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DOMESTIC ABUSE

Rupanjana Dutta

Local leaders are joining the calls for a register of domestic abusers. This follows a report into domestic abuse in the capital launched earlier this month by Len Duvall, Leader of the London Assembly Labour Group. The report said tougher checks on perpetrators were needed in order to protect survivors and prevent reoffending. In the year to June 2017, there were nearly 150,000 incidents of domestic abuse in the capital, and 5564 incidents in Brent alone. Yet just over 400 serial cross border offenders are kept on a list for monitoring and tracking by the Metropolitan Police.

According to the 2011 census, Brent has a BAME (Black Asian and Ethnic Minority) population of 59% (double of anywhere else in London) out of which 48% are born outside the UK. 33% of the BAME community in Brent are Indian, 8% Pakistani and 1% of Bangladeshi origin. A study has also revealed that many times the victims in Britain’s south Asian communities do not get justice as their cries for help goes unreported, especially by women and children who are trapped in a pervasive culture of shame. The research project, carried out across several counties in England and Wales, has found that a lack of awareness about what amounts to criminal behaviour is endemic, especially among first generation immigrant families from Pakistan, Bangladesh and

26th August to 1st September 2017

Let noble thoughts come to us from every side

In the year to June 2017, there were nearly 150,000 incidents of domestic abuse in London, and 5564 incidents in Brent alone.

SEE INSIDE

UKIP candidate’s comment outrage Indians in the UK

See Page -7

Indian-origin boy becomes Britain’s ‘Child Genius’

See Page -7

Nine days of celebration, nine days of peace

India. Local London Assembly Member, Navin Shah AM, has joined cause and said a register could provide a “vital step change” in the way repeat offences are prevented in London. In Brent Council’s 2015 – 2019 Borough Plan, a significant reduction in domestic violence by 2019 was outlined as one of the council’s priorities. The number of domestic abuse victims in London has risen from 62,546 in 2014 to 71,926 in 2016, equating to a 15% increase. A

recent case of death in Leicester, involving a young woman Meera Dalal has raised many questions (see page 5). Domestic abuse now accounts for almost 1 in 10 offences in the capital. Since 2014 the government have brought in Domestic Violence Protection Orders, which ban domestic abusers from returning to a residence and having contact with the victim for 28 days. Criminal Behaviour Orders were brought in at the same time, and, in addition to restraining orders, can also be used to prevent perpe-

trators from contacting or approaching their victims. 2014 also saw the introduction of the Domestic Violence Disclosure Scheme – commonly known as Clare’s Law after Clare Wood, a woman murdered by an exboyfriend in 2009. The disclosure scheme gives individuals the ‘Right to Ask’ about whether a new or existing partner has a violent history; whilst the ‘Right to Know’ element means police can chose to proactively disclose such information without a request. Continued on page 5

See Page 16-17

Triple Talaq unconstitutional, says SC

See Page 26


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Asian Voice | 26th August 2017

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Diptiben Bharat Mistry Diptiben Bharat Mistry was born in Surat, India and came to the UK in 1989. Diptiben has over 25 years of experience in working for the community. She has held several keys positions in the ‘Not for Profit Organisations’ like VISTA Society for the Blind, SEWA Education aid project, Leicester Hindu Festival Council, Gujarat Hindu Association and Shree Sanatan Mandir. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Chemistry and Graduation in Library and Information Science and is also a qualified Guide Communicator (specialised qualification to work with deaf and blind people in the UK). At Bhaarat Welfare Trust, Diptiben oversee the entire executive functions such as strategy resource mobilization, communication and fundraising event management. Diptiben brings enormous experience and expertise to Bhaarat Welfare Trust. She is relentlessly driven to alleviating poverty through BWT’s projects on Zero Hunger, Education Aid, Homeless and Helpless in India. Passionate about making the significant difference to social issues like poverty, animal welfare, women empowerment, medical aid for disadvantaged, support for disabled & frail and Education for children. Asking the public for their support via promoting the charity and its goal. Her efforts helped thousands in the UK and abroad. She is kind, caring, hardworking person who has dedicated her life to serve the community without any expectation including financial. She believes in MAKING ONE PERSON SMILE CAN CHANGE THE WORLD, MAY BE NOT THE WHOLE WORLD but THEIR WORLD. With the blessings from the wide community she continues her journey to HELP the HELPLESS. 1) Which place or city or country do you most feel at home in? I feel most at home in India; it's not only my birth country, but it's the place my heart connects to. India is also the place I visit when I have a chance to get away for a holiday. 2) What are your proudest achievements? My proudest achievement

up to date most definitely has to be winning an award for the Community Services in March 2017 by the ABPL group. This award was given to me by Eleanor Laing- a deputy speaker of the House of Commons, and the Ceremony consisted of many familiar and popular faces including Baroness Brady, Claudio Ranieri and Dev Patel (Hosted by the Asian

Voice and Gujarat Samachar). My family and my colleagues were extremely proud of me obtaining this award, and it's a ceremony that will always be a vital memory in my life. 3) What inspires you? During my career, I have worked with people who are visually and hearing impaired, and people who manage their daily life and tasks with multiple disabilities. I have realised that dual sensory loss makes ones' life very difficult, and I look up to these individuals and find them to be very inspiring to me as they continue to live independently within the community. 4) What has been the biggest obstacle in your career? I am an optimistic and conscientious individual, and fortunately enough; I believe that there is no obstacle in my life. It is all in the mind, and I constantly consider that if you wish to achieve something, and you are willing to work hard for that particular thing; then nothing can stop you to reach your goal; no matter how difficult it is. 5) Who has been the biggest influence on your career to date? There are several people, who have influenced my career, but my biggest influences have to be my motherfather, son Dhanesh and Late husband Bharat; without their continuous support and encouragement, I

would have never been able to pursue my career goals. My friend, colleague, philosopher and guru- Mr Kantilal P Unnadkat has also been a essential influence to my career. He introduced me to the charitable side of work in 1994- and with his guidance and support; I have taken up a full time career in order to help the helpless. His dedication towards his work and his caring personality has a lot of influence in my life, and I know that I have acquired knowledge and management skills while working with him. 6) What is the best aspect about your current role? At present, I am a trustee of Bhaarat Welfare Trust (BWT) -which is a charity registered in the UK. My role is to look after the trust's aims and objectives and to support any queries within the charity. BWT works with many charities in India; they help the underprivileged, support widows, enhance education, aid with natural disasters and support animal welfare. BWT also aims to promote Hindu religion and culture with many organisations across the United Kingdom. I have been working with varied charities in the UK since 1990; gaining fundraising experience. I think I would have to say the best aspect about my current role would be organising fundraising and religious events, and meeting the donors. This allows me to communicate with people of different casts and

ages, and allows me to engage with the community. 7) What are your long term goals? India is a big country with a huge population and due to this we are constantly working to help as many as we can, but it can never be enough. We do our duty, and try to aid every part which is in need, unfortunately; this does not help every helpless person. I would believe that is the worst part of my role and I pray to the Almighty God to give me strength to work as hard as possible to meet the demand and to help the poor. 8) If you were Prime Minister, what one aspect would you change? If I was Prime Minister, I would want to improve the facilities for the elder-

ly. Although the United Kingdom has the best care facilities, due to challenging times ahead; it needs improvement in the care for mainly disabled people and the elderly; as these are the most vulnerable. 9) If you were marooned on a desert island, which historical figure would you like to spend your time with and why? If I was marooned on a desert island, I would love to spend my time with Gita Manishi Mahamandaleshwar PP Shree Gyananandji Maharaj. This is because I would get the absolutely amazing experience of learning the philosophy of life through his GITAJI teachings. This would not only be beneficial to myself, but I could share these teachings with my loved ones.

Britain's foreign Secretary attended a private dinner for 150 people organised by the Indian Journalists' Association to celebrate its 70 years (founded May 1947) as well as India's independence day on 15 August at St James's Court, a hotel owned by the Taj group in London. Britain's wealthiest families- Hindujas, Mittals, Tatas and Lalvanis came together to support this evening as a part-sponsor. Speakers included IJA President Ashis Ray, Labour party representative at the dinner MP Stephen Pound, High Commissioner of India to UK His Excellency Y K Sinha and Chief Guest Boris Johnson. Johnson, who is known as India's son in law with a wife (Marina) half Indian, spoke about teaming up with India to counter terrorism, exporting whisky

Launch of the special souvenir published by Asian Voice for IJA to mark its 70 years

said. “But let’s focus on the real cause of the current crisis, when North Korea is recklessly and wantonly threatening its neighbours and those further afield with nuclear strikes. We stand shoulder to shoulder with India in our determination to ensure stability in the Asia Pacific region... In all those efforts to secure peace and security, the indispensable foundation

of trade and prosperity... we are working ever more closely with India.” Talking about the relationship with India, he emphasised, that the relationship is much more than just trade, interchange of goods and services. He added, “We are shoulder to shoulder with India in tackling the threat of extremism and terrorism.” In the light of Brexit,

and exchange of area specific expertise. He also spoke about various words in UK dictionary borrowed from India and added that Britain hopes to work with India to exercise influence over China on North Korea. “Never mind what you are hearing from the White House”, he Vivekanand Jaganathan, Rupanjana Dutta, IJA Secretary, Ashis Ray, IJA

President, Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson, wife Marina Wheeler and Pritha Ray

Photo courtesy: Raj D Bakrania, PrMediapix

UK Foreign Secretary demands cooperation with India to influence China and combat terrorism

High Commissioner of India to UK HE Y K Sinha meets UK Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson

while UK is looking forward to foster stronger relationship with India, the Finance Minister Arun Jaitley did not promise much during his last visit to the UK. Senior figures in India have also expressed their concerns about the focus on boosting trade.But Johnson’s remarks mark a shift away from trade cooperation with India to a more holistic discussion of the Uk-

Indo relationship. Mr. Johnson also acknowledged factors that stood in the way of greater cooperation, including over visas, and student visas in particular. High Commissioner Sinha said he hoped the countries would continue to work on increase cooperation on intelligence sharing, especially when it comes to combating terrorism.


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Time to close the Partition file August 15, it would appear, is an occasion for ritual selfflagellation for maudlin memoirists retelling their golden childhoods in the pleasure gardens of Lahore and the chowks of Karachi. How and why it occurred is rarely the subject of honest discussion and analysis; instead the public is treated syrupy tales of happy clappy times which for some unaccountable reason turned to tragedy and loss. So it was at the time. The bloodletting and manic communal violence do have a place in collective memory and should be an occasion for honest reflection. The flannelled young Muhammed Ali Jinnah in Bombay earning his keep as a successful lawyer, happily married to a stunningly beautiful Parsi woman, preaching Hindu-Muslim unity is a story told and retold with frequency of the Arabian Nights and not nearly as riveting. More relevant for the historical record was the riper Jinnah who energized vast crowds of Muslims across the Subcontinent calling for the creation of a homeland for the faithful, to be called Pakistan [Land of the Pure]. His fleeting declaration that the religion and the state were to kept separate was a public relations gesture, a genuflection he chose to relegate to trivia. Mullahs and mobs carried the day, hence his greatest political debt was to them and their deeds of derring-do on riotous streets when he called for ‘Direction Action Day’ on August 16, 1946. The communal holocaust began in Calcutta that day under the auspices of Bengal’s Muslim League Ministry, spreading eventually to Punjab where it reached its dire apotheosis. While the mainstream nationalist leadership waffled, two outstanding leaders read the runes with extraordinary precision. They were Chakravarti Rajagopalachari and Babasaheb Rao Ambedkar who understood from the start that the demand for Pakistan commanded vast support from the large Muslim community too numerous to ignore unless one preferred unending civil strife. A united India was thus unfeasible, and it was best this way for an India minus Pakistan to move forward and engage creatively with the future. The core of Ambedkar’s argument was that the concept of Pakistan was rooted in Islamic tradition and history. Jinnah told the American journalist Margaret Bourke-White that ‘America needs Pakistan more than

Pakistan needs America,’ that ‘Pakistan is the pivot of the world,’ because of its geographical location. During his tour of the Middle East in late 1946, he claimed that without a future Pakistan ‘there will be a great a menace of Hindu imperialist Raj spreading its tentacles right across the Middle East.’ This would ‘mean the end of Islam in India and even other Muslim countries,’ Jinnah said he was not averse to sending Pakistani troops to Palestine to fight the Jews and was receptive to the creation of Turc-Arab bloc comprising Turkey, Iran, North Africa, Afghanistan, and various Arab states.’ Pakistan would be prepared to go to war with India in defence of the Muslim minority there. During the Kashmir crisis, Jinnah appealed to Pakistanis to cultivate the true spirit of the Mujahids. Readers would do well to consult Venkat Dhulipala’s path-breaking study, Creating a New Medina: State Power, Islam and the Quest for Pakistan in Late Colonial India,’ which is magnificently researched from English and Urdu sources, altering the received mainstream discourse on Partition. The BBC and Western broadcasters, not to speak of the Qatari-based Al Jazeera, neutered history to suit the purposes of partisan politics. There was the usual moral and political equivalence of India and Pakistan on display, much condescension with no reference to the Pakistan-sponsored jihadi attacks on Mumbai in March 1993 and November 2008. In scale and losses of life they dwarf anything that has occurred in continental Europe and Britain combined. No mention was made of the Pakistani dimension in the 9/11 jihadi assault on New York and Washington, nether was mention made of Osama bin Laden’s covert refuge in Pakistan with the connivance of the Pakistan military. The irony is the distancing by the BBC, and print media Western broadcasters from jihadi bombers and killers on their respective doorsteps: London, Paris, Brussels, Madrid and Barcelona, the scene of the latest outrage, where 14 innocent citizens were killed. Germany’s English language TV channel referred with contrived alarm to India and Pakistan as nuclear weapon states. But so surely are China, the UK, France and, now, North Korea. Many neutral observers may wonder what German troops are doing on Russia’s borders. No threat to peace? That is something the German people should ponder seriously.

Boris Johnson on Indian footprint in UK British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson was in rousing form during an Indian Independence dinner celebration. Never short of humour and the pointed observation, he told how, on a recent visit to India, he saw a Bollywood starlet in the back of a Tata luxury Jaguar car manufactured in Castle Bromwich and exported to India ‘in ever growing numbers’; that the Jaguar is testament to ‘modern India, not only the biggest democracy on earth, but in less than 30 years time it will be the second, if not the richest country in the world’ – an over generous tribute verging on the hyperbolic. One of the richest dozen would be praise enough. The good and great had turned out in force for the occasion. Mr Johnson said Winston Churchill was ‘spectacularly wrong’ when he prophesied after Indian self-rule. That he assuredly was, as he himself was to recognize during his second term as prime minister in 1951-55, when he came into close contact with India’s

first prime minister, Jawaharlal Nehru, to whom Churchill wrote: ‘I hope you will of the phrase “The Light of Asia”. It seems to me that you might do what no other human being could in giving India the lead, at least in the realm of thought, throughout Asia, with the freedom of the dignity of the individual as the ideal rather than the Communist Party drill book.’ Returning to Boris Johnson, he said Britain was open to talent, and hence welcomed Indian students to British universities; he called for a greater opening up of the Indian market to facilitate bilateral trade and investment. The Foreign Secretary was in his element with a truly hilarious account of a visit to Ahmedabad, with its prohibition laws. He had to register as an alcoholic to get a drink and landed up at an all-night chemist at 3 am, holding a booklet and pleading for a lager and Jameson whisky and was offered a bottle of ethanol!

Picture to savour A photograph from the archives of the Saha Institute of Nuclear Physics in Kolkata of almost a century ago is one surely to savour. It shows a group of young Bengali scientists, still at College, clad in traditional dhoti and chhadar (shawl) with the patriarch Jagadish Chandra Bose in the centre, already an international luminary. Barely recognizable were the youthful Satyen Bose, whose glory days as a particle physicist still lay in the future and his contemporary and friend Megnad Saha. Saha died in 1956, aged 63, Satyen Bose in 1974, with J.C.Bose predeceasing them in 1938, aged around 80. Megnad Saha became an acclaimed astrophysicist for his ionization equation – the Saha Equation known to scientists. It receives generous mention at every session at any international astrophysics conference as a landmark in the subject. The iconic British astrophysicist, Sir Arthur Eddington described Saha’s theory of thermal ionization as the twelfth most important landmark in the history of astronomy.

‘The Saha equation is not only relevant for the classification of stars in terms of the surface temperatures, but also for correctly predicting temperatures and mass loss mechanism in massive stars. Even with today’s fastest computers we have found that the state-of-the-gas is still in excellent agreement with the more approximate – but far more insightful – equation of Saha. This is truly extraordinary,’ says Jorick Vink, Vice President of the Commission on Massive Stars, International Astronomical Union, UK. Nobel laureate S. Chandrasekhar, known for the Chandrasekhar limit, wrote: ‘Megnad Saha’s place in the history of astrophysics and in the history of modern science in India is unique.’ Saha was elected Fellow of the Royal Society way back in 1926. While Saha’s work is world famous, the man is forgotten, especially in India, with no government doing anything to honour his memory.

Asian Voice | 26th August 2017

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Setting an example is not the main means of influencing others, it is the only means - Albert Einstein (1879-1955)

CIIr Ketan Sheth

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

Transformation of Lord’s Cricket Ground Of all Britain’s long-established institutions, perhaps none is as idiosyncratic as the 230year-old Marylebone Cricket Club. It is a members’ club, but not just any members’ club - the very initials MCC are evocative of the entire game: languid summer days and, for both better and worse, old-fashioned values. As recently as the 1990s, MCC still largely retained its historic role of running cricket. Even now, having lost that role, the club still writes the laws of the game and still has enormous influence. Its home, Lord’s, is recognised as the world’s pre-eminent cricket ground. However, despite this, it is not the biggest and not necessarily the best, partly because Lord’s is quite cramped as a major sports venue. So, to maintain Lord’s position as the finest ground in the world to watch and play cricket and to avoid being relegated to London’s thirdbiggest cricket venue, behind the ambitious Oval and the Olympic Stadium, MCC has recently put forward a recommendation to its Members on the subject of the redevelopment of Lord's Cricket Ground. The debate as to whether or not to pursue an option to build residential flats at the Ground has produced one of the most bizarre and bitter disputes in sport over the last 18 years. Indeed, it has been so vicious that former Tory Prime Minster, Sir John Major – no stranger to dealing with robust differences of opinion – walked off the committee in disgust. That dispute is now to about to come to a head, and will be voted on by the Club's 18,000 strong membership at a special meeting to be held next month. An MCC Committee recommendation to proceed with the next phase of development at Lord’s with the replacement of the Compton and Edrich Stands by adopting the MCC Masterplan and thus effectively ruling out the building of flats at the Home of Cricket, has been made following very clear feedback from MCC Members. This followed a wide consultation exercise and clear advice from the Club's Principal committees. After completion of the first stage of the MCC Masterplan earlier this year, which resulted in the opening of a new £25m Warner Stand, the replacement of the Compton and Edrich Stands, if voted in favour by the Club’s members, is projected to start in 2019 and will be completed in June 2021. This would lead to an increase in the Ground's capacity, improved facilities and better circulation for spectators. This fractious debate has been a distraction from the good work done by the MCC in the promotion of cricket in the broader community. It has a burgeoning Community Development programme, with initiatives ranging from coaching in over 30 local state schools to hosting monthly dementia awareness sessions for local residents. This means that MCC continues to reach out to people who may never before have visited Lord's. Ending the 'residential' debate at Lord's will mean that MCC can focus even further on providing such benefits to the London community. It is timely and welcome that this dispute should be resolved as soon as possible. Editor: CB Patel

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Couple get married in first interfaith lesbian wedding

Kalavati Mistry, a Hindu, and Miriam Jefferson, who is Jewish, have finally tied the knot more than 20 years after they first met on a training course. The couple had a traditional Hindu ceremony in Kalavati’s hometown of Leicester, months after having a Jewish wedding in San Antonio, Texas. Both brides wore traditional red and white bridal colours, fresh garlands, and ‘mangala sutra’ necklaces to shoe they were married. Speaking to The Independent Kalavati, 48, said: ‘Marriage is very important to me. I grew up

in a very traditional household, and really value the traditions and the culture. To me, I wanted to spend my life with someone, in a union.’ Ms Mistry revealed that she struggled to come out to her strictly religious parents and only did so a few years ago, but was met by acceptance. However, they struggled to find a Hindu priest willing to conduct the ceremony. She said: ‘My family have embraced Miriam very well. I knew during my teenage years that I was (gay) and it was very difficult, trying to

Rishi and fiance Daniel with Rishi’s parents

Kalavati and Miriam on their wedding day

tell your friends and family and honour the traditions. ‘Once I told my friends and family a few years ago, they were very warm, welcoming and embracing to Miriam, which is very important. It’s really nice to now have a Hindu wedding here, because it brings both of us together and completes both of us in my eyes.’ The couple, who both work for an interfaith organisation, have now flown to Miriam’s home in Texas to start their life as a married couple. Last June the same newspaper carried a story of the Indian parents of a gay man

who threw him an elaborate traditional wedding, in a ceremony that clearly defied their home country’s attitude to homosexual relationships. Rishi Agarwal, 35, and his fiancé Daniel Langdon got married at a golf course in Oakville, Canada, after meeting in 2011, with the Hindu ceremony funded entirely by Mr Agarwal's parents. They performed all the standard rituals of a traditional wedding, including exchanging flower garlands and getting matching henna tattoos of each others initials.

Student landlord Amit Sharma fined over deathtrap house Sharma, who was fined at Birmingham Magistrates’ Court, was fined after one of his tenants turned to the council for help last October. Despite written requests, many of the issues were not resolved and officers decided to prosecute. Among the list of defects found were: * Failure to provide a fire door

or fire-resistant construction under the stairs on the ground floor. * Storing combustible materials in the escape route under the stairs. * No self-closing device to the fire door on the ground floor front bedroom. * Insecure and defective treads on the staircase.

another bus which the victim and her friend managed to flag down. But as they tried to approach him, he pushed past and knocked one of them down before fleeing from the vehicle. Dhaliwal, of Bearwood Road in Bearwood, was identified and arrested in July following a CCTV appeal. The 40-year-old pleaded guilty to robbery and assault and was jailed for two years and ten months at

Wolverhampton Crown Court on Friday, August 11. Detective Constable Sarah Forster, from West Midlands Police Force CID,

said: “This was a particularly nasty robbery where the victim not only suffered the trauma of having her sentimental earrings taken but the pain of having them ripped off. “Thanks to the help of the public we were able to identify Dhalilwal and make sure he faced justice. “He will now have time behind bars and hopefully reflect on the suffering he caused the victim both emotionally and physically.”

Strategy (DBEIS) Mr Chughtai’s babywear store called Aftabs failed to pay a worker £14,142. The DBEIS named 233 firms across the UK which in total had been fined £1.9 million for underpaying its workers. Mr Chughtai’s familyowned business, based on the Alum Rock Road for the last 34 years, found itself on the list because HMRC ruled it had been paying a worker an apprentice’s wage for two years, rather than the minimum wage. Mr Chughtai last night said the underpayment was an “isolated incident” and he had since implemented procedures to ensure the mis-

take wasn’t repeated. He said: “There was a misunderstanding in that we were under the impression that the worker we hired was on an apprentice scheme and would be attending college part-time. “As it turned out he didn’t attend any college lessons and the first we heard was when HMRC wrote to us to say we should have been paying him the minimum living wage rather than a reduced apprentice wage.” He said he had paid the shortfall of just over £14,000 about 18 months ago and the matter was now closed. He added: “It’s a shame this happened and I would warn businesses to be wary

A student landlord has been fined over the state of a deathtrap house in Selly Oak. The property in Tiverton Road failed a string of fire-related safety checks after council officials were tipped off by a worried undergraduate living at the address. Birmingham City Council said landlord Amit Sharma

risked the lives of his tenants by flouting the rules and repeatedly ignoring demands for improvements. The authority spoke out after the 34-year-old was fined £2,795 with £1,520 costs having admitted failing to obtain a house of multiple occupancy licence and breaching HMO management regulations.

A robber who tore gold earrings from an elderly woman in the street has been jailed. Inderjit Singh Dhaliwal, pictured, ripped the jewellery from the ear of his 66-yearold victim while she was walking in Church Hill Street, Smethwick , at around 2pm on May 26. He followed the pensioner off a bus from the High Street before grabbing her earrings and leaving her injured. Dhaliwal then jumped on

A Birmingham businessman honoured by the Queen has been named and shamed in a government list of employers who failed to pay its workers the minimum wage. Aftab Chughtai was awarded an MBE for his “services to business and community relations” and sits on the board of Birmingham’s Asian Business Chamber of Commerce. Last month the 47-yearold, who chairs the West Midlands Police Independent Advisory Group, was named as a member of the four-man Grenfell Tower fire taskforce. But according to a list released today by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial

Robber jailed after tearing earrings from pensioner in street

Local businessman named and shamed for failing to pay minimum wage insists case was a 'misunderstanding'

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Boy allergic to fish died after being served fish fingers

A boy of nine who was allergic to some types of fish died after eating fish fingers for his school dinner, an inquest heard. Mohammed Ismaeel Ashraf suffered a suspected allergic reaction and collapsed at Al-Hijrah School. Birmingham Coroner’s Court heard the school was aware of his dietary restrictions – but none of the canteen staff were believed to have read a care plan outlining what to do should he fall ill. He also wore a lanyard outling his allergies but catering manager Deborah Park, of contractor Caterlink, said staff only knew that he could not eat dairy products. Mohammed, who was known as Ismaeel, had regularly eaten fish and chips and had never suffered a reaction and died at Heartlands Hospital after falling ill at school on March 3. The inquest heard audio of a 999 call during which the operator was told by school staff that they were having difficulty finding his EpiPen adrenaline pen. Birmingham coroner Louise Hunt told the jury how the delay in giving him his EpiPen was central to how Ismaeel died.

Hajj travel firm ordered to pay £43k after investigation

A Hajj travel firm and its director have been ordered to pay £43,000 after being convicted of misleading customers over ATOL protection. Islam Freedom Limited was found guilty of several offences last year following an investigation by Trading Standards. The company, based at 34 Green Street in Newham, was linked to Holy Makkah Tours, another firm which traded from the same address as well as 548A Coventry Road in Small Heath. Both firms were prosecuted by Birmingham City Council after being investigated by Trading Standards officers. The investigation, assisted by City of London Police, was part of a national project to tackle Hajj and Umrah fraud in 2014.

Seven arrested during crackdown on illegal immigrants

Seven men found living in squalor in an overcrowded Small Heath home have been arrested as part of a huge national crackdown to deport immigrants working and living illegally in the country. The men, whose ages range from 24 to 41, were found to have been living illegally in a property on St Benedict's Road after six of them entered the UK unlawfully. Two of the men, both Pakistani, have been deported from the country after entering illegally, while efforts are being made to remove the other five, one of which was arrested for overstaying his VISA. The arrests were made as part of an Immigration Enforcement led operation to stamp out illegal workers after a link between houses with multiple occupants and working illegally was established. The majority of those arrested were Indian nationals, but people from Pakistan, Afghanistan, China and Albania were also found living illegally across the country.

Business owner fears for family in Pakistan fire leaves him unable to pay suppliers

Aftab Chughtai

that the onus is on them to ensure their employees give them the correct information.” But Labour MP Khalid Mahmood said a high-profile businessman like Mr Chughtai should have been “extra vigilant because he is a role model to many in the community.”

A businessman who lost his entire stock in a city factory unit blaze says he is living in fear after the half-million pound fire left him unable to pay his suppliers. Hundreds of racks of garments and boxes of clothing were destroyed in the blaze which saw fire crews having to cut gaping holes in the roof to prevent the fire spreading to adjoining units.


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REGISTER DOMESTIC ABUSE Continued from page 1 In December 2015, a coercive and controlling behaviour offence came into force, which means such behaviour that occurs between current and former partners or family members can lead to prosecution – and a maximum 5 year sentence – even if it falls short of physical violence. The Met has also placed a specialised focus on tackling domestic abuse. Operation Dauntless+ involves the tracking of over 400 serial crossborder domestic abuse offenders, each of whom are subject to consideration for a ‘Right to Know’ disclosure. Mr Shah told Asian Voice, the provisions are “too patchy”. With estimates that 4 in 10 survivors of domestic abuse are repeat victims, he said that he was backing calls for more stringent measures to prevent repeat offences. Mr Duvall’s report into domestic abuse in the capital urges the government to introduce a register, equivalent to that used for sexual offenders, to allow the police to hold information on perpetrators and better protect survivors. The register would put the onus on offenders to give the police their personal details, including name and address, and to update with any changes. Other recommendations set out in the report call on the Mayor of London to work with the Met to reevaluate the threshold for monitoring serial domestic abuse offenders and to continue to lobby the government for better resources for tackling domestic abuse and other crimes. He added: “Across London, we’re seeing domestic abuse increasing and we need to get serious about how we protect people from these vile acts. In its borough plan for 20152019, Brent Council rightly highlighted tackling domestic violence as one of its goals, and tougher checks on perpetrators and a register of offenders would be important steps in achieving this goal. I recognise that the government have improved the law to allow for tougher action against abusers, but the provision is too patchy and reoffending remains too high. “We need to send a clear message to anyone committing domestic abuse that the police have them on their

radar. I’m backing calls for a register of domestic abusers because I believe it could provide a vital step change in the way we prevent reoffending and protect people from these devastating crimes.”

Home Office responds to ILUK demands The British Home Office has said it will look at arrangements for spousal visas, following warnings from Indian women’s rights groups viz. Indian ladies in the UK (ILUK) that its conditions left the non-EU partner coming to the UK “ripe for exploitation”(https://www.asian voice.com/Volumes/201 7 / 1 2 - A u g u s t 2 0 1 7 / U K % 2 7 S -A B A N DONED-INDIANWIVES). The group, as planned on Wednesday 16 August, stood outside the Lunar House, Home Office Headquarter demanding a fair scope or hearing for those wives who are abandoned without notice, mostly for economic reasons by men of Indian origin settled here. Many victims also suffer different levels of mental and physical abuse- that go unreported. India's External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj offered a helping hand to the group, while the founder and members are now hopeful after the Home Office in a statement assured them saying, “This government will not tolerate abuse through marriage or other relationships and we will continue to take the lead in tackling modern slavery, forced marriage and domestic violence... We will look carefully at any evidence of where further action might help to prevent abuse or support victims.” “If there is evidence that an individual in the UK on a spouse visa has been the victim of domestic abuse, including controlling coercive behaviour, they can apply for settlement in the UK,” it added. “An

individual on a spouse visa abandoned overseas could apply to return to the UK.” Kanti Nagda, from the Sangat Advice Centre in Harrow that provides several services and assistance to women in distress told the newspaper, “We at Sangat Advice Centre believe that The Indian High Commission, whilst taking a stand, has nevertheless sadly failed to recognise the plight of Indian citizen women caught in the claws of their British citizen husbands. “Every month we are approached by women suffering domestic violence. Some of them would like us to take the matter further. Some come simply to unburden themselves of their silent suffering. All of them deserve to be heard and supported. “In the main, we have found that the victims are predominantly from the less wealthy and less educated families from back home. They come to the UK with a dream of bettering their lives and instead find themselves shackled to men who are often hen-pecked by their mothers, once or twice divorced, sexually incompetent and twice their age, looking merely for a servant rather than a life partner. “These women are initially given visas for two and a half years followed by a further two and a half years. Following these five years stay they can secure indefinite leave to stay in the UK, provided that the couple have lived together during this period. “Our advice to Indian citizen spouses trapped in domestic violence is not to suffer in silence. Incidences of physical or mental abuse should be reported to the police, social services, GP and volunteering agencies providing assistance to victims. And if, for whatever reason, a return to India is not possible, victims should make an application to settle in the UK.”

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26th August 2017

Mum of Syston woman driven to suicide by ex slams police The devastated mother of a care worker who was driven to suicide by an abusive former boyfriend has condemned police for failing to take action against him and vowed to get justice for her daughter. Meera Dalal, 25, was emotionally and physically abused by her expartner before she took her own life in February last year, an inquest heard. A 27-year-old man was arrested on suspicion of assisting suicide on the day Meera died but was released with no further action. Her mother Daksha Dalal, 55, now wants police to disclose any evidence they hold so her family can consider a private prosecution. On Sunday she spoke for the first time about her heartache and says although she will never get over the death she is determined to get justice for her daughter. She said: ‘I feel totally let down. My feelings should be considered by the law as a mother. I’m just looking for a positive outcome. I seriously felt as if I would get some justice from the police but I didn’t. A loss of a child is an intense grief that you

will never, ever be able to overcome.’ Meera, a hospital liaison officer, killed herself at her family home in Syston, Leics., where her father discovered her body. Mrs Dalal added: ‘She left a note and the police showed me. The note showed how much she loved us and what we’d done for her, especially when she mentioned saying: ‘if there was little kindness in your heart to forgive me, please. I just live for that. She loved us so much and she thanked us for all that we had done to her. ‘I felt there was something wrong but she didn’t mention anything until October. And I took her to the hospital, she couldn’t walk. When I went to the hospital the lady at the desk said to me she’s been here a number of times – and that totally broke me. ‘I’ll never ever get over her death. It sometimes gets worse by the day. It’s like a pain in my heart. A loss of a child is an intense grief that you’ll never ever be able to overcome – I will never be able to overcome this grief. Simply never.’ Mrs Dalal is now try-

LEICESTER

Meera Dalal

ing to obtain copies of her daughter’s medical records, along with other evidence held by Leicestershire Police – but is still waiting for the information. Mrs Dalal has been raising awareness of domestic abuse since her daughter’s death through a Facebook page in her memory, and says many victims have contacted her. One woman left her husband and stayed with Meera’s parents for two months while she found somewhere else to live. Asian Voice has been told that Meera's parents have asked for the man responsible for their daughter's untimely death to be arrested and jailed but at the time of printing were unable to get comments from Meera's family or lawyers working for the accused.

Salutes

CB Patel

Legend of Asian Media on the occasion of his 80th Birthday

10th September 2017 from 4pm to 6pm onwards with a special performance by Maya Deepak. What they say about CB “Many Happy Returns of the day to Shri C B Patel on his 80th Birthday”

“Through his Press Media and Publications, he has enlightened the social and cultural pride of being an Indian especially a Gujarati residing abroad.” Hon Prime Minister of India Shri Narendra Modi

“The position he has achieved as Editor and Journalist, and the leadership he has provided for public service is very much commendable. I have a warm and personal relationship with C B Patel. I pray to God that his eight decades life journey may still remain much active and lengthy."

“He is a legend of the media. We cannot thank him enough for his lifetime of service. Many people have done things for our community but CB's contribution has been enormous. He always has the community in his heart” Rt Hon Keith Vaz MP

To book your place contact mangospicegroup@gmail.com


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Asian Voice | 26th August 2017

Sponsor 100 children for £1000 for a year! and ability to socialise Watching our triand connect with peocoloured flag being ple, and ultimately, hoisted on the occafuture prospects. Child sion of Independence labour and exploitation Day is a proud are grave consequences moment for Indians of this very problem. and people of Indian On the road to makorigin.. This year, we ing India a developed would be celebrating 70 years of the birth of Bhawani Singh Shekhawat nation, it is vital that CEO UK/Europe its citizens are happy our nation. The theme for Independence Day 2017 is and healthy. A physically and ‘Forging Ahead Together for mentally strong population Continued National translates into a formidable Development’, which explains workforce that helps a country that to take the country towards scale dizzying new heights. positive development, we need more than just a group of activists coming together and fighting for the cause. India has a total population of 1.21 billion, out of which 39% are children, according to Census of India 2010-11. A report by National Center for Biotechnology Also, if the country is to secure Information states that chilits future, its women and children in the age group of 11-13 dren in particular, have to be years are vulnerable to stuntlooked after with greater care. ing, being underweight. Due to With concentrated effort and malnutrition in children, prevacommitment to the cause comlence of wasting was observed ing from the government as in children in the age group – 5well as the people, making India hunger-free is certainly possi7 years. ble. The report recommended The Akshaya Patra skills-based nutrition educaFoundation works towards protion, fortification of food items, viding nutritious meals as a effective infection control and solution to eradicate malnutritraining of public healthcare tion in India. This acts as an workers, as a solution to incentive to encourage children improve health of these chilto attend school every day. The dren. Role of NGOs is required school lunch programme, which to bring this change in the sociwas started in 2000, currently ety. We all need to get together feeds over 1.6 million children and eradicate malnutrition in in India. The Foundation aims India. at reaching 5 million children According to the Food and by 2020. Agriculture Organization of the To develop a successful United Nations (FAO) annual nation, our national flag was report released in 2015, India designed, keeping the ideology has 194.6 million undernourof positive growth in mind. ished people in the country. It Akshaya Patra supports this in also had the dubious distinction various ways. of topping the list of 10 most So How can you, readers of undernourished countries in Asian Voice help. the world. If India is to ensure that its development goals are Sponsor a 100 Children met, the stomachs of its popuschool meals for a whole year lace must be full and its citizens - £1000 well-nourished. Sponsor an entire school for a The psychological and physwhole year - £2750 iological effects of hunger are Please call us at the numwell-documented. Hunger bers below and me and my team affects cognition, stunts physiwould be delighted to help you cal and mental growth, affects understand how Akshaya Patra concentration and is also linked is changing the future for milto aggression in adulthood. Food insecurity adversely lions of children and their famaffects economies worldwide ilies and how every little contritoo, with losses running into bution helps immensely. billions of US dollars. Hunger is Our mission is to serve 5 also one of the key drivers of million children by 2020. To crime, social injustices and help us reach this ambitious oppression. goal, please donate online at Perhaps the most disturbing www.justgiving.com/tapf or casualties and victims of text MEALS to 70300 to donate hunger in India are the chil£10. Your £10 gift will enable us to serve school lunches to one dren. Not only does it lead to child in India every day for an children dropping out of school entire year. To learn more about for economic reasons, it also affects their attendance, conour work, visit www.foodforedcentration, grades, self-esteem ucation.org.uk

Akshaya Patra is the official sponsored charity for Asian Achievers Awards 2017

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Champion's resignation is a question on Corbyn's moralities Forced resignation of Sarah Champion, the MP for Rotherham as the Shadow Secretary of State for Women and equalities, by Party leader Jeremy Corbyn has taken Britain by storm. Sarah Champion was merely reiterating what newspapers have been writing for years There is a problem that has existed in Rochadale, Rotherham and several other parts of Britain. Non Muslim girls and white girls have been groomed over years by especially Muslim men- something that has come to light only recently. Addressed as Asian men, out of political correctness, researches have revealed that three-fourth of these men are of Pakistani origin, something that has completely devastated the community and damaged its reputation. Champion's comment also came after 17 men and a woman – mostly British born and from Pakistani, Bangladeshi, Iraqi, Indian, Iranian and Turkish communities were convicted in Newcastle of 90 offences including rape, sexual activity with a child, conspiracy to prompt prostitution and child trafficking.

Sajid Javid

The Labour leader stood strong saying Pakistani men grooming white girl- the statement singles out a particular community, and it is wrong of Champion to do so. He warned that grooming cases are happening across the country and that no one culture should be singled out. Champion resigned after being asked to do so by Corbyn. It followed an article she wrote in The Sun where the MP for Rotherham warned politicians should not be afraid to discuss the relative high number of sexual exploitation and grooming cases against Pakistani men in the UK. A Yougov survey of 4923 people revealed that 39% agreed that Champion “raised awareness of the issue in the right way and should have stuck to her gangs.” Corbyn's effective sacking of Champion from the Shadow cabinet for saying that Britain has a problem with Pakistani men grooming white girls is actually a disgrace. Corbyn may have a duty to be politically correct, but at the same time Champion has a right to take the bull by the horn. Champion is the local MP of that particular place, where white and many non Muslim but Asian girls have suffered unimaginable abuses in the hands of Muslim men, most of who are Pakistani. It is factually correct to say that around

Sarah Champion

1400 girls were abused between 1997 and 2013 in Champion's constituency, and it is not racist to note that culprits were mainly Muslim men of South Asian origin. While many Asian girls have not come out in public, mainly due to cultural complications, the other victims, mostly whites have taken a strong stand. It has revolutionised the whole sociocultural system of Britain, much to Corbyn's ignorance. It was first cowardly to refuse to tackle these crimes for fear of being called racist. In fact one reseracher who tried to raise the alarm was sent on an ethnicity and diversity course. But finally the cat is out of the bagto perhaps many people's horror and dislikings. Does the mainstream feel that South Asians and overall Muslims feel a sense of pride in such crimes? The answer is no. Their shame in the men of their community and their disgraceful behaviour is much bigger than a MP's political correctness. It is a stigma they will have to fight against for years and a reason for which they have to prove their loyalty all over again to this country. But that does not make them cowards. Their ownership abilities are much higher than the Labour party leader's understanding of the cultual nuances. The Home Secretary Lord Blunkett has reportedly and correctly pointed out that “political and cultural sensitivities” must not get in the way of fighting child abuse. Trevor Philips, the equality campaigner wrote in The Daily Telegraph that it was time “to call a spade a spade...without embarassment.” In fact the fall of Champion shows just how much has the

Labour party moved away from mainstream opinion. Champion's outspokenness on this issue is based on the knowledge and hard experiences. Britain's experiement with political correctness has actually aggravaded this issue. If Corbyn presents himself as the voice of the poor and opressed, he has now lost a team member who was actually trying to stand up for the real oppressed and doing her job as per her profile demanded. Suffering from ostrich syndrome, avoiding confrontations and self examinations is not a solution- and Corbyn being head of Her Majesty's Opposition must realise it before it's way too late. The Asian community itself is completely shocked and disgusted at such lowly activities by their own. Tarnishing a community's name was not in Champion's motive as it clearly stands- in fact she was merely reiterating what people are thinking of, and if Corbyn does not like it, it's reflects badly on him, but definitely not on her. Sajid Javid, the communities secretary, and a Muslim himself said that the Labour leader was wrong to sack Champion and called for an open discussion on the issue of culture and religion. Rebecca Hilsenrath, the

Jeremy Corbyn

Equality and Human Rights Commission chief executive, said, “It is this climate where problems cannot be frankly discussed and tackled, that led to neglect, for so long, of the victims of these terrible crimes.” Nazir Afzal a former chief crown prosecuter who led the team prosecuting child grooming in Rochadale said that Corbyn's remarks amounted to 'unhelpful generalisations'. He reportedly said, “When it comes to street grooming, BritishPakistanis and men of South Asian backgrounds are disproportionately involved. That is the fact. It is the reality of what we've prosecuted...to be aware of the perpetrator profile.”

Khan and Burnham may not get a chance to speak at party conference Sadiq Khan and Andy Burnham face being snubbed at next month's Labour conference, as members demand more time to debate issues. Sources reveal that the Mayors of London and Manchester have not yet been asked to speak at the event in Brighton. Critics speculated that it

would be extraordinary, if Mr Khan did not speak at the conference after the year London has had- with Grenfell tower fire and three terror attacks. It is understood tha all high-profile speakers will have speech time curbed to give way to grassroot members' debates.


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Indian-origin boy becomes Britain’s ‘Child Genius’ A 12 year old contestant on the latest series of 'Child Genius' became a sensation overnight for answering all questions correctly. Rahul Doshi stunned the audience and quizmaster Richard Osman by answering questions such as “What is the scientific name for apricot?” With an IQ of 162, which is believed to be higher than the likes of Stephen Hawking and Albert Einstein, he qualifies for Mensa- the largest and oldest high IQ society in the world. “I always wanted to do the best, and I'll do that no matter what the cost. I think I'm a genius. I'm good at mental maths, general knowledge and I find it quite easy to memorise stuff,” Rahul said, “Most kids want immediate gratification but I also want long-term gratification. If I couldn't play maybe my Xbox now, I'll be really happy now, but I might be sad later on because I haven't revised for my test.” 20 contestants on the show, aged eight to 12 will be short-listed among a string of tests

over the course of a week. Rahul achieved full marks in a spelling test- successfully attempting words like garrulous, accouchement, and hyponatraemia. He answered 14 out of 15 questions correctly in a timed memory round. Even though he narrowly lost out in a maths round, he remains exempt from elimination due to his high score. Rahul's father, Minesh and mother Komal said their son was in the game to win and their role was to encourage him. “We are here to win. There's no two ways about that. We're all achievers,” Minesh said.

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Asian Voice | 26th August 2017

UKIP candidate's comment outrage Indians in the UK A UKIP candidate's claim to ask British Indians and dual nationals leave UK 'for their home' with thousand pounds compensation and health insurance, has outraged the Asian community in the UK. They have taken the social media by storm condemning this statement, calling it 'ridiculous'. John Rees-Evans, who came third in the party’s last leadership election, said Britons with dual nationalities could be handed £9,000 and health insurance to relocate to countries where they have the right to settle. His rivals have condemned his comment, and has left behind a bad taste among the diaspora. The former soldier added that they could set up a small business under his proposed “fast-track export-import scheme” which could then export tariff-free to the UK. Mr Rees-Evans, 39, said this would help reduce net migration to below 1 million a year and boost international trade links. Speaking in Leigh, Greater Manchester, he

John Rees-Evans

said: “It's not going to be draconian. It's not going to be fascist. "I'm not interested in using eugenics or any evil things like that, and yet I would be pushing for negative net migration towards one million a year." Jasvir Singh, the Chairman of City Sikhs

Network in a humurous note on facebook said, “Apparently this guy will pay £9000 for me to go home. I'm originally from West London. Where do I collect my cheque?” Balvinder Kaur told Asian Voice, “UK has a population of 1.5mn of Indian origin people. Most pay more than £9k as taxes. The richest man in the UK is Indian by birth (Hinduja brothers). How can this man get away by making such outrageous and racist comments?” Sriram Upadhyay told the newsweekly, “Such individuals need to be educated. Our contributions including that of our forefathers' run into billions. We have given our lives in wars for UK. People

like Evans have perhaps not even contributed a penny to our country, let alone making sacrifices, yet claim to make space by throwing British citizens out of our own country? I am ashamed to learn this man was a soldier too.” Jaganath Suresh said, “This is hilarious. I see the funny siden of such comments, especially by ignorant men who want to represent us in the Parliament. He wants to pay us £9000 to top up our rail card? As most of us are born in different parts of the UK, and as much as British as Evans himself.” Brit-Indians are not only well known as professionals in this country but there are many old, young and new entrepreneurs from the community, who have largely contributed to Britain's GDP. UK currently has 27 MPs of Asian origin, out of which 12 are Indian.

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Women top shortlist at this year's Asian Achievers Awards

record number of women have been shortlisted in this year's Asian Achievers Awards, a total of 22 out of 36 candidates. The Awards in its 17th year, have always had a track record of giving a voice to the voiceless, and recognising people from the diaspora, who have not yet been acknowledged for their

outstanding work. Clever as headlines in many news would go, depictions of women's success in the real world are misleading. Women regularly bump into glass ceilings despite the evidential display of greater success, and this year's Asian achievers Awards is aiming to break that cycle.

Achievement in Community service

Akeela Ahmed, Founder, She Speak We Hear

Davinder Kaur BEM, Chief Executive, SWEDA

Saba Nasim BEM, Cricket Coach / Lawyer

The awards have been founded on the basis of 'People's Choice', where our readers and Britons can have a say in who deserves it really. The judges are also independent of any influence from the hosts, and have a free hand to decide the shortlists and winners. With increasing number of women shortlisted at the awards this year, it is a moment of pride that women are finally being given their due credit. And platforms like the Asian Achievers Awards is making that a reality. In fact in categories like the Community Service and Media all shortlists are women, out of the tens of nominations that were received. In the Uniform and civil service out of the 4 shortlists, 3 are women, with a 50-50 mix in other categories including names like Vanita Patel MBE of Anti-Slavery

International; playwright, Tanika Gupta MBE; UK's first Asian female judge Anuja Ravindra Dhir QC and BBC journalist Tina Daheley. The list also includes representatives from various communities- Indian, Bangaldeshi, Sri Lankan, Pakistani- a true example of diversity among Asians in the UK. The glittering awards night that will be held at the prestigious Grosvenor House on September 22nd, will be hosted by Bollywood singer, actress and model, Raageshwari, who will join former Eastenders star, Nitin Ganatra. The awards this year highlights the great strides made in the fields of Media, Art and Culture. Interested to be a part of this prestigious awards in 2017? Please call 020 7749 4085 to book your place.

Professional of the year

Vanita Patel MBE, Anti Slavery International

Sports personality of the Year

Neethu Haridas, Footballer

Business Person of the Year

Shahid Sheikh OBE, Clifton Packaging

Lisa Sohanpal , Founder, Nom Noms World Food

Jagdeep Rai, Head of Corporate Banking, Barclays

Tanya Nadarajah, Sivakumar Ramasamy, Taekwondo Coach Paralympian

Surinder Arora, Arora Group

Zuber Issa & Mohsin Issa, Euro Garages

Entrepreneur of the year

Alick Varma, CEO, Osper

Madhuban Kumar, CEO, Metafused

Woman of the year

Dr Faiza Shaheen, Director, CLASS

Shivvy Jervis, Tech Futurist / Presenter

Sir Shankar Balasubramanian FRS, British Chemist Haseeb Hameed, Cricketer

Poonam Gupta OBE, PG Paper company Ltd

Arjuna Gihan Fernando MBE, Founder, Freeformers

Dr Tara Swart, Neuroscientist

Coco Khan, Journalist, Guardian

Fayyaz Afzal OBE, Barrister

Maneesh Juneja, Digital Health Futurist

Prof Sanjay Sharma Cardiologist

Achievement in Media

Angela Saini, Science Jounalist & Author

Tina Daheley, Broadcast/Journ alist, BBC

Tanika Gupta MBE, English Playwright

Achievement in Arts & Culture

Nainita Desai, Composer

Paul Sinha, Comedian

Amrit Kaur Lohia, Sarangi Player

Ryan Chetiyawardana, International Bartender

Uniformed & Civil services

Kulbir Pasricha, Kent Police

Anuja Ravindra Dhir QC, Judge

Sharan Ghuman MBE, UK Home Office

Lieutenant Brijinder Singh Nijjar, ARMY


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9

Asian Voice | 26th August 2017

Rani Singh, Special Assignments Editor

SOAS Academic Dr Sanjukta Ghosh Bringing Bengal to London Dr Sanjukta Ghosh is a historian based in SOAS South Asia Institute. She has devised a new form of connecting community cultures in the IndiaUK year of Culture 2017.

based in Copenhagen). Sanjukta’s interest in minority communities led to high profile UN advocacy campaigns over ten years. She spoke on the relatively unknown forms of discrimination among minorities, and gender rights with a global consortium of Middle East minorities affiliated to the UNPO.

Early Influences Dr Ghosh’s historical influences in life have been the social reconstruction works of Rabindranath Tagore, Mahatma Gandhi, Babasaheb Ambedkar, Vivekananda and Daniel Mackinnon Hamilton. She has lived and worked in Kolkata, Barrackpore, Shantiniketan, Diamond Harbour and Belur. Her childhood memory in Jharkhand of social projects under the direction of her grandfather, the late Srish Chandra Ghosh remains strong, as he was a close associate of the founder of the Satsang social movement; Thakur Anukul Chandra.

Background Dr Ghosh has an academic interest in Indo-British connections. She studied World History, Politics and Literature at Loreto College before undertaking a Masters and MPhil by dissertation in Modern History from the Centre for Historical Studies at JNU, New Delhi. She was awarded the Commonwealth Scholarship

Recent Work

Dr Sanjukta Ghosh

by the Association of C o m m o n w e a l t h Universities (UK) for her doctorate in the Department of History at SOAS. Her doctoral research focused on the impact of British rule in the Bengal Presidency with regard to scientific knowledge exchange. She has also published this year a new edited volume, by Routledge, on memories of British rule in India that looks at different segments of cultural connections. Apart from her academic and journalistic work, Dr Sanjukta Ghosh has presented several policy reports at the United Nations and European

Parliamentary levels. She has won several awards and distinctions, including the Charles Wallace Trust and the British Council. Community Projects Sanjukta is committed to social work and community projects in her native India and the UK. She looks at hidden discrimination and minority rights. In recognition of her long standing social cohesion projects among the Dalit communities, she was given the Kolkata citizen award. In the UK, she continued this work as the Coordinator for research and advocacy with the International Dalit Solidarity Network (now

Dr Sanjukta Ghosh has been critical to a crowdfunded Bengal Heritage project led by the charity London, Sharad Utsav that has several community projects in India and the UK. Aligned with SOAS South Asia Institute, she is co-ordinating the partnership with cultural events. The art installation of the Durga idol will be in the cloisters of the Paul Webley Wing of the Senate House, the University of London for five days in the first week of October 2017. The demonstration of clay idol-making in the form of Durga by artists flown in from Kolkata’s potters’ quarter and community art hub Kumartoli, is the first on UK university premises. The cultural exhibition of the process of Durga idol-making at SOAS will accompany cultural events demonstrating the world’s greatest festival of ‘crowd-sourced

ideas’. She said: “We will celebrate the heritage of Bengal in the heart of Bloomsbury, the most diverse cultural quarter of London.� As part of this mission, she is also working with the Bloomsbury Festival (18-22 October) to display the idol in its grandeur and opulence along with story-telling and a matching performance.� The purpose here, as she says, “is to give Bengal heritage in art and craft a significant place

Sanjukta is committed to social work and community projects in a world-class festival that celebrates the arts, culture and science through hundreds of events in parks, museums, galleries and public buildings that attract the audience from across London and the world. Durga Puja is a celebration of community spirit and creativity and needs to be part of India’s global image�. In the Bloomsbury Festival, she is also organising a panel on the transformations of community culture and the function of

artistic enterprises in India. She says: “This year has been busy with projects on the role of social media and changing forms in the communication of crowd sourced creative ideas, that will shape the contours of India’s political and community capacity building�.

Collaboration Sanjukta recently started collaborating with Aritra Sarkar and the Kolkata based Wedoria Chronicles’ (an offshoot of ABP media conglomerate) initiatives in graphics and social media to develop writers and artist-led workshops on democracy in India. First of the global diaspora events was a workshop and discussion at SOAS Indian Society forum on the philosopher and technologist Aritra Sarkar’s debut graphic novel “The Goliath of Shenzen�. Organised and chaired by Dr Ghosh, this was for the UK chapter of the global workshop series on literature for social change.

Future Plans As a historian who strives for social change, Sanjukta has plans for future projects on education, literature and culture for the purpose of community empowerment.

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10

READERS’ VOICE

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Asian Voice | 26th August 2017

India Shining

Below is a letter that appeared on page 14 in the August 19th issue of The Economist. India has not only been successful in it’s ‘rush to expand the electricity supply (“Powering ahead”, July 29th); it has done so by stressing renewables. More than ten gigawatts of solar capacity has been added over the past three years. A combination of government support and increasingly attractive costs pushed India into second place (after China) in the Renewables Energy Country Attractiveness Index for 2017. Philip Russell Austin, Texas

Celebrating contributors

Last year on the 27th June a get-together was organised at the Houses of Parliament to give a certificate/award to all the letter writers who have contributed to the AV & GS over the years. This is a novel idea and gives the contributors the opportunity to meet each other personally. The event was unfortunately cancelled due to demonstrations. Now it's time to rearrange it soon even at Karma Yoga House as most of those who regularly contribute and are deserving of some form of recognition are so old that they may not survive to celebrate the newspapers Golden Jubilee in 5 years time! Upendra Kapadia By email

Race Against Time

What is this world coming to? - The heavy rains on 15 August have brought flash floods and mud slides to Freetown, capital of Sierra Leone. Mud gushing down together with heavy rain has torn the heart of the capital of this little known country in West Africa. 400 people have been confirmed dead and 600 are still missing after mudslides and flooding which devastated most of Freetown. The city is overwhelmed by the scale of the disaster and it has been said that it is a race against time to find survivors. This reminds me of similar disaster which took place a couple of years ago in Madeira. The heavy rains there had brought flash floods and mud slides to this beautiful island. Mud gushing down from the mountain had torn the heart of Funchal, the capital of this island, and this magnet for the tourists turned into ruins. The tsunamis, earthquakes, mudslides and floods are Mother Nature’s cry for help in retaliation to the flogging we humans subject her to. I would like to reiterate here what I have said before in this column – stop belching out poisonous gases in the atmosphere or else our posterity will have no earth to live on. It is time for governments to do more to protect the environment. This could be achieved by reducing global warming and conserving an ecological balance by avoiding the depletion of natural resources like trees and forests – by creating sustainability. Dinesh Sheth Newbury Park, Ilford

Could North Korea be Trump’s nemesis?

Unpredictable, warmongering, chauvinistic US President Donald Trump may have found his match in equally unstable North Korean (NK) leader Kim JongUn who is ready to retaliate with nuclear weapons if attacked, making South Korea sitting target. Is humanity so cheap to these leaders who prefer war than talk? Kim Jong-Un’s threat to land few missiles in the sea surrounding US Pacific island of Guam, a hub of US military might in the region; has met with equal verbal threat from President Trump. With all its brave or rather foolish threats from NK, it is well-known fact that an all-out war between these two nations could have only one outcome, the annihilation of NK. Although NK could not realistically strike back at US, it could create havoc in South Korea. Even Capital city of Seoul is only a stone throw away from bufferzone, well within range of well-dug NK artilleries, manned by well trained, fanatical defence force of well over a million and equal number in reserves, supplemented by sixty nuclear bombs, this tiny nation could deliver a punch well above its size. Such war could be catastrophe for SK, wealthy nation with highest living standard. There may be some justification in North Korea’s reasoning that without nuclear weapons, his country may meet the same fate as that of Iraq, Libya, Serbia and Afghanistan while no one could dare to attack nuclear armed Pakistan, provocateur excellent on international stage. Bhupendra M. Gandhi By email

NHS Crisis Deepens

The situation in NHS is worsening in view of the uncertainty created by hard Brexit. NHS doctors, nurses and workers from European Union are deserting and going back home. They have not been given assurances by the British Government to them want to stay back. This is very disturbing situation. Stephen Hawking, the renowned 75-year-old physicist was speaking to promote an address he gave last Saturday. He outlined how he owed his long life and achievements to the NHS care he received, and setting out his fears for a service he believes is being turned into “a US-style insurance system”. He said the NHS saved me. As a scientist, I must help to save it. He wrote ‘ The crisis in the health service has been created by politicians who want to privatise it – when public opinion points the other way. The author of A Brief History of Time did not name any minister or political party in his general complaint, but he blamed a raft of policies pursued since 2010 by the coalition and then the Conservatives for enfeebling the NHS and leaving it unable to cope with the demands being placed on it. “The crisis in the NHS has been caused by political decisions,” he said. “The political decisions include underfunding and cuts, privatising services, the public sector pay cap, the new contract imposed on the junior doctors and removal of the student nurses’ bursary. “Failures in the system of privatised social care for disabled and elderly people has also placed additional burden on the NHS.” Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt has replied that Stephen Hawking is wrong Is he? I doubt it. In fact the NHS with the current government policies is heading towards a two tier health system contrary to the principles of the foundation of the NHS. It time for the Labour Party and other opposition parties to speak out loudly and forcefully against any tampering with the NHS otherwise it will be too late to save it. Baldev Sharma Rayners Lane, Harrow

Organ Donations

There are so many Hindu holy festivals fell in holy Shravan month like, Rakshabandhan, Nag Panchami, Shitla Satam and Janmastmi that see devotees celebrating by attending temples, listening to religious discourses, observing fasts, carrying out rituals and by donating their hard earned monies to temples, Gurus, Babas, Bapus etc to get blessing for a peaceful and happy life. But one question arises! What is true meaning of all these festivals? One should get rid of ego, arrogance and animosity towards others and by forgiveness establish healthy relationship between brothers and sisters, parents, relatives and friends. And if any rift occurs in relationship due to misunderstanding than to forgive and start again. In this holy month my friend’s older brother Shri Ramanbhai Patel who lived in Canada died in Mumbai at the age of 94 so me and my wife Bhavna went to his place to convey our message of sympathy. When I asked my friend when the funeral was he said there is no funeral so I was wondering what happened. I was then informed that his brother’s final wish was to donate his body for medical research and I was speechless. I knew Late Ramanbhai when I was growing back home in Karamsad town, Gujarat. He went to Bombay to seek better life for him and his family, got a job at Air India and fulfilled all his family responsibilities and gave very good education to his children and siblings most of whom now live abroad. For the last 14 years he had a health issues but in spite of that he lived very colourful, happy and cheerful life. Amongst all his best donation of his life time was donating his body to Seth G.S. Medical College, Parel, Mumbai to help in medical education and research. The main purpose of my letter is to create an awareness especially among our Indian community importance organ donations in which are lacking and we can learn from Late Ramanbhai's life. Suresh and Bhavna Patel Markham, Canada

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Welcoming young readers to write in our Diwali issue Dear Readers, Diwali is now just over two months away. The New Year is knocking at the door waiting to bring in colours and light to our lives with fervour of joy and ever lasting happiness. Asian Voice and Gujarat Samachar will once again be publishing the ‘Diwali Special’ Magazine for our fabulous and supportive readers like yourself. This year we are once again inviting our young readers to send in their articles for the English section. 1. If you are between 5-25 years of age, write an article in English on either of the following topics in no more than 350 words, along with a suitable photo: l how do you celebrate your Diwali every year OR l Your most memorable Diwali with friends and family OR l how do you celebrate Diwali in your school'. 2. If you are 2-25 years of age, you can also draw/paint a picture of what Diwali means to you or your memorable Diwali, with a suitable photo caption, your full name, age; scan and send the picture to the the below address, by the mentioned deadline. 3. If you are within 9-25 years of age, you can also write a short story within 350 words or a poem within 150 words for our Diwali special. 4. If you are a part of an organisation, which has a youth wing or support youth activities, please tell us how your young members or youth wing celebrates Diwali in 300 words with 2 pictures (in no less than 300dpi). Send your articles/stories/poem with your photo and/or painting/picture to aveditorial@abplgroup.com. Last date of entry: 30th September 2017.

Ganesh Chaturthi

- Asian Voice

The Hindu festival of Ganesh Chaturthi is celebrated on a large scale in several parts of India. The history of Sarvajanik (public) Ganesh Chaturthi in Maharashtra is centuries old, owing its origin to the late Lokmanya Tilak. According to Hindus, Ganesha is the remover of obstacles and all the problems in one’s life as well as the creator of happiness in the life of people. People in India worship Lord Ganesha always before starting any new work. Little children call him friend Ganesha as he cares and loves children. Jubel D’Cruz, Mumbai, India

Bapu’s Message of Hope and Unity

Pujya Moraribapu’s message of hope and unity, is inspiring during these times of global turmoil. His fund raising appeal to assist flood affected victims in India is touching, had a generous response from pious donors. I am certain that all donors would like to know about the amount will be donated by Ramkatha Trust, and in what equitable proportion, compared to amount donated by Britain’s hard working NRI donors. How fast cash will reach the flood affected victims. This information can be compared the speed with which, funds for Latur and Kutch earthquakes victims, reached them or whether the funds are stagnating in Britain. If the funds collected during Ramkatha stagnate here, due to unforeseen regulations/ administrative hurdles, this bona fide generosity will be futile. There are many letters in Asian Voice objecting to draining of funds to foreign counties as foreign aid policy. Then is it wise for Ram-bhaktas to drain such amount to India. There are many public welfare activities, eg Red Cross, NSPCC, Cancer Research, Hospices, etc that are in dire need of funds? There are many needy families, students, abandoned wives who can be helped here in U.K. Ram and Ram-rajya is around you, in form of host community. Ramesh Jhalla By email


EDUCATION

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Asian Voice | 26th August 2017

Stellar A-Level results at Habs Boys On Thursday 17 August, Headmaster Peter Hamilton extended the warmest congratulations to the 2017 Upper Sixth at The Haberdashers’ Aske’s Boys’ School for, yet again, achieving stellar A-Level results. An exceptional 24% of the year group achieved 3 or 4 A* grades across the full range of subjects from Maths and Physics to English and Drama. 32 take up places to study competitive courses at Oxford or Cambridge. With an outstanding 83% at A*-A grades this is the second highest set of A-Level results at Habs for five years. Up to 72% achieved A*s in Further Mathematics, Politics and Philosophy whilst over 50% taking English, Drama and Physics achieved A* grades. The School continues to see exceptional results in the full range of Modern Foreign Languages on offer at Haberdashers’, which are essential in preparing the boys to take their place in an increasingly global sphere. Peter Hamilton said: “We are immensely proud of the boys’ successes, which owe much to the

Nikhil and Krishiv

expertise and dedication offered by our outstanding staff. Our small classes and world class facilities ensure that boys have unrivalled opportunities and choice to explore and excel, whatever their individual talents and interests. The dedication of our pastoral staff in supporting every boy through the School is thoroughly reflected in our boys’ achievements.” The terrific results at Habs are once again viewed against a backdrop of superb performances in sports, drama, art and music. Alongside their impressive academic successes, the boys’ engagement in the School’s

diverse co-curricular pursuits and extensive leadership opportunities has produced a cohort who are ready to take the next step into becoming future leaders of our society. Krishiv Desai, who received 3A* and 1 A, said: “I’m very happy with my results. I’d like to thank my parents for the support and encouragement they have given me and a special thanks also to my teachers for their hard work and help. Habs has been amazing, full of great people. It’s been a thoroughly enjoyable experience.” Krishiv will be going to Imperial College London to study Theoretical Physics. Nikhil Dawda, who

atomic scale capillaries with 2D materials. She has published 37 papers including those in Nature and Science journals, and holds 3 patents. This year, she received the L’OrealUNESCO fellowship for women in science. Also in the list that hosts “exceptionally talented technologists whose work has great potential to transform the world”, are two other females of Indian-origin. Neha Narkhede, cofounder of a Palo Alto start up- Confluent Inc., won the award under the Visionaries category. Her start up builds Apache Kafka tools to help companies make sense of data. Narkhede, who worked as

an engineer at LinkedIn, helped invent the opensource software platform to quickly process data from things like user clicks and profile updates. A researcher at John Hopkins University, Suchi Saria got the Innovators Under 35 award under the ‘Humanitarians’ category for “putting existing medical data to work to predict sepsis risk”. Saria was recognised for her efforts to write algorithms to analyze patient data and correctly predict septic shock in 85% of cases--a 60%

achieved 3 A*s and 1 A, said: “I’m delighted with my grades and relieved that my hard work has paid off. The teachers at Habs have been very supportive throughout. It’s been 11 years well spent and I’ve always been constantly learning. I will miss the community feeling at Habs.” Nikhil will also be taking up a place at Imperial College London to study Aeronautical Engineering. The School wishes all of their students well as they embark on the next step of their academic careers. They continue, without exception, to go to the top universities including Oxford, Cambridge, Bristol, Durham, LSE, UCL, Imperial College and Warwick to pursue the most competitive of courses. The boys are exceptionally well prepared to pursue their dreams and aspirations beyond Haberdashers’ and to continue to contribute to their communities, knowing that they have had the surest of foundations. They are always welcome back to visit and will always remain part of the growing Habs community. Congratulations, Habs Boys!

Manchester girl on MIT's Innovators Under 35 list

A Manchester girl has made it to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Review's Innovators Under 35 list released this year. Researcher from the University of Manchester’s Graphene Research Institute, Radha Boya is named second on the list under the category for Inventors. A Leverhulme Fellow at the University of Manchester, Boya got the award for developing the world's narrowest fluid channel, which could transform filtration of water and gases. She created nano fluidic channels using graphene. Boyas' current work at Manchester is related to

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Radha Boya

improvement over existing screening tests. Organised by MIT Technology Review since 1999, the prestigious Innovators Under 35 competition has honoured some of the world’s most brilliant minds such as Mark Zuckerberg, JB Straubel, Larry Page and Sergey Brin.

Malala wins place to study in Oxford University Nobel Peace Prize winner, M a l a l a Yousafzai is among the 400,000 students and more who received offers of university places across the country following the release of A Level results. She had previously received a conditional offer to read Politics, Philosophy, and Economics if she scores three A grades in her exams. Excited about the revelation, Malala tweeted, “So excited to Oxford!! Well done to all A level students- the hardest year. Best wishes for life ahead!!” PPE

Malala Yousafzai

alumni include David Cameron, William Hague, Philip Hammond, Jeremy Hunt, and Ed Miliband. Pakistani campaigner, Yousafzai was shot in the head by a gunman while travelling home from a school exam on a bus in 2012.

London college achieves top results Harrow Independent College (HIC) is emerging as a leading channel to British universities in highly demanded disciplines. A specialist STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) sixth-form college and registered UCAS centre, HIC offers students A-level courses in Mathematics, Further Mathematics, Economics, Physics, Chemistry, Biology, Computer Science, English, Sociology and Psychology in small, focused classes, where rigorous teaching, regular testing and tracking ensure their success. According to the college, “Gurudaran Sabeshan (pictured), two years ago, joined HIC with poor results , but has now proudly passed his A-levels with A* in Maths and As in Further Maths and

Economics. During study, university course selection and application he was supported and guided all the way.” The student said, “It’s my dream university and my dream course.” A college spokesman said that HIC students have achieved 100 % University progression in 2017.

Have you scored more than two A* and As in this A-Levels exam? If you wish to publish your name, result and photo in Asian Voice, email aveditorial@abplgroup.com with all required details and a copy of your transcript by Monday 28 August 2017.

Lawyer turned teacher sends 95% of students to top universities A lawyer who gave up his sixfigure salary to become a teacher and then headmaster, is sending 95% of his pupils to the best universities in the world. Mouhssin Ismail, gave up his job at Norton Rose Fullbright and now has become the headmaster at the Newham Collegiate Sixth Form in East London, which he had joined as a teacher. A total of 190 out of 200 of his students secured places at Russell Group universities in the first year itself, with 9 wining seats at the Oxford and Cambridge and one pupil- Tafsia Shikdar, joining MIT in the US.

Mr Ismail, 38, told the Independent that he decided to make the switch into teaching to give back to society and to use his skills to help students achieve the same things that he had. Speaking to Shehab Khan from the Independent, he said “I think people are realising that students and people from the area I came from were not really given the skills or the cultural capital that you need to succeed in city firms. “The children and their parents want them to do well academically and professionally but

they don’t have the contacts or the know-how to get in there. “I think for me it was about having that moment where I thought 'Am I really making a contribution to society?' and finding a career that allows me to do that. "I came to the conclusion education was the best way to do it and I could use my skills to help students like me and help them to get to where I ended up. “My aspiration is to send as many kids to Russell Group, Oxbridge and Ivy League universities as possible. The general view is if you come from a

Mouhssin Ismail

deprived area, you have limited chances of what you can do. But I know there are so many talent-

ed students in east London and it just requires different thinking and a different approach to giving these kids an opportunity.” He alsohighlighted that being successful in a corporate environment requires much more that doing well academically and it is something important for the school to promote. Students from his school at the sixth form have had the opportunity to get work experience at prestigious law firms across the world and reportedly have weekly tutorials with experts from a range of professions.


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MEDIA WATCH

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Asian Voice | 26th August 2017

Independence Day was celebrated with the expected pomp and circumstance, with a measured speech to the nation by President Ram Nath Kovind and one more robust and rousing by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. They ticked the right boxes, from the need for religious tolerance, equal rights and privileges for all India’s citizens, irrespective of faith and ethnicity and income, the need to remember the great sacrifices made by leaders and ordinary people alike who brought freedom to the country and help create the platform for subsequent achievements. Terrorism Prime Minister Modi drew particular attention to the common threat posed by international terrorism to India and the world and vowed to meet the threat with steadfast resolution. He said defence and security would be the principal priority of his government’s concern, with reference to Kashmir, promising that development in the troubled State President Ramnath Kovind with PM Modi would receive the government’s attention pinned the blame on Rajiv going forward (TV channels, Mishra, Principal of the Baba August 14,15, Telegraph, Hindu, Raghav Das Medical College, who Times of India August 14).0 has since resigned. The blame game is an odious subterfuge, as Siachen the newspaper revealed Mr Mishra repeated appeals the A film from the freezing and government department forbidding heights of the Siachen concerned to pay these Glacier was shown on a domestic outstanding dues, to no avail. TV channel was a stirring Eventually, the transaction was experience for viewers, much passed but rthe government moved by the sacrifice of the accountant’s failure to take the troops guarding the frontier final procedural step – a matter against the enemy and of a few minutes – ended in withstanding the pitiless cold suspension of oxygen supplies, and myriad other challenges with tragic consequences. The posed by Nature to life and limb. vendor stated subsequently that Over 1,000 soldiers have supplies of oxygen are not perished – many succumbing to withheld despite non-payment the elements – in the line of of longstanding dues. Whatever duty, ever since April 1984, when the truth young lives were lost the confrontation unfolded. due to negligence and squalor.

Gorakhpur Hospital

On the deeply negative side is the scandalous negligence of the Uttar Pradesh BJP-led ministry, which led the deaths of scores of children because oxygen supplies to the hospital were suspended by the contracted supplier despite repeated reminders to ministers and bureaucrats, as the unpaid bill kept mounting. The

Catering to the poor The callous attitude exposes the vulnerability of the poor sections of Indian society to the whims of authority. Mr Mishra’s correspondence with bureaucrats and ministers exposed their falsehoods. Those responsible for this avoidable tragedy must be made accountable for their

Central Reserve Police Force (CPPRF) and men and officers of the Border Security Force were awarded gallantry medals – some posthumous – for outstanding bravery in the line of duty against terrorist groups.

Andhra Police Men of the Andhra Police Commando unit were similarly honoured for outstanding courage in tackling and eliminating armed Maoists on the Andhra Pradesh-Odisha border earlier this year (Times of India August 14).

CBI officer honoured Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) Superintendent Nandu Kumar Nair received the President’s Medal for tracking down the assassin and his accomplices in the murder of Maharashtrian rationalist Narendra Dabholkar and bringing them to justice. The conspirators belonged to an extremist group called the Hindu Janajgriti Samiti, has been outlawed by the Maharashtra State government. (Times of India August 14)

Gorkhaland strike called off The indefinite hunger strike of the Gorkha JanmuktI Morcha (GJM) since June 22 has been suspended by its leader Bimal Gurung, following the appeal of the Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh for a dialogue of all stakeholders including the West Bengal government. The strike has brought no tangible dividends for the Hill district and the Hill people of north Bengal, caused needless administrative and economic disruption as the State government was amenable to talks provided violence was abjured.

Alliance strained The demand for a separate Gorkhaland clearly commands widespread support of the Hill people in the Darjeeling, Kalimpong, Kurseong district of north Bengal, but there are multiple parties demanding the formation of a separate Gorkha state to be carved out of West Bengal. However, the GJM and its leader Bimal Gurung are left facing searching questions from rival Hill parties, since it was the GJM that called the indefinite strike and called it off without consultation with other Hill parties, wedded firmly to the formation of a Gorkha province or state. (Times of India August 14).

significance and corrected a wrong. At the stroke of midnight August 18, 1947, a chunk of Nada, including Nabadiwip was reverted to India.’ Prime Minister Narasimha Rao, having perused the documents, permitted Nadia to celebrate Independence Day on August 18! (Times of India August 14).

Economic progress India’s economy is now over 40 times the larger than it was in 1950-51 in real terms; Indians have over 10 times more income in real terms; Rising consumption demand has led to faster growth in imports than exports; Foreign exchange reserves are presently $384. 319 billion, from $1.261 in 1950-51; India is the world’s seventh largest economy but five times smaller than that of China.

Miles to go India has miles to go before reaching the uplands of a fully developed nation. Poverty levels may have decreased noticeably in the past two decades but they are still unacceptably high; famine and acute food shortages may have been eradicated but malnutrition among children and adults are visible in stunted growth. Education levels are uneven at primary, secondary and tertiary levels and affordable health care is yet to reach an acceptable standard for the poor and underprivileged sections of society. (Business Line August 14).

India-Turkmenistan discuss transit routes India and Turkmenistan discussed way and means to establish transit routes for trade in talks between Road Transport and Shipping Minister Nitin Gadkari and Turkmenistan Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Rashid Meredov in New Delhi earlier this week.

Ashgabat Agreement High on the agenda was India’s joining the Ashgabat Agreement involving Iran, Oman, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan in a Transport and Transit Corridor. The meeting comes within days of Minister Gadkari’s visit to Iran, where he announced that the Iranian port of Chabahar, in whose construction India has been the prime investor, would

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Oman and Uzbekistan, with Kazakkhstan joining the group later, are founding members.

Strategic decision India has decided to join the Ashakabat Agreement subject to the approval of its founding members. It is a move of considerable economic and strategic significance as it enables India to bypass Pakistan to Afghanistan and Central Asia, and thence to Armenia and the North-South Transport link to the Russian Federation (Business Line August 14).

Speeding up disinvestment The Cabinet has set up a panel to be chaired by Finance Minister Arun Jaitley to speed up disinvestment in central public sector enterprises. The new mechanism will empower the secretaries on disinvestment to take policy decisions on procedural issues and consider fresh methods, where necessary, for effective implementation of decisions already passed (Mint August 17).

L&T sells unit to UK firm Larsen & Toubro, the Mumbaibased mega engineering company has sold its subsidiary L&T Cutting Tools Ltd to IMC Metalworking Companies BV, owned by Berkshire Hathaway for Rs 74 crore. The sale is part of Larsen & Toubro’s strategy to exit non-core businesses (Mint August 17)

‘Make in India’ metros get government nod The Cabinet has given its approval of metro rail policy framed by the Urban Development Ministry. The policy is designed to promote ‘Make in India’ initiative in metro rail projects, said Finance Minister Arun Jaitley. Metro projects in 13 cities are at various stages of planning and appraisal (Business Line August 17).

NIA raids 12 Kashmir sites The National Investigation Agency (NIA) conducted searches at 12 locations belonging to separatists and hawala operators in the Kashmir Valley. The locations are spread over Srinagar, Handwara, Kupwara and Pulwara,’ said a NIA spokesman. Among those arrested were Srinagar

Radcliffe restored Nadia to India

UP Chief Minister Adityanath at Gorakhpur hospital

Telegraph (August 15) in its lead front-page report included detailed evidence of dates and extracts from letters from the vendor to the authorities without the slightest response. Driven to the wall, the vendor cut off supplies. The State government

actions, otherwise tom-tomming on equality and social justice will be fraudulence.

Police, CRPF, BSF gallantry awards Jammu and Kashmir Police men and officers of the paramilitary

When it was officially announced that Nadia district had been awarded to East Pakistan at Partition by the Boundary Commission headed by Sir Cyril Radcliffe the news was received with gloom and not a little despair. Undaunted, Saumish Chandra Roy, son of the Maharaja of Nadia, wrote to Sir Cyril as follows: ‘The Hindu faith accords to Nabadwip [in Nadia] a very sacred position and is believed one of Hinduism’s holiest sites. Sir Radcliffe understood the

Finance Minister Arun Jaitley with Turkmenistan Deputy Prime Minister & Foreign Minister Rashid Meredov

be operational next year. Turkmenistan, with its vast gas reserves is the Depository State of the Ashgabat Agreement. Iran,

businessman Zahoor Ahmad Watali, senior aide to Hurriyat leader Syed Ali Shah Geelani (Hindu, Times of India August 17, 18).


UK

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Asian Voice | 26th August 2017

Employment tribunal classes bicycle courier as a ‘worker’ in latest decision on “gig economy” employment rights

Young Terrorists

It’s the summer holidays and we read of teenage Islamic terrorists in Spain. A college principal offered the following words from a judge who regularly deals with youth. “Always we hear the cry from teenagers, ‘what can we do, where can we go?’ “My answer is this: go home, mow the lawn, wash the windows, learn to cook, build a raft, get a job, visit the sick, study your lessons and after you’ve finished, read a book. Your town does not owe you recreational facilities and your parents do not owe you fun.” “The world does not owe you a living; you owe the world something. You owe it your time, energy and talent so that no one will be at war, in sickness and lonely again. In other words grow up, stop being a cry baby, get out of your dream world and develop a backbone, not a wishbone. Start behav ing like a responsible person. You are important, and you are needed. It’s too late to sit around and wait for somebody to do something someday. Someday is not and that somebody is you!” When teenage British Olympian Zoe Smith was attacked on Twitter for her body-builder physique she said “I gave it to them on the platform. It’s two fingers up to the abusers, basically. What are you doing with your life? I’ve just competed at the Olympics! Have some of that.” That is the beauty and power of youth. As exam results are published, I am reminded of a speech made by an American journalist to graduating students. ‘Enjoy the power and beauty of your

youth. Oh, never mind. You will not understand the power and beauty of your youth until they’ve faded. But trust me, in 20 years, you’ll look back at photos of yourself and recall in a way you can’t grasp now how much possibility lay before you and how fabulous you really looked. Don’t worry about the future. Or worry, but know that worrying is as effective as trying to solve an algebra equation by chewing bubble gum. The real troubles in your life are apt to be things that never crossed your worried mind, the kind that blindside you at 4 pm on some idle Tuesday. Do one thing every day that scares you. Sing. Don’t be reckless with other people’s hearts. Don’t put up with people who are reckless with yours. Don’t waste your time on jealousy. Sometimes you’re ahead, sometimes you’re behind. The race is long and, in the end, it’s only with yourself. Get to know your parents. You never know when they’ll be gone for good. Be nice to your siblings. They’re your best link to your pas t and the people most likely to stick with you in the future. Understand that friends come and go, but with a precious few you should hold on. Work hard to bridge the gaps in geography and lifestyle, because the older you get, the more you need the people who knew you when you were young. Respect your elders. Don’t expect anyone else to support you. Maybe you have a trust fund. Maybe you’ll have a wealthy spouse. But you never know when either one might run out.”

Driver who smashed into front of shop was more than three times drink drive limit

A driver who smashed into the front of the shop when he was more than three times the drink drive limit has been banned for 28 months. Sukhdev Mehmi crashed into the front of Best Price Bathrooms in Belgrave Gate at 5.08am while a member of staff was in the back room. A passenger in the car ran off but the shop worker, who was not injured, stayed with Mehmi until police arrived and arrested

him for drinking and driving. The police arrived at the crash site to find Mehmi’s Vauxhall Astra embedded in the shop front. Ms Yeak told the court that Mehmi had been banned for 20 months for drink-driving in 2005. Mehmi, pleaded guilty to driving while over the drink-driving limit on July 29. The limit is 35 microgrammes of alcohol in 100

South Indian Vegetarian Restaurant

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eCourier, and reinforces the rights of people working in the gig economy, who until recently had been unprotected and neglected in the context of key employment rights. It was also recently decided that couriers of emergency blood supplies and passports are ‘workers’ and entitled to improved employment rights. Although the determination of employment status is not an exact science, this decision reinforces the view that individuals engaged in the ‘gig’ industries are not independent contractors and are ‘workers’. In deciding on the employment status of a claimant, the tribunal will examine how the relationship operates in practice rather than focussing purely on the wording of the contract. In this case, Mr Gascoigne was not considered to be truly independent of Addison as befitting someone who was selfemployed. Whilst this is a victory for individuals, businesses in the ‘gig’ industries will have to review their contracts and business models to ensure that the flexibility they desire is achieved. Anthony Thompson, the author, is a Director in the Employment department at Duncan Lewis Solicitors. With over 20 years’ experience, Anthony has advised and supported businesses and individuals on all aspects of the working relationship, including both contentious and non-contentious matters. He is also an advocate, having achieved notable successes representing clients in employment tribunals, and has negotiated significant settlements at private and judicial mediations. If you have a problem with employment, it is important to take legal advice and find out what your legal position is as soon as possible. Duncan Lewis can offer clear legal advice on employment law at any stage of an employment matter. Duncan Lewis also has a successful track record in advising companies and employers on employment matters and disputes. The sooner you call us, the sooner we can help you with an employment claim or employment law matter. Duncan Lewis has offices nationwide and in most major cities, with more than 20 offices across London and the southeast. For expert legal advice on employment law, call Duncan Lewis employment solicitors on 033 3772 0409.

Sukhdev Mehmi

millilitres of breath, Mehmi gave a reading of 118.Kevin McGrath, defending, said his client had a drink problem and was addressing it with the help of his family and the substance misuse specialists at Turning Point. He said that Mehmi, who is married with a young child, went back to the shop a few days later to apologise to the shopkeeper. Chair of the bench, Mrs Angela Sharpe, disqualified Mehmi from driving. She ordered him to do 120 hours of unpaid work and to pay £85 costs and £85 victim surcharge.

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The London Central Employment Tribunal has ruled that a former bike courier of Addison Lee was a ‘worker’ not an “independent contractor” and therefore was entitled to employAnthony Thompson ment rights that were not afforded to him, such as holiday pay and the national minimum wage. Chris Gascoigne worked for Addison Lee as a bike courier for seven years and took Addison Lee to the employment tribunal over the matter this year, supported by the Independent Workers Union of Great Britain (IWGB). He claimed that he was engaged by Addison Lee as a ‘worker’, thus entitled to holiday pay. Addison Lee contested the claim and argued that Gascoigne was an independent contractor and therefore ‘self-employed’. Employment Judge Joanna Wade was critical of Addison Lee’s use of contradictory language which she thought was designed to avoid Gascoigne being treated as a worker. He used branded equipment and wore Addison Lee T-shirts. In addition, he responded to a central controller and had no ‘decline’ option when a job was offered to him. Despite this, the contract stated that he was an independent contractor and not a worker. The Employment Judge did not find any evidence that Gascoigne worked independently and on an ad hoc basis. The car and courier company were disappointed by the decision and said it will “carefully review” it. The organisation also added that it is “committed to maintaining a flexible and fair relationship with cycle couriers”, suggesting that this was an isolated case and not reflective of its treatment of other couriers and drivers. The IWGB’s general secretary Dr Jason Mayor-Lee suggested that this was another damning decision for employers in the so-called gig economy who he argues “have been choosing to unlawfully deprive their workers of rights.” He concluded that it is clear that “people in the so-called gig-economy are workers.” The case follows similar verdicts against Uber, City Sprint, Excel and

Business owner Hafiz Hussain inside Best Price Bathrooms (Image: Alex Hannam)

Dad's anger at being locked up after crash that killed wife and son The barrister of acquitted driver Rashminder Singh Gill criticised the police during his trial for putting him in a cell overnight when he had just learned of the deaths of his wife and son. Andrew Fisher QC asked an officer why Mr Gill had not been bailed to return in the morning. This would have allowed him to join relatives at his daughter’s bedside at Queen’s Medical Centre, Nottingham, where she was being treated for a broken pelvis. The officer said Mr Gill was placed in a cell all night because he was due

to be interviewed the next day. Speaking to the Mercury after his trial ended last week, Mr Gill said of his incarceration on the night of the tragedy: “It was disgusting. It was horrible being locked up like that. My daughter was in hospital, where I wanted to be – with her. I was numb, I had nothing to say to them (the police). It was just like voices in the background, I was in deep shock. All I could see were the faces of my family.” The crash happened as Mr Gill, who runs a logistics business, was driving his wife, son and daughter

Rashminder Singh Gill

home along the A50 in torrential rain after a meal at Pizza Hut, at Fosse Park, Leicester. His wife and son died at the scene, despite paramedics chancing on the scene quickly and attempting to save them.


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COMMUNITY

www.asian-voice.com AsianVoiceNews

Asian Voice | 26th August 2017

AsianVoiceNewsweekly

Stoosh challenges Swaminarayan Mandir Neasden perform 22nd Anniversary of Patotsav Celebrations stereotypes with 'The

Big Sis Activist' series

On 20 August 1995, His Holiness Pramukh Swami Maharaj inaugurated the first traditional Hindu mandir outside of India in Neasden, London. Since then, it has welcomed millions of visitors from across the UK and many countries of the world, who have been inspired by its profound sense of peace and spirituality. The 22nd anniversary of the Mandir was celebrated on Sunday 20 August 2017 with a host of devotional festivities. Sadhus began the ‘patotsav’ with a Vedic ceremony in the morning. It marks the anniversary of the Mandir’s opening and the calendric day that its

Abhishek ritual

part in the r i t u a l Annakut offered to Bhagwan bathing of Swaminarayan Nilkanth Varni murtis were first infused throughout the day, and with the divine presence of observe the traditional God. offering of food The festivities included (‘annakut’) arranged artisan opportunity for devotically before the deities in tees and visitors to take the main shrines as an offering of thanksgiving. A mahapuja praising God and seeking his blessings for continued peace and well-being in the world was organised in the afternoon. A special evening assembly was held inside the Haveli in the presence of visiting sadhus from India. Youths began the programme with devotional singing. Sadhus then alluded to the support and Ladies participating in the Mahapuja

inspiration that a mandir provides to individuals, families and society as well as its positive impact on the wider nation. Their discourses were supported with touching examples and testimonies. BAPS mandirs enjoy a history that was initiated by Bhagwan Swaminarayan almost 200 years ago. A scriptural discourse on Bhagwan Swaminarayan’s childhood life provided an insight into his divine personality and his universal compassion. Worshippers also rekindled fond memories of the Mandir with His Holiness Pramukh Swami Maharaj through a special video presentation.

Patotsav sabha

In a man's world, women have to fight for their own deserved place. Women's platform, Stoosh has released a series of three short films featuring three young Muslim women who discuss different iconic female BAME figures. The project aims to challenge stereotypes, recognise identity and provide reallife case studies of women who have been successful. The series feature social media VIPS, blogger and vlogger Asma Toujani, fashion blogger Rahma Sheikh, and gay Ahmadi Muslim writer Shirin Shah. The first film, released on August 10, saw the women discuss everybody's favourite Michelle Obama. It was very well received and had garnered over 110,000 views in the first week. The second film, released on August 18, discussed rev-

olutionary activist Angela Davis. Describing her as “outspoken, fearless, and strong,” Toujani, Shah, and Sheikh, move on to praise her courage and how she inspired them. Created to inspire all Muslim women in the UK to express themselves freely, Stoosh is the sister platform of Str!ve, an organisation that has been successfully running in Leicester of the past five years. Run by Rumena Choudhury and Sumaiya Mulla, the group encourages women to speak up about issues affecting them. With the third part set to be released soon, 'The Big Sis Activist' is a small reminder of how women have for years struggled relentlessly to claim what is rightfully theirsRespect.

Milapfest Awards 2017

South Asians, who migrated to England over the past 70 years, have always aspired to ensure that their children, as well as the local communities, have generous opportunities to learn about their arts and heritage through teaching and performances. The establishment of these awards has created a better understanding of how such selfless work empowers and enriches the younger generation, and how it helps build bridges between communities and people. The National Indian Arts Awards significantly contribute towards pro-

viding more focus on the contribution of the Arts professionals working in the field of Indian Arts and provide opportunities for their work to expand in the years ahead. Download the Nomination Form https://drive.google.com/ file/d/0ByRvLerPYxGoNF 80ZkVOV1o1QWs/view Completed forms must be submitted electronically by 5pm on Sunday 24th September 2017. Applications will be assessed by a nationally selected jury panel. Final results will be announced on Tuesday 10th October 2017.

India@Edinburgh showcase the best in Indian theatre, dance and music

As part of the UK-India Year of Culture in 2017, the Indian High Commission, the Ministry of Culture, the Indian Council for Cultural Relations and leading Indian festival producer Teamwork Arts have brought forward a selection of some of the best in Indian theatre, dance and music to Edinburgh’s Festivals this August.

India and the UK, bound together through history and shared values of democracy, rule of law and pluralism, share a strong and multi-faceted partnership with deep cooperation across various fields including economics, business, science, and culture. One of the major strands included in the festival is India @ Edinburgh, which will showcase the fascinating and timeless appeal of Indian theatre, dance and music at The Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo and in some of the most popular

Bollywood Extravaganza at Edinburgh Tattoo - with Prince Charles and Prince William

venues on the Edinburgh Festival Fringe. At The Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo, Teamwork Arts have worked together with the Tattoo Production team and the Indian Government to showcase the best military band in India today, The Naval Band, whose performances have enthralled audiences in faraway places such as Rabat,

Tokyo, Sydney, Odessa, Istanbul and London. Teamed up with a troupe of dancers portraying the festival culture of India’s Western seaports the scale of the Indian presence is set to be one of the biggest seen at The Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo. Director and performer Yuki Ellias weaves a web of intrigue and a tale of epic adventure in

Elephant in the Room paying homage to Lord Ganapati. This wonderful play for children and families was among the most acclaimed in India last year. At the Assembly Rooms, this summer Edinburgh audiences have the opportunity to experience it in the UK for the first time. Writer Aditya Roy is bringing his storytelling born out of martial arts training in the tale

of The Offering, showing this August at C Royale. At its core, The Offering is the story of the relationship between the Guru and the Shishya, or Master and Student. Roy is a writer, director, musician and martial artist. He was introduced to theatre at the age of four. His main focus has been on martial arts. Telling the tale of Majuli, the world’s largest and stunning river island in Assam’s mighty Brahmaputra river, through an evocative narrative of movement, dance, music, and theatre Shilpika Bordoloi celebrates the spirit of Majuli and the intricate bond between people and their land at Edinburgh’s Dance Base. Born in a quiet corner of Assam (Dhemaji) and brought up in Jorhat, Assam, Shilpika Bordoloi has always been headed for a life of dance. Shilpika has deliberately not trained in any of the Western dance forms allowing her to generate her own language.


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Brit-Indian woman urges people to sign up as stem cell donors An optometrist from Bedford is raising awareness and funds for blood cancer charity Anthony Nolan in memory of her husband, who lost his life to a rare blood disorder. In 2013, Poonam Shah, 38, knew her life had changed for ever, when her husband Rakesh was Happier Times: Poonam with husband diagnosed with Rakesh Shah myselodysplasiaan extremely rare blood disorder in which the bone marrow doesn't produce enough healthy red blood cells, white blood cells, and platelets. The family was told he would need to have a stem cell transplant from someone with the same tissue type as him to replace his faulty bone marrow with healthy donor cells. Tests on his brother and sister revealed them as non-matches. Anthony Nolan- a charity that brings in people willing to donate their blood, stem cells, or bone marrow, to those who need it, looked through its register and others worldwide, to see if a perfect match was available. Someone with 10 matching genes that would help ensure that Rakesh's body would accept the donor's cells. He met one 10/10 tissue type match, a female donor from the USA. However, she eventually couldn't donate. Later, two 8/10 matches were found, one from Germany and another from South Africa. “The donor from South Africa, a 37 year old female, was willing to donate. Which we knew wasn't ideal,” Poonam said. The straining wait to find a donor and the lack of a perfect match only saw Rakesh's condition worsen. He suffered from different infections, consequentially delaying his transplant, until he received in August 2014. While his first transplant was unsuccessful, Rakesh received a second transplant in November 2014, from the same donor. However, his condition failed to improve and he died on December 20, 2014. Poonam now dedicates most of her time encouraging people from south Asian and other ethnic minority backgrounds to join the stem cell register. She said, “I want to raise awareness of stem cell donation among people from ethnic minority backgrounds because no person should be faced with the prospect of being told that they have no match on the register.” Donors from black, Asian, and minority ethnic (BAME) backgrounds make up for only 15 per cent of the register, and BAME patients have only a 20.5 per cent chance of finding the best possible donor match as compared to 69 per cent for white northern Europeans. Henny Braund, Chief Executive of Anthony Nolan, said, “Poonam’s heart-breaking story is a stark reminder of how much more work needs to be done to reduce inequality on the stem cell register. While it is encouraging that we’ve seen an increase in the number of people from black, Asian and minority ethnic backgrounds signing up as potential stem cell donors in recent years, it still remains the case that people from ethnic minority backgrounds face a disparity in their relative chances of finding a lifesaving donor.” He added, “We’re incredibly grateful to Poonam for everything she is doing to raise money and awareness for Anthony Nolan. Her amazing efforts will leave a lifesaving legacy in Rakesh’s memory.” Meanwhile, to mark what would have been Rakesh's 40th birthday, on November 16, Poonam has taken help from her friends and family to undertake 40 fundraising challenges by then. One of them is to climb Mt Kilimanjaro, on September 2, an adventure, both her and her late husband always dreamt of doing together. “Climbing Mt Kilimanjaro on my own is a big step, and it’s also about me taking the next step in my grieving process. It’s going to be a hugely emotionally and physically exhausting experience,” she said. Over £7,500 has already been raised, and Poonam hopes to raise £40,000 by Rakesh’s 40th birthday. Those who wish to forward donations to Poonam's 40 challenges, visit http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/someonespecial/RememberingRaks. Save someone's life today, join the Anthony Nolan stem cell register at www.anthonynolan.org/join.

ESHAAN AKBAR:

Asian Voice | 26th August 2017

SP

15

TLIGHT

NOT FOR PROPHET

Sunetra Senior

A

kbar is winner of Piccadilly Club comedian of the year, and is an exceptionally talented newcomer to the British comedy circuit. At a time when, in his own words, ‘Islam is a significant part of the zeitgeist, both positively and negatively’, he is using his debut show - Not for Prophet – opening at this year’s Edinburgh Fringe- to draw from his personal journey from being a devout Muslim to an alcoholdrinking, bacon-eating nonMuslim as a much-needed social bridge. ‘I do believe humour, and the nuances of my particular story can break down communal barriers’, he told us. ‘People feel encouraged to relax and build connections amongst each other. I do explore the many contradictions that constitute my current worldview. Identity is fluid and multi-faceted so whether you are white, brown or neither there are no ‘right answers’ or a specific set of rules of how you should be. We are all a product of a unique mixture of social context and upbringing.’ *** Indeed as much his material is informed by his cultural background - being the ‘ultimate colonial baby with grandparents from each part of the subcontinent after partition’ and parents with both strong anti-colonialist and

Thatcherite sentiments respectively question various concepts. Akbar also uses his life experience and the ‘elitist banking culture’ he Tell us a bit about your curhas observed to be a trend in the rent show? metropolis: ‘there were people with a It explores the ways in which my lot of imperial ties and connections life has been pulled in polar oppogoing back to the time of the British sites, and how that all converged at Empire, in my workplace, and while this house party a couple of years ago. being predominantly hilarious, it was As well as having a very culturally and also kinda racist...’ As well as being ideologically varied upbringing, I was highly accessible and thought-proalso a poor kid in private school. I voking, Akbar’s style has been also make the audience sing a hymn described as very ‘slick’ by the at one point. That’s fun in-between all Evening Standard, and the young the stories and the jokes. comedian has also qualified as a finalist in When did you the high-profile, decide to become a nationally comedian? ‘There were people known, comedy I was quite a with a lot of imperial competition, funny guy at school ties and connections So You Think but never thought going back to the time You’re about becoming a of the British Empire in Funny? professional. I was a former workplace, Other accoactually looking and while being prelades include into becoming a warming up broadcast journalist dominantly hilarious, it for Micky when the guy who was also kinda racist...’ Flanagan when produced my show he was on tour reel pointed out that I and performing in was a funny guy, and I’ve his mother’s home been testing out my material country of Bangladesh, doing more recently. Last year I was finally half the set in English and the latter able to quit my full time job and purhalf in Bengali. Upon being asked sue comedy full time. whether this innately energetic and anecdotal Indian language has Who have been some of your helped him with comic delivery, favourite comedic inspirations? Akbar answered: ‘definitely! Lee Evans, Eddie Murphy, Dave Whether it’s conscious or subconChappelle, and to throw in a delightscious, exposure to several lanfully darker one, Frankie Boyle. guages, including Urdu and Hindi, gives me an advantage with experiWhat’s your comedy writing menting tonally and with different process? sorts of jokes.’ His surname inciI carry a notebook with me and dentally sounding like attend different new material nights. I ‘once’ or ‘one time’ in also test out my newer funny ideas on Bengali, Akbar simultavarious audiences. neously demonstrates his mantra for comedic Are there particular tricks you success, and quite like experimenting with? frankly being a My shows are a combination of a worthwhile human few: the pull back and reveal, which being: ‘stay true to subverts audience expectations, oneyourself, knowing liners etc. My set is a mix and reflecthat this is the tive of all the comedy I grew up with. I greatest gift you suppose I relish subverting audience can give the expectation: taking them one way and world. All the then throwing them in a completely while be confident different direction. and search to be wholly comfortable within yourself.’ Do you have a favourite part Thus Not for Prophet says as to your show? much about the comedian as As well as the hymn, I do a little the impressive show itself. dance with the audience at the end of the show which is a lot of fun. I enjoy You’ve just stepped telling people my mum’s approach to off the train into discipline too. Edinburgh. How are you feeling about your first big Finally, do you have any advice performance? for other young comedians in Both excited and nervous, but terms of loosening up before a show? mostly very, very excited! I don’t usually need to myself, but deep breaths are always helpful, and What grabs you most at times there’s this one Sufi song about comedy? that I’ve played beforehand which How much license I have to calms me. explore ideas; how by getting people to laugh you can also get them to twitter.com/eshaanakbar


NINE DAYS OF CELEBRATION, NINE DAYS OF PEACE

16

SPECIAL

www.asian-voice.com

Asian Voice | 26th August 2017

Mira Manek

There was a flurry of activity outside the SSE Arena from 8am every morning for nine days. But it was only when I entered the the vast arena that I felt that elation, that feeling I get when I enter Bapu’s katha, only this time it was at home, in London, and I was part of the team helping to organise it.

The flow of Ramnaam from Bapu

“My heart is dancing today,” was the opening line of Rudra’s speech, my eloquent and confident nephew whose family, the Sachdev family, were hosting this Ram Katha. It perfectly described what we were all feeling that day, to see Bapu on the stage, the vyaaspeeth, sat against that striking backdrop of Chitrakut, the place

Huge audience in awe

where Bapu sits and reads his paper everyday in his hometown of Talgajarda Mahuva, where he has his meetings, where people from his village and from all over the world come to meet him, and where he gazes at and meditates upon the large golden Hanumanji statue. Here in the Arena, though, the

Hanumanji statue and the entire temple was behind him, while beneath his vyaaspeeth was grass, recreating the entire scene from Mahuva. It was mesmering. And we remained mesmerised for nine days. Morari Bapu’s nine-day kathas are called Ram Kathas, but they feel much more like a nine-day spiritual retreat, nine days which bring about and forge new relationships, friendships and bonds. Last week’s Ram Katha at the SSE Arena drew thousands of listeners each morning, filling this hall with vibrations of togetherness, unity and love. Bapu takes his audience (to date, he has held almost 800 Ram Kathas around the world) through a journey of humour, laughter and intense emotion, through stories from the Ramcharitmanas, through teachings of different faiths and the overarching message to respect all. It is the universal aspect of his teachings that makes Bapu so appealing to everyone. Spirituality or adhyatma, says Bapu, is beyond religion, spirituality is involved with feeling rather than with knowledge. Bapu also speaks about the all-encompassing mantra of truth, love and compassion, three key principles which should be our life anchors. And he speaks about the importance of living, working and being a part of this world, that working is just as important as praying. There’s something very real about his message, something that appeals to all and excludes none, and this makes it all the more important in the world we live in today. There were over three hundred volunteers working tirelessly in differ-

AsianVoiceNews

AsianVoiceNewsweekly

Hindu spiritual leader brings messages of hope and unity to London

A duet by Ustad Zakhir Hussain and Niladri Kumar

ent areas of last week’s Ram Katha to make it a success. Bringing together thousands of people and then serving Prasad or lunch to each of them is no small feat (there were around 8000 people attending and have lunch daily). A young team had come together to manage the operation with two energetic 21 year-olds managing the entire volunteer operation. This brought a fresh perspective to such a large-scale event as well as a youthful spirit, but as Bapu rightly pointed out during the Katha, there were both younger and older volunteers, and so the nine days built bridges between the two, founded upon love and respect.

When Bapu entered at 9:30am, Naginbapa (Prof Nagindas Sanghvi), a learned scholar and writer from India, would present his summary of the previous day of katha. He had come especially for this at the age of 97. There were also periodic translations on the Ram Katha London app, updated every half an hour, allowing people of all ages to better understand the katha. Guests from other faiths were also invited to enjoy the katha, from a Rabbi as well as the Isreali foreign minister who addressed the audience to the Indian High Commissioner. To make the whole katha experience more enjoyable for all, there was a large children’s area with a range of fun activities from drawing and cre-

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was raised and Ramesh Sachdev and Lord Dolar Popat flew to India immediately after the Katha to hand a large cheque for £500k to the Chief Minister of Gujarat with the rest being distributed to other Indian States of Uttar Pradesh, Bengal, Bihar, Assam, and the Indian Prime Minister’s National Relief Fund. On August 15th, the Indian High Commissioner joined to celebrate the 70th anniversary of India’s Independence. Twenty years ago on the 50th anniversary of the Indian independence, Bapu hoisted the flag by the shores of Lake Mansarovar at the foot of Mount Kailash in the Himalayas, granted special permission to raise the Indian Tri-color on Chinese Soil alongside the Chinese Flag.Today he hoisted the Indian flag in London, especially significant because this year has been declared as the year of cultural exchange between India and England by the British Government.

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was his largest katha outside of India to date. On some days, the SSE Arena was at full capacity of 10,000, and even with so many people, there was pin-drop silence in the Arena. Only Bapu’s voice could be heard. I’ve been listening to Bapu for years now, but what we wanted to do in this katha in London was to include and attract all, both in the team of volunteers and to allow others to understand more through translations, to have a children’s area to allow parents with young children able to come and sit in katha, and to ensure that everyone could listen, from the young to the elderly and disabled. “Serving food is addictive,” a friend who was giving out sweets in the evening told me. I’d never thought of it like that, but it really is. The act of giving, speaking to the person and just making people happy… it’s all rather addictive. I’d take it one step further and say that being a part of such an event is addictive. Right now, it feels like a beautiful dream that touched the soul, left its

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about the Ram Katha, about being present and listening to Bapu, and feeling whatever we felt when Bapu spoke, something that Rudra touched upon in his opening speech, “I have been to a few kathas and while I don’t understand everything that Bapu says, I somehow just drift off into this imaginary world where I can listen to Bapu’s voice, to the music and to the Ramayana in peace.” That’s how I started listening to Bapu, to Katha, drifting off yet entirely present, some twenty years ago. And while I now understand mark, and flew away. But we savoured what Bapu says, it is more imporRishi Rameshbhai Sachdev with son Rudra tant to feel that peace, to absorb the love, to find that connection each moment and created a treasure trove around us. It is this that will remain with of memories. As much of a festival as it us and it is this that we will carry into the was, as much as we enjoyed being a part of world and into our daily lives. this powerful event and making new photo credit: Harishyam Chandegra & friends, essentially these nine days were Hari Om Mistry

Some of the ever eager and enthusiastic volunteers

Morari Bapu, the world renowned Hindu spiritual leader, held a 9 day religious discourse in London. In a Britain more divided than ever, Morari Bapu’s messages of integration, respect and unity feel timely and relevant. The Ramayana, the ancient Hindu epic, forms the basis of Bapu’s recital, from which he draws examples, applying them to modern life encouraging his followers to be open in head and heart. Just as he refers to the Ramayana, Bapu draws on teachings and wisdom of other religious texts including those from Christianity, quoting Islamic poets, delving into the life of Buddha and quoting from Socrates, Plato and other great thinkers. Morari Bapu also set up a relief fund during this Katha following the worst floods of a century in the Indian State of Gujarat. Many have lost their lives and the death toll is rising. In just a few days, £656,250 ative arts to yoga and tabla put together by Sanskruti For Kidz. While the mornings were dedicated to katha followed by lunch, the evenings were filled with musical and cultural programmes. Two concerts took place at the Arena, a duet by Ustad Zakir Hussain and Niladri Kumar, and another evening with classical vocalist Kaushiki Chakraborty. On all other evenings, the platform was given to poets, scholars, singers and musicians from Gujarat who had come as Bapu’s guests. As these programmes went late into the nights in one marquee, at the place where Bapu was staying, chai, biscuits, sweets and fruits were provided in another smaller marquee. And so, with all these different aspects, Ram Katha London became rather like a festival, where both children, parents and elders could enjoy each moment and every aspect. In India, Bapu often draws crowds of hundreds of thousands, he also holds many kathas abroad in different parts of the world, but this katha in London

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NINE DAYS OF CELEBRATION, NINE DAYS OF PEACE

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www.asian-voice.com

Asian Voice | 26th August 2017

Mira Manek

There was a flurry of activity outside the SSE Arena from 8am every morning for nine days. But it was only when I entered the the vast arena that I felt that elation, that feeling I get when I enter Bapu’s katha, only this time it was at home, in London, and I was part of the team helping to organise it.

The flow of Ramnaam from Bapu

“My heart is dancing today,” was the opening line of Rudra’s speech, my eloquent and confident nephew whose family, the Sachdev family, were hosting this Ram Katha. It perfectly described what we were all feeling that day, to see Bapu on the stage, the vyaaspeeth, sat against that striking backdrop of Chitrakut, the place

Huge audience in awe

where Bapu sits and reads his paper everyday in his hometown of Talgajarda Mahuva, where he has his meetings, where people from his village and from all over the world come to meet him, and where he gazes at and meditates upon the large golden Hanumanji statue. Here in the Arena, though, the

Hanumanji statue and the entire temple was behind him, while beneath his vyaaspeeth was grass, recreating the entire scene from Mahuva. It was mesmering. And we remained mesmerised for nine days. Morari Bapu’s nine-day kathas are called Ram Kathas, but they feel much more like a nine-day spiritual retreat, nine days which bring about and forge new relationships, friendships and bonds. Last week’s Ram Katha at the SSE Arena drew thousands of listeners each morning, filling this hall with vibrations of togetherness, unity and love. Bapu takes his audience (to date, he has held almost 800 Ram Kathas around the world) through a journey of humour, laughter and intense emotion, through stories from the Ramcharitmanas, through teachings of different faiths and the overarching message to respect all. It is the universal aspect of his teachings that makes Bapu so appealing to everyone. Spirituality or adhyatma, says Bapu, is beyond religion, spirituality is involved with feeling rather than with knowledge. Bapu also speaks about the all-encompassing mantra of truth, love and compassion, three key principles which should be our life anchors. And he speaks about the importance of living, working and being a part of this world, that working is just as important as praying. There’s something very real about his message, something that appeals to all and excludes none, and this makes it all the more important in the world we live in today. There were over three hundred volunteers working tirelessly in differ-

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Hindu spiritual leader brings messages of hope and unity to London

A duet by Ustad Zakhir Hussain and Niladri Kumar

ent areas of last week’s Ram Katha to make it a success. Bringing together thousands of people and then serving Prasad or lunch to each of them is no small feat (there were around 8000 people attending and have lunch daily). A young team had come together to manage the operation with two energetic 21 year-olds managing the entire volunteer operation. This brought a fresh perspective to such a large-scale event as well as a youthful spirit, but as Bapu rightly pointed out during the Katha, there were both younger and older volunteers, and so the nine days built bridges between the two, founded upon love and respect.

When Bapu entered at 9:30am, Naginbapa (Prof Nagindas Sanghvi), a learned scholar and writer from India, would present his summary of the previous day of katha. He had come especially for this at the age of 97. There were also periodic translations on the Ram Katha London app, updated every half an hour, allowing people of all ages to better understand the katha. Guests from other faiths were also invited to enjoy the katha, from a Rabbi as well as the Isreali foreign minister who addressed the audience to the Indian High Commissioner. To make the whole katha experience more enjoyable for all, there was a large children’s area with a range of fun activities from drawing and cre-

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was raised and Ramesh Sachdev and Lord Dolar Popat flew to India immediately after the Katha to hand a large cheque for £500k to the Chief Minister of Gujarat with the rest being distributed to other Indian States of Uttar Pradesh, Bengal, Bihar, Assam, and the Indian Prime Minister’s National Relief Fund. On August 15th, the Indian High Commissioner joined to celebrate the 70th anniversary of India’s Independence. Twenty years ago on the 50th anniversary of the Indian independence, Bapu hoisted the flag by the shores of Lake Mansarovar at the foot of Mount Kailash in the Himalayas, granted special permission to raise the Indian Tri-color on Chinese Soil alongside the Chinese Flag.Today he hoisted the Indian flag in London, especially significant because this year has been declared as the year of cultural exchange between India and England by the British Government.

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was his largest katha outside of India to date. On some days, the SSE Arena was at full capacity of 10,000, and even with so many people, there was pin-drop silence in the Arena. Only Bapu’s voice could be heard. I’ve been listening to Bapu for years now, but what we wanted to do in this katha in London was to include and attract all, both in the team of volunteers and to allow others to understand more through translations, to have a children’s area to allow parents with young children able to come and sit in katha, and to ensure that everyone could listen, from the young to the elderly and disabled. “Serving food is addictive,” a friend who was giving out sweets in the evening told me. I’d never thought of it like that, but it really is. The act of giving, speaking to the person and just making people happy… it’s all rather addictive. I’d take it one step further and say that being a part of such an event is addictive. Right now, it feels like a beautiful dream that touched the soul, left its

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about the Ram Katha, about being present and listening to Bapu, and feeling whatever we felt when Bapu spoke, something that Rudra touched upon in his opening speech, “I have been to a few kathas and while I don’t understand everything that Bapu says, I somehow just drift off into this imaginary world where I can listen to Bapu’s voice, to the music and to the Ramayana in peace.” That’s how I started listening to Bapu, to Katha, drifting off yet entirely present, some twenty years ago. And while I now understand mark, and flew away. But we savoured what Bapu says, it is more imporRishi Rameshbhai Sachdev with son Rudra tant to feel that peace, to absorb the love, to find that connection each moment and created a treasure trove around us. It is this that will remain with of memories. As much of a festival as it us and it is this that we will carry into the was, as much as we enjoyed being a part of world and into our daily lives. this powerful event and making new photo credit: Harishyam Chandegra & friends, essentially these nine days were Hari Om Mistry

Some of the ever eager and enthusiastic volunteers

Morari Bapu, the world renowned Hindu spiritual leader, held a 9 day religious discourse in London. In a Britain more divided than ever, Morari Bapu’s messages of integration, respect and unity feel timely and relevant. The Ramayana, the ancient Hindu epic, forms the basis of Bapu’s recital, from which he draws examples, applying them to modern life encouraging his followers to be open in head and heart. Just as he refers to the Ramayana, Bapu draws on teachings and wisdom of other religious texts including those from Christianity, quoting Islamic poets, delving into the life of Buddha and quoting from Socrates, Plato and other great thinkers. Morari Bapu also set up a relief fund during this Katha following the worst floods of a century in the Indian State of Gujarat. Many have lost their lives and the death toll is rising. In just a few days, £656,250 ative arts to yoga and tabla put together by Sanskruti For Kidz. While the mornings were dedicated to katha followed by lunch, the evenings were filled with musical and cultural programmes. Two concerts took place at the Arena, a duet by Ustad Zakir Hussain and Niladri Kumar, and another evening with classical vocalist Kaushiki Chakraborty. On all other evenings, the platform was given to poets, scholars, singers and musicians from Gujarat who had come as Bapu’s guests. As these programmes went late into the nights in one marquee, at the place where Bapu was staying, chai, biscuits, sweets and fruits were provided in another smaller marquee. And so, with all these different aspects, Ram Katha London became rather like a festival, where both children, parents and elders could enjoy each moment and every aspect. In India, Bapu often draws crowds of hundreds of thousands, he also holds many kathas abroad in different parts of the world, but this katha in London

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Murthy blamed for forcing Infosys CEO & MD Sikka to resign The simmering tension between Sikka and the board on one hand and the founders, led by Murthy, on the other, came out in the open early this year

Vishal Sikka, the CEO & MD of Infosys, has resigned last week and the board has blamed the cofounder of the company N R Narayana Murthy for forcing the first non-promoter top executive to quit. The board said that Sikka resigned despite its strong support and hold Murthy solely responsible for the departure of the CEO and harming employee morale. The reaction was sharp and instant - the Infy stock tanked over 10% and investors lost £2.25 billion. In a letter to the staff, Sikka said, “I cannot carry out my job as CEO and continue to create value, while also constantly defending against unrelenting, baseless, malicious and increasingly personal attacks....After much contemplation I have decided to leave because the distractions have created an untenable atmosphere.” UB Pravin Rao, COO and a veteran with the company, has been appointed interim

NR Narayana Murthy

Vishal Sikka

chief executive officer and managing director reporting to Sikka. In an unexpected turn, Sikka is staying as executive vice chairman till a new, permanent CEO takes over, not later than March 31, 2018. In another surprise move, the company's cochair Ravi Venkatesan said that given the current environment at Infosys, it might be difficult to get a good outside candidate. He said: “The challenge for anybody coming from outside, as Vishal experienced, is to manage the cultural adaptation, and then transform it. The board has also

ruled out Murthy playing a formal role in the governance of the company. Murthy, on his part, said that while he was “extremely anguished by the allegation, tone and tenor of the statements,” it was “below his dignity to respond to such baseless insinuations.” He said he would reply to “these allegations at the appropriate time.” The simmering tension between Sikka and the board on one hand and the founders, led by Murthy, on the other, came out in the open early this year. Murthy has led a campaign against what he termed as

deteriorating “corporate governance” at Infosys. It first came to light when he and a couple of other promoters voted against the salary hike given to Sikka and the appointment of Punita Sinha to the board in April 2016. Later, he questioned the severance payout to the then CFO Rajiv Bansal and the amount given to departing legal counsel David Kennedy. After a sustained campaign by Murthy, the board was forced to acknowledge that in paying out such large sums there had been an error in judgement and the bulk of the money due to Bansal was held back. Another bone of contention was the acquisition of Israeli cloud company Panaya for $200 million in Feb 2015. The company, on the basis of whistleblower complaints, held independent investigations and concluded that there was no wrongdoing. Murthy has not subscribed to this and has continued to raise the issue.

India may make it tough for Chinese power cos As the Indian and Chinese armies remain stuck in a deadlock at the Himalayas, the Centre appears to be finding more ways to pinch the dragon. The Central Electricity Authority (CEA) is drafting a roadmap to secure India's power stations and smart grid systems against cyber attacks, conditioning it in a way that it becomes difficult for Chinese companies to compete for contracts.

The move comes three months after Power Minister Piyush Goyal said the government would invoke the principle of reciprocity when awarding future contracts. While he did not name China, it is being received as an inference to the Chinese classifying power as a strategic sector to keep foreign companies out. CEA chairman RK Verma said the authority was working on a report to secure India's

power systems. He however, added, “It is not against any one country but against all those who want to harm our tamper with our system.” While the conditions CEA prescribes, is yet to be revealed, if they manage to pass through the government, they are unlikely to hurt many European or US companies given they have stuck around for a long time. Chinese power gear mak-

ers have enjoyed a good run so far, taking advantage of low domestic manufacturing capacity to bag major contracts as India went on a spree to build power plants. While import of Chinese generation equipment has levelled out, cyber security has emerged as a key concern after Chinese firms bagged smart grid contracts for 18 cities and competed for many others.

able for sharing between the company and the government. After accounting for the cost recovery restriction of 2015-16, the cumulative profit share claimed by the government from KG-D6 field has gone up to $175 million, according to sources. RIL, BP and the oil ministry declined to comment for the story. To collect its share of additional profit, the government had directed GAIL, the state-run gas transporter, to take away all amount above $4.2 per million British thermal unit (mmBtu) for gas from KG-D6, and place it in a gas pool account. The government collected $81.7 million through this mechanism between November 2014 and March 2016, but a fall in domestic natural gas price below $4.2/mmBtu

from April 2016 brought collection to a halt. The arbitration, currently underway between companies and the government, will finally decide if the latter is justified in disallowing cost recovery and claiming a higher share in profit. RIL is engaged in multiple arbitrations with the government although it has recently withdrawn one related to gas price. It had also withdrawn an arbitration related to relinquishment of acreage in KG-D6 block last year. While unveiling a £4 billion plan to develop new fields in the KG Basin in June, RIL chairman Mukesh Ambani said he expected a fair outcome in arbitration cases. The government recently issued a demand notice of $3.9 billion on RIL, ONGC and Shell.

Air India sale process to be completed before year-end

The Indian government is all set to wrap up the disinvestment in state-run carrier Air India before end of the year. The Union Cabinet has given an inprinciple approval for strategic disinvestment in Air India in June. A panel of ministers headed by Finance Minister Arun Jaitley is currently devising the strategy to execute the sale. A government source said, “We will complete the process before the yearend. There is no choice but to privatise it.” The source said that the preference so far is on a “domestic buyer”. Several foreign companies, including airlines have informally expressed interest in buying Air India. The source also said that the panel is discussing several options to deal with the large debt of the airline as no buyer is expected to come forward

Mukesh Ambani

ery disallowed by the government comes to $3.02 billion. The government had disallowed $457 million of cost for 2010-11, $548 million for 2011-12, $792 million for 2012-13, $579 million for 2013-14 and $380 million for 2014-15. The amount for 2016-17 has not yet been calculated. Disallowing such cost recovery results in enlarging the pie of profit avail-

to take over such a liability. He said options being discussed include a partial write-off of the debt. The appointed panel will deal with the “unsustainable debt”, hiving off of certain assets to a shell company, de-merger and strategic disinvestment of three profit-making subsidiaries, the quantum of disinvestment and the “universe of bidders”. It was only after government think tank NITI Aayog recommended a 100 per cent stake sale, along with writing off its debt, that disinvestment of the Maharaja took pace. NITI Aayog had also detailed a road map for Air India's stake sale, including writing off loans to the tune of £3 billion. AI is currently under a debt of around £6 billion, including £2.1 billion of aircraft-related loan and around £800 million working capital loan.

Alibaba's quarterly net profit nearly doubles

Govt slaps £170 million penalty on RIL, BP

The Indian government has disallowed Reliance Industries and partners to recover $264 million spent in developing KG-D6 fields in 2015-16 as the output from the field fell short of the target, as revealed by sources. Output from KGD6 fields remained far short of the targeted 80 million standard cubic metres a day (mmscmd) for years, and now has fallen to under 4 mmscmd, prompting the government to direct companies to not account for certain costs each year beginning April 2010. This has prompted the government to direct companies to not account for certain costs each year beginning April 2010. Adding the $264 million disallowed as cost in 201516 to similar restrictions imposed in previous five years, the total cost recov-

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Jack Ma

Alibaba, the Chinese ecommerce company, has almost doubled its quarterly profit and thus exceeded the expectations of Wall Street. Alibaba said the cloud computing had soared too, with its revenue also doubling and its customer base exceeding the one million mark for the first time. The Chinese customers are moving away from traditional stores and are spending online, particularly on smartphones, which are growing in popularity among the country's 1.1 billion adults. Since China has placed restrictions on foreign internet companies, domestic ecommerce firms such as Alibaba are benefiting from the boom. Alibaba, which has made billionaire founder Jack Ma one of China's

richest men and a global ecommerce icon, has seen its shares soar 80 per cent since last December on robust earnings, with the company fast approaching the market worth of industry leader Amazon. Alibaba said net income in the quarter which ended June 30 was 14.7 billion yuan (USD 2.2 billion), a yearon-year increase of 94 per cent. The company's earnings have highlighted the strength of the e-commerce sector in China even as the country's broader economic growth has slowed. Overall revenues in the quarter rose 56 per cent to 50.2 billion yuan, beating the USD 7.2 billion average of analyst estimates compiled by Bloomberg. Revenue from its core commerce offerings grew 58 per cent in the quarter to 43 billion yuan, while cloud computing revenue jumped 96 per cent to 2.4 billion yuan, it said in an earnings statement. "Our technology is driving significant growth across our business and strengthening our position beyond core commerce," the statement quoted Alibaba Group CEO Daniel Zhang as saying.


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TURNING LAND INTO GOLD AsianVoiceNews

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When you purchase a property, especially a flat in Central London, what you are buying in essence is a shoe box, sometimes perhaps a cube in the case of a studio.

Suresh Vagjiani

Sow & Reap London Property Investment

The cube itself has very little value; by virtue of its location it acquires value. If it was in the upper end of Scotland there would be perhaps even a zero premium to what it costs to build, as demand to live there would be low. So, what gives the property value is location. Hence the famous mantra, Location, Location and Location. The three most important factors to property investment; said thrice because it cannot be emphasised enough. Whether the property is

30 storeys high in the sky, or firmly on the ground, the property occupies a piece of land in a desirable location. Building a property requires two other ingredients namely labour and materials. Within reason, the latter two are not in short supply - they can be procured. The ingredient which limited in supply is land. So, in essence, it is land which is scarce which ultimately causes property to rise in price. Land is governed by regulation. A piece of land can have one storey or a hundred; what governs this is regulation. This is what restricts supply. For example in Central London it would be unheard of for a chunk of Hyde Park to be sold to a developer and built upon. It is due to regulation

AGONY AGENT IS HERE TO HELP! Q: I have just purchased my first Buy To Let property, do you have any tips regarding the décor? A: Whether you have just bought your first investment property or are giving an existing property a face lift, here are some points regarding decorating you should take into account: Audience & budget Before you start to plan decorating, or even your budget, have a think about the area your property is in, the rent you’re going to charge, and what kind of tenants you’re

looking to attract. This way, you can consider what your prospective or ideal tenants will be looking for in a property and plan accordingly. For example, a family of four may want somewhere comfortable, durable and easy to keep clean. On the other hand, a young professional may just ask for the basics, but would want it to look moderately stylish and be able to put their own stamp on it. When budgeting, think about the rent you hope to be receiving and make sure you don’t overspend, it’s easy to forget about the return on investment.

BUY TO LET OPPORTUNITY

Durability The less you need to redecorate between tenancies, the better. Everything you buy for this project should have some aspect of durability. Larger items, such as flooring (including carpet), appliances/white goods and furniture should be bought in a slightly better quality, with warranties where possible. These items will be used time and time again and will show signs of wear faster than anything else. Replacing a carpet every two years may start to become expensive!

Asian Voice | 26th August 2017

that period buildings are listed and cannot be altered. Land is the intrinsic reason why property prices rise. And what governs the ability of a piece of land to produce property is also regulation. Converting a piece of land from grazing land to one where property can be built, requires a change in its utility, i.e. its usage. This is a process which can be likened to alchemy, the changing of lead into gold. It is with this backdrop that Sow & Reap are now heavily focused on land investment, both in London and in the increasingly affluent commuter belts around London. The greatest gain to be

made by investing in ‘property’ is actually to invest in land and in being able to change its function so it acquires economic value. This requires both planning expertise on a local and national level, along with an ability to lobby to the individuals concerned. It is with good reason we have this focus, the uplift in value of a piece of land which has

planning can be three or more times its price without planning. Recently, we have successfully obtained planning for 92 units in North London, on behalf of our client. We currently have other opportunities, where we are looking to replicate this success. If this interests you, please get in touch.

Look & feel A mistake many landlords make is decorating to their own tastes. Keep it neutral, long-lasting and as high quality as your budget allows, and you’ll attract tenants much more easily than if everything were purple and lime green. It’s easy to get carried away with making the place look amazing but, remember, you’re not going to be living there. If it’s neutral enough for your tenants to make it look like home, they’re more likely to stay. Timescales Make sure you give yourself enough time to com-

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This is far more important in the long run than the way your property looks. Prioritise decorating on what will make the biggest differences to the look and feel of the space. It’s amazing what a lick of paint and a new carpet can do.


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Asian Voice | 26th August 2017

Consultant Editor Financial Voice Alpesh Patel Dear Financial Voice Reader, There is a quite a debate in the US about Rajat Gupta, and whether now out of prison for insider trading, he should or should not be welcomed back to the Indian community. Ajit Jain, cousin of Anshu Jain, hosted a dinner for Rajat Gupta. I sometimes wonder if there are more crooks in finance than in prison. It makes you feel sorry for the little guy shoplifter who gets caught and the financial thief who takes a few million and walk free. Rajaratnam, Strauss-Kahn, Gupta. And as if financial crimes were not enough – in the case of the Head of the IMF it is sexual crimes he is accused of. You used to call these money people ‘Masters of the Universe’ but it seems they really believe that of themselves. Like Emperors and demi-gods, they take as they see fit. But this is not new. The concept of the Superman is well trodden in philosophy, the person who considers himself bound by a higher law because of his breeding. The Nazis swore by it. As the web states, ‘ancient Greece, hubris (ancient Greek) referred to actions that shamed and humiliated the victim for the pleasure or gratification of the abuser. The term had a strong sexual connotation, and the shame reflected on the perpetrator as well. It was most evident in the public and private actions of the powerful and rich. The word was also used to describe actions of those who challenged the gods or their laws. In ancient Greece Hubris was a legal term and meant a crime – the crimes included rape and theft. Ironically, it is then Hubris with which Rajaratnam (insider dealing) and Gupta (insider dealing) are convicts. However, Hubris also in the moral sense – behaviour over confident in one’s own beliefs – no regard for society. Rajat Gupta, former head of McKinsey, was revered within an entrepreneur network I am part of, TiE, by the fellow Charter Members who knew him. I was too lowly to ever meet the great man. The others would fawn around him, elevating and feeding his god-like status. Perhaps they should have spent more time with the waiters serving the drinks – for apparently, that is an antidote for hubris – talking to regular, normal people. So I say to all of you who read this column because you are in finance. As Bloomberg puts it, ‘During the past decade, Gupta, who was already a millionaire, began to veer off track. He spent more time with Wall Street money managers. He told colleagues that he wanted to be a dealmaker, not just a consultant.’ Well, Mr Gupta, I am a Dealmaker (officially designated) for the UK Government, and yes it is a heady mix of power and glamour and influence. However, let me give you some advice and all those who read this column to move up in finance: First, no amount of charity work will excuse moral corruption. Second, temptation is an evil seductress. Black and white rules are best. If you’re unsure, get it authorised by a higher authority. And there is always a higher authority. I have two priests on speed dial! Third, try to speak to one Big Issue vendor a week. Fourth, look at pictures of your grandmothers. Their hard work does not legitimise bad conduct, it prohibits it. Finally, remember the phrase, ‘fear of god.’ All of the above will cure hubris. So again, I ask, my god, is nothing sacred? You can tweet me your thoughts on @alpeshbp.

Pay up or get out, Jaitley tells defaulters After the new bankruptcy law reversed the debtor-creditor relationship, India's Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said that defaulters would now have to either pay up or make way for new entrepreneurs. Jaitley also addressed fears that businesses would come to a standstill during the insolvency proceedings. Speaking at the National Conference on Insolvency and Bankruptcy, he said, “The message in the legislation is now loud

and clear; debtors will have to make sure their debts are serviced. The alternative mechanism is where you exit by taking a partner, or new entrepreneurs come in and protect the assets.” He said the government would wait and watch out for judicial pronouncements under the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code before seeing whether it needed improvement. “Legislation is the skeletal structure, the flesh and blood is provided by judicial interpretation,” Jaitley said.

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Rosneft-led group acquires Essar Oil Billionaire brothers Shashi and Ravi Ruia have agreed to sell 98 per cent of Essar Oil and a port terminal at Vadinar to a consortium led by Russian oil major Rosneft for almost $13 billion. Oil trading firm Trafigura and private investment group United Capital Partners are the other partners in the group. Essar Group Chairman Shashi Ruia described the deal as a ‘historic day’ for Essar. “The monetisation of our stake in Essar Oil will help drive the next level of growth for our other businesses,” said Ruia. The decision to sell ‘family silver’ was taken to pare the group’s debt of £9 billion by half. Russia is keen to deepen its Soviet-era economic ties with India at a time when its own economy is stagnant, hit by Western sanc-

Shashi and Ravi Ruia

tions. The Russian company will be the third international player after Royal Dutch and Shell and BP to enter the Indian fuel retailing market. Essar Group agreed to sell 49 per cent of Essar Oil Ltd. to Rosneft, and the rest in equal parts to the other partners, for an enterprise value of £7.28 billion ($10.9 billion), according to a statement from Essar. The

Cash deal all-cash

deal

includes India’s secondlargest refinery at Vadinar with a capacity of 20 million tonnes, and another $2 billion will be paid for a port terminal that helps feed the refinery. India is driving global oil demand as its economy expands and a rising middle class buys motor vehicles. The International Energy Agency expects India to account for a quarter of global energy use by 2040. Commenting on the deal, Prashant Ruia,

Director, Essar, said: “We have established world-class assets that have attracted the attention of leading global companies and investors. The deals we have done have led to an FDI infusion of more than $30 billion into India.” The business transaction was announced in the presence of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Russian President Vladimir Putin, at the BRICS Summit in Goa. Igor Sechin, CEO, Rosneft believes that this deal is a significant milestone for the company. “Rosneft is entering one of the most promising and fastgrowing world markets.” The deal closure is conditional upon receiving requisite regulatory approvals and other customary conditions and the parties expect to obtain the relevant approvals before the end of this year, according to the statement.

Tata Sons cuts all dealings with Mistry's group Tata Sons has ordered its group companies to scrap all business dealings with Cyrus and Shapoor Mistry's SP Group, putting transactions worth millions of rupees at risk. As many as 50 companies will be affected by the decision taken by Tata Sons board under N Chandrasekaran. Cyrus and elder brother Shapoor Mistry each own half of the privately-owned SP Group. A top Tata source said the decision to terminate all forms of business dealings, whether directly or indirectly, through contracts or sub-contracting arrangements, with the SP Group

Cyrus Mistry

came after “disparaging” statements made against Tata Sons by Cyrus Mistry and his associates, with the intention of casting a “negative light” on the company. The directive is sent to

all group companies, including Tata Steel, Tata Power, Tata Chemicals and Tata Motors. Smaller group firms such as Voltas and Trent, which is chaired by Noel Tata, half-brother to Ratan Tata and brother-inlaw of the Mistry brothers, have also received the order. All group companies are reportedly acting on the directive. “As the promoter and principal shareholder of your company and as the custodian of the 'Tata' brand, Tata Sons does not support any business dealing in any form, whether directly or indirectly, through contracts or sub-

Defence firms eye billion-dollar chance for 'Made in India' World's largest defence importer, India has announced a new policy inviting foreign defence manufacturers to set up shop as minority partners in India. It said it would purchase tens of billions of dollars worth of foreign fighter jets, helicopters and armoured vehicles, as long as they are “made in India”. The brilliant scheme is sure to boost job creation and rope in key defence technologies into the country. Foreign companies are already calling it an opportunity too good to miss. European Group Airbus said if it wins a contract worth several billion dollars and expected to span at least a decade, it would make India its global hub for it multi-purpose Panther helicopters. Lockheed Martin said if its F-16 fighter jets are selected it will “support the advancement of Indian manufacturing expertise”. Germany's ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems and

France's Naval Group are most eager to compete for a contract of up to $10 billion to build submarines in the South Asian country. India seeks to follow other countries that created defence sectors by backing a few big players with longterm defence orders and allowing smaller businesses to develop around them. Amber Dubey of KPMG consultancy said, “Countries that have a robust defence industry have a few large companies that are supported by their government with large, long-term

defence orders. They in turn, create an eco-system of large and small suppliers to stay competitive.” India currently imports at least 90 per cent of its defence equipment, including parts for assembly. For Indian companies with a majority stake, the new move is a big win as the government will line up domestic companies chosen by foreign players to set up local plants. The basic idea seems to bring up home industries to global standards to compete for the next round of orders.

contracting arrangements,” the directive, signed by CEO of Tata Sons FN Subedar, said. It said that Mistry has been aided and supported by the SP Group in his “hostile approach” to the Tata Group. SP Group holds about 18.4% in Tata Sons. It remains to be seen whether the Mistrys will file a legal case. The directive states that certain SP Group companies have presented an “incorrect and distorted version of facts” pertaining to the business and affairs of Tata Sons, to the National Company Law Tribunal.

Tougher FDI norms for pharma cos likely In a bid to protect the Indian drug manufacturing sector, the government is contemplating tougher foreign investment norms for multinational firms to acquire existing pharmaceutical facilities in India. The new draft pharma policy lists out a range of measures such as continuation of manufacturing of essential medicines, expenditure on R&D and technology transfer to seek approval for foreign direct investment (FDI). “At present there is no mechanism or system to monitor the post-acquisition (FDI) activities of the company. A system would be developed or monitor the adherence to these conditions,” the new draft policy said. It highlighted how several neighbouring countries like Vietnam, South Korea, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh are emerging as generic drug manufacturers and posing competition to India. Known for its ability to supply low priced quality generic medicines.


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Trump wants India to help US in Afghanistan Seeks Indian help, especially in the area of economic assistance and development

WASHINGTON: US President Donald Trump has reached out to India seeking an enhanced role for New Delhi, especially in the economic field to bring peace and stability in Afghanistan. “We appreciate India's important contributions to stability in Afghanistan, but India makes billions of dollars in trade with the United States, and we want them to help us more with Afghanistan, especially in the area of economic assistance and development,” Trump said. The US President has cleared the path for the deployment of thousands of US troops to Afghanistan,

Donald Trump

backtracking from his promise to swiftly end the battle. In his first formal address to the nation as commander-in-chief, Trump put aside his previous criticism of the 16 year old war

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as a waste of time and money, admitting that things looked different from “behind the desk in the Oval Office”. He said his “instinct was to pull out”, but following months of discussion, he said he had concluded that the “consequences of a rapid exit are both predictable and unacceptable” and left a “vacuum” that terrorists “would instantly fill”. The conflict that began in October 2001 as a hunt for the 9/11 attackers, has now turned into an effort to keep Afghan's divided and corruption-hindered democracy alive amid the Taliban insurgency. Trump warned that the approach would now be

more pragmatic than idealistic. He also hinted that single-minded approach would extent to US relations with ally Pakistan that has often been criticised for links with terrorist groups and harbouring leading jihadists. “We have been paying Pakistan billions and billions of dollars at the same time they are housing the very terrorists that we are fighting. That will have to change and that will change immediately,” he said. He also warned that he could reduce security assistance for Pakistan unless it cooperates more in preventing militants from residing on its soil.

Trump isolated on supremacists issue

PIO thrashed with baseball bat, battling for life in NZ

MELBOURNE: A 25-year-old man, believed to be of Indian origin, was brutally assaulted by a man with a baseball bat in New Zealand's Auckland city and is in a critical condition, reports said. Police have sought the public's help to identify the victim. He was wearing a grey collared shirt, blue jeans and black sneakers with white soles. He is believed to be of Indian descent, police sources said. Details of the incident were not given out by the police but a report in stuff.co.nz said the man was 25-year-old and was “beaten with a baseball bat in south Auckland.”

Bangladesh allows polygamy for Hindus

NEW YORK: The International Religious Freedom Report for 2016 which examined the marriage laws governing religious groups in various countries and said that polygamy is permitted for Hindu men in Bangladesh. "Under Hindu (civil) law, men may have multiple wives, but there are officially no options for divorce," the report said. "Buddhists are covered under Hindu law and divorced Hindus and Buddhists may not legally remarry." Women are also prohibited from inheriting property under the civil laws for Hindus, the report said. There is opposition to the prohibition on divorce and remarriage for Hindus and Buddhists, which do not apply to other religions.

Death for 10 in plot to kill Bangladesh PM

words and actions.” Also, PepsiCo's Indian-American CEO Indra Nooyi was urged by the Color of Change organisation to step down from the President's Strategy and Policy Forum. She was one of Trump's first appointees to the Strategy and Policy Forum. A handful of the nation's top leaders resigned from two of Trump's primary advisory councils, on August 15, after the President failed to excoriate white supremacists participating in the 'Unite the Right' rally on August 11-12 in Charlottesville. Violence broke out between white supremacists and counterprotesters on the first day. On the second day, a car ploughed into a large group of counter-protesters, killing 32 year old Heather Heyer and injuring 19 others. Trump (who was playing Golf at the time), issued a statement saying, “We condemn in the strongest possible terms this egregious display of hatred, bigotry and violence on many sides.” He repeated, “On many sides.”

DHAKA: A Bangladesh court sentenced ten Islamist militants to death over a failed plot to assassinate Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina by detonating a huge bomb at one of her rallies in 2000. The men were sentenced to death by a firing squad for planting a huge explosive near where Hasina was scheduled to speak during her first term as prime minister in 2000, prosecutor Shamsul Haq Badol said. "The bomb was planted in an attempt to kill Hasina, high-ranking leaders of the (ruling) Awami League party and dignitaries," Badol said. Police allege the operation was led by Mufti Abdul Hannan, the late leader of extremist group Harakat ul Jihad Al Islami, which perpetrated a string of attacks across Bangladesh in the late 1990s and early 2000s.

Suspect behind Barcelona terror attacks killed

ISLAMABAD: Maher Ali also known as (Mani AQ), a transgender male in Pakistan, has become the first person in this country to get a `National Identity Card' (NIC). This card is issued to the citizens of Pakistan as a proof of their identity. He got the ID card according to the gender he wanted. In 2009, the female Hijra community got their representation on the ID card but not the transgender males. Mani who hails from Lahore, said, “I had to fight against the authorities to get this identity card. This is a proof of identity for what I am and what I stand for. The authorities had asked for some medical certificates to ensure that I'm a transgender male.”

WASHINGTON: US President Donald Trump finds himself more isolated by the minute as people react harshly to his defence of white supremacist protesters in Charlottesville, Virginia. The nation's top business executives have shunned him, and collectively decided to no longer serve on two of Trump's advisory panels. Even the American military leadership was made to speak out on the matter, resulting in statements from the Army, the Air Force, the Navy, the Marines, and the National Guard Bureau. They condemned neoNazis and racism in uncompromising terms. Even Republicans issued new denunciations of the hatred that was up for display in Virginia. “A lot of us joined this administration thinking we could bring it to the experience and expertise that the President didn't have an opportunity to gain in his business career, and to encourage some restraint in what he says publicly and to our allies,” said a senior White House official. Even

BARCELONA: The Spanish police have killed a man believed to be Younes Abouyaaqoub, the alleged driver of a van that mowed down crowds in Barcelona last week. A source said, “They have shot dead a suspect who could be the perpetrator of the attack.” Scores of roadblocks were put up across north-east Spain in hopes of capturing the fugitive suspect from the 12-member Islamic extremist cell that staged two vehicle attacks and plotted much deadlier carnage using explosives favoured by Islamic State jihadis. Younes was found and killed approximately 25 miles west of Barcelona near a sewage treatment works fol-

Kal Penn

top advisers to the President described themselves as stunned, despondent, and numb. Many expressed doubts about his capacity to do the job. Even British Prime Minister Theresa May, who was criticised for close ties with Trump, spoke out after he repeated that the alt-right and counter-protesters were both to blame. “There is no equivalence, I see no equivalence between those who propound fascist views and those who oppose them and I think it is important for all those in positions of responsibility to condemn far-right views wherever we hear them,” she said. Indian-American actor Kal Penn, and IndianAmerican author Jhumpa

lowing a tip off. Wearing a fake explosive belt, he reportedly yelled “Allahu Akbar”. Police believe he was the driver of a van that rammed through Las Ramblas avenue, killing 13 and injuring over 100. An extensive manhunt was out underway. It was only when a petrol station employee spotted Younes and called the police, when they

Jhumpa Lahiri

Lahiri are among those who resigned from the President's Committee on the Arts and the Humanities. Penn tweeted his letter of resignation, which said, “Reproach and censure in the strongest possible terms are necessary following your support of the hate groups and terrorists who killed and injured fellow Americans in Charlottesville.” The statement further said, “The false equivalences you push cannot stand. The administration's refusal to quickly and unequivocally condemn the cancer of hatred only further emboldens those who wish America ill. We cannot sit idly by, the way that your West Wing advisers have, without speaking out against your

found him hiding in vineyards. It took some time to officially identify him as bomb disposal officers used a robot to examine the fake explosive belt. Police believe the cell members had planned to fill the vans with explosives and create a massive attack in the Catalan capital. Catalan police official Josep Lluis Trapero

confirmed that over 100 tanks of butane gas were found at a house in Alcanar, that was being used to make bombs, exploded. “Our thesis is that the group had planned one or more attacks with explosives in the city of Barcelona,” he said. However, the plot foiled when the house blew up. Police confirmed that an imam, suspected of radicalising the young men who carried out the attacks, died in the house. Of the 12 cell members, eight have been shot dead and four are in custody. Family members of the dead suspects said Imam Es Satty had radicalised several young people in their home town of Ripoll, north of Barcelona.

Mass grave exposes IS brutality in Afghanistan

KABUL: Afghan security forces have discovered around 40 bodies in a mass grave in the northern Sari Pul province during the government forces' clean up operations in the troubled region. The bodies were recovered amid reports that militants loyal to the Islamic State (IS) group and Taliban outfit massacred more than 50 civilians after overrunning the strategically important Mirza Olang district two weeks ago. The IS has claimed responsibility for the carnage and said in a statement that its fighters had killed 54 people in the troubled district. Although the Taliban rejected its involvement in the bloodshed, villagers said both the Taliban and IS insurgents jointly attacked Mirza Olang and committed the "crimes against humanity".

In a first, Pak issues ID card to transgender man

German doctor gets full state funeral in Pak

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan gave a full state funeral with national honours to a German woman doctor, who had dedicated her life to containing leprosy in the country. Dr Ruth Pfau (87) founded the Marie Adelaide Leprosy Centre, which has branches across Pakistan. The government had announced to accord the leprosy fighter a state funeral after she passed away last week in Karachi. Armed forces personnel carried Pfau's casket, covered in the Pakistani flag, into St Patrick's Cathedral in Karachi. This was the second state funeral to have taken place in Pakistan in past 29 years and the first for a Christian woman in the country.


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US labels Hizbul as foreign terror outfit; to hit funding WASHINGTON: The US has designated Pakistan-based Hizbul Mujahideen as a “foreign terrorist organisation”, a day after President Donald Trump called PM Narendra Modi to greet him on Indian Independence Day. Labelling of the terrorist outfit as an FTO means the outfit will face financial sanctions. Trump administration's decision to designate Hizbul chief Syed Salahuddin a “global terrorist” came just ahead of Modi's meeting with the US Prez in June. The recent announcement is also seen as a sign of USIndia proximity on strategic issues at a time when India

Syed Salahuddin

remains in a military deadlock with China near the Sikkim-Tibet-Bhutan trijunction. The US decision is also seen as an act of solidarity with India in its fight against terrorism and jihadi

outfits operating out of Pakistan with the support of the Pakistani army and ISI. The US State Department released a statement saying it has designated “Hizbul Mujahideen - also known as Hizb-ulMujahideen, also known as HM, as a foreign terrorist organisation under section 219 of the Immigration and Nationality Act, and as a specially designated global terrorist (SDGT) under section1 (b) of executive order 13224.” The US government said in its statement that declaring Hizbul Mujahideen a “foreign terrorist organisation” will have consequences like HM

property and finances in the United States being blocked and a ban on American citizens engaging in any transactions with the group. Lately, India's efforts to designate terrorists such a Jaish-e-Mohammad chief Maulana Masood Azhar operating from Pakistan enlisted at UN have been vetoed by China. Hibzul recently named Mohammad Bin Qasim as its new chief in Kashmir after the death of its operations chief Yasin Yatoo. The outfit has been particularly involved in a series of attacks on security forces deployed in Jammu and Kashmir in last oneand-a-half years.

Nawaz Sharif challenges Panamagate verdict LAHORE: Former Pakistan prime minister Nawaz Sharif has filed three separate petitions in the Supreme Court of Pakistan challenging the July 28 Panamagate verdict that disqualified him from holding any office. His lawyer Khuwaja Harris submitted three review appeals in response to petitions filed by Imran Khan, Sheikh Rashid and Sirajul Haq. In his 34-page application, Nawaz requested the Supreme Court to review its judgment as the petitions submitted by him also

includes relevant documents concerning the iqama- a United Arab Emirates work visa, that led the five-member bench of Pak's apex court to declare Nawaz “unfit to hold office”. Sharif argued that he did not hide the documents in his nomination papers for the 2013 polls, and mentioned in the application that under Article 188 of the Constitution, he cannot be disqualified without a trial. He was quoted as saying that being deprived of the right to appeal against the verdict is in vio-

lation of the Constitution. Sharif was also ordered by the SC to give evidence to an anti-corruption investigation into his family's financial affairs. A team of investigators from antigraft agency, the National Accountability Bureau will visit Sharif at his home in Lahore to take a statement regarding allegations that one of his family's steel mills was used as a front for money-laundering. The SC had ordered the NAB to open several criminal cases against Sharif after ruling him unfit to hold office.

“The NAB investigation is a lead forward for Pakistan. But we have deep apprehensions, as in the past (the organisation) has been completely subservient to Sharif and his government,” a spokesman for Imran Khan said. The entire criminal trial surrounding Sharif must be completed within six months, and if found guilty, he would be imprisoned for the second time in his political career. He could also lose the four Park Lane flats that he allegedly bought with ill-gotten gains.

SA’s Guptas to sell media stakes in bid to 'clear name' JOHANNESBURG: Oakbay Investments, the main company owned by South Africa's infamous Gupta brothers, said it would sell its media assets. It said the sale of its stakes in newspaper New Age, and ANN7 television news channel would give its owners time to focus on clearing their name “in the face of unfounded media allegations”. Oakbay released a statement saying, “Under a new majority shareholder, Oakbay believes that both businesses and their employees will have the bright and prosperous future they deserve. The sale will also allow the

Gupta brothers

shareholder the time to focus on clearing its name in the face of unfounded media allegations.” The deal, which is expected to conclude over the next few weeks, would be funded by loans provided by Oakbay.

Senior members from the ruling African National Congress have accused the Guptas of using Zuma's links to wield influence and win businesses. The people involved, however, deny any wrongdoing. While the

company did not go into detail on the allegations of influence-peddling that have swamped the government, media reports accuse the Guptas of using their media arms to spread a divisive PR campaign backing Zuma. Oakbay said it would sell its stake in ANN7 for 300 million rand and its holdings in the New Age for 150 million rand, to privately held Lodidox, a company controlled by former government spokesman Mzwanele Manyi. Four of the country's largest banks have severed links with Guptas' Oakbay, citing severe risks to their reputation amidst the scandal.

India LaRoda being crowned Miss India America LOS ANGELES: Winners of the all new Miss India America and The Elite Awards 2017 were announced during a starstudded red carpet gala held at the LAX Renaissance Hotel in Los Angeles. Show creator and producer Jinnder Chohaan said, “I've been dedicated for decades promoting South Asians internationally and enhancing the South Asian community image.” She created The Elite Awards to honour people in the entertainment industry that serve as an

India LaRoda

inspiration to others. The Elite Awards were presented by Miss India America Priya Patel, Miss India Globe Heart Hayes, and Miss India Galaxy Gurleen Kaur. Celebrity judges on the panel included director Vivek Agnihotri, actress Pallavi Joshi, Rekha Sharma, Charles Mesure, Sarah Zapp, Alice Amter, and Cindy Cowan. Of Indian AfricanAmerican descent, India LaRoda was crowned Miss India America. “I'm honoured to be crowned Miss

India America 2017! It's a blessing to be part of history as the first African American and (South Asian) to win this title in 25 years,” India said. Mr India America was won by Karan Malik from Virginia. Other winners included Jaskiran Waraich who won Miss India Globe, Satrugna Chowdry Mr. India Globe, Veena Gurbani Miss India Global, Ricky Prasad Mr. India Galaxy, Anisha Gupta Miss India Galaxy, Aditi Parikh Miss India North America, and Navjot Kaur Miss India California 2017.

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Pak police arrest Christian youth on blasphemy charges

LAHORE: Pakistani police say a Christian youth was arrested on blasphemy charges after he allegedly desecrated the Quran, Islam's holy book, in eastern Punjab province. Police chief Pervez Iqbal says the teen, about 18 years of age, was seized by a mob on Aug. 12 near the town of Wazirabad. The mob wanted to "punish" him for blasphemy. Iqbal said that the police acted swiftly and probably saved the youth from being lynched. He says the man is now awaiting trial. Earlier this year, a student was lynched in northwestern Pakistan for blasphemy. The charge was later proven baseless.

Nearly 500 dead pulled from Sierra Leone mudslide

FREETOWN: Rescue workers have unearthed 499 dead bodies since last week's devastating landslide near the Sierra Leone capital Freetown, the city's chief coroner said. One of Africa's worst floodingrelated disasters in years occurred when the side of Mount Sugar Loaf collapsed last week after heavy rain, burying parts of Regent town and overwhelming relief efforts in one of the world's poorest countries. Authorities this week buried 461 bodies in quicklydug graves in the nearby Waterloo cemetery, near the site of a mass burial for victims of the Ebola crisis that killed 4,000 people in the former British colony between 2014 and 2016. Thirty-eight more bodies were found later, said chief coroner Seneh Dumbuya, bringing the official death toll to 499.

Carrot returns ring lost 13 years ago in Canada

TORONTO: A Canadian woman who lost her engagement ring 13 years ago while weeding her garden on the family farm is wearing it again after her daughter-in-law pulled it from the ground on a misshapen carrot. Mary Grams, 84, said she can't believe the lucky carrot grew through and around the diamond ring she had long given up hope of finding. Grams said she never told her husband that she lost the ring, but told her son. Her husband died five years ago. “I feel relieved and happy inside,” Grams said.

Sleeping toddler left in car, dies in Austria heat

VIENNA: Austrian police say a toddler has been found dead after being left in a car for several hours during high temperatures. The 19-month boy's mother and her boyfriend said they left the child in the vehicle in Bludenz as they did not want to wake him.

China to relaunch one of the world's fastest bullet trains

BEIJING: China is relaunching the world's fastest bullet trains in September 2017, running at 350 km (217 miles) per hour. China first ran trains at 350 km per hour in August 2008, but cut speeds back to 250-300 km per hour in 2011 following the collision of two trains near the city of Wenzhou that killed 40 people and injured 191. China has laid more than 20,000 km (12,400 miles) of high-speed rail, with a target of adding another 10,000 km (6,214 miles) by 2020.

10 US sailors missing after destroyer collision

SINGAPORE: Guided-missile destroyer USS John S McCain collided with a merchant vessel near here leaving 10 Navy sailors missing and five injured, a statement said. The destroyer collided with the 30,000-ton Liberian oil tanker Alnic MC in the Strait of Malacca while it was making a routine port visit to Singapore, the US Navy statement said. The ship sustained damage to its rear-left side. It was, however, not disabled and was motoring to port under its own power, hours after the crash, the New York Post quoted an official as saying. Search and rescue efforts were on with helicopters and aircraft from the amphibious assault ship USS America.

US woman dies while `laughing too hard'

PENNSYLVANIA: A US school teacher died after she accidentally fell off a rooftop balcony while laughing during a vacation in Mexico. Sharon Regoli Ciferno, 50, of Pennsylvania, US, was with her daughter at a friend's house in Mexico when she sat on a deck ledge. “She started laughing very hard and when she put her head back she lost her balance and fell back,” her brother David Regoli said.


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Child born to Indian parents granted British Citizenship for the first time, under the ‘5 Year Stateless’ law A child, born in the UK to Indian parents, has been granted British Citizenship under the ‘5 Year Stateless’ law on the basis that the child’s birth was never registered with the Indian embassy in the UK. The child was recognised as ‘Stateless’ and registered as a British Citizen under Paragraph 3 of Schedule 2 to the British Nationality Act 1981 as the child was over 5 years old. This is the first time such an application has been successful since the recent UK High Court decision of ‘MK (claimant) vs The Secretary of State for the Home Department (defendant)’ which considered the case of another similar applicant, who was refused by the UK Home Office. The successful appli-

July 2016. This application along with several others submitted by Mr Makkar have been on hold for several m o n t h s pending the outcome of the court case of ‘MK’. M r Makkar who has been Solicitor Mr Makkar with applicant's father, Mr Gajjar acting for such applicant whose parents are of cants for over 18 months Gujarati origin was repretold the Asian Voice exclusented by specialist sively, “I am extremely Immigration Solicitor happy for this and our Hasil Makkar of Maalik & other successful clients Co Solicitors & Advocates who have been patiently based in Southall. The waiting for many months application was submitted for the final decision. by Mr Makkar as far back as

Hopefully we will now start receiving positive decisions on our other pending applications.” Applicant’s father Mr Gajjar said: “My wife and I have been waiting for a result to our son’s application for over a year even though we submitted the required embassy letter. We are just happy that our child is now a British Citizen and we are thankful to our solicitor Mr Makkar for his help throughout the application process including helping us in obtaining the required embassy letter.” This positive decision would come as a sign of relief for various other families who have applied for their children under the ‘Stateless’ rules and have been waiting for a decision.

tionship with other beings, when we undervalue their right to life and existence. “These are wisdom principles acquired over many generations and the argument that 0.05% is acceptable is seen to be grossly devoid of the perception of the nature of moral principles and surprising in its lack of relevance to the core issues. If a human finger were to fall into the production line of 100,000 bars of chocolate at which quantity level would it become “cost effective” to permit it? 0.05%? This shallow logic is deeply flawed. “The decision of the Bank establishes that there is a cost based rationale upon which these decisions can be made - the previous example establishes the falsehood of this line of thinking. If it were simply down to molecules and percentages, we could justify the repulsive suggestion that human cadavers also contain the same constituents and on precisely the same basis are eligible for industrial utility. It is not a monetary decision which prevents us from making this choice, it is something far deeper and many feel the same level of repulsion when applied to other sentient beings. It is disappointing that this dimension of understanding appears to be valueless and still absent from the Bank of England’s view of existence.” To sign the petition go

to: https://www.change.org/p/ bank-of-england-removetallow-from-bank-notes

Ethnic minorities launch petition to ban animal fat in banknotes Hindus, Jains, Sikhs, Vegans and Vegetarians have launched a widespread petition along with Dough Maw to stop the Bank of England from using animal fat (in form of tallow) in the new £5 and £10 notes. The petition has reached almost 137,500 signatures so far and needs 12,500 more signatures to reach a desired 150,000. The Bank of England in a statement wrote, “The Bank is today announcing that after careful and serious consideration and extensive public consultation there will be no change to the composition of polymer used for future banknotes. The new polymer £20 note and future print runs of £5 and £10 notes will continue to be made from polymer manufactured using trace amounts of chemicals, typically less than 0.05%, ultimately derived from animal products.” The decision by the Bank of England to take no heed of the contributions of 88% of respondents who submitted details of a value based position to the Bank has left the diaspora disappointed. The affected communities believe that the bank's decision is based upon what is offered as “value for money” and are deeply concerning, as the Bank has chosen its own perspective in determining what is deemed as “value” and has completely ignored what is perceived as 'value' by what is not limited to the materi-

alistically bounded perspective of a Central Bank.They believe that for many Hindus Sikhs and Jains, and for vegans and vegetarians as well, the spirit of all monetary transactions will be now tainted to varying degrees and the donations and monetary activities of

Hindu Temples will be be felt to be polluted on a moral and emotional level. Pt Satish K Sharma, General Secretary, National Council of Hindu Temples (UK), Chair, British Board of Hindu Scholars and Chair, City of London InterFaith From said, “This perspective they appear to have forgotten that the sole function of currency is facilitating the attainment of prosperity, happiness and tranquil existence through exchange of values, values which are not only confined to numbers on bank statements and promissory notes. “Some traditions will not use the proceeds of gambling, being attuned to the corruption such activities introduce into society, playing upon and exploiting human vulnerabilities and other traditions have learned that it is possible to corrupt human wellbeing as well as our rela-

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Passenger launches unprovoked knife attack on a busy train A 38-year-old schizophrenic man launched an unprovoked knife attack on a train passenger after yelling 'I want to kill all the Muslims', a court heard Monday. Adrian Brown was said to be suffering a 'severe psychotic episode' when he stabbed Muhammed Ali on a London Overground carriage in the south of the capital. The intervention of other passengers on the train - which was travelling between Honor Oak Park and Forest Hill might have saved the victim's life, the trial heard. Brown accepted that

he carried out the attack, but pleaded not guilty to a charge of attempted murder on the grounds of insanity at Southwark Crown Court. Mr Ali suffered injuries to his head and torso, as well as a punctured lung. Jurors at the trial of issues will consider whether Brown was insane at the time of the attack. He is also accused of carrying a knife and assault by beating of Filipe Dias, who worked at the hostel, during an earlier incident, both of which are denied on the grounds of insanity.

Young film makers in Wales and India are being asked to create short films about how they see each other’s countries, for a chance to win a trip to film the reality of the other country. Two lucky, young film directors from Wales will be chosen to visit India and two winners from India will visit Wales. During their trips they will be asked to challenge their original views of their host countries and produce films that document the change in their percep-

tions. The competition is called ‘Perceptions and Reality’ and the winning films will be screened at the Wicked Wales International Youth Film Festival in venues across North Wales during October and in Kolkata, India in November. The competition is part of the UK-India Year of Culture. The competition closing date is 15 September 2017 and it is open to young people between the ages of 16 - 30 years.

Young film makers in Wales and India to document their perceptions


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AIADMK factions finally unite, OPS is deputy CM 19 MLAs supporting TTV Dhinakaran withdraw support to Palaniswami government

CHENNAI: The rival AIADMK factions have finally merged after arriving on a powersharing arrangement. K Palaniswami will remain Chief Minister and O Panneerselvam (OPS) will be his deputy. OPS will also act as the AIADMK convenor while Palaniswami will be the coconvenor of the ruling party in Tamil Nadu. After weeks of hard bargaining by both the factions, it was announced that a cabinet reshuffle will take place. Both, Palaniswami and OPS were given a rousing reception by party members who flocked the party headquarters and lined up along the road leading to the office. The announcements were made by the two leaders, in a press conference. Before the merger announcement, Tamil Nadu chief secretary had met Governor Vidyasagar Rao to

O Panneerselvam

discuss the possible cabinet expansion. Party leader KP Mumusamy has been appointed the deputy co-convenor, and an 11-member coordination committee will run the party. Palaniswami said the first priority of the party would be to retrieve the two leaves symbol which remains frozen by the Election Commission. OPS said a decision on Sasikala's expulsion from the party would be taken after the party general body meeting. Deputy Convenor R Vaithilingam said Sasikala

2 Kerala families claim Blue Whale deaths THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: A team of police officials visited the house of a teen near Thiruvananthapuram, after his family alleged that the boy killed himself because of the trending online game Blue Whale. The 16- year- old Manoj C Manu's mother said he hung himself at their home. He had mentioned playing the game in November, after which he began hurting himself, including cutting himself with a piece of broken glass and carving initials. She suggested that in retrospect, there were signs that he was taking up the life-risking challenges, the game dares its users to perform. “He said in the last stage of the game, one should either commit suicide or murder someone. I got scared after hearing it and asked my son not to play the game,” she said. She recalled him jumping into a river even though he did not know how to swim, and had to be rescued. Manu referred to death for the first time in April, asking her,

“What if I die? Will you be upset?” In fact, just two weeks before he died, he watched a rash of horror movies. Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan wrote a letter to the Centre demanding a ban on the viral online game that originated in Russia. Blue Whale gives its players a list of formidable tasks to be completed in 50 days. The final task is to commit suicide. Senior police officer Manoj Abraham said, “There is no confirmatory evidence that the boy played this game at all or the death is related to the Blue Whale App. But the boy's mother has made these allegations and we are looking into it.” Just last month, another Kerala family also blamed the Blue Whale for the death of their 22 year old son. They claimed he was addicted to the game. Identified as Sawant, the victim slashed his arms with a blade, carved initials in his chest, and stayed up through the night playing computer games.

SC asks NIA to probe Kerala 'love jihad' case NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court has asked the National Investigation Agency to probe Kerala's 'love jihad' case related to a Hindu woman converting to Islam and marrying a Muslim man. The court also ordered that the NIA probe will be supervised by former SC judge R V Raveendran. The NIA told the bench that Akhila Ashokan's conversion to Islam, for marriage to a Muslim man was not an isolated incident. NIA counsel ASG Maninder Singh said that in other cases same players were involved in converting young Hindu girls who had differences with their parents. Kerala Government had asked

the apex court if they want an NIA probe. Following inputs from the NIA And Kerala police, the SC decided it would interview Akhila to ascertain her views. While the court initially wanted to nominate former SC judge KS Radhakrishnan as the supervisor of the NIA probe, Shafin Jahan, Akhila's husband, objected to the move. Arguing on his behalf, senior advocates Kapil Sibal and Indira Jaising said it was an inter-faith controversy and that the SC should be careful in choosing the retired judge. Shafin had moved the apex court after the Kerala high court annulled the marriage.

K Palaniswami

would officially be removed from the party and a general council would be convened to remove her. OPS faction of the AIADMK had made several demands, and one of the key ones was the “formal expulsion” of Sasikala and her family members, including nephew TTV Dhinakaran from the party. Palaniswami has also agreed to set up an inquiry commission to investigate the death of former chief minister Jayalalithaa and conversion of of her house into a memorial.

19 MLAs withdraw support In new development, 19 MLAs owing allegiance to TTV Dhinakaran on Tuesday submitted individual letters to governor C Vidyasagar Rao, stating that they are withdrawing support to the EPS government. The MLAs in their letter said that in March 2017, 122 MLAs of the party had submitted a memorandum to the governor conveying their support to Palaniswami for forming the government. But slowly, they "got disillusioned with the functioning of the government headed by Palaniswami.” The MLAs said in their letter said that the Palaniswami government has forfeited the confidence of the people and in the interest of Tamil Nadu and its people, the MLAs expressed their lack of confidence of Palaniswami and said they were withdrawing their earlier support given to him.

Punjab sacks errant SP Salwinder Singh CHANDIGARH: Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh has issued an order for the “premature retirement” of Punjab Police SP Salwinder Singh, citing his “controversial conduct”, “indiscipline” and for “bringing bad name to Punjab police.” Salwinder made the headlines last year when he claimed that terrorists from the Jaish-eMohammed had captured his SUV to carry out the attack on the Pathankot airbase on January 2, 2016. Amarinder signed the order that read, “Retire him prematurely.” Sources said the order did not make it clear if the state's home department would give the officer a notice of three months or salary of three months in case he was to be relieved with immediate effect, which is mandatory as per the rules. Punjab DGP Suresh Arora had recommended premature retirement for

Salwinder, citing a list of incidents of misconduct, indiscipline, and criminal cases against him. Last year, Salwinder had claimed that his SUV was waylaid by the terrorists when he was travelling along with his cook and a friend. He claimed that he and his cook were thrown out of the car by the terrorists who reached near the airbase with his friend as a hostage. Named an accused in a sexual harassment case in October 2016, after some policewomen filed complaints against him, a departmental inquiry was ordered against Salwinder before a case was registered. He was declared a proclaimed offender before he surrendered in April, and has been named an accused in two criminal cases of sexual abuse and sexual harassment. Currently under suspension, he is lodged in Amritsar Central Jail.

Punjab to provide jobs to 50,000 youth CHANDIGARH: Punjab chief minister Captain Amarinder Singh during his Independence -Day speech said that the government would provide jobs to 50,000 youth in the first phase of the 'Ghar Ghar Mein Naukri' scheme. He also announced various schemes and incentives for the holistic development of border areas in Gurdaspur and Pathankot districts. The Congress government in Punjab will organise 'Rozgar Melas' across the state to implement Singh's poll promise to provide employment to the youth. The Chief Minister announced construction of a new Sainik School in Dalla Gorian village in Gurdaspur

district. He also announced £250,000 to upgrade the infrastructure of police stations in Gurdaspur, Batala, and Pathankot. Amarinder also fulfilled a long-pending demand, announcing a state-of-theart bus stand to be constructed in Gurdaspur at the cost of £2 million. He also added that £8.4 million had been set aside to provide toilets and water connections to all rural households in the district. Later, the Chief Minister also inaugurated the newly built Gurdaspur District Administrative Complex, constructed at a cost of £5 million. Spread over an area of 6 acres, the complex houses the offices of the DC and other administrative officials.

Bellandur lake in Bengaluru froths again

BENGALURU: Froth returned to haunt residents living around the Bellandur Lake, Bangalore. The froth appears to be worse than it was before, and acts as a complete setback to the major cleaning efforts led by the Bangalore Development Authority (BDA). They had deployed high-power pumps and installed coir foam mattresses and other filtering techniques to stop the frothing. However, the froth returned as the rains brought to light the lake's terrible condition. Witnesses said the wave of froth was high enough to engulf a two-storied building.

KCR's I-Day gift: 84,876 new jobs

HYDERABAD: Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao during his Independence Day speech said that the government would create 84,876 new jobs in addition to the 27,880 appointments already made. He said that during the Telangana statehood movement, we promised to provide 100,000 jobs for the unemployed in the state. He said with the addition of 84,876 jobs, the total number of jobs being given to the unemployed after formation of the state stood at 1,12,536 – more that what was promised by TRS during the movement for separate state.

Rahul opens Karnataka's Indira canteen

BENGALURU: Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi last week opened Karnataka government's Indira Canteen programme. Rahul commended the Siddaramaiah government for reaching out to the poor and downtrodden with the affordable food- named after his grandmother and India's first and only woman Prime Minister. Rahul said that the chief minister wanted to open Indira canteens in every city in Karnataka where breakfast would be served at Rs 5 and lunch and dinner at Rs 10.

20 injured in melee as Jat agitation leader slapped CHANDIGARH: Yashpal Malik, the leader who was leading the agitation for reservation in government jobs and educational institutions for Jats, was slapped in a village near Fatehabad district in Haryana. The attacker was soon overpowered by supporters of Malik amidst a clash between his supporters and the rival group. As many as 20 people were injured in the chaos. Malik claimed that an “attempt on his life” was made, blaming a senior Jat leader in the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party in Haryana, for the incident. A police officer said, “We are keeping a close watch. Investigation is on to know those behind the attack.”

Minor girl raped on her way back home on I-Day

CHANDIGARH: A minor girl was allegedly sexually assaulted by a man in a park, when she was returning home after attending the Independence Day function at her school. The incident occurred at the children's traffic park. “The accused, aged around 40 years, forcibly took the 12 year old to the park, sexually assaulted her and fled,” said police official who is investigating the case. The victim was taken to a government hospital for a medical examination, the officer said.

Newborns to get Aadhaar cards at Punjab hospitals

CHANDIGARH: Punjab Health Minister Brahm Mohindra said that Aadhaar cards would be issued to newly born children in government hospitals. Launched under the service delivery programme, the facility is likely to benefit hundreds of children born in hospitals in Punjab every month. “Henceforth, Aadhaar card facilities would be extended to newborns at the premises of hospitals itself. The health department would extend this service with the coordination of the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI),” Mohindra said.


HERITAGE HISTORY

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Asian Voice | 26th August 2017

Dr. Hari Desai

When Indira was about to divorce Feroze

Though Nehru was stunned, he gave consent for her marriage to Feroze, who not only “belonged to a very different background and class but had no money”

The only Child of Nehru looked for happiness even in peasant’s hut The son-in-law of PM exposed scam leading to resignation of TTK

O

n 27 April 1942, Indira Gandhi reached Dehradun to meet her father, Jawaharlal Nehru, in jail. She had earlier travelled to Sevagram to seek Mahatma Gandhi’s consent for her intention to marry Feroze Gandhi, as per her promise to her “Papu”. During those hours with her father in the Dehradun jail, she firmly told about it. Her biographer and a closed friend, Pupul Jayakar, quotes : “Indira did not yield: she told her father that she wanted anonymity and a life free of turmoil. She wanted to marry, have children, care for her children and her husband in a home filled with books, music and friends.” Though Nehru was stunned, he gave consent for her marriage to Feroze, who not only “belonged to a very different background and class but had no money”. The love blossomed in England during their student days, Feroze, being at London School of Economics (LSE) and Indira at Oxford, both returned to India together in April 1941 without earning degrees. Her German teacher at Shantiniketan, Frank Oberdorf, was madly in love with her but Indira wrote to him on 13 October 1936 that “she did not love him.” The Mahatma dissuade both Indira and Feroze to marry but when found that she was adamant, he

A Vedic marriage ceremony of Indira and Feroze at Anand Bhawan in presence of father Nehru and aunt Vijayalakshmi

family. Even Rajeshwari Kaul, Kamala’s mother, spent many hours discussing her plans to marry Feroze. She told her : “You have been brought up in luxury, in large house with servants. Feroze has no money and we do not know how his family will view the marriage. Will it be possible for you to adjust to this entirely new situation?” Stating that organized religion counted very little in both their lives, Indira replied: “Like my mother I am an austere woman, very frugal and although I lived in Anand Bhawan, I will be equally happy in a peasant’s hut.” Everybody gave up arguing with Indira and they all were set for the marriage with Vedic tradition on Ramnavami day, on 16 March 1942. The marriage was attended by her father and aunts apart from relatives of Feroze including his mother. Both went to Kashmir for two month

gave in. Of course, Indira was furious with the Mahatma suggesting newly married couples to be celibate. She bluntly told Gandhiji : “You ask the couple not to get married- that makes sense to me. But when they are just married, to ask them to live a life of celibacy, makes no sense. It can result only bitterness and unhappiness.” “If you love him you can live with him, but why marriage?” was the question shot at Indu by her aunt, Vijayalakshmi Pandit in presence of her another aunt, Krishna at Anand Bhawan, Allahabad. Krishna who initially opposed her plans to marry a Parsi gave up arguments in her support. Both sisters of Jawahar could not digest Feroze who took care of Indira’s ailing mother, Kamala, before her death was to become the son-in-law of a wealthy Kashmiri Pandit

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Ram Nath Goenka. Feroze was elected to the Lok Sabha from Rae Bareilly in 1952. Even when he came to stay at Teen Murti, “in the evenings would be the Diwan-e-Khas(special audience) where Feroze met his special friends, among them a number of women. Feroze sought solace away from his wife. They were now rarely seen together,” records Pupul. With her children in boarding-school and she busy attending her Prime Minister father, distance was widening. In 1954, Feroze targeted his fatherin-law’s government in his maiden speech regarding the Mundhra Deal leading to the resignation of the

ing all sort of stories about Indira’s affairs. She had told Pupul : “Before you hear from gossip circles in Delhi, let me tell you that I am divorcing Feroze.” Indira wrote to her friend, Dorothy Norman : “A veritable sea of trouble is engulfing me. On the domestic front, Feroze has always resented my very existence, but since I have become President ( of the Congress Party), he exudes hostility that it seems to poison the air.” Unfortunately, Feroze died of second heart attack in Delhi hospital on 8 September 1960 at an early age of forty eight when she was away to Kerala. She felt “ I am alone in the

Indira with sons Rajiv and Sanjay and family

Finance Minister, T. T. Krishnamachari (TTK). Three issues created hell in the married life of Indira and Feroze: First, being the first lady her status was above that of her husband at PM House. Second, when she was appointed the Congress President and started getting attention, he was feeling humiliated. Third, when she managed to get the first Communist govt in Kerala dismissed in 1959, he called her “fascist and anti-democratic”. Of course, even in September 1958, Feroze was spread-

midst of the unending sandy water.” After spending years in jail in British India, Nehru became first Prime Minister. His daughter, Indira Gandhi, too became PM for the longest period and was shot dead by her Sikh security guards. Her son, Rajiv, also became PM and was blasted off by LTTE human bombs. What a sad story of the first family of India! Next Column: Lessons from Israel to deal with Terrorists (The writer is a Sociopolitical Historian. E-mail: haridesai@gmail.com)

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long honeymoon to be followed by her imprisonment during “Quit India”. Feroze is said to have born on 12 September 1912 at the Tehmulji Nariman Parsi Hospital at Fort, Mumbai, was the last and fifth child of a marine engineer, Jahangir Fardoon Gandhi(Gandhy) from Bharuch and his wife, Rattimai Gandhi, nee Commissariat, from Surat. He was brought up by his unmarried aunt, Dr. Shirin Commissariat, who was head of Lady Dufferin Hospital at Allahabad. In a well researched biography published in 2016, “Feroze the forgotten Gandhi”, the Swedish journalist, Bertil Falk, hints at Feroze being the “love child” of Dr. Shirin and Raj Bahadur Kamla Prasad Kakkar stating : “Only DNA would lay this controversy to rest once and for all.” The Swedish writer has not come across any documentation backing the rumour about his Muslim origin or Mahatma Gandhi helping him change the surname or supporting an alleged secret Muslim marriage ceremony. Feroze always was known for his roving eye. His friend from London days, Bhupesh Gupta, a Marxist leader, had asked Feroze in presence of Indira before their marriage : “Will you be faithful?” He proved to be right. Most of his friends conceded Feroze to be a womanizer. When he was given the charge of the National Herald and he stayed at Lucknow, he got involved with a woman from one of the prominent Muslim landed families. Feroze even talked about getting married to the lady. Nehru managed to get him appointed in Indian Express at Delhi, requesting the proprietor,

 

 

   



  



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Asian Voice | 26th August 2017

Triple Talaq unconstitutional, says Supreme Court In a historic decision, the Supreme Court struck down the triple talaq practice as unconstitutional. In a 3:2 majority, while Chief Justice Khehar and Justice S Abdul Nazeer held the instant divorce as a fundamental right to religion of the Muslims, stating it can't be unconstitutional, Justices Kurian Joseph, RF Nariman, and UU Lalit said it violated the fundamental rights of Muslim women as they are subjected to arbitrary and irrevocable divorce through it. While holding triple talaq valid, CJI Khehar and Justice Nazeer ordered a stay on the practice for six months to enable legislature bring a law banning the practice. They maintained that if a legislation banning triple talaq completely is placed before the Parliament within six months, the stay on the practice would continue till it enacted or rejected the law. However, the other three Justices, through different reasons, concluded it to be unconstitutional. Triple talaq was not sanctioned by the Holy Quran and hence could not form part of the fundamental right to religion, Justice Joseph said. The bench, made up of judges

A family of pilots A family from Delhi has been devoted to the same occupation for over 100 years now. Captain Jai Dev Bhasin, pioneer of the family, went on to become one of the 7 commanders in India in 1954. Now, his son, Captain Rohit Bhasin, daughter-in-law Niveditha Jain, have been carrying on the tradition of flying in the family. What is more interesting, is that their childrenRohan and Niharika- are also in the same occupation. Niveditha went on to become the youngest woman captain in the world to be the commander of Boeing 737, at the age of 26. She also became the commander of Airbus 300 and co-piloted the world's first ever all women crew. Daughter Niharika recently took command on Airbus A320. With a set of parents as devoted as theirs, the children were bound to pursue flying. Both, Rohan and his father have had the chance to fly in Boeing 787 Dreamliner over 10 times now. Rohan successfully commands the Boeing 777. While they only get to spend time with each other about 5-6 days a month.

Muslim women celebrate the SC verdict on triple talaq

from different religious communitiesSikh, Christian, Parsi, Hindu, and Muslim, had heard seven different pleas, including five separate petitions filed by Muslim women who challenged the prevalent practice in the community. They had claimed that triple talaq was unconstitutional. Petitions were filed challenging the practices were husbands pronounce 'Talaq' three times in one go, over phone or even text messages in several occasions. During the hearing, the SC had observed that the practice of 'triple talaq' was the “worst” and “not a desirable” form of dissolution of marriage among Muslims. The government had earlier told the bench that it will compose a law to regulate marriage and divorce among Muslims if

'triple talaq' is held invalid and unconstitutional by the apex court. The Centre had termed all three forms of divorce among the Muslim community- talaq-e-biddat, talaq hasan, and talaq ahsan, as “unilateral” and “extra-judicial”. It said all personal laws must be in conformity with the Constitution and, rights of marriage, divorce, property and succession was to be treated in the same class. It had said triple talaq is neither integral nor a “majority versus minority” issue, but rather an “intra-community tussle” between Muslim men and deprived women. Meanwhile, the All India Muslim Personal Law Board said it would work out its future course of action with regard to the verdict. Member of the Board's working commit-

tee Zafaryab Jilani said, “The working committee meeting in Bhopal on September 10 will take a decision on the future course of action on the Supreme Court verdict after studying it in detail.” Other issues will also be taken up in the meeting with the verdict being a priority. The judgment was welcomed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi who called it “historic”. Modi said the decision grants equality to Muslim women, and will serve as a powerful measure for women empowerment. Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan urged Modi Sarkar to enact a law on the topic soon. He tweeted, “Traditions like triple talaq are like mental and social harassment of our sisters and daughters and are an impediment in the progress of modern Indian society.” Several leaders came forward to cheer the verdict, including Union Minister Maneka Gandhi, who called it a “step towards gender justice and equality”. BJP spokesperson Aman Sinha said the judgement has vindicated the stand of the Narendra Modi government, adding that it will help Muslim women live dignified lives.

23 killed as train derails in UP As many as 23 people died and over 70 injured when 14 coaches of the PuriHaridwar Utkal Express derailed in Khatauli, 40 km from Muzaffarnagar. With an investigation on all possibilities causing the derailment underway, sources from the railways said the accident occurred because of maintenance failure. An official said railways staff was engaged in “unofficial” maintenance of the track at the time of the accident, meaning, they failed to put any speed restriction such as a red flag or signal warning on the route. The official said the train was running at 106 kmph, while the speed limit when a track is maintained must be around 1015 kmph and the driver must be warned about the work through signalling or putting warnings. Any signs of sabotage have been ruled out. Another official said the train derailed after the engine and five coaches passed the spot safely which was not possible at the speed of 106 kmph if track had been tempered with.

Impact of the accident was so high that one of the bogeys climbed onto another, a second one crashed into a house, and a third ran into a college. Nine companies of Uttar Pradesh Provincial Armed Constabulary, teams of National Disaster Response Force, and AntiTerrorism Squad were immediately rushed to the spot. About 95 ambulances were on duty, ferrying the injured to hospitals. Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu provided consolation, saying he is personally monitoring the situation, and has ordered an inquiry into it. He wrote on Twitter, “Have ordered inquiry into the unfortunate accident to ascertain the cause. Strict action will be

taken against any lapse.” Prabhu announced ex gratia of Rs 350,000 for the kin of dead, Rs 50,000 for those seriously injured, and Rs 25,000 for those with minor injuries. Prime Minister Narendra Modi expressed “extreme pain” over the derailment and said the Railway Ministry and the state government were doing everything possible to provide all assistance required. “Extremely pained by the derailment of the Utkal Express in Muzaffarnagar. My thoughts are with the families of the deceased. I wish those injured a speedy recovery. The situation is being monitored very closely by the Railway Ministry,” Modi said.

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Zimbabwe's first lady charged with assault Grace Mugabe, First Lady of Zimbabwe, has handed herself in to South African police. She will be charged with assault after reports that she attacked a young woman in Johannesburg. Police Minister Fikile Mbalula told reporters that 52 year old Grace had cooperated with the police. Media reports said the possible successor to her 93 year old husband, President Robert Mugabe, was in the country to have an injured foot examined. “All those implications will be taken into consideration. She will be charged. She is not under arrest because she cooperated and handed herself over to the police. But a case has been opened,” Mbalula said. It remains unclear whether she was travelling on a diplomatic passport. The 20 year old model Gabriella Engels had been visiting the Mugabe's sons Robert and Chatunga at a hotel in upmarket Sandton district, when she bumped into Grace. “When Grace entered, I had no idea who she was. She walked in with an extension cord and just started beating me with it. She flipped and just kept beating me with the plug. Over and over. I had no idea what was going on. I was surprised... I needed to crawl

Grace Mugabe

out of the room before I could run away,” Engels said. Her photo showing a large gash on her forehead was published by a South African media agency. “I am a model, with this scar over my face, my whole career is ruined,” she said. It was unclear what triggered the incident. President Mugabe spoke at a public event marking Defence Forces Day in Harare, but did not mention Grace. Grace was in the news in late July when she challenged her president husband to name his preferred successor. The issue of who will succeed Mugabe has deeply divided Zimbabwe's ruling ZANU-PF party. One faction supports Grace and the other Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa, who is recovering in a South African hospital after he fell ill and was airlifted from Zimbabwe.

India, China soldiers engage in stone-pelting Chinese Foreign Ministry has blamed India for an incident of stone-pelting near Pangong Lake in the Ladakh sector of the IndiaChina border. The statement came even as media reports suggested the People's Liberation Army was conducting “live fire drills” in the western sector to “strike awe in India”. Chinese television also featured a five-minute video of a military drill involving 10 PLA units, including its aviation and armoured troops. While there is no official confirmation of the fire drill, the Ladakh incident managed to raise tempers. There were also reports of one soldier kicking another, in addition to stone pelting. Indian officials had earlier said Chinese troops had crossed the border and pelted stones at jawans. Chinese Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying countered the statement saying, “According to our information, on August 15, the Chinese border troops conducted normal patrol on

the Chinese side of the LAC (Line of actual control) around Pangong area. During this process, the Indian side took some violent actions and injured the Chinese border personnel. This has violated the consensus between the Indian and Chinese side in relation to the border issues.” He said Chinese troops sought to avoid confrontations and said India should “make tangible efforts to maintain peace and stability of the border areas between the two countries.” Indian and Chinese soldiers yelled and hurled stones at each other high in the Himalayas in Indiacontrolled Kashmir, in a brief escalation of tensions between the two nations that remains already engaged in a lengthy border stand-off elsewhere. A top Indian police officer said Chinese soldiers hurled stones while attempting to enter Ladakh region near Pangong Lake, but were confronted by Indian soldiers. Neither side used guns.


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New eye test could spot Alzheimer's disease decades before symptoms emerge An eye test could spot Alzheimer's disease two decades before symptoms emerge, a new study claims. Researchers in Los Angeles trialed the test on 16 patients. Comparing their results to brain scans, the eye test was just as successful at spotting those with twice the amount of plaque build-up in their brains. Experts say the finding is one of the biggest breakthroughs in Alzheimer's research to date, offering the first sign of a costeffective and non-invasive test. 'The findings suggest that the retina may serve as a reliable source for Alzheimer's disease diagnosis,' said the study's senior lead author, Dr Maya Koronyo-Hamaoui, a neurosurgeon at CedarsSinai. Until about a decade ago, the only way to officially diagnose someone with Alzheimer's disease was to analyze their brain posthumously. In recent years, physicians have been able to use positron emission tomography (PET) scans of the brains of living people, to

identify markers of the disease. However, the technology is expensive, and the test is invasive, since the patient needs to be injected with radioactive tracers. Dr KoronyoHamaoui's team set out to identify a more cost-effective and less invasive technique. For the study, the researchers conducted a clinical trial on 16 AD patients who drank a solution that includes curcumin, a natural component of the spice turmeric. The curcumin causes amyloid plaque in the retina to "light up" and be detected by the scan. The patients were then compared to a group of younger, cognitively healthy individuals.

A teacher was teaching Sunday school class. The topic for the day: Easter Sunday and the resurrection of Christ. “What did Jesus do on this day?” she asked. There was no response, so she gave her students a hint: “It starts with the letter R.” One boy blurted, “Recycle!” ******************************** A mother complained to a schoolteacher, that other students were stealing her daughter’s pencils. “It’s not the money—it’s the principle,” she insisted. “My husband took those pencils from work.” ******************************** “Give me a sentence about a public servant,” the teacher instructed her second-grade student. “The fireman came down the ladder pregnant,” he answered. “Umm … Do you know what pregnant means?” “Yes,” said the boy. “It means carrying a child.” ******************************** During his first meeting with my physically challenged students, the trainer assured them that most people are handicapped in some way. "Look at me," I said. "My eyes are so bad, I need to wear glasses. Because I can barely hear, I need a hearing aid. And look at my ears—they’re much bigger than they should be." From the back, a boy added, "And your nose too." ******************************** When a nosy fourth-grade student wanted the scoop on what two teachers were discussing in private, one of them decided it was time for an impromptu lesson in manners. "Do you know what ‘minding your own business’ means?" she asked pointedly. He didn’t, but a student clear across the room shouted, "I do!"

Asian Voice | 26th August 2017

The researchers found their results were as accurate as those found via standard invasive methods. Yosef Koronyo, a research associate in the Department of Neurosurgery, said another key finding from the new study was the discovery of amyloid plaques in previously overlooked peripheral regions of the retina.

He said the plaque amount in the retina correlated with plaque amount in specific areas of the brain. 'Now we know exactly where to look to find the signs of Alzheimer's disease as early as possible,' said Koronyo. Dr Keith L. Black, chair of Cedars-Sinai's Department of Neurosurgery who co-led the study, said the findings offer hope for early detection. 'Our hope is that eventually the investigational eye scan will be used as a screening device to detect the disease early enough to intervene and change the course of the disorder with medications and lifestyle changes,' said Dr Black. The findings have been celebrated worldwide.

Should Breakfast Be Biggest Meal of the Day or Lunch?

We have all heard the saying that one should eat breakfast like a king. Breakfast helps in restoring glucose levels, an essential carbohydrate required for our brain functions. Most of us tend to miss out on this meal in a hurry to get to office or meet other schedules forgetting how critical it is to have breakfast, which provides us the energy to get through the rest of the day. Breakfast helps kick start our metabolism, so eating food in the morning sets in motion a variety of biological processes associated with digestion and storage of nutrients. However, for some, eating a heavy meal in the morning is a challenge. So, the question arises if breakfast should really be eaten like a king or should it be lunch that should be the most important meal? Our digestive power, is crucial for one's health and well-being. Every body functions dif-

ferently as we have our own nature, but if you listen or observe carefully, you will realise that the body gives out various signals to tell you its needs, such as when it is hungry or when you have had your fill. Our body has its own biological clock, and it functions in quite the same manner as any clock. If you follow a schedule, it will work efficiently. If you disrupt the cycle, it will hamper other functions.

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6 Everyday Food Habits Children Should Follow

Good health is not an overnight achievement. It is the outcome of good habits that one follows since early ages or childhood. A lot of course depends on the parents, and the diet they adhere to at home. The truth is that there is a common belief that children can eat anything and everything because they are young, active, have the ability to digest fast, and no harm can really come their way at such a young age. Not all habits can be changed when enough harm has already been done. It is therefore crucial to instil in children the importance of eating healthy as early as possible. So here are some everyday food habits that children should start following 1. No Skipping Breakfast: For children, since it is the time for their growth and development, skipping meals, especially breakfast, could hamper their health in many ways. According to a study done by King's College London, children who skip breakfast may be putting themselves at risk of malnutrition since they may not be consuming the recommended amounts of key nutrients vital for their health. 2. Fatty Snacks Shouldn't be an Everyday Affair: Children love snack time. After all the running around and games, hunger pangs make them seek munchies and other treats. Diets rich in fat deplete the levels of a key protein known as

reelin which help synapses in the brain to work properly. According to a study done by Swiss researchers, low levels of reelin hampers behavioural flexibility and memory, putting kids at a higher risk of developing Alzheimer's disease in later life, other than problems like obesity, diabetes and more. 3. The Dark Side of Sugar: With sugar being tagged as the culprit behind deadly lifestyle diseases like diabetes, affecting even younger individuals, the need to watch children's sugar intake has become more crucial than ever before. Of course, you shouldn't completely deprive them of these sweet treats, but maybe make them aware of the dark side of sugar and its negative health consequences, and perhaps reserve sweet treats for special days or weekends. 4. Eating Greens: As kids, we hated being told to eat our greens, but there is no denying the fact that greens are essential for the growth and development of children as well as the well-being of adults. 5. Loving Fruits: All fruits contain a range of nutrients that are beneficial for the body in various ways. They are the perfect sources to get one's daily dose of minerals and vitamins. Fruits should be included in children's diet to make them reap their benefits. Besides they are sweet and juicy, and wouldn't need much convincing for the kids to munch on.

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Asian Voice | 26th August 2017

Soundarya Rajinikanth may act as heroine

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Dulquer Salman

to make his Bollywood debut

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ulquer Salman is all set to make his Bollywood debut, alongside ace performer Irrfan Khan and Mithila Palkar. The yet-to-be-titled film will be bankrolled by Ronnie Screwvala, and will also mark the debut of Akarsh Khurana. Not only is Dulquer a well-known name in the Malayalam film industry, he became every female's heartthrob after Tamil hit 'OK Kanmani'. “It's a light-hearted comedy that will see Dulquer and Irrfan as friends on a road trip. The film rolls by the month-end in Kerala,” a source said.

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Palkar gained popularity on the internet, from popular web series 'Girl in the City', and 'Little Things'. The 'Bangalore Days' star is currently gearing up for the release of Bejoy N a m b i a r ' s Malayalam-Tamil bilingual, 'Solo' and Soubin S h a h i r ' s Malayalam film 'Parava'. Irrfan is currently at the Locarno Film Festival for the world premiere of 'The Song of Scorpions'.

AR Rahman to compose music for Bruce Lee’s biopic

uccess meet of Dhanush's 'VIP 2' saw the actor present, along with Kalaipulli S Thanu, Vivek, and Soundarya Rajinikanth, amongst others. During his speech, Vivek wished the best for Soundarya, urging her to explore different kinds of scripts. “Though she comes from a big family, Soundarya doesn't show or have any attitude. The way she asks for a suggestion for every scene, her style of explaining the scene would be so neat and ethical,” he said. “I wish Soundarya explores different kinds of scripts in various genres, as the audience today are very smart and want something new every time. I also heard that Soundary is listening to scripts to act as a heroine. That might also happen and it has been a long time since we saw a stylish heroine,” he added. 'VIP 2', despite being weighed down by most critics, has managed to woo the audience. Reliable trade pundits said the film grossed over £1.4 million in its opening weekend in Tamil Nadu. Its five-day weekend is expected to be around £2 million.

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scar-winning composer AR Rahman is in the works to render music for Shekhar Kapur's biopic on Bruce Lee. The Academy Award nominated filmmaker confirmed the reports. Kapur's authorised biopic on the martial arts legend and actor, 'Little Dragon' shows a contemporary dramatisation of the 1950s Hong Kong social and political forces that shaped Lee into the famous martial arts star he is today. Shekhar Kapur said he was excited about the music that Rahman will compose for the project. Also, his daughter Kaveri will also record a single with the music composer. “Kaveri and I are going to go to Chennai. She is doing a song with AR Rahman,” Kapur said. He added that she will be recording a single and not any song for a film.

Soori shares his experience working with Thala Ajith

Superstar praises 'Taramani' ‘Babumoshai Bandookbaaz’

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omedian Soori took a walk down memory lane as he shared his experience working with stars like Thala Ajith, in a recent interview. “I acted with Ajith sir in 'Ji' movie, directed by Lingusamy sir. It was a very, very small role, and I'd have very minimal dialogues to speak. There would be a particular college election scene, where I have to speak a dialogue against Ajith sir's team. I spoke that dialogue, and we shot it. After seeing the shot in the monitor, Lingusamy sir appreciated me very much,” he said. “Ajith sir hugged me and told I did it well and asked about my family, relations, etc. Then, he told me, 'you should become a great comedian when I see you the next time'.” Soori added, “I do not know if he remembers it, but I can't forget those words. When I got to play the lead comedian in his film 'Vedalam', I was overjoyed, and that happiness can't be expressed through words.”

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am's 'Taramani' received praises from critics and fans alike. Even megastar Rajinikanth who had watched the movie recently called the producer of the film JSK Sathish and congratulated him on the good news. Sathish shared his excitement saying, “It was indeed a pleasant surprise to receive a call from the living legend. He said that he would call 'Taramani' a bold film. His appreciations and praises were in detail. He was curious enough to know the commercial response and expressed his joy when I conveyed that the film is turning out to be a huge box office hit.” Sathish also added, “As an actor who is in the initial stages of acting, I felt very happy when the Superstar spoke in detail about my role and acting in 'Taramani' which had given me huge accreditation as an actor too. These gestures motivate our unit to a great level and the response to these noble gestures is more films to content in the future.”

An Indian action thriller film directed by Kushan Nandy and produced by Kiran Shyam Shroff and Ashmith Kunder. The film features Nawazuddin Siddiqui and Bengali actress Bidita Bag in the lead.

‘A Gentleman’

Gaurav (Sidharth Malhotra) wants to settle down with the woman of his dreams, Kavya (Jacqueline Fernandez). However, she prefers a man who's more adventurous and willing to take risks. However, things change for him with a case of mistaken identity rocks his once-peaceful life.


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Priyanka completes her second Hollywood flick

AsianVoiceNewsweekly

Asian Voice | 26th August 2017

Amitabh Bachchan to team up with Chiranjeevi

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riyanka Chopra has completed shooting her second Hollywood movie 'Isn't it Romantic' and will reportedly soon begin filming for the third season of her popular US TV series 'Quantico'. The actress revealed that she is overworked and has had constant sleepless nights given her busy schedule and shooting for the movie. Her co-star in the film, Adam Devine took to Instagram to make the announcement of the wrap up, sharing a photo with the diva. His caption read,

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uperstar Amitabh Bachchan is all set to join hands with actor Chiranjeevi in his upcoming multi-lingual historic drama 'Uyyalawada Narasimha Reddy' which is based on a popular freedom fighter from Kurnool. A source close to the project said, “Amitji is officially on board. He plays a pivotal role but nothing more can be said about his character at this moment.” The film will be bankrolled by Ram Charan and directed by Surender Reddy. The source confirmed that Nayanthara has been finalised as the leading lady. “Contrary to rumours, Tamil actor Vijay Sethupathi is not part of the project. He wasn't even approached in the first place. Kannada actor Sudeep is being considered but he is yet to officially sign on the dotted line,” the source said. Title logo and motion poster of the film will be released on August 22, on the occasion of Chiranjeevi's birthday. Tipped to be made on a budget of over £15 million, the film will be made in Telugu, Hindi and Kannada.

Sidharth turned rapper at the music launch of 'A Gentleman'

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Gentleman' actor Sidharth Malhotra turned rapper for the movie's music launch. The actor who has also rapped the song along with singers Sachin and Jigar, sportingly sang his part at the event as co-star Jacqueline Fernandez grooved to the beats. Directors Raj and DK spoke about the song at the launch. They said, “This song is one of its kind and it's all because of Sachin and Jigar. It's our fourth collaboration with them,” to which Sidharth added, “When I heard this song for the first time I fell in love with it because of its music and the attitude. I had practised before so that I could rap.” The actor revealed that he plays a double role in the film. “When the teaser came out, it just had a small tune of this song and I received a lot of messages regarding it. We recently shot this video and there's not much dance and half the video is from our film. I like action films and we as a team are trying to bring back action films back in trend. If it does well then we may come back with a sequel to this one,” Sid said.

Nargis Fakhri has gala time in Norway

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ctress Nargis Fakhri is currently busy enjoying her time in Norway, and her Instagram is proof of it! Making the most of her time under the Oslo sun, the 'Banjo' actress took some time out to rejuvenate herself. Sharing a photo of herself meditating with, Nargis captioned it, “Life is a mystery- mystery of beauty, bliss and divinity. Meditation is the art of unfolding that mystery. #meditation #nature #beautiful #love #life #travel #wanderlust” Before Norway, the 37 year old was having the time of her life in Greece. In a series of photos, the actress explains the importance of travelling and how it made her learn things that she could have never learnt in regular school education. On the work front, she was last seen in Riteish Deshmukh-starrer 'Banjo'. She will be next seen in Hollywood movie '5 Weddings' with Rajkummar Rao. Nargis made her way into the hearts of millions of Indians when she made her debut opposite Ranbir Kapoor in Imtiaz Ali's 'Rockstar'. When not busy shooting, she can be seen hitting the beaches across different countries. The actress has always stood out for her hotness quotient and impeccable sense of fashion.

“That's a wrap on the homegirl @priyankachopra! We're alike in so many ways but most of all we have the exact same lips. @isntitromanticmovie.” PeeCee's popularity in the west is visible in the number of talk-shows she has been invited to attend. Officially a global sensation now, she took some time off her busy schedule recently, to catch up with her little nieces. The 'Baywatch' actress posted another picture of herself with the children with a caption that read, “No caption needed, @ s k y . k r i s h n a @shireen_shiva_rose @chickyp85 @divya_jyoti @sunshinemathur #sister sister”

Shah Rukh meets Dilip Kumar at his home

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hah Rukh Khan visited ailing legend Dilip Kumar at his Bandra (Mumbai) residence last week. Veteran actress and Kumar's wife Saira Banu informed that Shah Rukh had called earlier when Dilip saab was hospitalised, and apologised for not being present. “On Tuesday, he called to say that he wanted to see saab and since he's like family, I told him he was welcome to come by anytime. He came with his daughter Suhana who I had seen as a child and who has grown into a tall and beautiful young girl.” Refraining from sharing details about the meeting, she only admitted that they did talk about films, 'Devdas' in particular. “Shah Rukh pointed out that in one particular scene in his

'Devdas', he looked very much like Dilip saab. We haven't seen his last three-four films because we have been going through some tough times these last few years. When I told him this, Shah Rukh told me to tell him

when we wanted to see the films and he would organise a screening for us at his private theatre in his bungalow, Mannat,” Saira Banu said. She added, “ I’ve never been there before but years ago, he had taken saab’s autograph on a life-size poster of Madhubala as Anarkali holding her Salim tightly after Badshah Akbar catches them romancing in the garden. I’m told that he has had that mounted in his screening theatre.” She also smiled over how the actor sat close to Kumar, hugged him gently, and kissed him on the forehead. I even saw him chanting a dua under his breath and blowing it on saab’s face. He was there for saab’s 89th birthday too and sat close to us, holding his hand and mine,” she said.


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Asian Voice | 26th August 2017

Queen Victoria gave her 24-year-old Indian servant 'Munshi' tips on different sex positions, diary reveals He is known for being one of Queen Victoria's most trusted confidants, but a diary kept by her Indian servant reveals an intimate bond that even stretched to sex tips. Abdul Karim had a controversial relationship with the queen, so much so that members of the Royal Family tried to delete his role from history following her death. But a new film, Victoria and Abdul, based on the book by Shrabani Basu, shines a light on the relationship and reveals Victoria shared advice on sexual positions with Mr Karim, who was just 24 when the pair first met. And Dame Judi Dench, who plays Victoria in the upcoming movie, even called the queen - who had nine children - a 'goer', according to The Times. Ms Basu was granted rare access to the Royal Archives while writing her book and said Mr Karim's diary, that revealed intimate details between the pair, survived the destruction of his belongings

India's Partition: The Forgotten Story In this documentary, British film-maker Gurinder Chadha, director of Bend It Like Beckham and Viceroy's House, travels from Southall to Delhi to find out about the Partition of India - one of the most seismic events of the 20th century. Partition saw India divided into two new nations - independent India and Pakistan. The split led to violence, disruption and death. To find out why and how it happened, Gurinder crosses India, meeting people whose

Scene from ‘The Forgotten Story’

lives were torn apart by Partition and talking to historians who explain the motivations behind the split. Along the way, she discovers that Partition was caused by politicians who were more interested in their

own power than in Indian unity, and finds out that the British also played a major role in the Partition. It was shown on BBC2 on Tuesday at 9pm but will be available to view on BBC iPlayer.

Indian prisoners rehabilitated through performance of Shakespeare plays

A sketch of Queen Victoria on the arm of her Indian servant Abdul Karim. Diaries have revealed the queen shared a close bond with Mr Karim

upon Victoria's death in 1901. And she used to the queen's diaries - written in the Urdu taught to her by Mr Karim - to glean fresh details of the relationship. The letters, written over a 13-year period, are littered with kisses and signed variously as 'Your

Coming Events

l Gujarat Hindu Society organises Radhashtami Pooja on August 29, Tuesday, at 7.30 pm onwards at GHS, South Meadow Lane, Preston, PR1 8JN.

l Nehru Centre to host an art exhibition by Dipali Saha, from August 28 to September 1, 10.00 am to 6.00 pm. Attend the Tapi at the Thames music show on August 29, Tuesday, 6.30 pm onwards, at Nehru Centre, 8, South Audley Street, London, W1K 1HF. l The Bhavan to organise fundraising event Healing Ragas, starting September 2, 6.00 pm to 9.00 pm, at 4a Castletown Road, West Kensington, London.

Sneh Joshi

ARIES Mar 21 - Apr 20 This week seems to be jam-packed with activity. The powerful Venus and Mars factor in your solar 5th house not only encourages amorous attachment but will bring luck and recognition to those involved in artistic endeavours and entertainments - this is a great time of opportunity.

TAURUS Apr 21 - May 21 It seems that the winds of change begin to gather momentum and put a strong focus on domestic and family matters. The outlook remains optimistic as developments point the way forward and bring you a sense of real achievement. However, this is not likely to be an easy-going week because demands on time and energy are going to be heavy. GEMINI May 22 - June 22 Your communication sector is all-abuzz with planetary energies firing you up preventing you from sleeping properly. Give yourself plenty of physical outlets to drain off some of the excess mental stimulation. The Sun in 4th house will make you feel like you can finally settle into a more grounded and steady routine instead of letting your schedule run you.

CANCER Jun 22 - Jul 22

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

dearest friend' and 'Your dearest mother'. According to the author, the closeness between Victoria and Mr Karim was a cause of concern for the palace, and her son, who became Edward VII, was worried by the relationship. And in the hours after Victoria's death members of the royal family launched a mission to recover the letters between the pair. Abdul was banished and died eight years later, a broken man. Victoria was famously married to Prince Albert but following his death found companionship with ghillie John Brown. The film, starring Michael Gambon as Lord Salisbury and Eddie Izzard as the Prince of Wales, is due out next month.

Prisoners in India have been given leading roles performing in Shakespeare plays as part of an innovative process aimed at rehabilitating offenders. The unorthodox recruitment strategy was uncovered as one in a series of stories showcasing Shakespeare’s impact in South Asia, which are currently being featured in an exhibition at the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust. Sairah Amin, an English Literature student at Birmingham City University, found the story of the Rangayana Mysore theatre company who created the process and spend time travelling across prisons in India to find inmates who can perform in their plays, including King Lear, Othello and Hamlet. The practice is used to help prisoners engage with a range of emotions through their performances and encourage them to look at their offenses from a different perspective.

An image of two inmates performing one of the Bard’s most iconic scenes, where Hamlet discovers the skull of Yorick, is currently featured in the

Shakespeare in South Asia exhibition which runs until September 8 at the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust in Stratford-uponAvon. The exhibition has been put together by the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust supported by Dr Islam Issa, Senior Lecturer in Literature at Birmingham City University, as well as six of his students from the School of English. It highlights the significant impact of the playwright in that part of the wor

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The outlook remains optimistic as developments bring you a sense of real achievement. Relationships look great as Venus and Mars help to enhance your personal magnetism and put you in a gregarious mood. Venus, the planet of love and romance throws a pleasing light on love and creativity, make the most of this phase.

LEO Jul 23 - Aug 23

With both Venus and Mars resonating powerfully in your Solar chart, amorous affairs are likely to become extremely intense. Sometimes it is a good idea to stand back and get a more objective view of the pattern of your life. You may find that you can enrich your lifestyle considerably by simplifying certain areas and re-organising your priorities.

VIRGO Aug 24 - Sep 23

With Venus, Mars well placed in your chart, this is a good time for your social as well as your love life. If you’re single you are likely to meet the person of your dreams and this could lead to a permanent relationship for some of you. You could also benefit at work through a promotion.

LIBRA Sep 24 - Oct 23

Venus and the fiery planet Mars, continue to occupy your Solar 10th house for some time to come. Its influence will help you to maintain a high energy level and achieve positive results in anything that requires drive and initiative. If you are involved in a fairly competitive field of activity, you will be the one who comes out on top.

SCORPIO Oct 24- Nov 22

SAGITTARIUS Nov 23 - Dec 21 You will feel confident as the week begins. The cosmic energies are decidedly invigorating at the moment. If you are taking a holiday, so much the better ! Not only do you have Venus putting a favourable emphasis on travel but, with Mars you can be sure of deriving the utmost pleasure from adventures and excursions.

CAPRICORN Dec 22 - Jan 20 The pattern of significant relationships in your life will continue to favour you. It seems that a great deal of mutual benefit will accrue because of various interactions. This is an excellent time for making investments and for dealing with all soundly-based and long-term money matters. You also stand to benefit through a bonus, rebate or perhaps a lucky windfall.

AQUARIUS Jan 21 - Feb 19 Love and close personal relationships will occupy the centre of your attention this week. With Venus and Mars remaining in your opposite sign, any emotional tensions will be smoothed out easily and harmony will prevail. On a purely practical note, you can expect your financial affairs to take a turn for the better.

Venus and Mars transiting your solar sixth house, the accent shifts to your job interests and physical welfare. Some of you will join the gym. Do not try to rush projects to completion - pace yourself sensibly. At the moment, relationships are experiencing major transformations those with shaky foundations should be extra careful.

PISCES Feb 20 - Mar 20


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INDIA MAUL SRI LANKA IN ODI OPENER

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India registered a comfortable 9-wicket victory over Sri Lanka in the opening ODI of the five-match series mainly on Shikhar Dhawan's marvellous batting display. After losing Rohit Sharma early, the unbeaten partnership between opener Shikhar Dhawan and skipper Virat Kohli set up a nine-wicket victory for the Men in Blue over the Sri Lankan side. Dhawan hit his 11th ODI hundred for which he was awarded with the 'Man of the Match' title. Kohli crossed fifty for 44th time in the format. Having been put in to bat first, Sri Lanka got off to strong start, but after losing Niroshan Dickwella in the 25th over, wickets started to tumble for the hosts. Lanka's last nine wickets fell in the span of just 77 runs and the side was bundled out for mere 216 runs in just 43.2 overs. Left-arm spinner Axar Patel was the pick of the Indian bowlers as he scalped three wickets, giving away just 34 runs in his quota of 10 overs. He was ably supported by Jasprit Bumrah, Yuzvendra Chahal and Kedar Jadhav as they all chipped in with two-two wickets each. For the hosts, wicketkeeper-batsman Niroshan Dickwella was the star performer with the bat as he played a prolific knock of 64 runs, which included eight

boundaries. The other notable contributions came from Danushka Gunathilaka (35), Kusal Mendis (36) and Angelo Mathews (36). India were lucky to get the first breakthrough when Gunathilaka mistimed an audacious reverse sweep and spooned to KL Rahul at extra cover. However, Kusal Mendis, who had produced a match-winning knock against India in the Champions Trophy, once again looked to be in ominous form. Mendis hit legspinner Yuzvendra Chahal for three boundaries in one over. Dickwella too joined the

No Mitchell Starc in Australian squad for India

Khel Ratna for Devendra Jhajharia and Sardar Singh

Cricket Australia announced squads for their upcoming One-day International (ODI) and Twenty20 International (T20I) tour of India beginning next month. The most notable inclusion in the ODIs is James Faulkner who got a call-up after missing out on the Champions Trophy squad. Australia ODI squad: Steve Smith (capt), David Warner, Ashton Agar, Hilton Cartwright, Nathan Coulter-Nile, Pat Cummins, James Faulkner, Aaron Finch, Josh Hazlewood, Travis Head, Glenn Maxwell, Marcus Stoinis, Matthew Wade, Adam Zampa. T20I squad: Steve Smith (capt), David Warner, Jason Behrendorff, Dan Christian, Nathan Coulter-Nile, Pat Cummins, Aaron Finch, Travis Head, Moises Henriques, Glenn Maxwell, Tim Paine, Kane Richardson, Adam Zampa.

The Sports Ministry has decided to confer the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna 2017 to Para athlete Devendra Jhajharia and former hockey captain Sardar Singh. Jhajharia, the 2017 Mahindra Scorpio Times of India Sports Awards winner, will become the first paralympian to be conferred with the India's highest sporting honour along with Sardar Singh. Javelin thrower Jhajharia, the first Indian to win two Paralympic gold medals, was the first choice of the awards selection committee headed by Justice (Retd) C K Thakkar. The committee had also picked 31-year-old midfielder Sardar as its second nominee for the top honour and has suggested that both Jhajharia and Sardar be considered for the award jointly. A recipient of the Padma Shri, the fourth highest civilian award of India in 2015, Sardar has two Asian Games medals - gold in 2014 Incheon and bronze in 2010

SPORT

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Asian Voice | 26th August 2017

TAL Premier League Cricket

Cool Cruisers

party with consecutive boundaries off part-timer Kedar Jadhav over midwicket. Jadhav, however, justified the faith placed in him by Kohli by picking him ahead of Manish Pandey when he trapped Dickwella in front as he missed the line of a faster delivery while attempting to sweep. The Lankan wicketkeeper-batsman fell for a well-made 64 which came off 74 balls with eight fours. Axar Patel struck a vital blow soon after by having Mendis bowled through the gate for 36. It was a poor dismissal as Mendis played all over the delivery while

charging down the wicket. What followed was a blink and-you-miss type of procession by Sri Lankan batsmen to and from the dressing room. Former skipper Angelo Mathews played a lone hand remaining unbeaten on 36. The Indian spin trio of Jadhav, Patel and Chahal shared seven wickets among them. Patel was the most economical of the three, finishing with three for 34, while Jhadav claimed 2-26 in five overs. Chahal was a touch expensive, going for 60 runs in his 10 overs with two wickets.

Devendra Jhajharia and Sardar Singh

Guangzhou. He also has two Commonwealth Games silver medals and was named in the International Hockey Federation's All-Star team twice in 2010, 2011. Apart from the Khel Ratna, the ministry also released list of seven Dronacharya awardees for coaches and 17 Arjuna awardees featuring cricketers Harmanpreet Kaur, Cheteshwar Pujara, paraathletes Mariyappan, Varun Singh Bhati and Hockey player SV Suni. The Dhyan Chand Award for life time contribution to

sports development will be awarded to Bhupender Singh (Athletics), Syed Shahid Hakim (Football) and Sumarai Tete (Hockey) The awardees will receive their awards from the President at a specially organized function at the Rashtrapati Bhawan on August 29, 2017. Apart from a medal and a citation, Khel Ratna Awardee will receive a cash prize of Rs. 750,000. Arjuna, Dronacharya and Dhyan Chand Awardees will received statuettes, certificates and cash prize of Rs 500,000 each.

The Telugu Association of London (TAL) has organised its flagship sporting event - the “TAL Premier League (TPL)” Cricket Tournament this year. The final matches were played on 19th August at Imperial College London, Heston Sports Ground, Crane Lodge Road, Cranford, Middlesex, TW5 9PQ. The final match was played between “Cool Cruisers” vs “Telugu Dare Devils.” Third place match was played between “Blue Caps” vs “Golden Boys” teams. Championship Winners:: TPL 2017 Champions: Cool Cruisers; Runners Up: Telugu Dare Devils; 3rd Place: Blue Caps. Man of the series: Ravi Kishore Booka; Best Bowler: Nathan Bandari; Best Batsman: Ravi Kishore Booka Over 200 people, including women, children and elderly attended the entertainment programme arranged at the event. The event was started with National Anthems of both India and Britain. The theme of the day was “the UK-India Year of Culture – Celebrating the deep cultural ties between the UK and India”. TAL Chairman Satyendra Pagadala said that TAL cricket started in 2008 with four teams and has grown over the years. TAL Premier League was started in 2012. Satyendra said that TAL Premier League is the biggest T20 Cricket League that is being organised globally by any community organisation. This year 12 teams played over 14 weeks of league matches and 240 players took part in the games. Satyendra appreciated and thanked Sports Trustee and his team, TPL Coordinators: Vamshi Ponnam, Shyam Bheem Reddy, Rakesh Patel, Vamsee Recknor and Murali Thadiparthi, TPL Advisors Ravi Sabba and Sanjay Bhiraju, BOT in-charge Sridhar Somisetty and all the volunteers for their dedicated service. TAL Treasurer Sridhar Somisetty praised and thanked all TPL sponsors for their generosity and support. TAL advisor Dr. Ramulu Dasoju reminded that TAL was formed in 2005 with a motto “Unite, cherish and share” to serve Telugu community in Britain. Ramulu congratulated all winners and thanked all the TAL family members and Telugu community supporting every TAL organised event, including other sporting events such as Badminton, Volleyball and Football tournaments.

Dhawan, Rahul move to career-best positions After their impressive show in the just concluded test series against Sri Lanka, Indian openers Shikhar Dhawan and KL Rahul have attained careerbest positions in the latest ICC Test Player Rankings. Dhawan, who was not originally part of the squad, finished as highest run-getter in the series Shikhar Dhawan with 358 runs and thus has moved up 10 places to 28th position. In his six innings, the left-hander scored two centuries. Rahul has moved up two places to equal his career-best ninth position after scoring four consecutive halfcenturies in the series. Rahul has thus equalled his career-best ninth rank attained in July this year, but the present tally of 761 rating points is his highest till date. All-rounder Hardik Pandya’s 96-ball knock of 108 has helped him gain 45 positions to reach a career-best 68th rank among batsmen, while pace bowlers Mohammad Shami (up one place to 19th position) and Umesh Yadav (up one place up to a career-best 21st position) have gained among bowlers. Kuldeep Yadav, coming in as Ravindra Jadeja’s replacement, has moved up 29 slots to 58th place after returning figures of four for 40 and one for 56.


Sport 32

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Asian Voice | 26th August 2017

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ENGLAND INFLICT INNINGS DEFEAT ON WEST INDIES

Remove BCCI office-bearers: CoA tells SC

Vinod Rai - led team

England bowlers took 19 wickets to send West Indies tumbling to a humiliating defeat by an innings and 209 runs in the first test last week. England won with time to spare on Day 3 of the day-night test at Edgbaston, taking a 1-0 lead in the three-match contest. The loss was the sixth heaviest ever for the West Indies in its once-proud test history. West Indies, resuming on 44-1, was all out for 168 in its first innings after lunch and, asked to follow on, all out again for 137 in the third session. Making the pink ball game look easy, Alastair Cook scored a fourth double-century and passed 11,500 career runs in England’s innings. Joe Root’s 136 saw him become just the sixth man to make a half-century in 11 straight tests. He’s in prime position to equal AB de Villiers’ record of 50s in 12 consecutive tests in the second match starting on Friday in Leeds. And Stuart Broad overtook Ian

Botham to become England’s secondhighest test wicket-taker with 384. Broad’s spell under floodlights near the end, of three wickets for four runs in 11 balls - including two wickets in two deliveries - took him past Botham, who was at the ground as a TV commentator. Significantly for England with the Ashes in Australia looming at the end of the year, both of its leading test wicket-takers of all time are still playing. Broad’s new-ball partner, James Anderson, is England’s top test bowler on 492 wickets and could become the sixth player to reach 500 in this series. Broad and Anderson took five wickets each in the match as the West Indies capitulated. Toby Roland-Jones, the new man in the seam attack, finished it off when he forced an outside edge from Alzarri Joseph. Underlining England’s clinical display, Ben Stokes snapped up the tough, low catch to his right in the slips. The result will focus

cricket followers again on the demise of the five-day game in the Caribbean. The West Indians were the kings of test cricket in the 1970s and 80s, and have produced lasting greats like Garfield Sobers, Viv Richards and, more recently, Brian Lara, as well as a once-endless supply of world-beating fast bowlers. At Edgbaston, the West Indies quick bowlers were wayward and unfocused, allowing Cook and Root to score at will. And the batsmen were fragile, save only for Jermaine Blackwood, who hit 79 not out off 76 balls in the first innings in an entertaining but ultimately inconsequential innings. West Indies still hasn’t won a test in England since 2000. Despite having a reasonable record at home against the English, they have been outclassed on tour, losing their last four series in England 4-0, 3-0, 2-0 and 20. This series looks like it might be completely one-sided too.

Ashwin set to play County cricket for Worcestershire Indian off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin is set to play for the Division 2 County side Worcestershire for the rest of the Championship season. He is expected to make his County debut against Gloucestershire at New Road in Division Two on August 28. Australia fast bowler John Hastings, who represents Worcestershire in the County circuit, was ruled out of the remainder of the season with a foot injury, and Ashwin slots in as a replacement for him. "Ravi is a fantastic international cricketer who is currently in terrific form with his game," Steve Rhodes, the County's Director of Cricket, said. "He is ranked in the top three as a bowler in Test cricket, is a wonderful all-rounder who can bat six and scores hundreds in Test cricket. The off-spinner, with 292 Test wickets to his name, hasn't yet played domestic cricket in England. However, the ace spinner has now received the green signal from the board to represent Worcestershire in County cricket after the selectors decided to rest him for the ODIs against Sri Lanka. Worcestershire still have four Division 2 matches left during the County sea-

The Supreme Court-appointed Committee of Administrators (CoA), which was entrusted with the task of implementing Lodha committee's reforms, has requested the apex court to remove the current office bearers of BCCI - acting president CK Khanna, acting secretary Amitabh Choudhary and treasurer Anirudh Chaudhary from their posts for having failed to follow the orders of the court. In its report submitted to the court, the Vinod Rai-led committee requested the court to let it take over the governance, management and administration of BCCI - as the current office bearers are “unfit to continue and be removed” till fresh office bearers are elected. The CoA asked for the court's go-ahead for drafting the new constitution of the BCCI and also a new funds disbursal policy to end misuse of money by some state units of BCCI. In the report, the CoA said that BCCI office bearers have failed to ensure the implementation of the Lodha reforms in the last six months, and hence should be removed.. “The CoA submits that since the then president and secretary of BCCI had been removed because the board failed to implement the reforms mandated by the judgment despite a period of six months having elapsed, it is only fair that the current office-bearers be treated in the same manner. It is clear that the current office bearers are not in a position to make good on their undertakings and ensure that the reforms mandated by this court are implemented,” CoA wrote in its report. The COA also blamed the board officials for not looking into basic issues like `conflict of interest' and the appointment of an ombudsman. CoA says it tried to bring in transparency but its efforts were “stonewalled by state associations.”

Sunil Joshi appointed Bangladesh's spin consultant

Sunil Joshi (left)

Ravichandran Ashwin and Cheteshwar Pujara

son. So the veteran all-rounder could miss out on the upcoming ODI series against Australia scheduled to start on September 17 as he looks to acclimatise to the English conditions ahead of the Test series against England next year. Meanwhile, Cheteshwar Pujara is also set to return to the Second Division County side, Nottinghamshire. The middle-order batsman has already scored 232 runs at an average of 44.60 for the County side this season. After playing the first half of the season, he was called up for

national duty for the just-concluded Test series against Sri Lanka. Both Worcestershire and Nottinghamshire are eyeing a promotion to Division One. Nottinghamshire have 184 points from 10 matches and are placed at the top of the table. On the other hand, Worcestershire have slotted in at second position with 149 points. Worcestershire last played in Division One in 2015 when they were relegated after ending the season as the bottom-placed team with 151 points.

Former India spinner Sunil Joshi has been appointed as the spin consultant for Bangladeshi team. "Yes, I will be working as the spin consultant for the Australia series, and will be joining the (Bangladesh) side shortly," Joshi said. With Bangladesh having shown major improvements as a Test team in the last year, the forthcoming twomatch series marks a big opportunity for them to register their maiden Test win over Australia. It would be no surprise that they would bank on their strength, which also happens to be Australia's biggest weakness – spin. The Bangladesh Cricket Board had gone all out in search of a spin consultant for the series, including the possibility of having Stuart MacGill in their coaching setup. With the former Australian leg spinner declining to take up the role due to illness, BCB turned towards Joshi, with whom they had earlier tried to initiate talks for the role of a bowling coach.

AV 26th August 2017  

AV Weekly Newspaper (Issue 17)

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