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Monday's debate may have changed people's mind on who to vote and how to vote. While Jeremy Corbyn faired consistently well, Prime Minister Theresa May also did not lag too far behind in impressing the viewers. A slick video with a foot-tapping song in Hindi called 'Theresa ke saath', and images of Prime Minister Theresa May wearing a sari and meeting Prime Minister Narendra Modi during her November 2016 visit to India, was released by the Conservative party on the weekend to woo the 1.5 mn Indians living in the UK. This is going to be a unique and exciting election, while Mrs May's manifesto mainly addresses the mainstream voters, the number of Indian candidates for Conservative party has reduced from 17 in 2015 to 13 this year.While the Tory lead has gone down by 1% to 43%, according to a YouGov poll, Labour has gone up by 4% to 38%.

Continued on page 17

Shailesh Vara

Virendra Sharma

Seema Malhotra

Reena Ranger

Priti Patel

Ameet Jogia and Navin Shah stand for community The election on June 8 is about the direction this country will take through Brexit and beyond. Among the 44 Brit-Asian candidates across various parties, Ameet Jogia is one of the key candidates in a winnable constituency. He is standing against Labour's Barry Gardiner, who has allegedly been amidst various controversies. Ameet Jogia does not come from a privileged Ameet Jogia background – in fact his family was homeless when he was young and he then grew up on a council estate. But he understands the needs and concerns of our local community. Navin Shah a very popular and highly experienced activist is contesting Harrow East constituency. He brings with him decades of political experience and community work, winning 3 times the London Assembly seat of Harrow and Brent. A champion of equalities, Navin has worked relentlessly for community cohesion and is someone who has takes pride in being an antiracist campaigner. He is Navin Shah passionate about combating cuts in key services like Police, NHS and Education. Navin's contribution to the Indian community is unparalleled. Navin is standing against Bob Blackman whom he defeated in 2008 in the Assembly election. To read more about his pledges see page 15.

Alok Sharma

Resham Kotecha

Paul Uppal

SEE INSIDE Diaspora comes forward to rebuild Manchester post Arena bombing P4 Everchanging India under Modi P26 Babri Masjid case: charges framed against Advani, Joshi, Bharti and others P26 Rohit Dasgupta

Suella Fernandes

Rahoul Bhansali

Hyderabad Mumbai Ahmedabad Lucknow

Keith Vaz

£374 £396 £369 £431

India, Germany sign 8 agreements P26

Rajkot Goa Bangkok Bangalore

£463 £368 £442 £367

Chennai Colombo Kochi Delhi

£368 £427 £368 £390


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UK

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Asian Voice | 3rd June 2017

Birmingham police find jihadists, foil their terror plans Excellent police work in Birmingham clamped down on eight fresh jihadists and thwarted terror plans that would have killed and maimed innocent people, in the wake of the Manchester bombings that had left 22 dead and many more injured. The eight were tried and convicted at the Birmingham Crown Court for their potential links with terror activities. Birmingham has been called the terror capital of the country, being home to 26 out of the 269 known jihadis in the UK. Zahid Hussain, 29, was found guilty of preparing for an act of terrorism found making a pressure cooker bomb at his home in Alum Rock. He had filled the appliance with shrapnel and made "improvised igniters" from the festive decorations. Another terrorist, Hussain of Naseby Drive, was found in possession of text books detailing guerilla warfare and handwritten notes containing

Zahid Hussain found with a pressure cooker bomb filled with shrapnels at his home in Alum Rock

bomb-making instruction, but his conviction will be coming in later. In previous incidents, the police and security services were able to identify and pull out other jihadis like Humza Ali, 20 who tried to fly out to Turkey in 2015 but was turned back . He had trained for terrorist combat at a paint-balling centre in Hockley Heath, Solihull. Ali Ahmed, 27 from Coventry Road was jailed for eight years for his part in handling £3,000 to bombing suspect

Mohamed Abrini in Small Heath Park. The same year, two 22year-olds Yusuf Sarwar, a Birmingham City University student and unemployed Mohammed Ahmed, had pleaded guilty to terror charges on the first day of their trial. The security services had also sniffed out Junaid Hussain, an ISIS propagandist and Daesh propagandist but both were killed in a conflict zone. In 2013, the ringleader Irfan Naseer was arrested and jailed for life and had to serve at least 18 years before being considered for release. Naseer, then 31, from Sparkhill had sent four young men to Pakistan for terrorism training. The police and security services have a huge responsibility, especially after the Westminster and Manchester terror attacks, and the Birmingham police is tracking down the most lethal terrorists in order to ensure the safety of innocent citizens.

Lakshmi Mittal to sell Kensington Palace Gardens for £85 million

Lakshmi Mittal, will be selling one of his Kensington Palace Gardens, to Princess Haya of Jordan for £85 million. Mittal had bought the highly-priced property (in the mega-rich location) from an Isreali-American banker, for his son Aditya Mittal but Aditya never lived there. Based near the Isreali embassy and opposite the home of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge at Kensington Palace, the residence is fit for a princess with a special storage room for art, a silver room, and a floor dedicated to bedrooms and flowers. Princess Haya of Jordon is the daughter of late King Hussein of Jordon and the fourth wife of Sheikh Mohammad bin Rashid Al Maktoum and Vice President of the UAE. She is also an Oxford University graduate, a UN Messenger of Peace and a member of the International Olympic Committee, the only Arab

Lakshmi Mittal selling a Kensington Palace Garden property to Princess Haya of Jordan

woman to compete at world, continental and Olympic level in showjumping. She was keen on the

house as she had fond memories of the road when she was growing up. The Mittals, who had three properties on the road are holding on to their other two addresses, one belonging to Lakshmi Mittal's daughter Vanisha Mittal and the larger property, dubbed as the “Taj Mittal” belonging to him. Kensington is home to some of Britain's richest people, including top notch business tycoons and members of Saudi Arabia's royal family.

Princess Haya with husband Sheikh Mohammad bin Rashid Al Maktoum

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Bhangra-based children's fitness class to launch in Leicester

Kirit Thakore devises classes to give children a taste of Indian Bhangra dance moves with fast-paced exercises

Kirit Thakore have introduced fitness classes for the tots ages 5 to 15, calling them BhangraBlaze Bambinos - at a throwaway price of £3 for a class. The classes BhangraBlaze Bambinos, will be based out of the Uppingham Road

Methodist Church, and intends to give children a taste of Indian culture by combining traditional Bhangra moves with fastpaced exercises. The 45-minutes intense workout session will have a class strength of not more than 20, designed especially to give

individual attention to the students and increase their fitness and health while making it fun and enjoyable. BhangraBlaze was founded in 2015 by the Leicester resident Kirit Thakore and has quickly grown into a fitness trend on a national scale.

The first vegan food with medicinal properties restaurant to open in Manchester The Wonder Inn, run by chef Matthew Nutter of The Allotment Vegan Restaurant has launched the first fine dining restaurant, Roots Cafe in the city centre serving vegan food that will contain medicinal properties. Ingredients like turmeric, used extensively in Indian cooking and pineapple that calm inflammation, and help battle health problems, or simply help prevent any future problems. In an interview to the Manchester Evening News, Nutter said: "I'll be working with a nutritionist to make sure my dishes have some kind of healing properties." “Plants based healthy food isn't boring. Vegans have a far more varied diet than most meat eaters,” he said. Roots Cafe has big plans for the future – it has a small and informal menu, including sharing platters, salads and hot nutritious meals. The highlights of the breakfasts will include a mojito yogurt made with avocado and cucumber salsa, and an almond-based cheesecake. He will be using coconut instead of butter,

Chef Matthew Nutter opening Roots Cafe - the first vegan restaurant in Manchester

and cashew nuts in place of cream. Matthew's aim is bring the incredibly tasty plant based food not just to Manchester but to the whole of the UK, and make it a little more main-

stream. Teaching the chefs the basics of vegan cooking is his immediate challenge, but with his huge plans to revolutionise the way we look at plant-based food, this is hardly a hurdle.

Asian property investors remain gung-ho despite instability A recent report by leading property investment firm JLL suggested a 17% growth from last year by Asian investors, who accounted for 28% of transactions in UK property market in 2016. Property investments

have been traditional mainstay for many Asian portfolios and many believe in the notion that property prices in UK will never go down despite the uncertainly of Brexit and the upcoming general elections.

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COMMENTS

Manchester’s tragedy is world’s pain The savage jihadi assault on a pop concert for the young and the resulting carnage of 22 innocent souls and many more injured, some seriously, brings to mind the imperishable lines of Edward Gibbon’s description of the Goths’ sack of Rome in August AD 410. ‘In the hour of savage licence, when every restraint was removed …a cruel slaughter was made of the Romans…Whenever the Barbarians were provoked by opposition, they extended the promiscuous massacre to the feeble, the innocent and the helpless.’ The barbarians of the 21 st century have been knocking at the gates for quite awhile but the Wstern city fathers in their wisdom, absconding from moral responsibility, chose to look the other way. Paris, Belgium, towns and cities across Germany and Austria, Holland and Britain in 2005, and more recently, on the streets of London on three or four separate occasions, have suffered grievously from jihadi terrorist attacks. These are part of an integrated assault on civilization itself, which Western leaders have been slow to recognize, if recognize they do even now. The suicide bomber Salman Abedi’s family is under arrest as jihadis. How then did Abedi and his relatives come and go to Libya and other Middle East hot spots as and when they pleased? Were they classified as ‘friendlies’ serving some hush-hush purpose? Suicide bomber Salman Abedi, lived in Manchester’s inner city precincts with his Libyan parents, refugees from Gadaffi’s oppressive rule. It seems he was radicalized by ISIL, having visited Syria, Iraq and other such places. That American intelligence services leaked information about him and his activities before the British authorities were ready to go public has given rise to much justifiable anger in Whitehall, long tutored in unquestioning obedience to the nostrums of the ‘special’ Anglo-American relationship. Was it simply coincidence that the senior American partner sought to gain political traction from this appalling human

tragedy? The sad truth is that politics has been the hallucinatory opiate in the struggle against jihadi terrorism. It was so for decades since the monster was in incubation, the same zany considerations operate still. To matters of moment: Manchester and the entire British Isles were bereaved by a deep sense of loss – bewildered by the seemingly senseless atrocity that had targeted the lives of innocent children. The city’s social and sporting life has revolved round its two great football clubs, the iconic Manchester United and rivals Manchester City. Players at at United’s key European fixture wore black arm bands. Gary Linekar, a former England international and one of the game’s most respected commentators gave voice to his grief, anger and disgust, describing the deed as being ‘beyond comprehension, beyond lunacy, beyond evil.’ He was joined by a galaxy of contemporary stars, among them Christiano Ronaldo, now with Real Madrid, but once a Manchester United legend. On this list of mourners were India’s cricketing celebrities Virat Kohli, Gautam Gambhir and Anil Kumble. Virat Kohli: ‘I wish a lot of courage and strength to all those affected by the Manchester Bombings last might. Heartbreaking to hear the sad news.’ Gambhir: ‘An attack on innocents. Deeply saddened by the news from Manchester. Thoughts and prayers with the victims. Pray for Manchester.’ Kumble: ‘Deeply saddened by Manchester attack. Thoughts and prayers with everyone affected. Condolences to their families.’ It would be well to recall that, in the immediate aftermath of jihadi attack on Mumbai in November 2008, the England Test cricket team led by Kevin Pietersen played the Test match against India at Chennai, the gesture earning the plaudits of Sachin Tendulkar. India will shortly be playing in the Champions Trophy in England amid tight security for all the participating teams. Life goes on regardless.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi rose to his full stature as an Indian statesman when he acknowledged the creative role played by the country’s first Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru in India’s outreach to Africa.. When Kenya’s iconic liberation leader Jomo Kenyatta was facing deeply flawed political trial in his country as an abettor of Mau Mau violence and terror, Nehru dispatched Chmanlal Diwan, a distinguished lawyer and Member of Parliament to join Kenyatta’s defence team, headed by D.N. Pritt QC. Nehru had dispensed Indian aid to newly emergent Africa without pre-conditions, so that African leaders as the best judges of their national situations would be able to put it to appropriate use. Previously, Mr Modi had studiously avoided all mention of his famous predecessor. This may have earned brownie points from the BJP faithful, but by casting aside this reluctance he walked tall. Edmund Burke had famously pronounced centuries ago: ‘Magnanimity in politics is not seldom the truest wisdom; and little minds and a great empire go ill-together.’ This wisdom has shone brightly down the years, and never more brightly than at the recent India Africa Summit in Gujarat, attended by 80 African heads of state and government. African leaders, from Jacob Zuma to Robert Mugabe were effusive in their praise of Nehru for his unswerving commitment to African causes, What was truly remarkable about the present Summit was the evidence of the strategic vision Mr Modi and Finance Minister Arun Jaitley brought to the table. Both refused to be blown off their feet by the scale of Chinese aid to the continent. However, the uplands have not been quite as sunny as was frequently reported by impressionable minds. The scale of the losses of Africa’s

natural resources to China’s insatiable requirements and the rising debt burden for the recipients of such largesse is causing deepening public anxiety, manifested in swelling popular protests in Zambia and Namibia, for example. Messrs Modi and Jaitley made it abundantly clear that Indian aid to Africa carried no strings, that it would be constructed after close consultation with the recipients and tailored to their specific needs. This has paid off most handsomely in Ethiopia, where the Indian footprint includes, agriculture, secondary education, with special emphasis on teaching English, medical services, collaborative ventures between hospitals, prosthetic limbs for amputees, and Indian military training for the Ethiopian armed forces. Nothing succeeds like success. This year’s Summit was also significant for an IndiaJapan plan rollout for African development. This will come under the rubric of an Asian-African economic corridor. Japanese industry and technology is rightly judged to be world class. See the Delhi Metro, one understands why. The respective strengths of India and Japan working in tandem can be a game-changer for Africa. As a third world country India will bring an understanding of the special needs of nations of similarly placed. Indian IT, pharmaceuticals, solar power technology are playing a part already in African development. Boosting IndiaAfrican trade and investment is high on the agenda because of its win-win possibilities. Simple technologies, intermediate technologies harnessed with those that are advanced should cover the entire spectrum African goals. The concept will present an effective challenge to China’s much touted One Belt, One Road mega project. Game on.

Statesman Modi projects India’s Africa policy

Edinburgh outreach to Kolkata A continent away from the tropical heat and humidity of Kumartuli, a suburb of Kolkata, where potters for generations past have honed their skills on the banks of the Ganga, turning out idols for Bengal’s religious festivals, the University of Edinburgh’s enterprising Department of Architecture and Urban Design (AUD) has set up a small, unobtrusive studio to recreate this corner of a foreign land with scrupulous care to maintain Kumartuli’s ‘architectural and spatial nature.’ The department has recently been studying Indian landscapes in Mumbai, Delhi, Amritsar and Ahmedabad, and now Kolkata. Dorian Wiszniewski, Senior Lecturer, AUD, and his team of postgraduate students have been to India for ‘intensive fieldwork. ‘We are much more inclined to learn from Indian

history and not imposed European paradigms. We see the river as land-water exchange. The river edge is a strange concept. It varies from season to season. The river is in a flux and the edges are not aligned. The question changes from frontages to depth, says Wiszniewski. The edges look like fingers, like piers pointing into the water, he suggests. The edges of the Hooghly have experienced different historical stages, from the precolonial to the post-colonial eras. ‘Take the ghats, for example.. the ghat architecture is like rocks on the side of the river, there is this transition from land to water.’ Another visit is planned for January next year, when 29 postgraduate students will study the ‘water edges ’ of Kolkata. It promises to be an interesting journey.

Asian Voice | 3rd June 2017

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If we don't do the impossible, we shall be faced with the unthinkable - Petra Kelly (1947-1992)

Lord Jitesh Gadhia

Two new Gujarati hopefuls for Parliament

Ameet Jogia, Priti Patel, Reshma Kotecha and Shaliesh Vara

The Conservative Party has selected two young Gujarati hopefuls for next month's General Election - Ameet Jogia, standing in Brent North and Resham Kotecha in Coventry North West. Both are viewed as rising stars with promising futures. If elected, they would join Priti Patel and Shailesh Vara, doubling the number of Gujarati MPs in the House of Commons. Ameet Jogia, aged 30, was born and raised in Harrow. He has served as a local Councillor since 2014 becoming the youngest Councillor in Harrow with a proven track record of delivering for local residents. Having grown up in and around Brent, Ameet has first-hand knowledge of local issues, with experience of working with all communities. Having been homeless at a young age, Ameet grew up on a council estate. Ever since, he has striven to get a good education and been committed to giving back to society in whatever way he can, including serving as a School Governor and as a volunteer at his local Hospice in Brent. Ameet also has significant experience at Westminster, having worked as Parliamentary Assistant to Lord Dolar Popat. Resham Kotecha, aged 28, was born in London, to Gujarati parents who came to the UK to study from East Africa. One of twin sisters, she read Economics at Cambridge University before starting work as a strategy consultant advising both public and private sector organisations. Resham previously stood as a Parliamentary Candidate during the 2015 General Election in Dulwich and West Norwood. She is Deputy Chair of the Northwood Conservatives and Head of Engagement for Women2Win, an organisation co-founded by Prime Minister Theresa May, to encourage more Conservative women to enter Parliament. Resham has spoken and written regularly in the media about the importance of getting more Asians, young people, and women involved in politics. She is President of the under 35’s board of the Young Women’s India Association, the oldest Asian charity in UK, and was a finalist for the Asian Women of Achievement Awards. Resham and Ameet are seeking to unseat two longstanding incumbents. Geoffrey Robinson, aged 78, has held Coventry North West since 1976 and was widely expected to stand down in 2020. Continued on page 6 Editor: CB Patel

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MANCHESTER

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Diaspora comes forward to rebuild Manchester post Arena bombing Indian origin doctor escaped blast by few mins

Last Monday's Manchester bombing has changed the very outlook of this country, where people though defiant against terrorism and united against such horrors, are panicked about the fragility of their life. All over the country, security has become extremely tight, with shopping centres having long airport style checks, before people are allowed in. Though the 22 dead do not include any Asian names, there was an Indian origin doctor who escaped the blast by few minutes. Sonal Pathak, a 41 year old doctor from Liverpool, and her 13-year-old daughter Shreya and friend Anya made a narrow and almost providential escape from the Manchester massacre. She had parked her car about 7 mins away from the arena and left slightly early before Ariana Grande's 3rd last song to avoid the rush after the event concluded. On the way out, she saw ambulances rushing in but couldn't tell why until they got home by 11pm and got the tragic news. They started walking out at about at 10:20pm and passed the foyer around 10:23pm- the exact spot where the blast took place. They hurried as the 3 hour parking ticket was running out and they had about an eight miles drive back to Altrincham. Since the parking was two storeys underground, Pathak, who is originally from Jaipur, couldn't hear any explosion nor see any commotion. On the way out she did witness ambulances rushing in, but only realised what had actually happened when she reached home at 11pm and got the tragic news.

Community in solidarity helping victims A vascular surgeon Tawqueer Rashid, was woken up by a telephone call from his hospital and was called in. The 44-yearold works at Manchester Royal Infirmary but was told to go instead to Salford Royal Hospital at 1am because it did not have any surgeons with his specialism. He helped with an operation on a woman whose blood flow to the foot was cut off due to the bombing, and in the morning he saw a patient with a spinal injury and damaged blood vessels. Third generation British Pakistani Sam Arshad, 35, who owns Street Cars Manchester, said that all the taxis in her firm offered free lifts all night. The phones were

going crazy, with panicked parents and children who wanted to get out of there. Arshad contacted his drivers and decided they should take passengers home without charge. The firm employs 600 drivers of a diverse range of ethnic backgrounds including Pakistani, Indians and of all faiths, including Muslims. Bukhara restaurant, that is half a mile from Manchester Arena that night witnessed two women walked in as the restaurant was closing. They were distressed and were given water. Zaffer Khan, who does marketing for the restaurant reportedly said, “They weren’t aware of what had happened, and neither was the proprietor. He only realised on his way home, listening to the radio. The following day we had a quick discussion and decided what we would do.” The restaurant also gave out food- a chicken biryani- to the emergency service workers. Othman Moqbel, chief executive of the Muslim charity Human Appeal, has launched an appeal for the victims and their families. It has raised almost £15,000. Sikh temples in Manchester offered shelter to those affected by the bombing. The four nearby Gurdwaras—Sri Guru Gobind Singh Gurdwara Educational and Cultural Centre, Gurdwara Sri Guru Harkrisham Sahib, Dasmesh Sikh Temple and Central Gurdwara Manchester Gurudwaras— all kept their doors open for victims through the night. There are also reports that a hotel near the venue took in dozens of children to keep them safe. Taxi drivers, including Asians, have been offering people free rides home and volunteers were arranging to give blood at donor banks to help those injured. An Indian origin taxi driver who drove scores of injured to the hospital on the night of the

Manchester terror attack told Channel 4 News: “I’ve had people who needed to find loved ones, I dropped them to the hospital, they’ve not had any money, they’ve been stranded, there’s no transport. “We should, you know, come out and show who-

80 to 90 people took refuge in the Gurdwara Sri Guru Harkrishan Sahib which is very close to the Arena, the site of the attack. The priest called other members of the Gurdwara to come and help him, when he saw the panic. They offered water or a cup of tea to people

been begging in the arena foyer where suicide bomber Salman Abedi detonated his device killing 22. Amid the chaos as people began to leave the concert he came forward to help people who were hurt. Stephen Jones, 35, who had been sleeping near the arena also ran to help deal with the gruesome aftermath. Jones, a former bricklayer who has been sleeping on the street for more than a year, recalled wiping blood from children’s eyes after dashing to help and pulled out nails of their arms and a couple out of a little girl’s face. Jones said it was “just instinct” to help. West Ham Football club co-owner David Sullivan has promised to give Steve, who aided victims of the Manchester terror attack a "life-changing"offer to help him "get

Sam Arshad

Tawqueer Rashid

A J Singh

ever has done this that it doesn’t matter because we’re glue and we stick together when it counts.” 24-year-old AJ Singh, who was born in Manchester. His family comes from Punjab, and he drove more than 15 wounded to the Manchester Royal Infirmary and Salford Royal Foundation Trust, absolutely free of charge on the fateful night. Singh who believes that 'he isn't a hero' drove straight into the city centre on the night of the attacks at 11pm to see how he could help. He delivered food and water to family and friends of the victims in hospital ever since. He did not charge people and put up a sign on his car saying 'Free Taxis'. People who did not have money or a phone – he also helped them with a phone to call home or took them to hotels, which offered rooms for free of cost. Singh believed this was a part of his duty as a true Sikh.

and langars of rice, dal and chapati to those who went hungry. A minute of silence was observed at St Anne's Square and a vigil was held where thousands had gathered to pay tribute to those lives lost and hurt. The Queen visited the victims in the hospital and police carried on a series of raids, and well-wishers have also been seen laying floral tributes, candles, teddy bears and messages of support across the city to remember those killed and injured. A fund set up by the M.E.N. to help the families of those affected has already passed the £1,000,000 mark, with celebrities around the world sharing the appeal.

back on his feet". Mr Sullivan told BBC Radio 5 Live he wants to help the 'hero' by paying for his accommodation for six months and some money to help him turn his life around, as a thank you gesture.

Naveed Yasin

Homeless men helped victims Two homeless men begging at the Manchester Arena as the suicide attack went off have been praised after helping the victims in the immediate aftermath of the attack. Chris Parker, 33, had

Muslims fear backlash Not only lives have been lost, and people police are making many more arrests with terror connections, but this attack has put many important questions forward, including how Britain will cope with its local bred terrorists who are dangerous, ruthless and brainwashed by fundamentalists, and growing within the state like cancer. It also raises questions about integration of the Muslim community in the UK and the consequences they face due to a small minority's brutal actions. On last Tuesday, members from the Ahmadiyya Muslim community were seen standing with a poster at a vigil that read,

“Love for all, hatred for none” and “Promoting peace and harmony in society”. The Muslims or even in that case, anyone who is 'brown' and living in the UK, is not wrong to anticipate a backlash and fear for their safety in the current scenario. Infact a hero surgeon who battled to help the Manchester terror victims for 48 hours was racially abused and branded a terrorist on his drive back to work. Naveed Yasin told the Sunday Times a white middle-aged van driver wound down his window and hurled the racist slurs as he drove to Salford Royal Hospital to continue treating the victims. The man screamed: "You brown, P*** b******. "Go back to your country, you terrorist. We don't want you people here. F*** off." The Evening Standard reported that the shocked Mr Yasin said his own daughter could have been caught up in the Manchester Arena concert bombing that killed 22, as she had wanted to see Ariana Grande. He spent a hectic first 48-hours after the blast treating the injured but was hit with the torrent of abuse as he drove back to work the next day. The surgeon, who grew up just 30 miles away in Keighley, West Yorkshire, said he was taken aback by the hatred. But he told the newspaper: "Manchester is better than this.

Didsbury mosque faces criticism The mosque where the Manchester bomber Abedi prayed has come under scrutiny after it emerged at least two other British recruits of the Islamic State also allegedly worshipped there. Last week, trustees of the Didsbury Mosque and Islamic Center issued a statement condemning as an act of cowardice the Manchester Arena bombing by 22-year old BritishLibyan Salman Abedi. While Mosque elders have allegedly been inconsistent in their remarks about Salman Abedi and his attendance at the mosque, they have also refused to allow the media into the mosque and tried to block a Muslim reporter from the BBC from entering to pray. The mosque has apparently been receiving threats and hate mail and is being guarded by police and the elders are fearing being misinterpreted.


UK

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Asian Voice | 3rd June 2017

Oxford university to include compulsory study on Gandhi for history students After a major shake up in curriculum, History students at Oxford University will have to take an exam paper on non-British and non-European topics. The University will make it compulsory for history students to sit one of a number of papers on topics such as the influence of Martin Luther King or Mahatma Gandhi, The Guardian reported. The move has been welcomed by campaigners who say that universities focus their syllabuses too much on white British history. Though it is widely believed that the change

has come after recent student-led campaigns such as the “Rhodes must fall� movement or the UCLfounded “Why is my curriculum white?� campaign, but Oxford has insisted that it was not the result of external pressure. While Marie Rodet, senior lecturer in the history of Africa at SOAS University of London, suggested that it was overdue, Vinita Damodaran, professor of south Asian history at the University of Sussex, reportedly said the move would force students outside their comfort zone

5

and that other universities should follow suit. Damodaran reportedly added that schools should also broaden their curricula, while she stressed that it was important for universities to be proactive in hiring non-white academics and introduce black writing and women’s writing to curricula. Oxford and other universities have come under attack for the small number of black undergraduates that they enrol. In fact former prime minister David Cameron had also criticised it for taking only 27 black students in 2014.

Grammar school accused of “sexualising young girls� In a triggering incident, female students at a Grammar School were banned from wearing strappy or sleeveless tops. As pupils at the secondary at the Simon Langton Girls' Grammar School in Canterbury chose to beat the week's mini heatwave with strappy or sleeveless tops, the school fought back with a ban, finding their outfits inappropriate. The move triggered a local outrage with parents unhappy from the “obvious sexualising� of their daughters. Sixth-formers who are allowed to wear their own clothes had to cover up on the headteacher's instructions. “What century are we in?�

a mum asked. “It is silly rules like this that distract students from their studies. I'm not interested in what they look like, as long as they're not offending anyone, it's the work that's important.� Meanwhile, angry students have now begun a petition, asking for the school, founded in 1881, to drop the rule that states that students in the sixth form should not wear “strappy� or “sleeveless� tops that reveal their bare shoulders. The petition, which has already received 130 signatures, states, “This rule encourages the disturbing sexualisation of young girls' bodies, most of which are underage.�

ground. This was a cowardly attack on a young woman who was out enjoying the warm weather in the company of her friends. I believe the public can help further and would appeal for anyone who knows anything about this attack and those responsible for it to

come forward and tell me and my officers what happened.� He added, “The two suspects have both been described as medium build, dressed in all dark clothing and having their faces covered to hide their identities. This fact alone would have made them stand

Launched by one of the students, Maddi Lane, it further adds, “The argument that shoulders shouldn't be seen in a workplace is irrelevant, as our generation is the future workforce. It is our job to change the oppressive and demeaning standards that women are forced to abide by, or nothing will change in the future.� Headmaster Dr Matthew Baxter defended the decision saying, “The subject was discussed with the deputy heads. It has been decided that both Langton schools will ensure that the same dress code applies to all students within their sixth form.�

Innocent 20 year old fatally shot A 20 year old woman was shot dead in broad daylight as she simply stood talking with her friends in north-west London. Mo hanna Abdhou, Montana to her friends, suffered severe gunshot injuries in Kilburn, last week, and was pronounced dead on the scene of

crime. The group was reportedly approached by two males in bicycles before she was shot, Scotland Yard informed. DCI Andy Partridge said, “It was still daylight when this attack took place and the location is very near a children's play-

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Indian Journalists' Association celebrates 70th anniversary Rupanjana Dutta The Indian Journalists' Association celebrated 70 years of it formation at a small gathering in India club on 29 May, the venue that hosted many many pro-independence meetings for India League before 1947. The event on Monday was graced by the richest man in the UK- G P Hinduja, along with hotelier and Chairman of Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan Joginder Sanger and Vitabiotics owner Dr Kartar Lalvani. Deputy High Commissioner of India to UK, Ambassador Dinesh Patnaik addressed the gathering saying,“IJA started in 1947 and seen how UK-India relationship has progressed over the years...We are here in a very interesting time and these are times to work together. Our work is to provide you information as much as possible and in the last 6 months we have developed an excellent relationship between the journalists and High Commission of India. We are in the process of redoing the High Commission,

Deputy High Commissioner of India Ambassador Dinesh Patnaik attends the event

we are setting up a journalist lounge, where journalists can have access to informations.” He was accompanied by the Director of Nehru Centre and Minister for Press, Information and Culture Srinivas Gotru and R S Virdi Second Secretary, Press and Information from the High Commission of India. Gopi Hinduja, who has supported the IJA through fundraising dinners and several other occasions said, “Among journalists I

can see old faces and new faces, I have been directly associated with the association since 1978. IJA has a very important role- post Brexit there is so much to do for IJA. Media is a lense, if you have a transparent lense, it helps even the decision makers to take the right decisions- moralistic, realistic journalism helps from all aspects.” The Indian Journalists Association (IJA) was formed on May 29, 1947, weeks before India’s independence, as a representa-

tive body for UK-based correspondents and journalists reporting on and covering India and South Asia related issues. IJA’s membership today comprises of foreign correspondents as well as journalists of Indian origin working for mainstream media and journalists working for British Asian news organisations. The President of the organisation is veteran journalist Ashis Ray and Secretary is Rupanjana Dutta. IJA has hosted many important events that has been attended by Heads of state, heads of government, members of royal families and eminent persons in various walks of life. Guests have also included former Indian PM Jawaharlal Nehru, Sarvapalli Radha krishnan, Lal Bahadur Shastri, Indira Gandhi, Morarji Desai, P V Narasimha Rao, Rajiv Gandhi, Atal Behari Vajpayee, Clement Atlee, Harold McMillan, Alec Douglas Home, Harold Wilson, Edward Heath, James Callaghan, Margaret Thatcher and the Duke of Edinburgh.

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She’s 80, no way Tolerance and patience are a key part of living a worthy life, says Jayaben Gopalji Parmar, who turns 80 this weekend. She explained: “Life brings opportunities, challenges too. How we deal with life’s ups and downs is in our hands. We need to celebrate good times, but equally we shouldn’t shy away, but rather learn from bad times.” Jayaben’s two sons, four daughters and the extended family have organised a special party in her honour to mark her milestone birthday. “My family are my greatest asset,” Jayaben smiled. Sharing the same birthplace as Mahatma Gandhi, Porbandar in Gujarat, India, where she was born in 1937, Jayaben, eldest daughter of Ravjibhai Bhoja and Santokben Katwa, married Gopaljibhai, eldest son of Rancchodbhai Mulji and Jamnaben Parmar in 1952. Jayaben moved from the Kenyan capital Nairobi to England in March 1970 with five young children and settled in Birmingham. In February 2014, she lost her soulmate, “I miss him very much,” she says. “Not a single day goes without me remembering him.” Blessed with 12 grandchildren and 16 great-grandchildren, Jayaben is proud of her family. Jayaben is “really looking forward” to being surrounded by all her family at a prestigious vegetarian restaurant in Birmingham this Saturday. The team at Asian Voice and Gujarat Samachar wish Jayaben a happy 80th birthday and a healthier future.

BA union blames outsourced Indian IT jobs for meltdown

Satisfy your Indian food cravings at Darjeeling Express A new self-taught chef has a variety of piping hot Indian food to offer at her first permanent restaurant at this year's London Food Month. Asma Khan, founder and owner of Indian street food kitchen Darjeeling Express, is all set to open her establishment at Kingly Court, just off Carnaby Street by the end of June. However, she will serve a few preview dishes at the free-to-enter, oneday Carnaby Street eat

festival on June 3. A trained constitutional lawyer, her menu will include masala chai, lamb samosas, and Calcutta puchkas. Khan, 47, said, “This will be a taster of some of the foods I will bring to Darjeeling Express. It will be a great way for me to introduce my food and also for me to get to know my neighbours.” She will also host the 'Come Aboard the Darjeeling Express' event on June 25, Sunday, at her

Two new Gujarati hopefuls for Parliament Continued from page 3 In Brent North, Barry Gardiner won his seat from veteran Tory MP Sir Rhodes Boyson in 1997 as part of Tony Blair's landslide election victory. With their opponents having represented their constituencies for several decades, Resham and Ameet are hoping to tap into a mood for generational change and a fresh approach, as Britain faces a historic crossroads with its negotiated exit from the European Union. The two Gujarati hopefuls joined Priti Patel and Shailesh Vara at the UK-India Awards last week. Speaking afterwards, Priti Patel, Secretary of State for International Development said: "Resham and Ameet are both young and dynamic candidates who represent the very best of British and Indian values: hard work, enterprise, responsibility, and the importance of education, family, faith and community." Shailesh Vara, former Justice Minister and Chairman of Conservative Friends of India, added: "Resham and Ameet will make excellent local Members of Parliament - representing all their diverse constituents - and also provide a strong voice in Westminster under the leadership of Theresa May."

Asma Khan

new restaurant, which will be a traditional celebratory Eid feast. After moving to Cambridge from Calcutta in 1991, Khan said she was “forced” to learn to cook as neither she or her husband, an Economics lecturer, could. Her food journey saw her make several long trips home, learning to cook authentic Indian food from her family. Khan later began selling samosas on the streets to raise money for a relief effort in then war-torn Yugoslavia. She instinctively quit her legal training after moving to London, and began supper clubs at her home in South Kensington. Khan gives credit to Simon Quayle, executive director of Shaftesbury, for

encouraging her to open a restaurant. “Simon was a real influence as I never wanted to open a restaurant. I am really excited to do it now. I can't wait to get in the kitchen.” Kitchen staff at the Darjeeling Express are Indian housewives and second-born daughters, employed through word of mouth or friends. Khan wishes to encourage women from traditional backgrounds who feel underappreciated, or had few opportunities. One of the many festivals taking place in London Food Month, Carnaby Street Eat will see the area's restaurants, bars, and cafés serving up £5 tasters of their signature dishes and drinks, from noon to 6 pm.

Over one third of British Airways flights were cancelled from London's Heathrow Airport, leaving thousands of passengers stranded for a second day, following a massive global computer failure. The GMB union has now reportedly blamed the airline for outsourcing hundreds of IT jobs to India last year for its current problems. Their website states that the union had warned BA against outsourcing hundreds of IT jobs to India last year. GMB national officer for aviation is quoted as saying then that a march will be held “in protest as the company plans to outsource and offshore work to one of the biggest IT majors in India.” The website also adds that the Indian IT major “will need to carry out work in the UK and they will bring workers from India to fill the jobs of the ex BA workers.” Departures from London's second major airport, Gatwick, were delayed, but none were cancelled, as the airline asked people to check the status of their flights travelling to the airport. It had earlier said it plans to resume most of its flights out of Heathrow and Gatwick airports on Sunday, after a massive IT

system disruption grounded planes over the weekend. “We are aiming to operate a near-normal schedule at Gatwick and the majority of services from Heathrow on Sunday,” the airline said. A spokesperson added, “We are continuing to work hard to restore all of our IT systems. We are extremely sorry for the huge disruption caused to customers throughout Saturday and understand how frustrating their experiences will have been.” The GMB union said the “meltdown” could have been avoided if BA hadn't made hundreds of IT staff redundant and outsourced their jobs to India. Mick Rix, national officer for aviation at GMB said, “This could have all been avoided. In 2016, BA made hundreds of dedicated and loyal IT staff redundant and outsourced work to India. BA have made substantial profits for a number of years, and many viewed the company's actions as just plain greedy.” The airline is now expected to cough up huge sums in compensation, including costs of hotels, transport, and meal expenses for stranded passengers.


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Brit-Asians raise questions on immigration and Operation Blue Star at London political hustings Rupanjana Dutta British Sikhs are demanding for an in-depth and further investigation into UK's involvement in 1984 Operation Blue Star under the Conservative government when Margaret Thatcher was the Prime Minister. It is believed that the then Prime Minister of India, Indira Gandhi had allegedly sought UK's advice in how to carry out the operation at the Amritsar temple. The Labour party this election has included this as a subject in their manifesto, promising further inquiry into the matter. At a political hustings before UK's general election organised by the City Hindus Network and City Sikhs Network on Friday 26 May, at the Chartered Insurance Institute in London, each political party had a representative present, who answered questions raised by the attending audience. Speaking about the investigation, Labour MP

Moderator Neel Pattni (centre) and compere Jasvir Singh OBE (standing) with David Kurten AM, Shaliesh Vara MP, Stephen Timms MP and Baroness Lindsay Northover (L-R)

Stephen Timms insisted that his party is committed to a detailed investigation into the matter, if they win this election. He also referred to their manifesto which says, “Labour remains committed to an independent inquiry into Britain’s military role in the 1984 raid on the Golden Temple in Amritsar.” But Conservative representative (at the hustings)- Shailesh Vara MP

said, there are more informations to come and a further decision needs to be taken about whether a detailed inquiry is required at all. Liberal Democrat party representative Baroness Lindsay Northover however insisted that there are a number of complicating indications, and you have to look at evidences closely to address this concern. Immigration from India was also one of the

concerns that was raised at the hustings. Asian Voice wanted to know why should Indians living in Britain vote for any party that is anti-immigrant, while UK is desperate for a greater friendship with India post Brexit. Commonwealth citizens including Indians living in the UK for more than 6 months are allowed to vote in any of the UK elections. Shailesh Vara MP, an immigrant himself, repre-

senting the government said, “Britain's relationship is over 400 years. We are not stopping migration. It is an island nation, with more than 64 million people; we are not saying no to immigration but we want it to be restricted.” Though the Labour manifesto has not highlighted anything about allowing a free exchange of immigrants from India, Stephen Timms MP emphasised that Tory

party's determination to cut down the immigration figure to 100,000 will affect the Indians. He criticised Tory Minister Priti Patel who had promised the Indians a better job prospect in the UK post Brexit. That had indeed influenced many Indians to vote for the 'Leave' campaign. Lib Dem's Baroness Northover added, “India has made clear about free migrants. But Indians are suffering because of the restrictions on foreign students – including them in migration figure.” Other subjects in the discussion included security issues and 'prevent strategy' in the light of Manchester bombing along with other subjects such as banking and financial crisis, mental health, climate change, peace and security, brexit and benefit cuts. UKIP was represented by David Kurten. The compere for the evening was Jasvir Singh OBE and the panel was moderated by Neel Pattni from the City Hindus Network. Asian Voice was the media partner, among other sponsors at the event.

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17AWARDS th

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ASIAN ACHIEVERS

The people’s choice awards

An appeal from Nainika's parents to save lives

TM

Is there someone you know who has broken boundaries and deserves recognition for their unique contribution to the Asian Community or the Nation

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?

Nominate them for the 17th Asian Achievers Awards

The prestigious Asian Achievers Awards is hosted every year by UK’s leading news weeklies Asian Voice and Gujarat Samachar to honour British Asians par excellence.

Deadline for nomination 31st July, 2017 NOMINATION FORM Please  tick the appropriate category

Achievement in Community Service In recognition for an individuals service to community. Woman of the Year The award will recognise and honour a woman who has made a significant mark in any chosen field. Sports Personality of the Year Awarded for excellence in sports. Business Person of the Year Awarded to a business person who is a success in every sense of the word and can demonstrate a genuine passion for social issues. Lifetime Achievement Award To honour those individuals, who during their lifetime, have made immense contributions in any given field. This remarkable individual can be marked as an example for the younger generation. Uniformed and Civil Services For outstanding achievements in uniformed and civil services or contribution to the community through any of the above services. Entrepreneur of the Year Awarded to an entrepreneur with a proven track record of operating a successful business enterprise. Professional of the Year Professionals in the field of medicine, law, education, banking, finance and others, who have scaled the heights of their chosen profession. Achievement in Media, Arts and Culture Someone who has made a mark in media including print and broadcast media; cinema, art and culture.

Details required for filing the nomination Please email/post the below details on a separate sheet I Nominee's Name, Occupation I Nominee's Contact Details (Tel/ Email) I Award Category: (choose from the category above ) I Reason for nomination I Nominees Accomplishments /Awards/Recognitions I Personal background /CV/ Bio (Attach these documents if necessary) I Any other information you would like to include about the nominee I Your Name/ Contact details(Email/Phone)

Make sure that you fill in this application form and send it on or before 31st July, 2017 by post, fax or email to Mr. L George, Tel: 020 7749 4013, Fax 020 7749 4081, Email: aaa@abplgroup.com. If you are sending it by post the address is Mr. L George, ABPL Group, Karma Yoga House, 12 Hoxton Market, London N1 6HW.

Our 9 year old daughter, Nainika Tikoo died as a result of anaphylaxis owing to an allergic reaction to blackberries. On Monday, 22nd May 2017 she was declared brain dead but since her heart was still beating, she was kept on ventilator for a few days. On Thursday, 25th May 2017 we finally had to set her free and take her off the ventilator and life support. We knew she was allergic to dairy and she had Asthma so we looked after that for the last 9 years. We had only one major incident in these 9 years with a few minor incidents intermittently. She had never eaten blackberries before and somehow on Saturday 20th May 2017 morning she wanted to eat blackberries and asked Dad to put them in pancakes. Both were busy making dairy free pancakes not knowing what lay ahead. Having taken one bite of the pancake, she immediately reacted and within minutes despite immediate medical attention at home - Epipen and also the paramedics having arrived within 5-7 minutes of the incident, she passed out turning completely blue. She lost her pulse, breathing and had a cardiac arrest. For over an hour, there was no oxygen supply to the brain that caused irreversible dam-

Nainika Tikoo

age to it and ultimately resulted in her death. A nightmare we will live and relive every single moment of our lives remaining. Having had the opportunity to discuss in detail the incident and her case history with the allergist, we are saddened to note that one in 3 children are Allergy sufferers in the UK. Every single one of them is susceptible to severe allergic reaction to something else and potential death. Both Vinod (Nainika's Dad) and I (Nainika's Mum) are very shaken by this horrible incident and would like to make our little contribution to support research and work done on allergy care in the UK. So much remains to be desired in this space and there are many lacunae in the primary care, institutional support including at schools, day care centres,

child minder settings, disconnect between primary care and specialist support for allergy sufferers, no progressive care plan for allergy sufferers, near absence of adequate awareness on low profile allergies and much more. Vinod and I have set up a justgiving page to request for donations to contribute to supporting allergy care, research and awareness building towards allergies in children. Whilst a small donation will be greatly appreciated, more importantly, we look forward to everyone’s support in helping build awareness about allergies in children. We hope that this shocking incident that has shaken millions will be able to bring sharp focus on severity of allergies in children and perhaps may be able to save lives! Link to the fundraising appeal: https://www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/Nainika For more information, people are welcome to write to us on: kaullakshmi@gmail.com We have decided to set up a Trust dedicated to Nainika – “Nainika Tikoo Memorial Trust for Allergy Care” to help support work in the field of allergy awareness and asthmatic research. Thank you, Nainika’s Mum & Dad

Sari-clad women to spread an important message at the London 2 Leicester Car Rally Z Club Coordinator Gul R Billimoria, along with Dolly Contractor and 100 other women draped in the nine yards and flaunting traditional Indian jewellery, are all set to participate in the London 2 Leicester Car Rally to be held on June 4. The 'Saree in a Gadi- Car Rally' will commence from the auspicious BAPS Swaminarayan Hindu Temple, Neasden, along with a police escort, spreading important messages; 'Save Girl, Educate Girl', Women Empowerment, and Education. The London 2 Leicester Car Rally will be spearheaded by Bharulata Kamble, originally from Navsari, Gujarat. Inspired by the Modi Government’s 'Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao', Save Girls, Educate Girls, and Women Empowerment and Education campaigns, she

made a solo trip from India to the UK, crossing 32 countries, and the Arctic circle, spreading awareness, and is the first woman to drive solo through the Artic Circle and transcontinental journey combined. She has also received several accolades for her achievements, the recent one being from Prime Minister Narendra Modi in New Delhi. The Indian Government launched the 'Save Girl, Educate Girl'

programme under the leadership of Modi, in a bid to end gender-selective abortion of the female foetus. A rampant problem in the country, there are over 40 million less females as compared to the male population. India also harbours a third of the 10 million child brides in the world. The rally is open for all, and those interested can participate with their families. Ride for a social cause, and help build a stronger nation.


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Asian Voice | 3rd June 2017

Rani Singh, Special Assignments Editor

Leading Lights

Anil Ranchod; Passionate about Preventing Stroke Trajectory to 2017.

Anil Ranchod’s childhood experience of injustice under an apartheid-style government influenced his adult choice of career. He found he could best channel his energies by fighting injustice in the charity health sector. Meet Anil, the Deputy Director of PR and Communications at the Stroke Association.

Anil was made redundant in 1993 from that company and a friend of his managed to get him a temp role at the NSPCC for six weeks. During that time the job was advertised and he got the role as Marketing Assistant. He believes that this was a pivotal moment in his career. “I love the impact that I’m having; because I believe we’re making a real difference. `We’re saving lives, we’re changing lives. One of the main reasons for working in the charity sector is that I abhor injustice. Working in charities gives me the chance to fight injustice for our beneficiaries in a small but significant way,” he comments.

Background Anil was born in Bulawayo Zimbabwe, with an interesting mix of parents. “My father is Gujarati Indian and my mother is a mix of South African Cape Malay and white British,” he says. Anil Ranchod grew up under the Rhodesian ‘apartheid’ system – white minority rule. He remembers; “one of my earliest memories was not being allowed to go to the cinema because it was ‘whitesonly’. I remember being upset and questioning my mum repeatedly about why we couldn’t go in when other children were allowed to. On the whole, I had a happy childhood, but that one incident has stuck with me. We were not allowed to mix with white kids or black kids, we were forced to mix with our ‘own’, not by choice.”

Why did Anil get involved with the Stroke Association?

Anil Ranchod

Anil Ranchod studied up to A’Levels. “I wanted to go to university, but unfortunately we couldn’t afford it. So I got a job working in a bank and in 1990 I left for London.” He

did lots of different temporary jobs before securing a sales manager role which involved setting up and managing a small mail-order business in 1991.

He tells us, “My best friend’s mother was a very tall, proud, noticeable woman and when she had her stroke in Zimbabwe, they didn’t have the medication or the treatments that she needed. She was left very severely disabled. It killed me inside and I never want to see anyone go through that. “Stroke kills twice as

there still so much that we many women as breast don’t know. The Stroke cancer and more men than prostate and testicular Association launched a cancer combined. People campaign this May called of South Asian, Black ‘Change the Story’ to raise African and Black more money for stroke Caribbean descent research. Current levels of research are twice as likely funding equate to have a stroke to £48 for at a younger Many every stroke age than their professionals patient, white councompared to terparts and attribute £241 per perit’s likely to strokes to our son with canbe more lifestyles and cer and £118 debilitating our diet. per person then it would with dementia. be for white This is a major people. We don’t gap and we want to know scientifically raise more funds for why, as there is no scistroke research but we ence or research to say it’s can’t do it alone. I’m invitspecifically any one thing. ing our communities to all However many professiontake up the challenge, so als attribute it to our lifestyles and our diet.” that together we can conquer stroke.” Mini-strokes are Finally, Anil tells us about the symptoms to dangerous. watch out for, using the FAST test. “A mini-stroke or TIA “F - Face, look out at (transient ischaemic the person’s face, is it attack) is a warning sign drooping on one side, ask that a major stroke is more them to smile. A – Arms, likely to occur. However, they might not be able to the symptoms can last for raise both arms or they anything from 15 minutes might go numb. S – to 24 hours and then they Speech, is their speech go away. Recent research slurred? Are they able to found that a third of all say their names? If you stroke survivors could recognise any ONE of develop dementia within those signs it’s T – Time to five years of their stroke. call 999. Our website is a There is some research great place for informathat connects minition www.stroke.org.uk.” strokes to dementia, but

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READERS’ VOICE

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Asian Voice | 3rd June 2017

Conservative party does not help newer immigrants

I am a young second generation Gujarati. My parents migrated here in the 1970's. I am writing to urge readers to vote against the Conservative party in the upcoming election. Conservative policies tend to help rich people, not poorer people and newer immigrants... this may feel reasonable to some of us now that many Asians are wealthier and feel comfortable in the UK. However, did you realise the Conservatives are selling off the NHS to profit-making companies, who plan to charge patients for seeing the doctor, operations, medicines? Already we are seeing that healthcare quality is declining. Many of you readers will be of my parents' age. Your generation took difficult migration journeys to be here. You dealt with separation from loved ones, cold weather, long work hours and sometimes racist behaviour, to provide a better life for your kids. Many of you experienced poverty and hardship. My generation's success is because of your hard work. As a community we also benefitted from free NHS healthcare, as well as schooling, social housing, worker's rights, disability welfare. I'm grateful for these social services too. When you vote on 8th June, I urge you to think of future generations again. The NHS is currently the best, most efficient healthcare service in the world! All of our children, whether they are rich or not, deserve access to the same kind of healthcare and other services that you enjoyed. Please don't vote to take these important life-giving services away from them. Once the NHS is gone, it's gone forever. As a community, we can use our votes to make a difference. Please find out which party is most likely to win against the Conservatives AND protect the NHS in your constituency. Please vote for them and encourage your friends and family to do so too. Shilpa Shah London

Long waits Any Asian entrepreneur wanting to get rich quickly should consider starting a big taxi business in Southampton. This city hosts a number of cruises throughout the year attracting thousands of passengers, yet taxis, as I and my family discovered recently, are extremely scarce. After disembarking there from a Mediterranean cruise, we waited in a long queue for over one hour before we were picked up. Instead of a massive taxi rank ready to serve passengers, just a few taxis ferried passengers to and from the terminals to the city centre at extended intervals. I would advise entrepreneurs who are interested to go there and see the taxi situation for themselves before making a decision. Rudy Otter Via email

Yug Purush - Shrimad Rajchandraji I take exception to the “indignant” Upendra Kapadia’s comments on my letter (AV 13 May) about the Mahatma’s mentor. I would refer him to the article about this drama on page 17 of the same issue of AV which corroborates everything that I have said in my letter. I quote the relevant paragraph verbatim from that article as “The historical significant, yet little known relationship between Mahatma Gandhi and “his spiritual mentor”, Shrimad Rajchandraji was a friendship that framed the character of Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi into the “Mahatma” and shaped the independence of India through the principles of non-viloence and truth.” I would ask Mr Kapadia to go through this article with a fine tooth comb and then retract his unwarranted comments. If Gandhiji himself referred to Rajchandraji as his spiritual mentor, then what is Mr Kapadia’s problem? Everything that has been said in that article and elsewhere would conclude that Shrimad Rajchandraji did direct Gandhiji towards the path of non-viloence and truth.I would also ask Mr Kapadia to read the article on Gandhiji’s and Rajchandraji’s relationship as mentor and disciple on page 6 of May 13 edition of Gujarat Samachar which corroborates the contents in my letter. If one is under the misconception that Ramayana and Mahabharata taught the lessons of “ahinsa”, then who killed Ravana in Ramayana and why Pandavas and Kauravas killed their cousins? Dinesh Sheth Newbury Park, Ilford

Voting Labour will put the clock back by 40 years Writer Niranjan in his letter of AV May 27 has quoted the Labour leader as Jermy Crrbyn and not as Jeremy Corbyn. He has then gone to speak about Boris Baker. There is no one in the Tory party by that name. There is, however, Boris Johnson.Niranjan ought to get is facts right before putting his pen to paper! He probably was not around in the late 1970’s when the Trade Unions were the bosses of the Labour Government and they still are its paymasters. The country was the sick man of the Europe and we had nothing but strikes of one kind or the other. Does he remember the dustmen’s strike when the rubbish was not collected for god knows how long or does he remember people could not bury their deceased loved ones? Does he remember the miners strike? No he does not. Voting Labour will put the clock back by 40 years. The world has changed but the the way Labour party works has not. Subhash Patel Via Email

Blunder at election time I admire Manoj Ladwa who is devoted member of Labour Party, widely trusted and admired amongst British Indian community. He even tirelessly campaigned for Sadiq Khan for a while resulting in many members of British Indian community voting for him at the last Manorial election. Likewise I have great respect for Labour MP Virendra Sharma who, along with Conservative Bob Blackman attended many EDM sessions in HOC, supporting India when most Conservative and Labour Friends of India MPs even failed to turn up. So the alleged statement by Virendra that Pakistan does not harbour terrorists, or instigate cross border terrorism, flies in the face of truth and reality, especially the entire international community condemned the attack on Mumbai, planned and executed from Pakistan, involving ISI. (Inter-Services Intelligence) Perhaps it could be understandable if it was made in unplanned, heated discussion. But in view of his subsequent statement that this election should be about improving people’s lives and turning our back on politics of the division I fully support, makes it even more confusing as to why he even mentioned Pakistan in his election address when he should have rightly concentrated on local issues like mental health he passionately supports. Even Labour’s manifesto has ditched its long standing principle of non-interference in Kashmir without a murmur from muzzled “Labour Friends of India” making us wonder where we would stand if fiduciary Labour without principle wins! Bhupendra M. Gandhi Via Email

The Treaties of the European Union are strong and stable The Single Act on 17 and 28 February 1986 introduced qualified majority voting; legislative cooperation between the Council and the European Parliament; and move towards a large internal market. Maastricht Treaty on 7 February 1992 brought about move towards the Euro; Justice and Home Affairs; and Common Foreign and Security Policy (CESP). Amsterdam Treaty on 2 October 1997 appointed a High Representative for the CESP; Integration of the Schengen acquis; Human Rights; Sustainable Development; and Crisis Management Capacity. Lisbon Treaty on 13 December 2007 introduced the concept of Legal Personality of the EU; Law making parity between the European Parliament and the Council; The Council became an institution; involvement of national governments; and Charter of Fundamental Rights. A strong and stable negotiator in the U.K. will face an equally strong and stable negotiator in the EU. EU, USA and China are three large economies worth $17 trillion each. Our strong and stable leader with an economy of $2 trillion in unlikely to play a major trading and/or currency role on the world scene. It is more likely that our strong and stable government may bring about weak and unstable growth for many years to come after we leave the EU. Half of the foreign trade in the EU is intra-trade between member states. If the terms of leaving the EU are to the detriment of U.K. Economy, remaining a member of EU should be an option to consider. Nagindas Khajuria Via Email

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Horrors of systematic failures

The apex court sentenced the four surviving convicts of the December 2012 Jyoti Singh Pandey (Nirbhaya) gang-rape and murder case to death and said that the intentions of the convicts made this one the 'rarest of rare' cases where the death penalty had to be given. Just four days after the apex court’s verdict, in Rohtak district of Haryana, a 23-year-old woman was gang-raped, mutilated with sharp weapons and killed in a moving car. The sentencing to death in the December 2012 Nirbhaya (Jyoti Singh Pandey) case might bring some measure of closure for the family of the victim. But will it really make a difference in India's shameful statistics on sexual violence? The chief minister of Haryana, Shri Manohar Lal Khattar, in his election campaign proudly said, "If they (women) want freedom, why don't they just roam around naked?" Besides institutionalised prejudice, weak investigations defeat the purpose of legal provisions and lead to acquittals. When the mutilated body of the Rohtak victim was taken for post-mortem, the police described the corpse as that of an unknown male. The vacuum created by such systemic failure is, unfortunately, being filled by State-sponsored vigilantism that blurs the line between consensual sex and sexual violence, and the difference between goons and the police. I strongly feel that the Rohtak gang-rape case should also be considered as the 'rarest of rare' and that the guilty should be sentenced to death. Isn’t India the rape capital of the world? In Mumbai too women cannot walk freely on the roads in the day time. I feel ashamed to call myself an Indian because the Prime Minister and the police are doing nothing to bring an end to these rapes. Jubel D’Cruz Via Email

Gambling addiction that ruins families

According to a latest report, financial losses by addicts have been laid bare, and brought into the public domain for the first time. Our “High Streets” are over populated with betting shops, once famous for horse and dog racing but now one can bet on any event, sporting, political or social. Gambling has become sophisticated, internationalised and so often controlled by overseas Mafia who may use personal information to their advantage. Online betting where one can participate from the comfort of one’s home is spreading like wild fire, trapping the old, infirm and bored OAPs, living on their own, and are unable to go out. We all receive tempting offers to open accounts with first few bets free or certain amount deposited into our accounts as opening bribe, providing financial details including bank accounts and credit card information. It may start with mild flirtation but one is soon addicted to a frenzy of speculation with increasing frequency. The worse financial meltdown is created by so called “Fixed-odds Betting Terminals” (FOBTs) where punters can bet £100 every twenty seconds. There are 35,000 such machines where punters have lost some 1:8 billion in a year. Although Councils try to hold back permissions to open “Betting Shops” on high streets, the Gaming Industry is on the high and no political party has openly pledged to control these evil industries that ruins families, even make them homeless and on rare occasions youngsters commit suicide if involved in spread betting. Kumudini Valambia Via Emai

Installing crosses in India

R. N. Patel in Asian Voice, 27 May issue, has rightly answered Jubel D’Cruz for his habit of heavily and blindly criticizing and accusing the Indian government. But Jubel D’Cruz is right too, for defending matters pertaining to his religion. If he sees demolition of religious “crosses”, he has right to oppose. This defence of religion must be learnt by Hindus. The very trait of Hindus to hide in shell of tolerance, ahinsa and equal respect to all religions is not the language of today. The whole world has become a village and each has to play an effective, equitable and contributory role at a visible and physical level. The western world has recognized the need of physical sustenance and survival, and has given life surviving technology. The Hindus still insist on turning a blind eye to ground reality, sit on yogasan and appear to do nothing. But, Jubel D’Cruz must not dwell on petty matters like “cross”. Christian world in India is troubled by problems and malpractices within the faith. He can rectify these at a personal level, and grow into a national scale. He can also contribute to many charities and charitable works undertaken by fellow Christians. Support Christian soldiers in Indian army, navy and air force. Ramesh Jhalla Via Email


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Asian Voice | 3rd June 2017

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POLITICAL PERSONALITY Uma Kumaran:

UK Prince William speaks candidly about his mother, mental health and stability at home

Smita Sarkar It will be 20 years this August since the tragic death of Diana, the Princess of Wales when the young Prince William and Harry were vulnerable and her untimely loss left deep scars in their young minds. Two decades later, the royal family is finally coming out and openly discussing their long and painful bereavement in a free-spoken interview to The Telegraph. Saying that he is now in a place where he can talk about her frankly, he said stability at home was “so important” to his family as he promised to bring his children up outside the palace walls, just as his mother tried to do with him. He also said that he would have loved her to to meet his wife and to have watched their children Prince George and Princess Charlotte grow up. In an interview with GQ magazine, to publicise mental health charity Heads Together, he said that the 20th anniversary than he and his brother Prince Harry will be commemorating this summer, sees him “in a better place about it than I have been for a long time, where I can talk about her more honestly, and I can remember her better, and publicly talk about her better.” “Stability at home is so important for me. I want to bring up my children in a happy, stable, secure world and that is so important to both of us as parents... the media make it harder, but I will fight for them to have a normal life,” he said. The full interview will be published in the July edition of British GQ.

Leading Canadian Immigration lawyer visits London to assist British nationals Shirish P Chotalia Q.C, a leading immigration and litigation lawyer with more than 30 years experience; a record of successfully litigating critical and controversial cases against the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration that have developed into precedents - will be visiting London from 26 May to 5 June. During her two-weeks stay in London, Shirish will be meeting up with British lawyers to network about assisting British nationals on the opportunities to migrate to Canada. You can contact her for immigration-related issues at the following local number: 07875229088 or write to her at Shirishchotaliaqc@gmail.com Details about her company and her work is available at http://www.shirishchotalia.com/ and http://www.canadaimmigration-lawyer.com/

Evasive partners prompt women to freeze eggs It has been stated that women prefer to freeze their eggs now because of their male partners' non-committal ways. As men put a visible lack of interest in pursuing a family, current generation women choose to freeze their eggs in a promise of future security. Female fertility is known to rapidly decline after the age of 35, unlike men, who remain fertile until their fifties, and sometimes older.

U

ma is a consummate profesIt’s very ‘un-British’ and flies in the sional whose undying passion face of modern multiculturalism. and sincere drive to do better Why is our ethnicity being used has determined the majority of her against us? You wouldn’t target success: great coincidence then that English households that way. We do she works in the people’s arena of have to ask questions about the state politics! Outspoken, down-to-earth, of modern politics when that’s the and even effusing an air of sophistiextent to which particular politicians cation, the 30 year-old social activist will go. Why talk so invasively about is currently a political advisor to the caste politics and the commonwealth Local Government Association when our hospitals don’t have and Labour’s Shadow enough ambulances and the Communities. She also police force is being cut represented Labour so drastically? 150 There have for the highly conpolice officers were been crude, tested seat of removed from my Conservative Harrow East in the constituency alone. 2015 general elecWe have to stand up wins in the past, tion, going on to as an Asian commubut that was in consult for what nity against this the Seventies and became Sadiq because we are more Eighties! Khan’s victorious than just one, reducmayoral campaign. tive identity. We might “What was best about have our individual comrunning as a Labour MP,” she munity concerns, but we are told us, “was having the ability to first and foremost British. We should speak to thousands upon thousands not be treated as ‘the other.” Indeed, of people first-hand, and hearing going back to Sadiq’s spectacular about what mattered to them. win, no paper could deny his relataGranting people a voice and leading bility and warm, universal appeal was a clean campaign is so important in what moved the diverse London elecpolitical representation. That’s why torate. “It is almost unprecedented,” Sadiq really succeeded: he genuinely Uma observed, “to have so many difcared about the different constituenferent people want to wish one cies of London, and wanted the spepolitician well. The public regularly cific changes for them. From come up to Sadiq, thanking him for addressing the concerns of the next what he’s done.” Another notable – generation for affordable housing, to almost unheard of – achievement funding the NHS and getting the was Sadiq’s campaigning selfie being night-tube finally running, he spoke featured on the Ellen DeGeneres to all ages and races. He ran the best show; an internationally loved US kind of politics; focussing on action talk show. The jovial Ellen had asked and not just the words. What he ceraudiences to submit their best imitatainly didn’t do was sink to the tion of her group shot at the Oscars depths of his opponent (Conservative as part of a competition. Thus an runner Zac Goldsmith), who focussed inside look at Uma’s journey refreshon his Muslim cultural background ingly reveals the virtue of her field: and resorted to smear tactics.” treating people as civic equals and not a steely marketing strategy. *** Uma speaks from her personal experience when she was campaigning. The daughter of Hindu, Tamil parents who fled from Sri Lanka in the midst of a civil war, the young candidate was attacked for siding with the prospect of anti-caste legislation, which was a huge issue at the time, when she was running for MP for Harrow East. Tory leaflets accusing her of wanting to break up tradition were disseminated to Indian households as part of party propaganda for the now sitting candidate Bob Blackman. “That this happened was absolutely shocking,” Uma commented on the issue. “This was deeply – and culturally – divisive, and a clear example of gutter politics. There have been crude, Conservative wins in the past, but that was in the Seventies and Eighties! You do not expect that now.

TLIGHT

The Sadiq Khan mayoral campaign selfie which made it on to Ellen

Sunetra Senior

Prince William with his late mother Princess Diana

SP

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Labour is closing the gap with the Tories: what will be the pivotal issues in the Snap Election? The NHS, economy, education, Brexit and more recently May’s proposed ‘Dementia Tax.’ People will want to know who will care for the elderly and vulnerable among us. They will want to know why the older generation should lose their homes to pay for their own social care. In recent weeks, with the tragedy in Manchester, people will also be looking carefully at national security. Has there been a trend in what matters to the Asian Community? Without wanting to generalise, the trend for the last election was that 1 million individuals from the BAME community voted Conservative for the first time. The majority still votes

Labour, but people are digressing from their parents’ traditional paths. The Asian community is doing very well, branching out from business to the arts, education, finance and politics so I think that’s reflective of being more free and voting for who we individually relate to. Tell us about your LGA consulting role? It’s a cross-party organisation. What we do collectively – the three main parties and other independent groups – is lobby on behalf of local governments so individual council issues have due weight in Parliament. From rubbish collecting to business negotiations and social care – we make sure the voices of councils are heard. The ability to sit around the table and discuss common issues with other parties has been a unique experience. Political advisors are the unknown faces helping politicians tick along. What is the key to your success? I have genuine passion and enthusiasm, and my judgement is very sound. I’m not afraid to speak my mind. It’s especially important as a woman because it’s easy to have your voice drowned out in such a heavily male-dominated field. I’m very political right down to my little toe – I can’t stand by, allowing injustice. Would it be correct to say that passing anti-caste legislation was about progressing tradition, and in that sense, also protecting it? Exactly - it’s not community blaming; it’s about addressing any given issue, and if certain people are exploiting any group, we should address that whether Hindu or not. Ironically, in India itself Modi has outright condemned it. What’s a misconception people have about being an MP that simply isn’t true? That all politicians are in it for themselves; most are genuinely invested in the local politics of their area – across all parties. It’s a lot of stress too – it’s not easy being accessible through social media 24/7 and constantly scrutinised. Finally, where do you envision yourself in the future with your career? Still in politics, making a difference. I want to give people the same chances I was offered in life. I have truly benefitted from the best of Britain and I want everyone to have these same chances. Twitter: @Uma_Kumaran


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MEDIA WATCH

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Asian Voice | 3rd June 2017

A bleeding heart is the mark of a poseur driven by an unctuous concern for the alleged victims of injustice. Such concern is manifest from a safe distant well out of harm’s way. It makes waves for a while and by the time these survive the bleeding stops and the heart beats faster for the proverbial 30 pieces of silver earned from the publicity stunt. The Kolkata-based broadsheet Telegraph (May 25) produced this brazen headline on its front page: ‘Ground Zero disagrees’. What about, you may well ask. If you didn’t guess, or second guess, it was about Major Leetul Gogoi’s decision to strap a miscreant to the front of an army jeep as it trundled through a Srinagar suburb, where stone-throwing jihadis and separatists had long made this an enjoyable sport for the faithful. The salutary effect in this instance was that the entertainment ceased, if only temporarily, and an unaccustomed peace reigned. No one was injured, no life was lost. The ends justified the means. This was not what the script was meant to be. Defence Minister Arun Jaitley announced that he had given the Army authority to respond to any given situation as it chose fit. This was clearly in keeping the public mood. The Army Chief General Bipin Rawat issued a commendation to Major Leetul Gogoi for his action. The Congress party has expressed full support to the Army for its Kashmir operations. Contrarian midgets are now the lonely hearts.

Insensitivity So the paper correspondent, Muzaffar Raina, travelled to a nearby village to be told by its denizens that the Army’s estimate of the size of the crowd at the polling booth was inflated. These local elections were suspended in face of widespread violence. The use of the words ‘Ground Zero’ was not merely a hyperbole, it was grossly insulting to the hundreds of bereaved in New York, when an aircraft piloted by jihadis on a suicide mission on 11 September 2001 crashed into one of the city’s iconic building and destroying it and murdering many hundreds of people, mostly American, but also including myriads of other nationalities as well. It was a dastardly deed, and an insensitive allusion deserving of the utmost contempt.

Pakistan bunkers destroyed In retaliation for the decapitation of two Indian soldiers a fortnight or so ago, the Indian Army launched swift retaliatory strikes against Pakistani positions along the Line of Control in Kashmir and destroyed them. A 22 minute video of the actions were release, but operational detains were withheld. Pakistan issued a denial these actions had taken place (Hindu, Business Line, Times of India May 24)

FIPB scrapped Government has abolished the Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB), declared Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, as part of the reforms to boost funding by foreign investors for local industries. This was keeping with his budget pledge in February. ‘From now on work related to processing and approval of FDI [Foreign Direct Investment] would be done in consultation with the department of industrial policy and promotion.’ The move will avid the need for multiple clearances (Business Telegraph May 25)

Canada incident The previous day (May 24) the Telegraph’s front-page lead story made a meal of a Canadian government refusal to issue a visa to Tejinder Singh Dhillon, a respected retired Inspector General of the Central Reserve Police Force, (CRPF) because of the alleged violations of human rights by the CRPF. See how foreign countries react to such things, was the tone of the report. A retraction followed the next day (May 25) on the front page, admittedly, but in a modestly designed single column. The Canadian government had not only issued an unreserved apology, but its High Commissioner in New Delhi, Nadir Patel, had stamped the visa and enclosed a free ticket to Canada to Mr Dhillon.

Brain drain to Brain gain

NRI scientists Meanwhile, the Department of Science and Technology is drawing up a scheme to attract Non-Resident Indian scientists on a longer term basis. The programme is to be called Visiting Advanced Joint Research Faculty Scheme will enable accomplished NRI scientists to undertake research in India for three months every year, while granting them the status of adjunct faculty in an Indian institution round the year (Hindu May 24)

Nitin Gadkari

would be able to meet its target of constructing 40kms of roads per day from the present day 23km per. He emphasized the need for State government cooperation in land acquisition, prevention of encroachment and forest clearance the fulfillment of the goal. He said his ministry was concentrating on getting foreign investment to speed up the pace of road development. ‘Last year we awarde contracts for 16,800kms and that is a world record. We are going to send for the Guiness Book of Book of

UP horror repeated Suresh Prabhu

once the freight corridors were completed by 2020 the tracks would be decongested, with notable improvement in rail speed and punctuality. With GST (Goods and Services Tax) in place and changes in the revenue and fare structure and measures to construct a comprehensive road-rail system the railways will reach a new level, he said (Mint May 25)

Mum’s five ascents of Everest

The stretch of roads between Greater Noida and Bulandshahr was the location of a gang rape and murder horror, a woman the victim, a protesting male relative shot dead by the criminals. It wasn’t the first such gruesome crime, and you can bet it won’t be the last. Uttar Pradesh has long been India’s worst badland (Bihar being the second). Shamefully 15 such incidents have occurred across the State in the past year, of which seven were in Bulandshahr. One year of robberies and ape and still no action. That is the state vof law and order UP. (Times of India May 26)

Maximum UK work visas for Indians

India eyes $1 trillion digital openings India plans to expand its digital economy to $1 trillion by 2022, said Electronics and IT Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad. He said the

Anshu Jansenpa

Anshu Jamsenpa climbed Mt Everest five times. Her latest

Britain issued the highest number of skilled work visas in 2016 to Indians. Indians accounted for 58 per cent of the total skilled work visas last year, the United States was the second largest. The IT sector sponsored 42 per cent of the Indian applications, followed by professionals, science and technology activity, and financial and insurance services, according to the Office of National Statistics in London (Times of India May 26).

Historic bridge Inaugurated

Six million jobs in three years: Gadkari Road Transport and Highways Minister, Nitin Gadkari, said he was confident that by March 8 next year the government

venture on May 16 has been described as the fastest double by a woman. when she unfurled the Indian Tricolour on the world’s highest peak. Anshu, aged 37, was the first mother to do so thrice, twice in May 2011 and again on May 18, 2013. The first double ascents in 2011were accomplished 10 days apart, the latest, spaced five days. In all, she has climbed Everest five times, the first woman to have done so. (Times of India, Telegraph May 22)

World Records,’ said Minister Gadkari (Mint May 23) Over 1,000 Indian scientists working abroad have returned to India in the last two-three years, said Dr Harsh Vardhan, Minister for Science & Technology. ‘They feel that India is changing and they can fulfil their ambitions here. They are finding that opportunities in India are better. From brain drain, we now have a scenario of brain gain’, he said. Dr Vardhan said many of these scientists were attracted back to India through fellowships such as the Ramanujan Fellowship .

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Ravi Shankar Prasad

government had roped in consultancy firm McKinsey to help draw up a roadmap to achieve the target. ‘That roadmap will talk about what the government needs to do, what industry needs to do…Different sectors such as healthcare and education, what they need to do.’, Currently, India’s digital economy is estimated at about $270 billion. It includes sectors such as fintech, communications, e-commerce, cyber security and electronics (Business Line May 24)

Dramatic change in Railway experience Passengers will experience a dramatic change in railway experience in speed and punctuality by 2020, promised Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu. He said that reforms and investment introduced into the Indian rail network have started showing results, that there would be competition from cheaper flights, so that the railways would remain form of mass travel across India. Minister Prabhu explained that

India’s longest bridge spanning 9.2 kms across the mighty Brahmaputra River was opened by Prime Minister Narendra Modi last weekend. ‘The bridge, named after the noted Assamese singer, Bhupen Hazarika, spans the Brahmaputra from Assam into Arunachal Pradesh is a strategic shift in the thinking of the Indian defence establishment. It will be India’s gateway to South East Asia and should bring significant benefits to both sides (Times of India, Hindu May 27).


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CULTURE

14

www.asian-voice.com AsianVoiceNews

Asian Voice | 3rd June 2017

The tabla genius with the Bootless Beatles Smita Sarkar Sandip Chakravorty, aka Sandyman will be playing the tabla at three-hours long prestigious show of The Bootleg Beatles and the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra, at The Royal Albert Hall on 1 June 2017. As a part of the 50 years of SGT Pepper celebration, the performance will have songs with Indian elements, and having performed for Sir Paul McCartney and HM The Queen on earlier occassions, the master percussionist was the preferred choice for the performance. “India and Beatles always had a strong connection. Between 1966 and 1968 the group wrote three songs written by George Harrison in the Indian style. So the Sitar and Tabla was very much used with the Beatles Music,” said Sandyman. Born and raised in London, Sandyman moved to Kolkata, India at the age of 8 to learn the Tabla. He trained for up to eight hours everyday under the able guidance of wellknown pundits in percussions and came back before

in the UK. “Actually tabla today is slowly fading away from South Asia, as electronics has taken over. Tradition tabla has to learnt through the Guru Shishya parampara with a lot of patience and practice. “I would really like the younger generations to be interested in Tabla, learn and dedicate themselves, i Sandyman during a performance can see them taking it to the apprearing for his GCSE. mainstream junta in Mass “My first performance quantity. Hopefully one was at Royal Albert Hall, day all top of the charts and I have performed with will have some elements of global artists Ustad Rahat Tabla," hoped Sandyman. Fateh Ali Khan, Bappi Sandyman has been Lahiri, Anup Jalota, Kumar Programme Directing at Sanu, Malkit Singh, Arjun, various Asian Melas and Runa Laila, Mumtaz, community get-togethers Andrew Kishore, Alaur like Baisakhi mela and has Rahman and many more.” anchored for music-based Sandyman is the proprogrammes out of prietor of the Guru Soundz London for television music store, http://www. channels like Bengali gurusoundz.com and has channels like NTV, ATN been an avid contributor and Star Jalsha. to the Asian Music circles

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AsianVoiceNewsweekly

Celebrate the Indo-UK year of culture at Anand Mela on 17th and 18th June

Charusmita Running its 7th year, Anand Mela is a two-day family fest that attracts around 6000 visitors every year. Organised by the ABPL Group, the event will be held at Harrow Leisure Centre, Christchurch Avenue, Harrow HA3 5BD on 17th & 18th June 2017, from 10am to 7pm. There will be ample free parking for visitors and easy access for goods. The event will be covered by the press. There will be a wide range of stalls to attract the attendees, ranging from food and drinks to beauty, fashion, wedding, health, and so on. The mega fest will also include cultural performances on stage throughout the two days by established performers, as well as community organisations and school children. Hope for Children, our Charity Partner for Anand Mela 2017, is an international charity that passionately believes every child has the right to a happy, healthy and positive childhood. Hope for Children enables vulnerable children to experience a positive childhood by improving their access to education and healthcare whilst empowering their families to support themselves. To light up the stage this year, the performance line-up includes noted singer Navin Kundra, Honey’s Dance Academy (HDA), Mira Salat of Mira Performing Arts, singer Kishan Amin, East West Fusion Dance Group, AK Dance Academy, singer Adriana Galani, London Sharad Utsav, singer Raja Kashif, Bilete Bengali Group, and Indian Ladies in the UK (ILU), besides several other classical dance and musical performances. Navin Kundra is one of the strongest forces in the contemporary British Asian music industry. He is a multitalented singer, songwriter and musician and has six number one smash hit singles and a Guinness World Record. Honey Kalaria is a choreographer, dancer and Bollywood specialist. She

has worked with esteemed celebrities, such as Shah Rukh Khan, Hrithik Roshan, Aishwarya Rai Bachchan and Beyonce. Kishan Amin is a versatile performer with various feathers in his cap, such as Sufi music, Bollywood style, and devotional singing. AK Dance Academy specialise in Bollywood dance and fuse it with a variety of other dance forms, such as classical, traditional, modern contemporary and hip hop. Established since 2009, East West Fusion dance group specialises in diverse dance forms including Contemporary, Bollywood, Semi-Classical, Indo-Jazz, and Hip-Hop. Also joining the Mela from Vienna is

Adriana Galani, who is well known in UK, India and Eastern Europe for her bilingual musical talent. The ILU Group, which connects Indian ladies across UK, will also be enthralling the audience, besides the Bilete Bengali group and the noted London Sharad Utsav which bring together multi-talented individuals from across the UK. Mira Performing Arts, which specialises in classical dance recitals, will also feature on the stage at the Mela. All the money made from ticket sales proceeds of Anand Mela will go to Hope for Children charity. Tickets for the fest are £2.50 and can be purchased on the day itself. Entry is free for children under the age of 12. For stall booking and further details, please contact our office at 020 7749 4080. We look forward to seeing you there! Twitter:@anandmelaUK


ELECT NAVIN SHAH ON 8TH JUNE ELECTION

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AsianVoiceNewsweekly

15

Asian Voice | 3rd June 2017

Our popular Labour Candidate for HARROW EAST

STANDING UP FOR HARROW

My total commitment to Harrow

I’m a proud resident of 40 years plus of Harrow with an unparalleled track record of working with residents, community groups and businesses. I have served Harrow first for 20 years as a Harrow Councillor – 2 of which were as the Leader of the Council - and then for the last 9 years as London

Assembly member representing Harrow and Brent. I’m proud of my work as an anti-racist campaigner and given my professional experience as an Architect I’m passionate about our environment. The biggest issue in the next Parliament will be Brexit. Harrow deserves an MP who will work for a sensible agreement, which will not damage the interests of the people of Harrow, whether they voted Remain or Leave. I promise to hold the government to account and not give them a blank cheque to fanatically pull us out without a trade agreement. I will continue to campaign as I have always done for Harrow’s NHS, Police, Schools and Council to receive their fair share of funding. Unlike my Tory opponent, I will not be afraid to upset Ministers by demanding that Harrow public services should not receive less money from central government than other

I champion successes for you 1 Lifts for Stations: Successful campaign leading to securing funds for lifts at Harrow On The Hill Station and now working on making Stanmore Station step-free. 2 Hindu Schools: Pioneered Hindu School in Harrow and continuing to support further developments including the new secondary school in Harrow now under construction. 3 Care Home for Hindus: Actively supported the development proposals for care home and flats promoted by the Willesden Temple for Swaminarayan and Hindu communities.

5 GOOD REASONS TO VOTE FOR NAVIN SHAH

1. Navin will fight hard for a sensible Brexit that doesn’t harm Harrow. 2. Navin will fight for action on climate change and to protect Green Belt. 3. Navin will work to unite all communities and fight hate crime of all kinds. 4. Navin will continue to campaign to get dedicated neighbourhood police teams in Harrow. 5. Navin will demand more funding for our NHS, particularly mental health service.

5 Foreign Language Exams: Successfully fought axing of GCSE qualifications for various mother tongue languages – including Gujarati.

Colette Feighan Accessibility Campaigner “I’m delighted to have been part of Navin’s dogged and successful 10 year campaign to get lifts at Harrow on the Hill station. Soon people who are disabled, elderly or have children will be able to use this major facility. Next stop –Stanmore! Navin has shown himself to be a true local champion and will be a great Member of Parliament.” Dennis Tyler Former Member of Police Panel “Navin is fighting to keep our local police station open in the face of savage Tory cuts to the police budget. He has successfully worked with the Mayor of London to reinstate local community policing teams. As someone who is always promoting the safety of residents Navin would be a strong voice for us all in Parliament.” Vinod Kapashi Community Leader “Navin is well known as an effective anti-racist campaigner. His work to strengthen community cohesion helped Harrow win the national ‘Beacon of Racial Equality’ award. His record of working with Harrow’s religiously and culturally diverse communities and faith groups makes him an ideal choice for Parliament.” PROMOTING LOCAL BUSINESSESS & ECONOMIC REGENERATION

boroughs. My guiding principle will always be, “What is in the best interests of Harrow.” Unlike the Tory incumbent, I will work constructively with the Mayor of London and Harrow Council. My priority will be to ensure that we keep Harrow the safest borough in London and that we build more appropriate affordable homes. I am opposed to building on green belt and oppose inappropriate skyscrapers.

I believe in bringing together all our diverse communities and not dividing them. That is why I am proud of my record in public service promoting

Harrow’s economy relies on small and medium size businesses. I’ve been approached by several traders in Harrow who are terrified about Tory plans to hike Business Rates which would be fatal for their business. I’m campaigning for immediate reversal of these crippling tax rises. I support Labour’s pledge to cut tax on profits for small businesses and scrap plans to report profits on a quarterly basis. On the London Assembly, I have driven policies that will help new businesses to start up and existing businesses to grow, which creates new jobs and revitalises the local economy. If elected I will continue to push national and our local government to support small and medium businesses which are the engine of our economic growth. With Brexit, international trade links will be even more crucial and to this end I will energetically pursue stronger economic ties with India. PROTECTING OUR SCHOOLS / EDUCATION

equality, justice and fighting discrimination. I ask for your trust to continue to serve the community of Harrow East.

You have a clear choice on 8 June

4 Culturally specific Services: I’ve pioneered a number of services and facilities such as pure vegetarian meals for ‘meals on wheels’ service and Asian Care Home for Learning Disabilities.

We’re supporting Navin Shah

Supporting Hindu Schools in Harrow: I’m proud that the nation’s first ever government funded Hindu school was pioneered under my leadership of Harrow Council – I remain an avid supporter of this school. I’m delighted that the Secondary Hindu School is now being built in Harrow and am currently working with parents and the school to address the issues of drop off and pick-up of the pupils at Avanti House Primary School. Tory Funding Cuts to Harrow Schools: Harrow’s schools are facing £15 million Tory funding cuts, which amounts to a loss of £508 per pupil. As a school governor, I know these cuts will have a devastating effect on our schools and our children’s future. I will actively fight these short-sighted cuts that have no educational or economic logic. Labour Investment in Education: Unlike Tory plans to destroy our education Labour will be investing £25 Billion to restore maintenance grants and abolish university tuition fees. We will also help limit class sizes and extend provision of childcare.

Promoted by Keith Ferry on behalf of Navin Shah both of Harrow East Labour Party, 18 Byron Road, Wealdstone, Harrow HA3 7ST. Printed by ABPL Publications


16

ELECTION

www.asian-voice.com AsianVoiceNews

Asian Voice | 3rd June 2017

May tries to woo the Indian community with a Hindi song and video with Modi A slick video with a foottapping song in Hindi called 'Theresa ke saath', and images of Prime Minister Theresa May wearing a sari and meeting Prime Minister Narendra Modi during her November 2016 visit to India, has been released by the Conservative party to woo the 1.2 mn Indians living in the UK. It is a known fact that former Prime Minister David Cameron was a favourite among the Indian community living here and the Indians helped the party to win the 2015 election. Though Theresa May's campaign has so far only addressed the mainstream Britain, it has last minute come up with this video to get Indians to vote Tory. A similar Hindi video was released before the May 2015 election about the then party leader, David Cameron, with the Indian

community. Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi had featured in several Conservative party posters at the time and also in the 2016 London mayoral election. The latest Conservative video shows May wearing a sari and participating in ‘arti’ during her visit to the Someshwara temple in Bengaluru. It also shows

May at a Diwali reception at 10, Downing Street, at a visit to a temple in London wearing salwar kameez, and at other India-related events. The song’s lyrics thank the Indian community for its support during the 2015 election, when large sections of the community swapped from its traditional support for Labour.

The 2015 Hindi video was titled ‘Neela hai aasman’ (Blue – the Conservative party’s colour – is the sky). The political lyrics of the latest one titled ‘Theresa ke saath’ are: "doston, dhanyawad, shukriya, meherbani Ab phir samay aya hai, saath nibhane ka Pichle samay jo saath nibhaya, uska bhi salam Doston, dhanyawad, shukriya, meherbani Theresa May ka saath nibhana, Conservative ko hai jitana Paanch sal Theresa May ke saath, yahi hai vatan ki shaan Theresa May ka do sab saath, sthir rahegi British sarkar Ayegi sab ke jeevan mein unnati aur vikas Sukh dukh mein rahega Theresa May ka saath Doston, dhanyawad, shukriya, meherbani."

Labour launches Race and Faith manifesto

Jeremy Corbyn, Leader of the Labour Party launched its Race and Faith manifesto on Tuesday at an event in Watford, outlining its commitment to racial equality and detailing how the Party’s manifesto benefits BAME communities. The 17 pages manifesto is divided into several sections and sub sectionssuch as employment, eqaulity in work places, new deal for businesses, young people, brexit and human rights, cohesive communities, better representation in public life, health, education and criminal justice system. Jeremy Corbyn, Leader of the Labour Party, told Asian Voice, “Labour is the Party of equality. We were built on the values of social justice, internationalism and human rights. Our values are rooted in the fundamental truth that whatever your background, wherever you are from, you should have the means and opportunity to fulfil your potential. “People continue to be treated unfairly due to their ethnicity or faith. The recent rise in hate crimes, including AntiSemitic and Islamophobic attacks, underscores how far we still have to go. Labour will repair the damage done by the Conservative Government, which has sown the seeds of division in our communities. “Only Labour can be trusted to unlock the talent of Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic people, who have been held back by the Conservatives. We will guarantee equality is at the heart of our programme for government. “Labour will imple-

Jeremy Corbyn interacts with NHS representatives

ment a comprehensive strategy for racial equality, one that effectively challenges the disadvantage many Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic communities suffer. We will work every day for a fairer society, where every person is enabled to get on in life, regardless of race, faith or ethnicity, to build a Britain that works for the many, not the few.” The party believes it is based on equality. Though it has lost the British Hindu votes to the Conservative party since 2015, the party is trying it's level best to woo back those lost voters.

In the manifesto, the party has promised to: Introduce equal pay audit requirements on large employers. l Launch an inquiry into names-based discrimination and consider rolling out name-blind recruitment practices if necessary. l Boost the income of Black, Asian and minority communities by introducing a Real Living Wage of £10 an hour by 2020. l Support small business and ensure anyone bidding for a government contract pays its suppliers within 30 days and reinstate the

The manifesto addresses small and medium businesses

lower small- business corporation tax rate. l Abolish unfair unemployment tribunal fees and create statutory time-off for Equality Representatives in the workplace. l Implement the Parker Review recommendations to increase ethnic diversity on the boards of Britain’s largest companies. l Enhance the powers and functions of the Equality and Human Rights Commission. l Take robust action against violence and hate crime, developing a crossdepartment strategy to deliver strong and cohe-

sive communities, and recruit 10,000 more police o cers to work on community beats. l Review the Prevent programme with a view of assessing its effectiveness and potential to alienate minority communities. l Develop new effective measures, which are community-based and intelligence-led to reverse the dangerous growing problem of extreme or violent radicalisation l Launch a consultation into racial diversity of representation across the party and develop a new leadership and training programme for future Black and Asian local government and parliamentary candidates. l Continue to work with the media to encourage and support further inclusion and opportunities celebrating Britain’s diverse communities. l Reverse the damage done to mental health services and develop a strategy to address race inequalities in mental health services. l Work with NHS providers to develop guidance on food labelling to have due regard to faith and cultural requirements of patients. l Raise Carer’s Allowance to recognise the contribution of unpaid carers many of whom are from Black and Asian communities. l Reintroduce Education Maintenance Allowance and student maintenance grants, and abolish university tuition fees and college fees for adult learners. l Work to eliminate institutional biases in the use of stop and search powers and deliver policing by consent.

AsianVoiceNewsweekly

Reena Ranger a strong contender for Conservative's Birmingham Hall Green

Reena with PM Theresa May

Rupanjana Dutta Cllr Reena Ranger is no stranger to the British Asian community. Daughter of a renowned entrepreneur and patriot, Dr Rami Ranger of Sunmark Ltd, Reena established herself as a leading woman and ideal for the diaspora. She is young, grown up locally in the UK, does not fear to speak her mind and approaches issues with a smiling face- something that gives her an edge above many others. She currently sits as a councillor on Three Rivers District Council, in northwest of London and is the founder and chair of advocacy group Women Empowered. Though Reena has grown up in London, standing from Birmingham Hall Green, she actually symbolises a typical British Asian dream- to represent her own community in the UK Parliament. Birmingham Hall Green has been a Labour constituency since 1997, but that has not dampened Reena's spirit. Speaking to Asian Voice exclusively, she said, “We have a female Prime Minister. The Conservative Party has returned 100% of the female Prime Ministers this country has had. We have a proud record of female ministers and senior ministerial roles have been held by

women. “I feel our participation in politics is vital. This is our country, our home, our world and our participation is crucial at all levels to ensure it looks after us and we look after it. There are so many ways to get involved, the first step is to always vote after making an informed decision.” Ranger will be running against Labour party's Roger Godsiff, who has been on his seat since 2015 with a vote share of 60%. When asked why locals should vote for her, a confident Reena told the newspaper, “There are many reasons but I think foremost comes my dedication to being a community-centric Member of Parliament and my desire to be a force of positive change. The top three priorities I have if elected are to: “Support Therasa May's strong and stable leadership, backing her plan to make a success of Brexit for Birmingham Hall Green. “Be an active and accessible constituency MP who will hold jobs and apprenticeship fairs to boost employment in Hall Green and “Work with Mayor Andy Street to improve rail capacity and back plans to reopen Mosley & Kings Heath railway stations.”

Green Party launches BME manifesto Green Party will publish its BME manifesto on Friday that demands an end to the scapegoating of migrants and reform of stop and search and Prevent. It calls for the Minimum Income Requirement on British citizens wanting their partner to join them in the UK to be abolished and demands an end to indefinite detention for immigration purposes. The Green Party also wants asylum processes to be changed, allowing asylumseekers the right to work while their claims are pro-

cessed, and more funding to ensure that asylum cases are completed quickly and fairly, with reforms to the asylum support system to meet the needs of all. The BME manifesto includes policies on Work, Migration, Communities, Democracy, Housing and Education. On Work, a headline policy is the introduction of anonymised CVs in businesses with more than 50 employees, so that fewer female and BME candidates applying for jobs risk being screened out before the interview stage.


ELECTION

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AsianVoiceNewsweekly

Your vote; your choice Free, fair and fearless elections are the basis of a democracy. Britain has the longest, and to us, most vibrant people's democracy. It is not only our right to exercise the franchise, it is our civic duty and an obligation. After all we receive the government we decide, we deserve. Never before Asian Voice and Gujarat Samachar have received so many views and opinions from our readers. We are most grateful to them all. Yes the present election is not because of the constitutional requirement, it happened because of the decision of our Prime Minister in the last 2 months. It is futile to look back and analyse the pros and cons of the general elections, referendum and snap election. British Indians/Asian electorates in the last 6 decades have seen, participated in various elections. This time perhaps our voters are more alert, and more aware of the importance of their vote. In 2010 and 2015 elections British Indian voters especially Hindu, Sikh, Jain electorates have played a decisive role, so say the experts. The three principal parties in the UK have presented their policies and plans in their manifestos. Inevitably there are huge differences and even contradictions. The main two contenders have an enormous burden or responsibility of factual and honest policy presentation. We have seen their pronouncements in various interviews and debates. Readers, however humble they may be, they have been able to see the wood behind the tree. They welcome the realistic promises and are horrified with the utopia oriented humbug they have been watching. In our opinion, the best approach is to look at the candidates rather than the political parties they represent. This view may raise some eyebrows but ultimately the elected MPs give the party not only the power but enough resources to reflect and chart out the future course of action.

Asian Voice and Gujarat Samachar believes:

l

Each one of our vote is very important. Every voter must cast his or her vote to the party of their choice, and more importantly the candidate who qualify their criteria of selection. l Is the candidate capable? What are his/her special skills? l Whether as a former MP or a budding politician, has he or she in your opinion/experience, service as the main motive or power at any price. l Our representatives must be hardworking, honest, responsible, able to deliver with due diligence and without arrogance. l Does the candidate or even the party take cognition of our values i.e. culture, faith and traditions. With all three main parties having “Friends of India” as umbrellas, where do they stand, vis a vis false, irresponsible and misguided accusations or claims against India whether within the parliament or outside? Several readers have shown their unhappiness against MPs who say one thing within the four walls of a private meeting and speak totally differently outside. There is no consistency or conviction. You must as a voter look at the public life profile of the candidate, whether new or old one. Several letter writers have shown the vast gap between the announced policies without proper and convincing statistical details which smacks of vague and false promises. Vote you must, vote carefully, as each vote matters. Great Britain is our home, we the voters of the Indian subcontinent origin, are not asking for special treatments or favours, but we need to support those who nurture our values and who do not ignore nor denigrate us or our interests to suite their narrow political purpose. - Editor

A scope for Asian MPs

Continued from page 1 The Labour party has maintained its numbers to 14 and very interestingly the Liberal Democrats, the third pole in British politics after Conservative and Labour, hoping to win the support of the large number of people who voted to remain in the European Union, have fielded in 14 Indian-origin candidates this election. On Tuesday morning though Mr Corbyn Labour party has also launched their Race and faith Manifesto, which outlines many areas where the ethnic minority suffers from inequalities. At present there are 41 nonwhite MPs elected to the House of Commons, 6.3% of all 650 MPs. If non-white population were represented proportionately in the House of Commons, there would be around 84 Black and Asian MPs. However after Jeremy Corbyn’s sterling performance on Monday night, his shambolic interview on Tuesday morning where he could not give the cost of his signature childcare policy, Labour party has again dragged itself back to the starting point. Embarrisingly Barry Gardiner was left all at sea over his leader’s benefits policy after he seemingly

contradicted Corbyn on whether benefits would be frozen or not under a Labour Government. Gardiner has also been criticised by the Indian voters, who claim he has not done enough for the community, despite being the Chairman for the Labour Friends of India for years. The political parties have put Asian candidates against long term MPs in Asian populated areas, as well as Asian candidates against MPs of same ethnicity. A trend that was vaguely observed in former elections, is now very prominent. How many of those are winnable constituencies are not clear, but a think tank recently said that the number of British Asian MPs may increase marginally in this year's election. According to the think tank British Future, there is a chance that the Conservative party could win seats in unforeseen places. Both Labour and Tories and now the Lib Dems have repeatedly stressed their commitment to ensure wider ethnic minority representation in the Parliament, though they have been formerly criticised for fielding ethnic minority candidates only in so-called 'safe seats'

rather than in 'marginal seats', which are difficult to win. British Future have analysed trends that saw 10 British Asian candidates elected to Parliament in the 2015 election, and it is believed that Conservatives may increase their score slightly. However, there is likely to be a drop in the Labour party’s score which perhaps would lead to a total increase of one or two British Asian MPs only. Currenty the House of Commons have five Indian origin MPs viz. Priti Patel, Alok Sharma, Shailesh Vara, Rishi Sunak and Suella Fernandes. This year the party has nominated Rahoul Bhansali, Samir Jassal, Ameet Jogia, Resham Kotecha, Reena Ranger, Meera Sonecha, Minesh Talati and Paul Uppal. While Samir is contesting the general election second time in a row, Paul Uppal used to be a MP from Wolverhampton SouthWest and lost his seat in the 2015 election. But Among the new Tory entries, Ameet Jogia, Paul Uppal Reena Ranger and Resham Kotecha have high possibilities of winning in their constituencies in Brent North,

EXCLUSIVE

17

Asian Voice | 3rd June 2017

A moment of huge national opportunity PM Theresa May There is one overriding question at this election: who can provide the strong leadership to get Brexit right and use it to improve the lives of people across the UK? There could not be more at stake, because getting these negotiations right is an opportunity to change Britain for the better, not just for the next five years but for the years beyond. I have an ambitious vision for Britain after Brexit, forging a new global role for the UK beyond the continent of Europe. That is why my first trade mission as Prime Minister, last November, was to India which resulted in £1.2 billion worth of business between the UK and Indian companies. I am determined that in the years ahead we should forge an even closer bond between the people of our two great nations. With approximately 1.5 million people of Indian origin in the UK, the Indian diaspora plays a vital role in our national life. Asian entrepreneurs, business people and public servants make an immense contribution to our society, leading by example, working hard and getting on in life. British Indians, for example, have an employment rate of 73.4%, the highest of any ethnic minority community. However, research suggests there is a 17 per cent pay gap for A-level educated Black, Asian and ethnic minority people and 10 per cent at degree level. This injustice of people from different ethnic groups being paid differently based purely on the colour of their skin must end. So we will make large employers reveal the differences in how they pay people from different ethnic groups, as we ensured they do for women. It is important that at this great moment of national change, we take a step back and ask ourselves what kind of country we want to be. After last week’s callous terrorist attack in Wolverhampton SouthWest, Birmingham Hall Green and Coventry NorthWest respectively. The Labour party has five Indian origin MPsKeith Vaz, Valerie Vaz, Virendra Sharma, Seema Malhotra, Lisa Nandy and many other MPs of Pakistani and Bangladeshi origin. The party has fielded former Lambeth Mayor Neeraj Patil, Kolkata boy Rohit Dasgupta, Hitesh

Theresa May visits Nishkam Sikh School in Birmingham

Manchester, I have been proud of the way the country has come together and shown, beyond any doubt, that these things will never divide us. I have always been clear that I want a country that works for everyone. And I firmly believe that we can – and must – take this opportunity to build a Great Meritocracy, a country where we see people able to get on through their own talents no matter what their background, no matter where they’re from. To this end, my first act as Prime Minister was to establish an audit of racial disparities which will shine a light on how our public services treat people from different backgrounds. It means the public will be able to check how their race affects how they are treated on key issues such as health, education, employment and childcare. It will make for uncomfortable reading when the results are published in July. But a Government led by me will not shy away from those difficult truths and we will act on its findings. Our manifesto sets out a plan to provide a stable growing economy, and a stronger, fairer, more prosperous Britain. Unlike Labour and the Liberal Democrats, we will protect and enhance faith schools, and allow grammar schools to expand in areas where parents want them to. Our record is clear – my team has enabled local communities to set up Hindu and Sikh Free Schools, such as the excellent Nishkam Sikh School I visited in Birmingham

recently (see photo). These schools give parents more say in their children’s education. We will lead the world when it comes to online regulation, so that our young people have their welfare and security protected when they go on the internet. And we will launch a national campaign to increase the number of ethnic minority organ donors to cut the long waiting times for patients from those groups and save more lives. Our industrial strategy will provide the highlypaid, highly skilled jobs of the future - a future in which Britain and India should work together to realise our full potential. With so much in common when it comes to trade, values, culture and, of course, people, ours is a natural partnership. No G20 country has invested more in India since the turn of the century than Britain, while India is Britain’s secondbiggest jobs creator. But we can go further. We can grasp the opportunities that Brexit brings to create more jobs, more investment, more trade and more collaboration. That is why it is essential we get the negotiations right. That will require leadership from a prime minister who is strong enough to stand up for Britain, and a government that is stable enough to steer the country safely through the critical years ahead. This election is a moment of huge national opportunity. Let us use it to create a country that truly works for everyone.

Tailor, Navin Shah AM, Navendu Mishra, Tanmanjeet Singh Dhesi, Kuldip Singh Sahota, Manjinder Kang and Preet Kaur Gill. If Dhesi and Gill win, they will be the first Sikhs to enter the House of Commons. The Lib Dems have fielded 14 Indian origin candidates viz. Isabelle Parasram,Gitanjali Gordon, Shweta Kapadia, Anita Day, Harrish Bisnauthsing, Marisha

Ray, Parmjit Singh, Anita P r a b h a k a r , Reetendranath Banerji, Nigel Bakhai, Dave Raval, Victor Babu, Joe Naitta and Rabi Martins. Dadabhai Naoroji the first Indian MP of the party in its earlier incarnation as the Liberal Party. He was elected from Finsbury Central in 1892, but the party has struggled to enlist substantial support from the British Indian community ever since.


18

FINANCIAL VOICE

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Asian Voice | 3rd June 2017

London Deputy Mayor makes forex pay

Merchant Terrace is this year’s

'Best Family Home' Merchant Terrace was awarded the Best Family Home over £1.5m at this year's London Evening Standard New Homes Awards held last week. Hosted by comedian Romesh Ranganathan, and presented by Team GB hockey star Kate Richardson-Walsh, the event saw over 400 housebuilding professionals from all over the UK. The development had also won a previous award for Best House, at the WhatHouse? Awards 2016. Managing

Director Mani Khiroya said, “To win a second award for Merchant Terrace at one of the industry's most coveted awards ceremonies is a huge honour. We are

delighted to have achieved this which is very much down to the hard work put in across each department. Our aim is to deliver innovative and design-led

homes that capture the character and historical essence of the local area, with Merchant Terrace being enviably positioned between Hammersmith, the River Thames, and Ravenscourt Park.” The beautiful four bedrooms, three bathrooms, and three terraces, white stucco-fronted properties including a rooftop terrace overviewing London is currently 50 per cent sold and is being actively pursued by prospective property buyers.

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Latest reports divulged that London deputy Mayor Rajesh Agarwal's foreign exchange business grew last year following its negotiation through Brexit. Revenues of Agrawal's Rational Group saw a 20 per cent surge last year to £1.4 billion, as per accounts filed at Companies House. It said the pound's slump “helped the group identify opportunities for operational improvement that have driven a small spread contribution from the previously loss-leading Xendpay”. The achievement was dubbed as “significant” by RationalFX and Xendpay's parent company. IT said the results were in line with the targets set before the Brexit vote sends the sterling plummeting. Agrawal

had joined London Mayor Sadiq Khan last summer, handing over his role as chief executive to cofounder Paresh Davdra, stepping back as non-executive chairman at both the companies. He has been extremely vocal about British Prime Minister Theresa May's strategy and said London firms needed to maximise access to the single market, passporting rights, and access to talent in Europe. Meanwhile, Davdra said, “We are concerned by the uncertainty causes by Brexit. From our London office, we serve customers from across Europe and employ many people from the EU. Brexit is not the result we hoped for but I believe we have to move forward.”

Asians in EMpower’s 100 most influential BAME leaders The EMpower role model list released last week brings to light major black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) game changing business leaders in the UK, Ireland, US, and Canada. Scored on the seniority, influence of their role, their impact on ethnic minority inclusion inside and outside the workplace and their business achievements. The individuals were nominated by peers and colleagues, and reviewed by EMpower's judging panel consisting of Ashok Vaswani, Barclays, Vivian Hunt, McKinsley, Paul Polman, Unilever, Linda Yueh, Oxford University, Nina Vaca, Pinnacle Group, Suki Sandhu, OUTstanding, and Carola Hoyos, former FT Executive Appointments editor. The list includes several business leaders. Founder and CEO of EMpower and OUTstanding, Sandhu said, “There is a diversity deficit at the very top of organisations in both the UK and the US. We wholeheartedly believe that making diverse role models visible and celebrating them is the most powerful way to address thisdemonstrating to the leaders of tomorrow exactly what is possible for minority ethnic groups. We're extremely proud to be taking this important initiative into its second year. The EMpower message is clear: your ethnicity or background should not and will not be a barrier to your professional success.” The list is topped by Carnival Corporation's CEO Arnold Donald, followed by Mediacom Chairwoman Karen Blackett, and Worldpay's Deputy Chairman Ron Kalifa. US-based Donald said, “It is a great honour to be included in this year's EMpower 100. As the world's largest leisure

travel company with a fleet of 103 cruise ships visiting over 700 global ports, we take great pride in connecting nearly 12 million annual guests with people, cultures, and other places from around the world to help foster better understanding and appreciation of each other. We are also very proud of the diversity of our workforce and believe that the power of diversity of thinking drives innovation, which is fuelled by leveraging the knowledge and creativity of our rich backgrounds, experiences and perspectives to achieve common goals.” The list also features several leaders of South Asian origin. Standing at 4th on the list is Manjit Wolstenholme of Provident Financial, followed by Raj Nair of Ford Motor Company EVP at seven. With over 30 South Asians in the list, the community's contribution to the countries' economy is evident.

BAME artists from culturally diverse backgrounds. She is also an advisory board member of the City Hindus Network, and Corporate Development Board Member for The UK Fund for Women and Girls, ROSA. Both, Nishma and her husband Visesh were listed in this year's list of Asian Power Couple.

South Asians in the EMpower 100 ethnic minority leaders list Manjit Wolstenholme,

Ultra Electronics Holdings CEO Nick Amin, Aviva Group chief operations and IT officer Riaz Shah,

Provident Financial Chair Raj Nair,

EY Senior partner Sanjay Bhandari,

Nishma Gosrani named EMpower Top 30 Leader

Director at Deloitte, Nishma Gosrani FRSA, has been named as an EMpower Top 30 Future Leader in the Financial Times. A leader of Deloitte's 3,000 strong Banking and Capital Markets consulting practice in London, she is also the co-sponsor of the firm's Multicultural Network. Nishma is a trustee and board member of leading theatre company, Tamasha, helping emerging and established

Ogilvy Group Worldwide chief business development officer Habib Motani, Clifford Chance Partner Rakesh Sharma,

Ford Motor Company EVP, global product development and chief technical officer Shirine Khoury-Haq, Lloyd’s of London Chief operations officer Anit Chandarana, Network Rail Finance Director Jagdeep Rai, Barclays Bank Director, head of corporate banking, Heathrow and SW Suresh Raj,

clothing and home Rohan Gunatillake, Mindfulness Everywhere Director Shanika Amarasekara, British Business Bank General counsel and company secretary Shahzad Saleem,

BT Group transformation MD Amolak Dhariwal, Sodexo UK&I Finance director, service operations Dawood Gustave, Reluctantly Brave Chief and imagination officer Kalpana Shah, RiverStone Managing Agency, Chairman Kashif Zafar, Barclays Co-head of global distribution and co-head of macro products Mo Ajaz, National Grid Global head of legal operations Pam Kaur,

EY Partner Amee Chande,

Alibaba Group MD, global strategy and operations Leena Nair, Unilever Chief HR officer Maz Majid, Marks and Spencer Supply chain director,

HSBC Holdings Group managing director and group head of internal audit Payal Vasudeva, Accenture UKI Human capital and diversity lead UK&I Mandhir Singh, BP Chief operating officer, lubricants Bansi Nagji, McKesson EVP, corporate strategy and business development

Jatin Patel,

TSB Bank Products director Dhiraj Mukherjee, Midlife Creations Entrepreneur at large Devyani Vaishampayan, BSI Group HR director Kamel Hothi,

Lloyds Banking Group Head of colleague fundraising and volunteering Rashik Parmar, IBM Technical executive, Europe, IBM distinguished engineer Vimi Grewal,

Carr Deloitte Managing partner, innovation and delivery methods Dr. Anand Kumar, Union Bank of India (UK) Executive director and deputy chief executive Harish Sodha,

Diversity Travel Executive chairman


REAL ESTATE VOICE

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THE POINT OF A DEAL AsianVoiceNews

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Currently I’m working on a deal with a chap who’s run into some financial difficulty, but is making out he hasn’t. In fact, he’s going so far the other way, its endears suspicion.

Suresh Vagjiani

Sow & Reap London Property Investment

Doing a deal is about ONE number, and the time period to execute the deal. Nothing more. The rest is noise, some of it can be useful, but most of it serves as mere distraction. This chap tells me the number of offers he has had for the property, and the potential for the building, with two assumptions in mind: one, that I will believe anything which comes out of his mouth, and two, it has any influence on me. Nonetheless, all of these dramatics do tell me one thing, he is desperate and has little or no other option. Therefore, when he sees the money, all the

AGONY AGENT Each week, we answer a reader’s rental property question, from first-time landlords to experienced owners. Agony Agent, is here to help! Q: I'm about to buy my first investment property, what problems might I encounter? A: Letting a property isn’t just about getting someone in and making a profit, there are many things that will influence your experience of being a landlord. It’s best to make yourself aware of what could go wrong before you make that leap. I could fill pages upon pages with tips, problems, benefits and legal jargon, however, I think these are the most common issues faced by all landlords: Finding A Tenant It pays to think carefully

about where you advertise. Research the internet for homes to rent and decide which sort of website your ideal tenant is likely to read. An advert in the shop down the road may be cheap, but will it attract the sort of person you want in your property? You could end up with a tenant who lets you down with the rent payments if you don’t carry out all of the security checks on a tenant before you let them into the property. Credit checks and a reference from a previous landlord are a must. If the tenant hasn’t rented before, ask for an employer’s reference instead. You need to know that your prospective tenant is able to pay the rent. The Legal Side There are a lot of things you need to do legally if

19

Asian Voice | 3rd June 2017

noise is likely to evaporate and he will grab it. So, in order to do this deal it’s wise to send the offer through the lawyer, with the lawyer stating that he has had sight of the funds and we are ready to execute. The completion period can probably be agreed at the time of exchange, especially if we are prepared to release the monies on exchange. This does come with its own risks however. The property is of dubious classification, meaning it is neither residential or commercial. It’s been classed as sui generis which is a Latin phrase, meaning in a class by itself; or unique. Another way is to say no one knows what the hell it is. I’m assuming there has been some bodged up planning application on it, probably without any

permission, which has led to this classification, as there has been work done on it. It will need to be investigated from the bottom upwards. Nothing here can be taken at face value. Given this, it’s important to have the deal locked up first, as you could spend your time going through the paperwork and during the midst of this the deal gets pulled from under your feet.

for a short term, whilst the planning is sorted out.

This is a great deal, and will probably require the full amount of the property in cash, or an expensive bridging loan

It’s a very large lump, about a 1,000 sq. ft., the strike price will be £400,000. You’ll be paying circa £400 per sq. ft. for this property. The prices in this location go for circa £1,000 per sq. ft. This property is situated in a prime location, and I believe it will rent very easily. I don’t say resell, because the entrance is a little weird, it’s through an alley way; and therefore would dampen the saleability. But the location is super strong,

Awkward Tenants Even carrying out all the right checks isn’t a guarantee that your tenant will be perfect. If you’re faced with a problem tenant, it’s your duty to follow up any complaints that you receive, so issue a warning at the first sign of trouble. Make sure that the property is fully

insured with suitable contents cover. Rent arrears are the other obvious problem. Other than the financial checks at the start of the tenancy, the only way to protect yourself is by taking out an insurance policy. Some cover the loss of income from a nonpaying tenant right up to the end date.

it’s right opposite a station which means it should rent in days if not hours. The property is a duplex, and given the plan is not to resell it, there is only one thing to do with this, and that is to turn it into a Cash Cow. This can be achieved by doing an HMO on the property, as it will be far easier to rent out 5 or 6 small rooms than a larger lump. I suspect that as there is not enough stock at the lower end of the market, the yield will go through the roof, and that’s in a top location.

you take on a tenant, so read up on your obligations before you start. Make sure that you have the right tenancy agreement – and get it signed before anyone moves in. An Assured Shorthold Tenancy agreement is the standard for residential lettings, and as it’s a legal contract between you and your tenant, you need to get it right. Remember, you also need to arrange a tenancy deposit scheme, as you’re legally obliged to keep any deposits you receive in an approved scheme. Time Management You could be getting calls from tenants in the early hours because they have lost their keys or something has gone wrong in the property. You are responsible for maintenance and repairs, so it’s worth having a list of trustworthy trades people to hand.

Depending on the situation, you may have the right to serve them notice of eviction. If you, or somebody you know, would like further information on letting out a property then please feel free to contact me. Richard Bond Lettings Manager Sow & Reap


20

FINANCIAL VOICE

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Asian Voice | 3rd June 2017

Consultant Editor Financial Voice Alpesh Patel Dear Financial Voice Reader, If you want to gamble on the election, go to Ladbrokes. We are not here for that. We want to know what is going to make us a return regardless of the election outcome. It was the case that a large Tory majority = hard Brexit = GBP down. And too small a Tory majority = soft Brexit = GBP up. Now the market view is more Tory Lead = GBP Up. So let’s play this the way we traders think. We divide everything up into before and after the event. The ‘event’ is June 8th 10pm – 9th June 1am because that is immediately as the polls close and we get a good idea of the direction of victory. Most times at 10pm as the polls close the BBC will call the election. Indeed, I really want to be in the TV studio as they prepare to write the headlines at 9pm for a 10pm broadcast. (No, that is not insider trading!). I never care why the market thinks something, what I care about is where it puts its money. If it’s thinking is wrong, then I have to wait until it puts its money where its eventual correct thinking is. Being right or wrong about what others think does not make you money. Buying low, selling high does. They are related most times, but not always. My view is that GBP will remain weak until 48 hours before the election when views become more solidified. It’s June 7/8th trading that matters. If GBP starts rising because the market sees Tory win, good majority for not a hard, but restrained Brexit, then 10pm June 8th until 1am June 9th we traders will be looking to take profits on that being correct (the danger of a relief rally though will mean I will have to be at my desk watching this – and Tweeting CNBC too as I like to do with live trades where I can ‘grandstand’ with high confidence. If there is a shock defeat or very narrow Tory majority, then GBP would fall too (despite some people thinking that would be a soft or no Brexit). So, if GBP trend up on June 7/8 = sell from 10pm June 8th. Got it. So if I see a GBP rally on 8th June till 10pm when polls close, I think there is a 75% chance of a sell off as the polls come in at 10pm, either because of a shock Labour win or profit-taking. Why not 100%? Because there may be a relief rally. A weaker GBP is meant to be good for UK stocks. Even with indications of over valuation in many markets (but not the UK) and the cloud of uncertainty.

India to bar Chinese companies in power sector India is all set to bar Chinese power companies from projects in the power sector on security concerns after a policy that will define new conditions for foreign firms eyeing the multibillion-dollar market in one of the fastest-growing major economies in the world. A formal office memorandum, to be issued in a month, will insulate the power transmission sector from companies based in countries that do not allow Indian entities in similar projects. Officials said the new reciprocity-based approach would impact Chinese companies that are looking to invest in the Indian electricity transmission sector. China does not approve of overseas investments in its electricity grid for security reasons, but India allows 100 per cent foreign direct investment in the power sector. The move will help India in several ways, including protection from cyber attacks because the power sector is increasingly software-driven with intelligent technology and control systems being used, said Indian Electrical & Electronics Manufacturers' Association director gener-

al, Sunil Misra. US conglomerate GE's renewable energy CEO Jerome Pecresse said that reciprocity was a fair India. “Discussions have already been held with the commerce ministry. There should be reciprocity in trade. Other countries should not be allowed to exploit the Indian market while they protect their domestic players and space.” Another official informed that state governments will also be apprised of the reciprocity factor. The memorandum is under preparation and in all probabilities will be issued within a month. “We should buy good and services for critical infrastructure only from a country which does not have any serious dispute with us and the relationship is not suspect. We will not buy a fighter aircraft or aircraft carrier from China. Similarly, we should not buy intelligent and smart transmission and distribution equipment from them given the fact that the Grid is becoming intelligent and increasingly vulnerable to cyber threat also,” Misra said.

Govt to step up mergers in PSU banks: Jaitley India's Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said the Centre would pursue more mergers in the state-run banking space as it aims to have stronger and bigger banks at the international level. “Today banking is not what it used to be 10-20 years ago... It is necessary to have 30-32 public sector banks, some of them weak? Obviously not. What will you do with weak banks,” Jaitley asked. “We have merged five subsidiaries of SBI and the Bharatiya Mahila Bank with SBI. I have announced that we want fewer banks but bigger and stronger banks which can be of international level. In the coming days, most probably we will move faster in this direction.” The Bharatiya Mahila Bank and five associate lenders merged with the State Bank of India on April 1, giving it

a place among the top 50 banks globally. State Bank of Bikaner and Jaipur, State Bank of Hyderabad, State Bank of Mysore, State Bank of Patiala, and State Bank of Travancore, merged with the SBI. With a branch network of around 24,000 and nearly 59,000 ATMs across the country, the total customer base of the bank will reach 370 million. When asked if there is a need to cut interest rates

given the slide in inflation, Jaitley said the monetary policy committee of the Reserve Bank of India would take all factors into consideration. “Normally any Finance Minister will tell you that there are good reasons to cut interest rates. This is an inherent desire of any Finance Minister. But what should be the interest rate is decided somewhere else which is the Reserve Bank of India,” he said. “Inflation was in double digit before 2014 and now it has come down to 34% range. We are within the plus minus 4% range. In our monetary policy committee, where there are six very eminent people, including the RBI Governor, they will decide and I feel we must have confidence on them. They will definitely keep in mind all the factors.”

Anil Ambani's RCom hit by loan payment fears Indian mobile phone operator, Anil Ambani's Reliance Communications faces increasing pressure over debt obligations as it faces its first-ever annual loss. Ever since the telecom industry was shaken by the free-spending Reliance Jio, from Mukesh Ambani's Reliance Industries, things have taken a turn for the worse for the other companies in competitive market. Stock and bond prices of Reliance Communications dipped on Monday after the announcement of a net loss of Rs 12.9 billion for the year to March, and a plunge from profits of Rs 6.6 billion the year before. The company blamed “competitive intensity on a scale never witnessed before in the country.” After a 22 per cent drop in the share price, RC said it was seeking to refinance its debt with a new consor-

tium of lenders. A note also indicated that the company asked lenders “for waiver of certain loan covenants”. Analysts determined that it could mean Reliance has not met all the conditions of its loans and could be at risk of default if banks did not agree to waive them. However, there isn't enough information to evaluate. Rating agency Icra's analyst, Anjan Ghosh said,

“Reliance Communication's debt burden has been an issue for a long time. That problem has always been there but what's come as an additional burden is the heightened competition that has put their cash flow under pressure.” The company's call held for analysts said it was “in discussions with lenders to obtain consent for the two transactions and to refinance scheduled payments falling due until the closure of the deals in September, to facilitate expeditious closing of both transactions in the best interests of all stakeholders.” The move comes as Reliance Communications plans to merge its wireless business with rival Aircel, and sell its mobile phone towers to Canada-based Brookfield Asset Management.

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In another reform push Modi govt scraps FIPB The Modi Cabinet has approved phasing out of the Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB), in yet another step towards improving the ease-of-doing business in the country, and pushing ahead with economic reforms. Administrative ministries and departments will now process applications for FDI proposals which require government approval. “Foreign investors will find India as more attractive destination and this will result in more inflow of FDI. The move will provide ease-ofdoing business and will help in promoting the principle of maximum governance and minimum government,” a statement said. The Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion under the Commerce Ministry will issue the standard operating procedure for processing applications. FIPB was set up back in 1991, along with industrial delicensing, at a time when FDI in most sectors required government approval and the Prime Minister's Office directly oversaw the process. Currently, applications are considered by the FIPB, and after the cabinet decision, it would be hand led independently by the administrative ministries handling particular sector for which foreign investment proposals are made. Economic Affairs secretary Shaktikanta Das said, “The idea is to move towards more opening up and to have more and more process-driven activities and methods. In fact, today nobody visits North Block for FIPB clearance because everything is online. The application is online, the clarifications, if any, are online, consultations with ministries are also done online.”

Demonetisation gave India economy £50 bn profit, claims govt A high-level internal assessment report on the government's drive to clean black money, revealed that Narendra Modi's demonetisation move gave the Indian economy a profit of £50 billion. The report also said that at the time when Narendra Modi announced demonetisation on November 8, last year, currency worth £177.7 billion was in circulation in the economy. However, as per an RBI

figure, at the end of April this year, the total amount of currency in circulation was £142 billion, meaning the Indian economy has £50 billion less than what it would have had if the decision to annul approximately 86 per cent of India's currency hadn't been taken. The report also cited other benefits including widening of the tax base, boost to digital economy, growing bank deposits, burgeoning EPFs and

strengthening of the teetering housing sector. India's net personal income tax revenue is expected to double over the next couple of years, according to the report. Number of people who have filed self assessment forms for the financial year 2016-17 grew by 23.8 per cent. At least 10 per cent of this growth is due to demonetisation. In the last financial year, 9100,000 new assesses joined the tax base. Also,

demonetisation has made India more digital. Financial year 2016-17 saw a total of 30 million digital transactions. The government believes that if this continues, there will be more than 250 million digital transactions this financial year. There has been a considerable usage of mobile wallets such as PayTM, SBI Buddy, FreeCharge, with the usage of these being over £20 million per day.


WORLD-INDIA Asian Voice | 3rd June 2017

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Chandraswami - Controversy's Favourite Child

P

ower broker and g o d m a n Chandraswami who rose to prominence due to his association with former Indian prime minister Narasimha Rao, passed away earlier last week following a multiple organ failure at Apollo Hospital, New Delhi. Boasting a long line of devotees and supporters, Chandraswami was many things; political fixer, spiritual guru, mover and shaker and a fraud. His admirers included Sanjay Gandhi, Sultan of Brunei, King Hussein of Jordan, Elizabeth Taylor, Hosni Mubarak and Saudi arms dealer Adnan Khashoggi. An obvious contrast considering his chosen path, Swami's life was everybody's envy. The influential leader travelled in private jets and fancy yachts, and his audience included the cream of the ever-thriving crop. It was evident. Pre-liberalisation India's most famous spiritual guru, Swami could not leave the comforts of the material world. Rise It was his yagnas that brought him fame. Swami claimed to have protected former prime minister Indira Gandhi with his tantric powers and yagnas. The astrologer came into recognition with his first yagna in Madhuban. The event was reported all

web only grew, marking years of treachery and treason. Vinay Sitapati, Rao's biographer stated that as much as he loved his social and political stature, it brought him many legal troubles.

Chandraswami with PV Narasimha Rao

across the country. He boasts of 25 yagnas until the late 1980s, most of which were attended by politicians and ministers. It was through these yagnas that the brushed shoulders with the the top leaders of socialist India, impressing them with his tantric powers. In 1975, senior Indian diplomat, K Natwar Singh managed to provide him with a brief audience in London. Then Conservative opposition leader Margaret Thatcher grudgingly met him at Singh's request. As written in his memoir, Swami, who spoke no English, asked the future prime minister to write down five questions on five separate pieces of paper and then scrunch them into balls.

He then asked her to unfold each piece, speaking out each question written on it. This got an amazed Thatcher's attention, and she asked for a second meeting, in which, Singh writes, the two discussed her prime ministerial prospects.

Ungodly Ways Swami's life is marred with a bevy of criminal cases - ranging from FERA violations, to blackmail and cheating, to shady arms deals. Signs of his lack of 'godliness' showed up early in 1972, when he was arrested in connection to the Nagarjunasagar scrap iron scandal. It was clearly stated that he had promised to supply scrap iron worth millions of rupees to a party in Jaipur,

Rajasthan, on behalf of the Andhra Pradesh government. He reportedly used documents and signatures faked with the help of a minister's personal secretary. His most devoted disciple was PV Narasimha Rao, a Congress leader who came into power following Rajiv Gandhi's assassination in 1991. As the country's foreign policies opened up to market forces and private investment, Swami gained more political power. From 1991 to 1996, he could now take matters directly to members of the cabinet. Leaders and businessmen who wished to get things done would pay him massive chunks of money to get their work done. As Swami gained stability, his

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Afghan star burns controversial dress

Aryana Sayeed, an Afghan television personality and singer had to burn a dress after being bitterly criticised for wearing it to a Paris concert in May and uploading a video on the social media. The controversial tight dress, sparked condemnation with religious figures and members of the public calling it against Afghan culture and non-Islamic. "If you think that the only problem in Afghanistan is this dress, I will set this on fire today because of you... It should be noted that the reason for this action of mine is not the pressure of those who still live in dark ages, but to raise further awareness of important issues within our society," she told her social media followers. Aryana is well known in Afghanistan as a singer, songwriter who sings pop, hip-hop and Afghan songs. She's also a television personality, being the judge on the Afghan version of The Voice talent show in Kabul.

Maharana of Mewar pays tribute to late Sir Roger Moore

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Swami in a pickle In 1996, Chandraswami was arrested on charges of defrauding London-based Indianorigin businessman Lakhubhai Pathak. Founder of a line of pickles, chutney, and sauces, Patak's, the 'Pickle King' claimed he gave $100,000 in 1983, to Swami for Rao, then Indian foreign affairs minister, on a promise of newspaper pulp. He was convicted by the Delhi magistrate court but they went on appeal. Swami was accused of financing the Tamil suicide bomber who killed Rajiv Gandhi, in 1997. His death essentially made way for Rao's political ascendence. While a commission dug deep into his possible involvement, no conclusive evidence was found. After spending years catering to kings, prime ministers, and leading world businessmen, Swami was finally consigned to flames last week, at Nigambodh Ghat, in a quiet farewell. No prominent people marked their presence at the cremation as controversy's favourite child was laid to rest.

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Chairman of the Maharana of Mewar Charitable Foundation, Shriji Arvind Singh Mewar paid a heartfelt tribute to the late Sir Roger Moore. He credited him with single-handedly raising the quality of life and transforming the economy in the Rajasthani city of Udaipur. Sir Moore, who had famously played the character of lady-loving, Britain's top secret agent, 007, had filmed in the Maharana's City Palace, and throughout the city, for his film Octopussy, in 1983. The 76th Custodian of the House of Mewar, Shriji said the city had been â&#x20AC;&#x153;deeply shocked and saddenedâ&#x20AC;? by his passing. â&#x20AC;&#x153;The passing away of Sir Roger Moore was received in Udaipur with deep shock, sadness and disbelief. My

personal memory of the late Sir Roger is of an amusing, gentle, and extremely courteous man who gave time to everyone he met. He will always have a special place in the heart of Udaipur and has left an indelible imprint in the imagination of the local people. Our condolences, thoughts and prayers are with Sir Roger's family and friends. He will always be remembered here in Udaipur with affection, deep respect, and great fondness,â&#x20AC;? he said. It Shriji's father Maharana Bhagwat Singh who invited famous producers Albert R Broccoli and Michael G Wilson to Udaipur, the Lake Palace Hotel and threw open the doors of new hotel Shiv Niwas Palace ahead of time. â&#x20AC;&#x153;The only James Bond Udaipur recognises is Sir Roger Moore and there was an astonishing reaction in the city 35 years after the filming of 'Octopussy'.


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INTERNATIONAL

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US issues warrant against yoga guru LOS ANGELES: A California judge issued an arrest warrant for yoga guru Bikram Choudhury after he failed to pay almost $6.5 million to a former legal adviser in a 2013 sexual harassment case. A bail at $8 million was set by Superior Court Judge Edward Moreton. The founder of the Bikram Yoga empire was sued in 2013 by his onetime legal adviser Minakshi 'Mikki' Jafabodden who accused him of sexual harassment. She alleged that he fired her after she refused

Bikram Choudhury

to help him cover up allegations that he raped a yoga student. After being ordered to

pay $6.47 million in punitive damages in January, last year, Choudhury fled California shortly after the verdict, Minakshi's attorney said. With no attorney representing him in court, the accused was served court papers in May. While he had managed to move some of his assets, including a fleet of luxury cars, to Nevada and Florida, court orders were issued to prevent him moving property out of the country, Carla Minnard said. During the trial, he had claimed that he

was nearly bankrupt after spending millions of dollars in legal fees as his business was no longer thriving. Choudhury's lawyers have said he never sexually assaulted any of the women suing him, pointing out that prosecutors had declined to bring charges in the cases. In an interview in 2015, Choudhury denied the allegations. "Women love me," he said. "So if I really wanted to involve the women, I don't have to assault the women."

American India Foundation raises record $1.5 mn at fundraising gala

SAN FRANCISCO: This year's annual American India Foundation's (AIF) fundraising Gala saw a young woman from Andhra Pradesh, Pushpanjali Majhi address the audience and share her life experiences. “When I was little, my family would migrate to Hyderabad every summer to work in brick kilns. I would go along too. It was very hot. Some children would die working in these kilns. AIF India changed everything for me,” she said. “They got me admitted into an AIF sponsored hostel where I received accommoda-

tion, food, and education. I began to feel that I could become something. There was no electricity in our village. We would use solar lamps to get by. The hostel changed my life. I would not have to go to work in the brick kilns any more. I decided I will become a teacher one day. AIF changed the life of my parents too. Without AIF I would never have been able to complete my education. I wish that all the girls in my village will be able to go to school one day.” Held at the Hilton Hotel on May 13, the Gala hosted

almost 600 guests who helped raise $1.5 million in support of the foundation's poverty alleviation solutions across India. AIF's Learning and Migration program was showcased, and the foundation's work for India's neglected rural children whose families migrate for work, was shown. Co-founder and co-chair Lata Krishnan hosted a fireside chat with co-chair Ajay Banga, CEO of Mastercard, on the role women can and should play in all walks of life, in the US and, India. Founded in 2001 at the initiative of President Bill

Clinton following a request from Prime Minister Vajpayee, AIF has impacted the lives of 2.3 million of India’s poor and aims to reach 5 million by 2018. According to Krishnan, AIF has helped 91,000 children receive education and 3,248 rickshaw pullers acquired their own rickshaws. In related news, AIF announced last month that the Houston, Texasbased non-profit organization Ek Disha Foundation will join AIF in its work toward a poverty-free India and become its new Houston chapter.

Patel’s bond skyrockets to $50M in Outagamie case WISCONSIN: After skipping out on a $750,000 cash bond almost a decade ago, Manishkumar M Patel returned to Outagamie County and now faces a staggering $50 million figure set by County Court Commissioner Brian Figy. Patel is accused of spiking his girlfriend's drink with an abortion-inducing drug, and faces charges of attempted homicide, second-degree recklessly endangering safety, placing foreign objects in edibles, possession with intent to deliver prescription drugs, stalking, burglary, possession of burglary tools, and two counts of violating a harassment restraining

order. He also faces a felony bail jumping charge in subsequent case. The 43 year old was transferred from federal custody to the custody of the state of New York, on May 16, and then transferred to the Outagamie County Jail on Monday. Outagamie

County Sheriff's Staff Sgt Ryan Carpenter said, “They're very serious charges and it's something that he needs to be held accountable for.” US Border Patrol stopped a vehicle in Malone, NY, only to find Patel inside with a fraudulent passport, he said. Patel's girlfriend said that shortly before her miscarriage in September 2007, she and Patel had gone to dinner and then got dessert. While she stayed in the car, Patel went into the store where she saw him split her smoothie into two cups then stir “frantically”. She didn't

drink the smoothie when he returned to the vehicle, telling him her stomach was upset. She got a sample tested by a California lab, and had a miscarriage meanwhile. Lab results showed the sample tested positive for Mifepristone, or the 'abortion pill'. On being questioned by officers, the accused said he was confident he was the father of the child she miscarried and that he “didn't need more babies”. He admitted to contacting a person he knew in India, regarding a “way to end a pregnancy”, and the person suggested this pill. He had the pills shipped to him.

US proposes $190 mn aid cut to Pakistan WASHINGTON: Trump Administration has proposed a massive $190 million reduction in financial assistance to Pakistan, as compared to the 2016 fiscal. The State Department, in its annual budget proposals sent to the US Congress, said, “Pakistan plays a key role in US counter-terrorism strategy, the peace process in Afghanistan, nuclear nonproliferation efforts, and stability and economic integration in South and Central Asia. It is also a large and growing economy offering profitability for US businesses.” In Trump's maiden budget, the State Department

said it will maintain a robust diplomatic presence that will enable continued bilateral cooperation on the many joint US-Pakistan interests, and bolster stability in this strategically important country. $344 million in financial assistance and grant to Pakistan, including

$100 million in foreign military funding has been proposed. US assistance last year was $534 million, including $225 million towards foreign military funding. The State Department proposed $100 million to Pakistan under the Overseas

Contingency Operations, which, it said, will be used to advance US national security interests in Pakistan by supporting Pakistan's capacity to improve stability and security and fight terrorism, including through the elimination of safe havens for terrorist and militant organisations. It also proposed $25 million to build Pakistan's capacity to combat violent extremism and transnational crime, secure its borders, build the human and institutional capacity of civilian law enforcement, counter the production and trafficking of illicit narcotics, and enhance the rule of law and access to justice.

Amul Thapar confirmed to key judicial post by US Senate

WASHINGTON: Amul Thapar, an IndianAmerican legal luminary and US President Donald Trump's first nominee to a powerful appeals court, has been confirmed by the US Senate to the key judicial position. Thapar, the first Indian-American to be nominated by Trump for the 6th US Circuit Court of Appeals, was confirmed by the Senate in a vote on party lines. With this, 48-year-old Thapar becomes the second South Asian judge to be on the US Circuit Court of Appeals, which hears appeals from Kentucky, Tennessee, Ohio and Michigan. “Judge Thapar will make an outstanding addition to the US appeals court for the Sixth Circuit,” said Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell. Thapar, currently a US district court judge, was nominated by Trump on March 21.

US sends warship to South China Sea, irks Beijing

WASHINGTON: A US navy warship sailed within 12 nautical miles of an artificial island built by China in the South China Sea, the first such challenge to Beijing in the strategic waterway since President Donald Trump took office. US officials said the USS Dewey travelled close to the Mischief Reef in the Spratly Islands over which China has territorial disputes with its neighbours. China said its warships had warned the US ship and it lodged “stern representations” with America. China said it remained resolutely opposed to so-called freedom of navigation operations.

Man shoots self, bullet goes through head, kills GF

WASHINGTON: A man attempted suicide by firing a bullet to his head but it went through him and fatally struck his girlfriend while leaving him severely wounded, according to US prosecutors. Victor Sibson, 21, from Anchorage, Alaska, has been accused of killing his girlfriend while attempting to kill himself. He appeared in court and a grand jury indicted him on a charge of second-degree murder. Police responded to a 911 call-in at a club last month, and found Sibson, and 22-year-old Brittany-Mae Haag suffering from critical gunshot wounds. Haag died later in the day. Prosecutors believe the incident involved a single bullet.

28 Coptic Christians killed in Egypt attack

CAIRO: At least 28 persons were killed and over 20 injured in a shooting attack on a bus carrying Coptic Christians in a central Egyptian town, the Ministry of Interior said in a statement. The attack took place in the town of al-Adwa, about 80 km northwest of the city of Minya as the worshippers were travelling to the monastery of Saint Samuel, Efe news reported. Ten armed men in four cars surrounded the bus and began to shoot arbitrarily as the vehicle neared al-Adwa on the way to the monastery, the statement added. In a statement, the Coptic Church sad that it shares with the whole country the pain caused by this attack, which has targeted the heart of Egypt and its national unity.

Man on shooting spree kills 8 in US

BROOKHAVEN: A man who apparently got into a dispute with his wife and in-laws was arrested in a house-to-house shooting rampage in rural Mississippi that left eight people dead, including a sheriff's deputy. “I ain't fit to live, not after what I done,” a handcuffed Willie Corey Godbolt, 35, said. The shootings took place at three houses - two in Brookhaven and one in Bogue Chitto - about 110 km south of Jackson, Mississippi. Bureau of Investigation spokesman Warren Strain said that charges were yet to be filed and it was too soon to say what the motive was. Authorities gave no details on the relationship between Godbolt and the victims.


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Sri Lanka floods toll increases to 146 COLOMBO: Deaths in floods and landslides in Sri Lanka, caused by heavy rainfall, rose to 146, with over 112 reported missing. The country's Disaster Management Centre (DMC) said around 4,23,068 people belonging to 1,09,773 families were affected in 15 districts due to the flood situation. In its latest situation report, it said that 442,299 people are affected by the rains either directly or indirectly. DMC spokesman Pradeep Kodippili said that even though rainfall has eased, it is expected to intensify again from this week. He said water levels in rivers in Hambantota and Ratnapura districts have begun to fall, however, in

other places such as the Nilvala river, levels are on the rise. “We were able to evacuate the people in the surrounding villages and towns on time,” he added, referring to Nilvala river. Sri Lankan government has called on the international community to provide financial aid and logistical support. Seasonal rains

lashed out on the island nation after it faced its worst droughts in 50 years. The first vessel with humanitarian aid from India reached Colombo last Saturday, and the second on Sunday. Indian medical teams and emergency relief arrived in Sri Lanka as the monsoonrelated death toll reached 100 and authorities warned

of more flooding in lowlying areas. Prime Minister Narendra Modi extended support to the neighbouring country. He tweeted, “We stand with our Sri Lankan brothers and sisters in their hour of need.” The flooding is the worst since May 2003, when 250 people were killed and 10,000 homes destroyed after a similarly powerful Southwest monsoon. Meteorological department chief SR Jayasekara said, “The monsoon has firmly established and we could have evening showers at a lesser intensity.” Other officials warned that reservoirs were now so full, they were in danger of spilling over and flooding communities living downstream.

300,000 people evacuated, airports closed as Cyclone Mora nears

DHAKA: Bangladesh's Civil Aviation Authority has suspended domestic and international flights in Chittagong and Cox's Bazar, as the high intensity Cyclone Mora is expected to make a landfall. Local

authorities have taken steps to evacuate nearly almost 300,000 people and rescue teams comprising of the armed forces and other agencies are deployed and medical teams are on alert. Disaster Management

Department's acting director general, Abu Syed Mohammad Hashim said, 'People were still waiting for evacuation while airports and ports have been closed in the regions as they are going to be worst-hit.” He said residents were seeking shelter in schools and other safe buildings in 17 coastal districts. The country's two main seaports in Chittagong and Mongla have stopped operations and Cox's Bazar have been

India considering punitive actions against Pak: US official WASHINGTON: A top American intelligence chief said India is moving towards isolating Pakistan diplomatically, and considering punitive actions against Islamabad for its alleged support to crossborder terrorism. Lt Gen Vincent Stewart, director, Defence Intelligence Agency, told the powerful Senate Armed Services Committee at a Congressional hearing, that, “India has sought and continues to move to isolate Pakistan diplomatically and is considering punitive options to raise the cost to Islamabad for its alleged support to cross-border terrorism.” The statement came a day after the Indian Army launched “punitive fire assaults” on Pakistani positions across the Line of Control. Vincent said India is modernising its military to better posture itself to defend New Delhi's interests in the broader Indian Ocean region and reinforce its

other's diplomats amid growing tension.” Stewart also observed that in 2017, Islamabad is likely to slowly shift from traditional counterinsurgency operations along Pakistan's western Lt Gen Vincent Stewart border to more counter-terrorism diplomatic and economic and paramilitary operaoutreach across Asia. tions throughout the “Continued threat of high country. “Anti-Pakistan level terror attacks in groups probably will India, violence in Kashmir respond to this sustained and bilateral diplomatic pressure by focusing their recriminations will further efforts against soft tarstrain India-Pakistan ties gets,” Vincent said. He in 2017.” He added that noted that Pak's nuclear New Delhi conducted a stockpile continues to highly publicised operagrow, which concerns the tion against terrorists US along with the evolvacross the Line of Control, ing doctrine and inherent after a militant attack on security issues associated an Army base in Kashmir with the country's devellast September. “In 2016, oping tactical nuclear Indian and Pakistani weapons. “Islamabad is forces exchanged some of taking steps to improve the heaviest fire in years its nuclear security and is along the Line of Control aware of the extremist in Kashmir, and each threat to its program.” expelled a number of the

closed. The Met office has advised to hoist great Danger Signal No 10 at coastal areas. An emergency meeting was held in the morning over preparations for possible impact of the cyclone and the administration has reportedly taken all necessary measures in the regard.

Nepal PM Prachanda resigns KATHMANDU: Maoist Nepali Prime Minister Prachanda resigned last week, barely nine months after coming to power, creating a leadership vacuum weeks before the second round of local elections, the first to be held in more than two decades. Prachanda's exit, which had been expected under a power-sharing deal with the Nepali Congress party, could disrupt the schedule for the final phase of municipal and village assembly polls set for June 14. Prachanda, 62, a former rebel commander, announced his resignation in a televised address to the nation after the opposition Communist UML party threatened to block his speech in parliament, saying the government had created some local and municipal bodies without due legal process. Prachanda's final month in office was hit by a clash between his government and the chief of the Supreme Court over the appointment of a new police chief.

Construct peace, Pope tells Donald Trump VATICAN CITY: President Donald Trump and Pope Francis, two leaders with contrasting styles and differing worldviews, met at the Vatican, setting aside their previous clashes to broadcast a tone of peace for an audience around the globe. Trump smiled broadly, the pope smiled less, but both agreed, at least for a day, to settle on the same message: the need to avoid conflict. “It is my desire that you become an olive tree to construct peace,” the Pope said. Trump responded: “We can use peace.” The Pope gave the President a medal featuring an olive branch. Pope Francis urged Trump to be a peacemaker and three bound Papal documents that to some degree define his papacy and priorities, including the family and the environment.


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Plan to unveil Jaya’s portrait opposed CHENNAI: Tamil Nadu Opposition leaders have appealed to Prime Minister Narendra Modi to stay away from the unveiling ceremony of a portrait of late chief minister Jayalalithaa in the Assembly, despite court confirming her involvement in high corruption. The ruling AIADMK party has decided to install Jaya's portrait, and Chief Minister Edappadi Palaniswami, during his trip to New Delhi, had invited Modi to the unveil anytime convenient to him in July. DMK spokesman TKS Elangovan said, “It would be tragic and shocking if the Prime Minister chooses to accept his invitation, particularly since he won the elections promising to eliminate corrup-

tion. Having the portrait of someone convicted of high corruption by the highest court of the land is not just illegal, but also immoral.” He added, “Let them (AIADMK) have their leader's portrait in their party headquarters and the Poes Garden bun-

Man hacked on road, passers-by film his murder KADAPA (Andhra): A man was hacked to death in broad daylight in Proddatur town, as bystanders chose to film the killing on their mobile phones, instead of helping the victim. Maruti Reddy, 32, from Devagudi village, was on his way in an auto to the district court to appear in a case, when the assailants pulled him out of the autorickshaw and attacked him with a machete. He collapsed near the median on the road, and as he lay motionless, one of the assailants pinned him down while the other hacked at him, striking 11 blows in a couple of minutes. As the murder unravelled on the road, people continued with their chores, nobody daring to intervene. The incident,which was captured

on camera by bystanders, soon went viral on social media, triggering public outrage against the police. The assailants walked away after the attack. Only then, did the general witnesses approach the body and inform the police, who arrived later and took the body away for a post-mortem. The two men are suspected to be Srinivas Reddy and Raghunath. Authorities believe an illicit relationship to be the motivation for the gruesome killing.

Haryanvi men turn `fake Sikhs' to join Army CHANDIGARH: A resident of Kaithal, Haryana, reportedly forged documents to portray himself as a Sikh to join the Indian Army. Shiv (name changed) cleared all his tests and was selected to join the Indian Army's Sikh regiment in February last year. However, instructors at the training centre found several things odd about him, mostly the fact that he couldn't speak even a few lines of Punjabi. The man later, after being exposed, admitted to the forgery done to join the army. This case is just one in 51 FIRs registered against young men in the past two years. In a clear reflection of the desperation spread among youth who see the forces as the only mean to earn a decent living, the number of youngsters portraying themselves as Sikhs to get themselves recruited. In most cases, the men who were selected were only caught at the time of training at Sikh regimental centres. FIRs revealed that some of the recruits had forged

galow. Nobody would object to that. But having her portrait in the Assembly and amid the pictures of political stalwarts of great administrative acumen and social standing, is just not acceptable.” Congress president EVKS Elangovan mirrored the views, and said putting up Jaya's portrait in the Assembly was “illegal”. “How could we have the picture of a convicted person in the Assembly where portraits of great leaders such as Kamaraj, Periyar, Rajaji, Anna, MGR, and Karunanidhi adorn the walls? If they still insist on doing that, a situation could arise when the pictures of Veerappan and Auto Shankar will be seen on the walls of police headquarters,” he said.

Man sells wife after giving her triple talaq HYDERABAD: A 23-yearold woman Saira Banu from Hyderabad has been given triple talaq over phone after she was allegedly sold to a sheikh in Saudi Arabia by her husband. The mother of the victim Banu Begum said her son-in-law had divorced her daughter after he got her trafficked to Riyadh. Saira Banu was smuggled to Saudi Arabia via Muscat and Dubai. She landed there on May 2. Her husband reportedly had contacted some agents in Hyderabad dealing in trafficking people to the Gulf. The agent sent her on a one-month visa to Dubai. “My son-in-law has sold my daughter and divorced her,” Banu Begum said in a video appeal to Union external affairs minister Sushma Swaraj. Muslim leader Amjedullah Khan in his letter to Sushma Swaraj said Saira Banu managed to communicate with her family secretly. She said that she

was being forced to work as a house maid in Riyadh. When Saira Banu called her husband to say that she wanted to return, he reportedly conveyed to her that he had already divorced her. Shocked at the `divorce on phone', Saira Banu informed her mother. Though the agents took her on a visit visa they had reportedly told Saira Banu that she would be paid Rs 50,000 if she worked as a house maid in Saudi Arabia for just one month. According to the complaint lodged by Banu Begum, her daughter had got married on February 17, 2014. It was a love marriage that turned sour. The couple has a two year old daughter. Days after the marriage, Saira Banu was reportedly tortured by her husband and other family members. There were times when they used to throw her out of the house at night.

KPS Gill who crushed militancy in Punjab dies

documents by adding the word 'Sikh' to their caste certificates. In several other cases, they completed the baptism ritual in Sikhism- taking Amrit, at a Gurdwara. They had, however, only completed the ritual after registering themselves for the Army selection process. The Indian Army has a number of community-specific regiments as cultural homogeneity has been observed to be a force multiplier during battles. The tradition is being followed since the British era. Col Vikram Singh Sankhla, director of recruiting office at Ambala Cantonment, said it was difficult to identify such candidates during the selection process unless there is an apparent error in documentation.

CHANDIGARH: Supercop KPS Gill succumbed at a hospital in New Delhi, after a sudden cardiac arrest. Best known for crushing Sikh militancy in the late eighties and early nineties, Kanwar Pal Singh Gill was admitted to Sir Ganga Ram Hospital in Delhi on May 18. Dr DS Rana, Chairman, Department of Nephrology and Board of Management, said, “He had been recovering from Peritonitis, but died of sudden cardiac arrest due to cardiac arrhythmia.” Gill had served twice as the Director General of Police in Punjab, and is credited with rooting out militancy from the state. A Padma Shri recipient, he had retired from the Indian Police Service in 1995, but was often called to help governments control difficult situations. Narendra Modi, then chief minister of Gujarat, had appointed him as a security adviser to end the post-Godhra riots in the state and restore confi-

Jaya's Poes Garden house resembles haunted place

CHENNAI: Former Tamil Nadu chief minister J Jayalalithaa's once opulent Poes Garden residence now remains deserted, and reportedly turned into one of the spookiest places in Chennai. A media source who conducted a night visit to the house, were told by security guards that nobody wanted to stay there for long. A place which was once constantly flanked by party cadres, MLAs, and ministers, is now said to resemble a haunted mansion. While basic maintenance work is regularly done, there are issues over payment of salaries to long-time employees of the house, a guard said.

Yeddyurappa to be BJP's CM face in Karnataka

NEW DELHI: Former Karnataka chief minister BS Yeddyurappa will be BJP's chief ministerial face in the Assembly polls scheduled early next year. Party president Amit Shah said, “It (Karnataka election) will be fought under Yeddyurappa.” He also indicated that Gujarat Chief Minister Vijay Rupani would be the party's choice for the top post in the state, asserting that the party would win over 150 seats in the Assembly polls slated later this year. Influential Lingayat leader, Yeddyurappa had led the BJP to its maiden victory in the southern state in 2008, but was later forced to resign following charges of corruption against him.

Demonetised notes worth £4.5 mn seized in Chennai

CHENNAI: Chennai Police conducted a raid at textile store MV Ramalingam & Co, last week, and seized currency notes worth £4.5 million, six months after the demonetisation of Rs 1,000 and 500 notes. Sources said shop owner Dhandapani, on interrogation, revealed that the notes belonged to a jewellery shop owner who had asked him a favour to hold on to the money, until it could be legally exchanged.

Mrs Chandigarh wins Mrs India Pageant

MUMBAI: Mrs Chandigarh Neetu Prabhakar who won the Mrs India contest is all set to represent India at the Mrs International pageant. Many beauties from all over India competed for the Mrs India crown in Mumbai. Neetu Prabhakar emerged victorious after competing with 18 other participants, and will now contest at the Mrs International contest to be held in the USA. Manav Sarin, senior vice-president Gitanjali Gems, said, “the participants have so much zeal and enthusiasm and it was commendable with the contestants balancing so many roles.”

Terror module with CanadaPakistan links busted

dence in the administration. He was also consulted by Chhattisgarh chief minister Raman Singh to control the expansion of Maoists in the region. He however, did not stay for long. In 2013, he told the media that Raman Singh wasn't really serious about curbing Maoist violence. Referred to as India's Crisis Manager, he had extensively spoken about dealing with left-wing extremism, on a show earlier this month. “I need three years to end the Chhattisgarh (Maoist) problem,” he confidently said.

CHANDIGARH: The BSF and the Punjab Police, in a joint operation, busted a terror module with links to Canada and Pakistan. Two terrorists, who the police believed were “planning to target enemies of the Panth”, were arrested with a large cache of weapons and ammunition. The seized weapons included an AK-47 assault rifle, five hand grenades, a modified machine-pistol, five pistols, and over 450 rounds of live ammunition of different calibres. The two have been identified as Mann Singh, 40, from Sri Hargobindpur and Sher Singh, 28, from Kartarpur.

SAD-BJP core group to meet at Jalandhar

CHANDIGARH: The Akali Dal and the BJP will hold a joint meeting of its core groups on June 3 to evolve a joint strategy to corner the Congressled Punjab government. Union Minister Vijay Sampla met SAD president Sukhbir Singh Badal, and both the leaders said the ruling government had failed miserably to maintain law and order. Badal said the meeting would also derive a party programme to force the new government to fulfil the promises made to the people, including complete loan waiver and a job per family in the state.


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Dr. Hari Desai

Rise and Fall of Vijaynagar Empire The period of Sri Krishnadeva Raya was considered a golden age Palace Wars, Extravaganza and Arrogance led to victory of Adilshahi It was considered a golden age in medieval south India when Sri Krishnadeva Raya was the ruler of the Vijayanagar empire

K

ampili, a Hindu kingdom of early 14th century in the Deccan region of India ended after a defeat by the armies of Delhi Sultanate. Two brothers, Harihara and Bukka, who were in service of the Hoysala dynasty of Kampili, were taken to Delhi after defeat. Both of them were believed to have been converted to Islam before they were sent back to Kampili as the Delhi Sultan’s vassals. They were re-converted and were brought back to the Hindu faith by Vidyaranya, who was to become the 12th Shankaracharya of Sringeri. He blessed the brothers to establish Vijayanagar Empire in 1334 AD. The historical authenticity of this narrative is doubtful, but the official website of Sringeri Sharada Peetham displays even today: “Sri Vidyaranya assumed charge of the Sringeri Mutt and reigned as Jagadguru for six years from 1380 to 1386. The Acharya initiated the emperor into the mysteries of Advaitic meditation, and in 1386 attained videha mukti. Shortly after this event, Harihara visited Sringeri and founded the agrahara of Vidyaranyapura in memory of the guru. Sri Vidyaranya was indeed a unique personality, scholar and sage, rightly regarded as a great thinker in the post-Shankara period. No wonder he was extolled and virtually raised to divinity by kings Bukka and Harihara when making royal grants.” Originally the rulers established the Empire Vijayanagar (City of Victory) and ruled first from present-day Anantpur district of Andhra Pradesh, later shifted the capital to the Karnataka at a place called, Hampi, now a UNESCO world heritage place. During the period of Sangama dynasty of Harihara and Bukka, Vijayanagar became the greatest empire of south-

Vijayanagar, the Empire that Vanished ern India. It fostered the reconstruction of Hindu life and administration after the disorders and disunities of the 12th and 13th centuries. Contact with the Muslims stimulated new thoughts and creative productivity. Sanskrit was encouraged as a unifying force, and regional literature in Kannada, Tamil, Telugu etc. thrived. Behind its frontiers the country flourished in unexpected peace and prosperity. The Sangama dynasty(13361486) was followed by Saluva dynasty(14861503), Tuluva dynasty(1503-1569) and Aravidu dynasty(156917th Century) respectively. The outstanding Tuluva king was Sri Krishnadeva Raya(1471-1529). It was considered a golden age in medieval south India when Sri Krishnadeva Raya was the ruler of the Vijayanagar empire. During his period, his State had a treaty of friendship with the Portuguese for trade and even to provide experts to build water resource scheme. The Hindu empire ended in 1565 following defeat of its army led by the ruler Rama Raya, the son-in-law of Sri Krishnadeva Raya, into battle at Rakshasi-Tangadi (Talikota) against an alliance of the Sultanates. The Vijayanagar kings were tolerant to all religions and sects. The kings used titles such as G o b r a h m a n a Pratipalanacharya (Protector of cows and Brahmins) and Hindurayasutrana (Upholder of Hindu faith). The palace wars were not uncommon and even though the kings like Sri Krishnadeva Raya were considered ideal in administration, they were equally cruel to the opponents and claimants to the throne, even if they were brothers or other close relatives. The farmers and common men rebelled against the taxation

exploitation and even subjects of Vijayanagar opted for migration. The kings were living luxurious life, building temples and palaces on mega scale. They were busy in their sensual enjoyment. In “The Discovery of India”, Jawaharlal Nehru, while writing about flourishing Vijayanagar in the south, quotes a Portuguese visitor, Domingo Paes, who came in 1522 : “Of the ruler, Krishna Deva Raya, Paes writes : ‘He is the most feared and perfect king that could possibly be, cheerful of disposition and very merry; he is one that seeks to honour foreigners, and receives them kindly, asking about all their affairs whatever their condition may be.” So many Muslim rulers in India had Hindu mothers or had married Hindu ladies. Nehru records: “Feroze Shah, one of the well-known Sultan of Delhi, had a Hindu mother; so had Ghyas-ud-Din Tughlak. Some marriages between the Afghans, Turkish, and the Hindu nobility were not frequent, but they did take place. In the south the Muslim ruler of Gulbarga married a Hindu princess of Vijayanagar with great pomp and ceremony.” In a chronicle written between 1535 and 1537, the Portuguese horse trader Fernao Nuniz confirmed the potency of royal garments in a description of the Vijayanagar ruler Achyutadeva Raya (15301542): “The King never puts on any garment more than once, … and these garments are never given to anyone……and on the head they wear caps of brocade which they call culaes….When he lifts it from his head he never again puts it on.” The National Book Trust(NBT) of the Government of India has published a book in Marathi in 1994 titled “Vijayanagarache Samr ajya”(The Vijayanagar

Empire) written by the Portuguese duo, Paes and Nuniz, who visited Vijayanagar empire. The writers give authoritative description of the Kings and their personal extravaganza life. Sri Krishnadeva Raya had officially married three wives and their children only could claim to be official descendents of the king. “One of them is the Princess of the OdishaKalinga king. The other two are the Princesses of the tributary chief and ruler of Srirangapattan. He

has one more wife who was a prostitute. He kept her even before he became king during his younger days but had promised to marry her if he could become king. He not only kept his promise to marry her but also established a city in her honour. ….. Every queen has a separate palace…The king may go to any of the queens palace or may send a message through his favourite eunuch to any queen to join him in his separate palace…Every queen is flooded with gem and jewelry. Each queen has sixty female slaves or maid-servants. Even the bodyguards of the queens are also trained women. There are three hundred to four hundred eunuchs and twelve thousand female slaves to attend the harem. The eunuch cannot enter the harem.” When Sri Krishnadeva Raya was on his death bed, he got his will(“depois”) prepared. Since his son was just 18 months old, he nominated one of his three imprisoned brothers, Achyutraya, as his choice to be his successor. All the

Sri Krishnadeva Raya statue

three brothers, who helped him becoming the king of Vijayanagar, along with one of his nephews, son of Bhujabalrao, were imprisoned by him at Chandragiri fort ! The custom of Sati did prevailed and the queens would perform Sati on the king’s death. But on the death of any of his Sardars, it was mandatory for all the wives , the figure may range from 200 to 400, to perform Sati. Sri Raya had his penal code and would not pardon any. Next Column : Lohana Kings of Kashmir and Kabul (The writer is a Socio-political Historian. E-mail : haridesai@gmail.com )


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Everchanging India under Modi Following months of aggressive and diligent campaigning promising 'Achche Din', Narendra Modi's Bharatiya Janata Party deservedly came to power in 2014. Now, with the successful completion of more than half of his tenure, the PM has several reasons to celebrate. Modi, in just three years, has scrapped what seems like a thousand laws, amended some, and outrightly passed fresh ones- particularly those reflecting the country's long-time itch for economic change. The Goods and Services Tax, Real Estate Regulation Act, Benami Transactions Prohibition Act, Undisclosed Foreign Income and Assets Act, brand new laws for recovery of debt, insolvency and bankruptcy, the list is long, and rather impressive. While the former-RSS pracharak initially did face difficulties in the Upper House, facing an iron-clad opposition coalition of the Congress, Trinamool, Left, SP and BSP, months of hard bargaining and parliamentary stratagem of terming

certain legislations as money bills, began to bear fruits. The BJP, better known as 'Brand Modi' is now an ambitious party- speeding up business, pushing globalisation, harsh curbing of corruption, all this and more. Modi promised several economic reforms, including ease of doing business, inflation control, fiscal deficit, trade deficit, job creation, manufacturing revival, most of which have been accomplished. After coming to power, he launched his first flagship programme called the Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana- India's largest-ever financial inclusion drive. Its mission was to ensure access to financial services, including savings accounts, remittance, credit, insurance, and pension - all at an affordable cost. After this came the Pradhan Mantri Gramin Awas Yojna, an ambitious project aiming to provide 'Housing For All' by 2022. Designed solely for the rural masses, the scheme will provide affordable houses to 40 million people living below the

poverty line. The Deen Dayal Upadhyaya Gram Jyoti Yojana was launched in 2015, to ensure 24/7 electricity supply to farmers and rural households. The NDA currently boasts 12,022 electrified villages. He also addressed employment creation with key initiatives such as 'Make in India', 'Skill India', and 'Start-up India'- all of which have made lot of sound overseas. His biggest reform is the Goods and Services Tax. Touted to be the most important reform to be undertaken since Independence, the GST will subsume all indirect taxes to create one rate and integrate the country into a single market. Once kickstarted, it will replace at

India, Germany sign 8 agreements After a rather successful visit to Germany, Prime Minister Narendra Modi's six-day, four-nation tour continues as he head to Spain. The first Indian PM to visit the nation in an official capacity, in three decades, Modi is expected to meet the President of Spain Mariano Rajoy and discuss bilateral relations, trade and other issues. He is also expected to call on King Felipe VI of Spain, and hold discussions with leading Spanish businessmen and leaders. “We are made for each other,” Modi said in Berlin after India and Germany signed eight bilateral agreements on Tuesday. Addressing a press conference with Chancellor Angela Merkel after holding the fourth round of the intergovernmental dialogue to set a roadmap for bilateral strategic ties, Modi said India is giving an impetus to nextgeneration infrastructure and this is an area in which “we want to work extensively with Germany”. “We are looking at outcome-oriented momentum in IndiaGermany ties and quantum jump especially in economic ties,” Modi said. Merkel said India has proved to be a reliable partner and both countries have been able to deepen cooperation. Modi arrived in the German capital to a ceremonial welcome with military honours at the ChancelleryOffice of the German Chancellor, where he was greeted by Merkel herself, and senior German officers. He then introduced Merkel

Narendra Modi with Angela Merkel

to his accompanying ministerial delegation. The Indian PM received a guard of honour and was welcomed as the music choir of the German Army played the Indian National Anthem. Both the leaders then attended the fourth India-Germany Intergovernmental Consultations (IGC) Plenary session. In his inaugural address, Modi called on “more and more German companies” to invest in India. “There are 600 IndoGerman joint ventures operating in India, employing 200,000 people. But there is huge potential as IndoGerman economic cooperation is below its full potential and to enhance this, we in India are waiting with open arms because we value German partnership a lot.” The summit also highlighted the deadlock over FTA between India and the European Union, with Merkel and senior business leaders urging Modi for a speedy conclusion. “There are growing pro-

tectionist trends around the world but Germany believes the value chains are so deeply interconnected that we will continue to create fair trading conditions. Within this context, it is important that the FTA makes progress,” Merkel said. “Germany will continue to push Brussels to resolve negotiations more speedily and we are committed to implement and put into practise such an agreement. The negotiations have been tough because every country must safeguard its own interests and Germany will ensure that India's concerns are also put on the table.” The Ministry of External Affairs said the aim was to work towards speedy resolution of an agreement in light of the Indo-German bilateral trade treaty having expired in March this year. “We are committed and have been engaging on this issue and hope an agreement can be reached as fast as possible,” an MEA spokesperson told reporters.

least 17 state and federal taxes and bring them under a single unified tax structure. There are other social initiatives too, like 'Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao Yojana', 'Swachch Bharat', and 'Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana'. Most of his initiatives are for the betterment of women, and the poor. His most aggressive economic move, however, remains last year's demonetisation of large currency notes. The public scrammed to their nearest ATMs, in a bid to withdraw as much cash possible to survive over the uncertain future. Modi addressed the country on the evening of November 8, announcing

the scrapping of old Rs 500 and Rs 1000 notes. He called it a step to root-out black money and fake currency in the system. What followed was months of utter chaos. With no currency circulating in the market, people pointed their fingers at the leader they elected. However, BJP had more than a singular agenda. It called it a boost towards digitisation. A step to make more online financial transactions. In six months, the government successfully profiled people by differentiating actual flow of money and undeclared money. NaMo certainly rode to power riding on the 'Nationalist' horse. His image as a hardcore Hindutva nationalist has bugged not only the opposition, but also been the trump (and only) card played by his Left-wing criticisers. The PM, unfazed, continues to practice nationalism, giving it an image makeover, sliding it into the country ever so delicately, the public unknowingly began adhering to its principles. He

made no bones about his belief in Hindutva, and in fact, took it to an international level. Modi returned India's long-lost glory. Bringing yoga and Sanskrit back to life on a global platform, making his temple visits a much-needed fodder for social media. What boosted it was his open yet dignified hostility towards Pakistan and Islamic terror. The populist figure's shadow is such, it has turned his opposition into adversaries. The country now remains divided by a paper-thin line called nationalism. However, what constitutes it, nobody knows. Those unsupportive of Modi-led BJP are now sceptics, 'people who have no respect or love for their country'. Seculars. Even as gau-rakshaks continue their violent takedown on Dalits and Muslims, Modi remains silent. Triggering yet another debate- Is India walking towards a culture of majoritarianism? Our PM, meanwhile, thrives in his unapologetic nationalism.

Babri Masjid case: charges framed against Advani, Joshi, Bharti and others A CBI court has charged former deputy prime minister LK Advani, senior BJP leader MM Joshi and cabinet minister Uma Bharati for conspiring for the demolition of Babri Masjid in Ayodhya in 1992. They were all, however, allowed bail on personal bonds of Rs 50,000 each. Counsel for the 12, including Advani, moved a bail application on behalf of Advani and others, which was allowed by the court. They later, moved another application, pleading their discharge from conspiracy charges, which was rejected by the CBI judge. BJP MP Vinay Katiyar, Sadhvi Ritambara, Vishnu Hari Dalmiya, Ramjanmabhoomi Trust Chief Nritya Gopal Das, Ram Vilas Vedanti,

Baikunth Lal Sharma alias Prem Ji, Champat Rai Bansal, Dharma Das, and Satish Pradhan, are amongst those named in an FIR filed after the demolition of the masjid on December 6, 1992. They stand accused for instigating the mob and conspiracy behind razing of the disputed structure. Trial of these leaders began at a special court in Rae Bareli, while karsewaks on whom the main FIR had been lodged, were tried before a Lucknow court. The

CBI court had dropped conspiracy charges against the saffron leaders in 2001, a judgement upheld by the Allahabad high court in 2010. However, the Supreme Court, on April 19, this year, revived the conspiracy charges and shifted their case from the Rae Bareli court to Lucknow court along with other accused who were booked for the actual demolition. The apex court also directed the special CBI court to frame charges within a month from the date of production of the order before it. Hence, the CBI court is in a hurry to frame the charges and start trial on day-to-day basis in compliance of the SC direction to conclude trail in two years.

Kohli to host Charity Ball to raise funds The Virat Kohli Foundation, an organisation headed by India’s cricket captain Virat Kohli, will host the Virat Kohli Charity Ball, on Monday, 5th June at the iconic HAC Ground, London. Touted to be one of the biggest charity-sport events of 2017, The Virat Kohli Charity Ball will raise vital funds for charitable causes, for the empowerment of the underprivileged in India. Coinciding with Kohli leading the Indian team in the UK this Summer for the ICC Champions Trophy 2017, the star-studded night will bring together some of

the greatest names in the game, both past and present, and many other renowned personalities. Speaking about the event in London, Virat Kohli said: “I am honoured and excited that London will be the first international city to host my Foundation’s Charity Ball, in aid of the charitable causes that I hold dear to my heart. “The event is a manifestation of my dream to bring about a transformative change in many lives by supporting the underprivileged

sections of society. I look forward to joining hands with the public in London to raise a substantial amount.” The event will comprise a VIP champagne reception, surprise star appearances and world-class entertainment interspersed with a lavish three-course gourmet cuisine. There will also be a live auction where the guests will be able to bid for luxury products and cricket memorabilia close to the heart of the star batsman and his contemporaries.


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To Our Readers

health lifestyle

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

Start Your Day With a Glass of Warm Water

Water plays an essential role in our well-being, but according to science, the temperature of water and when it is consumed is critical as well. There are other aspects that need to be looked into. Timing is key Ayurveda recommends the consumption of a cup of warm water along with your meals. Meals in China or Japan are always accompanied by warm tea. For centuries, people in Japan have been following the ritual of ‘Water Cure.’ This entails drinking 4 glasses of water every morning right after you wake up, even before you brush your teeth. What is important is that this water must not be cold. The quantity - The amount of water one should consume depends on various factors like age, activity levels, weather, diet, etc. However, there are some broad guidelines that may be followed. If consumed along with your meals, approximately one cup is good enough. Having

said that, if the meal includes dishes like soup or yoghurt, this amount may be reduced. The ideal amount to consume is important to understand as too much water with your meals may also satiate your hunger before you have eaten enough, and thus rob you of the opportunity to consume nutrients. If you are taking on an empty stomach in the morning, four glasses are what the Japanese Water Therapy recommends. If it sounds like a lot, start with one glass and increase it to four, over time.

Because it was my brother’s birthday, our Mom wanted to do something special. She called his fraternity house and said she wanted to bring a cake. The young man who took the call was very excited. "Hey, Mrs. Schaeffer," he said, "that would be great!" The next day she drove to the fraternity and rang the doorbell. The same boy answered the door. When he saw the cake, his face fell. "Oh," he said, clearly disappointed. “I thought you said ‘keg.’” *** It’s New Year’s Eve, and the restaurant is hopping— revelers, band, overworked waiters. Wending his way through the crowd is a drunk, staggering back to his seat. Spotting an attractive woman sitting alone, he says, “Pardon me, miss, did I step on your feet a few minutes ago?” “Yes,” she says testily, “you did.” “Good! I knew my table was around here somewhere.” *** A mother gave her grown son two sweaters for Hanukkah. The next time he visited, he made sure to wear one. As he entered her home, instead of the expected smile, she frowned. “What’s the matter?” she asked. “You didn’t like the other one?” *** A teacher cast one of her students as the innkeeper for the Christmas pageant. All the third grader had to do was tell Joseph, “There is no room at the inn.” But during the performance—after Joseph begged for a room for his pregnant wife—the boy didn’t have the heart to turn him down. “Well,” he said, “if it’s so urgent, come on in.”

Health benefits of warm water: Prevents constipation Intestinal movement is important to avoid bloating, abdominal pain and discomfort. It regulates bowel movement and prevents constipation. Great for glowing skin Drinking warm water raises your body’s temperature and helps release toxins. This detoxification, is great for glowing skin and unclogged pores. Stimulates hunger When you have warm water, the body has to work harder to bring down its temperature. Thus, the metabolic system is kicked off. This further triggers the mind to demand food and stimulates hunger. Aids digestion Drinking warm water early in the morning helps boost liver and kidney functions. Since liver is the primary organ of the body and that all metabolism happens, warm water plays a vital role in breaking down food substances and thus aids digestion. Helps clear out congestion - Though avoiding cold water when you have a sore throat may largely be an Indian tradition (many parts of the world do not even recognize this concept), it is indisputable that warm water helps clear out congestion and soothes an aching throat. The water

helps prevent phlegm accumulation too. Pain relief from menstrual cramps - Menstrual cramps can be quite painful for some. A warm water bottle pressed against your belly may be your favourite way to deal with period pain, but did you know that drinking warm water can help too? Studies suggest that drinking warm water increases blood circulation, which works as a pain reliving mechanism. Prevents premature ageing - As mentioned above, warm water consumption removes toxins from the body, through sweat, bowel movement and unclogged pores. The presence of toxins in the body leads to premature ageing. Moisture absorption According to Ayurveda, all kinds of water are not absorbed at the same rate by the body. Regular water takes around 6 hours to get absorbed, whereas water which has been boiled, takes only half that time. What is interesting to note, is that Ayurveda does not insist that you have the boiled water hot. It says that boiling water for ten minutes enriches it with energy and stimulates agni which in turn helps digestion. The very properties of water are said to alter after boiling. It is said to be beneficial to sip on this water all through the day.

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Cure for baldness could be possible

Scientists have discovered another previously unknown function of Tregs, as hair triggers. A series of experiments showed how Tregs in the skin send out signals that stimulate hair follicle stem cells to regenerate and spark new hair growth. Lead scientist Dr Michael Rosenblum, from the University of California at San Francisco, US, said: "Our hair follicles are constantly recycling: when a hair falls out, the whole hair follicle has to grow back. "This has been thought to be an entirely stem cell-dependent process, but it turns out Tregs are essential. "If you knock out this one immune cell type, hair just doesn't grow." The research could lead to new treatments for

alopecia areata, an autoimmune disease that causes patchy hair loss from the scalp and eyebrows. Tregs could also play a role in other forms of baldness, including the classic "male pattern" variety that causes men to recede and lose their hair, the team believes. The findings highlight a growing understanding that immune cells have much broader functions than just fighting off foreign invaders. "We think of immune cells as coming into a tissue to fight infection, while stem cells are there to regenerate the tissue after it's damaged," Dr Rosenblum added. "But what we found is that stem cells and immune cells have to work together to make regeneration possible."

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A veteran joins Rajni's 'Kaala'!

Title post of Thalaivar's 164th film 'Kaala' was released on the internet, and it expectedly went viral. Even though the theme and story of the movie wasn't disclosed, people held their own discussions to try and guess what's next for the superstar. Produced by Dhanush's Wunderbar Films, and directed by Pa Ranjith, most of the technical team from Ranjith-Rajinikanth's previous collaboration 'Kabali' has been retained for the project. Also, actor Samuthirakani is also rumoured to be playing an important character.

Tamil hero refuses to act in lip-lock scene

Actor Sibiraj has reportedly refused to kiss co-star Remya Nambeesan for their upcoming film 'Sathya', directed by Pradeep Krishnamurthy. Sources said the director tried his best to convince the actor as the liplock is crucial to the script, however, he said his son will be watching the film and that it would be embarrassing situation, and a bad precedent. The film is an action-thriller revolving around the kidnapping of a child. The film also stars Varalaxmi Sarathkumar in an important role of a cop.

Sridevi to talk Tamil, Telugu, Malayalam and Hindi for her 300th film Yesteryear star, Sridevi marked 50 years in the film industry, last week. Starting an illustrious career as a child artiste in Tamil film 'Thunaivan', she moved on to gain massive popularity in the South, and Bollywood. In a loving gesture for her achievement, husband and producer Boney Kapoor has decided to release her upcoming 'MOM' on the same day as her debut film released, July 7, 1967. The actress' 300th film, it will be released nationwide in three languages- Tamil, Telugu, and Malayalam, besides Hindi. A source close to the film, revealed, â&#x20AC;&#x153;Sridevi has decide to dub the film in her voice in all the four languages. The actress, who started out as a child artiste, has been a part of movies in all the aforementioned languages for five decades now.â&#x20AC;?

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Aishwarya in Mani Ratnam's next?

In one of the best news this week, there is a high possibility of a collaboration between champion director Mani Ratnam and actress Aishwarya Rai Bachchan for a Tamil-Hindi bilingual. While there are no updates on how far along the process is, buzz is chances of the collaboration are quite high. The last time the duo came together was for 'Raavanan' in 2010. Aishwarya has starred in two other Mani Ratnam films, 'Iruvar' and 'Guru', both major hits.

Nithya Menen not satisfied with her work Young and talented actress Nithya Menen has completed shooting for 'Thalapathy 61' and this is her first film with Ilayathalapathy Vijay and director Atlee. In a recent interview, the '24' actress spoke about working with Vijay. She said Vijay is a calm person and very non-invasive in the sense that he never intervenes in other work on the sets. She observed that working with Atlee was a fun filled experience. Nithya also refuted rumours that she would be making her directorial debut soon but said that may happen in future. She said she was not satisfied with what she has done as an actress so far and she wants to take up more interesting characters to act. Probably after doing that she may venture into direction.

Nayanthara stops director from changing script

Nayanthara is playing the lead role of a district collector in the film 'Aramm ' directed by debutant Gopi Nayinar. The film reportedly deals with the serious issue of unattended bore well pits that has swallowed the lives of many young children over the years. In a recent interaction with media, director Gopi shared an interesting aspect about the film. He has said that according to the script, the collector character played by Nayanthara would enter the film only after the first 20 minutes. Though he wished to change that after Nayan come on board for the project, the top actress, however, prevented him from making any changes to the script as she felt the original arrangement was most appropriate for the script. Apart from Nayanthara, 'Aramm' stars Vignesh and Ramesh of 'Kaaka Muttai' fame Vela Ramamoorthy, E Ramadoss and

many others. Ghibran is providing the music score while Om Prakash is the cinematographer. The film has been completed and is expected to hit the screens very soon.


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Nostalgia trip to the glorious era of Sachin Tendulkar: Film review of Sachin biography

'S

achin: A Billion Dreams' is a documentary-drama based on the inspiring life of the living legend Sachin Tendulkar. It is also his ‘authorised’ biopic. Since the age of 16, all of his on-field achievements have been fodder for breathless cricket commentators. His is not an untold story. Post film, audience is left with an unfulfilled wish to see the aspects of his life which were previously unknown but unfortunately (or fortunately), even the non-linear narrative of 2 hours 20 minutes does not feature anything that Sachin’s fans did not know. It is reverential, hagiographic, and has several points of disconnect, especially when it comes to his love story with wife Anjali. The way the film has evaded the controversial aspects of his career makes one wonder about the amount of mediation by Sachin himself. Some examples include his equation with Azharuddin, Greg Chappell, customfee-waived Ferrari, and the match fixing scandal. It is not that some of these are not touched upon, but it is not dealt with in a manner that is fair to the audience. While these subjects are glossed over, the film is loyal fan-material for those wishing to understand his relationship with his (now late) father, his coach Mr. Achrekar in his school

days, and his brother Ajit. The depictions of his personal life are moving and provide an insight into the kind of upbringing he had in his formative years as a young cricketer. From Sachin’s childhood to the moment when he won the World Cup in 2011, in Mumbai, at the Wankhede stadium, director James Erskine leaves little room for focussing on blind spots in the legendary cricketer’s life, maybe because Sachin is “not a name, but an emotion” in India. It is actually Tendulkar himself who narrates the film and his relationship with his son Arjun looks promising to all his fans

F

Salman: I am a limited performer

ilmmaker and father of two, Karan Johar, turned 45 last week and the entire film industry pitched in to wish him. In a starstudded bash at his residence in Mumbai, Johar made sure his bash was nothing short of a celebrity carnival. Guests included Aamir Khan, wife Kiran Rao, Ranbir Kapoor, Katrina Kaif, Deepika Padukone, Alia Bhatt and rumoured beau Sidharth Malhotra, Akshay Kumar and wife Twinkle Khanna, Shah Rukh Khan and wife Gauri Khan. Son of acclaimed producer Yash Johar, Karan made his directorial debut with 'Kuch Kuch Hota Hai', and recently made 'Ae

Priyanka Chopra breaks the glass ceiling

W

ith 'Baywatch' out in theatres now, Indian actress Priyanka Chopra can look forward to another project. The 'Quantico' actress plays villain Victoria Leeds in the film starring Dwayne Johnson, and Zac Efron. After years of playing the female lead, Chopra made her Hollywood debut with a negative character. She however, is no stranger to villainous roles. “It's always fun playing the bad guy. Any actor around the world with concur with me that there is something so liberating about playing a bad guy because you don't get to do that in your real life. It is a lot more

who are awaiting Arjun’s entry in the world of international cricket. All the match clippings are available on YouTube and are easily accessible, however, watching them on a big screen with the narration by the God of Cricket himself is an experience in itself, which is mostly nostalgic for people who have witnessed the era of Sachin Ramesh Tendulkar and India’s finest winning moments ending in winning the coveted World Cup. At the end of the film, you wonder whether it is any different from a documentary, and leave the theatre with the echo of “Sachin, Sachin” in your head.

fun, I have to be honest,” PeeCee said. “I remember calling my mother and she laughed and said, 'Oh My God!' I guess, life is so short in a way as to who would have thought? So, it's really cool and especially to be playing the villain in this movie was more fun because I had to bring my originality to it,” she added. In her FBI drama series 'Quantico', Priyanka plays lead Alex Parrish. However, the antagonistic characters are what appeal to her the most. “In 'Quantico', I beat people with my own hands and in 'Baywatch', I make other people do it because it's more powerful.”

Dil Hai Mushkil' starring Aishwarya Rai Bachchan, Ranbir Kapoor, and Anushka Sharma. He became father to twins via surrogacy earlier this year. However, his best friend Kareena Kapoor Khan and Saif Ali Khan gave the party a miss. Aamir left early to catch a flight with his 'Thugs of Hindostan' co-star Fatima Sana Shaikh. Shabana Azmi, Anil Kapoor, Varun Dhawan, Farah Khan, Rajkummar Rao, Nimrat Kaur, Huma Qureshi and Bipasha Basu were some others who wished him on the occasion.

Asian Voice | 3rd June 2017

Celebrities wish 'new father' KJo on birthday

F

ilmmaker and father of two, Karan Johar, turned 45 last week and the entire film industry pitched in to wish him. In a star-studded bash at his residence in Mumbai, Johar made sure his bash was nothing short of a celebrity carnival. Guests included Aamir Khan, wife Kiran Rao, Ranbir Kapoor, Katrina Kaif, Deepika Padukone, Alia Bhatt and rumoured beau Sidharth Malhotra, Akshay Kumar and wife Twinkle Khanna, Shah Rukh Khan and wife Gauri Khan. Son of acclaimed producer Yash Johar, Karan made his directorial debut with 'Kuch Kuch Hota Hai', and recently made 'Ae Dil Hai Mushkil' starring Aishwarya Rai Bachchan, Ranbir Kapoor, and Anushka Sharma. He became father to twins via surrogacy earlier this year.

However, his best friend Kareena Kapoor Khan and Saif Ali Khan gave the party a miss. Aamir left early to catch a flight with his 'Thugs of Hindostan' co-star Fatima Sana Shaikh. Shabana Azmi, Anil Kapoor, Varun Dhawan, Farah Khan, Rajkummar Rao, Nimrat Kaur, Huma Qureshi and Bipasha Basu were some others who wished him on the occasion.

Shah Rukh, Brad Pitt hit it off at first meet

H

ollywood heartthrob Brad Pitt was in Mumbai last week at the premiere of his new film 'War Machine', where he met with none other than King Khan himself. The two hit it off right from the moment they sat down, and discussed acting, cinema, and Netflix at length. When asked why he chose to collaborate with Netflix for the recent release, Pitt said, “It's because the way the studio system is right now in Hollywood. It just can't support risky films like this, of this budget certainly.” He added, “The beauty of Netflix for the film viewer is that now more films are getting made, more interesting filmmakers are getting a chance which means a greater variety.”

Agreeing with him, Shah Rukh said the problem of major studios not wanting to invest in experimental fare is a universal one. “When I (began career) 25 years ago, I wanted make the films I wanted to, but you have to be part of the system. Netflix can be a great opportunity (which can) offer unknown or upcoming directors more chances... In India, every household has a singer, but I think every household also has a filmmaker,” Shah Rukh said. When asked what challenges he faces, the Indian actor said, “You can't really get into a character if you have to do song and dance every 20 minutes. It's not like Bob Fosse or All That Jazz'.”


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A Father's love is known to be irreplaceable and eternal The bright light on a dull day, the main source of strength in the weakest of moments, fathers spend their entire lives selflessly working for their families' good future. He never preached or scolded; and the rod – Well, he used it as a turning pole in play. But he showed the tender sympathy of God. To his children in their troubles, and their joys. He was always chum and comrade with his boys, And his daughters – oh, you ought to hear them say ‘Father.’ After the overwhelming support and encouragement received by Matru Vandana, Gujarat Samachar and Asian Voice has decided to pay an ode to fathers, on June 18, Fathers' Day. 'Pitru Vandana with Bhuli Bisri Yaade' is our way of expressing our gratitude to the ones who guided us in the dark. Well-known Indian singer Maya Dipak will once again grace us with her presence and along with top musicians Naushad, Anant Patel, and Sonu Gajjar, light up our evenings with beautiful renditions of old filmy songs. A beautiful magazine will be released on the occasion, featuring doting fathers and their stories. Those who wish to feature their fathers on the cover page of the magazine, along with a write up inside, arrange for an exclusive interview, or write a tribute, contact us. Three different Pitru Vandana with Bhuli Bisri Yaade shows will be held at Leicester, Masefield, and Birmingham.

If you wish to share your information or need more details about the special magazine, organise shows and tickets, please contact Kamal Rao 020 7749 4001/ 0787 5 229 211 or email kamal.rao@abplgroup.com and Kokila Patel on 07875 229 177 or kokila.patel@abplgroup.com

Forthcoming Shows Friday 9 June from 8pm

Presented by Music Arts Symphony Room, 121 Burnmoor Street, Leicester LE2 7JL. For Tickets contacts: Pravin Majithia: 07971 626 464 or Melton Hot Potato Shop 0116 268 0100.

Saturday 17 June and Sunday 18th June

(Two shows) from 6 to 10pm - including dinner. Presented by By Gujarat Samachar - Asian Voice The Masefield Suite at Harrow Leisure Centre, London. For Tickets contacts: Kamal Rao 07875 229 211 or Kokila Patel on 07875 229 177.

Friday June 24 From 5.30pm onwards including dinner.

By Hindu Council Wales at Sanatan Dharma Mandal & Hindu Community Centre, Seaview Building, Lewis Road, Cardiff. For Tickets contacts: Vimla Patel on 07979 155 320 and Radhika Kadaba on 07966 767 659

Sunday June 25 from 3pm to 7pm. Shree Hindu Community Centre, 541-A Warwick Road, Birmingham B11 2JP. For Tickets contacts: Anjuben Shah 07814 583 907 and Jayantibhai Jagatia 07808 930 748

Sneh Joshi

ARIES Mar 21 - Apr 20 The prevailing cosmic pat-

tern packs a powerful punch early this week. Having such potent energies, make you feel positive and confident in whatever you do. This is not the time to hold back or underestimate your potential if you wish to further an important aim. Some of you will try to get away from the routine chores.

TAURUS Apr 21 - May 21 Don't take short-cuts in

legal or official matters. It will be only too easy to feel exasperated by bureaucracy but you won't be doing yourself any favours if you lose your cool. This is a fine time for you to get away from the mundane realities of life and relax. Some of you will probably go abroad.

GEMINI May 22 - June 22 Work is going to play a

great part for some of you who are widening their horizons. An important time to build too, as Saturn can be very severe and cold especially regarding relationships. Regardless of the limits, you have the capacity to turn the course of your life in a more fulfilling direction.

CANCER Jun 22 - Jul 22

Jupiter, the planet of plenty aspects your solar 4th house for some time to come, bringing noticeable improvements to your environment. This will hold you in good stead as you have a lot of important jobs to finish around the house such as decorating and for some buying or selling of properties.

Coming Events

l Leicester Friends of Oxford Centre for Hindu Studies will hold a talk on 'Framing Relationships in Hinduism by Prof. Emeritus Werner Menski & Mrs. Nilima Devi MBE, on June 3, Saturday, 6.30 pm to 9.30 pm, at Belgrave Neighbourhood Centre, Rothley St., Leicester, LE4 6LF.

l Sree Sree Thakur Anukulchandra's Satsang on June 3, Saturday, 6.30 pm onwards, at Reading Hindu Temple,112 Whitley Street, Reading RG2 0EQ

l Oxford Centre for Hindu Studies' Oxford Summer School on Hinduism and Relationships will be held from June 23, Friday, June 25, Sunday, on 10 am to 6 pm on Friday and Saturday, and 10 am to 1 pm on Sunday, at University of Oxford. l 'Tribute to Indian Soldiers', on June 8, Thursday. 6.15 pm onwards, at The Nehru Centre, 8 South Audley Street, London W1K 1HF l Summer Preview of Jadau a UK-based Jewellery brand by Kanwal Toor at Grosvenor House, Hotel Albemarle Suite, London

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The UK’s leading Vedic writer and TV personality

Jupiter, the planet of growth and expansion is transiting your solar third house. During this period educational and communication opportunities present themselves and your ideas will be well received. The ability to express and communicate your ideas is extremely important to you at this time.

LEO Jul 23 - Aug 23

A progressive time ahead regarding money and the material world, and the keyword is increase. Jupiter, the planet of expansion and excesses is associated with splashing out on luxury items which sometimes we do not really require - take care or you will end up having things that you really have no use for. Associate with people that you are comfortable with.

VIRGO Aug 24 - Sep 23

You know you have no choice but to streamline and re-assess your priorities before haphazardly saying yes to everything that smells like a potential opportunity. Try to create a balance between expansion and conservation. Jupiter in your sign makes you feel invincible, base your decisions on facts.

LIBRA Sep 24 - Oct 23

SCORPIO Oct 24- Nov 22 Strengthen close ties of affection, sort out emotional differences and proffer the olive branch to your loved one. You often sabotage your emotional interests by keeping too much inside. However, your inner pressure builds up and manifests as irrational moods that others find hard to understand.

SAGITTARIUS Nov 23 - Dec 21 Relationships are experiencing major transformations - those with shaky foundations should be extra careful. Financially, you have everything going for you. A good time to put lucrative plans into action and reap the benefits of sound investments. Be prudent and do not fritter away your good fortune. CAPRICORN Dec 22 - Jan 20 You're gaining a good amount of respect professionally and in your community this week. Self-esteem is improved and there will be less problems. Jupiter in your solar 10th house will improve finances, business, and close partnerships. Intuition is beginning to play a strong role in your professional life.

AQUARIUS Jan 21 - Feb 19 Jupiter's transit in your Solar 9th house of travel and spirituality is good for widening your horizons. Business dealings, particularly long-distance ones and those involving publicity and promotion, are likely to be profitable now. Friendships are under scrutiny so be careful not to step on anyone's toes.

There may be a certain amount of unfinished business to be dealt with. Therefore you will need to adopt a fairly flexible policy in order to accommodate the odd twists and turns of everyday life. There are planetary energies firing you up preventing you from sleeping properly. Give yourself plenty of physical outlets to calm you down mentally.

PISCES Feb 20 - Mar 20


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Famous Pak fan 'Chacha Chicago' now bats for India

Well known Pakistani cricket fan 'Chacha Chicago' Mohammad Bashir says he now loves India more and wants it to win. He is equally well known for his love for Mahendra Singh Dhoni. Now, with the gradual decline in Pakistan’s performance, the Karachi-born Mohammad Bashir has shifted allegiance to the ’formidable’ Indian team ahead of the ICC Champions Trophy clash later this week. “Ab koi muqabla nahi raha India Pakistan ka (IndiaPakistan match is not the contest it used to be). India bahut aage nikal gaya hain (India are miles ahead of Pakistan),” says the Chicago based Bashir, who is heartbroken that he would miss his first India-Pakistan clash in close to six years. Bashir has been a familiar figure in the stands whenever the two teams have met and always giving him company has been India’s very own Sudhir Gautam, who is arguably Sachin Tendulkar’s biggest fan. “I have not missed a single India-Pakistan contest since attending my first one in Mohali during the 2011 World Cup. I would have loved to be there in Birmingham as well but since the game is during the month of Ramadan, the trip to Mecca with my family was already planned and I will be there for a month. In fact, Sudhir called me only to check whether I was coming. Sadly I won’t be there but India should comfortably beat Pakistan and then go on to win the tournament,” the 64-year-old says. His love for Dhoni is understandable but earlier Bashir had loyalties split between the country where he was born and India, the place from where his wife comes from. But now it is all about India. “I still love Pakistan but I love India more now. Earlier, I wanted Pakistan to win but now it is India. The love that I received during my first trip to Mohali in 2011 was overwhelming. I have come to a stage where I end up going to India almost every year and hardly go to Pakistan. I feel much safer in India,” says Bashir. Dhoni often gets him tickets for matches and had once gifted Bashir, who owns a restaurant in Chicago, a cricket bat. Currently in Saudi Arabia, Bashir is struggling to find a television channel that shows cricket. “It is all about football here. I think I will watch it on the Internet. I even wanted to watch India’s warm-up against New Zealand but could not.” Ask him to dissect the line-up of the current India and Pakistan squad, Bashir calls it a no-contest. “Ek side par Dhoni, Kohli, Yuvraj aur Pakistan mein toh koi bada player hee nahi hain [there is no star player in Pakistan compared to the Indian line-up]. What an era it was when the likes of Javed Miandad, Wasim Akram and Waqar Younis would play. Now I don’t even know the names of most players. India should have it easy,” he says.

Tiger Woods apologizes for DUI arrest, blames medication Former world number one golfer Tiger Woods said an unexpected reaction to prescribed medications was to blame for his early-morning DUI arrest near his Jupiter Island home in Florida on Monday. Woods, who underwent surgery last week to relieve lingering back pain, was booked and released several hours later on his own recognizance. Woods said in a statement that alcohol was not a factor in his arrest but apologized and added that he took full responsibility. "I want the public to know that alcohol was not involved," he said. "What happened was an unexpected reaction to prescribed medications. I didn't realize the mix of medications had affected me so strongly. I would like to apologize with all my heart to my family, friends and the fans. I expect more from myself, too." Woods, who is second on the all-time list with 14 major titles, said he cooperated with police and wanted to thank the Jupiter Police Department and the Palm Beach County Sheriff's office for their professionalism. "I will do everything in my power to ensure this never happens again," he added.

31

Asian Voice | 3rd June 2017

ICC Champions Trophy kicks off on June 1

The stage is set for the battle between top ranked One-Day International (ODI) teams as ICC Champions Trophy (CT) 2017 kicks off from June 1. The eighth edition of the tournament will be held in England and Wales. England will be hosting the event for the second time in a row. Top eight ranked teams as on 30 September 2015, the cut-off date for qualification, qualified for CT. West Indies, the winners of 2004 edition, failed to qualify for the tournament and for the first time will miss the tournament. On the other hand, CT 17 sees the return of Bangladesh to the tournament having missed out on 2009 and 2013 editions. The eight participating teams have been divided into two groups of four each. Group A comprises of Australia, Bangladesh, hosts England and New Zealand while Group B features

defending champions India, Pakistan, South Africa and Sri Lanka. ICC Champions Trophy 2017 will be played across three cities: Cardiff, Birmingham and London. A total of 15 matches will be played during the tournament, including semifinals and final. The final will take place on 18 June at Kennington Oval in London. India are the defend-

ing champions and will begin their title defence against tradition rivals Pakistan on June 4. India, under MS Dhoni, defeated England in the finals of ICC Champions Trophy 2013. It was India’s second ICC Champions Trophy title having shared the previous title with Sri Lanka in 2002. England, Pakistan and Bangladesh are the only teams among participat-

ing nations not to have won the ICC Champions Trophy. South Africa won the inaugural ICC Champions Trophy in 1998, and in the second edition, New Zealand emerged victorious. Year 2004 saw West Indies win the title for the first time. Australia clinched its maiden Champions Trophy title in 2006 edition and then successfully defended it in 2009.

Schedule Date Group Match Venue June 1 A England vs Bangladesh Kennington Oval, London June 2 A Australia vs New Zealand Edgbaston, Birmingham June 3 B Sri Lanka vs South Africa Kennington Oval, London June 4 B India vs Pakistan Edgbaston, Birmingham June 5 A Australia vs Bangladesh Kennington Oval, London June 6 A England vs New Zealand Sophia Gardens, Cardiff June 7 B Pakistan vs South Africa Edgbaston, Birmingham June 8 B India vs Sri Lanka Kennington Oval, London June 9 A New Zealand vs Bangladesh Sophia Gardens, Cardiff June 10 A England vs Australia Edgbaston, Birmingham June 11 B India vs South Africa Kennington Oval, London June 12 B Sri Lanka vs Pakistan Sophia Gardens, Cardiff June 14 1st Semi-Final (A1 v B2) Sophia Gardens, Cardiff June 15 2nd Semi-Final (A2 v B1) Edgbaston, Birmingham June 18 FINAL Kennington Oval, London

Time 10.30 am 10.30 am 10.30 am 10.30 am 01.30 pm 10.30 am 01.30 pm 10.30 am 10.30 am 10.30 am 10.30 am 10.30 am 10.30 am 10.30 am 10.30 am

Path to Success supports Team GB stars of the future

Charity organisation Path to Success will support two promising Wheelchair Basketball players to Tokyo 2020 Paralympic. Christy Gregan, 23, and Sophie Paterson, 19, are each being awarded £22,500 over the next three years to help with training, travel, nutrition coaching, specialised Wheelchairs and equipment as they look to force their way into the Team GB Paralympic squad. The announcement was made at the Path to Success Charity Wheelchair Basketball Tournament at the Copper Box Arena, which was staged to raise funds for the London Titans Wheelchair Basketball Club. Christy, who has been playing for nine years, is one of the sport’s brightest prospects and has represented GB at Under 23 level, while university student Sophie began at 15 and is now playing in the national league. Anita Choudrie, founder of Path to Success, said: “We are delighted to be helping Christy and Sophie as they begin their journeys to Tokyo. The sponsorship will start on July 1st 2017 and continue for three years until Team GB selection for the 2020

(Left to right: Jaspal Dhani (London Titans), Charlie Bethel (BWB) Ian Laker (London Titans) Anita Choudhrie (Path to Success) Christy Gregan, London Titans)

Olympics. Path to Success will be here to guide them on every step of their journey.” Wheelchair Basketball is not a professional sport in the UK, meaning that British players are often juggling work, study and sport at the same time. Many top players are forced to move abroad to play in the professional leagues of Spain, Italy and Germany. The London Titans have produced more than 50 Team GB players in their history, including seventime Paralympian Simon Munn, TV presenter Ade Adepitan and Rio bronze medallist Gaz Choudhry, but receive no central sports funding. This means the club is reliant on charitable contributions and Path to Success has raised more than £41,000 for the

club over the last year. Ian Laker, head coach and co-founder at London Titans, said: “Path to Success has changed attitudes at the club, made us more professional and put building blocks in place to recruit more players. We are very grateful for their continuing support’. The charity event took place on May 16th and was the second edition of the tournament following a successful inception in April 2016, giving ablebodied players the chance to experience a fast-moving sport which is enjoyed by more than 4,000 players in the UK and is our most successful Paralympic sport. Able-bodied players took to the court alongside London Titans stars and a number of Invictus players. Path to Success intends to

hold the tournament annually to raise funds to support London Titans and to encourage more people to get involved in Wheelchair Basketball. Charlie Bethel, chief executive of British Wheelchair Basketball, said: ‘London Titans is the lifeblood of our sport and we have a lot to thank them for. The generous support being provided by Path to Success will allow the club to continue to grow and produce more great players for Team GB’. Supporting companies and institutions: C&C Alpha Group, Shanti Hospitality, Green Templeton College in Oxford, Margot restaurant in London, PHA Media, Boutique PR & Marketing, Asian Voice, Eastern Eye, Sequiona London, Arora Group, The Mayfair London, Karma Yoga Foundation, Amira Foods, Maxi Muscles, Pulsin, Anytime Fitness, GBL Mobility Specialists, GLL & Copper Box & Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, Chooseyourevent.co.uk, All in London.co.uk, East London Radio, BH Live Catering, Wanis International Foods, Trowers & Hamlins LLP, Disability Sports News.


Sport 32

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ENGLAND SEAL SERIES VICTORY OVER SOUTH AFRICA

England managed to seal series victory over South Africa despite losing the third and final ODI at Lords on Monday. In the last ODI, seamers Kagiso Rabada and Wayne Parnell wreaked early havoc to set the platform for an easy South African victory. South Africa won by seven wickets but lost the series after defeat in the first two games as both countries prepared for the start of the Champions Trophy this week. Rabada and Parnell decimated the English top order in the opening five overs and rendered the contest effectively over with England teetering at 20 for six. It was the first time six wickets had been taken inside the opening five overs of an ODI. England, who rested Ben Stokes and made four other changes after Saturday's narrow victory in Southampton, were eventually dismissed for 153 after 31 overs to which the South Africans replied with 156 for three. Hashim Amla scored 55 before being bowled by debutant Toby Roland-Jones and Quinton de Kock (34) fell in the next over to Jake Ball. But, JP Duminy (28 not out) and AB de Villiers (27 not out) saw their side through to victory. South Africa's bowlers used the seamer-friendly conditions to maximum effect as England's batsmen fell like skittles, the first six wickets all

coming from pitched up deliveries. Rabada had out-of-form Jason Roy caught in the slips by Amla in the opening over and Joe Root, Eoin Morgan and Jos Buttler followed in quick succession to catches. Jonny Bairstow's 51 saved England from the possibility of a worst-ever ODI score. Ben Stokes struck century In the second ODI in Southampton, Ben Stokes struck a century before pacemen Josh Ball and Mark Wood helped England seal a series-clinching two run-win over South Africa. Victory put England 2-0. Stokes made South Africa pay dearly for dropping him off both first and

second balls after the all-rounder had been passed fit to play following a knee injury. Yet in a match where the Proteas dropped six chances in all, they were still on course for a morale-boosting win ahead of the start of next week's Champions Trophy. South Africa, the world's top-ranked ODI side, needed 20 off the last two overs chasing a target of 331. That became 10 off 10 balls when David Miller (71 not out) struck Jake Ball for a six and a four off successive deliveries. But South Africa - often accused of 'choking' in pressure situations - saw Miller and Chris Morris (36 not out) fail to score the runs they required as Ball and fast bowler Wood held their nerve.

Bangladesh script first overseas ODI win Riding on half-centuries from Tamim Iqbal and Sabbir Rahman, Bangladesh beat New Zealand by five wickets in the final match of the ODI tri-series. The win pushes Bangladesh to sixth position in the ICC rankings. Chasing a challenging target of 271, Bangladesh got off to a strong start, despite losing an early wicket. Tamim and Sabbir added 136 runs for the second wicket to lay a solid platform. The two got identical scores of 65. After Tamimâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s dismissal in the 27th over, there was a flurry of wickets but the experienced duo of Mushfiqur Rahim (45*) and Mahmudullah (46*) arrested the slide and took the team to victory. This was Bangladeshâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s first overseas win over New Zealand. Earlier, Bangladesh bowlers fought back to restrict New Zealand to 270 for eight. When the Black Caps were 208-3 in the 39th over they were on course for a total of 300, but the dismissal of the

dangerous Corey Anderson triggered a collapse - they lost three wickets for two runs in 11 balls - and it needed Ross Taylor to hold the innings together. The former captain finished 60 not out from 56 balls with just six fours, with wickets falling around him as New Zealand failed to build on a secondwicket stand of 133 between skipper Tom Latham and Neil Broom.

Luke Ronchi lasted only five balls after Bangladesh won the toss with Mustafizur Rahman breaching his defence in the second over. Latham, on the back of his century against Ireland in their big victory, picked up where he left off and found the boundary 11 times in his 92 ball-innings of 84. Brief scores: New Zealand 270/8 (50 over); Bangladesh 271/5 (48.2 over)

Danny Simpson urges players to stay with Leicester City Danny Simpson of Leicester City has urged his team-mates to stay with the club as there is much more to come from the squad, while speculation has already begun that City's key players could be the subject of transfer bids this summer. Riyad Mahrez has been linked with a big-money move to France and Kasper Schmeichel with a switch to a Champions League club. Reports claimed that Schmeichel was on Manchester United's shortlist to replace David de Gea should the Spaniard go to Real Madrid this summer. However, Simpson hopes all his team-mates return for pre-season training in July as he feels they can realistically push for European qualification in the next campaign. Simpson has been part of the most successful squad in the club's history, winning the Premier League and reaching the quarter finals of the Champions League, and the full-back does not believe it is the end of the era. "It's a special club, every team is going to have other teams interested in their players and rumours of interest, but as far as I'm concerned it's a good dressing room, a great squad, and I still think there's a lot more to come from this group," he said. "It's the same for other clubs. We hope everyone stays and builds on this experience, and it will be nice to go again next season to try to get into Europe again. "It's down to individuals. All you can do is focus on yourself. We'll go away and have a break, and get ready for pre-season." Simpson certainly does not believe City should be written off next season, despite initially facing a relegation battle in this campaign. City eventually recovered to finish 12th but Simpson feels they are a much better side than their league finish suggests. "It's Leicester, anything is a possibility," he said, when asked if they could qualify for the Champions League again. "Playing in Europe this season, we want that again. We'll have a good break and come back in pre-season, and see what squad we've got. "I'm pretty sure that's something we'll be trying to get again, and I'm sure that's what we want and the owners want." Reports from Manchester claimed that manager Jose Mourinho had Schmeichel and Atletico Madrid's Jan Oblak on a two-man shortlist to replace de Gea. Mourinho is said to favour the City keeper because of his Premier League experience, which would see him quickly settle in at Old Trafford. The United boss is still hopeful that de Gea will stay at Old Trafford. However, any interest is likely to be fought off by City as Schmeichel is on a long-term contract and Leicester have no need, or desire, to sell their popular goalkeeper after his outstanding season. Schmeichel was the player of the year and the players' player of the year at the club's end-ofseason awards evening.

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