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Let noble thoughts come to us from every side

28 JULY - 3 AUGUST 2018 - VOL 47 ISSUE 13



inside: Modi wins trust and a hug SEE PAGE 26

Pakistanis will decide their future on Wednesday SEE PAGE 26

Shailesh Vara promoted by Prime Minister SEE PAGE 5

Rupanjana Dutta The British Government has decided not to recognise caste as an aspect of race in anti-discrimination legislationa step that has been condemned by the Dalit organisations but welcomed by many. However, a group of British Hindus have alleged that this whole consultation has been engineered to 'falsely denigrate and divide the Hindu community.' On Monday, the government

released conclusions of a public consultation that was launched in March 2017 for six months. The Equalities Office said that they have finally concluded that UK does not need a separate law against caste discrimination for Indian diaspora and the emerging case law is sufficient to provide that necessary protection. In the conclusion the report said, “We feel this is the more proportionate approach given the extremely low numbers of cases involved and the

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clearly controversial nature of introducing 'caste', as a self-standing element, into British domestic law.” “Having given careful and detailed consideration to the findings of the consultation, the government believes that the best way to provide the necessary protection against unlawful discrimination because of caste is by relying on emerging case law as developed by courts and tribunals,” the government said.

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

Indian engineer Rohit Prasad is the brain behind Alexa SEE PAGE 20

Continued on page 8

£405 £385 £420 £415 £385 £465

GOA: Bangalore: Bhuj: Lucknow: Kochi: Kolkata:

£445 £420 £465 £505 £415 £430

Amritsar: Dhaka: Singapore : Bangkok:

£425 £495 £445 £405

2 UK



28 July - 3 August 2018


Dr Param Shah In September 2017, Dr Param Shah was appointed as the Director of Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce & Industry, United Kingdom (FICCI). A postgraduate doctoral degree (PhD) in Management and a Master in Business Administration (MBA), Param has also studied law, commerce and intellectual property rights. He specializes in International Marketing & Corporate Laws. He has over 17 years of experience ranging from academics to managing trade bodies. An alumnus of the prestigious International Visitor Leadership Programme (IVLP) of the United States Department of State, Param began his career as an academic. He was associated with various Universities in India, as a Faculty in Finance and Corporate Laws. He has been an academic advisor to the ICFAI University. He has about 40 published papers on various aspects of management and other economic issues to his credit. He has been recently included in the ‘100 most influential people’ in UK India relations by India Inc Group. His commitment and expertise has earned him appointments to various government bodies. Ministry of Human Resources Development (MHRD) appointed him to two central bodies - the Central Regional Committee of the All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE), a statutory body for technical education in India. And on the Board of Governors for the Board of Apprenticeship and Training. The Ministry of Shipping, Government of India appointed him to the Advisory Board of the Kandla Port Trust, Gujarat, which is amongst the most significant ports in India. He is also a member of the Advisory Board of the Indian Career Education & Development Council, a non-profit organization set up with support from the Australia India Council, Australia's Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade. And when he is not driving business policies, he is often seen behind binoculars, watching birds, which is one of his passions.

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Which place, or city or country do you most feel at home in? I was born in Mumbai and lived there until we moved to Ahmedabad as a family. I studied and worked all my professional career here and met my better half as well. Having made London home now, my heart still beats for Ahmedabad.


What are your proudest achievements?

I am proud of every mile stone that I have achieved, however, some of my achievements that have made my family and particularly my late father proud are my most cherished achievements. I have many times been written off by the very people whom I looking up to, bouncing back from there to achieve milestones in life has always made me proud.


What inspires you?

I draw inspiration from every person I meet. I try to find one good quality in every person I meet. I like passionate young entrepreneurs, especially founders of innovative start-ups. They always get my creative juices going. Their ‘never say die’ attitude and breaking the traditional barriers to achieve the impossible has always inspired me.


What has been biggest obstacle in your career? Myself. Ever since I survived a road accident very early in my career, I have always been an optimist which at times has slowed things down, but never went wrong.


Who has been the biggest influence on your career to date? The two biggest influencers of my life have

been my father and my wife. Both have taught me to live life selflessly. Beyond family one person who has influenced and been instrumental in shaping my career is my mentor and good friend.


What is the best aspect about your current role? Representing FICCI, the largest and the oldest Apex Business Organization of India in the UK, in itself is one of the best aspects of my current role. Meeting different people and forging strong trade and industry linkages between these two greatest democracies.


And the worst?


What are your long-term goals?

There is nothing bad in my current role.

Personally - learn, unlearn and relearn. I believe the day one stops learning, that’s the day he stops growing. Professionally – to play my part in strengthening the trade & industry relations between India and the UK.


If you were Prime Minister, what one aspect would you change? Politics will never be a career option for me. However, hypothetically speaking if I do become the Prime Minister I would like to introduce more transparency and accountability by governments towards public.


If you were marooned on a desert island, which historical figure would you like to spend your time with and why. I would like to spend my time getting insights on Arthashastra (Economics) and Nitishastra (Policy Making) from Chanakya.

Campaigners win High Court battle to stop local town hall being rented to Hindu temple

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Save Southall Town Hall campaigners outside the Royal Courts of Justice. (Image: Martin Elvery)

Campaigners are celebrating after winning a High Court battle to stop Southall Town Hall being rented out to a Hindu temple next door for 250 years. At the Royal Courts of Justice last Friday (July 20), Judge Martin McKenna found Ealing Council had failed to consider satisfactorily anything other than the amount of money - £2 million - it would be able to get for leasing the building to the Vishwa Hindu Temple on Lady Margaret Road. Janpal Basran, chairman of Southall Community Alliance which is a leading player in the Save Southall Town Hall campaign, said after the decision was announced: "The campaign is absolutely delighted with this decision. The consequences of this decision for the community are massive. We hope it will set a precedent around the country that when local authorities are selling off assets they have to consider more than just money." Reading out his judgement Mr McKenna said there was no evidence that Ealing Council's cabinet was aware of wider factors when making the decision such as the his-

toric, social and economic impact of leasing the building. He didn't make a ruling on the second matter before the court - whether issues of equality had been considered - but told the court if he had done so, he would have found the council had failed to show due regard to its equality duties, and that there was no consideration of the impact the decision would have had on the community. Mr McKenna said there appeared to be no consideration of the impact of selling the hall to a single faith group and said the attempt to show that alternative office spaces were available for businesses currently using the town hall was a "bland assertion" that other places were available. The Grade II listed hall is currently in use as an enterprise centre and is occupied by charities including Southall Community Alliance, which supports local business, and Helplink, which provides free English lessons, computer classes and health support. But the council says it has made a loss on running the building every year since 2010. The council now has 21 days to appeal the decision.






28 July - 3 August 2018

Father, son, sister share rare science honour The prestigious Royal Society in London witnessed an unique honour for the Ramakrishnan family. Parents C.V.Ramakrishnan and his wife Rajalakshmi made the journey from Chennai [Madras] to witness their son Venkataraman Ramakrishnan, President of the Royal Society and chemistry Nobel Laureate (2009), greeting his sister Lalita Ramakrishnan on her election as Fellow of the Royal Society. The FRS against a name has long been a symbol of the elect. Father C.V. Ramakrishanan, as Professor, set up the Biochemistry Department at the Mahasraja Sayajirao University in 1955; his son Ventakataraman, who won the Nobel Prize for his work on ribosomal structure, was knighted by the Queen in 2012, while daughter Lalita has done path-breaking work on tuberculosis as Professor of Immunology in the Department of Medicine at Cambridge University, where her brother is also based. There is no parallel in the history of the Royal Society of a brother has presided over his sister’s admission with their parents looking on and enjoying the moment with pride and satisfaction. In the society’s register, ‘there are 1,600 Fellows and Foreign Members, including 80 Nobel laureates’. Lalita started her medical career in India before moving to the US for further studies, where she earned her PhD in immunology, and clinical fellowship in infectious diseases followed by a post-doctoral fellowship at Stanford University and commenced her TB research. After a spell at the University of Washington, she joined Cambridge University in 2014. Lalita’s FRS citation states that she ‘pioneered a zebra fish model of tuberculosis that has enabled her to uncover

fundamental new mechanisms of disease pathogenesis infection of genetically tractable and optically transparent larvae with Mycobacterium tuberculosis, has altered the detailed live tracking of infection in the context of genetic manipulation of hoist and pathogen.’ The citation concluded: ‘The resultant molecular and cellular details of how the bacteria and host defences interact at each early step of tuberculosis have yielded surprising fundamental insights that suggest entirely new approaches to treat human tuberculosis.’ Should Lalita Ramakrishnan’s researches lead to the effective treatment and cure for the present revival of the dreaded TB, she might join her distinguished brother as a Nobel laureate. Readers may wish to read Bill Bryson’s superbly edited work, ‘Seeing Further: The Story of Science & the Royal Society’, described appropriately by Melvyn Bragg, ‘As an inspiring celebration of science, past, present and future.’ The Royal Society’s boasts such hallowed names as the peerless Robert Boyle, Isaac Newton and Charles Darwin, et al. Its Latin motto Nullus in verba [take nobody’s word as proven] has reverberated down the centuries after its founding in London in 1663, a little more than a decade after the iconic Peace of Westphalia of 1648, which brought an end to the ruinous Thirty Years’ War that had laid waste Germany and much of northern Europe. The spirit of inquiry led to a thirst for knowledge and yielded such riches for the mind and body to guarantee European ascendancy in every branch of human endeavour. The rest of the civilized world today measures itself by the standards and achievements of the European age of discovery.

Shifting templates of global order The erosion of the old global order fashioned by American power and hegemony appears to be splitting at the seams. US narratives on human rights, democracy, the rule of law and much else are being subjected to close critical scrutiny in the cold light of ground realities. As the world’s foremost superpower since the Second World War, the United States dominated the air waves and print media as the exemplar of these values. The term Revolution was pressed into service in the story of of the American Republic, its manifold material achievements through its entrepreneurial spirit, its science and technology, its cinema and mass entertainment, its excceptionalism, its Manifest Destiny. The gilded message of the Immaculate Conception was seriously flawed from its birth. America’s Independence from British colonial rule was fomented by a rebellion against unjust taxation. It was nor a revolution such as its contemporary French Revolution which remade the inherited social order, where the Republic’s citizens, white and black, were deemed free. In the United States, ‘the pursuit of happiness’ of its Constitution was restricted to the white population. The founders of the Republic – George Washington, Thomas Jefferson and their colleagues and successors were owners of plantations run with black slave labour. Those who were otherwise employed kept slaves as domestic workers. Private property was sacrosanct. The great Dr Samuel Johnson, a firm Monarchist, asked, ‘Do I hear yelps of freedom from the drivers of Negro slaves.’ The white colonists expropriated the land of the indigenous peoples and proceeded to slaughter them and encage them in Reservations. The Monroe Doctrine of 1823 was the starter’s gun for imperial expansion. These warts have been largely excised from the approved historical

texts. Their re-emergence in multiplying forms over the past 70 years has undermined cherished myths and mythologies, leading to convulsive phobias of foreign threats to American security and well-being. The American presidency was shorn of its pristine plumage by the Vietnam war; the invasions of Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, the CIA’s torture chambers in those parts, and in favoured European hideouts in Poland, Lithuania and Rumania, have exposed to the light long embalmed truths pertaining to the Korean war, and the true reasons behind the atom bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. The tide of disposed humanity from the Middle East and North Africa braving the perils of the deep, desperate to reach European shores has reduced the once shining American dream to a gruesome parody. A dying empire invariably comes up with bizarre leaders. President Donald Trump’s bafflingly capricious mood swings, is breaking the mould, most alarmingly for his domestic critics, by seeking accommodation with Russia. The apoplectic frenzy of the US media and the mainstream political class tells of disordered minds in need of urgent counseling. The President well understands that the US and Russia are the world’s two military superpowers. Russia’s second display of graphics of its new generation of armaments (to restore the balance violated by NATO’s expansion to Russia’s shores, says Moscow) makes a stable US-Russian relationship imperative. A Third World War will destroy all life on earth, which surely includes the New York Times, the Washington Post, the Wall Street Journal, the Murdoch press in Britain, the BBC and CNN and toxic Western news agencies.. They have the right to live and prosper, but so do we.

Lack of trust muddies Indo-UK ties Sir Richard Stagg, a former British High Commissioner to India from 2007-11, criticized British governments for disjointed policies towards India, which had failed to realize the potential of what could be a rewarding relationship for both parties. The British government ‘doesn’t have a strategy’ for India, relying instead on a ‘random interventions’ by individuals within government that were ‘invariably ineffective.’ He pointed to India’s concerns pertaining to Britain’s relations with Pakistan, the asylum sought by errant Indian business oligarchs like Vijay Mallya and Nirav Modi and the difficulties India faced in extraditing them, the corrosive arguments over student visas and Indian over-staying in the UK add to the combustible mix. That such people do exist is not contested, but the British figure of 100,000 out of nowhere, and the demand that they quit British shores in 15 days raised hackles in New Delhi. The tactless remark by Britain’s Trade Secretary that the issue of student visas were

somehow linked over-staying Indians hardly eased the situation. Sir Richard Stagg relates the fiasco the India-EU negotiations on a Free Trade Agreement, which he led. The British insistence that India open up its market to financial and legal services ended in deadlock. The Europeans, for their part, were not terribly interested in financial services, still less legal sector. ‘We need to be calm, patient and realistic and find some genuine shared interests for developing a more mature and successful relationship. That takes time and acceptance,’ said Sir Richard. Few would disagree. Brexit is a continuing distraction for Britain, hence India, too, must bide its time. Dean Acheson, the US Secretary of State in the Truman Administration, remarked that, ‘Britain had lost an empire and not found a role.’ That undiscovered role should fit Great Britain rather than Little England.

Hold yourself responsible for a higher standard than anybody expects of you. Never excuse yourself. - Henry Ward Beecher

Alpesh Patel

USA – a role model for UK India Relations As the American President on his visit to the UK said, the relationship with the UK is very special. That the UK will be first in line for a trade deal. That’s pretty amazing. Why isn’t India’s relationship as close with the UK. After all they have been even more intimately tied than UK America? If you think what goes on in India is not our concern then I remind you, that it was Indian soldiers, who 70 years ago, made it their business to interfere in the affairs of Britain and Europe – by forming the largest ever volunteer army in history – to defend freedom. And it was British generals, who led Indian troops against Japan at the same time. The lessons of 70 years ago, are dangerously being forgotten. In 2011, Chinese troops undertook over 50 incursions into Indian territory ‘at will’ according to the well regarded India Today magazine. These ‘incursions’ include everything from Chinese soldiers setting up camps inside India to encouraging locals to join the Chinese army. In case you don’t think this has anything to do with Britain, then I remind you, that India is nestled next to Pakistan, a nuclear-armed unreliable Western ally which housed not only Osama Bin Laden, and widely considered a training ground for International terrorism. North of India is Russia – a Western adversary – whether we like it or not. And of course then there is China. Remember in the most recent test of values in international relations and the type of world we want, India, US and Britain, all members of the UN Security Council voted in favour of action in Syria. China and Russia used their veto; thereby encouraging crimes against humanity in Syria. I wish we could ignore Syria, could ignore Afghanistan, could ignore Iraq. But what goes on in these countries matters to us. And India as the world’s largest democracy, surrounded by totalitarian regimes and unstable pseudo-democracies is the only major country in the region even coming close to sharing our values – in part because of their own innate rich heritage and beliefs, and yes, in part because of one of the curios benefits of 200 years of British colonization. There are two Britons. The isolationist appeasers and those who appreciate that the values we believe in of freedom of speech, tolerance, belief, are far more costly than an aid bill. Regardless of Brexit, the world and the UK and India need more alliances the likes the UK has with US. A strong India is in the national interests of a Britain because it makes a world closer in our own image, than in the image of a China or Pakistan or Russia or Syria or Iran or North Korea. You choose what you want the world too look like, but then don’t be cheap about picking up the bill. 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

4 UK



28 July - 3 August 2018

Islamic school run from the home of a rapist

Council can't prevent his wife teaching primary pupils in the front room

The home of a convicted rapist is being used as an unregulated Islamic school for children. Ghulam Haider’s wife is teaching around 17 children of primary school age at the madrassa that she runs from their front room at weekends. Former taxi driver Haider, 61, was jailed for six years in 2006 after a court heard he brutally raped a 16-year-old in a derelict churchyard and was put on the sex offender register for life. The madrassa highlights a safeguarding loophole around children attending ‘out of school education’ centres, which require no monitoring from education watchdog Ofsted or local authorities. There is also no requirement for Haider’s wife, Sadiqqa, who teaches classes in their front room, to submit to Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) checks which would flag up Haider’s conviction and are intended to prevent unsuitable people from working with vulnerable groups, including children. Ofsted described the madrassa, run from Haider’s semi-detached home in Acocks Green, Birmingham, as ‘deeply worrying’. The watchdog’s head, Amanda Spielman, has previously warned that Islamic hardliners are preaching extreme doctrines in underground schools across the UK. Her predecessor Sir Michael

Wilshaw said: ‘I raised this issue time and time again when I was at Ofsted. Unregistered schools by their very nature are outside of the law and I was concerned that they were increasing in number, particularly in cities like Birmingham. ‘The Government needs to think about how both schools outside of mainstream education and madrassas such as this need to be properly regulated and inspected.’ Birmingham City Council said the situation was ‘nothing short of appalling’ and the case highlighted the need for an overhaul of regulations. Last Saturday, reporters from the Daily Mail watched from a parked car as 17 boys and girls were dropped off at Haider’s home for a two-hour session learning the Koran. When they approahed the parents they found that only two of the childrens’ parents were aware of Haider’s past. One father – angry that he had not been told – confronted Mrs Haider and vowed never to send his daughter back to the lessons. Another father, who paid £25 a month for his son to attend on Saturdays and Sundays, admitted he knew about Haider’s conviction and was ‘concerned’ about it. Other parents seemed unconcerned when informed of Haider’s past. Some said they didn’t even know who was teaching their child whilst some

L: Ghulam Haider, 61 Inset: Haider's wife Sadiqqa R: A pupil entering for a class

of the parents said the lessons were free because they knew the family. When the reporters approached his wife last Saturday she said her husband was ‘at work’ and claimed his victim had made up the allegations. She added: ‘This is not a proper madrassa. All the children are my neighbours and things like that.’ Mrs Haider, who has four children with her husband, said he was ‘not involved’ in running of the school. They share the home with one of their daughters and son Ammar, 31, a convicted fraudster who was released from prison on licence in March. Daily Mail spoke to Lorna Fitzjohn, Ofsted’s regional director for the West Midlands, said that Ofsted could do little without extra powers and added: ‘While the majority of these places provide enriching extra-curricular activities and

education to children, we remain worried that a minority are putting children at risk of harm by failing to adhere to basic safeguarding standards, or by exposing them to unsuitable or extremist individuals.’ Meanwhile a Birmingham City Council spokesman called for better regulations and said it was working with police and the Government to see what could be done. There is a vetting system for those working with children in youth clubs, or similar settings, under the Safeguarding Vulnerable Groups Act 2006. But those running schools under the radar can easily flout the law by saying they are only hosting family friends. The DoE spokesman said there are ‘clear powers’ for police and local authorities to intervene in concerning cases, and a £3million fund had been allocated for local authorities to help them deal with such cases.

Brothers bashed builder Hairdresser guilty of in attack at £350,000 causing death of her Leeds ‘dream home’ great-grandmother A builder was attacked with a spanner during a dispute over construction work at a house in Leeds. Brothers Amar Nadeem and Asad Baz carried out the attack after an 18-month argument over payment for an extension to a £350,000 “dream home”. A court heard the builder was knocked unconscious during the incident outside the property in Pudsey and feared Asad Baz (left) and Amar Nadeem (right) The other man who was with he was going to die. the builder contacted police. The Carl Fitch, prosecuting, said builder managed to get to hit the incident happened in feet and returned to his van. February last year after the relaBaz pulled him from the tionship between the builder and vehicle before he could drive Nadeem broke down over payaway and Nedeem continued to ments for work on his home. assault him. He was bleeding The builder and another man from his nose and mouth when turned up at the property to officers arrived and was lapsing remove equipment and take in and out of consciousness. down scaffolding. Mr Fitch said the builder sufMr Fitch said Baz was at the fered cuts and bruises to face, a house and he contacted his fractured wrist and a chipped brother. Nadeem arrived at the tooth. house and the brothers conBaz, 30, and Nadeem, 37, fronted the builder as he was both of Woodhall Park Grove, stood next to the van. Stanningley, Leeds, pleaded Nedeem punched the victim guilty to unlawful wounding. and he hit his head against the Nadeem was given a 20door of the van as he was month prison sentence, susknocked to the ground. He was pended for two years, and then kicked and punched repeatordered to do 200 hours of edly as he was on the ground. unpaid work. Baz was given an Nadeem picked up a spanner eight-month sentence, suspendthe builder had been using to ed for two years, and ordered to take down the scaffolding and do 120 hours of unpaid work. attacked him with it.

A woman found guilty of causing the death of a great-grandmother after hitting the pensioner in her car while she crossed the road has been told she will not go to prison. Tina Singh, 39, denied causing the death of 79-year-old Sheila McGinty by careless driving in the incident in Heywood . After a four-day trial a jury unanimously found her guilty of the offence. The case was adjourned for a pre-sentence report, and Singh will return for sentence next month. Singh, who showed no emotion as the verdict was delivered, was banned from driving on an interim basis until sentencing, when the full length of ban will be determined. The judge also paid tribute to the ‘dignity’ of Ms McGinty’s family, who followed the trial in court, and praised the ‘methodical’ nature of the police’s investigation. The court heard that Singh struck Ms McGinty while she was driving to Bury, where she worked as a hairdresser. Harrowing CCTV footage played in court showed the car hit Ms McGinty at 28mph in the 30mph zone. Prosecuting, Robert Wyn Jones said Singh’s view of the road ahead would have initially

Tina Singh

been obscured by parked cars. If she had started braking as soon as she saw Ms McGinty, she would have still hit her, but at a speed of 8mph, the court heard. The prosecution said Singh, who was pregnant at the time, failed to react appropriately. They said that Singh should not have been driving on the chevron markings, and that if she had have been, she would have missed Ms McGinty who later died in hospital. The court heard that Ms McGinty’s health was beginning to fail but that she was still able to live independently. She had early signs of dementia and her vision was starting to deteriorate, the court was told. Singh will be sentenced on August 17.

in brief HOSPITAL CONSULTANT ON TRIAL ACCUSED OF SEX ASSAULTS A Birmingham hospital consultant has gone on trial accused of sexually assaulting a woman. Vibhore Gupta, 53, has denied four charges of sexual assault and one other serious sexual Vibhore Gupta charge. Miranda Moore QC, prosecuting, told Birmingham Crown Court that Mr Gupta was a consultant at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital’s A&E department. She said three of the assaults took place in the defendant’s office while another occurred in the postgraduate centre of the hospital. Miss Moore said on the first occasion Mr Gupta put his hand on her left breast and squeezed it over her clothing and then put it under her top. Three days later he felt her breast again, said Miss Moore. The third assault, she said, was in a consulting room at the postgraduate centre, which was elevated above the ground floor so people would not be able to look in. Miss Moore said the defendant was arrested as he was about to go on holiday and that, when quizzed, said there had been no sexual contact between him and the alleged victim and her claims were “fantasy.” (Trial continues)

BRUM TERRORIST ARRESTED AFTER PLOT TO BEHEAD TERESA MAY Birmingham terrorist was swarmed by cops and arrested last Thursday (19th) after plotting to behead Teresa May. Naa'imur Zakariyah Rahman (pictured), 20, planned to bomb the gates of 10 Downing Street, kill guards and then attack Theresa May with a knife or gun. He revealed to an undercover police officer that he would make a “10second sprint” for the door of the building, with his main objective to “take her head off.” But the Islamic State terrorist's suicide plot was thwarted when he collected what he believed was an explosive-packed rucksack in London last November. The dramatic arrest came after the drifter revealed his plans to undercover officers believing them to be an IS handler helping his plot materialise. Rahman was snared by a network of undercover counter-terrorism officers from the Metropolitan Police, the FBI and MI5. The trial heard how Rahman was encouraged by an uncle who travelled to Syria to fight and was killed in a drone strike last June. Rahman came to the attention of police in August last year when he was arrested on suspicion of sending indecent images to underage girls, but never charged. An examination of his mobile phone raised concern he may be harbouring extremist views. Rahman's co-defendant Imran, 22, was found guilty of having a terrorist handbook. After more than 15 hours of deliberations, jurors could not agree on a verdict on a charge against Imran of preparing terrorist acts abroad. The jury was discharged and the Crown would be seeking a retrial in his case.



Shailesh Vara promoted by Prime Minister Shailesh Vara MP has been promoted by Prime Minister Theresa May to Minister of State for Northern Ireland, having served as Parliamentary Under Secretary of State in the Department since January of this year. The 57 year old Indian-origin MP has his roots in Gujarat, though he was born in Uganda. He served as Parliamentary Under Secretary of State at the Department for Work and Pensions from July 2015 until July 2016 and at the Ministry of Justice from October 2013 until July 2016. He served as an Assistant Government Whip (HM Treasury) from May 2010 until September 2012. He was elected Conservative MP for North West Cambridgeshire in 2005. Mr Vara visited India in 2014 to develop the relationship with Narendra Modi further, under the then Prime Minister David Cameron’s leadership. He was presented with the Pravasi Bhartiya Sanman by the Indian Government in recognition of his work in promoting closer ties between the UK and India. It is the highest award that the Indian Government can confer on people of Indian origin who now live abroad. He was also awarded the Gujarat Gaurav Award by the Vishwa Gujarati Samaj. He had concluded his 2014 tour with a visit to Mahatma Gandhi's famous Sabarmati Ashram. In 2016 he was elected as the co-chairman of the Conservative Friends of India. On his new appointment Mr Vara told

Asian Voice, “I am of course very pleased with the promotion. The work in Northern Ireland is hugely important, especially as we leave the European Union, ensuring that there is no hard border with Ireland.” The Northern Ireland Office is responsible for overseeing the Northern Ireland devolution settlement and representing Northern Ireland interests at UK government level and UK government interests in Northern Ireland. The Minister of State reports to the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland. Mr Vara’s new responsibilities will include: EU Exit, securityrelated issues and casework, legacy stakeholder management and Parliamentary liaison with the Northern Ireland MPs, the Northern Ireland Affairs Committee and other interested parliamentarians.

Sikh protesters call on Indian Government to release Jagtar Singh Johal




28 July - 3 August 2018



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

Nominate them for the 18th Asian Achievers Awards

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

Deadline for nomination 31st July, 2018 Please  tick the appropriate category Achievement in Community Service In recognition for an individuals service to community.

Woman of the Year The award will recognise and honour a woman who has made a significant mark in any chosen field.

Sports Personality of the Year Awarded for excellence in sports.

Business Person of the Year Awarded to a business person who is a success in every sense of the word and can demonstrate a genuine passion for social issues. Jagtar Singh Johal

Lifetime Achievement Award To honour those individuals, who during their lifetime, have made immense contributions in any given field. This remarkable individual can be marked as an example for the younger generation.

Uniformed and Civil Services For outstanding achievements in uniformed and civil services or contribution to the community through any of the above services.

Entrepreneur of the Year The campaign for the release of Brit Jagtar Singh Johal has taken to the streets of Birmingham with a protest at the Indian Consulate. Hundreds of mostly Sikh protesters chanted and made calls for the Indian authorities to set Mr Johal free. Mr Johal, 31 from Dumbarton, was seized by Indian security forces on November 4 2017 while in the country to get married. Protesters claimed that he was arrested on trumped up allegations and said he has been tortured daily. The Indian security services have accused Mr Johal of plotting terrorist attacks in Punjab. But has now been detained for 300 days without charge. The protesters, were outside the Indian Consulate in Augusta Street in the Jewellery Quarter with banners and loud calls for his release. The Federation of Sikh Organisations (FSO) organised parallel protests in Birmingham and Edinburgy today. Mr Johal's MP Martin Doherty-Hughes tweeted: "Thanks to everyone campaigning today in support of #FreeJaggiNow. My constituent & his family need full backing from the UK Govt to secure a fair judicial process." Earlier this year 78 MPs, including five from Birmingham, signed a letter calling on Prime Minister Theresa May to intervene.

Birmingham Edgbaston MP Preet Kaur Gill (Lab) wrote the letter, in her role as chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group for British Sikhs highlighting the torture. Among those backing it were Birmingham MPs Roger Godsiff (Lab Hall Green), Richard Burden (Lab Northfield), Shabana Mahmood (Lab Ladywood) and Khalid Mahmood (Lab Perry Barr). Mrs Gill told Mrs May: "In light of these shocking new allegations, I call on you to use all the diplomatic means at your disposal to ensure that the Government of India abides by the rule of law and ensures that Mr Johal is not subject to torture." She added: "I know that you will agree with me that it is intolerable that anyone, let alone a British citizen, is subjected to torture, and ask for your assurance that this matter is being dealt with at the very highest level and as a matter of urgency." The Indian security services claim Johal was arrested for his alleged involvement in the murders of retired army officer Brigadier Jagdish Gagneja, RSS leader Ravinder Gosain and Pastor Sultan Masih, and for funding of Khalistan Liberation Force. They have repeatedly denied human rights abuses, calling them baseless , and refused requests for his release or leniency.

Awarded to an entrepreneur with a proven track record of operating a successful business enterprise.

Professional of the Year Professionals in the field of medicine, law, education, banking, finance and others, who have scaled the heights of their chosen profession.

Achievement in Media, Arts and Culture Someone who has made a mark in media including print and broadcast media; cinema, art and culture.

Please fill the details below I Nominee's

Full Name: _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

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Contact Details Tel: _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _


Make sure that you fill in this application form and send it on or before 31st July, 2018 by post, fax or email to Mr. Rovin George, Tel: 020 7749 4013, Fax 020 7749 4081, Email: If you are sending it by post the address is Mr. Rovin George, ABPL Group, Karma Yoga House, 12 Hoxton Market, London N1 6HW. Apply online

6 UK



28 July - 3 August 2018

Three arrested over acid attack on toddler Three men have been arrested after a three-yearold was seriously injured in a suspected acid attack. The boy was in a pushchair when he was "deliberately attacked" at Home Bargains in Worcester at 14:15 BST on Saturday. West Mercia Police said the men, aged 22, 25 and 26, were arrested in London on suspicion of conspiracy to commit grievous bodily harm. Doctors discharged the toddler from hospital on Sunday afternoon. He was treated for serious burns to his arm and face and the "long-term implications" of his injuries are unknown, the force said. Ch Supt Mark Travis said the motive for the attack is so far "unclear". The three arrested men were detained at an address in Walthamstow, the Metropolitan Police said. A 39-year-old man from Wolverhampton who was arrested last Sunday on suspicion of conspiracy to cause grievous bodily harm remains in police custody. "Acid or a corrosive substance" was either "thrown at or sprayed towards" the boy when he

Eye witness Bev Sidhu

was with his family at Shrub Hill Retail Park, in Tallow Hill, police said. Ch Supt Travis said the family is receiving specialist medical and police support. "We are hoping the injuries won't be life changing. They are serious and at the moment it's just that little bit too soon to say, but things look positive. "Everything that can be done to provide support is being done, support for the family has been great. "I absolutely understand the community will be concerned, these are life changing incidents, this is something that lasts forever and we need to send a message that this is unacceptable." He said the force was keeping "an open mind as to the circumstances of the

The boy has been discharged from hospital after being treated for burns to his arm and face following attack

incident" and was still "appealing for anyone with information to come forward". The boy was with his mother at the time, and staff and shoppers tried to help before paramedics arrived. Police rejected any link between the attack and a protest by The English Defence League which took place in the centre of Worcester on Saturday, against plans to build a mosque in the city. Ch Supt Travis said: "We have looked at all the possible links and at the moment there is nothing to suggest there is any link between the activity on Saturday with the protests and this particular incident."

Bev Sidhu, who was in the area at the time, said: "The supervisor from Home Bargains came and said, 'Look, there was a hazardous acid used on someone'. "But that's all they let us know until the next day, but obviously it was just unnerving really, because it was just confusion." A Home Bargains spokesman said: "Our thoughts are with this young child and his family at this very difficult time." West Midlands Ambulance Service confirmed it was called to the scene and liaised with the Hazardous Area Response Team for specialist advice. They treated the boy at the shop before he was taken to hospital.

Anzac Day plot: UK's 'youngest terrorist' in identity bid A teenager convicted of a terror plot to behead a police officer in Australia has begun a legal bid to have his identity protected for life. The 15-year-old, from Blackburn, Lancashire, sent encrypted phone messages instructing an alleged jihadist to attack an Anzac Day parade. Jailing him in 2015, the judge ordered that the boy's name be kept secret until he turned 18. His bid to be granted lifetime anonymity will be heard in October. The teenager became Britain's youngest terrorist when he was found guilty at Manchester Crown Court of inciting terrorism in

October 2015. The court heard how he hatched the plot when he was only 14 after being recruited on Twitter by an Islamic State propagandist, Abu Khaled al-Cambodi. From his bedroom in Blackburn, the boy used a smartphone app to persuade 18-year-old Sevdet Besim to commit mass murder thousands of miles away. He told Besim to run over at least one police officer then behead him with a knife at the remembrance day parade in Melbourne. The pair would "in all probability" have succeeded had British police not accessed material on the boy's phone and alerted

The teenager was convicted of inciting terrorism in October 2015

Australian police, the court heard. The boy was sentenced to life imprisonment and told by the judge he would only be released when no longer considered dangerous. The BBC understands his lawyers will argue that naming the teenager would

create a serious risk of reprisals or that his rehabilitation would be affected. Anzac Day, held on 25 April each year, commemorates Australian and New Zealand personnel killed in conflicts - and in 2015, marked the centenary of the World War One battle in Gallipoli.

Taxi driver killed after asking for directions Two men have been found guilty of killing a taxi driver whose car hit a tree. Ishfaq Hussain, 52, died on Ironbridge Road in Madeley, Telford, on 7 August 2017. Brandon Dowen, 19 of Telford, and John Cox, 32, of Wolverhampton, had denied manslaughter but were found guilty at Stafford Crown Court. The Shropshire Star said they pursued him after he asked Dowen's girlfriend for directions. The newspaper reported the jury was told that she took it "the wrong way" and

John Cox and Brandon Dowen

swore at Mr Hussain who was captured on CCTV talking to her, with the wheels of the taxi still turning. It said the prosecution said the defendants decided to find Mr Hussain to

"teach him a lesson" in a joint enterprise. Dowen and Cox confronted the taxi driver twice, and the victim, who had a heart condition, was punched and kicked by Dowen.

They then followed him at speeds of more than 60mph along Ironbridge Road before the collision happened. Det Ch Insp Steve Tonks said: "He was a hardworking taxi driver who at the time of his death was doing his job to support his family. He was also a wellrespected man in the community." Mr Hussain's passenger was seriously hurt in the crash but has since recovered, police said. Dowen, and Cox, are due to be sentenced on Thursday.

Warning over bogus charity worker committing sex assaults A man has been posing as a charity worker to commit sexual assaults, police said. West Midlands Police said the man had been knocking on doors in Coventry and asking for money before following victims into their homes. The latest assault happened on Friday and is one of "three similar" ones in the city this month. Police said people should "exercise caution" when opening their front doors. The man, who carries a clipboard, and wears a white T-shirt and black trousers, is described as a large Asian man, aged between 20 and 30, and about 5ft 10ins tall. He has a dark beard and thick, wavy, short hair, police said. The most recent assault took place in the Earlsdon area of Coventry at about

12:40 BST on 20 July, when he followed a woman into her home and "inappropriately touched" her. At around 13:00 on the same day, there was a second assault in the Eastern Green area of Coventry, police said. Officers said they were exploring potential links between an earlier incident when a man with a similar description groped a woman he had stopped on Foster Road, Coventry, at around 17:00 BST on 2 July. On Sunday, a man with a similar description called at a door asking for money in Holloway Field, but "left without incident" officers added. Det Sgt Laura Harrison, from the public protection unit, said the assaults had caused "huge distress to the victims".

Men deny Telford child sex charges Three men have appeared in court and denied a series of sexual offences. Ayad Abdulla Hizam, 21, , Ghamer Sulayman, 22, and Saleh Qasem, 19, all from Birmingham denied a total of 14 charges at Wolverhampton Crown Court on Monday. It follows an investigation by West Mercia Police into alleged child sexual exploitation in Telford. The three men are due

to face trial at Shrewsbury Crown Court on 19 November. Mr Hizam pleaded not guilty to four counts of abduction and four counts of sexual activity with a child, while Mr Sulayman denied three counts of rape and two of trafficking. Mr Qasem denied one count of sexual assault. The offences are alleged to have taken place between March and July 2016.

Murder accused hid 'gun in a burka' One of the men accused of killing Ramniklal Jogiya has said a co-defendant entered the victim's shop with a gun hidden beneath a burka. Charlie Mcauley 20, told Leicester Crown Court his role was to drop someone off at Mr Jogiya's shop but "things got muddled up". Mr Mcauley said it had first been discussed with his co-accused Thomas Jervis, 24, of Whetstone, and he was "asked to be involved". He told the judge his understanding of his part was to drive to Mr Jogiya's shop on Belgrave Road, drop someone off and drive away on the night of 24 January. However, the court heard that Mr Jogiya was taken into the van and Mr Mcauley then drove to a football stadium in Birstall.

Ramniklal Jogiya

Thomas Jervis

He told the jury, while he was driving: "I heard the words 'robbery and alarm' and then I turned the radio up." Mr Mcauley said Mr Jervis was handed a gun by two individuals in the back of the van and was told to use it when he went back into the shop, dressed in a burka, to scare anyone off if they came in. He held the gun while Mr Jervis put on the burka and saw him put it inside, the court heard. Mr Mcauley denied knowing a gun was part of the plan. Mr Mcauley, Mr Jervis and Callan Reeve, 20, from Leicester, admit kidnap and robbery but deny murder and manslaughter. Jacob Roach, 30, denies all the charges. The trial continues.





28 July - 3 August 2018

Campaign launched asking UK schools to teach India's partition history Rupanjana Dutta A Manchester based lungs doctor Dr Binita Kane with support of several MPs are demanding for a formal Partition Commemoration Day and its history to be taught in the UK schools as part of their curriculum. Students in the UK have no idea of Britain's colonial past or India's partition history, that is an integral part of creating the country's multicultural and diverse society, as we see it today. The launch, hosted by Virendra Sharma MP in the Parliament featured powerful speakers such as BBC’s presenters Anita Rani and Babita Sharma. MPs such as Tan Dhesi, Afzal Khan, Mike Kane and others extended their support to this campaign. The campaigners believe commemorating the day British India was divided into the independent nations of India and Pakistan would help honour the contribution of South Asians to British society. Last year marked the 70th anniversary of Partition, a decision that displaced over 14 million people, making it the largest forced migration of people in history. Partition incited extreme violence and slaughter on both sides of the border and it is estimated that this tragic event cost the lives of 2 million Muslims, Hindus and Sikhs. The event was mainly organised with Dr Binita Kane, one of the British Asians featured in the BBC1 documentary My Family, Partition and Me, presented by Anita Rani. Dr Kane is leading the campaign for

17th August to be declared as Partition Commemoration Day and for Partition to be taught as part of the school curriculum. Kane speaking about the campaign told Barficulture, “Many second generation British Asians have no idea what their parents and grandparents went through or why their families settled in Britain. Many white Caucasian Brits don’t understand the history of the Empire and it’s role in modern day multicultural Britain. "I went through the British schooling system and learnt nothing on this topic and quite frankly, I don’t want the same for my children. History lessons should teach the good, the bad and the ugly and offer the chance to learn from the past." Anita Rani reportedly said, "This is not just South Asian history, this is global history but crucially this is British history. British children with Indian, Bangladeshi or Pakistani heritage need to understand their shared history and how we are culturally bonded before we were religiously divided. "It’s time to talk and learn about the true legacy of Empire warts n’ all. It’s time everyone was more informed about why so many people from Commonwealth nations moved here and how our stories, because of Britain’s imperial past, are inextricably linked. The conversation has begun but we’ll need your support to make it happen." According to a PTI report, Rani told The Observer newspaper, “It's become this dark stain, but an event such as this could change that. It's a

Virendra Sharma MP with Anita Rani, Dr Binita Kane, Babita Sharma and other campaigners

way of involving not just the South Asian community but everyone in Britain in a reflection on the past and a conversation about what happened and where we are now.” The presenter, won the 2018 Royal Television Society Award for her BBC documentary on the subject of Partition called My Family, Partition and Me which was aired last year. She strongly believes there is an urgent need to remember an event that saw more than 15 million people uprooted in what is known as one of the largest and most violent human migration in history. Rani added, “One of the reasons I made the original film was because I was really shocked how few people knew about this period of history. “After Partition, India was too busy celebrating independence, Pakistan was celebrating the birth of

a nation, Britain was relieved to have been able to cut and run, so no one talked about how they'd got there and what had happened.” After the event, Virendra Sharma MP said, “I support Binita’s efforts in calling for a Partition Commemoration Day in the UK. This day would serve as a day of remembrance for the millions of innocent victims who lost their lives. “I have long argued that British colonialism in India should be taught in schools, Partition was such an important event in British history and it ought to be part of the curriculum.” The event attracted people, campaigners and organisations from across the UK. The Grand Trunk Project, which is a UK-wide project to bring British Asians of all

faiths and backgrounds together to reflect on their shared history in a tweet said, “Well done & congrats to @BinitaKane on organising an event to promote dialogue on how to bring the history of partition into the National Curriculum. We are as inspired as ever to continue this initiative & continue to bring communities affected together #70yearson” Aik Saath, a charity that also works on community cohesion tweeted saying, “Young volunteers from our Partition Women’s Voices project attended an event at Parliament, hearing a range of speakers including @BinitaKane @itsanitarani making a case for Partition to be included on schools curriculum and for 17 Aug to be #PartitionCommemoration day in the UK.”

8 UK



28 July - 3 August 2018


It further added, “We were not persuaded by the argument that introducing explicit legislation into domestic law was the most appropriate and proportionate way to provide the necessary legal protection against discrimination because of caste.” In 2013, House of Lords voted in favour of outlawing caste discrimination after the UK based Dalit groups campaigned for long, especially as the matter deeply divided the Indian community. Penny Mordaunt, the Minister for Women and Equalities publishing the response told the Parliament, “No one should suffer prejudice or discrimination on any grounds, including any perception of their caste... “The consultation considered different ways of protecting people from caste discrimination. The first option was to implement a duty, which was introduced by Parliament in 2013, to make caste an aspect of race discrimination under the Equality Act 2010. The second was to rely on emerging case law which, in the view of Government, shows that a statutory remedy against caste discrimination is available through existing provisions in the Equality Act, and to invite Parliament to repeal the duty on that basis. “The consultation received over 16,000 responses, showing the importance of this issue for many people in particular communities. About 53% of respondents wanted to rely on the existing statutory remedy and repeal the duty, 22% rejected both options (mainly because they wished the Government to proscribe the concept of caste in British law altogether) and about 18% of respondents wanted the duty to be implemented. The arguments put forward for these different views are set out in the Government’s response and in more detail in the analysis. “The Government’s primary concern is to ensure that legal protection against caste discrimination is sufficient, appropriate and proportionate. After careful consideration of all the points raised in the consultation, we have decided to invite Parliament to repeal the duty because it is now sufficiently clear that the Equality Act provides this protection... "In light of changed circumstances since 2013, we intend to legislate to repeal the duty for a specific reference to caste as an aspect of race discrimination in the Equality Act once a suitable legislative vehicle becomes available. We recognise that this is an area of domestic law which may develop further, and have carefully considered the full terms of the Tirkey judgment. We will monitor emerging case law in the years ahead.. "In order to ensure that people know their rights and what sort of conduct could be unlawful under the Equality Act, we also intend to produce short guidance before the repeal legislation is introduced. We want this to be of particular use to any individual who feels they may have suffered discrimination on grounds of caste. It should also help employers, service providers and public authorities who are outside those groups most concerned with caste and who may have little awareness of caste divisions.”

What campaigners have to say A disheartened Sat Pal Muman, the Chair of CasteWatchUK, who ran this campaign for years, told Asian Voice exclusively, “CasteWatchUK's 15 year active campaign has been nullified at a stroke of the pen by a government that caved into pressure from the opposing side who demanded the repeal of the Caste provision.

A meeting by Hindu Forum of Britain, NCHT(UK) and Bob Blackman MP and others

“Government says that a separate Caste provision is not required and suggest caste could be covered by an existing ethnic origins provision. This means reliance is placed on case law to develop. This clearly means the victims will not have any legal protection and have to go through expensive long drawn legal battle to get justice. This alone is a massive deterrent for victims to seek justice to the delight of offenders who can continue to abuse and harass people on the basis of caste with impunity. “Government has not lived up to its bold commitment 'that no one should suffer prejudice or discrimination on any grounds, including any perception of their caste' and sold out to the opposing side, no doubt for political reasons with an eye on Hindu and Sikh votes, a section amongst them were the main antagonists. No doubt Government also had an eye on trade and commercial overseas interests.” He added, “We had explained to the British Government, recently that Caste and Ethnicity Caste does not fall into distinct ethnic group as per definition in Mandla v Dowell-Lee [1983]. Caste groups share the same ancestry e.g. country of origin, language , culture food and often be of the same religion. Despite this commonality, castes discriminate against each other. Caste groups are not ethnic groups. “A perceived lower caste (group) is capable of discriminating against another so called higher caste (group) and vice-a-versa. Some caste groups also have sub-castes that are capable of discrimination within a Caste Group on the basis of their sub-caste. “We don't believe ethnic origins will cover caste based discrimination because many people who have arrived and settled in Britain come from the same geographical region e.g. Punjab, Gujarat etc India, Nepal, Bangladesh and Pakistan etc. These groups have common language (e.g. Punjabi, Marathi, Gujarati , Urdu etc); belong to a common religion; have similar eating habits; share in common source of entertainment e.g. enjoy ethnic music as distinct from western music; have common dress and similar colour of skin e.g. are both racially and culturally identical but still face discrimination on the basis of caste.” The Anti-Caste Discrimination Alliance reportedly said that it was outraged by decision to repeal a law that had been agreed by Parliament and endorsed by the UN and is also supported by the Equalities and Human Rights Commission. Dawn Butler, the Labour party's spokesperson for equality issues reportedly said, “It is

very disappointing that the Government has performed a U-turn on the decision to bring caste discrimination under equality law. Caste-based prejudice and discrimination is a gross violation of human rights and must not be tolerated.” In 2010, when the House of Lords had voted to outlaw caste discrimination through the Equality Act by calling it an aspect of “race”, just like colour, nationality, and ethnic origin, Labour Leader Jeremy Corbyn, then a backbencher, had led a parliamentary ‘early day motion’ to push for the House of Commons to implement the legislation. Ramesh Pattni, Vice President of the Hindu Forum of Britain (HFB), the largest umbrella body for 320 British Hindu organisations told the newsweekly, “Over the years the Hindu Forum of Britain has made tremendous efforts to bring awareness and the complexities of caste legislation to the Hindu community in the UK. Since the beginning of the promotion of this legislation, it has vehemently opposed it arguing against it on several grounds including those mentioned above and in the Government’s response itself. It held several events, under the able leadership of Trupti Patel and her team including meetings with key Parliamentarians. “A key meeting which took place in the House of Commons in July 2017 which brought together leaders from diverse organisations including NCHT(UK), BAPS Neasden Mandir, VHP UK, the Met Police Hindu Association and Maa Charity. At this event President of HFB Trupti Patel, highlighted the history of the legislation from 2007, ever since the term Caste entered the legal jargon in the UK. In her opening words, she added: 'we went to temples and community centres around the country, discussed the matter and found no evidence of caste discrimination. Working with major Hindu organisations, the steering group was created to deal with this consultation and have produced the guidance notes for businesses, individuals, temples and also simplified the forms for people to understand the questions'. “The phenomenal effort put in by the HFB through member organisations in the matter of Caste legislation has finally resulted in an outcome which will have beneficial effect on the Hindu community for generations to come, eliminating the great problem of a ‘caste consciousness’ developing in the community with highly adverse consequences. The HFB will produce a joint review with the NCHT(UK) in near future.”

Satish Sharma, Secretary General from National Council of H i n d u Temples (UK) told AV, “The Government report states that 'at the beginning of the consultation the Government made it clear that it had no preferred or expected outcome.' The British Hindu community has every reason to be grateful to the Government for being resolutely neutral but open. “The NCHT(UK) produced their seminal Caste report available free for download from our website, and published multiple detailed videos on the issue. We established links with the Sikh and Jain communities and working very closely with the HFB, amongst other groups and together managed to encourage over 8,000 British Hindus to respond... “The continuing use of the term 'Caste' with reference to the Hindu community, is a perpetuation of the colonial use of this term to falsely denigrate and divide the Hindu community in order to facilitate the evangelical conversion activities of the Anglican Church. We have provided extensive evidence of this in our submission to Parliamentarians and this is available in our publication 'Caste, Conversion and a thoroughly Colonial Conspiracy'. “The British Hindu community will now need to take stock of the fact that in the Britain of the 21st century, they had been targeted by institutionally sanctioned hate speech, they were found guilty without evidence in a manner reminiscent of colonial times and required to expend 5.5 years of valuable volunteer time in order to prove their innocence. “The NCHT(UK) and HFB will be publishing their report on the events of the last few years in a few weeks but would like to place on record their appreciation for the clear and reliable legal advice provided by Bernardine Adkins and her team at Gowlings and express our warm affection and gratitude to every Hindu who studied the legalities and still stepped forward to complete the consultation forms in the recommended manner.” He also thanked Prime Minister Theresa May and Home Secretary Sajid Javid for early publication of this report and Bob Blackman MP for all the support. Commenting on the announcement Bob Blackman MP said, "I welcome the announcement by the government that they intend to repeal the duty for a specific reference to caste as an aspect of race discrimination in the Equality Act. "There can be no doubt that the inclusion of caste as a protected characteristic in the Equality Act 2010 was divisive, ill thought out and unnecessary. I am delighted the government will now take action to remove it from the statute book. "This has been a long campaign and one which has required considerable time and effort from Nitin Palan MBE, Lakshmi Kaul, the Hindu Forum of Britain, the National Council of Hindu Temples, and the AntiCaste Legislation Committee. "Thanks also to Penny Mordaunt for her time, consideration and actions to date in implementing the work began by her predecessors."





28 July - 3 August 2018

Gatwick Airport parking scammer admits misleading people Rani Singh, Special Assignments Editor

Heroic Leah Chowdhry; One of the First Asian Women to swim the Perilous English Channel n July 4th, 2018, Leah Chowdhry became one of the first, recorded, young British Asian women to swim the English Channel. With help from family and friends, she raised over £50,000 for the British Asian Trust. Leah completed the 30mile swim in just under 15 hours despite obstacles like jellyfish, ship tankers and seasickness. Leah Chowdhry is a rare Asian in this field of athletic endeavour. Why so? Leah Chowdhry Leah Chowdhry explains; “There’s a combination of reasons as to “My brother and my sister-in-law came why I am one of the first. Not many Asian on the boat with me with my coach, Tim, swimmers are women. When I was training on the day of the swim!” throughout the country for about 18 Leah only started training 18 months months I only ever saw two Asian women ago; swimming up and down pools in East in the water with me. Only 1500 people London and Surrey, to build up her stamihave ever done it. And generally, you see a na and working with her coach, Tim who lot less women than men in sport. As so specialises in English Channel swimming. much support is needed, an Asian would Leah recalls, “Tim has swum the find it hard without backing. Asians aren’t English Channel and taken quite a few peowell known for their swimming,” she notes. ple across. I selected him because he has a Leah Chowdhry’s desire to undergo high success rate. The Channel Swimming challenges for charity started aged seven Association governs all of the swims that go when she went to India. There, she saw across and provides the pilot that goes poverty for the first time. across with you in a safety boat. It also pro“I was in the car and I saw a girl the vides the observer; he makes sure all the same age as me, holding her little sister on nutrition is legal and you are adhering to her arm, knocking on the windows begging their rules. You’re only able to wear a for food, and that was a shock. Because of swimsuit, not a wetsuit; and one swim hat. the geographical location we were born I went out to Croatia to partake in open into, our lives were so different. It broke water swimming. I did lots of sea swimming my heart. there. This helped me get used to the cold I knew from that point that I wanted to weather. I then came back and started lake make a difference. swims. I’ve swum at Thorpe Park because My first effort was giving up chocothere is a lake there and in the docklands at lates, sweets and fizzy drinks for a year. I the end of the Thames because swimming raised £1000 for charity. Then, it got bigger is allowed there. and I recently completed the I also had to put on London marathon for another weight because the children’s charity. The biggest risk of biggest risk of swimming I didn’t get funding and swimming the the English Channel is dying support from outside, I did of hyperthermia. There are these challenges for fun. I did- English Channel is about five or six deaths a year n’t even have a trainer for the dying of London marathon, I bought a hyperthermia. There and it’s very common to pass out from the challenge.” book and I went out and ran! are about five or six Leah put on two stone to This swim has been a deaths a year. keep warm. huge investment. I’ve had “It’s over 14 hours so you’re sponsorship and my paronly allowed to stop for 30 secents have sponsored me onds for feeds. £10,000 which includes a safety boat sailBecause the feeds are all liquid, you ing next to me. I have a trainer, a personal need to build up your carbohydrates before nutritionist; Tara in Australia, whom I have so that you can last the duration without worked with for a year, and I have a sports food.” physiotherapist because it’s so dangerous. And finally, what about the dreaded jelMy squad is called the Red Top and my lyfish? They’ve felled lesser beings. coach is Tim. They are a group of people “There’s nothing you can do about the that I swim with a couple of times a week – jellyfish, you’ve just got to be aware. I was but aren’t all swimming the English mentally prepared. I knew I was going to Channel.” get stung and had to get on with it. I didn’t Leah Chowdhry’s parents have been put anything on my body. I just got stung there for her throughout; taking her to and carried on swimming.” Dover, urging her to do her best.


A woman has admitted misleading Gatwick holidaymakers who paid for their cars to be stored securely, when instead they were left in fields and public car parks. Shagufta Khan was the director of Best Meet and Greet Ltd, which West Sussex County Council's Trading Standards team investigated after complaints. At Hove Crown Court Mrs Khan admitted engaging in unfair and misleading commercial practice. Mrs Khan will be sentenced on Friday. The court heard the company's website contained cheap short-term offers which pushed customers to book quickly, and it had false testimonies from "satisfied" customers. Mrs Khan also "misled customers on the characteristics of their car parking", by claiming vehicles would be securely guarded at all times, when actually they were stored in public car parks and muddy fields. The court heard it was "not likely" Mrs Khan was the person with ultimate control over the company, and there was a strong chance other people were involved. Best Meet and Greet is one of various

Cars were kept in fields, not in a secure place as advertised (INSET): Shagufta Khan director of Best Meet and Greet Ltd

firms which has been investigated by Trading Standards for similar reasons, including Gatwick First Parking and London Parking Gatwick. After the conviction Richard Sargeant, Trading Standards team manager, said: "We think this is very serious; customers are being defrauded. "This company was making statements on their website and they were false. Consumers paid good money for their cars to be securely parked, but they weren't - they were parked unprofessionally in a field."

NEW EQUIPMENT MEASURING MORE QUAKES IN SURREY New seismic stations in Surrey are detecting more, smaller earthquakes than were previously measured, as the "Surrey swam" continues. Tremors measuring 1.7 and 2.5 were felt near Newdigate at about 05:00 BST and 14:35 on Wednesday near Russ Hill and was described as a “weak thud”. Dr Stephen Hicks from Southampton University said a 0.4 aftershock had been measured after the second quake. He said it may take months before seismologists can say what is causing the recent earthquakes although an oil company said the

recent tremors are "categorically" nothing to do with exploration work being carried out about four miles away. Three tremors were felt on 1 April. The first had a magnitude of 2.7, a second within minutes came in at 1.8 and the third, an hour later, measured 1.7. This was followed by a fourth on 28 April measuring 1.5, followed by one on 27 June which measured 2.6 and a sixth on 29 June registering 2.4. The biggest quake occurred on 5 July and measured 3.0. A 2.5 quake on Wednesday was followed by an aftershock seconds later.




28 July - 3 August 2018

Dead or Alive? What happens when we die? Are we still conscious of our surroundings or does everything go blank? If we are aware, do we meet relatives and friends who have expired, and is everybody happy in the next world in which we find ourselves? There must be an authentic account somewhere of life after death or do we have to rely on guesswork? Rudy Otter By email (My Friend, Rudy ......thanks for this letter and others ; novelty of subjects , short , very useful and inspiring letters - CB)

To All Letter Writers We would like to request all letter writers to please send in their email addresses, phone numbers and home address for our records at the earliest. All information will be kept private and confidential. AV

Proud faces in a white cabinet In his column a few weeks ago CB Patel indicated that Sajid Javed as a Home Secretary is not only the right man for the right job but hinted that at some stage the British media will have a go at such an outstanding Asian politician, however capable he may be. On one hand there was a positive reaction to the Home Secretary decision about the possible ISIS death penalty in the US. Now I can feel that certain quarters are up in arms about that very correct decision. The former Foreign Secretary no doubt will use this and other opportunities to have a go at the May government. There are views within the Labour party itself which puts so called human rights far in front of national security. For the last few weeks many Asian names are also being mentioned for the successor to replace Mark Carney as the Governor of the Bank of England. At one stage amongst the six potential names that were floating in the British media were two Asians of Indian origin. One of them, Mr R Rajan, the former Governor of the Reserve Bank of India, has already clearly and categorically expressed that he is happy with his academic work in the US. Another worthy name, Baroness Shriti Vadera was mentioned in a backhanded way by the Deputy City Editor, Mr Russell Lynch of the Evening Standard on Monday. He lavishly acknowledged the talents and capability of Baroness Vadera and also in a way justified her appointment at the bank to enhance diversity. But the use of the term “Shriti the Shriek” is not accidental and certainly not in good spirit. If her juniors at the time of Prime Minister Gordon Brown had a whispering campaign about the brilliant minister who happened to have a different shade of skin tone why bring that up into focus today? We the non white britishers are in a way reminded of our skin colour and its disadvantage. Jayesh Patel Northwood, Middx

Sue the EU US president, Donald Trump, visited the UK last week. During his discussions with the Prime Minister, he advised her to sue the EU. Is his advice worth pursuing? He may be right. Why are the British being punished for coming out of the EU? As negotiations for Britain’s exit from the European Union are continuing, I was apalled to learn that Britain is being asked to pay vast sums of money, to the tune of £56 billion, as a consequence of its exit from the EU. On top of this, we are being asked to cough up billions of pounds for border security and for remaining in the customs union.It is ridiculous that the so called “divorce bill” will cost us so much money. On the contrary, I would have thought that the Brirtish negotiators should try and clawback the billions of pounds which we have contributed towards the running of the EU since 1974. As laymen, we want to see if our negotiators can clawback the vast amounts of funds we were made to contribute towards the running of the EU or towards subsidising other member countries. The monies thus reverted back to us could be put towards the much needed funds to help our ailing NHS and other infrastructures. If the EU bosses fail to agree to our counter demands, we must adopt the carrot and stick approach and threaten to remove all EU nationals from our shores without giving them much choice. Dinesh Sheth Newbury Park, Ilford

Donald Trump’s Russian Policy

International Tiger Day

President Donald Trump is like a bull in a china shop as far as NATO, European Union and UK is concerned. He wants them to follow him and his crazy policies. He has condemned them insofar as funding of NATO, trade imbalance with the European Union and UK’s Brexit proposals are concerned. Later on he back paddled on Brexit British policy. Although he is unpredictable, erratic, flip flopping and contradictory, he has great admiration for strong men like Kim Jong un and President Vladimir Putin. As someone said there is a method in his madness. He personally met the North Korean leader against everyone’s expectations and claimed he had averted a nuclear war. Similarly, he agreed to meet Russian President to smooth relations between USA and Russia. He wrongly believes inspite of what Russian is accused of by the West, co-operation is better than confrontation between two nuclear powered nations. He lands in Helsinki, slams media for Russian policy by saying "Unfortunately, no matter how well I do at the Summit, if I was given the great city of Moscow as retribution for all of the sins and evils committed by Russia... over the years, I would return to criticism that it wasn't good enough – that I should have gotten Saint Petersburg in addition!" He also said in a series of tweets: "Much of our news media is indeed the enemy of the people and all the Democrats know how to do is resist and obstruct! This is why there is such hatred and dissension in our country – but at some point, it will heal!" The recent revelation why Donald trump is pro-Russian is that: Trump's businesses went bankrupt so many times in the 1990s that many legitimate banks wouldn’t lend to him anymore. He turned to Russian oligarchs -- Putin’s ruling clique -- to bankroll his projects, and launder their dirty money for them. This was, and continues to be, a huge part of his business. He’s a Russian money launderer. Americans may not be able to fathom or prevent Trump’s affinity for Putin, but Republican congressional leaders do have the ability to check the president and protect the American people from further attacks — if they choose. And with the mid-term elections fast approaching, the situation is urgent. American Constitution makes Congress an equal branch of government alongside the executive, precisely for moments like this. Sen. McConnell and Speaker Ryan should do their jobs. It is time to rein in Donald Trump before he does serious damage to world peace. Baldev Sharma Rayners Lane, Harrow

International Tiger Day is sometimes referred to as Global Tiger Day and is an annual event organised to raise awareness about the importance of tiger conservation. It is held every year on the 29th of July. NGOs, government organisations and ordinary citizens from every nook and corner of the world organise awareness programmes on this day to spread the significance of protecting the tiger. Tiger Day was first celebrated in the year, 2010 at the Saint Petersburg Tiger Summit and was conceptualized when experts realised that tigers were very close to extinction. Many factors have caused tigers to dwindle, including habitat loss, climate change, hunting and poaching. Hence, by celebrating Tiger Day, it aims to protect and expand their habitats and raise awareness of the need of conservation. From ancient times, the tiger has been the subject of constant attraction for their beauty and size and sometimes mythical stories are associated with it. Man’s fascination of the tiger is evident from the fact that the tiger is still a part of many national symbols and flags. In India, it is the national animal. The images of tigers are also seen in many prehistoric cave carvings and it is even worshiped in some countries of the world. Destruction of tiger population is very much symbolic and is also a glaring indicator about the massive deforestation happening across the world. If tigers get extinct from our forests completely, we will not only lose a species that is essential to many ecosystems, but it also means that enough forest habitats has been destroyed which can endanger many other animal species. For us, tigers are the symbol of wildlife’s fight for survival. It reminds us about the eminent dangers we face because of man’s greed and over exploitation of our Mother Nature. Jubel D’Cruz, Mumbai, India

Organ Donation Crisis May I congratulate Rupanjana Dutta for her excellent piece in last week’s AV, under the title “Organ Donation Crisis Hits Asians”. Organ donations among Asians, indeed among Black, Asian and ethnic minorities (BAME) is so minuscule that it is no wonder our people are dying while waiting for the availability of an organ. Although the fault-line lies mainly with Asian community, due to cultural and religious sensitivity, which does not come into equation when we are the recipients, it is mainly the fault of our politicians who are unwilling to tackle the problem head on, fearing political backlash. Then this is the norm among politicians when it comes to tackling some serious issues, especially when dealing with BAME. BAME forms one of the largest groups waiting for organ transplant surgery, three out of ten is from BAME, considering we form just 11% of the population. Organ donation crisis has been into public domain for a long time. Some parts of United Kingdom, like Wales has indeed introduced some half-hearted legislation but it has no visible effects, as relatives have the final say, even when the person is on the donation register. One encouraging development is live donations, especially for kidneys, as one can survive on a single kidney. It has taken off due to kidney exchange programme when one can receive a kidney from a distant live donor in exchange for a live kidney which may benefit other patient, a match and exchange programme. Government should study why such scarcity does not exist in many EU countries. One suggestion put forward by experts is that when we register with GP, we should be given a form to sign, with in and out options, after having heart to heart talk with GP, making it clear that if one opts out, then one is also opting out from NHS transplant programme under NHS. This policy may work if it is implemented without fear or favour under an all-party alliance. Bhupendra M. Gandhi By email


Write to our ‘Reader’s Voice’ section about what you think regarding the various ongoing issues all around the world. Please send your letters to Make sure they are NOT more than 450 words. Any letter longer than the limit may not be published. Note that all your letters are subject to being edited by our team for valid reasons.

- Asian Voice

International Friendship Day International Friendship Day comes once a year but for us friendship day is for every day, someone who walks into our lives when the world walks out. True friends accepts us despite all our faults and stands by us in all situations in life especially during our bad times. Friendship is an invisible comfort that can bring a sudden smile to a sad heart. It does not know any age, race, religion, financial or other limitations. Among the great and glorious gifts is the gift of understanding that we find in a loving friend. In the world of trouble everybody needs a friend with whom we are free to share the little secret heartache that lay heavily on our minds. Friendship is a golden chain. The links of a friend are so dear and like a rare and precious jewel treasured more each year and it is rich with happy memories and fond recollections too. Time can’t destroy the beauty of friendship for as long as memory lives, years can’t erase the pleasure that the joy of friendship gives. Good friends are for each other, close friends understand each other. But true friends stay forever. Beyond words. Beyond distance. Beyond time. A true friend is someone who is there for you no matter what or where you all are. Sudha Rasik Bhatt Glasgow

Leaving children home alone While the summer months bring warm weather, light evenings and the long school holidays, they also bring a dilemma for parents – when is it the right time to leave their child home alone? There’s no set age for leaving children home alone. The law simply says that you shouldn’t leave a child alone if they’ll be at risk. Last August the NSPCC helpline had to refer 849 children to social services and the police due to worries about them being left unsupervised. To help parents decide what is best for their child, the NSPCC is offering guidance. The main points to consider are: - Babies, toddlers and very young children should never be left alone. - Children under the age of 12 are rarely mature enough to cope in an emergency. - Children under the age of 16 should not be left overnight. - Regardless of age, a child shouldn’t be left home alone if they don’t feel comfortable with it. - If a child has additional needs, these should be considered when leaving them on their own or with an older sibling. - When leaving a younger child with an older sibling, think about what might happen if they were to have a falling out – would they both be safe? To find out more, download the NSPCC’s free Home Alone Guide at or call the NSPCC helpline for free and confidential advice on 0808 800 5000. Colin Peak NSPCC Regional Head of Service, London and the South East





28 July - 3 August 2018

Australia overtaking UK for overseas students Australia is overtaking the UK as the world's second biggest destination for international students, says research from University College London. According to the BBC researchers at UCL's Centre for Global Higher Education say the UK is being pushed into third place behind the United States and Australia. Australia has been rapidly expanding its international student numbers. The British Council says it shows the UK needs to "look again" at its policies towards overseas students. An analysis this year found that overseas students added ÂŁ20bn to the UK's economy - and universities in the UK have warned that immigration rules after Brexit will need to be more welcoming for students. The UCL study has tracked the latest movements in international students and report author Professor Simon Marginson says Australia is moving ahead of the UK. He warns that Canada is also catching up in taking a growing slice of the lucrative overseas student market. Three years ago the UK was recruiting around 130,000 more overseas students than Australia, says Prof Marginson, who is also co-chair of the Higher Education Commission's current inquiry into international students. But he says successive years of

Australia having increases of 12% to 14% in overseas students have seen it catch up and overtake the UK, which has been growing much more slowly. Official student figures for 2018 from the UN's education agency, Unesco, will not be published until after the end of this year. But the UCL researchers are "certain" that Australia is on the verge of moving ahead of the UK in overseas students and this "may have already happened". Last week, the government set out post-Brexit plans that would keep open the door to visa-free travel for European Union students coming to UK universities. But there was no detail on whether EU students would have to pay full international fees. Universities in the UK have been campaigning for overseas students to be taken out of net migration figures. A spokeswoman for the British Council said that international students are "an immense source of long-term influence and soft power for the UK". She said the UK was competing with countries with "welcoming visa policies" and "comprehensive international education strategies". With the approach of Brexit, she said "it has never been more important to reinforce and open up international channels for the UK".

POOR MENTAL HEALTH EAST LONDON SCHOOL 'PART AND PARCEL OF HAS SATS RESULTS ANNULLED CHILDHOOD' Poor mental health has become "part and parcel" of childhood for many children, England's Children's Commissioner says. Anne Longfield says there is currently a children's mental health epidemic. Speaking on BBC Radio 5 Live's Afternoon Edition, she said help to support these children was not in place and young people today were exposed to a lot of pressures. "We know that children are bombarded with these unattainable lifestyles that they see from celebrities and online alike and they just can't compete. It's as if there's been a narrowing down of what success looks like. You have to look good, you have to be successful, it has to come quick. And then of course we've got the digital world over the last ten years, not I believe, causing these things, but fuelling these things.�

Test results at an award-winning primary school in east London have been annulled amid allegations of cheating. The DoE confirmed the results of key stage 2 English reading and maths papers at Broadford Primary School had been investigated. It was reported the investigation followed a "tipoff from a whistleblower" that cheating may have taken place. The DoE said the Standards and Testing Agency (STA) had investigated the school's exam results. The school, which is in Romford and run by Havering Council was placed into special measures in 2011 and has worked its way up to be currently rated as "outstanding" by Ofsted. It was named primary school of the year and overall school of the year at the 2017 Times Educational Supplement (TES) awards.

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Plan to teach children first aid School children in England will have to learn first aid under proposals put forward by the government. Draft legislation says primary school children will be taught basic first aid, such as dealing with head injuries and calling emergency services. Secondary school children will learn lifesaving skills such as CPR and the purpose of defibrillators. The British Heart Foundation said the move would improve "shockingly low survival rates from cardiac arrests". Education Secretary Damian Hinds said he wanted to give young people "the tools they need to be ready to thrive when they leave school". The plan was announced as part of new guidelines on relationships and health education in schools. The BHF said that fewer than one in 10 people survive cardiac arrests

suffered outside of hospital, with 10,000 people in the UK dying each year as a result. Survival rates in countries that teach first aid in school are up to three times higher, the BHF said. Research by the British Red Cross, which also campaigns on the issue, found that 95% of British adults would not be able to provide aid in "three of the most life-threatening first aid emergencies".

Parents set to lose right to veto sex education at age 15 The government plans to let 15-year-olds overrule their parents' wishes and opt in to sex education lessons they have previously been withdrawn from. Education Secretary Damian Hinds says children should be able to request sex education in at least one of the three terms before their 16th birthday. Until then, parents will retain the right to withdraw their children. The plan was announced as part of new draft guidelines on the teaching of sex education in England's schools. These new, wider guidelines have been developed following concerns the existing guidance, last updated 18 years ago, does not cover topics such as: - mental wellbeing - consent - keeping safe online

- physical health and fitness - LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender) issues The guidelines, to become compulsory from 2020, are now open to consultation. Mr Hinds also said health education would become a mandatory part of the curriculum for all primary and secondary schools from autumn 2020. Under the plans, pupils will learn about mental health and developing skills such as confidence and resilience. It comes amid growing concerns about mental health issues among young people. Classes will also cover physical health, such as the importance of exercise and healthy eating and the benefits of a healthy lifestyle as well as preventing health problems.




28 July - 3 August 2018

SCRUTATOR’S The no-confidence motion tabled in Parliament by an Opposition coalition ended in a comfortable 325126 majority for the government. The debate closed with Congress leader Rahul Gandhi giving Prime Minister Narendra Modi a warm, if somewhat unexpected hug. ‘Opp wins hug of war’ was the Indian Express front-page headline (July 21)

correspondence during the briefing that India would not participate in the joint research of the Russia’s Fifth Generation Fighter Aircraft, but preferred to buy the planes directly from Russia when they were ready for export. With India’s Tejas aircraft still not ready for Full Operation Clearance (FoC), India’s decision is surely wise (Indian Express July 14). India to stand by Iran ‘There are many routes by which Iran and India can cooperate in important fields especially in energy and (the development of the Iranian port of) Chahbahar.,’ said Iran’s Deputy Foreign Minister Abbas Araghchi during a visit to India for talks with Indian foreign secretary Vijay Gokhale. . . Pressure

third place among its competitors at the end of financial year ending March 31, 2018. With $3 million worth of exports, India failed to find a place in the top car markets in the previous financial year ending March 31, 2017. Its surge in the US is thus extraordinary, to say the least (Business Standard July 16).

‘I have a very good sense that cooperation between the two countries would continue. Of course there are difficulties, but we have to work hard to face these challenges,’ he told Indian reporters in New Delhi. Iranian officials disclosed that they were informed by the European leaders that India and the EU would work in tandem to save the nuclear power deal with Tehran, now under threat from US sanctions (Times of India July 17).

India’s GDP above France, set to overtake UK

India, Korea to deepen industrial ties

India is now the world’s sixth biggest economy, pushing past France and set to overtake Britain by the end of the current 2018. Financial year ending March 31, India’sGDP at $2.60 trillion shades behind the UK’s at $$2.62 trillion. India has doubled its GDP during the past decade to power ahead of Brazil ($2.06 trillion, Italy ($1.9)3 trillion and Canada ($1.65 trillion). However, India’s population dwarfs those of the above mentioned countries, with 1.3 billion, second only to China’s estimated 1.4 billion (Business (July 12).

The visit to India of South Korean President Moon Jae-in and his wife Kim Jung was an opportunity to deepen IndianKorean economic and political ties. President Moon played a seminal role in defusing tensions between North Korea and the United States with his outreach to his North Korean counterpart President Kim Jong-un, whom US President Donald Trump had initially derided but later embraced as a partner for peace on the Peninsula. President Moon, in the aftermath of this crisis and its resolution, at least for now, decided to exploit the moment to extend South Korea’s diplomatic explorations southwards to India and South Asia.

Rahul Gandhi hugging PM Modi in Parliament

India’s shame Barely a fortnight ago, Arun Jaitley BJP’s senior leader and finance minister, likened the late Indira Gandhi’s Emergency of 1975-77 to the rule of Adolf Hitler will have come to haunt him and his party with the mob lynching that were reminiscent of Nazi mobs in Berlin lynching Jews in Berlin and looting their businesses. The spectacle in India disgraced the nation and moved the Supreme Court to fire a broadside at the government for the mobocracy on display. Condemning the lawlessness, the Bench instructed the central and state government to pass and implement laws as a priority, as deterrents to such criminality. When Parliament convened for its Monsoon session, there was uproar as Opposition speakers laid into the government for negligence and complicity. Sadly, Muslims have been the principal targets of these unruly mobs, whether for alleged cow slaughter or beef eating. Rumours are circulated through the internet and these turn viral, which was the object of the exercise (Times of India, Indian Express TV channels July 12, 18).

No capitulation to US pressure India has informed the US that its defence acquisitions from Russia,

Ministers facilitate mobsters in jail Union Minister Jayant Sinha and Jharkhand Minister Giriraj Singh lauded the the vigilantes in prison. Jayant Sinha subsequently expressed regret at his error of judgment. It was more than just that. It was collusion with criminality. Prime M Minister Modi should have demanded his resignation, and was remiss in not doing so. Giriraj Singh should have been sacked. Silence is a message much to be deplored. Fine words on tolerance and democratic values sound hollow. (Times of India July 8). US third-largest car market for India India has surged in the US passenger car market to occupy

Digitisation prospects According to a Google and KPMG report, Indian businesses in select verticals will unlock around $39 billion worth of export opportunities by 2022, up from $16 billion in 2017. The report titled, ‘Indian Brands Going Global: A $39 billion opportunity, points to travel, media, entertainment, consumer brands, and real estate as the key areas that are likely to yield the greatest dividends (Business Line July 20) Bandhan Bank shines bright While some of India’s biggest banks are mired in distress, newcomer West Bengal’s Bandhan Bank in three short years has been moving from strength to strength. Its first quarter (April-June 2018) net profit has surged by 48 per cent net profit of Rs 482 crore, up from Rs 327 crore for same quarter in 2017. The bank’s loan book has registered a 52 per cent rise. According to C.S. Ghosh, Managing Director and CEO, the bank will focus on the retail and MSME sectors to grow its loan book going forward (Business Line July 19). Missile tracking ship India’s nuclear missile tracking ship, which is to become part of an elaborate missile shield, is at present undergoing harbor trials before its launch in December. The VC 11184, an Ocean Surveillance Ship will serve the National Technical Research Organization and has taken four years to build (Economic Times July 19).

party’s policies for India (Business Line July 16) (Times of India July 9). Mauritian route to Africa India and Mauritius are set to reduce tariffs for itemized commodities as a prelude to a wider free trade agreement (FTA), and thence pave the way for Indian goods and services to the African continent. As Mauritius is party to a host of free trade agreements with African states, including the latest with the 44 nation African Union FTA, India is betting big that a FTA alignment wi9th Mauritius would open the doors to the lucrative African markets. Not only does Mauritius have FTAs with Africa, it boats a Generalized System of Preferred Preferences with Japan, along with various trade deals with Switzerland, Kazakhstan, Belarus and Russia, with China looking in from the outside, it has to consider China’s moves as well. Geopolitics An Indian official noted: ‘Geopolitical reasons for signing a trade pact with Mauritius are also important as we cannot allow China to have a greater influence there’ (Business Line July 16) Seminal deal In a landmark event in the outskirts of New Delhi, Prime Minister Modi and President Moon Jae-in inaugurated the South Korean Samsung Electronics plant – the world’s largest mobile telephone manufacturing site. ‘The Samsung announcement is good news, but it must be seen as a

South Korea’s Rise

Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman

most notably the latter’s S-400 missile system is to go ahead regardless. Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman told

The Republic of South Korea’s Rise from destitution following the devastation of the Korean War (1950-53) to its current First World status as an industrial giant is an astonishing achievement worthy of any age. The South Korean footprint in India (with that of Japan ) has grown spectacularly and is set to achieve even greater heights, given the growth of the Indian economy. India and Korea, not speak of Asia’s other countries, east, west, north and south are adjusting to the shift in the tectonic plates of global power. Prime Minister Modi and his distinguished guest had much to discuss about present ground realities and a troubled, unfolding future.

PM Modi with South Korean President Moon Jae-in

Russian helicopters for IAF Following the acquisition of Russian S-400 Trumf air defence missile system, India is to acquire 48 Russian Mil-17-VS helicopters for an estimated $1.2 billion. ‘Other deals with Russia will follow,’ said an Indian official. Rosoboronexport, a subsidiary of Rostech State Corporation, has an order backlog of around $45 billion (Business Line July 14). Advice to Rahul Prithviraj Chauhan, the former Congress Chief Minister of Maharashtra, has advised Party President Rahul Gandhi to stop Modi bashing and spell out his

one-off at present,’ said Vivek Dahejia, Associate Professor, Economics, Carlton University, Canada. The best clearly is yet to come (Business Line July 20) Fake news An extracted paragraph from Indrani Bagchi’s edit page article in the Times of India (July 16): In Afghanistan, for instance, Russia could be persuaded to stop or slow down weapons to Taliban, which is severely impacting Indian security interests. US and Afghan government sources say arms supplies to the Taliban have emanated from Pakistan.





28 July - 3 August 2018

Parliament celebrates Vedanta Desika’s 750th anniversary World’s first Parliamentary dance performance on a poem by Desika Parliamentarians from the Conservative, Labour and Liberal Democrat parties joined several Hindu leaders in the UK on 18th July at the House of Commons in London to commemorate Vedanta Desika’s 750th birth anniversary. Desika is one of India’s stalwart spiritual masters, in the line of the mediaeval Vaishnava teacher, Ramanujacharya, who taught the path of prapatti or loving surrender. The event hosted the world’s first ever dance performance inside a parliamentary institution on a poem of Vedanta Desika, who was described by the Indian Prime Minister, Narendra Modi as ‘shining jewel

First ever dance performance to take place in the Houses of Parliament

Lord Navnit Dholakia addressing attendees

Rami Ranger, President of the Conservative Friends of India releasing the souvenir

in the Indian spiritual tradition’. British MPs Bob Blackman, Virendra Sharma, Alok Sharma and Lord Dholakia heard presentations about the life, works and achievements of Vedanta Desika from a delegation of Sri Vaishnavas who had specially flown in from India. In a message to the organisers, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said, “Sri Vedanta Desika enthralled thousands of people with his adeptness at handling both simple, practical realities and sophisticated theological concepts. I hope that the function on 18th July will make more people aware about the great contributions of Sri Vedanta Desika, and motivate them to follow his teachings as well as imbibe his quality of seeking knowledge tirelessly.” While releasing a special souvenir to mark the occasion, president of the

Conservative Friends of India, Rami Ranger said, “The Hindu community in the UK is a peaceful and contributing community. We have always integrated well, and contributed to Britain’s economic and social development. I hope that Britsh society can learn from the example of Hindu masters such as Desika, whose teachings are still relevant to modern times.” “We presented Sri Vedanta Desika not only as a spiritual saint but also as a scientist, a logician, a mathematician and a master of all arts and crafts,” said Sanjay Srivatsan from the Desika Educational Trust. “When we explained how Desika had solved the Kinght’s tour problem five hundred years before Euler had solved it in the 18th century, the audience was quite awestruck. The Knight’s tour is a problem in Chess where the knight has to move

Mum hopes 'life-changing' MS treatment will let her walk daughter to school A mum-of-one from Hayes End who has had multiple sclerosis for nearly 20 years is hoping life-changing treatment may allow her to walk alongside her husband and daughter. Deepa Thakrar, 39, who has a four-year-old daughter, has been left unable to walk without a walking stick after being diagnosed with MS when she was just 20 years old. From initial symptoms such as blurred vision and numbness, Deepa's condition deteriorated over the years and now she struggles to do up a button or plait her daughter’s hair. Since Deepa and husband Dharmesh welcomed baby Anaya into the world, she now relies on a walker to get around, with the next step being full-time use of a wheelchair. Speaking to getwestlondon, the mum-ofone said she would "give anything" to regain the part of her life taken away from her by MS, a condition affecting the brain and spinal cord. She said: "My condition means my legs get really tired, I'm constantly having to rely on my husband and family members to take me places. I don't cook anymore, I can't wash clothes, my husband does all the things in the house as well as taking care of the [family's cake baking] business. I just want to do some of the things a married woman and mother would do for their family. My daughter doesn’t know what it feels like to walk with her mum, or to play in the park with me. I really would love that more than anything." As Deepa's condition deteriorated, she heard about a stem cell treatment being researched which is in its early stages. However, she was later told by her consultant she did not fit the UK criteria. Now, after hearing about the benefits of the treatment from other MS sufferers, the 39-year-old has launched a fundraising page so she can

Deepa with husband Dharmesh and four-year-old daughter Anaya (Image: Deepa Thakrar)

receive the life-changing treatment abroad. The stem cell treatment, known as hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT), claims to "halt the progression of MS" and has left some less reliant on crutches, Deepa said. Including aftercare, flights to a country where the treatment is carried out, with Russia and Mexico being option, and a carer for the duration of the trip, the stem cell treatment costs £50,000. The mum-of-one has already raised nearly £16,000 in one month. With the help of generous donors, Deepa says she could "one day be able to walk alongside my husband and daughter and feel my independence again". To donate and help fund Deepa's treather to on log please ment, . You can also donate by visiting the West Ealing newsagents' run by Deepa's parents in The Avenue, Ealing.

through every box on the chess board without going to the same box twice. But Desikan solved this puzzle through a verse in his magnum opus, the Paduka Sahasram.” The event which was hosted by the All Party Parliamentary Group for British Hindus, the Hindu Forum of Britain and the Vedanta Desika Sampradaya Sabha, Mumbai, drew a full house with a packed Committee Room. “What surprised me is that while such an event to celebrate a stalwart saint like Vedanta Desika is being held in the British Parliament with MPs from all major parties, the Indian Parliament is simply stuck in debates and a no-confidence motion,” said Prahlad Patel, one of the delegates at the event. “Indian politicians can learn a lot from Desika’s life and works, but it seems that British politicians are leading the way.”

National Gujarati Teachers’ Conference at Neasden Temple BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir, London – popularly known as the ‘Neasden Temple’ – welcomed 317 senior management representatives from 48 different supplementary schools, mandirs and community groups across England to a national Gujarati conference for teachers on Sunday 15 July 2018. The conference followed a similar event organised by the Mandir in February 2018 and provided practical knowledge and training to enhance the teaching of Gujarati for teachers presiding over beginners, intermediate and advanced (GCSE & A-Level) levels as well as a separate session to promote robust administraation for schools to comply with current legislation and best practices. Attendees were warmly welcomed and gathered for an enriching opening session which included a welcome dance and presentation of a letter from the Prime Minister of India, Narendra Modi, thanking teachers for their tireless efforts to promote and preserve Gujarati. The programme was delivered through speeches, workshops and networking sessions designed around the theme of ‘Treasure, Innovate and Inspire’ – treasure and promote the rich heritage of the Gujarati language, innovate novel teaching methods (including technology and media), and learn the latest information about the GCSE exams, and be inspired with renewed enthusiasm to teach Gujarati to the young and bring awareness to their parents. The keynote speaker in the morning session was Domini Stone, a highly valued member of the wider languages network. Amongst her many roles, Domini is the Regional Manager for Network for Languages and also manages a programme of CPD for primary and secondary language teachers. Domini shared methods to motivate children to learn languages and many of the themes and topics she covered formed

the basis of the workshop sessions throughout the day. Viveksagar Swami, a senior swami of BAPS Swaminarayan Sanstha, shared motivational messages of Gujarati learning and teaching via a recorded video presentation. Video blessings were also played Head Priest from His Holiness Yogvivek Swami Mahant Swami Maharaj, who stressed the value of all Gujarati schools working together. Manoharmurti Swami further encouraged all the delegates to join this journey of working together and raise the level and profile of Gujarati teaching. Lord Jitesh Gadhia addressed the congregation and thanked the teachers for their selfless service to the community. He drew upon the challenges faced by Gujaratis in the UK and emphasised the importance of preserving the language in the country by working as a single community. Feedback from the delegates was overwhelmingly positive with many pledging to attend future conferences. A number of attendees also expressed their happiness at the opportunity to network with many schools from their respective towns and cities as well as further afield. An attending teacher said: “The conference provided a fantastic opportunity to collaborate with the wider Gujarati teaching community. Learning about the different teaching methods in an interactive forum was particularly valuable. Thank you for organising such an insightful event.”




28 July - 3 August 2018

Social Impact Award winner Child to Child: Ensuring a child’s right to participate is fully realised actually ends up with the children that need our help. Keeping overhead costs as low as possible, we make sure that every donation counts.

Child to Child won the ‘Social Impact Award’ at our annual Asian Voice Charity Awards, powered by Charity Clarity.For nearly 40 years, they have partnered with and trained the world’s leading agencies to equip children with the skills to stay safe and healthy and achieve their potential, no matter what life throws at them. Here is an excerpt of our interview:

Why did you choose to nominate your charity for the Awards? When we heard about the Charity Awards we immediately thought we should apply, since we strongly believe in the incredible impact Child to Child has on different communities. With us being in a period of transition, we knew that the recognition of winning the Social Impact Award would further inspire us to continue to make a difference.

Tell us about some of your current projects?

Give us your best example of the way you’ve seen your organisation’s work make a difference? One of our flagship projects has increased on-time enrolment as well as academic performance. Adults are now seeing the potential of their children

Getting Ready for School project in Bangladesh campaign: Practising with young learners

(including girls!) and the importance of education. In Ethiopia, the project was extremely well-received and taken to scale by the national government, which identified it as one of the most promising approaches to provide cost effective and efficient interventions especially for marginalised or deprived populations. It is now one of the four pillars of their national framework for early childhood care and education, having benefitted more than 500,000 children.

How fulfilling is it to have come this far? Hearing from parents how they

have seen their children blossom in our programmes or knowing that we have kept children from dropping out of school, be it in Sierra Leone, Pakistan or London, is amazing. After learning about the dangers of teenage pregnancy, one of the girls told us how she taught this to her friends to prevent them from getting pregnant too young.

How can someone engage with your charity? You can visit our website, follow us on Facebook ( or Twitter (@ChildtoChild) for updates. By donating, you can be assured that your money will go a long way and

What are the areas of opportunity for your organisation winning the Award? Winning the Award will give us the opportunity to get consultancy advice to better develop our business model, raise

Radio project in Sierra Leone

photo credit: Michael Duff

We have been commissioned toimplement a life-skills programme in Kisumu, Kenya, in communities with high rates of drugs and alcohol abuse. We have also been commissioned by the Oak Foundation to build the capacity of grantee organisations in applying the six principles of its Child Abuse Programme to their own programmes. Our Pikin to Pikin Tok project has just been selected by the World Health Organisation, with a case study to be published in the British Medical Journal and presented at a ministerial-level meeting in Delhi in December 2018.

small and big, newly-established and longer standing to compete in a fair way. We also think it is great that the judges have different backgrounds, which means they will focus on different areas. It would be helpful if there was a bit more information on the Charity Clarity rating process – especially on what your rating is and how to improve it.

How fair do you think was the judging process? The judging process seemed really fair: we like that it enables both

our profile and work on our marketing and fundraising. For a small charity like Child to Child, these tools can make an enormous difference.

VHP UK hosts its first British Hindu Conclave of 2018 Scientists, lawyers, philosophers, writers, social workers, medical doctors, armed forces personnel and members of various Hindu organisations came together on Saturday 21 July 2018 for a day long conclave at the Bushey Academy to analyse and highlight the British Hindu contribution to society as well as the challenges the community faces. The event was hosted by the Vishwa Hindu Parishad UK (VHP). The proceedings were conducted by Professor Nawal Prinja and Dr Poonam Kakkar and Dr Tribhovan Jotangia (VHP UK President) chaired the event. Q&A speaker session (from left to right): Chandrakant Sharma, Sachin Nandha, Anil Nene, Dr Aruna Bhala, Dr Tribhovan Jotangia, VHP invited guests from all Dr Manish Tayal MBE and Jayesh Jotangia national Hindu organisatics on British Hindu contribution that 56% of young Hindus surveyed clave to address how to tions and local community to society and economy thus far. said that they will join the British raise awareness for the leaders and prominent Armed forces and action British Hindus conBritish Hindu community. Parliamentarians such as is needed to turn this tribute 6% of the GDP. This conference was the Rt. Hon. Keith Vaz MP into reality. Dr Sachin It was estimated that an outward looking one and Lord Jitesh Gadhia also Nanda, PhD (Oxon) put on average each and followed by the presented their views on forward a concept of British Hindu conParliamentarians, Jayesh how to better facilitate Applied Dharma and tributes £90,000 per Jotangia a Barrister at 33 interest between British how Hindu philosophy year to GDP. Bedford Row, spoke of Hindus and the authorities Considering that the various laws and regulacan help modern Britain and Hindu representation national average wage tions that impacted upon in the future. Rt Hon Keith Vaz, MP Lord Jitesh Gadhia in British politics respectiveis below £25,000, this the Hindu community as a Professor Pawan ly. makes Hindu community as a net minority, including Hindu marBudhwar of Aston University highBritish Hindus are the third contributor to the British economy riages, cremation and immigration lighted the role of Hindus in British largest religious faith group in the i.e. they give back more than what of priests. Dr Manish Tayal MBE Academia and informed the deleUK and the community is the most they take. gates that in 2016/2017, it had been and Surgeon Commander of the law abiding, hardworking and tolerDr Aruna Bhala, a Community reported that Indian academicians Royal Navy then discussed issues ant, yet are marginalized on a mainPaediatrician at Northampton had crossed the 5,000 mark. This faced by Hindu personnel in the stream level when it comes to conGeneral Hospital spoke of the consession was followed by Professor British Armed Forces and that a sidering issues they face collectively. Sunil Poshakwale of Cranfield support network was required with tribution of Hindus to the NHS, On this, VHP put together this conUniversity who put forward statisthe local community. He reported citing that Indians were the

2ndhighest group after the British in the UK in the NHS and that 3% of British Indians were representing 12% of NHS posts. Dr Ramesh Pattni spoke about Happiness, Religiosity, Emotional Intelligence in UK Hindu Adults. His research showed that 77% of British Hindus have qualifications and British Hindus are one of the most educated and the happiest communities in the UK. Their religiosity helps maintain mental well-being that helps in education and relationships. This needs to be maintained. Anil Nene pointed out that there is anti-Hindu bias and misrepresentation of Hindus in British Media. It is influenced by some academics. He informed the audience that BBC’s religious output is disproportionate and either ignores or gives negative image of Hinduism. The coverage of the famous Kumbh Mela was more for entertainment than for explaining the Hindu faith. Chandrakant Sharma of Hindu Swayamsevak Sangh UK spoke about the challenges of British Hindus in the UK and in India, with a vote of thanks from Dr Vinaya Sharma as General Secretary of VHP UK. The event was attended by 200 delegates representing over 30 British Hindu organisations. There was a lively Q&A session full of positive ideas for the future. The findings will be formally published at the House of Commons later.





28 July - 3 August 2018

BOOKWORM Is Baroness Vadera set to be the next governor of Bank of England?

Usha Kishore’s Immigrant trespasses into English verse Yogesh Patel Much of the poetry celebrated generally is found to be melancholy and, currently, even mechanised in the clutches of the sensitivity-desiccated academics, not forgetting that the most award-winning poems nowadays are not daring to engage in a pursuit of social or political legislation –if I may use Shelley’s words. Usha Kishore’s new poetry collection, Immigrants, just published by Todd Swift and Eyewear Publishing breaks away from this sterile stagnation. This collection also makes a compelling case for a support by all Asians, not only to make it a success and provide an encouragement, but to make a case for the quality literary work offered by diasporic Indian writers and poets. This fascinating work captures reality and metaphors of our dual and simultaneous existence as immigrants through the aspects of icons, symbols, events, spirituality, religion, food, culture, arts, and the adverse political space. Even in the postcoloniality (p11), Kishore spares no shyness in delivering a nature of the beast that holds the Jallianwala Bagh (p23) guns. However, the pen is also a gun in poet’s hands as described by Seamus Heaney: Between my figure and my thumb / The squat pen rests: snug as a gun. Hence, Kishore also discharges sharp and short lines like bullets. Your guns thunder down. I die. But I rise. Then as a teacher in English, she blasts the hypocrites: I come. I see. I conquer. I teach you your language. While making a narrative for the immigrants, Kishore never forgets that essentially she is a poet, as shown in this powerfully altered image of a Padmavati of the feminist age: I learnt, piling like firewood waiting to claim me. The firewood is a silence waiting to burst out as a fire. This collection is such a silence in words.

Bhagavad Gita Walk: A community initiative to benefit future generations The vibrant community of ISKCON Bhaktivedanta Manor are embarking on another exciting project. A "Gita Walk" will take place on Sunday 16th September 2018, starting from the Krishna Avanti School in Edgware and ending at Bhaktivedanta Manor where participants will have kirtan, prashadam and family fun! The sponsored charity walk will take Bhaktivedanta Manor another step closer to fulfilling its dream. The Shree Krishna Haveli complex will provide facilities to bring communities together for cultural activities, education and spiritual rejuvenation for present and future generations. Each participant in the Gita Walk will represent a verse from the sacred text Bhagavad Gita As it Is, and in this way make a contribution to this unique project. “The Shree Krishna Haveli is the culmination of decades of struggle and sacrifice made by the community to secure their right to worship Sri Sri Radha

Gokulananda at Bhaktivedanta Manor,” explained the President Srutidharma das.

The aim of the organisers is to give all participants the opportunity to support the project by raising as many funds as they can, whilst simultaneously getting fit and having a devotional experience. The Temple is hoping to raise £500,000 from the venture. Everyone is invited to support the Gita Walk and invest in the cultural and spiritual upliftment of society. Come walk Krishna’s talk; raise some funds to support this unique project!

Baroness Shriti Vadera first appeared as a serious contender as a replacement for Mark Carney as Governor of the Bank of England at the Treasury’s annual summer drinks party. In a rare interview she then appeared to confirm this by talking about diversity and produced the politician’s classic non-denial denial. According to Russell Lynch, Deputy City Editor at the Evening Standard,the bookie’s favourite for the job remains the Financial

Baroness Shriti Vadera

Conduct Authority’s chief executive Andrew Bailey. Baroness Vadera — who served as a minister under

Gordon Brown — is the first woman chairman of a UK bank and can call on an impressive City career as well as her political experience. As one of the highest ranking Asian women in today’s politics the Baroness seems to be the perfect answer to recent complaints from Treasury Select Committee chairman Nicky Morgan over the Bank’s lack of women at senior levels. Shriti Vadera has been shattering glass ceilings and

defying stereotypes her entire life. She is the first – and so far the only – female chair of a British bank, after being appointed to lead the board of Santander UK in 2014, making her one of the most powerful women in the UK finance industry. Baroness Vadera – though she rarely uses the title – cut a swathe through the ranks of grey men in Whitehall as an adviser to Gordon Brown during the financial crisis, when he was Prime Minister.

May supports Sajid Javid over death penalty for ISIS ‘Beatles’ Ministers on Tuesday insisted the ISIS 'Beatles' are not British any more amidst a major row over the UK refusing to seek assurances they will not be executed in the US. And Prime Minister Theresa May now says she backed the decision not to get death penalty assurances from Washington rather than merely being 'made aware' of it. When asked if Mrs May approved of the Home Secretary Sajid Javid's decision, a Downing Street spokeswoman initially said she had been 'made aware' of it and the Government opposes the death penalty 'in all circumstances as a matter of principle'. Number 10 later moved their stance, saying Mrs May 'supports' the Home Secretary's handling of the case and hopes it will end with the two men remaining in prison for the rest of their lives. 'The ultimate aim for all of us in our discussions with the US is to make sure

that these men face the rest of their lives in prison. That is also what the victims' families want,' said the Downing Street spokeswoman. Security Minister Ben Wallace sparked anger in the Commons by telling MPs that seeking the death penalty 'might get in the way' of justice and confirmed for the first time that the notorious jihadis captured in Syria have been stripped of citizenship. He also dismissed concerns that the pair - Alexanda Kotey and Shafee El-Sheikh - are being illegally 'rendered' with approval from the UK authorities, saying they would have the benefit of the 'rule of law and due process' in America. Mr Wallace told the Commons the 'reality' was that Britain did not have enough evidence to try the jihadis in this country, and there was a better chance of them being brought to justice in the US. The staunch defence of the government's position

Alexanda Kotey and El Shafee Elsheikh

came as Home Secretary Sajid Javid faced a major backlash for telling the US he would not seek guarantees that the pair will be spared execution. A leaked letter from Mr Javid to US Attorney General Jeff Sessions suggested Britain was ready to share intelligence so the pair - can be prosecuted under American laws. The commitments, made last month according to the Daily Telegraph, drew accusations that Mr Javid had 'unilaterally' scrapped Britain's opposition to the death penalty and torture camp Guantanamo Bay. Kotey and Shafee ElSheikh were captured in January earlier this year as they attempted to flee, and

are being held by the USbacked Syrian Defence Force. Shadow Attorney General, Shami Chakrabarti, said not upholding the demand meant Britain was “encouraging this grave human rights abuse” at a time when it should be “persuading countries like the US and Iran to drop” executions. “Sajid Javid appears to have secretly and unilaterally abandoned Britain’s opposition to the death penalty,” she said. “By doing so he is not just playing with the lives of these particular terrorists but those of other Britons – including potentially innocent ones – all over the world.”

Indian tourists visiting UK on the rise Number of Indians visiting the UK have increased despite emerging destinations gaining popularity, rise of foreign travel in general to scenic places as well as security issues with rumours of racial attacks increasing after EU Referendum. New figures published recently show a steady yearon-year increase in the overall number of visa applications from India over the last few years. The statistics – published by VFS Global, which processes visa application for 59 governments worldwide – show travel to the UK from India continuing to increase, despite the popularity of emerging destinations. The statistics bear out those recently publishedby UK Visas and Immigration which showed of the 2.1 million UK visitor visas granted in 2017, there was an 11% increase in those granted to visitors from India (up 43,816 to 433,852).

The figures show that a 10 percent increase in number of visa applications from India in 2017 (4.7m applications), compared to 2016 (4.3m). This year, for the period of January to June, there has been a 14 percent increase in number of visa applications from India, compared to the same period last year. The top 6 destinations for which visa applications were processed (in 2016, 2017, and January to June 2018) were: US, Malaysia, UK, Canada, PR China, and Schengen Area destinations. In 2017, the sharpest yearon-year increase (since 2016) in visa application count was for Thailand visas. Emerging destinations (especially Czech Republic, Turkey, and Japan) showed a positive trend in 2017, with significantly more applications processed for these destinations than in the previous year. The UK Home Office statistics further show that Indian and Chinese nation-

als alone accounted for just under half (46%) of all visitor visas granted, while three nationalities (China, US and India) accounted for over half (53%) of the 223,536

study-related visas granted in 2017. In particular, study related visas to Indian nationals showed a notable increase, up 28% to 14,445.


16 UK



28 July - 3 August 2018

British Sikhs divided over ethnicity and demand for Khalistan The proposed event by Sikhs for Justice (SFJ) on August 12th, that demands for a global referendum for Sikhs to create Khalistan, has divided the Sikh community in the UK. While majority of the Sikhs are opposing 'Referendum 2020', the group supporting referendum has proposed to meet in Trafalgar square to launch this declaration. Many Sikh bodies in the UK, intellectuals and think tanks including National Council of Sikhs, Gurudwara Guru Nanak Bedford have reportedly joined hands to boycott the declaration. Some of them are also joining an event called 'We stand with India' on 12th August at Trafalgar Square from 11am-4pm, same time when 'Referendum 2020' will be launched. On the other hand, the British Sikhs demanding for a separate ethnicity in the census 2021 were jubilant after a rumour of the status already ‘granted’ spread across the community on Monday morning. The Office of National Statistics (ONS) that is responsible for actually approving of the demanded status told Asian Voice that the public consultation they have opened last year, has not concluded as yet. According to the consultation, Sikhism is under consideration as a separate ethnicity in the next UK census in 2021, following a long-drawn campaign by some British Sikh groups, who are believed to be the supporters of a Sikh state outside India ie. Khalistan. An ONS spokesperson told the newsweekly, "Our recommendations for the 2021 Census will be included in a government White Paper later this year.” They had raised concerns over the issue of "public acceptability" and whether the move would

have backing across Britain's 430,000-strong Sikh community, the PTI reported. In the last census of 2011, an estimated 83,000 Sikhs, refused to tick the Indian box under ethnicity column, instead chose to identify themselves under "any other ethnic group,” which prompted the launch of this survey by ONS. The All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) for British Sikhs, which is chaired by Preet Kaur Gill, the UK's first female Sikh MP, five months back, wrote to many UK Gurdwaras. She said, "Overwhelmingly they have said yes. Not a single Gurdwara has opposed it.” However, there are others who are not

entirely behind the campaign, with some groups pointing out that being Sikh is a choice, not something you belong to at birth or by DNA. The debate took an ugly turn on twitter, when the debaters divided into two camps, one for and the other against. Network of Sikh Organisations (NSO) wrote on twitter, saying, “We’ve heard some very confused arguments in the debate around the Sikh ‘ethnic’ tick box. Issue: Campaigners say it will help in addressing accurate hate crime reporting. Reality: Sikhs are already recorded by police as victims of racial hate crime. “Issue: Sikhs will get better/targeted alcoholism rehab services. Reality: Sikhism

prohibits alcohol consumption, this is an issue of Punjabi culture/pub culture, but campaigners are oddly not pushing for a Punjabi ‘ethnic’ tick box. “...Guru Nanak was a founder of a great world religion, not an ethnic group. Moreover Sikhs can be of multiple ethnicities, but their faith is Sikhism.” Journalist Sunny Hundal has also faced several backlashes on twitter when he tried to explain how he believed that Sikhism stood for a religion and not ethnicity. He said, “This claim that Sikhs are being 'forced' to tick Indian is untrue. They can tick 'other' - it makes no difference. Makes no difference to them being counted/legislation/govt resources - because they are already counted as Sikhs. Claiming otherwise is simply a lie and misleading.” He also made reference to a letter sent by NSO to MPs, after a hundred of them signed a letter last year calling for Sikhism to be identified as a separate ethnicity in census 2021. The letter by NSO, signed by Lord Inderjeet Singh titled 'Guru Nanak was the founder of a world faith not an ethnic group', stated that people had misunderstood the law and their campaign would have a "negative effect" on practising Sikhs. References were also made to Mandla V Dowell-Lee case where Balvinder Saund in 2002 campaigned for a separate ethnic identity through a tick box.

Lord Dholakia commemorates centenary of Battle of Haifa, 1918 On 19 July 2018, Lord Dholakia and the Bahá’í communities of India and the United Kingdom hosted the Commemoration of the Centenary of the Battle of Haifa at the House of Lords. Lord Dholakia Notable attendees included the Maharaja of Mysore, Major Chandrakant Singh Vr.C., Naznene Rowhani, Sarosh Zaiwalla, Ms. Jyoti Munsiff, and Lord Bilimoria. On 23 September 1918, 400 Indian soldiers played a pivotal role in an attack which allowed British forces to capture Haifa from the Ottoman Empire. This was believed to be one of the last cavalry charges in modern

tion of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá (1844-1921), son of the founder of Bahá’í faith. Major Wellesley Tudor-Pole, a British devotee of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, was stationed in Cairo when information of a serious threat to His life by the Ottoman Commander-inChief had been received. Tudor-Pole raised the issue with British parliamentarians and supporters of the Bahá’í movement. The British High Commission in Egypt called upon General Allenby to extend special consideration to ‘Abdu’l-Bahá and His family in the event of their occupying Haifa. After the war, the British government bestowed upon Him the Knighthood of the British Empire in 1920. Amongst the congratulatory messages,

Indian lancers in Haifa 1918

military history. Commanded by General Allenby, two strategically placed Indian-cavalry brigades – the Jodhpur Lancers and the Mysore Lancers, supported by the Sherwood Forester Yeomanry, were able to decisively capture Haifa with relatively few casualties. The Jodhpur Lancers and the Mysore Lancers, armed only with lances and spears, led a charge up the slopes of Mount Carmel, taking the Turkish forces by surprise. The Indian cavalry captured 1,350 prisoners, two machine gun positions, and opened the route through Haifa. As they did this, the Indian forces ensured the safety and libera-

the Prime Minister Mrs May writes, “The First World War is often believed to be a war solely fought in the trenches of the Western Front, so it is important that we also remembers and commemorate the many other theatres in which the war was fought around the world.” The President of the Republic of India, H.E. Ram Nath Kovind, acknowledged this momentous occasion stating, “[a]nd today we remember with pride those Indian troops who, one hundred years ago in Haifa, displayed valour, courage and heroism in the face of seemingly impossible odds.”

HRH The Prince of Wales commemorated the centennial event, highlighting “[t]he gallantry typified the distinguished contribution of the Indian Army in every theatre of the Great War and the terrible sacrifice that so many of them made” Prince Charles noted that “[a]s we commemorate the centenary of the end of the Great War, we remember the terrible price paid by all those who fought for freedom. Today offers a chance to honour, in particular, the courage and sacrifice of Indian service personnel – at the Battle of Haifa and throughout the conflict –

which made such an indelible mark on the shared history of Britain and India. To each of them we owe the greatest possible debt of gratitude.” Today, the Bahá’í’s of India number more than two million, dedicated to building communities that embody unity and justice, free from all forms of prejudice. There are over 7000 Bahá’í adherents in the United Kingdom, striving to establish a community that embodies the principle of the oneness of humanity, representative of the country’s rich cultural and ethnic diversity.

Lalita Ramakrishnan elected as Fellow of Royal Society Lalita Ramakrishnan, a Professor of Immunology and Infectious Diseases in the Department of Medicine, University of Cambridge has recently been elected Fellow of the Royal Society (2018). On admissions day Carlton House Terrace in London the Ramakrishnan family, which is a family of professors rejoiced the new admission and Lalita was welcomed into the Society by brother Venkatraman Ramakrishnan, who won the Nobel Prize in 2009 for his work on ribosomal structure, was knighted by the Queen in 2012 and is currently president of the Royal Society. Lalita studies tuberculosis disease pathogenesis in the zebrafish. The zebrafish is reportedly genetically tractable and optically transparent enabling the manipulation and monitoring of infection in real-time. The use of the zebrafish has led to surprising discoveries about TB that have immediate clinical implications. Lalita did her medical training in India,

then went to the US where she did a PhD in Immunology, medical residency and clinical fellowship in infectious diseases followed by a postdoctoral fellowship with Stanley Falkow at Stanford University where she first began her TB research. In 2001, she joined the medical faculty of the University of Washington. In 2014 she moved to the University of Cambridge where she is the Professor of Immunology and Infectious Diseases, and a Principal Research Fellow of the Wellcome Trust. Lalita was elected to the United States National Academy of Sciences in 2015. In the US, Lalita was also a practising physician, working as an Infectious Diseases consultant at the University of Washington Hospital. She hopes to continue to use her clinical skills in the UK pending approval from the General Medical Council. She lives in Cambridge, UK like her brother Prof Venki.





28 July - 3 August 2018

Modi’s visit to boost ties with African countries Prime Minister Narendra Modi is in Africa this week, where he will visit three countries- Rwanda, Uganda, and South Africa, and also participate in the BRICS summit. He began his trip on July 23, from Rwanda, where he held bilateral meeting with President Paul Kagame, held delegation level talks and meetings with the business and the Indian communities. India boosted its bilateral relations with Rwanda to the level of a strategic partnership in January last year. A regular visitor in India, Kagame visited Delhi in 2017 to participate in the Vibrant Gujarat Global Summit 2017, and later in March 2018 to participate in the Founding Conference of International Solar Alliance (ISA). Rwanda is part of India led International solar alliance and has ratified the Framework Agreement of International Solar Alliance. $200 million lines of credit India has extended $200 million lines of credit to Rwanda as PM Modi held wide-ranging talks with President Kagame and discussed measures to boost the bilateral strategic ties by strengthening cooperation in defence, trade, and agriculture sectors. After the one-on-one talks, Modi, the first Indian Prime Minister to visit the East African country, announced that India will soon open its mission in Rwanda. Speaking at a joint press statement, Modi said, “We are going to open a High Commission in Rwanda. This will not only establish communication between our respective governments but also enable facilities for consular, passport, visa.” He also noted that India and Rwanda relationships have stood the test of time. Modi said, “It is a matter of honour for us that India has stood with Rwanda in their economic development journey.” Besides one-on-one meeting, the two leaders also participated in delegation level talks to strengthen partnership in trade and investment, capacity building, development partnership and people to people ties. India extended two lines of credit, one of $100 million for development of industrial parks and Kigali special economic zone (SEZ) in Rwanda and another one for $100 million for agriculture. Agreements on cooperation in various fields Both the countries signed agreements on cooperation in the field of defence, trade, agriculture and animal resources. They agreed on cooperation in defence

capacity building, industry, science, and technology. They also signed MoUs on collaboration in the areas of leather and allied sectors, dairy cooperation, agricultural research and education collaborations between Rwanda Agricultural Board (RAB) and Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR). The two countries agreed to facilitate, diversify and promote trade and economic cooperation. In his remarks, President Kagame said that Modi's visit represents a milestone between the long standing friendship and cooperation between Rwanda and India. 200 cows to Rwanda On Tuesday, second day of his visit, Prime Minister Narendra Modi gifted as many as 200 cows to Rwanda during his historic visit. For those who are wondering why, gifting cows at the Rweru Model Village is a major part of Modi's programme in Rwanda and India's contribution to the host country's popular 'Girinka' scheme. The 'One cow per poor family' program is a social security scheme that is personally overseen by President Kagame. Under the scheme, the Rwandan government gifts dairy cows to the poorest families and the first female calf born to the cow is gifted to the neighbour, which helps promote brotherhood and solidarity. According to the official website of the Ministry of Agriculture and Animal Resources, Rwanda, “These goals are directly achieved through increased access

Prime Minister Narendra Modi meeting President of Rwanda Paul Kagame, at Kigali

program is crucial to addressing the

It also adds, “One Cow brings nutrition,

Prime Minister Narendra Modi participating in the “Girinka” (one cow per poor family programme), during his visit to Rweru Model village, in Rwanda on July 24. The President of Rwanda Paul Kagame is also seen.

to, and consumption of milk, by providing poor households with a heifer. The

Prime Minister Narendra Modi at the India-Rwanda Business Forum, at Kigali, Rwanda on July 24

fundamental needs of those parts of the country that are critically food insecure.”

sustenance and employment, providing a stable income for a family and is a source of soil nutrients via manure to assist small scale cropping activity.” Ministry of External Affairs' Secretary (Economic Relations) TS Tirumurti, who worked on the Rwanda visit, had called this and “important element” of the PM's programme. 'Girinka' can be translated as “have a cow” and is a centuries-old cultural practice in Rwanda. Earlier in the day, Modi had paid a visit to the Kigali Genocide Memorial and expressed India's gratitude to the Rwandan people, and acknowledged that during the genocide of 1994, no Indian as killed or injured. The memorial honours the memory of over one million Tutsis killed by the then Hutu majority government in 1994. Modi will next travel to Uganda, and then SA, after which, he will attend the BRICS Summit. This is his second visit to mainland Africa after he visited Mozambique, South Africa, Tanzania, and Kenya in 2016.




28 July - 3 August 2018

in brief


TiE London Entrepreneur Awards: Who’s Got Your Pulse Racing this year? The largest not for profit Entrepreneurial organisation in the world, TiE are recognising London’s top Entrepreneurs this December at the TiE London Entrepreneur Awards. The prestigious event will see the top tier of London’s Entrepreneurial elite coming together to recognise those who have climbing the ranks, disrupted their industries and grown beyond all measure during 2018. TiE, founded in Silicon Valley in 1992 and now in London as well as 60 further

countries worldwide, are searching for the capital’s best and brightest to be shortlisted for the 2018 awards. Anyone can nominate and be nominated providing they fit into the award categories. This is a great chance for recognition from the TiE London Membership, which are made up of London’s leading innovative men and women. Do you know someone who deserves to be a TiE London Entrepreneur of the year? Shortlisted nominees will be invited to a lavish Gala Dinner

and Awards Ceremony in Knightsbridge this December, the pinnacle of the TiE London events calendar. TiE holds member events throughout the year which focus on supporting and inspiring entrepreneurs with additional, specially dedicated women’s and youth events. This year alone Tie has delved into Crypto currencies, held dedicated networking lunches, entertained members at Ascot and is currently running the TISC competition which will see one lucky startup receive up

to £50,000 in investment and a trip to Silicon Valley. So if you have a tip on the next big someone or you’re lucky enough to know a real mover and shaker nominate them for one of the following categories - Entrepreneur of the year, Young Entrepreneur of the year, Woman of the year, Intrepreneur of the year (someone doing entrepreneurial things in a corporate environment) or Fastest Growing Business. To nominate please visit .

‘RANI KI VAV’ TO FEATURE IN INDIA'S NEW RS 100 CURRENCY NOTE As the Reserve Bank of India (RBI unveiled the new design of Rs 100 currency note, it was a moment of pride for Gujarat. The Unesco World Heritage Site of ‘Rani ki Vav’ at Patan will be featured on the currency

Govt to revisit AI stake sale plan after oil prices, forex rates stabilise Union Minister of India Jayant Sinha told the Rajya Sabha last week that national carrier Air India has shown “considerable improvement” in operational and financial parameters in the recent past, as he asserted that the government remains committed to its disinvestment. The government's proposal to sell 76 per cent stake as well as transfer management control of the debt-laden airline to private players failed to take off in May. Sinha said transaction advisor EY had cited 24 per cent government stake and corresponding rights, and high amount of allocated debt as the reasons for not receiving any bids. Other reasons cited by EY

were “changes in macro environment, individuals not being allowed to bid, profitability track record, and bidders not being able to form a consortium within a given time period.” The stake sale plan did not attract any bidders when the deadline for submitting Expression of Interest

India may lose trade row with US at WTO

India's Commerce Secretary Rita Teotia has said there was a “real” possibility that India could lose the trade dispute filed by the US in the WTO on export subsidies. “There is a real possibility that India will lose the trade dispute with the US at WTO over subsidising exports,” she said. However, India has been responding “very strongly” to the US allegations, she added. While direct subsidy to exports cannot be given, the government can legitimately support regulatory compliances required in other countries. The commerce secretary said, “Benefits to services exports will remain untouched, and GST refunds to exporters will continue as well.” She also said that support for input subsidy is also legitimate, however, “incentive only for exports is not eligible. There must be a cost incurred and then compensation.” The government has already set up an expert group to look at WTO-compliant support to exports, and a draft set of schemes will be announced for discussion. Teotia said the existing export subsidy schemes were continuing, as the dispute was yet to be resolved. The US had in March, dragged India to the World Trade Organisation's (WTO) dispute settlement mechanism over export subsidies, saying the incentives were harming American companies. Washington challenged India's export subsidy programmes such as Merchandise Exports from India.

(EoI) ended on May 31 and EY was the transaction advisor. In a written reply, Sinha said, “In view of volatile crude prices and adverse fluctuations in exchange rates, the present environment is not conducive to stimulate interest amongst investors for strategic disinvestment of Air India in

immediate near future. The issue would be revisited once global economic indicators, including oil prices and forex conditions stabilise.” The Minister of State for Civil Aviation further said near and medium-term efforts would be initiated to improve Air India's performance. He also said the Air India Specific Alternative Mechanism (AISAM) would separately decide the contours of the mode of disposal of subsidiaries; Air India Engineering Services Ltd (AIESL), Air India Air Transport Services Ltd (AIATSL) and Airline Allied Services Ltd (AASL). Debt-laden Air India's losses after tax stood at £576.51 million in 2016-17.

Indian banks still finding fakes among demonetised notes Over a year and a half after Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced the demonetisation of high-value currency notes, banks are still counting old notes and counterfeits of now-banned Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes. What is more bizarre is that they find 'Children Bank' notes and counterfeits of the new Rs 2,000 and Rs 500 currency notes. The special operations group of crime branch has lodged a complaint about the recovery of 3,747 counterfeit notes of different denominations, with a face value of Rs 13,53,690 from 16 private and nationalised banks in Ahmedabad. An SOG official said private and nationalised banks regularly lodge FIRs for counterfeit currency deposited with them. A senior SOG official said, “We were shocked when the bank said they found counterfeits of the demonetised Rs 1,000 and Rs 500 note more than a year and a half after demon-

note. As per an RBI communiqué, the new Rs 100 denomination in the ‘Mahatma Gandhi (New) series’ will be issued shortly. “The new denomination has the motif of Rani ki Vav on the reverse, depicting the country’s cultural heritage. The base colour of the note is lavender,” it said. Praful Thakkar, former IAS officer and Amhedabad-based numismatist, said the currency note would be the first after Independence to feature a monument from Gujarat. “It is a matter of pride for us as statistics show Rs 100 notes are the most circulated currency. I am glad the heritage of Gujarat would now be known across the country,” he said. The stepwell, built between 1063 and 1068 AD, bears testimony of Queen Udayamati’s love for her husband Bhimdev I, a Solankiera king of Gujarat. The stepwell, having dimension of 64 metres length, 20 metres width and 27 metres height, is considered to be an ode to the entire Hindu pantheon as the exquisite galleries depict different forms of Lord Vishnu, Lord Shiva, Dashavatara and almost all the known gods and goddesses showcasing the pinnacle of Gujarat’s craftsmanship.


etisation. However, bank officials clarified that counting of demonetised notes is still under way and counterfeits are being found as the process continues. Some 347 counterfeit notes of Rs 1,000 and 600 notes of Rs 5,000 were found at 16 banks.” The FIR said banks found 189 counterfeits of Rs 2,000 and 190 of Rs 500 denominations, among new currency notes. “2258 counterfeits of Rs 100, 155 of Rs 50, six of Rs 20 and two of Rs 10 denominations were also found.” Sources from the SOG said among notes

found at the banks, some were torn, others were stuck together with adhesive tape and paper. “Faded colours are clearly visible on some fake currency notes,” an official said. They said they have demanded CCTV footage of the banks for the last three months. “However, it is very difficult to identify the accused once the notes are deposited in the bank. Banks must be vigilant enough to identify fake currency notes when they are being deposited. This will help us to catch the accused,” an official said.

The CBI has charged Congress leader P Chidambaram, his son Karti and 10 others, including former economic affairs secretary Ashok Jha and then additional secretary of the Foreign Investment Promotion Board, Ashok Chawla, for alleged bribery in the controversial Aircel-Maxis deal. Among others named by the agency were two serving IAS officers - then joint secretary Sanjay Krishna, who is currently posted as additional chief secretary of Assam, and Deepak Kumar Singh, then a director who is now a principal secretary in Bihar. Also named were Karti’s chartered accountant S Bhaskararaman, Malaysian tycoon T Ananda Krishnan and his key aide Ralph Marshall. The charging of Chidambaram marks an important point in the escalating confrontation between BJP and Congress in the run-up to the 2019 Lok Sabha polls, with the latter loudly screaming witch-hunt in response to the development. Reacting to the development, Chidambaram tweeted, “CBI has been pressured to file a chargesheet to support a preposterous allegation against me and officers with a sterling reputation.” He added that the case was now before a court and he shall “make no more public comment”.


Suresh Vagjiani

Sow & Reap London Property Investment


Last week, I took the trouble to go down to Battersea to check the local environment of a small deal we are about to do, on behalf of our client. You can do a lot of research without stepping foot in the locality. However, we are in a market which is in a state of flux, and therefore, it’s not so easy to unearth what’s going on at ground level from the comfort of one’s chair. Coincidentally, the first agent I walked into was the one who was previously involved in selling the same apartment we are purchasing. Initially, one always approaches such meetings with a healthy dose of caution. So, initially I acted as if I was looking to invest. Very quickly, we got to the real point of the conversation, and pulled

Audience & budget Before you start to plan decorating, or even your budget, have a think about the area your property is in, the rent you’re going to charge, and what kind of

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



28 July - 3 August 2018

the cat out of the bag. It transpired that the deal I was interested in had a high offer initially, but then the deal went sour once the buyers couldn’t get their head around the issues surrounding the freehold. Given the situation, the agent advised he could get £415k for this property, as is, with the issue of the lease extension. This gave me the right fuel to go back and ‘chip’ my seller, as he put it. Though this was never the intention, sometimes, as a deal progresses, more information comes out of the woodwork, and the price needs to be revised accordingly.

which owns the freehold could not simply be reinstated. This is what we were hoping to do. The idea was to acquire the freehold for a couple of thousand pounds.

There were two main issues which popped out. One, was the local market and the information we gathered; and the second, was that our lawyers advised us the company

Now, we will need to purchase the freehold from The Crown, at market value. This dampens the deal. Dampens, but still doesn’t break it. And, I’m quietly

AGONY AGENT IS HERE TO HELP! You may have just bought your first buy to let property, you may be giving an existing property a face lift or you may even be just trying to attract a different kind of tenant; whatever your reasons for decorating are, here are some points you should take into account.



overspend, it’s easy to forget about the return on investment.

and will show signs of wear faster than anything else. Replacing a carpet every two years may start to become expensive! Look & feel

Durability The less you need to redecorate between tenancies, the better. Everything you buy for this project should have some aspect of durability. Larger items, such as flooring (including carpet), appliances/white goods and furniture should be bought in a slightly better quality, with warranties where possible. These items will be used time and time again

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

confident this will be a lucrative deal given time. The location is enviable. It’s surrounded by the green spaces of Clapham Common and Battersea Park. It’s surrounded by several stations, which means there will be little issue in terms of rental. Although the price was lowered with the sellers, they made up for it by

pushing back in terms of time, i.e. the deal has to be exchanged today (at the time of writing), and completed within 28 days. This doesn’t cause any downside for us. We will need a complete refurb on this property, in order to rent or resell. Our immediate reaction is to prepare it for rentals, rather than resell, given the soft market conditions.

look like home, they’re more likely to stay. Timescales Make sure you give yourself enough time to complete the project. Every month the project takes, is another month where you’re paying the mortgage without rent coming in to offset it. Concentrate on correcting damage, safety issues and structural problems first, as well as getting rid of any mould. This is far more important in the long run than the way your property looks. Prioritise decorating on what will make the

biggest differences to the look and feel of the space. It’s amazing what a lick of paint and a new carpet can do.

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28 July - 3 August 2018

Consultant Editor Financial Voice Alpesh Patel Dear Financial Voice Reader, Is India financially underselling itself to Brexit Britain? India should sell its people harder to the UK. If a customer cannot see the value of my product, I don’t blame the customer. I find ways to sell to them. India‘s GDP grew at 7.1% in 2016- 2017, and is expected to grow at 7.4% in 2018-19, when it will overtake the GDP’s of the UK and France. • Since 2000, the UK has been the largest G20 investor in India, investing £17.5 billion and creating 371,000 new jobs which represent 10% of all FDI-related jobs in that period. British companies in India now employ almost 800,000 people, representing 1 in 20 jobs in India’s organised private sector. • Over the last two decades, 8% of all foreign direct investment (FDI) into India was from the UK. • Of the 600 UK businesses present in India, almost 60% operate in two sectors: advanced engineering & manufacturing; and financial & professional services. • Around 60% of UK companies in India have a turnover of less than £5 million per year – so it is not just a few big companies representing growth. Consider that the during the past 5 years, according to the Financial Times last year, trade between the two countries has fallen from $15.7bn a year to $14bn. Just 1.7% of British exports go to India, less than go to Sweden and a fraction of 44% that goes to EU. As the UKIBC’s 2017 “Ease of Doing Business in India Report” indicated, there is still much work to do to get into the top 50 of the World Bank’s rankings. But it is also clear PM Modi has his targets on that ambition. Free trade agreements will mean nothing if India does not achieve that target – businesses will simply tap into other easier markets and prioritise them. This Indian PM is well aware the world does not owe his country a living, just as the British PM is aware, Commonwealth ties do not mean open migration borders. This is key for the UK to target. Helping Indian businesses establish in the UK due to the UK’s ease of doing business. According to UKIBC ‘Request for product or service from customers in India’ emerged as a key factor, with 62% of respondents rating it ‘Very important’, followed by ‘Visiting the markets (personally)’ with 53% respondents highlighting it as ‘Very important’ for why UK companies were active in India. The same poll, and I credit PM Modi for this, showed a drop in corruption as a barrier to British companies doing business in India. But equally, getting payments from Government contracts is a problem still – so the biggest battle for PM Modi in boosting India’s trade is with his own bureaucracy – but he well knows that. His ‘e-biz’ initiative will (slowly) make matters better – but again the State Governments needed to be battled with by PM Modi. His policy of ‘competitive federalism’ will help. And the lynch pin for India to sell itself to the UK – it’s not capital, like a Qatar. It’s not technology like an America. It’s not customers in India (imports are not what any Government seeks more of). It’s India’s people. India needs to be aggressive that it’s talent is what can keep Britain great. And there is a track record of 100 years of that. For a free online trading course visit

India-made BMW bike rolls in at Rs 3,00,000 BMW has rolled out locallymade motorcycles in India with an entry price of Rs 3,00,000 - as the German brand looks to tap into the growing love of Indians for luxury and leisure biking. After making a 310cc bike, BMW is also exploring the sub-300cc space as it wants to develop new models for India, that can be also be sold across the world markets. BMW Motorrad, the motorcycling arm of the company, has partnered Venu Srinivasan’s TVS Motors for manufacturing of two models - G310R and G310 GS - at its Hosur plant. TVS sells its own version of motorcycles under the Apache range, which are priced much lower. BMW has started sale of 310cc bikes through a handful of Motorrad dealerships. “We begin with seven retailers, and this should go up to 10 by next year,” Dimitris Raptis, Motorrad’s head of region (Asia, China, Pacific and South Africa), said.


Indian engineer Rohit Prasad is the brain behind Alexa Rohit Prasad, an engineer from Ranchi, Jharkhand, is the brain behind Amazon's Alexa. He along with his colleague Toni Reid who focuses on the consumer experience side, was No. 15 on Recode’s list of 100 people in tech, business and media who mattered in 2017. Jeff Bezos, Susan Fowler, Mark Zuckerberg, Tim Cook, Sundar Pichai, Elon Musk and Satya Nadella were among the 14 people ahead of him. Recode said Prasad and Reid had made Alexa a household name. Prasad still has family in Ranchi Prasad is No. 9 (and Reid No.10) in Fast Company’s 100 most creative people in business in 2017. Fast Company said Prasad and Reid had turned Alexa into a “categorydefining consumer experience.” Prasad still has family in Ranchi and visits the city once

Rohit Prasad

in one- and- half years. He studied at DAV High School. For engineering, he had multiple offers, including from IITRoorkee. He chose Birla Institute of Technology (BIT) in Ranchi. “I decided to stay closer home,” he says. He completed his electronics & communication engineering in 1997, and then went to the Illinois Institute of Technology, US, for an MS in electrical engi-

neering, where he did novel research in low bit-rate speech coding for wireless applications. That’s probably where his interest in speech recognition began. For the next 14 years, he was at BBN Technologies, an R&D arm of defence company Raytheon. BBN was one of the founding sites of ARPANET, a predecessor of the internet. It was also one of the leading

R&D sites for speech recognition, natural language understanding and machine learning in general, and Prasad was deputy manager for that business unit, leading a multidisciplinary team of researchers, developers, and program managers on large scale government- and commercially-sponsored projects. In 2013, he moved to Amazon to use the same skills to try and revolutionise how customers interact with Amazon’s products and services. Two years ago, he was redesignated head scientist of Alexa artificial intelligence. “The journey has been exciting. If you look at five years back, talking to a device from a distance, in the midst of a lot of noise, was just science fiction. We grew up in the Star Trek era, that was the inspiration for us,” he says.

Govt to infuse £1.13 bn in five public sector banks India's Finance Ministry is assessing the needs of two to three more banks after approving capital support for five public sector banks (PSBs). Fund infusion in them would be completed by the end of the second quarter of the current fiscal. The ministry has already finalised capital infusion of £ 1.13 billion in five PSBs to help them meet their interest payment commitments without impacting their regulatory capital requirements. A senior government officials said two or three more banks will need capital to meet the norms in the coming few weeks, adding that they would get funds by September. These banks have come under pressure because of interest payment to their bond holders of Additional Tier 1 (AT-1) bonds. Which is why, they were facing

the risk of breaching the regulatory capital requirement, sources said, adding that the ministry has decided to provide capital to 4-5 banks that are facing “acute shortage”. The five banks which will soon get capital include Punjab National Bank (PNB), hit by Nirav Modi scam, which will get the highest

amount of £281.6 million, while Allahabad Bank will get £179 million. Besides, Andhra Bank to get £201.9 million, Indian Overseas Bank – £215.7 million and Corporation Bank – £255.5 million. The infusion would be part of remaining £6.5 billion out of £21.1 billion capital infusion over two

financial years. The official said that in the second half of the current fiscal, banks will get growth capital to enable them to expand lending activity. The government announced £21.1 billion capital infusion programme in October last year. PSBs were to get £13.5 billion as per the plan, through re-capitalisation bonds, and the balance £5.8 billion through raising of capital from the market. Out of the £13.5 billion, the government has already infused about £7.1 billion through recap bonds in the banks and balance would be done during this fiscal. PSBs also plan to tap the markets to raise over £5 billion this fiscal to shore up their capital base for business growth and meeting regulatory global risk norms.

I-T dept to sell £270 mn worth Cairn shares in Vedanta The Income Tax (IT) department, to which the National Securities Depository (NSDL) had transferred all 180 million shares of Cairn Energy in Vedanta, has moved to dispose off the remaining 120 million shares of the British oil and gas major estimated to be worth £270 million at current prices, despite protests by the UK firm. The IT department has since February this year, sold off 60 million shares of Cairn Energy in Vedanta worth £158 millilon. Tax authorities have in addition, appropriated dividends worth around

Anil Agarwal

£105.6 million in two tranches that Cairn Energy was to receive from Vedanta. The tax

department has alleged that Cairn Energy had set up several subsidiaries, created cross-holdings in multiple entities and launched an IPO to raise money from Indian investors when it had decided to exit the country by repatriating IPO proceeds to its parent company in the UK. Spokesperson for Cairn Energy, Linda Bain said the information was disclosed several times before IPO. “A portion of IPO proceeds were remitted to CIL’s parent company - as was disclosed to the FIPB, Sebi and is clearly laid out in the prospectus from

2006 and the annual accounts of the relevant entities in 2006. Proceeds from an IPO (a fresh issue of shares) have never been taxable in India, and still is not taxable,” Bain said. Sources in the I-T department, however, said, “Cairn India Ltd had informed Sebi and FIPB that it wants to bring inward investment in India for which it had shown $1.3 billion remittance, which later turned out to be a ‘daylight overdraft’ and the proceeds of the IPO, including the ‘daylight overdraft’ was actually outward investment.”





28 July - 3 August 2018

in brief SCHOOLS IN NY TO TEACH PUPILS ABOUT SIKHISM With over 70% of Americans ignorant about Sikhism, schools in New York state will now include lessons on the minority community in their curriculum to educate students about Sikh religion and its tradition, according to a report. The United Sikhs, a non-profit organisation, in collaboration with New York City’s department of education has taken up the initiative to educate American students about Sikhism. The new curriculum for fifth and sixth graders was formally announced on Friday, the report said. An estimated 5,00,000 Sikhs live in the US.

INDIAN TECHIE’S KILLER WAS FIRST ARRESTED AT 15 The man who killed 25-year-old Indian student Sharath Koppu in Kansas City had an extensive criminal background and was just 15 when he was first arrested, according to reports. Marlin James Mack, 25, who was shot dead last week after shooting three police officers, was first arrested in Tulsa, Oklahoma, when he was 15 for breaking into cars and two years later he was held again for bringing a gun to school, reports said. At 17, he was jailed for five years for robbing a woman. Police noticed him only when he became the lead suspect in the killing of Koppu, who hailed from Telangana. Koppu, a University of Missouri-Kansas City student, was fatally shot on July 6 in the back during a suspected attempted robbery at a restaurant where he worked in Missouri.

INDIAN TRAINEE PILOT KILLED IN FLORIDA A 19-year-old trainee pilot from India was among three people killed when two small training aircraft from a flight school collided mid-air in US’ Florida, authorities said. The small planes likely piloted by trainers smashed into each other over the Florida Everglades near Miami, the Federal Aviation Administration said. The two aircraft belonged to Dean International, a Miami flight school that has a history of over two dozen incidents and accidents from 2007 till 2017. Police confirmed at least three deaths and are investigating whether a fourth person was killed. Police identified the three victims as Nisha Sejwal from India and Jorge Sanchez, 22 and Ralph Knight, 72. Sejwal had enrolled in flight school in September 2017, according to her Facebook page.

ADDITIONAL JAIL TERM FOR FORMER S KOREAN PRESIDENT A South Korean court sentenced former president Park Geun-hye to eight more years in prison after finding her guilty on charges of causing loss of government funds and interfering in a 2016 parliamentary election. Park has already been sentenced to 24 years in jail after she was found guilty by a lower court in April of separate charges including bribery, abuse of power and coercion. All sentences must be served consecutively, a court spokeswoman said. Park became South Korea's first democratically elected leader to be forced from office last year when the Constitutional Court ordered her out over a scandal that exposed a web of corruption between political leaders and the country's powerful conglomerates, or chaebol. Park, 66, has denied wrongdoing and was not present in court. It was immediately unclear whether Park would appeal.

US jails 21 PIOs for India call centre scam WASHINGTON: Twenty-one Indian-origin persons have been sentenced up to 20 years for their role in a massive Indiabased call centre scam which defrauded thousands of US residents of hundreds of millions of dollars, the Justice Department said. The sentences which range from 4 years to 20 years were announced earlier this week, the department said in a statement. "The stiff sentences imposed this week represent the culmination of the first-ever large scale, multi-jurisdiction prosecution targeting the India call centre scam industry," said Attorney General Jeff Sessions. "This case represents one of the most significant victories to date in our continuing efforts to combat elder fraud and the victimization of the most vulnerable members of the US public. The transnational criminal ring of fraudsters and money launderers who conspired to milk older Americans, legal immigrants and many others out of their life savings, must recognize that all resources will be

deployed to shut down these telefraud schemes, put those responsible in jail and bring a measure of justice to the victims," justice department said. According to various admissions made in connection with the defendants' guilty pleas, between 2012 and 2016, the defendants and their conspirators perpetrated a complex fraud and money laundering scheme in which individuals from call centres located in Ahmedabad frequently impersonated officials from the federal tax agency, Internal Revenue Service (IRS)

or US Citizenship and Immigration Services in a ruse designed to defraud victims located throughout the US. Using information obtained from data brokers and other sources, the accused targeted the US victims who were threatened with arrest, imprisonment, fines or deportation if they did not pay alleged monies owed to the government. Victims who agreed to pay the scammers were instructed how to provide payment, including by purchasing stored value cards or wiring money. Upon payment, the call

centres would immediately turn to a network of "runners" based in the US to liquidate and launder the fraudulently obtained funds. For their services, the runners would earn a specific fee or a percentage of the funds. Runners also received victims' funds via wire transfers, which were retrieved under fake names and through the use of using false identification documents, direct bank deposits by victims or other gift cards that victims purchased. Three other conspirators were sentenced earlier this year for laundering proceeds for the conspiracy. Twenty-two of the accused were held jointly and severally liable for restitution of $8,970,396 payable to identified victims of their crimes. Additionally, the court entered individual preliminary orders of forfeiture against the defendants for assets that were seized in the case, and money judgments totalling over $72,942,300.

Indian-Americans donate less than their potential WASHINGTON: IndianAmericans, who are among the ethnic groups with highest per capita income, donate about $1 billion/year, far less than their potential of $3 billion philanthropy in the US, revealed a survey. The survey, which assessed the giving habits of Indian-Americans, concluded the community donates in the range of 1.5% of their income/year, compared to the average American donation rate of 4%. With a strong 4.1 million members, Indian-Americans have one of the highest median household incomes of any ethnic community in the US, and it is recognized as being well educated and socially aware. Released during the Indiaspora Philanthropy Summit at

Georgetown University in Washington, the IndiasporaDalberg Community Engagement Survey found that Indian-Americans volunteer at nearly double the national average but give substantially less financially, ultimately leaving a significant social impact on the table. The survey also found credible evidence buttressing the pervasive notion that Indian diaspora donors often lack trust

in the philanthropic organizations. The survey found IndianAmericans are passionate about social impact, have a diversity of interests, are careful screeners, and prolific volunteers. An IndianAmerican donor typically volunteers 220 hours each year, far exceeding the US national average of 130hours annually. "However, the community must not get complacent as the Indian diaspora has a long way to go before we can call ourselves good givers," it noted. Men, women have different order of importance The survey also found that women and men do not always rank the same causes in the

26/11 convict Headley in ICU NEW DELHI: David Coleman Headley, the Pakistani-American terrorist jailed in the US over his role in the 26/11 Mumbai terror strike, is fighting for his life after being attacked in prison, say media reports that US authorities have refused to confirm. Headley is said to be in the ICU after being attacked by other prisoners at a detention centre, allegedly on July 8. The Pakistaniorigin US national, an operative of the terror outfit Lashkar-e-Taiba, was sentenced to 35 years in prison by a US court for the 2008 attack in Mumbai in which more than 160 people were killed. "We are not able to l o c a t e information about this individual," the Metropolitan Correctional Center in Chicago said in a brief email response. Reports said he had suffered

same order of importance. For example, 59% of women listed gender equality as an area they are passionate about (tied with education as their top passion area) whereas only 26% of men said the same (only 6th on their list of passion areas). Giving potential of IndianAmericans Over $3 billion dollars annually, the giving potential of Indian-Americans is enormous said Joe Dougherty, Dalberg Advisors' regional director for the Americas. To put it into context, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation distributes $4-5 billion across the entire globe every year. "Imagine the kind of impact the diaspora could create if they met their giving potential," Dougherty said.



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serious injuries and was rushed to North Evanston hospital, where he was admitted to the critical care unit. Headley - who recced various Indian cities before the 26/11 attacks - was arrested in 2009.







28 July - 3 August 2018

in brief


Thousands want Raila Odinga named for Nobel Peace Prize NAIROBI: Thousands of social media users are lobbying to have Kenyan opposition leader Raila Odinga nominated for the coveted Nobel Peace prize. A link- - has been sent to several users in networks across the globe to nominate the ODM leader. Those behind the campaign say Raila deserves the award for his peace initiatives in South Sudan and Kenya. They say Raila has upheld the rule of law and defended human rights. Each year, members of academies, professors, scientists and previous winners submit candidates for the prize. Adan Ali, one of the proponents of the UK-based, heaped praise on Raila, saying he deserved the award. He said Raila had changed the lives of millions of Kenyans by sacrificing his freedom in exchange for transformation from totalitarianism. Ali said Kenya transformed from dictatorship to a multi-party democracy because of Raila's efforts. "Kenyans could still be in the dark if he had not made the sacrifices. Raila has also brokered peace, not only in Kenya but the African continent as a whole," he posted on the web. Supporters of Raila have posted the link on several social media platforms in Parliament and county assemblies. University students are also sharing the links. Till Monday, at least 1,737 people had signed the petition against a target of 2,500. The website has 1.5 million followers on

Facebook. Nobel prize winners from Africa Following Aficans have been awarded the Nobel Peace Prize: 1960 - South Africa's Albert Lutuli, President of the African National Congress. He won the prize at a time when he was being persecuted by the Apartheid South African State. 1978 - Egyptian President Anwar al-Sadat (assassinated in1981) shared it with Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin for their efforts to bring about peace between their countries. 1984 - South Africa's Desmond Tutu, received the award not only as a gesture of support to him and to the South African Council of Churches of which he was a leader, but also to all individuals and groups in South Africa who, with their concern for human dignity, fraternity and democracy, incite the admiration of the world. 1993 - South Africa's anti-apartheid leader Nelson Mandela, who became the country's first democratically-elected president, and apartheid President FW de Klerk. They were awarded for their work for the peaceful termination of the apartheid regime, and for laying the foundations for a new democratic South Africa. 2001 - Ghana's Kofi Annan, UN secretary general, shared with the United Nations; For their work for a better organised and more peaceful world. 2004 - Kenya's Wangari Maathai, environmentalist and

founder of the Green Belt Movement. Maathai was Africa's first female peace laureate and she was recognised for her contribution to sustainable development, democracy and peace. 2005 - Egypt's Mohamed ElBaradei, head of the UN's nuclear watchdog, shared with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA); awarded for their efforts to prevent nuclear energy from being used for military purposes and to ensure that nuclear energy for peaceful purposes is used in the safest possible way. 2011 - Liberia's President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf and peace activist Leymah Gbowee, shared with Tawakkol Karman from Yemen: For their non-violent struggle for the safety of women and for women's rights to full participation in peace-building work. 2015 Tunisia's National Dialogue Quartet, a group of four organisations: the Tunisian General Labour Union, the Tunisian Confederation of Industry, Trade and Handicrafts, the Tunisian Human Rights League, and the Tunisian Order of Lawyers: For its decisive contribution to the building of a pluralistic democracy in Tunisia in the wake of the Jasmine Revolution of 2011.


China edging out India from Lanka with money power COLOMBO: Chinese President Xi Jinping has offered Sri Lanka a fresh grant of 2 billion yuan ($295 million), as Beijing tries to expand its influence in the tiny island country off India’s southern tip. President Maithripala Sirisena of Sri Lanka, a partner in Beijing’s multi-country Belt and Road infrastructure push, made the announcement at a ceremony to mark the start of construction of a Chinesefunded kidney hospital in his constituency of Polonnaruwa. “When the Chinese ambassador visited my house to fix the date for this ceremony, he said that Chinese President Xi Jinping sent me another gift,” Sirisena said. “He has gifted 2 billion yuan to

be utilized for any project of my wish. I’m going to hand over a proposal to the Chinese ambassador to build houses in all the elec-

torates in the country,” he added. The grant offer comes at a time when a Chinese firm is facing heavy criticism for allegedly financing the last election campaign of former President Mahinda Rajapaksa. Sirisena had at the start of his term suspended most of the Chinese-backed infrastructure projects over suspected graft, overpricing and for flouting government procedures. But over a year later, the Sirisena government allowed Chinese projects to resume after a few changes in some of them. Many of Beijing’s projects have faced opposition in Sri Lanka amid concerns raised by the US, India and Japan that China might use Sri Lanka as a military base.


Nepal, China military drill to be held in September KATHMANDU: Nepal and China will hold their second joint military exercise in China's Sichuan province from September 17, the Nepali Army said. Nepali Army personnel and a squad of the Chinese People's Liberation Army (PLA) will take part in the 10-day "Sagarmatha Friendship-2" exercise in Chengdu, the Kathmandu Post reported. The first joint exercise was conducted at the Army's Para Training School in Nepal's Maharajgunj area in April 2017. The platoon level training will be led by captains from both sides. The Nepali Army, which has long been holding joint military exercises with India and the US, has collaborated with the Chinese PLA, extending its military diplomacy. The national defence force said the drill is part of its regular bilateral and

multilateral military exercises aimed at sharing experiences, skills and professional knowledge, a practice common with nations that have diplomatic ties with Nepal, the report said. The joint exercise, according to the Nepal Army, is aimed at fighting terrorism and might also focus on disaster management. Army Spokesman Brig. Gen. Gokul Bhandari said the exercise will be

conducted on a rotational basis. The participating platoon is likely to have around 15 personnel from each side. Nepal has been conducting battalion level exercises called Surya Kiran with the Indian Army for the last 13 years engaging some 300 personnel from both sides. The defence forces from Nepal and China have increased their engagement of late. On February 19, Maj. Gen. Zhao Jinsong of the western command of the PLA was in Nepal on a three-day visit. That was followed by a visit by former Chinese Defence Minister and State Councillor Chang Wanquan in the third week of March. The decision to hold the first ever joint military exercise was taken by then Defence Minister Bal Krishna Khand and Chang during the visit.

IRAN OFFERS VISA ON ARRIVAL TO INDIAN CITIZENS Indian travellers can obtain visas on arrival in all 12 international airports in Iran, reads a letter sent from the Civil Aviation Organization to airport directors and airline companies. The measure was finalised during President Hassan Rouhani's visit to India back in February. Nationals of all countries, except for those from Colombia, Somalia, USA, UK, Canada, Bangladesh, Jordan, Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan, holding valid ordinary passports and wishing to visit Iran's mainland, can obtain a 30-day visa upon arrival in international airports. Iran's international airports include Tehran's Imam Khomeini International Airport and airports located in cities of Mashhad, Shiraz, Isfahan, Tabriz, Ahvaz, Kish, Qeshm, Kerman, Uremia, Bandar Abbas and Bushehr.

MAN OPENS FIRE INTO TORONTO CAFES, KILLS TWO A man walked along a Toronto street firing a handgun into restaurants and cafes, shooting 14 people and killing two before dying after an exchange of gunfire with police. Police Chief Mark Saunders did not rule out terrorism as a motive, though officials did not immediately identify the attacker, other than to say he was 29 years old. Sunday night's mass shooting, just three months after the driver of a van ploughed into pedestrians on a Toronto sidewalk, killing 10 people, shook the confidence of many in this normally safe city.

LAOS DAM COLLAPSE: HUNDREDS MISSING Hundreds of people are missing and an unknown number dead after a dam under construction collapsed in south-east Laos, state media reported. The collapse at the hydroelectric dam in Attapeu province on Monday sent flash floods through six villages, Lao News Agency said. More than 6,600 people have been made homeless, it added. Pictures showed villagers stranded on the roofs of submerged house and boats carrying people to safety. "The disaster has claimed several human lives and left hundreds missing," the agency reported. Construction of the dam began in 2013 and it was due to begin commercial operations next year.

NO TIME LIMIT SET ON N KOREA'S DE-NUCLEARISATION United States President Donald Trump has said that there is no time limit set for North Korea to get rid of its nuclear weapons program. According to Yonhap, Trump's remarks come a month after his summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un in Singapore. During the summit, Kim Jongun vowed to work towards a "complete denuclearization" of the Korean Peninsula in return for security guarantees from the US. "We have no time limit. We have no speed limit. We're just going through the process," Yonhap quoted Trump, as saying during a Congress meeting at the White House. The US president also accused the past administration of engaging North Korea in endless negotiations, something which eventually went on to defeat the purpose.





28 July - 3 August 2018

in brief PAK IDENTIFIES MAN IT SAYS KILLED 149 AT ELECTION RALLY Pakistani police say investigators have identified the suicide bomber who attacked an election rally in the country's southwest last week, killing 149 people, including a candidate participating in the July 25 elections. Senior police officer Aitzaz Ahmad Goraya said that alleged attacker Hafeez Nawaz and his family lived in the southern Sindh province. The breakthrough in the investigation comes days after Nawaz in a horrific July 13 attack allegedly killed Siraj Raisani and 148 others in Mastun, a town in Baluchistan province. The Islamic State group claimed responsibility for the attack. Goraya said Nawaz and his brother were members of IS-linked Lashkar-e-Jhangvi, a Sunni extremist group that has killed thousands of minority Shiites and security forces in bomb and gun attacks since 1980s.

PAK ELECTION CANDIDATE KILLED IN SUICIDE ATTACK A suicide bomber has killed a candidate in Pakistan's general election in the northwestern town of Dera Ismail Khan, the latest in a series of deadly attacks targeting the polling process. Ikramullah Gandapur was killed after his convoy was attacked in the town's Kulachi area on Sunday, police said. Gandapur's party, the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf, condemned the attack, but campaigning continued ahead of Wednesday's polls. "Saddened to learn that Ikram Gandapur succumbed to his injuries," tweeted party chief Imran Khan. "My prayers go to his family. May Allah give them the strength to bear this loss." Dera Ismail Khan, located adjacent to the South Waziristan district, which was once a stronghold of the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), has seen several such attacks in recent years.

PAK MILITARY CALLS FOR PROBE AGAINST ALLEGATIONS Pakistan’s top court said it had begun reviewing statements made by a judge alleging the country’s spy agencies were influencing judicial proceedings, as the military called for an investigation. Pakistan’s general election on Wednesday has been hit by accusations of pre-poll rigging with ousted PM Nawaz Sharif’s Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) party accusing the military of influencing the judiciary. Islamabad high court judge Shaukat Aziz Siddiqui accused the Inter Services Intelligence (ISI), of interfering in legal cases. He also alleged that the agency had told the court not to release ousted Sharif and his daughter Maryam until after the elections.

‘14 INJURED’ IN KNIFE ATTACK IN GERMANY A man armed with a knife attacked people on a bus in the northern city of Luebeck, injuring several including one seriously before he was arrested, police and the local state prosecutor said. The local Luebecker Nachrichten, said the attacker was a 34year-old man originally from Iran who now had German nationality and had lived in Luebeck for years. The interior minister of Schleswig-Holstein, the state where Luebeck is located, did not assume there was a terrorist motive. “The exact number of injured is still unclear. There were casualties,” the police said. The local Luebecker Nachrichten reported at least 14 people were wounded, two seriously.


Pak minorities face daunting challenge ISLAMABAD: As Pakistan heads into parliamentary elections this week, the country's minorities are looking for better representation and a voice that will speak up for them in what rights groups warn is in an increasingly intolerant atmosphere in this Muslimmajority nation. It's an uphill struggle for Pakistani Christians, Sikhs, Hindus, Ahmadis and others. Minority religions make up just 4 per cent of Pakistan's 200 million people; Shiites account for about 15 to 20 per cent of the Muslim population. The country's complicated electoral system allots minorities and women a small number of "reserved" seats, based on their parties' gains at the polls. But for the rest of the seats both in the 342-seat National Assembly, the law-making lower house of parliament, and the four provincial legislatures - member of minority groups are increasingly choosing to run as independent candidates, without affiliation to any political party. The minorities' major concern ahead of Wednesday's vote has been the plethora of radical religious and sectarian groups that have resurrected themselves under new names and fielded candidates for the polls including Sunni extremists who promise to rid Pakistan of Shiite Muslims. Other radical parties

have campaigned on promises to enforce Pakistan's controversial law on blasphemy, which carries the death penalty and which has allowed for the prosecution of anyone deemed to offend Islam. Frenzied mobs have killed at the mere suggestion that an act of blasphemy was committed. Pakistan "is becoming more and more intolerant of minority rights," said rights activist I.A. Rehman, a founding member of the independent Human Rights Commission of Pakistan. The Sikhs Radesh Singh is one of about 200,000 Sikhs living in Pakistan, mostly in the conservative Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province along the border with

Hindu population in Bangladesh increasing: Sushma NEW DELHI: India's External Affairs minister Sushma Swaraj said that the population of Hindus in Bangladesh is increasing, contrary to popular perception. Quoting official records of that country, she said that the Hindu population has risen by two per cent in 2017. Responding to questions in the Rajya Sabha, the minister also said the government has from time to time raised the issue of the plight of minorities in Pakistan, Bangladesh and other countries at the bilateral level and made efforts to take them to a logical conclusion. She urged members to pass the Citizenship Act amendment bill, pending in the Upper House, to help resolve issues pertaining to atrocities and attacks on minorities, including those in Pakistan. "About the demographic changes in Bangladesh, as per statistics of the Bangladesh Bureau, in 2011 there were 8.4 per cent Hindus in the country, which has risen to 10.7 per cent in 2017. A perception that Hindus are migrating from Bangladesh and that their population is falling has been formed," she told the House. Sushma told members that as far as the treatment of minorities in Bangladesh is concerned, it is true that there have been incidents of attacks on minorities but Bangladesh government has taken stern action. She said there have been reports of violence and harassment against members of minority communities in neighbouring countries such as Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan, which include killings, persecution, intimidation, abduction, forced conversions, desecrations and vandalisation of places of worship and attacks on business establishments. "These incidents are a matter of concern to the Government. Concerns in the matter are regularly conveyed to the respective countries at the bilateral level," she said.

Afghanistan. The Sikhs are easily identifiable because of their colourful turbans, and because they share the surname Singh. Singh said attacks by the Taliban and lately also by Islamic State group have forced thousands to leave the province, including his son. The radicals, Singh says, are killing both fellow Muslims and members of minority groups. He is campaigning as an independent candidate in Peshawar, the provincial capital, and refuses to leave. On a street lined with small shops in his neighborhood, he stops at each store, run by his Muslim neighbours, and is greeted with a smile. An elderly neighbour, Allah Mir, gave Singh a gentle hug,

shook his hand and promised him his vote. "I don't care about his religion," Mir said. "I care only that he is a good man." The Hindus Hindus make up Pakistan's second-largest minority, with more than 2 million, living mainly in southern Sindh province where they are among the poorest. Many live as indentured slaves on the estates of some of Pakistan's largest landowners, working on the farms. The Hindus also suffer widespread discrimination because of the decades-old rivalry between Pakistan and India. Whenever relations between the two countries deteriorate, the treatment of Pakistani Hindus gets worse. Rights activist also routinely raise concerns about forced conversions of Hindu girls to Islam. The Shiites and the Ahamadis have also suffered enormous losses with hundreds slaughtered at the hands of radical Sunni Muslims who considered Shiites heretics and believe it is their religious duty to kill them. Since Pakistan declared Ahmadis nonMuslims in 1974, their numbers are difficult to gauge; they are believed to number several hundred thousand. Hundreds have been killed by zealots and their places of worship have been targeted; thousands more have fled Pakistan.




28 July - 3 August 2018

in brief


Kerala author pulls back novel after ‘threat’ THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Writers and leaders of political parties rallied behind noted Malayalam author S Hareesh, who has withdrawn his novel being serialised, after alleged threats from right-wing groups. The author said a cyber-attack was launched against him and his family over allegations that his book portrayed women visiting temples in a poor light. A group of eminent Malayalam writers, including M Mukundan, K Satchidanandan, Anita Nair, Unni R and KR Meera have expressed anguish over the development and called it a threat to freedom of expression. Veteran CPI (M) leader VS Achuthanandan asked Hareesh to reconsider his decision to pull back the novel 'Meesha' (Moustache) and surrender to the “threat of the Sangh Parivar”. He said, “The writer and

Malayalam author S Hareesh

the publishers 'Mathrubhumi' (weekly) should be ready to go ahead with the novel,”

he said in a statement. He also urged people to come forward in protecting the right and freedom of writers. CPI(M) politburo member MA Baby said it was a “disgrace” for Kerala to withdraw the novel of S Hareesh who was a noted writer in the new generation. “It is an attempt by RSS and Sangh Parivar to threaten free thought in Kerala,” he said. Congress leader Ramesh Chennithala called the development a shame for Kerala. He also said it was an act of intolerance to attack the writer by citing certain dialogues by a character in the novel. A group of writers meanwhile, held a protest in front of the venue of the ongoing international documentary film festival in Thiruvananthpuram, giving support to Hareesh.


Chandigarh woman alleges gang-rape by 40 men CHANDIGARH: A woman in her early 20s has alleged sexual assault by at least 40 men for four days in Haryana's Morni Hill. Two people have been arrested in the case, while identification and search for others involved in the incident is under way. The victim has filed a complaint in the Manimajra police station, Chandigarh, in which she alleged that she was kept captive at a guest house and raped by at least 40 men in turns. She has also accused two cops from Dera Bassi of being involved in the crime. Authorities said the initial investigation revealed that one of the two arrested had taken the woman to the location on pretext of giving her a job. She managed to escape last week, recounted her ordeal to her family and then approached the police. The woman and her husband later decided that they want the case transferred to Chandigarh police. “We want the case to be transferred to

Chandigarh Police. Earlier, when we approached the Panchkula police, they refused to take up the matter and sent us to the Manimajra police station. They immediately took up the matter and registered the case and made arrests. Chandigarh Police should probe the case as we are not satisfied

with Panchkula police's investigations,” her husband said. He added that he would meet the UT director general of police in this regard. Meanwhile, the police have arrested guest house owner Sunny and manager Avtar Singh, along with seven others accused. Panchkula deputy commissioner of police (DCP) Rajendar Kumar Meena said Sahab Singh, 45, who was Sunny's driver and used to pick up and drop girls called by the owner, has been arrested too. Sources said he had dropped the victim near Mattanwala village in Chandimandir. “Sunny was running a flesh trade racket. Many other girls had also been called there on several occasions. We are probing it,” an official said. Six Ambala men arrested have been identified as Sukhwinder Singh, Karan Sharma, Manjeet Singh, Vikash alias Vicky, Shadi Ram, and Ajay Kumar. Currently, a special investigation team (SIT) headed by Panchkula assistant superintendent of police (ASP) Anshu Singla is probing the case.


Five Cong MLAs, former BJP MP join TMC KOLKATA: West Bengal Congress suffered a major setback with five of its MLAs joining Trinamool Congress at the ruling party annual Martrys Day rally in Kolkata. Former Rajya Sabha member of the BJP, Chandan Mitra, also joined TMC at the rally in presence of Mamata Banerjee. The Congress MLAs who switched sides are Sabina Yasmin, Apurba Sarkar, Akrurzaman, Samar Mukherjee and Moinul Hasan. They are legislators from Malda and Murshidabad district. Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, while addressing the rally said that the party would ensure that the BJP government does not return to power in 2019. Mamata said that a federal front of regional parties would ensure that BJP is defeated. Referring to the 325 votes polled in favour of BJP-led government at the no confidence motion last week, she said that the figure would come down to 100 or 150 in the next Lok Sabha polls. TMC will win all 42 LS seats: Mamata She said that TMC would win all the 42 Lok Sabha seats in the state in the next general elections. She said the BJP's strength would drastically reduced in the next LS polls. "We will win all the 42 Lok

TAMIL SERIAL ACTOR PRIYANKA COMMITS SUICIDE Popular silver screen actor Priyanka was found dead at her Valasaravakkam residence by her domestic help last week. It is reported that she killed herself due to alleged marital issues. The actress' body has been sent for autopsy. Police have registered a case and are currently investigating. Priyanka starred in tele serials like 'Apoorva Ragangal', 'Bairavi', and was most known for her role as sister of the protagonist in TV serial 'Vamsam'.

HC ORDER AWARDING EXTRA MARKS STAYED The Supreme Court has stayed a Madras High Court directive to the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) to grant grace marks to students suffering from the erroneous Tamil translation of 49 questions in the National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (NEET) for undergraduate medical admissions. An SC bench also observed that grant of 196 grace marks, four marks for each of the 49 wrongly translated questions would cause damage to meritorious students across the country, and affect the all-India rank list. They scheduled the case for a detailed hearing while asking the CBSE and other parties to come up with a solution so there would be no recurrence of similar situation in the future.

AMARINDER WANTS CHANDIGARH TO BE CAPITAL OF PUNJAB Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh has written to Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh, asking him to resolve the pending territorial dispute between Punjab and Haryana. In his letter, he has asked Rajnath Singh to restore Chandigarh to Punjab, being its “legitimate original capital”. Singh also sought cadre protection for Punjab in Chandigarh and the Home Ministry's intervention to ensure that the fine balance in sharing of resources and officials in the Union Territory between Punjab and Haryana is not allowed to be disturbed. The CM also asserted that Chandigarh was an integral part of Punjab. “During his period a fine balance in sharing officers/officials and other resources of Union Territory, Chandigarh between Haryana and Punjab has been achieved with an advantage of hard earned peace in Punjab,” he wrote.


Chandan Mitra

Sabha seats in the state. It is our pledge. We will oust the BJP to save the country. We will organise a big rally here in January and invite all the (opposition) leaders," she said at the rally. The party presently has 34 Lok Sabha seats from West Bengal. Mamata, who mooted the idea of a federal front to defeat the BJP, said, "We don't bother about the chair. We only bother about the people and the country." Taking a dig at the saffron party for the collapse of a makeshift tent at PM

Narendra Modi's rally at Midnapore, she said, "They cannot build a pandal. How can they build the country?" The CM said the number of BJP's Lok Sabha seats would significantly come down in states like Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Gujarat, Bihar, Odisha, West Bengal and Tamil Nadu. "During the no-confidence vote in the Lok Sabha, they (NDA) got 325 votes, but in the 2019 Lok Sabha election, their strength will come down to barely 100 seats," she said.

The Bharatiya Janata Party has formed a five-member committee to probe the collapse of a tent during Prime Minister Narendra Modi's rally in Midnapore. The action was taken following a directive from party president Amit Shah. Shah has sought a report from the state BJP regarding the accident. The decorators and organisers of the tent have also been taken to task. The Centre has sent security secretary to inspect the incident. A high-level special protection group (SPG) team has also been engaged to probe the matter. As many as 90 people were injured after a portion of a makeshift tent collapsed while PM Modi was addressing a public gathering.



28 July - 3 August 2018





28 July - 3 August 2018

Modi wins trust and a hug It was smooth sailing for Prime Minister Narendra Modi's NDA as it won the support of 325 members of the Lok Sabha during the no-confidence motion. One hundred and twenty six MPs out of the total 451, however, backed the motion appealed by the Opposition. While members of the Shiv Sena, BJD and TRS were not present in the House when the voting took place, several AIADMK members opposed the motion in a major boost to the NDA. Replying to a 12 hour debate on the motion, Modi stole the show with a trademark speech as he appealed to all parties to defeat it and accused Congress president Rahul Gandhi of “crushing” the truth and “playing with national security” by making allegations against him on the Doklam issue and by speaking of graft in the Rafale aircraft deal. Just hours after Gandhi left everyone in shock by walking across to the PM's chair to hug him, Modi took a dig at him saying he appeared to be in a hurry to occupy his seat. “What is his hurry to come to power? Let me tell this member, it is the people who elected us. That is how we have come here,” he said. The PM said his fate was in the hands of 125 crore people,

HERITAGE HISTORY Due to space constraint, Heritage History page will not appear this week


Congress President Rahul Gandhi hugs Prime Minister Narendra Modi after his speech in the Lok Sabha on 'no-confidence motion' during the Monsoon Session of Parliament in New Delhi.

adding that he prayed to Lord Shiva who was invoked by Gandhi in his speech, and the countrymen, that the Congress leader bring a similar no-confidence motion in 2024. Modi cited several development and welfare initiatives while hitting out at the Opposition. He said the country has seen how much negativity has seeped into his rivals that they were speaking against the progress made by

the country. The parties, he said, which could not even stand each other have got together to remove him. But he had the people's blessings, Modi said as he recited verses and shlokas to describe the opposition as a decrepit ship without a captain. He said this was not his government's floor test but a “force test” that the Congress has done to see which parties have sided

with it. Modi stated, without naming Gandhi, that due to his “careless” allegation on the Rafale deal, both India and France had to release statements. He has asserted complete transparency in the deal. Referring to Gandhi's meeting with Chinese diplomats during the standoff, he said, “What have we come to? Everything does not merit a childish conduct.”

Surat is the most linguistically diverse city in Gujarat, with its residents speaking as many as 54 of India’s 124 languages. Almost half the residents of Surat city declared that their mother tongue was a language other than Gujarati. Surat boasts of having speakers of the highest number of Indian languages - 57. The population in Surat city is so diverse that Gujarati is the mother tongue of just 54.80% of its population. The census data revealed that 90 different Indian languages are spoken in Gujarat, including all of India’s 22 scheduled languages. The second most diverse population is in the border district of Kutch, with its residents speaking 53 different Indian languages. The tribal district of Dang on the western slope of Sahiyadris has the smallest proportion of native Gujarati speakers, just 32.50%. The majority of Dang residents speak Dangli, a dialect of the Khandeshi language.

Pakistanis will decide their future on Wednesday Widely known for its divisive political history, Pakistan is all set for its 11th General Elections since 1970, to be held on July 25. In only the second civilian transfer of power in 71- year history of the sixth-largest country of world, the polls will largely be a race between two main players. Former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif's Pakistan Muslim League (PML-N) and cricketer-turnedpolitician Imran Khan's Pakistan Tehreek-eInsaf (PTI) will face off in what seems to be a choice between the plague and cholera. Data released by the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) pegs the voter count at 105.9 million. The country's powerful military has ruled it for almost half its existence. While the military no longer is in power, it has picked favourites among politicians to head the country. In the last general elections which were held on May 11, 2013, PML-N won the public mandate with an overwhelming majority, and Sharif was elected PM. Pakistan has four provinces- Sindh, Balochistan, Punjab, and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. Over 105 million voters can cast their ballots for two seats in each constituency. One for the National Assembly and one for their Provincial Assembly. There are 272 directly elected and 70 reserved National Assembly seats up for grabs across the country. A party will need at least 137 of the directly elected seats to be able to form the government on its own. PARTIES IN THE FRAY

Pakistan Muslim League (Nawaz) Once the most popular party in Pakistan, the PML-N is led by thrice-elected former prime minister Nawaz Sharif's family. Opinion polls conducted by Gallup Pakistan and Pulse Consultant in October last year said the party and Nawaz were the most popular amid voters in the country. However, a lot has changed since October 2017. The party's luck now lies in the hands of Nawaz's brother Shehbaz Sharif as the Supreme Court has disqualified Sharif Sr from holding

a public office in April this year. Part of the original Muslim League, the PML-N remains the largest surviving faction. PML-N finds support from the politically important Punjab province, and with Shehbaz – Imran a former chief minkhan ister of the state – at the helm, it enjoys a firm grasp on Punjab politics. However, the party is expected to face stiff competition from cricketer-turned-politician Imran Khan's Pakistan Tehrik-e-Insaf (PTI). Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf Expected to be the most important player in these elections alongside PML-N, PTI was launched in 1996 by the widely popular former cricketer. Today, it has come to the fore with a promise of change and reversing the status-quo in politics. It surfaced as a challenger to both PML-N and PPP at a time when Pakistan's troubled democracy followed a bi-partisan system. The party failed to open its account in 1997 elections, was limited to just one seat won by Imran in 2002, and it boycotted the 2008 elections arguing that an elected parliament has little meaning under a president in military fatigue. The party hopes to garner support mainly on the anti-corruption plank, and on the promise to invest in education and healthcare. Imran promises to call in a “naya Pakistan” as he talks about equal rights for religious and ethnic minorities. Khan's PTI is a three way, centrist party, mainly because it opposes the liberal and left of PPP, and is slightly more religious and conservative than PML-N. On India, Imran's stand has changed over time. As a cricketer, philanthropist and

an early politician, he advocated engaging the moderate voices in two countries. However, recently he said that engagement with India was not possible under Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Pakistan People's Party Dominated by the influential Bhutto family, PPP is identified as a leftliberal party that rose to power in the 19709s through its vehement opposition to military rule. Its clout however fell significantly after the ouster of the then prime minister Yousuf Raza Gillani in 2012 following corruption allegations. The party wields influence in Pakistan's Sindh province. It won the provincial elections in 2013, and also became the main Opposition party by winning 31 seats. PPP is currently commanded by Benazir Bhutto's widower and former Pakistan president Asif Ali Zardari. However, their son Bilawal Bhutto Zardari is being seen as the face of the party and its campaign. The 29 year old heir apparent is known for his tough stance on the Kashmir conflict, and Pakistan's relation with India. Milli Muslim League A new entrant this year, Milli Muslim League is the political front of blacklisted Islamic organisation Jamat-ud Dawa, the charitable front of militant organisation Lashkar-e-Taiba. Founded last year with the intention to make Pak “a truly Islamic and welfare state”, the party's vision is stated as to make Pak's ideology in line with what Muhammad Ali Jinnah envisioned it to be. The party's electoral ambitions hit a roadblock when the US declared it a Foreign Terrorist Organisation (FTO) in April this year.

Awami National Party Leftist, progressive party founded by Pashtun leader Abdul Wali Khan, son of freedom fighter Abdul Ghaffar Khan, Awami National Party has always been under attack by militants. The party came to power in 2008, but was ousted by Imran's PTI in 2013. Shaukat Warraich is the founder and Editor-in-Chief of Imams Online – a network of mostly British imams. The following is some of his comments on Pakistan election. 179 killed in violence At least 179 people have been killed in violence during campaigning in the country. This includes the recent attack in Mastung, which was the second deadliest terror attack in the country’s history where 149 people lost their lives. This abhorrent attack was also the worst by Daesh (aka ISIS) in Pakistan, suggesting the desperation of its dwindling supporters following the group’s collapse in Syria and Iraq. The attack was a cruel reminder that Muslims are the principal victims of terrorism, while also being on the frontline of fighting it. Pakistanis already know from bitter experience that they face a long and collective struggle to completely defeat those in their country pursing a selfish and violent agenda, often dressed as a distorted version of Islam. The election can be imperfect, yet still they are a truly vital opportunity for people to have a say in their future. As Pakistanis in their millions cast their votes, they defy the intentions of extremist groups like Daesh who seek to stamp out democracy and crush future hopes for the nation. I, along with many other British Pakistanis, will be watching this election, hopeful for our relatives’ freedom to vote and live peacefully. Tomorrow, millions of Pakistanis will go to the polls in the hope of a brighter tomorrow. Whatever the outcome, that’s the biggest rejection of extremism and violence there can be.





28 July - 3 August 2018

Met Office urges people to 'stay out of sun' as heatwave set to reach 34C n Amber heatwave alert issued n Hot weather set to continue till August

The Met Office has issued an amber heatwave alert and urged people to avoid the sun as Britain's heatwave shows no signs of abating and continuing into August. The country is now on a level three warning from the Met Office - one step below the most severe, at which point it is expected fit and healthy people will begin to experience health issues. Britain is braced for what could be the hottest day of the year this week with temperatures forecast to reach 35C as the scorching conditions creep even higher. This would beat this year's record of 33C reached at Porthmadog in North Wales on June 28. Britain's hottest ever day on record is 38.5 degrees recorded at Faversham, in Kent, in August 2003. London, Kent and East Anglia will feel the burn most severely, with a peak in temperature predicted for Wednesday and Thursday. The northwestern regions will feel fresher, with temperatures in the low to mid 20s. Scotland could experience highs of up to 25C, Wales could jump to 26C and Northern Ireland to 24C. Government agencies are urging people to stay safe in the sun. A sunburn warning was issued by Public Health England after 220 people were treated in hospital for overexposure over the past two months. It asked for “common sense” in the continuing heat, advising people to wear sun cream and clothing that covers the skin, and to limit the amount of time spent in the sun each day. In its official guidance, the Met Office said people should "stay out the sun" until Friday. Fire services across the country have told the public to keep mirrors and glass objects away from direct sunlight the items may reflect or magnify the sun’s rays on to flammable items

Commuters were seen fanning themselves on the crammed carriages as they made their way home from work in 91F heat

such as curtains, causing them to burst into flames.

How to stay cool

- Stay out of the sun: If you do need to go outdoors, try to avoid the sun between 11am and 3pm, and don’t forget the sunscreen and plenty of water! - Loose clothing: This isn't rocket science but wear loose cotton clothes in light colours. Cotton is lightweigh, breathable and

Temperatures across Europe and North Africa have soared as the heatwave refuses to release its stranglehold

- Keep an eye on elderly friends and neighbours: People with friends, relatives and neighbours who may be less able to look after themselves should check up on them to make sure they’re alright - Babies: less than six months old should be kept out of direct sunlight. Use a parasol or sunshade on their pram if you do have to go out. You should also

Beaches were bursting last Sunday, with a million visitors over the weekend in Cornwall, 375,000 at Brighton across Saturday and Sunday, 250,000 in Blackpool, 200,000 in Bournemouth (pictured) and 200,000 in Great Yarmouth

also absorbs sweat - synthetic fibres trap heat. Light colours too reflect the sun's radiation. - Keep your home as cool as possible: rather than throwing all your windows open during the heat, it’s often better to shade windows and shut them during the day. You can open them when it’s cooler at night and in the evening. - Keep drinking fluids: while it’s tempting to reach for your usual cup of tea, a nice cold beer or glass of wine, if things get really hot it’s advisable to stick to water and diluted fruit juice. Sugary, alcoholic and caffeinated drinks can make you more dehydrated.

make sure your child is wearing a hat big enough to protect their head and neck from the sun. - Older children: older children may get sick of too much water, so try a mixture of diluted fruit juice, ice cubes and homemade fruit juice lollies to

Being in a bad mood could make you more productive Feeling blue can actually help some people to focus, manage their time and better prioritize tasks, new research suggests. In fact, researchers found being in a good mood may hamper time-keeping and organizational skills. However, this was only true for extroverts - while introverts ground to a halt when they felt gloomy. The study, which was carried out by Tara McAuley, a psychology professor at the University of Waterloo, and Martyn S. Gabel, a PhD candidate; explored how 95 people cope with the demands and stresses daily, depending on their mood.

Researchers focused on emotional reactivity - the sensitivity, intensity and duration of our emotional responses associated with our mood. These things are the defining factors that influence our so-called 'effective functioning' (or, abilities to carry out tasks). Further research is needed to explain the relationship, but some studies suggest that high-reactive people are more accustomed to experiencing negative emotions.

help keep them hydrated. - Stop children overheating: Paddling pools, cool baths and minimal nightwear and bedclothes will all help keep your child from overheating. - Cooling yourself down: Carry around an ice pack or, if you don't have one, a frozen drink. It might not be practical - it'll drip as it melts - but it's guaranteed to instantly cool you down. You can also run your wrists under cold water that'll help to cool the blood. - Swimming: It can be very tempting to go for a swim in a local lake or river to cool down during a heatwave but please remember to beware of the dangers of drowning during what could seem like a casual dip. A particular risk factor can be cold water shock, which is one of the biggest causes of drowning – temperatures in seas, rivers, canals and lakes can be a low as 15C in summer, around half that of swimming pools. The LGA (Local Government Association) says people should only swim in water “that is clearly marked as safe and under the control of a lifeguard”.

Date: 28 July. Time: 11 AM Venue: Chartwell Private Hospital 1629 London Road, Leigh on Sea Essex SS92SQ Date: 29 July. Time: 10 AM Venue: 30-90 Colindeep Lane Hendon, London NW9 6HB

A member of The Queen's Guard looks sweltering as he takes part in the Changing the Guard ceremony at Buckingham Palace in London




28 July - 3 August 2018

Ranbir's 'Sanju' on a record breaking spree It looks like that Ranbir Kapoor's 'Sanju' is no mood to make space for the other releases. The film has already made its entry into the Rs 300 crore club. The biopic on Sanjay Dutt, which also stars Anushka Sharma, Paresh Rawal, Vicky Kaushal and Sonam Kapoor among others, has earned £31.66 million so far. The Rajkumar Hirani film has been dominating the box office ever since its release. According to one review, “Once you’ve made your peace with the Sanjay we get, and there was no way of getting

any other in a Hirani movie, you can sit down and enjoy the film. I had a blast all the way till the half-way mark. Ranbir is wholly believable as Sanjay-Sanju, channeling not just his (Dutt’s) distinctive body language and ‘lehja’, but his internal confusion. Paresh Rawal, playing Sunil Dutt matches Ranbir step for step, even striding ahead in places. Manisha Koirala, as Nargis, makes you wish there was more of her. Jim Sarbh, as the guywith-the-bad-influence, is very fine and dandy, and Vicky Kaushal as Sanju’s faithful New York-based Gujju friend who teaches him life lessons, is absolutely terrific.”

Shweta Bachchan makes her acting debut Amitabh Bachchan’s daughter Shweta Bachchan Nanda has finally made her acting debut. No, it’s not for a film or a show, in case you were wondering. The father-daughter duo have shared screen space in a Kalyan Jewellers commercial. The oneand-a-half-minute ad features Amitabh as an old man who has come to return a pension that was not written in his name. He is accompanied by his daughter, played by Shweta. In the video, Shweta looks lovely in a simple, traditional attire. The commercial showcases the sweet bond of a father and his daughter. While Shweta has previously appeared on shows such as 'Rendezvous' with Simi Garewal and 'Koffee with Karan,' she had never in all these years donned the greasepaint unlike her parents Amitabh and Jaya Bachchan, and her younger brother Abhishek Bachchan.

Akshay, Salman among world’s highest-paid entertainers Bollywood actors Akshay Kumar and Salman Khan are among the world’s 100 highest-paid entertainers, according to a Forbes list. Akshay is ranked 76th on the Forbes list of the World’s Highest Paid Celebrities 2018 while Salman is on the 82nd spot. Forbes said the world’s 100 top-earning entertainers pulled in a combined $ 6.3 billion pretax over the past 12 months, up 22 per cent from last year and 11 superstars crossed the USD 100 million threshold, more than double the number from the last two years combined. Akshay, 50, had earnings of 40.5 million dollars. Describing Akshay, Forbes said “one of Bollywood’s leading men has transitioned to sociallyconscious roles,” citing his films such as 'Toilet: Ek Prem Katha' that focussed on government campaigns to improve sanitation, and 'Padman' which revolves around a man hoping to provide inexpensive sanitary pads to rural communities. He also mints millions from profits and endorsing about 20 brands. Salman, 52, had earnings of $ 37.7 million. Forbes said he remains one of India’s top earners and the “Bollywood mainstay” continues to produce and star in hits such as 'Tiger Zinda Hai,' cashing in on backend profits.

PeeCee celebrates her b'day with Nick

Priyanka Chopra celebrated her 36th birthday in London with her rumoured beau Nick Jonas last week. They were both spotted leaving a restaurant. Priyanka also shared an Instagram story of a plate of desserts with “Happy Birthday” written on it. She captioned the photo, “And it starts!! Yay..” PeeCee was in London for few days for the celebration. Later Priyanka and Nick were seen enjoying a double date with his brother Joe Jonas and 'Game of Thrones' actor Sophie Turner. Priyanka hasn’t been shy about appearing in public with Nick, even leading to rumours of a wedding. The couple recently made a trip to India together where they met Priyanka’s family and attended a wedding. Nick seems to have enjoyed the visit, according to an interview PeeCee gave. "We’re getting to know each other and I think it was a great experience for him," said Priyanka.

Nawazuddin gets an Italian heroine

Bollywood star Nawazuddin Siddiqui will romance with an Italian actor in his forthcoming film which is being directed by Tannishtha Chatterjee. The 'Manjhi' star had everyone wondering after posting a picture with the Italian star Valentina Corti on social media. He also added an intriguing caption to the image, “Ye ladki mere Rome Rome me hai.” Later, film critic and trade analyst Taran Adarsh confirmed the news of the stars sharing screen space together. The actor-turned-director is best known for her performance in British film 'Brick Lane.' The drama was an adaptation of Monica Ali’s best-selling novel of the same name. On the other hand, Nawazuddin is currently working on a couple of projects such as 'Genius' and 'Manto.' Meanwhile, Nawazuddin recently landed in trouble for his Netflix drama series 'Sacred Games,' which also stars Saif Ali Khan and Radhika Apte. A complaint was filed against the actor for misrepresenting and maligning former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi’s name.





28 July - 3 August 2018

Thalapathy Vijay's 'Mersal' Sri Reddy now targets nominated for UK awards south actresses? 'Mersal,' Thalapathy Vijay's most-controversial film of 2017, has been nominated for two UK awards. The film became the career-best for Vijay, the hero of the film, who played a triple role in the action drama. The film has been nominated for National Film Award UK 2018, one of the prestigious annual awards given out by National Film Academy - which supports and encourages talents that make up motion picture industries. 'Mersal' has been nominated under two categories - Best Supporting Actor (for Vijay's performance), and Best Foreign Language Film. Vijay is competing against the likes of Keith Allen (Kingsman 'The Golden Circle') and Jordan Stephens ('Access All Areas'). On the other hand, 'Mersal' is on a race with international films like 'Happy End' (France) and 'Loveless' (Russia) for the title Best Foreign Language Film Award. The winners will be decided based on the audience's votes. The results will be announced on March 28. Directed by A t l e e , 'Mersal' also has Kajal Aggarwal, Samantha, SJ Suryah and Nithya Menen in the lead roles.

South actress, Sri Reddy is busy accusing and targeting the popular names from the South film industry in her casting couch controversy. While in the past, she has accused big stars like Abhiram Daggubati, AR Murugadoss, Kortala Siva, Nani, Raghava Lawrence and Srikanth, Sri recently accused that actor Vishal Reddy is threatening her after she revealed dark secrets about Tollywood and Kollywood. The actress has now accused some popular actresses down South. She took to her Facebook account to make some shocking allegations. Now if we read between the lines, Tris , nay, ka..l can be popular actresses like Trisha, Nayanthara, Kajal Aggarwal, Samantha Akkineni and others. But again, we aren’t linking these actresses and it’s only a mere assumption. There is a reason why she decided not to name them. Especially after the defamation suit filed against her by Sundar C.

Selena Gomez wishes to sing for AR Rahman The popular American singer Selena Gomez has expressed her desire to lend her voice to AR Rahman's music. Speaking to the media, the international artist said, "I have been following few musicians in India and I believe they are wonderful. I like A R Rahman's work. He is a global figure today. I would love to sing or be part of his compositions. I think it would be beautiful to sing for a Bollywood film." AR Rahman has collaborated with several international artists in the past including Iggy Azaela, KT Tunstall, Liz Phair, Wale, Dido and Kendrick Lamar. We will have to wait and see if our 'Isai Puyal' teams up with Selena for a song.

* Schedule is subject to change

MONDAY 30th July - FRIDAY 3rd August



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




19:30: 20:00: 21:00: 22:30: 23:30:


19:30: 20:00: 21:00: 22:30: 23:30:

SATURDAY 4th August




* Schedule is subject to change

MONDAY 30th July - FRIDAY 3rd August



* Schedule is subject to change

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

CID Dus Ka Dum Indian Idol Indian Idol Dus Ka Dum Crime Patrol

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

CID Dus Ka Dum Indian Idol Indian Idol Dus Ka Dum Crime Patrol

18:30 19:00 19:45 20:30 21:15 21:45 22:15

Yeh Pyaar Nahi Toh Kya Hai Mere Sai Vighnaharta Ganesh Porus Yeh Un Dinon Ki Baat Hai Dil Hi Toh Hai Crime Patrol




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


Wednesday August 01, 2018 00:40 Film : Jahan Tum Le Chalo 05:00 Film : Rokkk 07:10 Film : Atishbaz 09:46 Film : Indra- The Tiger 13:10 Film : Tehzeeb 16:20 Film : Mausam * Schedule is subject to change 19:46 Film : Delhi Belly 21:46 Film : EMI - Liya Hai To Chukana Padega Sunday July 29, 2018 Thursday August 02, 2018 23:25 Film : Akaash Vani 00:30 Film : Mumbai Ki Kiran Bedi 02:00 Film : Shor In The City 05:00 Film : The Perfect Girl 05:00 Film : Huff! It's Too Much 07:00 Film : Awaargi 07:00 Film : China Gate 10:00 Film : Familywala 10:27 Film : Josh 13:14 Film : Chala Mussaddi - Office Office 13:48 Film : Awarapan 15:23 Film : Blackmail 16:17 Film : Ghayal Once Again 18:03 Film : Star Stop 19:00 Film : Singh is Bling 19:00 Film : Jo Bole So Nihaal 21:53 Film : 1920 London 21:23 Film : One 2 Ka 4 Monday July 30, 2018 Friday August 03, 2018 00:10 Film : Luv Shuv Pyaar Vyar 05:00 Film : Prithipal Singh... A Story 00:45 Film : Hum Kaun Hai? 05:00 Film : Login 07:00 Film : Jaane Jigar 07:00 Film : Zara Si Zindagi 09:56 Film : Juaari 10:02 Film : Kaash 13:00 Film : Raja Hindustani 16:42 Film : Tanu weds Manu returns 13:00 Film : Shukriya 16:00 Film : One 2 Ka 4 19:17 Film : The Killer 19:30 Film : Phata Poster Nikla Hero 21:45 Film : Blackmail 22:30 Film : Ragini MMS Tuesday July 31, 2018 Saturday August 04, 2018 00:24 Film : Utthaan 00:18 Film : Banaras 05:00 Film : Titoo MBA 05:00 Film : Prithipal Singh... A Story 07:00 Film : Anokhi Ada 07:00 Film : Karishma 09:30 Film : Dil Ne Jise Apna Kaha 09:00 Film : Shor in the City 12:31 Film : Shukriya 11:18 Film : Mausam 15:30 Film : Singh is Bling 14:45 Film : Jo Bole So Nihaal 18:20 Film : Star Stop 16:57 Film : Listen... Amaya Lifestyle 19:06 Film : English Vinglish 19:00 Film : Koyelaanchal 22:00 Film : Hai Apna Dil Toh Awara 21:54 Film : Gulaab Gang

SATURDAY 4th August



18:30: UTTARAN




SUNDAY 5th August




30 UK



28 July - 3 August 2018

PUBLIC MEETING TO TACKLE YOUTH CRIME already made tackling youth violence one of her main priorities. She said: “Violence against young people is a problem for everyone and the whole community needs to stand together and play a part in tackling it. We share our residents’ concerns and are doing everything we can with our partners in the police to tackle those problems. This meeting will help residents help us to come up with solutions to youth crime and tell us of their experiences and how we can help.”

Enfield Council is hosting a public meeting to discuss ways of tackling an increase in youth violence in the borough. The event will take place at Community Towers in Fore Street, Edmonton, at 10am on 28 July and feature speeches from politicians, youth workers, police officers and members of the public as well as group discussions about what should be done to tackle the issue. The newly elected Leader of Enfield Council, Cllr Nesil Caliskan, has

SEX ABUSE SCANDAL COUNCIL SET TO RUN OWN SERVICES Rotherham council is set to be given back the running of its services from government commissioners appointed after a child sex abuse scandal. The South Yorkshire authority has been under government control since February 2015 after its handling of child sexual exploitation in the town. The government control of Rotherham followed an

independent report by Professor Alexis Jay that revealed 1,400 girls had been sexually abused in the town between 1997 and 2013. The council will have to undertake an independent review before 31 March 2019 as a condition of the announcement, given in a written ministerial statement. A final decision is due by the government in September.

Coming Events

l Gujarat Hindu Society to hold Pujya Archanadidi's Ramcharitmanas Katha, from August 6 to 14, 5.00 pm to 8.00 pm, at South Meadow Lane, Preston, PR1 8JN. l BAPS Swaminarayan Mandir London, to organise Guru Purunima celebrations in the esteemed presence of Pujya Ishwarcharan Sami on July 29, 5.30 pm onwards, at 105-119, Brentfield Road, London NW10 8LD.

Bochasanwasi Shree Akshar Purushottam Swaminarayan Sanstha's head Param Pujya Mahant Swami is currently in Bochasan. Several programmes were conducted during his vicharan. Different dance and cultural programmes and other entertainment were organised for each day from 5.00 pm to 8.00 pm. Hundreds of haribhakts used to flock in every morning and evening when Mahant Swami gave his aashirvachan. He will stay in Bochasan till July 27, for the Guru Purnima celebrations, after which he will leave for Godhra on July 28.

Sneh Joshi

Politicians and the police are backing a sports project aiming to stop young people being drawn into terrorism. Knock Out Extremism was launched at the Peterborough Police Boxing Club and attracted teenagers and young people from across the region. The hope is that by getting involved in a boxing club, some young people will be diverted away from radicalisation. Boxing can give teenagers firm footing to deter extremist groups, DC Rich Ellison from Hertfordshire Police said. "Vulnerable youngsters are looking for cama-

raderie and friendship that extremist groups will home onto. "We are trying to give young people that friendship within the confines of a boxing club," he said. Lewis Richardson, 21, from Essex, who has just joined Team GB's boxing squad, said: "Boxing can get people off the streets and often gives them a purpose in life." Peterborough MP Fiona Onsanya said radicalisation was an everpresent problem. "Islamophobia is a real thing everywhere and anyone can be radicalised irrespective of race or religion," she said.

BRIDAL SHOP FIGHT A man who was arrested over a fight in a bridal shop remains in hospital with a fractured eye socket. Police were called to reports people were "fighting with weapons" at Seher Boutique, in Alum Rock Road, Saltley, last Saturday over an argument about a refund. Officers are waiting to speak to the man and have bailed three others with conditions as investigations continue. These include a 22-year-old woman and man, 24, who were arrested on suspicion of aggravated burglary, police said. A man, 24, held on sus-

The MP for Ladywood, Shabana Mahmood, has called the licensing of shisha bars as "totally inadequate", following the closure of two premises in the city. Last week, the city council revoked the licence of Arabian Nites in Highgate which is to remain closed for three months after a shooting there in May. The move took away the venue’s ability to sell alcohol, serve late night refreshment and play music, but

Heathrow scanner trial could ease airport liquid ban A trial of new scanners at Heathrow Airport could mean passengers will not have to remove liquids from their hand luggage. The machines take a 3D X-ray, allowing security staff to check items without requiring them to be removed from bags, and can detect explosives. The worldwide rules began in 2006 after a terror plot was stopped by UK police. The Department for Transport said a "small number" of trials was set to last between six and 12 months.

A DfT spokesperson said: "The UK has some of the strictest security measures in the world, and we are leading the way in using new technology to improve security screening and provide a better experience for passengers. "If successful, this could lead in future to passengers no longer needing to remove items from hand luggage for

your solar fifth house. Extra care should be exercised when it comes to matters surrounding romance, children, and creativity. Be as non-judgemental as possible and you should avoid jumping to any premature decisions. This is a period of review and rest. Speculation and gambling are not advised right now.

Mercury turns retrograde in TAURUS Apr 21 - May 21 your fourth house, you need to watch out for extreme changes in peoples attitude and behaviour at home. Strong emotions may spill out with your loved ones, but it is alright to reveal your fears and insecurities sometimes. It's a cosmically testing time, so try not to tread on each other's toes. Mercury turns retrograde in

GEMINI May 22 - June 22 your third house of communica-

tion, making it difficult to express yourself clearly for the next three weeks. Misunderstandings and confusion could waste a lot of your time. This is also a good time to read into the unspoken rather than what is being said to make any sense. Retrograde Mercury transit occurs in your solar second house this time, extra care should be exercised when it comes to new financial initiatives. There may be the need to resolve old, nagging issues regarding personal finances. Take this time to re-budget and re-think how you want to spend your cash during this period.

Mercury is retrograde in your solar first house this time, extra care should be exercised when it comes to your body language. Others may misinterpret whatever you say and you should be aware that you can give off mixed signals. Confusion and frustration reign, so put your plans on hold.

LEO Jul 23 - Aug 23

Retrograde transit of Mercury occurs in your solar twelfth house this time, 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 contemplation and taking stock of things around you..

VIRGO Aug 24 - Sep 23

With Sun embracing your 11th sign, this should be a good time for love and friendships. Unfortunately, Mercury retrograde is in the same house causing misunderstandings as your communications could be misconstrued. Mars your relationship ruler is also retrograde and will further add to your frustration.

LIBRA Sep 24 - Oct 23

Mercury turns retrograde in your tenth house of career and status, slowing down your progress at work. It is important for you to be steadfast and focused as misunderstandings and confusion reign. Stay as organized as possible while Mercury, the planet of communications does its best to trip you up.

SCORPIO Oct 24- Nov 22

The scene inside Seher Boutique

picion of aggravated burglary was also bailed with conditions. Three ambulances and an air ambulance critical care car were sent to reports of an assault at the shop at 17:38 BST, a service spokesman said. Crews treated five people, including three who were taken to hospital.


screening." The DfT added: "We continue to work closely with our international counterparts to harness the latest advances in technology." The new computerised tomography (CT) scanners have also reportedly been tested at Amsterdam's Schiphol airport and John F Kennedy airport in New York. It comes five years after the European Commission said it hoped the restrictions across Europe could be ended through "technological screening".

selling shisha itself is not covered by a licence, LDRS reporter Carl Jackson said last week. Ms Mahmood has called for tighter rules nationally to stop venues from opening in residential areas as "people are having to go through absolute hell to get these places shut down". The Home Office says it is for local authorities to use their powers to review the licences and they have an extensive range.

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ARIES Mar 21 - Apr 20 Mercury retrograde Occurs in

CANCER Jun 22 - Jul 22

Knock Out Extremism aims to stop radicalisation

020 8518 5500

SAGITTARIUS Nov 23 - Dec 21

Mercury turns retrograde in your ninth house of travel and adventure, slowing down your pace for the next three weeks. Your mental focus could be anywhere other than your normal routine - find a way to break up the monotony. Don't be afraid to take on extra responsibilities as it could lead to better prospects.

The planet Mercury turns retrograde in your eighth house of joint resources, taxes, wills, legacies and alimony, creating confusion and complications for you during the next three weeks. Travel could also prove to be problematic, so make sure you have plenty of time to get where you need to go.

CAPRICORN Dec 22 - Jan 20

Your closest relationships come under scrutiny as Mercury, the planet of communications goes retrograde in your seventh house of marriage and partnerships. There can be a lot of misunderstandings and confused signals. You'll need to listen carefully to what your partner is saying. Try to resolve issues diplomatically, instead of being rash.

AQUARIUS Jan 21 - Feb 19

Mercury is Retrograde in the 6th House for the next three weeks. This could easily throw some kinks into your schedule and make your routine suddenly non-routine. You have the opportunity now to iron out the things that may have been bothering you but which were somehow still left unattended.

PISCES Feb 20 - Mar 20





28 July - 3 August 2018

in brief INDIA'S ASIAD CONTINGENT SIZE SWELLS TO 541 The official athletes’ contingent size for the upcoming Asian Games has swelled to 541from the originally selected 524 sportspersons after the Indian Olympic Association (IOA) decided to include a 24member bridge team (15 men and nine women) and three athletes from sports climbing discipline in the Indian contingent. However, in a snub to the sports ministry, the Narinder Batra-led IOA rejected the ministry’s proposal to relax the selection criteria for the Asiad so as to accommodate some other sports disciplines which stood a good chance of either winning a medal or finishing in top-four at the JakartaPalembang Games. The earlier criteria followed by the IOA while selecting the contingent was based on a ministry’s March, 2015 circular which called for a top-six finish in individual events and top eight finish in team events at the previous Asiad and continental tournaments. For the IOA, the selection of athletes had already been done according to the ministry’s earlier circular and there’s no scope to either include or consider athletes/other disciplines based on the revised guidelines. Moreover, the last date for the submission of entries (June 30) is already over. The ministry had, in a circular last month, advocated the inclusion of karate, tenpin bowling and pencak silat in the Asiadbound contingent despite the three falling in the ‘others’ category. The ministry’s view was that since the government had spent on their foreign exposure and training needs, these three disciplines should be given the Asiad exposure. However, the IOA recently dropped 20 athletes from the pencak silat discipline. There was an impression that the ministry’s relaxation of selection norms could have opened up the possibility for inclusion of more silat athletes, but that didn’t happen. However, the IOA has added one more name in the pencak silat discipline, taking its contingent size to three (one men and two women). The other disciplines which have benefited include equestrian and men’s handball. 223 officials to accompany It’s been learnt that the IOA is likely to name 223 officials, including 26 extra officials, for the Asiad, a development which could again lead to a confrontation between the ministry and the IOA. According to the rules, officials – forming the one-third of the total athletes’ contingent size – is allowed to travel for the multi-sport events. For 541 athletes, around 180 officials should have been named.

INDIAN COLTS THRASH SL U-19 BY AN INNINGS India's Under-19 cricket team produced a fine all-round performance to thump Sri Lanka U-19 by an innings and 21 runs in the first Youth Test at the Nondescripts Cricket Club Ground. Wicketkeeperbatsman Nishan Madushka’s brilliant ton (103) and a valuable 78 from Nuwanidu Fernando went in vain as India bundled out Sri Lanka for 324, 21 short of the visitors’ first innings’ score on the fourth and final day of the match. The Lankans added just 147 runs for the last seven wickets as Mohit Jangra turned out to be the pick of the Indian bowlers with figures of five for 72. He was well supported by Ayush Badoni, who took two wickets. The iconic Sachin Tendulkar’s son Arjun, who grabbed the limelight after a tidy spell on his debut, picked up one wicket in the second innings as well. He was, however, out for a duck in his maiden U-19 knock.

India outclass New Zealand 4-0 in men's hockey test series The Indian men's hockey team wrapped up the three-match test series against New Zealand on a winning note as they thrashed the visitors 4-0 at the Sports Authority of India (SAI) stadium in Bengaluru. With this, India also won the series 3-0, raising hopes for the upcoming 18th Asian Games, scheduled to be held in Jakarta from August 18. In Sunday's match, Rupinder Pal Singh (8th minute), Surender Kumar (15th minute), Mandeep Singh (44th minute) and Akashdeep Singh (60th minute) scored for India while the team's defence ensured a clean sheet denying the visitors any scoring opportunities. In the first quarter, India took a 1-0 lead after Rupinder scored off the team's second Penalty Corner. He fired low towards the right corner of the post, taking his personal goal count to four in the series against New Zealand. Brilliant stick work by Surender Kumar and a clever assist by Rupinder from the top of the striking circle earned India their second goal of the match. India's third goal was set up by Sardar Singh as he worked magic with his stick making way from the left flank, beating New Zealand defenders to find Simranjeet Singh who later flicked it to Mandeep. A simple yet clever deflection was enough to beat New Zealand goalkeeper George Enersen. It was Akashdeep Singh who was enthralling as he scored the home team's fourth goal in the 60th minute, taking India's winning scoreline to 4-0. Chief coach Harendra Singh said he was happy with his team's performance. "Playing high intensity matches against one of the Top 10 Teams in the World ahead of a crucial event like the Asian Games is beneficial for us," Harendra said.

Jubilant Indian men's hockey team

"During these three matches, we tried out different combinations and variations in Penalty Corner (PC) and we are better prepared for the upcoming tournament," the coach said. Indian rank 5th in the world The Indian hockey team jumped to fifth place, overtaking Germany in the men’s world rankings issued by International Hockey Federation (FIH) on 17 July. The PR Sreejesh-led team have made the jump by virtue of its second consecutive runner-up finish at the Champions Trophy in Breda, Netherlands earlier this month. Champions Trophy

winners Australia remained on top of the chart, thanks to its title victory. The Kookaburras claimed their 15th Champions Trophy by defeating India in a shoot-out in the final, ensuring that the reigning world champions held on to the top spot in the rankings table. Australia (1906 points) sit 23 points ahead of second-ranked Argentina (1883) and are followed by Belgium (1709) and Netherlands (1654). With 1484 points, India have pushed Germany (1456) to sixth. Most of the teams in the top 20 are non-movers, although 18th placed Austria and 19th ranked Egypt have climbed ahead of France, who now sit in 20th position.

Javelin thrower Neeraj strikes gold at Sotteville meet India's star javelin-thrower Neeraj Chopra have clinched the gold at the Sotteville Athletics meet in France. Neeraj, who had won the gold medal at the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games earlier in 2018, threw 85.17 metres to bag the yellow metal with a massive margin in Sotteville-les-Rouen of the Normandy region. Moldova's Andrian Mardare threw a distance of 81.48m to take the silver while Edis Matusevicius (79.31m) of Lithuania settled for bronze. Neeraj's performance was brilliant as he did not falter in even a single attempt and completed each of his rounds. Even as his score of 85.17m came in his fifth attempt, he came close to his eventual winning mark in his third attempt. Although he clinched the gold with the 85.17m throw, this was not the Indian's best

throw. He had earlier improved his own national record with a throw of 87.43 metres at the IAAF Diamond League where he finished fourth in the season-opening leg. Earlier in the year, Neeraj struck a gold medal for India with a throw of 86.47m in men's Javelin Throw Final at the Commonwealth Games. The 20year-old from Panipat is also a part of India's squad for the Asian Games 2018 and all eyes will be on him as he will be gunning for the gold in Jakarta as well.

Pant gets maiden call; Shami back for first 3 England Tests India's explosive wicketkeeperbatsman Rishabh Pant was picked as the second choice stumper as the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) recalled pacer Mohammed Shami in the 18-member squad for the first three Tests of the five-match rubber against England. Pant was rewarded with the Test call-up following a successful run with the willow in the Indian Premier League (IPL). Shami, who was dropped from the lone Test match against Afghanistan for failing a fitness test, made his way back to the team after clearing the mandatory yo-yo test. Middle-

Rishabh Pant

order batsman Karun Nair has also been re-called to the squad while Rohit Sharma failed to make it. Pacer Jasprit Bumrah, who is recuperating from a thumb

injury, has been included in the squad, but will be available for selection from the second Test onwards based on his fitness, a BCCI statement confirmed. Meanwhile, fellow paceman Bhuvneshwar Kumar has his back injury after featuring in the third Oneday International (ODI) against England and was left out of the first three Tests. "Bhuvneshwar Kumar

aggravated a lower back condition in the third ODI against England. His condition is being assessed by the BCCI medical team and a call on his inclusion in the Test squad will be made soon," the board said. India's squad for first three Tests against England: Virat Kohli (Captain), Shikhar Dhawan, Lokesh Rahul, Murali Vijay, Cheteshwar Pujara, Ajinkya Rahane (vice-captain), Karun Nair, Dinesh Karthik (WK), Rishabh Pant (WK), Ravichandran Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja, Kuldeep Yadav, Hardik Pandya, Ishant Sharma, Mohd. Shami, Umesh Yadav, Jasprit Bumrah, Shardul Thakur



28 July - 3 August 2018

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TMS and Tailenders to meet in star-studded cricket event TMS legends Michael Vaughan and Phil Tufnell will line up against a team of cricketloving celebrities put together by Greg James and Jimmy Anderson in a star-studded event for BBC Radio 5 Live Sports Extra in Derby next month. The TMS vs Tailenders challenge will take place at the County Ground in Derby on Friday 17 August. Spectators can apply for free tickets via a ballot on the BBC Shows and Tours website. The Test Match Special team will be led by Ashes winning captain Michael Vaughan, while Greg James will represent Tailenders, the popular cricket podcast he fronts for BBC Radio 5 live alongside England star bowler Jimmy Anderson and musician Felix White. Joining them at the crease will be former England cricket heroes Graeme Swann, Ebony Rainford-Brent, Charlotte Edwards and Lydia Greenway. Some of TMS’ best loved voices including Alison Mitchell, Simon Mann, Prakash Wakankar, Dan Norcross and Charles Dagnall will also join the team. Celebrities joining Greg on the day include his fellow Tailenders presenter and ex-Maccabees guitarist Felix White, former Liverpool footballing ace John Barnes, McFly drummer Harry Judd, Strictly Come Dancing’s Anton du Beke, Olympic gold medal winner Becky Adlington, comedian Mark Steel, Asian Network’s Yasser Ranjha, England visually impaired cricketing star Hassan Khan, Love Island’s Chris Hughes, Made In Chelsea star Sam Thompson, chef Tommy Banks and singer Laura Wright. Greg and Felix present the hugely popular BBC Radio 5 Live podcast Tailenders, alongside top England bowler Jimmy Anderson. Taking a day off from cricket, Jimmy will join his Tailenders team to

TMS legends Michael Vaughan and Phil Tufnell

help coach from the sidelines on Friday 17 August, while the umpires on the day will be former Test Match official John Holder and World Cup-winning bowler Isa Guha. BBC Radio 5 Live Sports Extra Controller Jonathan Wall says: “It will be great fun to pit the legendary TMS crew against the 5 live Tailenders podcast to see which programme comes out on top. Can the ex-England heroes come out of retirement to beat the eager amateurs? It’s all to play for!” Last year, a similar event to celebrate Test Match Special’s 60th birthday saw Michael Vaughan’s team beat Phil Tufnell’s side by six wickets in a final over thriller on the day after a lively afternoon of cricketing action. The challenge will be broadcast on BBC Radio 5 Live Sports Extra and screened live on the Red Button and BBC iPlayer, with regular updates on BBC Radio 5 Live, on Friday 17 August from 4pm.

The Prideview Cricketers' Cup raised £21,500 for a charity

Axiom Stone solicitors team lifting the trophy alongside Owais Shah (4th from right) and members of The Prideview Group

The 7th edition of the Prideview Cricketers' Cup took place at Merchant Taylor’s School, Northwood, Middlesex on Sunday, 15th July and was well-attended by over 200 people. Eight teams from the property industry competed for the trophy which was won for the first time by Axiom Stone solicitors with the

plate trophy being won by Allsop. The event raised £21,500 for One Kind Act who will distribute the funds to various projects in India. Former England cricketer Owais Shah co-hosted the event, overseeing the very popular Ladies Bowl Out and the final presentation. Spectators bid for some great auc-

Photo courtesy: Raj Bakrania

tion prizes including a bat signed by Virat Kohli, Hardik Pandya's Champions Trophy 2017 shirt and a round of golf with Mark Ramprakash. Anyone interested in taking part in future events should contact Nilesh Patel on

in brief GUJARAT'S STAR SOCCER PLAYER SUCCUMBS TO GBS VIRUS Mansi Vakharia, one of Gujarat's brightest women’s soccer player, died last week as she was suffering from GBS virus which causes a rapid onset of muscle weakness. The 18-year-old college student went into a coma a week ago and could not recover from the condition. On Sunday her blood pressure dipped drastically. Mansi, who represented the state in all the categories was the cynosure of all eyes on the football field with her coaches praising her because of her steely resolve on the field. Kuldeep Gadhvi, the sports director and the soccer coach of JG International where she studied in class XI and XII, said that Mansi was way ahead of most of the players of her age. “She was regular in the state squad across all the categories and led Gujarat during the national championships”. A rare combination of academics and sports, Mansi was exceptionally talented in every sense. “I knew Mansi when she was studying in class VII. She was a truly high-spirited sports personality who knew how to utilise her time. She was exceptionally good in her studies as well and had secured very high marks throughout her career. Such was her dedication and passion towards her studies and soccer that she had not watched television for the last four years. She could also play the keyboard fluently,” Gadhvi added. “Representing Gujarat in national soccer is a big thing for any sportstperson and thus Mansi’s demise is a very big loss,’’ said Amit Tomar, the vice-president of the Ahmedabad District Football Association.

INDIA TO PLAY CHINA IN FOOTBALL FRIENDLY AFTER 21 YEARS The Indian football team will play against China for the first time in 21 years, and the first time away from home, in an international friendly in October, continuing its preparation for the prestigious Asian Cup in 2019. The All India Football Federation confirmed the development. The AFC Asian Cup will be held in the UAE from 5 January to 1 February. The 97th-ranked Indian team will travel to Beijing to play against the 75th ranked China during the 8-16 October FIFA window. Though the date for the friendly will be decided in coming days, AIFF has proposed 13 October as its preferred match day. India and China have faced each other 17 times – all on Indian soil – with the last being 21 years ago in the Nehru Cup in Kochi in 1997. As per AIFF general secretary Kushal Das, India could also play against Saudi Arabia, another higher ranked team from the continent. Indian captain Sunil Chhetri has time and again stressed the need to play against stronger and higher-ranked opponents. The talismanic striker guided the team to a title triumph in a four-nation tournament in Mumbai earlier this year. It remains to be seen if the Indian players will be taking on a full-strength China team. Recently, the India U-16 national team visited China for an invitational four-nation tournament, which also included U-16 Thailand and U-16 DPR Korea. The October friendly assumes huge importance as it will set the pace for India's preparatory process for the AFC Asian Cup in January. India are yet to win a match against China.

Asian Voice 28th July 2018  

Asian Voice weekly newspaper (Issue 13)

Asian Voice 28th July 2018  

Asian Voice weekly newspaper (Issue 13)