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Vol 45 | Issue 37

India League in a league of its own

Should NRIs just burn away their old cash?

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Mitul Paniker & Khushali Dave "Any PIO and members of his family, who regularly visit India would easily have Rs 50,000 to Rs 100,000 worth of Indian currency, and I challenge the government to prove this as black money and forfeit this from us," claimed Dharamveer, a US national who stood at one of the 5 designated RBI branches across the country to exchange the banned 500/1000 currency notes. "This money, we don't spend in the country where we live, but the country of our origin. It is by chance that we are here at this

21st January to 27th January 2017

time and wanted to exchange few currency but are not allowed to do so. It is very frustrating," he said. Dharam is just one of the many NRIs and people of India origin who are now braving long queues to exchange their currency. Several people blew their fuses outside RBI branches as those who came from long distances were being denied entry by guards who said they didn't have proper documents on them. "Though I have a foreign passport, I still have roots in India. Our family comes to India every year. We have few Indian currency notes and we want to exchange them, but aren't

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allowed to enter RBI. Mr Prime Minister, are we supposed to burn the Indian currency that we have?" asked a visibly agitated US national, Ritu Diwan. She added that the unnecessary harassment indicates PIOs are no more welcome to the country of their birth. We all agree the whatonce-seemed-spontaneous banning of the high

denomination currency notes, despite coming from the best of interests for the country, severely lacked management. There was the opposition holding on to the pettiest of straws, the government that steadily came up with different notifications to ease the discomfort, the RBI that tried to mop up the mess, and the aam janta that Continued on page 26

25,578 MoUs signed during Vibrant Gujarat

Gujarat put it up for display for foreign investments at a time when the country moans in economic gloom postdemonetisation. The eighth edition of the Vibrant Gujarat Global Summit touched a record 25,578 MOUs as the curtains closed on the biennial business meet held at Mahatma Mandir, Gandhinagar. The number of MoUs signed are suggested to touch 3,000 more than last time's event, and the committed investment is most likely to cross £300 billion. VGGS 2017 also saw Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who is often eulogized by industry captains and international guests at every summit, got the biggest compliment when several global leaders sought to see him take centrestage internationally. The three-day affair partnered by 12 countries saw participation of 2,743 delegates from nearly 100 countries. Addressing the valedictory function, Chief Minister Vijay Rupani said, "One of the biggest takeaways from this year's VGGS is that all the foreign delegates would act as brand ambassadors of Gujarat in their respective coun-

tries." This year saw a couple of firsts, including the participation of two Muslim countries- Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. Two of the richest countries in the world, they actively participated and put forth keen desire to forge business ties with Gujarat. Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar, who was the chief guest at the valedictory function, praised the state for its innovative, ease of business, progressive and forwards looking approach. "It can become an important hub for defence manufacturing. There are varieties of products being developed by defence and Gujarat government can be interested in aerospace technology," he said. Overall, VGGS 2017 was rife with investment promises, as Indian corporates, multinationals, educational institutions, and state-run enterprises pledged over £200 billion. "In all, 50 MoUs committing at least £400 million and 133 for investment between £100 million and £400 million were signed," said deputy chief minister Nitin Patel. Among those notable, was France's Continued on page 26


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ONE ONE with Keith Vaz, MP

Asian Voice 21st January 2017

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to

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As a female President of a temple I feel the world has some distance to travel before it truly embraces equality. Change is inevitable and those who hold powerful positions in society need to ensure they guide future generations.

increasing culture of disrespect towards teachers. It disturbs me to see people who seek personal gain. It’s frightening to see how many males are still insecure about women in stronger positions. Worse still are people who try to manipulate, dupe or mislead the youth.

5) Who has been the biggest influence on your career to date? My parents stood by me when I decided to study languages. Secondly, my school teachers who had faith in me as a teenager were influential. They made me believe I could gain fluency in Spanish. The Mandir has been a place where I have gained knowledge and understanding. The Deities in the Mandir I believe, have blessed my life and silently guided me through the darkest of days.

8) What are your long term goals? My aim is to encourage more people to join in our endeavour to help the Mandir grow from being a place of worship to becoming a hub for learning and gaining qualifications. I want to see the Mandir develop into a place which attracts people to become better citizens.

Vibhooti R Acharya

Vibhooti R Acharya is the first female President of Shree Sanatan Mandir Leicester, one of the oldest and most prestigious Hindu Temples in the U.K. She graduated with BA (Hons) French and Spanish from Manchester University and gained a PGCE in Modern Foreign Languages and Literature from the University of Sheffield. She taught Gujarati, French and Spanish in the mainstream for over 10 years. Thereafter she embarked on a career in Complementary Medicine and qualified as a Holistic Therapist in 2004. She taught Complementary Therapies at South Leicestershire college for over 10 years. She also qualified as a Yoga Teacher. In her spare time Vibhooti has taught the IOL Diploma in Public Service Interpreting at Leicester University and continues to teach “A” level Religion and Philosophy (Hinduism). Vibhooti’s passion to serve the community has come from her father Rameshbhai V Acharya, who previously served as a President and her mother Devindra who has given Vibhooti divine energy. 1) What is your current position? I’m the President of Shree Sanatan Mandir Leicester. I’m also a Hindu representative on NASACRE. Through the blessings of God, my elders and spiritual masters I am able to serve the Mandir. I teach Modern Foreign Languages and lecture in Spa and Holistic Therapies. I work closely with charities including Loros, MS Society, Rainbows and local organisations such as the Adhaar Project. 2) What are your proudest achievements? I’m proud of my degree in French and Spanish which I achieved at a time when very few Asian females left home to study. I spent a year in France and Spain perfecting my linguistic skills. My father was always sup-

portive of my career, he encouraged me to gain qualifications in Gujarati. One of the greatest experiences of my life was climbing Mount Everest- with my two sisters and 200 holy men. With God’s Blessings I was elected as the first female President of Shree Sanatan Mandir. I have had the great fortune of explaining the main principles of Sanatan Dharma to Royalty. 3) What inspires you? My parents have been hugely inspirational. My mother with her abundant strength has been my guiding force. My father – being fun-loving but simultaneously strict helped give me strength to achieve. My sisters have helped me grow emotionally and spiritually. My two broth-

ers have been inspirational. One with his ambition and the other by his humbleness. My Spiritual Master who has ignited my soul with knowledge, compassion and love and has made me who I am today. It never fails to amaze me how god has created us with an immense capacity to love, forgive and learn. 4) What has been the biggest obstacle in your career? I believe that life’s obstacles are there to teach us. Sometimes this can feel painful because we have to move out of our comfort zone. I’m a perfectionist and this can make one self-critical but can allow a person to remain humble.

Teenager 'plotted nail bomb attacks on landmarks including Buckingham Palace' A teenager accused of planning nail bomb attacks on famous landmarks including Buckingham Palace has appeared at the Old Bailey. Haroon Syed, 19, allegedly researched potential targets including the Queen's London residence and Oxford Street in the capital's West End. He also looked up military bases between 12 April and 9 September last year, it is claimed. Syed is accused of attempting to buy guns and bomb making material online with a view to carrying out an attack. He was arrested on 9 September following an investigation by the Met's Counter Terrorism Command. Syed appeared in court via video link from Belmarsh prison dressed in a grey prison-issue tracksuit, wearing a black prayer cap. He spoke to confirm he could hear proceedings

Syed is accused of planning an attack on Buckingham Palace

and when asked if he was Harpoon Syed, replied: 'Yeah, that's me.' Syed was due to enter a plea to a charge of preparation of terrorist acts, but the hearing was adjourned and he will next appear in court on 17 February. The Recorder of London Nicholas Hilliard QC said he faces a three week trial beginning on 13 March at the Old Bailey. Syed, of Hounslow, west London, was remanded in custody.

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6) What is the best aspect about your current role? As a female I believe I’m able to relate to the female members and help ensure equality. Since being elected, I have also been fortunate to have had more youths joining the team. I love meeting religious leaders and spiritual masters from around the world. 7) And the worst? I believe that we must respect those who impart knowledge. I find it frustrating to see the ever

9) If you were Prime Minister, what one aspect would you change? The most important thing for me is education and experience through education. I would love to ensure a good education was available to all whatever background, colour or social status. 10) If you were marooned on a desert island, which historical figure would you like to spend your time with and why? The people I would love be in the endless peaceful company of include my mother for her love and wisdom, Abdul Kalamji for his exemplary life. I would love to spend time with Tagore for his magical way of touching hearts, Rani Laxmibai for her courage as a warrior queen and.

Shocking moment: Hit-and-run car driver smashes into pram carrying boy, two A mother has spoken out about the terrifying moment a car crashed into the pram carrying her twoyear-old child in a ‘hit-andrun’. Imra Tariq, 35, was crossing the road while pushing little Hamza, when the car collided with the buggy on New Year’s Day. Remarkably Hamza was uninjured in the incident in Deeplish, Rochdale. CCTV footage shows the driver of the car, a silver Toyota Yaris, then drive off after being confronted by the distraught mother, whose arm was hurt in the crash. She said: ‘It was such a shock. He seemed to come out of nowhere. Hamza was very shaken and was crying his eyes out. I was so worried.’ Dad Jamal, 34, who was home at the time, said: ‘I was shaking when I heard what had happened.

Imra Tariq with her son Hamza Tariq, 2, and husband Jamal

‘Imra has barely left the house since the accident and Hamza has not been himself. He’s been waking up in the night and very restless and is now really frightened of vehicles.’ Mohammed Yousaf, who runs the nearby Auto Shop on Milkstone Road, launched an appeal to trace the driver after publishing footage from the store’s CCTV on his Facebook

page. It shows the car turn into Miall Street from Milkstone Road and hit the pram. ‘It was a really shocking incident. We published the video out of a sense of duty to the community,’ said Mohammed Jamal, added: ‘We are really grateful to the community for supporting us. Everyone has been very shocked by what happened. ‘We really want the police to take some action against the person responsible. I am lucky my family have not been seriously hurt but this could easily happen to someone else and things could have been much worse.’ Greater Manchester Police confirmed they are investigating the incident which took place at about 5.15pm. Anyone with information should call 101 or Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111.

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All change at Tata: New regime at top Tata, India’s iconic and largest business conglomerate valued at $100 billion plus has been in the wars of late. With Cyrus Mistry, the previous Chairman of Tata Sons, the holding company, voted out by the Tata board, it was announced that his replacement as Chairman would be N. Chandrasekaran, who will take over officially on February 21. Having scoured the world for a successor, the board decided on an insider, so it was that their choice was someone with long years of service with Tata. Now, aged 53, Mr Chandrasekaran has been with Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) since 1987; he took the reins from S.Ramadorai in 2009. The software arm of the House of Tata, under his stewardship is today Tata’s and India’s largest and most profitable IT firm, with a global reach across continents. This reflects the rise of India’s software industry’s rise to international pre-eminence with a total valuation of $150 billion or more. Mr Chandrasekaran’s achievement at TCS can be properly gauged against this remarkable setting. He is equipped to face the challenges he will undoubtedly encounter from his deserved elevation. To complete the story, the TCS board has appointed Chief Finance Officer (CFO) Rajesh Gopinathan as Chief Executive Officer (CEO) and Managing Director of TCS effective February 21, the day Mr Chandrasekaran takes charge of Tata Sons. TCS named N. Ganapathy Subramaniam, who presently heads TCS Financial Solutions, as TCS President and Chief Operating Officer. He has been also made

a director on the company board. Expressing his gratitude at the confidence vested in him, and appreciative of the honour, Mr Chandrasekaran said: ‘TCS’ core strength is its strong leadership talent that is collaborative and aspirational. I have been privileged to lead this company of great professionals over the last seven years. I am absolutely delighted that the board has chosen both Rajesh and NGS [N.Ganapathy Subramaniam] to lead this company into the future. I look forward to a continued relationship with TCS and the management team.’ Mr Gopinathan started his professional career with TCS in 2001. He said ‘TCS has evolved into an industry leader during Chandra’s tenure. …With continuous guidance from Chandra and the support of the TCS team, I am confident of continuing this great journey which TCS is on.’ Mr Subramaniam has worked with TCS for 34 years. Tata’s internal troubles are far from over. TCS and JLR [Jaguar/Land Rover] in the automotive sector have done exceptionally well in recent years, and are continuing to excel, but the returns in other sectors have fallen short of expectations. That said, the Tata shake-up when completed will bring fresh faces and minds to pull the problematic companies out of their present trough. Ordeals are the stuff of business and of life. The rough comes with the smooth. This is the spur that takes the business world and life on earth forward. Life without challenges would be boring indeed, and stagnant.

Investments bigger, but big ones missing The 2017 Vibrant Gujarat Global Summit held last week was not like earlier ones on investment promises. It looked like a shadow of its own past glory as the trademark big-ticket investment promises were missing. Several chief executive officers attending the summit praised Prime Minister Narendra Modi's "dynamic and visionary leadership" over the past two and a half years. The number of MoUs signed this summit was close to 3,000, more than the 2015 summit, and the committed investment is likely to cross £300 billion. However, deputy chief minister Nitin Patel refused to put any figures to the investment intentions. This was an aberration from the previous summit when then chief minister Anandiben Patel had declared that the state had attracted £250 billion investment intentions. The three-day event partnered by 12 countries justified the theme “Connecting India to the world” as 2,743 international delegates from nearly 100 countries participated. Prime Minister Modi's speech, which was at least a quarter of an hour shorter than last year's, showcased India's growth story. "Despite the global slowdown, we have registered excellent growth. India is a bright spot in the global economy. The World Bank, the International Monetary Fund and other institutions have projected even better growth in the coming days,” he added. Listing out India's global rankings on various indicators, Modi said, "Creating an enabling environment for business, and attracting investments, is my top priority." Modi was called a transformational leader by many, including Executive Chairman of Cisco John Chambers and Chief Executive Officer of Fairfax

Canada Prem Watsa. Calling Modi the Lee Kuan Yew of India, Watsa said the Prime Minister Modi can transform the country. The late Singaporean leader was the city-state's first Prime Minister and is credited with transforming Singapore into a developed nation in a span of 25 years. Very big investment promises came only from a couple of people. Gautam Adani, chairman of the Adani Group, committed fresh investments worth £4.90 billion over five years and Lulu Group promised £1.20 billion investment. Some like Reliance Industries (RIL) Chairman Mukesh Ambani underlined their investments already made in the state. Ambani said that RIL’s investments in Gujarat were the biggest by an Indian corporate in a single state, at about £24 billion. “In fact, in the past four years, we have invested £1 billion more than what we had promised, or around £12.50 billion,” he said. Piruz Khambatta, chairman and managing director of Rasna Pvt Ltd, justified the stance of not speaking about investments. “Once investment commitments are announced, it actually becomes a tool in the hands of the opposition and the critics to say that only a fraction of the investments comes in. This is probably why (Mukesh) Ambani spoke about the actual investments he has made in the state. So, this is a strategic decision.” Ratan N Tata, interim chairman of Tata Sons, and the first one to speak at the event, reminisced what he had said a few years ago. “If you were not in Gujarat, you are stupid.” He ended his speech to a round of applause when he said in Gujarati, “Amey bhi Gujarati chhu; Ane aapne paachha Gujarat ma aavya chhe (I am a Gujarati too; I have now come back to Gujarat).”

Overseas Indians lauded The 30 million Indians living abroad are a brand embodying the best of Indian culture: hard working, adapting willingly and well to the laws, practices and overall culture of their hosts. Each side accepts the essentially humanity and aspirations of the other to make happy marriage of means and ends. In a word, they have brought honour to the land of their origin. Prime Minister Narendra Modi deserves great credit for appreciating the value as an asset to India. This recognition has been a long time coming, but late than never, as the saying goes. Mr Modi spoke eloquently to the 7000 Indian diaspora assembly of the 14th Pravasi Bharatiya Divas in Bangalore recently. Mr Modi stressed the manifold achievements and skills which the Indian now bring to the

table. They could bring these to India for the benefit of the Indian people. The most striking presence was that of the Portuguese Prime Minister Antonio Costa, whose father is Goan, hence he lived his early years here. His first cousins live in Goa and keep in close touch with their relatives in Lisbon. Mr Costa has the unique distinction of being the first Indian origin Prime Minister of a European country. In his address Mr Costa referred to Portugal as a bridge between Europe and India and appealed for greater Indian investment in his country. Leaders from Mauritius, Surinam and other farflung places, where ethnic Indians are now a dominating political and social force, addressed the gathering and made it a truly memorable event.

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Pride is still aiming at the best houses: Men would be angels, angels would be gods. Aspiring to be gods, if angels fell; aspiring to be angels men rebel. - Alexander Pope

Cllr Ketan Sheth

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

Local Councils need a seat at the NHS Sustainability and Transformation Plan table There has been much talk in the media recently about the STP, but what does this really mean for the residents. STP – Sustainability and Transformation Plan – is a five-year plan intended to join up health and care services to meet the changing needs of the population. Brent is part of the North West London (NWL) plan, along with seven other local authorities: Ealing, Hammersmith and Fulham, Harrow, Hillingdon, Hounslow, Kensington and Chelsea, and Westminster. Together, NHS doctors and health and social care professionals have identified ways to make improvements within the budget that the Government has set. To improve health and care services, the STP will focus on health and well-being, which includes smoking, drinking, obesity, equalities, and selfcare; quality of care which covers access to and quality of GPs, out of hours services, out of hospital services, and cancer waits to name a few; and finance and efficiency improvements to deal with the growth in demand for services. What we want to do is keep our residents as healthy as possible, rather than just reacting when they become ill. Provide our residents with the services, information and support so that they can stay as healthy as possi-

ble. Regular users of health and social care services should get as much support as possible in their own home, and the help and expert advice they need to avoid problems becoming a crisis. Trips to hospital should be absolutely necessary and planned, returning home quickly and safely, with the right support and follow-up in place. To make sure these ambitions are met, health and social care teams will work hard to provide better prevention and well-being provision; improving long term conditions management; achieve better outcomes for older people, children and adults with mental health needs and ensuring we have safe, high quality acute services. The STP proposal for NWL has been submitted to NHS England, NHS Improvement, and other national bodies to consider. This year, these bodies will decide which proposals to fund and will also encourage STPs to learn from each other. The STP should see health and social care services improve as public bodies work more closely together, making commonsense changes to improve our residents’ lives. It is therefore important that local authorities have a seat at the STP table to ensure that our residents have better outcomes, living well and making the most of the available budget.

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 © Asian Business Publications


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Asian Voice |21st January 2017

Police apologise to stabbed student's family after failing to tell relatives about attack West Midlands Police has apologised for failing to tell relatives of a teenage Birmingham student that he had been stabbed outside his college. The force said it should have “tried harder” to contact Mohammed Abdullah Al-Maahir’s family - who were alerted to the horror by education bosses. The 18-year-old, from Small Heath, is in a serious but stable condition in hospital after the Monday morning attack outside Joseph Chamberlain College in Highgate. The IT student suffered knife wounds to his side, chest and stomach. His family released a shocking photograph of Mohammed lying in his hospital bed last Thursday in a bid to encourage witnesses to come forward.

Mum Saima had also criticised police for a lack of security at hospital and said the first face-to-face meeting with officers only happened last Thursday. It is understood the family has now lodged a formal complaint with the force, as well as with the Independent Police Complaints Commission. A West Midlands Police spokeswoman said: “Several unsuccessful attempts were made to contact family members, however we should have tried harder and we apologise if our service did not meet what was expected and caused distress. “The 18-year-old remains in a serious but stable condition following surgery after suffering three stab wounds. Security measures are in place

Mohammed Abdullah Al-Maahir

at the hospital to restrict visitor access while he continues to recover. Officers have now been able to speak to the young man and CCTV footage from the area is being trawled to establish what happened and identify those responsible. “A 16-year-old boy from

Lozells arrested shortly after the incident remains on police bail, but officers believe there may have been others involved and, although a number of witnesses have been spoken to, are appealing for anyone with information to come forward.”

Students terrorised as thugs storm the wrong flat Two students were subjected to a terrifying ordeal after thugs - looking for an unknown victim - stormed the WRONG Birmingham flat. Ghulam Bashir was repeatedly punched and kicked by the six-strong mob before one shouted: “We’ve got the wrong guy!” His girlfriend, who asked not to be named, was grabbed by the throat and thrown on a bed. She received counselling following the ordeal. The pair are furious after alleging a CCTV camera on that floor of Bagot Street Campus Student Living, in Birmingham city centre, was not working. Ghulam said: “According to the website there is 24/7 CCTV in operation. "Stickers under each cam-

Angry Ghulam Bashir outside the Bagot Street student living complex

era say they are recording. My partner was paying £138-aweek for the flat, and that figure included the security. She was paying for something that was not provided.” The woman, a 20-year-old

psychology student, had been living at the block of flats for only two months when the attackers struck. Ghulam, originally from Blackburn, recalled the chilling moment their lives were turned upside down. The 24-year-old told the Sunday Mercury : “It was my birthday and I arrived at my partner’s flat at around midnight. At about 3am we heard a lot of people walking about and shouting. I thought there was a party going on. They were banging on doors, saying the were security and demanding people left their rooms. There are six flats and I was the only man in them. I opened the door and was immediately punched in the face. They pushed my partner on the bed, screamed: ‘Shut

up!’ and continued punching and kicking me. “My money spilled on to the floor, but they didn’t bother with it. They didn’t take anything. They just kept kicking me. I was in shock and my partner was screaming. It only stopped when one of them said: ‘We’ve got the wrong guy’.” Ghulam received treatment at A&E for severe bruising and swelling, but suffered no broken bones. The attackers did not hide their faces – faces that still haunt Ghulam. “They were black and had London accents. One was very distinctive, with blond hair with stripes in it,” he said. He said he believed they were captured on working CCTV in the block’s reception area.

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Hundreds come together to pay tribute to Waqas Hussain Hundreds of mourners packed out a Coventry mosque to say prayers for tragic Waqas Hussain. A number of streets around the Eagle Street mosque came to a standstill or were blocked as family and friends of the 20-year-old came together to pay their respects. Mr Hussain died in hospital last Friday night two days after he was struck by a bus in Foleshill Road. He had been on a life support machine having suffered severe injuries in the collision on Wednesday afternoon. He was put on life support at University Hospital. His family made the heartbreaking decision to turn the machine off on Friday night after doctors said there was no hope that the 20-year-old would wake up. The news came as a bitter blow for the thousands of people from around the world who sent messages of support on social media and who had been praying for a miracle. Prayers were being said at the mosque this afternoon ahead of another ceremony elsewhere in the city. A number of tributes have been left on Facebook by Mr Hussain’s loved ones, including his father who stated: “After three days of being in ICU and looking at his condition deteriorate, I couldn’t cope with the fact my son was losing his battle. The specialist confirmed he’s not going to make it, so I had no option but to ask the doctors to turn off the isolators while holding his hand. This was the worse time of my life as he was the only one son I had and had to see him go like this.”

Police officer secretly recorded telling Muslim motorist he is 'full of s**t' Shafiq Siddiq

Driver killed in Solihull crash named as Syed Ahmed Shah A young driver killed in a crash near Solihull has been named as Syed Ahmed Shah. The 20-year-old died at the scene when his Renault Clio collided with a second car in Eastcote Lane, Hampton-inArden , on Friday morning. Devastated relatives paid tribute to Syed, who was from Solihull, in a statement issued by West Midlands Police. They said: “Syed Ahmed Shah, a loving son, brother and friend to many. He was always full of life and brought joy and happiness to everyone

around him. He was the kindest and most sincere young man. He will be missed by all. At this time we request that you allow us to grieve in private and to keep him in your thoughts and prayers.” Sgt Paul Hughes, of West Midlands Police’s collision investigation unit, said: ‘Specialist officers continue to support Syed’s family at this tragic time and I would ask that people respect the family’s wish for privacy.” Part of Eastcote Lane was shut for several hours after

Syed Ahmed Shah

the crash. The driver of the second car, a woman in her 50s, was taken to Heartlands Hospital with a chest injury. A West Midlands

Ambulance Service spokeswoman said: “Ambulance staff arrived to find one car which had left the road. “Sadly, nothing could be done to save the driver, a man, and he was confirmed dead on scene. The driver of the second car, a woman in her 50s, sustained a chest injury. Ambulance staff administered pain relief to help ease her discomfort before she was taken to Heartlands Hospital for further checks.” Witnesses should call police on 101.

New adventure sees Anisha get gold medal Twelve-year-old Anisha Islam is used to travelling far and wide as the star of her own story books. But the Chadderton girl embarked on a new adventure, representing Oldham at the Yorkshire Olympic Taekwondo Tournament and going on to win a gold medal. Anisha, from the children's books Anisha's Adventures, joined Oldham Horizon Taekwondo Club in Featherstall Road, where she proved to be a natural at the sport. Within ten months, she represented Oldham in four big national tournaments.

The latest was the Doncaster 1-2-1 Tournament held at the Dome, where fighters from all over the country came to show off their skills. Anisha, a Year 8 pupil at Newman College, fought fighters more experienced than her to walk away with the gold medal. Anisha has taken up various activities over the years, including dance and boxing, but it was taekwondo that took her fancy, as she liked the challenge. Her younger brother Miraaj (5) was so inspired by his big sister that he will be following in her footsteps

when he turns six. Anisha's dad Moinul Islam (40), a senior learning mentor at Oldham Academy North, published the colourful and creative book Anisha's Adventures in 2011. In the book, Anisha is given magical items by her grandparents - including a necklace that enables her to time-travel. Mr Islam is in the process of getting more books in the Anisha's Adventures series published. "I was jumping up and down. She fought a black belt with two years' more experience than her. It took away all

Anisha in her Taekwondo kit

her fears. She realises belts don't matter. She makes me so proud," Mr Islam said about his daughter's victory.

West Midlands Police has removed an officer from front line duties after he was secretly filmed quizzing a driver about being a good Muslim - before telling him he was “full of s***.” The exchange was recorded by estate agent owner Shafiq Siddiq who was pulled over on New Year’s Day as he drove his Smart car along Stratford Road , Sparkhill. The 35-year-old, who was travelling home from a party, was pulled over at 4am for undertaking a car that he claims was driving erratically in front of him. He says he began filming exchanges in the back of the police car when the traffic officer began making checks on his identity. He has since handed the video to the police watchdog, claiming he was treated in a “discriminatory and unpleasant way.” Chief Inspector Brian Carmichael, from West Midlands Police’s Professional Standards Department, said: “We have received a complaint against a traffic officer following an incident in the early hours of New Year’s Day when a driver was pulled over in relation to a driving standards matter. “It’s alleged the PC used discriminatory language and acted unprofessionally. The matter has been referred to the IPCC for their consideration and we await their response; the officer in question has been taken away from a front-line role while the allegation is assessed. “We demand the highest standards from all our officers. The public should expect to be treated fairly and respectfully…we will take action against anyone deemed to have fallen short of those standards.”


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May announces Brexit deal means UK must leave EU single market In a long-awaited speech, British Prime Minister Theresa May has announced in no uncertain terms that the final Brexit deal with the EU will mean the UK leaving the European single market. She said the UK “cannot possibly” remain within the European single market, as staying in it would mean “not leaving the EU at all”. But May promised to push for the “greatest possible” access to the single market following Brexit. Outlining the Government's plans on leaving the EU at Lancaster House in London, May said both Houses of Parliament will vote on the final deal. But she did not make it clear whether a vote against the agreement would result in the UK remaining within the EU, or leaving the block without any kind of deal. The PM said the plans “cannot mean membership of the single market”. May said: “Being out of the EU but a member of the single market would mean complying with the EU's rules and regulations that implement those freedoms, without having a vote on what those rules and regulations are. It

PM Theresa May says final Brexit deal will be voted on by MPs

would mean accepting a role for the European Court of Justice that would see it still having direct legal authority in our country. It would to all intents and purposes mean not leaving the EU at all.” The PM promised an end to the UK's “vast contributions” to the EU. May used the opportunity to announce the UK's priorities for Brexit negotiations, including maintaining the common travel area between the UK and Irish Republic; tariff-free trade with the EU; a Customs agreement with the EU; new trade agreements with countries outside the EU; continued “practical” sharing of intelligence and policing information; “con-

trol” of immigration rights for EU citizens in the UK and UK citizens in the EU. Remaining within the single market would require the free movement of people and accepting the jurisdiction of the European Court of Justice. Instead, the PM said she would seek “the greatest possible access to the single market on a reciprocal basis, through a comprehensive trade agreement”. The PM, however, sounded a warning to the EU against trying to “punish” the UK, claiming a punitive Brexit deal would be “an act of calamitous self-harm” and adding “no deal for Britain is better than a bad deal for Britain”. She also said if Britain was excluded from access to the single market, it would be free to change the basis of its economic model to pursue alternative arrangements. Since the referendum the prime minister and her team have simply refused to be so open and explicit about the Brexit deal and plans. But this speech from the PM has put everything to rest. It's crystal clear. The message from May's speech on the morning of January 17 is – we are out.

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War of words between NHS boss and No.10 An open war of words has broken out between the health chief and the prime minister after No.10 claimed that the Government has given the NHS more money than it asked for. NHS chief Simon Stevens said it was unhelpful of Prime Minister Theresa May to deny there is a gap in NHS funding. The war of words comes after the PM was accused of being “in denial” about the crisis in hospitals. In front of MPs last week, the NHS England boss accused the PM of “stretching” the truth over extra cash given to hospitals and GPs. Stevens directly contradicted comments May made about the NHS “getting more money” than it needed. Apparently taunting the PM, the NHS boss said the health service was “quite different” to the

ting an extra £10billion over the course of six years. I don’t think that’s the same as saying we’re getting more than we asked for over five Theresa May and Simon Stevens years because criminal justice system” it was a five-year forward she was previously in view, not a six-year forward charge of. view. And over and above May said: “We asked that we’ve obviously had a the NHS a while back to set spending review negotiaout what it needed over the tion in the meantime and next five years in terms of that has set the NHS budgits plan for the future and et for the next three years the funding that it would and it’s a matter of fact, it’s need. They did that, we not news, I’ve said it previgave them that funding, in ously to select committee fact we gave them more back in October that like funding than they probably ever part of the required. So funding is public service we got less now at record levels for the than we asked for in that NHS, more money has process and so I think it been going in.” would be stretching it say Stevens hit back saying: that the NHS has got more “It’s right that by 2020 than it has asked for.” NHS England will be get-

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Asian Voice |21st January 2017

Sikh tycoon faces extradition to Germany for tax fraud A British Sikh businessman faces extradition to Germany and a 15-year jail term if found guilty of value added tax (VAT) fraud allegations worth around 100 million pounds after he was arrested at Heathrow Airport in London last week. Peter Singh Virdee, who denies the charges, was arrested on January 10 on a European arrest warrant, Scotland Yard confirmed. Virdee appeared before Westminster magistrates court last week and was granted bail. “Peter Singh Virdee, 43, a UK national, was arrested by officers from the Metropolitan Police Service’s Extradition Unit on Tuesday January 10 at Heathrow Airport. He was arrested on a European arrest warrant on behalf of the authori-

Peter Singh Virdee

ties in Germany, where he is wanted in relation to tax evasion,” a Metropolitan Police spokesperson said. Prosecutors in Germany allege Virdee, who has a property company based in London, was one of the “central organisers” of a criminal enterprise to defraud the authorities of VAT on carbon credits under the EU Emissions Trading Scheme. They claimed the tycoon worked “in the

background” and tried to conceal his identity. According to UK media reports, the businessman is believed to have used several aliases and was known within the group as “Batman”. A spokesperson from Carter-Ruck, the legal firm representing him, said, “Our client categorically denies these allegations; he has never been involved in carbon trading let alone in any kind of fraud. While he is happy to cooperate with the authorities, he intends to defend himself fully against these allegations and the attempts to extradite him to Germany.” Virdee is accused of operating a so-called “VAT carousel” scheme on EU carbon credits, under which traders export the credits from one member state to

another in order to take advantage of EU VAT rules. As exports, the sales are exempt from VAT, but the traders charge their customers VAT which they never declare to the authorities. The scheme ran from 2008 to 2012. Prosecutors in Frankfurt have been pursuing the case for several years.Virdee describes himself as the first Sikh patron of the English National Opera and a philanthropist via his Peter Virdee Foundation. It is reported that businessman Virdee, a visiting professor at Manchester Metropolitan University, handed the Conservative party £98,000 since 2011 through his company B&S Properties. He was invited to a meal with a senior minister and other donors in 2012.

Family forced to live among rubbish as bins 'missed' in Colnbrook A young family, including two children, have been forced to spend the week living with their own rubbish amid claims that bin men failed to collect it. Selina Purewal was promised on several occasions that her refuse would be collected, but instead her family spent the week with litter piling up in their kitchen, after their bins outside had filled up. Ms Purewal, 33, from Colnbrook described the smell as “awful”. She said: “We are now living among our own waste. I have to keep it in the kitchen because the bins outside are full and there are foxes on the street at night. I have to cook for my children in the kitchen and the smell is awful in there. I have phoned every day since

Three year old Amrece had to live among her family's waste for over a week

last week when they were supposed to have collected the waste. Every day I sit on the phone for half an hour and every day they fail to come and collect it. We pay for this service with our taxes, but now it seems that having our bins collected is

Man denies attacking another man at Purley Islamic Centre

Adboul Afghan

A man has denied attacking another man at Purley Islamic Centre. Adboul Afghan, 54, is thought to have assaulted Moktar Tabti at the Whytecliffe Road South mosque on June 11 and July 7 last year. Afghan, of The South

Purley Islamic Centre

Border, in Purley, denied both charges of common assault on Tuesday (January 10) at Croydon Magistrates' Court. He was granted unconditional bail until March 28, when he will stand trial at the same court.

a luxury.” Amey, the company contracted by Slough Borough Council to collect refuse, apologised for the confusion and said it would collect Ms Purewal’s rubbish on Saturday, January 14. But despite its assur-

ances, not all of it was collected on Saturday, with excess rubbish left at the side. Ms Purewal added: “I put the bins out as advertised, but they failed to take several bins on our road.They are (being) unhelpful.” A spokesperson for Amey said on Monday: “We’re sorry for any inconvenience or confusion caused by the changes to bin collection schedules over the holidays and for not collecting excess rubbish this weekend. We have now collected all the waste and can confirm that collection dates have returned to normal. “It is common practice for bin collection dates to change over bank holidays so we’d encourage all residents to check the council’s website for any updates.”

Man ‘tries to remove Muslim woman’s hijab at UK restaurant’ A man allegedly tried to rip off a hijab-clad British Muslim woman eating at a London fish and chips shop last week. The fellow diner told her she “shouldn’t be here” and accused her of “killing people”, a media report has said. The assault reportedly took place last Friday at around 9pm in a restaurant close to Hammersmith Town Hall, West London, prompting

anti-racism campaigners to stage a vigil after the incident. The victim was reportedly eating with friends when she was attacked by the fellow diner. The woman was reportedly visiting from Manchester. The perpetrator grabbed her by the coat and attempted to drag her outside, saying he “was not going to tolerate it” before other customers at the

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Maidenhead man found guilty of encouraging support for Islamic State

Mohammed Sufiyan Choudry

Ziaur Rahman

A 23-year-old Maidenhead man has been found guilty of encouraging support for a proscribed organisation. Mohammed Sufiyan Choudry, of Laggan Road, was convicted at the Old Bailey in London last Friday. Choudry was one of four men who had attended meetings in June and July 2015 in which they delivered what police described as ‘incendiary speeches’ to between 50 and 70 people, including children, praising Islamic State and encouraging people to support the terror group. In Choudry's speech, which was recorded by an undercover officer, he made reference to a ‘wave’ that must be either joined or drowned under. The meetings were held at a church in Luton and a marquee in the back garden of Ziaur Rahman, a 39-year-old from Luton, who was found guilty of three counts of arranging, managing or assisting in arranging or managing a meeting to support a proscribed organisation in the same trial. It followed an intelligence-led operation by Bedfordshire Police and the Metropolitan Police Counter Terrorism Command. Bedfordshire Police had investigated the proscribed group AlMuhajiroun (ALM) and gathered evidence which it passed to the Met Police in 2015. The three other men who made speeches were convicted for several counts of addressing a meeting to encourage support for a proscribed organisation in a trial last year. Choudry and Rahman had appeared in that but a jury had been unable to reach a verdict on them.

Dean Commander Haydon, head of the Met Police Counter Terrorism Command, said: "These men were closely associated with Al-Muhajiroun, a dangerous group which has inspired and influenced numerous terrorists. "The men used meetings about Ramadan - a time for self-reflection and change for the better - to instead deliver subversive speeches that encouraged groups, including very young children, to engage in war alongside Daesh. "Speeches like theirs inspire the terrorists of tomorrow and I am immensely pleased with the excellent work of my officers and Bedfordshire Police. Crucially, both are working with Luton Social Services to safeguard the vulnerable children we've identified were taken to the radical meetings." D e t e c t i v e Superintendent Glen Channer, from the Eastern Counter Terrorism Intelligence Unit, said: "This was a complex investigation which was launched to target those who seek to influence others with their poisonous rhetoric. We used a range of tactics to collect evidence in order to bring these men to justice. "This case is another example to show that we simply will not tolerate those who spread fear and hate in our communities and will continue to target, arrest and disrupt anyone with extreme views." Anyone with concerns about suspicious activity can call the Anti Terrorist Hotline on 0800 789 321. People with concerns about someone being radicalised can get help and advice from a wide range of agencies at www.preventtragedies.co.uk Choudry will be sentenced at a later date.

restaurant and the victim’s friends intervened, the Sun quoted an anti-racism organisation Stand Up to Racism as saying. The restaurant staff called police but the suspect fled the scene.

John Barker, a spokesman for the group, said, “I have been told that she is pretty shaken by the event and I am not surprised considering the violence and hatred of the perpetrator.”


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Basic hospital failures contributed to Botched break in at Eton Budgens Slough man's death, inquest hears The failure of nurses to carry out basic physiological checks including temperature tests contributed to a Slough man’s death at Wexham Park Hospital, a coroner has ruled. Paramjeet Rehal died at the hospital on May 20 last year from bronchopneumonia. But during an inquest into his death, held at Reading Town Hall on Thursday, January 12, a coroner heard that there had been ‘a number of missed opportunities’ during the 54-year-old’s treatment. Dr William Jewsbury, deputy director at the Frimley Health Foundation Trust (FHFT), told the inquest: “The trust’s serious incidents panel found that there was a failure to recognise that Mr Rehal was a deteriorating patient. This was further compounded by the

nursing staff’s failure on ward nine to carry out basic physiological checks. When people are working under pressure these simple things are sometimes what’s forgotten.” The court heard that Mr Rehal had a history of complex medical problems including diabetes and cirrhosis of the liver and was admitted to hospital on April 30 after he had collapsed at home due to dia-

betes complications. He was admitted to the hospital’s intensive care unit (ICU) but was then transferred to ward nine on May 13. During his time on the ward, the inquest heard that nurses failed to consistently carry out temperature tests and bodily fluid checks which meant his Early Detection of Deterioration (EDOD) was not recorded accurately.

Mr Rehal’s condition did deteriorate and he was readmitted to the ICU on May 19 but sadly died the day after. Coroner Peter Bedford recorded a verdict that Mr Rehal had died from natural causes but ruled that his death was contributed to by neglect, which amounted to a failure to provide basic medical attention. Mr Rehal’s daughter, 27-year-old Sonia, said: “I feel sad that I was never educated to deal with the things that were wrong with my dad. His temperature wasn’t taken due to compliance. But if something needs to be done, there has to be a way to do it.” In the aftermath of the Slough man’s death, further training has been given to the nurses on ward nine.

Maliks restaurant founder offers £10,000 reward for information about Cookham arson A £10,000 reward for information leading to a conviction has been offered by the founder of popular restaurant Maliks following an arson attack last month. Thames Valley Police is continuing to appeal for information about the fire at the award-winning restaurant in Cookham High Street, which it is treating as ‘arson with intent to endanger life’. It believes the community ‘may hold the key’ to finding those responsible. Members of staff inside had to jump from first and second floor windows to escape smoke from the fire, which happened at about 1.45am on Tuesday, December 6. One man in his 20s was taken to Wexham Park Hospital after he suffered what police said was a ‘serious’ leg injury, but has

since been discharged. Restaurant founder Malik Ahmed, 54, who was not in the building when the fire started but headed straight to the scene after hearing of the blaze, has put up the reward for information. “Seven of my staff could have been killed. I was kind of scared. I have never experienced something like

this before. It was really shocking,” he said. Police now believe more than one offender was present when the fire was started. Mr Ahmed hopes the restaurant will reopen at the end of February or beginning of March, although an exact date has not been set yet. “I tell you, we will be

better and stronger,” he said. Preparations for the restoration of the Grade IIlisted building are well underway. Investigating officer Detective Constable Rachel Kluger, of Maidenhead Force CID, said: “We are continuing to investigate this serious incident which could have resulted in far worse injuries to those in the property at the time. She described it as a ‘highly distressing incident’ for the staff, and added: “I would still encourage anyone with information about what happened to contact police. We still believe this was a fire targeted at this business and we now believe more than one offender was present at the scene and started the fire. The local community may hold the key to helping us to establish who was responsible.”

Man sought by police about Beckton kidnap, assault and robbery Police have reissued an appeal for information to help trace a man wanted in connection with a kidnap, assault and robbery. Officers would like to speak to Shahidul Islam, 22, about the violent kidnapping of a 19year-old man from Tollgate Road, East Ham, on March 11 last year. The teenager was taken to a secluded area near Royal Docks Road, Beckton, at about 6.15pm. He was assaulted and threatened with a firearm before being driven 30 miles to his home in Kent. Upon arrival, the gang forced their way inside

the property and held the victim’s younger brother against his will. They also stole two vehicles, along with vehicle log books and other items of value. The 19-year-old was then driven back to Beckton and told to transfer £200 into one of the suspect’s bank account, He was told he had a week to hand over an additional £10,000 as well. Throughout his ordeal, the victim was kicked and punched by the suspects, and he sustained cuts and bruises. Detectives are asking for the public’s help in locating

Shahidul Islam, but are warning he should not be approached and people should instead call 999 immediately. Anyone with any information should DC Raf Patel at Forest Gate Police Station on 0208 217 5889, police via 101 or by tweeting @MetCC, or Crimestoppers anonyomously on 0800 555 111. Three people were found guilty of kidnap, robbery and assault at Wood Green Crown Court last October in connection with this incident. They are Kousar Ahmed, 23, of Linton

Budgens supermarket in Eton was closed off with a police corden this morning after a botched break in last Thursday night. Intruders broke in at approximately 10.35pm and attempted to steal an ATM machine from the premesis but failed to do so. Store manager, Parimal Valamiya, said the store's cash registers had also been damaged and some electrical wiring had been cut, but nothing was

taken. The store was closed earlier in the day, but reopened for trading at around 11am. Det Insp Jason Kew, investigating, said: “Offenders broke into the store and tried to access the tills and cash machine. It was fortunate that nobody was in the building at the time of the break-in. We are carrying out house to house enquiries and would urge anyone with any information about this incident to call 101.”

Police officers nominated for bravery award

PC Panesar (left) and PC Nicholson

Two lion-hearted Hillingdon police officers have been nominated for a prestigious Metropolitan Police award after they heroically rescued a woman from a burning house in South Ruislip. PCs Shand Panesar and Craig Nicholson were praised for showing “immense bravery” after they were called to the blaze in Bridgewater Road on September 20 last year. The fire had broken out at 8.41pm and took 21 firefighters over an hour to bring it under control. Without safety equipment, the two officers charged into the flame-engulfed house

without hesitation. The officers were first forced out of the building again by the blaze, but PC Nicholson took several deep breaths and reentered using only his police shirt to cover his mouth and nose. The woman has since made a full recovery and paramedics said the woman would have died if PC Nicholson did not rescue her from the building and carry out CPR. The public vote opened on Monday (January 16) and closes on Monday, February 6. A winner will be presented with their award at a ceremony on February 10.

Man charged in connection with sexual offences at station appears at court Shahidul Islam

Gardens, East Ham, Riaz Ahmed, 23, of Whitchurch Road, Romford, and a 16year-old from East Ham. Kousar Ahmed and Riaz Ahmed were sentenced to seven years’ imprisonment, and the 16-year-old was sentenced to three years’ imprisonment.

A 20-year-old from Brent has appeared in court in connection with multiple sexual offences at Stanmore underground station. Asim Mahmoud from Wembley appeared at Westminster Magistrates' Court on Monday (January 16), but did not enter a plea. He is due to appear at Blackfriars Crown Court on February 13, 2017. The incident was

reported to have happened on a train at Stanmore tube station on Saturday (January 14) involving three women and one teenage girl. Mahomood was charged on three counts of sexual assault on a female and four counts of exposure, on Sunday (January 15). He had been arrested the day before by British Transport Police officers.


UK Asian Voice | 21st January 2017

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Rani Singh, Special Assignments Editor

Kully Bedi; From 18 st to British Kickboxing Champion This is a truly inspiring story of positive transformation. He had a weight problem when he was a teenager, but by sheer willpower he was able to work a lot of weight off by proper training and healthy eating, and today he is worth his weight in gold. Meet former International Sports Kickboxing Association British kickboxing champion Kulwinderjeet Bedi, better known at the renowned Eden Fitness Gym (where some top instructors work) and abroad as Kully or Kulwinder “Ironology” Bedi. He is a strength conditioning coach and personal trainer but considers himself more a life coach and changer. He measures his success by the number of lives he improves. An Indian Punjabi, Kully Bedi was born in Perivale, Greenford and grew up in Hounslow.

I was 16, I was a high grade. I did Lau Gar Kung Fu and kickboxing at the same time and competed in both Karate and kickboxing. My mother thought I was being unproductive with all this training but at the same time was grateful that I was out of trouble that way. In my late teens I was quite overweight, I would have been measured as obese according to the GP scale. I used to do what typical late teenagers do; go out a lot with friends, eat out. We didn't have the knowhow on nutrition like we do now and when I had to make weight for a competition I was just told to stop eating fat and run daily. We know now that that's not a long term solution.” At one point, Kully weighed 18 stone.

Turning point

Background and early childhood

Kully Bedi says, “I never had any of the interests that other boys had. I never was and nor am a fan of football, I never

Kully Bedi

followed any super heroes or collected comics. I was a fan of Bruce Lee which led me to martial arts training from a very early age. My dad enrolled me into Karate when I was seven years old. By the time

When Kulwinder Bedi was 19, his father passed away. “It hit me hard; I was the only son. I became the man of the house so I said to myself I can't be going out any more, I can't be hanging around with these guys any more. I got a job where my mum worked. Then life got boring. It became like groundhog day - work, home, sleep, work, home, sleep. I decided to take my training more seriously. I

9

wasn't competing in marit comes to their diet. tial arts anymore but I “I realised how powerupped my training and ful nutrition is when I bought some home gym transformed myself by equipment from training daily and Argos.” stopping all my Kully spotted bad habits. My I was in body building body changed magazines in shape four hospital for two his local months after months and had Londis shop. this by followproblems walking. ing the typical He bought a couple and bodybuilders’ I overcame by learnt some diet of lean refusing to stay basic routines p r o t e i n down after but because he sources, slow coming so far burning low GI was fanatical about having big carbs and lots of arms, so that's all green vegetables. he did- train his arms! We can get this “I did start following an same result with having an all round routine. I really Indian Asian diet too, we started enjoying lifting just need to make a few weights and my muscles adjustments. Our Asian were developing well.” food is actually fantastic if After six months, Kully you change from cooking decided to try a regimented with butter or oil to diet. “So I read a few more coconut oil, use pink bodybuilding mags (no Himalayan salt instead of internet in those days) general salt and eat less went to the store, got a bag carbs.” of potatoes, ten cans of Kully’s biggest tuna and chicken breasts, challenge and followed a bodybuilders’ diet. My body Kulwinder has faced what completely changed within seemed like a tragedy. four months.” “After getting in great Kully went from 18 to shape and loving life, I was 13 stone just by following hit in a major car accident what he learned from flex with left me with a plate in magazines! the left side of my forehead and a disallowance from Our community’s competing in ISKA kickcollective health boxing. I was in hospital for two months and had Kully feels that younger problems walking. I overgeneration Asians are gencame by refusing to stay erally good, but that sendown after coming so far.” iors are still in denial when


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READERS’ VOICE

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Asian Voice | 21st January 2017

Is the United Nations really united? The League of Nations was created in 1920 after WWI with a mission to maintain world peace. Its failed mission resulted in WWII. The victor nations of the WWII cobbled together the present UN in 1945 with similar mission but preserving their superiority by veto power with the exception of then called Formosa, in the Security Council. That veto power of Formosa, now called Taiwan, was transferred to China in 1971 for obvious reasons. Trump on 28th December said about the UN “There is such tremendous potential, but it is not living up”. Antonio Guterres on 10 January said “We must rebalance our approach to peace and security. For decades, this has been dominated by responding to conflict”. These two gentlemen have summed up the situation correctly. The UN is disunited and that disunity has produced Korea, Vietnam, Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Yemen, Syria and many other conflicts and hence, it has failed in the mission. The myriad of their agencies are doing good humanitarian work at the field level but they unwittingly have prolonged the conflicts which would have ended much earlier by natural death. The UN is undemocratic, unrepresentative of massive chunk of humanity and hostage to funders and veto power holders. It is not fit for purpose and cannot be reformed. Let us have a new world body with reformed current agencies, representing every human, democratically run, funded by a capability formula, humanistic and fair to every one without veto and special interests. Narsibhai Patel New Malden

Brexit I fully concur with PM Theresa May to invoke Article 50 in March, 2017 for Brexit with Spunk and Spirit out of Strength and Not weakness despite Media, Labour Party and Others are against it! £ has gone down against US $ and has proved a boon as even after 6 months of Referendum during Christmas millions of people from China, EU, USA and other countries visited London for Shopping Spree. Cheap £ has boosted Exports, Retail Sales, Investment in Properties & Share Market and now FTSE Index in Jan. has broken All Time Record at 7337! Besides, Special Free Trade Deals with India, Trump's USA, Commonwealth, BRICS, Canada, Australia, Japan, etc. will render Britain Economically Unique! Also London will always be Top Financial Hub for Business and Investments, Free from any EU Restrictions! EU is still beset with severe Migration and Refugee problems from Middle-East and Africa. Also soon there will be Elections in France and Germany and there is Uncertainty because Opposition Parties getting stronger! Besides, there will be less support for EU from new US President Trump as regards Defense and Finance. EU is really is in mess and who knows it will break up in a next five years! It exists only because of four strong countries, Britain, Germany, France and Italy and of course Obama's Distorted Policy in the Middle-East. With Good Relations between Trump of USA and Putin of Russia and less help to the Terrorist Countries and Organisations, I Wish Peace and Progress Prevail in the World from 2017! Upendra Kapadia By email

Constitution and Digital India

India will celebrate her 68th Republic Day on January 26, 2017. It was on this day, in the year, 1950, the Constitution of India came into force and our country was proclaimed as a Sovereign, Democratic Republic. The Constitution is the Supreme document that governs our great country. Republic Day represents the true spirit of Independent India and marks the patriotic fervor of all Indians across the country who celebrates this event with great enthusiasm every year. The Constitution was adopted by the Indian Constituent Assembly on November 26, 1949 and came into effect on January 26, 1950. On another topic like many others, I too decided to be a part of Modi’s Digital India drive and tried to open an account for my part-time domestic help so that I could pay her online. Armed with a photocopy of her voter ID and two passport-sized photographs, I took her to a bank and was told by the branch manager that to open an account, she needs to have a PAN number. And in order to obtain a PAN card, one needs to show documents supporting proof of birth which the woman does not possess. At this point, I just gave up. Jubel D’Cruz, Mumbai, India

Horoscope

Please continue “Star sign Horoscope” in its current format on page 30 of “Asian Voice”. Readers have a right to put forth suggestions. Their argument may be valid too. Readers has varying mind set, therefore Editor has the right to please readers, at the same time follow policy set by the bosses. Choice to print horoscope may not be dictated by few high IQ, science minded, rationalists. Choice of open minded folks who buy the paper must be honored too. Blaming “Asian Voice” for encouraging blind faith is baseless, as it is matter of circumstances of the reader. Some use the predictions as a guide, some may use it as command. The science of horoscope is very ancient, mentioned in paranormal literatures of the world. It is flip side of science of astronomy, which, can be validated by various instruments. Astrology that is basis of horoscope, being intangible, impalpable, and complex science must also be recognized. Horoscope can be put in same category as prophecies of Nostradamus, Theory of probability, Theory of nonsense, Pizza theory of time and quantum theory. “Asian Voice” may continue horoscope column with precautionary disclaimer, as is done for health columns, and promises by advertisers. Ramesh Jhalla By email

Disclaimer

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21st Century Robinson Crusoe

Having missed to see well acclaimed film “The Martian” I read the book written by Andy Weir. When I first heard of the book I automatically uttered the words “21st century Robinson Crusoe” and surprisingly few famous reviewers have used this expression. The writer though not science academia has researched the processes of botany, physics, chemistry, biology, astoundingly and the technical details covered to describe the mission to Mars is so real that one forgets it is a fiction. Mark Watney an astronaut gets stranded on planet Marsh, this is a story of his resilience to survive in the most hostile and adverse, unknown environment. His style of writing is witty, geeky, full of explanation of his actions and is a most gripping thriller, keeping the suspense to the end. It reminds us of Neil Armstrong’ words when he stepped on the moon “This is small step for man but a giant step for Mankind. The exploration and migration of human race to unknown land even on earth has been immensely challenging, we as immigrants know. Space missions require expertise of exceptional high caliber intellectuals and is highly costly. However, success in the field has brought immense benefits like in communication and particularly weather forecast which saves hundreds of thousands of lives. Ila Kapadia By email

High cost of impulsive buying

According to recent survey, British people are most prone to buying resplendent goods and services that they regret later, costing £25 billion annually. Young people, especially at festive time, are more likely to buy unwanted goods but are reluctant to return, even when it is perfectly legitimate to do so, especially for online shopping. Clothing tops the list, followed by shoes and household goods. Men are more likely to succumb to impulsive buying (IB) than women, who put more thought and linger longer before making decisions. Fortunately for consumers, if a contract is signed in our home, we have 14 day cooling off period, although crooked dealers are reluctant to wait that long before delivering, as they know if the goods and services already delivered, recipients are less likely to return goods or cancel service agreement. Reasons for IB are vast and varied, being shopaholic, special offers like price reduction or buy one get one free offers. This is main reason why we waste so much food, as we buy more than we need with such offers which we cannot consume before food deteriorates, so often the cause for food poisoning. It is time our plutocratic government clamp down on such wastage; encouraging righteous supermarkets to give redeemable coupons rather than rhetoric two loaves of breads we cannot consume in time. Kumudini Valambia By email

PM’s cavalier’s attitude towards NHS

Every sensible person who is unfortunate to attend A & E during these festive times will readily admit how extremely busy, overcrowded hospitals are with poor infrastructure. Most OAPs and chronically sick people have inhibition; dread to visit A & E. No wonder Red Cross describes NHS in crises. Yet, PM in her HOC question time, with lukewarm support for NHS, dismissed these concerns as baseless, although grudgingly admitting high demand on NHS but refusing to infuse funding, preferring to spend billions in Overseas Aid most people oppose, government quick to blame part-time GPs who are somewhat responsible for these crises, demanding GP surgeries open from 8am to 8pm seven days a week! How long MPs work, four days a week? Unfortunately our weak, disunited opposition is giving free ride to government, making Britain akin to one party State, government getting easy ride. The unpalatable truth is that NHS hospital bed-ratio and per capita spending is one of the lowest in Europe, even lower than much maligned countries like Romania and Albania. The truth is we need complete overhaul of our post-war NHS unfit for 21st Century but no political party has courage, wisdom or tenacity to reform NHS, adopt French, German model that gives patients first class service on demand, even though most are willing to pay extra tax if earmarked for NHS. Bhupendra M. Gandhi By email

Donald and his wall

America’s president elect, Donald Trump, has announced in his latest speech that his proposal to build a wall between Mexico and America will go ahead as planned, and as he had promised in his election speeches. This wall will be built to stop illegal migrants of Mexico from entering the USA. He has also intimated that he will make Mexico pay for the cost of erecting such a wall. The money could come from the money these migrants make from their earnings while working in the country and remit to their families in Mexico. He has said that there are so many different forms in which Mexico will reimburse America for the cost of the wall. This is not the first time that a wall has been built between two countries. Yonks ago, China built its great wall to stop invaders from plundering its country. America’s wall may probably be construed as segregation at the time when we are aiming for one world for all. Next he may want to build partitions in public places to separate whites from Muslims and blacks.This will amount to going back to the old days of segregation and apartheid. All the same, there is a lesson which could be learnt from this. India’s PM Narendra Modi should take a leaf out of Donald’s book and build such walls with its neighbouring countries to stop terrorists from infiltrating the land of Lord Rama, Krishna, Mahavira, Gandhi et al. Dinesh Sheth Newbury Park, Ilford

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EDUCATION

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Asian Voice |21st January 2017

Confusion over numerical GCSE grades sparks publicity drive There is widespread confusion about England's new GCSE grading system, says the exams regulator Ofqual. Starting this summer, GCSE grades A* to G will be phased out in favour of grades numbered from nine to one. However, around 70% of more than 400 parents and pupils surveyed by Ofqual did not understand the system. Ofqual wants to raise awareness of the numerical grading system which starts this summer, with candidates who sit new more challenging English and maths GCSEs receiving a mixture of number and letter grades. By the summer of 2018

a mix of numbers and letters will be awarded in an additional 20 subjects, with the letter system entirely phased out by 2019. But according to the regulator's small survey, awareness is currently low - only 31% of secondary pupils and 30% of parents said they were clear how the new system worked.

Additional research with 50 human resources leaders revealed that less than half of them understood it, while among small businesses, this figure dropped to about a fifth, says Ofqual. Ofqual's publicity drive includes a series of online workshops for teaching staff in schools and universities.

Childcare funding 'will create 9,000 places' Thousands of childcare places for pre-school children in England will be created under a £50m scheme, the government has announced. The scheme will help to deliver a government pledge to offer three and four-year-olds in England 30 hours of free care a week in term time. Nearly 9,000 early years places are expected to be created. But critics

said the funding was "woefully short of what was needed" and would only benefit a few providers. The Department for Education said that almost 200 nurseries and pre-schools would benefit from the funding pot, allowing them to invest in new buildings, upgrade old ones and improve facilities. Initially, £2m of the

public money will be invested in six "opportunity areas" - places considered by the government to be falling behind on social mobility. These are Blackpool, Derby, Norwich, Oldham, Scarborough and West Somerset.

11

Harrow kicks off the New Year, winning £8,000 for charity! There’s no better way to start the New Year than helping those who need it most. On Sunday, Harrow won a whopping £8,000 prize when it battled it out against 17 other London boroughs – winning third place at the New Year’s Day Parade in central London. Every year competition between the floats entered by London's boroughs at the Parade is intense. Harrow’s Charlie Chaplin-inspired movie set rolled past the iconic landmarks of central London – capturing the imagination of thousands of spectators who lined the streets to watch the Parade. The huge bowler hat, dancers and roller skaters dressed up to highlight the comedy star’s greatest moments – earning Harrow a podium place, a trophy and thousands of pounds for the Mayor’s chosen charities, Harrow Bereavement Care and Parkinsons UK. Mayor of Harrow, Cllr Rekha Shah, said: “What a great start to the New

Year and what a fantastic achievement! It makes me so proud, not just to come third, but to win the largest amount of money for charities Harrow has ever won in the Parade. It’s all down to our strong community spirit and the hard work of the team behind this year’s float. “Volunteers from Wiseworks, Harrow In

Europe, Harrow Film Makers, O’Hara Bros, Harrow Council and dancers from Beverley School of Performing Arts spent months preparing the entry and the dance routine. I’d like to thank our volunteers, Wiseworks and Cllrs John Hinkley and Jean Lammiman for their sterling effort.” The Mayor is still accepting donations for her chosen charities, Harrow Bereavement Care and Parkinsons UK. For your donations email Harrow's Mayor Cllr Rekha Shah at mayor@harrow.gov.uk


12

MEDIA WATCH

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Asian Voice | 21st January 2017

The election season in Punjab and Uttar Pradesh has sent pollsters and political pundits into a tizzy. With the ruling Samajwadi Dal deep in the wars between party chief father Mulayam Singh Yadav and son Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav in UP, the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) at the Centre in Delhi, the principal opposition party in UP, logic would suggest that the BJP stands to gaining traction from the Samajwadi Dal’s discord. However, with recent elections the world over having defied logic, the battle in UP will only be lost and won after the last ballots have been cast.

(India) is moving ahead remarkably fast and it’s moving with a strategy and vision. There will be a few bumps along the way like demonetization, but they are just that,’ he said, speaking in Jaipur. (Hindu January 10) Cisco is a global US company and one of the largest foreign investors in India. A bump on the road is far from a motorway crash. Time will tell whether betting on the Cisco CEO or Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi was the right thing to do.

Flying Dutchman says India, too

SAD candidate Gen JJ Singh (retd) during his first day campaign at Sheran Wala Gate in Patiala

According to HSBC head of equity strategy for the Asia Pacific, Herald van der Linde, known to his peers as ‘The Flying Dutchman,’ India is the top bet among Asian and global emerging market equities. Speaking to reporters in Mumbai from Hong Kong, Linde said lower export dependence and reasonable valuations and a strong domestic story must be factored into any assessment of India’s economic prospects. He said: ‘India has a very large domestic component. It is not so export dependent as other markets. I think demonetization is pretty much now finished…India has an amazing ability to deal with difficult circumstances…If things don’t work, they always find a way around it.’

Assessing Modi

Mulayam Singh Yadav and son Akhilesh Yadav (UP Chief Minister)

In Punjab, if trends are anything to go by, the ruling Akali Dal-BJP coalition appear to be on the back foot. The Congress party locally appears to making the running with a credible leader of standing in Captain Amarinder Singh contesting from Patiala, long regarded as his bailiwick. On this occasion, however, India’s former Army chief General Joginder Singh has thrown his hat into the ring in Patiala as the Akali candidate. Thus truly is joined with a captain and a general – once colleagues - drawn against each other. Another high profile figure is the former Indian cricket star and television personality Navjot Singh Sidhu, who has switched sides from BJP to Congress, is contesting a seat in Amritsar. The Punjab economy is not in good shape from all accounts, but more alarming is the rampant drug culture that taken hold in the State, especially among the youth. Narcotics have been smuggled into Punjab from Pakistan. The State government doesn’t appear to have coped with challenge too convincingly (Hindu, Times of India, Business Line January 9-14)

Rahul Gandhi misses bus

The locaquacious Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi has made demonetization the prime target of his party’s election campaign but he might be missing the bus. The worst of the pain is clearly over and life, broadly, is getting back to normal. By the time UP and Punjab conduct their elections demonizing

demonetization may no longer strike the desired chord with the public His high octane charge that demonetization ‘has ruined the nation’ is the sort of highperbole the electorate has come to except from him, which the bald facts on the ground scarcely justify. His latest broadside may well turn out to be blank. (January 12)

Cisco bets big on India

He rated the Modi government at an 8-10 on economic reforms deliveries thus far. ‘I would say, generally speaking, that the Narendra Modi government has been willing to take grave and bold decisions.’ The recent sharp correction driven by demonetization and a stronger dollar may have made India’s valuations attractive (Mint January 12)

World Bank forecast

The World Bank has forecast a dip in India’s GDP for the current fiscal, ending March 31, from the previous year’s 7.3 per cent to 7 per cent. Far from the predicted disaster of the community of doomsayers (Business Line January 11)

Pointers to consider

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee is pole position for the lunatic fringe road race. Two Trinamool Congress presented India’s President Pranab John Chambers

Cisco’s Executive Chairman John Chambers said the Indian economy was the only one on which he was willing to bet even as he accepted that demonetization was a ‘bump’ on the road. He explained: ‘There will be a few bumps along the way like demonetization …If I would be betting on any economy, it would be this economy. A year from now, India’s GDP will be stronger dramatically because of the changes… I know that innovation by definition is disruptive and uncomfortable and there are bumps. I think the country

defending some of the the party’s top leaders’ alleged involvement in the Rose Valley scam, and in wone hopes is a temporary loss of mind, has appealed for national government at the Centre minus the elected Prime Minister, Narendra Modi. However the straws in the wind do not appear to be blowing her way. National newspaper columnist Swapan Dasgupta in his latest piece writes that recent municipal polls in urban India have resulted in significant BJP victories. He cited those in Chandigarh, Faridabad and a string of mid-size towns across Maharashtra and Madhya Pradesh. Local issues may have prevailed but demonetization the all consuming topic of the past few weeks must have surely played a part in the voters’ choice (Telegraph January 12)

Industrial output up, retail inflation down

Industrial output increased by 5.7 per cent in November, reaching a 4-year high, while retail inflation declined to 3.41 per cent in December, the latter – a two-year low - ascribed by economists to demonetization. Electricity increased by 8.9 per cent. The industrial growth was by a surge in capital goods and also by consumer output. However, too much should not be made of these figures apropos of demonetization. Data for the next few months should reveal more on whether this upswing can be perceived as permanent or not (Hindu, Business Line, Telegraph January 13)

TCS profit up 11 per cent

Tata Consultancy Services has posted 11 per cent profit in the third quarter – OctoberDecember 2016 - of the current fiscal ending March 31, 2017. TCS Managing Director N.Chandrasekaran leaves his post in a blaze, having presided over TCS growth as India’s foremost software and overseen its emergence as a global player. He will be taking over the new Chairman of Tata Sons from February 21, 2017. (Business Line, Hindu, Telegraph, Mint January 13) See page 3 for profile.

Pakistan terror suspect charged

Bahdur Ali, a Pakistani national who had infiltrated the Line of Control in Kashmir and captured by Indian security forces before being interrogated by the National Intelligence Agency has been indicted before an Indian court of belonging to the

AsianVoiceNewsweekly

Lashkar-e-Taiba and planning terror acts across India (Hindu January 7)

Al Badr terrorist killed

Muzaffer Naikoo alias Muza Moulvi , who had long survived attempts to catch him was finally run to ground near Srinagar and shot dead in an exchange of fire with security forces. He had been working in tandem with Laskare-Taiba operatives under the command of Abdullah Uni. A police spokesman claimed that Naikoo had left Lashkar-e-Taiba and joined the Al Badr outfit. His funeral, attended by separatist leaders Mirwaiz Farooq and Syed Ali Geelani who hailed the dead man as a freedom fighter alleged that he had been tortured and killed well before the encounter with security forces (Hindu January 7)

Russian spares for Indian weapon systems

Russia has amended its laws to permit long-term contracts for spares and support for military equipment supplied to India. This is expected to address longstanding Indian concerns on the serviceability of Russian equipment. Negotiation will commence shortly on long-term contracts with Indian companies for their production in India. Talks on an agreed price catalogue should then proceed (Hindu January 7)

Republic Day Chief Guest UAE Crown Prince

India’s presence in the Gulf will take a significant step forward with UAE Crown Prince Sheikh Mohammed bin Sayed Al Nabyan as Chief Guest at the Republic Day celebrations in New Delhi on January 26. The UAE Crown Prince will then hold defence and ant-terrorist security talks, which will include intelligence cooperation, with India’s Minister of State in the External Affairs Ministry, M.J.Akbar and National Security Adviser Ajit Doval (Hindu January 10)

UAE diplomats die in Afghan bomb blasts

Five UAE diplomats were killed in the latest bomb blasts in Kandahar, Afghanistan, in which the total death toll was estimated at 11. The Taliban is believed to have been behind the blasts, which were carried out by a suicide bomber. With Pakistan the operating base of jihadi terror groups, India’s Gulf diplomacy is both timely and effective. (Times of India January 12).

Mamata Banerjee

Mukherjee with a petition calling on him to alleviate the pain of the poor caused allegedly by demonetization. She is in the wars,

UAE mourns 5 diplomats killed in mysterious Afghan bombing


UK Asian Voice | 21st January 2017

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13

Traffic wardens catch Lamborghini supercar being parked illegally ‘Bremain Regret’ Principle not Economics

I was meant to vote Remain. But I was giving a speech to the EU in Vienna on Human Rights on June 23rd. And my late British Airways flight meant I couldn’t vote in time. But now I regret not being a Brexiter. Having seen arrogant EU politicians (I prefer arrogant British ones) telling us in Britain that we better do this and better do that – forget the economic arguments about in and out – it’s now a point of principle -I don’t like how EU politicians speak to us. You can make a million economic arguments either way. Doesn’t mean they are all equally good. There is just too much ‘confirmation bias’ where people believe what fits their bias rather than being objective. For me, I am not objective either. I am biased for being a patriotic Brit. I will no cap in hand go to the EU begging to be in the Customs Union or Single Market. Yes I know it will be the end of the economic world if we are not. Oh, it will be a nuclear economic catastrophe, may as well jump off a cliff…hang on…wait…before you go down the suicide route…a falling pound means cheaper exports, means we are more competitive against the

Europeans, means more foreign companies investing here. So get a grip. Stop being afraid. For me it is now totally a matter of principle. I am way too proud to be British to negotiate in any other way. Anyway the British Government has an unofficial policy of weak pound. They want to talk down the Pound because it helps our competitiveness, our balance of payments deficit (ie we import too much and don’t buy enough from British companies), and brings in overseas capital into the UK. Sure, I want everything to be quiet and the same. But we are here. You can’ negotiate by saying you want everything the other side has in its power. Now that we have said we don’t care about Single Market and Customs Union, let’s see the EU tell us what we will and will not get. Do your worst – bomb us with your rhetoric EU. And for the Indian readers of this paper? Fewer EU people means more room for Indians. Sure we don’t have an open border with India, so don’t tell your family to get the plane right away. We haven’t even left yet. By the way, UK-US-Russia – far bigger than EU.

More Indian students stay away from Britain The decline in the number of Indian students coming to Britain continued after new figures released on Thursday showed a 9% decrease in 2015-16 compared to the previous year, dismaying higher education stake-holders and others. Figures released by the Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA) show that 16,745 Indian students registered at higher education institutions during the year, marking a new low since the decline began in 2010. China with 91,215 students topped among non-EU countries. The latest figures amount to a drop of more than 50% in Indian students coming to Britain since 2010, attributed to student visa restrictions that include closure of the post-study work visa. The closure of nearly 800 bogus colleges is also mentioned as a reason for the drop from India. HESA said: “India saw the largest percentage decrease, at 44% between 2011/12 and 2015/16. In numbers, this meant that in 2015/16, the number of student enrolments domiciled from India was 13,150 less than in 2011/12. It is worth noting however, that the decline in student enrolments domiciled from India began a year earlier, in 2010/11.” Karan Bilimoria, member of the House of Lords,

The downward spiral

2010-11 2011-12 2012-13 2013-14 2014-15 2015-16

39,090 29,900 22,375 19,750 18,325 16,745

(Source: Higher Education Statistics Agency, UK)

told HT: “This new drop of Indian student numbers is so, so sad. The policies are not only damaging Britain’s soft power but will also damage its ability to forge free trade agreements in the post-Brexit scenario.” “It is shooting ourselves in the foot. This is economic illiteracy, when international students bring billions of pounds to the British economy and enrich our campuses. We should be more welcoming to international students.” As Indian student numbers in Britain decline, reports suggest that their number is increasing in countries such as Australia, Canada, United States and Germany. Responding to

the new figures, Nicola Dandridge, chief executive of Universities UK, which represents all UK universities, said: “While demand from Chinese students remains exceptionally strong, we have seen a further and worrying decline in student numbers from countries such as India [9%] and Nigeria [-10%]. Numbers from India have almost halved since 2011. Malaysia and the United States have now overtaken India in the table of countries providing students to the UK. In comparison, the number of Indian students enrolling in the USA during the same period increased by 25%. “If the UK wants to remain a top destination for international students and academics, it needs a new approach to immigration that is proportionate and welcoming for talented people from across the world. This will be even more important as the UK looks to enhance its place in the world post-Brexit.”

NOTICE It is proposed to include the surname of Master Gokul (Date of Birth 23/08/2000) in the passport to be issued. His surname is Krishnan Kutty and both of them residing at 55 Bradstowe House, Headstone Road, Harrow HA1 1EH. He will be known as Gokul Krishnan Kutty.

The traffic wardens of Leicester have caught yet another supercar driver who decided parking spaces didn't apply to him. A yellow Lamborghini Aventador was decorated with a matching yellow £35 ticket after it was left outside the Hawthorn Building on the De Montfort University campus this afternoon. Sajeed Sattar, who took these pictures, said the car had been parked on double yellows for more than half an hour when a Leicester City Council traffic warden happened by. Londoner Sajeed, originally from Belgrave, was visiting his family and said he was excited to see the supercar but also got a kick out of seeing it getting ticketed. He told the Leicester Mercury: "I had stopped to

pray at the university because they have a prayer room that anyone can use. As soon as I see those kinds of cars I go crazy and when the guy was parking it up I was there, taking pictures before I went inside to pray. Then I came out at about 2.15pm just as the traffic warden came along." The Lamborghini Aventador was launched as the famous carmaker's flagship model in 2011, and the basic model will cost you a hefty £260,000. Sajeed, 33, who in an investment banker, said there was no doubt that the parking ticket was justi-

fied. He said: "It was definitely a fair cop - it was right on the double yellow lines so he couldn't complain about getting a ticket. It's always nice to see someone with a car like that who parks illegally getting a ticket - not that it will probably bother them too much. I think the guy parked illegally because he didn't want to risk getting any scratches by going into a proper parking bay. I'd parked my car nearby in a proper parking space and paid my £1 but he obviously didn't mind being ticketed."

How Stress Can Cause A Heart Attack A stressful, high-octane lifestyle is probably one of the worst things you can do for your heart, and cardiologists now have a better understanding of why. In a large-scale longitudinal study, published last Wednesday in the

medical journal The Lancet, a team of cardiologists at Harvard University and Massachusetts General Hospital found that stress increases heart attack risk by way of an overactive amygdala in the brain.

The new study shows, for the first time, how an overactive amygdala can cause heart attack and stroke. When stress triggers the amygdala, it activates bone marrow and inflammation of the arteries to create the conditions for a heart attack.


14 COMMUNITY

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Asian Voice |21st January 2017

Shopkeeper fuming after customer leapt on counter to check her till for change One of Brentwood's shopkeepers has hit out at the abuse she receives for refusing to give change for high value notes. Mangala Jhanjee, owner of Paradise Stores is furious at the treatment she receives from some customers who expect to receive change for small value items worth as little as 30p paid for with high value notes. She claims on Saturday a man wanted to pay for a 60p magazine with a £10 note, but after

lot of things about you'. I told him that yes, we have principles and we stick by them and we have a notice which says please carry reasonable change and it does say I am happy to change up to 10 times value of your purchase.," explained Mrs Jhanjee. "He bought a £2 lottery ticket which made it £2.60 and I gave him £7.40 back. When I opened the till, he leant over with his belly on the counter to look into my till. He said he wanted to

Paradise Stores has a set of rules for customers

deciding to buy a £2 lottery ticket to get change when told he had to buy more to get any, he leapt up on the counter to see if there was any in the till. "He said: 'I've heard a

look into my till to see if I had change. I told him this is totally despicable." Mrs Jhanjee, who runs the shop with her husband Rajan, says she is tired of the daily abuse she gets

Mangala Jhanjee, owner of Paradise Stores in Brentwood

from people angry that they can't get change. She said: "It is not their right to get change whenever they want. On Saturdays, especially, we have to be very careful with our change. All the traders have this problem. One of the other shopkeepers came to me because she was so scared of a man who threatened her after she refused to take his money. We don't take cards because they would add to our overheads. All our transactions are small items. You can't justify a card machine for that. But at the same time, we shouldn't have to put up with this type of thing. "What are the options

to me to make people aware? Carrying change is an obligation. In the past I have had a £50 note for a 30p item and the person came back six or seven times during the day to argue it out. In the end I had to call the police. This is not a bottomless pit of change – it's a till. "I have to manage my change. I can't run to the bank every time I run out of change. I have to be prudent. From my point I know it is not right to expect change I don't have. Every single day I get abuse for not giving change for large notes. I am furious that I am subjected to this type of treatment."

CII-UK announces new chair for 2017 The Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) is pleased to welcome Dr David Landsman, Executive Director, Tata Limited as the new Chairperson to take over leadership of the CII India Business Forum (IBF) in the UK for 2017. After three-and-a-half years of supporting CIIIBF UK as Chairperson, Mr. Prashant Jhawar, Chairman, Usha Martin will be handing over to Dr David Landsman, effective as of January 17, 2017. On the announcement, Mr. Prashant Jhawar said, “It has been my pleasure to serve for over 3 years as the Chairperson for CII-IBF UK, representing Indian

Dr David Landsman

companies in the UK, and to work with its membership on policy and business-related engagements. Indian companies play a major role in enhancing India-UK business relationships and I will contin-

ue to support our shared interests. I wish David all the very best in this endeavour.” On his appointment as Chairperson, CII-IBF UK, Dr David Landsman, “I am delighted to be taking on this important role and look forward to working closely with our member companies. This is an excellent moment to strengthen the India-UK partnership as we mark the 70th Anniversary of India’s independence, as well as celebrating our business and cultural ties in this India-UK Year of Culture. As the UK prepares to leave the European Union, we will be fully engaged in working to enhance the

bilateral economic relationship.” CII-IBF UK is a group of corporate members, primarily Indian companies with existing or planned operations in the UK. The Forum provides an avenue for senior representatives of UK or Europe-wide operations of Indian companies to come together and discuss relevant issues for strengthening business cooperation. The TATA Group is among the largest foreign investors and employers in the UK. The diversity of their investments and operations makes them uniquely positioned to represent Indian businesses across a range of sectors.

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Mother’s blood pressure before pregnancy could determine baby’s sex A new study suggests that it is possible to find out the sex of a baby months before it is even conceived. Scientists in Canada discovered that a woman’s blood pressure at around 26 weeks before conception predicts if she will give birth to a boy or a girl. Researchers found those with lower blood pressure tended to have a girl, while higher blood pressure was an indication that a boy was more likely to be conceived. However, it was unclear whether a woman who wanted to have either sex could influence the out-

come by deliberately raising or lowering her blood pressure. Dr Ravi Retnakaran, endocrinologist at Mount Sinai Hospital in Toronto, said: “It suggests that a woman’s blood pressure before pregnancy is a previously unrecognised factor that is associated with her likelihood of delivering a boy or a girl.” The study was published in the American Journal of Hypertension. The study could prove controversial amid concern over pressure on women to have baby boys in some cultures.

Impatient driver ‘moves ambulance with patient inside’ so he can park his car An angry motorist who wanted to park his car got inside an ambulance that was ‘in his way’ – while paramedics were treating a patient inside. The driver climbed into the cab of the vehicle as it was parked in Newbury, at about 2.10pm on December 29. Thames Valley Police said the man moved the ambulance before driving his red Mini Cooper into a parking space which the emergency vehicle had been blocking. They said that the sudden movement caused “distress and dis-

comfort to the patient” who was being treated at the time. Investigating officer PC Nick Easener said: “There was no communication between the offender and the ambulance crew prior to the ambulance being moved. The offender moved the ambulance in order to free up a parking space for himself, without considering if anyone was receiving treatment at the time. His actions could have had very serious consequences for the patient, who was receiving emergency care.”

88-year-old fights back as man grabs her handbag A feisty 88-year-old woman fought back when a man grabbed her handbag in Slough - engaging in a 'tug of war' as she tried to fight him off. The victim who walks with the aid of a stick was heading southbound along the Farnham Road near the Three Tuns pub at the junction with Bath Road at about 8.15am, when a man brushed past her and tried to grab her handbag. She struggled with the offender until he managed

to break the handbag strap. He then ran off with the bag, which contained cash, a bank card, house keys and other personal belongings, along the Bath Road in the direction of Maidenhead. The offender is described as white, about 18 to 20 years, around 5ft 11in to 6ft 1in and was wearing dark clothing. The victim sustained bruising and swelling to her left wrist but did not require hospital treatment.

GAA London Community hold annual Christmas Party GAA London Community held their annual Christmas Party with the Local residents at Kenton Hall. The party was attended by Worshipful Mayor of Brent Cllr Pervez Ahmed and Cllr Reg Colvill and enjoyed the spirit of Xmas with the local residents and members of the GAA London. Since the formation of the GAA London in 1971, the Mandal has gone through considerable changes, many challenges and great achievements. Acquiring and operating the Kenton Hall for the

community has involved tremendous time and enormous amounts of energy from all the Committee Members, Board of Trustees and Volunteers, past and present. It has become the focal point of the community and now has many ongoing events throughout the year including computer classes, yoga classes, Zumba, monthly senior citizen luncheons, Navratri, Diwali and many other festive celebrations and fun days for all to partake and enjoy. The Kenton hall is a

magnificent venue originally built in the early 1900’s as a sports pavilion. It is a truly splendid hall, sited away from the main road and surrounded by green playing fields. Its unique rich décor has not only been preserved but has recently been completely renovated with facilities and access for the disabled. Kenton Hall boasts a stylish and contemporary interior, Kenton Hall, located close to Wembley Stadium and serves the Borough of Brent and Harrow, its prime location

makes it an ideal central North London event venue, just a few minutes walk from Preston Road Tube station, it is the perfect venue for all events, be it for Weddings, Receptions, Engagements or Birthday parties, Community events and Dinner and Dance functions. The venue is privi-

leged to cater for a variety of functions due to the many ancillary halls and rooms available for hire. Ranging from up to 350 people for large events on weekends, down to 10 people for holding meetings, seminars and training courses during weekdays Kenton hall is

equipped with PA system, projectors, workstations, white boards, tables, etc to facilitate conferences, seminars and training courses. The venue also has a licenced bar with a joining outdoor pavilion with beautiful panoramic view of the park, and ample parking for over 100 cars.


SP

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Slough Scouts make donations from own pockets to help less fortunate

Scouts make donations from own pockets to help less fortunate

A group of scouts spread Christmas cheer and made donations from their own pockets over the festive period. The group of 24 Scouts and eight Cubs from 13th Slough Sikh Scouts visited Dimensions care home in Cippenham, to sing Christmas carols and pass on gifts. Each of the young boys and girls had parted with £10 of their own pocket money to buy gifts for residents of the home, such as sensory equipment, massage oils and arts and crafts equipment. The charity Dimensions UK help people with learning disabilities, autism, challenging behaviour and

complex needs. The visit was on the evening of December 21 and the youngsters were aged eight to 14. Scout group leader, Nirmal Singh, said: “This was a way for the Scouts to do something for those less fortunate during a time when children normally focus on what they are going to be given as opposed to what they are prepared to give.” The Scouts raised £600 for the charity Thames Valley Hospice after their annual charity quiz on December 14. The group also made the very useful donation of a new fridge to the care home for the residents to use.

New measures aimed at reducing the noise from night flights at Heathrow Airport were announced by the Government last week. They aim to help encourage the use of quieter aircraft to limit the number of people affected by noise at night, while ‘maintaining benefits to passengers and the economy of night flights’. Current night flight restrictions expire in October 2017 and the new rules, which will also apply to Gatwick and Stansted airports, will last until 2022. Each aircraft is set a value between 0-16 depending on how loud it is during take-off and landing. The measures will reduce the total noise quota allowed, encouraging the industry to use quieter planes. The rules are out for public consultation today (Thursday) and include reducing the total noise quota at Heathrow by at least 43 per cent in the winter, and 50 per cent in the

summer. A ‘strict cap’ will also be set at existing levels for the number of night flights from Heathrow and Gatwick. Aviation Minister Lord Ahmad said: “This Government is committed to tackling the issue of aircraft noise, especially flights at night, which can be a blight for people living near airports. “Night flights are, however, important to the economy, creating extra choice for passengers and moving freight, and we need to carefully balance the needs of local communities with the benefits these flights can bring. “That’s why we are encouraging the use of quieter aircraft by bringing in tighter noise quotas at the airports and setting strict caps on aircraft movements at night.” The consultation will run until Tuesday, February 28, after which responses will be reviewed and a final decision will be published.

New measures to reduce night flight noise at Heathrow announced

Nikkita Mulchandani: Dream Wedding Planner

TLIGHT

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Asian Voice | 21st January 2017

Sunetra Senior

The Meridian Grand is a dazzlingly transformative London events venue, catering primarily to weddings, whose chief conceptualiser and Managing Director, Nikkita Mulchandani, is of an aptly ambitious and adaptive mind. The young businesswoman graduated from Warwick University, flirting first with the idea of fashion before moving into the world of advertising and later coming to realise a one-of-a-kind North London structure: “The modern dream, of course, is to be able to work for yourself, and having garnered plenty of commercial experience by my late twenties, it felt exactly the right time to invest in this spectacular project with my entrepreneurial father. The successful owner of a Cash and Carry, he had discovered that many potential customers were struggling to locate a wedding or functions venue that satisfied both the luxurious taste of central London, and the accessibility of where they lived – thus the Meridian Grand was born. I embraced the chance to contribute an unre'If you work as stricted creativity, growing alongside my business skills, and it certainly helped that I was getting married! It made the final a team, you can concept very authentic and timely and personal.” achieve the dream!' *** Indeed, the unique features of the Meridian Grand range from the sparkling, enticing chandeliers, high ceilings and projection screens where luminous photographs of the happy couple coming together can be displayed in the main foyer, to the two grand ballrooms (Grand and Meridian pictured) that can be opened out into one, “and the Infinity and Eternity Suites for afternoon tea, pre-Reception drinks and canapes and civil registry on the same day should the couple wish it,” Mulchandani added. “Our overarching colours are very neutral, consisting of creams and ivories and the occasional touch of gold, because ultimately we wanted the venue to be our customers’ vision to sculpt.” Here, state of the art technology comes in to provide the sleekest finishing touch. Using her iPad, Mulchandani can change the colours of the rooms to match to the wedding outfits and particular ceremonies and all the various little details. It is no wonder then that the Meridian Grand should come across modern yet ethereally fairy-tale like all at the same time: it is not just a feat of impressive, new architecture, but of innovative and passionate thinking. “One of our highlight events was a circus-themed ceremony,” the director gushingly finished. “Event co-ordination– or a source of inspiration – is included as part of the Meridian Grand package, and in this particular case, we ended up having a Ring-Master of Ceremonies, acrobats pouring wine to the guests from the ceilings, and the special couple themselves pop out from a big wedding cake!”

Tell us a bit more about the unique features of the Meridian Grand? We wanted to create elegant, flexible, easy-to-find and excellent wedding facilities. The venue capacity is 1200 guests, and we have 300 parking spaces. Our kitchens include one that is purely vegetarian, and we have bridal and Groom facilities, providing privacy when the couple are preparing for and in-between their wedding moments. We have a grand staircase from which they can descend too, and the spacious setting makes for good photography. There is a Premier Inn nearby but our USP is that we are not a hotel first, but a function venue. We are always ready to help you on your special day, from the catering to the décor. The kitchen is stocked for banqueting, with the food being a bespoke feature too. We also accommodate any cultural event; the versatility of the Meridian Grand makes it quite cosmopolitan.

Did you have any particular era or style in mind when designing the Meridian Grand? I am not a fan of pastiche so I wasn’t going to create a period interior when the building itself is so fresh and new. We can adapt any style at the moment, while retaining a sense of elegance.

What is your favourite aspect of the job? Honestly, the smile at the end of the day and the thank yous from happy customers. We constantly strive to please and achieve people’s visions and it’s incredible when they come together. Tell us more about the Smart technology that facilitates Meridian Grand planning? I love asking people, ‘what’s your favourite colour’? and then showing them how the event will manifest at the customised touch of a button! Our tech streamlines the planning process from

start to finish without ever compromising the quality of the service.

What’s a key factor to remember as a manager? Never say no. If the client wants it; aim to provide. If there’s a problem, aim to solve it.

How have you found balancing your personal life and the business side as a woman? How have you sought to overcome challenges? There is a preconception within Asian culture that women can’t hold positions of power, but you just throw yourself into the work and don’t let it dictate you.

Finally, do you have a business motto? Yes! If you work as a team, you can achieve the dream.

W

www.meridiangrand.co.uk


INDIA LEAGUE IN A LEAGUE OF ITS OWN 16

UK

Asian Voice |21st January 2017

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Smita Sarkar & Anand Pillai

If today the world sees India as a potential super power or a soft power giant, there are many who have contributed to India’s rise, especially the foundation of which was laid way back during the Swami Vivekananda days and the great Indian freedom struggle in which apart from Mahatma Gandhi, the India League in the UK played a pivotal role in mobilising people to fight against the British Empire and imperialism. Indian National Movement

The Indian national movement was undoubtedly one of the biggest mass movements modern world has ever seen. It was a movement which galvanised millions of people of all classes and idealogies into political action and brought to its knees a mighty colonial empire. A major aspect of the freedom struggle is the values and modern ideals on which the movement itself was based and the broad socio-economic and political vision of its leadership. This vision was that of a democratic, civil libertarian and secular India, based on a self-reliant, egalitarian social order and an independent foreign policy. Indian leaders had established the principle that Indians should hate British imperialism but not the British people. Consequently, they were supported by a large number of English men, women and political groups.

Arrival of M K Gandhi

On January 9, 1915, Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi returned to his homeland after two decades in South Africa. In 1917 and 1918 he led localised protests against specific grievances of peasants and workers; in 1919 he organised satyagrahas in the major cities of British India against a restrictive new legislation known as the Rowlatt Act; and in 1920 he launched a countrywide campaign of ‘non-co-operation’ against British colonial rule. Gandhiji liked to refer to Gopal Krishna Gokhale as his ‘guru’. In 1919 the first Indian Parliament was established, but the turning point of that year was the Jallianwala Bagh massacre in Amritsar. At least 800 innocent Indians were killed in the carnage. After this, even liberal Indians like Gandhiji started demanding independence for India from the British. Gandhiji became the leader of the Indian National Congress after Tilak’s death in 1920. Gandhiji led and organised three major campaigns against the colonial rule. These were the noncooperation movement of the 1920s, the civil disobedience movement of the 1930s whose highlight was his march to the sea to make salt, then a state monopoly, and the Quit India Movement of the 1940s.

India League

India League shaped India’s freedom movement in London.It is a

UK Asian Voice |21st January 2017

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nationalist organisation that was established in London to campaign for India’s Poorna Swaraj or full independence. Established in 1928 by a group of western-educated Indians and distinguished British academics, diplomats, and parliamentarians, India League originated from its parent organisation, the Commonwealth of India League, which was brought together in 1922 under the aegis of Annie Besant. India League’s aim was to raise consciousness among the British public about the ills of the colonial rule in India under the British Raj. Nationalist speeches, conferences and meetings were held throughout Britain. The executive members of the organisation distributed pamphlets and literature that sought to highlight the injustice faced by the Indians; thereby mobilising public opinion and inspiring the Indians and British in England to protest. In London, the India League was spearheaded by lawyer, activist, and radical editor V K Krishna Menon. Menon politicised the organisation in London. He rejected its original objective of India being given a Dominion Status and pushed instead for complete independence and home rule. According to author and Delhi University’s professor of history, Suhash Chakravarty, Krishna Menon is probably the only man who worked wholeheartedly to create a public opinion in England for the independence movement. He is convinced that Menon managed to get different segments of public opinion to veer towards freedom even though there was complete unanimity in English public opinion on retaining British connections with India. This view, he feels, became part of the British psyche. Chakravarty says, “Menon was able to galvanise the Quakers, the Christian Socialists, a substantial section of the independent Labour Party, left-wing Labour party men, a few liberals, a substantial section of conservatives who read ‘Spectator’ and, of course, the communists, despite their characterisation of Indian nationalism as bourgeoise.” The India League members were mainly elite British and Indians living in Britain; but several Indian and Ceylonese students and visiting elites were part of the meetings and campaigns from time to time. The members formed smaller, but related, organisations like the Indian Conciliation Committee of the Society of

one or more of these movements are indeed well known.” In retrospect, Prof Mishra says that the League was ahead of its time and ideological orientation and its India-centred articulation and advocacy was a shining example of primacy of ideas as an agent of change. “The quality of League’s intervention was positive, contributing its bit to the stream of endeavours that brought about independence and freedom to the British colony,” says Prof Mishra.

Pandit Shyamji Krishna Verma, Editor of the Indian Sociologist

Friends, Action Committee, Communist Party, Cambridge Majlis, India Club, Fabians, Labour Party, and a Women’s Committee. Participation of women was encouraged and Brijlal Nehru was the Chairman of the Women’s Committee, with Mrs Jai Kshori Handoo, Mrs Bimla Nehru, Mrs Asha Bhattacharya, and Miss M. Nicholson as Executive Members supported by Ms Anna Pollack as Assistant Secretary of the Committee. All the members of the Indian

Southampton, Newcastle, and Lancashire. Through these people and the various sub-committees, Menon crusaded and urged for the cause of India’s home rule and independence on various platforms. Its parliamentary committee members petitioned to members of Parliament where many executive members of India League highlighted the issues concerned. Executive members arranged for Indian leaders to address the House of Commons to discuss poli-

V K Krishna Menon, Founder of India League, with Jawaharlal Nehru

League worked on a voluntary, unpaid basis and were the cream of the intellectual, political, nationalist Indians and British. Prof Omprakash Mishra, an active member of All India Congress party and professor of international relations, says: “Activities of India League in London provided an intellectual backdrop to the growing collaboration between the Indian nationalists and sympathetic and progressive sections of British elite.”

India League Campaign

Krishna Menon started by working aggressively towards removing founder members like Annie Besant who established the Home Rule for India League in 1916 to impart India with Dominion Status. He side-tracked her ideas and by the early 1930s, managed to rope in UK-based Indians and influential British from all the major cities and towns, including Birmingham, Cardiff, Hull, Bournemouth, Dublin, Leeds, Manchester, Wolverhampton, Sheffield, Leeds, Bristol,

cies concerning India. The League worked tirelessly with different groups, organisations, and even appealed to the common people throughout the country, thereby stirring public opinion in favour of India. Prof Mishra says: “Even while the visiting Indian leadership could use and utilise a platform to air their views and press for their cause, India League facilitated a more direct connect between the British sympathisers and the severity of the situation in India. “Qualitative intervention by the League helped change the narrative of the ‘benevolent’ Empire to the one that was distasteful to the sensitivities of the enlightened group of men and women who valued freedom and independence.” The League worked along with its counterpart, the Congress party in India. This could be attributed to the friendship between Nehru and Menon – both educated in London and strong nationalists who were deeply influenced by Western political ideals. They believed in resolving issues through dialogues and debates –

using the path of passive resistance through non-violence. For them, the pen was mightier than the sword. Menon formed a delegation with the likes of Monica Whately, Ellen Wilkinson, and Leonard Matters in 1932 to examine the situation in India. Indian National Congress edition of ‘Condition of India’, an incisive report on the situation as it obtained in India under the ordinance rule in 1932 following the failure of the Round Table Conference in 1931 and the incarceration of Gandhi in early 1932. Prepared by the delegation to India sponsored by the India League, it is based on its findings during an extensive on-the-spot investigation all over India. The volume was published in 1934 despite a good deal of opposition from official quarters and was promptly banned in India. The report emphasised that the ordinances were directed against an unarmed and non-violent people irrespective of age or gender and led by a frail but determined leader with a unique vision. The rule gave rise to an official ordinance mind, at once arrogant, authoritarian, repressive and callous and the ascendancy of a brutal police force as the principal executive authority. The civil disobedience movement had been extended to rural India and was enriched by an extensive participation of women, peasants and working class. The Indian National Congress had become a mass movement and, at places, adopted socialist aspiration and reiterated its democratic character. The League vehemently crusaded against the jailing of Gandhi and Nehru during the “Quit India” movement in 1942 and the horrific Bengal famine in 1943. The League published leaflets, dissertations, and articles in journals and newspapers that contradicted the British publicity and distortion about the plight of Indians under British rule. News India and Information Bulletin were two such publications. According to Dr Anuradha Ray, Professor of history at Jadavpur University, “The campaign in London did not remain restricted to ‘moderate’ methods of Dadabhai Naoraji, but branched out into various paths of supporting Indian cause: Theosophy, Home rule movement, militant nationalism, even women’s movement. Names like Shyamji Krishna Varma, Annie Besant, Bhikhaiji Cama, Vinayak Savarkar as key figures of

India League after India’s independence in 1947

Menon was a socialist and realised that they needed to approach the working class and the Labour Party to attract more support and encompass the issues concerning the Indian labour class in Britain. To this effect, the League established its East End branch in the early 1940s. The organisation continued to function even after independence aiming at strengthening links between India and Britain. Its struggle was not just confined to India, but was geared against imperialism and towards liberating people from countries across the world. The League continued to publish articles about India, with the help of a dedicated group of journalists and academics like Dr Taapada Datta, Premen Sen and others. The Indian Journalists’ Association was formed in 1947, with a bunch of independentthinking reporters from leading Indian newspapers. Amongst the founding members were the fearless and legendary journalist Dr Tarapada Basu who continued with the India League journal for nearly four decades. After India gained independence on August 15, 1947, Menon was appointed as India’s High Commissioner to the UK who provided useful guidance and assistance to the members of the League. He was followed by Vijay Lakshmi Pandit who also continued the good work done by her predecessor. In the mid-eighties, the Indian Community Organisations evolved and began arranging important events, especially for British politicians, budding Indian entrepreneurs, and professionals, as well as an increasing number of British Indian Community.

The Gandhi of Tavistock Square

Nearly every square has historical associations, but Tavistock Square in Central London is uniquely significant. At its centre is one of the most moving of all statues of Gandhiji. The statue, by Polish sculptor Fredda Brilliant, was gifted to London by the Indian High Commissioner in Britain in 1967, and unveiled by then Labour Prime Minister Harold Wilson. It was indeed in Tavistock Square that one of the four bombs blew apart a bus, taking 13 of the 52 innocent lives on July 7, 2005. The Gandhi represented here is a seated figure, ponderous and

meditative, not the more familiar Gandhi with the walking-stick. The hollow pedestal was intended, and is used, for people to leave floral tributes to the peace campaigner and non-violent resister to oppression in South Africa and British rule in India. The square is now owned and administered by the London Borough of Camden. Every year Indian High Commission in association with the India League organises a function at Tavistock Square to commemorate Gandhi Jayanthi on October 2 and the Nirwana Diwas on January 30. The event, that is open to public, is usually attended by the Mayor of Camden, local Councillors, Asian MPs and Peers, community leaders and organisational heads. The Indian High Commissioner, Chairman of the India League and Mayor of Camden address the gathering. The current chairman of the India League is Mr C B Patel, the Publisher and Editor of Asian Voice and Gujarat Samachar.

Notable India League members till the 1950s

Harold Joseph Laski was the President of the Committee for Action between 1930-1942. A professor at the London School of Economics, he met Menon in 1926 at the LSE and joined the India League. He negotiated with Gandhiji and Aga Khan on the future constitutional status of religion. Bertrand Russell was the Chairman of India League’s Committee for Action between 1932 to 1939. The political campaigner and journalist presided over meetings and wrote the preface of the report ‘The Condition of India’. Asha Bhattacharya, an Executive Member, ran education classes for Indian students from the East End branch, along with Dr H J Handoo’s wife, Mrs Jai Kishori Handoo. Mrs Handoo was actively involved in raising funds for the Committees. The daughter of the owner of an affluent woollen mill in Mumbai, Bhicoo Batlivala was an active member of the India League and proved to be a charismatic and articulate speaker who had campaigned and given lecture tours in Washington and different parts of Europe. Henry Noel Brailsford was an Executive Member, a political journalist, and a critic of British imperialism. He was an active supporter of home rule for India. Fenner Brockway started working as a journalist at the age of 16. He met Nehru in 1911 when he was studying law and visited Oxford to hear Brockway speak on India’s independence struggle.

V K Krishna Menon (May 3, 1896 – October 6, 1974)

Hailing from the historic city of Calicut (Kerala, India) where Vasco da Gama landed in 1498, Krishna Menon was the founder of India League. He lobbied with key Labour MPs in Britain and selffunded most of the meetings,

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events, investigations, and discussions to expound the socio-economic and political situation in India. He supported the strikes by the lascar (and their British counterparts) as a Labour councillor for the Borough of St Pancras (from 1934 to 1939 and from 1944 to 1947). According to late Justice V R Krishna Iyyer, former Justice of Supreme Court of India: “As an Indian who was a subject of the British Empire, Krishna Menon remained in Britain and fought for India’s independence against the British Empire. He went to Britain and there became a remarkable figure in organising a freedom movement for India’s liberation. Many

placed. The newspaper was shifted from London to Paris. From France the newspaper found its way to Geneva where Shyamji spent his last years.

India House

In 1905 was born the India House, the historic fountain of India’s struggle. A three-storied building on Highgate, a ‘mystery house’ for Britishers but a shrine for India’s warriors for peace. For students coming from India, India House functioned as hostel accommodation. It was inaugurated by British nationalist Hyndman. Barrister Sardarsinh Rana, Madame Cama,

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transforming India’s destiny. Gandhiji was on his Dandi march. And in Lahore jail waiting to kiss the noose were rebels Sardar Bhagat Singh, Rajguru and Sukhdev. And in those very days in a foreign land the Father of the Indian Revolution, Shyamji, was on his last legs. Shyamji was moved to Geneva Hospital. Bhanumati was looking after him. Shyamji breathed his last there. Shyamji’s last wish was “His ashes be brought back to a free India”. In 2003 then Gujarat CM (now PM) Narendra Modi returned from Geneva with his ashes to Gujarat. In Mandvi (Kutch), Shyamji’s birthplace, the urns were kept forever.

India League Reins

Among many notable names, Michael Foot was chairman of India League. Foot campaigned for the Socialist League with Krishna Menon, and joined his India League, heading, in the early 1940s, a campaign for the inclusion of India in the application of the principles of freedom set out in the Atlantic Charter, and speaking at numerous League meetings. India League had a publication later on in 1947 called India Weekly. It was a sister publication. They also bought a club called India League Trend. At that time there was no other organisation in the UK except Zoroastrian Association which was founded in 1861 in Kensington, London. According to Ralph Hinnells it Mr CB Patel, Chairman of India League, shares a light moment with Mr Asoke Gupta, a senior activist of India League, at the latter's residence in London was the first Asian religious association founded in Britain. Lala Lajpatrai and Dadabhai people had fought for independAnd in 1932 the Maharashtra Navroji too were present. India ence for India but very few people Mandal was established in London House became associated with you can find fighting for India’s at the suggestion of Gandhiji. At unparalleled events in history. It independence from the country the 1930-31 Rountable Conference was here Gandhiji met Shyamji. which held India under subjection Gandhiji suggested “why don’t you With a letter from Tilak, Vinayak i.e. the British Empire.” start the Maharashtra Mandal?” Rao Savarkar reached London and According to Lord Swaraj Paul, and that’s how it came into being. then there were brilliant happenMenon had sown the seeds of But India League was the flagings. The 1857 half centenary year India’s freedom movement. Lord bearer for the independence of was celebrated with fervour. Paul says: “Both Nehru and India and even after 1947 to estabContact with Lenin took place. Krishna Menon, they were really lish links with the British establishHere Savarkar chronicled 1857’s the original people who worked for ment. There was a need and justifihistory. Homage was paid to India’s freedom, especially Menon able demand that why don’t they Indian martyrs. A youth Madanlal in Britain. Krishna Menon’s contriinstall a statue of Gandhiji at a cenDinghra publicly gunned down the bution to India was remarkable – tral place in London. It was oppressive British official, Sir his setting up of the India League, unthinkable in those days. Today William Hutt Curzon Wyllie, and bringing in British parliamentariwe have statues of Nelson Mandela was hanged. Savarkar was caught ans, British opinion farmers, etc. is in Parliament Square and many in London itself. He was sentenced almost a legacy and a history which more, but in 1960 when the camto two life imprisonments in India. no Indian can afford to forget.” paign started, thanks to the Labour Adhering to the decision taken at government of Harold Wilson and India House in 1907 Madame Camden Council, the location for Cama unfurled the first national Pandit Shyamji Krishna the installation of the statue was flag at the International Socialist Verma (1857-1930) assigned at Tavistock Square. Conference in Stuttgart. Thanks to British people India Shyamji’s last years too were With the coming of the 20th centuLeague was almost run by the devoted to relentless efforts for ry, the freedom struggle went British, though Indians were at the independence. He inspired stuahead on foreign shores. Shyamji, a helm. It is they who convinced the dents in the fight for freedom. He Sanskrit scholar and Oxford graduBritish establishment that it is set up institutions abroad. He also ate, took active part in it. On right and proper to give independcreated scholarships for Indian February 18, 1905, he formed the ence to India. Americans were the students to study in Britain from Home Rule Society in London, a ones who told Britain that you can’t 1905, on the condition that they rallying call for securing Home subjugate India and talk about would not work for the British Rule back in India. There the need help from America for the World Government. for an Indian newspaper too was Wars. Shyamji got together selfless felt. “The Indian Sociologist” was India League, a movement that groups that strived for political launched as a cry for India’s freestarted under the able guidance of freedom in London. He kept condom in countries all over the world. the forgotten luminary, V K tacts alive in Russia, Japan, Shyamji was its Editor and it cost a Krishna Menon, has come a long America, Egypt, China, penny. Place of publication was way and is now under the safe Afghanistan, Ireland and constantQueen’s Wood Avenue, Highgate, hands of Mr C B Patel, the ly kept writing for the Indian London North. From 1905 to 1927 Publisher and Editor of Asian Sociologist. In March 1930 revoluthe newspaper kept making waves. Voice and Gujarat Samachar. tionaires all over the country were In London restrictions were


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FINANCIAL VOICE

Asian Voice | 21st January 2017

Gujarat teen signs £500,000 MoU

Harshwardhan Zala

A 14 year old boy became the topic of conversation at the Vibrant Gujarat Global Summit, after he signed a £500,000-worth memorandum of understanding with the state government. Teenaged Harshwardhan Zala signed a deal with the Department of Science and Technology, Government of Gujarat, to facilitate production of the drones that help detect and defuse land mines on war fields. The higher secondary student had worked on his business plan and made three prototypes of the drone at a time when his peers are fretting over the upcoming annual board examinations. He said he started work on the prototype of the landminedetecting drone in 2016 and created a business plan too. "The inspiration struck when I was watching television and learned that a large number of soldiers succumb to injuries sustained due to landmine blasts while defusing them manually," he said. Spending a total amount of Rs 500,000 on the three prototypes, Zala said his parents had shelled out approximately Rs 200,000 for the first two prototypes, and later received Rs 300,000 from the state for the third. It is wired to locate and destroy. "The drone has been equipped with infrared, RGB sensor and thermal meter along with a 21 megapixel camera with

a mechanical shutter that can take high resolution pictures as well," he explained. It is designed to send out waves that cover eight sq mt area while flying two feet above the surface, the waves detect land mines and communicate their location with a base station. "The drone also carries a bomb weighing 50 gram that can be used to destroy the landmine," he said. Zala has already registered for a patent and has even set up a company of his own, Aerobotics. He said, "I started making drones on my own and set up an interface with a base station but realised I need to do more. So I fixed payloads that detect landmines. I have several other plans that I want to execute once the patent for this drone is registered." His father Pradhyumansinh Zala is an accountant with a plastic company in Naroda, and his mother Nishaba is a homemaker. His passion to get his product patented and produced got leverage during a visit to Google, Inc. headquarters in the US. "This was part of an all-expenses paid trip to the US that was part of a prize I won during an innovation event at LD College of Engineering. Now, I need to inform these investors about the MoU and I am sure they will be ready to invest in my company," he said.

Pay £60 mn or go to jail: SC tells Subrata Roy The Supreme Court of India told Sahara Group chief Subrata Roy to deposit £60 million in a SEBI-Sahara refund account by February 6, or go to jail. A court bench also said that "too much indulgence" has already been given to the Sahara chief. The company has so far returned a total of £ 1.80 billion to its investors. The bench initially asked Roy to deposit £100 million with market regulator SEBI in two months or it will appoint a receiver, but later reduced the money to be deposited to £60 million by February 6. SEBI had earlier said that Sahara was liable to pay £3.70 billion with interest, of which the principal amount payable was £2.40

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India's industrial output rises despite demonetisation AsianVoiceNews

Industrial output growth rose to a surprising 13month high of 5.7 per cent in November as retail inflation slowed to a 25-month low in December by a sharp decline in vegetable prices. November industrial output data should bring good news to policymakers as the numbers released last week showed that the controversial demonetisation move has not made any significant impact on industrial growth. Data released by the Central Statistics Office shows that industrial output grew an annual 5.7 per cent in November as compared to a decline of 3.4 per cent in the year earlier period. The sector had declined 1.8 per cent in October. Growth in November was helped by the favourable base effect and the performance of manufacturing, capital goods, and consumer durables sectors. Between April and

November, industrial output growth rose 0.4 per cent as compared to 3.8 per cent expansion in the year ago period, reflecting the sluggishness still persisting in the sector. However, economists said it was too early to predict whether the November data had shrugged off the impact of demonetisation. "The positive IIP numbers have come as a surprise. Prima facie, it looks like the effect of demonetisation has been nullified by the huge negative base effect.

However, this growth needs to be seen with caution, whether it is sustained in the coming needs to be seen," said Madan Sabnavis, chief economist at Care Ratings. Manufacturing sector rose 5.5 per cent in November as compared to a decline of 4.6 per cent in November 2015, while mining rose an annual 3.9 per cent as compared to 1.7 per cent in the year earlier period. The capital goods sector, which is seen as a key gauge of industrial activity,

Air India to double its fleet India's Air India is all set to almost double its fleet after the government decided to add over 100 aircraft - without burdening the exchequer with a mammoth debt burden like last time. The airline will supposedly grow, by leasing aircraft instead of purchasing them. "AI will induct 100 more aircraft in next four years. We have decided not to seek any additional budgetary support, except for the turnaround plan approved for the airline earlier. The airline will lease aircraft and has the resources to make the payment that needs to be made for leasing," said Aviation Secretary RN Choubey. Financial aid of £3.02 billion was approved for Air India in 2012- out of which, £2.23 billion till March 2016 and another £171.30 million was to be given in FY16-17. Modi Sarkar has decided that the airline's plan for growth will not lead to any

enhancement in this equity support. AI has 118 planes, of which 41 are wide-bodied ones used on long haul and a few domestic routes, 66 narrow-bodied ones used on domestic and nearby international routes, and 11 are regional jets. Seventy seven planes are owned by the airline, 22 are sold and leased back and 19 are leased. "The airline is on track as far as its financial and operational improvement is concerned. It had an operating profit last fiscal and will be in net profit by 2019-20," Choubey said. By March 31, 2020, AI

group is looking at a fleet of 232 as some planes from the 111-aircraft order placed in 2006 are yet to be delivered. It will take 40 Airubs A320s on lease for domestic and international routes, and will order another 35 turboprops. "AI management is talking to banks for debt restructuring," Choubey said. The airline's total loan is about £5 billion, of which £2.80 billion is working capital loan at an interest rate of 10 per cent. It is seeking to convert this working capital loan to 7 per cent LIC loan.

Suzuki's Gujarat plant to be global hub for passenger cars Subrata Roy

billion. Roy was sent to jail on May 4, 2014, for his failure to comply with a 2012 order directing him to return investors' £1.76 billion with 15 per cent interest, which his two companies Sahara India Real Estate Corp Ltd and Sahara Housing Finance Corp Ltd had raised through optionally fully convertible debentures in 2007 and 2008.

Suzuki Motor Corporation's Gujarat plant that is set to commence production from February, is all set to become manufacturing hub for the automobile giant's passenger cars worldwide. Addressing the inaugural session of the 8th edition of the Vibrant Gujarat Global Summit, SMC's president and CEO, Toshihiro Suzuki said that they plan to set up an automobile industry cluster in Gujarat to train people in auto manufacturing.

"I visited the Gujarat plant site yesterday and found that everything is ready. The plant will start production from next month," he said. The company will supply vehicles and components exclusively to its Indian subsidiary Maruti Suzuki India from the plant, which will house two vehicles assembly lines of 2.5 lakh units per annum each and an engine unit. The production capacity of Gujarat plant can be expanded to 7,50,000 units per year in the future.

"Gujarat plant will play important role as production hub of our passenger cars worldwide," Suzuki said. He also added that the company has more plants for Gujarat. "We are eager to set up an automobile industry cluster in Gujarat. For this we will invite more auto component makers to Gujarat. We will also try to create sufficient numbers of superior manpower in the state by setting up a Japan-India Institute in manufacturing here."

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rose 15 per cent in November compared to a decline of 24.4 per cent in November 2015. The consumer durables sector rose 9.8 per cent compared to a growth of 12.2 per cent. The electricity sector grew 8.9 per cent in November compared to 0.7 per cent expansion in November 2015. Separate data released by the CSO showed retail inflation slowed to a 25-month low of 3.4 per cent in December. Inflation as measured by the consumer price index was 3.6 per cent in November. Food inflation slowed to 1.4 per cent in December compared to 2 per cent in the previous month, largely on the back of a 14.6 per cent decline in vegetable prices and 1.6 per cent contraction in prices of pulses. Sugar and confectionery remained a pressure point rising an annual 21 per cent in December.

Bharti Airtel opens banking operations

Bharti Airtel, world's third-largest mobile phone operator, has become the first telecom group to launch banking operations in India. In the last week, over 260 million mobile phone users were able to open savings accounts at the company's stores and use their phones to deposit and withdraw cash. The Airtel Payments Bank aims to take digital banking services to the unbanked over their mobile phones. "Just like mobile telephony leapfrogged traditional telecom networks to take affordable telecom services deep into the country, Airtel Payments Bank aims to take digital banking services to the unbanked over their mobile phones," said Sunil Bharti Mittal, chairman of parent group Bharti Enterprises. "Millions of Indians in rural areas will get their first formal banking experience." Just last year, India's central bank had introduced rules to allow supermarket chains, fintech groups and mobile phone operators to launch the "payments banks", with an intention to include the public more in a patchy banking system. Such banks can accept deposits up to Rs 100,000 and have to invest 75 per cent of the total in government securities. Rules also dictate that they cannot lend money. Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, who launched the bank along with Mittal, believes payments banks are crucial to the economy.


REALESTATEVOICE

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EVERY LOCK HAS A KEY AsianVoiceNews

AsianVoiceNewsweekly

We have a major issue in London in regards to affordability. For example, the average wage in Westminster is £36k per annum, whilst the average property price in Westminster in 2016 was £1,527,280. So the average property price is 42 times the average salary.

Suresh Vagjiani

Sow & Reap London Property Investment

A typical mortgage product allows a borrowing of 4-5 times the annual salary, this means the average person in Westminster, earning an average wage of £36k, can only borrow £180k. You would probably struggle to purchase anything for this amount, probably in all of London. Is the solution to get married? If it’s a couple, you have a slightly better chance as the borrowing would double to £360k, this would at least allow you to buy in the outskirts. The average property price in London stands at £527,349 as of August 2016. So there’s a possibly of purchasing a smaller property for this amount in the fringes of London.

BUY TO LET OPPORTUNITY EDGWARE ROAD, W2 Purchase Price: £550,000

Asian Voice | 21st January 2017

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The income multiples applied by mortgage lenders do not work anymore. They last worked in 1995 when the average property prices were 3.2 to 4.4 times the average salary in the UK. With numbers on the higher side of 4.4 in London this translated to an average salary being £19,000 and the average house price being £83k. Blaenau Gwent in South Wales is the cheapest place to buy a home, with an average property price of £75,000. To afford a typical two or three bedroom terraced house in this area, single buyers need to earn just over £13,000 a year. As the average income in Blaenau Gwent exceeds this by £6,000, this is named as the most affordable place for single buyers to get onto the property ladder. The Evening Standard dated 16th January 2017 reads: “Homes priced at less than £300,000 are now an “endangered species” in London as huge demand forces up values in the capital’s last affordable

neighbourhoods.” The number of wards where prices averaged below the £300,000 mark plummeted from 104 to 40 last year, most of them in the outer fringes of east and south London, according to research. This means the majority of buyers for property in these locations fit into three broad categories: 1. rich end users 2. foreign investors 3. local investors Although in this article we

have considered the purchasing ability, the same affordability issues exist on the rental side. The average rental price in Westminster is £818 per week. It’s clear in many, if not most, parts of London the people who work there cannot afford to live there. However, where there is a problem there’s often an opportunity. Demographics are shifting, the family nucleus is breaking down,

individuals are staying single for longer. They no longer cook at home, these and many more indicators suggest a solution is required, to not only suit the budget but also the lifestyle. We will be showcasing our solution for the London property market in our event in Wembley, on the 25th January 2017, which presents an exciting opportunity for investors. Spaces are limited at the event, so be quick to book your place.

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FINANCIAL VOICE

Asian Voice | 21st January 2017

Consultant Editor Financial Voice Alpesh Patel

Dear Financial Voice Reader I believe the best way to understand the markets is to watch a trader do it live from his office. Watch live trades – learn from seeing live where to place trades, how to place them, when to sell, how to leave the screen and not be a screenslave Learn without expensive time consuming classes from academic lecturers who neither manage their own or other people’s money – the two prerequisites for teaching trading. This is the best way in my view. The problem has become that although British Indians are the most valuable clients but most lose money because they do trading wrong. My mentor, Bill Lipschutz (the world’s largest Forex trader and in 2016 the most successful) shares his 2017 views and trading strategy that turned me from a private investor to an FT award winning hedge fund manager Insider views of what hedge funds thinking for 2017: USD up up and away. There are many myths out there. Myth: You have no chance against professionals Truth: I as a Private Investor, like you, beat Neil Woodford (who manages billions) publicly in the Financial Times. Myth: You have to work for a big bank like Goldman Sachs, Barclays, Rothschilds to get the insider tips and move the market Truth: I will show you in the webinar how Goldmans became my client, Barclays launched my trading books and Rothschild’s are the bankers to my fund. All had once long ago rejected me from trading positions at their company Myth: You have to be born with lots of money Truth: I did this against the odds. I went to a State School in Leeds. No silver spoon. I borrowed £100 from my aunt when I was 12. Once I was consistently profitable friends and family happily gave me the capital to build a track record to then eventually even set up my own fund with money from institutions. Myth: You can’t do this with a day-job Truth: I used to trade with a dayjob – being a full-time student. Then I was a barrister, a lucrative job and traded on the side, before leaving to trade full-time. Myth: No teacher will ever tell me what he does if he is successful Truth: This is sort of true. Actually they always do and always have -it’s how I learnt from Bill Lipschutz 20 years ago who last year again won the ‘Best Hedge Fund Manager’ Award.

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TCS chief Chandrasekaran named Tata Sons chairman AsianVoiceNews

Tata Sons has appointed Natarajan Chandrasekaran, MD and CEO of India's largest technology company TCS, as the first non-Parsi and professional executive to head the $ 108 billion conglomerate. The muchawaited announcement came two and a half months after the Tatas sacked chairman Cyrus Mistry and recalled Ratan Tata as interim chairman. The five-member selection committee said people familiar with its deliberations, wanted a "safe pair of hands" and felt an insider would be a stabilising influence in these challenging times. Chandra, as he is popularly known, will take over as executive chairman from February 21, becoming the seventh in the 149year history of the salt-to-

Natarajan Chandrasekaran

software conglomerate, and only the third 'non-Tata' after Mistry and Nowroji Saklatwala. An insider, Chandra has also delivered consistently over the seven years he has led TCS, revenues have grown 262 per cent since 2009-10, net profit 247 per cent, and it is the most valuable company in India with a market cap of £46.20 billion. It contributes 10 per cent to the

So problem sorted? Well, not entirely

Abhishek Sachdev

The Interest Rate Hedging Product (IRHP) review scheme which we helped to instigate in 2011 has now ended. A key positive resulting development has been that banks now have considerably better presales processes when it comes to the sale of Derivative products. Interest Rate scenarios that include break cost examples are now fully docu-

Recently a care home owner approached us and wanted some advice regarding his £10 million ‘Fixed Rate’ Business loan, also known as a ‘Tailored Business Loan’. He wanted to refinance with another bank and wanted clarification on the early redemption cost. “I didn’t have an Interest Rate Swap, so I don’t have to pay large break costs right”? Wrong! On examination of the documents, it became clear that the ‘FRL’ is indeed priced exactly the

group's total revenues, 40 per cent of its profit and 70 per cent of its market value. Sources said the committee and four others initially considered a few external choices, but issues within the group possibly prompted them to consider a shift. JM Financial chairman Nimesh Kampani, who has long experience working closely with the Tatas, said, "Chandra's leadership style has the Tata ethos and values ingrained in it. At Tata Consultancy Services, he has worked with several Fortune 500 chief executives across the spectrum, which should help him steer India's largest conglomerate. What strikes me most about Chandra is his friendly demeanour and hard work. He is the first

professional to head Tata Group and this should cheer its managers." Former Tata Sons director R Gopalakrishnan said, "He is an outstanding choice. It is a tribute not only to Chandra's own qualities but also to the succession planning and management development systems of TCS. It is a pleasure to see what was three decades ago an insignificant company grow to become a major contributor to profits as well as to talent." Tata Sons released a statement saying that Chandra had demonstrated exemplary leadership at TCS, adding that he would "inspire the entire Tata group to realise its potential, acting as leaders in their respective businesses."

IMF cuts India's growth forecast The International Monetary Fund on Monday cut India's growth estimate for 2016-17 by one percent to 6.6 per cent due to the impact of the demonetisation steps. A senior IMF official, Maurice Obstfeld, said that, however, "this is likely to be temporary factor" and that he expected a full bounce back after the 2017 fiscal year. The IMF's World Economic Outlook Update said the cut was "primarily due to the temporary negative consumption shock induced by cash shortages and payment disruptions associated with the recent currency note withdrawal and exchange initiative". The earlier Outlook report released in October, projected India's growth at 7.6 per cent for both 2016 and 2017 fiscal years. The Update trims the 2017 projection to 7.2 per cent. Obstfeld, who is the Economic Counsellor and

Director of Research, supported the demonetisation measures. "We agree with the general goal that motivated this, which is reducing the extent of illicit transactions," he said. For getting growth back on track, he said that the government could help "by ensuring that cash supplies are adequate for the transactions the economy needs to carry out". Although India falls by a tiny 0.1 per cent for 2016 behind China, whose economic growth is estimated at 6.7 per cent, India is back at the top for 2017 projections with a 7.2 per cent to China's 6.5, and for 2018 at 7.7 per cent to 6 per cent. India's performance is pulled down by the fourth quarter projection for 2016, which is estimated at 6.2 per cent. Overall, the world economy was expected to grow by 3.4 per cent in 2017 and 3.6 per cent in 2018. For

2016, the estimate was 3.1 per cent. The IMF's estimates are lower than that of the World Bank, which cut the projection for the current fiscal year by only 0.6 per cent to 7 per cent, while US firm Fitch Ratings has also reiterated its late November downgrading of India's growth outlook. "Growth in India is estimated to reach 7 per cent in financial year (FY) 2017 ... reflecting a modest downgrade to India's expansion," the multilateral lender said in its Global Economic Prospects report released in Washington last week. "Unexpected demonetisation - the phasing out of large denomination currency notes - weighed on growth in the third quarter of FY 2017," it said. "Weak industrial production and manufacturing and services purchasing managers' indexes further suggest a setback to activity in the fourth quarter of FY

ciple as the Interest Rate Swap disputes; and have helped SMEs to recover millions from poorly sold FRLs. So what does an embedded swap mean to me? Firstly, the cost to break or refinance the loan will depend on where current interbank rates are, as the bank will use this number to calculate the break costs that they will incur and charge to you. Here we have a problem, the Interbank Interest Rate market is where Banks can hedge Interest Rate risk. As with most financial markets, prices move every second of the working day, and can move very quickly as interest rate expectations can suddenly change due to domestic,

global events or a Trump tweet. This gives the bank an easy opportunity to generate addition revenue from customers, as their customers won't have access to the live rates and pricing models and won’t be able to verify if the quoted break cost is fair given the live market rate. This is where Vedanta Hedging can help. We have the same pricing software as the banks and access to the same live markets rates. This enable us to see the clean entry and exit rate for a fixed rate loan, without any hidden bank charges. Armed with this knowledge, we can push back against the bank and negotiate a fair price on your behalf. We have saved clients hundreds of thousands of pounds in negotiating exit fees. But

‘Trumping’ my Fixed Rate Loan....

mented to assist clients understand the risks before a transaction can take place.

AsianVoiceNewsweekly

same way as an Interest Rate Swap, and thus carries the same risks. A swap would have been embedded into the bank side of the transaction, this means the product isn’t classified as a Derivative product as far as the regulators are concerned, just a regular Fixed Rate loan, albeit with a sting in its tail. We have to be clear, not all Fixed Rate Business Loans have embedded swaps in them. One can normally tell from the wording surrounding the early repayment clauses in the loan agreement. Embedded swaps in Fixed Rate Loans is nothing new. We have been providing technical support to legal teams for a number of years along the same prin-

2017," the report added. Earlier this month, India's official statistician in New Delhi also lowered the country's gross domestic product growth estimates for 2016-17 to 7.1 per cent, compared with the 7.6 per cent growth in 2015-16. While announcing its monetary policy review last month, the Reserve Bank of India, acknowledging the demonetisation factor, lowered its gross value added growth estimates for the current fiscal to 7.1 per cent from 7.6 per cent forecast earlier. A bright spot in the IMF Update is the US, whose economy was expected to grow by 2.3 per cent in 2017, up 0.1 per cent from earlier report, and 2.5 per cent in 2018, up 0.4 per cent. These projections were based on President-elect Donald Trump's stimulus plans that call tax cuts and infrastructure spending. let's not forget, it is not just the break fees, negotiating the rate on a new FRL is also important, as this is another avenue for the bank to generate revenue. Adding transparency is not only about giving our clients the peace of mind they have paid a fair rate for a ‘FRL’ or a fair break cost. It often results in our clients saving thousands in interest charges over the life of the loan. If you are looking at entering into or terminating a Fixed Rate Loan contact us for a free appraisal to see if we can save your business thousands of pounds.

Tel: 020 7183 2277 www.vedantahedging.com


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Indian American lawmakers nominated In Brief Taliban trigger blasts near Af to key panels parliament, kill 38 AsianVoiceNews

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(from left) Kamala Harris, Ami Bera, Ro Khanna, Raja Krishnamoorthi and Pramila Jaypal

WASHINGTON: All five Indian American lawmakers, who were elected on Democratic tickets, have been nominated to key Congressional panels, the media reported. Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal, elected to the House of Representatives from Seattle, will serve on the House Judiciary Committee, helping to oversee the federalcourt system and law-enforcement agencies, said a report. Pramila said she looks forward to working on immigration reform, criminal-justice reform, reproductive rights and voting rights. "I'm proud to have led efforts for some of the most progressive immigration policies in the nation," Pramila said in a statement. "In the

115th Congress, I pledge to fight for our progressive values, and block the Trump administration's plans to deport vulnerable undocumented immigrants, create a Muslim registry and violate our civil rights and civil liberties." Congressman Ro Khanna was appointed to two key committees - Budget and Armed Services. He represents the 17th District of California, which covers the Silicon Valley communities of Cupertino, Fremont, Newark, Santa Clara, and Sunnyvale. Indian American Raja Krishnamoorthi, who was sworn in as a Member of the US House of Representatives earlier this month, would be serving on two influential committees. In addition to

Indian American comedian to host SNL

Aziz Ansari

WASHINGTON: This seems to be the year of the IndianAmerican community as they have been taking a crack at the glass ceiling in almost every profession. Joining the crowd is comedian Aziz Ansari, who will soon become the first person of Indian-origin to host the well-acclaimed 'Saturday Night Live' on January 21. The previous year brought quite a lot of attention on Ansari, as he won his first Emmy for Outstanding Writing for a Comedy Series, and earned a total of four nominations for his Netflix show 'Master of None'. Born in Columbia, South Carolina, to immigrant parents from Tamil Nadu, he was in the New York University Stern School of Business when he began performing in Big Apple clubs and weekly shows. His first award was the Jury Award for "Best Stand up" at HBO's 2006 US Comedy Arts Festival in Aspen.

However, his big break with SNL doesn't really mean his popularity has been growing. Speaking out about the lack of diversity in the industry, Aziz had once said, "Even though I've sold out Madison Square Garden as a stand up comedian and have appeared in several films and a TV series, when my phone rings, the roles I'm offered are often defined by ethnicity and often require accents." SNL has been criticised in the past for its typically White hosts. Only two celebrities of Asian descentJackie Chan and Lucy Liu have hosted the show before. However, there have been a couple of Black performers, including Oprah Winfry, Janet Jackson and Chris Rock. Several IndianAmericans have made their place in the comedy world in the US. Among well-known stand ups of Indian-origin are Canadian Russell Peters and Mindy Kaling.

being the voice of Illinois' Eighth Congressional District, the Democrat will serve on the House Education and Workforce Committee, as well as the House Democratic Policy and Steering Committee. "These committee assignments will give my constituents a voice to make sure I can stand up for working families every day by focusing on job creation and affordable higher education," said Krishnamoorthi. Congressman Ami Bera was renominated to the House Foreign Affairs Committee and House Science, Space and Technology Committee. He is the senior most among all Indian American lawmakers in the House of Representatives and is also cochair of the Congressional

Caucus on India and Indian Americans, said a report. Kamala Harris, first Indian American to serve in the US Senate, will serve on four influential committees the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee; the Select Committee on Intelligence; the Committee on Environment & Public Works; and the Committee on the Budget. Kamala said that her committee assignments in the US Senate will be "key battlegrounds in the future of our country." "At a time when so many Californians and Americans are uncertain about our future, I will aggressively fight for our families and the ideals of our nation," Kamala said.

Five Pak social media activists reported missing ISLAMABAD: Yet another Pakistani rights activist has gone missing as the United Nations raise concerns over the lack of freedom for campaigners. Samar Abbas, an IT worker and head of the anti-militancy Civil Progressive Alliance, vanished under mysterious circumstances after arriving in Pak capital Islamabad from Karachi, according to one of his colleagues- Talib Raza. "We formed the alliance to protect the rights of minorities. He had launched a struggle against the banned militant outfits' activities and we together staged protests for the rights of the minorities," he said. "This seems to be an organised attempt to shut the progressive and liberal voices in the country." In this month alone, four Leftist bloggers have been reported missing, raising fears of a crackdown on social media, the last place for free speech in a country where journalism faces serious threats. Human Rights Watch said their near simultaneous disappearances raised concerns of government involvement. The government has, however, denied all allegations, with Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan vouching that the Senate authorities would soon find all those missing. The United

Nations and, Amnesty International have expressed concern for the missing activists. UN's special rapporteur on the right of freedom of expression, said, "No government should tolerate attacks on its citizens. By making the investigation of these disappearances an urgent priority, the Pakistani authorities can send a strong signal that they take seriously the responsibility for the life and security of all its citizens, particularly in cases involving freedom of expression." Pakistan is also ranked among the world's most dangerous countries for journalists, and reporting critical of the military is considered a major red flag, with journalists at times detained, beaten and even killed. "The state has controlled TV and now they're focusing on digital spaces," the Dawn quoted, Raza Rumi, a writer and analyst who had left Pakistan in 2014 following an attack on him. A security source dismissed the involvement of intelligence services in the disappearances of the activists.

KABUL: Two large bombs exploded near government offices in Kabul, killing at least 38 people and injuring several others in the deadliest Taliban attack in months. The attack took place near an annex to the new parliament building, and most of the victims were parliamentary staff members. The first bomb struck in the afternoon as workers were leaving, said interior ministry spokesman Sediq Sediqqi. The second, planted in a car, exploded minutes later after security forces rushed in to help the victims. Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid said, "We planned this attack for quite some time and the plan was to target some senior officers of the intelligence agency. We sent one suicide bomber to target a mini bus that was carrying these officers. We did exactly what we planned." The dead included civilians and military personnel, and over 72 people were wounded. President Ashraf Ghani condemned the "criminal" attacks and said the perpetrators would not be safe for long.

Sikh girl to represent Malaysia in Miss Universe contest

KAULA LUMPUR: A Sikh girl of Indian-origin will be representing Malaysia at the Miss India Universe pageant in Manila. Kiranmeet Jaur Baljeet Singh Jassal, 20, won the Miss Universe Malaysia title last year and was also awarded Miss My Dentist Winning Smile subsidiary title. Kiran's mother, Ranjit Kaur was the winner of the Classic Mrs Malaysia title in 2015, while her sister Ranmeet, a model, is also beauty pageant title-holder and a doctor by profession. A student of dentistry at the International Medical University, Kiran believes beauty pageants are good platforms for women to voice their opinions. "Beauty pageants could be used to gain fame and publicity. But I think if it is used right, you can get the public recognition to raise awareness and bring light to certain causes as you have a huge target audience," she said.

Morocco to ban sale of burqas

RABAT: Morocco has reportedly banned production and sale of full-face Muslim veils- the burqa, for security reasons. While there are no official announcements, reports said the interior ministry order will take effect this week. "We have taken the step of completely banning the import, manufacture, and marketing of this garment in all cities and towns of the kingdom," a report quoted a high-ranking interior ministry official as saying. It also said that the measure appeared to be motivated by security concerns since "bandits have repeatedly used this garment to perpetrate their crimes."

Lanka facing worst drought in 40 years

COLOMBO: Sri Lankan government has declared a state of alert in light of the worst drought faced by the region in the past four decades. Emergency measures taken by the Maithiripala Sirisena government includes deploying soldiers, establishing a presidential commission and urging the population to be prudent in the consumption of water. The National Water Supply and Sanitation Council warned of the need to rationalise the consumption of drinking water, as the available reserve is only expected to last two months. Alahudeen Ansar, head of the council, said drinking water demand had increased by 15 per cent and that measures have already been taken to restrict its use in many areas of the 13 affected districts.

37 killed in Kyrgyzstan plane crash

BISHKEK: Over 37 people were killed when a Turkish Airlines cargo plane crashed into a residential area in Kyrgyzstan's capital, Bishkek. The plane which was en route from Hong Kong to Istanbul, crashed into DachaSuu, a village near the Manas airport. Eight people were hospitalised, including six children.


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Sharif to discuss Kashmir with UN chief at World Economic Forum Asian Voice | 21st January 2017

NEW DELHI: India's "interference and human rights violations in Kashmir" will be among issues that will be taken up for discussion by Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif with the UN chief and world leaders, on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum's annual meeting in Davos. Sharif is scheduled to attend the meet on the invitation of WEF Executive Chairman Klaus Schwab, as informed by the foreign ministry. Earlier this month, Pak's permanent representative to the UN, Maleeha Lodhi briefed the new UN chief on the Kashmir issue. She is also said to have presented a dossier containing "evidence of Indian interference in Pakistan." "The Prime

Nawaz Sharif

Minister will discuss the dossier against India with the UN chief and seek his help to ease the tension to make way for dialogue," said a foreign ministry official. He said that Sharif will also try to meet other world leaders to project Pak's point of view on Kashmir, and seek

support "against Indian aggression" along the Line of Control." "Naturally the bilateral ties will also come under discussion when the prime minister meets the leaders of the other countries," he added. Meanwhile, Sharif declared that Pakistan will soon be recognised as a "minorities-friendly country" as he ordered renovation of Katas Raj complex, one of the most sacred places of Hindus in the country. Pak is pursuing policies to establish the country's identity as of one where all religions have equal rights. Speaking at the Katas Raj Temples Complex in Chakwal, he said, "The day is not far off when Pakistan will be recognised as a

minorities-friendly country due to steps being undertaken to better the lives of minority groups." Sharif said he had advised government officials to spare no efforts in hosting pilgrims and the protection and expansion of minorities' places of worship. He said he was the PM of everyone and "not just Muslims", and instructed Evacuee Trust Property Board chairman Siddiqul Farooq to restore the holy sites in the area to their original state by renovating them. Sharif said Muslims, Christians, Hindus, Sikhs, Parsis, and Baha'is were working handin-hand to defend the country and contribute their share to its peace and prosperity.

Bahrain executions spark violent protests DUBAI: Massive violent protests and tensions broke out between Bahrain's Shiite majority and its Sunni rulers after the country executed three men who were found guilty of killing three policemen. The three Shiites were killed by a firing squad, six days after a court upheld their death sentences over a bomb attack in March 2014. Shiite villages broke out in protests after the deed was carried out. Demonstrators blocked roads with burning tyres and police retaliated by firing tear gas. The internet erupted with pictures showing relatives of those executed weeping. International news agencies do not have the authority to cover events in Bahrain independently. The move came a day after protests began following rumours that the accused were going to be put to death. London-based human

rights group Reprieve said the death sentences are the first in six years in the Gulf kingdom ruled over by the Al-Khalifa dynasty for more than two centuries. It said that the executions went ahead "despite serious concerns that their convictions were based on evidence obtained under torture." Director Maya Foa said, "It is nothing short of an outrage, and a disgraceful breach of international law, that Bahrain has gone ahead with

these executions." The executed men have been identified as Sami Mushaima, 42, Ali alSingace, 21, and Abbas alSamea, 27. Seven other defendants received life terms. Iran's foreign ministry criticised Bahraini authorities for what it called an "inconsiderate action". Hezbollah, Lebanon's Shiite movement, backed by Iran, called the incident a "crime committed by the regime against the Bahraini people."

"It is clear that this execution will destroy every chance for a political exit out of Bahrain's crisis, and leads the country into an unknown future, threatening stability in Bahrain and the whole region," it said. The European Union also condemned the sentences and released a statement saying, "This case is a serious drawback given that Bahrain had suspended executions for... years, and concerns have been expressed about possible violations of the right to a fair process for the three convicted." Head of advocacy at the Bahrain Institute for Rights and Democracy, Sayed Ahmed Alwadaei said, "This is a black day in Bahrain's history." Men and women took to the streets after families of the three were summoned to meet them in prison.

Chinese daily warns India over Vietnam ties BEIJING: A Chinese newspaper has spewed its wrath in ink warning that the country won't sit quietly if India boosts military ties with Vietnam to counter Beijing. "If the Indian government genuinely treats its enhancement of military relations with Vietnam as a strategic arrangement or even revenge against Beijing, it will only create disturbances in the region and China will hardly sit with its arms crossed," the daily said. It even asked New Delhi not to "stir up troubles" in Southeast Asia. Reports say, India is in talks with Vietnam to sell indigenous surface-to-air missile system. "This was supposed to be a normal arms sale, yet was portrayed by the Indian media as a response to counter the Chinese threat," the paper wrote. It said it was natural for New Delhi to deepen its ties with Hanoi, which is a pillar of India's Act East

Modi with Vietnamese President Tran Dai Quang

Policy, but cautioned that "such ties should be built for the sake of peace and stability in the region, rather than stirring up troubles or anxiety for others." The paper, run by China's Communist Party, wanted India to join the Belt and Road project. "This will help promote the country's infrastructure construction, improve connectivity within the region and may even turn into a push to solve the India-Pakistan contradic-

tions. It is hoped that the hype in the Indian media does not represent the country's government. There are divergences between Beijing and New Delhi, yet there are more common interests that await the two to explore." During an official visit to Hanoi last year, Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced $500 million defence credit line to Vietnam, which is dubbed as "principal protagonist" in the South China Sea. The article

said that "due to geopolitical factors, some nations have been cosying up to India over the years, which to a large extent contributed to India's fruitful development." "New Delhi understands that the best strategy for itself is to continue its collaboration with all parties, instead of picking a side and turning hostile to one another. Otherwise, it might not only turn others' troubles to its own puzzles, but also suffer enormous losses of development opportunities. India has a dream to grow into a great power. But under today's international circumstances, it will be extraordinarily hard to achieve the goal on its own. What India needs is more pragmatic cooperation with other countries."

In Brief

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Swiss Muslim girls must swim with boys: Court

GENEVA: An appeal made by a Turkish-born couple who were fined in Switzerland for keeping their daughters out of mixed-gender, mandatory public school swimming lessons for reasons citing their Muslim faith, has been rejected by a court. The European Court of Human Rights announced a summary of the order which upheld a Swiss federal court ruling that education officials hadn't violated the family's rights of freedom of conscience and religion in the case dating back to 2008. It noted that Swiss authorities had taken steps to ease the family's concerns, such as by allowing for individual, separate showers and allowing a "burkini", or body covering swimwear used by several Muslim women. The mother refused the option saying the "burkini didn't erase the contours" of their bodies. The girls in question were aged 7, and 9 when their parents first became aware that no exemption was allowed.

Another 'mastermind' of Dhaka cafe attack arrested

DHAKA: Bangladesh Police have claimed to have arrested Neo-JMB terrorist Jahangir Alam, one of the key accused of the Gulshan cafe terror attack last year. Dhaka Metropolitan Police's spokesperson Masudur Rahman said they arrested Alam, alias Rajib Gandhi from Tangail. He is a wanted criminal and an accused in 20 to 22 cases filed in connection with terrorist attacks, Counter Terrorism and Transnational Crime unit Chief Monirul Islam said. The police had earlier said they were behind 'Rajib Gandhi' and Basaruzzaman alias Chocolate, after recent raids led to the deaths of Tamim Chowdhury, former Bangladesh Army major Jahidul Islam, Tanvir Qaderi, and Nurul Islam Marzan. Five militants took hostages and opened fire on the Holey Artisan Bakery in Gulshan, on July 1, 2016, killing 20 people.

Pak singer Atif Aslam stops concert, rescues girl

KARACHI: Pakistani singer Atif Aslam stopped his concert mid-way to help a girl who was being harassed by a bunch of thugs. The Karachi Eat 2017 concert saw Aslam stop his electrifying show to address a rowdy crowd who were harassing a girl in the front row. On realising what was going down, Aslam walked up to the edge of the stage and said, "Have you never seen a girl before? Your mother or sister could be here as well." He then called up security and asked for the girl to be rescued from there. Bouncers present helped the girl up on stage and escorted her to safety. Organisers of the show are yet to respond.

Bangladesh to hang 26 for abductions, murders

DHAKA: A court in Bangladesh sentenced 26 people, including three senior officers from the country's elite security force, to death after convicting them of murdering seven people who were abducted outside a cricket stadium. Bodies of the victims were found floating in a river in April 2014, three days after witnesses claimed to have seen them being bundled into an unmarked van outside a stadium in Narayanganj. District and Sessions Judge Syed Enayet Hossain convicted all 35 accused in the case, including members of the Rapid Action Battalion force.

Almost 70,000 birds killed to make NYC skies safer

NEW YORK: An AP analysis of bird-killing programmes at the New York City's major airports revealed that nearly 70,000 gulls, starling, geese, and other birds have been slaughtered since the 2009 accident of Flight 1549. Officials say they've made flying safer, arguing that there hasn't been a major crash involving a bird strike in the area since the "Miracle of the Hudson". Birds were targeted around La Guardia, JFK, and Newark airports by wildlife officials with shot guns. Other most commonly slaughtered were seagulls, with 28,000 dead, followed by around 16,800 European starlings, nearly 6,000 brown-headed cowbirds and about 4,500 mourning doves.


WORLD Asian Voice | 21st January 2017

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Protests, boycotts ahead of Trump's inauguration In Brief AsianVoiceNews

WASHINGTON: It won't be a pleasant inauguration for President-elect Donald Trump as protests, demonstrations, and political boycotts are already being mapped for January 20. Around 20 Democratic lawmakers have announced their decision to give the 45th President's swearing-in ceremony, a 240-year old ritual, a miss. There will also be protest marches lead by women and minorities, all resentful of the victorious billionaire. "We are not going to allow Donald Trump to bury the Statue of Liberty," said Sen Chris Van Hollen, a Maryland Democrat. "We are a nation for all people, regardless of religion, regardless of background, regardless of who you love." Trump has long been on the bad side of Democrats, minorities, the LGBTQ community, and several others, courtesy his blatant remarks and lack of sensitivity. He is known to be irked by the

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slightest of criticism and always resorts to pick up a fight. The Republican is no stranger to controversy and picks one up every other day. Most recently, unverified documents revealing his closeness with the Kremlin saw the light of day. It not only highlighted how the Soviet country will affect the US in the future, but also gave a peak into the perverted land of the Donald. Director of National Intelligence, James Clapper

later issued a statement saying he had spoken to Trump to express "profound dismay at the leaks that have been appearing in the press, and we both agreed that they are extremely corrosive and damaging to our national security." "We also discussed the private security document, which was widely circulated in recent months among the media, members of Congress and Congressional staff even before the Intelligence Community became aware of

it. I emphasised that this document is not an IC product and that I do not believe the leaks came from within the IC," he said. His statement also added, "Part of our obligation is to ensure that policy makers are provided with the fullest possible picture of any matters that might affect national security." The dossier contained sketchy material including a description of Trump being involved in a perverse act called "golden showers" in a Moscow hotel. Trump soon blamed the media for fuelling "fake news". There is not a lot for Trump to ride on, as he lead his campaign with numerous false statements, one of which was questioning Obama's origin. He recently glided his way into trouble after he endorsed his Twitter followers to buy products from clothing retailer LL Bean, one of the companies that supported his presidential campaign.

CERN urged to treat Lord Shiva statue with reverence GENEVA: Hindus across the globe are urging European Organisation for Nuclear Research, CERN, to ensure that the Lord Shiva statue installed in its complex is treated with the reverence it deserved. This reaction came after a video appeared showing a strange ritual being conduct-

ed in front of the ShivaNataraja statue. CERN called it a "spoof", adding, "Persons that are authorised to access the CERN site sometimes let their sense of humour go too far, and that is what has happened on this occasion." Hindu statesman Rajan Zed, President of Universal

Society of Hinduism, also urged CERN Council President Professor Sijbrand de Jong and Director-General Dr Fabiola Gianotti to conclude the thorough investigation into this breach of "CERN's professional guidelines" and publish the results on its website. He said Lord Shiva was highly revered

in Hinduism and was meant to be worshipped in temples or home shrines and not to be trivialised in spoofs. Zed further said that Hindus were for free artistic expression and speech as much as anybody else if not more, but faith was something sacred and attempts at trivialising it hurt the followers.

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Hindus disappointed with Amazon

NEVADA: World's largest online retailer Amazon.com has disappointed Hindus worldwide, by continuing to sell products showing images of Hindu deity Lord Ganesha. Skateboards, bed covers, duvet covers, and bedspreads, with pictures of the god are considered highly inappropriate. Hindu statesman Rajan Zed released a statement saying Lord Ganesha was meant to be worshipped in temples or home shrines and not to put your feet on or touch with your feet or sleep on it. Inappropriate usage of Hindu deities or concepts for commercial or other agenda was not okay as it hurt the faithful, he said.

Obama receives tearful send off

WASHINGTON: US' most beloved President Barack Obama, or POTUS, as he is fondly called on the internet, pledged continuation of a multi-cultural, multi-religious, raciallydiverse and globally-engaged America in his farewell speech. In a 50-minute address in Chicago, he gave the world yet another glimpse of why achche din are over the country. Without naming successor Donald Trump, he asked America to brace itself and defended the "beating heart of the American idea" built on immigration, and enterprise drawn from across the world. "Our youth and drive, our diversity and openness, our boundless capacity for risk and reinvention mean that the future should be ours," he said. "The work of democracy has always been hard, but the long sweep of America has been defined by forward motion. Sometimes you'll win. Sometimes you'll lose. And more often than not, your faith in America, and in Americans, will be confirmed," he said before he took a final Air Force One flight to and from the city.

Aari Patel gives life to 7 Matru Vandana – A Mother's Day Special magazine Yaa Devi Sarva Bhooteshu Matru Roopena Samsthita Namastasyai Namastasyai Namastasyai Namo Namaha

Aari Patel with his parents (File photo)

LONDON: A married couple and parents to not one, but three young children, Jay and Sina Patel commemorated their deceased son Aari by donating his organs to seven different children in need. Celebrating memories of their three year old who lost his life in an accident, the family which is based in London, Croydon, they found a creative and rather inspiring way of dealing with their loss. Instead of giving into grief, the couple took it onto themselves to help other children undergoing treatment at the St George's Hospital's Paediatric Intensive Care Unit. Creating a crowdfunding website in Aari's name, the couple raised over £

33,000 to forward to the institution, and another in Kheda. Aari, who lost his life on November 20, 2016, was playing in the sun room of his house when chords attached to the blinds strangled him in the neck. He was soon rushed to the hospital where he spent four days before he was taken away. While it was tough for Jay and Sina, to cope with the loss of their son, they decided to give up his organs for donation, in a bid to save other lives. They were successful in their aims and ended up giving new lives to seven other children and their families. They even held a small party for their family and friends, in a commendable way of remembering Aari.

Meaning: Salutations again and again to the Devi (Goddess) who resides in all beings in the form of Mother. Mother is without doubt the most important person in your life – someone with whom you bond and connect immediately and easily. We all know who first held our hand to help us cross the street. You might have slept with no blanket but you know how you woke up with one. Even if you are born with the ugliest face, you know your Mom is there to love you, unlike the world. For every man, Mummy is their greatest teacher – a teacher of compassion, love and fearlessness. A hug from your Mom can be an antidote to the roughest of days. No matter what the world has thrown at you – that expression of unconditional love is balm for the soul. Certainly, Mothers are the most powerful people, because they shape their children’s personalities. We are who we are because of our Mom.

Matru Vandana magazine will include exclusive interviews and in-depth stories of individual mothers. Stories of single mothers who raised their children single handedly and got success.

• Focus on Stories of remarkable mothers • Exclusive Interviews

• Cover Story: Importance of Mothers in life • Exclusive Profiles of Mothers

For more information and sponsorship / advertising opportunity

please feel free to contact us on 020 7749 4085 or sales@abplgroup.com


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Despite SC ban, jallikattu held all over Tamil Nadu In Brief AsianVoiceNews

Asian Voice | 21st January 2017

CHENNAI: Despite Supreme Court ban, jallikattu was held at different parts of Tamil Nadu. Even strong police presence at places famous for holding the event could not stop jallikattu enthusiasts from unleashing bulls in presence of hundreds of spectators. At Alanganallur in Madurai district, the most popular destination for the bulltaming event, police thwarted attempts to hold the sport. Police blocked all entrances to the jallikattu 'arenas' in the village and kept vigil on the houses of bull owners. Despite the effort, jallikattu enthusiasts unleashed three bulls into a crowd in the morning but

police promptly stopped the event and dispersed the crowd. Shops remained closed as a mark of protest, and several residents hoisted black flags outside their houses. At Trichy district, however, police were only partly success-

Chiru ‘mania’ grips Vijayawada VIJAYAWADA: 'Boss is Back' shout multiple massive flexi-boards marking almost every second street and vantage points in Vijayawada. The muchawaited 'Khaidi No. 150' hit the screens as delirious fans flocked in to watch their idol Chiranjeevi make a brilliant comeback. A die-hard Chiru fan Jagadeesh said, "The Boss has surpassed everybody's expectations in the dance numbers. I am more than happy to have watched him dance again. I don't want to watch any movie for a long time lest this impact may wane." Shows were sold out in minutes and several theatres cashed in on the public's craze. "People are coming in groups with a request for tickets. We are under pressure but all tickets are sold out," said Ratna Kumar, Chairman and Managing Director of Y Screens. Theatres like Jairam, Sailaja, Sakuntala, and Annapurna witnessed massive turnout necessitating

police bandobust to avoid any incidents. Another fan spoke to the media saying, "Go and see how our mega star dances even today. He can give any young hero of the day a run for his money, I challenge." The film has been making waves at the box office windows, and has already broken a couple of records, both here and overseas. It opened to a collection of £3.5 million, including US premiers and back at home. US Box Office collected over £800,000 on the first day itself, £1.8 million at home and £180,000 overseas on the second day, and a collective £1.6 million on the third. This itself breaks several non-'Baahubali' records in Tollywood.

Punjab CM Badal injured in shoe attack CHANDIGARH: Punjab Chief Minister and the leader of the ruling Shiromani Akali Dal, Parkash Singh Badal, 89, was hurt in the eye when a man hurled a show at him during an election campaign at Ratta Khera village in his assembly constituency Lambi. The shoe-thrower has been arrested and identified as Gurbachan Singh, reportedly a relative of Sikh radical leader Amrik Singh Ajnala. "He (Gurbachan) appeared to be upset over the sacrilege incidents that took place in Punjab," said Muktsar senior superintendent of police Dhruman H Nimbale. Badal was immediately escorted out of the venue after his eye began to bleed with his spectacles breaking from the impact of the hit. The CM later released a statement saying the incident proved "beyond doubt" that Akali Dal's political rivals had "lost the game" and wanted to

"scuttle a peaceful, free and fair poll." His statement further said that "as a father figure in the state" he would "continue to walk the path of patience, peace, and communal harmony." "Behind such incidents are people who want to set Punjab on flames again and push the youth of Punjab back into the jaws of bloodshed and confrontation from which the people of the state have emerged after unspeakable sacrifices," Badal said. His statement revealed the perpetrator wasn't even from the constituency, and in fact, belongs to Jhurd Khera village in Fazilka district. Such desperate elements, Badal said, have the backing of "our political rivals" who are increasingly turning desperate. Punjab will go to polls on February 4, and the ruling SAD-BJP will stand up against the Congress and the Aam Aadmi Party.

ful in upholding the ban on jallikattu. At Adhavathur village, villagers set up a makeshift 'Vadivaasal' (from where the bulls are let loose) at the centre of the village. As many as 50 bulls were unleashed from there before the police could

rush to the spot and stop the event midway. Muthapudaiyanpatti, near Manapparai on the outskirts of Trichy, also witnessed the event with the organisers unleashing around five bulls. On getting information, police rushed to the spot and halted the event. Similarly the event was held at Namakkal, Dharmapuri, Krishnagiri and Erode districts. At Tammampatti in Salem district, villagers led 50 bulls to the local temple to conduct a puja. After the puja, the bulls were suddenly unleashed. However, the event was stopped by police after some struggle.

Tamil Nadu to be declared drought-hit: Panneerselvam CHENNAI: Tamil Nadu Chief Minister O Panneerselvam announced that the state would be declared a droughthit state in view of deficient Northeast monsoon and central funds would be sought to deal with the situation. He also proposed certain measures, including land tax waiver for farmers to mitigate their suffering. "Following deficient north-east monsoon rainfall in all parts of Tamil Nadu, all the districts will be declared as drought hit," he said in a statement. The announcements were made a day after reviewing the reports submitted by panels of ministers and senior officials which conducted state-wide inspection of the farming sector. Panneer said the teams had submitted their reports following which he chaired a review meeting with his senior Cabinet colleagues and Chief Secretary among others. He added that in order to manage the situation, land tax payable by farmers in all districts would be waived completely while the loans availed by them in coop-

O Panneerselvam

erative banks would be converted into mid-term ones. Efforts, he said would be made to convert such loans in commercial banks to midterm loans. "Since entire Tamil Nadu is affected by drought, huge expenses will be incurred in protecting the people and therefore central financial assistance will be sought. A memorandum seeking drought relief will be sent to the Centre soon," the CM said. He also recalled an earlier Government Order on damage to crops, saying that paddy farmers and those who had sowed other irrigated crops, and have suffered over 33 per cent loss would be provided with Rs 5,465 per acre as relief while it would be Rs 7,287 for long-term crops.

58 kg of drugs recovered in Punjab ahead of polls CHANDIGARH: Drug-sniffing dogs that were deployed for the first time in Punjab to check transportation and distribution of drugs ahead of Assembly polls helped state law enforcement agencies recover 58 kg of poppy husk. "It is for the first time that 22 narcotic-trained sniffer dogs have been deployed during polls in Punjab. So far, dogs have led to successful recovery of 58 kg of poppy husk in Barnala and Bathinda districts," said additional director general of police VK Bhawra. The deployment of sniffer dogs was ordered by the Election Commission in anticipation of distribution of drugs by political parties to lure voters. Twenty two trained dogs were ordered to be deployed at prominent places, including inter-state borders, railway stations and bus stands to check the movement of narcotic substances in the poll-

bound state. On specific input, police raided a house in the first case in Barnala district, but were unable to find any narcotic substance. "Then Kerry- a white sniffer dog, began barking near a heap of bricks lying in a verandah of the house. When the bricks were removed, 4 kg of poppy husk was recovered," said Punjab inspector general of police and director of State Narcotics Control Bureau, Ishwar Singh. In the second incident, another sniffer dog helped police claim a massive amount of the same substance from a car in Bathinda. Singh said, "Few days ago, during a special checking drive a car was stopped for search n Bathinda. Sam- the Labrador, deployed there went to back side of the car and started barking. When the vehicle was searched, 54 kg of poppy husk was recovered."

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CISF constable shoots himself dead

BENGALURU: A Central Industrial Security Force constable allegedly committed suicide by shooting himself with his service rifle at the Kempegowda International Airport. Constable Suresh Gaikwad, 28, shot himself on January 16, said DCP North East, PS Harsha. Harsha said the "prima facie reason" for the alleged suicide was a family dispute. "He was undergoing the pain of divorce, and hence he took this extreme step," he said. He also said that forensic and explosive experts rushed to the spot and are investigating. A complaint has been filed by the International Airport Police Station.

Plea in court asks govt to take over Jaya properties

CHENNAI: A public interest litigation has been filed in the Madras high court seeking a direction to the Centre and the State government to nationalise the assets of the former Chief Minister, Jayalalithaa, and appoint a retired high court judge to administer the properties. Non-governmental organisation Tamil Nadu Centre for Public Interest Litigation filed the petition on the ground that Jayalalithaa, who died on December 5, had no direct legal heirs and used to often say that she is "by the people and for the people." In an affidavit filed along with the petition, the petitioner organisation listed out her properties and said all of them should be taken over by the state and the income gained from them should be utilised for people's welfare. A division bench of Justices A Selvam and P Kalaiyarasan are expected to hear the case soon.

HC fines Union minister Harsimrat Kaur

CHANDIGARH: Punjab and Haryana High Court has imposed a fine of Rs 25,000 on Union Minister and SAD leader Harsimrat Kaur Badal for not following the deadline fixed by the court for filing a reply in petition, related to her election from Bathinda parliamentary segment in 2014. The high court bench of justice Mahesh Grover acted on the report of the high court registry, which stated, as directed on November 9, 2016, Harsimrat, who was asked to reply in two weeks, filed the same beyond the said period without seeking condonation of delay.

Sidhu joins Cong, meets Rahul

NEW DELHI: Cricketer-turned-politician Navjot Singh Sidhu joined the Congress ahead of assembly elections in Punjab after meeting with Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi, who welcomed him into the party. The 58year-old had quit the BJP in September 2016, complaining that he had been sidelined. Sidhu came on board after lengthy negotiations and several rounds of meetings with Gandhi. His wife Navjot Kaur said he would be contesting from the Amritsar East seat. Sources also said he would get one ticket per family for some of his supporters. As one of the party's star campaigner, he would also address more than 70 rallies. But it is not clear whether he would be offered the post of the deputy Chief Minister, as he had earlier demanded.

Punjab CM will be a local MLA: Kejriwal

CHANDIGARH: Putting an end to all speculations, Arvind Kejriwal said that he would not be running for the top office in Punjab. He also strongly denied reports of him shifting to Punjab. "The Chief Minister of Punab will be a local MLA, but I will owe full responsibility for every promise made by AAP. Punjab Chief Minister can't be from Pakistan, London or France. He will be from this state only," he said. Speculations over Kejri running for Punjab CM began after AAP leader Manish Sisodia almost declared him the chief ministerial candidate of Punjab during an election rally in Mohali. "Cast your vote presuming that your are voting to make Kejriwal CM. Your vote will be in the name of Kejriwal," he had said.


HERITAGE - HISTORY Asian Voice | 21st January 2017

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Swami Vivekananda and his Religion AsianVoiceNews

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The Messenger of Indian wisdom to Western world was for Unification of Hinduism Dr Hari Desai “India will be raised, not with the power of the flesh, but with the power of the Spirit; not with the flag of destruction, but with the flag of peace and love, the garb of Sannyasin; not by power of wealth, but by the power of the begging bowl. Say not that you are weak. The Spirit is omnipotent.” The English-speaking Hindu monk Swami Vivekananda (January 12, 1863 – July 4, 1902) wrote these words addressed to “Friends, Fellow-countrymen, and co-religionists of Madras” in September 1894 after his successful tour of

the Western world. He addressed the Chicago Parliament of Religions in 1893. He did stress: “The people of Northern India are especially grateful to you of the South, as the great source to which most of the impulses that are working in India today can be traced.” With funds partly collected by his disciples and party provided by the Raja of Khetri, Swami Vivekananda left for America from Mumbai on May 31, 1893. It was the British India then. The freedom movement was gaining momentum after the establishment of Indian National Congress in December 1885. Lokmanya Tilak and other leaders were making efforts for mass awakening of Indian masses. Vivekananda – the chief disciple of Sri Ramakrishna Paramhamsa, the 19th century Indian saint – at that time was in Chicago addressing the Parliament of World's Religions as a Hindu monk. His nearly three-and-ahalf-year tour to USA and London earned him the title of “a Messenger of Indian wisdom to the Western world”. If you come across lectures by Vivekananda in his voice at Chicago

Sri Ramakrishna Paramhamsa and Sarada Devi

Swami Vivekananda

Parliament of Religions on YouTube or any other social media, be sure that it must be a fake recording as, according to the Ramakrishna Mission established by the Swami, no audio of Swami Vivekananda is available in the world! He returned to India in January 1897. Later established the Ramakrishna Mission on May 1, 1897, to propagate practical Vedanta for unification of Hinduism and social service. The Hindu monk responsible for mass awakening of Indian youth could leave his footprints before he gave up his mortal body on July 4, 1902. It surprises many why a question is being raised about his religion, as Vivekananda is known as a Hindu monk. While presenting his paper on Hinduism at the Parliament of World's Religions on September 19, 1893, Swami

stated: “From the high spiritual flight of Vedanta philosophy, of which the latest discoveries of science seem like echoes, to the low ideas of idolatry with its multifarious mythology, the agnosticism of the Buddhists and the atheism of the Jains,

Parliament: “I am proud to be a Hindu.” But his followers and the office-bearers of the organisation he established i.e. Ramakrishna Mission, not only claimed to be non-Hindus but they also fought till the Supreme Court of India to get themselves declared non-Hindus and a minority. They claimed to be following Ramakrishnaism! The RK Mission was earlier declared a minority institution, given special privileges, by the States of Bihar and Karnataka. The Mission wanted to get covered under the Non-Hindu minority status as it claimed that the leftist government of West Bengal was averse to its educational activities. Documents were sub-

ers, and it was declared so by its founder – Swami Vivekananda. A Hindu has no respect for the scriptures of other religions. Swami Vivekananda was an aggres-

Emblem of Ramakrishna Mission

sive Hindu monk when he went to the Chicago Parliament of Religions. After returning from the West, he had become a preacher of a religion basically different from

Swami Vivekananda in Chicago

Swami Vivekananda and Sister Nivedita

each and all have a place in the Hindu’s religion…The Hindus have received their religion through revelation, the Vedas. They hold that the Vedas are without beginning and without end. It may sound ludicrous to this audience, how a book can be without beginning or end. But by the Vedas no books are meant. They mean the accumulated treasury of spiritual laws discovered by different persons in different times.” Vivekananda proudly announced in the Chicago

mitted by RK Mission to the courts in its attempt to establish that Swami Vivekananda founded a new religion. “Thus the religion of Sri Ramakrishna is the religion separate and different from the religion of the Hindus. Ramakrishnaism has its separate God, separate name, separate church, separate worship, separate community, separate organisation and, above all, separate philosophy. It is claimed to be a separate religion by its own follow-

Hinduism.” Fortunately, the threejudge bench, Justice Kuldip Singh, Justice N Venkatachala and Justice S Saghir Ahmed of the highest court in India rejected their claim for a different religion and a minority status too on July 2, 1995, and gave a judgment that they were Hindus. Dr Karan Singh, an eminent scholar on Hinduism, rightly remarked: “I have said many times in my talks the Ramakrishna Mission is

the real crest jewel of Hinduism. How can they say they are not Hindus?” Ramakrishna Math and Ramakrishna Mission are worldwide, non-political and non-sectarian spiritual organisations. The organisations were brought into existence by Sri Ramakrishna, the great 19th century saint from Bengal who is regarded as the Prophet of the Modern Age, and Sri Ramakrishna'schief disciple, Swami Vivekananda, one of the foremost thinkers and religious leaders of the present age, who is regarded as “one of the main moulders of the modern world”. Although the Math and the Mission are legally and financially separate, they are closely inter-related in several ways and are regarded as twin organisations. The headquarters of the Math and the Mission are situated in an area named Belur in the district of Howrah, West Bengal, India. The entire campus of the headquarters is popularly known as ‘Belur Math’. Sprawling across 40 acres of land on the western bank of the river Hooghly (Ganga), the place is an hour’s drive from Kolkata. The Math and the Mission have 181 centres all over the world – 136 in India, 13 in the US, 13 in Bangladesh, 2 in Russia, and one each in Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Fiji, France, Germany, Malaysia, Mauritius, the Netherlands, Singapore, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Switzerland , and the UK, according to the official records. Though Swami Vivekananda lived for just 39 years, he became an icon for the youth of India. His famously inspiring quote: “Arise! Awake! and stop not until the goal is reached” still reverberates in every Indian's mind. Next Column: Mahatma Gandhi and Frontier Gandhi (The writer is a Sociopolitical Historian. E-mail: haridesai@gmail.com )


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Asian Voice | 21st January 2017

Should NRIs just burn away their old cash?

Continued from page 1

cribbed and protested as it stood in tediously long lines outside banks and ATMs. While the whole charade made for the best of media fodder, it did leave behind an uncertainty in the minds of peoplehurting Modi's fan base. In one of the recent announcements made by the RBI and the government, it was declared that Indian citizens who are not resident of India will be able to exchange old Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes at RBI offices till June 30. The External Affairs Ministry said the provision to exchange the notes would be subject to the regulations of the notification - Foreign Exchange Management Regulations, 2015, which put the limit of bringing back currency into the country at Rs 25,000 per person. "For those citizens of India, who are not resident in India, this facility would be available till June 30, 2017 in order to allow them adequate time to plan a visit as per their convenience," the MEA said in a statement. It said separate FEMA provisions will also be applicable to persons in Nepal and Bhutan which would continue to apply. "The facility would be subject to the regulations of the notification 'Foreign Exchange Management (Export and Import of Currency) Regulations, 2015'. As per these regulations bringing back such currency into the country is restricted to Rs 25,000 per person. Separate FEMA provisions are applicable to persons in Nepal and Bhutan which would continue to apply," the MEA said. The facility can be availed by citizens in their individual capacity, on submission of documentary evidence showing they were abroad during the period and that they have not availed the exchange facility earlier, the RBI said in a statement. It added that no third party tender will be accepted under the facility. It can, however, not be availed by Indian citizens from Nepal, Bhutan, Pakistan, and Bangladesh. This facility will be available through Reserve Bank offices at Mumbai, New Delhi, Chennai, Kolkata and Nagpur. The statement also said, "Any person, aggrieved by the decision of the Reserve Bank may prefer an appeal to the Central Board of the Reserve Bank within 14 days of the communication of such refusal to him." Most recently affected were NRIs who came down to Gujarat to attend the Vibrant Gujarat Summit. They were left shocked and hurt with the fact that they had to go to other places to

exchange their hard earned money. Well, grievances are many. The massive NRI community is openly displeased with the lack of proper provisions and have raised questions over the country's responsibility towards them. Given the situation, Asian Voice and Gujarat Samachar (UK) decided to get an unmediated account of what they had to say. Settled in Dallas, Texas, in the United States, for the last three years, Vishruti Vyas said, "I had brought with me approximately Rs 25,000 in banned notes. While I could easily exchange the currency, the money exchange gave me new cash in Rs 2000 notes. The notification has pulled a plug on our spending capacity. We have to be more cautious with the cash we have. The existing inflation has not helped either. When people are not spending, how do you expect businesses to flourish?" An IT expert from Texas, Ashutosh Bhatt is in Ahmedabad on a holiday. Submitting old notes in Mumbai was no trouble, but it is the use of the new currency where the problem lies. "We have to keep our purse strings tight as any kind of over expenditure means having to arrange for more cash, which is evidently not a simple task to do. I use my American credit cards wherever possible. The RBI has of course given us (NRIs) a new deadline to exchange old currencies, but the rules are messed up amongst themselves, and are creating confusion." Britain-based Shellina Rahemtullah had a turbulent experience visiting her country of origin. She shared her plight with us saying, "I was in Goa during my visit to India and needed to exchange Rs 30,000 worth of old notes. I went to Goa Indian Currency Exchange branch with the RBI circular in hand. None of the officials in the office had a clear idea of the notification. I showed them the circular I had in hand and asked them to inquire about it or help me contact higher authorities at the central bank- only receiving excuses in response. If there is no usable cash on us, what does the government expect us to spend? It wasn't just NRIs. Plight of the locals in Goa was just as worse. Most affected were small-scale businesses." One of the worst-affected was Wembley, UK's Kaushik Modi. An employee of the British Royal Mail, Modi said, "My wife Jayna and I came back to Wembley on 17th January. During our stay, we had inquired in banks in Ahmedabad, and South Gujarat, regarding the

process for people like us to exchange old notes. The process seemed long and rather tedious. We even tried exchanging as per the rules set by the RBI, but had to return with old banned Indian currency in hand. We were majorly dependent on our relatives for the pettiest of expenditures. I believe, November, December, and January is called the NRI season for a reason. Businesses would have certainly taken a hit given we had no money to lavish." South London's Pravina Patel, 75, visits Vadodara, Gujarat every year. However, this year's note ban move made it difficult for her to enjoy stay in a country she calls home. "This entire situation has put me on the verge of depression. The government asked us to open new bank accounts. But what about the unavoidable inconvenience of doing so? The amount of times a single person is sent back by the bank citing lack of proper documents, is in itself a testimony of the struggles the government put us through. We wait for hours in a line, waiting for our turn, only to be sent to another in the name of documents and legality. It took a stern warning and creating of a scene from me for an account to be finally opened in a bank." She said bank employees neither empathised the situation of the customers, nor had enough knowledge of the guidelines given by the RBI. "This is just me, speaking of my experiences as a senior citizen." She said that she understands the government made the move for the better, but its foul management and execution is disheartening. "The NRI community has a major stake in the growing prosperity of the country. Somebody needs to inform PM Modi of the troubles we are being put through." We also spoke to Ahmedabad-based jeweller Dhaval Soni, who testified that business has indeed taken a serious hit. "November, December, January, and February, we get abundant orders for jewellery from NRIs. However, this year, despite the dip in gold prices, there has been a noticeable hit in trade. Just recently there was a wedding occasion at one of our NRI customers. Due to a limited source of Indian currency, they had to settle on the amount of gold jewellery they wanted to buy. They did not want to go back abroad with pending loans here, and decided to buy gold with the Indian money they had." Former chief secretary of Gujarat, and current Somnath Trust vice-chair-

PK Lahiri

man, PK Lahiri believes, "Demonetisation affected the entire economy for a while, but things are slowly making their way back to normalcy. NRIs had initially inquired if they can deposit money abroad. I believe, if they could be provided with a facility where big NRI group - UK, Canada, USA, Australia, Dubai, then it would have been more helpful. If it were taken care this way, they wouldn't have had to face such issues. Since NRIs are an integrated part of our economy, they should be given some facility." He also added, "Demonetisation is a single time transaction. Every day it is not going to take place. But if it is causing convenience, the government needs to take sufficient measures." Former MP Harin Pathak openly voiced his

Harin Pathak

displeasure. He asked, "Why would NRIs travel across states to exchange mere Rs 25,000? The Reserve Bank of India could have authorised all their state branches to accept money exchange and eased the process. I had personally written a letter to the Finance Minister 10 days back, asking for strict action to be taken and was promised that the government is looking into it. The RBI should give back the money taken from the NRI community. If they think the amount is collected illegally or is 'black', by all means issue an inquiry. But release money otherwise. How do they expect senior people and women to travel to one of the five centres to exchange old notes?"

AsianVoiceNewsweekly

25,578 MoUs signed during Vibrant Gujarat Continued from page 1 Airbus Group, which signed an MoU to develop an aerospace cluster including a helicopter manufacturing plant in Dholera special investment region. Adani Group, Welspun Group and MRF Group announced collective investments worth almost £1.65 billion. Welspun will invest £200 million in setting up an integrated textile manufacturing zone, and will also invest £100 million on capacity enhancement of its technical textile business and its advanced textile arm that makes specialised materials for aerospace, defence, and automobiles. In this meet, the maximum number of Memorandums of Understanding came micro, small and medium enterprises which had faced wrath of demonetisation. Adani signed an MoU to invest £420 million for a solar plant in Mundra and £170 million in information technology. PK Taneja, additional chief secretary, industry & mines, said, "So far, 24,835 MoUs have been signed for various sectors besides a number of strategic tie-ups." The total amount is likely to cross £300 billion-mark. Japan, which is associated with VGGS since 2003, is keen to set up a dedicated industrial park. China's Tshingshan Holding Group has also proposed a £ 550 million steel plant while another, Taishan Fibreglass Inc, signed an MoU to set up £170 million fibre glass plant. The state home department has also entered a strategic partnership with a Russian agency for electronic surveillance system. World's first Khadi Textile Park recieves Rs £55mn in funds: Londonbased Nachiket Joshi, whose business deals in contemporary clothes made in Khadi, in Gujarat, and sold overseas in Europe, Australia, and America, signed an MoU with the state government to establish India's first Khadi Textile Park. Participating in the VGGS 2017, with a sole purpose of signing an MoU, Joshi said, "I have been in the business of making Khadi clothes and selling it overseas. If current fashioned clothes are made out of the cloth and put up in the market overseas, it can easily flourish. To help our Khadi business grow, I have signed an MoU worth £55mn to develop a park near Surendranagar. I will open overseas markets for state-run Khadi stores, and other departments."

50 global CEOs interact with PM Modi: With the theme of “Transforming India,” the Global CEO Conclave saw over 50 top CEOs attending the in-camera session with PM Narendra Modi, CM Vijay Rupani, and Union finance minister Arun Jaitley. The interactive session primarily focuses on business environment in India and the required policy framework needed for ease of doing business in the country. Some CEOs will also discuss potential investment opportunities in India. Life sciences key to UK-India links: This year the UK brought one of the largest business delegations, 35 companies, to the Vibrant Gujarat Summit with a clear focus on life sciences. British high commissioner to India, Dominic Asquith, who is leading the delegation said the acquisition of Actavis UK Ltd and Actavis Ireland Ltd by Gujaratbased Intas Pharmaceuticals Ltd was a catalyst to a closer association with Gujarat. The British high commissioner also said that British life sciences companies are also looking at greater collaboration with Indian companies in clinical trials, for development of new drugs that suit the market in India. Asquith explained that at the CEO forum during the India-UK Tech summit last November, there was greater emphasis on developing collaborations on clinical trials for developing new drugs. “The UK-India CEOs discussed how they can collaborate on clinical trials to get discovered medicines to the market quicker. Both British and Indian companies are working on that,” said Asquith. He added, “There are talks on about ways to collaborate during phase 1 and phase 2 of clinical trials between Indian and UK companies. In Britain, there are 5,500 companies in the life sciences sector generating 60 billion pounds each year. Gujarat's role in the Indian pharma industry is one of the largest and the most significant. It makes sense to be here,” said Asquith. He added, “Gujarat's Cadila Pharma for instance is working closely with their British counterpart on real challenges facing us. For instance, antimicrobial drug resistance, precision medicine and collaborating in industrial biotechnology. UK is one of the best innovators in this field. You see, 25 of every 100 prescription drugs in the world today were developed in UK,” says Asquith.


AsianVoiceNews

Crawling workouts are the next big fitness trend FOOD

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itness enthusiasts have tried the most bizarre workouts such as naked yoga, tweaking to jogging barefoot and running backwards to get an envious body. Now, there's a new fitness trend that's joining the ranks of weird workouts - it's called crawling. No, this isn't like a pub crawl! This exercise is inspired by the movements of babies and animals. Wellness and yoga guru Anil Patil believes it engages the entire body, works the core and improves balance, coordination, strength, and agility. "It's a fun fitness trend, which is gaining popularity because some consider it the best strength training exercise. It also improves memory and brain health." According to a fitness expert, "Crawling exercises are multi-joint movements that emphasise the shoul-

FITNESS

der muscles, too. Good for your back, these can improve your walking pattern as they create coordination between the upper and lower body." So, next time you hit the gym, don't be surprised if your see people on all fours, crawling in an orderly fashion. The fitness trend started a year ago in Zhengzhou, China, where residents wore gloves and were seen crawling on their hands and feet in parks. It became popular because many believed that this was a practice that originated from ancient Chinese medicine

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

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| Asian Voice | 21st January 2017

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LIFESTYLE

and dates back to nearly 2,000 years in the Han Dynasty. Here are the different types of crawls you can choose from: Baby crawl: This one is for beginners as it's the most fundamental crawling pattern. Keep four points of contact with the ground (both hands and knees) as you slowly crawl forward. Move your opposite hand and knee forward at the same time. Keep your spine long and your core tight as you move ahead. Bear crawl: Once you've got the hang of the baby crawl, it's time to take things a notch higher. Go down on your hands and knees. Lift your knees off the ground, balancing on your toes. Move one hand and the opposite knee forward simultaneously. Army crawl: Begin in a forearm plank position. Drag yourself forward across the ground on your forearms. Do not use your legs or feet to move ahead. The inchworm: Stand

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with your feet together. Bend forward and place your hands on the ground, close to your feet. Walk forward, using your hands, leaving your feet where they are, until you are in a plank position with your arms extended forward. Walk with your feet to your hands, leaving your hands where they are, until you end in a forward bend position again. Crab crawl: Sit with your legs bent and slightly spread and place feet on the ground. Put your palms on the ground behind you, fingertips facing forward. Lift your hips and butt off the ground, holding yourself up on your hands and feet. Move yourself forward, backward or side-to-side. Spiderman crawl: Also known as the lizard crawl, this is an advanced exercise routine. Start with the bear crawl position. As you bring your foot forward, drop the hips and chest so that they are close to the ground. Instead of simultaneous hand-foot movement, in this exercise, move your foot forward first, then your hand. Touch your body to the ground and keep your spine long as you slowly crawl forward. Patil cautions, "In certain crawling exercises, your hands and knees carry the burden of your body and you may start experiencing pain in your joints. So, it's not advisable for old people and those with knee problems. Use knee pads if you're doing the baby crawl. Try variations where you apply pressure on your feet rather than your knees. Crawling also should be avoided if you have wrist, shoulder or neck issues."

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Sunlight can energise your immune cells

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study has found that sunlight helps you in getting a healthier life by producing vitamin D as also energise T cells – immune cells - that play a central role in fighting infections in the human body. "We all know sunlight provides vitamin D, which is suggested to have an impact on immunity, among other things. But what we found is a completely separate role of sunlight on immunity," said Gerard Ahern, Associate Professor at the Georgetown University in the US. "Some of the roles attributed to vitamin D on immunity may be due to this new mechanism," Ahern added. The findings showed that the skin, which is the body's largest organ has a large share of T cells - approximately twice the number circulating in the blood - stays alert to the many microbes that can nest there. While production of

vitamin D requires ultra violet (UV) light - known to promote skin cancer and melanoma, the low levels of blue light found in the sun's rays is safer and helps makes T cells move faster. This blue light, which can reach the dermis - the second layer of the skin enables the T cells to move throughout the body, the researchers stated. "T cells, whether they are helper or killer, need to move to do their work, which is to get to the site of an infection and orchestrate a response. This study shows that sunlight directly activates key immune cells by increasing their movement," Ahern said. In addition, the researchers also found that the synthesis of hydrogen peroxide - a compound that white blood cells release when they sense an infection in order to kill bacteria and mount an immune response - activates a signalling pathway to increase T cell movement.

Laughter is the Best Medicine

Michael was constantly criticized by his devout Christian family for not going to church. However, they were all taken aback one day when, on hearing about the huge fire at a local church, Michael folded his hands in prayer, closed his eyes and said, "Thank you, Lord, for making me an atheist." *** Why did the Pope cross the road? A: He crosses everything. *** It’s New Year’s Eve, and the restaurant is hopping—revelers, band, overworked waiters. Wending his way through the crowd is a drunk, staggering back to his seat. Spotting an attractive woman sitting alone, he says, "Pardon me, miss, did I step on your feet a few minutes ago?" "Yes," she says testily, "you did." "Good! I knew my table was around here somewhere."

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Khushbu prevented from flying abroad

Arya plays a Jallikattu Veeran in Ameer's 'Santhana Devan'

Asian Voice

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AsianVoiceNews

21st January 2017

andsome actor Arya will be teaming up with director Ameer for a film titled as 'Santhana Devan'. The film will also feature Arya's younger brother Sathya and director Ameer in important roles. Ameer has earlier acted as the male lead in 'Yogi' while Sathya has acted as the hero in Arya's production venture 'Amara Kaaviyam'. So 'Santhana Devan' has three hero actors in main roles. The first look posters have been released. The poster and its wordings confirm that the film deals with Jallikattu, the traditional bull-taming sport of Tamil Nadu. Arya and

Sathya are featured in the poster along with a raging bull on the Jallikattu field. The two actors appear with a chiselled bare body and a tucked up veshti as if they are on the field to control the bull in Jallikattu. The title carries the tag line Sengodi Maravanin Kadhai. This makes it clear that the film will be a period film. Ameer will be producing the film along with Prasad Chukkapalli. Yuvan Shankar Raja will be rendering the music for the film and Kaviperarasu Vairamuthu will be teaming up with the directorcomposer duo to pen the songs. Sivakumar Vijayan will handle the cinematography.

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amil actress and Congress leader Khushboo has filed a case in the Madras High Court against authorities who denied her passport citing pending criminal cases against her. It is said that the actress and Congress spokesperson's passport had run out of pages and she had applied for attachments. The 'Kolangal' actress was in for a rude shock when she applied for a new passport and was denied. Authorities

said she had criminal cases against her. In her court petition, Khusboo said that during the last election campaigns, criminal cases were filed against her in Madurai, Theni, and Dindigul, for illegal gathering of people and disobeying a government office. She has procured a stay against these cases in the Madurai branch of the High court and has gotten an anticipatory bail. The mother of two has asked the court to direct the Regional Passport Office to issue her a passport as she is unable to travel abroad.

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'Kabali'. Question is, will Ilayathalapathy Vijay cross the mark? In the overseas market, 'Bairavaa' is touted to be his third best opening after 'Kaththi' and 'Theri'. Reports also suggest that the film had made a business of £10 million through its distribution and theatrical rights. Overseas distributor A&P Group confirmed the film's release in 55 countries. 'Bairavaa' will also release in Nigeria, Ghana, Kenya, Uganda, and Zambia, among others. Directed by Bharathan, the movie also stars Keerthy Suresh, Sathish, Daniel Balaji and Jagapathi Babu in important roles.

Vijay's 'Bairavaa' off to great start

'Raees'

"Baniye ka dimag, miyanbhai ki daring" Watch Shah Rukh Khan raise an empire in and as Raees

'Kaabil'

A simple man, struck by tragedy, vows to seek vengeance and nothing can stop him.

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Trisha begins her new movie with a Rajini connect

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ollowing in coll e a g u e Nayanthara's footsteps, closest rival Trisha has also signed on a couple of women-centric films. Currently starring in 'Sathuranga Vettai 2' with ace actor Arvind Swamy, she also has films like 'Mohini', '96' with Vijay Sethupathi, and '1818' with Ramesh

Tilak. She has now begun shooting for a new film 'Garjanai', with Amit Bhargav as lead and Vamsi Krishna as the antagonist. The movie is a remake of Bollywood's 'NH10' starring Anushk Sharma. 'Garjanai’ is the title of Superstar Rajinikanth’s 1981 movie directed by C.V. Rajendran.

layathalapathy Vijay's 'Bairavaa' has been received with great response, surpassing the opening day numbers of Vijay's 'Theri'. Despite opening to mixed reviews from critics and fans, the action entertainer that released on January 12, witnessed a 90 per cent occupancy across the state. If early figures are to be believed, 'Bairavaa' will most likely rake in £150,000 on its opening day and is expected beat the records of Ajith Kumar's 'Vedalam'. It is worth noting that 'Theri' became the second-highest grossing Tamil film after Thalaivar Rajinikanth's


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Filmfare top awards for Aamir, Alia

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angal,' the biopic on Mahavir Singh Phogat, which recently beat all others to become the highest grossing Bollywood film, won big at the Filmfare Awards. Aamir Khan took away the Best Actor Award, while the movie was awarded the Best Film and director Nitesh Tiwari bagged the Best Director Award. Alia Bhatt won the Best Actress Award for her perfect portrayal in 'Udta Punjab' of a gritty migrant woman exploited and trapped in a drug lord's house. The other top contender for the Best Actress Award, Sonam Kapoor, was not forgotten and she bagged the Critics Award for Best Actor (Female) for playing Ashok Chakra awardee Neerja Bhanot in the biopic 'Neerja.' Shahid Kapoor shared the critics' choice award for Best Actor (Male) with Manoj Bajpayee. They were recognised for their performances in 'Udta Punjab' and 'Aligarh' respectively. The best debut awards went to Diljit Dosanjh for 'Udta Punjab' and Ritika Singh for 'Saala Khadoos.'

Best Short Film People's Choice: Khamakha; Best Short Film (Fiction): 'Chutney'; Best Short Film (Non-fiction): 'Matitali Kusti'; Best Actor (Female) in a Short Film: Tisca Chopra for 'Chutney'; Best Debut Director: Ashwini Iyer Tiwari for 'Nil Battey Sannata'; Best Dialogue: Ritesh Shah for 'Pink'; Best Screenplay: Shakun Batra and Ayesha Devitre Dhillon for 'Kapoor & Sons' (Since 1921); Best Story: Shakun Batra and Ayesha Devitre Dhillon for 'Kapoor & Sons' (Since 1921); Best Actor in a Supporting Role (Male): Rishi Kapoor for 'Kapoor & Sons' (Since 1921); Best Actor in a Supporting Role (Female): Shabana Azmi for 'Neerja'; Filmfare Lifetime Achievement Award: Shatrughan Sinha; Best Music Album: Pritam for 'Ae Dil Hai Mushkil'; Best Lyricist: Amitabh Bhattacharya for 'Channa Mereya' from 'Ae Dil Hai Mushkil'; Best Playback Singer (Male): Arijit Singh for 'Ae Dil Hai Mushkil'; Best Playback Singer (Female): Neha Bhasin for 'Jag Ghoomeya' from 'Sultan'

Amir Khan, Shilpa Shetty join hands for charity concert

Asian Voice | 21st January 2017

rofessional boxer Amir Khan and Bollywood actress Shilpa Shetty Kundra have teamed up to help orphans in South East Asia. The Amir Khan Foundation and the Shilpa Shetty Foundation have come together for the first time, to bring leading South Asian celebrities on one platform in the UK to raise awareness regarding the "forgotten children" as Khan calls them. Called the South East Asian Charity Concert, the event is set to take place on 29th April in Troxy, London. "My success has been a result of the love and support of my fans and giving back has always been fundamental to me. I strive to dedicate time and resources to charitable causes and launched the Amir Khan Foundation to allow me to take a hands on approach supporting young people in the UK and to manage international projects, such as establishing an

orphanage within Gambia and clean water wells in Pakistan," said Amir. "To know there are millions of precious children in the world living with no hope, in unimaginable conditions is heart breaking." Shetty has for years rendered her support towards several philanthropic causes. Her The Shilpa Shetty Foundation

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onscreen chemistry in 'Aashiqui 2' was widely appreciated. "I guess pressure will be there as we are coming together after 'Aashiqui 2'. It's awesome to do a film with him again. We had a blast during the making of 'Aashiqui 2', it's in a lighthearted playful zone," she said. 'Ok Jaanu' is directed by Shaad Ali and is a remake of Mani Ratnam's Tamil directorial 'OK Kanmani' starring Dulquer Salmaan and Nithya Menon.

stand the extent of the problem. There is no shocking news story behind their existence, no political, or natural disaster. These children are real, all 40 million of them with- no shelter, no food, no hope," she said. She also added that she is "thrilled to be able to host the #OrphanAid concert here in the UK."

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come with Nashik Dhol playing in the background. Vin looked extremely thrilled about his first visit to the country and in fact, did a Facebook Live. Recording the grand welcome right from the airport till he sat in his car, the video also shows him with a tilak on his forehead, asking Deepika its significance. Deepika can be heard replying, "It's called a bindi- a part of our Indian tradition. When a woman wears it, it's called her third eye."

Hrithik celebrates his Deepika and Vin birthday with ex-wife Diesel get a traditional Sussanne welcome

Shraddha Kapoor finds Aditya Roy Kapoor hot!

ctress Shraddha Kapoor has recently confessed that she finds her 'Ok Jaanu' co-star "hot". The duo has gained massive attention following the release of their reworked version of hit song 'Humma Humma'. "Some of my friends have gone crazy about him (Aditya) in the song, his pelvic moves. They are like 'he is so hot'," Shraddha recently said in an interview. When asked whether she thinks he is hot in the song, she shot back saying, "Yes, I do think he was hot (in the song). He brings his own charm to anything that he does and that is his USP." This isn't the first time the two came together for a film. Their sizzling

will personally ensure orphan children are protected and provided with the resources necessitated to help them. "The issue is vast and turning a blind eye or shifting responsibility is not a solution for these vulnerable children. They are an easy target for sexual exploitation and human trafficking. Most people don't really under-

aabil' actress Yami Gautam took to Twitter to wish co-star Hrithik Roshan on his birthday. Sharing a photograph of herself with the actor, she captioned the picture, "Your last birthday I knew you as a superstar! This one I know you as a super human! You touch lives more than you think! Happy Birthday @iHrithik :)" The actor's 43rd birthday was celebrated at a popular Mumbai joint with ex-wife Sussanne Khan and family in presence. The former couple made a joint entrance with

sons Hrehaan and Hridhaan in tow and stepped out of the same car. Also present in the revelry were Sussanne's brother Zayed who came with his wife Malaika and sons Zidaan and Aariz, and the entire Roshan khandaan, including his father Rakesh Roshan, mother Pinkky and elder sister Sunaina. Hrithik's co-star from his upcoming film 'Kaabil', Yami Gautam also made an appearance. The birthday boy indulged the shutterbugs by posing for pictures with the invited guests. 'Kaabil' produced by Rakesh Roshan is set to release on January 25.

eeping her word, Deepika Padukone has finally managed to bring Hollywood hunk Vin Diesel to India. The two, along with their 'xXx: Return of Xander Cage' director DJ Caruso, landed in Mumbai last week and thanks to arrangements made by Dips, were welcomed in a true Maharashtrian style. While Deepika wasn't dressed in ethnic, the guests were received by a typical line up of Maharashtrian style wel-


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Almost half GPs not open full time: Report A report by the National Audit Office (NAO) suggests that GPs failing to open during normal office hours are fuelling Britain’s Accident & Emergency crisis. The study found almost half are not open full-time -- with one in five regularly closing by 3pm. Urging practices to “get the basics right”, MPs said a “postcode lottery” in access to family doctors was heaping pressures on A&E units, with shorter opening hours linked to worse outcomes and higher death rates. The NAO report also warns that Government plans to improve access to GP at weekends could be hindered by shortages of doctors, and a failure to prop-

erly assess the costs of such schemes. It warns that the lack of access to GP surgeries is partly to blame for the crisis in casualty units. Ministers have repeatedly promised that by 2020 every patient in England will be able to see a GP seven days a week. But officials calculate the NHS will have 1,900 fewer family doctors than they predicted in three years' time, as they are struggling to fill training places. It also highlighted how many of the existing GPs work part time, particularly as a growing proportion of the workforce is female. The report calls for more to be done to improve access to family doctors.

Men more likely to show-off on social media In order to show-off to friends, collect 'likes' on social media and to feel good about themselves, men are more likely to post their privacy away, a study has found. The study showed that men are sensitive about how many likes they get on social media and are more likely to reveal something embarrassing or confidential about their co-workers, friends or employers than women. According to the study, one-in-ten (nine per cent) men would post a photo of themselves naked compared to only 5 per cent of women and 13 per cent of men post photos of their friends wearing something revealing. Further, men also get upset if they do not get the likes

Just hours after suggesting his party would oppose uncontrolled migration to the UK, Labour party leader Jeremy Corbyn made a quick about-turn on the issue saying he would not rule out continuing to support the free movement of people from the European Union. Labour had sent out a briefing suggesting that the party no longer backed the rights of EU and UK citizens to move freely within Europe. However when Corbyn delivered his speech at an event in P e t e r b o r o u g h , Cambridgeshire, last week, the Labour leader changed a key paragraph to say that the party did not “rule out” keeping free movement in exchange for access to the Single Market. “Labour is not wedded to freedom of movement for EU citizens as a point of principle, but I don’t want that to be misinterpreted, nor do we rule it out,” the final version of

they hope for and 29 per cent of them also admitted they get upset if somebody who matters to them does not like their posts. Fifteen per cent of men also admitted they would post a photo of friends under the influence of alcohol compared to just 8 per cent of women. In their search for social approval, people have stopped seeing the boundary between what it is okay to share and what is better kept private, the researchers noted.

the speech read. However, he goes on to state that “Labour supports fair rules and the reasonable management of migration”, leaving continued confusion about what the party’s immigration policy is. Corbyn also set out his plans for a “Labour Brexit” in which the party would “take back control” of the jobs market “which has been seriously damaged by years of reckless deregulation”.

sector of friends, social gatherings and group activities. You will be in constant demand and will be in a position to network with newfound friends who will promote your cause. Personal relationships are also to the fore and some of you might even find true love. This is a time to follow your dreams and ideals.

TAURUS Apr 21 - May 21 The Sun’s transit contin-

ues to put a spotlight on your solar tenth house. Satisfaction and fulfilment during this cycle comes from being professionally responsible and contributing to the world in practical ways. You will get a lot of support from authority figures during this transit. Avoid the pitfalls by being confident and positive.

GEMINI May 22 - June 22 The Sun continues to tran-

sit your solar ninth house now. In this period you seek to expand your experiences and awareness, whether through philosophical thinking, travel, or simply activities that take you away from your mundane routines. It's an excellent period for looking at your life from a different perspective. It is a particularly favourable time for dealing with financial interests with a long-term basis, such as investments, insurance and pension schemes, legacies and all jointly held resources. You will be able to sort out any difficulties by taking immediate action. There may be a certain amount of unfinished business to be dealt with.

l Shree Sanatan Mandir, Leicester has arranged for a Sundarkand Path on January 21, at 10:30 am. They have also organised Shree Jalaram Prasadi, on January 22, beginning at 10:30 am. l Listen to former monk and long-term peace activist Satish Kumar, and European Director of the Brahma Kumaris Sister Jayanti talk at Now is the Hour, held on January 26, at 7:00 pm. l Rotary Club Nadiad Samaj Seva and Sansodhan Trust will celebrate their anniversary on January 25, at 6:00 pm. l Adhya Shakti Mataji Temple will hold Hanuman Chalisa on January 21, following their mid-day Aarti. January 22 will see Bhajans held at 3 pm nu Shree Budhdevbhai. l High Commission of India invites everyone for a programme held to mark the death anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi, on January 30, at 11:00 am at Tavistock Square.

Sneh Joshi LEO Jul 23 - Aug 23

Thousands use 'fake life' scam to get into the UK

Jeremy Corbyn

Coming Events

ARIES Mar 21 - Apr 20 The Sun illuminates your

CANCER Jun 22 - Jul 22

Corbyn’ U-turn on immigration policy

Thousands of people are faking living in Ireland to get family members into the UK, a BBC investigation has revealed. The scam involves UK nationals who want to bring in close relatives from outside the European Economic Area. Police said immigration advisers, lawyers and accountants were behind the multi-million pound fraud. The UK government is warning it is a growing industry that exploits European free-movement rules. The scam uses the so-called Surinder Singh route, named after a historical immigration court case. If a UK national lives and works in another European country for a period of time, they can be considered under EU rather than British law on their return. That means that if they have been joined by a non-EEA spouse, they are allowed to bring them into the UK without having to meet certain immigration requirements that apply to Britons.

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The Sun continues to transit your solar seventh house--your partnership sector. This can be a time of much learning in your close relationships. It's not the time to push your personal plans forward; rather, it's a cycle in which you give back to a special someone, and compromise in order to find some balance in your life.

VIRGO Aug 24 - Sep 23

The Sun puts a spotlight on your solar sixth house. This is a period that finds you tending to many different details of your daily existence-your work, daily routines, and health matters. You may be in the position to take charge in your work, or to take charge of your health and diet. Do not be hypercritical of yourself.

LIBRA Sep 24 - Oct 23 The Sun continues to put a spotlight on your solar fifth house. This is a time when pleasure-seeking and creative activities come into focus and grab much of your attention. You are particularly personally charming and ready to perform and to express yourself creatively. It is also a good time for romance and connecting with children.

SCORPIO Oct 24- Nov 22 The Sun continues to put a spotlight on your solar fourth house. This is a time to recharge yourself, get in touch with your innermost feelings, connect with your roots, and spend more time with your loved ones. Use this opportunity to find ways to improve your family relations and your home environment.

This route has grown in popularity since 2012, when the government introduced a minimum income a UK citizen had to earn before they could bring a spouse from outside the EU into the UK. Each year, about 20,000 non-European family members come into the UK this way. The fraudsters are charging thousands of pounds to create a fake life so it looks like someone has genuinely moved to a European country - in most cases Ireland - while in fact they have stayed in the UK. UK Immigration Minister Robert Goodwill said: "There is a growing industry, fed by unscrupulous immigration agents, that seeks to exploit free movement rules to help non-EEA nationals circumvent our immigration system, creating backdoor routes into the UK. Last month we introduced tough new regulations which allow us to remove these individuals and ban them from re-entering the UK for 10 years."

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The Sun continues to highlight your solar third house. A time in which you are most likely to be busy communicating. Used well, this could be a period in which you come up with solutions to a number of problems. You will be proud of your intellectual accomplishments, ability to socialize and make connections. Capricorn

SAGITTARIUS Nov 23 - Dec 21

CAPRICORN Dec 22 - Jan 20

The Sun continues to transit your solar second house. This is the most "financial" period of the year for you. You have an increased interest in your own possessions, during this period. You are more attracted to objects and possessions that give you a sense of comfort, status, or luxury now. Careful with your extravagant spending habits.

AQUARIUS Jan 21 - Feb 19

The Sun transits through your solar first house. You experience a renewal of energy and vitality now, and it's a strong time for increased personal confidence. The emphasis is on self-expression. You are more decisive and forward-looking now, and you put more faith in your own abilities.

PISCES Feb 20 - Mar 20 Sun's transit of your 12th Solar House indicates that experience will put you in a deeply reflective mood. This is a favourable time for getting away from usual routines and seeking a retreat for a few days. All the better if you are interested in such things as meditation, yoga and therapies that help you to get in closer touch with your inner self.


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Gujarat make history; win Ranji Trophy for first time AsianVoiceNews

Gujarat made history last week by winning their maiden the Ranji trophy and upsetting defending champions Mumbai at the Holkar Cricket Stadium in Indore. Not even the most ardent supporters of Gujarat would have imagined their team winning the prestigious trophy. Similarly, before the summit clash, very few gave Gujarat a chance against the mighty Mumbai, considered the powerhouse of domestic cricket having won this title 41times. It was more sweet for Gujarat winning this trophy at the same venue where they had lost the Ranji finals to Holkar in 1950-51 at the same place. The legendary off-spinner Jasu Patel had slammed a century for them then though in vain. However, this time it was another Patel (skipper Parthiv Patel) who played a captain's knock cracking a hundred in their second innings when it was most needed by the team. Having won the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy (201415) in T20 format, the Vijay Hazare Tropy (2015-16) in

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50-over format and now the Ranji Trophy (2016-17), Gujarat have shown they have players for all formats and also a squad which is rather young and looks good enough to carry the success for the years to come. Vice-president of Gujarat Cricket Association Parimal Nathwani said, “It is a moment of great pride and happiness for Gujarat. This Ranji win is the result of our selection and training, and will give an impetus to cricket in the state.” For the last few years, qualifying from the league stage was a challenge for Gujarat. This year, they had an outstanding season as they

dominated at the league stage. They registered four outright victories during their successful campaign, took first-innings lead on five occasions and only once, they conceded the first innings lead, against Tamil Nadu in Belgaum. This season was outstanding for the entire team especially with the main batsmen Samit Gohil, Priyank Panchal, Manpreet Juneja and Parthiv Patel firing on all cylinders and rising to the occasion whenever the team needed their contribution. Both, Samit and Priyank slammed a triple century apiece, and the latter also topped the batting chart

this Ranji season. Gujarat coach Hitesh Majmudar, however, gave the main credit to skipper Parthiv Patel, saying his “contribution to the team's overall success was beyond words. We have been playing positive cricket throughout the season but full credit to captain Parthiv who has made this turnaround possible for Gujarat,” Majmudar, who himself played Ranji for the state from 1998-2009, said, adding, “It is amazing to see how Parthiv has handled the pressure for the last five years.” “Winning the trophy is indeed a matter of pride. Full credit to the team especially the top-order batsmen and our bowlers - in particular Jasprit Bumrah and R P Singh, who bowled beautifully throughout,” said Vijay Patel, chief GCA coach.“We missed the services of Jasprit and Axar Patel in the final, due to India duty and injury respectively, but the team rose to the occasion and played exceptionally well to clinch the trophy for us,'' he said.

Indian football reaches a new high The Indian national football team obtained its best ranking in in the world over a decade as per the latest rankings released by FIFA. The ranking of 129 is also a huge improvement of 42 places in less than two years apart from being the best ever since August 2006. The Indian team had an encouraging 2016, winning nine of their last 11 international matches which it played. A win against Peurto Rico, a side ranked 114 much higher was the highlight of the year. "The National Team gaining its best ranking since December 2005

shows that we are on the upsurge. The ranking enables us to be placed in pot two when the draw for the Asian Cup Qualifiers UAE 2019 is to be conducted later this month. We had last qualified for the Asian

Cup in 2011 and hope to be there again in UAE in 2019," AIFF General Secretary Kushal Das said. National coach Stephen Constantine said, "I think we have had a really good couple of years during my

time and while results have been mixed, we have achieved what we said we would. Our ranking is at its highest since 2005 which is obviously great for Indian football. There is, however, a very long way to go where I intend to take Indian football to, but I can say that we have begun our journey." "It's been a total team effort. Unless Patel (AIFF president Praful Patel) and Das (AIFF general secretary Kushal Das ) allowed me to do the things and the manner I wanted it to be done, this won't have been possible ever," he added.

topper Chepkirui clocked 2:29:02 to bag the women's title, Ethiopian Chaltu Tafa (28) came second clocking 2:33:03 and her fellow countrywoman Tigist Getachu Girma (23) - who won the Beirut Marathon last November stood third with 2:33:19. Among the male Indians, Kheta Ram stood first clocking 2:19:51, followed by Bhadur Singh

Dhoni at 2:19:57 and T . H . S . Luwang third at 2:21:19. In the female Indians section, Gawte bagged the gold by clocking 2:50:53, followed by Shyamali Singh at 3:08:41 and Jigmet Dolma at 3:14:38. In the Half Marathon (21.097 km), the winner in the men's category was G. Lakshmanan and in the women's category it was Monika Athare. Incidentally, five rehabilitated cardiac patients from the Asian Heart Institute (AHI), aged between 52-67 year, also joined and completed the Half Marathon.

The winners were welcomed by Bollywood star John Abraham who felicitated and posed with them for selfies. Other film stars present included Sonali Bendre and Juhi Chawla. The event also saw the participation of a large number of glamour personalities, top sportspersons, corporate bigwigs and commoners enthusiastically running, braving the Mumbai chill. Maharashtra Governor C.V. Rao flagged off the event near Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus while Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis and his wife Amruta, several state ministers, Union Sports Minister Vijay Goel, Western Naval Command chief ViceAdmiral Girish Luthra,

SPORT

ICC announces new helmet regulations

Asian Voice | 21st January 2017

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The International Cricket Council (ICC) has announced the introduction of new regulations that make it compulsory for batsmen to wear helmets which adhere to the highest safety standards when electing to wear a helmet in men's and women's international matches. The new regulations, which have been incorporated in the ICC Clothing and Equipment Regulations effective from January 1, 2017, do not make it compulsory to wear a helmet when batting, but when a batsman elects to wear a helmet it must be compliant with the new British Standard BS7928:2013. The regulations will be strictly enforced in international cricket from February 1, 2017. Sanctions will be applied to batsmen who wear noncompliant helmets after February 1. An official warning will be issued after each of the first two matches in which a non-compliant helmet is worn, and if there is a third breach of the regulations the player will be suspended for one-match. ICC's General Manager Cricket, Geoff Allardice, said that the aim is to get all players to wear the safest helmets available. "Our number one priority is to have all batsmen wearing the safest helmets available rather than to see players sanctioned. It has been pleasing to see that the vast majority of international players have been wearing compliant helmets since 1 January, but some teams have requested more time to assist them in implementing the new regulation before the sanctioning process commences."

Sreejesh included in FIH athletes' committee

Indian men's hockey team captain P.R. Sreejesh was nominated as a member of the International Hockey Federation (FIH) athletes' committee by the global body's executive board. The athletes' committee comprises a total of eight current and former hockey players who act as a liaison between the FIH and the athletes and make sure the athletes have a voice in the FIH decision making process. Speaking about his nomination, Sreejesh who led the Indian team to a historic silver medal at the FIH Champions Trophy in London last year, said: "It's a great honour to be part of the FIH Athletes' Committee which comprises legendary players like Moritz Fuerste and other international greats. I am looking forward to this new responsibility." Sreejesh's role in the committee will cover seeking and providing feedback to the FIH on behalf of all athletes. Organised meetings are also scheduled with the national teams at several events. "We get to work together to develop the game and put forth players concerns and suggestions. It's a great initiative by the FIH to directly involve the players and I look forward to giving my suggestions with the inputs of our coaching staff, my team who I am sure will support me in this new endeavour," he said.

Tanzanian, Kenyan runners win honours at Mumbai Marathon

Tanzanian athlete Alphonce Felix Simbu (24) and Kenyan runner Bornes Kitur Chepkirui (31), won top spots in the men's and women's category respectively in the full marathon at the 14th Standard Chartered Mumbai Marathon (SCMM) on Sunday. Indian athletes, army soldier Kheta Ram (31) and Jyoti Shanker Gawte topped the men and women's category in the full marathon which saw participation of over 6,000 runners. While Simbu clocked 2:09:32 hours, the first runner-up Joshua Kipkorir (23) of Kenya came a close second at 2:09:50, and fellow Kenyan Eliud Barngetuny (43) claimed the third spot at 2:10:39. The international women's

Mumbai Mayor Snehal Ambekar and Police Commissioner Datta Padsalgikar, film stars and other dignitaries cheered the participants along with over 300,000 onlookers en route. A large number of government employees led by Chief Secretary Swadhin Kshatriya also enthusiastically participated. Later, the top dignitaries felicitated and congratulated the winners in different categories of the event. Other top Indian athletes who participated included Elam Singh, Mohammed Yunus, and Ladakh's selftrained runners, Jigmet Dolma and Tsetan Dolkar. This year, the SCMM notched the highest turnout with 6,342 men and women running for

the full marathon (42.195 km), 14,663 for Half Marathon and 19,980 for the Dream Run, including many foreigners, representatives from the defence forces and Olympians. Several film personalities, top corporates, the Asian Heart Institute (AHI), several NGOs, public organisations, physically-challenged persons and others took part in different capacities for what is billed as Asia's biggest marathon event with highest prize money and gold, silver and bronze medals. Around 2,500 exhausted runners required medical attention which was provided by a team of AHI medicos led by its medical director Vijay Da Silva at two base camps set up on the marathon course.


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Asian Voice | 21st January 2017

India chase down 350; win first ODI

It is not easy to chase down if the target is 350 or more. But, India is good at chasing down targets. But to chase that kind of a target, you need at least one batsman to score a ton. India had two centurions chasing England's 350-7 in the first ODI at Pune on Sunday. Superb knocks by Virat Kohli (122 off 105b, 8x4s, 4x6s) and local boy Kedar Jadhav (120 off 76b, 12x4s, 4x6s) ensured that India won by three wickets with 11 balls to spare in front of an almost full house at the Gahunje stadium. India replied to England's 26 fours and 11 sixes with 29 fours and 12 sixes as Hardik Pandya scored a composed, unbeaten 40. India lost four wickets for just 63 on the board by the 12th over. But Maharashtra's stylish middle-order batsman Jadhav, who has made notable contributions only with the ball in his tiny ODI career, joined in-form Kohli and played a breathtaking knock under the circumstances. He appeared to have suffered from cramps and

had even called the doctor in the 37th over past his maiden hundred. With runners not allowed in international cricket now, he was egged on by the crowd's chants of “Jadhav ..Jadhav” and “Kedar...Kedar.” He hit pacer Jake Ball for two sixes in 37th over as he was struggling to run. The asking rate went below six after that inspired display. The effectiveness of

Kedar's shot making can be gauged by his bigger contribution (102) than Kohli (95) in a 200-run partnership for the fifth wicket in just 24.3 overs. India's topfour wickets fell in varied ways - KL Rahul bowled through the gate, Shikhar Dhawan slashed to thirdman, Dhoni mistimed his pull to mid-on and Yuvraj Singh caught behind on the leg side. But sticking to the T20 brand of batsmanship

on a good track, Kohil and Jadhav batted as if nothing had happened. The arc of bat and body shapes that Kohli created while hitting boundaries were out of the top drawer. But Jadhav stole the show with his late cut, slap shots past thirdman, beautifully-timed inside-out drives and clean lifts that went into the stands. He literally toyed with the visitors' spinners Moeen Ali and Adil

Sridharan, Monty Panesar named Australia spin consultants The Australian cricket team has appointed former India all-rounder Sriram Sridharan as a spin consultant for their upcoming four-Test tour in the subcontinent, starting February 23. Sridharan's appointment as a part of the support staff comes a day after Cricket Australia (CA) appointed former English left-arm spinner Monty Panesar for the same role. Sridharan, who worked with the national side on their tour of Sri Lanka last year as well as the World T20 in India, will travel to Dubai with some of the Australia players on January 29 to train at the International Cricket Council Academy. Speaking on the appointment, CA's Executive General Manager Team Performance, Pat Howard,

Sriram Sridharan

Monty Panesar

said it was good to have consistency in the spin consultant role. "Sridharan has worked with us on a number of occasions now all across our pathway system and he is currently in Dubai with our Under-16 team providing his expertise on subcontinental conditions,"

Howard said in a statement. "He knows our players very well and has a wealth of knowledge on the conditions that our players will face in India." Sridharan, who played eight One-day Internationals (ODI) for India, said he was excited at the prospect of working

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sweep four off Jadeja; a reverse and paddle sweep over the 'keeper were attempted frequently. A ball pitched on one side of the wicket was dispatched to the other side of the wicket: sometimes with great skill and sometimes on the weight of the thick, sweet spot of the bat. Sixes hit by Ben Stokes and Jos Buttler were particularly impressive. They were clean and hit by coming into good positions. They also punched enough power in their shots despite being in off balance positions at times. It was Kohli's first match as ODI captain with Dhoni also in the team. Not surprisingly, Dhoni, who believes that the 'keeper is a de facto vice-captain of the team, was involved in shuffling the fielders and giving inputs frequently. When paceman Umesh Yadav went for runs in the 47th over, Dhoni went to Kohli at extra cover to communicate. The four Indian spinners went for 150 runs in 24 combined overs with only one wicket between them.

Azhar's nomination for HCA president post rejected

with the Australian team again. "As always, I consider it a great honour to be given the opportunity to work with the Australian Men's Team once again. I really look forward to adding value and contributing to a winning cause, against a quality opposition." On the other hand, Panesar, who took 167 wickets in his 50-Test career will work with leftarm tweaker Stephen O'Keefe and young opener Matthew Renshaw at the National Cricket Centre in Brisbane on pitches designed to replicate the dry, turning tracks they expect to encounter in India. The first match of the four-Test series between India and Australia will be played in Pune from February 23.

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Rashid. England could not come up with a sustained phase of quality bowling, erring in line, length and strategy in abundance. Their ground fielding was sloppy too. Earlier, the script of the England innings unfolded like a typical T20 game. A majority of England batsmen threw caution to the wind and were rewarded with a handsome tally, after being put in to bat by Virat Kohli. Three visitors scored more than 60 (Jason Roy 73, Joe Root 78, Ben Stokes 62) but couldn't convert those knocks into a big one. But no one should complain after the team added 65 runs in the last five overs and 115 in the last 10 overs. If this was not the extension of T20 match pattern, nothing can be. The innings was sprinkled with many highlight phases, the most notable being 73 runs stand in 5.3 overs for the sixth wicket between Stokes and Moeen Ali. Unwanted or mistimed shots were frequent. Root started with a reverse-

The nomination papers of former Indian skipper Mohammad Azharuddin for the post of Hyderabad Cricket Association (HCA) president has been rejected. The rejection came in the wake of Azhar's failure to give proof over removal of his BCCI ban and if he was a valid voter or not. Disappointed to see his nomination being rejected, Azharuddin insisted that he has been cleared by the court of all charges, while adding that he would now challenge the disqualification. Commenting on the rejection, Azharuddin said, "it is unfortunate. The returning officer should answer my questions, but he is not present here. I will go for a legal case. I think the Lodha Committee rules and orders are not followed here at the HCA," he added. Meanwhile, former

Mohammad Azharuddin

HCA secretary, John Manoj, said the rejection was not as per procedure, adding that Test players get membership of an association automatically. Last week, Azharuddin took the first step towards cricket administration by deciding to contest the HCA elections this year. The 53-yearold, who played 99 Tests and 334 ODIs for India, was banned for life by the Board of Control for Cricket in India ( BCCI) for his alleged involvement in the match-fixing scandal in 2000. However, his ban was lifted in 2012.

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AV 21st January 2017  

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