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First & Foremost Asian Weekly in Europe


3rd Febuary to 9th February 2018

In a strong clapback at sceptics of the ruling government, it has been predicted that India's economic growth would accelerate to 7 to 7.5 per cent in the 2018-19 financial year. The Economic Survey 2018, which was tabled in the Parliament on Monday, has vouched that the country will bounce back as the world's fastest-growing major economy, adding that even though the Finance Ministry had planned to reduce the fiscal deficit from an estimated 3.2 per cent of GDP this year to 3 per cent in 2018-19, the economic momentum can be credited to a pause in the move towards a lower deficit. India's Chief Economic Adviser Arvind Subramanian and his team, while preparing the report, wittingly laid out the policy agenda for the coming year. They have called out to support agriculture, stabilise GST, finish resolution and recapitalisation, privatise Air India, and head off macroeconomic pressures. “The cycle calls for ambitious consolidation but the political cycle calls for maybe a more modest consolidation so it has to be a balance between the two,” Subramanian told the press after the report was released to both the Houses by Finance Minister Arun Jaitley. The

annual report card of the economy said, “A series of major reforms undertaken over the past year will allow real GDP growth to reach 6.75 per cent during this fiscal year (2017-18) and will rise to 7 to 7.5 per cent in 2018-19, thereby reinstating India as the world's fastest-growing major economy.” Boosted by stronger private investment and exports, the recovery forecast comes at a time when rival China expects its economy to slow to a 6.56.8 per cent growth rate this year. Subramanian said, “The economy seems to be picking up quite nicely and robustly as the temporary impact of


Let noble thoughts come to us from every side 80p

In the afternoon of the Republic Day of India, scene outside the iconic building of the High Commission of India in Aldwych, Central London, was tense. Clashes erupted between pro-Pakistani and proKhalistani groups demanding a free Kashmir and Khalistan from India, on the other hand supporters of India stood there with Indian flags, what could be said

defending their country of origin and their rights over these two parts of the land. Lord Nazir Ahmed, a pro-Pakistan peer in the House of Lords, organised a "black day" protest demanding the freedom of Kashmir and Khalistan. The protest was aimed at highlighting the ‘oppression of india’. Continued on page 16

Military Grandeur, Cultural Diversity Rule Republic Day

Arvind Subramanian

demonetisation and GST has been decimated.” The survey has also cautioned that persistently high oil prices will forever pose as a key risk for a country that depends on imports for almost 80 per cent of fuel.

Anti-India violent clash breaks out in London

A sharper judicial system It also stressed on the need for extensive reforms of the judicial system with a view to promote ease of doing.

Unadkat Scores Big

Continued on page 26

Saurashtra cricketer Jaydev Unadkat became the second most expensive player in this IPL season after England all-rounder Ben Stokes. The left-arm pacer went for a mind boggling £1.15 million while Ben Stokes fetched £1.25 million. Bothe of them were grabbed by Rajasthan Royals. Starting off at a base price of £150,000, the 26year-old was among the hot picks given his T20 credentials which includes 24 Continued on page 31 wickets last season.

India and the Indian community abroad celebrated its 69th Republic Day with pomp and fervour, making tributes to the resilient strength of the country and its constitution. Full report on page 17



Asian Voice | AsianVoiceNews


Well known social activitist C J Rabheru passes away Mr. Chandrakant Jivraj Rabheru (CJ), a wellknown social activist passed away on Tuesday whilst visiting the Jalaram Jyot Mandir in Sudbury. Last Sunday Mr. Rabheru was admitted to hospital in the early morning due to ill health, but was then discharged. On Tuesday afternoon he went to Jalaram Jyoth Mandir but during his viist he began having trouble breathing. The pujari and other viewers of the temple called an ambulance but after struggling for about 45 minutes Mr. Rabheru could not be saved and was pronounced dead. As soon as the inci-

dent was reported, other trustees of the temple and their family ran at the temple. Mr Rabheru served on various positions in community organisations such as being Chairman of the National Congress of Gujarati Organizations (NCGO), leader Sardar Patel Memorial Society, and Advisor to the

Lohana Mahajan Trust UK and many others. Mr. Rabheru was originally a native of Morogoro in Tanzania and had come many years ago for study and later settled. After working initially in the insurers and other trades, he spent time in the crude and refined oil business in Ghana and Sierra Leone by the name of Global Venture Ltd., as well as Mining Operations - Gold, Iron Ore, Baktite and Infrastructure, as well as Oil Ltd. Mr Rabheru has left behind a huge family, including his wife Bharti, son Amit and daughter Sheetal.

National Gujarati Teachers' Conference at Neasden Temple On Saturday 17th February, the National Gujarati Teachers' Conference will be held at the BAPS Swaminarayan Mandir, Neasden, London, from 10am to 4pm. Registration will start from 9am. At this event, you will be able to network with the headteachers and management team of Gujarati supplementary schools and organisations from across the nation. You'll also get to hear from the examination board, Pearson, on the new Gujarati GCSE curriculum and ask questions, as well as share and discuss your innovative ideas on school management methods. 5th February is the last date to register

for this event. There is a nominal charge of £7 per delegate attending. To register and confirm your attendance, please visit: Contact : or Alpeshbhai 07830 349 582.

10 year old Indian origin boy beats Einstein and Hawking at IQ test A 10 year old boy of Indian origin in the UK has become the youngest applicant in the last decade to achieve the highest score in the Mensa IQ test, beating geniuses and icons like Albert Einstein and Stephen Hawking. Mehul Garg, also known as Mahi, decided to take the test after his older brother, 13-year-old Dhruv Garg, who had also scored the highest score of 162 last year. The pupil of Reading Boys Grammar School in Reading, scored the maximum score of 162 to become a member of Mensa, the High IQ Society. His score is two points higher than Einstein and Hawking, placing him in the top one per cent of people in the world who has achieved this distinction. While Mahi loves cricket and ice-skating, his subject is mathematics. He wants to head a major tech company like Google when he grows up. He enjoys solving the Rubik's cube under 100 seconds and is also pursuing higher grades in

Mehul Garg's with mother Divya Garg

playing the drums. But he and his brother also find time to pursue other projects and are currently raising funds to build an app to reduce social isolation by connecting neighbours with each other, a newspaper reported. He is now working towards his participation in the 'Child Genius 2018' show on Channel 4 after being shortlisted among the top 100 candidates for this year. Mother Divya Garg told the PTI, "Mahi is fiercely competitive. His older brother had achieved the same score last year so he really wanted to prove that he is

no less intelligent than his brother. "Mehul said the paper challenged his language skills, including analogies and definitions, and his sense of logic. I was in tears when I got the results back. "My both sons are currently working on social projects and want to give something back to the society, to make the world a better place. They are passionate young men with an ambition to make a difference in the world around us. Their online fund raising page has already attracted over 1,300 pounds. And I hope really they continue like this forever.”


Lord Dholakia raises concerns during second reading of Conscientious Objection Bill Lord Dholakia spoke with concern about the implications for the Conscientious Objection (Medical Activity) Bill, during its Second Reading in the House of Lords on Friday. Stressing that "the existing medical and legal regulations work well, [and] strik[e] a sensible balance between allowing healthcare professionals to conscientiously object without abandoning their patients and causing distress to patients and their families," Lord Dholakia said: "[t]he Bill would undermine the Mental Capacity Act 2005." Affirming his point, Lord Dholakia stated: "[i]n some situations I fear the Bill, if enacted, could lead to patients being abandoned by healthcare professionals. This could also have a detrimental impact on the families and loved ones of patients approaching the end of life at what is an already difficult time." Declaring an interest as a member of the AllParty Parliamentary Group for Choice at the End of Life, Lord Dholakia stated: "I support the right of healthcare professionals to refuse to participate in a hands-on capacity in specific medical activities," adding cogently, "and I am confident that this right to

Lord Dholakia

conscientious objection is well established within current medical laws and protocols." To emphasise the implications of the Bill Lord Dholakia stressed: "[t]hose decisions should be respected in a timely manner." "It would," he said, "be completely unacceptable for a patient approaching the end of life to have to continue treatment they did not want while awaiting transfer to a palliative care or other team of healthcare professionals that did not object to their decision; and it would be completely unacceptable for the patient’s family to have to watch them receiving this unwanted treatment." Quoting the cases of Mrs N and Paul Briggs, Lord Dholakia said: "it has taken huge efforts by their family members, sometimes in the face of objection by professionals, to get their cases heard by the Court of Protection."

Highlighting their families' struggle for permission to withdraw treatment, at court the daughter of Mrs N said: “I cannot emphasise enough how much the indignity of her current existence is the greatest contradiction to how she thrived on life and, had she been able to express this, then without a doubt she would;" similarly Paul Briggs' wife wrote “I love my husband but he is dead in all but his body. I don’t know when I will ever lay him to rest in peace. That’s a limbo no one should be in.” Finishing off with concern and compassion for all those involved, Lord Dholakia stated: "It must have been incredibly difficult for them to see their loved ones suffer over a period of years, receiving treatment that they did not believe they would ever have wanted." Additionally, Lord Dholakia pointed out the further problems the families have: "[e]ven when the Court of Protection has decided that withdrawing treatment is in the best interests of the patient, some families have to struggle to find healthcare facilities where the staff members do not conscientiously object to their decision."

BBC review finds 'no gender bias in on-air pay decisions'

There is "no gender bias" regarding pay decisions at the BBC, according to a new report into the corporation. But the BBC's approach to setting pay in general "has been far from perfect", auditors PwC found. Their report, published on Tuesday, found a 6.8% gender pay gap among on-air staff. The BBC said there would be "substantial" pay cuts for some men. Director general Tony Hall said "important issues" had to be tackled. Unlike the corporation's annual report, which was published last summer

and named on-air staff earning more than £150,000, Tuesday's report involves those on air across all pay brackets - a total of 824 people. The 6.8% pay gap identified in this group was lower than the overall BBC average pay gap of 9.3%. The national average is 18%. The director general said: "Today's report does not find evidence of gender bias in decision-making. But it shows we have real and important issues to tackle... and I'm determined to get it right." He added: "The plans

we're setting out today go further and are more important steps in modernising the BBC and making it fairer. "We've already made an important start. We're addressing unfairness in individuals' pay and want to close the gender pay gap and have women in half of our on-air roles by 2020. Those are big, bold commitments I'm really serious about." Lord Hall also said he wanted to "push forward on our goal of getting 50:50 men and women on air by 2020, I now want to do that quicker".

Thousands of doctors have signed a letter protesting against the decision to strike off a doctor whose mistakes led a six-year-old boy to die from sepsis. Jack Adcock, who had Down’s syndrome and a heart condition, died after trainee paediatrician Hadiza Bawa-Garba marked him ‘do not resuscitate’ because she had confused him with another patient. The doctor was convicted of manslaughter

through gross negligence in 2015 but was suspended from practising for just 12 months, which the General Medical C o u n c i l a p p e a l e d against. In the run-up to the appeal, around 800 doctors signed a letter supporting her. It was claimed she was being shielded by her peers after doctors last

year said the pursuit of Bawa-Garba was ‘perpetuating an injustice’ against her. Last week, despite their protestations, the initial decision by the Medical Practitioners Tribunal Service not to strike BawaGarba off, but to give her a year’s suspension instead, was overturned.

Thousands of doctors sign letter backing trainee struck off after mistakes led to boy's death AsianVoiceNews



India spreads its wings The English poet T.S. Eliot put it well: ‘For last year’s words belong to last year’s language. And next year’s words await a new voice. And to make an end is to make a beginning.’ Perhaps this fits Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s performance at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, where he made an impassioned plea for globalization and freer trade across continents and warned against protection as a threat to international peace. He said terrorism was incubated in hot houses enclosed by walls, and in keeping with his previous messages, he cautioned those prone, in practice, to make a dangerous and self-defeating distinction between ‘good’ and ‘bad’ terrorists. All terrorism was evil, an affront to civilized values and a threat to peace and harmony in the human family. These were not the routine shibboleths to which such gatherings have long been accustomed. It was a vibrant, heart-felt message from a leader who has considerable accomplishments in transforming the economic face of a once protectionist nation. With a happy knack for the appropriate aphorism, he said India was on the road to ‘Reform, Perform and Transform.’ This was no empty slogan. His ringing declaration that India was ready for business surely fell on fertile ground with such a formidable array of business heads from around the world in the audience. They represent global companies that are trailblazers in innovative technologies. These CEOs and Directors and were no patsies to be taken in with the sweet talk of a politician; their success is based on knowledge of the ground and a keen awareness of the possibilities of emergent markets. India ranks high in this category. It is fast emerging

from its pains of labour in economic and structural reform. Demonetization is behind us, and the General Goods and Services Tax (GST), designed to create a seamless national market to replace the previous disparate entities, is now bearing fruit with higher tax revenues. Emerging from the shadows into the sunlit uplands, India is now the fastest growing among the world’s large economies, according to the data released by the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund. With a 1.2 billion population, most of them young, and an expanding middle class with significant disposable incomes, India’s future prospects are no longer tied to the bleak, handouts of yore. The Aid India consortiums are history. With the global economy predicted to grow by 3.7 per cent from the previous 2 per cent, global wealth has increased to an estimated $330 trillion. There is thus no shortage of investment funds for India to plumb. Indian business executives present at Davos in strength interacted with their peers from the West and beyond, and were upbeat on their country’s investment potential. They are not starry-eyed optimists, being fully aware of ground impediments at home that need to be removed; they stressed the need for investment road blocks to be removed sooner rather than later. Understanding the negatives, they perceive India with renewed hope and optimism. India’s time had come. Its journey would hard, the fruits game-changing. Let us remember history: the transformation of an agrarian society to a fully fledged industrialized state has been the most difficult of hurdle to cross. India is in transition on a grand scale.

The message of Republic Day Republic Day has been a pageant in years past. People in the capital, men, women and children, young and old, throng in their thousands to watch a parade that includes all aspects of the country’s cultural and social diversity and its unfolding strength in the material spheres of national endeavour. With the coming of television the magnificent spectacle reaches every corner of this vast and diverse land, joining its citizens in a shared experience of pride and purpose. The watching millions on the ground and around television sets reveal by their presence their faith in India’s future. This surely is the message of the ever growing numbers of avid watchers of a spectacle that has not lost nothing of its charisma. A Republic Day ticket in Delhi is a prized possession for the ordinary citizen. Amidst the pressures of daily life, of events that sadden and sicken, the Republic Day experience uplifts, perhaps gives people a tantalizing glimpse of the future that awaits the country. This year’s display of India’s military might bordered on the awesome. The advanced tanks, battle formations, the array of transport and offensive aircraft, short range missiles including the supersonic BrahMos cruise missiles with their multiple strike capabilities, the naval power of state-of-the frigates, destroyers, electronic

warfare systems, the Border Security Forces, with the thrilling skills of their women units and the rest were signals of India’s expanding military reach, now among the world’s top half dozen nations and growing apace. The guests from ASEAN, who have been pressing for greater Indian participation in maritime security will have noted the significance of the show. There is no bigger guarantee of peace than the capability of its weapons systems, and opt for war as an instrument of last resort should the need arise. Indian strength and resolution in defence of the national interest was demonstrated during the Doklan standoff with China on the tri-junction of Tibet, Bhutan and Sikkim. Despite incendiary threats emanation from Beijing, India’s unflinching resolve carried a message not be ignored. The new Asia has space for all its players. Trade, investment, roadways, tourism, science and technology cooperation are goals that are best achieved by peaceful means. India as a space power has expressed its willingness to share the fruits of its accomplishments with its immediate neighbours; farther afield it can do likewise with its ASEAN partners. ‘…peace hath her victories/No less renowned than war,’ proclaimed John Milton centuries ago. It is the distilled essence of wisdom.

The cross India bears Never since Indian Independence in August 1947, has the stock of politicians and politics been so low. Public cynicism has never been higher. It is not the good humoured shrug and twinkle to which one alludes; it to something far more sinister and dangerous: the absence of trust between the people and the political class. Party politics subsume the national interest; reasoned discourse. in earlier times, however passionate, rarely degenerated into personal abuse and vilification. Fledgling India was weak and under-resourced; harrowing indigence was an accustomed sight in cities and countryside. But parliament functioned as it was designed to do: MPs debated their causes and differences without losing sight of the courtesies and decorous conduct required of the people’s elected tribunes. Parliament in recent times resembles a riotous saloon bar. Mutual respect, like dud notes, has long been out of circulation. The short cut is the preferred option to the long road. Ends and means are rarely aligned. Under present norms ends usually justify the means. India cannot be destroyed by external forces, however malign, its strength and durability can only be undermined from within. Sharad Pawar, leader of the breakaway National Congress Party, has issued a call for a united opposition to unseat the ruling BJP dispensation, invariably easier

said than done. The sticking point will be the loaves and fishes of high office. If the past is anything to go by, that is when the squabbling will begin. Who will lead this motley crew? The coalition that succeeded Indira Gandhi’s fall, was a house divided; it descended into chaos and absurdity under Morarji Desai. A similar interlude with Deva Gowda and I.K.Gujral at the helm, expired from its inner contradictions. There is little chance that the Sharad Pawar’s project will fare any better. The Rahul Gandhi-led Congress Party, the Samajwadi cabal of Akhilesh Yadav and Mulayam Singh Yadav, Mamata Banerjee’s Trinamool Congress and the two Communist parties have no coherent economic policies or policies that matter in other critical segments of national life. That would be workable. What we are likely to see is an auction of populist demands designed to appeal to their respective vote banks. The national interest will be cast into limbo under a Pawar. The JP, for its part, talks beguilingly of development, but its lunatic fringe spurns the rule of law and freedom of thought and expression. Cow belt lynch mobs and rampant rioting over cinematic freedoms have cast a blight over swathes of northern India. Complacency oils the wheels of disorder and destruction.

Asian Voice | 3rd February 2018


Wise men speak because they have something to say; Fools because they have to say something. -Plato

Alpesh Patel

State of the Union I write to you the week President Trump makes his first State of the Union address. For over 20 years, I have stayed awake to watch this – even before I worked in the US Congress. But this year, as I am in India, I can watch it in the morning UK time. And as I am in India, it makes sense to refer to India and the UK. When Barak Obama made his inaugural speech upon election he specifically mentioned Hindus. Now the Queen at the State Opening of Parliament, upon the election of the coalition Government specifically mentioned India. It must be nice to be wanted. ‘Britons have made a national sport out of saying the country is going to the dogs since they handed India back in 1947,’ wrote a journalist for the National Post during the recent British General Election campaign. Even before Brexit, back in 2010 I wrote in this paper during the financial crisis: “Given that the United Kingdom is in financial crisis, part of a European Union in even greater political and financial crisis, whose two major trading partners – the EU and US - both fear ruin, will the new UK Government simply look inward, or will it realise the central part India can play in helping British interests?” According to a recent Queen’s Speech in Parliament, on foreign policy, the Government will seek “lasting security and stability in Afghanistan” and “an enhanced partnership with Pakistan and India”. David Cameron vowed to build a "new special relationship" with India, believing the country can become a major political and trade partner. And there is much reason to believe this is more than rhetoric. Before he was PM, Cameron wrote ‘Our relationship with India goes deep. But I think it can and should go deeper. Our special relationship with America is well known. But as the world’s centre of gravity moves from Europe and the Atlantic to the south and the east, I think it's time for Britain and India to forge a new special relationship for the twenty-first century. For too long, politics in this country has been obsessed with Europe and America. Of course these relationships are, and will continue to be, vital. But serious and responsible leadership today means engaging with much more energy in the parts of the world where our strategic interests will increasingly lie.” David Cameron could not have realised that thanks to his Brexit Referendum, who true this would be. He has done more to make UK-India a closer relationship – out of necessity if nothing else than probably any PM since the Second World War. And as the current PM heads to China – noticeably there has been no overt praise for the Chinese Belt project – something which India two sees very cautiously. It’s not about economic growth, but a power grab. And if someone must have power, I would rather first it was my country, second an ally and only third an adversary – and never an enemy. Editor: CB Patel

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Asian Voice | 3rd February 2018

Two more arrests in Belgrave jeweller kidnap and murder investigation Three men have been arrested on suspicion of kidnap and murder after the death of a Leicester jeweller. Ramniklal Jogiya was discovered in Gaulby Lane, Stoughton, at about 10:00 GMT on Thursday. Three men, aged 19, 20 and 23, and all from Leicester, have been arrested and remain in custody. Leicestershire Police said they believed Mr Jogiya was "taken against his will" after a break-in at his shop on Belgrave Road on Wednesday. Police have also released a CCTV image of a person seen pulling a shopping trolley and wearing a burkha in the shop just minutes after Mr Jogiya locked up on Wednesday evening. A post-mortem examination has been carried out but further tests were being conducted to "absolutely establish the cause of death", police said. Two men, aged 18 and 22, have been taken into custody, Leicestershire Police confirmed this afternoon. The men’s detention brings to five the number of suspects arrested in con-

nection with the 74-yearold’s suspected abduction and death. Meanwhile members of the community have been coming forward to help understand how Mr Joguya disappeared. A special meeting also that took place Monday to discuss safety concerns from the community after Mr Jogiya's death, he added. Detectives investigating the kidnap and death of Belgrave jeweller Ramniklal Jogiya have made two further arrests. Milesh Amhta, 56, who runs the imitation jewellery section of Mr Jogiya’s Golden Mile business, Vama, was called by Mr Jogiya's worried family at 8pm on Wednesday. Mr Amhta said: "The family phoned me to say that he hadn't come home at the time that he normally would. I went to the shop straightaway, and the door was unlocked, which was a bit odd. His wife was with me too, as well as his sisters, and I went to see if I could see anything to indicate where he went.” In a statement this afternoon, Leicestershire Police said: “Two men aged

Ramniklal Jogiya

18 and 22 from Leicester have been arrested on suspicion of kidnap and murder and are currently in police custody. “Three men, aged 19, 20 and 23, all from Leicester, arrested on suspicion of kidnap and murder remain in police custody being questioned by detectives. A warrant of further detention has been granted by magistrates’ today.” According to information given by the family sources of Ramanikalal Jogia to Asian Voice and Gujarat Samachar, Ramniklal Jogia is from Batwa village of Saurashtra and 35 years ago he settled here from Tanzania’s Kigoma. Ramniklal has been associated with jew-

ellery business in Leicester since last 25 years and is currently working with Milesbhai (Shah) in the name of Wama Collections. Mileshbhai hold the half part of shop and were selling imitation jewellery while Ramniklal was trading in real gold jewellery. Ramniklal's desire was to retire by delivering the remaining part of the shop to Mileshbhai. Ramniklal had earlier had a jewellery show room named Yamuna Jewellers Ramniklal has 3 children in the family and he lived nearby with his wife. Police has not yet handed over the bodies to Ramakantbhai’s family and other investigations, including postmortem, are ongoing.

Finsbury Park mosque attack suspect denies driving van The man accused of driving a van into a crowd of people near a north London mosque has denied he was behind the wheel during the attack. Darren Osborne, 48, told Woolwich Crown Court a "guy called Dave" was driving during the incident on 19 June 2017. Earlier, evidence from the prosecution alleged Mr Osborne told police on the day of his arrest he was "flying solo". He is accused of mowing down people in Finsbury Park, killing Makram Ali, 51, and injuring nine others. Mr Osborne, from Cardiff, denies charges of murder and attempted murder. Defence barrister Lisa Wilding QC asked Mr Osborne: "Were you the driver of the van?" to which he replied: "No". Ms Wilding said: "Did you

Vulnerable pensioner disappears from Charing Cross Hospital

A vulnerable 65year-old man has been missing from hospital for more than a week. Chuni Kalsi was last seen at Charing Cross Hospital, Hammersmith , on Saturday, January 20. He is described as 5ft 9, of a slim build and was last seen dressed in a hospital gown. Officers are increasingly concerned for his safety and urge anyone with information about Mr Kalsi's whereabouts to come forward.

Wellbeing through sport at children's festival in the Magnet

Children from schools across Slough and Maidenhead took part in a Festival of Wellbeing on Thursday. The day long festival held at Neili Wijesinghe from Magnet Leisure Ryvers School C e n t r e , Maidenhead gave them the opportunity to try out sports ranging from basketball and fencing to taekwondo, handball and yoga - thanks to taster sessions run by local clubs. It formed part two of the Active Communities Brighter Future initiative launched last year by the national charity SportInspired and Takeda UK to improve the mental wellbeing of children living in Slough and Maidenhead.

Ball raises £100,000 for One Kind

Police footage appearing to show Mr Osborne in the back of a police van

know who was the driver of the van?" and he replied: "A guy called Dave". Taking to the witness box, Mr Osborne said he had met "Dave" at the Pick and Shovel pub in Treforest, South Wales, in early April or March last year. Earlier, the court heard evidence on whether Mr Osborne acted with accomplices - namely two men, known only as "Dave" and

"Terry Jones". Concluding the prosecution case, Jonathan Rees QC said Mr Osborne told the Metropolitan Police on the day of the attack that he was acting alone. He read a statement from Det Con Paul Dring, who interviewed Mr Osborne as he was under armed guard at University College Hospital, on the day of the attack. DC Dring said he asked

Darren Osborne

Ms Osborne: "In terms of what happened today, is there anyone else involved?" to which the defendant allegedly replied "no". The court heard that at the end of the interview, DC Dring asked: "Finally from me, is there anything at all that you know about that could harm anyone?" Mr Osborne replied "no", and after a pause added: "I'm flying solo", the court heard.

South Harrow robbery: members of the public intervene after ‘fake gun’ post office incident in Northolt Road

Heroic members of the public managed to stop a man making off with a bag of cash he had stolen from a nearby post office. The man, believed to be in his 20s, was brought down by passers-by in Northolt Road, South Harrow, having held up the post office with a fake gun on January 27. Police, who were called to the scene at around 1.20pm, confirmed that the suspect had walked into the


building with the ‘gun’ in his waistband before waving it at a member of staff. He then jumped over the counter, filled up a bag with money and ran out the front door. But he was stopped in his tracks by members of the public, who held him until the police arrived. He was arrested and taken to a West London police station while another man was treated in hospital for minor injuries.

Guests join in the celebrations after the event raised more than £100,000 (Photo: Pramal Lad)

Act to aid brain trauma victims

A charity ball in aid of those who have suffered from serious brain trauma brought in more than £100,000. The event, which was hosted by Harrow-based charity One Kind Act, sought to raise awareness of the issue of injuries to the brain and champion those who help improve victims’ lives. Inspired by the recovery process of Alisha Malhotra, who suffered an unexpected brain haemorrhage at her home in Harrow aged 26, the Step A-head ball at the Hilton in Wembley took guests on an “unprecedented journey”. Organisers noted how the 500 attendees experienced a range of emotions as they heard tragic and inspiring tales of those involved with brain trauma. Shamit Malhotra, Alisha’s father and chairman of One Kind Act, said: “We are delighted by the support offered by the local community, family and friends, who all worked together to make the event a roaring success. “The £100,000 raised will aid sufferers of brain trauma, who do not have access to the facilities or treatment Alisha was so lucky to benefit from in this country. That’s why we wanted to do something to help people in the UK, and around the world, at our first One Kind Act charity event of the year.” The charity seeks to alleviate poverty through its mantra of ‘Living and Giving’. It hosts a number of cultural events throughout the year to raise funds, with the money distributed to a variety of good causes across the globe.



Sara Khan's appointment as anti- Zara tries to sell extremism commissioner causes a lungi for ÂŁ70 stir amongst Muslim groups AsianVoiceNews


Asian Voice | 3rd February 2018

Sara Khan has been appointed as the government's anti-extremism commissioner however, there have been some organisations that have condemned her. The Islamic Human Rights Commission (IHRC), the organisation that gave its annual “Islamophobe of the year� award to the Charlie Hebdo journalists who had been murdered a few weeks before in 2015, has called the appointment of Sara Khan as “ridiculous and provocative�. Sara Khan will be starting at this position from next month however, there has been a backlash regarding her appointment from 100 Muslim groups who came together to oppose it. 100 Muslim organisations and scholars signed a petition to the Home office demanding for Khan to be removed from this newly appointed post. The secretary general of the Muslim Council of Britain, Harun Khan expressed, “The fight against terrorism requires equal partnership between all parties, including Muslim communities. This appointment risks sending a clear alarming message that the Government has no intention of doing so.� Chief executive of the Ramadhan Foundation think tank, Mohammed Shafiq has described Sara Khan's appointment as “a smack in the face of thousands who view her as part of the problem and not the solution.� He said, “Appointing someone who is so toxic in the Muslim community frankly makes the Commission useless

Sara Khan

before it starts. We call on the Government to reconsider this ill advised appointment.� Diane Abbott, shadow home secretary also added, “The appointment of Sara Khan has drawn cross-party criticism. It seems to be a very illadvised appointment, based on the widespread perception that she has only come to prominence because of her support for the Government's Prevent strategy. It is not an appointment that will build confidence across our communities.� However, a spokesperson for Prime Minister Theresa May reiterates that Sara Khan is “expertly qualified� for this post and will “bring a wealth of experience and knowledge to the commission�. Home secretary, Amber Rudd announced the appointment which is for the duration of three years. She said, “The commission for Countering Extremism will form a crucial part of this Government's work to stop

Admiral rebukes The Sun's investigation on car insurance In the previous edition of Asian Voice newspaper, we published an article regarding an alleged investigation carried out by The Sun newspaper about how car insurances costs more if your name is Mohammed. A spokesperson from Admiral has rebuked the alleged investigation by The Sun and has called the findings factually incorrect. The investigation by The Sun claimed that people with the name Mohammed are exploited by ÂŁ1,000 more to insure their vehicles. The statement issued by an Admiral spokesperson states, “The Sun's article is wrong. We do not and never have used a customer's name or any other piece of information to rate on race. The insurance quotes in the news article were not like for like. We take these allegations very seriously and we are consulting our lawyers.â€?

the scourge of extremism in all its forms and Sara Khan is expertly qualified to lead its important work. She will bring a wealth of experience and knowledge to the commission which will prove vital as it works to identify and challenge extremism and provide independent advice to the Government.� Sara Khan is the cofounder of the counterextremism and human rights organisation, Inspire. On her website, she is described as “one of the UK's leading Muslim female voices on countering Islamist extremism and promoting human rights�. On her appointment, Sara Khan said, “I am excited about getting to work on the Commission. This is about pushing back against those individuals and groups who divide and toxify our society. The aim for this first year is to listen, look closely at the evidence and make recommendations. Our study will be a unique look at the real scale of the threat of all forms of extremisms, and

Top paediatrician wants politicians to focus on children's health President of the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health, Neena Modi, pictured, said that parents ought to be given a vote for every child they raise in order to put pressure on politicians to focus on children's health. She also said that issues such as child obesity were not being tackled. Neena Modi said, “If we don't get this right right now, we will be – and are already – reaping terrible consequences down the line. The latest figures I've seen are 10 to 20 fewer years of healthy life if you go into young adulthood obese.�

shine a light on the work that is going in and out of Government. I want to hear from victims, whose voices are often missing from the debate. We know about the hateful marches and poisonous online videos. But what about the harm we can't see?� She added, “I will be reaching out and hearing directly from those brave individuals and groups who are doing vital work standing up to extremists. My message to them is that you are not alone. Extremism is an incredibly difficult, challenging issue. We won't always agree – and that's okay. It mustn't stop us from reaching out and engaging. I have made clear I am keen to engage and listen and I look forward to doing precisely that. I want us to come together to confront extremists – far right, Islamist or any other. I want to show that the people of this country reject hatred, bigotry and racism and instead chose tolerance, decency and respect.�

It still feels like yesterday when we would tune into an Indian channel and see people gyrating to lungi dance courtesy Shah Rukh Khan and Deepika Padukone. But imagine taking a stroll across the streets of London wearing a lungi as a fashionable skirt. Zara are known for selling clothes that are a hit among fashionistas. But they are causing quite a chuckle after trying to sell a lungi, available from ÂŁ3, as a fashion garment for women at ÂŁ70. The lungi is considered as a heat-appropriate clothing in countries such as India, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Nepal, and is wrapped like a sarong. Zara is selling their brown checked “flowing skirt with draped detail in the front, slit detail at the hem. Zip fastening in the back hidden along the seamâ€? for ÂŁ69.99. However, if you were to buy the item of clothing elsewhere, you could be saving yourself from digging a whole in your pocket by buying a lungi for ÂŁ3, and that too in many varieties. For example, a website called Lungi Wala, the sarong-type clothing is being offered for â‚š346. You can find the

Courtesy: Zara

lungi being sold on other websites for much cheaper as well. Although the popularity of lungi seems to have declined over the years, it still remains a go-to clothing in the hotter parts of the world. And with Bollywood celebrities adoring the lungi in their films, as well as models showcasing it during catwalk shows, who knows its popularity may escalate again in the near future.



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Asian Voice | 3rd February 2018


Lauren Booth removed as Man charged for dangerous charity trustee driving killing 3 teenagers Cherie Blair's sister, Lauren Booth, 50, has been banned from serving as a trustee for the Islamic charity Peacetrail, after £90,000 raised by her Islamic appeal allegedly went missing. The Charity Commission said that Lauren Booth was unable to account for up to half of the spending by her fund to help Palestinians and Muslim converts. Lauren Booth is the daughter of the late actor and left-wing supporter, Tony Booth, and his lover, Pamela Smith, a model. Cherie Blair's mother was Tony Booth's wife, Gale Howard who was an actress. Lauren Booth, who us a journalist, converted to Islam in 2010 after having a “holy experience” in Iran. Since then, she has been a vocal and energetic advocate of Islam. Born Sarah Jane, Lauren Booth is said to have publicly embraced a highly politicised form of Islam. She served as a patron of the pressure group Cage, that had once allegedly described Mohammed Emwazi, also known as “Jihadi John”, as a “beautiful young man”. She has never shied away from attacking Tony Blair, her brother-in-law,

Lauren Booth

stating that he had “overseen a war where a million people who are Muslim have been killed”. The Charity Commission removed her as a trustee after they allegedly found her answerable for “misconduct and /or mismanagement”. Furthermore, she has also been banned from serving on the board of any charity unless she is permitted to do so from the regulator or the courts. Her husband, Sohale Ahmed, 53, has also been banned from serving as a trustee of any charity for four and a half years. Ahmed had been made chief executive of the appeal. The Charity Commission found that at least £92,110.35 of expen-

diture “remained completed unaccounted for”. Reports from an investigation by the commission reveals that about £40,000 of charity funds had allegedly been withdrawn from cash points and by cashing cheques, without any paperwork given to back up its use. It is said that charity money had also been used on first-class travel and accommodation abroad and in the UK, as well as valet parking. However, Lauren Booth stated that during her time as a trustee, she has served and supported “numerous projects for the Palestinian people in the Gaza strip”. She also said that the work provided “over £100,000 in donations” which was put towards “support in health, housing and education for some of the most needy families in the region”. Another trustee, Nadeem Ahmed, was also removed from his post by the commission. On 31st October 2017, Peacetrail was removed from the charity register, and ultimately dissolved.

Teenage schoolgirl arrested in attempt to join ISIL Birmingham Crown Court heard how British schoolgirl, Sandeep Samra, 18, had planned to travel to Syria to “join in with the brothers” and allegedly carry out violent acts. Sandeep Samra, pictured, from Coventry, was born and brought up as a Sikh before she converted to Islam at the age of 15, but has not made her family aware of her conversion. The teenager pleaded guilty to engaging in conduct in preparation for terrorist acts by attempting to travel to Syria between 1st June and 31st July 2017. However, she denies intending to carry out acts of violence in Syria.

Prosecutors alleged that Samra, who claims she only planned to help ISIL as a nurse, sent messages online that showed she was “going for death” and with the intention to die for the cause. She

allegedly wrote in the message, “I want to go, Inshallah [God willing] if it's still possible – at least our nurses can help soldiers and stuff. I really want to go.” It is said that Samra had applied for her first passport in September 2015, but her father handed it to the police a month later after teachers became concerned and reported her to an antiextremism team. She then applied for her passport again in June 2017 before she was arrested and had her phone taken away from her. It is said that Samra had “frantically” called to ask for the Assistant

Jaynesh Chudasama, 28, of Hayes, West London, was arrested and has been charged in connection to a car crash at a bus stop that killed three teenage boys. He faces three charges of causing death by dangerous driving. On Friday 26th January, the three victims, Harry Rice, 17, George Wilkinson, 16, and Josh Mcgunniess, 16, were walking past the bus stop making their way to a party at a football ground in Hayes, when they were hit by an Audi A5 at around 8:40pm. They died at the scene despite efforts from paramedics to save them. Witnesses said that two teenagers who were with the victims had chased the driver. They allegedly detained him at a petrol station where the driver was kicked and beaten. Jaynesh Chudasama was later arrested and taken to hospital as he sustained injuries to his upper body and head. He was later transferred to a police station for questioning. On Sunday 28th January, a 34-year-old man handed himself in to the police after they had released CCTV images of a second suspect they believed to be a passenger in the Audi when the accident had occurred. A spokesperson for the Metropolitan Police stated that the man “volHeadteacher at Lyng Hall School to countersign her passport, where she was described as having become “impatient, frustrated and rude” after her request was not fulfilled. The court also heard how Samra had allegedly joked with teachers saying, “Miss, you are going to see me in the news.” In a message to an unidentified person, she allegedly wrote, "I need a passport. If infidels know you support, they take your passport. Britain is very strict. We should meet to marry in Oman to go to Syria together, God willing.” The trial continues.

Theft at Lord Ahmed's residence The residence of Lord Nazir Ahmed in Rotherham became the target of a robbery where numerous valuables, along with important documents are said to have been stolen. Lord Ahmed was not present during the robbery and remained safe. Lord Ahmed spoke to Geo News regarding the incident that had occurred, as well as spoke about the

theories he had regarding who could be behind the robbery. He noted that the robbery was carried out in an organised manner where his CCTV cameras were deliberately smashed. Lord Ahmed said that he was waiting to discuss the issue with local intelligence agencies as well as the police.

Lord Nazir Ahmed

From left: Harry Rice, George Wilkinson, and Josh Mcgunniess died in the crash

untarily attended a North London police station shortly after 7pm”. He was arrested on suspicion of causing death by dangerous driving.

involved are under way. At least two males are believed to have left the black Audi A5 following the collision. Inquiries are ongoing to establish the full circ u m stances of the collision and the number of occupants in the v e h i c le The damaged Audi A5 at the scene involved. The three boys were Three young men have students at Harefield lost their lives as a result Academy in Uxbridge. of this incident; such Floral tributes and mestragic circumstances sages were left at the must far outweigh any scene of the crash. A feltaboo around assisting low student at Harefield, police.” Tia Purdy also attended Chief Superintendent the floral tribute, She Colin Wingrove added, said, “At school they were “There is understandably in different classes but a lot of shock and grief in used to go into each oththe local community. These three young men ers' class when they had their whole lives could, they were just realahead of them.” ly good friends.” Jaynesh Chudasama Detective Sergeant appeared at Uxbridge Michael Rapp, of the Met Magistrates' Court and police's collision investigation unit said, “CCTV was remanded until the inquiries and forensic next hearing at the Old analysis of the car Bailey on 26th February.

Indian man missing in London since 2015 Family members are worried after 34-year-old Ramesh Raparthi's sudden disappearance in London three years ago. Ramesh Raparthi, from Hyderabad had been staying and pursuing his higher education in London since 2010. However, his family members stopped receiving calls from him and became very concerned. According to available documents, Ramesh got admission at the University of Wales, Newport to study Masters in Business Administ ration. His admission letter is believed to have been despatched to him on 29th October 2009. Ramesh is the youngest in his family of three brothers and two sisters. His father, Raparthi Venkati, 68, said, “He was in touch with us for a few years and he also told us that he is working there.” Ramesh's mother,

Missing since 2015: Ramesh Raparthi

Raparthi Bommakka stated that the last time they spoke to their son, he had mentioned that he was in need of money. Ramesh's course was expected to finish in December 2011. After that, Ramesh continued living in London and was regularly in touch with his family until 2015, when he neither called his parents or family members. His father said, “We do not know what has happened to him. We need help to trace out our son.”

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Asian Voice | 3rd February 2018

Headteacher likened to Hitler as activists protest against hijab ban In a video circulating on social media, the headteacher of England's best primary school, Neena Lall has been portrayed as Hitler, while the school's former chairman of governors has been portrayed as Stalin. It is said that the outrage by the local community is due to the decision of banning girls under the age of eight from wearing the hijab at school. The secular state school, St Stephen's in London's East End is based in the centre of a predominant Pakistani and Bangladeshi community. Neena Lall's decision to ban the hijab as well as stop children from fasting at school during Ramadan for health and safety reasons has not gone down well with local Muslim figures. There has been an outrage regarding these bans, so much so that it had to be revoked and the former head of governors, Arif Qawi resigned from his post. Qawi had stressed that the Islamic headscarf was traditionally worn by a girl at or after puberty as a sign of modesty in front of men. However, he was concerned when he saw girls as young as five wearing the hijab who would not play with classmates in the playground. In the film, the headteacher, Neena Lall reiterated that it was her responsibility to teach

Understanding Spiritual Growth

By Roma Loomba

Headteacher Neena Lall

Former head of governors, Arif Qawi

British values and also stressed that she was not targeting any one religion. She said, “A couple of years ago I asked the children to put their hands up if they thought they were British. Very few put their hand up. They thought they were Indian, they thought they were Pakistani, but very few thought they were British... Although their culture and their religion is really important, they've got to realise they're also fortunate to be here... and they have to look at what our values are as a British society.” 20,000 people had signed a petition to have the hijab ban at the school lifted, and five councillor's at Newham wrote a letter condemning the ban, stating that it would leave students “victimised, intimidated and threatened when practising their faith”. While some members

of the local community were aghast about the ban on fasting and hijab, others were for the decision. A mother of two daughters who attend the school shared, “I'm a modern, British Muslim. I don't force my girls to wear the hijab. They're not into fasting yet. If you're of a certain age you're not obliged to fast. I think when they're in secondary school, like 13 or 14, then wearing the hijab is their choice. I have seen young girls in year 2 wearing it I think they're too young to wear it in primary school.” However, another mother with two children believed that the headteacher was targeting Muslims. She said, “The school is good. But the headteacher picked on one religion without letting parents know. She said it was about making the kids mire British and modern but you can do that in other ways.”

NHSF (UK) National Sports Competition 2018 “It’s not about the winning; it’s the taking part that counts.” – Baron Pierre de Coubertin In the field of sports, we have probably either told someone this, or had someone else tell this to us, yet it never seems to make loss and defeat any easier. We tend to get caught up in our emotions and disappointment, and forget everything else. Embracing this quote and understanding it on different levels can help us understand how we might become a richer person having lost. When athletes are interviewed in the closing ceremony of the Olympics, we often hear experiences of ‘meeting new people who become friends for life’. As NHSF (UK)’s National Sports Competition 2018

approaches, we hope that the experience of students across the country is the same: whether or not our team wins, we can look back from the competition day to our first practice and reflect on the lifelong friends we have made. Sport also gives us the opportunity to learn a new discipline and challenge ourselves to become the best we can be. When training, we should think of Eklavya, a shining example whom we should look to emulate in a new venture or when we must overcome disappointment. Eklavya wanted to be an archer, and wished to train under the guru Dronacharya, who taught the Pandavas. When, however, he asked for instruction, Dronacharya replied that he was unable to


assist as Eklavya was not of royal stock. Eklavya did not let this setback stop him, but built a statue of Dronacharya from mud, which he worshipped every day before practising with his bow and arrow. When he met Dronacharya again, he demonstrated his great skill in archery. Dronacharya had, however, promised that he would make Arjuna the best archer in the world. Seeing that Eklavya was more skilled, Dronacharya, recognising that Eklavya saw him as his guru, asked for guru dakshina. He requested Eklavya’s right thumb, which Eklavya duly cut off and gave to him, once again making Arjuna the world’s best archer. Despite yet

In Hinduism it is taught, that according to the teachings in the Sacred texts of the “Vedas” there are essentially, 4 Principal Goals of Life, that one may endeavour to achieve. (1) DHARMA (2) ARTHA (3) KAMA (4) MOKSHA


Having led a life comprising of the first 3 components, (or several lifetimes as Hinduism believes in Reincarnation), the Ultimate Goal of one’s Life is to be Released from the Cycle of Birth and Death and reach the state of “Moksha” whereby one achieves the Ultimate State of Consciousness: that of Liberation and Enlightenment. Hinduism, as described in the Sacred texts of the “Vedas” believes in the Law of Karma; the Law of Cause and Effect. Florence Scovel Shinn, a Christian, believed that we can all “slip-up” and make mistakes whilst on our path and journey. However, she believes that although we may accidentally through our mistakes “cause” unhappy reactions to be created, it does not necessarily follow that we must bear the “unhappy effect” of the “cause” that we may have unknowingly or unintentionally created. She believes that to be genuinely Sorry for our mistakes and to ask for Forgiveness, releases us from the Law of Karma, the Law of Cause and Effect into the Law of Grace, ........ God’s Grace. I believe that “Our Intention” is the Key. As with the Law of the Judicial system, criminal law must be tried by considering 2 initial factors. (1)MENS REA = THE MENTAL INTENTION OF CRIME (2) ACTUS REA = THE RESULTING ACT OF CRIME

another setback, Eklavya continued to practise archery with his other hand, and still became one of the best archers in the Mahabharata, showing his loyalty, bravery and dedication.

As students across the country prepare for National Sports Competition 2018, building discipline, dedication and teamwork, it is also important to remember the universal lessons given to us by our culture and heritage. Whilst it is important to strive to succeed, we should look to develop the resilience that

For Example, if the unfortunate resulting act of a particular crime is the death of the victim, but the mental intention of the accused was to hurt, but in no ways, kill the victim then the accused may be found guilty of manslaughter but not found guilty of murder. Guilty, nonetheless, but with a less severe penalty/sentence for manslaughter, not murder. In examining and attempting to prove/defend the mental Intention behind a crime the final charge may be reduced. Accordingly, in a hypothetical example of a social situation, if a friend gently nudges his or her friend in a pub, who then happens to slip and fall and suffer a small cut which due to his or her “PREEXISTING CONDITION”causes him or her to bleed considerably and is therefore hospitalised. Then, by Law “THE EGGSHELL RULE” Applies whereby there is No Correlation, whatsoever, between the accused’s mental Intention and the victim’s resulting Injury, due to his or her friend’s “PRE-EXISTING” Medical Condition, and consequently, the offender would be found Innocent. As Judicial Law stipulates, One is Innocent, Until Proven Guilty. The above is an example of a mere accident, to illustrate that, even in our everyday interactions, it is our Intention that is Crucial and of Key Importance when any Analysis is to be subsequently carried out. In our daily ordinary lives, in the same way, if somebody causes hurt or pain to another, but their Intention was not at all to do so, then they can be considered as Innocent. If that person then Realises they have Un-Intentionally and Un-Knowingly caused pain for another person, then to Genuinely ask for Forgiveness in view of the Resulting Damage, albeit UnIntentional, can help to alleviate both the damage caused, and also the potential increased consequent damage if Forgiveness is not asked for. Asking for Forgiveness may also help to Reduce the offender's sense of guilt, considering that there is no correlation, whatsoever, between the offender's mental Intention and the Resulting damage or pain that is Un-Intentionally and Un-knowingly created. It is advisable for the apparent victim to be forgiving, for their own spiritual growth. At different stages throughout our lives, each one of us may become the victim or the Un-Intentional Offender. It is beneficial for us all to have Compassion and Empathy for each other, and to realise that each person is doing their best from their State of Consciousness, in their own particular circumstances at that particular time in their life.

Eklavya showed when we do encounter defeat. Sport is undoubtedly about more than winning: participation in sport builds our character, helping us to develop values of teamwork, loyalty and dedication. At NHSF (UK) National Sports Competition 2018, we look to inculcate virtues such as these, as well as our core values of honesty, integrity and respect, of which we must not lose sight. When we step onto the field, it is the practice of these values, as well as our tactics and skills, that must be at the forefront of our minds. National Hindu Students’ Forum (UK) supports students in over forty university campuses across

the UK, providing a home away from home and a character-building environment that allows students to grow into society’s future leaders. NHSF (UK) will hold its fourteenth National Sports Competition on Saturday 17th February 2018 in Tipton. It is a platform for students to develop through sport and practise healthy living, with hundreds of students competing in football, netball, badminton, and the traditional Indian sports of kabaddi and kho-kho. Shivangee Maurya, NHSF (UK) National Committee Events Team Member Pravar Petkar, NHSF (UK) National Public Relations Coordinator



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Asian Voice | 3rd February 2018

Public Life Awards NOMINATION FORM

12th Asian Voice Political & Public Life Awards 2018 The prestigious Asian Voice Political and Public Life Awards represent our modest effort to honour a number of outstanding individuals from different communities, walks of life and diverse political persuasions who serve society in their own special way, and who contribute significantly and making a big difference in their COMMUNITIES.


4 q

tick the appropriate category


q q q q q q

Campaigner of the year Minister of the year Conservative Backbencher of the year Shadow minister of the year Public Service Awards Peer of the year

q q q q q q q q

Philanthropist of the year Lifetime Achievement of the year Community Service Awards Young Entrepreneur of the year Restaurant of the year Business Person of the year Professional of the year Travel Company of the year

Public Life

Application Form n

Full Name of the Person you are Nominating: ___________________________


His/Her Contact Details (Tel & email): ___________________________________


Occupation of the Nominee: ___________________________________________


Please attach the Nominees's CV which includes the following information

(Please do not exceed a limit of 1000 words) (1) Personal background (2) Most important career achievements till date. (3) Nominee's contribution to the community and nation. (4) Future Plans, ambitions and visions. (5) Any notable obstacles in the Nominee's career that has helped him/her to reach where they are today. ______________________________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________________________ n Summary - (Please include a summary in not more than 150 words why the nominee is worthy n

n n n

of winning the particular award in a separate sheet)

Your name and contact details: ________________________________________ Your current Occupation/Company: _____________________________________ Your contact _________________________________________________________ Email:_______________________________________________________________

Deadline for Nomination: 17th February 2018 * NOMINATION AND SELECTION PROCESS

Make sure that you fill in this application form and send it on or before 17th February 2018 by email to L.George at If you are sending it by post the address is L.George, ABPL Group, 12 Hoxton Market, London N1 6HW.


Yuva Unstoppable

Working towards a brighter future for kids Reshma Trilochun One tends to want to give back to society once they are stable and have earned a massive income for themselves. But imagine at the mere age of 23, working towards giving back to society and ensuring that the future generation are able to access the bare necessities, which you and I may take for granted on a daily basis. This is exactly what Amitabh Shah, now age 35, did. For the past 12 years, he has been “unstoppable” in ensuring that the underprivileged children across India have access to better toilet facilities, improved drinking water, scholarships, life skills training, and much more. Having started in 2005, Amitabh Shah's initiative, Yuva Unstoppable has now become a movement throughout India. Brought up in Ahmedabad, Amitabh Shah pursued his bachelors from the University of Alabama, USA, and went on to pursue his MBA at Yale University. He gave up a secure lifestyle with the prospect of career progression and promotions to return back to his roots and do something worthy for the real people of India. Since its inception, Yuva Unstoppable has assembled more than 150,000 volunteers for the betterment of 400,000 underprivileged children across 32 cities in India. They have transformed 500 exceedingly poor government inner-city schools by providing better facilities, such as toilets, and educational needs. Currently, it is said that there are about 1.1 million schools in India and about 50% of them still do not have toilets for girls to use at school. Amitabh Shah shares, “All these corporate employees would come up and say, 'Have you seen the bathrooms in the schools? You're teaching maths and science but for 300 girls, there is only one loo.' So they would have to hold it in for 8 hours and the smell is absolutely disgusting there [toilets]. Because of that there is hygiene problems, there are health issues, and girls drop out of school. They said the drinking water and dishwashing basin water were all the same. It's like a tap for 500 kids.

Amitabh Shah

There are no benches so you get back problems while growing up... They paint the wall black and write on it with a chalk. So they said, 'Can we come with a movement where the corporates, individuals and foundations come and adopt these schools?' So I

[Unstoppable] are fantastic on that, which is comforting for trustees and everybody involved because it means when we take money from people, we're able to tell them what exactly has happened to it. We often find charities where huge amounts disappear in admin costs and so on. Here none of this is happening. Money is going exactly where it's needed and it's having the effect.” Desai further states, “The reason why this particular charity appealed is how very little can turn into so much. Something as simple as a toilet improves attendance rates at schools. You're suddenly improving literacy rates.

On stage: Amitabh Shah, Naynesh Desai, R. Balki and Sonam Kapoor

said, 'why not?'” Shah goes on to say, “I'm happy to say that within the last three years, we mobilised about 100 corporates and built about 550 schools... I realised people across the world care about children in India and I am delighted to have the Beefy Foundation, which has raised more than £30 million in the last 30 years.” Beefy Foundation helps to fund specific projects relating to chronic illnesses and other challenges young people might face. Beefy Foundation has worked with Yuva

That's the beauty about this charity that so little has such a huge impact.” Recently the Yuva Unstoppable – Padman Award was held in Mumbai, India where Naynesh Desai won an award for his charitable work. The event was also attended by Bollywood actress Sonam Kapoor, and director R. Balki, who distributed sanitary pads to schoolgirls at the event. Amitabh Shah urges people to do more to inspire children to thrive to make their dreams come true but making the foundation of their education Sonam Kapoor distributing sanitary pads to schoolgirls

Unstoppable to inspire children to strive for the best in life. Trustee of Beefy Foundation, Naynesh Desai, who is a lawyer by profession said, “As trustees, when we are funding anything, we look at transparency and accountability. Yuva

strong. Shah wants people to “open their hearts and look at India as a place to empower children with smart classrooms, with better toilets and with better water facilities. It's not just about giving the resources. It is also about giving your time.”

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Asian Voice | 3rd February 2018

Rani Singh, Special Assignments Editor

Anjna Patel, MBE, President, British Parking Association To find a rare lady executive in the parking sector of public service, meet Anjna Patel. She's the first woman and the first person of colour to become President of the British Parking Association.

Who is Anjna Patel?

Despite arriving in the UK from Uganda in the 1970s speaking no English, Anjna has a 29 year career in road safety and parking in Sandwell. For the last four years she has been a principal officer. She is a Fellow with the same organisation. Anjna has also established her own charity (Parasol) to raise funds for injured military personnel (to date £100,000) by arranging golf days, sponsored walks etc which, despite the onset of rheumatoid arthritis, she participates in. For her public service, she is an MBE.

Why Anjna Patel focusses on Parking

She tells us; “Not long ago parking was free or low cost. Land is a commodity so there is a requirement to manage the land efficiently - be that in private ownership

or in public. Council car parks cost money in maintenance, business rates etc. Whilst most local authorities try to keep the charges to a minimum, it still has to be managed without pressure being put on other, more important services like children and adult services.

Challenges in the Parking Sector

Anjna comments: “The challenges are to ensure that Anjna Patel innovation and fic is managed and congestechnology keep the costs tion is minimised.   to a minimum and also The other  challenges support the rising costs of are to ensure that  there is managing car parks. The a buy in of the move to a Parking Sector is excited futuristic approach. This is that technology and car not so difficult in the manufactures are working urban areas but a little collaboratively to assist challenging in rural areas.” drivers by providing seamThe Challenges of less end to end journeys Being an Asian Woman with fuel efficiency. The innovation and technology Anjna Patel states, “I have areas want to ensure traf-

had challenges not only in this country, but also in India during my formative years. Although we are changing, there are still barriers that are faced by Asian women at home as well   as at work. I believe that today’s women have a work life balance, but it is at a cost. The pressures of trying to manage both environments can leave them helpless and unable to get help, this is more so for women with ambition. Stereotyping is still rife in the work place, especially in local government with bullying being a norm. There is no support available.”

What are the most Interesting and Unknown Facts about Parking?

Anjna reveals, “Most people see parking in terms of parking tickets only. Managed Parking is essential.There is a skills sector behind it. Professions that support it include IT, engineering, law, administration, Business management, Training, Media, Journalism, Charity, Governance, event management, development of technology, innovation.”   

What is the Best Way of Finding a Stress Free Parking Place?

Anjna reveals, “Depending on where you are travelling to, you can use an app called “appy parking” where you can identify all the restriction, limits of

“Women in the Parking Sector” “The parking sector has perhaps more than 50% women- however, it does not have many women in higher positions. This is where support and mentoring comes into its own.”


Managed Parking is essential. There is a skills set behind it. parking on street and car parks charges and locations . This is adopted by many parking organisations including local authorities. There are now companies that also provide reserved parking places. The best way to travel is by planning a journey especially if the destination is not one you have visited  before. You can regularly visit  your own local authorities' website to see what is happening locally in order to avoid surprises as restrictions are regularly reviewed and altered.”  

Anjna Patel's ambition is to be as good as she can be and to make a difference. She says, “ I want to ensure that I have contributed towards the creation of a pathway for ambitious individuals in the sector   as well as seeing a transition to a seamless journey and moving from enforcement of parking perception to management of parking belief. I also want to ensure that the Victorian values charity that was set up by my partner Roy and I, to support injured British soldiers and their families carries on, supported by companies in the parking sector and in time hope that our son Russell, a Senior Captain ( 2 MERCIAN) in the army will continue to take it forward with his peers.”








Asian Voice | 3rd February 2018

PIO cards

We are your regular readers for over 30 years. Your newspapers have always been very helpful in projecting problems faced by our community. Today I would like to mention about Person of Indian Origin cards issued by gov't. of India. There are rumours going round that the lifetime PIO issued and the hand written ones will be not valid now. There is a lot of confusion on the subject. Gov't of India website says PIOs issued for life long validity can be used with old passport together with new passport. And as far as I know there is no notification cancelling PIO cards. The Indian High Commission is also not giving straight answers. When asked to clarify on the matter they just say that the PIO scheme is not available even though I am seeking clarification on the existing cards that have already been issued. I have read in your papers about free conversion of PIO to OCI and that the dates have been extended couple of times but this we thought is for 15 year PIO cards. This also was not a free service and it cost nearly £25 iin service fee for VFS postage, new photographs and for those who are at work then a day off for every member of your family if they wanted the OCI card. The procedure of application is also very difficult for old people as some don't have internet. I have spoken to so many about this application process and the difficulties they have encountered Even youngsters who are good at computers find it difficult to use the VFS site some time it takes 2 to 3 hours getting through. I would like your good office to help people on this matter by asking the Indian government to change all PIO cards free of charge and if necessary start a petition. Ghanshyam Khambhaita By email Thank you for bringing this to our attention. Please rest assured we are looking into this very important issue and will report on the progress in forthcoming weeks. AV

On a knife edge

We understand from media reports that knife crime in this country is on the increase. The figures recently made available indicate that knife deaths among children and teenagers are set to go up again this year. They also indicate that knife deaths are a phenomenon among many black teenagers. The worrying figures published indicate that the number of knife crime offences went up by an alarming rate last year. There have been a total of 18 fatal stabbings involving teenagers this year in London alone. Many campaigns have been launched to tackle this “dispicable” acts which have claimed large number of lives. Imagine yourself being confronted by man weilding a knife and threatening to harm you. It must be a very frightening experience. People who are victims would probably live the rest of their lives on a knife edge, being jittery and afraid to go out any time of day or night. It has been suggested by some that increased jail sentences for the culprits may be an answer. But others argue that prison sentences on their own are not effective. The person will come out of jail more hardened criminal and would be carrying a chip on his shoulder. What needs to change is the person or the environment they are brought up in. The culprits and their victims need more support from their peers. However, the poor victims of crime would probably live the rest of their life on a knife edge. Dinesh Sheth Newbury Park, Ilford

India and Pakistan unite

Notion by Jal Framji, that India and Pakistan should unite (Asian Voice of 27-1-2018), is not new. Mr. M. Jinnah soon regretted partition. British government also mentioned that it was unaware about life threatening illness of M. Jinnah, or it would not have allowed partition. Many Muslims in India and abroad yearned for merger soon after partition. Pre 1947 there were more than 40% Muslims civilians and in police and army. Also Mr. Jinnah was asked to be first Prime Minister of India. Muslims would have dominated whole India. By insisting on partition, they missed this opportunity. But any sane persons’ blood would boil when one recalls slaughter of more than 5000 Hindus on Direct Action Day to back demand for partition. Add to this anti India stance till now eg repeated wars, bomb blasts, 100s of cease fire violations, resulting in deaths of India’s soldiers and civilians. Mr. Framji statement that religion had nothing to do

Why British drivers are so negligent

Recently police carried out a blitz in England, a concerted effort to catch careless, negligent drivers who ignore basic law not to use hand-held mobile phones while driving. In view of increased penalty of £200 and six penalty points that will hurt drivers most when renewing their insurance policies, as well as wide coverage given to these new laws, on TV and in print media, police were expecting drivers to be cautious, not to flout laws, indeed an off-day for police! Yet the result they came up with was beyond belief. As widely reported in national newspapers, so many drivers were caught not only using mobile phones but texting, even using their ipad, while driving well over speed limit. Even an ex-cop was caught while another driver was doing 70 mph on duel carriageway, texting with both hands of the steering wheel, dangerous manoeuvre indeed that could cause multiple pileups, resulting in loss of lives. One may wonder why our people are so irresponsible, naive, flaunt laws at will? One reason may be we live in “Nany State” where government, social services pick up the bill, albeit as a last resort. Another reason is lack of practicality, eccentricity in our elite politicians, uniformity of laws, one punishment fits all crimes. Someone using mobile while stuck in crawling traffic jam will attract same punishment as the one driving at 70 mph in a fast motorway lane! While in US, judges have wide power, flexible laws where they may impose huge fines in exceptional circumstances and life means life, here we tied hands of our judges with fanciful laws where “Payroll Board” can even release habitual sex offenders that even government ministers cannot challenge! What we sow, so we reap! Kumudini Valambia By emails

Gita recital

I am so happy and proud to read the above article in the Asian Voice of the 6th Jan., 2018. It was amply commendable that on 11th Dec., 2017 Lord Popat and Lord Gadhia hosted this historic 150th Recital by Shri Dhruv Chhatralia. First time at Parliament, under the auspices of Shyam's 3rd Gita Gyan Maha Yagna. It was done by Saloni Belaid and 27 teachers of 340,000 Gita students of 161 countries! It was a rare feat for Gita Jayanti when Lord Krishna explained and elaborated wisdom of Gita to his devotee and friend Arjuna on the battlefield of Kurukshetra. Leaders of 8 religions were also invited to celebrate and partake of Gita Gyan. Lord Popat further explained the significance of gita and was also presented the ‘Translation of Bhagavad Gita' by Dr. Radhakrishnan, India's ex President. Like Lord Popat, other Lords and MPs should also organize such events to keep Hindu Culture Alive for Future Generations! Besides, in the same Issue of AV, there was an Article on Will Smith, Hollywood Superstar! He recently came to Mumbai for the Premiere of his Film 'Bright' for a day with other Actors and Director David Ayer. He said he likes India and Its Culture! To my Surprise he said he has read Bhagavad Gita 90% and like to finish it. He plans to come to India next time for more days and will awaken his Inner Arjuna and visit Rishikesh, Haridwar! He also said our famous Actor Akshay Kumar is his Close Friend. In his previous visit he gave him a Party and food was so delicious, it was the Best he tasted in Life! Today is also the 68th Anniversary of India Republic Day, God Bless India and ALL Indians! Upendra Kapadia By email with partition is incredible. The whole basis of partition was that Islam is diametrically opposed to Hinduism and needs a separate homeland. That ethos continues even today when Muslims hyphenate Sanskrit language with religion. They ignore fact that in Muslim majority Indonesia, Sanskrit names are given to children; photos of Ganesh appear on currency notes. Muslims alsi ignore fact that Switzerland’s CERN (Hadron collider agency) hyphenates Shiva with nuclear energy. One can only shudder to imagine if such anti-Hindu and antiIndia neurosis multiplies after merger. The answer to India-Pakistan merger would be an emphatic NO. But, Indian government has not yet severed umbilicus with Pakistan; India does not need Pakistan. Yet India still maintains sports, cultural, diplomatic and commercial ties. Bollywood imports artists from Pakistan. Till now Indian soldiers offered sweets too soldiers of Pakistan. Ramesh Jhalla By email


Farewell party

A well-attended farewell party was held in honour of the Chief Executive of Harrow Council Michael Lockwood and Harrow’s Borough Commander Chief Superintendent Simon Ovens by the International Siddhashram Shakti Centre and Premier Banqueting of Harrow on Wednesday 24 January, 2018 at the Premier banqueting hall in Wealdstone. For the community and religious groups of Harrow the memories of working with them will stay with the community and religious groups of Harrow forever and under their leadership they felt safe and secure at all times. Harrow’s loss has become someone else’s gain as they both are moving the greener pastures. Their achievement and contribution for the most diverse borough of Harrow were immense and has been much appreciated by Harovians. Here is a farewell poems on their departure. Not just a new designation This is a new horizon Not just a new role This is a dream run Not just another opportunity This is a new sunrise May your brand new job Open up new skies You empowered us With the power of knowledge You motivated us With the best tutelage You helped us move ahead With unending motivation As leaders and a human beings You were a true inspiration We wish you success We wish you luck We hope you make Many a buck Just be yourself Ignore the rest For your new job We wish you the best Thank you and Goodspeed Baldev Sharma Rayners Lane, Harrow

Vijay Patel: Loss of an unsung hero to the community

As we often say, true worth of a person only comes to light when he departs, is no more with us. Convivial Vijaybhai, who embraced every moment of his time on earth, was such unique person, an unintrusive in life but luminary in death. Who could have imagined three children would be harbinger of his death? I had fleeting acquaintance with Vijaybhai at our local Surgery where he occasionally volunteered for odd jobs. One may wonder, having 70 hours working week, that include late night shifts, how did he find strength, time to get involved in voluntary work with temples, Surgeries and helping old and infirm people with odd jobs, doing gardening, painting and decorating, making quantum improvement in their lives. He was popular all round, irrespective of their faith, culture, creed or colour. No wonder local Jewish community Rabbi Yatzchak Schochet set up crowdfunding appeal, initially to meet funeral cost but now, as the figure has topped 40K and shop-owner and his close friends have also started separate collections, with £10k in the kitty, it is hoped to raise £75K to help his son who is studying in Australia, as well as set up his family in India for life. A close friend of Vijaybhai, who was at his bedside on hearing sad news, has volunteered his services to travel to India to set up fool-proof financial investment with involvement of London firm of solicitors. The local Church has also organized a Memorial, Remembrance service on 15th February. I could not help but wonder the role of Hindu, Patel community, especially temple authority and religious establishments who should be in the front to help and honour this unique person, sole exception is AV who gave full coverage two weeks running that kept us informed. Bhupendra M. Gandhi By email

What do you think? We want to know your views on this subject Write to Asian Voice 12 Hoxton Market London N1 6HW or e-mail:

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Asian Voice | 3rd February 2018

Harrow College students in Amazonbacked digital project for Comic Relief

IT students from Harrow College at Amazon's offices in Central London

College IT students are taking part in a project for Comic Relief that hopes to engage young people with the charity. A group of 60 students, including some from Harrow College, is involved in the final stages of the campaign. They recently visited Amazon’s offices in Central London to be briefed on the project, which is being jointlyrun by Comic Relief, Career Colleges Trust and Amazon Web Services. The goal is to develop a solution within the digital space to engage 1624 year olds with Comic Relief in its bid to establish a world without poverty.

It is hoped that the outcome of the programme will see more young people get on board with the charity’s projects and maintain their support in the future. Val Pumfrey, head of youth engagement and fundraising for Comic Relief, said it could “connect, empower and inspire [people] to take action”, while Chris Hayman, head of UK and I public sector at Amazon Web Services, said he was looking forward to seeing the students’ “innovative ideas”. Julia Von Klonowski, from Career Colleges Trust, explained how the project would give students the chance to


utilise the skills they have learnt on their courses and present these to those in the “growing digital industry”. It comes after Amazon Web Services highlighted some of its latest technologies at the briefing day, while Comic Relief officials offered advice on digital marketing and making use of social media platforms. Nisha Raithatha, computing and IT lecturer at Harrow College, said: “This is a great opportunity for our students to meet potential employers and it will look brilliant on their CVs. They are very excited and looking forward to the rest of the project.”

Wembley High Technology College recognised as one of highest performing schools in country Wembley High Technology College has been named as one of the highest performing schools in the country. Last Thursday the Department for Education published secondary school league tables, featuring the results of the first students to sit new, tougher GCSEs in English and maths. The tables use raw GCSE results from last year and a raft of data from the DforE to evaluate how well pupils progress in a school since starting in secondary school and sitting their exams – resulting in Progress 8 and Attainment 8 scores. Progress 8 scores are centred around 0, with most schools within the range of -1 to +1. The data shows how many schools

have missed the government’s floor standard of 0.5. With a Progress 8 Score of +1.65, the value added score of pupils at Wembley High from primary school to GCSE is the second highest in the country. Headteacher Amit Hathi said: “I would like to congratulate all students on their incredible GCSE and A-level results last year. I am proud to be the headteacher of this outstanding school where a culture of excellence and academic success is rooted in everything we do. “Students and staff have worked immensely hard and with great focus and dedication to achieve an exceptional set of GCSE and A-level results. The school’s motto is ‘achieve-

ment for all’ and we truly strive for this. I am particularly proud of the achievement of all groups, including disadvantaged pupils, and I look forward to continuing to lead the school to improve the life chances of all students.” Brent has also been named as the second top performing area for Progress 8 in England, with a score of 0.49.

Statistically, domestic abuse is said to affect one in four women and one in six men in their lifetime. A topic that has for long failed to find a voice in the society, it is said to account for 16 per cent of all violent crime in the country, and yet, is the least likely to be reported to the authorities. In support of victims of

abuse, the National Congress of Gujarati Organisations UK has organised a discussion on the important and alarmingly increasing issue of domestic abuse, considering violence against both women and men. The event will see well known speakers in attendance. Support services will also

be rendered on the day. To be held on February 10 at Shree Jalaram Jyot Mandir, from 3 to 5 pm, the seminar intends to raise awareness on domestic abuse along with the concerns raised by the community. For registration and more details, contact Anita Ruparelia on 07971 813370.

Amit Hathi

Speak up! Join a discussion on domestic abuse

ºђકЦ® ¸Цªъ³Ъ ╙¸àક¯ђ³ЬєÃºЦ ˛ЦºЦ ¾щ¥Ц® Major Commercial Property Auction Wednesday 14th February 2018 On behalf of Aviva Investors, Colliers Capital, Wesleyan Assurance, Duff & Phelps, LPA Receivers and Trustees, amongst others

60 lots to include

(unless otherwise sold prior)


Acton, London W3 6LX 141/143 High Street Let to The Money Shop on new lease

London Docklands E14 9TX

Farnworth, Bolton BL4 9DS

37b Ability Place Let to Countrywide Estate Agents

43 Brackley Street Let to PDSA on renewed lease Rent £23,500 p.a.x.

Rent £37,500 p.a.x.

Rent £60,000 p.a.x.

Hornchurch, London RM12 6NB

York, North Yorkshire YO1 8RS


40/44 Station Lane Let to Prezzo Limited (t/a Chimichanga)

24 Parliament Street Let to Phone Tech. Adjacent to Boots Opticians and TSB Bank

Northampton NN3 3ED

Rent £73,500 p.a.x.

Rent £35,000 p.a.x.

West Kensington, London W14 9NH

Weybridge, Surrey KT13 8AX

143/145 North End Road Shop let to individual on low rent

19/19A/19B High Street Let to Holland & Barrett with two flats above

Rent £15,000 p.a.x.

Rent £53,140 p.a.x.

Batley, West Yorkshire WF17 5EQ

Loughborough, Leicestershire LE11 3DL

75-77 Commercial Road Let to Lloyds Bank on extended lease at re-based rent Rent £42,500 p.a.x.

Rochdale, Lancashire OL1 3AA 44-46 Yorkshire Street Let to Poundworld. 14,000 sq ft Rent £95,000 p.a.x.

17 Landsdown Drive Let to Trinity Housing Association. New 35 year lease. Annual rental uplifts Rent £40,560 p.a.x.


31 Cattlemarket Let to Farmfoods on renewed lease

Portsmouth, Hampshire PO1 1EX 156 Commercial Road Highly reversionary investment. Significant Reversion in 2053 Rent £900 p.a.x. Sub-Underlet £130,000 p.a.x.

Rent £48,500 p.a.x.

Lichfield, Staffordshire WS13 6JX 13 Market Street Let to Cancer Research Rent £31,400 p.a.x.

Oldham, Lancashire OL1 3AA 22/24 Henshaw Street & 37 Albion Street Part let to Coral Racing Rent £65,500 p.a.x.

Derby, Derbyshire DE1 2AL 31 East Street Let to Co-Operative Bank Plc Rent £120,000 p.a.x.

John Mehtab: +44 (0)20 7034 4855

40/44 Station Lane, Hornchurch, London RM12 6NB


MEDIA WATCH AsianVoiceNews

Asian Voice | 3rd February 2018

The boast of heraldry, the pomp of of power marked India’s 69th Republic Day Parade in New Delhi. Its unique feature this year was the presence of ten heads of state or government from the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) as Guests of Honour instead of the solitary invitee of former years. Their presence of farreaching significance for the region, an affirmation of India’s diplomatic, economic and strategic outreach into the Indo-Pacific sphere to the mutual benefit of the parties (TV channels January 26)

Republic Day Parade

Prime Minister Modi welcoming ASEAN leaders as Guests of Honour

Biggest jihadi catch

Abdul Subhan Qureshi, 46, software engineer, one time head of the Student’ Islamic Movement, co-founder of the Indian Mujaheedin, mastermind of bombings across India that had claimed hundreds of innocent lives, was finally caught in Delhi, where he had come to revive his defunct organizations, collect money and recruits for his cause.

Run to ground Deputy Commissioner, Special Cell, Pramod Singh Kushwah, said: ‘We had heard that he’d come to the Paper Market. After a brief exchange of fire, he was nabbed around 8.15.’ (Monday, January 22). ‘He had gone to Saudi Arabia to meet the other founder of the IM Riyaz Bhatkal to arrange finances and revive the IM in India,’ said Commissioner Pramod Singh Kushwah (Hindu January 23).

Ashok Chakra for IAF Commando Corporal Jyoti Prakash Nirala, an Indian Air Force Garuda commando, died in the call of duty in Kashmir, tackling a jihadi unit ensconced in a village in the valley. Laying an ambush, Narula led the attack, killing all six jihadis in an exchange of fire, dying of his wounds. The Ashok Chakra, awarded posthumously in the Republic Day honours list,

is the highest award for gallantry in peacetime (Hindu January 26).

India fifth best place to invest: Global CEOs Reports from Davos, Switzerland, where the world’s great and good congregated to discuss the well-being of humankind, indicate that India had moved up a place, replacing Japan, as the fifth favoured investment destination for global CEOs. According to the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the Indian economy will rebound to a 7 plus percentage growth from the next fiscal starting April, 2018, and will climb steadily as the world’s fastest-growing large economy (Times of India January 23).

Tata’s buoyant ‘It has been a good year [2017], a year full of satisfaction. We have embarked upon a number of initiatives. We have looked at building the team… we are systematically active about restructuring some of our businesses…including the expansion of our steel business.’ So said N. Chandrasekaran, Chairman, Tata Sons Ltd, the holding company of the Group, speaking from Davos.

Looking ahead The Tata Group has set out its stall. It will concentrate on


around a half dozen verticals including consumer, retail, financial services and infrastructure, apart from steel. motors and informational technology (Mint January 23).

the journal EBioMedicine. (Business Line January 22).

caught in the coils of Brexit, in the UK (Mint January 24).

Bull run scales new high

India’s air traffic doubles

HDFC’s third quarter profit hailed

Markets continued to break records with the Nifty breaching the 11,000 mark and Sensex closing above 36,000 for the first time. Renewed strength in foreign fund flows into Indian stocks boosted belief that the ongoing record-breaking run is here to stay, despite some fears of a bubble in the making. (Economic Times, Hindu, Mint January 24).

India’s domestic air traffic nearly doubled to 117 million passengers in 2017 with 100 fights taking off every hour compared with 67 in 2011 according to data released by Directorate General of Civil Aviation. Growth is likely to slow without the necessary infrastructure. Air India, IndiGo, SpiceJet and GoAir were able to fly fuller flights in 2017. Flights were also 86 percent full compared with 75 per cent in 2011(Mint January 24).

Amitabh Chaudhry, Managing Director and Chief Executive, of mortgage lender Housing Development Finance Corporation Life, expressed delight at the company’s third quarter growth [ending December 31]. He said: ‘If you look at our overall premium, it grew at 20 per cent but if you break down that number into its elements, our Individual Weighted Received Premiums (WRP) grew at 46 per cent. Our Group Credit Protect, which is our protection side of the business grew 57 per cent.’ (Mint January 23).

Bangladesh aborts China road project A China-funded road project in Bangladesh ran into a bribe bumper and got stuck, much to the embarrassment of Chinese officials. The China Harbour Engineering Company which had tendered for the project offered a senior Bangladesh bureaucrat a five million taka bribe to get the contract. The Highways Division Secretary Nazrul Islam promptly informed his minister Obaidul Quader. Eventually, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina was brought into the loop. The money was returned to the Chinese Embassy in Dhaka.

Narayanan’s groundless apprehension A few weeks ago, K.R. Narayanan, a former Indian Intelligence Bureau chief, had aired his concerns, in an editpage article in the Hindu newspaper, about Chinese activity in Bangladesh and Sri Lanka to India’s detriment. Asian Voice had refuted his statement, arguing, correctly, that both neighbours could be relied upon to protect their national interests, in which the relationship with India played a key role. The bribery affair in Bangladesh is proof, if proof were at all needed (Economic Times January 19).

Indian scientists’ discovery Indian scientists studying three generations of a family in Maharashtra discovered a cluster of genes whose aberrations may hold the clue to the cause of dyslexia, a learning disability that affects one in ten persons across the world. The scientists led by Subrata Sinha and Nandini Singh of the Maneswarbased National Brain Research Centre found a strong correlation between certain variations in the gene cluster called proto-cadhern gamma and dyslexia. The scientis, however, were quick to point out that their study was based on a single family. Their paper appeared in

Panagariya upbeat on economic prospects Professor Arvind Panagariya of Columbia University and formerly top advisor to the Government of India, before returning to academic life, expressed optimism about the direction of the country’s economic prospect at the first New India lecture at the Indian Consulate in New York. He said, ‘India is back on its growth trajectory, and if the current government in office is in place for a long time…India will grow consistently for the next several decades…I have no doubt that it will get back to the 8 per cent. India today is probably the only game in town.’

Potential for enhanced growth Asked if India could achieve double growth [10 per cent or more], Professor Panagagariya answered that this depended on further deep reforms such a change in labour laws and easier land acquisitions, along with a trimmed bureaucracy and a greater role for the private sector (Hindu January 24).

Rajan’s warning to West

Supreme Court dismisses Padmaavat appeal The Supreme Court of India has dismissed the appeal of the Rajasthan, Gujarat, Haryana and Madhya Pradesh governments against its ruling that the film Padmaavat be shown in these States, that freedom of expression and the rule of law must prevail over mob disorder. Chief Justice Dipak Misra declared: ‘Our order is to be complied by one and all…the Supreme Court has passed an order. These people had better abide by it (Hindu January 24).

Tarun Vijay scorns intolerance BJP MP Tarun Vijay writes: ‘Opposing Padmaavat is neither a patriotic act nor does it serve any service to Rajputs. When the movie has already been cleared by the Central Board of Film Certification, and when the Supreme Court has insisted it be exhibited, ‘those threatening damage…should carry on with their lives and avoid a film they find abhorrent. India can’t be an India where filmmakers only make films I want to watch or write books and articles I want to read.’ (Economic Times January 24).

Dr Raghuram Rajan, former Governor of the Reserve Bank of India, back in Chicago University Rajasthan, Haryana, as one of its top brains, Madhya Pradesh disgraced addressing the World Economic Forum at Davos, said the western powers must realize that they The violence that broke out in cannot go a long way without the craven BJP- ruled Rajasthan, help of the emerging economies, Haryana and Madhya Pradesh that no one would be capable of resolving the problems of a ‘fractured world’ if things are not set right soon. With an ageing population, the demand for westerrn products would be met by the emerging Rioters run amuck at Gurgaon, Haryana economies. shamed the country. When a Crisis in West school was attacked and its bus carrying children stoned in Guragaon, Haryana, by an unruly A London-based columnist, Marc mob, shame gave way to outrage Champion, pointed to the West’s across India. Uttar Pradesh, also disarray. President Trump was at under BJP dispensation, led by odds with the rest of the world Chief Minister Adityanath, and a divided America, cracked the whip early during Chancellor Merkel leads a the anti-Padmaavat agitation headless government in and upheld the rule of law and Germany, and Teresa May, public order.

UK AsianVoiceNews


Asian Voice | 3rd February 2018

Father of British beauty therapist who was strangled'honour killing' found dead The father of a British beauty therapist who was raped and strangled in an alleged honour killing has died days before a BBC documentary on her death. Samia Shahid, 28, had 'dishonoured' her family by divorcing Mohammed Shakeel, her cousin, after an arranged marriage. She then infuriated her rela-


tives by getting wed for a second time after a secret divorce. Her father Muhammad was arrested over his daughter's brutal murder in July 2016, along with her first husband, but was later released due to lack of evidence. Her ex spouse remains in jail on suspicion of her honour killing. A documentary on Ms Shahid's tragic death was due to air on Tuesday

Pakistani officer escorts father of Samia, Muhammad Shahid, right, and ex-husband Muhammad Shakeel

night, but the BBC has now postponed the programme 'out of respect'. Muhammad Shahid died suddenly in Pakistan over the weekend. Prior to her death, Ms Shahid had been lured to Pakistan by frantic phone calls from family members on the pretense her father was dying. At the time she had been enjoying a new life in Dubai with her second husband Syed Mukhtar Kazam, who she married in 2014. Mr Shahid's death was confirmed by Labour MP for Bradford West Naz Shah. Ms Shah has taken up the case in the wake of her former constituent's murder.

She said: 'The documentary's been postponed due to the death of Samia's father over the weekend. It is a sad and tragic story.' The BBC is understood to have been advised of the death - through causes yet not known - by the politician. A BBC spokesman said tonight: 'We have postponed the programme out of respect for the family. The decision was only made today after we heard of Samia's father's death. 'Although neither he nor his immediate family were featured in our documentary we decided to postpone it. This is all very sudden. Programmes are subject to change and as yet we have not rescheduled it.'

Labour discipline chief backed mayor thrown out for bullying

Ken Livingstone

Labour’s new head of party discipline previously joined Ken Livingstone and George Galloway in defending a disgraced mayor who was ousted for bullying Muslims. Christine Shawcroft, a veteran hard-left activist, became chairwoman of Labour’s disputes panel this month. The body investigates allegations of sexual harassment, antisemitism and other disciplinary breaches. She was appointed by Labour’s national executive committee (NEC) immediately after three Momentum-backed

Christine Shawcroft

George Galloway

activists had joined the body. Her close ties to Lutfur Rahman, the former mayor of Tower Hamlets, and willingness to speak out in his defence with Mr Galloway, who was expelled from the Labour

Passport to cost £12.50 extra if you get it by post The cost of getting a new adult passport through the post is to rise by £12.50 – or 17 per cent. The UK Government has announced that, for the first time, the price will be cheaper for those applying online.

Ministers said the reforms were part of plans to invest £100million on border security and infrastructure next year ahead of Brexit. HM Passport Office processes more than 6million passport applications each year.


Keeping a roof over your head: getting the right advice and support is critical for those on Universal Credit

In 2018 the cost of living is expected to rise faster than wages and the government announced that benefit rates will be frozen for another year. A numDianne Cowie ber of supporting views state that this tough start to the year could be made worse if you are moved onto Universal Credit. Over the year, Universal Credit will be introduced across the country, with the intention that all claimants will be moved onto it by 2022. Upfront Universal Credit appears sensible. Who could disagree with the idea of simplifying the benefit system by replacing six benefits with one, paid monthly? The limited roll-out has already created a large amount of publicity, and not for the right reasons. Studies by Citizens Advice and for the London Boroughs of Southwark and Croydon show that tenants face significant challenges due to Universal Cr edit. The main issue is that tenants do not receive their benefit for several weeks. Under the new system, tenants are obliged to pay their landlord rather than any benefit going straight to the landlord. With little or no income for weeks, tenants are getting into rent arrears, turning to payday lenders and seeking help from friends and family. As a result, tenants face significant pressure from landlords , private individuals, councils and housing associations to pay rent owed. As a Housing solicitor based in Croydon, one area where Universal Credit has been introduced, colleagues and I have witnessed the impact that this is having on tenants. Many claimants have had possession pro-

ceedings instigated against them due to rent arrears, often because of delays in Universal Credit payment or problems with the housing element under the new system. On a positive note, there is evidence that sympathetic landlords are working with tenants to resolve problems by agreeing on repayment schedules. Charities and the Citizens Advice also provide excellent advice and support. However, not all landlords are sympathetic and seek possession of people’s homes. In such circumstances it is always sensible to seek legal advice. As solicitors we can defend tenants and our involvement can make landlords think twice, ensuring they act within the law. It is a popular view that 2018 may look to be tougher if you face moving onto Universal Credit, but with the right support and advice your situation can be improved. Author, Dianne Cowie, Duncan Lewis Housing Director, specialises in tenant and landlord matters, including: disrepair, possession proceedings, tenancy disputes, injunctions, committal proceedings, homelessness appeals and judicial reviews. Dianne is ranked in Chambers and Partners 2017/18, as an “excellent litigator” who has been involved in a number of reported cases. Duncan Lewis Housing Solicitors Duncan Lewis housing solicitors advise on debt management, disrepair, housing benefit, landlord obligations, tenancy disputes, Local Authority housing, mortgage repossession, notice to quit, planning permission and appeals, Right-to-Buy, Right-toRent, tenancy agreements and unlawful eviction. For expert legal advice call Duncan Lewis housing solicitors on 0333 772 0409.

Lutfur Rahman

Party 15 years ago, and Mr Livingstone, the former London mayor, will raise concerns among anti-Corbyn activists about Ms Shawcroft’s elevation, although she is not expected to hear any cases involving the trio. Mr Livingstone is suspended by Labour after claiming that Hitler was Zionist, while Mr Galloway has not been a member since 2003, when he was expelled for inciting British troops to defy orders during the Iraq War. He has since stood against Labour candidates six times, twice successfully.

Celine Dookhran trial A court has heard how the builder accused of rape and murder had offered an undercover police officer the chance to drug and rape one of his alleged victims. Mujahid Arshid, 33, denies the rape and murder of his niece Celine Dookhran and raping and trying to kill another woman, who cannot be named.

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Asian Voice | 3rd February 2018

UK release of British Asian Felicitation of Vibhavariben Dave Thriller “Lies We Tell” Vibhavariben Dave attended the Vasant Panchmi Pratik celebrations at BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir, Neasden on Saturday 27 January 2018. She is the Minister of State for Education and Women and Child Welfare in Gujarat, India. She is in the United Kingdom to participate in the International Education Conference. Vibhavariben Dave is member of Legislative assembly (MLA) from Bhavnagar (North) constituency for its 12th legislative assembly and Bhavnagar East in 13th and 14th assembly. She was the first female mayor of Bhavnagar. She is associated with social service and holds a masters degree in commerce.

Reshma Trilochun Bradford International Film Associates proudly announce the UK release of the controversial British Asian thriller, Lies We Tell. Releasing in UK cinemas on 2nd February 2018, Lies We Tell has a stellar star cast including Gabriel Byrne, Manzar Sehbai and Harish Patel, as well as talented newcomers Jan Uddin and Sibylla Deen. Scripted and directed by the debutant director, Mitu Misra, who shot the entire movie in and around his hometown Bradford. At the age of 57, Mitu Misra has created an outstanding and compelling film that makes one question what we see on a daily basis. Mitu shared, “Lies We Tell is a blend of six true stories and the main purpose of it was to see how long do we expect someone to tolerate these numbers of hypocrisies before they turn. How long does it take for a nice, neutral, honest to goodness guy to become radical?... The reaction of the friends I grew up with, to certain circumstances, events in the world, I just couldn't fathom their reaction to certain things. And I had to find out what it was. What I found out is what the films is about.” Lie We Tell is about a chauffeur Donald and after his boss' death, he finds himself tasked with removing all traces of his secret mistress. In the process, he finds himself caught up in a world of violence, arranged marriages and honour killings. The film had its hugely successful world premiere at the prestigious Raindance Film Festival, and also had the honour of being screened at the Mumbai Film Festival and Australia's Byron Bay Film Festival.

On the sets of Lies We Tell: Gabriel Byrne and Sibylla Deen

Born in India, Mitu arrived in the UK with his parents when he was 9 months old. Being a first generation immigrant, he

Mitu Misra

faced many challenges while growing up in Bradford. It made him determined to ensure he becomes successful in life. Being a successful businessman, he realised that he had many stories to tell but had no idea how to tell them, and hence, he decided to go to college to learn about screenplay. From learning how to write, to penning the script and then to directing the film, the journey

took Mitu around 11 years to complete. However, filmmaking had never even crossed his mind while growing up. Mitu recalls, “I never wanted to make a movie. I never thought I'd be in a position to make a movie. My primary aim was not to be poor. Most foreigners who you would come across here, the first thing they want to do is get out of poverty and be independent so that they don't have to be subjugated to listening to things that they don't want to listen to.” Mitu hopes that Lies We Tell helps people see things in a different light. He said, “I really hope that this film helps people see what's important about their afterlife. What I find is that too many people want other humans to approve of their piousness, yet no religion really cares about what other humans think about you. It's between you and your God and that is what I'm trying to emphasise a little bit in this film.” Following the completion of Lies We Tell, Mitu is in the middle of writing his next script – a semi horror story about reincarnation.

Miss England semi-finalist is “Beauty with a Purpose”

Prianka Sivanathan

25-year-old business management graduate from Orpington, Prianka Sivanathan has become a semifinalist in the Miss England 2018 pageant, and is raising awareness for the Miss World charity “Beauty with a Purpose”. Prianka has organised cake sales as well as a new year's dinner and dance event where she auctioned her art work

and raised a staggering £1,025. The Miss England 2018 semi-finalist will also be doing a 5k run in May for the charity, Mind. Prianka stated, “Modelling is quite new to me. I have never done it before and the main attraction for me was the charity part. I want to raise money and awareness for charities and this is a great way to give them a voice.”

Vibhavariben Dave, Minister of State for Education and Women and Child Welfare, Gujarat

Chair Yoga for one and all Reshma Trilochun In today's day and age, most of us spend a lot of our time sitting in front of a computer at work, or while completing your school/college/university assignments. Sitting for a long period of time can have a bad impact on our health, especially our back and posture. Dr Tribhovan Jotangia, a retired General Practitioner, has authored a booklet called Chair Yoga, to help one connect with their “soul, mind and body”. Chair Yoga also encourages those who have been inactive, the elderly and those with physical disabilities to participate. Having been a GP from 1974- 2014 in Coventry, Dr Jotangia took up yoga in 2001 and learned from Shree Nagendraji of Nagpur, and further trained from Shree Ragvendraji of Bangalore. However, his main tutor

teaches you how to perform the 12 step chair Surya Namaskar, along with many other aasanas/postures that can be performed while seated on a chair. Chair Yoga can help those who are at beginner's level, as well as those who have not had any exercise in a long time. Dr Tribhovan Jotangia

was Shree Kanubhai Gohil of Leicester who started yoga classes in Coventry in 2002. Dr Jotangia said, “I have tried to device this type of yoga around 'Aastang Yog' namely Yam, Niyam, Pratihar, Pranayam, Dhyana, Dharna, Samadhi and Aasana. I have added Vyam yogs to the list making this a 'Navam yog'. This is to exercise the whole body from head to toes while sitting down.” This booklet also

This form of yoga is not hard on the body, yet it manages to connect the body with your mind and soul, making you feel evidently more at ease.

Black and white photos of Mahatma Gandhi transformed into colour the assassination, Fascinating picshow one of the tures of Mahatma most influential figGandhi have been ures of the 20th transformed with century visiting colour as India Britain in 1931. marks the 70th Another shows a anniversary of his meeting he had with death. the last Viceroy of Gandhi, who Gandhi giving his famous Quit India India, Lord Louis led a peaceful speech in Mumbai, in 1942 Mountbatten, in his struggle for India's extremist Nathuram study in Rashtrapathi independence from the Godse on January 30, British, was 78 when he 1948. Colourised photos, was shot and killed in released 70 years after New Delhi by Hindu

Gandhi pictured in New Delhi in the 1940s

Gandhi meeting with the last Viceroy of India, Lord Louis Mountbatten in his study in Rashtrapathi Bhawan in the days just before independence in 1947

Bhawan in the days just before independence in 1947. The pictures also show India's 'Father of the Nation' giving his famous Quit India speech in Mumbai, in 1942, which called for the immediate British withdrawal from the country. AsianVoiceNews




Asian Voice | 3rd February 2018




Brainwashed 11-year-old wanted COMMUNITY CRICKET to kill the Queen Sunetra Senior

Young boys were radicalised after watching ISIS videos

An 11-year-old boy told the Old Bailey court that he felt like killing Queen Elizabeth II after his teacher at a mosque had shown him Islamic State videos. Another boy stated that they were told their homes would burn down if they informed their parents or the police about terrorist grooming sessions allegedly run by Umar Ahmed Haque. Video evidence was played at the Old Bailey, in which one class member from the Mosque on Ripple Road, Barking, East London mentioned, “He was showing us Islamic State videos and how they bomb Europe and how Britain bombs them. He showed us Islamic State are good. He said that when we grow up, we have to fight with the Islamic State and help them stop these bombings. He was trying to make Islamic State a good thing. So you had to be together with the Islamic State. I was panicking kind of inside. I

was thinking we should fight against them if they are bombing us and destroying Britain and that's when he showed us the good side of them.” The boy also mentioned in the video that the videos shown to them at the Mosque featured “real fighting and blood, babies getting killed, babies in hospital.” The young boy added, “I felt kind of like sad and determined, no offence, but to Kill all the people that were... the Queen sometimes. But at the time I didn't know what was happeneing. I thought [ISIS] were good but I regret that now.” Umar Ahmed Haque, 25, from East London, has been accused of allegedly researching how to make bombs, and of plotting an attack that targetted London Heathrow Airport, as well as Elizabeth Tower. Haque denies preparing acts of terrorism between 25th March and 18th May 2017. The trial continues.

Two teens clung onto train for YouTube video Two teenagers, Harris Ahmed, 18, and a 16-yearold boy who cannot be named for legal reasons, had filmed themselves “surfing” on a train and have admitted endangering safety. However, they also claimed that they were unaware that it was illegal to do so. The two boys had filmed their daredevil stunt after having clung onto DLR carriages and posted the video on YouTube. They clung unto a train between Limehouse and Canning Town stations in East London, in March 2017. Ahmed admitted to two further offences of riding on top of trains on 14th October and 20th October 2017 when he appeared at Highbury Corner Magistrates Court, in North London. The duo were sen-

Harris Ahmed

tenced for their offence with Ahmed given 24 hours at an attendance centre while his friend was sentenced to a four youth referral order. While sentencing Ahmed, Magistrate Chair Sharon Ereira said, “You were not only risking your life but the other people on the train, the other passengers and staff. If anything had happened to you it could have affected them terribly. By putting it on YouTube you are encouraging other young people to put their lives at risk.”

great focus. With the self-esteem built from the sport, I believe a sense of long-term commitment and dedication is fostered, which will always help the girls, whatever their future goals. Cricket builds good leadership. That’s why in addition to my cricketing initiative, I’ll also go into different schools to help girls get a feel for and learn a little of the sport at lunchtimes and introduce them to the game.” When Saba was at school, she recalled that the institution predominantly offered Rounders, and that she

“Within the Asian community, sport is still not viewed as a wise career choice,” Saba, the recipient of a BEM (British Empire Medal) and more recently a British Citizen Award (BCA), for her outstanding contribution to community cohesion, told us. Cricket coach by night and solicitor by day, Saba has transformed the lives of many young girls, especially from British-Asian backgrounds by leading through strong example. Having established a steady legal career, Saba returned to her passion of cricket; a sport she had watched a lot with her family growing up, by joining Wanstead Cricket Club. At her local faction, she noticed that many girls were sitting silently, simply observing from the side. “They were perhaps intimidated seeing a predominantly maledominated arena,” Saba told us. “If you are used to seeing just your brothers or fathers play, that’s what you’re likely to think. I felt these girls whose interest had clearly been piqued, could benefit from having a female role model to actually motivate them to play.” That was it: Saba made sure to set up all-girls classes at her club, voluntarily coaching more and more young women in cricket as a wonderful, confidence-building sport: “ I wanted to show the ladies that the physhad to fight to bring in cricket. Ever ical skills they saw embodied in boys the sporty crusader then, Saba were just as accessible to them - and emphasised: “I absolutely encourage sure enough - once they felt surer the recreational activity of cricket, but amongst themselves - many of my it would be great to witness one of the girls have since moved into mixed girls going on to become a cricket teams. They just needed that extra, coach themselves, or even to one day, little encouragement. For example, see them play at county or national verbally confirmation that: ‘your level!” Thus, not only does Saba work bowling has improved!” Saba also to make cricket a truly multicultural stressed the extent of the character and diverse sport – enjoyed by the building, which can be achieved Indian community for generations, through recreational or professional but not always represented authentisport. “I have noticed that the cally in the proverbial field – sportier kids are also the but represents the current ones who tend to thrive zeitgeist of pushing academically. Their youngsters, from all I wanted to show personal confidence backgrounds, to the ladies that the allows them to be seize careers they able to balance all really want. “You physical skills they the aspects of their can be a professionsaw embodied in lives. They are the al and still make boys were just as most well-rounded time for physical individuals.” accessible to them health and activities,” the sporty *** ambassador added. “I’m Interestingly, the a solicitor full-time and noun ‘cricket’ can also be used quite well educated, but that as a synonymous adjective for ‘fair’ or does not detract from my exercising ‘equitable’. This is certainly the way or my cricketing dreams.” Saba continues to reform her very British endeavour. After receiving How might you ease new playformal training as a coach, she created ers into the game? her own official project for all aspirAs well as offering after-hours ing, young female cricketeers: the opportunities, I’ll use a tennis ball, Redbridge Rangers. As well as being wrapped up in tape, to help beginners British- Asian, Saba is also Muslim, acclimatise to the sport before movand incorporates and honours girls of ing them to professional hard ball. all faiths, planning around prayer times and religious periods to maxWhat, for you, distinguishes imise inclusiveness, and increase the cricket from other sports? number of girls who are inspired. It’s both a team and individual’s “Cricket helps girls understand they game. You are responsible for your can play hard, but also fairly and with own batting and bowling, but must

heed the team dynamic. This incorporates everyone’s individual strengths. The social side means you meet new people and the community improves its health as more youngsters play. Cricket is also a very mental game. It involves patience and decisionmaking, and equally quick reactions depending on the context. You’ve got to think tactically and be alert to win the game. What’s false preconception about cricket? That it’s boring! Test matches do go on for a long time but they’re bringing in shorter formats of the game to keep people interested. What have been some rewarding moments? When three of my girls, under the charity I work for - Chance to Shine – completed that training level, and achieved young leaders of the community accolades. What has been a highlight? Playing cricket outside 10 Downing Street! We tried to get the PM to play too. The invite was a great experience for the girls, continuing to raise the profile of the sport. Does all-girls cricket encourage a feeling of sisterhood? Yes, we all go out for team meals and some girls end up making friends for life. It really brings people together who might not otherwise have met – we have a good laugh. I'm glad I can give back to the community in this way, helping spread the power of sport as well as empowering young women. Where do you see yourself taking this cricketing project in the future? Making a difference at grassroots level is important for me. That’s where it begins. I want to continue coaching at schools and clubs, and open up the project to more areas in the country. In a wider sense, I hope there will be more female role models in the media, yet more effectively increasing gender diversity through the public platform. Do you have a ‘ game-face’ motto? It’s a combination of trying your best, and continuing on if you fail. If you give it your all, you know you did everything possible so you have motivation to pick yourself up and try again. Finally, what’s been a particularly memorable game you’ve watched? It has to be last year when Pakistan won the Champions trophy. T: @sabanasim7



London celebrates India’s Gandhi Nirvan Din commemorated at 69th Republic Day Tavistock Square


Asian Voice | 3rd February 2018


Rupanjana Dutta

The High Commission of India organised the 69th Republic day of India celebration at the Intercontinental hotel in Mayfair, London. The High Commissioner of India to UK, His Excellency Y K Sinha addressed a gathering of distinguished Indian diaspora along with MPs, Peers and Councillors, attending the evening filled with cultural activities and music. Sinha spoke about UKIndia joint efforts, the year of culture and PM Modi’s vision, while the Chief Guest Rt Hon Mark Field, Minister of State for Asia and the Pacific at the Foreign & Commonwealth Office, talked about the growing strong relationship between the two countries and also discussed about his previous 3 visits to India, and a future visit that may include a trip to Kolkata and Hyderabad. On this evening the Open University, in collaboration with the University of Exeter and the High Commission of India and the Nehru Centre, also launched an interactive digital timeline of images telling the story of Indians in Britain toured the UK alongside other images from the last 200 years.

H E Y K Sinha, wife Girija Sinha with Chief Guest Rt Hon Mark Field MP CB Patel, Publisher/Editor pf Asian Voice/Gujarat Samachar paying his respects

A dance performance at the celebration

This was formally launched by the high commissioner and the Chief Guest. In the morning there

was a flag hoisting ceremony held in the high commission of India, attended by staff and guests.

His Excellency Y K Sinha, the High Commissioner of India (UK)

30th January marks Mahatma Gandhi's Nirvan Din – Gandhiji's Martyr Day. On this very day each year, the High Commission of India (UK) hold an observance of Mahatma Gandhi's death anniversary where people pay their respects at his statue, which was unveiled at Tavistock Square Garden, London, on 17th May 1968. On this occasion, a solemn programme of floral tributes as well as speeches from reputable dignitaries were held. The Publisher/Editor of Asian Voice/Gujarat Samachar, CB Patel was also present to pay tribute to the Father of the Nation and shared a heartfelt speech. Councillor Richard Cotton, Mayor of Camden

Guests attending the evening

Photo courtesy: Raj D Bakrania, PrMediapix

Anti-India violent clash breaks out in London Continued from page 1 The protest soon turned violent and needed police intervention after Ahmed's supporters were countered by many Indian and British groups. Lord Nazir was seen telling an Indian activist “You must have been sent by RAW.” A pro-Khalistani activist also called an Indian protester, “you Hindu fascist.” The counterprotesters questioned Lord Nazir on how he was making a mockery of the British system by openly playing Pakistan's game. A van written free Kashmir went around the city, including the Parliament.

Lord Ahmed on Thursday, preparing for the Friday protest said that on Republic day Kashmiri Pakistanis and Khalistani brothers and other minorities mark as black day. In an interview which was in Hindi, he went on to say, “We want to say that 5 such vehicles are ready and will be circulating until Modi comes to UK. “India and RAW put pressure on advertising standards authority, Transport for London and the UK govt but they haven’t been able to stop it. We challenge them - if they can, try and stop it.” An Indian activist who is from Kashmir counter-

ing Lord Nazir’s propaganda said, “we Kashmiris want freedom from Pakistan sponsored terrorism, violations of ceasefire and proxy war. I am here to tell that to Lord Nazir.” Another man told AV, “I don’t understand, Lord Nazir has nothing to do with India. These men who are standing here demanding a separate state or country, they would not have been here if not for India. What is their identity? Their families were originally Indians. Also what’s the point of bringing the fight to UK soils? These people fighting against India, they were not even born there!”

Photo courtesy: Raj D Bakrania, PrMediapix

Launch of Youth Students awards by NISAU UK in presence of Lord Jitesh Gadhia, Lord Navnit Dholakia, Baroness Sandip Verma, Lord Swraj Paul, Lord Diljit Rana, Virendra Sharma MP, Lord Meghnad Desai and Sonam Arora. The Republic Day event was also attended by the Deputy High Commissioner of India to UK, Ambassador Dinesh Patnaik.



Thousands of spectators from all across the country flocked Rajpath early in the morning on January 26 to witness the 1.5 hour-long parade that has become a major part of India's Republic Day celebrations. Braving the cold and dense fog, citizens kept the spirit of the day alive by cheering for every contingent, defence weaponry, and cultural tableaux that went down the eight kilometrelong stretch between Rashtrapati Bhawan and Red Fort. Patriotic fervour reached borderline chaos at 9 in the morning, when the commentators announced Prime Minister Narendra Modi's arrival to receive the President, Vice-President, and the very esteemed ten chief guests. By 10.15 am, contingents had begun passing through. In a significant move, one showing India's fast growing strategic ties with ASEAN, leaders of all the 10 nations of the group attended the parade, making witness to India's military might and cultural diversity. In the country to attend the India-ASEAN Commemorative Summit, the leaders joined President Ram Nath Kovind and Modi. The parade was commanded by Lt General Asit Mistry, General Officer Commanding. Head-quarters Delhi Area. Supreme commander of the Indian Armed Forces, President Kovind took the salute at the parade. Also present at the event were ministers of the ruling government, including Home Minister Rajnath Singh, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, Health Minister JP Nadda,


Asian Voice | 3rd February 2018

Prime Minister Narendra Modi with leaders of ASEAN countries the Rajya Sabha, Ghulam Nabi Azad. Also, former prime minister Manmohan Singh, Delhi Chief Minister and AAP convenor Arvind Kejriwal, and deputy Chief Minister of Delhi, Manish Sisodia were in the audience.

Sashastra Seema Bal, Indo Tibetan Border Police, Delhi Police, National Cadet Corps and National Service Scheme were also among the marching contingents at the parade. The

while the Indian Air Force contingent, comprising 144 men, was led by Squadran Leader Attal Singh Shekhon. Paramilitary and other auxiliary civil forces including the Border Security Force also marched on the Rajpath. Camel Contingents, Indian Coast Guard,

years, reportedly went through rigorous training to prepare for the show. They performed stunts including Salute to President, Fish Riding, Side Riding, Faulaad, Prachand Baalay Shaktiman on their 350cc Royal Enfield Bullet motorcycles.

Grand ending

BSF group ‘Seema Bhawani’ flaunt their skills Indian Army's T-90 tank (Bhishma), Ballway Machine Pikate (II/IIK), Brahmos Missile System, Weapon Locating Radar (Swathi), Bridge Laying Tank T-72, Mobile Base

Indian Air Force Marching Contingent passes through Rajpath Information and Broadcasting Minister Smriti Irani, Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad, and Environment Minister Harsh Vardhan. Congress President Rahul Gandhi also attended the parade, and was seen sitting with senior Congress leaders and Leader of the Opposition in

missioned in 2020. The Defence Development and Research Organisation meanwhile, exhibited the 'Nirbhay' missile and the Ashwini radar system. In firsts, the All India Radio

Parade of variety The annual Republic Day parade consisted of a march past by Army personnel carrying the ASEAN flag. They also carried flags of the 10 guest ASEAN nations. Twenty three tableaux of different states, ministries, and the All India Radio rolled down the path. States and union territories showcased their historical, art and cultural heritage. The marching contingent of the Army included horse0mounted columns of the 61st Cavalry, the Punjab Regiment, Maratha Light Infantry, the Dogra Regiment, Ladakh Scouts, the Regiment of Artillery and 123 Infantry BattalionTerritorial Army. Marching contingent of the Navy, comprising 144 young sailors, was led by Lieutenant Tushar Gautam,


Transceiver Station and Akash Weapon System were showcased at the parade. The Indian Navy's tableau showcased the theme 'Indian NavyCombat Ready Force for National Security'. It also showcased its Indigenous Aircraft Carrier (IAC) Vikrant, which will be com-

tableau featured PM Modi's monthly address 'Mann Ki Baat', and the Income Tax Department tableau

The finale was as spectacular as it could be, as a flypast by MI-7 and Rudra Armed helicopters along with several IAF aircraft zoomed over the crowd, as they oohed and aahed. The flypast commenced with the 'Rudra' formation comprising three ALH Mk IV WSI helicopters in 'Vic' formation, followed by the 'Hercules' formation comprising three C-130J Super Hercules aircraft. Trailing them were the 'Netra' which is an Airborne Early Warning and Control System Aircraft also called 'Eye in the Sky'. It was followed by the 'Globe formation' comprising one C-17 Globe master flanked by two Su-30 MKIs among

unprecedented and reflected India's status as a super power in a region, where China has been incessantly trying to increase its influence. PM Modi had invited the leaders to attend the celebrations as chief guests. Present to witness the grandeur of Indian celebrations, were Myanmar’s State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi, Vietnam Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc, Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte, Thai Prime Minister Gen Prayut Chan-o-cha, Singaporean Premier Lee Hsien Loong and Brunei’s Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah, Indonesian President Joko Widodo, Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak, Prime Minister of Laos Thongloun Sisoulith and Cambodian Premier Hun Sen. Ties between India and countries of the powerful bloc has seen an upswing since Modi came to power. Both the parties account for a combined population of 1.85 billion people, one fourth of the population of the entire world. Their combined GDP is estimated to be over $3.8 trillion. Investment from ASEAN to India has been over $70 billion in the last 17 years, more than 17 per cent of the country's total FDI. Indian investment in the bloc in the same period has been over $40 billion. “The presence of the 10 ASEAN leaders at the Republic Day function in New Delhi reiterates India's commitment to

The Akashvani tableau is cheered as it passes showed special anti-black money drive launched postdemonetisation. The highlight of the parade was however the motorcycle contingent, ‘Seema Bhawani’, comprising women personnel of the BSF that showcased their skills for the first time at the parade. 113 women, aged between 20 and 31

others. The ceremony ended with the playing of the national anthem and the release of thousands of balloons.

ASEAN guests grace the occasion The presence of the ASEAN leaders was

strengthen the cultural, social and religious bonding and expand economic engagement, besides regaining the muchdeserved strategic space in the region,” said Sheshadri Chari, a member of the National Executive of the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).



Asian Voice | 3rd February 2018

New report predicts Kolkata has potentials to become a broad-based industry hub Rupanjana Dutta A new report was launched in London on Wednesday 24th January has said that Kolkata can become a broad-based industry hub by making itself attractive for entrepreneurship. Kolkata has the opportunity to leapfrog other cities in India to establish a broad-based digital industry hub, particularly with a focus on smart manufacturing, analytics, Artificial Intelligence and related disciplines. These are the findings of the report “Kolkata 4.0: Developing an innovation ecosystem”, launched by the new Kolkata 4.0 Foundation (K4.0), Indian Chambers of Commerce (ICC) and industry body techUK. An MoU was also signed yesterday between ICC and K4.0, promising to help ICC with international activities particularly tech companies from Kolkata in foreign markets. K4.0 is a not-for-profit initiative with a vision to create a networking platform for positive thinking on Kolkata, geared towards knowledge exchange, and connecting people and ideas. Its main objective is to provide a platform for professionals living outside Kolkata but having an active interest to contribute to the future of the city, its knowledge and economic ecosystem through global studies, mentoring support and setting up knowledgedriven ventures in the city. The report issues six recommendations for developing an innovation ecosystem for Kolkata. First, the city must insti-

Launch of the Kolkata 4.0 report

tutionalise the state government’s Startup Bengal initiatives. Currently, there is a lack of rootand-branch assistance for entrepreneurs to make this a reality. There must be a corpus created for promoting start-ups, for example where government procurement can allocate budgets for specifically buying from start-ups. In doing so, the government should act as a market-maker to promote the growth of the start-up economy. Kolkata must promote entrepreneurship development in its educational institutions on a large scale. In higher education, it must build a dedicated technology transfer capability such that good ideas can be successfully commercialised. Finally, the report finds that Kolkata must build its brand more effectively internationally to communicate its successes and reduce the perception gap that exists even amongst its diaspora. T r i d i b e s h Banyopadhyay, cofounder of K4.0, said: “This report is the first real attempt to objectively compare Kolkata to other hubs across India, and identify specific, implementable ideas that

could lead to the growth of the city in a way that engages the government, startups, corporates and its diaspora. The city’s diaspora is an untapped resource and we would like to create enabling platforms to facilitate it to take part in Kolkata’s growth.” Report author Pratik Dattani, Managing Director of economic consulting firm EPG, said: “The report features deep analysis and an honest appraisal of where Kolkata is today and where it could be. The report was a bottom-up initiative, featuring insights from nearly two dozen interviews, including from policy-makers, entrepreneurs, startup hubs, government and diaspora. Rajeev Singh, Secretary General of the ICC, said: “This year Bengal Global Summit showcased the best there is to offer in Kolkata, attracting significant international business interest. This report highlights some of those strengths, such as access to good education, growth in the IT sector, high quality of living and the growth of the Startup Bengal scheme.” This report was writ-

Foreign player keen on Air India stake A foreign company has shown interest in acquiring 49 per cent in state-run Air India. While the identity of the player has been kept under wraps, Aviation Secretary RN Choubey said the company has given an “unsolicited expression of interest for AI's airline arm.” Other foreign companies looking into AI's disinvestment process with interest include Singapore Airlines (SIA). Vistara, its JV airline with Tatas, has an “open mind” for the debt-laden AI. Other biggie is Qatar Airways that wants to start a domestic carrier in India and has for long wanted to pick up a stake in IndiGo, which, has also extended a formal expression of interest for AI's airline arm. Meanwhile, a senior ministry official said, “As of now it will not be possible to say who this foreign player is

and whether it is a foreign airline or some other company. We need to check with them if they are okay with their identity being revealed at this stage.” Sources reveal that at the moment, Tata-SIA and IndiGo are the main contenders for AI's airline arm. Jet alongwith its international partners is waiting for details of what the government offers in AI divestment. An insider said, “Qatar Airways' preferred partner airline in India is

IndiGo but the latter is adequately funded and has not said yes to the former's offer to pick up a stake in it. Qatar is facing its own issues with neighbours and India has not approved for its demand for enhanced flying rights. So as of now, the likelihood of Qatar Airways coming forward for AI are not too high.” With a total of almost 28,000 employees, Air India has accumulated debt and losses of over £5 billion. The Centre intends to sell AI and AI Express together, with ground handling, MRO and Alliance Air to be sold as separate companies.

AsianVoiceNewsweekly MoU will seek to identify the 20 companies in the coming two months, and roll out the support in the following ten months. This will include advice on doing business in India, training sessions, bespoke business development support and market visits. Councillor Baggy Shanker, Cabinet Member for Finance and Governance said: “It was fantastic to host the delegation in Derby and show them what we have to offer. We are committed to exploring the opportunities a partnership brings, opening doors to joint business ventures and inward investment, creating opportunities in education, culture and tourism and also creating lasting friendships. There were plenty of positive discussions held during the

and excellence of the two ten by EPG Economic and cities. Strategy Consulting, Specifically, both which is based in London Derby and Kolkata repreand India, and offers ecosentatives agreed to assist nomic analysis, strategic 20 companies, ten from communications, policy each region, with bespoke advice and market entry consultancy and business assistance with India and support, to do business in East Africa, to businesses the other’s region. and the third sector Kalyan Kar, Coaround the world. Founder of the Kolkata Derby and Kolkata 4.0 initiative, which aims agree to support 20 busito promote positive nesses this year thinking about Kolkata, Leading business repsaid: “Kolkata acts as an resentatives from Derby in eastern gateway to a marthe UK and Kolkata have ket of half a billion peoagreed to support 20 busiple. We would be delightnesses with specific bilated to assist some of the eral trade and investment innovative companies we opportunities over 2018, have met in Derby access through a Memorandum Indian markets.” of Understanding (MOU) between the Indian Chamber of Commerce (ICC), Derby City Council and East Midlands Chamber of C o m m e r c e (EMCC). A business delegation from Kolkata visited Derby with the aim of starting and deepening trade and investment relationships with innovative engineering, automotive and industrial companies, as well Signing of MoU between the Indian Chamber of Commerce, Derby City Council and East Midlands Chamber of Commerce as leaders of the Council, chambers The delegates were of commerce and Derby day and I look forward to especially impressed at University. The delegaseeing some of the ideas Derby Manufacturing tion, led by ICC Directortake shape over the comUTC, which provides General Dr Rajeev Singh, ing months and years.” technical and academic aimed to start a series of David Pearson, education for 14-19 year activities during 2018 to Director of Partnerships olds, which Kar said: “We facilitate bilateral trade and Membership saw 16-year old children and investment relationServices, EMCC, said: learning to weld metal ships, as well as cultural, “This paves the way for using cutting-edge virtual civic and tourism ties. Dr an increased flow of reality. This kind of pracSingh invited Councillor international trade tical learning and skill Baggy Shanker and colbetween our region and development has a lot of leagues to Kolkata for a Kolkata and the West applications for India.” joint event showcasing the Bengal region of India.” The signatories to the shared industrial heritage

Hyderabadi girls add a splash of young entrepreneurial spirit at Davos Two Hyderabadi women represented India at the recentlyended World Economic Forum in Davos. Kanika Kumar and Dipika Prasad were chosen as part of the Global Shapers team, which selected a delegation of 50 young entrepreneurs from across the world. Kanika Kumar and Dipika Prasad While Kanika spoke conveying what the youth about the importance of want from the world.” providing equal opportuniKanika, who has been helpties to social entrepreneurs, ing find solutions for social the latter spoke about how entrepreneurial ventures to build inclusive cities. through a Mumbai-based Dipika, co-founder of start-up called Aavishkaar Lakeer, a civic initiative, Intellecap, said, “Hyderabad said, “The WEF mostly deals is really showing the way. with senior leadership of big They are creating a good businesses and yet, here we eco-system for are, a bunch of start-ups entrepreneurial ventures to and social entrepreneurs,

grow. The T-Hub is one such venture but we need more of those and events like GES and WEF are only going to show the way forward.” Dipika, on the other hand, has different goals for her city. “Hyderabad is a dynamic city. We are looking forward to working with the government and my target is to develop at least 10 model wards where citizens of Hyderabad and government can work in partnership. These wards must be across all economic sectors and not just another hi-tec City,” she said. The duo also met Telangana's IT Minister KT Rama Rao and his team in Davos.




I recently met a couple of investors who came from Saudi Arabia, wanting to deploy money into the UK property market; probably representing one party amongst many who are anxious to export their funds at the moment.

Suresh Vagjiani

Sow & Reap London Property Investment

I asked them what the real reason was, as to why the round up is happening. They stated there have become too many mouths to feed. According to them, there are about 67,000 members of the Saudi Royal Family, who are taking $10-20million each per annum, just for their upkeep. They are doing little or nothing for the economy and are a drain. This is in essence a culling process, to remove the excess fat from the country so to speak. I’m no expert in geopolitics, but the truth normally has to do with the flow of money. The point being, again we

see the same principle, on a global level money moves from unstable to stable environments. UK, and still London, are seen as the obvious choice, despite the stamp duty and tax changes. There is a more compelling reason why these funds are seeking a home - safety. These investors mentioned that many developers were coming over to Saudi to sell their new build stock, developers who otherwise wouldn’t set foot over there. Only one reason drives them to Saudi, and that is that they cannot sell inland or in Asia. This particular party have had dealings in the UK previously, since 2009; and have done quite well from it. However, truth be told, if you invested pretty much anywhere in the UK at this time you would have made money. You would have been riding the wave. Now the terrain is different; and Central London

AGONY AGENT IS HERE TO HELP! Q: My tenant wants to end his tenancy agreement. However, he has only just informed me that he allowed his wife to move back into the property nine months ago. The tenancy agreement has always been in his name. He lived there on his own for years prior to this. His wife doesn’t want to go, but I don’t want her there, as I now want to sell. What should I

do? A: The long and short of it is you cannot stop your tenant’s wife living at the property with him. From what you say the tenancy is still in the sole name of the husband. You cannot evict the wife on her own, all you can do is get a possession order against the husband which will be effective against the wife too (but she will not be


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named on it). First of all, make it clear to the husband that the tenancy cannot be ended while the wife is living there and you are not prepared to accept a surrender of the tenancy unless he is able to give you vacant possession. Then you need to serve a Section 21 Notice. The Section 21 Notice should be in the name of


Asian Voice | 3rd February 2018

in their minds will be a tough market for the next 3 - 5 years, which is perhaps slightly pessimistic, but I agree with the direction. Therefore, to buy and hold, with the anticipation of growth isn’t necessarily the wisest move. You need to find angles, to add value, do what no one else is doing, to innovate. When one buys a property it’s easy to see the comparables and what’s on the market. So, in very little time you can normally get a basic grasp of the situation. When there is a development with planning permission the seller knows the build costs and the resale cost and leaves a margin of 20 - 30% for the incoming purchaser. There is no extra value add. The property industry in general is very backward looking. However, we have found a chink in the market which will boost

the husband as he is the tenant, but there is no harm in sending a copy to the wife saying that she is not named in the notice as she is not a tenant but that when the court order is made she will be required to leave also. I would also recommend that you use the accelerated procedure for possession, there is no place on the forms to name occupiers who are not named tenants, so she will not be included in the

yields and turn ordinary investments into high yielding cash cows. We are currently implementing this strategy in a property in Central London. We have another office development deal in North West London, where our intention is to replicate the same principles, in essence build small and rent high. This development is min-

proceedings. You may want to serve a set of papers on her too, so she knows what is going on. It is possible that the wife may apply to be joined into the proceedings, but that is up to her. Even if she decides to, she won’t have any special defence to the claim. All it will mean is that she would be named on the possession order. Once the court order is made, if the wife refuses

utes away from a tube station, and being commercial you get away from the sharp stamp duty which is payable on residential. You also have a brilliant little known tax advantage, where if you exit the investment after a 12 month period you qualify for only a 10% tax liability; which is a cherry on the pie. This deal is priced at £2.25m, and is ready to be transacted. Please get in touch if you are interested.

to vacate, I would recommend that you instruct the court bailiffs, who have authority to evict whoever they find at the property. So, she will have to leave at that stage, whether she is named on the court order or not. If you are having issues like this and need some advice, please do give me a call. Richard Bond Lettings Manager Sow & Reap

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Asian Voice | 3rd February 2018

Consultant Editor Financial Voice Alpesh Patel Dear Financial Voice Reader, I write to you from Mumbai where I have been working on deals to land more jobs and investment into the UK. Here are facts you may not know. When the Indian PM visited the UK – this was what he found: India was the 3rd largest source of Foreign Direct Investment projects in the UK with more than 500 opportunities being generated. According to a report by the then UK Trade and Investment body, India was the third largest source of inward investment into the UK, beaten only by the US and French. There were 13 Indian companies which employed more than 1,000 people in the UK. And in the year of the Indian PM’s visit to the UK, investment from India increased by 65%. This resulted in the creation of nearly 8,000 jobs as well as protecting 1,620. It is not that ties between the countries are close. When I was appointed by the then British Prime Minister to the UK India Roundtable to advise the PMs of both countries on building closer ties – we all knew there should be more Indian investment into the UK. What is startling while I make deals in India for Indian companies to set up HQ in the UK and create jobs in Britain, is in a decade of making such deals, I’ve never seen the UK more attractive. Surprising you may think in light of Brexit. But not one of the investors, venture capital investors and entrepreneurs I have to marry together in creating deals mention Brexit as an issue. My deals are measured by the British Government for economic value created – and we know there is no diminution qualitatively or quantitively. India, Singapore, Malaysia, Hong Kong – the list of countries in which I do deals to land investment and corporate HQ to the UK – all show a relentless desire to be in the UK. This is of course great for Britain. (By the way I was a remainer re Brexit). Some of the data really surprised me – that funding for artificial intelligence companies is the most for companies in UK, as opposed to Germany or France. Actually, never mind that, the money from venture capital firms into the UK is almost double that of Germany and France combined. That was in 2017. So much for some massive inward migration out of the UK. What people forget is, British passport holders – the ones with the talent in the UK, will stay put. And it’s the talent which is what venture capital chases. They invest in the person not the city. Always has been the case. Alpesh Patel Alpesh Patel and Juventus Football Club are Official Partners of brokers.

General Motors aims to ramp up component exports from India General Motors is reportedly looking to ramp up component exports from India, with a company official adding they were parallelly adding new global markets for vehicle shipments from the country. The American auto major that has stopped selling cars in the Indian market, recently began exporting Beat Notchback to Costa Rica. A General Motors India spokesman said, “Apart from this addition, we also plan on expanding the component exports in 2018.” They, however, declined to specify the markets that the company plans to target for components exports. The spokesman said that the company is focused on ensuring that it produces high-quality vehicles for export markets. They said, “Our exports have tripled over the past year and we are very pleased with the acceptance of our products in the export markets.” General Motors currently exports body panels and engines to Vietnam and

Cambodia. It ranked 5th last year, in terms of passenger vehicle exports. Regarding the settlement of issues related to dealerships, the spokesperson said the company has been able to settle all dealer sales agreements as of December 31, 2017. “GM India worked directly with its dealers to ensure a smooth transition to the Chevrolet Authorised Service Operation (ASO) network and in this process we have settled the closure of all dealer sales agreements by December 31, 2017.” Regarding the availability of service and spare parts of its vehicles in India, the official said the company has a network of 175 ASOs in operation across key locations in the country. “We continue to operate every function that supports all the aspects of operations of our ASO network; these include the technical assistance centre, field engineers, training organisations and the field team,” the spokesperson said.


Indian govt to infuse £8.80 billion in 20 public sector banks The government of India has announced £8.81 billion capital infusion in 20 public sector banks during the current fiscal, with IDBI Bank getting the most- £1.06 billion. Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said his ministry had undertaken a detailed exercise on the amount of capital to be infused into the PSBs. In the current fiscal, ending March 31, the State Bank of India will get £880 million capital and Bank of India £923.2 million. UCO Bank will get £650.7 million, Punjab National Bank £547.3 million, Bank of Baroda £537.5 million, Central Bank of India £515.8 million, Canara Bank £486.5 million, Indian Overseas Bank £469.4 mil-

lion and Union Bank of India £452.4 million. Oriental Bank of Commerce would get £357.1 millione, Dena Bank £304.5 million, Bank of Maharashtra £317.3 million, United Bank of India £263.4 million, Corporation Bank £218.7 million, Syndicate

Bank £283.9 million, Andhra Bank £189 million, Allahabad Bank £150 million, Punjab and Sind Bank £78.5 million. Jaitley said steps need to be taken to ensure governance of banks follows highest standards and there is a need for institutional mechanism to

make sure the past is not repeated. “We inherited a very major problem and therefore, we have been involved in finding a solution to that problem,” he said. He added, “Our role really is not only to find a solution but also to create an institutional mechanism to make sure that what happened in the past is not repeated.” The PSBs face mounting non-performing assets or bad loans, putting the financial sector under stress. “Now the entire object of this exercise is that the government has the prime responsibility of keeping the public sector banks in good health,” Jaitley said.

Indian railways line up mega revamp plan

The Indian Railways has lined up mega investment in a bid to scale up its operations, including a revamp of the signalling system across its network, a new $3 billion electric locomotive unit, and a station-development plan for large cities. All these projects could cumulatively be worth over $15 billion. Railway Minister Piyush Goyal said discussions are underway to ensure that the deals are structured in a way that local manufacturing gets a fillip and cost comes down. He said, “We want to repli-

cate the model that was used for LED bulbs, where the cost was brought down. If costs are lower and local manufacturing is ensured, we will scale up investments.”

T h e railways is planning extensive consultations over the next few weeks, to work out a model that serves the twin goals with the minister maintaining that funds are not going to be a constraint. Goyal said, “There is enough budget and we have many options to raise resources.” The gov-

India's GST collections rise 7% in December, reverse slowdown

Reversing a slowdown, revenue collections from the Goods & Services Tax (GST) in India rebounded in December with a growth of 7.3% and bringing relief for policymakers ahead of the 2018-19 budget. “The total revenue received under GST for December 2017 has been £8.67 billion,” the finance ministry said in a statement. The reversal in the slowing trend comes amid the series of steps taken by the government to stabilise the new tax reform measure and plug evasion. December collection is also likely to help reduce some of the uncertainty over revenue receipts in the current financial year. Declining trend in GST collections started in October, slowing to £8.33 billion from September’s £ 9.21 billion. It slowed for the second consecutive month in November to £8.08 billion, triggering some concerns about revenue receipts. The number of taxpayers registered under GST topped 1 million up to

January 24, of which 17,10,000 are composition dealers, which are required to file returns every quarter. The finance ministry said 56,30,000 GSTR 3B returns have been filed for December. The government expects GST collections to rise by 20-25% after the introduction of electronic way (e-way) bills, which will track the movement of trucks and help check revenue leakage. Tax experts said the December numbers showed that the system was stabilizing. “Increase in revenue collection is on expected lines and means that gradually GST is stabilizing and impact of transition issues is waning out. This,

coupled with few anti-evasion measures being taken by government, is likely to result in further increase of revenues in January-toMarch quarter,” said Pratik Jain, indirect tax leader at consulting firm PwC. However, some economists said the extent of increase may not be enough to halt a shortfall in indirect tax revenues. “It is encouraging that sequentially there is an improvement in collections but the magnitude of improvement may not be big enough to eliminate concerns about a shortfall in indirect tax revenue collections this year,” said Aditi Nayar, principal economist at ratings agency ICRA.

ernment has stepped up investment in railways as it seeks to modernise the creaking infrastructure, a result of low investment and overuse. Sources said the complete modernisation of railways' signalling system, including automation at a cost of £7.80 billion is expected to get approval in the Budget. The Budget is set to focus on electrification as railways has advanced the deadline for complete switchover from diesel to electric by two years to 2020.

Maruti to showcase electric car at Delhi Auto Expo India's largest carmaker Maruti Suzuki is all set to showcase its first electric car concept, the e-Survivor at the upcoming Delhi Auto Expo. The company said, “It symbolises Maruti Suzuki's commitment to help develop the entire lifecycle of Evs in India, including the local manufacture of components, charging infrastructure and recycling of batteries.” In a statement, India's largest carmaker said, “Positioned as a futuristic concept, Concept e-Survivor brings together many new technologies that depict the new and exciting F.A.C.E of Suzuki's intent for Future Mobility. (Four-Wheel Drive, Autonomous, Connected & Electric).” The brand new e-Survivor is an open-top, two-seater SUV. The Indian government has set an ambitious target for the country to be selling only electric vehicles by 2030. Transport Minister Nitin Gadkari has even said that he's not going to “ask” carmakers and users to make the shift, but will “bulldoze” the scheme. Maruti Suzuki chairman RC Bhargava said, “We as Maruti don't have the tech for e-vehicles. It's a fact.”

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Asian Voice | 3rd February 2018


US slaps sanctions on 6 Pak terrorists WASHINGTON: The Trump administration has slapped sanctions on six Taliban and the Haqqani network leaders and pressed Pakistan to work with the US to deny terrorists safe havens on its soil and aggressively target their fund-raising activities. The Haqqani network has carried out a number of kidnappings and attacks against US interests in Afghanistan. It has also been blamed for several deadly attacks against Indian interests in Afghanistan, including the 2008 bombing of the Indian mission in Kabul that killed 58 people. In a scathing attack on Pakistan, US President Donald Trump, in his first tweet of 2018, had accused it of "lies and deceit" and of fooling US leaders while sheltering terrorists. The latest action by the US was taken against four Taliban leaders -- Abdul Samad Sani, Abdul Qadeer Basir Abdul Baseer, Hafiz Mohammed Popalzai and Maulawi

Inayatullah - and two Haqqani leaders Faqir Muhammad and Gula Khan Hamidi. All the six terrorists have been designated as global terrorists by the US' Department of Treasury. As a result, all property and interests in property of these persons subject to US jurisdiction are blocked, and the US citizens are prohibited from engaging in transactions with them, said Sigal Mandelker, US Under Secretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence. The action supports Trump's South Asia Strategy by disrupting terrorist organisations and publically expos-

Taliban regime. Last year, Baseer provided Taliban commanders with tens of thousands of dollars for attacks in Kunar province of Afghanistan. He was the financial advisor to the Taliban's Peshawar Military Council and head of the Taliban's Peshawar Financial Commission in 2010. Popalzai has served for several years at the Taliban Finance Commission and was in-charge of the Taliban's finances for southern and western Afghanistan, including Qandahar, Helmand, Nimroz, Herat, Zabul, Uruzgan and Farah provinces. Inayatullah has been a Taliban military affairs member in charge of multiple Afghan provinces, and was a member of the Taliban Peshawar Shura. In 2016, he operated as the overall Taliban member responsible for attacks against Afghan and coalition forces in Kabul.

ing individuals who facilitate their activities, he said. Mandelker said: "The Pakistani government must work with us to deny the Taliban and the Haqqani network sanctuary and to aggressively target their terrorist fund raising." According to US report, in early 2017, Sani sent weapons to Taliban members who later attacked an Afghan National Police (ANP) patrol, killing an ANP officer and wounding two others. Sani served as the Taliban's deputy finance commissioner, and also as the governor for the Afghan Central Bank during the

Pak turns to Russia, China for military supplies ISLAMABAD: As the ties between the United States and Pakistan continues to deteriorate, signs of a formidable axis in Central Asia emerges. In an interview Pakistan's defense minister Khurram Dastgir Khan said his country was undergoing a "regional recalibration" of its "foreign and security policy." Part of that regional recalibration involves Pakistan reaching out to Russia and China for new military supplies. “The fact that we have recalibrated our way towards better relations with Russia, deepening our relationship with China, is a response to what the Americans have been doing," he said. Khan's comments come three weeks after Beijing revealed it would build an offshore


naval base near Gwadar Port in the Pakistani province of Balochistan. Earlier this month, the Trump administration announced it would cut all security aid to Pakistan because the country has failed to undermine terrorist networks within its borders. "The United States has fool-

ishly given Pakistan more than $33 billion in aid over the last 15 years, and they have given us nothing but lies and deceit, thinking of our leaders as f o o l s , " President Donald Trump tweeted on January 1. "They give safe haven to the terrorists we hunt in Afghanistan, with little help. No more!" Khan, who has served as Pakistan's defense minister since August 2017, said Trump's comments were “deeply offensive” and “counterproductive."

Immediately after Trump's disparaging tweet, both Beijing and Moscow issued strong statements in support of Pakistan. "We must value Pakistan's important role on the Afghanistan issue, and respect Pakistan's sovereignty and reasonable security concerns," China's top diplomat Yang Jiechi told Secretary of State Rex Tillerson over the phone, according to Chinese media. Russia's envoy to Afghanistan Zamir Kabulov echoed Jiechi's remarks, telling reporters that pressuring Pakistan "may seriously destabilize the regionwide security situation and result in negative consequences for Afghanistan," adding that Russia views Pakistan as “a key regional player to negotiate with.”


Myanmar blames Bangladesh for delayed Rohingya return YANGON: Myanmar has blamed Bangladesh for delays in the repatriation programme of Rohingya refugees, as the deadline passed for starting the return of the Muslim minority to strife-torn Rakhine state. More than 680,000 Rohingya fled to Bangladesh after a brutal Myanmar army crackdown began last August, while a further 100,000 fled a previous bout of violence in October 2016. Myanmar agreed that from January 23 it would start taking them back from the squalid camps in the Cox's Bazar district of Bangladesh where they have sought shelter. But a Bangladeshi official said Monday the programme cold not begin as planned. Refugee Relief and R e p a t r i a t i o n Commissioner Mohammad Abul Kalam said there was much more work to be done. The complex process of registering huge numbers of the dispossessed has been further cast into doubt by the refugees, who are too afraid to return to the scene of what the UN has called "ethnic cleansing". Myanmar authorities are also accused of drawing out the process by agreeing to take back just 1,500 people a week. It has prepared two reception camps on its side of the border. Myanmar officials said that no Rohingya had crossed back into Rakhine, the scene of

alleged widespread atrocities by Myanmar's army and ethnic Rakhine mobs. "We are right now ready to receive... we are completely ready to welcome them according to the agreement," Kyaw Tin, Minister of International Cooperation said in Naypyidaw, Myanmar's capital. "We have seen the news that the Bangladesh side is not ready, but we have not received any official explanation,” he added. With hundreds of Rohingya villages torched and communal tensions still at boiling point in Rakhine, rights groups say Rohingya returnees will be at best corralled into long-term camps. Those who return must sign a form verifying they did so voluntarily and pledging to abide by Myanmar laws. Myanmar has sent a list of more than 1,000 "wanted" alleged Rohingya militants to Bangladesh, while headshot photos of the suspects have been widely circulated inside the country. In a sign of the tensions attached to the repatriation issue, a second Rohingya leader was killed in Bangladesh camps allegedly after endorsing the returns programme. Bangladesh, one of Asia's poorest countries, has been besieged by an influx of Rohingya since communal violence flared in 2016.

103 killed, 158 injured in Kabul ambulance bomb attack KABUL: In one of the biggest blasts that rock the war-torn city, at least 103 people were killed and 158 others injured when an explosives-packed ambulance blew up in a crowded area of Kabul last week. The Taliban claimed responsibility for the assault which triggered chaotic scenes as terrified survivors fled the area scattered with body parts, blood and debris, and hospitals were overwhelmed by the large number of wounded. The attack came days after a 15-hour siege by the militants at the Intercontinental Hotel in Kabul that left scores dead, including 14 foreigners. On Saturday, hospitals overflowed with the

IS attacks military academy, 11 killed

wounded, and forensic workers at the morgue struggled to identify the dead. The large casualty toll was another reminder of how badly Afghanistan is bleeding. Over the past year, about 10,000 of the country’s security forces have been killed and more than 16,000 others wound-

ed, according to a senior Afghan government official. The Taliban losses are believed to be about the same. United Nations’s data suggests an average of about 10 civilians were killed every day over the first nine months of 2017. The surge in violence

Islamic State militants attacked Afghan soldiers guarding a military academy in Kabul on Monday, killing at least 11 troops and wounding 16. The attack, which began before dawn and continued well past daybreak, was the latest in a wave of relentless violence in Kabul this month unleashed by the Taliban and the rival Islamic State group that has killed scores and left hundreds wounded. Defence ministry spokesman Dawlat Waziri said a suicide bomber struck the military unit guarding the academy, setting off a gunbattle. Two of the attackers were killed in the gunbattle, two detonated their suicide vests and one was arrested by the troops, he said. Waziri confirmed that 11 soldiers were killed at the site of an attack outside Marshal Fahim University in Kabul. At least five insurgents were involved in the assault. Two of the attackers were killed in gunbattle, two detonated their suicide vests and one was arrested by the troops. He said “the attack was against an army unit providing security for the academy and not the academy itself.”

across the country, particularly deadly attacks that have shut down large parts of cities, comes at a time when the country’s government has been in political disarray. President Ashraf Ghani has struggled to build consensus and has recently found himself in a protracted political showdown with a regional strongman, a dispute that has taken up much of administration’s energy. The strongman, Atta Muhammad Noor, a powerful governor, was fired by the president but has refused to leave his post, raising fears that the escalating political tensions could further undermine the country’s fragile security.


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Asian Voice | 3rd February 2018



Raila Odinga 'sworn in' as 'people's president' NAIROBI: In a ceremony that Kenya's government warned would be treason, opposition leader Raila Odinga on Tuesday was sworn in as "the people's president" during a mock inauguration protesting President Uhuru Kenyatta's new term after months of deadly election turmoil. The government cut live transmission of the country's top three TV channels as a huge crowd of thousands gathered in a Nairobi park for the event. Kenyatta had "expressly threatened to shut down and revoke the licenses of any media house" that aired live broadcasts, the Kenya Editors Guild said in a statement.

Though police The ruling was were withdrawn the first time a court without explanation had overturned a at Uhuru Park, a presidential election heavy police presin Africa. The court ence remained in cited irregularities the capital's slums, and illegalities and which are opposisaid it ruled against tion strongholds. Kenyatta because the Odinga said he felt electoral commission vulnerable attendrefused to open its ing the "swearingcomputer system for in" after his security court scrutiny. The was withdrawn. The court ordered a fresh 73-year-old Odinga election in October took an oath holding that Kenyatta won a Bible over his head, Raila Odinga, leader of the Opposition's National Super Alliance, reacts and Odinga boyduring his inauguration amid cheers. The cotted, claiming a lack imperial presidency in our Kenya's Supreme Court opposition leader called of electoral reforms. country and rule by fiat, nullified the August electhe ceremony a step Last week the opposiand this must be resisted," tion after Odinga claimed toward establishing a tion released what it he told the Kenya that hackers infiltrated functioning democracy in called "authentic" election Television Network ahead the electoral commisKenya, East Africa's ecoresults showing Odinga of the ceremony. The sion's computer system nomic hub. won the August vote, but event came after months and changed results in "We are seeing the it refused to say how it of political uncertainty. favor of Kenyatta. return of an authoritarian, obtained the information

Museveni declares his love for Trump KAMPALA: Ugandan president President Yoweri Museveni has declared his “love” for US president Donald Trump despite recent alleged remarks describing Haiti, El Salvador and other African nations as “s***hole countries”. Trump was accused of making the comment earlier this month during an immigration debate in a closed-door discussion at the White House. It roused the ire of world leaders, including France’s president, Emmanuel Macron, and led to thousands of people protesting on the streets of Haiti. Despite the alleged slight – which Trump denied – Museveni said the US President should be praised for not mincing his words. “I love Trump because he tells Africans

Zimbabwe election in 4-5 months

HARARE: Zimbabwe will hold elections in four or five months, the new president announced, a sign the country ruled for decades by autocratic leader Robert Mugabe is on the path towards true democracy. However, the announcement came as the main opposition party accused President Emmerson Mnangagwa's government of secretly deploying thousands of soldiers in rural areas to help sway the election in his favour. The elections will be the first not involving Mugabe since Zimbabwe's independence from Britain in 1980. Voting for the presidency, parliament, and local government will be peaceful, Mnangagwa said. "Zimbabwe is going for elections in four to five months' time and we have to preach peace, Mnangagwa was quoted as saying.

Yoweri Museveni

frankly,” Museveni said while addressing the East African Legislative Assembly in the Ugandan capital of Kampala. “I don’t know whether he was misquoted or whatever, but he talks to Africans frankly. In the world, you cannot survive if you are weak.” The declara-

tion came shortly after the US ambassador to Uganda, Deborah Malac, apologised for Trump’s controversial remarks. “It is [an] unfortunate comment, yes, obviously for people like me and many of my colleagues who have spent many years working in Africa, have many relationships and friendships across the continent,” she said in a meeting with Uganda’s speaker of parliament Rebecca Kadaga. “Obviously quite disturbing and upsetting as I know Africans themselves felt.” Several African nations have expressed shock at Trump’s alleged remark, with the African Union calling on the President to apologise. “Mr Trump’s remarks dishonour the celebrated American creed and respect for diversity

and human dignity,” it said. “While expressing our shock, dismay and outrage, the African Union strongly believes that there is a huge misunderstanding of the African continent and its people by the current administration.” When White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders was asked why Trump had defended the comments privately but denied them publicly, she did not deny that it had happened. “The President hasn’t said he didn’t use strong language,” she said. “This is an important issue, he’s passionate about it, he’s not going to apologise for trying to fix out immigration system.” Museveni earlier called Trump an ”honest man” on 1 January at his State of the Nation address.

Gupta brothers face money laundering charges PRETORIA: South Africa's Mineral Resources Minister Mosebenzi Zwane, the three Gupta brothers - Atul, Rajesh and Ajay - and their associates will be charged with money laundering in the next few weeks in what will become the first state capture case to be prosecuted. Zwane will be accused No1 for his role in a sophisticated and elaborate scheme that allegedly siphoned off R220-million meant to benefit poor farmers, to fund the Guptas’ luxurious lifestyle. Atul, Rajesh and Ajay Gupta will be accused No 2, 3 and 4, respectively. Other accused include former CEO of Gupta-owned Oakbay Nazeem Howa, Sahara Computers CEO Ashu Chawla, Oakbay CEO Ronica Ragavan, relative Varun Gupta and Kamal Vasram, the sole director of Estina, the company to which the R220-million was paid by the Free State government.

Atul, Rajesh and Ajay Rajesh Gupta

News of the finalised indictment, which is sitting with NPA boss Shaun Abrahams, comes as it emerged this week that the family have been put under surveillance by international law enforcement agencies.

NPA denies report The National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) has, meanwhile, rubbished the report that Zwane, the Gupta brothers and their associates are to be charged with money laundering charges in the next few weeks. "As the NPA‚ we are on record as

saying that the investigations in respect of some of the legs of State of Capture investigations‚ are at an advanced stage. However‚ at this stage they are not finalised‚ therefore you cannot talk about an indictment before the investigation process is finalised… an indictment is a product of a fully investigated docket where you are in a position to say: 'These are the charges that we are going to prefer against whom these charges are going to be preferred'‚" NPA spokesman Luvuyo Mfaku said.

from the electoral commission's computer servers. The electoral commission called those results "fake." Police at first had vowed to block opposition supporters from attending the ceremony, leading to fears of violence. The government-funded Kenya National Commission on Human Rights has said at least 92 people were killed and dozens of others were sexually assaulted during the months of election turmoil. Most were opposition supporters. Rights advocates accuse Kenyatta's administration of violating constitutionally guaranteed freedoms, including those of assembly and expression.


Sri Lanka MP's resignation sought

COLOMBO: Sri Lanka Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe is reported to have indicated that it will be proper if UNP MP Ravi Karunanayake steps down from his post as the assistant leader of the party. This was revealed by the Prime Minister, when he presided over a meeting with the leaders of the parties aligned with the UNP. It was also revealed by UNP sources that the commission appointed to look into the action that had to be taken against any UNP member found to have been involved in the bond scam had also recommended that Karunanayake should be removed from his post. The committee headed

Ravi Karunanayake

by Minister Tilak Marapana was appointed to look into whether any UNP leader is involved in the scam and to advice the party leadership on what action should be taken against those who are involved.

Lanka's unity govt to continue till 2020, PM asserts COLOMBO: Sri Lanka's Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe says that the unity government would continue under the leadership of the President Maithripala Sirisena until 2020 without any problems. The Prime Minister also said at a United National Party (UNP) rally held in Kaduruwela, Polonnaruwa that the government would take on the responsibility of creating a better country for the people by 2020. The public rally was organized on behalf of the candidate's contesting the Polonnaruwa district from the UNP to ensure their victory at the upcoming local government elections on February 10th. An extremely large crowd was present at the rally, the state TV reported. Addressing the rally,

the Prime Minister pointed out that the majority of the seats in the parliament is with the United National Front, of which, the UNP is the main party. They will have a majority in parliament for the government they will establish, he said. The premier asserted that this government will continue until 2020 and it cannot be changed. He further said that the party has decided to take this government forward with unity. The Premier said that after the election, they will create that unity and work together again. He said that all of them have decided that this government would continue under President Sirisena. "At Pradeshiya Sabha elections we will contest separately but after that this government will continue to exist," the Prime Minister said.

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Asian Voice | 3rd February 2018

Indian-origin ISIS man dubbed 'New Jihadi John' WASHINGTON: The US has designated Indian-origin ISIS terrorist from Britain Siddhartha Dhar along with a BelgianMoroccan citizen as global terrorists and imposed sanctions on them, the State Department said. Siddhartha Dhar, a British Hindu who converted to Islam and now goes by the name Abu Rumaysah, had skipped police bail in the UK to travel to Syria with his wife and young children in 2014. Nihad Barakat, a Yazidi teenager held as a sex slave by ISIS, was quoted as saying in May 2016 that she was kidnapped and trafficked by Dhar, who was based in Mosul, the group's former stronghold

IndianAmerican foster parents lose parental rights

Sherin Mathews

Houston: Indian-American foster parents of deceased 3-year-old Sherin Mathews, have lost all the rights to see their biological daughter for now, a judge ruled. Sherin, reported missing on October 7, was found dead in a culvert about 1 km from her home in suburban Dallas on October 22 by a dog during a massive search for the missing toddler. She was adopted by the IndianAmerican couple, Wesley and Sini Mathews, from an orphanage in India last year. Her adoptive parents lost custody of their biological child after Sherin went missing. Wesley, 37 and Sini Mathews, 35 who were attempting to keep the visitation rights for their 4year-old biological daughter in, after the death of Sherin will now have to wait as a court has found aggravated circumstances and has denied the couple of seeing their biological child until a former civil trial has taken place. The state convinced a judge that Sini and Wesley are not fit to be parents due to what happened to Sherin and shouldn't be able to visit their biological daughter. The 4-year-old will remain to live with her relatives outside Houston. A hearing to determine a permanent cutoff of parental rights will likely take place in 2018. Police arrested Sini on charges of child endangerment after the death of Sherin.

Abu Rumaysah

in Iraq. Dhar was dubbed as the "New Jihadi John" and became a senior commander of the dreaded outfit, the report had said. The State Department has designated two ISIS members, Dhar and Abdelatif Gaini, as Specially Designated Global Terrorists under

Section 1(b) of Executive Order which also imposes sanctions on foreign persons determined to have committed, or pose a significant risk of committing, acts of terrorism that threaten the security of US nationals or the national security, foreign policy, or economy of the US, a state department spokesperson said. These designations seek to deny Dhar and Gaini the resources they need to plan and carry out further terrorist attacks, it said. Among other consequences, all of Dhar's and Gaini's property and interests in property subject to US jurisdiction are blocked, and US persons are generally prohibited

from engaging in any transactions with them, it said. Dhar was a leading member of now-defunct terrorist organisation AlMuhajiroun. In late 2014 Dhar left the United Kingdom to travel to Syria to join ISIS, it said. He is considered to have replaced ISIS executioner Mohammad Emwazi, also known as "Jihadi John", it said. Gaini is a BelgianMoroccan citizen believed to be fighting for ISIS in the Middle East. Gaini is connected to UK-based ISIS sympathizers Mohamad Ali Ahmed and Humza Ali, who were convicted in the UK in 2016 of terrorism offenses, it said.

Malala wants to work for girls in India DAVOS: Young Pakistani activist Malala Yousafzai said that she wanted to visit India and work for the welfare of girls there. The 21-year-old said she has already learnt a lot about India and is a big fan of its movies and drama and wants to learn more about its culture and values. During her visit to Davos, she met a number of global leaders and CEOs to seek their support for girl education. She has cofounded Malala Fund that seeks to invest in girl education across the world, while one of its initiative Gulmakai Network supports the work of education of girls across the world. Malala said she was very excited about expanding her Gulmakai Network to India, where she would want to work with the local people as they best understand the local issues and can suggest necessary solutions as well. The young activist


Malala Yousafzai

agreed the issues were very much same in India and Pakistan. Brimming with excitement while talking about India, Malala said, "The support that I have received from India has been overwhelming and I want to thank everyone in India for their love and support. I get so many letters of support from India". Recalling one such letter, she said there is one girl who sent her a letter saying she wanted to be Prime Minister of India and that "one day we both will be Prime Ministers and then we will negotiate

and bring peace between the two countries". "That touched my heart that the future generation is not only thinking about education but they, especially girls, want to be leaders as well. They want to be PMs, presidents and this gives me hope for the future," she said. Stating that she wants to visit India, Malala said, "As I am concerned about girls in Pakistan, I am also concerned about girls in India and the number is in millions. When we talk about the future of India and Pakistan then we have to invest in our girls because they are the future. How can we make our future better and brighter when we ignore these millions of girls by not giving them education. When we educate girls, we are not just educating them individually but we are also empowering them and we are giving them opportunity to earn for themselves," she said.

Jayanti Kirpalani organises meditation session at Davos

Jayanti Kirpalani conducting meditation session

DAVOS: Jayanti Kirpalani, European director of Brahma Kumaris World Spiritual University, organised meditation sessions for the delegates during the World Economic Forum in Davos. Leading the session, she talks throughout, telling the participants to focus on the idea of a light bulb in our minds and let everything else fade away. It was not easy for the delegates to concentrate. Jayanti said it take a while for them to concentratte. “Like most things the more you do it, the easier it gets,” she says. She suggests trying it out later in the day, silently chanting a single word 100 times in our head. "It will set your com-

pass" for the day, making you calmer, nicer and more open to others, she claims. While the benefits sound tempting, it's simply something I won't remember to do or have time for, I think. Yet 73-year-old Mr Goings - who has been practising transcendental meditation for over 40 years - says he doesn't have time not to do it. "It helps me focus and work out what matters. It's like making some kind of thing on your computer clear out the trash," he says. There's plenty of research which suggests he's right. Studies have claimed meditation can help protect the brain from ageing, relieve anxiety and depression as well as help improve concentration.

Nikki Haley: Trump affair rumours disgusting WASHINGTON: US ambassador to United Nations Nikki Haley has slammed rumours that she was having an affair with President Donald Trump as “highly offensive” and “disgusting”. The rumours stem from author Michael Wolff of the bestseller “Fire and Fury”, who suggested in an interview that Trump was having an affair and that the liaison was with someone detailed in his book. Haley - the first ever Indian-American Cabinetranking official in any pres-

idential administration quelled the rumours. She hit back at Wolff’s assertion that she was spending a lot of private time with Trump on his presidential plane and in the Oval Office. “I have literally been on Air Force One once... He (Wolff) says that I’ve been talking a lot with the president in the Oval about my political future... I am never alone with him.” She attributed the rumours to sexism from a “small group of men” uneasy with strong-willed women.


FUNERAL DIRECTORS PROVIDING New Jersey bar admits 1st 'Dreamer' Parthiv Patel SPECIALIST SERVICE was by the Pennsylvania NEW JERSEY: The New

Jersey Bar has officially admitted its first "Dreamer." And with his historic swearing-in on Wednesday, attorney Parthiv Patel has given the Garden State's DACA recipients and immigrant population a much-needed ray of hope in a time of "uncertainty and chaos," says Governor Phil Murphy. Murphy and recently instated Attorney General Gurbir Grewal – who made history himself as the first Sikh-American to serve as Attorney General in the history of the United States – welcomed Patel to his new vocation as a lawyer. Patel immigrated to New Jersey from India

Parthiv Patel

when he was five-yearsold. He received DACA in 2012, granting him authorization to work in the United States. After graduating from law school, Patel passed the bar exams of both New Jersey and Pennsylvania in July 2016. However, Patel's application for bar admission

Board of Law Examiners on the ground that his immigration status made him ineligible. Patel appealed with help from the ACLU of Pennsylvania and several cooperating attorneys. On Dec. 18, 2017, he was admitted to the Pennsylvania Bar. "It is truly an honor to be sworn into the bar," Patel said. "I hope that other Dreamers will be afforded the same opportunities that I have gotten and that no federal changes will force those of us who work so hard for what we accomplish to leave our communities. I have always dreamed of being a lawyer. After today, that dream is a reality."

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Asian Voice | 3rd February 2018


Cong and BJP trade barbs over Hindutva as poll plank

BENGALURU: With Karnataka all set to go to polls in a few months, the ruling Congress has claimed that the BJP is deliberately using Hindutva as a poll plank. Congress spokesperson Rajeev Gowda said, “Right now, we are seeing BJP unleash the Hindutva strategy and already the impact on the harmony in the state is being felt. The coast is aflame and people are dying. They are aghast to see BJP turning to Hindutva, polarisation, and division in their desperate quest to recapture

Karnataka.” He said the BJP is trying to distract people from the performance of Siddaramaiah government. However, he added, ethos of the state are being damaged in the process. “We are peaceful people. We don't need Yogi Adityanath to show up in Karnataka and try to spread hatred here.” In response, the opposition party trashed all allegations, saying their focus is on “development” in the upcoming elections. BJP Spokesperson Vijay Sonkar Shastri said, “In Karnataka, the Congress itself is trying

to bring Hindutva into the election campaign. For the BJP, the most important issue is development.” The debate follow a series of breakouts of communal violence in coastal Karnataka. Several senior BJP leaders, including party chief Amit Shah, have said that the state government was anti-Hindu. Political observer Sandeep Shastry said, “They are attacking the state government on its non-performance but not aggressively because if they do that the focus will shift to the previous government which, to a certain extent,

was non-performing.” Meanwhile, leading entrepreneur, Mohandas Pai said, “In this election, all political parties will play anything. They will play Hindutva, they will play communal, they will play religion and the Congress has sadly blotted its copy book. They celebrated Tipu Jayanti. Tipu was a killer, he was a bigot who killed Konkani people, the community to which I belong. So there is anger among people, especially the Hindu community about marking Tipu Jayanti so blatantly.”

Muslim woman leads Friday prayers in Kerala KOZHIKODE (KERALA): In a first for Kerala and perhaps for India, a Muslim woman led the Friday prayers on January 26 in Malappuram. State General Secretart of Qur'an Sunnath Society, Jamida said, “Nowhere does Islam stipulate that only a man can be an imam. The prayer was held at the organisation’s head office at Vengara, where a small group of men joined her, and ironically, there were no other women present. The act has predictably provoked negative response from conservative sections of the com-


munity who alleged a conspiracy by “anti-Islamic forces”. Abdul Hameed Faizi Ambalakkadavu, State General Secretary of Sunni Yuvajana Sangham said,

“Women can lead prayers for women but there is no tradition of a woman acting as imam for men. Islam has prohibited such malefemale mingling to prevent chances of some wrong happening between them.” Jamida has revealed that following her prayers, threats have increased manifold against her, but she has decided to go ahead and organise such prayers in other parts of the state too. 'I have been criticised a lot by elders of various factions for taking this step. There are men who will not like women taking these

positions and being empowered. But the Quran is clear - there is no discrimination between man and woman. They have equal rights,” she said. Jamida's achievement comes at a price. He has since a long time been receiving death threats for her strong opinion, and was even boycotted by several in Kerala capital Thiruvananthapuram. She had to initially leave the place and take shelter with a relative. It was after the Quran Sunnath Society invited her for a session that she gained back respect.


PIL seeks disqualification of 4 Haryana BJP MLAs CHANDIGARH: A petition was filed “in larger public interests” in the Punjab and Haryana High Court, a day after President Ram Nath Kovind approved the Election Commission’s recommendation to disqualify 20 AAP MLAs from the Delhi Assembly. Advocate Jagmohan Singh Bhatti, in his petition, stated that the question involving great public importance was whether the four Chief Parliamentary Secretaries of the Haryana government invited disqualification too. He said the President’s order applicable to the AAP MLAs was “supreme” and that it deserved to be made applicable to the case of the Haryana MLAs by ordering their disqualification in the totality of facts and circumstances. He said the Haryana government headed by Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar had appointed Seema Trikha, Shyam Singh Rana, Dr Kamal

Gupta and Bakshish Singh Virk as Chief Parliamentary Secretaries. The High Court had cancelled their appointments in July last year. In his petition, Bhatti argued that there was no provision for the post of CPS under the Constitution and that their appointment by the state was a burden on the exchequer. Bhatti also alleged that the CPSes' were enjoying financial benefits, including salary, travelling expenses, staff, medical and telephone bills along with government accommodation. Bhatti sought directions to quash the appointments claiming it was a waste of taxpayers' money, besides being unconstitutional. State convenor of AAP, Naveen Jaihind also demanded their disqualification. Leader of Opposition Abhay Singh Chautala demanded recovery of pecuniary benefits availed by them while in office.

Notorious Punjab gangster, accomplice killed in encounter CHANDIGARH: Notorious Punjab gangster Vicky Gounder and accomplice Prem Lahoriya were killed in a shoot-out along the PunjabRajasthan border. They were reportedly killed by a police team chasing the former. Gounder was part of a five-prisoner group, including two terrorists, that escaped from the maximum-security Nabha Central Jail in Punjab. While Punjab Police rearrested five escapees in a couple of months, Gounder remained on the run. A resident of Sarawan Bodla village, Vicky Gounder's real name was Harjinder Bhullar alias Jinder. He was suspected to be behind a fatal attack on another notorious gangster Sukha Kahlwan who was in police custody and on his way to a court hearing when he was attacked. It is told that Gounder and his accomplices were running their gangs and issuing threats and extorting money from people while lodged

Vicky Gounder

in prisons. Two days after killing him, authorities claim they have nabbed two more gangsters who were providing financial support and shelter to Gounder. “Love and Amritpal Singh have been arrested near the gurdwara in Jhabal in Tarn Taran district,” said senior superintendent of police Darshan Singh Mann. Love is the brother of a dreaded criminal, Gurpreet Singh, who was linked with Gounder's gang. Amritpal, meanwhile, was a proclaimed offender. “Both of them were providing financial support and hideout to Gounder,” Mann said.



In a first, floating market opens in Kolkata

KOLKATA: Kolkata has its very own floating market, one quite similar to that of Bangkok's and shopkeepers are reportedly loving it. They have even went on to say they could be Venice. Situated just off Eastern Metropolitan Bypass, the floating market at Patuli was inaugurated on January 24. Around 150 boats are anchored on a lake right next to the bypass with 228 shopkeepers using them to sell their products. The feat was accomplished by West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, who had the task

of rehabilitating 228 people on her hand, borrowed the idea from Bangkok, and spent £900,000 to complete it. The market comes under the Kolkata M e t r o p o l i t a n Development Authority. Kashinath Khobra, a vegetable seller said, “Mamata Banerjee has made it happen. This is the first such market in India. I am sure people will come to see it.” Fish seller Shibani Jana said, “I have had a shop on land for 30 years. Now I have stepped into water. Let us see what Mother Ganga does, whether she keeps us afloat or drowns us.”

Plea challenging D.Litt to Mamata dismissed KOLKATA: The Calcutta High Court has dismissed a Public Interest Litigation challenging the Calcutta University's decision to confer D.Litt on Mamata Banerjee. A division bench comprising acting Chief Justice J Bhattacharya and Justice A Banerjee dismissed the PIL and observed that no public interest was harmed because of the decision. The bench also noted that necessary parties had not been added in the petition. The petitioner has alleged that members of the university's senate had erred in its decision, but none of them were made a party in the plea, the bench said. State Advocate General Kishore Datta,

during hearings of the case, had questioned the maintainability of the petition, claiming that it was politically motivated and aimed at garnering media attention. Counel of Calcutta University Saktinath Mujherjee, meanwhile, stated the petition was not justifiable and should be rejected forthwith as the university senate's decision to grant the degree to Banerjee did not cause any injury to public interest. He claimed that the CU senate was the final authority in deciding who would be an awardee and that anybody else, especially an outsider, has no authority to challenge the decision.

42 killed as bus plunges into creek in West Bengal BEHRAMPORE: Fourtytwo people died after a bus plunged 25 feet into a creek from a bridge in Daulatabad, 12 km from Murshidabad district headquarters Behrampore, on Monday. Six bodies were recovered by the rescue team. Most of the dead were state government employees, primarily school teachers. The bus careened off the bridge while trying to avoid a head-on collision with a truck. Witnesses said the driver was speaking on his phone while driving and refused to heed repeated pleas by passengers not to do so. Seven persons, who were near the door, jumped off even as

the vehicle broke through the bridge's concrete barrier; one of them later died at a hospital and the other six were being treated for serious but not life-threatening injuries. Rescue operations continued well after dusk as divers searched for more bodies or survivors from the deep creek. Officials said the search would continue but admitted that the possibility of finding survivors was extremely slim. One of those who jumped off the bus and survived was Swapan Haldar. "The driver went on speaking on his phone and ignored our pleas to disconnect," he said from hospital.




Asian Voice | 3rd February 2018

Dr. Hari Desai

Gen. Manekshaw scared PM Indira

Sam warned her of “200 per cent defeat” if insisted on hasty war Field Marshal never tolerated political interference in Army affairs “I don’t mind if it is war,” said the Prime Minister. The General then explained the dangers and told her: “I am not prepared.” She was furious. There was a long discussion. Finally, the General told her: “Prime Minister, if in 1962, your father had asked me as the Army chief and not Gen. (Pran Nath) Thapar, and now your father had said ‘throw the Chinese out’, I would have turned around and told him, ‘look, these are the problems.’ Now I am telling you what the problems are. If you still want me to go ahead, Prime Minister, I guarantee you 200 per cent defeat.


Defence Minister, told: “ Sam maan jao na ( Sam, accept what she says).” Sam Bahadur, as he was fondly addressed as, said: “I have given my professional view. Now the government should take the decision.” She was red in face and suspended the Cabinet meeting till 4 pm. Everybody walked out and Sam was about to leave, she said, “Chief, sit down.” “Prime Minister, before you say anything, do you want me to send in my resignation on the ground of mental health, or physical?” She said, “Oh, sit down, Sam. Everything you told, is it true?” “Yes. Look, it’s my job to fight. It is my job to fight and win. Are you ready? I certainly am not ready. Have you internally got everything r e a d y ? Internationally have you got everything ready? President Dr.APJ Abdul Kalam with Manekshaw I don’t think so. I know what you want but I must do it in my own time “I don’t mind if it is war,” and I guarantee you 100 per cent said the Prime Minister. The success. But, I want to make it General then explained the danclear. There must be one comgers and told her: “I am not premander….Now, make up your pared.” She was furious. There mind.” She said, “All right, Sam, was a long discussion. Finally, nobody will interfere, you will the General told her: “Prime be commander.” Sam conveyed Minister, if in 1962, your father her promptly, “Thank you, I had asked me as the Army chief guarantee you accomplishand not Gen. (Pran Nath) ment.” Lieutenant General Thapar, and now your father had Depinder Singh, who was his said ‘throw the Chinese out’, I Military Assistant, writes in his would have turned around and book “Field Marshal Sam told him, ‘look, these are the Manekshaw: Soldiering with problems.’ Now I am telling you Dignity”: “While thanking the what the problems are. If you Prime Minister for her support, still want me to go ahead, Prime the Chief stated that he could Minister, I guarantee you 200 guarantee capture of East per cent defeat. Now give me Pakistan in two weeks provided orders.” Jagjivan Ram, the t was April 1971. The Commander-in-Chief of the Indian Army, S.H.F. J. Manekshaw, was summoned to a Cabinet meeting. He found the Prime Minister, Indira Gandhi, in a rage. “Do you know what is happening in East Pakistan?” “Yes, there are killings,” General Manekshaw replied. “I have telegrams from the Chief Ministers of Tripura, Manipur, Assam, Bengal, refugees are pouring in. You must stop them. If necessary, move into East Pakistan but stop them.” “You know that means war.”

he was given free hand.” Of course, General Manekshaw had conveyed others that he would win the war in one and half month. After nearly eight months, General Manekshaw was ready for the operation. The date and time he decided. Though he did not believe in superstition, the General always felt number 4 was lucky for him. He came into action on 4 December 1971, reporting the Prime Minister daily in the morning at 8.30 over a cup of coffee at PM house. “On the fifth day, I told her that today I have some bad news to share.” said Sam and her response was: “You can’t win every day.” Of course, The war was over in just 13 days and Pakistan Army of 93,000 personnel under the command of Gen. Amir Abdullah Khan Niyazi signed the surrender document with General Jagjit Singh Arora ! General Manekshaw was the hero of the 1971 war against Pakistan which gave birth to Bangladesh. When he was to retire in June 1972, his term was extended by a period of six months and on 3 January 1973, he was conferred with the rank of Field Marshal. Prime Minister offered him to be sent as an Ambassador to any country or as the Governor of Maharashtra, but he declined any such offer reminding her of his oath to serve the Army only. Manekshaw was the first fivestar rank of Field Marshal in India. The first Indian Army Chief, General K.M. Cariappa, Prime Minister Indira Gandhi with Sam Manekshaw, who retired from Army in 1953, the Indian Army Chief was the High Commissioner to Dharmendra Singh (Retd.) recAustralia and New Zealand till Sam Bahadur. It was one year ollects one of Field Marshal 1956 and was awarded the fivebefore the Bangladesh liberaManekshaw’s visits to Gujarat star rank of Field Marshal in tion war. General received a where he addressed the meeting 1986 by PM Rajiv phone-call from the Next Column in Hindi. Normally, Sam used to Gandhi. Incidentally, Prime Minister one speak in Punjabi in Punjab, in India so far has only day in the afternoon Pakistan in Tamil in Tamil Nadu and in two great personaliasking him how search of 5000 Gorkhali in Darjeeling. He knew ties who were busy he was. He so many languages, Since he awarded the five-star said: “The Army year history being a Zoroastrian (Parsi) born rank of Field Marshal: Chief is always busy in Amritsar having his mother, Cariappa and Manekshaw. but never too busy to see Hilla, from Valsad, he knew The Field Marshal never retires. the PM. I am having my tea, Gujarati as well. Col. Singh says, Both fought the World War II Prime Minister.” She told him: “late Field Marshal spoke in and became the Chief of Indian “I can give you better tea. Come Hindi as he wanted to convey a Army. over.” When General message to Gujarati community In an interview to Karan Manekshaw reached the that not many from Gujarat join Thapar, one of the eminent Parliament House, he found her the Indian Armed forces!” journalists of India and the son little worried. “Hello, Prime

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Minister, you seem worried?” “I have problems.” Sam told her: “Cry on my shoulders. What are the problems?” Mrs. Gandhi told him: “You are my problem.” Sam was shaken for a moment and inquired further. She opened up and told: “Everybody is saying you are taking over. Do you think I am so incompetent PM?” Sam opined she was the best Prime Minister. He told her not to worry and added: “I don’t interfere in your politics as long as you don’t interfere in my Army.” She was relaxed as both Field Marshal Manekshaw trusted each other. Manekshaw, who of the third Army Chief of the aspired to be a gynecologist, Indian Army, General Thapar, joined the Army and rose to be Field Marshal Manekshaw the head of the Indian Army. He describes one incident which was almost dead while fighting made the daredevil Prime during the World War II receivMinister Indira Gandhi scared of ing six bullets in his body. Col. losing the political power to

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Asian Voice | 3rd February 2018

3 from Guj among those on Padma list The Indian government has conferred the coveted Padma awards on a group of “unsung” achievers this year, all who have contributed to different fields like social welfare, arts, traditional medicine and healing, and recycling of waste. This year's list features three Padma Shri awardees from Gujarat. Photo-journalist Zaverilal Mehta is a veteran associated with Gujarat

Zaverilal Mehta

Samachar since the mid80s. His camera has indisputably captured compelling stories, including the devastating aftermath of the Kutch cyclone of 1998 and the 2001 earthquake. Well-known in the state, he has long been known for his work. Zaverilal has also documented the life and time of 13 chief ministers of Gujarat, with his lens telling their tales. The highway and canal man of Gujarat, chairman and managing director of Sardar Sarovar Narmada Nigam Limited (SSNNL), Satyanarayansinh Shivsinh Rathore, is a rare officer who joined the Gujarat Service of Engineers to be promoted to additional chief secretary, just before his retirement. He was appointed CMD of SSNNL

Satyanarayansinh Shivsinh Rathore

to complete the challenging the task of the controversial task Sardar Sarovar dam, its canal network, along with Prime Minister Narendra Modi's pet project, the Statue of Unity. Rathore is credited with development of the road network of Gujarat including major national and state highways. “I am really surprised by this honour. I am thankful to PM Narendra Modi and the Gujarat government, which gave me several opportunities to use my skills for the development of the state. I am thankful to my colleagues in the R&B department and SSNNL. Without them, I am nothing,”he said. Senior medical oncologist Dr Pankaj Shah is a

Dr. Pankaj Shah

pioneer in developing medical oncology in the

country. Retired as director of Gujarat Cancer Research Institute (GCRI), he has been working for cancer treatment and de-addiction awareness for the prevention of cancer for 43 years. He is known for establishing a permanent exhibition on cancer and tobacco de-addiction at the Community Oncology in Ahmedabad. “I am very happy to be honoured by the government. Cancer is a major health concern in the country and I hope to that enough resources are allocated for detection of cancer in early stage to save maximum lives,” Shah said. A total of 85 people have been conferred with the Padma awardess this

Ghulam Mustafa Khan

year, including three Padma Vibhushan, nine Padma Bhushan, and 73 Padma Shri. The list this year seems to have kept out Bollywood stars, Lutyens hanger-ons and others who are widely known. A minister said, “This is a recognition for Bharat and not for the high profile set.” Around 16 awardees are foreigners, PIOs or NRIs from countries including Russia- late Russian ambassador to

Alexander Kadakin

India Alexander Kadakin, Singapore's Tommy Koh for public affairs, Saudi Arabia's Nouf Marwaai, the first certified yoga instructor in Saudi Arabia and founder of Arab Yoga Foundation. Awardees were also included from Japan, Indonesia, and the US.

Manoj Joshi

The few known names among the awardees were music composer Ilaiyaraaja, who received the Padma Vibhushan, Hindustani classical music exponent Ghulam Mustafa Khan who also received the Padma Vibhushan, cricketer Mahendra Singh Dhoni, Bhopuri singer Sharda Sinha, and painter Laxman Pai, all who received the Padma Bhushan, actor Manoj Joshi, and tennis player Somdev Devvarman, both who received the Padma Shri.

India set to become world's fastest growing economy Continued from page1 It said that delays and injunctions are severely impacting the progress of cases, especially commercial disputes. In such cases, the survey said, the government and the courts need to work together for large-scale reforms and incremental improvements to combat a problem that is exacting a large toll from the economy. “For a smooth contract enforcement regime, it may be imperative to build capacity in the lower judiciary to particularly deal with economic and commercial cases, and allow the high courts to focus on streamlining and clarifying questions of law,” the survey said. It added, “This needs to be supported with greater provision of resources for both tribunals and courts,” also stating that courts may consider prioritising stayed cases and impose stricter timelines within which cases with

temporary injunctions may be decided, especially those involving government infrastructure projects. Beti Bachao Chapter seven of the survey has extensively talked about gender equality, one of Prime Minister Narendra Modi's key initiatives. “In some sense, once born, the lives of women are improving but society still appears to want fewer to them to be born,” it said. The report took note of the behavioural pattern of Indian parents who prefer to have children “until the desired number of sons are born”. Calling it the “son meta-preference,” it has found that while an average Indian family prefers to have two children, there are instances where families have more than five children if the last child is not a male. Biologically determined natural sex ratio at birth is 1,050 males per

1,000 females. Sex ratio at birth (SRB) began to stabilise after sex selection was declared illegal in India in 1994. The report pointed out the missing link by analysing the sex ratio of last child (SRLC). The SRLC in the country is biased against females and is lower by 9.5 percentage points in 2015-16 in comparison with other countries. Climate Change Subramanian's report has found that the impact of temperature and rainfall on agriculture is felt during extreme changes, when temperatures are much higher, rainfall significantly lower, and the number of “dry days” greater than normal. It noted that such impact is more adverse in lands that are not irrigated as compared to irrigated areas. “Extreme shocks have highly divergent effects between unirrigated and irrigated areas,” the survey said. The survey said the

change in agricultural productivity patterns could potentially reduce annual agricultural incomes by between 15 per cent and 18 per cent on average, and between 20 per cent and 25 per cent particularly for unirrigated areas. Climate change models, like the ones developed by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, has predicted that temperatures in India are likely to rise by between 3 degrees Celsius and 4 degrees Celsius by the end of the 21st century. “These predictions, combined with our regression estimates, imply that in the absence of any adaptation by farmers and any changes in policy, farm incomes will be lower by around 12 per cent on an average in the coming years, and unirrigated areas will be the most severely affected, with potential losses amounting to 18 per cent of annual revenue,” the survey said.


Leaders react to Modi's Davos speech

Official sessions of the World Economic Forum (WEF) were held in Davos, on January 23, where Prime Minister Narendra Modi delivered the “opening plenary”. Over 3000 global leaders, including CEOs, heads of states and governments, artists, and civil society members attended the summit that closed on January 26. Addressing leaders of the world, Modi said India's GDP has grown six times since the last time its prime minister attended the WEF. “Last time an Indian PM came to Davos was in 1997, when Deve Gowda ji had come. That time our GDP was little more than 400 billion dollars, now it’s more than six times that figure,” he said. His 50 minute speech which was delivered in Hindi, served as a reminder to the world that India had finally “arrived”. It is safe to say the speech was not only for the world, but also for the leader's people back home. Reaction to the speech has mostly remained mixed, as is characteristic for anything Modi does or say. Union Minister Dharmendra Pradhan called it an “enthusiastic” speech. “PM talked about how Indian ethos can be a global role model in today's conflicting times,” he said, Vice chairman and Managing Director of Bharti

Enterprises, Rajan Mittal thought Modi spoke like a “true statesman”. “Not only to talk about India but to talk about globalisation and larger issues like climate change and terrorism, the Prime Minister has spoken like a true statesman. He spoke about reforms, and that as the world is going inwards, India is globalising and is ready for business,” he said. It was however, Congress President Rahul Gandhi's was however, the loudest, as he tweeted questions to the PM himself. “Dear PM, Welcome to Switzerland! Please tell DAVOS why 1% of India’s population gets 73% of its wealth? I’m attaching a report for your ready reference,” Gandhi asked. The tweet came within minutes after Modi wrapped up his historic speech. In his speech, Modi, who has an impressive knack of blocking criticism, said, “In 2014 after 30 years, Indian voters provided a complete majority to any political party to form govt at the centre. We took the resolution for the development of everyone and not just a specific group. Our motto is 'Sabka Saath Sabka Vikas'.” He added, “Change in India’s ranking is an indicator that the people in India have warmly welcomed the change in policies as the road to a better future for them.”

A tribute to mothers Umesh B Patel MBE DL, Sunderland Mothers are in our hearts and minds from the day they hold us in their arms until we leave this world. The comfort, support and succour she gives to her children is priceless. She is our leader, nurse, doctor, teacher, inspiration, and spiritual guru. She never seems to complain and gets on with life’s highs and lows. She makes immense sacrifices and her faith in God keeps the family healthy and prosperous. During my generation, mothers spent their final days at home and not in nursing homes as is the case nowadays. I recently visited an ageing mum, very old and frail, who was over 90 years. She had a radiant smile and looked cheerful. That was the first time I was meeting her and little did I know that it would be the last. She held my hand and said, “Son, I am very happy to see you, please visit me again.” Her son and daughterin-law never left her on her own and took turns to look after her. They never complained and dedicated their entire life to her. He gave up his teaching post at university to make sure that she was well looked

after in the last stages of her life. Together with his wife he sacrificed everything one can think of to look after his mother. The thought of putting her in a nursing home never occurred to him. I was sad to get a text message last week informing me that that she passed away. I too have learnt a lot from the brief time I knew his mum who we called “Baa.” This is what he wrote to me, “With the grace of Lord Krishna, Baa passed away peacefully at some point during the night. She has been our lives, our work, our love and central pillar of our household for many years. She will be dearly missed in more ways than one, leaving an imaginable void which will be permanent. May Baa rest in peace. We pray for forgiveness for any failings and misgivings in our care, love and attention for her. Baa, you have been a lifelong learning and education for the family for generations to come. “ He is Dr Mahendra G Patel of University of Huddersfield. His wife Manisha supported him all the way till Baa passed away. To me this is how we must look after our parents in their old age.



Asian Voice | 3rd February 2018

5 Types Of Tea That Promote Weight Loss Better! Tea is one of the most loved beverages out there. You reach for a steaming cup of tea when you're feeling cold, when you have a sore throat, when you need to relax, when you need to stay up late in the night and even when you're bored! Tea or chai as it's known in India, is in the truest sense, a fuel more effective than food. But are all kinds of tea healthy for you? While the health benefits of any particular tea depend on the properties of its leaves and the way it's prepared, there are certain kinds of teas that, among other things, promote weight loss too! Many of us have heard about the green tea that has dominated the healthy tea market for several years now. Green tea is a regular feature in almost all middle-class homes now and numerous brands, both commercial and Ayurvedic, have started manufacturing the green tea. Unless you've been

living under a rock, you'd be aware of the benefits of the tea that has become a fast favorite of people wanting to shed kilos faster. However, here are some other types of weight loss promoting teas to try out: 1. White Tea: White tea has been known to block new fat cells from forming, while also promoting breakdown of fat already present in the body. White tea is the least processed of all the teas out there. Therefore, it is a richer source of antioxidants than green tea. It has also been known to improve digestion, boost immunity and memory and even improve heart health. 2. Oolong Tea: Like green tea, oolong tea is also packed with catechins that help promote fat burn in the body. A study published in Chinese Journal of

Integrative Medicine claimed that people who sipped the tea daily lost as much as two kgs of weight in six weeks! 3. Lemon Tea: Lemon has diuretic properties, and hence, can help you lose all that water weight. A compound called d-

limonene present in lemon rind is helpful in reducing bloating and helps in reducing weight. 4. Ashwagandha Tea: Ashwagandha acts on the stress in the body and effectively and safely counters it. You might wonder what that has to do with weight loss. As it turns out, stress indirectly leads to obesity by promoting inflammation in the body. Moreover, when

you're stressed or anxious, you're at the mercy of hormones like cortisol that promote fat storage in cells. 5. Peppermint Tea: Mint tea is one of the most effective teas when it comes to controlling cravings. The scent on the mint leaves has been known to be an appetite suppressant. It also helps you burn more calories. It's also very easy-tomake. All you need is a few fresh mint leaves and a little boiled water. Steep the leaves in the water for five minutes and then drink it up! Tea is one of the best relaxing beverages out there. It's a healthier option than coffee and has a lot many health benefits. Herbal teas in particular can help improve overall health in numerous ways. So what are you waiting for? Time to steep and sip away!

What to eat to beat heart disease

n Your

spice rack could stop you having a stroke n Cut your blood pressure with flaxseeds and delicious veg Heart disease is one of the top three reasons that we and most of our loved ones will die, and I am convinced our poor Western diet has a lot to answer for. The biggest true risk factor for coronary heart disease is cholesterol. Indeed, it's been convincingly argued that you

on a conventional Western diet, cholesterol-rich gunk (plaque) accumulates inside the blood vessels that supply the heart with oxygen-rich blood. This can lead to chest pain and pressure, known as angina. And if the plaque ruptures, a blood clot can form within the artery and cause a heart attack.

exclusively in animalderived foods such as eggs. The problem is, unhealthy, fatty meals don't only cause internal damage decades into the future — they can trigger problems within hours of going into your mouth. But the good news is that you can reverse this damaging process just as swiftly. There have been studies of patients with advanced heart disease who switched to plantbased diets in the hope this would stop the disease progressing further. But instead, something miraculous happened: the patients' heart disease

High cholesterol levels are raised by eating a diet packed with specific types of fats. These include trans fats, which you find in processed foods, meat and dairy products; saturated fat, found chiefly in animal products and junk foods; and, to a lesser extent, dietary cholesterol, which is found

actually started to reverse. They weren't simply slowing the condition, they were actually getting better! It seems that as soon as they stopped eating artery-clogging diets, their bodies were able to start dissolving some of the plaque that had built up.

could be an obese, diabetic, smoking couch potato and still not develop the disease — provided the cholesterol level in your blood is low enough. But far too many people have raised cholesterol levels because of their poor diets. For most people raised

While on patrol, I arrested a burglar who’d injured himself running from a home. He told me he’d broken in and unhooked the phone before searching for valuables. But he’d panicked when he heard a woman’s voice. I entered the house and heard the same voice: “If you’d like to make a call, please hang up and try your call again.” *** A scientist tells a pharmacist, “Give me some prepared tablets of acetylsalicylic acid.” “Do you mean aspirin?” asks the pharmacist. The scientist slaps his forehead. “That’s it!” he says. “I can never remember the name.” *** Scene: Horseback-riding stable. Mom: Those horses are awfully big for my daughter. Me: Our horses are very sweet ... Mom: Don’t you have something smaller? What about that one over there? It’s the perfect size for her! Me: Um … that’s a goat. *** Mark had never had surgery, and I was nervous. “This is a very simple, noninvasive procedure,” the anesthesiologist reassured him. “Heck,” he continued, “You have a better chance of dying from the anaesthesia than the surgery itself.”


To Our Readers

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

Adding prebiotics to baby formulas significantly boosts infants' memories

Adding prebiotics to baby formulas may significantly boost infants' memories, new research reveals. Although unclear why, researchers found piglets fed prebiotic-rich formulas are significantly better at recognizing objects they have come across before, a US study found. This is thought to be due to prebiotics' effect on 'good bacteria' in the gut. Breast milk naturally contains prebiotics, however, this research may aid the development of better infant formulas for women who cannot, or chose not to, breastfeed. Prebiotics are indigestible food ingredients, such as fiber, that act as fertilizers to stimulate the growth of bugs in the digestive tract. Probiotics

specifically introduce new bacteria into the gut. A recent study from the University of Illinois' Piglet Nutrition and Cognition Lab investigated what effects adding prebiotics to infant formula might have on pigs. Specifically, they wanted to know whether it would enhance memory and exploratory behavior. Study author Associate professor Ryan Dilger said: 'There are so many ways we can alter the composition of the microbiota and they can have very strong benefits. 'Promoting good "gut health" remains a strong focus in the field of nutrition.' The findings were published in the journal Nutritional Neuroscience.

Pain-zapping pellets are being fired into the knees to take the discomfort out of arthritic joints. The tiny spheres — made from gel-like plastic, each 30 or more times thinner than a credit card — increase in size once injected into the knee. They work by blocking rogue blood vessels containing new nerve fibres that develop with the onset of osteoarthritis and contribute to the pain. A pilot study involving five patients who failed to respond to other non-surgical treatments showed that injecting an arthritic joint with thousands of these microspheres can cut symptoms by a third or more, with long-lasting effects. Four of the five had a significant improvement in pain, which was still apparent three months later, and, overall, symptoms more than halved, according to the study carried out by the Vascular Institute of Virginia in the U.S. and

reported in the current issue of the Journal of Vascular and Interventional Radiology. The pellets are already used to treat fibroids, noncancerous growths that develop in, or, around the womb. Once the fibroids lose their blood supply, they disappear. Researchers now believe that the same approach could work for osteoarthritis, the most common form of arthritis, affecting millions of people in Britain.

Jab of tiny pellets could stop the pain of arthritis

28 AsianVoiceNewsweekly

Asian Voice | 3rd February 2018

Sruthi Hariharan alleges mistreatment after berating a Tamil producer

‘Kuldip Patwal: I Didn’t Do It!’ A commoner is thrown into a jail cell on suspicion of murder of a local politician. Can he survive the State entrapment, or did he actually do it?

Ilaiyaraja honoured with Padma Vibhushan


usic maestro Ilaiyaraja has been selected for India's second-highest civilian honour, the Padma Vibhushan. While he has mainly composed for Tamil films, he has also given music to various Hindi, Telugu, Kannada, and Malayalam films through out his life. With a career spanning over four decades, the composer has given music in over 1000 films. Ilaiyaraja has won five National Film Awards, three for Music Direction and two for Background Score. His last National Film Award was for Tamil film 'Tharai Thappattai'. The musician took to the art from a very young age. He joined a travelling musical troupe at the age of 14, spending a decade travelling through South India, learning more about music. His first film work was in 1975, for the movie 'Annakkili'. Ilaiyaraja has rendered his art to over 6500 songs. He was honoured with the Padma Bhushan in 2010. A total of 85 people have been selected for Padma awards this year, including three Padma Vibhushan, nine Padma Bhushan, and 73 Padma Sri. Fourteen awardees are women, and 16 are foreigners or non-resident Indians. Three people have been honoured posthumously.

Rahul Ravindran to be part of 'U-turn' remake.


amantha Akkineni and Rahul Ravindran have confirmed that they would be part of the Tamil and Telugu remakes of Kannada hit 'U-turn'. Rahul tweeted a confirmation saying, “Looking forward to working on the U-Turn remake with one of favourite people @Samanthaprabhu2 :) And really kicked about getting to learn first hand from a maverick like @pawanfilms.” The 'Theri' actress on the other hand tweeted, “dancey dancey.. bestie on set!!.” The film will go on floors on February. It will document the journey of a journalist who tracks down a few deaths on a flyover. The original featured actress Shraddha Srinath, and featured her debut. It was a hit and earned her several awards. Meanwhile, the remake will serve as a comeback for Rahul in Tamil. With all his attention in the Telugu movie industry, the actor was last seen in the 2013 Tamil film 'Vanakkam Chennai'. He is currently working on Telugu film 'Dhrusti'.


umble Politican Nograj' actress Sruthi Hariharan has opened up about her casting couch experience in Kollywood. Speaking at the India Today conclave as a part of a panel on 'Sexism in Cinema', she said, “One of the leading producers in Tamil Cinema bought the rights to my Kannada film and offered me the same role in the Tamil remake. He said, and I'm quoting him verbatim, 'we are five producers and we will exchange you however we want. I retorted by saying that I carry a slipper with me in my hand.” She went on to reveal how she stopped receiving good offers in the industry since the incident provoked rumours about her being a difficult person to work with. “Many producers who knew this man

asked me if I actually said what I said. Since then, I have not received good projects from Tamil.” Unfortunately, this wasn't the actress' first and only brush with casting couch. She experienced the ugliness for the first time when she was only 18. “I have had a casting couch experience when I was 18 and on my first Kannada film. It did leave me so scared and petrified that I remember me crying. When I told my dance choreographer about what happened, he told me that if I didn't know how to handle this, I should leave,” she said.

Kamal Haasan to adopt village


ll set to begin his political pilgrimage, actor Kamal Haasan has revealed his plan to adopt a village and convert it into a model one inclusive of all infrastructure facilities including better schooling, access to drinking water and transport facilities. His initiative is a part of his effort to challenge the status quo in the Tamil Nadu politics, he wrote in a column. Naming his tour 'Naalai Namadhey' (Tomorrow is ours), title of former chief minister and actor MG Ramachandran's movie, Haasan said that if the people are reminded of him,

nothing wrong in it as they were good memories. His tour will start on February 21, the day when he will also launch his political party in his native Ramanathapuram district and release his party's guiding principles. He

reminded his fans of the various welfare activities undertaken by him and his fans association. Haasan also took a dig at the ruling AIADMK government's free laptop scheme. He said that he would not accept the argument that one would get knowledge by getting a laptop. People should be taught the art of catching fish as that alone would ensure them a life of selfrespect, he said.

Kannada actor Chandrashekhar passes away


eteran Kannada actor Chandrshekhar passed away on January 27, in Canada from a major heart attack. After beginning his career in the film industry as a child artist with 'Namma Makkalu' in 1969, Chandrashekhar went on to share screen space with legendary actors including Dr Rajukumar and Vishuvardhan. However, his major break came way later in 1973, with 'Edakallu Guddadamele'. The movie came as a turning point in his life. People in the industry soon began addressing him as 'Edakallu' Chandrashekhar. The actor later took a long sabbatical from the industry after his marriage to dancer

Sheela in 1984, spending most of his life in Canada. He returned to Kannada cinema as a director in 2004, with Poorvapara' featuring actor Geeta in the lead role. Chandrashekhar was last seen in 'Raju Kannada Medium' that released last week. He also has another project'3 Ghante, 30 Din, 30 Second' that is ready for release. Personalities in

the industries soon began to convey their condolences, with Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah acknowledging his contribution to the film industry. “Sad day for Kannada Film Industry, Chandrashekhar of #edakalluguddadamele fame is no more. A great human being, and a fabulous actor,” wrote actor Puneeth Rajkumar.

R Madhavan's web thriller packs a punch


railer of web series 'Breathe' tells a lot about the story, however, dimpled actor R Madhavan has a huge surprise for the audience. The story revolves around a father who kills organ donors to save the life of his son who needs a heart transplant surgery. An investigating officer wants to catch the killer. When asked why the makers unveiled the entire story in the trailer, Madhavan said, “Well, despite the audience getting to know who is the killer and why he is killing, who is going to catch him and if at all... I can confidently tell you that the audience will be surprised to watch what happens in the end.” He added, “When we were preparing the trailer, we knew that people might just come up with this question, but the show has much to offer because it is not a murder mystery, it is a thriller. So even though you know who the killer is, there is much to discover in the episodes.” AsianVoiceNews


'Padmavat' crosses £5 mn in just two days


Asian Voice | 3rd February 2018


anjay Leela Bhansali's 'Padmaavat' is finally running in theatres, and at what speed! The period drama starring Ranveer Singh, Deepika Padukone, and Shahid Kapoor that hit the wrong chords with several fringe groups has turned out to be an opulent success. After facing hooliganism, delay by the censor board and other issues, the film has managed to make its way into people's hearts. While critics are showering their praise on the film, Ranveer Singh's Alauddin Khilji is undoubtedly the winner. 'Padmaavat' managed to earn £3.2 million on its 2nd day, bringing the total collection of the film to £5.6 million in just three days. Not only is

the amount a sign of monumental success, specially considering the widespread disturbance around theatres by fringe group Karni Sena, Sanjay Leela Bhansali's achievement is breaking barriers. Ranvir Singh, who said he was in angst over the controversies around the film, said many people told him a hero shouldn't play the anti-hero. Releasing a statement over the ongoing success of his film, he said, “It is extremely rare and overwhelming to get this kind of love from the audience. I'm grateful and touched that everyone has been so appreciative of my performance.” He added, “I will be honest. When I was offered 'Padmaavat', most people were of the

opinion that a hero should not play the anti-hero. But I believed otherwise. I saw Khilji as a challenge for me, as an actor and I wanted to take the challenge up. I went with the vision of Sanjay Leela Bhansali and my instinct of what I could achieve with Khilji.” “I'm happy that the audiences are seeing and loving a character that both Sanjay sir and I have worked on tirelessly for over two years to bring to life. I took a big risk with this character and it's wonderful to see my gamble pay off. This kind of validation gives one the confidence to take bigger and bigger risks, challenge stereotypes and continue to push the envelope in the realm of mainstream Hindi cinema.”

Parineeti Chopra's stretch Rishi Kapoor again rubs marks win the internet internet the wrong way


KJo reveals 'SOTY 2' new poster


ur favourite campus drama 'Student Of The Year' is back with its second instalment and fans have high expectations. The much loved successful 2012 film went on to become the launchpad for actors Alia Bhatt, Varun Dhawan, and Sidharth Malhotra. Filmmaker Karan Joha unveiled a new poster of the muchanticipated film, also revealing that the release date. “SOTY 2 will release worldwide on the 23rd of NOVEMBER 2018! The two new leading ladies will be announced next month! The franchise forges ahead under the baton of director @punitdmalhotra …@foxstarhindi @apoorvamehta18

@iTIGERSHROFF.” The poster shows a ripped Tiger Shroff posing in a pair of rugged jeans and flaunting his chiselled abs. It is safe to say he has the whole spoiltbrat character going on for him. The film has been hitting headlines for quite some time with fans questioning its female leads. KJo has stated that not one, but two leading ladies will be announced next month. It has been reported that Karan is in talks with the Miss World 2017 Manushi Chhillar. There were also reports that Chunky Panday's daughter Ananya, and Disha Patani were finalised to star in the film. The makers have however refused to comment on the same.

arineeti Chopra's latest Instagram was an instant hit, as the internet loved her flaunting her stretch marks. The photo shows her smiling in a black crop top covered with a printed denim jacket, stretch marks peeking around her waist. Those who know the actress, know her fatto-fit story. The 'Meri Pyaari Bindu' actress took a three year sabbatical after 2014;s 'Kill Dil' to work on her fitness. “I have struggled with my weight. I was big and unhealthy, not chubby. I took it upon myself to work towards this. There was pressure of Bollywood to bring me on right part. I am fit now. People need to be fit no matter what size they are. I was big and unfit. It took me a year and half to reach here,” she said. Her recent photo resonated highly with people with users applauding her through comments. “Flaunting stretch marks proudly,” one user wrote.


“The stretch marks represent your hard work,” another added. The photo got over four lakh likes in 13 hours. Recently, actress Kareena Kapoor's photoshoot for a magazine came under heavy firing for photoshopping her stretch marks. Parineeti's photo comes as a positive image for the female body that has since time, come under scrutiny for all the wrong reasons.

eteran actor Rishi Kapoor has a knack for creating Twitter controversies, and he is back again with a tweet he customarily deleted later. Tweeting a picture of actor Ranveer Singh and filmmaker Karan Johar from the infamous AIB Roast held couple of years ago, Kapoor made a jibe at Ranveer's 'Padmavat', and Johar's sexual preferences. “Ranveer Singh has announced that if Karni Sena tries to stop the release of Padmavat, he would do Johar.” The tweet did not go down well with the pub-

lic and responses began to pouring down on him. Many users called his tweet useless, others asked if he was drunk, and many were outright angry. This isn't the first time Kapoor has been told off for his tasteless tweet. Twitter has often found his “jokes” as lacking of humour and bordering insult. The 65 year old has been in recent months, accused of sexism and sending abusive messages to female Twitter users. His attention-seeking stunts took him so far as to exit the microblogging website, only to return half a day later.

Oscar nominations for Ali Fazal, Anupam Kher


ominations for the 90th Academy Awards are out, and its YUGE! As unrelenting as 2017 was, it gave us many peak films and performances. Two Indian actors have made it to the list with their film nominations and we, are, psyched! Actor Ali Fazalstarrer Brit film 'Victoria & Abdul' has won two nominations, while Anupam Kher's 'The Big Sick' has its name possibly written on one. A film about the unique bond between Queen Victoria and her Indian-Muslim servant Abdul Karim, 'Victoria &

Anupam Kher

Abdul' is nominated in the categories of Best Costume Design and Make-Up and Hairstyling. Fazal played a critically warm Abdul to Dame Judi Bench's Victoria, in the film. Kher-starrer 'The Big

Ali Fazal

Sick' is nominated for the Writing honour for Pakistan-origin Kumail Nanjiani and Emily V Gordon. Unfortunately, India's official entry for the Foreign Language Film Category, 'Newton' failed

to make the cut to the shortlist early in the selection process. Guillermo del Toro's 'The Shape of Water' won the highest number of nominations, contending in 13 categories including Best Picture, Best Director, Best Screenplay, Cinematography, Costume Design, Film Editing, Music- Original Score, Production Design, Sound Editing, and Sound Mixing. This is the tenth film to earn thirteen nominatoins in Oscar history. The current record of 14 is held by 'All About Eve' (1950), 'Titanic' (1997), 'La La Land' (2016).


UK AsianVoiceNews

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If your child has a good joke, poem or any suggestions they would like to share please email us with the name, age and school. Email:-


to failure “Success is walking from failure with no loss of enthusiasm” - Sir Winston Churchill

Create a healthy weekly diet chart for you and your family.

Facts You Didn't know about NUTRITION

Added sugar is a disaster, and getting it in liquid form is even worse. l Lemons are one of the healthiest foods in the world Because One lemon contains your daily dose of vitamin C, it cleanses the liver, boosts your immunity and aids in weight loss. We recommend adding freshly sliced lemons to your water each morning. l The highest-calorie fast food item in the world is a milkshake. A large chocolate shake from White Castle contains a whopping 1,680 calories and contains the highest calories of any other single-item fast food out there, according to Calorie Counter. Make a healthy green smoothie instead!



l The Prince Of Wales And The Duchess Of Cornwall Celebrate The 10th Anniversary Of The British Asian Trust celebrate the 10th anniversary of the British Asian Trust on February 6, Tuesday, at Buckingham Palace, London SW1A 1BA. l Sree Sree Thakur Anukul Chandra’s Satsang to be held on February 3, Saturday, 6 pm onwards, at Reading Hindu temple, 112 Whitley St, Reading RG2 0EQ. l The Bhavan's Annual Founders Day Celebrations to be held on January 27 and 28, 3om onwards,The Bhavan, 4A Castletown Road, West Kensington, London W14 9HE. l The Bhavan celebrates Republic Day on January 31, 6.30 pm onwards, at 4A Castletown Road, West Kensington, London W14 9HE.






Sudoku Edition 8




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Experiment of the week Make your own slime! You will need: ¼ cup of Water ¼ cup of white craft glue ¼ cup of liquid starch Food colouring Mixing bowl Mixing spoon What to do Pour all the glue into the mixing bowl Pour all the water into the mixing bowl Stir the glue and water together Add your food colouring Now add the liquid starch and stir it in. It should be nice and blobby now, as you play with your slimy concoction, it Will become more stretchy and easier to hold. Explore your slimy creation and when you are not using it zip it into a bag.

Joke of the week 1. Maths Teacher: “Sara what do you get when you take away 897 from 1234 and divide by 71?” Sara replied: ‘A headache madam’ 2. Why did the skeleton go to the Xmas party alone? Because he had No (Body) to accompany him.

Sudoku Answer Edition 7

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The UK’s leading Vedic writer and TV personality

ARIES Mar 21 - Apr 20 Mars continues to energize your

solar ninth house. Others find you easy to be around, as you are courageous and charismatic. You are strong and bold in your beliefs and convictions as well, and others tend to naturally follow your lead. You actively seek out new learning experiences and adventures without any fear.

TAURUS Apr 21 - May 21 Mars is transiting your solar

eighth house. This is a great time to find out what is important in your life and get rid of unwanted clutter and negative people who are clouding your judgement. Shared finances can come into focus, and these could lead to disputes and disagreements if you are not careful or insensitive in your dealings with others.

GEMINI May 22 - June 22 Mars has just moved into solar

seventh house. During this period, personal relationships can suffer as arguments arise due to unresolved issues. Tread carefully as some form of conflict, whether intentional or otherwise can rear its ugly head. On a positive note you are full of energy and ready to compete, so make sure you stay the course and win the battle.

CANCER Jun 22 - Jul 22

Task to do for this week

l Sugary Drinks Are The Most Fattening Aspect of The Modern Diet.

Leicester Distributors: Shabde Magazine, Shobhan Mehta Mob: 07846480220 (BPO) AB Publication (India) Pvt. Ltd. 207 Shalibhadra Complex, Opp. Jain Derasar, Nr. Nehru Nagar Circle, Ambawadi, Ahmedabad. Tel. +91 79 2646 5960 Bureau Chief: Nilesh Parmar (M) +91 94266 36912 Email: Consulting Editor: Bhupatbhai Parekh, Ahmedabad. (Jumbo Advertiser) Horizon Advertising & Marketing: 2012, Shalibhadra Complex, Opp. Jain Derasar, Nr. Nehru Nagar Circle, Ambawadi, Ahmedabad. Tel +91 79 2646 5960 Email: Business Manager: Hardik Shah (M) +91 99250 42936 Email: Advertising Manager: Neeta Patel (Vadodara) M: +91 98255 11702 Email: Business Co-ordinator: Shrijit Rajan M: +91 98798 82312 Email: International Advertisement Representative: Jain International Tel: +91 44 42041122/3/4 Fax: +91 44 25362973 Mumbai: +91 022 2471 4122 Email: Delhi Office: Tel: +91 9311581597

Sneh Joshi


Health is an important area that you will take seriously. It is likely that you may embark on a course of physical exercise and diet. It could be quite a difficult week psychologically with increased danger of misunderstandings arising and not being able to see the wood from the trees. Try to be diplomatic.

With Mars, comes increased creative and romantic energy but be sure to manage this carefully as you want to avoid the trouble that these areas can bring. Your self-confidence will be well-received by others during this period but you are likely to take a few more risks and embrace your competitive nature. Just remember to remain sensitive to the needs of others.

LEO Jul 23 - Aug 23

VIRGO Aug 24 - Sep 23

Domestic projects and activities will get a welcome boost during this period with more of a focus on feeling secure and consolidating the home front. However, as you focus more on the home, there can be family conflicts or disputes. Your career may also be frustrated by others but don’t use this as an excuse to re-examine old wounds.

LIBRA Sep 24 - Oct 23

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

SCORPIO Oct 24- Nov 22

Mars is transiting your solar second house this time, extra care should be exercised when it comes to new financial initiatives. There may be the need to resolve old, nagging issues regarding personal finances. Take this time to re-budget and re-think how you want to spend your cash during this period.

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Mars is transiting your solar 1st house. This transit helps you to assert yourself more than usual. You have lots of energy and are more enterprising. During this transit you may lose your temper more than usual. Avoid being hasty in your decisions and do not step on anyone's toes. Love affairs may also be pleasurable during this period.

SAGITTARIUS Nov 23 - Dec 21

CAPRICORN Dec 22 - Jan 20

You may find yourself hard at work behind the scenes, although that may not be apparent to others. You may find yourself caught up in a whirlwind of activity, with opportunities to advance on both the inner and outer level. There’s a sparkle to your social life and you will have fun communicating with others.

AQUARIUS Jan 21 - Feb 19

Ideas and plans will come easily to you during this period but with such volume be sure to channel your efforts well. Pitches and new proposals should be very positive as you will be more articulate than usual. You will also be able to assert yourself more readily but avoid heated discussions and don’t be hasty as it could cost you. The fiery planet Mars, continues to occupy your Solar 10th house for some time to come. Its influence will help you to maintain a high energy level and achieve positive results in anything that requires drive and initiative. If you are involved in a fairly competitive field of activity, you will be the one who comes out on top.

PISCES Feb 20 - Mar 20



RAI, NARANG AMONG 27 INDIAN Blind cricketers SHOOTERS NAMED FOR CWG get cold welcome AsianVoiceNews

Shooters Jitu Rai, Gagan Narang and Apurvi Chandela were named in India's 27-member squad for the upcoming Commonwealth Games to be held in Gold Coast, Australia. The National Rifle Association of India (NRAI) announced the full quota of 27 shooters (25 men and 12 women) after the Organising Committee of the Games reduced the country quotas across sports. India had fielded 30 shooters in the 2014 Glasgow Commonwealth Games and bagged 17 medals (4 Gold, 9 Silver, 4 Bronze). Though most of the disciplines will be held in Gold Coast, shooting will be held at the Belmont Shooting Centre in Brisbane from April 8 to 14. There will be nine men's and eight women's events in the three disciplines of rifle, pistol and shotgun. Besides Rai and Narang, other top shooters among men


Asian Voice | 3rd February 2018

Jitu Rai and Gagan Narang

include Sanjeev Rajput, Manvjit Singh Sandhu and Mohammed Asab. In the 2014 Glasgow Commonwealth Games, Rai had won a gold in the men's 50m pistol event while Narang had bagged a silver and a bronze in the 50m rifle prone and 50m rifle 3 position events. Among women, experienced Heena Sidhu, promising youngsters Mehuli Ghosh and Manu Bhakar have also been named along with Chandela. Chandel had won a gold in women's 10m Air Rifle event in Glasgow.

The NRAI also named squads for the six International Shooting Sport Federation World Cup stages of this year. The junior shooters who have made it to the Commonwealth Games squad have not been selected for the Junior World Cups in view of the importance attached to the CWG. The Squad: Men (15): 50m Rifle 3 Position: Sanjeev Rajput, Chain Singh 50m Rifle Prone: Chain Singh, Gagan Narang 10m Air Rifle: Ravi

Kumar, Deepak Kumar 25m Rapid Fire Pistol: Anish, Neeraj Kumar 50m Free Pistol: Jitu Rai, Om Prakash Mitharwal 10m Air Pistol: Jitu Rai, Om Prakash Mitharwal Trap: Manavjit Singh Sandhu, Kynan Chenai Double Trap: Mohd Asab, Ankur Mittal Skeet: Smit Singh, Sheeraj Sheikh Women (12): 50m Rifle 3 Position: Anjum Moudgil, Tejaswini Sawant 50m Rifle Prone: Anjum Moudgil, Tejaswini Sawant 10m Air Rifle: Apurvi Chandela, Mehuli Ghosh 25m Sports Pistol: Heena Sidhu, Annuraj Singh 10m Air Pistol: Heena Sidhu, Manu Bhaker Trap: Shreyasi Singh, Seema Tomar Double Trap: Shreyasi Singh, Varsha Varman Skeet: Saniya Sheikh, Maheshwari Chauhan.

Federer beats Cilic for 20th Grand Slam title Roger Federer won his 20th Grand Slam tennis title after overcoming Marin Cilic in the Australian Open final. The thrilling five-set match ended 6-2, 6-7 (5-7), 6-3, 36, 6-1, making it the 6th time for Federer to win the Australian Open. Off to a perfect start, the 37-year-old broke the Croatian's serve in the very first game. Looking shaky, Cilic made a number of unforced errors and lost another break point. When Federer served out the set, it appeared that it might be a short evening for fans at the Rod Laver Arena in Melbourne. But showing grit and determination, the world number six regained his composure and managed to hold serve in the second Continued from page 1 Chennai Super Kings were the first to bid for him and Kings XI Punjab jumped in immediately. Rajasthan Royals, who were mute spectators until the bid crossed the £1.1 million mark, upped the ante and made the winning bid for the Saurashtra bowler, who last season went to Rising Pune Supergiants for his base price of Rs 30,00,000. Like last year, England all-rounder Ben Stokes, who went for £1.45 million in 2017, hit jackpot as Rajasthan Royals snapped him up for £1.25 million, making him the most expensive buy of the auction. A pending case

Roger Federer

set to force a tie break. The hard hitting Croatian was then able to edge ahead and level the score at a set a piece. In typical Federer fashion, however, the world number two came roaring back and won the third set with excellent backhand returns that put Cilic under heavy pressure. When

Federer got the early break at the beginning of the fourth set, it once again looked as though Cilic was in trouble. But somehow the former US Open champion found another gear and blasted Federer with powerful baseline hitting. The aggressive strategy paid off and Cilic broke Federer twice to take the lead and serve out the set. With the atmosphere tense and both players exhausted leading into the deciding set, Federer said, "I was just focused on winning a game again." "He came back from 3-2 and won four games straight, so for me it was really just about trying to break his momentum." In the end, Federer eased his way to victory and

furthered his all time men's Grand Slam record. Although heartbroken and disappointed after the epic five set battle, Cilic said he "was happy with his performance." "I managed to turn it around in that fourth set and that lifted me, I was hitting the ball great and playing phenomenal," he said. "But the first game of the 5th set was crucial and it just ran away from me." The Croatian also admitted that "mentally it was tough" to adjust to the decision by officials to close the roof of the stadium due to the extreme heat. "I played all my matches outdoors throughout the tournament so it was difficult," Cilic said.

Unadkat Scores Big Hyderabad paid with glee. Mitchell Starc, Rashid Khan and R Ashwin were the top bowlers to earn the mega bucks.

Jaydev Unadkat

against him made no difference to the Englishman’s market value as Chennai Super Kings made the first charge followed by Kings XI Punjab, Kolkata Knight Riders before Rajasthan Royals jumped into the

Ben Stokes

bidding war and grabbed him. Stokes was followed by KL Rahul and Manish Pandey. The batting talents from Karnataka commanded a £1.1 million each which Kings XI Punjab and Sunrisers

Afghans hit jackpot Four players from Afghanistan generated a lot of buzz. After Rashid Khan and Mohammad Nabi returned to Sunrisers Hyderabad, 16year-old Mujeeb Zadran and Zahir Khan went to Punjab and Rajasthan Royals respectively. Investment in future With an eye on the future, the franchisees picked a total of seven India U-19 players, of whom four were bought

Unlike the star cricketers of India, the crowd and camera lights were missing for blind cricketers who reached Surat airport last week after winning the 5th Blind Cricket One Day World Cup against Pakistan in the UAE on January 20. Three blind cricketers - Anil Garia and Ganesh Mahudkar from Dharampur in Valsad and Anil Tumda from Vansda in Navsari – played key role in winning the coveted trophy. This was the fourth consecutive time they were winning the world cup by beating Pakistan. Mahudkar, who hails from Rajpuri village in Dharampur, is an allrounder in Indian blind cricket team and was the man of the match in the semi-finals against Bangladesh scoring 112 runs in 69 balls. Mahudkar says, “We expected a grand welcome like our Indian star cricketers get when they come home after winning the World Cup. Still, we are happy with the love accorded to us by the people who have come to receive us from our native places.” Mahudkar, who runs a small grocery shop in his village, added, “It’s a proud moment for all of us as we defeated Pakistan team for the fourth consecutive time. It’s time for the central government to think on the second day. Speed gun Shivam Mavi went for £300,000 to Kolkata Knight Riders while big hitters Abhishek Sharma and Manjot Kalra were both snapped up by Delhi Daredevils. Left-arm spinner Anukul Roy headed to the Mumbai Indians camp. A first for Nepal cricket Nepal’s spin bowler Sandeep Lamichhane became the first player from Nepal to bag an IPL contract when Delhi got him. The 17-year-old is highly rated by former Australian skipper Michael Clarke, who mentored him during a league in Hong Kong. Gayle gets third time lucky

about blind cricketers and their future. Just tweeting and giving us congratulations will not work. We want stable jobs to feed our family.” Another blind cricketer from Ugta village in Dharampur Anil Garia is a farm labourer. “Sachin Tendulkar and Prime Minister Narendra Modi are tweeting and wishing us congratulations, but no one comes out and offers us support. We don’t need tweets, but a quality life. We don’t ask for lavish lifestyle like star cricketers of India, but a decent life so that we can play for our country.” Navsari MP C R Patil, who had gone to felicitate the players from south Gujarat, said, “The entire south Gujarat is proud of the blind cricketers who have returned home after defeating Pakistan team. Being the MP, I will definitely represent their issues and problems to the central government. I hope the government will definitely provide good jobs to these cricketers.” Blind cricketer from Khataamba village in Vansda in Navsari district Anil Tumda said, “The Pakistani team was under tremendous pressure in the finals. We were determined to win the game and the strategy of our captain Ajay Reddy worked well.” West Indies big-hitter Chris Gayle, a marquee player who went unsold on the opening day and in the second session of the second day, emerged lucky the third time when Punjab successfully bid for him. Likewise, Murali Vijay too was brought in the first round of the accelerated process by Chennai Super Kings. Another current international Parthiv Patel headed to Royal Challengers Bangalore as did Mitchell Johnson and Tim Southee. Among the big names who failed to attract any bidders were Dale Steyn, Eoin Morgan, Martin Guptill, Joe Root, Nathan Lyon and Tymal Mills, who was the second most expensive player last season.

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Asian Voice | 3rd February 2018




India denied South Africa a clean sweep by winning the third and the final Test at The Wanderers Stadium, Johannesburg by 63 runs, riding on a late burst by the Indian bowlers led by Mohammed Shami on Day 4. South Africa lost their last nine wickets for just 53 runs slumping from 124 for 1 to 177 all out. After Dean Elgar and Hashim Amla played out of their skins to frustrate the Indian bowlers for most part of the day, two quick wickets in the form of Amla (52) and AB de Villiers (6), opened the flood gates. In the final session, Elgar continued his resistance taking body blows from the Indian pacers, who were visibly fired up, but had to see his middle-order wiped out in no time. Faf du Plessis was undone by a sharp inswinger by Ishant Sharma while Jasprit Bumrah got rid of the terribily out of form Quinton de Kock for a first-ball duck. Shami, who had only bowled nine overs in the second innings to this point, sprang to life with the wicket of Vernon Philander (10), Andile Phehlukwayo (0) and Morne Morkel (0). Bhuvneshwar Kumar added the scalp of Kagiso Rabada (0) before Shami completed his

Modi to launch Khelo India School Games Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi will launch the first Khelo India School Games at the Indira Gandhi Indoor Stadium in New Delhi on Wednesday. The weeklong inaugural edition will be an Under-17 event where athletes have been invited to participate across 16 disciplines: Archery, Athletics, Badminton, Basketball, Boxing, Football, Gymnastics, Hockey, Judo, Kabaddi, Kho-Kho, Shooting, Swimming, Volleyball, Weightlifting, and Wrestling. There will be 199 gold, 199 silver and 275 bronze medals at stake. The Khelo India programme has been introduced to revive the sports culture in the country at the grass-root level. It is expected to help scout young talent from the schools in various disciplines and groom them as future champions. Talented players identified in priority sports disciplines by a HighPowered Committee will be provided annual financial assistance of Rs 5,00,000 per annum for eight years.

five wicket haul with the wicket of Lungi Ngidi. Shami finished with 5 for 28, while Elgar carried his bat through with a valiant 240ball 86-run knock. Earlier in the day, Amla and Elgar had put South Africa in control before India came back with two quick strikes just before tea. Amla put on display an exemplary defensive technique to defy India bowlers along with Elgar who continued his streaky but courageous knock. Both struck half-centuries in a century stand before Ishant struck with the wicket of Amla on 52 thanks to an outstanding catch from Hardik Pandya. De Villiers lasted 13 deliveries before edging one from Jasprit Bumrah to gully to walk back on six. India landed two big blows in the space of

21 deliveries. Elgar and Amla started well after the play resumed an hour late on Day 4 and they went on to add 119 runs for the second wicket before being separated. The overnight pair saw off the opening hour safely, pushing their team closer to the target on a pitch that has stolen the limelight from the on-field contest. They went for lunch without losing any wicket the first wicketless session of the Test. The duo continued to defy India bowlers for the better part of the second session two before the Indians hit back. Elgar, who was hit on the helmet grill by a rising delivery from Bumrah on Friday, was declared fit to bat after undergoing tests for concussion and had to battle some jittery

moments despite heavy roller being applied ahead of the resumption. The controversy over the pitch has spiced up the contest with contrasting opinions. India were adamant on continuing to play on a pitch which behaved awkwardly throughout Friday with batsmen copping blows. But the match officials halted the play after the Elgar incident with the third day's play eventually being called off. There was no uneven bounce on Saturday morning. The pitch considerably eased out with the Indian bowlers unable to find the length that troubled South Africa on Friday. Ishant Sharma looked fired up with a testing spell but was left disappointed on multiple occasions with the ball evading the edge.

India rout Pak, book place in ICC Under-19 World Cup final

India capped off yet another sensational performance in the ICC Under-19 World Cup, this time beating Pakistan by a handsome 203-run margin in the big semifinal on Tuesday. With the win, India not only registered their fifth win over their arch-rivals in Under-19 World Cup, but also booked themselves a place in the final, where they will face three-time winners Australia on Saturday. From ball one, India were the dominant of the two sides. Young batting sensation Shubman Gill scored his maiden century to lift India to 272/9, in chase of which Pakistan batting imploded before eventually getting bowled out for a lowly 69, their heaviest defeat in Under-19 World Cups. Leading the destruction was fast bowler Ishan Porel, who snuffed out four wickets, accompanied by two scalps each from spinners Riyan Parag and Shiva Singh. Just 48 hours after being snapped up by IPL franchise Kolkata Knight Riders for ÂŁ180,000, coming in at the fall of India's first wicket,

Gill remained unbeaten on 102 and in the process, overtook his skipper Prithvi Shaw's 94 for highest individual score by an Indian in the tournament. With the century, Gill took his personal tally to 341 runs in the tournament with an average of over 170. He even returned to take a stunning catch, running behind, later in the innings. Gill got good support, first from Harvik Desai and later from Anukul Roy, and struck 50-run partnerships with both. He built on a solid foundation laid by openers Shaw and Manjot Kalra, who had put on 89 runs for the

opening wicket before Shaw was run-out for 41. Pakistan struggled on the field, missing almost half a dozen run out chances and dropping two catches. Shaw and Kalra started off with a breeze, bringing up India's 50 inside eight overs before Pakistan finally scored a run-out. Responding to a risky Single, Shaw took off and even put in the dive but couldn't ground his bat properly. India suffered a second jolt soon after when Muhammad Musa got his first wicket with Kalra inside edging a delivery to the wicketkeeper.

Dangerous pitch forces play to be stopped Match officials stopped play in the third cricket test between South Africa and India because of a dangerous pitch, an extremely rare decision taken after Proteas batsman Dean Elgar was hit in the grill of the helmet and needed a concussion test. The move by match officials to take players off because of concerns over their safety was only the third time in the history of test cricket that a game has been stopped in this way. The game wasn't completely called off, though. After meetings involving match officials and team captains Faf du Plessis and Virat Kohli, it was decided the test would continue the next day. Proteas opening batsman Dean Elgar copped a series of unplayable deliveries to the body before the umpires ruled the pitch was too dangerous to continue on. "The on-field umpires, in consultation with the match referee, and after speaking with both the captains and groundsmen, have decided that the Johannesburg test will resume on time on Saturday," the ICC said in a statement. Cricket's ruling body said on-field umpires Ian Gould and Aleem Dar had called players off because they wanted to consult with match referee Andy Pycroft "regarding the condition of the pitch". Elgar was the latest in a series of batsmen from both teams to be hit by the ball on a fast, bouncy and unpredictable surface at the Wanderers. He was the first to be hit on the head, though, with others getting struck on the fingers, and in the ribs and midriff. There had been signs throughout the day that the umpires were worried over the surface, and both team managers were called into Pycroft's office at the tea break to be told the officials were considering ruling the pitch dangerous. The blow to Elgar's helmet, which came after he had been also hit on the hand and on the hip, was the final straw. The decision to stop play infuriated India, which had a 223run lead and was in control of a game they desperately want to win after already losing the series and facing an embarrassing 3-0 whitewash.

Every match is important for me: Mary Kom Five-time world boxing champion M.C Mary Kom on Sunday said that she considered every match as important and want to be in the ring for as long as she wants. The boxer lauded the Boxing Federation of India's (BFI) idea of a boxing competition, on the lines of the Mary Kom popular Indian Premier League (IPL) stating that it would be a good platform for the young boxers to express themselves. "It is a good initiative taken by the authorities (BFI). India Open offers a good platform for the young boxers to express themselves and do well. I am confident that they will perform better and better in the future," Mary Kom said. Mary Kom acknowledged that boxing was becoming popular in India and that the young players were doing well. She added that the BFI should take steps in the future to nurture such talent. On being asked about the pressure of facing opponents away from her home state, Manipur, Mary Kom said that no matter wherever the tournament was happening, there is pressure and it had to be handled very well. "I focus on training to keep myself fit and I focus on improving and winning any game. That is my ultimate goal," added Mary Kom. The inaugural India Open boxing tournament began on Sunday, with as many as 223 boxers from 22 different countries.

AV 3rd February 2018  

Asian Voice Weekly Newspaper (Issue No.: 38)

AV 3rd February 2018  

Asian Voice Weekly Newspaper (Issue No.: 38)