip Dhamecha OBE, CB Patel, Publisher/Editor of Asian Voice/Gujarat Samachar and Manu Ramji are some representatives who were honoured at the event. The magazine features other such individuals

On Friday 6th September, a special magazine featuring anecdotes of Asians who were uprooted from Kenya and gradually settled in the UK was launched alongside the Asian Achievers Awards at the Grosvenor Hotel. The exodus of Kenyan Asians and their re-settlement in the UK, chronicles journeys of several Asian individuals who left Kenya when the country was embroiled in a political turmoil. It documents the “rags to riches” stories from Lord Ranbir Singh Suri, Pradip Dhamecha of Dhamecha Cash and Carry, Vijay and Bhikhu Patel of Waymade Healthcare Plc and Vraj Pankhani among others. But most importantly, the

magazine recognises the true spirit of Asian families and the contributions that women of the home make. The Late Shantabaa, mother of the Patel brothers who recently sadly passed away in her 99th year and had been the pillar of the Patel family. Whereas Late Ladumaa, grandmother of Pradip Dhamecha, Harbans Kaur Ranger mother of Lord Rami Ranger and Lady Tarlochan Suri, wife of Lord Ranbir Suri have all been instrumental forces guiding these individuals in establishing their thriving empires in the UK. “Lords, ladies and distinguished guests of the house. For over 19 years CB Patel, Chairman of Asian Voice and Gujarat Samachar, has made

it his life's mission to capture key milestones of the British Asian community through various successful publications and events. “This compilation of stories of Kenyan migrants has been long overdue and will serve as a reminder for future generation of the sacrifices made by their forebears. I would like to thank CB for publishing this magazine and I am honoured to be part of this unique piece of history,” said Lord Ranbir Singh Suri. Besides, featuring these individuals, the magazine also sheds light into the current political atmosphere in Kenya and records the history of the country before it achieved independence in 1964.


14 COMMUNITY

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Gandhi statue unveiled in Scotland on his 150th birthday A 6ft 4in statue of Mahatma Gandhi was unveiled at Ayr Town Hall in Scotland commemorating Bapu's 150th birth anniversary. The artwork of Indian civil rights campaigner, weighing 400kg, was presented to South Ayrshire by the Indian government's council for cultural relations. The statue is one of ten to be unveiled throughout the world, including Bern in Switzerland, and was created by sculptor Guatam Pal. Consul General of India Anju Ranjan was there for the ceremony along with Councillor Helen Moonie, Provost of South Ayrshire to unveil the statue. A plaque to be hung beside the statue reads the famous phrase from Gandhi "There is no way to peace, peace is the way". Chief Inspector Brian Anderson, from South Ayrshire police along with other local dignitaries joined to celebrate the unveiling. Provost Helen Moonie said: "We are proud of many similarities

Leading Gandhi-inspired thinkers and activists will gather for a conference in London on 27 September to discuss the enduring relevance of his message of truth and non-violence to our world.

Anju Ranjan, Consul General of India in Edinburgh with Councillor Helen Moonie

between South Ayrshire and India and a special link between Mahatma Gandhi and Robert Burns. "Both fought against social injustice and used their unique gifts to carve out

their place in world history." Gandhi, Indian independence campaigner and one of the world's most famous peaceful political dissenter, was assassinated in New Delhi in 1948.

Connecting communities through world music Dhiren Katwa This year's theme for the popular World Music Conference (WMC) is Music, Mental Health & Well-being, focusing on how music can positively impact on our health and well-being. The WMC, now in its third year, aims to revive and bring to life the rich cultural mix and diversity of the Midlands through music. This year the WMC is expected to attract singers, artists, musicians, dancers reflecting music and dance forms from across the globe as well as academics, health practitioners, representatives from charities and several health and educational institutions. Speaking at a press conference last Friday Dr Chithra Ramakrishnan FRSA, founder of the WMC, said she had been thrilled at the success so far and saw the event as an ideal opportunity for artists, existing and emerging, to showcase

Giving Gandhi a contemporary voice on his 150th birthday

L-R: Sreenivas Ramakrishnan, Qasim Majid, Carolyn Chapman, Ifraz Ahmed, Dr Paul Sabapathy, Mr & Mrs Nasir Awan, Ram Ramakrishnan, Professor Martin Levrmore, Dhiren Katwa, Dr Chithra Ramakrishnan, Michelle from MDTI, Chris Christie

their talents on stage. The press event was attended by former West Midlands’ Lord Lieutenant Dr Paul Sabapathy CVO CBE, Asian Business Chamber of Commerce’ (ABCC) former Chairman, Dr Nasir Awan MBE DL, charity Crossroads’ Chief Executive Chris Christie, Professor Martin Levermore MBE DL and columnist and Director of Media & Youth Affairs S M Irfan Tahir and was compered by Sreenivas Ramakrishnan, a first-year Engineering student at Aston University. Paul Faulkner, Chief

Executive, Greater Birmingham Chambers of Commerce, said: “We remain committed to the ever important theme of Diversity and Inclusion and supporting businesses where we can. The World Music Conference has gained momentum since it was established and we are delighted to be part of this year’s preparations.” A new addition this year is the Midlands Youth Ambassadors for Music initiative which is a call to young people to showcase their talent. Schools are being asked to nominate

two students to put forward their items relating to music, also a 250 word brief as to why they should win. A song, a poem, a dance, a short musical. Closing date for entries is 14th October 2019. Winners will be selected by a panel of judges and will be presented with a certificate and the opportunity to perform in front of an audience at the WMC. This year’s conference will take place at the Student Union, Aston University on Friday, 8thNovember 2019. To find out more visit www.worldmusicconference.co.uk

Just ahead of the 150th birth anniversary of Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi (on 2 October 2019), the icon of Indian independence from British rule, the Gandhi Foundation and Brahma Kumaris (UK) are bring together leading academics and campaigners to debate and discuss the enduring relevance of his life and message. The Gandhi Foundation is a UK registered charity that exists to spread knowledge and understanding of the life and work of Mohandas K. Gandhi (1869-1948). Their conference, entitled Gandhian Voice in our World Today will be held on Friday 27 September at the Brahma Kumaris (UK) National Co-ordinating Office in Willesden Green, London, from 10.00am4.30pm. Speakers and panel discussants will include the Gandhi Foundation’s President and leading Gandhi academic, Prof Lord Bhikhu Parekh, Sister Jayanti Kirpalani, European Director of the Brahma Kumaris, Bruce Kent, Vice President of the Campaign For Nuclear Disarmament, and Victoria Tauli-Corpuz, UN Rapporteur on Indigenous Peoples (who will also be presented with the Gandhi Foundation’s Peace Award at the event). The conference will explore a range of themes related to Gandhi’s thought and life, including non-vio-

lent conflict resolution, modern economic models and climate change. Prof Lord Parekh, the Gandhi Foundation’s President said, “Gandhi is revered as one of the leaders of India’s independence movement. But, 150 years on from his birth, Gandhi’s philosophy and life are enduringly and vitally relevant to our modern world. In fact, his message of truth and non-violence has perhaps never been more important and vital to heal our angry, divided, unequal and environmentally challenged world. We are so pleased to be holding this event with the Brahma Kumaris to give Gandhi his voice in addressing the key challenges we face in our world today”. Sister Jayanti, European Director of the Brahma Kumaris said, “Gandhi’s spiritual consciousness enabled him to see every member of the human family as one who deserved equal rights. Spirituality gives us the inner dignity and strength to live a life of simplicity and be responsible for our own state of being, which contributes in a major way to wellbeing, harmony and sustainability. We are delighted to be collaborating again with the Gandhi Foundation to reflect on the relevance of Gandhi’s life and work for us today, especially in the areas of conflict resolution, modern economy and climate change.” Conference registration is open. It is free to attend and lunch will be provided. To register follow this link: https://www.eventbrite.co. uk/e/gandhian-voice-inour-world-today-tickets69019076917

Ahimsa Peace Garden to promote Gandhi's teachings The new flagship of OneJAIN project is bringing together all Jain organisations in the UK to establish a permanent Ahimsa Peace Forest & Ahimsa Peace Garden to promote non-violence, one of the cardinal principles of the Jain faith and guiding value of Mahatma Gandhi's political movement and life's work. Harrow council has set aside land at Kenton

Recreation to support an initiative by the Jain community to create a Peace Garden and Forest in commemoration of Mahatma Gandhi's 150thbirth anniversary this year. Over 1500 trees and flowering bulbs will be planted to create a landmark space in the heart of harrow which will enrich the local community by providing a green and tranquil space for generations

to enjoy. The project was launched on 25thAugust with the planting of the first 'Peace Tree' at the Jain temple in Kenton. The OneJAIN project will be executed and managed by member organisatio Shrimad Rajchandra Mission Dharampur UK. The Ahimsa Peace Forest will be planted on Sunday 16thNovember to coincide with National Interfaith Week and the project cost

is estimated to be between £15,000-£18,000 and will be funded by donations from the Jain community. The project falls under a wider environmental initiative called 'Planting for Peace' which aims to spread the message of peace and harmony. The initiative reflects and encourages concern for the environment and for peace in all communities by planting Peace Trees, Peace Gardens

and even Peace Forests across the country. It is supported by Harrow Council, The High Commission of India, Interfaith Network, Religions for Peace, Trees for Cities and others. Nemu Chandaria OBE and Mayor Mehta planting the first two trees

Jain organisation leaders


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Remembering Mahatma through India League Smita Sarkar Some figures from history fade with time, but others not only endure, they thrive and become something greater. Gandhi is one of those who has transcended into the mainstream culture of India, Africa, the Americas and in the UK. The year 2019 is iconic, as it celebrates the 150th Anniversary of the Indian leader who shook the world in his gentle way, followed the path of Satyagraha, non-violence and non-cooperation to give India Purna Swaraj. He is none other than Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi Bapu, the father of the Indian nation who requires no new introduction.

andhi and his path of non-violence continues to be significant, holding an impact on London. If you want to talk about peaceful protesting, the first name you come up with is Gandhi. He showed us how one man could make a difference and that did not require violence. There have been very turbulent times in the UK's history where rioting was seen as the answer. It's probably fair to say that Gandhi's influence has helped to temper that, as well as inspiring other figures who went on to change the world through peaceful protests against what seemed like insurmountable odds, like Martin Luther King Jr, Nelson Mandela. You only have to think about the success that the movie 'Gandhi', directed by Richard Attenborough and released in 1982, had in the UK to see how he has passed into popular culture too. Everyone knows who Gandhi is in a general sense, even if they don't know the details of his life. It's clear to see his enduring popularity and his ever-relevant nature. There's not only a statue that's in Tavistock Square Gardens, just round the corner from University College where he studied for a time, which was erected in 1968, but there's also another newer statue in Parliament Square which was put up

G

only a few years ago in 2015. The Gandhi statue at the Tavistock Square in Central London is the first of its kind to be erected in the heart the central London, with it’s locational advantage for tourists, students and residents who attach a historic significance to the spot where one of the four bombs blew a bus, killing 13 people and injuring over 40 innocent civilians in July 2005. “It's great to see him remembered so positively. You can wander through central London, the everbustling heart of the UK, and see him staring wisely back at you. It always makes me stop and think,” said Jon Howell a PhD student from the University College. The Gandhi statue erected at the square was gifted by the Indian High Commissioner in Britain in 1967 and was unveiled by the then Labour Prime Minister Harold Wilson. Funded mainly by India League, the statute is a mark of collaboration between the two Indian institutions and the Camden Council in London. Sculpted by the famed Polish sculptor Fredda Brilliant, the statue is a unique seated figure of Gandhi, in a contemplative, meditative mood. The hollow pedestal was made to accommodate floral tributes to the global influencer, leader and peace campaign-

Gandhi statue at Tavistock Square

er who shook the world without raising a stick. To commemorate Gandhi Jayanti on October 2 and Niewana Diwas on January 30, the Indian Indian High Commission in association with the India League organises a function at Tavistock Square every year. These are occassions for prominent Indians, diplomats and the common people to come together to garland him, sing Gandhi’s favourite hymns to remember his teachings and offer Bushiest prayers by Japanese monks. The Indian High Commissioner, the Mayor of Camden and the Chairman of India League, CB Patel, the Publisher and Chairman of India League addresses those gathered every year. To remember Gandhi’s prayer for peace, here are are few words from him:

I offer you peace. I offer you love. I offer you friendship. I see your beauty. I hear your need. I feel your feelings My wisdom flows from the highest source I salute that source in you Let us work together for

unity and love Gandhi was a huge supporter of the India League. He has reassigned India League to Dr Annie Besant, a British supporter of Indian nationalism, a propagator of Home Rule and the first President of the Indian National Congress to promote India’s Independence in the UK. According to him, “when real independence comes to India, the Congress and the (India) League will be nowhere unless they represent the real opinion of the country.” Annie was a theosophist and her reform-programs were not shared by many participants. However, as a social reformer, women’s rights activist and politician, she was greatly supported by Mahatma Gandhi, her close confidante. Gandhi managed to reinstall and retain unity amongst the different sections of the Congress when he took up leadership between 1915 to 1948. Annie continued to be in politics, but was eventually sidelined. She started the India League in London, but had many notables subsequently like Micheal Foot,

the Chairman of the India League and V Krishna Menon who campaigned for the Socialist League and campaigned for the inclusion of India in the application of the principles of freedom set out in the Atlantic Charter, Lord Sorensen, Lord Fenner Broadway and speaking at numerous League meetings. The India League was one of the pioneer associations in London at that time and in 1947, the League took out a publication called the India Weekly and brought a club called the India League Trend. The league was the flag-bearer for the India’s independence movement and even after 1947, continued to maintain strong links with the British establishment in London. The British held the reins and heavily influenced the India League when it was started, but luminaries like VK Krishna Menon, who went on to become the first Indian High Commissioner to the UK, look over and passed it on to eminent professionals like Dr Tarapada Basu as a deliberant organisation representing India. Menon supported the Labour Party in London, and as a socialist wanted to reach the working class and gain support of the Indian Labour Associations. He was able to bring together many Indian Labour organisations in Birmingham and Manchester through its East Branch, in the 1940s. India League continues to function to improve and strengthen lies between India and the UK and fight imperialism across the globe. In the mid eighties, the Indian Community Organisations evolved and began arranging events to engage politicians, entrepreneurs, professionals in the Indian community. Established journalists and academics like Dr Tarapada Datta, Premen Sen, Dr Salvankar and others formed

the the Indian Journalist Association in London in 1947 and continued the India League journal. The India League has now been kept alive in the safe hands of Mr C B Patel, the Publisher and Editor of Asian Voice and Gujarat Samachar. “It was never in the mandate of the India League to become a political party,” said CB Patel, the Editor of Asian Voice and Chairman of India League. CB has been closely involved with India League for over 52 years, working closely with the likes of VK Krishna Menon and Dr Tarapada Basu. “The charm of India League is that we are a non-party organisation. Several Prime Minister from India visiting London have paid their respects to the statue when they were in London and the India League has worked with every party in India,” he said. The India League is important. It represents India and has a permanent legacy. It was instrumental in shaping the course of India in London, said CB. As we celebrate the 150th Anniversary of Gandhi, the significance of his continued existence through the India League and other supporting organisations becomes a topic of paramount importance, and one that requires very special mention. Some of Gandhi’s quotes to end with: Peace cannot be built on exclusivism, absolutism and intolerance. But neither can it be build on vague liberal slogans and pious programs gestated in the smoke of confabulation. The first principle of non-violent action is that of non-cooperation with everything humiliating. Strength does not come from physical capacity. It comes from an indomitable will. Be the change that you want the world to be.

Lord Desai announces £100,000 scholarships to commemorate Bapu's 150th birth anniversary In keeping with its mandate of spreading the message of Mahatma Gandhi, the Chair of the UK based Gandhi Statue Memorial Trust, Lord Meghnad Desai, has announced that the Trust will donate a sum of £100,000 as an endowment towards Mahatma Gandhi scholarships to be set up at the London School of Economics. This is the seed money which then others would add to, so that a large corpus could be built up in time. This would enable deserving Indian students to study at the LSE. This endowment coincides with the 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi , and has been welcomed by the Director of the LSE, Minouche Shafik, who is at present on a visit to India. The Director also pointed out that the LSE has a very strong India connection, and in fact Dr Ambedkar had also studied there. Mahatma Gandhi had also delivered a very

well attended lecture at the LSE in the Old Theatre in the 1931 . The Gandhi Statue Memorial Trust was set up in 2015, to place the Mahatma Gandhi statue at a prime location at Westminster Square. The inaugural ceremony had been attended at the time by David Cameron, the then Prime Minister, late Arun Jaitley, India’s then Finance Minister, Amitabh Bachchan, Lord Meghnad Desai and other members of the Trust, as well as donors . India’s Prime Minister, Narendra Modi also paid his respects at the Gandhi Statue on a subsequent visit. In the past four years, the Gandhi Statue Memorial Trust has also supported three other charities in the UK, which are working on themes close to the vision and legacy of Mahatma Gandhi. This year the Trust is specially commemorating the 150th anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi.

Unveiling of Gandhi's statue in Parliament Square by India’s former finance Minister Arun Jaitley, UK’s former Prime Minister David Cameron, Amitabh Bachchan, Gopalkrishna Gandhi, Lord Meghnad Desai and Lady Kishwar Desai on 14 March 2015


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18 FINANCE - UK

AsianVoiceNews

AsianVoiceNewsweekly

www.asian-voice.com

21-27 September 2019

Consultant Editor Financial Voice Alpesh Patel Dear Financial Voice Reader, As Pakistan speaks foolishly and irresponsibly and incredibly about war, I recall ‘How a firm in Leeds saved India’s blushes in the Kargil War.’ I write to you from China – another country which over territory has fought with India. A previous article, Economic Times which read ‘Flashback to 1999, and the Kargil war. The military is forced to abort missions due to heavy casualties. Then it decides to deploy the controversial Bofors gun to destroy Pakistani outposts from various vantage points. The strategy pays off, but he military realises it will soon run out of ammunition to feed the howitzers. At the urging of the army commanders, the defence ministry turns to Baba Kalyani and his company Bharat Forge to make shells for its Bofors 155mm howitzers.’ I met Baba Kalyani several years ago and asked him his big break. He told me they happened in the late 1970s to acquire a Leeds based company and that was critical to their success. I was in India recently looking to find companies to help go global from a UK base in my capacity as Dealmaker for the UK Government. Financial success for Indian companies is not simply born out of success in the Indian markets alone as the Bharat Forge story tells us. The UK is an easier place to do business and that is precisely why Indian companies need to invest here and grow with a UK and Indian base. Europe is 10 Indias – India alone is too small for Indian ambitions. This was my message to the corporates I met. I was astounded by the ingenuity of robotics companies in Kochi, who sold to US giants. But the credibility and brand value a UK company brings them, with Indian back end operations would help take them to the next level. So when you look to invest in Indian stocks, look for companies with a global footprint. Just as when you look to invest in global British companies like Barclays, Marks and Spencer. That way you know growth is not reliant on one small market. The heads of Microsoft, Pepsi, Google, Mastercard are all Indian – so why are more Indian companies not thinking about the whole world, not just India as their market. The most successful Indian investments will have a British arm – look out for it – just as Bharat Forge saved a nation from embarrassment, thanks to a British component, so too a UK-Indian partnership will prove the most lucrative for Indian and British companies time and again.

Brexit uncertainty triggers fall in house prices September month usually sees the traditional “autumn bounce” in the market which is clearly not visible this year. Price rises are recorded every year for the past eight years with the start of an upturn in housing market activity. Instead, the average price of newly listed homes fell by 0.2%, or £730, compared with August. Rightmove said the number of properties coming to market was also down by 7.8% this month, compared with the same period a year ago. The number of sales agreed is down 5.5% in all regions. “In August, we reported a pre-Brexit buying spree with the number of sales agreed up by over 6% compared [with] the prior year, as buyers and sellers decided to get deals secured well before the next Brexit

deadline,” Miles Shipside, Rightmove director and housing market analyst, said. “But a month later, as the deadline gets closer and tensions heighten, there has been a big swing the other way with sales agreed numbers now over 5% below those of a year ago.” House prices have suffered their first September fall since 2010 as

Brexit uncertainty continues to cast a long shadow over the UK housing market. Brexit has caused buyers to hesitate and sellers to keep properties off the market, property website Rightmove said. However, this year there is growing evidence that sellers are waiting to see how Brexit plays out before deciding whether to move.

Miles said the political uncertainty was affecting London particularly, where the number of new properties coming on to the market was 20% down on last year. While Brexit uncertainty is holding the market back now, it has been predicted that prices could crash if the UK departs Europe without a deal. Accountancy firm KPMG warned that UK house prices could fall by as much as 20% if Boris Johnson pursues a no-deal Brexit. The biggest falls would be in London and Northern Ireland, it said. A no-deal exit could trigger a nationwide decline of about 6% in 2020, and a drop of between 10% and 20% was “not out of the question” if the market reacted more strongly than expected, KPMG predicted.

'Casual dining crunch' eats up more than 1,400 UK restaurants A recent report by UHY Hacker Young revealed that more than 1,400 UK restaurants have shut down in the year since June 2018 – underlining the scale of the so-called “casual dining crunch”. Customers turned their backs on chains such as Byron, Strada, Gourmet

Burger Kitchen and Jamie Oliver’s restaurant empire as it is revealed that number of restaurants falling into insolvency in the year to the end of June 2019 increased by 25% compared to 2018, with 1,412 outlets shutting their doors for good. The current year has

Redrow residents complain against poor workmanship Redrow residents are not happy with the condition of their £450,000 home in Pentyrch, near Cardiff. Vanessa and Pratik Patel are far-from-happy customer having a string of problems with their Redrow home. Its been two years that Pratik and his wife are not able to find solutions to some of their complaints. The couple had to deal with a succession of faults. While some of the problems were fixed soon after the couple bought the house in November 2017, others still persists. Redrow customers, besides the Patels, are making complaints. Another furious resident Nik Patel, who lives in Lyon Square, a two-year-old block of Redrow flats in Harrow on the Hill, northwest London, spent £367,500 on a one-bedroom apartment. He has been grappling with leaks in the car park, broken gates, hot water outages right after he shifted to his new home and since then, is wrangling with the management company appointed by Redrow. Equally miffed is another Lyon Square resident, who claimed to have found mould and leaks that destroyed the floor. Other residents, who have complained about onerous leasehold restrictions, have asked to be gifted the commonhold for the block because of what one described as “mis-selling”. Despite the concerns about quality, industry statistics narrates a different story. In a stark contrast with the numbers of the second-hand market,

the housebuilder post a record sales and profits. Recently, Redrow revealed a sixth consecutive year of stellar profits after selling 6,443 homes. The FTSE 250 builder posted a 7% rise in pre-tax profits to £406m, with sales up 10% to £2.1bn. Since 2013, the profits of listed housebuilders have tripled from £21,000 to £66,100 last year. Redrow’s share price has also more than tripled. Redrow also regained its top fivestar rating in March, after three years in the second tier of housebuilders for customer satisfaction - an industrywide score managed by the National House Building Council and the Home Builders Federation. Though Redrow scored top marks, with 92% of customers happy to recommend it to a friend, one homeowner said the reviews ought to be reassessed. Concerns about quality in the rush to build homes have layered previously as well. FTSE 250 housebuilder Bovis was forced to issue a profit warning, then admitted it had sacrificed standards to meet targets, tarnishing its reputation. The fiasco cost chief executive David Ritchie his job. One is Mark Scobey, a retired software entrepreneur who spent almost £600,000 on a five-bedroom house in the Cotswolds two years ago. He said the porch was not square and there was damp in the kitchen. Feeling ignored by Redrow, he started a Facebook page to drum up support from others - and posted

chairman John Tutte’s mobile number online. “I know my rights,” said Scobey, 49. “I don’t care about the problem, I care how you deal with it.” Redrow faces multitude problems, under the leadership of Tutte - who took over as executive chairman from founder Steve Morgan in April. However, it has pledged to focus more on quality. “We don’t always get it right; it disappoints me when we don’t and we try to put things right,” he said. “We might have some gripes from customers that have some issues, but we don’t walk away from problems.” Tutte, 63, has decided to resort to technology to resolve quality issues. He has handed iPads to Redrow’s site managers with an app developed to log problems before the house is sold to buyers. As well as leaving customers happier, Tutte hopes that homes with fewer snags will boost Redrow’s margins. “If you build the house right the first time, commercially, that is an advantage. That is one of our big motivations,” Tutte said. In a statement, Redrow said: “Our homes are built and crafted by hand and when issues do occur, we always seek to rectify them as soon as possible. On the rare occasions where customers aren’t happy following our escalation process, there is always the opportunity for an independent industry body to reach a final resolution.”

seen highest number of insolvencies since at least 2014 and is said to reflect tightened consumer spending. Several factors may be to blame, the uncertainty over Brexit and rising costs because of the collapse in the value of the pound. UHY Hacker Young said the rapid growth of the casual-dining sector since the 2008 financial crisis had resulted in an over saturated mid-market, which is still going through a dramatic shakeout. The research found that hundreds of small independent restaurants had collapsed as well as big chains such as those owned by the celebrity chef Oliver. “The crisis in the restaurant sector has been presented as a problem only for the chains that had lost touch with their customers,” Peter Kubik, a partner at UHY Hacker Young, said. “That’s overlooking the hundreds of small

independent restaurants that have become insolvent. “Good restaurants and bad have all struggled from overcapacity, weak consumer spending and surging costs. Having a loyal following is great but if that loyal following stops going out then you have a problem. The number of restaurants whose sales are at or near capacity is pretty small – they’re the exception.” “For those businesses that are suffering distress, aggressive management of cash flow will be key in the coming months,” Kubik said. “Unfortunately, the sector can’t really expect banks to be as generous with their lending, especially as the sector’s current problems are so well known.” The research also found that the UK’s top 100 restaurants made a £82m loss last year, down from a pre-tax profit of £102m 12 months earlier.


REAL ESTATE VOICE

THE CULT OF MONEY

www.asian-voice.com

AsianVoiceNews

AsianVoiceNewsweekly

21 - 27 September 2019

The definition of a cult:

In his own words, he writes:

1. a system of religious veneration and devotion directed towards a particular figure or object.

I am a most unhappy man. I have unwittingly ruined my country.  A great industrial nation is controlled by its system of credit.  Our system of credit is concentrated.  The growth of the nation, therefore, and all our activities are in the hands of a few men.  We have come to be one of the worst ruled, one of the most completely controlled and dominated Governments in the civilized world — no longer a Government by free opinion, no longer a Government by conviction and the vote of the majority, but a Government by the opinion and duress of a small group of dominant men.

2. a person or thing that is popular or fashionable among a particular group or section of society. Both definitions can be applied to the object known as money.

Suresh Vagjiani

Sow & Reap London Property Investment

There is a religious like devotion to the pursuit of it and it is unarguably very popular amongst society. Often it is used as a yard stick for judgement of one’s character. In the same way religious beliefs can cause one to act irrationally and even immorally, money has the same effect on the psyche. Symptomatic of a cult is also the phenomena that something has value because everyone in the cultish circle believes it has value. This is also the truth about currency. There is no intrinsic value to currency.  If we examine the ten, twenty or fifty pound note we find the words ‘I promise to pay the bearer on demand the sum of X pounds’. This is based on the old system of promissory notes which means they should be backed by something. However, you will be disappointed if you try to cash your notes in at the Bank of England for a portion of gold. Traditionally a £5 note was backed by 5 gold sovereigns.  Now it is backed by nothing.  It exists and is accepted because we have been herded to accept this as valid currency. In the US, on the 23rd December 1913, the Federal Reserve Act was passed, under president Woodrow Wilson, which took away the ability to print money from the people to a group of private individuals.

AGONY AGENT IS HERE TO HELP! Q: My tenant has only been paying half the rent of what is due, for the last three months. What should I do? A: First, I would need to know if there is a reason behind the change in payments. More common than not, this type of situation falls into two categories, personal circumstances and

This kind of currency is called a “Fiat” currency. “Fiat” means an “authoritative decree”, hence the use of the word “Fiat” to describe the issuance of currency. There is no backing for what is known as Fiat currencies. Fiat money is currency that a government has declared to be legal tender, but it is not backed by a physical commodity.  It survives because of two reasons:  firstly, that the powers that be tell us it’s real, and secondly, we all accept this fact.  If someone invests and accepts a currency to be real then it becomes so. President Wilson was not the first president to dabble in Fiat currency.  It had been adopted in 1862 and US currency was no longer backed by gold.  However, Congress did limit the amount of money in circulation to $347 million.

My observation is that the best way to benefit from this Fiat currency driven system is to seek assets that are genuinely limited by supply. This means that the investor positions himself in a place where inflation and debt drive demand up while supply is fixed.  In this scenario, in the long run, as long as the entire system does not collapse, prices will go up. These should include gold and property.   Seek, therefore, mature cities where planning regulations are tight and byzantine, land scarce and the political climate unable to deliver a revolution in housing supply.  Also pay close attention to the long term demographics such as population and the number of persons per household. This is why London, in spite of periodic blips, has been a rich den of deals for five hundred years.

It was not just the Act of 1913 that changed everything. In 1971, the US came off the gold standard entirely.  If you chart US inflation history, this is when currencies around the world, starting with the US currency, became increasingly worthless.

Gold is a firm hedge against Fiat currencies, as it has been used for millennia, and its use as an instrument of trading as been around longer than any Fiat currency in existence.

In effect, what has been established is the world’s greatest Ponzi scheme. Money needs to be continually printed in order for the game to carry on.

Property is the other obvious real asset. It has the added advantage of being able to generate a monthly income which gold does not.

property issues. If this falls into property issues, you need to ask yourself if there is something broken or not working in the property that might be affecting their day to day living. This could be the reason, but even if this is the case they are not allowed to not pay the rent.

BUY TO LET OPPORTUNITY

19

They can only withhold this until the issue is fixed, and once fixed they will have to make the payments up to date. There are a set of rules that a tenant must follow, if they decide to do this. They rarely get this procedure correct. If this rental payment issue is down to

personal reasons, for example, loss of job, then it is best to act fast and serve your tenant notice to leave the property, either by a Section 21, or a Section 8 if they then roll on two months’ arrears. Do get in touch to discuss this further, and see how we can assist you with this.

l Large two bed flat in a portered building l Needs modernisation

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Turning land into cash Get in touch about our land opportunities


20 FINANCE - INDIA

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Govt unveils measures to boost sagging exports Union finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman announced a slew of measures to boost sagging exports and a stressed real estate sector, amid growing concerns about the health of the economy. Sitharaman’s third booster shot for the economy came a day after the latest trade data revealed poor trade performance, with exports falling for the second time in three months, while imports have slid for three straight months now. The new package of measures for exports sector came in six different silos and covered steps that would address comprehensively tax and duties refunds for exporters; improve credit flow to the export sector and launch of a special free trade agreement (FTA) utilisation mission. India will also now host annual mega shopping festivals in 4 places. Pointing at recent industrial

production and investment data as signs of revival, Sitharaman said measures announced over the last three weeks would aid a pick-up in economic growth. “In spite of all the worries... we see a clear sign of revival in the first quarter of the 2019-20 and up to July-end... revival signs are very, very consistent,” the minister said. New scheme RoDTEP announced Sitharaman announced the introduction of an attractive new scheme for remission of duties or taxes on export product (RoDTEP) to replace the existing Merchandise Exports from India Scheme (MEIS) from January 1 next year and revised priority sector lending norms for export credit that will release an additional £3.6 to £6.8 billion as export credit under priority sector. Sitharaman said RoDTEP will result in the government

Nirmala Sitharaman

foregoing revenue of up to £5 billion annually - 36% higher than the £3.66 billion budgeted for MEIS. It is very difficult to put an exact number on this as the duty remission will vary from sector-to-sector, she explained. “With the introduction of RoDTEP, all the uncertainty over continuation of MEIS is over”, Sitharaman said. Housing sector As part of the measures rolled out to boost the housing

sector, Sitharaman announced that a £ 2 billion fund would be set up to provide last mile funding for affordable and middle income housing projects that have not been classified as non-performing assets and are not facing insolvency action. The move is expected to potentially benefit 350,000 dwelling units across the country. The FM also announced an automated mechanism for refund of GSTrelated tax credit of exporters to address a complaint that had not been addressed for over two years. “In challenging times, each and every penny matters. Therefore, if fully automated refund module can deliver GST refunds to exporters in a timely manner, this should go a long way in improving their working capital thereby providing much needed impetus to exports” said Harpreet Singh, a partner at consulting firm KPMG.

Can gold really hit record high at $2,000 an ounce? Gold has always been a safe haven during times of economic volatility, as its physical scarcity and steady demand appeals to those looking to escape tanking markets. The yellow metal has caught the eye of the investors as experts predicted its price could soar to a historical high of $2,000 ounce in the next two years. The growing tensions between Iran and the western nations and slowing global economies are all contributing to a feeling of uncertainty. Gold has also been firming as the world witnesses protests in Hong Kong and also the uncertainty around US-China trade relations. Analysts forecast that gold price could surpass that level “at some point in the next year or two”, pushed higher by escalating trade tensions between America and China and heightened fears of a global

Tony Piggott

As the Uk debacle around Brexit and the ongoing trade war between the USA and China continues, volatility in the currency markets makes hedging Currency exposure even more problematic and difficult for SME’s and the UK business sector in general. The prolonged bout

recession. “ From a bird's-eye view, lower for longer nominal and real interest rates, escalating global recession risks – exacerbated by US-China trade tensions – heightened geopolitical rifts amid rich equity and credit market valuations, coupled with strong central bank and investor buying activity, are all combining to

buttress a bullish gold market environment,” analysts said. The analysts' "medium term" target represents a new historic high for precious metal, which last peaked in August 2011 when it reached $1,830.55 per ounce. Also, uncertainty over the 2020 presidential election combines with a sputtering domestic economy. The People's Bank of

China has been stockpiling gold in its reserves to 62.45m ounces in August, from 59.24m in November, for eight months in a row, signalling the nation expects continued market volatility and a prolonged trade war with the US. The coveted metal surged through 2019, and is up about 17% year-to-date. Riding on the developments in the Persian Gulf, the Gold rates jumped to the USD 1,400 per ounce level in June this year. This is the first time that the Gold rates have been ruling at such a high level, in the last six years. Before this spike, few analysts had claimed the Gold rates will have crossed the USD 1,400 mark by the end of 2019. But in the first half of the year itself, Gold has jumped to more than $ 1,400 per ounce, creating a stir in the international market and investor groups.

in brief GUJ RETAINS TOP SLOT ON LOGISTICS INDEX CHART Gujarat has retained the top slot on the logistics index chart, an indicator of the efficiency of logistical services necessary for promoting exports and economic growth, says a government report. Gujarat occupied the first spot among 22 states, followed by Punjab and Andhra Pradesh. Himachal Pradesh stood last on the chart. Bihar ranked at 20th position. According to the report by the commerce ministry - LEADS (Logistics Ease Across Different States) 2019 - prepared with the help of consultancy firm Deloitte, the findings would help in identifying the problem areas in the sector and prepare policy responses to deal with them.

PREMJI SELLS $1BN SHARES IN WIPRO BUYBACK Azim Premji and other promoter groups have sold shares worth about $1 billion in Wipro’s buyback exercise, the company said. Premji, who stepped down as chairman of the company at the end of July, sold 226 million shares at Rs 325 apiece. He sold some of his personal holdings as also shares in other privately held companies such as Zash Traders, Hasham Traders and Prazim Traders. The founder of India’s fourth-largest software services company has pledged 67% of the shareholding in the company to his foundation, which focuses on education-focused philanthropic activities. It is not clear how Premji intends to use the gains from the buyback.

DAIMLER WILL MAKE INDIA AN EXPORT HUB Daimler India Commercial Vehicles will make India a global export hub for BS6 trucks and buses. The company has also announced an additional £50 million investment for 2 million km of testing, and development of facilities and over 1,000 new parts. According to DICV MD Satyakam Arya, the company - which exported a cumulative 25,000 units up to August 2019 - is targeting double digit growth as it prepares to route excess capacity to exports to make up for domestic slowdown. “Our exports increased by 8% last year and we are ready for BS6 which opens up new export opportunity as we can enter new markets apart from those where we already export,” he said. So far the export demand has been quite good, he added. DICV shut production for four days in August and has moved from two shifts to singe shift in September. “That way we have kept our inventory aligned to demand and we are synchronised,” said Arya. As for reducing temp workers, the company has taken a cut and will “take a further call depending on how the demand performs.”

Are Currency Options the best option?

of sterling weakness over the past 12 months has driven sterling towards multi-year lows, briefly trading below 1.20 early this month, the positive forward points Vs the dollar give little compensation, making hedging longer-term USD payables relatively expensive by historical standards. As an example, a UK exporter to the USA covering dollar payables 1 year forward using a spot reference rate of 1.23 would achieve a forward hedge rate of around 1.2445, (1.2300 + 0.0145) depending on their Credit worthiness. With this backdrop

clients invariably are looking to structured products and options, in particular to achieve enhanced rates, but potentially exposing themselves to unforeseen problems going forward. The nature and characteristics of these products such as TARF’s (Target Amount Redemption Forwards) are hard for professional practitioners to evaluate and the potential risks are generally not suitable for SME’s who have little, if any, understanding of their complexities and the risk. As mentioned in a recent FT article on the 23rd July 2019 by

Abhishek Sachdev, CEO of Vedanta Hedging, “The risks associated with TARF’s were highlighted in a letter dated October 2016 to the FCA. The regulator responded weeks later, saying a meeting to discuss the matter was not “at this stage ...necessary”. So what are the pitfalls with many of these option products? Primarily, leverage, where one can potentially end up buying more or less USD in this example than the business needs. The exchange rate you achieve at maturity is potentially worse than the prevailing spot market rate and the

underlying risk in the business is not hedged effectively. This has distinct parallels with the IRHP Review instigated by Vedanta Hedging, where 28,000 SMEs received redress for missold hedging products. We remain in contact with the FCA about a similar type of redress programme for FX Option products. In summary, entering into these products without sufficient advice or a level of understanding of the inherent risks, puts the customer at a distinct disadvantage, versus the Bank or Foreign exchange broker providing them.

As the UK’s largest FCA authorised provider of hedging advice, we are continually helping our clients succeed by delivering individually tailored solutions and advice to achieve their desired hedging profile, consistent with the appropriate level of risk for their business.   You can monitor key market rates by subscribing to our FREE market rate sheet, updated daily, or alternatively download by visiting our website.

Tel: 020 7183 2277 www.vedantahedging.com


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21-27 September 2019

in brief 4 MEN FROM PUNJAB DROWN IN A SEWAGE TANK IN ITALY Media reports say that four Sikh men from India drowned in a sewage tank on a cattle farm in Italy due to the carbon dioxide fumes coming out from the cow manure. The incident happened at a cattle farm near Pavia, a city in south Milan. Out of the deceased, two were brothers - Prem, 48, and Tarsem Singh, 45 - who were running the farm. The duo registered their farm in 2017. The other two were workers, identified as Arminder Singh, 29, and Manjinder Singh, 28. Initial investigations reveal that the three men jumped to rescue a worker who was emptying the tank to use the manure as a fertiliser on the farm’s fields, BBC reported. Investigators suspect that the four died due to the carbon dioxide fumes coming from the cow manure.The victims’ wives raised the alarm when the men failed to turn up for lunch. They rushed to the scene and spotted one body in the sewage. The women then called firefighters, who donned masks and emptied the tank to recover all the bodies, the report said.

INDIAN MAN IN DUBAI ON TRIAL FOR STEALING TWO MANGOES An Indian man working at the Dubai International Airport faced a trial at the Court of First Instance for stealing two mangoes from the baggage of a traveller. The 27-yearold Indian was accused of committing the theft in 2017. The man, confessing to stealing mangoes worth 6 dirhams (around Rs 116), said he stole them from a cargo consignment to India. He said he was thirsty at the time and was searching for water when he opened a fruit box and found two mangoes which he consumed. In April last year, the police summoned and interrogated him about the incident. He was later arrested and charged with stealing the fruits. Records confirmed that he ate the fruits in August 2017, but didn't mention why he was only referred to the court in 2019. If the defendant is found guilty, he may face a jail term, pay the amount of the stolen items along with an equivalent fine.

INDIAN TO RETURN HOME AFTER SPENDING 12 YEARS IN BANGLA JAIL After spending nearly 12 years in Bangladesh jail, an Indian national - Satish Chaudhary was released from the prison. Information about Chaudhary's release was shared by the Bangladesh government to the High Commission of India in Dhaka over the phone. According to officials, the Indian national will be handed over to a team of Border Security Force (BSF) by the Border Guard Bangladesh (BGB) at Gede border. After the information was received, Chaudhary's brother Mukesh left for Bangladesh to bring him back. According to family members, Chaudhary, who was mentally challenged, went missing on April 12, 2008, near Gandhi Maidan, Patna, Bihar. Later the family came to know that Chaudhary was lodged in the Lakshmipur district jail in Dhaka.

BANGLADESH REMOVES PAK’S NAME FROM BORDER PILLARS Forty-eight years after Bangladesh’s independence, Pakistan’s name engraved on the border pillars installed after the partition of the Indian subcontinent have been removed on the orders of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina. All Bangladeshi border pillars have been renamed BANGLADESH/BD instead of PAKISTAN/PAK, said a statement by the Border Guard Bangladesh (BGB). The BGB started replacing the labels on the pillars following Prime Minister Hasina's order in which she observed that some of the pillars of the bordering areas still show Pakistan's name. After the partition of IndiaPakistan in 1947, more than 8,000 pillars were installed, in which “IND-PAK/INDIAPAKISTAN” label was engraved.

Hindu teacher attacked, temple vandalised in Pakistan's Sindh SINDH: Riots broke out in Pakistan's Sindh province on Sunday after a school principal from the minority Hindu community was booked on charges of alleged blasphemy. Widespread protests erupted in Ghotki district after an FIR was filed against the principal of Sindh Public School on the complaint of Abdul Aziz Rajput, a student's father who claimed that the teacher had committed blasphemy by uttering derogatory remarks against the Prophet of Islam. Following the riots, Temple vandalised in Ghotki district in Sindh protesters demanded the Hindhus in Ghotki. Trouble police to arrest the principal, was already brewing in the city who was identified as Notan over blasphemy accusations Mal. The Ghotki city has been against a Hindu principal. shut down and the Hindu Videos of stick-wielding community is under a threat. protesters were shared on social There were reports that the media in which they were seen protesters attacked properties, vandalising a Hindu temple and including the school and damaging the school where the vandalised three Hindu incident took place. Residents temples. of the area demanded that the Extremists leader Mian police arrest the principal, Mithu and his men are allegedly issued a call for a shutter-down involved in the attack against strike, and took to the streets in

US Congressman Ro Khanna urged to leave Pakistan Caucus WASHINGTON: A record number of 230 Indian-American organisations in the United States have urged Democratic Congressman Ro Khanna to withdraw from the Congressional Caucus on Pakistan, saying it was contrary Ro Khanna to both American principles and India's geo-strategic interests. Khanna, 42, became the first Indian-American to have joined the Congressional Pakistan Caucus last month. He is also the member Congressional Caucus on India and Indian-Americans, which is the largest country-specific caucus in the House of Representatives. In a letter, Indian-American organisations, professional associations and community leaders urged Khanna to withdraw from the Pakistan Caucus. A copy of the letter was released by the Hindu American Foundation (HAF). "As a leading member of the House India Caucus, Foreign Affairs Committee, and a champion of human rights, we are deeply troubled that you joined the Congressional Pakistan Caucus," the letter stated. The letter alleged that Pakistan continues to utilise terror to attack US interests in Afghanistan and wage a proxy war against India. Pakistan has shown a complete and utter disregard for human rights and religious freedom and was recently labelled as a Country of Particular Concern by the US State Department for its "systematic, ongoing, [and] egregious violations of religious freedom" against Hindus, Sikhs, Christians, Shia and Ahmadiyya Muslims, they said.

protest. Following the incident, the activists and journalists took to Twitter to share videos and images of the rioting and appealed to the Sindh government to protect the minority Hindu community. 218 booked for rioting Meanwhile, police in Sindh province registered three cases against 218 rioters for vandalising properties, including a temple. Widespread

protests erupted in Ghotki district on Sunday after an FIR was filed against the principal. Police registered three cases against the rioters who had taken to the streets to protest against the alleged incident of blasphemy, Sukkur additional inspector general (AIG) Jamil Ahmed was quoted as saying. He also said that the protesters vandalised a Hindu temple. An FIR was filed against 45 people under various sections of the the Pakistan Penal Code (PPC) for injuring or defiling place of worship, intent to insult the religion of any class, punishment for rioting and unlawful assembly guilty of offence committed in prosecution of common object. Another FIR was lodged against 150 people for blocking roads. A third FIR pertaining to rioting and theft was filed against 23 people over reports that protesters had stolen goods from multiple shops in Shahi Bazar. Police have asked the school administration to file a separate complaint against people who damaged the building and infrastructure, so that a fourth FIR can be registered, the reports said.


22 WORLD

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Setback to Lanka presidential front-runner as SC rejects his plea COLOMBO: Sri Lanka's top court rejected an appeal by presidential candidate Gotabaya Rajapaksa to dismiss corruption charges against him, in a possible blow to the frontrunnner's candidacy. In a split decision, a panel of five Supreme Court judges rejected a petition by Rajapaksa, who had asked that a lower court case in which he is accused of embezzling state funds be thrown out, his spokesman said. If Rajapaksa, 70, is found guilty in a trial, scheduled to run for three weeks from Oct. 15, he can still appeal to the Supreme Court. But he could face a challenge to his candidacy if he is sentenced to more than six month's in jail, legal experts said. Rajapaksa, who denies the charges, is widely seen as the front-runner in the presidential election that

Gotabaya Rajapaksa

is scheduled to be held before Dec 9. The case concerns alleged misappropriation of 33.9 million rupees ($187,916) of state funds to build a memorial museum for his parents in his hometown of Medamulana, 186 km south of the capital Colombo. "It's a divided decision which shows that the Supreme Court judges are not unanimous on this," Keheliya Rambukwella, Rajapaksa's

spokesman said. "He can appeal to the Supreme Court in the event the high court finds him guilty." A senior lawyer familiar with the situation said Rajapaksa could face difficulties in running if he were found guilty and any appeal had not been heard before the deadline for election nominations. "If he is convicted of charges, then he cannot file nomination for the presidential poll," the lawyer

said. Rajapaksa, brother of former President Mahinda Rajapaksa, is immensely popular among Sri Lanka's Sinhala Buddhist majority, who credit him with ending the island nation's 26-year-long civil war in 2009. Sri Lanka's main opposition party named the hardline former defence chief as its presidential candidate last month, seeking to capitalise on public clamour for a decisive leader following deadly Easter Day bombings claimed by Islamic State. Rajapaksa, who previously held dual Sri Lankan and US citizenship, also faces legal challenges in the United States, where several people have sued him for his alleged role in torture and murder during the civil war. He denies those allegations, and said last month he had renounced his US citizenship.

Pak minister blames ‘ruling elite’ for failure on Kashmir ISLAMABAD: In an embarrassment to Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan, his cabinet colleague, interior minister Ijaz Ahmed Shah, has blamed the “ruling elite” of the country for Islamabad’s failure to garner international support against India over the Kashmir issue. Shah added that the “ruling elite has destroyed the country.” In an interview, the minister said: “People do not believe us in the international community. We say they (India) imposed curfew and are not giving medicines to people of Jammu & Kashmir. People do not believe us, but they believe them. The international community thinks that we are not a serious nation.” Shah said the “ruling elite” included all leaders, starting from General Zia-ul-Haq. When asked whether Khan and his top advisors were also included in what he termed as the “ruling elite”, he said: “Everyone is

Imran Khan

responsible. Pakistan should now do a soul searching.” Pakistan has been snubbed repeatedly on the Kashmir issue by the international diplomatic community, prompting Khan to warn that any war between India and Pakistan will have global consequences. Earlier this week, Pakistan foreign minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi told a United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) session in Geneva that India had turned

Kashmir into the largest “caged prison in this planet”. This drew a fierce response from New Delhi which accused Islamabad of using cross-border terrorism as a form of “alternate diplomacy” while saying that the recent decision on J&K was India’s internal affair. N-conflict possible, says Imran Meanwhile, Imran Khan has raised the spectre of a nuclear war with India again over Kashmir, saying this could be a “consequence” in the event of Islamabad losing a conventional war with New Delhi. In an interview, Khan reiterated that nuclear war between the two neighbours could be a possibility. “When two nucleararmed countries fight, if they fight a conventional war, there

is every possibility that it is going to end up into nuclear war. The unthinkable.” While emphasizing that he was clear that Pakistan would never start a war, Khan said: “I am a pacifist, I am anti-war. If say Pakistan, God forbid, we are fighting a conventional war, (which) we are losing, and if a country is stuck between the choice: either you surrender or you fight till death for your freedom, I know Pakistanis will fight to death for their freedom. So when a nuclear armed country fights to the end, to the death, it has consequences.” Raking up the Kashmir issue, Khan said: “Eight million Muslims in Kashmir are under siege for almost now six weeks. And why this (Kashmir) can become a flashpoint between India and Pakistan is because what we already know India is trying to do is divert attention from their illegal annexation and their impending genocide on Kashmir.”

US designates TTP chief Mehsud as ‘global terrorist’ WASHINGTON/ISLAMABAD: The Trump administration unveiled new tools to pursue terrorism and add muscle to its ability to pursue terror suspects, their financiers and supporters worldwide. President Donald Trump signed an executive order on ‘modernising and strengthening sanctions authorities to combat terrorism.’ The Treasury Department on the eve of the 9/11 anniversary, sanctioned over two dozen individuals and entities from 11 terrorist groups, including Pakistan-based Tehrik-eTaliban Pakistan (TTP). Noor Wali Mehsud also known as Noor Wali from Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) was one of the sanctioned terrorists, the US State

Noor Wali Mehsud

Department said describing him as a 'Specially Designated Global Terrorist'. “Noor Wali, also known as Mufti Noor Wali Mehsud, was named the leader of TTP in June 2018 following the death of former TTP leader Mullah Fazlullah,” according to a state department statement. “Under Noor Wali’s leadership, TTP has claimed responsibility

for numerous deadly terrorist attacks across Pakistan,” it said. The treasury secretary Steven Mnuchin said that his department was enhancing efforts to deny terrorist access to the financial system. "Since the horrific attacks of 9/11, the US government has refocused its counter-terrorism efforts to constantly adapt to emerging threats. President Trump's modernised counter-terrorism Executive Order enhances the authorities we use to target the finances of terror groups and their leaders to ensure they are as robust as possible," Mnuchin said. The US actions seek to deny these terrorists the resources to plan and carry out attacks. All of their property and interests in

US jurisdiction are blocked, and US persons are generally prohibited from engaging in any transactions with them, the statement said. US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo described the executive order as the "most-significant update" to counter-terrorism sanctions authority since September 2001. Interestingly, Mehsud’s designation came on the same day India described Pakistan as the “epicentre” of global terrorism. Since its establishment in 2007, the TTP has remained a potent threat and the most dangerous Islamist terrorist organisation in Pakistan. The TTP has been involved in more than 1,400 terrorist attacks in Pakistan over the last 12 years.

in brief TWO TALIBAN GOVERNORS, 38 FIGHTERS KILLED IN AIR STRIKES Afghan forces backed by US forces killed two senior Taliban leaders and at least 38 fighters of the hardline insurgent group in joint air strikes conducted in northern and western regions of Afghanistan, officials said. The operations were aimed at foiling attacks planned by the Taliban on Afghan forces, said a senior security official, adding that clashes have escalated following the collapse of diplomatic talks between the US and the Taliban. The defence ministry said that the Taliban’s designate governor for northern Samangan province, Mawlavi Nooruddin, was killed along with four fighters in an air strike in Dara-e-Soof Payeen district. In another incident, Mullah Sayed Azim, a Taliban designate governor for Anar Dara district in western Farah was killed in a joint Afghan and foreign force raid.

MALAYSIA DETAINS DOZENS OF SHIITE MUSLIMS Malaysian authorities detained dozens of Shiite Muslims in raids as they marked a major festival, sparking fears that the minority is facing growing persecution. Malaysia has a Muslim majority but most follow Sunni Islam. Shiites have long faced discrimination, with religious authorities considering them deviant and imams regularly denouncing them in sermons. Eight men were detained by religious authorities and police in southern Johor state during a Shiite event at a private residence, according to a participant. "They used violence on us, some of us were handcuffed. They accused us of insulting Islam," cleric Hasan Askari said.

IRANIAN WOMAN FOOTBALL FAN ENDS LIFE FEARING JAIL An Iranian female soccer fan has died after setting herself on fire outside a court after learning she may have to serve a six-month sentence for trying to enter a soccer stadium. The tragic death immediately drew an outcry among some soccer stars and known figures in Iran, where women are banned from soccer stadiums, though they are allowed at some other sports, such as volleyball. The 30-year old woman died at a Tehran hospital. She was known as the “Blue Girl” on social media for the colours of her favourite Iranian soccer team, Esteghlal. She set herself on fire, reportedly after learning she may have to go to prison for trying to enter a stadium in March to watch an Esteghlal match.

FB SUSPENDS NETANYAHU’S PARTY BOT FOR HATE SPEECH Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu’s right-wing Likud party was found to have violated Facebook’s hate-speech policy after a post from his account saying Arabs “want to destroy us all.” Israeli media reported that the post which said Israeli Arabs “want to destroy us all - women, children and men” appeared on Netanyahu’s official Facebook page and was subsequently removed by Likud. “After careful review of the Likud campaign’s bot activities, we found a violation of our hate speech policy... As a result, we temporarily suspended the bot for 24 hours,” a Facebook statement said.

US MAN IN SAME-SEX MARRIAGE SUES JAPAN FOR LONG-TERM VISA A US man whose marriage to his Japanese husband is legally recognised in his country sued the Japanese government for the same right to stay that a heterosexual couple would get, saying he was being denied a family life. According to Japanese law, foreign nationals married to Japanese in heterosexual marriages are granted long-term residence status upon arrival in Japan, but those in same-sex marriages are not. A justice ministry official said they had yet to receive full details of the case and could not comment.


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WORLD

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21-27 September 2019

8 PIOs held for distributing opioid pills from India in US NEW YORK: Eight IndianAmericans have been arrested and charged with importing millions of misbranded opioid pills into the US from India and distributing the potentially lethal drugs to individuals and entities in the country through US Mail and other commercial couriers. The accused, who were arrested, primarily operated out of a warehouse in Queens, a New York City borough, where they repackaged the pills and mailed them to customers across the US, according to the justice

department. The arrest came at a time when the Trump administration is awarding nearly $2 billion in grants to states and local governments to help fight the opioid crisis and prevent its misuse and overdose. Since January 2018, law enforcement authorities in the US have been investigating the largescale import of misbranded controlled substances, including tramadol, a synthetic opioid, into the US from India. The eight accused who

have been charged by a federal court in Brooklyn are Ezhil Sezhian Kamaldoss, 46, Mukul Chugh, 24, Gulab Gulab, 45,

Deepak Manchanda, 43, Parthiban Narayanasamy, 58, Baljeet Singh, 29, Harpreet Singh, 28 and 45year-old Vikas M Verma. If

convicted, Kamaldoss faces up to 25 years’ imprisonment while the other accused face up to five years’ imprisonment. Kamaldoss is also charged with money laundering. According to the justice department, the accused maintained daily ledgers detailing the names, addresses, pill size and pill amounts ordered by customers. During the course of the investigation, the defendants distributed millions of tramadol pills. “As alleged, the defendants participated in a black market for prescription

medications by distributing millions of opioid pills in tens of thousands of transactions in one year alone,” said US attorney Richard Donoghue. The illegal manufacture and distribution of opioids can result in overdoses and deaths, further fuelling the national crisis, said a Food and Drug Administration official investigating the case. The importation of mislabelled drugs is both dangerous and illegal and it contributes to the ongoing opioid crisis in America and causes harm to people, an FBI official added.

Indian dance troupe V. Unbeatable in the finals of ‘America’s Got Talent’ CALIFORNIA: Indian dance troupe V. Unbeatable has entered into the finals of “America’s Got Talent.” The judges are loving them and so are the audiences. So much so that judge Simon Cowell announced in the Sept. 10 episode when the semi-finalists performed: “Never has a crew had a more appropriate name. Very unbeatable! Because you guys are in it to win it. Let me tell you something. I think your country are going to be so proud of what you have done throughout this entire competition. I am thrilled for you and I have a feeling

we’re gonna be seeing you in possibly the greatest final we’ve ever had next week.” Co-judge Julianne Hough concurred with that, saying, “Dance is for everyone. Hands down. And I have to say, oh my gosh, I just want to learn from you guys. You guys are literally unbeatable.” “Do exactly what you’ve been doing and you have it,” co-judge Gabrielle Union told the Mumbai-based group. Their style, a mix of choreographic and acrobatic skills and natural swag, has been winning hearts from the word go. This act was no different. In

the semi-finale act at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles, Calif., the dancers continued to make their impact felt by performing dangerous backward somersaults and using props like a ladder with precision. Dressed in green, the young dancers showcased their prowess on the “Jashn-E-Ishqa” song from “Gunday.” And once again, they not only left the audiences gasping and obsessing over their act, but also set a higher bar for themselves. Even though the odds are in their favour and they are just a step away from

Mumbai's hip-hop dance group V Unbeatbale has entered the finale of America's Got Talent.

clinching the title, the group said: “It will be sad if

we don’t win but being able to perform on the ‘AGT’

stage was our dream come true.”

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SOUTH INDIA

Amit Shah's push for Hindi miffs Southern states NEW DELHI: Union home Minister Amit Shah’s appeal to unify india with the country's most widely-spoken language, hindi, was met with sharp criticism from the southern states. Veteran leaders such as DMK president MK Stalin and former Karnataka chief ministers Siddaramaiah and hD Kumaraswamy criticised the home minister for pitching for 'one nation, one language' on the occasion of hindi Diwas. Shah stressed on the ability of hindi as a widely spoken language in uniting the country and said that it is necessary to have one language which could represent india in the world. “india is a country of different languages and every language has its own importance but it is very important to have a language of the whole country

Pro-Kannada organisations protest against Hindi Diwas in Bengaluru.

which should become the identity of india in the world. Today, if one language can do the work of tying the country to the door of unity, then it is the most spoken hindi language,” Shah wrote on Twitter. Shah's statement triggered a debate in

the southern states with leaders protesting against “imposition of hindi”. Veteran leaders such as DMK president MK Stalin and former Karnataka chief ministers Siddaramaiah and hD Kumaraswamy came down heavily on the home minister for

his approach of uniting india with one language. AiMiM chief and hyderabad MP Asaduddin Owaisi asserted that hindi is not the mother tongue of every indian and asked him to appreciate the country’s diversity. he also slammed Shah for imposing one language on the country. Several pro-Kannada organisations, including Karnataka Ranadheera Pade, also held protest marches in Bengaluru against hindi Diwas. “Prime Minister Narendra Modi should issue clarification on Amit shah's statement. else, DMK will prepare itself for another language protest. is it india or hindi-a? india stands for unity in diversity. The BJP-led government is trying to collapse this and go against it. home Minister should withdraw his statement,” said Stalin.

PUNJAB

Appointment of six MLAs as advisers to Amarinder challenged CHANDIGARH: The appointments of six MlAs as political and planning advisers to Chief Minister Amrinder Singh in the ranks of cabinet minister and a minister of state were challenged before the Punjab and haryana high Court. The petition filed by advocate Jagmohan Singh Bhatti said the appointments attract disqualification of the members from Assembly as they would be now holding the Office of Profit and seeks a direction to restrain the State from providing any facilities and perks to the appointees. The petition is yet to come up for hearing. The plea filed in public interest by Bhatti stated that the impugned orders have been issued illegally, arbitrarily and in violation of the constitutional provisions. “it is submitted that

the Chief Secretary of Punjab has no authority to issue such orders in the specific provisions of the Constitution,” Bhatti has submitted. it also said that the appointments attract disqualification of the members from Assembly as they would be now holding the Office of Profit and seeks a direction to restrain the State from providing any facilities and perks to the appointees. “The limit of 15 per cent (of ministers in the Cabinet) exceeds with the induction of these six newly added MlAs with Cabinet rank with their camouflaged appointment as Advisers in the State Cabinet and it attracts disqualification (from the Assembly)”, said Bhatti in his petition. Currently, the state has 17 ministers in the Cabinet, including Chief Minister

Amrinder Singh

Amarinder Singh. Advocate Bhatti last year had also challenged the induction of nine more ministers in the state Cabinet submitting that the increase in number had resulted into Cabinet being in excess of 15 per cent of the Assembly. “in view of the 91st amendment of the Constitution, the number of Ministers in the State of Punjab could not exceed 17,” Bhatti said in the plea. Since then, MlA,

Amritsar east, Navjot Singh Sidhu has resigned from the Cabinet resulting it having now only 17 members. The latest appointments brings the issue back. Bhatti in latest petition has further commented that the large cavalcade of these ministers is a burden on the state government. The appointments are illegal and unconstitutional, he has said.

WEST BENGAL

Kolkata ex-top cop Rajeev Kumar ignores CBI summon KOLKATA: Former Kolkata police commissioner Rajeev Kumar who is untraceable since last week was summoned again by the Central Bureau of investigation (CBi). earlier, Kumar was asked to present himself at the CBi office in Salt lake in connection with the Saradha chit fund scam. The officers of the agency said he not only failed to turn up, his phone was also out of reach. They have also alerted officials at the Kolkata airport to keep a check on the passenger list of the flights. The CBi has written to the home secretary, chief secretary and DGP of west Bengal seeking Kumar's location.

Kumar’s official Kumar has been on residence, but did leave and through an not find him. e-mail requested CBi Removing the to grant him more shield, Calcutta time over personal high Court said issues. that the agency however, the could summon Calcutta high Court him whenever it withdrew the interim felt necessary for protection from arrest questioning. given to him in Rajeev Kumar while there has connection with the been speculation that the CBi is chit fund scam case. Reportedly, likely to arrest him, officers CBi is now planning to seek a indicated that his fate will non-bailable warrant against depend on whether he him on grounds of noncooperates with the agency or cooperation. not. Soon after a single bench of Kumar, believed to be close Calcutta high Court removed to west Bengal chief minister his protective shield against Mamata Banerjee, has been arrest, a CBi team visited

under scanner for allegedly tampering with evidence and giving protection to certain politicians in the Sarada scam and Rose Valley chit fund scams. when there were reports that the CBi may question Kumar, Mamata came to his support. Kumar was the chief of the SiT which had investigated the scam till 2014, when the CBi  took over the probe. The £246 million Saradha scam is the politically most sensitive scam in Bengal in which a minister, a Rajya Sabha MP and a Trinamool Congress (TMC) vice-president were sent to jail. Another Rajya Sabha MP from Trinamool Congress was also questioned.

in brief SC REFUSES TO PASS ORDER ON DISQUALIFIED MLAS' PLEA The Supreme Court rejected the plea filed by 17 disqualified Congress-JD(S) MLAs and refused to pass an order against their disqualification under the anti-defection law from Karnataka Assembly. "It will come in due course, what's the urgency," Justice N V Ramana asked senior advocate Rakesh Dwivedi, who was appearing for the disqualified MLAs. The petitions urged the court to set aside the former Karnataka Assembly Speaker's decision to disqualify them from the Assembly. They have also challenged the then Speaker’s conclusion that their resignations were neither voluntary nor genuine. Dwivedi mentioned the matter for urgent listing before the apex court saying that the matter was listed for September 16 but was later inexplicably deleted.

12 KILLED IN ANDHRA BOAT MISHAP At least 12 people were killed and 25 others went missing after a sightseeing boat capsized on a swollen Godavari river in Andhra Pradesh. State home minister Sucharita said there were 61 people - 50 passengers and 11 crew members were on board when it capsized. Rescue operation is underway. Twenty-four people have been rescued so far while 25 others are missing, Sucharita said. The accident occurred near Kachuluru village in East Godavari district, 380 km east of the state's capital, Hyderabad. The boat was heading from Singanapalli to Papikondalu, a famous tourist spot.

NAMES OF 312 SIKHS REMOVED FROM THE ‘BLACKLIST’ The central government has removed names of 312 Sikh foreign nationals from the 'blacklist' and brought down to just two from the 35-year-old list. The government said it had “reviewed” its “adverse list” of foreign nationals and removed the names of 312 persons belonging to Sikh community, but refused to reveal the names claiming “legal impediment”. “The persons, whose names have been removed from the list, would also be eligible to apply for registration as Overseas Citizen of India (OCI) cardholder after fulfilling the required conditions,” the officials in the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) said. In the 1980s, many Sikh Indian nationals and foreign nationals belonging to the Sikh community were involved in anti-India propaganda. Some Sikh Indian nationals fled India to escape authorities, became foreign nationals and took asylum outside India. The officials said the review was a continuous and dynamic process and part of a regular exercise. Such a review would give opportunity to such Sikh foreign nationals to visit India, meet their families and reconnect to their roots, they added.

WEST BENGAL WON'T IMPLEMENT NEW TRAFFIC RULES Calling the amendments in the Motor Vehicles Act "too harsh," the Trinamool Congress chief Mamta Banerjee said it was against the federal structure of the government and that she will not implement the new law that imposes hefty fines for traffic violations. "We had opposed amendments in Parliament. If we implement the new rules, it will hurt general people," the chief minister said. The Motor Vehicles (Amendment) Bill cleared Parliament in July and came into effect on September 1. The centre has contended that tightening the rules on traffic violations will help make the country's roads safer. But seems state governments are not convinced. Gujarat, a BJP-ruled state has already slashed penalties while Congress-ruled Rajasthan too is approaching the new provisions with caution. Bengal becoming the third state to reject the centre's new law.


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AsianVoiceNewsweekly

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21-27 September 2019

UN chief asks India, Pak to Vithalbhai Patel propagated Ayurveda and Unani settle Kashmir bilaterally • UN secretary general Antonio Guterres, who has had contacts with the leadership in India and Pakistan, was “very concerned about any potential escalation” between the two countries over Kashmir and “appeals to both sides to deal with the issue through dialogue”, his spokesperson, Stephane Dujarric, said. Guterres met PM Narendra Modi on the sidelines of the G7 Summit last month in Biarritz and had also spoken to Pakistan foreign minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi. Guterres also met Maleeha Lodhi, the permanent representative of Pakistan to the UN, on her request over the Kashmir issue. “His message to all of them has been the same, both publicly and privately, that he remains very concerned about any potential escalation between India and Pakistan over the situation. He appeals to both sides to deal with the issue through dialogue,” Dujarric said.

Our position unchanged: UN Antonio Guterres was responding to a question on whether he plans to mediate between India and Pakistan on Kashmir during the UN General Assembly session later this month which would be attended by both Modi and Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan. “You know, the position… our position on mediation has, as a matter of principle, has always remained the same,” Dujarric said. His comments came as India and Pakistan clashed at the 42nd session of the United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva over the Kashmir issue. The UN chief has maintained that his good offices are available only if both sides ask for it. However, India has made it clear to the international community that the Kashmir issue is an internal matter and there is no need for a third-party mediation. “And, as was said by the High Commissioner for Human Rights recently, the situation in Kashmir can only be solved with the full respect of human rights,” Dujarric said. Pakistan downgraded its diplomatic relations with India and expelled the Indian high commissioner following the revocation of Article 370 in Jammu and Kashmir. India has categorically told the international community that the scrapping of Article 370 was an internal matter and also advised Pakistan to accept the reality. Won’t accept any interference Responding to Pakistan’s call for an international investigation into its allegation of human rights violations in J&K, MEA’s secretary (east) Vijay Thakur Singh called it a fabricated narrative which was coming from the epicentre of global terrorism, where ring leaders were sheltered for years. Without naming Pakistan, Singh said one delegation had given a “running commentary'' with offensive rhetoric of false allegations and concocted charges against India, as she underlined that curbs in J&K were temporary and meant to check cross-border terrorism. She took on Pakistan’s attack over recent decisions regarding the status of J&K. “These decisions were taken by our Parliament after a full debate that was televised and enjoyed widespread support. We wish to reiterate

Efforts made to give equal status to the practitioners of indigenous Medicines Unani in the Bill for the support of the Muslims: Vaids and Hakims no quacks

arrister Vithalbhai Jhaverbhai Patel (27 September 1873 Nadiad- 22 October 1933 Geneva) is more known as the first Indian President of the Central (Imperial) Legislative Assembly or as one who signed a joint statement with Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose in May 1933 at Vienna attacking the Mahatma saying “as a political leader Mahatma Gandhi has failed”. And of course, most people know him as the elder brother of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, a loyalist of the Mahatma and the first Deputy Prime Minister of India. While Bose was ideologically opposed to the “rightist” Vallabhbhai Patel, he was personally and politically close to the latter's elder brother Vithalbhai Patel, a leader of the Swaraj party founded by Motilal Nehru and CR Das. Vithalbhai and Bose had met in a sanatorium in Vienna where both were convalescing in 1933. When Gandhiji suspended the civil disobedience movement, they issued a strong worded joint statement, the Patel-Bose manifesto, calling for a new radical leadership of the Independence movement: “The time has therefore come for a radical reorganization of the Congress on a new principle and new method — noncooperation will have to be changed into a more militant one.”

B

UN secretary general Antonio Guterres

that this sovereign decision, like other legislations passed by Parliament, is entirely internal to India. No country can accept interference in its internal affairs, certainly not India,” Singh said. Earlier in the session, Pakistani foreign minister Qureshi demanded an international investigation by the UNHRC into the situation in Kashmir and urged the world rights body not to remain “indifferent” after India revoked J&K’s special status. Qureshi asked the council to urge India to immediately stop the use of pellet guns, lift the curfew, reverse the clampdown and communications blackout, restore fundamental freedoms and liberties, release political prisoners and fulfil obligations under the UN Security Council resolutions and various human rights instruments. “Today, I have knocked on the doors of the Human Rights Council, the repository of the world’s conscience on human rights, to seek justice and respect for the people of Kashmir,” he said. The back-and-forth between the hostile neighbours over J&K dominated the session, potentially setting the stage for a bigger showdown later this month when Modi and Khan will address the UNGA. India rebutted Pakistan’s allegations also while exercising its right to reply by fielding an officer who belongs to J&K, first secretary with India’s permanent mission in Geneva. MEA first secretary Vimarsh Aryan questioned Pakistan’s locus to criticise India’s recent decisions on J&K, contending that Article 370 was a temporary provision. The official also said OIC, which too has been talking about alleged Indian atrocities, had no locus standi on the issue and J&K would remain an integral part of India. Calling out Pakistan for its “false narrative”, Aryan said Pakistan’s was an illdisguised effort to advance its territorial ambitions and that terrorism was the worst form of human rights abuse. Probably unsure of support from the 47-member council, Pakistan has not yet pressed for a resolution on the issue.

Not many people would be on 18 March 1918. aware of the other side of G.I.Patel records: Barrister Vithalbhai. He was a “Vithalbhai’s Bill had three Messiah of Ayurvedic and objects in view: (1) to secure Unani, the indigenous systems an elective majority in the of medicine! G.I.Patel, his close constitution of the Medical associate and biographer, Council; (2) to provide that presents Vithalbhai Patel, a person holding a Member of Bombay Legislative Government diploma or Council during 1917-18 as the certificate (as distinguished Champion of Ayurvedic along from a University Degree) with Unani medicine moving a shall be eligible for the Bill to amend the Bombay membership of the Medical Medical Act, 1912. Council; and (3) the last- and In the case of Dr.Popat the most important part of Prabhuram Vaidya, L.M. & S., Vithalbhai Patel : a Barrister the Bill- to prevent the the Hony. Principal of the turned Rajrshi Medical Council from Prabhuram Ayurvedic College, pronouncing such conduct as established in 1896 by Vaidyaraj Prabhuram Dr. Popat’s as ‘infamous conduct in any Jivanram of Porbandar, the Medical Council professional respect’, and thus indirectly took such a view which was to be “a serious refusing to recognize the Ayurvedic and blow to the ancient and renowned system of other indigenous system of Medicine, and Ayurvedic and Yunani medicine so widely considering any association with the prevalent in India and ministering to the practitioners of indigenous Medicine as wants and sufferings of at least infamous conduct.” Next Column: 90 per cent of the population.” Barrister Patel could have There were heated arguments in The Secret of Bhagat Singh’s contributed much more in Popularity the House. Even some of the popularizing the Ayurveda and pro-government Indian Unani system but he had to Members favoured the Western systems of shift to Delhi. Of course, the charges against medicine. Dr. Popat were withdrawn by the Medical Vithalbhai himself had refrained from Council, recognized that something had to comparing the relative merits of the be done for the indigenous medical system Western and indigenous systems of of India and in particular for Ayurveda. Patel medicine. His goal was different. The included the Unani system in his Bill, supporters of his Bill quoted Lord Hardinge, because he wanted the support of the Viceroy and Governor - General of India, the Muslims. At least, he could extensively who favoured the Ayurvedic and established that Dr. Hari Desai Yunani systems of medicine when he laid Vaids and the foundation stone of a similar institution Hakims were (The writer is a Sociopolitical Historian. in Delhi on 29 March 1916. Vithalbhai was not quacks. E-mail: haridesai@gmail.com) elected to the Imperial Legislative Council

Imran’s partyman ‘insecure’ in Pak, seeks India asylum Baldev Kumar, a member of Pakistan PM Imran Khan’s party, Pakistan Tehreek-eInsaf (PTI), has sought asylum in India saying that he felt threatened and insecure in Pakistan. Baldev, who married Bhavna Sethi, an Indian national from Khanna in Ludhiana district, has already shifted his wife and two children, including an 11-year-old thalassemia- Baldev Kumar with his family affected daughter, to India risk in Pakistan, as they are in March. being threatened by the Baldev, who was briefly a majority Muslim community. Member Provincial Assembly Baldev was arrested on the (MPA; equivalent to an MLA charge of murdering his alleged here) on PTI’s ticket from Swat, rival, Swaran Singh, MPA and said minorities are at a great member of PTI, but later

exonerated and released. Ever since, Baldev has been living in the guise of a Sikh in Pakistan. Swaran Singh was also a member of the Pakistan Sikh Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (PSGPC) and was president of PSGPC for a short period in 2006. Singh was an adviser to the chief minister of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Parvez Khan Khattak. On April 22, Swaran Singh had gone to his village Banur near Swat valley, where he was shot dead while out for an evening stroll. Baldev was arrested on the charge of paying around $10,000 to the gunner to kill

Singh. The shooter was also arrested by the police. “Rumours are being spread by the Pakistan government against me, since I always raised voice against injustice,” Baldev says, adding that he would seek asylum in India with a heavy heart. Baldev had come to India, along with a Sikh jatha, and has stayed back. To buttress his claims of atrocities on minority communities in Pakistan, he alleged that there have been several cases of atrocities on minorities, especially on Sikhs, but that they had kept quiet. “The same thing happened in case of the conversion of Jagjeet Kaur to Islam,” he said.


26 INDIA

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21-27 September 2019

'Howdy Modi’ tempts Trump Prime Minister Narendra Modi will be joined in by US President Donald Trump at the “Howdy, Modi!” event in Texas, Houston, on September 22. PM Modi tweeted that the “special gesture” highlights the strength of the relationship and recognition of the contribution of the Indian community to American society. In a first, an American president would be addressing thousands of Indian -Americans at one place in the US. The White House confirmed Trump's presence at a gathering on Sept. 22, where PM Modi is expected to address a 50,000strong Indian-Americans - an influential voter base in the US - from across the US who have registered for the mega event to be held at the NRG Stadium in Houston. Organizers have said that there will be a cultural programme followed by an address by Modi. Indian ambassador to the US Harsh Vardhan Shringla called Trump’s participation in the “Howdy, Modi!” event “historic” and “unprecedented”. He told that Trump’s gesture is reflective of the strong bonds of friendship and cooperation that has developed between India and the US. In a statement, White House Press Secretary Stephanie Grisham said, “It (Modi-Trump joint rally) will be a great opportunity to emphasize the strong ties between the people of the United States and India, to reaffirm the strategic partnership between the world’s oldest and largest democracies, and to discuss ways to deepen their energy and trade relationship.” White House officials said that a request was made by PM Modi to President Trump when the two met in France last month on the sidelines of the G-7 summit. Trump, who enjoys a great chemistry and friendship with Modi, “immediately accepted” the invitation to join him in Houston and directed his officials and secret service, officials said. “Howdy, Modi!” will be the prime minister’s third major address to the Indian-

American community after being elected to office in 2014. He had addressed the Indian diaspora at the Madison Square Garden in New York in 2014 and the Silicon Valley in 2016. Shringla said it was reflective of the people-to-people contact that provides the “organic” linkage between the two countries. The ambassador said the two leaders addressing the event sets a bold precedent, which he added was unconventional and unique. “It would be quite a historic meeting with Prime Minister Modi and President Trump jointly addressing over 50,000 Indian-Americans, mainly US citizens,” Shringla said. The joint appearance at Houston could also benefit both leaders politically, according to analysts. Trump's presence could help PM Modi signal to his supporters that his floundering economic policies could benefit from backing from the world's largest economy. For Trump, the event could be an ideal platform to address affluent Indian American voters. Also, this would be the third meeting between the two leaders this year. The previous two were on the sidelines of the G20 Summit in June in Japan and in France in July on the sidelines of the G7 Summit. In October 2016, Trump, then as Republican presidential nominee, had addressed a strong crowd of some 5,000 Indian-Americans in New Jersey, a few weeks away from his historic win in the November 2016 elections. So far, Trump is the only presidential candidate to address the Indian-Americans solely during an election year. In his address, Trump had said that if elected, he would be the best friend of India in the White House. The “Howdy, Modi!” event is being organised by nonprofit Texas India Forum, a recently-formed representative body of hundreds of Indian American organisations in Texas and other parts of the US. PM Modi has sought ideas from the

people for his September 22 speech. "Share your ideas for my address. I would refer to some of them during my remarks," he tweeted. Modi urged the people to express their thoughts on the special open forum on the NaMo application. The 'Howdy Modi!' event in Texas will be the first stop in PM Modi's week-long US trip. Apart from addressing the United Nations' Climate Action Summit in New York on September 23, PM Modi is scheduled to address the United Nations General Assembly on September 27. His address will come on the same day as Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan. US, India must not lose sight of the bigger picture The India-US partnership must succeed for the emergence of a new rules-based global order, writes India Inc. founder and CEO Manoj Ladwa. The US India Strategic and Partnership Forum (USISPF), a non-profit advocacy group comprising leading corporate figures from the two countries, has projected that bilateral trade between India and the US could rise sharply to $238 billion by 2025 from the current level of $143 billion. The USISPF’s US India Bilateral Trade Report projects bilateral trade to grow at 7.5 per cent annually over the next six years. It adds that if trade grows at 10-12.5 per cent per year, as has been the case in 2017 and 2018, then the figure could reach between $283 and $327 billion. Ladwa says there’s a lot that India and the US can achieve together besides enhanced trade. The Indo-US partnership must succeed for the emergence of a rulesbased new global order. A lot can also go wrong with this relationship. US President Donald Trump’s currently uncontrolled unilateralism can undo the good work that both governments have done since the turn of this century to improve and sustain their undeclared strategic alliance.

Imposition of punitive tariffs on Indian exports, the withdrawal of Generalised System of Preferences (GSP) benefits to India, forcing it to stop oil imports from Iran and Venezuela and squeezing India’s strategic interests in the Chabahar port are all examples of short-sighted muscle flexing by the US President. The Indian ministers will have to impress upon the US, that if rising trade disputes with the US begin to dominate India’s domestic politics, the geopolitical potential of a closer strategic alignment between India and the US will suffer a setback. Since Trump faces election next year, he will unleash punitive actions against perceived rivals such as China and Iran as well as friends and allies like the European Union, Mexico and India, if only to drive home to his constituency that he is standing up for them and making “America Great Again”. Even as US-India ties are at a crossroads, it must also be accepted that that despite all the concerns, Trump has also done much as any other US President to push the bilateral relationship forward. He has in fact gone further than Barrack Obama, who had designated India a “major defence partner”. Trump has provided India a “strategic defence authorisation” that makes it eligible to receive defence-related technologies that are barred to all but a select few countries. But the problem is that the Indo-US strategic alignment does not demonstrably benefit the common Indian. But punitive actions on trade and the clampdown on H1B and spouse visas, among other trade-related measures, impact many lives – and influence the public and political discourse in India. At present, the US is viewed very positively in India. But if Trump’s trade-related punitive measures lead to business closures and job losses, that could change very fast. And any retaliatory steps by the Modi government will only lead to an upward spiral of trade friction.

PM Modi addresses Namami Devi Narmade Mahotsav "The 133-year-old Statue of Liberty gets around 10,000 visitors per day, about 8,500 people visit the 11-monthold Statue of Unity daily," he said. The Statue of Unity, billed as the tallest in the world, was inaugurated by the Prime Minister on Sardar Patel's birth anniversary on October 31 last year. Modi also praised Sardar Patel, whose 138metre-high statue is on the banks of the river, saying that he continues to be a "symbol of willpower". "I Prime Minister Narendra Modi at a public meeting, at Kevadia. Governor believe that with his Acharya Dev Vrat and Chief Minister Vijay Rupani were present. inspiration, we will prove Prime Minister Narendra Modi addressed a every resolve associated with the new India, huge public gathering in Kevadia, Gujarat. we will achieve every goal," he added. Marking his 69th birthday with a packed itinerary at his home state Gujarat, he expressed his happiness saying it was a pleasure to visit Namami Devi Narmade Mahotsav. At Sardar Sarovar dam, Modi thanked "millions of people" who had made the project "a success" and added that the project is catering to the needs of Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra and Rajasthan and has benefited people in these four states. He also lauded the project for being instrumental in curbing droughtlike situations in Gujarat. Modi made a strong pitch for Narendra Modi sharing meal with his mother Heera Baa after eco-tourism at the site of the seeking her blessings. 'Statue of Unity'. PM Modi said he While referring to his epochal decisions was happy to see the rising number of to end special status to Jammu and Kashmir visitors to the complex he launched last year.

and split the state into two union territories, PM Modi also said the Hyderabad Liberation Day, also observed on September 17 each year, was the result of Sardar Patel's vision. It marks the day in 1948 when the erstwhile Hyderabad state was annexed to the Indian Union. Earlier, the Prime Minister offered prayers as part of the state government's Namami Devi Narmade

Mahotsav celebrations being held to mark the dam receiving water to its full capacity. He also visited the Butterfly Garden in Kevadiya and named the saffron-coloured plain tiger butterfly as the state butterfly. Modi met his mother Heeraben at her residence in Gandhinagar after inaugurating the Mahotsav and sought her blessings on his birthday.

Obituary

Dr Narendra Chimanbhai Amin Dr Narendra Chimanbhai Amin was born on 11th August 1940 in Mombasa, to his parents, CD Amin MBE and Kumudben Amin. He completed his further education in Mangalore, India and qualified as a doctor in 1964. His first medical houseman position was in Mumbai, before returning to Kenya to work as a surgical registrar at Kenyatta National Hospital between 1968-70. He married Sudha (nee Patel) in October 1970 and moved to the UK in 1971 and settled in Kettering. Here, he continued working within the surgical specialty at Kettering General Hospital. In 1972, his first child, Sonal was born. The family relocated to London in 1979, where Dr Amin became a GP with his own practice. He then had two other childrenTejal, born in 1982, and Nikhil, born in 1983. In 2003, he became a much-loved grand-father to Natalia.

Dr Amin continued practicing as an independent GP and a Clinical lead for his Primary Care Trust, serving the people of Wembley until he retired in 2004. He brought joy and touched the lives of many people. Sadly, he passed away peacefully on 12th September surrounded by his family. He will be remembered as someone who was a great source of inspiration and generous with his time to those who sought any help and advice. A true gentleman and one of a kind. He will be greatly missed by all. The entire team of Asian Voice and Gujarat Samachar stand in solidarity with his family at this moment of grief and offer our deepest condolences to all those who are affected by his sad demise. His funeral ceremony is organised at The North Chapel, West Herts Crematorium in Watford (WD25 0JS) on 21st September, Saturday at 10:00 a.m. For further details please contact Sonal Amin (07590689360), Tejal Amin (07931721484) or Nikhil Amin (07769356910).


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HEALTH & LIFESTYLE

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21 - 27 September 2019

Drinking a cup of tea each day is good in brief NUMBER OF NEW CASES OF TYPE 2 for your brain as it could help protect DIABETES HAS DROPPED BY A THIRD IN SOME PARTS OF THE against age-related decline WESTERN WORLD

It's the perfect excuse to put the kettle on. For research has suggested drinking tea could be good for your brain and stave off age-related decline.

Scientists now say regularly consuming a brew could be a simple lifestyle choice that benefits brain health. Three dozen adults who were all aged 60 or above were asked to take part a range of cognitive tests for the study. Researchers led by a team based at the National University of Singapore also took MRI scans of the volunteers. All of the participants, from Singapore, were also asked about how often they drink green, black or oolong tea, as well as coffee.

R e s u l t s showed participants who drank tea at least four times a week for around 25 years had more connected brains. Dr Feng Lei, lead researcher, said: 'Our results offer the first evidence of positive contribution of tea drinking to brain structure.' He added they also 'suggest that drinking tea regularly has a protective effect against age-related decline in brain organisation'. The study, which also involved a team from the universities of Cambridge and Essex, was published in

the scientific journal Aging. The research is believed to have been the first of its kind, with no other studies having examined the effect of tea on brain networks. Britain consumes around 100million cups of tea each day. It is considered to be the world's most popular drink, behind only water. However, statistics sug-

gest 98 per cent of Brits drink their tea with milk. The study did not take adjust for milky tea. It is not the first time scientists have found benefits from drinking tea â&#x20AC;&#x201C; studies have suggested it can ward off type 2 diabetes and help you live longer. In 2017, one study suggested tea can smooth out spikes in blood sugar levels. Another suggested tea drinkers were less likely to get cognitive impairment. The latter, also carried out by Dr Lei and colleagues, speculated that green and black teas contain bioactive compounds that improve memory.

Taking a walk in the woods could be more relaxing than meditation Taking a walk in the woods may be more relaxing than fashionable meditation. People played birdsong from woodland are more likely to become relaxed than those played a meditation app, a study of 600 people found. The feeling of being immersed in nature is believed to be calming, also reducing rates of stress and anxiety. Researchers asked people if they felt relaxed or not, then played them 60 seconds of birdsong. Before this, 30 per cent said they were relaxed and answered quickly enough to show they were strongly convinced of this. But that jumped to 39 per cent of people after hearing the sound of birds. The birdsong appeared to work far better than a meditation app, which,

when played to a different group, did not increase the proportion of people who felt relaxed. The study, done by market research firm Walnut Unlimited in collaboration with the National Trust, also found lower rates of stress and anxiety in people who listened to woodland sounds, although meditation worked better for these measures.

Researchers split 600 people into three equal groups for the study, exposing 200 to birdsong and 200 to the meditation app, while leaving the rest alone in silence. Each group were asked before the one-minute activity if they felt relaxed, stressed or anxious, then asked again afterwards. The rate of relaxation in people who listened to the

meditation app or did nothing did not change. But the proportion of people who felt relaxed after hearing the sound of birds rose by 30 per cent. The study found 39 per cent both said they were relaxed and answered fast compared to their speed on previous survey questions. That indicates that they really did associate the sound of nature with relaxation, so their brain could quickly respond. However, although the proportion of anxious people fell 19 per cent in those played birdsong, meditation or doing nothing had a larger effect. The rate of stressed people fell 24 per cent in the woodland sounds group, but by 39 per cent in those listening to a meditation app.

Exercising while cutting calories may be bad for your bones Combining exercising with cutting calories is often the go-to for weight loss. But research suggests being active while restricting how much we eat may be bad for our bones. Scientists put mice on a restrictive diet and 'running routine' for six weeks. They lost weight, which the team thought would make their bones more robust. The researchers were therefore surprised to discover the rodents' bone volume had actually decreased by 20 per cent. From a 'human perspective', the researchers warn cutting calories while exercising could have a 'great impact on bones', particularly in women, whose bones natu-

rally weaken with age. The University of North Carolina study comes amid a growing trend for calorierestricting diets, such as the 5:2 or 16:8 eating patterns. Exercise has been shown to support bone strength, the researchers wrote in the Journal of Bone and Mineral Research. However, the effect of calorie reduction on this process was less clear. Another surprising result was the increase of bone marrow fat in the calorie-restricted mice, despite them losing weight overall. Bone marrow fat is thought to make the bones of mammals, including mice and humans, weaker, the researchers claim.

Although the study was carried out in animals, the researchers believe similar results could apply to humans, particularly women. The researchers are planning further studies to uncover the purpose of bone marrow fat, and how it is affected by diet and exercise. Calorie-restricted diets have surged in popularity in recent years, with more and

more people turning to fasts, like the 5:2, low-carb plans, such as Atkins, and juicing 'cleanses'. As well as promoting weight loss, fasting alone has been linked to a longer life, stronger immune system and even a reduced risk of cancer. Limiting carbs may help lower blood pressure, prevent diabetes and boost heart health.

The number of new cases of type 2 diabetes may be declining, research suggests. Australian scientists looked at 47 studies carried out from the 1960s to 2014, largely across the US, Canada and Europe. More than a third (36 per cent) of these populations saw a fall in the number of new cases between 2006 and 2014, while another third had diagnoses stabilise. The scientists credit increased 'health awareness', with 'bike tracks and exercise parks' becoming commonplace, along with a reduction in fizzy drink consumption. However, other experts stress obesity - a key driver of type 2 diabetes - is still a 'significant' concern as rates continue to spiral across the world. The research was carried out by the Baker Heart and Diabetes Institute in Melbourne. More than 100million adults in the US live with diabetes or prediabetes, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Prediabetes is defined as a person's blood sugar levels being higher than normal but not elevated enough to be considered diabetes. And in the UK, 3.8million people have been diagnosed with diabetes, Diabetes UK statistics show. In both nations, more than 90 per cent of diabetics have type 2, which is associated with being overweight or obese. To uncover how rates of the disease are changing, the researchers looked at studies that were mainly carried out in high-income countries. Between 1960 and 1989, 36 per cent of the populations saw type 2 diabetes rise, the team reported in the British Medical Journal. During this time, the disease remained stable in 55 per cent of the populations, while nine per cent saw cases go down. From 1990-to-2005, the number of new cases rose in two-thirds (66 per cent) of the populations studied, was stable in 32 per cent and went down in just two per cent. The number of new cases started to slow between 2006 and 2014, when only a third (33 per cent) of populations saw cases rise, with 30 per cent staying the same and 36 per cent declining.

A HEALTHY DIET COULD PROTECT BENEFICIAL GUT BACTERIA FROM BEING DESTROYED BY ANTIBIOTICS What you eat could protect your gut bacteria from being destroyed by antibiotics, a new study suggests. Research has shown that taking antibiotics - especially too many - can change the amounts and types of bacteria within the intestines. But, in a study conducted on mice, researchers found that a healthy diet helped beneficial bacteria thrive and mitigated changes made by antibiotics. The team, from Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island, says the findings could lead to doctors potentially prescribing a diet - along with antibiotics - to patients so that they receive maximum benefits from treatment. Out of all the antibiotics tested, amoxicillin - used to treat infections of the ear, nose, and throat - killed several kinds of gut bacteria and even changed the genes of the leftover bacteria. In humans, this can lead to infections from C diff, a bacterium that causes life-threatening colon inflammation after taking antibiotics that kill off both beneficial and harmful bacteria. But, one type of beneficial bacteria, Bacteroides thetaiotaomicron, actually multiplied after treatment with amoxicillin. And, when researchers added glucose - a simple sugar and the primary source of fuel for humans - to the diet of mice, it increased the sensitivity of this bacteria to amoxicillin. The team says this means that making changes to diet may be able to protect beneficial gut bacteria from being killed by antibiotics. For future research, the team plans to examine how fiber might impact gut bacteria after antibiotic treatment, and how diabetes might affect the susceptibility of gut bacteria to antibiotics.

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...


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21-27 September 2019

Huma Qureshi confirms dating Mudassar Aziz One relationship rumour that was doing rounds for months was between actress Huma Qureshi and director Mudassar Ali. After much speculation, Huma asserted her relationship with 'Pati Patni Aur Woh' director Mudassar Aziz. On his birthday on September 5, Huma took to Instagram and penned a heart-felt message for him. She wrote, "The Many Moods of Mudassar... It sure has been a hell of a ride ... I’m so proud of everything you do and the man you are ! I pray from the bottom of my heart that all your dreams come true ... Happy Birthday baba @mudassar_as_is Sending love from saat samundar paar.... Stay smiling always ... Onwards #love #happybirthday #joy #virgobaby #Septemberchild Love you more than you know ...(sic)." Mudassar replied, "Phew it’s hard to reply to this... A soul as gorgeous as you are @iamhumaq

finds appreciation even in somebody as flawed or fractured as I am... Clearly then, I’m the lucky one!I won’t thank you because I actually can’t do that enough... I’d rather just sit back & gape in awe at how much, how wonderfully, how warmly you love. Stay true! Stay you! Love you loads (sic)." If the reports are to be believed, the two have been dating for over a year. On Huma's birthday, Mudassar had shared a photo with Huma and captioned it, "All things GORGEOUS down to the soul is what you are @iamhumaq !!! A birthday wish is NOTHING close to what will sum up how joyous, fulfilling & inspired you make every moment for me!Heart full of duas and all the love in the world for you. Have a smashhhhhhinh #American birthday!(sic)." Mudassar Aziz is occupied with the 1978 classic - 'Pati, Patni Aur Woh' – originally directed by BR Chopra. His film stars Kartik Aaryan, Ananya Panday and Bhumi Pednekar. The cast and crew have just wrapped up the Lucknow schedule of the film.

Sonam asks Deepika to show off her ‘amazing body’ Sonam Kapoor and Deepika Padukone never fail to ace their fashion game with their spectacular fashion sense. While promoting her upcoming film 'The Zoya Factor,' Sonam was all praise for Deepika’s amazing body and also had a piece of fashion advice for Deepika. Sonam had once criticised Deepika for her sense of style. The actress had a compliment for Deepika and said that she has an amazing body. She said, “I think she has an amazing body. So she should like dress to show her body.” Deepika and Sonam share a great rapport. The duo have not shared the screen as yet, but did make an appearance together in Karan Johar's popular talk show Koffee With Karan in the year 2010, which was one of the most controversial episodes of that season. Sonam had compared Deepika and Katrina's styles and said, “Katrina is herself. She does not try to fit into a mould, which I respect a lot. She is not trying to be the fashion icon of the century. Even if Katrina wears jeans and a T-shirt and has her hair in ponytail... I’d rather have that than

someone who is like ‘I want to be on the cover of Vogue every three months.’” Calling Deepika a ‘good girl gone bad’, Sonam had said that the one thing Deepika has that she doesn’t is ‘an over enthusiastic PR team’. Sonam has always been looked upon as a fashion diva, to the point that her Aisha co-star Abhay Deol had once complained that it got in the way of the film. Deepika and Sonam made their Bollywood debuts at the same time in the year 2007. Deepika starred in 'Om Shanti Om,' co-starring Shah Rukh Khan while Sonam Kapoor made her debut opposite Ranbir Kapoor in 'Saawariya.' 'The Zoya Factor', based on a novel by Anuja Chauhanwill, stars Sonam and Dulquer Salman in lead roles. The trailer of the film released a few days ago and the promotions are currently in full swing. The film is slated for release on September 20. While Deepika will next be seen in Meghna Gulzar's 'Chhapaak,' in which she will play the role of acid attack survivor Laxmi Agarwal. She will also be seen as Roma Dev (Kapil Dev's wife) in Kabir Khan's '83, which stars Ranveer Singh as Kapil Dev.

Rishi Kapoor returns home after 11 months, 11 days Veteran actor Rishi Kapoor could not hide his happiness returning back home with wife Neetu after a prolonged treatment of 11 months and 11 days. It was in September last year that Rishi left for the US along with Neetu and son Ranbir Kapoor for cancer treatment. 'The 102 Not Out' actor is now cancer free and is visiting his friends in Mumbai. Expressing his happiness on his arrival in the country, Rishi took to Twitter and wrote: "Back home... after 11 months 11 days. Thank you all." Neetu also revealed the cute surprise that Ranbir Kapoor and Riddhima Kapoor Sahni had in store for Rishi on his return. Sharing a picture of a balloon with "Welcome home Dad" written on it, Neetu wrote on Instagram, "This simple ballon has so much Warmth Love and belonging (sic)." Rishi also visited Neil's house for Ganpati darshan. His pictures sitting with Neil Nitin Mukesh's little daughter Nurvi, his singer father Nitin Mukesh and filmmaker brother Naman Nitin Mukesh surfaced on the Internet. Welcoming Rishi, Neil wrote: "Nurvi with both her Daadus (Grand dads). Dearest Chintu uncle visited

home today for Ganpati Darshan. All of us are just so happy to have met him and hugged him tight. Welcome back Chintu uncle. God Bless you always." Reportedly, actor Alia Bhatt, who is currently in relationship with his son Ranbir Kapoor, also visited the Kapoor household for a celebration. The actor had also paid several visits to the senior actor in the US along with Ranbir. The two have just returned from their Kenya vacation, just in time for Rishi’s arrival. Before the couple departed for India, actor Anupam Kher (who has been in New York on work for a while now), shared a farewell message for Rishi and Neetu. He wished love and luck and said that he will "terribly miss" them. "Dearest Neetu and Rishi, here is wishing you a safe trip back to India after being in New York for almost a year. I have mixed feelings. I am happy and sad at the same time. I am going to miss you terribly. We had a great time together. Thank you. Love and prayers," Anupam Kher wrote. A slew of family, friends, and celebrities from across the world, including Shah Rukh Khan, Aamir Khan, Priyanka Chopra, and Karan Johar, have dropped by the Kapoors over the past months.


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21-27 September 2019

Anushka not a distraction for Kohli, says ‘ The Zoya Factor ’ actress A Bollywood adaptation of Anuja Chauhan's book 'The Zoya Factor', starring Sonam Kapoor Ahuja and Dulquer Salmaan, is out this week. The Abhishek Sharmadirected film also features Sikander Kher and Sanjay Kapoor and a doppleganger of Indian cricket team captain Virat Kohli. The romantic-drama is centred around Zoya Solanki who is a lucky mascot for the Indian cricket team during the 2011 world cup. Speaking to the Asian Voice about the movie, Sonam said, “I think it is the coming of age of girls which we don't see very often in Bollywood movies and it is a cute love story. “Zoya is the lucky mascot of the Indian cricket team and the movie is all about superstition versus hard work. In the Indian community we believe in so many aspects of vastu and astrology which I think is fun but it is also sometimes a little too much.” Superstition has always been at the heart of the Indian community but has also encroached the social media space. It has been thrust into spotlight following the

marriage of Anushka Sharma and ace cricketer Virat Kohli. Recently many fans have trolled the Bollywood actress on social media as her presence at these cricket matches has been perceived to be a “distraction” for Kohli. Refuting such baseless claims, Sonam said“I think that this concept is ridiculous because Anushka is his wife and if she was not an actress then would the fans say the same thing? “Also I have believe that there have been times when Virat has won his matches. So I don't believe she is affecting his cricket or distraction to him in any way.” The Zoya Factor releases on 20th September at the theatres near you.

Manoj Bajpayee, The Family Man and an intelligence officer

An Amazon Prime Video action-drama, is an upcoming original series starring Manoj Bajpayee in the lead role. Bajpayee plays Srikant Tiwari, an intelligence agent in 'The Family Man' where he is plucked from his middle-class life to take on a dangerous

mission for his country. Created by Raj Nidimoru and Krishna D.K. this series essentially focusses on the geo-politics and counter-terrorism plots of South Asia and in the sub-continent. Today speaking to the Asian Voice, the 'Stree' director discusses

about creating content around socially relevant issues and the increasing audience reception for spycraft drama. “The more I read about these intelligence officer characters, I realised that these were largely ordinary people like us who had to balance their family lives and deal with middle-class problems while doing an extraordinary job. “Most of these ideas stemmed from the subjects being discussed in the newspapers but gradually we started meeting ex-Raw agents. We also researched around the previous missions that were carried out by our agencies and therefore, gauged an understanding of the operations of the bureaucracies,” said Raj Nidimoru. The two-time national award winner, Manoj Bajpayee had earlier emphasised

around t h e need for creating content and series “sincerely and sensitively but also to tell a unique story — something that concerns the common man and his uncommon life with his extraordinary struggle.” Speaking about casting Manoj, the director said, “I believe that Manoj is a great representation of the common man who is a perfect fit to portray a grounded Intelligence Officer on screen.” The series also stars Priyamani, Gul Panag, Sharib Hashmi and Sharad Kelkar, among others and clashes with Red Chillies Entertainment 'Bard of Blood' an upcoming Indian spy thriller web series based on the 2015 espionage novel of the same name by Bilal Siddiqi. The Family Man is slated to release on September 20, in Hindi, English, Tamil, Telugu, German, Japanese, French, Italian, Brazilian, Portuguese, and Spanish, exclusively on Amazon Prime Video across 200 countries and territories.

Priyanka 'caught red-handed' by Maharashtra police

The Maharashtra police once again amused the internet users with its witty comment on international star Priyanka Chopra's upcoming flick. A particular dialogue of the recently launched trailer of 'The Sky Is Pink' caught the attention of Maharashtra police which also engaged Priyanka Chopra and his

co-star Farhan Akhtar in a fun banter. At one point in the trailer, Priyanka, who features as a feisty and sprightly mother in the movie, tells Farhan Akhtar: "Ek baar Aisha theek ho jaye, phir saath mein bank lootenge." (Once their daughter Aisha (Zaira Wasim) recovers from her disease, they will together rob a bank for money). The cops posted a still grab of this dialogue from the film's trailer with a chucklesome warning, reminding the actors Priyanka and Farhan that they have prying eyes. They wrote in the tweet: 'Seven years imprisonment with fine under IPC Section 393'. To poke a little more fun at the actors, the cops added hilarious hashtags #ColoursOfLaw #TheSkyIsPink. Responding to the tweet, Priyanka kept

the fun continuing and wrote: 'Oops. Caught red handed..time to activate Plan B'. After Priyanka's hilarious tweet, even Farhan responded saying: 'Hahaha never planning heists on camera again'. 'The Sky Is Pink' is all set to premiere worldwide at the Toronto International Film Festival on September 13 while the film will open in Indian cinemas on October 11. The bilingual film is directed by Shonali Bose, and is based on the life and experiences of late motivational speaker and author Aisha Chaudhary who was diagnosed with a terminal illness. The film is jointly produced by Priyanka (through Purple Pebble Pictures) and Siddharth Roy Kapur and Ronnie Screwvala's

RSVP Films. Meanwhile, this is actor Zaira Wasim's last appearance in Bollywood as the National Award-winning actress announced her retirement from films in July this year. Actor Rohit Saraf plays Priyanka and Farhan's onscreen son in the movie.


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Kangana to reprise Jaya's role in biopic

Kangana Ranaut is well known for her valiant character both on and off screen. Her latest 'Judgementall Hai Kya' and 'Manikarnika- The Queen of Jhansi', both are proof of her diverse role choices. She did her first Tamil movie in 2008, along with Jayam Ravi in 'Dhaam Dhoom'. Now, the 'Queen' of Bollywood is set to reprise the role of late Tamil Nadu chief minister and yesteryear actress J Jayalalitha. The film, Thalaivi (Jaya in Hindi), is produced by Vishnu Vardhan Induri and Shaailesh R Singh. The A L Vijay directorial will be scripted by KV Vijayendra Prasad. The

DOP of the movie is Nirav Shah, while the music is composed by GV Prakash. Meanwhile, Kangana is striving hard to perfect her character in the biopic. She is attending dance classes regularly in Mumbai and is also learning Tamil. The film is slated to go on the floors in November this year and is said to be released in three languages – Tamil, Telugu and Hindi. The most recent update is that Hollywood’s popular make-up artist “Jason Collins has been roped in for prosthetic makeup for the actress to look like Amma. Kangana will be seen sporting four looks spanning different ages in the film. Shooting begins post Diwali... #Thalaivi. (SIC)" the team tweeted. Kangana's sister also confirmed the news saying, "Our team is travelling to Los Angeles on September 19 for the look test, the final transformation will be something that will amaze you all, a legendary woman

playing another legendary woman, can’t wait for you all to see the first look #Thalaivi #Jayalalitha (SIC)." The producer Vishnu Induri shared some interesting details on his Twitter, “The preproduction is in full swing and the team is in Mysore for the recce and as planned earlier the shoot will start post-Diwali. Kangana has four looks

Anushka Shetty turns into a mute artist Anushka Shetty and R Madhvan starrer multilingual thriller - 'Nishabdam' is one of the most awaited film this year. The release of the first look poster introduces Anushka as Sakshi who is a mute artist in the film. Directed by Hemant Madhukar, the film will release in Telugu, English, Malayalam, Hindi and Tamil. The film also stars R Madhavan, Anjali, Shalini Pandey and Hollywood actor Michael Madsen in crucial roles and have recently wrapped up shoot in Seattle. Anushka plays a deaf and mute character while Madhavan plays her husband in the film which revolves around the murder of a key character and the subsequent investigation to find the killer. There were reports earlier that the actress will play and deaf and mute character and looks like the mute part was true. The film’s twitter page reads, “Her Art speaks, but she can't..Presenting you #Sakshi from

@nishabdham.” Recent reports have revealed Hollywood actor Michel Madsen will also act in the movie, while Anjali will be seen playing a cop for the first time in her career. “Unlike the cop roles we play in Indian films, this role required me take special classes to understand how cops behave and work in the US. From their body language to the way they speak and hold their guns, it was all a very new experience and I really enjoyed prepping for this character,” Anjali was quoted as saying. The film sees cinematography by Shaneil Deo, with music by Gopi Sunder. It has also been revealed that Anushka learnt sign language and have shed a lot of weight to make her portrayal look more authentic in the film. Originally being shot in Tamil and Telugu, the makers also plan to release the film in Hindi, Malayalam and Kannada. If everything goes as per the schedule, the film might hit the screens this December. Meanwhile, Anushka may reunite with filmmaker Gautham Vasudev Menon for 'Vinnaithaandi Varuvaayaa 2', a sequel to his hit 2010 romantic drama 'Vinnaithaandi Varuvaayaa.'

Pawan Kalyan may take a U-turn to film industry

Telugu power star Pawan Kalyan is rumoured to make his acting comeback with Krish Jagarlamudi's film. Pawan Kalyan bid adieu to films after making an announcement that he would be entering politics. He contested the recently-concluded Lok Sabha elections from two constituencies but was defeated by a huge margin. Now, it looks like the politician is planning to make a comeback into films. If reports are anything to go by, he might come back to films one last time. It is said that producer AM Rathnam has been convincing the actor to take up one project before completely cutting off from the industry. If Pawan

Kalyan decides to make a comeback, then this film would shatter multiple records as he enjoys a huge fan base in Andhra Pradesh and Telangana. He rules massive fandom in the last two decades after Chiranjeevi. Even PK's political party, Jana Sena, comprises most of his fans. Even though Pawan Kalyan clarified that he is now concentrating on the upcoming elections, it is said that Rathnam wants to cast him in his film. This untitled flick will be directed by Krish Jagarlamudi, who worked on NTR Kathanayakudu and Mahanayakudu. If things fall in place, there might be an official confirmation

regarding the project soon. Pawan Kalyan was last seen in Trivikram Srinivas's 'Agnyathavaasi' last year. The film turned out to be a dud at the box office after it failed to impress the audience. The film had garnered huge hype and fans were sure that it would be a complete entertainer. But post the release, fans were in for a shock after it turned out to be a boredom.

spanning different ages in the film and we need a good amount of pre-production for that. We have roped in Hollywood Make-up artists for Kangana's makeover. (SIC)”

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SATURDAY 21TH SEPTEMBER TIME TV PROGRAM NAMES 17:30 ZINDAGI KE CROSSROADS 18:30 THE KAPIL SHARMA SHOW 20:00 SUPERSTAR SINGER 21:30 THE KAPIL SHARMA SHOW SUNDAY 22ND SEPTEMBER TIME TV PROGRAM NAMES 17:30 ZINDAGI KE CROSSROADS 18:30 THE KAPIL SHARMA SHOW 20:00 SUPERSTAR SINGER 21:30 THE KAPIL SHARMA SHOW

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MON 9TH - FRI 13TH SEP 2019 13:00:00 SWARAGINI 13:30:00 BHARADWAJ BAHUEIN 15:30:00 SIRF 30 MINUTES 16:00:00 THE GREAT INDIAN GLOBAL KITCHEN 2 16:30:00 RASOI SHOW 17:30:00 CHHUTA CHHEDA 18:00:00 ADHA PREM KI DEEWANI 18:30:00 DIL KA RISHTA

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MON 9TH - FRI 13TH SEP 2019 18:30:00 VIDYA 19:00:00 MERE HUMRAHI 19:30:00 CHOTI SARRDAARNI 20:00:00 SHAKTI ASTITVA KE EHSAAS KI 20:30:00 RAM SIYA KE LUV KUSH 21:00:00 GATHBANDHAN 21:30:00 BEPANAH PYAARR 22:00:00 BAHU BEGUM 22:30:00 VISH

TUESDAY SEP 24, 2019 01:00 FILM: KRANTIVEER 05:00 FILM: BAS EK TAMANNA 07:00 FILM: MRITYUDAND 10:00 FILM: WOH LAMHE 13:00 FILM: DHADKAN 16:00 FILM: TANU WEDS MANU RETURNS 19:00 FILM: J*** 2 22:00 FILM: HAI APNA DIL TOH AWARA WEDNESDAY SEP 25, 2019 01:00 FILM: JAANAM 05:00 FILM: THE SILENT HEROES 07:00 FILM: KRISHAN AVTAAR 10:00 FILM: UTTHAAN 13:00 FILM: YEH HAI MUMBAI MERI JAAN 16:00 FILM: D-DAY 19:00 FILM: PHOBIA 22:00 FILM: CHAAR DIN KI CHANDNI THURSDAY SEP 26, 2019 01:00 FILM: TADIPAAR 05:00 FILM: BAAT BANN GAYI 07:00 FILM: LASHKAR 10:00 FILM: NAZAR 13:00 FILM: JAHAN TUM LE CHALO 16:00 FILM: JUDAAI 19:00 FILM: HO GAYA TOTAL SIYAPAA 22:00 FILM: PHOBIA FRIDAY SEP 27, 2019 01:00 FILM: NAARAAZ 05:00 FILM: BLUE ORANGES 07:00 FILM: SHIKAAR 10:00 FILM: JOSH 13:00 FILM: TUMSA NAHIN DEKHA 16:00 FILM: CHAALBAAZ 19:00 FILM: COMMANDO 2 22:00 FILM: FOUR PILLARS OF BASEMENT MON 23RD SEPTEMBER - FRI 27TH SEPTEMBER TIME TV PROGRAM NAMES 18:00 18:30 19:00 19:30 20:00 20:30 21:00 22:30 23:00

BEYHADH VIGHNAHARTA GANESHA MERE SAI TARA FROM SATARA ISHAARON ISHAARON MEIN PATIALA BABES KAUN BANEGA CROREPATI TARA FROM SATARA CRIME PATROL

19:00

MONDAY

19:00 19:00 19:00 19:00

SONY MAX 2 PRIME TIME NAYA RAASTA

TUESDAY

SWARAG SE SUNDER

THURSDAY

NAUKAR BIWI KA

WEDNESDAY SANGRAM FRIDAY

19:00:00 19:30:00 20:00:00 20:30:00 21:00:00

DIL TO PAGAL HAI

JAHAANARA BEPANNAH TERE NAAL ISHQ MOHE RANNG DO LAAL BALIKA VADHU LAMHE PYAAR KE 22:00:00 RED ALERT SAT 14TH SEP2019 18:00:00 RADHA PREM KI DEEWANI 18:30:00 RISING STAR (SEASON 3) 20:30:00 RED ALERT 21:30:00 JAGTE RAHO SUN 15TH SEP 2019 18:00:00 RADHA PREM KI DEEWANI 18:30:00 RISING STAR (SEASON 3) 20:30:00 RED ALERT 21:30:00 JAGTE RAHO

SAT 14TH SEP2019 19:30:00 DESI BEAT RESET 20:00:00 KHATRA KHATRA KHATRA 21:00:00 DANCE DEEWANE - SEASON 2 22:30:00 KAWACH MAHASHIVRATRI SUN 15TH SEP 2019 19:30: DESI BEAT 20:00: BFFS WITH VOGUE (SEASON 2) 21:00: DANCE DEEWANE - SEASON 2 22:30: KAWACH MAHASHIVRATRI


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AsianVoiceNews

Mahant Swami's b'day celebrations in Johannesburg

Mahant Swami is in Johannesburg, South Africa. On 10th, 'Vachanamrut Dwishatabdi Din' was celebrated in which Granth Palakhi Yatra was held. Along with that, a dialogue on 'Sadpurush no mahima' was also organised. Elders participated in various events, including quizzes on 'Vadil Din' conducted on 11th. 'A dialogue based on the life of Mahant Swami was presented by youngsters on 'Yuva Din' on 12th. 'Aeva Santne Namu Hoon Sheesh', a special program was presented on the birthday of Mahant Swami which was on 13th. A video preaching the life of Mahant Swami was displayed. About 4,000 devotees were present to celebrate Swamiji's birthday. In the end ' Aarti was performed for Shree Harikrishna Maharaj and Mahant Swami collectively. South Africa's Health Minister Zweli Mkhezi was also present on the occasion, and he also wished Swamiji on his birthday. On 14th, 'Samjan Din' was celebrated while on 15th, Pramukh Swami Shatabdi Din was organised commemorating the virtues of his holiness Pramukh Swami.

Coming Events

l Ratri B4 Navratri, Live Music: Bombay Blues Krishna & Narayanan, Date: 21 September, Saturday Time: 7:30 PM onwards, Tickets : Adults: £5, Kids 10 & above: £2, Below 10: FREE, Venue: Oakland's College, The Campus Welwyn Garden City AL9 6AH. Pre-booked entry only Contact: JD +44 7878 088030, Hemang : 075573 56571, Jigar: 079409 53220, Varun: +44 7920 475180 l SMVS UK, organises DIVYANJALI SABHA in presence of P. Nirlepswami, Date:21 September, Saturday Time: Mahaprasad (Dinner): 5:30pm to 6:30pm, Divyanjali Sabha: 6:30pm to 8:00pm, Venue: Croft Hall, Kingsbury High School, Stag Lane, Kingsbury, NW9 9AT Contact: 07430712345 l Asian Funeral Directors organises 14th Annual Hindu Service of Remembrance, Date: 22 September, Sunday Time: 2:30 pm, Aarti at 5:15 pm followed by light refreshments Venue: Alperton Community School, Stanley Avenue, Wembley, Middlesex HA0 4JE, Contact: 020 8900 9252, 07767 414 693, or email at asianfd.wembley@dignityfunerals.co.uk l Chinmaya Mission UK presents, 'Awaken the Avatar within' by Swami Swaroopananda, global head of Chinmaya Mission Date: Saturday 21- Sunday 22 September, 6:30 pm to 8:00 pm Date: Monday 23 - Thursday 26, 7:30 pm to 9:00 pm Venue: Sattavis Patidar Centre, Fourty Avenue, Wembley Park, HA9 9PE, Contact: avatar@chinmayauk.org

l

Diwali Festival at Blackheath Halls This October we are excited to host for the very first time, an entire programme of events around Diwali, the 5 day festival of lights celebrated by Hindus, Sikhs and Jains worldwide. Their varied programme of events will cater for all ages and tastes and include music, dance workshops, family-friendly craft activities, literary and film events as well as (of course) delicious Indian food! Six hot horns and four funky drummers blend the hottest Hindi film hits with riotous Indian wedding music and Punjabi beats offering a uniquely London take on the world’s most popular music – plus video projections from the original Bollywood films. The band, have performed all over the world at weddings, venues and Festivals (most recently at Womad), and pride themselves on bringing the catchy addictive tunes and fun danceable rhythms of Bollywood to a wider audience. Date and Time: 16th-20th October Price: Varies depending on activity Venue: Blackheath Halls, 23 Lee Road, London, SE3 9RQ Website: https://www.blackheathhalls.com/communityengagement-programme/diwali-2019 l Khetari Pooja at Ilford Nehru Centre VHP Ilford Executive Committee cordially invites you to Ghatasthapana is one of the significant rituals during Navratri. It marks the beginning of nine days festivity. Our scriptures have well defined rules and guidelines to perform Ghatasthapana during a certain period of time at the beginning of Navratri. Ghatasthapana is invocation of Goddess Shakti and doing it

EVENTS

AsianVoiceNewsweekly

31

21 - 27 September 2019

Live chef cook off competition to take place in London

Bangladesh Caterers Association (BCA) is hosting its annual 'live chef cook off competition' on 17 September, where 50 incredible chefs from across the UK, who work in curry houses and takeaways will be competing in London. The event takes place at Ealing, Hammersmith & West London College at 11am; and promises to be morning of passion and fun! The live chef cook off is part of BCA’s annual search for the 'Best Chef of the Year'. It is a popular competition, where hundreds of applications were received and whittled down to 50 talented chefs who have been selected for their skills, innovation, presentation of food, hygiene standards and customer service. Ealing, Hammersmith & West London College, is the perfect location for this cook off with its exceptional facilities and BCA would like to thank the College for its continued support. The judges for this year’s cook off are – Andy Doyle, from People’s First; Vita Whitaker, Whitco; Gerrard Madden, Wembley Stadium; Pawan Khatiwoda, Head Chef of Production, Wembley Stadium; Steven Gomez, UK Curry Champion of the Year at Dusk, Brentwood;

Mark Bradford, Area Manager, Product Solutions & Training Coupe; and Atik Rahman, Head of Chef Award Committee, BCA. The ten winners from this ‘cook off’ will be recognised and rewarded at BCA's 14th Annual Award's at the Park Plaza hotel Westminster on 27 October 2019; a key event for the UK’s food and hospitality sector. The theme of this year’s Awards is - BCA: The Home of Great British Curry. BCA was set up in 1960, representing over 12,000 UK curry houses and takeaways, and is an industry that contributes £4.2 billion to the national economy. This ‘Chef Competition Cook-off’ is important to the industry, which nurtures and promotes talented chefs, who are crucial to this sector. Mr Munim, President, BCA says: “This has been an industry in crisis, where we have been suffering a shortage of skilled chefs, but today we are focusing on the positives and showcasing the talent of BCA chefs, who come from across the UK’s curry houses and takeaways who will be demonstrating their flair and passion. BCA believes strongly in nurturing the next generation of curry chefs.”

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What’s on

wrong time, as our scriptures forewarn, might bring wrath of the Goddess Shakti. Ghatasthapana is prohibited during Amavasya and night time. The most auspicious or Shubh time to do Ghatasthapana is first one third of the day while Pratipada is prevailing. If due to some reasons this time is not available then Ghatasthapana can be done during Abhijit Muhurta. The most important factor to consider is that Ghatasthapana is done before Hindu midday while Pratipada is prevailing. Date: Sunday 29th September Time: 11am till 12pm Venue: 43 Cleveland Road, Ilford, Essex, IG1 1EE l Traders: the East India Company & Asia Find out about Britain’s maritime trade with Asia in the Traders: the East India Company and Asia gallery at the National Maritime Museum. For over 250 years, the East India Company shaped trade between Britain and Asia, becoming enormously wealthy in the process and even taking on pirates with its own navy. The gallery features Japanese, Chinese and Burmese swords; beautifully crafted ship models and navigational instruments; Nelson’s Japan-pattern breakfast service; medals, journals and portraits of key figures in the company’s history. Visit and find out about how the East India Company brought exciting new spices to Britain, how the fabrics it imported shaped fashions, and how tea was transformed from a luxury to a national pastime. Opening Times: 10am till 5pm Prices: Free Venue: Greenwich, London SE10 9NF l The Slide at the ArcelorMittal Orbit Whizz down the UK’s tallest public artwork with a 40-second

Give Me Strength - Poem by Rabindranath Tagore

This is my prayer to thee, my lord---strike, strike at the root of penury in my heart. Give me the strength lightly to bear my joys and sorrows. Give me the strength to make my love fruitful in service. Give me the strength never to disown the poor or bend my knees before insolent might. Give me the strength to raise my mind high above daily trifles. And give me the strength to surrender my strength to thy will with love.

AJIT NINAN FOR TOI

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ride on the tallest and longest tunnel slide in the world. Twist and turn your way down the sculpture at speeds of up to 15 miles per hour (24 kilometres per hour) as you glimpse London’s skyscape passing by through sections of light. Anish Kapoor, creator of the ArcelorMittal Orbit, has worked in collaboration with artist Carsten Höller to create the 76-metre-high (250 foot) and 178-metre-long (584 foot) tunnel slide that intertwines with his Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park sculpture. The Slide is made up of 12 twists and turns, including a tight corkscrew named the bettfeder, and ends in a thrilling 50 metre (164 foot) straight run to the ground. Prices: Child ticket (8-15 years old) : From £10.50 per ticket Family ticket (two adults and two children): From £52.00 per ticket Concession ticket: From £13.50 per ticket Slide ticket: From £16.50 per ticket Venue: Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, London E20 2AD Public transport: Stratford, Stratford International l Matilda The Musical at the Cambridge Theatre Be wowed by the Royal Shakespeare Company's multi-award winning production of Matilda The Musical at London's Cambridge Theatre.Adapted from Roald Dahl’s beloved book by Dennis Kelly with music from award-winning musician and comedian Tim Minchin, the London show thrills both children and adults alike with the story of the special little girl with an extraordinary imagination. Prices: Adult ticket: £24.60 to £153.75 per ticket Venue: Earlham Street, London, WC2H 9HU


Sport Monty Panesar eyeing London Mayor's office

32

www.asian-voice.com

21-27 September 2019

AsianVoiceNews

AsianVoiceNewsweekly

Rupanjana Dutta Former England left-arm spinner Monty Panesar, who recently launched his book 'The Full Monty' told a gathering organised by the Indian Journalists' Association on Friday 13 September that he would like to take on the world of politics, possibly as the future 'Mayor of London', though he has no preferred party so far. Speaking to Asian Voice, he said, “Politics does interest me. I live in London, I know about London, so maybe once Sadiq Khan is done, he will pass the baton on to me for Mayor of London. We haven’t decided the party I

will join because I am still ambitious to play cricket. I will be working on being super fit for the county season but in the meantime, when you are not playing cricket or training, you have to occupy your mind. And, one of my activities is reading about politics." Interested to play Ranji trophy, hoping Prime Minister Narendra Modi would help him with that, said, he fondly remembered 'Sachin Paaji' as the 'God of Cricket'. He elaborated how Sachin Tendulkar brought India on the map of world sport and not just cricket, and congratulated Virat Kohli for creating a 'fitter'

Monty Panesar with Naresh Kaushal, IJA President

team for India. Describing India as now the superpower of cricket, he also added that it is the Indian fans that make championships successful by their numbers and

enthusiasm. Panesar went through mental health issues after being dropped from the England team. He explained how he regrets that mental health is not something the Asian

community in the UK discusses openly, but insists on having close friends and family to help anyone through such issues. “It is a matter of ‘izzat’ (honour). Our people say don’t talk about it, as if it doesn’t exist in our community. But isolation is the breeding ground of mental health issues. Everyone goes through a rainy day. I was in denial, but the way out of it is to talk about it”' he said. However, speaking about his cricket journey in England, said he was more a victim of stereotyping than racism. “An Indian is always considered a spin bowler, a West Indian-origin player is invariably seen as a fast

bowler, nothing else. “Of course racism exists, it is like oxygen in the air, but I have been stereotyped as a spin bowler who can only bat at number 11. I should have worked on my batting, should have moved with the game, which changed quickly,” he added. Panesar in his books has at length spoken about the racism faced by his parents' generation, about growing up as a happy, cricketobsessed child in England and his thoughts about the infamous Lord Norman Tebbit cricket test, which questioned the loyalties of Britain's immigrant population.

Isa Guha is 'new face of cricket' on the BBC BBC is set to broadcast live television coverage of cricket after more than 20 years, bringing the first British Asian woman presenter and former England player, Isa Guha. The announcement about the 34-year-old cricketer is expected to be made soon as the “new face of cricket” on the BBC, after a succession of middle-aged, white male presenters. The broadcaster has reportedly approached Isa from Sky Sports, where she has been working as a commentator on the men's Ashes series.

Guha is the first female commentator to cover Sky Sport's Test cricket and her departure concurs with a shake-up at the station. The former England star players, Sir Ian Botham and David Gower have decided to resign Sky, after years of commentatorship, after the Ashes match. Gower, 62 complained about “rampant change” that has introduced more diversity in broadcasting and said there was “an element of implied ageism” in Sky's decision not to renew his contract. Guha, ranked as number

Isa Guha

1 bowler in the world, made her debut in 2002. She announced her retirement in 2012 and is a regular

member of the Test Match Special commentary team on BBC radio. She has also been a presenter on Channel

4's highlights program during the summer's cricket world cup this year. That tournament witnessed more than 40% tickets snapped up by British Asian fans, many of them being the supporter of India or Pakistan over England. Guha's parents came to UK from Calcutta in the 1970s. “I was born and bred in England,” she said. “I will to this day support England first and then India. I totally understand that other people might not want to do that; they have incredible pride in their heritage and

perhaps feel a bit more affinity to the country of their heritage. There's nothing wrong with that.” Guha, an ambassador for the British Asian Trust charity, is likely to be joined by Andrew Flintoff, former England all-rounder, on The Hundred. Flintoff, 41, has an exisiting contract with the BBC to co-present Top Gear. Richie Benaud and Tony Lews, former skippers of Australia and England respectively, were the commentators when cricket was broadcasted live for the last time on BBC television.

Pak leg-spin great Abdul Qadir Shuttler Lakshya Sen wins is no more Belgian International title Legendary Pakistan leg-spinner Abdul Qadir died after suffering a cardiac arrest in Lahore last week. The former Pak cricketer was 63. He was rushed to the Services Hospital in Lahore but all the efforts to save him went in vain, according to Pakistan media. Qadir is survived by his wife, 4 sons and a daughter who is married to Pakistan wicketkeeper-batsman Umar Akmal. Qadir had represented Pakistan in 67 Tests and 104 ODIs betwwen 1977 and 1993. The leg-spinner, known for his unusual action, picked up 236 wickets in the longest format of the game and finished his ODI career with 132 scalps. Qadir, who made his Test debut in 1977, has the best figures for a Pakistan spinner - 9/56. The leg-spinner, who bamboozled batsmen demolished a Vivian Richards-led West Indies batting unit in Fasilabad in 1986. Qadir was Imran Khan's go-to-spinner and even the 9-wicket haul came under the former cricketer-turned Pakistan Prime Minister's captaincy. Qadir inspired a generation of leg-spin bowlers, including Mushtaq Ahmed and the legendary Shane Warne. Qadir also served as Pakistan's chief selector and he picked the World T20-

Abdul Qadir

winning squad in 2009. Nonetheless, Qadir had quit midway through the tournament in England over controversy surrounding nonselection of Shoaib Akhtar. Shane Warne, R Ashwin and Harbhajan Singh condoled the death of Qadir. "Extremely saddened by the demise of Abdul Qadir the spin bowling stalwart from Pakistan. My heart goes out to his family and friend," Ashwin wrote. "Shocked to hear Abdul Qadir passed away. met him two years back he was full of energy as always..A champion bowler,Great human being, you will be missed forever..condolences to the family," Harbhajan Singh said. Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) took to social media and said: "PCB is shocked at the news of 'maestro' Abdul Qadir's passing and has offered its deepest condolences to his family and friends."

Rising Indian shuttler Lakshya Sen stunned second seed Victor Svendsen of Denmark in straight games to clinch the men’s singles title at the Belgian International Challenge in Leuven. Lakshya notched up a comfortable 2114, 21-15 win over Svendsen in the title clash that lasted for 34 minutes. Earlier, the 18-year-old from Almora had beaten Denmark’s Kim Bruun 21-18, 21-11 to win the semifinal clash. The semifinal clash was a close affair initially with Lakshya and Bruun exchanging leads frequently before the Danish shuttler jumped to a 11-9 advantage at the break. However, Lakshya erased the deficit after the interval and build on a slender 13-12 lead to slowly move ahead and eventually pocketed the opening game comfortably. Lakshya came out with all cylinders blazing in the second game to jump to a 6-2 lead early on and then reeled off five straight points to grab a 11-3 lead at the breather. The Indian produced another burst of five straight points to create a huge gap which Bruun failed to bridge.

Lakshya Sen

Profile for Asian Business Publications Ltd

AV 21st September 2019  

Asian Voice weekly newspaper (Issue 21 Vol 48)

AV 21st September 2019  

Asian Voice weekly newspaper (Issue 21 Vol 48)

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