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Asian Voice - Saturday 3rd December 2011


U.K Indian editor detained at Sahar Musician brings 500 years of Extract from the The Times of India News Service, London Sikh heritage to Britain 28 November, 1986. It covers the news of Mr C.B Patel detained at Sahar airport, Mumbai, details of this news were immediately reported to India by Shri K. N. Malike, London representative of The Times of India news service.

Mr. C.B Patel, a leading journalist who publishes and edits two widely-circulated “Ethnic” weeklies, “New Life” and “Gujarat Samachar” was this morning detained by the Bombay airport immigration authorities on his arrival from London by a British Airways flight. Mr Patel visited India two years ago as a guest for the government of India. He held a valid visa to visit India. A spokesman of a “New Life” publications said when Mr Patel applied for a visa three days ago, he was told that the clearance would have come from New Delhi. Since this would have taken quite some time, Mr Patel approached the Indian high commissioner, Dr P.C Alexander, who in turn spoke to New Delhi. The visa was given to Mr Patel Yesterday afternoon. Indian high commission sources expressed surprise at Mr Patel’s detention. A senior official said obviously there was some misunderstanding or a communication gap between the foreign office and the home office in New Delhi. Mr Patel’s family and friends contacted the Indian high commission and some of the top officials in New Delhi. It was later learn that Mr Patel would be allowed to go ahead with his visit. Several British politicians, including those from the Labour Party, expressed surprise at Mr Patel’s detention. They did not want to publicly comment as this might complicate the matter. They,

however said no one else could accuse Mr Patel being anti-indian. He was regularly invited by the Indian high commission here for brief meetings addressed by visiting government dignatories. At the last annual

dinner of the Indian journalists’ association addressed by the labour leader, Mr Neil Kinnock, Mr Patel was described as “Communitybhai” Patel by Mr. Kinnock. A friend of Mr Patel said his detention was obviously due to the machinations of somebody opposed to him in the Asian community who has influence with the Indian establishment. Last Year Mr Patel had played an important in the demand for the unveling of the plaque outside the house in which Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel lived in London by the GLC> This is the second incident in the last three months in which the Indian high commission issued a visa to a British national of a Indian origin, who was detained later in India. Some time ago Mrs Kuldeep Kaur was issued a visa by the Indian high commission but she was detained in Delhi. Her subsequent arrest was said to be due to infighting in

the Anglo-Asian Conservative Society in the UK. Three years ago, Mr Tarsem Purewal, editor of “Des Pardes”, a Punjabi weekly, also

became a victim of infighting within the Indian community here. He had gone to Punjab to visit his ailing mother and was deported from Chandigarh, reportedly at the instigation of two persons who were opposed to him. Later the Indian government allowed him to revisit India to attend ceremonies in connection with the death of his mother. “Des Pardes” is now a proKhalistan weekly. Observers here are puzzled at the lack of cooperation between Indian authorities hare and the bureaucracy in New Delhi. Both Mr. Patel and Mrs Kuldeep Kaur were issued visas after top offcials in the high commission had examined the cases. Incidentally, Mr Yogendra Makwana, former minister in the home ministry and now a minister in the agriculture ministry, recently wrote a letter to the home ministry in New Delhi conveying the Indian Communitity’s concern at the harresment suffered by those trying to secure a visa to India.

Man dies after doctors remove metals from his stomach Farmer Kamleshwar Singh died after doctors removed three keys, 431 coins, 196 iron pellets and 17 small bolts from his stomach. He was admitted to a hospital in Chhattisgarh after he complained of abdominal pains. Following an x-ray inspection, the doctors found the metals in his stomach. Doctors retrieved 431 coins, 3 keys, 196 iron pellets and 17 small bolts from his stomach. Despite removing the metallic items, the doctors could not save his life. Bhojram Dewangan, Director of Shreesti Institute of Medical Science and Research Centre, where Mr Singh was treated, said, “The patient had been consuming small iron objects for the last nine months.” “He visited us com-

plaining of intolerable abdominal pain. After sonography and X- ray tests, the doctors carried out a major surgery.” Even after the tests the doctors who opened Singh's stomach were shocked by the number of metallic objects they found. Dr Yadav, who led the team that operated upon Singh, said that Singh was suspected of having schizophrenia. All the iron objects were lying at the base of his stomach, he said. His wife Kusumi was not aware of her hus-

band’s strange habit. She said, “my husband complained of frequent stomach ache and spent sleepless nights in the past four weeks. But he kept us in the dark about his strange habit. He stopped going to the field citing weakness and was even unable to have his regular meals.” In addition to schizophrenia experts believed that Singh was suffering from additional psychiatric problems which gave him an appetite for non-nutritional foreign objects.

A Muslim musician is bringing British Sikhs precious echoes of their distant past. Bhai Ghulam Muhammad Chand was a teenager when Punjab, his birthplace, was split in two and his family was forced to flee their home in Amritsar, in India, to newly created Pakistan. For Bhai Chand’s family, leaving Amritsar did not just mean abandoning their home and possessions but they were also leaving a way of life that they had guarded for almost 500 years and which had survived centuries of turbulent relations between Muslim and Sikh communities. His uncle and father were rababis, the youngest in a long line of Muslim musicians who performed kirtan, songs drawn from the Guru Granth Sahib, at Sikh shrines and, most notably, the Golden Temple, the symbolic heart of the Sikh faith that rises from a pool in the centre of Amritsar. In the 1990s, encour-

Bhai Chand

aged by a Sufi poet who held musical evenings at his house in Lahore, Bhai Chand began to perform again and, tentatively, to teach some of his repertoire. Now in his eighties, he is visiting Britain to perform for the 350,000strong Sikh community the ancient compositions, many unheard since 1947 and none heard before in this country. He was invited by a group of Sikh musicians and historians, working with the UK Punjab Heritage Association, that undertakes to preserve the region’s rich history.

Several members had heard that he was still performing kirtan and, determined to keep the tradition alive and build connections between Muslims and Sikhs, often strained in Britain, they organised a tour taking him from Birmingham to Manchester and Leeds. The UK Punjab Heritage Association is working to release an album of traditional compositions and a documentary on Bhai Ghulam Muhammad Chand and the rababi tradition of Kirtan. For updates on these projects and for forthcoming tour dates visit

Damaged sacred chariot sparks outrage in Tooting Hindu community Continued from page 1 He said: “Sight of the chariots being carried down the high street is a spectacle all Tooting residents know and love. “If anybody has seen anything or know anybody who may have something to do with this, I urge them to come forward and speak to the police.” Members of the National Hindu Students Forum (NHSF), an organisation for Hindu students, have pledged to help rebuild the chariot. National Hindu Students Forum (UK),

deeply saddened by the news of yobs burning down the beautiful handcarved chariot. The PR team told Asian Voice, “The wooden chariot, used in the temple’s annual Chariot Festival for the last 11 years, has been a source of great pride for the local Hindu community. The chariot, a symbol of the chariot use by Lord Krishna in the Hindu scripture ‘Mahabharata’, is used to parade deities from the temple on the streets of Tooting and Mitcham. Students from NHSF (UK) will work alongside the Sivayogam

temple to raise funds and provide resources to help rebuild the chariot in time for next year’s event. NHSF (UK) categorically condemns the attack, and hopes that justice can be found for the temple. Whether the attacks were deliberate or otherwise, local leaders must support the Hindu community- one that is peaceful and cohesive- and find out why such violent acts have occurred. We urge anyone in the local community to come forward with information on the incident and to cooperate fully with the police investigation.”

Anna Hazare to sit on dharna in Delhi on Dec 11 In a reminder of the August agitation at Ramlila Maidan, commuters were greeted to anti-corruption slogans in parts of Delhi announcing that Team Anna was back, stepping up pressure on the government for a strong Lokpal bill. Activist Anna Hazare said he would sit on a day-long dharna at Jantar Mantar on December 11, and the group has sought permission for Ramlila Maidan from December 27. Hazare has decided to hold the dharna if the parliamentary standing committee's recommendations on the bill are not to his satisfaction. "It all depends on the standing committee's proposals. Anna is planning to sit on a protest at Jantar Mantar on December 11 depending

on the standing committee's recommendations," a senior Team Anna member said. "Please join the dharna at Jantar Mantar on December 11 for a strong Jan Lokpal," Hazare was quoted as saying by his close aide Suresh Pathare. The parliamentary panel looking into the Lokpal bill is likely to submit its report before December 7. The draft report will be circulated and discussed among members on November 30. Team Anna has been insisting that lower bureaucracy, higher judiciary, citizens' charter and setting up of Lokayuktas at the state level be included in the bill. Team Anna member Arvind Kejriwal said the group was prepared to

protest and had sought permission from MCD for Ramlila Maidan. The permission is conditional and Team Anna will be allowed after Delhi Police gives a no-objection certificate. However, MCD's standing committee chairman Yogendra Chandolia said no permission had been given yet. Team Anna member Manish Sisodia said, "We have sought permission from MCD from December 27 and we have been granted permission to use the ground till January 5." Hazare's plan to hold a day-long protest is being seen as an effort to build pressure among political parties to take up the issues that are likely to be excluded by the parliamentary panel in its report.

Asian Voice  

Asian Voice weekly news paper

Asian Voice  

Asian Voice weekly news paper