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First & Foremost Asian Weekly in Europe



Vol 46 Issue 42

3rd March to 9th March 2018

Let noble thoughts come to us from every side 80p

Race against Time EXCLUSIVE

LEAVES IN SUSPENSE Bollywood woke up to bad news over the weekend, of iconic actress Sridevi's untimely death at the age of 54. The 'Chandni' actress' sudden demise came as a blow to her family, the industry, and her fans who have flocked to her Mumbai residence, camping out on the roads. Shree, as she was lovingly called, was at Mohit Marwah's wedding in UAE, when she allegedly drowned in a bathtub. She was with husband Boney Kapoor, and younger daughter Khushi in Dubai, her eldest daughter Janhvi could not be with them due to a shooting schedule. Sridevi's funeral is set to take place on Wednesday, the family said in a statement. Family members, Boney, and step-son Arjun Kapoor got her body embalmed and flew to Mumbai on a private plane lent by industrialist Anil Ambani. Known as India's first woman superstar, Sridevi's death was followed by a lot of speculation and media coverage. While it was initially reported that she died of a cardiac arrest, it later emerged that she had

drowned possibly accidentally in the bathtub in her room at the Jumeirah Emirates Towers hotel, where she was staying. The Dubai government's media office announced closure of the case. It tweeted, “Dubai Public Prosecution has approved the release of the body of the Indian actress Sridevi to her family following the completion of a comprehensive investigation into the circumstances of her death.� Continued on page 26

A Woman's Battle with Biology

Kokila Patel A survey in Britain has revealed that one in seven couples face difficulties conceiving. Reasons for this are many. Age is an important factor. It is scientifically believed that bearing a child becomes riskier for women after 40. What is worth noticing is that a few years back, the age limit was considered to be 30. Once a female crosses the age of 45, the natural process of menopause begins. The level of oestrogen in the body begins to deteriorate which results in menopause. In Britain, on an average, a female is expected to experience the process after the age of 51. However, one in 100 cases could be such where the female experiences menopause at the age of 40 or even earlier. One such person is Panna Vekaria of the Kutchi Patel community.

Full story on page 17

Mother and sons killed in massive explosion

Sikh man racially attacked outside Parliament Shocked community demands stricter laws and better awareness about Sikhism Rupanjana Dutta

The Sikh community of Britain and worldwide has condemned the racial attack on a man in the UK last week, where his turban was ripped outside Parliament. The community leaders and politicians have therefore urged for stricter laws and better awareness about the community, which is often mistaken to be Muslim.

Mary Ragoobar and sons Sean (left) and Shane

See page 4

Ravneet Singh

Continued on page 16


Asian Voice | 3rd March 2018





Keith Vaz, MP

Praful Bhatt Praful Bhatt runs the very successful Santosh Community Centre in Leicester, where he is the Chair Person. He is also the Treasurer of Glen Street Play Group, a charity which he saved from closing down. With his sister Devi, he also runs a small Catering Company. His pride and joy is his charity Santosh Seva Centre, feeding needy children, buying books, shoes and clothing. Praful was born in Bhanvad, a small town in Gujarat near Porbandar, where M K Gandhi was born. They were a large family of five brothers and two sisters, but his father had fallen on hard times, hence they had little food to eat, only one set of clothing worn every day, and no shoes to protect their feet. He started working at the age of just eight: selling tea, on a farm collecting ground nuts, selling ice lollies, collecting cow dung, being a human horse, selling paraffin and when nothing else paid, ending up begging for food and money in the streets. On 2nd March 1981, Praful arrived in the UK not knowing any English; and worked on very low wages. He went to evening classes and improved his English which helped him obtain Office work. He worked for Leicester City Council for 15 years. In March 1999, he started his own Garment Manufacturing Business which traded for 10 years. At present, he is working on a project called £1 Magic Housing Scheme, which aims to bring people together in an innovative approach to the housing crisis. Praful is a classic Community Social Worker. 1)  Which place, or city or country do you most feel at home in? I feel perfectly at home in Leicester where I have lived for the past 37 years. I enjoy visiting my place of birth in Gujarat, walking around the streets I knew as a child. I love London and every time I visit, I feel I was there in a previous life. Toronto also feels like home to me

it Santosh Community Centre I founded. I am also proud of saving the Glen Street Play Group charity from closure and running a charity in my home town in India. 3) What inspires you? I am inspired by seeing the struggles people face day in day out; I feel the urgent need to do something to get them out by offering a solution or a helping hand. I find it extremely hard to just stand by and do nothing. I get this from my lovely Mum. I am also inspired by other people, like Gandhi and Mandela.

because I have visited many times. 2) What are your proudest achievements? My proudest achievements are leaving India, coming to the UK and making a successful life for myself and my family; also learning the English language and running businesses. Now I am running the not-for-prof-

4) What has been the biggest obstacle in your career? My biggest obstacle is my lack of education and inability to write clearly and concisely. My inability to be diplomatic makes some people run a mile, but at least they know my stand on issues. Because of the language problems in my early days in the UK, I was shy and fear of being rejected held me back for many years.  5)  Who has been the biggest influence on your career to date? Watching my father lifting heavy bundles of ready-made garments and going selling in the villages in India, walking for miles, instilled hard

A coroner has ruled that a little boy with Down's syndrome died of natural causes, despite highlighting a "catalogue of errors" in his treatment. Lydia Brown, assistant coroner for Leicester and South Leicestershire, criticised doctors and nurses in the treatment provided for Krishan Saujani at the end of a five-day inquest at Leicester Town Hall yesterday. The three-year-old, who had Down's syndrome, died on November 8, 2015, from bronchial pneumonia - a day after being taken to Leicester Royal Infirmary with vomiting and diarrhoea. The court heard how Krishan had a weakened immune system and was more vulnerable to infections due to his condition. Mrs Brown said that on an "exceptionally busy" Saturday night for the hospital's accident and emergency department, there was a "lack of communication between doctors and nursing staff". She also criticised a "delay in transferring

(Image: Chris Gordon)

Coroner highlights 'catalogue of errors' in death of Down's syndrome boy

Heartbroken parents Bhavini Saujani and Shalin Saujani

Krishan to the hospital's CAU (clinical assessment unit)". The inquest heard how Krishan was waiting on a trolley bed in the hospital's emergency department for up to three hours before finally being transferred to a bed on the CAU at 3.30am. The coroner said there were "delays in the investigation and treatment of Krishan's condition" and a failure to administer the antibiotics he desperately needed until only a few hours before his death, shortly before 8am. Mrs Brown said hospital staff should have listened to Krishan's parents' growing concerns about their son's deteriorating

Krishan Saujani

condition. However, in reference to evidence provided by Andrew Furlong, medical director at Leicester’s Hospitals, she said she was satisfied by improvements made at the Infirmary to prevent future deaths. Improvements as part of the hospital's new, £48 million accident and emergency department, which opened last April, include new electronic systems to monitor critically ill children in extremely busy periods. New procedures have also been adopted to ensure the appropriate staff can be moved to cover different parts of the hospital where they are needed the most.

work in me. Seeing my mother carrying bundles of dirty washing on her head for other people did the same. My first partner of 22 years, Eric Dixon, was Managing Director of a big company so I learnt business ethics from him. My present partner, Dr David Pollak has a calm influence on me. 6) What is the best aspect about your current role? The best aspect is spending time with the service users, listening to their needs and getting it done immediately. Most of my service users call me their son, which is wonderful. Watching my Managing Director Bharat Patel building the trustworthy Santosh team is encouraging, as are the wonderful non-executive board members. We have just won the tender contract with the Leicester City Council to provide day care for the next three years. 7) And the worst? The worst aspect of my role is the amount of paper work involved. Its repetitive nature creates huge frustration and takes time away from the actual job we are trying to do, care for people. Transporting service users every morning and afternoon can be a mammoth task, especially

when a driver has unexpectedly rung in sick. 8) What are your long term goals? My long term goal is to help create a satellite Santosh Day Centre i n

Oadby and also look into respite care. I am also trying to organise a scheme whereby we can help reduce the bed blocking in our hospitals so that more patients can be treated quickly. If I had the money, I would put the idea into practice tomorrow. I want to make my £1:00 Magic Housing Scheme a reality. 9)  If you were Prime Minister, what one aspect would you change? It has to be Housing. Housing is treated as a commodity instead of a necessity. People want to make money from housing. No wonder we have a housing crisis and homelessness. Young people today have no hope of getting on the property

ladder. I believe I have the formula that can change the housing crisis. 10) If you were marooned on a desert island, which historical figure would you like to spend your time with and why. Nelson Mandela, for what he has achieved in his life time despite being in solitary imprisonment for many years for the fight for freedom. I remember the day he was released from prison, and thinking “what can he do now?” I could learn from his ability to negotiate, his patience and undying belief that it’s never too late to do anything. You are on this planet for a reason, so make your life count and do something amazing today.

Maserati driver who hit and seriously injured two police officers is jailed A Maserati driver who seriously injured two police officers after losing control of his sports car in Brent has been jailed for more than three years. PC Christopher Appleton and PC Samantha Clark, both in their 30s, were critically injured when Mohammed Shaikh's vehicle collided with them in Neasden on December 17. The on-duty police officers suffered near-fatal injuries including multiple fractures and internal

bleeding when Shaikh's white Maserati swerved off the North Circular Road and struck them and a vehicle near the junction with Dog Lane at 3.40am. According to police the car came around the bend and mounted the footway colliding with another vehicle and the two officers. PC Appleton was struck first while PC Clark was trapped between the vehicle and a house. Shaikh, 48, was arrested at the scene and charged the following day.

He was sentenced to three years and four months’ imprisonment at Harrow Crown Court on Thursday (22 February.) He pleaded guilty to two counts of causing serious injury by dangerous driving. He was sentenced to a further four months imprisonment to run concurrently for failing to provide a specimen. He has been disqualified from driving for a total of six years and three months, and will be required to take an extended driving test upon his release.

Asian grooming gangs' victims tell of horrific ordeals Victims of Asian grooming gangs have told of their horrific ordeals as a report revealed today that the 'arrogant' abusers felt 'unlikely to be prosecuted'. A Serious Case Review found the gangs preyed on 700 girls and vulnerable young women in the North East before a major operation was launched to stop them. Experts have revealed that those targeted by sex predators on Tyneside are

likely to need lifetime support to help cope with the impact of their ordeals. And details of some of their horrific experiences were revealed for the first time with the publication of the 150-page report. During interviews with the report's author, victims told how they were raped while under the influence of drink and drugs. 'I never had sex when I was sober,' one said. 'I

wanted to leave. I was given drink. I kept saying no and fighting them off. I was very tired and fell asleep. When I woke, I had been raped. When I was asleep I was raped.' And a victim told how the abusers used the drug mephedrone, otherwise known as M-Cat, to control the girls. A total of 22 young women gave evidence at the trials which resulted in substantial prison sentences. AsianVoiceNews



Poles recall Indian Maharaja with affection It is a heart-warming story in a world riven by discord, conflict and hate. At the height of the Second World War, a group of Polish people escaped some of its fiercest battles and took a circuitous route through Central Asia via Iran and Afghanistan, arriving eventually in the Saurashtra region of Gujarat. Most Polish refugees. who had made their way to India, were housed in camps in Nagpur, Kolhapur and Bombay. The British Indian authorities, preoccupied by grave matters of moment, were in a quandary when around 1,000 traumatized 15 year-old children descended on them. Not so the ruler of the little Princely State, the Jam Saheb of Nawanagar. Nephew and successor to the great Kumar Shri. Ranjitsinjhi – ‘Ranji’ to his friends and admirers in England – a gr eat batsman and cricketer, chivalrous and generous to a fault, who had cast a unique light on the country’s national sport, had become and remains to this day, one of game’s foremost icons. A.G. Gardiner, a distinguished English journalist of the time described him thus: ‘the prince of a little State, but the king of a great game…It is the Jam Saheb’s service that, through his genius for the English gam e, he has familiarized the English people with the idea as a man of like affections with ourselves, and with capacities beyond ours…his name will live in the hearts of hundreds of thousands of British people to whom he has given happy days and happy memories.’ It was with this gift of friendship, of humanity and compassion, that ‘Ranji’s’ kin, Digvijaysinhji Ranjitsinhji Jadeja of Nawanagar, stepped up to welcome the 1,000 young Polish refugees, bewildered by their strange surroundings - separated from their parents or orphaned – at the small town of Balachedi in

1942, when Poland was under Nazi occupation. This was to be their home for the next four years, by which time the war had ended, and they made ready to to depart. The Jam Saheb set up a boarding school for his Polish wards, saw to their culinar y needs, as their palates were unused to spicy Indian cuisines, and did everything within his powers to give his teenage guests a home from home. It is a remarkable story, of which little or nothing is known across the world, but in Poland, the Jam Saheb’s kindness and hospitality have never been forgotten. A street and a school in the Polish capital Warsaw are named after him and the people at large reme mber him with warmth and affection The Hindi-speaking Polish Ambassador to India Adam Burakowski is organizing the return of the once children now in their eighties or nineties to Nawanagar; trying to trace them is anything but easy. Some of the inmates have made the return journey to Nawanagar; a couple who first met there were to get married later; the Maharaja made this possible, they said. Ambassador Burakowski and Anu Radha, the producer of the film documentary of the remarkable experience, hope to bring the living members of this dwindling Polish community back to India by the end of 2018 for the centenary commemoration of Poland’s Independence Mr Buraskowski was educated at the school in Warsaw bearing the name of Maharaja. He made his first exploratory trip to India in 1997 by the same land route as his compatriots, and has been drawn to the country and its culture ever since. The Polish Institute in Delhi is a bridge of mutual understanding. Long may the friendship between the peoples of India and Poland endure as a light unto the nations.

Reaffirming India’s ties with Iran International diplomacy is no zero sum game; nor should it be. India has its national interests like those of other nations. Iran has recently been the target of virulent attack by the Trump administration and its proxies in the Arab world, most notably Saudi Arabia. Iran’s alleged tyranny is loudly declaimed, even as Saudi ‘moderation’ is robustly acclaimed, its intervention in Yemen studiously ignored, despite the pestilence and famine, caused by Saudi weaponry. Whatever the domestic policies of the Iranian government, the country’s foreign policy is guided by the need to protect its sovereignty and independence, both undermined in 1953 by the CIA engineered coup that overthrew the democratic regime of Mohammed Mossadegh followed by the installation of the pliant Shah. The United States has never forgiven Iran for the 1979 Revolution that displaced the Shah and expelled America. Iran is a dominant power in the Greater M iddle East and a power to be reckoned with. Such is the backcloth to the current India-Iran relationship. President Hassan Rouhani’s visit to India was a spectacular success, built on the convergence of their deep rooted national interests. Prime Minister Narendra Modi drew attention to energy, trade, banking, connectivity and anti-terror cooperation as the bedrock of the relationship going forward. President Rouhani’s words were a ringing declaration of affirmation and intent. ‘On important bilateral and international issues, we have no

divergence. Today, we discussed our agreements and the future course of action on Chabahar and India’s contribution to the Chabahar-Zahedan railways.’ Both sides were in full accord on making transit and trade the core of their relationship, emphasizing the role of Chabahar as the door to landlocked Afghanistan. Around the port, India would invest in in the construction of fertilizer plants, petrochemicals and metallurgy. For his part, Mr Modi described Chabahar as the ‘golden gateway to Afghanistan and the Central Asian region.’ The allusion to Central Asia is key to the long game and great game rolled into a single concept of strategic endeavour. Iran will be the hub of India’s economic outreach to Central Asia and beyond into the Russian Federation and Belarus via Armenia, Astrakhan etc – an affirmation of intent to be an active member of the Eurasian North-South customs union sponsored by Moscow. Addressing the Observer Research Foundation (a Delhi-based think-tank), President Rouhani dwelt on his country’s fraught ties with America. ‘Our destiny was in the hand s of the US for a long period of time. The US made a promise to us and they have broken it. If it violates this agreement (on the nuclear deal) it will regret it.’ Regional developments not in tune with Western requirements are ignored by the Western media. Playing ostrich reflects prejudice, rather than pride.

British companies caution PM on immigration British companies, faced with a recruitment crisis, with labour shortages hitting critical levels in certain sectors, have called for clarity on post-Brixit immigration policy. Adam Marshall, Director-General of the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) has revealed that the lack of candidates for some jobs was biting hard, hence he warned ministers against bringing forward a ‘draconian and damaging’ visa or work permit system. BCC surveys have showed that nearly three-quarters of firms attempting to recruit were experiencing difficulties ‘at or near the highest levels,’ since BCC records were kept twenty-five years ago. ‘The simple fact is that many businesses cannot afford to wait much longer for a clear UK immigration policy to emerge,’ said Mr Marshall, pointing to further delays to the government’s immigration white paper. Decades ago, Dean Acheson, the US Secretary of State, with acerbic wit, remarked: ‘Britain has lost an empire and not found a role.’ How right he was. Years debating entry into the then European Common Market, followed by a slow build up of steam against Helmut

Kohl’s Germany in the Thatcher years, the Commonwealth relegated to the attic, unswerving loyalty to the ‘special relationship’ with the United States in an overblown, fictional crusade for human rights and democratic values, subscribing to every misbegotten falsehood emanating from Washington, whether it be on Saddam Hussain’s non-existent ‘weapons of mass destruction,’ or 40 years before that, Lyndon Johnson’s manufactured Gulf of Tonking ‘incident,’ which was the President’s excuse to launch America’s fullscale, ill-fated invasion of Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia. It is against this dismal narrative that the present confusion and shilly-shallying on Brexit and much else, including Britain’s future relationship with European Union must be placed. The fundamental issue in the continuing miasma is Britain’s role in the world. The kaleidoscope of images, from the Russian threat here, there and everywhere is vintage late Victorian music hall or later pantomime. But the show goes on regardless. Is Alice lost in blunderland?

Asian Voice | 3rd March 2018


It's important to be willing to make mistakes. The worst thing that can happen is you become memorable -Sara Blakely

Virendra Sharma MP Labour MP for Ealing & Southall

Heathrow Consultation Welcome to the first of my regular columns with Asian Voice. I am delighted to be contributing to this excellent source of news, views and community stories for people up and down the UK. I plan to raise issues of national importance but also those issues our community cares about, sometimes that might mean being a little more local. This month I want to talk about the international and the local. As Member of Parliament for Ealing Southall many of the millions of people of Indian origin in this country have come through my constituency staying for only a few weeks or still today they have roots in this area. Part of this is because Heathrow Airport, Britain’s global hub, stands right on our doorstep. Heathrow is a major employer across London and the South West and its supply chain comes from all across the country, but growth has stopped now that the airport runways are full. Thankfully the government made up its mind and is supporting a new runway at Heathrow. Now there is a consultation on Expansion and on the flight paths planes will take. This consultation marks the first formal opportunity for local residents to get involved in the process. I believe that Heathrow have made accommodations and commitments that ensure expansion will benefit not just my constituency or West London, but London and the whole country. The new settlement will deliver significant benefits to the economy, while minimising the impact on the airport’s neighbours. Heathrow has already accepted – and in most cases exceeded – all of the stringent, binding conditions recommended by the Airports Commission – including a world class property compensation scheme, the pledge to introduce a 6.5 hour ban on scheduled night flights and the promise to release new capacity only if air quality limits can be met. A new runway will mean more capacity in the long-run, which means more flights across the world, to India, Canada, New Zealand and China. Businesses will be able to export more, and direct flights will take people to where they want to go, not just to the right country. Heathrow’s commitment to providing skills and training for thousands of people and the number of apprenticeships across the airport will double to 10,000 with a new runway. The airport also supports local unemployed people through the Heathrow Academy with pre-employment training, advice and guidance. All of this is enormously beneficial to young people in the local area. It means security for another generation not just of workers at Heathrow, but for people all the way up the supply chain. Please take this opportunity to contribute to the consultation, millions of people are eligible, don’t miss out on your chance. If you live outside the consultation zone, don’t waste this opportunity write to your MP, they will be voting again on this soon. Editor: CB Patel

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Asian Voice | 3rd March 2018

Mother and sons killed in massive explosion who was on duty with feared to have died in the Five people have died another member of staff, explosion. after an explosion ripped said he had gone to the Earlier Monday, officials through a shop, Zabka, storeroom when the exploconfirmed the death toll and flat in Hinckley Road, sion happened. "I heard a had reached five. Mr Leicester, last Sunday big bang, I thought 'What Rungen told the Mirror his night. The blast tore apart was that?' and found myself brother-in-law was in hosWestern Park stores, close on the floor. My eyes were pital with Scotty, who was to the junction with open, looking up and my pulled from the rubble by a Westcotes Drive, at about passer-by. But Mr Rungen 7pm. body was half covered in said he was losing hope as A massive blaze broke rubble. I couldn't breathe, I out at the site within a couwas lying....I don't know he had received no word ple of minutes of the explohow long for. Everywhere I about his other relatives for sion, which rocked houses could see fire, like I was more than 17 hours. in nearby streets. inside hell." Death toll rises after Mary's husband Emergency services have Building owner Hardeep Leicester explosion - police Jose Ragoobeer Singh said the Ragoobeer confirm search for survivors been at the scene through tragedy, the Mirror reported family, who is orignally continues. the night. this evening. Shane’s from Mauritius, moved into Store owner Aram Kurd, Leicestershire Police teenage girlfriend is also the flat around a year said on Monday ago. afternoon that five He said: “I called Jose people are confirmed after I heard about the to have died in the blast. He was at work and incident. They he was safe, but I don’t included a mother, know about the rest of Mary Ragoobar, 46 the family. There was a and her two teenage sons Shane, 18, and gas boiler in the flat, in 17-year-old Sean the bathroom at the back who are feared to of the property, and a gas have lost their lives cooker. in the Hinckley Road Local resident Harish explosion. Her Patni told Sky News: ”We younger son Scotty, heard this massive explo15, survived the blast sion, the shop window six and was taken to doors away vibrated and hospital. we thought it can’t be a The boys’ dad, car accident, it didn’t Jose Ragoobeer, 58, sound like a crash. We came outside and there was at work at the time and received a call View of the scene of an explosion in Leicester, where five people have was a big cloud of smoke, been confirmed dead after a blast bricks all across the road.” telling him about the

Bathroom window rapist showed 'little regard' for victims A judge told nighttime sex predator Aryan Rashidi he hoped he would be deported after hearing how his victims had suffered "huge psychological upset." Leeds Crown Court heard both women had provided victim statements to the court describing how they had to move house since being attacked Prosecutor David Hall said the victim of the rape offence said she was still frightened of the dark. Mr Hall said the woman found "no joy in her pregnancy" because of what she had been subjected to. The court heard the woman went on to give birth safely. The other victim described how she had suf-

fered from depression and now checks her home is secure three or four times before going to bed each night. Mr Hall said the woman has also considered living abroad. After being arrested Rashidi produced documents purporting to be aged under 18. The claims led to delays in the case being sentenced while medical reports could be prepared to determine his true age. Judges on two previous occasions had noted how Rashidi appeared to be much older the 18 when he appeared in court. Judge Clark said: "When you came before me on April 3, I noted that you sported a

beard and appeared to be significantly over the age of 18." A report in to his offending described how Rashidi appeared "glib and disregarding" towards his victims. The report author also described him as "highly predatory" and willing to take risks to "meet his sexual needs." It was also likely that he

was under the influence of alcohol and cannabis at the time of the attacks. Judge Clark said Rashidi faced being deported if he is ever released from custody. He said: "Given the nature of the offending it is my hope and belief that you will be extradited from this country upon your release from prison." After the case, Det Chief Insp, Sue Jenkinson of Wakefield District Police, said: "It is no exaggeration to say that Rashidi is a highly dangerous individual. "His actions in breaking into a property and seriously sexually assaulting a pregnant woman while she slept were predatory in the extreme.”

Restaurant owners to force diners to pay for tables upfront in crackdown on 'no shows' Some restaurant owners will name and shame those who don't turn up

Diners could soon have to put down deposits or pay for tables upfront in a crackdown on 'no shows' that are costing restaurant owners thousands. Businesses from independents to UK-wide chains including the group which owns Bella Italia and Cafe Rouge are introducing measures to dissuade customers from failing to show up for their reservations. Several restaurants told The Observer that they lost thousands of pounds on Valentine's Day after several reservations didn't turn up for their booking, with one

admitting it lost £3,000 in one weekend due to no shows. It could mean that diners could have to buy tickets for tables, or put down deposits that they would lose if they failed to show up for their booking. Some restaurant owners have gone even further, and name and shame those who failed to show up for their reservation. The campaign launched by some business owners in the UK has been backed by the Casual Dining Group, which owns Cafe Rouge, Belgo and Bella Italia. Its chief operating officer,

James Spragg, told The Observer that no shows can sometimes make up 15 per cent of bookings on some nights. He revealed the group is considering asking diners for a small deposit of roughly £5 a head for groups of six or more, with the opportunity to cancel the booking up to 48 hours before. Explaining why no shows have become a bigger issue in the last few years, Mr Spragg blamed the rise on the ease of online booking services. He said: 'It's so much easier for people to book that they are booking two or three

restaurants, and only turning up at one.' Restaurants can lose potentially tens of thousands of pounds if guests fail to turn up for their bookings as not only will they lose the money from the meal they would have paid for, but can often lead to food waste as eateries buy in enough ingredients to cover the number of diners they have booked in that night. High profile restaurants including Marcus Wareing's Tredwells in central London, 20 people didn't show up for their bookings in one night.


Police Ethics Committee to review latest stop and search data

Stop and search police powers will be under scrutiny when members of Leicestershire's independent ethics panel meet later this week. Leicestershire Police and Crime Commissioner Lord Willy Bach's Ethics, Integrity and Complaints Committee will meet on Friday (2 March) to review the data on stop and searches carried out in the past few months and the impact they've had on detecting crime. A new report shows the Force's positive outcome rates have increased month on month from around 20% to 32% in December 2017. This means the number of arrests, cautions and penalty notices issued following a stop and search is rising which indicates greater legitimacy of the tactics. It goes on to show how use of stop and searches have fallen considerably during the past three years, with 50 to 100 fewer searches per month. Members will discuss whether increased national and local scrutiny rightly placed on stop and search is a reason for the decline and will also consider the impact of a reduced frontline on use of the powers. Also on the agenda for the meeting will be a series of ethical scenarios requiring discussion and views by the panel including Leicestershire Police's plans to explore ways of delivering some services online. Such a move could see the Force directing demand to the most appropriate agency where it falls outside the scope of their services and thus releasing valuable resources to frontline threats including cybercrime.

Kapadia to receive NFTS fellowship

Asif Kapadia, the Oscar and Bafta-winning director of Amy, is to receive an honorary fellowship from the National Film and Television School (NFTS). NFTS Director Jon Wardle will present the prize at the School’s annual graduation ceremony on February 28. It recognises a person who has made an outstanding contribution to the film industry. Prior to Amy, Kapadia also directed F1 documentary Senna and the narrative feature Warrior. He also recently directed two episodes of David Fincher’s Netflix series Mindhunter and is currently working on a feature doc about Argentinian footballing legend Diego Maradona.

Baroness Warsi wins £20,000 libel payout from Jewish News Article suggested she excused actions of ISIS terrorists

Tory peer Baroness Sayeeda Warsi has won “substantial” libel damages from Jewish News over an article that wrongly suggested she had sought to excuse the actions of Islamic State (ISIS) terrorists. Jewish News has published a front page apology and agreed to pay Warsi £20,000 in Baroness Warsi damages, which she said she is donating to a handful of charities, as well as her legal costs. The article, which was also published on Jewish News Online, was written by former army officer Colonel Richard Kemp. It also claimed Warsi had objected to action being taken against British Muslims who murder and rape for the terror group, which the former Tory party chairman said was “untrue and offensive”. Jewish News has accepted the allegations were “wholly untrue and should never have been published”, according to lawyers Carter-Ruck, acting for Warsi. Warsi said the article was “widely shared online and on social media and caused a divisive debate” and that as a consequence she was “subjected to much abuse over a period of seven months”.

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Asian Voice | 3rd March 2018

Commonwealth MPs meet at an inaugural forum in London ahead of CHOGM Commonwealth MPs came together in London at an inaugural forum ahead of UK-hosted Heads of Government Meeting in April 2018. Over 80 Parliamentarians from 25 Commonwealth countries attended the first Commonwealth Parliamentarians’ Forum in London (26 February – 1 March). The April event will be attended by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi. High-profile speakers included: UK Foreign Secretary, the Rt Hon Boris Johnson MP, Leader of the UK Labour Party, the Rt Hon. Jeremy Corbyn MP, Deputy SecretaryGeneral of the United Nations, Ms Amina Mohammed, Minister of State for the Commonwealth, Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon , Minister of State for I n t e r n a t i o n a l Development, the Rt Hon. the Lord Bates, Shadow Secretary of State for I n t e r n a t i o n a l Development, Kate Osamor MP and Rt Hon. the Lord Mayor of the City of London, Alderman Charles Bowman The Forum took place to ensure Commonwealth Parliaments feed into the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) and Parliamentarians returned to their countries better placed to inform and influence their governments ahead of CHOGM, and thereafter. Chair of the C o m m o n w e a l t h Parliamentary Association UK (CPA UK), James Duddridge MP, said: “The C o m m o n w e a l t h Parliamentarians’ Forum

Paid subscribers of the Asian Voice newspaper will get a copy of the Asian Giants magazine with their newspaper this week.

Narendra Modi

is a great opportunity for Commonwealth parliamentarians as they will be able to engage and feed into a Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) in a way they haven’t before. “We look forward to welcoming parliamentarians to Westminster, and to

a really engaging programme. I know we will have many valuable and productive discussions.” This year, the Commonwealth’s theme 'Towards a Common Future' - will explore how the Commonwealth can address global challenges focussing on four sub-

themes: sustainability, fairness, security, and prosperity. The bi-annual CHOGM is hosted by a different Commonwealth country each time and the host country takes on a 2 year Chair-in-Office role which the UK will hold from 2018-2020. 2018 will also see the

Commonwealth Games take place in the Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia in April. The next Games will take place in Birmingham, UK in 2022. Commonwealth Day will take place on 12 March 2018 to celebrate the diversity, unity and values of the Commonwealth.


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Asian Voice | 3rd March 2018


By Roma Loomba Our Spiritual Growth is not possible without the ability of Forgiveness. Through Forgiving others and developing Compasssion for them we ultimately give ourselves the permission to Forgive Ourselves for our mistakes that may have caused another person’s pain, albeit UnIntentional. The Importance of Forgiveness is emphasised again and again in various Spiritual books worldwide. One such Author, is a Medi cal Doctor with vast clinical experience by the name of, M. Scott Peck (M.D). I find he has beautifully summed up, in a very meaningful Nutshell, the absolute necessity for each of us to Understand the Power of Forgiveness; and that without it, there can be no further Spiritual Growth for the one who Refuses to Forgive , or Refuses to atleast try to forgive. The reason is that it is necessary for one’s own healing. As painful a process though it is, the process of Forgiveness is Crucial to the Successful Process of Healing Ourselves. In his book, which is truly ground breaking and has won International Acclaim; aswell as being hailed as one of the most Influential Books ever written, Entitled “Further Along The Road Less Travelled - The Unending Journey Towards Spiritual Growth” the Author, M. Scott Peck (M.D) writes in his summing up that : “The Process of Forgiveness - Indeed, the Chief Reason for Forgiveness - is Selfish. The Reason to Forgive others is not for their sake. They are not likely to know that they need to be Forgiven. They’re not likely to even Remember their offence. They may not Apologise. They may not even Listen. They are likely to say “You just made it up”. The Reason to Forgive is for our own sake, for our own Health, because beyond that certain point needed for Healing, the longer we hold on to that anger, the longer we will Continue to Hurt Ourself, we Stop

Growing and our Souls begin to Shrivel” Another approach to help the painful process of Forgiveness is to consider “Reincarnation” as a Reality or atleast as a possibility. Doctor Bruce Goldstein (Phd), who now lives and works in Italy as a Past-Life Regressor has written numerous books on the subject of Past Life Regression and Reincarnation. He believes that the Soul, remaining Eternal, travels from one lifetime to the next lifetime: changing its body for each lifetime, as if the Soul were merely changing its clothing. The reason the soul moves on from one lifetime to the next is in order for it to grow Spiritually and for it to Learn the Lessons, in the School of Life, that that particular Soul needs to learn in order to progress itself to SelfRealisation or Liberation, also referred to as Enlightenment. Doctor Bruce Goldstein (Phd) writes about “The Place of Learning” or “The Place of Soul Preparation” that each Soul passes onto at the end of each Lifetime. This “Place of Learning” is described by the Author as a “Place of Transition” where the Soul released from its body and its previous lifetime can “take stock” of its Spiritual Growth and development in that Lifetime, how it fared, and whether it achieved its purpose and learnt the particular lessons that it had set itself to learn in that particular previous lifetime, with those particular life circumstances, situations and events that were all orchestrated inorder to help the Soul achieve its purpose and to help it to learn the remaining lessons it needed and wanted to learn in the School of Life. Doctor Bruce Goldstein (Phd) describes how certain Souls choose to Reincarnate with each other and therefore develop “Soul Families”. He encourages us all to be sensitive and perceptive to a sense of “Recognition” with Certain Souls in our Current Lifetime. During Past Life Regress ion Sessions, he instructs the person being regressed to focus on and look into the “Eyes” of the people seen in the Past Life Regression, inorder to glimpse any speck of “Recognition” that may connect those people seen with the person being regressed, in their current Lifetime, aswell as the previous Lifetime as seen during their Regression; and perhaps several previous lives for that matter. The bodies are different, the characters are different, the circumstances in each life are different; but the Soul is the One and the Same throughout. The One and the Same flame of Eternal Love and Divinity.


Tory Group aspire for a better Birmingham - Dhiren Katwa Europe’s largest local authority, Birmingham, needs to champion better coordination and simplification if it wants to win the trust of its over 1 million population. This was a loud and clear message conveyed by an influential group to the Conservative arm of Birmingham City Council. Organised by the Conservative Group, the round-table meeting brought together around 25 people, leaders in their own rights, from various professional sectors. In attendance were West Midlands’ Mayor Andy Street, Cllr Robert Alden and Cllr Randal Brew, Conservative Group Leader and his deputy, respectively, former LordLieutenant of West Midlands Dr Paul Sabapathy, Professor Martin Levermore, Ninder Johal of Nachural, Jason Pavey from Atkins Global and Keith Stokes-Smith, President of the Birmingham Commonwealth Association. Also present was our correspondent Dhiren Katwa. The meeting was

chaired by Cllr Alex Yip and focused on the following themes: Transport, Congestion, Jobs, Skills, Education, Housing and Planning. The frank, open, honest and healthy discussion and debate enabled those from the local authority to listen and take notes with the intention, they pledged, of translating the words into actions, should they gain control in May. Key nuggets which emerged from this meeting, to give just a snapshot, were: A KPI encouraging schools to actively engage with business should be introduced; Inconsistencies need to be corrected and challenged; Birmingham is not a dense city, we need to maximise this by working harder; a congestion charge in Birmingham should be introduced, it works well in London; bureaucracy

needs to be challenged; the role of digital and social media can help; there is a terrible lack of discipline on our roads. Other issues touched upon were: HS2, Public Sector procurement; hotel bed tax; outsourcing in the Public Sector; poor contracts management. From May elections will be held on an all-out basis every 4 years, which means that all Councillors will be elected to their seats at the same time. After the elections in May, Birmingham City Council will be represented by 101 councillors serving 69 wards comprising of 37 single member wards, 32 two member wards. The Conservative Group has organised a dinner with Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson MP and Andy Street CBE and will take place in Birmingham next Friday (Mar 9).

Waltham Forest and Brent named first ever London Boroughs of Culture

Waltham Forest and Brent have been named the first ever London Boroughs of Culture. Each borough will be awarded £1.35 million of funding to go towards a programme of cultural activities in a scheme inspired by the UK City and European Capital of Culture schemes. Waltham Forest will be the inaugural London Borough of Culture in 2019, followed by Brent in 2020. A total of 22 boroughs submitted bids to win the accolade, which places culture at the heart

of communities and celebrates the unique character of each location and its residents. Commenting on Brent’s success, local London Assembly Member Navin Shah AM said: “I am thrilled Brent has been picked as the 2020 London Borough of Culture. This opens up so many exciting opportunities for local people, and I can’t wait to see the £1 million award go towards unlocking the huge talent and creativity in our community. “Brent Council’s bid

includes a huge summertime street party for 200,000 people with 16 pop-up visual arts, dance, theatre and music commissions. It also includes a large-scale not for profit media pilot project called Brent Lives and there are plans to turn Brent into an open-air museum for 2020 for local people, Londoners and tourists from further afield. This a true recognition of Brent’s rich diversity and the excellent record it has as a leading borough when it comes to culture, arts and innovation.”

Lord Loomba CBE appeals to the Department for International Development to support grassroots women’s organisations Lord Loomba CBE, who secured a debate at the House of Lords on 22nd February 2018, raised the issue in the light of the recent Oxfam scandal, asking the minister what priority the government will give to women and girls, including widows while developing and implementing projects and initiatives by the Department for International Development (DfID). “This has been a very difficult week for gender equality and women’s rights, especially as the media have brought out evidence of historical abuses that have been swept under the carpet for many years." Noting that the International Development Secretary, Penny Morduant,

has stated that "no charity is too big, or its work too complex, for DfID to withdraw its support," Lord Loomba said "showing that we mean business may be the only way to ensure that people in power do not abuse the powerless," that women and girls are not abused. "The vulnerability of women and girls comes in many shapes and forms but none are more vulnerable than widows, who suffer in silence as abuse after abuse is meted out to them." Revealing figures from the World Widows Report; an intensive, country-bycountry research report commissioned and published by the Loomba Foundation, he touched a chord with the minister when he cited that there are 259 million widows and 585

million of their children across the world who suffer in silence, more than 100 million live in poverty, of whom 38 million live in extreme poverty and struggle to survive every single day. "Many of these widows, experience targeted murder, rape, prosecution, forced marriage, property theft, eviction, social isolation and physical, psychological and sexual abuse... The children of widows’ experience forced child marriage, illiteracy and loss of schooling, forced labour, human trafficking, homelessness and rape." Quoting from a letter in 2016 by the then Secretary General, Bank-ki Moon on the negative affect that illtreatment of widows will have on achieving the aims

of the sustainable development goals, he said: “the report demonstrates that four of the first five United Nations sustainable development goals are very unlikely to be achieved unless more is done to help widows and their children, making the focusing on their issues even more of a priority." As the recent revelations about alleged cover-ups in Haiti show, Lord Loomba underlined that "much needs to be done to strengthen the work DfID is doing” and first and foremost we need to ensure that “its work and money are getting to those who need them the most, and that we are on target to achieve the SDGs by 2030." He commended DFID for

the difficult work that it does, sometimes in the hardest of circumstances, as he ended his speech by asking the Minister that " DfID should consider supporting grass-roots women’s rights organisations and NGOs working on the ground, such as the Rotary India Literacy Mission, which, alongside the Loomba Foundation, is helping a pan-Indian initiative to provide vocational skills training to 30,000 widows in India—1,000 in each state in the country." On 15 February 2018, the Loomba Foundation completed an empowerment project for more than 5,000 widows in the holy city of Varanasi, India that was launched by Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi two years ago. "This type of work is key

to ensure that women, girls and widows are not left behind and, alongside strong legislative reforms which are enacted—and indeed, acted upon—will ensure a better future for them." The Minister of State Lord Bates commented that it has been a wide-ranging debate which includes participation from Lord Bishop of St Albans, the Crossbenchers and all political parties including the Conservatives, Labour and Liberal Democrats. Lord Bates concluded by saying “I repeat our gratitude to the noble Lord, Lord Loomba, for securing this debate and thank noble Lords for their commitments. We shall ensure that this important work continues in the future.”



Migrants protesting over immigration policies gain support from Parliamentarians AsianVoiceNews


Asian Voice | 3rd March 2018

Rupanjana Dutta On February 21st more than 350 Asian doctors, teachers, entrepreneurs and other professionals gathered outside Parliament to protest against the "unfair" immigration rules that have left them in limbo regarding their residency status in the UK. This was the second protest the group had organised after a successful gathering outside 10 Downing Street in the end of January. The protest was supported by many MPs including Labour MPs Seema Malhotra and Tanmanjeet Singh Dhesi and Alison Thewlis from the SNP who also campaigned for this group and there is a Parliamentary meeting organised in the first week of March, where the migrant group have also been invited to participate. Seema has also planned to call for a debate in the UK Parliament on how highly skilled immigrants from India are being treated by the Home Office. The campaign has also been supported by Lord Nazir Ahmed, who joined the protesters at the Parliament Square. This protest was held on the same day when Shadow Immigration Minister Diane

MP Tanmanjeet Singh Does joins the protesters outside Parliament Square

Abbott criticised the UK government for its immigration policies and creating a 'hostile environment' in a speech at King's College Policy Institute. She also said that the NHS crisis is caused by Tory cuts including the huge shortage of doctors, nurses and other workers. Aditi Bhardwaj, one of the lead campaigners told Asian Voice, “We have some MPs backing us. But we are looking to meet more of Parliamentarians,

have more support, raise more awareness, since refusing someone right to live here just on assumptions is not only disproportionate but also inhuman.” The Highly Skilled Migrants group moved to live and work in the country from India, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Nigeria turned up at the square with their families to wave placards reading "Right to work is a universal right. Home Office removed my right" and "Enough is enough,

stop discrimination". The group, which included young children, also chanted slogans like "We want justice" and "One, two, three, four, discrimination no more". While the visa category has been discontinued since 2010, former applicants are eligible to apply for residency in Britain until April this year if they meet the necessary requirements. The group claims to be aware of hundreds of cases where

applications under the Tier 1 (General) route are either held up, or in lengthy delays or been refused under Immigration Act which is aimed at criminals and tax evaders. Mobilising the protest, Aditi, a businesswoman who was successful in her own residency after long delays last year added, "The April deadline is a major factor for us. After that deadline, the applicants will struggle to reapply to overcome any incorrect decisions by the Home Office. It seems like some of the systemic delays are linked with that. These are human lives at stake. I have also been through immense emotional stress over this, that makes me feel strongly about supporting others in situations like this.” To the alleged claim, UK Home Office replied saying all their decisions are made "as quickly as possible" and that any refusals are a direct result of discrepancies in the tax data quoted by applicants. Dhesi reportedly said, "In terms of the highly-skilled migrants, I know from the sheer numbers of constituents who have been in touch about the seriousness of this issue. They are not being fairly treated by the Home Office.”

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Nominate your favourite charity Asian Voice | 3rd March 2018



Holi around the corner to fill your life with colours Do you know of any UK based charities / individuals who are solving pressing social issues of our time, both in Britain and globally



Nomination deadline

31 March 2018.

Nominate them for the Asian Voice Charity Awards 2018 by visiting our



elebration of triumph of good over evil, the traditional Hindu festival of Holi is almost here. Best known for the revelation involving colours and water balloons, the festival originated in India and although a religious festival, it is celebrated by people of all backgrounds. Holi comes every year on the evening of the full moon that comes in 'Phalguna', and is celebrated for two days. The first day is called Holika Dahan, where revelers traditionally gather around a bonfire to celebrate the victory of good over evil. Rituals are performed including prayers and throwing of oil and cracked corn in the fire.

The Awards ceremony will be held on Friday 18th May 2018 at the Hilton, Park Lane , London

Award Categories

For Charities and Not-for Profit Institutions I Charity of the Year

This award recognises a UK-registered charity for their outstanding work and contribution to society, as well as demonstrated excellence service and achievement in its work over the last five years.


Start-Up of the Year

This award is similar to Charity of the Year, but specifically for charities that have been operational for three years or less.

I Outstanding PR Team

This award recognises excellence in charity PR, either in-house at a charity, or an agency undertaking a PR campaign on behalf of a charity

I Most Enterprising

This award recognises a social enterprise or the trading arm of a charity that has made a significant difference to beneficiaries through its ability to generate income to meet its social goals over the last two years.

I Social Impact Award

This award recognises an organisation for the social impact they have created and their contribution to society.

Origin There are several Hindu legends, however, the most believed is the one of Hindu demon King Hiranyakashipu. He was granted immortality with five powers, in which he could not be killed by neither an animal or human, neither indoors or outdoors, neither during the day nor night, neither on land, water, or air, neither by projectile nor handheld weapons. His power soon turned him evil, and when he tried to kill his son Prahlad with the help of sister Holika, she planned to take the child into a bonfire with a cloak to save her. However, the cloak flew from her shoulders while she was in the fire and covered Prahlad. While he was protected, she was burnt to death. Lord Vishnu then appeared to kill the demon king, in the form of Narasimhahalf-human and half-lion. He met the king on a doorstep, at dusk, and placed him on his lap, attacking him with his lion claws. Another popular tale is the legend of Lord Krishna. Embarrassed by his dark blue skin, Krishna told his mother he

was worried his love Radha would not accept him. She told him to colour Radha's face whatever colour he wanted. Krishna went to the neighbouring village of Barsana, hometown of Radha to colour Radha and other Gopis. In return, the women beat him playfully with sticks. That's how another tradition of Lath Maar Holi began. Celebrations in Vrindavan continue for a week. It is celebrated with chants of Hari Bhajans,

Holika Dahan

dance, colours, water, flowers, and sweets. People come from all over the country to witness Vrindavan celebrations in particular. Holi is also celebrated in different countries, especially in those where the Indian diaspora is strong. UK, US, Africa, see an exceptional celebration of the festival where organisations and groups hold Holi festivities and provide colours to play.

For Corporate Partnerships: I Excellence in Corporate Social Responsibility

This award recognises the best corporate partnership and corporate responsibility programmes. It honours a company which goes beyond simply CSR projects to engage in partnerships in the last two years with either UK-registered or international charities, social enterprises or unincorporated charitable projects, to demonstrate quantifiably positive impact to the community.

For Individuals: I Inspiring Individual

This award recognises an individual who has demonstrated dedication, professionalism and integrity over a sustained period of time, and who has produced an identifiably profound effect on the social sector in the UK or otherwise through their work, which could be voluntary or otherwise.

I Inspiring Young Person

This award recognises a young individual who has demonstrated dedication and integrity through their work with the social sector in the UK or otherwise over the past year.



Lathmar Holi

UK AsianVoiceNews




Asian Voice | 3rd March 2018

Child with a stroke of genius creates a life saving app Rupanjana Dutta

drop us an email at or message us on any of our social media accounts.” You can spread the word and download SpeciaAll on the App Store or Google Play: App Store:

Child genius and young Mensa member, Kashmea Wahi with an IQ of 162, that is more than Einstein and Stephen Hawking, is trying to find answer to problems closer to home instead of trying to solve the mysteries of the universe. Following the death of a close family friend, 9 year old Nainika Tikoo, due to an allergic reaction, Kashmea decided to put her coding skills and intelligence to good use to try to solve a massive problem. Kashmea with encouragement from her family and friends especially mother Pooja, has designed, researched and launched the app SpeciAll which helps people especially children with allergies and also wheelchair users to find accessible eating-out options. A 30 minute film documenting the journey of the creation of this app SpeciAll has been released on CBBC under a very suitable title ‘girl genius’ ( ayer/episode/b09trvpx/my - l i fe - s e r i e s - 9 - 1 0 - g i r l genius).

b/app/speciall/id12613591 95?mt=8 Facebook: /specialluk/ Instagram: m/specialluk Website:

Midlands Business Awards 2018

Kashmea (right) with business tycoon Deborah Meaden

Not only it’s an act of genius, but also that of vision, kindness, compassion and of great fortitude to try and help others by making life easier for people with special needs, people with various forms of allergies or disabilities and who feel handicapped when they don’t know where to go out to or what to eat when out, due to pre-existing health conditions. A most common heard of allergy is nut, and presence of it in the close vicinity of where you are sitting may be lethal enough to kill you, if you are allergic. This non-profit app is dedicated to helping make the lives of allergy suffers

and wheelchair users much easier. SpeciAll helps you find places nearby tailored to your specific needs. After you filter in where you would like to visit and the facilities you need available e.g. A café that has dairy free food or a leisure centre which has a ramp on entry, the app immediately provides you with results of venues which cater for your requirements. 13 year old Kashmea told Asian Voice, “I am so glad to see such a great initial reactions to SpeciAll and hope the app continues to improve, as it develops and helps as many people as it can"The app and website has sever-

al sections including spa, places to eat cinema etc. The search can also be based on postcode or map based. In a social media post, team SpeciAll wrote: “How you can help? As we have just started the app and it is still under development please give us any feedback if you or a family or friend have an allergy or use a wheel chair on how this app has helped or how it could be made better by dropping us an email at or messaging us on any of our social media accounts. “Is your business registered on SpeciAll? If you or someone you know are a business of any kind e.g. Restaurant, Club, Spa and would like to be listed on the app SpeciAll for free,

- Dhiren Katwa East End Foods, the ethnic foods giant, has been recognised for its ‘Contribution to Midlands Business’. Jasbir Singh Wouhra collected the trophy on behalf of his family’s firm. Other winners of the Midlands Business Awards included: Midlands Entrepreneur of the Year (Daniel Hill); Midlands Young Entrepreneur of the Year (Zsolt Ban); Midlands Family Business of the Year (EDS Couriers Ltd); Midlands University of the Year (University of


Derby). The Awards, now in their 12th year, recognise individuals and organisations across all sectors, those demonstrating extraordinary achievements. This year’s glittering ceremony was held at The Athena in Leicester last Friday. The proud recipient of this year’s Lifetime Contribution Award was Sir Peter Rigby, Chairman & CEO of the Rigby Group PLC, one of Britain’s richest people. To see the full list of winners, pictured, and for more information visit

Enfield Asian Welfare Association Day Care Centre for Asian Elderly

Permanent Male Care Support Worker Salary: £7.84 per hour Hours: 5 hours a week Days: Mondays from 9.30/10am to 3pm Tuesday/Wednesdays may be available when staff are on annual leave. Details: I Experience of working with Older Asian people, or, in a Care setting, essential I Basic statutory qualifications e.g. Manual Handling, food hygiene, first aid etc essential I NVQ Level 2 qualification in Care or above required/Prepared to train if excellent aptitude Closing date: 16th March 2018 Interviews: Week of 26th March 2018 Sessional Manager required for Day Care Centre for Elderly Asian People Pay: £12.00 per hour Hours: To work 3/5 days a month; attend monthly staff meetings; Responsible to: CEO EAWA Duties: To Manage Day Care Operations I To provide cover for Existing Manager I Managerial Experience of working with Older Asian people, or, in a Care setting, essential I Degree in Social Work or related health field, NVQ 3 / 4 in Health and Social Care or other Care Qualification preferred. Closing date: 30th March 2018 Interviews: Week of 16th April 2018 If not placed Recruitment will continue until filled For all Roles: Knowledge of an Asian Language(s) Essential. Looking for Gujarati, Hindi Speaker(s) etc Car Owner preferred Sessional Community Bus Driver Salary: £7.84 per hour Hours: As needed Days: As needed: Help with Outings etc D1 on licence required Recruitment ongoing: no closing date.

For Application pack, please contact: Chetna Shah (CEO), On Tel 020 8443 1197 or email Address Office No 1, 52 Alexandra Road, Ponders End, Enfield, EN3 7EH You may send your CV’s: we will issue an electronic pack to you via email. EAWA is an equal opportunities employer Volunteer 50 plus Activity Coordinator needed for Thursdays Volunteer Board members required e.g. Lawyer/Fundraiser etc Certificate Number 7957 Registered Charity No: 1109149 Company Limited by Guarantee No: 5397785

ISO 9001



Asian Voice | 3rd March 2018

Dinosaurs of Corruption

Nirav Modi's devastating deceit with PNB is the biggest fraud in Indian banking history. A fraud of this magnitude is unthinkable unless top bank officials, auditors, politicians etc. are not involved. Moreover, the corrupt system also opened the doors for the culprits to flee from the country. No wonder that because of such widespread revelations and incidents, India ranks 81st in Transparency International's Global Corruption Perception Index 2017. Undoubtedly, this whole episode has rocked people's confidence in the Indian banking system as also in the law enforcing agencies.It is beyond comprehension for a common man as to why the Indian legal system is crippled and ineffective to apprehend such dinosaurs of corruption.On the other hand, the same system severely penalizes other citizens even for minor offences. Though Indian PM Narendra Modi and his cabinet colleagues may not be directly involved in this instance yet they cannot shirk from their responsibility being at the helm of affairs. They can still be let off if the offenders are behind bars at the earliest. Nani Palkhivala, the eminent Indian jurist, correctly commented a few years back that the problem in India is not ignorance but inaction. Bharat Shah Harrow

Would Max’s Law work wonder?

As usual, our politicians are light year behind when it comes to passing laws and regulations that could help British people. No wonder it took a private member’s bill by Labour MP Jeffrey Robinson to put availability of much needed organs in line with laws in Wales and Scotland. The bill, when it becomes law, will be known as Max’s Law, after ten year old Max Johnson whose life was saved by heart transplant, the organ donated by Keira Ball whose other organs, kidneys, liver and pancreas saved four lives with her lifesaving gift. If the Bill is drafted properly, organs will be available for transplant unless the person has opted out. But as usual, such laws in England are full of pit-falls, ifs and buts, giving parents and close relations a veto on personal, cultural and religious ground, making it morally dubious. No wonder this legislation does not have desired effects in Wales, hardly making a dent in organ shortages. If Government wants to make it binding, then opt in or out should be done professionally, after consultation with Health Professionals, preferably GPs, children needing their parents’ consent as well. Once opted in, organs should be readily available without any one having a veto. Those who opt out should be barred from receiving such organs under NHS, as when we are recipients; cultural and religious sensitivity do not come into equation! If only thousand more donors are available, organ shortages will be obliterated, saving thousands of lives who would contribute economically, thus reducing burden on NHS, a win win situation all rounds. After all ashes to ashes, dust to dust is the apt description to what happens to these organs after we depart. Let us hope that for once, our patronizing politicians will show courage of their conscious and give us legislation we deserve. Bhupendra M. Gandhi By email

Tour of South Asia

Recently my wife and I went to India because our younger daughter Aarti, her husband Mehul and our two grandkids Jaiden age 12 and Shiv age 9 planned to explore Mother India and we decided to accompany them. We returned to Canada with excellent memories before my wife and I took an 11 day tour of Singapore, Malaysia and Thailand. During our tour in all these countries we had a very positive and memorable experience of rich Indian culture, heritage, values and Hindu and Buddhist religion and importance given to Hindi language wherever we went. In Malaysia a Muslim country we visited Batu Caves, the lime stone caves and saw the huge golden 47.5 meter statue of Lord Murugan and in caves Hindu temples and shrine where thousands of worshippers come. Than we went to see Asia's best water park at Sunway Lagoon and when our group entered in park their band welcomed us by playing “Swag se karega sab ka swagat" from the movie Ak Tha Tiger. In Bangkok during dinner on the river cruises a local singer entertained us with ear pleasing Hindi

Capita worsening homelessness

For an affluent country of the like of UK and its remarkable welfare system, homelessness is unthinkable but a reality and worsening. It is great that some individuals, religious group and Supermarkets have come forward to their aid and provide them with meals, clothing and other necessities. It is suspected that these homeless people are drug addicts, illegal immigrants, mentally disturbed and individuals that have fallen out with their families and socially rejected ex criminals. I wonder if there are any of this homeless people from South Asian community! In any case, these unfortunate people are humans and in dire need of help. Niranjan Vasant By email

International Women’s Day

For the last hundred years, women worldwide have been celebrating their social economic. Cultural and political achievements on 8th March, the International women’s day. Marches and events are held on the day to resist oppression, ‘press for progress’ and to bring awareness for gender equality. This year’s exultations to hail are women’s Indian and English cricket teams, Carrie Gracie for standing up for equal pay and women dressing in black at Golden globe to show solidarity to protest sexual abuse. Though, a great deal is accomplished, a road to full parity of equality seems long. It has been a century, since a restricted suffrage was granted to British women following which it took further 10 years` fight to get franchise for all women. Same story prevailed globally. Women all over the world have been incessantly fighting for gender disparity in all fields, especially at work places. Despite the transparency regarding pay, promotion, bonus and job offers made compulsory recently, women are endlessly discriminated, not only by small employers but surprisingly, also by large corporations. They are also penalized, instead of respected and helped for being pregnant or having young children. Though girls are racing ahead of their counterparts in professional courses like medicine, dentistry and law, proving attainment of intellectual and academic standard, there are far less women in top jobs than men. Amongst the top 100 medical consultants, there are only four or five females. Even in parliament women representation is considerable less i.e. there are only 208 female, compared to 442 male Sport is another area where women were held back because some sports like football, Oxbridge women`s boat race and boxing were considered unsuitable for women and were only approved recently. Furthermore, male athletes get $179million more scholarship than their female counterparts, even the coverage in respect of male sports are significantly more than females. Combating poverty, illiteracy and educating mind set of people both men and women across the continents, the total parity for both genders can be achieved leading to healthy and happy family and society. Ila Kapadia By email songs and we all danced. It was most holy and incredible experience in Thailand while visiting Golden Buddha and Reclining Buddha temple and while having "Darshan" of Buddha idols we had a total inner peace in our heart and mind which cannot be described in words. At the Marine Park before the start of dolphin show they played very classic Hindi patriotic song "Ye Desh Hai Vir Javano Ka" and we all got up from their seats and did non stop Bhangra dance. Last but not least when we reached Bangkok airport we were very happy to see the name of airport Suvaran Bhumi - a traditional Sanskrit name. We also saw the huge statues of Devas and Danavas churning ocean holding cobra in their hands to get nectar from ocean. By viewing this I bowed my head, saluted Thailand and said Jai Thailand and God bless Thailand and it's countrymen. It was our life time's most memorable experience to cherish and share with others. Our warmest wishes to all on up coming Hindu festival of Holi. Suresh and Bhavna Patel Canada


Passing of a star

Sridevi death at the age of 54 is a loss to the entire film industry. She worked not only in Hindi cinema, but also in Kannada, Tamil and Telugu movies. Her films were a big hit and were a part of my childhood. She was one of India's biggest film stars. We will miss her a lot. May God give her husband Bonny and her daughters, Jahnavi and Kushi the strength to continue life in the days to come. May her soul rest in peace. Jubel D'Cruz, Mumbai, India

Amdavad Airport Gujarat

Thanks to the efforts of Asian Voice we have direct flights to Amdavad from London. I have been travelling this route every year for 15 years. Travelling to India can be frustrating. Arriving from London it took close to 2 hours for luggage to arrive. My return flight was not easy either just to enter the terminal took 30 minutes with plenty of queue jumpers at hand. In my frustration I shouted to the jumpers "you all want to go to the US, Canada, UK and are happy to queue there well then start here, in India". Some got the message, I was without a trolley dragging my suit cases, on hearing my complaint a young girl fought her way through the crowd and brought me a trolley, as a reward for trying to control the queue, it was heart warming and I thanked her, this was the India I loved. The trauma continued inside with checkin and security took a total of 2 hours of queuing. Unbelievingly there was one gate allocated to three fights for boarding, when I asked a ground staff of my airline the reason for more chaos he replied "I am the only one on duty and the PA System is down". When India can send a mission to Mars organising an airport should not be that difficult. Jayesh A Patel Wimbledon

Happy pills to cure every ill?

According to recent in-depth research involving 116,000 patients, into the use of anti-depressant drugs, carried out at prestigious Oxford University; came out with surprising result that not many Pundits expected. It is general but erroneous belief that GPs over-prescribe such drugs that also include anti-biotics, painkillers, cough mixtures and vitamin tablets, to keep patients happy, maintain cordial relations, avoid corrosion of trust. This also saves GPs valuable time rather than going into discussion to explain pros and cons of overuse of drugs that may not go down well with some awkward patients. This is especially true with anti-biotics. Research involved 21 drugs, result was that it works wonders in tackling depression, although some drugs are more effective than others, in fact 113% more effective to tackle depression than no drugs at all. Although prescriptions have more than doubled since 2016, only one in six patients get the prescription they need, according to Professor who heads Oxford’s Psychiatry Department. Many other leading Psychiatrists agree with the finding and hope this will lead to more patients receiving the right treatment they need and deserve which will be cost effective in the long run. Perhaps this research may also help GPs, give them freedom to prescribe th ese and other similar drugs, as NHS is putting undue pressure on GPs to cut down wastage and apparent over use of such drugs. No doubt there is misuse and wastage of drugs but that is more due to patients’ unreasonable demands for common drugs like pain-killers that they can buy over the counter at fraction of a price compared to what NHS pays, most may go to waste. I understand NHS is considering removing most common over the counter available drugs from prescription list which may be the step in the right direction. Kumudini Valambia By email

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Asian Voice | 3rd March 2018

Reader’s Voice

Brexit is a mirage

Brexit is a mirage, go near there and be illusioned. The fact is UK is geographically a part and parcel of Europe. It is separated by a very narrow Channel. The connection and relation between UK & Europe is so immense as obviously noticeable by the inflow and outflow of the goods and traffice by sea, air, train and road. It is weird and unthinkable to break the relationship with Europe. Politicians are trying and intend to have a new trade relationship with the countries which are thousands and thousands of miles away like Australia, China, India and others. What about the enormous cost of the transport importing goods from these countries. Is it pru-

Murder of the innocents

On Wednesday 14th February 2018 at 2.25pm, 19 year old Nikolas Cruz wearing a gas mask, went to Marjor Stoneman Douglas High School, in Parkland, near Miami, Florida, with a powerful AR-15 Semi-Automatic rifle, and killed 17 innocent students, it is a reflection of what is very seriously wrong, with the American society today. This was the 18th, school shooting in the US so far this year, taking the overall death toll to 23 so far this year. There ahve been 6,572 shooting incidents, 1,826 deaths, 3,142 injuries, 30 mass shootings and 215 unintentional shootings. There have been 290 school shootings in the US since 2013, an average of about one a week, according to ‘Every town for gun safety support fund campaign group. An average of 96 people are shot dead in the US every day, more than 15,000 gun members per year - a rate 25 times higher than other developed nations, the total gun deaths in America including suicides, are steadily increasing - from 33,563 in 2012 to 38,658 in 2016. Most of the people who commit murder have been on drugs. People suffereing stress take drugs as a relief, instead of trying to solve the problem that is causing the stress. If you

dent and wise? Eventually UK citizens are going to pay heavy price for it. It has been witnessed since the referendum result, the pound depreciated, the price of all the commondities and airfare gone up by 10% and 15%. Actually some MPs have misdirected and misguided the constituents during the referendum. They canvassed for their own political interest and ambitions. Why Asian MPs, Lorsds and civic leaders are not having their say about this very important matter concerning UK citizens. It’s time, call a spade a spade. TB Chudasama Solihull think positive, your body produces a hormone, which makes you feel good, if you think negative, your body produces a hormone which makes you depressed and getting well is a long time. Family break down, is a major contributor to stress. Children in the first two years of their birth, if they do not receive love and affections from both their parent, then they end up suffering attention seeking illness, with self harm and harm to others. Suitable gun control, along with a ban on the sale of automatic weapons, would certainly reduce gun crime, in the US, along with suitable treatment for mental health, for example mental illness in England and Wales - in 2014, costs the NHS £105 billion per year. The AK-47 assault rifle alone, is used to kill over 250,000 people a year, in the world, and more and more countries want to manufacture the AK-47 assault rifle, yet if a country wishes to manufacture nuclear weapons in order to defend their independence, then UN sanctions is placed on them, how can this be right specially when countries such as the US with thousands of nuclear weapons, are very keen to enforce sanctions on other countries. Jal Framji, Wilmslow, Cheshire

Children struggle to hold pencils due to excessive use of iPads

Children struggle to hold and use pencils due to excessive use of touchscreen phones and tablets such as iPads, experts claimed. Overusing these devices damage children's dexterity, preventing the kids' finger muscles from developing in a way that would allow them to hold pencils correctly once they start school, according to healthcare experts. "Children are not coming into school with the hand strength and dexterity they had 10 years ago," said Sally Payne, the head pediatric occupational therapist at the Heart of England foundation NHS Trust.

"To be able to grip a pencil and move it, you need strong control of the fine muscles in your fingers." Parents find it easier to give iPads to children than giving them muscle-building play activities such as cutting and sticking, building blocks and pulling toys, Payne added. Without these types of activities, shoulder, wrist, and elbow muscles needed for writing do not develop. Some teachers even claimed that some children do not know how to receive a paintbrush or pencil. Use of iPads may also affect children's behavior. Researchers, for instance,

found that giving these devices to pacify children who are throwing tantrums may impact their emotional development. A 2017 study also found that speech delays in babies and toddlers may have something to do with their exposure to mobile devices. "Infants with more handheld screen time have an increased risk of an expressive speech delay," researchers wrote in their study.

Staff at four more universities have joined the strike over pension cuts, with 61 now affected, the University and College Union said on Monday. Support for the action remains "solid", with pickets braving freezing temperatures, according to the union. Staff say the pension changes will cost the average lecturer £10,000 - but the employers say the scheme has a deficit of more than £6bn. Bosses

have ruled out new discussions on the changes at talks due on Tuesday. Under a plan agreed in January, the Universities Superannuation Scheme will change from a defined

benefit scheme, giving members a guaranteed income in retirement, to a defined contribution scheme, where pensions are subject to changes in the stock market.

University lecturers' pension action solid

Gujarat Samachar & Asian Voice Rewarding career in media sales

New watchdog will tackle excessive vice-chancellor pay at universities Universities in England are set to lose their autonomy when a new watchdog comes into force that will tackle excessive salaries for vice-chancellors. The Office for Students (OfS) will start in April and is set to be a tougher arbiter for tertiary institutions than the Higher Education Funding Council for England it is replacing. Documents seen by The Times show that the OfS will aim to hold institutions to account for students who pay an average of £9,250 a year in fees. It will assess dropout rates as well as the quality of teaching and make sure universities act on grade inflation. It will also push for better opportunities for disadvantaged students. But a key issue in its in-tray will be excessive pay for vice-chancellors who earn an average salary package of £268,000, with 13 paid at least £400,000 and 64 at least £300,000. Universities soon need to justify such salaries in annual accounts and reveal how many staff will be on salaries above £100,000 above £150,000. They will also have set out the ratio

of the university head's pay to the average salary of staff. It comes as it emerged that vice-chancellors and senior staff claimed almost


£8m in expenses over two years, including Surrey University paying £1,600 to relocate a vice-chancellor's dog from Australia.



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Asian Voice | 3rd March 2018

It was the scam of scams: Following a complaint by the Punjab National Bank (PNB), the Enforcement Directorate seized assets worth Rs5,100 crore during its extensive searches of jeweller Nirav Modi’s firms across five Indian States, including cities Mumbai, Delhi, Jaipur, Surat and Ahmedabad. Diamonds and gold from the billionaire’s companies yielded a haul few had imagined to exist. Modi and his crew scenting danger as the sleuths from the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) started closing on him, his family and his business associated fled the country for the sanctuary of Belgium (Nirav Modi, a Belgian citizen, holds a Belgian passport) and the United States. The investigation included officials of the PNB who have been arrested as accessories to the Nirad Modi fraud. The PNB (a nationalized bank) has initiated criminal proceedings against employees involved the scam. The bank’s head Sunil Mehta has promised remove the cancer of corruption – which is good to hear, but it will take more than routine assurances to convince a sceptical and cynical public. The words will have to be translated into deeds: further arrests is work in progress.

Scam undetected for seven years Preliminary investigation into the scam worth Rs11,500 crore revealed a complete breakdown of the supervision and auditing system in the Punjab National Bank’s Mumbai branch and overseas branches of other concerned banks. The transaction were undetected for seven years, despite regular internal and external audits, raising suspicions of complicit bank officials (Hindu February 16).

Whistle blower Ignored Bangaluru investor Hari Prasad alerted the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) to the activities of Mehul Choksi, a close accomplice of Nirav Modi. His complaint was duly acknowledged by the PMO, which informed him that it had been forwarded to the Registrar of Complaints (RoC)for action, then a silence and further correspondence with the PMO. Prasad revealed: ‘Later on I came to know from Choksi’s people that they managed some people in the RoC and the matter is closed.’ The CBI has brought charges against Choksi’s three firms (Hindu February 17).

RBI data highlights loan fraud issues Reserve Bank of India (RBI) data has revealed that state-run banks have reported 8,670 loan fraud cases totaling ($9.58 billion) over the last five financial years ending March 31, 2017. The figure exposes the magnitude of the problem in the banking sector, already under

pressure following years of poor lending practices. Bad loans reached a record peak of around $149 billion last year (Hindu February 17)

Taxpayers foot the bill Over the past 11 years three finance ministers – Pranab Mukherjee, P.Chidambaram and Arun Jaitley – the first two in Congress governments, the last in BJP - have pumped in close to Rs 2.6 lakh crore into government entities as their desperate need of funds as bad loans keep steadily rising. This year promises to be no better than earlier years as the country’s largest lender the State Bank of India announced its first quarterly loss in 18 years with others like the Bank of Baroda also returning poor figures. Perhaps the US experience has lessons for India. When the spate of accounting scandals at Enron, Worldcom, Tyco convulsed the US in 2000, policymakers altered the regulations of auditing, leading to the creation of the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (Times of India February 19).

China’s barrage at Modi China slammed Prime Minister Narendra Modi for visiting Arunachal Pradesh, to which it lays claim. It charged the Indian Premier for muddying the SinoIndian relations by so doing and creating barriers to the solution of their boundary settlement. Beijing’s autistic policy is a counter-productive exercise which hasn’t the faintest chance of yielding the sought for result. The former Indian prime minister Manmohan Singh and the Dalai Lama provoked similar wrath for visiting the region. The irony lost on the Chinese leadership is that its invasion and occupation of Tibet1950 and the consequent flight to India of the Tibetan leader has been the true source of the troubled SinoIndian relationship. Ritual incantations of Tibet being part of China from time immemorial cannot transform frayed factoid into indisputable fact ((Hindu February 16).

Four power belt, road Australia, the US, India and Japan are engaged in a conversation on constructing a road and belt of their own to counter that built and promoted in the region and beyond by the Chinese government. Beijing’s threats, intimidation and blackmail in the South China Sea and elsewhere are simply provoking resistance and not compliance (Hindu February 20).

targeted at the best, the brightest, and the most highly educated. The amendments I filed today are focused, commonsense reforms that will make a real difference to our economy,’ sad Senator Hatch (Business Line February 16).

Fujisoft eyes Bengal for India hub Japanese software giant Fujisoft is set to establish an innovation centre for embedded software in West Bengal A high level delegation led by Fujisoft American CEO and President Renhong Son along with other officials met with State Commerce and Industries Minister Amit Mitra and expressed their intention to invest in Bengal. Fujisoft delegation was accompanied to the meeting by Sumantrana CEO and founder Roopen Roy.

Company antecedents A $1.6 billion Japanese-based company, Fujisoft has a presence across 11 countries and specializes in different types of embedded software, with a total workforce of 12,000 engineers. ‘It is a solid company,’ said Minister Amit Mitra, to the media after the meeting (Times of India February 20)

Image makeover for Uttar Pradesh

PM launches skills platform Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched IT trade body Nasscom’s ‘Future Skills’ platform in Hyderabad last week. The project aims to initially upskill to 40 lakhs [4 million] IT employees and prospective job seekers in eight emerging technologies that could be drivers of future IT jobs. These include Artificial Intelligence,

‘A dynamic banking sector is the need of the hour.’ Privatization would stem the present drain of the exchequer, and the money saved could be put to good use in development projects (Hindu February 20).

entry for skilled jobs

Republican Senator Orrin Hatch moved amendments to to a White House-backed Immigration Bill to ensure easier access for high skilled, meritbased immigration laws that could benefit from technology professionals from countries such as India. ‘It’s immigration

the State a magnet for business. Summed up, his priorities are jobs, law and order, and the revival of industry. On the eve of his first year in office, he shared his hopes for the next four years in a media interview. He said his aim in the last 10 months was to understand its problems, address them with unflinching resolve, and take UP into the uplands of prosperity and development. He claimed to have mapped out his strategy in strengthening agriculture and making small and medium sized industries the bedrock and driver of economic growth.

Implementation Implementation will be key, say analysts. He has to show results in the four years left to him before the next election, when a proper audit of his achievements can be delivered (Mint February 19).

RIL vision for Maharashtra Reliance Industries Ltd (RIL), India’s largest private sector company, and its global partners, are to set up India’s first integrated industrial enterprise in Maharashtra. This was announced by Mukesh Ambani, Chairman and Managing Director, RIL, at Maharashtra’s Investors Summit at Magneta Maharashtra Convergence 2018 in Mumbai. The total investment planned by RIL and its partners is a staggering Rs 60,000 crore. Ambani said his company had invested Rs 2,50,000 crore across India.

Maharashtra on roll

Yogi Adityanath

Long considered one of India’s most notorious badlands is undergoing Privatize public makeover many of its despairing citizens an sector banks unalterable reality, appears to The Federation of Indian undergoing a Chambers of Industry and transformation. Commerce (FICCI) has called Its social cancer for the privatization of public was the linkage sector banks (PSBs), affirming between crime that recapitalization efforts and politics. by government had failed to Chief Minister deliver the desired results. Adityanath, a ‘Given the continuous Yogi and PM Modi addressing Nasscom skills conference pressure on the government improbable finances on account of the holder of the office Virtual Reality, Robotic weak performance of the banks, moved centre stage from Automation, Big Data Analytics the government should consider anonymity, thaks to etc (Business Line February 20). privatization of PSBs,’ said FICCI Prime Minister Narendra President Rakesh Shah. Modi, the BJP’s mover Senator for easier US and shaker.

Save money for development


Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis signed 4000 Memoranda of Understanding (MoUs) with global and domestic companies worth Rs 4.8 trillion at the above mentioned Investors Summit in Mumbai. Prime Modi laid the foundation stone for Mumbai’s second airport and inaugurated India’s largest container terminal at Mumbai’s Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust built at a cost of Rs 719 crore (Mint February 19).

Iron broom The Chief Minister is using the iron broom against the State’s entrenched gangs, has given the police authority to Reliance chief Mukesh Ambani and Maharastra Chief Minister wipe them out, come what may. This first step is accompanied by Devendra Fadnavis addressing the Maharashtra Magneta Investors a series of other steps to make summit in Mumbai

UK AsianVoiceNews


14 ISIS fighters who were recruited from a few streets in west London 'Westway Warriors'

A leader of the British jihadis dubbed the 'Beatles' is suspected of radicalising at least 12 men in just over two square miles of the capital. The Islamic State fighter could have recruited other fundamentalists in West London to wage religious warfare in Syria and Iraq. At least 14 fighters are thought to have been recruited to the terrorist group while living in streets either side of the A40 Westway flyover. The suspects include two set of brothers and a hairdresser from Ladbroke Grove in the borough of Kensington and Chelsea, according to a Sunday Times investigation. The men barber was detained while trying to return to the UK recently. One fighter who posed

with a severed head online, along with another jihadi are yet to have their locations pinpointed. But Alexanda Kotey from Notting Hill is believed to by US officials to have been central to their radicalisation. The 34-year-old is one of two Brits who are part of the so-called Beatles beheading group captured by Kurdish forces last month in Syria. Both CIA and MI6 operatives are believed to have had access to Kotey along with fellow West London captive El Shafee Elsheikh. The 29-year-old and Kotey are thought to have been interrogated about their Islamic State contacts. Muslim convert Kotey has been described as 'responsible for recruiting several UK nationals to join the terrorist organisa-

tion'. Experts regard him as 'a natural leader' and he is the oldest of the 14 men who lived around the Westway flyover. Parents of the Beatles gang's American victims James Foley, Steven Sotloff and Peter Kassig - last week pushed for Kotey and Elsheikh to be tried in a US federal court. British aid workers David Haines and Alan Henning were also murdered by the group. The youngest of the Westway jihadis is Elsheikh's brother, Mahmoud. He left his family home in White City aged 17 to join his sibling in Syria. two years later he died on the battlefield. Seven others have also died, including 20-yearold Fatlum Shalaku who was part of a suicide mission in Iraq in 2015.


Asian Voice | 3rd March 2018

To All Businesses: How the New Debt Recovery Protocol Affects You The new debt recovery protocol came into force on 1 October 2017 and applies to any business claiming a debt from an individual. It will not apply to business-to-business debts, unless Rachel Upton the debtor is a sole trader, nor if another protocol applies to the debt. The new protocol aims to ‘encourage early engagement and communication between parties’, including early exchange of information about the matter, thus, avoiding court proceedings wherever possible. Under the new protocol the Creditor must send out a comprehensive letter of claim which must include:l Interest rate charged on the outstanding debt; and l Details of how the debt arose and the type of agreement it relates to. This letter must enclose a statement of account, reply form, information sheet and a financial statement. The debtor has thirty days to reply, during which proceedings should not be issued. If the debtor requires more time to pay, the parties should attempt reaching an agreement to pay instalments based on the debtor’s income and expenditure. Should the debtor return a partially completed reply form this should be taken as attempt to engage with the matter and the creditor should attempt to discuss it further. As with any protocol the Court expects compliance. Should the Creditor not comply they risk costs consequences once proceedings have commenced. Introducing a time-frame for parties to correspond prior to issuing proceedings is beneficial. It allows

time to negotiate and attempt settlement which helps to avoid the need to issue court proceedings. Whilst the new protocol encourages early settlement (by encouraging early disclosure of documents and consideration of alternative dispute resolution) there are issues for Creditors where the debt falls under the £10,000.00 limit. Such claims fall within the small claims track limit where costs are generally not recoverable bar fixed costs and disbursements. It follows that associated costs, in complying with the new pre-action protocol for claims under £10,000.00, are unlikely to be recoverable. The need for creditors to comply with the time-frame set down in the protocol may in certain circumstances mean debtors use the additional time to delay payment. Therefore, it is likely that we will see an increase in the issue of bankruptcy proceedings and the use of the Insolvency Act 1968 for undisputed debts of £5,000.00 and more instead of complying with the new protocol. Author, Rachel Upton, a Solicitor in the Civil Litigation department at Duncan Lewis Solicitors, has extensive experience in debt recovery, insolvency, enforcement and contractual disputes. Contact her on and 020 3114 1244 Duncan Lewis Civil Litigation Solicitors Duncan Lewis Solicitors is a leading firm offering expert litigation and alternative dispute resolution services in ADR & Mediation, Bankruptcy, Banking & Finance, Company & Commercial, Contentious Probate, Defamation, Debt Recovery, Fraud, International, Property and Professional Negligence. If you have a litigation issue, please call us on 0333 772 0409.

Schools linked to an Abu Hamza 'terror academy' still running

One school shut down after children were taught songs praising terrorists could reopen

Abu Hamza

Schools opened by Islamic clerics linked to an Abu Hamza ‘terror’ school that was shut down are still running. Jameah Islameah was closed ten years ago after a police raid and dire Ofsted inspections. Set in a Victorian mansion in the East Sussex countryside, it was a suspected jihadi training camp. Now it has emerged that other schools set up by the founders are still operating – and they are trying to reopen Jameah Islameah for pupils aged 11 and up. Hook-handed Hamza – now serving life

in a US prison for terror offences – allegedly presided over exercises with AK47 rifles, handguns and a mock rocket launcher. Fellow hate cleric Omar Bakri Mohammed also lectured at camping trips held at the school, where children were taught sick songs praising terrorists, including one that began: ‘Come, mister Taliban, come bomb England.’ After anti-terror police and MI5 swooped in 2006, and following a series of Ofsted inspections, the Government forced the school’s closure in 2007. But now The Mail’s findings highlight how powerless officials are to crack down on breeding grounds for religious intolerance. The new Education Secretary Damian Hinds signalled a war on illegal schools and out-of-hours tuition centres. The Jameah Islameah former

school building has been owned since 1997 by Islamic scholars Bilal Patel, Muhammad Anas and two others. They are a band of Deobandi Muslims – the strict Islamic movement that gave birth to the Taliban in Afghanistan – and have never given up on their mission to ‘educate’ the next generation of Islamic scholars. Mr Patel and Mr Anas have been allowed to establish schools elsewhere. A legal loophole means part-time schools are not required to be registered with the Department for Education nor inspected by Ofsted, making it impossible to monitor its curriculum. At Al-Ashraaf, a secondary boys’ school in East London, the chairman Mufti Shah Sadruddin was filmed in 2013 saying all people who insult Islam should be put to death.

Grenfell Tower first anniversary marked by memorial concert Tickets for a special concert marking one year since the Grenfell Tower fire , which is being held in memory of one of its victims, have gone on sale.

few weeks after Grenfell fire, sold out in 36 hours and raised a total of £41,000 for the RPT. Funds raised by this year’s memorial concert will enable more than 100

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Asian Voice | 3rd March 2018

Annual charity challenge Forever Cruises celebrate Chinese New Year with annual party launched at Neasden temple The BAPS Annual 10K Challenge for 2018 was launched on the evening of Saturday 17 February at BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir, London (popularly known as the ‘Neasden Temple’). The official partner for this year’s charity Challenge, which takes place in April, is Carers UK, the UK’s only national membership charity for carers. It aims to make life better for the 6.5 million people in the UK who are supporting a loved one who is older, disabled or seriously ill. The Challenge brings together more than 3,000 enthusiastic participants of all ages and backgrounds around the country for a fun and healthy way to raise funds for various worthy causes and local charities. Jeremy Gould, Head of Fundraising for Carers UK, joined worshippers and guests at the Mandir for the official launch. Following a brief tour of the Mandir, Yogvivek Swami, Head Swami of the Mandir, welcomed him to the assembly. Mr Gould elaborated on the work of Carers UK and the partnership with BAPS: “Caring for our loved ones who are disabled, older or seriously ill is simply part of being

Manish Suchde (Forever Cruises), Gio Ponticelli (MSC), Victoris Taylor (MSC), Alysia Bartlett (MSC), Ben Nealon (Daily Mail), Kishor Parmar (Asian Voice), and Ajay Kawa (Experience Engine)

Yogvivek Swami with Jeremy Gould

human. Carers are holding families together, enabling loved ones to get the most out of life, making an enormous contribution to society and saving the economy billions of pounds. “Many carers are stretched to the limit – juggling care with work and family life, or even struggling with poor health themselves. It can be difficult to make ends meet as a carer if it’s not possible to work as many hours or stay in work at all. “Every day 6,000 people become carers. Many don’t know how or where to get help. It can feel overwhelming and be

very lonely. We are delighted to be working together with BAPS to reach many more people with information and support with caring.” Dr Mayank Shah, one of the organisers of the Challenge, added, “Carers perform an incredibly important and honourable service. We at BAPS are guided and inspired by His Holiness Mahant Swami Maharaj to care for and serve our families, friends and members of society. We are delighted to have an opportunity to help others who share our spirit of service, and to further the noble work of Carers UK.”

2018 sees the start of the Year of the Dog in the Chinese calendar. To mark this auspicious occasion Forever Cruises hosted its annual Chinese New Year Party at Singapore Garden Restaurant in West Hampstead, London. Every year the award winning Forever Cruises welcomes friends, colleagues and suppliers to celebrate the start of the New Year. They are invited to enjoy the delicious Singaporean cuisine and entertainment as a sign of appreciation for their continued support. Guest on the evening included representatives from Royal Caribbean International, Norwegian Cruise Lines, Silverseas, Cruise & Maritime, Cunard, Celebrity Cruises, Regent Seven Seas, Fred

“I thought it was a prank!” – Hockey star Sandeep Singh ahead of his biopic Soorma - Charusmita Sandeep Singh, ex-captain of the Indian National Hockey team, and a professional of 13 years in field hockey, is going to be the next sports star to have a biopic on his life. Joining the likes of Milkha Singh, MS Dhoni, Sachin Tendulkar, and Mary Kom, Sandeep Singh’s extraordinary life is going to be storified on-screen on June 29, 2018. In the most awaited sports biopic this year, aptly titled Soorma, he will be played by prominent actor Diljit Dosanjh. The film has a promising cast with acclaimed actress Tapsee Pannu, and is directed by Shaad Ali. On 22 August 2006, Sandeep got injured by an accidental gunshot while travelling in a train to join the national team in Delhi before leaving for the World Cup in Germany. Being almost paralysed on wheelchair for two years of his youth, and professional career, he not only recovered but also went on to play in the London Olympics 2012. Singh’s elder brother, Bikramjeet, is also a field hockey professional who inspired his choice of sport. Under Singh’s captaincy, India won the Sultan Azlan Shah

Cup in 2009 after a hiatus of 13 years. He also broke the world record with 145 km/h speed in drag flick. In an exclusive interview with Asian Voice, he shared the most challenging times of his life and how he overcame the impossible. He also shared his amusement when the initial idea of the biopic came up, he thought it was a joke. But his astounding story deserved to be told to the world. Till date he considers his biggest achievement to be his recovery from the accident that left him introspecting his life choices. He attributes his determination and recovery to the prayers of his family, friends and well-wishers. Humble as he is, it is his quality of being meticulous that characterises his involvement in the shooting of Soorma. He personally oversaw Diljit’s training, to not only help during his training but also for him to pick up the real Sandeep Singh’s mannerisms and playing style. He was impressed by Diljit’s hardwork to not only train for 8-10 hours a day but also his preparation to portray a real-life character. We were curious to know Sandeep’s take on what distinguishes him from other sports persons. He responded shyly, “Sportsmanship is what distinguishes any person from

David Tan (Forever Cruises), Royal Caribbean - Amanda Darington, Guy Farrow, Nicki Lewis, Amber Lewis & Carla Hines

Olsen, MSC Cruises, Carnival Cruises, Avalon and British Airways. Manish Suchde, cofounder of Forever Cruises said, “As one of the largest UK cruise agencies for the Asian community, we want to show our suppliers our appreciation for their belief and support” Establishing a partnership with Lee Travel and with the aid of David Tan, a Business Development Director with over 44 year

Birmingham welcomes Gurpreet’s ‘Elephant’ - Dhiren Katwa

the other and what brings certain people together. But I personally feel indebted to hockey – it has given me everything. Even if I am able to give 20 per cent of it back on field as a player to the sport of Hockey, that will be my biggest achievement.” His personal favourite sports biopic so far has been Bhaag Milkha Bhaag, and he believes that sports biopics have a big role to play in spreading awareness about not only the game, but the challenges that the sports people face before going on to win international medals.

of experience, Manish and Sam have made Forever Cruises a reliable, trustworthy and industry applauded company. In just two years Forever Cruises have now won three awards; 2016 CLIA Rising Star Award, Royal Caribbean International New Comer of the Year 2016, Late to Cruise Rising Start Award 2017 and shortlisted for The Wave Awards 2018 – Best Cruise Travel Agents.

Gurpreet Kaur Bhatti’s latest play, Elephant, has begun its Midlands tour. Launched at Birmingham Repertory Theatre, the play tells the story of a family built on untruths, a family whose lives are at odds with their belief system and asks the question whether it is possible to truly forgive and forget? Elephant is Gurpreet’s fourth play for Birmingham REP. Her first play Behsharam (Shameless) broke box office records at the REP and Soho Theatre in 2001. Her award-winning play Behzti (Dishonour) was sensationally closed in December 2004 after playing to packed houses at the REP. Her play Khandan

(Family) premiered at The REP in 2014. On screen her credits include the British feature, Everywhere and Nowhere. Gurpreet is developing various projects for film and TV and also writes regularly for The Archers. Truth can hurt but this is where Gurpreet stands out from the rest. Over the years she’s earned a reputation for her extraordinar y work, capturing powerful reallife stories, those which so many of us can relate to but are often fearful or reserved to share. Hats off to Gurpreet for her brevity and for not giving up, rather pursuing her passion and, in doing so, inspiring and empowering so many others. Elephant runs at The REP until this Saturday (March 3).

UK AsianVoiceNews


Driver confesses to killing three boys in crash

A driver of Hayes, west London, has admitted to killing three teenage boys in a car crash. In a hearing at the Old Bailey, Jaynesh Chudasama pleaded guilty to three counts of causing death by rash driving. The 28 year old's car went on to hit three friends on Shepiston Lane in Hayes. Victims Harry Louis Rice, 17, and George Toby Wilkinson and Josh McGuinness, both 16, were pronounced dead at the scene. The three teenagers were making their way to a friend's 16th birthday celebrations when they were struck outside the Esso garage and Cherry Lane Cemetery. Chudasama stood with his

Jaynesh Chudasama

head hung low, as prosecuting Crispin Aylett QC, “In the course of overtaking another vehicle the defendant, who had been drinking, lost control of his car. The vehicle struck and fatally injured three boys who were walking along the pavement.”

Teen charged over murders of two young men


Asian Voice | 3rd March 2018

Muslim hate crimes soar by 40 per cent in a year in London Recent figures reveal Islamophobia hate crimes in London rise by almost 40 per cent in the past year. 1678 anti-Muslim hate crimes were reported in the capital in the year up to January 2018, over 400 more cases than the previous year's 1205. The Scotland Yard however, has warned that the figures which were released from the Mayor's Office for Policing and Crime, do not show the full scale of “hugely under-reported” hate crimes in the capital. London mayor Sadiq Khan has warned perpetrators they face arrest and prosecution under a “zerotolerance” approach. He said, “London is a place where we celebrate, cherish and embrace diversity. I am calling on all Londoners to pull together, and send a clear message

around the world that our city will never be divided by individuals who seek to harm us and destroy our way of life.” Authorities and Muslim leaders said the rise is in connection to the terror attacks on London Bridge and Manchester Arena last year. Director of campaign group Tell Mama, Iman

Atta said the increase in attacks had “created a heightened sense of tension in Muslim communities.” He blamed terrorist atrocities for the increase, adding, “These attacks had ripple effects, triggering Islamophobic attacks and the large increment rise you have seen.” Khan highlighted fig-

ures showing a 40 per cent increase on the daily average number of reported Islamophobic attacks in the capital. Police said hate crimes include physical attacks, damage to property, bullying and abuse. Chief Superintendent Dave Stringer, Scotland Yard's head of community engagement said, “The Met has seen a steady increase in the reporting of all hate crime, particularly racist and religious hate crime. Despite this rise, hate crime is hugely underreported and no one should suffer in silence.” Stringer added, “London is such a diverse and tolerant city, but too many still feel marginalised, or worse, intimidated to go about their daily lives due to their race, faith, sexual orientation, gender, or disability.”

Teen able to sell bleach at shops in acid attack capital Newham

A recent investigation revealed that a 14 year old schoolgirl was able to buy bleach from shops in London, despite the rising number of acid attacks in the city and a collective agreement on prevention of sales of corrosive substances to children. An undercover sting led by Newham Council and the Metropolitan Police this week brought to light how easy it is for a teenage girl to buy bottles of household cleaning bleach from three out of five high street retailers in Newham. Regulation of sales of corrosive substances is

currently under review by the government. Figures released by the Met Police found Newham to have the highest rates of attacks in the UK, following which

the London borough had been dubbed the “acid attack capital of Britain”. Retailers in the area are currently being encouraged to sign up to volun-

tarily self-regulate sales of corrosive substances to minors. 182 retailers in Newham reportedly signed up to a voluntary scheme preventing such sales to those below the age of 21. Results of the sting has raised an issue and the Newham Council has demanded the government to urgently bring forward legislation to introduce a total ban on the sale of such liquids to children. The Home Office has stated that it was considering responses to its consultation on a proposal to ban sales of corrosive products to under-18s, and creating a new possession offence.

What a fowl! Knife-wielding man jumps queue in Chicken Cottage Abdikarim Hassan (l) and Sadiq Adan Mohamed (r) were both killed

A teen has been charged with murdering two young men and attacking two others in a single night in Camden. Isaiah Popoola, 18, is charged with murders of Abdikarim Hassan and Sadiq aadam Mohamed and is due to appear at Highbury magistrates' court. He was arrested after authorities linked attacks on three young men within a two-mile radius of each other. A silver Mercedes was

seen speeding away from the scene of a non-fatal stabbing in Aldenham Street, after which the police were called to an attack in Bartholomew Road and found 17 year old Abdikarim. Two hours later, 20 year old Sadiq was found dying in Belsize Park. Detectives are currently investigating a blue van seen near the two murders. The vehicle was later found burned out on an estate near Tufnell Park.

A 49-year old father was waiting in a Chicken Cottagein Streatham Hill with his son and nephew when a knife-wielding thug entered the place and attempted to cut into the queue. When obstructed, the suspect became argumentative and despite the victim's efforts to calm the situation, continued to be aggressive and took out a knife. Even though the father managed to push the man out of the shop, the knifeman lunged at him and cut his hand. Lambeth CID detectives have appealed for information on the incident that occurred on an

afternoon on February 7. The suspect is described as a black male, 5 ft 7 in tall, of slim build with a dark-

coloured patchy beard. He was wearing a black jacket with the hood up, black trousers, and dark-

coloured trainers and a rucksack. He is described of having a south London accent. Detective Constable Dominic Landragin said, “The suspect, when challenged about his behaviour, pulled out a knife and showed a clear willingness to use violence. This incident happened at a busy time of day in front of schoolchildren who were terrified by what they saw. I want to trace this man and would ask anyone who thinks they might know who he is to contact police.”



Parents urged to consult pharmacist first for minor illness in their children

Millions of parents could get more convenient and timely expert advice if their child has a minor illness by opting to go to their local pharmacist first instead of the GP. Research for the NHS shows just 6% of mums and dads with children under the age of five would consider seeking help about a minor health concern from a high street pharmacist in the first instance. More than a third (35%) would opt for an appointment with their GP while 5% of those questioned would choose emergency care as their first point of call. This is despite an overwhelming majority of adults (79%) saying they are aware that pharmacists are qualified healthcare professionals who can give advice on most common illnesses which includes when and where to seek advice for more serious conditions. The NHS is urging more parents to use their pharmacy first in a move which could help free up GP time for sicker patients and help save the NHS around £850 million each year as well as save time for busy families. Around 95% of people live within a 20 minute walk of a local community pharmacy, making pharmacists extremely accessible and a valuable first port of call for minor health concerns such as coughs, colds, tummy troubles or teething. Around 18 million GP appointments and 2.1 million visits to A&E are for self-treatable conditions - such as coughs and tummy troubles - at a cost of more than £850 million each year to the NHS. This is the equivalent of more than 220,000 hip replacements or 880,000 cataract operations. The NHS nationally is working with community pharmacies to increase the range of patient services they provide including asth-

ma audits and flu vaccinations and to promote the clinical expertise available from the pharmacy team. Dr Bruce Warner, Deputy Chief Pharmaceutical Officer England said: for “Pharmacists are highly trained NHS health professionals who are able to offer clinical advice and effective treatments for a wide range of minor health concerns right there and then. They can assess symptoms and recommend the best course of treatment or simply provide reassurance, for instance when a minor illness will get better on its own with a few days’ rest. However, if symptoms suggest it’s something more serious, they have the right clinical training to ensure people get the help they need. We want to help the public get the most effective use of these skilled clinicians who are available every day of the week.” The call for people, in particular the five million parents of children under five, to use their local pharmacist first for advice is part of the Stay Well Pharmacy campaign. It is backed by pharmacists and Netmums, the UK’s biggest parenting website. A survey carried out as part of the campaign reveals that the proportion of adults questioned who would get advice from the pharmacist for minor health concerns is only 16%. This went down to just 6% for parents of young children. While 77% of people agree they trust advice from their pharmacist, there are misconceptions about the level of service this highly trained group of healthcare professionals can offer in terms of advice and expertise. A quarter of people (26%) feel it is difficult to discuss health concerns in private with a pharmacist, with many not being aware that more than nine out of 10

Sikh man racially attacked outside Parliament AsianVoiceNews

Asian Voice | 3rd March 2018

pharmacies have a private consultation room. Nearly a quarter (24%) feel they would need to visit the GP anyway, so go direct to the doctor in the first instance. However, NHS England found that among adults who have received advice from a pharmacist in the past six months for themselves or their child, two thirds (66%) found it useful and less than a fifth (19%) needed to go to the GP afterwards. Ruksana Rohim, a mum of one, said: “I regularly use my local pharmacy when my child has a minor illness like a cold or tooth ache and to help other family members manage their long term health conditions. “I have developed a really good relationship with my local pharmacy. It’s close to home and the team there are always so helpful. They are healthcare experts so the advice they give puts my mind at rest. The fact that I don’t need to book an appointment helps a great deal when I need quick, immediate advice for a minor health issue.” Meera Thakrar, Community Pharmacist who features in the ‘Stay Well Pharmacy’ TV advert, adds: “We understand that it’s worrying when a young child is poorly, and for parents it can be particularly distressing. We urge the public to choose to visit their local pharmacy first for minor health concerns when they want to see a highly trained specialist who is qualified to assess symptoms and who is always available without an appointment to offer clinical advice and support. And if symptoms suggest it’s something more serious, we have the right clinical training to ensure people get any further help they need.” For more information search where you can also locate your local pharmacy services.

Continued from page 1

They have also demanded for a more attentive, vigilant and religious hate crime monitor and register, as the number of such incidents recorded in the UK increase following the EU referendum and the Westminster Bridge terrorist attack on 22 March 2017. Ravneet Singh from India was visiting the UK and waiting outside Portcullis House to meet Labour MP Tanmanjeet Singh Dhesi when he was targeted by a racist screaming: 'Muslim go back.' The 37-year-old prominent Sikh environmentalist from Punjab, in north India, who is a Sikh and not a Muslim, said his attacker then attempted to pull his turban from his head. Mr Singh told the Independent, a man ran up to him before launching the unprovoked attack. He said: “He was pulling at my turban strongly. It half moved and I grabbed it. Before he could do anything else I shouted at him and he ran. He made a racist comment in another language that I didn't recognise. He was a white man, but he didn't sound English. He said something like 'Muslim go back'.' Mr Singh added, “He held my turban with both hands and kept shaking it. My turban was almost down to my face. Then he also tried to injure my neck. I kept shouting what's this, stop it. He did not budge. Soon security guards were there and he ran away." An image of the assault was posted on Twitter by Dr Rajwant Singh, the founder and President of EcoSikh, an organisation which helps to promote better awareness of environmental issues around the world. Ravneet was in the UK on a three-week trip to discuss his work for an environmental group, which included a meeting with the Labour MP for Slough, Tanmanjeet Singh Dhesi. Mr Desi, the Labour MP for Slough, told MailOnline: “I am disgusted that someone filled with hatred tried to pull off the turban of one of my guests. “While consoling Ravneet, I felt embarrassed that he would be left with a personal scar from his visit, while also giving him a negative perception of our country. “It has been pointed out previously on several occasions to the Government that their hate crime action plan totally ignores Sikhs. Given such incidents, the Government needs to address this genuine community demand to properly monitor and record hate crime against Sikhs. “I had experienced a

similar attack when at school, but thought at the time that maybe that was due to the perpetrator 'being a kid' and not realising the importance of a turban for the Sikh identity. “Sikhs regard the turban as a crown on their head. I was distressed when I had to deal with such racist behaviour, but coped thanks to family and friends. Unfortunately, many children and adults have to experience this all too often.

“These types of incidents harm the victim's confidence and selfrespect, and not only cause distress to the individual but also show our country in a bad light. We need to work together to remove this evil and discrimination from our society.” MP Tan Dhesi also during a debate in Parliament, raised questions about why hate crime action plan completely ignores to properly record and monitor hate crimes against Sikhs. Network of Sikh organisations in a twitter post wrote, “Unless forces like the Met Police UK make public the breakdown of non Muslims (or those of no faith) recorded under the 'Islamophobic hate crime' marker, the victim's faith here remains invisible in official statistics. Religious hate figures are now dissagregated and must be published. Founding Chair of City Sikhs, Jasvir Singh OBE told Asian Voice, “It was shocking to hear about the brazen attack on Ravneet Singh on the doorstep of Parliament. Turban wearing Sikhs find themselves the targets of Islamophobic or antiMuslim attacks frequently, and I myself have been the victim of such attacks in the past. Hate crimes are a scourge on British society and more must be done by everyone to tackle them. Victims need to be prepared to report attacks to the Police, no matter how small or insignificant it may seem to them, and the Police and authorities must work harder to find perpetrators. We also need better data about how many Sikhs have been victims of attacks in recent years so that there can be proper funding allocated by the authorities to deal with such abuse. Ultimately hate


is hate, no matter who is attacked, and we must work together to challenge the hatred that we unfortunately are seeing much more of in Brexit Britain.” Dr Rami Ranger CBE, a community stalwart and a successful entrepreneur told us, “The recent incident in front of British Parliament when a racist man ripped off the turban of a Sikh gentleman has appalled everyone. "The gentleman was waiting in a queue to meet Mr Tanmanjeet Dhesi MP when he suffered this unprovoked racist attack in broad daylight and in front of many bystanders. "There can be no place for racism of any kind in a civil society. Clearly, the perpetrator was not only intolerant but also ignorant about the Sikh faith . He did not know the difference between Sikhs and Muslims. During the attack he shouted, 'Muslim go home'. Ignorant, he did not even know about British history and if he did, he would have known how Sikhs wearing their turbans defended British freedom in both the great wars. They distinguished themselves wearing these very turbans and won more Victoria Crosses per capita than anyone else. "More importantly, Muslims like followers of other faiths are now an integral part of Britain and to single them out due to the actions of a few cannot represent the vast majority of them who go about their daily lives making Britain richer and stronger." Bhai Amrik Singh, the Chair of the Sikh Federation (UK) reportedly said, “Sikhs are the most visible ethnic minority, especially those who wear turbans and been subject to unacceptable levels of hate since 9/11. “However, the hate crime action plan published by the government in July 2016 after the Brexit vote woefully failed the Sikh community by neglecting to acknowledge hate crimes against Sikhs. “The Sikh community were 'invisible' and not consulted in drawing up the plan that focused primarily on the more vocal Muslim and Jewish communities. “We have been waiting for nearly two years for answers and a response from government. “The Home Secretary and Communities Secretary will be aware of this incident outside Parliament, but we fear they will continue to turn a blind eye on attacks on Sikhs.” A Metropolitan Police spokesman said it was being treated as a hate crime. They said no arrests have been made and their enquiries are ongoing.

UK AsianVoiceNews


Asian Voice | 3rd March 2018

Race against Time

A Woman's Battle with Biology

Daughter of social activist and businessman Arjanbhai Vekaria, those who know Panna, know her as an outgoing, smart woman who matched shoulders with her father. She has always been active within the community, and also in her family business. I recently met Panna after a long time at her mother Jayaben's house in Wembley, only to find a beautiful child on her lap. Surprised, I asked her when she married. “This IS my daughter, but I am not married,” Panna replied without so much as a flinch. My curiosity was peeked. Panna elaborated her story. “I have always been active in our Park Royal based family business, along with my dad and, uncle Shashikantbhai. During our meetings, even in cold winters, I would find myself feeling extremely hot, and sweating profusely. I would sit under the table and fan myself with a paper. When this began to happen frequently, I talked to my father about it. After a brief medical examination, I was informed that I was experiencing menopause at the age of 34. While women have been taught that the topic is taboo, I instantly discussed the issue with my father. I knew achieving motherhood after menopause is impossible. I had no partner then, and while finding a right match wasn't very difficult, the fear of not being able to bear a child after marriage was constant and high in my head. I discussed every possibility with my father, who I have grown to see as my friend, and finally sought his permission to find a sperm donor and fertilise my eggs to bear a child. That wasn't the time to think what people would say. Time was slipping from between my fingers.” In the past couple of decades, single parenting has become just as common as a conventional family. As tough as the responsibility is for a single person to bring up a child, today's woman is stronger and has definite grit to take up the task on their own self. The advancement of technology has brought along various ways of conceiving a child. Techniques like IVF, surrogacy, sperm donation, the methods are distinct and approachable. Afflicted by her father's sudden death, Panna suffers through ectopic pregnancy “After my father's approval, I began to take hormone stimulate medicines. It was during

Having experienced menopause at the age of 34, Panna's desire to bear a child only grew stronger

that time that time that I lost him, my dearest father. The sudden loss came as a shock and left me broken from within. It took me some time to come out of that dark time. After recovery, I went to a clinic for treatment in central London. After finding a sperm donor, I tried fertility treatment twice. One was a miscarriage. In May 2016, I experienced an ectopic pregnancy. In such pregnancy, the fertilised egg implants outside the uterus,” Panna said. “I went to a leading hospital in central London for a keyhole surgery, with which, my doctor removed my Fallopian Tube. The process was necessary and if I had opted out of it, my life would have been in immense danger. After the operation, I came home and was in the washroom, when I felt something fall in the toilet. Scared witless, I searched on the internet and found that after a miscarriage, waste of the human body is pushed out.” “I would like to point out that I paid for all my treatments with my own money, and did not reach out to my mother for financial aid. The ectopic pregnancy left my heart aching. I often thought how there are people in the world who never want children and yet have them, while despite my efforts, God is not blessing me with one.”


“It was during this period that one of my sister Khyati's friends suggested me to get an Arvigo therapy from a therapist in London. The therapy taught women how to massage the abdomen, and head, along with a special herbal steam. During that period, I went to buy crystal for myself and learnt about crystal therapy. Gradually, my emotional strength was increasing. In talks with one of my friends about surrogacy and adoption, we came across a fertility clinic in Spain on the internet. After an inquiry, I received a positive response from the clinic. They asked me to come over as soon as I am ready.” Spain completes Panna's dream of motherhood “In August 2016, I reached Spain, and stayed there for three days. They used a syringe to take eggs out of my ovaries, then looked for a donor. They asked me what kind of child I want. I told them I wanted a tall donor. They asked for my family photo. The clinic finds you a donor matching your family. After finding a suitable donor, they fertilise your eggs with the sperm in a laboratory, specially six to eight eggs. The eggs take one to two weeks to fertilise. During that period, you have to take medicines to increase your hormones.

Along with the medication, they give you constant guidance. Once your eggs are properly fertilised with the eggs, they call you back. During that time, they ask you whether you want one fertilised egg or two. I wanted twins, however, only one of my eggs grew.” When I asked Panna whether she had to live in Spain after they plant the eggs, she said, “I would take a morning flight from London to go to the clinic, and return home in an evening flight.” I further asked her how the donor's sperm along with the fertilised eggs are placed in the womb. She replied, “They place the eggs in your uterus in a highly sterilised laboratory. You cannot put on any kind of make up or perfume at that time. They show you the fertilised eggs through a microscope that they will put in your uterus. The sight of my future child in that petri-dish is something I can't describe. They they put the eggs through your vagina, into your uterus. I remember constantly chanting Hanuman Chalisa, when the procedure was going on.”

Message of God in her child “Once I got a positive result, I went for a vacation. At the end of September, I went to a clinic in Harley Street, London, for a scan, and heard my baby breathing. My mother was unaware of what was going on with me. After my third month, my sister and I, we took her to the clinic and gave her the surprise. I was diabetic during the pregnancy, so took utmost care in my diet. I wanted a natural delivery for my child, however, that wasn't possible for me.” “Due to minor complications I was admitted to the hospital before the due date on the day of the Westminster terror attack, so all doctors were busy in A&E. With a due date for April, my beautiful princess was born via caesarean section on March 23, 2017, on the date my father died, November 23, 2013. I still remember the moment when the midwife put her in my arms. That night, I was lay alone in my hospital bed, wondering what to name my child as per her zodiac. Searching through Google, I found the

Sanskrit name Khevna, and decided to name my daughter Khevna (Wish) Arjani (Pure) Vekaria. A complete family for Khevna Khevna will complete one year in March. She is an active child, fluttering between her grandmother Jayaben, Panna, and myself. When she picked something off the ground and put it in her mouth, Panna asked her in pure Kutchi language, “What did you put in your mouth?” Khevna replied in her own baby gibberish and at that moment, her innocence felt enough to melt an iceberg. Panna is as expected, a diligent mother. She takes her daughter for all kinds of activities like swimming and Baby Sensory. A blessing to her family, the little one is showered with love from all her relatives and immediate family. Not only her present, Panna has already prepared for her future, storing stem cells for her daughter. When asked if she doesn't desire to marry, Panna said, “I have always wanted to marry, and still do. However unfortunately, my biological clock was ticking fast and I had to do something about it.” Riding high on the magic of motherhood, Panna also expressed her desire to bear another child, and has frozen her eggs for the same.

Brent wins Borough of Culture Award 2020

London Borough of Brent has won the Culture Award 2020 and been given approximately £1.3m for a programme of events which will showcase the borough’s cultural story, beating more than 20 London boroughs who also competed to win. There were rounds of applause in the Civic Centre in Wembley Park as the Mayor of London’s announcement came through by video link. Navin Shah AM who was present during the announcement told Asian Voice, “I am thrilled Brent has been picked as the 2020 London Borough of Culture. MPs, Assembly Members and Councillors from This opens up so many exciting Brent celebrate the win opportunities for local people, and I can’t wait to see the £1 million Dawn Butler, MP for Brent award go towards unlocking the huge Central,told the Kilburn Times that she talent and creativity in our community was “absolutely thrilled” that the bor“Brent Council’s bid includes a huge ough won adding: “High profile celebrisummertime street party for 200,000 ties backed the bid including Rogue One people with 16 pop-up visual arts, dance, star Riz Ahmed and England football star theatre and music commissions. It also Raheem Sterling when the scheme was includes a large-scale not for profit announced last summer.” media pilot project called Brent Lives A dedicated website to capture selfand there are plans to turn Brent into an ies and videos were sent in by supporters open-air museum for 2020 for local peoof the borough’s wealth of cultural activple, Londoners and tourists from further ities. Waltham Forest won Borough of afield. This a true recognition of Brent’s Culture 2019. rich diversity and the excellent record it The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan has as a leading borough when it comes said: “Huge congratulations to Waltham to culture, arts and innovation. Forest and Brent for their superb bids...I “I would like to thank all of the local am thrilled Brent has been picked as the businesses, schools and residents that 2020 London Borough of Culture. This got behind the bid so enthusiasticallyopens up so many exciting opportunities this is a testament to all of their hard for local people, and I can’t wait to see work and the great things that can hapthe £1 million award go towards unlockpen when the whole community comes ing the huge talent and creativity in our together. community...”



Asian Voice | 3rd March 2018

Financial manipulators won’t be spared, says PM Modi Prime Minister Narendra Modi promised “strict action” against those indulging in financial manipulation, at the YES Bank- Economic Times Global Business Summit. The PM sought tight monitoring and surveillance to guard against misuse of public funds. “We are taking, and will take, strict action against financial manipulations,” Modi said, in his first reference to the recent bank frauds. He said that those incharge of monitoring and surveillance should be on alert and financial institutions should discharge their duty responsibly. “They should follow the norms with the right intentions. Any misuse of public funds will not be tolerated.” The leader spoke at length about the

to laugh at us, and joke that not only is India going down, it is also pulling down the global economy. Now people talk about India's target of becoming a $5 trillion economy. People are coming PM Modi addressing YES BankEconomic Times Global Business together with India.” Summit Modi also made economic reforms undernumerous references to taken by his government how the current governthat will soon be completment has performed better ing four years in office. than the previous UPA-led Addressing an audience of government. He mentop local and global busitioned the higher growth nessmen, key bureaucrats number in areas such as and ministers from the road construction, power, government, Modi said, “A internet connections to new India, new economy, gram panchayats, and the and new rules are there. focus on LED bulbs. He Four years back, whenever said that the government people spoke about India, had taken special efforts they made a reference to to bring out black money the 'Fragile 5'. People used for which it had formed an

SIT to investigate alleged manipulations by importers and exporters. Emphasizing that macroeconomic indicators remain healthy, Modi said that the government is now taking steps towards lending transparency in governance while according highest priority for the welfare of the poor and the lower income groups. He mentioned how the Budget had rolled out one of the country’s biggest health scheme that aims to provide Rs 5,00,000 for serious ailments to 100 million marginalized families. He said that GST has been the “biggest tax reform” undertaken by his government and has helped to boost tax compliance while boosting the government’s revenues.

Delhi jeweller booked for £39 mn fraud The CBI has filed a case against a Delhi-based jewellery outlet for an alleged fraud of £39 million, after sitting on a complaint from Oriental Bank of Commerce for almost six months. The case was filed to probe Karol Baghbased Dwarka Das Seth International, engaged in manufacturing/trading of diamond, gold, and silver jewellery that availed various credit facilities from OBC's Greater Kailash-II branch since 2007. The business is run by Sabhya Seth, Reeta Seth, Krishan Kumar Singh, and

Finance ministry sets up regulatory measures for loans Following the £1.13 billion Punjab National Bank fraud, Finance Ministry is in the works to set up new regulatory measures. Writing to Hong Kong branches of four Indian banks, it asked them to reconcile accounts and check for i r r e g u l a r i t i e s . Reconciliation of an account involves confirming whether the money leaving an account matches that amount that's been spent. A report said that four lenders, SBI, Axis Bank, Allahabad Bank, and Bank of India, have been issued Letters of Undertaking (LoUs) by PNB's Mumbai branch. The state owned banks will now appoint a special representative or agency to monitor status for all loans of above £25 million, and that a consortium of lenders cannot exceed seven banks.

Ravi Kumar, all of whom are mentioned in the FIR. After its own inquiry, the bank claimed that the people, along with their family members could not be traced at their residences for the last 10 months. The public sector

bank had approached the CBI on August 16, last year with allegations against Dwarka Das Seth International. However, an FIR was registered just last week. In its complaint, the bank claimed that the business enjoyed

various credit facilities, including foreign bill discounting under letters of credit (LC). They first began availing the facility in 2007, and bills were regularly realised before further bills were discounted. OBC said Sabhya was utilising the facility under LCs established by foreign banks abroad. It said after cheating the bank, he formed a company in Dubai called Freya Trading Co. He even hired an Indian representative called Atul Kumar Garg.

India poised to be a $10 trillion economy by 2030, say biz leaders

Business leaders from India, and from around the world, came together for the ET Global Business Summit in New Delhi, and unanimously agreed that India will breach the $10 trillion GDP mark by 2030. However, to achieve that, it may have to adopt several unorthodox measures. Global managing partner of McKinsey & Co., Dominic Barton said with around 120 million people set to join the Indian workforce, skilling them in a short span of time is essential. “You cannot do that with conventional education,” Barton said. Founder and CEO of Yes Bank, Rana Kapoor said the time is ripe for local entrepreneurs to make bold decisions. “Today, we have a global economy growing at 3.9 per cent,” he said. He said

(From Left) William B Thomas, Anil Agarwal and Rana Kapoor

if the country manages to tap into the tail winds that are being created as a result of that, the country's economy may start growing at 9 per cent in the next one-and-half years. Naspers CEO Bob van Dijk mirrored the enthusiasm. According to him, India will witness ecommerce sales of $150 billion within 10 years. “Currently, e-commerce penetration as a percentage of retail is 3 to 4 per cent. If you look at global benchmarks, probably UK is around 18 to 19 per cent. China went from sub-10 to 17

per cent in five years, so if India can get to 15 per cent internet penetration in five years, you will be talking about 10X,” Dijk said. “What we have seen in China is that explosive growth drives innovation, I think the innovation that will come out of India will actually be viewed by the rest of the world.” He added that when very large e-commerce businesses like Flipkart come to scale, they will take a bigger role in the lives of the average Indian than they would ever do in Western economies.


RBI says it warned banks thrice on SWIFT

Urjit Patel

Breaking silence on its supervisory role in the PNB fraud, the RBI finally decided to address the displeasure surrounding its inaction, saying it has warned banks at least thrice since August 2016 of possible misuse of the SWIFT Infrastructure. Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Te l e c o m m u n i c a t i o n s (SWIFT) is a messaging platform used to send secure instructions on transfer of funds, guarantees, and payments. The regulator said despite its early warning, banks are at various stages of implementation of the prescribed safeguards. RBI also announced the appointment of chartered accountant YH Malegam, to head a panel that will look into the causes of fraud at lenders and the reason for their failure in identifying defaulters. According to the RBI, its inspection of banks have shown that there are

major differences in the default accounts identified by it and those classified by banks. “The risks arising from the potential malicious use of the SWIFT infrastructure, created by banks for their genuine business needs, has always been a component of their operational risk profile,” the RBI said in a statement. It said it had therefore, confidentially cautioned and alerted banks of such possible misuse at least on three occasions since August 2016, advising them to implement the safeguards detailed by it for preempting such occurrences. In the wake of SWIFTrelated fraud involving significant amounts, the RBI reiterated its confidential instructions, and mandated lenders to implement within the stipulated deadlines, prescribed measures for strengthening the SWIFToperating environment in banks.

Top Indian American Ford executive fired A top Indian American executive of the Ford Motor Company was fired after an internal investigation found his behavior “inconsistent with the company's code of conduct”. Raj Nair, a longtime Ford executive who was president for North America, was leaving the company immediately, an announcement said. Ford has reserved any details on what the behavior entailed. The departure came after several high-profile business leaders have quit or been fired following accusations of sexual misconduct. Ford's chief executive, Jim Hackett released a statement saying, “We made this decision after a thorough review and careful consideration. Ford is deeply committed to providing and nurturing a safe and respectful culture and we expect our leaders to fully uphold these val-

Raj Nair

ues.” Nair apologised, however, refrained from elaborating. “I sincerely regret that there have been instances where I have not exhibited leadership behaviors consistent with the principles that the company and I have always espoused,” Nair said in Ford's statement. He was appointed to his current position last May when Hackett became CEO. Just last year, women at the company's Chicago plant said they had been subjected to sexual harassment and that their complaints had been met with hostility and inaction.



Suresh Vagjiani

Sow & Reap London Property Investment


The art world has a reputation of being under handed. There is no regulation in this market, the price of a picture is not even quoted. The artists and dealers protect themselves by saying this allows the viewing to be totally about the art and not the price. In theory, and sometimes in practice, dealers will quote a different price depending on who they are speaking to. Why would they do this? Because, depending where the piece ends up will affect the future of the artist. In certain galleries the artist will gather repute, and in the home of a private collector who perhaps does not even know what he’s buying, the sale will have little impact. Given this is only one thread of how the art market works, it is refreshing when there is an auction, as anyone who

qualifies for a paddle can come in and bid. The auction room offers transparency. OR does it? Like the property market, auctioneers often have a habit of what they call in the art market chandelier bidding. The term for the property market is bidding against the wall, as you don’t always have a chandelier in the humble rooms used. Here, the auctioneer starts the bidding below the reserve price, and if there are no bids in the room they pretend there are bids coming in until they hit the reserve price. Not exactly transparent. In the art market there are also those who have vested interests, and want to ensure the prices are kept up to a level. There is no intrinsic value to a piece of art, it is paint and canvas. If they have a collection of a particular artist, they do not want to

NEW EPC RULES ARE HEADING OUR WAY! Last week, we covered the new rules regarding EPCs, which are coming into effect on the 1st of April 2018. Remember, from April if your property is rating F or G you will have to make improvements to your property or you will not be able to rent it out without a fine.

There are things you can do to improve your rating, for example:

windows can lose your home 10% in heat l install loft insulation l add thermostats l draught-proofing l replace any halogen, or non-low energy lighting, with LEDs, or compact fluorescent lights l check your walls for cavities l replace old inefficient boilers l insulation for hot water cylinders l consider replacing your appliances with higher energy ratings

l take a look at your windows - poorly installed

As mentioned in last week’s article, some or all

Tips on improving your EPC rating


buildings may have to reach a rating of A at some point (however, I might be wrong, but I think realistically we would be looking at a C), so it’s better to do as much as you can now. There are some circumstances in which you can apply for an exemption. One, for example, is where the occupying tenant withholds consent. It should be noted that you need to check the tenancy agreement. A tenant’s consent may not be required where the


Asian Voice | 3rd March 2018

see a single piece sell for less than a certain amount. They will ensure someone at the auction will be bidding up the price, if this means they end up with the piece so be it. In the property market, unlike the art market, there is transparency in terms of pricing. One can see within minutes what all the other properties in the block or street have sold for, and when the sale occurred. You can also see the ownership details, and whether they have a mortgage and with whom. This is arguably perhaps a little too much information. This is the issue of the property market, there is too much information and therefore the margin is very tight; meaning everyone knows the construction cost, and the resale values. Therefore, when selling a development you will sell it leaving approximately tenancy agreement allows you to enter to carry out improvements (as opposed to just repairs). There are temporary exemptions that can apply too, in some cases. You will not need to get a new EPC if you already have a valid EPC, however, of course you will need to renew it once its 10 year life span is up. Although, some landlords might choose to get an EPC redone, as a higher rating can be a selling point. Act quickly It is important that you are ready by 1st April 2018, as you don’t want to find yourself in a position

25% for the incoming developer. If the market turns, the developer will struggle, depending on where he is positioned in the market. The top end will feel the pinch more generally. The property auction market may look transparent and on the whole is, however, those who know the rules also know how to bend them. With the influx of retail investors, many auctions instead of being the realm for dealers, have now become a dumping ground

where you are unable to rent your property out, leaving you with an empty property not even covering your mortgage let alone earning any money. Don’t panic, help is at

for traders. With the idea being to dupe the unsuspecting buyer, whilst complying with the letter of the law but not the spirit. We have seen several cases of buyers ending up with lemons from the auctions. However, auctions can also be a great place to pick up opportunities, and you do have the security of actually getting the deal done. One just needs to exercise a healthy dose of caution when tackling them.

hand. If you are still stuck as to what to do to ensure you are ready in time, get in touch and I’ll share some more free tips on this. Richard Bond Lettings Manager Sow & Reap

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Asian Voice | 3rd March 2018

Wilful defaulters owe over £10 bn to Indian banks

Over £10 billion was owed to banks as on September 30, 2017, by people or companies characterised as “wilful defaulters”. Entities unwilling to pay despite having the capacity to do so are categorised under the term. A leading agency analysed over 9,000 such accounts, to find that the top 11 debtor groups, each with dues of over £100 million together had over £2.60 billion outstanding to the banks. Analysis of publically available data for suitfiled accounts (wilful defaulters) of Rs 25,00,000 and above shows Jatin Mehta-promoted Winsome Diamonds & Jewellery Ltd and Forever Precious Jewellery & Diamonds Ltd owed close to £550 million to various banks. Mehta is reported to be now a citizen of St Kitts and Nevis, a tax haven with which India doesn’t have an extradition treaty. Mehta’s companies are followed by Vijay Mallya’s Kingfisher Airlines, which has to pay back over £300 million under this head. The third company in the list is Kolkata-based REI Agro, a company owned by Sandip Jhunjhunwala, which, according to news reports, was once listed in London and Singapore stock exchanges and was co-sponsor of an IPL team. This company owes £273 million. Bad loans up 27% in last one year Next in the list are the companies owned by Prabodh Kumar Tewari and his family members. The amount outstanding on Mahuaa Media, Pearl Studio Pvt. Ltd, Century Communication and Pixion Media Pvt Ltd is £241.6 million. The other companies that owe more than £200 million and are unwilling to pay despite having the means, according to the banks, are Zoom Developers Pvt Ltd pro-

moted by Vijay Choudhary, Reid & Taylor (India) Limited & S Kumars Nationwide Limited, both promoted by Nitin Kasliwal, and media baron T Venkatram Reddy’s Deccan Chronicle Holdings Limited. The data shows the alarming rate at which these bad loans are growing. In the past one year it has increased by about 27%. In the previous three years, it had increased by 38%, 67% and 35%, respectively. Thus, between September 2013 and September 2017, the amount has quadrupled from £2.84 billion to over £11 billion. While some of this would be due to interest being added each year, the quantum of the increase is too large to be entirely or even mainly due to that. RBI defines “wilful default” as defaults done despite the borrowers’ paying capacity. Money diverted for purposes other than the specific purpose of finance, or siphoned off and hence not available as assets to the borrower also qualifies as wilful default. Borrowers who have sold fixed assets that they provided as collateral to secure the loan without informing the bank also come under this category. The cumulative total of more than 50 companies or groups each with over £25 million of wilful default works out to about £4.80 billion. To put that in perspective, it is only slightly less than the government’s allocation of £5.28 billion for health in the 2018-19 Budget. Bankwise analysis of the data shows that nationalised banks (excluding SBI and associates) constitute about 60% of this money. SBI and its associates account for one fourth of the total. Private sector banks have also declared over £1.40 billion as wilful defaults.


Jaitley raps regulators, says only politicians face fire for frauds Slamming regulators, bank managements and auditors for their failure to detect bank frauds, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley released a statement signaling the government's displeasure over the Reserve Bank of India's failure to call fraud on the £1.13 billion PNB case. “Politicians are accountable but regulators are not,” Jaitley said. “We must always Arun Jaitley remember that regulators have a very importhe game and they have to tant function. They ultihave a third eye kept perpetmately decide the rules of ually open and turned

towards the sector. But unfortunately, in Indian system, we politicians are accountable, the regulators are not,” he said at the Economic Times Global Business Summit. The comments came a day after Prime Minister Narendra Modi promised “strict action” against those engaging in financial manipulation and sought tight monitoring and surveillance to guard against misuse of

US tells India to cut tariffs as trade friction heats up

Industry and government sources say US business and diplomats are pressing India to cut tariffs, after New Delhi's move to increase customs duties on dozens of products to help its flagship Make in India drive aggravated differences over trade. Ford, which has two plants in India, has sought a reversal of the new tariffs on auto components, While Apple Inc is concerned its iPhones have become even more expensive in the price-conscious $10 billion smartphone market. A US State Department spokesperson said India must lower trade barriers, which were holding back economic ties. US President Donald Trump has already called out India on its duties on HarleyDavidson motorbikes, and this month, PM Modi ordered them cut to 50 per cent from 75 per cent for high-end bikes. However,

that has not satisfied Trump, who pointed to zero duties for Indian bikes sold in the US. He said he would push for a “reciprocal tax” against countries, including US allies, that levy tariffs on American products. “It is important that India make greater efforts to lower barriers to trade, including tariff and nontariff barriers, which will lower prices to consumers, promote development of value chains in India,” the State Department spokesperson said.

India announced higher import tax on electronics products such as mobile phones and television sets in December, and then on 40 other items in the budget this month. The goods included sunglasses, juices, and auto components. India said the movie is aimed at giving local industry the chance to grow and is part of a broader plan to lift the share manufacturing makes up of GDP to a quarter, from around 15 per cent, and create the tens of thousands of jobs needed for a young workforce.

Rajiv Bansal

the remaining payment on grounds that he had not met some of his obligations. Earlier last year, he invoked his rights to an arbitral tribunal and former Supreme Court judge RV Raveendran was appointed as sole arbitrator in April. Over the past several months, various submissions have been made to the tribunal by both the parties. Law firm Indus Law is representing Bansal, and Nishith Desai Associates is Infosys’ counsel. The Arbitration Act mandates that a decision must be made within one year from the date of constitution of the arbitral tribunal.

Infosys files £10 mn claim against ex-CFO Bansal

Infosys has reportedly filed a counter-claim of over £10 million against former CFO Rajiv Bansal for alleged breach of confidentiality agreements. Shriram Subramanian, founder of corporate governance advisory firm InGovern Research Services, said there could be claims and counter-claims in the arbitration hearing and one cannot respond to hearsay unless the outcome of the arbitration proceedings is known. The update comes after the second hearing in the arbitration proceedings between the two parties in January in Bengaluru. The first was held in December.

Bansal had contested Infosys' decision to suspend the payment of about of £1.2 million of the severance pay that was promised to him at the time of his leaving in 2015. The multinational had agreed to pay Bansal £1.74 million as severance, however, had disbursed only £500,000, halting

public funds. Jaitley had earlier in the week, criticised the role of errant companies, bank managements, and auditors. His recent statements however, were the strongest. “They call for every person in position with whatever responsibility to undertake to perform his job and where regulation is lacking, it needs to be strengthened. Ultimately, if fraud is taking place in multiple branches of the banking system and you do not have a single employee raising the red flag, is that not worrisome for the country as a whole?” Jaitley asked.

India to get right over 65% of ADNOC oil India will hold right over 65 per cent of 6 million barrels of crude oil stored by the Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC) at a maiden strategic storage at Mangalore. The company will send three large ships carrying crude oil beginning April, to fill half of 1.5 million tonnes strategic oil reserves that India has built at Mangalore. A senior government official said 35 per cent of the stored crude can be used by the ADNOC for commercial purposes like trading or selling to refiners whenever it wants. The remaining 65 per cent would be for strategic purpose of meeting India's oil need during a contingency like supply disruption. “ADNOC will of course be paid for the oil if India were to draw from the reserves,” the official said. Special purpose vehicle created by the government, the Indian Strategic Petroleum Reserves Ltd has built around 39 million barrels of strategic crude oil storage at three locationsPadur and Mangalore on the western coast and Vishakhapatnam on the eastern coast. While the Vishakhapatnam storage of ISPRL has a capacity of 1.33 million tonnes of crude oil, Padur can stock 2.5 million tonnes. Oil in Mangalore is stored in two compartments with a total storage capacity of 1.5 million tonnes. While one compartment has been filled with crude oil through funds made available by the government, the other compartment will be filled by crude supplied by ADNOC, the official said.

WORLD AsianVoiceNews



Asian Voice | 3rd March 2018


Pakistan back on terror financing watch list

NEW DELHI: Pakistan was once again been put back on an international terrorism financing “grey list”, three years after it was removed from it. As the plenary meeting of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) closed in Paris, Pakistan’s fortunes plunged - from June, the country will be under what is officially known as “direct ICRG reporting” which will place it under greater international scrutiny, make it more difficult to access overseas funding and directly hit its already ailing economy in an election year. Pakistan has until June to make changes in its actions against terror groups. This is why, sources said, Pakistan was not mentioned in the final statement by FATF but will be put on the list at the next plenary, slated for June. The

final decision was a big victory for the US, UK, France and Germany, which had co-sponsored the move back in January, complaining that actions promised by Pakistan against moneylaundering and terror finance infrastructure remained on paper, while big terror groups like JuD/LeT and Taliban continued to flourish inside Pakistan. The US under Donald Trump has taken a tougher line against Pakistan, which apparently found resonance at the FATF meetings, particularly because there was no Indian presence. China struck deal with US, India India, however, has reason to be particularly pleased because it has embarked on a huge diplomatic exercise to shame Pakistan on its support to

terrorism. Pakistan’s presence back in the grey list will continue to focus international attention on its terror activities. Pakistan was on the watch list between 2012- 2015 for money-laundering. According to reports, Pakistan has three months to convince the body that it has acted against terror

organisations. But it will be difficult, particularly as elections loom in the country and given the support that the terror groups enjoy among the military-intelligence complex and the political class. It was the US which reintroduced the motion after the Pakistan minister breached confidentiality - a

Court bars Sharif from heading his party ISLAMABAD: Pakistan’s Supreme Court declared former PM Nawaz Sharif ineligible to head his own party, Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N), and announced that all decisions taken by him as party president stood null and void. The landmark judgment was another major blow to the ruling PML-N since Sharif’s disqualification as the country’s PM by the top court on July 28 last year in the Panama Papers case verdict, related to his family’s undeclared offshore assets and wealth. A three-member bench headed by Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Mian Saqib Nisar said all

Imran Khan's second wife alleges ‘death threats’

Reham with Imran Khan

ISLAMABAD: Imran Khan's second wife Reham Khan claimed that she fled Pakistan after receiving death threats for speaking out about the cricketer-turnedpolitician. Reham told a British newspaper that she fled the country after receiving threats of being “blown up.” Individuals seeking to protect Imran Khan’s political career, “told us . . . that anyone who talks about Imran now is going to be blown up,” she said.

Nawaz Sharif

acts, including issuance of Senate tickets by Nawaz Sharif, stood illegal. Polls for the upper house of parliament are scheduled to be held on March 3. “All steps taken, orders passed, directions given and documents issued, by

Nawaz after the July 28 verdict will be deemed nullified,” the verdict said. In the Panamagate verdict, the court had barred Sharif from holding public office, stating that he was not “honest” and “truthful” in discharging his obligations as a lawmaker. The Panama Papers judgment had also made Sharif ineligible to head his party. The ruling PML-N, however, had managed to amend the Constitution, passing the Election Act of 2017 from parliament, and paved the way for the exPM to become PML-N president. The amendment was challenged by

the opposition parties, including Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf, in the SC. In its judgment, the court declared Article 17 of the Elections Act which allowed Sharif to retake his party’s leadership - null and void, and subsequently ordered the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) to remove him as president of the PML-N. The Chief Justice said it was mandatory for a party head to fulfill the requirements of Articles 62 and 63 (related to qualification and disqualification for membership of parliament), as a party head is powerful and political parties control the government.

Plea moved in court to rename Lahore area after Bhagat Singh

pleaded that it LAHORE: A petiwould be in the tion has been filed interest of justice in a Pakistani court to name Shadman seeking renaming of Chowk after Lahore's Shaadman Bhagat Singh and Chowk where freealso install his dom fighter Bhagat statue at the Singh was hanged square so as to 86 years ago and inspire the people installation of his of Pakistan and statue there. Bhagat Bhagat Singh, Sukhdev, Rajguru the world. In the Singh was hanged Khan ordered clubbing of plea, Qureshi said that in along with his two comboth petitions and fixed India there were many rades Rajguru and Sukhdev March 5 for hearing. The roads and thoroughfares by British rulers on March petitioner stated that named after Muslim rulers 23, 1931 in the erstwhile Bhagat Singh was a freelike Akbar Road, Shah Lahore Jail, which stood at dom fighter of the sub-conJahan Road and Bahadar the spot where the roundtinent and gave his life Shah Road. about was built later. along with his companions Mumbai attack masterDuring the hearing of for the cause of freedom. mind and Jammat-udthe plea filed by Bhagat He pointed out that Dawah chief Hafiz Saeed is Singh Memorial founder of Pakistan Quaidstrongly opposing the proFoundation Chairman i-Azam Muhammad Ali posal of renaming Imtiaz Rashid Qureshi, the Jinnah had also paid tribute Shadman Chowk and even Lahore high court was to him saying, "There had had threatened to the civil informed that a similar never been any brave persociety members over this petition was pending with son in the subcontinent matter. it. Justice Shahid Jamil like Bhagat Singh." He

strict norm - with the tweet claiming that Pakistan will not be put back on the list. Hectic negotiations were on in Washington for the past couple of days as China, which had supported Pakistan, was persuaded to stand down, as were the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) and Turkey. Getting China to roll back its backing for Pakistan was a tough task, given its ties with Islamabad. But China is lobbying for a top position in the FATF and will need support from the sponsor countries. India and the US pledged support to Beijing in return for its neutrality on Pakistan. Russia was also tilting towards Pakistan but was persuaded by India. Turkey in fact, remained the last country blocking the move

against Pakistan. Earlier this week, Pakistan’s foreign minister Khawaja Asif had tweeted from Moscow that Pakistan had been let off the hook for three months, with a US-led motion at FATF being “defeated”. The resolution was blocked by China, Turkey and the GCC, which was acting on the instructions of Saudi Arabia, Pakistan’s staunch supporter. (Pakistan has just deployed troops for Saudi Arabia’s anti-terror coalition which is widely seen as an anti-Iran body, something it had refused to do earlier). China’s action is significant because it has invested over $60 billion in the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor and to build Gwadar port. But China, too, has been plagued by Pakistan’s terrorists, losing workers to terror violence.


Bangladesh court defers decision on Zia's bail plea

Former Bangladeshi Prime Minister Khaleda Zia has been given five years’ rigorous imprisonment by a lower court

DHAKA: Bangladesh's High Court has deferred verdict on imprisoned exprime minister and Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) chief Khaleda Zia's bail petition, saying it would decide after receiving necessary papers from the lower court. The 72year-old three-time former prime minister was given a five-year jail term by Dhaka's Special Court on February 8 in connection with the embezzlement of 21 million taka (about USD 250,000) in foreign donations meant for the Zia Orphanage Trust, named after her late husband Ziaur Rahman. "The two-judge bench said it would issue the order on the petition after receiving the case documents from the trial court." The February 8 verdict virtually shook the country's political scenario ahead of the general elections while the BNP, the main opposition party outside Parliament, alleged that it was politically motivated to debar Zia from contesting elections, an allegation denied by Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina-led government. The high vourt had ear-

lier this week accepted for hearing her bail petition along with prayers, challenging her conviction and ordered authorities concerned to forward the case records in 15 days. Political analysts feared that the BNP was now exposed to a political wilderness after Zia's conviction, which is likely to disqualify her for elections unless she could obtain a different direction from the Supreme Court. BNP's secretary general Mirza Falhrul Islam Alamgir earlier last week told a protest rally that the party would not take part in polls discarding Zia and "no national election will be held without BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia". But Sheikh Hasina said her government could do nothing if the BNP again decides to boycott the polls over its leader's imprisonment but elections would be held in due time. Judge MD Akhteruzzaman of the Special Judge Court passed the order extending the bail after Zia's barrister Moudud Ahmed submitted a petition seeking an extension of her bail in the Zia Charitable Trust graft case.


WORLD AsianVoiceNews

Asian Voice | 3rd March 2018




Lanka President Pravin Gordhan gets Public reshuffles cabinet Enterprises in SA cabinet reshuffle

JOHANNESBURG: South African President Cyril Ramaphosa has reshuffled the Cabinet, replacing Finance Minister Malusi Gigaba and moving him to Home Affairs. Former Finance Minister Nhlanhla Nene resumed his previous post, reports said. Jeff Radebe, Minister in the Presidency responsible for Monitoring and Evaluation, was assigned to the Energy portfolio, and former Africa Union Commission chairperson Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma replaced Radebe. Former Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan was assigned to the Public Enterprises Minister which is facing governance challenges. Zweli Mkhize, former Treasurer General in the Africa National Congress (ANC), is now the Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs

Pravin Gordhan

Minister, Ramaphosa announced at a press briefing in Pretoria. The President appointed the ANC Deputy President David Mabuza as the country's Deputy President. "In making these changes I have been conscious of the need to balance continuity and stability with the need for

renewal, economic recovery and accelerated transformation," the President said. The South African Communist Party General Secretary Blade Nzimande was appointed Transport Minister. He was axed last year by the then President Jacob Zuma. Ramaphosa said, "These changes are

meant to ensure that national government is better equipped to implement the mandate of this administration." ANC chairperson Gwede Mantashe was also appointed the Mineral Resources Minister. Ramaphosa, who was sworn in this month after Zuma resigned in the face of multiple corruption allegations, signalled his intent to clean up the graft that has weakened one of Africa's top economies by appointing two widely respected former finance ministers. Gigaba has been criticised for his ties to the Gupta business family that is accused of using its association with Zuma to manipulate state companies for its own financial benefit. Ramaphosa moved Gigaba back to the Home Affairs Ministry.

Kenya’s debt hits new record of Sh4.57 trillion mark

NAIROBI: Kenya’s public debt has for the first time exceeded the Sh4.5 trillion mark, reflecting the Jubilee government’s increasing appetite for loans despite recent warnings over the pace at which the debt is accumulating. The Treasury’s latest report indicates that total public debt stood at Sh4.57 trillion at the end of December 2017 as the build-up of massive borrowing that began five years ago continued unabated. “The gross public debt increased by Sh746.7 billion, from Sh3.82 trillion as at end of December 2016 to Sh4.57 trillion by December 31, 2017,” says the Treasury

Tanzania MP jailed for insulting president DAR ES SALAAM: A court in Tanzania has sentenced opposition CHADEMA party lawmaker and a local leader to five months in prison for insulting President John Magufuli. The court convicted Joseph Mbilinyi, the lawmaker, and local leader Emmanuel Masonga for using abusive language against the president at a public rally. Mbilinyi was accused of associating Magufuli with an alleged assassination attempt on vocal opposition MP Tundu Lissu last year. Lissu, a fierce critic of Magufuli government, was shot several times by unknown gunmen in September. He sought treatment abroad and has yet to return.

in its latest public debt report. The mountain of debt comprises of 51.9 per cent of foreign loans and 48.1 per cent of domestic loans and does not include recent borrowings, such as last week’s Sh210 billion Eurobond. “The overall increase is attributed to increased external debt mainly aris-

ing from exchange rate fluctuations and, disbursements from external loans debt during the period,” says the Treasury. The Treasury report shows that by the end of December 2017, total cumulative revenue, i n c l u d i n g Appropriations in Aid (A-IA) collected amounted to Sh709.4 billion against a target of Sh777.7 billion, representing a shortfall of Sh68.3 billion. “Ordinary revenue collection was Sh656.9 billion against a target of Sh701.7 billion an under performance of Sh44.8 billion,” says Treasury. The balloon-

ing public debt has seen Kenya come under increasing pressure to slow down its uptake of loans, but the warnings have so far gone unheeded. “We advise government to work towards reducing debt,” Jan Mikkelsen, the IMF resident representative to Kenya, told Parliament last week as he warned that the debt is approaching “unstainable levels”. The Treasury last week shrugged off a ratings downgrade and loss of access to an IMF standby credit facility to raise a Sh202 billion ($2 billion) Eurobond in what the government said is a show of confidence in Kenya’s credit worthiness.

Sri Lanka President reshuffles cabinet, PM sworn in as Law and Order Minister

COLOMBO: Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena reshuffled the cabinet for the second time since forming a unity government in 2015 after its two main coalition partners were defeated in local government elections. Sirisena announced changes to six cabinet ministers, three state ministers and one deputy minister, according to a statement from the president’s office. Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe added the portfolio of law and order to his responsibilities. "The government needs to improve its policies, programmes and actions to serve our people better." Sirisena’s office quoted him as saying. A new opposition party backed by former Sri Lankan president Mahinda Rajapaksa won local government elections on Feb. 10, defeating the parties of Sirisena and Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe, who together run the federal government. Amid moves by Sirisena to appoint a new prime minister,

Wickremesinghe said on Feb. 16 that he will restructure his party after its poll loss and would stay in his role as per the island’s constitution while discussing with Sirisena changes to the cabinet. Sirisena ousted Rajapaksa at presidential polls in 2015 and the unity government he formed with Wickremesinghe won parliamentary elections in August that year. With no significant changes announced, there will be no impact on the markets, said Adrian Perera, chief operating officer at EquiCapital Investments in Colombo. "The government will have to take strong action to revive the economy and keep the cost of living down, otherwise the opposition will get activated again and the main parties will be in trouble again in future elections," Perera said. Sirisena made his first changes to the cabinet in May, including swapping the key finance and foreign ministry portfolios in a bid to bolster the island nation’s development drive.

US Peace Corps return to Lanka

Uganda, Somalia trade charges over Mogadishu shoot-out

KAMPALA: The Ugandan army said its troops had shot dead three Somali soldiers in Mogadishu, accusing them of opening fire on a military convoy carrying Uganda's peacekeeping commander. UPDF said Somali troops opened fire on the convoy of Brigadier Paul Lokech, who heads the Ugandan contingent of the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM), during a lockdown on the capital after two bomb blasts killed dozens of people. UPDF spokesman Brigadier Richard Karemire said his country's soldiers had retaliated in selfdefence. "There is absolutely no reason why the AMISOM forces in their designated sector of responsibility should have

PM Ranil Wickremesinghe and US Envoy to Sri Lanka Atul Keshap witnessed the signing of agreement

been blocked and fired at en route back to the base after providing critical support and with some victims of the attack being quickly evacuated for urgent medical attention," he said. "As the incident is being investigated, let it be clear that AMISOM rules of engagement provide for self-defence and anyone who fires at these forces becomes a target," he added. However Somali

security official, Mohamed Ali, blamed the AMISOM convoy for the bloodshed. "There were about nine AMISOM military trucks involved in the incident, they were stopped by the officers at the checkpoint who were following instructions to stop all trucks due to lockdown but the AMISOM convoy commander ordered his juniors to forcefully pass by the checkpoint and opened fire on the soldiers," he said.

COLOMBO: In a new initiative, United States and Colombo signed an agreement to re-establish a Peace Corps programme in Sri Lanka. Acting Peace Corps Director Sheila Crowley and Foreign Affairs Minister Tilak Marapana signed the agreement to reestablish the programme in Sri Lanka. Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe and US Ambassador to Sri Lanka and Maldives Atul Keshap witnessed the signing. The announcement coincides with the 70th

anniversary of diplomatic relations between the United States and Sri Lanka. The United States has decided to re-establish the programme, after a request by the Sri Lanka government to re-implement the Peace Corps Programme in the island nation to teach English. Peace Corps said its efforts in Sri Lanka would focus on English language education. This programme will support the development of capacity of the English language teachers in Sri Lanka.

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Asian Voice | 3rd March 2018

China amends law to let Xi stay in 'power longer'

BEIJING: The Chinese communist party has in a major decision lifted the section of the constitution that limits President Xi Jinping from holding office for more than two terms. The move can formally place Xi in the same league as modern China’s founding father Mao Zedong who remained the supreme commander till the last day of his life. The party has decided to remove a crucial section in the country’s constitution that limits a president from enjoying more than two terms of five years each. Xi is due to finish his second term in 2023. The limit was, in fact, intended to ensure there is no accumulation of power as was the case with Mao. The Communist Party Central Committee, the political body of top leaders of the party, has “proposed to remove the expression that the president and vice president of

Xi Jinping

the People’s Republic of China, “shall serve no more than two consecutive terms from the country’s constitution,” it said. The move comes after the Communist Party decided to enshrine “Xi Jinping Thought” as one of its high ideals in the party constitution last year. The move has wide implications for India because Xi has revamped the People’s Liberation Army and ordered exten-

sive use of information technology and drones to achieve what he has often described as the “ability to win wars”. He has also launched the $60 billion China Pakistan Economic Corridor with the purpose of connecting China to the Arabian Sea, which opens up a future naval challenge for India. The Chinese president sent out a signal that he was unlikely to be satisfied with two terms when he

broke away from past practice of anointing a successor while taking over as president and party general secretary for the second term in October last year. The new members of the sevenmember Politburo Standing Committee, which runs the country, does not have anyone who could be regarded his successor. Officials indicated that the party needed a “strong and stable leader” until the middle of the 21st century. “Especially in the period from 2020 to 2035, which is a crucial stage for China to basically realise socialist modernisation, China and the CPC need a stable, strong and consistent leadership. The decision confirmed that Xi enjoys massive influence over the Communist Party to be able to rewrite one of the most crucial aspects of the Constitution.

Maldives on a collision course with India MALE: The Maldives looked set for a collision course with India, as a parliamentary committee voted to extend the state of emergency by 30 days, defying India’s expectation conveyed hours earlier. According to an official statement from President Abdulla Yameen’s office, the Parliamentary Standing Committee on National Security voted for the extension, by “easing constitutional restrictions”. The extension, the statement said, was submitted at the request of Yameen due to the present “threat to national security and the constitutional crisis” following a February 1 ruling. The Supreme Court had ordered the release of nine jailed Opposition leaders, including exiled former President Mohamed Nasheed, and the reinstatement of 12 expelled legislators. Earlier, India's


state of emergency l e g a l l y , because it does not have the 43 legislators in the M a j l i s (Parliament) that must vote in favour of it. “The Constitution states that 43 Abdulla Yameen MPs must be present during Ministry of External a vote on a matter of Affairs said: “It is our public compliance and a expectation that the state of emergency is a Government of Maldives matter of public compliwill not be seeking ance.” extension of the state of By implication, emergency so that the Nasheed said, the emerpolitical process in [the] gency, or any extension Maldives can resume to it, is illegal. “It also with immediate effect.” means that any action Yameen had declared taken by the government emergency rule on or security forces using February 5, for 15 days, emergency powers are after defying the illegal. President Yameen Supreme Court order. is ruling down the barrel The Opposition termed of a gun. There is zero the move illegal. legitimacy to anything he is doing,” said Illegal extension Nasheed, who had earlier Nasheed said the govsought Indian military ernment can’t extend the

intervention to resolve the problem in Male. However, in a tweet, the President’s office said: “It is unconstitutional to say that the state of emergency cannot be declared.” While India is yet to indicate its strategy in responding to the ongoing political and constitutional crisis in its neighbourhood, New Delhi reiterated its position and urged Male to implement the SC ruling. “It is important that Maldives quickly returns to the path of democracy and the rule of law so that the aspirations of Maldivian people are met and the concerns of the international community are assuaged,” it said in a statement. The UN, the US, the U.K., the European Union, Australia and Canada, among others, had earlier asked Yameen to comply with the ruling and ensure that the rule of law prevails.

Many Indians get Sloan Research Fellowship

Anushya Chandran

Arka Majumdar

Amar Vutha

Supreet Kaur

CALIFORNIA: Many Indian American scientists and researchers were honoured with Alfred P. Sloan Foundation's research fellowships. Indian origin researchers were recognized in all but the neuroscience category. Among the physics Fellows are Anushya Chandran of Boston University, Arka Majumdar of the University of

Arun Chandrasekhar

Venkat Viswanathan

Nidhi Sahni

tional and evolutionary molecular biology category. In computer science, Karthik Sridharan of Cornell University and Finale Doshi-Velez were named Fellows. Arun Chandrasekhar of Stanford University and Supreet Kaur of U.C. Berkeley were named Fellows in the economics section. In mathematics, Boston University’s

Rajamani Gounder

Washington, and Amar Vutha of the University of Toronto. Chemistry recipients included Rajamani Gounder of Purdue University and Venkat Viswanathan of Carnegie Mellon University. Nidhi Sahni of the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center was named a Fellow in the computa-

Finale Doshi

Jennifer Balakrishnan and Arul Shankar of the University of Toronto as Fellows.

Wealthy Japanese man wins custody of 13 surrogate kids BANGKOK: A wealthy Japanese man was granted “sole parent” rights to 13 children he fathered through Thai surrogate mothers, in a court ruling that paves the way for him to take them to Japan. Mitsutoki Shigeta, 28, became the center of a “baby factory” scandal in 2014 after Thai police

found a plush Bangkok apartment packed with infants under the care of 24-hour nannies. A probe later found he had fathered 19 children in total, 13 surrogate babies living in Thailand and six others living in Cambodia and

Japan, according to an official from Thailand’s Social Development and Welfare Department. Four of the six children living in Cambodia and Japan were from Thai surrogates. Shigeta’s bizarre case threw a spotlight on the king-

dom’s unregulated rent-awomb industry, prompting authorities to bar foreigners in 2015 from paying for Thai surrogates. Shigeta, reportedly the son of a Japanese IT tycoon, left the country in the wake of the scandal and has never directly explained why he fathered so many children. But he later took

Thailand’s Ministry of Social Development and Human Security to court to seek custody of the children. A Bangkok court granted him legal rights to take the children, saying he had ample money to care for them and had prepared nurses and nannies at a safe residence in Japan.


INDIA AsianVoiceNews

Asian Voice | 3rd March 2018



Kamal Haasan launches his political party CHENNAI: Veteran actor Kamal Haasan launched his political party, the 'Makkal Needhi Maiam' in Madurai. He said the name roughly translates to “Centre for People's Justice”. “I am not your leader, I am your tool... this gathering is full of leaders,” Haasan said. The party flag was unveiled before Haasan announced the name of his party with a brief pause. The party flag has six hands joining together with shades of red over three hands and rest with white along with a star in between- all in a white background. “This is a party for the people... I am not a leader

event, Haasan had met late president APJ Abdul Kalam's elder brother M o h a m m e d Muthumeera Lebbai Maraikkayar in Rameswaram. “A little has changed, but my people have not. I am all of your son. You all have seen me as a movie star so far, from now I want you to tell that I am not a cinema star. I am the Kamal Haasan lamp of all your house. Please protect but a follower who would me and keep me lit,” Kamal listen to your suggestions,” Haasan said. When asked Haasan said to a crowd of what ideology his party tens of thousands of peowould follow, left or right, ple who had gathered at Haasan said, “I'm centre.” the grounds. Before the

Colours black and white hold political significance in Tamil Nadu. They form part of the flags of state parties AIADMK and DMK. Also, the colours are seen as a pointer to the Dravidian ideology. The actor-politician later took a dig at the ruling BJP in a column, saying that though saffron is one of the three colours of the Indian flag, “it shouldn't spread to the entire flag”. “Some videos show people taking a vow to remove the world secular in constitution... Can we make such a sacrifice to harvest votes?” he wrote. Haasan added, “I wanted to change the politics without ethics.”

PM Modi launches 'Amma' two-wheeler scheme CHENNAI: Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched the subsidised scooter scheme for working women on the occasion of the 70th birth anniversary of late Tamil Nadu leader J Jayalalithaa. Tamil Nadu Chief Minister K Palaniswami and his deputy O Panneerselvam, were among those present. The scheme, with a subsidy component of 50 per cent or up to Rs. 25,000 for working women, was launched by Modi, by handing over the keys and registration certificate copies to five

Narendra Modi handing over keys and registration certificate of two wheeler

women beneficiaries. He also launched 70,00,000tree sapling planting drive

on the occasion. Palaniswami in his address urged PM Modi to

take steps to set up the Cauvery Management Board and the Cauvery Water Regulatory Committee, as directed by the Supreme Court. He said the saplings would be planted through out the year and also thanked the Prime Minister for lauding the ancient language Tamil recently. The Chief Minister also recalled a slew of welfare initiatives and freebie schemes launched by Jayalalithaa. Panneerselvam said the Prime Minister was "courageously leading India."


Trudeaus visit Golden Temple

Trudeaus tried to make chappatis at the ‘langar’

AMRITSAR: Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, who was on his maiden visit to India with his family, arrived at Amritsar's Golden Temple last week. He also met Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh, at a hotel in Amritsar. The much-awaited meeting went very smoothly, with Singh stating that Trudeau had assured him that his country did not support any separatist movement in India or elsewhere. During the 40-minute meeting between the two leaders, Singh handed over a list of nine 'Category A' Canada-based operatives allegedly involved in hate crimes in Punjab. Dressed in traditional Indian clothes, with their heads covered, the Trudeaus earlier, bowed before the holy book of the

Sikhs, and tried to make chappatis at the 'langar' in the Golden Temple as they spent over an hour at the shrine. Wearing an offwhite embroidered kurtapyjama, with his head covered with a 'kesari', Trudeau entered the complex with wife Sophia, who wore a light turquoise kurta and white palazzo, and their children. They first went to the Langar Hall, where they did sewa, and kneaded flour and roll chapatis. They also did parikrama before entering the sun-soaked and glittering all-gold sanctum sanctorum. They bowed before the Guru Granth Sahib, and were given Siropatraditional robe of honour, by the head priest inside the shrine. Trudeau also visited the Partition Museum.

350 Haryana farmers held, Delhi gherao foiled

CHANDIGARH: In a crackdown on agitating farmers, police arrested over 200 farmers who were on their way to Delhi on call of the Rashtriya Kisan Mahasangh. Overall, 367 farmers have been arrested. Union president of the Bharatiya Kisan Union, Gurnam Singh Charuni described the action as “Hitlershahi”, alleging that several farmers had been injured in the lathicharge by the police in Radaur. He claimed, “More than 500 farmers have been arrested, many of them on the serious charge of attempt to murder. If farmers are not released and the cases against them are not withdrawn by February 26, farmers' outfits will announce a mega agitation in a mahapanchayat at Kheri Chopta that day.”


Inspector General of Police Mamta Singh confirmed the arrests in the past two days, adding that 43 others had been arrested under the IPC. Thirty five of the them have been arrested in connection with a clash with the police in Radaur. She said, “The maximum preventive arrests have been made in Kurukshetra. There, 113 farmers have been taken into custody. In all, 80 farmers have been arrested in Jind, 33 in Karnal and 25 in Kaithal.” She said the situation in the state was peaceful and no national highways leading to Delhi was blocked. Sonepat Deputy Commissioner KM Pandurang confirmed eight arrests in his districts, stating that traffic to Delhi from Kundli border was smooth.

PM seeks vote for the development in Meghalaya PHULBARI: Prime Minister Narendra Modi said Meghalaya is not safe in the hands of a Congress government, appealing to the people to give BJP a chance to serve the state. Speaking at an election meeting in the state, he said that ruling Congress took the people for granted as it saw no political challenge in the state. “Give us a chance to serve the state. We will ensure good governance guided by the philosophy of sabka saath sabka vikas. I promise you that Meghalaya's BJP government will account for work and every penny being spent,” Modi said. Lashing out at the Mukul Sangma government, he said, “There is a long list of scams to the credit of the state government and Meghalaya is not safe in the hands of the Congress government.” Modi said the Centre had provided around £47 million for laying 1100 km of roads in the state under Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana (PMGSY) but the state government was unable to spent even 50

Narendra Modi

per cent of it. “We approved construction of 21,000 houses in Meghalaya and provided more than £10 million to the government. But they were unable to build the required number of houses,” Modi said. Noting that his government wants to further strengthen its 'Act East Policy', Modi said it will open up opportunities for people in the state and in the entire Northeast. “We have planned to spend around £18 million for building of the new Shillong airport. It will improve the possibilities for industrial development, besides generation of employment for common man,” the PM said.

59% candidates for Nagaland assembly polls are crorepatis NEW DELHI: Poll-bound northeastern state Nagaland, which has a population of just 20,00,000, has reportedly seen steady rise in the number of rich candidates contesting elections in the recent past. A report by the Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR) has stated that 114 out of the total 196 candidates in the fray have declared their assets in millions. The top three richest candidates are Ramongo Lotha of JD(U) with £3.89 million, KLChisi of the BJP with £3.82 million, and former CM Neiphiu Rio with £3.64 million. The ADR, along with the Nagaland Election Watch, analysed the affidavits of 193 out of a total of 196 candidates. According to the assessment, the average asset per candidate is £376,000. What is interesting, is that 27 or 14 per cent of the can-

didates, out of 193, have not declared their source of income. One candidate, Akavi N Zhimomi of AAP, contesting from Ghaspani-I constituency has declared zero assets in his affidavit. The ADR report also found that out of 193 candidates it analysed, 2-3 per cent of the candidates have declared that criminal cases have been registered against them. Meanwhile, a total of nine out of the 193 candidates have not declared their PAN details. The ADR report also found that there are illiterate candidates in the electoral fray in Nagaland. In terms of education, 52 candidates have declared their educational qualification to be between class VIII to class XII pass, while 137 others declared having an educational qualification of graduate or above.

Martyr's bust damaged KALIGANJ (WEST BENGAL): Students a school in Kaliganj, Nadia, boycotted classes to protest the vandalisation of a bust of an ex-student and a Kargil martyr. Premananda Chanda, a former student of Sapjola Deshbandhu High School, was an artillery sepoy in the Indian Army who was killed in Kargil conflict. Chanda's bust was found broken. Goons

allegedly broke the iron hand-pump of a tube-well and used it to smash the bust. "It is beyond our imagination that the bust of a soldier, who sacrificed his life to protect our country could be vandalised like this. We boycotted classes, demanding the arrest of the guilty," said Supriya Pramanik, a student of the school.




Asian Voice | 3rd March 2018

Dr. Hari Desai

Hidden Facts Revealed by Dr. Karan Singh Most Trusted Sardar Patel forced Maharaja Hari Singh to go in Exile Hindu Sabha wanted Kashmir to be declared an Independent State

After seven long years, one may have the same feeling about the events taking place in J & K between 1949 and 1967 on 9 March 2018, when the second book in the series, “Karan Singh : Jammu & Kashmir (1949-1947)” by the same author is being launched.


return to Jammu after his oli Sorabjee, an Indian death in 1961. jurist and former Unlike popular percepAttorney General of tion, both Prime Minister India, had no hesitation in Jawaharlal Nehru and his conceding his ignorance Deputy, Sardar Patel, acted about certain historical as “a team” while dealing facts revealed about with Kashmir affairs. Kashmir affairs. He was Maharaja Hari Singh was impressed by the biogramade to go in exile as conphy “Maharaja Hari Singh : vinced by Sardar Patel. The Troubled Years” by Harbans Singh states in the Harbans Singh. It was biography of Yuvraj Karan released by Dr. Karan Singh Singh: “Events after that on 19 September 2011 at dinner at Sardar Patel’s New Delhi. The book corhome had moved rapidly rected many of the impresand it is obvious that they sions prevailed and demolhad been carefully choreished the myths about the ographed by Prime Maharaja and his Princely Minister Jawaharlal Nehru State, Jammu and Kashmir. After seven long years, one may have the same feeling about the events taking place in J & K between 1949 and 1967 on 9 March 2018, when the second book in the series, “Karan Singh : Jammu & Kashmir (1949-1947)” by the same author is being launched. Amod Vardhan of Brihspati Publications is yet to bring out a third book in the series revealing secrets of why the Congress, which had majority in the Assembly, handed over absolute power to Sheikh Abdullah? Yuvraj Cover page of Karan Singh : Dr. Karan Singh acted as Jammu & Kashmir ( 1949-1967) the Regent of Maharaja and Sardar Patel. Apart when Hari Singh was forced from Sardar Patel convincto go in exile by none other ing Maharaja Hari Singh of than Sardar Patel in 1949 the need to make the sacriagainst his will! The Sardar fice, both the statesmen wanted the Maharaja to had worked upon the keep away from his State young Yuvraj.” The “for some time on health Maharaja felt, he had been ground” a temporary betrayed. arrangement but the Since March 1949, the Maharaja could never relationship between the return alive to his State, Maharaja and Sheikh though he never abdicated Abdullah had grown bitter. himself as the Ruler. Sadly, During these circumonly his Asthikalash could

October 1947 events: “The State, by now, was in danger of being overrun. I had made that desperate last bid to secure men, arms and ammunition from the Government of India. R. L. Batra, my Deputy Prime Minister flew to New Delhi with the request. He met, both Jawaharlal Nehru and Sardar Patel but both were not interested in reading the Instrument of Accession unless the administrative power was transferred to, who else but, Sheikh Abdullah. That was the evening of October 24.” Harbans Singh records the events following India’s Kashmir issue of Accession being referred to the Security Council. He notes: “Forced to choose between the Maharaja and Sheikh Abdullah, Sardar Patel had opted for the latter even at the risk of being accused by future historians of betraying the person under whose signature India had the authority to send the army to push back the invaders.” After taking over the administration, Sheikh Abdullah was systematically destroying the Maharaja’s reputation by tarnishing his secular credentials, as well as spreading canards about his commitment to the wellbeing of the people. Cover page of “Maharaja Hari “Nehru and Patel had no Singh : Trobled Years” option but to keep him (Abdullah) in good humour.” Harbans Singh The J & K accession to even referred Hari Singh’s India was finalized on 27 letter to Sardar Patel dated October 1947 when the 30 January 1948 expressing Governor General, Lord his exasperation and Mountbatten, gave assent intent, that he was seriousto the Maharaja’s commuly contemplating withnication dated 26 October drawing the Accession. He 1947 to accede to Indian was unhappy because of Union. Before that the the extremely slow State was invaded by the progress made by the Pakistani raiders on 22 Indian army in getting the October 1947.The Maharaja territories back from the sought Indian assistance. invader. In fact, he was He wrote about the stances, Sardar Patel had invited Maharaja Hari Singh, his wife Maharani Tara Devi, and the young Yuvraj Karan Singh. The three checked into Maidens in Old Delhi but soon shifted to the Imperial Hotel. They were invited to lunch at Teen Murti House by Prime Minister Nehru. It was formal and little uncomfortable lunch. A few days later, on 29 April 1949, Sardar Patel invited the three of them for dinner. Sardar gave the biggest shock to the Maharaja after dinner. He advised him to go in exile and the Yuvraj was to be made the Regent. Maharaja put “utmost trust” in Sardar Patel and had thought that his interests were safe as long as Patel was in Delhi. “Alas! He had been betrayed.”

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leaders in Jammu who agonized by the thought vociferously argued that a that even greater chunks of Hindu State, as Jammu and territory had fallen into Kashmir claimed to be, aggressor’s hands after should not merge its identiaccession to India and ty with a secular India. The arrival of the Indian Army. working committee of the The biographer of Dr. All Jammu and Kashmir Karan Singh seems little Rajya Hindu Sabha (the generous towards All earlier incarnation of the Jammu and Kashmir Rajya present Bharatiya Janata Hindu Sabha and its leader, Party in the state) formally Prem Nath Dogra, the first adopted a resolution in May RSS Sanghchalak. During 1947 reiterating its faith in the critical period of 1947, the Maharaja and extended the Hindu Sabha decided to its ‘support to whatever he support any decision taken was doing or might do on by the Maharaja regarding the issue of Accession.” the Accession. In November Harbans Singh throws light 1947, the Hindu Sabha on the mischievous design decided to re-organise of Sheikh Abdullah to have itself as a political outfit independent Kashmir and and the Praja Parishad was his efforts to garner foreign born. It launched demosupport before his discratic protest also. Though missal by Dr. Karan Singh. Harbans Singh writes about Even Article 370 of Indian the Praja Parishad headed Constitution is also being by Prem Nath Dogra advodiscussed. One would deficating “full and uncondinitely look for the tional accession of and last the State of Next Column: third book in the Jammu and K a s h m i r ” , Culprits of Partition series by him which would Balraj Puri in as identified by analyze the his book Dr. Lohia separatist move“Kashmir: ment and terrorist Insurgency and attacks in After” makes the stand of J & K. . Hindu Sabha explicit : “The Maharaja was in no mood (The writer is a to join the Indian dominion Socio-political Historian. even when Partition E-mail: became inevitable,. He was supported by loyal Hindu

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Asian Voice | 3rd March 2018 Continued from page1 It added, “Dubai Public Prosecution stressed that all regular procedures followed in such cases have been completed. As per the forensic report, the death of the Indian actress occurred due to accidental drowning following loss of consciousness. The case has now been closed.” No clarity has been given on why the actress lost consciousness. Media hype around the death claimed several baseless allegations, including suspicion on Boney. The police had recorded the statement of Boney Kapoor, who reportedly discovered Sridevi unconscious in the bathtub filled with water. She was taken to a hospital where she was declared dead on arrival. Gulf News also attached a copy of the UAE government's forensic report on its Twitter handle. The report, citing accidental drowning as the cause of death, has a stamp of the "Ministry of Health UAE" and the director of preventive medicine, Dubai. Indian Ambassador to the United Arab Emirates Navdeep Singh Puri has asked the public not to speculate over the cause of her death. "Our experience in similar cases tells us that it does take 23 days to complete processes. We leave it to the experts to determine cause of demise. Let's be responsible," he said. A media source even went ahead to the level of connecting her death to that of Sunanda Pushkar's. The family, meanwhile, released a statement saying, “On behalf of Khushi, Janhvi, Boney Kapoor, the entire Kapoor and Ayyappan families, a sincere thanks to the media for your continued sensitivity and support during this emotional moment.” The family said her body will be kept at Celebration Sports Club in Lokhandwala near her

Sridevi leaves in suspense

home for people to pay their last respects from 9.30 am to 12.30 pm before it is taken for cremation on Wednesday. They have also allowed the media to pay their respects “provided camera, recording devices, etc are left outside the

Kapoor and all the wellwishers for their prayers, support, and sensitivity during our moment of immense grief. We request you to kindly join us in paying our last respect to a remarkable actor, beloved wife and loving mother,”

Sridevi with daughter Jhanvi, Khushi and husband Boney Kapoor

venue.” The statement added, “The last journey will commence at 2 pm from Celebration Sports Club to Vile Parle Seva Samaj Crematorium and Hindu Cemetery.” Several planned events have been cancelled post news. Actress Shabana Azmi announced calling off her annual grand Holi party, which she hosts with husband Javed Akhtar. Several film shoots have also been called off. Stream of stars, former costars and others arrived at Anil Kapoor's house, brother to Boney. Southern mega-stars Rajinikanth and Kamal Haasan have also headed to Mumbai to pay their respects to Sridevi. Industry insiders and friends have been visiting the family in the home of actor Anil Kapoor. Actors like Shah Rukh Khan and wife Gauri, Rajinikanth, Kamal Haasan, Ranveer Singh, Deepika Padukone, Tabu, Rekha, Farah Khan, Javed Akhtar and Shabana called on the family. “The film fraternity, media, fans of late Sridevi

the family's said.


Journey from child actor to cine goddess Born Shree Amma Yanger Ayyappan at Sivakashi in Tamil Nadu, the actress began working at the age of four. Accompanied by her mother Rajeshwari to sets, it has often been said how she heavily relied on her matriarch throughout her life. She made her debut in films with Tamil movie 'Kandan Karunai' in 1967, eventually dropping out of school to continue a career in the field. She initially played child versions of Hindu gods. The actor has worked with the best, starting off alongside thespians like Sivaji Ganesan and MGR. Sridevi made her Bollywood debut with 'Solva Sawan' in 1979, a remake of her Tamil hit '16 Vayathinile' that featured Kamal Haasan and Rajinikanth. Called the only female superstar of the 90s, she was a versatile actor, loved for her impeccable comic timing and

firm grip of the Tamil, Telugu, and Kannada film industry. Her best known Bollywood roles were in 'Sadma', 'Lamhe', Mr India', Chandni', and 'Himmatwala'. Sridevi's success meant she became more demanding and was getting stronger roles. It is said she even refused an inadequate part in Steven Spielberg’s 'Jurassic Park'. The expressive, sensuous yet funny actress soon quit the stage after her marriage to Boney in 1996. She returned in 2012, with 'English Vinglish' which became a hit even in Hong Kong and England, proof that legends are legends for a reason.

Celebrities mourn loss People of the industry took to Twitter to condole the loss. Actor Vidya Balan wrote, “My inspiration is no more...” Hrithik Roshan wrote, “I loved her, admired her so much. My first ever acting shot was with Sridevi. I was nervous in front of her and I remember her shaking her hands pretending to be nervous cause of me just to boost my confidence. We had to laugh, and she kept laughing until I got it right. Will miss you ma'am.” Veteran singer Asha Bhosle, who playbacked for Sridevi in 'Chandni' song 'Parbat se kaali ghata takraee', paid homage to the actor saying, “Very sad to hear about Srideviji. We've had a long association. My deepest condolences to her family.” Shree's 'Chaalbaaz' co-star Sunny Deol wrote a dedication to the actor. “The moment the camera rolled SHREE would light up the floor. We did a few films together and I enjoyed working with her though we rarely spoke. I am going to miss her,” he

tweeted. 'Quantico' star Priyanka Chopra wrote in a tweet, “I have no words. Condolences so everyone who loved Sridevi. A dark day.RIP.” Preity Zinta said, “heartbroken and shocked to hear that my all time favourite 'Sridevi' is no more. May God give peace to her soul and strength to her family.” Farhan Akhtar shared a nostalgic post on Instagram and remem-

AsianVoiceNewsweekly bered his first job, which was in Sridevi's 'Lamhe' (1990). He also posted a still from her acclaimed film 'Lamhe' and wrote, "My first job in 1990 was on Lamhe and this song Megha Re Megha was the very first time I saw this legendary actor create her incredible magic on screen. From Sadma to Chaal baaz, from Mr India to Chandni, it was impossible to take your eyes off her when she appeared on screen. A true star. A gifted actor. A woman with tremendous dignity. Gone too soon. RIP Sridevi. Sad sad day."

Awards won by the actress

2013: Padma Shri, India's fourth highest civilian award


2013: honoured by Government of Kerala for contribution to cinema

1992: Filmfare Best Actress Award for ‘Lamhe’

2009: Special Honour at 33rd Cairo International Film festival for contribution to Hindi cinema

1990: Filmfare Best Actress Award for ‘ChaalBaaz’

1997: Kalasaraswathi Award by the Government of Andhra Pradesh

1991: Filmfare Best Actress Award (Telugu) for ‘Kshana Kshanam’

1990: Smita Patil Memorial Award for contribution to Indian cinema

1982: Filmfare Best Actress Award (Tamil) for ‘Meendum Kokila’

1981: Tamil Nadu State Film Award for Best actress for ‘Moondram Pirai’

1977: Filmfare Special Award - South for ‘16 Vayathinile’

Former President Pranab Mukherjee hands over the Padma Shree to Sridevi in this photo taken on April 5, 2013

Aga Khan in India, Gujarat on second stop

His Highness, Aga Khan, Imam of the Shia Ismaili Muslims, and founder and chairman of the Aga Khan Development Network, arrived in Ahmedabad on the second stop of his official 10-day visit to the country, at the invitation of the Indian Government. He met Gujarat Governor Om Prakash Kohli and Chief Minister Vijay Rupani while in the state. The visit coincided with the commemoration of His Highness, the Aga Khan's Diamond Jubilee. Aga Khan's Jubilees have traditionally served as opportunities to launch or advance social, cultural, and economic development projects, including development of hospitals, schools,

later, and today it manages close to 30 schools and early childhood development centres in Gujarat, Maharashtra, and Telangana.

Prince Aga Khan with Gujarat Chief Minister Vijay Rupani

universities, and financial institutions that serve people of all backgrounds and faiths. Khan, along with Indian Vice President Venkaiah Naidu, inaugurated Sunder Nursery, on February 21, a new city park in the National Capital, sprawled across 90 acres of

land. The Aga Khan Development Network has a special connection and history with India, particularly Gujarat. The first Aga Khan School was established in Mundra in 1905. The Aga Khan Education Services (AKES) was built

Telangana visit Aga Khan arrived in Hyderabad on Tuesday and was received at the airport by Telangana Deputy Chief Minister Mohammed Mahmood Ali. During his visit to Hyderabad, His Highness will meet Lakhsmi Narasimhan, Governor of Andhra Pradesh and Telengana as well as Mohammed Mahmood Ali. In 2013, His Highness the Aga Khan inaugurated the Aga Khan Academy in Hyderabad, the second in

a global network of day and residential schools being established across South and Central Asia, Africa and the Middle East. It was built on land

donated by the Government of Andhra Pradesh and provides talented girls and boys from all backgrounds with an all-round education.


Mr Vandravan Jivraj Somia It is with profound grief that we inform the peaceful passing away of Mr Vandravan Jivraj Somia at the age of 88. A loving husband to Manjulaben Vandravan Somia, and father to Sunil, Sukeshi, Nikunj, and Niranj Somia. A loss to those who knew him, heavens are now better off with his presence. Funeral was held on February 27.

Those who wish to contact the family can call Sunil Somia on 07982 725433



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...

Magnesium-Vitamin D Connection You Need To Know About When it comes to the long list of supplements out there, magnesium and vitamin D both top the list as ones doctors most recommend. (Probiotics are up there too, by the way.)

Not getting enough magnesium can lead to feeling sluggish and stressed out. And vitamin D does more than keep bones strong—it’s also good for your gut. It turns out that they work better together, too. A new study found that taking vitamin D with magnesium is crucial for reaping the benefits. Without the magnesium, it isn’t as wellabsorbed. “People are taking vitamin D supplements but don’t realize how it gets metabolized,” Mohammed Razzaque, PhD, and the study’s co-

author says. “Without magnesium, it’s not really useful or safe.” Dr. Razzaque, who estimates that half of Americans aren’t getting enough magnesium, explains that taking vitamin D on its own does increase the calcium levels in the body, but without the magnesium, the calcium can actually build up in the body, which can lead to kidney disease or other problems. The reason why this can happen is because it’s not being absorbed properly. So that’s where the magnesium comes in. Fortunately both nutrients are found in many delicious, everyday foods. Dark leafy greens, nuts, tofu, and brown rice are all powerhouse sources for magnesium, while eggs, fish, dairy, fortified nut milks, and mushrooms all have vitamin D. And it just so happens that a lot of those foods taste pretty darn good together.

An elderly man in Miami calls his son in New York and says, “I hate to ruin your day, but I have to tell you that your mother and I are divorcing. Forty-five years of misery is enough.” “Pop, what are you talking about?” the son screams. “We can't stand the sight of each other any longer,” the old man says. “We're sick of each other, and I'm sick of talking about this, so you call your sister in Chicago and tell her,” and he hangs up. Frantic, the son calls his sister, who explodes on the phone, “Like heck they're getting divorced. I'll take care of this,” she shouts. She calls her father and screams, “You are NOT getting divorced! Don't do a single thing until I get there. I'm calling my brother back, and we'll both be there tomorrow. Until then, don't do a thing, DO YOU HEAR ME?” and hangs up. The old man hangs up his phone and turns to his wide. “Okay,” he says, “They're coming for Passover and paying their own airfares.” *************************************** Two campers are hiking in the woods when one is bitten on the rear end by a rattlesnake. "I'll go into town for a doctor," the other says. He runs ten miles to a small town and finds the only doctor delivering a baby. "I can't leave," the doctor says. "But here's what to do. Take a knife, cut a little X where the bite is, suck out the poison and spit it on the ground." The guy runs back to his friend, who is in agony. "What did the doctor say?" the victim cries. "He says you're gonna die."


Asian Voice | 3rd March 2018

The health benefits of quinoa Quinoa (pronounced keen-wah) and other ancient grains, such as amaranth, barley, and farro are rapidly growing in popularity because of their wide array of health benefits. Ancient grains are referred to as such because they have remained largely unchanged for hundreds or even thousands of years. Quinoa was known to the Incas as "the mother of all grains" and was first cultivated over 5,000 years ago. There are hundreds of cultivated types of quinoa, but the most common versions available in stores are white, red, and black quinoa. It is thought to help prevent a number of diseases. It is relatively high in antioxidants, compared with other grains and cereals. Botanically, quinoa is not classified as a grain. It is a pseudo-cereal. This means it is a non-grassy plant used in much the same way as cereals and grains with a similar nutritional profile. However, nutritionally, quinoa is considered a whole grain. Whole grains include the entire intact grain seed without removing any of its parts. Whole grains, such as quinoa, provide essential vitamins, minerals, and fiber. These help regulate the digestive system and keep you fuller and more satisfied. Quinoa is naturally gluten-free. Quinoa has a high protein-to-carbohydrate ratio when compared with other grain products. It was proposed by NASA to be an ideal food for long duration

space flights. It is easy to incorporate quinoa into your diet just use it in place of rice in any recipe. Its small grains cook to tender in as little as 15 minutes. It has a subtle nutty taste that makes it a versatile ingredient in the kitchen. It can be used in baking or as a breakfast grain; it also works well in

for individuals with diabetes or prediabetes. Also, diets rich in fiber tend to promote a healthy weight because fiber helps you feel fuller for longer, potentially reducing the overall intake of food. 3) Quinoa antioxidants: Quinoa provides a higher amount of antioxidants than other common grains used in a gluten-free diet.

hot side dishes, cold salads, and even in burgers. Below are some of the health benefits of regularly consuming quinoa: 1) It is a complete protein: It is one of only a few plant foods that are considered a complete protein, containing all nine essential amino acids these are the amino acids that our bodies cannot produce and, therefore, need to consume. This makes quinoa a great dietary choice for vegetarians and vegans. 2) High fiber: Because of Quinoa's high fiber content compared with other grains, it helps reduce the risk of a number of health conditions. These conditions include constipation, heart disease (by lowering blood pressure and reducing cholesterol), and hemorrhoids. High-fiber diets have been shown to help improve blood sugar control. This can be beneficial

Most gluten-free products consist of corn, rice, or potato flour and lack the nutrients that products incorporating quinoa can provide. There are new studies emerging on a regular basis confirming the health benefits of adequate whole grain intake and their antioxidant capacity. 4) Quinoa and manganese: One cup of cooked quinoa contains almost one-third of the recommended daily allowance of manganese. Manganese is essential for development, metabolism, and the antioxidant system. This element is also vital for the proper functioning of many enzymes. 5) Quinoa iron content: Iron is necessary for a range of processes in the human body. For instance, it is an essential component of hemoglobin, the compound that carries oxygen in our blood.

Government publishes key vaccine report

A long-awaited report into how the government makes decisions about which vaccines to fund has been published. It follows calls for greater transparency about why a vaccine to protect children against meningitis B was not made more widely available. Two-year-old Faye Burdett died in 2016 - she was too old to have the vaccine. An 820,000-signature petition calling for all children to be vaccinated was then submitted, - but the idea was rejected as "not cost effective". One of the recommendations in the report is lowering the cost-effectiveness threshold for immunisation, potentially making it harder for new vaccines to be approved at current prices. Health Minister Steven Brine was due to face questions from MPs this Tuesday over why the report into the cost-effec-

tiveness of immunisations - promised by the end of 2016 - still had not been published. Commenting on the publication, Helen Jones, who chairs the Petitions Committee, said: "Since 2016, the Petitions and Health Committees have been urging the government to publish this report - so we are pleased that it has finally done so. "It is, however, regrettable that the government has taken so long to act, when decisions about vaccines could save children's lives. Charities and campaigners, including families who have lost children to meningitis, have been left waiting for this report for far too long." A consultation will now run until 21 May 2018. Meningitis

Research Foundation chief executive Vinny Smith, said: "We are taking time to review the report in full but are concerned that some recommendations would be detrimental to future vaccines and could reduce our chances of preventing serious and fatal illnesses."

Maintaining adequate levels of iron is essential for health. 6) Lysine: Lysine is important for the synthesis of proteins. Although deficiency is rare, it can cause a range of medical issues because it is so widely used in the body. Quinoa contains more lysine than any other grain. 7) B-2 in quinoa: One cup contains around 10 percent of the recommended daily allowance of vitamin B-2 (riboflavin). B-2 is essential for the proper functioning of a range of enzymes. There is some evidence that riboflavin might help reduce some types of migraine headache. Although rare in Western countries, B-2 deficiency can cause oily skin rashes, anemia, and itchy, red, sensitive eyes. 8) Magnesium: One cup of cooked quinoa contains almost one-third of the recommended daily allowance of magnesium. Magnesium is essential for the function of more than 300 enzymes; it is present in every cell of the body. Low levels of magnesium are associated with muscle spasms, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, high blood pressure, osteoporosis, and migraines. 9) Quinoa contains quercetin and kaempferol: Quercetin and kaempferol are flavonoids that are found in relatively high levels in quinoa. These antioxidants are thought to protect against a range of chronic diseases, including cancer. 10) Prevents kidney stones: Quinoa has a potential protective effect against kidney stones. This is because quinoa helps manage potassium levels.

Millennials 'set to be fattest generation' UK millennials are on track to be the most overweight generation since records began, health experts say. Based on population trends, more than seven in every 10 people born between the early 1980s and mid-90s will be too fat by the time they reach middle age. In comparison, about half of the "baby boomer" generation, born just after World War Two, were fat at that age. Being fat as an adult is linked to 13 different types of cancer, says Cancer Research UK, who did the analysis. The list includes breast, bowel and kidney cancer, but only 15% of people in the UK are aware of the link, according to the charity. Britain is the most obese nation in Western Europe, with rates rising faster than in any other developed nation. Obesity prevalence has been increasing in the UK, from 15% in 1993 to 27% in 2015.

28 AsianVoiceNews

Asian Voice | 3rd March 2018


Aishwarya Rajesh to play a woman cricketer W


An upcoming Indian supernatural horror film, set to release on 2 March 2018.

Dhanush to sing in Marathi


ccording to reports, 'Vada Chennai' actor Dhanush is all set to render a Marathi song in music maestro Ilaiyaraaja's composition. The actor, who is a die-hard fan of Ilaiyaraaja, had recently gotten him to sing a song for his upcoming 'Maari 2', and it appears now that it is Dhanush's turn to lend his vocals. A tremendous actor, Dhanush's work behind the microphone is just as loved as his work in front of the camera. After seen last in 'VIP 2', Dhanush now has 'Vada Chennai' and 'Maari 2' under his belt. He also has his second directorial film, bankrolled by Sri Thenandal Films, in the pipeline.

'Tumhari Sulu' to be remade in Tamil

ith multi-talented Arunraja Kamaraja finally making his directorial debut with a film on women's cricket, it has been revealed that he has roped in Aishwarya Rajesh to play the lead in the film. Produced by actor Sivakarthikeyan, the female-centric movie has already gone on floors on Lalgudi, near Trichy. Aishwarya, of 'Dharma Durai' fame is excited about the role. She said that while she has some basic idea about the sport, she has had quite an experience training for the film. “The film is based on women's cricket and I play a cricketer, who hails from a small town. How she makes her mark and realises her dream form the crux. It is not easy to


ans rejoice! There is a 'Vinnaithaandi Varuvaaya' sequel on the cards! Released in 2010, the film went on to become a cult following among youngsters thanks to Simbu and Trisha's stellar performance. While a sequel was touted long back, the project never took off and now Simbu has reportedly backed out of the film as he does not

play this game despite knowing the basics. I have already begun training for it. Also, to be honest, I had ever watched women's cricket before signing this film, but now, I have started following it. I love the body language of the women cricketers and the attitude with which they carry themselves. It's an honour to play a woman cricketer on screen.” Aishwarya said. She added, “This one's close to my heart and I have been working sincerely on the project. The film is sure to reach panIndia audiences.”

Madhavan and Gautham Menon to reunite for 'VTV 2' want to share screen space with others. Titled 'Ondraga', the multi-starrer will now feature Madhavan in lead character Karthik. To those who remember, Menon and Madhavan had last collaborated in 'Minnale', a movie that went on to become a hit, and was also remade in Hindi as 'Rehnaa Hai Tere Dil Mein'. A dream project,

Menon had previously approached several actors for 'Ondraga'. He also had plans to predominantly shoot the film in the US. “After his debut film 'Jessie,' Karthi has become a successful filmmaker, he scored four hits in eight years but is yet to find his soulmate. Karthik decides to attend a friend's wedding where he meets his three friends from Kerala,

'Mahanati' team finds its Bhanumathi in Anushka Shetty!



f reports are to be believed, actress Jyotika's next would be a remake of Bollywood actress Vidya Balan's hit 'Tumhari Sulu', with filmmaker Radha Mohan. If true, it would be the second time the two collaborate after the 2007 film 'Mozhi'. When contacted Mohan, he said, “We are in the process of finalising things. An official announcement on the project will be made. Till then, I don't want to say anything on the same.” Jyotika's 'Naachiyaar' which released last week, has been received positive reviews from the fans and critics. She is currently shooting for Mani Ratnam's 'Chekka Chivandha Vaanam'.

Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh who are not into the film business. One friend is a software professional and another one is a hotelier. The film will be an emotional ride among the four friends who decide to spend time together on a road trip,” Menon said. The filmmaker is currently wrapping up 'Dhruva Natchathiram' with Vikram.

ne of the most exciting upcoming projects this year, 'Mahanati', a biopic on actress Savithri, is a starstudded movie with Keerthy Suresh in the lead, Samantha Ruth Prabhu as Jamuna, Dulquer Salmaan as Gemini Ganesh. Vijay Devarakonda, and Shalini Pandey. Just when we thought the list could not get bigger, Anushka Shetty has reportedly joined the film. According to reports, Shetty has been roped in to play 'Bhanumathi', one of Savithri's famous contemporaries. One of the most powerful actors of her time, Savithri is said

to have been a superstar because of her as films rejected by her were taken up by the former. A source said, “Bhanumathi was a contemporary of Savithri and is known to have been quite competitive. Bhanumathi famously spoke about how Savithri became popular only by taking up films rejected by her. The role requires a mature performer who can carry off the veteran's egoistic attitude, which was her famous character trait.” The film is expected to hit theatres at the end of March in Tamil and Telugu. Reports are the film will be dubbed in Malayalam. AsianVoiceNews



Asian Voice | 3rd March 2018

Dev Patel, Radhika Apte begin shoot for new film in Rajasthan

Kat in trouble for laughing at Salman's casteist remark A


Sonam Kapoor says role was edited in 'Padman'

hen two extremely talented actors collaborate, the end results usually are nothing short of spectacular. In a collaboration worth watching, Radhika Apte and British-Indian actor Dev Patel of 'Slumdog Millionaire' fame have joined hands for Hollywood filmmaker Michael Winterbottom's upcoming. They have also reportedly begun shooting in Jaipur. A source said, “They started shooting last weekend and are expected to be there for the next few days. Dev arrived in India two weeks ahead to the schedule to meet the film's team, get familiar with the locations and prep for his part.” They added, “Both actors are bound by a tight contract that doesn't allow them to speak about the film and details pertaining to the project are strictly under wraps till an official announcement si made.” The film is tentatively titled 'The Wedding Guest'. On the work front, Apte will be seen next in 'Bazaar' starring Saif Ali Khan, Chitrangada Singh, and Rohan Mehra. While Patel is set to play David Copperfield in FilmNation's new retelling of Charles Dickens'. He also awaits the release of 'Hotel Mumbai', which is based on the 2008 Mumbai terror attacks.

Malaika Arora asks friend Kareena to stop gossiping

petition has been filed in a Delhi court seeking to lodge an FIR against actors Salman Khan, Katrina Kaif, and others for allegedly making a casteist remark during a film promotion. Filed in the Patiala House Court, by Harnam Singh, former chairman of Delhi Commission for Karamcharis, the complaint has alleged that the accused people had “committed atrocity” on the members of the caste and insulted and humiliated them by making a casteist remark. Singh stated that Kaif, “rather than protesting at the offensive and insensitive statement, joined the accused num-

ber 1 (Khan) in insulting and abusing the victim through her conduct.” Last year, during the promotions of 'Tiger Zinda Hai' in a TV show, Salman had reportedly compared his dancing skills to a “bh**g*” (sanitation worker). A joke actress Shilpa Shetty had laughed along too. The release of 'Tiger Zinda Hai' saw protests in different parts of the country on December 23, 2017, when it released. Theatres were burnt and posters of the film were torn in Rajasthan. The film went on to become the year's biggest box office hit, raking in over Rs 330 Crore at the domestic box office.


n a recent interview, actress Sonam Kapoor said her role in the recent 'Padman' was edited to keep the movie “short”. The angle of her character, Pari Walia, was criticised by many who asked whether a love triangle was necessary as it distracted from the message of the movie. “There was more to that relationship than what was shown. It was edited out to make the film shorter. At the end of the day, if we were able to say what we wanted to say, I think it's okay,” Kapoor said.

She said that because of her pivotal role in the story, not much could be done to

avoid how it ended. “They couldn't remove the last bits so they did what they could

Anushka's blood-smeared face will scare the wits out of you



ollywood hotties Kareena Kapoor Khan and Malaika Arora are close friends, and part of their own little girl gang. Appearing recently at Neha Dhupia's chat show, Malaika was asked one advice she would like to give to Kareena, to which she promptly replied, “Kareena Kapoor, stop gossiping.” What! Well, it is kind of true that our Bebo loves to gossip a tad too much, and her bestie Malaika is not the first person to say it. Earlier, Karan Johar and Ranbir Kapoor had both said that they receive all recent film industry news from Kareena. So, while one would think Malaika was taking a nasty jibe at her friend, it was more of a friendly leg pulling because we are pretty sure she loves to get the latest juice too! On the work front, Kareena Kapoor Khan will be seen soon with Sonam Kapoor in 'Veerey Di Wedding'. The film is set to release on June 1, this year.

to keep it short.” Sonam added that she does not care about her screen time. “You cannot be insecure about such things and constantly kill yourself over screen time. That'll make you suffer. You got to be confident about the value you bring to the film as well as be conscious of what the film is contributing to the society at large.” Directed by R Balki, 'Padman' is based on the life of Arunachalam Muruganantham, who revolutionised the concept of sanitary pad distribution in India by creating a low-cost machine.

his Holi, get ready to face evil, as 'Pari' Anushka Sharma brings you the heebie jeebies. The upcoming film has already hit all the right chords with its scary posters, eery teasers, and a blood-smeared Anushka. While the spinechilling posters, screamers and trailer from the film have already increased everyone's curiosity, the recent-most poster shared by the actress is so gory, it will give you the chills! Anushka posted an image of herself smeared in blood, cuts, with red eyes, she captioned the it, “Keep your eyes wide open. She won't let you blink. #HoliWithPari.” Despite speculation,

Anushka's name is not Pari in the film. She plays Rukhsana. Her third home production venture, the movie also stars Parambrata Chatterjee, Rajat Kapoor, and Ritabhari Chakraborty. Talking about her look in the film, British prosthetics designer Clover Wootton said, “We wanted people to forget Anushka the person, and think about Rukhsana alone. Anushka being a strikingly pretty face, we didn't do too much with her. We just made her eyebrows bushier, added lenses and darkened the under eyes so that she looked more tired. We blurred the edge of her lips so that it looks drier and that is literally all that we did.”


UK AsianVoiceNews

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Coming Events

l Sree Sree Thakur Anukulchandra's Satsang to be held on March 3, Saturday, 6.30 pm onwards, at the Reading Hindu Temple, 112 Whitley St, Reading RG2 0EQ.

l Shishukunj Open Days on March 4, Sunday, will be held at Finchley Kendra between 10.30 am to 12.30 pm, and Croydon Kendra between 9.15 am to 12.30 pm.

Sneh Joshi

As you know that Mother's Day is coming up, here are some ideas to make your Mum's day: 1. Make a card decorated with images of you and your mum. 2. Make a poem personified by your Mum's characteristics. 3. Make your Mum breakfast in bed. 4. Help out in the household chores. 5. Take your mum out on a little trip to a place she loves. Make sure your mum has a blast on Mother's Day!













Facts You Didn't know about Women’s day

Crystal Flower Experiment

Crystal flower science is pretty cool! It’s all about mixture of molecules, saturated solutions, and formation of crystals! What you need 1. Borax 2. Water 3. Fake Flowers 4. Pencils 6. String 5. Stick, Spoon, Craft Sticks, Tape 6. Containers & Paper towel What to do 1. Remove any leaves from your fake flowers. 2. Tie the flower stems to your pencils using string. Dangle your flower heads into your containers. Make sure that the flower heads don't touch anything else (like the container's bottom or side, or other flowers.) Adjust the placement of your flowers and string lengths as necessary. Then, remove the flowers from the plastic containers. (You don't want them to touch anything else because you don't want your crystal flowers attaching to other things.) 3. Boil your water. Pour it into your empty container. Then, dissolve spoonfuls of Borax one at a time until the Borax no longer dissolves.Then, place your flowers into your container and let them sit there for a couple of hours. Note: If your pencils keep rolling, use tape to keep them still. You may have some undissolved Borax on the bottom of your container. That's totally fine. 4.After a couple of hours, pull the flowers out and see how crystallized they've become. When you have enough crystals to your liking, set the flowers to dry standing up.

l Originally called International Working Women’s Day, it was first celebrated on February 28, 1909, in New York in remembrance of a 1908 strike of the International Ladies’ Garment Workers’ Union when 15,000 workers, including many immigrants, marched through the city's lower east side to demand social and Happy Woman's Day Drawn By: Shardool political rights. Ronak Dave l The first modern International Women’s Age 14 Year-8 Day was held in 1914, five years after its Congratulations! inception, on March 8. The day was chosen because it was a Sunday, which the majority of women would have off work allowing them to participate in marches and other events, and has been celebrated on that date ever Little Silvy since. asked her l The day was announced a national holiday in the Soviet Mum, “Why is Union in 1917, and was predominantly celebrated by the a computer so socialist movement and communist countries until it was smart.” adopted by the UN in 1977. Since 1996, the UN has assigned a The Mum theme to every IWD. This year’s theme is “Be bold for change”. replied,”Becau l The day is now an official holiday in several countries se it listens to including Afghanistan, Cambodia, Mongolia, Vietnam and it's Zambia and for women only in countries including China, motherboard.” Madagascar and Nepal.

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ARIES Mar 21 - Apr 20 With Mercury and Venus in

your solar first house, your disposition is more intellectual than usual and self-expression comes easily. It is an especially fruitful time for any endeavour that requires communications. Your demeanour is more youthful and easy going so others will find it easy to talk with you.

TAURUS Apr 21 - May 21 Your mind is focused on pri-

vate matters and past issues while Mercury and Venus transit the twelfth house of your solar chart. This is a time when you are least likely to express yourself freely. You're examining the past for answers. This is a good time for quiet contemplation, and meditation.

GEMINI May 22 - June 22 Mercury and Venus continue

to journey through your solar eleventh house. This is a time when various networking activities are much appreciated and offer you learning experiences. Your ideas are progressive and you are also interested in spending time with people who are like-minded.

CANCER Jun 22 - Jul 22


Mercury and Venus transit your solar tenth house. This is an excellent period for developing career and professional plans or strategies. Venus is charming and friendly and her presence in your career sector brings you lots of romantic opportunities, or simply more chances to socialize and network. Good time to seek promotions to improve your status.

Venus and Mercury continue to grace your solar ninth house. During this cycle, your ideals in love are set high. You could also enjoy a trip, or a new adventure of sorts. In fact, you are attracted to anything that is non-routine. It's a good period for personal charm and attractiveness in general.

LEO Jul 23 - Aug 23

VIRGO Aug 24 - Sep 23 Venus and Mercury continue to move through your solar eighth house. You are attracted to the deeper elements of relationships and social interactions now. Mysteries fascinate you and you question other people’s motives for their actions. It's also a strong cycle for discovering your own hidden talents.

LIBRA Sep 24 - Oct 23 Beautiful energy is with you for self-expression and spirit as Venus, your ruling planet and Mercury transit your opposite sign. Others are likely to find you inspiring and they see you in a good light. There can be renewed interest in, and commitment to, broadening your horizons and learning about different ideologies. Venus and Mercury graces your solar sixth house now. Establishing a happy and harmonious work environment through friendly relations with co-workers comes into focus now. You're most successful doing tasks that involve cooperation and team harmony. Romantic and social activities may revolve around your working environment.

SCORPIO Oct 24- Nov 22

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Venus and Mercury continue to trek through your solar 5th house of romance. Meaningful and harmonious relationships--both social and romantic--define you during this cycle. If single, you are more willing than normal to enter into a committed relationship. In general, you are adaptable when it comes to your affections.

SAGITTARIUS Nov 23 - Dec 21

CAPRICORN Dec 22 - Jan 20 Venus and Mercury transit your solar fourth house now. During this cycle, you are especially fond of spending more time at home around the family. You are more receptive and tend to be sentimental or nostalgic now. Loyalty and sensitivity in your relationships are more important to you than typically.

AQUARIUS Jan 21 - Feb 19 Venus and Mercury are transiting your solar third house now, indicating a more light-hearted and intellectual approach to love and pleasure. You enjoy talking about what interests you, and you see value in the exchange of ideas. Sometimes this transit brings benefit through siblings, communications, or short trips.

PISCES Feb 20 - Mar 20 Make hay while Mercury and Venus transit your Solar 2nd house. There is a lot of energy to make the most of money-making opportunities and this is a very resourceful time for you. However, beware of conflicts over ownership and other legal issues. Also avoid being extravagant and trying to prove yourself to others using your material possessions.



Gymnast Aruna Reddy made history when she became India’s first World Cup medal winner with a bronze in Melbourne. The vault, made famous in India by Dipa Karmakar, once again proved the launch pad for a woman gymnast from the country. Aruna wanted a ‘Karate Kid’ story for herself, she even has a black belt to show for it. Narayan Reddy, her sports-mad accountant father had other plans in mind. He got her enrolled in an academy in Hyderabad as an eight-year old. “Every medal I will win is dedicated to my father who died in 2010,” she said. Training alongside Dipa under coach Bisweswar Nandi at national camps since 2011, playing second fiddle to Dipa had become a routine of sorts for Aruna. India’s first gymnastics World Cup bronze medal marks a serious emerging from the shadows for Aruna Reddy. A cloudy evening in Melbourne provided a sliver lining. All of 22, Aruna promptly took


the plunge. It was historymaking, even if meant missing out on silver by a mere 0.05 points. She managed an average score of 13.649 points to finish behind gold winner Tjasa Kysslef (13.800) of Slovenia and Australia’s Emily Whitehead (13.699), who clinched silver. The other Indian in the fray, Pranti Nayak, finished sixth in the final with 13.416. “Indian gymnastics is synonyms to Dipa, but now people will know that there’s Aruna Reddy as well,” the Hyderabad girl said of Dipa Karmakar, the better known training partner. “We have been training together since 2011. We are not rivals and can’t be. We are each other’s support system during training and competition time. We treat each other as sisters and are close friends. Her hard work actually inspires me. Even before leaving for this competition, Dipa had motivated me by telling me to give my best shot and not to feel the pressure,” she added.

Aruna Reddy

India’s Vikas adjudged 'Best Boxer' Indian boxer Vikas Krishan who won a gold medal at Strandja, Bulgaria, was adjudged as the best boxer of the tournament – a first for an Indian. The 26-yearold defeated world championships bronze-medallist Troy Isley of the USA in the middle-weight (75kg) finals to claim his first medal since the Asian Championships bronze last year. It was big turnaround for Vikas, who had not just been laid low by a hand injury but had also found himself in the disciplinary line of fire after giving a walkover in his Asian Championships semifinal last year. "It is a big comeback for me and I feel I am a much The Indian chapter of Football For Peace (FFP) was launched in Mumbai by former Manchester United captain Nemanja Vidic and Bollywood actor Ranveer Singh. The inaugural peace match will be held on the premises of Indian Parliament later this year. Established by Chilean legend Elias Figueroa in 2006, the Football For Peace gathered momentum in 2013 when British south Asian footballer Kashif Siddiqi turned it into an international movement. “Football has been a great unifying force across the globe. The FFP has been using football

Vikas Krishan

stronger boxer now. Maintaining my weight at an optimum level, which used to be a problem earlier, is no longer an issue for me. I have also improved my technique and endurance," Vikas said. Along with Vikas, Amit Panghal (49kg) claimed a gold medal, rounding off India's best ever performance at the tournament. The country ended with 11 medals - five from men and six from women boxers. In all, the contingent clinched two gold, three silver and six bronze medals.

Vikas, the former Asian Games gold medal winner, who is also a world championships bronze-medallist, said he also cleared some mental cobwebs to get back in form. Finishing with silver medals were M C Mary Kom (48kg), who got a raw deal in the final, Seema Poonia (+81kg) and Gaurav Solanki (52kg). The bronze medal winners among the women were Meena Kumari Devi (54kg), L Sarita Devi (60kg), Saweety Boora (75kg) and Bhagyabati Kachari (81kg). Among the men, last edition's silver-medallist Mohammed Hussamuddin (56kg), and former Asian Games bronze-medallist Satish Kumar (+91kg) ended in third position.

Asian Voice | 3rd March 2018

Kohli achieves rare feat in ICC rankings

Virat Kohli

India captain Virat Kohli became the second batsman ever after South Africa’s AB de Villiers to have earned more than 900 rating points in ICC Rankings, in Test and ODI cricket concurrently. He also became the first Indian batsmen ever to have breached the 900-point mark in ODIs, extending his lead over de Villiers. Kohli now has 909 points, well ahead of de Villiers who has 844. Kohli’s 909 rating points are also the highest in the last 27 years since Australia’s Dean Jones in 1991, who then had earned 918 points. Before Kohli’s feat, de Villiers has been the only batsman to have carried more than 900 rating points in both Test and ODI cricket. It was in 2015 that de Villiers had 902 points in ODIs, while in Tests, he had 935. Averaging a mindboggling 186, Kohli hammered a record 558 runs with three centuries and one halfcentury, and was dismissed only thrice as India won the T20 series 5-1. It also marked the

Football For Peace launched in India diplomacy to bring people together by promoting peace since its inception,” Nemanja Vidic said. “I am sure it can pay a huge role in making India a more tolerant society,” he added. “We have organised Peace Matches at many locations, including at the Vatican, the Eiffel Tower and the Big Ben. We have begun the process of organising India’s match at the Parliament in New Delhi,” Kashif Siddiqi, who has played in UK’s professional league, said. “We will be inviting

British Deputy High Commissioner Crispin Simon hands the ball over to FFP's co-founder Kashif Siddiqi

Indian prime minister Narendra Modi to play in this match. We are also looking at other world

celebrities, like David Beckham, the Prince of Monaco, as also top diplomats and India’s senior


politicians to bring about awareness for FFP’s initiatives,” he added. The FFP, which is supported by the English Premier League and the UK Foreign Office, will identify 10-12 cities in India as part of its Cities for Peace initiative. “Close to 1,600 kids in the age group of 7-14 years will be selected in each of these cities. They will be part of a year-long project, which will include 60% classroom education and 40% football training. Once we reach 5,000 kids,

first instance of a batsman scoring more than 500 runs in a bilateral series. “Kohli has thus moved ahead of Brian Lara in the all-timers’ list, having also overtaken him in the all-timers’ Test list last month. Kohli is now seventh in the ODI list of all-time rankings that is led by Vivian Richards with 935 points and the India captain is now a good 22 points clear of Sachin Tendulkar, whose ODI career high of 887 points came against Zimbabwe in January 1998. Kohli’s aggregate is the best since Brian Lara reached 911 points in March 1993,” the ICC said in its release. Among the bowlers, India’s Jasprit Bumrah and Afghanistan sensation Rashid Khan earned joint 787 rating points and occupy the first two spots respectively. South Africa captain Faf du Plessis, who played only in the first ODI against India and scored a fine century, moved up one position to reach the eighth spot. we will declare it a City of Peace,” Kashif explained. The FFP is supported by footballing legends like Pele, Ronaldinho as well as The Duke of Cambridge, Prince William and Albert II, Prince of Monaco. “The work of Football for Peace is important and the fact that sport can do this, bridge so many barriers is fantastic,” The Duke of Cambridge, Prince William stated. “The FFP is a great initiative. The UK Foreign Office is delighted to be part of the entire project,” Crispin Simon, the British Deputy High Commissioner, said.

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Asian Voice | 3rd March 2018




India have won the T20I series against South Africa despite valiant efforts by Christiaan Jonker and JP Duminy. Jonker ran hard, hit boundaries, reduced the asking rate and stretched the opposition with an applaudable 24ball 49, but his efforts fell short. Duminy also did his best by scoring a half-century. For the third time in the series, South Africa asked India to bat first. And for the third time, Junior Dala ensured Rohit Sharma wouldn't play a very big role. But Rohit's exit in the second over trapped leg before - did not deter India in their quest for quick runs in the batting powerplay, despite the absence of Virat Kohli due to a stiff lower back. Suresh Raina took the final opportunity on tour to provide evidence that he wasn't past his best as yet starting his 27-ball stay with a big six and hitting five fours along the way. Raina and Shikhar Dhawan powered India to

57 for 1 in 6 overs. Once the field placements were relaxed and Duminy used spin from both ends, India's scoring rate receded. The next four overs fetched only 24 runs and the wicket of Raina, who tried but failed to clear the long-off fielder off a Tabraiz Shamsi delivery. Up against Dala's speed and the two-paced wicket, Manish Pandey and MS

Dhoni both fell while trying and failing to clear the fence. Dhawan's stay extended past Raina's wicket, but was brought to an abrupt end at 47 off 40 balls through Dala's sensational direct hit from deep square leg that caught the batsman short. Hardik Pandya too couldn't come to grips with the sluggish nature of the surface, but his 17-ball

21 played a vital role in pushing India's total further. Dinesh Karthik's earnest attempt for a late surge was ended with a fine full delivery from Chris Morris, who also dismissed Pandya to keep India down to a sub-200 total. A good start would've put South Africa on their way but that did not happen. Indian pacers did

exceedingly well to use the not-so-subtle change of pace in their favour, as David Miller and Reeza Hendricks couldn't give their side a flying start. In the third over of the chase, Hendricks was sent packing for his failure to read and deal aptly with a knuckle ball from Bhuvneshwar Kumar. In contrast to India's start, South Africa managed just 25 runs in the powerplay overs, that allowed the asking rate climb steeply. With Duminy and Miller - two left-handers in the middle, Rohit threw the ball to Raina ahead of his left-arm (and only) spinner Axar Patel. The off-break bowler got rid of Miller. Miller's exit reunited the heroes of the second T20I victory - Klaasen and Duminy - but the conditions were hardly similar. Klaasen joined the rest of the top-order in not being able to get his head around variations that India used, and fell for a 10-ball 7 off a Pandya ball which he flat-batted to

Indian women too win series

Indian women’s team clinched the T20 International series 3-1 after crushing South Africa by 54 runs in the fifth and final match. India, who also pocketed the One-Day International (ODI) series, rode on superb all-round show during which they scored 166/4 before bowling out the hosts for 112 in 18 overs. India had won the first two matches before South Africa bagged the third match, while the fourth match was washed out due to rain. In the fifth match, veteran opener Mithali Raj (62 off 50 balls) and young Jemimah Rodrigues (44 off 38) shared a 98-run stand for the sec-

ond wicket to give India a highly competitive total. Mithali, who scored her 12th fifty, hit eight fours and three sixes before being caught by wicket-keeper Lizelle Lee off medium pacer Shabnim Ismail in the fifth ball of the 16th overs as

the visitors lost their second wicket for 130. After her fall, captain Harmanpreet Kaur played a brisk knock of 27 not out off 17 deliveries to take India to 166/4. While defending the total, medium pacers Rumeli Dhar, Shikha Pandey

and left-arm spinner R a j e s h w a r i Gayakwad picked three wickets each as India bowled out South Africa for 112. Marizanne Kapp (27) and Chloe Tryon (25) and Mignon du Preez (17) gave some hopes to the home side, which lost first five wickets for only 44 runs inside the nine overs. Brief scores: India: 166/4 (Mithali Raj 62, Jemimah Rodrigues 44; Marizanne Kapp 1/22) vs South Africa: 112 in 18 overs (Marizanne Kapp 27, Chloe Tryon 25; Shikha Pandey (3/16), Rumeli Dhar (3/26), Rajeshwari Gayakwad (3/16).

Bhuvneshwar at mid-off. Jonker arrived and took Raina on straightaway, while Duminy kept his fight going to keep South Africa alive despite the climbing required rate. In the 16th over of the chase, Duminy reached his 11th T20I fifty, but also perished to a knuckle ball from Shardul. Chris Morris came out with South Africa needing 64 off the last four overs, and had his middle-stump knocked out by Bumrah off the third ball he faced. When the chase appeared all but done and dusted, Jonker gave India a surprise. Thakur's final over fetched South Africa 18 runs, to make India squirm a bit after bossing the field for the majority of the outing. Brief scores: India 172/7 in 20 overs (Shikhar Dhawan 47, Suresh Raina 43; Junior Dala 3-35) beat South Africa 165/6 in 20 overs (JP Duminy 55, Christiaan Jonker 49; Bhuvneshwar Kumar 2-24) by 7 runs

Parupalli Kashyap wins Austrian Open Indian shuttler Parupalli Kashyap, who is the reigning Commonwealth Games champion, o u t p l a y e d Malaysia’s June Wei Cheam in straight games in the men’s singles final to clinch the Austrian Open International Parupalli Kashyap Challenge, his first international title in over three years. Kashyap, a former National champion, and second seed, saw off Cheam 23-21 21-14 in a 37-minute clash. The Indian looked in good touch throughout the tournament as he didn’t drop a single game en route to his title win. The final, however, was not a cakewalk as world number 126 Cheam matched Kashyap in the first game, which went down to the wires. In the end, the Indian had to save three game points before pocketing the first game. Kashyap looked in better control in the second game and eventually sealed the contest in 37 minutes.

Rohit to lead India in tri-nation T20 series in Sri Lanka Rohit Sharma will lead Indian team for the T20 tri-series which is starting in Sri Lanka on March 6. Indian skipper Virat Kohli along with senior player Mahendra Singh Dhoni were prominent among the host of players rested. Shikhar Dhawan will be Rohit's deputy in a side that has as many as six changes. “Dhoni was not available for selection as he had requested for rest,”

national selector MSK Prasad was quoted as saying. Top fast bowling duo of Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Jasprit Bumrah have been rested along with all-rounder Hardik Pandya after they shared enormous workload on the South Africa tour. “We’ve kept in mind the workload and upcoming schedule while finalizing the team for Nidahas Trophy. The high-perfor-

mance team has suggested that adequate rest should be given to our fast bowlers to help improve their performance, maximize rest and prevent injury,” Prasad added. Chinaman bowler Kuldeep Yadav is also not in the Sri Lanka bound team. A close look will indicate that selectors maintained consistency by selecting all those players, who were part of the

home T20s against Sri Lanka in December. Coming back in the team is prolific keeper batsman, Rishabh Pant, after a solid season in white-ball cricket, including centuries in both national T20s and One-dayers. O f f - s p i n n e r Washington Sundar, pacer Mohammed Siraj, and allrounder Deepak Hooda are back in the side after the home series against

Sri Lanka. The prominent performer to miss out was Mayank Agarwal who scored 2,000 plus runs in the season. Squad: Rohit Sharma (Captain), Shikhar Dhawan (vice-captain), KL Rahul, Suresh Raina, Manish Pandey, Dinesh Karthik (wk), Deepak Hooda, Washington Sundar, Yuzvendra Chahal, Axar Patel, Vijay

Rohit Sharma

Shankar, Shardul Thakur, Jaydev Unadkat, Mohammad Siraj, Rishabh Pant (wk).

AV 3rd March 2018  

Asian Voice Weekly Newspaper (Issue No.: 42)

AV 3rd March 2018  

Asian Voice Weekly Newspaper (Issue No.: 42)