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First & Foremost Asian Weekly in Europe


Vol 46 Issue 41

24th Febuary to 2nd March 2018

Let noble thoughts come to us from every side 80p


In yet another banking fraud, India's second-largest lender Punjab National Bank (PNB) revealed that it has detected “fraudulent and unauthorised” transactions worth over £1.13 billion at one of its Mumbai branches. It revealed transactions by billionaire jeweller Nirav Modi and related entities. In a complaint to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), PNB said that Modi and companies linked to him conspired with its officials to get guarantees or Letters of Undertaking to help fund buyer's credit from other overseas banks. PNB alleged that the funds, that were ostensibly raised for the purchase and sale of diamonds, were not used for that purpose. An extensive inquiry revealed that the fraud extended past PNB to other lenders like the State Bank of India, Union Bank, Axis Bank Ltd. and Allahabad Bank. PNB Managing Director Sunil Mehta said

that, “The bank's £1.13 billion scam had begun way back in 2011, only to be detected on January 3 this year. We detected the fraud on January 3. We got to know that 2 of our employees did some unauthorised transactions. The bank initiated criminal action against our staff members.” Addressing the media,


ED has seized so far:

200 shell firms and benami assets £567.4 mn- worth Diamonds,

Trudeau in India to mend relations

Gold jewellery and other stones...

29 properties and 105 bank accounts India, Iran sign 9 pacts

See Page -17

Nirav Modi Mehta said that the bank lodged a complaint with the CBI on January 29, after which, the agency registered an FIR on the next day. “In response to our registered FIR, raids are being conducted on involved groups and establishments, documents and records are being seized.” He also stressed that the bank has the “capabili-

ty and capacity” to overcome the crisis, adding that steps are being taken to protect financial interest of banks adding that the government too is monitoring the situation on a “day to day” basis. “This is a standalone incident. It has taken place only in one of our branches.” Agencies were quick on

their feet this time. The CBI and other enforcement agencies conducted actions to make sure no time was lost. In lessons that were seemingly learnt from the 2016 Vijay Mallya mishap, the BJP government was having none this time. Continued on page 26

See Page -26


Asian Voice | 24th February 2018





Keith Vaz, MP

Vidhi Wadhwani Vidhi Wadhwani is an emerging designer from India, whose eponymous label is all about structure and fluidity with focus on hand-skills of the Indian Artisans to create textures painstakingly through the intricate processes of quilting, cutwork and applique. Fabric manipulation and deconstruction are key elements of the label with a focus on 3-dimensional textures and sheer layers. Her pret line is all about versatile separates and layers that are edgy, unique and have a sophisticated vibe and a story to tell. Her work has been showcased at Lakme Fashion Week and internationally at showrooms in Paris. The Brand's USP of creating intricately hand-crafted and beautifully textured separates on easy silhouettes has garnered appreciation from International and National magazines like Harpers Bazaar UK, Tatler, Vogue India, L’officiel, Verve, Cosmopolitan etc. and has been endorsed by various TV channels and celebrities alike. Vidhi strives to reinvent her label and concepts every season, inspired by her travels, nature and her culture. 1. Which place, or city or country do you most feel at home in? I feel most at home in Nagpur, a place I’ve been born and brought up in. It’s quiet, easy-going and it’s all about family, friends and food! 2. What are your proudest achievements? My proudest achieve-

ments are when I see the pride in my family’s eyes for me! I set small goals for myself each year and reaching those milestones and achieving an appreciation for the same are my proudest moments. Like in this instance, showcasing my label on an international platform is something I think I can give myself a

Indian-Origin Officer in the running for Scotland Yard Anti-Terror Chief A senior Indian-origin police officer is in the running to take charge as Britain's anti-terrorism chief when Scotland Yard's National Lead for Counter Terrorism resigns next month. Neil Basu, currently Metropolitan police deputy assistant commissioner and Senior National Coordinator for UK Counter Terrorism Policing, is tipped to take over one of the British policing s toughest jobs from Mark Rowley, The Sunday Times reported. Mr Basu, whose father is of Indian origin, is a former Met Police commander overseeing organised crime and gangs. He has specialised in anti-terrorism policing for the past three years and is currently Rowley's deputy. He has been vocal about cracking down on British nationals who joined the ISIS terrorist group in Syria and Iraq. In a recent interview with the Combating Terrorism Centre in New York, he said that exclusion powers would be applied to about 200 of the 300 fighters in the war zone as he revealed that about half of the 850 who travelled from Britain to join ISIS had already returned and more than 100 were dead. Of the

Neil Basu

remaining 300, two-thirds would be blocked from the UK. Like other countries, we operate on the principle that we don t want you back, and therefore we will deprive you of your British passport for those among these who end up coming back, we are absolutely waiting for them. That s the bottom line, he said. The big threat for us now is the ideology that's been diffused onto the internet and the calls for attacks by its followers in the West by ISIS online. The caliphate may have been defeated militarily, but it has now become a virtual network, he warned. Other possible candidates for the post of Britain's anti-terror chief include Helen Ball, a Met Police assistant commissioner, and Dave Thompson, the West Midlands chief constable, from whose area numerous terrorist plots have emerged in the UK.

pat on the back for. 3. What inspires you? I am most inspired by my travels, the books I read and history, especially the history of fashion and how that is involved. More often, I end up researching on trends and idols of the past. 4. What has been biggest obstacle in your career? My biggest influence has been my two little daughters who constantly surprise, amuse and inspire me. I feel they are the ones who motivate me to give me my best and who see a role-model in me and hence, I try harder! 5. Who has been the biggest influence on your career to date? There have been no big obstacles so far, thankfully! Or maybe I consider them as small hurdles that come along the way and need to be surpassed. 6. What is the best aspect about your current role? The best aspect about my

current role is feeling empowered to make my own decisions, to have so much more confidence in my abilities and to indirectly inspire women around me who are juggling various aspects of life. 7. And the worst? The worst aspect could be the need to prove yourself and break from the stereotypes along with breaking the notion that it is not possible to juggle different aspects of life successfully. Career-wise, the threat of intellectual theft is a bit scary. 8. What are your long term goals? Long-term goals include diversifying into accessories and kids wear, along with having my brand presence in multibrand stores globally. 9. If you were Prime Minister, what one aspect would you change? If I were a Prime Minister, having a strong feminist attitude, I would probably officially declare Females

as the superior race! 10. If you were marooned on a desert island, which historical figure would you like to spend your time with and why.

If I was marooned on an island, I would love to have Jackie Kennedy as company as I would love to get about all aspects of her homes like history, fashion, politics and inner-strength.

MI5 'watched on CCTV' as London Bridge terror suspects got into a hired van before carrying out deadly attack was still the subject of a MI5 watched the 'live investigation' accordLondon Bridge terror ing to a report by David suspects load their van Anderson QC, the governwith a large holdall ment's former indepenbefore leaving for their dent reviewer of terrorism deadly attack, it has legislation. been alleged. In practice, this meant Intelligence officers reportedly watched the a team from MI5 and ringleader Khuram Butt, Scotland Yard were secret27, and his two accomly watching him at key plices load a van on CCTV locations such as his flat, outside his flat in Barking, informed sources told the east London, just two Sunday Times. Records of the vehihours before it was used as a battering ram. But officers didn't order police to act because Butt had been downgraded as an MI5 priority and they didn't realise he was about to carry out an attack. The trio were However on the shot by police day of the attack Butt

L-R: Khuram Butt, 27, and his two accomplices Rachid Redouane and Youssef Zaghba

cle's movements indicate that after leaving the flat in Barking, Butt and R a c h i d Redouane, 30, and Youssef Zaghba, 22, s c o u t e d Trafalgar Square and Oxford Street as possible targets, before striking at

London Bridge. The terrorists ploughed into pedestrians on the bridge before stabbing victims in nearby Borough Market with 12inch ceramic knives on June 3 last year. The attack lasted from 10.07 to 10.16pm when the attackers, who killed eight people in total, were shot dead by police at the scene.

Food from Indian takeaway had staples in

A mum has slammed a Harrow takeaway after her father found staples lodged in his food. When Karishma Halai was visited by her family earlier this month she needed to provide them with a quick meal. The 22-year-old, of Honeypot Lane, ordered food from Indian food specialist Everest Spice the Honeypot, which is in her street, including a crispy potato bhajia. Her whole family settled down to eat. But when Miss Halai’s

father Naran Halai, 52, took a bite out of a crispy bhajia he cried out in pain. Mr Halai hurt the inside of his mouth and a tooth but did not go to hospital. Her 16-month-old son Kai was eating a bhajia at the time. Luckily it had no staples in it, but Miss Halai said she was left terrified after the grim discovery. Her brother, Bhavesh Halai, 30, and her fiancé Jonathan Peacock, 42, went to complain at the restaurant. Miss Halai said: “The

manager wasn’t apologetic about the situation, he was acting nonchalant as if it was an everyday occurrence and was nothing serious. I think it is appalling. At the end of the day that is metal in your food, that’s crazy! They said, ‘you know what, accidents happen’.” The restaurant manager offered Miss Halai’s family full refund as well as a free meal with free drinks as an apology for the staples. Everest Spice the

Honeypot’s manager, Krishna Bhattarai, confirmed he had apologised to Miss Halai’s fiancé and that he had offered a refund. He also confirmed there was a stapler near where the food was prepared. AsianVoiceNews



Message of PM Modi’s West Asian tour Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s tour of Arab West Asia conveyed a clear message to his hosts: that India’s policy in the region was inclusive, that it was aimed at strengthening bilateral ties through trade, investment, energy cooperation, improved market access, cultural and educational exchanges and, not least, the well-being of its huge workforce in the Gulf.. In this day and age diplomacy cannot afford to be a zero sum game. Sentiment and the national interest go hand in hand, playing to strengths of each party even as they address identifiable deficits as they go forward. On his stopover in Ramallah for talks with President Mahmoud Abbas, the Indian Prime Minister made it abundantly clear that there was no change in the traditional Indian position that a sovereign Palestine in peaceful co-existence with Israel within secure borders was his country’s goal. Its reaffirmation came at a particularly opportune moment when the Palestinian leadership has rejected any role for the United States as an interlocutor in an overall peace settlement with Israel. President Abbas and his colleagues look to a range of possible interlocutors, from the European Union, Russia to India and other countries enjoying the trust of both the parties. Mr Modi was accorded an enthusiastic reception at Ramallah from the entire Palestinian leadership on his arrival from Jordan where had been warmly received by King Abdullah followed by fruitful talks on a host of economic and political issues. President Abbas said: ‘We rely on India’s role as an international voice of great standing and weight through its historical role… and its increasingly growing power on the strategic and economic levels.’ The Palestine Ambassador to India Adnan Abu Alhaija told an Indian newspaper that ‘We are very happy when Indian leaders visit Palestine. And this is a very special occasion. This is historic. This is the first time an Indian Prime Minister is visiting Palestine.’ The message is we will treat you as separate entity. Following his talks with President Abbas, Modi, replying to President Abbas, said: ‘Only diplomacy and farsightedness can set us free from the violence and

baggage of the past. We know it is not easy but we need to keep trying as a lot is at stake. We hope for peace and stability in Palestine. We believe a permanent solution is possible with dialogue.’ The Prime Minister was awarded the highest award for foreign dignitaries for his contribution to the betterment of Indo-Palestine relationship. The two sides signed six agreements worth $50 million, including the setting up of a $30 million super specialist hospital at Beir Sahur. Agreements were also signed for the building of schools, a diplomatic training centre and a women’s empowerment and training centre. Jetting off to the United Arab Emirates, Prime Minister Modi in a speech at Dubai spoke appropriately of technology, since it is to technology innovation and engineering that this marvel of a city owes its improbable existence in the middle of a desert. Hailing this extraordinary creation to human skill and imagination, the Prime Minister described the city as a ’miracle.’ During his address to the World Government Summit’s plenary session, Mr Modi stressed the importance of assimilating technology, and together with governance make equitable growth and and prosperity for all, a reality. In this regard, he pointed to technology as a transformative agent in the construction of the new India. He told his audience that India was aspiring to acquire a leadership position in Artificial Intelligence, Nano, cyber-security and cloud computing. However, he admitted the scale of poverty and want in Indian was a hurdle that remained to be surmounted. He said: ‘It is a matter of pride for not only me but also the 125 crore [1.25 billion] people of India that I have been invited as the Chief Guest at the World Government Summit,’ Mr Modi concluded. The Summit was attended by more than 4,000 delegates from 140 countries. The host was Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al Mahtoum, Vice President of the UAE and Prime Minister of the UAE and ruler of Dubai. Mr Modi travelled to Oman and Muscat and sealed a strategic partnership with the UAE, including anti-terror cooperation and joint naval exercises in the Gulf.

Wither Congress? Urgent need for credibility The Congress party is at the crossroads: Having plumbed the depths in the 2014 general election when its seats in Parliament (the Lok Sabha) fell to a derisory 44 from 206, it has struggled since to recover lost ground. It has made some headway, by winning back Punjab and performing well in the Rajasthan municipal polls, may perhaps, hold onto power in Karnataka in the forthcoming State Assembly elections; the party’s cumulative parliamentary seats are likely to increase by 70, in opinion polls are to be believed. Such gains, from the current low base are insufficient grounds of a possible surge, making the party a serious contender for power in Delhi. The first step on the comeback trail would have to be a gain of at least 100 seats at the next general election in mid 2019. Anything less would rank as failure. As things stand at present, Congress young bucks are proving to be achievers. Its Rajasthan President Sachin Pilot proved his mettle in the local elections across towns and countryside. Indeed, it might be a different ball game if Congress put Mr Pilot’s name forward as its candidate as prime minister, with Gandhi remaining as party President.

Their senior colleague Anand Sharma, a competent minister during his time in the Manmohan Singh regime, is a wise and experienced hand. Congress failure thus far lies in the dynastic leadership of Rahul Gandhi and his mother Sonia. The latter’s attempts to stitch an opposition alliance against the ruling BJP appears to have fallen on stony ground. India’s experience with patchwork coalitions have hovered between calamity and disaster. On past evidence they surrender under the pressure of competing egos and ambitions. Moving to Rahul Gandhi: he keeps snapping and snarling on the heels of Narendra Modi day and night, mostly on generalities in hectic schedules with little time think on the big national issues, whether they relate to economics, politics or national security. Does Mr Gandhi have a panel of expert advisors on national issues or, as it seems, does he speaks on the hoof? His best bet is to concentrate on the 2024 general election, to plan and organize for the long haul. The chances of his party making a serious impact this time round looks slim. A solid two-party system at its core is what India’s democracy needs most.

Poland’s state of denial The Nazi Holocaust against the Jewish people was the greatest crime in human history. Its scale and meticulous cold blooded planning make it so. It remains a blot that can never be expunged from the written or spoken word. Alarmingly, that is what the far right populist government in Poland sees to do by passing a law condemning any citizen to a term of imprisonment for questioning Polish society’s innocence in this crime of crimes. Germany which bears prime responsibility for the Holocaust has long accepted its collective guilt and made atonement. Not so Poland. Its pre-war regime with Colonel Josef Beck, its leading voice, made a deal with Hitler, which backfired when Germany invaded Poland in September 1939, triggering the Second World War. The first act of a sovereign Poland undertook in the immediate aftermath of the First World War was an attack on the fledging Soviet Republic by Marshal Pilsudski’s army. The invaders were driven back to

Warsaw, before urgent military help from Poland’s British and French patrons stemmed, and then, reversed the tide. A revanchist Poland, seemingly buoyed by its self-image (promoted in Washington, London, Paris and Brussels), as an outpost of Western civilization has against an uncivilized East, represented by Russia has clearly inebriated Poland’s political class to a point of near insanity. Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki’s Law and Justice Party, bit between its teeth, may be casting a covetous eye on Western Ukraine, which it hopes, as Pilsudski and his ilk had once hoped, unsuccessfully, to incorporate into the fantastical Greater Poland. Another war on the European continent arising out of a crusade against the perceived Russian infidel would be a disaster beyond imagining. This outpost of ‘Western Civilization’ will have created an inferno many times worse than that of Iraq. The price of folly transcends the praise of folly.

Asian Voice | 24th February 2018


Health is the greatest gift, contentment the greatest wealth, faithfulness the best relationship. - Buddha

Cllr Rabi Martins Liberal Democrats Councillor

Do Lib Dems Value BAME Support ? The Liberal Democrat Party has traditionally been viewed (and has viewed itself) as the party which stands up for human rights, civil liberties, personal freedoms, equal opportunities, fairness and diversity. As such, the party could and should be the natural home for those individuals and communities who may have suffered discrimination in some form or another. That is a large section of Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BaME) population Yet the reality is somewhat different. Whilst membership of Liberal Democrats Party has seen a steady and impressive rise the number joining from BAME groups has stayed stubbornly low The Party leadership knows only too well that it needs the support of this constituency if it is to succeed in its electoral fight back. That is one of the reasons the Party President Baroness Sal Brinton invited a senior respected figure in the guise of Lord John Alderdice to undertake a review into the relationship between Liberal Democrats and Ethnic Minorities. This he has duly done. His findings and report on “Race, Ethnic Minorities and the Culture of Liberal Democrats ” will not make easy reading for many within the Party because he pulls no punches. The report acknowledges that the Party has always known that if it is to live up to its Liberal values it has to do more than pay lip service to equality and diversity because perception is all And to be fair it has made attempts to address the problem in the past. In 2001 Lord Dholakia set up the Racial Equality Advisory Group which produced the report entitled “Diversity, Racial Equality and the Party” published in 2004. This report was launched and accepted by the Federal Executive and led to the establishment of the Ethnic Minority Election Task Force (EMETF). In March 2006 at the Harrogate Spring Conference the Party approved a further motion from Lord Dholakia on the issue and Party President Simon Hughes MP launched the Party’s ‘Equality and Diversity Review’. At its Federal Conference that year Sir Menzies Campbell MP announced the launch of the ‘Diversity Fund’ with £200,000 to fight target seats where women and ethnic minority candidates were chosen. Unfortunately very little if any of this money was used to assist a BAME candidate because no BAME candidate had been selected to contest any of the Party’s key target seats And few of the recommendations form all those previous works were ever implemented. Little wonder then that Lord Alderdice should find that the Party is viewed with dismay and suspicion by both its BAME members and supporters. Continued on page 6 Editor: CB Patel

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Asian Voice | 24th February 2018

Leicester’s lord mayor, Rashmikant Joshi, investigated over planning corruption claims Earlier this month police launched an investigation into claims that the lord mayor of Leicester used his influence to push through planning applications and that an official took cash bribes. Detectives from Leicestershire’s financial crime unit have confirmed they are investigating the allegations made against Rashmikant Joshi, pictured, and a planning officer, who has not been named, in a letter to the council leader, Sir Peter Soulsby, who is also the city mayor. Mr Joshi, who has been a councillor since 2005, has been accused of acting like a “bully” to push through applications for friends. Officers have been investigating the claims for two

weeks but would not reveal details of their inquiry or whether they had interviewed anyone at the council. In the letter, seen by The Times, a member of the public wrote that a representative from an organisation linked to the lord mayor had boasted about how easy it was to get planning approval for renovations to their building.

The council passed the letter to the police, but would not answer questions on the issue. The letter went on to urge Sir Peter to intervene personally, adding: “I think this is corruption and this is wrong and I am complaining about this. The council website is not clear about who to report this to. So please take my complaint to the right people. Even look yourself if possible.” The author of the letter, whose name is being withheld to protect their identity, said they feared reprisals from “powerful people” if it emerged that they had blown the whistle. They added that the planning official was “cheating the council in collecting money privately just like Indian corruption practice” and was

“proud of their corrupt practices” and that Mr Joshi “should not behave like a bully”. A police spokeswoman said: “Leicestershire police’s economic crime unit has received a report relating to alleged criminal offences in office. Further inquiries are being carried out into it.” A city council spokesman said: “I can confirm that a letter making allegations of corruption against one councillor and one employee has been referred to Leicestershire police. In line with our procedures, allegations of this type are appropriately referred to the police in the first instance.” The lord mayor did not respond to the media for requests for comment.

Father of 11 year-old boy warns parents of social media ‘hiding craze’

City-wide police search launched after boy vanished for 24 hours 'to hide in Ikea as part of internet challenge'

The father of an 11-year-old boy who went missing has spoken out after his son was found attempting a 'hiding challenge' he had seen on the Internet. Family and friends of Kaden Mirza, pictured, from Sheffield, were frantically searching for the schoolboy after he vanished on his way home from school on Tuesday afternoon. Several people and police appealed through social media and posters were even made and handed out in an attempt to find him. Kaden was later found the following day and his father Abid Mirza revealed he was

attempted a challenge to 'stay in IKEA for overnight and not get caught' after watching a video on YouTube. Mr Mirza took to his Facebook page to warn parents of this 'hiding craze', which he says is on numerous videos on YouTube and is popular in America. Abid took to his Facebook page to warn parents of this 'hiding craze', which he says is on numerous videos on YouTube and is popular in America Kaden was later found the following day and his father Abid Mirza revealed he was attempted a challenge to 'stay in IKEA for

overnight and not get caught' after watching a video on YouTube Abid is now hoping to turn the events on Tuesday and Wednesday into a positive by warning other parents of the increasingly popular craze by speaking out. He has also been into King Ecgbert School, where his son attends, to speak to staff about the incident and what they can do to make parents and children aware of the risks of these types of challenges. His post added: 'As soon I get any more information I will keep you guys updated. These kids are different at home and some-

thing else outside. Please look after your children. 'Two kids from firth park area tried doing this same thing last week and got caught within few hours.

Mayor of Redbridge’s ball raises more than £20,000 for hospices

A Valentines Ball held by the Mayor of Redbridge raised more than £20,000 for two hospices. More than 100 guests attended the gala event at Bancroft’s School, Woodford Green including actress Vicki Michelle and Woodford Green MP Iain Duncan Smith. The event, on Saturday, February 10, was held by the mayor, Cllr Linda Huggett, in aid of her chosen charities -

The mayor with Haven House Hospice volunteers from Barclays. Picture: Amanda Hall Photography

Haven House Children’s Hospice in Woodford Green and Saint Francis Hospice in

Havering-atte-Bower. She said: “Haven House Children’s Hospice and Saint

Francis Hospice are two very special charities which are close to my heart and I am thrilled that the Valentines Ball raised an incredible amount of funds for both of them. “The hospices do such vital work of caring for children and adults with lifelimiting and life-threatening conditions in our borough and it was great to see such a generous show of support from guests at the ball.”

Bury PC who dived in River Irwell to save man 'can't swim' A police officer who dived 8ft (2.4m) into a freezing river to save a man from drowning said he can't swim. PC Mohammed Nadeem leapt into the River Irwell in Bury, Greater Manchester, on Saturday after a man fell in the water. He said he "just had to go in" after seeing the man drowning, and that he spent about 25 minutes in the water after diving in. The student officer's actions were commended by Greater Manchester Police. PC Nadeem said he did not think about how cold or

deep the water was nor about taking his heavy body armour off when he saw the man in distress. "I can't swim. I'm not a good swimmer at all and having all the extra body gear was very hard but somehow I got to him... and we got to the side and waited for help. It was very dangerous but I just had to go in... seeing this man drowning I just couldn't wait." The whole incident was captured on PC Nadeem's body camera. The fire service then helped the pair up a ladder to safety and they were

Brave Police Officer Mohammed Nadeem

taken to hospital for treatment. PC Nadeem said: "I was really cold, my legs were shaking. I couldn't really

talk much because we were in the water for about 25 minutes. It was absolutely freezing." Supt Rick Jackson, of Greater Manchester Police said: "Without hesitation, PC Nadeem dived off an eight foot drop into freezing, deep and fast moving water." He said this was "a prime example of why people join the force - to protect people and make sure they are away from harm". He added that PC Nadeem has now been nicknamed "The Hoff" by his colleagues.


Police fail to record alleged sex crimes

A report from the police watchdog has revealed that hundreds of alleged sex crimes including rapes are not being recorded. Crime recording in two police force areas was “inadequate”, with as many as 45,000 reported offenses, including sex allegations were not being logged properly. They included alleged rape, domestic abuse, common assault, harassment and malicious communication. The study also said that some reported rapes were misclassified as sexual assaults and nine were not recorded at all. Report by Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire and Rescue Services also found that those nine were not investigated either. Zoe Billingham, one of the inspectors, said the force needed to ensure “that there is proper supervision of crime-recording decisions.”

Experienced immigration solicitors disciplined over abusive litigation

A solicitor has been suspended from practice for 18 months, and his brother heavily fined, in the latest disciplinary ruling over tactical judicial reviews designed to frustrate deportations. Malik Mohammed Saleem and Malik Mohammed Nazeer, of London firm Malik & Malik, were sanctioned by the Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal following a hearing in November. Each had over 20 years’ experience as a solicitor. Malik & Malik had submitted 35 judicial review cases between April 2014 and July 2015 that were certified as totally without merit, according to the Home Office. The Solicitors Regulation Authority, which brought the case, alleged that bringing meritless claims was a tactic designed to “prevent a claimant from being removed until their claim for JR was determined”. Malik Mohammed Saleem, as the partner in charge of the immigration department and “the more culpable of the two”, was also found to have recklessly failed to warn two clients that any claims they brought would be “bound to fail and/or out of time”, and to have been “manifestly incompetent” in one case.

Man, 31, arrested on suspicion of murder

A 31-year-old man has been arrested on suspicion of murder after a 'lovely' mother-offive was found dead at her home. The 47-year-old has been named locally as Ruksana Begum and she was described as a 'lovely person' who always had a smile on her face. Police were called to her home in Rochdale, Greater Manchester, at 1.20pm on Wednesday following reports that a woman had collapsed. A police spokesman said: 'Officers attended and discovered the body of a 47-year-old woman.' The Golden Mosque and Islamic Cultural Centre, which is around the corner from the family home on Lower Sheriff Street, said prayers would be said in tribute to her life.

Indian wife ‘has kidney stolen by her husband because her family did not pay him a dowry’

An Indian woman has accused her husband of stealing one of her kidneys and selling it on the black market, after her family failed to pay a dowry. Rita Sarkar, 28, claims her husband took advantage of her when she suffered appendicitis two years ago, and had the kidney removed during the operation to treat it. Mrs Sarkar says she knew nothing of her husband's crime until a few months ago, when she was hospitalised and doctors found that she was missing her right kidney.

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Asian Voice | 24th February 2018

Government to review how Andrew Bridgen reported to employers are improving ethnic Standards Commissioner for minority progression at workplace misusing Parliamentary funds Rupanjana Dutta The Government on Tuesday has commissioned a research into what steps employers have taken to remove barriers to workplace progression for ethnic minorities. The results of the new research will be used to assess progress made by employers on recommendations in the independent McGregor-Smith Review into black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) participation and progression in the workplace. The research will also show what action employers are taking to prevent workplace bullying and harassment. The findings will reveal whether companies are reporting their ethnicity pay gap – a key recommendation of the McGregor-Smith Review into race in the workplace. This review is part of Industrial Strategy’s ambition to create better, higher-paying jobs in every part of the UK. It found that the economy could benefit from a £24 billiona-year boost if BAME people had the same opportunities as their white colleagues. The review also called on companies with more than 50 employees to publish a breakdown of their workforce by race and pay band. The findings of the research, to be carried out by the charity Business in the Community (BITC), will show what action employers are taking to prevent bullying and harassment of BAME people in the workplace and whether companies report their ethnicity pay gap. This will help to establish

Baroness Ruby McGregor-Smith

whether any further action is needed to ensure workplaces are inclusive. The one-year-on review is part of the Industrial Strategy’s ambition to help businesses create better, higher-paying jobs and ensure people from all backgrounds can be successful in the workplace. Business Minister Andrew Griffiths said: “It is unacceptable that people are being held back in the workplace because of their ethnic background – we want to make sure that the economy works for everyone, so people have the same opportunities to progress and can achieve their true potential. “This new research will establish what steps employers have taken to haul down workplace barriers and harness the talent of a diverse workforce, helping us to assess if further action is needed. “I would like to thank both Business in the Community and Baroness McGregor-Smith for helping to shine a light on this important issue.” Sandra Kerr OBE, Race Equality Director, Business in the Community, said: “I’m delighted that we are running the Race at Work survey again in 2018. We

received an overwhelming response to the original survey in 2015, which highlighted that this is an issue that people want to talk about.” “Now we will see if the recommendations we made in 2015 are being put into practice by employers and what impact that is having on BAME employees across the UK. I also welcome the Government’s commitment to support the survey and championing of the race equality agenda.” Baroness Ruby McGregor-Smith, who conducted the McGregorSmith review of race in the workplace, said: “This one-year-on review of the Government’s report on race in the workplace gives us the opportunity to take stock of progress and consider if stronger actions is are needed for us to see change. “I welcome the involvement of Business in the Community in delivering this review and am interested to see what it will reveal about the experiences of BAME employees in the UK.” The McGregor-Smith Review 2017 outlined 26 recommendations on areas such as raising transparency and celebrating success, to help increase black and ethnic minorities’ participation and progression in the workplace. In response to these recommendations, the Government has worked closely with Business in the Community and others to develop a guide to talking about race at work, created an online portal of best practice and found ways to celebrate success such as the top BAME employers list.

MP learns about Punjabi migration history to Wolverhampton at local Exhibition On Friday, Pat McFadden MP visited the APNA Heritage exhibition on local Punjabi history at Wolverhampton Art Gallery. The exhibition has won much acclaim from Punjabis and also from arts organisations, institutions. Wolverhampton University lecturers have written reviews along with others about the exhibition, which has been curated in such a way that it is at the nexus of arts and archive. Pat commented, “In this inaugural exhibition, I got a rare glimpse of 30 years of life captured by Punjabi families across the city from their own photographs and family albums. Also on display was a series of present day portraits from within the Punjabi community. This is an excellent exhibition charting the story of the many people who came from Punjab to Wolverhampton in the 1950s and ‘60s. It tells their story, the jobs they did, the new lives they built and the contribution they made to the city. The organiser Anand Chhabra has done a great job and I would recommend it to anyone who has some spare time to drop into

Pat McFadden MP and Cllr Mak Singh visit the exhibition

Wolverhampton Art Gallery.” Councillor Mak Singh who attended the exhibition with his grandfather said, “Visitors will certainly see and feel experience of the visual exhibition and yet there is so much detail and information about the exhibition on display.” The exhibition will be at Wolverhampton Art Gallery until 18th March.

"We do not pay allowances to MPs so they can spy on each other"

North West Leicestershire MP Andrew Bridgen has been reported to the Parliamentary Standards Commission for using taxpayers money to compile dossiers on political opponents. Mr Bridgen has said that he is using Parliamentary staff to compile a dossier on Leicester East MP Keith Vaz. The use of Parliamentary staff for party political purposes is forbidden under the rules. Staff can only be used for Parliamentary duties. In the last five years Mr Bridgen has claimed £500,000 of taxpayers' money for staffing purposes. He currently employs two full time staff one on the highest pay scale. Paragraph 15 of the Rules states that taxpayers money should be used ‘In support of their parliamentary duties. It should not confer any

undue personal or financial benefit on themselves or anyone else, or confer undue advantage on a political organisation." Paragraph 16 of the Rules state: "Members shall never undertake any action which would cause significant damage to the reputation and integrity of the House of Commons as a whole, or of its Members generally." Last year Mr Bridgen was found to have breached Parliamentary Rules in failing to declare to Parliament that he received £1.9million in taxpayers money for his home. Councillor John Thomas said: ‘"Andrew Bridgen is clearly in breach of the rules of Parliament. I have reported him for misusing his P a r l i a m e n t a r y allowances. He has admitted to having his staff compile a dossier regarding another member which clearly consti-

Andrew Bridgen

tutes a gross misuse of taxpayer money. Knowing his history there may be other examples of this. He has serious questions to answer. We do not pay allowances to our MPs so they can spy on each other. Mr Bridgen would be better placed focusing on his own constituency and perhaps explaining to constituents how he pocketed £1.9 million of taxpayer’s money for a railway that won’t even run past his house. If Westminster is a political village, then Andrew Bridgen is the village idiot."

Londoners are encouraged to use NHS 111 service to avoid unnecessary A&E visits It is estimated that 768,404 Londoners go to A&E each year who could have been helped by NHS 111 Londoners are being urged to avoid unnecessary trips to A&E by getting help from an enhanced NHS 111 service, which now offers a wider range of clinical services in the capital than ever before. This includes direct access to advice from GPs, nurses, midwives, pharmacists and specialists in mental health, cancer and child health. Dr Mathi Woodhouse, GP at Pinn Medical Centre, London told Asian Voice: “NHS 111 in London can now offer patients an even wider range of medical advice direct from pharmacists, GPs, nurses and mental health specialists who work hand in hand with call handlers. “Many of my patients tell me that if they had known that they could get advice on the phone instead of waiting for several hours in a busy A&E, they would have done so. We want to help people understand how NHS 111 can help them and reduce unnecessary trips to A&E, which will help our hospitals. I know that patients want high quality clinical advice, close to their home from trained professionals

Hemangini Bhatia with her family

and this is what they can get from NHS 111.” Sharing her experience of using NHS 111, London resident, Hemangini Bhatia said: “I called NHS 111 when my son was breathing very heavily with a wheezing sound. This happened twice, first when he was 4 months and later when he was 16 months. I found NHS 111 very helpful. The call handler asked a few questions, talked me through the process and then made an appointment at Hillingdon Hospital which saved me from going to A&E. As a result, my sonwas quickly diagnosed with croup and

was successfully treated. I wouldn’t hesitate to call 111 again if I needed to.” Mala Kumari sharing her experience of using NHS 111, said: “We were concerned when my 3 year old son was breathing heavily during the night so we called NHS 111. After asking about his symptoms the call handler arranged for an ambulance to be sent to us and my son was admitted to hospital. It transpired that he was allergic to dust and had an asthma attack. I am grateful to the NHS 111 team for their quick response to our call and the immediate action taken.” For further information about NHS 111, please visit


UK AsianVoiceNews

Asian Voice | 24th February 2018

“Psycho” uncle jailed for killing niece and stuffing body in refrigerator Mujahid Arshid has been jailed for at least 40 years for murdering his niece and put her body in a freezer, among other charges. The builder who slashed the throat of 20 year old Celine Dookhran and attempted to murder another woman who has not be named, was found guilty of murder, attempted murder, rape of both women and their kidnap. The Old Bailey also found out that he had sexually assaulted the surviving victim when she was 13. The ruling came as a relief to the victim's family as the Dookhrans shouted “Yes!” from the public gallery. The survivor wept in court. The trial heard how Arshid kidnapped and tasered his niece and the other woman, bound and gagged them before taking them to a house he was working on in Kingstonupon-Thames, southwest London, in July 2017. He then raped both of them, before slitting Dookhran's throat and dumping her body in a chest-high deep freezer he had installed just two days earlier. Arshid then slashed the other woman's neck but she survived and con-

Celine Dookhran

vinced him not to attack her further. The victim managed to escape and raise alarm from the hospital. She gave details of the house, and officers soon discovered Dookhran's body in the freezer. Arshid was arrested at a hotel in Folkestone, Kent, the day after he murdered Dookhran. Set Ch Insp Sam Price described his actions as a “sexually motivated attack of unspeakable violence and horror.” She added, “Celine's family have been forced to sit through weeks of reliving their daughter's last hours and they have done this with absolute dignity. Their distress has been compounded by the fact Arshid was someone they knew and trusted.” Vincent Tappu, labourer from Acton, West London, who also stood

Mujahid Arshid

trial was acquitted of all charges against him. The trial also heard Arshid talk about “drugging” and raping the victim with and undercover police officer online in 2013, when she was a 17 year old virgin. He posted to the officer, “It's going to be a very memorable Christmas. These type of girls deserve rape. Lol.” He was said to have asked the, “How would you like to f*** a 17-year-old virgin?” While an investigation was carried out at the time, and Arshid was questioned about the posts at the time, no further action was taken after he told officers that he had given a former employee his internet password.

Picture of Streatham stabbing victim who came to London for a 'great future' Police have named the victim of a fatal stabbing in Streatham, two days after a man was charged with murder. A murder investigation was launched on Sunday, after a 19-yearold reportedly stumbled from a property on Hopton Road and collapsed with serious stab wounds. Police were called at around 3.50pm and the teenager was pronounced dead within an hour. The victim has been named as Sabri Chibani, from Streatham, following a post-mortem examination on Tuesday. The cause of death was a single stab wound to the chest, and his next of kin have been informed. Ronny Padilla, 23, of Hopton Road, Streatham, was charged with murder earlier this week. He has been remanded in cus-

Neena Lall

about St. Stephen’s last month which mentioned the decision to ban the hijab being worn by young girls. Local Imam Yunus Dudhwala shared Qawi’s Facebook post of The Sunday Times article and invited people to comment online. According to reports, some of the messages that followed were

abusive. One described Qawi as a “coconut,” while another comment claimed he was Islamophobic; a third comment called him an “imbecile.” The school has since reversed its hijab ban, with Qawi claiming that the campaign of messages, some abusive, had forced the school to change tack. Qawi has since resigned his position, stating that he left as he did not agree with reversing the hijab ban and to protect the head teacher. “She was told that if I left, the campaign would stop,” he told The Sunday Times. St. Stephen’s school also reportedly forbade Muslim

Strike action by university lecturers which is due to start this week will be extended to disrupt summer examinations and graduation ceremonies if there is no resolution to a dispute over pensions. More than 1 million students in 65 universities pupils from fasting on school days during Ramadan. Qawi refuted the claim, telling The Sunday Times: “We did not ban fasting altogether but we encouraged (children) to fast in holidays, at weekends and not on the school campus. Here we are responsible for their health and safety if they pass out on campus ... it is not fair to us.” School inspectors are expected to publish a report praising the school’s leaders and governors this week. Ofsted is expected to criticize the pressures that have fallen on Lall and her management team.

Wife, 38, ‘murdered in possible botched burglary’ in Wolverhampton A murdered woman's lifeless body was found by her husband and step-children when they returned home from school. Sarbjit Kaur, 38, is thought to have been murdered in a burglary gone wrong at her home on Rookery Lane, in the leafy suburb of Penn, Wolverhampton. She was last seen alive by her husband Gurpreet Singh at about 9am on Friday morning when he left to go to work at the construction company he is director of. After finishing work, Mr Singh picked up his

two children, a girl aged 11 and a boy aged ten, from school and they returned to their home. When they arrived, they found the body of Mrs Kaur. Police said the mother-of-two had been assaulted and was pronounced dead at the scene when paramedics arrived. Early inquiries suggest some items were taken from the £250,000 property and police are not ruling out a botched burglary as a possible motive. A friend of the family said she was a homebased textile worker and that material and fabric was found strewn near

The victim was last seen alive by her husband Gurpreet Singh at about 9am on Friday morning when he left to go to work

her body and upstairs. Her husband, known locally as Sonu, is though to have been staying at a relatives' house following

tody to appear at the Old Bailey on Thursday, May 3, for a plea and trial preparation hearing. The Met's Homicide and Major Crime Command are investigating. Witnesses described how a young man, thought to be his brother, battled to save Mr Chibani before he was pronounced dead at the scene at 3.50pm on Sunday, 40 minutes after the attack. The teenager’s father Munir, who was expected to fly to London, today told how he first thought his son had died in a road accident. Mr Chibani’s friends also paid tribute to the “easygoing and friendly” teenager, describing how he “never had any problems with anybody”. Mr Chibani, a former youth team football play-

Sabri Chibani

er whose family migrated to Italy from Tunisia, grew up in Piacenza, a city 70km south-west of Milan in northern Italy. He graduated from the Marconi Industrial Technical Institute last year with a diploma in electronics. He followed his brother to London in November in search of a job and was said to be working as a bar tender at the time of his death. Mr Chibani’s former football team Spes Borgotrebbia have announced a minute’s silence in his honour before their next fixture.

University strikes could hit exams and graduation ceremonies

Police investigate abuse of head teacher at school that banned hijab Police have opened an investigation into online abuse targeting the head teacher of an East London primary school where girls younger than the age of eight were banned from wearing the hijab. Neena Lall, the head teacher at St. Stephen’s primary school, along with Arif Qawi, the former chairman of governors, received emails, Facebook posts and other social media messages leading to a complaint being filed with police, according to The Sunday Times. Qawi said he received abusive online messages the day after a report broke


the shocking murder, together with the two children who are from his first marriage. According to locals, Sarbjit Kaur arrived in the country from the Punjab in India just under three years ago after she married Mr Singh in July 2015. Mr Singh’s first wife, also an Indian national and the mother of his two children, had died of a sudden illness in India in December 2014. West Midlands Police also confirmed that a post-mortem examination had not revealed a precise cause of death, and further tests are now being conducted.

across the UK will be affected by industrial action by members of the University and College Union (UCU), which begins on Thursday with 14 days of strikes spread over four weeks. If employers refuse to return to the negotiating table with an improved offer, the UCU has warned that its mandate for strike action is valid for six months and it may decide to target exams, admis-

sions and graduations in order to press its members’ case. According to the UCU, undergraduates will be the hardest hit by the strike action, losing an estimated 575,000 teaching hours which will not be rescheduled. Institutions affected include some of the UK’s most prestigious universities including Oxford, Cambridge, Bristol, Durham, Exeter, Imperial College London, Warwick and York.

Do Lib Dems Value BaME Support ? Continued from page 3 As the report says “ the Liberal Democrats commitment to diversity and the campaigns to make diversity happen have brought significant changes and improvements for women and LGBT+ members and representation, but not for BaME members and representation”. So his conclusion that “some individuals and groups within the party were un-welcoming to people of colour ” is not surprising. In other words whilst it would be difficult to find anyone who is remotely racist within the Party it is difficult to argue that in part at least the barriers to progressing within the Party faced by BaME members is due to unconscious bias. The advice Lord Alderdice gives to colleagues within the Party is simple and to the point. “Liberal Democrats themselves must come to understand that liberalism means diversity and unless that can be seen in identifiable BaME members and representatives, then BaME communities, and

indeed the country as a whole, will not be persuaded of the credentials of the Liberal Democrats on this issue ”. The report’s conclusion that there is an urgency in dealing with this problem is undeniably true ; as is the assertion that the party is at a low ebb in terms of parliamentary and local government representation. And as he says if very few BaME representatives are elected in this re-growth phase it will be even more difficult to say the Party is truly inclusive and representative. This is a message that must be accepted and acted upon or less the Party risks prevent even more BaME support haemorrhaging away An early signal of a move in this direction would be to use recognised BaME activists as role models and ambassadors for the Party especially in the media That is how both the Conservatives and Labour do it The Party needs to be seen to be inclusive not just heard to say that it is. It would be interesting to hear views and experiences of Lib Dems from readers of Asian Voice.

UK AsianVoiceNews



Asian Voice | 24th February 2018

Family Gold: Community led initiatives by Met Police to prevent burglaries There has recently been a significant rise in burglaries across the UK. Indian homes are a specific target for thieves because families are known to store expensive gold and other items of jewellery. As a result, many Indian families are investing in security systems. To increase awareness for 'satsangis' (devotees), the Swaminarayan temple, Neasden had organised for a short presentation in London on Saturday 17 February where Detective Inspector Kamal Patel, Met Police Lead for Community Engagement Family Gold provided useful information on the current state of gold burglaries and how the community can work together to prevent this crime from happening. There also was and going to be a stand in the London Mandir Foyer on burglary awareness on Saturday 17 February and Saturday 24 February 2018. Approximately 30% of all burglaries involve an Asian victim and over 50% of all burglaries involve jewellery. In the last year over ÂŁ50 million worth of gold has been stolen within London. Asian jewellery is a prime target for those who

target gold as it is 22 carat which is 91.6% pure gold. Generally pure gold (24 carat) tends not to be used for jewellery as it is too soft. Targeting and stealing 22 carat gold offers the best profit margins Organised criminal networks are operating in London and target Asian families by watching the property knowing that Asian families live at the address due to religious markings outside. Over the last 6 months officers from the Metropolitan Police Services have attended 8 major events across London, and through community engagement they have raised awareness of family gold burglaries to over 180,000 people. To combat such crimes, 'Family Gold Network'- a group of volunteers who help to fight Asian families being targeted for their ceremonial gold jewellery is being formed. This is a community led initiative where volunteers provide a link between police and London's diverse communities, to make families aware of the support available for improving their personal safety and protecting their homes and jewellery. Two people from each of London's 32 boroughs

are being sought as well as staff within the Met Police. Anyone is welcome to come forward, regardless of their race, sex or religious beliefs. Volunteers who form the Family Gold Network, will have regular meetings at various venues across London Below are the guidelines that can help deter burglars, prevent loss and most importantly keep yourself safe. 1. Festivals and Events When attending festivals or events at an external venue: l Always travel to and from your festival or event in a group. Avoid travelling alone, especially in the dark. l Keep any jewellery or valuables covered until you are inside the venue. 2.Burglary Advice l Install a visible intruder alarm system with an active bell box at the front and the rear of your property (a bell box is a device which, when activated, emits a chime,

bell or buzzer sound, and displays the logo of the alarm/security company). l Restrict access to the side and rear of the property (via lockable gates). For flats/apartments, ensure that the communal door is secured. l Install security lights to the front, side and rear of the property to increase visibility – they act as an active deterrent. l Double - lock all doors and remember to remove the key after locking (LiftLock-Remove). l An internal letterbox shield will prevent keys being taken from your home through the letterbox. Close and lock all your doors and windows. l Protect your valuables by property marking/photographing and recording serial numbers. This increases the chances of recovery and bringing the offender(s) to justice. l Use automatic timerswitches to switch on lights after dark so that your home appears to be occupied. This is particularly important during the shorter days in winter. l Keep the TV or radio switched on when you are out of the house. l Secure communal doors and other multi-occupancy

buildings to prevent people following you inside. Make sure you are aware of who you are letting into the building. l Install a safe securely and of a sufficient size for safekeeping documents and valuables. l If possible, store valuables in a bank or a safe deposit centre rather than at home. 3. Distraction Burglary This is when someone gains access to a property under false pretences, with the intention of committing theft. You can avoid these situations by following the guidelines below: l Do not allow unexpected callers inside your home unless they have a prior appointment. l Think before you open the door. Use your door chain and spy hole, or look out of the window to see if you recognise the person at the door. l Always ask for, and check ID before allowing somebody into your home. Verify the ID by calling their organisation. You can obtain the number independently (i.e. from the phone book or searching the internet). Do not use the number from their ID. A genuine caller will be happy to wait outside until you

have verified their ID from their organisation or until you call a family member/neighbour to help. l If in any doubt, do not let them in. Ask the caller to return later and arrange for a friend, relative or neighbour to be present upon their return, or ask the caller to contact this person to make arrangements on your behalf. l Beware of callers who attempt to distract you by claiming that they have seen something untoward in your rear garden or somewhere within the vicinity of your property which may encourage you to leave your house or the room that you are in. They may have an accomplice awaiting this distraction. l Utility providers now offer a password identification system. Any caller from one of these organisations should be able to provide a pre-arranged password as additional proof of their identity. l If you feel threatened or in danger by the presence of a caller, ring the police on 999. If you are interested in volunteering for the Family Gold Network and becoming the co-ordinator please contact, Kamal Patel,



Nominate your favourite charity AsianVoiceNews

Asian Voice | 24th February 2018

Do you know of any UK based charities / individuals who are solving pressing social issues of our time, both in Britain and globally


Cementing the relationship between the UK and India within the legal sector



Nomination deadline

31 March 2018.

Nominate them for the Asian Voice Charity Awards 2018 by visiting our


The launch of the India-UK legal exchange programme in Parliament

Pranav Bhanot

The Awards ceremony will be held on Friday 18th May 2018 at the Hilton, Park Lane , London

Award Categories

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

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


Start-Up of the Year

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

I Outstanding PR Team

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

I Most Enterprising

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

I Social Impact Award

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

For Corporate Partnerships: I Excellence in Corporate Social Responsibility

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

For Individuals: I Inspiring Individual

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

I Inspiring Young Person

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



“Lawyers are the cement of society” were the famous words reiterated by the world renowned Cambridge scholar Glanville Williams QC. Following the exit by the UK from the European Union, it is safe to say divisions and cracks have formed within British society which could do with being cemented. Whilst the battle of Brexit between “camp leave” and “camp remain” will no doubt continue for the years to come, what is clear is that all eyes are on the UK to see quite how talented we are as a country to establish trade deals, negotiate tariffs and consolidate relationships with all countries around the world including India, possibly the UK’s most important partner. With India’s economy accelerating, speculation that by the year 2020 India could be home to the world’s largest middle class and a country with an exceedingly strong reputation for enterprise, the potential building blocks to create a strong trading partnership between the UK and India are in place. It would seem that a prerequisite in cementing the trading relationship between the UK and India would be to ensure that there is greater collaboration and understanding between the lawyers of both countries. In a world where international borders are being broken down and the ease of doing business in different continents is easier now than ever before, some would argue that liberalising the Indian legal industry is a necessary and logical next step. The idea that one must hold an Indian citizenship before being in a position to work in India doesn’t quite fit with the

globalised character of the profession nor the demands of multinational companies. If India is going to be the land where global corporations and starts ups look to scale their businesses, the warm welcome should equally be extended to the global legal advisors to these companies beyond the special economic zones that currently exist. After all, the risk of deterring the global companies of today and tomorrow from India because their legal advisors cannot follow them is real. A closed door policy to international lawyers including British qualified lawyers could lock out talent and hinder the ability to create closer relationships between the lawyers of both countries. Following a recent survey by Ipos Mori, there appears to be a clear interest gap that exists among young people from India and the UK. Whilst, 74% of young educated Indians said that they knew “a great deal or fair amount about the UK”, this figure reached no more than 26% when the question was asked to their UK counterparts. In my book “A living bridge, the UK-India Diaspora and the Rise of the Millennials”, I call this the “interest gap challenge” that needs attention. In the GenY survey 2014-2015, even though 85% of India own Smartphones and 91% are on Facebook, face to face interaction still came out as the preferred method of communication between young people. Junior lawyers of today will be the future commercial leaders of tomorrow, consequently, action must start now in filling the “interest gap”. A mutual interest between lawyers of both India and the UK about the practices, working culture as well as the commercial and legal challenges is crucial if

there is to be as described by Manoj Ladwa “a winning partnership” between the two countries in the legal sector. Equipped with the knowledge that there is an interest gap to be filled and human interaction is the preferred method of engagement, the launch of the India-UK Legal Exchange Programme was launched on 7 February 2018 in the UK House of Lords hosted by Lord Gadhia and supported by law firms Wiseman Lee LLP and BSM Legal Advisors and Strategy Consultants LLP. This initiative was discussed and supported during my meeting with the Indian Minister of External Affairs, Hon. Sushma Swaraj in December 2017 when advising on methods to enhance the relationship between India and the UK diaspora. The exchange programme provides lawyers with an opportunity for visit each other’s jurisdictions with a view to better understand the legal process, judicial decision making, policy making as well as obtaining exclusive access to a variety of lawyers, judges, politicians and institutions which are working to uphold the rule of law. The exchange programme will offer delegates ample opportunity to network with their counterparts from the host nation with the aim that rapport building and understanding at this stage will lead to greater collaboration in the future. The launch of the exchange programme also welcomed the first delegation from India who attended 42 meetings in a week with senior lawyers, judges and politicians across the country. Plans are currently in progress to send a delegation of British lawyers to India in February 2019.

UK AsianVoiceNews



Asian Voice | 24th February 2018

Rani Singh, Special Assignments Editor

Aina Khan OBE is a Solicitor of the Senior Courts of England and Wales. She is the Head of the Islamic and Asian Department at national law firm Duncan Lewis. Aina's OBE was awarded in the recent HM The Queen’s New Year’s Honours List, which is why she is being profiled by us. Aina Khan provides International legal solutions across the UK and globally. With over 25 years’ expertise and more than 5,000 cases, Aina is a world-renowned specialist in the field of Family Law and a leading expert in Islamic and Asian issues. She is regularly instructed to prepare Expert Reports on Private International Law for courts. At Duncan Lewis, Aina's department deals with International disputes, Family law, Inheritance and Islamic Finance.

Solicitor Aina Khan OBE

the areas in which cultural and religious issues overlap with civil law e.g. Islamic divorce, Inheritance disputes, and Dowry claims for Hindu clients. We act for global families who are sometimes dealing with three or four legal systems. In one case of mine, there were

Need for Asian and Islamic Law Department in UK Law Firms Aina Khan explains; “We provide assistance in all

nine different countries involved. It is a fascinating and growing area of law, in a time when people live, work and marry in different countries all over the world.” Aina Khan decided to focus on this area of work right at the beginning of her career, she says. “I found myself specialising in this area at the start of my career, over 25 years ago, because of demand from clients for a niche service. But it is, nonetheless, difficult to get to the position that Aina has reached. “It is hard enough staying at the top of one’s profession in family law alone, with the constant legal changes! Add to this becoming a specialist in Islamic family law and it is a challenging a n d

Aina Khan

Election Commission denies Lutfur Rahman’s direct involvement in Aspire party Lutfur Rahman, who was removed from his office over corruption claims in 2015, to people’s shock, had apparently the latest application for forming a new political party approved. Though it is noted that the nominator for the party's registration during this second attempt was not Rahman himself, but public is of the opinion that the party still allegedly belongs to Rahman and he may have taken a back office role now, because of the complications arising from his ill-reputation. The party, which has been named as ‘Aspire’, is widely believed to be Rahman’s second attempt to come back into local politics, after he was removed from his office by an Electoral Court in 2015 for “corrupt and illegal practices.” He was seen canvassing for an Independent group in Tower Hamlets contesting in the upcoming local elections. Speaking to Asian Voice, about Rahman's alleged link with the

demanding career,” the solicitor explains. Areas of UK law that need changing, according to Aina Khan

“I started a campaign called ‘Register Our Marriage’ to lobby for reform of English marriage law, to make it compulsory for all faiths to register their religious marriages under civil law. In most countries abroad, religious marriages have to be registered with the state, but in the UK it is up to each faith to volunteer to register. It is only compulsory for three faiths - Church of England, Jews and Quakers. I find this law out of date and not “fit for purpose“ as it has not been updated since 1949.” This important campaign site can be viewed here: Why is Aina concerned about women and the children of unregistered marriages? Aina says, “My campaign spreads awareness of the lack of legal rights of women and children in unregistered religious

marriages. This is because they are regarded as just living together and in this country we do not have

My father passed away a few days after celebrating the news of the OBE with me. cohabitation rights. A Muslim husband has sole financial responsibility for supporting his wife and children, so leaving them unprotected and vulnerable defeats the very objective of marriage. It is against Islam to divorce a woman overnight and leave her and the children dependent on welfare benefits or her elderly parents.” Being Awarded the OBE Says Aina, “Applicants are never aware that they have been nominated. To this day, I do not know who nominated me! I was not allowed to tell the news

even to my own family before it was published in the papers. I do not know my OBE was given for “the protection of women and children in unregistered marriages“. This confirms that the Prime Minister and the Queen have endorsed the work I have done to ensure that these vulnerable people are not left destitute and homeless after being abandoned. I have run the campaign with volunteers and we have never received funding from any source. Women contact me regularly to say that they are now making sure their marriages are registered. It is therefore specially gratifying to know that this work, done at evenings and weekends, often leaving my husband and children to travel around the UK spreading awareness, has changed lives. My father passed away a few days after celebrating the news of the OBE with me. It is one of the dearest memories I have of him. He was a barrister and the one who trained me in Islamic and Asian family law. I am delighted that his legacy lives on.

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Lutfur Rahman

party, a spokesperson from the Electoral Commission added, "The terms of Lutfur Rahman’s conviction mean that he is presently barred from standing as a candidate at any elections. For each registered party there must be a registered leader, nominating officer and treasurer, which are given in their application. The names of ‘Aspire’ officers are Kalam Mahmud Abu Taher Choudhury as Leader; Lilian Collins as Nominating officer and Jahed Bokth Choudhury as Treasurer.” In a statement about the registration of the Aspire party, the Commission clarified that, "Following a rigorous assessment of Aspire’s application to

register as a political party, the Commission was satisfied the application met the statutory tests for registration. This includes that the name and emblem were suitable to appear on the register. This also includes that the party has a constitution that sets out its structure and organisation and that it has adopted a scheme that sets out the party’s arrangements for regulating its financial affairs for the purposes of PPERA (the Political Parties Elections and Referendums Act 2000)." Though Rahman is barred from standing as an electoral candidate, we have been told that he is free to take part in canvassing for elections.

• A track record of hitting targets and succeeding within a media sales environment.

• Proven end sales skills-prospecting, target management and market awareness will be an added advantage.

Benefits: • •

Attractive Salary Package Sales Commission

Location : Central London Job Type : Permanent OTE : £45,000

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Asian Voice | 24th February 2018

Air India service

On 18th Jan we travelled from Goa to Mumbai and then on to London. Upon arriving at Heathrow Airport, we waited for an hour for our luggage to arrive found that one of the bags was damaged, handles, wheels etc, were beyond repair. We went to report the damage at the Arrivals Desk at Terminal 2 but there was no one from Air India and a man gave us a piece of paper to report to Air India by email and phone. When we rang the phone number given nobody answered. We tried daily for 7 days and sent emails as well - all without any response. Eventually we went to Heathow Terminal 2 where there is a dedicated phone number for damaged/missing luggage is situated - again no one answered. We were then directed by BAA to go to the Booking Office floor above and reported the issue. The lady put us through to the luggage department and asked them why no one was responding to calls and emails. We were then told to send photos and bill for the damaged bag and they would respond. After 10 days they responded with "we do not pay for damaged luggage". Emails were copied to the Manager and even their head office in London with no responses. The way elderly passengers are treated by Air India is so bad and a journey of 35 miles return was not fruitful. All airlines compensate passengers whose bags/luggage are damaged but not Air India. It is now one month and still there is no response from the Manager or Head Office in this regard. Passengers should be made aware that Air India do not pay for damaged luggage. They should have staff at their complaints desk to report to, which is never manned .What a service by them with a plane full of people. There was also no apology from them for the delayed/damaged luggage - this is Air India. This is the treatment you get from supporting India’s National Airline. Rajani Family Ruislip, Middlesex

Accelerate Brexit

Staggering 52% of British public has voted in favour of Brexit and in all fairness it is a must. The time can only tale whether UK will be better or worse off following Brexit. In the short term there is bound to be negative effect on the economy. There is lot of quibbling amongst the cabinet members on Brexit matters and the negativity that surrounds is demoralising PM Teresa May. It makes her job difficult to strike the right deal with E.U.UK has ruled nearly three quarter of the world. After losing its colonies, UK has still managed to retain its economic stability and status. It is the fifth largest economy of the world. UK has an enormous expertise in many different fields. To name a few, are Banking, Insurance, Education and Law. Recognising the strength of UK, it has a lot to offer to the world. Let all the people concerned be positive and support the PM in the process of smooth transition to Brexit. Niranjan Vasant By email

Appreciation for TFL

Living in London has its own advantages and one of the prominent benefits here is the existence of extensive public transport system. Transport for London, popularly known as the TfL, runs and maintains a network of tube trains as also buses. Together these two make it possible for commuters to travel from anywhere to everywhere in this cosmopolitan city within a limited time. To a great extent, these journeys are quite punctual, safe as well as secure. No wonder, for many people, travel by public transport is fast, reliable and also economical rather than using their own car. The customer service and the courtesy of TfL staff is comparable to any similar service in the world. Moreover, night travel, free travel for school children and senior citizens, 2 journeys for the price of 1 and fares freeze are additional advantages. Our mayor, Sadiq Khan, has very ambitious plans for technological upgradation in order to further increase the use of public transport in the years to come. This will undoubtedly help to reduce the congestion as well as pollution on roads. Few people however complain that the TfL services are expensive and need to be improved. But this accusation will not stand as truth considering the gigantic task of providing uninterrupted mobility in London which is geographically one of the largest cities in the world. Bharat Shah Rayners Lane

Derailment of Brexit The Prime Minister has said that the government is proving the doubters wrong with its Brexit negotiations, which are proceeding in full swing, and it seems that there is no going back now. However, if there was another referundum now, which many are proposing, would the balance tilt in favour of remaining? Any advantage that should be made as a result of Britain’s exit from the European Union (EU) need to be in favour of Britain. Otherwise what is the use of our leving the EU? I was appalled to know that we are being asked to fork out vast sums of money, to the tune of £56 billion, as a consequence of our exit from the EU. It is ridiculous that the so called “divorce bill” will cost us so much money. On the contrary, I would have thought that the Brirtish negotiators should try and clawback the billions of pounds which we have contributed towards the running of the EU since 1974, and in bailing out its sick partners. I fail to understand why are we being asked to cough up this amount of money. If this is the case that we will lose so much, why do we want to come out of the EU? We would rather remain in the EU and avoid paying this much money unnecessarily. The money thus saved could be put to much better use in bailing out our ailing Health Service and other similar projects. Dinesh Sheth Newbury Park, Ilford

Drastic cuts in police budget

The police are facing drastic cuts at this critical time when there is increase in crimes of all types. These consistent cuts of last 7 years are having a devastating effect on the police force. Because of that we hardly sees any bobbies on the beat and are experiencing late response time by the police. Without adequate funding police cannot do their job. It seems the government has got its priorities wrong. Stephen Greenhalgh the deputy mayor said the cuts would make it difficult to maintain frontline officer numbers. He said the annual cuts to the grant from the Home Office would make things very hard to manage by 2020. The force has said it expected to have to make cuts of £800m to its £3.5bn budget over the next four years. This is coming after cuts of £600m made over the last four years. Deputy police commissioner Craig Mackey told the London Assembly's budget and performance committee the police were "struggling with this" and that morale in the force was not good. Varying between forces, since 2010 staff posts have reduced by 15,500 (19.5%); By 2020 police staffing levels could reduce to approximately 100,000 – the lowest level since the mid-1970s, and a further reduction of 17% since CSR10; The funding shortfall could be approximately £400 million in the first year and increasing up to as high as £1.2 billion by 2020; With fewer people to call on the successful civilianisation of some posts may be scaled back or reversed. Some forces have already identified that officers would have to perform back office functions; and While further savings in running costs, procurement and ICT can be delivered over the next five years a fundamental reconfiguration of roles will be needed. As far as Harrow is concerned the merger of Borough Commanders of Harrow, Barnet and Brent is not the right move. It is a retrograde step for Harrow; its residents are not happy with this decision of the Metropolitan Police. In view of having more savings it is time now to have a fundamental rethink on how the police is organised, the service they offer the public, and the roles and skills needed. Baldev Sharma Rayners Lane, Harrow

Punishing captive elderly citizens

Government's relentless curb on their contribution to local councils' budget year after year has played havoc with councils' finances with care sector close to collapse, forcing founcils to consider six percent rise in founcil tax, the maximum increase permitted by the government, after realising that councils' cut back on essential services is detrimental for the well being of the local residents. Commu nity Secretary Sajid Javid made this announcement last December, permitting councils to impose this extra burden on home owners after realising the struggle councils were undergoing to provide essential services but government unable and unwilling to help with the finances, out of political dogma rather than any other valid reason. This increase along with rise in garden waste, parking charges, meals on wheels, as well as every service councils provide, accompanied with sharp cuts in libraries, park and recreation and road maintenance budgets will affect lives of every citizen irrespective of their


Amdavad Airport Gujarat

Thanks to the efforts of Asian Voice we have direct flights to Amdavad from London. I have been travelling this route every year for 15 years. Travelling to India can be frustrating. Arriving from London it took close to 2 hours for luggage to arrive. My return flight was not easy either just to enter the terminal took 30 minutes with plenty of queue jumpers at hand. In my frustration I shouted to the jumpers "you all want to go to the US, Canada, UK and are happy to queue there well then start here, in India" Some got the message, I was without a trolley dragging my suit cases, on hearing my complaint a young girl fought her way through the crowd and brought me a trolley, as a reward for trying to control the queue, it was heart warming and I thanked her, this was the India I loved. The trauma continued inside with checkin and security took a total of 2 hours of queuing. Unbelievingly there was one gate allocated to three fights for boarding, when I asked a ground staff of my airline the reason for more chaos he replied "I am the only one on duty and the PA System is down". When India can send a mission to Mars organising an airport should not be that difficult. Jayesh A Patel Wimbledon

Is group appointment the answer to GP shortages?

While NHS grudgingly acknowledges severe GP shortages, creating extra ten thousand posts to fill the gap, in reality NHS even struggles to fill in the vacancies created by older GPs retiring in their droves, some in their early sixties, even in their late fifties. This is mainly due to relentless pressure NHS is exerting on GP practices, with their dictum to open from 8 am to 8 PM, seven days a week, mainly to take away pressure from over worked, under pressure A and E Department. Driving existing GPs into early retirement is the worse scenario to relieve pressure on A and E Department. Another setback is that newly qualified young GPs prefer to work part time, 3 to 4 days a week, thus choosing working hours and locations that may suit their lifestyle, avoiding the stress, paper work and unpopular home visits, thus enjoying the best of both the world. With ever rising, ageing population and life longevity, pressure on GPs is only going to increase. No wonder NHS is coming up with gimmicks that should have no place in a modern, well funded NHS. First it was Skype consultation, the latest gimmick is Group Therapy, GP seeing up to 15 patients suffering from similar medical conditions, such as Hyper Tension, Diabetics, Raised Cholesterol as well as depression, the scourge of modern living, all qualify for group consultation, one medication that cures all ills? While this may suit some patients, learning from each other, the vast majority may not like to share their personal medical information with strangers. It seems NHS has already earmarked some practices in London for this unique experiment, however I hope it would be patients and GPs who would ultimately decide how they should consult GPs. Our GP introduced telephone consultation as a first step before face to face consultation. It works wonders, as face to face consultations have gone down by 50 percent, thus the needy gets same day appointment. It seems, if there is a will, there is a way, with some common sense and give and take attitude. Kumudini Valambia By email age, gender, interest or affiliation. People who will be most affected are in Band D and E whose rates burden will go up to £1,700 to £2,075. This along with ever rising energy bills will indeed put intolerable burden on home owners, especially senior citizens who are on fixed income and already struggling to make the ends meet. This is due to Government's reluctance to increase income tax, especially at the upper end which could be fair, the burden falling on those who are able to pay without lowering their living standard. With local elections of the horizon, PM has indeed chosen a wrong time to inflict this pain on the elderly who are most likely to vote. No one should be surprised if Conservatives are hammered in May, especially in London, losing councils like Barnet, Bromley, Wandsworth and few more, painting London red. These will be self inflicted wounds hardworking local Tories do not deserve. Bhupendra M. Gandhi Gibraltar

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Asian Voice | 24th February 2018

Yet another scandal! Steel pensioners “shamelessly exploited” Members of the British steel pensions scheme members have been “shamelessly” exploited by “dubious financial advisers” as per a report by MPs. They warn of “another major mis-selling scandal”. Tata Steel, in August 2017, sponsored the £15bn scheme, striking a deal to restructure it. However, a crisis in 2016 prompted the country's largest steel producer in 2016 to put its entire UK operations up for sale. Employees of the company voted to accept proposals to close the existing pension scheme to new contributions. They were given option of moving to, either the Pension Protection Fund (PPF) or a new final salary scheme BSPS2. Both offers were comparatively meager. Those who were not at an pensionable age, had the option of switching to a defined contribution scheme called DB transfer. A report by the Work and Pensions Select Committee criticised the Pensions Regulator and Financial Conduct Authority, accusing “all those bodies with a duty to watch and act” of failing to ensure “members were not left in the dark”. The report said “faced with making a life-changing choice in a hurry”, many were attracted to a third option, which meant giving up generous and stable benefits in lieu of a riskier investment. The circumstances surrounding the restructuring of the scheme, it said, created the “perfect conditions for vultures to take advantage”.

“Many BSPS members were shamelessly bamboozled by advisers into signing up to ongoing adviser fees and unsuitable funds, characterised by high investment risk, high management charges, and punitive exit fees. Another major mis-selling scandal is already erupting and we therefore call on the relevant bodies to treat this as such and take urgent action,” the report said. Labour MP Frank Field, chairman of the committee said, “Once again we find the Pensions Regulator fiddling while Rome burns, when it should have seen this rip-off coming. All the responsible authorities must act, now, to stop more people being cheated.” The scheme, since March 2017, has processed 2600 pension transfers equating to a total value of £1.1bn. The average value of BSPS pension benefits transferred out was £400,000. Transfer value exceeded £1m in around 20 cases. The committee has recommended the Pensions Regulator to conduct a review to learn lessons and the FCA to create an online register of advisers and their current status. “Reviewed communications sent to members and were satisfied they adequately warned of the dangers of transferring out of a DB scheme,” a spokesman for the Pensions Regulator said. “And while TPR does not regulate financial advice, we wrote jointly with the FCA and TPAS members to flag potential risks.”


Organ donor scheme to save lives Official analysis has revealed that an opt-out organ donation system could save hundreds of lives a year in the UK. Prime Minister Theresa May had last October, announced that the law would be changed so that people's organs can be used unless they opt out, and the government is working out on the

role played by families. Superiors in the NHS have however, cautioned that presuming consent is not a “magic formula” and will not be enough to stop three people a day dying from a shortage of transplant organs. Transplant surgeon at Nottingham University Hospitals, Keith Rigg said, “It's unlikely that opt-out legislation will deliver the necessary improvements in donation and transplant rates alone. We need to change hearts

Theresa May

and minds of the country.” A soft pot-out like the one introduced in Wales two years ago can be an option, where families can still refuse consent. However, the numbers in the region are small and it remains unclear whether the new system has made any difference.

Processed foods linked to cancer A major study suggests that eating too many highly-processed foods could significantly increase one's risk of cancer. A research that was conducted on over 100,000 adults found that every 10 per cent increase in consumption of ready meals, sugary cereals and salty snacks is linked to a 12 per cent rise in cancer risks. It warned that the “rapidly increasing” consumption of heavily processed foods seen in recent years could drive an increasing burden of cancer in the

National Gujarati Teachers’ Conference at Neasden Temple ing grants and funding support BAPS Shri Swaminarayan for Gujarati teaching. Mandir, London – popularly The Conference was further known as the ‘Neasden Temple’ – enriched with the visit of Gareth welcomed 108 senior manageThomas MP, the Member of ment representatives from 38 Parliament for Harrow West, who different supplementary schools, helped save the Gujarati exam mandirs and community groups from being discontinued last year. across England on Saturday 17 Viveksagar Swami, a senior February 2018 to further their learning about the future of Alistair Drewery swami of BAPS Swaminarayan Sanstha, shared motivational messages of Gujarati language teaching. The Gujarati learning and teaching via a Conference was the first of its kind and recorded video presentation. Video blessfocussed on the forthcoming changes to ings were also played from His Holiness the GCSE Gujarati exams. Significant Mahant Swami Maharaj, who stressed the effort has been made since 2017 to avert value of Gujarati schools working togeththe possible discontinuation of GCSE and er. Bernadette Holmes MBE emphasised A-Level exams in Gujarati. This “the great benefit culturally and also cogConference was the first opportunity for nitively” of learning Gujarati, adding her many schools and teachers to gain firstappreciation for the conference: “What’s hand information about the new exam always inspiring with all of the work done specifications being introduced by at the Mandir is the commitment to movPearson – the examination board that has ing forward as individuals and moving forassumed the administration and operaward as a community to really solve the tion of GCSE and A-Level Gujarati. problems we face in the community The Conference was delivered through through language and culture.” speeches, workshops and networking sesAlistair Drewery shared, “I am very sions designed around the theme of impressed by the organisation, and I’m ‘Treasure, Innovate and Inspire’ – treaeven more impressed by the passion of the sure and promote the rich heritage of the many language teachers here today. I’m Gujarati language, innovate novel teachlooking forward to working closely with ing methods and learn the latest informaall the Gujarati teachers.” tion about the GCSE exams, and be Feedback from the delegates was also inspired with renewed enthusiasm to overwhelmingly positive with many teach Gujarati to the young and bring pledging to attend the next conference in awareness to their parents. greater numbers. Several attendees were Key speakers for this Conference especially thankful for the opportunity to included Alistair Drewery, Languages meet and network with many schools Subject Advisor for Pearson; Pascale from their respective towns and cities as Vassie OBE, Executive Director for the well as around the country. National Resource Centre for Secondary To be kept informed about the Education; Bernadette Holmes MBE, from next conference in July 2018 for all the language campaign group Speak to Gujarati teachers, please email the Future; and Anju Bhatt, from CVS Brent, who provided guidance on acquir-

coming decades. Conducted by the Sorbonne in Paris and the University of Sao Paulo, the study is based on 104,980 healthy French adults, by measuring their intake of 3300 different food items. Study author Dr Mathilde Touvier, nutritional epidemiologist at Sorbonne Paris Cité and Statistics Research Center, said, “To our knowledge, this study is the first to investigate and highlight an increase in the risk of overall, and specifically breast cancer

associated with ultra-processed food intake.” Meanwhile, separate data shows similar foods make up over half the British diethighest proportion across European nations. Scientists have urged consumers to try and eat more fresh, or minimally processed foods as a “precautionary” principle. They also said those eating a diet heavy in convenience foods and other “ultra-processed” snacks such as fizzy drinks and crisps were also far more likely to be overweight.


MEDIA WATCH AsianVoiceNews

Asian Voice | 24th February 2018

The recent rise in jihadi terror attacks in Kashmir would appear to suggest that Pakistan is raising the stakes in its unconventional war against India. A number soldiers, three jihadis and a civilian were killed when infiltrators from across the border stormed the Sunjuwan Army camp; two jihadis died in a separate encounter. Stone pelting mobs injure and endanger the lives of the troops frequently. The dead jihadis at Sunjuwan have been identifies as Kari Mushtaq, Mohammed Khalid Khan and Mohammed Adil, all belonging to the Pakistan-based Jaish-e-Mohammed. Given shelter S.P. Vaid, Director General of Police, Jammu and Kashmir, said the attack could not have been possible without ‘local help. Some over-ground workers provided them with shelter and support. They were guided to the Army camp. Whether they had any local support after they reached it is yet to be ascertained,’ he said. According to a senior Home Ministry official, the attackers infiltrated the Line of Control as far back as last August. They lay low recruiting and planning. Now, the National Investigation Agency (NIA) has been entrusted with the intelligence appreciation of these events (Hindu February 14).

Congress Comment Congress President Rahul Gandhi and his cohorts sought political mileage of these developments, accusing the government of lacking a Kashmir policy (Hindu February 14). Who has one, or had one that worked? The only detectable Congress policy was endless pieties, of an assembly line of buzzwords, accompanied by stacks and stacks of cash to Hurriyat leaders to keep them on board a leaky vessel. Likewise, TV channels voice rancid mantras and shibboleths as screaming participants and anchors jostle for public space in a mad house of incoherence. The uncomfortable truth is invariably ducked as these ostriches prefer to bury their brain dead heads in the sand. Truth is that Pakistan has ben engaging India in an undeclared war without its government and people, until recently, coming to terms with reality. Dialogue, cricket, getting to know each other, and much else have been, and continue to be, bromide-induced fantasies that have, alas, begotten other fantasies much like a karmic cycle in slow motion.

Zulfikar Ali Bhutto

Zulfikar Ali Bhutto

The late Zulfikar Ali Bhutto incarnated his country’s antiIndian pathologies. Desirous of ‘bleeding India to death’ was (and still is) the slogan of choice. He gambled disastrously with the military to initiate the genocide in former East Pakistan, which ended in Pakistan’s defeat on the battlefield and its break-up. A few years later, Bhutto perished on the gallows, consumed by his delusions.

No lessons learned Nothing has been learned from these fiascos. Inebriating utterances about ‘retaliating against Indian aggression’ keep hissing from Islamabad’s kettle. The game of chicken goes on regardless.

Kashmiri Muslim gesture to Pandits However, a report emanating from Srinagar tells of numerous Kashmiri Muslims sending greeting cards to their Pandit Hindu brethren for Shivratri. They well understand the benefits of living under the rule of law and constitutional government rather than abide by the life-threatening rules of engagement of the sectarian state next door, where minority Shias and Amediyyas live in constant peril of their lives from Sunni mobs and assassins. This brave and brotherly gesture demonstrates that all is not lost in the Valley. Far from it (Hindu February 14).

launching two diploma courses to make the next generation skilled enough to take up future jobs that will be dominated by augmented intelligence, cognitive intelligence, cloud computing and blockchain.

IIT diplomas Ms Rometty explained that twoyear diplomas would be at the IITs Bangaluru and Hyderabad to start with this year, after which they woud be expanded to other towns and cities. ‘We are certainly the world leaderin Artificial Intelligence but I believe Augmented Intelligence is the future,’ she said, adding that 100 per cent of the current jobs will change and hence there is an immediate need of reskilling with public private partnership. Earlier, Ms Rometty met Prime Minister Narendra Modi and discussed these issues with him. She emphasized the need for companies to focus on new-age technologies since every company in the world will be a technology company (Business Line February 14)

Unfolding future A recent study by consulting firm McKinsey estimates that that up to 30 per cent of the workforce in developed markets is engaged in independent work entailing flexible work practices and the like. In India, while startups were the early adopters of this new wave, Wade Azmy, Managing Director of ICG Singapore, a digital platform and a network for independent consultants, believes the Indian market has many freelancers/nonemployees are ready to engage in short-term projects. High end skilled freelance work is on the cusp of take-off. ‘India for us, is more of a talent base than a client base,’ says Vincent Casanova of a Zurich-based consulting firm with global connections (Mint February 12).

Big hitters GE, Tata in joint venture

US giant General Electric (GE) and Tata Advanced Systems have set up a Structural Centre of Excellence for nonengine components. The manufacturing facility located close to Hyderabad international airport, will deliver complex high-precision aeroengine components to CEM LEAP engines. The groundbreaking was lauched formally in the presence of K.T. Rao, Telangana Minister for IT, Industries and Commerce (Business Line, Economic Times February 13, IBM CEO Gini Rometty addressing an audience 14).

Partnering to promote skills

IBM India in partnership with the Indian government is to plan a design courses that will define job futures. IBM Chairman and CEO Ginny Romettey said that the company and the Ministry of Skills Development will be

Centre mulling ban on Muslim terror group The Centre is considering a ban on the Popular Front of India (PFI), a militant Muslim group based in Kerala, according to

Kiren Rijju, Minister of State at the Home Ministry in New Delhi. The Kerala police chief listed four cases where PFI members indulged in atrocities, including the gruesome amputation of the hand of an academic Professor T.J. Joseph, an authority on Malayalam literature for setting a question in an examination, his assailants considered disrespectful of the Prophet Mohammed. The National Security Agency (NIA) submitted a separate report to the Home Ministry listing criminal acts carried out by PFI members (Hindu February 15, 16).


all stake holders in Iraq at the Kuwait-sponsored International Conference for Reconstruction of Iraq in Kuwait City, where major world powers met under the Chairmanship of the U N

IM bomber held on Nepal border The Delhi Police Special Cell arrested Ariz Khan, 32 year-old bomb maker and Indian Mujahideen (IM) mastermind behind the serial bombings in Delhi, Jaipur, Ahmedabad and sites in Uttar Pradesh which claimed 165 innocent lives and caused injuries to 535 others at Nepal border. ‘He is an expert bomb maker and a core member of the Azamgarh, Uttar Pradesh, module of the IM,’ said P.S. Kushwaha, Deputy Commissioner, Police, Special Cell.

Leads to jihadis Kushwaha said information relating to absconding IM and Students Islamic Movement (SIM) members revealed that they had set up bases in Nepal under false identities. Acting on information a trap was laid at Banbasa on the Nepal border. On September 12, 2008, a group of IM were run to ground in at Batla House, Delhi, from where its members operated. In an exchange of fire two operatives were killed and the others captured, save for Ariz Khan and associate Shehzad who escaped. Inspector Mohan Chand Sharma, who led the charge that day was killed during the encounter (Hindu, Economic Times February 15).

India’s support for Iraq reconstruction India issued an impassioned call for a political settlement among

M .J. Akbar

Secretary General Antonio Guterres to draw up a master plan for the country’s recovery from the devastation of invasion, foreign occupation and civil strife.

Indian participation Minister of State for External Affairs M .J. Akbar, who led the Indian delegation declared his country’s commitment to participate in effort to put Iraq back on its feet. He said: ‘We will play our part with project specific proposals. We support the important role assigned to private sector investment in the rebuilding of the terroristaffected areas in Iraq. We are willing to play a substantive role in major projects in petrochemicals, health, education infrastructure and other sectors (such as) specific requests for rehabilitation projects and essential supplies like medicine, equipment, as required for internally displaced persons....’ Calling for a comprehensive global treaty against terrorism, for long advocated by India, Mr Akbar declared: ‘This is also the moment to remind the international community that an early adoption of the Comprehensive Convention on International Terrorism, a draft of which was proposed by India as early as 1996.’

Strengthening India, Iran ties

PM Modi welcoming Iranian President Hassan Rouhani

The arrival of Iranian President Hassan Rouhani on a three-day state visit to India is a major step forward in taking the India-Iran relationship to the next level, whether it be in trade, investment and energy cooperation, etc, that will become clearer in the coming months and years (Hindu February 15).

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Asian Voice | 24th February 2018

Churchill – Right and Wrong In the film Darkest Hour, Churchill’s most famous speech is depicted. ‘We will fight them on the beaches…’ And the speech goes on ‘and if, which I do not for a moment believe, this island or a large part of it were subjugated and starving, then our Empire beyond the seas, armed and guarded by the British Fleet, would carry on the struggle, until, in God's good time, the New World, with all its power and might, steps forth to the rescue and the liberation of the old.’ Churchill was right, it was the ‘New World’ far more ancient than the Old, in the form of the Indian Empire that did indeed come to the ‘rescue and the liberation of the old’. And it did not wait until Britain was subjugated or starving, as Churchill did with the Bengal Famine. “It is nothing short of a miracle… which has called men from the uttermost ends of the earth… and which has caused human beings to do the most incalculable, improvident and, from a narrow point of view, profitless things.” This was Winston Churchill describing to the House of Commons the support for the war effort from the people of what was then the British Empire. Berlin - which could have been during the Cold War the trigger for World War 3. And indeed would have made Germany at the heart of a third consecutive global War – and why papers released in Britain in 2009 show Margaret Thatcher was not exactly thrilled about a unified Germany.

Brexit owes much to World War 2 and how Britain sees itself in our outside Europe. But immigration that other major issue of our times is also connected to World War 2. There is a part of immigration policy connected to military service of course. Just ask the Ghurkas who are able to now reside in Britain because of their military service, or indeed myself as the off-spring of a member of the British Army having the same privilege when the laws were different. Immigration policy in this country and our attitude elderly immigrants needs to have as much honour as we do for our war Dead. There was a document for schoolchildren ‘We also served’. In it is recounted one quote to catch my eye: ‘I was a little coloured boy from the Caribbean and I instinctively call him Sir. “No Sir,” he hastily corrected. “It is I who call you Sir”, Flight Lieutenant Billy Strachan on being introduced to his newly appointed batman. Of course little did Churchill know that as he spoke those words in tribute to the peoples of the Empire, it would be one of them, the one he termed a ‘half-naked fakir’ from Gujarat who would both support the War effort, and ensure the demise of the Empire peacefully too. On that name for Mahatma Gandhi and his view of him, Churchill was wrong.

Hutton shop keeper thanks his customers as he retires

One of the longest serving shopkeepers in Hutton, Essex, has thanked his customers as more than 20 years behind the counter ends. Thiagarajah Jeganathan retired from the Hutton Shopper in Rayleigh Road on Saturday after serving the community with newspa-

pers and groceries for 22 years. Mr Jeganathan, who ran the shop with wife Rita, says one of the most rewarding parts of the job is the friendship he has built with his customers and seeing youngsters – including paper boys grow up and start families of their own.

Thiagarajah Jeganathan with his wife Rita

Acting Ukip leader Gerard Batten defends saying Islam is a 'death cult' Claims a 'significant minority' of Muslims are extremists

Acting Ukip leader Gerard Batten has defended his description of Islam as a "death cult" and claimed a "significant minority" of Muslims are extremists who want to be martyred. London MEP Mr Batten, who took over at the head of the crisis-hit party after Henry Bolton was ousted on Saturday, said Islam "glorifies death". He said Muslim migrants coming to the UK should reject the "dark age ideologies which many of them bring with them" through a literalist interpretation of the Koran. On Sky News's Sunday With Niall Paterson Mr Batten did not rule out running for the party leadership on a permanent basis and insisted it still had a role to play on the national stage by making sure Brexit supporters were not "betrayed". Defending his "death cult" comments, written in

Gerard Batten

a blog shortly after the 2017 Westminster terror attack, Mr Batten said: "What I wrote there about Islam is factually and historically true. "Anybody that cares to look at the history of Islam


over the past 1,400 years will see that that is true." He added: "It glorifies death. They believe in propagating their religion by killing other people and martyring themselves and going and getting their 72 virgins. "Not all of them - that's not saying that all of them do believe that or do that I'm saying that a significant minority believe that and they are the problem. "But the trouble is they are justified in those beliefs by a literalist interpretation of their own socalled holy texts."

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

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

for further details ring 020 8902 2311 Email: Malik

British university award for Fatma Zakaria – India’s education champion for the underprivileged Fatma Rafiq Zakaria will receive Honorary Doctorate of the University of Huddersfield for services to educationa An award-winning writer and journalist who, for over 60 years, has helped India’s less-privileged gain access to education, is to receive an honorary award from the University of Huddersfield. Fatma Rafiq Zakaria is to receive the award of Honorary Doctorate of the University for services to education at the University’s awards ceremonies in India for the collaborative programme with Institute of Hotel Management. Her career has spanned many areas, most notably journalism, social work, publishing and education. Currently, she is Chairman of the Maulana Azad Educational Trust in Aurangabad, India, which offers quality education and training to the poor, with a focus on empowering women and minorities. She is Executive VicePresident of the Board of Governors of the Trust’s

Fatma Rafiq Zakaria

Institute of Hotel Management. Mrs Zakaria is also President of the Maharashtra College of Arts, Science and Commerce in Mumbai and Chairman of the All India Khilafat Committee, which operates colleges of education. In 1958, she established an institution of childcare and training for underprivileged women, offering healthcare, education and free meals. Her time as a writer began in 1970 when Mrs Zakaria joined The Times of India, later becoming Senior Assistant Editor,

covering political and cultural affairs. She is the only Indian journalist to have interviewed by India’s Indira Ghandi and Britain’s Margaret Thatcher when they were serving prime ministers. In 1973, she was awarded the Sarojini Naidu Integration Award for Journalism and nearly fifty years later Mrs Zakaria still writes and is currently Editor of Taj Magazine, a quarterly publication based in Mumbai of the Taj Group of Hotels. She has played a prominent role in education and served for three years as a member of the Bombay University Senate and has been recognised by many awards and positions of responsibility in further and higher education. She says that one of her proudest moments came in 2006 when she received the prestigious Padma Shri by the President of India for her work in education.



Asian Voice | 24th February 2018

Students encourage Asians in London to save lives of people with blood cancer Over a hundred student volunteers in universities across London are attempting to recruit Londoners this week, especially from the ethnic background such as the Asian community, to beat stem cell crisis and save lives of people with blood cancer. People from black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) backgrounds are currently underrepresented on the stem cell register, meaning that it’s more difficult for patients from these backgrounds to find a donor with a matching tissue type. The campaign this week in London seeks to highlight and celebrate the diversity of London, with a particular focus on recruiting people from ethnic backgrounds. Anthony Nolan stem cell register, a charity campaign to recruit more young people to become potential lifesavers under the name ‘Marrow’, it currently operates in eight universities across the capital. At present only 60% of transplant recipients receive the best match, and this drops dramatically to around 20.5% (one in five of transplant recipients) if you're from a Black, Asian or ethnic minority background. Vithurshanan Karunanithy, 21, joined the register last year after seeing an appeal for Vithiya Alphons on facebook. Karunanithy said: ‘It may look on the face of it that people from BAME (Black, Asian and minority ethnic) communities don’t care but I don’t think it’s that simple. I don’t think there is as much awareness of stem cell donation ‘It may sound slightly self-centred but I joined since she was from the Tamil community like me, and before this I hadn't really thought about it.’ He added: ‘I feel I should have

Vithurshanan Karunanithy

Ainesh Singh

signed up earlier, however now I'm glad I signed up as I've had the opportunity to be part of KCL Marrow and join in the wonderful work Marrow do. Marrow is so impor-

tant because it has a significant effect on people around the world. Not many people would have even heard of Anthony Nolan without the help of Marrow!’ Ainesh Singh, 20, also joined the register when approached by a Marrow voluntee. He said: ‘After learning about the work being done by Marrow in saving people’s lives, I decided that getting involved and working alongside other volunteers to recruit donors would be rewarding and worthwhile.’ Namet said: ‘Most young men know that blood cancer is a serious issue, and many are even aware of the charity work being done to help this issue, such as Anthony Nolan. However, I think that most young men are simply not conscious of this issue; as it does not have an immediate impact in their lives, they are not motivated to seek out ways of joining the register.’ He continued: ‘I would say that it is one of the most worthwhile causes to get involved in, as the possibility of saving someone’s life through just a donation of stem cells and having such an impact on someone’s future is amazing. Anthony Nolan gives hope to those afflicted by blood cancer, and to be part of it is incredible.’ Charlotte Cunliffe, Marrow Programme Lead at Anthony Nolan said: ‘It is so important to address inequality on the stem cell register so that we are able to find a match for every person in need of a transplant. London is one of the most vibrant and diverse cities in the world, and provides the perfect opportunity to register a large number of potential donors, from a mix of backgrounds, heritages and communities.” To find out more visit w w w. a n t h o n y n o l a n . o r g / l o n donors

£2000 raised for Cancer Research UK through Kathak dance performance Jalpa Shah has raised £2,000 for Cancer Research UK and Kidney Research UK through a Kathak dance performance on Sunday 11th February 2018. The event was held at Stratford Circus Arts Centre and attended by over 170 people. The grand total was raised from ticket sales and additional donations from patrons. Kathak is a North Indian classical dance form that emphasises powerful footwork matched to complex rhythmic cycles (taal). It also demands the nuanced skills of mime (abhinaya), the use of facial expressions and finely honed gestures to convey emotion and tell a story. Last Sunday’s ninety minute performance was Jalpa's first solo recital and was set to live music by other UK born artists: Gurdain Rayatt (tabla),

Jonathan Mayer (sitar), and Raaheel Husain (vocals). The performance began with an invocation to Lord Ganesh, which was followed by a mix of technical and expressive pieces, and ended with an energetic Tarana. Jalpa is a student of Guru Srimati Alpana Sengupta, and follows in her style of the Raigarh school of Kathak (a combination of the styles from Lucknow and Jaipur). Alpanaji and her husband, Mick Taylor, have been pioneers in raising awareness of Indian dance throughout the UK and the West. Alpanaji currently teaches Kathak in Barnet, Hounslow and Cambridgeshire, and her students are regularly engaged in performances; from events in the local community to national festivals. For more information about the show visit

6 year old Indian origin ‘community champion’ raises money for UNICEF

Vihaan at Asda Hounslow on Saturday morning

Rupanjana Dutta 6 year old Vihaan Tiwari from London believes a little faith can do wonders, very similar to author Dan Brown. He held a charity event for UNICEF UK at ASDA Hounslow on Saturday 17th to raise money for unprivileged children under his parents’ guidance. Vihaan is a simple yet an inquisitive and curious boy who is always full of questions just like the children of his age and came up with this wonderful and noble idea of setting up a juice corner for a charity event so that he could raise money for children who are not as privileged as him and his friends. He called it - 'Juice For Charity.' Vihaan is a Year 1 student at The Mall School, Twickenham and has already raised money for NSPCC and Rotary box shoe appeal in the past. With the help and support from UNICEF UK and guidance provided by his parents and Varindar Kaur, ASDA

Community Champion Vihaan's dream of ‘Juice for charity’ event was held. An online link for donation through was also set up by his father, Jawahar Tiwari, for friends and families who were unable to attend the event. Full of enthusiasm but little shy as expected, Vihaan started his charity work early morning. Every customer who approached him was greeted by his lovely smile along with a bottle of juice. His efforts were wholeheartedly encouraged by the people visiting and he was able to raise £393, including online donations, as we went to press. Vihaan’s parents are extremely proud of his thoughtful idea and wish that other kids are also motivated to help and care for the underprivileged, something which is so much needed in today's world. If you want to donate to Vihaan’s cause, see: https://w w


photo courtesy:

From Left: Aleen, Shreya and Atiqa from the Bhartiya Vidya Bhavan singing at the Gandhi Martyrs’ Day observation in Tavistock Square on January 30, 2018. For full story see 10 February 2018 issue of Asian Voice, page 9. AsianVoiceNews



Loomba Foundation completes project to empower 5000 widows

L to R: Lord Raj Loomba CBE, Hon’ble Reeta Sarkar and Veena Lady Loomba, Trustees of Loomba Foundation, Varanasi’s Mayor Mrs Mridula Jaiswal, Member of Parliament Mr Ram Charitra Nishad, Mr Hansraj Viswakarma BJP District President of Varanasi and JK SInha Chairman of Shoshit Seva Sangh

A United Nations accredited global charity, the Loomba Foundation distributed 1244 sewing machines to widows in Varanasi on February 14. Part of an empowerment project for 5000 widows, the last phase was part of a project for the organisation that was launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on 2016. The Varanasi Scheme, as it is called, is the largest project undertaken by the Loomba Foundation so far. 5000 widows were successfully trained, and received a foot-operated 'Singer' sewing machine free of charge, from the charity. The last 1244 beneficiaries of the project were presented the machines at an event at the famous Benaras Hindu University, in the presence of MP Ram Charitra Nishad, Mayor of Varanasi Mridula Jaiswal, BKP District President of Varanasi Hansraj Vishwakarma, and Founder and Chairman of Shoshit Seva Sangh JK Sinha. Founder and Chairman Trustee of the Loomba Foundation, Lord Raj Loomba spoke at the

event. He said, “I am grateful to the Hon'ble Prime Minister of India Mr Narendra Modi for supporting us on the project. It is another milestone in our journey to help widows and their children in India. The Loomba Foundation's team in India, including Atul Palta, Pawan Kumar, and Hemant Kumar, have worked tirelessly over the last two years to complete this project.” Nishad congratulated Lord Loomba on completion of the plan. He appealed to the beneficiaries to use the sewing machine and earn money. Nishad added that it was great opportunity that they must not waste. “This large project will not only help 5000 widows in Varanasi, but also inspire other organisations to support many more widows in our holy city.” Mridula Jaiswal said, “I am very pleased to meet so many widows who have been supported by the Loomba Foundation. I appreciate the efforts made by Lord and Lady Loomba to help the widows in my city.”

Fake weddings for citizenship benefits As reported by TOI, a Pakistani-origin man and his wife allegedly earned £500,000 by arranging fake weddings in a bid to trick the Home Office. Ayaz Khan, 32, and Jurgita Pavlovskyte, 25, reportedly set up fake weddings of at least 13 South Asian men with Lithuanian women to get them a right to live and work in the UK. 11 of the fake grooms were from Pakistan, one from India, and one from Bangladesh. Jurors heard they were all desperate to stay in the UK after their visas expired. The couple, who are now separated,

forged Sainsbury's job offers to bolster the applications for residency Prosecutor Tom Forster, told the Old Bailey, “The Home Office was fooled. This was not a genuine marriage. This was a put up job. Marriages of convenience were arranged between men from the Indian subcontinent and women for the most part from Lithuania. They were carried out with a view to fooling the immigration authorities of this country into granting permission for the men to continue to live and work in the UK.”

Asian Voice | 24th February 2018





Sunetra Senior

Amidst the political ambiguity, and sometimes cynical attitudes, surrounding rapid tech development, emerges Darshan’s socially conscious social innovation studio: Super Being Labs. As the CEO and founder, himself told us: “We always ask ourselves how can this project help the human beings involved, and work back from there. How can it make a real impact on people’s lives so that they can be greatest they can be? Sure, digital is increasingly important, but the crux of the answer is not about the technology. Creative problem-solving and ensuring that the answer matters to people using it, is even more vital. The tech is just a tool.” Holding a diverse range of clients by the hand: from businesses, insights to drive a positive shift. And to charities, and individuals, includas I said, not everything has to be ing the likes of Telefonica and Breast about technology, you can start in the Cancer Care, Super Being Labs thus analogue world first. For example, starts to tangibly right the skewed our book Being ManKind, tackles the emphasis on “simply tech for the issue of outdated massake of tech, which might or might culinity, and is far more not help the customer.” For example, useful as stories in a conas Darshan elaborated, “the Breast crete form rather than a Cancer Care app BECCA, has helped website. The book and women adjust to their new lives after photos resonate, and the treatment. Tackling this issue meant film is coming next. Our working with women who would be process is ‘jumping in’, using the product, and allowing their identifying the issue insights to inform the final product incisively, and then and then iteratively making it better. ‘thinking long’, making The pivotal aspect wasn’t necessarily that solution systemic.” the digital feature but discovering This organically instithat there was an inverse correlation tutes incremental between female cancer social change. Spreading patients’ health and this philosophy to their their mood over time. clients along the way, As their condition Sure, digital is with no little thanks to improved, their increasingly a “highly focussed, mood could go yet multi-skilled and important, but the down. We had to well-rounded super work out how to crux of the answer team,” Super Being tackle this. These is not about the Labs are revolutionwomen had had ising the consumerist technology: it is in all sorts of changes industry as well as in their lives. As a human behaviour their individual conresult, we found that sumer goods. “To be honthe first version of the est,” Darshan stated, “there BECCA app would help are many employees from most by providing curated large company who want their comand trusted information when users panies to take social responsibility needed it most. By connecting these for overlooked adverse effects on the women to advice from fellow wider public. Online platforms might patients and nurses, they’d have a have done some good, but they’ve little friend they could carry in their also caused damage: mental health and influencing questionable politics being but a few issues. Smart companies know good business is more ethically pragmatic. Nissan’s automated car unit, for example, has a social anthropologist in the senior ranks because they don’t see it as just a car, but something that will change how we move as a society. They want to consider the pockets, reducing ambiguity and longer-term impact, looking at it stress and the possibility of being through a human lens - how is it overwhelmed by too many unwanted going to change people’s social freesources of information. We now have dom? If you design superficially, the 8000+ users for the BECCA app, and responsibility will catch up to you as it’s only getting better. The next well as the product having had a phase will use more complex tech to doomed shelf-life from the start.” make that information personalised Thus, refusing to obsess over online to each and every woman. It’s an resolutions and digital decoration, excellent example of tech being drivand seeking to align tech with human en by the needs of the people who characteristics instead, Darshan are using it.” enthusiastically champions a new generation who wish to bring busi*** ness back to the people it should Thus, Super Being Labs differenserve. Naturally, Darshan practices tiates itself from other tech busiwhat he preaches. The team at Super nesses. “We look for answers in Being Labs are given unlimited holihuman behaviour and use those

day, and then one-month paid on top of that – which can be spent recuperating, or on courses, such as cooking or filmmaking, allowing after-hours self-growth. A future goal is also to be able to fund individual scholarships that would award funding to social entrepreneurs, with no prior experience, but whose deserving talents would be incubated by the Lab.

Super Being Labs also promotes humor as a good character trait, and being conducive to productivity. Can you give an anecdote? We can learn much from children. It’s why our logo is a child. Kids have the ability to perceive in a much more positive way: the ability to imagine, and the curiosity to experiment without worrying what other people think. That gets drummed out of us as we grow up. I saw a brilliant story on Twitter the other day...which shows how an adult sees things and how a child sees things... It said "My 3

year old said she wanted to be an astronaut, and I said she had to study hard, go to college, learn a lot of science, and take a physical fitness test, and she shrugged and said "That's just 4 things." That’s awesome. What inspired you to create this everyday hero sort of business? A strong influence from both my mum and dad. My mum with the creative side, my dad with the business side, and both on the social impact side. I always wanted a creative company that merged innovation and impact, and after lots of experimentations in my twenties - here we are. What's a big future goal? We want to redesign our world so that it works for everyone. That means collaborating with bigger players and individuals. The latter is especially important, with automation and technology increasing at lightning speed. We need to create an environment where people can be what humans are best at being empathetic, creative, imaginative and so much more. The time is right to ask the questions that will get us the answers we all deserve. Finally, what has been a highlight moment? Every day being in situations where we can work with and influence key decision makers is awesome. However, it’s our work in schools that makes it all worthwhile. For Being ManKind we do sessions in schools and I once asked the kids whether a boy or girl plays certain things. Even at that young age there were ingrained biases but one kid put up his hand and said ‘I don’t know - I haven’t met either of them’ and all the kids suddenly understood what he met. Those sort of moments are plenty in my work, and I love it! W:



Nurturing your kids to become “Bright Little Stars” AsianVoiceNews

Asian Voice | 24th February 2018

Reshma Trilochun

Having to be away from your child can be quite daunting, especially for first time mothers. There is always that sense of anxiety of how the child will be coping without them, which also leads to a sense of guilt for having to go back to pursuing their careers. However, with ace nurseries such as Bright little Stars, parents can be carefree and at complete ease about their child's wellbeing and care in their absence.


o-founders of Bright Little Stars Nursery, Amol Devani and Rupeen Popat had different career backgrounds prior to joining the early years industry. Amol Devani has 15 years of top level banking, managerial and project management expertise, having worked with Capula Investment, Goldman Sachs and UBS. While Rupeen Popat comes from a family background of nursing homes and has had managerial roles in the hotel and hospitality industry with IHG. Asian Voice caught up with them at one of their nurseries in Harrow, Northwest London, which opened one year ago. Rupeen shared, “We wanted to get involved in the industry where we are making a social impact, where we are making a difference and it's a positive difference. At this age – under 5s, there is so much nurturing involved. There are a lot of good schools in Northwest London, but we felt that there was a lack of quality in early years. We designed this Harrow nursery just one-and-a-half years ago and tried to brand it up so all of our four sites look the same. The concept is that the facilities, the teaching level and the additional parent partnership that we offer are consistent, so that children, parents and staff should be happy.” Rupeen wanted to always get involved in a form of care but he found nursing to be dim as “when somebody comes in to a nursing home, they are well cared for but unfortunately may not have long term growth and may not go back home”. Hence, he decided to get into the early years side of the care business. He said, ‘’We wanted to make an impact and wanted to give a social benefit. Believe me, we both sleep very well at night knowing that so many children are benefitting from the services we're providing. And that's what we wanted to do.” Amol shared, “My background was banking, investment banking, foreign exchange. In that industry, I learnt how a professional, well regulated and a highly well run business can run. After 12 years, I was looking for new challenges. My career was going well as a managing director in a bank. However, there were two things inside me. One was doing something more entrepreneurial for myself. Second was giving back and doing something more rewarding society-wise. My wife was actually a teacher at the American International School in St John's Wood and I was close to the education sector because of that. I had a window into education, one might say. And when

looking for something entrepreneurial yet wanting to have social benefit, it seemed like a natural area to explore. Rupeen and I were looking at similar things at the same time and we kind of coalesce. Rupeen and Amol have been family friends for over 25 years and have opened four Bright Little Stars nurseries in Mill Hill, Harrow, Watford and Stanmore. The nursery in Mill Hill was graded as “Outstanding in all areas” by Ofsted and is currently said to have a wait list of over 100 children. Each of our learning rooms have ample space with direct connected outdoor space for free flow play often with a covered area, making it accessible in all seasons and letting your little ones get plenty of fresh air. The nursery also gives the child the opportunity to choose whether they want to partake in the extra curricular activities inside or outside. Bright Little Star also ensures that your child is fed with only nutritional and healthy food. They provide hot food prepared in their on-site commercial kitchen, which is something quite rare in the early years' industry. They have a no fried food policy at the nursery and also don't serve any red meat. None of their food, including their vegetables, are frozen. They provide freshly made food for children so parents do not have to worry about

their children's nutritional intake throughout the day. Parents can also be tensionfree while their child is at the nursery as they'll be able to see their child's daily activities through the Nursery Cam – CCTV which is inside each room

Amol Devani

Rupeen Popat

at the nursery. Parents can log in and get daily 15 minutes access to see what their child is up to. This is a complimentary service, inclusive in the fees. However, for those who are sceptical about the Nursery Cam and the safety of their children, permission to

What sets Bright Little Stars apart is the fact that they go an extra mile by putting a child's wellbeing and safety at the forefront. Apart from extra curricular activities within the fees, there are various complementary workshops, for example dentists

access CCTV are only given to parents who have registered, and only for the sessions that their child is attending. Rupeen said, “The access is only 15 minutes a day, and two accounts to each parents. We

who come to the nursery and explain to parents about what they should be doing for their child's oral hygiene. Additionally, the nursery offers parents an introductory bespoke course on early years paediatric First Aid. Rupeen shared, “How many parents who have a 6 month- 1 year old baby know what to do for First Aid? Not everyone, but a good portion have an idea for adults. But the rules are completely different for early years. You can't apply what you learnt at a First Aid training course at work to a child under the age of 4. It's completely different. Some parents don't know that. The other thing we appreciate is that parents don't have time. If we say come to our nursery for training for two days, they won't come. We work hand-inhand with St John's Ambulance and designed a specific paediatric early years First Aid course condensed into two hours. It's not all encompassing for all ages but its focus is on under-5s. We understand people need to look after their children and they need time as well. We offer this complimentary service once a year. Any parent can get First Aid training specific for the under5s. St. John's Ambulance tell us that we're the only nursery in the

don't give more accounts to grandparents and anyone else. To our parents, this is the most reassuring thing because for them, us saying that they can see their child shows that we have nothing to hide. It's transparency.”


country doing this with them. It’s something we are proud of and we welcome other settings in the industry to follow suit.” Another unique selling point new to 2018 is our School Relationship Manager. Amol explains about the role and duties, “One of the most difficult things is the first day at school. I don't know if you remember your first day at school. My first day at school was difficult and I was crying all day. It's hard, it's a big change. In nursery, children are nurtured in a very small environment. School is a big, scary place. Not enough children are ready for that change. This year our School Relationship Manager is running school-readiness workshops for our parents. The School Relationship Manager provides information to parents when their children are aged 2 on what their options for schools are, selective and not selective. For all: open days, applications deadlines, requirements, all information about the schools. For Selective: information on assessments, how they should be preparing, fees and anything else they may need to know, so parents can start considering and preparing.” He continued, “The next level is assessment preparation. So they provide workshops for helping parents and support for our pre-school staff. Next step after assessment, once a child has been accepted into a school, is schoolreadiness and transition. So they are helping to ensure that children are ready for school in September, as well as looking at where gaps are and who needs additional support. The last step in the puzzle is the relationship with the Schools themselves and funnelling all useful information to parents. So they have relationships all the schools and meet with each Head of Early Years periodically. For Rupeen and Amol, being in the nursery industry is not a business, for them it is a rewarding notion they receive on a daily basis as it is their way of giving back to society. To summarise, Amol said, “When starting in this industry. I found it rewarding from day one as I had children and my children are going through this cycle. For example, two of my boys are at Mill Hill nursery now. The reward, the feeling inside from giving is even greater because as you have your own children, you appreciate more and more what we are doing. The benefit I receive in return is growing, and next year I look forward to having three children at Mill Hill.” Undoubtedly, the work that they are doing is having a great social impact and laying a very strong foundation for these children to go on and build a secure future for themselves.



A majority government came into power in 2014, after three decades. The Narendra Modi-led government took it up to themselves to change the face of the country. The last four years will be remembered for Modi's frequent foreign visits. After assuming office in May, he began his overseas stint with Bhutan in June. Fodder for internet trolls and memes, it is but a fact, that Modi's foreign representation of the country has changed the path India walked until now. Analysts believe that Modi's foreign policies have made India's presence felt as an emerging power in the international system. This includes the slew of state leaders who have One of the world's finest looking leaders, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau arrived in India with his family on February 17, at sundown for an eightday visit that includes several agendas. Accompanied by wife, Sophie Grégoire Trudeau, and children Xavier, 10, Ella-Grace, 9, and Hadrien, 3, the family was welcomed at the Indira Gandhi International Airport in New Delhi by Canada High Commissioner in India Nadir Patel and wife Jennifer Graham, Indian High Commissioner to Canada Vikas Swarup, and Indian Minister of State for agriculture Gajendra Singh Shekhawat who was the first to shake hands with the PM. The visit is a mix of business meetings, round tables on education, women's rights and human rights, tours of popular Indian sites and a meeting with Indian counterpart Narendra Modi. “Wheels up for India and a busy visit, focused on creating good jobs and strengthening the deep connection between the people of our two countries,” Trudeau wrote on his official Twitter account. Both countries will reaffirm close friendship and discuss ways to further deepen bilateral cooperation. The family first visited the Taj Mahal, where Trudeau became nostalgic and Sophie, emotional. Trudeau said he had visited Taj in 1983, with his father who was Canada's then prime minister Pierre Trudeau. “For me to be able to be here on an official trip while bringing my kids with me to share this is really special and being able to enjoy this as a dad with my kids is really nice,” Trudeau said as he revisited the monumental place 35 years later on Saturday. Signing the Taj's visitors book, Trudeau said, “Thank you for the wonderful visit to one of the most beautiful


Asian Voice | 24th February 2018

prised many with his bold and effective moves, all of which have been far from subtle. Modi was the first leader to call counterparts from ALL of the SAARC countries to participate in his oath-taking ceremony at Rashtrapati Bhawan. This was his way of establishing India's “Neighbourhood First” policy. It was him who has been vocal of stating the importance of cooperating and having a cordial relationship with all his neighbours, includIsraeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and ing Pakistan. PM Narendra Modi With almost two months into 2018, India begun to frequent India as a relations with long lost has hosted not one, but result of Modi's initiation. countries, but also build three foreign heads, with The Prime Minister has fresh ones. In the last four much pomp. Modi was the managed to not only renew years, the leader has surepitome of Gujarati hospi-

tality as each one returned with smiling faces.

Israel-India ties strengthen

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, only the second Israeli leader to visit India after Ariel Sharon in 2003, was received by Narendra Modi at Palam airport in January this year, as the latter chose to break protocol and welcome his “dear friend” with a warm embrace. The warmth was only reciprocated by Netanyahu, who had, before leaving for India, said, “Indian Prime Minister Modi is a close friend of Israel and of mine and I appreciate the fact that he will accompany me on extensive parts of my

Trudeau in India to mend relations places in the world.” The family was accompanied by Bhuvan Vikram Singh, Superintendent Archaeologist, ASI, Braj Bhushan, the Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) commandant of the Taj Mahal,Gaurav Dayal, District Magistrate, Agra and SSP, Amit Pathak, along with a Canadian delegation and the media. The visitors later went to a wildlife sanctuary in Farah, Mathura. Trudeau and co. snubbed by India? While several pointed out Narendra Modi's absence at the airport, a norm the leader has made normal during visit of any state leaders. MoS for Agriculture, Shekhawat's presence was significantly notable considering that Trudeau is asked to raise an issue with the Indian government on recent Indian import taxes applied to chickpeas and other pulse crops. The Canadian PM's first official visit meanwhile, is not going as expected as he and his family are being largely ignored by senior members of the Indian government so far. Considering Modi's extravagant bear hugs and a treatment that is vied to be exceptionally personal, the fact that the Canadan delegation was welcomed by a junior minister is being interpreted as a snub. The host has also not met his counterpart yet, despite Trudeau being in the country for three days. Modi was also noticeably absent during Trudeau's visit to his hometown of Gujarat. It was also reported that the Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath did not greet the Canadian PM when he visited the Taj Mahal. Columnist and economist


Trudeaus try their hands at a spinning wheel in Gandhi Ashram Vivek Dehejia said, “Yes, this is a major snub. The fact that a junior minister was sent to receive Trudeau and his family is most definitely a snub.” However, former diplomat Vishnu Prakash denied any sort of snubbing, saying that India had closely followed diplomatic protocol when receiving him. “According to protocol, it is a cabinet minister who receives a visiting foreign leader and this courtesy was extended to Trudeau,” he said. He added that even though Modi had “breached protocol” to personally greet foreign leaders, one cannot expect the Indian PM to greet every visitor that came to India. “It's not like the prime minister is not going to meet him at all. There is a ceremonial welcome that will be held for him on 23 February and he will meet him there.” Gandhi, Faith, and Trade Dressed in festive coloured Indian attire,

Trudeau and his family visited Gujarat on Monday. Arriving at the Sardar Vallabhbhai International Airport for a day-long visit, the family was greeted by Gujarat minister and State Chief Secretary, Ganpat Vasava. The first engagement of the Trudeaus was a visit to the Sabarmati Ashram. Sporting matching red, yellow, and golden Indian attires, they paid their respects to Mahatma Gandhi, and also tried a hand at a spinning wheel. They then proceeded to the Akshardham Temple in state capital Gandhinagar, where the family spent approximately 40 minutes. The PM later proceeded to speak at a lively session with students at premier Bschool Indian Institute of Management. Regarding trade, he said that the current bilateral trade of $8 billion in goods and $2 billion in services had a potential to grow. “When you think of natural connections between India and Canada, especially in field

of agriculture or pulses, where we have slight challenges. We are discussing potential of growth in pulses,” Trudeau said. The 46 year old spoke about the issue of immigration, in context of most of the countries globally looking inwards and raising barriers. He said he and Canada firmly believed that the new reality for the 21st century is going to be heterogeneous societies. “India has done fairly well and Canada too has done fairly well to see that differences can become source of strength and not weakness... As you get more pluralistic, language, religion, ethnicity, ideology should be anchored in shared values that society subscribes to.” Trudeau said that dividing society on the basis of ethnicity and religious lines was a “tribal” approach to civilisation that has over thousands of years ripped apart these beliefs. “There are two paths, you can either

visit. We are strengthening ties between Israel and this important global power.” Modi had made history last July, by becoming the first Indian PM to visit Israel. He was the most gracious host and accompanied Netanyahu for most part of his tour, taking him to Mumbai, Ahmedabad, and Agra. Israel is to invest $68.6 million in areas like tourism, technology, agriculture, and innovation over a period of four years. Not to forget, it is one of India’s biggest weapons suppliers, exporting an average of $1 billion of military equipment each year. During the visit, India and Israel signed nine agreements across several sectors to boost bilateral trade and cooperation. amplify the anxiety in the world by blaming a particular ethnic or religious group for all the troubles in the society or you can take a more successful pluralistic approach, when you actually meet people with different story and believe that we meet them and grow,” Trudeau wound up his visit with a meeting with Gujarat Chief Minister Vijay Rupani at the airport before his departure. Both the leaders discussed different aspects of GujaratCanada relations. An official release said Rupani invited Trudeau to the Vibrant Gujarat Global Summit 2019, with the country delegation. Canada is a partner country of the mega biennial event. Trudeau, on his part, invited Rupani to visit Canada ahead of the summit, an invitation Rupani accepted. Both leaders had detailed discussions about increasing cooperation in various sectors such as education, industries, startups, and innovation. Rupani extended invitations to Canadian firms to set up operations in Gujarat. In the agenda for the Canadian PM, a roundtable meeting with businessmen in Mumbai, visit to the Golden Temple in Amritsar, Jama Masjid in Delhi, and a bilateral meeting with Modi awaits. Punjab's Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) president Gobind Singh Longowal has said that they would hold a special event in his honour during his visit to the Golden Temple on February 21. He said the committee would welcome Trudeau at the main gates of the Golden Temple and then escort him to the sanctum sanctorum of the shrine. He added that the Canadian PM had proved his grit by standing up for issues concerning the Sikh community in Canada.



Asian Voice | 24th February 2018

FICCI vouches positive impact of GST on business logistics The Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce & Industry (FICCI) conducted a survey of enterprises post the implementation of GST, for answers on various issues that are being faced by the industry following India's transition to the Goods and Services Tax regime. Both, MSME and large corporates participated, providing firsthand experiences within the first six months after implementation. In positive news for the Modi government, results indicated that the GST had a positive impact on the businesses' logistics. Over 60 per cent respondents stated that their experience with respect to inter-state transportation of goods has been good in terms of

check-posts. Over 50 per cent respondents mentioned that goods vehicles are no longer stopped and checked at state borders, and 59 per cent respondents have cited reduction in transportation time after GST has been implemented. Of the over all participants in the survey, 59 per cent respondents to the survey comprised of MSME firms while, the

other 41 per cent were large firms. Issues were also brought to light regarding implementation of the tax system, with the industries highlighting glitches in GSTN portal, cumbersome procedures and documentation and cost of compliance cited as the major areas of concern. Issues with robustness and volume han-

dling capacity of the GST portal were pointed out by all the respondents. Major challenges were delayed reflection of updated data as well as payments, delays in process of input credit set offs, inability to upload heavy files of certain formats and lack of provision to modify or revise errors. A major revamp of the portal suggested by the respondents to make it more efficient. Also, the monthly filing of GST return was cited as a long procedure, with 78 per cent of respondents suggesting the periodicity of return filings for those taxpayers having aggregate turnover above Rs 1.5 Crore to be changed from monthly to quarterly.

Rotomac promoter accused of £369.5 mn fraud A case has been filed against Rotomac Pens promoter Vikram Kothari and others for allegedly cheating a consortium of public sector banks of £369.5 million by defaulting on loans he had earlier taken for his business. The loan default was earlier estimated at £80 million, however, an investigation of documents by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) revealed that the amount is much larger than anticipated. Teams from the agency conducted raids at several

Vikram Kothari

locations in Kanpur and questioned Kothari, his son and wife. The CBI said that Rotomac cheated a group of seven banks by siphoning off bank loans

to the tune of £291.9 million, excluding interest. The total outstanding amount along with interest liabilities for the company is £369.5 million. CBI spokesperson Abhishek Dayal said that no arrests have been made in the case yet. Meanwhile, money laundering case has also been registered against Kothari and his family in connection with the E n f o r c e m e n t Directorate, with the alleged bank loan fraud. Officials said the ED would probe if the funds obtained through the

alleged fraud were laundered and if the proceeds of the crime were subsequently used by the accused to create illegal assets and black money. According to the CBI's FIR copy, loan exposure of the banks are, Bank of India- £ 75.48 million, Bank of Baroda- £45.66 million, Indian Overseas Bank£77.11 million, Union Bank of India- £45.89 million, Allahabad Bank£33.07 million, Bank of Maharashtra- £4.98 million and Oriental Bank of Commerce- £9.75 million.

Right to Privacy: The ho-hum over Aadhaar In a project that was touted as the largest in the world, India gave its 1.3 billion citizens a unique digital identity. While the Aadhaar card today is held by every single person in the country, the National Capital is now reportedly using it to clamp down on tax evasion and terrorism, kicking up a legal battle that has reached the Supreme Court. Thirty separate plaintiffs have taken up the case in the highest court of the country, complaining of a violation of a fundamental right to privacy. One of the lawyers fighting the case, Shyam Divan said, “What Aadhaar appears to do is shake the balance and put the government in such a dominant position that we are unlikely to remain a

democratic, open society.” The system was supposed to help clear several issues. Foremost, it would help give citizens a verified, portable identity, allow benefit claimants to shop around for their government-subsidised rations, and eliminate identity theft. Nand Nilekani, founder of IT group Infosys and first chairman of the Unique Identification Authority

of India, said, “Around 10 to 20 per cent of people didn't have IDs before, and many people had other not very good IDs, like ration cards, which don't identify each family member.” The project has “mushroomed” as reported by a news source, after Nilekani left. Aadhaar cards are now being linked to personal bank accounts to driving licences, mobile phones, etc. While New Delhi promises the link will help detect tax evasion by creating a real-time database of citizens' spending and saving habits, critics believe the government is creating the world's most powerful government surveillance tool.

Economics professor at the Indian Institute of Technology in Delhi, Reetika Khera said, “This is big data mixed with big brother.” Activists who were against the linking of the card with different aspects, put up a fight in front of a ninejudge panel that ruled that the constitution allowed for a fundamental right to privacy. Divan along with her team is in the plans of their final submissions to the court, and argue that Aadhaar violates the constitution, both in its concept and in the way the law was drafted and passed. They believe the scheme allows the government to spy on citizens, with what Divan says is “an electronic leash by which you tether a citizen from birth.”


Rate risk from US tax reform: Cristine Lagarde

Chief of the Indian Monetary Fund (IMF), Christine Lagarde has warned against repercussions of the US tax cuts, stating that the economic stimulus may lead to a rapid rise in interest rates that would weigh on countries with high debt levels. Speaking to a French radio station France Inter, Lagarde said that the IMF was going to be “attentive” to the consequences of the reform. Several key stock markets lost around 10 per cent last week in a brutal correction that she said, was “inevitable”. Lagarde said the US tax reform “will operate like a kind of stimulus on the current economic situa-

tion” in the US which was already experiencing “strong” growth. “You have to ask yourself whether this will not result in rising wages, rising prices, and therefore, rising inflation and whether, consequently, there is a risk of a reaction by the monetary authorities, notably in the form of interest rates rising a little faster or a little more frequently.” She said this, in turn, would have “an impact on all of the world's economies, especially on heavily indebted economies.” Adding, “We believe that we must be attentive to what is going on, especially in the United States.”

NRIs do not need Aadhaar Rajesh Dhruva The controversial Aadhaar has grown to become a topic of conversation both, in India and abroad. The Narendra Modi-led government has incessantly pressured the public to link the card with their banks, phones, and other essential services. While a certain group of the society has cried foul on the “invasion” over their privacy, Non-resident Indians worry whether they will have to get an Aadhaar to link their accounts too. To begin with, the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) for individuals was introduced by the government to identify each Resident Individual and further link the same for various benefits like Government Subsidies, Concessional Benefits, Cash Benefit Transfers, etc., along with Utilities like bank accounts, income tax returns, phone cards, etc. According to the UIDAI rules, a Resident Individual who resides in India for over 182 days in preceding 12 months only can apply for Aadhaar Card. As such, an NRI cannot apply for Aadhaar Card unless his stay in the country exceeds 6 months.

For the said reason NRIs Bank accounts ; Mutual Fund Investments ; Insurance Policies ; Demat Accounts are not covered by requirements of Aadhaar Card and in case of purchase or sale of property too proof by way of copy of Passport ; Overseas Visas ; Place of Overseas Address etc. exempts NRIs. Now under the provisions of Foreign Exchange Management Act, 1999 (FEMA) Non Residents are required to maintain Non Resident Ordinary (NRO) & Non Resident External (NRE) account / Foreign Currency Non Resident account (FCNR) which do not require Aadhar cards. Bank account of Migrating Individuals are required to designated as NRO account. Now if such Bank accounts ; Mutual Funds ; Demat Accounts ; Insurance Policies etc. are continued as Resident investments then the Institution will logically insist for Aadhaar Card as the records show the accounts belonging to a Resident of India. In such cases NRIs should transfer the balance in Resident Bank accounts to NRO account and redesignate Mutual Funds ; Demat accounts & Insurance Policies from Resident status to Non Resident Non Repatriable (NRNR) accounts.



Suresh Vagjiani

Sow & Reap London Property Investment


My trip to Birmingham last week proved unsuccessful, as far as the auction goes. I chose to not attend for various reasons, just as well, as the prices went way above the guide price. For example, one property which was guided at £55k went for £134k. A local agent said the price will go through the roof and predicted it will sell for £80k, however, the price went for two and a half times the guide price. This sale has raised the ceiling on the street for prices sold. The reason why we did not go for this property was not driven by the price, but because we would have been unable to accommodate enough rooms in the property to push the yield up. The council has a policy in place for a minimum size, which they enforce with vigour. The second property we

had earmarked, was a large house with six flats within it. Generating £28k per annum, and guided at £250k, it went for £424k. We ended up rejecting this one due to its grading on the EPC. Any property which has a rating below an E standard on the EPC report will need to be upgraded. You will not even be able to renew a tenancy until this has been complied with. This property had F and G ratings on its flats. Judging from the owner who was present at the viewing, it seemed he had run out of money which perhaps prompted him to put the property in auction and secure a sale in a timely manner. It seemed the property was due to suck up a large amount of cash very shortly. It’s clear there is a lot of buoyancy in the Birmingham market, and

Asian Voice | 24th February 2018

the yields currently seem to make more sense here. We still intend to close a few deals here, as there is both yield and future capital growth potential in this location. We are working away to make this happen, and I am sure in time we will close; however, it needs to be the right deal, without any future surprises. Hence the trepidation, and perhaps a little procrastination. Closer to home, we are looking to close three deals in tomorrow’s auction. The lots are all short lease properties in prime central London. One is 14 years, another is 16 years, and the third is 68 years. The price for the 14 year lease property has been guided at £190k. You can look at this deal and say this is not a property, it’s a tenancy for 14 years; and you would be right. However, there is one important point

NEW EPC RULES ARE HEADING OUR WAY! AND THE COST OF NON-COMPLIANCE COULD BE STEEP… The government is trying to make the carbon emissions for all buildings to be close to zero by the year 2050. In the long term, properties will have to take their energy efficiency rating up to A. As far as their short term goals go, if you’re renting or selling a property there is a good chance you fall under its ruling. From 1st April 2018, all buildings will need to have an EPC rating of at least E. Ratings below E will not be sold or rented, unless you fall into one of the

exemptions. What you need to know An energy performance certificate (EPC) is a document you must legally have, setting out the energy efficiency of your property. It comes in ratings of A to G. It gives an indication both for you as a landlord and any potential tenants or buyers. You have to provide this free of charge to the tenant on advertisements for the property as clearly as possible. If your property


Westbourne Place, London W9 Purchase Price: £625,000

Specialists in Central London Property Sourcing

is currently rated below E, you will have to make changes and have it recertified to ensure it meets the required standards. If you don’t, things can get pricey. Penalties range up to £5,000, and will depend on the severity of the breach. Penalty charges: l Providing false or misleading information to the PRS Exemptions Register - £1,000


l Failing to comply with a compliance notice from your local authority £2,000

l Renting out a noncompliant property for less than three months £4,000 l Renting out a noncompliant property for more than three months £5,000

Anytime you’re in contravention, the notice will be published, so this is something which could

which changes this perspective, and this is the Leasehold Reform Act, which allows one to extend the lease after it has been owned for 2 years. This right can also be applied for and passed onto an incoming buyer. It is almost hard to believe two hours north and you can buy a whole freehold house for the same price as buying a short lease flat. The dampened environment means you can put a good case not only hit your pocket but harm your reputation as a landlord. The trouble is, while many landlords are becoming aware of the new rules, not everyone is certain about what they must do to comply. The first thing to do is to act quickly. You should order an EPC inspection before your property goes to market, and then have it available within seven days of it going up. There is a grace period of 21 days, but beyond that you absolutely have to have one, or face a fine.

together for a low extension of the lease. The client we have lined up for all three properties is in the process of completing a couple of lease extensions already, and so is very comfortable with the process and the lucrative nature of lease extensions in the current environment. The lawyers are checking through the paperwork, with a view of reporting back later today, and hopefully bidding on all three properties tomorrow.

Once issued, it goes onto a database and is valid for 10 years. However, you might decide you want to have it redone. For example, if you have made any changes to the property and think it deserves a higher rating, this can become a selling point. It’s worth looking at this as an issue of more than just compliance. We will cover further areas next week, when we look at tips on how we can improve your rating!

l This inspiring Grade II listed building is complemented by its pleasant surroundings l First floor apartment l Large reception room with an open plan kitchen, three bedrooms and two bathrooms l The development offers a beautiful courtyard and share of freehold l Expected resale value is £850,000 Call us now for more information!

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Asian Voice | 24th February 2018

Consultant Editor Financial Voice Alpesh Patel Dear Financial Voice Reader, Rich people generally and rich traders specifically have something in common. You know, one of the most common questions I’m ever asked is what’s the difference between rich traders (the 10% or 20% that make money) and the 80% that don’t? What is it that of all the traders that I’ve examined, the professional traders, the hedge fund managers, and my own expertise and experience as well . . . What is that differentiates the two? And I took the data that I could get from brokers who gave me lots of anonymized data on thousands of clients to see, is there a difference? Are men better than women? Is there a certain time of day you should be trading? Are there certain instruments? Is it better to trade stops than forex than to do indices or gold or commodities? Do you make more money if you go short then you go long? Are there certain geographies that you should be trading some periods of time? What if statistically, I can show you that out of a group of 500,000 traders, the ones who held on to a stop or a currency for more than 5 minutes were more likely to lose . . . Or more than an hour or more than 3 days or vice versa than those who held it for different periods of time? What if you could have that little statistical edge? So we looked into all of this data. I’m going to tell you that actually one of the most surprising things is, the different isn’t that big between the winners and losers. Just as in life. It isn’t that big. Let me take you through some of the issues, some of the differences that I found between the winning and losing traders. For instance, the poor trader they tended to have a few big losses. Losses where they lost in one trade more than 2% or even more than 1% of their total risk capital. Whereas, for the rich trader, they rarely, if ever, had such losses. So how do you limit such losses? Well, one of the reason that they’re rich traders is that they have a small trading size. In other words, they trade a small amount relative to the total capital they have. Also, they never added to their losing position. Another thing that we found the difference between winners and losers or the poor traders and the rich traders, is that winning trades in the case of poor traders were achieved by simply getting rid of a stop loss. They were willing to take an unlimited loss in order to have that win, even if it was a small win. So they risked losing lots of money in order to have a small win. Whereas, a rich trader, they were happy to have winning trades because their stop loss got hit, even if, therefore, it meant that they had a lot of losing trades. But they were small losses because their stop loss was sufficiently tight, in order that they wouldn’t have big losses. Lose, but never big is the key The rich traders focus was don’t have big losses. That was a key difference. The other major difference was in terms of profit. Obviously, the poor trader—the losing trader didn’t have profits overall. They might have a few winning trades that were profitable in themselves, but they didn’t have profits overall because they had those big losses. Alpesh Patel Alpesh Patel and Juventus Football Club are Official Partners of brokers.

NSE keen to buy stake in Dhaka stock exchange India's biggest stock exchange, the National Stock Exchange of India Limited (NSE), has expressed desire to buy a 25 per cent stake in Dhaka Stock Exchange (DSE), in an offer that rivals a Chinese bourse. Vikram Limaye, chief executive officer of the NSE, said, “We are well positioned to help grow the Bangladesh market and the exchange, given our experience and track record.” Director at the DSE, Rakibur Rahman said the Shenzhen Stock Exchange has offered 22 taka per share to buy 25 per cent of the exchange. A meeting will be held by the bourse soon to finalise the pick before sending the proposal to the nation's securities regulator. “The process is still on and we're hopeful. India and Bangladesh have a strong relationship. We hope that it will help us contribute to the development of markets.” Saifur Rahman, executive director and spokesman for Bangladesh Securities and Exchange Commission said, “We will approve the highest and best offer taking into account Bangladesh's interests.”


Govt seeks details of 'systemic failures' from RBI The finance ministry has sought details from the Reserve Bank of India regarding possible systemic failures linked to the Nirav Modi-Mehul Choksi-triggered fraud at the state-run Punjab National Bank, a move seen as putting the onus of the lapses for the £1.13 billion scam on the regulator. Many interpreted the letter from the department of financial services as just short of seeking an explanation for the fraud that went undetected for over six years during which neither the bank's auditors, not the regulator's inspections had thrown up any red flags. So far, RBI has maintained a studied silence except issuing a statement blaming the

fraud on "operational risk" due to "delinquent behaviour" of a few employees and "failure of internal controls". The finance ministry and RBI have sparred many times over the direction of interest rates and were involved in many other turf battles but this is the first

time in recent memory that friction has erupted over a regulatory issue. In fact, the RBI's role - despite its claims of a robust supervisory structure - has come under the spotlight due to a series of lapses at banks, including the massive pileup of bad debt. While the government

RBI's new loan norms to spike in bad loans

According to data compiled by ratings agency ICRA, Indian banks are set to report a fresh spike in bad loan numbers based on new RBI norms that require lenders to classify loans, henceforth restructured as non-performing assets. Around 50 large borrowers have banking exposure of £200 million or more, and will need resolution by September 1 this year. The total mount of borrowings of these companies account to £25 billion of debt. If the resolution plan fails to be implemented by the mentioned deadline, the banks will need to initiate proceedings under the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code against these borrowers. A financial stability report of the RBI said the special mention accounts (SMA2) account for advances of around 3.5 per

cent of bank loans. Such loans are not yet classified as NPAs. Bankers in the past, have used the threat of classifying a borrower as a defaulter to get them back on track for timely payments. Failure to meet payment timelines now would result in borrowers being compulsorily classified as a defaulter. SBI deputy MD Sunil Srivastava said banks would be proactive in classifying loans as they would not want their loan accounts to be identified by the RBI and pointed out for divergence. He said, “Banks will now proactively take a stance as they are being encouraged to recognise bad assets.” The RBI has also moved away from a prescriptive regime. Srivastava said, “The guidelines have moved from prescriptive to normative.

However, banks will need to get a rating of the restructured debt from an external agency.” Siby Antone, chairman of Edelweiss Asset Reconstruction, said, “The good part is that it is a very generic framework within which bankers have to now operate. There are no guidelines on eligibility unlike the past, which resulted in many accounts being excluded.” “The only catch,” he said, “is that it now says that all lenders must agree to restructuring and this must be reflected in the books of bankers as well as borrowers. This will make the whole scheme impractical. In the earlier schemes, it was 75 per cent because there were many non-mainstream lenders who may not like to join the scheme.”

Indian Railways to hire 89,000 employees The Indian Railways has set to task a mammoth-sized recruitment drive to hire 89,000 employees in levels C and D. The process to hire for the posts of assistant loco pilots, technicians, switchmen, trackmen, helpers, porters and several other openings, has begun. Once hired, the employees will be extended a monthly salary of Rs 18,000 per month and allowances as per the Seventh Central Pay Commission. Applicants must be 18-31 years of age and will be recruited by the Railway Recruitment Cell. Railway Minister Piyush Goyal tweeted that they

have started the recruitment process for group D for 62,907 posts. Candidates that are high school pass or have an ITI or industrial training institute degree are eligible to apply for it. The last date is March 12. He tweeted that other than the vacancies, the Indian

Railways also aims to train 30,000 apprentices this year. There are 26,502 vacancies under group C for posts of technicians and assistant loco pilots. A senior railway official said that most of the recruitment is for the safety category and will cost and additional 3000-4000 Crore annually to the railway exchequer. He said the Union Budget 2018 has provisions for this expenditure. Another informed there are over a lakh vacancies in the industries due to retirements, and the ongoing drive would not be able to fill all the gaps.

can instruct the RBI under the current legal framework to initiate action, the power has remained only on paper. The fraud has triggered tremendous unease in the government and it is under pressure to not just nab the fugitive diamond traders Nirav and Choksi but also fix the systemic gaps in the banking sector. Sources said the government has sought the regulator's inputs on how systems and processes can be updated to prevent such frauds in future apart from its opinion of the failure of the auditors to detect the fraud that has been going on since 2011. They said the government is looking at fresh steps to crack down on financial frauds.

Trump Jr in India to woo luxury flat buyers

Several property investors and their families will get the opportunity to wine and dine with Donald Trump Jr in New Delhi, after they invest in flats in a Trump Towers luxury development on the outskirts of the Indian capital. Local partners of Trump have reported promised dinner with the eldest son of the US President, to anyone who buys into the development of high-rise apartments that boast art amenities and a “lifestyle concierge”. With a Rs 2.5 million as mere down payment on the smallest and cheapest flat, while the residential apartments seem out of reach for most Indians, approximately 75 people have already stepped forward to show interest. A Tribeca employee said, “The meeting is a token of gratitude to the clients for showing tremendous faith in the upcoming project.” Constructed in the city of Gurgaon, the 47storeyed towers will comprise of 250 homes, and are expected to be completed by 2023. Their prices will range from Rs 55 to 110 million. Trump Organisation has already found India to be its biggest international market. It has ongoing developments in four major cities, namely, Mumbai, Pune, Gurgaon, and Kolkata.

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Asian Voice | 24th February 2018


Crackdown on Hafiz Saeed facilities ISLAMABAD: Under pressure to act against banned groups, Pakistan has launched a crackdown on seminaries and health facilities run by Mumbai attack mastermind Hafiz Saeed, a media report said. The action came after a high-level UN sanctions team visited last month to review progress against groups and individuals banned by the world body. Following orders by the Punjab government, district administration of Rawalpindi took control of a seminary and four dispensaries run by Saeedlinked Jamaat-ud-Dawa (JuD) and Falah-i-Insaniat Foundation (FIF). The seminary has been handed over to the Auqaf department which controls the religious properties, Dawn reported. The paper reported that the provincial government has directed the Auqaf depart-

Hafiz Saeed

ment to take control of the seminaries. "The provincial government handed over a list of four seminaries in Rawalpindi to the district administration. The district administration teams have visited the seminaries but JuD has denied any link with the madressahs," said a senior official of the district administration. The official said that the government had directed

the district administration to also check the details of students and teachers of the JuD-run seminaries as well as doctors and paramedical staff of the FIF dispensaries. He said that the government had constituted a joint team with the district administration, police and the Auqaf department to check the details. He said that a similar operation would also be launched in Attock, Chakwal and Jhelum districts. Deputy Commissioner Talat Mehmood Gondal confirmed that the government had assumed control of one seminary and four dispensaries, run by JuD and the FIF, respectively. However, observers believe that it would be a difficult task for the gov-

ernment to take over JuD offices scattered across the country. Pakistan has recently taken several actions against the entities banned by the UN. The recent actions have come ahead of the crucial Financial Action Task Force (FATF) meeting in Paris. The US and India are spearheading an effort to get Pakistan included in the watchdog's international money-laundering and terror-financing 'grey list', reports said. Pakistan was last placed on FATF's grey list in February 2012 and stayed on it for three year. Last week, Pakistan changed anti-terror laws through a presidential ordinance to include Hafiz Saeed-linked Jamaat-udDawa and Falah-i-Insaniat Foundation and other militant outfits on the list of UN proscribed groups.

Tributes paid to Pak rights activist Asma Jahangir ISLAMABAD: Pakistan's social media has been flooded with outpouring of grief for the loss of Asma Jahangir who was described as the country's "moral compass", while newspaper front pages were dominated by tributes to the human rights activist. The United Nations Secretary-General praised her courage in campaigns for justice and equality for all. Antonio Guterres in his condolences said the 66-year-old lawyer, who co-founded the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan also once served as UN Special Rapporteur on human rights in Iran. "We have lost a human rights giant," the UN chief said. "She was a tireless

Asma Jahangir

advocate for inalienable rights of all people and for equality whether in her capacity as a Pakistani lawyer in the domestic justice system, as a global civil society activist, or as a Special Rapporteur. Asma was brilliant, deeply principled, courageous and kind."

In its editorial "Asma the fearless", Pakistan's Dawn newspaper said Jahangir was a citizen that all of Pakistan could be proud of and whom most can only hope to emulate. "Principled and courageous, Asma's willingness and determination to con-

front evil, defend the vulnerable, and insist on Pakistan living up to the ideals of its democratic, constitutional and secular foundations made her truly iconic," the paper wrote. Another daily, The News, wrote that she "spoke out bravely and with immense courage for all the oppressed people of the country, essentially acting as the conscience of Pakistan". "Only her sudden death could silence her and steal away from us the bravest of the brave this country has produced," it said. Jahangir faced death threats, beatings and imprisonment to win landmark human rights cases while standing up to dictators.

Death for killer of 6-year-old Pak girl

LAHORE: A Pakistani court handed four death sentences to a man charged with raping and murdering a young girl, in a case that shocked the country and sparked major riots in his home district. Imran Ali, 24, was on trial for the killing of six-year-old Zainab Fatima Ameen in the eastern city of Kasur last month. He faces further charges in the cases of at least seven other children attacked in the Punjab city - five of whom were murdered - in a spate of assaults that had stoked fears a serial child killer was on the loose. He has confessed to all eight attacks, including the death of Zainab. Ali was handed four separate death sentences after being convicted of the rape and murder of

Zainab Fatima Ameen

Zainab, as well as terrorism charges, prosecutor general of Punjab province Ihtesham Qadir said after a special antiterrorism court passed its judgment. Under Pakistani law, crimes that are considered to have spread terror in society can be charged as acts of terrorism. The prosecutors said he received further life imprisonment

and fines totalling 3.2 million rupees ($30,000) for additional charges of hiding his victim's body. One million rupees of the fine would be given in compensation to Zainab's family, public prosecutor Abdul Rauf Wattoo said. The trial was held in Lahore's Kot Lakhpat prison for security reasons. Journalists were stopped 500 meters from

the prison and only relatives of the victim were allowed in court for the hearing. Strict security was deployed outside the prison at the time of announcement of the judgment and every visitor was physically checked. Zainab's mother Nusrat Bibi demanded execution of the death penalties be carried out in public. "I want him to be hanged publicly at the place where he took Zainab," she told reporters after the verdict. Zainab's murder last month sparked outrage across Pakistan, with riots erupting in Kasur as thousands swarmed police stations and set fire to politicians' homes, while Pakistanis across the nation took to social media demanding action.

Imran Khan weds faith healer I S L A M A B A D : Pakistani cricketerturned-politician Imran Khan, chief of Pakistan Tehreek-iInsaf (PTI) party, tied the knot with Bushra Maneka, a faith healer, in Lahore on Sunday. The official PTI Twitter account tweeted, "Congratulation to C h a i r m a n @ImranKhanPTI on his marriage, we wish a happy and prosperous life ahead to Imran Khan and his wife." According to the official handle, the nikah took place around 9 pm (local time) in the company of close family and friends. PTI spokesperson Fawad Chaudhary confirmed Khan’s marriage, saying that the ceremony was held at the residence of Maneka’s brother. Party leader Inamul Haq said that only close relatives, including the bride’s mother, and friends par-

ticipated in the ceremony. Khan’s sisters were not in attendance. The ceremony was a low-profile one as per the desire of Imran Khan, Haq added. The PTI chief has been married twice before. His first marriage was with Jemima Goldsmith, daughter of a British billionaire, in 1995. The couple divorced in 2004. Khan’s second marriage to Reham Khan dissolved 10 months after a ceremony had taken place in January 2015.


Myanmar says it's ready to take back Rohingya

Bangladesh's Home Minister Asaduzzaman Khan (second right) receives Myanmar's Home Minister Kyaw Swe

DHAKA: Myanmar Home Minister Kyaw Swe told Bangladesh's president that Myanmar is ready to take back Rohingya Muslims who fled violence, though Bangladesh said it wanted the refugees to have a safe and dignified return. Kyaw Swe, who was on a three-day visit told Bangladeshi President Abdul Hamid that Myanmar was ready to take back Rohingya under a deal the countries signed late last year, presidential spokesperson Joynal Abedin said. Abedin also quoted the minister as saying that Myanmar will implement the recommendations by a commission led by former UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan. The spokesperson said Hamid expressed his concern for Rohingya and wanted a safe and dignified return of them as per the deal. Kyaw Swe met his Bangladeshi counterpart to discuss further. A statement from the Home Ministry said Kyaw Swe and the police, foreign ministry officials and others travelling with him intend to discuss border

security, law enforcement and other issues. Some 7,00,000 Rohingya refugees have arrived in Bangladesh since late August when Myanmar's military launched a security crackdown that's been widely criticised as amounting to ethnic cleansing. Myanmar has said it launched "clearance" operations against terrorists and has dismissed as false allegations from witnesses and survivors that troops and Buddhist mobs engaged in killings and rapes of Rohingya and set fires that wiped out villages. UN refugee chief Filippo Grandi told the Security Council that conditions aren't right for Rohingya to voluntarily return because Myanmar hasn't addressed their exclusion and denial of rights and citizenship. Grandi also said Rohingya were still fleeing Myanmar and thousands more were expected still to try to leave. The repatriation was scheduled to begin in January but Bangladesh said it needed more time to prepare and the security situation was a concern.


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Pravin Gordhan tipped to get Public Enterprises ministry

PRETORIA: New South African president Cyril Ramaphosa will reduce the number of ministers in his cabinet and fire several ministers who are underperforming and are linked to the Guptas, reports Sunday Times. Former finance minister Pravin Gordhan has been tipped to head the public enterprises ministry. Former president Jacob Zuma axed Gordhan in a controversial midnight Cabinet reshuffle at the end of March 2017, and the former finance minister has become a vocal critic of state entities implicated in corruption. Gordhan, who was elected a member of parliament for the ruling African National Congress in 1994, remains in the legislature. Prior to being appointed finance minister in 2009, he was head of the South African Revenue Service. “If there’s anyone who can clean up our state-owned enterprises it is Comrade Gordhan. He cleaned up SARS when he arrived in 1999 – he found a badly run revenue service … and turned it into one of the most competent public entities in the 10 years he spent there,” an ANC NEC member said. “Pravin Gordhan has a

Govt to fulfill pledges made to Tsvangirai: Zimbabwe President HARARE (ZIMBABWE): Zimbabwean President Emmerson Mnangagwa said that his government would fulfill all its promises made to the late former prime minister and opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai. Addressing mourners at Tsvangirai's home in Harare Mnangagwa said he would see to it that pledges he made to the late premier are fulfilled. "I visited Tsvangirai last month and made some promises to him. I will not renege on those promises. My government will also settle his hospital bill as promised," Mnangagwa said. “After the funeral, I will let the family know about the promises I made”, he added. Tsvangirai passed away last week. He had been suffering from colon cancer for at least two years, and his condition deteriorated rapidly in the last few days. Tsvangirai, aged 65, died in a clinic in Johannesburg. The course of Tsvangirai's life was determined by his long political battle against Robert Mugabe.

home in Saxonwold, Johannesburg. The police also raided other properties in Johannesburg linked to the family and their associates. However, Ahmed Gani‚ the embattled Gupta brothers' lawyer‚ insisted that his clients had not been arrested.

Pravin Gordhan

very successful track record in management of the public service. The skill that he has acquired through his years of managerial experience will be the basis of rich learning for the University and its students,” Wits ViceChancellor and Principal, Professor Adam Habib said. Atul Gupta challenges asset freeze Amidst reports that one of the Gupta Brothers has been arrested by the police for corrupt links to Zuma, Atul Gupta has challenged a court order freezing 10 million rand ($859,025) in his bank account. South African prosecutors were authorised to freeze 220 million rand, including 10 million

Cyril Ramaphosa

which they said was illegally transferred to Atul Gupta’s bank account, as part of an investigation into fraud at a statebacked dairy project in the Free State province. The three Gupta brothers, accused by the public anti-graft watchdog of using their friendship with Zuma to influence policy and amass wealth, have denied any wrongdoing, as has Zuma. In the court papers filed in a court in the Free State province, Atul Gupta denied having received 10 million rand as alleged by prosecutors and said he was “currently outside South Africa”. The affidavit attached to the court papers was signed on February 8 in Dubai. Meanwhile, police have raided Gupta family's

Zuma forced to resign Earlier, Zuma resigned as the president as the ruling ANC party finally turned against him after nine years of corruption scandals, economic slowdown and falling popularity. Zuma railed against the African National Congress (ANC) for "recalling" him from office and threatening to oust him via a parliament no-confidence vote. In a 30-minute national television address, Zuma said he had "come to the decision to resign as president of the republic with immediate effect." Zuma has been in a power struggle with businessman Cyril Ramaphosa, the deputy president who now became the president. Ramaphosa, who won control of the ANC when he was elected as its head in December, sworn in as the new president on Thursday last.

Kenya's Jubilee legislators barred from live TV and radio shows

NAIROBI: Jubilee MPs have been barred from appearing on live TV and Radio shows. They have also been stopped from responding to media enquiries without prior consultation. It has also emerged that President Uhuru Kenyatta and Deputy President William Ruto barred lawmakers allied to the ruling party from making public pronouncements without permission. Instead, county commissioners have been deployed to vernacular radio stations to articulate the government’s development agenda in what is seen as a strategy to boost coherence in government communication. "As you might have noticed, we are not talking to the media as per the instructions given to us by his Excellency the President and Deputy President," an MP, who sought anonymity for fear of reprisals, said. The MP said Uhuru warned them against making appearances on live broadcast shows without the authority of the presidency. "He (Uhuru) was categorical that the caveat must be respected at all cost," the



Lankan President's party to stay in unity government

File photo of Ranil Wickremesinghe and Maithripala Sirisena

DODOMA: The Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) led by President Maithripala Sirisena ended days of political uncertainty in the country by deciding to be a part of the unity government to push for "major changes" within the government. SLFP parliamentarian and Minister of Social Empowerment S B Dissanayake said the SLFP decided to remain in the government and end the uncertainty over the future of the SLFP and Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe's United National Party (UNP) unity government. He said the SLFP held extensive talks with Sirisena and the party had vowed to stay with the President and support his decisions. "We decided to make a massive change within the government. We will remain with our decision to make those changes and do what is necessary," Dissanayake said after meeting the President. "We will not leave the unity government," he added.

The future of Sri Lanka's unity government became uncertain when the UNP and the SLFP were defeated in a local government election on February 10. Since the defeat of the two parties, several SLFP ministers had asked for the resignation of the Prime Minister and urged the President to break the unity government and form a SLFP-led government. UNP ministers had also called on the Prime Minister to quit the unity government and form a UNP-led government instead. Prime Minister Wickremesinghe, however said the UNP would not quit the unity government and he would continue as the Prime Minister according to the Sri Lankan Constitution. At the February 10 local government polls, former Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa's newlyformed Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna party, achieved a landslide victory by winning 239 councils out of 340.

COLOMBO: Sri Lanka's Opposition Leader and leader of the Tamil National Alliance R Sampanthan slammed the former president Mahinda Rajapaksa for misleading the public on the ethnic issue during the local government election campaign for "cheap political gain". Speaking at the adjournment debate in parliament on the political crisis risen in the country following the local government elections, the Opposition Leader criticized the joint opposition for creating the political instability in the government and demanding to dissolve the parliament. Producing the election results, the TNA leader pointed out that former president's party

got 44.69 per cent as opposed to 55.31 per cent cast against him. "It is indisputable," he said. He noted that the "Parliament is not constituted on the basis of votes cast at the local authority election. Parliament is constituted and President was elected on the basis of the presidential election and parliamentary election."

Rajapaksa flayed for misleading people

Meeting of Jubilee party legislators

lawmaker, who noted that the directive had strained their engagement with the media, said. "We are in dilemma even when we feel we have strong and persuasive views we want to articulate. We are missing a lot on constructive public discourse," the third term MP added. This means that MPs wishing to make contributions on topical issues or comment on current affairs must first obtain express authority from the Leaders of Majority in the bicameral House. Vocal Garissa Township MP Aden Duale is the Majority Leader in the National Assembly while Elgeyo Marakwet Senator

Kipchumba Murkomen is in-charge of the majority party in the Senate. A senior Jubilee MP said the order was given by the President during the Jubilee party parliamentary group meeting. The President is said to have lectured the lawmakers on the need to toe the party line or ship out, a rare move that angered the lawmakers who claimed Uhuru was ‘disrespectful’ to them as representatives of the people. They were also warned against snubbing PG meetings that are supposed to deliberate and take a common position on the party’s legislative agenda in Parliament.

Mahinda Rajapaksa

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Asian Voice | 24th February 2018

Anti-Yameen protests erupt across Maldives MALE: Dozens of proopposition supporters were injured and many were arrested after police in the Maldives broke up countrywide protests demanding the resignation of President Yameen Abdul Gayoom and the release of his political opponents from prison. Thousands of people took part in the protests in the archipelago nation despite the country being under a state of emergency. Several people were hospitalised with injuries and many protesters were arrested, but hospital and police officials refused to provide numbers. The injured included about 10 reporters who were covering the protest. Police said the demonstrators had ignored warnings that the right to protest has been suspended under the state of emergency. “In spite of the warning, certain political leaders encouraged citizens to face off against security services personnel,” police said. The Maldives has been in a

Indian-American students The school has a large number of IndianAmerican students and

Death threat against Sikh Mayor

Ravinder Bhalla

Pro-opposition supporters holding protest

political turmoil February 1.


Emergency extended Gayoom government has, meanwhile, extended emergency in the island nation by another 30 days after an extraordinary meeting of the national security committee of the Majlis (parliament). Yameen’s latest action is certain to strain ties with India even further. For one, there is almost no possibility of Maldives sending any special envoy to India in the near future. In fact,

according to Indian government sources, there is no request from Maldives for new dates to send a special envoy to New Delhi. According to reports, a total of 38 MPs voted to accept the decree and forwarded it to the National Security Committee for evaluation. All opposition MPs boycotted the sitting, alleging it was held unconstitutionally. At least 43 MPs need to be present at the Majlis chamber for a decree to pass. Under the emergency

law of February 5, Yameen had two Supreme Court judges arrested, accusing them of corruption. Later, the remaining three judges annulled the order to release Yameen’s opponents. In the past couple of days, Yameen has insisted the rule of law would prevail. Reports from the island said he had called for an allparty meeting though that might be a little difficult in the present circumstances, with most of the opposition leaders in prison or in exile.

17 killed as ex-student opened fire in Florida school

PA R K L A N D (FLORIDA): At least 17 people, mostly students and teachers, were killed and 15 others were injured when an ex-student opened fire at a Florida school, authorities said. The shooter was arrested an hour after the carnage. The dead included students and adults, some of whom were shot outside the school and others inside the sprawling threestory building. The gunman, armed with a semiautomatic AR-15 rifle, was identified as Nikolas Cruz, a 19-year-old who had been expelled from the school. He began shooting outside Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School and then made his way inside firing at students and teachers. who were scurrying for cover, the authorities said.


Shanthi Viswanathan

at least one student from the community has been injured in the incident. The student, a ninth grader, sustained minor injures as he was hit by splinters. The authorities said several victims were being treated in hospital. Indian teacher saves many students A quick-acting Indian-American maths teacher is being hailed for saving the lives of her students during the shooting rampage. When

an alarm sounded for the second time, Shanthi Viswanathan shut the doors to her classroom, made the students crouch on the floor and covered the windows, keeping them out of the reach and sight of the gunman. "She was quick on her feet. She used her knowl-

edge. She saved a lot of kids," Dawn Jarboe, the mother of one of Viswanathan's students, said. When an elite police contingent known as a SWAT team came and knocked on the door asking her to open it, "Viswanathan took no chance that it wasn't a trick by the gunman to get in" the newspaper said. "She said, 'knock it down or open it with a key. I'm not opening the door,'" Jarboe quoted her as telling the police. "Some SWAT guy took out the window and cleared our room," Jarboe's son, Brian, texted his mother, the newspaper said.


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HOUSTON: IndianAmerican Ravinder Bhalla, who became the first Sikh mayor of New Jersey’s Hoboken city, has publicly acknowledged that death threats were made against him and his family recently. In a statement, Bhalla said the city is working with the FBI’s Joint Terrorism Task Force to improve security at City Hall. “This incident, along with death threats to me and my family, is an unfortunate reminder that we need to take security seriously,” Bhalla said, without elaborating on the threats. According to city spokesman Juan Melli, a man entered City Hall

and told security he needed to use the restroom after going through the metal detectors. While Bhalla was not in his office at the time, his deputy chief of staff, Jason Freeman, observed the man throw a bag with an object in it towards the administrative assistant’s desk before running out of the office, Melli said in a statement. Hoboken Police Chief Kenneth Ferrante added that the department takes these matters very seriously. Bhalla became the first ever Sikh to hold office in New Jersey after a stiff competition that turned ugly when he was labelled a terrorist in slanderous flyers.

Oli sworn in as Nepal PM

KATHMANDU: K P Sharma Oli was sworn in as Nepal’s Prime Minister for the second time, weeks after his Left alliance with CPN Maoist swept the historic parliamentary polls in the country, kindling hopes for much-needed political stability in the Himalayan nation. President Bidya Devi Bhandari administered

the oath of office and secrecy to the 65-year-old Oli and two other ministers. Earlier, there were reports that leaders from the CPN Maoist outfit, which is another member of the Left Alliance, would also join the cabinet. Known for his pro-China stance, Oli previously served as Nepal’s PM from October 2015 to August 2016.



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SC lowers TN's share of Cauvery water NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court has lowered the amount of Cauvery water due to Tamil Nadu, to 404.25 tmcft from the 419 tmcft allotted by the Cauvery Water Disputes Tribunal, citing the requirement of drinking water for Bengaluru. The court said that drinking water has to be kept on the highest pedestal. It also took note of the fact that Bengaluru's industrial needs have also risen, along with its need for more drinking water. Chief Justice of India (CJI) Dipak Misra authored a unanimous verdict of the three-judge bench. Mohan V Katarki, counsel for the

state of Karnataka said, “We are very happy with the verdict. The verdict is a balance verdict which protects interest of both the states. This is a good judgment which will go a long way in ensuring peace in both the states.” The SC permitted Tamil Nadu to

draw additional 10 tmcft ground water from a total available 20 tmcft beneath Cauvery basin. The Tamil Nadu Cauvery water share would only reduce by 4.75 tmcft. So, the SC said, Karnatak will release 177.255 tmcft Cauvery water to TN from the inter-

state Biligundlu dam each year. The apex court said that with the minor changes, it is fully endorsing the method used by the Tribunal to give its final award in 2007. The CWDT, in February 2007, had ordered that Tamil should receive 419 tmcft of water and Karnataka should release 192 tmcft of water to Tamil Nadu in 10 monthly installments every year. The most recent verdict was based on petitions filed by Karnataka and Tamil Nadu, both of whom were unhappy with the 2007 order. Karnataka had challenged the award in the SC.

Karnataka offers free education to girls BENGALURU: Encouraging girl child education, Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah announced that all girls studying in government institutions up to post-graduation will be given free education. While presenting the state budget, he said, “£9.5 million of the budget would be spent on providing free education to all the girl students taking admission in government pre-university, degree and post-graduation courses.” The move is expected to benefit 3,70,000 female students in the state.


The Karnataka state government, in 2017, had announced free education for girls from class 1 till

graduation in government schools and government aided-private schools from 2018-19 academic


Amit Shah kicks off LS poll campaign in Haryana

JIND: With almost a year until the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, BJP national president Amit Shah kick started poll campaign in Haryana with the 'Yuva Hoonkar Rally' in Jind. Reminding everyone that Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched his campaign for the seat in 2013, Shah asked locals to give the BJP all Lok Sabha seats in the state. Shah referred to assembly polls in Meghalaya, Tripura, and Nagaland, adding that the BJP was ruling in 19 states of the country at present and would add three more states by March 3. “I have come to say that in the 2014 polls, Haryana had given us a few seats less, but this time I want you to create a saffron wave on all 10 seats,” Shah told a large gathering. The move is significant as Jind is considered to be the political heart of the state. Jind also has a large presence of the Jat community, who are upset with the ruling saffron party for not giving them an OBC reservation. BJP had won seven seats in 2014, with the

Amit Shah

INLD winning two and Congress, one. Shah took a short bike ride to the rally venue by riding pillion behind Haryana BJP chief Subhash Barala. In his speech, he praised the Haryana government saying, “Haryana is a land of warriors, sports persons, farmers, and martyrs, and I am here to offer my respects to them. UPA could not give OROP to soldiers in 40 years but the PM accepted it within one year of coming to power. BJP has also ensured that farmers get more than the cost on their agriculture produce.”


year. Siddaramaiah said, “A total of £451.4 million is being provided for higher education in 2018-19.” He said during the tenure, 100 Karnataka Public Schools will be opened across the state at an expenditure of Rs 5,00,000 per school and an total expenditure of £500,000. He added, “£500,000 has been allocated to provide digital library facility through cloud computing to around 10,00,000 students studying in government high schools and preuniversity colleges.”

Coin flip to decide college lecturer

CHANDIGARH: Punjab Technical Education Minister Charanjit Singh Channi flipped a coin to select a mechanical engineering lecturer to a government polytechnic of his choice in Patiala. With two lecturers vying for the same post, Channi “ensured transparency” by leaving the appointment to the randomness of chance. A video clip of the incident went viral on social media, enraging the public. In his defence, Channi said that while one candidate had more experienced, the other was better qualified, and the two were the ones to propose the idea of the toss which was ultimately done in the minister's office in the presence of some journalists. With an audience, Channi called over 35 other lecturers to his office and issued posting orders according to their choice. “Thirty seven lecturers were selected by the Punjab Public Service Commission. Issuing posting orders is the discretion of the minister. Instead, I issued their

posting orders in their presence. Can there be a more transparent process?” Channi said that it was for the first time in the history of technical education department that stations to newly-selected lecturers were allotted as per their choice, so they give their best and not chase politicians for a transfer. Former state education minister Daljeet Singh Cheema responded to the incident saying, “The job of a minister is to formulate a policy on postings and have it implemented. He should not indulge in such gimmicks.” Channi however, remained unfazed insisting he had done nothing wrong. “Of the two lecturers who wanted to be in Patiala, one had better academic qualifications and the other was more experienced. I first asked both candidates to talk to each other and take a mutually acceptable decision. But when they failed to reach a consensus, they proposed to toss a coin.”

West Bengal to opt out of 'Modicare'

Mamata Banerjee and Narendra Modi

KOLKATA: West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has announced the decision to opt out of the Centre's 'Modicare' scheme, making the state the first one to withdraw out of the ambitious programme. A news report quoted Banerjee as saying, “The Centre has drawn up a health plan in which 40 per cent of the fund has to come from states. But why should the state spend on another programme when it already has its own? A state will have its own scheme if it has the resources.” The Bengal government had already enrolled 50,00,000 people under its own Swasthya Sathi programme, when Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley announced the National Health Protection Scheme

(NHPS) on February 1. “We have done it even after the Centre takes away £4.80 billion a year for debt-servicing the loan liability left behind by the preceding CPM government,” Banerjee said. The CM's discontent with the Central scheme is no secret. Just a day after the Budget was announced, she had said that the health scheme was only on paper. Many other leaders have also been skeptical about the scheme. Leader of the Trinamool Congress in the Rajya Sabha, Derek O'Brien had criticised the annual budget as “super flop show, big bluff show”, pointing out that the West Bengal government already follows what Jaitley proposed to do in 2018-19.

Nagaland Christians wooed with free Jerusalem trip

Visasolie Lhoungu, Nirmala Sitharaman and Kiren Rijiju releasing the election manifesto

GUWAHATI: Nagaland BJP president Visasolie Lhoungu, along with Union Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, Union Minister of State for Home Kiren Rijiju, and State BJP Election Management Committee official M Chuba Ao released the party manifesto ahead of the Nagaland assembly elections in Dimapur. It has been brought to light that the saffron party has promised senior citizens of the Christian-majority state free trips to Jerusalem. The poll promise came a month after the BJP-led NDA government at the Centre scrapped subsidy to Muslims going on Haj pilgrimage to Mecca. Meanwhile the Congress, in its manifesto released earlier this week, had promised to set up a board

“to facilitate minorities to visit Holy Land at a subsidised cost”. The state will go to polls on February 27. BJP is contesting from 20 of the total 60 seats, while ally Nationalist Democratic Progressive Party is fighting on others. Congress has only 18 people in the race. Influential church organisations are not surprised by the move. General secretary of the Nagaland Baptist Church Council, Rev Zelhou Keyho said, “Parties are playing with religious sentiments of people. It is surprising that the BJP, which stopped Haj subsidies, is promising free trips to Jerusalem in Nagaland.” The organisation has urged parties to spend money on development, also requesting voters to not be deceived by “cheap politics”.




Asian Voice | 24th February 2018

Dr. Hari Desai

Mahatma and Quaid-e-Azam on Bhagat Singh In the Punjabi speaking Pakistan, the Martyr continues to be the hero The Viceroy went back on his word given to Gandhiji under pressure

On 23 March, as is named Martyrs Day, also known as Shaheed Diwas or Sarvoday Day, Indians pay homage to the martyrs who infused fresh blood in the fight for India’s independence. Pakistan does not want to lag behind since Bhagat Singh was born in Punjab’s Banga village near Jaranwala (now in Pakistan).


fter nearly more than eight decades, a Pakistani lawyer, Imtiaz Rashid Qureshi, has moved the Lahore High Court to establish innocence of Shaheed Bhagat Singh. Many Pakistanis, especially in the Punjabispeaking Lahore area, consider Bhagat Singh a hero even today. Singh, along with two other revolutionaries, Sukhdev Thapar and Shivaram Rajguru, were executed by the British authorities in Lahore jail on 23 March 1931, for their alleged crime to kill the Assistant Superintendent of Police, John Saunders on 17 December 1927, following an “unfair trial” where no cross examination was allowed. On 23 March, as is named Martyrs Day, also known as Shaheed Diwas or Sarvoday Day, Indians pay homage to the martyrs who infused fresh blood in the fight for India’s independence. Pakistan does not want to lag behind since Bhagat Singh was born in Punjab’s Banga village near Jaranwala (now in Pakistan). The Pakistani lawyer, Qureshi, who runs Bhagat Singh’s Memorial Foundation, says the martyr was an ardent freedom fighter who lit the eternal flame of liberty and went to the gallows for the sake of freedom of the motherland. The founder of Pakistan, Mohammad Ali Jinnah, had twice paid tribute to him in the erstwhile Central Legislative Assembly. Bhagat Singh decided to avenge Lala Lajpat Rai’s death by killing the Superintendent of Police, J.A. Scott. Rai’s death was caused due to

the blows on him ordered by Scott, during a procession in Lahore on 30 October 1928. The Editor of Punjab Kesari and a prominent freedom fighter, Rai, died on 17 November 1928.On 17 December 1928, Bhagat Singh and Rajguru shot and Sauders was killed instead of Scott. A. G. Noorani, a celebrated Indian writer and Supreme Court Lawyer, records minutest details in his book, “The Trial of Bhagat Singh : Politics of Justice”. He notes: “Only hours after the deed did he realized that it was not Scott but his junior whom he and his colleague Rajguru had killed. The posters were corrected to substitute

Lahore Advocate Imtiaz Rashid Qureshi

Sauders’ name for Scott’s. “Sauders is dead, Lalaji is avenged.” Noorani adds: “He did not rest on his oars, either. From the gun, he moved to the bomb. On 8 April 1929, Bhagat Singh and Batukeshwer Dutt each threw a bomb in the chamber of the Central Legislature, while it was in

Bhagat Singh receives a visit from his father, Kishen Singh

All the three revolutionaries : Bhagat Singh, Sukh Dev and Rajguru

session, and scattered leaflets, besides. The intention was not to kill and none was. Six members of the Assembly were injured. The intention was to deliver a message which is why Bhagat Singh fired two unaimed shots from the pistol. They disdained escape and readily gave themselves up.” The pistol seized from Bhagat Singh in the Assembly was afterwords proved to have been used in the Saunders’ murder. On 12 June 1929, both were sentenced to transportation for life. A month later, the trial for the Sauders’ murder began in Lahore. Owing to the slow pace of the legal proceedings, a special tribunal consisting of Justice J. Coldstream, Justice Agha Hyder and Justice GC Hilton was set up on the directives of the Viceroy, Lord Irwin, on 1 May 1930.The tribunal was empowered to proceed without the presence of the accused and was a onesided trial that hardly adhered to the normal legal rights guidelines. The tribunal delivered its 300page judgement on 7 October 1930.It declared that irrefutable proof has been presented confirming

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the involvement of Bhagat Singh, Sukhdev and Rajguru in the Saunders murder. Bhagat Singh admitted to the murder and made statements against the British rule during the trial. They were sentenced to be hanged till death. Meanwhile, in jail, Bhagat Singh and his fellow inmates declared an indefinite hunger strike in protest of the prejudiced difference in treatment of the white versus native prisoners and demanded to be recognized as ‘political prisoners’. The hunger strike received tremendous attention from the press and gathered major public support in favour of their demands. Death of Jatindra Nath Das, after 63 days long fast, led to the negative public opinions intensifying towards the authorities. Bhagat Singh finally broke his 116-day fast, on request of his father, Kishen Singh, and Congress leadership, on 5 October 1929. Quaid-e-Azam Jinnah raised the issue of the hunger strike and spoke for two days from 12 September 1929, on the Hunger-Strike Bill, making trial in’absentia lawful. He did spell-bound the House.

that Irwin promised He told the House, presidGandhi he would commute ed over by Vitthalbhai the death sentence to life Patel, “The man who goes imprisonment but he went on hunger-strike has a soul back on his word when and he believes in the jussenior British ICS officers tice of his cause”. He said: threatened to resign en “Mind you, Sir, I do not bloc if the three men were approve of the action of not hanged.” Bhagat Singh, and I say The British authorities this on the floor of this secretly executed Bhagat House. I regret that, rightly Singh, Sukhdev and Rajguru or wrongly, youth today in on 23 March 1931, one week India is stirred up, and you before the Congress cannot, when you have Convention under the presthree hundred and odd identship of Sardar Patel millions of people, you was to be held at Karachi. cannot prevent such The youngsters of India crimes being committed, were furious with Gandhi, however much you deplore even presented black flowthem and however much ers in protest when he along you may say that they are with other Congress leaders misguided. It is the system, came. The Congress passed this damnable system of a resolution presented by Government, which is Pandit Nehru and seconded resented by the people.” by Pandit Madan Mohan Mahatma Gandhi was Malaviya. The Sardar paid negotiating with the glowing tributes to Bhagat Viceroy Irwin. The whole of Singh and his comrades in India was expecting him to his address. He condemned reach some sort of agreethe British Government as ment with the Viceroy so heartless. “I cannot identify that the death sentence on myself with their methods. I Bhagat Singh and others have no doubt that political would be commuted to murder is no less reprehentransportation of life. sible than any other; but the Gandhi did not approve of patriotism, the daring and violence of any sort, but he the sacrifice of Bhagat did take up the issue Singh and his with Irwin. The Viceroy was Next Column: comrades command my positive on Hidden Facts admiration.” that but he Revealed by Bhagat Singh’s faced some administrative Dr. Karan Singh father also had addressed the condifficulties after vention to convey that the Privy Council had his son’s last wish to be rejected such petition. hanged. Kuldip Nair reveals Irwin’s difficulty in his (The writer is a book, “Without Fear: The Socio-political Historian. Life & Trial of Bhagat E-mail: Singh”: “One explanation the Congress offered was

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Asian Voice | 24th February 2018 Continued from page1 ED conducts searches, seizes assets The Enforcement Directorate conducted searches on 23 premises associated with Nirav Modi, his business partner Mehul Choksi of Gitanjali Jewellers, and others, in Mumbai, Delhi, Surat, Hyderabad, and Jaipur in connection with the scam. They seized assets worth £510 million. Also, it attached £300,000 found in a bank account associated with the jeweller. Sources close to the investigation said the assets seized included diamonds, semi-precious stones, pearls, gold and silver. Estimate of the assets was determined on their “stock” value and the market value could be several times more. An ED source said five premises belonging to Nirav and Choksi were sealed in Mumbai. Immovable properties are currently being identified and those belonging to Nirav and Choksi would be attached. The agency is expected to conduct more searches over the next few days. Senior PNB officials visited ED headquarters last week, and met director Karnal Singh to brief him on the swindle. Three bank insiders arrested A retired and a serving official of PNB, and an executive of Modi's company, were arrested by the CBI in connection with the fraud. Officials said the agency also carried out searches at the Brady Road branch of the bank in Mumbai. Sources said “incriminating documents” related to the case were recovered. Retired deputy manager of PNB, Gokulnath Shetty, singlewindow operator Manoj Kharat, and Hemant Bhat have been taken into custody. While the initial FIR listed eight fraudulent transactions worth over £28 million, further complaints from the bank Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi held “substantive” talks with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani to boost cooperation in key areas of security, trade and energy, after which the two sides inked nine pacts, including one on double taxation avoidance. “Both leaders held substantive and productive discussion on cooperation in trade and investment, energy, connectivity, defence and security & regional issues,” external affairs ministry spokesperson Raveesh Kumar tweeted. Addressing a joint press event with Rouhani, Modi said the visit by the Iranian president shows how the two sides want to deepen cooperation in key areas, including connectivity. Giving details of their

PNB stripped of £1.15 bn Who is Nirav Modi? A regular feature on the lists of the rich and famous, Nirav Modi is a billionaire diamantaire and an Indian citizen. The country's 85th richest person, he is an elite jewellery designer and his creations have been sported by high-profile stars including Priyanka Chopra and Kate Winslet. Modi has 10 boutiques across the globe, including two in the US, one in Beijing, two in Hong Kong, and two in India. He reportedly changed his status to NRI before fleeing the country, in a development that went unnoticed by the banks. Modi was classified as an Indian promoter of his borrowing companies that were issued the LoUs. Several other banks also had a fund and non-fund based exposure to his other companies. A certified copy of a resolution dated November 6, 2017, by shareholders of ANM Enterprises Pvt Ltd, a company owned by Modi, mentions him as an NRI. revealed that the amount investigated in the first FIR was over £649.8 million. It involved 150 Letters of Understanding (LoUs) which were fraudulently issued by Shetty and Kharat. The remaining 150 fraudulent LoUs worth over £488.6 million issued for Gitanjali Group are part of the second FIR registered by the agency against Choksi and his companies Gitanjali Gems, Nakshatra Brands, and Gili. An LoU is a letter of comfort given by a bank, a kind of guarantee, to a foreign branch of an Indian bank on behalf of its client allowing him to raise money from that bank for short-term credit. Officials said all the LoUs were issued or renewed during 2017-18. Probe intensifies, Govt comes down on Modi, relatives As it investigates India's biggest banking fraud, PM Narendra Modi's administration has identified as many as 150 shell companies related to Modi and his associates. A multi-agency probe is reportedly underway in the fraud. A senior government official said that in parallel with the actions of

the law enforcement agencies and income tax authorities, the Corporate Affairs Ministry “has identified 150 shell companies for investigation”. Shell companies are generally used for illicit fund flows and do not have a lot of business activities. Both, the CBI and ED continue their crackdown on the fraud, have registered a fresh case against Choksi, claiming to have seized ornaments worth £54.9 million in raids. Modi, associates flee country Hollywood's A-list jewellery designer, Nirav Modi reportedly left India on January 1, way before the PNB whiffed out the scam. His brother and Belgian citizen, Nishal, wife and US citizen Ami, and business partner Mehul Choksi departed on January 6. A look out circular has been issued by the CBI against all four. Also, enforcement agencies have issued a look out circular to all exit and entry ports to inform them about the movement of any accused. Passports suspended The Ministry of

External Affairs have suspended Modi and Choksi's passports for four weeks with immediate effect. It said that the passports would be revoked if it did not hear from them in the next seven days on why their passports should not be impounded or revoked. The government also announced a multi-agency probe into Modi's dealings. “After suspension of his passport, he cannot move to a different location. Wherever he is, he will remain in the same country,” a MEA spokesperson said. However, the confidence that Modi is effectively grounded in the US rests on the assumption that he does not have the passport of any other country. The possibility that he may have not acquired Belgian papers after getting his Indian passport, cannot be ruled out. When asked about Modi's whereabouts, the spokesperson said, “The gentleman is not in touch with any of our officers and we don't know his location.” TV channels have however, traced him to a 36th floor suite at JW Marriott's Essex House that overlooks New York's famous Central Park.

You destroyed my brand: Modi In a letter written to the banks on Monday, Modi accused PNB of “destroying his brand”. “The erroneously cited liability resulted in a media frenzy which led to immediate search and seizure of operations, and which in turn resulted in Firestar International and Firestar Diamond International effectively ceasing to be going-concerns,” he wrote in the letter. “This thereby jeopardised our ability to discharge the dues of the group to the banks.” Modi stated that his companies owe the bank much lower than the amount alleged by the bank. “Nirav Modi Group ran a legitimate luxury brand business and the brand had become India’s foremost global luxury

Narendra Modi with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani

treaty as well as to simplify visa process. Earlier, Rouhani was given a ceremonial welcome at Rashtrapati Bhavan. In

the morning, India's external affairs minister Sushma Swaraj called on Rouhani and discussed various issues with him.

brand, standing side by side with some of the biggest jewellery brands in the world. In the anxiety to recover your dues immediately, despite my offer, your actions have destroyed my brand and the business and have now restricted your ability to recover all the dues leaving a trail of unpaid debts. Whatever may be the consequences I may face for my actions, the haste was, in my humble submission, unwarranted.” Speaking separately, Modi's lawyer Vijay Aggarwal said, “There's nothing, there is nothing in it.” Regarding the diamantaire's dealing with the bank, he said “everything is documented”, before adding that PNB had regularly levied fees on its dealings with the jeweller's firms. When asked about his legal strategy, Aggarwal said, “Until there is no chargesheet, there is no strategy. When there is a chargesheet, there will be a strategy.”

Mehul Choksi: A 'compulsive liar' Chairman and MD of Gitanjali Group, 53 year old Mehul Choksi boasts of a turnover of £1.30 billion. Taking over the company founded by his father Chinubhai, Choksi took the then £5 million company to the international arena. Unsatisfied with the single trade company's limited outcome, he has today grown Gitanjali's product portfolio with several brands including Gili, Nakshatra, Asmi, D'damas, Maya, Diya, and Sangini. They are sold through over 4,000 points of sale in multiple retail shops. Gitanjali also acquired Italian brands like Valenete, Stefan Hafner, Nouvelle Bague, IO SI and Porrati. As the news of the scam came to light, several people have come forward to share their bad encounters with the billionaire. A group of seven graduates had reportedly dragged Choksi to court last year. The students who had collected £300,000 through crowdfunding, mortgage, and aid from their parents to open a franchise of Gitanjali Jewellery Retail in October 2013, were shocked when they realised that the diamonds and gems sent to them for a security deposit of £150,000 were “third grade”, damaged, and old. Santosh Srivastava, a self-claimed whistleblower and former vice president of Gitanjali, also came to the light citing Choksi's constant lying, cheating and tricking people.

India, Iran sign 9 pacts comprehensive talks, Modi said they discussed threats posed by terrorism, drug trafficking and other challenges. For his part, Rouhani said, “We are determined to combat terrorism and extremism.” The Iranian leader also said regional conflicts must be resolved through diplomacy and political initiatives. PM Modi also appreciated the way the Iranian leader provided leadership in developing the strategically important Chabahar Port. Apart from tax pact, the two sides also exchanged instrument to ratify the extradition


Rouhani calls for unity among Muslims Rouhani, who is a senior Shia cleric too, earlier visited the historic Makkah Masjid, a Sunni mosque, in Hyderabad, to offer prayers and called for unity among Muslims across the world. Addressing the congregation after Friday prayers, he said unity among Shias, Sunnis and other Islamic denominations was the only solution to the problems faced by the Muslim world. In his 30-minute speech in Persian, said to be the first by a any country’s leader in this mosque, Rouhani urged Muslims to

treat all human beings with love and affection in the true spirit of Islam. On the second day of his three-day visit to India, he joined worshippers in offering prayers at the 17th century mosque, noting that Friday prayers symbolise the unity among Muslims as they come together to pray. Accompanied by ministers and senior officials, Rouhani offered ‘namaz’and sat through the sermons delivered in Arabic by Moulana Rizwan Qureshi, Imam of the mosque. Reciting verses from Quran, the Iranian President said the Prophet Mohammad was mercy for all the worlds and he was sent as the model for mankind to follow. AsianVoiceNews


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New hope for a Parkinson's disease cure

n Scientists discover excessive calcium levels in the brain are behind the condition New research has provided fresh hope for a Parkinson's disease cure. Scientists have discovered excessive calcium levels in the brain may be behind the condition that has previously left experts baffled. Although the mineral plays a vital role in linking nerve endings with a protein, known as alpha-synuclein, which is critical for brain cell communication, excessive levels can trigger nerve cell death, a study found. Study author Dr Amberley Stephens from Cambridge University, said: 'There's a fine balance of calcium and alpha-synuclein in the cell, and when there is too much of one or the other, the balance is tipped and aggregation begins, leading to Parkinson's disease.' Parkinson's disease is caused by these proteins folding into the wrong shape and sticking together to form filament-like structures, however, it was previously unclear why this occurs. The researchers hope their findings

could lead to the development of new treatments, such as calcium blockers, to combat the incurable condition. They add eating calcium-rich foods, such as cheese, is not linked to the disorder. Senior author Dr Gabriele Kaminski Schierle added: 'The study relates to the control of calcium levels which will be the same in any human being independent of its dietary intake.' Around one in every 350 adults in the UK suffers from Parkinson's disease. Calcium, which is found in dairy, as well as kale and sesame seeds, plays a role in the release of these neurotransmitters. The scientists observed that when calcium levels in the nerve cells increase, the alpha-synuclein binds to synaptic vesicles at multiple points. This causes the vesicles to come together, which indicates the role of alpha-synuclein is to help the chemical transmission of information across nerve cells.

Unexpected guests were on the way, and my mother, an impeccable housekeeper, rushed around straightening up. She put my father and brother to work cleaning the guest bathroom. Later, when she went to inspect it, she was surprised that the once-cluttered room had been tidied up so quickly. Then she saw the note on the closed shower curtains. It read "Thank you for not looking in the bathtub." *********************************** I was visiting my mother one day, when she passed the candy dish full of chocolates and took one for herself. “I thought your doctor told you to stop eating candy,” I said. “Oh, I don’t have to listen to him anymore,” she replied. “Why not?” “He died.” *********************************** Working as a telemarketer for MCI Communications, I made a call to a Minnesota home one evening. When a boy around eight answered the phone, I identified myself, told him I was calling for MCI and asked to speak to his parents. As he put the phone down, I heard him yell, "Dad! Dad! The FBI wants to talk to you!" As soon as the father answered the phone in a quivering voice, I said, "Sir, this is not the FBI; this is MCI Communications." After a long pause, the man said, "This is the first time I am actually glad to hear from you guys."



Going vegan can prevent overweight adults from falling victim to diabetes

Asian Voice | 24th February 2018

n ‘Important’ study concludes plant-based diet can boost insulin sensitivity in overweight people

Going vegan can prevent overweight adults from developing type 2 diabetes, an 'important' new study has concluded. Following a plantbased diet can boost insulin sensitivity - considered the driving factor of the potentially deadly condition, in fat people. And scientists also found being vegan, which is soaring in popularity, can improve beta-cell function - which store and release insulin. It is believed the benefits of the diet, consisting of fruits, vegetables and legumes, stems from tackling bulging waistlines and aiding weight loss. The study, led by researchers at the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine, Washington DC, adds to the health benefits of a vegan diet. Dr Hana Kahleova, lead author of the trial conducted on patients without diabetes, said: 'The study has important implications for diabetes prevention. 'Fortunately, this study

adds to the growing evidence that food really is medicine and that eating a healthful plant-based diet can go a long way in preventing diabetes.'

manage it. Someone's life expectancy with type 2 diabetes is likely to be reduced as a result of the condition, by up to 10 years, it is believed. The

Often thought of as harmless, type 2 diabetes is a hidden killer and can lead to heart failure, blindness, kidney disease and leg amputations. It is caused by having too much glucose in the blood because the body's way of turning it into energy is not working properly. As the condition progresses, sufferers often need to maintain a healthy diet, exercise and a combination of medications to

condition strikes around 30 million Americans, while in the UK there are 3.8 million diabetes patients in the UK - with 90 per cent having type 2. Researchers assigned 75 participants - who were overweight and had no history of diabetes - into two groups. Half followed a low-fat vegan diet for 16 weeks, based on fruits, vegetables, whole grains and legumes. The others made no dietary changes.

Women twice as likely to develop fatal heart complications from mental stress than men Women are twice as likely to develop fatal heart complications than men, new research warns. The study found mental stress such as public speaking was more likely to cause myocardial ischemia, inadequate blood flow to the heart muscle, in young women who have had a heart attack compared to their male peers. While previous studies showed a higher heart risk from mental stress for women, it wasn't clear to what extent. The new research, published today by the American Heart Association, offers clearer evidence than ever that women may need more intensive care after

a cardiac event than men, and mental stress may affect women's hearts more. Researchers also found mental stress was associated with microvascular dysfunction, a chest pain that occurs when the heart muscle doesn't get enough blood and peripheral vasoconstriction, the narrowing of the blood vessels, among women but not men.

Neither group changed their exercise routines, according to the study published in the journal Nutrients. Researchers calculated those on a vegan diet had an increase in insulin secretion after eating meals. They also had a better beta-cell glucose sensitivity - another marker of the condition compared to those in the control group. Vegan participants also experienced a decrease in blood sugar levels while fasting and during meal tests. Such levels often spike in patients at-risk of diabetes. The researchers concluded that vegans experienced weight loss following the diet, which gave them the benefits noted. The new findings add to the existing portfolio of evidence that highlights the health benefits of adopting a vegan diet and cutting out meat. It has previously been found to improve cholesterol levels, lower blood pressure and slash the risk of the world's leading killer heart disease.

Two servings of yoghurt a week reduces risk of a heart attack for those with high blood pressure n Study finds yoghurt reduces risk by up to 30%

Yoghurt reduces the risk of a heart attack by up to 30 per cent in people with high blood pressure, new research suggests. Eating at least two servings of yoghurt a week lowers the risk of women with hypertension suffering a cardiovascular event, such as a heart attack or stroke, by up to 30 percent and men by 19 percent, a study found. Researchers believe a combination of natural yoghurt's fermentation and calcium content benefits at-risk people's hearts. Previous findings suggest calcium plays a role in the normal contraction and relaxation of the heart, while probiotics,

which are found in fermented foods, have been linked to reduced blood pressure. Study author Justin Buendia from Boston University, said: 'Our results provide important new evidence that yoghurt may benefit heart health alone or as a consistent part of a diet rich in fiberrich fruits, vegetables and whole grains.' Around 1.5 million heart attacks and strokes occur every year in the US.

Running helps preserve your memory by fighting stress Jogging may be the answer to jogging your memory as new research reveals it strengthens signals in the brain. Exercise has long been known to help combat stress, but a study by Brigham Young University suggests that it can also help combat forgetfulness. The researchers found that running helps protect against the negative effects of stress on the hippocampus - the part of the

brain responsible for learning and memory. Within the hippocampus, memory formation and recall work best when the connections between neurons, called synapses, are strengthened over time, a process called longterm potentiation (LTP). Chronic or prolonged stress, however, weakens the synapses and with them the LTP, negatively impacting memory. Seven out of 10

adults in the US suffer from stress or anxiety on a daily basis, according to the most recent Anxiety and Depression Association of America survey.

28 AsianVoiceNews

Asian Voice | 24th February 2018


Sam hits back at trollers

I ‘Welcome to New York’

Sloppy recovery agent, Hero (Diljit Dosanjh) and fashion designer Jeenal Patel (Sonakshi Sinha) become part of a big Bollywood event in New York and chaos ensues.

Dhanush is an oddball in this Hollywood film

nternet is a place full of trollers who thrive on their unnecessary judgment of people, especially women celebrities. The latest victim of online abuse, Samantha Akkineni found herself on the receiving end recently when she posted a picture in a bikini on her Instagram. Scathing remarks against the actress for posing in a two-piece costume “despite being married” was posted by many online users who forgot their own place. However, not one to give in, Sam gave a perfect clapback. “Well... now I had to go and put up a quote ..because my previous post didn't really scream ' I WRITE MY RULES YOU SHOULD WRITE M̶I̶N̶E̶ YOURS !!” This wasn't the first time Samantha was targeted for her holiday pictures. The actress got married to her longtime sweetheart

Naga Chaitanya in a destination wedding in Goa last year, resuming shoots for her upcoming projects

soon after. Recently, a teaser introducing her character in 'Rangasthalam' was

released, in which she plays a village belle named Rama Lakshmi in the rural drama.

More than one face for Raai Laxmi


oster and teaser of Dhanush's upcoming 'The Extraordinary Journey of the Fakir' is out, and it seems to indeed be an extraordinary journey. Based on a bestseller book, the English-French dramedy is directed by Ken Scott. Dhanush shared the first poster of the film on Twitter, where he is seen wearing a colourful Rajasthani headgear. He tweeted, “Here is the teaser poster of 'The Extraordinary Journey of the Fakir'. My English film. It's been an extraordinary journey indeed. Hope you guys like it.” Director Scott stated that working with actors from different backgrounds was “inspirational”. “I fell in love with the project. Working with Dhanush and other actors from so many different cultures was truly inspiring. We shot in different countries- India, Italy, France, Libya. We wanted to impact these different countries to the main character. Very simply, what I tried to do is to get the best out of each actor to find the right balance of drama and comedy.” Dhanush in the film, plays Mumbai man named Ajatashatru Lavash Patel. “Sometimes in the story makes the movie look like a fable, so we wanted 'Fakir' to be very entertaining and adventurous,” Scott said.


o l l y w o o d actress/model who made her Bollywood debut last year, Raai Laxmi is back in her home industry, this time with 'Neeya 2'. She reveals the movie is a different story compared to the first 'Neeya' that released over four decades ago. There are however, similarities in the genre. “'Neeya 2' has elements of fantasy, thriller, love, etc. This, too is a 'snake

film' like the yesteryear flick. I will be seen in three appearances in the movie; one among them will have a 'naagin' look. All the three heroines in the movie appear in different time periods- present, past, and future. However, I have combination scenes with the other two.” Currently shooting for the second schedule of the film, Laxmi has five other projects

Case filed against internet's current fav

No more films for ‘Ulaganayagan’ Haasan


he 63 year old actor who has shifted to the political arena now has seemed to have taken a retirement from the film industry. Speaking at a press address at Harvard University in Boston, Haasan declared, “Except for the two films which are coming out, there will be no films for me.” When asked whether he would stick to politics even if he loses the election. “I may not have been a political entity but we have been in social service for 37 years. In these 37 years, we have collected about 10 lakh loyal workers. They are with me for the past 37 years. At my instruction, they have engaged more and more younger people in our welfare movement over the years including about 250 lawyers.” Haasan said.

in her kitty. She said, “I will be announcing my second Bollywood project soon. Also, I'm doing a film with Mammootty sir in Malayalam. This is the fifth or sixth movie I'm doing with him.” Along with Laxmi, 'Neeya 2' features Jai in the lead, and Varalaxmi and Catherine Tresa in pivotal roles.


n FIR has been registered against Omar Lulu, director of upcoming Malayalam film 'Oru Adaar Love', a song of which recently went viral due to actress Priya Prakash Varrier's spunky character. Falaknuma, Hyderabad residents Zaheer Ali Khan and Muqeeth Khan

have alleged in their complaint that the song when translated to English, hurts Muslim sentiments as it makes derogatory references to the Prophet. They now demand that the song either be removed from the film, or the lyrics changed. Muqeeth said, “When I first saw the viral video, I fell in love with it. I watched it so many times and shared it many times. I wanted to know the meaning of the song so I got the original Malayalam lyrics and translated it online and also took help of some people. I found that the song referred to the romance between the Prophet and his wife Khadija. It is inappropriate and an insult to the prophet. I showed it our elders and we decided to lodge a complaint. I am not against the film or the actors. I am not against the film’s release also. We are only

protesting against this song because it hurts sentiments of Muslims.” Assistant Commissioner of Police, Syed Fayaz said, “Following the complaint, we took legal opinions and subsequently a case under IPC Section 295A has been registered against the film's director, Omar Lulu.” The police will take the opinion of some Islamic clerics on the case after getting a translation of the song, as part of the song. A famous mappila paattu 'Manikya Malaraya Poovi' was originally composed by Thalassery K Refeeque, with lyrics written by PMA Jabbar.


Sunny does a Kardashian


Sidharth to act in Bolly remake of 'Kirik Party'


Asian Voice | 24th February 2018



ollywood hotti Sunny Leone is all set to launch her cosmetic line 'Star Struck By Sunny' on March 15. The actress tweeted the news, “Hey everyone! Here is my Valentine’s Day surprise. Star Struck by Sunny will be launching worldwide on March 15!” The actress already has a perfume, Lust by Sunny Leone, and a fashion line called Suncity Store. She is now set to strengthen her portfolio by launching a crueltyfree make-up line. The actress recently

shot for a video for the brand in Los Angeles, USA, and images of the shoot have gone viral on social media. Sunny's fanfollowing is incomparable in India. Most lately, an Andhra Pradesh farmer hit the headlines for putting up a poster of the 'Jism 2' actress on his farm. In a bid to ward off “evil eye” of fellow villagers, 45 year old A Chenchu Reddy came up with the brilliant idea of putting up a poster of the actress in a red bikini to grab all attention, instead of his abundant crops.

Aamir's 'Secret Superstar' making fireworks in China


et another Aamir Khan film has worked wonders at the China box office. Almost a month after the film release, the inspirational movie continues its magnificent run, ending up scrapping Rs 748 Crore. With the new set parameter, it is set to breach the Rs 750 Crore mark at the Chinese market. The film's record breaking popularity in the country can be attributed to Khan's popularity, given the fact that Indian audience failed to like the film much. Current trends

and the film's hold in the Chinese market believes that 'Secret Superstar' can easily bring in Rs 800 to 850 Crore in its lifetime run. However, it may fail to beat Dangal's lifetime collection record in the country. A story of a young Muslim girl (played by Zaira Wasim), the film revolves around her dreams, and her difficult relationship with a strict father. How she enrolls herself in a singing competition without his knowledge, wins it and fulfills her dream makes up for the rest of the story.

ne of the highest grossing films of 2016, Kannada movie 'Kirik Party' is all set to get a Bollywood remake, and if the grape vine is to be believed, Sidharth Malhotra will play the lead role. A source said, “Sidharth has had meetings with producer Ajay Kapoor, who holds the remake rights of 'Kirik Party', and loved his part. He is yet to sign on the dotted line but is looking forward to start work on this one.” An official confirmation is pending. The original, directed by Rishab Shetty, features

Rakshit Shetty and Rashmika Mandanna. The story is about six naughty students in an engineering college. The film went on to win several accolades including the IIFA Utsavam, Filmfare Awards South, South Indian International Movie Awards, and Karnataka Film Awards. On the work front, Malhotra will be seen next alongside Manoj Bajpayee, Anupam Kher, Naseeruddin Shah, Rakul Preet Singh, and Pooja Chopra in Neeraj Pandey's 'Aiyaary'. The film was initially was set to release on February 9, but suffered a setback due to the 'Padmavat' controversy.

Salman, Sonakshi reunite for romantic song


ctors Salman Khan and Sonakshi Sinha are known for their onscreen chemistry, thanks to the fan favourite 'Dabangg' series. The two will be seen together soon in the upcoming multistarrer comedy 'Welcome to New York'. A track from the movie, 'Nain Phisal Gaye' was released recently and the two warm up our hearts. Salman will only see in a cameo in the film. Director Chakri Toleti said, “It was really easy to shoot Salman and Sonakshi together because they have always shared great onscreen chemistry. Also, they enjoy working with each

other.” Sung by Payal Dev, the number is written by Kausar Munir and com-

posed by Sajid-Wajid. Video of the song opens to Sinha facing difficulties working on a project and that is

when Diljit Dosanjh (male lead) suggests her to imagine that “she is working with superstar Salman Khan”. The idea sends Sona into a fancy imagination where she sees herself taking measurements of Salman. The actor, on the other hand, is funny with his quirky dancing. 'Welcome to New York' is a movie that revolves around two Indian youngsters who are in search of a better life. An unexpected trip to New York however, sets the off on an adventure.

Varun can't stop gushing over 'October' co-star


hoojit Sircar's Varun Dhawan-starrer 'October' is seeing a lot of buzz, and for good reason. Not only is the plot a secret, debutante actress Banita Sandhu is a mystery in herself. A Punjabi model from London, she has worked in several advertisements earlier, including one with the director. Interviews with Dhawan reveal that the actor is completely smitten by the lady and can't stop talking about her. “I can't think of anyone else who could have done what she has done. I really can't think of anyone! The relatibility factor that she is going to bring to every girl watching this, every boy watching this, every parent watching this, is going to be

incredible. She has a connect, she has an incredible connect,” he said. Not just Dhawan, even Sircar is all praises for Sandhu. When asked why he cast a fresh face, he said, “Until now, I have not met anyone who has seen Banita's picture and not gone mad about her. Everyone is like 'Who is this girl?' She is so beautiful, so petite, so innocent, so I think that's the reason. What you saw about herher innocence, her beauty, her down to earth nature and her girl next door image, that's what I also saw. And that's why I cast her and presented her in 'October'.” So much buzz around the model makes us curious. Whether she lives up to the reputation, will be seen in April this year.


UK AsianVoiceNews

Asian Voice | 24th February 2018

Vegetarians count cost of rising supermarket prices Research has found that supermarkets have raised the price of vegetarian food in the past year as more Britons give up meat. Vegetarian sausages in Linda McCartney’s range cost about 13 percent more, Quorn’s vegetarian steaks have increased in price by 8 percent and it’s no-meat mince by almost

12 percent. The Grocer magazine recorded the prices of more than 200 vegetarian foods and found that they were on average 2 percent higher since February last year. An estimated 150,000 Britons gave up meat in January this year, double the number that did so in the same month last year.

A third of pharmacies visited in an undercover investigation failed to give important safety warnings about over-the-counter medicines. Visits to Boots, Tesco, Lloyds Pharmacy, Morrisons and Asda, as well as some independent pharmacies, were all rated “poor” by an expert. The investigation, which showed a number failing to ask vital questions to patients, comes in the week when NHS England launched a campaign urging patients to see pharmacists, not GPs, when suffering from minor conditions. The investigation which will appear in the March issue of the consumer magazine Which? found that some pharmacies are failing to give important safety advice to customers buying over-

the-counter medicines such as paracetamol and ibuprofen. Undercover researchers found that the advice given when they tried to buy two medicines that shouldn’t be taken together – was rated ‘poor’ in 11 out of our 36 visits. In a further scenario, researchers found that some pharmacies were selling large amounts of paracetamol without asking any questions or giving warnings. This is not illegal, but we’ve flagged the visits as needing improvement, as it’s not best practice.

Pharmacies fail to give drug safety warnings

Coming Events

l Shree Shakti Mandir celebrates Holi on March 1, 6.00 pm onwards, at 30 Talbot Road, Wembley, HA0 40E l In continuation of Pramukh Swami Maharaj Shatabdi Mahotsav Celebrations, all are invited to attend Sud Atham Kirtan Bhakti Sandhya on February 23, 7.00 pm to 8.00 pm, at the BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir, London.

Sneh Joshi

ing, and feel compassionate for others. It’s a time for forgiving others and yourself and go through a series of personal makeovers. You are now breaking free from the expectations of others and therefore your behaviour tends to be more spontaneous, and perhaps a little rebellious. Freedom of personal expression is immensely important to you now.

TAURUS Apr 21 - May 21 You continue to seek comfort, but

also growth and improvement, in your domestic world. Your priorities are mainly to do with the home and your family which will benefit you for a long time to come. While career matters are not in strong focus at this time, you are planting seeds now that are important for future growth in work and business. In fact, it’s a powerful time for beginning long-term projects.

GEMINI May 22 - June 22 You are bringing fresh and original ideas to the work you do and this will be particularly fulfilling and rewarding. You are more enterprising, and you seek to expand your business or work pursuits, quite willingly putting in the extra effort to do so. You could be developing new products or redesigning your business. You may be finding more meaning and purpose in your life now.

At the moment your relationships are under a strong scrutiny and it is time for you to re-evaluate and decide what you want for the future. You are very creative at the moment and efforts in that direction will pay off. Some of you will take great interest in children’s affairs and take time off to be with them. If you are thinking of having a child this is a good time.

CANCER Jun 22 - Jul 22

If your child has a good joke, poem or any suggestions they would like to share please email us with the name, age and school. Email:-


shine and “Keep your face towards the sun ” you ind beh fall the shadows will - WALT WHILMAN


Make your flowers change colour What you need White flowers Water Food colouring Small vases What to do l 80% of Soviet soldiers who were born in 1923, did not survive the war. 1.Cut a single flower with a fairly short stem. A l For every 5 german soldiers who died in World War 2, every 4 of them shorter stem will get you died in the eastern-front. a quicker result as the colour has to travel all l Out of 40 000 men who served on U boats only 10 000 of them returned. the way up the stem to get to the petals. l In World War 2, Hamburgers in USA were dubbed Liberty Steaks to avoid 2. Cut the stem on an angle to give a greater surface area for the coloured water the German sounding name Hamburg. to enter by. l Calvin G was only 12 when he enlisted in the US Navy, he won a bronze 3. Now place the flower in a small, short star and a purple heart before the navy found out how old he was. vase or glass (a shot glass works well) and add a generous amount of food colouring. WORLD WAR 2 WORD SEARCH 4. Keep an eye on it, in about 30 minutes some colour will start to show in the petals. HITLER H I T L E R Y P S A SPY B T I T R N S W E E MOTHER'S DAY FACTS JEWS R E E A A P E U I O Mother's Day 2018 will be 11th PARTIES H L R M M J S U T N March and in 2019 it will be on CAMPS A D R L A R E P R W 31st March. Here in the UK, we celebrate Mother’s Day on the fourth Sunday in Lent, HEIL Y E B P I S P M A C which is halfway through Lent. This is why HOLOCAUST G T T Y N N T R P K the date differs from year to year. Mothering S W L O E M T S U M GERMANY Sunday was originally the day when in 16th T S U A C O L O H R BERLIN Century Christian practice one would make S W A S T I C A W E SWASTICA an annual visit to one's mother church, which meant that most mothers would be reunited with their children on this day. Later it was Sudoku Edition 10 the one day a year when servants were allowed to visit their families. Mothering Sunday is sometimes know as Simnel Sunday or Refreshment Sunday, due to the practice of baking Simnel cakes to celebrate the reuniting of families during the austerity of Lent. Nowadays Simnel cakes are more usually Mona has a beautiful and associated with Easter.

Facts You Didn't know about world war 2

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Joke of the week naughty daughter called Sonia. She is very naughty and mischievous. One day Little Sonia asked,'Mum, why is your hair turning Grey?' Mona decided to teach Sonia a lesson, she replied, 'Because every time you do a bad action, 1 hair becomes grey.' Sonia replied,'Now I understand why Grandmas hair is completely White!'.

Sudoku Answer Edition 9

The UK’s leading Vedic writer and TV personality

ARIES Mar 21 - Apr 20 You are more sensitive to suffer-


At the moment you have renewed stamina, energy, and confidence which you can use to your advantage for achieving some of your long term goals. You have a lot of admirers and this could lead to romantic liaisons. You are in phase when profits from a business or self-employment will increase without too much effort. You must also take time off from your hectic schedule to relax and reflect.

LEO Jul 23 - Aug 23

VIRGO Aug 24 - Sep 23

Learning, sharing knowledge, and communicating with more confidence all figure strongly in your daily life. You will also be looking to improve your love relationships and partnerships. You might present your ideas with much enthusiasm and confidence, which will make them more acceptable to others. Use this increased mental energy productively.

LIBRA Sep 24 - Oct 23 There are great benefits to living a more organized and structured life. You must try harder to get good health and fitness programs in place. Your confidence will go a long way towards improving your reputation and professional status. It’s also a period of good luck and liberation from past restrictions and difficult circumstances or attitudes that have been holding you back. SCORPIO Oct 24- Nov 22

Your romantic life can blossom. People are very interested in you romantically speaking, and opportunities can abound. Some of you could be reaching a broad audience, publishing your creative works, for example. At this time, creativity finds a successful channel or outlet, and you are pouring more of your heart and soul into what you create and share.

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A perfect time for updating your home and moving your family relationships forward in a positive way. If there are hatchets to bury in your closest relationships, this is the time to do so. It’s also a good time for dealing with your insecurities or negative self-image. Get comfortable with yourself – the cosmos is fully supporting this endeavour! Try not to lose your cool.

SAGITTARIUS Nov 23 - Dec 21

CAPRICORN Dec 22 - Jan 20

Jupiter, the planet of abundance, graces your solar eleventh house bringing benefits and fresh energy to networking activities, acquaintances, clubs, and organizations. You can rely on your friends for their help and support, and your circle of friends may increase during this fruitful transit. It’s a time for reassessing your goals and formulating new ones..

A good time for those looking for a promotion or an increase in salary. Try not to splash out on luxury items which you do not really need,. Jupiter, the planet of plenty aspects your solar 4th house for some time to come, bringing noticeable improvements to your environment. This will hold you in good stead as you have a lot of important jobs to finish around the house.

AQUARIUS Jan 21 - Feb 19

PISCES Feb 20 - Mar 20 If you are taking a holiday, so much the better ! Not only is Jupiter putting a favourable emphasis on travel but, with Sun, Venus and Mercury in your sign, you can be sure of deriving the utmost pleasure from adventures and excursions. There are influences around you now that will do much to give you greater confidence.



The Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF) has increased the number of quota places for Indian sportspersons in two disciplines – boxing and athletics – for the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games (CWG) to be held from April 4 to 15 in Australia. This will come as a boost for boxers and athletes but it has come at the expense of CGF reducing the number of quota places for the country’s sportspersons in other disciplines, most notably gymnastics, shooting and cycling. India’s official contingent size in 15 disciplines, in which athletes will participate at the CWG. An increased number of 225 athletes will travel to the Gold Coast, as compared to the total number of 215 participants at the Glasgow CWG in 2014. In boxing, the CGF has accepted the request of the Indian Olympic Association (IOA) and the Boxing Federation of India (BFI) to increase the number of quota places for the Indian pugilists. The CGF had reduced the entries to 10 from the originally allocated 13, leading to despair among Indian sports administrators, as boxing has fetched India


Asian Voice | 24th February 2018

Chahal, Kuldeep break record in South Africa

File photo of Indian squad participating in Flag March

impressive number of medals in the past. After considering the request, the CGF has decided to increase the quota number to 12 (increase of one quota place in women’s category), which means the BFI could send one extra woman boxer (India had sent three women boxers to Glasgow in 2014). While this is still a quota short of what India had been demanding, it’s an increase from the Glasgow’s boxing contingent size of 11.

Similarly, in athletics, the CGF has offered seven more quota places to take the sport’s contingent size to 37, as compared to Glasgow’s 32. The CGF had originally allocated 30 quota places to India in the athletics for the Gold Coast Games. In basketball, Indian men’s and women’s team participation has straightaway added 24 quota places (12 men and 12 women) to the country’s overall contingent size. The CGF has extended ‘invitation’ to

India for the Games. It’s after a gap of eight years that the basketball teams will play at the CWG. Basketball last featured as a discipline in CWG in 2010 Delhi Games. However, gymnastics saw its share being reduced from 10 at Glasgow to seven (2 men and 5 women) this time. This could further be reduced by a quota place as India’s biggest medal hope, Dipa Karmakar, has pulled out of the event due to injury.

Initiating children in Cricket In a new initiative from the England and Wales Cricket Board, All Stars Cricket is the first step in the national pathway for cricket. With fun at its heart, the programme aims to inspire children aged five to eight to take up cricket, provide a great first experience of the game and engage with a new audience of potential volunteers. We are excited to bring All Stars Cricket to life with your help and welcome new players and their families to your club. The year 2017 was the first year for All Stars Cricket and we are looking to build on that this summer. In addition to the great benefits you received last year, such as free equipment and activator training, here is what’s new for 2018: Dedicated member of staff for the duration of the programme; Enhancements to the ClubSpark online management system to make your life easier such as the ability to upload documents easily and record parent involvement in sessions; Increased marketing support with new assets to use plus a marketing and communica-


tions guide to help you promote your session locally. All centres who upload their programme sessions by 31 January 2018 will automatically be entered into a prize draw for a visit by former England captain Michael Vaughan to their All Stars Cricket session. The All Stars Cricket activator is the key volunteer who will oversee All Stars Cricket at your club, creating a fun and inclusive environment for kids and parents alike. Start your search for those enthusiastic, vibrant and motivated people who will inspire young children and create a fantastic all-round experience. Although many All Stars Cricket activators

will have excellent experience of cricket it is by no means essential – first and foremost, we are looking for people with fantastic personal skills. There are potential activators all around you! Teachers, enthusiastic parents at your local school, junior club captains or role models at your club. The ECB and your County Cricket Board can also provide support if needed. Once you have found your activator, the ECB will then provide comprehensive face-to-face and online training and support to equip them with all the tools needed, including kit, to successfully implement the programme.

For returning activators, it is not compulsory to attend training a second time – however, it is recommended as the curriculum has been updated based on the feedback of children, parents and fellow activators. The updated programme will be available on the icoachcricket app in March. All activators are encouraged to join the All Stars Cricket activators Facebook group for additional support and the opportunity to speak to activators across the country. In terms of kit, they will be able to top up their existing activator clothing or select clothing options for others supporting their role.

Yuzvendra Chahal and Kuldeep Yadav

India’s Yuzvendra Chahal and Kuldeep Yadav have broken the record for most wickets by an overseas spinner in a bilateral ODI series in South Africa, surpassing former West Indies all-rounder Keith Arthurton’s mark of 12 wickets taken across seven ODIs during the 1998-99 season. During the fifth ODI at Port Elizabeth which India won by 73 runs, Chahal was the first to break Arthurton's mark, when he claimed his 13th wicket. Not long after, Kuldeep surpassed him with a haul of 4 for 57 to lead the race with 16 wickets in the series so far.

Chahal, 27, has enjoyed a stunning run of success during the series against South Africa. He started off with 2/45, then grabbed a career-best 5/22, followed by 4/46 as India went up 3-0. During the fifth ODI, he removed David Miller lbw to take his 13th wicket of the series. Arthurton, an offspinner and middleorder batsman, took 12 wickets in a seven-ODI series which West Indies lost 1-6. Next best is Shane Warne, who took 11 wickets in Australia’s eight-game series against South Africa in 1993-94, and then 10 in six matches in 1996-97.

Indian boxers bag 5 gold medals at Asian Games Test Indian boxers packed a heavy punch at the Asian Games Test event, signing off with five gold, a silver and four bronze medals. India Open goldmedallist Manish Kaushik (60kg) notched up a second successive top finish, continuing his impressive rise to prominence since claiming the national title last year. Pavitra (60kg) was the lone Indian gold-winner in the women's draw, while three-time King's Cup gold-medallist K Shyam Kumar (49kg), Shaikh Salman Anwar (52kg) and Ashish (64kg) finished with the yellow

metal along with Manish. Pavitra opened the proceedings for India and defeated Thai Nilawan Techasuep 5-0 to start the gold rush. K Shyam Kumar was the next man in and got the better of Mario Blasius Kali in a split verdict of 4-1 to claim the top honours. The win came about despite a warning the Indian received for his tactics. Salman Anwar defeated Filipino Rogen Ladon 5-0, while Manish defeated Japan's Rentaro Kimura to claim a gold each in their respective categories.

Sport 32

Asian Voice | 24th February 2018 AsianVoiceNews



India’s domination in limited overs cricket rolled on unabated as they cantered to a 28-run victory over South Africa in the first T20 International, grabbing a 10 lead in the three-match series. Shikhar Dhawan smashed his fourth Twenty20 half-century, while Bhuvneshwar Kumar claimed his maiden fivewicket haul in T20I to emerge as the architects of the victory at the Wanderers. Dhawan smashed a 39-ball 72 studded with 10 fours and two sixes to power India to a challenging 203 for 5 after South Africa won the toss and elected to field. Bhuvneshwar then returned with figures of 40-24-5 to restrict South Africa to 175 for nine, despite opener Reeza Hendricks’s 50-ball 70-run innings. Chasing 204, South Africa made a quick start with opener Jon-Jon Smuts (14) and Hendricks putting on 29 off 17 balls as Jaydev Unadkat (1-33) was expensive in his opening spell. Smuts skied one off Bhuvneshwar and Dhawan took a well-judged catch at mid-on. Two overs later, Raina took a similarly welljudged catch running back from mid-wicket, this time sending back JP Duminy (3) off Bhuvneshwar as well as the hosts managed only

41/2 at the end of the powerplays. Another skier, this time off David Miller’s bat (9) was also taken by Dhawan as Hardik Pandya (1-45) reduced South Africa to 48/3. With a mountain to climb, Hendricks was joined in the task by Ferhaan Behardien who smacked 39 off 27 balls. He put on 81 runs for the 4th wicket with Hendricks and brought some measure of stability to the South African innings. Hendricks reached his maiden T20 half-century off 37 balls. South Africa crossed 100 in the 12th over even as the asking rate touched 13 per over. Yuzvendra Chahal (139) took some stick, but finally managed to dismiss Behardien and got the breakthrough India were looking. Heinrich Klaasen (16) threw his bat around as the Proteas crossed 150. But Bhuvneshwar returned to deal them a quick double blow, removing both Klaasen and Hendricks in the space of four balls. Earlier, Dhawan was lucky early in his innings. In the fourth over, the opener had tried to play a flick shot off Junior Dala and the ball grazed his gloves. South Africa made an half-hearted appeal but it was called a wide by the umpire. On a batting beauty at the

Indian women lose 3rd T20I by 5 wickets

India’s middle-order collapsed after a fiery start as South Africa won the third Twenty20 International by five wickets to keep the five-match series alive. Indian women, eyeing their maiden T20I series win in South Africa after winning the first two matches, collapsed to 133 in 17.5 overs after being placed at a solid 93 for two in the 12th over. South Africa’s top-order came out firing and overhauled the target with one over to spare. They lost Lizelle Lee (5) early before skipper Dane van Niekerk (26 off 20) and Sune Luus (41 off 34) steadied the ship. Later, Luus and Mignon du Preez (20) raised a 50-run stand for the third wicket. Brief Scores: India women 133 in 17.5 overs (S Mandhana 37, H Kaur 48, V Krishnamurthy 23; S Ismail 530) lost to SA women 134 for 5 in 19 overs (D van Niekerk 26, S Luus 41, M du Preez 20, C Tryon 34; P Vastrakar 2-21).

Wanderers, Rohit Sharma (21 off 9 balls) and Dhawan got off to a flying start as they put on 23 off only 11 balls. Sharma struck two sixes during his short stay as the ball was flying to all corners of the park. Surprisingly, Suresh Raina (15) came out at no.3 and played a handy little cameo. India had hit 5 sixes before the fifth over was completed. Raina and Dhawan put on 26 runs off 13 balls, with the former smashing two fours and a six. Virat Kohli (26 off 20 balls) too got an early life from Behardien as he grassed a simple catch. The India skipper and Dhawan marched on quickly as India were placed at 78/2 after the powerplays. Dhawan continued smacking the ball and reached his half-century off 27 balls. It was the quickest T20 halfcentury by an Indian batsman against South Africa, going past Rohit’s 32-ball effort at Durban in 2011.

Virat Kohli congratulating Bhuvneshwar Kumar

Brief Scores: India 203/5 in 20 overs

MI to host CSK in IPL 2018 opener Defending champions Mumbai Indians and the returning Chennai Super Kings will kick off the 2018 edition of the Indian Premier League on April 7 in Mumbai at the W a n k h e d e Stadium. The final will be played at the same venue on May 27. The first double header will be held on April 8 with Delhi Daredevils hosting Kings XI Punjab in the first game, followed by a clash between Kolkata Knight Riders and Royal Challengers Bangalore at the Eden Gardens. Rajasthan Royals, also making their return after a two-year suspension, will play their first game against Sunrisers Hyderabad on April 9. The Jaipur-based outfit's first home game, at the Sawai Mansingh

Stadium, will be against Delhi Daredevils on April 11. Except for Kings XI Punjab, the other teams will get to play all seven of their home games at their traditional venues. Kings XI are scheduled to play three of their home games - against Chennai Super Kings, Sunrisers Hyderabad and Delhi Daredevils - in Indore with the other four games in Mohali.

The Wankhede Stadium will also host the first qualifier on May 22 whereas the venues for the eliminator and the second qualifier - on May 23 and 25 respectively - are yet to be announced. There was speculation regarding a change in match timings for the upcoming season, but that has been laid to rest with the usual timings being retained.

(Shikhar Dhawan 72, Manish Pandey 29*; Junior Dala 2-47) beat South Africa 175/9 in 20 overs (Reeza Hendricks 70, Farhaan Behardien 39; Bhuvneshwar Kumar 5-24) by 28 runs India wrap up series 5-1 Virat Kohli has broken the One-Day batting record while breaking South Africa’s confidence like no other batsman in recent history, as the sixmatch series concluded 51 in India's favour. Kohli crossed 9,500 one-day runs in India’s eight wicket-win to become the first batsman to score 500 runs in a bilateral series. In doing so, the India captain raced to another ODI century, his 35th, in a manner that was convincing, threatening, reassuring and soaked in absolute self-belief. To put this series between India and South Africa in a batting perspective, Kohli’s own self-belief is one that the hosts found simply too hot to handle. It wasn’t anymore about who was the bowler they deployed and what was the length they bowled to Kohli. The batsman controlled the innings and the match with an iron grip that South Africa just couldn’t shake off.

Dhoni breaks T20 world record

While the focus was on Shikhar Dhawan and Bhuvneshwar Kumar during the first T20I win, MS Dhoni quietly broke a world record. After he took a catch to dismiss Reeza Hendricks off Bhuvneshwar, Dhoni created a new wicketkeeping record of having taken 134 catches in 275 T20s. The previous record was held by Sri Lanka great Kumar Sangakkara who has 133 catches in 254 T20s. With 77 dismissals in, Dhoni also holds the record for most dismissals in T20Is – 48 catches and 29 stumpings. The 48 catches the 34-year-old has taken in 87 T20Is is also a world record. Overall, Dhoni has 204 dismissals in T20s – the second most in the format behind Pakistan's Kamran Akmal who leads the charts with 203 dismissals.

AV 24th February 2018  

Asian Voice Weekly Newspaper (Issue No.: 41)

AV 24th February 2018  

Asian Voice Weekly Newspaper (Issue No.: 41)