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Let noble thoughts come to us from every side

27 OCT - 3 NOV 2018 - VOL 47 ISSUE 26


inside: 59 killed in Punjab train accident SEE PAGE 26

British MPs to debate making Deepavali a public holiday SEE PAGE 17

Community disappointed at the continued ignorance of the nonAbrahamic faiths, including Sikhs in Home Office hate crime report. Rupanjana Dutta A video circulating showing an elderly man abusing a black woman on a RyanAir flight has caused a social media backlash and rightly so. There are many such cases where Asians face hate crimes on daily basis – physically as well as on social media. Many times such crimes are not

reported, but in this national hate crime awareness week, the police and authorities are coming forward urging the community to raise alarm, and report such crimes. Tell Mama at a press conference in the New Scotland Yard said there is a considerable increase in hate crime, where 66% of the perpetrators are men. 54% are recorded physical abuses espe-

cially in public transport and crowded areas, and over 22% of the street level attacks are by 13-18 year olds, and when that is added to 19-25 year old attackers, it makes 50% of perpetrators between that age group. Contributing factors to such crimes include Brexit and terror attacks like that in London and Manchester. Continued on page 18

CBI chief, special director on war The Central Bureau of Investigation has pressed on with its move against special director Rakesh Asthana and arrested DSP Devender Kumar, who has also, along with the former, been accused of taking bribe of £3,00,00 from one Sathish Babu Sana. The action against Kumar was seen as the declaration of intent of CBI director Alok Verma to take the FIR against rival Asthana to its logical culmination and as an indication

to the sordid lengths the premier investigating agency might go. CBI has named Asthana as accused number one in its FIR registered on October 15, on basis of a complaint from Sana, promoter of Playboy Club in Hyderabad, who has alleged that the CBI special director and other accused extorted £3,00,00 in bribe from him. Also arrested in the case is Dubai-based investment banker Manoj Prasad. A

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team from the agency had reportedly camped in Vadodara two days ago to inquire into the opulent marriage of Asthana's daughter. The team arrived in the city on October 11 and left the next day, according to a source close to the development. The wedding was held in the grand Laxmi Vilas Palace in November 2016, and a large number of guests had arrived for the occasion.

Mumbai: Delhi: Hyderabad: Chennai: Ahmedabad: Rajkot: GOA:

Continued on page 26

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Bangalore: Bhuj: Lucknow: Kochi: Kolkata: Amritsar: Dhaka:

Deepika and Ranveer to tie the knot on Nov 14-15 SEE PAGE 28

Dear Readers, Asian Voice is weekly newspaper that brings local, national, and international news to its readers, religiously. Due to our determination to continue bringing you news from around the globe to your doorstep, our edition for November 3 will reach you on scheduled time. Please note that only after Diwali Asian Voice will keep one edition- November 10, closed.

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2 UK



27 Oct - 3 Nov 2018


Dr Reyad Yassin Abdulla Dr Reyad Yassin Abdulla is the Yemeni Ambassador to France. Previously, he was the Health Minister in Yemen, also taking on the position of Foreign Minister at the start of the Yemeni conflict in 2014. Before being appointed in Government, he led the Healthcare team at the National Dialogue Conference, which worked on developing reforms and a new constitution post the Arab Spring. He has worked as a consultant on Hospital Facility Planning, Design, & Development and as an Academic Consultant for the UAE Military Attache. He began his career as a Doctor specialising in renal surgery.


Which place, or city or country do you most feel at home in? London. I was born and spent my childhood in Aden when it was under English rule, so when I moved to London in 1991, there was already a feeling of home. It’s also the place I’ve spent the most time in without any major problem or conflict. I still have a home and my children still reside in London, so I will go always go back to it.


What are your proudest achievements? Firstly, raising my children. Two are doctors, and who I am proud are contributing to the NHS, and one has just begun her PhD. I am also proud of what I have tried to do for Yemen. At the beginning of the conflict, I was appointed and spoke out as Foreign Minister; when many officials

took a step back. I am also proud of the healthcare reforms that I had worked on in Yemen’s Dialogue Conference and committed to implement when I was appointed Health Minister soon after. We had plans to rebuild a healthcare system similar to the NHS, and had already begun by sending a Yemeni delegation to the UK before the conflict begun. I had also worked on healthcare on a day to day level by planning and supervising the construction of the Al Thabet Hospital in Hudaidah and consulting on the Science and Technology Hospital in Sana’a, two of the leading hospitals in Yemen.


What inspires you? First and foremost, I believe God helps people who want to help themselves and

others. I also like the history of great politicians for how they dealt with difficult situations (whilst still remaining conscious of their problems): Winston Churchill, for his unwavering position during world war II, Gandhi, for how he was able to change things through a change in consciousness rather than violence, and Sheikh Zayed, founder of the UAE, for his vision in transforming his country.


What has been biggest obstacle in your career? What was particularly challenging was moving to the UK in 1991 and finding that even though I was a trained surgeon with years of experience, it was incredibly difficult for foreign doctors to practice without jumping unnecessary hurdles such as further exams and training cycles all over the UK. I was here with three children, with all the responsibilities that come with that and being new to a country, to be able to do this. Of course, things are simpler now the NHS is in need.


Who has been the biggest influence on your career to date? Different people at different times, but mainly my mother who pushed for me to pursue medicine even when others encouraged her to stop my education so that I could help provide for the family since I was the eldest child, and my wife who continues to always broaden my perspective with our discussions.


What is the best aspect about your current role? The best aspect of being an Ambassador, and diplomacy and politics in general, is that no day is ever the same. There is always changes and developments, and new things to act upon—it isn’t a boring job. It is similar to being a doctor in that way, in that there is always a new patient, a new disease, a new situation to encounter.


And the worst? The worst looms over the best aspect: the current situation in Yemen, and the helplessness I feel as one person when the conflict involves so many factors and players. I am trying to do my part by facilitating initiatives and helping on individual cases where I can, but also remaining focused on long term development, like education and healthcare, and a life after the conflict.


What are your long term goals?

To contribute to the resolution of the conflict in Yemen, by fostering better relationships with everybody involved, and who hold a stake in Yemen. The country will not flourish if those that are a part of it are not invested in a peaceful resolution.


If you were Prime Minister, what one aspect would you change? In a country like Yemen, there are vast changes a PM can do, because there is much more leeway to do anything, and because it is a subzero situation, not just one aspect needs to change! Beyond the resolution of the conflict, I would focus on providing the basics, the prevention of disease and easing the food crisis, but with a long-term vision in mind so that we can finally move beyond this baseline of emergency, into genuine flourishing.


If you were marooned on a desert island, which historical figure would you like to spend your time with and why. It would be the Prophet Muhammed (pbuh), because in his completeness, he is the best person to learn from. He was not just a Prophet, he was the best husband, father, leader of the community, and military, and he fulfilled those roles with honour and humility.

Hard brexit: A harder business prospect for British Asian self-employed Priyanka Mehta Anil Kumar, is a selfemployed IT consultant of Ingeni IT services based in London and provides IT services to companies based both in the UK and in countries across the European Union. For this reason alone, Anil has to travel to Germany on a weekly basis where he has been dispensing his consultancy for five years now. Anil who holds a British passport does not require any visa to travel across countries in the EU. But what does the possibility of a hard Brexit mean for young professionals like Anil Kumar and Asian companies based in the UK who also conduct business in the EU countries? For Kumar, a hard Brexit is a sword hanging above his neck. He said, “The European market for

us is much bigger than that in the UK. There is a big uncertainty at the moment and it will be very difficult for us if we have to go through immigration services. In effect it could


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mean that we lose all of our European business. So, it all depends on what they come back with!” The crux of a Hard Brexit effectively means that the UK will give up full access to the single market and full access of the customs union along with the EU. According to a government report presented by the Prime Minister and her command of Majesty in July 2018, the UK government is thriving towards the establishment of a Free Trade Area. This, it states, would protect the integrated supply chains that have developed across the UK and the

EU over the last 40 years, ensuring that businesses continue operating through their current value and supply chains. Roughly translated, this means that it would avoid the need for customs and regulatory checks at the border, and the businesses would not have to incur higher tariff and Value Added Taxation costs. According to Tamanna Aziz, an immigration lawyer at Duncan Lewis, these costs can shoot up to as high as 20% which not many small business and specially self-employed could afford. But a hard Brexit also triggers a fear among British

citizens who can no longer freely travel across the EU countries without a valid work/business visa even for simple business conferences and meetings. “It is important to understand the legal implications in terms of travel and visa. Every country in the EU has different requirements pertaining to their immigration rules. And for each country you need to meet them individually.” “Passporting” is a fundamental concern for many global financial services companies. The EU currently licenses companies in member countries to work across European borders. Thus, businesses could eventually be forced to seek passports into European countries from elsewhere in order to maintain their EEA client base. The best alternate suggestions for these companies under a hard Brexit is as Tamana puts it, "either to relocate their businesses in the eastern countries of India, Japan and China which are much more accommodating or to enter into some sort of a negotiation with the host country that would allow for these organisations to have their base". The latter however, is not possible currently as

Brexit hasn't gone through which means that these companies are still fundamentally bound by the EU trade laws. Thus, at the moment they cannot approach a governmental organisation for any discussion. While a hard Brexit continues to be a concern among most businesses across the EU, some employees appear to be least concerned about the aftereffects. Chetan Doshi, of Cat and Gemini is a resident of London who travels to Germany once a week for business purposes. For Chetan, “It is the company's headache with regards to documentations and travel visa purposes if it comes to that! The company has hired me and it will have future provisions of either my relocation to other department or some alternative. I am not at all concerned by a hard or a soft Brexit because to be honest it makes little difference to me!” Immigration and Trade at the moment seems to be the only bump that Prime Minister May seems to have difficulty stumbling past. But if her valiant efforts and report is anything to go by then as it states: “It would ensure that we leave the EU, without leaving Europe”






27 Oct - 3 Nov 2018

#MeToo movement in India The #MeToo movement in India gathered momentum in September after Bollywood actress Tanushree Dutta accused film veteran Nana Patekar of misconduct with her on a film set in 2008. The movement has triggered an outpouring of pent-up rage against sexual harassment at workplaces. Editor turned politician MJ Akbar had to resign as Union minister after several women journalists complained against him. Many Bollywood bigwigs also faced humiliation following similar complaints against them. Companies have taken firm action based on formal complaints and testimony on social media. #MeToo highlighted the failure of due process, the lack of checks and balances allowing some men unrestrained power over subordinates, and a pattern of abuse by the same offender against multiple women. With consent as the bottom line in any gender relationship and social media helping survivors to link up with one another, #MeToo has certainly made corporates and employees more sensitive and vigilant on instances of harassment. Yet, the #MeToo movement needs its own checks and balances given that social media is itself an anarchic space. The biggest threat to #MeToo is not fears of a male backlash over public shaming but anonymous complaints with the sole intent to defame or blackmail. Anonymous complaints have dangerous repercussions for personal lives, families and companies. Something as real and pervasive as corporate or professional rivalry and personal animosity can set the ball rolling. This then becomes less about #MeToo and more about settling scores, hurting individuals or companies financially, or even gaming and subverting #MeToo.

Social media platforms also have a responsibility in such cases to remove the defamatory, anonymous material before it does more damage to reputations. The existence of unfair workplaces and the market for rumours, smears and fake news demands improved institutional and policing processes so that justice is swift and facts quickly come to the fore. However the #MeToo movement has been accused of bypassing institutional processes and having too much of a subjective element. While in most cases #MeToo is really about persistent unwanted sexual advances, it has been seen as disregarding the disparate character of sexual offences and sweeping all of them into one basket facing similar disgrace on social media. This needs to change and #MeToo must be more discriminating, else its fundamental aims will be defeated. When it comes to proof in a sexual harassment case, there is a difference between standards required by the internal complaints committee (ICC) of an organisation and those required in a criminal case. In all sexual offences, the woman’s testimony is considered central and paramount, the only rider being that it should be credible and reliable. There are some things that cannot be brought up to discredit her testimony - past sexual history. Other factors that the accused may bring up to say that the complaint is motivated - by workplace friction, or vested interests - needs to be proved by the accused. For instance, if the accused claims the allegations are motivated by an unsatisfactory appraisal, that claim may even backfire because it could be argued that the bad appraisal was a result of the sexual misconduct and rebuff.

Women's entry to Sabarimala temple In a historic judgment, the Supreme Court of India has allowed women between the ages of 10 and 50 to enter and pray at the Sabarimala temple in Kerala. Because of the climate of fear and intimidation created by those opposing the historic Sabarimala verdict, very few women ventured to the hill shrine on the day it opened for the first time after the verdict. As for the few who came, the gauntlet put up by belligerent bhakts proved too much. Even journalists weren’t spared, as the protesters took out their ire on mediapersons, especially women reporters. But it’s still early days. Depressing as it is, there is no reason that what happened earlier should necessarily happen in the days to come. More women are bound to come and some of them will definitely overcome the heckling, booing and even manhandling, to reach the sanctum and get darshan. When that happens it will become a red letter moment in India’s evolution as a modern and progressive society. This is because Sabarimala is unique in that it demands its devotees transcend the usual barriers of caste, class, creed and even religion – the trademark all black attire of Ayyappa pilgrims symbolises the renunciation of all such divisions. That the only division which has persisted – and that too with all the force of a taboo – is that of gender, reveals the

extent to which patriarchy is entrenched in Indian society. It is this patriarchy, and its ability to insinuate itself even in a modern context through dubious notions of ‘purity’ and ‘pollution’, that has now been struck a body blow. While Kerala’s LDF government has maintained that it is committed to women’s rights and has resisted pressure to file a review petition in SC, it has not exactly been proactive. It has sought to open back channels with agitators, has not put in place special facilities for women that would make it easier for them to make the pilgrimage and, worse, has of late been taking an occasional ‘soft Hindutva’ line that sends confusing signals. Of course, those protesting against the entry of women are not an insignificant number, and the fanatic self-righteousness of ordinary bhakts in their hundreds and thousands cannot be underestimated. One calamitous incident is all it may take to turn the clock back. When women have conquered the fields which were earlier considered as men's fiefdom, the temple authorities must change their attitude and open its gates to women of all ages. Violence is not the way. The traditionalists and modernists should sit together and find a amiable solution to the problem. How long the traditionalists could block the entry of women who want to pray at the temple is a big question mark.

Insecurities among uncertainties United Kingdom traditionally has a civilised political debate, discussion, even divisions. But what has happened? The Brexit is perhaps one of the main root cause. Very seldom over half a million people march in London blocking all the roads, surrounding Westminster and Whitehall. It was a People’s March indeed. Whether the big wigs in the political echelon of power or the economic and financial hub of the country- the City of London, entrepreneurs and employees, intellengtsia and the man on the London omnibus are surely very concerned about so many questions without adequate answers from the government of Great Britain. Cabinet members held “an impassioned” discussion about the importance of time-limiting any Brexit backstop arrangements agreed with the EU as part of the divorce negotiations. No 10 denied any row had taken place at the meeting, although ministers told Theresa May she had to ensure that any backstop arrangements designed to avoid a hard border between northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland were not indefinite. As we go to press we have learnt that, the Prime Minister has confirmed she will be meeting with the Conservatives' backbench 1922 Committee tomorrow. Mrs May will meet with angry Tory MPs, following heavy criticism of her handling of Brexit negotiations. Though the Prime Minister is otherwise a robust and focussed person of vast experience, somehow now she appears to be lost amidst the problems. Surely the buck stops at her table? In the last two years at the helm of this government, increasingly we see lack of governance. The Cabinet does not speak with one voice. The Conservative party is bursting at the sims with divided priorities, coupled with self interest, political power hunger and all these with a lack of national interest as the top priority.

Uncertainties in the negotiations with the EU, the economic situation which lacks forward planning with details, and several aspects of the no deal divorce permeate to the ordinary man and woman on the street and it leads individuals to shout and scream and express their frustration on fellow citizens. When the victim of verbal or more importantly physical aggression is non-white, somehow the feeling in the ethnic minority, that they are helpless is very worrying and deeply disturbing. What has gone wrong? The sea difference between pronouncement and performance at all levels of the government, especially from the Prime Minister and senior Cabinet ministers creates this vacuum and ultimately affects the national consensus. The British police normally reputed to be following the footsteps of the British body, is on one hand understaffed or at the worst some senior officers lack courage and conviction to take risk in discharging their duties and pass the buck. Sikhs have been one of the best supports of the British empire, as well as nation building since the last war. They do not deserve the ill-treatment meted out to them. The views of by Lord Inderjeet Singh and Lord Jitesh Gadhia ought to be listened with utmost urgency by the Prime Minister, Home Secretary and others who carry the responsibility. It is also very discomforting to say the least that Labour Party is not able to fulfil their duty as Her Majesty’s Opposition. The populist priorities have a short term effect and no tangible advantage for the country or party. This is an ideal opportunity for a well coordinated policy pronouncements by the opposition. But who cares?

Two things you should never be angry at: what you can help and what you cannot help. - Thomas Fuller (1608-1661)

As I See It CB Patel

The Politics of People It has been a tumultuous week for Tanzania, East Africa, where the continent's youngest billionaire Mohammed Dewji was kidnapped on October 11 and fortunately, released within nine days. I was shocked, to say the least, when I saw the news of the 43 year old being abducted by masked men from outside the Colosseum hotel. According to Dewji's account, he recognises the accents of white South Africans among his captors. He said he was blindfolded and bound, only a 15-minute drive from the Colosseum. The incident shook the very core of the country, leading to the politicising of the issue. Leave aside the ordeal Dewji's family, or he himself went through, the abduction has become national content. Such was the pressure built by the masses, that the President of Tanzania himself had to intervene and the abductors had to hastily release their £1.5 billion worth prisoner. A carefree and humble person, it was perhaps Mohammed's down-to-earth attitude and his lack of grip on just how dangerous it could be for a man with such wealth to roam around without protection, that prompted the kidnappers to do something so bizarre. A moderate Muslim, he was known to begin his day with a workout at the Colosseum hotel gym, where he drove himself every day sans bodyguards. His abductors arrived before him in two cars, flashing lights to signal his arrival, as per witnesses, and after kidnapping him, shot fires in the air before leaving. It goes without saying that while the abduction was carefully planned, the release was a spontaneous result based on the massive outrage that broke throughout Tanzania. One of the sons of Africa, Dewji is a father of three and the country's largest private sector employer. My heart bleeds for Tanzania. Let me admit my self-interest. I have spent six and a half years working for the civil services in Tanzania, prior to my arrival in the UK. Those were the most formative years between my ages of 23 and 30. I also benefited a lot in various classes in the College of Further Education in Dar-es-Salaam. I was committed to the cause of African emancipation and became a member of TANU (Tanganyika African National Union)founded and ably run by Mwalimu (Teacher) Julius Nyerere. President Nyerere and President Kaunda are to my mind two giants of African independence movement, who left their offices with grace and dignity at the end of their term. Mwalimu Nyerere passed away after a long stay in a London hospital. It was during that time that I visited him regularly and when he passed away, I was privileged to have received the opportunity to give Mwalimu a proper tribute. I recollect the High Commissioner of Tanzania in UK writing to me during that time, calling me a “honorary Tanzanian”. I knew President Kaunda farely well. He attended some of our ABPL events. He was pure vegetarian. I believe what I am trying to say here is that amongst African countries like Uganda, Kenya, and others where rulers became dictators and administration became rife with corruption, nepotism, and violence, Continued on page 9

Editor: CB Patel Asian Voice is published by Asian Business Publications Ltd Karma Yoga House, 12 Hoxton Market, (Off Coronet Street) London N1 6HW. Tel: 020 7749 4080 • Fax: 020 7749 4081 Email: Website: INDIA OFFICE Bureau Chief: Nilesh Parmar (BPO) AB Publication (India) Pvt. Ltd. 207 Shalibhadra Complex, Opp. Jain Derasar, Nr. Nehru Nagar Circle, Ambawadi, Ahmedabad-380 015. Tel: +91 79 2646 5960 Email: © Asian Business Publications

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27 Oct - 3 Nov 2018

Home Secretary faces backlash over tweet about “Asian Paedophiles” Mitul Paniker Twenty men have been found guilty of participating in a grooming gang that raped and abused girls as young as 11 in Huddersfield. Home Secretary Sajid Javid has faced severe backlash from MPs and race equality advocates when he tweeted about “sick Asian paedophiles”. Reacting to conviction of the Huddersfield rape gang, Javid tweeted, “These sick Asian paedophiles are finally facing justice. I want to commend the bravery of the victims. For too long, they were ignored. Not on my watch. There will be no no-go areas”. The tweet did not go down well among leaders, and was condemned by Labour MP David Lammy, who said Javid's word risked increasing violence against ethnic minorities. “Sajid Javid has brought a great office of state into disrepute. By singling out 'Asians' he not only panders to the far right, but increases the risk of violence and abuse against minorities across the country,” Lammy said. He added the comments were particularly inflammatory as religious hate crimes have risen dramatically in the past year. “It's no coincidence that religious hate crimes have rocketed up by 40 per cent in the past year, as we have witnessed a degradation of political rhetoric towards hate, division, and fear. Whatever the underlying motives of the offenders involved paedophilia, it is an abhorrent crime that affects all communities. It does no service to the victims of this evil to pin the blame on any one group.” Meanwhile, Shadow Home Secretary Diane Abbott said the government is not doing enough to protect vulnerable people. She

said, “The scale of sex abuse in the UK is staggering, the needs of the vulnerable are ignored, and the government isn’t doing enough. Attributing paedophilia to one ethnic group adds nothing to support needed by survivors, or police resources to crack down on predators.”

20 men running grooming gang found guilty

Twenty men have been found guilty of participating in a grooming gang that raped and abused girls as young as 11 in Huddersfield. The accused were convicted of over 120 offenses against 15 girls. Ringleader Amere Singh Dhaliwal, 35, was sentenced to life with a minimum of 18 years, at the Leeds Crown Court. Other members of the gang were jailed for between five and 18 years, however, the court heard many perpetrators are yet to be identified. During the three trials, jurors heard how the men, all of British Asian descent, mainly Pakistan, preyed on young, vulnerable girls and plied them with drinks and drugs. They then “used and abused at will” in a seven-year “campaign of rape and abuse” between 2004 and 2011. All from Yorkshire, the men went by nicknames like 'Dracula', 'Bully', 'Beastie', and 'Nurse'. Jailing 16 men earlier this year, Judge Geoffrey Marson QC said, “The way you treated these girls defies understanding; this abuse was vile and wicker. As cases of sexual abuse with which the courts have to deal, this case comes top of the scale.” As Dhaliwal, a married, father-of-two, was sentenced, the judge said, “The extent and

The men, all from Yorkshire, went by nicknames including "Dracula", "Bully", "Beastie" and "Nurse"

gravity of your offending far exceeds anything which I have previously encountered. Children's lives have been ruined and families profoundly affected by seeing their children, over months and years, out of control, having been groomed by you and other members of your gang.” The men's hold was such over the girls, a mother said her child cracked her head jumping from a first-floor balcony at their home to get out, after they ordered her to meet them. “Every time I went out something bad happened, I risked my life every time. I was a mess,” the girl said. Another victim, who could only escape the abuse after her family had to move following a house fire, said it was the best thing. “It was the best thing I ever did, and that's bad saying that burning your house down is the best thing you ever did.” Grooming gangs of England tend to operate in poorer neighbourhoods on the edge of the town, around mini-cab ranks and fast food joints, areas where public scrutiny doesn't have a reach. During the trials, the court heard how girls would be driven up to remote moorland late at

night and abandoned if they refused the men's sexual demands. One victim said her relationship with some of the gang became “one of those things you couldn't get out of.” At house parties, girls would be stuffed with alcohol and drugs before being sexually abused “one by one” by the men, sometimes without contraception. The court heard how they were abused in cars, car parks, houses, a snooker centre, and a takeaway, often with other defendants and fellow victims watching on. Victims and families said they repeatedly told West Yorkshire Police what was happening but no arrests were made until years later. Det Ch Insp Ian Mottershaw who spoke outside court said, “The investigation into this case has been extremely complex and the investigative team have worked tirelessly for the past five years to ensure that no stone has been left unturned. We welcome the convictions and sentences which have been passed down throughout the year to these depraved individuals, who subjected vulnerable young children to unthinkable sexual and physical abuse.”

UK urged to take back Islamic State 'foreign fighters' A senior US military commander has called on the UK to take back Islamic State fighters who have been "caught on the battlefield" in Syria. Maj Gen Patrick Roberson, commander of US special ops, also called on the government to repatriate two Londoners who have been called the "IS

Beatles". The UK says El Shafee Elsheikh and Alexanda Kotey have been stripped of their British citizenship. The government is negotiating for them to face trial in the US. Speaking to the BBC from a jail in Syria in August, Mr Elsheikh and Mr Kotey disputed the claim



This is your chance to win a free pair of tickets to Navin Kundra’s Concert, “Voice Of Legends”, on 9 November at the Leicester Haymarket Theatre. Simply answer the following 2 questions: 1. In which country was the music video for Navin Kundra’s song “Bandagi” filmed?  UK  Italy  India 2. Which Legendary singer sang the Bollywood classic, “Likhe Jo Khat Tujhe” from the movie “Kanyadaan”?  Mohammed Rafi  Kishore Kumar  Mukesh Send your answers to for your chance to win. Winners will be notified by email.

Alexanda Kotey (left) and El Shafee Elsheikh

that they had been stripped of their British citizenship. Asked whether Mr Elsheik and Mr Kotey should be repatriated to the UK, Gen Roberson told the BBC: "We would certainly like them to be." He said the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) and the US were "working very hard to make sure that the countries of origin get these foreign terrorist fighters back into their custody". So far only a handful have done that. Gen Roberson admitted it was a decision for each country involved, but he added: "I think the SDF and us would certainly like them to be repatriated to where they came from." He is the first senior US military officer to publicly call on the UK to take back its nationals and former nationals.

US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces say they have captured 700 foreign fighters from more than 40 nations, including the UK. The SDF has not said how many are British - or former British nationals - but it is believed to be fewer than a dozen. Mr Elsheikh and Mr Kotey, who were captured in January, are believed to be part of an IS cell which became known as "the Beatles' by their hostages because of their UK accents. The two men were associated with another Briton, Mohammed Emwazi - also known as "Jihadi John". He was seen in a number of high profile IS execution videos that showed the beheading of Western hostages, including US and British citizens. Emwazi was killed in a US drone strike in Raqqa, Syria, in 2015. The UK government has been in discussions with officials in Washington about sending the pair to the US to stand trial over their alleged involvement in the killing of a number of hostages. If found guilty, they could face the death penalty.


A teacher whose stammered since childhood is running a support group for pupils who also suffer with it. Maths teacher Abed Ahmed helps students at Washwood Heath Academy in Birmingham. Monday was International Stammering Awareness Day and he was once told he'd never be able to teach due to his speech impediment, but he says he's turned his stammer into a way of supporting children.


Mary Ragoobar was killed in the explosion, together with her sons Shane and Sean Ragoobeer

Three men who are accused of murdering five people when a shop exploded have been charged with fraudulently trying to benefit from an insurance claim. It is alleged that the three men conspired together with shop worker Viktorija Ijevleva - who was herself killed in the explosion in Leicester. Aram Kurd, Hawkar Hassan and Arkan Ali deny the new charge, together with charges of murder and manslaughter. They are due to stand trial in November.

DIWALI LIGHTS COULD BE DIMMED TO MARK DEATH OF 'DEDICATED' COUNCILLOR Leicester’s Diwali lights could be dimmed temporarily to mark the passing of a Labour city councillor who died suddenly at the weekend. Mo Chohan, who represented the Belgrave area of the city, is believed to have suffered a heart attack at home on Saturday. Friends and colleagues said they were stunned by the 65-year-old married fatherof-five’s death. Leicester East MP Keith Vaz has suggested the Belgrave Road's Diwali lights should be dimmed shortly after they are switched on as a mark of respect. The Golden Mile lights are to switched on next Sunday. A book of condolence has been opened for people to leave tributes. It is at the party office at 123 Belgrave Road, where Mr Vaz and Coun Chohan worked together and shared a surgery. Mr Vaz said: “I am devastated and saddened by this news. It’s a terrible shock. Mo Chohan was the voice of Belgrave. An icon of the local community. It is for those reasons that he was genuinely adored by local people. Thousands of local people had their lives transformed by the selfless work that he did for them.“



27 Oct - 3 Nov 2018

Project Dignity

A Pioneer Pan India Project in the Field of Skill Development Empowering 30,000 Widows The Loomba Foundation working together with the Rotary India Literacy Mission is providing vocational skills training this year to:

 5000 widows, un-married daughters of widows and single mothers

 in the states of Delhi, Bihar, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh and West Bengal.  in the fields of Beauty & Wellness, Tailoring and IT.

If you wish to know more about the Dignity Project or support a widow on the auspicious occasion of Diwali this year Please contact: Mr. Risto Harma at, Loomba House, 622 Western Avenue, London. W3 0TF Charity No. 1064988


6 UK



27 Oct - 3 Nov 2018

Gourmet Burger Kitchen's new advert hurts sentiments A recent advert by high street restaurant Gourmet Burger Kitchen has sparked huge backlash on social media, with the Twitteratti calling it insulting to their community and sheer mockery. The clip shows a young white male wearing a sandwich board, shouting “These are curry lies!” and “Authentic my arse!” while standing outside Indian restaurants. While the aim of the campaign was to promote GBK's new Ruby Murray, a “Proper Indian' burger, the advert came out rather prudish. In one section of the promotion, the actor can be heard saying, “Authentic? You're funny. This is a proper Indian”, while another section has him strongly suggesting the burger was better than traditional Bengali cuisine. The #CurryWars campaign sparked outrage after it was shared online, with critics accusing GBK of missing the mark and offending ethnic minorities. One user tweeted, “Hahaha It’s a white guy from Gourmet Burger

BARGAIN DEAL FOR FREEZING EGGS Mohammed Taranissi, a fertility doctor, is expected to slash the cost of freezing eggs to encourage more women in their 30s to undergo IVF. Taranissi has proposed a meagre amount of £750 to “bank” the eggs of women aged below 38 years as opposed to the usual cost of £3,500 of one-off egg freezing. Additionally he is expected to charge £1 for every day it is stored. This move comes at a time when more and more women are being pressurized by their families and biological clocks to produce babies. Taranissi is offering a bargain deal at his ARGC clinic in Harley street and the New Life clinic in Epsom, Surrey.


Kitchen antagonising small local Indian restaurants. Just super bad marketing. They’re a big chain saying they produce proper Indian food, and trying to define what it is. When it’s not even their culture. Plus they’re being rude”. In just a couple of hours of the clip being shared on social media, people began calling for it to be taken down. Many even described it as “tone deaf”. One person wrote, “Delete this”, while another tweeted, “Then hire more minorities

in senior positions so they can inform you when you're being racist bc clearly you can't tell by yourselves.” The restaurant soon removed all clips of its #CurryWars video campaign, and posted an apologetic statement explaining the clip was meant to be tongue-in-cheek. “To those offended by our Ruby Murray video, we humbly apologise. The video intended to be humorous. We know that a burger could never pass off as an authentic Indian dish.

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Having read your comments, we've made the decision to take down the content. Unreserved Apologies, GBK.” Michael Carr, chief executive of marketing company You Agency, which helped produce the campaign, said, “Our campaigns have always been rooted in an unwavering belief in the quality of the burgers, and in this instance the joke is in the absurdity that a curry burger could possible compete with genuine Indian cuisine.”

Nilesh Seth, Barclays' bank manager, set up 400 fake accounts to help a Romanian criminal to launder £16mn. Seth is now ordered to forfeit £62,000 following the police raid last year in 2016 where he had hidden £16,000 and 9 mobile phones. Seth admitted to money-laundering and possessing criminal property last year and was issued a jail sentence of 4 years. Now, he is ordered to cough up £62,000 within three months or would be given an additional year in jail.

RETIRED MATH TEACHER, 82, DIED IN AN EXPLOSION Ratna Alexander, an 82-year-old retired Maths teacher died in her apartment in Harrow, north-west London after an explosion went up in the early hours of Monday through a block of flats. More than 70 firefighters were called to the scene as a baby was suspected to be trapped in the explosion. A baby boy and his parents were brought down from a second-floor window in an adjoining and were treated for smoke inhalation later. Tributes were paid to the teacher from her neighbours and known ones later in the day.

Car theft ringleader behind bars after reporting stolen Porsche A British-Indian car theft firebrand got justice delivered to him first class after he called the authorities about his own vehicle being stolen. Chirag Patel, 39, asked for an investigation into his missing Porsche that reportedly was stolen on January 31, 2015. When officers conducted a search in his Croydon home, they found five stolen cars in his underground garage. Also found was a collection of 26 car keys, nine of which were stolen from Jagual Land Rover's factory in Solihull, West Midlands. Further investigation revealed a total of 19 stolen cars including a Porsche Cayenne, Range Rovers, and Mercedes. The total value of the stolen vehicles estimated at £728,000. Patel has been sentenced to eight years in prison. Tragically for him, the Porsche he reported stolen was bought legitimately. His collection of cars were all stolen in “keyless thefts” across London between October 2012 and January 2015. Officers went through accounts of his car rental business and found found £440,000 in “unexplained cash deposits”. They also found a laptop stolen from a Streatham address.

Authorities also said Patel tried to keep them away from his home by only giving details of his parents' address. The Met said, “When he finally gave his own address, officers attended the property as part of their investigation into the stolen car. Here they discovered a number of high-value vehicles in the basement car park. Officers identified that one of the cars had a personalised number plate identical to one seen earlier on a vehicle outside Patel's parents' address. Further inquiries by officers established that the five vehicles in the car park had false number plates and all were later confirmed to have been stolen.” They added, ““The vehicles had been stolen by unknown individuals during burglaries and keyless thefts across London between

October 2012 and January 2015 and were stored at or near addresses owned by Patel and his family, or with associates who looked after the vehicles for him or rented them from him. The identities of the cars were concealed using legitimate insurance details of vehicles which had been written off.” Acting Detective Sergeant Billy Clough said Patel was motivated by “sheer greed”. “He even attempted to convince the jury that he was a legitimate businessman who had simply been unlucky in obtaining such a vast quantity of stolen items, but the jury saw through this and convicted him of being the key player in a significant criminal enterprise. I hope that this sentence sends a message that those involved in this type of organised criminality will be pursued robustly.”



27 Oct - 3 Nov 2018


8 UK



27 Oct - 3 Nov 2018

Letter from India Part 2 I write to you having just returned from India and after giving my keynote at the London Investor Show. Brexit came up at both. So a quick rundown of some key points that came out. The UK market is near all time highs (stock market that is!) UK unemployment numbers are at their lowest If there is a hard Brexit, then the pound will drop and it will be cheaper to invest in the UK and also the UK FTSE 100 stocks will rise because most earn profits abroad and so their $ profits go up when converted to £. UK talent is not going to migrate to Frankfurt. Not going to happen. Have you been there? UK is a world leader in AI, in Fintech, in Machine Learning among many other things. That does not change. UK is a major cultural centre of the world. That matters The UK is bigger in terms of capital for business than the rest of Europe combined

So when it comes to business I have to say, whilst I wish we were in the EU, my side lost. And now we are leaving, there are either things which are not as bad as I thought, and there are some upsides. What I found surprising at the London Investor Show speaking to the audience is: The Brexiters were all unhappy because of their view how the Government is handling it The Remainers are all unhappy! Those who voted Remain would if they could again switch to Brexit None of those who voted Exit, would swith to Remain. All of these points surprised me. They were not what I expected. But tell me, when has in the last two years anything been as we expected? Speaking of surprises – look at the US. Trump’s approval ratings are the highest of his Presidency. As the Mid-Term elections are about to start, I think the Republicans will do very well. It’s an upside down world. Politics has never been harder to forecast.

Nayan Patel appointed trustee to Lepra Nayan Patel PHF, a risk management specialist has been appointed to the board of trustees at international specialist charity, Lepra, which works to beat leprosy in India, Bangladesh and Mozambique on 18th October. Nayan was recently bestowed with Rotary

International’s highest honour granted to an individual Rotarian, the “Service Above Self” award, in recognition of his contribution to the organisation and for his extensive charitable work globally. Nayan's main objective is to make leprosy a disease of little consequence that can be easily

diagnosed and treated, leaving no disability and without stigma. “Lack of awareness, myths, social, cultural beliefs and the stigma attached to leprosy are perhaps the most pressing challenges before public health activists today” said Nayan.

Mayor of London to celebrate the Festival of Lights with Diwali in Trafalgar Square The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan

Diwali celebarated in 2017 at Trafalgar Square The Mayor of London will celebrate Diwali in Trafalgar Square on Sunday 28 October. The festival of lights will see the central London square taken over by music and dance performances, food and drink, market stalls selling Indian crafts, and activities for the whole family, as well as spectacular light installations. Londoners of all backgrounds, and visitors to the capital, are able to attend the free celebrations which have been organised to mark Diwali, which is observed by Hindus, Sikhs and Jains in India and many other countries around the world. The Diwali Festival is produced in association with the Diwali in London committee. The family-friendly event will run from 1pm to 7pm, with a dynamic stage show including dance performances from Natraj Dance Academy and CutiePie Dance Group, a mass choreographed Ghoomar dance and a Garba dance that the crowd can join in with. There will be

stand-up performances in partnership with The Soho Theatre, children’s activities, a puppet show, as well as have-a-go yoga sessions, sari dressing, dance workshops, talks, and cultural crafts. Market stalls will be selling a range of food – with plenty of vegetarian and vegan options available. As 2018 marks 100 years since the end of the First World War, the Square will host a WW1 exhibition bus, and the Royal British Legion will have a stall honouring the service of South Asian soldiers. The celebrations will draw to a close with a spectacular light show, to mark the annual Festival of Lights. The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, said: “I want to send my warmest wishes to everyone celebrating Diwali in London and around the world. “During this wonderful festival of lights, we come together to reflect on the past year together, and mark the triumph of good over evil, light over darkness and friendship over enmity.

“Diwali’s central message of peace and mutual respect is one that I know all Londoners support – we are a city that celebrates our differences, and London is open to all. From my family to yours, Happy Diwali and a prosperous new year.” Mr Nitin Palan MBE from BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Temple, London, Diwali in London Committee Chair 2018, said: “This will be our 17th year of celebrations in the heart of London – and we hope in the hearts of Londoners. The lights of Diwali remind us all to be a beacon of light ourselves, spreading that inner quality of love peace AND harmony – come and be part of the celebrations.” Anita Nomula, Telugu Association of London and member of Diwali in London Committee, said: “It’s wonderful to celebrate Festival of Lights along with my fellow Londoners. We pray that the divine lights of Diwali bring to you all peace, prosperity and good health. Have a joyful Diwali”.

BBC's 'Doctor Who' to explore Partition history and visit 1947 Punjab One of BBC's TRP-bringing shows, 'Doctor Who' is all set to travel down South in its series. An upcoming episode called 'Demons of the Punjab' will feature the Tardis jumping to 1947, after Doctor Who's companion Yaz seeks to dig deep into her grandmother’s hidden history. The episode is written by Vinay Patel, creator of 'Murdered By My Father', and features actors Shane Zaza, Amita Suman, and Hamza Jeetooa. A synopsis for the episode says, “What’s the point of having a mate with a time machine if you can’t nip back and see your gran when she was younger?”. It further reads, “the Doctor discovers demons haunting the land”. Patel said it was the first idea he pitched, and

believed 'Doctor Who' was the right show to do it. He announced the choice of story on Twitter, and wrote, “There we are then, this is finally announced. I've written episode 6 of this season of #DoctorWho. Demons Of The Punjab - Yaz goes in search of her grandmother during the Partition of India. Starring @shanezaza

@hamzajeetooa and @amita_suman. Directed by @JamieRossChilds.” The announcement has found positive reaction on Twitter. The India-Pakistan partition is among the largest mass migration of humans in history, with historians estimating around 2 million deaths during the time.





27 Oct - 3 Nov 2018

Luton to London:

Affordable housing

Strawberry Star Group, a housing company launched the model of its ambitious housing complex in Luton. The construction is proposed to start from Spring 2019 with 400 apartments of the phase one of the construction of the society to roll out in the same year. Whereas, the whole project is expected to be completed by 2021 almost at the same time as the completion of Luton Airport rail link. With a total area of 6.8 acres, the housing complex is not restricted to residential flats only but has plans to include a surgery, pharmacy, a gym, parking and restaurants as well.

Prices for a 2-BHK apartment start anywhere between £185,000 to £215,000. Santosh Gowda, Chairman of Strawberry Star Group said, “We're looking at more and more high density projects so that we can build such societies and address the housing demands especially for young professionals who cannot afford housing in Central London.” Property rates have gone up in London and young professionals are finding the rent prices increasingly unaffordable. Last year Luton was ranked as one of the top five

cities to live around London to commute to. The housing complex that is going to be built right near Luton airport, is just a 23-minute-ride away from central London's St. Pancras station. But despite the advantages of an easy commute and relatively cheaper cost, Luton is reputed as one of the most notorious areas of London. James, the research head of the project addressing safety concerns, said- “Look at what Hackney has become now. It used to have a reputation for being very notorious. The same way we hope that our development project will reform Luton.”

Tilda's new ‘Tildalicious’ advertising campaign Leading British rice brand Tilda unveiled its biggest ad campaign since it was founded over 45 years ago as part of a significant investment in the brand. The new TV creative aired nationally from Saturday 20th October brings to life the culinary journey of different Tilda rice grains through the hands of real-life cooks from all over the world, via their UK kitchens. Along with the succession of close-ups of dishes from around the world, the word ‘Delicious’ is displayed in global languages. Anna Beheshti, Brand

Lead at Tilda comments: “This autumn sees our biggest brand campaign yet with a £1.5m investment to reach new consumers and drive brand growth. We have developed a creative direction which illustrates Tilda’s natural positioning at the heart of multiple cultures and communities, and brings to life the feeling of immense pleasure when food meets culture. Tildalicious delivers this with a journey of discovery of culinary opportunities. Fourteen different dishes from around the world are featured from Jollof to

Middle Eastern rice salad, with a wide range of languages and nationalities represented.” The advert has been created by advertising agency Havas London – its first work since being named Tilda’s UK strategic and creative agency. Elliot Harris, Deputy Executive Creative Director at Havas. The TV ad will run from 20th October until the end of November 2018.

The Politics of People Continued from page 3

Tanzania has been, up until recently, a democratic and comparatively peaceful state. Among the three East African countries- Kenya, Uganda, and Tanzania, in the 60s, the third was considerably backward but now has grown to become the leading light in East Africa. Another good fortune for Tanzania is that the society is more tolerant and accommodating, and has no space for any community or

tribal war. This feature has made governance much more undemanding and smooth. Which is why, if reports are true that President Magufuli has a vested interest or hand in the kidnapping of Mr Dewji, then I must say, it is rather repugnant. Mr Dewji's great grandparents went to Africa from Gujarat, in India. And the community, Shia Ismaili Muslims, like other Indians and Pakistanis who have made East Africa their

home, Mr Dewji's simplicity has always been commendable. And to go through this horrendous experience would not only be shocking to his family, but very stressful. This incident makes me fear for other entrepreneurs of Indian or Asian origin in the continent. I am worried about the development of all Africans, and believe, President Magufuli will take this episode as a wake up call and take proper action to prevent any similar mishaps in the future.




27 Oct - 3 Nov 2018

Fifty shades of cancer The word cancer passes shivers in our hearts, minds and entire body, losing sleep and apatite. It is akin to death sentence even though many cancers are treatable, expanding one’s life-span from five years to indefinite, living as long as ordinary people who are healthy and enjoys life-longevity. But the cure or at least the delay in departure is connected to early detection and immediate treatment, although many cancers reappear sooner or later and patients need constant supervision throughout their lives. The main cancers inflecting, invading our bodies are breast cancers in women and prostate cancers in men. Practically every man in their old age, normally after retirement, suffers from enlarge prostate. But mercifully most are benign but it needs medication for life, disturbing night sleep. Another dangerous cancer affecting everyone, irrespective of gender or age, is bowel cancer. Again if diagnosed in time, it can be cured, or at least kept in check, although some may need surgery. Other types of cancers are brain tumour, chest, bone, bladder, kidney, skin, colorectal, cervical, sarcoma and few more types of cancers which may affect comparatively tiny number of patients, thus some may not be diagnosed in time. Although NHS has made tremendous progress during the last decade, appointments with oncologists available within days rather than months, but delay may occasionally occur in some cases, as patients have to go through so many tests and that include X-rays, MRI and CT scan, blood tests and many more, so often some of these tests are repeated if there is grey area, the result is not clear cut. But it is to our advantage that NHS is so through, not willing to take chances with wrong diagnosis that may end up in unnecessary treatment, even operations. NHS is treating bowel cancer with zeal and determination. At present people between the age of 60 and 74 receive faecal immunochemical home testing kits every two years which is effective for early diagnosis. Unfortunately so many people, being in good health ignore it with fatal consequences. As a result only 10% of such cases are diagnosed by early screening, majority come to know their fate while visiting A & E or their GPs send them to see specialists. Health Secretary, Matt Hancock, to his credit, agreed to bring down screening threshold by a decade, bringing it in line with Scotland, thus benefitting younger people, saving them a life of misery. It is time to educate people not to ignore home kits that could save them from lifelong misery. Kumudini Valambia By email

No, Prime Minister I cannot imagine that Indian politics could ever be as complex and frustrating as the incredible situation facing British prime minister Theresa May. The harassed woman is trying her best to please several factions at once but each statement she makes manages to upset most of them. The Northern Ireland spanner in the works is probably her biggest headache. One cannot help but feel sorry for her because politicians and EU negotiators keep saying "No, Prime Minister". Rudy Otter By email

American values The voyages of Columbus starting from 1492 led the way for European nationals to come to the Americas, which were populated by the same number of people as in Europe at that time, to increase their wealth and broaden their influence on earth. The North and South American mainland fell to the conquistadors with an estimated 8 million deaths of native people making it the first large-scale act of genocide in the modern era. There are now only a few natives left in the USA living a miserable life in the reservations. The first slave voyage direct from Africa to the Americas probably sailed in early 16th century. The majority of enslaved Africans were brought to British North America between 1720 and 1780. Slaves suffered a variety of miserable and often fatal maladies due to the wretched conditions on the ships during the Atlantic voyage and to the inhumane living and working conditions. Since the end of World War II, more people (civilians and combatants) have suffered unnatural death by USA armaments than any other human activity. In spite of these terrible records, we have been bombarded by the United States on their glorious record on basic humanity, democracy, free speech and freedom of religion. The recent event of journalist Khashoggi’s killing in Istanbul clearly exposes American Values to the world. Every time President Trump has talked about this episode he has not failed to emphasize the fact that how many billions of armaments his country is selling but never mentioned basic humanity or freedom of speech related to the incident. This simply confirms their historical value system is unadulterated greed. Narsibhai Patel New Malden

Is Westminster a den of bullies? Although we all know that Palace of Westminster, House of Commons is not a place for sentimental and faint-hearted people, as politics here is as intense and demanding as anywhere else in the world but we always believed our MPs are on most part honest, kind and caring, especially when it comes to looking after their constituents and the people who work for them, as these are mostly young, ambitious people, many straight from universities where they may have studied politics, worked for charities with minimum pay, who wants to work for politicians, MPs to gain experience. They have ambition to enter politics later on. It is glamorous job working in HOC, the experience will stand them in good stead, a shining entry on their CVs most employers appreciate and admire. Some academically brilliant, especially those with Oxbridge degrees also serve on the “Think Tank” occupying a privileged position. Their input is invaluable, so often influencing the ideology, the thinking of MPs. Politics is highly competitive, emotionally charged in an energy draining environment where one has to watch one’s back constantly, especially for those MPs who have the ambition to reach the top, gain residency in No 10 Downing Street. It is once in a life-time opportunity that does not fall vacant that often. No wonder aspirants are ruthless, ready and willing to stab in the back, even their close friends and allies to climb the greasy pole! It is not unknown that so often, after a bad day in HOC, many luminary politicians take it out on their employees, soft and easy punch-bags for frustrated minuscule politicians, as such junior staffs could not fight back. But this is in a completely different league compared to allegations of sexual harassments that drives many to tears. Could this be a fairly recent advent or is it an age-old problem that has come to surface with “Me To” movement that is tearing America apart? I wonder if there is any one in HOC or Whip’s office where these harassed employees can complain! In any case HOC is a closely-knit environment difficult to penetrate who are on most part judge and jury when it comes to looking after their own interest. Fortunately by far most MPs and Lords are decent, honourable, trustworthy people. In this fast changing political environment, it is only a question of time before such oppressive behaviour will become unacceptable and out-dated, having no place in our modern, liberated society. Bhupendra M. Gandhi By email

Festival of Lights - dispel the darkness of our ignorance Diwali is one of the most beautiful seasons of the year. It is a time filled with light and love; a time when Indians all over the world rejoice. It is the darkest night of the darkest period, yet it is a celebration of light. The meaning of Diwali, its symbols and rituals, and the reasons for celebration are innumerable. Diwali celebrates Lord Rama’s glorious and long awaited return to his kingdom of Ayodhya after his fourteen years of exile in the forest. It commemorates Lord Krishna’s victory over the demon Narakasura who had kidnapped and terrorised the gopis of Vrindavan. It is also celebrated as the day God Vishnu married Lakshmi. Diiwali is also associated with the story of the fall of Bali – a demon king who was defeated by Lord Vishnu. In general, Diwali signifies the triumph of good over evil, of righteousness over treachery, of truth over falsehood, and of light over darkness. However, Diwali is not a festival of lights in order that we may burn diyas, fireworks and sparklers. Sure, these are wonderful ways of expressing our gaiety. But, it is not the only or true meaning of ‘light’. Diwali is a festival of the light that dispels the darkness of our ignorance; it is a festival of the light which shows us the way on our journey through life. The purpose is not to glorify the light of the candle or the firecracker. The purpose is to glorify the light of God. It is He who bestows the real light, the everlasting light upon the darkness of this mundane world. A candle burns out. A firework is a momentary visual experience. But the candle of a still mind and the fireworks of a heart-filled with devotion are divine and eternal; these are what we should be celebrating. We decorate our homes with lanterns; but what is the symbolism behind that? Those lanterns signify God’s light, penetrating through the ignorance and sin of our daily lives. They signify the divine light, shining its way through this mundane world. A home bathed in light is a home in which anger, pain and ignorance are being dispelled; it is a home that is calling to God. However, too many people turn this into a domestic beauty contest, spending days and a great deal of money to purchase the newest diyas and the most beautiful candles. This is only the light of glamour. It is not the light of God. The light of Diwali should be within us. It should symbolise the personal relationship between God and our families. Let the light penetrate inward, for only there will it have the lasting benefit. A piece of cotton soaked in ghee, lit with a pure heart, a conscious mind and a desire to be free from ignorance is far “brighter” than a 100 expensive electric bulbs or earthen lamps. Jubel D'Cruz, Mumbai, India

The clocks will be going back by 1 hour, on Sunday 28th October 2018. Don't forget to change the time on your clocks! On a knife edge We understand from media reports that knife crime in this country is again on the increase. The Office for National Statistics said that police records show that knife crimes have gone up to 39,332, the highest level ever recorded in London. That is an annual increase of 12% this year to June. They also indicate that knife deaths are phenomenon among many black teenagers. The worrying figures published indicate that the number of knife crime offences went up by alarming rate this year. Many campaigns have been launched to tackle this “dispicable” acts which have claimed large number of lives. Imagine yourself being confronted by man weilding a knife and threatening to harm you. It must be a very frightening experience. People who are victims would probably live the rest of their lives on a knife edge, being jittery and afraid to go out any time of the day or night. It has been suggested by some that increased jail sentences for the culprits may be an answer. But others argue that prison sentences on their own are not effective. The person will come out of jail more hardened criminal and w ould be carrying a chip on his shoulder. What needs to change is the person or the environment they are brought up in. The culprits and their victims need more support from their peers. However, the poor victims of crime would probably live the rest of their life on a knife edge. Dinesh Sheth Newbury Park, Ilford

Fraud in the NHS It is well known that NHS has been deliberately unfunded by the government to enable it to privatise it through the back door. This ploy is not working as the public is well aware of these machinations by the government. On the other hand because of austerity fraud has increased exponentially in NHS. It is costing the NHS 1.29 billion a year. This could pay for 40,000 nurses or 5,000 new ambulances. According to Associated Newspapers Limited NHS staff are defrauding their employer out of around £94 million a year, but patients are thought to be conning the health service out of a huge £341.7m, a report has revealed Fraud is costing the NHS nearly £1.3 billion each year, an official report has revealed. Patients are conning the health service out of around £341.7 million, while its own staff are cheating it of £94.2 million. The NHS Counter Fraud Authority, set up in November last year, announced the damning numbers in its first annual report. Money is being lost across the health service, the body said: dentists are defrauding around £126.1 million, opticians £79 million and GP surgeries £88 million. Around £111 million is being lost to local pharmacies, and £35 million to people claiming healthcare in England which they're not entitled to, The Times reported. There were 45 criminal investigations being carried out at the end of March to try and prosecute fraudsters. It is time now for the authorities to take firm action to stop people stealing from the NHS. On one side we are complaining about underfunding and falling standards in the NHS but on the other hand such a huge fraud is taking place. Ultimately the patients will be losers, especially the aging population whose needs are the greatest. Sue Frith, the interim chief executive of the NHS Counter Fraud Authority, said: 'Fraud always undermines the NHS, with every penny lost to fraud impacting on the delivery of vital patient services. Baldev Sharma Rayners Lane, Harrow


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27 Oct - 3 Nov 2018

University grade inflation to be tackled as first-class degrees rise A surge in the number of first-class degrees awarded at university has led the government to bring in measures to tackle so-called grade inflation. Figures suggest that degrees are being "marked up", meaning students are leaving with a higher grade than a comparable student in previous years. A government rating system introduced last year is to be broadened to include how students reach their final grading. More than a quarter of students are now graduating with a first-class degree. The Teaching Excellence and Student Outcomes Framework (TEF) - introduced in June 2017 - ranks universities as gold, silver or bronze by assessing multiple factors including student experience, the quality of teaching and whether courses are difficult enough. Now the government is piloting a ratings chart for individual subjects taught at university, taking into account student feedback on the course, drop-out rates and graduation outcomes. Universities Minister Sam Gyimah said he hoped it would "discourage universities from undermining... a degree qualification".

Universities are their own degree-awarding bodies, so can decide their own degree grades. Figures released by the Higher Education Statistics Agency show that 26% of students are now graduating with a first-class degree, up from 18% in 2012-13. The increase is part of a longer term trend. In the early 1990s, only about 8% of students achieved a first. A spokesman for Universities UK, which represents higher education institutions, said they too would be proposing measures to tackle the practice of grade inflation. He suggested that changes in the sector, including greater investment in the quality of teaching and technology, could be factors in the rise in first-class degrees, alongside the fact that, as they are having to invest more in their own education, "students may be working harder to achieve higher grades". Tuition fees were first introduced in 1998, but basic fees were trebled in 2012. Research in 2014 by Lancaster University argued that improvements in degree grades were in line with the rising quality of the intake, as shown by A-level grades.

Academies vs Co-ops: Labours dilemma The Labour Party has shifted to a more hard-line policy on schools, saying it would scrap the current academy system. But dozens of its own MPs are part of a group opening academies and planning to become one of England's biggest academy providers. There are 37 "Labour and Co-operative" MPs - but when it comes to schools policy, the Labour and Co-operative parts of their title seem to be pulling in completely different directions. The Co-op, part of the fibre of the Labour movement and a sponsor of MPs, is itself the sponsor of its own multi-academy trust - running academies. But Angela Rayner, Labour's shadow education secretary, has a policy to stop the creation of any academies. "We'll start by immediately ending the Tories' academy and free schools programmes. They neither improve standards nor empower staff or parents," she told the party conference. The Co-op trust currently runs 13 schools, focused on improving standards in the north of England. And it wants to push ahead to take over 40 academies, which would

make it among the biggest academy trusts in the country. But this ambition would have to be ditched under Labour's policy. The Co-op trust has been commended for turning round underachieving schools, such as tackling truancy at its Coop Academy Manchester. And as the Co-op is using its resources to support Labour MPs and also to back its academy expansion, which Labour now wants to stop - there is, to say the least, some confusion. Labour's Co-op MPs include: l shadow education minister Tracy Brabin l former Education Minister Stephen Twigg l former Education Select Committee chairman Barry Sheerman l former shadow education secretary Lucy Powell l Meg Hillier, who chairs the Public Accounts Committee Speaking privately, there are Labour parliamentarians who admit they don't understand the party's plans for re-organising schools. The Co-op is also unimpressed to have the efforts of its academy trust written off.

Special needs pupils being failed by system 'on verge of crisis' According to a recent investigation by the Guardian newspaper children with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) are being failed by a system “on the verge of crisis” as demand for specialist support soars and threatens to bankrupt local authorities. Parents of children with SEND are increasingly locked in prolonged and costly disputes with councils across England who are too often failing to deliver on their legal obligations. As a result, many of the most vulnerable children in society end up without the support to which they are entitled, and are out of school for months – even years – as parents battle to secure the right provision to meet their child’s needs. Appeals heard by the special educational needs and disability tribunal have nearly doubled in the past two years. According to the most recent figures, parents are successful in 89% of tribunal hearings, prompting concerns that some local authorities are making poor decisions, delaying vulnerable children’s access to education.

The investigation found that between 2011-12 and 2015-16, the tribunal heard about 800 cases a year; in 2016-17 the number rose to 1,600 in the fallout after sweeping government changes for children with SEN and disabilities that came into force in 2014. Findings by the local government and social care ombudsman, who investigates complaints about local public services, confirm worrying levels of council failure within the SEND system. Out of 200 investigations into parents’ complaints, the ombudsman, Michael King, found in favour of parents in eight out of 10 cases. More than 1.2 million school pupils – about 15% of all those in England – have some kind of SEND, according to the Department for Education. Approximately 253,000 (3% of all pupils) have SEND statements or education and health care plans (EHCP), a legally binding document detailing the additional support that child needs. Councils, suffering from years of budget cuts, warn the current system is “unsustainable”.

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27 Oct - 3 Nov 2018

Brit-Indian author's book to mark the centenary of the Jallianwala Bagh massacre Rupanjana Dutta Indian-origin author from West London, Saurav Dutt, is to publish a book to mark the centenary of a horrific event that proved to be the turning point in the Indian fight for independence from the British Raj. At least 379 people were massacred in Amritsar and another 1,200 injured after 90 British men, under the orders of Brigadier-General Reginald Edward Harry Dyer, opened fire at the crowd gathered at Jallianwala Bagh in Amritsar

on April 13,1919. The incident is regarded as one of the deadliest attacks in the history of the world and proved to be a turning point in India’s freedom struggle, whose repercussions were felt across generations. Saurav said, “This was a momentous occasion, bringing together the abject racism, brutality and ruthlessness of the British Raj in India; that afternoon and in the events that followed in its wake, typified the true face of British colonialism and its

he was a six months old baby. His novel, The Butterfly Room, was a Notable Book of the Year in The Los Angeles Times and The Indian Express. Saurav at the 18th Asian Achievers Awards on His books have 14 September 2019 been short-listed and featured at the absolute spite of the Indian London and Frankfurt book and their hope for self fairs, Kolkata Book Fairand government and BookExpo America and he independence.” has appeared in interviews The 36-year-old Bengali or otherwise in news haslived inNortholt, amongst media outlets Ealingever since his family suchas Sky News, BBC, moved from Kolkatawhen

CNN and Asian Voice. He was also one of the four final nominees for the Media, Art and Culture category in the 18thAsian Achievers Awards. Dutt's new book delves deeply into the mindset of the Indian populace at the time, the British Raj establishment as well as the key players, not least the complex General Dyer who gave the order to fire and who felt as if he ‘would be laughed at’ if he did not demonstrate the forcefulness that earned him the moniker ‘The butcher of Amritsar’.

“It was a charged and highly emotive time,” he added. “I hope the book will encapsulate the desperation and fortitude of the Indian independence movement as well as the contempt, racism and hatred of the British establishment once they realised that Hindus, Muslims and Sikhs dared to question their authority and sought to create an India for Indians, without British governance and domination.” The book is released in Spring 2019 to mark the centenary.

Kolkata boy joins 'Curious Voyager' on London streets Theatre artist Ninad Samaddar and a graduate in Acting from Central Saint Martins has become the only Indian to be appointed in the unique show 'Curious Voyager'. The 'Curious Voyage' is a project directed by Daniele Bartolini, Artistic Director of DLT. DLT have successfully run various audience specific shows since 2013. This includes two shows in India. One of which was part of Thespo 17, a national youth theatre movement. This particular show is the most anticipated project for the team as they have never done something like this before. The show starts its course in a small town of Barrie, Canada and travels to the streets of Russell Square, London. The show essentially focuses on the journey of every audience member as they interact

Ninad Samaddar

with actors hidden in plain sight. The actors guide the audience through the space in search of a question that begins the play for each of these audience members. Its not a typical theatre experience, its experiencing the devised world in the real world streets of London. Some audience members from London will experience how it is to be in a group with the Canadian audience members who have already begun the immersive experience back home and are traveling for their third and last day of

their experience. Although, this would be the tail end of the show for the Canadian audience as opposed to the one-day show experience for the Londoners. This, in the words of the director is the craziest thing he has tried so far and is hoping for a beautiful response from the city. The show starts at half past noon and requires everyone to come equipped with a card equipped with travel within Zone 1-2 and trainers for there is some walking involved, with a surprise musical waiting at the end. The locations, job titles and exact knowledge of the show is a secret for the run At all given points the devised world is very much part of the real world doing justice to the show tailored to provide a thrilling journey. Speaking to Asian Voice,

Kolkata boy Ninad said, “As an international student it is quite hard getting around doing things for the first time and handling them all as the only one has been an exciting challenge. I was the only Indian and International student at the year at Drama Centre and now as the only Indian in the show, 'Curious Voyager'. It has shown me the vast area of experience that I can offer and bring to a character. I cannot reveal much about the character as that would potentially dissolve ones experience of this show, but the director has been able to include my ethnic identity in certain parts of the play. My character is much like all the other cast members, human beings with different professions, the only difference is that our main subject of interaction is with you, the audience.”

Honour for Indian dance guru Dhiren Katwa One of Britain’s leading south Asian choreographers, Dr Chithra Ramakrishnan, has been honoured by her local authority in the highest category. Chithra, pictured, a mother-of-two from Solihull, has been recognised by Solihull Metropolitan Borough Council for “outstanding achievement and commitment to the community in Solihull”, as part of the Solihull Civic Honours 2018. Accepting her trophy from the Mayor of Solihull,

Mrs Flo Nash, an emotional Chithra said: “Inspiring others, connecting people and communities and sharing my Indian heritage is my passion.” Chithra, a fellow of the Royal Society of Arts, is founder of Shruthi UK, a South Asian arts organisation started in 2005 in Leeds. Her main focus, to encourage, educate and train children and young adults from all faith, race and cultural backgrounds to experience South Indian classical music and dance. In June 2015, Chithra pioneered the British

Carnatic Choir, the UK’s leading Carnatic Choir, the only one of its kind. Her vision is to take Carnatic music to people and communities across the nation and give them an opportunity to learn or experience the music style. Chithra has raised funds for humanitarian causes for charities in the UK and beyond. She aims to be a role model for youngsters in taking pride of their rich cultural tradition and heritage. Next month Chithra will once again lead on the World Music Conference, now in its second year. The

event, being hosted by the University of Wolverhampton, will bring together artists from all over the world representing music genres from their respective cultural heritage.





Akash Vaghela: RNT Fitness Sunetra Senior

In terms of motivation and accountability, we encourage clients to check in with their coaches on a weekly basis by uploading pictures, updated measurements and different levels of feedback etc. We make sure to monitor the effects that the new routines are having, and use the feedback to make tweaks and alterations to not only allow the client to progress, but make it seamless with their lifestyle.” Indeed, treating the body as interconnected with emotional health is a very contemporary trend. Cambridge Psychiatrist Edward Bullmore recently published work that argued depression as a chiefly physical disorder linked to obesity and poor diet while the mindfulness movement increasingly incorporates care for the body as crucial for progress.

“RNT Fitness goes beyond delivering world class physical training,” Akash, the co-founder of the innovative online outfit, told me. “We specialise in transformation of the body,” and as Asian Voice found out, also centrally people’s lives. Expert trainers help put together rigorous and reliable fitness routines, which are adapted to individual schedules, and moreover views “body transformation as a vehicle that enables holistic change.” This is RNT’s unique entrepreneurial power. Together with gifting customers excellent athletic and bikini physiques, Akash elaborated on how clients have experienced “an incredible boost to all facets of modern living: from relationships, to productivity at work and finances.” RNT signature workouts are so successful because there is broader, smarter thinking behind it: “through physically building people’s bodies, conscientiously guiding them at the same time, we foster qualities of discipline, “When you really train hard and work on focus and tap into resilient emotional your body,” Akash commented, “you can energy. This creates long-lasting impact. enter what is called a ‘void state’ which is To this end, we also ask clients to attach similar to meditation.” Such vigorous a strong value to their fitness routine: it physical routine results in a sort of exisshouldn’t be working out simply for the tential cleanse that creates great internal sake of it. We ask them: why do you want clarity: “another beneficial outcome of to be fitter? Can you appreciate how this the RNT approach has been igniting peodrives your wider goals and ambition?” ple’s passions. I believe you should follow *** the life path and vocation that best suits By understanding the pivotal role of the you and I really enjoy watching people body in elevated happiness then, Akash flourish through finding their individualand his team affect a multitude of perity as I have.” Intense, agile expression sonal positive changes. The young prohas been particularly important to Akash fessional himself holds a first-class as a man of South Asian origin: “I do Sports Science degree from the embody an unconventional University of Birmingham, career path, but I feel a lot of now actively competing in people of our cultural backBody national bodybuilding ground additionally give competitions alongside his transformation up on themselves because full-time career: sincere they feel good health and is as much an the community are testament to the purposeful RNT Fitness ethos. incompatible in a way. art as it is a Akash added: “I can really But we can get into great science empathise with my clients shape and keep very fit too. because I’m always learning Body transformation is as more and pushing the limit on much an art as it is a science. It my own fitness, taking my body to the is psychological – if you can master extreme. I can relate to everyday trials immediate, tangible challenges, you learn and tribulations and the rigid structure to really value yourself and can surmount required to yield the best results.” any challenge.” Thus, Akash and the team However, as well as having a sensitive at RNT stand frontrunners in a fastapproach, Akash’s strong academic backevolving fitness landscape that not only ground makes him a naturally “analytical values preservation of the body, but sees and solid researcher, blending scientific it as core to the self. knowledge with practical experience.” RNT can boast staying connected to the What exactly drew you to a career latest fitness facts to provide the ultiin fitness? mate, integrated training programme. I was initially set to follow my father’s A digital service, RNT Fitness also footsteps with a career in law, but when I holds clients through the various obstastarted training at 17 years old, I was cles posed to actually implementing the hooked. I saw the instant reward, and healthier physical habits. “We make the became obsessed with learning about it. system work for our customers,” emphaAnd so I went against the grain of the trasised Akash. “This starts with the applicaditional South-Asian career choices of tion process which accommodates for law, finance or medicine and switched to clients as real people, leaving room to a career in fitness. I wanted to do someallow elaboration on what they’ve gone thing that I was passionate about, fulthrough, and what they want to achieve filled me, and was able to create real with us as fitness experts. We assign the impact in people’s lives. most qualified member of our team who designs a highly personalised physical What more have you done to add a routine, from weight training to cardio, personal touch to physical routines? and guidance on food choices and how to We’re against pigeonholing people manage fitness around work and family. through one method. We are paradoxi-

In the recent case of Glyne T Harris as Personal Representative of Helena Norma McDonald (deceased) v HRMC (2018), Mr Harris, was found liable for a tax bill of £341,279. Akash Vaghela

cally original by being flexible – if someone wants to include weight training and yoga, for example, we will take that into account. The key necessity is that someone commits to their own preferred routine. We host regular client only webinars, as well as meet ups every three to four months so that people can put faces to names. We also have a podcast called RNT Fitness Radio which includes expert guests from fitness, business and selfmastery, and our private Facebook group is always buzzing with tips, comments etc. What’s your preferred method of training? Personally I enjoy weight training at least 3 or 4 days each week. I also encourage people to do at least 10,000 steps each day. Have you found wearable tech to help in the routines prescribed to your clients? Wearable tech can certainly help gauge progress, and encourage more activity. Although you can also track such activity with your phone. The real key is to include activity as much as you can into your daily routine. For example, getting off a stop earlier for work, ‘walking meetings’, make your phone calls on the go. Along with a healthy diet, this helps create a calorie deficit for fat loss. What are some RNT Fitness Values? Our three main principles are as follows. 1) Outstanding customer service; we saw too many ‘coaches’ send slow replies, not showing they care, etc, so make this a priority. 2) World class results; we want the best results for our clients. 3) Personalised approach to lifestyle; we’re against all ‘cookie cutter’ plans! What has been the most challenging part of setting up a business? Managing the priorities across the business and accurately identifying what opportunities can take the company to next level. There’s a lot of trial and error to be done while remaining truthful to your overall aim. Finally, what are three tips you can give someone who is considering beginning fitness? Some easy tips you can implement today are: 1) Include as source of protein with each meal. 2) Weight train 3-4 days a week with 10,000 steps a day. 3) Give yourself a deadline and create accountability. IG: @akashvaghela W:<> []<http://w> Online Personal Trainer & Fitness Programs | RNT Fitness<> RNT Fitness offers online personal training and fitness programs to the serious trainee that wants maximum results. 30 day money back guarantee.


Executor made personally liable for £340,000 tax bill 27 Oct - 3 Nov 2018

Mr Harris had transferred a beneficial entitlement to a beneficiary of the will, on the understanding that that beneficiary would settle the outstanding tax bill. However, the beneficiary failed to do this, thus leaving Mr Harris with the totality of the tax bill. Despite the fact that Mr Harris had complied with his Executor duties for inheritance tax purposes he was found personally liable for the tax amount. On appeal, his claim was struck out on the basis that it is not a defence to be ignorant of one’s obligations as a Personal Representative. In short, Mr Harris should have settled the tax bill before transferring assets to the beneficiaries. There appears to be a common misconception surrounding the role of an Executor/Personal Representative. I often come across clients who consider themselves perfectly capable of administering an estate and, whilst this may be true, it is more often the case that when an estate is taxable, clients will come unstuck and contact a Solicitor since they have underestimated the complexity involved.  The role of an Executor can be a thankless task, particularly where the testator may not have included a legacy for the Executor by way of a thank you. It also confers great responsibility on the Executor since they have a fiduciary duty to the beneficiaries to ensure the will is executed properly. Failure to do so may result in court action being taken against the Executor which can result in significant financial penalties to the Executor, or, as in the case of Mr Harris, the Executors


may find themselves personally liable for a significant tax bill. Whilst the instruction of a solicitor results in costs, these costs are normally payable by the estate and most solicitors will defer payment of those fees until the conclusion of the matter.  At Duncan Lewis Solicitors, our wills and probate department will assist you in administering the estate of a loved one. Our specialist team have a wealth of probate knowledge which can serve as a protection to you against any potential claims made by the beneficiaries to a will. Let us take the burden of estate administration away from you - call one of our specialists today. 

Caroline Roche

Author, Caroline Roche, is a solicitor and Director in the wills and probate department. Her specialist experience includes, drafting wills; advising on inheritance tax due from an estate; gathering the estate when a loved-one has passed; dealing with both taxable and nontaxable estates, handling the affairs when a lovedone has died without a will. Duncan Lewis Wills & Probate Solicitors Our specialist solicitors offer a comprehensive and personal service. Their expertise includes, drawing up wills; advising on inheritance tax, family law, property law, and international wills. Call 033 3772 0409 to instruct a specialist solicitor.




27 Oct - 3 Nov 2018

Dussehra at Stanmore Swaminarayan Temple

Navratri at Milan Group Wallington attended by large numbers of local gujarati community and local politician

Garba raises money for charities

The Asian community celebrated Dussehra at the Stanmore Swaminarayan temple on Friday 19 October evening. There were more than 3000 people who attended from nearby areas of London, including Luton. The Asian community celebrated Dussehra at the

Stanmore Swaminarayan temple on Friday 19 October evening. There were more than 3000 people who attended the evening from nearby areas of London, including Luton. The temple had more than 100 volunteers. The

Ravana effigy (cut out) was 33 feet tall, and people cheered as it was burnt to mark the occasion. There were food stalls selling bhajiyas, chips and chilli paneer. There were fireworks to conclude the evening, which was supplied and organised by Rupesh.

People attended in costumes with Kiran Patel dressed up as Ram, Avnish Upadhyay as Hanuman and Shankar Mehta as Ravana. Thousands are expected to witness spectacular Diwali fireworks at this temple on 7th November at 8:30pm.

Anokhi Patel aged 16, from Watford attends Northwood College School for girls organised a childrenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Garba at Sattavis Patidar centre, where all proceeds went to three worth while causes for which she raised a total of ÂŁ3760. The garba, now in the 11th year, but the first one organised by Anokhi, was entirely sponsored by friends, families, local businesses and community members. Each child received a good bag with snacks and drink colouring pencils and a picture. Raffle prizes, hot and cold food items, drinks were all donated so all proceeds could be passed on to the causes being supported. The biggest asset Anokhi

had was a fantastic team of volunteers ranging from 8 years old to 86 years old. Without them, the event would not have been a success. The three charities are: - Ashiana Charitable Trust supports children and young adults with learning difficulties to improve their independence, choice and wellbeing through participates, social awareness and participation - BIG - Brain Injury Is BIG which empowers the severely brain injured and their families via support, understanding and a network of care - World Challenge which builds the life skills young people need to live a life of courage, kindness and adventure.





27 Oct - 3 Nov 2018

Priyanka Mehta My heartbeat automatically synchronized to the rhythm of the Dhak, my ears straining to the direction of Pujo melody and my footsteps hurried as I strode towards Ealing Town Hall in Broadway, London. To anyone who did not know where the London Sharad Utsav was celebrating Durga Puja this week, the scores of Bengali women hurrying down for the “Sandhya Aarti” would have been the most accurate GPS. Huddled in gold-embroidered saris, with kids toddling beside them in pretty ruffled ghaghra cholis and kurta-pyjamas and men brandishing their Bengal pride in ethnic dhoti-kurta, the Ealing town hall was almost home-coming to my “Bengali” soul. The scent of Jasmine incense filled the square room on second floor, chandeliers glinted off the polished silverware offering various delicacies laid at the feet of Maa Durga. And there in the heart of the pandemonium draped in the quintessential red Sari with the lion at her feet and her behest, she conveyed the age-old “freedom from fear”. “Ei baar amra shob pushpanjali debo! (Now we will offer flowers to the Goddess)” White and purple petals were distributed and I stood there stunned as I heard children as young as 5-year-old reciting after the priest in fluent Bengali with their eyes pinched shut.

Shubho Bijoya: Unity in Diversity And Indraroop Roy had driven down a solid three hours from Birmingham with a group of 15 people for “pandal-hopping” in London and will stay in the city for two days. Originally, from Kolkata, India, Roy works for TCS and has been in the UK for 5 years now. “Durga Pujo is the fes- London Shared Utsav idol wearing a baluchari saree tival where Maa comes to Indian snow-white with her ings by Tagore in her childher maternal place and the hood, she had a vivid imaginafour-dwarfs beside her- Lord best thing about this is that it is tion of the Bengali culture but Ganesha, Lord Karthik, a reunion of Bengalis oversees here at Ealing, her heart was a Goddess Saraswati and and Ealing Pujo is our heart!” “bountiful”. Goddess Lakshmi. But for parents like As crowds filed down in India's got talent in Indraroop, the significance of lines to create space for more Durga Puja is not limited to the UK worshippers to come in, I spotpandal hopping and bhoger But like they say, no Durga ted a young couple, retreating khichuri, it is about imbibing Puja celebration is complete down the stairs. The white turthe mythological values of without cultural events and ban that peaked from the rest their culture in their children. Aarav Basu, a student of Orley of the crowd is what piqued “Throughout the year, our Farm School infused the East my interest. Curious I children study in the UK and West in his powerful renapproached Asa Willoughby schools so they have the knowdition of “Somewhere Over from Reading, a Britishhow the English culture, which the Rainbow”. Playing the flute Pakistani citizen. we definitely like, but these to Eric Clapton's instrument, “I am a Bharatnatyam festivals are the true occasions Aarav was dressed in an ethnic dancer and for 10 years now, I when we can show them how Kurta Pyajama. Born in have been performing at truly Bengali we are,” he said. Malaysia and having travelled Durga Pujas in the UK and And such is the enthusiasm for across the world, Durga Puja now I am learning Bengali as the pujo that they ship their he says is special to him “as he well. I have studied at Kolkata's costumes from Bengal. gets to play and perform Kalamandiram so now I have Camphor, shankha, and among his community people decided to explore more of the folded hands clasped together and gorge on all kinds of culture.” Asa said. in prayers, all conspired sweets!” Meanwhile, his partner together to weave magic into Kanupriya who has shifted “Prabashi - Bhalobashi” the air as the priest offered his from northern India to pursue aarti. And she stood there with But while Ealing Town her Ph.D., attended her first her army, and in that moment Hall is a celebration of diversiever Durga Puja this year. of British cultural influence, ty, hike down to the Prabashi Exposed to the literary writshe appeared to me as the

Pujo in Hounslow and the muted celebrations reflect of the preservation of the culture unlike anywhere else. Probably the authentic Bengali “Adda” over “Cha” is most seen here with clusters of chairs strategically arranged into circles. Women are busy posing, flaunting their “latest buys” for their Facebook profile pictures as husbands snap onto their DSLRs. Children roll down, playing in circles and amidst the hula hoop is a mother-daughter duo right in front of the Maa Durga Idol. Dressed in a canary yellow sari draped in the Bengali style with a bunch of keys hanging off the end, sidhoor (red colour) on her forehead is Sheuli Roy with her 5-year-old daughter Aishi. Shakha pola (red and white bangles) adorn her wrists and her entire assemble is the epitome of the Bengali culture most prevalent in the rural areas of Bengal, India that she is proud to showcase here in the UK on the one day when she says “she won't look odd wearing it”. “I am just explaining to her about Loki Maa and Kartik but my daughter she is more interested in what wrong did Mahishashur do. At a young age it is difficult to explain the intricacies of the story to them, but I am delighted that she knows something.” The puja in Hounslow

may not be the same for her as the celebration in Kolkata but flying down home is not a cheap affair for her husband who is working at an IT company in London. And considering the distance from where the family stays in Harrow, their pandal hopping sessions are restricted to Saturdays and Sundays only. And this is one of the reasons why puja organisers here do not follow the actual Hindu calendar and celebrate Durga Puja on all the nine days. With people rushing back and forth to work during the entire work, attracting a decent crowd to these Puja celebrations is virtually not possible. And that is why the closest weekend to Pujo dates according to the Hindu calendar is selected as the ideal time for the celebration.


The Camden Durga Puja that was celebrating its 55th year, was attended by steel tycoon Lakshmi Mittal. The Utsab London puja in Orpington's Crofton hall, celebrating for the first time, witnessed hundreds if not thousands of visitor across the Asian community from surrounding areas attending. Their bhog was supplied by the Bengali restaurant in Covent Garden, Little Kolkata. Bilete Bengali, a group for NRI Bengalis in the UK organised an award for the best Puja in the UK and their first year winner was Royal Berkshire Bengali Association (RBBA).

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16 UK



27 Oct - 3 Nov 2018

New £50 note may represent ethnic minority Mitul Paniker As the Bank of England begins its call for submissions from the public, chances of the new £50 note finally featuring someone from an ethnic minority have increased. Historians and politicians have joined the call to make Noor Inayat Khan, the first British Muslim Second World War heroine, “face” of the highest-denomination note that is set to be re-issued from 2020. Kick-started by activist Zehra Zaidi and backed by historian and BBC presenter Dan Snow, the campaign gathered hundreds of supporters on its first day. Tom Tugendhat MP and Baroness Sayeeda Warsi too have voiced their support. If accepted, Noor Inayat would become the first Asian (and most importantly female Asian) to feature on British currency. Zaidi said, “Noor Inayat Khan was an inspirational and complex woman who was a Brit, a soldier, a writer, a Muslim,

Noor Inayat Khan

an Indian independence supporter, a Sufi, a fighter against fascism and a heroine to all. She navigated complex identities and has so much resonance in the world we live in today.” Speaking to a media source, Baroness Warsi said, “Often what's been spoken about is the forgotten heroes of the First and Second World Wars, many people from around the world who served in the British Army including the British Indian Army, as both my grandfa-

thers did. In Britain which seems to be fractured along the lines of racial differences, here is someone who symbolises everything great about Britain. What could be better than putting a woman of colour who paid the ultimate sacrifice for our nation, who gave up her life for our nation, on the £50 note?” Minister Nusrat Ghani too joined the campaign and tweeted, “Let’s get #NoorInayatKhan on £50 note. First female radio operator in occupied France, betrayed to the Nazis and endured interrogation & torture.” Journalist, historian, and author of 'Spy Princess', Shrabani Basu has been monumental in her work promoting the deceased hero. She said, “I am absolutely delighted that the story of Noor Inayat Khan has inspired so many people and that she has become an icon. Noor was an extraordinary war heroine. Her story is so different from others because she was a Sufi and

believed in non-violence. She believed passionately in Indian Independence but she also knew that it was important to win the war and defeat Fascism. She volunteered for the war effort, became the first woman radio operator to be infiltrated into occupied France, and made the ultimate sacrifice of her life. Her last word as she was tortured and killed in Dachau Concentration camp was “Liberte”. It is a word that is so relevant to our times. “I wrote her biography in 2006 and received wonderful feedback from readers who wanted a memorial in her name. In 2010 I set up the Noor Inayat Khan Memorial Trust and began a campaign to have her commemorated in London. In 2012 the memorial in Gordon Square was unveiled by Princess Anne. In 2014, Royal Mail issued a stamp for her centenary. We have been assured that Noor will get a blue plaque on the house that she lived in London. I am very happy to

support the campaign for Noor Inayat Khan on the £50 note.” The Muslim Sufi pacifist who was captured and tortured by the Nazis Noor began her career as a children’s writer living in Paris with her family. Noted as an unlikely candidate for the British to send spying against the Nazis, she trained for the Women's Auxiliary Airforce after fleeing to the country following the fall of France. She was later recruited as a secret agent for the Special Operations Executive (SOE). At the young age of 29, she became the first female radio operator sent into Nazioccupied France in 1943. Born to an American mother and father of Indian royal descent, she ran the Prosper network of resistance communications in Paris, which was commissioned by Winston Churchill to “set Europe ablaze”. Noor was shot and killed by the SS at Dachau concentration camp after being betrayed by

a French woman. Prior to her death, she suffered 10 months and starvation and torture at the hands of the Gestapo. Khan was posthumously awarded the George Cross in 1949. Many refer to her as the ‘female 007’. Tom Tugendhat MP said, “A national hero who reflects what we value most should be on the new £50. Noor Inayat Khan GC does that. She must be pretty unusual if not absolutely unique- it's nothing to do with her race, religion or sex. This is a woman who had everything, who came from a life of great privilege. Her heritage would have made it very easy for her not to step up to the call of duty. She could have lived a very comfortable life, but put everything on the line before being murdered in Dachau.” The BoE has announced no limitation on its pool of potential figures to women or people of colour, and has added that it was up to the public to nominate suitable people.

'Rhetoric over terrorism could increase during election period in India'

Hounslow to secure 5,000 new homes, but residents upset over loss to businesses

Shivam Patel

A plan to secure 5,000 affordable homes in Hounslow to address a "desperate need for housing" has been approved by the borough council. Hounslow has pledged to provide housing for over 3,000 families waiting for a permanent home as well as families living in overcrowded houses by 2022. Cllr Lilly Bath, member of the Affordable Housing Committee, said at a cabinet meeting on Tuesday: "There is a desperate need for housing, not just in the borough but across the country. "Homelessness is actually increasing not just because of people not being able to afford to rent or buy, but not being able to keep their homes because of hacked off policies like welfare benefit, housing benefit caps and universal credit. "I think it is important to recognise that because we will see homelessness increase; it is important that we do positive stuff and try and combat some of that." Indian population in Hounslow is the third largest in England and Wales, as per 2011 figures from the Office for National Statistics. The council said it was committed to finding innovative ways to engage with residents, especially the "silent majority" who are seldom heard, to ensure their views are reflected in the design and quality of the new homes. However, residents in the area have complained about loss to businesses due to new constructions. Local resident Loveena Tandon, of Staines Road, said building work on several locations in the area have taken away 25%

Practicing restraint in a "fragile political and security environment" is key to maintaining India-Pakistan relationship, a policy expert has said. Speaking at an event at the Arundel House on Wednesday, Rahul Roy-Chaudhury, a South Asia policy researcher said India's top domestic priorities are the five upcoming state assembly elections and a general election next year. Three of the five poll-bound states are ruled by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) which is also in power at the central government. Mr Roy-Chaudhury, a senior researcher at the International Institute for Strategic Studies, said: "The BJP government at the centre is going into these elections in a stronger position. "A decisive factor towards the final result will be if the regional parties in Uttar Pradesh, especially the Samajwadi Party and the Bahujan Samaj Party, are able to form a pre-poll or post-poll coalition with the opposition [Indian National] Congress Party. "For the next few months the BJP government at centre will focus largely, I believe, on winning Uttar Pradesh for the general election."

Indo-Pakistan relationship

Mr Roy-Chaudhury said a fresh outreach from India to Pakistan was unlikely during the election period. He referred to the "fiasco" between Indian and Pakistani foreign ministers at the U.N.

General Assembly last month as a recent example of strained relationship between the two nations. India's Sushma Swaraj had accused Pakistan of harbouring terrorists and rejected the notion that India was sabotaging peace talks with its neighbour. Pakistan had later said India preferred "politics over peace." The two foreign ministers were supposed to meet on the sidelines of the assembly but India cancelled the meet following the killing of an Indian border guard in the disputed Kashmir region. Mr Roy-Chaudhury added: "Indian government has provided a harsh assessment of Pakistan prime minister Imran Khan’s government amidst continuing attacks against Indian security forces in Kashmir. "India’s forthcoming state elections, especially in Rajasthan, which borders Pakistan, and the general election matter in this regard. "One can expect the Indian rhetoric over terrorism to increase during the NovemberDecember period this year as well

as in April-May next year. "Implicitly and at times explicitly this rhetoric will be focused on Pakistan, its militant groups, the army and the government." He also said if there were to be a major terror attack in India during this period, even the opposition Congress Party could criticise the government for not taking a tough stance against Pakistan. In case of such an event, the rhetoric emanating from India would not be easy to ignore by Pakistan, which has its own rhetoric over India's human rights violations in Kashmir. The UN has said in a report this year that India's use of "excessive force" since 2016 in Jammu and Kashmir has "led to casualties and a wide range of alleged related human rights violations." The report by the UN human rights office also urged Pakistan to end "misuse" of anti-terror legislation to quash dissent and called for an international inquiry into the alleged violations in the disputed region. Mr Roy-Chaudhury added: "Within such a fragile political and security environment, easily exacerbated and exploited by a Pakistan-based terror attack on India, the key will be for both the Indian and Pakistani government to effectively manage their relationship through restraint. "With no expectation of a resumption of an official bilateral dialogue, while ensuring the prevention of any escalation towards a confrontation, the next Indian government will then decide policy towards Pakistan for the next five years."

business from local restaurants and shops. “While there is a lot of need for houses, at the same time businesses are getting into a difficult situation. “The issue is that if you brining up houses it is fine, but what’s the point if businesses are not able to sustain themselves.” Mrs Tandon added that several residents in the area have approached her with similar complaints. Cllr Katherine Dunne said: "We recognise that [building new homes] does have an effect on existing residents and communities. "It’s important that our engagement with those communities is really strong and that we give people the chance to be involved in shaping the way that things develop. "It’s not simply about providing new homes but building and strengthening communities at the same time." Up to 1,000 new homes would be built by the council itself and the remaining in partnership with housing associations, public bodies and private builders. Prime Minister Theresa May recently announced that the government will lift the cap on borrowings by local councils to fund new developments. Cllr Steve Curran, leader of the council, said: "The prime minister did announce at the party conference that austerity is over, I am not sure it has reached Hounslow yet. "There’s lots of problems still to sort out. Just saying that austerity is over isn’t good enough. We all want to see the action and how it affects our residents."





27 Oct - 3 Nov 2018

British MPs to debate making Deepavali a public holiday Rupanjana Dutta Following persistent demand, the British MPs will discuss in Parliament later this month on whether Hindu and Muslim religious occasions such as Deepavali and Eid should be declared public holidays. Over 45,000 people through e-petition called for making Eid-ul-Fitr and Eid-ul-Adha public holidays, while over 11,000 have sought to make Deepavali and Dussehra public holidays. The petitions noted that despite both Muslims and Hindus make up a sizable percentage of the total population (the 2011 census said there were 2.7 million Muslims, or 4.8% of the UK population, while there are 8,17,000 Hindus or 1.5%) there are no public holidays that recognised their religions. The government earlier rejected their request citing “considerable” costs that would be involved. “The cost of the 2012 Diamond Jubilee holiday was around £1.2 billion,” said the government in statements. However, Parliament’s petitions committee, which scrutinises petitions from public, has chosen to hold a debate in Parliament, despite the signatories not reaching the

1,00,000 threshold, which would automatically require the holding of a debate on the issue. Martyn Day, a Scottish National MP and member of the Petitions Committee who will open the debate, said he was in the process of gathering data, and evidence on the arguments to and against changes. He told The Hindu, “Even in this country, for example, England has eight public holidays, Scotland, nine and Northern Ireland 10 so there is no consistency.” In addition, the message that reflecting different communities occasions via public holidays could have bolstering a strong multicultural society also had to be considered, he said. In 2014, Conservative

MP Bob Blackman championing an e-petition that was signed by more than 120,000 people, demanded the change in Parliament to UK national holidays with these inclusions. The petition said, “Muslims and Hindus should have the most important days in their faiths recognised in law.” The government rejected the plea saying it would cost the country too much money, "We are very aware of the importance of these festivals which are widely celebrated in the UK. "Whilst we appreciate a new national holiday may benefit some communities and sectors, the cost to the economy remains considerable and any changes to the current arrangements

would not take place without a full consultation." But Bob Blackman had persuaded the ministers to reconsider during this debate in the House of Commons' secondary debating chamber of Westminster Hall. According to BBC he said, the government's concern about cost was "valid". But, "According to the Centre for Economics and Business Research, each public holiday costs £2.3bn per day due to a loss of retail, commercial services, and other industries. "So we're looking at an overall economic cost of just under £5bn if the Muslim faith and the Hindu faith were to be given one specified public holiday each, if the estimate is correct." He went on to say, the think tank had also estimated that annual output would be raised by £19bn "if all public holidays were scrapped". "That's not likely to happen. I can't believe any government would every dare to decide to cancel Christmas. "So we can't make a case for or against further public holidays just on the basis of money. If we did, we wouldn't have any public holidays at all."

Speaking at a Westminster debate, Blackman in 2014 spoke about the importance of 'cultural education' as a significance of this public holiday. He said, "...The argument has to be made that educating a wider section of the population in the traditions and holidays of different religions in such a widespread way would be valuable in helping to normalise the integration of those faiths into our cultural identity. It would be valuable in promoting cohesion and peace among the religions in our country, as it would not place preference for one over another." Hearing about Day's initiative, Blackman told Asian Voice, "To have a public holiday for Diwali would send a simple, straightforward message that transcends any cultural or language barriers. It would be a mark of modernisation in this globalised world for Britain to recognise non-majority faith holidays so decisively. I strongly support this proposal."

CBC to host first ever Kali puja Croydon Bengali Connection, a non-profit organisation operating out

of Croydon in South London (UK), dedicated to the promotion of British Indian culture and heritage in the UK, is organising their first ever Kali Puja in London on 7 November at Bedford Hall. This will be in addition to its flagship eighth year Saraswati Puja & Basant Panchami event in February 2019. Diwali has long been one of the most important events on the Hindu calendar and it coincides with the annual worship of Goddess Kali (Goddess of Power). CBC events have gained immense popularity over the last 7 years and been attended by local MPs, the Mayor, Councillors and other members of the local government. They are expecting a footfall of over 200 in the Kalipuja and Diwali event on 7th November. The occasion will also be graced MP Sarah Jones (Croydon Central), Mayor of Croydon Council Bernadette Khan and award-winning BritishAsian Author/Journalist Mihir Bose (former BBC Sports Editor). The event promises to bring together people from all walks of the local community and end with an authentic and sumptuous Indian dinner.

18 UK



27 Oct - 3 Nov 2018

Alcohol consumption declining among young people in the UK: Study Shivam Patel Increasing number of young people in the UK have been shunning alcohol from their lives, a new study has found. Figures published early this month show an 11 percent increase in non-drinking under 25s between 2005 and 2015. The proportion of non-whites youths that have abstained from drinking has also increased by 24 percent, from 54% in 2005 to 68% in 2015. While the factor that is driving this change is unknown, the study by BMC Public Health said: “Research has established a social gradient in non-drinking. “Non-drinkers are more likely to have lower education, lower income, live in the most deprived areas and be unemployed compared with those who drink alcohol in moderate amounts. “Furthermore, poor health being a reason for abstaining is well established. “However, it is possible that increases in abstention may be due to health promoting reasons and the emerging evidence of the link between any alcohol consumption and the risk of cancer and obesity.” Cultural and social reasons Cultural and social upbringing may also play a role in changing attitudes towards alcohol. The problem of binge drinking among students has been linked to the normalisation of alcohol use in universities through events such as fresher’s parties and drinking games. When Sukh Sohal, 24, was in university,

his friends would get together for pre-drinks before going out. He said he enjoyed his time in university just as much as anyone else but he completed his studies without drinking alcohol. “I had just accepted the fact that I wasn’t going to do that. My friends accepted it too and didn’t pressurise me. “I have conditioned myself in a way if I don’t find something enjoyable, I won’t do it. I can go to a club and have a good time without drinking.” Mr Sohal said the reason behind his abstention from alcohol was a result of the issues caused by his father’s excessive drinking problem. “When my dad drinks, it brings pressure and detriment upon my mom and my family life. “I’d rather not drink and be in that condition of not able to be there for my family members.” Mandeep Dubb, 24, also has a close friend who does not drink alcohol because of his experiences with his father’s alcoholism. “When you witness someone you love dearly, when you have seen them like that thought your childhood, that will shape you.” For Mr Dubb, however, it is the other way around. He and his brother are the only ones in the family that drink alcohol. “Just while growing up it was something my peer group was doing. I lived in an area where I had mixed British friends and it was seen as the norm. I continued that. “I guess it is the culture, isn’t it? No one

questions it. It is only if you are abusing it people look around and ask if you are okay. “My parents don’t drink. Me and my older brother are the only ones in my family that drink. Every time we go out with the family for a meal we get a bottle of wine and it is frowned upon.” University drinking culture Mr Dubb also said drinking culture in universities may lead young people, who have only occasionally had alcohol before, to drink heavily. “Some times I have met people who lived in a bubble. When they’re growing up they had to get back home at a certain point from a night out. “When they go to university, they have never been free before, never been in that environment where everyone is drinking.” However, Mr Dubb said he can get through long periods without drinking alcohol. “This Sumer there was a lot of weddings I attended, so I was drinking quite heavily.

“For the last couple of months I have cut down because I am aware I am drinking heavily. “I go long periods without drinking. I would be walking looking at shops and pubs and I am like, ‘no, there’s no need to drink.’” Shreya Datta, 22, who recently graduated from the University of Warwick, said she and her friends would binge drink on occasions during the first year of her studies. “On certain occasions when I used to go out I would drink just to get drunk, but now I sort of like the taste of alcohol. “In university it was socially acceptable to drink for the hell of it. It was like you don’t really want to get to a place without pre drinking. If you went to an event you’re not going to enjoy it. “So I think I have realised that university life is very dependent on alcohol.” Sanam Arora, Chair of the National Indian Students and Alumni Union (NISAU), which supports British and international students, said excessive alcohol use among Indian students is rare. “Contrary to what is said a lot, I don’t think there’s a significant alcohol use among Indian students in the UK. We don’t come across major alcohol abuse stories. “There can be significant alcohol use doing the fresher’s period. There may or may not be illegal drug use as well, so they can be in dangerous territory. “Our one message would be to warn people [against excessive alcohol use] in that period.”


Many of these victims are Muslims and Sikhs, especially as they are visibly dressed differently. The latest Home Office data on recorded hate incidents for the year to March 2018 showed a rise of 17% to more than 94,000 incidents, with hate crime having doubled over the past five years. Within this figure, religious hate crime represents 9% of incidents but it has been growing at the fastest rate, rising by 40% in the past year and more than fivefold over five years. Prime Minister Theresa May and Home Secretary introduced the specific recording of anti-Muslim hate crime, and said it was set up so that “we can better tackle the issue.” Many events were held across the UK to raise awareness about hate crimes in the community, including one in St. Paul's Cathedral that hosted a service of 'Hope and Remembrance' for hate crime victims. Recently the government updated the hate crime action plan (2016-2020), to deal with these heinous crimes in the England and Wales. Their four-year hate crime action plan, will ‘address specific concerns across all 5 monitored strands of hate crime.’ New measures like a Law Commission review into whether additional protected characteristics like misogyny and age should be legislated for, and ministerial round tables to specifically address Muslim and Jewish concerns have been headlined. However, despite being subject to serious violence and hostility since 9/11, the ‘refresh’ has managed to marginalise British Sikhs yet again. Sikhs excluded in 'refreshed' report of Action Against Hate (2016) The Network of Sikh Organisations have issued a statement, where they have categorically mentioned that although Sikh groups like the NSO, The Sikh Council, The Sikh Federation UK and City Sikhs have all expressed concerns about Action Against Hate (2016) when it was first published, the ‘refresh’ makes it clear the government is unwilling to address the wider ramifications

of Islamophobia on Sikhs, or the ‘Muslim looking other’. “A simple acknowledgment that Sikhs face Islamophobia would have allayed concerns. Like us, many will be right to ask the government why ministerial ‘round tables’ are the preserve of Jews and Muslims, and why the True Vision project announced in 2017 has still not been implemented.” Lord Inderjeet Singh, taking part in a debate that coincided with this refresheD plan expressed his disappointment at the continued marginalisation of nonAbrahamic faiths, including Sikhs. He highlighted the continued backlash Sikhs have faced since 9/11 with personal anecdotes, whilst referring to the government’s inordinate focus on Jews and Muslims said, ‘Why the disparity? To echo Shakespeare: if we are cut, do we not bleed?’ Debating at the Parliament he added, “Many of the hate crimes described as Islamophobic are directed against Sikhs out of ignorance or mistaken identity. In the States, a Sikh was the first person murdered in reprisal after 9/11, and six worshippers in a gurdwara there were shot by a white supremacist in another mistaken-identity killing. “The day after 9/11, I was going to a meeting with the then CRE at Victoria. As I came out of the station, two workmen digging the road looked at me in a hostile way. Fortunately, their lack of religious literacy saved the day. The elder turned to the younger and said: “He’s not a Muslim; he’s a Hindu.” I did not argue the point. “Few Sikhs have been called 'bin Laden' at some time or other, and some have been violently attacked. We heard about the Gurdwara in Leeds being defaced and partly burned and, only a couple of months ago, a Gurdwara in Edinburgh that I had recently visited was firebombed. “I do not in any way begrudge the protection that Jews and Muslims receive against hate crime. The Jewish community has suffered grievously from anti-Semitism, and Muslims are suffering hate crime today.

I have always had a warm working relationship with both communities. All I ask is that the Government are a little more even-handed to non-Abrahamic faiths in both policies and resourcing.” Lord Jitesh Gadhia debates religious tolerance and prejudices in Britain Lord Jitesh Gadhia, speaking at the Lords, debating religious tolerance and prejudices in Britain, spoke about how Hindus could provide a role model and how a community can integrate successfully embracing British values, while retaining its cultural heritage and identity. He also touched upon different forms of discriminations, including antiSemitism, Islamophobia and caste Legislation among Hindus. Speaking about Hindus, Lord Gandhia said, “Hindus provide a role model for how a community can integrate successfully and embrace British values, while retaining its cultural heritage and identity. As we speak, thousands of Hindus up and down the country are packed into school and community halls, participating in a colourful, nine-day festival called Navaratri. At the same time, they will be thinking of others less fortunate, and have organised initiatives such as the Navaratri food bank, providing meals to those of all faiths and none throughout the country. This is a live illustration of what the noble Lord, Lord Sacks, describes as The Dignity of Difference in his powerful book, which argues that we must do more than search for common human values; we must learn to make a space for difference. With that important background, I want to make the following four observations relevant for our present times.” Speaking about anti-Semitism he said, “If the British Jewish community is going through such an ordeal, we all need to take heed. It is even more distressing that individuals who have spoken out on this issue, such as my noble friend Lord Popat, who led an excellent debate in this House on 13 September, are now subject to smear

campaigns. I say to those who believe that intimidation and innuendo will scare us off: you are mistaken. It will not. In fact, it will strengthen our resolve to stand shoulder to shoulder with the Jewish community until anti-Semitism is eradicated in all its forms.” He then moved on to speak about Islamophobia- something the party Lord Gadhia represent has been accused of. “Islamophobia is as unacceptable as antiSemitism or any other form of religious intolerance,” he added. “Although others are more knowledgeable about Islamophobia and have more first-hand experience of it than me—especially my noble friend Lady Warsi, who spoke so eloquently—I will share one observation from the Hindu experience of integration in the spirit of speaking for, and helping, the other. It is evident from the work of the Casey review that the Muslim community requires greater support in various aspects of integration, and that sections of the British Pakistani and Bangladeshi communities have struggled on this front and too often lead a segregated existence. It must be the case that elements of Islamophobia have their roots in ignorance about Islam, which better integration could address. The experience of British Hindus demonstrates that it is possible to integrate and still preserve your traditions, values and identity. A diverse society does not mean a divided society...We must work in collaboration with Muslim communities to break down barriers and thus reduce the frequency with which they are subjected to unacceptable prejudice.” Speaking about the recent caste legislation report, he concluded by saying, “The Government’s consultation on the subject was published in July, with more than 16,000 responses. Based on the evidence, the Government have concluded that established case law provides sufficient, appropriate and proportionate legal protection against caste discrimination. The Government therefore intend to legislate to repeal the duty for a specific reference to caste to be included in the Equality Act.”





Last week, I went to see an interesting property in Fulham. It consists of a commercial property on the ground floor, and has extremely generous heights. I estimate about 20 ft. The building is double fronted and comes with a basement. The whole site totals 3,000 sq. ft. A generous size and in a prime location.

Suresh Vagjiani

Sow & Reap London Property Investment

27 Oct - 3 Nov 2018

This property will be coming with all the consents from the freeholder. The aim ordinarily would be to buy, develop and sell, the purchase price is circa £1m and build cost lets say £500K, being generous. This means you’re only in for £500 per sq. ft., which is cheap.

The owner is a developer too, and although he would preferably like to sell the building, he is not in a distressed position, or so I have been told. One half of the street has been changed from commercial frontage to residential, tastefully done. It’s reasonable to assume this will be the case for this site as well. However, it always pays to confirm this via a planner, who will in turn check the planning guidelines for the borough. It is dangerous to simply assume. As the word itself declares, this can make an ass out of u and me (ass u me).


Of course, a detailed appraisal needs to be carried out, which will take into account things such as stamp duty and the cost of money etc.; but on the surface of it, this seems a deal worthy of investigation. The environment is currently not conducive for reselling. This appraisal may look good but underpinning the appraisal will be market sentiment and that too in one years’ time, when the deal is completed and ready for resell. A sale at the preferred price point in a year’s time is a dangerous assumption to make. The longer time a property takes to sell, the

more the cost and the less the profit. The time value of money is a very important consideration, if not the most important. An assumption which is more realistic, is to assume the completed units will not sell at the desired price. Therefore you rent, and the model changes as well as the design and costs. It is unwise to design to sell and then opt to rent if it does not sell, as the aim is different. In order to resell an apartment you need to have it looking like a show home and ideally dressed, in order to attract a premium. When you construct a property for rental, the brief is different, you want it hard wearing, easy to clean and functional. I’m looking at turning each unit here into six further units. Therefore, in total we would have twelve units for rental. This would now be dependent not on the resale market, but on the rental market, which is much more stable and

easier to predict. The aim would be, once this has been completed, to refinance and extract all, or most, of the money from the development. And then to hold the asset long term. There does exist the possibility to resell the apartments individually, under established use, at a later stage. This is a far safer model to do the project with, and will weather the storm which may lie ahead.

AGONY AGENT IS HERE TO HELP! Q: I own the upstairs flat of a converted house, and the roof is leaking into my flat. Whose responsibility is it to get the roof fixed, and who will pay for the damage to my flat? A: Unfortunately, water leaks are very common in buildings containing flats. When your upstairs neighbours use washing machines, showers and have radiators, leaks can occur; or in this case when you’re on the top floor the roof will probably be your main worry. You should look at this problem as you would with any other leak, first find out the cause and what action, if any, you can take to prevent further damage; or if you

can even perhaps put a stop to it. In some situations, you may not be able to find the cause of the issue, as water will always travel through the building to find the lowest point before leaking into a flat, so the leak could be coming from above the flat next door but running across the roof into yours. If your apartment building has a management company, they will take over from this point and do all the leg work once you have reported the issue. However, if you as a group of leaseholders look after the building, then you will have to do the leg work yourself. Once the source of the leak has

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been found, you can move on to find out who is responsible for the costs and repairs. Normally the leaseholder will be responsible for pipes in their flat, and any communal pipes or water tanks will be the responsibility of the freeholder or block managers. However, check your lease carefully, because they can vary. In this situation, your freeholder will be responsible for the repairs as it is the roof, however, it is a good idea to report the leak to your buildings and contents insurers as soon as possible in case a claim needs to be made. Also, with issues concerning a roof leak they will need to be notified right away, and will

provide you with a plan of action that you will need to take. Water leaks are commonly covered by insurance, but there is likely to be an excess payable. The excess on buildings insurance will either be recoverable from the party responsible for the leak or all

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27 Oct - 3 Nov 2018

Consultant Editor Financial Voice Alpesh Patel Dear Financial Voice Reader, I write to you after the London Investor Show where my website, won the Award for Best Financial Information. Now, I head to Italy to speak at Borsa Italiana (The Italian Stock Exchange) in Milan. Here is a summary of the keynote speech I will give: Of course the two themes on the mind of the market are Brexit and the near all time highs in the US stock market. But I want to speak about two connected themes: trends in online trading globally and insights for private traders from hedge funds. First, trends in online trading. Of course there is a move to robots as wealth managers. But as I look at the UK regulator, FCA’s recent research reports, I find that substantial clients are still divided among the ‘advised’ and ‘non-advised’. And what’s important for them in this age of robots? Well it range of products as one of the common top factors. Those who do not want advice feel choice of investment products is the most important thing to them. To those who do want advice it’s tools to allow them to manage the investments. Neither of these factors leaves room for robots to do much. Give them choice over robots taking their choice away is a key conclusion for me. And the most important factor for using an online platform? ‘Control over investments’. Control, not auto-pilot. That is why ETFs have peaked. People want choice not auto-pilot index tracking alone. Looking at the major UK and US brokers, specifically Hargreaves Lansdown (UK) and Schwab (US) as respective market leaders and you can see record levels of assets gathered by them. People want to invest, more are putting more money into investment than ever – both advisory and none advisory. One statistic that surprised me was a quarter of the US broker Schwab’s employees work in technology. That is how important tech has become. Tech not in terms of robots, but user experience, choice of investments, ease of putting money in, placing trades, removing friction – that kind of tech. Now, turning to the second part – insights into hedge funds which private investors at Borsa Italiana’s event can use – my top tips from the leading fund managers in the world, including a mentor of mine who was hedge fund manager of the year in 2016 – Bill Lipschutz: Never add to losing trades, only winning ones 80% of your profits will come from 20% of your trades. Expect to be right 50-50 but when you are make more on winning trades than losing ones. Use stop losses to get out that are based on market volatility, ie the more volatile the market, the further away your stop loss exit so you do not get exited by market noise. Use position size based on market volatility, ie the more volatile the market, the smaller your position size so you do not suffer big losses from wild market swings. Many major funds just follow trends. They do not try to outsmart the market eg Winton, AHL. One final message – GDP growth is moving East. For Borsa Italiana to remain a major exchange it must entice companies form India, China, Singapore to the exchange for IPO. For a free online trading course visit

How to name a business When it comes to starting a business, decisions made at the beginning are so important – and choosing a name is one of the most difficult. For Anne Boden, founder and CEO of Starling Bank, the idea of starting a digital bank came first, while the name came later. The Starling bird is sociable, adaptable, friendly and strong, all qualities the team wanted the company to have. Having ‘Bank’ in the name was important to Starling who celebrated being granted its banking licence in July 2016. Starling Bank is a name that fits the intentions of the team and the service they offer. When naming a business, it’s important to make sure

another company hasn’t already been registered under that name or a similar name at Companies House. For example, if there’s a registered company called ‘Easy Electrics For You Ltd,’ a business can’t register under ‘EZ Electrix 4U Ltd.’ In this example, replacing letters for numbers or putting a ‘z’ rather than an ‘s’ can also make the name difficult to spell. If someone hears about the business on the radio and wants to look it up, will they be able to search for it? Google search is an invaluable tool for naming a business. A quick search can pull up companies with similar names, help you find relevant social media names for

Twitter, Facebook and Instagram and be used to inspire you to find alternatives if the first name is already taken. There are 644 million active websites according to NetCraft, meaning that the perfect domain name could be already taken, especially for ‘.com’ domains. In the last few years top level domains such as ‘.art,’ ‘.london’ and even ‘.pizza’ have been approved and may help to boost the product or location of a business. Having said that, customers may be so used to trusting and searching for ‘.com’ and ‘’, that they could struggle to find a business with a different domain.

‘Saviour of steel’ Sanjeev Gupta asks rivals for loans Sanjeev 'Saviour of Steel' Gupta has approached rival commodity traders for loans after one of his main financial backers ran into trouble. One of his main source of financing, as per public documents, has been GAM, a Swiss asset manager which owned a significant amount of at least $2.8 billion of bonds issued on behalf of Gupta's family companies. It has been retrenching after it identified breaches of company policy by one of its

Sanjeev Gupta

star fund managers. So for now, Gupta has turned to his own rivals for financing. In January, he agreed to buy the

Dunkerque aluminium smelter, Europe's largest, from Rio Tinto for $500 million, as part of a multibillion-dollar plan to build a manufacturing business in northern France producing components for the automotive industry. His Liberty House has asked several trading houses for at least $160 million in loans linked to the smelter. A trader said, “He is going around to more alternative financiers. It shows you the traditional channels are

The Financial Times reported last month, that the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) is investigating whether doctors were deliberately targeted by banks for swap mis-selling. Andrew Bailey (the CEO of the FCA) stated at the

blocked.” While banks normally provide the type of credit Gupta currently seeks, commodity traders also sometimes provide financing when they sell raw materials. However, in this case the raw alumina to the plant is being supplied by Rio Tinto and Gupta has approached rival third-party traders. A Liberty spokesman said some of the funds it was seeking was “normal inventory financing” and there was nothing unusual about it.

Vedanta’s London exit fails to stem scrutiny of Indian miner Anil Agarwal's Vedanta Resources group which has operations from zinc mining to copper smelting has exited from the London Stock Exchange following a hue and cry over its controversial listings. When the decision to delist was taken, the central London venue was picketed by protesters accusing the company of malpractice and condemning UK authorities for failing to hold it to account. Since the early days of its presence in London, Vedanta has faced scrutiny of its social and environmental record, culminating in an international outcry this year when police shot dead 12 people protesting about its copper plant in Tuticorin,

Tamil Nadu. The Vedanta founder believes his group will be an important player in India’s economic growth. But his group remains a target of criticism over its social and environmental record. Vedanta-owned copper smelter in Tamil Nadu has been blamed for causing cancer and other diseases over two decades. Opponents of the copper smelter have decried a pattern in which Vedanta had repeatedly been sanctioned for breaching pollution laws, only to be permitted to continue operations. Concerns about its practices at Lanjigarh and elsewhere have continued to weigh on

Vedanta’s reputation among investors. In 2013 it was ordered to suspend operations in India after a major gas leak, but was later given permission to reopen. Vedanta’s London listing, meanwhile, ensured that the bloodshed in Tuticorin rippled far beyond India, reigniting scrutiny in the UK, where John McDonnell, the shadow chancellor, called for its delisting. Vedanta faced an outcry over its plans to source bauxite for a new alumina refinery at Lanjigarh from the Niyamgiri hills in eastern Odisha state, which are sacred to some local tribal people. The legal action argues that Vedanta has repeatedly flouted the law by

Are banks attacking the most vulnerable?

Abhishek Sachdev

Final things to think about are how words look together - don’t miss extra meanings or spellings - and how the name sounds when it is said out loud. Talking about your business to people around can be a great way to see reactions to a name and develop it. Naming a business can be hard, but business banking shouldn’t be. Starling Bank’s business accounts are fast, free and 100% digital. Visit

FCA’s AGM recently that “I think it’s important that the mis-selling of the past is dealt with. I should say that we have a number of cases that we are looking at the moment that involve GPs and doctors’ surgeries. We are looking at this from the point of view of our responsibilities and how the rules work and whether we can see systematic practices in there,”. Due to the FCA IRHP Review scheme which I instigated in 2011, UK Banks have already had to pay out around £3bn in compensation over interest-

rate swaps in connection with allegations that they mis-sold the hedging products for more than a decade since 2001. The FCA found that the products were missold in 90 per cent of cases. The FT interviewed me about whether I thought that GP practices had been specifically targeted. In simple terms, from the approximate 725 cases my firm has reviewed, the majority were to SMEs that had real assets (such as hoteliers, care home owners, commercial properties, farmers etc). Whilst that has included GP practices,

pharmacists, chiropractors and dental practices, I believe that GP surgeries were targeted by being sold generally longer-term fixed rate products. Whilst providing a swap for say 20-30 years may appear to give peace of mind, the reality is that the financial implications of hedging for such a long-period of time for a small business can be catastrophic. The FT article also featured a GP practice which I have written about here before, the Pinn Medical Centre. We helped them to sue Barclays for c£4m due

to a long-term mis-sold swap. This swap threatened the very existence of the medical centre which serves a population of nearly 20,000 patients, has an on-site pharmacy and dentistry, and importantly, remains an accredited training practice for medical students and future GP's. The case has now settled before reaching Court. It is unfortunate that even now, in 2018 with more than a decade of low interest rates and post the global financial crisis, bank have still not cleaned up all of their mess from their

undertaking construction work without permission, while noting persistent local complaints about health problems allegedly caused by pollution. Vedanta rejects the criticisms. Yet concerns about its practices have continued to weigh on Vedanta’s reputation among investors. Vedanta also faced problems in Zambia. UK Supreme Court will rule on whether 2,000 Zambian villagers are entitled to sue Vedanta in London over pollution caused by its subsidiary. In March, India’s Supreme Court ordered a total shutdown of iron ore mining in Goa, where Vedanta’s Sesa Goa unit is by far the biggest operator. ‘heady’ days. We are still assisting a number of borrowers (including some with debt exceeding £400m) to challenge the hedging their bank has sold to them, as well as the consequential losses stemming from the mis-sold derivatives. If you would like to discuss any aspect of your interest rate hedging (or GRG complaint) please do contact us.

Tel: 020 7183 2277





27 Oct - 3 Nov 2018

Tatas in talks to pick up stake Assets worth £21.9 mn of Mehul Choksi, others seized in struggling Jet? Assets worth over £21.9 million have been attached by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) in the £1.3 billion Punjab National Bank (PNB) fraud. They belong to fugitive diamantaire Mehul Choksi, Mihir Bhansali, a close aide and US-based executive of main accused in the case Nirav Modi, and a company named AP Gems and Jewellery Park. Both, Choksi and Modi are currently sought by multiple investigating agencies after it was revealed that the two extracted millions in loans from banks abroad on the basis of fake guarantees in the name of Punjab National Bank, India's second-largest state-owned bank. Choksi, who is currently in Antigua, where he has been living amid efforts in India to bring him back, said, “The Enforcement Directorate has attached my properties illegally without any basis.” He was granted citizenship of Antigua and Barbuda last year, and took the oath of allegiance to the country on January 15. The government has been trying to extradite the

Mehul Choksi

jeweller, who left India with his nephew, celebrity diamond jeweller Nirav Modi. Choksi had said there is “no question of surrendering passport”, adding that it had been revoked “without explanation as to why I am a security threat.” Choksi has alleged that the cases against him are a result of political conspiracy, after which India's extradition request was put on hold by the Interpol.

India's Tata Group is rumoured to have held preliminary talks to buy a significant stake in the struggling Jet Airways. The airline, founded by Naresh Goyal, which has delayed salaries to pilots and faces the prospect of defaulting on payments, is believed to have sought an equity collaboration. However, Tata Sons, parent of the $103 billion business behemoth, has sought management control. When contacted, a Tata Sons spokesman declined to comment, while a Jet Airways spokesperson termed the report “totally speculative”. Tata has two aviation joint ventures, one with Singapore Airlines operating Vistara, and a second with budget airline Air Asia. A deal with Jet would possible help the Tatas scale up the aviation business in terms of network depth, fleet presence and market share. It's full services carrier Vistara competes directly with Jet. It is believed that Tata Group would want to acquire at least 26 per cent in Jet. Such an acquisition would trigger an open offer to buy an additional 26 per cent from Jet's shareholders. Etihad

India has 3,43,000 millionaires with $6 trillion in total wealth India has produced a whopping 7,300 more millionaires around the 12 months to mid-2018, taking the total number of dollar millionaires to 3,43,000, who collectively amount to around $6 trillion. Credit Suisse's 2018 global wealth report also believes the country is home to one of the highest proportions of female billionaires at 18.6 per cent during

the period, among the major countries. Of the total dollarmillionaires, 3,400 have wealth over $50 million, while 1,500 have over $100 million each. Also, the number of rich as well as the inequality is set to widen by over 53 per cent by 2023, when their number is set to cross an estimated 5,26,000 millionaires worth around $8.8 trillion. The

report said Indians' personal wealth is dominated by property and other real assets, which make up 91 per cent of estimated household assets. Over the past 12 months, non-financial assets grew by 4.3 per cent, accounting for all of the wealth growth in the country. House-price movements are a proxy for the non-financial component of household assets,

which reached a high of 9 per cent for the country. The US continues to lead the rich club for the 10th year in a row, adding an extra $6.3 trillion this year, taking the total to $98 trillion. China is home to the second-largest number of wealthy households, having added $2.3 trillion to reach $52 trillion.

Airways owns 24 per cent in Jet. Earlier this month, the Abu Dhabi-based carrier made a $35 million “cash pre-purchase payment” to Jet to improve its financials. While there are several contentious points like management rights, and the future role of Jet Chairman Goyal that could derail the talks, both camps are reportedly finding ways to take discussions positively forward. Goyal, along with wife Anita who owns 51 per cent shares, is reported to have held one round of talks with buyout investor TPG. The talks but, did not progress due to differences over controlling rights.




27 Oct - 3 Nov 2018

Dushera cum Diwali celebration in European Parliament The Dushera cum Diwali was celebrated in the European Parliament by the Hindu Forum of Europe and Golden Tours Foundations, on 18th October 2018. The event was hosted by MEP Neena Gill and co-hosted by MEP Jo Leinen in the presence of MEPs Sion Simon (SDP), Wazid Khan (SDP), Charles Tannock(Conservative). The Ambassadors of India, Nepal, Mauritius, South Africa and Sri Lanka graced the function along with European dignitaries from HRWF, EMB, Executief van de Moslims van België Mehmet ÜSTÜN, Hon.Consul General of India and others. The business tycoons and sponsors were seen with their families for the first time.

Lighting the Lamp

The guests came from UK, France, Germany, Spain,

Hungary, Belgium and Holland. The event started with prayers

and lighting of lamp, followed by distinguished speakers from European Parliament and member organisations. Dr. Dendooven Dominiek, Research assistant from Flander Field’s Museum gave an impressive talk on 'Remembering Forgotten Soldiers.’ There were two Bharatnatyam performances by Neha Patel and Nima Barbaria and Radha Kirshna dance by Sherya and Sharda from Art Lounge9. Snacks were served and the event ended with Raas Garba Dance performed by all the audience not once, but three times. Buffet Dinner set the final tone to the Diwali event. Guests left the hall with Goody Bags promising to come next year.

Sarova Hotel chairman Mohinder Singh, 3 family members killed in road crash Chairman of Sarova Hotels Mohinder Singh Vohra along with his wife, sister and daughter-in-law, died in a road accident on Sunday. According to police, the accident occurred in the Kiungwani area of the Nairobi-Mombasa highway. According to the report, Saveer Vohra, who was driving the vehicle, lost control and hit a culvert before landing on the right side of the road. Mohinder Singh and Reena Vohra died on

the spot while Atu Vohra and Swaran Kaur sustained serious head injuries. They were flown to a Nairobi hospital where both succumbed to injuries. The driver, who sustained minor injuries to both his legs was rushed to Sultan Hamud level five hospital. The family was travelling back to Nairobi from a religious ceremony that took place at Makindu Sikh Temple. The bodies of the deceased were moved to

Wreckage of the Vehicle that killed Sarova Hotels Chairman

Machakos level five hospital morgue awaiting autopsy while the car was towed to the Salama Police Station for inspection. This is the second incident in the family. Last year, Jaideep Vohra, who was the managing director of the hotel, also died in a road accident in the same highway.

New party to form next govt in Bhutan Thimpu: Bhutan’s voters last week gave an overwhelming victory to a new party headed by a surgeon in only the third democratic election held by the Himalayan kingdom, according to provisional results. The country of 800,000 people, wedged between China and India and known for its Gross National Happiness index, has now chosen a different party to rule at each election since the end of absolute monarchy in 2008. The centre-left Druk Nyamrup Tshogpa (DNT), which was only formed in 2013, won 30 of the 47 national assembly seats. Indiasceptic Druk Phuensum Tshogpa (DPT) secured the other 17 seats in the runoff contest limited to the two parties who led a first round of voting in September. DNT leader Lotay Tshering, a 50-yearold urology surgeon, vowed to work for “nation building” in the country which is battling high foreign debt, mainly owed to India, as well as youth employment and rural poverty. Relations with India remain sensitive. At least five candidates and activists were fined up to two month’s wages for sending instant messenger statements to groups on relations with India, the Bhutan poll body said. Last year India and China became embroiled in a military standoff over the Doklam plateau claimed by China and Bhutan, and which sits on a strategic corner where the three nations meet. India, which has a military presence in Bhutan, stepped in to prevent China from building a road there.

in brief PAK FIRM ASKS WOMAN TO SHUN HIJAB OR RESIGN A woman worker of a software firm in Pakistan was told to either stop wearing hijab at workplace or resign, in perhaps the first incident of its kind in the country. The incident caused an uproar on social media, leading to the resignation of CEO Jawwad Kadir of the Creative Choas company. She was told that she could keep her job only if she took off her hijab by her line manager who said that wearing hijab would spoil the company’s image as an “all-embracing” workplace. Kadir initially tried to downplay the incident by issuing an apology. The firm in a Facebook post said Kadir had been asked to step down “for workplace discrimination.”

AUSTRALIA RULING PARTY LOSES MAJORITY IN PARLIAMENT Australia’s ruling party has lost its parliamentary majority at a crucial election. Kerryn Phelps has won Wentworth byelection to fill the void left by former Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull. The ruling government has lost its one-seat majority in Canberra. The Liberal Party candidate Dave Sharma suffered a projected swing of more than 20 per cent against him. Turnbull quit Parliament after being removed from the party leadership in August. It has cost the current prime minister, Scott Morrison a single-seat majority in Parliament. The government is now in minority in the parliament. The next parliamentary elections in the country are due in May next year. Before this loss, Wentworth had always been a stronghold for the Liberal Party. The Labour Party said that the swing against the Government was significant

70 CHILDREN STILL MISSING AFTER INDONESIA QUAKE, TSUNAMI At least 70 children were still reported missing after a devastating earthquake and subsequent tsunami that struck Indonesia's Sulawesi island last month, authorities said. According to the Ministry of Social Affairs, the total number of missing people currently stands at 680, but authorities believe nearly 5,000 people could still be buried under the rubble in the most-affected regions where search efforts have already ended. The head of the ministry's child rehabilitation programme, Nahar, said that the number of missing children were calculated from reports lodged by families. The Commission for Child Protection has already warned of vulnerability of minors in the post-disaster situation, including trafficking and sexual abuse.

17 KILLED IN SHOOTOUT AT RUSSIA COLLEGE At least 17 people were killed and dozens injured at a college in the Black Sea region of Crimea when a student went through the building shooting at fellow pupils before killing himself, Russian law enforcement officials said. Eighteen-year-old Vladislav Roslyakov turned up at the college in the city of Kerch carrying a firearm and then began shooting, investigators said. His body was later found in the college with what they said were self-inflicted gunshot wounds. There were no immediate clues as to his motive in mounting such an attack, which recalled similar shooting sprees carried out by students in US schools. Many of the victims were teenage students who suffered shrapnel and bullet wounds. Pupils and staff described scenes of mayhem as panicked pupils tried to flee the building. They said the attack had started with an explosion, followed by more blasts, and a hail of gunfire.





27 Oct - 3 Nov 2018

in brief KERALA MAN FIRED FOR 'DEROGATORY' REMARKS ON SABARIMALA An Indian man in Saudi Arabia has been fired from his job for allegedly posting "derogatory comments" on women, amid the Sabarimala temple row, a media report said. Deepak Pavithram, a Keralite working with Lulu Hypermarket in Riyadh, was fired for allegedly making misogynistic and insensitive remarks about women on social media. "We have a strict and zero tolerance policy with regard to our staff misusing social media to spread malicious or derogatory comments which might hurt religious sentiments," V Nandakumar, Chief Communications Officer at Lulu Group, said. "All GCC nations are home to a large cosmopolitan population from almost all countries in the world and we respect their sentiments, culture and religious beliefs," Nandakumar said. This is the second termination in recent times by the Indian-owned retail giant on similar grounds.

BRITISH WOMAN HELD IN MALAYSIA ACCUSED OF KILLING HUSBAND Malaysian police have detained a British woman in the Langkawi resort island for allegedly stabbing her husband to death. Langkawi police chief said investigators found a 12 inch-long kitchen knife with blood stains in the couple's home where John William Jones, 62, was found dead. He said police were called to the scene after Samantha Jones, 51, asked her neighbour to call an ambulance but her husband was pronounced dead by medical officers. He said a stab wound was found on Jones' chest and police have classified the case as murder. "She confessed that she stabbed her husband in the chest during a heated argument but this is still under investigation," police chief said. She was remanded in police custody. He said that John William Jones was a former firefighter who moved with his wife to the tropical island 11 years ago under 'Malaysia My Second Home' program, which gives foreigners longstaying visas.

AFTER US, OZ TO MOVE ISRAEL EMBASSY TO JERUSALEM? Australia has raised the prospect of following the US by relocating its embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem in a policy shift that critics described as a desperate grab for domestic political gain to win a crucial by-election. Prime Minister Scott Morrison said the idea was suggested to him by a former ambassador to Israel, Dave Sharma. At stake is the government’s single-seat majority in the House of Representatives and Morrison’s ability to retain power without doing deals with independent lawmakers. Any political gain could come at the cost of strained ties with Muslim-majority countries including neighbouring Indonesia, whose foreign minister expressed strong concern. In May, the Trump administration turned its back on decades of US policy by recognising Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and moving the US embassy from Tel Aviv.

INDONESIAN WOMEN POLICE OFFICER TO UNDERGO VIRGINITY TEST Despite pressure to end the practice, Indonesian women are still subject to virginity testing for being recruited as police officers. Amongst all the physical standards listed, one of the conditions for the Indonesian women is to be "pretty." The worst part is that the tests are not being recorded or are present in the books as an official requirement but are still conducted throughout the country. The tests are being disguised as a part of a "morality or physical examination." According Human Rights Watch, Indonesian police claims that the society "will not accept a female police officer who has an active sex life or used to be a sex worker." The 'test' is widely considered controversial for various reasons. Apart from being unethical and invasive, it is also mentally harassing for women to be subject to such a test.

India agrees to speed up development projects in Lanka NEW DELHI: India and Sri Lanka agreed to speed up implementation of development projects in the island nation and deepen their “historic ties” during a meeting between Prime Minister Modi and visiting counterpart Ranil W i c k r e m a s i n g h e . Wickremasinghe, who arrived on a three-day visit, met PM Modi on Saturday, when they held delegation level talks. In a statement after the visit, an MEA statement said, the leaders “discussed the entire gamut of bilateral relations ... and exchanged views on regional and global issues. They also reviewed the progress in implementation of various decisions taken during high level exchanges.” Officials familiar with the meeting said all projects underway were discussed. This would include a recent decision to award a housing project in Jaffna to India after taking it away from a Chinese group.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi shakes hand with his Sri Lankan counterpart Ranil Wickremesinghe before a meeting in New Delhi.

India is also involved in building airports in Palaly and a port in Kankesanthurai as well as one of the container terminals in Colombo and a lease of Mattala

airport near the Chinesecontrolled Hambantota port. Modi told Wickremasinghe that the Indian government was successfully diverting Indian

fishermen towards deep-sea fishing, away from the harmful trawlers that were the cause of strife on Palk Straits. Officials said he expressed gratitude for the release of fishermen who had been apprehended. Earlier in the day, home minister Rajnath Singh, external affairs minister Sushma Swaraj and national security adviser Ajit Doval also separately called on Wickremasinghe. The Lankan PM’s visit should be seen in the backdrop of growing internal political strife within the leadership of the country. His visit also comes after a visit by President M Sirisena earlier this year, and a recent visit by former President Mahinda Rajapaksa. Wickremesinghe was accompanied by the minister of development strategies and international trade, Malik Samarawickrama, minister of petroleum resources development, Arjuna Ranatunga, and senior officials.

Kidnapped Indian-origin Tanzanian billionaire freed DAR ES SALAAM (TANZANIA): Indian-origin Tanzanian billionaire Mohammed Dewji, who was captured by gunmen outside a gym nine days ago, is back home safe after his kidnappers freed him, the police said. Dewji, 43-year-old CEO of the METL Group family conglomerate, was kidnapped by unknown men on October 11 while he was going for his early morning workout in Tanzania's commercial capital Dar es Salaam. "I have returned home safely," Dewji said in a tweet from his company METL Group's account. The

Mohammed Dewji

businessman thanked Tanzanian police "and everyone around the world for their prayers". He was

found about 3.15 a.m. near a tennis court in the city, where his kidnappers left him in a car, regional police commissioner Lazaro Mambosasa was cited as saying. Dewji, who has previously served as member of the Parliament, is one of the nation's most prominent business tycoons. Financial magazine Forbes put his wealth at $1.5 billion, describing him as Africa's youngest billionaire. His company METL operates in six African countries. The panAfrican conglomerate has massive holdings in textiles and food and beverage

manufacturing businesses in the continent. Dewji's disappearance made international headlines, with his family offering a reward of one billion Tanzanian shillings ($$440,000) for information leading to his rescue. Tanzanian Environment Minister January Makamba, a close friend of Dewji, tweeted that he visited his home on Saturday morning. "He appears healthy except for rope marks where kidnappers tied his hands and legs," the minister said. Dewji served two terms in the Parliament before he resigned in 2015 to dedicate more time to the family business.

Maldives prez Yameen accepts defeat C O L O M B O : Outgoing Maldives President Abdulla Yameen said that he accepted defeat in last month's elections, even as the strongman ruler lobbies the Supreme Court to call a fresh poll. In a televised address to the nation, Yameen Abdulla Yameen made no reference to his controversial legal bid to annul the results of the election he lost despite stifling his opponents. "This is my final address to the nation before I leave," said the 59-year-old whose term in office ends on November 17. "During my tenure, the most difficult thing for me was my failure to learn about the people. I just couldn't find out what shapes their wishes." Without elaborating further he said that he hoped to "serve the people" after leaving office. Yameen had already conceded defeat, under pressure from abroad, after his opponent Ibrahim Mohamed Solih emerged the winner in the September 23 poll. But last week he filed a petition against the results in the Supreme Court, defying threats of possible sanctions.

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27 Oct - 3 Nov 2018

in brief


Rajini to launch political party on Dec 12? CHENNAI: If reports are to be believed, Rajinikanth is likely to finally launch his political party on his birthday, December 12. In August, the 'Rajini Makkal Mandram', a precursor to the launch of the political party was unveiled. It is reported that the progress was made after week-long meeting of district units of the mandram held between October 5 and 11. A report said that Mandram hopes to mobilise around 10,00,000 members for the launch whose venue could be Tiruchi. Rajini has for long confirmed his willingness to make a political plunge. However, Rajinikanth he has not set a date on it. When the actor announced his desire to join politics, there was considerable excitement among his fans and in political circles. The superstar insists his politics will be markedly different from the current

scenario in Tamil Nadu. When he had made his political intentions public in December, last year, Rajini had promised his fans “spiritual politics, which is free from caste and creed.” Following the announcement, the 'Rajini Makkal Mandram' was started in

August. The actor kept his promise of spiritual politics by barring members of religious and caste-based outfits from joining. A 36-page by-laws of the mandram included several other stipulations like maintaining discipline, a firm no to anti-social behaviour and the need to stay away from addiction to “bad habits.” Over the last few months, the party has been enlisting members from the grassroots level and have been appointing office-bearers. While Rajini has clarified that “spiritual politics” only meant secular politics transcending religion, caste and a commitment to good governance, it has failed to cut ice and his party has drawn flak from several quarters, including the DMK.


Giani Harpreet Singh appointed acting jathedar of Akal Takht AMRITSAR: Jathedar of Takht Damdama Sahib, Giani Harpreet Singh has been appointed acting Jathedar of the Akal Takht. The Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC), which appoints the Sikh clergy, met on Monday and accepted Giani Gurbachan Singh's resignation. Executive committee of the SGPC gave Giani Harpreet Singh additional charge of acting jathedar of the Akal Takht. President Gobind Singh Longowal, who chaired the meeting at Teja Singh Samundari Hall said Giani Harpreet Singh will remain on the post till a permanent jathedar is appointed. Hailing from Gidderbaha, Muktsar, the 45 year old currently pursues a PhD in Comparative Study of Religious Teachings of Quran and Guru Granth Sahib, from Punjab University. He spent the first two years as 'parcharak' of the SGPC before he was appointed head granthi of Gurdwara Darbar Sahib, Muktsar, in 1999. He held that position until his appointment to Damdama Sahib. His father was a 'paathi' who passed

Punjab subordinate staff away a couple of years ago, and selection board chairman has two siblings. Santa Singh Umedpur was also Singh is the second discussed for the post. jathedar of the Akal Takht Initially, the SGPC shortlisted from Muktsar, after Giabi the names of former SGPC Gurbachan Singh. It would be president Kirpal Singh interesting to know that both Badungar and former vicehave served at Gurdwara chancellor of Punjabi Darbar Sahib in Muktsar. In his University Jaspal Singh for the resignation letter, addressed to top post considering their SGPC chief Gobind Singh educational background and Longowal, Giani Gurbachan their understanding of the Singh apologised to the 'Panth' intricacies of the Sikh religion. for granting pardon to Dera Giani Harpreet Singh But both having held administrative posts in Sacha Sauda head Gurmeet Ram Rahim for the past, were ruled out at a later stage. imitating Guru Gobind Singh. Speaking on Giani Harpreet Singh’s Discussions are on in the Shiromani appointment, Badungar said: “The young Akali Dal (SAD) and the SGPC to choose a jathedar might not be as experienced as fresh face for the top post. “Though it is a others, but he has a clean image and is nonpractice to appoint Takht Kesgarh Sahib controversial. “First as a head granthi in jathedar as the acting jathedar of the Akal Darbar Sahib in Muktsar and then as the Takht, this time the SGPC members Takht Damdama Sahib head, his functioning favoured Takht Damdama Sahib jathedar for has been satisfactory,” said Badungar. the top post,” he said. The name of former


Mamata's move to rename West Bengal runs into hurdle KOLKATA: The Mamata Banerjee government's move to rename West Bengal as “Bangla” may be hindered after the Union Home Ministry wrote to the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA), sharing concerns that the new name may sound like Bangladesh and make it difficult to differentiate between the two at international forums. Sources said it was advised that a response from the MEA on the ruling Trinamool Congress' proposal should be obtained before examining it further. They also added that unlike the change in name of a city Mamata Banerjee or district, the change in name of the goes to the President.” The official also cited state will require a Constitutional the change of Orissa's name in 2010-11 to amendment. Odisha, when the Orissa (Alteration of A top Home Ministry official elaborated Name) Bill, 2010, and the Constitution (113th on the process saying, “Once we receive a Amendment) Bill, 2010, were moved by then response from MEA, a draft note for the Home Minister P Chidambaram on the basis Cabinet will be prepared to bring an of resolutions passed by the state's Assembly. amendment. The Constitution amendment According to Article 3(e) of the bill will then be introduced in Parliament Constitution, “Parliament may by law alter and will need to be approved there, before it

the name of any State provided that no Bill for the purpose shall be introduced in either House of Parliament except on the recommendation of the President and unless, where the proposal contained in the Bill affects the area, boundaries or name of any of the States, the Bill has been referred by the President to the Legislature of that State for expressing its views thereon.” In June, West Bengal proposed the name change, citing historical, cultural, and political reasons. Banerjee justified the move saying the “West” in Bengal is a reminder of the 1947 partition of Bengal into East Bengal and the West Bengal province of independent India. The move was hastened after she became the last CM to speak at the 2016 Inter-State Council meeting in Delhi, chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, as the list of the names of the states was prepared in alphabetical order and West Bengal figured last.

EX-KERALA CM BOOKED FOR SEXUAL ASSAULT The Crime Branch of the Kerala police have registered cases against former chief minister Oommen Chandy and MP KC Venugopal on a complaint of sexual misconduct filed by Solar scam accused Saritha S Nair. Confirming the development, DGP Loknath Behara said the cases against the two leaders were lodged on the basis of a complaint from Saritha. Reacting to the development, Chandy said they were prepared to face the cases legally. He claimed the cases were “politically motivated.” Saritha has alleged in her complaint that Chandy had sexually exploited her at Cliff House, the official residence of the chief minister, in 2012, while Venugopal had raped her at Rose House, the residence of the then state minister AP Anil Kumar.

WOMAN THRASHES BANKER FOR DEMANDING SEXUAL FAVOURS A woman beat up a bank manager for allegedly asking for sexual favours in exchange for passing her loan request. The incident took place in Karnataka's Davanagere when the woman visited the Dewan Housing Finance branch to seek a loan. The on-duty manager assured to help her and agreed to approve her loan despite her poor financial condition. However, he allegedly demanded sexual favours from her to pass the loan. In a 51 second video that has gone viral, the woman can be seen dragging the manager by the collar and then beating him up with a stick and slippers. She can also be heard asking to man to follow her to the police station while thrashing him with a stick. Once the incident came to light, services of the employee were sacked by DFHL.

JALANDHAR BOY WINS YOUNG WILDLIFE PHOTOGRAPHER AWARD Jalandhar’s Arshdeep Singh,10, has won the Young Wildlife Photographer of the Year (Asia) Award for his photograph ‘Pipe Owls.' The award ceremony was held at the Natural History Museum, London. Shot outside Kapurthala city, the wining photograph with two owlets closely sitting inside a pipe, was taken while Arshdeep was travelling with his father. “I often travel to Kapurthala with my father for nature photography. One such day, when I saw a ‘spotted owl’ flying inside a tube, I told my father to stop the car. He did not believe me. We waited for sometime until they came out again and without wasting a moment, I took the shot.

TWO FLIGHTS WITH 350 PEOPLE PREVENTED FROM COLLIDING Two commercial flights with 350 passengers were prevented from colliding mid-air over Kolkata, last week. Officials said an IndiGO flight that had taken off for Bagdogra from the city and an AirAsia flight that was heading to the city from Bagdogra were involved in the episode. The IndiGo was asked to hold at 29,000 ft, while the AirAsia was asked to descend to the same level. The planes were around 200 ft away from each other when the traffic collision avoidance system got triggered, preventing any accident. An inquiry has been ordered into the incident, and two ATC officers, a radar controller and a procedure controller have been put off duty till the investigation is over. Both airlines have confirmed the incident. AirAsia said in a statement, “An inquiry has been ordered into the incident and we are cooperating fully with the DGCA and ministry of civil aviation.”





27 Oct - 3 Nov 2018

Swami Dayanand Sarswati on 1857 • He was the first to give the call for 'Swarajya' as 'India for Indians' • Gujarat-born Swami keen for the teachings of the ancient Vedas


rime Minister Narendra Modi joins the celebration of Swami Dayanand Sarswati’s birth anniversary and gives tribute to the Socio-spiritual leader and social reformer of the 19th century most famous as the founder of the socio-spiritual reform organization Arya Samaj. The Swami and his Guru Swami Virajanand along with the fellow Swamis provided inspiration to Nanaheb Peshva, Rani Lakshmibai, Ajimullah Khan, Tatya Tope, Kunwar Singh, Raja of Jagdishpur and many others to get geared up for the 1857 Independence movement way back in 1855.PM Modi throws light on the first War of Independence of 1857 and subsequent birth of Arya Samaj in 1875. In 2025, the Arya Samaj is to celebrate the 150th year of its foundation world over. India and Indians do remember Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel and Indira Gandhi on 31 October but unfortunately, they almost forget Swami who died on 30-31 October 1883 following an assassination attempt at Ajmer. Even, his birthplace in Gujarat is yet to be declared Teerth-Bhoomi! Swami Dayanand was born on 12 February 1824 in Tankara in the western Indian state of Gujarat as Moolshankar Trivedi. At a time when Hinduism was divided between the various schools of philosophy and theology, Swami Dayanand went straight back to the Vedas, as he considered them the most authoritative repository of knowledge and truth spoken in the "Words of God." In order to reenergize Vedic knowledge and reawaken Hindu awareness of the

traditions that were meaningless and oppressive, according to him. These included practices such as idol worship and polytheism, and such social stigma as casteism and untouchability, child marriage and forced widowhood, which were prevalent in the 19th century. In his magnum opus “Satyarth Prakash”, he also targeted the blind faith and obscurantism of other faiths as well. Swami showed the people how going back to the roots of their

Swami Dayanand Sarswati

Swami Dayanand founded the Hindu reform organization called Arya Samaj on April 7, 1875 in Mumbai and also created its 10 principles which are quite distinct from Hinduism, yet based on the Vedas. As he said in “Satyarth Prakash”, he wanted to have true

voluntary activities, especially in the areas of education, and has opened numerous schools and colleges across India based on its universal values. The Arya Samaj community is prevalent in many countries around the world including Australia, Bali, Canada, Fiji, Guyana, Indonesia, Mauritius, Myanmar, Kenya, Singapore, South Africa, Surinam, Thailand, Trinidad & Tobago, UK, and the United States. Although Swami Dayanand Sarswati was never really involved in politics directly, his political observations were the source of inspiration for a number of political leaders during India's struggle for independence. For instance, he was the first to give the call for 'Swarajya' as 'India for Indians'. Later it was taken up by Lokmanya Tilak. One of his most influential works is the book “Satyarth Prakash”, which contributed to the


• • • • Lokmanya Tilak

Rani Lakshmibai 1857

four Vedas - Rig Veda, Yajur Veda, Sama Veda, and Atharva Veda Swami Dayanand wrote and published a number of religious books, primary among them being Satyartha Prakash, Rig-Vedaadi, Bhasya-Bhoomika, and Sanskar Vidhi. Swami Dayanand's main message - "Back to the Vedas" formed the bedrock of all his thoughts and actions. In fact, he spent a lifetime preaching against many Hindu customs and

faith - the Vedas - they can improve their lot as well as the social, political, and economic conditions of the then India. While he had millions of followers, he also attracted many a detractor and enemy. As the legend goes, he was poisoned many times by orthodox Hindus, and one such attempt proved fatal and he succumbed to death in 1883. What he left behind was one of the greatest and most revolutionary organizations, the Arya Samaj.

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God is the efficient cause of all true knowledge and all that is known through knowledge. God is existent, intelligent and blissful. He is formless, omniscient, just, merciful, unborn, endless, unchangeable, beginning-less, unequalled, the support of all, the master of all, omnipresent, immanent, un-aging, immortal, fearless, eternal and holy, and the maker of all. He alone is worthy of being worshiped. The Vedas are the scriptures of all true knowledge. It is the paramount duty of all Aryas to read them, teach them, recite them and to hear them being read. One should always be ready to accept truth and to renounce untruth. All acts should be performed in accordance with Dharma that is, after deliberating what is right and wrong. The prime object of the Arya Samaj is to do good to the world, that is, to promote physical, spiritual and social good of everyone. Our conduct towards all should be guided by love, righteousness and justice. We should dispel Avidya (ignorance) and promote Vidya (knowledge). No one should be content with promoting his/her good only; on the contrary, one should look for his/her good in promoting the good of all. One should regard oneself under restriction to follow the rules of society calculated to promote the well being of all, while in following the rules of individual welfare all should be free.

Indian independence movement. His followers included Swami Shraddhanand, Madam Bhikaji Cama, Sri Aurobindo, Lala Lajpatrai, Shyamji Krishna Verma,

he succumbed to death the next day. Dr. Hari Desai (The writer is a Socio-political Historian. E-mail:

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development of humankind by the acceptance of the Supreme truth and rejection of falsehood through analytical thinking.

V.D.Savarkar, S. Radhakrishnan. The Swami brought about a complete overhaul of the education system by introducing Anglo-Vedic schools to offer students an updated curriculum, imparting both the knowledge of the Vedas, and contemporary English education. His logical, scientific and critical analysis of faiths like Christianity and Islam as well as Jainism, Buddhism and Sikhism opened the eyes of many. He voiced his opinions against idolatry and the pointless emphasis on empty ritualism, and stood against man-made dictates such as caste by birth and women exclusion from reading Vedas. Common to the likes of him -due to his strong preachings against fanatic Hinduism -- Swami had many enemies. September 29, 1883 -- on the auspicious occasion of Diwali -- the Maharaja of Jodhpur, Jaswant Singh II, invited Maharishi to his palace to seek his blessings. Dayanand offended the court dancer. She conspired with the cook who mixed pieces of glass in the Guru's milk. He suffered excruciating pain, but forgave the cook involved in the deed before

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27 Oct - 3 Nov 2018

After Sabarimala violence, temple board says ready for compromise The Sabarimala temple is managed by the Travancore Devaswom Board (TDB), whose president is ruling CPM party leader A Padmakumar. So far, TDB has toed the line of the CPM-led state government and had earlier said it would not move a review petition against the Supreme Court order. But, following the violent protests, Padmakumar said: “We are ready for a climb down if the protest ends with that. The board will decide on moving a review petition in the Supreme Court. We do not want to see Sabarimala as a battlefield. All stakeholders should stand together to find a solution for the crisis. The board will consider any proposal to end the present crisis.” His remarks are at odds with the LDF government, which has staunchly opposed reviewing the SC verdict. Speaking to media, state finance minister Thomas Issac said the government will not file a review petition. “This government will not file a review petition, there is no scope for it. Instead, the ruling party will launch an intense countercampaign to expose the RSS and BJP. The party has already begun preparing its district units and from October 23, there will be a state-wide campaign,” he said. According to Issac, the state government and CPM are aware that the “present agitation cannot be handled only by police force and they will have to use an awareness campaign.” The Sabarimala temple closed on October 22 after opening for a five-day monthly ritual. Pamba, the base camp of the

temple, was peaceful after the imposition of prohibitory orders. While special security arrangements were in place at various locations including Pamba, Nilakkal and Erumeli en route to the Sabarimala temple, stray incidents of brick-batting on Kerala State Road Transport Corporation buses were reported, police said. A 24-hour strike called by a little-known Hindu outfit, and backed by the NDA, affected pilgrims. Many of them, who were dependent on public transport to reach the hill shrine, had to postpone their journey by 24 hours or pay exorbitant rates for cabs. Usually private vehicles are allowed to pass through Nilakkal to Pamba, a distance of 20 km, but due to the imposition of Section 144 and the possibility of violence, only state transport buses were shuttling between the two places. The effects of the bandh called by the Sabarimala Samrakshana Samiti protesting the police action on devotees of Ayyappa at Nilakkal were felt throughout Kerala. The protests were supported by the BJP too. In several places, stones were thrown at state transport buses and demonstrations taken out on the streets. While private buses and auto rickshaws stayed off roads, state bus services were severely curtailed. In most districts, shops and establishments were shut. 2 women return as priest vows to shut Sabarimala temple Two young women, Rehana Fathima and S Kavitha, almost created history as they reached within hailing distance of

Sabarimala’s sanctum sanctorum, a site strictly out of bounds for women. Just 500 metres from the 18 “holy steps” which lead up to the shrine, hundreds of protesters blocked the two women’s way who had been escorted uphill by an 80-strong police party in full riot gear. Just below the steps, a group of priests and those associated with religious duties in the temple held a dharna even as the temple’s tanthri or chief priest threatened that he would close the temple rather than allow women in the “barred” age group have darshan of the deity. Unwilling to use force to clear the protesters, and apparently after conferring with topmost echelons of the LDF government, police

turned back along with the two women. The LDF government — already struggling to walk a tightrope by wanting to be seen as batting for women’s rights and liberty while also clearly unwilling to antagonise the majority Hindu community who seem to want status quo - was clearly caught in a double bind and opted for the safe way out. “Sabarimala should not be used as a place for activists and others to prove a point. I believe that there was failure on the part of police in realising the exact intentions of the woman (Fathima) who came to have darshan,” Devaswom minister Kadamkampally Surendran later told the media.

Akbar quits as minister on eve SAKSHAM to organise Netra Kumbh during Kumbh 2019 of defamation hearing In the wake of several allegations of sexual harassment dating to his career as a newspaper editor and a day ahead of the first court hearing in a defamation case filed by him, M J Akbar resigned as junior minister for external affairs and said he would fight the “false accusations” in his personal capacity. “Since I have decided to seek justice in a court of law in my personal capacity, I deem it appropriate to step down from office and challenge false accusations levied against me, also in a personal capacity,” Akbar said in a statement in which he also thanked PM Narendra Modi and external affairs minister Sushma Swaraj for his stint in government. Akbar’s resignation came after he issued a statement denying allegations by women journalists who had worked with him. He had said some allegations were untrue while other accounts did not refer to any offence. He subsequently filed a defamation suit

M J Akbar

against Priya Ramani, a senior journalist who accused him of inappropriate behaviour. Since I have decided to seek justice in a court of law in my personal capacity, I deem it appropriate to step down from office and challenge false accusations levied against me, also in a personal capacity.

CBI chief, special director on war Continued from page 1

A source said, “A team of CBI officials visited the venue of the wedding and the hotels that were booked for the guests. They inquired about the number of guests who had arrived, how many rooms were booked and who paid for the expenses.” They said the caterers and other vendors involved in the marriage were also questioned. After the wedding, a party was also organized at an industrialist’s farmhouse on the city’s outskirts. Asthana was posted as Vadodara police commissioner in 2008 and transferred to Surat as city police chief in 2011. Meanwhile, Asthana's letters to the Central Vigilance Commission (CVC) and cabinet secretary, complaining about concerted attempts to tarnish his image have also referred to Lucknow offices of the Enforcement Directorate. In the letters, he has claimed how a Lucknow CBI's SP, a West

Alok Verma

Rakesh Asthana

Bengal IPS officer posted there, had allegedly fainted at Diwali dinner hosted by Verma in 2017 when he was asked questions on supervision of a graft case against an ED official. Asthana has also claimed the phone and laptop of the ED official was not seized by the CBI on pretext that his children were using them, following pressure from Verma.

SAKSHAM, which is a national organisation based in India that works for the empowerment of the differently-abled, has announced the launch of Netra Kumbh which shall be organised during the forthcoming Kumbh in 2019. During the launch of Netra Kumbh at the Constitution Club in New Delhi on 14 October 2019, Dr Krishnagopal along with Dr K. Sukumar and Dr Santhosh Kraleti announced that SAKSHAM plans to screen over one million eye patients, provide spectacles to over hundred thousand and perform cataract surgeries from January -March 2019. Over 400 reputed doctors and medical institutions from across the country have already agreed to be part of the noble

initiative. This kind of exercise shall be most unique in India which has the maximum number of blind people in the world. The situation needs an immediate address as 60% of corneal blind people are below the age of 12 and 69% of blind children drop out of school because of corneal blindness. In September 2017, UK DFID called the initiatives of SAKSHAM an important contribution to development in India. The forthcoming Netra Kumbh is a wonderful opportunity for the Ophthalmologists, Eye surgeons and Optometrists of the Indian diaspora and others in Britain who can devote at least 4 days for Netra kumbh, and can be part of this noble deed.

59 killed in Punjab train accident At least 59 people lost their lives and many others injured in a bizarre train accident in Amritsar, Punjab. In the disastrous sequence of events at a Dussehra celebration at dusk, a train at full speed tore through revellers who had been pushed back about 100 feet from the periphery of a burning effigy of Ravan. The men, women and children moved back onto the railway tracks and, in the shadow of the flames and crackle of explosions, none saw or heard the whistle of the rapidly approaching train. The tragedy took place at the Joda Fatak area of Amritsar, where a crowd of 4,000 people had gathered to watch the fireworks. As the effigy went up in flames, the organisers asked people to move back. The crowds spilled over to the tracks just as the Jalandhar-Amritsar DMU sped past. Eyewitnesses said the Amritsar-Howrah train had crossed the spot minutes earlier. Had the two trains crossed at the same time, casualties would have been much higher. How a Dussehra celebration was allowed

so close to railway tracks and why the Railways were unaware of the event are questions yet to be answered. Anger and despair soaked the accident spot as the effigies’ flames spluttered to a deathly end at the event in Amritsar (East), a constituency represented by Punjab minister Navjot Singh Sidhu, whose wife and former MLA from the area Navjot Kaur Sidhu was at the function but had left minutes before the tragedy.





27 Oct - 3 Nov 2018

'Superbugs will kill Pharmacists told to check whether young more than cancer and children really need EpiPens Chemists must ask parents how many adrenaline pens they have at home diabetes by 2050'

Superbugs will kill more people than cancer and diabetes combined by 2050 unless something is done to tackle antibiotic resistance, MPs have warned. Despite drives to reduce prescription rates, British doctors are still doling out twice as many antibiotics as some of their European counterparts, a report has found. Experts have warned that routine hospital operations could become too dangerous if common medications become ineffective. They fear the antibiotics crisis is getting worse, with growing concerns the drugs are losing their effect and can no longer treat many infections. It is estimated that

drug-resistant strains of bacteria are responsible for 5,000 deaths a year in the UK and 25,000 a year in Europe. But experts say the death toll could reach ten million a year globally within the next 30 years. The report by the House of Commons' health and social care select committee says the Government has not done enough to combat antimicrobial resistance and must make it 'a top-five policy priority'. Professor Dame Sally Davies, England's chief medical officer, told the inquiry that failing to do so would mean 'modern medicine is lost'.

Pharmacists have been told to check whether young children really need EpiPens, which are routinely doled out by the NHS and used by millions of allergy sufferers. Amid a 'critical' global shortage, the NHS has told chemists to ask parents how many adrenaline pens they have at home before deciding how many to give out. Only children with no pens should get the standard prescription of two autoadrenaline injectors, even if the ones they have are

expired, the guidance states. This comes after 15-yearold Natasha EdnanLaperouse died of an allergic reaction after eating a Pret a Manger sandwich. She passed away in a French hospital in 2016 despite being given two EpiPen injections from her father on a flight to Nice after eating a sandwich that did not fully list its ingredients. Dr Sean Cummings, who presided over the inquest of Natasha, has slammed the pens as 'inherently unsafe' because they

are too short to reach muscle and do not contain enough adrenaline. The Department of Health told the BBC's flagship Victoria Derbyshire show new supplies are 'expected within the next week'. In the meantime, patients with the greatest needs will be prioritised, it added. A shortage of 150mcg EpiPens, which are the most common brand of adrenaline auto-injectors, has had a knock on effect on the other brands Jext and

Emerade, which are now also in short supply. EpiPens, which are manufactured by Pfizer, are available on prescription in the UK and are thought to cost the NHS around £50 for a twin-pack.

Flu vaccine The flu vaccine is free for at risk groups including pregnant women, children aged 2 and 3 as well as school children in reception to year 5, people under 65 with longterm health conditions and those aged 65 and over. London based Thriveni Potti made sure her son got the flu nasal spray vaccine at the age of 3 following advice from her GP. Her son was diagnosed with asthma and she knew that flu, on top of asthma, Shreyansh Maldchetty – Thriveni Potti's son could increase his that I realised the imporchances of serious health tance of getting the vaccine. complications and even a “Last year my 2-year-old hospital visit. had the flu nasal spray vacThriveni said “When my cine and this helped protect son is unwell, his asthma him from catching flu and worsens. Having the flu passing it onto other family would further aggravate his members.” condition so the flu vaccine Shazneen Patel-Bhatt is absolutely essential in said, “I have a long-term helping him stay well espehealth condition and my GP cially through the winter made me aware that getting months.” the flu could be really debilFarah Cavaliera from itating for me, it would not Buckinghamshire has two only affect me but my whole children aged 4 and 6. She family too.” said, “There are three gener“Now I always get the flu ations of my family that get vaccine, as it offers me the the flu vaccine including my best protection against flu. mother who has type 2 diaMy husband and I have no betes so flu could make her family or friends living near seriously ill. I have, during us which means we have no my pregnancies and my help or support if we fall ill. children.” Having the vaccine means Farah has also ensured the chances of us getting the that every year since her flu is greatly reduced.” children turned 2 they have Those who are eligible the flu nasal spray vaccine. for a free flu vaccine should Vidushi Khosa from contact their GP, pharmaLondon said, “I often hear cist or midwife before the people saying that they have end of November. had flu when it’s only a cold. Visit was after my husband had vaccine for more informaflu and I saw what a terrible tion experience it was for him

Is your child aged 2-3? See us to help protect them from flu fl . Flu can be horrible for little children and if they get it, they can spread it around the whole family. Contact your GP surgery for the free flu vaccine. It’s usually not an injjection, just a quick and easy nassal spray. i e

All those aged 2 and a 3 (but not 4 years or older) on 31 August 2018. HUHY18 - 03 © Crown copyright 2018.

Racchel Keith, Registe ered Nurse




27 Oct - 3 Nov 2018

Deepika and Ranveer to tie the knot on Nov 14-15 The wedding bells are finally ringing for Deepika Padukone and Ranveer Singh. The wedding will take place on November 14 and 15 this year. This information was shared by Deepika herself on her social media. Taking to instagram account, Deepika posted a wedding invitation which says,''With the blessings of our families it gives us immense joy in sharing that our wedding is set to take place on the 14th and 15th of November, 2018. We thank you for all the love you have showered upon us over the years and seek your blessings as we embark on this incredible journey of love, loyalty, friendship and togetherness. - Lots of love, Deepika and Ranveer.'' As per earlier reports, Ranveer and Deepika's family have already begun wedding shopping. Right now, the duo is busy in their respective shootings. Ranveer will next be seen in Rohit Shetty's 'Simmba' starring Sara Ali Khan while Deepika has given her approval for the role of acid attack survivor Laxmi Agarwal in her biopic, directed by Meghna Gulzar. Deepika was last seen in Sanjay Leela Bhansali's 'Padmaavat alongside Ranveer Singh and Shahid Kapoor, Ranveer will next be seen in 'Gully Boys' alongside Alia Bhatt and Rohit Shetty's 'Simmba' co-starring Sara Ali Khan. people I work with. At times millions chat with me and say things like why you let go of that script that was such a great script. Till date, I never understood a script. And I can say this with confidence that I never understood the script but the script maker or the filmmaker,” Shah Rukh said. Shah Rukh revealed, “Karan came and narrated an utterly nonsense crap story to me; which is certainly not the one that finally you people saw in the film. In his strange way Karan, the man with many words tried to impress me with his crap story. So yes, I really did not understand the story when I signed in and I am glad that I did not get into the story and just went ahead with the conviction of Karan, otherwise the film would not have come out the way it came out.” The cast members, including veteran actor Farida

20 years of 'Kuch Kuch Hota Hai' It was a night to remember as the 'Kuch Kuch Hota Hai' lead cast Shah Rukh Khan, Rani Mukerji and Kajol along with director Karan Johar reunited on the very special occasion of the 20th-anniversary celebration of the film. From fun moments and nostalgia-filled night, the actors shared their fun memories from the shooting of the film. Shah Rukh Khan revealed how utterly crap story Karan Johar had narrated to him before he signed the film. “I never listen to scripts, I listen to the heartbeats of the

AB and Aamir dance it out in 'Thugs of Hindostan'

Jalal, Sana Saeed, Archana Puran Singh and Parzan Dastur were also in attendance. The event saw all of Karan Johar’s close friends attend the celebration. From Kareena Kapoor Khan to Zoya Akhtar, Ayan Mukerji, Neha Dhupia, Abhishek Bachchan, Shweta Bachchan Nanda, Twinkle Khanna, Janhvi Kapoor, Ishaan Khatter, Varun Dhawan, Sidharth Malhotra, rapper Badshah, Ananya Panday, Sanjay Kapoor, Maheep Kapoor, Shashank Khaitan among many others came to celebrate the glorious journey.

Alia and Priyanka hang out in New York

Yash Raj Films action adventure 'Thugs of Hindostan' has stunned audiences with it’s larger than life, extravagant trailer. This visual spectacle about an epic war and adventure on the high seas, is releasing this Diwali. The film has managed an incredible casting coup by bringing together two of the biggest icons of Hindi cinema Amitabh Bachchan and Aamir Khan for the first time on big screen and to make this even more interesting, looks like the two have also danced together in the film. Prabhudheva, whose choreography sets benchmarks each time, has directed this song titled Vashmalle (meaning: dance your heart out and make merry). Prabhudheva always leaves his mark with high-energy dance numbers that boast of unique dance

moves. Vashmalle too will stand out because Amitabh and Aamir are seen dancing their heart out in the film. Vijay Krishna Acharya, director of the film says,“It is amazing that we could write a suitable moment in the film that sees these two icons shake a leg with each other and the song will stand out because of their infectious energy and camaraderie. The song presents Bachchan and Aamir in the mood to celebrate. The sequence will show them getting drunk during the celebrations and then breaking out to dance on this high-energy number. It is a priceless moment that we have captured in the film.” Katrina Kaif and Fatima Sana Shaikh are also part of the movie. The film is set to release on November 8 in Hindi, Tamil and Telugu.

Actress Alia Bhatt took some time off her busy schedule and arrived in New York where the actress was spotted chilling with Priyanka Chopra, and earlier, with rumoured boyfriend Ranbir Kapoor. Fan clubs have shared videos and photos of Priyanka and Alia hanging out in the city. After she arrived in New York, Alia also shared a photo of herself on her Instagram and captioned it: "The Big Apple." Alia's rumoured boyfriend Ranbir Kapoor is also in New York with his parents Rishi and Neetu Kapoor. Rishi Kapoor is undergoing medical treatment for an undisclosed illness in the US. Priyanka, who arrived in New York last week, caught up with Rishi and Neetu Kapoor. Sonali Bendre and her filmmaker

husband Goldie Behl also joined the get-together. Sonali is undergoing treatment for cancer in the US. Ranbir and Alia made headlines once again after their pictures of shopping together in New York hit the internet. Ranbir and Alia's pictures from their recent outing in the city went viral. Fan clubs curated photos of the rumoured couple, where they can be seen holding shopping bags and posing.





27 Oct - 3 Nov 2018

'Sarkar' teaser hits 9 mn in Dhanush to star in Ramkumar’s fantasy comedy just 4 hours! Director Ramkumar, who is basking in the success of Tamil psychological thriller "Ratsasan," says his next film with Dhanush will be a fantasy comedy which he hopes to wrap up in six months. “The scripting work is currently underway. As Dhanush sir is occupied with two other commitments, we hope to start shooting by December or early next year. This will be a fantasy-based subject with good scope for comedy. That's all I can reveal at the moment," Ramkumar said. It took Ramkumar

around four years to make his second film "Ratsasan", which has clicked at the boxoffice. He hopes to wrap up his yet-untitled with Dhanush in six months. "Due to various reasons, my second film took a lot of time. It won't happen this time. We hope to wrap up Dhanush sir's film in six months flat after we go on the floors," he said, adding Dhanush will be seen in a very unique role. "It's a unique character and I think only he (Dhanush) can pull it off. The energy that he brings to a character is unmatchable," he added. Ramkumar also has plans to make a sequel to his first Tamil film "Mundasupatti," an experimental comedy. He said he has the script ready. "The idea for the sequel was developed while we were shooting for the first part. The sequel is definitely on and since I already have the script ready, it's just a matter of time before things fall in place. I don't want to force things to happen. They'll happen if they're meant to happen," Ramkumar said. D h a n u s h , meanwhile, is gearing up to commence shooting for his fourth film with filmmaker Vetrimaaran. This project is believed to go on the floors from next week.

The teaser of Vijay's next film 'Sarkar' was released last week. This AR Murugadoss directorial has Keerthy Suresh, Varalaxmi Sarathkumar, Yogi Babu, Pala Karuppaiah, Radha Ravi and others playing crucial roles. Ever since the teaser released, fans have been going crazy, and the video has been breaking records on YouTube. Currently, it has crossed 9 million views, within a span of just 4 hours. Nellai incident made into a scene? In October 2017, a family of four immolated themselves after they were harassed over unpaid debts by a moneylender. Esakkimuthu, the leader of the family took this extreme decision, since

the district collector had not solved his problem, despite repeated petitions. In the teaser, that has actor Vijay in the lead role, there is a scene where an immolation happens, and Vijay stand there with eyes filled with tears. There are possibilities that this scene could be a reference to the above mentioned drastic event. Vijay and Murugadoss had collaborated twice before, and in both the films, events of political and social importance were referenced. For example, the film 'Kaththi' had Vijay speaking dialogues about 2G scam, and farmers suicide. We can expect a lot of scenes like that, since this film has a lot of politics involved.

* Schedule is subject to change

MONDAY 29th - FRIDAY 30th October


16:00:00 17:00:00 17:30:00 18:00:00 18:30:00 19:00:00 19:30:00 20:00:00 20:30:00 21:00:00 21:30:00 22:30:00


18:00:00 18:30:00 19:00:00 19:30:00 20:00:00 21:30:00 22:30:00


17:30:00 18:00:00 18:30:00 19:00:00 19:30:00 20:00:00 21:30:00 22:30:00







* Schedule is subject to change

MONDAY 29th - FRIDAY 30th October








* Schedule is subject to change

16:30 17:30 18:30 20:00 21:30 22:30

CID Crime Patrol Indian Idol Indian Idol Comedy Circus Crime Patrol

MONDAY 29th Oct - Thursday 1st Nov


18:30 19:00 19:30 20:00 20:30 21:00 23:00


18:30 19:00 19:30 20:00 20:30 21:00 23:00


Vighnaharta Ganesh Mere Sai Yeh Un Dinon Ki Baat Hai Porus Main Maayke Chali Jaaungi Kaun Banega Crorepati Crime Patrol


Vighnaharta Ganesh Mere Sai The Kapil Sharma Show Porus Main Maayke Chali Jaaungi Kaun Banega Crorepati Crime Patrol





22:00: 23:00:


* Schedule is subject to change

Sunday October 28, 2018 02:45 Film : Tumsa Nahi Dekha 06:00 Film : Login 08:00 Film : Insaniyat 11:25 Film : Chalo Ishq Ladaaye 14:25 Film : Taal 18:16 Film : Zanjeer 21:00 Film : Singh is Bling 23:53 Film : Awarapan

Tuesday October 30, 2018 01:40 Film : Madhoshi 06:00 Film : I Don't Luv U 08:17 Film : James Pandu 10:50 Film : Taal 14:40 Film : Tere Mere Phere 17:09 Film : Singh is Bling 20:00 Film : Ek Se Bure Do 22:52 Film : Luv Shuv Pyaar Vyar

Monday October 29, 2018 Wednesday October 31, 2018 02:18 Film : Ishq Click 01:16 Film : Chaar Din Ki Chandni 06:00 Film : Huff! It's Too Much 06:00 Film : Bezubaan Ishq 08:00 Film : Mrityudand 08:26 Film : Man On Mission Fauladi 11:15 Film : Jeet - Born To Win 11:04 Film : China Gate 14:18 Film : Samay - When Time Strikes 14:42 Film : Pappu Can't Dance Saala 17:00 Film : Ra.One 17:15 Film : Tutak Tutak Tutiya 20:12 Film : Tutak Tutak Tutiya 20:00 Film : Koyelaanchal 22:51 Film : Jahan Tum Le Chalo 23:03 Film : Nazar



SUNDAY 1st November




19:30: DESI BEAT 3.0

20:00: NAAGIN - SEASON 3



30 UK



27 Oct - 3 Nov 2018

Pujya Mahant Swami speaks on family and its importance

Jain All Party Parliamentary Group and One JAIN, UK celebrates 16th Ahimsa Day at the House of Commons

Bochasanwasi Shree Akshar Purushottam Swaminarayan Sanstha's head Param Pujya Mahant Swami is currently in Gadhada. He had reached Gadhada from Dhari on October 18. Earlier, on October 15, in Dhari, Bal Din was celebrated with his blessings. He blessed the assembly that day. On October 16, Yuva Din was celebrated during which youths acted in skits and other performances. They were inspired and urged to always abide by the law, and find law as the right way to live. On the 18th, he left for Gadhada and on his way, stopped to visit a newly built temple and gave Hari Bhakts the opportunity of meeting him. He reached Gadhada to a rousing reception. On the 21st, an 'Anokhi Court' was created where people spoke on family issues and problems. Swamiji will leave for Gondal on October 23.

Announcement The Gujarat Hindu Society has appointed a new Executive Committee for year 2018-19. Dashrathbhai Nayee has been made President, and will find support from newly appointed Vice-President Ishwarbhai Tailor. Ashitbhai Tailor has been appointed Secretary, Chandrakant Limbachia has been made Assistant Secretary, Umedbhai Parmar made Treasurer and Hareshbhai Chauhan has been made Assistant Treasurer.

Coming Events

l Vaso Nagrik Mandal UK, National Association of Patidar Samaj, and Karamsad Samak UK invite you to Vaso Nagril Mandal Sammelan, Celebration of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel's Birth Anniversary and Diwali celebration on November 3, Saturday, 4.30 pm to 10.00 pm at Patidar Samaj Hall, 26B Tooting High Street, London SW17 0RJ. l Maninagar Shree Swaminarayan Gadi Sansthan and Shree Swaminarayan Mandir Kingsbury to celebrate Diwali and New Year from November 4 to 11. Hindu New Year Celebrations Samvat 2075 to be held on November 8, Thursday, 6.00 am to 7.00 pm, and Fireworks and Exhibition of Indian Culture to be celebrated on November 10, Saturday, 6.00 pm to 8.00 pm. l Sarvoday Hindu Association presents Jalaram Jayanti Celebrations to be held on November 17, Saturday, 6.30 pm to 11.00 pm, at Southborough High, Hook Road, Surbiton, KT6 5AS. SHA also invites you to their Diwali dinner and dance on November 25, Sunday, from 6.00 pm till late, at Tolworth Recreational Centre, Fullers Way North, Tolworth KT6 7LQ.

Sneh Joshi

notice for Lord Bourne. He also welcomed the Jain members from the Armed Forces present in the audience. There were several speakers at the event. Notable amongst them were; • Lord Bates standing in for Lord Bourne did acknowledge his unfamiliarity with Jain faith. He conveyed the message from Lord Bourne that the representations for Jains to be invited to the Remembrance Day was successful. • Kajal Sanghrajka, who was awarded the Winston

Grenfell survivors 'anxious' about health fears over possible soil contamination Survivors and residents living near Grenfell Tower have demanded answers from health bosses over the interim results of a toxicology expert's study suggesting potential soil contamination around the site following the fire. Locals packed a Grenfell Scrutiny Committee meeting on Monday (October 15) to question Public Health England (PHE) and Kensington & Chelsea Council (RBKC) representatives over the revelations reported by The Guardian over the weekend. They told locals they had asked to see the preliminary findings of the soil

study carried out by University of Central Lancashire toxicology and fire chemistry scientist Professor Anna Stec, who is assisting the ongoing Grenfell inquiry. However they had not yet been given access to the data, which they emphasised had yet to be published and validated via peer-review. In a statement on Tuesday, Prof Stec said she had carried out the testing to assess potential longterm health impacts for Grenfell survivors, local residents and firefighters. Her finding had to be validated and published before she could share the

been hanging in the balance, whatever happens you will get a clearer picture of the situation eventually. Allow matters to ride as impatience will not give you the whole picture. Give top priority to important written work, official matters and vital communications. This applies particularly to Joint finances. Your life is likely to be quite TAURUS Apr 21 - May 21 busy and active in the area of

your relationships, which can be exciting but also temperamental at times. Something tiny can trigger all sorts of buried emotions, and this can be very revealing! Don't be afraid to act if your instinct tells you it's time for change. Four planets, Jupiter, Sun,

GEMINI May 22 - June 22 Mercury and retrograde Venus

are all in your solar sixth house. This is a busy period for you tending to different aspects of your daily routine and health matters. You will have to work hard to improve your health, diet and also tackle any problems at work, which have not been easy. Relationships are complex at the best of times, but Saturn's motion can make things even more complicated now. Misunderstandings can plague partnerships or potential romances - be more careful and forgiving. A good time for completing unfinished business and reassessing your future projects.

Home and family duties and responsibilities may weigh heavy on you. In effect, you’re building a new foundation, so the work you put in now will pay off in the future. Your ability to manage what you have on your plate earns respect from others around you. You will benefit in every way if you learn to self-discipline and pace yourself wisely.

LEO Jul 23 - Aug 23

VIRGO Aug 24 - Sep 23

An inspiring boost to matters of communication but make sure your curiosity on a range of topics does not lead to a scattering of mental energy. However, you will need to focus on what is most important in your life, otherwise mistakes will be made. A good time for restructuring and rethinking your aims and interests.

A progressive time ahead regarding money and the material world, and the keyword is increase. Jupiter, the planet of expansion and excesses is associated with splashing out on luxury items which sometimes we do not really require - take care or you will end up having things that you really have no use for.

LIBRA Sep 24 - Oct 23

Three planets with Venus retrograde are in your solar first house. These planets will teach you a lot about yourself and your relationships, so extra care should be exercised when it comes to your body language. You will be re-assessing people around you. Good time to review your partnerships and relationships.

SCORPIO Oct 24- Nov 22

build Global Jain Networks, following the successful Jain business conference in London last year. The evening culminated with the award of the IOJ Ahimsa Award 2018 to Mr Shantilal Muttha, a social worker and entrepreneur for the past 35 years, whose charity leads education, social development and disaster relief in Maharashtra, India. The Hall was filled to capacity, including parliamentarians, leaders and members of Jain and other Indian communities and leaders of other faiths.

Churchill Memorial Trust Fellowship to research immigrant entrepreneurship, spoke about the how the UK could narrate its diversity story better, and capitalise on its overseas student talent. • Shaunaka Rishi Das, Director of Oxford Centre for Hindu Studies, spoke about the origins, development and history of the Caste system and why the current (now shelved) legislation is misguided. • Anand Surana, Chairman, Jitopreneurs, spoke about the Jain International Trade Organisation’s strategy to

results and potential health implications widely, she clarified. She said she wanted the local population to be specifically screened for any health effects resulting from exposure to fire products, and the environment in the area to be analysed in detail.

The UK’s leading Vedic writer and TV personality

ARIES Mar 21 - Apr 20 If you feel that something has

CANCER Jun 22 - Jul 22

The Institute of Jainology (IoJ) and the Jain All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) celebrated their annual Ahimsa Day last Wednesday at the House of Commons. It’s focus was to mark the Jain tenet of Ahimsa (non-violence), 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi and the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty. Relief from Poverty was the theme for the evening. Mr Gareth Thomas MP, Chair of the APPG and Mr Bob Blackman MP, Deputy Chair, both highlighted the progress that was being made to add Jainism to the UK Census and recognising Jains at National events. Mr Nemu Chandaria, Chairman of the IoJ, welcomed the guests and thanked Lord Bates, Minister of State for International Development for stepping in at a short

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SAGITTARIUS Nov 23 - Dec 21

Retrograde transit of Venus and three more planets in your solar twelfth house, extra care should be exercised when it comes to private and personal matters. Be as non-judgemental as you can, but do keep an eye out for deceptiveness and falseness in others. Good time for yoga and meditation.

The main focus is on the need for establishing a secure foundation in all to do with present and future worldly interests. Social commitments are liable to increase considerably. At times this could lead to a conflict of loyalties and perhaps a degree of resentment that others are taking advantage of you.

CAPRICORN Dec 22 - Jan 20

Don' t get over- anxious if you feel that you're being kept in the dark. You will probably find that worries have been unfounded. Although you may be faced with a difficult decision concerning your career or employment, this is not the time to hide. Don't waste time if you can improve matters.

AQUARIUS Jan 21 - Feb 19

Three planets with Venus retrograde are in the area of your life that requires a philosophical approach. This is the 9th house of your solar chart that rules higher learning, belief systems, travel, and adventurous experiences. There may be tests of sorts in these areas of life as if the universe is checking that the foundations are strong.

PISCES Feb 20 - Mar 20





27 Oct - 3 Nov 2018


Once again, the world No.1 from Chinese Taipei proved to be the most difficult barrier of Saina Nehwa’s career. Though Saina won a game still Tai reigned supreme 21-13, 13-21, 216 in the final of the Denmark Open BWF Tour Super 750 tournament in Odense on Sunday. Tai created history by becoming the first shuttler from Taipei to clinch the Denmark Open title. Though she won almost all the Super Series titles she had not performed well in Denmark. On Sunday, she repeatedly changed her tactics to silence a determined Saina, who fought ferociously for most part of the final. Tai was in her elements from the first point. Her crafty work at the net which is loaded with a lot of disguise and the accurate on-the line smashes coupled with effortless retrieving ability earned her easy points. Tai was leading 11-5 at the break. Saina upped the ante and played some brilliant smashes but Tai did well to protect the big lead she gained. In the second game, Saina pushed the shuttle back and hardly allowed Tai to come near the net. The ploy worked as Tai’s returns looked weak giving an upperhand for the Indian. Saina took a 8-3 lead and maintained that throughout the game. Despite losing the second game, Tai realised where she was not going wrong . And towards the end of the second game, Tai returned sharply packing the bird with a lot of pace. In the decider, Tai got off to a early lead. Returning the shuttle with a lot of pace, Tai gave little time for the already tired Saina to react. By the mandatory change of courts, Tai was cruising ahead at 11-2. After conceding such a big lead against a top player it would require a herculean effort to comeback. This is Saina’s 11th straight loss against Tai since 2013.

KAYES LEADS BANGLADESH Bangladesh beat Zimbabwe by 28 runs in the first One-Day International to take a 1-0 lead in the three-match series at the Sher-eBangla National Stadium in Dhaka on Sunday. Opener Imrul Kayes struck a career best 144 off 140 balls to guide Bangladesh to 271-8 before the hosts restricted Zimbabwe to 2439 in 50 overs. Sean Williams made the highest score for Zimbabwe with 50 not out off 58 balls. Offspinner Mehidy Hasan claimed a career best 3-46 for Bangladesh. Kayes shared a record 127-run stand in Dhaka with all-rounder Mohammad Saifuddin for the seventh wicket as the hosts recovered from 139-6 to post a competitive score.

Shahid Khan withdraws offer to buy Wembley Stadium Pakistani-American billionaire Shahid Khan has pulled his offer of £600 million to buy Wembley Stadium, after concluding that the Football Association could not secure support among its members to sell the venue which is called England's “home of football.” Owner of Fulham football club and the Jacksonville Jaguars NFL team, Khan has been in talks since April to acquire the stadium from the FA. Both the sides even agreed draft sale terms last month. However, it is reported now that Khan rescinded the offer after calculating that the FA would not gain sufficient support from its 10-member board and 127-member council to sign off on a deal. It is said that in recent weeks, Khan's negotiating team became aware that a small minority of the board and a large number of council members would not support the deal, according to people familiar with the matter. Khan released a statement saying, “Unfortunately, given where we are today,

Shahid Khan

I've concluded that the outcome of a vote next week would be far from sufficient in expressing the broad support favoured by the

FA chairman to sell Wembley Stadium. Until a time when it is evident there is an unmistakable directive from the FA to explore and close a sale, I am respectfully withdrawing my offer to purchase Wembley Stadium.” FA chief executive Martin Glenn said, “At a recent meeting with Mr Khan, he expressed to us that without stronger support from within the game, his offer is being seen as more divisive than it was anticipated to be and has decided to withdraw his proposal. Wembley Stadium is an iconic venue that is revered around world and it will continue to thrive under the ownership and direction of the FA.” A person close to the process said, “There is a reason why England has not won a World Cup since 1966 when decisions are made by a governing body that is organised like this. If there is a silver lining from the discussions, it is that there may be scope to reform the way the FA makes decisions.”

New sting alleges spot-fixing in 15 matches Aneel Munawar, an alleged match-fixer on ICC’s radar, is said to have been involved in 26 spot-fixing instances in six Tests, six ODIs and three World T20 matches between 2011-12, according to Al Jazeera’s investigative documentary released on Sunday. Titled ‘Cricket’s Match Fixers: The Munawar Files’, the documentary claims fixed passages of play in seven matches by England players, five matches by Australia players, three matches by Pakistan players, and in one match by players from another country. The high-profile matches under the scanner this time include the 2011 Lord’s Test between England and India and the 2011 Cape Town Test between South Africa and Australia, along with five matches in the 2011 World Cup and three in the 2012 World T20 in Sri Lanka. The documentary also pointed out at successful spot-fixing in each of the three England-Pakistan Tests in 2012 in the UAE. The documentary pivots around the pictures and recordings - ‘The Munawar Files’ that Al Jazeera’s investigative unit claims to have obtained. The files include recordings of calls made by Munawar to Dinesh Khambat, a subordinate to Dinesh Kalgi who was a serial bookmaker based out of Ahmedabad before he died in 2014. Details of at least three fixes during the 2012 World T20 held in Sri Lanka were provided by Munawar to Kalgi, which included the England-Afghanistan match. The documentary also revealed a phone call made by Munawar to an unnamed England player just before the start of the 2011 World Cup. He is heard telling the player: “Congratulations for the Ashes. The last payment is ready for going in the account. You will be credited in a week.” The

player is heard saying “lovely” in reply, although the audio was distorted to conceal the identity of the player. Al Jazeera claims to have approached the said player, who claimed that the conversation didn’t take place and that the call recording was “fabricated”. The documentary also revealed pictures of Umar Akmal meeting a ‘D-Company’ associate in the hotel lobby on the night of the fix in the third Pakistan-England Test in Dubai. Akmal and the ‘D-Company’ associate are then photographed with a second man in the hotel lobby, with whom Akmal shakes hands and is seen inspecting a bag. The photographs don’t show Akmal leaving the lobby with the bag. Akmal, in June this year, was summoned by Pakistan Cricket Board’s anti -corruption unit after he made claims that he was approached to fix matches in the Hong Kong Super Sixes, Pakistan’s series against South Africa in the UAE, and the 2015 World Cup. Akmal had said that he was first approached during his second stint in Hong Kong, and was offered as much as USD 200,000 to play two dot balls. He also reported being approached for Pakistan’s group game against India in the 2015 World Cup in one of many approaches before matches against India.

The documentary claims that Munawar successfully predicted 25 out of 26 outcomes; in the one he couldn’t, Munawar missed the mark by a solitary run. The ICC, towards the end of August 2018, had launched an appeal to identify Munawar while claiming that it had identified every other person in the first documentary and spoken to several of them in connection to match-fixing. However, Al Jazeera dismissed that by stating the ICC had known about Munawar for eight years and “yet, the ICC issued a global appeal to find Munawar only after Al Jazeera informed them it was preparing this documentary.” Reacting to the documentary, Alex Marshall, general manager of ICC’s ACU, said: “As you would expect we’ll again take the contents of the programme and any allegations it may make seriously and will investigate fully. However, I must refute the assertion that cricket does not take the issue of corruption seriously. We have more resources than ever before working to rid out sport of corruption. “The investigation into these allegations has already commenced and will run alongside a number of other live unrelated investigations. Considering the claims, we will work with professional independent betting analysts.” As it had done earlier, the ICC has again requested the broadcaster to cooperate with the cricket governing body’s investigation into corruption in the sport while appreciating Al Jazeera’s intention to share a copy of its investigation with Interpol. Interestingly, Marshall, during the recent Asia Cup in Dubai, had hinted, without taking the name of the channel, that ICC was disappointed with Al Jazeera as it didn’t share the raw footage of its sting operations.

Pak cricket star Danish Kaneria admits to match-fixing Danish Kaneria, Pakistan's most successful spin bowler, has confessed to his role in a spot-fixing scandal in England, after denying it for six years. In an interview, Kaneria admits he induced a teammate at Essex County Cricket Club to underperform for money paid by a notorious bookmaker. Kaneria was banned from the sport for life by cricket authorities in 2012, but until now, has always been insisting on his innocence. In the television confession, he says: "My name is Danish Kaneria and I admit that I was guilty of the two charges brought against me by the England and Wales Cricket Board

in 2012." He adds: "I have become strong enough to make this decision because you cannot live a life with lies." Kaneria, 37, expresses remorse for his actions and apologises for letting down his team, country, fans and family. His failure to tell cricket authorities about the bookmaker's approach was "the biggest mistake of my life … I regret it from the bottom of my heart," he says. Kaneria's confession is the latest development in Al Jazeera's two-year investigation into corruption in cricket. The documentary, Cricket's Match Fixers, which was released earlier this year, rocked the sport. A followup film, due to be aired on October 21, 2018,

contains more explosive revelations. Kaneria was banned after the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) investigated claims of spot-fixing during a county championship match between Durham and Essex in 2009. He was found guilty of attempting to induce Essex teammate Mervyn Westfield to underperform and bringing the game into disrepute. Westfield admitted corruption and was jailed for four months and suspended for five years in 2012. He had agreed to underperform for a payment of 6,000 British pounds ($7,860). The Pakistani spin bowler says he regrets

Danish Kaneria

introducing Westfield to the Indian bookie Anu Bhatt at a nightclub in Essex. "Mervyn used to tell me that he wants to become a rich cricketer," Kaneria says.



27 Oct - 3 Nov 2018 AsianVoiceNews AsianVoiceNewsweekly

Kohli and Rohit lead India to victory with plenty to spare The Indian skipper Virat Kohli who was rested for the Asia Cup, announced his return with a typically chanceless knock, against the West Indies in the first ODI at Guwahati on Sunday. Kohli (140) and the equally-impressive Rohit Sharma (152) powered the home team to a comfortable eight-wicket win in the first of the fivematch series. Golden run Kohli’s golden run continued, as he notched up his fourth 50-over century of the calendar year. The 29-year-old has now piled on 889 runs in 2018, at an incredible average of 127. On the day, Kohli played every shot in the book, and effortlessly found the gaps as well. He came in to bat with India on 10 for one, facing a stiff 323-run target. When Kohli was out stumped, the side required a routine 67 runs from 17 overs. The 246-run secondwicket stand between Kohli and Rohit had effectively shut the rival out of the contest. Rohit, meanwhile, was happy to play second fiddle to his flamboyant partner. He did have his fair share of the spotlight too, smacking some monstrous sixes. One heave, which sent the ball to the stadium’s uppertier, brought the spectators to their feet. For the victim, off-spinner Ashley Nurse, and indeed for the rest of his teammates, it was a frustratingly long night. Fiery spell Only a fiery early spell from Oshane Thomas threatened the Indian party. Featuring in his first international match, Thomas consistently touched speeds of 145kmph, and accounted for Shikhar Dhawan cheaply. Thomas then had Kohli jabbing away from his body, but the edge evaded the slip cordon. Thomas may have ended with expensive figures, but he did show considerable promise. Earlier, after being put in to bat, West Indies rode on a fluent century from Shimron Hetmyer to get past the 300-run mark. Hetmyer recorded his third hundred in 13 ODI appearances, while going about the business like a veteran. Grace and power In an innings marked by terrific strokemaking, Hetmyer displayed grace, timing and power. He preferred the mid-wicket area, going down on one knee to use the slog-sweep against the spinners, Yuzvendra Chahal and Ravindra Jadeja. Hetmyer’s first


Shikhar Dhawan is all set to move to Kings XI Punjab for the upcoming season of Indian Premier League (IPL). Dhawan, who was bought by Sunrisers Hyderabad for an amount of £5,20,000, could see his salary being doubled at KXIP, a report said. The report also adds that he would be swapped with Karun Nair, who was bought by KXIP for an amount of £5,60,000. The report of Dhawan’s move to KXIP comes as a surprise as earlier, a report had suggested that he could be moving to Mumbai Indians for the upcoming season.


Virat Kohli celebrates his century with Rohit Sharma

maximum came off Jadeja when he fetched the ball from outside off-stump and deposited it over the mid-wicket fence. Kohli brought on pacer Mohammed Shami, but it had little impact. The Guyana batsman first cleared his front leg and thrashed the ball into the mid-wicket stands, and off the next delivery, showcased great balance with a rocket-straight punch. The crowd was thrilled when Hetmyer stood on one leg and executed a pull - a ‘Nataraja’ shot made famous by a certain Brian Lara. He brought up his century with the highlight of the West Indies innings - a sweetly-timed front-foot chip off Shami which went for six. The 21-year-old southpaw was eventually dismissed for a 78-

ball 106, when he top-edged Jadeja to debutant Rishabh Pant at deep fine-leg. Before Hetmyer’s exploits, it was opener Kieran Powell who kept the score moving. Kieran (51) looked in control, until he holed out to Dhawan at long-on. Shai Hope (32) and Rovman Powell (22) got in, but fell to loose shots. Marlon Samuels, playing his 200th ODI, was taken out for a duck. He lunged forward to a full Chahal delivery, only for the ball to hit the pads in front of the stumps. Captain Jason Holder’s 38, and an unbroken 44-run ninth-wicket stand between Devendra Bishoo and Kemar Roach helped West Indies put up a good total. Scoreboard: West Indies 322/8; India 326/2.

Pakistan fast bowler Mohammad Abbas rose to number three in the Test bowling rankings following his 17 wickets in the series against Australia in the United Arab Emirates. The new ICC rankings see Abbas shoot to third from 14th and he is now behind only England’s James Anderson and South Africa’s Kagiso Rabada. Abbas has taken 59 wickets in his 10 matches and became the joint second-fastest Pakistani to take 50 wickets during the second Test a mark he shares with legendary paceman Waqar Younis and Shabbir Ahmed.

Asian Champions Trophy: India blank Japan 9-0 The Indian men’s hockey team remained unbeaten in their defense of the Asian Champions Trophy title as they thrashed Japan 9-0 in their third round robin match held Muscat at the Sultan Qaboos Sports Complex on Sunday evening. The World No. 5 team were on top of things right from the word go against the reigning Asian Games Gold medalists and scored goals in all the four quarters through Mandeep Singh, Harmanpreet Singh, Gurjant Singh, Akashdeep Singh, Sumit and Lalit Upadhyay to register a convincing victory and remain at the top of the Pool Standings. High on confidence after their win against Pakistan, India started well with Lalit Upadhyay and Akashdeep Singh combining well and creating chances in the opening few minutes, but it was Mandeep Singh who scored the opener in the 4th minute as he deflected Akashdeep Singh's low cross from the left, through the Japanese goalkeeper's leg. Four minutes later, the dominant Indians won a penalty corner and that resulted in a goal for Gurjant Singh, who benefited after Harmanpreet Singh’s drag flick was

saved Japanese goalkeeper Takashi Yoshikawa. In the second quarter, India earned another penalty corner early on and once again the goalkeeper saved Varun Kumar’s shot, before Manpreet Singh reacted fastest only to see his shot saved on the goal line. Harmanpreet though was on hand to make it 3-0. Harmanpreet was in the thick of things again in the 21st minute as he drilled in a penalty corner towards the right corner to score his second goal of the match. It was a difficult first half for Japan, as India took a comfortable four goal lead into the break. After the break, both sides came out firing on all cylinders, but it was India who made it count with a fifth goal through Akashdeep Singh. Right after though, India played with 10-men as Dilpreet Singh was shown a yellow card for pushing a Japanese player. The Indian team continued their good work in attack irrespective as Sumit and Lalit Upadhyay added to the tally and made seven without return.

India continued to put pressure on the Japanese defence in the last quarter as they scored in the 49th minute through a penalty corner in which they tried a variation. It was Harmanpreet Singh who played a brilliant back-door pass to Varun Kumar, who slid it along to Mandeep Singh and he made no mistake on his second attempt.

At the other end of the field, Japan had a chance to open their account in the 53rd minute as they won themselves a penalty corner, but the resulting strike was wide of the target as India continued to test the Japanese defence. Mandeep Singh then completed his hat-trick on the 57th minute by deflecting Manpreet Singh’s hard and low pass across goal into the back of the net to secure a 9-0 victory for the Indian team. Comeback win over Pakistan India made a stupendous comeback after being a goal down as they beat Pakistan 3-1 to stretch their unbeaten streak against the arch-rivals to 11 games. Captain Manpreet Singh (24th), forward Mandeep Singh (31st) and Dilpreet Singh (42nd) scored for the winners with Indian captain’s impressive performance earning him ‘Man of the Match’ award on Saturday night.

AV 27th October 2018  

Asian Voice weekly newspaper (Issue 26)

AV 27th October 2018  

Asian Voice weekly newspaper (Issue 26)