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First & Foremost Asian Weekly in Europe

Vol 46 | Issue 8

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24th June to 30th June 2017

Let noble thoughts come to us from every side

THE LOOMBA FOUNDATION CELEBRATES 20TH ANNIVERSARY 1997-2017 By launching a project to provide skills training to 30,000 impoverished widows 1,000 widows in each of the 30 states in India in partnership with the Rotary India Literacy Mission at a Gala Ball at the Dorchester on International Widows Day, 23rd June, 2017

Training will be provided in Beauty & Wellness, Healthcare & Care giving, Security industry, Telecom, Tourism & Hospitality, Handicraft, Food processing, Textile & apparel, Agriculture and food processing and Automotive industry.

For more information, visit www.theloombafoundation.org or Email Safdar Shah: safdar@theloombafoundation.org

Photo Courtsey: David Crick

London Rathyatra 2017

Devotees dressed up as Radha and Krishna at the Rathyatra in Trafalgar Square, London which was organised on June 18th (Sunday)

Dalit leader Kovind set to be India's next President

Rupanjana Dutta

The Grenfell tower inferno is a national shame for authoritiesthe proof of the vulnerability of lives- especially those of poor people. Most of the people who lived in the Grenfell tower were from the BAME communityquite a few of Muslim faith, but of different origin including Middle East, Africa, Pakistan and Afghanistan. Continued on page 15

Full report on page 26

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Asian Voice | 24th June 2017

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Sir Vince Cable to run for Lib Dem Sir Vince Cable, 74, has confirmed his bid to be the next Liberal Democrat leader, insisting he has the “energy, enthusiasm and experience... there is a big space in British politics which I am determined that we should occupy.” The former Business Secretary said he was the big figure required the party needed to lead through “what will be a period of chronic uncertainty” as the Brexit talks get under way. He has been a senior figure in the party for more than 20 years and won his Twickenham seat back at the election. Other possible candidates include ex-ministers Norman Lamb and Sir Ed Davey. Jo Swinson has ruled herself out, although she

Sir Vince Cable

might contest the position of deputy leader which is being revived following the general election. No date has yet been set by the party for the close of nominations for leader. Sir Vince promised to follow the footsteps of outgoing leader Tim Farron’s legacy of “good policies” to bolster public services. He said “The NHS, especially mental health, and social care

and schools are now under severe financial pressure.” Farron had sparked surprise last week when he announced that he was standing down, arguing it was impossible to be leader and to “live as a committed Christian, to hold faithfully to the Bible's teaching” after members of his party had privately criticised the way he had answered questions on whether being a gay is a sin, and his views on abortion. While Ireland embraces the first gay, immigrant Prime Minister Leo Varadkar, confident that his sexuality will not interfere with his ideologies, it is interesting to see how the issue will be tackled in UK's politics.

Locum pharmacist jailed for fraud Cecil A Soans Niren Patel, a locum pharmacist who provided services at Day Lewis group's Hornchurch pharmacy was jailed for fraud. According to a Met Police report, Niren Patel, 38 of Ilford, Essex, appeared at Snaresbrook Crown Court on Wednesday, 10 May, and pleaded guilty to two counts of fraud by abuse of a position of trust, possession with intent to supply a Class B drug and five counts of possession to supply a Class C drug. He was sentenced on Friday, 16 June to 12 months' imprisonment. Analysis of stock records and drugs purchased by Niren Patel, revealed that he had created fraudulent

Niren Patel

orders for almost £5,000 worth of prescription medicine. He admitted to selling drugs including Genotropin, a growth hormone used by body builders, to a member of the public on the street. Other drugs fraudulently sold by Niren Patel included the Class B drug Dexamfetamine, which is used for weight loss and to

improve academic performance, and Class C drugs such as Xanax, Zolpidem and Diazepam, which are sedatives used as 'downers.' In a statement issued to this publication, Peter Glover, Superintendent Pharmacist, Day Lewis group said, “Regarding the criminal prosecution of Niren Patel, Day Lewis confirms that Mr Patel had never been an employee of Day Lewis, but had provided services as a locum pharmacist at the group's Hornchurch pharmacy. Upon identifying the theft, the incident was immediately reported to the police and the GPhC. Day Lewis colleagues supported the police with their investigation that led to Mr Patel's conviction.”

His Holiness Mahant Swami Maharaj Arrives in the UK

His Holiness Mahant Swami Maharaj arrived at Gibbons Recreation Ground opposite BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir, London shortly before 5.00pm on Thursday 15 June 2017 for a six-day visit to London. He was received with a rapturous reception from devotees who had gathered to welcome him to the UK for the first time since presiding as the guru, after the passing of His Holiness Pramukh Swami Maharaj in August 2016. After greeting everyone with folded hands and a warm smile, His Holiness proceeded to the Mandir. Led by a marching band and children dressed as royal guards, and thousands of devotees flanking the route to the Mandir with waving flags, it was a fitting welcome to the UK. At the Mandir, Mahant

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New High Court hearing on Stateless Children New High Court hearing could mean that thousands of Indians may be eligible to settle in the UK Following an application brought by Gurpal Singh Oppal of Charles Simmons Immigration Solicitors, it was argued that a child born on or after 3 December 2004 to Indian parents, outside India, and has not been registered by the Indian authorities is deemed stateless and entitled to be registered as a British citizen. The application for British Citizenship made on the basis that a child born in the UK to India parents, both of whom had overstayed. It was argued that a child who had not been registered with the overseas Indian authorities as an Indian was deemed stateless and therefore was entitled to

become a British Citizen. In allowing the appeal, it was said that a person is stateless if she has no nationality. The ability to acquire a nationality is irrelevant for these purposes. The difficulty faced

was obtaining ‘confirmation from the Indian authorities that the birth has not been registered in accordance with Indian law and that she is not a national of India’. Although there are a number of places in the United Kingdom where registration takes place, there appears to be no central register of who is a citizen of India. Although the Home Office still has the option of appealing the decision, this potentially opens the doors to thousands of Indian families to apply for settlement in the UK, who otherwise would have waited for an alternative period of 7 years or more with their children.

On Friday 16th June and Saturday 17th June 2017 the largest outdoor yoga festival in Manchester took place. Bolton Hindu Forum in partnership with a number of other groups supported the Holistic Manchester Yoga Festival. Two days of exercise, music, health, workshops, talks, and ofcourse yoga took place. Gurus, practitioners, musicians, and many guests came from all over the world. Bolton Hindu Forum

were very proud to take our young volunteers to this event and give them the experience of running such a large event with an international events management company.

Over 500 people attended over the two days, and the success will surely mean that this becomes an annual event in the Greater Manchester calendar.

Gurpal Singh Oppal

Holistic Manchester Yoga Festival event

Man jailed for raping girl A man has been jailed for raping a girl in Harrow. Brijeshkumar Barot, 37, from Harrow was found guilty at Southwark Crown Court on 17 May of the rape and sexual assault of a child under the age of 13. He was jailed for 15 years at the same court on Wednesday, 14 June. The victim - who was 12 at the time of the offences - was raped and sexually assaulted by Barot at his address in Harrow between December 2014 and February 2015. As part of the investi-

gation, Barot's phone was seized and on examination extreme pornographic material was discovered. He was subsequently charged with these offences, along with the rape and sexual assault of the girl. Barot is from Kalol in Gandhinagar, Gujarat and came to the UK four years ago on a visitors visa before bringing his wife and son over. His father was a shopkeeper at Station Road, Kalol before his retirement. He came to UK four

year back on Visitor Visa before bringing his wife and 4 year old son. His family are now in Kalol but Barot is an overstayer. Sources close to Barot told Asian Voice that they could not believe he had done these act as he is not that kind of person as well as religious.

Charity sponsors a child's dreams

Param Pujya Mahant Swami Maharaj

Swami Maharaj performed abhishek of Shri Nilkanth Varni and continued for darshan of the murtis. A short assembly was held in the main prayer hall during which Atmaswarup Swami shared details of His Holiness’s journey from Sarangpur to London. Mahant Swami Maharaj was then honoured with various flower garlands by children, youths, elders and sadhus, before he briefly addressed the assembly.

A special welcome assembly for Mahant Swami Maharaj was held at the Mandir on Saturday 17 June 2017. Youths performed a vibrant dance as part of the festivities, and sadhus spoke of Mahant Swami’s universal compassion and selfless love. Addressing the gathering, Mahant Swami Maharaj encouraged everyone to foster the values of respect and compassion amongst one another.

Nine-year-old Govind Nambiar from Crayford hopes to fulfil his dream of cycling at the Paralympics after a charity gave him a bespoke cycle with which he could cycle despite being born with diplegic cerebral palsy – a condition where the lower limbs cannot be used. He had a surgery at the age of five, which allowed him to walk, first with a frame and fell in love with cycling and horse riding, while watching the Paralympics in Rio last summer.

Govind Nambiar on his trike

Govind said, “ it is brilliant. Its just like riding a real bike. Of course I'd like to get to the Paralympics, either cycling or horse riding, I don't mind which.” He has been riding

with the Arrow riding centre for the disabled in Dartford. His mother Kavitha Nambiar, said “to be cycling is really his dream come true. He has always wanted to do sports like other children, he has never let his condition get in the way. “He wants to be a doctor, but since Rio he has talked about competing in the Paralympics. Getting the bike has helped him take a step closer to that dream. We are so grateful.”


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COMMENTS

Challenges for Indian diplomacy Prime Minister Narendra Modi attended the BRICS Summit of Brazil. Russia India, China and South Africa in Astana, Kazakhstan, followed by a meeting of the Shanghai Cooperation Council whose founders are China and Russia. Between the two lie a stretch of Central Asian states. The Shanghai Cooperation Council admitted to full membership Iran, Afghanistan, India and Pakistan, best described as constituting Asia’s Rimland. Apart from these groupings, there is also a sub-group attached to BRICS consisting Russia, China and India. They form across continents an imposing architecture of security and cooperation, despite some loss of shine in the economic and political woes of Brazil and South Africa. Hopefully, these will pass in due course. The emergence and consolidation of these groupings reflect the turbulence in global order, the quickening erosion of the unilateral international system that has long revolved round the pre-eminent economic and military power of the United States of America. Having squandered its wealth on foreign wars, the world’s once foremost creditor is now its largest debtor and rising. So when Mr Modi arrives in Washington for talks with President Trump they are likely to concentrate on trade and investment issues and eschew the high octane rhetoric that was the hallmark of President Obama. Mr Modi is canny enough to recognize the mood swings of the Trump Administration. The President was critical of Qatar for its funding of jihadi terror, yet has now signed an arms deal worth $12 billion with its ruler. He has put the US back on a confrontationist track with Cuba and Iran and has had a serious spat with Germany and Austria. US ties with Russia, meanwhile, are descending into the abyss. Bombing weak countries passes for policy. Bombing stronger ones, even tiny North Korea, is high risk, hence best avoided. Truth is that the ills that affect the US are deeper than

many of the English-language Indian newspapers care to understand. Dependent on the crutches of syndicated columns from the New York Times and the London Times this is scarcely surprising. Wiser mainstream Americans, however, have no such myopia to contend with, hence are brutally frank. Leslie Gelb, president emeritus of the Council for Foreign Relations warned of the disappearance of heavy industry from his country for more comfortable havens abroad; he was scathing of the quality of state schooling, where ‘students trail their peers in other industrialized countries in math and science…Generations of Americans , shockingly, read at a grade school level and know almost no history, not to mention geography.’ Robert Pape, political science professor at the University of Chicago, writes; ‘The self-inflicted wounds of the Iraq war, growing government debt…have cost the United States real power in today’s world of rapidly spreading knowledge and technology. If present trends continue, we will look back at the Bush administration as the death knell of American hegemony.’ He continues: America’s relative decline since 2000 of some 30 per cent represents a far greater loss of relative power in a shorter time than any power shift among European great powers from roughly the end of the Napoleonic Wars to World War II.’ Such truths have to be factored into Indian foreign policy, which is never a zero sum game. Amiable twittering on shared democratic values and much else in similar vein have never meant much on the ground. The Nixon-Kissinger were active in support of the Pakistan military dictator Yahya Khan in his war with India in December 1971. The duo teamed up with Maoist China to contain India. They were ardent allies of Saudi Arabia and the Suharto dictatorship in Indonesia. President Trump is cut from the same cloth. Of this, there should be no illusions.

The new Chairman of the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG), Switzerland, has made it known that it supports India’s NSG membership, but has also left the door open for Pakistan to join as well. ‘We are of the view that it would contribute to strengthening global nonproliferation efforts if all countries having relevant nuclear technology and being suppliers of that technology were to become NSG members,’ said Swiss Foreign Ministry spokesman Pierre-Alain Eltschinger. He said Switzerland would take up the issue as Chairman. The former NSG Chairman Rafael Grossi had mandated a consensus among all 48 members of the NSG, many of which resisted India’s membership bid at the Seoul plenary session in 2016, unless India signs the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treatry.’ Which India refuses to do on the ground that it is discriminatory. ‘We support India’s application for participation in the NSG and acknowledge India’s support to global nonproliferation efforts. Switzerland would take the views of all NSG memers on how best to integrate non-NPT

states. Switzerland would handle the issue in a ‘neutral, transparent and inclusive manner.’ Another senior diplomat said: ‘India has yet to contact us with its plans ahead of the session, so we don’t know what New Delhi wants at present. Referring to the strained Sino-Indian relationship over Beijing’s One Belt, One Road project the official said China’s refusal to endorse the UN Security Council resolution classifying the Pakistani jihadi and mastermind of the terrorist attack on Mumbai in November 2008 meant that Beijing would block India’s NSG membership. ‘There is a rigidity in China’s posture, and it isn’t helped by the fact that instead of improving, India-China ties seem to have gone in the opposite direction.’ So they have. China is playing a long game. India understands that. What China has yet to appreciate fully is India’s unwillingness to kowtow to Chinese diktat. This is, after all, the 21st century and not the 18th. Besides India was never a Chinese tributary and is unlikely to become one in the near or distant future.

Swiss support India’s NSG membership

Generating wealth: India’s new entrepreneurs Creating a modern economy is work in progress; it has been since 1991 when the licence and permit raj crumbled under external pressures; and it will take a good while longer for transformation to run its course. But change moves on regardless. India is in the midst of an unprecedented zone of wealth creation, propelled by equity dilutions, stake sales and real estate activity, all this driven by private equity. These, according to Credit Suisse, have enabled India’s wealth to rise by Rs 147.15 trillion from 2000-2015. The dynamics of family businesses, plus the importance of internet economy are churning the waters. As family businesses grow from generation to generation, it is essential that due importance is given to setting up family charters and councils to reduce and resolve conflicts around succession planning, professionalizing management and diversifying the sources of wealth. A recent conference in New Delhi of such entrepreneurs discussed these issues and suggested solutions. ‘The family Council is coming into India. I know of the large families who have already put a charter in place and and on western lines and I think it is important to have a constitution,’ explained Amit Patni, Founder RAAY Global and Chairman Nirvana Ventures Advisors. ‘As families are growing bigger, they are separating ownership and management and creating family offices. So this is one of the key things which Indian families

should adopt, because it will help them in succession planning and avoid conflicts as the businesses grow bigger.’ In building a council or drafting a family charter, families should ensure that there is a shared vision and everyone is aligned to that vision. This can ease succession issues in a family, said experts of the subject. ‘There has to be an alignment of the family towards a vision with guiding principles, values and clarity of roles. And responsibilities, which are broadly what the family council or charter comprises of; then we will from one generation to the next,’ said Murtaza Khoraiwala, Managing Director, Wockhardt Ltd. ‘If you understand the relationships, understand the family values, spending time with your family and wanting a close family is more important and you prioritize that., and you have a strong vision and values, then the business does really well,’ said Aditya Birla Founder,Swatantra Microfinance. ‘What we’ve noticed in our realignment, the four families are now individually bigger than one family at the time. Our family charter is what actually led to an amicable realignment of the family,’ said Abhimanyu Munjal, Joint Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, Hero Finance Corp.’ As the family cedes space to professionals in running the business, it is important to hire the right executives who promote the spirit of the family charter and its vision.

Asian Voice | 24th June 2017

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Success is no accident. It is hard work, perseverance, learning, studying, sacrifice and most of all, love of what you are doing or learning to do. - Pele

CIIr Ketan Sheth

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

Safeguarding Our Children “The single most important factor in minimizing errors is to admit you may be wrong” – it is not an easy maxim for anybody to follow, especially members of a scrutiny committee. It is actually by Professor Eileen Munro of London School of Economics, who was writing about the complexities and challenges of child protection and social work. In November 2015, Ofsted published a report after inspecting aspects of Brent’s children’s services. In the report, Ofsted made some recommendations for scrutiny as well as the department. Ofsted’s view was that scrutiny should focus more on children’s social care and be more challenging. In the past, scrutiny’s work programme had focused much more on education and early years than children’s welfare and safeguarding. It was not possible to see what impact scrutiny had made on those areas, warned Ofsted. To go back to Professor Munro’s maxim, it seemed to me that we had to acknowledge that we hadn’t got it right in this area and needed to pay more attention to children’s social care. Scrutiny taking a closer look at a new framework for social workers called Signs of Safety was a good place to start. In October 2014, Brent was one of ten local authorities awarded funding from the England Innovations Programme, which is supported by the Department for Education, to introduce Signs of Safety as its practice framework for working with children and families. Children’s social care can be a fraught area and we are all aware of high-profile cases where scrutiny of children’s services and safeguarding has been too weak. Yet, Brent’s implementation of Signs of Safety, which the department started in early 2015, was certainly worth scrutiny’s attention. It is recognised around the world as one of the leading frameworks for social work, which should improve the safety of the borough’s children who are most at risk of harm. My committee reviewed the implementation of Signs of Safety in Brent recently and spoke to front-line social workers to understand how the Signs of Safety model works in practice and the challenges they face. One of the principles of Signs of Safety is for practitioners to think critically, or in other words, to reflect on what has worked or not worked, being balanced about strengths and risks to avoid an overly negative or positive view, and remaining open-minded, all of which can be encapsulated in Professor Munro’s maxim. One of the recommendations of my committee’s report involves scrutiny to review how the implementation of Signs of Safety is progressing in a year. I think critical thinking is a principle that scrutiny should not just be remembering in a year. It seems to me that it offers an important insight, which scrutiny should bear in mind all of the time and is something that could help to improve our practice for the better outcomes of all our most vulnerable children. Editor: CB Patel

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Community leaders condemn disorder in Leicester following cricket final

Pakistan cricket fans in Belgrave Road on Sunday

Community leaders have condemned the disorder in Leicester following the India versus Pakistan ICC Champions Trophy cricket match on Sunday. Six police officers were injured and two people arrested as celebrations following Pakistan's cricket victory over India turned ugly. An investigation has been launched to find those responsible for what the Leicestershire force describe as a "protracted period of public disorder" in the city on Sunday night. Belgrave Road was temporarily blocked as Indian supporters spilled out of pubs, bars and restaurants following their team's unexpected defeat to their fierce rivals, who were the firm underdogs.

Video footage shows rival groups of fans on either side of the road goading one another and throwing missiles, including bottles and eggs, at each other as police stood in between. A police spokeswoman said: "The celebrations, which had begun in good humour, sadly turned ugly as a some rival fans became involved in hostile behaviour towards one another. "Police officers were immediately deployed to the scene in order to keep various groups apart and to quell the disorder." City councillor Mustafa Malik, ward member for Spinney Hills and chief executive of the Pakistan Youth and Community Association, in Highfields, said: "This was just a crick-

India cricket fans in Belgrave Road on Sunday

et match, and what should have been a happy occasion – for Pakistan fans in Leicester to celebrate a fantastic sporting achievement – was spoiled by a minority of people. The disorder, on the part of all those involved, is simply unacceptable." He added: "This should not have happened. There was no need for the Pakistan supporters to go to Belgrave Road. They should not have antagonised the India fans, but it was also wrong for a minority of India fans to react as they did. It's just a game." He aslo praised police for the way they dealt with the trouble. "I'd like to say very well done to Leicestershire Police for the way they brought the situation under control."

Belgrave councillor and assistant city mayor for communities, Manjula Sood said: "After such a good game, it is dreadful that some people resorted to this kind of behaviour. The disorder spoilt it for everyone." She added: "In Leicester we celebrate our diversity and our sporting achievements together. I know the people involved in the disorder do not represent their communities and hope this never happens again."

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Police launch new strategy to combat hate crime and Islamophobia in Midlands Police in the Midlands have launched a new strategy to support victims of hate crime around the region. Warwickshire and West Mercia Police have introduced the strategy in a bid to support victims and help improve the reporting of hate crime. The strategy includes the setting up of a dedicated hate crime section on the forces' websites with details of how to report crimes and support groups. It also makes specific mention of Islamophobic hate crime for the first time, with a direct reference to the Tell MAMA campaign monitoring offences against Muslims. Last week a former Metropolitan Police commander had warned of a backlash against Muslims following recent terrorist atrocities following recent terror attacks in London. Incidents of hate crime

are underreported locally and nationally, with an estimated half of all offences not reported to police. Speaking about the new strategy in the Warwickshire and West Mercia Police regions, Chief Superintendent Charles Hill said: "Despite a steady increase in the reporting of hate crimes in recent years we know that they are still underreported and this is why we felt it was important to set out exactly what victims can expect when they contact the police. "From the moment a victim of hate crime contacts the police they should have the confidence that they will receive the highest levels of service. "This new policy clearly identifies the roles that officers and staff have to play at each stage of a hate crime investigation.”

Boxer Aamir Khan chased through the streets British boxing champion Aamir Khan was reportedly attacked by a group of men in his hometown of Bolton, Greater Manchester, after a car rammed into his £100,000 Range Rover. It is reported that both the parties confronted each other over the collision which is believed to have been caused when the 30 year old took a wrong turn. A Greater Manchester Police spokeswoman said, “We were called to reports of road rage incident/assault. It appears the person driving has made a wrong turn and this has angered the person behind him and there's been an altercation. The

driver of the first car was punched. There were no arrests. Anyone with information should contact us.” She added that items had been thrown during the clash, however, could not confirm what they were. This isn't the first time Khan broke the speed limit. The boxer admitted breaking a speed limit by 26 mph last year, but avoided a road ban after claiming he was trying to shake off a crazed fan tailgating his personalised Land Rover. He was convicted of careless driving and given a six-month driving ban and fined £1000, in 2007, after accidentally mowing down and injuring a

Aamir Khan

pedestrian using a pelican crossing.

Sikh volunteers flee for life following abuse from far-right protesters Members of the Sikh Sewa Organisation allegedly had to flee from Piccadilly Gardens for “their own safety” after a group of far-right protesters became increasingly “abusive” towards them. In a statement posted on their Facebook page, the SSO wrote, “Today after a long time I have got angry and am disgusted by human behaviour. As per every Sunday our team went to feed the homeless in Manchester. “Sadly our usual spot in Piccadilly Gardens was over run by the EDL mindless thugs and we had to scarper for our own safety, as they were becoming

abusive to the volunteers. It became really scary for us.” The Sikh group provides meals for the homeless in the very same spot, every Sunday, but were forced to move on to Stevenson Square after thousands poured in to protest Sharia law. “Our usual homeless crowd came to us saying they were starving so the volunteers decided to move to Stevenson Square. They continued these tirelessly serving food despite their own safety.” Eight people have been reported arrested after demonstrators with the UK Against Hate, headed

by former EDL leader Tommy Robinson clashed with counter-protesters. One man even brandished a pig's head to taunt Muslims, turning the whole scene unnecessarily nasty. Robinson however, rubbished all claims of EDL's involvement, calling it all “lies”. He wrote on Facebook, “Looks like the police have joined the newspapers in their #fakenews propaganda. This was not an EDL demo it was UK Against Hate demonstration against terrorism and hate being inflicted on our communities!”


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Muslim worshippers struck by hate-fuelled assailant

Terror attack at Finsbury Park Mosque prompts increased police involution, Imam hailed for protecting the accused resources the A man has died and nine Metropolitan Police have.” people hospitalised after The incident is being an assailant drove a van treated as an act of terrorinto Muslim worshippers ism by law enforcement near Finsbury Park officers. Met Police Mosque in North London, Commissioner Cressida on midnight of Sunday. Dick said the incident in The suspect, Darren North London was "quite Osborne who is 47 and clearly an attack on from Cardiff, was seized at Muslims" and the commuthe scene by pedestrians nity would now see more but spared the wrath of the police, including armed crowd by the Imam Darren Osborne officers, in the area, "parMohammed Mahmoud prayers go out to the who protected man who was killed Osborne before handand to his family and ing him over to the friends, and also to police. those who were injured Police said all the and for the police and victims of the attack, emergency services which happened who serve the whole shortly after midcommunity and prenight, were Muslims serve our values.” and many were The Hindu Council believed to have just expressed concerns left evening prayers over the hatred that after breaking their Ramadan fast. A van believed to be involved in an was demonstrated by Witnesses heard a van incident near Finsbury Park Mosque in this act, especially after which the van ploughed into pedestrians a weekend of large gathdriver shouting "I'm erings of people from all going to kill Muslims" and ticularly around religious religions, faith, and ethsaw the van striking establishments". nicity in support of solipedestrians who were Osborne was initially darity, peace, community arrested on suspicion of tending to an elderly man cohesion, and the healing attempted murder but who had collapsed. He of community tensions later died, but it is not Scotland Yard said he was through uniting people of clear whether this was a later arrested for the comdifferent backgrounds on result of the attack. Nine mission, preparation or

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other people were taken to hospital. The Prime Minister Theresa May promptly chaired a Cobra meeting of the government's emergency committees and denounced the attack as being "every bit as sickening" as other recent attacks to hit the UK and “an evil born out of hatred.” Speaking to Imam Mahmoud she said, “this was an attack on Muslims near their place of worship, and like all terrorism in whatever form, it shares the same fundamental goal to drive us apart; and break the precious bonds of solidarity and citizenship that we share in this country.” The London Mayor Sadiq Khan said that the police were already “working their socks off... I'm concerned about the

instigation of terrorism, including murder and attempted murder. Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, local MP who appeared close to tears as he visited the scene, said “the only way to deal with this kind of issue is communities coming together. An attack on a mosque, an attack on a synagogue, an attack on a church is actually an attack on all of us.” As a demonstration of solidarity, faith leaders came together and hundreds took part in a vigil near Finsbury Park Mosque on Monday night. People held flowers at the vigil, where local faith leaders spoke to the crowd. The Hindu Council UK was prompt in issuing a statement condemning the Finsbury Park terrorist attack: “Our thoughts and

the basis of our common humanity in the aftermath of the Grenfell inferno. The Council's statement condemned the act in no uncertain terms, saying “while this vile attack was targeted at innocent Muslims leaving prayers during the holy month of Ramadan, it is also an assault on all our shared values of tolerance, freedom, and respect. Any attack on a particular faith or a place of worship - is an attack on all of us. We have to protect each other’s faith. Terrorists irrespective of colour want to divide us, and we simply can not let them win.” Following the incident, the Muslim community has shown strength and unity to gather at the site of the attack and silently pray during the last few days of Ramadan.

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Academics, Entrepreneurs, Community leaders a Rupanjana Dutta

A leading gastroenterologist, academics and several professionals across various fields are among the Asian-origin achievers in the UK, named in the Queens annual Birthday Honours list released on the weekend. The honours system recognises people who have made achievements in public life or committed themselves to serving and helping Britain. The Queen’s Birthday Honours are a way of acknowledging someone's achievements and rewarding people who have made a real difference to society. The UK's Honours and Appointments Secretariat receive around 10,000 enquiries from members of the public each year, resulting in around 3,000 nominations for the honours every year. In addition to nominations from the public, government departments ask schools, hospitals, local authorities and similar organisations for suggestions of potential candidates. Here is the list of Asian recipients.

Dames Commander of the Order of the British Empire (DBE) Parveen June Kumar has been honoured with the prestigious Dames Commander of the Order of the British Empire (DBE) for services to medicine and medical education. The 74-year-old Professor of Medicine and Education, Barts and the London School of Medicine, Queen Mary, University of London, is the co-editor and author of a revolutionary 1989 textbook, Kumar and Clarks Clinical Medicine, which is credited with improvements in the education of medical students, doctors and nurses in training both at home and abroad.

Order of the Companions of Honour Members of the Order of the Companions of Honour

l Professor Mir Saeed Zahedi, OBE FREng Technical Director, Chas A Blatchford & Sons. For Services to Engineering and Innovation l Professor Alimuddin ZUMLA Professor of infectious diseases and international health, University College London. For services to Public Health and Protection from Infectious disease.

Order of the British Empire Commanders of the Order of the British Empire

l Professor Ruth Annad Lord Chancellor's Appointed Person. For services to Intellectual Property. l Professor Aisha Kulwant Gill Professor of Criminology, University of Roehampton. For services to tackling Forced marriage, honour crimes and violence against women. l Shamit Saggar Associate Pro-Vice Chancellor, Professor of Political Science and Public Policy, University of Essex. For Services to social science and public policy.

Order of the British Empire Officers of the Order of the British Empire

l Sultan Ahmed Choudhury CEO, Al Rayan Bank. For services to the UK Market for Islamic Finance l Professor Belinda Jane Dewar Professor of Practice Improvement, University of West of Scotland. For ser-

vices to Nursing. l Sital Singh Dhillon Head of Law and Ciminology, Sheffield Hallam University. For services to higher education. l Asif Abdul Haseeb

OBE for Dr Nik Kotecha Morningside Pharmaceuticals Ltd. CEO, Dr Nik Kotecha has been awarded an OBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours list this weekend. The OBE is for Dr Kotecha services to entrepreneurship, innovation in pharmaceutical services and philanthropy. Based in Loughborough, Leicestershire, Morningside Pharmaceuticals supplies an extensive range of MHRA licensed generic medicines into NHS Trusts, wholesalers and pharmacies. They have successfully worked in over 80 countries delivering pharmaceuticals, medical devices, hospital consumables and diagnostic tests. Dr. Nik Kotecha was voted business person of the year in last year's Asian Achievers Awards. In a statement issued to Asian Voice, Dr Kotecha said, “I am truly humbled and honoured to be awarded an OBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours. I would like to take this opportunity to thank my parents, who made so many sacrifices to ensure that their children received a good education. My wife and children who have helped me to achieve this Honour and many other accomplishments. The credit for the success that Morningside Pharmaceuticals Ltd enjoys today goes to every single member of the Morningside Team.” For services to racial equality, health and education in Scotland and Pakistan. l Dr Kamaljit Kaur Hothi Head of Colleague Volunteering and Group Fundraising, Lloydsd Banking Group. For services to diversity to the banking sector. l Chandrakant Kataria Group Chief Executive, East Midlands Housing Group. For Services to Housing in

OBE for Dr Kamel Hothi Dr Kamel Hothi, Head of Responsible Business Special Projects, Lloyds Banking Group has been recognised by the Queen in this year’s Birthday Honours list with an OBE for her service to Diversity in Banking. Kamel migrated to Slough at the age of 6 from India with her family. Upon leaving school she found a job as a cashier at TSB (prior to the merger with Lloyds Bank) in Slough High St. She progressed up the career ladder becoming an assistant manager at Maidenhead and then went on to be their first Asian Bank Manager at Walton on Thames. After managing several other branches, she became the Area Manager for Thames Valley covering 160 branches until the merger of TSB and Lloyds Bank when she was asked to support the merger and transferred to their head office in London. It was following the lack of diversity she witnessed in the City that influenced Kamel to speak up and take action. She was soon challenging views resulting in being invited to chair several committees and mentor individuals. Kamel continued to work hard and break glass ceilings and now with 38 years’ banking experience she is recognised for being the architect behind the Asian Strategy across Lloyds Banking Group. On the social agenda, post the riots, Kamel helped set up the Business Connector Programme with HRH Prince Charles’s charity as well as the School for Social Entrepreneurs programme to name a few. More recently she was asked to lead some amazing projects including the Lloyds Bank’s 250th anniversary campaign, Heading the Banks charities; 2013-14 Alzheimer Society, 2015-2016 BBC Children in Need and this year she helped on board Mental Health UK. Alongside this she has developed the skills volunteering strategy for 80,000 colleagues which is attracting the attention of the other corporates and the Cabinet office on the impact this is having on social agenda. Finally, Kamel’s other passions is developing a level playing field and is a regular key note speaker on the subject. She helped found the bank’s Ethnic Minority Network and the mentoring programme which has been going strong for several years to help the Group understand the benefits of diversity in the workplace and with its customers from the top of the organisation down to front-line colleagues. Kamel designed and delivered her own cultural training courses to over 500 senior colleagues so to help them understand the Asian community and how they like doing business. Her drive and enthusiasm to improve cultural understanding has resulted in Kamel supporting the Foreign and Commonwealth Office Report on Community Cohesion as well as chairing initiatives such as the Government’s Procurement Task Force, producing a report advising agencies on how they can use procurement to leverage race equality and help Small Minority Ethnic businesses grow. In speaking about the recognition, Kamel Hothi says, “I am truly humbled to be honoured in such a profound way but feel this recognition is for my parents who survived the partition of India and Pakistan – the biggest migration of refugees and brought us here to the UK to build a better life. My father was a civil engineer in India but unfortunately in the 60’s his skills were not acknowledged. He did struggle with this biasness and refused for me to go onto further education believing there was no point and arranged my marriage at 19. It was these experiences that have driven me to improve and create a level playing field for all concerned.  I just wished my parents were alive today to witness me receiving my OBE from the Queen so to prove that hard work is recognised regardless of your background.”

the East Midlands. l Idris Khan For services to art l Dr Nikesh Kotecha Chief Executive Officer, Morningside Pharmaceuticals. For services to entrepreneurship, innovation in pharmaceutical services. l Dr Ramesh Dulichandbhai Mehta President, British Association of Physicians of Indian origin. For services to NHS. l Harinder Singh Pattar Headteacher, the Heathland School, London. For services to education. l Mohammad Shaheed Quraishi Consultant Ear, Nose and Throat surgeon and director, ENT Masterclass, Doncaster and Bassetlaw hospitals. For services to the NHS and medical education. l Nardeep Sharma CEO, The Thrive Partnership Academy Trust, Executive Principal, Colne Community College and Philip Morant School and College, Essex. For services to education. l Rakesh Sharma Chief Executive, Ultra Electronics. For services to Defence Capability. l Sandeep Singh Virdee Founder and Director, Darbar Arts Culture and Heritage Trust. For services to the promotion of Indian musical heritage in the UK. l Arvind Michael Kapur Chairman, National Space Centre and Founder-Director, Signum Corporate Communications Ltd. For services to science, technology, business and enterprise.

Order of the British Empire Members of the Order of The British Empire

l Saeeda Ali Higher Executive officer, Ministry of Defence. For services to defence. l Mohammad Ashfaq Founder and Managing Director, Kikit Pathways to recovery Birmingham. For services to vulnerable people. l Samera Jabeen Ashraf For services to sport and diversity. l Shazia Azhar Member, Diverse Leaders Network. For services to education. l Aqila Choudhry For public and political services l Pushpinder Chowdhry For services to the Asian community in the UK l Vilasgauri Ratilal Dhanani For voluntary and charitable purposes l Sahana Gero For services to Music and the community in South London. l Capt (Retd) Gaubahadur Gurung


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Asian Voice | 8th April 2017

and Professionals honoured on Queen's Birthday MBE for Nitin Palan

MBE for Vilas Dhanani

Chairman of Golden Tours Foundation, Nitin Palan was awarded with an MBE for his work on inter faith relations. Mr Palan is perhaps most well-known for being the cofounder of Diwali in London. The event which is a showpiece of religious festival is an annual diary event in the heart of London at Trafalgar Square. It not only attracts thousands of Hindus who celebrate Diwali, but attracts people from all nationalities who enjoy experiencing a faith festival with cultural openness. “It is an incredible privilege for me to have been recognised for this honour,” stated Mr Palan who was delighted with the MBE and saw it as a symbol of hope for bringing about community relations. “The work in interfaith relations is essential in the current times in order to progress the path to good community relations, peace and harmony,” he added. Mr Palan is a dedicated follower of BAPS Swaminarayan and works tireless for its inter faith and social action area where thousands of BAPS volunteers worldwide work on a diverse range of project to aid local communities. He said: “It is also a special honour to serve all the communities with many selfless volunteers of BAPS Swaminarayan Mandir as well as the Diwali in London Committee work tirelessly with love and passion.” “I hope and pray that the message of my Guru HH Pramukh Swami of ‘In the joy of others lies our own’ will continue to inspire me and my colleagues to help continue to serve the communities with more vigour and help view bring communities together. Above all I hope that it helps in making our Hindu faith and tradition relevant in today's world”. The MBE is a wonderful accolade for Nitin, as he sees it as a further catalyst to continue the important work needed to be done to continue to bring about positive community relations in what is a critical time with so much turmoil going on in the world. Nitin Palan MBE still has a lot of work to do and he has no desire to stop – life goes on.

The family of Stanmore resident Vilas Dhanani is delighted that Vilas has been nominated as a Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) in the Queen’s Birthday 2017 Honours List for her incredible services to elderly immigrant women in the UK and women and children particularly in need in India. Vilas, who is 80 years old, has provided 40 years of inspirational leadership to thousands of elderly immigrant women in Northwest London and in India. When she emigrated to the UK from Kenya in 1972, Vilas became aware of the problems faced by elderly Asian women immigrants. Many of these women did not speak English, were lonely and struggling to integrate. She decided to help, and set up informal groups for these women, explaining the transport system and how local councils work, and encouraging them to learn English. The group then formally became known as the Shravika Satsang Mandal organisation in 1974. As the organisation grew to serve more than 100 women in the North London area, Vilas trained in yoga and reflexology so that she could do more to help women’s health. Once qualified, she set up training sessions and eventually trained more than 500 women as therapists themselves. Vilas has raised more than £400,000 for charities over 40 years. Speaking about the honour Vilas said: “I am extremely honoured and excited to have been put forward as a MBE. I never imagined that the work I’ve done could come to this. I have always wanted to help women and children, particularly those in the most in need and in helpless situations. Happiness comes from being able to do something worthwhile.”

Executive officer, Ministry of defence. For services in support of Service Personnel. l Asif Hamid Chief Executive Officer, The Contact Company and Chair, Wirral Chamber of Commerce. For services to Small and Medium Size Businesses. l Imam Monawar Hussain Tutor and Imam. For services to Interfaith Relations and community in Oxfordshire. l Razia Ismail Chair and founder, Aaghee. For services to Women in the Asian community in Birmingham. l Mohamed Amin Issa Senior lecturer, Ministry of Defence. For services to the Defence Centre for Languages and Culture. l Abdul Jabbar For political and public services. l Surinder Singh Jandu For services to community cohesion. l Dr Nikita Kananai (Mrs Ferdinand) General practioner and chief clinical officer, NHS Bexley Clinical Commissioning Group. For services to Primary Care. l Dr Serbjit Kaur Dentist, Leicestershire. For services to

dentistry. Asif Amir Khan For services to architecture. l Dr Shah Noor Khan For services to Muslim community and community cohesion. l Vikas Kumar For services to art and culture. l Mohammed Ajman (Tommy) Miah Chef and restauranteur. For services to the hospitality industry and charity. l Majid Mukadam Transplant surgeon, Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Birmingham. For services to transplantation patients. l Pritpal Singh Nagi, DL For services to business and charity in Staffordshire. l Nitin Palan For services to interfaith relations l Anjna Morarji Patel Principal Officer, Road safety and parking, Sandwell Council. For services to the Parking profession. l Bharti Rajput Director, Sole Body Soul. For services to podiatry and economy in Dundee. l Dr Khalid Rashed l

Consultant in Stroke Services, Yeovil Hospital. For services to Stroke Care in Somerset. l Asif Sadiq For services to policing and community in London. l Tejinder Kumar Sharma For services to Hindi literature and to community cohesion in London. l Dr Shobha Srivastava For voluntary service to community cohesion in North East England. l Tariq Zamir Usmani Founding chair, Better Community Business Network. For services to community cohesion. l Deepak Verma For services to the Arts

Order of the British Empire Medallist of the Order of the British Empire

l Ajaz Ahmed Mentor, Mosaic Network and Council member/advisory board member, Huddersfield University. For services to young people. l Noor Jahan Ali Senior Buying Manager- World Foods, WM Morrison Supermarkets Plc. For services to diversity in the retail industry. l Bula Chakravarty-AGBO

For services to the Arts within the community in South London. l Uma Nalayini Fernandes For voluntary service to community healthcare in Middlesex l Suraj Khan Khandelwal Chairman and Managing Director, S&A Drapers Ltd and SDL Secure Deposit Ltd. For services to Business and community in Leicester. l Vinod Mathurdas Kotecha For services to the Asian community in North London. l Mohammed Tauqeer Malik Councillor, Aberdeen City Council. For services to the community in Aberdeen. l Iffet Anwar Mian Founding member, All Pakistan Women's Association Birmingham Branch. For services to the community. l Dr Sohail Munshi General Practioner, Five Oaks Family Practice, North Manchester. For services to primary care. l Mohinder Singh Sangha Member. Board of Jathadars, Sikh Council, For services to the community in Leicester. l Kandiah Sivayogaiswaran For services to the Midlands Tamil Cultural Associaton and to young people in Birmingham.

Cllr Hitesh Tailor thanks his supporters in Ealing Cllr Hitesh Tailor, Labour from Ealing Borough has thanked the electors who had voted for him at @UKLabour. The Total votes were up by 72%, and vote share was up by 7.4% Cllr Tailor said: "There is no doubt that Labour’s national message of hope and campaigning by Jeremy Corbyn did resonate, and young people particularly appear to have turned out in larger numbers than in the previous elections. "The result also reflects the support and work of local activists in the East Surrey Labour Party who gave their time whilst campaigning in the recent county elections, and supporting nearby target seats in Crawley and Croydon for the General Election. He also extended his congrat-

Cllr Hitesh Tailor

ulations to Theresa May’s local candidate, Sam Gyimah, on his reelection in a seat which the Tories were expected to win. The Labour’s increased support ensured that the Lib Dems were beaten, despite the advice of tactical voting websites. The election has produced a hung parliament, and clearly not what the Tories in East Surrey were expecting. The campaign mandate was on delivering a strong and stable government, but after seven years, nothing from the mandate has been followed. "As Theresa May

Sam Gyimah, MP Conservative

forms her coalition of chaos with the DUP, we have no idea which of their manifesto promises will be put forward. The fact remains,

the problems facing the country still continue – the cuts to school funding, the threats to NHS services, the social care crisis, the lack of affordable housing; the reduction in policing and security, and the ongoing problems with Southern Rail which are affecting thousands of commuters and passengers in East Surrey and beyond," said Cllr Tailor Cllr said that the East Surrey Labour Party will continue to campaign on these issues as residents should be represented and not ignored by the Tories at local or national level. "We have an opportunity to build on this vote, and activists will be out in the following weeks and months, and challenging the Tories to fix the problems they have created," he confirmed.


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May gains support from Johnson and Gove ahead of Brexit negotiations n

New poll reveals May remains the most trusted leader to secure best Brexit deal

Leading Leave campaigners, Cabinet ministers Boris Johnson and Michael Gove have both backed Theresa May to stay on as Prime Minister and deliver Brexit. The ministers, in a recent interview at the BBC said that Mrs May has support across the Conservative Party, and that there is no public appetite for further political upheaval. Asked if he expects Mrs May to stay in post, Foreign Secretary Mr Johnson told Radio 4’s Today programme: ‘My strong feeling is that the last thing the electorate wants is more elections or more political shenani-

gans of one kind or another. There’s a huge task to get on with with Brexit. We’ve got to do it well, we can do it in a positive way, I think we can build something brilliant out of this.’ Mr Gove, who has recently returned to the Cabinet as Environment Secretary, said in the programme that he is confident Mrs May will be the Prime Minister to deliver Brexit. ‘I think that there’s support across the Conservative Party for Theresa, and also support for the position that she outlined before, during and after the election,’ he said. Mr Johnson said Brexit

Boris Johnson and Michael Gove back Theresa May to deliver Brexit

could pave the way for Britain to become ‘the agent and the agitator for increased world trade’, which he said has stagnated in recent years. Mr Gove, meanwhile,

said Brexit could revive the UK’s fishing industry, offer better protection for farmers and higher animal welfare standards, adding: ‘I think we can have cheaper and higher quali-

ty food.’ The leaders supported Chancellor Philip Hammond’s comments on Sunday that leaving the EU without a new trade deal in place would be ‘very, very bad’ for the country. Mr Johnson said that he was confident that there was every realistic prospect that their friends in EU will want to do this deal. The results from new survey, a Survation poll for ITV’s Good Morning Britain puts Labour ahead of Conservatives - but May has been backed to deliver Brexit despite new polls putting Labour ahead of Conservatives Backed by 52 per cent

votes, Theresa May remains the leader most trusted to secure a good Brexit deal, despite falling three points behind Labour in a new opinion poll. The poll also said 48 per cent of people believed Mrs May should remain Prime Minister while 45 per cent said they wanted her to resign. Six out of ten of those polled said they thought a coalition of all political parties would be best to negotiate a good deal for Britain leaving the EU and just over a third said the current Conservative-led government would be best to negotiate a good Brexit deal.

Germany suggest a soft Brexit – fears May Varadkar meets May, talks positively about Brexit, the DUP deal and Northern Ireland border being expelled during negotiations Germany is reportedly willing to be flexible during negotiations which formally got underway as we go to print, and grant UK Brexit concessions amid fears that the talks could fail if Theresa May is ousted as Prime Minister, and Brussels plays the hard ball. The German foreign minister, Sigmar Gabriel, told the German Welt am Sonntag newspaper: "Perhaps there is now a chance to achieve a socalled soft Brexit deal.” It is thought that the EU negotiators are keen to make clear that the bloc is willing to compromise

during talks. They are reportedly afraid that a hard-line position would lead to increased domestic pressure on Mrs May’s already weakened position and

Tory MP Suella Fernandes has taken over as the unofficial head of a group of Brexit-backing MPs with the power to take down the Prime Minister. The Fareham MP is now chairperson of the European Research Group [ERG] after her predecessor Steve Baker was made a minister in the Brexit Department. Fernandes, an ally of Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson, will now be responsible for organising the more than 80 MPs which make up the ERG –

who plot their tactics via a WhatsApp group. The group supports the Government’s current position on Brexit - namely that the UK should leave the Single Market, the customs union and the jurisdiction of the European Court of Justice. Fernandes, 37, was first elected to Parliament in 2015, and served on the Education Select Committee in the last Parliament. Fernandes is the daughter of immigrants, with her father coming to

Sigmar Gabriel

that she could then be ousted during what should be a crucial summer of talks. According to The Times, the deal could involve the UK being offered access to the European single market, and granted concessions on curtailing the influence of EU judges in return for Britain accepting some element of free movement. One EU negotiatior said that a weak Tory government “increases the risk” of no deal being done and that “we do not want to be the ones making the situation more difficult”.

Hard Brexit Tory Group Choose Suella Fernandes As New Leader

On Sunday 18 June, India Tourism’s UK division, in association with the High Commission of India, staged a yoga takeover of the Coca-Cola London Eye, teaming up with UKbased yoga organisations to unite in a ‘wheel of yoga’ yoga for peace class within the 32 capsules of the London Eye to commemorate International Day of Yoga on on Wednesday 21 June 2017. Yogis, both new to yoga and with decades of

practice among them, performed gentle asana and meditative breathing as the London Eye rotated, with the aim of kicking off the week in which

The British prime minister welcomed Ireland's new taoisearch Leo Varadkar to No.10 on Monday, and discussed various issues ranging from Brexit, borders, the ongoing DUP deal and the support and solidarity the people of Ireland shared with UK. Varadkar said Brexit was a matter of regret for Ireland as the UK is leaving the EU, the single market and the Customs Union, but said the two leaders have a shared objective to not return to past borders between the two Irelands. May said she is personally committed to a practical, "seamless and frictionless" solution between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland, after Brexit. Varadkar said the border should be “invisible”. The leaders talked

Varadkar meets May at No. 10

about the ongoing deal with Northern Ireland’s Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) to form a majority government, May reassured Vardarkar that it will not affect the Good Friday Agreement. He also revealed that it has been a 'little thrill' to tour No.10 as it reminded him of the scene in hit film Love Actually where Hugh Grant danced down the stairs, “but apparently, it

wasn't filmed here, so I didn't get a chance to see the stairs,” he told reporters. Vadarkar spoke about the attack on Muslims outside Finsbury Park mosque as well as the London Bridge and Westminster attacks, and the Grenfell Tower fire, saying that an attack on London is an attack on Ireland, and offered support and solidarity to the British people.

Asthipushpa Visarjan of Pramukh Swami Maharaj in the Thames

Suella Fernandes

the UK from Kenya in the 1960s and her mother migrating to the UK from Mauritius to work as a nurse in the NHS.

the International Day of Yoga is celebrated, and simultaneously cultivating peace and harmony in light of recent tragic UK events.

His Holiness Pramukh Swami Maharaj passed away in Sarangpur, India, on 13 August 2016. He had visited London 19 times between 1970 and 2007, creating and opening in 1995 the famous ‘Neasden Temple’, Europe’s first traditional Hindu mandir. It was therefore fitting that Pramukh Swami Maharaj’s ashes also be scattered in the River Thames, in commemoration of his longstanding and sacred ties with the British capital. The Vedic ceremony prior to scattering the sacred ashes of Pramukh Swami Maharaj was performed by His Holiness Mahant Swami Maharaj and senior sadhus on Sunday 18 June 2017 at BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir in Neasden, London. After 4.30pm, the

His Holiness Mahant Swami Maharaj scattering Pramukh Swami Maharaj’s ashes in the Thames

sacred kalashes were moved to the River Thames, where Mahant Swami Maharaj presided over the final ritual aboard the Royal Princess boat at Lambeth Pier which then began its journey towards Westminster Bridge, the first scheduled stopping point. Here, His Holiness performed the ceremonial dispersing of the asthipushpa (sacred ashes) of Pramukh Swami Maharaj

before continuing along the Thames and passing various iconic landmarks of London, including the Palace of Westminster (the Houses of Parliament), the London Eye, and the Battle of Britain Monument. Pramukh Swami Maharaj’s ashes were also being dispersed in many holy rivers of India, including the Gondali, Narmada and Ganga, and recently in the Nile near Jinja, Uganda.


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Asian Voice | 24th June 2017

Rani Singh, Special Assignments Editor

India Hockey Team Captain Manpreet Singh Hockey has been a sport that India takes to and often excels at. When India meets Pakistan on the sports field there is always an extra spark of electricity, and last Sunday it happened with Cricket as well as with Hockey. While the Cricket result pleased Pakistan, the 7-1 India Hockey win made Indian fans exuberant. The Pool B World Hockey League Semi-Final match took place just a couple of days ago on 18th June 2017. India was among the top tier countries, and nations were split into two pools. The event was organised by England Hockey. Captain of the Indian Hockey team is Manpreet Singh, and he talked to us exclusively through Sporting Equals along with his Dutch India Coach, Roelant Oltmans. First off we pumped the Team Coach, Roelant Oltmans for the secret tactics he is imparting to the Indian team. His answers helped us understand what India is doing to raise its game.

Captain Manpreet Singh

Overview

Roelant Oltmans says that he is helping India become capable of competing on the same level as the best team in world. “ We want to make them fit and have the skills. Technical-wise,

nutrition-wise, we want them to be aware of what is necessary to be an elite athlete. I train them hard. From day one I made them aware that it is never about being an individual, it is all about being a member of a team.” Whenever India faces

Pakistan there is a unique friendly rivalry. Whatever the politics between the two nations, there is a mutual respect and affection between the competitors in the main. Nonetheless, how does Roelant rate Pakistan Hockey? “Pakistan is different to other teams; they have their own way of attacking. I don't want to go into detail because we know exactly what they are doing. For us it's important not to allow them or any opponent to come into the front and feel that they get momenum, That's important. We want to attack, we want to score goals, play our best. At the same time we can get overexcited!” Calmly heeding his Coach's advice India Captain Manpreet Singh led his team to victory and has hopes for the coming matches this week. Indian Hockey Captains can assume the status of rock stars if they are good, and Manpreet, 25, is one to watch.

Background and Interest in Hockey

Manpreet Singh was born in Jalandhar, Punjab. His farmer father passed away

“Every day I would play last year and his mother is a a morning and evening seshousewife. His brothers are sion of Hockey. Five-six farmers. hours. The Academy proHe tells us; “I got intervides us with schooling as ested in Hockey because well. In the morning we where I come from, there have a training session. was one guy, Bhagat Singh, he was very There are 60 boys in the famous so I Academy so we all go always wanted in one school after the morning trainto be like him. “I wanted to be My grandfa- like Bhagat Singh, ing session. In the evening we get back ther and both then I wanted to and have another my brothers win a medal for traning session. I played great India.” lived there for six Hockey before. years. Everything is paid So I looked at for by the Punjab governthem and I also ment.” wanted to play Hockey but Ambition it's a hard game. First my parents did not like me to “When was a kid, I always play but my Coach said he is wanted to be like Bhagat very passionate about Singh, then when I joined Hockey so let him play and I the Surjit Hockey Academy I started my Hockey career wanted to win a medal for from there. The Coach in India. That was a big my village encouraged me. achievement for me. After village I got So how does Manpreet selected in Surjit Hockey Singh feel about other the Academy; a really good international Hockey teams academy in Punjab. I got he and his team will face selected for that in 2005 now and in coming years? and I played for six years.” He comments, The Surjit Hockey Academy “My favourite player is is a Punjab government Moritz Furste, former team institution for talented captain of Germany. players where they study, Argentina and the train and stay as boarders Netherlands are very good free of charge. Manpreet and pose a challenge to us Singh says; right now.”

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Shared histories

Dinesh Sheth's letter about the number of letters he has written or had published was, in my humble opinion, ill advised especially he appeared to have a "dig" at Rudy Otter! Besides that, it is not the quantity but the quality and articulation of the points in the letters that is more relevant. Sorry Mr Sheth but self congratulations is rarely a good idea. Rudy Otter's very dignified riposte was succint and to the point! Dr Hari Desai's previous articles have given me a better understanding of the historical context. His latest article on the history of Lohanas was enlightening for me. The historical references to Rama (one of King Dasharath's 4 sons) during the Suryavanshi period suggests that the story of "Ramayana" may not be as mythological as portrayed in some writings but has a basis in historical records. Perhaps a call for more research of this period in history to discover more? Also interesting to discover was the fact that the kingdoms of the Lohana Kshastriyas rulers extended to present day Afghanistan and Iran. There is more in humanity's shared histories/origins and yet we tend to focus of humanity's differences! Dinesh Avanti By email

Individual Choice of Faith

In reply to Mr Jubel D’Cruz’s letter dated 17th June one can keep healthy even if he does not eat beef or pork. The scriptural injunctions of any faith had not to seek support of scientific basis which are diverse and full of changes, and as such unreliable. They are not blind faiths, but are staunch principles guiding the followers to achieve profound advantages to society. To speak against such religious tenets is sheer blasphemy. The constitution of India considers all faiths equally. Mr Modi and his followers love all. Mr Modi has given Bhagavat Gita as a gift to the Japanese PM on the ground of his Hindu religion, one of the indigeneous faiths in India. The British people have their Christianity in their British constitution and democratic government, and Mr Modi follows the democracy given by the mother of Parliament in Britain and asserts the indigenous faith’s ‘Hindutva’ as his right. Anybody would agree with the author’s statement that all people of different faiths are responsible for India’s over population. Mr Modi’s supporters believe in his policy. People realise the benfit of his demonitisation a step towards eliminating corruption. Study of all religious text books should be compulsory in all schools, so that students can make comparative study to have choice of his faith. The author can site other worst Indian PMs as he blames. RN Patel Essex

Towering Inferno

The terrible tragedy that engulfed 24 storeys high “Grenfell Tower” with unimaginable loss of life among residents of 149 flats, reminded me of 1974 movie “Towering Inferno” that caught imagination of the public at the time. The star studded movie had such an impact that many States and Housing Associations tightened their rules and regulations, as the theme of the movie was that shoddy workmanship, cutting corners by contractors and use of cheap, inappropriate materials was the cause of the fire in the tallest building ever built. As PM has ordered thorough public inquiry that will leave no stones unturned, it seems the plastic cladding used to insulate outer walls was not fireproof, banned in US for tall towers, thus flames engulfed the building in no time at all. Initially PM’s response was manifestly feeble. PM did not meet a single survivor on her first visit, in sharp contrast to Labour leader Jeromy Corbin, Her Majesty the Queen and Royal family members. No wonder people turned nihilist. As usual, PM and the government failed to connect with the people. Instead of providing “Strong and Stable” government, PM’s favoured slogan, the response was “Weak and Wobbly” at best. London boroughs in unison, offered to take in 500 Syrian refugee families. So it should not be unsurmountable problem to rehouse 150 tormented families instantly, especially those with children and elderly who are sleeping rough. It is time to show “Charity begins at Home!” Kumudini Valambia By email

The Tower Block Inferno

What is happening to this country? First the killings on Westminster Bridge, London Bridge and Manchester, then the uncertainty arising from Brexit and the hung parliament, and now the huge blaze which raged at the 24 storey tower block, the Grenfell tower, in North Kensington which housed between 400 and 600 people. At the time of writing, six people have died and the number is expected to rise. Fire engulfed the 24 storey tower block at about 1.00 am on the morning of Wednesday, 14 June. The televised pictures of the huge building on fire somehow reminded me of the twin towers of America which were engulfed in fires on the 9/11 attack a decade or so ago. At the moment it is unclear as to what started the fire and how it spread so quickly? The frightening scenes of one person throwing his baby from the window and then jumping after him, or other people jumping from lower floors, were something we only see in disaster movies. One senior fire officer had said that this fire was something she had never seen before. This begs the questiion. How should people prepare for such unforeseen incidents? What should they grab when in a hurry to escape from such life threatening events? I would think that the priority should be their identity papers like passports or driving licences, bank books or saving certificates and cash or credit cards. These are few things which come to mind. Dinesh Sheth Newbury Park, Ilford

Global Terrorism

Terrorism is a major problem not only in India, but also across the world. The roots of terrorism are deep and are growing day-by-day. While we cannot eliminate terrorism completely, we can restrict it to some extent. Terrorists have no religion nor are they softhearted. They don’t even spare children and infants. They just want to sow the seeds of fear into the hearts of people. Since terrorism is a global problem now, every country should come forward and fight terrorism. Why are terrorists throughout the world doing such horrible acts where thousands of innocent people are being killed in cold blood for no fault of theirs? These terrorists attack any place, whether it is a school, college, places of worship, modes of transport, theatres or stadiums. There is no verse in the Holy Quran where it tells you to kill innocent people. These terrorists feel that if you go on killing people you will enter heaven even if you have committed the worst sins. How sad that somebody has misguided them. Why are the terrorists taking the curses from these hapless parents whose children have been killed in a terrorist attack and whose lives have been shattered by the terrorists’ cruel deeds? All terrorists when caught and proven guilty by the court should be beheaded in full public view. The beheading of the terrorist should also be telecast live on television on all the channels so that other terrorists may learn a lesson from this. Jubel D'Cruz, Mumbai, India

Secularism

Mr. D’Cruz’s letter is hurtfully critical of India, which sustains him, his family and fellow Christians. America bans eating horse flesh, Taiwan bans eating cat and dog meat. India is not slave to Central Asian barbarian savage invaders, Christians who were escaping Roman persecution and later came as poor traders from England. India can boldly and emphatically enact its own laws. Seven global, Non-Indian religions came to land of Hindus and now are surviving in land of 80% Hindus. Thousand years ago, Arabian traders came to land of Hindus, nomadic Moguls invaded and settled in land of Hindus. British East India Company came to land of Hindus. India was, is and will remain land of Hindus. All these religions survive because Hinduism is absolutely secular, tolerant, inclusive and respect to all guest religions. Even though India is secular it has got laws to protect any religion. Therefore Mr. Modi is right to project himself as a Hindu from land of Hindus. Population blame: One Hindu man, wife one child equals 3 members. One Muslim, four wives, four children equals nine members. So population experts are correct to blame Muslims for demographic imbalance. Has champion of secularism, D’Cruz, attended nonChristian place for prayer? Ramesh Jhalla By email

AsianVoiceNewsweekly

Snap Election Disaster

The election result has been very disappointing for PM Mrs. May. Conservative got 13 seats fewer than before, making it worse for her. Jeremy Corbyn defied all the odds and come close to winning. It’s unfortunate he is not an outright winner. The result has definitely boosted his morale. Mrs May has enormous challenges ahead of her. It’s about time she tenders her resignation and gives the messy and extremely difficult affairs to Boris Johnson, Iain Duncan Smith and all others that favoured Brexit in her party to sort out. Better still, in the interest of the nation, hand in the charge to Jeremy Corbyn. He is ready to serve the country. Niranjan Vasant By email

Trump’s Cuba Policy causes divisions

President Trump says he is reinstating travel and commercial restrictions eased by the Obama administration in an attempt to obtain additional concessions from the Cuban government and human rights for the Cuban people suffering under a dictatorship of Raul Castro. All the positive and good work done by President Barack Obama is going into negativity and causing divisions among the Cuban-Americans and the American people. When the situation has started to improve in the relations between Cuba and America, President Donald Trump has thrown a spanner in it, causing more harm to the Cuban people than to the rulers. It is retrograde steps both for the Americans and the Cubans. If he so concerned about democracy, human rights, women’s rights then why has he not imposed such restrictions on Saudi Arabia, the Gulf States, China and Egypt who are in the same boat as Cuban insofar as democracy, human rights, women’s rights, press freedom and an independent judiciary in concerned. This is clearly a case of double standards and hypocrisy not on the part of President Donald Trump and the western world. There should be a level playing field and not one rule for some and another rule for the others. The only criteria used is self-interest and ulterior motives by the advanced countries against the smaller and weak countries. This allows flagrant abuse, discrimination, injustice and unrest in world affairs. Baldev Sharma. Rayners Lane, Harrow

Strong and steady or weak and wobbly?

When PM announced election date with enviable poll lead, Tories were heading for landslide, giving her enormous boost to face German Chancellor in Brexit negotiations, securing favourable terms that would enhance our economy. We all supported her stance that “No deal is better than bad deal” threatening to walk out if bullied by unelected Shylock EU officials, another Lady Thatcher, “Messiah in the Making”. But when Tories published their manifesto, longest suicide note in politics, upsetting every one, OAPs, families and young people who stormed voting booths with 72% turnout, we knew Contented PM was heading for hung parliament. Corpulent Conservatives failed to take hint from this humiliating result. PM’s visit to “Grenfell Tower” has proved another disaster in public relations, JC outsmarting PM at every corner. Instead of visiting shelters, comforting victims, like our Queen and Prince William, pedantic PM, surrounded by security personals, was in and out in a flash. In sharp contrast, JC seized this opportunity with both hands, visiting shelters, comforting, hugging victims, sharing their pain with restrained dignity, giving photographers golden opportunity to fill their papers with heart-warming photographs. This sharp contrast in style, cements public opinion, perhaps erroneously, that PM is self-opinionated, out of touch with reality, living on borrowed time. It is time to abolish unsustainable “Overseas Aid” in favour of looking after our own, rebuilding London for the needy, befitting the fifth largest economy in the world. How the mighty have fallen! Bhupendra M. Gandhi By email

We are grateful to all letter writers for more and more versatile letters well within word limit. Please keep contributing as always. If you are new then please write to us at rupanjana@abplgroup.com - AV


EDUCATION

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Asian Voice | 24th June 2017

University of Leicester student announced as first female Muslim Mayor

Pakistan Won? No.

Mamadou Bocoum

Muslim men who carried out the attack at London Bridge, in which eight people were killed, wanted to be perceived as justified by scripture. “All the verses that deal with jihad, war, Jews and Christians need to be accompanied by a footnote,” he said. For example, a verse in the Koran that says “do not take Jews and Christians as your allies” and another urging “kill them wherever you find them” should be read in the context of a third verse: “God does not forbid you from those who do not fight you because of religion and do not expel you from your homes”, meaning that those who do not

attack you should be left alone. He said extremists also drew on scripture to amplify their grievances against British foreign policy, although a clear interpretation could deal with that. “We should feel confident enough that we can reinterpret the text to reflect universal values of human rights. Equality among men and women and respect of other religions and free choice — whether it be respecting people’s choices which relate to sexual orientation or interreligious marriages.” Bocoum said it was not enough for scholars to be “reactive” when dealing with the terrorist threat. “Let’s have a committee of a variety of Muslim scholars in the West, not any from the East, to reinterpret the scriptures. Christianity was born in the East but rehabilitated in the West. And so was Judaism. It’s time to rehabilitate Islam in the West.”

Bradford Champions set to provide inspiration to schools Bradford Community Champions held a special event with secondary school heads and business leaders from across the Bradford District. The event, which took place at Bradford’s City

Hall on Thursday, brought the Community Champions and headteachers together to look at ways in which role models can inspire pupils to achieve and learn and benefit from their life

experiences. The event was organised by Gill Arnold JP, Deputy of the West Yorkshire Bench, and Bradford Council as part of the Education Covenant initiative.

Finance Banking & Insurance (FBI) Magazine Launch & Awards in association with

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An Islamic scholar who has spent close to 5,000 hours challenging the views of terrorists in British prisons says a “radical and new interpretation” of the Koran is required to confront extremism. Mamadou Bocoum, a prison chaplain who has provided Islamic guidance to inmates for a decade, says new editions of the Koran should be introduced to mosques, schools and jails with footnotes for verses discussing jihad and martyrdom. In his first newspaper interview Mr Bocoum said: “I am not asking for a new Koran, I am asking for interpretations, mainly regarding those verses that can be difficult and have a different meaning when taken out of context.” Bocoum, 42, who is understood to have delivered one-to-one tuition on the interpretation of scripture to at least 10 of Britain’s most notorious terrorists, said the three

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Koran ‘needs new interpretation’ to help fight terror

This is the start of the endgame and a greater advantage for the UK and setting it apart from its EU and US competitors for strength of relationship with India. This is more like a coalition relationship between UK and India which is what a special relationship is and an inevitable recognition of ground reality. India has to do what has been done to Qatar. Encircle and embargo should be the name of the policy. India has to do that the way Saudi did at last to Qatar. Pakistan has shown it can export terror, it can export drugs, it can export child grooming immigrants. The worst thing that will come out of the attack on innocent Muslims practicing their right to freedom of religion in the UK, is some moron will say that you cannot say anything about child grooming, anything about terror, anything about drugs, because you are using hate speech. We are not. We know 99% of Pakistani Muslims, Muslims everywhere are the loveliest people on the planet practicing the religion of peace. We know this from TV documentaries, and history programmes and the press and Muslims themselves. Enjoy your cricket victory Pakistan. It’s hard being you.

up.com www.abplgro

Samia Haq

thoroughly enjoyed. The University did not just offer me a first class education, it offered me space to grow as an individual. “The help and support I received from the School of History, Politics & International Relations has been exemplary especially from the academic staff encouraging me to do my best every step of the way. The University is a place where you are never far from new opportunities and experiences and I certainly benefitted from both.”

In 1995 I worked for a US Congressman. He is still in the US Congress. His name is Eliot Engel. One of my jobs was to collect the signatures of the other Senators and Congressman who supported one of his Resolutions put before Congress and letters to the US State Department and the Clinton White House. That lobbying effort? To have Pakistan declared a terrorist State by the US. Now note the date. 1995. When in 2017, Indians lose the cricket – Indians were unhappy for about 30 seconds. You know why? 30 seconds later, they thank the lord they will always be Indian. When Pakistanis win, they will be happy for 30 years. Why? The nation is a global embarrassment. I have no problems with the regular Pakistani, who has no problem with me. But as a nation, Pakistan will always seek to maintain instability and its perception as a victim so it has a lever for western funds. It won't want to earn its way in the world as India and the UK show they have to. Pakistan needs to realise that although work and capitalism is hard effort, it's a better option than terror and handouts and the West can't deceive itself any longer because the game is in the public domain now - a game that was concealed and deniable since 1980.

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hope my appointment will serve as an inspiration to others.” The Mayor announced the Leicester Children’s Hospital as her chosen charity for the year. She said: “Having our beautiful daughter, “our princess”, with us for few years meant that we've had the first hand experience of the excellent compassionate care that hospital provides for poorly and special needs children. It has also made us aware of the challenges that staff face on a daily basis in meeting those care needs. We can never repay the debt we owe to all the hard working staff in the NHS but can show our gratitude by giving something back.” Speaking of her time at the University, Mrs Haq added: “For me, studying at the University of Leicester was a journey - which I

£3.00

A student from the University of Leicester School of History, Politics and International Relations has become the new Mayor of Oadby and Wigston. Samia Haq, a final year Politics student, was inaugurated at a meeting in the council offices followed by a reception at Parklands in Oadby. Mrs Haq said: “I have lived in Leicester and Leicestershire for over twenty years and have been a councillor for nearly 10 years and without doubt it has been the most amazing experience. It has provided me with an opportunity to help others and to better myself in the process. “Being the first female Muslim Mayor in Leicestershire, I feel my appointment is a vindication of how, in this beautiful borough, we are advancing the cause of equality. I

FBI Awards

This year following the release of the 17th Finance Banking Insurance magazine, we will be recognising Financial Institutions / individuals who have contributed / excelled in the finance sector in the UK. We are inviting nominations from our readers to nominate Financial Institutions / individuals from the financial sector.

I I I I I

The categories for this year are as below;

Financial institution of the year Insurance company of the year Bridging Finance company of the year Mortgage Broker of the year Forex company of the Year

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Deadline for nominations June 28, 2017.

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MEDIA WATCH

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Asian Voice | 24th June 2017

The West Bengal Himalayan hill resort of Darjeeling has been set ablaze by activists of the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM) in support of their party’s demand for a separate State of Gorkhaland. A general strike called by the GJM in Darjeeling the entire Darjeeling district including other resorts such as Kurseong and Kalimpong, turned violent, with government buildings and vehicles set alight. A mass exodus of tourists followed –a grievous blow to the region’s economy, which is dependent on tourism.

Guntur farmers rejoice Farmers in the Guntur district of Andhra Pradesh are rejoicing at the fruits of an irrigation project started several years ago. As the waters of the Krishna River recede, the farmers who donated their land, were compensated and resettled nearby, return to reclaim their now fertile land for about nine months in the catchment area. The K.L. Rao Sagar multipurpose project, designed to control floods and irrigate 13 lakh acres of land in Guntur and three other districts, has paid off handsomely (Hindu June 18).

Sardar Sarovar Dam’s green signal

Russia eyes India for IT exports Russia, looking to India as an export market for information technology solutions, is hoping to team with Indian IT companies to implement homegrown technologies, said Vasily Brovko, Director for Special Commissions at the Rostech State Corporation, which oversees implementation of Russian policy for industrial development. ‘We are keen on privileged strategic partnerships with Indian companies, as had been the case with defencerelated contracts with India in the past.’ Rostech would codevelop the solution with its Indian partners, transfer

Violence and arson in Darjeeling

GJM leader Bimal Gurung , by opting for this confrontation, has taken a grave political risk. The agitation for a separate State is not an old demand, waxing and waning over the years. West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee’s Trinamool Congress government in Kolkata created an autonomous hill district with devolved powers. In recent municipal elections her party did well, with many sub-groups switching their allegiance to the Trinamool Congress (TMC). The GJM, feeling the ground slipping under their feet, has gambled on violence as an instrument to persuade the powers that be in Delhi to accede to separation from West Bengal. This is more easily said than done, as there are national stakes that no Central government can afford to ignore. To submit to blackmail and violence would set a disastrous precedent. Furthermore, there could be international ramifications as well. The next step could be a demand for a Great Nepal construct in the not too distant future.

Explosives Act. The seventh accused, Abdul Qayum was acquitted. Sentence will be pronounced shortly. The main accused – Dawood Ibrahim, Anees Ibrahim, Tiger Memon and Mohammed Dossa are absconding. Tracking down the guilty, one being extradited from Portugal, was onerous and time consuming, but the wheels of justice though grind slow, they grind exceeding well, has to be the public verdict (Hindu, Times of India June 17).

Kochi Metro takes off Kerala’s Kochi Metro rail was dedicated to the nation by Prime Minister Narendra Modi at the weekend. The first 13 km stretch, completed in record time, incorporates state-of-the-art communication facilities that no

Sardar Sarovar Dam

The Narmada Control Authority has given the green signal to the Gujarat government to close the 30 gates of the Sardar Sarovar Dam, thus increasing the reservoir up to its full level of 138.68 metres. This permits the dam’s storage capacity to be increased from 1,565 million cubic metres to 5,740 cubic million metres. And hence increase hydro power generation from the current 1, 300 MW to to 1,450 MW. This additional storage will irrigate eight lakh (800,000) hectares, while 10 crore (100 million) people will be assured of safe drinking water (Hindu June 18).

Mumbai bombings Twenty-four years after the March 1993 Mumbai bomb blasts and their 257 death toll, 713 injured and enormous destruction of property, a special court convicted Abu Salem, Mustafa Dossa, Firoz Abdul Shaikh, Tahir Taklya, Karmullah Khan and Riyaz Siddiqui under sections of the Terrorism and Disruptive Activities Act (TADA), Indian Penal Code, Arms Act and

Heathcare, crime, terrorism ‘Healthcare, crime-control and terrorism are among the offerings that Rostech aims to take to markets such as India’ and elsewhere across continents. ‘This software, averred Vasily Brovko, ‘had potential in countering terrorism. ‘Combining the databases of Interpol, Europol and Russia’s FSB could yield dramatic results. India has faced trouble from terrorism and would find value in this technology.’ (Hindu June 18).

win the 90th Scripps National Spelling Bee. She took home more than $40,000 in cash and prizes. She and and Indian boy, Rohan Rajeev, were the two finalists in a field of 291. Their dueled 21 rounds of the allotted 25 championship rounds before Ananya carried off the crown (Hindu June 2).

Reliance, BP tie-up in KG basin Reliance Industries Ltd and BP Plc are to invest a combined Rs 40,000 crore in the D6 gas field in the Krishna-Godavari (KG) basin., off India’s eastern coast, to boost production over the next 3-5 years, the two companies stated recently. The investment in the deep water gas field is expected to boost production by five-fold, according to the companies. The announcement was made by Reliance Chairman and Managing Director Mukesh Ambani and BP’s Group Chief Executive Officer Bob Dudley at a press conference in New Delhi. The companies also decided to expand their partnership in areas ‘including differentiated fuels,mobility and advanced low carbon energy solutions. This is the first of three planned projects in Block KG-D6 that will be developed in an integrated manner, producing about 3 trillions cubic feet of discovered gas resources,’ the companies said in a joint statement. (Mint June 16).

GST rollout The Goods and Services Tax (GST), which has been incubating for the past couple of years, will be operational from July 1. It has involved arduous negotiations between the Centre and the States, but West Bengal has finally come on board after holding out for quite awhile. Some 66 amendments to the original draft have been incorporated to protect the interests of small businesses and restaurants.

Solar holds the future

Offer of dialogue Chief Minister Banerjee is a feisty character, not easily intimidated. She has offered to open a dialogue with Gurung and his GJM if they were to abjure violence, accepting dialogue is fundamental to a working democracy. Delhi has advised calm, but the future appears fraught (Times of India, Telegraph, Hindu, June 18).

technology to the client and help educate users. ‘With Indian IT services providers and Russian software architects who know what to do and how to do it, there is complementarity’.

AsianVoiceNewsweekly

Prime Minister Modi and guests on the inaugural run of the Kochi Metro

other metro in India possesses. Expected to bring relief to the acute problems of urban congestion, the coaches were manufactured by French firm Alstom at its plant near Chennai, Tamil Nadu, thus adding success to the ‘Make in India’ initiative. The Prime Minister on its inaugural jurney was accompanied by Kerala Governor P. Sathasivam, Chief Minister Pinayari Vijayan, Union Urban Development Minister Venkaiah Naidu, Delhi Metro Rail Managing Director E.Sreedharan and Kochi Metro Rail Managing Director Elias George (Hindu, Times of India June 18).

Passenger car sales surge Passenger car sales surged 8.63 per cent in May, driven by utility vehicles, according to data released by the industry body. The overall figure sold was 251,000 vehicles. ‘This is the best ever sales performance of passenger vehicles for May,’ said Vishnu Mathur, Director General of the industry body. ‘We expect good growth to continue as consumer confidence grows and with expectations of good monsoons,’ he said.(Business line June 10).

The price of solar energy in India has fallen below that of thermal and nuclear energy, said Sumant Sinha, Chairman and CEO of ReNew Power Ventures Pvt Limited. Solar energy would become a 24-hour system. ‘I would give it another 2-3 years. It is not a long time, and the pace at which storage costs are coming down is certainly very encouraging.’ (Mint May 26).

Indian American kid wins US spelling bee Twelve-year old Ananya Vinay, from Fresno, California, was unfazed by the words she was given in the finals of the Scripps National Spelling Bee. She took little time as she ploughed through word after word with consummate ease. Unflappable to the end, Ananya nailed two words in succession, ending on ‘marocain,’ which means a type of dress fabric of ribbed crepe, to

Arun Jaitley

This will be the greatest tax reform in India’s independent history, integrating the country into a single working market instead of the plethora of markets with separate taxes levied at points of entry. This is expected to be a boon for domestic businesses and consumers alike. Foreign investors should also reap considerable benefits, with the introduction of uniform taxation and the elimination of confusion. It is a giant step forward in the modernization of the Indian economy. Mint, Times of India, Hindu, Business Line June 12).


Eid Mubarak - hope you have a blessed Eid UK

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Asian Voice | 24th June 2017

All faiths stand together against hate crimes, increased police patrols ahead of the Eid celebrations

I

n the wake of the Finsbury Park Mosque terror attacks, the police have pledged to step up patrols around Muslim places of worship. Speaking to Mohammed Mahmoud, the imam at Finsbury Park, PM Theresa May said on Monday: "This was an attack on Muslims near their place on worship, and like all terrorism, in whatever form, it shares the fundamental goal to drive us apart; and to break the precious bonds of solidarity and citizenship that we share in this country. We will not let this happen." London Mayor Sadie Khan reassured that extra police have been deployed and said police were already "working their socks off." Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn said "The only way to deal with this kind of issue is

communities coming together ... We have to protect each other's faith, each other's way of life, and that's what makes us a strong society and community." But despite the odds, Muslims in Britain are getting ready to celebrate one of their main festivals of their faith, the Eid al-Fitr. Every year across the globe Muslims gather together to celebrate Eid as the month-long fasting of Ramadan comes to an end. Eid kickstarts the month of Shawwal, which begins with a feast to end the period of fasting. Eid al-Fitr, a term that translates from Arabic, is the “festival of breaking the fast” with friends, relatives and family, and is celebrated wholeheartedly when the entire Muslim community come together. This year, Eid will take place on 25 or 26 June. As the

Islamic calendar is based on the lunar cycle, the day is set when we get to see a new moon. In Urdu, the phase "Eid ka chand" epitomises the significance of the new moon, to the festival of Eid.

CELEBRATING EID

Eid is the most important festival of the Muslims and is celebrated with much fanfare between one to three days all over the world. During Eid, Muslims will often buy new clothes for the occasion, and take part in festivals and celebrations. They wake up early to pray at a mosque, and often at an outdoor prayer venue. There are special celebratory meals that are shared with family and friends. Gifts and cards are often exchanged among friends and family. The younger members often go around collecting small amounts of money from elders (Eidi) to top up their p o c k e t money. T h e phrase com-

EID CELEBRATIONS AT TRAFALGAR SQUARE

Crowd gathered to celebrate Eid at Trafalgar Square in 2016

This year, everyone has been invited to come and celebrate Eid on Trafalgar Square on Sunday 2 July. Thousands of Londoners and visitors come to this free event every year to celebrate the end of Ramadan and enjoy an array of entertainment, delicious food and have some clean family fun.

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There will be contemporary and traditional acts from across the world at Eid. Stay tuned for some very exciting announcements. l The stalls at the Global Food Market will be serving the best spread from Moroccan to Malaysian, Indian to Middle-Eastern and help you cool off with refreshing lassies and shakes.

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The stalls will also help you explore the makeshift market with clothing, jewellery, arts, crafts and books from London's talented artisans and creatives. l There will be lots for families to do at the square - creative kids will love participating in story telling, endulge in art workshops, face painting and can even have a temporary henna tattoo!

We wish all our readers and those celebrating Eid this year a blessed 'Eid Mubarak'

monly used by Muslims to wish each other is “Eid Mubarak”, which is Arabic for blessed Eid. Those celebrating the festival greet each other with this phrase throughout the day.

EID-AL-FITR AND EID-AL-ADHA

There are two Eids every year, Eid-al-Fitr that translates to “festival of breaking the fast” and marks the end of the month of Ramadan, and the Eid-al-Adha, which takes place two months later, coinciding with the annual pilgrimage to Mecca; also known as the “sacrifice feast” and honours Prophet Abraham's sacrifice of his son Ishmael, as an act of submission to God's command.

The celebration revolves around when Allah appeared to Ibrahim in a dream and asked him to sacrifice his son, Ishmael, as a sign of his faith. It’s similar to the Christian and Jewish stories in which God asked Abraham to sacrifice his son Isaac, but spared him from doing so. During this time, Muslims traditionally sacrifice animals, in Britain this is done in slaughterhouse, and the meat is divided up among friends, family and the needy. The celebration is a public holiday in many Muslim countries, but is not one in the UK. This year, Eid starts on Sunday June 25, with the Shawwal month ending around a month later.


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SP

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TLIGHT

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in spite of dealing in bricks and mortar, is far from a traditional materialist.

Naman Pathak

PROPERTY DEVELOPMENT EXPERT

Sunetra Senior

At a time when questions of property to live in, to identifying the best prices and good quality building are very for materials and labour and much in the fore, it was quite a relief accurately valuing the finished to speak with Naman: owner of the product, I’ve literally done the ground new and pioneering property work. It means we can make the best development company, Pathak of previously unexplored spaces, and Properties. Coming from a business deliver value at each strand of the family background, Naman already supply chain.” Another virtue the possesses the necessary business young entrepreneur prides himself on know-how, but much like the is the level of customer experience archetypal rugged cowboy also and care. “Each investor has their own carries that individual explorer’s will account with us,” he told us, “so they and desire to carve out his own can sign in at any time during the vast vision and ethical niche. development process to check “One of the key progress, finances and the ingredients to growth specifics, and feel in control in London,” he of the respective project. One of the commented, “has There is sharing of key ingredients been the level of information and to growth in landscape maximum London has been regeneration transparency. I’ve been throughout the very immersive about the level of landcity. This is the research process scape regeneration evident in areas too, in terms of finding throughout the such as better quality materials city Hammersmith and for example. I’ve travelled Fulham, which boast abroad extensively to educate one of the largest myself of the best approach to regeneration projects in the UK, creating the perfect living building thousands of new homes as environment. A top quality porcelain well as schools, rail infrastructure and tile might be 30 pounds a square retail outlets. In terms of selecting metre here, but it is 7 or 8 pounds areas we do tend to branch out to when bought from overseas. those that are still growing, for Conversely, a far superior product example Brixton and West Ealing, from overseas may also cost 30 which is contiguous with Ealing pounds or more per square metre, so Broadway - a now highly, developed we try and deliver a better quality area. We are spreading and going with product to the end user instead of the property momentum in and making a financial saving.” This around the up and coming certainly seems to extend to the ethos neighbourhoods.” of the entire company, which forwards *** quality in a smart and affordable way. Naman also made sure to emphasise “Another example is the way we the hard grafting that brought him to measure the property,” Naman this innovative point: “my first continued. “We don’t just consider business was an estate agent called bankable square units, but the volume Kings London, and the co-founder and of the whole interior. Other developers I did everything ourselves, from come at it with a very financial focus, painting the walls to the more with the sole aim of delivering as cerebral aspects of the business. I’ve much floorspace as possible, but with also had experience with my own our units, even a smaller space would recruitment agency within the feel bigger just because we’ve caringly banking and construction industries, designed it. Similarly, we might go for which means I am very well equipped properties which are a bit further out, to run my own property development but with great connectivity into the business; from industry connections city, so you get the same luxury for the (good relationships with bankers and most palatable price.” Thus Naman various stakeholders) to the types of emerges both an individualistic and places that an inhabitant might want socially conscious businessman, who

Tell us a bit more about the unique selling point of your business? To add to what I’ve said, as well as being flexible, imaginative and transparent with our investors and customers, we also maintain consistency in our values across our diverse team. From the architects to the bricklayers, everyone brings their unique skills and attributes to each project whilst upholding the company ethos of delivering high quality properties at affordable prices within prime locations. Do you have a particular architectural inspiration? Whilst I would not say there is a particular inspiration, the majority of the new sites we acquire are without planning, so we treat each site as a blank canvas. In some areas, the design of the area leads itself to a certain direction, and we try and obtain as much inspiration from the heritage, history and culture of that specific area to influence our designs and concepts. One of our projects, in Brixton, is influenced by Le Corbusier, whose design and architecture led the redevelopment of the area post World War II. Incidentally, he is also behind the design of my parents’ hometown in India, Chandigarh, so it has some significance to my family background. You’ve mentioned good connections and knowing the materials, end-valuation etc. Is there more to being a great property developer? It’s part of that, but basically being able to make good business decisions on your feet. It is a highly competitive market and good properties need to be appraised instantly, so knowing your numbers, be it on construction costs or eventual sale values, is of paramount importance. What do customers really want? Each customer is different- some are first time buyers, others are downsizing, and some may be investing into a buy-to-let. But we generally look to appeal to all varieties of buyers by developing properties where there are strong transport links, good schools and plenty of local amenities.

AsianVoiceNewsweekly

UK HM The Queen pays an emotional visit at Grenfell Tower

Prince William and The Queen visited the scene of tragedy, meet survivors, praise firefighters and voluntary workers

The Queen met firefighters at the rest centre near the tower on Friday, and let out her emotions as she spoke to residents who managed to flee the inferno. The Queen, 91, spent nearly 45 minutes at the Westway Sports and Fitness Centre close to the burnt remains of the building. Prince William said the tragedy was “one of the most terrible things I have ever seen.” The Queen praised the firefighters and those who came forward to support the victims and the evacuated families. As the Queen met the Red Cross volunteers, harrowing cries were heard inside the main hall of the centre where several homeless families and locals had gathered. The crowds greatly appreciated her visit, saying that we are very proud that we have someone like the Queen caring for people in the community. Prince William, discussing the tragedy with volunteers said: "Things like that you never want to see... I'll come back, I'll come back."

May chased away by protesters at Grenfell Tower after she visits victims

What’s been a highlight moment in your career? I think securing an investment from overseas, and in particular, India. Anyone who is in the business will know how notoriously hard it is to secure an investment from there. Our success over the past couple of years has enabled us to compete with some of the biggest developers in the UK. Finally, is there any other element of your vision that you’re particularly proud of? I’m in the process of speaking with various charities, to which I’d like to give a percentage of our company profits. Again, we’d also like to make the end buyer inclusive so that they can choose which charity they’d like to contribute to. The end goal is to have a selection one can choose from, from cancer research to dyslexia and helping mothers cope after abortion and through post-natal depression. Website: www.namanpathak.com

Theresa May was chased out of Kensington by angry crowd shouting “coward!” and “shame on you!” as she was bundled into her car amid growing anger over the Grenfell Tower fire. May went to St Clementine’s Church to privately meet victims who lost everything in the blaze that gutted the tower on Wednesday, and killed 79 people. She faced huge criticism for failing to visit victims of the fire earlier, but angry people gathered outside waiting for her to come out; the police had to form a wall between the people and her entourage, as the angry crowd booed and threw insults. “We don’t want you here. Go go!” One man shouted: “Fuck off you slag.” Another man shouted: “You get back to your friends in the DUP.” When she left, she walked briskly straight from the church door to the car.


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Grenfell tower inferno Continued from page 1

T

he number of people dead or missing presumed dead following the Grenfell Tower tragedy has risen to 79, police have said, as a minute’s silence was held for victims of the fire. Firefighters halted work to join residents at the north Kensington site at 11am on Monday during emotional scenes to remember those killed. The blaze rapidly engulfed the full height of the 24-storey block, and was still burning more than 12 hours later, with a thick pall of dark smoke visible across the capital, when Asian Voice visited the site. There were mountains of relief for the victims but no disaster relief team. People looked for answers, shelters and their missing family members. Grenfell Tower, was built in 1974, is part of the

told Asian Voice, he lived “high up” in the tower, said no alarms went off as the fire started. “I heard my neighbour’s smoke alarm go off, and thought nothing of it. Then I heard a neighbour shouting ... I’m lucky to be alive – and lots of people have not got out of the building,” he said. “I’ve lost everything I own. I’m standing here in everything I’ve got.” The building was an “accident waiting to happen”, he said, and there was not enough space at the base for fire engines to attend the scene. He and others criticised the lack of information they were receiving. “There’s no coordination from anyone,” he said.

Ramadan rituals save lives Many of the residents caught up in the Grenfell Tower fire were up late for Ramadan, which meant

said, “I spoke to my friend [Mohammed] at about 3.30am. He was saying: ‘Help me.’ My friend who escaped [Omar] went to one flat and he [Mohammed] went to another. They lost each other. I have been friends with them since I was six years old, I don’t know what to do. I am waiting. I hope he is alive. “I last spoke to [Mohammed] at 3.30am. He was saying: ‘Please help me, please tell my family I love them.' He sounded very scared.” 45 year old Muna Ali said, “The flames, I have never seen anything like it, it just reminded me of 9/11. The fire started on the upper floors... oh my goodness, it spread so quickly, it had completely spread within half an hour.” A mum-of-six managed to escape the 21st floor of the Grenfell Tower

Crowd gather to protest in Kensington asking for justice for the victims

Lancaster West Estate, a sprawling inner-city social housing complex of almost 1,000 homes. Residents in such buildings are usually housed by the government, as these people are unable to pay for their own homes- rent or buy- a part of the housing benefit for poor citizens and their families. Two hundred fire fighters tried to extinguish the fire using 40 fire engines. Last year the building went through a £10 million renovation. The local Grenfell Action Group has claimed that before and during the refurbishment the block constituted a fire risk and residents had warned that access to site for emergency vehicles was 'severely restricted'. While some claim a gas explosion led to this fire, or wiring others say a faulty fridge, while it is alleged, the poor quality and highly flammable cladding outside helped the fire to spread so quickly. The building also did not have any fire alarm or sprinklers. One resident, who did not want to give his name

they were able to smell the smoke and escape fast. One resident, Mohammed, who escaped with his family, said they were up late because of it being Ramadan so they were able to escape the building quickly.He said: ‘We were already up and had our door open and were just told to get out. ‘I didn’t even bring my mobile phone. I count myself very blessed, we’re all okay, we made it out safely. ‘We don’t know if we’re going to have a home now. I don’t know what’s going to happen.’

Witnesses and Public account 38 year old Samira Lamrani, told the media, “People were starting to appear at the windows, frantically banging and screaming. The windows were slightly ajar, a woman was gesturing that she was about to throw her baby and if somebody could catch her baby. Somebody did, a gentleman ran forward and managed to grab the baby.” 25 year old Mahmoud

fire with all her children but only four got to the bottom, a witness claimed. Families desperately search for missing loved ones caught up in the fire. Michael Paramasivan, who lives on the seventh floor, said the woman raced from her home as flames engulfed the west London tower block just before 1am on Wednesday. But though she left the flat with all six of her children, only four of them made it down to the exit. Paramasivan told the Today programme: ‘There were many people fleeing as we fled the building. It was horrendous. ‘There was one woman who had escaped her flat on the 21st floor with her six children, but when she got down to the bottom of the stairs, she only had four of them with her. ‘She can’t find two of her children anywhere. She’s in a community centre absolutely breaking her heart.’ Hamid Ali Jafari said that he his 82 year-old father Ali Yawar Jafari had not been seem since the early hours of the morning as the family were trying

A badly charred apartment inside Grenfell Tower

to escape the blaze. He said: "He was with my mother and sister in the lift and she said the lift stopped on the tenth floor and he said there was too much smoke and he couldn't breathe and he got out of the lift and then the doors shut and it didn't stop again till the ground floor." Hamid who rushed to the scene from his home in Camden when he heard there was a fire, had tried to get in to find him but had been blocked by the emergency services. They had not be able to find him at any of the hospitals. A mother of three trapped in the Grenfell Tower blaze rang a friend to tell her she feared she was about to die.The woman, named locally as Nura Jamal, called her friend at around 2am and said: "Forgive me, the fire is here, I'm dying." Her daughter is understood to have escaped from the fire and is now being treated in hospital, but her two sons, aged 6 and 11, are both still missing. Hibo Yussuf, 35, a friend of the missing woman reportedly said: "We've heard that Nora's daughter is in hospital but hasn't been able to get hold of her mum. Noora called one of her friends to say 'Forgive me, the fire is here, I'm dying.' "Now we don't know where she is or if she's dead or alive."

Indian High Commission offers help The Indian high Commission very efficiently put up a helpline where

any Indian distressed because of this fire or stuck in it could call up at 02071580197 or High Commission Public Response Unit at 02086295950. They haven't received any calls as yet. Name of any Indian casualty has not appeared either.

Indians living in the UK come forward to help Many Indians have come forward to assist the displaced and distressed victims, and social medias are filled with appeals of help

untary association (SEVA) has also put forward an appeal to people to donate essentials. Hindu temples and organisations also offered help by collecting and delivering food, water and other possible help for the distressed. Famous chef Jamie Oliver came forward to feed the distressed. Sikhs from the nearby Ealing Gurdwara went to a local shelter to distribute dal and rice to the displaced people. Gurpreet Singh distributed food from

Remembering the victims of the horrific fire

of any sort to ease out the pain of those who have lost their homes and family. Kanwal Toor Gill, a jewellery designer took the social media to seek help for distressed people. The Indian ladies in the UK (ILUK) a group which has over 20,000 Indian women from UK as members have also come forward to assist the people. Sikh empowerment vol-

Central Gurdwara (Khalsa Jatha). The Al Manaar mosque in West London has also opened up its door for people seeking shelter. The Just Give page raised more than £2.8mn, Prince William with wife Kate and Prince Harry have also donated money to the victims. The Queen also visited the victims, followed by PM Theresa May.


16

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COMMUNITY SPIRIT SHINES BRIGHT ON SCORCHING WEEKEND We would like to thank all our sponsors, participants, stall-holders and visitors for supporting our community initiative, and making it a huge success

T

he weekend of 17th and 18th June witnessed how strong and united the British Asian community in London is, when hundreds of people turned up to participate in ABPL Group's seventh year of the Anand Mela, and the first year of Pitru Vandana, a musical evening to celebrate Father's Day, at the Harrow Leisure Centre. Despite sharing the date with the IndiaPakistan cricket finals at the Champions Trophy, people came in great numbers to encourage their community and to build each other up. When people share and experience an event as a community, it can transcend and modify their lives and the lives of others, just like the ABPL group, which works closely with the British Asian communities, designing events to benefit and entertain the British Asian diaspora.

Saswati Basu

Adriana Gilani

In a true sense of rising by raising others, all the proceeds from the Anand Mela ticket sales were donated to the charity partner Hope for Children. The two-day mega family fest, brought together big and small businesses, providing a platform for firms running from their homes, to showcase their products to a larger audience. The stalls included medical tourism, health and wellbeing, beauty, fashion, Indian wedding attire, banks, travel and tourism, creative decorations, which all kept the attendees busy and entertained.

THE INAUGURAL CEREMONY

The event started with the lighting the inaugural lamp ceremony. Noted MPs and Councillors who work closely with the Asian communities were present. CB Patel, the Editor and pub-

Jayanta Ray

Mirva

Shreya, Vedant

ested interaction and are quite hopeful to convert them into business. I feel Anand Mela is the best way to reach out to the Asian community in the UK. We hope to continue the journey in future as well." Ravindranath Mortha, the Asst. Gen. Manager, of the Bank of Baroda's Wembley Branch spoke to the audience about the services provided by the bank, and the L to R Dhimant Trivedi (CEO, Bank of Baroda), Bob Blackman (MP - Harow East), Bhagwanji Chohan (Mayor Brent), Ramanbhai Barber benefits of banking with them. (Senior Community Leader, Leiscester), Navin Shah (AM) and lisher of Asian Voice and Gujarat Samachar introduced the dignitaries and thanked them for their invaluable and selfless contributions towards the community. Among those on stage to light up the lamp were MP Bob

Payal Basu

Tanisha Biswas

Bhanu Pandya

Blackman, Cllrs Ameet Jogia, Rekha Shah, Ajay Maru, Sachin Shah, Raman Barbar, Krupa Sheth, Amit Jogia, and AM Navin Shah. OUR MAIN SPONSORS The main sponsors for the event were the Bank of Baroda, Medituria, Bhalla's

Ahana Ghose

Renia Ganguly

Sangeeta Naik

Arin

Vinod Patel

Dental Clinic and Delhi on the go. Our charity partners were Hope for Children. A small act of charity was multiplied by several people to transform the world of young children. Ed Fletcher, Head of

Mohammad Fahad

Anashmita Saha

A K Dance Academy

Fundraising said “we are really happy with the response we got here. Anand Mela has given us a platform to reach out to the community and spread awareness about the work we do in India.” Dr Manjit Singh Bhalla,

Kishan Amin

Kiv Raj

Cllr Rekha Shah (Former Mayor Harrow)

Director & CEO from Dr Bhalla's Dental Clinic said “the response was good, many were keen to know about our services and there were quite a few inquiries from the elderly.” Samit Kumar Biswas, Director & CEO of Advatech Healthcare Europe Ltd

(Meditouria) said “This is our second year as a Medical Tourism partner in Anand Mela. As usual through Meditouria we could reach the right audience in Anand Mela. We have a few healthcare services providers from India. They got some good, inter-

Navin Kundra

Ravindranath Mothru

London Sharad Utsav

Meera Dance Academy

THE SHOWSTOPPERS

Performances from both budding artists and wellknown stars lit up the Anand Mela stage. Navin

Kundra, the singer/songwriter, who writes, composes, and performs songs in Hindi, Punjabi and English enthralled the crowds on Saturday evening. UK-singer Kishan Amin, well known in the circuit for his ghazal, sufi, and Bollywood numbers got the crowds tapping along to his music. The other singers included Vinod Patel, eight-year-old Renia Ganguly, a musical genius with several interests, Adriana Gilani, a Romanian, qualified child psychiatrist who has been singing Bollywood songs from the age of seven and who came down all the way from Vienna to perform for us on both days. Muhammed Fahad, another famed singer also came up to sing old Md Rafi songs and old

Our Sponsors

Charity of the Year

Bollywood evergreen numbers that got applauded by the audience. Raja Kaasheff, a UKbased Asian singer/music director equally known in India, Pakistan, and Urdu/Hindi-speaking diaspora around the world also performed, interacting with the audiences all along. Shabaz Khan also sang old Bollywood songs. The London Sharad Utsav, renowned charity organisation which pro-

motes Indian and Bengali culture and cultural integration between India and the UK, performed with singers, a gorgeous dance team and juniors Arav, Ryan, Anish, Vaidehi and Alisha as a cherry on the cake. Shreya, Vedant along with their mothers Seemangi and Nilanjana will be presenting evergreen melodies from their dada-dadi and nana-nani' Among the dancers.

Photo courtesy: Raj D Bakrania, PrMediapix & Vineet

PITRU VANDANA

The launch of Piru Vandana Magazine: L to R CB Patel, Kokila Patel, Anilaben Patel, Manubhai Shah, Mr. Ravindranath Mothru, Honey Kalaria, Mirva and Kamal Rao

w

ere the kiddies and juniors from A K Bollywood, Anashmita Saha in Kathak, Sangeeta Naik in Odishi, Meenarva performed an outstanding kathak and the traditional thali dance from Honey Kalaria's Dance School, East West Fusion Group, Ahana, Payel Basu & Group and some brilliant Kathak dance recitals by Meera Salat's dance group. The East West Fusion Group, specialising in diverse dance forms including Contemporary, Bollywood, Semiclassical, Indo-jazz and Hip-hop shared the stage with the other

L to R Octapad Sonu Gajjar, Guitar player Omi, Tabla Player Vikas, in Second row L to R Singer Fahad, Rocky, Maya Deepak, Rubayat and Kokilaben Patel. In third row L to R Sound Engineer Channibhai, Kamal Rao, singer Raja and Keyboard player Hinal Pattani.

dancers. The Indian Ladies in the UK, ILUK, an organisation with 18000 ladies of Indian origin performed a short dance on Vande Mataram. Asian Voice went live with the events, and can be followed on Twitter:@anandmelaUK ABPL Group's Matru Vandana or Mothers day celebrations in MarchApril 2017 with ace singer Maya Deepak and her entourage was a smash hit, and by popular demand, ABPL organised a similar event to celebrate Father's Day. The evening was a musical tribute to the fathers

The Pitru Vandana magazine was also launched, and will be given out as a supplement with this week's newspaper. who showed us our way, and have been a constant support. Fresh hot vegetarian dinner was also served. Singers Maya Deepak, Raja Kaasheff, Rocky, Nimesh and Rubayyat Jahan were accompanied by Amardeep and Naushad (Tabla), Sonu Gujjar (Octopad), Anantbhai and Hinal Pattani (Keyboard). The show was a huge success, replicating the show at the Symphony Rooms in Leicester on 9th June, and the event was a huge success with nearly 250 people turning up to enjoy and evening of old Hindi songs and mouth-watering snacks.


16

ANAND MELA

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Asian Voice | 24th June 2017

AsianVoiceNewsweekly

ANAND MELA

www.asian-voice.com AsianVoiceNews

AsianVoiceNewsweekly

17

Asian Voice | 24th June 2017

COMMUNITY SPIRIT SHINES BRIGHT ON SCORCHING WEEKEND We would like to thank all our sponsors, participants, stall-holders and visitors for supporting our community initiative, and making it a huge success

T

he weekend of 17th and 18th June witnessed how strong and united the British Asian community in London is, when hundreds of people turned up to participate in ABPL Group's seventh year of the Anand Mela, and the first year of Pitru Vandana, a musical evening to celebrate Father's Day, at the Harrow Leisure Centre. Despite sharing the date with the IndiaPakistan cricket finals at the Champions Trophy, people came in great numbers to encourage their community and to build each other up. When people share and experience an event as a community, it can transcend and modify their lives and the lives of others, just like the ABPL group, which works closely with the British Asian communities, designing events to benefit and entertain the British Asian diaspora.

Saswati Basu

Adriana Gilani

In a true sense of rising by raising others, all the proceeds from the Anand Mela ticket sales were donated to the charity partner Hope for Children. The two-day mega family fest, brought together big and small businesses, providing a platform for firms running from their homes, to showcase their products to a larger audience. The stalls included medical tourism, health and wellbeing, beauty, fashion, Indian wedding attire, banks, travel and tourism, creative decorations, which all kept the attendees busy and entertained.

THE INAUGURAL CEREMONY

The event started with the lighting the inaugural lamp ceremony. Noted MPs and Councillors who work closely with the Asian communities were present. CB Patel, the Editor and pub-

Jayanta Ray

Mirva

Shreya, Vedant

ested interaction and are quite hopeful to convert them into business. I feel Anand Mela is the best way to reach out to the Asian community in the UK. We hope to continue the journey in future as well." Ravindranath Mortha, the Asst. Gen. Manager, of the Bank of Baroda's Wembley Branch spoke to the audience about the services provided by the bank, and the L to R Dhimant Trivedi (CEO, Bank of Baroda), Bob Blackman (MP - Harow East), Bhagwanji Chohan (Mayor Brent), Ramanbhai Barber benefits of banking with them. (Senior Community Leader, Leiscester), Navin Shah (AM) and lisher of Asian Voice and Gujarat Samachar introduced the dignitaries and thanked them for their invaluable and selfless contributions towards the community. Among those on stage to light up the lamp were MP Bob

Payal Basu

Tanisha Biswas

Bhanu Pandya

Blackman, Cllrs Ameet Jogia, Rekha Shah, Ajay Maru, Sachin Shah, Raman Barbar, Krupa Sheth, Amit Jogia, and AM Navin Shah. OUR MAIN SPONSORS The main sponsors for the event were the Bank of Baroda, Medituria, Bhalla's

Ahana Ghose

Renia Ganguly

Sangeeta Naik

Arin

Vinod Patel

Dental Clinic and Delhi on the go. Our charity partners were Hope for Children. A small act of charity was multiplied by several people to transform the world of young children. Ed Fletcher, Head of

Mohammad Fahad

Anashmita Saha

A K Dance Academy

Fundraising said “we are really happy with the response we got here. Anand Mela has given us a platform to reach out to the community and spread awareness about the work we do in India.” Dr Manjit Singh Bhalla,

Kishan Amin

Kiv Raj

Cllr Rekha Shah (Former Mayor Harrow)

Director & CEO from Dr Bhalla's Dental Clinic said “the response was good, many were keen to know about our services and there were quite a few inquiries from the elderly.” Samit Kumar Biswas, Director & CEO of Advatech Healthcare Europe Ltd

(Meditouria) said “This is our second year as a Medical Tourism partner in Anand Mela. As usual through Meditouria we could reach the right audience in Anand Mela. We have a few healthcare services providers from India. They got some good, inter-

Navin Kundra

Ravindranath Mothru

London Sharad Utsav

Meera Dance Academy

THE SHOWSTOPPERS

Performances from both budding artists and wellknown stars lit up the Anand Mela stage. Navin

Kundra, the singer/songwriter, who writes, composes, and performs songs in Hindi, Punjabi and English enthralled the crowds on Saturday evening. UK-singer Kishan Amin, well known in the circuit for his ghazal, sufi, and Bollywood numbers got the crowds tapping along to his music. The other singers included Vinod Patel, eight-year-old Renia Ganguly, a musical genius with several interests, Adriana Gilani, a Romanian, qualified child psychiatrist who has been singing Bollywood songs from the age of seven and who came down all the way from Vienna to perform for us on both days. Muhammed Fahad, another famed singer also came up to sing old Md Rafi songs and old

Our Sponsors

Charity of the Year

Bollywood evergreen numbers that got applauded by the audience. Raja Kaasheff, a UKbased Asian singer/music director equally known in India, Pakistan, and Urdu/Hindi-speaking diaspora around the world also performed, interacting with the audiences all along. Shabaz Khan also sang old Bollywood songs. The London Sharad Utsav, renowned charity organisation which pro-

motes Indian and Bengali culture and cultural integration between India and the UK, performed with singers, a gorgeous dance team and juniors Arav, Ryan, Anish, Vaidehi and Alisha as a cherry on the cake. Shreya, Vedant along with their mothers Seemangi and Nilanjana will be presenting evergreen melodies from their dada-dadi and nana-nani' Among the dancers.

Photo courtesy: Raj D Bakrania, PrMediapix & Vineet

PITRU VANDANA

The launch of Piru Vandana Magazine: L to R CB Patel, Kokila Patel, Anilaben Patel, Manubhai Shah, Mr. Ravindranath Mothru, Honey Kalaria, Mirva and Kamal Rao

w

ere the kiddies and juniors from A K Bollywood, Anashmita Saha in Kathak, Sangeeta Naik in Odishi, Meenarva performed an outstanding kathak and the traditional thali dance from Honey Kalaria's Dance School, East West Fusion Group, Ahana, Payel Basu & Group and some brilliant Kathak dance recitals by Meera Salat's dance group. The East West Fusion Group, specialising in diverse dance forms including Contemporary, Bollywood, Semiclassical, Indo-jazz and Hip-hop shared the stage with the other

L to R Octapad Sonu Gajjar, Guitar player Omi, Tabla Player Vikas, in Second row L to R Singer Fahad, Rocky, Maya Deepak, Rubayat and Kokilaben Patel. In third row L to R Sound Engineer Channibhai, Kamal Rao, singer Raja and Keyboard player Hinal Pattani.

dancers. The Indian Ladies in the UK, ILUK, an organisation with 18000 ladies of Indian origin performed a short dance on Vande Mataram. Asian Voice went live with the events, and can be followed on Twitter:@anandmelaUK ABPL Group's Matru Vandana or Mothers day celebrations in MarchApril 2017 with ace singer Maya Deepak and her entourage was a smash hit, and by popular demand, ABPL organised a similar event to celebrate Father's Day. The evening was a musical tribute to the fathers

The Pitru Vandana magazine was also launched, and will be given out as a supplement with this week's newspaper. who showed us our way, and have been a constant support. Fresh hot vegetarian dinner was also served. Singers Maya Deepak, Raja Kaasheff, Rocky, Nimesh and Rubayyat Jahan were accompanied by Amardeep and Naushad (Tabla), Sonu Gujjar (Octopad), Anantbhai and Hinal Pattani (Keyboard). The show was a huge success, replicating the show at the Symphony Rooms in Leicester on 9th June, and the event was a huge success with nearly 250 people turning up to enjoy and evening of old Hindi songs and mouth-watering snacks.


18

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Asian Voice | 24th June 2017

ing Memory v o L In

Om Namah Shiva

Jai Swaminarayan

June 6, 2017

May 20, 1928

Maryland - USA

Mwanza - Tanzania

Late Smt. Sushilaben Patel Sushilaben Prafulkumar Patel passed away peacefully in the morning of Tuesday 6th June, 2017 in Silver Spring, Maryland. She leaves behind her daughter Jayshree Rajendrakumar Patel, Son Kirti Prafulkumar Patel and their families. She was born in Mwanza, Tanzania on 20th May, 1928. Her father Late Mansukhbhai Patel was a brilliant and successful Barrister at Law, as well as an entrepreneur who was the pioneer who established cotton ginning industry in Tanganyika way back in 1935. Sadly, Mansukhbhai became a victim of Black Water disease and died within 3 days of the diagnosis. Mansukhbhai and his wife Savitaben, had 6 children. Sons: Mahendrabhai, Hasmukhbhai and Janakbhai Daughters: Sushilaben, Sarojben and Pushpaben Sushilaben was their second Child. After the untimely and tragic death of Mansukhbhai, Savitaben had no other option but to return back to India with all the 6 children ranging from 12 years to 8 months. It was a drastic change in their life. In Mwanza, Barrister Patel had a very luxurious lifestyle with chauffeur driven Rolls Royce and other comforts. The family returns to India in 1937 and went through a very very difficult phase in their life. Savitaben also passed away in 1945, a victim of T.B, leaving behind Sushilaben as the mother figure to care for the family in her teenage. She performed all her responsibilities very diligently with enormous dignity and positiveness. She was married to Prafulkumar Vallabhbhai Patel and moved to Dares-Salaam, Tanzania. Jayshree, the eldest daughter was born in India and Kirti their son in Dar-es-Salaam. The family lived in Dar-es-Salaam, Mtwara in Tanzania and moved to India in 1963; from there they went to the UK in 1973. After 10 years in U.K., they migrated to U.S.A and settled. Prafulkumar passed away in 1992. Sushilaben in her last 25 years, not only discharged her duties as the

doyen of the family and Jayshree, her husband Rajendrakumar as well as son Kirti along with his wife Meena and the grand children’s (Kandarp, Meetal, Justin, Gavin and Sheena), became the pearls in the eyes of Sushilaben. Sushilaben cared for her family lovingly with enormous devotion and the extended family responded with bountiful adoration and dedication. Sushilaben had sacrificed her life for her brothers and sisters, providing yeomen services in the most challenging circumstances and her offspring’s reciprocated with equal loyalty and respect in the last 25 years of Sushilaben’s life. Sushilaben was warm hearted, family oriented, full of life and with pleasant personality who took pride in her own role and responsibilities. She preferred to be independent and self supportive as much as possible. Kirti and his wife Meena took great care of Sushilaben at their residence all along even when she became ill of her growing age or failing health, rather than sending her to some care home or a nursing facility. Daughter Jayshree, her husband and family always stood side by side in the service of Sushilaben. Sushilaben leaves behind a very warm hearted, loving and co-operative family which has impressed all the people who know them. Sushilaben will be missed not only by her family members but by all the friends from the different places where she had lived as well as by the devotees and priests of Mangal Mandir temple near her home in Silver Spring, Maryland. She has earned a well deserved rest. Om Shanti ……. Om Shanti……. Om Shanti C.B. PATEL

Eulogy Speech for Sushilaben Patel All of you here today (11th June, USA) know what a remarkable lady Baa was. The beautiful eulogy written by CB dada detailed her extraordinary life. Baa had a captivating smile, child like laughter, and a fantastic sense of humor. She was also brutally honest- Baa would tell you if the food you made was too salty or not good; and if you gained weight, watch out because Baa would let you know! Baa and I have had a long history together- from taking me to India at 5 years old for a tonsillectomy, walking me to school everyday in 3rd grade, to scolding me when I hit my brother Mital in the head with a battery pillow! But one of my favorite things about Baa, is how her taste in movies and shows were unlike any other Baa. Instead of watching Hindi movies, she preferred Dirty Harry and Chuck Norris movies; and her favorite TV shows include Dallas, Magnum PI, Threes Company, Price is Right and, of course, Wheel of Fortune. One of my favorite memories of Baa was when she and my son, Jai (who was 6 at the time), were watching a movie together. I was in the other room, and I hear these two laughing hysterically. As I walked over there, I found them watching Dumb and Dumber, and saw Baa laughing with Jai like there were no years between them I feel good knowing Baa was able to witness, and be a part of, so much greatness in her life- traveling the world with PV dada, residencies in several countries, marriages of siblings, children, and grand children, and the birth of great grandchildren. She created a beautiful legacy that lives on in her children, and the lineage coming from her. It is clear Baa had a positive impact on everyone, including family most dear to me. I would like to read a letter each of my sons wrote to their beloved great grandmother, Moti Baa: Jai, 11 years old: Dear Moti Baa, I’m sad that you passed away. At least you had a peaceful life. You are an amazing Baa. I’m sorry that we didn’t see you very often, but I loved you a lot. I am glad you got to come to Arizona before, and I wish you could come again (you really liked the pool!). You will always be in my heart Moti Baa! Love, Your Jai Babu

Raja, 8 years old: Dear Moti Baa, I am sorry. You are very strong. I love that you kept fighting. I love you so much Moti Baa, and I know you are always with me. I will always be with you too, Moti Baa. Love, Raja I love you baa. I am saddened I will no longer hear your laugh or hold your hand. But I am comforted to know you are finally free and at peace with Dada. JSK - Kandarp Patel


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Towards the end of last week I went to see a one bedroom property in Kentish Town. I knew nothing about the property, it was sourced by a colleague and I was simply told to go, as often I am.

Suresh Vagjiani

Sow & Reap London Property Investment

I knew the area well, I used to attend a martial arts class twice a week in the local area for about 67 years 13 years ago. It used to be a real run down ghetto, with social misfits on the streets and predominately occupied by council houses, not the ones which have been bought and then sold in the open market; back then the majority of these were still occupied by the original tenants. This was a place where hashish was sold quite openly on the High Street. The property is in a purpose built building which

AGONY AGENT Each week, we answer a reader’s rental property question, from first-time landlords to experienced owners. Agony Agent, is here to help! Q: I think my tenant has done a runner, what should I do? A: When times get hard, the instances of tenants leaving without notice before a tenancy comes to an end, increase. “Doing a runner” indicates a legal term known as abandonment of a tenancy. Often you will not know the property is vacant until rent payments stop, and if no regular checks are carried out on the

property, several weeks can go by before you know this has happened. Your insurance policies usually request you to inform the insurers if a property is vacant for more than 2 – 3 weeks, so insurance cover could be compromised when the property is abandoned. When tenants leave like this they often leave possessions behind, even pets in some cases! They may post the keys in the letter box, take the keys with them or even give them to someone else. When tenants’ possessions are left behind, you owe a legal duty of care to the tenant to protect them. This is the case even though the

BUY TO LET OPPORTUNITY

Kentish Town Road, London NW1 Purchase Price: £348,000

has a very clean and modern look to it. It could have been an office conversion, or a new build. Entering the lobby you could immediately tell this was a quality development. The reception is a generous height, and features have been left exposed, which is the case for many developments now. It adds character and gives a rustic, authentic feel to a development. I have seen a look in the warehouse conversions close to Tower Bridge, where the original brick work, vaults and piping had been left exposed and enhanced. This is in stark contrast to many developments where pounds per sq. ft. is the sole dominating consideration, leading to shoe box flat designs.

Kentish Town Station, and Camden Road Station. I would say no more than five mins walk to each one.

The property in question is a one bedroom on the fifth floor, newly done up and ready to rent. The fifth floor is a good floor to be on as it reduces the sounds from the road, the higher you go the less it is. It is a large, light and at 590 sq. ft. a very spacious one bedroom apartment. The price we have got the contract in for is only £350k. This equates to only £600 per sq. ft. To put this into perspective new builds in less desirable parts of Wembley are now valuing for £650 per sq. ft.

The location of this block is equidistant from Camden Town Station,

This is extremely cheap, not to mention you could easily turn this into a comfortable two bedroom

tenant may be in rent arrears and has damaged your property. But what is more of a pain for the landlord is that if the tenants have left possessions this shows that the tenants may come back at some point, which means the landlord must take extra care not to breach the Protection from Eviction Act:

via a Possession Order. Landlords should keep a watch on their properties for signs of abandonment: unopened mail piling up behind the door, bins not emptied, drawn curtains, empty parking spaces etc. Better still, it’s a good idea to develop a close relationship with neighbours to report problems like this.

"It‘s a criminal offence to unlawfully deprive a residential tenant of his or her occupation of the premises, or attempt to do so."

What if you strongly suspect abandonment?

Basically, a landlord cannot stop a tenant from using or living at the property without first obtaining a surrender of the tenancy or gaining consent from the courts

The first thing you should do is speak to the neighbours; once you are sure the tenant has left, you should cautiously enter the premises with spare keys. Have a witness with you, for example an agent, and be prepared to find the premises occupied. If that is the case you would

l One bedroom and large reception room

l Long lease

l Service charge includes all utility bills

l Expected resale value is £475,000

Call us now for more information!

REAL ESTATE VOICE

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Asian Voice | 24th June 2017

to enhance the rental return. There is a slight sting in the tail with this deal, the service charge is high at £6,000 per annum, the reasons why I know not. However, when you analyse this it’s not so bad. In a development like this you would expect a £2K - £3k service charge, let’s assume £2k. The ‘extra’ £4k per annum can be turned into a lump sum of £80k assuming an interest rate of 5%. So even at a purchase price of £420k the £ per sq. ft. is only £730. The last property sold in the block was priced at £760 per sq. ft. and sold in March this year. This means the deal we have is 28% below the market value. It’s better if you’re a high rate tax payer to have the money coming out of the need to make your excuses and leave fairly quickly – tenants should understand if you state your concern for their safety. However, if the place has been abandoned, cleared out or with some of the larger items left behind; letters behind the door and gone off food in the fridge are all signs you were right. At this stage, if you are sure the property has been abandoned, you may want to secure the property by changing the locks. You should take photographs of the state of the property and take all the meter readings. Better still you may want to ask your inventory clerk to do a full checkout inventory as independent evidence and a careful note should be made

service charge rather than the interest payment, as service charge is one of the expenses deductible from the rental income. The ability to deduct the interest element of the mortgage is being phased out for higher rate tax payers. This is a cracking deal, in a very strong location and it is harder to find deals this discounted at the bottom end of the market. Not only are you quids in on day one, but the property will rise very well in the coming years. of the tenant’s possessions. You should then go ahead and affix an Abandonment Notice to the door of the property, and also serve at the property a 14 day Housing Act 1988 Section 8 Notice citing the relevant grounds for seeking possession. This process will take time and unfortunately can be very tricky as there are further details and important points that need to be addressed in order to take over the possession of the property. If you find yourself in this situation then please contact the office for our assistance. Richard Bond Lettings Manager Sow & Reap


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FINANCIAL VOICE

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Asian Voice | 24th June 2017

Consultant Editor Financial Voice Alpesh Patel Dear Financial Voice Reader, When the Financial Times asked me to write my book ‘Trading Online’ 20 years ago and it started outselling even Harry Potter for a while on Amazon (all too short while!) thanks to Trevor McDonald interviewing me, no way could I have imagined that online trading would involve trading anything other than stocks, forex, commodities and indices. But, I’m a convert to Bitcoin trading. Why? Surely, what I thought a few years ago as a niche, even gimmick for the few, cannot suddenly lead a hard-core hedge fund manager trading his personal account to view it as a serious product worthy of mainstream consideration. And I am not talking here of buy and hold, or using it as a currency. I know the benefits of blockchain and appreciate that. Just as I trade oil or gold, or Apple shares, and believe in the utility of the underlying, so it is now with Bitcoin. So what do I love about it? And why do I want to do it, and what does it mean as more online traders start trading Bitcoin online? Before we get to that, for the uninitiated, I better tell you about Bitcoin. Bitcoin is a ‘crypto-currency’. It has value not based on being backed by gold (neither is the Pound for that matter or USD) but because like other currencies the value its buyers and sellers put on it. It is a digital currency and thanks to some innovative technology called blockchain, used globally now safely, securely. It is also a finite commodity, like oil. Whilst more Bitcoins can be ‘mined’ by computers, it is slow, difficult and limited – like mining gold! So you can see the similarities. So why does Bitcoin have what it takes to be traded alongside $5 trillion dollars traded globally on Forex or the billions on stocks worldwide? First, it has enough traction, followers and ‘liquidity’ to be moved by human emotion. This allows all us who decide price moves based on charts or technical analysis to have something to focus on. Second, it is important enough as a currency to be moved by global events. So the news followers who like to find their edge based on their opinions on the markets have something to base their trades on too. Third, and most importantly, it’s early days, and that to my mind means more opportunity to have an edge and make money. I’m thinking RIMM, Apple, Amazon ‘back in the day’. And it’s a niche, without many players. I can get an edge based on my experience of trading, or my desire to just plain know more than the market through research. Fourth, and just as importantly – it trends. It is not volatility that provides opportunity. It is volatility in a direction. For days, sometimes weeks, Bitcoin is a one-way bet up, and then one-way bet down for days or weeks. I like that. I like trends on whose coat-tails I can ride. I like bandwagons and jumping off before they fall off the cliff. Momentum trading is my thing. Don’t knock it – according to the Financial Times in 2015 $250billion were in trend following hedge funds and in 2016 trend following hedge fund strategies were the best performing according to the paper. I’ll keep you posted of the coat-tail Bitcoin ride.

Infy warns of risks from shareholder activism

Multinational corporation, Infosys said actions by activist shareholders may impact its ability to execute its “strategic priorities” and disrupt its operations. The first such warning to be issued by the company, is seen as a reference to its promoters who have publicly criticised the company's corporate governance standards over the last year. Analysts said Infosys is worried that the promoters will continue to play an activist role, notwithstanding efforts to resolve issues internally. The company, however, denied any reference to individuals in particular, and sources in the company suggested that it is a reference to the likes of hedge fund Elliott

Management. In a statement, Infosys said, “Responding to actions by activist shareholders can divert the attention of our board of directors, management, and our employees and disrupt our operations. Such activities could interfere with our ability to execute our strategic plan. This may also require us to incur significant legal fees and public relations cost. The perceived uncertainties as to our future direction could affect client and investor sentiment, resulting in volatility in the price of our securities.” Founders of the company has persistently voiced concerns and criticisms in the past one year.

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Taxmen take coercive action against Cairn Energy Income Tax Department has ordered a coercive action against Cairn Energy of UK, including taking away over £200 million dividend and tax refund to recover part of the £1.02 billion retrospective tax. A top source said the department has already adjusted £150 million of tax refund due to Cairn Energy Plc, against the principal amount. It sent a notice, on June 16, under Section 226(3) of the Income Tax Act to the company's erstwhile subsidiary, Cairn India Ltd, saying whatever is due to the British firm in the form of dividend should be transferred to the government. The source said over £65 million, in past and current dividend, is due to

the company, and it was likely to be transferred to the exchequer by this week. The department will next move to take 9.8 per cent residual stake that Cairn Energy retains in Cairn India even after selling the erstwhile subsidiary to Vedanta. The source said that the tribunal refused to entertain Cairn India to release dividend due to it. The

In its latest chargesheet filed against Vijay Mallya, the Enforcement Directorate of India has alleged that the businessman floated 20 shell companies, directors of which were either his personal staff or retired employees. In its chargesheet, it said, “Mallya was holding directly or indirectly movable assets, in the form of shares of public listed companies, by way of creating a web of shell companies. The assets were being in shell/dummy companies created by Mallya.” Filed in Mumbai last week, the over 5,000 page chargesheet with 57 pages of the main report and rest annexures, said Mallya had

“formed a complex web structure of his group companies so as to directly control their affairs.” It added, “He has nominated directors in those companies who were either his personal staff, retired company official or a third person.” ED identified the alleged shell firms as M/s PE Data Centre Resources Private Limited, M/s Pharma Trading Limited, M/s Kingfisher Finvest Limited, Devi Investment Private Limited, M/s Mallya Investment Private Limited, M/s Explicit Consultancy Private Limited, M/s Ambitious Computech Private Limited and Vilora Consultancy Private Limited among others. The agency is currently

Assessing Officer is in the process of drawing a certificate under the Income Tax Rules, 1962 for recovery of tax, as per which, the tax recovery officer will go ahead to attach the shares and sell them. It, however, added that the sale might not happen immediately as the tax department will wait for the best price, and that the shares can be sold to LIC

or Vedanta whosoever quotes the best price. The IT department had issued a notice on March 31, to Cairn Energy seeking £1.02 billion tax and set June 15 as the deadline for payment. ITAT had upheld levy of retrospective tax on 2006 transfer of shares by the UK firm to a newly created Indian unit Cairn India. “On June 16, 2017 the Indian Income Tax Department issued an order to Vedanta India Ltd directing it to pay over any sums due to Cairn. Sums due to Cairn from VIL now total USD 104 million, including historical dividends of USD 53 million and a further dividend of USD 51 million after the merger of CIL and VIL,” it said.

Vijay Mallya created 20 shell companies, says ED chargesheet

Vijay Mallya

trying to confiscate a coffee estate in Coorg in Karnataka and other assets in Bengaluru which it had attached under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act as it did with a £ 10 million farm house in Maharashtra's Alibaug recently. A criminal case had been registered by the ED in the deal last year. “There were encumbered (free of debt) prop-

erties of more than £176 million in addition to the properties mentioned in the personal guarantee submitted by Mallya to the IDBI bank,” the Ed said, indicating that the assets were not pledged as collaterals towards security of the bank loan. Nine people have been named, including Mallya and senior employees and executives of the now-defunct airline and the IDBI. The agency is going to file a request to extradite the fugitive liquor baron from the UK. A senior officer said, “Now that the chargesheet has been filed against Mallya, we will soon file an affidavit in court and then apply for his extradition through diplomatic channels.”

RBI targets ‘dirty dozen’ defaulters accounting for 25% of bad loans Putting its foot down, the Reserve Bank of India has decided to order lenders to tip 12 companies into bankruptcy proceedings. The unnamed companies represent a quarter of the country's estimated $120 billion bad loan problems. In order to maintain balance, the RBI simply picked accounts with liabilities of over $780 million, and where 60 per cent or more of the borrowings were non-performing as of March 2016. For all other big, deadbeat borrowers who did not meet the original threshold, the RBI

threatens the same fate unless banks agree a resolution plan within six months. By moving so quickly, the RBI can avoid criticism that it was not doing enough to fix the

financial system. The focus will immediately switch to the other arms of the state that are charged with implementing the new bankruptcy code, and whether they are fit for purpose. The landmark reform envisions wrapping up an insolvency process within 180 days, with the option of a 90-day extension. But to date, no companies have completed the process, issues of legal interpretation have come up, and the National Company Law Tribunal is still hiring to fill vacancies. If the process works, haircuts may exceed

lenders existing provisions. Across the banking system these amount to 44% of non-performing loans, according to Credit Suisse analysts. They reckon some companies need at least an 80% reduction in their interest burden to cover payments at current levels of profitability. In any case, India will move closer to establishing how much capital must be pumped into public sector banks. Estimates vary wildly, from $20 billion upwards. The RBI has played its role now the ball is back in New Delhi’s court.


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Asian Voice | 24th June 2017

Cut Pak aid for supporting terror: 2 US lawmakers

WASHINGTON: Two top US lawmakers have accused Pakistan of supporting terrorism, urging the government to cut military aid to the country. During a Congressional hearing held last week, Congressman Dana Rohrabacher and Ted Poe accused Pak of engaging in terrorism, stating that the US should make it more difficult for Islamabad to get its hands on American weapons. During a meeting of House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Terrorism, Non-proliferation and Trade Hearing on Foreign Military Sales, Rohrabacher said, “We need to go on the record here, on this part of our government, to say that we're not going to be providing weapons to countries like Pakistan that we're afraid will shoot down our own people and afraid we know they've engaged in terrorism. We know what they've done now. They still hold Dr Afridi (who helped locate Osama bin Laden)... in a dungeon.” He added, “We should be facilitating our support and our weapons systems to countries like Egypt that are fighting this threat to Western civilisation, to all of civilisation. And we should make it more difficult not less difficult for countries like Pakistan to get their hands on American weapons.” Chairman of the House Foreign Affairs

PRESENTS

I N A S S O C I AT I O N W I T H

Congressmen Dana Rohrabacher and Ted Poe

Subcommittee on Terrorism, Non-proliferation and Trade, Congressman Ted Poe said the issue US has with Pakistan is whether “they're loyal or playing us for years on the issue of aid. We were concerned about the Pakistanis scrambling F-16s that we made and sold to the Pakistanis so that they wouldn't shoot down Americans who were doing the job of taking out this terrorist. I personally think Pakistan plays the United States because they turn to China if we don't help them.” Poe said, “I understand all that. They have nuclear weapons and we want to have a relationship with them so that they don't look to China. I get all that. But are we doing anything different on sales to Pakistan to make sure those sales of whatever it is aren't used against us directly or used against us indirectly because of the military helping the Taliban in Afghanistan where we have our troops and those weapons could be used against the United States?” He asked, “Are

we doing anything different to make sure that doesn't happen or are we still using the same formula.” Acting Assistant Secretary of State, Political-Military Affairs, Tina Kaidanow informed lawmakers that with Pakistan, the US has a robust end use monitoring programme to make sure the items it provides to them are used appropriately and within the boundaries of what the US has asked them to accomplish. She said, “We regard Pakistan as an important partner on counter-terrorism issues. They will be essential in bringing the Afghan Taliban to the table for peace talks. There are a number of things where we need their cooperation and their assistance. We do want to help them on the counter-terrorism front, but on the other hand, again, we have very big concerns that we continuously front with them on support for Haqqani, on support for other things. This has been made clear to the Pakistani government at the highest levels.”

Are you with us or with Qatar, Saudi King asks Pak PM ISLAMABAD: "Are you with us or with Qatar?" Saudi King Salman asked a pointing and direct question to Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, who was on a visit to the Gulf Kingdom for a diplomatic solution to the Qatar crisis. He asked Sharif to clarify his position during the meeting, as reported by the media. A report read, “Pakistan has told Saudi Arabia it will not take sides in the brewing diplomatic crisis in the Middle East after Riyadh asked Islamabad 'are you with us or with Qatar'.” While Pak has managed to weigh its steps carefully ever since Saudi and other countries cut off diplomatic ties with Qatar on allegations of supporting terrorist groups, Saudi wants it to side with them. Sharif, along with army chief Qamar Javed Bajwa and other senior officials travelled to Jeddah to dis-

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Is there someone you know who has broken boundaries and deserves recognition for their unique contribution to the Asian Community or the Nation

Nominate them for the 17th Asian Achievers Awards

?

The prestigious Asian Achievers Awards is hosted every year by UK’s leading news weeklies Asian Voice and Gujarat Samachar to honour British Asians par excellence.

Deadline for nomination 31st July, 2017 NOMINATION FORM Please  tick the appropriate category Achievement in Community Service In recognition for an individuals service to community.

Woman of the Year The award will recognise and honour a woman who has made a significant mark in any chosen field. Sports Personality of the Year Awarded for excellence in sports. Business Person of the Year Awarded to a business person who is a success in every sense of the word and can demonstrate a genuine passion for social issues. Lifetime Achievement Award To honour those individuals, who during their lifetime, have made immense contributions in any given field. This remarkable individual can be marked as an example for the younger generation. Uniformed and Civil Services For outstanding achievements in uniformed and civil services or contribution to the community through any of the above services. Entrepreneur of the Year Awarded to an entrepreneur with a proven track record of operating a successful business enterprise. Professional of the Year Professionals in the field of medicine, law, education, banking, finance and others, who have scaled the heights of their chosen profession. Achievement in Media, Arts and Culture Someone who has made a mark in media including print and broadcast media; cinema, art and culture.

Details required for filing the nomination Nawaz Sharif with Saudi King Salman

cuss the issue. The visit however, did not fructify as expected. An official statement said that Sharif met King Salman and urged an early resolution of the impasse in Gulf in the best interest of all Muslims. Saudi Press Agency said both the leaders discussed the “latest regional developments” in addition to bilateral relations. Salman told Sharif that “the fight against extremism and terrorism is in the interest of all Muslims and the Ummah.” The latest crisis is considered to be the gravest to be faced by the Gulf Cooperation Council in nearly four decades. No

diplomatic efforts have worked so far in easing the tensions. Emir Sheikh Sabah al Ahmad of Kuwait, who has been leading the diplomatic initiative has vowed to continue his efforts to resolve the ongoing crisis despite a lack of results. Saudi Arabia, UAE, Bahrain and Egypt cut off diplomatic ties and transport links with Qatar on June 5, alleging that its policies fuel extremism and terrorism. The crisis erupted late last month over fears that Qatar was trying to improve its ties with Iran, which Saudi Arabia and its allies wanted to be isolated.

Please email/post the below details on a separate sheet I Nominee's Name, Occupation I Nominee's Contact Details (Tel/ Email) I Award Category: (choose from the category above ) I Reason for nomination I Nominees Accomplishments /Awards/Recognitions I Personal background /CV/ Bio (Attach these documents if necessary) I Any other information you would like to include about the nominee I Your Name/ Contact details(Email/Phone) Make sure that you fill in this application form and send it on or before 31st July, 2017 by post, fax or email to Mr. L George, Tel: 020 7749 4013, Fax 020 7749 4081, Email: aaa@abplgroup.com. If you are sending it by post the address is Mr. L George, ABPL Group, Karma Yoga House, 12 Hoxton Market, London N1 6HW. Apply online www.abplgroup.com/Events/Asian-Achievers-Awards/Nominations

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Gurdwara in Dubai holds Iftar for people of all religions DUBAI: The largest gurdwara in the Gulf held an Iftar, in a heart-warming gesture, where people of over 30 nationalities broke the Muslim fast together. In a demonstration of the spirit of tolerance, the Gurunanak Darbar Gurudwara hosted more than 120 residents and celebrated the holy month of Ramadan. At the call to the evening prayers, Maghreb, Muslims broke their fast over water, dates, and Indian dishes. They later offered their prayers inside the gurdwara premises in Jebel Ali. Chairman of Gurunanak Darbar, Surender Singh Kandhari said the Iftar was held to bring people together in the face of adversity. “In a world that struggles with extremism, the best way to

cut it is through creating friendships among different faiths and nationalities and making the difference ourselves. It is only though communication that we can overcome adversities.” He mentioned that guests varied from Arabs, Ethiopians, Mexicans, to Americans and

Serbians. Indian Consul General in Dubai, Vipul said the gurdwara is doing a great service by getting all communities and religions together. He cited the example of the gurudwara achieving a Guinness World Record by hosting breakfast for 101

nationalities in April. “I see today’s Iftar also as a step in that direction,” he was quoted as saying. A regular visitor at the gurdwara, Mitchell Peeters from Belgium, said as a Christian, having Iftar in a Sikh temple makes the experience in UAE more special. “It is a nice experience to enjoy happiness and friendliness of people around you from different faiths and nationalities. It is part of the charm of living in Dubai and adjusting to the customs of the local people,” said Peeters, a UAE resident for four years. Gurunanak Darbar is the largest gurudwara of Gulf region. On a regular basis, the gurudwara serves free meals everyday to visitors, and distributes food packs to labour camps every weekend.

Hindu girl's 'forced conversion' creates uproar in Pakistan

ISLAMABAD: The alleged abduction and conversion of a minor Hindu girl in Thar, Pakistan has prompted massive anger among members of the region's minority Hindu community. Ravita Meghwar, 16, was allegedly abducted by men from the Syed community of Wanharo village near Nagarparkar, on June 6. Last week, she, along with her “husband” Nawaz Ali Shah, met local journalists in Umerkot to “inform” them of her consent in both -

I've accounted for every penny, says Sharif ISLAMABAD: For the very first time, Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif appeared before a judicial panel probing his family's offshore properties in line with the apex courts verdict in the Panamagate case, last week. “A historic day for Pakistan's judiciary, I and my whole family have presented ourselves for accountability. Is there any family in Pakistan that has appeared for accountability other than mine,” the PM asked. He said, “My personal businesses have nothing to do with federal treasury. And no matter how many conspiracies my rivals are hatching, they will not be successful.” Ahead of appearing before the JIT, Sharif met his close aides including Finance Minister Ishaq Dar, Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan, Defence Minister Khawaja Asif, and his brother and Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif.

embracing Islam and their marriage. Meghwar claimed to have embraced the religion in the presence of an Islamic preacher. She even claimed to journalists in Islamkot that she had not been kidnapped but had in fact, eloped with Shah. Local reports said the marriage was ratified by Pir Mohammad Ayub Jan Farooqui. The marriage certificate issued by him read, “The girl is 18 years old, can marry the person of her choice and her Islamic name

is Gulnar.” The incident has not gone well with the Hindu community, with the girl's family insisting that she was kidnapped and forced to convert. Ravita's father, Satram Das Meghwar alleged that influential members of the Syed community kidnapped his daughter after giving sleeping pills to the family. He also claimed that the Thar police, despite frequent appeals, avoided tracing the girl till she was forced to convert. Pakistan Muslim

League-Nawaz lawmaker and chief of the Pakistan Hindu Council, Ramesh Kumar Vankwani has expressed concerns over the incident. “A Hindu girl below 18 years of age cannot be converted according to the Hindu Marriage Act.” Hindu protesters have also cited an FIR filed by the 16 year old at Dano Dhandal police station, months earlier, against her current husband and his relatives, Syed Noor Ali Shah, Mohammad Nohrio Junejo, and Sher Ali Junejo.

Indian American Arun Netravali wins Marconi prize

CALIFORNIA: Former president of Bell Labs, Arun Netravali, has been named winner of the 2017 Marconi Prize as announced by the Marconi Society on June 15. The prize includes a $100,000 honorarium and a work of sculpture. “Few things have had a greater impact on communications in recent years than the digital video revolution led by Arun,” said Vint Cerf, chairman of the Marconi Society and Chief Internet Evangelist at Google. “Everywhere you look, video is transforming the way we communicate on mobile devices and how we consume entertainment and news. Movies, YouTube, live streaming - it is literally transforming how people interact. The next generation of video based on this technology, including virtual reality, promises to revolutionise video consumption, delivery and business models once again.”

Arun Netravali

Netravali's career at Bell Labs saw him launch research in video coding and compression in the early 1980s, helped convince the organisation to undertake big system initiatives like HDTV and Softswitch, and, his research team proved the viability of HDTV, earning the company a trial with TV manufacturer Zenith. Netravali also promoted a highly collaborative approach to research. The

Marconi Society wrote, “Bell Labs cultivated the brightest minds across many different science and engineering disciplines; it is this diversity that really enables large-scale system development.” Netravali led the Bell Labs when it had 22,000 employees, a budget of $3.5 billion, launched 35 ventures, turned out an average of four patents per day, and developed leading edge products in wireless, optical and data communication at record speeds. The Marconi Society is dedicated to furthering scientific achievements in communications and related technologies. It cited the Indian American digital video pioneer's commendable work on video compression standards that served as the key base technology for MPEG 1, 2, and 4, and enabled a wide range of video services including digital TV, HDTV, and streaming video.

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Neha Rastogi Case: just 13 day jail for abusive husband

CALIFORNIA: Former Indian American CEO Abhishek Gattani will serve just 13 days in jail for allegedly abusing his wife Neha Rastogi for more than a decade. Papiha Nandy, who organized a nationwide rally on June 15 to gather support for Rastogi, said it was “heart-breaking” that 12 audiotapes, in which Gattani is reportedly heard brutally abusing his wife, were inadmissible as evidence. Despite much outrage from the Indian American community, a Santa Clara County Superior Court judge re-affirmed a plea deal that allows Gattani to serve only 13 days in jail for allegedly abusing his wife for over a decade.

Death toll rises to 163 in Bangladesh landslides

DHAKA: The death toll following landslides in Bangladesh has risen to 163, as firefighters recovered more bodies from different areas of Rangamati which alone accounted for 114 deaths. Several people were killed in the hilly areas of Chittagong, Rangamati and Bandarban in Bangladesh following incessant downpour and landslides. Scores of others were injured and many remained missing. The Chittagong Hill Tracts saw over 300 mm of rainfall in the 24 hours.

Lightning kills 22 in Bangladesh

DHAKA: Lightning has killed at least 22 people in Bangladesh in the last 48 hours, authorities said, a week after monsoon rains triggered a series of deadly landslides in the country. The deaths came as storms swept the country on Sunday and Monday. Hundreds of people die every year from lightning in Bangladesh and experts say climate change has exacerbated the problem. They also blame deforestation and the loss of taller trees like palms that used to act as lightning conductors. Last year authorities declared a natural disaster when the official toll topped 200 deaths, with 82 people dying on a single day in May.

7 killed as blast rocks kindergarten in China

BEIJING: An explosion rocked a kindergarten in eastern China, killing at least seven people and injuring dozens, authorities said. The blast occurred at the front gate of the kindergarten in Fengxian County in east China's Jiangsu Province when children were leaving the school. Public security minister Guo Shengkun ordered a “prompt” investigation into the cause and “demanded enhanced checks of possible risks at densely populated venues,” Xinhua said.

Roger Kalia, Sameer Patel get Solti award

CALIFORNIA: California.-based Pacific Symphony’s assistant conductor Roger Kalia and Sameer Patel, associate conductor of the San Diego Symphony, are among nine conductors to have received the 2017 Solti Foundation US Career Assistance Award. The Indian American conductors have both won the honour in the past. The award supports and encourages young musicians in the early stages of their classical careers. Kalia has also served as the cover conductor for the Los Angeles Philharmonic, St. Louis Symphony and Indianapolis Symphony.

US man sentenced to 72 years for killing grandfather WASHINGTON: A US man was sentenced to 72 years in prison for beating his 84-year-old grandfather to death during a dinner argument. Jason Vanbommel, 34, was sentenced after being found guilty by a jury on April 13 of reckless manslaughter and first-degree assault of an at-risk adult, among other charges. According to local media reports, Vanbommel argued with his grandmother over dinner and when his grandfather tried to intervene he was punched and kicked in the head. The old man died in the hospital.


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Anil Kumble steps down Portugal wildfires kill 62, as India coach many charred in cars

India cricket coach Anil Kumble on Tuesday stepped down from his position after a widelyspeculated feud with captain Virat Kohli, marking a bitter end to a highly successful tenure. "The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) confirms that Anil Kumble has withdrawn his services as the post of the Head Coach for the Senior India Men's team," said the BCCI in a statement. "While the Cricket Advisory Committee had endorsed an extension to his tenure as Head Coach, Anil Kumble has decided not to continue as the coach," read the statement further. Kumble's decision comes in the wake of reports claiming rifts between him and Kohli, and just two days after India's embarrassing loss to Pakistan in the Champions Trophy final. His one year contract expired at the end of the Champions Trophy but he was given the option to travel with the team to the West Indies for the limited overs series beginning on Friday. However, Kumble decided to stay back in London for the ICC 'Annual Conference' as he is the chairman of the Cricket Committee while the Indian team boarded the flight to Barbados. Kohli had met the BCCI top brass alongwith Kumble in London before leaving for the West Indies. The meeting took place after the high-profile Cricket Advisory Committee (CAC) communicated to the BCCI that it had failed resolve the dif-

ferences between Kumble and Kohli. The BCCI had invited fresh applications for the post of head coach days before the start of Champions Trophy. Kumble was a direct entry into the coach selection process while the others who applied for the post were Virender Sehwag, Tom Moody, Richard Pybus and Lalchand Rajput among others. On the sidelines of the Champions Trophy in the UK, the CAC comprising Sachin Tendulkar, VVS Laxman and Sourav Ganguly held meetings with Kumble as well as Kohli to sort out the differences between the duo. It was being widely perceived in the BCCI that in the meeting between Kohli and CAC, the skipper had made it clear that his relationship with the coach had reached a dead end. It was only the CAC which had picked Kumble as the coach last year. It has been learnt that the committee will soon have a conference call to decide on Kumble's successor. Notably, during the entire Champions Trophy, there was hardly any communication

between the two during the practice sessions with Kumble mostly keeping to himself or giving some practice to the bowlers. The team did well under Kumble in the past 12 months, winning Test series in the West Indies (2-0) before winning at home against New Zealand (3-0), England (4-0), Bangladesh (1- 0) and Australia (2-1). The team won eight ODIs and lost five during the 46- year-old's tenure. Former India spinner Bishan Bedi tweeted: "Gratitude has obviously been thrown out of the window by whoever raising 'revolt' against India's giant @anilkumble1074! Loser's Indian Cricket of course!" "It (the coach selection process) should have been done after the home season and not just before the Champions Trophy. It could have been handled better but that is how the cookie has crumbled," he said. Meanwhile, BCCI acting president CK Khanna and acting secretary Amitabh Choudhary thanked Kumble for his services to the Indian team. "We wish to place on record our sincere appreciation for the immense contribution by Anil Kumble to the team which enabled India to attain the No.1 Test position. Indian cricket needs his continued contribution in various capacities and wishes him all the best in his future endeavour," said Choudhary.

SRK, Salman, Akshay among world’s highest-paid celebrities Indian superstars Shah Rukh Khan, Salman Khan, and Akshay Kumar have featured on Forbes' annual list of the highest-earning entertainers in the world. The 'World's Highest-Paid Celebrities of 2017' is topped by American rapper and entrepreneur Sean Combs, famous by his stage name 'Diddy', with an annual earning of $130 million. Shah Rukh ranked 65th with $38 million, and stands tied with singer and actress Jennifer Lopez. Salman is on the 71st spot with $37 million in earnings, tied with 'Shape of You' singer Ed Sheeran, and Akshay is ranked 80th with earnings of $35.5 million, tied with none other than the legendary Bon Jovi. “King Khan continues to bank

big from starring roles in Bollywood movies. He also cashes in on endorsement deals for dozens of brands most Americans have likely never heard of,” Forbes said. About Akshay, it said, “Kumar, a king of the Bollywood box office for over a quarter of a century, mints millions through both starring and ensemble roles.” The list featured Beyoncé on the second spot with earnings of $105 million, author JK Rowling

was at number three with $94 million. While there are 10 male actors on the ranking, not a single female movie star made the cut, Forbes said, adding that women comprise just 16 per cent of the world’s top-earning celebrities, “an imbalance that reflects the gender pay gap in entertainment and beyond.” The 16 women on this year’s list earned a cumulative $822.5 million.

A forest fire in central Portugal claimed over 62 lives, charring several of them in their cars as they attempted to flee. A massive wall of thick smoke and bright red flames towered over trees in forested Pedrogao Grande, a little over 150 km northeast of Lisbon where a lightning strike is believed to have triggered the blaze. Like most southern European countries, Portugal is prone to forest fires in dry summer months. “The dimensions of this fire have caused a human tragedy beyond any in our memory,?” said PM Antonio Costa. Over 350 soldiers joined 700 firefighters struggling to put out the monster fire. Interior Ministry official Jorge Gomes said firefighting crews were having difficulties battling the fire, which was “very intense” in at least two of its four fronts. He said authorities were worried about strong winds that could spread the blaze further. Giving an insight into the grim situation at hand, Gomes said at least 30 people died inside their cars as they tried to flee between the

towns of Figueiro dos Vinhos and Castanheira de Pera. He said 17 others died right outside their cars or by the road, 11 died in the forest, and two died in a car accident related to the fire. Information on other deaths remained pending. The European Union stated it had activated its civil protection efforts

responding to a call for assistance by Portuguese authorities. Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who is scheduled to visit the country on the 24th of this month, condoled the loss of lives. “Sad to learn of tragic loss of lives in the forest fire in Portugal. Deepest condolences to the people on this tragedy.”


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PM Narendra Modi flags off Kochi Metro NEW DELHI: Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated Kochi's first metro rail service, along with 'Metro Man' E Sreedharan by his side. After cutting the inaugural ribbon at the rail network's Palarivattom station, he later rode a train from there to Pathadippalam. Kochi Metro began commercial operations on Monday, and trains began operations from Aluva and Palarivattom stations as early as 6 am. One of many 'firsts' for India, Kochi will be the first one in the country to have a 'water metro', which will be a feeder service to the rail metro, making it the country's first integrated multimodel transport system. The new metro

will also be India's first to extensively use solar panels, with as many as 22 stations on the final 25-km full stretch of the rail line hosting panels. Kochi Metro plans to meet 25 per cent of its electrici-

Troubles piling up for TN CM Palaniswami CHENNAI: The ruling AIADMK will suffer another setback in the assembly session which starts on Wednesday, after a Times Now-Moon TV sting operation telecast a cash-for-vote narrative by two party MLAs. DMK immediately convened a strategy session for its members, brainstorming for hours on how to corner the government during the session. The party intends to ask the Speaker to order a probe into charges of bribing of MLAs and, plans to meet the governor and make a request for a probe. Meanwhile, the AIADMK is likely to defend the issues raised by the opposition parties, however, their main worry remains the kind of behaviour of Sasikala loyalists in the Assembly. A source said, “Cabinet, after discussing the issues of governance, also discussed ways and means to handle the opposition onslaught on the TV expose and other issues like drinking water crisis, NEET, etc.” He added, “If

K. Palaniswami

some ruling party MLAs rebel and refuse to support, then cut motions may be a big headache for the government and this also figured in the meeting.” EC orders FIR against TN CM The Election Commission has, meanwhile, ordered filing of FIR against Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami and five others in the RK Nagar by-poll bribery case. Others listed are state ministers P Thangamani, KA Sengottaiyan, C Vijaya Bhaskar and Sellur Raju and ruling Anna DMK deputy general secretary TTV Dinakaran.

Video of Akali leader threatening police goes viral CHANDIGARH: A video showing former Akali MLA Virsa Singh Valtoha “threatening” deputy commissioner of Tarn Taran and police officials for harassing party workers went viral on the internet, prompting the ruling Congress to condemn the incident. In the video purportedly recorded in June 12, Valtoha could be heard saying, “I warn deputy commissioner Tarn Taran that if he made any mistake in future, we would not spare him.” He said he had made a note of several cases in which Akali workers were allegedly harassed at the command of the Congressled government. Valtoha targeted police officials, alleging that the Station House Officers found harassing any Akali worker in future would face consequences. “I have noted down the names of SHOs and I have told party leaders to reveal the names of the SHOs or any other employee harassing them.

Then, I will see them.” When contacted, the MLA showed no remorse, saying it was just a warning. “It was not a threat, it was just a warning to DC and cops for discriminating against Akalis on the directions of Congress leaders.” He blamed the DC of being involved in dissolving the Nagar Council in his constituency. “Panchayat lands in my area are being given to Congress workers for farming without getting any auction done,” Valtoha said. Congress MLAs, meanwhile, hit out at Valtoha, saying he appeared to be in the “hangover of the 10 years of Akali high-handedness”. In a joint statement, Congress MLAs from Tarn Taran said, “The record of all your omissions and commissions is ready to be revealed and you will not only stand exposed before the public but will be held accountable and answerable to the law of the land.”

ty needs from solar power. One of the most talked about achievement of the rail is, however, the hiring of around 20 transgender people as part of its work force. The employees would be part of departments like house keeping and even customer care at metro stations. In a brand new video that went viral on the internet, the third gender urged people to treat them like normal people. Last week, Kochi Metro Rail Limited treated all its workers to a traditional 'sadhya' and a dance party as appreciation for their efforts.

Kerala students offer help to educate 4 Agra kids KANNUR: Students from over 150 schools in Kerala have come forward to help three daughters and a son of a family in Agra acquire education. Aarti Sharma, who put a plea for help on her Facebook, said her husband's business had taken a hit following the demonetisation move, and that debts had piled high. She said she could not pay the school fees of her three daughters and a son who were studying in a CBSE school. Sharma said the BJP-led government in Uttar Pradesh were of no help, and local authorities belittled her by asking her to educate her kids “according to her status”. In her plea, the desperate mother offered to sell her kidneys to help her kids to attend school. CPM MLA James Mathew from Thaliparamba, Kannur, in Kerala first took notice of

Aarti's appeal and espoused her cause. He was instrumental in initiating a fund collection drive in the northern district of Kerala. Collection boxes were set up and students in several government schools in Kannur pitched in to help. “Two teachers will travel to UP to hand over the money to the parents. Yes, we could have deposited the money in their account. But then, we thought it's not just about the money, it's also about love,” he said. The initiative lasted a fortnight. Mathew also offered to arrange for Aarti's children's education at a boarding school, if they are willing to relocate to the state. Help came from all sides for the family. Aarti said, “People from across the country called me up and offered help to send my children to school. I am overwhelmed by their generosity.”

Punjab waives more than £2.40 bn worth of farm loans CHANDIGARH: Punjab chief minister Captain Amarinder Singh on Monday announced crop loan waiver of up to Rs 200,000 for farmers who own up to 5 acres of agriculture land and a flat relief of Rs 200,000 for all other marginal farmers, irrespective of the loan amount. The move would cost the state £2.40 billion, according to an estimate. Making the announcement in the Vidhan Sabha, the chief minister said the move would benefit a total of 1025,000 farmers, including 875,000 farmers owning up to 5 acres. It would provide double the relief announced by Uttar Pradesh and Maharashtra, he said. Making it clear that his government stood by its commitment to waive the loans of farmers, Amarinder said his government has also decided to take over outstanding crop loan “from institutional sources” of all families of farmers who committed suicide in the state. It has also decided to raise the ex gratia for suicide-affected families to Rs 500,000 from the existing Rs 300,000. The decisions are based

Cong loses trust vote and face in Karnataka

BENGALURU: The ruling Congress suffered a setback of as its no-confidence motion against legislative council chairman DH Shankaramurthy of the Bharatiya Janata Party was defeated by one vote. Thirteen MLCs belonging to JD(S) came to the rescue of BJP. JDS(S) state president HD Kumaraswamy said, “Till late Wednesday night, when there was a common opinion to make senior JD(S) MLC Basavaraj Horratti the council chairman, Congress resisted it. But in the next day when Congress offers to make Horratti chairperson, we rejected the offer as we have already decided about our course of action.

Resolution passed against Puducherry Lt Governor

CHENNAI: Puducherry Assembly has passed resolution asking the Centre to curtail powers of Lt Governor Kiran Bedi for not cooperating with the democratically-elected government. The move came amid an ongoing tussle between Bedi and the Congress government in the union territory. Trouble began when Bedi conducted a surprise inspection of the counselling process by the Centralised Admission Committee in Puducherry and directed officials to ensure that 50 per cent of the seats available under government quota were filled, not given to private colleges or under all India quota.

A beauty contest for transgenders

KOCHI: Transgender arts and charitable society, Dhwayah, has organised 'Queen of Dhwaya 2017' a beauty contest in Kochi, on June 15. The function was inaugurated by Kerala CPI(M) state secretary Kodiyeri Balakrishnan. The panel of judges included actor Ranjini Haridas, Miss India 2008 and actor Parvathy Omanakuttan, Dr Paul Mani and Dr Sam of AHF India. Haridas said she supported the rights of the LGBT community and believes that all are equal. She said people should know about the third gender as well. A trustee of Dhwayah said, “It is high time people accept them and they have their own stand in the community.”

Govt denies permission to Sikh delegation to visit Pak

CHANDIGARH: The Centre has declined permission to a Sikh delegation to visit Pakistan on the occasion of the death anniversary of Maharaja Ranjit Singh. An SGPC official said the permission was declined due to security reasons. SGPC secretary Harcharan Singh added that the Centre also said, “if anyone wants to visit Pakistan then the Sikh religious body should give an undertaking that he or she is going on its own risk.” A 251member Sikh delegation was scheduled to go to Pak from June 21 to 29. Singh said, “We are yet to decide on it (whether to send the delegation or not.)”

Sikh man held for carrying kirpan

Amarinder Singh

on the interim report of an expert group headed by economist T Haque that was tasked with suggesting ways and means to help the state’s distressed farming community, said a statement. The government has decided to review the Punjab Settlement of Agriculture Indebtedness Act, 2016 to “provide the desired relief to farmers through mutual acceptable debt reconciliation and settlement, which shall be statutorily binding on both the lender and the borrower.” Amarinder told the House that his government had decided to repeal Section 67 A of the Punjab Cooperative Societies Act, 1961, which provides for auction/kurki of farmers land (auction of mortgaged land).

WASHINGTON: A Sikh convert was handcuffed and arrested in the US for carrying a Kirpan after a customer at a grocery store called the police. Harpreet Singh Khalsa, born Justin Smith, had been wearing the ceremonial knife every day since he converted nine years ago. Khalsa explained that the knife is part of his religion, before he was placed in handcuffs and frisked away. The 33 year old was later released without charges after police “confirmed that the knife was a kirpan and part of his religion, and not a threat to the community,” Baltimore County Officer Jennifer Peach said.

Cornered by police, 3 gangsters commit suicide

CHANDIGARH: Three gangsters allegedly committed suicide in Sirsa village after being surrounded by police. On a tip off, they were cornered in the morning. Faridkot SSP Nanak Singh said gangsters Bunty Dhillon, Jaspreet Singh, and Nishan Singh took their own lives. “While Bunty and Jaspreet died on the spot, Nishan Singh was declared brought dead in a hospital,” Singh said. He said the first two were dreaded gangsters of the Devinder shooter gang, adding the three had multiple FIRs registered against them in various police stations. They were also involved in a shootout incident along with several murders.


HERITAGE HISTORY

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Dr. Hari Desai

Maulana Azad foresaw disaster of Pakistan

Maulana writes in his autobiography: “When I became aware that Lord Mountbatten was thinking in terms of dividing India and had persu-aded Jawaharlal and Patel, I was deeply distressed.

A

man born in the Holy city, Mecca, in 1888 and migrated to Kolkata as a two year old boy with his parents, destined to be the revolutionary seeking freedom from the clutches of British in the initial years before joining M. K. Gandhi’s non-violent struggle. He became the President of Indian National Congress and even the first Education Minister of free India under the leadership of Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru. He was named Firoz Bakht at birth but was known in his youth as Muhiyuddin Ahmad and later adopted the pseudonym of “Abul Kalam Azad�. His political awakening was stimulated by the partition of Bengal in 1905 which was later annulled in 1911.He opposed the partition of British India tooth and nail like the Frontier Gandhi, Khan Abdul Gaffar Khan, but was pained to face Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel accepting the partition design of Lord Mountbatten even before Nehru and Gandhiji accepted it! Maulana Azad(1888-1958) desperately tried to stall the partition of British India, even by sending a secret message to Mohammad Ali Jinnah who was hell bent on getting Pakistan through his Two Nation Theory. The history has done so much injustice to Maulana Azad but his vision has proved to be right in both the cases that (a) the Partition would not solve the communal problem in India and (b) the Muslims in Pakistan would have to suffer in the years to come. Unfortunately, select quotes from the full-text of autobiography of Maulana, “India Wins Freedom�, brought out in 1988, incorporating those 30 pages “he left out some of his stronger indictments as he felt that their publication should be delayed in the national interest� when the first

The Mecca-born President opposed Partition but lost to Patel-Nehru Despite differences, he concedes mistake of not supporting the Sardar

edition was brought out in 1959. Now it is an accepted fact that “among Congressmen the greatest supporter of partition was Sardar Patel, but even he did not believe that partition was the best solution of the Indian problem. He threw his weight in the favour of partition out of irrational and injured vanity. He found himself frustrated at every step by the veto put on his proposals by Liaquat Ali Khan as Finance Minister. It was therefore in sheer anger that he decided that if there was no other alternative, partition should be accepted. He was also convinced that the new state of Pakistan was not viable and could not last.� These are the words of Azad quoted by Sitaram Sharma, Chairman, Maulana Abul Kalam Azad Institute of Asian Studies of the Government of India, in an article released by Press Information Bureau(PIB) on 10 November 2014 on the occasion of the 125th Birth Anniversary of

Maulana-Autobiography

Maulana. In the same article he is quoted blaming Nehru “for sabotaging possibilities of reconciliation between Congress and Muslim League on two occasions.� Maulana writes in his autobiography : “When I became aware that Lord Mountbatten was thinking in terms of dividing India and had persuaded Jawaharlal and Patel, I was deeply distressed. I realized that the country was moving towards a great danger. Partition of India would be harmful not only to Muslims but to the whole country.� He did his best to persuade his two colleagues not to take the final step. To his utter shock, he found that “Patel was so much in favour of partition that he was hardly prepared even to listen to any other point of view.� “He was now convinced that

he conceded it as “greatest blunder of my political life�. He notes despite his reservations about Patel, “My second mistake was that when I decided not to stand myself I did not support Sardar Patel. We differed on many issues but I am convinced that if he had succeeded me as Congress President, he would have seen that the Cabinet Mission Plan was successfully implemented. He would have never committed the mistake of Jawaharlal which gave Mr. Jinnah the opportunity of sabotaging the plan. I cannot forgive myself when I think if I had not committed these mistakes, perhaps the history of the last ten years would have been different.�(He wrote in 1957.) Needless to say whoever was to succeed Azad as the President was to be the Prime Minister of free India. Next Column: Cooch Behar Princely State, Then and Now (The writer is a Sociopolitical Historian. E-mail : haridesai@gmail.com)

Maulana Azad and Sardar Patel with the Members of the Cabinet Mission

Muslims and Hindus could not be united into one nation. There was no alternative except to recognize this fact. In this way alone could we end the quarrel between Hindus and Muslims.� Mualana adds : “Jinnah may have raised the flag of partition but now the real flag bearer was Patel.� When he met Jawaharlal, though Nehru did not speak in favour of partition, “he had however lost all hopes of joint action after his experience of the conduct of the League members of the Executive Council. They could not see eye to eye on any question.� Gandhiji was his last hope who was “helpless�. Bapu told him of his suggestion to Mountbatten to allow Jinnah to form the government. If the Congress accepted his suggestion, partition could still be saved. “Unfortunately, this move could make no progress as both Jawaharlal and Patel opposed it vehemently.� Even before this situation cropped up in June 1947, Maulana gave an extensive interview to Shorish Kashmiri for a Lahore based Urdu magazine “Chattan�, in April 1946. As Arif Mohammed Khan notes in his book “Text and Context�, “This interview has not been published in any book so far, neither in Azad centenary volumes nor in any other book comprising his writings or speechesexcept for Kashmiri’s own book “Abul Kalam Azad� which was printed only once by Matbooaat Chattan Lahore, now a defunct publishing house.� (Covert, 15 November 2009). The visionary Indian leader had predicted: “I feel that right from its inception, Pakistan will face some very serious problems: 1.The incompetent political leadership will pave

the way for military dictatorship as it has happened in many Muslim countries. 2. The heavy burden of foreign debt. 3. Absence of friendly relationship with neighbours and the possibility of armed conflict. 4. The internal unrest and regional conflicts. 5. The loot of national wealth by the neo-rich and industrialists of Pakistan. 6. The apprehension of class war as a result of exploitation by the neo-rich. 7. The

dissatisfaction and alienation of the youth from religion and collapse of theory of Pakistan. 8. The conspiracies of the international powers to control Pakistan. All these predictions are proved to be true in Pakistan. Hence, the interview is being debated in Pakistan even today. Not many people may be aware of Maulana as the President of Congress proposing the name of Nehru to succeed him in April 1946. At a later stage

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26

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Asian Voice | 24th June 2017

Dalit leader Kovind set to be India's next President Well-known Dalit figure and Bihar Governor Ram Nath Kovind is all set to take over as the 14th President after the incumbent Pranab Mukherjee's term ends on July 24. The 71 year old former chief of BJP's Dalit Morcha, is considered to be the perfect candidate for Prime Minister Narendra Modi's Dalit outreach initiative. The NDA believes that his ascension will significantly improve its standing among Scheduled Castes. A non-controversial character with a distinct respect for protocol, Kovind is expected to abide by the ruling government and give a much-needed boost to the minority community. Praising the candidate, Modi said, “I am sure Ram Nath Kovind will make an exceptional President and continue to be a strong voice for the poor, downtrodden and marginalised. With his illustrious background in the legal arena, Kovind's knowledge and

understanding of the Constitution will benefit the nation. Kovind, a farmer's son, comes from a humble background. He devoted his life to public service and worked for the poor and marginalised.” BJP President Amit Shah too commended the Dalit leader saying he had always espoused the cause of underprivileged sections of society, and had a long career working for Dalits and oppressed groups. Countering the opposition's claims that the choice was made unilaterally by

the BJP, Shah said, “The Prime Minister himself has spoken to Sonia Gandhi and Manmohan Singh. Everyone has been informed of this decision.” Meanwhile, the Congress, Left, Trinamool, and others have refused to endorse Kovind and plan to give BJP a walkover. While BJP and its NDA partners is a fraction short of the majority mark in the electoral college comprising elected members of the two Houses of Parliament and state assemblies, the support of regional parties like TRS, YSR Congress, Biju Janata Dal and AIADMK provides it with a guaranteed win. Kovind was born on October 1, 1945, at Kanpur Dehat in Uttar Pradesh. He is a BCom and LLB graduate from Kanpur University. He was elected to the Rajya Sabha from Uttar Pradesh in 1994-2000 and 20002006. He is an advocate by profession and practices in Delhi.

Six convicted for 1993 Mumbai serial blasts

Abu Salem

Mustafa Dossa

Taher Merchant

Six accused in the 1993 Mumbai serial blasts case were pronounced guilty last week by a special court. Special Judge Govind A Sanap found “concrete evidence” against gangsters Abu Salem, 48, Mustafa Dossa, 60, Taher Merchant, 55, Feroze Khan, 47, and Karimullah Khan, 55, and convicted them on charges of criminal conspiracy, murder, and indulging in acts of terrorism. Riyaz Siddiqui, 67, was found guilty of abetting and aiding terrorism, and Qayyum Shaikh, 64, was acquitted for lack of evidence. CBI special counsel Deepak Salvi said, “The

CBI will seek the death sentence against four accused (Dossa, Merchant, Feroze and Khan). In light of the undertaking given to Portugal at the time of Salem's extradition, we will have to examine the options regarding his sentencing.” The trial is the second in the case, with the main of 123 accused ending in 2006 with the conviction of 100. Brother of prime absconding accused Tiger Memon, Yakub was hanged in 2015. The court said none of the accused was held guilty under the IPC charge of waging war against the nation. The judge first convicted Dossa, saying that

the prosecution has proved that after the Babri Masjid demolition and subsequent riots, Dossa joined the first conspiracy meeting in Dubai in December 1992 with “other prime absconding” accused Mohammed Dossa, Tiger Memon, and Dawood Ibrahim. “The accused deliberately and consciously participated in the meeting which gave birth to the original design of the criminal conspiracy to take revenge against the government and the Hindus. The accused was the member of the core group of conspirators,” the judge said.

Lockheed joins hands with Tata to produce F-16 fighter planes in India Ahead of Prime Minister Narendra Modi's visit to the US scheduled later this week, Lockheed Martin, the world's largest armament company has signed a pact with Tata Advanced Systems to produce the latest version of its F-16 fighter jets in India. Signed at the Paris Air Show, the deal is subject to the condition that the F-16 Block 70 fighter jet emerges victorious in an Indian Air Force competition to feature over 100 singleengine fighters. Sources from the Ministry of Defence said the “actual deal or contract” for the second assembly line is “still a long way off” since the process for the selection of the Indian private sector firm as the “strategic partner” for production of fighters will itself take “several months” which will be followed by extensive bidding and a heavy negotiation process.

However, the Lockheed-Tata venture has made it clear that the want to “produce, operate and export the F-16 Block 70 aircraft” under the 'Make in India' framework if selected. A joint statement read, “F-16 production in India supports thousands of Lockheed Martin and F-16 supplier jobs in the US, creates new manufacturing jobs

in India, and positions the Indian industry at the centre of the most extensive fighter aircraft supply ecosystem in the world. This unprecedented F-16 production partnership between the world's largest defence contractor and India's premier industrial house provides India the opportunity to produce, operate and export F-16 Block

70 aircraft, the newest and most advanced version of the world's most successful, combatproven multi-role fighter.” The US itself has not ordered F-16s since 1999, shifting to the advanced fifth generation F-35s, but has exported them to other countries. Of the over 4,500 F-16s manufactured over the years, with production lines in Europe and other countries like Turkey and South Korea apart from the US, around 3,200 are still flown by 26 countries, including Pakistan. But it is still not clear how Modi's “Make in India“ drive will square with US President Donald Trump`s hard-nosed policy to not allow jobs and factories to be shifted out of America. Lockheed and Tata, on their part, said moving the F-16 production base from Fort Worth in Texas to India would still retain jobs in the US.

PM Modi seeks report card from his ministers Prime Minister Narendra Modi has asked his ministers to prepare a report card showing the key achievements of their departments, in a month. Amid speculation of a Cabinet reshuffle possibly after the presidential poll, a top government source said ministers would have to make a presentation comparing the achieve-

ments of their department during the three years of NDA rule with the last three years of UPA. With less than two years to the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, the ruling party seems to be focusing on showcasing its mega success stories. The source said a new 'Team Modi' would be constituted solely to con-

solidate works and programmes taken up during the past three years. A reshuffle is imminent as several vacancies have come up in the Cabinet due to the return of Manohar Parrikar as Goa CM and the sudden death of environment minister Anil Madhav Dave. As the ruling party begins its preparations

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for Lok Sabha polls, changes in the party organisation are also on the cards and a few ministers may have to relinquish their charge to work in the party. A political observer said this was going to be a big exercise as several posts of governors lying vacant for a long time also needed to be filled.

Former judge Karnan arrested

Absconding Justice (retd) CS Karnan was arrested on Monday by the West Bengal police with the aid of the Tamil Nadu police from an apartment near Coimbatore. After the West Bengal police came to know that the Calcutta high court judge was hiding somewhere in the city, they traced him to be hiding at an independent house at a suburb near Coimbatore. A special team of experts was sent by the local police to track Karnan's whereabouts. The 62 year old has been evading arrest after being sentenced to a six-month term of imprisonment for contempt of court offence by the Supreme Court. Coimbatore city commissioner of police, A Amalraj said that Justice Karnan had been found staying in the house when he was picked by the West Bengal police. “We provided technical assistance to the West Bengal police, and they arrested him from the apartment,” he said. Reports said that Justice Karnan argued with

the police, refusing to get into the police car, demanding to talk to the media first. Later arrested and taken to the airport, he addressed the press saying, “I am an innocent person being punished for trying to uproot the corruption in the Supreme Court. But my fight will continue.” Karnan, who was transferred to Kolkata after he began a row by raking up issues against other judges of the Madras High Court, remained untraceable ever since the SC sentenced him for contempt on May 9. A seven-judge bench headed by Chief Justice Jagdish Singh Khehar held him guilty of contempt and ordered six months imprisonment for him. Senior counsel and former president of the Supreme Court Bar Association, Dushyant Dave said, “Right or wrong, the Supreme Court judgement has to be implemented and the state is fully responsible for the lapses and must be held accountable. The whole saga reflects the sorry state of affairs in the judiciary.”


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health lifestyle

Yoga Can Reverse DNA Changes, Reducing Risk of Cancer and Depression: Study Yoga has long being touted as the one-stop solution to a healthy body, mind and soul. This ancient form of physical exercise works on different parts of the body to boost its overall function and well-being. Now a new study done by researchers from Universities of Coventry and Radboud states that yoga can also affect molecular reactions in the DNA and prevent risks of certain ailments. Mind-body interventions (MBIs) such as meditation, yoga and Tai Chi can help reduce risk of depression and cancer by reversing the molecular reactions in DNA if practiced on a daily basis. Stress is a common feature in our urban lifestyle. It is also one of the leading factors in causing various kinds of diseases. When a person is

exposed to a stressful event, their sympathetic nervous system (SNS) - the system responsible for the 'fight-or-flight' response is triggered, in turn increasing production of a molecule called nuclear factor kappa B (NF-kB), which regulates how our genes are expressed. NF-kB translates stress by activating genes to produce proteins called cytokines that cause inflammation at cellular level - a reaction that is useful as a short-lived fight-or-flight reaction, but if persistent, leads to a higher risk of cancer, accelerated aging and psychiatric disorders like depression. The researchers through 18 studies - featuring 846 participants over 11 years - revealed a pattern in the molecular changes which happen to the body as a result of the

My friend Mark worked in a lawn-mower-parts warehouse. Somehow he got the idea that his wife did not want a card on Valentine’s Day, but when he spoke to her on the phone he discovered she was expecting one. Not having time to buy a card on his way home, Mark was in a quandary. Then he looked at the lawn-mower trade magazines scattered around the office—and got an idea. Using scissors and glue, he created a card with pictures of mowers, next to which he wrote: “I lawn for you mower and mower each day.” *** The British Ambassador walked briskly into the foyer of a Washington hotel, and stopped for a moment to speak with one of the bright-buttoned servitors in the lobby. After he walked on, an assistant manager who had noted the incident, went over to the boy and said, "What did the Ambassador want?" "I don't know," answered the bell-hop. "He couldn't speak English." *** On the morning of an important recital in London, a famous American violinist stopped in at a small Leicester Square shop and asked the girl for an E string. "Yes, sir," she replied dubiously, and disappeared for several minutes. When she returned, she had in her hand a box full of assorted pieces of cord, string and old rubber hands. " 'Ere, sir," she said, "you pick hit yourself. I can't tell the bloody 'e strings from the she strings." *** An Englishman, a Scotsman, and an Irishman get twisted at the local pub one night and conspire to rob the local bank. Drunk as they are, they try and rob the place but are too drunk to pull it off. As the alarms scream, they leg it out of the bank and down the alley. Hot on their heals are the cops, responding to the alarm. As the three drunks round a bend, they spot a Cats and Dogs Home and jump over the fence into the kennel yard. They see three burlap sacks lying on the ground and they each crawl into an empty bag. The cops leap over the fence behind them and spot the three bulging sacks on the ground. One cop kicks the first sack and the Englishman says, "Bark! Bark!" "Ah, must be a dog!" says the cop and he kicks the second sack. The Scotsman says, "Meow!" and the cop nods his head, exclaiming, "Must be cats!" and turns his focus on the last sack, kicking it sharply. The Irishman cries out, "Potatoes!"

MBIs, and how those changes benefit our mental and physical health. They explained the way that genes activate to produce proteins, which influence the biological makeup of the body, the brain and the immune system. According to the study, people who practise MBIs exhibit the opposite effect - namely a decrease in production of NF-kB and cytokines, leading to a reversal of the pro-inflammatory gene expression

pattern and a reduction in the risk of inflammationrelated diseases and conditions. Lead investigator Ivana Buric said that millions of people around the world already enjoy the health benefits of mind-body interventions like yoga or meditation, but what perhaps these people do not realise is that these benefits begin at a molecular level and can change the way our genetic code goes about its business.

Aspirin is one of the most commonly used drugs in treating pain, fever and inflammation. Experts recommend aspirin administration under strict supervision for cardiovascular cases. Aspirin is not recommended in people with bleeding disorders and those who are intolerant allergic to non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. Aspirin, or acetylsalicylic acid (ASA) is a common drug that is used to treat mild to moderate pain and reduce fever or inflammation.

Many health guidelines suggest that aspirin can help cardiovascular patients and help prevent a heart attack or stroke. However, a new study warns that regular consumption of aspirin may put you at the risk of major gastrointestinal bleeding, especially in the case of older stroke patients. As reported in the medical journal The Lancet, longterm and daily use of aspirin can increase the risk of internal bleeding even among people with no history of heart problems or stroke.

Aspirin May Cause Serious Bleeding in Older Stroke Patients

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Asian Voice | 24th June 2017

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To Our Readers

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

More Than 10% of the World's Population is Either Obese or Overweight: Study According to a new International study, published in the journal New England Journal of Medicine, more than 10 percent of the world's population is now obese. Obesity, which had now being deemed as a global health crisis, is more than just a lifestyle disease. It has been linked to several chronic ailments like hypertension, type 2 diabetes, high cholesterol and stroke. The new study also indicates that close to 2.2 billion people around the world are overweight a precursor to obesity. It helps to know that obesity and being overweight are not the same thing. Obesity and being overweight can be differentiated on the basis of the Body Mass Index (BMI). BMI is the measure of the body fat based on the height and weight of an individual. It can be used as screening tool to determine an approximate measure of whether someone is over- or underweight. It is measured on a scale of hundred. Health experts will consider you overweight if

your body weight is 10 to 20% percent higher than normal or you have a BMI between 25 or 30. On the other hand, obesity refers to a condition where a person;s weight may be 20% or more above the normal weight or if he or she has a BMI of 30 or more. This latest research was conducted across 195 countries over a period of 35 years. It was presented recently at a conference in Stockholm and is considered to be one of the most detailed analysis carried out on the subject of obesity. It has been based on the latest data derived from the Global Burden of Disease (GBD) study that tracks the impact of more than 300 types of pathology and injury in 133 countries. The study was discussed at the Annual EAT Stockholm Food Forum which brings together scientists, business leaders and policy makers to address ways to transform the global food system to help solve the challenges of climate, sustainable development and health.


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Asian Voice | 24th June 2017

NEW RELEASE

‘Tubelight’

A drama about a man and his family set in a small town in the hills of northern India.

‘Baahubali 2' breaks another record

SS Rajamouli's 'Baahubali 2: The Conclusion' has created a new record as it reached the 50-day mark in theatres. Reports said that even though the movie has been running for over two months, it continues to go strong in over 1,050 screens across the country. Also, the film is just getting ready for its release in China. The Prabhasstarrer has been breaking records since its release. The 'Baahubali-2' is now set to make its television debut as an animated series. Riding high on the success of the Baahubali franchise, Colors has announced the acquisition of the broadcast satellite rights to the animated series spin-off called, 'Baahubali: The Lost Legends'. The animated series which features all new original stories of the acclaimed filmmaker, Graphic India and Arka Mediaworks is slated for a television launch soon.

Tollywood star couple's daughter to act in Tamil

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Amy Jackson's next is a Hollywood movie

'

2.0' actress Amy Jackson has signed a new untitled Hollywood movie directed by Andrew Morahan. The British beauty will go to China and undergo rigorous training in martial arts, for three months, to prepare for her out and

out action role. Meanwhile, her most awaited Rajinikanth-starrer sci-fi thriller featuring Akshay Kumar as the antagonist, is set to be released on October 18.

Karthik teams up with Suriya for the first time

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irector Vignesh Shivn's upcoming Suriya and Keerthy Suresh starrer 'Thaanaa Serndha Koottam' is nearing completion and will be wrapped up in 10 days. The film stars several veterans, including Ramya Krishnan and Senthil, along with none other than Karthik. This will be the first time he will share space with lead actor Suriya. Leading hero of the 1980s and 90s, Karthik has played several memorable supporting or cameo roles in many films, including Mani Ratnam's 'Mouna Ragam'. He has also acted in Ajith's 'Ananda Poongatre' and Prabhu Deva's 'Ullam Kollai Pogudhey'.

Nayanthara in place of Shruti Haasan?

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henadal Studios' magnum opus 'Sangamithra' featuring Shruti Haasan in the titular role as a warrior queen was announced at the prestigious Cannes Film Festival. However, the actress later walked out of the project citing creative differences. Newest updates are that the film team is now keen on bringing in actress Nayanthara on board, and negotiations are in order. The superstar who has played sev-

eral strong roles in the past has reportedly been quoted a very high remuneration for 'Sanghamitra'. However, she is said to be worried that the long duration of the production could affect her other projects. It is gathered that if the required dates are very clear, there would be no problem in her shooting for other projects in the middle.

I will definitely marry someone: Amala Paul A Daughter of famous star couple of Telugu film industry, Shivani, is all set to make an acting debut with a Tamil film. While an official confirmation remains pending, the elder prodigy of Dr Rajasekhar and Jeevitha, said, “Details of the project will be announced soon. But I’ve prepared for this my whole life. I’ve learned Bharathanatiyam and Kuchipudi, as well as music instruments such as keyboard, guitar and veena.” Meanwhile, her father just began his second innings and will be seen in Venkat Prabhu's 'RK Nagar'.

ctress Amala Paul is currently one of the busiest heroines of South India. She keeps shuttling between shooting spots of films in Tamil and Malayalam. In Tamil she has completed 'Velai Illa Pattadhari 2' with Dhanush and she is presently shooting for 'Minimini' with Vishnu Vishal and 'Bhaskar Oru Rascal' with Arvind Swamy. The 'Myna' actress came back to full fledged acting last year when the talks about her divorce with her director husband Vijay started doing rounds. The couple who fell in love and married in

June 2015, are officially divorced now. Amala is not the type who kept lamenting about the failed marriage but she is more exuberant in acting, fitness maintenance and touring to foreign nations. She also projects a bold and straight forward image in interviews and public discourse In a recent interview she quipped she was disappointed that she could not see the 'Suchileaks' video of her. Now in another interview the bold and bubbly actress has replied in affirmative to a question on re-marriage. "Am I going to become a saint and go to Himalayas. I will definitely marry someone and it will be a love marriage. When it happens I will let you all know about it."


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Alia Bhatt bags films with Ranveer and Ranbir AsianVoiceNews

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After 'Udta Punjab', 'Kapoor & Sons' and 'Dear Zindagi', Alia Bhatt has three other major projects in line, including Meghna Gulzar's 'Calling Sehmat', Ayan Mukerji's 'Dragon' opposite Ranbir Kapoor, and Zoya Akhtar's 'Gully Boy' opposite Ranveer Singh. Bagging two major-budget movies across leading actors is a major feat in itself. The actress considers her eccentric co-star, Ranveer Singh, a “complete crackpot”. “I have worked with him in ads, and I think I have an idea about what shooting is going to be like. I'm excited because 'Gully Boy' is an emotional story and our characters are very interesting, so it will be a unique combination. I have always wanted to work with Zoya, who I think is absolutely fab. This year, I am working with two actors and two directors who I've always wanted to work with.” Superhero movie 'Dragon', meanwhile, will see Alia trying her hands with action sequences. “I will have action scenes in the film. It's not mindless, but serious action. I would totally love to do an action film where I get to kick butt. 'Dragon' isn't that film but maybe, a more fantasised version of it.” She revealed it will be a threepart series spread over the next 10 years. She said, “It's not a predictable story. All I can tell you is that 'Dragon' is a unique story about love,

Katrina’s new action avatar

Salman Khan-Katrina Kaif starrer 'Tiger Zinda Hai' is indefinitely one of the most awaited films of the year. A slick spy drama directed by Ali Abbas Zafar, Kaif reportedly will be seen in action, performing stunts. Sources reveal Kat has been training rigorously and working out hard to achieve a certain level of fitness to be able to shoot action sequences. “Director Ali Abbas Zafar has committed to deliver action, stunts and fight sequences that will compete with global standards with 'Tiger Zinda Hai'. To shoot for Katrina's action scenes, Tom Struthers, the action and stunts director of the film worked with her. Buster Reeves, the fight coordinator of many Hollywood films, also worked with Katrina on this portion,” a source said and added, “Given Struthers shot for certain action sequences for Christopher Nolan's 'Batman' films including the 'Dark Knight Rises', expect the absolute best from these scenes. There are also stuntmen from France, UK, and Spain involved in this portion, which is quite elaborate.”

Asian Voice | 24th June 2017

Freida Pinto named ‘Shining Star’ of Maui film festival

mixed with a lot of power. It's too early to reveal who has what superpower. But, it's not a thriller. I don't know if we have seen anything like 'Dragon' ever before. That's the beauty of the film.”

I

Sara Ali Khan all set to enter Bollywood

Saif Ali Khan's young genius Sara is all geared up for a grand entry into B-Town with Kapoor's Abhishek 'Kedarnath' opposite Sushant Singh Rajput. As supportive as he is, Papa Khan doesn't seem too thrilled with the idea. When asked about his thoughts on the debut, he said, “A little nervous. Fear is the most driving factor in the industry. Why would she want that for herself? Look at where she studied. After having done that, why wouldn't she want to live and work in New York, rather than do this? I am not looking down on acting, it's just it is not the most stable profession. And everyone lives in constant fear. And there is no guarantee that despite doing your best, you will succeed. This is not the life, any parent would want for their children.” Born into a family accustomed to living in the limelight, Sara was exposed to glamour and cinema long back. Recollecting an incident, Saif said, “I remember years ago we'd gone for a stage show abroad and while I was on the stage with Salman and other actors, Sara was standing behind the stage curtain and looking at us. I knew then that she wanted this for herself. Being on stage and people shouting her name.” He also revealed that she looks up to Kareena for completely different reasons. “The other day she and some of her friends had come over and they were looking at Kareena and I am certain they all want to emulate her and be a diva.”

ndian actress Freida Pinto will be felicitated with the Shining Star Award at the 2017 Maui Film Festival, to be held on June 21-25 at the Wailea Resort in Maui, Hawaii. Freida will receive the award as an artist “who dares to dream big and delivers charismatic performances.” Barry Rivers, founder and director of the festival, said, “We are excited to honour Freida, whose exceptional passion and drive continue to soar.” Freida became an international star after the release of acclaimed film “Slumdog Millionaire.” Freida has many notable roles in her kitty, including “Desert Dancer,” “Miral,” “Rise of the Planet of the Apes,” “Trishna,” and “You Will Meet a Dark Stranger.” Her upcoming projects include Warner Brothers’ “Jungle Book,” expected to open in 2018, as well as the independent feature, “Love Sonia,” which also stars Demi Moore, Mark Duplass, Anupam Kher, Richa Chadha, Manoj Bajpayee and child actor Sunny Pawar.

TV shows make Kalki uncomfortable

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alki Koechlin said she doesn't do many television shows as she feels uncomfortable being herself on screen. Speaking about her show 'Kalki's Great Escape', the actress said, “I don't do many TV shows because I feel very uncomfortable being myself on screen. I prefer to hide behind my characters.” An episode on the show featured her and father Joel Koechlin on a bike journey through Northeast India. “I did this because I had never visited Northeast and it was a motorbike trip and because I had got to spend time with my dad,” she said. When asked about her presence on the internet, the 'Dev D' actress said, “I am not there to argue about media or other issues which I might not be very well informed about. If I am well informed about something or if it is something to do with my work, whether it's theatre or poetry slamming or my films... I am there.”


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Asian Voice | 24th June 2017

Great British Chai Party doing its bit to help combat lonliness

On 16th June the Great British Chai Party held their second get together at Acton Asian Association. Guests included Rupa Huq MP and Cllr Hitesh Tailor and members of the local community. The Chai Party was launched during the

International Women’s Day Event on Monday 6th March, 2017 at the House of Commons and was cofounded by Kiran Bhanaut and Sushma Bhanot. The organisation aims to address loneliness and social isolation amongst the elderly by arranging

Coming Events

l KARIGARI- A celebration of handcrafted creations from talented artisans, from June 23-25 at The Bhavan, 4a Castletown Road, West Kensington, London, W14 9HE United Kingdom. l ‘Pitru Vandana - Bhuli Bisri Yade’ Asian Voice and Gujarat Samachar presents ‘Pitru Vandana - Bhuli Bisri Yade’ memorable musical evening dedicated to fathers on this Fathers Day with well-known singer Maya Deepak & Group. * Saturday 24th June 2017 from 5.30pm including dinner Presented By Hindu Council Wales. Sanatan Dharma Mandal & Hindu Community Centre, Seaview Building, Lewis Road, Cardiff CF24 5EB. For Tickets contacts: Vimla Patel: 07979 155 320 Radhika Kadaba: 07966 767 659. * Sunday 25th June 2017 from 3pm to 7pm. Presented by Shree Hindu Community Centre, 541A Warwick Road, Birmingham B11 2JP For Tickets contacts: Anjuben Shah: 07814 583 907 Jayantibhai Jagatia: 07808 930 748 l London India Film Festival (LIFF) Regarded as Europe’s largest Indian film festival returns for its 8th edition at 11 cinemas across London including BFI Southbank from 22-29 June. For details log on to: http://www.londonindianfilmfestival.co.uk

Sneh Joshi

ARIES Mar 21 - Apr 20 With the Sun transiting your

solar fourth house of family and home, these areas are highlighted during this period. Buying or selling of property or even renovating it will be uppermost in your mind as you will be trying to put your roots down permanently. It is also a time when family life will be charged with emotions so be diplomatic and respect other people's views.

TAURUS Apr 21 - May 21 The Sun continues to highlight

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

GEMINI May 22 - June 22 The Sun highlights your second house of finance, and your focus is on material affairs and comfort issues. This is a good time to plan your future investments carefully to maximise your profits. If travelling make sure you keep your documents safe as there is a possibility of misplacing them. Some of you might change your travel itinerary.

CANCER Jun 22 - Jul 22

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

regular tea parties of small groups of elderly people in different areas. It also hopes to provide a purpose for a more meaningful life for our elderly and help facilitate friendships in the elderly and something for them to look forward to.

Appeals rejected for two men who raped drunk woman on Brighton beach Two London men who were jailed after they took turns to rape a drunk woman on Brighton beach have failed in appeals against their convictions and sentences. Amjad Aziz, 21, had sex with the "comatose" young woman on the south coast beach after meeting her in a club, before calling his friend, Omed Azizi, 27. Azizi was on the scene within minutes and also had his way with the woman, who was out celebrating the end of her exams in October 2014. Aziz from Stanmore, and Azizi from Acton both denied any wrongdoing, but were convicted at Lewes Crown Court.

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Caste Consultations The Hindu Forum of Britain , working with the National Council of Hindu Temples (NCHT) and other major Hindu organisations have developed guidance note and templates for the ease of completing the consultation form. The Consultation was announced on 28th March and ends on 17 July 2017. It is most important for everyone, every organisation and every business to fill in the form as this is the only way your views can be heard by the makers of the law in the UK. The Hindu manifesto GE15 stated: The existing Equality Act 2010 is sufficient to protect everyone regardless of their colour, race or ethnicity and there is no need to introduce any further legislation. We have started holding a series of assemblies across the UK to raise awareness and assist in completing the consultation form. ‘In 2013, the Regulatory and Reform Bill (via the Lord Harries amendment) introduced an obligation upon the Government to put into action the 2010 Act in relation to ‘caste’.‘ The government web page on the consultation is here https://www.gov.uk/go vernment/consultations/caste-in-greatbritain-and-equalitylaw-a-public-consulation

Mrs Bhartiben (nee Patel) Sharma was awarded the Knight in the National Order of the Legion of Honour by French President Emmanuel Macron and the French Ambassador Alexandre Ziegler at a glittering ceremony held in New Delhi. Full report next week.

CONGRATULATIONS Asian Voice and Gujarat Samachar would like to wish newlyweds Reema (Daughter of Maganbhai Valjibhai Mistry and Gauriben Maganbhai Mistry Chotalia) and Ricky (Son of Nileshbhai Parikh and Ushaben Patel) a lifetime of love and happiness. May your years ahead be filled with lasting joy.

The yoga wiz kid makes us proud again Ishwar Sharma has been shortlisted as one of the finalists in the “Young Achiever of the Year” category at the highly prestigious 5th British Indian Awards. Ishwar won national under 11 UK Yogasana championship for the Second consecutive year on April 22, 2017 and will be representing the United Kingdom in world games in Nepal to be held in June 2017 and he has also been invited to perform at European Yoga championship in November at Prague.

Ishwar Sharma

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The UK’s leading Vedic writer and TV personality

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

LEO Jul 23 - Aug 23

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

VIRGO Aug 24 - Sep 23

LIBRA Sep 24 - Oct 23 More than any other time of the year, your focus is drawn to your career and standing in the society. This is the time when you are more interested in, and focused on, accomplishing something important. Contact with authority figures is more likely during this period. Recognition will come your way whether you ask for it or not, and the responsibility that goes with it.

You are feeling most adventurous and willing to achieve higher knowledge and spiritual growth. This is a good time to broaden your horizons through travel and higher learning. This may take you to far off lands in pursuit of your new-found goals. You must distance yourself from the mundane grind of life and take on something which is more meaningful for your inner growth.

SCORPIO Oct 24- Nov 22

The Sun energizes your sector of change, transformation and regeneration. On a more practical level, you may be dealing with joint finances and shared resources now more than usual. You should also make sure that your tax affairs are in order. You are more willing than usual to explore and delve deeper into life's secrets and arrive at meaningful conclusions.

SAGITTARIUS Nov 23 - Dec 21

CAPRICORN Dec 22 - Jan 20 As the Sun transits your seventh house, you have a greater need than usual to be in a relationship. The emphasis is on "us" rather than "me". Social interactions of a personal nature are highlighted. This is likely to be an extremely busy time for most of you. Use tact and diplomacy in your dealing, otherwise you are likely to come across as over confident and egotistical.

AQUARIUS Jan 21 - Feb 19 The Sun transits your solar sixth house and highlights your health and also makes you take pride in your day to day work. Hence, you should enhance your skills, get organized and take up a health regime for your well being. This transit highlights the need for efficiency and as such you should bring in the new and get rid of the old ideas that do not work. PISCES Feb 20 - Mar 20

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


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Rohit, Bumrah rested for WI tour; Pant, Kuldeep in The Indian selectors have rested Rohit Sharma and Jasprit Bumrah for the limited-overs tour of West Indies. Their absence paved the way for wicketkeeperbatsman Rishabh Pant and left-arm Rishabh Pant Kuldeep Yadav spinner Kuldeep Yadav to make it to the squad which is otherwise unchanged from the one that played in England. Among the pace bowlers, Umesh Yadav, Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Mohd Shami all had some rest during the last season. Bumrah played the entire season besides representing India in the limited-overs format. Pant and Yadav had been discussed for the Champions Trophy, but the selectors went with experience. The two were part of the five players kept on standby should there be need for an injury replacement.

Ash Tree Cricket Club finally taste victory The Ash Tree Cricket Club in the Cheshire village of Prestbury finally won their first overseas victory in 35 years. Every Summer they go for a preseason foreign tour and have failed to win one match for almost four decades. This year, however, the team finally tasted victory thanks to a two-run win over Balkan side, Sir William Hoste Cricket Club – based on the Croatian island of Vis. We didn’t expect to win with our track record, so it was amazing when it happened. “We used to share our record with the team we were playing but they never believed us and thought it was a ploy. I think the main reason for not winning was a lack of skill, but we’ve also been a bit unlucky. We came very close a few times, and only lost by one run last year in France. In Vis we didn’t expect to win with our track record, so it was amazing when it happened. We couldn’t believe it.”

ICC may grant full member status to Ireland, Afghanistan

Ireland and Afghanistan are looking forward to the ICC meeting in London in the hope that they would get the status of test playing countries. Among the topics up for discussion in the ICC board meeting this weekend is the structure of Test cricket, and whether the five-day format should be opened up to more than the current 10 Test sides. Specifically, it is Ireland and Afghanistan who are knocking on the door and waiting to see if the Full Member boards open up that possibility. Prospects for such a development have become brighter in recent times. Ireland's inter-provincial competition was awarded first-class and List A status in October 2016. Afghanistan's application to have first-class status is due to be examined at the Chief Executives Committee meeting on Thursday.

SPORT

SRIKANTH CUTS SAKAI TO SIZE, WINS INDONESIA OPEN

Asian Voice | 24th June 2017

Losing the final in Singapore seems to have spurred Kidambi Srikanth on, as the talented Indian showcased his best in Jakarta to become the first Indian male shuttler to emerge victorious in the Indonesia Open Super Series Premier on Sunday. Saina Nehwal is the only other Indian to have won the title in Jakarta. Srikanth smashed his way to a 21-11, 21-19 win against Japanese qualifier Kazumasa Sakai in a 37minute final to pocket his second Premier crown after a gap of two-and-a-half years. He had earlier won the China Open. Delighting the packed house with his trademark whiplash smashes and staying aggressive throughout the contest, Srikanth steam rolled his opponent. The victory, which made Srikanth richer by about Rs 4800,000, is quite special for India as the boys won three out of the last four tournaments in the last two months. While Sai Praneeth

won the Singapore Super Series and Thailand Grand Prix Gold, Srikanth, who lost to Praneeth in the Singapore, excelled in Indonesia. It is rare feat that a shuttler outside the big three Lin Dan, Chen Long and Lee Chong Wei -finished on the top of podium in a tournament in which all three greats played. The field in Jakarta was quite strong as all the top ranked players featured in the event which

is rated only behind the Olympics and World Championships. Srikanth looked a bit tentative at the start of the first game as the air movement (drift) was troubling the Indian. He played cautiously until the 11th point but after the break he went all out into attack giving no chance to Sakai. Executing smashes at will and pushing back the shuttle with full force and coming up with an occasional cross court drop, Srikanth

moved from 13-9 to 19-9 with effortless ease. In the second game, Srikanth started from the difficult side of the court. The Japanese youngster made good use of the drift and controlled the net. Sakai did well not to give any lift to the shuttle, thereby preventing the Indian from attacking. The ploy worked as Sakai managed to secure a crucial three-point lead at 13-10. It was here that Srikanth raised his game, reduced the gap to 12-13 and powered ahead to 14-13 with a forehand and a backhand whiplash smash. But Sakai looked determined and even went ahead at 19-18. Srikanth stormed back in style with a risky smash. At 19-19 a net chord deviated the angle of the shuttle helping the Indian to move to the all-important match point. Srikanth did not waste time as he closed out the game with a ferocious backhand smash. The last point was a risky shot but such is Srikanth's style.

Fearing these consequences, Sardar was not included in the Indian squad for last year’s Champions Trophy, which was held in London as well. However, he was included this time after assuring the team management that the issue was resolved. The complainant, who has represented England at junior level, approached the Leeds police on Saturday. “I had filed complaints with the Punjab Police last year but there was no action. After they gave Sardar the clean chit, I decided to approach UK police and I filed the complaint on Saturday with the Leeds police. I have filed the video complaint on the offences of rape and domestic violence committed by Sardar from January 2013 to January 2016,” the complainant, a Leeds resident, said. The Leeds police first got in touch with the Indian

team management hours before the match against Pakistan on Sunday. According to sources, Sardar was informed about it only after the match with Pakistan on Sunday, which India won 7-1. Jugraj, who is an officer with Punjab Police, accompanied him to Leeds, roughly five-hour drive from London. Hockey India and the team management fumed over the timing of the interrogation, slamming the authorities for summoning the player to another city in middle of a tournament. “It is unfortunate that a player of the Indian hockey team is called in this manner by the England authorities. Such incidents harass players. Sardar’s focus has been on playing in the World Hockey league semifinals and he is eager to give his best on field,” Jugraj, who wasn’t allowed inside the interrogation room, said.

Sexual assault case: Sardar Singh questioned by UK police Former India hockey captain Sardar Singh was interrogated by Yorkshire police for nearly four hours in Leeds on Monday in relation to a sexual assault case. Sardar was accompanied by the team’s manager-cum-assistant coach Jugraj Singh and an Indianorigin lawyer at the Leeds district police headquarters at Elland Road. The complainant, an England international hockey player of Indian origin, accused Sardar of sexual assault and alleged that he went back on his promise to marry her. Sardar has pleaded innocence and during a marathon interrogation, put forth his side of the story. Sardar left for London later in the evening. This is the second time Sardar has been questioned by the police in middle of a tournament regarding the same case. During the Hockey World League semi-

Sardar Singh

final in Antwerp in June 2015, the complainant accused Sardar of physically assaulting her. She called the Antwerp police at the team hotel, where he was questioned. However, he was allowed to go. In January 2016, she had levelled similar allegations against Sardar in an FIR filed with the Ludhiana police. However, in May 2016, a Special Investigation Team formed by Ludhiana police commissioner gave Sardar a clean chit.

Yuvraj gives motivational talk at London charity event

Ace cricketer Yuvraj Singh attended a charity event hosted by Mackenzie Homes to support his NGO - The YouWeCan Foundation. BBC broadcaster, comedian and Masterchef finalist Hardeep Singh Kohli hosted the evening. The conversation was centred around his comeback in cricket post illness, his work with YouWeCan foundation and YWC fashion. Yuvraj spoke about his

31

personal journey of dealing with cancer with a never say die spirit and the thought behind establishing the YouWeCan Foundation and making it sustainable with the

recent launch of his fashion label brand YWC fashion. Yuvraj said “It is an honour to be here and also a privilege to open my heart out and share my personal journey from a cancer fighter to a survivor with everyone present here. I will feel fortunate even if I can motivate people to never give up and to continue to chase their dreams no matter how big is the obstacle. I live by two strong beliefs – to never give up and if

one falls, one should get up and do it again.” Proceeds from the charity dinner went in aid to the YouWeCan foundation which brings Yuvraj's vision to life for the empowerment of cancer survivors.

YouWeCan Foundation YouWeCan Foundation is an NGO started by Yuvraj in 2012. After he was diagnosed with cancer and survived, Yuvraj drew inspiration from the

Livestrong Foundation in the USA and has emerged as a crusader in the fight against cancer. YouWeCan Foundation endeavours to help cancer patients and survivors to get access to the right treatment including raising funds for underprivileged patients. The foundation also supports survivors through the rehabilitation process and creating a better life for themselves without having to live in the shadow of the disease.

YWC Fashion A home-grown lifestyle fashion brand, YWC’s diverse collection features clothing for men, women and kids of all age groups. The label features two very distinct categories: The Gold Line, and The Core Line. The Gold line is in collaboration with celebrated designers, Shantanu & Nikhil. The Core collection is all about everyday trends and reinventing activewear.


Sport 32

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Asian Voice | 24th June 2017

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PAKISTAN STUN INDIA, LIFT CHAMPIONS TROPHY

Team India put up its worst show in the Virat Kohli era and lost to an imperious, domineering Pakistan by 180 runs in the Champions Trophy final at Oval in London. Pakistan scored 338 runs for 4 wickets in 50 overs. By the time the last Indian wicket fell, the Oval had been handed over to the Pakistanis. Pakistan, bottom-ranked in this tournament among the top eight sides, crafted one of the most special moments of their ODI history, beating England and then India back-to-back in one of the biggest upsets of recent times. In Sarfraz, they finally seem to have stumbled on a leader. In Fakhar Zaman, who scored a century on Sunday, they found a maverick opener who could shrug off the early case of nerves and pass it on to India instead. In Mohammad Amir, they found a survivor with supreme skill. It wasn't just the loss, since everyone knew if Pakistan brought their `A' game it would be tough for India. It was the magnitude of it, and the manner of it, that is likely to raise questions for India. India put too much faith in their top three to deliver, which was another misconception. With Mohammad Amir ripping through what is both the head and heart of the Indian batting - Rohit Sharma, Shikhar Dhawan and Virat Kohli -with only 33 on the board, the ageing middle was exposed. On the field, only Bhuvneshwar Kumar stood out with the ball as luck and momentum both went Pakistan's way. India batted, bowled and fielded their worst in recent times, because they must have realized, moments into the game when Zaman and Azhar Ali put up a century stand, that they had a fight on their hands. In stead, they crumbled under pressure. When India began its chase of 339 and wickets started to tumble, leaving the team tottering at 54/5, it was like the bad old times. There was no miracle in store as India capitulated completely, and Pakistan ran away to a memorable 180-run win in the Champions Trophy final - the biggest victory margin in the final of any ICC ODI tournament. And to think that the month of June hadnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t started well for Pakistan cricket India had walloped them and Imran Khan, Pakistan cricket legend, was in mourning. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s painful to watch Pak being thrashed by India without putting up a fight,â&#x20AC;? he tweeted on June 4 after India cantered to a 124-run win in their first match of the tournament. Other Pakistan legends were sighing and lamenting.

Thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s when the Pakistan cricket team began to stir: South African went down, Sri Lanka followed and England were blown away. And now this, their biggest victory over India in One-Day Internationals. â&#x20AC;&#x153;After the India match (in the group stage), one thing I said to my boys was the tournament hasnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t finished yet,â&#x20AC;? Pakistan skipper Sarfraz Ahmed said after the momentous victory. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s a very important boost for us to win this. When we arrived here, we just played like we have nothing to lose.â&#x20AC;? While India touched their peak form a match early - their semi-final win over Bangladesh was flawless - Pakistan timed their run perfectly. Even in the final, they didnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t quite hit the ground running India had their chances in the opening hour of the game - but once they did, there was no stopping them. Opener Fakhar Zaman, a latebloomer at 27 who made his ODI debut in the Champions Trophy, played the biggest game of his life. His 114 at strike rate of 107, took Pakistan to 338. Another fairytale would unfold at the start of the Indian innings. In a country where he was shamed, put behind bars for spot-fixing, Mohammad Amir redeemed himself. Only 25, Amir, in his short career, has seen the kind of ups and downs that few have. At the Oval, the roller coaster surprised him again; it took him to giddy heights that even he had never experienced. In his first five overs, he scalped Indiaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Top 3 - Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli and Shikhar Dhawan. These were in-form batsmen, who, on their day, are capable of singlehandedly winning matches. But today was Zamanâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s day, Amirâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s day and Pakistanâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s day. After his afternoon spell of 6-2-16-3 ,

India thrash Pak 7-1 in hockey world league semi finals

There was some respite for India, just a few km from the Oval when a clinical India demolished a hapless Pakistan 7-1 to register their third consecutive victory and seal a place in the quarter finals of the Hockey World League semi-final, on Sunday. It was a complete performance by the Indians who dominated their arch-rivals throughout the match to post a facile win and zoom to the top of Pool B ahead of The Netherlands. Drag-flicker Harmanpreet Singh (13th minute, 33rd), Talwinder Singh (21st, 24th), Akashdeep Singh (47th, 59th) and Pradeep Mor (49th) scored for India at the Lee Valley Hockey and Tennis Centre, while Pakistan's consolation goal came from the stick of Muhammad Umar Bhutta (57th). The 7-1 win was also India's biggest over Pakistan, bettering the 7-4 effort against Pakistan in 2003 Champions Trophy and 2010 Commonwealth Games. India are atop Pool B with three wins from as many games, just ahead of The Netherlands, who are placed second. Pakistan, on the other hand, are at the bottom of the pool after losing all three matches they have played so far. India will next play The Netherlands on Tuesday, while Pakistan will face Scotland. Contrary to the result, it was Pakistan who made a bright start but their domination lasted only the first 10 minutes. Pakistan had the first shot at the goal when they earned a penalty corner but the effort sailed over the bar. As the match progressed, India started to control the proceedings with Pakistan playing a catch-up game. Harmanpreet gave India the lead in the 13th minute, converting a penalty corner with a low grounded flick. India secured another penalty corner four minutes into the second quarter but Harmanpreet's flick was saved by Amjad Ali in front of Pakistan goal. Talwinder doubled India's lead soon after combining well with Satbir Singh and SV Sunil. Minutes later, Talwinder scored his second goal of the day when he neatly lifted over Amjad a high ball from Satbir and India went into the breather with a 3-0 cushion. Meanwhile, Argentina staged a brilliant fightback to hold England to a 3-3 draw. England led 2-0 at the break through goals from Mark Gleghorne and Sam Ward and immediately tripled their lead through Barry Middleton on resumption. However, Gonzalo Peillat converted two penalty corners and Matias Paredes struck a field goal to claw their way back.

Amir didnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t return to bowl. He didnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t need to; he had done enough to ensure that Sarfraz held the glittering silverware aloft in the evening. Like Pakistan, a country fighting isolation, Sarfraz too has had to work hard to prove his leadership credentials on the big stage. The win couldnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t have been timelier for both the country and its captain. Even before the final, the hardto-please community of former Pakistan players had been cynical towards Sarfraz. However, after this long evening of celebrations at the Oval, and all across Pakistan, Sarfraz would now join the pantheon of Greats in Green. What Lordâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s is to India, Kapil Dev and the Class â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;83, Oval will be to Pakistan, Sarfraz and this Class of â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;17. As for India, they seemed to have been carried away. Maybe, this generation of cricketers did not have the experience of facing the mercurial Pakistanis on a big day, especially when they have been written off or labelled as underdogs. It would have perhaps been a touch better if India had shown some wariness. Perhaps then, they wouldnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t have committed a series of mistakes and set Pakistan up for a massive win. The decision at the toss to choose to chase on a big day, to pit yourself against Pakistanâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s best weapon - their bowling was the first. Then the spinners, led by R Ashwin, were so defensive that India lost the crucial middle overs. The captain didnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t come up with any intervention, preferring to plod along with the status quo and Pakistanâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s march turned imperious. Over the years, India beating Pakistan in big tournaments had become inevitable. But it all changed this English Sunday.

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AV Weekly Newspaper (Issue 8)

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