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30 NOV - 6 DEC 2019 - VOL 48 ISSUE 30

inside: Confronting racial prejudice in sport SEE PAGE 5

FULL STORY ON 16-17

Will London elect its first female Mayor in Siobhan Benita? SEE PAGE

Fadnavis quits ; Sena, NCP & Cong to form govt SEE PAGE 26


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Another blow for Labour in Leicester East, now Modha resigns Following Leicester East senior councillor John Thomas' resignation, another member of the Labour Party has now submitted his resignation. Karan Modha, in his resignation letter claims that “only three people voted for” Claudia Webbe at the meeting that chose the replacement candidate for Keith Vaz. On Wednesday 20th November, Modha in his letter also stated that Labour has now become an “antiIndian party”. He further highlighted that the party has taken the community for “granted”. The Leicester based businessman wrote, “The Labour Party has taken our community in Belgrave and Rushey Mead for granted. We have been treated as a vote bank. Community facilities such as the Belgrave Library and the Recreation Centre on Gleneagles Way are only still open because of community campaigns.” Recently, Labour Party has been plunged into a myriad of controversies with the appointment of Claudia Webbe, a former Islington councillor.

Other Indian-origin politicians including Navin Shah and Sundip Meghani have also accused the Party of the “breach in selection process” with regards to the appointment procedure in Leicester East. Labour leader Corbyn also faced considerable flak from Councillor John Thomas who quit the Party after calling Corybn ‘the Hoki Koki leader, in out, shake it all about’ who had turned Labour into a laughing stock. Now, Modha in his letter also drew attention to another important fact. He wrote, “In Leicester East after being represented by a British Indian heritage MP for 32 years, the Labour Party brought to Leicester a councillor from the London Borough of Islington. Only three people voted for her at the meeting that chose her. This is not democracy. It is a return to the Days of the Raj. Labour is now an anti-Indian Party.” Modha further emphasised “we

must not be taken for granted” urging the community to join him in “boycotting Labour for this election”.

Lib Dems candidate suspended over “anti-semitic” remarks A Liberal Democrats candidate has been suspended now for making antisemitic comments on social media. On Wednesday, 20th November, Waheed Rafiq, a candidate from the Birmingham Hodge Hill constituency, was suspended from the Party. This followed after reports reemerged of his post on Facebook in 2010. In that post he had said that it was "shocking to see how the Jewish government call themselves Jews when they are wiping out all the people of Gaza". In 2014 he apparently

urged people to boycott WhatsApp saying it was "Zionist backed". "Never forget WhatsApp is Zionist backed so all we do and say is monitored and can leave us vulnerable to be exploited later," he wrote, according to Buzzfeed News. A spokesperson for the party said Rafiq was no longer a candidate. She said, "The public posts on his Facebook and Twitter account from 2010 to 2014 are clearly and unambiguously anti-Semitic and bring the party into disrepute and are also of material disagreement with the fundamental values and objectives of the

Waheed Rafiq

Party." Board of Deputies president Marie van der Zyl was quoted as saying by

BirminghamLive, "The only response to the disgusting antiSemitism exhibited by Waheed Rafiq, by the Liberal Democrat candidate for Birmingham Hodge Hill, is to immediately drop him as a candidate for the constituency. "We call on the Liberal Democrats to act now and ensure he is expelled after he is dropped as a candidate." Rafiq's suspension came as Lib Dems published their election manifesto. They have pledged to stop Brexit, legalise cannabis and invest a £50 billion "Remain Bonus" in public services.

Tory government not responsible for poverty, says Patel Priti Patel is caught in another controversy after she said that the government is not responsible for poverty in the UK. The Home Secretary attempted to absolve “people in Westminster” from blame over deprivation across the country and instead highlighted the role of local authorities and education services – which receive the bulk of their funding from central government. During her campaign visit to Barrow-inFurness, in Cumbria, she was challenged that the government was responsible for poverty and the

Tories had had almost 10 years to address the issue, she said, “It’s not the government, though, is it? Everybody just says ‘the government’ as if it is this sort of bland blob that, you know, you can just go and blame. “Actually, it’s, well, it’s not [the government’s fault], because it’s all parts of society and the structures. Local authorities have a role to play, education, public services, which are locally led and locally run.” Whilst replying to a question about how two in five children in some local

areas were born into poverty, she said “Well it’s appalling, and of course, but everybody – and it’s not just people in Westminster – it’s not just at a national level, it’s at a local level,” she said. Labour’s candidate for the marginal Barrow and Furness seat, Chris Altree, tweeted: “More than a quarter of children in Barrow are living in poverty and that situation is directly ascribable to benefit cuts that have been imposed by this Conservative government. “Many people in our communities are working poor and the comments

Row over Islamophobia in the Tory Party continues

Sajid Javid

The UK's largest Muslim umbrella body with over 500 affiliated national, regional and local organisations, including mosques, charities and schools has accused the Conservative party of “ a p p r o a c h i n g Islamophobia with denial, dismissal and deceit”. Muslim Council of Britain published a statement on 26th November Tuesday accusing Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s party of having “a blind spot for this type of racism”. The comments came following Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis’s accusations that the Labour party under Jeremy Corbyn has allowed the “poison [of antiSemitism] sanctioned from the top” to take root in the party. An MCB spokeswoman said in a statement that the Chief Rabbi’s comments highlight “the real fear many British Jews have, regarding the unacceptable presence of anti-semitism in Britain and in politics today”. However the spokesman also referenced the broader question of allegations of

Islamophobia levelled at the Conservative party. He said, “This an issue that is particularly acute in the Conservative Party who have approached Islamophobia with denial, dismissal and deceit. “It is abundantly clear to many Muslims that the Conservative Party tolerate Islamophobia, allow it to fester in society, and fail to put in place the measures necessary to root out this type of racism. It is as if the Conservative Party has a blind spot for this type of racism. "British Muslims whilst from the most disadvantaged communities and rarely allowed a voice in the public space - will listen to the Chief Rabbi and agree on the importance of voting with their conscience." Meanwhile Chancellor Sajid Javid refused to criticise the prime minister for these remarks, added he had "explained why he's used that language". The Conservatives have pledged to start an investigation into Islamophobia and other forms of prejudice within the party before the end of the year.

Javid downgrades Johnson's low-paid workers' savings pledge Priti Patel

from Priti Patel show just how out of touch the Conservatives are with working people.” The clip of Patel’s remark was originally posted by the BBC North West Twitter account on Wednesday afternoon, but appeared to have been taken down until it was reposted on Thursday morning.

Sajid Javid has downgraded how much low-paid workers will save under Boris Johnson's plan to raise the National Insurance threshold. In an interview with the Sky News, the Chancellor said that the true figure would mean most people saving around £85 a year to begin with. He contradicted the prime minister, who made an unexpected pledge yes-

terday to raise the threshold for National Insurance contributions from £8,628 per year to £9,500. “If we're lucky enough to be elected, so the first Budget we will go up to the £9,500 threshold and that will, as I say, put £500 into the pockets of everybody,” Mr Johnson told ITV News. Mr Javid said 30 million people would keep more of their own money under the plan.


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Skewed approaches to lacquered global order Moral and political standards, it would appear, bear an uncanny resemblance to a volatile stock market: up one day, down the next. Recently, the International War Criminal Court sentenced a Congolese tribal leader to a long prison sentence for his and his army’s horrific roles in the rape, plunder and killings in a cruel civil war. The punishment clearly fitted their crime. What is unusual is that during its existence the people brought to trial for grave crimes and misdemeanours have been reserved exclusively for Africa. Universal human rights, the rule of law and other such pieties drummed into the skulls of recalcitrant unbelievers with verbal chain-saws from on high, leaving the denizens of the Third World – ‘the lesser breeds without the law’- puzzled and suitably aggrieved. Western civilisation, Western values, held up as panaceas for disorders of the spirit and flesh, are opiates, pain killers designed to dull an active conscience. The American record of carpet bombing and chemical defoliation resulting in deaths of millions in Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia is a devastating indictment, as is the desolation of the American military presence in the Greater Middle East and North Africa, and the thousands of displaced, impoverished humanity braving the deep in cockle shells in a bid to escape the inferno and reach European shores, compounded by the atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki crimes beyond rational comprehension. Twaddle about Western or European values against this shaming canvas of tragedy and cynicism is surely a page from hell itself. But contrition from the vain and boastful perpetrators is futile. The pillaging and destruction of an Asian adversary echoes Adolf Hitler, for whom Asia meant Russia, which he pilloried as ‘Asiatic Bolshevik, Jewish,’ and hence to be razed, its mainly Slav population shacked as slave labour, their lands to be colonised by the Teutonic knights of German Nazism. The intensifying demonization of Russia in the United States and its European allies carries dangers well recognized by the indomitable US Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard. Presentday Russia is a military superpower, its arsenal on alert against any surprise assault from the West, unlike that of the German invasion of June 1941. Then, at the cost of millions dead and maimed, the Red Army fought back

from the gates of Moscow, Stalingrad and Leningrad stormed Berlin, reducing the vaunted Thousand Year Reich to rubble. Russia is no banana republic. According to Forbes business magazine, the country’s foreign exchange reserves are near $550 billion, its gold reserves another $550 billion. US sanctions far from crippling the Russian economy, has strengthened it, forcing the government to take critical economic counter measures. Considering Russia was socially and economically crippled, debt-ridden to foreign lenders, its revival since 2000, when Vladimir took of the reins has been spectacular. President Putin is a giant; the abuse and vilification of his country, and himself, by the American and Western media are the blind envy and exasperated vanity of disappointed humanity. John Bolton, the Trump administration’s former National Security Adviser, let the cat out of the bag by stating unequivocally that neither the United States nor its European allies would ever submit to the jurisdiction the International Criminal Court, however damning the evidence. Mr Bolton, not one for niceties. prefers shooting from the hip, as did sheriffs in numberless Hollywood Westerns - the white ‘law man’ establishing his writ over the stubbornly savage ‘Red man’. A respected elderly political Democrat with lifetime experience of public life in his native Ohio and Washington told the popular Larry King, talk show host, of his deep misgiving about the fissures dividing America by his party’s ill-advised impeachment proceedings against President Trump; of disastrous American meddling in Syria and kindred other places, even as the country needed urgent attention on its endemic social, environmental, educational and infrastructural problems. US foreign policy is a bundle of contradictions: the popular uprising in Bolivia at the ousting by the country’s military of a democratically elected President Evo Moralis is rousingly welcomed by the Trump administration as an affirmation of democracy, but demonstrations and violence in Chile at spiralling price rises and 27 dead on the streets of Santiago from police firing receive no censure in Washington. One must fervently hope that these quick sands of capricious unpredictability do not lead to Armageddon.

India engineering, research, design powerhouse It was January. German upmarket carmaker Mercedes Benz unveiled an Artificial Intelligence [AI] enabled entertainments system at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, USA, the world’s largest consumer technology event. The AI system – which responds to the driver’s hand gestures - was synonymous with the famed German penchant for engineering excellence. However, the showcased technology on view was conceived and designed, not in Germany, but in faraway Bangaluru, India, at the Mercedes research centre. India is fast becoming an engineering research and design powerhouse, both for itself and for a host of high tech foreign companies who have set up base in the city. Indian engineers are building parts for Boeing, the world’s largest aircraft manufacturer; they are making robots that weld offshore pipelines, and creating patents for image recognition and autonomous design in the research hubs of global companies and third party providers in Bengaluru. “We think engineering research and development is the next big thing and it has the potential to rival IT services in terms of revenue opportunity and employment,’”said Manu Saale, CEO, Mercedes Benz

Research and Development, India. “The mood is upbeat.” The National Association of Software and Services Companies says that Engineering R&D could be worth as much as $100 billion by 2025. Indian companies are sparing no effort to raise their game to compete in engineering research and development in the global market. ‘We have talked about Make-in-India as a way of improving the country, but Create-in-India and Design-in-India could provide ten times the benefit,’ said Kar Natarajan, Head– Engineering, IOT and Enterprise Mobility at Tech Mahindra. “We have this critical mass of people who know how to manage end-to-end product cycles and project managers and everything you would need to know about this,” says Natarajan. The Engineering Research and Development space already employs around 700,000 people and around 40 Research & Development of the Indian hubs of a global company were set up last year. Mercedes Benz and Boeing are in India with standalone Research & Development companies such as the publicly listed L&T Technology Services are an unfolding reality.

Kolkata: Pink city extraordinary India’s first day-night Test match was an extravaganza to savour. A cast of thousands thronged the fabled Eden Gardens, including multitudes from neighbouring Bangladesh, whose Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina flew in from Dhaka for the opening day to a warmly welcoming West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee and Indian cricket board President Sourav Ganguly, himself Bengali and former Indian Test captain in a team of legends who, together with stars of an earlier generation, were paraded around the ground to loud applause from the

stands. India prevailed by an innings and 46 runs, withstanding the vagaries of the pink ball more comfortably than their less experienced opponents, their slip catching awesome, their pace bowling relentlessly penetrative. The talismanic Virat Kohli, cynosure of all eyes, gave a batting master class, pink ball and all, scoring 136 runs, his 27th Test century and a record sequence of Test wins as captain. What might he achieve as batsman and captain in the coming years are secrets which only the gods can reveal.

Despite everything, I believe that people are really good at heart. - Anne Frank

Alpesh Patel

City Hindus – A Manifesto It is the manifesto time, and I would like to give this paper an exclusive scoop: I am the new Chairman of the City Hindu Network. Whilst I have been on the Advisory Board for several years, I have been asked by the Chair of the Advisory Board, Lord Gadhia, to step in to lead the Executive Committee and am delighted to do so. So here is my manifesto. I am keen to use my networks to make a high impact organisation to open doors for its membership, plus have some fun events too. Events with Tier 1 global organisations, Parliament, Banks, UN, Embassies etc, as well as of course cultural events, and access to training on issues such as making media impact with BBC/Bloomberg Journalists, making an impact at work from experienced high calibre individuals eg CEO of OakNorth, Starling Bank, Goldman Sachs, etc. I want the Committee to be excited at being part of such an organisation and of course the membership get something they cannot anywhere else to help their careers and open doors for them. I want our membership to have the benefit of access to people and networks they could not normally get. We will keep of course our ‘Hindu’ aspect to all we do too – but your very presence fulfils that. I want Hindus to get higher and further thanks to CHN opening doors – and that is good for Britain too as it makes our society more representative. I know we are low on funds, so I will work on hosts paying for the events, and work on increasing membership at www.cityhindus.org. If we have great events – people will see membership costs as a no-brainer and we will build our bank balance. I have already reached out to experienced business people, journalists to help me and the existing Exec Committee too and all have agreed – more on that later – as part of our Committee – more hands, less work for all. I am speaking to Indian High Commission and Canadian High Commission to host drinks pre-Xmas and a separate City Drinks too for all. Will keep you posted. We stand in custody of the oldest faith, in one of the most important cities in the world, with the leaders of tomorrow! Britain needs more cohesion, it needs organisation to reinforce its values of multiple religions living peacefully together, and so I will look to do more events like we did in the past few months with those of other minority faiths such as the Islamic, Sikh, Jewish faiths. We will also as our former Chair, Prerna Bhardwaj did on BBC Newsnight, stand up to unjustified criticism and incorrect portrayals of our faith – using the eloquence of our qualifications. I co-founded TiE-UK back in 1999 and I’ve brought some of my original team to help me. For me that organisation helped me build a hedge fund and changed my life. I want CHN to open doors for you and have the same potential through networks to change your life too. My family congratulated me on this role – I’m 48! Think they’re prouder of this than anything else I’ve done. I want yours to be so proud when you tell them you’re part of CHN too. Editor: CB Patel Asian Voice is published by Asian Business Publications Ltd Karma Yoga House, 12 Hoxton Market, (Off Coronet Street) London N1 6HW. Tel: 020 7749 4080 • Fax: 020 7749 4081 Email: aveditorial@abplgroup.com Website: www.abplgroup.com INDIA OFFICE Bureau Chief: Nilesh Parmar (BPO) AB Publication (India) Pvt. Ltd. 207 Shalibhadra Complex, Opp. Jain Derasar, Nr. Nehru Nagar Circle, Ambawadi, Ahmedabad-380 015. Tel: +91 79 2646 5960 Email: gs_ahd@abplgroup.com © Asian Business Publications


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Kapil’s Khichdi

Obesity crisis In this general election fever, brought about by the Brexit fiasco, now NHS is hogging the headlines about its funding and the crucial crisis of obesity of both adults and children. On one side people are overeating and becoming obese and on the other side there is lack of food and people are facing hunger and malnutrition. The pressure is increasing exponentially on the NHS to cope with this dual problem. The number of obese people in England has gone up over the past 20 years to 13 million which is around 30% of the population. According to health experts this high increase in the numbers of overweight people is a bad reflection on the government’s failure to tackle the obesity crisis. While around 6.96 million people aged 16 and above were obese in 1997, that went to just over 13 million by 2018, according to analysis by the charity Diabetes UK. Obesity Health Alliance, a coalition of health and medical groups, said the increased prevalence of foods high in fat, salt or sugar was an important factor. The surge in obesity is adding to the strain on the NHS because it is leading to more patients needing care for related conditions such as cancers, heart attacks and strokes, and also knee replacements. If a person’s BMI is over 30 (World Health Organisation) he or she will be classed as obese. Women tend to have a slightly higher obesity rate than men. Obesity also tends to increase with age - a third of people in England over the age of 35 are obese. “The rise in obesity in England is alarming, and shines a harsh and necessary light on the need for urgent, decisive, action from government and industry to make our society healthier,” said Chris Askew, Diabetes UK’s chief executive. Baldev Sharma Rayners Lane, Harrow

Mad rush to employ latest technology While advancement in modern IT is a blessing in disguise, although many elderly and less adventurous people find it difficult to adjust, to take full advantage of the opportunities created by the rush to employ newest IT available, it must be noted that it is not always beneficial to consumers. Online frauds, torrent of abusive online taunts, as well as dangerous or tempting junk emails so often traps innocent, less articulate people, especially kind, caring and trusting elderly people who were born and brought-up in a completely different era when people were honest, trusting and commercialism was not yet on the horizon. All that has changed but certainly not for the betterment of ordinary people. Paper “Car Tax Disc” was abolished in favour of online administration in 2014, in the hope of saving £10 million that has resulted in the loss of some £94 million revenue, as well as torrent of unlicensed vehicles on our roads. At one time we were able to spot abandoned cars in our streets by checking paper licence disc and report it to the Council who would come and removed such vehicles. But without visible discs, only police can check whether these cars are licenced or not. With knife crimes, burglaries and racial attacks consuming most of hard pressed police officers’ time, unlicensed cars would not be their priority. This results in the government losing a large amount of tax revenue, as well as creating insurance frauds, as most of such vehicles are unlicensed, uninsured and illegally on roads. Vehicles in the forefront avoiding VED are motorcycles with 3:8 percent. Besides losing revenue, government is endorsing culture of deceit, tax avoidance and turning youngsters into criminals, as their favourite mode of transport is motorbikes, cheap and easy to buy and maintain! I hope, with hindsight and introspection, government will acknowledge the problem and reintroduce paper tax disc for the good of every one. Kumudini Valambia By email What do you think? We want to know your views on any issue. Write to: Asian Voice, 12 Hoxton Market, London N1 6HW or e-mail: aveditorial@abplgroup.com

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Write to our ‘Reader’s Voice’ section about what you think regarding the various ongoing issues all around the world. Please send your letters to aveditorial@abplgroup.com Make sure they are NOT more than 350 words. Any letter longer than the limit may not be published. Note that all your letters are subject to being edited by our team for valid reasons.

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I am a great fan of Kapil’s Khichdi, a column which carries punch, panache and popularity, along with many readers of AV who appreciate such a gusty column. We are pleased to read his latest contribution. We all missed it when Kapilbhai put his pen to rest for a year or two, perhaps to recuperate and recharge his run-down batteries! Now that election is less than three weeks away and Labour party in doldrums, at least for Jews and British Indian voters, who feel neglected and abandoned by Labour, British Indians are now getting their act together, determined to vote for candidates who are friends of the community, able and willing to stand by us in our hour of need, not the fairweather friends politicians many turned out to be! One name that shines brightly is that of Harrow Conservative MP Bob Blackman who will get our votes in droves! The name I missed most is that of Navin Shah who was ignored and marginalized by Labour Party. Most intriguing election will be in Leicester, the constituency where Keith Vaz had some 22K majority, who was obliged to retire but Labour may lose it if British Indians unite behind one Asian candidate, as there are now three, Conservative, Lib Dem and independent which may split Indian votes and let Labour in through back door! For many of us who are on the wrong side of 80, this may be the last election we may be privileged to vote, that is if it gives clear cut majority to either Labour or Conservative and last the distance! But British elections are getting muddier and unpredictable; this is the third election in five years and it may result in hung parliament, the worse result that would compound Brexit and paralyze Parliament! A couple of my favourite MPs with whom I am in constant touch with, are no longer standing. I wish them a happy retirement, at least from politics, I will surely miss them! Bhupendra M. Gandhi By email

The contributors There used to be more than a dozen contributors to this “Readers’ Voice” column of Asian Voice. Over the years, a number of them have stopped contributing for some reason or other. So our club of letter writers has dwindled and only a few faithful ones, including myself, religiously come up with new and varied topics to write about. Having already published over 500 letters, I sometimes find it difficult to think of new ideas. Some, however, having no original ideas of their own, write at others instigation to make unwarranted and unfair comments about their fellow writers. I would urge them to come up with their own original and interesting ideas which can be useful to the readers. We want our club of letter writers to flourish and revert to its former glory. There is a lot of things to talk about at the moment. We can discuss the prime minister and how would he deliver Brexit. How can the home secretary tackle knife crime which is becoming a scourge in London? We want people to come up with interesting original ideas rather than dwell upon other contributors’ initiative or make unwarranted comments on their submission. Let us stop slogging our fellow letter writers and bring our club back to its former glory. Boris Johnson’s recent visit to Buckingham Palace reminded me of my own visits twice to the Royal Garden parties when I had the pleasure to meet with members of the royal family. Dinesh Sheth By email

UK NEWS

Children who skip breakfast are less likely to achieve good grades at GCSE Pupils who skip breakfast on school days are less likely to achieve good grades at GCSE, according to a new study. Researchers found that school children who eat breakfast 'regularly' perform better in exams, scoring on average two grades above their fellow students. But only a fraction of the 24,000 state-funded schools in the UK offer their students breakfast. Lead researcher Dr Katie Adolphus, of the University of Leeds, said: 'Our study suggests that secondary school students are at a disadvantage if they are not getting a

morning meal to fuel their brains for the start of the school day. The researchers found 30 per cent of kids 'rarely or never' ate breakfast, after surveying 300 students from schools and colleges in West-Yorkshire. While 20 per cent said they only ate breakfast occasionally. Schools have had to sponsor breakfast clubs themselves or depend on charities such as Magic Breakfast and Family Action, as the government's free school meal programme only sponsors lunches. This leaves over 20,000 schools breakfast hungry.

Kapil’s Khichadi Indian Labour Councillors – Revolting or being revolted? Kapil Dudakia The Labour leadership appears to have upset some British Indian Labour Party members, including some BritishIndian Labour Councillors and Labour PPCs. Following are some of the reasons for such tensions: The Labour Party with precision ensured the ‘anti-India’ Kashmir motion would be allowed to reach the floor of their party conference. Some British-Indian Party members said they had no idea that such a motion was being organised, however Jeremy Corbyn said this was well known to everyone in the party. So, either these members really didn't know, or their leader is lying. However, some British-Pakistani members it appears knew everything about it! Post ‘anti-India’ Kashmir motion being approved, Jeremy Corbyn confirmed it still stands and that there was no question of it being rejected or rescinded. The Labour Party has selected just ONE candidate of Indian heritage in 39 safe Labour seats, and none in their 100 target seats. Claudia Webbe, a friend of Corbyn has been selected to replace Keith Vaz as the party's candidate in Leicester East. It seems with all these Indian Labour Councillors; they could not find even one who was competent enough to be their candidate. What does that tell us about Leicester? These are just a few examples of how the Labour Party now appears to have become anti-Indian. Some five decades of loyalty to the Labour Party and what do we have to show as our achievement? Almost

nothing. Some of these members appear to have turned a blind eye to the rampant anti-semitism, they have excused the anti-Hindu sentiments, they excused the openly pro-Pak support, they remained silent as the Khalistani separatist were being given the centre stage – one wondered what it would take to wake them up? I would not be too surprised if we see a cascade of party membership cancellations and Labour Councillors resigning the Labour whip. I believe we are not too far from a significant move by these Indian Labour members and I look forward to when they finally take that decisive step. Our community cannot lend our name, nor our face, to Labour so they can hoodwink the voters again. The truth about antiSemitism finally came out and the Jewish community has almost totally abandoned the Labour Party. Let us be clear, lest there still remain some deluded individuals, a party that can treat the Jewish community with such contempt, do you honestly think they will ever value the Indian community? In this election don’t be distracted by the plethora of other policies. What use are these policies if an antinational Government is voted in? This election is now about saving this nation from a total breakdown in civil order. How you vote will have a direct impact on not just you, but on generations to come. It is time to see the elephant in the room and act accordingly. Indian Labour Councillors – are they going to revolt? Or will they end up being revolted? (Expressed opinions are personal.)

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


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in brief FAMILY TRIBUTE TO "BRILLIANT MAN" AFTER DEATH OF COVENTRY'S FIRST ASIAN LORD MAYOR

The family of Councillor Sucha Bains has paid tribute to a "brilliant man" who "broke boundaries in the history of the city". Cllr Bains died on Monday November 25 after a long illness. The 83-year-old was a well-respected and popular figure at the council, having served virtually continuously since he was first elected in 1990. Apart from a brief twoyear absence, he represented the people of Upper Stoke for the Labour Party for almost 30 years. He was Lord Mayor of his adopted city from 2003-04 and the city’s first ever Asian Lord Mayor. His family have paid their own tribute and thanked the community for their support. A statement on behalf of the family said: “Sucha was a brilliant man who broke boundaries in the history of the city. He put his citizens first and always thought of the many, rather than the few. At home, he was a brilliant man who put others ahead of himself and that shone through in his work at the council and as lord mayor. On behalf of the family, we would like to thank you for all the messages of support.” Cllr Bains was born in the Punjab in 1935 and after emigrating to England in 1959 he studied at the then Lanchester Polytechnic – now Coventry University – and went on to work for famous city names such as Jaguar and Alvis. With his wife Darshan, he had three children, who were all educated at Stoke Park School. When named as Lord Mayor he said he had wanted to serve the city that provided such a good home for himself and his family and to help address issues of poverty and inequality. As well as serving his community, he was Chair of the Audit and Procurement Committee and his other appointments included a seat on the Finance and Corporate Services Scrutiny Board. He also served as a governor for local schools, including Stoke Primary School and Stoke Heath Primary School.

BANK ROBBER WHO HELD KNIFE TO 71-YEAR-OLD'S THROAT JAILED A knife-wielding robber has been jailed for more than six years after two violent raids at Coventry banks. Rashpal Singh held a knife to a 71-year-old woman's throat as he demanded cash from the Barclay's Bank on Fletchamstead Highway, Coventry, on February 15. The 40-year-old passed staff a bag to fill with notes and warned he’d slit his hostage’s throat if the bag was not returned before he counted to 10. Singh ran off but was pursued by two good samaritans who caught up with him in Elm Tree Avenue. There, he was rugby-tackled to the ground. Officers arrived minutes later to arrest him and a search of the area uncovered a knife and balaclava he’d discarded during the chase. Detectives from West Midlands Police examined CCTV and found Singh was wearing the same clothes, including distinctive brown brogues, as a robber who’d struck the previous day at Coventry Building Society in Station Street East. On that occasion another female customer was threatened at knifepoint before the raider made off with around £6,000. Singh admitted the robberies but suggested he'd been pressured into carrying out the jobs by two unnamed men who were threatening him for money. At Coventry Crown Court last Monday (November 18) Singh was jailed for six years and nine months having pleaded guilty. Investigating officer, Detective Constable Chris Parry from West Midlands Police Force CID, said: “Singh put two women through shocking ordeals, with knives held to their necks, as he took them hostage in the banks. Thankfully no-one was physically hurt but we can’t underestimate the psychological impact of being caught up in an event like this. The two customers in the bank who gave chase showed tremendous courage and public spirit in detaining Singh and holding him down for a few minutes before police arrived on the scene. My thanks goes to them – and they should be rightly proud that their actions may well have saved other people from being victims.”

Confronting racial prejudice in sport

The debate over racism in sport has been once again thrust into the spotlight following the racial abuse that Jofra Archer faced at Mount Maunganui. After the first Test between New Zealand and England, the Barbadian-born English cricketer revealed that he was targeted by a fan “yelling bbc and bc from the scoreboard area”. This is the second time that the blueeyed ace bowler has reported revealed such an issue. Earlier in September Archer was subjected to another racist barracking from Australian spectators during the Ashes Test at Old Trafford. Recently, Moeen Ali had also revealed that he was called “Osama” by an Australian player during the 2015 Ashes.

“Racism not as common in cricket as compared to football” Following Archer's tweet, there were multiple reactions from across the cricketing quarters including reports of Kane Williamson personally apologising to Archer. However, Gulfraz Riaz, chairman, and founder of the National Asian Cricket Council said, “Racism is not as common in cricket as compared to football. It is unfortunate what happened with Jofra Archer but I believe that it is an isolated incident. The fact that England’s most diverse cricket team recently won the World Cup is a true

Gulfraz Riaz

reflection of the spirit of cricket in the UK. “It is true that in the past, sledging has been associated with cricket. But sledging depends upon several other factors besides racism including the playing technique, mind games and psychological tactics among others. Generally speaking, it is a practice whereby some players seek to gain an advantage by verbally intimidating the opposing player.” While there is no recent report providing statistical information analysis of racism in cricket, a recent BBC report examines the hate crime in Football. According to Home Office figures, there was a 66% rise in hate crimes reported at professional football games across England and Wales last season. Incidents reported rose to 194 in 2018-19 and of 323 reports in the past two seasons, 230 of these cases related to racial abuse. Multiple

explanations or factors account for increasing racial incidents. Gulfraz believes, “The current divisive political climate in the UK has a spillover effect in other areas of the country. The Brexitprone UK conveys a message that Great Britain is for the British people only and in more than ways than one it has divided an otherwise multi-cultural and integrated UK.”

“Racism? Then we don’t play football” However, Monty Panesar, a left-arm spinner, who made his Test cricket debut in 2006 against India shares his experience when fans in India had cracked “Sardarji jokes” on him. Although he recalls most of these fans well-behaved on the grounds, he recalls of instances when fans would slur cultural proverbs at him wherein he was only “seen to be physically strong but with a thick head”. Speaking about a different and a more vocal climate that exists in today's cricketing pitch, Monty says, “Back in those days, I was not as courageous and did not want to create any issues so, I kept quiet. My coaches usually advised me to focus more on my crick-

et and play for my country. “Today, however, the environment seems much better. But going forward, I would like to see something of the sort that happened in the Netherlands. An anti-racism message – “Racism? Then we don’t play football’ was displayed and I would like to see something of that nature happen in International Cricket as well. Players can make a lot of impact, sometimes much more than the governing body and people would think twice before hurling racial comments if such measures were taken.” Whilst Panesar proposes for issuing a financial penalty on the fans to prevent growing racism, Gulfraz argues that it is not a feasible option. Instead, he suggests that the best way to counter growing racism is by making an example of a racist fan or an individual. He says, “If we name and shame that person, ban his/her entrance from the grounds and take preventive measures in ensuring that there isn’t a way he can access tickets for himself, then a true football fan will realise his fault and behave accordingly.” The latest reports note that the spectator who allegedly racially abused Jofra Archer could receive a lifetime ban from attending cricket matches in New Zealand.

Birmingham primary school protests permanently banned Demonstrations against LGBT inclusive education have been permanently banned outside a primary school. A High Court judge ruled in favour of an exclusion zone to remain around Anderton Park, in Birmingham, which has been targeted by protesters for months. The protests had an averse effect on pupils, residents and staff, leading to 21 teachers being treated for stress, Mr Justice Warby said. Campaigners accused the city council of trying to silence debate.

The protests at the school in Balsall Heath aimed to stop LGBT relationships education, with many parents and activists claiming it contradicts their Islamic faith and is not "age appropriate". October's five-day hearing at the city's Priory Courts heard there were further "untrue" and "harmful" allegations made about the school on social media, and how a visiting imam had claimed to parents there were "paedophiles" inside the school. The lessons had been

"misrepresented by parents", he said, adding the school does not promote homosexuality and seeks to weave the language of equality into everyday school life. Since June protesters have gathered just outside the exclusion zone. In the hearing last month, the city council argued an interim injunction should be extended beyond school gates and made permanent. Birmingham City Council said the noisy protests at the school gates were disrupting lessons and

meant children were unable to use the playground. The council maintained the court action was in response to campaigners' behaviour, not the issue of the protests. The prior injunction named lead protester Shakeel Afsar, who does not have children at the school, his sister Rosina and Amir Ahmed, all of whom contested the need for a legal injunction. Speaking after the ruling, head teacher Sarah Hewitt-Clarkson said staff would be "over the moon".


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in brief FRAUDSTER JAILED FOR HELPING DISHONEST DRIVERS DODGE FINES A fraudster who masterminded a sophisticated scam to help dishonest drivers dodge fines and penalty points is jailed for three-and-a-half years. Syed Shahed Ahmed, known locally as 'the fixer', aided more than a dozen drivers through his illicit operation. The 43-year-old, who pocketed thousands of pounds as part of the scam, promised drivers who had been caught speeding or jumping red lights that he could make their points and fines disappear. He would fill out penalty notices on behalf of drivers using false details and a string of addresses across Sunderland to disguise his criminality. Following a three-year investigation, officers uncovered the scale of the illegal operation, which involved 15 defendants. Ahmed and the drivers, who attempted to avoid their respective punishments, were all charged and put before the courts. He admitted 16 counts of conspiracy to pervert the course of justice and a further charge of money laundering in relation to the distribution of the funds he had accrued. He was jailed for three years and six months and 14 other defendants have also been convicted at the same court. Others jailed included: Afsar Ali, 27, Oliur Chowdhury, 29, Saeed Laskar, 24, Abdul Shohid, 62, Hammad Ahmed, 24, Syed Sabir Ahmed, 35, Mohammad Sharif, 50, Abdul Amin, 50, Murshad Miah, 37, Shayer Miah, 46, Syed Suber Ahmed, 57, and Syed Nasir Ahmed, 34.

FORMER LEEDS UNIVERSITY STUDENT PLEADS GUILTY TO ATTEMPTED MURDER AND TERROR CHARGES

Medic slams Question Time guest who claimed all doctors earn over £80,000 A medic Tuesday hit back at a Question Time audience member who wrongly declared 'every doctor in the country earns more than £80,000.' IT consultant Rob Barber launched a tirade on the BBC show last week, when he suggested 'doctors earn more than £80,000' as he slammed Jeremy Corbyn's stringent plan to 'super-tax' hard-working Britons. His argument has now prompted a furious response from NHS specialist Dr Asif Munaf, who shared his payslip online as he confirmed he earns £48,000-a-year. In his scathing riposte Dr Asif, a Sport and Exercise Medicine Registrar who once appeared on Dragon's Den, said Mr Barber was 'terribly misinformed.' He tweeted: 'I spent 6 years at medschool and a further 7 years of specialist training and I get paid £48,000. He needs to #factscheck and use some of his £80,000 on a new shirt and trim.' Dr Asif said he works some 40 hours a week and his earnings cover a single salary household with an 18month-old son. He told MailOnline doc-

tors are 'massively underpaid', adding: 'Mr Barbers' ill-informed comments made me appreciate the sheer ignorance that is prevalent...People just assume that doctors have high salaries without necessarily knowing the full pay scale.' Last week Mr Barber, a 38-year-old IT consultant and high-profile motorcycle racer, argued with shadow justice secretary Richard Burgon over his party's policy of imposing £83billion in new taxes. But he had some viewers scratching their heads after claiming he was not in the top 5 per cent of earners, despite saying his salary was more than £80,000. Mr Barber said: 'Every doctor, every accountant, every solicitor earns more than that, that's not 5 per cent!'. Dr Asif Munaf, a doctor, NHS Clinical Entrepreneur and personal trainer, tweeted in response: 'This guy is terribly misinformed. "All doctors get paid more than £80,000". 'I spent 6 years at medschool and a further 7 years of specialist training and I get paid £48,000. He needs

Dr Asif Munaf

Rob Barber

to #factscheck and use some of his £80,000 on a new shirt and trim.' Dr Asif told MailOnline: 'Mr Barbers' ill-informed comments made me appreciate the sheer ignorance that is prevalent in the general public and the ill-conceived perception regarding doctors salaries and how the junior doctor strikes of 2016 have been seemingly forgotten about. 'People just assume that doctors have high salaries without necessarily knowing the full pay scale: from first year to consultant. It also made me realise that I get massively underpaid relative to the length of training I have undertaken as well as the importance of the job I am doing. 'If Mr Barber is on £80,000 some of my less qualified peers who are on triple my salary after only a three year degree, it made

me question the profession I am working in. 'Although I never went in to medicine for the money, a job should be remunerated based on its value and not whether you work for this company or that company. This sadly is not the case in a lot of public sector jobs and has prompted me to quit my junior doctor training as I do not wish to be labelled as "just a junior doctor". His tweet has since garnered more than 2,000 likes and see hundreds share their own earnings and stories. One Twitter user wrote: 'The NHS consultant pay scale starts below £80K and those doctors will have a minimum of 8 years postgraduate experience working in and serving the NHS. Brilliant staff grade doctors don’t ever hit that salary and they are tremendously skilled and experienced.'

Ten charged over alleged plot to smuggle £15.5m of dirty money out of UK in suitcases The wounded being treated following a knife attack at Manchester Victoria railway station.

A former Leeds university engineering student who launched a frenzied knife attack on commuters and police at Manchester Victoria railway station last New Year's Eve has Tuesday pleaded guilty to attempted murder and terror charges. Mahdi Mohamud, 26, raised the fillet knife and walked up behind unsuspecting James Knox, screaming "Allahu Akbar!" and "Long live the Caliphate!" as he stabbed his victim repeatedly in the back, shoulders and head. He then turned the knife on Mr Knox's companion, Anna Charlton, slashing her across the face after the couple, in their 50s, randomly crossed his path heading for a tram platform shortly before 9pm last December 31. British Transport Police (BTP) officers heard a bloodcurdling scream and dashed to the scene. PC Ashleigh Williams, 27, and her colleague Marsha Selby, 28, along with two tram staff confronted Mohamud, who "like an animal" was "fixated" on stabbing and slashing, witnesses said. The suspect was pepper sprayed before seconds later PC Tom Wright, 27, arrived along with Sergeant Lee Valentine, 31, who shot Mohamud with his Taser. The barbs of the 50,000 volt shock gun got stuck in the knifeman's thick coat and failed to paralyse him. Before he could reload the knifeman ran along the blood-spattered platform charging at the officers with the weapon. A second kitchen knife was found in his waistband. Mr Knox suffered 13 injuries including a skull fracture while Ms Charlton's right lung was punctured and she suffered a slash to her forehead that cut down to the bone. The defendant, a Dutch national from a Somali family, had arrived in the UK aged nine and became radicalised online, Greater Manchester Police (GMP) said. Detained under the Mental Health Act the day after the attack he was later found fit to stand trial. Mohamud pleaded guilty at Manchester Crown Court on Tuesday to three counts of attempted murder. He also admitted one count of the possession of a document or record likely to be useful to a person committing or preparing an act of terrorism, a manual titled, "the seven most lethal ways to strike with a knife".

Ten people have been charged over an alleged plot to smuggle £15.5 million of dirty money out of the UK in suitcases. The National Crime Agency (NCA) have been investigating an alleged "wellorchestrated conspiracy" to move cash made through drugs and people smuggling out of the UK to Dubai. Nine men and one woman, aged between 28 and 44, were arrested as part of its probe. Cash, drugs and a number of cars including Range Rovers, Audis and BMWs were seized during dawn raids in Hounslow,

Cash recovered by officers from the National Crime Agency (NCA) during early morning raids from seven home addresses in Hounslow, Hayes, Uxbridge and Southall (PA/NCA)

The following seven people were charged with conspiracy to launder criminal cash and being a member of an organised crime group: Charan Singh, 41, of Hounslow; Valjeet Singh,

BMW 5 series and Range Rover Vogue both recovered by officers (PA)

Hayes, Uxbridge and Southall, all in west London, on Wednesday, the NCA said. The operation followed an investigation into cash seizures of more than £1.5 million made by Border Force officials during 2019.

30, of Hounslow; Jasbir Singh Dhal, 28, of Southall; Sundar Vengadassalam, 44, of Southall; Jasbeer Singh Malhotra, 33, of Hanwell; Pinky Kapur, 35 of Hayes; Manmon Singh Kapur, 44, of Hayes.

A further three men were charged with the same offences as well as conspiracy to assist unlawful immigration: Swander Singh Dhal, 33, of Hounslow; Jasbir Singh Kapoor, 31, of Hayes; and Diljan Malhotra, 43, of Uxbridge. All 10 have been remanded in custody to appear at Uxbridge Magistrates' Court on Friday, the NCA said.

Survey shows many children will go without presents this Christmas This Christmas many children supported by Barnardo’s will go without presents and a festive meal, according to a shocking survey of hundreds of the charity’s frontline workers. A YouGov survey revealed that more than a third (34 per cent) of children among families who celebrate Christmas will be waking up to more than 10 presents on average this Christmas morning. In contrast, 43 per cent of Barnardo’s frontline staff responding to a separate survey said some of the people they support who celebrate Christmas were unlikely to receive any presents, or enjoy a traditional meal. The 230 Barnardo’s staff members surveyed also said they were concerned that some of the children and

families they currently support will experience an increase in mental health issues (78 per cent) and loneliness (64 per cent) over the festive period. The news follows reports from hunger charity Trussell Trust which showed food parcel donations are up by nearly a quarter year-on-year, with one third of these going to children. Barnados is asking people to get involved by creating an online ‘Build a Kidsmas Snowman’ fundraising page where fundraisers can ask people to donate by throwing a ‘snowball donation’. The more snowballs thrown, the bigger their snowman gets and the more money is raised to help change the lives of vulnerable children.


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“UK should stop all aid to Pakistan,” David Vance Priyanka Mehta A leading journalist has urged that “the UK should stop all aid to Pakistan". David Vance, a writer at AltNewsMedia in a panel discussion on Saturday, 23rd November noted that “Pakistan is a failed state, a global terrorism incubator and that we have indulged it quite long enough.” Alongside Vance, the panel discussion titled'Reimagining Pakistan: A Global Perspective', was also attended by Taha Siddiqui, Khalid Shah, Seth Oldmixon, and Dr. Christine Fair. Members gathered at the David Game lecture hall to discuss the geo-politics of South Asia and its domino effect on the diaspora groups in the UK. Amidst such discussion Fair, a Georgetown University professor announced that “the Pakistani High Commission in London had tried to coerce the venue of the panel discussion into cancelling the event”. "That is reflective of the kind of state it is," she said, adding that a reimagining of Pakistan could happen from within its diaspora, but diaspora communities are not

(L-R) Seth Oldmixon, Dr. Christine Fair, David Vance, Taha Siddiqui, and Khalid Shah

often fully in tune with the realities on the ground. "Washington needs to cut off all aid because aid is toxic to that state. The longer it stays on the grey list, it gets to bargain with the international community using the threat of terrorism," she said. The panel also discussed the current financial and political conditions in Pakistan especially in light of the appointment of General Qamar Javed Bajwa, current Chief of the Pakistan Army. Addressing concerns around freedom of

media in Pakistan, Taha Siddiqui, a Pakistani journalist living in exile in Paris said, “Under the Bajwa doctrine, journalists are regularly called upon and briefed by the military. Social media platforms like the Facebook appear to have been collaborating with the Pakistani government in censoring critical and opposition voices. Based on my recent interactions with journalists back home, some even said that if the situation continues with the way it is now, then the oldest newspaper

Dawn may also collapse. “Pakistan is not interested in the end game in Kashmir or Afghanistan, the idea for them is to keep a low intensity conflict alive so that the Pakistan military remains relevant as a power centre in Pakistan.” The event was organised by the Jammu Kashmir Study Centre (JKSC) UK think-tank alongside Indian National Students Association (INSA). The panelists were in general agreement that the country risks becoming increasingly isolated in the wake of its

recent grey-listing by the global money-laundering watchdog Financial Action Task Force (FATF) unless some urgent steps are taken and that China could act as a counter-weight, given its own economic interests in the region. “The best solution is to use every option to create a reduced landlocked Pakistan Punjab, surrounded by a series of new independent nations such as Baluchistan, Sindh, Pashtoon and Muhajeer that are considerably more likely to live with us in peace and harmony. “All UK Foreign Aid to Pakistan should be ended and British Pakistanis should start accepting our laws and integrating to our ways. This, it must be noted for some slow learners, is not “racist’ but simply desirable,” said David Vance. Khalid Shah, Associate Fellow at the Observer Research Foundation in Delhi, traced the history of "Pakistan's jihad in Kashmir", leading up to what he described as the current "cyber jihad" aimed at radicalising Kashmiri youth and glorifying the idea of jihad. The panel discussion was followed by a Q&A session.

Call for mental health support for young offenders

The Holyrood's justice committee has stated that Mental health support must be made a priority for young offenders. The committee has called for assessments to be made within the first days of each youngster's move into secure care or a young offenders institution (YOI). Consistent, highquality physical, educational and mental health support should then be provided, the MSPs said. Evidence given to the committee during its inquiry showed that more than 60% of young people who offended had significant speech, language and communication needs, and significant numbers also self-harmed or had attempted suicide. The Scottish government said it would "carefully consider" the committee's recommendations.

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WE STAND UNITED AGAINST RACISM Response to the unprecedented plea from the Chief Rabbi and Jewish Chronicle on anti-semitism Lord Jitesh Gadhia Earlier this month, the Jewish Chronicle ran a front-page editorial pleading with British Citizens to show solidarity against the ugly rise of anti-semitism. This week the Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis made an unprecedented intervention in the UK General Election warning that “the very soul of our nation is at stake” from the poison of anti-Jewish hatred. Faced with these cries for help, the various Asian communities across the UK must respond with equal force and clarity. We must stand shoulder-toshoulder with the Jewish community in condemning all forms of racism. It is unacceptable for any group in Britain to live in fear for their future in a country that is now their home and where they have contributed so much. The Chief Rabbi and Jewish Chronicle highlight the deep-seated concerns about Jeremy Corbyn and his relationship with the Jewish diaspora and its key organisations, questioning his fitness for the highest office. British Indians have also expressed similar fears about Mr Corbyn’s partisan attitude towards Kashmir. Meanwhile, concerns have been expressed about Islamophobia within the Conservative Party. All political parties should use this General Election to clarify their policies and

demonstrate their commitment to uniting and not dividing Britain’s diverse and multi-cultural democracy. Last November, I had the pleasure of sharing a platform with the Chief Rabbi at the Marble Arch Synagogue in London where we both addressed a gathering of the Indian Jewish Association to mark Inter-Faith Week. The Chief Rabbi spoke warmly of our shared values, saying: “If you want an example of unity, look at Jews and Indians. If only the whole world took a leaf out of our book, this would be a very different planet. As Indians and Jews together, we are playing different instruments but are together in the same orchestra, and our aim is to continue with that harmonious tone.”

Indeed, Jews and Indians share many of the same intrinsic values anchored around family, faith, and community; with a strong emphasis on education and entrepreneurship. It is fair to say Indians often look to leasing Jewish organisations such as the Board of Deputies, the Jewish Leadership Council or Jewish Care as role models for unity of purpose and effective participation in national life. It is because of our familiarity and deep respect for the Jewish community that it pains many of us to see the anguish felt by the Jewish community at the ugly rise of antisemitism here in the UK and around the world. If the British Jewish community is going through such an ordeal, we all need to take heed. South Asians are not

immune either from the increase in reported hate crimes which have doubled over the past five years. Despite these challenges we have not allowed prejudice to define us. Both our communities have been beneficiaries of the British Dream. We often arrived in this country with very little, many as refugees, and through perseverance, have not just made a life here but also a disproportionate contribution to many walks of life. At the heart of this success is being comfortable with multiples identities. We don’t see a conflict in being British and Jewish or British and Hindu, British and Sikh, British and Muslim or British and Jain. We demonstrate how communities can integrate successfully and embrace British values whilst retaining our cultural heritage

and identity. The former Chief Rabbi, Lord Sacks describes the “Dignity of Difference” in his powerful book, which argues that we must do more than search for common human values; we should learn to make a space for difference.We shouldn’t just tolerate diversity – but accept, respect and celebrates difference. Which is why being open to new ideas was referenced in the Rig Veda. An open and tolerant society has been the hallmark of Britain over many decades. The Brexit Referendum, and the

undercurrents which it has unleashed, has tested this cross-party consensus. Whatever the verdict of the 2019 Election - one outcome must be beyond all doubt - racism cannot be tolerated in whatever form it takes. We should proudly stand with Jews, and other minority groups, in making that case to our fellow British Citizens. Asian Voice recently stood in solidarity with the Jewish Chronicle in confronting the increasing racism plaguing British politics and I urge other stakeholders in the community to do the same.

TfL competition improving ethnic diversity in advertising A Transport for London (TfL)’s advertising competition is challenging brands to produce innovative campaigns that are more representative of the capital’s diversity. The competition is designed to combat the superficial representation of people of colour in advertising by inviting brands to submit concepts which authentically reflect London’s Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) communities. It follows the success of last year’s competition aimed at better representing the capital’s women in advertising. Deputy Mayor of London for Social Integration, Social Mobility and Community Engagement, Debbie WeekesBernard said, “Advertising is a powerful force but too often the images we

are presented with provide very limited impressions of the people they portray. “This competition provides a fantastic opportunity for brands to reject generic depictions of minority communities and tell stories that resonate with Londoners who currently may not feel properly represented. “I hope it sparks further debate around diversity and representation in the sector and challenges advertisers to continue to make their industry truly inclusive.” London is one of the most diverse cities in the world, with 40 per cent of its population identifying as BAME. However, while there has been improvement in the visibility of people from varying ethnic backgrounds in adverts, representation has too often been stereotypical, onedimensional or tokenistic. Ethnic

minority representation in advertising has increased from 12 per cent to 25 per cent between 2015 and 2018, but more than 60 per cent of adverts still feature only or majority white people. The winning campaign will receive £500,000-worth of advertising space across the TfL network. Liz Day, Parenting

Consultant, Mothercare runnerup of 2019 awards said, "We are immensely proud of our Body Proud Mums campaign; a series of honest photos showcasing the diverse reality of the post-birth body. “We wanted to help mothers feel more positively about their bodies by combating unrealistic ideals and societal pressures. The

campaign had an overwhelmingly amazing response, reassuring many mums that every body is beautiful, unique and worth celebrating. “We look forward to seeing what this year's competition brings in terms of ground-breaking campaigns that will help shine a light on and improve ethnic diversity in advertising" Claire Beale, Global Editor-In-Chief, Campaign said, “Advertising has a tremendous power to shape society and culture. “With that power comes responsibility and hopefully this competition will encourage the ad industry to properly up its game when it comes to the authentic portrayal of Black, Asian and minority ethnic people in its work.”


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Will London elect its first female Mayor in Siobhan Benita? Priyanka Mehta The Liberal Democrats appear to be a dark horse in the run-up to December 12 elections. Amidst such political drama around “getting Brexit done”, London's mayoral elections in May 2020 seem a million years away. But this hasn't stopped Siobhan Benita, the Party's London Mayoral candidate to support Sonul BadianiHamment in South Ealing. Knocking doors, distributing pamphlets, and asking locals about their concerns, Benita appears to be killing two birds with the same stonecanvassing for Badiani for general elections and herself for the Mayoral one. “I have grown up in a Labour household and have voted Labour in the past where the Party was relied upon by the people to fight discrimination, to battle anti-semitism, to stand up for the EU citizens,” says the Anglo-Indian civil servant. “So, on one side you have Boris Johnson who is taking the Party to the extreme farright pushing forward a

reckless Brexit which is going to damage the economy. Then you have Jeremy Corbyn who is under investigation for anti-semitism, and a leader who won't say which side of the Brexit he is on- Leave or Remain.”

#OystersForChristmas for homeless Bidding to become the first female Mayor of London, Benita like her party is more focussed on designing policies as opposed to practicing public relations politics. As Christmas lights up the city, she proposes that an esti-

mated £400m left unused on Oyster cards should be given to the homeless and those sleeping rough in the harsh winter. Branding it as the “#OystersForChristmas campaign”, she urged mayor of London Sadiq Khan to combat homelessness. Now, she is also proposing to create a City Hall unit that is solely responsible for reducing the rate of rough sleepers in London.

'Feel Safe, Be Safe' Earlier, as part of her strategy to combat knife crime, substance abuse, and anti-

social activities, she had introduced the 'Feel Safe, Be Safe' fivepoint action plan. Having examined the success of legalised cannabis in o t h e r European countries, Benita as part of this model proposes for a drug policy reform to support people who are suffering from substance addiction. “Young people are at their most vulnerable in the hours after leaving school and before parents are home - between 4 and 6 pm. I would introduce a Youth Happy Hour, co-ordinating activities in every single borough during this crucial window. I know that Londoners are ready to step up as a community to help, but Sadiq has failed to facilitate anything. “He is one of the most open-minded moderate

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Labour leaders that I know of to the extent that we share some of our core ideologies and policy beliefs. He is very good at the selfie and his Public relations. But at the same time, he has shown a lack of leadership in working with the core community groups and youth centres. My message to Sadiq is “What are you still doing in the Labour Party?” Come and join the Liberal Democrats,” she urges.

#LondonIsOpen: Working with women and entrepreneurs But whilst Sadiq in her opinion has failed to achieve considerable ground in solving young people's problems, she also believes that immigration in the UK has remained unaddressed as is the issue of increasing racism. “My mum was born in India but after her dad tragically died at a very early age, my grandmother brought her and her two siblings to start a new life in London. They arrived with very few possessions but local people rallied round, including the butcher and milkman who used to give my grandmoth-

er leftover food. That’s the London that I still love today – kind, open and welcoming.” Perhaps, Benita's drive to ensure free childcare for all women stems from this understanding of the impediments that women across communities and cultures face today whilst balancing their family and professional lives. Now, attending multiple workshops with the women's networks and other organisations such as the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) she has received a true flavour of the South Asian Entrepreneurial spirit, the potential of which she wants to further harness by way of such policies for women entrepreneurs. Whilst all these policies, ideologically promise to enrich London's political, social and economic fabric, how much of those are financially and practically feasible only time will tell. Today, many political pundits have touted the upcoming general elections as a litmus test for Liberal Democrats and it remains to be seen if the city will elect its first female mayor in Siobhan Benita.

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I OWE SO MUCH TO SO MANY CB Patel

A few days ago on November 19, I completed 53 years in the UK. UK is my home, Karma Bhumi. India is my birthplace, Janma Bhumi. In a few months time,I will complete 83 years and I can't help but say that the UK has given me a lot- both materially and otherwise. I say with utmost sincerity that so many people of various backgrounds have accompanied me in this long and fruitful journey and enabled me in various ways to push forward. I learn more and more with every passing day. I am both, fortunate and humbled. I am most grateful.

Reminiscing the past 53 years could be a book on its own, why not? Some other time. But today, I will attempt to briefly recount the story of a migrant coming to a country of which technically, as a passport holder, he was, and still is, a citizen. Recently, the weather has been chilly, windy and sedentary. It is completely different from what I experienced when I set foot off the coach at Victoria Bus Terminal in west London. It was 5.45 am. In Dar-esSalaam at that time one would experience a beautiful daybreak. But London was a whole other story. I'd been forewarned of the weather conditions through a letter written by Manubhai Thakkar, who I fondly called TAK. He received me at the airport along with Rasikbhai Lavingia ( RL ) . I was fully prepared for the cold and challenging weather, had layers of clothing including two pairs of warm socks, a woollen trouser, a coat, an overcoat, a muffler, and a big furry and funny hat. I remember wondering how they would recognise me as I was covered from top to bottom, except for the eyes. However, they were quick to spot me and greeted me with a hug and enormous warmth and gave me support all the way. I must mention that Tak had only come to England five months ahead of me, secured a job as a senior bookkeeper, lived in a rented “apartment” and had a wonderful car, An Austin A30, 1953 model. Would you believe it?! The old lady was extremely gracious and took us around various parts of London. She has given me so many memories, but we will talk about it some other time. We reached Tak's residence which became mine as well in Archway, north London. In that short journey, I was briefed about life, food, jobs, and everything I needed to know. Tak had a fairly large room (14x 12 ) with two single beds. But with me moving in, he had a folding bed placed in between that was used by RL. A small gas cooker in the corner separated by a tiny partition made for our grand kitchen. There was a room to the side of the incredible apartment, which was used by Zia Haq from Lahore, Pakistan, and on other side a similar room was occupied by Rajinder Kumar from Delhi, who was studying law. These men became my extended family and the house I have fond memories of, became my home away from home. Tak had arranged an interview the same day at 3.00 pm for a job of a junior bookkeeper at Commercial Street, not far from my present residence in Hoxton. Tak left for his job at 8.30 am after breakfast. RL informed me there was no bathroom in the apartment and the communal bath remains very much occupied in the morning. He offered to show me a local council bath about 20 minutes walk. Looking at the weather, I politely declined that friendly offer. RL was my guide for the day. He had taken a leave from his work. We left at 10.30 and for the first time I walked over the hallowed soil of London , about half a mile along Holloway Road and reached the tube station. Having never seen an underground

system before, let alone travel in it, I was the unwitting spectator of a remarkable modern advancement. After reaching Holborn, we went to Lincoln's Inn and I registered myself and paid the fees for my Bar - at - Law study program. Then we went to the University of London, Law college where I was an external student for the previous two years and registered to attend regular classes. Our next stop was a small cafeteria, where we both had cheese rolls and tea for one shilling and six pence each. When I paid the bill, it amuses me now, how big the amount seemed to me. I remember mentally converting the amount to East African shillings and Indian rupees too! Then I went straight to my interview which was prearranged by Tak near Aldgate East Tube Station. I was very well-received. Tak had been recruited by the same employment agency and held good credentials as a senior bookkeeper. I was being interviewed as a junior bookkeeper. They asked me a couple of questions and gave me a job at a nearby place to begin on Monday. The real challenge for me had begun now. I had never worked as a bookkeeper. Having earned my first educational degree in Sciences, I had worked as an analytical chemist with Alembic Pharmaceuticals in Vadodara. Then in Dar-es-Salaam I'd worked as a civil servant, a clerical officer for six and a half years. I had serious trepidation as to what I would do as junior bookkeeper. Tak was nonchalant and seemed to have more faith in me than I did. He had told me that if I get the job, I was to go straight to a nearby book store and buy a book called 'Teach yourself Bookkeeping'. I bought the text for 13 shillings and six pence. Such a massive investment as compared to lunch! In the evening, I returned to the Mercers Road residence and Tak, my motivator and coach explained invoices, statements and everything important to me for the job I would begin in two days time. On Saturday and Sunday, whenever possible, he would ask me some questions and also try to educate me. On Monday morning, I reported to duty. Surprisingly, my boss was more than happy with my work and I was paid £5 for a week, and an additional £1.50 to work a half day shift on Saturday. Now, I've always loved money, especially at that particular moment. I counted I had £92 in total at my disposal to settle . Let's move along quickly. I eventually changed one to two jobs and landed a job at the Houses of Parliamentary Press as a payee clerk. My daily routines involved going to work at 8.30 am, and after 4.30 pm, go straight to college for lectures or Lincoln's Inn for dinners . It was a lot of hard work, but extremely satisfying. It was then I learnt the elementary lesson on enterprise, now commonly called entrepreneurship. Entrepreneurship. This word has only been used more commonly and fashionably in the last 15 to 20 years, to my knowledge. Dear readers, I am not a linguist. But I do know that there are several words in the English language, even in the Oxford English dictionary , which have Indian / Sanskrit connection. We pick YOGA, 'mantra', 'karma', 'nirvana', 'juggernaut'....Juggernaut is derived from Indian word Jagannath. Similarly there is a beautiful Indian word 'Antar Sphurna . It means 'come out of the inner self as a thought turning into action'. Take a guess where 'Entrepreneurship' came from. I think, without even learning, I know a bit about Bharatnatyam. It's a form of dance where the dancer moves their entire body from their toes to their eyebrows. It was pretty much the same for me- doing multiple things all at once. To be honest, it has been my good fortune all along. I have worked in small jobs, civil services, financial

services, worked multiple times as shopkeepers, even in real estate and now for over 45 years in the publishing industry. Print media is going through many challenges. Not a surprise. The only constant thing in life is change and as a matter of fact, ABPL has good standing and is doing well in the circumstances thanks to my esteemed readers and many many supporters. Dear Readers, I would like you to accompany me on my first-ever community event in London. On November 21, Sunday, two days after my arrival here, there was a Diwali get-together organised by Suresh Gupta and his organisation at Conway Hall, Red Lion Square, Holborn, central London. Though as a bookkeeper/student, I was busy, but I accompanied Tak and RL to attend the event. Most of the people were Gujaratis, Punjabis, and other Indians from various countries. The most prominent community members to be present there were Bhagwan Soham, Ramesh Patel, Jyoti Modi, Usha Patel, Shakuntala Shukla, Renuka Shukla, Niranjan Shukla, Suren Kamat, DN Shah, Praful Patel, Surendra Patel, Rajendra Patel, Kusum Shah, Balwant Singh Kapoor, Ashwin Bhatt, Bal Mukund Parikh, and few others. Some of them were accountants, some doctors, some lawyers, and some students. In the first week of December, Gulabbhai Patel of G.A.K Patel , the largest civil engineering contractors from Dar-esSalaam was in London with his children to be placed in boarding schools. He was known to me from Dar-es-Salaam and I was expected to keep them company. I became the guardian of some prominent businessmen's children from Tanzania and Uganda who were studying in Chigwell, east London, and Norwich in East Anglia. A dinner was arranged at Veera Swamy restaurant in Regent Street, London. It was perhaps the most well-known Indian restaurant , started some decades ago by an exIndian army Englishman officer. Gulabbhai Patel, Sir JK Gohel, Mrs Jaya Lakshmi ( wife of Sir JK Chande) , and myself were at that dinner. It was a very enjoyable evening. I was able to learn a lot from these three people of distinction. Jayaben was the only daughter of Shri Muljibhai Madhvani, the sugar king of East Africa at the time. Her husband JK Chande was knighted by Her Majesty and was commonly called Sir Andy Chande. Over the years, he became my role model and he used to call Jayalaxmi, Jayly. In Dar-es-Salaam there is a boat in the harbour named in her honour, Jayly. Jayaben was very beautiful, tremendously blessed from both her families, full of grace and of wisdom and in the three hours of dinner, I learned a lot about how rich and matured people speak, what they speak about, and how they carry themselves. The most outstanding and eyecatching person at the event was undoubtedly, Sir JK Gohel. He hailed from the princely state of Morbi, Saurashtra. He had qualified as a lawyer and subsequently was the Sir JK Gohel Diwan of Morbi. He joined Indian Civil Services after Independence. Sir Gohel was known by his blue turban. He was a member of the International Control Commission when Korea was divided along 38th parallel. Sir JK was a real Rajput and a stellar diplomat. He was a longstanding friend of Meghji Pethraj Shah, another suc-

cessful entrepreneur from Thika, Kenya.Gohel Sahab was installed by MP Shah to manage his operations in London which eventually became Meghraj Bank. Perhaps, his political activism is relevant today. Sir Gohel was one of the earliest Asian members along with Narinder Sarup and a few others committed to the Conservative Party at a time when it wasn't really fashionable. I recollect he was associated with the Tories from the 1960s. His circles were vast and hosted prominent figures. One of his closest friends was Manubhai Madhvani, scion of Madhvani Group.

'Gujratita-Asmita' All Gujaratis are known for a special appetite for business. In 2015, in the Christmas special, The Economist published a 5000-worded article . on Gujaratis titled 'Secrets of the World's Best Businessmen'; The Gujarati way, Going Global .Personally, I identify myself by my Gujaratita (now British Gujaratita).. When Prime Minister Narendra Modi addressed over 60,000 people at the historical event at Wembley Stadium,in November 2015 , he stunned me by mentioning my name with two added words “my friend”. It wasn't that the Indian Prime Minister stated my name, but Modi very rarely if at all, speaks about a person who is not a leader of the host country or involved prominently in an event. After the Wembley address, while I received multiple calls from my friends and well-wishers, a senior reporter from The Economist magazine came knocking on my door. He saw me and expressed a desire to write about me. I humbly thanked him and said I am not the right subject to write about. I said it because I genuinely feel that way. After a brief through-and-fro, he eventually agreed. He agreed to talk about the Gujarati community in the UK. For me, an article on MY people in the largest English language magazine in the country, was the ideal way of celebrating US. I gave him some contacts and the senior reporter went to India. He visited Ahmedabad, Baroda, Surat. He also spoke to my contacts elsewhere in the UK and US, and prepared a massive article. Dhandho, business, entrepreneurship, enterprises, they are all ingrained with Gujratita. Today, in the UK, there are numerous British-Indians who have succeeded in enterprises, professions, arts and culture et al. But in 1966, only a handful of names were known. In London, some big Indian corporations included Tata, Birla, Bank of Baroda, State Bank of India, Scindia Steam Navigation, and Air India. Just a few. Amongst Indian businesses, the earliest I had heard was a certain Mr Taherally Rahman Suterwalla who had an wholesale outlet from 1959 , at 117 Cannon Street Road , London E1 . At that time, Lakhubhai Pathak of Pathak Spices had a store near Euston Station. I remember many names from that period, some have sadly passed away, but all of them and hundreds and thousands more have inspired me, helped me, and encouraged me. This series of articles are just a humble effort to acknowledge them and bring to the attention of their children, grandchildren and today’s generation, how the present euphoric state of British Indian entrepreneurship evolved in Britain. I hope to continue my narrative in the upcoming issues of Asian Voice. Come along .....

(To be continued) (As told by CB Patel, Written by Mitul Paniker)


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AsianVoiceNews

EDUCATION

AsianVoiceNewsweekly

11

30 Nov - 6 Dec 2019

University staff strike over Oxford Union President resigns over blind student row pensions and pay Students across the UK face disruption as lecturers and support staff in 60 universities start an eight-day strike. Members of the University and Colleges Union (UCU) are taking action in two separate disputes, one on pensions and one on pay and conditions. The strikes will affect almost half of all UK universities. The universities say strikes are not the way forward and promise to do all they can to minimise the impact of industrial action on students. In addition to striking, union members will begin other forms of industrial action when they return to work, including working strictly to contract, not covering for absent colleagues and refusing to reschedule lectures lost during the strikes.

This latest action follows strikes in February and March last year, meaning some students are being affected for the second time. Staff taking action will walk out between 25 November and 4 December and the union has not ruled out further action next term. UCU says staff have reached "breaking point" over a number of issues, including workloads, real-terms cuts in pay, a 15% gender pay gap and changes to pensions for staff in the Universities Superannuation Scheme (USS), which the union says will leave members paying in more and receiving less in retirement. UCU general secretary Jo Grady said about 43,600 members would be taking strike action for "systemic change". Dr Grady said the higher education sector had "made a lot of money over the past 10 years" but that

spending on staff in that period had gone down and that there had been "an attack on working conditions in the sector". The UCU is angry that members are now having to pay 9.6% in pension contributions, up from 8% and wants universities to pay the full increase instead. The union estimates that, overall, changes to the pension could leave lecturers about £240,000 worse off in retirement, rising to £730,000 for professors. But the University and Colleges Employers Association and Universities UK say employers have increased their pension contributions from 18% to 21.1% of salary, paying in an extra £250m each year. The employers say even increasing their contributions to 22.7% of salary would cost them £373m a year.

'Half of women will be carers by the age of 46' Women can expect to take on caring responsibilities for an older, sick or disabled relative more than a decade earlier than men, a report concludes. Research by Sheffield and Birmingham universities shows half of women will care by the age of 46, compared with half of men, for whom the age is 57. The research suggests two-thirds of UK adults can expect to become an unpaid carer during their lifetimes. The charity Carers UK says carers need five-to-10 days of paid care leave. For the charity's report Will I Care? - the academics

analysed data from individuals who had participated in both the British Household Panel Survey and Understanding Society social and economic study for more than 15 years between 1991 and 2018. Their findings showed 65% of adults had provided unpaid care for a loved one. Women had a 70% chance of becoming a carer and men 60%. By the time they were 46, half of women had been a carer, the researchers found, while with men, it was not until they reached the age of 57 that they had

the same 50-50 chance of being a carer. Most carers were middle-aged - almost half (46%) aged 46 to 65 - and the average person has a 50-50 chance of becoming a carer by the age of 50, according to the researchers' data. The charity is calling on the next government to commit to delivering longterm investment in social care and give carers a right to five-to-10 days of paid care leave. In November, the Department for Work and Pensions said it would rise by 1.7% from April 2020.

The president of Oxford Union has resigned over a row involving a blind student who was "violently" removed from a society debate. Ebenezer Azamati was "accosted" by a security guard when he tried to return to a seat he had earlier reserved before the discussion on 17 October. On Saturday, he was cleared of any wrongdoing. President of the society Brendan McGrath apologised for his "mistakes" and resigned. Postgraduate student Mr Azamati, from Ghana, said his treatment made him feel "unwelcome in the union, Oxford and even the country". After the charges against Mr Azamati were successfully appealed, Mr McGrath apologised to the Africa Society "for the distress and any reputational damage" to the student. Helen Mountfield QC, representing Mr Azamati, had said there were ongo-

present to bring the ing talks with the disciplinary complaint union over what against him on behalf steps it could take of a staff member but to address the "failadded he "should have ings" exposed by recognised a wider the case. obligation". In a letter to "The right the standing committee, posted on Ebenezer Azamati response would not have begun with prosOxford Union's ecution and apportioning Facebook page, Mr blame; it would have McGrath said: "For all my addressed immediately the shortcomings, and all of my mistakes, I apologise proextreme distress of all involved," he continued. Before signing his resignation, he added he had proposed "a full, public and independent review" of the union's policies in relation to disability, how it trains its staff and whether the current security system fusely and unqualifiedly." "is fit for the purpose of a He said managing the student society". Oxford University preresponse to Mr Azamati's viously tweeted its support eviction from the debate for Mr Azamati, and said it had been "the most difficult shared "the widespread thing I've ever been charged with". outrage regarding the Mr McGrath said he unacceptable treatment" of had been asked by those the student.

British orphans returned to UK A group of orphaned British children caught up in the war in Syria have returned to the UK. The children, who are all from one family, are the first to be repatriated from the area of Syria once controlled by the Islamic State (IS) group. The Foreign Office was asked by the High Court to help them return. The court heard they arrived in London on Friday and were in good spirits, having met with members of their family who they had

breakfast with. They were brought back to the UK at the request of relatives after they were made wards of court meaning they were placed under supervision and protection of the High Court. The judge said it had been a complex and difficult operation. Mr Justice Keehan said the children had now gone to their family homes where they appeared settled and as happy as possible in difficult circumstances. Their return comes after

pressure on the government - and with calls from aid agencies for all British children who survived the fall of IS to be returned to the UK. On Thursday, Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab said the "innocent" children should "never have been subjected to the horrors of war". The fate of foreign IS fighters and other foreigners caught up in the conflict has been a key issue since the defeat of the extremist group was declared in March 2019.

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12 MEDIA WATCH

AsianVoiceNews

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30 Nov - 6 Dec 2019

SCRUTATOR’S The Times of India (November 24) described the fast paced events in Maharashtra politics as ‘a surgical strike,’ but with country transfixed by pink ball Test match in Kolkata between India and Bangladesh, the more appropriate metaphor would surely be the legspin bowler’s skilfully crafted ‘googly’ bamboozling the unsuspecting contenders for power, the Congress Party, Sharad Pawar’s Nationalist Congress and Shiv Sena supremo Uddhav Thackeray, all of whom played down the wrong line and saw their castles in the air adrift, bails airborne in different directions.

exchange reserves rose to a new high of $441 billion, and rising. Consumer confidence has risen in November by 2.9 per cent, according to a report by Thomson Reuters, reversing the decline (Statesman November 18, 24). Flipkart, Amazon surge in festive season India’s two top web retailers Flipkart and Amazon clocked as combined Rs 31,000 crore [$4.3 billion] during the recent 15- day festive season in October, according to a report by Red/Seer Consulting. The average value of orders for Flipkart was Rs 1,976 crore to Amazon’s Rs 1,461 crore in sales (Economic Times November 18). Growth potential rapid, says Bill Gates

(From left) Congress interim chief Sonia Gandhi, BJP leader Devendra Fadnavis, Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray and NCP president Sharad Pawar

‘Foul,’ screamed enraged Congress courtier Ahmed Patel, with his Sultana Sonia Gandhi’s portrait on the wall grimly looking on. ‘Democracy violated,’ spluttered Patel and Communist leader Sitaram Yechury. Patel holds his privileged position in the inner counsels of his party on the Gandhi writ and nothing more. Yechury’s Communist Party, during its 34-year rule in West Bengal, rigged every State Assembly election, while its Left Front associates looted the State exchequer. Better to shut up and take a vow of silence.

Minister at the time, with a massive parliamentary majority, passed a retrospective amendment to the Constitution, enabling his government to quash the Supreme Court judgement and disqualify Shah Bano’s increased alimony. The outrage across India was deep and lasting and it signalled the precipitous decline of Congress. The sharia law for divorced Muslim women was subsequently brought to attention of the Supreme Court by divorced Muslim wives and mothers in distress. The court judged in their favour, deemed the practice illegal under the Indian Constitution.

Microsoft founder Bill Gates – the world’s richest man - in an interview with a reporter in New Delhi bubbled with optimism over India’s economic growth prospects. He said he wasn’t able to comment on its short-term performance, but was confident it had the potential to grow rapidly in the medium and long term. He was upbeat on the transformational impact of initiatives such the Aadhar card, mass vaccination to eliminate small pox and polio improved sanitation. As a philanthropist, Bill Gates was particularly impressed by Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar’s programmes for social and economic uplift over the past two decades. (Statesman November 18). Curtains for Anil Ambani

Muslim board shenanigans The Muslim Sharia law board announced its decision to appeal for a review of the Supreme Court of India’s judgement on the Ayodhya Babri Mosque case. The Indian Constitution and India’s laws are grounded in modern democratic norms and values. This system and the country’s national institutions take precedence over any other. Decades ago, the a divorced Muslim woman, Shah Bano by name, appealed to the Supreme Court against the pittance alimony given to her by her exhusband, a prosperous lawyer, who did so on the basis of Muslim Sharia [Personal] law. The Supreme Court verdict went in favour of the appellant, whereupon Rajiv Gandhi, Prime

The Sunni Board [the majority of IIndian Muslims are Sunni] has voted against lodging an appeal for review of the Ayodhya verdict. Good sense prevailed (Statesman, Times of India, Hindu November 19).

Chief Justice Sharad Arvind Bobde has sworn in as the 17th Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of India. He was on the bench which gave the verdict on the recent Ayodhya Babri Mosque case. The oath of office in English was administered by President Ram Nath Kovind. Justice Bode succeeds Ranjan Gogoi (Hindu November 15). India still fastest growing economy Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman told Parliament that despite deceleration, India was still the world’s fastest growing large economy. The 15 per cent corporate tax rate for new domestic manufacturing companies was the lowest in the world. Meanwhile, India’s foreign

India’s Air Marshal Shera has called for setting up of more aeronautics engineering institutions for maintenance and repairs and overhauling of civil and military aviation. The number of military aircraft is set to reach 2,000 from the present 1,400, opening up opportunities for medium sized and small enterprises to repair and overhaul aircraft. The process will undergo significant expansion over the next 20 years and preparations and planning should start right now (Statesman November 16). Intelligence agencies in data sharing facility The National Intelligence Grid is to become fully operational by December 2020, with one phase ready by March next year. This will enable multiple security and intelligence agencies to access a database immigration entry and exit, banking and telephone details among others from a common platform, NATGRID. In short, it the goal is collation of scattered pieces of information into a coherent picture available on a secure and larger platform. Minister of State G. Kishen Reddy informed the Lok Sabha [Lower House of Parliament] that NATGRID would be exempted from the Right to Information (Hindu November 20).

India will be the most important country for Australia in 20 years, according to the Australian Consul General in Kolkata, Andrew Ford, inaugurating a two-day International Workshop at the Indian Statistical Institute on Machine Learning and its Application to Pattern Recognition. (Statesman November 15).

Sunni Board

Justice Bobde new Sharad Bobde new

More aeronautics institutions needed

India prime power for Australia in 20 years

Backstairs Intrigue That the BJP intrigued, splitting the Nationalist Congress by enticing Ajit Pawar to ditch his uncle Sharad for the role of deputy to BJP Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis. Certainly smells, but not nearly as much as the stink trailed by the Opposition licking their wounds, self esteem badly punctured, deflated egos adrift in a moral void.

the rally. Veteran Dalal Street brokers say that a strong banking and financial sector can be the platform for an early economic recovery (Statesman November 21).

Anil Ambani

India, Singapore, Thai naval drill

Singapore with India’s Defence Minister Rajnath Singh (Statesman November 21). US naval guns to India The Trump administration has approved the supply 13 MK 45 naval guns and related equipment to India worth $.1.0210 billion. The Pentagon’s Defense Security Cooperation Agency delivered the required certification notifying Congress as per the Foreign Military Sale. This enhances the capability of the Indian Navy to counter any threat from an enemy of significance (Times of India November 21) . Indira Gandhi’s birth anniversary In the hurly burly of Indian politics, the birth anniversary of Indira Gandhi [November 19, 1917] reved no mention in Indian media, transfixed by backroom wheeling and dealing and dealing and party politicking. Mrs Gandhi was drafted in as prime minister in 1966 by veteran Congress managers in the belief that she would be a doll easy to manipulate. It turned out to be a serious miscalculation. After an uncertain start, Indira Gandhi grew in confidence and in stature, her finest hour undoubtedly the war with the Pakistan military government over its genocide in largely Muslim-populated, Bengali-speaking East Pakistan. The Pakistan military junta, backed to the hilt by the NixonKissinger administration in Washington and its then de facto ally, Maoist China in Beijing. Indira Gandhi’s iron resolve and her astute statecraft prevailed. With the Soviet Union holding the ring, forestalling US or Chinese intervention, the Pakistan military were routed in less than a fortnight in December 1971, with East Pakistan transformed into a sovereign Bangladesh. The consequences of India’s victory were far-reaching, a regional game changer, for sure. During a visit to Dhaka current Prime Minister Narendra paid fulsome tribute tribute to the role of Atal Bihari Vajpayee – gaffe that played badly with his hosts, for whom Mrs Gandhi remains supreme in their affections. Tinkering with history rarely pays off. Economy

Anil Ambani, younger brother of Mukesh Ambani, Chairman and Managing Director of the hugely successful Reliance Industries Ltd, has exited as board chairman of his own company Reliance Communications with four others as the company has gone bankrupy (Hindu Novem).

Building on the experience of the trilateral naval exercise in the Andaman Sea, India, Singapore and Thailand have agreed to conduct annual maritime drills. Their goal is to secure the safety of the Indo-Pacific sea routes for commercial traffic.

Upbeat Dalal Street

Deepening defence ties

Whatever doomsayers prefer to describe as an Indian economic slowdown, Mumbai’s Dalal Street is upbeat. Market leader Reliance Industries Ltd (RIL) surged to a new record high touching Rs 1,572.40 on BSE in early deals when its market capital crossed Rs 9.9 lakh crore. Heavyweights such as Tata Consultancy Services (TCS), Larsen & Toubro, IndusInd Bank, Bharti Airtel, Maruti Suzuki, also contributed significantly to

‘Our defence ties have grown from strength to strength ...We appreciate India’s continued support for [Singapore’s] training in India. We talked about security challenges in the region, the IndoPacific area and South East Asia. I would say that we concluded the dialogue very successfully and affirmed our commitment to deepen our defence,cooperation,’ said Singapore Defence Minister Dr Ng Hen , following his talks in

Mrs Gandhi’s stewardship of the Indian economy was largely negative. The proliferating, leaden bureaucracy resulted in a suffocating licence and permit raj and poor growth. However, her aid and encouragement to Indian scientists and science were noteworthy, and hence a valued legacy. Emergency Indira Gandhi’s Emergency was seriously ill-judged and flawed. What is commonly overlooked were the roles of the sainted Jayaprakash Narayan’s election campaign call to the Army and Police to rise against the government; and his colleague George Fernandes sabotage operations of India’s rail network.


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AsianVoiceNews

UK

AsianVoiceNewsweekly

13

30 Nov - 6 Dec 2019

Dr Hasmukh Shah honoured by the Royal College of General Practitioners, Wales

Gujarati origin, Dr Hasmukh Shah is a leading GP from South Wales and has been honoured with the Membership Under Ordinance Award by RCGP Wales at the Gala Awards 2019 held at the Exchange Hotel, Cardiff on 14 November 2019. The honour from the RCGP, the professional body that represents 2000 General Practitioners across Wales, recognises Doctors who have made a significant contribution to Primary Care. Dr Shah was congratulated by the President of the

Royal College of General Practitioners UK, Professor Mayur Lakhani CBE, the Health Minister of Wales, Vaughan Gething AM and by his fellow GPs for receiving this rare honour. In June 2018, Dr Shah received the British Empire Medal (BEM) from the Queen on her Birthday Honour's List. He is also the Secretary of the British Association of Physicians of Indian Doctors in Wales. In September 2018, Dr Shah received a Lifetime Achievement Award by Asian Voice at the Grosvenor Hotel, London

during the 18th Asian Achiever's Award's Ceremony and in July 2018, was also presented with a NHS 70 badge for his long standing service to the NHS at 10 Downing Street by the then Prime Minister Theresa May. Another achievement for Dr Shah was when he was awarded the Visiting Fellowship by the University of South Wales in 2017 which was in recognition of his long standing contributions to the Medical Professional, Medical Education and charitable work to the people of Wales.

Man in Islamic dress tells Asian Tory campaigner to 'go back to a white f***ing country' as he campaings in east London A British Asian Tory activist has been left shaken after he was subjected to a four-minute foulmouthed rant by a screeching man in Islamic dress who told him to 'go back to a white f***ing country'. Has Ahmed, 23, was canvassing for the party in Redbridge, north east London, on Sunday ahead of next month's crunch election when he was suddenly harangued by a furious member of the public. Stalking the grassroots campaigner along the road, the unknown aggressor spat out a slew of insults, branding his target 'sick in the head'. Speaking to MailOnline, Mr Ahmed said he was both terrified by the unprovoked verbal onslaught and saddened that he received such racist abuse. The tech analyst from Stratford, who moved from Islamabad, Pakistan, 10 years ago, said: 'I was walking towards the station through town when the man saw my rosette and asked if I was a Conservative. 'When I said yes, he said 'aren't you ashamed?', and I just asked 'why would you say that?'. 'He then got much louder and aggressive so I just walked away. There were other people about, but nobody interfered. It was really quite scary.

'One man took his headphones off to see what was happening, but when he saw my rosette he just put them back on and carried on walking. Mr Ahmed, who is also Muslim, said that the man followed him for three to four minutes, during which time he was branded a 'coconut' - a racial slur

Uber stripped of licence to operate in London by TfL Transport for London has stripped Uber of its licence to operate in London. TfL ruled the ride-hailing app does not meet the "fit and proper" requirements for private hire operators and so is not extending its licence beyond midnight tonight. A spokesman for the transport body said "several breaches that placed passengers and their safety at risk" were identified. Uber said the decision was "extraordinary and wrong" and vowed to appeal. It will be allowed to continue operating in the months before a court hearing. TfL said it was compelled to act after uncovering a “pattern of failures by the company, including several breaches that placed passengers and their safety at risk”. Inspectors discovered that at least 14,000 journeys were undertaken by drivers using another Uber account by exploiting “vulnerabilities” in the company’s app. At least 43 drivers were found to have uploaded their photos onto another Uber driver account, meaning that all the journeys were uninsured. TfL also found that at least six

drivers who had been suspended or dismissed by Uber had been able to create new accounts to continue working. TfL said this “compromised passenger safety and security”. The loophole that enabled drivers to swap photos has been closed but TfL is said to be concerned the app is not watertight and was “comparatively easily manipulated”. The scale of Uber’s operation and number of updates to the app have created concerns about future breaches of security. Uber has 21 days to lodge an appeal. It is the latest development in a two-year battle between TfL and the company over its operation in the capital. TfL had refused to give Uber a five year licence in September 2017 due to safety and security concerns. But in June 2018 a

judge granted it a 15-month licence. I n September this year TfL gave the company a two-month extension to its licence. Of the 43 drivers found to have swapped photos, 41 were licensed Uber drivers. But TfL said the act of switching identities made the drivers “not fit and proper persons”. Uber said Monday it had audited every driver in London in the past two months and would shortly introduce a “facial matching” system. Responding to TfL's decision Jamie Heywood, Regional General Manager for Northern & Eastern Europe, said: “TfL’s decision not to renew Uber’s licence in London is extraordinary and wrong, and we will appeal. “On behalf of the 3.5 million riders and 45,000 licensed drivers who depend on Uber in London, we will continue to operate as normal and will do everything we can to work with TfL to resolve this situation.”

accusing someone of betraying their ethnicity. He added: 'I was really nervous, I was so scared until the moment I got home and locked my doors. I was shaken, I switched my phone off and just sat there.' The aspiring MP told MailOnline that he decided to film the man in the hope he would go away.

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UK Sikh delegates visit India to mark 550th Birth Anniversary of Guru Nanak Dev ji

BAPS Charities Awarded ‘Community Project of the Year’ from Brent Council

The cultural wing of India's Ministry of External Affairs, alongside Indian Council of Cultural Relations (ICCR) organised a visit to three Sikh Takhts and a seminar on the teachings of the founder of Sikhism in New Delhi. About 40 international Sikh youth and representatives from 12 countries including the UK and 20 young people from India participated in the seminar that focused on teachings of Guru Nanak Dev Ji. Councillor Charan Sekhon, Chairman of SEVA Trust UK, Councillor Gurjit Kaur Bains, Connect with Yours Roots, Coordinator Vinny Singh Khera and CEO of Kent Equality Cohesion Council Gurvinder Sandher were among the UK delegates at this seminar. After the seminar, the delegates visited the Rashtrapati Bhawan and met with the President of India Ram Nath Kovind. It was followed by a visit to the three Sikh TakhtsPatna Sahib in Patna (Bihar), Golden Temple in Amritsar (Punjab) and Hazur Saheb in Nanded (Maharashtra). The closing

All the delegates with the President of India

session of the seminar was held in New Delhi and was led by Mr Hardeep Singh Puri, Cabinet Minster in Indian Govt. “It was a great initiative by the Indian Government and the High Commission of India, London to enable all of us to be part of this spiritual and learning experience through a shared global platform. All representatives are really active in their own countries

through voluntary, community activities and Seva and some of the participants never visited India before.” said Cllr Charan Sekhon who heads SEVA Trust UK, an international NGO working in the UK and India on Education, Health and Environment. The seminar was inaugurated by ICCR president and Rajya Sabha MP Vinay Sahasrabuddhe, Padma Shri Sant Balbir Singh Seechewal

and ICCR Director General Akhilesh Mishra. Member of the National Commission for Minorities Manjit Singh Rai, Lt General PJS Pannu, President of Rashtriya Sikh Sangat Mr GS Gill, Kamal Soi, Member of the National Road Safety Council, Sukhpreet Kaur, Dr Surjit Kaur Jolly and Namrata Kumar, Deputy Director ICCRE were among the moderators and speakers at the seminar.

Manchester celebrates Mahatma's lineage, unveils his bronze statue outside Cathedral On Monday 25th November, a bronze statue of the iconic spiritual leader Mahatma Gandhi was unveiled outside Manchester Cathedral in commemoration of his 150th birth anniversary. Members attending the event included Andy Burnham, Mayor of Greater Manchester, Sir Richard Leese, Leader, Manchester City Council, the Right Reverend Dr David Walker, Bishop of Manchester and Gurudevshri Rakeshbhai, Founder, Shrimad Rajchandra Mission Dharampur (SRMD). Gandhi, who has been praised by the whole world as a messenger of non-violence, will ever remain indebted to the teachings of Shrimadji. Thus, this initiative was undertaken by Shrimad Rajchandra Mission Dharampur during Gandhi’s 150th Birth Anniversary Year. The costs to install the 9ft high, 800kg statue, by renowned Indian artist Ram V. Sutar, in the city’s Medieval Quarter were sponsored by the Kamani Family in memory of their grandfather Bhanji Khanji Kamani (1888-1979). Ram V. Sutar is the man who has designed Statue of Unity,

On 21st November, Thursday, BAPS Charities was presented with the ‘Community Project of the Year’ award by Brent Council in recognition for its community cardiovascular screening programmes. These programmes are organised by the healthcare team. The event was attended by Cllr Ernest Ezeajughi, the Mayor of Brent, Carolyn Downs, Chief Executive of Brent Council, and Cllr Muhammed Butt, Leader of Brent Council. BAPS Charities has partnered with members of the lipid screening team at The Royal Free Hospital NHS Trust to offer community cardiovascular screening sessions for the past 10 years, many of which have taken place at BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir, in Neasden. These sessions aim to detect early signs of high

blood pressure, diabetes, obesity, kidney disease and high cholesterol levels. The clinic also fosters early detection among those at high risk of developing heart disease and provides guidance on lifestyle changes to prevent them. Yogesh Khatri, a BAPS volunteer said, “We are incredibly honoured and humbled to receive this award. More than 20 volunteers have dedicated themselves to this community project and work tremendously hard to make it a success and make a positive difference to so many lives.” The award is part of the ‘Pride of Brent Awards’ which “celebrate those selfless individuals, community groups and local businesses who contribute so much to the borough and who have gone the extra mile to make Brent a better place to live and work in 2019.”

Universal Children’s Day celebrated by Sanskruti

world’s tallest sculpture. The project is supported by Manchester Cathedral, Manchester City Council, the Manchester India Partnership and the High Commission of India. This will be one of world’s tallest statue outside of India. “The statue of Gandhi will celebrate the universal power of his message. A statue in Manchester will ensure that the heart of our politics and democracy can all be inspired with his ethos. Mahatma Gandhi’s teachings remain as potent today as when he first said,

‘be the change that you want to see in the world’, Following the 2017 Arena attack, Manchester’s unique civic pride displayed the values of non-violence and compassion,” said a spokesperson from SRMD UK. “This statue of Mahatma Gandhi, a leader who tirelessly championed the power of peaceful protest, will find a welcome home in Manchester,” said Sir Richard Leese, Leader of Manchester City Council. National planning and

development consultancy Turley provided expert planning, design and heritage services for the Mahatma Gandhi statue. During a 1931 visit to the UK, Gandhi visited the textile mills in Lancashire, travelling from London to Blackburn via Manchester, to meet with mill workers and explain the Indian perspective on the boycott of British goods that was damaging their Cottage industry. During this visit, Gandhi attracted large crowds of admirers and received a warm welcome.

Sanskruti Centre for Cultural Excellence recently celebrated the Universal Children’s Day with about 30 children from London and beyond in the age bracket of 5 to 12. This event had performances across the board including songs, classical and folk dances, keyboard and guitar instrumentals, shloka and poetry recitation among others. Appreciation certificates were awarded to all the participants by acclaimed life-coach Dr Vishwanath Kokkonda. In

his brief address to the audiences, he underpinned the key role of the performing arts on the personality development of children. Ragasudha Vinjamuri has expressed that learning and practising arts keep the young rooted in their culture and thanked the parents for encouraging the kids to learn the heritage and cultural aspects. The event was hosted in aid of Save the Children to raise awareness of their work with children.


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Rahemur Rahman British-Bangladeshi Design research into textiles at the time. “I was 28 years old when I finally visited Bangladesh!” Rahemur has since collaborated with Bangladeshi fair-trade organisation, Aranya, to provide authentic and well-paid labour for his fashions. This meant working with independent artisans in East Bengal to really honour the value of their handicrafts. “Such trade established South Asia in the eyes of the West. The British wanted the subcontinent’s incredible skills, spices and fabrics, and it’s sad to think we’ve lost that colourful partnership somewhat.” Many of Rahemur’s designs then also contain the block hues of old industrial Bangladesh, reviving the beautiful aspect of a history gone. Indeed, his whimsical clothing wonders are at once confrontational. “That part of the world is full of such a mish mash of influences,” he continued. “It’s weird, but so original and fascinating.” Rahemur talks not only about the urban Bengal Delta and rural Sylhet Division communities that constitute Bangladesh, nor just the many religions and local cultures that are India, Pakistan and Bangladesh altogether, but also the imitable legacy of the Diaspora now spread across the globe. “South Asians are inherently a myriad of different reference points. When you look at Caucasian people you know exactly what generation, country and era they are from. When I look at pic-

sible. Some pieces even evoke pop cultural ideas of boyhood such as the Karate Kid while retaining a South Asian street lens. It’s that heritage of bizarre miscellanea being passionately continued. Here, Rahemur touched on another important affirmative part of his work: changing the perception of minority tradition as lowly or somehow eternally impoverished. “The V&A have such a brilliant archive of South Asian textiles – outlines, prints and colours - over the centuries that show the high value in the tradition. They cover the time before, during and after Indian partition. A lot of my initial concept comes from having witnessed this rich, amazing exhibit. Everyone should see it.” The post-colonial pride pulsing, there is also an expansive international sensibility to Rahemur’s pieces. “It seems wrong that people from such a wide variety of vibrant backgrounds can’t even afford to go back to their homes to visit. Coming from a working class immigrant family, my mother has not been back to Bangladesh to this day.” Economically as well as socially boosting representation then, Rahemur’s fashion ultimately lands politically. He aptly concluded: “my advice to anyone who wants to make a strong creative statement is to be sure of their story. Don’t talk about identity just for the sake of it. What’s the purpose? Don’t just make noise.” A rare

tures of my family, I see Nineties chip The designer creates clothing shops with Eighties haircuts, puffer chiefly for men, embracing South Asian jackets worn with saris and Nike trainfemininity with a nuanced Bangladeshi ers! I love that.” spin, or should we boldly say, sashay. Rahemur speaks to a young multi“Men have curves too,” Rahman comcultural movement that is reconstitutmented, “we’re just used to attributing ing itself, redressing the painful narrathis to women. I love to use the lines of tive of a once marginalised space as my clothing to soften the otherwise they occupy a more equal millennial masculine cuts on traditional designs. standing. “It’s amazing – people are Tailoring can be very sharp on men – actively reclaiming their backgrounds. boxing them into their figures. I love to You go online and see more confiopen out my fashion. Additionally, dence. It’s not the norm to self-crimen’s waists can be very dainty in tique or parody your differcomparison to their hips and ences anymore. Youth shoulders.” Indeed, today are proud of where Rahemur’s diverse range “My clothing they’re from.” This celeof male models perfectly bration of ethnic oddiembodies the expressive softens the ty manifests in the spectrum of male perotherwise uncanny poignancy sonalities sewn into the masculine cut on that also emanates fabric of his high fashfrom the designer’s ion pieces. “I base a lot of traditional brand. What might have the items on my own designs” once been considered garwardrobe which consists of ish or too ‘out there’ can be both women’s and men’s wear flaunted in the open. It’s the – a feel an affinity with both perlandmark closing of a generational cirsonas.” As well as utterly breaking the cle as reflected through the central mould of gender, Rahemur also pleasshape in the artistic line up of ingly subverts the subjective expectaRahemur’s fashion spread in Vogue. tion of minority culture through his This holistic acceptance is further idiosyncratic contemporary style. reflected in the fundamental vision of “My brand was put together during Rahemur’s couture, who does not usua very turbulent family time,” he told ally design single garments. “I enjoy us. “I was inspired by old family phoputting together the whole attire from tographs, which led to wider explohead to toe. I always see the full prodration of my South Asian heritage. I ucts.” This might be a loose pale pink basically relearned what it was to be wrap-coat worn over matching Bangladeshi.” The sparky designer trousers. Or simple patterned robes decided it was important to return to that look as if they are stately yet acceshis home country as part of his

blend of direct yet discerning, Rahemur not only draws attention to the merit of sovereign culture, but also its freeing philosophy: a set of exciting guidelines that are always subject to change. Much like the designer’s approach to his trade, the measurements refreshingly vary from one body shape to the next: “Rules of thumb are not rigid.”

Rahemur Rahman

Sunetra Senior ou can tell Rahemur is the creator of playful and punchy postmodern designs. He is explicitly humorous and serious about his bright, eye-catching collections at the same time. Currently boasting a 2020 spring collection in none other than Vogue magazine, the young BritishBangladeshi designer recently launched his brand at the prestigious Somerset House at the start of 2019.

Y

Having the grand opening at a particularly arty venue is also fitting since Rahemur’s work is as deep as it is striking. His use of contrasting pastel colours, Eastern and Western styles, and traditional elliptical shapes radiate the underlying emotive motivation of reconciled modern identity. ***

UK

TLIGHT

What grabs you most about fashion? The moment you fall in love with a garment – it’s such a personal, instant connection. What personally inspired you to go into fashion? It was always there in my unconscious. South Asian culture is so full of vivid clothing and meaning. However, I did not turn to fashion professionally until after I completed my university degree. I certainly felt pressured to go into a traditional masculine discipline such as architecture or graphic design. Finally, do you have any more advice for those wanting to launch their own brand? Take your time, and do what you can to your best ability. Also, research what you do choose to do. That’s so important. It helps you tighten the message you are giving to the world too. W: https://www.rahemurrahman.com T: @RahemurRahman

15

30 Nov - 6 Dec 2019

BRITISH INDIAN COMMUNITY WELCOMES PUNJAB CHIEF MINISTER, CAPT. AMARINDER SINGH TO BIRMINGHAM

On November 24, a programme was curated by the Birmingham based South Asian Arts and Heritage Organization – SAMPAD, amidst soulful melodies rendered by renowned Punjabi Sufi singer, Padma Shri Hans Raj Hans, and eminent citizens enthusiastically extended a warm welcome to the visiting Chief Guest, Hon’ble Chief Minister of Punjab, Capt. Amarinder Singh. The event at Town Hall on Sunday evening was all the more significant since it was in these very premises a similar programme was held 50 years ago, in 1969, to commemorate the 500th Birth Anniversary of Sri Guru Nanak Dev ji. One of the highlights of the event was a rare video clip comprising of archival footages showing recordings of the 50 years old function, held in the same premises of Town Hall of Birmingham in 1969 during the celebrations of the 500th Birth Anniversary of Sri Guru Nanak Dev Ji. The Hon’ble Chief Minister was handed over a token of appreciation by the British-Indian community- a specially commissioned oil painting, an artistic impression of the recently operationalized Kartarpur Corridor High Commissioner congratulated Capt. Amarinder Singh for his great leadership and for all the progressive work that has taken place in Punjab, as part of the 550th Anniversary celebrations, with such efficiency. Commenting on the timely completion of the recently operationalized Kartarpur Corridor she said that “...it was developed in no time at all”. She added that Sultanpur Lodhi, the historic town, was developed into a heritage town under the guidance and leadership of the Hon'ble Chief Minister. Whilst Speaking on the occasion on behalf of Her Majesty's Government, Mr. Gareth Bayley, Director for South Asia and Afghanistan in Foreign and Commonwealth Office, conveyed a message of friendship, peace and partnership. Another highlight of the programme was the recounting of actual experiences of a recent visit to India by young adults of Punjabi origin from Britain. It may be recalled that the Punjab government has launched a programme called ‘Connect with Your Roots’ [CYR], under which young boys and girls of Punjabi origin settled abroad who have never visited India are able to visit the places in Punjab, from where their families hailed or where their ancestors were born. Three of the young adults, who were introduced to the audience by Mr. V.S. Khera, the UK Coordinator of CYR, spoke of their successful visit to Punjab, and how it has influenced their lives.

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18 FINANCE - UK 30 Nov - 6 Dec 2019

Consultant Editor Financial Voice Alpesh Patel Dear Financial Voice Reader, So my readers can keep in touch with the stocks I like, I have a free appthey can upload to their cellphone or desktop; it's free via this app on Telegram: https://t.me/pipspredator I gave a talk at King's College, London ThinkTank on the global macro economy and I was bullish. Here is why: The US markets are hitting all time highs. Despite all the negative global news. That's not because they misjudge the news. No one is that stupid, even people in finance. Of course, FTSE is a worry - sideways. Hard Brexit would be a fall in the Pound, so the index rising, and a soft Brexit leading to a relief rally. So again, my senses tell me to be bullish. As for the Americans - sure with impeachment, and everything else we should be seeing a sharp fall. But I am following the trend and the Dow isup and up and up. For US and UK - here are my highest ranking stocks. There are more in the UK, I suspect because of Brexit - ie it's overlooked! Stocks like BP, Rolls Royce, Tullow, WPP, Persimmon, Bellway, IMI, Rightmove. And in the US, the ones I like for a 12 month outlook based on their valuations and growth of sales: AES, Arconic, HCA, Merck, Broadcom. But I know you think it is the longest economic expansion for years, but I am not worried about it running out of steam because the growth has been slow. And as UBS, the bank, told it's wealthiest clients, if there is a trade deal and a co-ordinated stimulus then you can expect even more rises. The most probably outcome is a limited deal and government spending - that would be some rise in stocks. Sterling has been rallying since the past month and I expect that to continue, despite the election. You may think things cannot be this good, after all, trade wars, slowing China and India slowing, tariff wars, Brexit, UK and US election uncertainty. But actually, things are looking up in terms of stocks. But not all. Of course. De La Rue is facing trouble as are many other companies. So as ever it is a 'stock pickers' market. That is you need to be careful to focus on the ones which are winning.

UK retailers see spike in sales, positive for Christmas British retailers saw a stronger-than-expected improvement in sales in November and are more upbeat about the forthcoming month, which includes the key Christmas season, an industry survey showed. Britain’s consumers have helped the economy through the Brexit crisis with their spending, but there have been some signs recently that shoppers are turning more cautious. The Confederation of British Industry said its monthly index of reported sales rose to -3 in November from October’s -10, higher than all forecasts and the strongest reading since April. The survey also showed a positive net balance of +21 among retailers when asked about sales expectations for December, up from +1 in a similar question last month which was the first positive

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Ola expands services to new UK cities Ride-hailing giant Ola launched its services in Coventry and Warwick, the eighth and ninth cities in the UK. The services were launched after local councils granted the company with both taxi and private hire licenses. The Indian ride-hailing service has been on an expansion spree and is tapping into new markets like the UK and Australia. Now, it has expanded its service to two more cities in the United Kingdom, bringing its total availability to nine cities in the country. “We are thrilled to expand our service to Coventry and Warwick, having launched in Birmingham earlier this year,” Alok Pandya, Ola’s

Regional Manager for the West Midlands, Coventry and Warwick, said in a statement. “We feel immensely proud that our drivers have already provided over one million rides across the UK.” Passengers have taken more than one million rides across the UK through Ola's

ride-hailing app, since the company launched in Cardiff in August 2018, according to the company. The new services go live after the company expanded its operations by launching in South West England. Ola is tapping into western markets as rival Uber faces operational and political

trouble in these markets. Apart from the UK, Ola has also expanded to Australia and the New Zealand. Ola’s expansion into western market comes amidst its fundraising from venture capitalists. Flipkart co-founder Sachin Bansal invested in two separate rounds in the ride-sharing service. According to CrunchBase, it has raised a total of $3.8 billion in funding over 24 rounds. The latest funding was raised on September 23, 2019 in the form of a Series J round. Ola has also acquired Pikup.ai, an AI-based startup from Bengaluru. The company is also looking to expand its bike service to 150 India cities this year and has plans to invest $500 million in self-driving car service.

Britain’s car makers fear the wheels are coming off The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders is due to release numbers this week on car, commercial vehicle and engine manufacturing – figures that so far this year have been showing a reverse trend. At its last outing, the SMMT said that UK car production had fallen by a “bitterly disappointing” 3.8% during September, adding to a turbulent year-to-date in which political and economic turmoil, softness in key markets and operational changes have been blamed for a 15.6% slump. Unsurprisingly, the SMMT’s chief, Mike Hawes, warned that the industry was most worried about “the continued threat of a no-deal Brexit”, which is said to have caused “international investment to stall” and cost hun-

dreds of millions of pounds, “money that would have better been spent in meeting the technological challenges facing the global industry.” Hawes’s comments dovetail with a different announcement from earlier this month, when Tesla’s chief executive, Elon Musk, said that the electric carmaker would be building its first major European factory on

the outskirts of Berlin. “Brexit made it too risky to put a Gigafactory in the UK,” the entrepreneur said. “[Boris] Johnson’s super-hard Brexit plan would see new trade barriers with our European partners,” wrote Lib Dem deputy leader Ed Davey. “This will drive down already stagnant business investment … We must take seriously Musk’s announce-

ment.” If he could be persuaded to comment on Tesla, Johnson would surely say the uncertainty will disappear as soon as we Get Brexit Done. But Musk’s decision still seems like a missed opportunity, as he’s previously expressed an admiration for UK manufacturing. “We have a lot of respect for the British automotive engineering talent,” the billionaire said in 2016. “Just look at Formula One – it amazes me how much British talent there is in that. We are likely to establish a Tesla engineering group in Britain at some point in the future.” That remains a startling comment, as Musk rarely admits that anyone else might know better. Unlike the makers of Aquafresh.

TSB to shut down 86 branches with loss of up to 400 jobs reading since June. “Retailers are entering the festive season with a bit of hope that sales will head up, with the strongest expectations in half a year,” CBI economist Anna Leach said. A quarterly measure of the business situation for retailers rose to +4 from -25 in August. The survey was conducted between Oct. 28 and Nov. 13 and was based on replies from 52 retail chains.

TSB, which was dubbed the Totally Shambolic Bank last year after a huge technology failure, plans to close 86 branches, risking up to 400 jobs over the course of next year, as the new chief executive, Debbie Crosbie, seeks to slash costs and move on from the computer meltdown that has dented the high street lender’s reputation. The bank announced that it aims to save £100m by 2022 from the cuts, which would reduce its high-street branch network to 454. The costs of redundancy and other restructuring expenses would amount to £180m by 2022, TSB said. It also announced

£120m in new investment in its digital channels over next three years. Announcing the new strategy, Crosbie said: “The plan we’re sharing today involves some difficult decisions, but it sets TSB up to succeed in the future. Our new strategy positions TSB to succeed in a challenging environment at a time when we know customers want something different and better from their bank.” Crosbie was appointed to take over TSB last year, after her predecessor, Paul Pester, resigned amid intense criticism over his handling of the breakdown of the bank’s computer systems. Crosbie was previously chief

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operating officer at CYBG, the owner of the Clydesdale and Yorkshire brands that merged with Virgin Money. Thousands of customers were locked out of their accounts for weeks from April 2018 when the bank tried to switch to a new core computer platform. Compensation and other costs incurred while trying to bring the bank back online mounted to £366m. A report commissioned by TSB from law firm Slaughter and May found that executives had lacked common sense and shifted customers to a new IT platform before it had been fully tested.

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Sow & Reap London Property Investment

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REAL ESTATE VOICE

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30 Nov - 6 Dec 2019

We are in the process of refinancing an HMO purchased by a client several years ago. The property is in a premier location in Notting Hill; it is freehold. The idea was simply to purchase and resell in a short space of time. However, the market has not been favourable, therefore it was better to hold and work the asset. It is currently a 6 bedroom HMO and has the potential for another duplex room, as well as a mansard extension. This means there will be 8 rooms in total. The property has had many issues, partly due to its poor external fabric. This has damaged the inside of the property during bad weather and has impacted the rental income. However, there is a tendency to focus on the negatives of a property and lose sight of the bigger picture. There are always negatives to focus on, for example if for a period the tenant doesn’t pay rent or there are some high maintenance costs. Despite this one must not lose focus. Primarily, money on a property is made on the value of the property going up. And this is driven only by one thing, location. I have no doubt, when the market bounces back this property will start to rise, and in time yield good fruit for the investor. The issue we have is to handle the time period between now and then. If this gap is plugged in a safe manner there is great potential for this investment. Accordingly, we have identified a mortgage product which is at a rate of 1.98% fixed for 5 years. The arrangement fee is only £1,700. Many lenders, especially in the HMO professional sector, like to charge a percentage typically 1.5% or even 2%. When the value of the loan is high like this one, the fee becomes

AGONY AGENT IS HERE TO HELP!

hard to bear. In this situation a £1.2M mortgage would attract a fee of £18K to £24K. So, £1,700 is only a fraction. In addition to this the rate of 1.98% is market leading, furthermore you have the security of a fixed rate. Annually on an interest only basis this would only come to £23,760 per annum. If we can use the refinance funds to purchase a commercial property with a solid covenant at say 6% this would leave our client with an income of £36K per annum. Thereby easing the situation. What would be even better besides having an income would be if the property also has a development angle. This would then enable the majority of the loan to be repaid when the investment fructifies.

A: It is a legal requirement for all rental properties to have this conducted every 12 months, or when a new gas appliance is introduced to the rental property.

appliances and flues that have been provided for your tenants. No matter who you are or what type of property you own, you are required by law to ensure that each gas appliance in the property receives an annual safety inspection; this includes the boiler, oven, hob, fire and anything else that you have supplied in the property.

You are legally required under the Gas Safety Regulations 1998 to maintain all gas

Even if you have an agent involved in looking after your property, you should

Q: How often do I need to carry out Gas Safety inspections on my Buy to Let property?

BUY TO LET OPPORTUNITY London, SE2 Purchase Price: £237,000

A mortgage offer is usually valid for 3 months, and in some case might even be valid for 6 months. I have seen people draw this down and leave the money sitting in the bank. This is a bad move, the offer should be drawn down only when there is a deal to be executed, so you’re not paying money from your own pocket for interest whilst your money is doing nothing for you. During these 3 months a deal should be closed. Mortgage offers can usually be extended too. We are currently looking at a commercial deal which has a strong ten year covenant, which also has the potential of residential development. This would wrap around this mortgage product very well.

always request a copy of your gas safety certificate, so you know that this has been completed as good practice. It will keep you safe in the knowledge that the work has been completed. There are lots of other legal requirements, for example smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors. Please do get in touch if you would like further information.

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Modi govt plans to woo 324 foreign companies The government is planning to offer incentives to 324 companies, including Tesla Inc. and GlaxoSmithKline Plc, to set up factories in India in a bid to capitalize from the trade war between China and the US. The government proposes to provide the manufacturers land to set up a factory along with power, water and road access, according to draft of the document prepared by the Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade and Invest India. Other companies that officials will reach out to include Eli Lilly & Co., South Korea's Hanwha Chemical Corp., and Taiwan's Hon Hai Precision Industry Co. While the trade war has benefited countries such as Vietnam and Malaysia, rigid land acquisition rules and labor

laws have prompted investors to largely ignore India when looking for alternatives to China. The latest proposal may reduce red tape, and set the nation, which expanded at the slowest pace in six years last quarter, on a path to double its gross domestic product to $5 trillion by 2025 - a goal set Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Under the plan, the government will create a land bank for ready-to-move-in industrial clusters, offer investment and location-based incentives and rationalize anti-dumping duties. The proposal includes incentives for plug-in and hybrid vehicles, fuel efficiency and carbon taxation. For the electronics and telecom sector, flexible employment, manufacturing-related incentives linked to investments and value addi-

tion have been sought. The country has made progress, rising 37 spots since 2017 in the World Bank's ranking for ease of doing business, but it still comes in at 63rd, trailing not only China, but also Rwanda and Kosovo. At present, investors keen on setting up a factory need to acquire land on their own which, in some cases, involves a time consuming process of negotiating with small plot owners to part with their holding. The PMO is considering the proposal and a decision is expected soon. Asia's third-largest economy expanded 5% in the June

quarter, with slew of data pointing to weaker economic activity. Getting investment inflows and boosting exports is therefore high on economic agenda of the government. It has already slashed corporate tax rate, making it competitive with rest of Asia, and has relaxed foreign investment rules to attract fund inflows in the country.

Telecom industry gets £4.2 bn lifeline The beleaguered telecom industry was handed a £4.2 billion lifeline by the government as it announced a two-year moratorium on payment of spectrum dues by mobile operators. However, there was no relief on the £14.7 billion Adjusted Gross Revenue (AGR) demand arising from the Supreme Court's judgment on October 24. Any relief on the matter can only be given by the top court. The telcos are already in the process of filing a challenge to the judgment and can expect any aid – including an extension of the three-month payment period - if the top court feels the need for it. While the spectrum payment relief for Airtel will be £1.17 billion, Vodafone Idea will get a reprieve of £2.39 billion and Reliance Jio £667 million. Finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman said the relief had been given in view of the current financial stress faced by telecom companies. The two-year moratorium - for fiscal 2020-21 and 2021-22 - was handed out after a recommendation by a high-powered Committee of Secretaries (CoS) that was tasked with working out a solution to the financial mess of the telecom sector, Sitharaman said after the Cabinet

Banks report fraud worth £9.77 bn in 6 months: Sitharaman State-owned banks reported frauds of over £9.57 billion from April to September this year, finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman told the upper house of parliament, as the government struggles to help banks recoup losses. "Government has taken comprehensive measures to curb the incidence of fraud in banks such as freezing of 338,000 bank accounts of inoperative companies in the last two financial years and the enactment of a law with a provision to confiscate the property of those found to have committed fraud and who have fled the country,” the minister said. The government has directed public sector banks to examine all accounts exceeding £5 million, if classified as NPAs, from the angle of possible fraud. Banks are also required to place a report on the findings of investigation before the bank’s Committee for Review of NPAs. The RBI has also set up a Central Fraud Registry (CFR), based on Fraud Monitoring Returns filed by banks and select financial institutions, which provides a searchable online central database for use by banks.

approved the measure. “These deferred amounts will be equally spread over the remaining instalments to be paid by the telecom companies without any increase in the existing time period specified for making the instalment payments.” Also, the minister said that the interest - as stipulated while auctioning of the concerned spectrum - will be charged so that the NPV (net present value) of the payable amount is protected, and remains intact. “That’s not getting altered. As per the current policy, the telecom service providers will continue to securitise the next payable annual instalment by a financial bank guarantee of an amount equivalent to the instalment.” Thus, a telecom company that will opt for a two-

year deferment will need to provide the government a financial bank guarantee of the revised annual instalment amount payable for the year 2022-23. The industry welcomed the measure, but said it requires a relief on the AGR matter to take the financial burden off the mobile operators. “It’s certainly good and we are grateful to telecom minister Ravi Shankar Prasad and the DoT for pushing for the spectrum payment relief. This was one of the early requests we had made, and it will help with immediate cash-flow situation,” Rajan Mathews, Director-General of Cellular Operators Association of India (COAI), said. The two-year extension on payment of spectrum purchase instalments will immediately give telecom companies much needed cash in hand, especially Vodafone Idea and Airtel, which recently suffered deep losses. While Vodafone Idea declared a record net quarterly loss of nearly £5.1 billion for the second quarter, mainly by frontloading the AGR burden (AGR due of £5.30 billion), for Airtel the loss was £2.3 billion (£3.55 billion outstanding).

Cabinet approves sale of five state-run companies The Union cabinet approved strategic stake sale in five state-run companies, including fuel retailer BPCL, Shipping Corporation of India, power companies THDCIL and NEEPCO and logistics firm Concor, a move which will help the government raise up to £8.5 billion of much needed revenues from just the sale in the three listed entities. This is the boldest privatisation move by the Modi government and officials have said the government could also look at foreign companies to buy stakes in these companies. The cabinet approved the strategic disinvestment of the government’s shareholding of 53.29% in Bharat Petroleum Corporation Ltd (except its equity shareholding of 61.65% in Numaligarh Refinery Limited (NRL) and management control) along with transfer of management control to a strategic buyer. Finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman said Numaligarh refinery will remain a PSU. The cabinet also approved strategic disinvestment of BPCL's shareholding of 61.65% in NRL along with transfer of management control to a staterun operating in the oil and gas sector.

The Centre will also sell its 63.75% holding in Shipping Corporation of India Ltd along with transfer of management control to a strategic buyer. In Container Corporation of India Ltd, the government will sell 30.8% (out of 54.8% equity presently held by the Centre) along with transfer of management control to a strategic buyer. The Centre will sell its 74.23% holding in THDCIL along with transfer of management control to NTPC and also offload its 100% stake in North Eastern Electric Power Corporation Limited (NEEPCO) to NTPC. The cabinet committee on economic affairs, chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi also accorded 'in-principle' approval for enabling reduction of the government’s paid-up share capital below 51% in select state-run firms while retaining management control on case to case basis, taking into account the government shareholding, and the shareholding of government-controlled institution. The Centre had announced its intention to go below 51% in state-run companies in the 2019-20 budget.

in brief RCOM LENDERS REJECT RESIGNATION OF ANIL AMBANI, OTHER DIRECTORS Reliance Communications (RCom) said its lenders have rejected the resignation of chairman Anil Ambani and four other directors, and asked them to cooperate in the ongoing corporate insolvency resolution process. Ambani along with four directors - Ryna Karani, Chhaya Virani, Manjari Kacker and Suresh Rangachar - had resigned from the company earlier this month. The company is going through insolvency proceedings following an application filed by Swedish telecom gear maker Ericsson. The National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) has handed over control of the company to an insolvency resolution professional. Sources estimate that RCom Group’s total secured debt is around £3.3 billion. Lenders had submitted claims of around £4.9 billion in August.

BOB DENIES CORRUPTION CHARGES Bank of Baroda has denied allegations by a British lawmaker that the bank had facilitated corruption in South Africa under the regime of former president Jacob Zuma. British lawmaker Peter Hain last week told an inquiry panel that HSBC, Standard Chartered and Bank of Baroda were “directly culpable” in looting South Africa’s treasury under Zuma. While HSBC said that it fully supported the commission’s inquiry, Standard Chartered said there was no evidence linking it to the Guptas directly. Bank of Baroda, which had not immediately responded, said in a statement that its operations in South Africa were governed and conducted in accordance with the regulations and guidelines of the South African Reserve Bank and the RBI. “We confirm that Bank of Baroda, South Africa, has not indulged in any activity violating regulatory guidelines knowingly. The transactions were carried out in a professional and transparent manner and we are totally committed to comply with rules and regulations laid out by the governing bodies and regulators,” the bank said in a statement.

TELECOM COMPANIES TO HIKE TARIFFS Close on the heels of Vodafone Idea and Bharti Airtel announcing a tariff hike, Reliance Jio, the telecom arm of Reliance Industries, hinted that it will increase mobile phone call and data charges in the next few weeks in compliance with rules. “We understand that TRAI is likely to initiate a consultation process for revision of telecom tariffs. Like other operators, we will also work with the government and comply with the regulatory regime to strengthen the industry to benefit Indian consumers and take measures including appropriate increase in tariffs in next few weeks in a manner that does not adversely impact data consumption or growth in digital adoption and sustains investments,” Jio said in a statement.

SPICEJET PLANS JV AIRLINE IN UAE’S RAS AL KHAIMAH In a first, an Indian carrier is planning to start a JV airline abroad. SpiceJet is going to apply to launch an airline in Ras Al Khaimah (RAK), one of the seven emirates of the UAE. SpiceJet CMD Ajay Singh said his budget airlines is finalising paperwork to apply for getting the start-up airline licence in RAK, which does not have an airline of its own. RAK Airways used to be the national carrier of this emirate but the 2006-founded carrier ceased operation in January 2014. Asked if it makes business sense to start a subsidiary abroad when the parent airline itself is in losses, he said the view is long term. “Why should only foreign airlines comes to India and start airlines here? Indian carriers should also look for similar opportunities abroad. The investment required for the proposed RAK startup JV is not much. What is required is planes and we already have many on order,” Singh said.


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PAKISTAN

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30 Nov - 6 Dec 2019

in brief PAK FORMS PANEL TO CURB FORCED CONVERSION Pakistan has formed a 22-member parliamentary committee to work on a legislation to prevent the forced conversions and protect the rights of minorities in the country. According to a notification by the Senate Secretariat, chairman Sadiq Sanjrani formed the committee after consultations with National Assembly Speaker Asad Qaiser, leader of the House in senate Shibli Faraz and leader of the opposition Raja Zafarul Haq. Religious affairs minister Noorul Haq Qadri, human rights minister Shireen Mazari and senator Ashok Kumar are part of the committee. It will decide its terms of reference in its first meeting, the date of which has not been announced yet. The committee was formed weeks after a Hindu girl was allegedly abducted and converted to Islam in Sindh province in early September.

PETITION SEEKS IMRAN’S DISQUALIFICATION A petition has been filed in Lahore high court seeking disqualification of PM Imran Khan for his “anti-judiciary” remarks over the departure of former premier Nawaz Sharif to London for treatment. Tahir Maqsood filed the petition in the Lahore high court, seeking contempt of court proceedings against Khan for bringing the judiciary into disrepute. The petitioner said the PM criticised senior judges of the Supreme Court which amounts to contempt of court. He said the SC had in 2013 issued a contempt notice to Khan for anti-judiciary rants. The petitioner requested the court to summon Khan, disqualify him and order the Election Commission to denotify him as member of the National Assembly.

PRICE OF TOMATO HITS RS 400/KG IN KARACHI The price of tomato in Karachi skyrocketed to a record high of Rs 400 per kg last week due to a range of factors. The government last week issued a permit for importing 4,500 tonnes of tomatoes from Iran, but its arrival did not pick up pace in the market. Of the 4,500 tonnes, only 989 tonnes arrived, a trader was quoted as saying. Earlier this month, the official retail rate of tomato was Rs 117 per kg. The price can be blamed on the shortage of crops this year and the government restricting import instead of allowing a free import, the report said.

Hindu pilgrims from India in Pak to attend religious festivities in Sindh LAHORE: Over 50 Hindu pilgrims, including women, arrived from India to attend the religious festivities in Sindh province of Pakistan. 'As many as 51 Hindu pilgrims arrived here via Wagah border where the officials of the Evacuee Trust Property Board (ETPB) received them,' ETPB spokesperson Amir Hashmi said. The EPTB is a statutory board that manages religious properties and shrines of Hindus and Sikhs who had migrated to India following the partition in 1947. Hashmi said the pilgrims also include women and they left for Sindh province on special buses under high security to take part in their religious festivities. 'The pilgrims will visit temples in Mirpur Mathelo, Sukker and Ghotki

Hindu pilgrims in Pakistan

during their 10 days stay in Pakistan,' he said, adding the pilgrims will not be allowed to visit any other places. Talking to the media at Wagah, the group leader of the visiting Hindus, Yudeshtar Lal, said they have brought a message of peace and love and stressed for enhancing peopleto-people contact. He appreciat-

ed the Pakistan government's decision to open some of the centuries old temples in the country. Last month, the Pakistani government handed over centuries-old historical Shawala Teja Singh Temple in eastern city of Sialkot to the Pakistan Hindu Council for worship after the completion of its renovation.

In July, Pakistan opened the temple in Sialkot, some 100-km from Lahore, for worship for the first time after the partition on the demand of the local Hindu community. The temple, located in city's congested Dhaarowal locality, is more than 1,000 years old, according to the book ‘History of Sialkot’ by the late Rashid Niaz. Some 2,000 Hindus are residing in this locality. Hindus form the biggest minority community in Pakistan. According to official estimates, 75,00,000 Hindus live in Pakistan. However, according to the community, over 90,00,000 Hindus are living in the country. Majority of Pakistan's Hindu population is settled in Sindh province where they share culture, traditions and language with their Muslim fellows.

HC accepts Musharraf's plea against special court's verdict LAHORE: The Lahore High Court (LHC) removed its objections against a plea filed by former president Pervez Musharraf seeking the court’s intervention in stopping the special court from announcing its reserved verdict in the high treason case against the former army chief. In the hearing, LHC’s Justice Mazhar Ali Akbar Naqvi accepted the petition and sought replies from the federal government and the Ministry of Interior by November 28. The judge also directed the federal government and related officials to appear before the court on the same date. Musharraf, in his plea, has appealed to the court that in view of the Supreme Court's verdict, the hearing should be held again. It has also appealed to the court that the notification issued by the special court should also be suspended. The former president has also appealed to the court that an independent medical board be formed to determine the health of the former president. Earlier, the court had raised objections against the petition and directed the former president’s lawyer to submit a detailed response. The LHC had questioned whether

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the plea falls under its jurisdiction as the former president is a resident of Islamabad. The court had also said that the case is with the Supreme Court and under the circumstances the petitioner should reach out to the apex court. Interestingly, the former president has also approached the Islamabad High Court requesting it to stop the special court from announcing its reserved verdict.

Pervez Musharraf


22 SRI LANKA

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Won’t do anything that harms India’s interest: Lanka prez COLOMBO: Sri Lanka will work with India and it won’t do anything that will harm its interests, newly elected President Gotabaya Rajapaksa said ahead of his visit to New Delhi on November 29. Gotabaya, who is considered pro-China, said he wanted Sri Lanka to be a “neutral country” and work with all the countries. “We will work with India as a friendly country and won’t do anything that will harm India’s interests,” said Gotabaya. “We want to be a neutral country,” Gotabaya, who was sworn in as Sri Lanka’s president last said in an interview. “We don’t want to get in between the power struggles of superpowers... We are so small and we can’t survive to get into this balancing acts,” he said. Gotabaya said he wanted to work very closely with both India and China. “We want to work with all the countries and we don’t want to do anything which will harm any other country for that matter, we understand the importance of Indian concerns, so we can’t engage in any activity which will threaten the security of India,” he added. Asserting that Sri Lanka’s involvement with China during the presidency of his brother Mahinda (from 2005-20-15) was “purely commercial”, he said: “I invite India, Singapore, Japan and Australia to come and invest here. Don’t allow only

Gotabaya Rajapaksa

China to invest.” Gotabaya also said that giving away the Hambantota port to China on a 99-year lease was a mistake by the previous government headed by President Sirisena. “The deal has to be renegotiated. Giving a small loan for investment is a different thing but giving a strategic important economic harbour is not acceptable. That we should have controlled.” China, which acquired Sri Lanka’s Hambantota port in 2017 as a debt swap, has been ramping up its ties with the island nation and expanded its naval presence in the Indian Ocean with an established logistics base in Djibouti. On allegations of him being “authoritarian” and “racist”, the president said, “It’s a wrong perception created during the civil war with the LTTE.

I am a disciplined person but that doesn’t mean I am racist.” The two brothers Mahinda and Gotabhaya - led a decisive campaign that helped end the long civil war against the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eela m (LTTE). However, the brothers were accused of condoning sexual violence and extrajudicial killings allegedly by Lankan security forces. Brothers take major portfolios Gotabaya appointed a 16-member interim Cabinet, including two of his brothers, and gave the major portfolios of defence, finance and trade to them while inducting two Tamils as a sign of reaching out to the minority community. Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa, 74, got the key portfolios of defence and finance while the President's eldest brother Chamal Rajapaksa, 77, got trade and food security ministries. "This is an interim government," Gotabaya, who took over as the country's President, said during the swearing-in ceremony of the ministers. Earlier, Mahinda was sworn in as prime minister after incumbent Ranil Wickremesinghe formally tendered his resignation. The Cabinet appointment is seen as interim until the President dissolves the current parliament and go for a fresh parliamentary election. The next parliamentary poll is scheduled only after August 2020.

Indian couple on trial in Germany for spying on Sikhs, Kashmiris BERLIN: An Indian couple accused of spying on Kashmiri and Sikh groups in Germany and sharing information with Indian intelligence agents went on trial in Frankfurt on charges that carry a sentence of up to 10 years in prison, according to a media report. Manmohan S and his wife Kanwaljit K were charged with foreign secret service agent activity in Germany in April this year. The trial of the two Indian citizens accused of spying on Kashmiri and Sikh groups in Germany began at the Higher Regional Court in Frankfurt, Germany's state-owned public international broadcaster reported. Starting from January 2015, Manmohan, 50, had allegedly obtained information on Kashmiri separatist and Sikh groups operating in Germany and passed it on to officials of India's external intelligence

agency, the Research and Analysis Wing (RAW), posted at the Indian Consulate in Frankfurt, the report said. From July 2017, his wife Kanwaljit, 51, is also suspected of taking part in the intelligence gathering, the report said, adding that in Manmohan S and Kanwaljit K return for their Germany. Many German Sikhs have their service, the couple allegedly received a total roots from Punjab and number between of USD 7,974 from RAW. The further 15,000 to 21,000. Germany has the thirdhearings are scheduled up until December 12. highest Sikh population in Europe after the If convicted, the couple may be jailed for up UK and Italy. to 10 years. Sikhs are a religious minority in

Documents reveal systematic persecution in China BEIJING: Leaked documents obtained by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) revealed the framework that the Chinese government set up to build the facilities that led to abuse of hundreds of thousands of predominantly Muslim ethnic groups who are being subjected to brainwashing and other illtreatment in detention camps in Xinjiang. This followed the leak of 400 pages of internal documents to the New York Times last week. Responding to another leak of official Chinese government documents labelled “The China Cables” detailing the framework for facilities that led to abuses of hundreds of thousands of predominantly Muslim ethnic groups in detention camps in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region (Xinjiang), Lisa Tassi, Amnesty International’s

Campaigns Director for East Asia, said: “China’s continued denial of the existence of detention centres in Xinjiang grows ever more futile in the face of ever-mounting evidence. This latest leak is yet further proof of its systematic persecution of ethnic and religious minorities in China on a sickeningly vast scale. “TIF abuses described in these leaked documents match the harrowing testimony Amnesty International has received from former detainees of mass internment camps in Xinjiang, as well as from relatives of those still missing. With each passing week, the world learns more about the horror China is unleashing on its own citizens in Xinjiang. It’s time for the Chinese government to ditch its feeble counter-narrative, including the claim of providing ‘vocational training’ to people in the camps. Instead they should provide

immediate answers to the hundreds of thousands of people desperate for information about their loved ones. If China has nothing to hide, it should allow truly independent human rights monitors immediate and unfettered access to Xinjiang – something it has steadfastly refused to do so far, despite repeated requests from Amnesty International and others. These damning leaks should be the catalyst for the international community to increase pressure on the Chinese authorities to end this human rights catastrophe.” Internment and forced cultural assimilation in Xinjiang Amnesty’s 2018 briefing ‘Where Are They?’ documented an intensifying government campaign of mass internment, intrusive surveillance, political indoctrination and forced cultural assimilation against Uyghurs, Kazakhs and other

predominantly Muslim ethnic groups. Most of the detainees’ families have been kept in the dark about the fate of their loved ones and are often too frightened to speak out themselves. Uighurs are a Muslim minority group of Turkic origin who are native to the northwestern Chinese region of Xinjiang, near the Kazakhstan border. The internment of predominantly Muslim ethnic groups in Xinjiang has intensified since March 2017, when a “Regulation on Deextremification” was adopted in the region. Open or even private displays of religious and cultural affiliation, including growing an “abnormal” beard, wearing a veil or headscarf, regular prayer, fasting or avoidance of alcohol, or possessing books or articles about Islam or Uyghur culture can be considered “extremist” under the regulation.

in brief JOB BAR FOR PREGNANT WOMEN, LGBT Indonesian ministries are banning pregnant, disabled, or LGBT job hunters in favour of “normal” applicants, the ombudsman said and slammed it as “arbitrary and hateful restrictions” by a rights group. The report comes as the country takes applications from millions of candidates who are applying for some 2,00,000 civil-service jobs nationwide. Ombudsman Indonesia commissioner Ninik Rahayu said an investigation found that the defence and trade ministries as well as the attorney general’s office (AGO) were discriminating against candidates in their job advertisements.

COUPLE EXCHANGE VOWS IN THE AIR A couple got married at a height of 34,000ft in front of stunned plane passengers after bonding over their love of aircraft. David Valliant and Cathy Rolfe met through an online game called Aviation City eight years ago and immediately hit it off. They had their first date at Sydney Airport and fell in love as soon as they locked eyes. After years of dating, the New Zealand couple struggled to find a venue for their wedding - before deciding to stick with the theme of their love story and exchange vows in the air. They later got married on board a Jetstar flight, travelling between their home cities Sydney and Auckland on October 9.

CHINA ‘MEDICINE’ A THREAT TO DONKEY POPULATION China’s demand for donkey skins to make a traditional medicine could wipe out more than half the world’s donkey population in the next five years, researchers said. Nearly five million skins are used every year to make ejiao, a gel believed in China to be a remedy for troubles ranging from colds to ageing, putting enormous strain on donkey populations around the world, Britain-based animal welfare group Donkey Sanctuary said in a report.

KIDS GIVEN PETS TO WEAN THEM OFF PHONES Officials in one Indonesian city have hatched a plan to wean children off smartphones - by giving them their own fluffy chicks to raise. Around 2,000 four-day-old chicks will be handed out to pupils at elementary and junior high schools in Bandung in an attempt to distract the kids from their gadgets. Students must feed their new pets before and after school and can keep them at home or on school premises.

29 KILLED AS PLANE CRASHES INTO HOMES At least 29 people were killed when a small plane crashed after takeoff into a densely populated area of the city of Goma in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo. A survivor among the 19 people - 17 passengers and two crew members - who were aboard the plane was taken to hospital along with 16 others injured on the ground, the North Kivu regional government said. "At this stage, 29 bodies have been found in the rubble," the statement said. The Busy Bee Dornier-228 smashed into two houses near the airport, the deputy transport minister said earlier.

PREGNANT WOMAN KILLED BY DOGS IN FRANCE A pregnant woman has been killed by dogs in a forest in France where a hunt with hounds was taking place, investigators have said. The body of Elisa Pilarski, 29, who was walking her own dogs, was found in a forest outside the town of Villers-Cotterets, the prosecutor’s office said. An autopsy showed she had died of “bleeding after several dog bites to the upper and lower limbs and the head”, prosecutor said.


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in brief WANTED MAN FOUND ASLEEP IN BED STORE Police in Sweden say a wanted man was found asleep in a bed in a furniture store. Police said staff at the Ikea store called cops after they found the 25-year-old sleeping in the bed department. They weren’t aware that he was wanted. He was arrested for trespassing. Police found out later that he was wanted for another, unspecified crime.

VEGAN SUES CHAIN OVER ‘MEAT IN MEATLESS BURGER’ Burger King was sued by a vegan customer who accused the fast-food chain of contaminating its meatless “Impossible” Whoppers by cooking them on the same grills as its traditional meat burgers. In a proposed class action, Phillip Williams said he bought an Impossible Whopper, a plant-based alternative to Burger King's regular Whopper, at an Atlanta drive through, and would not have paid a premium price had he known the cooking would leave it “coated in meat byproducts”. The lawsuit filed in a Miami court seeks damages for all US purchasers of the Impossible Whopper. Burger King declined to comment, saying it does not discuss pending litigation.

THE DUCKS MAY KEEP ON QUACKING, RULES FRANCE The ducks on a small French farm may carry on quacking, a French court ruled, rejecting a neighbour’s complaint that the birds’ racket was making their life a misery. The court in the town of Dax ruled that the noise from the flock of around 60 ducks and geese kept by retired farmer Dominique Douthe in the Pyrenees region, was within acceptable limits, broadcaster France 3 said. “The ducks have won,” Douthe said after the ruling.

Houston police change dress code to honour slain Sikh cop

Nepal's ailing PM Oli reshuffles his cabinet

HOUSTON: In honour of fallen Indian-American Sikh police officer Sandeep Singh Dhaliwal, the Houston police department has changed its dress code policy to allow the minority community members to represent their faith while on duty. On September 28, Dhaliwal, a 10-year veteran of the Harris County Sheriff's office and its first Sikh deputy, was gunned down while conducting a mid-day traffic stop in northwest of Houston. The 42-year-old trailblazing police officer made national headlines when he was allowed to grow a beard and wear a turban on the job. '@houstonpolice is now the largest law enforcement agency in TX to adopt a policy allowing officers to wear articles of faith on duty,' City of Houston tweeted. In a news briefing, the Houston police department announced that they are changing its uniform policy to allow officers to wear their articles of faith while on duty in order to be more inclusive in honour of the fallen Sikh deputy. 'Proud to announce HPD (Houston Police Department) will accommodate Sikh officers by letting them wear their articles of faith while on duty- one of the largest

K ATH M AN DU : New ministers were inducted into Nepal's government as part of a cabinet reshuffle by ailing Prime Minister K P Sharma Oli, who is trying to K P Sharma Olia strengthen his grip, improve ties with a powerful ally and minimise internal party conflict. A government statement said Oli dropped six cabinet ministers and three junior ministers. Oli's critics said the political leader was adding loyalists to his government because political allies were questioning the 67-yearold leader's authority. He has been in poor health since a kidney transplant in India in 2007. Although local media have reported that Oli may seek further treatment soon, his office has remained silent on the issue. Oli, a moderate Communist, led a coalition with former Maoist rebels to a shock victory in national elections about two years ago. The former Maoists have since merged with Oli's group. Oli during his first term stood up against a border standoff with India, a neighbouring power with major political and economic clout in Nepal. The dispute resulted in a months-long shortage of essential goods like fuel and medicines in 2015 and 2016. India has denied imposing a blockade. Since then Oli has been considered closer to China, which agreed to study whether a Chinese rail link could be extended to Nepal's capital city, Kathmandu, and to help construct a tunnel across the Himalayas to Tibet.

Sandeep Singh Dhaliwal

police departments in the country to do so. Deputy Dhaliwal taught us all a valuable lesson about inclusion. It was an honour to know him,' Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner tweeted. 'Proud to stand with @SylvesterTurner and so many members of our community to announce our policy and get the word out to our greater community,' Chief of the Houston Police Department Art Acevedo tweeted. 'I'm honoured,' Dhaliwal's father, Pyara Singh Dhaliwal, was quoted as saying by a local media. 'The honour I got from this community and from the chief, the police department and the sheriff department is ... I have no words to say. So, I very much thank all of these bodies. Wonderful moment,' he said. The New York Police Department, the Chicago Police Department, the

Metropolitan Police Department in Washington and the Riverside Police Department in California are the other law enforcement agencies in the US which have uniform accommodations for the Sikh officers. Sikh advocacy groups also praised the policy change 'This policy change shows that no one should ever choose between their faith or their career, and also that these articles of faith pose no barrier to service,' Nikki Singh, policy and advocacy manager for the Sikh Coalition, said. Dhaliwal, worked with United Sikhs, a global humanitarian relief and advocacy nonprofit, to help organise the donation of truckloads of supplies for first responders after Hurricane Harvey. He was allowed to wear the turban and beard while patrolling the streets to bolster cultural diversity.

Diamond jubilee of Tanzania’s independence and the Settlement of the British Asians in the Great Britain Dear Readers, We are delighted that our Kenya Special magazine has been very warmly accepted and received across all quarters of the community. We are grateful for your support and contribution in coming forward and sharing your personal experiences and journeys as part of this magazine. As a first project of its kind and a rare collaboration of history, it has been a tremendous success, following which we have received numerous letters and valuable suggestions to undertake another such venture. Now, we aim to focus on Tanzania, the largest country in East Africa, known for its vast reserves of minerals and natural resources. Our upcoming issue of Tanzania Special will celebrate 60 years of the country's independence ever since it achieved freedom from the British rule on 9th December 1961. THE MAGAZINE WILL FEATURE

IN LIGHT OF THIS

1. Migration stories of individuals from undivided India to East Africa, particularly to Tanzania. 2. It will chart a timeline of the freedom struggle of Tanzania from being a German colony to becoming an independent country. 3. Discuss the formation of the Tanganyika African National Union (TANU) and focus on the contributions of Asians to the Tanzanian economy and society. 4. It will record their contributions to politics, business, entrepreneurship, philanthropy, sports and community services among others.

1. We would like to invite you to send us any relevant information or stories; personal and/or their friends' and family's experience in the UK, latest by the earliest possible date. 2. If you have a success story of people in public and political life, and know entrepreneurs and professionals, please send in their narratives. 3. We also seek your participation and support through sponsorship, advertisement and advertorials in this special publication.

You can write to us at cb.patel@abplgroup.com or priyanka.mehta@abplgroup.com and we will contact you immediately. Yours Sincerely, CB Patel Publisher/Editor Asian Voice & Gujarat Samachar


24 INDIA

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Rajinikanth likely to join hands with Kamal Haasan CHENNAI: Actor-politician Rajinikanth, who raised the spirit of fans with his remarks on collaboration with Kamal Haasan, said he would not comment on who the chief ministerial candidate would be if they eventually join forces before the 2021 assembly elections in Tamil Nadu. "During election time our party workers will decide," he said when asked about the matter by reporters. But one thing was certain, he indicated. "In 2021, the people of Tamil Nadu will perform a miracle, 100%," he said. "Miracle" is not a word the 68-yearold actor shies away from. He used it to take a dig at the AIADMK's Chief Rajinikanth and Kamal Haasan Minister E Palaniswami, who has Earlier, both Rajinikanth and Kamal managed to save his position despite initial Haasan had created stir, indicating there uncertainty. "So, miracles will happen. It might be a possibility of their joining hands. happened yesterday, it is happening today "Rajini and I will travel together if there is a and it will happen tomorrow," Rajinikanth need for Tamil Nadu's development. If there had said.

is a need for travelling together we will tell. Now, work is important. We can talk about our policies later. We are together for 43 years, we joining together is no miracle," Kamal Haasan had said. An hour later, Rajinikanth told reporters, "If there is a situation that requires for the development of the Tamil people, I would join hands with Kamal Haasan". Haasan started his party, the Makkal Nidhi Maiam in 2018. But the actor's huge popularity is yet to translate into votes. In its maiden election in April May, the party had polled only 2 per cent votes and failed to win any seat. Rajinikanth, who announced his political aspirations in 2017, is yet to launch his party. The AIADM, meanwhile, mounted attacks on Rajinikanth and Kamal Haasan, saying their completely different ideologies would make it look like "a cat and mouse living together."

PUNJAB

Akali leader shot dead, legs chopped off DERA BABA NANAK: Dalbir Singh, 55, the vice-president of the Gurdaspur Shiromani Akali Dal unit, was brutally killed with his legs chopped off allegedly by a poultry farm owner following a dispute over hiring a servant at Dhilwan village, 25 km from Batala town. Police said that the accused, Balwinder Singh, 55, and his sons Major Singh, 25, and Mandeep Singh, 24, along with six others, barged into Dalbir’s house around 10 pm. While Major and Mandeep fired a dozen bullets, Balwinder cut off Dalbir’s legs with a sharp-edged weapon before threatening the shocked family members with dire consequences. Villagers said that Dalbir was a former sarpanch and had intervened to sort out a dispute Balwinder had with another resident earlier in the day. A compromise was reached but Balwinder was holding a grudge and took revenge by forcibly entering Dalbir’s house at night and murdered him. Batala SSP Opinderjeet Singh Ghumman said that the police had registered a case of murder against the nine accused and a search was on. Meanwhile, under pressure, the Batala

Dalbir Singh

police have constituted a five-member Special Investigation Team (SIT) to probe the murder. The cops filed a case under Section 302 IPC (murder) and various sections of the Arms Act at the Kotli Surat Malhi police station against the accused. The police had been trying to locate their whereabouts. Akali leaders, including former

minister Bikram Singh Majithia, had been claiming that the crime was committed at the behest of a prominent politician and that SSP Opinderjit Singh Ghuman was acting at the behest of certain ruling party. Probe into death of Dalit man Meanwhile, Chief Minister Amarinder Singh directed the state's top officials to ensure speedy, time-bound investigations and trial against the men responsible for allegedly abducting and beating a Sangrur-based Dalit man to death in Patiala district. All four accused have been arrested by the police, an official spokesperson said, adding that he spoke to Chief Secretary Karan Avtar Singh and DGP Dinkar Gupta to get an update on the case and review the situation in the wake of the unfortunate death of Jagmale Singh. Amarinder Singh has directed both to ensure stringent and exemplary punishment for the accused for their heinous crime within three months. Urging the deceased's family to call off their protest, the Chief Minister announced that the state government will ensure justice and proper rehabilitation for them. He also called upon all political leaders not to politicise the issue.

in brief 105-YEAR-OLD GRANNY APPEARS FOR CLASS 4 EXAM Age is merely a number for 105-year-old Bageerathi Amma who scripted history when she appeared for her fourth standard exam becoming the oldest learner of the Kerala State Literacy Mission. This grandmother from Parakulam in Kollam district of Kerala has six children and 16 grandchildren. Bageerathi had to stop her education at the age of nine when she was in Class 3 as she had to take care of her younger siblings. Her yearning to continue her studies was fufilled with the help of officials of the Literary Mission who helped her to realize her dreams. “She is a real motivation for others who want to learn," said C K Pradeep Kumar, district co-ordinator of State Literary Mission.

CANCELLATION OF MLA'S INDIAN CITIZENSHIP STAYED The Telangana High Court granted an interim stay on the Home Ministry's order cancelling the citizenship of TRS MLA Ramesh Chennamaneni. Ramesh Chennamaneni moved the court seeking to set aside the MHA's order. The Home Ministry had issued a fresh order cancelling Chennamaneni's Indian citizenship for concealing facts pertaining to his visits to India during the 12-month period immediately preceding his application seeking citizenship. Justice Challa Kondanda Ram posted the case for further hearing to December 16. The TRS MLA also prayed for suspension of related proceedings pending disposal of his plea. In its order, the ministry said the competent authority has considered various aspects such as his MLA post and his background.

INDO-PAK POSTAL MAIL EXCHANGE SERVICE RESUMES The postal mail exchange service was resumed between India and Pakistan at the AttariWagah border on November 22. Two letter bags were received by the Amritsar postal authorities at the International Border and a mail list was also exchanged from the Indian side. The Pakistan postal authorities had suspended the service as a reaction to abrogation of Article 370 in Jammu and Kashmir. Following this, the Indian side had stopped taking any bookings of items to be delivered to the neighbouring country. Senior Superintendent of Post Offices, Amritsar division, Hari Mohan, said, “Two letter bags were received today. We have also revived the booking for postal exchange. The booking service was discontinued after the suspension of mail exchange by Pakistan.”

WEST BENGAL

Sheikh Hasina, Mamata discuss bilateral relations in Kolkata KOLKATA: Stoking speculations that they may have discussed crucial issues during their one hour long meeting in Kolkata last week, Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee said it was a courtesy meeting and they only talked about the friendly relationship between the two countries. Neither of them took questions from the media after emerging from the meeting held at a hotel where Hasina checked into after arriving in the morning. Earlier in the day, Hasina and Banerjee watched the first Pink Ball Test Match between India and Bangladesh in which the visiting team fared badly.

“We are not doing so well in cricket. Hopefully we will do better in future,” Hasina said after her meeting with Banerjee. “I came here because of the first day-night pink ball cricket tournament. Indians helped us a lot during the 1971 Liberation War when Sheikh Mujibur Rahman led us. I offer my respects and gratitude to the people and the Government of India. It always feels good to be here. One crore refugees Sheikh Hasinan with Mamata Banerjee from our country found shelter in India (during the “It was a courtesy meeting. war). We always want the The two countries share a two neighbouring countries warm relationship. That is to share a friendly what we discussed. I invited relationship,” said Hasina. her to come again. Our talks Banerjee, who emerged were homely.” She left first from the meeting, said, without taking questions

from reporters. Earlier, Banerjee said, “We will meet thrice tomorrow. First during the match at Eden Gardens, then at a gettogether with cricketers in the evening, also at the

Eden. The third meeting has been finalised today. I will pay her a courtesy visit at the hotel (where Hasina would put up) at 6 pm.” She also said that Hasina spoke to her over the phone earlier. After this, speculation was rife in political circles that the two leaders might discuss issues such as sharing of Teesta river water and India’s planned citizenship screening exercise that is principally aimed at weeding out infiltrators from Bangladesh. Though the former UPA government was in favour of sharing water from the Teesta (a major river in north Bengal) with Bangladesh, the deal could not be sealed due to

opposition from Banerjee who argued that it would badly affect north Bengal. Public expectation from a possible Mamata-Hasina meeting and discussion on Teesta increased in Bangladesh soon after Hasina accepted Sourav Ganguly’s invitation for attending the first day and night Pink Ball Test match in India. However, while interacting with journalists in Dhaka, Hasina urged them not to combine Teesta and cricket. But at the same time she touched upon the ethnic connection by saying that she had accepted the invite only because it came from a Bengali i.e Sourav Ganguly, president of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI).


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An Institution Builder Dattopant Thengadi • India is celebrating the birth centenary of the founder of BMS-ABVP • His stature can be compared to Karl Marx amongst the communists t was a programme where Chandra Shekhar, the Prime Minister of India with the blessings of the Indian National Congress and Dattopant Thengadi (10 November 1920 - 14 October 2004),a hardcore RSS Pracharak as well as an institution builder, were sharing the dias at Patkar Hall, Mumbai during the time when it was being discussed that PM Shekhar would peacefully resolve the Ram Mandir issue of Ayodhya.

I

At one stage Chandra Shekhar implementation. Thengadi’s preferred to opt out of Morarji stature in RSS is the same that Desai ministry as he was the Karl Marx has amongst President of Janata Party. This communists. He created BMS and writer wanted to interact with BKS in the mid-50s when these Thengadi and he advised to meet movements were captured by him at Pune as was to leave Marxists in India. This was the immediately after the Patkar Hall time when Naxalism was also meeting. One definitely would feel finding its roots among these two nostalgic about the frank segments. He brought in the discussion with him at Pune while Dattopant Thengadi concept of class coordination and having lunch at a middle class house cooperation nullifying the Marxist of his host. After the lunch Dattopant ji was to idea of class struggle. Thengadi's philosophy leave for a meeting in rickshaw. He invited me pushed that the fight is against injustice and to join him. But since I was to return to not against any class. He brought RSS's core Mumbai, I took his leave. Even after three idea of nationalism among workers and decades, the incident continues to run like a farmers. One would be surprised that he got film and one would not hesitate to salute the the experience as a Joint Secretary of Madhya great man even today. A founder of the Pradesh branch of INTUC, the Congress Bharatiya Mazdoor Sangh (BMS), which was affiliated trade union before launching the recognized as the largest union of workers of BMS. the country even by the Congress government, Unlike the political leaders, Thengadi was travelling in a rickshaw! Even when the always favoured a collective leadership to Union Government headed by Atal Bihari build-up the organizations. He quotes Stephen Vajpeyee was about to allow the foreign Covey extensively on leadership distinguishing investment by changing the policy, Thengadi, and defining the Character Ethic and a founder of Swadeshi Jagaran Manch (SJM), Personality Ethic in simple terms as “How to rushed back to India from South Africa to be great” and “How to appear great” convince the government about the dangers of respectively. He says the leaders who prefer to allowing foreign investment in certain sectors. go for image building and pose themselves as India is celebrating the birth centenary of great by mere image building can lead the such a pious personality this year. Thengadi countries to dooms like Mussolini, Hitler and and Vajpayee were contemporaries. Both Stalin. Covey refers to a Character Ethic, meaning to align one’s values with “universal joined RSS at a young age, just before the and timeless” principles such as fairness, country got independence. Vajpayee -another integrity, honesty and truthfulness, and pracharak - spent his days in building up treating people with respect. His principles are political force in Bharatiya Jana Sangh and deep fundamental truths that have universal later Bharatiya Janata Party. Thengadi stayed application. They apply in any situation, in any in active politics and was a member of Rajya culture, and are found in the world’s major Sabha for two tenures from 1964 to 1976. religions. Thus, they have components of the During the Emergency, post arrests of RSS ethical values that form the basis of the Golden stalwarts and secretaries of Struggle Rule. In the last 50 years, Committee against Emergency Next Column however, the emphasis shifted Nanaji Deshmukh and Ravindra Verma, Thengadi took up the Sardar Patel involved in to public image, skills and techniques. The new, perceived challenge of stitching together Kashmir Affairs keys to success are getting Janata Party. But he is credited people to like you, faking interest in activities largely as a founding father of Bharatiya to get what you want and other ways to Mazdoor Sangh (BMS), Bharatiya Kisan Sangh improve one’s image - Covey calls this (BKS), SJM and a founding member of Akhil Personality Ethic led by Charisma of the leader. Bhartiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP), Akhil Thengadi’s ultimate message was “Beware of Bharatiya Adhivakta Parishad, Grahak Charisma.” Panchayat and Bharatiya Vichara Manch (BVM). (The writer is a Socio-political Historian. Today all these outfits not only create E-mail: haridesai@gmail.com) Dr. Hari Desai cadre for BJP but also mobilise policy

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Diary of a new Canadian Immigrant Mitul Paniker

Trudeau's all-inclusive Cabinet set to take on challenges Dear Readers, It has been a while since I wrote to you. I apologise for the brief sabbatical. It was unintentional and gravely regretted. I have begun to settle into my life here in Canada. Winter is upon us and it has already snowed a couple of times. Unpopular Opinion: Snow is overrated. It has been a tremendous Navdeep Bains couple of days. Justin Trudeau won Harjit Sajjan a second term in October. However, it was a slag win. Despite a minority, he has audaciously formed his own government and the Cabinet Members have sworn in. There are four ministers of Punjabi-origin, and as is tradition for him - the Cabinet is genderbalanced. As interesting as Canadian politics is, I yearn for the thrill of Indian public affairs. The BJP Bardish Chagger served a mind-numbing SIXER with Anita Anand its move in Maharashtra last week. The infamous Komagata Maru incident, Am I core follower of PM Modi's Bharatiya when a Japanese ship full of Indians Janata Party? I won't say. But am I mostly Sikh immigrants was docked at impressed with Party President Amit Vancouver for two months and eventually Shah's workings within the party? YES! forcefully sent back to India. The Coming back to Canada, four ministers of passengers comprised 337 Sikhs, 27 Indian-origin hold important portfolios in Muslims and 12 Hindus, all Punjabis and the country today. British subjects, and only 24 were allowed Navdeep Bains is now the Minister of t to stay back. Indian immigration to Science, Innovation, and Industry. Harjit Canada has been extremely hurtful due to Sajjan continues his second term as the a lack of acceptance. Despite profound Minister of Defence. Bardish Chagger is racial discrimination, the community the Minister of Diversity and Inclusion continued to grow and look where they and Youth, and Anita Anand is the stand today. Minister of Public Services and Trudeau and prospective doom Procurement. Anand is the first Hindu Despite the conceiving of the Cabinet, woman lawmaker to be made minister in Trudeau's problems are far from over. He Canada. In his previous cabinet, Trudeau now faces a political conundrum with had four Sikh ministers, however, Amarjit rising whispers for 'Wexit'- Western Sohi lost his election this year. province Alberta's separatist movement. A Born in Nova Scotia, to Indian-origin gentle spark for now, one can't deny the parents, Anand was law professor at the possibility of it turning into an University of Toronto. She specialises in unstoppable wildfire. Western alienation corporate governance and shareholder has been a long-time issue for the country. rights. Anand's posting comes at a time With the new cabinet, Trudeau showed when the government is finalising a multihis will to prioritise eradication of threats billion dollar purchase of new fighter jets. to national unity and fighting climate MP from Vancouver South, Sajjan is change. originally from Hoshiarpur, Punjab. He However, it is the minority migrated to Vancouver when he was five. government's headache now to deal with He was a detective with the gang crime political instability and the changing unit, served as a reserve Lieutenantlandscape because of growing Colonel in the Canadian Armed Forces, discontentment in the West (Alberta, and is a member of the British Columbia Saskatchewan, Manitoba, and British Regiment. He has participated in four Columbia). People in these provinces operational deployments, and in continue to demand support for the September 2011, became the first Sikh to struggling oil and gas industry. command any Canadian Army Regiment. In a power move, Trudeau introduced A controversial character, he is accused of a Deputy Chief Minister this term, giving being a Khalistan supporter and was Chrystia Freeland the task to stop snubbed by Punjab Chief Minister Captain provincial feud from converting into a Amarinder Singh in 2017. national crisis. She is also tasked to help Bains was born to immigrant parents oversee the trade agreement ratification and has been a long-term friend and process, currently debated in the US adviser of Trudeau. A former financial Congress. analyst, he has served in as the PM's Parliamentary Secretary. Bains hit In his small attempt to please the West, international headlines last year when he he named former trade minister Jim Carr was asked to take off his turban at an as his special representative for Alberta, airport in the US during a security check. international lawyer from Quebec Chagger previously served as the Minister François-Philippe Champagne as the new of Small Business and Tourism. She Minister of Foreign Affairs, and Montreal’s became the first woman to be named new Pablo Rodríguez as the house leader. Leader of the government in the House of All said and done, how well Liberal Commons in 2016. Her current post was ministers perform their duties remains to created this year. be seen. After all, we know from As I saw the swearing-in ceremony live experience what an EXIT does to a on TV, my thoughts went back to 1914. country.


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Fadnavis quits ; Sena, NCP & Cong to form govt Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis handed over his resignation to Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari, in sharp contrast to the quiet oath ceremony held at Raj Bhavan less than 80 hours earlier that had marked the beginning of his short-lived second term. Fadnavis put in his papers hours after the Supreme Court ordered a floor test in the legislative assembly. Nationalist Congress Party (NCP)  leader Ajit Pawar who was sworn in as deputy chief minister had also tendered his resignation. A thriller straight out of the playbook of guerrilla warfare was played out in Mumbai on November 23 when, contrary to expectations that Uddhav Thackeray would take up the chief minister’s post as Shiv Sena-Congress-NCP coalition talks were close to completion, the BJP’s Fadnavis was, at 8 am, sworn in as CM for the second time running, with the NCP’s Ajit Pawar as his deputy. Events unfolded at breathtaking speed post-midnight when Ajit Pawar decided to bolt the NCP stables. Fadnavis said at a press conference that his deputy, Ajit Pawar had also stepped down - in fact, he blamed the fall of his government on Ajit's resignation, which he said had deprived it of a majority. The swearing of Fadnavis as chief minister had surprised many and the Shiv Sena, NCP and Congress alliance decided to approach the Supreme Court against governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari’s decision to invite Fadnavis

to form a government. He said that the BJP had staked claim to form a government after Ajit Pawar decided to tieup with BJP. “ T h e government was formed as Ajit Devendra Fadnavis, Sarad Pavar, Ajit Pawar, Udhav Thakre Pawar gave a letter of support to act to protect democratic Pawar who he attacked, of all 54 of his party MLAs,” values. An immediate floor Fadnavis said Ajit Pawar had said Fadnavis. Ajit Pawar test, in such a case, might be initiated the discussion with resigned amid continuous the most effective the BJP to extend support to efforts by the NCP mechanism to do so,” said a Fadnavis-led government. leadership to bring him back the court. “The government was to the party fold. “Ajit Pawar It was a mistake, two BJP formed as Ajit Pawar gave a met me in the morning and leaders said letter of support of all 54 of said he cannot stay in the The first was to rely on Ajit his party MLAs,” said alliance and resigned. Pawar and think that he Fadnavis. The BJP’s official Because of his resignation, could get the better than his line, which was reflected in we do not have the majority. uncle Sharad Pawar. Because its letter to stake claim as We had said from the first our entire bid was well, was that the day that we will not indulge dependent on him getting at Nationalist Congress Party in horse trading. We decided least 27 MLAs. We could was its coalition partner and to form the government have got a maximum of 20 all the NCP’s 54 legislators because we thought that the Independent MLAs but would support Fadnavis. entire NCP group will back breaking away Congress or That this wasn’t the case us,’’ said Fadnavis. Shiv Sena MLAs within such became clear soon after NCP The BJP had fought the a short time became boss Sharad Pawar removed Maharashtra polls in alliance impossible,” one of the two his nephew Ajit Pawar from with Sena but relations BJP leaders mentioned above the party’s legislature party between the decades-old said. The BJP next rested its chief’s post. allies soured over sharing of hopes for the government’s In its verdict, the chief minister’s post. The survival on certain Supreme Court had said that BJP emerged as the single technicalities that sought to the three-day old Fadnavis largest party after the polls use Ajit Pawar’s position as government in the state has winning 105 seats. Sena won leader of his group to force to face a floor test on 56, while the NCP and the his legislators to support Wednesday. A three-judge Congress got 54 and 44 seats Fadnavis or create bench said that the vote will each. “Clear majority was confusion. be conducted by a protem or given to Mahayuti and BJP temporary speaker and As a group leader Ajit got maximum 105 seats. We should be telecast live. The Pawar could have issued a contested with Shiv Sena, voting cannot be conducted whip to party MLAs to vote as but this mandate was for BJP by secret ballot, the court per his bidding. However, the because BJP won 70 per cent added. “In a situation NCP checkmated this move seats out of all seats we wherein, if the floor test is by removing Ajit, appointing contested,” Fadnavis said. delayed, there is a possibility state chief Jayant Patil in his Prodded about the of horse trading, it becomes place and informing this unlikely alliance with Ajit incumbent upon the Court change to both the governor

as well as the Speaker’s office. The BJP also intended to first get the Speaker elected to conduct the floor test and opt for a secret ballot as mandated in the Maharashtra legislature’s rules to win the trust vote. E a r l i e r , Governor Koshyari had sent a communication to the Centre recommending lifting of President’s rule. By the crack of dawn, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had used his special powers to end Central rule without calling a meeting of the Union Cabinet. Fadnavis and Ajit Pawar were sworn in at the governor’s residence, with just a few netas, apart from officials, in attendance. The coup, which came after NCP and Congress got stalemated over who should bag the post of Speaker in the three party coalition being planned, caught NCP chief Sharad Pawar and Shiv Sena supremo Uddhav Thackeray, the “CM-in-waiting,” by complete surprise. Recovering from the shock inflicted by his nephew, Sharad Pawar said the decision to go with the BJP was nephew Ajit’s own and not that of his party and after scrambling by the Sena, NCP and Congress to secure their flock, the ‘Maha Vikas Aghadi’ of the three parties had pushed back by late evening. Even as it moved to nip the rebellion by warning that the “defectors” would be disqualified and defeated in the resultant by-elections, NCP tried the persuasion

track to bring the prodigal nephew home. However, there was no response from Ajit, sources said. Uddhav Thackeray to lead govt The Shiv Sena, Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) and the Congress cleared the decks for Uddhav Thackeray to become the new Chief Minister. The parties formalised their alliance as Maharashtra Vikas Aghadi before endorsing Thackeray to take over the top job in the state. In his acceptance speech, Thackeray said addressing the plight of farmers would be a top priority. “I accept the responsibility given by all of you. I’m not alone but you all are CM with me. What has happened today is the actual democracy. Together we will wipe off the tears of farmers in the state,” he said. He also thanked Congress president Sonia Gandhi for her party’s support. “I had never dreamed of leading the state. I would like to thank Sonia Gandhi and others. We are giving a new direction to country by keeping faith on each other.” Sharad Pawar said three alliance members would meet Governor to sake claim to form government. “Three representatives of ‘Maha Vikas Aghadi’ will meet the Governor today. Swearing in ceremony will be held at Shivaji Park, Mumbai on 1st December,” Pawar said. NCP workers raised slogans calling Pawar as “the only one tiger in Maharashtra” when he arrived at Trident Hotel with his daughter Supriya Sule for the tripartite meeting.

Indians living in US up 900,000 Deported from US, 145 Indians land in Delhi since 2010 The United States of America continues to be a land of immigrants, but there is a significant decline in the number of new migrants. According to the American Community Survey (ACS) data for 2018, which measures the US population as of July 1, 2018, the total number of foreignborn population in the US stood at 44.7 million or 13.7% of the total US population of 327 million. The rise in the number of foreign-born over the previous year is insignificant with a mere 0.4% increase. However, compared with 2010, where the total number of foreignborn population stood at 40 million, it signifies an increase of 11.8%. The Center for Immigration Studies (CIS), a US based think-tank, which is considered to be protectionist in its views, has in its research report, provided data based on country of birth. As of July 1,

2018, the population originating from India stood at 2.65 million, a miniscule increase of 1.5% over the previous year’s figure of 2.61million. Indians comprise less than 1% of US population Indians constituted 5.9% of the total foreignborn population as of July 2018, but comprise less than 1% of the total US population. Between 2010 and 2018, the number of those from India rose by 870,000, signifying an increase of 49%. Back in 1990, there were just 450,000 individuals having their place of birth in India. The number increased by 489% from this date till 2018. The foreign-born population from China increased from 2.16 million in 2010 to 2.84 million in 2018 (up by 678,000) signifying an increase of nearly 32%. According to the US Census Board, the term foreign-born refers to

individuals who were not US citizens at birth. It includes those immigrants who later obtained US citizenship, green card holders, temporary workers (such as those on H-1B visa) and international students. It does not include those who are on a short stay such as tourists and business travellers. CIS in its research paper states that 1.45 million new legal and illegal immigrants settled in US in 2017, fewer than the 1.75 million in 2016 or 1.62 million in 2015. “The falloff in arrivals in 2017, may be due to increased enforcement efforts, lower refugee admissions and more robust vetting of applications undertaken by the Trump administration,” it states in its research report. It points out that full data is available of immigrants in 2017, but as the population is captured as of July 1, only data of the first six months is available for 2018.

More than 140 Indians, including 3 women, were deported from Arizona in the United States landed at the New Delhi international airport last week. Majority of these deported Indians, who are in the age group of 25-35, hail from Punjab and Haryana and a few from Gujarat. The first feeling Ravinder Singh, 25, had on touching down at Delhi was a sense of relief over his wrists and legs being untied before he stepped out of the chartered plane at IGI Airport. But he soon sobered up when he remembered the money his father had spent both on getting him to the United States and then trying to get him freed from a detention camp for illegal migrants there. It was a humiliating return journey for them, trussed up as they were like common criminals during the flight from Arizona to Delhi, via Dhaka. These Indians had paid agents

around Rs 25,00,000 each to clandestinely enter the US t h r o u g h different borders. While some had gone Deported Indians at New Delhi international airport t h r o u g h deportees. Immigration Equador and other South officials said the 145 Indians American countries, there did not possess documents were others who went making them eligible to stay through Greece, Italy and in America and had been other European countries. detained in immigration Some had even worked for a camps set up after the while before being detected Trump administration by immigration authorities nudged the American states in Arizona, California, to halt the flow of illegal Texas, Georgia, New Jersey immigrants into the and Mississippi and country. On October 18, as confined to migrant camps, many as 311 Indian where they claimed living deportees, escorted by 60 conditions were challenging. security personnel, arrived After landing, the deportees in New Delhi in a Boeing 747 were questioned by officials that took off from Toluca of the Intelligence Bureau City international airport in and the Foreigners Regional Mexico. Most of these Registration Office. belonged to Punjab and Their 24-hour-long Haryana and many were flight departed from Arizona caught when they were just and reached Delhi after a metres away from crossing brief stopover in Dhaka to over to the US. deplane 25 Bangladeshi


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30 Nov - 6 Dec 2019

Get the flu jab before winter hits Delays of the nasal-spray flu vaccine for schoolchildren has now been resolved Health officials have urged people to get the flu jab before winter hits after confirming the delays to children's nasal spray are over. Children will be rushed through vaccinations at their schools 'as soon as possible' now the issue has been fixed, according to Public Health England (PHE). Earlier this month, it was revealed a quarter of the nasal spray vaccines would be delivered later than expected. Hundreds of schools were told to pause vaccination sessions they had planned for the middle of November. The programme is now back under way while other at-risk people and adults are being reminded the best time to have the vaccine is before December, when flu begins to circulate widely. Plans for vaccinating children were stalled this month after drug company AstraZeneca said it needed 'to repeat some tests' for the nasal spray.

The problems were not related to the safety or efficacy of the vaccine itself but were caused by testing processes not working. The adult flu programme was not affected by the delay and has continued as normal. However children are considered ‘super-spreaders’ of the flu virus and concerns grew the infection will spread easily to adults if youngsters were left unprotected as peak flu season approached. Now, PHE said the sessions would be rearranged for 'as soon as possible' but that children at high-risk, such as asthmatics, should visit their GP instead.

GPs were told to reserve and prioritise stocks for toddlers and children with problems such as asthma and give them adult vaccines. However, jabs for adults are not as effective in children, particularly as many youngsters hate needles. Parents of children in high-risk groups, such as those with asthma or diabetes, are still being advised to contact their GP to be seen as soon as possible. Children who are aged two and three are eligible for the flu vaccine nasal spray through their GP surgery. People aged 65 and over, children and adults with underlying medical conditions and pregnant women

are urged to get their free vaccine in the next few weeks. Professor Stephen Powis, NHS England national medical director, said: 'Flu can be extremely serious and even kill in some cases, and getting vaccinated is the best protection against it.' Professor Martin Marshall, chairman of the Royal College of GPs, said: 'For those in at-risk groups, such as young children, elderly people, those with long-term conditions and pregnant women, flu has the potential to trigger lifethreatening complications. The best defence against the flu is to be vaccinated and we strongly urge all patients in at-risk groups to get vaccinated and for parents to ensure their young children receive their vaccine as soon as possible.' At-risk groups eligible for the flu vaccine include pregnant women who have a much higher risk of serious illness if they get the flu.

GPs vote to reduce patient home visits GPs have voted to reduce visits to patients' homes, saying they "no longer have the capacity" to offer them. Doctors supported the proposal at a meeting of English local medical committees in London on Friday. It means British Medical Association (BMA) representatives will lobby NHS England to stop home visits being a contractual obligation. However, the plans face opposition from Health Secretary Matt Hancock and the Royal College of GPs (RCGP).

Mr Hancock said taking home visits out of GPs' contracts is a "complete nonstarter". RCGP chair Professor Martin Marshall said home visits should be used wisely but insisted they are a "core part" of general practice. An NHS spokeswoman said GPs would still visit patients at home where there was a clinical need to do so. According to NHS Digital, in one month in 2018, GPs in England made 238,579 home visits out of a total of 27,084,027 appointments.

A local committee of doctors from Kent brought the motion to the conference, arguing GPs "no longer have the capacity to offer home visits". It said representatives from the BMA should renegotiate with the NHS to "remove the anachronism of home visits from core contract work, negotiate a separate acute service for urgent visits, and demand any change in service is widely advertised to patients". The group added it did not want to completely scrap home visits, as "more complex, vulnerable and

palliative patients" were "best served" by GP home visits. Nikita Kanani, the NHS's national medical director for primary care, said GPs and healthcare professionals such as nurses and advanced paramedics would continue to make home visits when patients needed them. The London GP said an extra £4.5bn was being invested for local doctors and community services to help fund 20,000 more staff to support GP practices and "offer high quality care for patients".

Anti-cholesterol jab twice a year could herald the end of statins Taking statins every day to control cholesterol could soon become a thing of the past and be replaced instead by twice-yearly jabs. Spectacular results from trials of an injectable drug called inclisiran show that it can slash 'bad' LDL cholesterol levels by more than 50 per cent after just two weeks, and that after the jab, levels stay stable for six months. Experts hope that the breakthrough treatment will get NHS approval within 18 months, and they are working on a longer-lasting version that could be given just once a year. The injection 'is going to change everything', said cardiologist Professor Kausik Ray, of Imperial College London, who has been leading the trial. 'Patients can have a jab and forget about

daily pills.' And Professor Sir Nilesh Samani, of the British Heart Foundation, said: 'It could be given along with an annual flu jab by a nurse in a pharmacy, or even by patients themselves at home.' The first patients expected to be offered the injection are those who are already on the maximum doses of statins but who are not responding. However, wider groups could quickly be set to benefit, including those who simply forget to take their tablet every day. Prof Samani said: 'If the drug is well tolerated and the costs are comparable to statins, it really could be a game-changer. I could see it being useful for patients who try statins but find they can't take them due to side effects, and also those who

just struggle to remember to take the tablets.' High levels of LDL contribute to damage inside artery walls, leading to a build-up of plaques which can block blood supply. Statins can lower LDL levels by 30 to 50 per cent, significantly reducing the risk of a heart attack. Up to eight million Britons are prescribed the pills. But studies suggest that half stop taking them within a year, leaving them at risk of a heart attack or stroke. Some forget to take their tablets, but many patients quit the drugs, claiming they cause ill-health. Research indicates that those who stop taking the tablets are almost twice as likely to suffer a heart attack or other coronary event within three years. A quarter are more likely to have a stroke com-

pared to those who carry on taking their statins. Concern is so high that in February, NHS England and Public Health England launched a joint drive to get 100,000 more 40-to-75-year-olds in danger of developing heart disease on to the tablets. Further studies are under way to see if using the drug also brings about a reduction in numbers of heart attacks and other cardiovascular events. Elsewhere at the conference, landmark trial results were announced that could spare thousands of heartattack patients from stent surgery on blocked arteries. It is a procedure 75,000 Britons go through every year. But a new study indicates that inserting stents may not actually prevent heart attacks any better than taking standard drugs does.

in brief LIVING NEAR BUSY ROAD CAN STUNT CHILDREN'S LUNG GROWTH Children exposed to roadside air pollution could have their lung growth stunted by up to 14%, a study suggests. Living within 50m of a major road could increase the risk of lung cancer by up to 10%, the paper also found. The study of 13 cities in the UK and Poland found air pollution contributes to a higher chance of heart disease, strokes, heart failure and bronchitis. Campaigners called on the government to commit to tackling "dangerous" air pollution in the UK. The report written by King's College London analysed 13 health conditions in people living in high pollution areas and compared them to the general population. It focused not just on hospital admissions and deaths but also symptoms such as chest infections. The study found roadside air pollution stunted lung growth in children by approximately 14% in Oxford, 13% in London, 8% in Birmingham, 5% in Liverpool, 3% in Nottingham and 4% in Southampton. Researchers also said if air pollution was cut by a fifth, there would be thousands fewer cases of children with symptoms of bronchitis across those UK cities.

MEDITERRANEAN DIET COULD STOP YOU GOING DEAF Eating healthily could stop people going deaf in old age, according to scientists. A study has found people who ate more fruits and vegetables, beans, leafy greens and seafood and fish were less likely to report their hearing getting worse. The foods which seemed to be best for hearing health were those found in the Mediterranean diet, suggesting the lifestyle choice has yet another health benefit. People whose diet most closely matched it were found to have a up to 30 per cent lower risk of hearing decline. Scientists from Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston, Massachusetts, studied 3,135 women with an average age of 59. Their hearing was tested over a three-year period and the researchers looked at 20 years' worth of information about their diet. Hearing tests measured low, mid and high frequency levels at varying volumes and the women had to indicate when they could just barely hear the sound any more. In the mid-range, women were 30 per cent less likely to experience a decline if they ate a healthy diet. And their risk of damaged high-frequency hearing was cut by 25 per cent.

ECZEMA PATIENTS MORE LIKELY TO BREAK BONES Eczema patients are more likely to break their bones, according to an analysis of NHS hospital data. Researchers found hip, knee and spinal fractures were 13 per cent more common among adults with the skin condition. Academics say this would mean there are an extra 164 broken bones among 100,000 eczema patients, compared to the average. London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine experts trawled through almost two decades worth of fractures in England. The study, considered to be the largest on the topic to-date, took data from almost 3.1million patients – 500,000 had eczema. Professor Sinéad Langan and colleagues found patients with more severe eczema had an even greater risk of breaking a bone. It merely adds to the evidence, with a string of scientific studies in recent years having uncovered similar findings. Results showed fracture risk remained high even when taking into account patients on steroids, long thought to weaken bones. The experts admitted the reason could be that many eczema patients cut out dairy because they believe it may trigger flare-ups. And they said people battling the condition may also be less likely to exercise, leaving them with weaker bones. The team said the results are of public health importance, given how common eczema is and that broken bones can cause disability and death. Dr Thivi Maruthappu, consultant dermatologist and British Skin Foundation spokesperson, called for further studies but said: 'This work highlights a novel and important link between atopic eczema and fracture risk. Atopic eczema is common, affecting 10 per cent of the adult population in the UK, so these findings are potentially relevant to a large population. Around six million people suffer from eczema in Britain, while the figure is in excess of 35 million in the US, figures suggest. The root cause of the condition, which can cause patients to itch their skin until it is red raw, has mystified dermatologists for decades. Scientific advances in recent years have led to scientists floating the ideas of an eventual cure – but it remains incurable for now.

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30 Nov - 6 Dec 2019

Katrina flaunts her boxing skills Katrina Kaif's latest video has left her fans baffled in which she is seen flaunting her boxing skills. She shared a video on Instagram and wrote, "Ok, so maybe [Floyd] Mayweather isn't quite shaking in his boots... but I'm getting there... something special coming soon (sic)." Since being posted, the video has been viewed over 18,40,000 times. Fans are speculating that Kat may team up with the former American boxer for an upcoming league or the video could be a

part of an endorsement deal. Whatever the reason, netizens feel Kat is fighting fit and is capable of a bout in the ring. The 'Bharat' actress is quickly becoming a master of many trades. She recently launched her beauty line called Kay Beauty. "For as long as I can remember, makeup has been an innate part of my journey - from the runway to the big screen, and now I have rendered my love for it to Kay Beauty, my first ever Beauty Brand," said the actress in a chat.

She further said, "After spending years donning different looks, it was time that I created a brand that truly stands for what I believe in. I'm always on the clock, always on the run, with endless shoots that involve me wearing makeup all the time. As much as I love the look and feel of it, I do wish my skin felt as comfortable, as I did wearing it." Katrina will next be seen opposite Akshay Kumar in Rohit Shetty's upcoming cop film – 'Sooryavanshi'.

Rishi Kapoor and Neetu Singh reunite for a remake Rishi Kapoor and Neetu Singh reunite for a remake. The latest buzz is that the duo is set to join forces once again for the 'Bela Seshe' remake. 'Bela Seshe', meaning the end of the day or the autumn of life, was a Bengali family drama film directed by Nandita Roy and Shiboprosad Mukh-erjee. The Hindi version is slated to be produced by Reliance. “The couple has agreed to be a part of the film, and this will be the first new film that they will do together after appearing in 'Besharam' with son Ranbir Kapoor. The couple acted together for the first time in the 1974 film 'Zehreela Insaan' and were last seen in the 1980 film 'Dhan Daulat.' They will be seen playing the lead pair after three decades on screen,” says a source. Rishi

Yash Raj Films booked for pocketing £10 mn Mumbai police's Economic Offence Wing (EOW) has registered an FIR against Bollywood production house Yash Raj Films (YRF) allegedly pocketing £10 million belonging to lyricists, musicians, singers and music producers. The case has been filed by The Indian Performing Rights Society (IPRS) which represents composers, lyricists and music producers. According to the complaint, YRF has forced artistes to sign "dubious" contracts and collected royalties which did belong to artists. It says that production house cannot

collect royalties on behalf of artists and music composers as its the sole and exclusive right of IPRS. "The complaint was registered based on preliminary inquiry and

evidence submitted. Further investigations will be carried out and accused will be called for questioning if needed," said an official from EOW. EOW will also investigate if other production houses and studios have indulged in similar practices. The FIR has been registered under sections 409 (criminal breach of trust) and 34 (common intention) of the Indian Penal Code and relevant sections of the Copyright Act. The FIR had names of YRF directors Aditya and Uday Chopra, and was registered last week.

Dil Bechara Dil Bechara is a 2019 Bollywood drama, which has been directed by Mukesh Chhabra. The movie stars Sushant Singh Rajput and Sanjana Sanghi in the lead roles. Dil Bechara is an adaption of 'The Fault In Our Stars'.

Enai Noki Paayum Thota Enai Noki Paayum Thota is a Tamil movie direction by Gautham Menon. The movie has Dhanush and Megha Akash in the lead roles. The film marked the comeback of Producer P. Madan with Gautham after their film Vinnaithaandi Varuvaayaa.

will play the role that Bengali star Soumitra Chatterjee essayed while Neetu will step into Swatilekha Sengupta's shoes. 'Bela Seshe' looks at an older couple’s journey with unfulfilled promises and expectations from love, and their

separation after a four-decade-long relationship. Interestingly, during the 75thday celebration of the film in July, Soumitra mentioned that it was a tailor-made role for Amitabh Bachchan. The role ultimately went to Nana Patekar, who even signed the film but was left in the lurch following the #MeToo allegations against him, and Reliance then got Rishi on board. Neetu was brought on board subsequently. Meanwhile, Rishi, whose film 'The Body' releases on December 13, will start filming for an unfinished untitled Hitesh Bhatia film where he reunites with Juhi Chawla. The actor had left for New York last year for his cancer treatment and hence was unable to complete the shoot then.

Ajay Devgn-Rohit Shetty bromance continues Rohit Shetty and Ajay Devgn's bromance has been a no secret. The timeless duo of Bollywood has delivered classic films like 'Singham' and 'Golmaal' sweeping the nation. The 'Singham' filmmaker and actor have always shown support for each other, the most recent instance being their kind words at the trailer launch for Ajay’s latest film 'Tanhaji: The Unsung Warrior”, which also stars Saif Ali Khan. “My journey would have remained incomplete without Rohit. He had joined Ajay Devgn Films as an assistant, and became part of the family. I take loads of pride in Rohit, who started with us and has reached so far. He made it possible with his dedication and hard work as well as his passion. All of us have witnessed his journey,” the actor gushed. Rohit responded with kind words of his own. “My film journey would be incomplete without Ajay Devgn’s part in it. We have spent 30 years together, and this relation is just not about a few two of but Fridays, generations. Let me tell you that whatever you guys see in 'Tanhaji' is a dream that Ajay had nurtured for almost 30 years. He wanted it to be a visual of a lifetime for all of you. Incidentally d n a fortunately, this is Ajay’s 100th film, but behind this has been his honesty,

commitment and dedication,” he said with a smile. As for the trailer, Rohit was all praise for Ajay and Saif’s performance. “Ajay sir’s company and the VFX team have worked hard on it. Om Raut (Director), Ajay sir, Saif Ali Khan, and all others have worked so hard that whatever you will witness today, I guarantee that you guys will witness it for the first time in the Indian cinema. to goes obviously credit The actor/producer Ajay, who wanted to form his own company and has been giving by especially successful something unique to the audiences,” he shared. Saif, who was present at the event, also had favourable things to say about Ajay. “I am happy to be a part of Ajay’s 100th film, it is an incredible achievement for him. We know the love and passion that Ajay has for films, and one needs to love their work. Ajay has always been a supporter of people who give this industry so much; I saw the same technicians and spot boys whom I worked with for the past 30 years. I have a great deal of respect for Ajay,” he said in conclusion.


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30 Nov - 6 Dec 2019

Taapsee Pannu opens up on boyfriend Taapsee Pannu, who was recently seen in 'Saand Ki Aankh', became the guest on Neha Dhupia's podcast show, #NoFilterNeha. While chatting with the host, Taapsee got candid and spoke about various things right from her most embarrassing memory to the superstition she believes in when watching a badminton tournament. Taapsee, who is known for her unabashedly upfront nature, also spoke about her relationship and chose a trait for those Bollywood stars who she thinks could be a perfect man. She even opened out about her wedding plans.

Nagarjuna joins Ranbir -Alia starrer 'Brahmastra' Ayan Mukherji's 'Brahmastra' has been hitting the headlines for its extravagant starcast, including Ranbir Kapoor, Amitabh Bachchan and Alia Bhatt. The mega-budget action-adventure fantasy film also features Telugu mega star Akkineni Nagarjuna in a key role. It is known that Ranbir plays the character of a boy-nextdoor named Shiva, who emits fire from hand while Alia plays his love interest. Now, the character details of Nagarjuna has been revealed as he is playing the role of an archaeologist in the film. A source close to the film said, “Nagarjuna’s character, along with his students, undertakes an expedition to restore an ancient temple along the banks of the Ganga. “An important event leads Shiva and Isha to Nagarjuna.” Mouni Roy and Saurav Gurjar, who play lead

antagonists in the film also come in this crucial track. “The adventure kicks-off after all of them come faceto-face in Varanasi. A highoctane action sequence featuring them was shot earlier in the year.” Interestingly, Shah Rukh Khan also plays a cameo in this film and despite being a guest appearance, his role is important as it will take forward the journey of Shiva. Amitabh has collaborated with Ranbir for the first time. The cine icon earlier praised Ranbir in an interview, saying, "His face

is God's blessing. He doesn't seem to make any effort to convey emotions whereas I've to constantly struggle to express myself and ask the director to help me." 'Brahmastra' is produced by Dharma Productions and Fox Star Studios. The film was supposed to release on August 15 this year but due to delay of VFX and shooting portions, it has now been postponed to summer 2020. It marks the third collaboration between Ranbir and Ayan Mukerji after 'Wake Up Sid' and 'Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani'.

While talking to Taapsee, Neha asked her why doesn't she (Taapsee Pannu) talk about her current boyfriend, Mathias Boe? Taapsee replied that she thinks "too much would be written", adding that it could overtake her professional life. Well, that's only fair. Taapsee is in show business for her acting skills and to entertain the audience with her performances and not for her personal life. Taapsee has proved her mettle as an actress in the recent past with her choice of films and stories. Later, while talking about the same, Neha asked Taapsee to name an actor and list the traits that make a perfect combination for a perfect man. Taapsee took Hrithik Roshan's name as Neha listed Sex Appeal. Taapsee thinks Akshay Kumar has a very good sense of humour while Shah Rukh Khan's intelligence is infallible. Taapsee finds Ranveer Singh very charming while she believes that Salman Khan has the highest net worth

in the country. That's not all! Coming back to her relationship, Neha asked where would Taapsee's ideal wedding destination be. Without hesitation, the Badla actress answered, "Beach, somewhere on the beach." Meanwhile Taapsee is signing on her fourth sports film - a biopic on cricketer Mithali Raj. Reportedly, a major studio has acquired the rights of the film, and Taapsee, who had expressed a desire to play the role of the Indian women’s cricket team captain, will now seriously need to learn to play cricket the right way. The Pink actress had earlier played a hockey player in 'Soorma' and has signed on the role of a sprinter in 'Rashmi Rocket' directed by Akarsh Khurana. Tapsee has had a dream year so far with 'Badla' and 'Mission Mangal' hitting the bull’s-eye. She also owns a badminton team, and is in a relationship with Danish shuttler and Olympic silvermedallist Mathias Boe.

Rajinikanth is like family, says Bachchan Amidst a standing ovation in a packed indoor stadium, three veteran actors Rajinikanth, Amitabh Bachchan and Isabelle Huppert - were felicitated at the 50th edition of the International Film Festival of India in Goa. The two mega stars of Indian cinema were all praises when they felicitated each other at the film festival. "I would like to thank my fans the most. In highs and lows you have been with me and I have always been saying this - I am in debt of your love and affection. I do not want to repay the debt, because I would like to keep it forever," Bachchan said. Commenting on his friendship with Rajinikanth, Bachchan said that he treats the latter like a member of his family. Describing Bachchan as an “inspiration,” Rajinikanth honoured him with a shawl. “There is always this bickering between us... There are

times when I give him some advice and then there are days, when he suggests something to me. Though, we never follow each other’s advice.... I feel that relationships are about all of this,” Bachchan said. Dubbing Rajinikanth the “god of South Indian cinema,” filmmaker Karan Johar, who hosted the event, presented the Icon of Golden Jubilee award to the actor, celebrating his 44-year-long career. “I want to dedicate this to my directors, producers,

technicians and my fans,” said Rajinikanth, as the crowd cheered. The ceremony also featured two performances by singer-composer Shankar Mahadevan and jazz artiste Louis Banks. The opening film of IFFI this year was Goran Paskaljevic’s 'Despite the Fog' (Nonostante la Nebbia). In an interaction with the media earlier, Paskaljevic said that he made the film in response to the “xenophobia and growing fascism in Italy.”

John Abraham wants a break from serious cinema 'Pagalpanti' almost immediately stands out in John Abraham's resume after all, the actor has became synonymous with the contentdriven cinema with patriotic films that included 'Parmanu: The Story Of Pokhran' (2018), 'Satyameva Jayate' (2018) and 'Batla House'. Tell him it's surprising to see him in a comedy, and he says the Anees Bazmee-directed venture was a much-needed change for him. "As an actor, I needed a break from serious cinema," begins Abraham, alluding that difficult projects such as 'Batla House' take an emotional toll on an artiste. "That's why I wanted to do a

film that would make me as well as the audience happy. With Pagalpanti, the idea was to make a movie that would be suitable for all age groups. It doesn't have double meaning jokes, exposure or bloodshed." At a time when the emphasis is on content rather than stars, isn't he apprehensive about being part of a mindless comedy? "I am sure films like 'Total Dhamaal' and 'Housefull 4' got a lot of negative reviews and criticism. But the audience saw them, and both fared well commercially. So, I believe there is space for all kinds of films today," he says, adding that cracking the genre isn't as easy as one

might believe. "I had just wrapped up 'Batla House' when I started shooting for this film. So the first two days were difficult for me. I had to shift gears completely as comedy is the toughest genre in the business. But

Anees bhai and the entire cast was supportive." While the actor has previously dabbled in the comedy genre with films like 'Garam Masala' and 'Dishoom', he returns to the genre after a long break!


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After cricket, Aishwarya Rajesh turns wrestler

Actress Aishwarya Rajesh will be playing the female lead in 'Salim' director NV Nirmal Kumar's upcoming film 'MisMatch'. Starring Uday Shankar as the male lead, the film is produced by G Srirama Raju and K Bharath Ram under the banner Adiroh Creative Signs LLP. Aishwarya had played the role of a cricketer in the critically and commercially successful sports drama 'Kanaa', directed by Arunraja

Kamaraj. The official trailer of 'MisMatch' was released and the snippet promises to be a romantic drama that is laced with elements of action and wrestling. On the technical front, 'MisMatch' is captured by Ganesh Chandrra while SP Raja Chandrra handles the editing department. Written by Bhupathy Raja, 'MisMatch' features music composed by Gifton Elias and the film is set to hit the screens on December 6.

'Bigil' becomes the highest-grossing Tamil film Tamil film 'Bigil' starring Thalapathy Vijay has emerged as a blockbuster in domestic as well as overseas markets. The film has become Vijay's highest grosser in the UK, surpassing his 2017 release 'Mersel'. According to the makers of 'Bigil', the film has grossed £14.27 million after four weeks in theaters. It looks like the Vijay-starrer has surpassed Viswasam’s collection that touched £14 million in Tamil Nadu. Reports also suggest that “Bigil is the second £20 million grosser (domestic) of the year, and Vijay is the fourth actor to achieve this feat after Rajinikanth, Prabhas and Yash.” A source close to the unit added 'Bigil' has also emerged the highest-grossing Tamil film in Kerala, collecting £1.96 million in Kerala, leaving behind Vikram’s 'I'. Directed by Atlee, 'Bigil', which hit screens last month, features

Vijay in dual roles – as a gangster and an energetic football coach of a women’s team. Produced by AGS Entertainment on a budget of £18 million, the film

stars Nayanthara, Jackie Shroff, Indhuja, Reba Monica John, Amritha Aiyer, Varsha, Kathir, Vivek and Yogi Babu in pivotal roles. The film was also released in Telugu as 'Whistle'.

I am still a kid man, Maddy smashes rumours in style R Madhavan has a couple of films pipelined for release, one of which is 'Rocketry: The Nambi Effect'. The film will be a trilingual to be released in English, Hindi and Tamil. The film has been written and directed by the actor himself. He will also be seen next in 'Nishabdham' which is an upcoming film that features Anushka Shetty, Anjali, Subbaraju and Shalini Pandey in pivotal roles. The film is releasing in Tamil, Telugu, Hindi and is titled 'Silence'. The trailer of the same was released a few days ago and was wellreceived by the audiences. Meanwhile, the actor who is superactive in his social media has taken to his

Twitter handle and smashed a rumour that was doing rounds in the social media. According to the reports, the actor will be seen playing the role of Tollywood star, Varun Tej’s father in an upcoming movie boxing drama. Directed by Kiran Korrapati, the film also features Ramya Krishnan as Varun’s mother. However, Maddy put an end to all the rumours in style as he replied to one of his fans who was literally hoping the news to be fake, “Totally fake bro. I am still a kid man.”

Woah, now that’s Maddy again with his usual punch!

Rajamouli's 'RRR' has international star cast The multilingual flick 'RRR' now has international names in its star cast. After the mega-success of the 'Bahubali' series, director SS Rajamouli returns with yet another outstanding project starring Alia Bhatt and Ajay Devgn, and Telugu superstars NTR Jr. and Ram Charan. Recently it was announced that international actors Olivia Morris, Alison Doody and Ray Stevenson are also roped in to play pivotal roles in the film. Sharing the first look of the actors, the film's Twitter handle announced the news. "Olivia, we are happy to have you play the

female lead #Jennifer. Looking forward for the shoot," read the tweet. The British actor Morris will replace Daisy Edgar Jones, who opted out of the magnus opus. While welcoming Alison Doody, who has

been part of Hollywood movies like 'A View To Kill', the Twitter handle read, "Welcome to Indian cinema, #AlisonDoody! Had a wonderful time shooting for your first schedule... We are glad to have you play lead antagonist

#LADYSCOTT in #RRRMovie! #RRR". Stevenson, who is best known for his role of Volstagg in the "Thor" films, will essay the lead antagonist Scott in "RRR". “Can't wait to begin shooting with you," the filmmakers tweeted on the official handle. According to a series of tweets on the film's official handle, Doody has already shot the first schedule of the film. RRR is slated to release worldwide on July 30 next year in 10 Indian languages. It has been confirmed that budget of the film is estimated to be around £30 million.

TV Listing

* Schedule is subject to change

SATURDAY NOV 30, 2019 00:50 FILM: RAGINI MMS 06:00 FILM: GOOD BUDDY GADBADI 08:28 FILM: JOSH 11:47 FILM: DIL 15:25 FILM: NIL BATTEY SANNATA 17:41 FILM: DO LAFZON KI KAHANI 20:17 FILM: FITOOR 22:57 FILM: UDTA PUNJAB SUNDAY DEC 01, 2019 01:47 FILM: BLACKMAIL 06:00 FILM: PRITHIPAL SINGH... A STORY 08:00 FILM: HERO 11:19 FILM: WOH 7 DIN 14:23 FILM: TRAPPED 16:30 FILM: COMMANDO 2 19:02 LIFESTYLE : STAR STOP 19:33 LIFESTYLE : STAR STOP 20:06 FILM: KHOOBSURAT 22:46 FILM: FITOOR MONDAY DEC 02, 2019 01:20 FILM: SHAITAAN 06:00 FILM: VIKALP 08:33 FILM: ATISHBAZ 11:15 FILM: INSANIYAT 14:47 FILM: WAH TAJ 17:01 FILM: ALIGARH 19:28 LIFESTYLE : STAR STOP 20:00 FILM: VEER 23:21 FILM: SANAM TERI KASAM TUESDAY DEC 03, 2019

* Schedule is subject to change

SATURDAY 30TH NOVEMBER TIME TV PROGRAM NAMES 16:30 ZINDAGI KE CROSSROADS 17:30 MERE DAD KI DULHAN 18:30 THE KAPIL SHARMA SHOW 20:00 INDIAN IDOL 21:30 THE KAPIL SHARMA SHOW SUNDAY 1ST DECEMBER TIME TV PROGRAM NAMES 16:30 ZINDAGI KE CROSSROADS 17:30 MERE DAD KI DULHAN 18:00 THE CHEF (SUNDAY ONLY)

* Schedule is subject to change

MON 2ND - FRI 6TH DEC 2019 13:00: SWARAGINI 13:30: BHARADWAJ BAHUEIN 14:00: TERE NAAL ISHQ 14:30: BEPANNAH 16:30: RASOI SHOW 17:30: CHHUTA CHHEDA 18:00: TUM KAUN PIYA 18:30: DIL KA RISHTA 19:00: JAHAANARA

* Schedule is subject to change

MON 2ND - FRI 6TH DEC 2019 18:30: VIDYA 19:00: RAM SIYA KE LUV KUSH 19:30: CHOTI SARDAARNI 20:00: SHAKTI ASTITVA KE EHSAAS KI 20:30: SHUBHARAMBH 21:30: BIGG BOSS - SEASON 13 22:30: BAHU BEGUM 23:00: BEPANAH PYAARR

02:15 FILM: HERO 06:00 FILM: SHUKRIYA 08:46 FILM: WOH 7 DIN 11:44 FILM: TRAPPED 13:52 FILM: VIVAH 17:19 FILM: KHOOBSURAT 20:00 FILM: THE SHAUKEENS 22:44 FILM: SHAITAAN WEDNESDAY DEC 04, 2019 01:16 FILM: RAMAN RAGHAV 2.0 06:00 FILM: MUNNA MANGE MEMSAAB 08:30 FILM: WAH TAJ 10:46 FILM: ALIGARH 13:13 FILM: SANAM TERI KASAM 16:23 FILM: VEER 19:38 LIFESTYLE : STAR STOP 20:14 FILM: RA ONE 23:25 FILM: THE SHAUKEENS THURSDAY DEC 05, 2019 01:52 FILM: VIVAH 06:00 FILM: THE PERFECT GIRL 08:00 FILM: KAUN? 09:55 FILM: NASEEB 13:46 FILM: PHOOL AUR KANTE 16:56 FILM: DON - THE CHASE BEGINS AGAIN 20:32 FILM: HOLIDAY-A SOLDIER IS NEVER OFF DUTY 23:47 FILM: RAMAN RAGHAV 2.0 FRIDAY DEC 06, 2019 02:08 FILM: 1920 LONDON 06:00 FILM: TITOO MBA 08:08 FILM: NASEEB 11:50 FILM: ANDHAA KANOON 15:13 FILM: RA ONE 18:25 FILM: HONEYMOON TRAVELS PVT. LTD. 20:58 FILM: COMPANY 23:58 FILM: HOLIDAY-A SOLDIER IS NEVER OFF DUTY

18:30 THE KAPIL SHARMA SHOW 20:00 INDIAN IDOL 21:30 THE KAPIL SHARMA SHOW MON 2ND DECEMBER- FRI 6TH DECEMBER 18:30 VIGHNAHARTA GANESHA 19:00 MERE SAI 19:30 TARA FROM SATARA 20:00 ISHAARON ISHAARON MEIN 20:30 PATIALA BABES 21:00 BEYHADH 2 22:00 MERE DAD KI DULHAN 22:30 TARA FROM SATARA 23:00 CRIME PATROL SONY MAX 2 PRIME TIME 19:00 MONDAY SOHNI MAHIWAL 19:00 TUESDAY ARPAN 19:00 WEDNESDAY BADAL 19:00 THURSDAY BIWI HO TO AISI 19:00 FRIDAY BETAAB

19:30: BIGG BOSS (SEASON 13) 20:30: MOHE RANNG DO LAAL 21:00: BALIKA VADHU - LAMHE PYAAR KE SAT 7TH DEC 2019 11:00: MAHAKALI 13:30: DADA HO DIKARI 17:00: DHARAM THI GUJARATI 17:30: DIVINE DESTINATION 18:00: BIGG BOSS (SEASON 13) WEEKEND KA VAAR 19:30: DESI BEAT RESET (SEASON 3) 20:00: DANCE DEEWANE (SEASON 2) 21:30: JAAGTE RAHO (SEASON 2) SUN 8TH DEC 2019 11:00: SHRIMAD BHAGWAT 17:30: DIVINE DESTINATION 18:00: BIGG BOSS - SEASON 13 WEEKEND KA VAAR 19:30: DESI BEAT (SEASON 3) 20:00: DANCE DEEWANE (SEASON 2) 21:30: JAAGTE RAHO

SAT 7TH DEC 2019 18:30: VIDYA 19:00: CHOTI SARDAARNI 19:30: CHOTI SARDAARNI 20:00: FOOD HIGHWAY 20:30: KHATRA KHATRA KHATRA 21:30: BIGG BOSS (SEASON 13) WEEKEND KA VAAR SUN 8TH DEC 2019 11:00: GATTU BATTU 11:30: RUDRA 14:30: OM SHANTI OM 18:00: NAAGIN EVENT 21:00: DESI BEAT RESET 21:30: BIGG BOSS (SEASON 13) WEEKEND KA VAAR


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Diwali celebrations by Indian Community of Salisbury at Sarum Academy

Autumn Song - Poem by Sarojini Naidu Like a joy on the heart of a sorrow, The sunset hangs on a cloud; A golden storm of glittering sheaves, Of fair and frail and fluttering leaves, The wild wind blows in a cloud. Hark to a voice that is calling To my heart in the voice of the wind: My heart is weary and sad and alone,

Coming Events

l Exhibition of Artworks of R K Laxman Venue: The Nehru Centre, High Commission of India, 8 South Audley Street, London W1K 1HF Date: 26-29th November 2019, Time: 10am to 6pm R K LAXMAN (1921-2015) : R K Laxman was the most iconic Indian cartoonist who chronicled the history of postindependent India. With a few strokes of his brush, he created his signature creation, the bespectacled ‘Common Man’, who became the symbol of the quintessential Indian. Laxman’s ‘Common Man’ ranks along with many celebrated cartoon characters in the world. l 108 Hanuman Chalisa, Date: 1 December, Sunday Time: 11:00 am to 5:00 pm, Venue: Social Club Hall, Northwick Park Hospital, Harrow HA1 3UJ. Food sponsors - Nemaben Fatubhai Mulchandani and Sunitaben Mangalani (USA) Contact: 020 8459 5758/07973 550 310 l Satellite - Kaleidoscope, Date: 1 December, Sunday Time: 5:30 pm, Little Women - School Musical Date: 3-4 December, Venue: The Bhavan - Bharatiya Bhavan Bhavan 4A, Castlestown Road, West Kensington, London W14 9HE, Contact: 020 7381 3086 l Tagore from Rembrandt's eye - Photo Exhibition Date: 2-6 December, 6:15 pm, Gitanjali - Various forms of Tagore music, Date: 2 December, 6:30 pm Ghazals from Urdu poet, Date: 3 December, 6:30 pm Tagore from Rembrandt's eye - Music, poetry and lecture Date: 4 December, 6:30 pm, Venue: Nehru Center UK 8S, Audley Street, Mayfair London W1K 1HF Contact: 020 7491 3567

l KALEIDOSCOPE 2019 – Anugraha Ashwini Kalsekar and Kirti Kala Mandir, UK presents, Kaleidoscope 2019: “Anugraha”. An evening dedicated to Indian Classical dance. Forty aspiring Kathak artists of KKMUK ,along with Guru Smt.Rekha Nadgauda, Jaivant Patel and Kalakunj , will present rhythmic patterns. Ashwini Kalsekar, the artistic director of KKMUK is a celebrated Kathak artist for her expressions, grace and footwork. This is the 10th anniversary celebration of her institute. Date: Sunday 1st December Time: 5.30pm till 7.30pm Venue: 4A Castletown Rd, West Kensington, London W14 9HE l Searching for the Sacred : Resources for the Study of Religion in Asia The Conference will bring together librarians, curators, archivists, researchers, students and others with an interest in resources for the study of religion in

Residents of Salisbury enjoyed a night of dance, food and fireworks at this year’s Diwali celebrations. To mark the festival of lights the Indian Community of Salisbury (ICS) treated guests to a three-course dinner, followed by Bhangra dance, Bollywood dance, an interactive workshop and a raffle, held at Sarum Academy on Saturday, November 9. The origin of Diwali was also introduced to guests, as more than 20 children per-

formed the mythological play Ram Leela. Around 300 people joined the festivities, including Mayor and Mayoress of Salisbury, John and Carrie Walsh and Major David Barringer MBE with his family. Following the event Dr Radha Ari, chairperson of ICS, said: “The Diwali 2019 Dhamaka in Salisbury was another welcoming event by the community, showing integrity and unity of the society within Salisbury and beyond.”

For its dreams like the fluttering leaves have gone, And why should I stay behind?

COURTESY: AJIT NINAN FOR TOI

On 19th, Mahant Swami gave pooja darshan. While giving sermon, Swamiji said, “Maharaj has directed us to look upon the innocent and we should follow his order.” On 20th, Mahant Swami said, “Everyone is divine and free in Satsang. One should leave behind their relations when in Satsang.” On 21st, he said, “ We should consider our body and soul as completely different entities. The body of a Satsangi is invaluable.” Satsang Sabha was held on 22nd in which dance and drama were presented. Graduation ceremony of Yuva Taleem Kendra was held on 24th. Various performances of dance and drama were also held on the same day. In his blessing, Swamiji said, "Youth training center is not merely a classroom, but a life-enriching tool.” On 25th, after puja darshan Mahant Swami said, “If anybody humiliates you, consider it as an act of God.” Mahant Swami will depart for Mumbai on 28 November, Thursday.

Pandit Ramgopal Festival Venue: Bhavan, 4A Castletown Rd, West Kensington, London W14 9HE Sa Dha Arts presents a 2Day Kathak extravaganza in honour of Late Nrityacharya Pt. Ramgopal Misra, as an acknowledgement of his contribution to the field of Indian Classical Music and Dance. The evenings will feature some of the most prominent names in the field of Kathak Dance and is one of the first of its kind to take place in the UK. The Event will also be accompanied by an interac-

tive art exhibition held in The Bhavan’s Art Gallery, which will open on Friday, 6th December at 6:30pm. Day 1: Leena Malakar Trina Roy Abhimanyu Lal Day 2: Sandip Mallick Saberi Misra Pt. Rammohan Mishra They will be accompanied on both days by: Subir Thakur (Tabla), Babar Latif Khan (Tabla), Somnath Mishra (Vocal), Pratip Banerjee (Vocal), Chandrachur Bhattacharjee (Sitar) and Sunando Mukherjee (Sarod). Start Times: Sat, Dec 7th – 5pm Sun, Dec 8th – 5:30pm

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What’s on

Asia and the Middle East. Speakers from leading UK museums and libraries will introduce physical and digital resources and discuss issues of accessibility and interpretation. Date: Monday 2nd December Time: 10.30 till 17.45 Venue: The British Library, 96 Euston Road, London, NW1 2DB Tickets: £35 l Tagore in the light of Rembrandt: Photography Exhibition - A unique photography exhibition on photographic recreation of Tagore’s (The first Nobel laureate in literature) real and fictional characters in the light of Rembrandt's painting as part of the 350th death anniversary of this great painter. Ten characters of Tagore from both real life and his works have been photographed using the form of powerful, poetic and strong visual

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way of Rembrandt’s painting by an awardwinning photographer Pablo Khaled. Date: Mon 2nd Dec to Fri 6th Dec Time: 6pm Venue: 8 South Audley Street, Mayfair, London W1K 1HF l Geetanjali – Various Shades of Tagore’s Music An enchanting melodious event highlighting various aspects and shades of Rabindrasangeet in Bengali, English, Hindi and other languages nationally and internationally and how these songs were also depicted in Bollywood movies by other producers and writers, recitation of Tagore’s famous poems and dances on his famous renditions. Date: Monday 2nd December Time: 6.30pm onwards Venue: The Nehru Centre, 8 South Audley Street, Mayfair, London W1K 1HF


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30 Nov - 6 Dec 2019

Sport

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Hate crimes on the rise in British football Racist and abusive behaviour during football matches across England and Wales show a major rise, according to a Home Office report. The National Police Chiefs' Council says the abhorrent behaviour is re-emerging in the game. Mansfield Town fans were reported for alleged hate crimes at football matches on six occasions over the last two seasons. Discrimination based on someone's race was the major reason for abuses. Burnley fans were responsible for 17 hate crime. It covers matches in England and Wales in the 2017-18 and 2018-19 seasons. Home Office data showed that hate crime incidents were reported at 193 matches across England and Wales in the 2018-19 season – up from 131 the previous year. But the government department said that some of the increase was likely due to improvements in recording. Deputy Chief Constable Mark Roberts, the NPCC’s football policing lead, said: "Racism at football is a reemerging problem, although I don't think it's ever truly gone away. It was controlled for a while and became socially unacceptable, but it is a real concern we have seen it creep back with such regularity into the national game. With reduced levels of policing on the ground, those committing this behaviour do not have the fear of a police officer arresting them.” Kick It Out, which campaigns for equality and inclusion in the game, said the rise in discrimination in football is a challenge for all clubs at all levels across

Monty Panesar

Dominant Kiwis, India grab cricket headlines

the country, adding: “To this extent, football mirrors society”. It said methods for reporting abusive behaviour at football matches were improving, which could explain a rise in the figures. It added: “We encourage clubs to continue building on the good work they have already done in creating effective reporting mechanisms.” Several high-profile cases of reported hate crime at football matches have brought the problem to prominence in recent years. A Chelsea fan was reported for alleged racial abuse directed at Manchester City forward Raheem Sterling during a

Premier League match in December last year. Although the supporter was banned from matches for life in June, the Crown Prosecution Service said there was insufficient evidence to bring a criminal charge. Wycombe goalkeeper Ryan Allsop reported homophobic abuse being directed at him and a referee during his side's League One match against Tranmere in November this year. A spokesperson for Mansfield Town said: “The club condemns all forms of hate crime and does everything in its power to ensure it is not present at One Call Stadium.”

BCCI now planning a nine-team IPL Moving a step back from the earlier proposal to bring out a tender for two new franchises in the Indian Premier League (IPL), the BCCI is now busy contemplating introduction of just one franchise early next year for two seasons before introducing the 10th team. Instead of 10 teams, the IPL could now have nine until the year 2022 and the possible decision – the move is still being contemplated – could be based on multiple aspects that are being considered. Firstly, for lack of a window to host 90-plus matches at the moment – owing to the current Future Tours Program (FTP) of the ICC – a nine-team IPL will allow the tournament to be conducted around 76 matches for which the

existing window can be stretched. “Nine teams work well until a new FTP can fall in place (2023) and BCCI can introduce the 10th team,” sources say. Second, the BCCI is contemplating a base price of somewhere around US$300m for the new franchise and is clearly unsure at the moment if more than one venue will attract that kind of investment in the prevailing market. “There are buyers. That’s not the point. But are there enough buyers coming to the table where bidding can be a competitive process? For one franchise? Yes, For two? Let’s see,” sources add. Third, the Sardar Patel stadium in Motera, Ahmedabad, is getting ready and could be available for cricket from the month of March this year. For a

110,000-capacity venue, one that will go on to become the biggest and fanciest cricket stadium in the world, not having a franchise of its own will make little sense. “There will be takers, given the following for cricket in Ahmedabad and the resources available there. So, if a tender is brought out for one franchise right now, there’ll certainly be great amount of interest and will set a future benchmark,” say those in the know. Finally, the BCCI has multiple other aspects to consider in IPL before it can introduce the 10th team. The idea of a nine-team IPL for now (for a season or two) is merely under serious contemplation at the moment and not a final one.

Shooters Manu, Elavenil, Divyansh win gold History was made last week as Indian shooters dominated the third day of the ISSF World Cup Finals in Putian, China. They have won three gold medals in four events. Manu Bhaker won the gold in 10m air pistol event, while Elavenil Valarivan and Divyansh Singh Panwar won gold in women’s and men’s 10m air rifle events respectively. A gold medal at the World Cup Finals is significant as toppers of the four World Cups and having high world rankings get invites to participate in the Finals. This year, the event is more prestigious as most of the

Monty’s Spin

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Manu Bhaker, Divyansh Singh Panwar and Elavenil Valarivan

participants have qualified for the 2020 Tokyo Games. The only jarring note for India came when Abhishek Verma and Saurabh Chaudhary finished 5th and 6th respectively

in men’s 10m air pistol event. Both the shooters have qualified for Tokyo and had won two gold each in the four World Cups this year. Manu became only second Indian pistol shooter to win gold

in 10m air pistol after Heena Sidhu’s gold in 2013. Manu, who missed the 25m pistol final earlier by finishing 10th, admitted she was nervous throughout the 10m final. But the Haryana shooter focused on one shot at a time to win her maiden year-ender medal. Manu, 17, had shot 583 in the qualification round, same as Germany’s Doreen Vennekamp and Australian Elena Galiabovitch. However, Doreen qualified for the final as eighth shooter as she had more number of inner 10s (23) compared to Elena (17) and Manu (17).

India have become the first team to win four consecutive Tests by an innings. Undoubtedly, Virat Kolhi's team is the best in the world at the moment. They beat South Africa in the last two Test matches by an innings and Bangladesh in both matches. It is to be seen how good this team is while playing away from home. This is the first time in India that the seamers from an Indian team have taken all 20 wickets. Also, it is the first time in the history of Indian cricket that all three seamers have taken 20 or more wickets during a year and averaged under 20. It is a phenomenal statistic because five of the eight tests were played at home where it is the spinners who should have dominated. It is phenomenal that Ishant Sharma, Mohammed Shami, and Umesh Yadav are the key men in this Indian Test team. This is the longest streak of wins by India since 2013 when they won six Tests. Can they beat the Australian Test record? India definitely needs some away wins for sure!! Can you account for West Indies games as away wins where the pitches are very similar to the Indian conitions? The real test for this team will be in New Zealand after the New Year. New Zealand seems to be a strong team at home but with the strength of the Indian seam department and its current form I think India should be competitive and have a good chance of winning in New Zealand. What is fascinating about this Indian team is the manner in which they are winning. It is their complete dominance - winning the last four Test matches by an innings which is a phenomenal statistic, and the first two wins have been by more than 200 runs. They are completely outplaying other teams at the moment. I believe there is a gap now in world cricket where India are the strongest while other Test teams are closer in comparison, with the likes of England, Australia and New Zealand of an equal standing. Even though Virat Kohli has been playing down the Indian team's winning streak because they have played more Test matches at home, one cannot forget that they are completely ouplaying their opponents. You cannot put this down to the advantage of playing under home conditions alone. So, on that score, I disagree with Virat Kohli. This Indian team does carry a tag that they are the best team at the moment. The points table gives us an indication of how strong India is, and the level of performance that they are consistently displaying compared to other teams is a revelation. Australia are beginning to find their mojo as they beat Pakistan at the Gabba. They have won their last seven Test matches in Brisbane. All eyes will be glued to the performances of NZ and Australia in the next Test. If NZ do win, comparisons will be made with India's dominance at home. Having said that, Virat Kolhi has a good point in saying that there should be equal number of Test matches at home and away for teams to be fairly assessed. It was unfortunate that Jofra Archer was racially abused during the recent Test match. Sports and its competitive nature is for everybody's enjoyment. Racial abuse has no place in the game and fans should be punished with either a total ban from games or a financial penalty. Governing bodies should do more to stamp out racial abuse. BCCI should make Indian domestic cricket stronger by further investment and handing professional contracts to players in Ranji Trophy teams. Saurav Ganguly has suggested a domestic structure similar to that of the English county cricket where players have a professional contract rather than being paid on match-by-match basis.

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AV 30th November 2019  

Asian Voice weekly newspaper (Issue 30 Vol 48)

AV 30th November 2019  

Asian Voice weekly newspaper (Issue 30 Vol 48)

Profile for abpl