Page 1

First & Foremost Asian Weekly in Europe


Vol 47 Issue 5

2nd June to 8th June 2018

Let noble thoughts come to us from every side 80p


Politics loses its lustre when men of God get involved Archbishop of Delhi, Anil Couto kicked up quite the storm this week with a letter he wrote to all parish priests in the capital. “The turbulent political atmosphere which poses a threat to the democratic principles,” the letter states, “enshrined in the Constitution and the secular fabric of our nation. It is our hallowed practice to pray for our country and its political leaders all the time but all the more so when we approach the general elections. As we

look forward towards 2019 when we will have new government let us begin a prayer campaign for our country.” Continued on page 26

Modi's blunt retort to May revealed Last weekend changed the history of Ireland and gifted its women what they deserved years ago. The key to the revolution was an Indian dentist who died after being denied a termination of pregnancy in 2012. The country's campaign for abortion reform started after 31-year-old Savita Halappanavar's death and it

became a catalyst to overturn Ireland’s ban on abortion in all but the strictest circumstances. The whole country remembered her, as the Aches mural, beside Bernard Shaw pub in Portobello, became a focal point of homage to Halappanavar. Continued on page 16

While addressing the media on the completion of four years of the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj revealed a blunt side of our beloved Prime Minister. She said, “Prime Minister Modi told British Prime Minister that UK courts asking about the condition

of Indian jails is not right, as these are the same prisons where they had jailed our leaders like Gandhi and Nehru.” The stern message was delivered to May when the two leaders met in London in April, during the meeting of Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM). Continued on page 26


Asian Voice | 2nd June 2018




Keith Vaz, MP

Priya Mendes was born and brought up in the beautiful state of Goa in India. She graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Computer Applications from the Goa University and has worked in this field for a while. Priya has always had a passion for cooking and trying out new recipes and sharing her delicious meals with her family and friends. Since food is what gives her immense pleasure and satisfaction, she decided to pursue this passion into a career. She is the now the owner of the Goan Delights Restaurant in Leicester. It is the place to visit for an authentic taste of Goa. Priya enjoys music, travelling and meeting new people and learning their different traditions and cultures. She believes that food is the way to bring people together and considers Leicester to be the perfect place for this, as it is so multicultural with people from different parts of the world. And this is what gives her the enthusiasm and happiness to keep the traditional Goan food and culture alive in the United Kingdom. Priya lives in Leicester with her husband who supports her dream and her two handsome little boys. Her sisters have also been a great help and support to her in keeping up with the food quality and standards in her restaurant. It is with the support of her family, that she has accomplished and fulfilled her dream. 1)  Which place, or city or country do you most feel at home in? Leicester is home to me. It is the people and cultural diversity that binds us together. 2) What are your proud-


est achievements? I take pride in every good thing that I do. But opening the Goan Delights Restaurant is my proudest achievement. And I am constantly giving it my best to make it reach new heights.

3) What inspires you? Hardworking and honest people are an inspiration to me. I like to take inspiration from them and use it as a tool to improve myself and focus on my business. And to be a better and stronger person. 4)  What has been the biggest obstacle in your career? I don’t believe in obstacles, I believe in working hard and overcoming the obstacles. I believe one should not give obstacles and negativity a chance to enter into your mind and work. Just focus on the good work and all that is good around. 5)  Who has been the biggest influence on your career to date? My parents have always been my strength. They have stood by me through thick and thin. After God, it has been my parent’s blessings and both my sister’s motivation that has encouraged me to follow and fulfil my dream. 6)  What is the best

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aspect about your current role? Keeping the essence of healthy living in people through Goan Delights, by encouraging people to have nutritious and heathy meals and enjoy life to the fullest in the healthiest possible way. Keeping the Goan spice, values and traditions alive in my food. It has not always been an easy task, but I am working very hard to ensure that Goan Delights, through its tasty and nutritious food, makes a place in every ones heart. 7) And the worst? None. I try to make the best out of the worst. 8)  What are your long term goals? Achieving success in whatever I do. Taking Goan Delights globally and reaching out to more and more people and showing them the healthy art of living. There is no fun in life, if one is not happy in what they do, and cooking good food give me happiness. I want to encourage people of all

ages to live healthier lives and understand the importance of nutrition and the benefits of traditional spices in food. 9) If you were Prime Minister, what one aspect would you change? I would bring improvement in the NHS, education and support small businesses. Small businesses need government’s attention and help to grow and achieve success.

10)   If you were marooned on a desert island, which historical figure would you like to spend your time with and why. Vasco Da Gama, the Portuguese explorer who was the first European to reach India by sea which opened a way for the Portuguese and others to establish a long lasting colonial empire in Asia. I would like to ask him how he discovered the sea route to my birthplace, Goa.

Priti Patel MP encourages Asian community to register as stem cell donors Priti Patel MP has called on members of the Asian community to register as stem cell donors at an event at Parliament to help the ‘Cure Kaiya’ and ‘Match for Rajie’ appeals. The event on Wednesday 23rd May saw fourteen MPs attend to learn more about the urgent need for people to sign up as potential stem cell donors, with a further 11 people signing up to the Anthony Nolan register. Kaiya, 5, and Rajie, 11, have both been diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukaemia (ALL). A blood stem cell transplant could save their lives, but a matching donor may not be found as there are not enough Asian people on the stem cell register. The ‘Cure Kaiya’ and ‘Match for Rajie’ campaigns have already had a great response and thousands of individuals have registered to join the stem cell registry across the UK. However, a match has not yet been identified for either child. Priti said: “A stem cell transplant can be the only lifeline for leukaemia patients who have no other treatments to turn to. Tragically, children like 5-

Priti Patel MP with members of Kaiya and Rajie’s families

year-old Kaiya and 11year-old Rajie have only a 21% chance of finding a donor match because there are simply not enough donors from Asian backgrounds registered. “Childhood leukaemia affects children of every ethnic group but only 16 percent of donors on the stem cell register are from Asian or other minority ethnic backgrounds and we need to raise awareness of this and encourage more people from Asian backgrounds to register as donors. “I have raised this issue at Prime Minister’s Question Time and have hosted an event in Parliament today with Kaiya and Rajie’s families to raise awareness and encourage people to regis-

ter as donors. I was encouraged by the Prime Minister’s response. The Government has already invested £20m into stem cell donation since 2015 and I hope the Prime Minister’s support for this campaign will encourage more people to register and help save lives.” Anthony Nolan Trust has launched a new campaign, Be A Lifesaver, to raise awareness of stem cell donation and to encourage anyone aged 1630, and in good general health, to join the Anthony Nolan register. To find about more about joining the Anthony Nolan register, or to find out more about the different ways you can support, please visit AsianVoiceNews



Modi-Putin meet amid global turbulence Sanjaya Baru, distinguished journalist and student of international affairs, was spot on in his edit-page analysis, in The Economic Times (May 24), of the recent one-on-one Summit with Russian President Vladimir Putin at the Black Sea resort of Sochi. He set the canvas with a deft touch. Prime Minister Narendra Modi visits to Berlin to converse with Chancellor Angela Merkel, had also met with French President Emmanuel Macron, spoken on the telephone with US President Donald Trump, before journeying to Sochi for his informal meeting with the Russian leader. He was thus well prepared, fortified by his knowledge and grasp of the international chessboard and the mood of its leading players. Modi, the show man, was in his element; his pleasure all too evident in the company of his Russian interlocutor, but the essential significance of his presence in Sochi was lost on most Indian media pundits, averred Mr Baru, beguiled by their own specious assessments that the Indo-Russian exercise was merely an attempt to reset the button – customized drivel to which serious readers have grown to accept as par for the course. Mr Baru, with a keener eye, detected the true significance of Sochi, the substance of which is the emergence of a new balance of global power. Mr Baru’s passage is well worth quoting: ‘Those stuck within Cold War paradigms are unable to see the new and emerging reality for what it is. India is beginning to deal with a world it has long sought. Its strategists debated whether to call it “multipolar” or polycentric. But, in the end, they all agreed that it would be a world in which there would be multiple centres of power dealing with each other in a ever-changing kaleidoscope of patterns of interest and power.’ No sooner was printer’s ink dry, than French President Emmanuel Macron beat a path to Moscow to parley with President Putin, the former’s previous cold hostility to Russia replaced with new warmth. At a joint press conference, Mr Macron referred to the iconic figures of Russian literature, inevitably to Dostoyevsky, Tolstoy and Solzhenitsyn, and to the heroism of Leningraders [now St Petersburg] as they resisted unflinchingly the German Nazi invaders during the Second World War; topping this with an approving reference to Russia’s increasing global presence, which made the country an essential partner in the resolution of regional and global conflicts and the maintenance of international order; he promised, in

tandem with Russia, to uphold the nuclear deal with Iran, one that the Trump Administration is determined to abort. As President Macron gave vent to his views, President Trump’s decision to call off his meeting with North Korean President Kim Jong-un with the characteristic , followed by emollient hopes of an eventual meeting between them was another example of the capricious feature of contemporary US foreign policy. US Secretary of State Pompeo’s ultimatum to Iran, couched brutally, was reminiscent of Adolf Hitler. So also is the language of the Administration’s National Security Advisor John Bolton and his preposterous talk of the Libyan model for North Korea. President Kim bristled at the suggestion, recalling, no doubt, how the Libyan leader Muammer Gadaffi had been disemboweled on the roadside to the chuckled acclaim of Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. The last minute US withdrawal of the invitation to China to attend a naval exercise was typically discourteous, a reminder that Washington under its present dispensation is no Camelot. Surprise, surprise, Harsh Pant, the academic at London’s King’s College, a veteran critic of India’s China and Russian policies, sang from a different hymn-sheet in the Delhi-based Mint newspaper (May 24). He writes; ‘The challenge for India is to use its convergence with Russia and China on global issues to bring a semblance of balance to American capriciousness on the global stage.’ That, one fears, is a challenge too many for India. Those with ‘special relations’ with America must do the job before a nuclear Armageddon extinguishes life on earth. The partially sighted Indian community of sceptics, who habitually complain of Moscow’s willingness to engage with the Taliban and Pakistan, must know that the US has done much the same, drone strikes and all. John K. Cooley’s investigative work, Unholy wars: Afghanistan, America and International Terrorism reveals Washington’s past collusion with jihadi forces and the Pakistan military for reasons of realpolitik. US Senators John Kerry and Richard Lugar (the former subsequently Secretary of State in the Obama Administration) piloted an aid package worth $20 billion through Congress, including military supplies, for Pakistan. Earlier US Administrations, as persistently, had ignored Islamabad’s covert acquisition of nuclear weapon technologies. If you wish to fix the present, take on board lessons of the past.

Stock exchange boom, Maruti’s India surge

India’s stock market outperformed its global peers in the four years since the Modi government took office in Delhi. Between 26 May 2014 and 23 May 2018 benchmark indices Sensex and Nifty rose 38.95 per cent and 41.73 per cent respectively. Broadly parallel to this, but exceeding its time-frame, is the onward march of Maruti Suzuki, the Japanese automobile company. Suzuki, a little known brand, entered the Indian market way back in the early 1990s, as Maruti, a joint venture with the Indian government. It was virgin territory, with primitive Hindustan car the sole competitor. Prospective buyers had to wait some six months before they could own one. The advent of Maruti cast a ripple, which soon became a wave, when the government was persuaded to divest its majority shareholding in the company, enabling the board to operate with a free hand. Maruti Suzuki has never looked back since. It dominates the transformed Indian market by many a league. Its arresting models, sales outlets and servicing facilities have mushroomed across India. India (and Indonesia) are now the Maruti’s export hubs to Africa, Latin America and Southeast Asia. Its Japanese peers Toyota and Honda still have a

greater global reach by far. But such is the scale of Suzuki’s Indian operation, and such the strength of its platform in the country that Toyota has entered into cooperative Indian ventures with its smaller Suzuki rival. If you can’t beat them, join them, would appear to be the motto. For example Suzuki will supply Toyota its popular Vitara Breeza and Baleno models in India, getting Toyota’s Corolla in return. More model swaps or even joint production could follow. With an eye to further opportunities in India, Suzuki has entered the two-wheeler market of motorcycles and scooters, both popular in India’s expanding urban centres, Tier II towns and vast swathes of rural heartland. Customers lacking deep pockets for a car can shell out for an affordable scooter or motorbike. Transport over shorter distances is equally fast, if not faster, along traffic congested city roads and streets. Maruti Suzuki has made its early moves into the twowheeler market, where competition is stiff. Its management, engineering and marketing skills are being brought into play. Whether Maruti’s two-wheeler challenge is able replicates its performance in the automobile sector is open to question. In the auto sector the Indian sky is the limit.

Cricket icon A.B. De Villiers declares The South African cricketer A.B. De Villiers has announced his retirement from all forms of international cricket. The India Premier League (IPL) 2018, where he had donned the colours of the Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB), was his swan song, and memorable it was, too. RCB may have disappointed their huge following by making a premature exit, but A.B’s genius at white ball cricket held them in thrall, if only for the last time. His batting was pure magic, the catch he took on the boundary – a ballet dancer’s leap, arm outstretched, ball safely in hand – would

have done credit to the legendary Nuriyev. A.B. said he had ‘run out of gas,’ that it was time for others to take o ver. That they will undoubtedly do, without achieving the heights of the departed Master. De Villiers embodied the finest traditions of a Great Game: a gentleman to his fingertips, of humble mien, never a cross word nor any inappropriate gesture to opponents, umpires, colleagues, ever appreciative of the crowd’s joyous acclaim. A glory has passed. Whence comes another?

Asian Voice | 2nd June 2018


I don't mind if my future is long or short, as long as I'm doing the right thing - Henry Allingham, First World War veteran

CIIr Ketan Sheth

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

Emergency Preparedness Over the spring and summer of 2017, terrorist incidents in Westminster, Manchester and London Bridge, and then the tragic fire at Grenfell Tower in Kensington, rightly put Emergency Response at the forefront of minds across the UK; communities, politicians and public servants alike. While the terrorist incidents in London were managed by individual Local Authorities and emergency services with minimal need for support from their neighbours, the scale of the Grenfell Tower disaster required a pan-London response, and we should be proud that many of Brent’s councillors had a visible presence, and that over 100 Brent Council staff answered the call for mutual aid. They covered roles as diverse as working at the Borough Emergency Control Centre and providing support directly to affected families. Brent’s own Chief Executive temporarily joined the “Head Office” of the Grenfell Fire Response Unit to head up the Humanitarian Assistance response. In light of the number and scale of incidents in 2017, Brent Council’s Audit Committee agreed there would be benefit in reviewing Brent’s own emergency preparedness. Given the cross-cutting nature of incident response, the task group was drawn from the Council’s three scrutiny committees and the Audit Committee; and I was chosen to chair it. During this work we looked at best practice and benchmarking from other London boroughs, heard from experts in the field, reviewed documents and plans, took part in a scenario exercise, and visited the facilities that would be used as our own Borough Emergency Command Centre in the face of a major incident. The resulting report, which we discussed at Full Council a few weeks ago, outlined a number of Brent’s strengths, and made nine recommendations, many of which were already underway or completed by the time the report was published. Emergency duty rotas have been reviewed and numerous more senior council officers have been trained to coordinate major incident responses, new training has been commissioned from the Cabinet Office for both senior council staff and local ward councillors to ensure they are ready to respond if needed, a review of emergency accommodation and rest centre locations has been carried out, and meetings and exercises have helped maintain our already very strong relationships with the police, ambulance, fire, and localised partners such as Wembley Stadium. Thankfully, incidents the scale of Grenfell are rare. Outside of Brent’s support for the Grenfell response; the Civil Contingencies team dealt with 21 incidents in 2017; mostly domestic house fires, floods, or explosions, and a few localised issues such as power cuts, storms and burst water mains. The exception was the discovery of an unexploded bomb which required the (thankfully temporary) evacuation of a large number of households in the Brondebury Park area, which tested officers and local ward councilors, both of whom rose to the occasion. While we all hope that the people of Brent are spared any major incident, they can feel reassured that a strong foundations are in place should the Council be called upon to respond. Editor: CB Patel

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Asian Voice | 2nd June 2018

Judges reject killer driver's appeal months after thug appeared in gloating video A personal trainer who killed a grandfather in a high-speed smash on a Black Country road deserved every day of his ten-year sentence for his shocking driving, judges have ruled. Kamran Abbasi Raja, 37, was driving at almost double the 40mph limit shortly before he struck Edward Harris' Honda in Wolverhampton Road, Brandhall, in April 2015. Raja sent Mr Harris' car careering down the road, causing multiple injuries to the 85-year-old. Charged with causing death by dangerous driving, Raja initially blamed Mr Harris, but eventually pleaded guilty last September. He was sentenced to 10 years' jail at Wolverhampton

Crown Court and now senior judges in London have rejected his bid for a cut in the term. Raja appeared in a video taken inside HMP Birmingham just days into his sentence where insults were aimed to another man. Mr Justice Dingemans told the Court of Appeal that the attempt to blame the deceased and Raja's long record for driving offences made the offence worse. Witnesses spoke of Raja driving like an "idiot", aggressively overtaking and undertaking other motorists, said the judge. The judge, sitting with Judge Michael Topoloski QC and Lord Justice Holroyde, dismissed Raja's bid for a cut in his sentence. In September Raja was

Killer driver Kamran Raja broadcast from HMP Birmingham

under investigation after appearing in mobile phone footage posted online - from inside HMP Birmingham. Just two days into his ten-year sentence, he appeared in the video uploaded to social media where insults were seemingly aimed at another man. Raja was surrounded by almost a dozen other

inmates in the cell footage many with their faces covered to hide their identity. Staff at the G4S-run prison raided a cell after being made aware of the footage, as it is illegal for inmates to have mobile phones. West Midlands Police also launched an investigation.

Crooked businessmen caught with £5m worth of fake drugs Two crooked businessmen who were caught with more than £5m worth of counterfeit drugs including Viagra and steroids have been jailed. Asif Patel, 42, and Naushad Gaffar, 53, specialised in importing medicines for erectile dysfunction and premature ejaculation from the Indian subcontinent. They were arrested in April 2015 following a nine-month investigation by the Medicines & Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency. In one of the largest ever seizures of its kind, officials

Naushad Gaffar

Asif Patel

confiscated more than 1.6m doses of illicit medicines and 46,000 doses of class C drugs from storage units in south London.

Prosecutor Peter Ratliff told Southwark Crown Court: "There were over 90 different medicinal products, applications ranging from prema-

ture ejaculation to depression. "The significant majority of medicinal products in this case were for treating problems of a sexual nature, many are similar to Viagra. 'The supply of unauthorised medicines is dangerous, they have not been subject to UK or EU safety regulations. "Both defendants held leading roles, involved in directing, organising and selling on a commercial scale and appear to have had close links to the original source of the drugs."

Man wounded by armed police Armed police shot and wounded a man through a taxi window after he ignored warnings to get out of the vehicle, a witness has said. Durham Police said it responded to reports of a man carrying a handgun in the James Street area of Bishop Auckland at 10:46 BST. Shop owner Jared-vinder Singh said he dialled 999 when he saw a man in his shop loading a weapon. A 23year-old man has been arrested in connection with the incident. Witnesses said before the

shooting, a man entered a nearby workingmen's club and asked to be served alcohol. He left when staff refused and went into Mr Singh's shop. Mr Singh said: "This man just looked like a normal customer, but he went into a corner and when I looked I could see he had an automatic gun and was loading it. I was totally shocked when I saw the gun and thought he might hurt me. "Then all of a sudden two customers came in and it looked like he changed his mind and went out. He had a

An Islamic State supporter urged terror attacks on fans inside the UK's biggest football stadiums, a court has heard. Husnain Rashid, 32, allegedly posted a list of the grounds to potential "lone wolf" terrorists after a Turkish football stadium blast killed 38. He also produced a magazine with suggestions to strike the 2018 World Cup in Russia with vehicles, weapons or bombs, Woolwich Crown Court heard. The former mosque teacher, from Lancashire, denies terrorism charges. He is also accused of encouraging "lone wolf"

attackers to target Prince George's primary school in south-west London and inject poison into supermarket ice creams. The jury was told that he turned his attention to football after twin bombings near Besikitas' ground in Turkey in December 2016. He allegedly posted a link to a Wikipedia list of UK football stadiums in order of capacity the day after the attack. Prosecutor Annabel Darlow said: "The underlying message clearly intended by the defendant was clear. "Encourage lone wolf jihadists, mujahideen operating on British soil, to launch


Nottinghamshire imam guilty of sexually assaulting boy

A spiritual leader has been found guilty of three counts of indecently assaulting a boy in a mosque's attic. Mohammed Rabani, 61, who was imam at a mosque in Sneinton, Nottinghamshire, for more than 25 years, denied the charges but was found guilty at trial. The indecent touching happened from 1990 to 1992 and at the time the victim was aged 12 to 13. The judge at Nottingham Crown Court told Rabani "a prison sentence is inevitable" when he is sentenced. Rabani's victim went to the police in 2015, more than 20 years after the assaults took place. Rabani, from Nottinghamshire, left court surrounded by supporters. He was released on conditional bail until sentencing on 31 May.

'Very concerning incidents' reported at private school

Pupils at a private secondary school have been involved in some “very concerning incidents” linked to bad behaviour, according to an Ofsted report. An inspection carried out in April at AlIhsaan Community College deemed it not to be meeting required standards in numerous areas. The report, published on May 10, commented upon the quality of teaching, pupil welfare, health and safety. Sections of the curriculum had been cut out, pupil behaviour was poor and toilets were found in such disrepair that youngster’s chose to use staff lavatories. In terms of education issues, it was stated “pupils do not study art” and physical education lessons were often cancelled. There were 40 students registered with school at the time of the inspection. It is an independent school for boys and girls aged 11 to 16, though it had not had any male pupils up to the date of the inspection. Parents pay £1,650 annually for children to attend their classes.

Armed men ambushed family and attacked them with swords and machetes on Christmas Day

taxi waiting outside. Then I rang the police. I think I was lucky there." A Durham force spokesman: "Police were called to Bishop Auckland after reports that a man had been seen in the area with a handgun.

“The Independent Office for Police Conduct has been informed of the incident and we will be supporting the IPOC investigation." The IPOC said what appeared to be a firearm had been recovered from the scene.

Islamic State supporter 'urged football stadium attacks'

Husnain Rashid pictured in court during his trial

an attack on those watching events in stadiums in this country and suggesting how to maximise the impact." His suggested targets included British Army bases, shopping centres, Jewish communities and government buildings, it is claimed.

He also planned to flee to fight for the Islamic State in Syria and set up an internet channel to provide advice on how to carry out bomb, chemical and poison attacks, it is alleged. Mr Rashid, of Leonard Street, of Nelson,denies three counts of engaging in conduct in preparation of terrorist acts, one of encouraging terrorism, two of dissemination of a terrorist publication and one of failing to comply with a notice under the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act. The allegations span a period between October 2016 and April. The trial continues.

Five men have been jailed after ambushing a family and attacking their car with swords on Christmas Day. The three relatives left a premises in Royal East Street in Leicester city centre at about 11pm on Monday, December 25, last year. A convoy of three cars pulled up, blocking their escape and a number of men armed with swords and machetes jumped out of the three vehicles and pounded their car with their weapons. They went on to brandish the weapons at other members of the public, injuring two people, before jumping back into their cars and fleeing the scene. The investigation eventually led to five arrests in London and Birmingham. The five admitted various charges and were jailed at Leicester Crown Court last Friday and received sentences ranging from 19 months to three years.

Sajid Javid's shock at racist abuse aimed at police officer brother

Home Secretary Sajid Javid has spoken of his shock at the violence and racist abuse directed at his police officer brother. Mr Javid said his sibling had been taken to hospital on several occasions after being assaulted, once missing Christmas after having his jaw dislocated. Prior to his career in politics, Mr Javid joined his brother Bas, who is now a chief superintendent with West Midlands Police, on a ride-along in the back of his police car in Bristol city centre. The cabinet minister told the Police Federation of England and Wales' annual conference: "I thought it would be an interesting insight into his job. AsianVoiceNews


Family of eleven-year-old suffering from blood cancer seek life-saving match Rajie, an eleven year old who was all set to join the county cricket team to fulfil his dream in November last year, was diagnosed with Leukaemia, a type of blood cancer which means that his immune system does not work correctly. Since the time he was first diagnosed, he has been through an initial phase of chemotherapy to which he seemed to respond well. However, he had a relapse in March this year, days before his 11th birthday. The doctors concluded that the standard treatment was not enough at this stage and that Rajie's best chance was a to find a stem cell donor. No matching donor has been found yet. Rajie, from Hertfordshire, loves the great outdoors (not to mention his love of Star Wars) and has a huge passion for cricket. His friends and family describe him as

a boy with a big heart and an even bigger smile. People from Black, Asian and Minority Ethnicity (BAME) in need of a stem cell or bone marrow transplant have just a 21% chance of finding a perfect donor match and only a 60% chance of finding a partial match to potentially save their life. Childhood leukaemia affects children of every ethnic group but only 16 percent of donors on the stem cell register are from Asian or other minority

ethnic backgrounds currently. Actor and singer Diljit Dosanjh, during his performance at his concert 'Con.Fe.Den.Tial' at the SSE Arena, Wembley on 26th May, also spread the word about children from BAME suffering from Leukaemia Rajie in the UK. He urged the 6,000 audience members at the Arena to register as stem cell donors with DKMS or Anthony Nolan, organisations helping people diagnosed with blood cancer. Many of the people registered themselves on the spot. We appeal to people from South Asian community to come forward and register with Bone Marrow registry at the NHS, DKMS or Anthony Nolan to help these children gain a chance of survival.

Cabbie to drive cabs in Leicester despite being deemed 'unfit and improper' Gurpal Atwal, 46, a taxi driver and until recently a Labour councillor, who was ruled unfit to carry passengers by one council, was allowed to continue working in a neighbouring area despite being banned last year when he was accused of waiting in his cab outside a swimming pool wearing only his underpants. Atwal has worked for over 20 years as a taxi driver in Leicester. Atwal's Leicester licence is yet to be suspended or revoked even though the city council is aware of concerns that led Oadby and Wigston borough council to deny him a licence last year. L o u g h b o r o u g h Magistrates Court ruled the Leicester City Councillor was "not fit and proper" to hold a taxi licence. However, a Leicester City Council

Gurpal Atwal

spokesman said, “When notified of a conviction we will review whether a taxi driver is fit to continue to be licensed to operate in the city. We have not yet received the full details of this case and no decision has been taken.” The contrasting interpretations of public protection, the primary licensing responsibility of the two councils, will increase concerns that lax regulation of the taxi industry poses a growing risk to passenger safety. Last week, the former

councillor was given a criminal conviction as he threatened to kill a black cab driver Kashmir Singh Gill, the father of his exbusiness partner last year over an ongoing legal dispute. The threat was allegedly when the Gill was ferrying three children home from school. He was handed a 12-month conditional discharge, and ordered to pay £640 costs and a £20 victim surcharge. Atwal was also accused of racism. However, despite his conviction and concerns raised over the safety of his potential passengers, he is currently licensed by Leicester City Council to operate a taxi. Members of the Labour-run council's licensing committee reviewed his license three months ago, and decided that he did not “present a risk to the travelling public”.

MPs call to stop deportation of skilled non-EU migrants

A group of 20 MPs and a Peer have raised about £40,000 to challenge the Home Office in the Courts. In the last 6 months, the group has helped 10 nonEU migrants to challenge the government for the use of 322(5), which initially referred to Terrorism Acts. Out of 10, 9 have won their cases where the appeal judge have ruled that the government's use of that paragraph was incorrect. Steve Reed, an MP who is behind setting up the

group of leaders, reportedly said, “It’s now clear the government’s ‘hostile environment’ immigration policy goes far wider than the Windrush scandal. We are seeing highly skilled migrants facing deportation for the most trivial reasons.” The Guardian reported that Lord Dick Taverne, QC, a Liberal Democrat, said that he will start a campaign to push the UK Home Office till it stops turning UK Prime Minister Theresa May’s policy of an

open Britain into a closed one, especially through 'controversial paragraph of the immigration rules.' Highly Skilled non-EU workers, that include teachers, doctors, lawyers, engineers and IT professionals are being denied indefinite leave to remain (ILR) after allegations of lying in their applications, for either making small and legal modifications to their tax records, or for having inconsistencies in the income they have declared.


Asian Voice | 2nd June 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.

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

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

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

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

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

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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



Asian Voice | AsianVoiceNews

2nd June 2018


Home Secretary announces measures to resolve Windrush crisis

North London teenager charged with ten terror-related offences

A Home Office hotline has identified 5,000 people as potential Windrush cases who may have suffered immigration problems. The hotline of the dedicated taskforce, set up in the wake of the scandal last month, has received a total of 13,000 calls. The Home Office said that more than 850 people now have been granted documentation following appointment with the dedicated team. These figures were revealed as Home Secretary Sajid Javid announced that legislation has been introduced to bring into force a package of measures designed to help resolve this situation. Mr Javid said, “I am clear that we need to make the process for people to confirm their right to be in the UK or put their British citizenship on a legal footing as easy as possible. That is why I have launched a dedicated scheme which brings together our rights, obligations and offers to these people into one place. I want to swiftly put right the wrongs that have been done to this generation and am committed to doing whatever it takes to make this happen.”

An 18-year-old from Harrow has been charged with ten terrorism-related offences and has appeared at W e s t m i n s t e r Magistrates' Court.

Sajid Javid

The Home Secretary's scheme was criticised by Yvette Cooper, Labour MP and chairperson of the Commons Home Affairs Committee, who said, “I’m extremely concerned they rule out any appeals or reviews of Windrush decisions. Given the history of this, how can anyone trust Home Office not to make further mistakes? If the home secretary is confident that senior caseworkers will be making good decisions in Windrush cases, he has nothing to fear about appeals and reviews.” Mr Javid said the scheme covered the government’s commitment to help members of the Windrush generation who wish to return to the UK

after spending last few years back in their home countries. These people will be able to apply for relevant documentation free of charge. He revealed 63 cases of Caribbean nationals who may have been removed from the country despite living in the UK legally for decades. Applicants for citizenship, under the scheme, will need to meet the good character requirements in place for all citizenship applications, but they would not need to take a “knowledge of language and life in the UK” test or attend a citizenship ceremony. However, the guidance issued as part of a package of measures by Mr Javid clarified that those rejected under the scheme “will not attract a right of appeal or an administrative review”. Home Office also confirmed the departure of the director general of immigration enforcement, Hugh Ind, who will be moving to work at the Cabinet Office. Ind was one of the officials questioned by the home affairs committee over Windrush and removal targets.

Romanians overtake Irish and Indians to become second largest migrant group in the UK Romanian has become the second most common non-British nationality in the UK, moving past Irish and Indian nationals, questioning predictions that Brexit would cause a decrease in the number of migrants from Eastern Europe. The Office of National Statistics released figures last week, showing that Romanian nationals living in the UK in 2017 was estimated to be 411,000. This is a jump of 25% on the previous year, and the largest increase for any country. With an estimated one million of the UK’s population in 2017, Polish nationals remain at the top of the list. About 350,000 Irish nationals live in the UK and India is at the fourth spot with 346,000 nationals as of 2017. The ONS data also showed that London had the largest proportion of

non-British nationals in 2017, with the highest numbers in the local authorities of Newham (38%), Westminster (36%) and Brent (34%). It added that all the regions in England are expected to get bigger with the east of the country due to

rise 7.3% to 6.6 million over the decade. In the southwest there will be a 6.6% increase to 5.9 million. Andrew Nash, an ONS population expert, said, “While the overall populations of all regions in England are projected to increase over the next decade, reasons for these increases vary greatly depending on where you live. For instance, projected population change in London is mainly caused by natural change — the difference between the number of births and deaths — and not migration”. The ONS data is based on a survey of households which does not cover most people living in communal establishments, some NHS accommodation, or students living in halls of residence who have non-UK resident parents.

Khurshid Drabu: Britain's first Muslim judge and promoter of interfaith understanding In 1971, with only a few pounds in his pocket, Khurshid Hassan Drabu arrived in Britain along with his intellect and ambition. Three decades on, he is now known to most as a pioneer of social cohesion and interfaith dialogue who became Britain's first Muslim judge. Khurshid Drabu, who died aged 72 in April worked hard to build an extraordinary career of public service in this country. His life was devoted to pursuits promoting community cohesion and dialogue between faiths. He was celebrated in British Muslim community and

Khurshid Drabu

he often passionately campaigned for emancipation of women. Khurshid Drabu was born in Srinagar, Kashmir. He attended Sri Pratap College there, graduating in political science. There

he was the captain of the cricket team in the Ranji Trophy, playing alongside two future captains of the Indian cricket team, Bishan Bedi and Nawab of Pataudi. In 1977, he was called to the bar of England and Wales, and in the 1980s he won a number of landmark immigration cases, which led to a Home Office minister describe him as “The authority in immigration law”. In 1987 he became the deputy director of the UK Immigrants Advisory Service. He went on to join the Commission for Racial Equality in 1990 as its first deputy legal director,

and five years after that, he was appointed to the immigration judiciary, where he became vice president of the immigration appeal tribunal in 2000. He served as a senior immigration judge until 2007 and then took an early retirement. Drabu continued, however, to sit as a judge at the Upper Tribunal in the Asylum and Immigration Chamber. In 2010, he was awarded the CBE for his work in “bringing communities together”. Despite being in his seventies, Khurshid Drabu would work till late at night and yet be up at 6 am. Even after a quadruple bypass, he lived a

Sudesh Mamoor Faraz Amman, of Brancker Road, was arrested under the Terrorism Act by armed officers conducting a search in north London last Friday (May 18). He has been accused of possessing documents on 'how to make a bomb in your kitchen', 'bloody Brazilian knife fighting techniques' and 'making plastic explosives from bleach'. He has also been charged by the Metropolitan Police for allegedly sending an AlQaeda magazine to members of a WhatsApp group. Amman will face seven

counts of making a record of information of a kind likely to be useful to a person committing or preparing an act of terrorism and three counts of disseminating terrorist publications. Mr Amman indicated that he would be pleading not guilty to all counts. He was remanded in custody to appear at the Old Bailey for a preliminary hearing on 8th June. Another teenager, a 19-year-old woman, was arrested in south London on Wednesday, May 23rd, in connection with the same investigation. Further in this case, a young man aged 18 was also arrested in Bishop's Stortford on the same day. Both have been bailed to return to a south London police station on a date in late June.

Law student admits chanting “we hate the blacks” at university halls of residence

Joe Tivnan

A law student at Nottingham Trent University pleaded guilty at Nottingham Magistrates' Court to racially or religiously aggravated harassment after being filmed chanting ‘we hate blacks’ at the halls of residence in the university campus. Joe Tivnan, 19, was heard on a mobile phone footage, chanting “we hate the blacks”. The video, which caused distress to fellow student Rufaro Chisango, causing her to move to alternative accommodation, went viral in early March this year after it was posted on social media. Tivan, of The Parklands in Erdington, Birmingham, has made “an unreserved apology” committed life full of obligations, working to contribute to the causes he believed in. He once said, “My inspiration in putting in the long hours for the community work is the future of my children and grandchildren and the nation as a whole.

to anyone who was affected by his act. He said, “It was still unacceptable language and I am ashamed by my behaviour. I am truly sorry for the distress I have caused.” Anna Pierrepont, for the prosecution, said, “She (Chisango) was the only black person living on that floor. He is heard chanting, ‘we hate the blacks’.” Steve Ransell, for the defence, said, “His university place will likely be lost and his hope of a career in law has suffered irreparable damage.” Tivnan was ordered to pay Chisango £500 compensation and £310 in fines and costs, after his racist chanting was described as "disgusting, shocking and disgraceful". I just hope that one day we will live in a society where there is a better understanding of each other. That is all I seek really.” He is remembered by friends, family and the lives of the people he touched through his work and compassion.

UK AsianVoiceNews


New Chairman appointed for Watford Borough Council


Asian Voice | 2nd June 2018

UK Tamils gather outside India House to protest against Vedanta Rupanjana Dutta

The state government of Tamil Nadu in India has permanently closed the country’s largest copper plant, controlled by London-listed Vedanta Resources, after last week’s police killing of 13 people who were protesting against the smelter.

Cllr Rabi Martins

The new Chairman of Watford Borough Council has been named as Cllr Rabi Martins who represents the Central ward of the town and is also its Mental Health Champion. He has chosen the Guideposts Trust and Signpost as his two Chairman’s charities and will spend his year in office – which began on Wednesday 23 May – fundraising for them. His theme for the year is ‘Mental Health, Wellbeing and Inclusiveness’. Both good causes help people in the Watford area to improve their mental health through a range of different support services. The Guideposts Trust helps people affected by the challenges of caring, aging, learning disabilities and mental health. Signpost provides counselling, coaching and other support for young people in South West Hertfordshire. Cllr Martins said: “I want to raise the profile of mental health and well-being within the town. I want to make Watford more inclusive for people who suffer from mental health issues. This is an opportunity to support the work of two important

charities, to signpost people towards mental health and well-being services, and to develop these services right across the town. “We are at the start of a new era, with Peter Taylor as our new elected Mayor. It will be important to work in tandem with him as Watford moves forward. I feel immense pride and responsibility. I feel proud to have been asked to fill the role by my peers, and because they have confidence in me. I feel responsibility, because as Chairman you are the first citizen of the town. The eyes are on you.” Elected Mayor of Watford Peter Taylor said: “I’m delighted that Cllr Rabi Martins has been appointed our Chairman for the next year. He’ll make a great ambassador for our town and I look forward to working with him.” Cllr Martins accepted his role at a Chairman making ceremony at the Annual Council meeting in Watford Town Hall on Tuesday 22 May. He replaces outgoing chairman Cllr Jagtar Singh Dhindsa. The new Vice Chairman has been named as Cllr Asif Khan, who represents the borough’s Leggatts ward.

Drug barons walk free as police hide evidence Two drug traffickers have walked free from court after police and prosecutors deliberately withheld evidence. Eyhaz Mahboob and Tahir Iqbal were freed after a judge ruled that police, the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) and a leading barrister behaved in a way that was an “affront to the integrity of the trial” and would “undermine public confidence”. In a highly unusual move, the judge put the prosecution barrister on the witness stand to explain himself. The prosecution, abandoned earlier this month at a cost of about £1m, is the latest to implode over

Tahir Iqbal

police and CPS failures to share evidence that could help suspects defend themselves. Last year 916 people had charges dropped over a failure to disclose evidence — a rise of 70% in two years. Iqbal was previously jailed for 13 years for trafficking “significant” quantities of cocaine and heroin, but says he has gone straight.

More than 200 people including campaign groups such as Foil Vedanta, Tamil People in UK, Tamil Solidarity, Periyar Ambedkar Study Circle, South Asia Solidarity Group, Parai Voice of Freedom, Tamil Sangam UK, UK Women's Network, Veera Tamilar Munnani, Socialist party held a two hour protest outside the Indian High Commission in London on Saturday 26 May from 35pm, asking for an inquiry by the UK government into alleged violations by Anil Agarwal, the London-based entrepreneur's Vedanta Resources. The groups protested with traditional Tamil drums, and raised slogans to ask for the delisting of the company from London Stock Exchange. Sterlite was the first company that was set up by the British Indian billionaire in India before he launched Vedanta Resources on the London Stock Exchange in 2003. The company now has operations across India and Africa. Agarwal, meanwhile, in an interview to Economic Times expressing sadness over the loss of lives in the protests said, “Vedanta as a responsible corporate citizen and on humanitarian grounds, we will extend all possible support to families of the deceased and severely injured.” He added that he was ready for the company to be looked into by an independent agency. On Tuesday some people had protested outside Agarwal's house in London and then marched to India House, in Aldwych, where they had tried to approach the High Commissioner of India to UK. People in front ofthe High Commission of India on Saturday held placards saying 'No corporate control of our land and life', 'No to Sterlite, No to Modi' 'Kick out Vedanta', 'Anil Agarwal blood on your hands','We demand independent investigation' and many wore. Some young protesters even woremasks with faces of Narendra Modi, Anil Agrawal and Tamil Nadu CM Palaniswamishouting slogans. Little shrines under trees lay with pictures of dead people, as candles were lit and flowers were laid. Dr Revathi Rangaswamy from UK Women's Network, at the protest told Asian Voice, “We are gathered here to protest here against the state government and central government. The residents of Tuticorin have protested for last 30 years and nothing has happened. Whoever has been there in the state government, they have not done anything to address the concerns of the people. People in Tuticorin are thereby affected by cancer, breathing problems, asthma, infertility and now the protests have escalated to this level. The protests that happened on 26 May, people were shot without warnings. By the looks of it, we feel that it was planned by the state government, as snipers were present. People are say-

ing whatever the official statements be, there are more than 30 people have died, and all of them belonged to a group who have been fighting against Sterlite for years. “We want Mr Anil Agrawal to know that we are deeply distressed and angry. Lives are lost the cost of his factory. We agree that it is a profitable business, but do consider our pleas and have mercy.” Vijay Surya from Tamil Sangam

want the state government to be dismissed and the Central government to listen to us. That's why we are gathered here. “We would like to give our petition against the Vedanta company polluting our city and killing people to the High Commissioner of India to UK His Excellency Y K Sinha to be passed on to the Central Government in India.” In the meantime Her Majesty's

UK told the newspaper, “We want justice for the Tamil people who are killed in Tamil Nadu for a corporate company. The State Government and Central Government are protecting the company and killing the people. We want justice for our people, we

Opposition has been calling for the delisting of the “rogue” company from the stock exchange. Shadow chancellor John McDonnell in a statement said, “The news from Tamil Nadu that 13 people protesting against Vedanta have been killed is shocking and demands action. “This is a major multinational company that for years has operated illegal mining concerns, trashing the environment and forcibly evicting local people. Campaigners and international NGOs like Amnesty International have accused Vedanta of a string of human rights and environmental abuses in India, Zambia and across the globe,” he added. “After the massacre of the protesters this week, regulators must now take action. Vedanta must be immediately delisted from the London Stock Exchange, and prevent further reputation damage to London’s financial markets from this rogue corporation.”



Asian Voice | AsianVoiceNews

2nd June 2018

photo courtesy: Raj D Bakrania, Prmediapix

5th Atul Pathak Community Awards support and thank local community charities

Atul Pathak OBE with the winners and other guests

Local groups from across London and Berkshire received recognition for their efforts to make a difference to their communities at the 5th Atul Pathak Community Awards, that were held at the House of Commons on Wednesday evening 23rd May. Recipients included the Friern Barnet Community Library, Maidenhead based Braywick Charitable Trust, the Bracknell Firefighters Charity and the Halo Children’s Foundation based in Hayes. Other recipients were the Ealing Street Pastors, the Tree House Café at the Windsor Baptist Church as well as the Cricklewood and East Finchley Festivals in June. A special award was presented to the Centre for Social Justice, a think tank which seeks to influence government thinking and policy, to help fund research. This awards were meant to look at how more can be done to support schools to provide opportunities to disadvantaged pupils to develop the allimportant life skills as a

way to level the playing field in life after education. The evening was hosted by Rt Hon Theresa Villiers, the Conservative MP for Chipping Barnet and the opening speech was given by Richard Harrington, the Conservative MP for Watford and a Minister at the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy. After a speech from Atul Pathak OBE which spoke about the importance to him of giving something back to the communities in which his restaurants are based, Virendra Sharma, the Labour MP for Ealing Southall, gave the vote of thanks to Pathak for his generosity. Atul Pathak, the Managing Director of the Appt Corporation, is the UK’s leading McDonald’s franchisee, serves over 24 million customers at its 31 restaurants located in north, west and central London as well as across Berkshire. In total there were nine awards, and each recipient was presented with a certificate to recognise and

thank them for the fantastic work they do in their communities and also a donation for them to put towards a particular project or objective. The awards also included a ‘partnership pledge’ to give them access to Appt Corporation’s management team who can offer them additional, tailored support ranging from advice in marketing, or PR, or finance as well the use of their local McDonald’s over the next twelve months. Speaking after the awards, Pathak said: “At Appt Corporation, we believe that a business has to be based in its community because it very much relies on that same community. We really want to encourage people to get involved and support their local community, which is why it is important to inspire the local community to develop and flourish and champion local causes. The awards are a small way of recognising and thanking those charities who contribute so much to our local communities.”

AV-GS Elocution Competition for GCSE students, sign up now! Friends, we are overwhelmed, to say the least, by the amazing and heart-warming response you have given us. The amount of love and support we receive from you strengthens our resolution to promote and support the community more. For the first time in UK history, Asian Voice and Gujarat Samachar, in association and support with Maa Krupa Gujarati School will hold elocution competitions for this year's GCSE students from across several Gujarati medium schools, on June 17, Sunday, 10.30 am to 12.30 pm, at Canons High School, Edgware, HA8 6AN. Participants, who should be between the ages of 11 to 17, will have to speak on the topic 'My Father in My View' for 5 to 7 minutes. Winners will receive iPad and other attractive prizes. Dear Readers, Asian Voice and Gujarat Samachar, over the years, has made constant attempts to maintain the dignity of Gujarati language and our mother tongue. While there are several schools in Britain, and other countries, that take Gujarati classes. However, the number of students appearing for

Gujarati GCSE and A Level examinations are deteriorating by each passing day. So, we have taken it upon ourselves to encourage Gujarati speaking, and enlighten the youth about the language. In a series of activities scheduled for the future, this elocution competition is the first. With the competition, we hope to bring all students under one roof and urge them to share their views and thoughts with each other. Each participating child will have to fill in an entrance form. All final participants will receive a Certificate of Appreciation. Hurry up and send in your filled in forms to the Asian Voice-Gujarat Samachar office by May 31. For further details please contact Kalpesh Pandhi - 0789 49 89 103 Kokila Patel - 07875 229 177 Kamal Rao - 07875 229 211


Anand Mela 2018 Your health is our concern

Asian Voice and Gujarat Samachar's annual Anand Mela will be held on 9 and 10 June this year. One of UK's most thriving culture festival for charity returns, the 8th edition of the grand two-day event will take place at the Harrow Leisure Centre. Anand Mela attracts thousands of people every year, and flaunts a variety of stalls for food, fashion, wedding, beauty, property and investment, health and well-being and others. Performers for this year's Mela will be announced next week!

Anand Mela Health and Wellness Expo Health and fitness has for ever been one of our prime focuses, and this year is no different. With support and association of Meditouria, the Anand Mela Health and Wellness Expo this year will be the service you never knew you needed. Specialist consultants and doctors from major super speciality hospitals and health centres from Gujarat will be present at the expo to

Cancer Centre and will serve over 3 billion people.

Fortis JK Hospital Udaipur Filling the void when it comes to quality healthcare services for people residing in the city of Udaipur, late Swaroopender Singh Chabbra will bring affordable bestin-class compassionate healthcare accessible to people residing in the region. Joining hands with Plus Medicare Hospitals Private Limited, the Fortis will offer superlative care in wide range of specialties including Cardiology, Cardiac Surgery, Orthopaedics, Neurosurgery, Minimally Invasive Surgery, Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Endocrinology, Paediatrics and other services. With onethird of total beds dedicated to critical care across specialties, and first-of-itskind 'CritiNext' facility in the state, they ensure comprehensive and compassionte care to all critically ill patients.

Nova IVI IVF Centre

help you better yourself. They will provide consultations on physical ailments and any kind of sicknesses. Not only Gujarat, all states in India provide the best in health care today. They boast of state-ofthe-art machinery, and prime technology, increasing human life rate. UK's Meditouria connects itself with these hospitals and hearth care centres and provides help to those in need. For further details, please visit Hospitals to feature in this year's Anand Mela Health and Wellness Expo this year are:

Apollo Hospital Group Established in 1983 by Dr Prathap C Reddy, Apollo was India's first corporate hospital, and is known worldwide for pioneering private healthcare revolution in the country. It has a robust presence across the healthcare ecosystem, including hospitals, pharmacies, primary care and diagnostic clinics. The group also has telemedicine units across 10 countries, health insurance & services, global projects consultancy, medical colleges, Medvarsity for E-learning, colleges of nursing and hospital management and a research foundation. Apollo Hospital Group embraced rapid advancement in medical equipments worldwide, and pioneered the introduction of several cutting edge innovations in India. It will soon launch India's first-ever Proton Treatment

To make the journey of couples resorting to IVF and ART treatments, Nova IVI centres have ensured to have qualified, trained and dedicated counsellors on board who recognise various emotions and psycho-social problems and try to resolve them using different psychotherapies. Their services include one mandatory counselling session for IUI and four mandatory sessions for IVF patients. Every year, religious, and social communities from London and neighbouring boroughs participate in large numbers. It has been brought to our attention that this year too, organisations and communities are keen on participating. If you or your organisations are interested in associating with Anand Mela, please let us know on a prior basis, so necessary arrangements can be made. Not only your client base, this will also be a unique chance to advertise your own venture. You can reach out to the vast Asian community in a short span of just two days, with Anand Mela. For more details on stall booking, contact us on 020 7749 4080. For further details please contact Kalpesh Pandhi - 0789 49 89 103 Kokila Patel - 07875 229 177 Kamal Rao - 07875 229 211

Student offered £4 as compensation for 'choking hazard' flake In an incident reported by the Daily Mail, a student found a six-inch-long cornflake in his Kellogg's Crunchy Nut Cornflake packet. Hinay lad, 22, who is studying healthcare at Queen Mary University of London, opened his cereal packet and discovered the huge cornflake which he mistook for a piece of the ceiling that had fallen down. Lad, who believes he found the world's biggest Crunchy Nut Cornflake, contacted Kellogg's to report his discovery, which was roughly half the length of the box. Kellogg's sent four £1 vouchers and asked Lad to buy a new pack as compensation. They further suggested Lad, who lives in Bradford, to send them the flake so they can analyse it and find out how it ended up in the packet.

Hinay Lad

UK AsianVoiceNews


Asian Voice |


2nd June 2018

Rani Singh, Special Assignments Editor

Artist Lata Upadhyaya Transforms Transit White Van into Message of Multiculture How can an Indian origin British artist create a symbol of internationalism out of something that came to represent British nationalism pre the Brexit vote? Meet Lata Upadhyaya, from Essex, who has turned ordinary vehicles into lovely symbols of multiculturalism with many south Asian accents. Lata Upadhyaya has created a wondrous, colourfully decorated white van that embodies famous motifs from the different communities that live in Essex and the wider UK. Transit: The Identity of a White Van has been made possible through gallery Firstsite’s partnership with Essex Cultural Diversity Project, Essex County Council. It has also received support from Arts Council England, Colchester Council, and Thurrock Borough Council. Lata Upadhyaya specialises in contemporary sculpture. She holds an MFA in Sculpture from the Slade School of Fine Art, London and a BA Fine Arts (1995) and MFA in Sculpture (1998) from MS University, Baroda, India. Transit builds upon Upadhyaya’s 2016 project, 6,919km: The Journey of a Rickshaw, in which the

old Indian cycle rickshaw in 2014, I developed the concept of re-incarnating the rickshaw with a new identity, that of it’s new home in Essex. I used the rickshaw as a canvas and instead of painting it in an Indian style, I transferred this into the style of Essex. When I started to think about my next artwork, I wanted to do the opposite, take a British vehicle, that represented Essex and give it a new identity. Essex has the highest number of white van drivers in the UK and also with Ford being based in Dagenham, the Transit van seemed the perfect choice.”

artist transformed a rickshaw with brightly coloured depictions of Indian and Essex culture (including portraits of Russell Brand, Grayson Perry and Jamie Oliver) to celebrate its journey from Meerut, India, to Clactonon-Sea. Lata told us how Transit came to be. “My work reflects upon my own life and experience of migrating from East to West. Transit brings together my origins in India and my life in Britain; the white van rep-

resented a blank canvas; a British symbol as well as a lack of identity. I wanted the white van to take on a new British identity, one that represents all of the people that live here, all the different communities and celebrates what being British and living in Britain means. What lies behind Lata’s need to create art pieces involving well known vehicles. “When the opportunity came along to restore and create an artwork out of an

Will Britain witness its first Indian-origin Miss England? Neha Dhull, 23, a social worker from Oxshott is in the running to become the first British Indian Miss England. She currently works with vulnerable children, especially young girls that are victims to sexual abuse, or sex trafficking. She said, “I have dedicated my life to helping children and young people as I believe that children are our future”. Dhull was born and brought up in England but her parents are from India. While attending university in the UK, she was part of the Hindu society where she was part of the initiatives to empower Asian girls and to prevent gender discrimination. Dhull has helped in fundraising for Great Ormond Street Hospital and has been involved in teaching underprivileged children at a school in India. She said that taking part in her first pageant was a daunting but enjoyable experience. She said, “I was so nervous. My parents are amazing though. I can’t stress how much I value my parents. The people there were really

Neha Dhull

supportive about me taking part though. The Miss England organisation was very supportive and encouraging”. She added, “There has never been a British Indian girl that has won Miss England before, so this could really be about change”. Dhull believes that she must use her platform to raise awareness for causes such as feminism and to take part in charity work for Beauty with a Purpose, which raises money for humanitarian projects

across the world. She said, “This is my one chance to make a difference. I think for me to take part being a woman of colour was really empowering”. As part of the pageant she had to take part in a general knowledge test and also design a dress made out of a recyclable materials. Speaking about the experience, she said, “When I entered the County Finals to be selected for Semi Finalist, there was an Eco Round and a General Knowledge test as well. Miss England Organisation wants to raise awareness of the importance of recycling and looking after the environment, which is fantastic”. Dhull was selected as a semi-finalist for the competition on Sunday, April 22 at a pageant, which also saw a model from Weybridge crowned Miss Surrey. The 23-year-old, who lives in Kings Warren, will now take part in the semi-final of Miss England on July 3 at Kelham Hall.

How Lata Upadhyaya’s puts her art works together. “I always start with lots of research; what is the traditional style of these vehicles; how is the vehicle decorated; what does the decoration represent. I then carry out further research with different communities, find out what identity means to them and develop the concept further. By further evolving the ideas I start to

develop sketches of what could be represented on the vehicle. I then decide on how I will use the

Transit brings together my origins in India and my life in Britain. canvas, paint for the rickshaw and vinyl for the van, as these are the methods that are regularly used in their countries of origin. For the van I designed all of the artwork digitally and then this was printed on vinyl and fitted on the van.” You may be surprised to learn that both of the recent art works, the transit van and the rickshaw, are working vehicles. Lata says, “Yes, a key part of the artwork is that the vehicles are functional, that they can travel. They represent the notion of the journey of migration.” What is rarely discussed

in public is how art works get their funding for this is what the artist lives on while she creates. “I have been fortunate to work with great partners on the projects and therefore have developed strong relationships with them. By extensively researching each project and planning what will be involved and what the outcomes of each project will be, I have managed to be successful on each occasion. From idea to completion each project takes around 18 months and around 12 months from each grant award. The key is not to be complacent, I work harder on each application and have been very luck so far.” And Lata Upadhyaya’s next project? “Transit will continue to travel throughout the next year and during this time I will develop the ideas for the next project. I develop several concepts at a time and then seek feedback from previous partners and peers to inform which I will prioritise next.”



Asian Voice | AsianVoiceNews

2nd June 2018

Union of India - The Sacrifice of Princely state’s rulers

We often hear stories of Sardar Patel, Nehru and Gandhiji whose collective efforts gained India it's independence, and unification of the various states that made up the country, but how often do you think about the greatest sacrifices that the Rulers of the 565 states had to make, in order to create the unification? Those same rulers gave up everything, their rights, their purses, their land to some extent, their very crowns that gave their states their unique identity! They gave up everything for the people, for a united nation. Spare a thought for these brave kings, whose sacrifices should be acknowledged, and never forgotten. Can one imagine the Queen of England giving up her throne? NO! So please do remember, it wasn't only the Patels, or Nehrus or Gandhis who gave their all for India, as without the greatest sacrifices from the Maharajahs and other rulers, there would not have been an India! Kishorsinh D Jadeja London

Shame on Gujarat

Although I was at pain reading in last week’s Asian Voice, “Dalit rag-picker lynched in Rajkot” (Page 26) I was not surprised, as such news, headlines are common-place in local Gujarati newspapers published from Rajkot, Gandhinagar and Ahmedabad and widely circulated on social media. Dalits are being punished for rag-picking, entering some temples, restaurants, horse riding and other trivial excuses by so called moral guardian of Hindu community. It is indeed shame on the State of Gujarat, birth-place of such great and reforming preindependence leaders like Mahatma Gandhi, Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, K. M. Munshi, Morarji Desai and many more. Before independence, Bharat was blessed with social reformers like Raja Ram Mohan Roy, Swami Vivekananda, Dayanand Sarasvati, Dr B. R. Ambedkar and Rabindranath Tagore who fought tooth and nail to liberate, modernize Indian society, make it fit to run modern independent India. Gujarat is birth-place of civil disobedience, the famous Salt Satyagraha, also known as Dandi March, led by Gandhiji, started from his Sabarmati Ashram with few loyal supporters, gathering strength on the way to port of Dandi. Salt was heavily taxed by British when it could be made free from sea water. Former CM of Gujarat, Anandiniben Patel lost her privileged position when she failed to act promptly when five Dalits were flogged right outside police station, police watching and maintaining their distance. The worse aspect is that some prominent social and political organizations who rush to the aid of victims of earthquakes and such natural disasters, are maintaining deafening silence, so is BJP government of Gujarat. It is indeed a shame on every Indian that even after 70 years of independence and so many laws on the statute, such inhuman acts of brutality take place in almost all States. It is time for PM Modi to treat such incidents on par with rape of minors, who rightly attract death penalty and other organizations like RSS, VHP, SEWA International and religious and political organizations should get involved, take the lead. I hope some of Modiji’s trusted aids in London who have direct line of communication, will draw his attention and act before it is too late! British Indian community should be a perfect example how we have intermingle, thanks mainly to our highly educated, polite and law abiding youngsters. Bhupendra M. Gandhi By emal

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NHS views on social care

The head of NHS, commenting on bed-blocking crisis in NHS hospitals where up to 18,000 beds are blocked by OAP patients who are unable to leave hospitals, who may be living on their own and Councils unable to provide places in Care Homes, mainly due to cuts in Council budget, as well as severe bed shortages in Care Homes, says OAP should use equity on their homes to fund social care. But government has to increase care home capacity which is at a premium, except at the upper-end, charging £1500 a week, out of bound for most OAPs. Even dementia tax has also now become a viable source of revenue. While all these measures may sound reasonable, in practice it may not yield much, as OAPs are getting wiser and reducing the value of their assets over a period of time to avoid falling in such a trap! PM May performed U-turn in 2017 election, on her floated idea of collecting care bills from the proceeds of the sale of their homes on their deaths. Again such policies punishes responsible, thrifty people who have worked hard and managed their finances well, while financially irresponsible people and newly arrived gets away with ease. It is time our government appoints an “All Party Commission” to study how NHS is managed and financed in countries like France, Germany and Scandinavia where first class treatment is available, more or less on demand. First and foremost, it is time to introduce charges for GP and A & E visit, as well as Bed and Breakfast charges for hospital admission with few absolutely necessary exceptions. After all, it is a myth to say that NHS treatment is free at the source, as we pay for prescription charges and visit to dentists, one of the most expensive treatments in EU, although it is supposed to be free under NHS! It is high time that we bring our beloved NHS into 21st Century with every one contributing so that our elderly receive proper medical and social care they need and deserve. Kumudini Valambia By email

Preserving heritage sites

India and the Great Britain both have a very long history, culture and traditions that dates back to hundreds of years before Christ (BC). As a result, both countries have several monuments that have been declared by UNESCO as world heritage sites. In the UK, we can visit places like Edinburgh Castle, Stonehenge, Royal Botanic Gardens (Kew) and Roman Baths that are outstanding with tremendous heritage value. It is a pleasure to visit them though they invariably attract some entry fees as the amount collected is used for their conservation. Similarly, India also owns several ancient monuments that are spread over length and breadth of the country. However, it is painful to find that many of these heritage sites are neither adequately preserved nor maintained properly. Ajanta-Ellora caves in Maharashtra or royal palaces in Mandu and Bhim Betka caves in Madhya Pradesh are appropriate examples in this regard. Many such places have been spoiled by graffiti and are on the verge of destruction due to lack of sufficient care. They also lack tourist amenities and at times sufficient information is also not available to guide the travellers. The apathy of the Indian Government in this matter is reflected in a new project called ' adopt a heritage'. Under this policy, monument like the Red Fort in Delhi, has been handed over to the Dalmia Bharat group for upkeep and development. Government plans to entrust many such heritage sites, including the Taj Mahal, to corporates as also to individuals who then can use them for their own branding. Bharat Shah Rayners Lane


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Five minutes of fame

I am grateful to AV and GS for keeping me up to speed about the happenings in the world, and in particular about our motherland, even while I was on holiday to the sunny climes of Ibiza last week as I could read the two papers on my mobile. They also give me five minutes of fame by giving me a platform to put my views and opinions on paper. These two papers have given me a purpose in life in my retirement and enable me to keep the brain to continue ticking. But for the “Readers’ Voice” and “Mare pan kain kahevun chhe” columns, I would be losing my command on English and Gujarati. What is lacking is the fulfilment of my desire to meet and greet fellow writers and the ABPL staff, and a certificate or trophy as a memento for the 400 plus letters I have had published in the two papers. My mini auto biography under the “Remember, Recollect, Recharge” heading is still available on the internet and my nine year old grandson, Kian, proudly displays it on his mobile to friends and family. How about we all meet up at ABPL’s offices and put the face to the names which we are so accoustmed to? I had the privilege of chatting with CB, albeit over the wires, when he was a guest on Kanjibhai Ghedia’s Gujarati programme on NuSound Radio but a personal touch would be more welome. Dinesh Sheth Newbury Park, Ilford

Donald and Kim’s historic summit

President Donald Trump has been dillying-dallying about the upcoming summit with Kim Jong Un leader of North Korea to be held in Singapore on 12 June, 2018. First he accepts the invitation and says it will be a historic summit for denuclearisation of the Korean peninsula. Then on 24 May he cancels the peace summit and blames North Korea for derailing it because of their hostile response to the provocations made by America for holding a joint military exercise with South Korea on the eve of the summit and his national security adviser John R. Bolton began talking publicly about the “Libyan model” of turning over nuclear weapons, a reference to a deal he helped design in 2003 to be applied to North Korea, which ended tragically for Colonel Muamar Qaddafi in 2011. This has puzzled everyone and the high hopes of having a historic summit dashed by the whims of an erratic and unpredictable Donald Trump. Kim Jong Un needs money, investment and technology, for sure. But more than that, he needs to convince North Korea’s elites that he has not traded away the only form of security in his sole control — the nuclear patrimony of his father and his grandfather. “For them, ‘getting rich’ is a secondary consideration,” said William Perry, the former secretary of defence and one of the last people to negotiate with the North over peace treaties, nuclear disarmament and missiles — in 1999, when he was sent out as President Bill Clinton’s special envoy. “If I learned anything dealing with them, it’s that their security is pre-eminent. They know we have the capability to defeat them, and they believe we have the intent to do so.” “And the only way to address that,” Mr. Perry, now 90, said this week in Palo Alto, California., as the North Koreans were issuing their latest threats, “is with a step-by-step process, exactly the approach Trump said he did not want to take. Both Donald trump and Kim Jong Un have different perception and interpretation of denuclearisation, which will be a sticking point in their negotiations. Now after cancelling of the summit Donald Trump has changed his mind again and says the summit will most likely take place on 12 June or a later date. He also said “Kim Jong Un will be safe, he will be happy, his country will be rich,” Mr. Trump said of the North Korean leader on Tuesday, as he met again with Moon Jae-in, the over-optimistic South Korean president. Let us hope this summit takes place and something worthwhile comes out of it. Baldev Sharma Rayners Lane, Harrow

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40,000 new school places to be created by 2021 to cope with booming population Tens of thousands of new school places are to be created to cope with England’s population boom. Ministers have set aside £680million to fund 40,000 places in primary and secondary schools across the country by 2021. They are needed in part because of a baby boom fuelled by high migration under the Labour government. Earlier this year, the Government said an extra 600,000 secondary school places would be needed in England by 2023, plus almost 80,000 new primary places. That means the extra money announced last night will only begin to fund the shortfall. There will also be fears

that hundreds of schools will be blighted by temporary classrooms until permanent ones can be built. Ministers said £50million of the funding will go on places for children with special educational needs. Children’s minister Nadhim Zahawi said: ‘All parents want to send their child to a good local school, one that meets their individual needs and supports them to achieve their full potential, regard-

less of the challenges they may face. ‘This funding will help to create thousands more school places across the country, with a clear focus on transforming the experience of education for children with special educational needs or disabilities.’ The places shortage has led to many pupils being taught in classes of more than 30, and has made it more difficult for parents to get their children into their first choice of school. The funding comes after a Government projection found that, over the next five years, the number of secondary pupils will rise by more than 600,000.

De Montfort University Leicester (DMU) has become the first higher education institution (HEI) in the UK to have an award for race equality renewed. DMU is one of only eight original holders of the award - and the only HEI - to have so far successfully applied for a renewal of the prestigious bronze Race Equality

Charter award. Launched in 2015, the award was created to tackle inequality in higher education and to improve the representation, progression and success of Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) students, academics and professional staff in the UK’s universities. To receive a renewal of the award, institutions

have to demonstrate determination and progress made to advance racial equality and remove institutional and cultural barriers standing in the way of this. The award is presented by the Advance HE (formerly Equality Challenge Unit), a charity which is funded by and provides guidance for the higher education sector.

Leicester’s DeMontfort University first to be re-awarded for race equality measures


2nd June 2018

Nearly 1 in 5 Oxford students now BME as university announces diversity drive Nearly one in five students enrolling at Oxford are now either black or an ethnic minority, figures show, as the university announces a new diversity drive in the wake of mounting political pressure. For the first time in its history, the university today publishes its full admissions figures, which it hopes will reassure critics who have condemned its failure to admit more black and disadvantaged

students. The report shows that last year the number of students classes as black and ethnic minority rose to 17.9 percent, up from just 13.9 percent four years ago. Meanwhile, it has been revealed that more than six in ten students offered a place this autumn were from state schools, the highest proportion in the university’s history. Pupils accepted from

disadvantaged backgrounds, which have traditionally numbered just several hundred, now account for more than 10 percent of its annual intake. It comes in the wake of a political backlash over the historically low number of ethnic minority students admitted to some of Oxford’s most elite colleges, with figures showing that three failed to admit a single black British applicant in 2015.

New parenting app has positive impact on children’s development A digital programme that sends game ideas and tips on child development to parents could improve important skills in the early years, according to new Oxford University research. The randomised controlled trial conducted by Oxford’s Department of Education and published by the Sutton Trust, suggests that the programme has positive effects on children’s concentration levels, determination, and ability to make their own decisions. The study tested EasyPeasy, a digital programme for parents and

organised by

carers of 2-5 year old children that encourages positive parent-child interaction through play in the home. The programme was trialled by 302 families from eight children’s centres in Newham, all in lower income environments. Parents taking part in the trial, funded through the Sutton Trust and Esmée Fairbairn Foundation’s Parental Engagement Fund used the app for 3 months, and reported improvements in their children’s ‘cognitive self-regulation’. This means they were better at

persisting with difficult tasks, making decisions independently, and working things out for themselves – sometimes described as ‘grit’. These capabilities strongly underpin children’s ability to learn and succeed at school, and are considered essential for ‘school readiness’. The app also had a positive effect on parents’ sense of control, with parents reporting that they felt more able to get their child to behave well and respond to boundaries, as well as feeling more able to stay calm when facing difficulties.

Ofsted admits some 'outstanding schools aren't that good'

at Harrow Leisure Centre, Christchurch Avenue, Harrow HA3 5BD

Some schools rated outstanding may no longer be as good as their rating suggests, Ofsted has said amid official criticism of its work in England. A National Audit Office report found 1,620 schools, mostly outstanding, had not been inspected for six years or more, and 290 for a decade or more. Outstanding schools were decreed exempt from routine inspections in 2011. Ofsted bosses said there was no way of telling if these schools had since fallen into a "mediocre" category. Although, inspections can be triggered at any school if a safeguarding concern is raised, or if there is a significant drop

in results. It no longer goes into these top-rated schools on a regular basis. Ofsted's director of corporate strategy, Luke Tryl, said: "What we can't tell is if the levels of education in those schools judged outstanding 10 years ago are the same or whether it has changed to become middling, or mediocre or coasting." When asked by

reporters if he was saying that some "outstanding schools aren't really outstanding", he replied: "Yes." However, many schools will have their "outstanding" label highlighted on their websites and on banners outside their premises. And many parents base at least their initial views of such schools on these Ofsted rankings.

A seemingly draconian system of testing and ranking every pupil in every subject twice a year and displaying the results is reaping rewards in some of the most deprived areas. “Rank order” was introduced at Sacred Heart Catholic School in Southwark, southeast London, by Serge Cefai, the head, who said he was

fed up with “the PC brigade” claiming that disadvantaged children should not be assessed in case the results upset them. Half the children at Sacred Heart are entitled to the pupil premium for children from low-income families and more than half speak English as their second language.

Despite this, the school tops the GCSE league table in the borough. Last year 81 per cent of its pupils passed at least five GCSEs, including maths and English, at grades A* to C. The system has been adopted by two others near by, as well as secondaries in Bournemouth and Swindon.

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Asian Voice | 2nd June 2018

The Karnataka election was tailor-made for India’s all too wooden English-language TV channels. Style and content were eminently predictable, and hence forgettable. High profile anchors intoxicated by evident self-regard, squeezed clichéd question after question in unchanging mode at political aides, the principals incommunicado, with a gallery of ‘experts’ putting in their rupee’s worth of prescriptive wisdom. One channel on completing its early morning breakfast show followed it up with another sporting a different label but identical in content – a novel way of short-changing audiences. A conjuring trick, some might say, with hypnotized producers, anchors and camera crew sleep-walking and talking ad infinitum – packaged bores, every one. New Ministry sworn in The new Karnataka government, led by Chief Minister H.D. Kumaraswamy was sworn into office last week (M ay 23)). As expected, it is a coalition of the Janata Dal United (Secular). The Chief Minister belongs to the JDU (S), his deputy is a

Karanataka Chief Minister H.D. Kumaraswamy

Congressman with ministerial posts divided between the two parties as per the agreement between Kumaraswamy and Rahul Gandhi, the Congress President during talks in New Delhi.

Opposition unity There was a massive show of Opposition unity with every Opposition leader outside the governing coalition present at

India (Marxist), D. Raja, Communist Party of India, Akhilesh Yadav, Samajwadi Party, RJD leader Ajit Singh, and BJP malcontent Yashwant Sinha. It is a motley crew, united only in its anti- BJP animus and little else. If the past is anything to go by, coalition regimes in Delhi end with warring factions at each other’s throats. Mamata Banerjee’s Trinamool Congress goons thrashed opponents of Left and of Right in the recent rural Panchayat elections across West Bengal’s rural heartland. The BJP has demonized the Congress and Congress stalwarts of the past, which the gracious Atal Bihari Vajpayee, Prime Minister Modi’s predecessor, never did. The venomous BJP attacks have polarized India as never before. However, the 2019 general election is still a year away, and a week is a long time in politics. Congressman Sivakumar, who played a major backroom role in cobbling the coalition, is in a sulk at his alleged marginalization. And this, on the first day on the new government!

Sloganeering Populist slogans will be pitted against a liberalized economic regime which, ironically, was introduced by Dr Manmohan

Inspirational report

the ceremony, from Mamata Banerjee, West Bengal Chief Minister and talking head of the Trinamool Congress, Mayawati of the BSP (Uttar Pradesh), Sharad Pawar, President, National Congress Party, Chandrababu Naidu, President Telugu Desam, Andhra Pradesh, Sitaram Yechury, General Secretary, Communist Party of

Singh in 1991, as then finance minister in the Congress government headed by the late Narasimha Rao. Economic reforms have been staunchly opposed by the two Communist parties, but vigorously endorsed by the likes of Chandrababu Naidu. What price Opposition unity? (Times of India May 24).

Telecom projects for insurgency States & Northeast

High drama

Second Act The Second Act commenced with Transplant surgeon K.R.Balakrishnan and cardiac anesthetist Suresh Rao, of Fortis Chennai, took off for Bangaluru and Sparsh Hospital, where recipient Dilchand was wheeled into the Operating Theatre. Fifteen minutes ahead of schedule an IndiGo flight, with the heart in box strapped to a seat, departed for Kolkata. Around two hours later (11 am), it touched down at Kolkata airport. Ten minutes later, an ambulance with heart set off for the hospital. At 11.10 am, a team of surgeons begin extracting Dilchand’s failing heart. At 11.30 am the Transplant surgery begins, ending at 3 pm, when Dilchand was wheeled out of the Operating Theatre. Betwixt times legal formalities and other essential paperwork were completed as per requirements. The entire process was a marvel of speed, efficiency, commitment and skill. It was a truly magnificent achievement. One learns to accept the reality that bad news travels faster than good, but nothing save inertia prevents the accustomed order to be reversed when the occasion demands. Dilchand is back on his feet, recovering fast.

India, Australia’s Partnership

Opposition leaders pose for photojournalists in Bengaluru after Kumaraswamy was sworn in as the Chief Minister of Karnataka

threats to the country’s newly acquired prosperity – albeit, a relative term (Business Line May 24).

The Times of India (May 22) trumped its rivals with truly inspirational first-page lead report of a heart transplant operation which included five participating States, three hospitals and three teams of doctors. The patient from Jharkhand, one Dilchand by name, awoke to a new day and, hopefully, to a new life.

The drama began with 21 yearold Bangaluru resident critically injured in a road accident; rushed to hospital, he was declared brain-dead. The hospital was swiftly the Karnataka organ sharing registry, which promptly contacted the Regional Organ & Tissue Transplant Organization, which then alerted Fortis Malar in Chennai which found a patient at the Kolkata unit of Fortis.

Austria’s Foreign Minister Julie Bishop has given much thought to adjusting her country’s relations with established regional partners, principally India and Japan, with the United States the global linchpin. Minister Bishop shared her thoughts with an Indian reporter on seeking her country’s reentry into the maritime alignment of India, Japan and the United States and participated in the Malabar naval exercise. Australia withdrew from this arrangement under Kevin Rudd’s Labour government, for fear of offending China, its major trading partner.


Julie Bishop

She said Australia’s renewed membership of the former Quadrilateral bloc was also an attempt to give proper recognition to India place in the emergent Asia-Pacific order. India is a ‘a significant strategic partner for Australia…we share converging interests, particularly in the Indian Ocean….its economy is integrating with technology and global know-how…increasingly integrated with the economies of East and North Asia.’

Trade, education Ms Bishop also dwelt on closer economic relations between the two countries, alluding to her government’s forthcoming vision statement. India students were being increasingly drawn to Australia for higher education and subsequent employment opportunities in the country. The Minister said: ‘We welcome Indian students in Australia. But we also welcome skilled immigrants.’ (Hindu May 23).

India, Pakistan in SCO anti-terror meet India and Pakistan have agreed to participate in an anti-terror conference under aegis of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) to convene in Islamabad. Time will reveal all. Meanwhile Pakistani firing along the Line of Control in Jammu has reached unprecedented levels leading to civilian deaths and 80,000 displaced people sheltering in refugee camps (Hindu May 23).

Rohingya Jihadis massacre Hindus: Amnesty report An Amnesty International report has claimed that Rohingya jihadis massacred 105 Hindu men, women and children, and abducting many, in Myanmar during a two-day spree. The Selfstyled Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army embarked on a murderous rampage in the north of Myanmar’s Racine province. The attack, coordinated with assaults on police outposts, took place on August 25, 2017. (Times of India May 24).

Wary Bangladesh Reports from Bangladesh suggest that growing numbers of its citizens are wary of the Rohingyas living in their midst. Poverty-stricken with outsized broods of children, the newcomers are perceived as

The government has earmarked Rs 14,000 crore for telecom projects in States hit by Maoist insurgents and for the country’s Northeast in Meghalaya. In a separate announcement, the Cabinet approved investment of Rs7,000 crore for the setting up of 4072 towers in 96 districts of 10 States affected by Maoist insurgency. These areas will be able to get 4G services Minister for Electronics Ravi Shankar Prasad said the move to improve connectivity in the region would be of social and strategic benefit. More than 1,000 towers are to be set up in 21 districts of Jharkhand and 16 in Chattisgarh. Other states included the scheme are Bihar, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh and West Bengal (Economic Times May 24).

Indian American woman scientist in space odyssey Anita Sengupta, whose father hails from West Bengal, is the lead brain behind NASA’s experiment to recreate the coldest spot in the universe. The spot so created by Cold Atom Laboratory (CAL) is expected to be 10 billion times colder than the space vacuum. CAL, flown to the International Space Station last week, could potentially lead to the development of futurist technologies in sensors, quantum computers and atomic clocks in spacecraft navigation, said NASA. Sengupta said CAL would investigate the properties of the ’Bose Einstein Condensate,’ a state of matter that only occurs just above absolute zero.’ (Times of India May 23).

Women as growth drivers of Harley Davidson motorbike The percentage of American women driving the iconic Harley Davidson motorbike complete with arresting, eye-catching apparel is large; in India, where the numbers are miniscule by comparison. Hence Karen Davidson, the great granddaughter of the company’s co-founder William A. Davidson, arrived in Kolkata for a personal demonstration of the product to popularize the machine in the city and its environs, among an age group between 18 and 35, and take it to other parts of the country’s mainly II towns. The company has set up hubs in at Siliguri, in north Bengal, Dimapur and Imphal in India’s North East, and hopes to set up others in Varanasi and Goa. It has chosen to bypass Hyderabad, Bangaluru, Chennai, Mumbai and Delhi because of forbiddingly high land prices for office space. Like all visionary entrepreneurs, Karen Davidson and her team are betting big on India’s market potential (Mint May 22).

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2nd June 2018

Harrow Council elects first female Muslim mayor

What UK India means to Me I received an award from the India Business Group recently. The UK India relationship has held a special place for me since working in the US Congress as Navdeep Suri the now Indian Ambassador to UAE will recall. The Congressman I worked for tried valiantly to warn the US President and State Department of the terrorist activities of India's neighbour and the nuclear proliferation to North Korea. But the Clinton White House was deaf. I've not done more important work since. That was 1994. We also blocked those who sought to divide India further. At 29 the UK Foreign Secretary asked me to join the UK India Roundtable to advise the Prime Minister's of both countries on policies for closer ties. I still think they chose me by accident as I sat next to bank CEOs and Professors and industrialists as the youngest member there. I sought more Indian immigration to the UK and still do. No brainer. After all, what did my parents ever do for Britain but work tirelessly in manual jobs others were too proud to do? The Department for International Trade at the recommendation of Lord Bilimoria asked me in 2005 to become a British Government Dealmaker for them to bring the best entrepreneurs and technologies of strategic importance to the UK from India and establish their HQ and secure jobs and investment into the UK. I said no. I need to focus on my then newly founded hedge fund I told them. I can't live on public service alone. I kept saying no. The British Government has a way of persisting. I'm glad they did! That role expanded to today my covering all Asia Pacific. Whilst I'm poorer financially for it as my focus moved from my business to my country, as my Department for International Trade colleagues keep reminding me (and they literally laugh as they do!), there are more important things than the money in your pocket. I'll make it up to my wife and boy am sure. So UK India from university over 20 years ago to today is indeed a special relationship for me...politically, commercially and philanthropically. I won't say I am humbled, because it was all along my duty to do all this as my family always taught me from when I was a patria is character. Duty is love as I tell my wife when she asks if I do out of duty or love. And besides, all those all nighters that you don't see as you juggle Government and business simultaneously working two jobs basically on three time zones...well no

Alpesh with his wife Aekta

one weeps for you when you get the awards. But you have...for behind every award there are untold tears. Aekta would always worry why I would still have another hour of work at my desk in India or Singapore or Hong Kong at the same time as she was going to bed in the UK ( do the maths). And I would recount that lovely Will Smith quote..."me and someone get on a treadmill and one of two things will happen, either they're getting off first, or I will die on there). My uncle accompanied me on a couple of trips and thought I was mental...that from the most workaholic man I know. "why do you kill yourself?" He would echo my wife's concerns. "I don't know any other way" I always reply. None of this you do for recognition, you couldn't sustain the years of toil without it, if it were for it. You do it because you can and believe in something, values, ideas that in a living room many years ago as a child your family told you about. But it's bloody nice to get some recognition. So we shall celebrate over a quiet dinner and reminisce a while...for in the morning it will be back to work. And besides, never congratulate yourself too much...your choices and chances and circumstances were all good fortune anyway so thank the One you could be of use. Thank you to the organisers for outstanding event with Home Secretary and to Nayan Patel for the kind backing. It's always lovely to be recognised and of course nice to tell your wife 'still got it baby' as I persuade her to stand as a Member of Parliament. But that's another story for another day...

Mosque accepts bitcoin during Ramadan A mosque in Britain’s capital is willing to receive Ramadan donations — in bitcoin. The Shacklewell Lane Mosque in Dalston, east London, has decided to accept bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies in a bid to widen its donor base and cut down on currency conversion fees, mosque leaders said. “For a donor that already has a bitcoin or an ethereum account, the effort of converting cryptocurrency into say British pounds or dollars can be quite burdensome. The mosque effectively takes the burden on themselves,” said blockchain

consultant Lukasz Musial, who helped the mosque set up the technology. “For the donor, it’s just the click of a button to transfer to an account provided by the charity. From the mosque’s perspective, it opens a new stream of donations coming from all over the world,” Musial said. The mosque says it is one of a handful to accept cryptocurrencies out of hundreds in London and its move is yielding results. It said it is on track to double its donations this year to more than £10,000 ($13,300). Muslims with the means are religiously

obliged to give alms, often calculated based on Islamic texts as being 2.5 percent of their wealth, and many do so during the holy month, a time when Muslim charities are most active.

Harrow elected its first female Muslim mayor at the council’s 2018 full annual meeting. Cllr Kareema Marikar, who has represented West Harrow since 2010, was chosen to succeed Margaret Davine, who is retiring. She was healthily supported by her colleagues in the Labour Group, and successfully defeated Cllr Chris Mote, who was put forward by the borough’s Conservatives. Cllr Marikar, who has lived in Harrow for 28 years, said she was “filled with joy” at becoming the borough’s first citizen. “I take my new role with pride and pledge to serve the community to the best of my ability,” she said. “Harrow is a great place to live, with a strong history. It is also the most

Cllr Kareema Marikar

mum,” she said. “And my parents taught me strong values and life lessons, which I hope to use in my role as mayor.” Several councillors commended Ms Davine on her “tireless” work this past year, with the outgoing mayor describing the role as “an honour and a privilege”. Cllr Nitin Parekh was elected as deputy mayor, defeating Conservative candidate Camilla Bath.

Scotland to lure non-EU migrants with tax and visa benefits Non-EU highly-skilled migrants or international students may finally be welcomed to the UK after Scottish government report proposes giving prospective immigrants financial incentives to move to Scotland, in a bid to boost the country’s economy and offset the consequences of Brexit. The Sustainable Growth Commission, set up by the Scottish National Party (SNP) to assess the country’s economic prospects, suggested introducing a 'Come to Scotland' package that would include tax cuts for highly skilled migrants, according to a report by The Independent. It would also see immigrants allowed to deduct the costs of their move from their income tax bill. The Commission also said the Scottish government should aim to attract an additional 5,000 overseas graduates each year to stay in the country, including offering tax breaks to incentivise them to do so. This might be a welcoming news for the community after the number of Indian students and migrants settling in the UK halved over last 10 years, due to stringent visa system, scrapping of the Tier 1 (highly skilled migrant programme) and


Personal office based marriage introduction service, for all ages, backgrounds, marital status, professionals and non-professionals.

diverse borough in the country.” A proud Muslim, she chose the imam at the Sri Lankan Muslim Cultural Centre as one of her chaplains. He will be joined by Rabbi Kathleen Middleton from the Mosaic Reform Synagogue in supporting the mayor. Her chosen charities are the Rainbow Trust Children’s Charity, which supports families with sick children, and the Firm Foundation, which aids Harrow’s homeless. Cllr Marikar also paid tribute to the importance of family; referencing her three children whom she raised on her own, her late parents, and those who had flown in from Canada, Germany and the Netherlands to support her. “I am a proud single

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that of the Post-Study Work visa scheme. The Commission, which was Chaired by the former SNP MSP Andrew Wilson, said Scotland could become one of the most successful small economies in the world, with living standards that could “equal the best small countries in the world". It further added attracting skilled migrants should be “one of the top priorities of Scottish Government economic policy”, with measures designed to offset the impact of Brexit and what it called the “UK Tory government's hostile approach to migration". While the UK currently only offers permanent investor visas to people with at least £10m to

invest, the commission said Scotland should consult on introducing a much lower cap, which would be set at £75,000. UK restrictions stating entrepreneurs should have at least £50,000 to invest in their business before moving to the EU should also be reformed in Scotland, it added. The newspaper reported that Mr Wilson said: "It is a fact that those born outside the UK who have made Scotland home for their businesses, their research or their families are significant net contributors to our economy and public finances - we need more of this. "We also need more people from across the UK to consider the benefits of living and working here.”



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Asian Voice |

2nd June 2018

Londoner Amit and his celebrity guide dog Kika join ‘The Big Walk’

The world’s biggest bicycle manufacturer, Indian-owned Hero Cycles has announced that its Manchester headquartered UKoperation will be the headline sponsor of this year’s StreetVelodrome tour.

Launched live on BBC’s the One Show (16 May), four teams of walkers have spent the last few weeks embarking on an epic journey from Morecambe to their respective homes in Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland and England. Amit Patel from New Eltham, 38 and his internet sensation guide dog, Kika, joined The Big Walk as team England headed back to London in time for a celebratory Big Lunch – is an idea from the UK's annual get together for neighbours on Sunday 3 June, made possible by the National Lottery. A former A&E doctor, Amit lost his sight five years ago, following a catastrophic haemorrhage behind his eyes. He hit the headlines earlier this year after @Kika collar cam filmed his daily interactions with people. The footage revealed a shocking perspective on the world, where people pushed and shoved the pair. Amit now campaigns for inclusion and accessibility and wants to use his time on The Big Walk to show people what can be achieved when you put your mind to it. Amit is excited to get

Amit Patel with his guide dog Kika

cracking on his leg of The Big Walk, setting off from Tamworth and heading to Birmingham on Saturday in time for a big community walk in the Royal Botanic Gardens. He said:“I love meeting new people and find that Kika is a great ice breakguideer, plus we love walking and like to prove that even though you have a disability, it shouldn’t stop you from doing what you believe in. It’s amazing to be able to go out and talk to people and meet people but I know not everybody can – communities need to be open to everyone and have space for people to join in. I really hope everyone takes part in The Big Lunch and gets to know their neighbours better on 3 June.”

Five Children, Five Continents, Five Generations

From humble beginnings in Ghed Bagasra, Saurashtra, the Chande diaspora today is thriving across five continents. On Sunday May 13, 2018, almost 100 descendants and extended family members of Velji Savji and Jiviben Chande gathered in London, UK. Relatives spanning five generations came together to distribute a recently written book that enumerates all descendants and compiles stories and photos from the past 150 years. From humble beginnings in Ghed Bagasra, Saurashtra, the Chande diaspora today is thriving

Hero Cycle’s UK-operation to sponsor 2018 StreetVelodrome tour

across five continents. On Sunday May 13, 2018, almost 100 descendants and extended family members of Velji Savji and Jiviben Chande gathered in London, UK. Relatives spanning five generations came together to distribute a recently written book that enumerates all descendants and compiles stories and photos from the past 150 years. Juthalal Velji (JV), the eldest of Velji Savji Chande’s five children, left India for Africa in 1919 and his siblings and cousins soon followed. The book chronicles this migration and traces how

StreetVelodrome is a national initiative designed to encourage families to take up cycling. The concept takes the form of a ‘pop up’ velodrome touring cities in the UK and Ireland. A series of competitive races take place at the velodrome featuring top professional riders as well as amateurs and children. The events are free and open to the public to spectate, or take part in races, with bikes, equipment and professional instruction all supplied by the StreetVelodrome team. This year the tour will visit venues in and around Dublin from June 10 to June 16, Ballymena in Northern Ireland on June 10, Wigan July 12 to 15 with the Super Finals finals taking place at Canary Wharf in London on August 14 and 16. In a new development for 2018 Avocet UK, which is Hero Cycles’ UK company based in Manchester, will take headline sponsorship of the tour

Avocet Sports Limited’s CEO Sreeram Venkateswara

under its new Insync range of bikes launched at Old Trafford football ground in May. The Insync bikes have been designed at Hero's new £2m Global Design Centre in Manchester's Central Park. All bikes at the StreetVelodrome events will be from the new Insync range. Avocet CEO Sreeram Venkateswaran said the StreetVelodrome series fitted the

objectives of the new Insync range which is aimed at making cycling as a sport accessible to all. Healso spoke about an important element of the StreetVelodrome series which is the Cycling Futures schools programme. For more details, and to take part in the Street Velodrome tour, visit:

Emirates’ passengers to London Stansted offered a special lunch by local pop-up Rupanjana Dutta A local pop-up Bengali restaurant, Brohmon, is offering a special lunch treat to the passengers of Emirates Airline’s first flight from Dubai to London Stansted Airport – scheduled for 8th June. Passengers will be able to visit the restaurant in nearby Bishops Stortford, to sample an authentic Bengali lunch menu. At the same time, Brohmon’s owners, Karim Ullah and Sultana Parvin, hope that these airline travellers will also get to see some of the delights of Hertfordshire as a tourist destination – rather than merely as somewhere to travel through en route to, say, London or Cambridge. Brohmon co-owner, Sultana Parvin, originally from Sylhet, Bangaldesh told Asian Voice, “We don’t know how much time people are planning to spend in Hertfordshire after they land at London Stansted, but we want to make sure

they at least know a little of the many things this county has to offer. “One of the by-products of our offer of a special, authentically Bengali, lunch will be, hopefully, to persuade people not to travel through Hertfordshire to other destinations but, rather, to enjoy some wonderful experiences in the county. It may be a relatively small county but it’s a great county to live in – and it has some incredible attractions for everyone, whether you like history, culture,

the Chande family became a dominant force in commerce and community throughout East Africa. The business started as simple duhkans (stores) along the newly opened East African Railway, but with the dedication and entrepreneurialism typically associated with Gujarati’s, it grew significantly. At its peak, JV Group controlled global

distribution rights for global brands, and maintained trading connections around the globe, accounting for over six percent of the total revenue of the railway line in Tanzania. The book culminates with a series of maps that plot the reach of the diaspora today; a migration from Canada to China, necessitated by the politi-

Karim & Sultana

music, sport, nature or architecture.” Karim Ullah, who has his roots in Sylhet, Bangladesh, arrived in the UK when he was 6. He said, “When Emirates Airline starts services from London Stansted, I’m sure they’ll bring people from all over the world to this beautiful region. Our aim is to help these people enjoy the best of Hertfordshire – and also enjoy some authentic Indian food as well!” Brohmon, which operates as a pop-up restaurant cal instability of the late 1960’s in East Africa. Reflective of the priority on education within the family, the next generation is replete with professionals such as Doctors, Lawyers, Engineers and Accountants. Family members from different generations contributed to the book, resulting in a rich tapestry

at various venues, like in Braughing, Hounsdon, and mainly in east Hertfordshire, specialises in authentic Bengali food. The food ranges from £1420 and includes a main dish, a side, rice and bread, sometimes a starter too. In making this offer to Emirates’ first passengers in to London Stansted Airport, Brohmon - which means ‘journey’ in Bengali – hopes to convince these people to experience something of Hertfordshire and take away some happy memories. Karim told the newspaper that they have approached the airlines, and they are hopeful that Emirates would also promote it as need be. “It would be great if this influx of passengers into London Stansted – not just from Emirates but also from Primera Air, Air Corsica, Wow Air and others - can help boost visitor numbers to Hertfordshire in the coming months and provide a boost to the county’s tourism sector,” added Ullah. of perspectives from different vantages. It was funded privately, and donations are being collected to support charity work in Bagasra, India. Amee Chande, primary author and granddaughter of Velji Savji Chande said, “My hope was to not only capture the rich history of our family, but to inspire us to keep connected in the years to come.” AsianVoiceNews

Asian Voice | 2nd June 2018

Aparna Mahadevan SP



Infatuated student in custody for harassing lecturer

Mohammad Khan, 36, has been remanded in custody for breaching a restraining order filed by his university lecturer, Tracy Bettinson. Khan, of Reading, had pursued Bettinson for nine years despite Bettinson's claim that she had no interest in having a relationship with him. He breached the order within eight days, a court heard. Khan will return to court for sentencing on July 13.

Support for immigration to aid NHS

A survey found that 69% of the Brexit voters are saying that the UK should instead decide on visas for NHS staff “based on what the NHS needs”. This poll by YouGov on behalf of a campaign group revealed that only 14% Britons back the present policy on visas for NHS staff, who are subject to the overall cap. This survey was conducted after numerous complaints, of visa caps causing staffing issues, from nurses and doctors’ unions, medical royal colleges and NHS chiefs. Jeremy Hunt, the health secretary, said this month that he was likely to lobby Sajid Javid, the home secretary, for special visas for NHS and social care staff.

London buskers to accept contactless payments

Sadiq Khan spoke in support of 'Busk in London', an initiative between the Mayor of London and technology company iZettle, which will allow buskers on the streets of London to accept contactless card payments. This will be the first scheme of its kind in the world. The Mayor said, “Busking helps emerging artists to hone their talent and gives them the chance to perform in front of huge numbers of people”.

47-year-old businessman charged with murder

Zahid Naseem, 47, a businessman and former director at a London stockbrokers, has been charged with the murder of a 29-year-old woman. Christina Abbotts, a graduate of Oxford Brookes university, was found bludgeoned to death in a flat in Crawley after failing to turn up at her own birthday party on Friday night. Mr Naseem, of Amersham in Buckinghamshire, appeared at Brighton magistrates' court on Monday, May 28.

Boots accused of cancer drug price hike

According to an investigation by The Times, Boots has been accused of exploiting a loophole in drug rules, enabling the high street chemist to “exploit cancer patients” by charging the NHS £3,200 for pain-relieving mouthwash that can cost £93. Boots has reportedly benefitted from a loophole which lets the suppliers set their own prices for some unlicensed medicines called specials. Across the industry, high prices for specials cost the NHS about £30 million a year.

Data law affects small UK charities

Smaller charities in the UK have been affected by the recent general data protection regulation (GDPR) laws. These charities, that are now “left in the dark and confused”, might face trouble due to the GDPR requirements to sustain themselves.

Royal wedding “more stressful than war”, says Major-General Bathurst

Major-General Benjamin Bathurst, 54, the head of the Household Division has said that staging the ceremonials for the royal wedding was more stressful than going to war. He added, “Last week we had 5,000 press and 1.9 billion watching from around the world; and you had 100,000 in the streets and every single person had a camera.” He pointed out that a momentary error during the ceremonials for the marriage would have been caught by smartphones and streamed instantly on social media and that his servicemen and women did “a brilliant job”.


Senior Solutions Architect at Amazon

Reported surge in forced marriages With 3,546 cases of forced marriage reported to the police between 2014 and 2016, there have only been two convictions since its criminalisation in 2014. Based on figures obtained by the Iranian and Kurdish Women’s Rights Organisation, charities across UK warned that there were thousands of such victims living in conditions of modern slavery in homes across the country. Legal experts and campaigners suggest modern slavery legislation for forced marriages since this crime is notoriously hard to prosecute.


going to work, it’s not an experiment. Most large organisations embrace the idea of invention but are not willing to suffer the string of failed experiments necessary to get there. In business speed matters. Many decisions and actions are reversible and do not need extensive study. At Amazon, we value calculated risk taking and a bias for action.” This is why the young creator suits her digital guidSunetra Senior ance role so incredibly well. “Initially, I was in Bangalore, India, working in parna is a Senior Solutions the tech space as a quality assurance Architect at the conceptual engineer, but I felt that this job did head of one of the most curnot really challenge me: I wasn’t able rent and successful business platto utilise all my skills. I wanted a bigforms on the planet: she works on ger role, and this was a major, lifethe legendary Alexa, “Amazon’s changing decision. The choice came cloud-based service, and the brain down to taking on projects slowly that that powers devices such as built my exposure to wider business, Amazon Echo and the Echo Dot.” or to entirely switch domains. I went More specifically, Aparna works on with a formal switch, including doing the Alexa Skills Set initiative, which an MBA . This also meant moving to “allows all kinds of developers – large, Singapore where I attended NUS busismall, independent – to add new ness school. There was a lot of disskills, capabilities or services to Alexa comfort with the change, but it was themselves.” For example, worth the bigger payif one wanted to off.” Indeed, just create a tailoras her excellent made vocational product pioneers guide for a para pragmatic shift ticular job in the way one description or navigates life, company, this Aparna stands as could be integrata leader for an ed into Alexa’s emerging philoalready extensive sophical approach to the range of digital wisdoms. world of work: “I have learnt the “Alexa is getting smarter every day,” importance of fluidity since nothing Aparna stated. “It is highly accessible, is permanent. We live in a world in that anyone can build an Alexa skill where everything is changing so for free, and if you can build a smartquickly. People want different serphone app, you can build a skill.” vices and things and so there are Their trademark intelligent product is always new opportunities, and abilithen evolving into a friendlier, more ties in demand. You must know what detailed information source, run for you want.” Thus, paradoxically, people by people, not just drawing Aparna’s progress in a contemporary from the internet but introducing new technological landscape, reveals the credible content, via an approachable organic source of success in tumulfrictionless form. “Working with diftuous modern life: the timeless qualiferent developers is exciting because ties of instinctual passion and the opportunities are endless – I strength, which must be left open to enjoy solving problems and creating be continuously refined. “One needs new possibilities for our customers to know what success means to and that’s what our team does every them,” Aparna aptly finished. “My day.” story applies to everyone. Unfortunately, we still live in a *** society where we allow such The allusion to A.I is also our personal goals to be apt here because Alexa Ambiguity defined by others. But Skills, as evident in the that’s never the way foris what drives name itself, is dedicated ward: with the right mento bettering user expemost people’s tors, and solid experience rience and fostering a gained from a variety of fear more humanistic viewpoints, you can do approach, which counterwell. A good role model doesacts the rogue outcome of n’t even need to be in your field future tech as adversely impact– just someone who you aspire to be ing people’s lives. As opposed to the like or share similar interests with.” isolation, and potentially numbing The right career is then surely determinds into a lazy conscious, Aparna mined to be a genuine grasp of oneand her team preserve the virtues of self. inquisition and collective connections. Here, the key motto of the techWhat is your favourite part of nological leader’s online behemoth working at Amazon? also informs the invigorating direction of Alexa: “as Amazon founder Jeff In addition to creating wonderful Bezos said recently,” Aparna relayed, experiences for customers, which is "to invent you have to experiment, highly creative and rewarding, I love and if you know in advance that it’s working with so many people from


such a broad range of different backgrounds, perspectives, cultures and thought processes. I learn a lot. We work together for one fantastic common goal.

You have written a great guide on how to evolve into a successful leader. Can anyone really transition? I can say with confidence that no amount of preparation before taking on leadership roles and activities can make you the best leader. You only need the courage to take risks and responsibilities, and experience hones and shapes your leadership abilities. You’ve had previous experience which has taken you across Singapore, India and the UK. What are some valuable skills you have gathered? I definitely think that this travel and exposure to different cultures has made me a better person. It has given me incredible empathy, understanding, patience and acceptance. I think what has been most valuable in terms of my career is the experience of business practices across the East and West and how this differs. What’s some advice you can give to those fearing a career change? Accept that there will always be fear and discomfort when it comes to making such a significant change: it’s how you cope that makes the difference. Furthermore, my advice to anyone feeling overwhelmed by change is to look at the trade-offs. Consider all the possible outcomes of your decision and analyse everything. When you make big decisions based on your emotions, you don’t have as much control and you aren’t prepared for the outcome – that ambiguity is what drives most people’s fear. Finally, give a couple of your entrepreneurial top tips? Say ‘no’ more often: this isn’t just freeing – it’s necessary. If you disagree with a decision, explain your stance and give evidence. Every boss is unique, but as a rule, honesty is always the best policy. Leaders are obligated to respectfully challenge decisions when they disagree, even when doing so is uncomfortable or exhausting. Brilliant leaders also have conviction and are tenacious, refusing to compromise for the sake of social cohesion. Also: insist on the highest standards. Natural leaders do this – it’s so important that leaders are continually raising the bar and driving their teams to deliver high quality products, services and processes. The best leaders ensure that defects do not get sent down the line and that problems are fixed so they stay fixed. Insisting on the highest possible standards also means accomplishing more with less, rather than just throwing resource at a problem. Constraints breed resourcefulness, self-sufficiency and invention. W:



Asian Voice | AsianVoiceNews

2nd June 2018


Halappanavar's death In 2012, Savita Halappanavar was admitted to University Hospital Galway on 21 October, when she was 17 weeks pregnant with her first child. Medical staff concluded that a miscarriage was inevitable but did not intervene, as a foetal heartbeat could be detected, though Halappanavar and her husband requested repeatedly for an abortion. A few days later, medics diagnosed infection as a result of ruptured membranes and later led to a septic shock. Halappanavar died on 28 October with multi-organ failure. Halappanavar’s father has called for the legislation that will follow this historic referendum result to be referred to as 'Savita’s law'. Speaking on the phone from Karnataka, India, Andanappa Yalagi told the Irish Times, “We have one last request, that the new law, that it is called ‘Savita’s law’. It should be named for her. “We’ve got justice for Savita and what happened to her will not happen to any other family now. I have no words to express my gratitude to the people of Ireland at this historic moment.”

LSU celebrates Tagore's birthday at Nehru Centre

Yalagi said the family was “really, really happy” with the result. Savita’s husband, Praveen, has now remarried and loves in the US.

Continued from page 1 People gathered, laid flowers and left hundreds of messages, of both sorrow and gratitude. A framed portrait of Halappanavar was held amid the cheers and tears of celebration as results were announced at Dublin Castle on Saturday. Lay around many messages, attached some were to a mural of Savita Halappanavar. Some said: “Sorry we were too late. But we are here now. We didn’t forget you.” Another said: “I’m so deeply sorry you had to suffer. You have changed our history and our destiny.” As the result was announced, some people stood in reflection, some hugged each other in joy, some sobbed, while some jumped out of their cars to drop off flowers.


India connection

Savita Halappanavar

At a press conference in Dublin on Sunday, Together for Yes, an umbrella group representing pro-repeal organisations, said it would support such a move. It also called on the government to start immediate work on legislation. “The people have spoken,” said its cochair Orla O’Connor. Reaction of citizens The Guardian wrote stories about people who paid respect to Halappanavar and her sacrifices and one such example was that of Sean Drugan and his sixyear-old son who reportedly taped a note to the wall that read: “Today your pain, your death has brought this country together, together for yes, together for looking after each other, our own, our others.” Asked what had led to his gesture, he said: “Sometimes it takes someone from a different culture to change their adoptive country. Your memory will not be forgotten.” Niamh Ní Chonchubhair reportedly said: “Savita was the moment where we all woke up to the urgency of this … Savita’s passing was unnecessary but people were OK with it and that was what started this. I hope six years on it means something.” Thousands of people took the streets in candlelit vigils and protests across Ireland, calling for changes to allow women to have access to legal abortions. An inquest jury had also returned a unanimous verdict of medical misadventure.

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar, who is of Indian-origin, said on Saturday that a “quiet revolution” had taken place. It is also believed that Salman Khurshid, the then external affairs minister, had called back the Indian ambassador Debashish Chakravarti to Delhi and believed to have 'strictly instructed' him to pursue the matter with the Irish government. It is also reported that official inquiry into Halappanavar's death, recommending the abortion law reform, was led by a renowned UK physician of Srilankan Tamil origin, Sir Sabaratnam Arulkumaran, who was the former President of the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists and the International Federation of Gynaecology and Obstetrics, and elected President of the British Medical Association (BMA). Northern Ireland demands to liberalise laws British Prime Minister Theresa May faces demands from the ministers and lawmakers in her Conservative party to reform Northern Ireland's highly restrictive abortion rules after neighbouring Ireland's landslide vote liberalises it. Penny Mordaunt, Britain's women and equalities minister, said that the victory to legalise abortion should now bring change north of the Irish border. Northern Ireland has some of the most restrictive abortion laws in Europe with even rape and fatal foetal abnormality not considered legal grounds for a termination. And unlike other parts of the United Kingdom, abortions are banned apart from when the life or mental health of the mother is in danger.

London Sharad Utsav (LSU) celebrated 157th birthday of Rabindra Nath Tagore at Nehru Centre, Mayfair London on 11th of May 2018 with much pomp and gaiety. Every year we try to explore one of Tagore’s popular subjects from his vast repertoire of work. Last year LSU's theme for Tagore's birthday celebration was ‘Tagore the traveler’ and this year it was ‘Colours of the seasons’. Songs included six seasons of Bengal: Grishma (Summer), Barsha (Monsoon), Sharat (Early Autumn), Hemonto (Late Autumn), Sheet (Winter) and Basonto (Spring). Amit Guha, Anindito Paul, Saikat Roychowdhury, Suranjan Som, Nripen Mondal,

Rahul Banerji, Sharmistha Guha, Tanusree Guha and Ranjana Roychowdhury sang some of Tagore's famous songs whereas Bidisha Datta, Sandhya Sen, Saheli Das Mondal, Esha Chakravarty, Ananya Chakraborty Paul danced to some of Tagore's particularly famous and melodious creations. Arunava Bardhan assisted with percussion and Suranjan Som played the key-board . The whole event was conducted with compère and explanation by Prasenjit Bhattacharjee and Sudeshna Som. Tagore began painting relatively late in his career when he was in his sixties. Nevertheless he produced thousands of works and was the first Indian artist to exhibit his works across Europe, Russia and the

Cllr Dilip Patel, who represents Mawneys ward, has been elected to be the Mayor of Havering for 2018/19 having served the last year as Deputy Mayor. He was first elected to Havering Council in 2014 and will be joined by his wife, Cllr Nisha Patel, who represents Romford Town, as his Mayoress for the year. He said, “I have discovered a lot about Havering whilst Deputy Mayor and look forward to my year in office and in particular continuing to meet so many local people and voluntary organisations. “My chosen charity will be announced in due course but I encourage all small charities registered in Havering to get in touch as I’m keen to support the valuable work they all do.” An Indian-origin East

African man came to the UK from Uganda in 1970 with his parents. After the sudden death of his father, Patel had no option but take up a full-time employment with Midland Bank in the City of London. Thereafter he had great opportunity to start

Havering gets a new Mayor of Indian-origin

Man evades jail after threatening to bring a knife into MP's surgery he was told there no Amid rising safety conroom at a surgery meetcerns for politicians across ing on September 29 last the country, 46-year-old year, where he had Wayne Stimson threatened to carry a knife into demanded to see the MP. the surgery of MP Shailesh Stimson was charged Vara in Peterborough, with sending menacing whose staff received messages over an threat from Stimson in a Shailesh Vara, MP aggressive phone call malicious message. and voicemail message Stimson, who once stalked which was received by the MP and harassed Singer/Actor Robbie Vara's staff on October 6. He was Williams, targeted Mr Vara after convicted after a trial where he

United States in 1930. His painting style was very individual, characterized by simple bold forms and a rhythmic quality, and later served to inspire many modern Indian artists. To honour Tagore’s visual art, LSU’s Mahua Bej produced a piece of abstract art portraying the theme: ‘colours of the season’. The auditorium was fully packed and the mesmerising performances earned hearty appreciation and praise. LSU is going to celebrate their 10 years of Durga Puja, they are also arranging IFA Shield UK first time ever to honour Indian football in association with Indian Fans Association and Adda, Slough. LSU Picnic, Cricket tournament and Harrow Music Festival are also on cards in this year.

had pleaded not guilty. He managed to avoid the jail and was given a 12-month community order last month. He was also ordered to pay costs of £200 and a victim surcharge of £85. When Stimson was told to wait, he threatened to “take a gun into Peterborough city centre and shoot people” and said that he will bring a knife into the MP's surgery. Mr Vara has been MP for North West Cambridgeshire since

Cllr Dilip Patel with wife Nisha and two daughters

2005 and is currently the Parliamentary Under-Secretary in the Northern Ireland Office. This comes at a time when there are renewed concerns about the safety of politicians in wake of the Jo Cox murder and the stabbing of MP Stephen Timms in 2010. More than 350 MPs have undergonesecurity assessments by The Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority (IPSA), a system put in place in the wake of the murder of Jo Cox, MPs can ask police to

a business with his family in 1977 and together by 1980 he had 4 retail outlets. Speaking to Asian Voice, he said, “I got married in 1980 to my wife Nisha. She has been there on my side for every step of my journey. I have two daughters who are both medical doctors.”

assess their security needs away from the Commons. However, there is a concern regarding the resistance in accepting measures that could protect the MPs and their staff. IPSA pays for security equipment such as alarm systems, CCTV and personal alarms at constituency offices and homes. It will also fund any 'enhanced measures' if the police recommends. The authority's spending on security has gone up from £160,000 in 2015-16 to £6 million last year.

SPECIAL AsianVoiceNews



Asian Voice | 2nd June 2018

4 Years of Modi: More Hits than Misses F

“The measure of a man is what he does with power.” - Plato

our years on May 26, incumbent Prime Minister Narendra Modi was given the reins of the country in a ceremony that was not only internationally attended but also acknowledged. Charging into power with a significant Lok Sabha majority, Modi's confidence and charisma gave Indians hope for a better future. After all, didn't the leader himself vouch for “achche din”? On that day, the era for a corruption and red tapefree government began. India was finally moving on to a clean, inclusive, and development-oriented tomorrow. After assuming the office, new implementations came left and right. Changes were made, India was officially on the path of reformation. Modi had what the previous government severely lacked; Clarity. Crude halved in price from the inauguration to the third year, and economic steps like the Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana (PMJDY), demonetisation, Goods and Services Tax (GST), and others were put into effect with much force. With the GST and the demonetisation move, the aim was to include more and more people in the tax bracket. The Modi government set a Fiscal Deficit target for itself, which can only be met if the revenue from the taxes go up. As the number of people in the tax bracket increases, so does the money the government can use on welfare schemes. Demonetisation was a gamble that could potentially make or break Modi's chances of a second term. However, despite the initial anger and chaos, his Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) registered a sweeping majority in Uttar Pradesh, barely two months after the move. Despite opposition parties making note ban their prime focus during the campaigning, they failed miserably. Even though the implementation of the notorious demonetisation was abysmal to say the least, the sheer determination with which the decision was made needs to be acknowledged. Things on the regulatory front have been smooth and easy. Modi, earlier during his tenure, passed the Arbitration and C o n c i l i a t i o n (Amendment) Act that established a time-bound mechanism for binding arbitration. It followed

that up with a Centrallevel Real Estate (Regulation & Development) Act (RERA). PINNED INDIA ON THE GLOBAL MAP Four years. Six continents. 54 countries. 36 foreign trips. India's global presence today, is undoubtedly stronger than ever since Modi came into power after the 2014 general elections. Criticised for his steady international trips, the leader has proved that India's bilateral ties with major economies have improved drastically in the last four years. The country most frequented by Modi was the United States of America. Relations with the global power were tensed under the second UPA regime, something Modi took upon himself to improve. Defence, economic, and political ties between the two countries have improved to say the least. The third-largest investor in the UK, Modi's trips to the United Kingdom has seen the signing of memorandum for National Clean Ganga Mission, skill development and vocational programmes and an agreement between NITI Aayog and UK's Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy. He has also visited Germany and Russia four times in the past four years. He met Russian President Vladimir Putin recently in an informal summit in Sochi. Germany is India's biggest trade partner in the European Union, and ties have strengthened with each visit Modi paid Chancellor Angela Merkel. He has also made three visits of strategic importance to France in his four years. The Prime Minister has stressed on relations with India's neighbouring countries, ever since he assumed office. He paid three visits to Nepal since 2014, and had also visited Pakistand and held talks with then prime minister Nawaz Sharif. Also on his list are Sri Lanka, Myanmar, Bangladesh, and Bhutan. India's relations with Middle Eastern countries have soared since 2014. Summits with leaders of Israel, Jordan, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Iran, Palestine, and Afghanistan were held. The middle east has been a priority of the Modi government since India is dependent on them for two-third of the oil imports. Other countries Modi

have visited include Japan, Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Fiji, Malaysia, Mauritius, Mexico, Mongolia, Mozambique, Netherlands, South Africa, South Korea, Spain, and Sweden. AN HONEST LOOK AT MODI'S FLAGSHIP SCHEMES As the first term of PM Modi comes to a close, we take a look at some of his major flagship schmes like the Deen Dayal Upadhyaya Gram Jyoti Yojana (DDUGJY), Mudra, and Housing for All by 2022, make a difference.

there is no guarantee to the supply of electricity. Even if utilities supply power to villages 24*7, there is no guarantee the villagers can afford it. Poor households were to be given electricity connections under Modi's ambitious Pradhan Mantri Sahaj Bijli Har Ghar Yojana, or the Saubhagya scheme. This may deter economically-weaker consumers from seeking electricity connections. Ujjwala scheme The Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana (PMUY) was launched in 2016,

Deen Dayal Upadhyaya Gram Jyoti Yojana The ruling BJP government recently announced that it has completed the electrification of 18,452 villages under this scheme. However, data compiled by the Union Power Ministry shows that India has seen only 5.66 per cent annual growth in generation between 201415 and 2017-18, as compared to 5.9 per cent between 2010-11 and 2013-14. Despite rural electrification, why does power consumption refuse to grow? According to the government, a village is considered electrified if it has basic electrical infrastructure and 10 per cent of its households and public places have power. This means, an electrified village is connected to a power grid, but its inhabitants do not necessarily have access to electricity. Electrification itself might not bring relief to these villages as

with the aim to provide five crore LPG connections to women from poor households by the end of March 2019. While the number of LPG connections has seen a big growth after the roll out of the PMUY, it has not been matched by a commensurate increase in LPG consumption. The growth rate of LPG consumption has stayed the same level as before the scheme was launched. LPG consumption saw a growth of 10.5 per cent and 9 per cent in 2014-15 and 2015-16, respectively. After the roll out of Ujjwala, LPG consumption recorded a growth rate of 10.1 per cent and 8 per cent in 2016-17 and 201718, nearly the same level as before the scheme was implemented. Petroleum Minister Dharmendra Pradhan has also admitted that the average per capita consumption of PMUY beneficiaries who have completed one year from the date of release of

connections is just about 4.32 cylinders. Analysts said that paying for even one subsidised LPG cylinder refill, that costs over Rs 600, is not easy for poor households. They find kerosene and firewood to be much cheaper. Jan Dhan Yojana A scheme Modi never fails to boast about, as many as 32.6 Crore accounts have been opened under the Jan Dhan Yojana that aims for financial inclusion. These accounts have combined deposits of Rs 81,203.59 Crore as of May 27. However, almost 20 per cent of the accounts are currently inactive and 1.9 per cent have been closed, according to the Minister of State for Finance Shiv Pratap Shukla. An estimated 31.30 Crore Jan Dhan accounts with combined deposits of over Rs 75,000 Crore were opened till February 2018, out of which, only 25.18 Crore were operative. Shukla said that till February 2018, about 59 Lakh Jan Dhan accounts have been closed since the launch of the scheme. In a written reply to the Parliament, he said, “Jan Dhan accounts are closed as per the request of account holder. Some of the Jan Dhan accounts are closed due to conversion into normal savings account as per request of the account holder. In some cases, accounts are closed due to account holders having multiple accounts in their name in the same bank.” Make In India The Make in India Campaign is one of the flagship Schemes of the government that aims at making India a global manufacturing hub and reaping the economic spin offs in terms of better infrastructure and e m p l o y m e n t opportunities. The net foreign investment inflows have hit an alltime high in early 2017 and have financed the current fiscal deficit. Foreign investment has increased 46% since the launch of Make in India. Swachh Bharat What started off as a mission has now turned into a raging revolution. Around 1,90,000 villages, 130 districts and three states in India have become open-defecation free ever since the Prime Minister called for a clean India. The programme is well on track to achieve an Open Defecation Free (ODF) India by October 2019. The Swachh Bharat Mission is not a toilet

construction programme but a behavior change mass movement. Sikkim, Himachal and Kerala have already been declared as ODF. In furtherance of this initiative many small initiatives are being taken such as recently concluded Swachh Shakti event. 71.9 PER CENT INDIANS SAY THEY WILL VOTE FOR MODI In a mega 'Pulse of the Nation' poll conducted online by the Times Group, almost two-third (71.9 per cent) of 8,44,646 respondents said they will vote for Narendra Modi as PM candidates if general elections were conducted in the present. With less than a year to go for the Lok Sabha elections, 73.3 per cent of respondents said that a Modi-ledgovernment was the mostlikely possibility when the elections are held. The poll, which was conducted across nine media properties of the Times Group, asked respondents to rate four years of the Modi government. Over two-third of respondents rated its track record as good or very good. Out of this, “very good” accounted for 47.4 per cent and “good” for 20.6 per cent. About 11.38 per cent termed it as average, while 20.55 per cent found it to be poor. The survey also asked to rate the biggest successes and failures of the Modi government. 33.42 per cent respondents rated implementation of the GST as their top choice for successes, followed by demonetisation, 21.9 per cent, surgical strikes on Pakistan got 19.89 per cent, and Jan Dhan Yojana got 9.7 per cent votes. Modi's proactive fronting of India's foreign policy received a massive thumbs-up with over 80 per cent of the voters terming it “very good” or “good”. When asked avout the most likely political scenario after the 2019 general election, 73.36 per cent respondents predicted a Modi-led government coming back to power, while 16.04 per cent thought it would be a Third Front government, and only 10.59 per cent predicted a Rahul Gandhiled government.



Asian Voice | 2nd June 2018

ED likely to move court to liquidate Mallya’s assets The Enforcement Directorate (ED) is all set to move a special court this week to get beleaguered liquor baron Vijay Mallya declared a “Fugitive Economic Offender”. If declared, the businessman could lose any claim over his properties and assets in India and abroad as the ED could confiscate and sell them. Sources said the action is being taken under the Fugitive Economic Offenders Ordinance issued by the government and assented by the President recently. ED has already filed a prosecution complaint against the Kingfisher Airlines owner and also

Vijay Mallya

attached his properties worth £989 million. Sources said all of this property and more, could be confiscated and sold off to recover public money allegedly laundered by Mallya unless he returns to the country while the proceedings to get him

declares a fugitive are still on. They also said that once Mallya is declared a fugitive, he would also not be able to contest the confiscation and liquidation of his assets in any court of law. An ED official said, “This is where the new law

is very very stringent against those who run away abroad to escape the clutches of the law. Under the new law, we do not need to wait for his conviction to liquidate his assets. If he is not ready to face the law here, his assets can be sold off without waiting for his conviction in the case.” He added that Mallya still has assets which have not been attached. These assets too could now be liquidated. “Under the money laundering act, assets worth only the proceeds of crime can be attached. Under the fugitive law, all assets can be confiscated. This could actually bring the government more money than Mallya has defaulted to the banks.”

To promote Make in India products, tenders worth £1.30 bn withdrawn

Government tenders worth over £1.3 billion were either cancelled or withdrawn and re-issued after the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP) stepped in to change their conditions for promoting goods made in the country. A top government official said, “The DIPP is taking every step for effective implementation of public procurement order, 2017, to promote 'made in India' products.” The order was issued on June 15, last year, to promote manufacturing and production of goods and services in India and enhance income and employment in the country. A tender worth £800 million was withdrawn and re-issued with modified conditions after the DIPP's intervention. The project

was related with setting up of a urea and ammonia plant for gasification. Similarly, a tender for procurement of train set coaches was cancelled as the tender has certain restrictive conditions which were discriminatory against domestic manufacturers and favoured foreign players. The project cost was £500 million. The move is of significance as in March, Prime Minister Narendra Modi expressed concerns at the restrictive and discriminatory clauses

being imposed against domestic manufacturers and suppliers in tender documents for public procurement. The official said, “Directions were given to ensure strict compliance of the order in letter and spirit. All nodal ministries were directed to ensure notification of local content.” The DIPP has asked for immediate issuance of guidelines and notifications relating to declarations of items with sufficient local capacity, domestic content. Under

the Public Procurement (Preference to Make in India) Order, it was envisaged that all central government departments, their attached or subordinate offices and autonomous bodies controlled by the Government of India should ensure purchase preference be given to domestic suppliers in government procurement. The official further said that any grievance related to the issue will be taken care by the standing committee on implementation of this order. It is chaired by DIPP Secretary Ramesh Abhishek. Several departments and ministries, including pharmaceuticals and defence production, have already identified number of items for declaring domestic content.

India looking at stake sales in 11 more public sector firms The Modi government is considering a proposal to disinvest another 11 public sector companies, including Delhi's landmark Ashok Hotel, MTNL's tower business and equipmentmaker Bharat Heavy Electricals (Bhel) through a mix of long-term lease, asset and strategic sale. With NITI Aayog sharing the latest sell-off list with the finance ministry, as many as 50 companies have now been recommended for disinvestment via the strategic sale and leasing route. Officials from the Finance Ministry said that proposals were being studied and a final decision will

be taken by the cabinet committee on economic affairs. They, however, defended the move on strategic sale so far, arguing that the government was on course to complete some of the transactions, including Air India, where 76 per cent equity is being offered for sale compared to the recommendation of 100 per cent. Sources said NITI Aayog has recommended leasing out Hotel Ashok, spread out in New Delhi's diplomatic enclave, for 60 years. While the former Atal Bihari Vajpayee government had sought to sell Hotel Ashok, the plan was resisted by the tourism ministry. Even during the

Narendra Modi regime, the sale of ITDC hotels had not been taken off as the government has opted to play safe. Among other PSUs under the fifth disinvestment plan, NITI Aayog has listed Bhel as one of the candidates, citing erosion in its market value over the last few years compared to private sector players such as Larsen & Toubro, that has aggressively grown and diversified. People in the know said the panel headed by economist Rajiv Kumar has also recommended that government should begin selling assets in MTNL, once a top staterun company, which is now

the third-biggest loss maker behind BSNL and Air India. The proposal is to hive off the telecom PSU's towers into a separate company and sell off the entity. Other companies — from National Textiles Corporation to Hindustan Copper and Te l e c o m m u n i c a t i o n s Consultants (India) — may be put up for strategic sale with NITI Aayog recommending that government could exit most of these PSUs. While some of the companies, such as NTC, reported impressive profit in 2016-17, it was on the back of exceptional items or one-time gains.


Over 2,100 companies settle £8.3 bn bank dues Promoters who have defaulted on repayment of loans to banks, have been prompted to settle their dues of around £8.3 billion over fear of action being initiated under the newlyenacted Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code (IBC). Data compiled by the Ministry of Corporate Affairs (MCA) showed that over 2,100 companies have cleared their outstanding amounts, a majority of which came after the government amended the IBC to explicitly bar promoters of companies that were classified as a non-performing assets (NPAs) from bidding for these companies where the National Company Law Tribunal, the bankruptcy court, initiated action. A loan is classified as an NPA if dues are unpaid

for 90 days. The move had faced severe flak from the corporate sector as top names in the industry such as Ruias of Essar, Singals of Bhushan Group and Gaurs of Jaiprakash Group were locked out of the resolution process and there were fears that the bids may not be aggressive, resulting in the lenders having to recover only a small part of the loans. A source said, “The real success is the pressure on loan defaulters to clear dues. The borrowing and lending culture is changing because of IBC.”

India Inc to rope in more women for top roles

India Inc is all set to put in an extra effort to hire more women for leadership roles. Special mandates have been sent out to executive search firms to look for women candidates for top-level posts. While the number of women who enter the organised workforce is almost equal to their opposite gender, they drop out at mid to senior-levels, for various reasons including critical life stages like maternity. Hunt Partners managing partner Suresh Raina said, “A multinational company recently gave us a mandate specifically to hire a diversity (female) candidate for CEO succession planning. The candidate has joined the said company and is slated to take over from the incumbent after a pre-defined period of grooming and transition. Even though the candidate pool still remains small, such mandates are increasing by the day.” Executive Access India MD Ronesh Puri said one-fourth of the searches the firm conducted in the last three-four months reveals a strong preference for women candidates for leadership posts as also boards. He said this was predominantly in the FMCG (fast-moving consumer goods), consumer durables, BFSI (banking, financial services, insurance) sectors and consulting space. There are several com-

panies that have designed programmes dedicated to mentor and groom women for leadership roles. Maersk has the 'Back2Work' programme, which is a pipeline into senior roles where the company has specifically hired women talent in earmarked roles like financial controller, business relationship manager for operations and IT project manager. Maersk Global Services Centre senior director (HR) Pratap G said, “In India, women constitute nearly half of the working age population, and we want to be able to access that talent pool, especially at leadership levels as one way to fulfil our goals. We have targets for women at leadership. However, we have consciously kept away from 'quota-based approach' for diversity and instead focus on inclusion levers to drive it.” When asked if the company has given specific mandates to hiring agencies to look for the right-fit women candidates for leadership roles, he said, “We have given mandates for targeted searches in select roles for specific right-fit women leader profiles. Some such are currently under way. Such mandates were in our new digital capability centre, where the BI (business intelligence) practice and site leader role is headed by a woman, and functions like HR.”




Asian Voice |

On Saturday, I showed a couple a property in Maida Vale. The property is cheap relative to the area, and we have managed to get a discount on top. The property comes with share of freehold and its own allocated parking space. It is in a secured complex with generous green spaces. These are all good boxes to have ticked from a liveability point of view. Suresh Vagjiani

Sow & Reap London Property Investment

However, the wife enquired as to an advert we had in the paper a couple of weeks ago. This was a flat on the eighth floor in W2, at the edge of the block, and therefore, has unrestricted views of London and plenty of light streaming in. The property I showed them required absolutely no work. If the new tenants treat the property with respect there should be nothing to be done for the next ten years. It is immaculate.

The one in W2 looked like it had been tampered with. I couldn't place whether this was really a three bedroom. Also, the kitchen, bathroom and toilet needed doing. The investors were averse to purchasing something requiring work, purely because they did not want the hassle. We assured them we could arrange for this to get done with minimal hassle . The objective of the purchase was as a Buy To Let investment. Something to hold for 5 years plus. Once the objective is defined, the solution often becomes self-evident. Most people who want to invest have a very vague idea of what they actually want. Part of our job is to help clarify what the aim of the investment is, which is not always as it first seems. 

AGONY AGENT IS HERE TO HELP! Q: I’m often told that I should rent my house to students. Is it worth the hassle? A: If ever you have a property that has three or more bedrooms, then there is a good chance that you are missing out on rental income if you only have just one tenancy in place. As I have mentioned in previous articles, it is sometimes better to rent your investment out room by room than as one large

unit. In general, letting out a property to students can be a lucrative business but only IF you own the right property, in the right location. Letting out a larger property to students has long been a great way to turn a larger house into a good income. However, during the summer months when many of these student properties are empty, you could face costly voids. Also, student tenants may


Purchase price £380,000 An ideal investment for a medium to long term hold

Specialists in Central London Property Sourcing

go back home for a few weeks leaving the property empty and therefore posing a security risk. Criminals will be aware of which properties are vacant and crime statistics for domestic break-ins are far higher from July to September in these areas. Students tend leave expensive equipment like TVs, computers and personal possessions in the property for long periods, and if a break in occurs not only do

From a liveability point of view the first property comes up trumps without a doubt. Although they are both great investment opportunities, from an investment perspective, the second property in W2, wins. This area is backed by a thorough report done by Knight Frank, which earmarked this side of the park to rise strongly over the coming years. Obviously, the report did not foresee the uncertainties created by the Brexit vote. This, however, is a temporary blip in the scheme of things. It's rare a property report impresses me, often they are written in a very abstract and theoretical way with little bearing on what’s going on at ground level. This is very often the case with statistics published, which like to laptops, stereos and other equipment go missing, but anything of value belonging to the landlord is at risk too. If a property is vacant for long periods, it will usually be necessary for a weekly inspection to comply with the terms of your landlord’s insurance policy - but best to double check this. Tips to help your tenants protect the property during the summer: Ensure the property has a burglar alarm system and


2nd June 2018

simplify and generalise areas, whilst the reality is very different. For example, property prices on Edgware Road W1 go from around £1,000 to £1,500 per sq. ft., and then for properties only a few minutes away prices jump to £4,500 per sq. ft. This report has its feet firmly on the ground. It even analyses the extra supply of units in the areas, and how many of these are actually being built. The distinction is made between planning and execution. It is important to define the purpose of the purchase, as this even supersedes getting a discount. For example, if you’re buying a property for a long term hold, getting a 15% discount on day one is not the main consideration. An analysis needs to be done on where the area, and the block, is heading over the next five years plus and why. that all windows and doors have safety locks. Ensure that the property has working smoke alarms, fire alarms, extinguishers and fire blankets. Electrical appliances and plug sockets should all be switched off and unplugged from the wall. Switch off the water from the mains, and look out for damp patches or possible leaks. Another big problem in student houses are common pests including mice, slugs, fruit flies, pigeons and sometimes

The couple have dealt with us previously and have purchased blind. They agreed the W2 property deal over the weekend and it has been put in lawyers hands today. This will be a solid investment. There is huge regeneration planned for Whiteleys shopping centre and Bayswater. The flat will rise on this wave. On a local level there is major works planned in the block as well. Although this means a large payment due from the owners, it will improve the block as a whole, so the uplift is in sync with the local area. even rats. Some students are messy and leave food lying about for days. Check your property for droppings and slug trails. Although there are some issues you need to take into consideration, the student market is definitely a profitable one. We are more than happy to assist with the set-up, arranging licenses, marketing and management of any student property, so please contact me for a chat. Richard Bond Lettings Manager Sow & Reap

l Freehold house l Large reception room, three bedrooms, one bathroom, and a fitted kitchen l Walking distance from a Crossrail station l 11 minutes into Canary Wharf l 24 minutes into Bond Street l Excellent rental income growth forecast l Superb capital growth expectations Get in touch now for more information!

0207 993 0103 27 Gloucester Place, London, W1U 8HU SowandReapProperties


Turning land into cash Get in touch about our land opportunities



Asian Voice | 2nd June 2018

Consultant Editor Financial Voice Alpesh Patel Dear Financial Voice Reader, You may have seen me on the BBC talking about biases in relation to Starbucks. But actually biases stop you making money too. Do you like to hear you are right? Have you ever ignored facts, and instead picked facts out of context and cherry picked them or some circumstantial evidence? Have you ever to protect your personal credibility been motivated to do these things. Or maybe felt someone who is emotionally invested in convincing you has managed to do so because you had a reason to be persuaded? That is basically confirmation bias and as a behavioural finance phenomenon I would lecture on this at Oxford University as a Visiting Fellow in Business at Corpus Christi College. This field of behavioural finance has produced Nobel Prize winners in economics no less – it is that important a field of study to the world according to Nobel committee. Things like the ‘January Effect’ (more returns in January) are blamed on confirmation bias. If you want to know how difficult it is to get rid of try this puzzle I used in one of my Financial Times columns which I took from Thaler’s academic paper: Your task is to turn over as few cards as possible to verify whether the following statement is true: Every card with a vowel on one side has an even number on the other side. You must decide in advance which cards you will examine. Try it yourself before reading further. When I give this problem to my class, the typical ranking of the cards in terms of most to least often turned over is A, 2, 3, B. It is not surprising that nearly everyone correctly decides to turn over the A. Obviously, if that card does not have an even number on the other side the statement is false. However, the second most popular choice (the 2) is futile. While the existence of a vowel on the other side will yield an • Richard H. Thaler is Professor of Economics, Johnson Graduate School of Management, Cornell University, Ithaca, New York. 198 Economic Perspectives observation consistent with the hypothesis, turning the card over will neither prove the statement correct nor refute it. Rather, to refute the statement, one must choose to turn over the 3, a far less common choice. As for the least popular choice, the B, that one must be flipped over as well, since a vowel might be lurking on the other side. (The problem, as stated here, did not specify that numbers are always on one side and letters on the other— although that implicit assumption is commonly made by solvers.) So how do we avoid it, given how difficult it is? One answer logically must be to seek out information which disagrees with us. Warren Buffet apparently uses this approach. for a free course to improve your financial literacy

Sebi notice to ICICI chief on husband, Videocon’s link Markets regulator Sebi has served a notice to ICICI Bank MD and CEO Chanda Kochhar regarding the bank's dealings with NuPower, a company run by her husband Deepak Kochhar and Videocon group. Sebi has asked Chanda to respond to matters “relating to alleged non-compliance with certain provisions of the erstwhile listing agreement and the Securities and Exchange Board of India (Listing Obligations and Disclosure Requirements) Regulations, 2015”. ICICI revealed the news in a filing with the BSE. It also said an appropriate response would be submitted to Sebi. The regulator has been making inquiries since reports began to emerge two months back about the dealings between ICICI Bank, Videocon group and NuPower. The latest notice

was served to Chanda based on information that the bank and its top executive had furnished to Sebi. The regulator apparently believes that certain matters relating to the dealings between the bank's MD, her husband and Videocon, were not disclosed to the board. It has alleged that Venugopal Dhoot, chairman of Videocon group, had invested £6.4 million in NuPower Renewables, a firm owned by Deepak Kochhar. ICICI had earlier said that there was no wrongdoing in the way it sanctioned the loan to Videocon group since it was part of a consortium of banks that lent the money. MK Sharma, chairman of the bank, said the board had full confidence in Chanda Kochhar and he had ruled out any quid pro quo in the ICICI BankVideocon-NuPower matter.


The steel tycoon who is turning Britain's 'tired assets' around

Sanjeev Gupta, the business tycoon who has earned monikers such as 'man of steel' and 'saviour of British steel', came to Britain aged 12 and has taken the centre stage after buying more than 20 businesses in the last five years. About 2.5 years after Tata switched off an 800,000 ton-a-year furnace, Gupta bought it, resuming production of molten steel and creating about 300 jobs. The plant was inaugurated by The Prince of Wales himself. Gupta's £9 bn turnover empire includes the Simec energy and trading businesses owned by his father, PK Gupta, and his own Liberty House businesses. The empire is held under the Gupta Family Group (GFG) Alliance. His Liberty House business is touted as the company that could save the British steel industry from collapse. He is now in the race for buying Tata’s

there. Sanjeev Gupta, known for his strategic business acquisitions, continues to puzzle businessmen and business pundits across the globe, making them wonder how he plans to derive profits from his 'collection of tired assets'. Andrzej Kotas, Director at Metals Consulting International said, “The strategy is extremely confusing. I am puzzled how he hopes to make money on these investments when leading experts like Tata cannot

make money”. Last year he shifted his business to South Australia, buying the huge Whyalla steelworks. He also plans to acquire GM's Holden plant in order to restart car production in Australia. There have been concerns regarding the need for more transparency in relation to his expanding empire. GFG said in a statement: “All of GFG's acquisitions are part of the broad and well thought out strategies such as the greensteel strategy for lowcarbon metals production based on recycling and renewable energy and integrated with downstream engineering; using industry-friendly financial services to bolster the markets in which we are active. We are very transparent in all our businesses and, as we enter the stock market, we will meet all relevant requirements and expectations.”

FZC, and Vista Jewellery FZC. ED, in its 14,000-page complaint, has also said that Modi diverted another $312.81 million of the LoU funds to its various Group companies through six Hong Kong-based firms indirectly controlled by him. The firms are Auragem Company, Brilliant Diamonds, Eternal Diamond Corporation, Sino Trader, Fancy Creations, and Sunshine Gems. The ED also said that at least £13.7 million of the LoU funds were brought back to Modi's personal bank accounts in India. Of the $265 million, the agen-

cy has found that $115 million was diverted to Purvi and Maiank and another $50 million was given to an offshore firm, Lili Mountain Investment, allegedly controlled by Purvi. Dollar 65 million was ploughed into Modi's flagship firm in India, Firestar International Pvt Ltd, by a couple of offshore firms against share subscription, and another $35 million was diverted to Modi himself. The prosecution complaint filed by the ED has also named Modi's father, Deepak Modi, his brothers Neeshal and Nehal, as accused in the probe.

Sanjeev Gupta

UK steel operations, and if this happens, it could save thousands of jobs across the country. Gupta was born to an Indian industrial family. He claims to have set up Liberty while he was still in college, studying Economics at Trinity College, Cambridge. He also claims to have been trading close to £1 mn a day. He was made to leave the halls for breaching the university's charitable status as he was running a private business from

Nirav Modi diverted £429.9 mn to himself, family and firms: ED

The Enforcement Directorate (ED) has revealed that fugitive diamond jeweller Nirav Modi diverted $629 million of the $1015.34 million outstanding fraudulent Letters of Undertaking (LoU) issued by Punjab National Bank (PNB) to himself, his firms and his relatives, through 15 “dummy companies” based in the UAE and Hong Kong. According to the first prosecution complaint (chargesheet) filed by the agency, Modi diverted $265 million to his Group firms, his sister Purvi Modi and her husband Maiank Mehta through nine UAE-based

Nirav Modi

dummy firms- Diagems, FZC, Pacific Gems, Unity Trading Company, Tri Color Gems, Universal Fine Jewellery, Himalayan Trader FZE, Hamilton Precious Traders, Unique Diamond, and Jewellery

JLR to pay 20% of net to Tata Motors In a major move, Tata Motors has changed the dividend payout model of Jaguar Land Rover (JLR). The UK arm, which accounts for bulk of the parent Tata Motors' earnings, will now pay at least 20 per cent of its profit as dividend instead of a fixed sum. The dividend policy was changed in fiscal 2018, and as as a result, JLR paid 225 million pounds, 20 per cent of its profit, as dividend to Tata Motors. The payout was 50 per cent higher than the fixed amounts JLR doled out in fiscal 2017. Tata Motors had acquired JLR a decade ago and the asset has been a money spinner for the parent. In fiscal 2019, JLR will pay 25 per cent of its profit

as dividend, Tata Motors CFO PB Balaji said. While higher dividend boosts major shareholder Tata Motors' income, the Indian company, on the other hand, hasn't declared a dividend to its shareholders for nearly two years. Losses at its domestic operations had prevented Tata Motors from paying dividends. Stock options to e mployees Meanwhile, Tata Motors intends to hand over a little less than half a per cent of its equity to employees through a stock options plan. With this move, the auto major leaves behind the group's other big revenue generators like the $20 billion Tata Steel and the $19 billion TCS.

Traditionally, the $103 billion Tata Goup has been reluctant to issue stocks to employees. However, now, it plans to reward 200 employees from executive directors to general managers with stock options, with plans to extend it to the junior management level subsequently. A senior Tata Motors executive said, “It was a big call for the company to take.” The employee ownership move will help to rein in attrition, which had increased from 8.5 per cent in fiscal 2017 to 10 per cent in fiscal 2018. Tata Motors' domestic business had 11,140 white collar staff as on March 31. To be taken up at the company's forthcoming annual shareholder

meet for approval, the ESOP scheme will not exceed 0.4 per cent of the automaker's equity and will allow employees to buy Tata Motors' shares between 2021 and 2023. Tata Motors CFO PB Balaji said, “This is to ringfence critical talent during the turnaround phase and to match employee payoffs to the long-term gestation period of key initiatives like new product development.” The company has been making lot of efforts to become profitable on a standalone basis by enhancing sales, reducing costs and launching vehicles in time. In fiscal 2018, it narrowed its losses from £233.5 million in fiscal 2017 to £99.2 million.




Pak picks ex-CJ Nasir ul Mulk as caretaker PM ISLAMABAD: Pakistan's former chief justice Nasir ul Mulk was on Monday named as the country's caretaker prime minister for a two-month period, ending the political wrangling between ruling PML-N and the Opposition ahead of the general elections on July 25. The announcement was made by Leader of the Opposition Khursheed Shah at a press conference which was also attended by incumbent Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi and National Assembly Speaker Ayaz Sadiq. Mulk, 67, is likely to be sworn in on Friday, June 1. The present government will complete the tenure on May 31 and the caretaker government will remain in office until a new government is set up through elections. Shah expressed hope

Rohingyas killed 105 Hindus in 2 days: Amnesty

the name of the caretaker leader. Abbasi described the agreed-upon candidate for the caretaker prime minister as someone "who no one can object to." "His role as a caretaker PM will be in favour of the country and the democratic process," he said. Announcing the name, Shah said the NA speaker had played a major role in both parties reaching an

ticularly Mumbai attack, Kashmir and the influence of intelligence agencies. Durrani admits Pak involvement in Kashmir In an interview, Gen Durrani admitted the active participation of Pakistan in the current unrest in Kashmir. When asked about Pakistan’s involvement in the current turmoil in Kashmir, he said, “One indeed could not be 'playing fiddle' while Kashmir burns and bleeds.” Durrani assumed the office of ISI’s directorate at a very interesting time for Pakistan. The Soviets were withdrawing from Afghanistan and simultaneously, not coincidentally, foreign militants had begun infiltrating and training local Kashmiris to fight India.

Y A N G O N ( MYANMAR ): Rohingya militants massacred Hindu villagers during last year's uprising in Myanmar's Rakhine, Amnesty International said in a report that sheds fresh light on the complex ethnic rivalries in the state. The killings took place on August 25, 2017, the report said, the same day that the Rohingya insurgents staged coordinated deadly raids on police posts that tipped the state into crisis. Myanmar's military responded to the insurgent raids with harsh reprisals that forced some 700,000 Rohingya Muslims out of the mainly Buddhist country where they have faced persecution for years. The UN says the army crackdown amounted to "ethnic cleansing" of the Rohingya, with soldiers and vigilante mobs accused of killing civilians and burning down villages. But the Rohingya militants have also been accused of abuses. Those include the mass killing of Hindus in the far north of Rakhine, where the military took reporters to witness the exhumation of putrid bodies from a grave in September. The militants, known as the Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army (ARSA), denied responsibility at the time. But Amnesty International said that a new investigation had confirmed the group killed 53 Hindus "execution-style" - mostly children - in the Kha Maung Seik village cluster

over 200 million, according to the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP). A triangular contest between the governing PML-N led by prime minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, cricketer-turned politician Imran Khan's PTI and former president Asif Ali Zardari's PPP is on the cards. Christians form the second largest group of nonMuslim voters, totalling 1.64 million with over 1 million settled in Punjab followed by over 200,000 in Sindh. Their number has grown at a

relatively high pace as compared to Hindu voters as it was 1.23 million before the 2013 general polls. The total number of Ahmadi voters is 167,505 most of whom dwell in Punjab, followed by Sindh and Islamabad. The number in 2013 stood at 115,966. Of the total 8,852 Sikh voters, most are settled in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa followed by Sindh and Punjab. Their presence in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas is more than their combined strength in Balochistan and

Durrani banned from leaving Pakistan

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan's powerful spy agency ISI's former chief Lt Gen (retd.) Asad Durrani has been banned from leaving the country and will face a court of inquiry over a controversial book he recently co-authored with India's former intelligence head. Gen Durrani, who headed the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) agency from August 1990 till March 1992, along with former RAW chief AS Daulat has recently published the book titled 'The Spy Chronicles: RAW, ISI and the Illusion of Peace' in India. He was summoned to the ISI headquarters to explain his position on the book. "A formal court of inquiry headed by a serving Lieutenant General

has been ordered to probe the matter in detail," the statement said. It also said that "competent authority has been approached to place the name of Gen Durrani on Exit Control List (ECL). Gen Durrani has expressed dismay at his "own people" after facing

severe backlash over his recent book that landed him in controversy. He was also targeted by some retired senior army officers on different TV talk shows. Gen Durrani was apparently summoned after ousted Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif demanded an urgent meeting of National Security Committee (NSC) to discuss the issue raised in the book. Former chairman Senate Raza Rabbani and prominent leader of Pakistan Peoples Party criticised the joint book by rival spy chiefs and said if it was written by a civilian, he would have been branded as traitor. In the book, the two former spy chiefs have touched upon some thorny issues including terrorism, par-

ISLAMABAD: The number of non-Muslim voters in Pakistan has climbed to 3.63 million in 2018 with the Hindus at 1.77 million maintaining their majority among the religious minority electorate, according to a new voters' list. The nonMuslim voters have registered an increase of 30 per cent over the last five years, an official document shows. The number of voters belonging to religious minorities has climbed to 3.63 million in 2018 from 2.77 million as registered in

electoral rolls for the 2013 general elections, it said. According to the report, the number of Hindu voters before 2013 polls was 1.40 million, higher than the collective number of all other minorities. The number of Hindu voters now stands at 1.77 million. Hindu voters continue to maintain their majority among the minorities, but they no more constitute over half of total nonMuslim voters as was the case in 2013, according to the report. They are mostly

concentrated in the Sindh province, where in two districts they form over 40 per cent of total registered voters. The current government led by the Pakistan Muslim League - Nawaz (PML-N) will complete its tenure on May 31. A caretaker regime will oversee the election which is proposed to be held on July 25. A total of 105 million 59.2 million males and 46.7 million females - constitute the electoral roll across the six provinces of Pakistan, which has a population of

ISI's former chief Lt Gen (retd.) Asad Durrani


agreement. "We have made a democratic decision. I am thankful to the PM, to the speaker, for making this decision with patience, setting aside emotion. The name of the person I would like to present is very respectable," the veteran PPP leader said. "The name is Nasir ul Mulk, who has remained a chief justice. He has played a historic role... in the judiciary and when he was a lawyer," he said. The job of the caretaker prime minister is to keep the country running between the dissolution of parliament and the new government being sworn in. Earlier, several names including retired Justice Tassaduq Hussain Jillani, former State Bank governor Ishrat Hussian, former foreign secretary Jalil Abbas Jillani and former Pakistan Cricket Board chairman Zaka Ashraf were reportedly discussed by the two sides.

Pakistan's former chief justice Nasir ul Mulk

that Mulk will successfully conduct free, fair and impartial elections in Pakistan on July 25. The announcement came after weeks of deadlock between the PML-N and the Opposition over the name of the caretaker prime minister. It took the government and the opposition six meetings to decide on a name for the position. Though, Abbasi spoke first but he let Shah announce


Asian Voice | 2nd June 2018

in northern Maungdaw. "Our latest investigation on the ground sheds much-needed light on the largely under-reported human rights abuses by ARSA during northern Rakhine state's unspeakably dark recent history," said Tirana Hassan, crisis response director at Amnesty International. Victims rounded up "Accountability for these atrocities is every bit as crucial as it is for the crimes against humanity carried out by Myanmar's security forces in northern Rakhine state," she added. Citing interviews with eight survivors, the rights group said dozens were rounded up, blindfolded and marched out of town by masked men and Rohingya villagers in plain clothes. "They slaughtered the men. We were told not to look at them... They had knives. They also had some spades and iron rods," 18-year-old Raj Kumari told Amnesty. He said he hid in the bush and watched as his father, brother and uncle were killed. The report said that in a separate village nearby called Ye Bauk Kyar, 46 Hindu men, women and children disappeared on the same day. It cited information from local Hindus who believe they were killed by ARSA. While Rakhine was home mainly to Buddhists and Muslims before the crisis, it also boasts a small cluster of Hindu minority many of whom were brought in by British colonisers.

Islamabad. They numbered 5,934 in 2013. The number of Parsi voters has grown from 3,650 in 2013 to 4,235. Majority of them are settled in Sindh followed by KP. The number of Buddhist voters has increased from 1,452 in 2013 to 1,884. Most of them live in Sindh and Punjab. There are a total of 31,543 voters from the Bahai community on the electoral rolls. The report, based on official document, makes no mention of Jewish voters in Pakistan.

Number of non-Muslim voters in Pak up by 30%



Asian Voice | 2nd June 2018


Kenya MP proposes death for all corrupt officials N A I RO B I: A Jubilee member of parliament from Murang'a has proposed that Kenyans convicted for corruption be shot dead in full glare of the public. While making the statement, Murang'a woman representative, Sabina Chege, said that was the only punitive measure which will tame runaway corruption in the country. “I am proposing that once people are convicted by our courts for corruption, they be taken before a firing squad at Uhuru Park and are shot dead in full glare of the public. It has happened in China and we can as well embrace it here in Kenya," Chege said. The lawmaker was speaking at Ihura Stadium in Muranga

town during a walk to raise funds for the Muranga chapter of the Kenya Red Cross. The funds will assist the body in mitigating various calamities that continue to face residents from the County occasioned by the ongoing heavy rains. Chege called on other legislators to support the

Bill once it is tabled at the floor of the House. She also defended the Jubilee government over accusations of corruption, saying it were corrupt individuals and not the government who were giving the government a bad name. She also called on various investigating arms of the government and the courts

to pursue the matter expeditiously and ensure all those implicated in corruption face the law. "We cannot be jumping from one corruption case to another. In the last one week we started by corruption allegations at the National Youth Service and we came to the National Cereals and Produce Board that were immediately followed by corruption at the Kenya Power. This is unacceptable," she lamented. As this happens, Kiharu Member of Parliament Ndindi Nyoro says he has written to the Speaker of the National Assembly Justin Muturi, seeking to amend the laws that will have people found guilty of corruption be subjected to life sentences.

NAIROBI: Kenyan authorities have arrested the head of the National Youth Service as well as 17 others as part of an investigation into a theft of nearly $100 million, media reports said. Kenya's chief prosecutor said proceedings would begin soon against all the suspects named by the Director of Criminal Investigation, though those names have not been made public yet. Privately owned Citizen Television and K24 TV reported the youth agency's director, Richard Ndubai, had been arrested, along with a number of officials. Citizen TV

reported that a top official at the ministry of public service, youth and gender services, Lillian MbogoOmollo, had surrendered to the police in the company of her lawyers. Kenyan media said 10 billion shillings ($99 million) had been stolen through fictitious invoices and multiple payments on one supplier invoice at the youth service. Despite President Uhuru Kenyatta's pledges to stamp out graft when he was first elected in 2013, critics say he has been slow to pursue top officials. Only big-name convictions will break what they call a culture of

impunity. The reports have dismayed many Kenyans, particularly as they follow a 2015 scandal at the agency, which aims to equip Kenya's young people with key skills and help create jobs. Last week, investigators summoned more than 40 people, including Ndubai, for questioning over the lost funds. The Director of Public Prosecution said it had grounds to start court proceedings against all of them."The DPP has independently reviewed all files related to the ongoing investigations and has directed prosecution commences immediately against all the named sus-

pects," the office said on Twitter. Kenyatta has blamed the slow progress in tackling corruption on the lethargy of some government agencies charged with rooting out graft. In 2016, the then-head of Kenya's anti-graft agency said Kenya was losing a third of its state budget the equivalent of about $6 billion - to corruption every year. While the finance ministry disputed the losses were that large, blaming instead poor paperwork, Kenyatta acknowledged then that corruption had reached levels that threatened national security.

Murang'a woman representative, Sabina Chege

Kenya arrests youth service officials over alleged theft of funds

Raila feeling the heat, says FordKenya leader Wetang’ula NAIROBI: Ford-Kenya and ANC have dared ODM leader Raila Odinga to a 2022 State House contest. This came a day after Odinga described a planned merger between Moses Wetang’ula’s FordKenya and Musalia Mudavadi’s Amani National Congress as tribal. Wetang’ula described Odinga’s stand as hypocritical and a sign he was panicking ahead of the 2022 election. Odinga had on Sunday dismissed “politicians spearheading tribal politics by calling for unity of some regions”, a comment that

Moses Wetang’ula

the two parties say only points to his 2022 ambitions they said would be severely hurt by the merger bid. “For Raila, it is never tribal when Luo Nyanza stands solidly behind him. But when other communities stand behind

their leaders, it is tribal. What a contradiction. I had warned him that our divorce will be noisy and messy. Now, he is feeling the heat,” Wetang’ula said. “It is business unusual for Raila in Western. The crowds have dwindled, the enthusiasm with which he used to be welcomed is no more and he is now a man that is not only conflicted, but under siege from himself. I can see him running in 2022, and we will meet him in the field.” Odinga, Mudavadi and Wetang’ula are co-principals in Nasa, an outfit formed in January 2017 and

which had Odinga used for his presidential bid with Wiper party’s Kalonzo Musyoka as his running mate. But after the March 9 handshake between President Uhuru Kenyatta and Odinga – a deal made without the knowledge of the other three principals – Nasa has disintegrated. Wetang’ula lost his Senate minority leader post to ODM’s James Orengo and Musyoka went on a rebranding spree, acquiring new party headquarters, and reaching out to other parties for possible talks on his State House bid.



Lanka PM outlines plans for development of North CO LO M B O: Sri Lanka Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe stressed the need to link the Northern Province with southern development corridors to develop its economy focusing on agriculture, fishing, tourism and manufacturing. During a visit to K i l i n o c h c h i , Wickremesinghe said that despite the war ending nine years ago, the region had not seen an economic regeneration. He said that despite the development, significant challenges, especially on poverty, water and housing access remained in the area and required government assistance. He acknowledged that the region would need a multipronged approach, including better education and employment opportunities to improve its GDP contribution and provide better living standards for its residents. “Out of the nine provinces in Sri Lanka, we must remember that the poorest is the North. Other than Jaffna, this situation encompasses Kilinochchi and Mullaitivu. Vavuniya has seen some development since the end of the war, but Jaffna still has several challenges that need to be addressed. One key point is the return of military-held land to civilians. Another is the need to address chronic water shortages in what is primarily an agriculture area,” he said. He insisted that progress could be seen in the return of Tamil people to their homes and these efforts were being supported by the government. However, he conceded that more needs to be done,

Ranil Wickremesinghe

especially in providing better water access to the region. Wickremesinghe pointed out that the Northern province should be connected to larger development efforts in H a m b a n t o t a , Polonnaruwa, Rajarata and Trincomalee that are to be connected to economic corridors as per government policy. “Sri Lanka’s development should be planned from Jaffna to Hambantota. In that effort, we should first focus on the Kilinochchi area, which would require water supply projects, including rainwater harvesting. In olden times much of this region was covered in paddy and grains. We need to bring that era back. In addition we need to develop fishing in this area. Tourism could be developed in Trincomalee, Jaffna, Mannar and Vavuniya. We will pay attention to establishing a manufacturing centre in Paranthan. We will look at how this area can be developed through these efforts.” The Prime Minister stressed that the North and South has to come together to develop Sri Lanka, and that it was imperative to address issues that stand in the way of unity.

174,310 families affected by Lanka floods COLOMBO: Floods and landslide have affected a large number of people in Sri Lanka and approximately 17,976 families have been evacuated to 265 welfare centres in nine districts, the DMC said. The National Disaster Relief Service Centre (NDRSC) has provided Rs 44.15 million to meet the immediate needs of the affected populations. The sluice gates of Deduru-oya, Kukuleganga and Rajanganaya tanks were still open and in a few areas of Ja-Ela, inundation continued. Sand bags have been stacked by the Army and Navy together with the communities to stop flood water

penetration to settlements. The GampahaGanemulla road is still submerged and transportation is limited in the Kirindiwita, Akarawita areas. Low-lying areas are still under water in Wattala in the Gampaha District. A Hindu Kovil has been heavily damaged due to fallen tree in the Norwood estate in Nuwara Eliya. The DMC is presently coordinating with military agencies through its Emergency Operation Centre for better response interventions and the NDRSC is undertaking needs assessment at local levels, especially in safety centres.

WORLD AsianVoiceNews


15 hurt in blast at Indian restaurant in Canada

TORONTO: At least 15 people were injured, three of them seriously, when two unidentified men detonated an improvised explosive device at an Indian restaurant in Canada's Ontario province last week. Two suspects with their faces covered entered the Bombay Bhel restaurant, dropped the device and fled, police said. However, there was no indication that the explosion was an act of terrorism or hate crime, Peel regional police chief Jennifer Evans said. “However, we haven’t ruled anything out as we start our investigation.” Rafael Conceicao, a student from Brazil, was on the patio of a restaurant

close to Bombay Bhel when he heard the explosion, and rushed to help. “Glass was broken in the street. There was a child’s birthday party. Everything was destroyed. Many people were bleeding and there was lots of blood in the floor. Many people were screaming. They were

trying to run out from the restaurant. There was a guy with glass inside his eyes,” Conceicao said. A 35-year-old man, a 62 year-old woman from Mississauga and a 48-yearold woman from Mississauga were taken to a Toronto Trauma Centre where they remain in sta-

ble condition. Twelve other victims were taken to local hospitals with minor injuries, and have been treated and released. “Our thoughts and prayers go out to the victims and to their families. We know this is an extremely difficult time for them,” said Peel police chief Jennifer Evans. “I want the community to know that every available police resource is being used to locate the people responsible for this horrendous act”. Police have issued CCTV footage of the two suspects. It was not immediately known as how many people were inside the restaurant when the incident took place. The motive for the attack was being investigated.

Turbaned Sikh woman joins NY police

N E W YO R K: Gursoch Kaur, a 20-year-old from Queens, New York, graduated from the New York Police Academy in May, becoming the first turbaned Sikh woman to join the NYPD. The Sikh community hailed her achievement. It’s particularly significant given the statistics around Sikh representation in the department. Around 35,400 full-time uniformed officers work for the NYPD, 190 of whom are Sikh, according to the Sikh Officers Association. Around 10 are women. Delare Rathour, NYPD officer and vice president of the Sikh Officers Association, said, “seeing officer Kaur wearing a turban and in uniform they will feel pride, seeing one of their own serving her community.”

Gursoch Kaur

Kaur is now an Auxiliary Police Officer (APO), an officer who’s trained to assist local police precincts, housing police service areas and transit districts. She is currently a student at Nassau Community College, majoring in accounting. Kaur told Desi Talk that she hopes her position as an APO will help her bring

her closer to becoming a full-time, sworn-in police officer one day. Thus far, Kaur feels her presence on the force has helped the area’s residents learn more about her culture and bring visibility to the Sikh community. “I feel blessed. The only reason people are interested is because of my dastar (turban),” she said. “People

haven’t seen anything like that. It’s great because it gives me an opportunity to tell them what’s behind the turban, educate them. That’s how we love one another.” The Sikh turban, which stands for service, compassion and honesty, among other values, was previously banned from officers’ attire. But in December 2016, the rule was nixed and Sikh officers were permitted to wear a blue turban with the NYPD logo on it. “We’re really happy that the higher ups in the NYPD listened to our concerns,” Gurvinder Singh, president of the Sikh Officers Association, said. “They realized this a diverse city and that a more diverse police force is necessary.”


Asian Voice | 2nd June 2018

Sheikh Hasina, Mamata hold talks but skirt Teesta water issue

Mamata Banerjee and Sheikh Hasina

KOLKATA: Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee last week held discussions on a wide range of topics including education, business and culture, but both did not bring up the contentious issue of Teesta water sharing in their 40-minute meeting. “It was a courtesy call. I know Hasina di and her family members since long. Bangladesh wants to set up a museum in memory of Bangabandhu who spent some time in Kolkata’s Theare Road. I said we will provide the land,” Mamata said after the meeting. It was not expected that a solution to the Teesta issue would shape up this time. For that, the West Bengal government would have had to inti-

mate the Centre that will take up the matter with the neighbouring country at the meeting, which was not done. While Hasina badly wants the Teesta water-sharing treaty signed before the 2018 general elections in Bangladesh, Mamata has her compulsions, too. The CM, too, cannot let go the interests of half a dozen districts in north Bengal that depend on Teesta water for agriculture when the Lok Sabha polls are due in 2019. Political observers saw the meeting as a bid by Bangladesh to keep the West Bengal CM “in good humour” and try out a workable plan. Though the CM did not utter a word on the outcome of the meeting, her comments made it clear that she has not closed door for water-sharing.

Imran’s party leader slaps Pak minister on TV show

Protests in Pakistan over Gilgit-Baltistan order P E S H AWA R: Several people have been injured in Pakistan in clashes between police and protesters during a demonstration against the socalled Gilgit-Baltistan order, media reports said. Pakistan PM Shahid Khaqan Abbasi has seized more authority from the local council to deal with the affairs of the disputed region through the GilgitBaltistan Order 2018 which was passed on May 21. The order is seen as Islamabad’s efforts towards incorporating the disputed region as its fifth province. Police fired tear gas shells and resorted to aerial firing in Gilgit last week to stop protesters approaching towards Gilgit-Baltistan Assembly for a scheduled sit-in against the order.

Politicians, cutting across party lines, held protest rallies across GilgitBaltistan demanding constitutional rights for the region. The Gilgit-Baltistan government has promulgated the Gilgit-Baltistan Order-2018, which replaced the Gilgit-Baltistan Empowerment and SelfGovernance Order of 2009. However, the new order has failed to impress local politicians who announced region-wide protests. “We will continue our sit-in outside the Assembly till this package is revoked and we are given constitutional rights,” said Awami Action Committee (AAC) chairman Sultan Raees. Civil rights groups in Pakistan have also criticised the order. Pakistan has bifurcated

occupied Kashmir into two administrative parts Gilgit-Baltistan and Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK). Gilgit-Baltistan was treated as a separate geographical entity by Pakistan untill now. Balochistan, KhyberPakhtunkhwa, Punjab and Sindh are the four provinces of Pakistan. A Cabinet meeting, chaired by PM Abbasi last week, was informed that GilgitBaltistan Council will be retained as advisory body towards the functions of the federal government. India protests against Gilgit-Baltistan order India summoned Pakistani deputy high commissioner Syed Haider Shah to protest against a recent Pakistan government order to change the

status of Gilgit-Baltistan. India told the diplomat that the entire state of J&K, which also includes GilgitBaltistan, was an integral part of India, and Pakistan had no legal basis for its actions. In an order on May 21, the Pakistani cabinet said Gilgit-Baltistan would enjoy the same rights as the other four provinces - a move seen as a way to integrate the disputed territory into Pakistan. “It (cabinet) was also informed that with the devolution of greater administrative and financial powers to the government of Gilgit-Baltistan, all the rights will be available to the citizens in GilgitBaltistan as available to the people in other provinces of Pakistan," a statement said.

Daniyal Aziz and Naeemul Haque

ISLAMABAD: A leader of the opposition party Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf in a late night television talk show last week slapped the cheek of the country's privatisation minister. The Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) government’s privatisation minister Daniyal Aziz, apparently called Naeemul Haq, a PTI leader, a ‘thief ’, at which the latter lost his cool and smacked the minister while the talk show was on. According to Muneeb Farooq, anchor of the programme on Geo News, both the leaders were present in the Islamabad studio of the channel while he was moderating the show

from Lahore. Following the incident, Aziz and Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) leader Nafeesha Shah, another guest speaker, walked out from the TV show. Aziz said the incident was ‘pre-planned’. “It shows the frustration of PTI leaders and their handlers. Despite throwing their weight behind the Army and the judiciary, their public support diminishes daily.” Haq, however, tweeted that while it was an unfortunate spur of the moment reaction, Aziz’s “abusive language” against the PTI leadership and attack on army generals was unacceptable. “I hope he (Aziz) can mend his ways and stop spinning mistruths.”


INDIA AsianVoiceNews

Asian Voice | 2nd June 2018


TN govt orders closure of Sterlite plant C H E N N A I: The Tamil Nadu government has ordered the closure of Sterlite Copper plant in Tuticorin and “sealed” the premises “permanently.” The closure order came within hours of deputy CM O Panneerselvam and his colleagues visiting the injured protesters at the Tuticorin government hospital. Coming a day ahead of the Tamil Nadu legislative assembly session, the closure is likely to take the sheen off the opposition plans to corner the government and force chief minister Edappadi K Palaniswami to resign over the Sterlite protests and police firing on May 22 and 23 that left 13 dead. Talking to reporters at the AIADMK headquarters,

Palaniswami said the government had issued the order for the permanent closure of the unit, respect-

See Page 7 for protest against Vedanta in UK ing the sentiments of the people. “Representatives of several organisations met me in the presence of the deputy chief minister and other ministers and requested for closure. This has been the sole demand

of the local people. The government met the demand by issuing an order today,” Palaniswami said. “There is a case pending in the court, but there is no stay (on government acting against the unit). The state will implement what is good for the people,” he said, while seeking support of the people of Tuticorin. Even though Sterlite unit had been issued “closure notice” on a couple of

occasions earlier, this was the first time the state government has sealed the factory. A team of officials led by Tuticorin district collector Sandeep Nanduri sealed the premises on Monday evening. “Closure of the plant is an unfortunate development, especially since we have operated it for over 22 years in most transparent and sustainable way, contributing to Tuticorin and state’s socioeconomic development. We will study the order and decide on the future course of action,” Vedanta Limited, which owns the copper smelter, said in a statement. Opposition parties, termed the closure a “belated action”, after 13 people lost their lives in the police firing. DMDK welcomed the move.

Nipah virus now a social problem KO Z H I KO D E / KO C H I : With the death toll caused by the deadly Nipah Virus rising, fear psychosis has gripped people as nurses are being ostracised and staff at a crematorium reluctant to cremate the body of a victim. In a shocking incident, when nurses from Perambra taluk hospital in Kozhikode entered a bus, rest of the passengers protested and got off the vehicle. In another case, police registered a case

against two workers of Mavoor Road Crematorium, who allegedly showed reluctance to cremate the body of a Nipah victim. Kozhikode district medical officer Dr Jayshree Vasudevan highlighted the need for awareness campaigns. “People are scared and reacting due to fear,” she said. Hospital staff and people in contact with the patients are being aggressively isolated.

Sociologists said the reaction is out of fear and their immediate need to protect themselves and family from getting infected. Sociologist Baby Shireen said, “What is happening now is that with increased awareness, we are trying to avoid the people directly or indirectly associated with the problem. Lots of misinformation is circulating. Also, it is easier to avoid people than work on strengthening our immune system.”

Meanwhile, the Nipah virus has claimed one more life in Kerala on Sunday, taking the death toll to 14 even as health authorities reiterated that the situation was under control and no fresh case was reported from affected areas. Two more Nipahinfected people are undergoing treatment at the intensive care unit of the Kozhikode Medical College Hospital, state health officials said.


Damdami Taksal ‘threatens’ to eliminate Sikh preacher CHANDIGARH: Two years after a bloody war erupted between the Damdami Taksal and Sikh preacher Ranjit Singh Dhadrianwale, the Amritsar-based Sikh seminary has again issued “death threats” to the preacher. A brand new edition of word-war rose between the two after the chief spokesperson of the Taksal, Charanjit Singh Jassowal, issued death threats to “Sikh preacher” during a meeting held at the Taksal headquarters at Gurdwara Gurdarshan Parkash, Chowk Mehta, near Amritsar, on May 20. A meeting was called to discuss the events to be undertaken by the Taksal to observe the anniversary of Operation Bluestar on June 6. Jassowal advocated the murder of Sikh parcharaks in the presence of seminary head Harnam Singh Dhumma and other religious leaders. He more specifically directed his threats towards Dhadrianwale. Meanwhile, the Taksal dissociated its

Ranjit Singh Dhadrianwale

head from Jassowal's statement, claiming that the seminary head had not approved it. However, a video of the event went viral on social media, following which, Dhadrianwale too posted a 30 minute video calling the threats as religious “gundagardi”. He questioned the silence of the Akal Takht on two-year old case where Taksal members had led an attack on his cavalcade near Ludhiana, killing one of his aides. Dhadrianwale also explained that the religious discourses were based on facts, as written in “Gurbani”.

Female teacher arrested for sexually abusing student CHANDIGARH: A 34 year old female has been arrested in Chandigarh for allegedly sexually abusing a 14 year old boy she was tutoring. The child's parents contacted Childline, a 24-hour telephone helpline service for children in distress, and were guided to lodge a complaint with the police. Chandigarh senior superintendent of police Nilambari Vijay Jagdale said, “We have registered a case under Section 6 of Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act.” The accused, a government school science teacher, was neighbour to the victim at Ram Darbar colony in Sector 31, Chandigarh. Both families knew each other well, which is why, the class 10 student and his younger sister started taking tuitions from the woman in September last year. Dr Sangeeta Jund, project director of Childline, said, “The teacher requested the boy's parents to send their

daughter for tuition separately so that she could 'focus' on their son. The parents agreed but, on the pretext of teaching him, she started luring the boy physically in the beginning of 2018. She also gave him a SIM card to stay in touch with her.” Jund said the teacher, who has two girls, aged 10 and eight, had grown possessive of the boy. As his grades dropped in March, his mother barred him from going to accused's place. The teacher contacted the victim's parents in April, asking them to send him for tuitions. In a desperate bid, she urged the parents to meet her with their son one last time at her house. Toxic drama then ensued as she locked the boy in a room in her house in the presence of her husband and daughters, and the boy's parents. Soon, neighbours intervened and the boy was rescued. Authorities were called soon and the woman was taken to a hospital.



Modi invokes Tagore and 'Kabuliwala' at Visva-Bharati convocation

Mamata Banerjee, Sheikh Hasina and Narendra Modi

KOLKATA: Prime Minister Narendra Modi shared the stage with his Bangladesh counterpart Sheikh Hasina and West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee at the 49th convocation of Visva-Bharti University last week. In Modi's maiden visit to the varsity since becoming the Prime Minister, he first apologised to the students. “First of all, as the chancellor of Visva Bharati University, I apologise. When I was coming here, some students were telling me with gestures that there is no arrangement for drinking water, I want to apologise for all the inconvenience caused to you.” Invoking Nobel laureate Rabindranath Tagore, who founded the central university, and his iconic short story 'Kabuliwala', Modi said he felt privileged to spend time on “Tagore's soil.” “Tagore was a global citizen and wanted Shantiniketan to be a home for the world... Tagore wanted students in India to have a wider global view and always gave priority to the identity of India.” The convocation ceremony paved way for the historic moment, when Modi shared the dais with Banerjee and Hasina. It, however, missed out on an important tradition as he did not award the university's highest accolade, 'Desikottam'. The Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) had not given clearance for tradition, citing his tight schedule. Modi is the “acharya” or chancellor of the central university, and has inaugurated the Bangladesh Bhavan - a sym-

bol of cultural ties between India and Bangladesh, with Sheikh Hasina and held a bilateral meeting. Hasina's delegation involves almost 100 invitees, including her sister Rehana, Foreign Minister Abul Hasan Mahmood Ali, Education Minister Nurul Islam Nahid, and Cultural Affairs Minister Asaduzzaman Noor. Hasina seeks help on Rohingya refugees Sheikh Hasina sought India’s help in repatriating Rohingya refugees to Myanmar. More than 11,00,000 Rohingyas had taken refuge in Bangladesh, Hasina said at the inauguration of Bangladesh Bhavana in the presence of Modi and Mamata Banerjee. “We could not have turned them away. We are a nation of 160 million. Why could we not feed a few more mouths? If need be, we will share our food. But we also want them to be expeditiously repatriated to Myanmar. We (Bangladesh and India) have to urge Myanmar to take its people back,” Hasina said. Modi didn’t refer to the Rohingya issue in his speech, but Bangladesh foreign affairs minister Nurul Islam Nahid said both counties were on the same page. His junior minister, Shariar Alam, pointed to Sushma Swaraj’s recent visit to Myanmar, where she had expressed the need for safe return of Rohingyas and even extended help to rebuild villages in the Rakhine province. “The international community needs to keep the pressure on Myanmar and India has a key role to play,” Alam said.

Communalism has no place in West Bengal: Mamata

KOLKATA: West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has stated that communalism has no place in the state which believes in unity in diversity. She tweeted on the occasion of the World Day for Cultural Diversity for Dialogue and Development, saying, “Today is World Day for Cultural Diversity for Dialogue and Development. Our State Government has always believed in unity in diversity. Communalism has no

place in the minds and hearts of the people of Bengal.” The United Nations sanctioned international holiday is observed for the promotion of diversity issues. The state had witnessed clashes between groups in places such as Dhulagarh in Howrah in 2016, and in Asansol and Raniganj in March this year. Banerjee had dubbed the incidents as a local matter and not a communal problem.




Asian Voice | 2nd June 2018

Dr. Hari Desai

De-recognition of Maharaja Pratap Singh Gaekwad • He wanted to be declared the King of Gujarat and Kathiawar • Morarji Desai advised Nehru to curb the Anti-merger agitation


he benevolent ruler of Baroda State, Maharaja Sayajirao Gaekwad III, groomed his grandson, Sir Pratap Singh Rao (29 June 1908- 19 July 1968), as his heir apparent to succeed him in 1939. “The favoured son of the British Empire” Maharaja Sayajirao died in 1939 after he ruled for fifty-eighty years. V.P. Menon records in “Integration of the Indian States”: “Pratap Singh continued for some time to follow in the footsteps of his illustrious predecessor. But after three or four years, he fell under the influence of bad advisors. He contracted a second “marriage” in circumstances which gravely reflected on his position as a ruler. He had been married in 1929 to Maharani Shanta Devi of the Ghorpade family of Kolhapur who had borne him eight children, before his “marriage” in 1944 to Sita Devi, the daughter of a landlord in Madras province. Sita Devi had already been married in 1933 and had a son by her first husband. But in October 1943, she

announced her conversion to Islam and obtained a declaration from a court that her marriage was dis-

Maharaja Pratapsinghrao Gaekwad of Baroda

solved by reason of conversion.” Maharaja Pratap Singh took the extraordinary step of amending the Baroda law against bigamy with retrospective effect so as to provide that nothing in it “shall apply or shall be deemed ever to have applied to His Highness”. Of course, despite all these efforts, it was not recognized by the British Government nor by the Government of India. In

1944, Pratap Singh raised his privy purse from Rs.23 lakhs to Rs.50 lakhs a year and also, inspite of the express injunctions left by his predecessor, he kept on advancing money to himself from the State funds. In September 1947, the situation in Kathiawar was causing concern to the Government of India by reason of the accession of the Nawab of Junagadh to Pakistan. Most of the Kathiawar rulers co-operated with the Government of India, but Sir Pratap Singh tried to put pressure on Sardar Patel and laid down certain conditions which were not acceptable. The Sardar bluntly refused to accept Sir Pratap Singh’s conditions including declaring him the King of Gujarat and Kathiawar as Patel was aware of the Maharaja of Baroda’s sympathy toward the Bhopal Plan of Nawab Hamidullah Khan to join hands with Pakistan as well as emulating the Nizam of Hyderabad by putting forward claims to be an independent ruler. Menon notes, “Pratap Singh’s ambition was to occupy in

Western India a status similar to that to which the Nizam aspired in the Deccan”. The Maharaja agreed to set up a Constituent Assembly which would frame a constitution for the State and appointing Dr. Jivraj Mehta as the head of the interim ministry only after Sardar Patel warned him in no unclear words. Dr. Mehta, the Dewan turned the Chief Minister of Baroda State, found grave irregularities in the State funds since the Maharaja withdrawing huge amount without bothering to producing proper accounts. The Government of India appointed a senior officer of the Indian Audit and Accounts Service to conduct investigations. An alarming state of affairs was revealed. “Between the years 1943 and 1947, in addition to his annual privy purse of Rs.50 lakhs, Pratap Singh had withdrawn from the State Investment Reserve, a sum of nearly Rs.6 crores, while several valuable jewels, including the famous seven-strand pearl neck-

BARDOLI DAY - 12 JUNE Mahatma Gandhi on Bardoli Day

“I like the suggestion made by Sjt. Jairamdas that June 12th or any other suitable day should be proclaimed as Bardoli Day when meetings representing all parties may be held to pass resolutions and make collections in aid of the sufferers of Bardoli.” (Young India, 7-6-1928) “The 12th of June has been fixed for expressing sympathy with the satyagrahis of Bardoli and helping them in other ways. How should we observe this day? All struggles involving satyagraha call for self-purification. A satyagrahi tries to make his truth triumph through his own purity and through his penance and he has faith in his endavours.Hence let us attain the utmost degree of purity on the 12th of June and ask God to give us strength to bear any sufferings so that truth may triumph. This can be regarded as first-class help. Moreover, since Bardoli is in Gujarat, that province, realizing that it has a special responsibility towards it, should start on the 12th of June a yajna for self-purification. If possible, on that day everywhere people should absolutely voluntarily stop their routine businessthere means of livelihood- and collect funds to help the struggle in Bardoli. Huge meeting should be held at various

places in the evening and resolutions should be passed expressing sympathy with the struggle and condemning the Government’s anarchical policy. Further, at all such meetings contributions should be collected from those who have not been approached for such contributions during the course of the day, and have come to attend the meeting.” (From Gujarati ) (Navajivan, 10-6-1928) Narhari D. Parikh on the celebration of Bardoli Day “12th of June celebrated throughout the country with great enthusiasm as Bardoli Day. The people of Bardoli fasted for 24 hours and offered prayers. The young men in Bombay went from house to house and collected funds. The labourers of Ahmedabad sold receipts for an anna each and collected 1,500 rupees. The office of the Bardoli Satyagraha Ashram was inundated with cheques and money orders. In addition to these donations which came voluntarily, efficient workers approached larger donors. They were persuaded to give large sums, and if they could not do so, to give their cars, or if they could not give them up altogether, to let them be used for the period of the conflict. In this way 4 motor cars were obtained for the workers of the Taluka and the total fund was augmented to two lakhs of rupees.” (Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel Vol.1)

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asked to reply to the lace and the diamond Maharaja on his public necklace with the three defiance on the merger priceless stones, ‘Star of issue. Despite Menon the South’, ’Eugene’ and warning the Maharaja, he ‘Shahee Akbar’, as well as met some of the rulers, got two pearl carpets, had a Rulers’ Union formed been removed and sent to and accepted the presiEngland”, Menon records. dentship of the organizaThe Sardar and Menon tion in February 1951. He were keen that Baroda had a powerful ally in State required to have Jodhpur. Menon writes: “It merger with the Bombay was reported to me by one state. The Maharaja was of the Maharajas that, in invited to Delhi. He sought the event of a war breaking time to consult the out between India and Maharani, Shanta Devi. Pakistan, it was the ambiPatel asked Menon to tion of some of the rulers accompany him to Bombay to get back their States!” for a discussion with the The Maharaja of Maharani. Though the Baroda was playing with Maharani was against the fire. Moraji Desai, then merger, she conveyed the Home Minister of Bombay, Maharaja could take any suggested in a letter to PM decision. On 23 January Nehru to curb the anti1949, the Executive merger agitation. The Council endorsed the Government of India had merger resolution and on to take urgent steps. It was 31 January, Sir Pratap decided that, under clause Singh announced the deci22 of Article 366 of the sion in a press commuConstitution, Pratap nique. Since the Maharaja Singh’s recognition as failed to full fill most of ruler should be withdrawn the promises to return the and that his son, Yuvraj jewelry and deposit in the Fatesinghrao (2 April Jawaharkhana, the States 1930- 1 September 1988), Ministry was convinced should be recognized as that, unless a trust was the Maharaja of Baroda in formed of the jewels and his place. other private properties, Sir Pratap Singh would The order of the defritter them all away and recognition of Pratap leave the Maharani and her Singh was served on him children destitute. The on the evening of 12 April Maharaja agreed on such 1951 at his house in Delhi. arrangement but defied Pratap Singh was informed later. that, should he so wish, he Even on the merger of could make any submisBaroda State, he adopted sion to the President in an attitude of defiance. regard to that order within Early in December one month. Sir 1950, Pratap Pratap Singh Next Column: S i n g h and the addressed a Sardar Patel and Maharani, memorandum Shanta Devi, his relations to the were given with Muslims President of interviews by India, Dr. Rajendra the President, Prasad, in which he chalNehru and Gopalaswami. lenged the legality of the On 5 May 1951, the merger of Baroda with President gave them a furBombay. Though this was ther hearing, at which addressed to the President, Gopalaswami was also it also found its way into present. On 20 May, the the press. Sardar Patel was President decided finally seriously ill. On 15 to reject his appeal for December 1950, he passed reinstatement, but away in Bombay. N. allowed to continue to use Gopalaswami Aiyengar the title of “His Highness” took charge of the States and an allowance for his Ministry and Menon was maintenance.

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INDIA AsianVoiceNews

Asian Voice | 2nd June 2018

Opposition Unity propelled by fear? JD(S) leader HD Kumaraswamy swore in as the Karnataka Chief Minister at a grand ceremony that saw a massive horde of leaders and regional satraps in rare attendance. Present at the event was every possible antiNarendra Modi leader, whose only aim now is to see the leader fall in the Lok Sabha polls to be held next year. Enemy of my enemy is friend, indeed. Kumaraswamy took the oath outside the majestic Vidhana Soudha, seat of power in the state. G Parameshwara, state Congress chief and the party's Dalit face, was sworn in as Kumaraswamy's deputy. It was a sight to remember. Akhilesh Yadav and Mayawati- two separate poles of the politics of Uttar Pradesh, waved together to the crowds. Trinamool Congress (TMC) chief and West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee shook hands with Sitaram Yechury,

Opposition leaders join hands in Bengaluru

general secretary of the Communist Party of India (Marxist) and a leader she has fought all her life. Rashtriya Janata Dal's (RJD) contemporary face Tejaswi Yadav, son of Lalu Prasad Yadav, touched Sonia Gandhi's feet. But it was Sonia, who stole the moment with her affectionate knock on the forehead with Mayawati. Also fleeting in the medley was Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal. While it remains unclear what kind of unity the

opposition will form, it is evident that the otherwise sworn enemies have not formed a unity given that they are faced by a certain existential crisis in lieu of Narendra ModiAmit Shah's BJP. The Opposition has realised that the fragmentation of anti-BJP votes enabled Narendra Modi machine to convert their robust vote share into a majority of seats. Which is why, basic mathematics suggests that if all major non-BJP

forces come together, the much hated Modi government will come to a halt. Also keeping the hopes alive of the Opposition camp is the recent electoral trends, what with the BJP barely winning in Gujarat, and its defeat in the bypolls in Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh. The freshly minted unification believes that antiincumbency is finally setting in. They believe they can mount a campaign based on Modi's failure.

Modi's blunt retort to May revealed

Continued from page 1 They discussed the extradition of liquor baron Vijay Mallya and him complaining to the UK courts about the conditions of Indian jails. Swaraj said, “We have sent out Mallya's extradition request. One of the cases in the court is by the State Bank of India (SBI) consortium, which involves 12 banks. They have won the case and the money can now be recovered.” Mallya is absconding and currently living in the UK. His assets have been seized by Indian authorities and he faces

Modi meeting Theresa May

money laundering charges to the tune of over Rs 9000

Crores. A UK judge last year, noted that overcrowd-

ing remained a problem in Indian jails and the conditions did not satisfy human rights requirements. Mallya also argued that jails in India had poor hygiene and instances of torture. “The courts have raised some issues and said they would like to inspect the conditions of Indian jails,” Swaraj said. While sharing the exchange between Modi and May, she said UK had been firmly told that the stance of British courts was “unacceptable”.


NMDC bags the prestigious S&P PLATTS Global Metals Award 2018

NMDC Limited has bagged the prestigious S&P Global PLATTS Global Metals Awards 2018 in corporate social responsibility category held on May 17, at the London Grosvenor Square Marriott Hotel. The coveted award was received by N Baijendra Kumar, IAS, Chairmancum-Managing Director and Shri Sandeep Tula, Director (Personnel). This is the first time since the launch of the awards that an Indian company bagged an honour in the category. S&P Global Platts is the leading independent provider of information, benchmark prices and analytics for the energy and commodities markets. The award recognises top performers, industry leaders and innovators. The Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) Award recognises the organisation that best demonstrates leadership, commitment to action and real-world social impact on social responsibility of

corporate business entity. NMDC is the largest iron ore mining company in India. It has a domestic market share of about 25 per cent with an iron ore production of approximately 35 million tonnes per annum. The company also extracts diamonds through its mine in Panna, the only mechanised diamond mine in Asia. Baijendra Kumar congratulated all employees of the company and said that it is the collective efforts and collaborative approach of all of them that has made it possible. He also thanked the Ministry of Steel for its continuous support and guidance. “NMDC CSR initiatives adopt a flexible, inclusive, nonperspective, processoriented approach to enable the stakeholders to determine the scope of our programs and activities. NMDC has shown that it is possible to be profitable, while being socially and environmentally responsible.”

Politics loses its lustre when men of God get involved Continued from page 1 Written on May 8, the letter contains an instruction that it should be read at all Sunday mass prayers on May 13. Archbishop Couto requests that “We observe a day of fast every Friday of the week by forgoing at least one meal and offering our penance and all our sacrifices for our spiritual renewal and that of our nation.” He also called for an hour of special prayers, “eucharistic adoration”, every Friday at a convenient time in “all our parishes, religious houses and institutions specifically praying for our nation.” The letter is accompanied with a special “Prayer for our Nation” that says, “Let the dreams of our founding fathers and the values of our Constitutionequality, liberty and frater-

nity- be always held in highest esteem. Let the people of all castes and creeds, all denominations and persuasions live in harmony and peace steering far away from hatred and violence.” Needless to say, the “prayer” reeked of antiBJP sentiment. BJP President Amit Shah was quick to slam the archbishop. He said, “No one should say such things, when it comes to religion.” He added that “polarising people in the name of religion” is not “appropriate”. Leaders of India's political arena reacted conceivably with West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee and CPI(M) leader Sitaram Yechury supporting Cuoto. BJP leader and Rajya Sabha member Subramanian Swamy has urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi to

direct the Ministry of External Affairs to cease all diplomatic relations with the Holy Vatican- the seat of Christianity. He also urged the PM to give directions to authorities to seal Vatican embassy located in New Delhi. Modi himself, has maintained a dignified silence on the matter. Also, former councillor Chuni Chavda has written a letter to the Pope, and the pontiff making a formal complaint against the archbishop. He believes that politics is best left for the politicians, and any effort made to create a wedge between Hindus and Christians should be stopped at the stem. In what felt like a direct attack on the ruling Narendra Modi government, the archbishop unessentially jumped into

a debate that is purely political and miles away from his respectful stature. The letter expectedly kicked off a war of religion as Hindu political parties in the country jumped to defend the country against what seemed like a wellthought out scheme of frisking an otherwise calm society. It remains incomprehensible as to what archbishop Cuoto wished to gain from the letter. A man of great religious holding spoke and the faithful listened. So, will they be careful while voting next year? That is the only possible interpretation of a letter that is understood to be thoughtfully curated. For a bishop who stands at such a high rank, one would think he weighs the consequences of his words. It is believed that

Christians, who voted BJP in 2014, have been having second thoughts since the letter was distributed to all churches in Cuoto's diocese. Despite his measure to control damage, the archbishop failed to realise that he pinched the nerve of people of the largest democracy in the world. The “constitution” he talks about clearly claims the country to be a secular nation. Over the years, even with changes in government, not once has the 42nd amendment been forgotten. Yes, it is also definitely true that there have been numerous incidents in Indian history where religions have bid against each other. As much as attention seeking leaders find it amusing to play the same tune again and again, it is

appalling that they forget that the very same communities thrive together the rest of the year. Why can't these leaders who are so scared for India's secularism, talk about the Hindus who celebrate Ramadan with their Muslim neighbours and friends each year? Or may be the mass celebration of Christmas and, Santa Claus being a favourite character across communities? How blood donation knows no religion, and neither does the country's health system? With so many things currently wrong with the world, the only question one wants to ask Archbishop Anil Cuoto is that why dwell on the bad when you, who must show the path to hundreds, can in fact, choose to dwell in the light?



To Our Readers

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

Kids who drink orange juice in the morning 'have a higher obesity risk'

n Skipping breakfast makes kids more likely to snack later, study finds Parents should stop giving their children fruit juice at breakfast because it significantly increases their chances of being overweight or obese, a study has found. Those who drank a glass in the morning were one-and-a-half times more likely to be overweight than those who did not. Skipping breakfast was also linked to weight gain as it made children more likely to snack during the day. Though fruit juices are frequently marketed as a healthy choice, they are often high in sugar and calories. Previous research has shown a 350ml glass can contain up to nine teaspoons of sugar and is not as nutritious as unprocessed fruit. The study, led by the Medical University of Vienna, looked at the breakfast habits of 650

children and compared them to their weight and height. Some 29 per cent were classed as overweight or obese on the body mass index. Those who drank water at breakfast were 40 per cent less likely to be overweight, it found. Only four in ten children under the age of 13 ate breakfast every day, with around a third eating it fewer than five times a week and a similar proportion skipping it. The study found that those who did eat breakfast were three pounds lighter on average than those who skipped it.



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Asian Voice |


2nd June 2018

Handful of nuts 3 times a week can reduce the risk of developing an irregular heartbeat by 18% A large study has found that people who regularly eat a small quantity of nuts could have a lower risk of developing irregular heartbeat, a major cause of stroke. The research showed that eating nuts at least three times a week was associated with an 18% reduced risk of atrial fibrillation, a heart condition often felt as an irregular heartbeat. Nearly 1.3 million people in the UK have been diagnosed with atrial fibrillation, and abut 500,000 more have the condition but are not diagnosed, according to the British Heart Foundation. Another finding in the study was that moderate (one- totwo times per week) - but not high consumption - was associated with a lower risk of heart failure. The researchers, from Sweden's Karolinska Institute, looked at over sixty thousand Swedish adults and followed their consumption of nuts and almonds and their heart health over 17 years. The findings ini-

tially suggested that nut consumption might also be associated with a lowered risk of heart attack and stroke. But study participants were more likely to be younger and physically active, had healthy weight, drank less alcohol and consumed more fruits and vegetables. Once those lifestyle factors were taken into account, that association for heart attack and stroke disappeared. More clear was the benefit for reducing the risk of irregular heartbeat and, to some extent, heart

failure. 'Since only a small proportion of this population had moderate (about 5 per cent) or high (less than 2 per cent) nut consumption, even a small increase in nut consumption may

have large potential to lead to a reduction in incidence of atrial fibrillation and heart failure in this population,' the authors concluded in their study, which was published in the journal Heart.

Food industry is failing to slash sugar levels in products including biscuits, chocolate bars and ice cream

The food industry has failed to slash sugar levels in products such as biscuits to hit Government targets. Sugar levels in popular foods including ice cream and chocolate bars were supposed to be cut by 5 per cent over the last year. But a recent report showed firms had reduced levels by only 2 per cent overall – and some foods had actually become sweeter.

MPs said the voluntary policy had ‘failed miserably’ while doctors said the results were ‘hugely disappointing’. The targets were drawn up by Public Health England – the Government’s anti-obesity agency – last March.



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Asian Voice | 2nd June 2018


Dhanush gets amazing welcome in Paris


ighly anticipated international film 'The Extraordinary Journey of The Fakir', featuring our personal favourite Dhanush, premiered at the Grand Rex, in Paris, last week. The 'Raanjhanaa' actor arrived in the city to a overwhelming welcome at the airport. Dhanush was surprised by the overwhelming welcome meted out by hundreds of Tamil fans gathered at the airport who rushed to get an autograph from the actor. Later, Dhanush also made an appearance on stage to interact with the audience before the screening of the film, when he received a rousing round of cheers and appreciation from the audience. He also met some fans on stage and generously gave them autographed posters of the film. He also entertained the fans and sang the song 'Udhungada Sangu' from his hit film 'Velaiilla Pattadhari', on request from the mass. Inspired by the novel 'The Extraordinary Journey of the Fakir Who Got Trapped in an Ikea Wardrobe', the film is set in Mumbai and tipped to be an adventure drama that tells the story of Ajatashatru, played by Dhanush, who set on a mission to find his missing father. Directed by Ken Scott, the film also stars Bérénice Bejo, Berkhad Abdi, and Erin Moriarty in prominent roles.

‘Veere Di Wedding’

The film revolves around the lives of four childhood friends, Kalindi (Kareena Kapoor), Avni (Sonam Kapoor), Meera (Shikha Talsania), and Sakshi (Swara Bhaskar). Set against the backdrop of Delhi, the movie takes us on a journey, when the four friends reunite after ten years, only to realise how much their lives have changed.

Aishwarya Rajesh to play cricketer in upcoming

‘Enga Veetu Mappilai’ Abarnathi to debut opposite GV Prakash


verybody's favourite, Abarnathi, of 'Enga Veetu Mappilai' fame is all set to debut with music composer turned actor Vasanthabalan's upcoming. Shooting of the yet-untitled film took off last week with a pooja. She will play GV Prakash's romantic interest in the project. Also in the cast are Radhika Sarathkumar, Paandi, and Prabhakar of 'Baahubali' fame. GV Prakash is currently shooting for director Vijay's crime thriller film, for which Nirav Shah will work the camera. Abarnathi was one of the most popular contestants on Arya's reality show 'Enga Veetu Mappillai'. She was one of the five contestants, along with Swetha, Seethalakshmi, Susana, and Agatha who made it until the semi final stage of the movie. While she failed to make it to the finale, she remained the audience's favourite because of her personality on the show.


inger-actor-lyricist Arunraja Kamaraj is all set to make his directorial debut with 'Kanna', a sports drama focusing on women's cricket. He has roped in the ever-excited Aishwarya Rajesh to play the lead in the movie, which will be produced by actor Sivakarthikeyan. The film has already gone on floors in Lalgudi, near Trichy. “The film is based on women's cricket and I play a cricketer, who hails from a small town. How she makes her mark and realises her dream form the crux,” Aishwarya said. While she has some basic idea about the cricket, Aishwarya said it's been quite an experience training for the film. “It is not easy to play this game despite knowing the basics. I have already begun training for it. Also, to be honest, I had never watched women's cricket before signing this film, but now, I have started following it. I love the body language of the women cricketers and the attitude with which they carry themselves. It's an honour to play a woman cricketer on screen,” Aishwarya said.

Prabhas and Anushka will Simran paired not make a couple?


fter seeing their scorching chemistry in the 'Baahubali' series, fans have been shipping Prabhas and Anushka Shetty really hard. Rumours have circulated since the movie, about the two being in a relationship and even planning to tie the knot. However, recently, an entertainment portal has claimed that the two can never be anything more than close buddies, because of their family circumstances. The website quoted a source who said that Prabhas' parents and relatives would never accept Anushka or any other woman he himself chooses, for that matter. A family friend of the actor, the source added that there is a very strong friendship between Prabhas and Anushka. However, the two would never allow the friendship to turn into love as they know there is no future for a romantic relationship. Prabhas is said to be extremely close to his father and uncle, and it seems that he will never act against their will.

opposite Rajini in Karthik Subbaraj’s film?


t is well known to every one's delight that superstar Rajinikanth is teaming up with filmmaker Karthik Subbaraj for a yet-untitled Tamil film, which is expected to go on the floors later this year. While the movie is currently in its pre-production stage, an interesting detail has been brought to life. Latest buzz is that the makers have roped in actress Simran to star opposite Thalaivar in the upcoming flick. If true, this will be the actress' first association with Rajinikanth. Reported to be an action drama, the movie is being bankrolled by Sun Pictures on a massive scale. The makers, after much speculation, recently confirmed that actor Vijay Sethupathi will be seen in a pivotal role in the film. Music composer Anirudh Ravichander will render his skills. Meanwhile, Rajini's highly anticipated gangster drama 'Kaala' is all set to release worldwide on June 7. His sci-fi thriller '2.0' is also expected to release this year. AsianVoiceNews



Not a typical B-wood launch for Aayush Mitul Paniker


n an upcoming movie based on Gujarat's much-loved Navratri festival, the young and extremely dashing Aayush Sharma is all set to make his acting debut with Abhiraj Minawala's 'Loveratri', produced by Salman Khan Productions. No stranger to films and the industry, the Delhi businessman already has controversy looking him in the eye, as the Vishwa Hindu Parishad protests the release of the movie in the state. The movie is based in Gujarat, with Aayush playing a Gujarati boy and Warina Hussain, the female lead and fellow debutant, playing his love interest. A romantic drama that unfolds the blossoming love story of the two during Navratri, 'Loveratri' will hit the screens on October 5 this year. Will this be the birth of yet another charming and innocent 'Prem' from 'Hum Aapke Hain Kaun'? In a tête-à-tête with Asian Voice, the father of one gets candid about the movie, and what it is like to be launched by his brother-in-law and the famous Salman 'Bhaijaan' Khan. è For your debut, you have chosen a very defined and safe character. Why? When I started reading scripts, I was very sure that I did not want to do a classic Bollywood debut. I wanted to do something that was more me. Something I could relate with. Having said that, when I heard this film and, I am not from Gujarat. So when I heard the film, it came easily for me, from not being from Gujarat. There are so many different aspects of the state that do not really come out in cinemas. It is more of comedy when you talk about Gujaratis. So I got to know about this festival Navratri and how people do garba, and I was very intrigued. This (my) character in particular, I felt he is very close to me. He is not a typical Bollywood hero-hero launch, but this is a good platform, a good film for me to do the job. It is something I would enjoy myself, I would go to watch such films. è So you chose a character you had no idea or connection with. Weren't you anxious about not being able to play a Gujarati? No. Not at all. We did a recce first. Abhiraj and myself, we went to Gujarat. So because it was my first time there, we went around and met a lot of youngsters and I actually realised the truth. When I talk about a Gujarati character, it is usually with an accent and they ham a lot. There is too much of hamming and too much of caricature performances going around. So I purposefully wanted to showcase that Gujaratis are not like that. For example, as a young educated Gujarati, I wasn't going to talk in a certain way. I am going to be talking how the normal Gujarati public talks. So I was very conscious of the fact, and

when we were filming this we focused on the music too. We said we are not going to make typical Gujarati music. We are going to talk about the folk music, which not a lot of Indians are aware about. We are going to talk about how much more they are. I have no worries about not getting the character right because I have made a conscious effort to not make a joke out of it. è You are being launched by Salman Khan. All the stars he has launched have had to work with his name associated to them through out their careers. Any apprehensions on what it would be like for you? (Laughs) Not one bit. No. To begin with, I am getting this opportunity because of him. The chance I am getting and the kind of hype 'Loveratri' is getting is because of him. So I don't really see this as something to worry about, I see this as an added advantage for the film. His name has really generated a lot of traction and people know about this film because of him. Having said that, Salman bhai said it and I believe him; he said it is all for the betterment of the film. I just want people to watch the film, and enjoy the film. And if they come because or for him, so be it. At the end, it is all about my hard work and talent. If they like me, they will come back.

Asian Voice | 2nd June 2018

Swara Bhasker's new dress makes the internet nostalgic


urrently busy with promotions for her upcoming movie 'Veere Di Wedding', actress Swara Bhasker has wooed us with several droolworthy quirky outfits throughout the tour. In a recently-held music launch of the film, Swara stepped out in a white, Atelier Zuhra short dress, only to transport netizens to the 90s. The uncanny resemblance between her look and the girl in a white dress from washing powder Nirma commercial was caught by several keen eyes. The actress found herself in several memes too, that went viral on the internet. However, it was Swara's reaction that took the cake. Instead of taking offence to the jokes, she shared a picture of herself next the Nirma

girl, and wrote, “Very observant I must say guys. Reminded me of my childhood ambition! I always wanted to be the “washing powder Nirma child!”

Salman turns lyricist for 'Race 3'


alman Khan is a multi-talented man. While he has sung several songs in the past, this time, for 'Race 3', Bhaijaan has turned lyricist. Reports said that Salman had penned down some lines during a discussion on the film's creatives which were loved by the team so much that it turned into a song. Titled 'Selfish', the song is about the selfishness within the family in the movie, and when music director Vishal Mishra saw the lines Salman came up with, he eventually came up with a tune to go with it. Salman said, “While discussing the creative for the song, I penned down a few thoughts on paper in sync with the plot of the film, which is about the selfishness within the family. When the music director Vishal Mishra heard it, he got extremely excited and said he will come back with a tune for the same. I said, 'But this is a part of a conversation and not lyrics'. However, he insisted to use the thoughts as it is for the song. Everyone loved the thoughts and wanted it to be used for the song.” Featuring Salman, Jacqueline Fernandez, Bobby Deol and Daisy Shah, the song is a romantic number, sung by Pakistani singer Atif Aslam, who has also rendered his voice for the earlier instalments of the 'Race' franchise. Directed by Remo D'souza, 'Race 3' will release on Eid this year. Produced by Salman Khan Films, and Ramesh Taurani under banner Tips Films, the film also features Anil Kapoor and Saqib Saleem.

Deepika to star in superhero film?


hose eagerly waiting to watch Deepika Padukone on the big screen, may see her in a superhero avatar. The 32 year old actress is reportedly in talks to play Bollywood’s first female superhero. It is said that two instalments of the franchise are already being planned, and it's going to be one of the most expensive films in the history of Bollywood. A source close to the production said that the 'Bajirao Mastani' actress will undergo intense mixed martial arts training for the film.

They said, “Deepika's avatar is being fashioned after Gal Gadot's in 'Wonder Woman'. The developments have been kept under wraps with a creative team holding discreet meetings with Deepika on a regular basis. Presently, a running bid is on for Rs 300 Crore among multiple investors.” They added, “Deepika will have various action scenes which fans haven't seen her doing before. The untitled film will be produced by Fox Star and she's quite excited about it already.” The film, which is expected to go on floors early next year, will be a breakthrough for Hindi films.


UK AsianVoiceNews

Asian Voice | 2nd June 2018

Woman, 20, set up murder of her on-off boyfriend then posted video of him dying on social media

A woman allegedly set up the murder of her boyfriend and posted a video of the dying teenager on Snapchat with the caption: 'That's what happens when you f**k with me'. Fatima Khan, 20, is accused of encouraging Raza Khan, 19, to attack 18 year-old Khalid Safi in North Acton, west London, on the evening of December 1 last year. The couple visited the Costa Coffee close to the Tube station shortly after 5pm, with onlookers describing Mr Safi seeming 'happy and smiley'. But other witnesses later told police there was a 'weird' atmosphere between Khan and Mr Safi, who had argued in the days leading up to the

murder, the Old Bailey heard. She denies murder and conspiracy to cause GBH. Police are still trying to trace Raza Khan and a £5,000 reward for information is being offered by the independent charity Crimestoppers. Khan denies murder and conspiracy to cause grievous bodily harm. Her trial continues.

Coming Events

l The Leicester Friends invite you to a talk on Envisioning Krishna in the Bhagvat Puran by Neeraja Podder, on June 2, 6.30 pm to 9.00 pm, at the Belgrave Neighbourhood Centre, Rothley St Leicester LE4 6LF. l Sree Sree Anukulchandra's satsang to be held on June 2, 6.30 pm onwards, at Reading Hindu Temple, 112 Whitley Street, Reading RG2 0EQ. Bochasanwasi Shree Akshar Purushottam Swaminarayan Sanstha's head Param Pujya Mahant Swami is currently in Rajkot, where he is conducting his vicharan. On May 27, 'Manav Utkarsh Mahotsav' was celebrated at Rajkot's Race Course Ground, where Mahant Swami spoke on the end of sorrow and the rise of happiness. Also present at the event was Gujarat Chief Minister Vijay Rupani. Mahant Swami preached a lesson of unity, empathy, and harmony. At the end of the mahotsav, all present swamis conducted a maha aarti along with the mass present. Mahant Swami will travel to Limbdi for vicharan on June 3.

Sneh Joshi

ZEE JLF at The British Library returns to London for its fifth consecutive year from 8-10 June, 2018. The Festival that’s been described as the ‘greatest literary show on Earth’ is back once again with a sumptuous showcase of South Asia’s literary and oral heritage, books, ideas, dialogue and debate. This year confirmed speakers so far include William Dalrymple, Meghnad Desai, Paulo Lemos Horta, Suki Kim, Ashis Ray, Suhel Seth, Preti Taneja and Shashi Tharoor. Last year, the British Library was infused with excitement and repartee for two days and had resounded with sessions on PG Wodehouse, the Beatles in India, travel, migrations, fiction-writing, the Partition, and poetry. Speakers ranged from Shashi Tharoor, Karan

Johar, Tahmima Anam, A r u n d h a t h i Subramanian, Philip Norman, Roy Moxham and others. The iconic ZEE Jaipur Literature Festival takes place every January in the Pink city of Jaipur as writers, publishers, literature-lovers, friends, patrons, intellectuals, influencers, students and the press converge at the Diggi Palace for five days of a stunning celebration of literature, oral and performing arts, books and ideas, debate and dialogue. Directed by writers Namita Gokhale and William Dalrymple, the festival was founded in 2006, and attracts some of the world’s leading authors, thinkers and performers, and huge crowds. For more information and ticket prices visit hlibrary/

Bank of Mum and Dad lending needed for 1 in 4 UK housing transactions in 2018 The Bank of Mum and Dad (BoMaD) will be the equivalent of a £5.7bn mortgage lender in 2018, according to new research and forecasts from FTSE100 financial services group Legal & General and Cebr. ‘BoMaD’ remains a major force in the UK housing market in 2018. 27% of buyers will receive help from friends or family, up from 25% in 2017.

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ues to occupy your Solar 11th house for some time to come. Its influence will help you to maintain a high energy level and achieve positive results in anything that requires drive and initiative. If you are involved in a fairly competitive field of activity, you will be the one who comes out on top.

TAURUS Apr 21 - May 21 The prevailing astrological

trend indicates increasing vigour and stamina. At an ordinary everyday level you can expect this to be a pleasant time, indulging in the good things of life. At a deeper level, there does appear to be a new energy stirring within you. This will urge you towards creating greater independence in your lifestyle.

GEMINI May 22 - June 22 Your communications are at

their peak and any initiatives you take now will be well received by people in authority. An exchange of opinions ought to prove very enlivening at this time. Although the very practical affairs of life continue to be highlighted, you will still be very much in demand socially. Either you or your partner have been going through a phase of inner doubts and uncertainties, and perhaps the main source of tension has simply been the need for breathing space in your relationship and a need to look at things more objectively. Wait before going full steam ahead with grand actions and gestures.


This year, the Bank of Mum and Dad will help 316,600 loved ones buy a home - up from 298,300 in 2017. The value of Bank of

Mum and Dad-supported property purchases in 2018 will rise to £81.7 billion, representing a £4.2 billion or 5% increase since 2016. However, parents are providing smaller sums the average BoMaD contri-

The UK’s leading Vedic writer and TV personality

ARIES Mar 21 - Apr 20 The fiery planet Mars, contin-

CANCER Jun 22 - Jul 22

ZEE Jaipur Literature Festival


Business and personal partnerships are tested, some of them could challenge your authority. The more you live up to your own set of principles the more you will gain. Now is the time to cultivate an easier relationship with life, get out and about, explore fresh possibilities. Once you set your mind on a goal you must go for it.

LEO Jul 23 - Aug 23

VIRGO Aug 24 - Sep 23

Although all kinds of opportunities are coming your way, there are many obstacles between you and the fulfilment of any of these. You’re likely to find yourself weighing practical considerations with long–term goals. Some of you will try to get away from the routine chores. This is a good time reassess your life and make important decisions to take your work to another level. There is a chance that you will meet important people who will eventually change the course of your life. An opportunity will manifest that will change your public image at work.

LIBRA Sep 24 - Oct 23

SCORPIO Oct 24- Nov 22 You’re likely to find yourself doing a lot of thinking about both new and existing partnerships, and maybe toing and froing in one relationship in particular. Home and family duties and responsibilities may weigh heavy on you. In effect, you’re building a new foundation, so the work you put in now will pay off in the future.

bution will decline from £21,600 in 2017 to £18,000 in 2018. Total lending has reduced from its height at £6.5bn in 2017 to £5.7bn in 2018. This is, however, still an overall increase against £5bn of lending in 2016.

020 8518 5500

You have been feeling disconnected for some time and this will be the week you will finally feel a sense of grounding. If unclear about what path to take you will soon realize exactly what you must do to fulfill your plans. Financially you will implement your plans to bring in the cash.

SAGITTARIUS Nov 23 - Dec 21

CAPRICORN Dec 22 - Jan 20 All close ties of love and affection will benefit from the gentle influence of Venus. If you are married or have a well-founded relationship, it seems that the pattern of events will somehow draw you closer together emotionally. Those who are not yet totally decided, this is a fine time to do some serious thinking.

You are in a brilliant period for increasing your earning power and you'll be busy taking charge of your finances. Achieving a sense of security becomes a priority. Although there is a lot of sorting out to be done in your relationship sector, it will not phase you as so many issues have already be dealt with. Pisces

AQUARIUS Jan 21 - Feb 19

PISCES Feb 20 - Mar 20 Extra energy and drive will serve you well in getting things accomplished. There appears to be a more successful trend coming into effect. Amorous affairs continue to be highlighted - whether or not this leads to a lasting relationship depends much on your own personal maturity and circumstances.



Australian all-rounder Shane Watson scored an unbeaten 117 runs off just 57 balls to power Chennai Super Kings to a eight-wicket win over Sunrisers Hyderabad in the IPL final and claim the crown at the Wankhede Stadium on Sunday night. This was CSK 's third IPL title and came rather easily against SRH - a team that finished top of the standings after the league stage. Watson started his innings slugglishly with 10 dot balls but upped the ante after the powerplay. Earlier, Captain Kane Williamson (47) and Yusuf Pathan (45 not out) had helped SRH post a competitive 178 for six but it proved no hurdle for CSK as the MS Dhoni-led team overhauled the target with nine balls to spare. Watson hit 11 fours and eight sixes during his unbeaten knock but things didn't start well for him as SRH pacer Bhuvneshwar Kumar kept him under wraps for much of the powerplay. However, a couple of big hits off the bowling of Sandeep Sharma got the Australian going and there was no looking back for him after that. CSK's chase had gotten off to a poor start with South African batsman Faf du Plessis falling in the fourth over with the score on 16. Watson and Suresh Raina got together and went


about dismantling the SRH bowling in ruthless fashion. The duo strung together a match-winning 117-run stand for the second wicket with SRH bowlers helpless in front of the CSK pair's onslaught. Not just power hitting, Watson and Raina played some smart cricket by being cautious against SRH's trump card Rashid Khan. There were no risks taken against the Afghan sensation and the legspinner returned wicketless, going for 24 runs in his four overs. Raina fell to Carlos Brathwaite but by that time the damage had been done. Ambati Rayudu (16 not out) added the finishing touches to CSK's win with some lusty blows in the end. Owing to his whirlwind ton at the Wankhede, Watson became the second

player after Wriddhiman Saha to score a century in an IPL final. Saha, playing for Kings XI Punjab, had achieved the feat against Kolkata Knight Riders in the IPL final in 2014. Earlier, Williamson missed out on yet another 50 in a highly successful season as Sunrisers piled on a challenging score after a slow start. Williamson led his side from the front once again hitting two sixes and five fours in his innings before Pathan pummelled the opposition bowlers in the death overs. Carlos Brathwaite (21 off 11) came up with the muchneeded big hits towards the end to take his team close to 180. CSK kept a tight rein on the Sunrisers batsmen initially. The first four overs saw only one boundary being hit, a turn to fine leg

for four by Dhawan off Lungi Ngidi. Deepak Chahar, who was bowling well till then, dug in one short to Williamson in the fifth over who smacked it for a six over long leg and then was pulled for a four by the New Zealander. The Sunrisers captain, by far his side's major run-getter who also became the third highest scorer in one IPL season, went back after striking two sixes and five fours to leave his side at 101 for 3. Yusuf Pathan started in aggressive fashion and put on a useful stand of 32 with Shakib before the latter drove Bravo straight to Raina at extra cover and was caught. It was later left to Pathan and big-hitting West Indian Brathwaite to give the total a big boost in the death overs as they added 34 runs in the last three overs.

No county cricket for injured Kohli A neck injury has spoiled the India captain Virat Kohli's much-hyped participation in English County Championship. Kohli will require a threeweek rehabilitation to recover from the injury, the BCCI said. The 29year-old will undergo a fitness test on June 15, which will confirm his availability for the initial phase of the UK limited-overs tour starting with the two T20 Internationals against Ireland in last week of June. Kohli suffered a neck injury while fielding during an IPL match between Royal Challengers Bangalore and Sunrisers Hyderabad on 17th May. Kohli, who was scheduled to play for Surrey CCC in the month of June, has been ruled out from participating. This decision was taken following assessments by the BCCI


Asian Voice | 2nd June 2018

AB de Villiers retires from international cricket

South African legend AB de Villiers last week announced retirement from international cricket. “After 114 Test matches, 228 ODIs and 78 T20Is it is time for others to take over. I’ve had my turn and to be honest I’m tired,” he said on Twitter. He also said that he would not be playing any T20 leagues outside his home country while keeping the option open for Titans, the team he represents in South Africa’s domestic circuit. While it leaves a huge void for South African cricket to try and fill, ABD quitting the scene is a big loss for the game itself. With the advent of popular T20 leagues around the world, he had become a truly global star of the game. ABD indicated that he may not even be playing any T20 leagues outside South Africa. If that happens, fans of IPL, especially those of the Bengaluru franchise, will be left pining for him, the affable star who fought many a gallant, and sometimes solitary, battle for RCB. De Villiers is a shining example of some of the highest virtues one wants to see in a sportsperson: Talent, athleticism (if the sport requires it), innovation, commitment, flair and sportsman spirit. He was born a phe-

nomenal sporting talent, a freak of nature who excelled in whatever sport he laid his hands on. Known as a ‘boy wonder’ in Pretoria during his growing years, de Villiers was selected for the junior national hockey and soccer teams. While holding several junior swimming records, he captained the junior national rugby team. He was a golfer of considerable promise, U19 national badminton champion and was also a member of South Africa’s junior Davis Cup team. To cap it all, he was good in academics too, having received a medal from Nelson Mandela himself. Has the game of cricket ever seen a more accomplished or more gifted player? The answer probably would be ‘no.’ What added to his stature was his unassuming ways and the unfailing grace with which he received victory or defeat. He wore his stardom and success very lightly and always remained a quintessential team man. No surprise, he was adored by fans and respected, and sometimes revered, by fellow cricketers. If we have to look for a role model for today’s young cricketers, he would be a very good choice. As the cliché goes, “he let his bat do all the talking.”

200 athletes, officials seek asylum in Australia Medical team, subsequent scans, and a specialist visit, a BCCI release said. Kohli will now undergo a period of rehabilitation under the supervision of the BCCI Medical team. He will begin training and subsequently undergo a fitness test at the NCA in Bengaluru from June 15. "The BCCI Medical Team is confident that Kohli will regain full fitness ahead of India's upcoming tours to

Ireland and England," BCCI official said. Indian captain had decided to miss the one-off Test against Afghanistan, starting June 14 in Bengaluru, to appear in county matches. Kohli had visited a hospital in Mumbai for a check-up and it was reported that he is suffering from a slipped disc injury and will not be playing for Surrey ahead of the

UK tour. However, a top BCCI official clarified that it was a case of "neck sprain" and not a "slipped disc injury." But there was no denying Kohli's tremendous workload during the past one year. The BCCI has already put a program in place where the centrally-contracted cricketers' workload and injury management is monitored through the National Cricket Academy.

Nearly 200 people who travelled to the Gold Coast in Australia for last month's Commonwealth Games have applied for asylum in Australia, an official said. Several participants from Africa vanished during the international event held on the east coast from 4-15 April. A handful of African athletes resurfaced and sought legal advice on how to apply for asylum last week after their Games visas expired on 15 May, refugee advocates said at the time. Some 205 competitors or support staff "are now lawfully in the country because they've applied for

a visa of some type", Malisa Golightly from the Home Affairs Department told a parliamentary hearing in Canberra. She said some 190 "have applied for a protection visa", while around 10 to 15 had sought other types of visa. All remain in the country on bridging visas while their applications are assessed, Golightly said, without giving a time frame on when they will know if they are successful. Some 50 others were also in Australia after their Games visas expired but had yet to get in touch with authorities or apply for another visa, Golightly said.


Asian Voice | 2nd June 2018


In the last two years, at least three Test matches featuring India have been fixed, claims a a sting operation by Al Jazeera’s investigative unit. The Doha-based TV channel shows how a Mumbai-based former Indian cricketer, an Indian advertisement executive based in the UAE and members of the D-Company use their ‘connections’ in the cricket establishment and even in the International Cricket Council (ICC) to decide on the outcome of matches. The sting operation done by journalist David Harrison suggests how match fixers bribe curators, current and former cricketers to fix the outcome of sessions or an entire match. In the eye of the storm are Pakistan’s Hasan Raza (youngest to play a Test match) and three Sri Lankan internationals – Dilhara Lokuhettige, Jeevantha Kulatunga and Tharindu Mendis – who are seen heavily involved in either spot-fixing or doctoring the pitch to force a result within a specific number of days. Also in the spotlight is Tharanga Indika, the curator of Galle Stadium who admits to doctoring pitches. It was under his supervision that Australia lost a Test is less than two-anda-half days in August 2016 and India amassed 600 in their first innings in July 2017. Both ‘events’ were as ‘scripted by match-fixers’,

the documentary suggests. The India versus England Test played in Chennai (December 1620), the India versus Australia Test in Ranchi (March 16-20, 2017) and the Galle Test between India and Sri Lanka (July 26-29, 2017) were influenced by bookmakers, says the documentary. Investigations suggest that at least two Australian cricketers were involved in Ranchi and three Englishmen fixed sessions in Chennai. While the England players have denied these charges, the Australians have not reacted at all. A wary ICC started an investigation into the allegations. “We have already launched an investigation working with anti-corruption colleagues from member countries based on the limited information we have received. We have made repeated requests that all evidence and supporting materials relating to corruption in cricket is released immediately to enable us to undertake a full and comprehensive investigation,” the ICC said. The documentary highlights how match-fixers have found subtle ways to fix sessions and pitches. It also shows the ease and confidence with which the chain of operators works. “Each script I will give you, will happen, happen and happen,” Aneel Munawar, a member of the DCompany tells Harrison, who poses as a businessman and meets the notori-

ous stake holders during various stages of the operation mostly shot in Mumbai, the UAE and Sri Lanka. Former Pakistan cricketer Hasan Raza and former Indian first class cricketer Robin Morris are among those alleged to have been involved in the match-fixing syndicate. Robin Morris, who once played in the controversial Indian Cricket League, boasts about his ability to fix players and curators. When asked for a reaction and his alleged involvement in match-fixing, Morris said, “I have been fabricated in this; there is no truth in this and I have

Pakistan completed a convincing nine-wicket victory over England to win the first Test at Lord’s with more than a day to spare on Sunday. Set just 64 for victory on the fourth morning, Pakistan finished on 66 for one before lunch to go1-0

up in this two-match series ahead of next week’s second Test at Headingley. Imam-ul-Haq was 18 not out and Haris Sohail 39 not out. England were undone by two top-order batting collapses, slumping to 184

all out after winning the toss in their first innings and declining to 160 for six in their second before fifties from Jos Buttler and Test debutant Dominic Bess prevented an innings defeat. This was England’s seventh loss in 10 Tests as


nothing to do with the Galle Test.” The documentary suggests the involvement of cricket officials and highprofile businessmen, who invest to grab ‘big’ returns. Munawar says the DCompany pays anything between £200,000 to £600,000 to fix a game, depending on the profile of the team. In the centre of the pitch fixing menace is Tharanga Indika, the assistant manager and curator of Galle Stadium. He confesses that he can doctor pitches easily and reveals how a pitch can be prepared to help bowlers or batsmen. Fixing England-Sri

Lanka match A plot to fix a forthcoming England cricket match has also been exposed. Match fixers have been caught discussing plans to rig England's first test on their tour to Sri Lanka scheduled to begin November 6. 'Outrageous, is all I can say' Cricket Australia chief executive James Sutherland said he had seen no "credible evidence" linking Australian players to corruption, but also said Al Jazeera should share its footage with the ICC. A spokesman for the Board of Control for Cricket in India said: "The BCCI anticorruption unit is working

closely with the ICC anticorruption on the alleged claims by a television channel." England captain Joe Root said, "it is outrageous that our players have been accused", adding: "All the players have been briefed by the ECB (England and Wales Cricket Board), and been told there's absolutely nothing to worry about." Despite the England and Wales Cricket Board describing the allegations as 'categorically false” three England players will be interviewed by anti-corruption detectives. The names of the England players have been edited out.

Pakistan beat England by 9 wickets in first test

w w w . d u b a i h olida y s .c o

their first match under new national selector Ed Smith ended in a resounding reverse. What made this loss just England’s third defeat in a home Test starting in May - all the more galling for Joe Root’s side was that

they were outplayed in classic English conditions by a youthful Pakistan side, who displayed far greater discipline with both bat and ball. England, resuming Sunday on 235 for six in their second innings, lost their last four wickets for

just seven runs in 18 balls to be bowled out for 242. Brief scores: England 184 & 242 (J Root 68, J Buttler 67, D Bess 57; Mohammad Amir 4-36, Mohammad Abbas 4-41) lost to Pakistan 363 & 66 for 1 by nine wickets

AV 2nd June 2018  

Asian Voice weekly newspaper (Issue 5)

AV 2nd June 2018  

Asian Voice weekly newspaper (Issue 5)