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Vol 45 | Issue 31

TATA SELLS TO GUPTA

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TM

3rd December to 9th December 2016

Female high flyers grab headlines

Let noble thoughts come to us from every side

CENTRE POUNDS

CORRUPTION

In yet another strike at curbing corruption in India, the government launched fresh plans to confiscate a massive chunk of black money deposited in the bank accounts after the demonetisation move. The Narendra Modi government plans to allow black money holders in possession of now-banned Rs 500 and Rs 1000 notes to retain up to 50 per cent of the money, if, they voluntarily confess they hid the cash from tax officials. The plan was revealed in the Parliament on Monday in tabled amendments to the Income Tax Act, amid tensions faced by the Centre with the consequences of the note ban. The Bill was passed on Tuesday. Those who fail to make the disclosure, will face the risk of losing over 85 per cent of their newly deposited funds. Narendra

Modi, in an announcement that took the nation by surprise, put a prohibition on using Rs 500 and 1000 notes which make up for at least 86 per cent of the cash in circulation. In the initial 10 days after the ban, the Reserve Bank of India said over 10 billion-worth of banned notes, out of $220 billion of high value notes in circulation, were returned. "Instead of allowing people to find illegal ways of converting their black money... the government should give them an opportunity to pay heavy taxes with penalty and allow them to come clean," the finance ministry announced. Under the new tax amendments, Indians who admit that their postcash ban deposits were of previously unaccounted cash can pay half of their total in income tax, penalty

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and surcharge, and keep the rest. However, the depositor will only be able to use 25 per cent of the amount with the remaining sum locked in an interestfree deposit scheme for four years before it is returned. Those who fail to admit to their unaccounted cash before the end of the current year, will be made to pay up to 85 per cent of their hidden wealth if the tax inspectors catch them. Saurabh Mukherjea, chief executive of institutional equities at investment bank Ambit Capital, said, "It's a voluntary income disclosure scheme with 'voluntary' in inverted commas. If you went to put money in the bank last week and stood in line for six hours, now you have to decide which bucket do you fall into." He said the scheme would sharply reduce the flow of banned

notes being deposited in banks, as Indians would be loath to invite the scrutiny of IT officials. The latest plan follows an income disclosure scheme in which India declared $9.8 billion of hidden wealth. Meanwhile, the RBI indulged itself in a bondbuying spree, bringing down interest rates and prompting fears of inflation and shortage of bonds. Over the weekend, the central bank said it was bringing in the temporary bondbuying restrictions to tackle "large excess liquidity in the system." With people gushing in to deposit the old notes, around Rs 6 billion were put into the Indian banks. They in turn, brought Rs 4.3 billion worth of government bonds with the extra money, causing prices to Continued on page 26

Indian-origin female high flyers are grabbing the headlines with their spectacular body of work. Asian Voice features three outstanding women for their remarkable achievements in their respective fields. This week’s centre spread highlights the rise and rise of South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley; the fearless and inspiring Gina Nikki Haley Miller who took on the mighty British establishment on Brexit; and the bold and the beautiful Serena Rees who unabashedly lays bare the naked truth. See Page 16-17

Hameed is the hero

Ace cricketer Haseeb Hameed's tour of India has come to an end as he has gone back home for a much needed surgery on his injured hand. The 19 year old Hameed provided brave resistance on the fourth day in Mohali, with an unbeaten 59 off 156 balls. However, captain Alastair Cook said he needed a plate fitted to Continued on page 26

Backlash grows over immigration rule changes PM Theresa May's flagship immigration reforms have triggered fresh anger from Indians and also Eastern Europeans- where the latter could force Britons to get work permits for continental jobs. The hope of a better relationship with the Indian immigrants after Brexit, is slowly evaporating into the thin air, as the immigration rules are becoming stricter in an effort by the government to reduce numbers by hundreds and thousands.

Full story on page 2


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ONE ONE with Keith Vaz, MP

Asian Voice 3rd December 2016

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to

Bhishma Patel,

Bhishma Patel, is 26 years old and he recently started his own education technology business in Birmingham called the School of Code. Bhishma studied Computer Science at the University of Birmingham, which is where he met his business partner Christopher Meah. Studying computing gave him a strong foundation to enter the working world (coding/programming skills are more in demand than ever) and he managed to secure a graduate job in banking in the City of London. After 4 years of working for a corporate Bhishma made the decision to pursue something he found more fulfilling and started on the School of Code journey. When he is not putting hours in to the business you’ll find him spending time with family and friends - or trying to keep fit. He recently started taking amateur acting classes and would highly recommend them; they’re amazing fun and a great way to build confidence and meet new people. 1) What is your current position? I am the CTO (Chief Technical Officer) and a co-founder of the School of Code, a tech startup that aims to get more and different types of people in to coding. We have built an online, multiplayer platform which allows anyone to log on and learn how make their own websites or apps. 2) What are your proudest achievements? Using our business as a conduit to bring about positive, social

change. So far we have delivered classes to homeless people in partnership with Crisis, kids and their parents alongside the BBC and we are currently working with Code Your Future to teach refugees. 3) What inspires you? I believe that education can truly inspire and empower, it is unfortunate that some don’t always have access to that education. There is a wonderful clip from the documentary, Life In A Day, where an 11-year old shoe shiner looks forward to getting

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a tech company, starting their own business, or simply exploring their creative side.

home and reading Wikipedia, that is truly inspiring.

4) What has been the biggest obstacle in your career? My biggest obstacle has been myself. In business it is really important to be selfaware and adapt behaviours that are hindering progress or affecting team dynamics. This should be done regularly but can be stressful and emotionally draining so I can sometimes put it off and can get stuck in old ways. 5) Who has been the biggest influence on your career to date? My parents. They both started with nothing to their name but through sheer hard work and determination (and access to free education) they were able to study as pharmacists and eventually open their own local pharmacy. 6) What is the best aspect about your current role? Being able explore opportunities. There are many exciting ways that our business could move forward, with new ideas and innovations presenting themselves every day. Not being confined to a box and having the freedom to pursue the different paths is great.

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7) And the worst? Making tough decisions. Having a wide selection of potential opportunities but a limited capacity to explore them means that some things just can’t be done. Deciding what to do and what not to can be very tough because it is sometimes hard to justify one route over the other, and can leave you thinking ‘what if’. 8) What are your long term goals? To grow the School of Code across the UK and beyond. To increase the reach of the School of Code so that we give as many people as possible the opportunity to pursue their ambitions in technology – be that working for

9) If you were the Prime Minister, what one aspect would you change? Reform education. The world has experienced unprecedented and accelerated innovation during the internet age yet our education system has yet to catch up. The iPhone was invented less than 10 years ago yet smartphones have changed every aspects of our lives, what will the world look like when our kids grow up in 10-20 years’ time? 10) If you were marooned on a desert island, which historical figure would you like to spend your time with and why? Mahatma Gandhi. My grandfather founded the Mahatma Gandhi Foundations in the UK and Uganda and I have grown up with a fascination and respect for Gandhi’s actions and achievements. He has taught me that anyone, no matter who, can make an impact. I would also like to spend time with Winston Churchill for my admiration of his leadership and courage during the darkest times in history.

Backlash grows over immigration rule changes PM Theresa May's flagship immigration reforms have triggered fresh anger from Indians and also Eastern Europeans- where the latter could force Britons to get work permits for continental jobs. The hope of a better relationship with the Indian immigrants after Brexit, is slowly evaporating into the thin air, as the immigration rules are becoming stricter in an effort by the government to reduce numbers by hundreds and thousands. In fact, the issue of visas had overshadowed Mrs May's threeday visit to India in early November. In her speech at the Tech-Summit in New Delhi she had said, "The UK will consider further improvements to our visa offer if, at the same time, we can stepup the speed and volume of returns of Indians with no right to remain.”

Work Permit changes

Under the new visa rules, by the UK Home Office earlier this month, applications made on or after November 24 under the Tier 2 intra-company transfer (ICT) category would be required to meet a higher salary threshold requirement of £30,000 pounds from

the earlier £20,800. This is UK government's effort to curb its soaring immigration figures, which will definitely affect a large number of Indians especially IT professionals. The ICT route is largely used by Indian IT companies in Britain and the UK's Migration Advisory Committee (MAC) had found earlier this year that Indian IT workers accounted for nearly 90 per cent of visas issued under this route. A UK Home Office statement said, "The first of two phases of changes to Tier 2, announced by the government in March following a review by the Independent Migration Advisory Committee will affect applications made on or after 24 November unless stated otherwise," The other changes

include increasing the Tier 2 (General) salary threshold for experienced workers to £25,000 pounds with some exemptions; reducing the Tier 2 (ICT) graduate trainee salary threshold to £23,000 pounds and increasing the number of places to 20 per company per year; and closing the Tier 2 (ICT) skills transfer sub- category.

Indians in EU to be affected too

Nationals outside the European Union including Indians will also be affected by the new English language requirements when applying for settlement as a family member after two and a half years in the UK on a five-year route to residency settlement in the UK. The new requirement

will apply to partners and parents whose current leave to remain in the UK under the family immigration rules is due to expire on or after May 1, 2017. The changes follow advice by the MAC to curb the Tier 2 ICT route and reduce reliance on foreign workers. The MAC report had said in its f i n d i n g s , "(Immigration) is not serving to increase the incentive to employers to train and upskill the UK workforce. Ready access to a pool of skilled IT professionals in India is an example of this. "We did not see any substantive evidence of long-standing reciprocal arrangements whereby UK staff are given the opportunity to gain skills, training and experience from working in India," it said. The new rules follow further tightening of the Tier 2 category which came into force in April this year. However speaking on BBC Radio 4’s World at One, Shadow Home Secretary Diane Abbott rejected calls to reduce immigration to the UK

as part of the Brexit negotiations. Following that, Nusrat Ghani MP, member of the Home Affairs Select Committee, said: “Diane Abbott has demonstrated once again that Labour has no plan and no intention of reducing immigration

into our country. “The Labour Party is totally out of step with people’s concerns and simply does not understand why we need to take action as we leave the European Union. “It is clear that only the Conservatives can be trusted to make a success of Brexit and deliver the right deal for Britain and that must mean controls on the number of people that come to our country.”

Affects on EU immigrants

European ambassadors have told the Sunday

Telegraph of their hostility towards Home Office's shake up for EU immigrants after Brexit. Details of what ministers are preparing have recently emerged, with different visa rules for sectors of the economy being proposed. While bankers and other high skilloed EU workers could be given free movement- as per Chancellor Philip Hammond's demands, lowerskilled workers would face tighter rules. One of Eastern European diplomats have said that if Mrs May makes lowskilled migrants from Europe obtain work-permit to move to the UK, it would lead Britons to get a work permit for themselves to move to the continent- which they will find to relocate. In a separate development, the European parliament's lead Brexit negotiator said Britons could pay to retain the benefits of EU citizenship after officially leaving. Guy Verhofstadt said UK nationals could be allowed to pay an annual fee to Brussles in return for keeping benefits of EU membership.


C MMENTS

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Higher Indian profile in US policy The Trump Administration, it would appear, will give a higher profile to India in the coming months in deeds rather than in words, reversing the trajectory of the Obama dispensation. The appointment of South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley, 44, as the new US Ambassador to the United Nations may well be an early sign of intent. Her powerful advocacy of Indian membership to a permanent seat at the UN Security Council is worth recalling. Governor Haley had supported Republican contender Marco Rubio for the party’s nomination in the presidential election, hence engaged Trump in sharp verbal combat. But that was yesterday, today she is President-elect Trump’s choice to be his administration’s Ambassador to the world body. President-elect Trump made a ringing endorsement of her credentials. ‘Governor Haley has a proven track record of bringing people together regardless of background or party affiliation to move critical policies forward for the betterment of her State and our country.’ She will surely present a kinder, more emollient face in the proceedings of the UN Security Council than the snarling, vituperative Samantha Power who, together with Assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nuland and, to lesser extent, National Security Advisor, Susan Rice, made up a trio reminiscent of Macbeth’s three witches. Their disastrous stamp on the Obama administration’s ham fisted foreign adentures, from Ukraine to Libya and Syria, whose combustible consequences could have led to a wider conflict, even a Third World War. Despite the tall talk of the junk Western media and Nato Secretary General, Jens Stoltenberg, Nato has little chance of winning, but every prospect of laying Europe to waste. The lunatic top brass of the European Union appear to have forgotten nothing and learnt nothing from the fate of the misbegotten Third Reich. Returning to President-elect’s commendation of Governor Haley, he referred to her gifts as ‘a proven deal-maker, and we look to her to make plenty of deals. She will be a great leader representing us on the world stage.’ As Governor of South Carolina she had travelled abroad to invite foreign companies to invest in her State

and to help create jobs. Her enterprise in so doing, and the success attending it, made her an outstanding governor. Governor Haley was equally gracious in her response. ‘Our country faces enormous challenges here at home and internationally, and I am honoured that the President-elect has asked me to join his team and serve the country we love as the next Ambassador to the United Nations.’ Stephen Bannon, the chief strategist of the Trump campaign, referred recently to a possible trilateral alignment between the United States, India and Russia to tackle the depredations of Islamic State in Syria and beyond. Lieutenant General Michael Flynn, the next US National Security Advisor, was in Moscow discussing the project. General Flynn saw through the obfuscating Obama administration’s policy distinction between one lot of ‘moderate’ jihadis deserving of American support and others cast beyond the pale. Such double standards were applied most noticeable on Pakistan: routine condemnations of terrorism allied to generous packages of financial and military aid to Islamabad. General Flynn in an interview to Russian Television elucidated the significant American, Indian and Russian role he had in mind in rebuilding war-torn Syria, particularly in education, and putting it back on its feet economically. The growing tentacle of IS among India’s Muslim youth has awakened the Indian authorities to its menacing presence in the country. This has led to closer intelligence coordination between India, Israel, the present Syrian regime and Iran. The Trump Presidency is the first real light in an area of darkness. Whether Donald Trump can withstand the pressures of entrenched interests and arms lobbies, for whom Moscow has been the eternal enemy, only time will show, but the President-elect did defy seemingly insuperable odds to win the most astonishing victory to the White House in American history. He has the bottle to stay the course. (Please see page 17 for Nikky Haley’s profile).

Britain trapped in immigration web Immigration is a sensitive subject in the corridors of power in Whitehall. This is understandable: more so in the context of jihadi terrorism and its expanding footprint across Europe. However, it is obscuring other realities that should be in Britain’s national interest to consider wisely and well. The Teresa May government has accepted Brexit as an irreversible verdict of the British people.. Leaving the European Union surely means that the UK will have to explore alternative markets for its goods and services. India, with its huge market, is one such opportunity , which taken in the flood can lead on to fortune. This was why Prime Minister May visited the country recently, her first overseas journey outside Europe. The Indian reality today is a far cry from the one to which the world was accustomed two decades and more ago. India now has a significant skilled workforce, particularly in Information Technology. Britain is already the largest foreign investor in India, and India, the third-largest in Britain. The platform thus exists for a higher economic take-off, But this fulfillment requires surely a facilitation of a freer flow of capital and labour, without which the exponential release of the desired entrepreneurial energy will remain nothing more than an empty dream. New UK visa regulations require skilled entrants to earn a salary of at least 25,000 pounds annually in almost all professions. The salary threshold is set to rise

to 30,000 pounds a year from nest April. The UK government is also increasing the minimum salary for short-term employees, IT engineers mostly, to 30,000 pounds a year. ‘It’s an economically illiterate move,’ said Lord Karan Billimoria, a cross-bench member of the House of Lords, and Chairman and founder of Cobra Beer. ‘They are bringing in a non-tariff to one of India’s most significant exports – IT industry which, has contributed hugely to improving IT infrastructure across the public sector and brought in massive added value to the British economy.’ India’s IT trade body, Nasscom, has reiterated a call for a UK-India skilled employment pact as a road to the future. The movement of such labour should be seen as a ‘trade priority rather than immigration issue.’ Pointing to the 3.5 million skilled graduates emerging yearly in India in areas where British businesses faced ‘severe skills shortages, ’ a Nasscom spokesman said: ‘It is crucial our fast-growing and high value tech sectors can rely upon an effective immigration policy that extracts high skilled workers and minimizes barriers to the flow of talented individuals between our two countries. ‘Temporary placement of highly-skilled individuals into the UK provides a significant economic boost yet has a negligible impact on net immigration,’ concluded the spokesman. Will panic stricken politicians heed such sage counsel?

Rail moves to digital The Kanpur rail tragedy has put Indian Railways under the public spotlight. Since its establishment in the mid-19th century, rail transport has stitched a vast subcontinent together, taking vast numbers of the population to different corners of a far-flung country and bringing to the popular consciousness the idea of India and the true import of belonging. The Indian Railways is today one of the largest transport systems in the world and the country’s largest employer, so in any stock-taking of its performance one must ask if it has risen to expectations. At its most basic level it certainly has; thereafter the judgment has to be nuanced. Upper class travellers have witnessed significant improvements in comfort and service, but at the mass level travel experience is frequently that of a cattle truck with few amenities to lighten the journey.. For politician the railways became a cash cow, expanding haphardly in all direc-

tions according to constituency preferment rather than the demands of prudent book-keeping and satisfactory service. Railways Minister Suresh Prabhu is the first technocrat to hold this office. He has initiated far-reaching financial and structural reforms to make the railways economically robust. He has introduced new amenities at railway stations to make rail travel for all customers more comfortable. There is new rolling stock, more technologically advanced engines that travel at considerably faster speeds reducing journey time. . This is work in progress, but much more needs to be done to make the railways fit for 21st century purpose. What Minister Prabhu has set in motion is digitalization of the network to make it more efficient and less accident prone. - each an eminently desirable goal.

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Comment is free, but facts are sacred - C.P. Scott (1846-1932)

Manoj Ladwa

Black Money Modi’s War is Our War If India’s motley crew of Opposition parties are right, then the Narendra Modi government’s decision to demonetise Rs 1,000 and Rs 500 notes is nothing short of a calamity. Saner voices, unfortunately drowned out by the cacophony of doomsday prophets, however, have taken a more principled position. Yes, the dramatic move to clean the Augean Stables of unaccounted or “black” money will cause short-term pain. Yes, it may hit consumer demand and could well knock off up to half a percentage point from GDP growth over the next couple of quarters. But the naysayers will do well to remember that it will also wipe out an estimated $70 billion in unaccounted money currently in circulation. This money feeds corruption, terrorism, the narcotics trade and other nefarious activities that eat away at the innards of the Indian economy and society, deprive the government of legitimate revenues and help perpetuate the cycle of poverty that Modi has sworn to eradicate. That’s why I say Modi’s war on corruption is our war. It’s a war on terror, but is also a war on poverty. So those Bandwagon Babulals here in the UK who are up in arms and threaten to lead campaigns to protest outside India House at the ‘hardship’ of NRIs, should be stopped in their tracks. Just think about those families who have lost loved ones at the hands of terrorists and the goondas. The poor whose futures are robbed daily by the corrupt.

Let’s look at specifics. The demonetisation initiative is expected to reduce the Reserve Bank of India’s liability by $70 billion, or almost a full year’s borrowing! This will help create conditions for greater private sector investments, lower interest rates and make large volumes of credit available both for entrepreneurs and farmers, who are the backbone of India’s growing economy. Then, it will drive more transactions into the “white” or formal economy. And finally, it could come as a god-sent for foreign investors who fear to venture into India because of persistent demands for bribes from the lower bureaucracy, especially in the customs and direct and indirect tax departments. The local elections this week in Maharashtra and Gujarat where Modi’s BJP have had overwhelming victories is ample indication that the peddlers of doom are wrong and the Indian public, inconvenienced as they are by the sudden demonetisation, by are willing to bear it for the greater common good. As many people have said several times in the past, Modi is a bold political gambler. He senses the country is united behind him and is drawing sustenance from this support transform India from a ‘less cash’ to a modern digital cashless society. If we don’t stand shoulder to shoulder with Prime Minister Modi now, then when will we? Manoj Ladwa is a political strategist and founder and chief executive of India Inc.

Asian Voice is published by ASIAN BUSINESS PUBLICATIONS LTD Karma Yoga House, 12 Hoxton Market, (Off Coronet Street) London N1 6HW. Tel: 020 7749 4080 • Fax: 020 7749 4081 Email: aveditorial@abplgroup.com Website: www.abplgroup.com © Asian Business Publications


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MIDLANDS

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Father of dead youngster calls for better safety at laser tag arena A devastated father of a 8 year old boy, who died after suffering from injury has called for more safety, supervision and training at a laser tag arena following an inquest into their son's death. Aryan Patel's father Rajendra issued a family statement after a jury ruled his son died as a result of an accident at the city venue. Aryan, who was small for his age, died in hospital just an hour after suffering a liver injury after colliding with a 6ft teen at the venue. The hearing was told that the youngster was playing third round of an Ultimate Rapid Fire during a mixed age session, when he was knocked down. The inquest at the Town Hall heard that there were only two staff in the building, allegedly neither of whom had first-aid training. The incident also occurred in a blind spot not covered by cctv. However the coroner

Aryan Patel

Lydia Brown directed the jury to return a conclusion of accidental death as an investigation by the city council and the police found no health and safety issues that warranted action. Following the two-day hearing, Aryan's father, Rajendra, who had gone to his son's aid during the incident reportedly said: "We are bitterly disappointed that Megazone and the Leicester City Council have not looked at implementing changes into

In Brief

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Asian Voice |3rd December 2016

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Family businesses, a pearl of British economy

Dr Nik Kotecha of Loughborough-based Morningside Pharmaceuticals was crowned Entrepreneur of the Year at the prestigious 2016 Midlands Family Business Awards (MFBA) held at the University of Birmingham’s Great Hall on Thursday a fort-

Aryan's death has left his family devastated

how players are more suitably grouped." He said: "We would have hoped that Megazone would have taken this unfortunate incident to ensure that no other family will have to go through the pain and anguish that we are going through now and in years to come." Mr Patel, 45, an IT manager, said "We have lost a loved one who can never be replaced and will never be

forgotten." Magazone Leicester owner Peter Davies reportedly said: "We deeply sympathise with the family of Aryan Patel. "But the investigation carried out by the council said that we were operating safely and can carry on in the way we were." He denied the lack of training, all staff are now first aid trained.

night ago. A charity auction on the night raised £6,301.30, that will be equally divided between charities the Alzheimer’s Society and Headway. In photo: Winners of the 2016 Midlands Family Business Awards. (Report by Dhiren Katwa)

Day Centre celebrates Diwali

Staff and service users at a Birmingham day centre for vulnerable young adults marked Diwali by participating in a fun-packed pro-

Sikhs participate in religious procession to celebrate Guru Nanak's birth anniversary Thousands of Sikhs celebrated Guru Nanak's birthday, as they marched their way through the city streets of Leicester on Saturday. The annual Nagar Kirtan religious procession set off from the Guru Tegh Bahadur Gurdwara, in East Park Road and followed a route through the city to the Guru Nanak Gurdwara, in Holy Bones, near St Nicholas Circle. The procession, which has been held in the city every year since 1992, began with traditional prayers outside the gurdwara in East Park Road. The Leicester Mercury reported, leading the thousands in the procession was a huge drum being rhythmically beaten by a young Sikh boy, followed closely by the Panj Piare (five beloved of the Guru) who carried swords

and banners and chanted loudly. Behind them were about 30 men, women and children with brooms who swept the road clean and scattered flower petals before the ornate float carrying the Guru Granth Sahib – the holy Sikh scripture – passed by.

Public gathered around to watch and take photos.Along the way free food and drinks, in the Sikh tradition of Langar, were handed out to those in the procession and anyone else who wanted them. M S Sangha, secretary of

the Guru Tegh Bahadur Gurdwara, reportedly said: "The procession has been taking place in the city every year since 1992. "It's an event whole families and people of all ages take part in and there is free food and drink at about seven or eight stalls along the route for anyone who wants it." Leicester-based Kartar Singh of the Sikh Council UK, reportedly said: "There is always a very positive atmosphere as the procession makes its way through the city, celebrating diversity, which Leicester does very well." Balbir Kaur, 48, of Leicester Forest East, said: "It's part of us celebrating our religion, it's brilliant and I feel very proud and privileged."

‘Trojan Horse’ plotters avoid teaching ban The people behind the 'Trojan Horse' plot, who allegedly imposed conservative Islamic values on state schools in Birmingham are back in teaching, despite being banned from the classroom, according to a report by The Sunday Times. The report claimed that Tahir Alam and Razwan Faraz are allegdedly running informal classes in a different city and under a false name. A third figure who helped run a Trojan Horse school, Mohammed Ashraf, has allegedly become secretary of a local constituency Labour Party. He has applied to be a Labour council candidate at

Faraz and Alam

the next local elections, but apparently had dropped the application, the newspaper reported. Ashraf was a governor at Golden Hillock School, which banned the teaching of some subjects and segregated boys and girls. He was later removed from the post. Faraz, deputy head of one of the Trojan Horse schools and the brother of a convicted

terrorist, was a key figure in the “Park View brotherhood” of teachers, a group on the messaging tool WhatsApp who expressed grossly bigoted and extremist views. Faraz, who is under an interim ban from teaching, is fighting a permanent ban in hearings due to conclude next month. He claims he is no longer an extremist and says he is “confident” of beating the ban. However, The Sunday Times has apparently established that Faraz has allegedly set up a Facebook account under a false name, Riz Pilgrim, in which he continues to express extreme views. Alam, the former head of

the Park View Educational Trust, is already under a permanent ban. He is appealing to the High Court to have it lifted, claiming he finds extremist views “completely unacceptable”. However, The Sunday Times reported that Alam has also allegedly expressed extremist views on Facebook recently. Bans do not apply to informal schools not registered with the Department for Education, but MPs said they should. “It is just wrong that such a key figure in Trojan Horse should have any role in Khalid education,” said Mahmood, Labour MP for Birmingham Perry Barr.

gramme featuring folk dances, a raffle, an arts & craft workshop, henna, a DJ and a variety of festive dishes. Opened in 1984, Moseley Day Centre in Amesbury Road, is a facility for over 100 young adults with learning disabilities. In photo: Beaming smiles: Staff Team at Moseley Day Centre (Report by Dhiren Katwa)

Victim of paedophile Imam fears she may never witness justice

Victim of paedophil Imam has revealed her disappointment, after she learnt that her abuser Hafiz Rahman, pictured, has fled to Bangladesh, after being found guilty at Wolverhampton Crown Court. It took years for Nabila Sharma to build the courage to reveal what had happened to her at the hands of the paedophile imam. Going through all the details in court was equally harrowing – but she felt it was worth it for the sake of justice. He was convicted of five counts of indecent assault on her and another girl at a mosque in Dudley more than 30 years ago. Rahman was sentenced to 11 and a half years in jail – but, so far, authorities have been unable to track him down. Rahman was arrested in March 2014 but during interviews, he denied knowing or sexually assaulting Nabila. The investigation then uncovered a second victim, who was traced before further charges were put to Rahman in January 2016. Nabila, 40, says she was abused by Rahman almost every day between the ages of seven and 11. Nabila’s mum eventually discovered what had been happening to her daughter, and the other victim, and sent her to stay with relatives for three weeks. The family never spoke of it again, and Nabila left the mosque and started high school. But the abuse had done irreparable damage, affecting her relationships and her faith. If, or when, Rahman is found and extradited to the UK he will have to serve extra time for absconding.


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UK

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Remembering the first ever Indian female barrister in the UK While Cornelia Sorabji has been hailed for her contributions in the legal field as a female Indian barrister in the UK, in early 1920s, Dr Kusoom Vadgama, the Editor of the Book 'An Indian Portia' in an interaction with Asian Voice clarified that Sorabji wasn't the first female Indian barrister to attain the accolade, was in fact the second, though she remained the very first woman of any nationality to study law at Oxford. In fact it was Mithan Tata who in January 1923 became the first woman called to the bar and the first practising Indian woman barrister. Sorabji followed in June 1923. Mithan was born into a Parsi family in Maharashtra in 1898 and spent her childhood in different parts of India, including Ahmedabad, as her father Ardeshir moved his family wherever his work in the textile industry took him. By 1913 the family was living in Bombay where her father ran a large textile mill. Mithan was sent to good schools and graduated from Elphinstone College with a first in Economics and was winner of the much coveted Cobden Club Medal. She and her mother, Herabai, were both passionate advocates of women’s rights. Herabai had met and been inspired by Princess Sophia Duleep Singh. In 1919 a Royal Commission in London was considering the future of India. Influenced by her mother, Mithan had an urge to fight for women's rights, particularly the political vote for Indian women. Later

inspired by Sarojini Naidu's ardent speech she embarked to England then aged 21, with mother Herebai to give evidence before the Southborough Commission on Indian Reforms. Sarojini Naidu, Annie Besant and other leaders were already in England to give evidence before the Commission. Mithan stayed on in London to do a Master’s degree at London School of Economics, while simultaneously preparing for the bar. She and her mother took rooms in 16 Tavistock Square for the next four years. On behalf of the Bombay Women's Committee of Social Workers, Mithan toured England and Scotland, lecturing on the need for equal suffrage rights for Indian women. She was one of the speakers in the House of Commons, along with Annie Besant, Sarojini Naidu, and Major Graham Pole, to speak for Indians women's right to vote. This became the first Indian Reform Bill to be passed as an Act of Parliament, though the only one to let women vote immediately was Madras in 1921. Once called to the bar, she returned to India and enrolled in the Mumbai High Court. She was the

first, and for some years the only, practising woman barrister. For reasons that are not clear, Mithan stopped practising after three years. She was appointed as a Justice of Peace and executive magistrate as well as a member of the committee on Parsi Marriage Act of 1865, which helped her to contribute to the amendment of the act that came to be known as the Parsi Marriage and Divorce Act of 1936. Mithan was also a part-time Professor at the Mumbai Law College. Mithan married Jamshed Sorab Lam, a lawyer and public notary in 1933. Their son, Sorab Lam, became a successful orthopaedic and trauma surgeon who practised and settled in this country. Mithan was very active for the rest of her life in women’s organisations and social work, such as the Matunga Labour Camp in one of the worst slums of Mumbai. In 1947 Mithan was appointed the first woman Sheriff of Mumbai. She chaired the Women’s Committee set up for the Relief and Rehabilitation of Refugees from Pakistan. In 1962 her contribution to Indian society was recognised by the government awarding her the honour of the Padma Bhushan. During her last years, Mithan had to live a very solitary life due to her deafness. Yet she managed to do her work with dedication. The death of her husband was a great blow to her, after 45 years of happy married life and she survived only for two and a half years after that.

More than 10,000 people back petition against English language test for private taxi drivers

More than 10,000 people have backed a petition to scrap a new rule forcing private hire drivers to prove their English language skills. Many of who are Asian. It was set up after Nadia Islam whose father is being forced to undertake an English test – despite having worked as a private hire driver for more than 10 years. “This is just not fair,” she said. “It is true that many of these drivers may not have the best writing skills but they are smart enough to discuss the best route with a passenger, the fare and whatever else the job entails.” She added: “For example my dad is not the best at written communication which means he may fail the English writing test, however over his 10 years of working as a private hire driver he has had no problem communicating with

passengers effectively and the passengers have had no problem understanding him.” The English tests sparked uproar among private hire drivers when the

plan was announced by TfL. The new rule will force them to pay £180 for a written essay and speaking test if they do not have GCSE-level certificates. Drivers who have lived in the capital for their whole lives called the new Transport for London ruling “insulting” and “penalising the thick” – but TfL said it was “essential for public safety”. A petition calling on the Mayor of London Sadiq

Khan to stop forcing the rule on drivers with more than five years’ experience has now been signed by more than 10,800 people. Transport for London had fought a legal battle with app Uber over the plans to introduce the tests. H e l e n Chapman, TfL’s General Manager for Taxi and Private Hire, reportedly said: “...The introduction of an English language requirement for private hire drivers. It is essential for public safety that all licensed drivers can communicate in English at an appropriate level. "Drivers must be able to communicate with passengers to discuss a route, or fare, as well as reading and understanding important regulatory, safety and travel information. We are clear that this is crucial to a driver’s role in transporting the public."

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"Pure misogyny" lands cab driver in prison Low income Black and Asian women hit hard by Tory austerity New research by the Women’s Budget Group and the Runnymede Trust has shown that low income black and Asian women will lose more money than any other group up to 2020 as a result of the Tory party economic policy. The analysis, which examines the impact of government policy from 2010 up to 2020 across income, gender and ethnicity lines, shows that indi-

viduals from the poorest households lose most from the government’s tax and benefit changes and that low income black and Asian women will lose around twice as much money as low income white men. Dawn Butler MP, Labour’s Shadow Minister for Diverse Communities, commenting on the report, said: “For many years we have known that women

Figure 1a. 2010-20 cumulative individual impact of changes in taxes and benefits (real-term £ per annum by 2020) by household income groups and ethnicity (selected) (See Appendix for corresponding date table)

from diverse communities have been hit hard by this government’s flawed austerity agenda. “Now this extensive evidence from the Women’s Budget Group and the Runnymede Trust has proven that low income black and Asian women will lose more money than any other group as a result of the Government’s policies. “This equality impact assessment is a damning indictment of this government and shows that black and Asian women are being disproportionately affected by this government’s policies.” “As the Prime Minister said on the steps of Number 10, if you are born poor you die on average nine years earlier. The Autumn statement will do nothing to improve the life chances of Black and Asian families leaving them poorer as a result of the Government’s policies.”

Birmingham gangster jailed for drug-running empire A Birmingham gangster has been jailed for his part in a massive drug-running empire which saw almost £2 million laundered through a Ladbrokes betting account. The Wales Online reported that more than £1.9 million was deposited in the account, and more than £830,000 withdrawn. Parvisharn Tiwana was among criminals who allegedly trafficked drugs from the Midlands to Wales, where the gang’s Babak ringleader, Anvarizadeh, funnelled the proceeds through his online account with the bookmaker, the Birmingham Mail reported. Anvarizadeh, aged 26 and from Cardiff, was jailed for six years at the city’s crown court. Tiwana, 23, was described by police as a “key player” in the gang. He was jailed for three years, along with a third crook, Adam Khan, 29 and

Parvisharn Tiwana

also from Cardiff. Khan – a street drug dealer, money collector and launderer – was desribed by police as Anvarizadeh’s chaffeur. Det Insp Julian Bull, of the Regional Organised Crime Unit (Wales) reportedly said: “The disruption of this organised crime group and the custodial sentences handed down to its main players will serve as a warning to others who may be considering pedalling drugs in our communities that behaviour of this kind will not be tolerated. “We will find those responsible and bring them before the courts. “We will also take the necessary steps to recover

Adam Khan

any of their ill-gotten proceeds of crime.” Five other gang members avoided immediate jail terms. Neil Brant, 41, from Roath, Cardiff, received a 16-month suspended sentence and Aaron King, 27, from Bradford-on-Avon near Bath, was handed a 12-months suspended term. Leah Farleigh, 24, from Pentwyn, Cardiff, received two years’ community service and 150 hours’ unpaid work. Megan Jones, 21, and Aiden Burton, 18, both from Roath: were handed 12-month community orders.

Vegans and vegeterians call for £5 note ban Vegans and vegetarians are calling on the Bank of England to scrap the new £5 note after it was revealed to contain traces of tallow, a substance made from animal fat often used in soap and candles. Responding to a question on Twitter, the UK's central bank confirmed that the notes does contain it.

The news sparked outrage among vegans and vegetarians, leading to the creation of a petition calling on the Bank of England to remove tallow

from the new polymer notes, released in September. Tallow comes from beef but fat can be rendered from deer, sheep, bear and other animals. It is commonly used in cooking (frying and baking), as a lubricant, as a biofuel, for candle making and also skin care.

A cab driver, who pretended to be a doctor to target Muslim women, has been put behind bars for eight and a half years. Farhan Mirza, 38, was convicted on charges of sexual assault, blackmail, voyeurism, theft and fraud against three victims by Judge Tom Crowther at the Cardiff Crown Court who called his actions "pure misogyny". Using a false profile on a dating website, Mirza met women who were looking for long-term relationships and impressed

and manipulated them into sex. To make his lie believable, he even hung surgical scrubs in his wardrobe and carried a stethoscope. Mirza secretly filmed himself having sex with the women and later used the videos to blackmail his victims. He threatened to send the videos to one of his victim's relatives in Pakistan, where she feared they could be targeted by extremist religious groups. One of his victims went to the police after she discovered 70,000 pounds in cash at his house and inti-

mate images of herself and other woman. A medida report quoted prosecutor Timoth Evans as telling the court, "It is the prosecution's case that Mr Mirza is a particular kind of sexual predator and he chooses his victims carefully. Because of their religious and ethnic backgrounds, he targeted them because of the terror, embarrassment and humiliation that each of these ladies would have felt in their minds by what this defendant did to them."

Diversity UK honours Paul Stephenson OBE with a Lifetime Achievement Award Diversity UK honoured race equality campaigner Paul Stephenson OBE with a Lifetime Achievement Award for his work on diversity and inclusion. Mr Stephenson was presented with his award by Helen Grant MP, Dilip Joshi MBE, Chair of Diversity UK and Anil Bhanot OBE, Chair of the Ethnic Minority Foundation, on Wednesday 23rd November 2016. Helen Grant MP, who gave the first Diversity UK lecture named in Paul Stephenson’s honour, spoke about the need to celebrate and recognise the contribution he has made to race equality. “His courage and bravery paved the way for me and for many of us in this room to pursue our own hopes and dreams,” she said, “and in doing what he did, he made this country a better, fairer, happier and more equal place”. She said that Paul Stephenson was a true inspiration. As a young social worker, in 1963 Stephenson led a boycott of the Bristol Omnibus Company, protesting against its refusal to employ Black or Asian drivers or conductors. After a 60-day boycott supported by thousands of Bristolians, the company revoked its colour bar in August and later employed its first non-white bus con-

ductor, an Asian, Raghbir Singh. Mr Stephenson’s campaigning did not end there as Anil Bhanot OBE explained in his citation of Paul, “those were the years when posters displaying signs of ‘no Blacks, no Irish, no Dogs’ were not uncommon and in 1964 Paul Stephenson got arrested for taking too long to finish his half pint of beer in a Bristol pub. He was, however, later acquitted of that. But all this activism against racial discrimination resulted in the Race Relations Act in 1965.” “Coincidentally in America, thanks to Martin Luther King’s civil rights movement, the Voting Rights Act also came into force in 1965, which allowed Blacks a vote for the first time there. Whilst Martin Luther King has

rightly earned his place in world history it seems to me Paul Stephenson’s name has been overlooked, whitewashed from British history. “ “We need Paul Stephenson’s name in the history books for people to understand and identify with the struggles of that first ever British Black movement. It’s always the first movements which are significant when we write laws on a blank canvas.” In his acceptance speech, Mr Stephenson urged the audience “to do their duty to stand up to racism and tackle it for the sake of their children and their children’s children”. He later signed copies of his book ‘Memoirs of a Black Englishman’ (Tangent Books) for members of Diversity UK and guests.

Fresh from his success organising the first ever Asian Apprenticeship Awards Young Entrepreneur Kasim Choudhry, pictured, has added two awards of his own. Kasim, aged 27, who lives in Birmingham, left a career in Law to follow his dream in event management, something he had passion for whilst studying at university. Kasim started organising events at the age of 16 while still in full time education. He continued to pursue this during his time at the University and worked with artists such as Drake, Bruno Mars and even Bollywood Megastar Shah Rukh Khan.

He founded the Big Events Co in 2014 when he managed the ‘Birmingham Mela’ in association with Birmingham City Council. Kasim, was educated at Queen Mary’s Grammar School in Birmingham before studying law at Manchester Metropolitan University. However, it is in events management that he has found his niche and his business has grown and developed into a dynamic and innovative company which aims to design something different for every occasion. His suc-

cess was recognised at the Asian Business Chamber of Commerce Awards where he won the PMMA award for the Best Event two years in a row and the UK B h a n g r a Awards Best Mela 2016. But this was not all, he also took the Asian Business Chamber of Commerce Award for Outstanding Business Start Up. The judges were impressed with Kasim’s story in following a vision to do something different instead of a more traditional career.

Lopa Patel MBE, Paul Stephenson OBE, Helen Grant MP, Anil Bhanot OBE with a guest

Young entrepreneur wins Asian Business Chamber of Commerce awards


UK Asian Voice | 3rd December 2016

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Good grades don't determine success in life Anand Pillai An 18-year-old talented Indian-origin girl in the UK jumped to her death on Alevel results day because she missed out on her first choice university, an inquest heard last week. The body of Harpreet Kaur Hallaith, pictured, from Wolverhampton in the West Midlands region of England, was found in High Rock, a scenic spot in Bridgnorth, Shropshire, a day after she was reported missing by her parents in August. A suicide note was also recovered, her inquest at Shropshire Coroner’s Court was told this week. “I can’t think what Harpreet was thinking that day but I can’t think she really intended to take her own life,” her mother told the inquest. “She was a happy child (who) loved school and had lots of friends. She developed a keen interest in languages as well as history. Harpreet was always very popular,” she added. Senior Coroner for Shropshire John Ellery recorded a verdict of suicide and said the medical cause of death was “multiple injuries”. Harpreet was a brainy girl who attended Wolverhampton Girls’ High

School. The “high-achieving” teenager needed two A* grades and one A from her subjects in order to get a place studying Russian and History at Durham University. But she was disappointed after achieving one A and two Bs in Russian, Latin and History on A-level results day on August 18. However, she had been informed by email that her grades were good enough to get into her second choice, the University of Edinburgh. Harpreet left home for a walk after getting her results and was reported missing by her parents when she failed to return home a few hours later. Her possessions were discovered at the top of High Rock, a spot 11 miles away where she often went to think, before her body was recovered by local police. The inquest was also told that the teenager had

Rami Entrepreneur Ranger, CBE, who founded Sun Mark Ltd, says: “This is yet another tragic story where a young, bright and talented student has taken her own life for falling short of expectations set by herself. This tragedy once again highlights the need for parents and teachers to discuss and explain to youngsters

almost overdosed on paracetamol in February this year. But the larger question is – is it worth killing yourself for poor exam results? Is life only about academics? Are exam results the beall and end-all of success? Certainly not. There is more to life than just academics. Not every successful person on this planet has been a meritorious student. Many of them made it big without a brilliant academic track record. Failure, if taken in the right spirit, can do wonders and for many it has been a stepping stone to success. J K Rowling, the author of the ‘Harry Potter’ series was head girl and gained two As and a B at A-Level. However, she was rejected from Oxford University and instead studied at the University of Exeter. In those seven years after graduating, she had many different jobs but after the success of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, she went on to write six more books in the series. She’s since sold hundreds of millions of copies, and the books have also been adapted into hugely popular films. Failures and disappointments are part of life and it’s important that children are told about how to cope with them.

Not worth committing suicide for poor results how to deal with disappointments in life. In fact, life is full of disappointments and it is paramount we prepare them as to how they should deal with such situations. We must bring home the fact that one does not have to be academically brilliant to get the best out of life. “There are many examples where people who were not academically brilliant but still went on to achieve great heights in their lives. The Rt. Hon John Major, former British Prime Sir Richard Minister, Branson, Lord Alan Sugar and Bill Gates, founder of Microsoft, are prime examples. “In fact, I too was a mediocre student and yet I received honours from Her Majesty the Queen on eight occasions and became the

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most decorated businessman in Britain. “Harpreet Kaur Hallaith has left a big void in the lives of her family who must be feeling helpless and distraught, not to mention guilty for no fault of theirs. Sadly, the person who takes their own life takes the secret of their action with them. No one should feel bad or take responsibility for Harpreet’s action. Every parent tries to do the best for their children and the fact that Harpreet was sent to the best school speaks volumes about the love and care her parents had for her.” Children should realise life is not just about grades. Lord Bhikhu Parekh says: “Like any other parent I was distressed to hear about Harpreet’s suicide. In the absence of all the relevant information it is difficult to say what factors played a part and how much stress she was under. However it is obvious that she took her own life because of her grades. It’s very important for children to realise that life is not about grades. It is also important for the elders to get this message across to young people. In this age where achievement and performance mean so much, this is not easy and cases like Harpreet will

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continue to occur. Our job is to keep doing our best to discourage such incidents as effectively as we can.” There is a need to ensure that children receive help and guidance at every stage of their life. Lord Navnit Dholakia says: “This is indeed a sad news and our sympathy must go to Harpreet’s family and friends. We pray that they will have strength and support of the community towards this tragedy. In the present day and age of digitalised world youngsters go through considerable pressure to achieve success in the education field which ultimately leads to a prosperous career. Parents are also ambitious and take great pride in the achievements of their children. It is all part of the growing up process. However it is imperative that all of us are aware of the need to ensure that children receive help and guidance at every stage so that there are no obstacles in their development. Schools and colleges can also play an important role here. “Let us hope that we will all work to ensure that children are able to share their concerns with friends, family and parents so that tragedies of this nature can never surface again.”


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Asian Voice | 3rd December 2016

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Demonetisation move evokes mixed reactions among NRIs Anand Pillai Rupanjana Dutta Demonetisation move is making waves as Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi making a strong pitch for it at every forum. But it has had a ripple effect on Indians living in the UK. He has also sent around emails, collecting feedbacks, including one received by the Asian Voice Editor himself, to take part in a survey to offer our honest and unbiased opinion regarding his demonetisation efforts. Silently perhaps every one, across every continent, would agree that demonetisation of Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 currency notes in India is a positive move by the government, but undeniably it has created quite a stir within the Indian diaspora in the UK. There have been some anxious moments, with many finding themselves holding worthless Indian currency notes. Most of them are upset for lack of clarity on the issue, especially how they can exchange these invalid notes and where. Many NRIs, sailing in the same boat, have tried to exchange the notes but in vain. There are no takers as of date because of no clear mandate from Indian government to their embassies and High Commissions. Priya Pattni from Wimbledon says: “I don't have any clue what to do with the few Rs 500 notes that I have. No Indian bank in the UK is ready to take these notes. Even currency exchange firms are of no help. There is no communication for NRIs either from the Indian government or banks so far. There is no clear mandate from currency exchanges' head office as well.” However, one Francis from Colliers Wood, who works with a private company, didn't appear worried over the issue. He says his cash dealings or transactions hitherto have been legal, so he is not worried about it. Besides, there is enough time left to exchange notes. He hopes some positive development may come up in favour of NRIs in the interim period, he adds. Abhishek Madhavan from Tooting says he doesn't bother much as he is going to India during the Christmas break and he will exchange the notes in India. His friend Prakash, also from Tooting, says he has a few currencies but it's not a big amount and so he is okay to dispense with them. Arghya But

Mukherjee's parents 80 year old Arun and 75 year old Ashima, who were travelling to Kolkata for a wedding, had a different fate. They had Rs 20,000 with them for immediate expenses and a bank card to withdraw cash, which they needed help to use, for their old age. They dont know how to make online payments, neither can they pay people using a bankcard chip and pin. They landed amidst this demonitisation chaos and had no clue what to do. Of course friends and family came to aid, but even taxis refused to take Rs 500 notes- leaving them stranded at the Kolkata airport, till a relative came and picked

them up after 4 hours of wait. The Rt Hon Keith Vaz, Member of Parliament for Leicester East and the longest serving Member of Parliament of Asian origin in the House of Commons, has made a statement on the demonetisation of the Indian Rupee, and its implications for the British Asian community. Keith Vaz said: “The Indian government should be commended on this bold and courageous policy, and I completely understand why they have taken these steps. However the rupee recall has inadvertently caused concern and distress to many members of the Indian diaspora who live abroad who fear they will be unable to exchange their currency by the December-end deadline. I have therefore written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi with a three-point plan to address the concerns of the diaspora. The first priority is to extend the deadline to after the summer holidays in 2017. It would also be practical and beneficial for British Indians to be able to exchange this currency in UK banks, and until this issue is addressed I have asked that a Special Envoy to the diaspora is appointed to the High Commission in London. Concerns have also been raised that the money withdrawn by UK citizens on holiday in India for the cricket is now unusable, and addressing this issue now will prevent them from being frustrated and unsatisfied with their experience in India.”

Dinesh Patnaik, the Acting High Commissioner of India in the UK, told the PTI, “Our endeavour is to help everybody. We have asked New Delhi about it (any banned notes with NRIs). I have a feeling we will work out something so that people who have carried certain amount of cash in their pocket (maximum Rs 10,000/head), should be able to deposit it in any Indian bank abroad. “Basically, it means people abroad should not have more than that. Also, not everybody will have an account with an Indian bank – either they will have to open one or find an alternative. So, it is something we will have to look at very closely. There is a lot of time, until December 30,” he said. “This is not an amnesty scheme or any scheme to garner black money. This is a method to achieve cashless transactions, which in itself will stop corruption, and to make sure that the money which is lying within the non-legal system, gets into the legal system. “And, of course, the threat of fake Indian currency will be eliminated, because that threat was mostly with Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes. The new Rs 2,000 and Rs 500 will have greater security features and it will make it more difficult for counterfeiters to try and copy it,” he added. An advisory published by the Indian High Commission on 18th Nov said, “The Ministry of External Affairs has taken cognizance of the different requests on the issue of demonetization from India’s Missions in various countries about the clarifications sought by NRIs abroad, Money Changers Associations and foreign visitors and tourists (including for medical purposes) in India. “MEA has referred these matters to the Department of Economic Affairs. The Department of Economic Affairs has in turn formed an inter-ministerial committee headed at the level of an Additional Secretary. A Joint Secretary from MEA is also a member of that committee. Decisions taken based on the recommendations of the Committee shall be shared as soon as these are made available.” On their website the high commission clarified in a different advisory (in frequently asked questions format) for persons currently not in India, holding

Indian currency in 500 and 1000 denominations: “1. I am right now not in India, what should I do? “If you have Specified banknotes in India, you may authorise in writing enabling another person in India to deposit the notes into your bank account. The person so authorised has to come to the bank branch with the Specified banknotes, the authority letter given by you and a valid identity proof (Valid Identitiy proof is any of the following: Aadhaar Card, Driving License, Voter ID Card, Passport, NREGA Card, PAN Card, Identity Card Issued by Government Department, Public Sector Unit to its Staff) “2. I am an NRI and hold NRO account; can the exchange value be deposited in my account? “Yes, you can deposit the Specified banknotes to your NRO account. “3. I have no account but my relative / friend has an account, can I get my notes exchanged into that account? “Yes, you can do that if the account holder relative/friend etc. gives you permission in writing. While exchanging, you should provide to the bank, evidence of permission given by the account holder and your valid identity proof. “4. Should I go to bank personally or can I send the notes through my representative? “Personal visit to the branch is preferable. In case it is not possible for you to visit the branch you may send your representative with an express mandate i.e. a written authorisation. The representative should produce authority letter and his/her valid identity proof while tendering the notes.” Kamal Dev told Asian Voice, “These advisories don't help. I cannot operate my NRO account from the UK. I have been to all the Indian banks here and none know how to help us.” When Asian Voice tried to contact Bank of Baroda the response there too was not in the affirmative. State of Bank of India in the UK in a notice on its website has clearly mentioned: “State Bank of India UK does not deal in Indian Rupee Notes from our UK branches and hence, we will not be in a position to handle the Rupee note exchange process (including withdrawal of old notes). Further details including the process and FAQ are available in RBI website...”

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BBC faces controversy over BAME staff resignation Asian Voice has been mentioned in an article by The Sunday Time in reference to the recent BBC controversy, where the corporation has been accused of discrimination and lack of promotion prospects for ethnic minoritiesincluding Asians. Only 13.4% of Anjula Singh BBC's staff is from the setback to people of black, Black Asian Minority Ethnic Asian and minority ethnic community. Anjula Singh, (Bame) backgrounds was parinterviewed by this newspaper ticularly disappointing was described as the most because it came more than senior Asian lady in BBC, in two years after the BBC hailed her job as the Deputy Head of a campaign led by the actor Production Operations [Page and comedian Sir Lenny 9, AV 6 Feb 2016, Henry to increase their preshttps://www.asianence. voice.com/Opinion/Columnis Phillips further added: ts/Rani-Singh/Presenting“[We were right] to say that The-Most-Senior-Asiantheir response at the time was Lady-in-the-BBC-Anjulaabout bringing people in at a Singh). It is understood she very junior level, while at the left eight weeks ago, as well as top of the pyramid there Tamara Howe, who was seemed to be very little place BBC's controller of business, for people of a minority backcomedy and entertainment. ground.” The Sunday Times reportHis frustration echoed ed that it was apparently concomments made by Sir Lenny tacted by disgruntled ethnic Henry when he launched his minority BBC staff after it campaign to MPs and told emerged that Aaqil Ahmed, them: “Chiwetel Ejiofor and head of religion and ethics, Idris Elba [who were born in would leave the corporation Britain but found acting fame and overall responsibility for in America] didn’t need more religion would be handed to training, they just needed a James Purnell, a former break.” Labour cabinet minister, who Marcus Ryder, who is white. recently left his job as head of “There is a haemorrhagcurrent affairs at BBC ing of senior staff from ethnic Scotland to move to Beijing minority backgrounds,” one with his wife, reportedly said said. “There are serious questhe BBC should be held to tions about the diversity of the higher standards than other BBC.” media outlets. Besides Liliane Landor, According to the most head of languages for the recent BBC staff figures, pubWorld Service, who left in the lished in July, more summer and Elonka Soros, BAMEpeople left the BBC who had worked as part of the (474) last year than joined it team supporting Lord Hall, (469). Tony Phillips, commissioning This could be explained editor at the World Service by the fact that the corporaand Radio 4, it is reported by tion is cutting staff, but the the newspaper that Jawad figures also show that Iqbal, a senior executive and employees of Bame origin are senior editor at BBC News, is leaving at a faster rate than also leaving the corporation. white Britons. Eight black and Asian They are allegedly proexecutives, including some moted less often than white who had been tipped for the British staff (23% last year upper echelons of the corpocompared with 28%) and of ration, have quit or are in the those that leave, fewer get a process of leaving. redundancy package (12% Trevor Phillips, the rather than 14%). founding chairman of the From April the BBC’s Equality and Human Rights progress on diversity will come under the scrutiny of the media watchdog Ofcom, which has said it is falling short on and off screen. Phillips argues that the public’s viewing habits may be the catalyst to push the BBC into changing its upper ranks. BBC2 is Britain’s “whitest” terrestrial channel by audience ethnicity, followed by BBC1. The BBC said: “No broadcaster has a more diverse workforce or Trevor more stretching targets than Phillips the BBC. “We currently have our highest ever percentage of Commission, described the Bame staff and different peoBBC’s record as “deeply, ple leave and join the organideeply disappointing” and sation all the time, which is said it was guilty of “snowy what happens in any busiwhite peak syndrome” for its ness. failure to promote people “The BBC runs a number from ethnic minorities. of schemes designed to attract He reportedly said the and develop Bame talent.”


UK Asian Voice | 3rd December 2016

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Rani Singh, Special Assignments Editor

Premila Puri Makh: Putting Kindness Above Everything Else Premila Puri Makh founded the charity, Be Kind Movement. She is also an executive producer of documentaries and a corporate headhunter with over 15 years of experience. This lady manages to succeed in every task she starts doing, whether it is fundraising for the Be Kind Movement or producing films such as "Beyond Bollywood", "Delhi Boom!" and "Retardation". Her charity was recently chosen as ‘The Charity of Choice' and received proceeds from a ‘Christmas Extravaganza' pop up event on 28 November 2016 at the Grosvenor House JW Marriott. As a producer, she was selected to attend The International Rotterdam Film Festival's (IFFR) prestigious Lab Programme in January 2014 as one of eight emerging producers from the UK. Here is the story of this ambitious entrepreneur.

Premila Puri Makh

Childhood and life with parents

Premila was born in Mumbai, India into the family of a naval mechanical engineer and a housewife. When her father

became a fashion entrepreneur, Premila's family moved to Holland. There her father was establishing women's retail shops and supplying large conglomerate retailers in Europe.

Premila went to study at The International School of The Hague, It was a new experience for Puri Makh. She recalls: "Life was ‘international' and schooling at The International School of The Hague was a cultural eye opener when interacting with 56 nationalities." Although Premila was at first happy to be of a new international world; this world wasn't ready to accept her. Premila remembers being bullied at school: "If I could turn back time, I would skip that part completely. It is unpleasant, and my heart goes out to the children I read about in papers who commit suicide from bullying. On the flipside, there's much more awareness today and more willingness to discuss such taboo subjects." Premila's parents supported their child and encouraged her not to give up but to be proud of her background. Puri Makh recalls that each summer they used to bring her and her siblings to India so they would not forget where they came from. As Premila knows how hard it was for her parents to go away on holiday, she is grateful to her parents for this gesture. She says: "When I hear of second generation Asian children who went to India as a baby and returned in their

20s or 30s, I'm grateful to my parents for keeping India alive in us that shaped us into who we are today: Indian at heart, Global in perspective."

Biggest turning point

Although Premila had a great relationship with her parents, at some point she was willing to leave their house to start living her life. The first time she moved was when she went to England to study Law and Management Science followed by an MPhil in Marketing and the second time for her career. Puri Makh believes that she made the right choice: "I'd advise everyone to live independently even if you have a fabulous relationship with your parents. I grew up overnight, became fiscally responsible, did my DIY, travelled and seized many opportunities, which I wouldn't have done living at home."

Biggest challenge.

One of the biggest problems for Premila was to move from a mild corporate job with four to five holidays a year to that of an entrepreneur. The move entailed hard decisions that had an opportunity cost. But she’s is happy about the decision: " I'd advise everyone to find their true calling and pursue this passionately. Just ensure you have healthy savings to rely on and truckloads of

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resilience!" Another challenge for Premila was personal. It happened when she lost an inner circle of her friends during one night. This was a drastically sad experience for Premilla: "I used to read about losing friends but having to experience it was a challenge I didn't know how to handle. It made me question many things and wrestle with many fundamentals." But sometimes bad things happen for the better, and this story was no exception. This event led to the setting up of Puri Makh's charity Be Kind Movement (BKM). "Out of horrible situations, something remarkable and passionate can emerge."

Ambitions for future

As she is interested in real life stories, Premila's newest goal is to create entertaining film and TV content that covers this subject but also remains commercial. Premila is pursuing collaborations of talent, money and new players. Another project Premila leading is connected to her charity. The organisation's ambition is to engage with audiences by using innovative methods. To do this Premila's company is going to produce a film with proceeds dedicated to helping children in the UK.


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READERS’ VOICE

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Asian Voice | 3rd December 2016

Demonetisation of Indian Currency The surprise bombshell by Narendra Modi, the Prime Minister of India and his BJP government has stunned and shattered the hoarders of black money, the political parties who use black money to fight elections, business men and women who use black money to grease the wheels, and funders of terrorists by rendering the black money worthless. They are now lashing out and seeking revenge against Narendra Modi for the huge loss they have suffered. This was a knock-out blow for them. One way to get at Narendra Modi and the BJP government was to say that they have suddenly become the champions of the poor people, farmers, small traders and rural areas; saying they are suffering because they have to stand in long queues, they cannot buy food, pay school fees, workers are not paid, they cannot buy medicines so on and so forth, whereas in the past these poor people and others have been ignored by them and they had done nothing to improve their lot in any way. Now they are shedding crocodile tears for them. The common man and woman are not complaining and are happy to bear the inconvenience they are under-going because they want end of corruption and black money. Hopefully by end of December the situation will return to normal. The move had to be planned very secretly by a few people, otherwise if all institutions had been involved there was every possibility of leakage of the move, thereby giving the black marketers, black money hoarders, political parties, businessmen and women and vested interests to get rid of black money before this regulation it came into force. This would have removed the element of surprise and success of the demonetisation of Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 currency notes. So in view of the foregoing there is no doubt that thorough planning as demanded by the opposition was not possible nor feasible. By getting the black money out of the system it will boost the country’s coffers under the amnesty provided the hoarders of black money paid 60% tax and it would also increase the capitalisation of the banks because of new deposits made. This demonetising of the currency was a visionary and valiant move by Narendra Modi and BJP, he took this bold step knowing full well the pitfalls, the opposition he will face, and even danger to his life. The people he has challenged are very powerful and would go to any length to sabotage this demonetising of the currency. The good thing is that the people of India from all walks of life are supporting Modi, and there are no chances of this scheme failing. This is the first step against corruption, others are to follow soon. Baldev Sharma Via Email

Veganism should be the way of life Thank you so much for publishing my article (Veganism should be the way of life, Pg 30, issue 26 Nov AV). I have already received a lot of positive response from people and this is thanks to Asian Voice for your efforts in getting my article published. I hope that this article inspires many to adopt veganism and will ultimately help to save the lives of innocent animals who are suffering so greatly because of human greed and desires. Rishi J Patel Via Email

Is cryofreezing justified?

The taming of Trump While there are discussions on how to normalise, institutionalise and contain Donald Trump, it is understood that the Queen is expected to invite him and his wife Melania to the UK to her residence at Windsor Castle. The visit may probably take place sometime in the summer of 2017. The Queen, being the figurehead of the UK, can act as the biggest public weapon. She can serve as a diplomatic weapon and use her influence regarding America’s policies in the favour of this country. In contrast to some public opinion and opposition, the invitation will be extended to someone who, as he is the president of the most powerful nation on earth, will be in the public interest of the country. We need to see how the visit will serve to tighten the bond between the UK and the US. It will be great to see the most powerful lady in the UK to chat with the most powerful man in the world. It may be that the Queen could make him modify if not reject his controversial policies. His outbursts about muslims, about Mexicans and the hispanics are controversial to say the least. His policies about the building of a wall between Mexico and the US are nothing but encouragement for segregation and could be nipped in the bud. Dinesh Sheth Newbury Park, Ilford

Have something to say about the stories featured in Asian Voice? Letters are welcome at: aveditorial@abplgr oup.com Word limit: 200 words.

Kumudiniben rightly questions whether cryofreezing is justified. (Asian Voice of 26-11-2016). Many mountaineers are mummified under tons of snow on high altitude mountains, don’t recover after being dug out. Similar fate can meet cryofrozen bodies. Therefore it is right to label the practice as “Hope trade”. Survival after cryofreezing can never succeed as it is focused on physical matter that degenerates irreversibly. But it is possible for cryognic science to include quantum factors and be available to general public. Such method of prolonged survival are essential for astronauts to reach nearest habitable planet, for research/ settlement, when planet earth may become inhospitable (vide Stephen Hawking). Hindu practice of yoga gives methods of cessation of ageing/ stalling death to survive 1000s of years. But it needs meditation and stamina. Posthumously, yogi can reassemble elements to manifest in any physical body anywhere in universe. Refer: “Autobiography of a Yogi”, (English) or “Yogi kathamrut” (Hindi) by Paramhansa Yogananda. Yearning for eternal immortality and devising various means can be atavistic trait innate in life force. In any incarnation, it is locked in five senses of physical matter. Inventing various means to survive can be an expression of super-soul to escape from physical matter. Ramesh Jhalla Via Email

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Letters that matters

We appreciate letters that deal with our problems, inform and educate readers on matters that affect us most, especially elderly and disable people. Dineshbhai’s letter in last week’s AV “Making money out of misery” falls in this category, especially as winter is looming upon us, heating bills going through the roof. It seems every kleptomania business is out to make money by any means, legal or illegal. One has to fight tooth and nail to get right deal, spend hours on telephone. But not everyone has time, patience or knowledge to take on these merchants of misery. They suffer in silence; pay up whatever charges are levied upon. Even educated, well informed people have to involve their luminary MPs if they meet brick wall, who are able and willing to help on most part. Multifarious businesses like Telephone, energy, mobile, councils and subscription TV fall into this category. Recently we had problem with “Stair Lift” (SL) which needed servicing and new batteries. Engineer convinced us we need new one as this would pack-up soon. We paid deposit, wisely by “Credit Card” with 14 day cooling off period which is mandatory. We soon realized that there was nothing wrong with our SL, cancelled agreement. But it was odyssey to get refund until we threatened to inform “Credit Card Company” who would refund money without much hassle. Let us have more such letters that help and educate readers. Kumudini Valambia Via Email

Tata’s Brexit Boost

Doom and gloom mongers predicted Britain going in recession if we leave EU. But in sharp contrast, businesses have rallied around; investment is on the rise, especially in car industry. The latest firm to announce plans to invest heavily is Tata’s Jaguar and Land Rover, doubling production and increase work-force by ten thousand. This newly found confidence could turn into disaster, self-inflicted euthanasia if our feeble politicians fail to secure fair deal to remain in free EU trade zone, are bullied into submission from Brussel based autocrats. Reality is EU needs us more than we need EU, every four jobs lost here will result in five jobs losses in EU, with £80 billion trade surplus for EU, especially for Germany, as we are their best market for car export. No wonder German industrialists are putting pressure on their government to give us good deal. But minnows like Malta and some East European countries will try their best to sabotage fair deal, unless we agree to free movement of labour, as they have nothing to lose by blocking such deal. But Germany and France, who lose most if denied free access to British market should win, as Germany’s financial contribution keeps EU afloat? But elections in France and Germany are on the horizon, political future of EU uncertain, especially if National Front firebrand Marine La Pen becomes next French President who advocates withdrawal from EU and abolish free movement. Bhupendra M. Gandhi Via Email

Comandante Castro

Fidel Castro’s death on 25th November has produced varied reactions from him being called a hero to a monster. Let the facts speak for him. Cuba (with no billionaire) under Castro is the only successful socio-communal state on earth while some like the mighty USSR, China (which has more billionaire than the USA), Yugoslavia and others have crumbled or adopted capitalism. It has prospered in spite of sanctions, embargoes, bans and Bay of Pigs invasion. Fidel outlived eleven presidencies in the USA and hundreds of attempts to kill him mostly by the USA secret services. Cuba provides more medical personnel to the developing world than all the G8 countries combined. The health care, education and life expectancy is almost same as the mighty USA with minimal impact to the environment. Cuban medical personnel are the first to respond whether natural disaster like earthquakes, wars, terrorism, technological disasters like Chernobyl, medical emergency like Ebola, etc. anywhere in the world. In sport, tiny Cuba (13m population) has won more Olympic medals than the total won by all the countries of the sub-continent (1800m population). Narsibhai Patel New Malden

NRIs ignored in demonitisation

Indian PM Narendra Modi's bold step to demonetise the high denomination currency notes has sent deep shock waves across the country. After initial inconveniences, people are gradually getting used to it. By and large, people have supported the PM for this much needed & awaited step. However, what surprises me most is the government's total ignorance & apathy towards the woes of Indian diaspora settled abroad. Neither the finance ministry nor the Reserve Bank of India have clarified as to how the NRIs can exchange or deposit the Indian currency that they hold in foreign countries. Most of these people invariably possess some Indian currency in high denomination notes abroad. They just cannot go to India to convert them or to deposit in NRO Bank Account there. The Indian High Commission or the Indian Banks in the UK have refused to help in this matter as they do not have any instructions from the Indian Government. I hereby request the Hon'ble Indian Prime Minister to look into this matter urgently and help us to deal with the Indian currency that we hold abroad. Bharat Shah Harrow

Immigration policy debacle

PM Theresa May's immigration reforms have now triggered fresh anger from Eastern Europe, and it may lead to Britons being forced to apply for work permit to work in the continent. I liked your story: “Britain's loss, others' gain” (AV 26 Nov, page 1). It is indeed true that the immigration system is making things hard- and it's not just for Europeans, but non Europeans are in fact at a worse place. MPs like Priti Patel had promised a golden era for Indo-British relationship, pre-Brexit. Theresa May's visit to India brought us nothing- especially after her 'haughty' comment on immigration. If Britain has to trigger article 50, I believe there is a need for everyone meeting midway. That includes Mrs May. This upper-hand approach is harmful for Britain in the long run. Aditya Das London


EDUCATION/COUNCIL

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Asian Voice |3rd December 2016

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A Level Reform Jewish students accuse university for Since 2015 A-Levels have been under reform, returning them to their linear format of old, and in doing so decoupling the AS from the A-Level and making the AS a standalone qualification. These changes are being implemented over the course of 3 years. The new linear qualification started being taught in September 2015 for many but not all subjects; this means that many stu- Selva Pankaj, CEO dents over the next 3 years will be Regent Group taking a mix of both modular and linear A-Levels, as some subjects are still yet to change to a modular format. Additionally, the content of many ALevels is being drastically changed, and some subjects such as Environmental Studies, are being scrapped altogether. In order to combat grade inflation, the January exam session was scrapped several years ago, giving students fewer chances to re-sit papers, and this reform is the next step. It is therefore now an individual student’s choice as to whether they sit an AS exam, during the first year of the course in addition to the complete set of exams at the end of their second year. There are many arguments in support of the A-Level reform; a particular emphasis has been placed on the extra teaching time available due to the elimination of the AS summer exams. Further, the new A-Levels should be tougher, having the intended effect of reducing the amount of students achieving top grades, with only the extremely gifted students getting the very top grades, thus universities and employers should find it easier to select the most able candidates. However, this reform has also faced a lot of criticism. One of the main arguments against the A-Level reform is the negative impact it will have on the university admissions process, with tutors being given less data on students on which they can base their offers to applicants. This means that universities will now have to place more of an emphasis on GCSE results, predicted grades and their own aptitude tests. Universities may find it much more difficult to make offers based on these pieces of data, as predicted grades can often be unreliable and GCSE results, whilst providing a good indication of a student’s abilities, are also undergoing reform, and unlike AS results do not provide solid evidence of a student’s current ability level. To further complicate matters, due to the staggered implementation of the changes, some UCAS forms will contain modular AS results, and some will not. Many people and organisations have been vocal about their opposition to the A-Level reform including teachers, UCAS and universities. An example of this was the University of Cambridge voicing strong criticism to the A Level reform, issuing a statement saying it will, "jeopardise over a decade's progress towards fairer access to the University of Cambridge." The AQA exam board has also been critical, stating that it was "disappointed" that AS-levels would no longer be part of the wider A-Level. Chris Keates of the teachers' union NASUWT also publicly showed a lack of support to the reform, saying, "Employers have not identified A-levels as problematic." It is also worth noting that over the past few years there has been an increase in the popularity of BTECs as compared to A-Levels, with an increasing amount of students who do a BTEC going on to university. This is demonstrated by the fact that last year the number of BTEC students in England going to university with grades equivalent to ABB+ climbed by 16%. At the same time 2,500 fewer students starting university in England achieved ABB+ at A  level. This highlights the significance of vocational qualifications such as BTECs and their growing role as a pathway to university. The increasing importance of BTECs is backed up by Mary Curnock Cook, the chief executive of UCAS, who suggested more pupils could desert A-Levels in the future because of a toughening up of the “gold standard” qualification. This serves to underline the importance of introducing students to alternate options and pathways to university, which are equally as well respected, but are less academically challenging and tailored to students who enjoy practical work. Whilst many may be opposed to the A-Level reform, it is here to stay. Once the linear system has been fully implemented and analysis can be carried out on the exam results, it will become clear whether the return to a linear format was simply the unfortunate result of looking through rosetinted spectacles, or the right step for our education system.

www.regentgroup.org.uk www.selvapankaj.com

'covering-up' anti-Semitic attack Three Jewish students were subjected to a vile anti-Semitic abuse by members of a Cambridge university drinking society, allegations have emerged. Two victims have gone on to accuse the University authorities of failing to investigate the attack properly and 'hushing up' the anti-semitic attack, The Daily Telegraph has reported. The students were apparently set upon by a mob after they entered the graduate union building in Mill Lane, Cambridge, at the end of last month. One of the victims, Shlomo Roiter-Jesner, 25, who is studying politics at Hughes Hall, told The Daily Telegraph: “It was a closed party so we walked out but as we did so these individuals started getting

more physical and more vocal and they noticed our kippot [Jewish skullcaps]. “All of a sudden they were shouting: 'Jew, get f----- out of here’. We tried to leave but they were yelling at us.” The newspaper reported that in an email to Professor Jane Stapleton, master of Christ’s College, sent a day after the attacks, another of the Jewish students, who does not wish to be named, wrote: “We heard shouting and were literally grabbed and pulled out of the building by about seven large, intimidating males. “We, and other bystanders, heard a number of vicious anti-Semitic slurs including 'f------ Jew, you don’t belong here’, 'dirty Jew’ and to myself, 'f--- off, darkie’.

"They then proceeded to try and choke my friend with his scarf, leaving him gasping for oxygen, and to push me and the third friend around, despite our attempts to de-escalate the situation. They eventually went back in after threatening to 'smash our faces in’.” Prof Stapleton wrote in response that the trio had every right to take the matter to police but if they chose not to do so the college would order an immediate inquiry. The college obtained CCTV footage of the attack but it contained no audio recording. On November 18, Mr Roiter-Jesner received a perfunctory response from Prof Stapleton. “The internal disciplinary process of the tutors is now concluded and two students have

been disciplined. Thank you for bringing this matter to my attention,” she wrote. The victims were reportedly dismayed by the reply, who now feel that the anti-Semitic attack has gone unrecognised. Prof Stapleton told the daily newspaper: “The internal investigation did succeed in identifying two Christ’s students who admitted using foul language and participating in a scuffle but they denied initiating the physical hostility and denied using any anti-Semitic or racist language. In relation to the former they were disciplined.” She added: “I reject categorically that Christ’s has engaged in a cover-up on this matter.”

Khan hits back at 'ratting' accusation Khan’s administration has been fully involved with since the election have been designated “affordable”. This compares with an average of 13 per cent of all planning consents for hous-

Sadiq Khan was accused of “ratting on what he had said during the election” by London Assembly's Tory Housing spokesperson Andrew Boff, after the Mayor’s housing deputy James Murray issued new planning guidance showing that developers will be given favourable treatment if their schemes include only 35 per cent affordable housing. The row came before publication of new planning guidance as well as details of how the Mayor will spend the £3.15 billion funding for 90,000 new affordable homes announced in last week’s Autumn Statement. Sadiq Khan hit back at the claims he has “ratted” on an election pledge to make 50 per cent of new homes in London “genuinely affordable”. In fact Mr Murray clarified there has already been a huge rise in the level of affordable housing in planning applications approved in the six months since Labour’s victory in May. He published figures suggesting 41.5 per cent of homes in the 10 major housing schemes Mr

ing across London in Boris 2014/15, in Johnson’s second term at City Hall. About 60,000 will be a mix of London Living Rent schemes - with rent set at one-third of aver-

age local household income - and shared ownership, and 29,000 will be for councils’ “Affordable Rent” housing with a benchmark of £153 per week for a twobed home.

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MEDIA WATCH

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Tragedy struck the Indore-Patna Express near Kanpur, when it derailed, resulting in a heavy of 147 dead and scores injured, some seriously. The cause of the accident – the worst in almost a decade - was (and is) attributed t a faulty rail track which apparently had split. Warnings about such an occurrence due to ageing rolling stock were issued and ignored – as is often the case in India – with dire consequences.

India’s big opportunity was to get its micro – strong entrepreneurial class meets the macro-government. Immelt said that was happening. GE’s model facility in Pune would be replicated elsewhere in India, he said. (Mint November 21)

India to consume $80 billion mobile parts

India, the second largest global market as per users is on track to consume $80 billion worth of mobile components by 2021, according to a joint study by IIM Bangalore Counterpoint researchers. The study points the opportunities presented by domestic demand to manufacture phones in India and source components locally, thus reducing dependents on imports (Business Line November 22) Train crash near Kanpur

Rail journeys are by far the most popular form of travel in the country, so a wake-up call should have been heeded but, alas, was not. A top-level inquiry is underway. Hopefully its findings will be acted upon urgently instead of being shelved – until the next such disaster. Rail modernization cannot stop with the acquisition of super-fast bullet trains catering to the elite, while the hoi polloi are condemned to travel like cattle (Times of India, Hindu November 21) See page 3.

Slow easing pain in demonetization

With signs of the demonetization pain easing slowly, quicker in urban areas (except for daily wage labourers), slower in rural, where many co-operative banks have run of cash causing farmer considerable distress. The take on the demonetization measure itself, among most industrialists and bankers can best described as cautiously optimistic. Bill Gates, the founder of Microsoft,

price. Furthermore, he doubted that the intended results would fructify. The frequent changes of norms by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) have contributed to the confusion and chaos (Times of India November 23)

SBI chief optimistic

However, Arundhati Bhattacharya, Chairperson of the State Bank of India, the country’s largest lender, said the ‘demonetization deposits grew from Rs1.04 lakh crore on November 14 to Rs 1.34 lakn crore on November 18. She said the SBI had achieved Rs 11 crore transactions since demonetization, having collected Rs 1. 84 lakh crore in deposits. She appealed to people to spend so that currency could circulate faster.(Times of India November 19)

Jeff Immelt’s positive take

General Electric Chairman Jeff Immelt is one of the movers and shakers in global business, his

There have been reports coming in from different parts of the country about people being frustrated with shortage of cash at the branches, leading to scuffles with bank staff and trouble at some points

most assuredly was during interviews with the media, saying that India could become the world’s most digitalizes economy in seven years. His words cannot be dismissed lightly, given the man and his record.

Summers critical

Laurence Summers, a former US Treasury Secretary and once President of Harvard University, and a distinguished economist, was critical of the demonetization on the ground that the disruption caused was too high a

company’s presence in India is large and growing. Asked by a local reporter how he felt about India, he replied with a laconic ‘Good.’ He explained: ’I think business results are strong. There is a sense of confidence in the country…things that have been talked about are actually happening GST (goods and services tax) So I feel really good about India.’ On PM Modi ‘I think Prime Minister Modi has been a good leader… If you look at somebody that is forceful , hardworking, honest and transparent, I would say sign me up.’

INS Chennai Commissioned

Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar commissioned the third and final Kolkata-class guided missile stealth destroyer INS Chennai, built at the Mazgaon Docks, near Mumbai recently. Sister ships INS Kolkata and INS

Strategic Forces Command fired the missiles from a mobile road launcher. Prthvi-II was designed by the Defence Research & Development Organization (DRDO). The missile has a 350km range and can carry a nuclear warhead. The test were a demonstration of Army’s operational preparedness (Hindu November 22)

Agni 1 test-fired

Agni 1, with its 750 km range was test-fired as part of a routine to ensure its operational capability in times of crisis. The Agni series of missiles also include the intermediate range Agni III, IV, and the intercontinental range Agni V.. The Agni missiles were designed by scientists and engineers at the Defence Research & Development Organization (DRDO). (Hindu November 23)

Woman Merchant Navy captain honoured

Radhika Menon, India’s first woman Merchant Navy captain, has been honoured by the International Maritime Organization for her exceptional courage in the dramatic rescue of seven fishermen from a sinking boat in a storm-tossed Bay of Bengal. Captain Radhika Menon received her medal and certificate of commendation at an awards ceremony at IMO headquarters in INS Chennai is armed with supersonic surface-tosurface ‘BrahMos’ missiles, and ‘Barak-8’ long range London. surface-to-air missiles

Kochi were commissioned in 2014 and 20015 respectively. Speaking on the occasion, the Minister said: ‘In six years six warships have been built and commissioned. We have learnt fast, of which INS Chennai is a clear example.’ He said it marked another milestone in the quest for self-reliance, and heralded a new era of new advanced warships designed and manufactured indigenously. INS Chennai is equipped with state-of-the art weapon systems and can operate under nuclear, biological and chemical warfare conditions (Times of India November 22)

Prithvi-II tested

Two Prithvi-II surface-to-surface missiles were successfully testfired in salvo mode recently at the

Humbled

‘I am humbled by this great honour for me and my team. It is a seafarer’s duty to help souls in distress and I did my duty. Seafaring is a noble profession which contributes massively to world trade and economy. It does not get the recognition it deserves,’ said Captain Menon (Times of India November 23)

Ruling parties excel in Lok Sabha polls

The BJP and Trinamool Congress came out tops, winning two Lok Sabha seats each in six states where they are the ruling party. The BJP won the Lakhimpur seat in Assam and the Shadol seat in Madhya Pradesh, both by wide margins. Trinamool Congress swept the board in Tamluk and Coochbehar in West Bengal by huge majorities, thrashing the Congress and the Communist Party of India (CPM). (Hindu November 23)

India in CERN with Associate status

Prithvi-II

Test Range near Balasore in Odisha. There was a 35-second gap between the tests. The

India has become as Associate member of the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN), the world’s largest nuclear and particle physics laboratory, best known as the operator of the Large Hadron

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Collider, which confirmed the existence of the elusive Higgs boson discovered by Peter Higgs in 2012 and won him the Nobel prize. India was admitted into this hallowed body as an ‘Observer’ in 2004, the upgrade to Associate membership, signed in Mumbai recently (to be operational from January) by Dr Sekhar Basu, Chairman of of the country’s Atomic Energy Commission and Secretary, Department of Atomic Energy and CERN Director General Babiola Gianotti, will allow Indian companies to bid for lucrative engineering contracts, while Indian scientists and engineers can apply for staff positions at CERN. It is a great leap forward for India (Hindu November 23)

M.G.K. Menon

Professor M . G . K . Menon FRS, who died in Delhi at 88, was one of India’s foremost theoretical physicists, one who Physicist belonged to MGK Menon the world’s elite. He was not merely an outstanding scientist but was also a public servant of matchless integrity and selflessness who commanded the deepest respect of his peers and an abiding affection of those served under him. Awarded a PhD at the relatively tender age of 25 by the University of Bristol (UK) in 1953, where he worked on cosmic rays under Nobel Laureate, Professor Powell, he was spotted by the iconic Homi Bhabha and joined the prestigious Tata Institute of Fundamental Research (TIFR) in 1955 in what turned to be an extraordinary career.

TIFR Director

Following the tragic death of Bhabha in air crash over the Alps, Menon took over as TIFR Director in 1966. In 1971, he made the transition to Delhi, being appointed Secretary in the Department of Electronics and for the next two decades was the mover and shaker in Indian science and technology, enjoying a special rapport with Indira Gandhi. Then, with the untimely death of Vikram Sarabhai in 1971, he was given additional charge as Chairman of of the Indian Research & Research Organization (ISRO) and the Physical Research Laboratory, Ahmedabad. Like his late mentor Bhabha, he was a superb science organizer and a keen spotter of talent, which he nurtured and encouraged. He became Minister of State for Science and Technology in the Rajiv Gandhi government and had a record of service as Scientific Adviser to the Ministry of Defence and for a time was Chairman of Defence Research & Development Organization (DRDO). The range of his intellect and the depth of his devotion to duty was truly remarkable. He cast a light wherever he was and in whatever he did.


UK Asian Voice | 3rd December 2016

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13

IN SUPPORT OF PHARMACY

Forecasts Right – 1 month and it was Tokyo, New York, London, New Delhi. So a good time for forecasting for 2017. My financial column in this paper carries my financial forecasts. Here are some political ones: India’s drone attacks on Pakistan do not lead to any major cross-border skirmishes. Pakistan knows it cannot win and India wants to focus on what is important. Trump visits India; builds a close relationship to PM Modi. Talks on common interests again terrorism. US funding to Pakistan slashed. Trump realises what India been telling US for years – the funds are

used to help terrorists and Pakistan is on its own. It’s Government’s fears it will fall to the Taliban are illfounded. Trump Doctrine: pay for your own defence and if your missiles can’t reach US, then not our worry to protect you or your neighbours from you. Anti-India terror groups in US get closed down thanks to closer working relationship with CIA. CIA and ISI stop intelligence sharing – Trump has no problem with this US – Russia – India become closer. China and EU get miffed. Canada continues being liberal in hosting anti-India terror groups,

fund-raising, for fear of offending any community. US urged by India to focus on Canada-US border. Nato countries go on massive spending spree. India looks to sell arms to Nato countries, but in most cases fails. Liberals, secularists, demand everyone else shuts up – miss the irony.

Ed Balls dances his way to stardom

Former shadow chancellor Ed Balls has been added to the line-up for this year’s Strictly Come Dancing tour. He became the 10th celebrity to be eliminated from the current series after losing to Judge Rinder in Sunday’s danceoff. He will appear on stage with several of his co-stars on the show’s UK tour, which begins in Birmingham in January. The former politician was popular with viewers. He is tipped to return to politics after his sensational stint.

In late 2001 the Office of Fair Trading (OFT, today the Competition and Markets Authority, CMA) published a report proposing the deregulation of the community pharmacy market, and the then Labour government launched a consultation. Why start here? It threatened the end of the Control of Entry system, that for fifteen years had severely constrained pharmacy openings. Community pharmacy argued hard that derestricting the market would give rise to clustering of pharmacies around the source of prescriptions, the GP practice, and threaten the viability of pharmacies in local community settings, thereby doing nothing to improve access. The OFT said that deregulation would stimulate competition, incentivising pharmacies to offer better services, both range and quality. Better pharmacies would drive weaker ones out of business. The end point, after a campaign by community pharmacy, led by PSNC and the NPA, was partial deregulation, and in the years that followed implementation of the exemptions in 2005, pharmacy numbers grew by 2,000 as pharmacy contractors, large, small, established and new, all took advantage of opportunities to open new premises. Ten years later good purchasing was still essential. But the impact of partial deregulation was greater competition: services for patients, principally home delivery and compliance aid dispensing, became more important. Five years later, in 2015, the NHS failed to grasp that community pharmacy was not simply a commodity supplier, even if that was the basis of the contractual framework and the funding delivery mechanic. They believed that the core service could be provided by an ‘Amazonised’ service. They held to this view even after seeing the impact of a technical problem on the operation of the largest online pharmacy business in December 2015. They had no understanding how community pharmacies were used. Armed with this ignorance, they proposed policies that would reduce funding for pharmacies and increase, by many times the sum of the reduction, the costs on GP and Urgent Care services, whilst adding costs, concern and incon-

venience to pharmacies’ patients and customers. T h e Government has repeatedly ignored community pharmacy representatives’ request to work collaboratively to Sue Sharpe reshape community pharmacy – the services, the network and the funding. It has ignored pharmacy’s proposals to achieve greater savings by reducing wasted spend on medication, as well as services to reduce NHS costs and the expert analysis by PwC of some pharmacy services, amounting to a conservative figure of £3bn a year value. It has not examined how pharmacy services support the most vulnerable patients today and how to ensure that support is not lost. The Government has no basis for its assertion that the cuts will not affect services to patients. Community pharmacies will need to cut staff and services to try to manage the reduced funding, and may need to cut or charge for currently unfunded services such as supply in compliance aids and home delivery, which will place additional stress and costs on publicly funded services. It was inevitable that PSNC and others would challenge such a lunatic policy. Biography of Sue Sharpe OBE, CEO PSNC In 2001 Sue became Chief Executive of PSNC, with a mandate to develop the organisation's capability to negotiate effectively with the NHS and reform the community pharmacy service. This has included negotiations that led to the introduction of the new community pharmacy contractual framework in 2005, which includes a number of changes to the pharmacy contractual framework, among them Medicines Use Reviews, clinical governance and a new funding system. In 2011 further changes were made including commissioning of the New Medicine Service. PSNC is currently in negotiations to revise national pharmacy funding and services with NHS England.

Jer Bulsara, Freddie Mercury’s mother, is no more If Freddie Mercury was Jer Bulsara’s little prince, for the late singer his mom was the real Queen – the Queen of warmth, elegance and grace. Jer Bulsara passed away on November 13 at the age of 94. Her daughter Kashmira Cooke confirmed the news of her death to the press, saying that she died in her sleep. Her death comes just about 25 years after the demise of her son, the late Farrokh Queen singer Bulsara, popularly known as Freddie Mercury. The Queen frontman passed away on November 24, 1991. Queen’s Brian May paid tribute to his late bandmate’s mother with a touching letter posted on his website: “Jer was a warm and devoted Mum to Freddie, and, like Freddie, always had a strong twinkle in the eye. Although she was also devoted to her husband Bomi, and lived in the Zoroastrian faith as a good Parsee, she had an independent spirit and a strong sense of humour.” Jer was fiercely proud of Mercury, although she had

hoped that he would become a lawyer or an accountant. She had a “Freddie room” in her home. Jer survived her son, who died of an Aids-related illness 25 years ago. She became something of a celebrity in her own right among Queen fans and found consolation in Mercury’s continuing popularity. Her popularity could be gauged from the stream of letters that she used to receive from across the world, from strangers telling her what her son’s songs meant to them. Many were simply addressed to “Freddie Mercury’s mother, England”. The Royal Mail sincerely delivered them to her final home near Nottingham. Jer’s religion helped her to accept Mercury’s death. “No mother wants to see her son die, but he has done more for the world in his

short life than many people could do in 100 years,” she said, as quoted in The Times. Jer was born in Gujarat, India, in October 1922 into a Parsee family. She married Bomi Bulsara who was 14 years her senior and worked as a cashier at the British colonial office in Bombay (now Mumbai). He died in 2003, aged 95. Bomi was transferred to the British protectorate of Zanzibar, where Freddie and Kashmira were born. But soon the Zanzibar revolution in 1964 forced the family to flee to Britain. Mercury was very close to his mother, and continued to visit his parents regularly in their Feltham house, west London, long after he had become a superstar and was living lavishly in a Kensington mansion. Her home-made cheese biscuits frequently sustained Queen during long, all-night recording sessions. If Mercury rocked the world with his music, the woman behind the genius perhaps was Jer. No wonder, they say the hand that rocks the cradle rules the world.


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SP

TLIGHT

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Jasbir Dawar:Executive Cookery Asian Voice | 3rd December 2016

The quality and taste of food must be supreme

Sunetra Senior

Executive chef of the Hilton at London Heathrow, Terminal 5, Jasbir Dawar brings his own stylish – and flavoursome - touch to this prestigious local landmark. Overseeing the many main activities surrounding the food at the venue, including big banquet spreads, charity events and designing the individual menus, Dawar works closely with a team of about 25 chefs, making sure that the establishment’s signature dishes are exciting, and ones worth opening the mind for: “all year round, I design and present different theme-based menus to put a lasting stamp on our dishes”, he told us. “For the Chinese New Year theme menu, for example, I paired Luzhou Laojiao Zisha Dachu (a Chinese liqueur), Money 47 gin with salmon, Chinkiang vinegar, seaweed dust, lobster and sweet chilli savarin.” Dawar has had one of his radiant concoctions featured in the 50th anniversary edition of the Craft’s Guild of Chefs book. “It was the Red Velvet Tonka Ben panna cotta, white chocolate and raspberry spoon, with a rose petal ice-cream. That’s my quintessential style.” However, Jasbir made sure to add: “enabling my staff and helping them to grow is also very important. I make it a point to encourage their creativity, and give them free reign when crafting new meals – it is the best way to boost their confidence, and foster that team spirit. It’s about everyone achieving their best on a regular basis.” Much like the lofty airport surroundings then, Jasbir’s professional philosophy encourages experimentation, sophistication, and only ever aiming for the sky: Tell us a bit about your inspiring journey on the way to becoming executive chef of Hilton (a 350 bedroom hotel) at Heathrow T5? I started my culinary journey back in Delhi, India as a trainee at the Maurya Sheraton & Nikko Metropolitan hotels. Coming over from India and then reaching the top of my profession here is a very heartening experience for me and my family. Starting from there to now as Executive Chef at a relatively young age has been a long and rewarding journey. I learned a lot from each stage of my career, be it as a CDP at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Marlow – my first job here to Sofitel Heathrow Hotel T5. I put in extraordinary long hours with a single minded devotion to excelling in the culinary industry. Through all this, I followed my dedicated work ethic, professionalism and keen love for food as my guiding principles. What are some of your favourite ingredients to use? I love working with all seasonal ingredients, as they are packed with flavour and make me want to experiment. For example, I am enjoying designing dishes with heritage beetroot, sea buckthorn berries, Wester Ross salmon and Dingley Dell pork (welfare friendly pork).

Expand a little more on your role as the Executive Chef of Heathrow T5, please? As well as running, managing and planning the main activities around the food-based duties daily basis, staff ros-

tering, hiring, and training is also part of my role. The job means a lot of thinking on your feet, making swift decisions and being aware of even the minutest details in the kitchen. I have to source our supplies, manage our suppliers and food deliveries. Budgeting, costing and forecasting is a key part of my job, where we have to keep a close eye on our food costs and at the same time, offer good value and culinary experience to our customers. I am also part of the wider hotel management team and that involves its own responsibilities. At the Hilton (T5), I look after the main (one Rosette) Gallery restaurant, River Bar, the Musetti coffee shop, and various corporate events.

How exactly does your culinary expertise and business knowledge come together in your executive position? It is very important for those in the hospitality industry to be aware of the business impact of our roles. Designing a menu involves a lot of creativity and hard work, but that has to be done keeping the business requirements and limits in mind. That is when your effort will make it a success for everyone involved. I understand the requirements of different events and plan the menu around what would work for the paying customer. My role involves doing a lot of forecasting, sourcing the best products at the best prices, and managing food costs. I also have to work with different parts of the business and teams across the hotel to offer the best customer experience when a guest checks in, or comes to dine at our hotel.

Name some of your favourite dishes? I like cooking our Blythburgh pork belly dish, with chorizo jam mash potato, white pudding beignet and black truffle jus at our restaurant at the Hilton.

Do you think good food can really make a difference to one’s day? Yes - especially as most of us lead such busy, hectic lives. At the end of a hard day at work, a good meal can bring a smile to everyone’s lips and help us relax.

Do you think a good restaurant environment is key to enjoy one’s meal? That I’m not so sure about. You might brand yourself as a fine dining establishment with an ambience to match, but you might not necessarily enjoy the food. For example, at Galvin at Windows you get the best views of London, and also an equally inspiring menu. So the quality and taste of the food must be supreme. Similarly, you can sit at a roadside dhaba in India or eat standing around a street food vendor at a market and you may feel like you had the best culinary experience of your life!

Name a good restaurant you’ve eaten at recently? Indian Accent at Delhi is a theatre of fusion Indian food. I enjoyed trying Indian cuisine with a twist there.

Finally do you have a life motto? Live life King size

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Indian film actor pays tribute to Basaveshwara statue in London

Renowned Kannada film star Ramesh Aravind paid tribute to Basaveshwara statue in London on 26th November 2016. He was also felicitated by The Lambeth Basaveshwara Foundation for his contribution to Kannada film industry and playing the role of Basavnna in a film “Maha Sharana Haralaiya’. The former Mayor of Lambeth Dr Neeraj Patil had invited him on behalf of The

Foundation. Members of British Kannada community & Kannadigaru UK joined this important occasion; Kannadugaru UK is an important Kannada organisation in UK, which is promoting Kannada culture and heritage over the last decade. Cine star Ramesh Aravind expressed tribute to Basaveshwara & his contribution towards democracy and social justice

'Lord of the fly-tips’ busted by council A notorious professional fly-tipper, who went on an eight-month dumping spree across north west London, has received one of the toughest sentences ever given for the crime by a magistrates court. Philip Cash, 65, of Alexandra Avenue, Harrow, was handed a 12 month prison term, suspended for two years. As a condition of the suspended sentence, Cash will be electronically tagged for 16 weeks. During this time, a curfew will require him to remain at home between 9pm and 6am. Cash was ordered to pay £5,990 in costs, was disqualified from driving for 12 months and has had the vehicle he used for the crimes seized by the police. Leader of Harrow Council, Cllr Sachin Shah,

Philip Cash

said: “We’re doing our bit in finding and prosecuting bad guys like Mr Cash, but I’m very concerned that incomplete criminal records information can mean serial offenders like him sometimes only receive a slap on the wrist, rather than a sentence befitting a career criminal. I’ll be writing to the Home Office, demanding that action is taken to address this serious failure. Our courts are being kept in the dark, which is an absolute scandal!”

London Mayor and Chief Rabbi take action to help refugees and those in need Key political and religious figures were among 40,000 volunteers all around the world hosting tea parties, making teddy bears, wrapping Christmas presents, cooking meals and collecting goods for refugees and the most vulnerable in society, as part of Mitzvah Day – the UK’s biggest faithbased day of social action. Bringing together Jews, Muslims, Christians, Hindus and those of all faiths, and none, Mitzvah Day saw volunteers – including London Mayor Sadiq Khan, Communities Minister Lord Bourne, Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis, Imam Qari Asim MBE, Bishop of Edmonton Robert Wickham and MPs from all political parties – giving their time, not their

Sadiq Khan with Laura Marks (Photo: Yakir Zur)

money, to make a difference to the community around them. This year’s Mitzvah Day was especially focussed on building bridges and bringing people together who might otherwise stay apart, through joint social action projects to tackle the challenges of modern society. A ‘mitzvah’ is a good deed or an act of kindness - an integral part of Jewish life and teaching.


UK Asian Voice | 3rd December 2016

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Indian-origin man killed in 119 mph crash after car ‘got stuck in cruise control’ Kaushal Gandhi died instantly when his car hit a stationary lorry on the M40 A 32-year-old Indian-origin man from Harrow had a harrowing time at the wheel when he called 999 with his car stuck in cruise control at 110mph before it crashed into a parked lorry, killing him instantly, an inquest heard last week. In the terrifying eight minutes leading up to the crash, Kaushal Gandhi, of Harrow, Middlesex, told the call handler that he could not stop his white Skoda Octavia accelerating as the cruise control had become stuck. The incident happened on the M40 as Kaushal Gandhi began accelerating out of control through Buckinghamshire in his car around 3am on February 2. His desperate 999 call, played to the coroner, ended as he hit the truck parked in a lay-by, reaching a speed of 119mph just before the collision. Emergency services later found his body in the wreckage, the inquest heard.

Kaushal Gandhi

“My car is not coming out of the cruise control. It is not letting me stop. It (the speedometer) shows 70mph but I think I am going much faster than this,” he said, according to the recording of his emergency call played at the Coroner’s Court in Buckinghamshire. The Mumbai-born car enthusiast was the director Rehncy Shaheen of Chartered Accountants in

Greenford, west London. “My speed is increasing. I think what has happened was I tried to change the mode on the car, because I was on the sports mode. I pressed a button to come onto the normal mode and then it is not allowing me to do anything,” he said in the recording. In desperation he asked if a lane could be closed ahead of him as he approached a junction with the A40 at Denham. The coroner recorded a “narrative” verdict, ruling out any suggestion that Gandhi had committed suicide. Martin Clatworthy, a vehicle data examiner for VW, said: “There is no indication that there was any error or problem with any of the electronic systems of the car in the five seconds leading up to the collision.”

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TRAVEL DIARY

It is the ideal time to plan for next year's Easter break, with travel companies offering fantastic deals during this festive season. With school starting from 10 April- 21 April 2017, parents have to find new ways to keep children busy or engaged. And that means time off for the whole family. So if you're looking for some exciting ideas on how to have fun coming Easter, look no further.

Ski holiday (France, Switzerland and Austria)

Self catering logs are quite popular for a ski holiday. The best time to take a short ski break is very early or very late season, January or late March/April when the resorts are usually quiet, the pistes are empty and lift queues short – what’s not to love? Avoriaz, Ischgl or Titlis Mountains are quite popular for ski breaks. There are mostly a scope for all kinds of ski lovers (beginners to advanced) to enjoy.

City Holiday (Netherlands)

If you fancy seeing the tulips-the best time to visit in mid April. Amsterdam is not the only city to see in Netherlands. While there are activities for children in Van Gogh Museum or Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam, Zaanse Schans makes a good stop for the Wind Mills, Cheese & Clog making experience- that kids usually love. Edam on the other hand is a pictureque town for a stroll or picnic, and Volendam a small fishing town- exciting for a day trip.

Historical holiday (Rome & Vatican City, Italy)

Rome is a big, bustling city with a huge amount to see. It can tire out the most high-energy kid. Since Rome is built on 7 hills, for anyone carrying a child in a carrier or traveling with a preschooler who refuses to sit in the stroller but can’t walk for more than a couple hours- is a night-

mare, Madeline Jhawar, an exclusive travel writer for Italy recommends seeing the main sights of Rome from the top of the Hop On Hop Off red bus #110. “You can catch it at Termini Station where it begins so that you get a good seat, and don’t hop off. Just ride the whole loop (which takes a couple of hours) and listen to the narration on the provided head-

phones,” she adds. There are plenty of places for the kids to run around in car-free Italian piazzas and get a history lesson at the same time. In particular don’t miss Piazza Navona, with its gorgeous fountains and unusual shape, and the huge Piazza del Popolo. Cool inside, open every day, and a relatively quick stop makes the Pantheon a winner for kids of every age. Fountains, Colosseum and Forumthe kids know already. Make it exciting with a theme, or let them throw a coin or two in the fountains. Italian gelato is one of the highlights of any visit to Rome, and will be what your kids are still asking for when you get back home.

Beach holiday (Sri Lanka)

April is certainly amongst the best months for travel in Sri Lanka, when considering the overall country-wide picture. Throughout the month the beaches in the south and west are still enjoying plenty of sunshine, with temperatures remaining up in the mid-30°C's. On the east coast it’s also good news, with rainfall on the decline and plenty of sunshine and blue skies expected.

Heading inland, it’s a similar story in the Cultural Triangle, with temperatures heading towards the mid-30°C's and very little rainfall. To the south, Kandy and the hills of the Tea Country are expecting rainfall well below their monthly average and temperatures hover around the mid20°C's, making April an ideal month for trekking the Knuckles Mountain range. There aren’t many attractions dedicated solely to children in Sri Lanka, but there are a lot of sights they’ll love. l Pinnewala Elephant Orphanage: A home for elephants near Kandy, with up to 80 ready to interact with visitors. l Uda Walawe One of the best national parks for wildlife-spotting safaris. l Minneriya A national park renowned for its herds of elephants. l Turtle hatcheries On the west coast, these are popular. l Unawatuna Fringing reefs mean the beach here is safe and shallow for little ones. l Polonnaruwa Kids can literally run themselves silly at the vast and car-free ancient heritage sites such as this one, with its very cool ruins. l Hill Country Train Rides Kids will love them


16

SPECIAL

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Gina Miller, the face of Brexit court case AsianVoiceNews

Asian Voice | 3rd December 2016

Gina Miller is the face of the Brexit legal battle. She is the lead claimant in the legal action against the British Prime Minister, arguing that individual members of the Cabinet have no legal power to trigger Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty to leave the European Union without getting the approval of the Parliament and MPs. In short, Parliament has to be consulted before triggering Article 50. Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty is nothing but starting the formal process of the UK leaving the EU. Gina Miller was born in Guyana but grew up in Britain. Her father, Doodnauth Singh, was Guyana's attorney-general. She has a brother named Gary, a GP in East London. In 2009 she co-founded the investment firm SCM Private, now SCM Direct, with her third husband, Alan, a 52-year-old fund manager. They are settled in Chelsea, West London, and are pround parents of two children, aged 9 and 11. She

to take on the government after defying her abusive anti-EU ex-husband. She said she was given legal protection after being physically attacked by Jon Maguire, who stood on an antiBrussels platform at the 2010 General Election. She attended Moira House Girls' School, in Eastbourne, East Sussex, and then went to university in London. She is reported to have previously been a model and a chambermaid, but is best known for having campaigned for transparency in investment and pension funds. Gina Miller is also the founder and chairman of Miller Philanthropy, which s h e

has been married three times, and has three children. Married for the first time at 20, she had disabled daughter Lucy-Ann, who “was deprived of oxygen at birth”. She told The Times: “She's 28 now and has the mental age of a six-year-old and still lives with her. That's why when people make assumptions about me, I think, 'You don't know me at all'.” Her second marriage was to controversial financier Jon Maguire, whose investment fund later lost around £120 million. She walked away from that marriage after meeting Alan Miller in 2002. Gina Miller said businessman Maguire abused her before their marriage broke up 13 years ago. Gina Miller was inspired

Gina Miller and Alan Miller

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launched with Alan. The duo also launched the True and Fair Campaign, aimed at cutting charges on ISAs and wiping out “dishonesty” in the financial services industry. She and her husband have also been major contributors to the Margaret Thatcher infirmary at the Royal Hospital Chelsea. On November 3, she succeeded in the first stage of her attempt to overturn PM Theresa May's decision in judicial preview proceedings at the Royal Courts of Justice in London. Gina Miller launched the Brexit legal case along with London-based Spanish hairdresser Deir Dos Santos and the People's Challenge group, set up by Grahame Pigney and backed by a crowd-funding campaign. They argued the government could not invoke Article 50 without seeking approval from Parliament. The government has appealed and the case will be considered by the Supreme Court next month.

Serena Rees: Laying bare the naked truth British Sikhs suffer increasing

She loves things to be spectacular but she is not a diva. We are talking about Serena Rees, a successful British businesswoman of Kashmiri Indian descent but more known for being the co-founder of Agent Provocateur. Agent Provocteur is a lingerie business that sells perfume, shoes as well as underwear. Tired of seeing women dressed in drab undergarments, Rees came up with an idea to start a lingerie store that was filled with colourful and stylish lingerie. In partnership with her then husband Joseph Corre, in 1994 the two opened Agent Provocateur on Broadwick Street, Soho. Years ago Serena Rees was quoted in the Guardian as saying: “Nice underwear is the basis of good style. Every woman should wear nice lingerie – you feel your best regardless of what else you're wearing.” Joseph Corre is the son Vivienne Dame of Westwood and Malcolm McLaren. She left in 2007 to pursue other business interests. Private equity firm 3i acquired the UK lingerie business Agent Provocateur for £60m in 2007. Serena Rees left London's fashion industry in shock when she left Corre for Paul Simonon, the ex-Clash bassist turned painter, in 2006. Serena Rees is also the co-founder of Cocomaya chocolate makers. She lives in central London with her daughter, Cora, and partner Simonon. Cora is Serena Rees and Joseph

racist abuse, says report

Serena Rees

Corre's daughter. The raven-haired 19-year-old Cora Corre is one of London's most-watched celebrity offspring, who made her modelling debut when she was just four.

Forty-eight-year-old Serena Rees,an adopted daughter of Indian parents, also has a secret passion that goes beyond panties and pastries, and that's nothing but buildings and

Joseph Corre and Serena Rees

architecture. For Serena Rees, buying, gutting and renovating properties across London has been an obsession. After leaving a rented flat off the King's Road, in Chelsea, in the 1980s, she bought her first property in Notting Hill, moving on to projects in St John's Wood and then a pair of huge townhouses in Pimlico. An industrial building in Clerkenwell followed soon. Then it was on to Charterhouse Square, Portland Place, in Marylebone, where she created a lateral home inspired by hotel suites on New York's Upper East Side. Now, with new businsess projects keeping her busy in New York and around the world, Serena Rees has decided to put her stylish Regent's Park home on the market for £15m. A report in the Sunday Times quotes her saying: “It's always exciting moving on to the next home.”

One in five British Sikhs has been the victim of racist abuse or discrimination in the past one year, including from public officials, according to a survey. The poll of 4,559 Sikhs released on Friday, by the Sikh Network, prompted calls from a committee of MPs for the Home Office to address the discrimination against Britain's 420,000 strong Sikh community. Speaking to Asian Voice, a member of the community, who did not want to be named said, “I think that the statistics in that report are incorrect. I have not heard so many abuses among my peers or community." However, Dr Rami Ranger CBE, Chairman of the British Sikh Association said, “Sadly, after Brexit there is a surge of racial attacks against minorities in Britain. The Prime Minister and the Home Secretary have made it clear that the Government will not tolerate such attacks in any shape or form. “As a matter of fact, there can be no place for racism in society as racism can easily destroy social cohesion, which is essential for everyone to progress. “Regrettably, most of the racial attacks particularly on Sikhs, are a result of mistak-

en identity. The fact of the matter is that Sikhs resemble Muslims in appearance and as most of the terrorist acts are being committed by Muslims, ordinary people mistake Sikhs for Muslims. Attacks on innocent Muslims must also be condemned as racism and must be nipped in the bud. Today it can be against Muslims but tomorrow it can be against Jews or other minorities. The cancer of racism if it gets hold in any society will be the end of civilisation as we know It.” In July 2016, according to a report by the Home Office, after the Brexit, the mainstream media had reported at least 41% increase in hate crimes since July 2015. Data from 31 police forces showed that 1,546 racially or religiously aggravated offences were recorded in the two weeks up to and including the day of the referendum on June 23. But in the fortnight immediately after the poll, the number climbed by almost half to 2,241. In September, the National Police Chiefs’ Council released figures which showed the number of incidents rose by 58 per cent in the week following the vote to leave the EU.


SPECIAL Asian Voice | 3rd December 2016

NIKKI HALEY www.asian-voice.com AsianVoiceNews

AsianVoiceNewsweekly

the pride and joy of Indian-Americans

On November 22, 2016, Governor Nikki R Haley of South Carolina was chosen by US President-elect Donald Trump to serve as US ambassador to the United Nations, becoming first Indian-American to be appointed to a Cabinet-level post in the US administration. Accepting Trump’s offer, Haley said: “When the President believes you have a major contribution to make to the welfare of our nation, and to our nation’s standing in the world, that is a calling that is important to heed.” Daughter of Indian immigrants, 44-year-old Haley is the first woman tapped by Trump for a toplevel administration post during his transition to the White House. Haley was highly critical of Trump during the US election campaign and had backed Senator Marco Rubio in the Republican primary. However, before the general elections, she switched her position, saying she would vote for Trump. Born Nimrata “Nikki” Randhawa on January 20, 1972, in Bamberg, South Carolina, to Sikh immigrants from Punjab State in India, Haley is the first minority and female governor of South Carolina. The Republican entered politics at a young age, and served in the South Carolina House of Representatives for several years before becoming governor of the state. Currently, she is serving her second term. In addition to being the first female governor in South Carolina, she is the first Indian-American, and the second Indian-American

governor in the country after Bobby Jindal of Louisiana. Haley converted to Christianity and sits on the board of the Mt Horeb United Methodist Church. Out of respect for her parents’ culture, she still attends Sikh services in Gurudwara. She favours free markets and global trade, and earned global attention for speaking out against the Confederate battle flag in the aftermath of the 2015 massacre at a black church in Charleston. Haley’s highest-profile trip, perhaps, was a 2014 visit to India, the birthplace of her parents. Her husband, Michael, has served in Afghanistan as an officer in the South Carolina National Guard. The couple have two children, Rena and Nalin. She has said the locals in South Carolina were often unsure of her place in what is often a Southern binary of black versus white. When Haley was about 5, she and her sister (Simran) entered a Little Miss Bamberg pageant where, traditionally, a black queen and a white queen were crowned. The judges decided the sisters fit neither category, so they were disqualified. From a young age, Haley worked for her family’s clothing business, and she eventually received an accounting degree from Clemson

Nikki Haley and Donald Trump

Nikki Haley

University. She was elected to the State House in 2004. In 2009, she declared she was running for governor and prevailed despite lingering biases. A nimble campaigner who is equally at home among CEOs and denim-clad bikers, Haley easily won re-election in 2014. Just like Trump, Haley has overcome accusations of sexual impropriety without suffering at the hustings. In her first run for governor, two Republican operatives made separate and unproven accusations that they had sexual encounters with her. She strongly denied the assertions, saying that she had been faithful to her husband, Michael Haley. A few years later, Haley was among those rumoured as a potential running mate for Mitt Romney, then a Republican presidential candidate. She said she could not do it because there was too much to be done at home in South Carolina. Nikki Haley is the

Tagore's Travelling Trunk

Smita Sarkar

The Asian Music Circuit has collaborated with Baithak's creation Tagore's Travelling Trunk to bring it to the wider audiences on the Cadogan Hall on December 11 at 7pm. Written and directed by Sangeeta Datta, the show will have Soumik Datta in sarod and vocals, Aindrila Ghosh, Sejuti Das and Protma Chatterjee in dance, Sandip Chakraborty in table and Souvid Datta as the narrator. Viram Jasani, CEO, Asian Music Circuit, told the Asian Voice "I liked it so much when I first saw the production that I wanted the show to have a greater audience. That is why we got them to perform at this wider platform." The highlight of the show is Souvid Datta's thir-

ty minutes teaser of a series on Indian music commissioned by Channel 4 called 'The Last Musicians of India.' "Souvid travelled into the interiors of rural areas in India and documented and collected rare music and the works of these musicians. This feature will take us back to our roots in India," said Viram. Tagore's Travelling Trunk is an enchanting performance combining music, dance and poetry that explores the musical influences on one of India’s greatest minds. During his travels, Tagore absorbed the classical, folk and Sufi music of India including the Sikh Sabadhs from Amritsar, devotional music from the south and folk music of Gujarat. During his travels

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across the United Kingdom he encountered opera, parlour music and Irish & Scottish folk music. The Asian Music Circuit is one of the leading promoters of Asian music in the UK. It produced a variety of tours and concerts, seminars, recordings, films and exhibitions to generate a greater awareness and appreciation of the excellence and beauty of Asian music, and to develop a new generation of talented musicians. By providing access to the full range of Asian music, the AMC is one of the most important organisations of its kind in Europe. Created in 1989 by the Arts Council of Great Britain, it has been run as an independent company and registered charity funded by Arts Council England since 1991.

daughter of Dr Ajit Singh Randhawa and Raj Kaur Randhawa. Coming from an honourable family in Punjab, India, Dr Ajit Singh Randhawa set sail for America in 1963 with his wife, Raj Kaur. The two landed in Canada where Dr Randhawa earned his education in the field of Biology. The couple moved to South Carolina in 1969 in order for him to take a job as professor in the Biology

HYDERABAD MUMBAI AHMEDABAD BENGALURU DELHI CHENNAI KOLKATTA BANGKOK KOCHI COLOMBO

department of Voorhees College. In the late 1950s, Ajit Randhawa was an assistant professor at Punjab Agricultural University in Ludhiana, India. He was offered a scholarship to the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, Canada, to do his Ph.D, which he completed in 1969. After 29 years of teaching at Voorhees College, Ajit Randhawa retired as Chairman of Division of Natural Sciences, Math and Computer Science. Nikki Haley's mother began a business selling Indian fashions (Exotica International) from their home. Beginning as a gift shop, Exotica International grew into a multimilliondollar company, selling gowns, suits and jewellery. Nikki Haley learned about her passion for handling business finances as a teenager working for her mother.

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TRAVLIN

Raj Kaur Randhawa studied Law from University of Delhi. In the US, Raj Randhawa continued her studies and earned a Masters in Education (M.Ed) degree. She taught social studies in public schools for 7 years.Haley's parents are Sikh. Her father, Ajit, wears a turban, and although male Sikhs are not supposed to cut their hair, her brothers did after kids at school continuously teased them, according to The New York Times. Nikki Haley has an elder brother, Harmeet (“Mitti”) Randhawa Singh, an elder sister, Simran Singh and a younger brother, Charan (“Gogi”) Randhawa. Except for Mitti, the eldest sibling, the other three Randhawa siblings were born in Bamberg, South Carolina. The Randhawas are from Pandori Ransingh village in Punjab, India. Haley will continue to serve as the governor of South Carolina until the Senate confirms her nomination.

HYDERABAD MUMBAI AHMEDABAD BENGALURU DELHI CHENNAI KOLKATTA BANGKOK KOCHI COLOMBO

STYLE

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FINANCIAL VOICE

Asian Voice | 3rd December 2016

Consultant Editor Financial Voice Alpesh Patel

Predictions Dear Financial Voice Reader, As I said in my free two hour weekly webinars (www.alpeshpatel.com/best) on trading and investing these are my forecasts for 2017; 1. The Stock market will hit an all time high because Trump promises to spend spend spend 2. Gold will fall because people are rushing to stocks 3. Interest rates will rise in the US, not UK 4. The USD will rise in value as there will be a demand to tap into American growth fuelled by American debt 5. The markets will not care about the $1trillion debt spending by Trump 6. Trump will borrow via the Bond markets from Japan and China then stiff them with a debt renegotiation and the US will de facto default on its debt – he will offer them 80c back on the $. But that will not make borrowing costs higher for America oddly enough. 7. The UK market and EU will hit all time highs despite worries about Brexit 8. Companies will use this to pay CEOs even more and not raise wages because employees are too weak and there is no shortage of such weak employees 9. House prices will rise slowly in major cities like London but still due to poor wages and fear of rate rises not rise quickly elsewhere 10. The Indian PM will start squeezing black economy even more so by throwing politicians in prison; there will be drone attacks on Pakistan from India. Pakistan will retaliate with their own. The Rupee will weaken.

Money worries biggest cause of stress for UK adults Financial stability is the factor most affecting the wellbeing of UK citizens, according to a new report. Research by health and wellbeing charity Central YMCA has revealed a 52% divide in wellbeing scores between the most and least financially confident people in society. Being happy with your finances causes a 19% uplift in wellbeing scores, while being extremely worried about money causes a 33% fall, according to research undertaken for the report - which questioned a nationally representative sample of 1,000 UK adults on 14 statements relating to wellbeing and how various lifestyle factors affect these. Britain’s financial inequality gap is said to be

widening, with research by Oxfam this year revealing that the richest 1% of the UK population owns more than 20 times the wealth of the poorest fifth. Another 2015 study by the London School of Economics found that young people in their 20s were 18% worse off than 20 year olds were just five years ago, indicating the speed of change. Other factors significantly impacting wellbeing were: lacking good relationships, which led to a 50% swing in scores; lacking mental stimulation, which brought about a 48% divide; while a 32% gap was present between the most and least physically active residents in the UK.

www.asian-voice.com

Tata to sell Yorkshire steel plants to Liberty group AsianVoiceNews

Indian conglomerate Tata signed a letter of intent to start exclusive talks to sell its Yorkshire-based speciality steel business to Sanjeev Gupta's Liberty Group for £100m. The agreement comes as good news to workers at the plants in Rotherham, Stocksbridge and Brinsworth, who produce steels used in the automotive, aerospace and oil and gas sectors. Tata put its UK steel business up for sale after a combination of high energy costs, global overcapacity, and China dumping subsidised steel on the market brought the industry down. It later "paused" the sale, saying it was exploring a tie-up with European rival ThyssenKrupp and looking at selling off only selected

JLR to create thousands of jobs

Tata Motors' Jaguar Land Rover has announced an ambitious investment plan which could potentially lead to thousands of jobs in the country, as part of its bid to double output by 2020. JLR chief executive Ralf Speth confirmed the decision which would include a big spike in the production of electric vehicles in Britain. "We have a greater ambition. Why should we challenge ourselves to build more

assets. Bimlendra Jha, chief executive of Tata Steel UK said, "The speciality steels business is independent of the pan-European strip products supply chain and this announcement is in

than a million cars. If we double the volume of our cars we can double the workforce. We can only do this in partnership," Speth said at a automotive sector meet at Warwick University. He also indicated that the company was keen to bring the research and development and production of electric car batteries to Coventry and Warwickshire in the region

line with the overall restructuring of the UK portfolio. This is an important step forward in seeking a future for speciality steels. We now look forward to working with Liberty on

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due diligence and other work streams so that the sale can be successfully completed." Gupta said, "We recognise the world-class skills of the speciality steels workforce and are eager to join with them to develop the business and increase market share, both domestically and internationally." This is just the latest in a string of acquisitions by Liberty, as it looks to expand its industrials portfolio. The company has bought a string of struggling steel sites across the UK, including two Lanarkshire steel mills from Tata Steel. The speciality steels business employs 1,700 people and produces materials for the aerospace, automotive and oil and gas industries.

Tata Steel ousts Mistry, brings OP Bhatt as interim chairman Tata Steel board has ousted Cyrus Mistry as chairman of the company, bringing in former State Bank of India chairman, OP Bhatt as the interim chairman till the extraordinary general meeting on December 21. Officials said, six directors of the company supported the resolution for the removal of Mistry at the board meeting which was held last week, while three, including Nusli Wadia and Subodh Bhargava opposed the move. This is the third Tata company to show Mistry the door as the chairman. "In view of the current situation, Special Notice and requisition, received from Tata Sons, the board through circular resolutions dated November 25, passed by majority consent, has decided to replace Cyrus Mistry as the chairman with immediate effect and selected OP Bhatt, an independent director as the chairman of the board," the company said. A statement to the stock exchanges said, "The board appointed the independent director as the chairman keeping in mind principles

of good corporate governance and to provide impartial leadership to the Company in its preparation and conduct of the EGM. This decision was taken to also ensure stability to the company and in the larger interest of Tata Steel's stakeholders including but not limited to employees, trading partners, financial stakeholders and local community around its operations." The statement added, "OP Bhatt was appointed as an independent director of the company on June 10, 2013. He has served as the chairman of State Bank of India... He serves as an independent director on several Board's, including Standard Chartered Bank plc, Tata Consultancy Services and Hindustan Unilever." The group are likely to bring different Chairmen for various group companies instead of the earlier practice of Tata Sons chairman heading important companies in the group like TCS, Tata Steel and Tata Motors. The EGM of Tata Steel will consider the removal of Mistry and Nusli Wadia as

Cyrus Mistry

directors of the company. Wadia had written three letters to the Tata Sons' board responding to the notice issued to the board of directors of Tata Steel seeking his ouster as an independent director. He termed the allegations made by Tata Sons to the board as "false, defamatory, and libelous", and has sought the withdrawal of the notice. He has also charged the board of Tata Sons of embarking on "personal vendetta" for discharging his duties as an independent director. Meanwhile, two prominent former employees of the Tata Group have set aside insinuations made by Mistry that Ratan Tata

tried to sell the group's crown jewel Tata Consultancy Firm to USbased tech giant IBM and acquired British steelmaking company Corus at twice the cost. “Mistry's comments regarding the sale of TCS to IBM at some 'unspecified point in time' are not correct. I was actively involved in the decision to bring IBM to India. A JV for hardware manufacturing and support in India, Tata IBM, was set up in 1991-92. This JV was undertaken to promote a computer hardware industry in India which was non-existent at that time," said former CEO and Deputy Chairman of TCS, F C Kohli.

Amul to sell products Metals tycoon Gupta to acquire Tinto's plants via Amazon in the US Food brand Amul has found its market in the United States, through online retailer Amazon's global selling programme. Starting with its product, Amul Ghee, the Gujarat Cooperative Milk Marketing Federation, which markets the brand, will eventually offer other products through the association. GCMMF's RS Sodhi said, "Amul has been exporting its products to the

US since last 20 years and has been selling through the traditional retail channel there. With this association, we are looking to expand our reach to a wider audience in the US and open new doors for our business." Amul's Ghee and Gulab Jamun are among the bestselling products in the US market with ghee currently being ranked as one of the top stock keeping units on Amazon in the 'Butter & Margarine' category.

Metals tycoon Sanjeev Gupta's Liberty will acquire Rio Tinto's Scottish aluminium smelter and hydroelectric power plants. Rio Tinto said it would be selling the facilities to cut debt to help combat a downturn in commodity prices. It would be selling its 100 per cent shareholding in Alcan Aluminium UK Limited for $410 million to Liberty group. Alcan operates the smelter and hydroelectric facilities at Kinlochleven and Lochaber. With the deal the the future of 150

Sanjeev Gupta

staff employed there and a further 400 positions in the supply chain would be saved. The deal is being paid through a combination of equity and funds raised through securitisation.

Liberty has been busy buying up distressed industrial assets in Britain as a combination of high power prices, increased costs and international competition have led to them being put up for sale. Gupta said, this transaction sets very well with our vision to develop a sustainable and competitive metals industry in the UK as a key part of our global industrial business. At the height of the steel crisis last year, Liberty reopened a steel plant in Newport, South Wales, and

has since tone on to acquire several assets from steel giant Tata, which is assessing the future of its UK operations as well as from Caparo, the industrial group that collapsed last year. Most recently, Liberty reopened a mothballed steel plate mill in Dalzell, near Glasgow, which Tata had shut. Liberty tried to buy all of Tata's UK steel assets before the Indian owned company did an about-turn on the sale in favour of a merger with European rival ThyssenKrupp.


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PRICE OF PROCRASTINATION AsianVoiceNews

AsianVoiceNewsweekly

Currently there are many many deals coming to the surface. A recent one, we presented to a so called interested party, was procrastinated upon for a period of time and then three different excuses were delivered to me.

Suresh Vagjiani

Sow & Reap London Property Investment

One, was the way to evaluate a deal may vary from person to person. Whilst in theory this sounds like a fair and reasonable comment, in practice it was utter stupidity. The property in question was fully developed almost like a show house. There was no planning risk, it was close to 40% below market value in a very strong location, quite frankly anybody could have seen this was a deal. The biggest hurdle to property investment is not making the wrong decision, it’s making no decision.

Many investors approach us earnestly saying they want to do a deal, yet when you place one underneath their noses they come out with a story. When this story is satisfied they then come out with a different story. They keep doing this in order to avoid making a decision. You cannot confront them with anything, as the story is not the real reason it is merely a covering, An excuse. The real reason is fear and their relationship with money. This is not an intelligence thing, many very clever people in the highest rungs of society suffer the same issue. The reason why this issue is hard to solve is many people are not ready to acknowledge this is the actual issue. You cannot wake up a man who's pretending to sleep.

HAVE YOU READ THE SMALL PRINT ON YOUR BTL INSURANCE POLICY? Whether it is to cover a car, pet, home or holiday, choosing insurance can be a tricky minefield, involving endless small print and variations between different policies and what they do and do not cover. For landlords, the right home insurance cover is vital, but it is all too easy to get it wrong and doing so can result in financial devastation, as one illfated couple discovered. Mr & Mrs X, rented out their home to tenants

while they were overseas. When they returned, they found their house and all its contents had been completely trashed. The tenants had stripped the property of all the furniture and other fittings, and there was extensive water damage to the walls, ceilings and floors caused by extremely high heat and humidity levels, indicating the tenants had likely been growing cannabis in the house. The couple mistakenly

BUY TO LET OPPORTUNITY

thought their home insurance policy - which was sold to them as suitable for a tenanted property - would cover them for the £100,000 worth of damage incurred. But when they tried to claim on their policy their insurer refused to pay out, pointing to the small print in the policy. The small print stated that it did not include cover for malicious damage or theft caused by people lawfully in the home. The only

I remember confronting one client who came to our seminar, in quite a frank way. He had been in touch with us for several years, asking about deals and meeting us, yet whenever a deal was placed in from of him there was always a reason why he shouldn't do it. I told him the deals which we had placed in front of him, which he could not decide on, have only gone up in value. His indecision has cost him hard money. This seemed to shift something in him and he nodded his head in agreement. He finally agreed to move on the next deal, and give it some attention. He ended up purchasing a three bedroom property, ex-council with a long lease, in Hallfield Estate for £318k in 2011. Currently the property is worth £650k. From a cover provided was for one-off incidences such as fire, escape of water, subsidence, storm damage, flood, theft and damage following a break in. Although it may seem reasonable to assume that an insurance policy for a rented property will provide cover for damage caused by tenants, when it comes to insurance one should never assume anything. Every detail should be checked so you have a thorough understanding of exactly what you are and are not covered for. Sadly, this couple’s experience is not unique.

l Located in the heart of Marylebone

l Two bedroom flat plus a large reception room

l Approx. 700 sq. ft.

l Purchase price is £821 per sq. ft.

l Next door flat was sold for £1,070 per sq. ft.

Marylebone, London W1U Purchase Price: £575,000

l Resale value as it is, expected to be around £675,000 Call us now to find out more!

REALESTATEVOICE

Asian Voice |3rd December 2016

100k investment he has made £380k in 4 years. Prices in this area have jumped and are still set to rise even further off the back of the regeneration going on in Queensway. The issue is if you do nothing you actually go backwards. Generally, property prices rise medium to long term, and money decays sitting in the bank. The cost of living in society is only increasing. I remember the times when we didn't have to pay for university and used to get free milk bottles delivered daily in Primary School. Neither of these exist today.

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There must be progress, otherwise you will get left behind. This does not mean you should be reckless or blind in making your decision.

Therefore, sitting on the fence is not an option, even to maintain your current standard of living.

A miniscule percentage of the deals we have done have not gone to plan, for one reason or another. Typically they have been sitting on the wrong side of the fence whilst incurring expensive finance costs. All our other deals have done very well and have made excellent money. Due diligence must be done, but this does not justify doing nothing.

Too many landlords inadequately insure their property, some mistakenly believing that a standard home insurance policy will cover them. This story is a salutary reminder of the importance not only of choosing the right insurance product, but also of regular professional property inspections in protecting your investment and mitigating your risks. Here at Sow & Reap we can tailor a service to your

needs, including insurance pointers, recommendations on works to improve letability and to increase profit. Contact us today for a chat.


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FINANCIAL VOICE

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Indian IT firms to expedite acquisitions, local recruitment in US

Anticipating a more protectionist US technology visa programme under a Trump administration, India's $150 billion IT services sector will speed up acquisitions in the United States and recruit more heavily from college campuses in the county. Companies like Tata Consultancy Services, Infosys and Wipro have long used H1-B skilled worker visa to send computer engineers to the US, their largest overseas market, temporarily to service clients. Following Donald Trump's campaign rhetoric, and his choice for Attorney General; Senator Jeff Sessions, many are expecting a tighter regime. Pravin Rao, chief operating officer at Infosys, said, "The world over, there's a lot of protectionism coming in and push back on i m m i g r a t i o n . Unfortunately, people are confusing immigration with a high-skilled temporary workforce, because we

are really a temporary workforce." While a complete shutdown of skilled worker visas are expected, US businesses are heavily dependent on cheaper IT and software solutions, making Indian engineers an established part of the Silicon Valley. A more restrictive programme would mean Indian IT firms sending fewer developers and engineers to the United States and increasing the campus recruitment there. "We have to accelerate hiring of locals if they are available, and start recruiting freshers from

universities there," Rao said. Noticing a change in the pattern of recruitment, he added, "Now we have to get into a model where we will recruit freshers, train them and gradually deploy them, and this will increase our costs." One of several ways is to buy American companies, which would help Indian IT firms build their local headcount, increase their on-theground presence in keymarkets, and help counter any protectionist regulations. Indian software services companies have invested more than $2 billion in

the United States in the past five years. North America accounts for more than half of the sector's revenue. "We have to accelerate acquisitions," Rao said. Wipro's chief financial officer, Jatin Dalal said his growth strategy is to buy companies that offer something beyond what Wipro already does, or, new disruptive firms. Chief Executive of Tech Mahindra, CP Gurnani said his firm, which two years ago bought network services management firm L i g h t b r i d g e Communications Corp, is on the lookout for more US acquisitions, particularly in healthcare and fintechfinancial technology firms that are disrupting traditional banking services. "The Plan B would be to accelerate the trend.. to reduce their reliance on people and increase their focus on delivering automation, leveraging the cloud for their clients," said Partha Iyengar, Gartner's head of research in India.

Notes ban to disrupt economic activity: Moody’s Moody's Investors Service said India's demonetisation of high denomination currency notes will "significantly disrupt economic activity" and lead to weaker growth in near-term, although in the longer run, it does have the capability of boosting tax revenues and can translate into faster fiscal consolidation. In a report titled 'Indian CreditDemonetisation Is Beneficial for Indian Government and Banks; Implementation Challenges Will Disrupt Economic Activity', the agency said the move to ban old currency has affected all sectors of the economy to various extent. Moody's Sovereign Group Associate MD Marie Diron said, "Although the measures in the near term will pressure GDP growth and thereby government revenues, in the longer term they should boost tax rev-

Abhishek Sachdev

A few weeks ago my colleague Darren Jordan was asked by ‘The Wine Merchant’ (read by the UK's 820 specialist independent wine retailers) to write an article about how Brexit and the sharp fall in Sterling have

enues and translate into higher government capital expenditure and/or faster fiscal consolidation." He added there would be a loss of wealth for individuals and corporates with unreported income, as some will choose not to deposit funds

back into the formal financial system to avoid disclosing the sources of these funds. In the immediate period, demonetisation would "significantly disrupt economic activity, resulting in temporarily weaker consumption and GDP growth." Households and businesses will experience

liquidity shortages as cash is taken out of the system, with a daily limit on the amount in old notes that can be exchanged into new notes. "Corporates will see economic activity decline, with lower sales volumes and cash flows, with those directly exposed to retail sales most affected," Moody's Corporate Finance Group MD Laura Acres said. Moody's said implementation challenges, in addition to affecting growth and government revenues, will impact corporates by lowering sales volumes and cash flows. In the medium term, the impact on corporates will depend on how quickly liquidity returns to the system and transaction flows are restored, it added. It said that the government could prevent the same amount of cash returning into the system, in an effort to increase the use of non-

Brexit and ‘Wine-ing’

affected businesses that import wine into the UK. This was following a request from many small concerned independent wine retailers about how to hedge FX risk. The morning after the Brexit vote caused an immediate sell off in Sterling of 5.5% and this continued over the following weeks, culminating in a low (so far!) of just over 16% against the Euro. For businesses that didn’t hedge their future currency exposure, the cost of buying stock from overseas has significantly increased. Some have immediately

Top 1 pc population owns 58.4% of India's wealth

AsianVoiceNews

Asian Voice | 3rd December 2016

responded by increasing customer prices, whilst some have decided to absorb the increases due to marketplace competition. Businesses that have hedges in place will eventually see these expire and thus have no choice but to pass on higher costs, so no surprises here that the UK’s measure of future (5yr) inflation is over 3.5%

So what about wine?

The wine industry has significantly changed over the last few years, with many independent merchants sourcing their own inventory and

AsianVoiceNewsweekly

As per new data released by Credit Suisse Research Institute, the top 1 per cent of India's population owns 58.4 per cent of the country's wealth. The wealth share of India's richest has seen a sharp surge from 53 per cent share in 2015 and 49 per cent in 2014. In 2016, India stands next to Russia where the top 1 per cent own 74.5 per cent of the country's wealth. Other BRICS countries fare better than India. The top 1 per cent in China owns 43.8 per cent of the country's wealth, and the corresponding wealth share for the richest in Brazil is 47.9 per cent. In South Africa, the top 1 per cent own 41.9 per cent of the country's wealth. The inequality can be seen in India's wealth share date for top 10 per cent of the population, which owns 80.7 per cent of the country's wealth. According to the report, the country has 2,48,000 adults in the top

1 per cent of global wealth holders, constituting a share of 0.5 per cent. The growth in wealth has been uneven in India with 96 per cent of the adult population at the base of the wealth pyramid with wealth below $10,000. It added that only a small fraction of the adult population of 0.3 per cent has net worth over $100,000. The number of millionaires remained flat at 178,000 with $973 billion in wealth. The number of millionaires are at 178,000 with $973 billion in wealth. Among them, ultra-high-net worth individuals grew 5.2 per cent to 2,260, including 1,040 with more than $100 million. Wealth in India in local currency terms increased 5.1 per cent in 2016, while in dollar terms, it decreased by 0.8 per cent to $3.099 trillion in 2016. Annual growth of wealth per adult in rupees has averaged 6 per cent during 2000-2016.

Mallya moves HC for recalling contempt order

cash transactions and digital payments. "This would improve the overall operating environment for doing business in India- by improving the ease and speed at which payments reach manufacturers and reducing corruption, but would prolong the economic disruption." Given that consumption in India is still majorly cash-driven, a move towards digital payments would require a likely gradual change in consumer habits. Banks would benefit significantly from a move towards digital payments, given their role as intermediaries for such transactions. "A prolonged disruption could also have a more significant impact on asset quality, as both corporate and small and mediumsized enterprise customers have a limited ability to withstand a sustained period of economic weakness," Moody's said.

Beleaguered liquor baron Vijay Mallya has filed an application in the Karnataka High Court for recalling its order summoning him for allegedly violating an undertaking given by him and his companies not to transfer his equity shares in United Breweries to Diageo Plc. When it came up for hearing last week, the court adjourned it to December 2. On October 20, a division bench comprising justices Jayant Patel and Aravind Kumar while passing orders on petitions by a consortium of banks led by State Bank of India, summoned Mallya to appear before it. The banks have accused the businessman of violating the undertaking given by him and his companies, including Kingfisher Airlines, not to transfer their equity shares in United Breweries

dealing with the conversion and payment of foreign currency themselves. But the wine industry is not alone, any business that needs to buy foreign currency to pay for goods will face higher costs. So what can be done? Well, there is a good chance the pound will fall further once Article 50 is invoked, so buying Sterling now for a future delivery date (Currency Forward) gives the importer protection from a weaker pound by allowing them to purchase stock over the next year at a currency rate agreed now. This method of locking in a future exchange rate can be transacted for amounts as little as £20,000.

Whilst the hedge itself doesn't have to be sophisticated and difficult to understand, calculating the forecasted cash flow, the duration of the hedge, the percentage and when to execute the hedge can be a tricky one. The involvement of an FX broker also needs to be monitored, as pre-agreed spreads (charges) often increase over time due to the difficulty in customers obtaining live interbank FX rates to calculate the markup the broker is applying. Our prime objective is to help businesses of all sizes understand the benefits of hedging both Foreign Exchange and Interest Rate risk and to improve the

Vijay Mallya

Holdings Limited after Debt Recovery Tribunal had restrained Standard Chartered Bank. In their pleas, the banks alleged that despite the earlier order by DRT, Standard Chartered Bank was in the process of transferring to Diageo Plc the equity shares. Diageo Plc, the world's largest spirits maker, had issued a guarantee to the bank for a USD 135 million loan to Watson Limited, a firm affiliated to Mallya, to release certain UBHL shares that were to be acquired as part of the deal. transparency of these transactions. Improving transparency not only gives the business the advice they need in respect to the most suitable product but can also significantly reduce the hidden fees that the banks / brokers charge. In these volatile times, doing nothing to reduce your currency exposure can often be a bad option. However seeking FCA regulated advice is both sensible and prudent in these uncertain times.

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CURRENCY VOICE

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Asian Voice | 3rd December 2016

Paresh Davdra is the Dealing Director of RationalFX, Currency Specialists.

Political uncertainty over the outlook of currency

In the early hours of Wednesday the 9th of November Donald Trump was announced as the 45th President of the United States. The Republican nominee achieved one of the most improbable political victories in modern US history but after surprise early victories in Florida, North Carolina and Ohio, an upset looked on the cards. The associated Press projected Trump had won Wisconsin and called the overall race for Trump, who passed the 270 Electoral College votes he needed to secure the presidency. Republicans have also secured majorities in the House of Representatives, the Senate and will probably get to reappoint a fifth Republican nominee to the Supreme Court – potentially leaving the new president with few checks and balances. Concerns about the impact of Trump’s presidency on the Mexican economy saw the Mexican Peso fall more than 13% overnight against the dollar - its lowest level in 20 years Trump's shock victory over Hillary Clinton initially triggered a massive selloff in risk assets - sending the yen, euro and Swiss franc higher before turning around in volatile trade, helped in part by Trump's acceptance speech which focused on unity and economic growth. Federal Reserve held interest rates steady again in November while

21

Foreign Exchange

AsianVoiceNewsweekly

continuing to acknowledge that the case for a move is getting stronger. The Fed has held off on further tightening as inflation remains below the 2 percent target. In the few weeks of November after Donald Trump’s victory The Dollar resumed its uptrend off the back of largely positive economic Data. There has also been a growing perception that the economic policies of U.S. President-elect Donald Trump will push up consumer prices. Mark Carney confirmed that he will step down in June 2019 as Governor of the Bank of England. Mr Carney said the move 'recognised the importance to the country of continuity' during Brexit negotiations. As Donald Trump supported Brexit, one of only a few politicians around the world to do so, and slapped down President Obama who said the UK could be "at the back of the queue" for a trade deal after Brexit, UK politicians are positive about the US-UK relationship going forward. Theresa May led UK political congratulations for Donald Trump after his US election victory. The Prime Minister said that Britain and the US have an "enduring and special relationship" and would remain close partners on trade, security and defence. President-elect Trump has pledged to put the UK at the ‘front of the queue’ in any trade deal negotiations.

Politics have dominated on currency markets in recent months and, with Britain's exit from the European Union still shrouded in uncertainty, Sterling has become much more sensitive to developments in that process than to economic data. Consumer Prices Index (CPI) inflation fell to 0.9%, from 1% in September which was below the 1.1% predicted by economists, who said Sterling's fall would push October's CPI higher. Data also showed Britain's jobless rate had fallen to the lowest level in 11 years. The British government is appealing against a High Court ruling that MPs must get a vote on triggering Article 50. The Supreme Court has confirmed that Wales and Scotland will be allowed to take part in the appeal. However, PM Theresa May announced that work was "on track" to begin the formal process of Brexit by April 2017. Chancellor of the Exchequer Philip Hammond ramped up his forecasts for government borrowing to the tune of an extra 122 billion pounds over the next five years. Preliminary UK Q3 GDP matched original estimates that have shown growth of 0.5 percent during third quarter of 2016. It was the fifteenth consecutive quarter of positive growth since Q1 2013. The Euro could weaken further in the near-

term, should investors continue to worry over US-Eurozone relations and potential for internal EU political tensions. Political uncertainty has been weighing on the outlook for the future of the currency, in the run-up to a referendum in Italy and a presidential election in Austria. In a speech on 21st November European Central Bank President Mario Draghi defended the bank’s monetary policy actions once more, and repeated his calls for governments to step up their own reforms to boost growth. Draghi also said the bank needed to continue its supportive policies to bring inflation close to its target of 2%. But he said the European economy had shown resilience to the global uncertainty. On Dec. 4, Italian citizens will vote in a referendum on whether to overhaul their national constitution, which probably has to be amended if Prime Minister Matteo Renzi is going to push badly needed economic reforms through the country's complicated law-making process. The vote is widely seen as determining Renzi's political fate, and he may resign if a "no" vote prevails. Opinion polls show most Italians opposing the proposed constitutional changes, which economists say Italy desperately needs if it's going to streamline its government and spark growth.

We e k ly Currencies

As of Tuesday 29th November 2016 @ 5.22pm

GBP - INR = 85.92

USD - INR = 68.68 EUR - INR = 73.04 GBP - USD = 1.25 GBP - EUR = 1.17

EUR - USD = 1.06 GBP - AED = 4.59

GBP - CAD = 1.67

GBP - NZD = 1.75

GBP - AUD = 1.67

GBP - ZAR = 17.33

GBP - HUF = 366.80

www.rationalfx.com

Information provided by RationalFX. None of the information on this page constitutes, nor should be construed as financial advice. The exchange rates used are the commercial foreign exchange rates provided by RationalFX. For a live quote or to find out more about how RationalFX can help you, call us on 0207 220 8181.

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WORLD

Recount in Wisconsin, more states may follow Asian Voice | 3rd December 2016

WASHINGTON: One of the three major US states that helped president-elect Donald Trump win, Wisconsin will undergo recounting of votes after it received two petitions from a third-party candidate who alleged Russian hackers of infiltrating voting systems. A request to recount the votes was filed by Green Party candidate Jill Stein who also raised more than $5.2 million for the process. The move came as Hillary Clinton's campaign pushed its efforts for recount in several key states, joining Stein. Marc Elias, the campaign counsel, however, said its own probe hasn't uncovered any evidence of hacking. Stein said the reliability of voting machines needs to be "investigated". "Election integrity experts have independently

Arrest warrant issued against Musharraf

ISLAMABAD: A bailable arrest warrant has been issued by the Balochistan High Court against former Pakistani president General Pervez Musharraf in a case pertaining to the alleged murder of former Baloch nationalist leader Nawab Akbar Khan Bugti in 2006. A divisional bench of the court passed the order during a hearing of review petition challenging acquittal of the 73 year old by an anti-terrorism court in the case. Justice Jamal Mandokhail and Justice Zaheeruddin Kakar heard the review petition filed by Nawabzada Jamil Bugti, son of the deceased leader. While Musharraf's counsel Akhtar Shah pleaded that although his client respects the court, he cannot appear due to "security reasons", Bugti's lawyer responded saying that despite repeated orders, the former president has failed to appear. The court ordered that the administration should ensure adequate security to Musharraf while he appears in court.

House counsel. Reacting to the recount in true Trump style, the billionaire cooked up a Twitter storm with a series of tweets mostly bashing Clinton. Quoting the Democrat leader, he said, "Trump is going to be our President. We owe him an open mind and the chance to lead." So much time and Hillary Clinton money will be spent - same identified Michigan, result! Sad" Another tweet Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin that reaffirmed Trump's as states where statistical stance read, "In addition to anomalies" raised concerns, winning the Electoral College she said. in a landslide, I T h e Special item by Sir Andy won the popuW i s c o n s i n Chande on Donald lar vote if you elections com- Trump’s election will be deduct the milmission plans published next week lions of people to complete the who voted illeprocess by December 10. gally." Parallely, Trump has named And he obviously pointed Kathleen Troia McFarland as out the "fraud" that helped deputy security adviser and Clinton win her states includDonald McGahn as White ing Virginia, New

Hampshire, and California. "Serious voter fraud in Virginia, New Hampshire and California - so why isn't the media reporting on this? Serious bias - big problem!" More than half a dozen academics, other specialists, and now election security experts have joined Stein's campaign to review the presidential vote in battleground states won by Trump, even as she sues Winconsin to secure a full recount by hand of all of its 3m ballots. New testimony was submitted supporting a lawsuit from Stein against Wisconsin authorities in which she has asked a court to prevent county officials from carrying out their recounts by machine. She had argued that the plan to allow automatic recounting "risks tainting the recount process."

Pakistan full of untapped potential: Boris Johnson ISLAMABAD: British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson hailed the "old friendship" shared between Britain and Pakistan, during his first official visit to the Asian country. "Britain and Pakistan share an old friendship and profound ties of history. No fewer than 1.2 million Britons, around 2 per cent of the entire UK population, are of Pakistani heritage. It was clear from my visit that our countries can work even closer together to help Pakistan unleash its full potential," Johnson said. During his two-day trip, he visited Islamabad and Lahore, and held talks with Pak Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, foreign policy chief Sartaj Aziz, Chief Minister of the Punjab Shahbaz Sharif, opposition leaders, including Imran Khan, business CEOs and senior clerics. "I held very productive talks with senior Government figures and opposition leaders about our support for Pakistan's democratic reforms, working together to defeat extremism and creating new trade opportuni-

Germany Gurjit Singh. The Minister-President said that India was a very important country and Baden Württemberg needed to expand its grasp of opportunities in India to a much greater extent. Already a large number of mittlestand companies from the state are in India. They were looking for opportunities in mobility, manufacturing, digital economy, smart cities, water, renewable energy and the like. There are ten companies from Baden Württemberg who have

In Brief

AsianVoiceNews

AsianVoiceNewsweekly

Indian Sikh couple gunned down in Philippines

MANILA: A Sikh couple from India was gunned down last week by two bike-borne assailants in the Phillipines' Camarines Sur province. Bahagwant Singh Buttar, 45, and his wife Jaswinder Kaur, 36, of Sipocot town, were killed by two gunmen, the police said. Suspects Marvin Magdaong and Rodolfo T Gumatay have been arrested for their alleged involvement in the incident after a chase by the police. Two pistols and live ammunition were recovered from their possession, the police said, adding that a case has been registered. There have been several attacks on Indians in the past. The last such incident occurred in August, when a 26year old man, from Phagwara was shot dead.

Pak parliamentarians to get 146 pc hike in salaries

ISLAMABAD: The Pakistan government has approved a pay hike of the Members of Parliament up to 146 per cent. Minister of State for Information and Broadcasting, Marriyum Aurangzeb said there were only two meagre pay rises in the last 14 years for the members of the National Assembly and the Senate. A five-member ministerial committee to review rules of the Public Procurement Regulatory Authority was constituted by the Prime Minister, other than ratifying nine agreements already signed with six countries, she said. Salary of members of the National Assembly and the Senate has been raised from Rs. 60,996 to Rs. 150,000 which is a rise of 145.9 per cent. The cabinet has also approved a 26 per cent rise in the salary of the National Assembly speaker and the Senate chairman and a 23 per cent rise in the salary of the deputy speaker and deputy chairman of the two houses of the parliament.

Sever trade ties with India: Imran

Boris Johnson, Joanna Reid and Isfundiar Kasuri with Kinnaird high school students

ties." However, one of his most highlighted statements came in light of the ever-controversial Kashmir issue that has both India and Pakistan in strong defiance with each other for years. Calling for an end to violence in the Valley, Johnson said the tensions between both the countries is holding the region back from becoming an "incredible boomzone". He warned that Britain could not act as a mediator in the nearly 70-year old dispute over the Himalayan region, saying it must be up to India and Pakistan to find a "lasting solution" that allows for Kashmiri self-

determination. "We call for an end to the violence and for both sides to exercise restraint," he said. "Look at the incredible human potential of Pakistan and its neighbours... and then imagine what the future could be like if this was sorted out. What an incredible boomzone it could be." He warned that the "mutual sequestration" of the Indian and Pakistani economies was holding the region back from fulfilling this potential. He spoke merely a day after at least nine people were killed after Indian troops resorted to indiscriminate firing hitting a civilian bus along the LoC.

Minister-President of Baden Württemberg in Germany to lead major business delegation to India The Minister-President of Baden Württemberg, a state in south-west of Germany will lead a 120-member strong delegation to India in January 2017. The Delegation will consist of a large number of companies and representatives of universities particularly in science and technology. This will be the largest delegation in recent times from a German state to India. This was confirmed in a meeting between the Minister-President and the Ambassador of India to

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joined the Make in India Mittlestand (MIIM) programme run by the Embassy of India for new companies to invest in India. Baden Württemberg is a partner state of Maharashtra and its capital Stuttgart is a partner of Mumbai. The city of Karlsruhe has a relationship with Pune. Thus the delegation will visit Mumbai and Pune as well as Bengaluru where they have a participation at the Machine Tools Exhibition IMTEX. The Minister-President will be accompanied by his

Minister for the Economy and the Minister for Transport. Baden Württemberg is the 3rd largest state of Germany as per size and population. Though it lacks natural resources, it is amongst Germany’s most wealthy states with high employment and a large number of big companies including SAP, Bosch, Porche and Daimler. The economy of the state is mainly supported by SMEs who have contributed to its industrialization.

ISLAMABAD: Cricketer turned politician Imran Khan's Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf has urged the government to immediately sever trade ties with New Delhi over the death of 13 people, including three soldiers in alleged Indian firing along the border. PTI vice-chairman Shah Mehmood Qureshi said, "Indian forces are killing innocent civilians and our army personnel along the LoC but our PM is fondly eating bananas being imported from India. It is high time we sever trade ties with India and unite on one platform to pat the enemy in the same coin." he said defence minister Khawaja Asif should have been at the border to defend the country and that the ruling PML-N government "had no courage to respond to the Indian PM's bluff." Qureshi lashed out at the government for a lack of full time foreign minister who was needed to fight the Kashmir case at the international level.

NZ to deport Indian evangelist

MELBOURNE: An Indian evangelist who claimed "Hindu extremists" in India were threatening to kill him, will be deported by New Zealand after twice rejecting his asylum plea. Identified as BD, the Christian evangelist was arrested in 2012 for overstaying his visa in New Zealand, and has been fighting his deportation order on humanitarian grounds since 2015, when his claim for refugee status was rejected by the Immigration and Protection Tribunal. One of his several absurd statements include claiming his stint in jail had strengthened his Christian faith so much that the preaching he would be compelled to do when back in India would put his life in danger.

‘America’ becomes a US citizen at 99

NEW YORK: America Maria Hernandez, who was born in Colombia in 1917 and was brought to the US by one of her daughters in 1988, signed her naturlisation certificate and took the oath of allegiance in a ceremony. "I live in New York, the capital of the world," she said. Born in Cordoba, Colombia, she had 12 children, and now has 22 grandchildren and 12 great grandchildren. America arrived with a green card arranged by her daughter who had married an American citizen. When asked if she wanted to become a US citizen instead of renewing her card, the 99 year old said yes. When asked what her secret for a long life is, she said, "Being well, with my children. They all work. They are all good."


www.asian-voice.com AsianVoiceNews

Pak wooing Indians against Modi

ISLAMABAD: A media report stated that Pakistan has set up a high-level committee to formulate a "doable and sustainable" policy to highlight the Kashmir issue globally and is reaching out to Indians opposed to Prime Minister Narendra Modi's "extremist policies." The decision was reportedly announced by advisor on foreign affairs Sartaj Aziz, in the Senate. The committee will consist of senior officials from the ministries of defence, interior and information, military operations directorate, Inter-Services Intelligence, and Intelligence Bureau. Aziz said the committee was headed by foreign secretary Aizaz Chaudhry and could co-opt other members if required. He said another committee, chaired by the information secretary had been formed to prepare fact sheets to "counter India's propaganda campaign and design a media strategy to continuously highlight the Kashmiri freedom struggle." The committee also includes representatives from the ministries of defence, foreign affairs and IT, as well as members of the military operations directorate, ISI and IB.

Cuba bids farewell to Fidel Castro, ruler for half-century

AsianVoiceNewsweekly

HAVANA: Communist country Cuba bid final farewell to revolutionary leader Fidel Castro; a leftist revolutionist who ruled for half a century and managed to resist the United States throughout the Cold War. Castro died last week at the age of 90 following a long history of ill health, and handing over power to his brother Raul. Thousands of Cubans dressed in red, white and blue national flags, paid their respects chanting "Long live Fidel! We can hear him, we can feel him, he'll always be here," and holding up banners that read "We are Fidel". The government invited masses to the Havana's Revolution Square for a two-day commemoration that began with a 21-gun salute. Raul Castro and his top lieutenants held a separate, private ceremony, where they signed a book in front of an identical portrait and laid white flowers. Castro was always admired by leftists, many saw him as a revolutionary champion of the poor, but there were others who saw him as a dictator who oppressed Cubans and ruined the country's economy. He was cremated over the weekend, with the government declaring a nine-day period of mourning. His ashes will be carried in a cortege to a final

resting place in Santiago de Cuba, the city where he had launched the revolution. While a handful of world leaders sent admiring messages of condolence, Castro was also condemned by critics including Trump who chose to call him a "brutal dictator who oppressed his own people." Before the leader's death, Trump had threatened to reverse President Barack Obama's rapprochement with the country that included restoring diplomatic ties, increasing trade and pressing the US Congress to end years of economic embargo. The ceremony only saw so many world leaders in attendance, mainly from Latin

WORLD Asian Voice | 3rd December 2016

America, the Caribbean and Africa. The Kremlin said Russian President Vladimir Putin would not attend as he was preparing for a major speech, while Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau also skipped after his positive comments on the Cuban leader garnered backlash. Reacting to the death, North Korea called for three days of mourning and said it would keep flags at half mast to honour Castro. An Indian delegation lead by Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh left for Havana on Tuesday. Castro's 1959 revolution toppled a dictatorship with the promise of bringing justice and equality.

In Brief

Indian-origin man jailed for printing fake notes

SINGAPORE: A 29 year old Indian-origin man has been jailed for over three years for printing fake Singaporean currency notes. Sasi Kumar Lakshmanan decided to print fake currency notes of SGD 100 and SGD 50. Deputy Public Prosecutor Magdalene Huang said Lakshmanan decided to print some counterfeit currency notes as he was in a financial difficulty and owed loan sharks more than SGD 5000. He realised the photocopy of the 100 SGD note was almost similar to the genuine one, and soon photocopied notes. The next day, he produced one of the fake notes to pay for two packets of cigarettes. The fake currency was noticed by a stall supervisor who complained to the police, two days after Lakshmanan first printed the fake notes. Police raided Lakshmanan's home and found a counterfeit SGD 500 note among other things.

US mosques receive letters threatening Muslims

WASHINGTON: Several mosques in the United States have allegedly received threatening letters and emails against the community in the country. An anonymous handwritten letter, which has so far, been received by three mosques in California and one in Georgia, warned Muslims to "pack your bags and get out of dodge as Trump is going to cleanse America and make it shine again." The letter states, "There's a new sheriff in town- President Donald Trump. He's going to cleanse America and make it shine again. And, he's going to start with you Muslims. And, he's going to do to you Muslims what Hitler did to the Jews." "This hate campaign targeting California houses of worship must be investigated as an act of religious intimidation, and our state's leaders should speak out against the growing anti-Muslim bigotry that leads to such incidents," said Hussam Ayloush, leader of the council's Los Angeles branch.

Gen Bajwa takes over as Pakistan's new army chief ISLAMABAD: General Qamar Javed Bajwa has taken over as Pakistan's new army chief, succeeding Gen Raheel Sharif at a ceremony in Rawalpindi. Gen Raheel handed over the command of the army to the Chief of Army Staff Bajwa at the event held in the Army Hockey Stadium. The update came after weeks of intense speculation of Gen Raheel extending his term. Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif appointed Lt General Bajwa as the chief, handing him the world's sixth largest army by troop numbers, and making him one of the most powerful men in the country. A top Indian Army officer said, "Gen Bajwa is well-versed with the complexities, nature of operations and terrain along the LoC. He has also handled Kashmir extensively during his career. But it's too premature to say anything. Both Generals Pervez Musharraf and Ashfaq Kayani proved different from initial

Qamar Javed Bajwa

assessments." The new chief has served as corps commander Rawalpindi, which controls the twin headquarters of government and military, Islamabad and Rawalpindi, besides being responsible for security of the region along the line of control. General Zubair Hayat, senior-most three star general has been appointed chairman of the joint chiefs of staff committee. A PM's spokesman said President Mamnoon Hussain promoted Bajwa and Hayat to four-star generals on Sharif's advice. It is believed that the new army

would play a crucial role in mending ways with the civilian rulers of the country. Bajwa's military colleagues said that he is not attention-seeking individual, and believes in being well-connected with his troops. This regiment has till date given three Army chiefs to Pakistan. Moreover, Gen. Bajwa was posted in the X Corps which is responsible for nearly the entire active border areas with India, thrice in different capacities and has a good experience of handling Kashmir's affairs, which is indicative of the fact that with his appointment as new chief, there will be any major shift of Pakistan towards Kashmir and dealing with Kashmir issue with India. General Bikram Singh, a former head of India's army who served with Bajwa in the Congo as part of a United Nations peacekeeping force, praised Bajwa's conduct as a soldier during their time in Africa.

Hijab-clad woman called 'terrorist' in US LOS ANGELES: A hijabclad woman was approached at a US store by another customer who called her a "terrorist" and told her to "get out" of the country, in yet another inci-

dent prompted by hate following Donald Trump's win. Eyewitness Barney Lopez said, "I went down the aisle to go get sodas and then all of a sudden I hear somebody starting to yell at

her (the hijab-clad woman). And... saying things like 'Get out of our country, you don't belong here, you're a terrorist!" The incident occurred at Smith's store in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

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Telangana CM's new £5 mn house draws flak In Brief AsianVoiceNews

Asian Voice | 3rd December 2016

HYDERABAD: Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrashekhar Rao moved in to his brand new Vaastu compliant office-cum-residence last week. The new complex inaugurated by the CM himself, comprises of five buildings, including the CM's residence, office, and a conference room. Named Pragathi Bhavan, the estate is located in Begumpet area and is spread over one lakh square feet. Security is at its peak, with more than 50 security personnel present who will guard the office-cum-residence day and night. Even the windows of the building

K Chandrasekhar Rao

are made with bulletproof glass. One of the many features is a conference hall named Janahita, which will be used as a meeting place of

the Chief Minister, will see him interact with people on a one-to-one basis. The cost of the entire construction tags at £50 million and has garnered severe flak from the Opposition. Leader of Opposition in Telangana Legislative Council, Mohammed Ali Shabbir said it was morally incorrect and insensitive of the Chief Minister to move into a posh new bungalow instead of fulfilling his poll promise of providing double bedrooms to the poor. He also questioned the wastage of public money and running of state administration on grounds of superstitions and

beliefs. In the past, the opposition has raised their voices against the chief minister's decisions to spend taxpayer’s money in the name of Vastu, most notably, the decision to build a new secretariat by abandoning the existing building due to vaastu issues. The cost of the new construction is expected to go beyond £15 million. In addition to this, KCR's obsession with astrology has led to his official vehicles changing colour from black to white. KCR's offerings to the temples to fulfil personal vows has also raised many eyebrows.

NIT-Calicut warns girls AIADMK hits back at DMK for not accepting against 'roaming' with boys people's verdict CHENNAI: Ruling AIADMK hit back at DMK, a day after it called the state party's victory in the November 19 polls as an "artificial victory". It said, "Rather than respecting and accepting it (poll outcome) as a great verdict of people's power and reforming itself, as usual, DMK has started its blame game and has also hit out at the Election Commission, which showed DMK's obstinacy and tall talk." Dr Namadhu MGR, the party's mouthpiece, said that by doing so, "DMK was trying to hide its betrayals." The party also criticised DMK candidates who contested the November 19 polls. The reaction came after DMK chief M Karunanidhi said AIADMK's victory was nothing "new" and dubbed it as "artificial victory". He had also said that "DMK's hard work could not stand before

Jayalalithaa

misuse of authority and money power" and blamed the Election Commission for "indirect support" besides claiming "distribution of money" without any elaboration. The Jayalalithaa-led ruling state party romped home in Thanjavur and Aravakurichi polls, and Thiruparankundram by-poll.

SYL canal: Punjab, Haryana CMs meet President NEW DELHI: The Punjab and Haryana delegations led by chief ministers Parkash Singh Badal and Manohar Lal Khattar respectively met President Pranab Mukherjee on Monday and asked him, the custodian of the Constitution, to act in his official capacity to resolve the differences over the SutlejYamuna Link (SYL) canal issue after the Supreme Court's verdict favoured Haryana. Khattar, who was the first to visit the Rashtrapathi Bhavan, asked the President to ensure that the apex court verdict is implemented so that Haryana gets its due. "Today we, the all party from Haryana, met the President and asked him to implement this rule so that Haryana get its share through the SYL canal. This country has a federal structure and it runs by the Constitution. The Supreme Court bench declared that the resolution passed by the Punjab government against the SYL as void. We only want our share of

water, we are not asking for Punjab's share," Khattar told media. Meanwhile, Badal, while reaffirming his stance, declared that the Central government has no role in the water disputes while stressing that Punjab's agriculture sector would be severely affected if the verdict is implemented since the Centre is heavily dependent on the state for the National Food Security Act to function. "I am pained to say that Punjab has faced injustice politically and economically. This issue is a very serious one. The nations' food security is heavily dependent on Punjab and for that we need water. Water is a natural resource; it is not controlled by any state or central government. Punjab, a riparian state has the exclusive right over its water and other states like Rajasthan and Haryana have no claim in it. We have put forward our views in front of the President and believe that we will get justice from him," Badal said.

KOZHIKODE: The National Institute of Technology has issued a notice to its ladies hostel inmates, threatening expulsion if they are found "roaming with boy students" inside the residential campus. Issued by warden S Bhuvaneshwari, the notice was taken down after it was condemned. The notice cited punishment only for female students leading to condemnation for gender insensitivity and moral policing. An NIT-C student posted on Facebook, "Dear NITC, does your moral consciousness end on seeing boys and girls together. And why the action is only against 'her'. Prof Paul Joseph of the department of electrical engineering said the notice made him sad. "I really wonder where are we going?

Some people never understand the changes taking place in our society. Let them suspend some students for walking together, then I will interfere as a citizen of our great India! I really don't know this person who has put that notice!!" he said. Student representative Nimisha Roy said it came as a shock. "We could not believe that such a notice would be issued by NIT-C authorities. The warden said the notice was issued after getting complaints from residents of faculty accommodations." Dean (students' welfare) G Unnikrishnan said NIT-C had always been fostering gender diversity. "The warden... might have only intended to remind students about courtesies," he said.

Unease in Punjab Cong over new entrants NEW DELHI: Many top leaders in the Punjab Congress are citing fresh concerns over new entrants in the party. A meeting of the Congress screening committee for selection of candidates in the state saw state leaders voice their opinion on how new members could impact the party's prospects in election-bound Punjab. Other than former MLAs Pargat Singh and Dr Navjot Kaur, the party opened its doors to Sarwan Singh Phillaur and Inderbir Bolaria, both former Akali leaders and sitting MLAs. Party members are asking whether all new entrants will get tickets of choice or winnability factor will prevail. The screening panel, headed by Rajasthan exChief Minister Ashok Gehlot saw MPs, including Choudhary Santokh Singh, SS Dullo, Partap Bajwa and Ravneet Bittu, former Union Ministers Ashwani Kumar, Manish Tewari and Preneet Kaur share their views. One of the leaders said, "Most newcomers are like demonetised currency. Their parties have discarded them. Winning prospects of many are questionable. The

Congress must stick to the winnability factor. Tickets must go to people who can win and not to those who have joined us for their survival. New entries need deft handling." Other leaders raised questions on how to defend the induction of Phillaur, who is faced with drug peddling allegations. Capt Amarinder Singh promised to end Punjab's drug problem, if voted to power. With Phillaur in the Congress, can we justify this agenda?" a leader asked. Sidhu's wife, ex-Olympian Pargat join Cong: Cricketerturned-politician Navjot Singh Sidhu's wife Navjot Kaur Sidhu and former Olympian Pargat Singh joined the Congress party on Monday. Pargat and Kaur met the Congress high command in New Delhi last week to seal the deal. Later, both met Punjab Congress President Captain Amarinder Singh and discussed the formalities of their joining the party. The announcement of Pargat and Kaur joining the party was made in presence of senior Congress leaders, including party spokesperson Randeep Surjewala.

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2 Maoists killed in police encounter in Kerala

MALAPPURAM: Two Maoists were killed in a police encounter in Kerala's Malappuram district. A source said a special team of the police and Maoists began exchanging fire at a place called Nilambur in the district. State DGP Loknath Behra said, "It was a motivated action by the police." One of those killed has been identified as a Central Committee Member of CPI (Maoist) Kuppu Swamy, a native of Karnataka state. The second Maoist killed is a woman named Ajitha. However, unidentified reports say a third person was also killed and is yet to be identified. No casualty to police was reported.

Medical students kill monkey on campus, 4 suspended

VELLORE: Just months after a dog was thrown off a terrace by medical students in Chennai, yet another brutal case of animal abuse emerged, this time in Vellore. Students of the Christian Medical College tortured and killed a monkey on campus and later buried it close to the college mess. The body, which was exhumed by animal rights activists shows the hands of the animal tied behind its back and a telephone cable wrapped around its neck. Antony Rubin, an animal welfare board member said, "Students say they inserted a sharp object into the animal's genitals." The four students involved in the incident were suspended, while no arrests have been made.

This little Piggy goes to the bank with actor Ravi Babu

HYDERABAD: People standing in a queue to withdraw money in Hyderabad were in for a surprise. Standing amongst them in a line was actor-filmmaker Ravi Babu; a piglet in hand. The animal plays central character in his upcoming Telugu film 'Adhugo'. "Wherever I go these days, I take the piglet along. I can't leave him at home because there's nobody to take care. I had to withdraw cash from the bank, so I decided to take the piglet with me. Although people were a little surprised to see it, nobody made a fuss out of it," Ravi said. He added, "I raised a few piglets in my friend's farm for the film.”

Leopard killed after it attacks 8 villagers

MANDAWAR (HARYANA): A leopard was beaten to death after it wandered into Mandawar village, 26 km south of Gurugram and injured eight people. The two-and-ahalf-year old male sneaked in early in the morning and attacked several people. Injured Sundar Bharadwaj said, "I was tending to my field when the animal attacked me." Police and forest officials came but were unable to catch the animal who was later cornered under a cot in a house. Angered by the attacks, the villagers soon began hitting the animal until it died. They later paraded the corpse through the village and staged a protest and blocked the main road for 15 minutes.

Modi lays foundation stone of AIIMS in Punjab

CHANDIGARH: Prime Minister Narendra Modi laid the foundation stone of the All India Institute of Medical Sciences in Bathinda district of Punjab last week. The 750-bed hospital and institute will be built at a cost of £92.5 million and spread over 200 acres of land. Also present on the occasion were Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal, Union Health Minister JP Nadda, Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Badal, Union Minister Harsimrat Kaur Badal, Union Minister and Punjab BJP Chief Vijay Sampla, among others. The project will cater to people in Bathinda, Mansa and Sangrur districts, where cases of cancer and other diseases are prevalent.


HERITAGE - HISTORY Asian Voice | 3rd December 2016

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25

Aurobindo: From Cambridge to Pondicherry AsianVoiceNews

AsianVoiceNewsweekly

Refused to join Indian Civil Service; Maharaja Gaekwad of Baroda offered him job

Dr Hari Desai

These days he is globally known as Sri Aurobindo of Pondicherry for Integral Yoga. He was born in a Kayastha family in Calcutta (now Kolkata) as Aurobindo Ghose on August 15, 1872. He was sent to England at the age of 7 in 1879 along with his two elder brothers to be trained to join the Indian Civil Service (ICS), an elite organisation, by his westernised father Dr Krishna Dhun Ghose. All the three brothers were placed in the care of the Reverend W H Drewett in Manchester. From 1879 to 1884, Aurobindo studied at home and joined St Paul’s School

in September 1884. In December 1889, he passed the Metric exam. He learnt Greek, Italian and German. In England at an early age Aurobindo took a firm decision to liberate his own nation. He joined the King’s College, Cambridge, with scholarship on October 11, 1990, to pursue ICS. Aurobindo passed the final ICS exam in August 1892. At the end of the probation, he was required to undergo a riding exam but the transformed nationalist convinced not to serve the British in India, opted out, leading to a declaration of result as failed in the ICS. He self-studied Sanskrit and Bengali. He did learn French as well. Thanks to his father’s friend Sir Henry Cotton’s brother James Cotton, Aurobindo could meet the Maharaja of Baroda, Sayajirao Gaekwad III, in London and secured a job in Baroda State Service. Sir Cotton belonged to a distinguished family who served India for five generations. Sir Henry (1845-1915) was also the President of Indian National Congress in 1904. Aurobindo left England for India, reached Apollo Bunder, Mumbai, on February 6, 1993, arrived at Baroda (now Vadodara) on February 8, 1893. He resumed his job in Revenue Department of Baroda State on February 18 but since the Maharaja had brought him from London, he was considered resuming the duty from February 8, 1893, at the age of 21 with a salary of Rs 200. Here he worked for thirteen-and-a-half years with various departments, including serving the Maharaja as his Personal Assistant, writing his speeches. He also worked as Professor of French and English as well as the Vice Principal and the Acting

The Mother

Aurobindo joined the Extremists led by Bal Gangadhar Tilak against the Moderates led by Sir Pherozeshah Mehta. In May 1908, Aurobindo was arrested. But after his release from the Alipore Jail, he was a different man turning to

mission transformed after his release from the Alipore Jail. Following his inner spiritual call, he decided to withdraw to a secret retirement at Chandernagor in February 1910. In the beginning of April, he sailed to Pondicherry in French India. Sri Aurobindo lived at first in retirement at Pondicherry with four or five disciples. During all his stay here from 1910 till December 5, 1950, the day he left his physical body, he remained more and more exclusively devoted to his spiritual work and his Sadhana. After the death of Tilak in 1920, the Congress leaders Dr B S Munje and Dr K B Hedgewar, who established Rashtriya

Sri Aurobindo Prof Aurobindo

Principal of the Baroda College, resigning his job at the age of 35 to go back to Calcutta. The revolutionary Aurobindo turned spiritual. He married Mrunalinidevi but she died on December 17, 1918, at the age of 32. Prof Aurobindo Ghose was very popular among his students, including K M Munshi, the Union Minister in Nehru Cabinet, Ambubhai Purani, the revolutionary freedom fighter, and Bhaikaka, who established the Charutar Vidya Mandal (CVM) in 1945 at

Vallabh Vidyanagar. After the partition of Bengal, Aurobindo returned to Calcutta. He became the guardian angel for the revolutionaries who were fighting for liberation from the clutches of the British. He was arrested and imprisoned for a year in Alipore Jail. CR Das, the Congress leader and Swarajist who was known as Deshbandhu, appeared for Aurobindo and got him acquitted on May 6, 1909. Earlier Aurobindo attended the 1906 Congress meeting headed by Dadabhai Naoroji. In 1907,

Aurobindo with wife Mrunalinidevi after marriage in Nainital in 1901

spirituality. Though Aurobindo had been practising Yoga since 1905, his

Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) in 1925, visited Aurobindo

at Pondicherry with a request to be the President of the Congress, but he turned it down. He defined the revolutionary path as a non-violent one while writing to Dr Munje. He also believed that India and Pakistan would be united one day. He was nominated twice for Nobel Prize for Literature and Peace but was not awarded. In Pondicherry Sri Aurobindo was joined by Mira the Mother who was born Mirra Alfassa in Paris in April 1920. When the Sri Aurobindo Ashram was formed in November 1926, Sri Aurobindo entrusted its full material and spiritual charge to the Mother. The Mother left her body on November 17, 1973. Sri Aurobindo is the best example of a violent revolutionary turning non-violent and spiritual later in his life. Personalities like Dr Karan Singh, Karsandas Luhar “Sundaram”, Kireet Joshi, Mallika Sarabhai and BV Doshi have been his ardent followers. Next Column: Sardar Patel: The Founder of IAS (The writer is a Socio-political Historian. E-mail: haridesai@gmail.com )


26

INDIA

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Big win for BJP in Gujarat, Maharashtra civic polls Asian Voice | 3rd December 2016

With the opposition feeding off of people's anger towards the ruling NDA government over the demonetisation move, recent civic elections held in Maharashtra and Gujarat saw the BJP unfazed as it emerged on top in the states. Claiming the highest number of seats in the key elections to municipal councils and nagar panchayats in Maharashtra, the BJP won 47 of the 147 municipal councils that went on polls on November 27. Its alliance partner Shiv Sena came second, winning 27 councils. Bad spell continued for the Congress and NCP as they won 23 and 21 councils respectively. PM Narendra Modi

Devendra Fadnavis, Maharashtra CM

took to Twitter following the win saying, "I thank people of Maharashtra for placing their faith in BJP in local body polls. This is a win for pro-poor & development politics of BJP." Party president Amit Shah didn't miss the chance and took a dig at the opposition saying, "Maharashtra result should be a wakeup

call for opposition attempting to mislead people on #Demonetisation, a decision in national interest." BJP won in terms of seats too, though the Congress came in second at 643- a marginal drop from its previously held 1111. The NCP won 638 seats, Shiv Sena 514, MNS 16, local fronts 384, smaller parties 119, independents 324, and the CPM 12. The saffron party's winning streak continued in Gujarat as it made a clean sweep in two municipalities and one taluka panchayat elections and by-elections in 11 municipalities, seven dis-

trict panchayats and 15 taluka panchayat seats in the state. BJP won 41 out of 44 seats in Vapi, 27 out of 28 seats in KanakpurKansad municipalities, and 18 out of 22 seats in Gondal taluka panchayat. Modi hailed the results tweeting, "Over the last few days we have seen the results of various polls, Parliamentary, Assembly & local polls across India. Be it the Northeast, West Bengal, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Gujarat... BJP has performed very well. I thank the people. These results across India illustrate that people want all-round progress of the nation & will not tolerate corruption & misgovernance."

ee Paresh Mehta were arrested for forgery and cheating. Manoj is the trustee of the college founded by the deceased. Malaviya, who died earlier this year, had no children. Police investigation began after a computer programmer, Sanjay Pandya at PDM College, filed an application of complaint and raised questions about illegal transactions being done in Malaviya's

trust. Assistant Commissioner of Police, MJ Solanki said Pandya raised questions about Malaviya's death. He also named Manoj's wife Sudha in the crime. All those arrested, have been booked under various sections of the Indian Penal Code including 420 (cheating), 406 (criminal breach of trust), 465 (forgery), 467 (forgery of valuable security, will etc) among others.

HAMEED IS THE HERO

Continued from page 1 repair the injury. "Unfortunately, he's got to go home and have a plate put in his hand, it's pretty bad. It's a real testament to his courage, and I've no doubt we'll see him

again in an England shirt," Cook said. While Hameed was due for an X-ray after the third Test finished, it was instead done on the third day with the results sent back to the UK for assessment. The teenager

had taken blows during the first two Tests, and was struck on the hand when dismissed in the first innings in Mohali. With an impressive start to his Test career after being overlooked for two Tests in

CENTRE POUNDS CORRUPTION

Continued from page 1 jump and the yield on the 10-year bond to fall more than 50 basis points to its lowest in seven years. However, with the new announcement, all the extra cash will have to be deposited with the RBI. Bond-buying spree: Shaktie Shukla, founder of Kaithora Capital said, "The liquidity sweep will definitely halt the down move in yields. It will also temper the pre-RBI policy." Indian economist Kunal Kundu said, "Banks are reacting way too soon to the accumulation of cheap deposits by cutting the various savings rates." Experts said the move indicates that the RBI was more worried about falling rates sparking inflation than the drop in economic activity causing stagnation. The demonetisation move announced on November 8 triggered historic mass panic. What Modi vouches to be a wellthought out plan that will only result in a promising future for the nation, saw banks thronged with people, most of them fretting over the large black money

they painstakingly accumulated over the years. As the dust on the charade settles down, the corporate sector has just begun to get the hang of the prospective changes companies will see in the future. While digitisation has gotten a much deserved boost with online payment companies reporting a hundred per cent rise in the demand of their services, other sectors have valid reasons to question the government's sanity. Market worries: Most predict a pause growth for the Indian economy which has been running at more than 7 per cent a year. The Sensex share index has lost 6 per cent since the announcement, falling under 26,000 for the first time since May. Abhay Laijawala, head of India research at Deutsche Bank said, "The government remains extremely growth biased. This could go down in the annals of Indian history as a massive transfer of wealth from those who were hoarding cash to ordinary people." Economist Jean Drèze described the move as "shooting at the tyres of a racing car."

Different sectors will feel varying degrees of pain or benefit. The most benefited would be the banking sector. The most agonised institutions at present, banks are most likely to see a major boost to their balance sheets, as a slew of money that might have otherwise stayed in cash is now being dutifully deposited. A Deutsche Bank analysis suggested 80 per cent of the

Maulana, the lion in 'Khushboo Gujarat ki,' dies of old age

"Vasant Malaviya and some others were trustees of Sanskrutik Saikshnik Samaj Trust that runs PDM College. Malaviya died in February and had not prepared any will about the trust's property and his own assets. But to grab this property, Manoj and his family members forged documents and made a will to get the possession illegally and he became the trustee," Solanki said.

Ram who died earlier this month. Former Deputy Conservator of Forest Sandeep Kumar said that Maulana was among the group of eight lions who was featured in the advertisement on Gir. He had a unique hunting style, where he would go and kill the domestic cattle in any of the maldhari area. He would then wait for the body to be dumped out in the open. Usually, a lion loses lordship of a territory in about three years, but Maulana and his brother Tapu could not be dislodged for several years.

Bangladesh, Hameed made 82 in the second innings of his Test debut in Rajkot, resisted for 144 balls as England attempted to bat out for a draw in Vizag. The English team now need to consider a replacement worthy of Hameed, to the squad ahead of the

Mumbai Test due on December 8. Under consideration are Ben Duckett, who opened in Bangladesh, but was dropped in Mohali in favour of Jos Buttler, and Gary Ballance who could come into the middle order if Root stays at opener. Most of the team will

have a few days off before preparing for the upcoming match, but Stuart Broad has cancelled his holiday and will link up with the England Lions squad in the UAE to continue his rehab from the foot injury that ruled him out of Mohali.

country's notes will return to the banking system, which will increase deposit growth by up to 10 per cent. Analysts said they expect about half of that to stay in the system long term, which will increase deposit growth up to 10 per cent. The catch, however, is that both consumer spending and the housing market are expected to slow in the next few months as people leash in their spending and companies struggle to keep their supply chains going sans

hard money. Consumer goods companies are currently reeling under the shortage of money. CM Singh, chief operating officer of Videocon, said 40 per cent of his company's purchases come via cash. Vivek Bali, India chief executive of Sephora said he thought it could hit sales by 20 to 25 per cent until December. Companies with large financial clout are also made to adjust. A multinational consumer company said it was considering renegotiating credit terms with its small-scale distributors around the country that have seen sales collapse. There were, however, companies, that felt a shortterm turbulance. Chairman of Gitanjali Group, Mehul Choksi said that on the evening of the announcement, his company traded in two hours what it usually trades on a busy day. The Indian property market is the worst hit from demonetisation, as buying or building real estate has been the most common way of laundering unaccounted currency. Liases Foras, a property research company estimated that real estate transactions in India involving illicit cash tagged some-

where between 15 to 20 per cent. Credit Suisse analysts said, "It may take several years for currency to normalise in the 'black' economy. This would slow down transactions, and hurt prices of real estate and land." Some expect property prices to go high in the future, but there are contradictions claiming developers could benefit in the long run. "We would expect to see prices stay where they are or fall for the next two years. But developers might see their own costs, both in terms of land and construction costs, come down even further," said Pankaj Kapoor, managing director of Liases Foras. This is the perfect time for the E-commerce market to shine. Executives from companies including Amazon, Flipkart, and Snapdeal, welcomed the move. Sanjay Sethi, chief executive at ShopClues, said the fall in cash-on-delivery transactions has offset the rise in card payments. Several online platforms even put temporary restrictions on purchases paid for by cash. Many in the industry remain perky about what this could yield for the online market in the long term.

India to go from being a data poor-to-data rich country: Nilekani

Nandan Nilekani, one of the founders of Infosys, and Aadhar card originator, said, "Demonetisation will give a huge fillip to the whole cashless movement. What would have taken another 3-6 years to get rolled out, I now believe because of the urgency of the matter, will happen in 3-6 months. There will definitely be some amount of short-term pain in the coming weeks. But you will see this acceleration is going to benefit everybody." "The more important thing is when the economy becomes formal, when

AsianVoiceNewsweekly

The lion featured along with Amitabh Bachchan in Gujarat Tourism's 'Khusboo Gujarat Ki' ad passed away last week. Maulana, the Majesty, as he was called, was one of the oldest surviving lion in Gir. Chief Conservator of Forest AP Singh said, "Maulana who was spotted in the tourism zone was named Maulana because of his look. Maulana, around 16 years of age was under treatment for the last 10 days." He said the lion was alone for the past couple of years, and was one of the oldest surviving lions with

Forgery scam hits Rajkot’s oldest education trust One of Rajkot's most reputed education trusts has been marred by a forgery scandal. City police arrested four members of late educationist Vasant Malaviya's family for forging his will to take over control of all his property that pegged at a value over millions. Malaviya's sister's son Manoj Shah, Manoj's son Vishal, Principal of PD Malaviya College Kamlesh Jani, and another employ-

AsianVoiceNews

Nandan Nilekani

everybody's financial transactions are digitised... India is going to go from data poor to data rich and that will make it more and more difficult for people to do dishonest things or to be outside the system. You will reduce the amount of black money in the system," he added.


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HEALTH&WELLNESS

27

AsianVoiceNewsweekly | Asian Voice | 3rd December 2016

Some ayurvedic foods for our well-being Cushioned shoes may FOOD

FITNESS

I

and is also an excellent source of energy.

n ayurveda the right foods increase immunity, physical and mental strength and digestion. For accomplishing the above traits one has to say goodbye to temporary crash diets and consume the following superfoods.

TULSI

GINGER

Ginger is a well-known anti inflammatory that stimulates appetite and reduces intestinal pain, gas and bloating. Fresh ginger is used to battle nausea, especially pregnancy-induced vomiting. Dried ginger root works well on joint pains (mix with almond oil and rub on painful areas), as well as migraines, and helps lower cholesterol levels.

ASHWAGANDHA ROOT (INDIAN GINSENG)

Ashwagandha is used for fighting stress, anxiety and fatigue. Also used to relieve painful swelling or rheumatoid arthritis - traditionally its leaves were applied to the painful area – it is also considered beneficial for increasing sperm count in

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LIFESTYLE

men.

AMLA

Popularly known as the Indian gooseberry, this fruit has carved its own healthcare niche on account of its powerful antioxidant properties. It also works as a digestive tonic, cleansing the colon, and removes excess heat from the body. A rich source of natural Vitamin C and calcium, Amla is also known for its anti-ageing properties. Amla oil is directly applied to the hair as it fights dandruff.

TURMERIC

Turmeric is an all rounder,

thanks to its anti-viral, antibacterial, and anti-fungal properties. It is used to treat skin conditions, detoxify the liver and is excellent for diabetics as it lowers blood sugar. While it can be applied directly to treat wounds, it is very beneficial when ingested, preferably when mixed in milk with some black pepper and honey.

GHEE

Clarified butter or ghee actually lowers cholesterol, thanks to its content of omega-3 fatty acids, and helps improve heart health. It also helps maintain healthy eyesight and skin,

Tulsi leaves, ginger and cardamom boiled in water make for a healing potion to treat sore throats, headaches and chest congestion. Tulsi juice is also effective in treating acne, as well as other skin disorders such as ring worm infections, rashes and itchiness. Regular consumption of tulsi also helps purify the blood, reduce blood sugar and build immunity.

BRAHMI

Brahmi or Bacopa is used to balance Vata, Pitta and Kapha. This herb also helps sustain brain and nervous system functions. It is traditionally mixed with sesame oil, and used to massage away stress and soothe the nerves. Brahmi also helps improve memory power. But this herb should be consumed only after medical consultation as it has a few side-effects like stomach upsets, cramps and nausea.

Meditation can help fight depression A

new study has revealed that meditation can help alleviate severe depression in people who do not fully respond to drugs. Researchers found significant improvement in symptoms of depression and anxiety in medicated patients with major depressive disorder who participated in the yogic breathing technique. The Sudarshan Kriya yoga helped those suffering from depression and on medication when compared to those who took medicines but did not do any breathing exercise. "The study found a promising, lower-cost therapy that could potentially serve as an effective, non-drug

approach for patients battling depression," said Anup Sharma, doctoral student at the University of Pennsylvania, in the US. The meditation tech-

To Our Readers

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

Laughter is the Best Medicine

Henry was placed against the wall, and just before the order to shoot, he yelled out "Earthquake!" The firing squad panicked. In the confusion, Henry jumped over the wall and escaped. Charlie was next, and while the squad reassembled, he pondered what Henry had done. Before they could shoot, he shouted "Tornado!" Again, the squad scattered and Charlie slipped away to safety. Last in line was George. He thought, "I see the pattern here. Just scream out a disaster and hop over the wall." As the firing squad raised their rifles and took aim, George grinned smugly and yelled, "Fire!" *** A man goes to the doctor and says, "Doctor, I have a very serious problem. I only hear half of everything." "That can't be," the doctor answers. "Either you can hear everything or you can't hear anything. Let's see. Repeat after me. Ninety Six." "Forty Eight" says the man. *** Visiting Afghanistan for a second time, a war correspondent noted that since the fall of the Taliban, wives who used to walk ten paces behind their husbands were now walking ten paces in front. The journalist asked one of the men if this was a sign of growing equality. "No," the man replied. "Landmines."

nique, which is practised in both groups and at home, includes a series of sequential, rhythm-specific breathing exercises that bring people into a deep, restful and meditative state. It involves slow and calm breaths alternated with fast and stimulating breaths. Patients, who practised Sudarshan Kriya yoga, also showed a significantly greater improvement in mood, interest in activities and energy levels. It also

brought down suicidal thoughts and feelings of guilt among other symptoms of depression. "Sudarshan Kriya yoga gives people an active method to experience a deep meditative state that's easy to learn and incorporate in diverse settings," Sharma added. Past studies suggest that yoga and other controlled breathing techniques can potentially adjust the nervous system to reduce stress hormones.

“I don’t usually take old currency as paper waste, but given you are a regular, I am making an exception here.”

S

increase injury risk

cientists found that trainers who use cushioned shoes increase the risk of injuries, while those using 'minimal’ shoes with no cushioning put significantly less demand on a runner’s body. Runners who wear running shoes with no cushioning land on the ball of their foot rather than the heel, researchers said. They compared how quickly the force acts when runners’ feet hit the ground - known as the loading rate - which has been shown to influence running injury risk. The study of runners found significantly lower loading rates for those who wore so-called minimal running shoes and landed on the ball of their foot, compared to people in normal running shoes, regardless of whether the latter landed on the heel or ball of the foot. “So many people use running as a means of reducing the risk of chronic diseases, but about three quarters of runners typically get injured in a year,” said Hannah Rice from the University of Exeter in the UK. “Footwear is easily modifiable but many runners are misguided when it

comes to buying new running shoes,” Rice said. “This research shows that running in minimal shoes and landing on the balls of your feet reduces loading rates and may therefore reduce the risk of injury,” she said. Modern-day runners in cushioned footwear tend to land on their heel - known as a “rearfoot strike” - while those who run in the natural barefoot state are more likely to land on the ball of their foot - a “forefoot strike.” Rearfoot strike runners experience an abrupt vertical impact force each time the foot lands on the ground. This impact force is often missing when running with a forefoot strike, but previous research has shown that forward/backwards and sideways forces can be higher with a forefoot strike, meaning the total force is similar. Total force seems to be similar between foot strikes if wearing modern, cushioned running shoes. “This seems to suggest that, for runners in traditional, cushioned running shoes, foot strike pattern may not matter for injury risk,” said Rice.

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Amala Paul's confirmation about 'VIP 2' AsianVoiceNews

Asian Voice

3rd December 2016

A grand comeback for Harish Raghavendra

AsianVoiceNewsweekly

O

ne of Tamil film industry's most admired singers, Harish Raghavendra who has been on a sabbatical, is now back with Suriya's 'S3' for music given by Harris Jayaraj. The track list, which was released well in advance includes seven audio tracks in the album including the 'S3 Theme'. In the album, Harish has rendered the song 'Mudhal Murai', written by Thamarai, along with Shwetha Mohan , NSK Ramya and Karhik. As per reports, 'Anbe Anba' song in 'Idhu Kadhir Velan Kadhal' was the last one sung by Harish in Tamil films before 'S3'.

Dileep and Kavya Madhavan tie the knot

A

ce Malayalam actor Dileep confirmed getting married to fellow actress Kavya Madhavan in Kochi. The wedding came as a big surprise to all guests who were invited for a film pooja. Among those present, were yesteryear actress Menaka, Chippi and Joemol. In a video, Dileep said, "I am here to tell you about a big event happening in my life today. I am getting married today. When I thought of a marriage, I discussed it with my daughter, her mother, my friends, and family and

Nayanthara's 'Aramm' deals with a serious problem It has been c onf i r m ed that actress Nayanthara will play the central character in 'Aramm', directed by Gopi Nainar. She will play a District Collector in the movie with a plot on children falling in open borewells and losing their lives. Sources say that 'Aramm' will speak about official apathy on children who die by falling into the wells. Reports claim that this will be the first film to shed light on this menace and that will be unique and a much needed one.

arrived at a decision. My partner is a person who has been linked to me in gossip magazines. I earnestly hope all Malayalis and people around the world who love

me would shower your blessings on us and remember us in your prayers. Please do not create controversies out of this. Bless us instead."

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hile the female lead for Dhanush's upcoming 'Velai Illa Pattadhari 2' is yet to be officially confirmed by the makers, actress Amala Paul confirmed her upcoming projects include 'VIP 2' apart from 'Vada Chennai' and 'Thiruttu Payale 2'. Paul, of 'Myna' fame had paired up with Dhanush for the first part of the movie. In an interview, Paul finally opened up about her personal life, saying she took up acting at 18 and

Mohanlal under fire for his comments

'P

ulimurugan' actor Mohanlal has come under criticism after blogging about the difficulties faced by the people on account of demonetisation. A dialogue in particular rubbed people the wrong way, and caused outrage in political circles. "We stand in queue before liquor outlets, theatres and places of worship without any complaint. I think there is nothing wrong in standing in queue at a bank or ATM for a while for a good cause," Mohanlal wrote in his 'A big salute to virtuous India'. He said he salutes the scrapping of currency notes and that the move has

‘2.0’ will be sold on Akshay Kumar’s name

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romotion and marketing for Thalaivar's much-awaited sequel to 'Robot', '2.0' will see coactor Akshay Kumar along with him on the posters, teasers, trailers, and other promotional material. A source close to the unit said, "The thing is, the producers of '2.0' hope to sell the film to the Hindi belt on the basis of AK's presence there. For all his iconic status, Rajini's films don't work in North India. With Akshay Kumar playing the villain against Rajinikanth, the makers hope to make a killing in both the Hindi and non-Hindi markets. Hence the film will be marketed as a two-hero film all across the country." The first look poster of

both Rajini and Akshay was launched in Mumbai last week. Speaking at the event, the superstar said, "To work with Shankar is difficult. He is a perfectionist. That is why he is one of the biggest directors. This picture as 3D is a different experience. But the truth is Akshay Kumar is the hero." When it was Bollywood

married at 23, which she felt is not the right age to take the commitment. She believed that since there was no one to guide her she had to learn from her own mistakes. Following her filing for divorce, Amala revealed that she will always love Vijay and letting go of him was the saddest and most difficult decision in her life. 'VIP2', will be directed by Soundarya Rajinikanth, and bankrolled by Kalaipuli S Thanu along with Dhanush.

actor's chance to speak, he said, "Rajinikanth is not a superstar, he is the entire galaxy. I am his big big fan. And if there's anybody in this industry who has got the swag, then it's him. It can be a cigarette, or the way he wears his glasses or his coat. There's no youngster who doesn't want to imitate him."

affected him too. "I too am forced to adjust.. I can bear with the situation as a responsible citizen and also a person who can think sensibly." Following the post, critics began a hashtag movement on the internet called 'The Complete Disaster'. One of the com-

ments read, "We would not pardon you for having compared the people who stood in queue to exchange their hard-earned money with those who stand in front of liquor shops for a drop of dizziness." Even Kerala PCC vice-president VD Satheesan criticised the actor saying, "He should have understood that people are standing in queue at banks and ATMs not to buy liquor but to collect their money. He has insulted the poor people who have collapsed to death while standing in queue, " Satheesan added.

'Kahaani 2'

Is Vidya the victim or the murderer? Watch to know.


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Anil Kapoor ‘thrilled’ to be part of ‘Strange New Things’

Asian Voice | 3rd December 2016

Vidya Balan breaks down while filming 'Kahaani 2'

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Jacqueline visits UK for make-up master class

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hrilled about getting a part in an upcoming sci-fi drama pilot, Anil Kapoor has promised his new role would be different from whatever he has done till now. After roping in a key character in Amazon's new show based on Michel Fabers' cult hit 'The Book of Strange New Things', Kapoor tweeted, "So thrilled to be a part of the storm that Amazon's kicking up with its original digital content! 'Strange New Things' Amazon Prime Video India," Anil tweeted. The yet to be titled adaptation seeks a priest who is sent into space to help find a new colony but what he ends up discover-

ing puts his faith to test. Kapoor will play the role of Vikram Danesh, authoritative head of the base on Oasis, joining Richard Madden and Haley Joel Osment, said reports. "Starting work on this exciting new adventure soon! It's definitely going to be different from whatever I have done till now!" he wrote. Adding, "The next chapter begins... 'Strange New Things'! One of the most complex characters I've ever played!" The pilot will be written by Matt Charman, who is also the executive producer, and directed by Kevin MacDonald of 'The Last King of Scotland' fame. The one-hour drama pilot is a co-production of Amazon Studios and Left Bank Productions. The Slumdog Millionaire star says the role in the series is very complex.

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ri Lankan beauty Jaqueline Fernandez has flown out to Manchester for a Bollywood make-up master class with her makeup artist Shaan Mu. A source said, "The guests got to watch a live demo of Shaan recreating some of Jacqueline's signature looks as he discussed skin, diet, and a celebrity lifestyle." The actress also took to social media to express how proud she was of Shaan's first ever master class. She said, "He and I have so much fun when we do all these different looks for fashion magazines, films, and red car-

Sunny Leone in BBC’s most influential women list

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unny Leone has made it to the list of BBC's 100 Most Influential Women. The list that includes a names of influential women including entrepreneurs, engineers, sportswomen, business women, fashion

icons and artistes, also features four other Indian names. Making her debut on Indian screens with reality TV Bigg Boss in 2011, Sunny Leone moved on to do a handful of movies including 'Jism 2', 'Jackpot', and 'Ek Paheli

Leela'. The list describes her as, "Former porn star who entered mainstream acting in 2013 and has appeared in several Bollywood films." Apart from her, the list includes Gouri Chindarkar (from

pets. There are so many things that we have learnt on this journey and so many things that we want to share with people as well," she said to reporters. At the event, she even played judge for a makeup artist competition. Star of the day Shaan said, "We had been brainstorming about a Kim Kardashian-style live makeup class for a while now. Jacqueline is so enthusiastic about makeup that she butts in to answer questions even if they are posed to me. She knows a lot more about makeup than her contemporaries."

S an gl i) , M a l l i k a Srinivasan (from Chennai), Neha Singh (from Mumbai) and Saalumarada Thimmakka (from Karnataka). Some of this year’s high profile women include singersongwriter Alicia Keys; US gold medal winning gymnast Simone Biles and French politician Rachida Dati.

f reports are to be believed, actress Vidya Balan broke down while shooting for her upcoming film 'Kahaani 2: Durga Rani Singh'. While shooting a sequence that required child artiste Naisha Khanna to jump off the terrace of a building, Vidya could not control her emotions though enough protection using foolproof safety gadgets were used under expert supervision. "Naisha is such a strong and brave girl. I was surprised to see the ease with which she executed

the stunt. It gave me knots in the stomach and I started crying. Naisha, on the other hand, smiled at me as if nothing happened," Vidya said. Writer-director Sujoy Ghosh said, "Vidya is a big prankster on the sets, always on the lookout for her next target. So, when we saw her crying, we took it to be one of her pranks. After sometime, however, we realised that she was not faking it. It took me at least two hours to pacify her." The thriller, sequel to 2012 'Kahaani', releases on December 2.

Ranbir and Sonam are back together again

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en years after they made their acting debuts with 'Saawariya', actors Ranbir Kapoor and Sonam Kapoor are set to reunite as an onscreen pair. In Rajkumar Hirani's biopic on 57 year old actor Sanjay Dutt, Sonam will make a special appearance as one of the Bollywood actresses from the 90s that have dated Dutt. A source said, "Her character is not

reflective of any particular women but is a fictional amalgamation of the many women Dutt dated through the 1980s and 90s." Ranbir, who plays the lead, will begin shooting in 2017 for which he will undergo a complete transformation. Also in the film is the 'Tamasha' actor's 'Ae Dil Hai Mushkil' co-star Anushka Sharma, who plays a journalist.


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Asian Voice | 3rd December 2016s

Coming Events

l A seminar that covers discourses for the wellbeing of our younger generation; in particular raising awareness of looking after the bones, teeth and inculcating healthy food habits. Event: Happy and Healthy Youngsters, Venue: Belgrave Neighbourhood Centre. Date: 3rd Dec, Time: 3:00 pm – 5:00 pm l Shree Bharatiya Mandal Event: Children’s Christmas Party, Venue: Shree Bharatiya Mandal, Indian Community Centre,103 Union Road, Ashton-u-Lyne OL6 8JN Date: 17th December, Time: 4:00pm – 7:00pm l Chinmaya Mission UK New Sanskrit Course for Beginners with Free Taster Sessions. FREE TASTER SESSIONS Venue:Chinmaya Kirti, 2 Egerton Gardens, Hendon NW4 4BA, Dates: 3rd December 2016 & 10th December. Time: 11:15am –12:15pm l Leicester Friends Of Oxford Centre For Hindu Studies, Talk by Anuradha Dooney. Topic: How Hanuman Conquered Hearts, Venue: Jalaram Centre, Narborough Road, Leicester LE3 0LF Date: 3rd December, Time: 6:30 – 9:00pm l Asian Music Circuit, A performance combining music, dance and poetry exploring the musical influences on one of India's greatest minds. Event: Tagore's Travelling Trunk, Venue: Cadogan Hall, 5 Sloane Terrace, London, SW1X 9DQ Date: 11th December. Time: 7:00 pm l Shree Jalaram Mandir-Greenford- UK Event: Bhoomi Pujan, Venue: 39-45 Oldfield Lane South, Greenford, OB67D. Date: 4th December Time: 11:15 am – 12:30 pm. l Bhaarat Welfare Trust A talk on Indian history, Speaker: Francois Gautier Venue: Belgrave Neighbourhood Centre, Rothley St, Leicester, LE4 6LF. Time: 2:00 pm - 4:00 pm

Man jailed for failing to start community forest An 'entrepreneur, a traveller and bon vivant' from Birmingham has been jailed for fraud after allegedly taking £98,000 to start a community forest to beautify the former Orgreave colliery site at Waverley in south Yorkshire, but not planting any tree. Pritesh Ladwa, 29, of Yardley, Birmingham, was handed the grant to beautify the former Orgreave colliery site at Waverley in South Yorkshire. But Daniel Oscroft, prosecuting, told Birmingham Crown Court : “There was no forest where a forest should have been.” “They found no evidence that trees had ever been planted or any evidence that vandalism had taken place...” He added the area had not been weeded and went on: “The place had not even been cleared for the planting of trees. “There was no forest where a forest should have been...” Mr Oscroft said Ladwa

Pritesh Ladwa

had other sites and there was evidence he had ordered and stored trees – but he had not used them at Waverley. Ladwa denied fraud but was convicted after a trial and jailed for 27 months. He claimed he and a friend planted some trees and migrant workers had been paid cash-in-hand to plant the rest, the court heard. But Mr Oscroft said: “The fact is two experienced officers went to the site. “The work was never done. “They have seen it with their own eyes.”

Spiritual healer jailed for tricking woman A 'spiritual healer' who tricked a woman into having sex with him at his Birmingham home by claiming it would cure her marriage problems has been jailed for 12 years. Syed Shah, pictured, also conned the 28-year-old mum into handing over £6,000. Shah, 30, of Latelow Road, Stechford, was found guilty of two charges of

rape and one of fraud following a trial at Birmingham Crown Court.

ARIES Mar 21 - Apr 20 Venus and Mercury transit

your solar tenth house. Relationships with authority figures, superiors, and with the public are in focus during this cycle. It's a time when being a team player reaps the most rewards, and you may be mixing business with pleasure now. This may be a time when you are especially enjoying your career or position and making the most of it.

TAURUS Apr 21 - May 21

The cosmic energies are decidedly invigorating at the moment. If you are taking a holiday, so much the better ! Not only do you have Venus putting a favourable emphasis on travel but, with Mercury you can be sure of deriving the utmost pleasure from adventures and excursions. Some of you could find love abroad.

GEMINI May 22 - June 22 Venus and Mercury continue to move through your solar eighth house this week. You are attracted to the deeper elements of relationships and social interactions now, rather than what you meet on the surface. Mysteries fascinate you and you could be looking for others' motives for doing and saying what they do.

CANCER Jun 22 - Jul 22

With Venus and Mercury traversing your opposite sign of relationships for some time to come, it will put you in the right mood if you intend to indulge your pleasureloving instincts. Venus, the planet of love and romance throws a pleasing light on affairs of the heart. Existing emotional differences can be easily sorted out now.

Judge Patrick Thomas QC also ordered Shah, who had previously sexually assaulted another woman while performing a healing ritual, to pay the victim £10,000 compensation. Shah was also ordered to register as a sex offender for life. There has been record of such 'self-proclaimed' faith-healers who target vulnerable families.

Sneh Joshi

Keeping that in mind, Asian Voice stopped adverts from anyone who claim to be 'magic healers', which has resulted to a loss of £40,000-50,000 revenue per year for the newspaper. But to make the community aware about dangers of investing in 'false hopes', this newsweekly has gladly sacrificed the money, as a stand against exploitation.

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VIRGO Aug 24 - Sep 23 With Venus and Mercury in your 5th house of romance and creativity, you should enjoy a very popular phase in your life where everyone wants to invite you to parties. This will give you a chance to meet people of your own calibre and pursue any romantic liaisons that might present themselves. Work is still an ongoing matter, some of you will move and others reassess different options around them. LIBRA Sep 24 - Oct 23

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.

SCORPIO Oct 24- Nov 22 Venus and Mercury are spending some time in your Solar 3rd house. Personal and social contacts will be successful. The Sun continues to highlight your second house now, and your focus is on material affairs and comfort issues. Security is a driving force for you at the moment, and you might find that you are especially interested in accumulating possessions.

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Mercury and Venus highlight your solar sixth house. This is a period that finds you tending to your daily routines, and health matters. You seek to perfect your skills and as a result, you can be more critical than usual. This period will make you feel like you can finally settle into a more grounded and steady routine instead of letting your schedule run you.

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SAGITTARIUS Nov 23 - Dec 21

Venus and Mercury grace your solar second house of finance. During this period, you might receive gifts or bonuses now, or you find much comfort in what you already own and have. You may be a little extravagant with money for the time being, as your desire for luxury and comfort items is increased now, and this is something to watch for. When it comes to love, you value those who make you feel comfortable and secure.

CAPRICORN Dec 22 - Jan 20

Venus and Mercury continue to grace your solar first house now. Something about how you present yourself, your image, and your manner boosts your personal magnetism during this cycle. You're more charming and you are likely to want to attract things through charm and playfulness. You especially enjoy making a good impression on others, and peace-making.

AQUARIUS Jan 21 - Feb 19

While Mercury and Venus transit the twelfth house of your solar chart, your mind is focused on private matters. This is a time when you are searching for answers. This is a good time for research, quiet contemplation and meditation. You are likely to require a certain amount of solitude in order to get your thoughts together or to be mentally productive.

PISCES Feb 20 - Mar 20

With Venus and Mercury traversing your sign of leisure for some time to come, it will put you in the right mood if you intend to indulge your pleasure-loving instincts. An increase in your social life is likely to bring you in touch with someone attractive. At work you need greater flexibility as well as a degree of patience. Do not step on any one's toes.


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India bag bronze at 4-nation hockey tournament AsianVoiceNews

India put up a dominating performance to beat Malaysia 4-1 in the bronze medal play off match and finish at third position in the 4-nations invitational hockey tournament at Melbourne. The Indians managed to control the proceedings from start to finish, scoring twice in the final quarter to post a much deserved victory. Shrugging off Saturday's disappointment, India were looking to strike and consolidate early to avoid any pressure from the Malaysians. They started off with several quick turnovers and passes, before scoring as early as in the second minute of play. Birendra Lakra picked up the ball near centre field and drove his shot diagonally into the circle. The cross evaded everyone,

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before falling to Akashdeep Singh lurking at the far post. Akashdeep showed great awareness and superb skill to deflect the ball in and give India the lead. India kept control throughout the quarter and had several more chances, most notably with a flurry of four consecutive penalty corners

right at the death, but the Malaysians defended stoutly to go into the first break down by one goal. In the second quarter, India forward Affan Yousuf came closest to scoring a goal, expertly steering past three Malaysian defenders before unleashing a reverse hit towards the goal.

However, Malaysia's goalkeeper Kumar Subramiam was up to the challenge as he put it away to deny India a goal. Malaysia picked up the pace in the final minutes of the second quarter but despite several circle penetrations, they failed to create any real chances. The teams went into half time separated by the single goal scored by India. The game opened up more in the third quarter as Malaysia chased the game, India were happy to sit back and work on the counter. Despite several circle penetrations, neither team created any real opportunities almost till the end of the 3rd quarter. In the final minute though, VR Raghunath capitalised on a pair of PCs to convert one and extend India's lead

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Sindhu surpasses Saina in badminton rankings Asian Voice | 3rd December 2016

PV Sindhu has surpassed Saina Nehwal in the world badminton rankings. In the latest Badminton World Federation (BWF) charts, Sindhu is No. 9 in the world while Saina is No. 11. Sindhu, first Indian badminton player to win a silver medal at Olympics, gained two places after her recent China Open win. Saina, on the other hand, lost five places to be placed outside top-10 for the first time in eight years. Saina had lost in the first round of 2016 China Open to Porntip Buranaprasertsuk of Thailand and that led to loss of points, as she had entered the final in the 2015 edition of the event. All rounder Ravindra Jadeja put quite the show for spectators, with his sword dance following the completion of a half century. Addressing the press later, the proud Rajput said, "It is the trademark style of Rajputs. That's what I have been following, nothing special."

Harjeet to lead India in Junior Hockey World Cup Mid-fielder Harjeet Singh will lead the 18-member Indian men’s hockey team in the Junior World Cup to be held in Lucknow from December 8 to 18. While the 20-year-old mid-fielder from Kurali in Punjab has been named as the captain, defender Dipsan Tirkey will shoulder the responsi-

bilities of the vice-captain. Harjeet has been instrumental in the junior team’s success in recent times. He also led the colts in Valencia, Spain last month where they won the four-nation Invitational Tournament beating Germany in the final. Earlier this year,

Harjeet Singh

Harjeet was also named as the ‘Jugraj Singh Upcoming Player of the Year’ at the Hockey India Annual Awards and was rewarded for his consistency with a call-up in the senior men’s squad for the Sultan Azlan Shah tournament in April where the team finished second

behind world champions Australia. Harjeet was also part of the Indian senior men’s team that won the silver medal at the FIH Champions Trophy in London this year where he replaced ace midfielder Sardar Singh. Tirkey, on the other hand, is a fireball on the pitch. The 18-year-

old from Sundargarh in Odisha had led the Indian team to a splendid win at the EurAsia Cup in Russia earlier this year followed by the England tour where they beat Scotland senior men’s team, Hampstead and Westminster, and won two matches against England.


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Asian Voice | 3rd December 2016

India take 2-0 lead against England

India spinners once again held centre stage as the hosts produced a clinical performance to cruise to a comfortable eight-wicket victory on the fourth day of the third cricket Test at Mohali and thereby take a 2-0 lead in the fivematch series. The trio of Ravichandran Ashwin (3/81), Ravindra Jadeja (2/62) and Jayant Yadav (2/21) shared bulk of the spoils to dismiss the visitors for 236 in their second innings. Comeback man Parthiv Patel then made a mockery of the target of 103 runs, smashing his way to an unbeaten 67 off 53 balls studded with 11 fours and a six. Fittingly he finished the match with a boundary over extra cover in company of Virat Kohli. Parthiv and Cheteshwar Pujara (25) added 81 runs in only 15.2 overs in what turned out to be an easy chase completed in 20.2 overs. Parthiv was in a mood to display his ‘T20 skills’ as he took on the pacers and spinners alike with minimum fuss. The 50 came off 39 balls with eight boundaries and a six. His prowess at the top of the order will give Kohli and coach Anil Kumble another option for opening slot. Earlier, credit should be given to young Haseeb Hameed for his gritty unbeaten 59 off 156 balls coming in at No 8 due to a finger injury that helped England cross 200-run mark. He hit six fours and a six off Ashwin to complete his second Test half-century. It was because of the teenager that India had to chase a 100 plus target. It was a match where England were outbatted and outbowled by an Indian side that has been plagued by injuries. But Ashwin as usual put up a lion-hearted performance once again scoring a 72 and bagging four wickets. Equally creditable was the all-round effort of the other two specialist spinners - Jadeja (90 run and 4 wickets) and Jayant (55 runs and 4 wickets).

Having polished off the top-order save Joe Root, the question on fourth day was not how but when will India finish the match. The only wicket that would have seriously bothered them was that of Joe Root. But post Root, Hameed did put up a fight but it was always for a losing cause. Root, who was standing between India and victory, was dismissed for 78 by Jadeja (2/39 in 23 overs), who got one to turn away sharply as the edge was taken by an alert Ajinkya Rahane, who reacted quickly to stretch his right hand. Root played 179 balls hitting six fours in the process. Root got an able ally in young Hameed as the duo added 45 runs in 119 balls for the seventh wicket stand. It was this pair that erased the 134 run deficit. Once Jadeja removed the gutsy Root minutes before lunch, the writing was there on the wall. But Hameed delayed the inevitable and showed that he is one for the future with correct technique and a temperament to match with it. With this victory, India stretched its unbeaten streak in tests to 17 at home- their second best. India lost the early wicket of Murali Vijay and then of Cheteshwar Pujara 25 away, but Patel and Virat Kohli knocked off the remaining runs. Parthiv followed his plucky 42 from the first innings with his 5th half-century in Tests and made a serious case in point to be considered for the next Test. First ball he faced, Parthiv sent it crashing towards the point boundary. Pujara declared his intention by hitting consecutive fours off James Anderson, but with India 15 away, he was out caught at

short fineleg, opting for a deft p a d d l e . Fittingly, Parthiv finished the game with a cut off Adil Rashid for four. England was sent packing for 236 soon after India took the second new ball with Mohammed Shami producing a fiery spell in which he snuffed out two wickets in three balls. Hameed, batting with an injured finger, produced a gutsy half-century and remained not out on 58, an effort that may amount to nothing more than a consolation prize since. Hameed played a typical ball-sapping innings. With England having lost overnight batsman Gareth Batty and then Jos Buttler, Root took responsibility of scoring, while Hameed was happy seeing off the spin. The comfort with which he batted raised concerns over his decision of not opening the innings but that's

always debatable. India were hard to keep quiet. Second over of the day, Ravindra Jadeja had Batty out leg before. Buttler walked in and hit three fours. The message was clear, that England wanted to get moving and not just eat up balls. But they always ran the risk of losing wickets and that is exactly what happened when an ambitious heave by Buttler saw him find the fielder at longon. Root carried his fine overnight form and did the right thing by not getting bogged down, and instead scored runs. He seemed to be the only one with proper understanding of how the surface was behaving. Just a handful of balls turned and despite being pushed on the backfoot by Jadeja's darts, Root managed a way to

keep the scoreboard moving. He reached his 50 with a clip off his pads and put England in the lead with a cover drive off Ashwin. India pounced on the only error he committed. Root pushed at a ball away from his body and it led to his dismissal. Woakes was a lesson in batting for the rest of the England batsmen. He rocked onto the backfoot and wasn't afraid to play shots against spin. He paddle swept Jadeja and crunched Ashwin through the covers for a couple of stunning shots. He and Hameed put up a valiant effort with a 45-run stand for the 10th wicket before Shami made inroads. In the first innings England made 283 runs and in the second they made 236 runs against

India's first innings score of 417 runs. On Sunday, Ashwin and Jadeja performed yet another rescue act. India were teetering at 204-6, having lost Kohli (62) who edged one behind off Ben Stokes. There was apprehension that India might get bowled out cheaply and give England a handy 4050 run lead, which would have been massive considering Kohli & Co. would be batting last on a track that has just started to turn. Ashwin (unbeaten 57), who has scored more than 500 runs in Tests in 2016 including two centuries, combined with Jadeja (unbeaten 31) in an unbroken 67-run stand as India ended Day 2 on 271-6, 12 runs adrift of the English first innings total.

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