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4 - 10 MAY 2019 - VOL 48 ISSUE 1

WE WANT JUSTICE Home Office investigated into international student's visa row

inside: Everythings 13: A Russian Sikh's attempt at Sikh education SEE PAGE 7

Organ donation law in England is changing SEE PAGE 8

Priyanka Mehta An independent government watchdog is conducting an investigation into the Home Office's decision where it has accused about 34,000 international students from non-English speaking countries of cheating in the mandatory English language test and due to which over 1000 students have been removed

from the UK. The National Audit Office (NAO) has launched an investigation into Home Office's decision of revocation of visas for these international students following a BBC Panorama documentary in 2014. According to the documentary, some of these students were “caught cheating” by using a “proxy” to appear for the speaking section of the Test of

English for International Communication (TOEIC) exams. However, campaigners, and parliamentarians over the years have argued for the rights of these students who have not been provided with evidence by the Home Office of these “cheating allegations”. Continued on page 6

64% voters exercise their franchise in the 4th phase SEE PAGES 16-17


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onetoone WITH KEITH VAZ, MP

Patrick Lewis Patrick Lewis’s parents were immigrants from Ireland who came to the UK in the 1950s. His father was a printer and his mother a clerical worker with the civil service. He was born and grew up in Harlow, going on to study Economics and later Law at the LSE. In 1992, he was one of the first to be appointed to work at an organisation called the Refugee Legal Centre which, at that time, was part funded by the UNHCR. This developed and came to be recognised as a centre of excellence in developing the law to protect the rights of asylum seekers. He was awarded a scholarship for outstanding entrants to study for the Bar exams and joined Garden Court Chambers in 1997 which, at that time, had 34 members. It has now grown to be the largest Chambers in London and the second largest in the UK with almost 200 barristers. Patrick specialises in Immigration and Human Rights law and has been instructed in a number of leading cases. He has been acknowledged as a leader at the Bar by the Legal 500 and Chambers & Partners Legal Directories.

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Which place, or city or country do you most feel at home in?

London. I feel passionate about the way London has developed into a truly diverse, international city. It is easy to assume that the evolution of London’s liberal character was inevitable, but in fact it has been fought for and achieved against all the odds. Anyone old enough to remember the 70s

and 80s will know that this is true! It is so important that we are not complacent about what has been achieved as it could all be lost so very easily.

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What are your proudest achievements?

Having come from a working-class background the idea of qualifying and working as a Barrister could not be more removed

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from my reality when growing up in Harlow. I owe everything that I have achieved to my parents who, like so many immigrants, sacrificed so much to ensure that my sister, brother and I could achieve our potential and more. One legal case of which I am particularly proud established that when a tribunal is deciding whether requiring a person to leave the UK is a reasonable, the contribution they have made to the UK should be taken into account.

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And the worst?

I have worked in Immigration Law for over 27 years and the attitude towards immigration has, particularly in the last few years, reached a level of hostility that defies logic. It is exhausting to have to battle constantly against a system that will reject applications from individuals who are clearly going to make a valuable contribution to the UK

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What are your long-term goals?

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What inspires you

I am very fortunate to work in an area of law where I am inspired by my clients and admire the way in which so many have overcome adversity. I am also inspired by my colleagues at Garden Court Chambers who are invariably leaders in their field whether they work as Criminal, Civil or Family law Barristers. Our motto is ‘Do right! Fear no one!’ and those I work with genuinely work fearlessly for their clients on a daily basis. I can think of no better motto by which to represent clients and indeed by which to live one’s life

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What has been the biggest obstacle in your career. The feeling of anger at a system that can seem so illogical and unjust and which seems to have forgotten that it is dealing with human beings. It can be overwhelming. The need to remain calm and provide a clear, logical and articulate response to such irrationality has never been so important.

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What is the best aspect about your current role? To face what appears at times to be the overwhelming might of the State against your client, and to go into Court and convince a Judge that what is being done is unlawful and must be overturned, is nothing less than extraordinary. The fact that we live in a Country where our judges are willing to overturn the decisions of the Government, despite the pressure of a media that now considers it can vilify judges, is fundamental to our way of life and must be protected.

My practice is extraordinarily diverse. Within the same week I might be representing a convicted terrorist facing deportation, an Oligarch fearing extradition, an international Bank establishing a presence in the UK or someone who has been separated from their partner who has been refused entry unlawfully. My hope is that I may continue my practice in this challenging but fascinating area of law.

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If you were Prime Minister, what one aspect would you change? I have no ambition to be Prime Minister, but if this were thrust upon me, I would firstly seek to provide bipartisan leadership where it is so absent right now! Without wishing to be too controversial, my first aim would be to convince the electorate that we need a People’s Vote on Brexit! I would also work to ensure that an environment was established in which businesses were able to prosper and restore proper funding for the NHS, housing, schools and the legal system to ensure that those who have been marginalised are engaged.

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If you were marooned on a desert island, which historical figure would you like to spend your time with and why. George Orwell. His books and essays should be made compulsory reading. It would be fascinating to hear his interpretation of the UK and the world in 2019. Alternatively, David Bowie, probably the most influential artist of the 20th Century.

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Birmingham when the crash happened, “leaving complete turmoil and devastation behind”. Paying tribute to the “doting” father, his family said: “People from all walks of life have honoured him and his charismatic ways, as he always had such an uplifting and positive aura to share. “His consistent smile and support for others gave many people hope that such individuals existed. “Much like his father, who sadly passed away two

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4 - 10 May 2019

Sri Lanka: Need for honest answers The Islamist bombings of Christian churches across Sri Lanka and the tragic loss of innocent lives – 253 at the last count, with 15 more to be added in the final security assault on the terrorist hideout – has awakened the country’s authorities from their traditional slumbers. The apology issued by the President’s Office revealed the gravity of the existential crisis facing the island nation. Government has long been a house divided: President Maithripala Sirisena pitted his authority against that of the democratically elected power of Prime Minister Ranil Wickramesinghe. Administration was in limbo, with the government’s Security Council failng to convene when called upon to do by the Prime Minister, who was thus kept in the dark about the dire warnings emanating from foreign intelligence services, one of them from neighbouring India. There have been sackings of key civil servants and senior police officials, but such actions cannot account for the lapses of politicians in power. Scapegoats cannot be substitutes for the real villains. For far too long, the country’s Sinhala establishment has trained its sights on the minority Tamil community. This ethnic divide is truly alarming. The revelation that the mastermind of the bombings was one of the country’s largest and most influential businessman, Zahran Hakim, whose factories manufactured the deadly devices that wrought such havoc, should be a wakeup call. Such activity took place over many months and was closely supervised and coordinated at every step of the way under the very noses of the police. The tentacles of the local jihadi group which has claimed responsibility for these murderous assaults, it now turns out, were linked to Islamic State, operating out of Iraq and Syria and other pockets of the Greater Middle East. The story does not, and cannot, end there. International scrutiny of the jihadi phenomenon must be wide as well as deep, if we are to tackle the sources of jihadi terrorism. Copious funds emanate principally from the Arab world, notably from the conservative reactionary monarchies of the Gulf, headed by the House of Saud, the heart of Wahabbi Islam and beyoud. Mosques across the Muslim world preaching its nefarious doctrines, have become platforms for hate and intolerance. The carefully calibrated myth that Islamic extremism is incubated in poverty and ignorance has to be dispelled. The aerial attacks of 9/11 on New York and Washington

were carried out by planes piloted by terrorists with advanced engineering qualifications. The most notorious terrorist attacks in Dhaka, capital of Bangladesh, were the work of rich jihadis with degrees from US universities. Beguiling Islamic faces on international TV channels keep yapping away on the perils of Islamophobia, even as Islamist bombers target children at a Manchester pop concert, blow up pubs in London, or enter the premises of Charlie Hebdo in Paris and shoot dead the entire editorial staff. Such deeds are crimes against humanity. The bombings in Mumbai in March 1993 and November 2008 by Pakistan-sponsored jihadis fall into a similar category. Hundreds of people died during these assaults. Expressions of outrage are not Islamophobia but simple disgust. We come, thereafter, to Western culpability. The US,UK and France turn a blind eye to the role of Saudi Arabia, thanks to the mega arms deals the monarchy regularly signs up to with its benefactors in Washington, London and Paris. Terror groups, for a time, were given sanctuary in the UK provided they confined their activities to third countries, with Russia the major target. Attacks in Moscow and the Beslan killing of children were viewed by the mainstream American and British press with grim satisfaction – a cynical and dangerous game, with the jihadi monster turning on those who once succoured it. China does much the same with India, giving Pakistan a certificate of innocence. We return to the events in Sri Lanka and the possibility of a spill-over into India. South India, especially Kerala, is on red alert, as IS operatives are known to exist there. Indian intelligence sleuths have raided a number of sites of known suspects. Farther away in the Kolkata diocese of the Church of North India, clerics sought special police protection in the wake of the Sri Lankan bombings. Bishop Probal Dutta said he was overwhelmed by the prompt police response at all the city’s major churches, each part of its cherished cultural landscape. As he spoke, the Kolkata’s venerable Armenian Christian community held a memorial service to Armenians who perished in the Turkish genocide during the First World War. There has never been any atonement for this dreadful deed by Turkish governments, past and present. The scorge of Islamist terrorism is a continuing menace to civilized societies.

Iran exception to Saudi rule The standard set for Iran does not apply to Saudi Arabia. Such appears to be the message of US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. While excoriating Iran for its lack of democracy and human rights and its alleged support for Islamist Jihadi terrorism, international news agencies reported 37 beheadings – mostly of Shia - in Saudi Arabia, which engages in an interventionist war in neighbouring Yemen, which, according to the UN, is the greatest humanitarian catastrophe in modern times, as men, women and children starve to death or parish from lack of medicare. Money, it appears, is the ultimate arbiter in such matters. President Trump flaunts the arms contact with Saudi Arabia, which, he claims, guarantees American jobs, Prime Minister May assures the British public Her Majesty’s Government takes every precaution to safeguard innocent lives on the ground, President Macron does much the same in France. The US pronouncement on Iran comes with the threat of US sanctions against any country purchasing Iranian oil. That includes India, although a senior State Department official, visiting New Delhi, informed her hosts somewhat kindly that Indian help in building the Iranian port of Chabahar could go ahead without US demur. The Indian print media, accustomed to dancing to

every US tune was chuffed about Chabahar but neurotic about the threated oil sanctions. None of these papers, alas, pointed out that sanctions without an UN imprimatur lacked legitimacy in International Law. US exception to every rule of international law is considered par for the course, and cast aside with impunity. No rule-based order can exist or survive on the caprice of a single state or group of states. What is at stake is a multipolar global order. What emerges is the vision of an unilateral order obedient to the whim and fancy of a sole self appointed guardian. What India is obliged to do is tell the United States respectfully that as a sovereign state she has the inviolable right to behave as one. Is The first loyalty of any Indian government is to the country’s own Constitution. In other words is India to be a banana republic on the central American model, to kowtow to Washington in the abject manner European Union, or as others of the ‘free world’ choose to do. Hopefully Indian pride and self respect will prevail. India will trade with Iran in its national interest, and in accordance with the provisions of the UN Charter. That said, India should face the threat of US sanctions as the part of the pains of labour that come with true sovereignty and not some counterfeit imitation. Superpower diktat has ceased to be in harmony with the spirit of the age.

Man for all seasons, for all time William Shakespeare was born on April 23, 1564 in Stratford-on-Avon and died in 1616. He wrote 38 plays and composed 154 sonnets. He bestrode England the world as a literary colossus without peer whose light has shone brightly across the centuries, his works translated into almost every known tongue for pleasure and profit to the mind and spirit. In India, Shakespeare’s plays have been an inspiration in the renditions of Bollywood cinema. Likewise, in Bengal, where the great Sanskrit/Bengali scholar and social reformer Isvar Chandra Vidyasagar’s play Branti Bilash (1869) was a Bengali adaptation of Shakespeare’s

The Comedy of Errors. With Calcutta the capital of the Raj, theatres sprang up in the city from 1775 and Shakespeare was performed in the original. After Independence the Bengali stage actor Utpal Dutt played in a number of Shakespeare plays directed by Geoffrey Kendal. Dutt’s Little Theatre performed some of the plays in the original. However, as a Shakespeare enthusiast, Dutt translated Shakespeare for the Bengali stage in the metropolis, then took his troupe to rural Bengal. Shakespeare is among the foremost legacies of the British presence in India. Long may these endure.

All of humanity’s problems stem from man’s inability to sit quietly in a room alone -Blaise Pascal (1623-1662)

Alpesh Patel

The Home Office and India The old joke goes, that we have so many Indians in Britain because when the British were leaving India in 1947, a whole bunch of Indians at India Gate in Mumbai, shouted at the last British ship, “Hey, where do you think you’re going? We are coming with you.” Another, more serious quote relating to the British is ‘justice must not only be done, but be seen to be done.’ What’s happening with Indian students and the visas relating to alleged fraud in exams, missed the vast number of student and work visas granted to Indians and the speed with which they are processed by the Government. Getting the most out of Government departments and value for money whilst achieving Government policy for the taxpayer is a problem which remains unsolved. You would think setting targets would be the key. But it turns out quantity over quality means that there are injustices. We are not making widgets here, we are dealing with people’s lives. What is worse, is that, this then leads to a perception of lack of justice. A ‘hostile environment’ it turns out leads to Windrush-like scandals. The greatest legal mind of any generation was probably Lord Denning. As a barrister, like my peers, I would admire his clarity of thought in speeches. It was he who said, ‘I would rather, 99 guilty men go free, than one innocent man is hanged’. That is what we learnt as young lawyers about the famed British legal system and British justice. High ideals. It turns out management quotas and goals need more subtlety when dealing with humans. Even dealing with foreigners – the greater harm is not just done to the individual but the loss of faith in the system, and then as with Windrush, before you know it, politicians are resigning, the media are even potentially, dare I say, exaggerating the problem for their own agendas at times, and it defeats Government policy of closer ties to, in this case, India. This interconnection is subtle, yet obvious. It starts with one small case. And leads to potentially civil servants feeling under attack, a Home Secretary diverted from other tasks, fire fighting at a time of lack of resource, and embarrassing questions and unintended consequences such as reports back in India that the UK is hostile to Indian visa applicants, which then counters the good work of the Foreign Office. All a waste. When the Prime Minister appointed me to the UK India Roundtable in 2000, to advise him and the Indian PM on policies for closer ties, we were told there are no limits to what we can propose. So I proposed open borders – arguing when have Indians let you down? Ridiculous, but I wanted to make the bigger point, you should be treating India like you do people from ‘white nations’ – as I have said on the BBC – eg Australia, Canada, America. Recently, in Parliament, I hosted 25 tech companies from India, with a view to having them set up in the UK. Despite the news about the Home Office we will succeed, but until then here is another saying from a man who challenged the British: "For the want of a nail the shoe was lost, For the want of a shoe the horse was lost, For the want of a horse the rider was lost, For the want of a rider the battle was lost, For the want of a battle the kingdom was lost, And all for the want of a horseshoe-nail.” Editor: CB Patel Asian Voice is published by Asian Business Publications Ltd Karma Yoga House, 12 Hoxton Market, (Off Coronet Street) London N1 6HW. Tel: 020 7749 4080 • Fax: 020 7749 4081 Email: aveditorial@abplgroup.com Website: www.abplgroup.com © Asian Business Publications


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Boot’s Pharmacist ‘spiked trainee’s water to teach her a lesson’ A Boots pharmacist allegedly spiked a co-worker’s water bottle with a laxative to ‘teach her a lesson’. Shahan Mir, 34, was supervising a trainee when he allegedly added Lactulose to her drink while ‘her back was turned’, a trial at Birmingham Crown Court heard. Farah Abdulquader spat out the liquid but later suffered with diarrhoea and vomiting. Mir later said he only moved his colleague’s water bottle because he had asked her to stop bringing it onto the shop floor. But Andrew Baker, prosecuting, alleged Mir – a pharmacist of ten years – had slipped a laxative as a ‘form of retribution’. Mir, of Kings Heath, Birmingham,

denies a charge of causing a noxious thing to be taken with intent to annoy. Miss Abdulquader was serving a customer at the Fort Retail Park Boots branch in Erdington, when the incident occurred on March 21, 2018. Mr Barker said she took a sip from her water bottle and realised it was excessively sweet and the water had a yellow tinge. She became suspicious and asked the shop’s security officer to look at CCTV footage. The prosecution told the court the footage showed Mir removing the bottle and a few seconds later replacing it. Mir was later interviewed and said he had asked Miss Abdulquader not to bring her own water on to the

it again. I felt so vulnerable and trapped. I was in disbelief really, you don’t think this kind of thing is going to happen to you.’ The assault only came to an end when she moved and told another female passenger. On a second occasion he started talking to a victim, making her feel uncomfortable, before getting so close to her that when he started stroking his own thigh she could feel it rubbing against her own. She said: ‘His thigh was touching mine and he was moving his hand up and down his trouser pocket which I could feel. ‘I thought, is he actually

shop floor but she had continued to do so. Mr Barker alleged Mir put about a millilitre of the laxative in the water, intending to show Miss Abdulquader ‘the risks of what could happen.’ He said: ‘The prosecution say there was animosity between the two. ‘His

actions were at the very least foolish and, we would say, criminal. His intention was to annoy her at the very least. ‘Whether it was some form of retribution or to teach her a lesson, it was an incredibly stupid and criminal thing to do.’ The trial continues.

smail approached his victims as they sat alone on the train

doing what I think he is? I moved and he pulled his hand away but he did it again, moving his hand up and down his jeans next to my leg.’ She then went to find the train conductor to

report what had happened. Both women identified Ismail in a police identity parade but he denied the allegations saying he was arrested as a result of mistaken identity. Ismail has a history of carrying out sex attacks including one assault on a girl under the age of 16. The latest victim, 17, told Manchester Square Crown Court: ‘Since this happened I don’t sleep very well. I have flashbacks and panic attacks about what happened. ‘Sometimes it feels like only yesterday that it happened.’ Ismail will be sentenced at a later date but in the meantime he must get police permission to catch trains.

Woman set herself alight and died at care home A pensioner died after accidentally setting herself on fire at a care home run by a Conservative Party donor, a court heard. Rosina McDonald was found crying out for help when her clothes and hair caught fire at the Wood House care home in Tooting. Southwark crown court heard the 78-year-old had been left alone with a cigarette lighter, as fire safety rules were flouted by the home. Wood House is one of 21 homes around the country run by Conservative supporter Ravinder Gidar and his brother Sukhvinder. They now face a fine over Mrs McDonald’s death in 2015 after their company, Gold Care Consultancy Ltd, admitted three fire safety

Ravinder Gidar

breaches. It is the second time the brothers’ businesses have been prosecuted, after another woman, 84, was hurt at a fire at a care home in Penge in 2013. Prosecutor Emma Collins, representing the London Fire Commissioner, told the court on Friday that carers rushed to help Mrs McDonald when the fire was discovered on January 28, 2015. “They heard

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BRADFORD MAN IN COURT ON TERROR MANUALS CHARGES A man has appeared in court charged with having terror instruction manuals. Umar Hafeez, 37, is charged with 13 counts of possessing a record containing information useful to committing or preparing an act of terrorism. He appeared at Westminster Magistrates' Court earlier and was remanded in custody. Mr Hafeez, of Heaton Road, Bradford, will appear at the Central Criminal Court sitting in Oxford on 10 May. He is accused of possessing records with titles including Step By Step Knifemaking, You Can Do It!, The Anarchist Cookbook by The Jolly Roger, and How To Survive In The West.

KNIFE ROBBER JALEES AHMAD JAILED Shahan Mir allegedly slipped the laxative in the trainee’s drink while she was serving a customer at the Boots store

Sex predator who targeted women on trains claimed they’d mistaken him for someone else A pervert who sexually assaulted women as young as 17 on trains is facing a prison sentence. Mohammed Ismail, 39, targeted the women on trains leaving Manchester’s Piccadilly station over summer last year. Because of the heatwave, one of the victims was wearing shorts when Ismail sat next to her and started stroking her thigh. The victim said: ‘He was so close he was touching me. He touched my thigh and rubbed it up and down from the top of knee to the pelvis area – so, the full length of it. ‘I moved his hand away and he put his hand back on

in brief

screaming and when they opened the door they saw flames across the ceiling. Mrs McDonald’s cardigan and hair were alight,” she said. Staff could not get to her because of the intensity of the fire but managed to coax her out of the room. However, she was badly burnt and succumbed to her injuries the following day in hospital. The court heard a plastic cigarette lighter — believed to be the cause of the blaze — was recovered from Mrs McDonald’s bed. Ms Collins also said the home’s fire risk assessment, which had not

been reviewed for more than a year before the blaze, failed to mention the nosmoking policy or “consider the risks posed by smokers”. The court also heard that the fire door closest to Mrs McDonald’s room was not working and the fire alarm in her bedroom — though found to be functioning — was old and had not gone off when the fire broke out. The firm’s barrister, Paul Spencer, said: “This was a tragic event which should never have occurred.” Judge David Tomlinson will sentence Gold Care Consultancy on May 3.

STRESS-BUSTING DOGS ON UNIVERSITY STAFF Five dogs have joined the staff of Middlesex University to help students with exam stress or whose anxiety puts them at risk of dropping out. The five labradors have become "canine teaching assistants" and will work on improving students'

wellbeing. The five have their own staff cards, in a project purported to be the most systematic use of dogs in a university. "You can literally feel stress levels reducing," said Fiona Suthers, head of clinical skills at the university.

A man who carried out a series of knifepoint robberies after choosing his victims through social media has been jailed. Jalees Ahmad, 20, from Filton, near Bristol, targeted people selling mobile phones on Facebook and classified ad website Gumtree. Police said he threatened victims with a hunting knife Jalees Ahmad when he collected the items and then stole the phones. Ahmad was sentenced to 10 years in prison at Bristol Crown Court. The robberies were carried out over a 12-day period between 2 and 13 March. Victims were targeted across Bristol, Keynsham, Kingswood and Weston-super-Mare. Ahmad was jailed for five counts of robbery, one of theft, five of possessing a bladed article and possession with intent to supply cannabis. A previous suspended sentence was also activated as a result of his offending.

MARATHON RUNNER: 'I'VE NEVER SURRENDERED TO BLINDNESS' A former interpreter for the British Army, who lost his sight in an explosion in Afghanistan, says he has "never surrendered" to his condition. Wali Norri was badly injured and left in a coma by a roadside bomb 10 years ago, but took up running again after he and his family were allowed to settle in Colchester, Essex. He has already taken part in the town's half marathon and a Parkrun with the help of a guide runner, and has been in training for Sunday's London Marathon. He said: "I've never, ever surrendered myself to my blindness. I've started my new life. I've overcome the obstacle. I have a big goal just to achieve great things to inspire others."

Turban-wearing bus driver who changed the law Fifty years ago, Sikhs working on Wolverhampton's buses won the right to wear the turban at work. It followed a long-running dispute during which one Sikh man threatened to set himself on fire. It was a time when racial tensions there were high, with the city's most famous MP Enoch Powell saying the country was "heaping up its own funeral pyre" by permitting mass immigration. The Express and Star newspaper reported the turban dispute "could bring chaos to the town's bus services", but it was not just public transport that faced upheaval. Refusing to remove his turban or shave his beard, Tarsem Singh Sandhu sparked a row that spread across the world and saw the nation's racial tensions and identity politics played out on Black Country double-deckers. "I couldn't see anyone in Wolverhampton at that time with a turban," remembers Mr Sandhu, who arrived in the Midlands in his 20s more than 50 years

Tarsem Singh Sandhu

ago. Wolverhampton was different back then, he said. He remembers the racism, the teddy boys, and when he plucked up the courage to wear his turban, colleagues wearing crude mockeries on their heads. Soon after arriving, he was pinned down by uncles who cut his hair against his will. He would never get a job with a turban, he was told. At 23, he began working as a bus driver with Wolverhampton Transport Committee which at the time employed 823 drivers, 411 of whom were Indian. All had signed the uniform policy, agreeing to come to work clean shaven and wearing the uniform cap. None of them wore a turban.


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Indian investments surge amidst Brexit uncertainties Brexit worries may have caused uncertainty in the political economy of the UK but it has not dampened the appetite of Indian investors in the UK market, a recent report tracking Indian investments in the UK has indicated. On 24th April, Wednesday, the launch of the annual 'India Meets Britain Tracker' report has revealed that from 800 companies who were doing business in the UK in 2018, the number of these Indian companies has jumped to 842 in 2019. According to the same report these companies have also helped in boosting the British economy over the last year with a combined turnover increasing from £46.4 bn in 2018 to £48 bn this year. The report published by financial adviser Grant Thornton UK LLP in association with the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII), was launched in the presence of Her Excellency Mrs. Ruchi Ghanashyam, High Commissioner of India to the UK, Rt Hon Graham Stuart, UK Minister for Investment, Lord Ashton, Parliamentary Under Secretary of state for Department for Culture, Media & Sport, Mr Chandrajit Banerjee, Director General, Confederation of Indian

Industry, along with other Members of Parliament, Peers and Indian Company Heads of UK & Europe. "The headline figures in the Tracker are startling and they show the phenomenonal engagement and frank and open discussion that exists on both sides. They are testament to the strength and entrepreneurialism of the Indian business community, with some companies growing by more than 100 per cent year on year. We recognise that India is important as one of our most critical bilateral investors," said UK minister for investment Rt Hon Graham Stuart. The minister also took the platform to even speak about the expected drop in the corporation tax to 17% next year and how this remains one of the reasons for London to remain the biggest investment market. Indian firms paid a combined total of over £684 million in corporation tax, higher when compared to £360m recorded in the 2018 report. However, Indian firms employed 104,783 peo-

Winners with Lakshmi Kaul (bottom-centre), Chandru Iyer (top-right), Anuj Chande, David Dunckley, Rt Hon Graham Stuart, Her Excellency Mrs. Ruchi Ghanashyam, High Commissioner of India to the UK, and Chandrajit Banerjee

ple this year, lower when compared to 104,932 recorded in 2018 report. Three companies reported growth of more than 100% in this year’s tracker report. TMT Metal Holdings Limited recorded a phenomenal growth rate of 649%, followed by Route Mobile (UK) Limited, at 189% growth, and BB (UK) Ltd, at turnover growth of almost 129%. The report also provides a Tracker of the fastest growing companies, as mea-

sured by those with turnover of more than £5m, year-on-year revenue growth of at least 10% and a minimum two-year trackrecord in the UK. But surrounding the issue of diversity, the report has also highlighted that 24% Indian companies in the UK have at least one woman on their board as opposed to 19% of these companies last year. “We all wondered how the Brexit process would have affected the investment sentiment from India

and now we have the answer – Indian business retains its positive outlook towards the UK," said Ruchi Ghanashyam, the Indian High Commissioner to the UK. Technology and telecommunication firms continue to dominate the tracker report, as they have done since its launch in 2014 with 35% of them accounting for the fastest-growing companies. Engineering and manufacturing, followed by pharmaceutical and chemi-

cals firms, account for 15%, continuing historically strong representation. “The fall in the value of sterling has had a role to play, making UK assets increasingly attractive to overseas investors. Low rates of corporation tax and the ease of doing business in the UK also remain significant draws.” said, Anuj Chande, head of South Asia Group at Grant Thornton UK LLP. The evening also witnessed an awards ceremony alongside the Tracker launch, wherein TMT bagged the award for the Fastest Growing Company for the year and Route Mobile won the award in the tech category. Tata Motors Limited was named the Top Employer in the UK, employing over 43,000 people, and Union Bank of India received the award for the Fastest Growing Financial Services Company. This report further highlights that London continues to be the preferred location for 53% of the 62 fastest growing Indian companies.

For more information on the report visit: https://www.grantthornton.co.uk/globalassets/1.member-firms/united-kingdom/pdf/documents/indiameets-britain-tracker2019.pdf

Prameet Shah talks about his role as a Community Pharmacist We speak to Community Pharmacist, Prameet Shah from Islington to find out more about his role and how pharmacists can help people with minor health concerns.

trains for five years in the use of medicines before they qualify and is also trained in managing minor illnesses and providing health and wellbeing advice to help people stay well.

How long have you been a Community Pharmacist and what inspired you to become one? I have been a community pharmacist for almost 25 years now. My inspiration stemmed from when I was 12. I used to accompany my brother at the pharmacy where he worked, just for fun. Later I had a Saturday job when he bought his own pharmacy. I saw the job satisfaction he had helping patients with their daily health issues. Also the great relationships he developed with patients and doctors. I witnessed the positive feedback he received from both patients and healthcare professionals for his work. I was impressed with the level of detail he practised with and felt it was a profession to be proud of.

What sort of problems can Pharmacists help with? Community Pharmacists can help with a range of issues: l We can provide clinical advice to people on the treatment of minor health concerns such as coughs, colds, sore throats, tummy troubles and aches and pains that don’t require a GP appointment. l We check prescriptions for safety, appropriateness, and ensure people take their medicines safely whilst answering questions and providing support to patients with their medicines. l We also provide vaccinations, such as flu vaccinations. By following the expert advice of community pharmacists, you can help the NHS help you stay well; prevent an illness getting worse; take the best course of action; and get well again sooner.

How much medical training does a Pharmacist receive? A lot of people are surprised to find out that every pharmacist

Can someone see a Pharmacist without an appointment? Yes, community pharmacists

offer a convenient, quick way to obtain clinical advice on minor health concerns, and can consult with patients in the pharmacy’s private consultation room with no need to pre-book an appointment. Most people live within easy reach of a pharmacy and many offer extended opening hours in the evenings and at the weekends. Do all pharmacies have private consultation rooms?

Over 90% of pharmacies across the country have a consultation room where you can request to talk to a member of the pharmacy team in private. What if the health concern becomes more serious? If symptoms suggest it’s something more serious, pharmacists have the right clinical training to make sure you get the

help you need immediately and can refer patients to a GP or A&E where necessary. Don’t wait for minor health concerns to get worse – speak to your local pharmacy team to get advice right there and then. Help us, help you, before it gets worse. Visit nhs.uk/pharmacyadvice for more information.


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Sri Lanka bombed, travel agents hit Priyanka Mehta The Easter Sunday attacks in Sri Lanka where over 200 people were killed and nearly 500 injured has left its aftershocks here in London after the UK Foreign Office has officially warned passengers to cancel their travel plans to the tropical paradise unless they are absolutely “essential”. While Colombo is gripped with fear and remains curfew bound as intelligentsia hunts for suicide bombers, travel agents and tour operators across the UK are in caught in a limbo with last minute cancellations and postponement requests. “In the last seven days we have lost a total of 28 group bookings that included roughly 70 passengers who cancelled their trips,” said a spokesperson for Holiday & More to Asian Voice.

According to data provided by the Sri Lanka Tourism Development Authority, the country saw a 400% jump in the number of people arriving the country from 2014 to 2.3 million last year. Today, more than 254,000 people travel from the UK to Sri Lanka on an annual basis. “We have to understand that travel is a very sensitive industry and any incident of such nature as the bomb attacks in Sri Lanka tends to have a ripple effect on us. Currently, we have lost business worth £48,000 and witnessed a 70% drop in calls in a week's time,” the spokesperson continued. But Holiday & More is not the only travel company who has suffered from the aftermath of the ongoing security concerns sparked amidst IS claiming responsibility of the recent spate of attacks on churches and mosques. Reports suggest that Virgin Holidays have

temporarily suspended all operations to Sri Lanka till May 15 whereas, Kuoni has put a hold on all trips to the country for the next four weeks. However, Virgin Holidays have also said that it's sourcing alternative flight arrangements to help holidaymakers return home as quickly as possible, and has a 24/7 hotline on +44 203 6688 749 which is providing advice and reassurance. “Our hope is that it will be possible to change this when the current security operation has concluded. My first priority will always be the security of British citizens living and travelling abroad. “We all hope the situation will return to normal very soon, and that the Sri Lankan tourism industry is able to get back on its feet following the terrorist attacks. We will do all we can to help the Sri Lankan authorities in the meantime,” said Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt. According to the Association of British Insurers, “Cancellation cover under your travel insurance should cover additional costs that cannot be refunded by your travel provider. If you are currently in Sri Lanka and want to curtail your visit and return early, your travel insurance should cover any extra costs associated with rearranging

return flights.” Customers due to travel to Sri Lanka should check with the Foreign Office for updates. “While the Foreign Office hasn’t put any travel restrictions to Sri Lanka, this means that normal booking conditions would apply if customers no longer wish to travel, travel companies’ policies will vary, depending on specific circumstances,” according to Association of British Travel Agents. While some travel agents have disclosed how they are offering alternative travel dates, flights and cancellation refunds on a case by case basis travellers should also contact their travel company to

WE WANT JUSTICE Continued from page 1

Rahman is an undergraduate student from Bangladesh who had come to the UK in 2009 to pursue his degree in Business Administration and is one of the 34,000 such students accused by the Home Office today. Having failed to receive any proof from the Government or the Educational Testing Service (ETS), an institution organising these tests, Wahidur has waited for half a decade to clear these allegations off his name. Today, at the news of the NAO's investigation in compliance with the Home Office, Rahman says he is “optimistic” of the future. “I am positive that after the independent authority has taken charge of the investigation, the truth will come out about how the Home Office has mishandled this issue and further reveal their incompetence,” said Wahidur Rahman.

APPG and Urgent Question Hour The Home Office concluded that around 34,000 of the 58,458 students who had taken the test between 2011 and 2014 had definitely cheated, that a further 22,600 had “questionable results”, and that only 2,000 had definitely not cheated. Now an All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) campaign is

Geeta Rani

calling for these students to be allowed to retake their tests and prove their innocence. The APPG on TOEIC is chaired by Stephen Timms and other members includeJim Fitzpatrick, Ruth Cadbury, Martyn Day, Mike Gapes and Paul Scully. They're currently planning to have frequent meetings where they are hearing testimonies from different groups including students themselves and legal professionals. The plan is to produce a report with recommendations for the government. Speaking at the House of Commons on 29th April, Monday, Stephen Timms MP called on the Home Secretary to allow those remaining in the UK to sit a new test, describing their “desperate hardship”. He has also challenged the Minister over students’ court challenges, pointing out that appeal courts have described the Home Office evidence as “worthless.” Whereas Shadow Immigration Minister Afzal Khan pointed

out that the government has “lost case after case in the courts” and said the Home Office’s approach had been “driven by the hostile environment and net immigration target”. However, the Immigration Minister Caroline Nokes announced a further delay to the Home Office's announcement regarding this subject and indicated that any announcement would be delayed until after the NAO has released its report that is expected to be published by late May.

Justice delayed not denied: NAO Investigation “We are disappointed that the Home Secretary has chosen to avoid addressing the issue that has left thousands of innocent students in desperate limbo for five years, deciding instead to send Immigration Minister Caroline Nokes to face Urgent Question from Stephen Timms MP question,” said Nazek Ramadan, Director of Migrant Voice. Migrant Voice is a charity that has been at the forefront of this campaign of achieving justice for these international students who have been relying on support from their friends and relatives for financial aid. But aside from Nazek, Geeta Rani is one of these 34,000 students who has wasted half a decade and

discuss their cancellation policies, and the options available. In the meantime, Jean Marc Flamert, former director of tourism for the Sri Lankan tourist board in the UK, appealed to operators and agents in a Youtube video to continue its support for the country following the terror attacks on Easter Sunday. “The people of Sri Lanka are resilient and welcoming and you know as well as I do they will look after all of your guests. “Please, any new bookings, take them for the weeks and months ahead. Any present bookings, try to hold on before you cancel them,” said Flamert.

NEWHAM COUNCIL STANDS UNITED FOR SRI LANKA

Wahidur Rahman

close to £40,000 in legal aid and tuition fees waiting for her name to be cleared. Each day that the announcement is delayed, the humiliation of depending on her family takes a toll on her mental health. However, like Wahidur, even Geeta is 'hopeful' of the NAO Investigation. “I am hopeful that the outcome will be positive and that ultimately I am able to clear my name off these allegations so that I can at least move ahead in my life,” she said. Meanwhile, the NAO have spoken about how “The Home Office revoked student visas where there was evidence of cheating, but its decisions have come under renewed public and parliamentary scrutiny in the wake of the Windrush scandal”. “The NAO is looking at the information held by the Home Office on the number of people alleged to have cheated and the action the Home Office has taken to date.”

“My thoughts are with those injured, my prayers for the victims and my deepest condolences to the hundreds of families affected by this travesty on Easter Sunday which targeted worshippers marking this Holy Day at churches. Our borough, Councillors and the community in Newham stands with Sri Lanka in this moment of hate and terrorism,” said Rokhsana Fiaz - Mayor of Newham.


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The power of 'Mighty Khalsa' and 'Kiddie Sangat'

In post-Communist Moscow, Sukhmani Kaur was the only white female Russian embracing her faith on her head in the form of a turban as she channelised the Sikhi culture that she had been curious about ever since she was 16 years young and in university.

In one of these videos, Kaur herself can be seen speaking about the power of meditation and Sikhism in Russian. But Sukhmani also runs two other projects for childrenMighty Khalsa and Kiddie Sangat. “Under Mighty Khalsa we have published our own books including activity and colouring books where the lessons around subjects such as 'Mool Mantra' among others would help children in understanding the Sikh culture. So, instead of 'Incy Wincy Spider' we have included 'Incy Wincy Khalsa' and these books are available with a CD where the children can hear these rhymes and learning therefore becomes a playful activity for them,” she explains. Meanwhile, Kiddie Sangat is a Sikh playgroup where children and parents enjoy creating colourful pieces of art like crafts of Harimandir Sahib, Guru Ji's Nishaan Sahib which serves as an educative platform for these children to learn about their history. Kiddie Sangat was started in Southall and now they have eight-nine groups with roughly 300 children participating in them. More importantly, there are quite a few faith and Sikh schools across the UK including a local school in Hayes where in the past Kaur was invited during festivals like Vaisakhi and Guru Purab to speak about the significance and history of the Sikh community.

“My first interface with the Sikh culture was through meeting people who practised Kundalini Yoga and yoga based on Sikh philosophy as taught by Yogi Bhajan. I had never heard of the Sikh faith before but I wanted to learn more about it,” recalls Kaur as she speaks about her trip to India in 2000. If one met Kaur today, nobody would have surmissed that two decades ago she had travelled to India without speaking either English or Punjabi, both languages that she is now fluent in. And it was during the end of the trip that she took Amrit- a Sikh ceremony of initiation or baptism- and from being born in an orthdox Christian family to today educating her three children about the Sikhi faith and simultaenously producing content for the charity Everythings 13, Kaur has had an illustrous 20 years.

YouTube channel and multi-lingual education “Everythings 13 has been established since 2012 by my late husband Bhai Jagraj Singh. It started with a YouTube Channel called the 'Basics of Sikhi' with a view to create accessible resources for everyone who might not want to read a book or go to the Gurudwara and would prefer learning about Sikhism in byte sizes

Picture Courtesy: Kiddie Sangat

Priyanka Mehta

through these videos,” said Kaur. Speaking about the inception of the Channel after a Christian person from America had posed questions to the Sikh community and who was curious to receive some answers about them, Kaur mentions of over two thousand educational videos that are available today for perusal of adults worldwide. But today, Everythings 13, is an umbrella charity which encompasses a number of projects run by a team of 15 employees across the UK and about hundred volunteers worldwide. “We do weekly talks in different Gurudwaras in English and 'Street Prachar' where we are frequently found on the streets, with flyers in our hand trying to explain and educate people so that they are not afraid of the Sikhi faith,” she mentions. With 15 employees and

countless volunteers working in the charity, these street prachars are held in as many languages as possible includingSpanish, Portuguese, Italian, French, Chinese, Japanese and even Thai. Additionally they also have an iphone and android app “Street Prachar” which aims at providing knowledge about the Sikh community from Langar services to women's role in Sikhism. In fact, one of these female employee working with the charity co-ordinates these translations for all documentary, video and audio content. “We are currently working on a new leaflet about Guru Nanak Dev Ji as this year marks his 550th Birth Anniversary and we are contacting people across different countries and also creating subtitles in different languages for the various videos that are highly watched on YouTube,” she said.

Faith schools and limited resources “I started all these conceptbased teachings and activites when I realised that resources about our religion were limited and there were

Picture Courtesy: Kiddie Sangat

Everythings 13: A Russian Sikh's attempt at Sikh education

many mothers like me who wanted to teach about our faith to our children. All these Punjabi classes were available for the older kids but belief and culture is something that is instilled in the very beginning,” she explains. A single mother of three children, today Kaur talks about the role of faith schools and how, in her opinnion, some of them have not been able to teach the Sikh faith in its true spirit. “My kids go to a Sikh school, a school which has Guru Granth Sahib in their premises and one that ensures that children go to the Gurudwara everyday. But they fail to speak about the shaheedi of chote sahibzaade,” she reveals. 'Shaheedi of chote sahibzaade' is an event of paramount significance in the Sikh history which marks the martyrdom of the four sons of the last Guru Gobind Singh after they refused the Mughals' dictat of accepting Islam as their religion. Events, such as these, Kaur

believes help individuals, specially children, in fighting against racism and achieving that faith in the religion that they practise. But Kaur, talks about how these schools preferred teaching about Christmas as opposed to the basic fundamentals of their own religion. In light of this, through Everythings 13, Kaur aims to educate as many children and herself in the process about Sikhi faith, a religion that she was not born into, but one that she says, has made her a better person. “Initially, my parents thought that it was a phase that would gradually wash away. They thought I was a hippie and was caught in that punk rock movement and from being a Sikh, I will soon drift into something else. But eventually, they understood that I became a better person and so, accepted me for who I am today,” Kaur says. For more information on Everythings 13, visit: https://www.everythings13. org/

Nirav Modi makes third application for bail Diamantaire Nirav Modi has made application for a bail for the third time in Westminster Magistrates Court and will appear in front of the Chief Magistrate of Westminster Court, Emma Arbuthnot, on Wednesday 8 May at 2pm for the hearing. His bail was rejected the last time by Judge Emma, as she believed that Mr Modi was at flight risk. He will remain in custody at the HM Wandsworth Prison till his next hearing. Depending on the result of this bail application hearing, the

court will decide if there will be a procedural hearing on 24 May at all (Mr Modi is to appear monthly via video link for this procedural hearing at the moment). This is meant to be followed by a case management hearing on May 30, where Mr Modi is going to be present in person. During the procedural hearing on Friday 26 April, Mr Modi, who is the main accused in $2 billion Punjab National Bank fraud case, appeared by video link from HM Wandsworth Prison in south London, where he is

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Organ donation law in England is changing Jain and Hindu Organ Donation steering group (JHOD) has been set up to communicate accurate information about the change in law Rupanjana Dutta Fake news circulating widely via social media platforms regarding the change in England's organ donation law, has seen a spike in people opting out of the organ donation register, in sheer panic and fear. The message mostly shared among the Asian community via whatsapp, reads as “A reminder to all, residents in the UK are now automatically on the organ donation register. If you don't opt out, your organs and tissue will be the property of the UK government after death...” Andrea Ttofa, who is the Head of organ donation marketing at NHS Blood and Transplant said, “While it is absolutely an individual’s choice whether or not they want to register as an organ donor or opt out, we

The 'Point of Light' award was presented to Kirit Modi for raising awareness about organ donation in BAME communities at Prime Minister's Diwali celebration, by Mr Philip May. Mr Modi attended with wife Meena

want to ensure that people are making the right decision for them and their family based on facts rather than misinformation or scaremongering.”

The NHS organ donation laws are indeed changing, but from spring 2020, all adults in England will be considered to have agreed to be an organ donor when

they die unless they have recorded a decision not to donate or are in one of the excluded groups ie people under the age of 18, those who lack mental capacity to understand the new arrangements and take the necessary action, visitors to England, or those not living here voluntarily and people who have lived in England for less than 12 months before their death. Every day, around three people die in need of an organ, because not enough organs are available for transplant. However, only 1% of people die in circumstances that would allow them to donate. The law is being changed to help save and improve more lives. There is a severe shortage of organ donors in the UK. Over 400 people died in 2017/18 while waiting for an organ transplant. There has been an overall increase in the number of organ donors over the last few years but the shortage continues

among the ethnic community. Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) groups have to wait much longer for an organ donor. In March 2018, there were 959 Asians waiting for an organ transplant in the UK

and in 2017/18, there were 69 Asian living donors, 37 Asian donors after death i.e. a total of 106 donors. A national group called the Jain and Hindu Organ Donation steering group (JHOD) has been set up with the help of Lord Jitesh

Gadhia to support all Hindu and Jain groups in England to communicate accurate information about the change in law from their own religious perspective. It has started work on producing videos and leaflets which will be available for everyone to use. JHOD Chair Kirit Modi, a pioneer of organ donation campaign, who has been a kidney transplant recipient and has been involved in promoting organ donation for many years told the Asian Voice, “I am delighted that we have established this national steering group consisting of volunteers who are committed to increasing organ donation in our communities. We are ready to support Hindu and Jain community groups, faith groups, professional groups, youth groups and others in explaining the change in law. We need everyone’s support to save more lives through organ donation.”

BAPS Annual Charity Challenge raises funds for NSPCC and other good causes More than 1,000 people in northwest London – from toddlers to senior citizens – joined the BAPS Annual Challenge on Sunday 28 April 2019. The charity Challenge organised by BAPS Swaminarayan Sanstha (BAPS) brought together more than 3,000 enthusiastic participants from towns and cities across the UK for a fun and healthy way to raise money for various worthy causes and local charities. The funds will go towards supporting BAPS’s multifarious educational, community and spiritual activities in serving children, youths, families and the elderly. This year’s event supported two local charities for their outstanding work in north and west London – Kiran Talking Newspapers, a Willesden-based charity supporting visually impaired Asians through the provision of free talking newspapers, and the Rainbow Trust, a charity that provides emotional and practical support to families who have a child with a life-threatening or terminal illness. The 2019 Challenge supported NSPCC (National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children) – the UK’s leading charity campaigning and working to protect children from neglect, harm and abuse. Previous national partners for BAPS Charities have included Age UK, the Alzheimer’s Society, the Anthony Nolan Trust, Barnardo’s, Breast Cancer Care, the British Heart Foundation, Carers UK, Diabetes UK, KIDS, and Macmillan Cancer Support. The event kicked off shortly after 9.00am from BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir, London, in the presence of Chris Cloke, Head

of Child Protection Awareness at the NSPCC, Cllr Arshad Mahmood, the Mayor of Brent, Councillor Kareema Marikar, the Mayor of Harrow, and Cllr Muhammed Butt, Leader of the Brent Council. Also present was MP Bob Blackman and several other distinguished guests. Addressing the gathering, Chris Cloke drew upon the partnership between BAPS and the Guests join young children as they start a number of circuits of their own around the perimeter of the Mandir, while participating in NSPCC, speaking about various entertaining activities the shared values of and transform society for every young and old in the cool April were all very excited to raise keeping children safe. He added, childhood. His Holiness Mahant weather was wonderful to money for a charity that makes “We are pleased to be working with observe. We are delighted to be Swami Maharaj has inspired us to children’s lives better.” your volunteers on safeguarding supporting the NSPCC’s vision to serve and care for each child to in Dr Mayank Shah, a leading and child protection. We are also not only protect children today, turn create a better world for volunteer for BAPS, said, “The looking forward to workshops for but prevent abuse in the future everyone.” dedication and commitment of parents on keeping children safe online – so there are many opportunities on working together and we really value the partnership to focus on education. She fell in Imtiaz Dharker would be the first [with BAPS].” love with an older man while studyAsian and Muslim origin person and Bob Blackman MP also ing at the university and eloped to second woman to be named as poet addressed the assembly and highIndia shortly after her final exam. laureate in the UK. The British poet lighted the “alternative to the 26 She married journalist Anil Dharkar, laureate is an honorary position miles of the London Marathon who runs the Mumbai Literary festiappointed by Britain's monarch on [provided by the BAPS Annual val now and moved to Mumbai, the advice of the Prime Minister Challenge] so that young and old India. Dharker never got to see her The role does not include any specan participate.” mother again, but reconciled with cific duties, but there is an expectaAfter the opening ceremony, her father and siblings after her tion that the holder will write verse walkers, joggers and runners Ayesha with Imtiaz Dharker divorce with her husband. Her secfor significant national occasions. moved to the Gibbons Recreation Dhaker has written about reliond husband Simon Powell, foundDharker, 65 was born in Lahore, Ground (opposite the Mandir) to gion, identity, culture and femied Poetry Live before his death, due Pakistan, but moved to Glasgow complete their 10 kilometres of nism. She was reportedly awarded when she was young and studied to cancer in 2009. the Challenge. Young children the Queen’s Gold Medal for Poetry locally. Dharker's daughter Ayesha, Though the department for culcompleted a number of circuits of in 2014, and is a former poet-in-res41, is a Shakespearen actress and has ture said that an appointment has their own around the perimeter of idence at the Cambridge University also appeared in tv series such as the not yet been confirmed and the final the Mandir while participating in Library. GCSE and A-level students Coronation Street and several decision will be taken by the Queen, various entertaining activities en read her work in their syllabus and English films including Star Wars it is believed that Dharker was choroute. Shreya Patel, aged 9, shared, Dharker speaks to more than 25,000 and The Mistress of Spices. sen by the government to succeed “I really enjoyed walking with my students in poetry recitals across Growing up in a conservative poet laureate Carol Ann Duffy, as friends – there were so many chilUK, every year. Pakistani family, Dharker was made her ten-year term ended on April 30. dren who walked together and we

Imtiaz Dharker to be named as the first Asian poet laureate


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Indian-origin scientist elected as Fellow of the Royal Society

Former cleaner’s exceptional dedication sees her win national award

Professor Anant Parekh from Oxford University has been elected a Fellow of the Royal Society, the UK's distinguished body of Science that includes Sir Isaac Newton, Charles Darwin, Rutherford, Stephen Hawking and Ramanujan as its former members.

A Newham healthcare assistant has received a national award for her exceptional dedication to ensuring patients are treated in a spotlessly clean environment and for her work supporting operating theatre staff. Bindu Sasikumar, who works at the North East London NHS Treatment Centre, earned the Health Support Worker of the Year Award at the Care UK Healthcare Awards, which celebrate excellence and are open to thousands of clinical and support workers across the country. Bindu started working at the centre as a cleaner in the theatre department. She impressed colleagues by always being cheerful, and always anticipating colleagues’ needs without being asked. She also worked hard at her education, attending night school to improve her level of English. When a position came up for a theatre Health Care Assistant (HCA) she successfully applied. Speaking to Asian Voice, Bindu said, “I was so happy and surprised when my name was called, I didn’t think I could come this

Anant is currently Professor of Physiology at Oxford and a Fellow of Merton College. His research investigates how cells in the body communicate with one another, with an emphasis on how hormones and other chemicals control important biological functions such as secretion, energy production and gene expression. He is particularly interested in applying his research to understand allergies and asthma. Anant's work has transformed our understanding of how cells send information to one another and how such information can be used to activate specific physiological targets. His work is also leading to the development of new drugs that target a

Professor Anant Parekh

specific type of protein, called a calcium channel, for therapeutic use in asthma. He has received several awards for his research, including the Wellcome and GL Brown Prizes in Physiology in recognition of his seminal contributions to the fields of cell biology. On hearing about his election as a fellow, Professor Parekh told Asian Voice, "It is of course both humbling and a great honour to be elected to the Royal Society. However, nothing occurs in a vacuum and this really reflects the wonderful mentors I

Lord Bhikhu Parekh

have had at key stages in my career, the support from the Department over many years and the excellent young scientists who have worked and continue to work in my group, without whom this election would not have been possible.” Anant’s father Lord Bhikhu Parekh is the Professor of Political Theory at Hull. In 2003, Lord Parekh was elected to the British Academy, the humanities equivalent of the Royal Society. It is very rare for both a father and son to be in these learned societies at the same time.

Rupanjana Dutta

Bindu Sasikumar, won the Health Support Worker of the Year Award, presented by Care UK Chief Executive Mike Parish

far. My daughter is very proud. She is a lawyer and she is delighted that I have won the award. I now hope to go on to take on further study and move further on in my career.” Hospital Director John O’Brien added, “Our theatres teams know that Bindu will go way above her role and help in any department that needs her. Her standard of work is exceptional and her enthusiasm towards her job is an example to anyone. “Bindu stands out as a

healthcare hero for me because she goes the extra mile every day she works. She will change shifts, she will work extra hours and she will also swap departments if the need is there for her, and she is unfailing positive. “Bindu now has the responsibility of training all new HCAs in the department, as the theatre management team know that she will show them the correct way of supporting the nursing team. She is truly a worthy winner.”

We Are The NHS There are a wide range of exciting and rewarding job opportunities available in the NHS across England. You can make a difference by working for the NHS and being part of a team that keeps the systems running to help keep every patient well. We speak to people working for the NHS about their roles and what they enjoy most about their jobs.

Rakesh Mistry, Customer Service Analyst, NHS Blood and Transplant (NHSBT) Rakesh provides IT support for all staff in the NHSBT. His role involves balancing priorities and resources to ensure the best possible outcome for each person, and the NHSBT. “I enjoy working face to face and remotely with NHSBT staff, understanding their immediate and upcoming IT requirements and issues, and providing advice and support on the most appropriate solutions. “My role is technical, but I also get to use my expertise to participate and chair expert groups, weekly team call reviews and project meetings. “It can be a challenge to keep staff happy with their use of IT equipment so that they carry out their own jobs effectively, but I know it is for a good purpose – saving lives.”

Thalia Remy, Employee Relations Administrator at Barts Health NHS Trust Thalia’s role allows her to get involved in a range of Human Resources (HR) activity including facilitating the Staff Partnership Forum, co-ordinating the job evaluation process and staff mediations across Barts Health NHS Trust. “The thing I love most about my job is the variety of work I get involved in. I really enjoy being part of successful schemes such as the Staff Partnership Forum, where management and Trades Unions work together to find solutions for staff pensions. The concerns about staff welfare is of paramount importance and I feel privileged to play a part in this.”

Noreen Qureshi, Medical HR Assistant, Greater Manchester Mental Health NHS Foundation Trust in Prestwich Noreen assists with the day-to-day operations of Human Resources (HR) providing clerical and administrative support to the HR Coordinator. “I think the best thing about my job is knowing that even though we’re not on the front line physically saving lives, our contribution has a positive impact on the health and wellbeing of so many people and that is satisfying to know. “I get to speak to a range of clinical and non-clinical staff doing great work and I also get to meet the next generation of practitioners coming through and support them on their journey.” “I feel it is important to be in a job that makes you happy and offers you opportunities to progress.”


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Insult to women I want to respond to Miss A's letter in Asian Voice of 26th April 2019. It starts with a headline "Does Hinduism discriminate against women?" No Hinduism does not discriminate against women, but Hindus do. Here we are talking about Swaminaranyn. In the past when I have brought up the issue of the Swamies don't allow women in their presence, they have c;aimed not to be Hindus. If this is a new religion which reduces a woman to someone who cannot be in the presence of a chased man, In Hinduism the highest position has been given to the mother, she is the first guru and and she is to be given more respect than anyone else. Did the Swamies not have any mother's? Were they created in a test-tube? To me it is shocking that they think that because they have taken vows of chastity that women will someway attack them if they come in their presence. When Prince Charles and Princess Diana went, Prince Charles sat on the Dais with them and Princess Diana sat on the floor. The Baroness who went with them said to me "We have to follow your culture". Well let me say This is not my culture. By the way the beauty of a temple does not eradicate the insult to women. Baroness Flather By email

No need to smile I was astonished to see the Sri Lankan prime minister allowing himself to smile during his televised press conference following terrorist attacks on the island’s churches and hotels. This was a sombre occasion with reporters earnestly questioning the mild-mannered premier in an effort to find out how and why such horrendous attacks could have taken place on a beautiful tourist hotspot populated by friendly people. It was the wrong time to smile. Rudy Otter By email

Diabetes epidemic It seems epidemic of type 2 diabetes is spreading like bush fire that engulfs everything in its path and Asian community is not spared either. Few decades back, it was hardly mentioned, not even in a GP surgery, now one in four beds in NHS hospital is occupied by diabetic patients, depriving NHS of £20 billion from its scare resources! At one time it was presumed that our diet, especially over-consumption of sugar from eating sweets, such as penda, barfi made from almonds, cashew-nuts and pistachio Asians are so fond of, and overweight, obesity was more or less responsible for type 2 diabetics. But recent research suggests that the dramatic increase in type 2 diabetes is due to air pollution, affecting one in seven patients, according research carried out from the Washington University of Medicine in St. Louis, Missouri. According to experts, air pollution reduces body’s ability to act, thus developing insulin resistance. Pollution is also blamed for weight gain and depression. London is the most polluted city in Britain and harbours most diabetic patients. The amputation cases have risen dramatically, occupying much needed operation theatres, thus affecting other patients and increasing waiting time for hip and knee operations, mainly affecting older people. No wonder many such patients are going private rather than suffering excruciating pain in silence! Even home buyers are getting wiser and avoiding High Streets and Carriage Ways when buying a house! The pollution high-spots in London are the City, Westminster, Chelsea and many hot-spots even in outer borrows where traffic is concentrated. Another effective way is to plant trees that may reduce pollution by up to 35%. Unfortunately the trend is the opposite, to pave front and back gardens, as working people do not have much time or inclination to tend gardens! One has to be careful going online, as so many remedies are advertised on internet which may do more harm than good. The best remedy is to consult your GP who would carry out blood test and will make an appointment to see a Consultant if necessary. It is better to be wise than sorry! Kumudini Valambia By email

MAKE YOURSELF HEARD

Write to our ‘Reader’s Voice’ section about what you think regarding the various ongoing issues all around the world. Please send your letters to aveditorial@abplgroup.com Make sure they are NOT more than 400 words. Any letter longer than the limit may not be published. Note that all your letters are subject to being edited by our team for valid reasons. - Asian Voice

Harrow Mind Jail & Bail Fundraiser

Meet and greet

Last week, I was arrested and spent the day in the cells at Pinner Police Station - but before you think the worst, it was all for a good cause. It was part of Harrow Mind’s ‘Jail and Bail’ fundraiser, which asks members of the public to bail out community representatives who have volunteered to be arrested for fictitious crimes. The purpose of this is to raise funds for the vital mental health support and outreach work undertaken by Harrow Mind across our borough. I am very pleased to say that due to the generosity of local people and those further afield, I have so far raised over £1,800 to help the charity. However, mental health services across the capital are being stretched and Government austerity has meant funding cuts have been made in Harrow. From City Hall, the Mayor is trying to plug the gaps left by Government through his Thrive LDN programme. This is a campaign, involving over 200 experts, which aims to promote awareness and understanding of mental ill health across London’s diverse communities, schools and workplaces. Nevertheless, it cannot be left to City Hall and the charity sector alone to prop up our struggling mental health services. The Government need to properly fund our NHS and local authorities so they can deliver vital support to some of the most vulnerable in our community. Navin Shah AM London Assembly Member for Harrow and Brent

The spring has now sprung. It is said that in spring, a young man’s thoughts turn to love. We, the letter writers of this column in AV, and its parralel column in GS, would like to meet our fellow contributors. The previously planned meeting at the House of Lords a few years ago, was unfortunately cancelled. I would therefore like to put forward the following suggestion for consideration by the ABPL Board. There are about a dozen or so regular contributors to the “Your Voice” column of Asian Voice and that many to “Mare pan kain kahevun chhe” column of Gujarat Samachar. How about we all meet up at ABPL’s offices or similar convenient venue and put the face to the names which we are so accoustmed to, similar to the one organised a couple of years ago? We can then share views and opinions face to face and also meet representatives of both AV and GS. I would be glad to make acquaintace with Rupanjana and others while enjoying ABPL’s hospitality in the form of a cuppa at Hoxton House! I must add that the electronic versions of AV and GS which I receive by e-mail are very useful indeed! I could get up to speed on what is happening in England and around the world by reading the two papers on my mobile even while away from home. Also the free calendar which we get every year clearly shows the dates for all Hindu, Jain and Christian relogious festivals. Dinesh Sheth Newbury Park, Ilford

Celebreties in Indian Politics In India, the election fever is in full swing and 4 out of 7 voting phases are already over. Very soon, the whole world will eagerly await the outcome and find out as to who will rule New Delhi. In order to tempt the voters, political parties have once again fielded a number of film stars and other celebrities in this general election to the 17th Lok Sabha. It is a common belief that film dignitaries have a big fan following that can be conveniently converted into votes. To some extent this has been confirmed also as at times these big names have won the elections by huge margins and occasionally more than once. However, it is pertinent to ask that once elected, how many of them carry out their duties as active and effective elected representatives? Parliamentarians are expected to attend the sessions regularly, participate in deliberations, ask questions and raise fitting issues to represent their constituencies.But most dignitaries hardly find time from their busy routine and fail to justify their post of public office. Political parties must put them under considerable pressure so as to make them proactive in accomplishing their new avatar. Bharat Shah Rayners Lane, Harrow

Food import racket! Government is rightly worried that If Brexit goes through, there may be food shortages, at least in short term. But question is why, who is at fault! Answer is starring in our face. Government, the corridor of power is the culprit and to lesser extent business and public at large. Britain is fertile land with rainfall throughout the year. British people are industrious, inventers, used to lead the world with 20% share of world trade, now lingering at just 1%. Whenever we go shopping, we would like to buy British goods, especially on food front. So we were indeed surprised, even flabbergasted to see so many food items which we can easily, even cheaply produce locally were imported. In our local supermarket which we visit regularly, we found products such as milk, yogurt, cheese, biscuits, hard toast, bakery food and specialized food items such as sugar and lactose free products imported from none other than Scandinavian countries, Norway, Sweden, Finland and Denmark. These are most expensive countries with highest living standard! Not surprisingly, their annual income is nearly double compared to ours. Those who have visited these countries on holidays, not many we presume, except as stop-over while cruising Baltic Sea, as these countries are much colder and extremely expensive for tourists to visit. We were fortunate in having friends and family members settled there. A cup of tea and coffee may cost from £5 to £10 and a pint of lager or a glass of wine not less than £10. Their food products we buy here in our supermarkets cost at least twice locally, in Scandinavia compared to what we pay here. So how come our supermarkets find it cheaper to import rather than buy locally produced foods, as such imports also incur hefty transport cost! Could it be illegally subsidized! Can our politicians through some light, educate us! Same applies to fresh flowers, roses, carnations, lilies and soft fruits and vegetables we consume here are imported from Netherland which is the leading exporter of these products throughout the world, especially Middle East. The fault-line lies fairly and squarely at the foot of our politicians, especially local councils who deny our farmers to erect and grow these products under giant greenhouses, under the guise of protecting countryside. Would we ever learn! Bhupendra M. Gandhi By email

Thanks a lot for your suggestion to meet at Karma Yoga House. We request all the letter writers to suggest a few dates (Fridays 5pm onwards) in the end of May or in the month of June, and we would like to arrange a 'greet and meet' for you in our office. - AV

Play fair, Remainers [Courtesy: The Week] Nick King is right to point out that “small and family businesses make up 99% of the UK’s business population and create over three-quarters of new jobs”. Moreover, most of these businesses are also domestic-only and therefore do not trade with the EU, yet are still bound by its restrictive regulatory regime. To listen to the apocalyptic siren calls of the Confederation of British Industry, the Bank of England, the Treasury and other usual Remain suspects about Brexit, one could be misled into assuming that our trade with the EU accounts for the majority of our GDP. In fact, the true figure is about 8%, and it continues to decline fast. It would be nice to have more honesty from the Remain lobby about the modest contribution of our EU-focused trade to our economic well-being. But this is probably too much to ask. Nigel Henson, Farningham, Kent

Oil sanctions on Iran will hurt Indians too [Courtesy: The FT] Further to “Washington tightens oil sanctions on Iran in effort to block export markets” (April, 23): the US decision to end waivers on Iranian oil imports will not only hurt Iran; it will hurt India too. While the US may be right to inflict sufficient economic pain on average Iranians for them to threaten the current regime’s survival, what moral principle, if any, is served in punishing Indian citizens, who are not even remotely connected to the Iranian regime or its nuclear weapons programme? Randhir Singh Bains Gants Hill, Essex

Celebrating Labour Day Every year on May 1, people from all over the world celebrate Labour Day (or May Day, as it is called in India). The idea is to gain as much from this day as one can for oneself. But, what no one does is think about what this day truly stands for. There are countless problems which are being faced by our labourers in our society such as poverty, illiteracy, food and water crises. A vast majority of our labourers and dailywage workers remain outside the field of labour laws, which means that workers have no paid holidays, no job security, no medical coverage, no pension or provident fund, no limit on working hours and are paid no overtime. In India with all this, there is also an issue of child labour. Child labour in India is growing at a disturbing rate. Hundreds and thousands of children struggle to achieve their basic necessities of life. Children are the future of any country and we should all work to help them become better people. Child labour is a very complex problem with its root in the socio-economic environment of the country. The children suffer from lack of education and health facilities and better employment. Jubel D'Cruz, Mumbai, India


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4 - 10 May 2019

Habs Boys shortlisted for TES Award

Homeowners slapped with £2m bill for repairs A group of residents from east London is taking legal action against Europe's largest housing association after they were hit with a £2m bill for reports. Homeowners of Bow's Ranwell West estate were shocked when Clarion housing Group presented them with bills of up to £32,000 each, after they had already paid over £3000 a year for service and maintenance. Residents claim the firm allowed the estate to fall into disrepair before any work was done, with councillors raising the issue of maintenance more than a decade ago. They were however, handed a legal notice by Clarion, ordering them to pay for the repairs which include mechanical and electrical work, fixing the roof and floors, and redecoration of communal areas and pipes. The first bill came in 2016 and work started in 2017. The second bill was delivered in 2017. Residents argue that the work would not have been so expensive had appropriate maintenance been done earlier. They are now concerned

they may face more bills in the future, and 18 residents have roped in legal firm Hodge Jones & Allen to fight the charges. Richard Manning, a 40 year old who lives on the estate, and said, “The way we have been treated is appalling, immoral. The building has been under-maintained... it appears the bills we are

bills.” 39 year old mother of one, Shilpi Purkayastha said, “When you see the state of the building, the money we are being charged is ridiculous... the kind of service charges you'd expect in Chelsea. We don't know what we are paying for.” Meanwhile, a Clarion spokeswoman said such

was ranked as the globally highest performing education system in all three categories tested: Mathematics, Science and Reading. Headmaster Gus Lock said, “Habs is delighted to be shortlisted for the TES Award in Mathematics. We pride ourselves on excellent teaching and learning, both inside and beyond the class-

room. We are blessed to have the very best teachers and it is fitting that they are recognised in this way by being shortlisted for such a prestigious award.” The winners will be revealed at the TES gala awards evening at the Grosvenor House Hotel, Park Lane, London on Friday 21 June 2019.

British MP lends support to those affected by Jet Airways

faced with are to make good on things that should have been fixed years ago under general maintenance. People are being forced to hand over between six and 10 per cent of their homes to make up for failures in housing association management, as they are unable to pay or challenge the

works were not just general maintenance, but necessary improvements that “in the life-cycle of a building” and leaseholders should bear in mind these costs when buying this type of property. She said Clarion seeks to “maintain our existing housing stock to a good standard.”

Local election to be held this week Local elections this week (2 May) will see residents across the UK vote in new councillors to their local government. Leeds, Manchester, Liverpool are among 33 metropolitan boroughs electing a third

The Haberdashers’ Aske’s Boys’ School has been shortlisted for a TES Award for top Mathematics team. The TES Schools Awards 2019 recognise the most outstanding individuals and institutions that the education sector has to offer. Habs teachers Tom Jones and Sam Biggerstaff have been nominated for Mathematics team of the year. Habs Boys, which regularly tops league tables nationally and internationally, was awarded ‘The Sunday Times School of the Year 2017’ accolade and was named as one of the ‘Top 100 Cricketing Schools’ again this year by The Cricketer Magazine. The School continues to excel across the board. The School

of their seats this year, with polls open from 7am to 10pm. Votes will be counted overnight and the first results can be expected around midnight. Full votes will be available on the morning of Friday, May

Virendra Sharma, Member of Parliament for Ealing, Southall has written to HE Mrs Ruchi Ghanashyam, High Commissioner of India to UK, requesting the Indian Government to lend all the support it can, to those who may need their help, following speculation about the future of Jet Airways. With the failing of Jet Airways thousands of travellers don't know whether they will be able to get home. A promise of support from the Indian Government will be a lifeline for their worries.

Virendra Sharma

Virendra Sharma, Member of Parliament for Ealing, Southall wrote, “I am very concerned on behalf of both many of my constituents and thousands of Indians who may be affected

by the collapse of Jet Airways. “I know that people are worried about being stranded or left seriously out of pocket by the purchase of flights to get home safely. The safety element cannot be overlooked, and I am worried that people will be put in danger by Jet Airways operating as cheaply as possible in the current circumstances. “Please could you ensure the Indian Government takes all the necessary steps to ensure that no one is left out of pocket and gets home safely.”

Cambridge investigates its slavery links

3. European Elections are also scheduled for 23 May, but results will only be available from all 28 EU countries on the night of Sunday 26 May, after all the member states have voted.

The University of Cambridge is to investigate its own historical links with slavery and will examine how it might have gained financially. It has launched a two-year study that will examine its archives to see whether it gained from the slave trade. Universities

have faced questions about the legacy of links to slavery. An advisory group has been appointed, chaired by Prof Martin Millett and based in the Centre of African Studies, which will examine the university's archives, libraries and muse-

ums to find connections with slavery. Universities in the UK and the United States have faced scrutiny about whether they had benefited from slavery and coerced labour, particularly during the 18th and 19th Century.

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12 MEDIA WATCH

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SCRUTATOR’S The 2019 Election melodrama waxes and wanes full of sound and fury signifying for the most part an unceasing vulgarity, which now and again descends into music hall comedy. The third part of the seven phases of voting was duly completed on schedule, with an estimated 66 per cent turnout in Uttar Pradesh, 81 per cent in Assam, 79 per cent in Tripura and 81 per cent in West Bengal. A Whether these percentages bode well or ill for the incumbent State governments (BJP in the first three) only time will show. (Hindu, Times of India April 24, 29).

operatives. The IS module was busted after three men were deported from Abu Dhabi to India in January 2016. In August 2018, NIA officers arrested two further suspects in Hyderabad where they are being interrogated.(Times of India April 21). Reliance Jio passes Airtel

Gujarat riot victim, Bilkis Bano

choice. The State government was given two weeks to make the payment. Rehabilitation

Voters at polling booths in Assam, West Bengal

Another feature of the election campaign is the floor-crossing of disgruntled candidates: a disappointed individual denied a ticket by his party crosses over to its rival – BJP to Congress, Congress to BJP – commercial traffic, say the worldly wise. Women matter more than ever before Veteran psephologist, once a distinguished economist with an LSE and Delhi School of Economics pedigree, Prannoy Roy and colleague Dorab Sopariwala

Supreme Court seeks police help The Supreme Court of India has sought the help of the police and intelligence agencies, following the charge of a woman court official Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi had propositioned her; a lawyer subsequently revealed that the woman in question had been put up to make the false accusation in a bid to bring the court into disrepute by casting doubt on its integrity.. A bench of the Supreme Court, excluding the

The Bench headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi, said nothing would bring back the dead or wipe out the memory of her terrible ordeal. The best that could be done now was to ensure measures to rehabilitate her life with financial compensation. When counsel for the Gujarat government attempted to intervene, she was administered a sharp rebuke by the Chief Justice, who told her that she was lucky there was no investigation of why the case had taken so long to come to court. Three culpable police officers, now retired, are to have their pension benefits withdrawn by order of the court. Justice the aim A day after the court judgment, Bilkis Bano, with a young daughter in her arms, addressed a press conference in New Delhi. She told reporters: ‘Justice and not revenge is my aim. Throughout I kept my faith in the Constitution, my rights as a citizen, and the Supreme Court has stood by me.’ She related the trauma of losing her daughter and many of her family, she had nothing to lose. It had given her courage to keep fighting. She said she would spend part of her compensation money to help other survivors of that devastating experience. She hoped her young daughter (presently in her arms) would grow up to be a lawyer and defend other victims of social injustice. (Hindu April 24, 25). Pakistani Jihadis in Cross-border trade

Psephologist Pronnoy Roy

have authored a book, ‘The Verdict: Decoding India’s Elections’ Prannoy Roy interviewed by the Hindu newspaper April 17) surveyed a broad range of subjects relating to the country’s elections, his observation that, ‘women matter more than ever before,’ caught one’s eye for its long-term significance in bridging the gender gap. Another observation was equally arresting BJP at the hustings Roy remarks: ‘The BJP is extremely efficient in booth management and turnout management. Globally this is seen as the focussed way to win elections.’ It is a teasing thought.

Chief Justice, will hear the lawyer’s evidence alleging conspiracy to defame the institution itself. (Times of India April 25). Rs 50 lakh for Bilkis Bano The Supreme Court has ordered the Gujarat government to pay Rs 50 lakh (Rs 5 million) to Bilkis Yakoob Rasool for the harrowing ordeal she went through during the March 2002 communal rioting in the State. A mob ransacked her family home and killed seven of her kin. The Court ordered that the government offer her a job and government housing of her

Ten Pakistan-based terrorists have been involved in cross-border trade along the Line-of-Control (LoC) in Jammu and Kashmir, thus able funnelling weapons and fake currency into the Kashmir valley. Jihadi-fronting firms in the area were participants in this LoC cross-border trade. The 10 listed Pakistanis were based in Rawalpindi – the hub of their Kashmir operations (Hindu, Times of India April 25). NIA on IS trail holds two suspects Officers from the National Investigation Agency (NIA) raided four sites in Hyderabad and Wardha, arresting two suspects believed to be Islamic State

Two years and more after the launch of its mobile phone services, Mukesh Ambani’s Reliance Jio has passed rival Suni Mittal’s Bharti Airtel as India’s second largest telecom company with a customer base of 30..6 crore. Vodofone-Idea remains the country’s telecom leader, as of now, with 38.7 crore subscribers to Airtel’s 28.4 crore, each of these figures announced for December 2018 (Times of India, Hindu April 25). Libor openings for Indian IT firms The London Interbank Offered Rate (Libor) transition opens up a vast array of business opportunities for large consulting firms such as PwC, KPMG, EY and Deloitte and also for global IT firms, including those from India with proven international reach. Individual banks, financial institutions and lending houses are expected to spend anything from $50 billion to upwards of $100 billion a year for the next two years until the migration is completed by the end of 2021. Analysts say IT will be 50 per cent of this opportunity (Hindu April 25).

producing new jobs, said S.Gopalakrishnan, co-founder of Infosys and Chairman, Axilor Ventures. There is a demand at all levels in new technologies create tools to create robotic surgery, for example., in financial services credit rating, or loan processing, fraud detection etc (Business Line April 24). Voltas, Shima Seiko to market product Indian engineering major Voltas Ltd has reached a deal with Japanese textile machinery company Shima Seiki to market the latter’s products in India. They will focus on leveraging Shima’s experience in computerized flat knitting machines, ‘whole garment machines and total fashion systems will build on Voltas’s established sales and marketing network across the country, said C. Kamatchisundaram, Vice President, Voltas Textile Machinery Division. Flat knitting technology is still a nascent experience in India, where the concept has not caught on as yet (Business Line April 26). Rich openings in rural sector The evolving agri-business and food sector is creating profitable opportunities for management skills, the demand for which rises. This is of special relevance for students taking courses in agribusiness and rural management in top business schools Business Line April 24). Indian two-wheelers

Amazon sales surge Amazon Business, B28[Business to Business] online marketplace, launched in India in September 2017 has recorded 200 per cent sales growth in January-December 2018. The B28 marketplace expanded its seller base to 240,000 from 34,00 at launch. ‘India was fifth country when Amazon Business was launched. Today, it offers a one-stop for businesses to buy from the single largest GSTenabled selection of 160 million products’, said Peter George, Director, Amazon Business – India (Business Line April 24). Huawei, Infosys cooperation China’s Huawei’s business arm, Huawei Cloud and Indian IT major Infosys have signed a memorandum of understanding on strategic cooperation on developing solutions around cloud computing services. The two companies will develop new cloud solutions leveraging Huawei Cloud and IIIInfosys products and services to help customers to adopt securely cloud-based systems for their workloads (Business Line April 24). Leveraging new technologies

Bajaj motorcycle

set scorching pace The export drive of India’s twowheeler industry has set a scorching pace in overseas markets, thanks to the deeper penetration of Indian companies in Africa, Latin America and South East Asia. While motorcycle shipments during 2018-19 have grown by 15 per cent, scooter exports have risen by 19 per cent (Business Line April 23). Jet crisis, IndiGo booms As Jet Airways remains trapped in crisis, its rival IndiGo booms, with the airline’s market share rising to 47 per cent in March as against 44 per cent in February. IndiGo has been taking multiple steps to ensure it keeps growing during setbacks faced by its competitors. (Business Line April 24). Axis Bank in black

Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning are bringing about epic transformation among businesses and society alike. While AI has a positive impact on businesses, it is perceived as a threat to jobs, while

Private lender Axis Banki is back on track with a net profit of Rs1,505 crore in the fourth quarter of 2018-19 ending March 31 (Business Line April 26).


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Jury discharged in trial of man Two men who 'cynically accused of crossbow murder sexually exploited young The jury trying a jilted husband accused of murdering his heavily pregnant ex-wife after shooting her with a crossbow was discharged Monday. Mr Ramanodge Unmathallegadoo, 51, was said to have spent more than a year gathering weapons and planning to kill Devi Unmathallegadoo, 35, who was fatally wounded at her home in Ilford, east London, on November 12. The jury retired to consider its verdicts last Wednesday but Judge Nicholas Hilliard QC today discharged them from further deliberations for legal reasons that cannot be reported. Unmathallegadoo, of no fixed address, will have a retrial from November 4 which is expected to last two weeks. He has previously claimed he took two crossbows to ex-wife Devi's house as a 'deterrent' while he confronted her new husband Imtiaz Muhammad. Devi's parents had arranged her marriage to Unmathallegadoo when she was 16, but the relationship 'was not a happy one' and they separated in 2012. She began a relationship with Mr Muhammad, who had decorated the couple's kitchen. At the time of her death, Devi was living with Mr Muhammad, and the two were 'eagerly expecting the imminent arrival' of their child. Unmathallegadoo had told an Old Bailey jury he was unhappy about Mr Muhammad 'forcing' his daughter to live as a Muslim.

girl age of 11' go on trial Pair of women accused of cruelty towards the same child

The jury has been discharged in the case against Ramanodge Unmathallegadoo, 51, who was accused of murdering his ex-wife with a crossbow

After being surprised while hiding in the shed, Unmathallegadoo claimed he chased Mr Muhammad through the house. He insisted one of the crossbows 'just went' as he checked the safety catch while aiming at the banister to stop Mr Muhammad as he and Devi fled upstairs. Unmathallegadoo has told jurors he was 'horrified' at discovering he had mortally wounded Devi, by then using the Islamic married name Sana Muhammad. But prosecutors have claimed he spent a year planning the murders of Devi, Mr Muhammad and her unborn child and amassed a terrifying cache of weapons and restraints to help him complete the 'mission'. Jurors have heard how he meticulously jotted down the comings and goings from the home and identified the shed as an ideal vantage point to watch the house. But rather than wait for the perfect time to strike as intended, Unmathallegadoo

Devi (above) was eight months pregnant and the bolt narrowly missed her unborn baby, who was safely delivered via Caesarean section (below) Usman Khalid

allegedly had to execute the plan as best he could after being disturbed. Wielding two crossbows, jurors heard he chased Mr Muhammad into the kitchen before firing into the mother-of-five's stomach as she fled upstairs. The 18-inch hunting bolt pierced her heart but 'miraculously missed' her unborn child who survived following an emergency caesarean section. Unmathallegadoo denied murder and attempted child destruction, claiming he accidentally pulled the trigger while aiming for the banister to stop Mr Muhammad as he ran upstairs.

1,650 trees planted in Leicestershire forest in memory of Jallianwala massacre Punjabi diaspora in Leicester has created a living memorial to the victims of the Jallianwala Bagh massacre by planting 1,650 trees - equivalent to the number of bullets that were fired by the British Army on Gen REH Dyer’s orders - in a Leicestershire forest. As reported in the Times of India the m e m o r i a l , ‘Jallianwala Grove’, is in Eastern Old Park. Fifteen men and women from the Pothohar Association UK launched the memorial by planting thirty trees between November 2018, and end of March 2019 in partnership with the National Forest Company. Explaining the idea behind the project, Chan Chowdhry, general secretary of the Pothohar Association UK told TOI: “I thought it was a good idea to have a living memorial in

time for the centenary of Jallianwala Bagh carnage. There is a dispute over how many people died, but we do know that 1,650 bullets were fired so we thought it would be a good idea to plant one tree for every bullet fired.” He added: “The idea was to have the memorial in the UK as it is now our home, and where our children and grandchildren stay. In five years’ time we hope to take schoolchildren there and show them our history as we can’t take them to Jallianwala Bagh all the time. Most of the people at

Jallianwala Bagh that day were those working on farms, so there can’t be a better place than this for their remembrance.” An inscription on a brass plaque in the fenced-off grove reads: “The rights of free speech and selfdiscrimination will never die. 13.04.1919 Jallianwalla Bagh.” Chowdhry sees this description as what the protesters sought.

A vulnerable girl was 'raped and abused by multiple men over several years' starting when she was 11 or 12 years old, a jury has heard. The victim was 'deliberately targeted by men who wanted to use her for their own sexual purposes' throughout her childhood, prosecutors told Leeds Crown Court on Monday. Opening the trial of Mohammed Akram and Usman Khalid, Richard Wright QC, prosecuting, told the jury: 'We say that both of the men in the dock had sexual contact with her when she was just 12 and they knew how old she was. 'They each, on separate occasions, took her out of the children's home where she was living without permission and with a sinister, ultimately sexually motivated, purpose.' Mr Wright told the jury: 'This case concerns the cynical sexual exploitation of an extremely vulnerable young girl. Throughout her child-

Mohammed Akram

hood she was deliberately targeted by men who wanted to use her for their own sexual purposes.' The prosecutor said: 'This case concerns her childhood when, as you will hear - and it is important that you understand that there is no dispute about this - she was raped and abused by multiple men over several years. That abuse began when she could properly be described as a little girl.' Mr Wright said the girl was groomed in the Huddersfield area of West Yorkshire. He told the jury that the girl 'found herself drawn into a world in which she had little or no control of her life and was utterly unable to make truly free or informed choices about anything where sex was concerned.' He told the members of the jury that they may wonder why no-one in her family, the social services department or in the police was

Shahnaz Malik

looking after the girl's interest. Mr Wright said: 'The sad truth is that she was, at the time of these offences, alone in the world. Her mother was a hopeless addict who was utterly unable or unwilling to care for her. 'Instead she fended for herself on the streets, in pubs, in taxi offices and in takeaway shops. Living by her wits and befriending men in the hope that they might feed her, or care for her, but as you will hear that was the last thing they did.' Akram and Khalid went on trial on Monday along with two women - Shahnaz Malik, 57, and Naveeda Habeeb, 40 - who are both charged with child cruelty. Akram, 33, denies five counts of rape, sexual assault, abducting a child and trafficking for sexual exploitation. Khalid, 31, denies sexual assault and child abduction. The trial is expected to last two weeks.

CCTV appeal in Eastleigh crash murder investigation Police probing a murder have released CCTV showing a man shortly before he was hit and killed by two cars. Sagar Bhatti, 23, was fatally struck in Woodside Avenue, Eastleigh, in the early hours of 10 March. Two people arrested on suspicion of murder have been released. Police are now appealing for help as they piece together Mr Bhatti's last movements. Officers believe there may have been an incident in nearby Broadlands

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4 - 10 May 2019

Book Therapy Why poetry is one of the most powerful forms of therapy Bijal Shah April is National Poetry Month and naturally a great time to explore the immense therapeutic powers of poetry. Reading and writing poetry both engage our senses along with our emotions, making the art form experiential and hugely effective in connecting with our minds. Both writing and reading poetry, through their expression of feelings and words have highly therapeutic effects on the mind. The structure of a poem favours brevity yet the best poems also capture succinct detail, making them incredibly powerful in getting a message across to the reader. Writing poetry requires the poet to be extremely disciplined with his choice of words and the number of words, to create a sharp and accurate snapshot of what he or she is feeling. This combination of brevity and detail gives the reader open access to the poet’s mind and enables the reader to truly connect with the poet.

Writing poetry as therapy Writing poetry requires us to be open and honest about our feelings so that we can voice them through pen and paper, which is the first step to truly expressing ourselves. This acknowledgement of our innermost thoughts allows us to be true to ourselves and boosts our self-esteem (as beautifully explained by author Geri Giebel Chavis in Poetry and Story Therapy: The Healing Power of Creative Expression (Writing for Therapy or Personal Development) which I highly recommend). The best poetry is written when we are truly in the midst of our emotions and struggling to gain clarity. This is when the cathartic release of emotions to pen and then paper as an outlet calms us, gives us clarity and enables us to move forward. Poetry’s powerful healing qualities have been documented during both world wars and the American civil war: poems were read to soldiers to help them cope with trauma and the brutalities of war. In fact doctors would write poems for their patients, emotionally connecting with them. A striking example of this is John Keats who initially trained as a doctor. Poetry has also been used by modern-day doctors and physicians at Yale University School of Medicine and University College London School of Medicine. Yale actually has a committee that maintains a required literary reading list that includes poetry. The use of poetry continues to grow as a recognised form of therapy. More and more psychotherapists across the US, UK

and Europe continue to use poetry therapy as part of their practice. Globally the International Federation for Biblio / Poetry Therapy sets standards of excellence in the training and credentialing of practitioners in the field of biblio/poetry therapy, qualifying them to practice.

Writing Confessional Poetry Writing confessional poetry specifically, gives writers the opportunity to make a confession about something private or difficult. It’s a great way to focus your mind, express your emotions and bring clarity by writing down your feelings and thoughts in a poetic format. Often the best poems are written from the heart, raw, emotional and to the point. A mindful exercise, it truly is game-changing. After the poem is written there is a certain sense of calm as we no longer hold the burden of our confession. We feel lighter and relieved. You may initially struggle with starting a poem, however it does become easier with practice. The key is to let your thoughts wander and write what comes to mind. Do not hold back, let go and allow the emotions, words and images to unfold. Sometimes it’s easier to write it all down and then piece it together using line breaks (pauses), restructuring paragraphs and sentences, pulling it together into a coherent form. A great book on writing poetry is The Poet’s Companion: A Guide to the Pleasures of Writing Poetryby Kim Addonzio which includes helpful techniques, suggested themes, how to deal with self-doubt and writer’s block and the highs and lows of writing life. Poetry has been a lifeline and literally a saving grace. I write poetry when dealing with confusing situations or pain. It’s really helped during challenging life transitions such as illness, moving countries and losing people close to me. The transformation from difficult emotions to lighter ones, post writing, is one of the reasons that makes me reach for the pen every time. And I thoroughly recommend the practice for a time when you’re feeling stuck and need clarity. To help you get started, name the emotion you are feeling and describe it in a four-line stanza. Alternatively talk about your fears or losses. Write about what inspires you. Focus on a powerful image and describe it. It doesn’t matter what you write. What matters is the practice and that you write.

Bijal is an investment banker and a book therapist prescribing literature for both personal interest and therapy.

Jailed for a cause Avril Ann Braganza 15 prominent community leaders were arrested and imprisoned in a cell with a high ceiling and a single window — it was quite the scene at Pinner Police Station on Friday morning. But, all was done for a worthy cause. In a unique fundraising initiative, Mind in Harrow — a local charity that aims to improve the lives of people affected by mental health issues in the Borough of Harrow — hosted their first ‘Jail and Bail’ event, which raised over £13,800. Funds will go towards supporting and helping rebuild the lives locals with mental health issues. With the support of the Pinner Local Police, the 15 participants — including a mix of local politicians, councillors, the Assembly Member for Brent and Harrow, and employees from local businesses — were taken through the process of being arrested. They had their details and thumb impressions taken, were given overalls, and put in a cell until bail was granted. “Before the event, we clicked pictures of each participant with their ‘hands up’ for

‘wanted’ posters. We also created a JustGiving page and invited participants to raise a bail amount of £1,000 through sponsorships,” said Aneka Shah-Levy, Mind in Harrow’s Community Fundraising Executive. While most managed to raise their bail amount before the event by sharing their JustGiving pages on social media, and via emails and messages, those who hadn’t reached the target could use their phones from their prison cell to ask family and friends to bail them out. While the main purpose was to raise funds for the charity, the event served to spread awareness as well. As Nishma Gohil, a teacher and leading member of the community group Unleash the Wolf Within, pointed out,“we all know somebody who has been touched by mental health issues. People need to be made aware that it’s not a taboo; it’s okay to ask for help and share your experiences’. Arrested for ‘escaping from an asylum,’ Assembly Member for Brent and Harrow, Navin Shah was happy to do his bit to support the campaign. “There’s a stigma about mental health amongst South

Steffi D'Silva It was 1998 and I was five years old when my mother, Sybil D’Silva, approached Help A Poor Child (HAPC) — a UKbased charity devoted to aiding families in need — to request funding for my cochlear implant surgery in London. I was unable to hear from birth and, at that time, cochlear implant surgery was almost unheard of in India, where we lived. Though it was difficult to obtain the necessary funds for the surgery, the then chairman of HAPC, Flavio Gracias, committed himself to this task and worked tirelessly to achieve our goal. My mother often recalls Flavio’s positivity and persistence. She often told me that, no matter how difficult it was, Flavio would always say, ‘We are getting there,’ which was extremely encouraging during those difficult times. The efforts of Flavio and the

HAPC helped me Hear entire HAPC team finally paid off when I had my cochlear implant surgery in London in June 1999. After six months of intensive speech therapy, we returned home to India. Six months later, we were back in London for a follow-up, and the hospital was pleased with the results. I completed Year 7 in India, after which my mother decided to emigrate to Australia, where I completed High School and Year 12, and went on to achieve a Diploma in Commercial

Asian communities and we need to increase awareness about it. Several people from different backgrounds have come together to raise money for the charity and this is an opportunity for people to give back to the community as well as to network,” said Shah, who spent an hour and half in the custody suite at the Pinner Police Station and has raised £1500, as we went to press. While Jail and Bail was a fun exercise, the experience of being arrested and imprisoned also brings to mind the seriousness of causing offences and the role the police play. “They’re not just there for emergencies, but they’re there to support us everyday, and this speaks volumes of their commitment and understanding of what makes a good cohesive community,” added Shah. The morning ended with the Mayor of Harrow Cllr Kareema Marikar presenting the ‘jailbirds’ with certificates of appreciation. “News of such events will spread through word of mouth and the community will be educated. It is a big step towards spreading awareness,” said the Mayor.

Cookery. I also completed a certified course in Business Administration. I initially secured a part-time catering job and was eventually offered a fulltime position.A few years later, I began working as a Home Economics Teaching Assistant and now, there’s no looking back. I married my classmate from India, Blake Da Costa, in December 2016 and I was fortunate to have Flavio and his wife, Bernie attend our wedding, and Flavio raising the toast too. Over the years, HAPC has helped many more deserving cases. Its ‘wheelchair programme’ provided immediate mobility to children, who were born immobile, one was born without hands and feet. I often wonder where life would have taken me had HAPC not stepped in to help me all those years ago. Thanks to HAPC, I can now stand tall and confident.

To get involved with HAPC call Telephone: 020 8905 2761 and Email: info@hapc.co.uk


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Avinash Doshi Foam & Bubbles interior design journalists; creating 3D What are some of your virtual reality designs, favourite bathroom projects to allowing consumers to date? experience their bathWe recently created a bathroom room before they buy; for a client in Islington, it had a supplying complete Victorian feel and look, and he bathrooms wanted to rearrange the layout through their to optimise for space: he direct relahad a walk-in shower, We use tionships with amazing accessories, and Avinash Doshi industrythe world’s leadbeautiful traditional ing bathroom light fixtures. Another leading 3D brands. And finally, favourite project was in Virtual Reality connecting homeownnearby Highgate, where ers with their experian old bank was turned technology Sunetra Senior enced and skilled fitters. into luxury residential With many big names development. We worked nstantly evoking the imagery of collaborating with the comhand in hand with the project champagne and relaxation, the pany as a result of their exceptionmanager to accomplish a mix of aptly named, Foam & Bubbles, is a ally engaging blog, you can be certain modern and traditional decor. passion is at the professional centre. unique bathroom design and installaAvinash stated: “in today’s hectic and What’s the price range for your tion company defined by its signature busy world, the comfort of a relaxing bespoke bathrooms? sophistication. “I wanted to create a bathroom is precious. In the past, we We supply bathrooms starting platform that would take customers saw small bathrooms with avocado from £1,500 going to anywhere north through their refurbishment process suites. Now, people are taking the of £20,000. from inspiration to installation,” time to really enhance their quality of Founder, Avinash told us. “Homeowners have two options when refurbishing their bathroom. The first is visiting local bathroom showrooms, however the quality of showrooms varies, and time-constrained consumers need to spend a lot of time showroom-hopping. The second is buying online from eCommerce companies, however, these companies sell low-end and poor-quality bathroom fixtures and fittings and most importantly don't offer the much-needed advice.”

I

Given that the “bathroom is the most important room in the home, where people start and end everyday”, Avinash continued: “Foam & Bubbles understands the bathroom is a personal sanctuary. For such an important purchase, we believe everyone should have the same peace of mind and personal service offered by an interior designer. Our experienced designers guide consumers through the whole process from initial consultation to installation. We use industry leading 3D Virtual Reality technology, allowing homeowners to step inside an immersive 3D Virtual Reality design of their new bathroom before buying, leaving them to enjoy their new bathroom risk free for years to come. Additionally, our relationships with leading bathroom brands means we can offer consumers exclusive deals and offers."

Victorian bathroom

life with bathrooms.” Indeed, this has been a decade with increased focus on healthier routine, wherein work life is increasingly becoming an organic extension of the more cared for self. Founder, Avinash, perfectly embodies this. He thoughtfully concluded: “if I had to sum up Foam & Bubbles' core value, it would be: Beautiful Spaces. We are utterly committed to delivering a place where people can enjoy their valuable time to themselves; where they can melt away, and feel that no dream is ever too big.”

*** *** Indeed, the business model of Foam & What makes Foam & Bubbles Bubbles is itself sleek and modern, special? operating predominantly online. I would have to say our virtual Foam & Bubbles provides reality design service. All our everything consumers need clients receive a Foam & from inspiration to Bubbles welcome pack The installation in 5 simple which includes their own steps: firstly, inspiring comfort of a complimentary VR headconsumers with fanset, for most this is their relaxing tastic imagery through first VR experience. It different social chanbathroom is enables our customers to nels, where they now precious visualise their room like have a social media never before and most community of around importantly it enables them 100,000 followers and subto provide precise feedback to scribers; educating and excitour designers. ing consumers with trusted editorial content, written by a team of expert

What’s the future for Foam & Bubbles? Our next step is expanding our bathroom inspiration to installation offering across the UK. The natural evolution for Foam & Bubbles is kitchens, we already have the skilled designers and fitters in place to make this move. Once we are covering bathrooms and kitchens across the UK we will start looking internationally. Finally, who has been a big support in your life? My wife, Meera, who works in venture philanthropy supporting early stage social enterprises, has been fundamental in the business. My parents and in-laws have been extremely supportive and encouraging. I really look up to my father, he’s my number one role model in business and in life. I've also been advised by mentors from the community including Divyesh Kamdar of Comline Auto Parts and Kiran Shah of Character Group. Other organisations including JITO (Jain International Trade Organisation) and EO (Entrepreneurs’ Organisation) have been instrumental in our journey. W: https://www.foamandbubbles.com/

4 - 10 May 2019

UK

15

Healthcare privatisation or Socialisation? Healthcare is sacred. The provision of healthcare is one of the hallmarks of a civilised society. Furthermore, a healthcare system which is available to the poorest, subsidised by the wealthy is a further mark of a mature society. In this regard, the NHS is a special institution in all our lives. We have all been touched by it at some point of time. We want the best possible care for ourselves and our loved ones. We, the British, since WWII, Sachin Nandha have understood that it is in every- Chief Executive PillboxCapital 3 one’s interest to ensure that good healthcare should be a basic human right for every citizen, something that many other societies have yet to realise. The NHS has problems. All of us have, at some point or another, experienced problems with the quality or timeliness of the healthcare that was given. The NHS has been starved for over a decade. No doubt. Previously, under the Blair-Brown years the NHS went through a great binge – where it grew and spent gluttonously. The problem with healthcare provision through taxation has always been around the opaqueness of vast pools of public funds administered by ‘managers'. These managers then ration provision to the masses according to their wisdom (gained through data and trends). The problem is that there is simply too much to know. One can never know enough to administer such complex and dynamic systems. Waste appears everywhere (in pockets). With a growing, and ageing population, and with NHS budgets now curtailed how is this all going to pan out? NHS will be gone soon. I was, in equal measure, both worried and surprised to hear many of my medical friends telling me that they thought the NHS was on its last legs and will soon no longer exist. That was a bold statement. Since, then I have heard this sentiment from many doctors, nurses and dare I say it, from policy makers as well. The NHS, as we knew it, is on its last days. Do we privatise it or socialise it? The truth, at least as I see it, is neither; and both. The NHS is just simply too vast and complex to be run by committees and managers. It doesn’t matter how smart these people are, and how many number crunchers you employ – a NHS as a centralised system will only produce waste and inefficiency. Whereas, simply to privatise it is a recipe for exploitation of the most vulnerable. The profit motive can certainly solve inefficiency given a timeframe; but in all seriousness a backward step as far as our humanity is concerned. Private capital with ‘agile’ public regulation could be the answer. Healthcare, ought to be free, or at least affordable to the common person at the point of delivery. A combination of public funds coupled with insurance and private fees could be the best way of achieving efficiency and enhanced care. Localised medicine coupled with local knowledge, delivered by people from the vicinity could be the way forward. The days of high end large hospitals are over, and maybe a better way to deliver most essential care that we need is through localised centres that offer general and specialist care afforded by taxes for the poorest; insurance for the rest. While those with higher disposable incomes who want ‘extras’ can do so privately. Private capital if delivered correctly could be the way forward. The system currently is skewed towards profit and return. All the thinking starts and ends here. In the middle, people think about better care, better services, better pay, and so on, but only in the context of increasing returns for investors. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing. However, the problem has always been that sustainability has never been valued into price, and when thought about it, has proved difficult to measure. Well, now through a combination of technology and ‘humanity’, we can deploy vast sums of private capital into healthcare and measure outputs we want. We know how to do it. We just need the incentives to line-up and a government in place to regulate these incentives in the right places and de-regulate in others. Currently the whole system is ‘out of kilter’. Healthcare, is so important that regardless of who is in power, it will need to be fixed, and private capital will play a roll, or it will be a severe step back for us all.

To find out more about PillboxCapital visit: www.pillboxcapital3.com or call 0116 274 0707


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18 FINANCE - UK

AsianVoiceNews

AsianVoiceNewsweekly

www.asian-voice.com

4 - 10 May 2019

Consultant Editor Financial Voice Alpesh Patel Dear Financial Voice Reader, As the Indian election is underway, I looked back over the last decade, not last 5 years, at what I had written about India. Almost exactly to the day, 10 years ago, I wrote some of these. You judge – has India lived up to the promise? “Meeting a California Silicon Valley billionaire who has reemigrated back to India is perhaps one of the more striking proofs of India’s potential. These, the most successful of Indians, who moved to the US in the 1960s from an opportunity-shorn India, return today with their millionaire colleagues, to capture the types of opportunities few, if any places on earth can match. After, all, no other major capitalist economy will even come close to matching India’s growth for decades. Imagine a business person with a time machine. They would probably choose to go back to the beginning of last century to the US to make their fortune – the time of Rockefeller and Getty. Consider during that century, the Dow advanced from 66 to 11,497. This gain, though it appears huge, shrinks to 5.3% when compounded annually. And that nevertheless was the American century – the century when the US became a super power. Consider that that growth rate transformed a backward nation from the horse and carriage to one which freely sent man to the moon. Yet India today exceeds and is projected to exceed for our working life times that return-rate of 5%. The baton of Rockefeller and Getty is truly carried by Ambani and Tata. If your investment options were binary: US, the world’s largest economy, or India, think now about this century. For investors to merely match that 5.3% market-value gain, the Dow – recently below 10,000 – would need to close at about 2,000,000 on December 31, 2099. We are nearly a decade into this century, and we have racked up none of the 1,990,000 Dow points the market needed to travel in this hundred years to equal the 5.3% of the last. Whereas, India, with the real economy targeting 8% for the foreseeable future is far more likely to provide the types of returns to match the transformation the United States had since 1900. Where would you invest? To describe India in statistics would be to describe the Taj Mahal by its dimensions; you can do it, but it denies any beauty. But if you want statistics, consider theses: India has among the higher returns on foreign investment than China according to the US Department of Commerce. By 2032 India will be one of the three largest economies in the world. Indeed today on purchasing power parity it already is the third largest economy in the world and one quarter the size of the US economy. With 300m consumers and the world’s largest pool of English speaking scientists and engineers. A place where 75million phone subscribers annually, 8 million TV sets are sold annually. By 2015 over 63 million households are expected to have income over $30,000 in PPP terms. India, although the seventh largest country in the world, has the second largest area of arable land in the world – it feeds the world – as the world’s largest producer of milk, sugarcane and tea and the second largest producer of fruit, wheat, rice, vegetables. Comparisons to the US are obvious. An economic superpower needs not just persevering and innovative peoples, but abundant natural resources and an openness to the capitalist ideal – India, like the US of last century, fits the bill. Investment needs the assurance of heritage. And for investors in India, lies more than any country a heritage of innovation. After all this was the land of medicine and astronomy before the Greeks, navigation before the Romans. Their number system allowed the rest of the world to count. Or as Dan Sheinman of Cisco put it, ‘ We came to India for the costs, stayed for the quality and are now investing for innovation.’ Indeed one fifth of Fortune 500 companies have set up R&D centres in India and India is among only 6 countries in the world to have satellite launch capabilities.” So, you tell me? Happy?

Redington’s Mitesh Sheth helps people become financially secure Redington chief Mitesh Sheth was appointed by cofounder Rob Gardner to help the company answer a crucial question- should it move into fiduciary management? The job involves consultants in the day-to-day management of investments, effectively making them a halfway house between consultants and fund managers. The sector was already growing rapidly as more pension trustees looked to pass on responsibility for decisionmaking to professional advisers. A disrupter in the stuffy world of investment advice, Sheth said, “We have the audacity and desire to change investing.” Redington has broken the mould, clawing out a five per cent market share. Sheth, who began his career at one of the industry titans, said he feels far more comfortable as a plucky outsider. He speaks rather evangelically of Redington's “mission” to help “100m people become financially secure.” Born in the north of

Mitesh Sheth

England, he grew up in Crawley, near Gatwick airport, 28 miles south of London. His father had trained as an accountant in Kenya but in the UK his parents ran corner shops and post offices. At the London School of Economics, Sheth studied actuarial science. He also received an offer from Aon to become an investment analyst but put it on hold to take a year out in India, his parents' ancestral home. He studied Sanskrit, philosophy, yoga and meditation. He later

returned to Britain, spreadsheets replaced yogic manuscripts as he resumed his investment career, analysing fund managers and advising pension scheme trustees. He then joined Henderson Global Investors under the tutelage of David Jacob, then chief investment officer and now interim chief executive of GAM, the crisis-hit Swiss fund manager. He rose to become head of fixed income at Henderson. Sheth realised he wanted to spend more time with his young family by 2012, and set up as independent consultant. He said his recommendation to Redington has been vindicated. “In the past five years we have won so many big clients from our peers. The reason most of them is that we are able to show we offer independent advice,” he said. Meeting rooms at Redington are chosen to remind staff of the pension members of their biggest

clients, the engine room for Rolls-Royce, the mail room for Royal Mail, and the newsroom for Reuters. The company reported £18m of revenue last year, up 22 per cent the year before. Sheth joined Redington full-time in 2013 and was made chief executive in 2016. His pitch for the top job included making 100m people financially secure. As a result, the company is branching out from its core area of advising final salary pension schemes into a broader range of investment consulting services. This includes offering tools and advice to intermediaries with wealth management and retail clients, as well as becoming more of a fintech business. Redington has a longstanding affiliation with St James' Place, the UK wealth manager, to which Gardner moved recently as director of investments. Sheth also points to the company's relationships with Chinese insurers, helping them manage risk.

Curry Queen Sarah bats for women in UK-Asian culinary Since April 2016, restaurants in the UK have faced restrictions on Tier-2 visas for skilled labourers, in addition to high salary thresholds, meaning even the most junior kitchen staff from overseas are paid a minimum of £35,000. Issues like this, and more have officially lead to a curry crisis in the UK. However, Curry Queen Sarah Ali Choudhury is one of the very few who believe otherwise. “It's less a staff shortage and more a woman shortage. Women are held back by men in the industry who would rather declare a 'curry crisis' than give a voice and a platform to talented female chefs. Is it really ok to blame immigration laws when you are not doing your own bit to help the industry?” she said. One of a systemic issues is the lack of women in UKAsian culinary. The Bangladeshi Caterers Association, founded in

Sarah Ali Choudhury

1960, represents 12,000 south Asian-run restaurants and their 100,000 employees. No women have reached the organisation's highest level in almost 60 years of existence. Sarah believes the industry isn't ready for women. She said, “Each year the Asian Curry Awards crowns a 'Curry King', but no 'Curry Queen'! I was asked to apply for an award but as someone who is not a restaurant chef or owner, the only one I would have applied for was 'Curry

Queen', yet it doesn't exist.” Now, Sarah is taking matters into her own hands in her role as the FSB's national lead for women in catering. She is set to launch a campaign to encourage women in the curry industry to step forward and make a difference. She said, “There are tonnes of women already working in the Asian food trade, but you don't hear about them because they don't get recognition. So, if existing trade bodies won't cater for women, then I will create my own.” Sarah added that the few women already recognised in the industry, like herself, are generally valued as tokens. “It looks good to have me involved because it seems as though the industry is beginning to evolve, when really there is no systemic change being made to how women are treated. A woman won the top prize at the International Indian Chef of the Year awards one

year, but she was flown over from India specifically for it. It did nothing to empower female Indian chefs here.” “It is a fact that there are very few women working in Indian restaurants, you will always be greeted by male staff, whereas if you visit Chinese, Thai or other Asian establishments you could be greeted by either a man or a woman.” She added, “I remember at the age of 20 when my mother and I were working in our family's restaurant in Bridport, customers would comment how rare it was to see women working in Indian restaurants. We felt like we are rocking the boat at the time, unfortunately, little has changed in the 25 years since.” “Why do men go home and eat dinner cooked by their wives, but don't let them cook in their restaurants? Surely, if their wives' food is good enough for them, it's good enough for their customers.”

Brexit has trapped UK in no-man's land, warns top economist A former senior Bank of England policymaker has warned that British economy is trapped in “noman's land” by Brexit and the next decade could be the weakest for growth since the second world war. Andrew Sentance, a former member of the central bank's interest rate-setting monetary policy

committee (MPC) said, “The UK economy will be limping on for a while, until Brexit negotiations are fully resolved. I can see the UK being in this limboland for quite a while, certainly until the late 2020s.” The warning came as UK showed robust growth at the start of the year, fueled by a dramatic

rise in stockpiling before the original Brexit date of March 29, now postponed until the end of October. Sending sterling tumbling on the foreign exchanges over the past month, observers now fear that Brexit has been transformed from its previous status as a timelimited process into a

structural feature of the UK economy, with the prospect complex and protracted negotiations dragging on growth for years to come. Business activity has kicked into reverse amid a lack of new work for firms to replace completed projects, as companies put decisions on hold owing to the lack

of clarity over Brexit. Manufacturers have, however, been bolstered by stockpiling to the most intense levels on record of any G7 economy, perversely fueling higher GDP growth despite the malaise. The UK posted record monthly goods trade deficits in both January and February as

business rushed to buy raw materials, components and merchandise from overseas before the previous March 29 deadline in the Brexit talks. Economists fear the stampede to protect against disruptive no-deal scenario could lead to sluggish economic growth in future as firms rundown their supplies.


REAL ESTATE VOICE

THE ALCHEMY OF PLANNING

www.asian-voice.com

AsianVoiceNews

AsianVoiceNewsweekly

Currently, we’re looking at a scheme which we believe will almost double in value, in a short space of time; about one and a half years. This sort of gain is possible when you can add value through planning. In short, planning changes the utility of a property, from one use to another. The site has a property which is currently office use. The plan is to change this to residential.

Suresh Vagjiani

Sow & Reap London Property Investment

19

4 - 10 May 2019

ones. The same rejected application might sail through at the national level. This is because at the national level the process is depoliticised. And the strange thing is, the very same councillors will know at the local level that it will be approved at the national level, and still reject it. It takes understanding and experience to appreciate how the wheels of planning turn.

The seller provided a scheme, which simply drew a number of units over several floors, over the whole site area. This had no bearing on reality. In order to get planning, one must be conscious of the criteria at both national and local level when applying.

But here is where the greatest gains are made in property. The process is an alchemic one, which turns something from lead into gold.

This was put to our planner who gave some guidance on a framework to use on the design. This was then passed to the architect who drew one up according to the revised guidance. These are the steps to be taken when assessing a site. Missing the planner in the process is dangerous, especially with the larger schemes which have many nuances. The council has a policy, a process and humans who are not always rational when implementing them.

Our assessment of the site reveals that about 25,000 sq. ft. of planning can be gained. This is by being compliant with the rules. Once the initial planning has been approved, there is the option to go back in and try for further enhancements. This is a common approach in planning. It helps if the council in question is pro development. We see this site being approved at the local level without the need to go national.

A good grasp of all these components is required, even if it means you know it will be rejected at the local level. This is because there are two levels at play, one is at the local level and the other is at the national level.

Once the base planning has been approved, you can go back in for further enhancements, as the fall-back position has now been secured.

site gains planning, you do not need to place it on the market. Buyers, agents and runners will seek you out and tempt you to go with them.

Planning may be rejected at the local level purely due to political reasons, not for planning

Our initial analysis values the site conservatively at £6M. Our experience is once a

The price of the site is £3.5M and is available now to be closed. Do get in touch if this interests you.

THE CONFUSED LANDLORD Not so long ago we had a landlord approach us for advice. He was managing his own rental property, but now required our help in getting rid of his tenants. Not only had they been a bit of a headache to manage, they had been building up rent arrears every so often. When the landlord approached me, they had two months of arrears. After discussion, I recommended that the landlord should serve a Section 21, this way he didn't need

a specific reason to end the tenancy. The landlord said that he was confused because one of his friends had recommended that he serve a Section 8 on the grounds they had two months’ arrears. I explained that Section 21 would be his best move, or at the very least he should serve them together. I explained that if he served a Section 8 on these grounds only, there was a risk that if the tenants brought their arrears up-to-date then that would invalidate the notice. The

BUY TO LET OPPORTUNITY

landlord said that he would have a think.

us to serve the Section 21 for him.

Three weeks later the landlord contacted me again. He had served a Section 8 on his tenants for the two months’ arrears; however, he had served the notice incorrectly, therefore it was not enforceable. On top of this, the tenants had cleared the outstanding rent down to one month, invalidating the notice. The landlord decided to go with our recommendation and asked

We offer a full management service for those landlords that would like to be hands off; and for those that prefer to manage their own rental properties, we offer a menu of services to assist you with this. So, if you need help with any aspect of your rental property, do get in touch. Richard Bond

l Two bedroom, split level flat l Close to a Crossrail station

l Journey time to Canary Wharf and Bond Street will be 11 mins and 25 mins respectively

l Close to local schools and shops

l Excellent yield of 5.1% per annum

London, SE2 Purchase Price: £205,000

l Long lease & low service charges

l £84K cash required to close this deal, subject to mortgage criteria l Sustained long term growth due to Crossrail Call us now for more information!

Specialists in Central London Property Sourcing

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Sowandreapuk

Turning land into cash Get in touch about our land opportunities


20 FINANCE - INDIA

AsianVoiceNews

AsianVoiceNewsweekly

www.asian-voice.com

4 - 10 May 2019

Jet 's potential investors in a fix Recent government decision to give away approximately 440 lucrative flight slots at the Delhi and Mumbai airports is making shortlisted bidders question the point of investing in Jet Airways. While the ongoing stake sale process was the airlines' last hope to regain its wings, latest government decision to give away its lucrative flight slots may have thrown a spoiler in the works. The grounded airline had boasted as many as 440 slots at the Delhi and Mumbai airports, among the busiest in the country. Authorities are in the process of allocating these slots to other airlines on an interim basis, amid efforts to increase capacity to meet peak season traffic and rationalise spiralling airfares. The development is, however, scaring away the few investors that had submitted expressions of interest for a chunk of Jet Airways. People in the know said all shortlisted bidders, Etihad Airways, Jet's largest shareholder, TPG Capital, Indigo Partners and National Investment and Infrastructure Fund (NIIF), who

have to submit their final bids by May 10, are questioning whether there is any value left in the airline at all. A source said, “It has been said they are being given on a temporary basis and will be given back once Jet resumes operations. The investors aren't sure how easy it will be to regain those slots. Planes are being leased out too.” He explained that “many critical questions” remain unanswered, starting with the status of the debt-to-equity swap revival plan proposed by the bank consortium last month. He added, “The lenders' reluctance

to give any interim funding to Jet casts serious doubts on their intentions.” Civil Aviation Secretary Pradeep Singh Kharola said the vacated slots, of which 280 are at Mumbai and 160 at Delhi, would be allocated to other airlines on an interim basis in a “rational, fair and equitable” manner as decided by a committee comprising officials from the DGCA, Airports Authority of India (AAI) and respective airports. The All India Jet Airways Technicians Association wrote to the aviation watchdog requesting it

to immediately pause slot allocation till the bidding process is complete in order to protect the value of the company. “Otherwise we will be forced to knock the legal doors for a resolution,” the body added. However, other domestic carriers have already accelerated their aircraft induction plans and are now adding 150 planes to their fleets collectively, up from 80 planes proposed earlier. In fact, SpiceJet, IndiGo, AirAsia India and Vistara have already announced new flights from Mumbai and Delhi starting May. Prior to recent developments, Indigo Partners had drawn up a tentative plan to invest $250 million in Jet Airways and convert it into a veritable low-fare carrier by eventually hiving off its widebodied Boeing 777 planes. With Jet Airways having delayed repayments of over $18 million to global lenders, including Citibank, that had financed its purchase of the 10 Boeing 777s on the back of guarantees from Export-Import (EXIM) Bank of the US, these planes are now at risk of being repossessed.

I have been awarded an 'economic death penalty': Mallya In a statement made through his counsel Amit Desai, embattled liquor baron Vijay Mallya has told the Bombay High Court that by declaring him a fugitive economic offender and allowing attachment of his assets, a special court had awarded him a “economic death penalty.” During arguments on his plea challenging several provisions of the Fugitive Economic Offenders Act that came into existence last year, Mallya said, “My debts and the interest on such debts are mounting. I have assets to pay off these debts but the government won't allow the use of these assets to clear the debts. I have no control over my properties.” He added, “This is an economic death penalty that has been awarded to me.” Desai urged the bench of justices Ranjit More and Bharati Dangre to pass an injunction against the proceedings related to confiscation of his assets

Vijay Mallya

across the country. The bench, however, refused to grant any interim relief on the petition. A special court had in January declared Mallya a fugitive economic offender (FEO) under provisions of the Fugitive Economic Offenders Act. Mallya had later approached the high court. Desai argued that the FEO Act was “draconian” and “unconstitutional” as it allowed the Centre to confiscate

everything, irrespective of whether a property was bought from the proceeds of a crime or not. The plea was, however, opposed by the Enforcement Directorate's (ED) counsel DP Singh, who argued that the Act was not draconian at all. Singh said, “This act is not draconian. In fact, this act prohibits prosecuting agencies from acting on their own. For everything, including attachment of properties, we are supposed to get a court order that is passed only after hearing all sides.” The counsel said, “This act is meant for Mallyalike people only. It is not an ordinary legislation. The act has been constituted to bring back defaulters who have defaulted amounts of £10 million and above.” The court too noted that the legislation was a sound one and not draconian. The bench said, “We understand this legislation is a little harsh. But

that is because it deals with draconian situations.” It, however, issued a notice to the attorney general to respond to Mallya's plea challenging the act. 'Renewal application' in London court Meanwhile, Mallya has been allocated July 2 as the date for a brief hearing to convince a High Court judge in London that he should be given permission to proceed to a full-blown appeal process against his extradition to India to face alleged fraud and money laundering charges amounting to £ 900 million. The 63- year- old businessman had filed the “renewal application” earlier this month after he failed in his first written attempt seeking leave to appeal in the high court. The renewal involves a short oral hearing before a high court judge, now scheduled for July 2, where his lawyers will further plead his case against being extradited to India.

Wipro, TCS, RIL among top patent filers in US Wipro, TCS, HCL, Infosys, Reliance, Welspun Steel, Mahindra Rise and Bharat Petroleum top the list of Indiadomiciled companies creating intellectual property (IP) assets in the US. These and other such firms filed over 4,600 patents in the US between 2015 and 2018, according to a report by IT association Nasscom on IP creation. Nasscom used data from Questel Orbit Patent Database. The report finds that the proportion of tech patents is rising. In 2017-18, tech patents accounted for 65 per cent of total patents, up from 51 per cent in 2015. The 2017 and 2018 data is provisional, considering there is a window of about 18 months from the filing date to the

publication date. Some of the patent applications filed in these two years may not have been disclosed in the public domain yet. For this reason, the report has combined the data for these two years may not have been disclosed in the public domain yet. Emerging technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI), cyber security, internet of things

(IoT) and cloud computing accounted for over 50 per cent of the tech patents filed in 2017-18. AI is the frontrunner in the emerging technology space with over 300 patents filed for the 2015-2018 period. New applications areas include navigation, digital payments, logistics, text/data mining and cyber security. The non-tech

patents are most in the areas of chemistry and chemical composition, pharma and mechanical and structural inventions. Wipro has filed a patent related to generating a safe navigation path for a driverless vehicle. TCS has filed a patent for pest management, where the method provides pest forecasting using historical pesticide usage information. The report said, “As digital technologies become mainstream, companies are reinventing business models for the on-demand economy. IP creation is an important imperative and India is increasingly focused on building products and platforms.” IBM and Samsung are the biggest filers of patents globally.

in brief ED TO QUIZ CHANDA KOCHHAR OVER BHUSHAN STEEL, JAYPEE LOANS The Enforcement Directorate has called Chanda Kochhar for questioning on May 3 regarding loans of over £200 million given to Jaypee Group and Bhushan Steel during her tenure as ICICI Bank CEO. Top ICICI officials have submitted before ED details of loans given to some corporates - the loans have since turned bad - during her tenure. Her husband, Deepak Kochhar, and brotherin-law have been summoned on April 30 in connection with a money laundering probe. A prevention of money laundering act (PMLA) case was registered by ED last year based on a CBI FIR where the latter alleged that Kochhar had entered into a criminal conspiracy with other accused to cheat ICICI Bank by sanctioning loans of over £300 million to the Videocon group. Now, the ED probe has been extended to all loans to corporates by ICICI Bank during Chanda Kochhar’s tenure.

JIO PIPS AIRTEL AS INDIA’S NO. 2 TELCO Mukesh Ambani’s Reliance Jio has overtaken Bharti Airtel's subscriber base to emerge as the second-largest telecom company in India. Jio, which has a customer base of 306 million, now trails only Vodafone-Idea. Airtel has 284 million subscribers while VodafoneIdea had announced that it had 387 million subscribers in December 2018. A telecom industry analyst said that the pace of growth of Jio’s subscriber base may see the company overtake Vodafone-Idea in the coming quarters. For Sunil Mittal’s Airtel, which dominated the Indian telecom space for almost two decades, the fall has been dramatic – it used to be the market leader till the middle of last year before being edged out by the new entity that formed after the merger of Vodafone India and Idea Cellular.

RBI SELLS ENTIRE STAKE IN NHB, NABARD TO GOVT The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has divested its entire stake held in National Housing Bank (NHB), the regulator for housing finance companies, and National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (Nabard) to the government, which now holds 100% in these entities. The transactions were completed on February 26 (Nabard) and March 19 (NHB). RBI had 100% shareholding in NHB, which was divested for £145 million. The Nabard stake was divested in two phases - RBI had 72.5% stake in Nabard amounting to £145 million, out of which 71.5%, worth £143 million was divested in October 2010 and the residual shareholding was divested on February 26 this year for £2 million.

CARS OF NIRAV MODI, CHOKSI RECEIVE BIDS OF £3,29,000 An online auction of 13 luxury cars of fugitive diamond traders Nirav Modi and his uncle Mehul Choksi by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) received bids of £3,29,000, according to sources. The overall value of bids is over 9 per cent higher than the total base price of the cars fixed at £3,01,000. The winning bid for Modi’s most expensive car, a Rolls-Royce Ghost model, was £1,33,100 - Rs 10,000 more than its base price fixed by the ED. The highest bids for Choksi’s two cars - a BMW X1 and a Toyota Innova Crysta - was Rs 11,75,000 and Rs 18,06,000 respectively, said sources. The ED will submit details of the sale process to the court and will also deposit the sale proceeds with a nationalised bank in a fixed deposit, as per the court’s order.


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in brief NESS WADIA JAILED IN JAPAN FOR DRUGS POSSESSION Ness Wadia, business tycoon and heir to the Wadia Group, has been sentenced to a two-year prison term in Japan for possessing drugs. According to a report, Ness was found in possession of 25 grams of cannabis resin in March, for which he has been sentenced. The report further states that Ness was arrested in Japan in March. The Wadia Group has confirmed the sentence and said that the Japanese court did award a jail term to Ness, but the sentence has been suspended. A spokesperson of the Wadia Group said that the development will not impact Ness in the discharge of any of his responsibilities and he will continue to play the role that he has done hitherto, both within the group and outside. Ness is the son and heir to Nusli Wadia's business empire, the Wadia Group.

UAE GIVES BIRTH CERTIFICATE TO INTERFAITH PIO COUPLE’S CHILD In probably for the first time, the UAE has given birth certificate to a nine-month old girl who was born to an Indian Hindu father and a Muslim mother, setting aside the country’s marriage rules for expatriates during the Year of Tolerance, according to a media report. As per the marriage rules for expatriates in UAE, a Muslim man can marry a non-Muslim woman but a Muslim woman can’t marry a non-Muslim man. Sharjah-based expat Kiran Babu and Sanam Saboo Siddique got married in 2016 and their daughter was born in July 2018. “The birth certificate was rejected as I am a Hindu,” Babu said. “I applied for a noobjection certificate through the court. But my case was rejected,” he added. He then pinned his hopes on the amnesty period. The couple was finally given the birth certificate on April 14. “I am told this is the first case where the rule has been amended.”

PIO ENGINEER TO RUN FOR US SENATE IN 2020 A 33-year-old Indian-American engineer has announced to challenge the Democratic senator from New Jersey in 2020. Hirsh Singh, known as a supporter of President Donald Trump, will seek the Republican nomination for the US Senate in 2020 against Cory Booker. Singh, an engineer from Atlantic County who works in the aerospace and defence industries, filed his campaign committee with the Federal Election Commission. This will be his third bid for public office. He lost the Republican Party primaries for governor in 2017 and Congress in 2018. He was endorsed by Bill Palatucci, the Republican National Committeeman from New Jersey.

RAJAPAKSA’S BROTHER SAYS WILL RUN FOR PREZ Sri Lanka’s former wartime defence chief, Gotabaya Rajapaksa, said that he would run for the presidential elections this year and would stop the spread of Islamist extremism by rebuilding the intelligence service and surveillance on citizens. Gotabaya, as he is popularly known, is the younger brother of former President Mahinda Rajapaksa and the two led the country to a crushing defeat of separatist Tamil rebels a decade ago after a 26-year civil war. Gotabaya said that the Easter Sunday attacks could have been prevented if the island’s current government had not dismantled the intelligence network and extensive surveillance capabilities that he built up during the war. “Because the government was not prepared, that’s why you see a panic situation.” Gotabaya said he would be a candidate “100%”, firming up months of speculation that he plans to run in the elections, which are due by December.

PAKISTAN-BANGLADESH

China, Pak sign pact on space exploration, manned missions BEIJING: China and Pakistan have signed an agreement on space exploration, marking a new phase in space science cooperation including manned missions between the allweather allies. The agreement was signed on April 27 during the visit of Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan to China for the 2nd Belt and Road Forum (BRF), the China National Space Administration (CNSA) said in a statement. The space agreement will serve as a high-level foundation for cooperation in space science and exploration. Both nations will conduct scientific and technological experiments, astronaut training, along with manned space applications and achievement transformation, official media quoted the CNSA statement as saying. The space agreement between China and Pakistan also comes close on the heels of

India's successful Anti-Satellite (ASAT) Missile test last month. The test made India the fourth country in the world after the US, Russia and China to acquire the strategic capability to shoot down enemy satellites. China had conducted such a test in January 2007 when its antisatellite missile destroyed a weather satellite. Under the agreement, the CNSA and the Pakistan Space and Upper Atmosphere Research Commission will establish a China-Pakistan space committee chaired by top officials from both sides to address future collaborative issues. China has advanced space programme with successful manned missions besides exploration missions to Moon. China is also building its space station which was expected to be ready by 2022. It has also unveiled plans to send spacecraft to Mars and Jupiter. "The newly-signed space

Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan with Chinese President Xi Jinping

exploration agreement between China and Pakistan on manned space missions manifests their more profound cooperation on the peaceful use of outer space," state-run Global Times quoted experts as saying. Since Pakistan is China's all-weather friend, China is willing to provide know-how to foster Pakistan''s technological development on the use of outer space, Lan Jianxue, an associate research fellow at the China Institute of

International Studies, said. "China-Pakistan space cooperation will help Pakistan in terms of satellite monitoring of natural disasters and agricultural production, land and resources surveying, and waste handling in a microgravity environment," Lan said, adding that China will also benefit from the cooperation, including for commercial applications of space technology, investment security and counter-terrorism.

Pak, IMF in final round of talks on $8 bn bailout ISLAMABAD: Pakistan and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) have begun the final round of negotiations over the $8 billion rescue package for Islamabad amid a deepening economic crisis. The longdelayed package, which is expected to be signed next month would be Pakistan's 13th bailout since the late 1980s. "The talks aim to determine the terms and conditions of the three-year program," reports quoting an unnamed official at the Pakistani Finance Ministry,

said. The meeting that began in Islamabad on April 29 comes as the IMF issued a report on Mideast and regional economies, saying that Pakistan's economic growth is expected to slow from about 5 per cent last year to close to 3 per cent this year. Inflation in Pakistan was over 9.4 per cent in March, its highest since November 2013, with strong increases in food and energy, the two most sensitive items for most consumers. Pakistan was last

year expected to sign up for the bailout program, but Pakistani officials complained that the conditions attached to the proposed IMF loans could hurt the country's economic growth. The IMF demands full disclosure of all financial cooperation between Pakistan and China, which would include infrastructure development assistance, nuclear power plants, joint manufacturing of warplanes, and procurement of submarines. The lender also

wants details of more than $6.5 billion of commercial loans Pakistan has received from China in the past 2 1/2 years. Reports said that Pakistan was already taking measures to fulfill some of the preconditions to increase exports, widen the tax base, and adjust the exchange rate. Prime Minister Imran Khan, who took office in August 2018, has promised to improve the economy and provide more jobs. The talks are expected to last till May 7.

Pak to bring over 30,000 madrasas under govt control ISLAMABAD: As part of a campaign to combat extremism, Pakistan announced that it will bring over 30,000 madrasas into the mainstream education system. A military spokesperson said that contemporary subjects will be taught and a syllabus without hate speech will be formulated so students can be taught respect for different sects. Addressing a press conference in Rawalpindi, Major General Asif Ghafoor, DirectorGeneral of Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) said Pakistan had witnessed a surge in religious seminaries from 247 madrasas in 1947 to 2,861 in

1980. “And now there are over 30,000 madrasas. Out of these, only 100 are involved in propagating terrorism,” he said, adding that several steps were underway to control and bring the seminaries into the

mainstream. “All madrasas will be brought under the Ministry of Education.” The military spokesman said the students will also receive a degree which will be associated with the education board. “Initially Rs 2 billion will be

required to run this programme and then Rs 1 billion each year to keep it going,” he said. “The mainstreaming has three phases. The first is to prepare a bill which will be ready in around a month. The second phase requires training of teachers and the third phase will be the implementation of the bill.” Ghafoor also claimed that there were no terrorist groups in Pakistan as military operations had broken the organised networks of militant outfits. “I can now say with confidence that there is no terrorist organisation in Pakistan anymore,” he said.

No mercy for sexual abusers: Bangladesh PM DHAKA: Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina told the parliament that the government would ensure the highest punishment to culprits of sexual harassment in the country, if necessary by enacting tougher laws. “There’ll be no mercy for those who will be involved in incidents of sexual harassment. If necessary, we must enact

tougher laws and ensure that maximum punishment is given to those who commit sexual harassment,” she said, referring to the brutal killing of madrasa student Nusrat Jahan. Hasina made the remarks while participating in a discussion on a resolution urging the parliaments, governments and citizens of all

countries to forge resistance against terror and sexual harassment incidents. Mentioning that the militancy and terrorism was not only a problem in Bangladesh but in the whole world, the PM said her government will do whatever necessary to combat these issues. Treasury bench lawmaker Tofail Ahmed placed

Sheikh Hasina

the proposal in the House, which was passed by voice votes after the nearly four-hour long discussion.


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Sri Lanka bans face veils after Easter bombings COLOMBO: In the aftermath of the tragic Easter Sunday bombings, President Maithripala Sirisena announced new regulation that have banned Muslim women in Sri Lanka from wearing any form of face veils in public form. The new rule was announced on Sunday, a week after the coordinated blasts hit three churches and three luxury hotels, killing over 250 people and injuring over 500. In a statement, the President's office said, “The ban is to ensure national security... No one should obscure their faces to make identification difficult.” Sirisena used emergency powers to prohibit the use of face coverings of all sorts which is an obstacle to ensure the identity of the people and a threat to national and public security. The order clarifies that the key criterion for establishing the identity of a person is the need to clearly expose the face. It also adds that the President took the decision to establish a peaceful and cohesive society which does not provide inconvenience to any community people as well as ensure national security. Sri Lanka has a sizeable Muslim population, with just under 10 per cent of the country's 21 million following the religion. Only a small number of women are thought to wear the face-covering niqab or the burqa. The All Ceylon Jamiyyathul Ulama, an organisation of Muslim clerics in Sri Lanka, was highly critical of the President's decision. Hilmy Ahmed, the group's vicepresident said, “It is the stupidest thing to do. Three days ago we took a voluntary decision regarding this. The All Ceylon Jamiyyathul Ulema told all Muslim women not to wear face veils for security reasons. If they

wanted to wear a veil, then they were told not to come out.” They added, “We see this as a reflection of the conflict between the President and the Prime Minister. We strongly criticise the decision. We will not accept the authorities interfering with the religion without consulting the religious leadership.” This isn't the first time a country has banned the burqa. Several countries have permanently banned full-face veils in public places, including France, Belgium and Denmark. Chad, Gabon and the Republic of Congo in Africa also have restrictions in place. Gun battle kills 15 The bodies of 15 people, including six children, were discovered at the site of a fierce gun battle on the east coast of Sri Lanka, a military spokesman said. The shootout between troops and suspected Islamist militants erupted in Sainthamaruthu in Ampara district, to the south of the town of Batticaloa, site of one of the blasts. A police spokesman said that three suspected suicide bombers were among the 15 dead after the shootout. Islamic State claimed responsibility for last Sunday's attacks, all but one of which were in the capital, Colombo. The government has said they were carried out by nine well-educated Sri Lankans, eight of whom have been identified. Authorities have warned there could be more attacks targeting religious centres following the bombings, which shattered the relative calm that Buddhist-majority Lanka had enjoyed since a civil war against Tamil separatists ended a decade ago. Islamic banners and uniforms found The east coast battle broke out when troops heading towards a

Benjamin Netanyahu

suspected militant safe house were repulsed by three explosions and gunfire, military spokesman Sumith Atapattu said. "Troops retaliated and raided the safe house where a large cache of explosives had been stored," he said. He said the militants were suspected members of the domestic Islamist group National Towheed Jama'at (NTJ), which has been blamed for last Sunday's attacks. Bombmaking materials, dozens of gelignite sticks and thousands of ball bearings were found in a search of a separate house in the same area along with Islamic State banners and uniforms, the military said. Police said they were trying to track down 140 people they believe have links with Islamic State. Authorities have so far focused their investigations on international links to two domestic groups they believe carried out the attacks, NTJ and Jammiyathul Millathu Ibrahim. They have detained at least 76 people, including foreigners from Syria and Egypt, in their investigations so far. Mastermind died in blast Lankan President said that NTJ leader Zahran Hashim, believed to have masterminded the blasts, died in the attack on a popular tourist hotel. Hashim, whose incendiary speeches and

photographs with alleged suicide bombers were widely circulated on social media, had been on the Interpol watch list. There was no clarity, however, on the part played by Hashim in the Shangri-La bombing, one of the six bomb attacks on Easter Sunday. In a statement, Sirisena's office, quoting intelligence agencies, said at least 130 to 140 Muslim youths with links with the Islamic State were hiding in Sri Lanka and police were searching for them. More than 70 people have been arrested, he said. “I will stamp out IS from Sri Lanka. Our police and security forces are capable of achieving this,” Sirisena said. US, Britain warn its nationals The US State Department and Britain have warned its nationals against travel to Lanka, warning that terrorist groups were continuing to plot attacks. 13 Indians among victims The number of Indians killed in the blasts rose to 13. They were among at least 38 foreigners who lost their lives. Addressing an emergency session of Parliament, Sri Lanka’s state minister of defence, Ruwan Wijewardene, citing “preliminary investigations”, said the bombings were in “retaliation to the attack against Muslims in Christchurch”.

160,000 at risk in Mozambique after 2nd cyclone PEMBA, MOZAMBIQUE: Six weeks after Cyclone Idai killed more than 600 people in central Mozambique, a second disaster struck northern Mozambique in the wake of Cyclone Kenneth as raging flood waters killed one person and began to cut off the region's main city from the outside world. Some 160,000 people were at risk, with more torrential rain forecast for the days ahead. "Help us, we are losing everything!" residents in Pemba city shouted as the rushing waters poured into doorways. Women with buckets and pots tried to scoop away the torrent, in vain. Some houses collapsed, the United Nations said. "It's an awful sense of deja vu," said Nicholas Finney, response team leader with the aid group Save the Children. This was the first time in the history that the southern African nation has been hit by two cyclones in one season, again raising concerns about

climate change. The new storm could dump twice as much rain as Idai, the UN World Program has said. "I have never seen such rains in my life," said one Pemba resident, 35-year-old Michael Fernando. Residents mourned one death in the Nitate neighborhood after a brick wall fell on a woman and the waters swept her against another building, said community leader Estenacio Pilale. Other residents tried to pile up tires and sandfilled sacks as barricades. Cars began to slip under the waters. "We will keep moving until we get somewhere safe," one

Netanyahu's Likud party to form next govt in Israel

man said, as people fled carrying belongings in plastic bags. Others showed flashes of impatience. "Will this water ever give us a break?" Abdul Carimo asked. "The moment we try to do anything with our lives, it starts again." Authorities earlier said at least five people died after Kenneth roared with the force of a Category 4 hurricane, stunning residents of a region where such a storm had not been recorded in the modern era. The government said more than 160,000 people have been affected in the largely rural region, many now exposed and hungry. More than 35,000 homes in parts of Mozambique's northernmost Cabo Delgado were partially or fully destroyed by the storm. More than 23,000 people were in shelters, the government said. Aid workers trying to reach hard-hit communities outside

Pemba were forced to turn back by rivers that burst their banks, with flood waters reaching the roofs of nearby houses. It was not clear when aid to thousands of people outside the city could be delivered. "Helicopters cannot fly, a number of flights were canceled, so humanitarian workers cannot arrive and additional cargo cannot arrive by air," Finney said. He was concerned that the main road to Nampula, an important route, would soon be blocked. He described "total devastation" affecting a 60-km stretch of coastline and nearby islands. Aerial photos showed several coastal communities flattened by the cyclone. "Not a single house is standing anymore," Saviano Abreu, a spokesman with the UN humanitarian agency said. Livelihoods have been lost and people are wondering how they will cope in a country struggling with one of the world's highest poverty rates.

JERUSALEM: Despite his legal troubles, Benjamin Netanyahu led his Likud party to an election triumph in Israel, despite getting the same number of seats as his main challenger, a former army chief. The rightwing prime minister was asked to form the next governing coalition by the Israeli president because he was more able to attract a plethora of smaller right-wing or strictly Orthodox parties to join him. Although Israel’s attorney-general has recommended that Netanyahu be indicted on three corruption charges, the Israeli public did not turn their back on him, in part because of recent decisions by the Trump White House. The US has moved its embassy to Jerusalem, recognised the Golan Heights as Israeli sovereign territory, cut Palestinian funding and withdrawn from the Iran nuclear deal signed under Barack Obama. All of these were portrayed as diplomatic triumphs by Netanyahu. His challenger had been a merged group called Blue and White, led by Lt. Gen. Benny Gantz, a former Chief of Staff for the Israel Defence Forces, and Yair Lapid, an enigmatic former TV presenter. Two other former IDF chiefs completed the new group’s leadership line-up. The Israeli parliament, called the Knesset, is a 120-seat chamber, meaning a governing coalition must control at least 61 seats. Both Likud and Blue and White won 35 seats each. Strictly Orthodox parties won 16 seats but said they would not sit with Blue and White because Lapid wants to end the Orthodox exemption from military service. Three other right-wing parties won 14 seats combined. Two had already said they would serve under Netanyahu. One of the striking results from the election was the dramatic fall from grace of the left-wing Labor Party, which founded the State of Israel and formed the rump of a strong centre-left opposition in recent years, but landed only six seats this time. Arab parties won ten seats. Ahead of Israel’s last election in 2015, Israel’s main Arab parties merged in a combined Joint List headed by the respected lawyer Ayman Odeh, winning 13 seats, but splintered ahead of this year’s vote, leaving only two parties – HadashTa’al and Balad – with enough votes to make the cut. Before the election, Netanyahu appealed to right-wing voters by promising to annex large parts of the West Bank, an announcement that drew no public condemnation from Trump. Analysts in Israel say Netanyahu is unlikely to follow-through with this, however, given the damage to Israel’s reputation that it would cause.

OVER 270 ELECTION STAFF DIE OF EXHAUSTION Ten days after Indonesia held the world’s biggest single-day elections, more than 270 election staff have died, mostly of fatiguerelated illnesses caused by long hours of work counting millions of ballot papers by hand, an official said. The April 17 elections were the first time the country of 260 million people combined the presidential vote with national and regional parliamentary ones, with an aim to cut costs.


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in brief PAKISTAN SUSPENDS ANTI-POLIO DRIVE Pakistan has suspended the nation-wide anti-polio campaign after a health worker and two policemen escorting vaccination teams were killed in separate attacks across the country in less than a week. Pakistan is one of three countries in the world where polio is still endemic. The other two are Afghanistan and Nigeria. But militant threats and deep-rooted superstition have spurred many parents to refuse to vaccinate their children. Officials say unidentified gunmen targeted polio workers and accompanying policemen in three separate attacks in the heavily rural western regions bordering Afghanistan, before fleeing. The decision to halt the campaign against the crippling disease comes after two new polio cases were reported in the country's northwestern province of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

MORE THAN 50 DEAD AS HEAVY RAINS HIT SOUTH AFRICA More than 50 people were killed in southern and eastern parts of South Africa after heavy rains caused flooding and mudslides, authorities said. Rescue workers were digging through collapsed homes and other buildings in coastal areas of KwaZuluNatal province, where the death toll stood at 51, local officials said. The region has been hit by heavy rains for days, but authorities did not anticipate the extent of the downpour, said Lennox Mabaso, a spokesman for the provincial Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs department. "As a result there was flooding and some structures were undermined and collapsed on people," Mabaso said, adding some people were swept away by the water. Multiple dwellings and houses collapsed in the mudslides, said KwaZuluNatal Emergency Medical Services spokesman Robert McKenzie.

1 KILLED IN US SYNAGOGUE SHOOTING A gunman entered a synagogue yelling anti-Semitic slurs, and opened fire with an AR 15-style gun. He paused when the rabbi of the congregation tried to talk with him. But he fired again, shooting the rabbi. His attack left a 60-year-old woman dead, the rabbi wounded and a 34-year-old man and a girl with shrapnel wounds. It was the Sabbath and the last day of Passover, a holiday that celebrates Jewish freedom. The shooting, at Chabad of Poway, about 40 km north of San Diego, is the most recent in a series of attacks at houses of worship, including the mass shooting at mosques in New Zealand last month and the church bombings in Sri Lanka last week. It came exactly six months after one of the worst acts of violence against the American Jewish community in decades left 11 dead in a Pittsburgh synagogue.

JAPAN APOLOGIZES TO THOSE FORCIBLY STERILIZED Japanese government apologized to tens of thousands of victims forcibly sterilized under a now-defunct Eugenics Protection Law, which was designed to "prevent the birth of poor-quality descendants," and promised to pay compensation. Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga said he was offering "sincere remorse and heartfelt apology" to the victims. It came after the parliament earlier enacted legislation to provide redress measures, including 3.2 million yen ($28,600) compensation for each victim. An estimated 25,000 people were given unconsented sterilization while the 1948 Eugenics Protection Law was in place until 1996. The law allowed doctors to sterilize people with disabilities. It was quietly renamed as the Maternity Protection Law in 1996.

Pressure mounts on China over Azhar NEW DELHI: The international bid to put Masood Azharon on the terror list in the UN Security Council is gathering steam. Last week British high commissioner Dominic Asquith told journalists the UK was “optimistic” that the process would be completed soon. “We’re waiting to see whether the country that has so far been resisting in agreeing to his listing will lift that objection... We have been strong supporters of the listing of Masood Azhar for a decade.” Senior US official, Alice Wells, who was in Delhi last week, said Azhar listing was on the agenda in the meetings with Indian officials. Sources familiar with developments said the US

Masood Azhar

is pushing China to lift its hold and get the designation through in “very near term”. At the UN in New York, officials have been finetuning the language of the resolution that will finally name Azhar, the head of Jaish-e-Mohammed.

While there is no obvious “deadline”, the effort by the sponsors of the resolution - US, UK, France - is to get China to change its stand without suffering loss of face. Officials involved in the exercise said that China doesn’t want to be seen as supporting a known terrorist. “They want the monkey off their back too,” they said. Last week, India's foreign secretary Vijay Gokhale made a final pitch with the Chinese leadership in Beijing. Giving a readout of the conversation, the MEA spokesperson said, “We have shared with China all evidences of terrorist activities of Jaish-eMohammad and its leader Masood Azhar. It is now for the

1267 Sanctions Committee and other authorised bodies of the UN to take a decision on the listing of Masood Azhar. India will continue to pursue all available avenues to ensure that terrorist leaders who are involved in heinous attacks on our citizens are brought to justice.” Pakistan has resisted and relied on China’s veto support to keep Azhar off the list. There have been reports that China is afraid that a listing of Azhar might unleash retaliatory attacks against Chinese personnel working on the CPEC. However, Indian security officials have dismissed it, since security on CPEC is guaranteed by the Pakistan army.

Komal Shah giving a platform for women and artists of colour Komal Shah is a Californiabased art collector. Shah is one of a tiny group of collectors who come from the tech industryshe worked as a computer engineer and quit her tech job to give a platform to women and artists of colour. Now she concentrates on art collecting and on a host of other roles, including being a trustee at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA) and on the North American acquisitions committee and a trustee at Tate, as well as being on the advisory council of Berkeley’s Center for Equity, Gender and Leadership. She is working on a conversation series with Stanford University called “Artists on the Future”, bringing together artists and cultural thought leaders to look at the issues of the day. She recounts how after studying computer science in Ahmedabad she was accepted at Stanford for a masters degree. She says her father, a textile trader, could not afford the Stanford education cost of about $12,000. So he took a mortgage against his house to support her first quarter on the condition that she could take care of the rest of her education. She was able to secure a teaching assistant position in ‘AI

techniques’ and was able to stay at Stanford for the full programme. But she says when she got to Stanford there were only three women in a class of 100 masters students. She felt it very strange that the US - which we consider so advanced on so many different fronts - does not treat women equally. But she says the gender disparity didn’t cause her an issue. But when she saw her daughter growing up in America, she realised more and more how the odds were stacked against women in this country. This is why she gave the focus and impetus to her collection, which is now only devoted to women and artists of colour. Shah quit her career in tech in 2008, and plunged into the art world. She had no education in art nor an art background, and so she was advised to just go look at art and see what connected with her. She read voraciously and took thousands of pictures. Foremost among her mentors were Tate curator Mark Godfrey and Gary Garrels (senior curator of Painting and Sculpture at SFMOMA). It was Godfrey who helped her move towards her focus on the art of her time. She also cites the Fisher collection at SFMOMA and the Anderson collection at

Stanford as major influences. Komal is among the most astute and thoughtful patrons of the 21st century, says Adam Sheffer, vicepresident of Pace Gallery in New York. Four painters are fundamental to her collection - Amy Sillman, Charline von Heyl, Jacqueline Humphries and Laura Owens. “The work is Komal Shah ungendered, you can’t tell by Kevin Beasley, Charles Gaines, the work itself that a woman Sam Gilliam and Anish Kapoor. artist painted it,” says Shah. “I “The same impetus drives me for started getting to know them artists of colour as for women better and being at their artists,” she continues. When openings and becoming friends asked how many works she has with some of them and that’s in her collection, she explains when it struck me how much that the figure of 150 doesn’t disparity is there in the art reflect the reality. “It’s tricky to market as well.” From this core, count that way because we have Shah has extended to other the Joan Mitchell and also women artists. prints. But I do tend to acquire “We have Lynda Benglis, pretty significant works of Phyllida Barlow, Zarina Hashmi, artists that I care about. As a Joan Snyder, Pat Steir, the last collector I have limited work by Joan Mitchell, as well a resources so I have to be beautiful Helen Frankenthaler thoughtful about what I can from 1962. Eventually I would focus on. Sometimes people love to get a significant work of don’t realise [the collection] is Frankenthaler - when I can about women in the art world afford it!” For the moment some indeed I have tended to stay are in her two homes, about 10 away from art that is explicitly per cent on loan to museums, about feminist issues and female and some in storage. bodies. I am trying to level the Shah has also moved on to playing field and show that collecting artists of colour, women are as capable as men in among them Mark Bradford, doing strong, amazing work!”

‘Yogi’ becomes first Indian to win an election in Japan TOKYO: A 41-year-old Indianorigin Japanese, who goes by the nickname “Yogi”, has been elected to Tokyo’s Edogawa Ward assembly, becoming the first Indian to win an election in Japan. Puranik Yogendra, a naturalised Japanese, secured 6,477 votes, the fifth highest of the 226,561 valid ballots cast, in the April 21 poll, part of unified local elections held across Japan, the Asahi Shimbun reported. “I want to be a bridge between Japanese and foreigners,” said Yogi, who was backed by the Constitutional Democratic Party of Japan. Edogawa Ward has the highest number of Indian residents among Tokyo’s 23 wards with 4,300 or so Indian nationals

Puranik Yogendra

registered, accounting for more than 10 per cent of Indians living in Japan. Over 34,000 Indians live in Japan. The Edogawa Ward also has a large number of Chinese and Koreans.

“This is the first-ever victory of a naturalised Japanese of Indian origin in elections in Japan. This is also a recognition of contributions made by Indians towards the Japanese society,” Shamshad Khan, the

author of Changing Dynamics of India-Japan Relations, said. Yogi first arrived in Japan in 1997 when he was a university student in India. He returned two years later to study, and in 2001 came back to work as an engineer. He later worked for a bank and other companies, and has resided in Edogawa Ward since 2005, the paper said. “Japan is neat and everyone was kind,” Yogi said, recalling his early experiences. Yogi felt his ties with Japan strengthen after the 2011 earthquake and tsunami disaster while visiting affected areas on weekends to cook curry with Indian friends from Edogawa Ward to share with victims, the paper said.


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SOUTH INDIA

in brief

SC stays probe into Jaya's death at Apollo Hospitals NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court has stayed the proceedings of an inquiry commission set up to look into the death of then Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa at Apollo Hospitals in Chennai in 2016 after hearing an appeal by the hospital. A bench headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi was hearing the appeal of Apollo Hospitals against the April 4 order of the Madras High Court rejecting its objection against the ongoing inquiry into the death of the AIADMK leader at the hospital. The AIADMK-led state government had set up the inquiry commission to look into circumstances leading to the death of Jayalalithaa on December 5, 2016 at Apollo Hospitals. The Madras High Court had on April 4 rejected the hospital's objections to an inquiry to probe the death of

J Jayalalithaa

Jayalalithaa looking into aspects of treatment given to her. Justice A Arumughaswamy Commission of Inquiry was looking into the treatment given to Jayalalithaa during her 75-day hospitalisation in 2016. The high court had refused to stall proceedings of the commission and disposed of the petition filed by the hospital. It had also

rejected the prayer of the hospital for setting up a medical board to assist the panel during the inquiry. The high court had said if a harmonious interpretation was made to terms of reference, the government was careful enough to include the word "subsequent treatment provided till her unfortunate demise on December 5, 2016". This meant the nature and extent of treatment given by Apollo Hospitals, which includes appropriateness, adequacy or inadequacy of the treatment, the court had said. "We are of the view that if the commission is restrained from going into the correctness, efficacy, adequacy or inadequacy of the medical treatment provided by the petitioner hospital, it would only defeat the very object with which the government had appointed the

ED ATTACHES PROPERTIES, BANK DEPOSITS OF ALAGIRI’S SON

commission of inquiry," it had said. Therefore, the panel can go into the correctness, efficacy, adequacy or inadequacy of the medical treatment provided by Apollo Hospitals by screening the records produced before it and arrive at a conclusion, the bench had said. The high court disagreed with the hospital's contention that a retired judge of the high court (Arumughaswamy) cannot be the competent person to deal with the complex and intricate medical treatment and hence experts and professionals should be included in the panel. It had said that even in the absence of inclusion of experts or professionals, as per Section 5B of Commission of Inquiry Act, the commission can independently take the aid of any person who, in its opinion, shall be of assistance for conducting the inquiry.

PUNJAB

Sonepat a war zone for CM Khattar and ex-CM Bhupinder Singh Hooda SONEPAT: The Sonepat Lok Sabha seat, where Bhupinder Singh Hooda of the Congress is pitted against sitting BJP MP Ramesh Kaushik and Digvijay Singh Chautala of the JJP, has become the centre of state politics due to acrimony involved in campaigning. A rancorous war of words was witnessed between Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar and Hooda and also between the former Chief Minister and Digvijay. Khattar fired the first salvo when, while addressing an election meeting for Kaushik, he indirectly accused Hooda of burning Haryana during the Jat quota violence in February 2016 by alleging that the former Chief Minister’s supporters were involved in the act. “People know it very well who was behind the burning of the state during the Jat agitation. People will never forget those faces and

Bhupinder Singh Hooda and Manohar Lal Khattar

punish them at the time of voting,” he said. He claimed that Hooda would lose the election from Sonepat and his son Deepender Singh Hooda bite the dust in Rohtak. Pooh-poohing Hooda for his remarks that his victory from Sonepat would pave the way for the Chief Minister’s chair through Delhi, Khattar said such a thought would not come even in the mind of a child. “Only a foolish person can think of

going from Sonepat to Chandigarh by first going to Delhi and then taking a reverse gear from Delhi,” he added. Livid over Khattar’s remarks, Hooda threw a challenge to the Chief Minister. “Let Khattar resign from the post of Chief Minister if I win. I promise that I will quit politics if I lose,” Hooda told mediapersons. “Since Khattar came to power, he burnt Haryana thrice. He burnt the state in 2015 during Rampal case,

in 2016 during Jat agitation and in 2017 when the Dera Sacha Sauda chief was convicted,” Hooda alleged. Hooda alleged that Khattar was habitual of levelling such allegations because his government had done nothing for the state. He challenged Khattar to a debate on development during their respective tenures. Meanwhile, responding to Hooda’s comment that he had entered the fray from Sonepat to play spoilsport, Digvijay said he had come to Sonepat for politics for the next three decades. He said Hooda had claimed that he wanted to remain an MP only till the Assembly elections. Reacting to Digvijay’s statement, Hooda said people of Sonepat knew that it was his second home as his wife was from the district and his mother was from Jind, which was a part of the Sonepat Lok Sabha seat.

The Enforcement Directorate has attached 25 properties and bank deposits worth over £4 million belonging to Alagiri Dayanidhi, son of expelled DMK leader MK Alagiri, in connection with £1.6 billion granite mining scam case in Tamil Nadu. The central agency said that it has issued provisional attachment orders for these properties which are in the name of a company owned by Alagiri's filmmaker son. The assets include "movable and immovable properties consisting of lands, buildings in Madurai, Chennai and fixed deposits totaling to £4.03 million". The assets, ED said, belong to M/s Olympus Granites Pvt. Ltd and its directors which includes Dayanidhi. The attachments have been made under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act.

BADALS DECLARE ASSETS WORTH £21.7 MN Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) President Sukhbir Singh Badal and his Union Minister wife Harsimrat Kaur Badal are so far the richest candidates to enter the fray for Lok Sabha elections in Punjab with assets worth £21.7 million. They have movable assets (bank balance, investments etc.) worth over £10 million. Out of this, Sukhbir has over £7.6 million while Harsimrat has nearly £2.42 million. The Badals do not own a single car. Sukhbir Badal owns two tractors costing £2,38,000. While Sukhbir filed his nomination from the Firozpur Lok Sabha constituency, Harsimrat filed her papers from the Bathinda seat.

BJP ORGANISES HELMET RALLY IN KOLKATA The BJP, a rising force in West Bengal, organised a rally from Hazra More, a politically important area in the heart of Kolkata, with party workers wearing helmets to protest against rising incidents of violence in the state. Chandra Bose, BJP's candidate for South Kolkata, says, "We are wearing these helmets to save our head because we have a terror government who are likely to break our heads so we have to protect our heads." Bose says, "Political violence has been there in Bengal earlier during the Left Front regime as well, but today it has reached its peak. The BJP would ensure peace returns to Bengal. We will not allow any political party to cause a reign of terror here."

WEST BENGAL

Real test for Mamata Banerjee’s TMC has finally begun KOLKATA: The real test for Mamata Banerjee's Trinamool Congress will begin from fourth phase onward. Polling for 32 of the total 42 Lok Sabha seats in the state is pending, but the electoral process is finally entering districts where Trinamool Congress is likely to fare better, just as it did in the 2014 general elections. While north Bengal has always been more dynamic in its political ambition, the vibrancy of electioneering is nowhere more apparent than in south Bengal. Although voting in

Darjeeling has often drawn attention for its volatility, it is Kolkata, the state capital in South Bengal, where the battle has always been more intense. The BJP is showing signs of gaining grounds here and, therefore, the battle will prove a litmus test for Mamata's popularity. The reason is, of the 10 seats polled in three phases, six were in 2014 won by the CPI-M, including Raigunj by Mohammad Salim and Murshidabad by Badaruddoza Khan. Congress had won all its four seats - Malda North and

South, Jangipur and Berhampore - from these two districts. The BJP, despite having emerged as the most viable opposition force in the state, has hardly been able make any dent in the region over the last eight years, ever since Banerjee swept to power in 2011. But signs of change have been observed in the last 20 months in Jungalmahal and south Bengal after the panchayat polls. It’s in these districts that Trinamool will have to prove its mettle because for the BJP, any seat other than

the existing Asansol and Darjeeling will make it look like Banerjee is losing her grip. “Mamata didi will be shocked with the results this time in Bengal. Just take a look at the number of people attending our rallies,” says Dilip Ghosh, state BJP president. But the BJP will have to win more seats to prove its claims of being the preferred choice of the electorate and the misrule in Bengal. Kapil Thakur, political expert, says that before the political polarisation made its way for area domination – the

issue of Ghoti Mamata Banerjee (those who belong to western Bengal) and ‘Bati’ (who migrated to India during partition) always remains at the bordering areas of Bengal and Bangladesh. “The BJP saw a huge opportunity in this and apart from playing on the religious lines, it is cultivating the Ghoti over Bati. That is why the party is so adamant on National Register of Citizens (NRC) and Citizenship Amendment Bill. There is

no doubt that the BJP has gained in Bengal and Mamata lost her popularity after the panchayat polls in rural areas. The real challenge before the BJP now is to keep a balance between the Bengali sentiments and NRC,” Thakur said. But despite the BJP’s strong religious political strategy, Banerjee will try hard to get support of the Muslim community which forms nearly 27.5% of the state’s total population.


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HERITAGE HISTORY

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Lok Sabha Elections and Surprised Results • When PM Gandhi expected to win 340 seats, she lost her own seat! • PM Vajpayee’s “India Shining” campaign doomed him in year 2004 he results of the Indian elections of 17th Lok Sabha are expected to be declared on 23 May 2019 and it is most likely that the present Prime Minister Narendra Modi would form the Union government again. Of course, Indian elections are known to give surprises though not many. One such surprise came to Prime Minister Indira Gandhi as a shock in March 1977 when the results of the 6th Lok Sabha elections were announced and another occasion was in May 2004 when Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee’s “India Shining” campaign lost. On both the occasions, the blamegame started: for the defeat in 1977, the PM’s son and a villain of the Emergency, Sanjay Gandhi, was being blamed who was mostly responsible for the excesses of the Emergency. For Vajpayee’s defeat the blame was passed on to his blue-eyed boy, Pramod Mahajan.

T

IG called the 1977 Lok Sabha elections after being told by the Intelligence Bureau (IB) that she would win up to 340 seats, according to R.K. Dhawan, IG’s trusted private secretary. Of course, even after losing the 1977 elections, the Congress could win 154 seats in the House of 545 where as the newly formed Janata Party with merging Bharatiya Lok Dal (BLD), Congress (O), Jan Sangh and other parties

could muster 295 seats facilitating the election of Morarji Desai of Congress (O) as the Prime Minister. Chaudhary Charan Singh of BLD as well as Jagjivan Ram of Congress for Democracy were made the Deputy Prime Ministers. Not only PM Indira Gandhi but even her MP son Sanjay Gandhi lost from Rae Bareilly and Amethi respectively. Since southern States supported her, she chose to contest the

bye-election of Chikmangalur in Karnataka to enter the Lok Sabha. Indira Gandhi’s Congress bounced back in 1980 with thumping majority of 374 of 542 and could capture power not only at the Centre but also in most of the States. Prime Minister Vajpayee called the Lok Sabha elections six months early and used an “India Shining” slogan during his campaign in the hope that the feelgood factor among voters would return him to office. But the voters who took part in the poll appeared to have been put off by what many believed was a smug campaign. “They did not

Next Column: Gimmicks to win Indian elections rally to his personal attack on Sonia Gandhi for being born in Italy and India’s

rural majority have been left behind by the economic boom which has been largely confined to the urban middle classes,” reported The Telegraph of London. Despite Congress winning just 145 and United Progressive Alliance (UPA) headed by Sonia Gandhi only 218, the Congress led UPA could keep BJP (138) led NDA (185) away from forming the government. Dr. Manmohan Singh was elected as the leader of the House and became the PM for the first time. He was earlier the Finance Minister responsible for privatization, liberalization and globalization in 1991-95 Congress led minority government headed by P.V. Narsimha Rao. In 2009, the Congress led-UPA could again form the government at the Centre with Congress winning just 206 seats and UPA only 10 short of

Both the PMs: Indira Gandhi and Atal Bihari Vajpayee

majority i.e. 262. Dr. Manmohan Singh was sworn in as PM again with outside support of Samajwadi Party (23), Bahujan Samaj Party ( 21 ), Rashtriya Janata Dal ( 4), Janata Dal –Secular (3) and 3 other members. In May 2014, the Congress-led UPAII got a sever set-back since none from UPA matched the firebrand Prime Ministerial candidate of

NDA and Narendra Modi led his BJP to win 282 seats, 10 more than majority in the House though keeping the NDA (336) partners intact in the coalition government. This time he has to pass a litmus test. Dr. Hari Desai (The writer is a Socio-political Historian. E-mail: haridesai@gmail.com)

I am strict, but I don’t believe in humiliating others, says PM Modi mid heated exchange of words during election campaign, Prime Minister revealed that he shares a warm relationship with many opposition leaders, including West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee. In an interview with Bollywood actor Akshay Kumar, the PM said the Trinamool Congress chief still sends him kurtas and Bengali sweets “once or twice” a year. Reacting swiftly to the PM’s remark, Mamata said at a rally in Hooghly district that it was Bengal's culture to welcome guests with sweets and gifts but not a single vote will be given to his party. The PM said Bangladesh prime minister Sheikh Hasina used to send him special sweets every year from Dhaka. "When Mamata Didi came to know about it, she also started sending me Bengali sweets and kurtas on one or two occasions every year." Modi said he had good relations with other political opponents, such as senior Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad. I got detached from family at early age The interview was billed as “a candid and completely non-political” interaction. It was telecast a day after the third phase of the Lok Sabha elections. Akshay Kumar had announced on Twitter that he would soon be engaging in a chat to help viewers “discover” some interesting facts about PM Modi. To Kumar's question on whether he had donated the entire amount he got as salary during his tenure as the Gujarat Chief Minister before moving to Delhi, Modi said: “This is not the complete truth. I wanted to do so, but on the advice of some officials under me, I only contributed Rs 21,00,000. I asked the officials to spend the money on the education of the children of junior employees in the secretariat.” Asked if he ever felt angry, Modi said: “If I said that I don’t get angry, people would be

A

surprised. “Anger is a part of life of every human being. When I was about 18-20 years old, I was told that bad habits are hurdles to personal growth. My anger was one such bad habit. I was a chief minister for a long time. Now I am the Prime Minister, but there was not a single occasion when I got angry on anyone.” Modi added, “I am strict, but I don’t believe in humiliating others. I encourage people. I lend them a helping hand... I learn and also teach. I make a team. There may be anger inside me but I don’t express it.” Asked if he does not want to live with his family, Modi said he left his home at a very young age and so his life totally detached with his family. Rubbishing his image as a strict person, Modi said, “If anybody says that I force people to work, he hasn't fully understood me. It is true that people connected with me have to work more, but I never force anyone. I develop a work culture because I also work very hard.” He said he had never thought of becoming the Prime Minister because there was

nothing in his family that would make him imagine anything like that. “Common people don't dream of such things. Such ideas only come to people with a certain background. But my family background was such where had I got a good job, my mother would have

distributed sweets to the neighbours. We never thought beyond that. We never saw anything outside our village,” Modi said. Talking about his journey from Gujarat to New Delhi, PM Modi said “Main

bhatakta bhatakta yahan pahunch gaya (I was wandering about and reached here),” he said. But he went on to add that the “most valuable thing” he brought with himself to the PMO was his experience as the longest serving chief minister of Gujarat. “Other PMs did not have the experience of managing a state. Deve Gowda did serve as CM, but my tenure was very long, which gave me the ability to look at things minutely,” he said. Modi also said that he doesn’t have a retirement plan because he is always focused on present responsibilities. Narrating how he ironed clothes using a lota (pot) filled with hot coal to make himself presentable in school, the PM explained that the need to dress properly was rooted in his deprived childhood that filled him with a sense of inferiority. Talking about an alternative career, Modi said before he entered politics he wanted to be either a sanyasi or an Armyman. Modi also revealed his love for mango. Shows his softer moments In a lighter moment, while talking about the use of social media and memes, Modi referred to Kumar’s wife Twinkle Khanna, who is known for her “strong opinions” on Twitter. “I follow you (Akshay Kumar) and Twinkle Khanna ji on Twitter. From the way she targets me, I understand there must be peace in your family life. All her anger must have been spent on me, and so you must be feeling at peace,” he joked. Twinkle later embedded this snippet on her Twitter timeline, accompanying it with a post that read, “I have a rather positive way of looking at this. Not only is the PM aware that I exist but he actually reads my work.”


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Gujarat achieves faster economic growth than rest of India On May 1, 1960 the erstwhile state of Bombay was divided on linguistic basis, this giving birth to Gujarat and Maharashtra. Unofficially called the 'Jewel of Western India', Gujarat has been on the global map for quite some time. It was officially formed after an idea for a separate state for Gujaratis surfaced in 1928 in a magazine titled Kumar. Writer and freedom fighter KM Munshi was the first one to suggest a concept called Mahagujarat and made the suggestion in a meeting during the Gujarat Sahitya Sabha which was held in Karachi in 1937. Map of Gujarat was first seen in a magazine ahead of a poem by Devshavji Parmar titled 'Uthtrishta Jagrat'. Historically, Gujarat has always had a significant part to play. It had a major role in businesses of Karachi and Mumbai during the British Raj. The story of Gujarat is one of a state punching above its weight. The state with only 5 per cent of India's land mass and barely 5 per cent of its population, now accounts for 7.6 per cent of the country's GDP and 22 per cent of its

exports. Its annual Gross State Domestic Product growth has averaged almost 10 per cent, faster than India's. Gujarat has the longest coastline and serves as an integral native trading hub for centuries, one of the most dominant in the Arabian Sea. Almost 25 per cent of India's sea cargo passes through Gujarat ports. It has been among the fastest growing states. Despite poor rainfall, it has made strides in agriculture, with cash crops like cotton, oilseeds, and tobacco dominating its story. A milk revolution and large-scale exports of fish accompanied the growth in horticulture and sharp increase in agricultural productivity. Despite the Surat plague and the earthquake in Kutch, the state's economic growth rate has surged in the last oneand-a-half decades. While Gujarat is a “model state” in economic growth, it is a “middle state” in social sector growth. Both agricultural and manufacturing growth is in double digits, but of the 20 major states in India, Gujarat's ranking is always between 9 and 12 on all

major social sector rankings. Overall income The most prosperous area, Central Gujarat, has shown maximum improvement in wages- an increase from an average wage of Rs 136.7 (2011-12 prices) to Rs 200.9 in 2011-as well as per capita household consumption. In terms of wages, Central Gujarat was followed by the Eastern Corridor (Rs 124.1 in 1999 to Rs 163.4 in 2011) and then Western Gujarat. Western Gujarat, which used to be best in wages in 1999-2000, shows maximum improvement in reducing absolute poverty (from average absolute poverty of 26.5 per cent in 1999 to 9.5 per cent in 2011). In consumption, Western Gujarat is most improved, followed by Central Gujarat, then the East. Overall rank Central Gujarat is the best in level of development. It also shows the highest improvement among the three regions. The conclusion is based on achievements in income, health and education. Western Gujarat and the Eastern Corridor take the second and third positions respectively.

SC insists on apology from Rahul for 'chowkidar chor hai' comment cut apology or brave criminal contempt for attributing Hindi phrase 'chowkidar chor hai' targetting Prime Minister Narendra Modi to the court. “Any person can make a mistake, but having made it, you should go ahead and admit it,”Justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul on the Bench told senior advocate Abhishek Manu Singhvi, who represented Gandhi. “And what is this 'regret' written inside brackets?” Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi asked Singhvi. Singhvi said his client would apologise for the attribution. The Bench said it could make no sense of what Gandhi wanted to convey in his present 28page affidavit, which expressed "regret" without apologising. The affidavit, filed on April 29, was in response to a notice issued by the court on April 23 in a criminal contempt petition filed by BJP lawmaker Meenakshi Lekhi against Gandhi. “We have great difficulty in understanding what you [Rahul Gandhi] are trying to say in this affidavit... What does it [affidavit] mean? We do not understand... ” Chief Justice Gogoi remarked after reading Gandhi's affidavit. In the affidavit, Gandhi attempts to explain that he had unfortunately juxtaposed political slogan “chowkidar chor hai” with the Supreme Court proceedings in a moment of euphoria, immediately after the court allowed the review petitions in the Rafale case on April 10. He had no intention to hurt the court. But the Bench would have none of it. “You [Mr. Gandhi] are contradicting yourself

in your affidavit. In one place, you said you did not intend to say it and in the next page you say you regret saying it,”Justice Kaul observed. Singhvi said he had checked the dictionary to understand that “regret” is also a “civil apology”. Initially, when Singhvi was on the threshold of beginning his arguments, Chief Justice Rahul Gandhi Gogoi warned him that once he began defending the present affidavit, there would be no point of return. When Singhvi said the comment was made in a political context, the CJI interjected, saying: “we do not want to know what your political stand is, you can keep your politics to yourself.” The Bench gave Gandhi time till Monday to file an additional affidavit. It made it clear that this opportunity should not be construed by Gandhi as an “acceptance or acknowledgement” of what he said in the present one. On Monday, the court would consider the question of admissibility of the proposed new affidavit. Arguing for Lekhi, senior advocate Mukul Rohatgi declared Gandhi's submissions as “cock and bull” story and a “deliberate attempt to put words in the mouth of the Supreme Court.” Rohatgi said the “regret expressed inside brackets in the affidavit is mere lip service.” He said Gandhi's comment was the “grossest form of contempt. He wanted to mislead the nation into thinking that the Supreme Court said the Prime Minister is a thief," the senior advocate submitted.

Contribution of all chief ministers Gujarat owes its success to all the past and present chief ministers that have shaped the state. Each of these leaders have pushed Gujarat amidst all adversities and politics. Jivraj Mehta was the inaugural chief minister, who was unfortunately killed during the 1965 war with Pakistan when his airplane was shot down. Then Hitendra Desai, Ghanshyam Oza, Chimanbhai Patel, and Babubhai Jashbhai Patel took up office. After Babubhai's government broke down in 1976, Madhav

Sinh Solanki became chief minister. Under his leadership, Congress won 149 seats out of 182; the record is yet to be broken. However, after four months, Solanki government was replaced with Amarsinh Chaudhary, but Madhav Sinh returned to the office before the 1990 assembly elections. In 1990, the record for giving the lowest seats (33) for Congress is also registered in the name of Solanki. Chimanbhai Patel became CM again in 1990 and BJP's Keshubhai Patel was number two in his government. Chimanbhai became the

second chief minister, who died in office in February 1994. Chhabildas Mehta came in as his successor. After the 1995 election, BJP's Keshubhai took the post, but after the rebellion of Shankersinh Vaghela, he had to leave it and Suresh Mehta succeeded him. Vaghela-supported industrialist Dilip Parikh became chief minister after people submitted a big allegation of corruption to the governor. Later, BJP's Keshubhai Patel became the Chief Minister of the state after the assembly elections of 1998. In October 2001, he was replaced by Narendra Modi as Chief Minister and only let off the post when he became Prime Minister in May 2014. His successor, Anandiben Patel, and later the current Chief Minister Vijay Rupani became heads of the ruling party. After the results of the Lok Sabha elections on May 23, 2019, Gujarat's leadership will be transformed, according to talks. While there is no person from any party in power in Gujarat, no one can stop the growth of development.

Obituary

Narottambhai Devshibhai Jogia

It is with deep regret that the Jogia family announces the passing away of their beloved and much loved father Narottambhai Jogia. Born in Lindi, Tanzania, Narottambhai passed away after a long battle with cancer. Having grown up in Dar es Salaam, Narottambhai first came to the UK in 1985 where he started up his own newsagents and then later worked for WH Smith. Narottambhai was a lifelong member and activist for the Conservative Party. He was an advocate for the Party’s values of hard work, enterprise and family which he believed gave him and his family great opportunities in this country. Narottambhai helped candidates campaign in several elections over the last 30 years. He was the guiding inspiration of his only

son Ameet Jogia, who is now a rising star within the Conservative Party. Ameet is an elected Councillor in Harrow and also a former Parliamentary candidate. Prime Minister Theresa May also paid tribute to Narottambhai’s years of service to the Conservative Party at last year’s Party Conference. Narottambhai was also a dedicated and hardworking community member. He believed in the service of others and was a committed volunteer at the Shree Sanatan Hindu Mandir in Alperton. Narottambhai loved to help people wherever he could and inspired his family to always do the same. Even throughout his long illness he never complained. He fought cancer hard, with his last wish being to see his son Ameet get married, which he did in December. Narottambhai is now at peace and we pray his soul rests in eternal peace. Spouse of: Hansaben Narottambhai Jogia Father of: Councillor Ameet Jogia Father- in- law of: Priya Jogia (formerly Jatania) Brother of: Mathuradasbhai, Ramnikbhai and Prabhaben Jogia Condolences to Councillor Ameet Jogia 252 Headstone Lane, Harrow, Middlesex, HA2 6NE (jogiaa@parliament.uk)


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HEALTH & LIFESTYLE

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4 - 10 May 2019

Cutting out sugar in tea does NOT affect how fond you are of a cuppa, scientists say Cutting out sugar from a cup of tea doesn't make people any less fond of the drink, scientists have said. Researchers asked a group of participants to remove it from their cuppa and found that their likeness for the drink didn't change. Cutting out sugar in one drastic step, or gradually reducing it over time, were both effective methods for consuming less sugar. Health officials recommend no more than seven teaspoons of sugar per day, but the average Briton consumes almost double that, according to estimates. The researchers, from University College London and the University of Leeds,

said the switch to a sugarless tea could improve people's diet. aIn their study, they wrote: 'Reducing sugar in tea doesn't affect liking, suggesting long-term behaviour change is possible. 'Excess sugar intake is a public health problem and sugar in beverages con-

tributes substantially to total intake. 'Reducing sugar intake from beverages may therefore help to reduce overall consumption.' The findings, which have been peer-reviewed by conference officials, were presented at the European

Congress on Obesity in Glasgow. The authors said a bigger trial was needed to confirm the findings. Added sugars shouldn't make up more than five per cent of the calorie intake people get from food and drink each day, according to guidelines by the NHS. This equates to about 30g of sugar a day, or seven teaspoons, for those aged 11 and over. But the average British adult is getting through almost double that at 57g, which is a concern amid rising obesity rates. Adults drink an average of two to three cups of tea a day, according to a survey of 2,000 people, conducted by the charity Contact the Elderly.

Babies and toddlers should spend NO time looking at screens and under-fives be limited to one hour a day Children should not spend any time looking at phones, tablets or TVs until they are at least two years old, the World Health Organization warned last week. New guidelines on how much activity children should do have been revealed by the world's highest health authority. Screen time may lead to children being obese, having slower brain and physical development, and worse mental health, the WHO report suggested. Instead, it recommended children spend time reading or being read to, doing puzzles, drawing or singing in order to improve their brain development. The advice will be unwelcome to many British parents â&#x20AC;&#x201C; more than half of three to four-year-olds use the internet every week and

one in five have their own tablet. Experts in the UK have not readily accepted the WHO's warnings, being sceptical about the dangers of screen-time and criticising the quality of scientific evidence. The WHO has published its Guidelines on Physical Activity, Sedentary Behaviour and Sleep for Children Under Five Years of Age. It says babies and one-year-olds should not spend any time at all looking at electronic screens. Two, three and fouryear-olds should be limited to just one hour per day and 'less is better', the report said. 'The benefits of less screen-based sedentary behaviour (TV viewing, watching videos, playing computer games) include

reduced [obesity], improved motor and cognitive development and psychosocial health,' the report said. Experts at the WHO issued the new advice as scientific evidence continues to build of the potential harms of children using screens too often. Research published earlier this year found preschool children in the UK spend, on average, an hour and 16 minutes online every day. Almost one in five (19 per cent) of toddlers have their own tablet, and more than half (52 per cent) go online every week for an average of nine hours. Under-fives spend two hours per day watching TV on average, while 45 per cent of them use YouTube and

nearly a third use video streaming services like Netflix. However, the WHO's advice, to be presented at the European Congress on Obesity in Glasgow, has been met with criticism from British experts. There are concerns the evidence the recommendations are based on is of too low quality â&#x20AC;&#x201C; something the WHO itself acknowledged. And critics say proof of the harms of screen-time are not established enough to warrant firm guidelines.

Obesity and depression 'hand-in-hand' in children Obese seven-year-olds are at greater risk of suffering emotional problems, such as anxiety and low mood, when they reach 11, a large UK study suggests. The Liverpool researchers found obesity and mental health were closely linked, and gradually increased throughout childhood. Girls tended to have higher BMIs and more emotional problems than boys. Although the study didn't look at causes, it said poverty was likely to increase the risk of both problems. The findings, to be presented at the European Congress on Obesity (ECO) in Glasgow, strengthen the case for early prevention in overweight children, the researchers said. The researchers analysed information on more

than 17,000 children born in the UK between 2000 and 2002, using statistical modelling to measure the link between obesity and emotional problems. They had information on children's height and weight (BMI) as well as reports on their emotional problems, provided by their parents, at ages three, five, seven, 11 and 14 years old. From the age of seven, the study found obesity and emotional problems were closely linked. But the link wasn't apparent in younger children. Dr Charlotte Hardman, senior psychology lecturer at the University of Liverpool, said the findings showed obesity and emotional problems were likely to develop hand-in-hand in childhood. She said that was important for those who treat children with obesity.

"People think it's as simple as eating less and exercising more - but it's much more complex than that. Obesity and emotional problems are intertwined." She said it was already known that obesity and mental health problems were interlinked in adulthood, and the same could be true in childhood. Dr Hardman said that meant children "being stuck in vicious cycles". "As both rates of obesity and emotional problems in childhood are increasing, understanding their cooccurrence is an important public health concern, as both are linked with poor health in adulthood," she said. Research published last week by the University of Alberta in Canada suggested two or more hours of

screen-time per day could lead to behavioural problems. Children were significantly more likely to be badly behaved or develop ADHD by the time they were five if they spent hours staring at screens, the scientists found. Those researchers, who published their findings in the journal PLOS ONE, suggested toddlers should use screens for half an hour or less each day.

in brief PEOPLE WITH A HAPPY SPOUSE LIVE LONGER 'Happy wife, happy life' is a phrase many men live by but new research suggests it should be rejigged to 'happy wife, long life'. A study found participants who were happy in their marriage were less likely to die within an eight-year period. Researchers believe those who are content with their other half are more motivated to lead an active lifestyle. But living with someone who is 'depressed and wants to spend the evening eating chips in front of the TV' encourages unhealthy habits, they add. The research was carried out by Tilburg University in the Netherlands and led by Dr Olga Stavrova, from its department of social psychology. The researchers hope future studies will include larger groups of couples from outside the US to determine if the same findings occur.

LOSING JUST 16 MINUTES OF SLEEP AFFECTS PERFORMANCE AT WORK Losing out on just 16 minutes of sleep could affect your job performance at the office next day, a new study says. Researchers said getting less shut-eye than usual was associated with poor judgement and getting easily distracted at work. Workers also reported that this caused an increase in their stress levels, which led to a less productive day. The team, from the University of South Florida, is now calling on workplaces to promote their employees' sleep by lightening their workloads and not making them work so much overtime. Lead author Dr Soomi Lee, an assistant professor at the School of Aging Studies at the University of South Florida, said the inspiration for the study came from observations of her own life. For the study, published in the journal Sleep Health, the team surveyed 130 adults who work in information technology. Participants were asked several questions including what time they went to bed and woke up, how many hours and minutes they slept and how they would rate their sleep quality. They were also asked on a scale from zero to four with zero meaning 'never' and four meaning 'very often' - if they had trouble concentrating, if they had worries, or if they struggled to avoid certain thoughts. Researchers found that adults who spent 16 minutes less than usual reported worse quality sleep and more cognitive issues, specifically when it came to focusing.

WOMEN WHO USE ANTIBIOTICS FOR MORE THAN TWO MONTHS MORE LIKELY TO SUFFER HEART ATTACK OR STROKE Women who use antibiotics for more than two months at a time are at increased risk of suffering a heart attack or stroke, research suggests. Experts believe the long-term use of the drugs wipes out healthy bacteria in the gut - creating an imbalance that increases inflammation, narrows blood vessels and ends up damaging the heart. They think this creates a cumulative effect, so the more frequently a woman uses antibiotics during her lifetime, the greater the eventual risk. The researchers, who tracked 36,500 women in the US, found over-60s who used antibiotics for more than two months were 32 per cent more likely to develop heart disease in the next eight years than those not taking the drugs.

DO NOT GIVE PEANUTS TO CHILDREN TO CURE ALLERGY Treating childhood peanut allergy by gradually increasing tolerance may make the condition worse instead of better, a new study suggests. 'Food challenge' studies have indicated that oral immunotherapy, which involves gradually raising doses of an allergen over time, can be effective. However, new research by McMaster University raises doubts about this approach. It shows that compared with avoiding peanuts, attempts to desensitize children in the 'real world' promote allergic reactions, including the serious and potentially fatal condition anaphylaxis. More than six million people are affected by food allergies in Europe and North America, including 8 percent of children and 2-3 percent of adults, said the scientists. While common allergies to milk and egg are often out-grown by the age of five to 10, peanut allergy can be a lifelong problem.

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'Andhadhun' wins big at first Critics’ Choice Awards The first edition of the Critics' Choice Awards was held last week by the newly formed Film Critics Guild. The event witnessed an unusual gathering of film critics and members of the Hindi film industry under one roof. Films from eight languages were felicitated, with 'Andadhun' emerging as the biggest winner. The Sriram Raghavan thriller won Best Film, Best Director, Best Editor, and Best Writing awards. Alia Bhatt received the Best Actor (Female) for 'Raazi' and Vineet Kumar Singh bagged the Best Actor (Male) for 'Mukkabaaz'. Surekha Sikri was given Best

Supporting Actor (Female) for her role of a matriarch in Amit Sharma's 'Badhaai Ho' and Manoj Pahwa won Best Supporting Actor (Male) for 'Mulk'. 'Tumbbad', which premiered in the critics' week section of the 75th Venice International Film Festival last year too won multiple awards including Best Cinematography, Best Background Score, and Best Production Design. India's first stunt woman Reshma Pathan was presented with the Extraordinary Achievement award by director Ramesh Sippy and scriptwriter Javed Akhtar for her contribution

in movies like 'Sholay'. Other Best Film awards were presented to 'Lathe Joshi' (Marathi), 'Pariyerum Perumal' (Tamil), 'C/o Kancharapalem' (Telugu), 'Reva' (Gujarati), 'Pupa' (Bengali), 'Ondalla Eradalla' (Kannada), and 'Ee. Ma. Yau' (Malayalam). A joint venture of Film Critics Guild and Motion Content Group, the awards aims to “uplift some of the most underrated films which are often overshadowed by commercial mammoths.”

Khushi Kapoor reveals father Boney is over-protective Appearing on Neha Dhupia's show 'BFFs with Vogue' Season 3, Bollywood actor Janhvi Kapoor's sister Khushi opened up about their father and producer Boney Kapoor being overprotective and having a curfew time for her. She added that while she dreams of making her debut with Karan Johar, much like her sister, it is her father who will get to choose her co-star. When asked by Neha what sort of trouble she gets into at home, the young one replied, “Curfew! Where am I? Who am I with? Once my dad sent a message to my friend saying, 'Hey beta! Send a photo of you and Khushi.” When Neha asked if her family is okay with her dating, Khushi replied, “I think dad is open to the idea of me having a potential boyfriend.” Janhvi made her debut with Karan Johar's

production 'Dhadak', a remale of Marathi blockbuster 'Sairat'. The show feature the sisters discussing her relationship status. As Neha grilled Janhvi over her relationship status, the actor replied, “This is a tricky question.” However, Khushi came to her rescue as she described Janhvi as “boring”. She quipped, “She is boring because she is quite nice, she is single,” and earned a pat on the shoulder from her elder sister. The show.

Parineeti Chopra roped in for Hindi remake of 'The Girl on the Train' Bollywood actor Parineeti Chopra is all set to feature in a Hindi remake of popular 2015 thriller 'The Girl on the Train'. Based on Paula Hawkins' runaway bestseller, was adapted into a Hollywood movie by Steven Spielberg and the lead was played by Emily Blunt, who received nominations at the 23rd Screen Actors Guild Awards and the BAFTA. The Bollywood remake, which will be directed by Ribhu Dasgupta, will feature Parineeti as an alcoholic divorcee who becomes involved in a missing person's investigation in the film. In a press release, Parineeti said, “I want to do roles that audiences haven't seen me in before and one that requires a lot of prep and homework, which is why, 'The Girl on the Train' really worked for me. The character is an alcoholic and a victim of abuse, and I haven't explored anything like her onscreen before.” She added, “It's exciting

because I never thought I'd actually be doing a film around a book I've read and loved. I relate to the character because I've studied and worked in London, it's my second home... I even know the tube maps inside out. I can't wait to start shooting the film and relive those days and I hope people enjoy seeing me in a completely new avatar in this film.” Ribhu spoke on why Parineeti is the ideal choice for the film. He said, “The character, is edgy, dark, gritty along with being extremely emotional. So it is great to team up with someone like Parineeti, who is an extremely sincere actor and a powerful

Varun Dhawan reportedly postpones engagement Actor Varun Dhawan has reportedly postponed his engagement as he concentrates on his next project 'Coolie No 1', which will reunite him with father and filmmaker David Dhawan. The young actor was supposed to get engaged to his longtime girlfriend Natasha Dalal on his birthday, on April 24. A source said, “We heard the plan was to announce 'Coolie No 1' and bring Varun's girlfriend Natasha out on the stage as the bahu of the Dhawan family. But there were last-minute changes of plan and Varun flew out of the country for his birthday with his girlfriend.” Dhawan Jr recently announced that he would be starring in a reimagining of the 1995 comedy film which starred Govinda in the lead role. This is the second remake in a row that Varun and

performer.” Shibasish Sarkar, Group CEO Reliance Entertainment added, “Not only is The Girl On The Train one of the best psychological thrillers but also a heartwarming story of the female protagonist and her discovery of life. We have procured the rights of the book and the film, and will be adapting it from an Indian story telling perspective. Amblin will be a partner in this film.” He revealed, “The film is expected to go on floors around July 2019 and we expect to finish shooting by September. The film is entirely set in UK and we are in the process of locking the location. We haven’t fixed a release date yet but it will be in 2020.”

David have worked on together, following the success of 'Judwaa 2'. The source continued, “Varun is very busy right now. He needs to take time off from his schedule and devote time to engagement and wedding. It will all happen in due course.” Varun had recently spoken about Natasha and said, “I'm with her because she has her own individuality, she has her own voice which is super strong with things she wants to do and things she wants to achieve in life. And, as her partner, that is something I want to support. And, she has been so supportive where my career is concerned, always, from day one actually.”


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Kareena Kapoor Khan opens heart on husband Saifu Bollywood actress Kareena Kapoor Khan was recently featured on popular photography project Humans of Bombay, in which she opens up about her insecurities, meeting her husband and the apple of the media's eye,Taimur. “When I came back home from boarding school, Karisma had just started acting. I was in awe of her- I remember her in 'Dil Toh Pagal Hai' being so passionate. She held herself with such pride through everything; watching her made me want to act too. So when my time came, she taught me to wade through this industry as a woman. It started out great- I did amazing films. But then for a year I didn't work. I felt like my career was over. I was told to re-invent, become size 0. Everyone goes through a lull in their career. But as an actor, it's worse- there are so many eyes on you,” Kareena said. She revealed it was Saif who made her realise the importance of having a worklife balance. She also opened up about the time they shot 'Tashan' together in 2008. “Somehow through my life, I’ve been blessed with people who have supported me thoroughly! So just when I thought I was falling, Saif caught me. I’d met him before, but while we were filming Tashan,

something changed. I wore my heart on my sleeve! He was so charming; I fell for him hook, line & sinker. I remember while shooting in Ladakh & Jaisalmer, we’d go on long bike rides for some alone time. We’d enjoy the beauty, have great conversations and just bond.” She added, “He’s 10 years older than me and has 2 kids. But for me, he was just Saif – he helped me heal and love myself. Maybe it was the fact that we’re so different – he’s more private and not ‘Bollywoodised’, but I imbibed that from him. I learnt to balance things and not let them get to me. We’d been dating for awhile, when he said he’s not 25 and can’t keep dropping me home every night. So he told my mom, ‘I want to spend the rest of my life

with her. We want to live together.’ My mom was cool with it. It’s so easy with him. Even when we decided to get married, it felt right,” she added. The actress said motherhood was “the greatest thing that's happened” to her. “A few years later, I was blessed with our son, Taimur. Motherhood is the greatest thing that’s happened to me. Taimur is a part of me – I can’t go a n

Arjun responds to wedding rumours with Malaika Arora Actor Arjun Kapoor has offered his most definitive statement yet on his rumoured wedding with Malaika Arora. In reaction to strong speculation that the two are considering tying the knot, the actor said, “I am in no hurry to get married.” It was reported previously that Arjun and Malaika would get married on April 19. In a recent interview, when he was asked if he was getting married in June, he said, “No, I am not. I'm 33 and you have to take my word when I say, I'm in no hurry to get married.” “The subject of my wedding is not something that I would like to talk about. Frankly, if I was tying

the knot, people would know about it. Today, nothing stays or needs to be hidden beyond a point,” Kapoor said. He added, “Speculation is harmless. But I admit, I don't like to respond to it all the time. Also, it gets tiring for the people involved to constantly react. There has been so much gossip on this subject that even the people who earlier tended to believe it are no longer doing so. I don't have anything against anyone.” He admitted that Malaika is “special” to him and said he has “nothing to discuss, and nothing to hide.” Arjun said, “What the world is seeing, they are seeing. However, I have no desire to justify my personal life beyond a point. It

is important to have good people around me and I feel fortunate that I have such individuals in my life.” Both actors are frequently spotted together in public. Their dating rumours first sprouted last year when they were photographed holding hands in Milan. On the work front, Arjun is currently filming director Ashutosh Gowarikar's period epic 'Panipat', and will be next seen in thriller 'India's Most Wanted'.

Shahid's 'Kabir Singh' is not 'Arjun Reddy'

Bollywood actor Shahid Kapoor, who is currently gearing up for the release of his upcoming film 'Kabir Singh', has clarified that while it may be a remake of 'Arjun Reddy', the leading characters are not the same person, they are

cousins. The original saw Vijay Deverakonda play lead role in the Telugu hit film that was directed by Sandeep Vanga, who has also directed the Hindi remake. Shahid said, “Vijay Deverakonda was spectacular in the film. If you ask me, Kabir Singh and Arjun Reddy are cousins, they are not the same person. We have tried to do something different because it's important to rediscover the journey of the character.” Kapoor said, “We shifted the milieu to Delhi and Mumbai, so, by extension, his family and upbringing has changed.

hour without him. He’s always with me wherever I am. He makes me want to work harder every day.” On her work front, Kareena has recently completed the shoot of Good News, which also stars Akshay Kumar, Kiara Advani and Diljit Dosanjh.

Janhvi’s 'Kargil Girl' yet to get Ministry of Defence’s nod After the success of 'Uri: The Surgical Strike', there has been a surge of films based on patriotism, and Janhvi Kapoor's 'Kargil Girl' is one of them. According to a media report, while Siddharth Malhotra's upcoming biopic on Captain Vikram Batra has been approved by the Ministry of Defence, Janhvi's film is yet to get the green flag. Janhvi's movie, which has not received the necessary clearances, has nonetheless begun shooting. The movie is based on Gunjan Saxena, one of India's first female helicopter pilots who played an important role during the Kargil War. The team was in Lucknow for the shoot in February. The film stars Janhvi in the lead role while Angad Bedi plays her brother. Pankaj Tripathi will essay the role of her father. Speaking about Janhvi, Tripathi said, “I liked the character very much. I am having a lot of fun while shooting for the film. Janhvi is a very sincere actress. She respects me a lot and I too respect her for the sincerity and commitment towards her work.” The biopic is helmed by Sharan Sharma.

But we have retained the fundamental energy of the character. We are trying to make it raw. The role required latent rage as the protagonist is full of angst. It wasn't easy to internalise that rage.” The actor has been sharing posters and teasers from the film. The story revolves around a surgeon whose life unravels after a bad breakup. The character ends up being a victim of drugs and alcohol. 'Kabir Singh' features Kiara Advani in female lead and is set for a June 21 release. Trailer for the movie is likely to be launched in the second week of may.


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Priya Prakash Varrier hints at dating Roshan Abdul Rahoof headlines for the movie recently, when its teaser released and it irked quite a few celebrities, including Boney Kapoor. The producer slammed the makers with a legal notice and asked them to stall the release. The makers are gearing for a summer release.

Young Malayalam sensations Priya Prakash Varrier and Roshan Abdul Rahoof both shot to fame with their onscreen chemistry that was appreciated by many. Recently, the actress shared a post featuring Roshan, which hinted that the duo are more than just friends. Priya took to her Instagram handle and not only thanked Roshan for being there for her always and also “promised” to keep all their “promises”. Her caption read, “I'm not really good with words. But today I'd like to thank you for everything that you've done for me. You are the only one who always stood by me no matter what. You risked yourself for that each and every time. I don't think I can ever make it up to you. But I want you to know how much you mean to me. Ummm you already know what your worth is beyond these words. So, I wish you all the luck in life. Keep shining for me and stay blessed. I promise to promise you all the promises?” On the work front, Priya will be making her Bollywood debut with 'Sridevi Bungalow'. Helmed by Prasanth Mambully, the movie also stars Asim Ali Khan, Priyanshi Chatterji and Mujesh Rishi. The actress had made

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Mohanlal set to become director with 3D film 'Barroz' Malayalam superstar Mohanlal will be making his directorial debut with upcoming 3D film 'Barroz-Guardian of D'Gama's Treasure'. Calling it the beginning of a new journey, the actor announced in his blog that he will go behind the camera for the first time in his career. He went on to reveal that the film will be shot in 3D and can be enjoyed by kids and adults alike. Lal revealed the idea was born when he and filmmaker TK Rajeev Kumar decided to make a 3D show and met Jijo Punnoose, director of India's first fantasy 3D film 'My Dear Kuttichathan'. Jijo narrated the story of 'Barroz', who according to Mohanlal, was a man who took care of Vasco Da Gama's treasure. The film will have more than one part and will be predominantly shot in Goa. The cast will include many international actors and the casting process will begin in the coming few months. On the work front, Mohanlal set screens on fire as Stephen Nedumpally in Prithviraj's 'Lucifer' last month, and currently awaits the release of Suriya-starrer 'Kaappaan' in which he will play the role of Prime Minister of India.

'Darbar' leaked picture shows Rajini with Nivetha Thomas and Yogi Babu Shooting of actor Rajinikanth's 'Darbar' is currently progressing at high speed in Mumbai. Last week, a shooting spot still from the film got leaked featuring Thalaivar, Nivetha Thomas, and comedian Yogi Babu from a scene. The film, which is being directed by AR Murugadoss, will see Rajini play a cop after 25 years. He was last seen playing the character in 1992 film 'Pandian'. Nivetha will reportedly play the actor's daughter in the film. Last month, the filmmakers released a poster with the headshot of a happy Rajinikanth surrounded by all things police. From a rifle to belt and police badge, the poster already has people raving about the film. It was announced earlier that Pratiek Babbar has been roped in to play one of the antagonists in the film. He called it once in a lifetime opportunity to work with Rajinikanth. The film also stars Nayanthara, which will be her third outing with Rajini after 'Chandramukhi'

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and 'Kuselan'. Anirudh Ravichander will compose the music of the film while Santosh Sivan will crank the camera and Sreekar Prasad will take care of editing. The film was originally supposed to be produced by Sun Pictures.

SUNDAY MAY 5, 2019 01:16 FILM: SHOWBIZ 05:00 FILM: TITOO MBA 07:05 FILM: MR. NATWARLAL 10:20 FILM: BAAZIGAR 13:50 FILM: BEWAFAA 17:00 FILM: GHAYAL ONCE AGAIN 19:48 FILM: MAIN TERA HERO 22:23 FILM: RAGINI MMS MONDAY MAY 6, 2019 00:10 FILM: SAAYA 05:00 FILM: HUFF! IT'S TOO MUCH 07:00 FILM: MAJAAL 10:10 FILM: BANGKOK SUMMER 12:45 FILM: EK SE BURE DO 15:32 FILM: AAKROSH 18:22 LIFESTYLE : STAR STOP 19:00 FILM: BAADSHAH 22:35 FILM: FOUR PILLARS OF BASEMENT TUESDAY MAY 7, 2019 00:45 FILM: CALLING BELL 05:00 FILM: BLUE ORANGES 07:15 FILM: JAANE JIGAR 10:14 FILM: EK AUR KRODHI

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MON 29TH - FRI 3RD MAY 2019 15:30: STYLE CHEF 16:00: THE GREAT INDIAN GLOBAL KITCHEN 2 16:30: RASOI SHOW 17:30: CHHUTA CHHEDA 18:00: RADHA PREM KI DEEWANI 18:30: UTTARAN 19:00: JAHAANARA 19:30: BEPANNAH

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MON 29TH - FRI 3RD MAY 2019 18:30: KHATRA KHATRA KHATRA 19:30: UDAAN 20:00: SHAKTI ASTITVA KE EHSAAS KI 20:30: KESARRI NANDAN 21:00: GATHBANDHAN

12:50 FILM: JURM 15:25 FILM: MAIN TERA HERO 18:00 LIFESTYLE : STAR STOP 18:33 LIFESTYLE : STAR STOP 19:00 FILM: YEH ZINDAGI KA SAFAR 22:00 FILM: JAHAN TUM LE CHALO WEDNESDAY MAY 8, 2019 00:46 FILM: KAUN 05:00 FILM: BAAT BANN GAYI 07:11 FILM: FARZ 10:23 FILM: SHIVA THE POWER MAN 13:00 FILM: TERE MERE PHERE 15:40 FILM: KASOOR 19:00 FILM: ANKUR ARORA MURDER CASE 21:42 FILM: INTEHA THURSDAY MAY 9, 2019 00:46 FILM: KAUN 05:00 FILM: BAAT BANN GAYI 07:11 FILM: FARZ 10:23 FILM: SHIVA THE POWER MAN 13:00 FILM: TERE MERE PHERE 15:40 FILM: KASOOR 19:00 FILM: ANKUR ARORA MURDER CASE 21:42 FILM: INTEHA FRIDAY MAY 10, 2019 00:40 FILM: BIWI. COM 05:00 FILM: 18.11...A CODE OF SECRECY 07:25 FILM: KRISHAN AVTAAR 10:24 FILM: JUNGLE 13:33 FILM: SHAKTI - THE POWER 17:04 FILM: NILL BATTEY SANNATA 19:18 FILM: LAKSHYA 21:30 THE KAPIL SHARMA SHOW 23:00 THE KAPIL SHARMA SHOW MON 6TH MAY - FRI 10TH MAY TIME TV PROGRAM NAMES 16:30 BEYHADH 17:00 EK DUJE KE VAASTE 17:30 KUCH RANG PYAR KE AISE BHI 18:00 VIGHNAHARTA GANESH 18:45 MERE SAI 19:30 YEH UN DINON KI BAAT HAI 20:00 CHANDRAGUPTA MAURYA 20:30 MAIN MAAYKE CHALI JAAUNGI 21:00 PATIALA BABES 21:30 LADIES SPECIAL 22:00 CRIME PATROL SONY MAX 2 PRIME TIME 19:00 WEDNESDAY THE REAL JACKPOT 2 19:00 THURSDAY - WAZIR 19:00 FRIDAY- SULTAN

20:00: ISHQ MEIN MARJAWAN 20:30: MOHE RANNG DO LAAL 21:00: BALIKA VADHU - LAMHE PYAAR KE 22:00: RED ALERT SAT 4TH MAY 2019 17:30: CHHUTA CHHEDA 18:00: RADHA PREM KI DEEWANI 18:30: UTTARAN 19:00: COURT ROOM 20:00: KHATRON KE KHILADI 22:00: ZINDAGI KI HAQEEQAT SE AAMNA SAAMNA SUN 5TH MAY 2019 18:00: RADHA PREM KI DEEWANI 18:30: UTTARAN 19:00: COURT ROOM 20:00: KHATRON KE KHILADI 22:00: ZINDAGI KI HAQEEQAT SE AAMNA SAAMNA

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4 - 10 May 2019

Mahant Swami said, "Harmony is seen here, it is not imaginary"

Bochasanwasi Shree Akshar Purushottam Swaminarayan Sanstha head Pujya Mahant Swami's 11-day visit to UAE was very successful. Earlier, on 22 November, Mahant Swami worshiped according to the rituals. A large number of attendees had benefited and performed their darshan . A special program was organised in the evening in the presence of Mahant Swami. Its theme was "Celebrating Harmony '. People who significantly helped built the temple in Abu Dhabi, devotees, and leaders were honoured by Mahant Swami. Also present at the event was Vihaan Mehta, son of Harshad Mehta who shot into fame for crossing the English Channel. He was blessed by Pujya Swami. Mahant Swami said, “Harmony looks real here, no need to imagine.” On 23rd evening, dignitaries present in the program themed 'The Value of Service', were honoured. A meeting was held on 24th under the 'Value of Faith' theme. On 25 November, Mahant Swami visited Guru Nanak Darbar in Dubai. There are six Christian churches in front of this Sikh Gurudwara. Their priest rushed to meet him when he was informed Pujya Mahant Swami was present. An Arab official rushed to meet him too and when he met Mahant Swami, he said, “This is harmony”. A program was held under 'The Value of Humility' theme on May 25. Another meeting was held on 26th, under the theme 'Assembly of Great Britain'. Pujya Mahant Swami said, “The temple is yet to be built and we already see the temple. What will happen when the temple is built?” Pujya Mahant Swami had reached Ahmedabad on April 29. Editor: CB Patel Chief Executive Officer: Liji George Managing Editor: Rupanjana Dutta Deputy Editor: Urja Patel Advertising Managers: Kishor Parmar Head - New Projects & Business Development: Cecil Soans Graphic Designers: Harish Dahya & Ajay Kumar Customer Service: Ragini Nayak Tel: 020 7749 4080 Email: support@abplgroup.com Leicester Distributors: Shabde Magazine, Shobhan Mehta Mob: 07846 480 220

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Commenting on this initiative,Govind Shahi, Executive Vice President, IndiaCast UK said “Colors Ke Sang Antakshari Ke Rang is our effort to bring the local communities together on one platform to provide wholesome family entertainment and engagement in the true desi-brit style. This show has received stupendous response to its online auditions and features participants from all walks of life congregating and celebrating their true love for Bollywood music. With this show we are continuing to strengthen our weekend line up as well.”

Vaisakhi celebrated by thousands in Birmingham

Thousands of people have taken part in Vaisakhi celebrations in Birmingham. The gathering included Sikh cultural activities, a children's play area and arts and crafts exhibitions. The event celebrating

by Rabindranath Tagore You walked by the riverside path with the full pitcher upon your hip. Why did you swiftly turn your face and peep at me through your fluttering veil? That gleaming look from the dark came upon me like a breeze that sends a shiver through the rippling water and sweeps away to the shadowy shore. It came to me like the bird of the evening that hurriedly flies across the lampless room from the one open window to the other, and disappears in the night. You are hidden as a star behind the hills, and I am a passer-by upon the road. But why did you stop for a moment and glance at my face through your veil while you walked by the riverside path with the full pitcher upon your hip?

the birth of Sikh Khalsa had an area for worship, Darbar, that was open to all communities to visit and understand the Sikh faith. Food was prepared by various Gurdwaras from across Birmingham and the Black Country.

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Ajit Ninan for TOI

The UK’s leading Vedic writer and TV personality

ARIES Mar 21 - Apr 20 The New Moon this week boosts

your financial sector. You are likely to enjoy success in your various monetary ventures.. You will be more confident and enthusiastic about our earning ability. Money problems from the past may clear up during this period and there will be many opportunities to accumulate wealth. Opportunities abound ! The New Moon this week occurs TAURUS Apr 21 - May 21 in your sign, giving you an ener-

gy boost and is particularly beneficial and significant for you. This heightens your optimism and confidence. You are greeting life with a fresh and positive attitude. You have an altogether different perspective on life now, and are not fazed by anything. Furthering yourself comes easy during this time.

GEMINI May 22 - June 22 The New Moon this week bene-

fits activities that take place "behind the scenes". This is a cycle in which you become more compassionate, sensitive and get in deeper touch with these traits. This phase in the twelfth house is said to give us spiritual protection. Meditation and retreats may be particularly helpful to you now.

The New Moon this week lights up your solar eleventh house. This phase brings benefits and fresh energy to networking activities, long-term goals and organisations in your life. Achieving your goals tends to come more easily. Income from your business or career is likely to increase. You can rely on your friends for their help and support.

CANCER Jun 22 - Jul 22

Starting 4th May, Colors TV UK is all set to present a brand new Bollywood based musical game show ‘Colors Ke Sang Antakshari Ke Rang’ every weekend at 7.30 PM. The show draws inspiration from a set-up of a wedding sangeet, where each week three teams would take on each other in a one of kind Bollywood musical battle. Produced locally, the singing reality show hosted by famous British TV presenter, Tommy Sandhu and radio personality Shabnam Sahi will also award £7200 to the winning teams in the course of 17 episodes.

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Colors Ke Sang Antakshari Ke Rang Launches on 4th May on Colors TV

LEO Jul 23 - Aug 23

The New Moon this week rejuvenates your solar tenth house. This phase will bring increased public recognition and professional success. This can be a time of career advancement, and success in business. Your worldly or public status may change for the better. Integrity, directness, and honesty will get you everywhere now.

VIRGO Aug 24 - Sep 23

The New Moon this week reinforces and energizes your need to broaden your horizons and stimulate your mind. Your philosophical thoughts will make your mind run wild. Do not miss out on ways to better yourself in the coming weeks. A lot on your mind regarding relationships and joint resources.

The New Moon this week activates your eighth house--joint finances, loans, taxes, sexuality, and psychological matters. This is a time of increased accumulation of wealth if you manage your resources well. In some cases, a significant tax refund, inheritance, or other such benefit might arrive during this period. A good time to start self improvement programs.

LIBRA Sep 24 - Oct 23

The New Moon this week stimulates your relationship sector. You may enjoy benefits through marriage, business partnerships, negotiations, and/or contractual agreements. Financial benefits could possibly come through partnerships. The need for freedom in your social relationships is stronger than ever.

SCORPIO Oct 24- Nov 22

020 8518 5500

SAGITTARIUS Nov 23 - Dec 21

The New Moon this week positively strengthens your work and health sector. You are likely to see growth in these areas, as well as daily routines. Benefits may come through work itself, co-workers, or employees during this cycle. You might be especially interested in the healing arts such as massage or aromatherapy.

CAPRICORN Dec 22 - Jan 20

The New Moon this week gives a great boost to your creative fifth house. Your willingness to enjoy yourself and explore your creativity now brings new opportunities.. Love and romance may come into your life or an existing romance is enhanced with good humour and warmth. Pregnancy or childbirth may occur during this time.

AQUARIUS Jan 21 - Feb 19

The New Moon this week highlights your home and family sector. You are likely to find much joy and pleasure in your family connections and experiences during this period. Opportunities to buy or sell real estate for financial gain may present themselves. Home improvements and renovations are also favoured. The New Moon this week gives you a great boost in your third house of communications. A great time for mental pursuits and literary opportunities present themselves. During this period, neighbours or relatives could be especially helpful in your life. You express your ideas with more enthusiasm and certainty, and they are received well.

PISCES Feb 20 - Mar 20


32

Sport

www.asian-voice.com

4 - 10 May 2019

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Warner’s parting shot for Sunrisers David Warner during his last outing for Sunrisers Hyderabad made it count. The absence of his regular opening partner in Jonny Bairstow didn’t matter him much as the Aussie pummeled 81 (56b, 7x4, 6x2). Warner’s eighth fifty this season couldn’t have come at a better time for the hosts and set up an ideal platform for Rashid Khan to revel with three for 21 in their 45– run win over Kings XI Punjab. With plenty at stake for both teams, Warner’s batting was in keeping with the occasion after being put in by R Ashwin. The Australian southpaw has been the scourge of bowling attacks this IPL season and Punjab found themselves at their wit’s end as he toyed with an attack that lacked bite or purpose. The wicket played an ideal foil, as also Wriddhiman Saha, his new opening partner. It proved a good move by Sunrisers to push Saha up the order with license to express himself and the resultant 77 without loss in the Powerplay turned out to be the best in this edition and SRH’s 212 for six is their highest against this opposition. KXIP’s 167 for eight paled in contrast as barring KL Rahul (79; 56b, 4x4, 6x5), none of the other batsmen showed the inclination to sustain the fight after Chris Gayle fell to Khaleel Ahmed with Manish Pandey hanging on to the skier at point for dear life. Rashid’s twin strikes in the 13th over set them back further and Kings XI needed 90 from the last five. The dismissals of Nicholas Pooran, David Miller and Ashwin in quick succession after Rahul and Mayank Agarwal added 60 for the second wicket was unlike the SRH innings, which thrived on two big partnerships.

Delhi beat RCB to seal playoff berth Delhi Capitals clinched a 16run win over Royal Challengers Bangalore and booked a place in the playoff berth. With 16 points from 12 games, Capital have achieved their primary target of making it to the playoffs. This will be their first appearance in the playoffs since 2012. Chasing 188 for victory, RCB began on a positive note with Parthiv Patel (39) and Virat Kohli (23) adding 63 for the first wicket. But Capitals struck back and saw off both the openers in quick succession. After the openers fell, AB de Villiers and Shivam Dube had raised the RCB hopes for a while, but after AB's dismissal it was as good as over. At 111 for five, RCB were staring down the barrel but Gurkeerat Singh (27) and Marcus Stoinis made the Capitals toil on the field. RCB could manage 171 for seven. Earlier, Capitals won the important toss and posted a competitive 187 at the loss of five wickets. For the hosts, captain Shreyas Iyer made 52 and was well complimented by Shikhar Dhawan. KKR keep playoff hope alive Jamaican all-rounder Andre Russell came to help hosts Kolkata knight Riders beat Mumbai Indians by 34 runs thereby keeping their thin hopes of making the playoffs alive. He first hit an unbeaten 40-ball 80 before taking 2/25. MI, who suffered their first defeat to KKR after 2015, missed out ensuring a last-four berth but are one win away from being there. Faced with the monumental task of chasing down KKR’s tally of 232/2the highest score in IPL-12, the visitors lost their openers Quinton de Kock and Rohit Sharma early, but Hardik Pandya raised hopes

of pulling off an upset victory by hitting sixes almost at will. Mumbai’s challenge ended with Hardik’s dismissal and they ended up with 198 for seven. Royals keep dream alive Rajasthan Royals continue to dream, even though the coveted playoffs spot remains a distant one. On Saturday, at the Sawai Mansingh Stadium, the Royals kept their hopes alive with a seven-wicket win over Sunrisers Hyderabad. Faced with a 161-run target, the hosts made it home quite comfortably, riding a 78-run opening stand between Ajinkya Rahane and Liam Livingstone, followed by a 55-run one for the third wicket between skipper Steve Smith and Sanju Samson. The Sunrisers were cruising at 103 for one in the 12th over. But they lost their way to good total. Their woes can be attributed to some disciplined bowling from the Royals and poor batting. Mumbai capitalise in Dhoni's absence Mumbai Indians registered a 46-run win over Chennai Super Kings in the absence of its captain M S Dhoni. While Mumbai went to second spot with the win, this was league-leader CSK’s first loss at Chepauk since 2015. The Net Run Rate of CSK, too, took a severe beating which may go against them in case things get tight for the top-two spots. Scoring 156 was not a challenging target for CSK, but when Dhoni is not playing, things take a different colour. The top and middle-order, which has been under the cosh right through the tournament, was brought under severe test by the likes of left-arm spinner Krunal Pandya (2/7) and pacers like Lasith Malinga and Jasprit Bumrah. But for M Vijay (38), who

Unstoppable David Warner bids farewell with a match-winning knock for SRH

was playing his first match of the tournament, not a single CSK batsman could match the guile of the Mumbai attack and wickets kept falling at regular intervals. Royals prevail in thriller Young Assam boy Riyan Parag helped Rajasthan Royals to score an upset three-wicket win over Kolkata Knight Riders at the Eden Gardens. Parag scored 47 off 31 balls with five fours and two sixes. The 44-run seventh wicket stand between Parag and Jofra Archer helped RR snatch victory from almost an impossible position as KKR suffered their sixth defeat on the trot. Earlier, KKR skipper Dinesh Karthik played a lone hand to help the home team score 175 for six on being put into bat by RR skipper Steve Smith. Karthik registered his highest individual score in IPL by remaining unbeaten on 97 off 50 balls with the help of seven fours and nine sixes. ABD blitzkrieg keeps RCB afloat AB de Villiers' unbeaten 82

off 44 balls took RCB to a healthy 202 for 4 and things could have gone awry with young Nicholas Pooran (46 off 28 balls) hitting five sixes at the rear before Saini sealed it in the 19th over. Kings XI Punjab finished at 185 for 7 as RCB are now on eight points with three games left. Needing 30 off the last two, Saini, who is one of India's fastest bowlers, produced a hostile over in which he removed the dangerous David Miller and Pooran but more importantly gave away only three runs. With four wins in the last five games, RCB will hope to win the remaining three and expect a few favourable result to make it to the play-offs as rank outsiders.

IPL 2019 - Points Table

Teams Mat Won Lost Tied Delhi Capitals 12 8 4 0 Chennai Super Kings 12 8 4 0 12 7 5 0 Mumbai Indians Sunrisers Hyderabad 12 6 6 0 Kolkata Knight Riders 12 5 7 0 Kings XI Punjab 12 5 7 0 Rajasthan Royals 12 5 7 0 Royal Challengers Bangalore 12 4 8 0

India pip China, top medal tally at World Cup shooting India drew blank on the final day but still topped the chart for the second consecutive ISSF World Cup, third time in two years, by bagging three gold and a silver at the Beijing edition of the rifle/pistol event. The hosts China (2 gold, 2 silver, 1 bronze) won five medals in total. In the last edition in New Delhi, India had jointly topped the standings with Hungary. For India, while Anjum Moudgil and young Divyansh Singh Panwar started the medal hunt with a gold in the 10m air rifle mixed team competition, the teenaged pair of Manu Bhaker and Saurabh Chaudhary backed them up with another gold in the 10m air pistol mixed team pistol event. Divyansh Singh Panwar and Anjum Moudgil Divyansh then won India's first individual The concluding day, however, belonged medal by clinching a silver in the men's 10m to two women legends of the sport, two-time air rifle. former Olympic champion Maria Grozdeva Abhishek Verma won India's third gold of Bulgaria and Croatian rifle legend in men's 10m air pistol event. Snjezana Pejcic, who won the two scheduled

Watson comes to Chennai's rescue Shane Watson tore the Sunrisers Hyderabad attack apart at the MA Chidambaram Stadium with an innings of 96 from 53 balls that shepherded Chennai Super Kings run chase of 176. Once he was dismissed, the situation did become tight with just seven runs coming in the 18th and 19th overs, leaving CSK eight runs to get off the last over. But Kedar Jadhav came up with a timely six in the final over bowled by Sandeep Sharma as they huffed and puffed to victory. The victory, nonetheless, was CSK’s eighth of the season and virtually assures them of a play-offs berth.

finals of the day, the 25m pistol and the 50m rifle 3 positions (3P). Indian interest in the event was limited to the qualifying stage of the competition where Manu Bhaker's finals hopes were dashed when she shot 586 in qualifying to finish 17th. Asian Games champion Rahi Sarnobat managed 579 for a 26th place finish while Chinki Yadav, the third Indian in the competition, shot 570 to end in 56th position. In the women's 3P, Beijing Olympics bronze medalist and winner of 17 World Cup medals including eight golds, Snjezana Pejcic of Croatia triumphed with a final round score of 464. Among the three Indians in the fray, N Gaayathri finished 19th with a score of 1,169 in qualification while Sunidhi Chauhan shot 1,160 to end in 42nd. Kajal Saini was placed 60th with a qualification round score of 1,142.

Pts 16 16 14 12 10 10 10 8

NRR +0.233 -0.113 +0.347 +0.709 -0.100 -0.296 -0.321 -0.694

Overseas players begin IPL exodus England's Jonny Bairstow is leading an exodus of foreign players from the Indian Premier League as thay have to join World Cup duty. Bairstow was a key player for Sunrisers Hyderabad with 445 runs in 10 matches in the Twenty20 competition. Hyderabad's batting powerhouse David Warner is also in line to leave in the next week to join his Australian teammates before the 50-over global showpiece in England and Wales, starting on May 30. IPL ends on May 12, leaving most of the eight teams to rely on their benches as they race toward the play-offs. Warner, who leads the IPL batting chart with 574 runs, will be irreplaceable for Hyderabad who have relied on the opener to set up big totals. The batting combination of Warner and Bairstow has provided a series of blazing starts, including a record IPL opening stand of 185.

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AV 4th May 2019  

Asian Voice weekly newspaper (Issue 1 Vol 48)

AV 4th May 2019  

Asian Voice weekly newspaper (Issue 1 Vol 48)

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