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Vol 45 | Issue 39

BRITONS DEMAND TRUMP TRAVEL BAN Gandhi's message is more relevant now, resounds at Tavistock Square P14

4th February to 10th February 2017

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Let noble thoughts come to us from every side going on. I think he has to be challenged on this.” Sir Mo Farah, British long-distance runner who lives in the US reportedly said, “It’s deeply troubling that I will have to tell my children that Daddy might not be able to come home – to explain why the President has introduced a policy that comes from a place of ignorance and prejudice.” Nonetheless, a Downing Street source told the BBC that cancelling the trip would be "populist gesture" and "undo everything" achieved by the Prime Minister Theresa May during her trip to the US last week. Buckingham Palace refused to comment. Diplomats have already begun preparations for the visit, that is apparently meant to reinvigorate the transatlantic special relationship, after Theresa May handed over the invitation from the Queen to President Trump on last Friday. Discussions are also underway about the President playing a round of golf on the private nine-hole course at Balmoral while the Queen looks on..

Brexit vs Donald Trump

An analysis of the Parliamentary petition showed around a quarter of the names were from London.

Indian Republic Day Celebration

Continued on page 6

Donald Trump's attack on Muslim immigrants have taken our diverse Britain by shock. After last week's huge gathering by women, demonstrating against the US President (even in Antartica), more than 1.5 million outraged Britons have now signed a petition, that was launched on 29 January, asking to cancel his upcoming State visit in summer. The petition says the “embarrassment to Her Majesty the Queen” would be unacceptable.

offer of a full state visit for President Trump - until this ban is lifted. “I don’t believe the people of London will support rolling out the red carpet until this happens. Great friends must warn each other when they are making a mistake.” Jeremy Corbyn, the Labour leader, reportedly said Mr Trump’s state visit should be called off until he cancels the 90day ban on citizens from Syria, Iraq, Iran, Sudan, Libya, Somalia or Yemen entering Crossing 100,000 signatures, the visit the US. will now be debated in Parliament after He said: "Is it really right to endorse senior MPs from almost all parties have somebody who has used this awful misogjoined people calling for it to be cancelled. ynistic language throughout the election Demonstrators across the country campaign, awful attacks on Muslims, and marched and gathered with placards, then of course this absurd idea of building including 10,000 people outside the a wall between themselves and their nearDowning Street on Monday evening, est neighbour?" demanding this State He added: "I visit to be called off. think we should • World reacts to Donald Sadiq Khan, the make it very clear we Mayor of London, Trump’s Muslim ban.... page-26 are extremely upset who is a proud Britabout it, and I think Muslim himself, writ- • See page 16-17 for more it would be totally ing in the Evening wrong for him to be Standard said, “..We Republic Day items coming here while must now rescind the that situation is

46 Church Road Stanmore Middx London HA7 4AH email@travelinstyle.co.uk

President Pranab Mukherjee and Prime Minister, Narendra Modi with the Chief Guest of the Republic Day, The Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi, General Sheikh Mohammed Bin Zayed Al Nahyan at Rajpath


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ONE ONE with Keith Vaz, MP

Asian Voice 4th February 2017

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to

Kamlesh Padhra

Kamlesh Padhra founded and became the director of Infinity Property Solutions at the age of 27. Graduated in Business Information Technology with a BSc (Hons) at London South Bank University in 2001 and was certified by NFOPP in 2013. Worked in corporate environment for five years, where he gained his experience and knowledge in business and residential properties. He is also a local and nation media commentator on property matters. Married to Sangita and has a 2 year old son Ayan. Long term supporter of Arsenal FC 1) What is your current position? I am the director of Infinity Property Solutions and I take care of the day to day running of the business. Infinity Property Solutions is an estate agency based in Harrow North West London and currently manages residential assets worth in a region of £150 million for our clients. Our client base range from working class people to professionals such as doctors, lectures and accountants.

2) What are your proudest achievements? My proudest achievement has been establishing my estate agency from a young age and creating the brand awareness of the company. I am also associated with fund raising for the British Heart Foundation and it gives me huge joy when carrying out successful events for the charity. 3) What inspires you? Going into work every day and learning something new. I also

Disgraced Tower Hamlets Mayor to launch new Political Party The disgraced former Labour Party politician and ex-Tower Hamlets mayor Lutfur Rahman is set to re-launch his political career this weekend with a new political party. Mr. Rahman was forced out as Mayor of Tower Hamlets, East London, and banned from public office for five years in April 2015 after facing allegations of rigging elections and serious corruption. Other accusations included spending public funds on “vanity” offices, diverting millions in grants to charities run by Bangladeshis and Somalis in return for political support, and paying local Bangladeshi TV channels and newspapers for positive coverage. According to the local ‘Love Wapping’ website, the new ‘Tower Hamlets Together’ political party will be announced this weekend, as Mr. Rahman continues to command significant support and influ-

ence within East London’s local government. Sources told the local publication that the new party is something like a “rebirth” of Mr. Rahman’s defunct old party, Tower Hamlets First (THF), which was accused of intimidation, fraud, and bribery and was banned by an Election Court at the same time as the Mayor. The logos of the two parties are also similar. Local elections are set to take place in London in 2018, and Mr. Rahman’s new party could contest seats although he would not be able to stand himself.

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also like to give more of my time in commentating for the media in regards to property matters and sharing my knowledge in this matter that can help other people.

get inspired with helping landlords overcome their problems due to incorrect advice given by other professionals.

4) What has been the biggest obstacle in your career? Setting up a small business at the start of the recession in 2008 and people trusting young entrepreneur with their hard earned property portfolio. I overcame this problem by sharing my experience and knowledge with the clients for them to achieve their goals.

9) If you were Prime Minister, what one aspect would you change? Make it easier for young people to open their own businesses, by reducing business rates and cooperation tax. This will in return reduce unemployment rates and help local town centres energise again.

5) Who has been the biggest influence on your career to date? It has to be my business partner Satish Patel and my staff. The motivation they give me to expand and improve the business on a daily bases pushes me to work harder to achieve my personal goals in life.

7) And the worst? Not knowing when to stop working and spending time with my family and friends. I am also hate managing people but enjoy managing their properties.

6) What is the best aspect about your current role? Being able to help and pass my knowledge and experience to the younger generation who want to become home owners or property investors in this current climate of high property prices. I

8) What are your long term goals? To expand the business, so it becomes the market leader in estate agency and continue our business goal in giving excellent client experience and having good business ethics. I would

also enjoy problem solving with landlord and tenant disputes.

10) If you were marooned on a desert island, which historical figure would you like to spend your time with and why? It will have to be Swami Vivekananda, I have a strong believe in his ideology of empowering the youth which has encourage me in my life to stand up and be counted for. His words of wisdoms are meaning full such as ‘My faith is in the younger generation, the modern generation, out of them will become my workers. They will work out the whole problem, like lions’.

Junior doctor killed by car on zebra crossing whilst on way to work An Indian-origin junior doctor has been killed after being hit by a car as she crossed the road at a pedestrian crossing in London on her way to work. Dr Jasjot Singhota was knocked over near her home in south London and rushed to King's College Hospital nearby. Surgeons tried to save the 30-year-old for eight hours before she was pronounced dead from internal bleeding and head injuries last week. Her family on Tuesday appealed for anyone who had witnessed the collision to come forward. Speaking to the Evening Standard her sister Neha said: "We're at this point of absolute desperation. We need to know what happened to her." As well as pursuing a medical career, Singhota was a pianist and netball player. Ms Singhota had studied medicine and physiology at University of Edinburgh and was working at Guy's and St.Thomas' Hospital in London. The junior doctor was due to graduate from the Royal College of Anaesthetists in March to go on to work as a qualified anaesthetist. The caring doctor had hoped one day to work for Medicin Sans Frontieres, which works to help those suffering in war zones and international conflicts. Her other sister, Nicole, said: "I don't know what to do now, we were best friends. I feel a lot of my own pain for losing her but I'm more upset for my sister and what she didn't get to achieve. My parents

Jasjot (centre) with her two sisters Neha and Nicole

are broken and are really struggling." She continued: “She was so modest but her brain was amazing, she could have developed a cure for something. She was a role model and guided me so much through life. “It’s such a waste, she worked so hard to get all her qualifications and graduate and she said it was finally time to relax and enjoy life. My parents are broken and are really struggling. It’s one thing to lose a sibling but worse to lose a child.” As per her wishes, her organs were donated and her liver and pancreas have already helped save the lives of critically ill patients and in the words of Nicole, “It’s so typical of my sister on her very last day on Earth she was helping others.” Many of Jasjot's friends and colleagues have also been paying tribute to her on social media on a special Facebook page created by her sisters. "She was bright and witty and a real pleasure to know. The world is a lesser place without her," reads one message. Guy's and St. Thomas' NHS Foundation Trust, where Jasjot worked, said

in a statement: "We are deeply saddened to hear about the tragic death of our colleague Dr Jasjot Singhota, and our thoughts are with her family and colleagues at this difficult time. Dr Singhota was a dedicated, committed and well respected member of staff, as well as an excellent doctor with a bright and promising future." A former teacher, Linda Penney, wrote that Miss Singhota had 'packed more into her own short life than most people manage in a lifetime'. She added: '[Jas] was a formidable student, a natural leader and talented sportswoman but, more importantly, a warm, gracious and caring person The medical profession have lost a special doctor. My heart goes out to all her family in their loss.' Another former teacher of Miss Singhota’s, Chantal Fourey-Jones, said: “What devastating news. Jasjot was an absolute gem. A bright, highly motivated pupil with a great sense of humour.” A colleague wrote: 'I only got to know Jas over the last 6 months through working with her in obstetrics but she was such an upbeat and wonderful person. I feel sad to have only

known her for a short time. The world can be so cruel.” Gary Robinson, a former colleague, said: “So sad to hear the news. We shared many happy hours working with Jas. She was bright and witty and a real pleasure to know.” A Metropolitan Police spokesman said the driver of the car that hit Miss Singhota stopped and is assisting officers. No arrests have been made.

Mum felt work pressure whilst son in hospital

Amandeep Kaur, 29, has spoken to the Guardian newspaper about the stress she felt as a Hermes courier from Leicester, when her seriously ill son was rushed to hospital in the back of an ambulance. Over the coming days, Kaur said she called her manager with updates about her son, but as a selfemployed courier with no employment contract, she felt her job was under threat. Her son died on 19 December 2015. Kaur, who also has a six-yearold daughter, has worked for Hermes for four years. She makes deliveries seven days a week and works an evening job in a pizza takeaway.


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Tough Trump trouncing his triumph No man is an island, they say. No one is self-sufficient; everyone relies on others, howsoever powerful one may be. And Donald Trump and the great US is no exception. In the last 10 days or so there have been massive protests against US President Donald Trump. Never has a US President caused so much controversy in such a short a time. It all started on the day of his inauguration on January 20 with anti-Trump demonstrations, Women’s March and the March for Life by anti-abortion activists. But what took the cake was the protest on his controversial decision – the temporary ban on travel to the US from seven Muslim countries and a temporary ban on refugees – indefinitely, in the case of people from Syria. According to many state attorney generals the order is unconstitutional, but Trump has stuck to his guns. It seems the politically novice Trump is a businessman in a hurry. Since assuming office, Trump has not backed down from his campaign rhetoric about withdrawing from trade deals and reconsidering alliances. He has already passed the executive order to build a 1,000-mile-long wall along the Mexican border. To fulfill all the election promises with such haste and disdain shows his lack of imagination, especially in terms of consequences, and experience of holding a political office. Such a horrendous travel ban decision could have come only from someone who has not understood or learned the ropes of international relationships. Well, Trump cannot hide under the excuse that he is keeping his word and is only fulfilling his election promises, and that if Americans are unhappy about his decisions, then he should not have been voted to power in the first place. The US has always prided itself on its democracy and the American values. But some of the decisions taken by Trump in the recent past have tarnished the image of American democracy. Preserving American values will do Trump and the US a power of good. Prime Minister Theresa May have invited Trump to pay a state visit later this year. That’s her prerogative. More than a million people have signed a petition against Trump’s visit to the UK. But banning Trump is not the solution. Prime Minister May should stick to her plans and hold concrete and constructive dialogue with the US President. People should take a leaf out of Gandhiji’s book. Gandhiji used to hold dialogue even with his worst adversaries, because peaceful solution comes only with talks. Also, if we ban Trump, then we should also ban leaders from Saudi Arabia and China who regularly flout human rights. Trump has said: “Every decision on trade, on taxes, on immigration, on foreign affairs will be made to benefit American workers and American families.” Well, he may be interested in “America First” but if every country were to follow this protectionist policy, the global economic system will break down. Trump can achieve his objectives by being bit more patient. He must show some restraint because his ‘religion of rush’ does not augur well for him and the US at large. Ages ago when India was fighting for its freedom from

the Britsh rule, Gandhiji’s weapons of peace and non-violent resistance looked ineffective initially but Indians showed remarkable patience, tolerance and stuck to Gandhiji’s policy, eventually touching the hearts of the British rulers and gaining independence. Isolation is not a way to deal with problems. By building “a beautiful wall”, Trump is not realising that he is hitting the wall. Hatred, envy and violence do not create a nation or a responsible civic society – a glance at the way India and Pakistan have come up since 1947 is a testimony to that. Needless to say, India with its peaceful and nonviolent ways is miles ahead of Pakistan in every walk of life. The way forward for the world is not isolation but accommodation. In the 1960s the civil rights movement led by Dr Martin Luther King is a very good example of positive change in America, the result of which the Americans and the world saw in a black President (Barack Obama) assuming office in White House in 2008. This happened because of transformation in the mindset of people. Similarly, Nelson Mandela too transformed South Africa with peaceful and non-violent means of protest, paving the way for a multi-racial, democratic government in South Africa. In a world often hostile to migration, Canada has stood out, welcoming thousands of refugees fleeing war and seeking a haven. Despite Quebec, it has not shut its doors to migrants. Six people were killed in a suspected terror attack at a mosque in Quebec a few days ago. The main issue in US elections or for that matter in Brexit was immigration. But one should remember that with internet the world has become a global village wherein trade and investment go along with movement of migrants – both skilled and unskilled. No nation howsoever powerful it may be can create walls and still progress further. Indian IT companies are expected to be hit by the new Bill re-introduced in the US Congress to curb the use of H1-B visas. If the legislation is passed, it will become very difficult for American companies to use H1-B visas to hire foreign workers, including IT professionals from India. But these are early days. Let’s hope sanity will prevail and something better will be worked. However, Trump has not isolated Saudi Arabia and other Islamic countries where there is great intolerance towards people of other faiths. Even after living for 25 years in the Gulf, the foreigners are not given the residential rights. This is unacceptable and counter-productive. One has to accept rough with the smooth. Ideally Trump should let go the rigid “us versus them” thinking and learn the art of fierce compassion and deconstruct isolation by accommodating the world. Today the US may be a military superpower, but the novice Trump – with his rash decisions – has certainly stripped the US of its claims to be a “moral superpower”. Trump’s election slogan was “to make America great again”. By closing its borders, it is unclear how Trump can make America great again, because greatness cannot be in isolation.

Republic Day: State of the Nation National stock taking at the best of times and at the worst of times is a complex undertaking: India, with its mosaic of cultural and ethnic diversity makes it doubly so. Having defied a multitude of doomsayers, mostly abroad and some at home by lasting the course for seven decades of turbulence and achievement, the Republic materially stands stronger than it has ever been. The pomp and circumstance of the Republic Day celebrations in Delhi particularly made this abundantly clear. The immense multitudes of young and old revelled in the pageantry, the spontaneity of their pride and joy for all to see. For all that the rancorous political and social divisions within the country, the lack of any semblance of magnanimity and mutual understanding manifestly self-evident in the persistent brawling in Parliament have reduced it to an unseemly and expensive circus financed, alas, from the public purse. Politicians as a class stand lower in public esteem than ever was the case when the country was materially weaker in every field of endeavour. President Pranab Mukherjee who has an outstanding record of public service over many decades and has witnessed the worst of times and the best of times is clearly worried by the trends of party political discourse and public behavior, which appears to have plumbed the depths. He warned intolerant India went against the grain of what Indian civilization had stood for down the ages. Tolerance, with its core values of mutual respect and courtesy represented, and still represents, an inner strength that has no adequate substitute. India was prey to invasion and subjugation when it was most divided. To forget history is to court peril and possible disaster. The world is in turmoil. Old certainties are giving way to emerging realities across continents. National rivalries

have become more incandescent and destructive with the appearance of non-state jihadi terrorism incubated, funded and exported across national borders for political ends. Prime Minister Narendra Modi has been the most consistent vocal voice against the promotion and use of terror as an instrument of statecraft. President Donald’s unexpected arrival to the White House signals a new turn in American policy on jihadi terrorism, a new determination to wipe it out singly and collectively from the face of the earth. President Trump’s telephone call to Mr Modi affirming the durability of the Indo-US relationship based on a secure platform of shared national interests and political values is a seminal improvement on the Obama years of incessant talk and no action, as former Afghan president Hamid Karzai pointed out bitterly in a recent interview to an Indian newspaper. The Obama administration’s generous military and financial aid packages to Pakistan and its collaboration with Syrian jihadi groups in a bid to overthrow the Assad regime in Damascus tell a dismal tale which the lacquered image of the former US president cannot conceal. President Trump’s endorsement of Prime Minister Modi’s views on international terrorism was given a uniquely malevolent spin by the Kolkata-based Telegraph newspaper’s Diplomatic Correspondent Charu Sudan Kasturi, who claimed that the India’s Ministry of External Affairs feared Indian involvement in the conflicts in Syria and Iraq. No such sentiment was expressed in the public space by the ministry. Furthermore, President Trump has made it abundantly clear that he was, and is, resolutely opposed to American wars in Iraq and Syria, so why should he wish to involve India in those calamitous adventures, you may well ask. American journalism worst prac-

Into the hands of every individual is given a marvellous power for good or evil - the silent, unconscious, unseen influence of his life. This is simply the constant radiation of what man really is, not what he pretends to be. - William George Jordan

Education is the key to India’s future A sound education allied to social discipline is surely the key to India’s future development. More so, when so many educational institutions have been reduced to battle grounds for political parties and their semi-educated leaders. They jostle for control of young minds. It was therefore a cause for deep satisfaction that the National Assessment and Accreditation Council (NAAC) awarded Kolkata’s St Xavier’s College a deserved an A+++ Two other colleges – Cottons College, Guwahati, and St Joseph’s College, Kozhikode – also achieved the same rating since the introduction of new graduation system in July 2016, but with a CGPA score of 3.77, to its rivals’ 3.76, St Xavier’s nosed ahead to top the table. Kirori Mal, Sri Ram and Hindu Colleges of Delhi occupied places after the top three. ‘It is huge achievement since only a handful of colleges have secured the top-most grade. That all stakeholders – students, teachers, parents, alumni – are very committed went down well with the NAAC. Among other facilities that caught NAAC’s attention were the wellmaintained campuses, smart classrooms, semester system, recreational and library facilities. The democratic manner in which the college functions has been appreciated by NAAC,’ said Xavier’s College Principal, Father Felix Raj. The college has scope for improvement in a number of areas. Explained Father Felicx Raj, ‘According to NAAC, we have the potential to start an academic staff college to train professors and principals. They also advised that research must spread to all courses, including humanities. Faculty members must involve more people in the consultancy,’ he said. One of the seminal failures of West Bengal’s 34 yearold Left Front government, apart from its inability to stem the flight of capital from the State, was its decimation of education. Academic standards were flouted, cronyism standardized as the governing norm, and excellence derided as bourgeois. Ironically, the Communist Soviet Union’s victory in the Second War against Nazi Germany and its emergence as a global Superpower owed much to the excellence of its scientists and engineers, all products of the high standards of the country’s educational system. In Bengal, the ill-educated comrades of the Communist Party of India (Marxist) and its Left Front allies upheld ignorance as class virtue and condemned knowledge as class betrayal. The State was reduced to material and intellectual impoverishment. The context of revival must be put in its proper place if the present situation with its contradictory cross-currents is to be fully understood. In the larger national sphere there are outstanding centres of excellence in science, engineering and management studies, but not nearly enough to meet the requirements of India’s burgeoning economy. Encouragement may be drawn from the Central government’s awareness of the skills shortage and its plans to bridge this shortfall. The partnering of Industry in this remedial process is a cause for hope. More education, better education must be the guiding vision across India. tice is clearly rubbing off on some of their Indian counterparts. Fake news, like narcotics, has become an exportable commodity. Time was when facts were sacred and comment was free. Now they are an alchemist’s interchangeable product of fact and fiction. Republic Day is a time to pause and reflect and stand by ethical speech, written word and public (and private) conduct. India’s future should not, and cannot, be mortgaged to distempered hate and bazaar politics. It must be secured for generations to come. There has never been a better time to stand up and be counted for an enduring India and the light it shone at the best of times.


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Facebook grooming gang jailed over horrific teen rapes A gang who plied two teenage girls with alcohol and drugs before they were raped and sexually assaulted have been jailed for a total of 42 years. The five men, all from Coventry, groomed their victims on Facebook before driving them to locations in the city where they were attacked. One of the girls regained consciousness while she was being attacked on the back seat of a car. Waqaar Khan, Kadeem Bourne, Marcus Woolcock, Kenan Kelly and Zahid Chaudhary - whose addresses cannot be published for legal reasons - were found guilty of a total of 18 offences following a six-week trial which ended in December. All five men appeared for sentencing at Warwick Crown Court on Thursday. The heaviest prison sen-

er, sister-in-law and tence was handed to a neighbour – which Khan, 24, who will his barrister David serve 14-and-a-half Jackson said showed years after being “another side” to found guilty of two him. counts of trafficking A trio of referand three of rape. The ences for Bourne group were charged were also been sent in connection with to the court, which offences against six Tim Sapwell, girls, but were only Bourne’s representafound guilty of tive, said showed the offences relating to offending was “out of two of them. The gang were (Clockwise from top left) Kenan Kelly, Waqaar Khan, character” and that he Kadeem Bourne, Marcus Woolcock and had “expressed deep led by Khan who conZahid Chouhary regret”. tacted teenage girls were all ordered to sign the sex Mr Sapwell had urged via Facebook in May 2015 and offenders’ register for life, while Judge de Bertodano to pass a groomed them before arrangWoolcock must sign for five sentence which “punishes ing to meet them with the years. The court heard how a [Bourne] but recognises the promise of gifts and shopping number of references and letneed not to crush him”. trips. Once they had been ters had been sent to the court The court also heard from picked up and driven elseby family and friends of the Zahir Afzal, for Chaudhary, where, they were attacked, with defendants. who said that Chaudhary’s one girl having her ordeal Three letters were sent on involvement was the “most limrecorded on a mobile phone. Khan’s behalf - from his mothited” of all the defendants. Khan, Bourne and Kelly

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Man appears in court over Surinder Kaur temple tragedy A 26-year-old man has appeared in court charged with killing a pedestrian who was knocked down by a car outside a Sikh temple. Ghufran Syaed Khan, who is accused of causing the death of Surinder Kaur by dangerous driving, was granted unconditional bail by magistrates in Birmingham on Friday. Ms Kaur, 61, died after being struck by a car while crossing Soho Road in Handsworth , in December 2015. Khan, of Tetley Road, Hall Green , indicated a not guilty plea to the charge against him. He was ordered to appear at Birmingham Crown Court on February 24.

Flying the flag for females

Amir Khan sacks dad, uncle and best man amid family feud Amir Khan has dropped his dad as part of his overhaul of his management team. The move from the boxer comes as he aims to keep his boxing and family separate for the sake of his career and his marriage. Shah has been with Khan throughout his amateur and professional career. And he famously wore a Union Jack waistcoat at the 2004 Athens Olympics, during his stint as Amir's manager.

mer world champion - who has family ties to Birmingham felt he needed to take a step back. Khan's uncle Tahir Khan and Saj pal Mohamed, who was best man at Khan and his father seven years ago his wedding, have also gone, and the But he criticised Khan's star admits the feuding has wife Faryal in the bitter and hurt him deeply. very public row between her Earlier this month, Khan and his family. And the for-

appeared in his first TV interview since the boxer's alleged 'sex tape' was leaked. The former world champion appeared, speaking to Philip Schofield and Holly Willoughby on This Morning, via a live link from San Francisco, in the US. The clip, which has reportedly surfaced on a major US porn website, allegedly shows the former world champion boxer chatting with a female model on Skype.

Teacher sells £250,000 cottage for £2 in Derbyshire A 43-year-old Indian-origin teacher has sold her £250,000 worth home in Derbyshire for a token of mere £2 to ensure that she cannot be evicted from the property. Rekha Patel has been locked in a feud with her neighbour over some building work dating back six years on the home. She spent £200,000 buying the dilapidated two-bedroom cottage in 2010 in Simmondley village in Glossop (Derbyshire) and turning it into her dream home. A court order had directed that the home be sold to recover legal fees and costs of around £76,000. Speaking to Asian Voice she said, “I bought a derelict

listed building in an idyllic part of Glossop which is in Derbyshire and expected it to be my dream home. However it turned out to be my worst nightmare. During the renovations my builder removed the old

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roof of my cottage to replace it with a new one, however at this point my neighbour accused me of cutting off architectural stones that supposedly protruded from

the Gable wall that we shared. “Historical photographs from the National Trust as well as the estate agents that I bought my house from will verify that these architectural stones never ever existed...” Patel, who is a Mathematics teacher said, according to her professional duty, she must not surrender but fight for her principle. A devout believer in Lord Krishna, she is confident her God is with her in this battle. Born in the UK, Patel has her roots in Avda Falia village in Navsari district of Gujarat. Her parents Jerambhai-Nanabhai Patel and Niruben-Jerambhai Patel live in India, while her 2 brothers live in the UK.

By Dhiren Katwa A “Pink Lohri Festival” brought together over 200 women in Birmingham last Sunday. Organised by the Sikh Women’s Action Network, or SWAN, the theme was to celebrate the birth of girls. The event featured dance performances, speeches, case studies, a range of stalls and much more. Narinder Kaur Kooner, Assistant Leader at Birmingham City Council and vice-chair of SWAN said: “The Guru Granth Sahib cites that men and women are equal and without women, men would not exist. Lohri is a time to celebrate the birth of girls.” Sahdaish Pall, Chair of SWAN described the event “a resounding success”, adding, “it's awful to hear of the inequality that women still face in our community in this day and age. We plan to hold a similar event every year to celebrate the birth of all our daughters.” SWAN was set up to raise awareness of issues that exist in South Asian communities but are not discussed or acknowledged as they are seen as far too taboo. The four women founders of this charity are Sahdaish Pall, Narinder Kaur Kooner, Shantose Kaur and Mandeep Sungu.

Drug gang jailed for plot to smuggle huge heroin haul into Leicester Five men have been jailed for their roles in a conspiracy to bring heroin worth up to £280,000 into Leicester. The men worked together to bring consignments totalling 3.5kg of the class. A drug from Sheffield to the city. However, they were tracked down by detectives from Leicestershire Police and the East Midlands Special Operations Unit (Emsou). All five – four from Leicester and one, Habeeb Yaqoob, from Sheffield – appeared at court at various times last year to plead guilty to drug crimes and other related offences. They were given lengthy prison sentences at

Leicester Crown Court on Friday last week. According to Drugwise, a drugs information organisation, a £10 deal of heroin typically weighs between 0.125g and 0.2g. That means the potential value of the 3.5kg seizure was somewhere between £175,000 and £280,000. However, its value could have risen further still once the drug had been mixed with the cutting agents. Leicestershire Police said it and Emsou's investigation began in the summer of 2015, after they identified a man who was bringing high purity heroin into the city and distribut-

ing it to lower level dealers. The force said: "In November 2015, after a five month policing operation, Habeeb Yaqoob was stopped in his car in Asquith Way, Leicester, and officers recovered half a kilo of high purity heroin and a further 350g of specially made cutting agents. "Officers then raided a 'safe house' in Moorfields, Leicester, in December 2015, and recovered cutting agents, a drugs press and other drug paraphernalia." The gang members were sentenced including the following: n Usman Patel, (27), of Oak Road, off

Humberstone Road, Leicester: seven years for possession with intent to supply Class A drugs, and dangerous driving. n Habeeb Yaqoob, (21), of Barnsley Road, Sheffield: four years for conspiracy to supply Class A drugs n Hamzah Aslam, (22), of Broadway, Leicester: six years for conspiracy to supply Class A drugs and possession of a knife. n Ehteshan Mahamed, (24), of Dale Street, Spinney Hills, Leicester: five years and four months for possession with intent to supply and supplying cannabis at court and conveying an article into prison.


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Air India moves to Heathrow Terminal 2 Air India, the national carrier of India in its 69th year of operations between London and India, has now achieved another milestone by moving to Heathrow Terminal 2: The Queen's Terminal, on January 25, 2017. Heathrow Terminal 2 is the home of Star Alliance airlines. Consequent to Air India’s joining Star Alliance in mid-2014, in keeping with the Star policy of getting all the Star carriers under one roof, Air India has been vigorously working towards shifting of its flight operations from Terminal 4 to Terminal 2. Having met all the requirements, Air India moved to Terminal 2 at Heathrow on the eve of India's Republic Day. Air India will be located in Zone D at Terminal 2 in the Departure Level. The shifting of Air India flight operations to Terminal 2 will ensure seamless connectivity of passengers between Air India and other Star Alliance carriers. The move

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will result in a superior passenger experience for both transit and joining passengers. Simon Eastburn, Director of Airline Business Development at Heathrow, said; “We are delighted to welcome Air India to join its Star Alliance partners in Terminal 2: The Queen's Terminal. As Heathrow’s newest Terminal, we hope our customers enjoy the great new services, shops and restaurants we have to offer.” Bob Schumacher, Star Alliance UK Steering Committee Chairman, said: “We are so proud to welcome Air India to London Heathrow Terminal 2 today. This move finally brings all 24

Star Alliance carriers together under one roof for the first time at London Heathrow. Our customers will benefit from the most modern facilities at Heathrow’s newest terminal, beautiful new airline lounges and improved connection times.” Speaking on the occasion of the inaugural celebrations at T2, Ms Tara Naidu, the Regional Head of Air India in UK and Europe, said; “We appreciate the hard work put in by the core teams at the airport, including the Air India staff, Heathrow officials and Star Alliance to achieve this milestone and look forward to providing our passengers an excellent travel experience at Heathrow Terminal 2.”

ICAI UK Chapter hosts networking dinner

Rajesh Agrawal, Deputy Mayor of London for Business with guests

UK Chapter of The Institute of Chartered Accountants of India hosted a networking dinner in Harrow on Saturday 28 Jan 2017 which was attended by more than 50 members and their families. The guests for the Bob evening were

Blackman MP Harrow East and Rajesh Agrawal Deputy Mayor of London for Business. Bob Blackman interacted with the members and spoke about UK – India trade as a result of Brexit and how the Brexit will be creating new trade opportunities for both the

countries. Rajesh Agrawal gave assurance to the businesses that they would be getting whatever support they would require and will be protected for the jobs and growth as a result of Brexit. He also spoke about opportunities available in India for the UK companies.

Boy racers locked up for 4 years for mowing down girl Two boy racers, who killed a schoolgirl, 9, while driving at double the speed limit, have been locked up for four years. Twenty-two-year-old Mohsen Saddique and 19year old Adil Manir were rushing through residential streets at top speeds of 64mph. Manir then veered to avoid another car moments before his Audi A5 crashed into Aleena Kausar as she was walked on the pavement. She was walking to a mosque with her mum

Sofia Begum and another relative when the accident happened. She suffered fatal injuries in the collision on September 15, 2015, and died in hospital later the same day. Twenty-year-old Manir pleaded guilty to dangerous driving and was sent to a young offenders institute for four years. Twenty-three-yearold taxi driver Saddique was also found guilty of the same charge and was jailed for four years. The accident on Bacup Road happened moments

after Mrs Begum turned down an offer of a lift to mosque from Aleena’s uncle. Aleena’s father Mr Ali, as quoted in the Mirror, said: “I will always remember the day she was killed. It’s hard for me to describe our feelings. We were completely devastated. It’s as if we are living in some dark nightmare hoping we will wake up. Everything is dark, close, hopeless. It’s as if somebody has reached into our body and ripped out our hearts.”

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Asian Voice |4th February 2017

BRITONS DEMAND TRUMP TRAVEL BAN Continued from page 1 Over 6,000 people - one in 20 residents backed it in J e r e m y C o r b y n ’ s Islington North constituency, according to the parliamentary website. Almost 7,000 in Diane Abbott’s consituency backed it. The Economist in an article comparing Brexit and Donald Trump pointed out that

proportions of petition signatories are highest in cosmopolitan and heavily Remain-voting (In voters in Brexit) cities like Brighton, Bristol and Cambridge, all with unusually large populations of university-educated, white-collar residents. And they are lowest in older, post-industrial, pro-Brexit bastions where skills are relatively low: for example Wolverhampton, Redcar and Doncaster.

What Asian parliamentarians and community leaders have to say?

Lord

Bhikhu Parekh, speaking to Asian Voice said, “Britain has always tended to bow to the Americans, often against its own better judgement. In inviting Trump the Prime Minister reflected this attitude, reinforced by her feeling that this would get her a better trade deal with the Americans. It is paradoxical that Britain rebels against the EU control only to fall a willing prey to the American. The decision was hasty and illconceived and shows desperation. The invitation cannot be withdrawn but it can be scaled down and give British people ample opportunity to express their feelings of anger.” Lord Navnit Dholakia said, “The public anger is well understood

now that the government has indicated that it would ignore a huge petition calling for the invitation to be withdrawn. It is unbelievable that the we are ignoring millions of ordinary British people and their revulsion that Donald Trump will receive the red carpet treatment. There is still a long period to go and the protests would not die down.There is a danger that the underlying issues will simmer for a long time at the expense of community cohesion we have

US has been renowned for opening its doors to anyone who wishes to make a better life for themselves, so it is a great shame for the US to enact such a policy. “However, these measures should not come as a surprise to anyone, as they were very much a part of the election manifesto which Trump was elected by with a significant public mandate. Whilst, we may not agree with President Trump, the United States is and always has been a key ally to the UK and it is important that we continue

developed over the years. The issue is not simply about British citizens who are unlikely to be affected. It is about the core values we hold of offering shelter to those who are persecuted. We cannot allow them to remain in a limbo.

to work with them as reiterated by Mrs May last week.” Virendra Sharma MP told AV, “ D o n a l d Trump is behaving like a dictator. His actions are racist and threaten the American ideals of liberty, opportunity and equality. It is shocking that Theresa May could stand alongside President Trump and not criticise his racist ban on Muslims entering the US. This is why I wrote to her saying, I want to raise with you in the strongest possible terms the deafening silence of you as Prime Minister and the whole of Her Majesty’s Government on President Trump’s immoral, racist and truly un-American immigration policy. While I understand the need to remain on good terms with the American President I do not think it does our reputation around the globe any good to be seen as silent accomplices. I know there has been some clarification from the Government on British citizens visiting the US, but any blanket travel ban is a shameful. I hope that you will use your greatly visible position on the world stage to emphatically renounce the newest round of offensive behaviour by President Trump. “I am proud that Britain appears to be speaking with one voice and renouncing the divisive politics of President Trump.”

“The damage of this visit will take a long time to repair.”

Seema Malhotra MP told AV, “The 'Muslim Ban' goes against all the best traditions of the United States. Fortunately, one of those is the rule of law and the world will be looking to the American legal system upholding American rights and those of nonAmericans travelling there in good faith. The invitation for a state visit by Theresa May at this time sends out an entirely wrong signal. We should be clear that Britain stands for human rights and that we abhor this attack on them. I will do everything in my power to press that message home in Parliament and elsewhere.” Lord Popat said, “It is very sad to see the drastic measures that Trump’s new administration has taken to address security and immigration issues. I hope that these are temporary measures, as the United States is a country that is built and has prospered on inward immigration. To date, the

Mohammed Shafiq, Chief Executive of the Ramadhan Foundation said: "The Ramadhan Foundation condemns in the strongest terms the #Muslimban introduced by President Donald Trump. This Executive Order has given succour to terrorists like ISIS and Al Qaeda. His racist policies will create a thousand more terrorists around the world; and he will personally be libel for this... "We will not be intimidated by his racism and xenophobia, we take comfort from the way people of all backgrounds, and faiths are standing up against him. "I support the withdrawal of the official invitation for a state visit by Donald Trump to the United Kingdom and we must make clear his racism is not welcome in our diverse society. "ISIS, Al Qaeda, Al Shabaab and others have spent years saying there is a clash of civilisation between the Muslim world and the West and now Donald Trump has given them a massive propaganda tool with his executive order. "The battle against terrorism will be more difficult as a result of Donald Trump's executive order but we are determined to stand up against his racism and xenophobia”

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British Muslims 'terrified' by the rise of Donald Trump

MP from Birmingham, Shabana Mahmood, pictured, has warned that British Muslims are “terrified” by the rise of Donald Trump. She spoke out as MPs debated President Trump’s order banning people from seven countries from coming to the US. The MP, whose family are from Birmingham reportedly said: “As a British Muslim, Mr Speaker, I can tell you on my own behalf, and my family, friends and my community, people feel terrified. "They feel that this is a portent of what is to come and they fear what there is to come. "We live in an age of supremacists. "There are supremacists on the rise all around the world, whether they are the Muslim supremacists of ISIL, or whether they are the white supremacists that think they've got their life's dream with the new administration in the White House. "Supremacists on the rise everywhere. "And we have a duty

in this age of supremacists and their success to call them out, to stand up to them and to say 'not on our watch'. "To provide the comfort and security to all of our minority communities that we will not let them down, we will not stand by, we will stand up and be counted." During the US election campaign, Mr Trump called for “a total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States”. However, he insist that the policy he has now introduced is not a ban on Muslims. Ms Mahmood disagreed, telling MPs: “This is a Muslim ban ... it is so important that we send a clear message and that we call it exactly what it is.”

Apprentices from diverse background join Evening Standard

Roz McKenzie (far left) NCTJ Programme Leader; Sarah Sands, London Evening Standard Editor, and Ken Olisa, Lord Lieutenant of Greater London

Four apprentices from diversity background have been appointed with the launch of a new apprenticeship scheme by the London Evening Standard and Independent. Speaking about The appointment, Ken Olisa, Lord Liuetenant of Greater London told the sponsors who backed the scheme, to vcelebrate this inititative, which is a media first. The apprentices began two years of training which includes a 20-week fasttrack NCTJ course. The scheme was launched with four partners – Goldman Sachs, The Peabody Trust, The Stationers’ Foundation and the NCTJ Diversity Fund – who helped fund the project. Over 200 people

applied for the editorial apprenticeships which were open to anyone aged over 16 who had not been to university. Mayor of London Sadiq Khan gave his “wholehearted support” to the Evening Standard scheme saying: “One area where there are clearly still some deeprooted inequalities is journalism, with ethnic minority groups in particular significantly under-represented within the industry. In my view, just as we need to see our public services become more representative of the communities they support, it’s important that the people who work in the media reflect the communities they report on and the audiences they serve.”

He added: “I commend the Evening Standard’s commitment to promoting equality, diversity and inclusion. I’m optimistic that this could be a real step forward for the industry and I hope other newspapers will follow suit. I’m in no doubt that it’s schemes like this that will start to make a difference – increasing diversity and helping to produce the next generation of world-class journalists.” The apprentices started their NCTJ course at UCFB Wembley on Monday 30 January. They will then complete their apprenticeship with onthe-job training at the Evening Standard, The Independent and London Live Television.


UK Asian Voice | 4th February 2017

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The Prince of Wales hears about army engagement activities with ethnic communities AsianVoiceNews

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His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales visited a flagship event at St Philips Centre on 25 January, Leicester to witness the on-going work between the Army and ethnic minority communities.

A

rmy formations from across the UK, including Nottingham-based 7 Infantry Brigade and Headquarters East, also known as The Desert Rats, HQ London District and 4 Infantry Brigade based in Catterick, showcased a range of multi-faith engagement activity undertaken last year that high-

lighted how they are engaging with different ethnic minority communities to build lasting connections and mutual trust. Guests included the many community leaders that the brigades are working with to strengthen integration through dialogue and understanding. This included the Karimia Institute who, along with 15 other Muslim organisations in Nottingham, signed the Armed Forces Covenant in December. Army Reserve Unit, 158 Regiment RLC that has squadrons based in the East Midlands and East Anglia briefed His Royal Highness on the work it has

been doing with the Muslim, Sikh and Hindu communities in Leicester. His Royal Highness also heard about the work of 7 Infantry Brigade and Headquarters East. The Deputy Commander Colonel Stuart Williams

spoke to The Prince of Wales about the close links the Brigade has built with the Muslim and AfroCaribbean communities across the East Midlands. Army formations from across the UK showcased a range of activities that took place last year to strengthen the Army's relationship with minority and faith groups. They included

Brigades from Nottingham, London, Catterick, Preston and Donnington which have delivered engagement activities and events including youth and adult military challenge weekends and a visit to a military field hospital. As well as meeting some of the participants, His Royal Highness was introduced to community leaders working with the brigades to open up the dialogue and build trust between the army and people of different faiths. The Karimia Institute for example, is one of 16 Muslim organisations in Nottingham which signed the Armed Forces

Covenant in December. The Covenant is a written and publicised voluntary pledge from business, charities and organisations who wish to demonstrate their concrete support for the Armed Forces Community. Dr Hussain Musharraf of

Hindu soldiers

the Karimia Institute, Dr Ezekiel Alawale of God’s Own Vineyard Ministries and the Reverend Canon Christian Weaver from the Pilgrim Church were amongst the guests. Lieutenant Colonel David Utting, Head of Engagement at HQ London District, spoke to His Royal Highness about how the London HQ is working hard to break down barriers and misconceptions in the Boroughs of London and the relationships that the Army has built with local communities. Every external activity organised by HQ London District has a multi-ethnic and multi-faith dimension. The District also organises specific events with particular faith groups. For example, it joined the Sikh community in commemorating the Battle of Saragarhi. The Prince of Wales

Royal Highness in recognition of his actions in helping prevent a suicidal woman from jumping from the top of a multi-storey car park. Lion built up a rapport with the woman and spoke to her until the Police arrived. 14year old Lion was praised by the Police for his actions. The Commander Home Command, Lieutenant General James Bashall, the General Officer Commanding R e g i o n a l Command, Major General Richard Stanford and military representatives from 11 Signal Brigade and Army HQ North West were also in attendance. Music was provided by The Band of The Brigade of Gurkhas. The event was one of four engagements His Royal Highness was attending in the city.

Recruitment and Diversity in the Army

also met six Cadets from 193 (Southall) Detachment, XIX Company Middlesex and North West London Army Cadet Force who spoke about life in the cadets including visits to local temples and Army units. Lieutenant Colonel Mark Hunter, SO1 MCI (Military Civil Integration) for ethnic communities at 4 Infantry Brigade spoke about how the Catterick based Brigade is working with the Huddersfield Pakistani Community Alliance. Four young people from the Huddersfield Pakistani Community Alliance demonstrated first aid skills they had learnt on an Army Insight day organised by the Brigade. Later His Royal Highness met Peterborough Cadet Lion Kheswa who attends Thomas Deacon Academy and is a member of its Combined Cadet Force. Lion was presented to His

The Army welcomes people from all backgrounds. Whatever your gender, race, ethnic origin or religious belief, there is a role for you in the Army. No account is taken of sexual orientation or social background. The Army has a strict code of conduct to make sure that everyone is treated fairly asnd it always tries to help you observe the customs of your faith. There are hundreds of different jobs to choose from, and soldiers are trained with skills that they can use both in and out of the Army. They learn military skills, get qualifications and develop personally as well. The Army has the largest apprenticeship programme in the country, with about 95 percent of new soldiers taking part and over 8,000 completing their apprenticeship training each year. Army apprenticeships are part of a nationally recognised scheme, giving soldiers the chance to work for an employer at the same time as studying for a relevant, work-based qualification.

There are currently around 2,600 Hindus serving in the Regular Army, who are employed in a variety of roles and do so balancing the needs of the services and their faith, while maintaining operational effectiveness. Those serving have no doubt that practising their faith while serving complements the Army’s values of selfless commitment, courage, discipline, integrity, loyalty and respect for others. Hindu soldiers can wear Rakhi and tilak pro-

vided that they don’t compromise operational effectiveness or health and safety. They are able to celebrate festivals, such as Diwali and can opt to be Vegetarian in camps, on operations and on exercise, and quiet rooms are available when one wants to pray. Hindus are ministered to by the Hindu Chaplain to the Forces, Acharya Krishan Kant Attri MBE, who offers spiritual support, pastoral care and moral guidance. The

Armed Forces Hindu Network serve the Hindus.

Muslim soldiers

There are currently around 550 Muslims serving, who are employed in a variety of roles. Muslim soldiers are allowed to wear a full beard, in accordance with Islamic tradition as long as operational mission and safety are not risked. Female Muslim soldiers are allowed to trousers and shirts with the sleeves

rolled down, so that their arms and legs are covered and also allowed to wear a hijab with orders of dress. They can observe Ramadan, depending on circumstances and Halal food is available at camps, during exercises and operations. Muslims are ministered by the Imam to the Forces, Imam Ali Omar who offers spiritual support, pastoral care and moral guidance. There's also a Defence Islamic adviser, Imam Asim Hafiz, who advises those in charge of the UK Armed Forces on all Islamic matters. There's

also a network for serving Muslims called the Armed Forces Muslim Association

Sikh soldiers

There are currently around 150 Sikhs serving in the Regular Army, who are employed in a variety of roles. A turban (or patka) may be worn by Sikh soldiers with all orders of dress, subject to safety and operational considerations (for example if a helmet is required on operations).

Kanga, Kara, Kacha and Kirpans can also be worn, and an uncut beard can be kept, provided that operational effectiveness and health and safety are not at risk. Sikhs are ministered to by the Sikh Chaplain to the Forces, Mrs Mandeep Kaur, who offers spiritual support, pastoral care and moral guidance. She offers her support to all serving members of the Armed Forces and their families in UK and overseas. There is also a network for serving Sikhs, the Armed Forces Sikh Association.


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TLIGHT

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Daniel Pike: Nature's Maverick

AsianVoiceNews

Asian Voice | 4th February 2017

Tribute paid to Basaveshwara statue in London

Sunetra Senior

Daniel Pike ascended into the limelight through the spring and the summer of 2016, when the striking home he had built came under threat of being demolished: the legal owners of the land where he’d chosen to settle - The Woodland Trust of Merry Hill Forest, Watford – wanted him evicted. A flurry of publications, including the BBC and Vice magazine, rushed to cover the proprietary plight of Pike – also known as the Watford Hermit – particularly because of his incredible skill which 'I believe revealed itself in the crafted spaces and more and fairy-tale features of what might have otherwise been a squat mud hut in lessmore er hands. It is hard too, as we found out, in my own to call the young individualist himself a squatter. Pike, who through a process of convictions' trial and error created his ethereal earthy home, sporting designs such as curved bed-post pillars, a bathing area with a layered water feature and a bench-encompassed cooking shelter, is remarkably arrived in person though perpetually in transit in life. “I found myself winding up at Merry Hill Forest after being made homeless,” he told us, “but it was as much a conscious choice as a necessary resort. I was always different as a child, feeling there was something wrong with the system. I’d bunk school, for example, always running away from home and setting up tents where I was able because for me, there was more to life than that. I came out to nature and made a place for myself for a sense of freedom from the trappings of the modern world. For me a monetary system is a form of wage slavery. Out in my forest dwelling, I would meditate and do the chores that were required to keep my little enclosure running. It was wonderful in the summer – there was a tremendous sense of peace, with the greenery and quiet being present all around me.” ••• Tragically then, on September 7th of last year, Pike was forcibly evicted from his four-year long ‘Merry’ home, despite receiving much media attention and financial support from a succeeding crowd-funding project, which was set up to help him fight the Woodland Trust. Bailiffs and policemen came to the scene to escort him away, where upon he was arrested and fined for the apparent ‘obstruction of a court official in the execution of his duty.’ It was “initially extremely distressing”, Pike stated, his architectural landmark of a home being completed flattened into the ground and relegated to the realms of fond memory. But a whole season on, and he has a found a way to negotiate the rhythms of normal routine. Back at home with his mother and his old job at a warehouse, Pike told us: “I’m hoping to save up the money to one day construct my own self-sustaining eco-home, and to use more technology in the project. I’m also playing the guitar at the moment - an instrument I began teaching myself at the Merry Hill house – to keep my creativity flowing. There are a lot of love songs and there’s a mix of rock and pop. I’ve written quite a bit and hope to pursue that in some capacity too.” Thus as is his habit, Pike does not view the interim period as a loss, but rather a way to rejuvenate his wonderfully wandering feet. Indeed, though the media has previously talked of Pike and his subversive ‘real estate’ as a critique on the London housing crisis and even a symbol for the renegade left, it seems the man himself sees a much more immediate, spiritual reality: “my motto is ‘Is-ness”, he finished. “That means simply to be. I envision a society similar to socialism perhaps, but more descriptively an earth economy where we all share and give back: we all have great ideas and gifts within us and they need not be suppressed.” His activism being deeply personal, Pike puts aside the distraction of theory politics, and truly makes one think of the people first.

How long did your home take to build; what materials did you use and what did you do? The home was an ongoing project which took a total of 4 years. The main structure itself, without the additional bathing and cooking area etc. took 6

months. The creative process was a learning curve – I had problems such as the walls leaning over to one side, and so had to make pillars and storage areas to support them. In this sense, nature taught me. I used clay, stones, wood and water as the basic

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building blocks. Some typical activities included waking up at around 10 am washing my face and brushing my teeth in the bathing area. I might then start a fire to eat: I’d have food, such as potatoes, or that I’d grown myself or collected from the local coop where they discard a lot of vegetables. There were times both of happiness and hardship.

On the note of unequal societies etc. what’s a thought you’ve had on the developments of Trump, Brexit and the class politics being discussed now? Honestly all politics and news seem repetitive to me. You shouldn’t be distracted by the smaller developments, though one individual can make a big change. There’s one big, overarching problem: super billionaires and the politicians who are ultimately controlled by them. I think most people are aware that there are a few who’re incredibly wealthy and many who must work hard with relatively little reward. We do live in a society with great technological advantages – solar panels and wind farms etc. - and so we should be living more comfortably too! We all need to wake up to that one big prerogative.

You read very widely and are an autodidact: who are some of your philosophical/economic heroes? David Icke, who discusses conspiracy theories in an intelligent sciencebased way. There’s also Bruce Lee who teaches the message that under one sky we are all one family. But, as was catalysed by my time in the handcrafted home, I believe more and more in my own convictions and introspection. We are, after all, one and interconnected. Finally, tell us a bit about your background? I was quite a bright child and believed in the divine. I have Buddhist, and maybe a bit of ancient relic Hindu,

beliefs where I feel I was reincarnated here and that there are a lot of people like me. In terms of upbringing, my father was from England – now living in India – and my mother was from India. My father actually worked for the British government and worked with classified information such as UFO sightings etc. – maybe that pushed the limits of my open-mindedness too.

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https://www.davidicke.com

Social Justice Minister of Maharashtra Raj Kumar Badole paid tribute to Basaveshwara statue in London on 30th January 2017. The event was organised by The Lambeth Basaveshwara Founda tion, a non-profit organization based in UK that has erected the statue of Basaveshwara on the bank of river Thames. Former Mayor of London borough of Lambeth Dr Neeraj Patil is the Chairman of the foundation who welcomed the Minister on behalf of British Indian community. Members of British Maharashtra and Kannada Diaspora joined this important occasion and paid tribute to Basaveshwara statue in London. Basaveshwara fought for eradication of caste discrimination in the Indian society and attempted to create a casteless society 800 years ago, unfortunately India still remains divided along

caste and religious lines and this must end, said Dr Patil. Mr. Badole expressed tribute to Basaveshwara & his contribution towards democracy and social justice and said, I am extremely delighted to see the statue of an Indian philosopher in the backdrop of British Parliament overlooking the river Thames in the historic city of London. Basaveshwara statue in London is the first conceptual statue to be approved by British Government in the vicinity of British Parliament. This was done as a mark of respect to 12th century Indian Philosopher and social reformer Basaveshwara for promoting democratic ideals, social justice and gender equality during the 12th century. Prime Minister Narendra Modi unveiled the statue on 14th November 2015 in the presence of Speaker of the British Parliament John Bercow.

Councillor dedicates birthday to St Luke’s Hospice Harrow’s Local Councillor, Cllr Ameet Jogia decided to dedicate his recent 30th birthday to St Luke’s Hospice in honour of their 30th anniversary by donating all his gifts to the Hospice. Celebrating his birthday in style, Cllr Jogia Cllr Jogia with friends at the Party for St Luke’s encouraged all his also a great excuse for a friends and family to donate Party!” to the Hospice rather than St Luke’s will be carrygiving him any presents. ing out a range of events to Speaking to Asian celebrate its 30th anniverVoice, Cllr Jogia said, “I sary this year, including its have witnessed first-hand renowned Midnight Walk the excellent care and supin June, a Bubble Dash in port St Luke’s provides to September and a range of patients during their last other sporting and advendays. It inspired me to supture challenges. To get port the Hospice to help involved visit them provide the same care www.stlukes-hospice.org to others in need – it was


UK Asian Voice | 4th February 2017

www.asian-voice.com AsianVoiceNews

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Rani Singh, Special Assignments Editor

With the Courage to Create a Fashion Brand; Maria. B. Fashion designers abound throughout India and Pakistan but only a few stand head and shoulders above the rest. Why is this? The ones that seek success often have an entrepreneurial spirit. They think wider than just design. Think Gucci, think D & G. These male designers created brands and worked out how to get these to as wide a market as possible. Against the odds, that’s what Maria. B. did. As a child, Maria loved poetry, art and painting in that order. It was a natural progression that led her to create one of Pakistan’s most successful fashion brands. Here’s her story.

Background

Being the daughter of an army officer meant that Maria’s childhood was itinerant until her father left the army and settled in Karachi, the creative hub of Pakistan. Maria credits her

Karachi school, St Joseph’s Convent, with turning her into what she is today. She says, “We had great art teachers. I loved oils. I also knew I loved fashion.” She also used to raid her teacher mother’s closet and dress up in the saris, admiring the prints and textures. Maria B graduated from the Pakistan Institute of Fashion Design in 1998, the first fashion school in Pakistan. “We were the first batch and had no icons, nobody to look up to; no one had graduated before us,” she remembers. Maria came first in all her topics in all her modules, and loved her studies. When she graduated, she knew she did not want to do just couture. “I didn’t want to sit at home in a studio; I wanted to do ready-to

wear,” she explains. Planning and time were essentials for this. Maria.B. started in 1999 with a small stitching unit consisting of 10 people and Maria’s own investment. “I used to make patterns myself, sit at the machines myself, stitch and teach the stitchers, the handworkers and cutters as no one was trained at that time; we started at rock bottom.” After a year, she bought one store. Today Maria. B. has over a thousand employees and is one of Pakistan’s most diverse designer fashion brands with prêt a porter, couture, formal wear, children’s wear, lawn, embroidered fabrics, linen and cottons. There are over 25 standalone outlets in 12 different cities across Pakistan, and Maria exports to India, the UK, USA, Bangladesh, UAE and Qatar.

Maria. B.

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were done. “I collapsed Challenges and was in bed throughDuring the hectic start up out Eid. That’s the chalperiod, Maria. B. needed to lenge I remember most in produce a large amount of my 18 year career.” clothes for Eid customers. Today Maria. B. has 12 Then, three weeks before different wings. Her Eid, disaster struck. “There entrepreneurship is what was a huge fire at my fachas made her product tory. It was rented different to other p r e m i s e s . designers. Everything we She says, had made was I didn’t sleep “Fashion is a burnt to the for three weeks. medium that floor. We had can speak volnothing. I I was at the umes, bridge the remember factory day gap between culgoing to the and night tures, and allow charred factory human exprespremises. I was sion like nothing crying. My workelse can. I am lucky ers looked at me to enough to be in love assess my reaction with my work.” and how I would handle it. The designer says that I said, ‘get me a table and amongst all of her muses, chair. We are going to her family remains the build this from scratch most important. and we are going to sell Maria B will show at clothes for Eid for people Fashion Parade Bride and to wear.’ None of us knew Luxury Pret powered by how I was going to do Studio by TCS on this.” February 6th 2017. It will She led by example. “I celebrate 70 years of didn’t sleep for three Pakistan’s style evolution weeks. I was at the factory with leading designers at day and night. Going to One Marylebone. the stores myself, getting Organiser Mustang fabric on credit, using my Productions has partnered old alliances, outsourcing with the British Asian my stitching. Everyobody Trust, a charity founded was shattered so I had to by HRH The Prince of stand up for them all.” All Wales to transform lives in her workers had families, South Asia. The funds so Maria. B. resolved to raised during Fashion pay all of the employees. Parade Bride will go “Everyone is going to walk towards life-changing proout with salaries at the grammes in the Trust’s end of the day,” she told children’s projects. them. By Eid, all the sales


10

READERS’ VOICE

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Asian Voice | 4th February 2017

Health Magazine Testimonials I felt I had to write to you to thank you for the booklet that you sent us with Asian Voice about health care. It is extremely informative and very useful. the items covered are the sort which a lot of people have to live with. The first time I actually took in the difference between wet and dry macular degeneration. It is hard to remember things when the doctors tell you and anyway you forget after a very short while so having something like this booklet to consult is extremely useful. Thank you. Baroness Shreela Flather By email Thank you Cecil. I agree that it is a nice and very informative health magazine. Dr Manpreet Gulati MBBS, MD, DNB, FRCR, FUICC Thank you very much for passing this on. I have just received the copy in the post and it is a great magazine. Thanks again for asking us to contribute. Felicity Crump Press and Campaigns Officer Macular Society

Constrution of toilets and swatch India

SC Handa has made an excellent proposal that "the NRIs should donate their old notes of RSM 500 and RS 1,000 towards the projects, Construction of toilets and Swatch India" [His letter AV, 7 Jan, p10 and his two projects]. Let us start an online campaign to collect for ONE project only, that is construction of toilets. There is also an urgent need to keep these toilets swatch as toilet habits, both by men and women, are diabolical in the case of a substantial part of the Indian population. That puts off many tourists to choose India as a destination. More importantly it is better hygiene for the Indians themselves. Through the London High Commission in London, all Indian embassies and high commissions in the world could be coordinated for this online campaign and collect this money as Mr Handa recommends. I would happily donate the Rs 20,000 or so that I have here. Demonetisation should be the beginning of corruption free India. The next step should be about bank statements. Currently they do not show payee's name against cheque payments; only cheque number is shown. Many payees insist on leaving the payee name blank or just state 'cash' as payee name. Annual private drawings need to be declared on tax returns. They are often three or more times declared net income. That should be the third move. Nagindas Khajuria By email

PM Modi riding high in NOP

PM Narendra Modi’s demonetisation gets “Thumbs Up” response in national opinion poll carried out by “Mood of the Nation” (MOTN) survey, giving PM messiah Modi 65% approval rate, up 15% against his arch rival, masquerading politician Rahul Gandhi’s 28%. This is highest ranking by any leader since introduction of the survey. If elections were held now, BJP (NDA) will get thumping majority with 360 Lok Sabha Seats (LSS) against Congress (UPA) with 60, others 123, in grand total of 543 LSS. This is indeed admirable performance, BJP towering over opposition, considering that honeymoon period is long gone and now NDA entering midterm when most governing parties lose support. PM Modi is by far the most popular leader, although other members of his cabinet, notably Sushma Swaraj and Arun Jetly lending PM Modi good support. NDA practically towers over opposition in all departments, including laying blame of disruption of parliament at the door of UPA. But BJP should not rest on their laurels, as some rightly feel crimes like rape and murder are not under control, BJP failing to introduce deterring punishments, including public flogging! But election is at least two years away, as even a week is long time in politics. Forthcoming Assembly Elections in various States will give true picture rather than any opinion poll, which are notoriously inaccurate, volatile, as the results of Brexit and American Precedential Election bear witness. Bhupendra M. Gandhi By email

Bull taming in India

Jallikattu is a bull taming sport practiced for years in the State of Tamil Nadu. The sport is also known as Eruthazhuvuthal or Manju virattu in Tamil. It is also conducted in several parts of other states in different names. The Jallikattu is actually practiced as a Tamil tradition during the celebration of Pongal. In Jallikattu, the bulls are not harmed or killed by any means. But instead, they are well-fed with a nutritious diet and carefully tamed for the event. Usually, the event marks the taming of bulls. The tamed weak bulls are used for agricultural purposes, while the untamable strong bulls are used for breeding. This is how this Jallikattu tradition in Indian villages preserved the ecosystem. In my opinion, this sport should not be banned, as it has been going on since ancient times in the State of Tamil Nadu in India. Jubel D’Cruz, Mumbai, India

New Year’s Honours List

Good to see your article on the various recipients of the New Years Honours list which showed the high level of work our community does for the betterment of the United Kingdom. May I add my congratulations to them and pray that that they continue to receive blessings and strength to carry on. I was heartened also by a couple of articles on Smt Jayaben Desai who was a family friend. The courage of the workers changed the working laws of this country. EU please note. I look forward to seeing more articles about and on the 'common' person striving for the little changes which oil the larger cogs of this country who do not normally get recognised. Yogi Pandya By email

AsianVoiceNewsweekly

India League

I extol Smita Sarkar and Anand Pillai for their exhaustive and excellent article on the above in the AV of the 21st Jan. In 1916 Annie Basent started it in London for India Home Rule against British Colonialism but it was for Dominion Status. Yet in late 20's V K Krishna Menon made it for full Independence which was later joined by many Patriots like Prof. MIshra, Dr. Anuradha Ray, Savarkar, Sri Shyamji Varma, Dada Navrojaji, Lokmanya Tilak who all mobilised the compaign in many cities in Britain among Indians, Labour Paety and others. In India too since 1915 when Gandhiji cane from South Africa Freedom fight against British Raj was on. Indian National Congress of Nehru, Sardar Patel, Sarojini Naidu, Jinnah led by Gandhi was fighting Truth and Non-Violence Struggle of NonCooperation! All India boycotted British goods, used Swadeshi Khadi and all things, mobilized all Indians and world News Media from America, Britain, India, Auseralia etc. Nehru and Krishna M also keeping in touch and became great friends. In the end Mission of Independence was accomplished on 15th August, 1947 and on following 26th Jan. India became Republic but Alas! Pakistan was created to our big Surprise and Sorrow! Hindu extremist Godse shot Gandhiji at evening Prayer time in New Delhi. Gandhi said ' Hey Ram !' and died 69 years ago on 30th Jan.,1948 leaving whole Bharat weeping! In 60's during Harold Wilson time as PM, under the auspices of India High Commission, India League and Camden Council, Gandhi's Statue was unveiled in Tavistock Square and all Indians and British come here every year on 30th Jan. to commemorate India Freedom Fight and Pay Homage to Gandhiji and other departed Souls! I am glad that now in the Centenary of India League, shri C B Patel, a Patriot and Philanthropist Editor and Publisher of AV and GS is at the helm of India League in Britain! Upendra Kapadia By email

Temporary ban on Muslims

Announcement to ban entry of Muslims from seven Muslim countries, that too for 90 days is similar to surgical strike in PoK and demonitisatin in India. Ironically the announcement coincides with telephone talk with P.M. Modi and Chinese new year. Was is an influence of P.M. Modi or divine inspiration from Chinese astrological hierarchy? President Trump states that it is in order to protect borders of U.S.A. But it remains to be seen what measures are taken to eradicate Islamophobia in hearts of Americans. Wholesale ban to deter handful Jehadists by punishing majority of innocent refugees Muslims is unfair. This step speaks a lot for tolerance as practiced in India with lack of tolerance in U.S.A. India has not evicted fanatic / jehadist Muslim, nor have deported antinational fanatic foreigners. Millions of illegal Muslims have been given shelter, even though later they turn anti national. Prez Trump must learn from India, how to assimilate harmful foreign / vested interests. It is noteworthy that President Trump has treated the whole nation as a board of directors of any business venture. We will witness many protests within and outside America, and hope and pray that these be non-violent and without loss of lives. Ramesh Jhalla By email

Princess Diana’s Statue

Twenty years after her sudden death, on 31st August 1997, two princes will commission her statue to be installed in the public grounds of “Kensington Palace” where Prince William and Harry live. This will be fitting memorial for “People’s Princess” rather than the hastily constructed “Fountain” in Hyde Park Corner. As two princes were 15 and 12 at the time, too young to stamp their preference, authority, this is the opportunity for them to remember and honour their mother, beautiful Princess Diana who captured the heart of every one throughout the world. This is indeed fitting tribute to kind, caring and compassionate Princess who gained immense popularity through her charitable work, visiting NHS hospitals unannounced to comfort terminally ill patients and devotion for the poor, especially her crusade against land mines widely used in African civil war that kill and maim innocent civilians. This may put Kensington Palace on tourist map where people, especially overseas visitors can come and pay their respect. Who can forget sea of sympathy and carpeting flowers that covered acres of ground where her distorted fans gathered after her tragic death in a car accident? Kumudini Valambia By email

The three line whip

Now that the supreme court judges have delivered their ruling (on 24 January) that the prime minister could not trigger article 50 and start the ball rolling towards the process of leaving the European Union (EU) without the parliament’s assent, a three line whip would need to vote whether it would be Brexit - Britain’s exit from the European union - or it would be Brit(a)In - Britain to remain in the EU. In the UK, a three line whip means an instruction given to MPs by the leaders of their parties telling them to vote in the way the party wants them to do on a particular subject. In this case, it is whether Britain should or should not leave the EU. This begs the question in a democratic country like the UK, should the MPs who wanted to remain the the EU and voted for Brit(a)In, Britain to remain in the EU, in the referendum be required to vote for Brexit? The three line whip would then literally tentamount to somebody brandishing a real whip on them and compelling them to vote in the manner suggested by their party leaders. However, whatever follows,the process of Brexit negotiations will take months to fianalise and the talks will be very very difficult. While this is going on, many major banks are making contingency plans to move thousands of their staff and jobs to Paris. So the UK’s loss will be Paris’ or Luxembourg’s gain. Dinesh Sheth Newbury Park, Ilford


EDUCATION

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Asian Voice |4th February 2017

Treasury takes back ÂŁ384m school funding

The Treasury has taken back ÂŁ384m originally promised for schools in England - at a time when head teachers are protesting about a cash crisis. The money had been announced last year to fund a plan to require all schools to become academies. But the Department for Education has revealed that when the compulsory academy plan was ditched, the Treasury took back most of this extra funding. Heads said this was "outrageous" when schools could not "make ends meet". But the Department of Education said the return of funds was appropriate if a project did not go ahead. With warnings from head teachers that lack of funds could force a fourday week, there have been growing questions about the extra cash announced alongside plans to make all schools convert to acade-

mies. Head teachers in West Sussex, who are campaigning against spending cuts, wrote last week to all their local MPs asking what had happened to the extra ÂŁ500m for schools announced last year by the former Chancellor George Osborne.A letter this week from Bristol head teachers to the education secretary, warning about "extreme" funding problems, also asked why the academy funding cash could not be used. Education ministers had told MPs in April 2016 that there was "over ÂŁ500m" for the government's academy policy. But the compulsory academy plan was abandoned after a rebellion by backbench Conservative MPs. And the Department for Education now says most of the extra funding earmarked for schools then disappeared back into the Treasury.

Wembley school advertises for 'tough love' detention role

Term-time holiday case to be heard in Supreme Court A council which lost a High Court case over fining a father who took his daughter on a term-time holiday will have its appeal heard at the Supreme Court later. Isle of Wight Council tried to fine Jon Platt ÂŁ120 for taking his daughter to Florida during the school term. But magistrates backed the father, so the council appealed to the High Court, which again ruled in Mr Platt's favour. The Department for Education is meeting the council's legal costs. The legal case rests on what constitutes "regular attendance". Mr Platt has argued that even after the "oncein-a-lifetime" family trip to Disneyland, his daughter had 90% attendance at school and this argument was accepted by the High Court in May last year. At the time Lord Justice Lloyd Jones said the case "raised a point of law of general public importance". After losing the case the council, at the request of Schools Minister Nick Gibb, applied to the Supreme Court for permission to launch a final legal challenge. New guidelines came

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A headteacher who made her name at a Tory party conference by claiming Britain’s education was ‘broken’ is to hire a ‘sergeant major’ detention chief. Katharine Birbalsingh, a favourite of former education secretary Michael Gove, is advertising for a ‘detention director’ who believes children need ‘clear firm discipline’. It is the latest in a line of strict measures at Michaela community school, a secondary free school in Wembley, which prides itself on ‘tough love’. Miss Birbalsingh was criticised by parents just six months ago for imposing ‘lunch isolation’ on pupils whose parents are behind on school meal payments. Children who are put in lunch isolation are given a sandwich and piece of fruit instead of their usual hot meal with dessert, and made to sit on their own for the whole lunch hour. She later defended the policy, arguing that parents who refuse to pay are betraying their children’s education. According to the school’s website, pupils can be put in detention for infractions including ‘turning around in class, calling out or being late’.

into force in England in 2013 making the policy on unauthorised term-time absences the toughest in the UK. The change followed concerns that some families had started to see going away in term-time as an entitlement. Under the rules, if a school declares an absence unauthorised, the council can fine each parent ÂŁ60 per child - and this doubles to ÂŁ120 if not paid within 21 days. Councils in England have varying policies on term-time holiday fines. Some issue thousands of fines - others barely any. The case is forcing many to look again at the detail. Most parents simply pay the fines to avoid prosecution, but Mr Platt says thousands have contacted him for advice on fighting the fines. Many parents complain that the cost of going away in the school holidays can be four times as much as during term-time - but the government says there is clear evidence "that every extra day of school missed can affect a pupil's chance of gaining good GCSEs, which has a lasting effect on their life chances".

Katharine Birbalsingh

Other prohibited behaviour includes ‘failing to listen attentively, behaving badly outside of school, failing to bring correct equipment, and failing to complete homework’. A job advertisement for the ÂŁ35,000-a-year position published in the Times Educational Supplement says the school requires ‘a sergeant major in the detention room’ to bring order. The role is ‘not suited to a would-be counsellor or to someone who wants to be every child’s best friend’, the advert states and adds that suitable candidates must believe that ‘allowing children to make excuses is unkind’ and ‘own the job like it is the most important thing in the world’. Miss Birbalsingh, 43, rose to national prominence when her speech at the 2010 Tory party conference about failing schools provided the backdrop to Mr Gove’s sweeping education reforms.

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Let to Sportswift Limited t/a Card Factory Rent ÂŁ60,000 p.a.x.

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Texaco Filling Station & Morrisons Daily Convenience Store, Dudley Port, Tipton

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FRIDAY, 10TH, 4-5PM Purnima (Satyanarayan Katha)

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Every FRIDAY, 3:30 – 5:30PM Chaai Naashta

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Substantial and Long Dated Freehold Bank Investment entirely let to The Co-operative Bank Plc until August 2062 (approximately 45 years unexpired (no breaks) Rent ÂŁ148,750 p.a.x.

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12

MEDIA WATCH

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Asian Voice | 4th February 2017

The Congress led Opposition caper to defer Budget day from its scheduled February 1 to a later date in mid-March after the State Assemble lections in Punjab, Uttar Pradesh and Uttarkhand et al, was referred to the Supreme Court of India and peremptorily dismissed by it with this contemptuous observation: ‘Presentation of the Central budget has nothing to do with State Assembly elections…you have presented not even a single concrete illustration to suggest that Central budget can shake the minds of voters in a State.’ pronounced the Chief Justice of India J.S.Khattar, addressing the litigant, Advocate Manohar Lal Sharma, who had contended that, ‘They presented schemes to control the minds of citizens. These schemes are against the Code of Conduct.’ ‘What do you mean by “they”. So it is “you” against “they.” We are not here for that sort of thing. Bring us a proposition of law to bolster your notions, we will look into it,’ responded the Chief Justice. The petitioner was reminded that he been previously given four opportunities to do so without success. The bench also comprised Justices N.V.Ramana and D.V.Chandrachud. Chief Justice Khattar questioned Mr Sharma’s interpretation of the Constitution, describing it as ‘absurd.’ ‘Take a situation where Party “A” is in power in the Centre and people may think if we vote for that party in the State, money will come to the State, money for welfare schemes will come to the State. Is that an excuse for a petition to be filed seeking a ban on the party to contest the state poll?’ (Hindu January 24). Indian politics can oftentimes be said to be part of the India’s entertainment industry without any tax to relieve strain on the public purse.

Hailing Indian economy

Hugo Young, Aberdeen Asset Management’s Singapore-based Managing Director, who helps oversee assets of $400 billion, said: ‘We are not in wait and see anymore. Even though it is still relatively early days, the [Indian] economy has transitioned, we are already seeing significant improvement and the ground work is and has been laid for even stronger performance ahead. To not acknowledge that the outlook has improved is staggering… .From a fixed-income point of view we are bullish on India.’ (Mint January 24).

Demonetization hits terror funding

India has made significant strikes against terror funding through fake currency by its recent demonetization. Jihadi terror groups in India were kept in the field with fake currency produced in Pakistan and smuggled directly across the border or through circuitous routes via Nepal and

Bangladesh. According to Intelligence sources, two major presses in Pakistan engaged in producing fake Indian currency have been severely hit, with fake currency numbers entering from there fell 50-60 per cent following the introduction of Demonetization (Economic Times January 7).

Axis Bank is king

Mumbai-based Axis Bank has outperformed its foreign and domestic rivals with their investment banking skills with its market share surging to 20.4 per cent. The private sector lender has cut 327 deals worth Rs 81,100 crore raised by selling bonds in 2016, according to Bloomberg 2016 debt market league table (Economic Times January 7).

Ethiopian President lauds Jaipur Foot

President Mulatu Teshome of Ethiopia praised the makers of the world famous artificial limb Jaipur Foot for holding two camps in his country and rehabilitating 700 handicapped people.

Mulatu Teshome

The on-the-spot fitment camps for limbless people were organized in the Ethiopian towns of Mekelle and Harar. Addressing a ceremony in Harrar, Dr Teshome lauded the efforts of Bhagwan Mahaveer Vikalang Sahayata Samiti, whose founder D.R. Mehta said his organization was prepared to set up a permanent centre in Ethiopia and train technical staff at the site. Mauritius and Afghanistan, for example, have such facilities (Hindu January 22).

AsianVoiceNewsweekly

Kerala, ‘the satellites will be separated from the launch vehicle in different directions’ and separate orbits. In June last year, India launched 20 satellites from a single launch.

Sriharikota

The present PSLV – India’s workhorse – rocket will be launched from Sriharikota in Andhra Pradesh, off India’s east coast, facing the Bay of Bengal (Hindu January 22).

India on January 24, successfully test-fired the guided Pinaka rocket for the second time and improved upon its range enhancement and accuracy

guidance mechanism. Pinaki Mark II has both a guidance system and a control kit developed by the Research Centre Immarat, Hyderabad, which forms part of the Defence Research & Development Organization ((DRDO). D G. Satheesh Reddy, Advisor to the Defence Minister, said: The success of the guided Pinaka has reinforced the technological strength of the country in converting the unguided systems into weapons of high precision.’ (Hindu January 25).

Maruti surge

Maruti Suzuki, India’s largest carmaker by a distance has reported a profit of 47.5 per cent for the third quarter of the current fiscal October-December 2016 (Hindu January 25).

Peugeot returns to India

French carmaker Peugeot has returned to India through a tieup with the local CK Birla Group. The two companies are to set their car rolling in Tamil Nadu by 2020 and hope to manufacture 100,000 cars annually. The C.K Birla Group manufactured the ubiquitous Hindustan for decades after India’s independence, but economic liberalization brought its life span to an abrupt end a few years ago (Business Line January 26).

Canon eyes large Indian profit

Japanese digital imaging solutions provider Canon is targeting an annual growth of 10 per cent to achieve Rs 3,500 crore

was v9 per cent. Canon India President & CEO Kazutaka Kobayashi said, ‘2016 marks yet another successful year for our journey in India as we register as growth of 9 per cent.’ Mr Kobayashi added that the company would focus on expanding its retail footprint, particularly in the Tier II and Tier III cities. Nuriko Gunji, President & CEO Canon Singapore (regional hub for Southeast and South Asia)said. ‘India is a key market in Canon’s global development I am confident that India, as a market, will be a vital contributor to this future success.’ (Hindu January 21).

Tata Motors hybrid buses

Tata Motors, India’s largest heavy vehicle manufacturer has produced pollution-free models driven by hybrid fuels and electric batteries for urban transport. It has been contracted by the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority to supply 25 buses, the delivery of which is to start in the new fiscal, starting April 1. The company has also partnered the Indian Research & Development Organization (ISRO) to produce hydrogen fuel cells for its inter-city and Smart City passenger coaches. (January 25).

103 satellites on single rocket

ISRO is shortly to send 103 satellites into spatial orbit in one launch. If successful, it will be a world first, surpassing Russia’s record of 37 satellites in one go in 2014. According to Dr K. Sivan, Director of the Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre, Thiruvanthapuram,

Global hub

The IT industry employs 10 million professionals. More significant has been its stellar role as a transformational economic force, making it a global IT hub. India’s intellectual capital in IT has prompted global companies to set up their innovation centres in the country. The industry aims to achieve revenues of $300 billion by 2020 and reach exports of $200 billion by 2020. India’s internet economy is expected to touch Rs 10 trillion ($146.72 billion) by 2018, accounting for 5 per cent of GDP. India’s user base reached over 400 million by May 2016, the third-largest in the world, social media users grew to 143 million by April 2015 and smartphones grew 160 times.(Mint January 26).

UAE to top up India’s oil reserves

India and the United Arab Emirates have signed a contract for supplies of UAE oil to fill India’s strategic oil reserves at its Mangaluru facility. The Abu Dhabi National Oil Company will store about 6 million barrels of oil there taking up half its capacity space. As one of the fastest growing economies in the world, India infrastructure needs are indeed massive. Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Crown Prince Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayeed alNahyan signed a series of pacts covering defence, trade, maritime cooperation to energy. During Mr Modi’s visit to the UAE in 2015, the two countries agreed to set up an India infrastructure fund of $75 billion. India has reserve oil storage facilities at Visakhapatnam for 7.5 million barrels, and at Padur in Karntaka with its capacity storage 18.3 million barrels (Hindu January 25).

IT sector India’s major transformer

Pinaka II tested

An improved version of the short range battlefield weapon, Pinaka II missile, has been successfully test-fired with a new guidance system and enhanced range from the previous 40 km to 70 km. The test took place from Chandipur-on-sea in Odisha. The earlier Pinkai model lacked a

Kazutaka Kobayashi

In revenue in India in the next three years, as it looksto expand its presence beyond the metropolitan cities. Last year’s growth

Make in India with its emphasis on Digital India is injecting faster IT growth in the country. With around 67 per cent of $124-130 billion market, India is the world’s largest sourcing destination for the Information Technology industry. The Indian IT sector is expected to register 12-14 per cent growth in the current fiscal ending March 31. The sector is expected to triple its current annual revenue to reach $350 billion by 2025 fiscal year.


UK Asian Voice | 4th February 2017

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13

Launching the Timeless Treasures Timeless Treasures – a heavy, coffee table book on the material culture of regal Indian weddings was launched amidst great pomp and grandeur at the Natural History Museum, by London based publisher Rutland Hall. The book was partauthored by Art Consultant, Curator and novelist Deepika Ahlawat. Deepika describes the book as “a nice midway point to look at traditions that Indians engage with several times in their lives. Very few want to engage behind the rituals/traditions. Timeless Treasures is a mid-way point between academic and the magazine-y way of looking at it.� The highly visual largeformat publication comprises unique pictures and stories of weddings in the royal families across India from the late 19th century to the present day. It is a thoroughly researched historical account of the Maharajas’ weddings, illustrated with rare or neverbefore-seen archival images. Deepika is a historian and curator who came across these priceless pictures while researching at the Mehrangar Fort in Jodhpur. Through her years of study and documentation, she developed close ties with the royal families in India, and used her friends and connections to archive the stories on royal weddings. “My remit is to provide

Teacher posed as girl to frame colleague as paedophile

A teacher called up ChildLine and acted as a schoolgirl in a ploy to frame a colleague as a paedophile. Thirty-five-year-old Newham teacher Sheena Boll pretended as a 14year-old girl when she telephoned the NSPCC advice line alleging that she had been abused sexually. Boll told over the phone that a male special needs worker at the school had groped her breast. Police launched a probe and Boll was identified when they traced the source of the call. She was sacked from the school, while other teachers sprang to the defence of the falselyaccused worker, lauding his teaching and positive interaction with students. Boll appeared at Thames Magistrates Court and was given a sentence of 11 weeks suspended for two years. She was also ordered to undertake community service of 200 hours and ordered to pay costs and compensation to the victim, the media report said. She was sentenced on January 24.

Secretly, You Know You Love Trump

a background to how royal weddings took place. The overall concept is a way of looking at continuity in a wide lens,� she said. “My target audience is the global diasporic couple.� By illustrating the evolution in wedding trends in India, from its princely past to its modern avatar, Timeless Treasures aims to help the new discerning global Indian to plan and execute the most glamorous, stylish and memorable weddings in history.

The second part of the book features an exclusive selection of contemporary luxury brands that embody the ethos of the regal Indian wedding, including couture houses, jewellers, and iconic wedding destinations – that were compiled by the publishers. The publishers Rutland Hall was formed to create large-format illustrated books with the ethos of publishing creatively edited, inventive, books from world-renowned historians and curators.

NHSF (UK) welcomes you to our 25th anniversary! On Saturday 19th March 2016 at Shree Hindu Community Centre, Birmingham, NHSF (UK) stakeholders witnessed the launch of the 25thAnniversary year. The launch was marked with a presentation showcasing both the advances and achievements of our organisation over the last quarter of a century. Founded in 1991, six   students came together to provide a platform for Hindu students to have a voice. The first NHSF (UK) President Manojji Ladwa was further supported by Nileshji Solanki, Jahnavji Ambedkar (nee Dadarkar), Rajenji Shah, Rohitji Ambedkar and  Darshanaji Parekh; they united for a common cause which included recognising the potential Hindu students had to influence society. Since then, NHSF (UK) has grown dynamically. We currently host over 4,000 active student members and a network of alumni and professionals who engage in a variety of activities from campaigning and leadership development to Bhakti (worship) and Sewa (selfless service). We have launched the Well Wisher scheme and worked on multiyear sponsorship deals, HUM magazine has become a free publication and a pool of established speakers are some of the people making regular Sewa and Bhakti events a success at every single Chapter (Hindu societies). With the 25th  year in its inception, NHSF (UK) aims to go even further. Our vision for the 25th Anniversary is to create a mind-set of excellence and to inspire the next generation of leaders, whether that is at university, our future NHSF (UK) president or even the first ever Hindu Prime Minister of the UK. The vision for the coming year was announced including the National Event for 2017: the 19th  Hindu Half Marathon, key high profile events throughout the year focused around national issues that students face as well as the establishment of the National Committee Development Programme focused on improving key soft skills. We will also continue our commitment to drive learning with a focus on enquiring, engaging and empowering today’s youth and work on new Sewa initiatives such as “Yuva for Sewa.� The launch of our 25th  Anniversary proved to be a success as it brought together stakeholders of the Hindu Samaj and offered a platform to convey the long term vision of NHSF (UK) and how we aim to make a change in the landscape of the Hindu community in the UK. We ask you all to join us in the upcoming celebrations for our milestone achievement!

Come on admit it, you know you secretly love Trump. And you do even more so for his Muslim ban. Oh, don’t worry I will keep it our little secret. You won’t ever say it in public. Shhh‌you won’t tweet it, well not with your name anyway. Let’s at least whichever side you are on, think a little clearly. Firstly, it is not like Nazi Germany. You may disagree with Trump, but you do your argument no credit when you start screaming that Trump is Hitler. You probably did the same with Narendra Modi didn’t you? So no credibility on that one. Second, stop turning everything into ‘made in India; Trump learnt from Modi’. If you believed India’s secular press you would think Satan was taking office in India out to murder Muslims. But it didn’t happen. And even Narendra Modi did not ban Muslim’s entering India despite major ter-

rorist attacks. So we can all agree, Trump can learn from Modi on how to be a nationalist, a defender of your faith and actually win the popular vote too! For those who think Trump does not represent American values, well this is America too. This is the other face of America. The land which asked for your ‘huddled masses’ also said ‘whites only’ as recently as the 1960s. The country which said ‘All men are created equal’ also said ‘segregation is legal’. The country which said ‘land of the free, home of the brave’ also said ‘we will lock you in concentration camps for being Japanese and we will hunt liberals for being ‘Un-American’ as McCarthy did. Oh Trump represents American values. American values are no more clear than British values. And this too shall pass. So liberals on the left don’t worry, after the Muslims, the gays, the single mothers, the trans-

gender, the Mexicans, the lesbians, the immigrants, the refugees, they won’t come for you next, there will be another election. Now if you care about your fellow refugee or Muslim so much, then the question is, you too lack credibility. You see, where were you when Hindus and Christians and Jews are massacred – were they just in the wrong place, wrong time? Did they deserve it? How fickle – if the BBC doesn’t show it, then it can’t be worth caring about. Oh you should care what happens to a child, regardless of religion and any innocent person anywhere. But try to be consistent. Care equally. And if your heart truly bleads, then don’t bleat but act: http://www.savethechildren.org.uk/aboutus/emergencies/syriaappeal So what is your problem? Letters on a postcard please telling me your problems.

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SPECIAL

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Asian Voice |4th February 2017

AsianVoiceNewsweekly

Gandhi's message is more relevant now, resounds at Tavistock Square Anand Pillai Mahatma Gandhi and his teachings of peace and nonviolence are all the more relevant today considering the crisis (violence and extremism) the world faces at the moment, said Y K Sinha, Indian High Commissioner to the UK, on Monday. He was speaking at the Martyrs’ Day function, organised by the Indian High Commission in association with the India League, at Tavistock Square in London. Mr Sinha said: “Gandhiji was/is known as the Mahatma, which means the noble/great soul. Not only was he the Father of the Indian nation and led the movement for Indian independence but he also stood for non-violence and peace – something this world sorely needs today. “By his actions, deeds he symbolised ahimsa or nonviolence. And this is a great tradition that he continued. We are all aware of Lord Buddha and his precepts and principles of non-violence. And this is a great tradition that India represents and we are very proud to have someone like Mahatma Gandhi as the Father of the Nation. We are also very proud to be

years ago people thought India cannot gain its much-deserved independence. So the noble British people encouraged Indians to start a political party. After the Jallianwallah Bagh massacre, again it was the British people who thought that there should be an India League like operation here to transform the attitudinal mindset. Subsequently, about 55 Mr Y K Sinha, the Indian High Commissioner to the UK, delivering years ago in America his speech at the Martyrs’ Day there was segregation and function at Tavistock Square, violence, in South Africa London, on January 30 also it was unacceptable

at Tavistock Square. We are grateful to them for this help.” For the uninitiated the Indian High Commission and the India League were involved in the installation of the Gandhi statue at Tavistock Square, but over the years the India House

“Raghupati Raghava Raja Ram……” and “Vaishnava Jana To…..”, by three students of Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan, London. The function concluded with a Buddhist prayer from Buddhist monk Nagase. Earlier Y K Sinha, CB Patel, and several digni-

Unfortunately Mayor of Camden Cllr Nadia Shah could not attend the function due to unavoidable reasons but she sent a wreath of flowers through her representative which was placed before the Gandhi statue. The programme was anchored by Mr Sunil

Dr M Nandakumara, the Executive Director of Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan, reciting a Vedic prayer on the occasion as C B Patel and Mr Y K Sinha look on

in 1948, is observed as Martyrs’ Day in India. Speaking on the occasion, C B Patel, the India League Chairman, said:

Bhartiya Vidya Bhavan students reciting a bhajan on the occasion as C B Patel and Mr Y K Sinha look on

able to commemorate his life and to remember and introspect on his teachings. We are very happy that the British government has also

CB Patel, the Chairman of the India League, speaking on the occasion

“After Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said it is heart-wrenching to see such senseless violence

to see what was happening, but the message from the Mahatma was able to bring sense into the senseless institutions. Today India has a message on how to work with those who are extremists or intolerant or spread hatred. It has proved again on January 26 that India can invite somebody from the Middle East to be the chief guest at the Republic Day function.” Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan was the chief guest at this year’s Republic Day parade in New Delhi. CB also acknowledged the contribution of the High Commission of India for the installation and maintenance of the Gandhi statue at Tavistock Square. Thanking the Indian High

Dignitaries pose for camera in front of Gandhi statue at the Martyrs' Day event at Tavistock Square, London, on January 30

has contributed so much for organising Gandhi Jayanthi on October 2 and the Martyrs' Day on January 30. CB added: “I have a feeling that whatever is happening today (violence and bloodshed) is going to change because Gandhiji’s message of non-violence, co-existence and peaceful struggle has proved to be of great value over time.” On the occasion Dr Mattur Nandakumara, Executive Director, Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan, London, recited a prayer from the Vedas.

taries, including Deputy High Commissioner Dinesh Patnaik, Redbridge Mayor Cllr Gurdial Bhamra, Businessman and philanthropist Rami Ranger, Cllr Sunil Chopra, Lalubhai Parekh, M Jadeja, Bhanubhai Pandya and A Bhogal, paid floral tributes to the statue of Mahatma Gandhi, following which a two-minute silence was observed in memory of the Mahatma.

Kumar, First Secretary (Head of Chancery / Protocol / P&M). Mr A S Rajan, Minister (Coordination), was also present. A similar function was organised at Parliament Square where floral tributes were paid to the standing Gandhi statue there. Photo courtesy: Raj D Bakrania, P R Mediapix

Om Asato Maa Sad-Gamaya | Tamaso Maa Jyotir-Gamaya | Mrtyor-Maa Amrtam Gamaya | Om Shaantih Shaantih Shaantih ||

erected another statue in honour of this great man at Parliament Square.” January 30, the anniversary of the assassination of Mahatma Gandhi

(following a bomb blast at a mosque in Quebec), I believe Gandhi and his message has relevance today.” He said: “Some 140

Commissioner to the UK, Mr Y K Sinha, and his officers, CB said: “India House has been a big support for installing the statue and commemorating Gandhiji

(Oh Lord, lead us from the unreal to the real, from darkness to light, from death to immortality and grant us peace, peace and real peace). This was followed by a couple of bhajan recitations, the much-loved and Gandhiji’ favourite

The High Commissioner of India- HE Y K Sinha, Deputy High Commissioner of India- Dinesh Patnaik, Srinivasan Gotru, Minister (Culture) & Director, The Nehru Centre, Dr Aseem Vohra, Second Secretary (Public Diplomacy) with other members of the High Commission of India


SPECIAL

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15

What makes Gandhi a global figure? AsianVoiceNews

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Anand Pillai

Gandhiji was the most influential political thinker of the 20th century whose legacy still remains relevant to our time. It is remarkable that a man born in Gujarat almost 150 years ago is still spoken of with great appreciation and curiousity in so many different parts of the world, a proof of which we saw at Tavistock Square on Monday at the Martyrs' Day function. Both Y K Sinha, the Indian High Commissioner to the UK, and C B Patel, the Chairman of India League, spoke about Gandhiji with so much sincerity and interest. So what is it that makes Gandhi a universal figure? That people cutting across continents and religious boundaries – be it Jews, Christians, Parsis, Muslims, Bangladeshis, Argentinians, Poles, Americans, etc. are all interested in Gandhi. Why? In 2008 when Barack Obama was elected as President of the US, he was asked by a journalist: “If there was one person who is no longer living with whom you would like to have dinner with, who would that person be?” The reply came immediately: “Gandhi”. Few know about Tawakkol Karman. She is a young journalist and human rights activist from a small and struggling country called Yemen. She has been waging a

When Gandhiji returned to India on January 9, 1915, he was relatively unknown. He travelled across the villages for a whole year trying to know India. And then he joined the Indian National Congress. Before Gandhiji the Congress was a gentlemen’s debating club centred in the cities. Gandhiji transformed it and took it to rural India. He brought in peasants and workers, changing the proceedings from those conducted in English to incorporate all the languages of India. And it is this deepening of the mass base of the Indian national movement that gave it the power and resilience to bounce back from every downfall. Today’s political parties can learn from Gandhiji how to mobilise people and resources, how to create a cadre of devoted activists, how to build relationships, how to tackle their opponents politely and change them to their point of view. Gandhi does matter today. His legacy of non-violent resistance has no parallel. His method of non-violent collective disobedience is what shamed the British finally into leaving India. Gandhiji’s “Satyagraha” was successfully adopted later by Dr Martin Luther King in the US and by many activists in the totalitarian regimes of the communist Eastern Europe. Nelson Mandela and the African National Congress took a large amount of their inspiration and strategy from Gandhi

Asian Voice | 4th February 2017

Gandhiji mobilising people to join the freedom struggle

tarian governments did not involve killing or murdering opponents. There was no bloodshed. Another sensitive issue with people is religion. His religious philosophy did not demonise people of other faiths, and this went home with everyone. He said: “Accept the religion you are born into but do not convert the person of another faith. Start a dialogue and cultivate inter-faith understanding. If you are a Hindu, make your friend who is a Christian a better Christian and his job is to make you a better Hindu.” What Gandhi meant was – inter-faith dialogue should push people towards cultivating the compassionate, non-violent, emancipatory aspects of their religion against the bigoted, fundamentalist, intolerant aspects of their religion. If you look at the treatment of minorities in Pakistan and other Muslim (especially Middle East) countries, the troubles between Jews and Arabs in Israel, the rising tide of Christian fundamentalism in some parts of Latin America and North America – Gandhi’s message of inter-faith harmony, mutal respect and tolerance

Gandhi and M A Jinnah had difference of opinions on many issues but they discussed them amicably

non-violent struggle there for greater rights and freedom and has even been the recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize in 2011. She is yet to touch 40. In her study in Yemen there’s a portrait of Gandhiji. And that's where she must be getting the inspiration to do what she does. So that’s the extraordinary reach of Gandhiji’s appeal – from the powerful Barack Obama to the struggling Tawakkol Karman. Gandhiji was assassinated in 1948, but he still appeals to many people all over the world. Gandhi was a political activist, a freedom fighter who launched a popular struggle to free India from the British rule. He was a social reformer who worked to remove untouchability and bring women to the mainstream. He was a religious thinker. Even though he was born in a Hindu family, he had close friendships with people of other faiths and wrote a great deal about how being born in one religion should not prevent a person from understanding and respecting another religion. He was also a prophet. Ages ago he warned against some of the perils of excessive materialism and industrialisation. And last but not the least he was also a prolific writer. All politicians today, perhaps with the exception of Barack Obama, use ghost writers. Gandhiji wrote every word himself and he wrote a great deal for his newspapers, journals and books.

and his campaigns in South Africa and India. Mandela never ceased regarding Gandhi as an inspiration, and, in fact, saw non-violence as an integral part of the freedom movement. Mandela learned from Gandhi the essential virtues of forgiveness and compassion, values that served him and his country very well on his assumption to power.

Gandhi and B R Ambedkar did not agree on many issues but still they would have dialogue with each other

Solidarity, the major Polish movement, was inspired by Gandhi. Burma’s (now Myanmar) Aung San Suu Kyi, an extraordinary non-violent leader of modern-day who brought positive change in her country, is also inspired by Gandhiji. Though not physically, Gandhi is still alive today because his strategy of collective resistance to unjust laws and authori-

Nelson Mandela took inspiration from Gandhiji for his fight against the apartheid regime in South Africa

could not have been more relevant today. His views and ideas on environment are so contemporary. In 1928 Gandhiji said, “God forbid that India should ever take to industrialisation after the manner of the West. The economic imperialism of a single tiny island kingdom (England) is today keeping the world in chains. If an entire nation of 300 million took to similar economic exploitation, it would strip the world bare like locusts.” Today India and China have more than a billion people each. If they blindly follow the same resource intensive, capital intensive, looting model of industrial development, we will collectively strip the world bare like locusts. Gandhiji is supposed to have said: “The world has enough for everybody’s needs but not enough for one person’s greed.” Gandhi kept his own children away from politics and even from financial gain. He willed the royalties to his writings to a Trust and not to his family. Politicians world over should learn this from Gandhi rather than hoarding money for their kin. Gandhiji remains relevant for the

openness and transparency of his life. Anyone could go to his ashram, anyone could write to him attacking his views on caste, gender, non-violence, or religion and he would get an answer. Anyone could converse with him. He wrote nearly 200 letters a day. In this regard Gandhiji is so different from the suspicious, paranoid politicians of today who erect a wall between them and their public. The current US President Donald Trump is an example.

Dr Martin Luther King's inspiration

His policy on Mexico and Islam are so parochial. Today you will seldom get a straight answer from a politician. When he ran his journal Indian Opinion in South Africa and Harijan and Young India in India, he would give huge amount of space to his critics. Sometimes he would also patiently try to argue back in writing. So his was a politics of dialogue. On many issues Gandhi could not see eye to eye with M A Jinnah and B R Ambedkar but that never deterred him from having dialogue with them. Gandhi was always ready for a dialogue, even with his worst adversaries.

Aung Suu Kyi was inspired by Gandhiji

So be his advocacy of non-violent resistance or inter-faith harmony or environmentalism or for that matter the transparency and openness of his life – Gandhi matters today. Gandhi is relevant today. Gandhi is invoked in countless debates in many countries. His life and his message resonate with all citizens of the globe today. It's time we actually take his ideas ouf of history books and make them relevant today.


R-DAY SPECIAL

HIGH COMMISSION OF INDIA HOSTS REPUBLIC DAY CELEBRATIONS IN LONDON

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AsianVoiceNews

Asian Voice | 4th February 2017

Rupanjana Dutta

The High Commission of India hosted a special reception at the Grosvenor House Hotel on Thursday 26th January, to celebrate India's 68th Republic Day. The event was marked by the presence of many eminent guests, including community and business leaders, journalists and politicians. Speaking at the event, noting the bilateral ties that have emerged between India and Britain as 'truly exciting', the Indian High Commissioner to UK HE Y K Sinha said that Queen Elizabeth II will host a special reception at Buckingham Palace to kick

'momentous' year. The reception is expected to take place around end of February, with a formal date announcement expected in a few weeks. "The India-UK relationship has never looked better. It has stepped up to a level which is truly excit-

HE Y K Sinha addressing the gathering that connects our two countries. The Indian diaspora plays a crucial role in deepening UK- India links. We are committed to har-

High Commission of India to UK, HE Y K Sinha with UK Minister for Climate Change, Nick Hurd during national anthem

The Chief Guest for the evening was UK minister for climate change, Nick Hurd. He welcomed HE Sinha’s appointment as the new Indian high commissioner to the UK, as a

in India's history and today we commemorate the thriving democracy it is. It is also an opportunity to celebrate the long-standingties between our governments.”

Flag hoisting ceremony at India House in presence of Minister Kunwar Vijay Shah

start the UK-India Year of Culture celebrations in Britain this year. "We are very happy that 2017 is the year of Indian culture in the UK. It is also the year India marks 70 years of independence.

ing, truly encouraging. This year's agenda in particular looks very challenging and very exciting,” he added, the PTI reported. Describing the bilateral trade in goods last year of $14 billion and another

Aditi Khanna, correspondent- PTI, author and journalist Srabani Basu, HE Y K Sinha, Rupanjana Dutta, Associate Editor, Asian Voice, Ankur Srivastava and Cecil Soans, Head of New Projects and BDM, ABPL

diplomat of "seniority and experience". The Minister said, "Republic Day marks a momentous turning point

He added, "At the heart of this relationship is our people to people ties or to use Prime Minister Modi's phrase, the 'living bridge'

HE Y K Sinha with GP Hinduja, Lord Ranbir Suri, Nick Hurd MP, Sarosh Zaiwalla and other guests

They both go hand in hand this year as we celebrate this momentous occasion and we are very honoured by Her Majesty's decision to start off the year with a reception at Buckingham Palace.” A number of events are being planned to mark the

$5.3 billion in services as just the "tip of the iceberg", he reportedly added: "With the United Kingdom exiting the European Union (EU), I think the time has come for India and UK to again re-engage to strengthen our economic engagement."

A dance performance at the Republic Day celebration

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nessing our natural ties and making this an enduring partnership.” The event was marked by cultural performances representing different states of India. Prior to this evening celebrations, on the morning of 26 January, the High Commissioner unfurled the national flag at India House in London, and read the address of the Hon'ble President of India. Mr. Kunwar Vijay Shah, Minister School Education, Government of Madhya Pradesh was also present during the celebrations. The event was attended by officers of the High Commission and other Indian nationals. Photo courtesy: Raj D Bakrania, P R Mediapix

HE Y K Sinha with wife and Deputy High Commissioner of India to UK Dinesh Patnaik

BEST WISHES FROM MPS AND PEERS Virendra Sharma said: 70 years ago India’s founders dreamt that a better nation was possible and they created one. When we see challenges ahead of us now we must not think they are unassailable, but instead we should emulate India’s founders and create a better country than we found. Happy Republic Day. Alok Sharma: As the Minister of State for Asia, I would like to extend my warmest wishes to the people of India and the British Indian community in the United Kingdom on the occasion of India’s Republic Day. Republic Day also reminds us of the deep and longstanding ties between our governments and, more importantly, the ‘living bridge’ between our people, supported by 1.5 million British Indians who make up our successful and vibrant diaspora community. I have the honour to represent the Government on UK-India affairs and am proud to see our partnership go from strength to strength... Lord Navnit Dholakia said: The Republic Day is to celebrate the introduction of India's Constitution n 1950. This is and will remain a proud moment in the lives of all Indians and those who love India... The world is now looking to India as a country to follow in its political, economical and community development. The large diaspora is a good example of its contribution in world politics. India is a country that has made all its citizen proud of its achievements. Long may this continue. Seema Malhotra MP: Republic Day is a day of proud celebration both for Indians and for those of us of Indian heritage outside India. As well as a celebration of the world’s largest democracy, it is also an opportunity to reflect on the richness of India’s long heritage and traditions. Lord Dolar Popat: India’s Republic Day is a timely reminder of the tremendous progress that India has made on the global stage in recent decades. I am pleased that India and Britain continue to share a very special relationship which continues to strengthen in an increasingly changing world. I look forward to this great partnership continuing.


R-DAY SPECIAL Asian Voice | 4th February 2017

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17

India's military might, cultural diversity on display AsianVoiceNews

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India celebrated its 68th Republic Day on January 26 with its military might and cultural diversity on full and colourful display. The grand Rajpath saw celebrations amid tight security, and played host to the Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan. President Pranab Mukherjee began the ceremony by hoisting the Indian flag. The parade starts from Rajpath, and ends at Red Fort in New Delhi. The main highlight of this year's Republic Day parade was a 149-member United Arab Emirates Presidential Guard. It was only the second time since the inaugural procession in 1950, that a foreign army participated in the parade. "The UAE's participation in Republic Day celebrations reflects the depth of our ties which are based on mutual respect and common interests," said Sheikh Mohammed. The Crown Prince and President Mukherjee left for the military parade in a motorcade accompanied by a team of horsemen. National Security Guard snipers were deployed at all high-rises along the parade route and about 60,000 police and military personnel were posted across the city.

Bakshi Stadium, with Divisional Commissioner Kashmir Baseer Khan taking salute at the march past by contingents of police, security forces, and school children. Stringent security arrangements were put in place across Kashmir despite heavy snowfall, to make sure functions were passed off peacefully. TN puts Jallikattu protests on the back foot Chief Minister O Panneerselvam led the 68th R-Day celebrations by hoisting the national flag, in a change of tradition as the state does not have a full-time Governor. Panneerselvam unfurled the flag near the Mahatma Gandhi statue on Kamarajar Salai, along the Marina Beach. Celebrations were attended by a host of people, including state ministers, MPs, MLAs, and government officials. The CM, along with Lieutenant General RK Anand, General Officer Commanding, Dakshin Bharat area, paid homage to soldiers of all three services, by placing a wreath at the Victory War Memorial. Security was tight in the area which had witnessed pro-jallikattu protests just last week. A two minute silence was also observed.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi at Rajpath

President approved conferment of Padma Awards to 89 people, including 7 Padma Vibhushan, 7 Padma Bhushan, and 75 Padma Shri awards. Nineteen of the awardees are women. The list also includes 5 persons from the category of foreigners, NRIs, PIOs, and 6 posthumous awardees. Eight Gujaratis to get Padma Awards Eight Gujaratis have figured on the long list of Padma awardees declared by the government on January 25, a day prior to the Republic Day. Spiritual guru Ratna Sundar Maharaj will be conferred the Padma Bhushan, while the other six bagged Padma Shris. They include a disabled farmer, two doctors, and a veteran music director. Padma Bhushan awardee, Shri Ratna

Service was catalysed in different countries like Sri Lanka. Another doctor on the list is Dr Devendra Patel, an 84 year old surgical oncologist who has contributed immensely in the field of cancer surgery in Gujarat. On hearing the news, he said, "I have received many awards including the Dr BC Roy Award but getting national recognition in form of Padma Shri is a matter of pride." He was director of Gujarat Cancer and Research Institute from 1993 to 2002. Physically challenged Genabhai Patel is a farmer from Sarkari Goliya village near Banaskantha. He has been conferred the Padma Shri for transforming droughtaffected land into profitable pomegranate farms, a task he single-handedly took up. His contribution is vital in turning the bor-

The tableau of Gujarat

Also, for the first time in the history of R-Day celebrations, Black Cat commandos of the elite counter-terror force National Security Guard marched down in full armed gear. Other marching contingents of the Army included horse-mounted columns of the 61st Cavalry, the Bihar Regiment, the Mechanised Infantry Regiment, and the Madras Engineering Group, the 39 Gorkha Training Centre, 58 Gorkha Training Centre, and the 103 Sikh Light Infantry Battalion from the territorial army. Tableaux from 17 states and six ministries of the Central Government was presented at the Rajpath. Gujarat tableau's central theme remained, "The Art and Lifestyle of Kutch". Also making a debut, was India's indigenous Light Combat Aircraft Tejas, along with long-range howitzer Dhanush. Three Tejas aircraft went past above the Rajpath in V formation at 780 kmph. Also in the parade were 23 floats, 600 students performing dances, 25 children selected for bravery awards, and dozens of military ground vehicles and aircraft. Republic Day celebration on Wagah Border Sweets were exchanged amongst security personnel from India and Pakistan, in a symbolic gesture to assure peace on the border between India and its neighbours. Exchange of sweets also took place between border guards at Indo-Bangladesh border. A BSF official said the troops posted at Indo-Pak border gifted sweets and fruits to Pakistan Rangers personnel. Their commander along with his colleagues accepted the sweets and they shook hands with each other and exchanged pleasantries at Joint Check post of Attari-Wagah border. White R-Day for Kashmir Snow could not dampen celebrations across the Valley, as official Republic Day functions took place in different parts of Kashmir. The main event was held at

Burj Khalifa Lit Up In Tricolour Honouring India's R-Day World's tallest building, the Burj Khalifa in Dubai lit up in saffron, white and green to mark India's Republic Day. The official Twitter account of the building tweeted, "Tonight we celebrate India's 68th Republic Day with a spectacular LED illumination of the Indian National flag on #BurjKhalifa! #India" The Burj, which stands at 823 metres, was named in honour of the ruler of Abu Dhabi and president of the United Arab Emirates, Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, who was the chief guest at the Rajpath parade. Padma Awards A day prior to R-Day, the government announced Padma awards to citizens of the country in recognition to their distinguished contribution in various spheres. These awards are conferred by the President of India at ceremonial functions usually held at the Rashtrapati Bhawan in March/April every year. This year, the

Dare devil stunts of motorbike riders of Corps of Military Police

Sundar Maharaj, 70, is widely known for his spiritual sermons and books written to uplift the society. He has penned over 300 books and was awarded the Golden Book of World Records for writing over 275 books in a single language. His most acclaimed book remains the 'Lakhi Rakho Aaras Ni Takhti Par'- a parental guide which was translated in 20 different languages. Dr Subroto Das, Padma Shri winner, established a highway accident helpline after surviving a serious highway accident in 2002. Gujarat's first Emergency Medical

Ratna Sundar Maharaj

Dr. Subroto Das

Genabhai Patel

Vishnu Pandya

V.G. Patel

Hasmukh Shah

Devendra Patel

Purushottam Upadhyay

der district into one of the largest producers of the fruit, including exports to the Middle East. Journalist Vishnu Pandya who was jailed for a year during the Emergency, is known for his active participation in Education, Literature, and Journalism. He has spent over 50 years in the media sector and believes his Padma Shri will "increase Gujarat's pride". Purshottam Upadhyay, 83, has given a notable contribution to the music industry, composing pieces for stalwarts like Begum Alhtar and Mohammed Rafi. A proud Gujarati, he said, "The award is the result of my 40 years of perseverance in the field of classical music." Founder of the Entrepreneurship Development Institute of India, VG Patel has been awarded the Padma Shri for pioneering work in the field of startups in 1970s. Patel who currently works with a consumer education organisation, says he was nominated for the Padma awards thrice in the past. "I had expected the award a decade ago when I was the director of EDII and was also working with the World Bank and other globally renowned financial organisations," he said. Also awarded the Padma Shri this year is USbased well known entrepreneur, philanthropist and community leader, Hasmukh Shah. He is the chairman and CEO of TV Asia, and chairman of Bharti Vidyabhavan which promotes Hindi and Indian culture.


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FINANCIAL VOICE

Asian Voice | 4th February 2017

Bill Gates could become world’s first trillionaire Just when you thought the rich can't get any richer, Microsoft founder Bill Gates is set to become the world's first trillionaire in the coming 25 years. According to research firm Oxfam International, the world would get its first trillionaire when Gates turns around 86 years old. Their report said that considering Gates' financial growth at 11 per cent per year since 2009, he might just create a record. By 2016, he accounts for USD 75 billion "despite his commendable attempts to give it away through his Foundation," the report said. Along with the charitable work Gates does through his personal foundation, he is also the founding members of the The Giving Pledge, a commitment from some of the richest individuals in the

world to give away more than half of their worth. Oxfam researchers, for the analysis, applied his rate of growth to his current levels of wealth. "In such an environment, if you are already rich, you have to try hard not to keep getting a lot richer," Oxfam said. The firm also issued another report proving that eight billionaires from across the globe account for as much money as the 3.6 billion people who make up the poorest half of the world population. The billionaires included Warren Buffett, Bill Gates, Inditex founder Amancio Ortega, Carlos Slim, Amazon chief executive Jeff Bezos, Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg, former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, and Oracle’s Larry Ellison.

Mistry seeks shareholder norm relief in NCLT Two family-owned firms of ousted Tata Sons chairman Cyrus Mistry have moved the National Company Law Tribunal with a fresh application for a waiver on a condition that required them to have 10 per cent equity shareholding in the Tata holding company. Cyrus Investment and Sterling Investment Corporation moved the tribunal against Tata Sons, seeking a supersession of its board, citing mismanagement and oppression of minority shareholders' rights. They also challenged the proposed removal of Mistry as Tata Sons director. The petition was filed under the Companies Act

and the companies, both shareholders of Tata Sons, that their equity share capital of over 18 per cent was more than the 10 per cent that the Companies Act required for such petitions to be filed. But from the first day, Tata Sons had been raising preliminary issues of maintainability. In its reply too, Tata Sons sought dismissal of the petition on grounds of maintainability. It said that the Mistry companies hold only 2.17% of total share capital of Tata Sons - less than the required one-tenth - and are not eligible under section 244 of the Companies Act to file the petition in the NCLT.

Mallya alleges witch hunt after Sebi ban Former liquor baron Vijay Mallya wasn't too pleased when market regulator Sebi barred him from the stock market and holding any position of a director in a listed company for "fraudulently" diverting funds from United Spirits to another entities within the UB Group. Venting out in a series of tweets, Mallya said the allegations of fund diversion out of USL were baseless and that USL accounts were approved by top auditors, an eminent board of directors and shareholders. "CBI alleges diversion of funds OUT of Kingfisher Air. SEBI alleges diversion of funds from USL INTO Kingfisher Air. What joke is this?" Mallya said on Twitter. "I am kind of getting used to these witch hunts coming from all directions with no

legal basis whatsoever. Shows what govt machinery can do." Sebi also directed USL to initiate action against Mallya who fled the country to avoid arrest, and UB Group companies to which funds were wrongfully diverted by him. It barred six other people including Ashok Capoor and VK Rekhi, both former MDs of USL, from the market. "For 30 years I built the world's largest spirits company and India's largest brewing company. Also launched the finest airline. This is what I get," Mallya tweeted. "Kingfisher was a great public utility service connecting India like never before. It was not my private toy." The market regulator has also instructed USL to report to it within 21 days, about action against Mally, Capoor, and others.

www.asian-voice.com

Vodafone holding merger talks with Idea AsianVoiceNews

British telecom major Vodafone Plc has announced talks of a merger with industrialist Kumar Mangalam Birla's Idea Cellular. Once the merger goes through, it will become the combined entity of the largest telecom company of India. "This could unlock $9 billion in potential synergies and offer an elegant route for Vodafone to deconsolidating India, thereby focus attention back onto a rebounding European equity story," said New York-based financial services firm JP Morgan. The merger means just three big telecom players in India, Airtel, VodafoneIdea, and Reliance Jio, other than state-owned BSNL. The merged entity will hold revenue marketshare of 42 per cent, overtaking Airtel, which has 31.4 per cent. Both

Vodafone and Idea combined, will have more spectrum than any other tele-

requirements for the combined entity will reduce significant over the years to

com operator, and can focus its investments in offering cheaper high-value products to its customers. "The combined entity will have best-in-class coverage as well as capacity spectrum," said Singapore-based PhillipCapital. "The combined entity will have to give up spectrum in 900 MHz and 2500 MHz; the spectrum in 900 MHz in 17 out of 22 circles contributing more than 90 per cent of industry revenues will be significant competitive advantage... The spectrum

come." Analysts believe Reliance Jio's entry delayed the merger. "Jio's disruptive free distribution of SIM cards" was a catalyst," said analysts. American financial services firm Bernstein wrote, "The merger would be achieved through an issuance of Idea shares to Vodafone, with Vodafone technically ceding control of its Indian operations and hence deconsolidating Vodafone India." While it does not indicate an end on

AsianVoiceNewsweekly

the price war between large telecom operators, it may be the beginning of a bitter battle. "We see a three player mobile market more sustainable in the long-term, as it can also accommodate Jio's market share aspirations while ensuring profitability for all majors. While voice or data pricing and ARPUs will continue to decline for the next few quarters, we will see room for ARPUs to go up, once Jio gets a decent revenue scale and achieves EBITDA positive," read a report by JM Financial. As per Indian regulations, a telecom operator cannot have more than 50 per cent revenue share in any circle. However, Idea, in its filing to the Bombay Stock Exchange, said that the premise of the merger talks is based on "equal rights" in the merged entity.

Richest 1% own 58% of total wealth in India Latest data reveals that India's richest 1 per cent now account for 58 per cent of the country's total wealth, higher than the global figure of about 50 per cent. The study was released by rights group Oxfam, ahead of the World Economic Forum annual meet. They said there are 84 billionaires in India, with a collective wealth of USD 248 billion, led by Mukesh Ambani, Dilip Shanghvi and Azim Premji. Total Indian wealth in the country stood at USD 3.1 trillion. Total global wealth in the year was USD 255.7 trillion, of which, over USD 6.5 trillion was held by billionaires led by Bill Gates, Amancio Ortega and Warren Buffett. The report titled 'An economy for the 99 per cent' said

it is time to build a human economy that benefits everyone, not just the privileged few.

showed that the poorest half of the world has less wealth than had been previously thought while over the last

Mukesh Ambani, Dilip Sanghavi, Azim Premji

"Over the next 20 years, 500 people will hand over USD 2.1 trillion to their heirs, a sum larger than the GDP of India, a country of 1.3 billion people," Oxfam said. The study findings

two decades, "Due to a combination of discrimination and working in low-pay sectors, women's wages across Asia are between 70-90 per cent of men's." The study referred to the Global Wage

Report 2016-17, of the Indian Labour Organisation, saying the country suffers from huge gender pay gap and has among the worst levels of gender wage disparity. Oxfam said it meant that Indian women are not only poorly represented in the top bracket of wageearners, but also experience wide gender pay gap at the bottom. It is also said that more than 40 per cent of the 400 million women who live in rural India are involved in agriculture and related activities. However, they aren't recognised as farmers and do not own land, they have limited access to government schemes and credit, restricting their agricultural productivity.

India now 8th largest Asian market for UK car exports As per latest UK automotive industry figures, the growing popularity of Tata Motorsowned Jaguar Land Rover models led to a grand 15.8 per cent increase in the UK's car exports to India in 2016. India has now become the 8th largest Asian market for UK car exports with JLR's Land Rover Discovery Sport, Ranger Rover Evoque, Jaguar XF, Jaguar XE, and Jaguar F-Pace being one of the top five most popular models. One of UK's largest trade associations, the Society of Motor Manufacturers & Traders, said the Indian demand formed part of a wider 17year high for British car manufacturing last year. "India is now the eighth biggest Asian market for UK car exports, with

demand rising at a rapid rate as an increasing number of affluent buyers take advantage of a range of all new premium and luxury British-built cars. UK car exports to the country grew 15.8 per cent to 3,372 in 2016," it said in a statement. It also noticed that India-built car models accounted for 31,535 new car registrations in the UK. "India and the UK have a great history of collaboration in the automotive sec-

tor and it is essential we secure mutually beneficial trade relationships in the future. India is a growing market, for the moment largely for luxury vehicles. But we face high import tariffs which makes it more difficult to sell into India," said Mike Hawes, SMMT chief executive. "It remains to be seen the kind of trade deal the UK may look to agree with India post-Brexit. But meanwhile, it is very much

about producing the right product for the market, which is in the premium category," he added. The SMMT also highlighted that more cars are now being exported from Britain than ever before, a result of investment made lately in worldclass production facilities, cutting-edge design and technology and one of Europe's most highly skilled and productive workforces rather than any Brexit effect. "Brexit is a significant challenge and we want our respective governments to support our industry. The last year was undoubtedly a very, very successful year for the industry but there is a lot of uncertainty with one of our biggest market, the EU," Hawes said.


REALESTATEVOICE

www.asian-voice.com

BLOOD ON THE STREET AsianVoiceNews

AsianVoiceNewsweekly

I was sitting down with an agent last week, whom we’ve done business with previously. He was filling me in with what’s happening on the street. His office tied up approximately £300k of fees in the month of December. Good going considering this is supposed to be the quietest time of the year in property.

Suresh Vagjiani

Sow & Reap London Property Investment

Deals are being done, ones which are way below the asking price. He rattled off several, one which was £1.5m off the £6m asking price. I recalled having seen one of the ones he mentioned several months ago, a large lump in Bryanston Square. We were avoiding large pieces at the time, having already been stuck with some we were trying to sell. The frenzy to purchase has been caused by the soft pound and the current geopolitical uncertainty. Frenzy can cause strange things to

AGONY AGENT After the success of Agony Agent last week, we have had a run of questions that need answering; I have picked a handful and will be answering a new question each week.

to get on the property ladder. More and more mature professionals and retirees are turning to rentals, both from change of circumstances and as an active lifestyle choice.

Mr Patel contacted me with this question: Q: I’m thinking of renting to older tenants rather than targeting young professionals like everyone else. Good idea?

Older tenants tend to have a more stable income, based on a lifetime of savings and investments, and are generally more interested in a long-term rental (and may well prove more responsible).

A: An excellent idea! The rental market is no longer just for young people yet

Around 25% of retirees live in rented accommodation, according

BUY TO LET OPPORTUNITY

LADBROKE GROVE, W11 Purchase Price: £540,000

happen. Several properties which are overpriced sometimes managed to get sold. For example, properties have gone for £1,200 per sq. ft. in blocks where we had purchased for £730 a sq. ft. Lots of money is coming from overseas, the Arabs are buying, as well as many politically connected people, flush with money from dubious sources, are also spending. They spend their wealth frivolously, easy when it’s not really theirs. It’s a tough market if you’re selling, only those who really need to sell step out into the market given the current climate. We have currently pulled in five contracts, and are looking at another four to come in shortly. We have nailed down the ones who really want to sell and why. One vendor has a gambling addiction and

to Prudential Insurance, as many sell their home to release the equity. And with an ageing population, these numbers are unlikely to go anywhere but up. However, if you’re planning on taking advantage of this trend, here are a few things to keep in mind: 1. Pick the right area Older tenants will probably want somewhere fairly quiet, but with particular services nearby. Long-distance travel links may not be so important but local buses and trains

Asian Voice | 4th February 2017

another has his eye on another home, and is on the verge of losing a large deposit; another has a serious family dispute, when it comes to family disputes money is not always at the forefront. These are the kind of vendors we like, those who actually need to sell and not those who are just dipping their toe in to see what the temperature is like. We already closed a deal just days before Christmas for less than £700 per sq. ft. in a location where the price should have been closer to £1200 per sq. ft. The first litmus test to see whether a property is a deal in and around central London is the price per sq. ft. To put this in perspective the pounds per sq. ft. in Wembley is reaching £550- £650 for new builds. So, when you see a property in locations like

should be nearby. Security will be paramount, as will easy access to shops and, for the elderly, access to neighbors. 2. Buy the right property Retirees will be concerned about staircases and room size. Is there space to convert a downstairs room into a bedroom if it becomes necessary? Could a stairlift be installed? Extra handrails installed? And would you allow these things? 3. Be reliable Older tenants will have a particular desire for their

l

Excellent buy to let investment opportunity l Period conversion l 30ft bright dual aspect reception room l One bedroom l En-suite shower room l Market value, as it is, expected to be around £650,000 Call us now for more information!

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W2 priced at less than £700 this needs to be looked into and fast. This is not the be all and end all, the aspect of the property is also important, this can change the value completely. The stronger the location the more importance this commands. The floor is important too, basements are generally much lower than the rest of the building, foreign buyers especially abhor basement properties. Top floor apartments, which were former attics, need to be checked carefully as some parts of the room may have restricted heights; and therefore, should not command a consistent price per sq. ft. across the whole property. There may be other factors, such as length of lease, which of course will influence the

landlord to be approachable and handson during their tenancy. They will be much less willing than younger tenants to put up with any discomfort or disruption that may occur during the tenancy. But look after them and they will be around for longer, making your life easier. 4. Maintain your property, properly Older renters and parents are a more switched-on and savvy rental group. They will expect everything to be good quality and safe (and they

price. It’s simply a surface litmus test. But is a good place to start, and is used as the first indictor of whether a property is a deal or not. Especially useful in the case of large blocks where this is some consistency in regards to the individual properties. The times we are in are rare, the last time there existed so much variability in the market was in 2007/8. Those who purchased then should be sitting on a comfortable asset base right now. Call the office if you are interested in doing a deal.

should know what to check). They’re probably looking to settle down for a while so won’t be inclined take a risk on something they are unsure about. Make sure everything is in safe working order, inside and out. If you have a burning question that needs answering, then please email me and if selected it will appear in next week’s article. Richard Bond Lettings Manager lettings@sowandreap.co.uk


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FINANCIAL VOICE

Asian Voice | 4th February 2017

Consultant Editor Financial Voice Alpesh Patel

Dear Financial Voice Reader Oh Dear - I hired a Muslim When it comes to building a business, and keeping your finances under control, one of the best ways has to be having a global talented pool of individuals. As the founder of Amazon said this past week for your business to have an edge, it needs to have the best in the world. Last week alone I hired seven. One of them happened to be Muslim. What a week to be Muslim eh? This is what he just emailed me (after I hired him). “I want to be a successful man. I have so many dreams. I have seen a lot of this world in this little lifetime, sometimes it's good but sometimes it's so cruel. My father passed away when I was only 13. My mother and my grandmother (nani) brought me up. They struggled a lot to bring me to this level. Grandmother passed away this year. She was my best friend.. None can believe how caring she was. We are Muslims. I have never seen her to miss a single prayer. I want to be a very good man and a great successful man.. I have a dream to make my ma (mother) happy. I know the souls of my baba (father) and nani (grandmother) will also be happy. Obviously I want to be a rich man but by dint of work and honesty. I want to work for the children and parents who faced the cruelty of life. One day I will bring great opportunities for them. That's dream. I am being a communication engineer from the second very best Engineering University of Bangladesh. My ma is happy with me. But I want to make her proud. I want to convert all her tears into joy. I love when people care about me, when they love me. I have lost so many precious things, I have seen partiality I have got depressed so many times but I never gave up. I couldn't do anything for my anni but I will do everything for my ma. She is the last one I have in this world.” And for my Hindu and non-Hindu friends who care about these things – I didn’t pick based on religion and many of my hires came from other faiths too, including yours – but they all happen to be the best at what they do.

CMs' panel for tax on cash deals above Rs 50,000 A few days ahead of the budget, a panel of chief ministers has recommended a ban on cash transactions beyond a threshold, and a tax on payments beyond Rs 50,000, seeking to discourage the use of physical currency while suggesting a host of incentives for payments by cards and other digital means. The committee of chief ministers led by Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu, submitted an interim report to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, suggesting a host of tools, including a subsidy of up to Rs

Abhishek Sachdev

One of the primary reasons why we set up Vedanta Hedging was to improve transparency in areas that were particularly difficult for businesses to have access to. The pricing of Interest Rate products and

1,000 for smart phones bought by those who do not pay income tax, and small merchants in addition to lowering or doing away with the merchant discount rate or, the fee paid on card and online transactions. Naidu said he was "very confident" that some of the recommendations would be incorporated in the Budget which will be presented on February 1. While the proposal to levy a cash transaction tax has found support, a section within the government does not favour it, believing that incentives will yield better results.

www.asian-voice.com

Economic Survey: India’s 2017-18 growth recovering fast AsianVoiceNews

A government survey prior to the annual budget has signalled that the Indian economy could expand by between 6.75 per cent and 7.5 per cent in 2017-18. It said the growth could recover sooner than expected after a shock-scrapping of high-value banknotes to fight "black money". The Economic Survey said the cash ban will, however, slow down growth for 2016-17 to below 7 per cent. "The cash squeeze... will have significant implications for GDP, reducing 2016-17 growth by ¼ to ½ percentage points compared to the baseline of 7 per cent," the survey said. It put the growth rate in the first eight months of the current financial year at 7.1 per cent. The Economic Survey is an annual government report on the economy that also sets the tone for the general budget, and floats new policy ideas. Finance Minister Arun Jaitley is all set

to present his fourth annual budget on Wednesday (Feb 1). The session comes three months after Prime Minister Narendra Modi pulled out 86 per cent of all cash from the economy. The move significantly disrupted economic activity in Asia's third-largest economy, particularly affecting the poor. The Survey said "demonetisation" would bring long-term benefits to the economy, adding that the structural reforms and a proposed Goods and Services Tax could boost growth rate to 8 to 10 per cent. Authored by the government's chief economic advisor, the survey suggested quick replenishment of cash in the economy and free convertibility of cash to deposits to stem any GDP growth deceleration. "The Indian economy has sustained a macro-economic environment of relatively lower inflation, fiscal discipline, and moderate current account deficit

coupled with broadly stable rupee-dollar exchange rate," it said. The survey has pegged growth in the agriculture sector at 4.15 per cent in 2017-18, significantly higher than the 1.2 per cent last year. It also backed a universal basic income for the poor, replacing existing welfare schemes, however adding the time probably wasn't right for its introduction. "The UBI is a powerful idea whose time even if not ripe for implementation, is ripe for serious discussion. Based on the principles of universality, unconditionality, and agency, is a conceptually appealing idea but with a number of implementation challenges lying ahead, especially the risk that it would become an add-on to, rather than a replacement of, current anti-poverty and social programmes, which would make it fiscally unaffordable."

Indian Re is better placed against Trumponomics globally Thanks to Donald Trump's victory, the Indian rupee is seen better placed as compared to other emerging market currencies. Given the Indian economy's comparative lack of vulnerability, the currency has outperformed this term. Madan Sabnavis, chief economist, CARE, said, "The rupee continues to be a better performing currency and is at or above the median level of change in a set of 17 currencies. We believe that the rupee will be driven more by fundamentals than an external US shock. US policies are more likely to affect countries like Mexico and China, which may be expected in the next six months." Last week, the rupee recovered from the red to end marginally higher at 68.04 against the dollar, up from the day's low of 68.23 and marginally stronger than previous day's close of 68.08. Forex dealers said the increased demand for the dollar kept pressure on the rupee, but a higher opening in the domestic equity market helped the currency recover. Sabnavis said that if the currency

movement during the fiscal is viewed separately for the period before US elections and after, the rupee has fared well in both. "It was at the median of 17 countries up to November, and was above the median level subsequently." Half the currencies had declined by more than 5 per cent in the first period. The renminbi was also affected and fell by over 5 per cent up to November. However, it declined moderately by 0.72 per cent subsequently. The Mexican peso in particular will be affected the most as of now while the renminbi will be under pressure depending on the

policy actions taken by the US with regards to Chinese trade and investment. A report by Nomura suggested that emerging markets are generally starting from a weak position to fend of 'Trumponomics'. It said that India is among the few emerging markets that could gain. "President Trump's warmer tone towards Russia has increased expectations that sanctions may be lifted or relaxed, but we do not expect it to happen this year. India too could benefit as President Trump seems to believe that a nuclear India is the real check to Pakistan," the report said.

that they don’t understand, to contact us for assistance. Clearly, the industry has not learnt its lessons from the past. This is why this month we are again leading the industry in transparency for SMEs by launching an easy-tounderstand ‘daily markets rate’ sheet. We are the first in the UK to provide this to SMEs, and it's free! We are including both LIBOR and a range of Interest Rate Swaps, key equity indices, Sterling spot and forward rates for both US Dollar and Euro and a range of commodity prices

(including Gold which is of particular interest to our Asian Voice readers!). This is presented in a quick, simple, easy to read format, with emphasis on the changes over 5 days, 1 month and year-to-date, all updated on a daily basis. The aim is not to overcomplicate the view of the financial markets with a large array of prices, nor be used as a tool to make investment decisions, but to simply reflect the current market trends and highlight some of the drivers that have a direct relationship to hedging products, such as a ‘Fixed Rate Loan’.

There IS such a thing as a free lunch!

business Fixed Rate Loans are shrouded in darkness and given that many businesses have exposure to these types of products, this is a real concern. Vedanta Hedging has been driving forward the concept of increased transparency in the financial markets since our inception in 2011. Our persistence and involvement of the mainstream media, directly led to the FCA into announcing the Interest Rate Review Scheme in 2012, and whilst this paid out significantly less than we had hoped, over £2bn

AsianVoiceNewsweekly

of compensation did get paid back to businesses as a result of Vedanta Hedging. During 2016 we saw Brexit and the sell-off in Sterling highlight major concerns over Banks and Brokers mis-selling complex FX Derivative structures to businesses. A number of high-profile businesses have fallen foul to large derivative losses that were sold as hedges (the FD of Sports Direct was sacked because of this!). We will continue to raise awareness in this area, and urge anybody that has been sold complex FX products

India Post Payments Bank gets RBI nod

The Reserve Bank of India has given its nod to the India Post Payments Bank to begin operations. Operations are expected to start before March 31, and will eventually be rolled out in 650 districts using the network of 154,000 post offices. The IPPB is the third entity after Airtel, and Paytm payment banks to receive the central bank's approval. AP Singh has been appointed as the interim managing director and CEO of the firm. A 1986 batch Indian Postal Service Officer, Singh was earlier joint secretary in the department of investment and public asset management. He has also served as the deputy director general in-charge of financial inclusion and payment systems in the founding team of UIDAI. He has also piloted projects like the Aadhaar enabled payments system, e-kyc, and direct benefit transfers. The concept of payment banks was birthed by former RBI governor Raghuram Rajan, who came up with the idea of differentiated bank licenses.

Over the coming weeks, I will expand on the significance of some of these indices and how they impact Interest Rate insurance type products, such as Fixed Rate loans. To obtain your free download link to ‘Vedanta Hedging Market Rates’, register your interest at http://www.vedantahedging.com/download-latestmarket-rates/ and then bookmark the link provided for unlimited access.

Tel: 020 7183 2277 www.vedantahedging.com


CURRENCY VOICE

www.asian-voice.com AsianVoiceNews

Asian Voice | 4th February 2017

Paresh Davdra is the Dealing Director of RationalFX,

IMF raises forecast of UK's economic growth Currency Specialists.

Manufacturing in the Eurozone started 2017 with a bang yesterday after figures showed the biggest ramp-up in production across the bloc for five years. The purchasing managers’ index (PMI) data for Eurozone factories reached 54.9, comfortably above the 50 mark that separates growth from contraction. The data revealed PMI readings improved in all nations covered, with  growth being  strongest in the Netherlands and  Austria. PMI indices hit a near three-year high in Germany, an 11-month peak in Spain and a 67-month record in France. With widely attributing  much of the upturn in demand to the depreciation of the euro, the strong end to 2016 is encouraging news. Early in January the UK’s ambassador to the European Union, Sir Ivan Rogers, unexpectedly resigned, adding to confusion over Prime Minister Theresa May’s Brexit plans. Sir Ivan, who was appointed by David Cameron in 2013, was expected to play a key role in the Brexit negotiations due to start in a few months. He was due to remain in his post until November 2017, and has been widely seen as one of the UK’s most experienced EU negotiators. Last month, May’s office

21

Foreign Exchange

AsianVoiceNewsweekly

downplayed remarks that had been attributed to Rogers, saying that it might take 10 years to negotiate a free-trade deal with the EU. He privately told ministers that this view was shared by the EU’s other 27 member states. This news has brought renewed concerns that that the UK may get a worse deal than they would have if he remained part of the team. The Pound gained significant ground against its major counterpart’s on the 18th of January when Prime Minister Theresa May used her much-anticipated speech to announce her priorities for Brexit negotiations. May promised to push for the "freest possible trade" with European countries and to sign new deals with others around the world whilst confirming that the UK "cannot possibly" remain within the European single market. The prime minister also announced Parliament would get to vote on the final deal agreed between the UK and the EU. The IMF also raised its forecast for the UK's economic growth this year, following a better than expected economic performance since the Brexit vote. The IMF says it now expects the UK to grow by 1.5% this year, compared with the 1.1% it was previously forecasting.

The Fund said the upgrade was due to “a stronger than expected performance during the latter part of 2016”. After much anticipation we had Donald Trump's inauguration day when he entered the White House as  the 45th President of the United States.  The dollar edged down as investors were underwhelmed by the limited scope of executive actions and the lack of concrete policy reforms in the inauguration speech of newly sworn-in U.S. President Donald Trump. Investors had been looking to Trump's first address as president to highlight his plans for fiscal spending, tax cuts and regulatory reforms. Instead, Trump focused his remarks on his "America first" policies this worried investors as it raises concerns over US protectionism that could slow US growth. The UK Government also lost their article 50 case, with the Supreme Court ruling that the government must go through parliament, but not its regional assemblies, to trigger talks on leaving the European Union. The pound hit 5-week highs after the first sections of the ruling were read, but was then hit by a wave of profit-taking by investors. The Pound strengthened again

on the 26th of January after Theresa May announced the government would set out their Brexit plans in a formal policy document. The bill is expected to rushed through both Houses of Parliament within weeks in order to meet the Prime Minister's deadline for triggering Article 50 by the end of March. Adding to Sterling’s strength were hopes that Mrs May’s first meeting with Donald Trump would pave the way for a US trade deal. The meeting is set to take place this weekend. The UK’s growth figure for the end of 2016 showed the British economy continued it’s momentum, with a better-than-expected set of growth figures for the fourth quarter. The UK's gross domestic product expanded by 0.6 percent quarter-on-quarter in the three months to December, the same rate of growth as the previous two quarters. Analysts had been predicting a 0.5 percent rise for the fourth quarter. A closer look at the figures showed that the services sector was seen as a key contributor to the growth figures, with a 0.8 percent quarter-on-quarter increase. Manufacturing also delivered strong growth numbers, rising 0.7 percent. However, production and construction output remained relatively flat.

We e k ly Currencies

As of Tuesday 31st January 2017 @ 11.35pm GBP - INR = 84.43

USD - INR = 67.84 EUR - INR = 72.78 GBP - USD = 1.25 GBP - EUR = 1.16

EUR - USD = 1.07 GBP - AED = 4.58

GBP - CAD = 1.63

GBP - NZD = 1.71

GBP - AUD = 1.65

GBP - ZAR = 16.86

GBP - HUF = 361.18

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WORLD-INDIA

Asian Voice | 4th February 2017

Modi keeps liberal flame alive As isolationist tendencies gather momentum in the West, India as a liberal democracy ready to do business can offer a template for a better world order.

Manoj Ladwa

is the founder of India Inc. and chief executive of MLS Chase Group @manojladwa

The dynamics shaping the new world order are not new. Now, as at almost any other time in history, the world is divided between those who are intent on pulling up the drawbridges – for talent, investments, capital and culture – and those who have selected paths predicated on greater cooperation and the celebration of shared values and mutual respect for cultural, ethnic, linguistic and religious diversities. In a role reversal of epic proportions, the world’s erstwhile champion of globalisation – the United States – has just torn to shreds the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement that had promised to ease trade norms among nations that cumulatively account for 40 per cent of global trade even as new US President Donald Trump is threatening to make good on his bizarre election promise of building a wall along the border with Mexico to stop the inflow of alleged aliens into the US from that country. Across the Atlantic Ocean, British Prime Minister Theresa May is also having to play with the poor hand she was dealt by her post-Brexit elevation to the position of Her Majesty’s First Minister. As premier, she has continued the hard line she had adopted as Home Secretary. Result: It is much more difficult than before for foreign students and professionals to pursue higher studies and posteducation careers in the UK. The common “enemy” in both cases (of the US and the UK) is the foreigner, who, according to the dangerous and flawed narrative woven by cynical politicians – counting only the votes that could come their way and completely blind to the long-term damage they are causing to their own societies as well as the world at large – are stealing jobs and social security benefits from natives and other sons (and daughters) of the soil. The epidemic is spreading and countries such as France, the Netherlands and Italy could soon join the isolationists’ corner. Fortunately, however, even as some liberal democracies in the West are pulling up the drawbridges that link their nations and societies to the world, many other societies are moving with determination in the opposite directions. Indian

Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who has invested lots of political capital on integrating India with the world, is giving full play to his vision. The most recent iteration of this is the joint op-ed he has authored with HH Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi, who was in India on the occasion of the country’s 68th Republic Day. In that piece, the two leaders write: “As nations, UAE and India have grown to respect each other for our shared values of religious tolerance and the importance of building open, multicultural societies that are respectful of differences related to faith, ethnicity or language...” This reiteration of these principles is important, especially in these times when the world’s foremost champions of liberal values seem to be turning their backs to the very credo that contributed so much to their present exalted positions in world affairs. The world is worried. An isolationist US and an immigrantunfriendly Europe will create a leadership vacuum in an increasingly fractious world. While it may be possible for a newly emerging global powerhouse – with some help from a resurgent former superpower – to replicate the hard power wielded by the US, no other country or coalition of nations can combine such military muscle with the moral authority that the leader of the post-War democratic order brought to bear on world affairs. And this is where Prime Minister Modi, belying his image of a rightwing Hindu nationalist – painted by his political rivals, partisan civil society groups and an uncharacteristically pliant western media – ploughing a lonely furrow while following India’s millenniaold tradition of syncretism, can position India as another pole in the emerging multi-polar world. Admittedly, we are still some distance from achieving that goal. But in times to come, this may well become the template India offers to the world – of a free, liberal democracy that is welcoming and ready to do business with everyone. That will be in keeping with India’s cultural moorings and Indians can keep the flame alight – till the isolationists in the West realise the folly of their ways and return to the path of reason.

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Lalbhais' Philanthropy with a Future AsianVoiceNews

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Mitul Paniker

The prominent Lalbhai family of Ahmedabad has thrown open their personal art collection for the general public at a new museum. The brand new exhibition is situated in two different bungalows, including their 112-year old ancestral bungalow located in Shahibaug. "We have put up the contemporary art collection, but we want to keep changing it at least twice a year. Architect Rahul Mehrotra is working on the new space housing history of Lalbhai family spanning 17 generations," said Sanjay Lalbhai. His wife Jayshree said the museum will be open for the public from February 16. "It will be a guided tour one in the morning and another in the evening, on prior registration basis. The purpose is to take them through various sections as a planned member," she said. A unique glass gallery has been created as an extra display- not altering the existing aesthetics of the historical building. Up for display is Indian art and antiquities, reflecting a range per-

The Lalbhai family converts their house into a museum

Sheth Amrutlal Hargovindas and Ganesh Mavlankar. It was this society that donated the land where the Indian Institute of Management-Ahmedabad was built in 1961 and still stands today. He has remained one of the driving forces behind instituting the IIM-A, working along with Vikram Sarabhai. In a unique form of cause, Kasturbhai came in the forefront of building associations and organisations, founding them to sponsor different sectors. The Lalbhai Dalpatbhai College of Engineering was established in 1948, an institution that is still deemed in the top Engineering colleges of Ahmedabad. His only aim was to promote technology and engineering. The Gujarat Three generations of the esteemed Lalbhai family Chamber of Commerce and fectly balancing art with historical merit and personal favourites. The building adjacent to the ancestral home, the Claude Batley House built in the 1930s, will house temporary exhibitions, retrospectives of artists and work by young artists. "While the main building will house old antiquities from the family collection, the building at the back will be earmarked for shows," said Jayshree. There is also a small amphitheatre with a seating capacity of 250 for small cultural activities. Just about 150-200 articles are on display in the first building, not a large number, but they have a "history spanning more than a thousand years." Paintings from different styles, including Persian, Mughal, Deccan, Pahari, Rajasthani, to Tibetan Thangkas will be put up for visitors. Several Lasting Legacies Kasturbhai Lalbhai Shrenik Lalbhai One of the distinguished families of Gujarat, the Lalbhais are the direct descendants of Shantidas Jhaveri, a Industries was built in 1949, and the Lalbhai Dalpatbhai royal jeweller of Mughal emperors. A reputed businessman, Institute of Indology, in 1962. The Sankat Nivaran Society was jointly set up by GCCI and the Ahmedabad Mills Owners' Association in 1972. Generosity par Excellence Talk about extraordinary beneficence. Why donate money or property, when you can create something for the welfare of the people instead? Kasturbhai was conferred with the Padma Bhushan award in 1968 for his unshakeable contribution to the society. His youngest son Shrenik Lalbhai received his father's generous gene and is still considered a pilot of contemporary Ahmedabad, to this day. The third generation businessman from a family that were among the first business houses in the city, Shrenik held an MBA from Harvard University. Apart from steering their multiple businesses, he also furthered his father's legacy of Meghji Pethraj with Maharani Saheb of Jamnagar Meenal, philanthropy in the education, industry, culture, and reliPandit Jawaharlal Nehru, VN Dhebar, Manubhai Shah, gion. He managed several trusts run by the Lalbhais and and Morarji Desai held key positions in almost all of them. He was an acknowledged expert on Jain history and Kasturbhai Lalbhai, Sanjay's grandfather, was mostly also led one of the largest and oldest Jain trusts namely known for his works of philanthropy. He was closely assoAnandji Kalyanji Pedhi, that looks at renovation and ciated with Mahatma Gandhi and helped him in the upkeep of more than 1,200 Jain temples. Historian Dr Swadeshi movement. Kasturbhai was also actively involved Rizwan Kadri has intently known Shrenik's contribution in different organisations during his research on Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel. Kasturbhai was a dear associate of Sardar and both him, and Shrenik helped Dr Rizwan in his work. A prime example of the charitable nature of Gujaratis, the Lalbhais have for years, forwarded their legacy of giving back to the society. Padma Shri awardee, reputed journalist and historian Vishnu Pandya believes it is in the blood of the Gujaratis. "Gujarat has an unparalleled mind when it comes to charity. Not just today, but since 1,000 years - right from Sri Krishna to Lalbhai. I can give you umpteen examples, like Nanji Kalidas from Porbandar, Meghji Pethraj Shah from East Africa who has made lot of donations in Saurashtra. There is a village called Satadhar, where Saint Devidas began treating patients of leprosy Sanjay and Jayshree Lalbhai from a time before Mother Teresa. He still does the same in negotiating with the British during the economic deprestoday. sion in the 1930s. He was president of the Federation of The world knows Abdul Sattar Edhi, born in Bantva vilIndian Chamber of Commerce and Industries in 1934, and lage, as Pakistan's 'Angel of Mercy'. There are over 100 the president of Ahmedabad Mill Owners Association in organisations across Kutch and Saurashtra that solely work 1935. Kasturbhai established the Ahmedabad Education for the purpose of charity. Gujarat practices 'Sadavrat'Society, now the Gujarat University, in 1936, along with feeding centres where the needy can have food," he said.


WORLD Asian Voice | 4th February 2017

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Mumbai attack plotter Hafiz Saeed, 4 others detained In Brief AsianVoiceNews

ISLAMABAD: Pakistani authorities, facing mounting pressure from the Trump administration, placed Mumbai attacks mastermind and Jamaat-ud-Dawa (JuD) chief Hafiz Saeed and four others under detention on Monday night. A police officer said that Saeed, a co-founder of Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT), would be placed under house arrest and that his residence had been declared a sub-jail. Saeed was at Lahore's Masjid-eQudsia Chauburji when police descended there to implement the detention order issued by Punjab province's interior ministry in pursuance of a directive from the federal interior ministry on January 27, JuD activists said. A "heavy contingent of police has surrounded the JuD headquar-

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ters", JuD official Ahmed Nadeem said. A Pakistani defence ministry official said though Islamabad had not heard anything from the Trump administration, it had been feeling US pressure on the issue. "Trump is taking hard decisions against Muslim countries, there is open talk of

actions against Pakistan also. So yes, this was a consideration," he said. JuD member Nadeem, too, said, "This government has buckled under pressure." Pakistan interior minister Nisar Ali Khan said the PML-N government was taking steps to "fulfil our obligations" with regard to JuD. "The organisation (JuD) has been `under observation' since 2010-11. Since it has also been listed by the UN Security Council (Sanctions Committee), we are bound to take some steps. We are taking those steps to fulfil our obligations," the interior minister told reporters. "We are going to shift Hafiz Saeed from Masjid Al-Qudsia Chauburji to his Jauhar Town residence to place him under house arrest on the orders of the government," a senior police offi-

cial said. National flags were hoisted at the JuD offices in Lahore, instead of party flags, on the directives of the provincial home department, local media reports said. The provincial authorities have also started to remove JuD banners from Lahore's roads, the reports said. Saeed is wanted by India and the United States for his alleged role in masterminding the 2008 terror attacks in Mumbai that claimed 166 lives. He even carries a bounty of 10 million USD on his head for his role in the attack. Pakistan claims to have banned Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT), but following the attack on the Indian Parliament in 2002, it re-emerged as Jamaat-ud Dawa (JuD). The United States has designated the JuD as a front for the LeT.

BEIJING: China has recognises the socalled Tibetan govraised serious objecernment-in-exile," tions over the presence said the Chinese of the Prime Minister Foreign Ministry in of 'Tibetan governa written response. ment-in- exile' at a "We are firmly recent dinner hosted against any counby former US envoy to try's official contact India, Richard Verma with it in any form, in New Delhi. It said it and resolutely absolutely opposes any opposed to any country's "interference" in its internal Lobsang Sangay country's interference in China's affairs by using Tibet as internal affairs by using Tibetan excuse. related issues as an excuse." "No country in the world

The dinner hosted by Verma on January 15, was in honour of his visiting friend and Hollywood actor Richard Gere, and reportedly saw Lobsang Sangay, Prime Minister of the Tibetan government-in-exile, present. Pictures posted on Union Minister of State for Home Affairs Kiren Rijiju's Twitter showed Sangay and other US diplomats attending the dinner. Communist country China has routinely protested visits

and meetings of Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama, and his associates, saying it constitutes interference in its internal affairs. Just last year, China objected to Verma's visit to Tawang in Arunachal Pradesh which Beijing claims as southern Tibet. And last month, it took strong exception to the Dalai Lama's meeting with President Pranab Mukherjee at the Rashtrapathi Bhavan during a children's summit.

hafeez Saeed

‘Tibet PM’ at US envoy's dinner offends China

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Mother 'told to prove lactation' at Frankfurt airport

FRANKFURT: A woman has filed a complaint with German police alleging she was told to squeeze her breast at airport security to prove she was lactating. Gayathiri Bose said she was "humiliated" by the experience and would explore formal legal action. She said police at Frankfurt Airport were suspicious because she was carrying a breast pump but travelling without her baby. German police declined to comment on the allegations. But they said such measures were "clearly" not part of routine procedure. Ms Bose, who was travelling alone, said she was on her way to board a flight to Paris when she was stopped at the security screening station. The 33-year-old Singaporean said that after her carry-on bag, which contained her breast pump, went through the X-ray machine, she was taken aside for questioning. "[They had] an incredulous tone. 'You are breastfeeding? Then where is your baby? Your baby is in Singapore?'," she said.

Trump appoints IndianAmerican attorney

WASHINGTON: US President Donald Trump has appointed Indian-American attorney Uttam Dhillon to a key White House position on ethics and compliance matters. Dhillon, who served as Chief Oversight Counsel for the House of Representatives Financial Services Committee, has been appointed as Special Assistant to the President. In this position, he would be part of the legal team to serve under White House Counsel Donald F McGahn with respect to compliance and ethics matters. Prior to joining Financial Services, Dhillon served as chief of the Department of Homeland Security's Office of Counter Narcotics Enforcement.


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Now Kannadigas want Kambala ban lifted Asian Voice | 4th February 2017

MANGALURU: Just when the ho-ha on the Jallikattu ban in Tamil Nadu was silenced temporarily, people in Karnataka raised their voices against the ban on Kambala, the buffalo race. Students in coastal Karnataka boycotted their classes and gathered in large numbers to voice their support on Kambala. A human chain was formed by students, actors, and public representatives in the heart of Mangaluru. Addressing the protesters, Nalin Kumar Kateel, MP, Dakshina Kannada, said, "Kambala is a traditional sport of Tulunadu and without understanding the difference between Jallikattu and Kambala, PETA had filed a petition to ban Kambala. They

should know there is no cruel treatment given to bovine during the sport. We should all join hands and intensify our protest until the ban on Kambala lifted." Kambala is an annual buffalo race held by local leaders. It usually begins in November and ends in March. However, the Karnataka High Court passed

Tamil Nadu now wants Coke and Pepsi out CHENNAI: Over 50,000 Jallikattu supporters gathered on Marina Beach in Chennai, in a week-long demonstration that began on January 17, seeking revocation of a 2014 Supreme Court ban on the bull-taming sport. The crowd soon diverted their anger towards PETA, and accused the non-profit organisation of trying to eliminate Tamil culture and traditional practices. However, what was surprising was, certain people calling for a completely unrelated ban on companies producing Coca-Cola and Pepsi in Tamil Nadu. A video showing several youngsters smashing bottles of popular soft drinks on a Coimbatore street soon did the rounds on the internet. "We don't need these foreign companies in our country," some people were seen calling out. In a perfect example of how the Jallikattu protests soon turned into a platform for people to bring up issues that have been bothering the state, organisations pitched

into the call for ban on soft drinks. Soon the state's big trade associations - the Tamil Nadu Vanigar Sangangalin Permaipu and Tamil Nadu Traders Federation, asked their members to stop selling soft drinks made by multinational companies from March 1. "During the recent protest by students demanding conduct of Jallikattu, youngsters sought a ban on these soft drinks as they draw our groundwater and take the profits outside the country," said Vanigar Sangangalin president AM Vikramraja. Social Media immediately picked up on the call and was flooded with messages saying PETA was funded by multinationals such as the Coca Cola Company and PepsiCo, and that they had an eye on the Indian dairy market. Syed Hassan, a social worker who was part of the Marina Beach protest, said, "Coca Cola has their own plans of bringing their own milk products in India. They are sponsors of PETA.

AAP, Akalis woo voters with populist manifestos CHANDIGARH: Parties are going full steam ahead of the upcoming Punjab Assembly election. In its latest move to woo voters, Arvind Kejriwal's Aam Aadmi Party released a populist manifesto, promising laptop for all government school students, waiver on residential property tax, setting up of an NRI board, 33 per cent reservation for women in government jobs, and the promise of a Dalit Deputy Chief Minister if it comes to power. The party also vouches Aam Aadmi canteens at subdivision and district levels where one-time meal will be available for Rs 5, and reduce the power tariff to half for usage up to 400 unit. The manifesto was released by a team of AAP leaders led by Sanjay Singh. He said all promised made by them in the previous six manifestos released for different cate-

gories "are an agreement with the people of Punjab and AAP will fulfil each promise." He said welfare of the Dalits, BPL families, employees, farmers and women would be top on agenda of the AAP government as he declared the post of Deputy Chief Minister would be given to a Dalit MLA. The party also decided to launch a health insurance scheme under which every resident of state would be eligible for cashless treatment up to Rs 500,000 in private hospitals. Akalis promise debt waiver for farmers Unable to reach the target of providing 1000,000 jobs, as announced in its 2012 poll manifesto, the ruling Shiromani Akali Dal has doubled the number and promised 2000,000 jobs for youths in the manifesto. The party also promised farm debt waiver for all small farmers with land holding up to 2.5 acres.

an interim order in November 2016, banning all Kambala races until the disposal of PIL filed by the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) India. While Kambala committees have filed an interim application to vacate the stay, the court will hear the case on January 30.

Organisers planned the protests along with 250 pairs of buffaloes and over 50,000 people at the Swaraj Maidan in Moodabidri. "While there is cruelty in Jallikattu, in the history of Kambala there has never been any sort of cruelty. There have been no deaths and no major injuries in Kambala," Kateel added. Former minister K Abhaychandra Jain, who was present with the committee members, said the government has explained the differences between Jallikattu and Kambala to the Karnataka High Court. "The Government of Karnataka has set up an 8 member committee to look into the defects present in Kambala and rectify them," he said.

TN assembly pays rich tributes to Jayalalithaa CHENNAI: Tamil Nadu Assembly has paid rich tributes to late Chief Minister Jayalalithaa with Chief Minister O Panneerselvam and DMK leader MK Stalin and others giving eulogies. The mood remained sombre as many ministers and MLAs were seen getting overwhelmed and wiped tears. Panneerselvam moved a resolution and in his introductory speech described the day she died, December 5, as a "dark day for Tamil Nadu". He recalled the Amma's political career and hailed her as "gutsy." "Amma received plaudits and appreciation from various political party leaders and their members for their oratorical skills, visionary schemes, her approach towards people and tireless hard work," he said. He recalled her uniting AIADMK after party founder MG Ramachandran's death, adding that she went on to become an "unparalleled leader". He talked of how she established Tamil Nadu's

Jayalalithaa

rights in inter-state water disputes while ushering in 'Brand Amma' under which a number of schemes were running. Leader of Opposition, Stalin, recalled that both he and Jaya had first entered the State Assembly in 1989- he as a ruling DMK member and she, as the Leader of Opposition. "Her speciality was that she was unfazed in facing things," he said. The resolution condoled her death and expressed sympathies with the people of the state "who are grieved over her demise." The House also observed a two-minute silence in respect of Jaya before adjourning for the day.

Cong is 'yesterday's news', says PM Modi JALANDHAR: Prime Minister Narendra Modi strongly pitched for the ruling Shiromani Akali Dal-Bharatiya Janata Party collaboration, calling Congress "yesterday's news". He advised the state to stick with the time-tested Parkash Singh Badal. The state will go into polls next week and Modi has asked everyone to return the Akali Dal-BJP for a third term. Speaking at a rally in Jalandhar, just a couple of hours after Congress' Rahul Gandhi launched a blistering attack at Majitha against the ruling combine. "You all can see how the Congress is collapsing across the country...They are desperate for power, their desperation is like that of a fish out of water," Modi said. He added that it "can go to any extent for the power of the chair." Modi credited CM Badal with working

"night and day for the unity of Hindus and Sikhs" and that the 89 year old leader has discussed the welfare of Punjab's farmers and its poor, with him. Rahul blames Badals for ruining the state Rahul Gandhi had launched a vicious attack on the Badal family alleging they had "taken away everything from Punjab", and accusing them of forcing the people of the state to pay a "Badal tax". Speaking at a rally, the Congress vice-president slammed the party for being so complicit in drug trade and rampant corruption. "I said four years ago that 70 per cent youth are affected by drugs. The Badals made fun of me. Now, whole Punjab is saying what I said." He blamed them for ruining the future of the state and that only the Congress can fix the ills plaguing the region.

In Brief

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SC refuses to stay TN Act allowing Jallikattu

NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court on Tuesday refused to stay the Tamil Nadu government's Act permitting Jallikattu, but agreed to hear a plea against the law. The apex court slammed the Tamil Nadu government for allowing people to defy its order on Jallikattu, and for failing to maintain law and order in the state. "Tell your government that law and order is primacy in civilized society and we can't tolerate such incidents," the court told the lawyer representing the state government. In 2014, the Supreme Court banned the controversial sport on the grounds that it was cruel to bulls. But earlier this month, Tamil Nadu witnessed state-wide proJallikattu protests on an unprecedented scale, following which the state government passed an ordinance, and then an act, to allow the sport.

They exchanged wedding vows underwater

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The Kovalam beach in Kerala saw a beautiful underwater wedding ceremony take place between a Slovakian woman and a Maharashtrian man. The bride and groom, both in their 20s, exchanged rings, kissed, and took their wedding vows with the help of placard in the sea. "The underwater stage was made of coconut shells, palm leaves and flowers, all natural substances. The backdrop were beautiful corals and fishes. They took their oaths in front of a friend, who was also the priest for the underwater wedding.’’

In Amritsar, BJP candidates bank on brand Modi

AMRITSAR: State ruling party combine SADBJP have evenly split 10 Amritsar seats - the Lok Sabha constituency, and its nine segments. In all the five BJP seats, the candidates have resorted to making Prime Minister Narendra Modi their main pitch, along with development work. "On February 4, give a referendum in favour of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal and press the lotus button," BJP's Rajesh Honey told voters in Amritsar East. BJP candidate for the Lok Sabha seat, Rajinder Mohan Singh Chhina described Modi as a leader with "100 years' advance thinking."

Khattar launches Rs10-meal scheme in Panchkula

PANCHKULA: Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar unfurled the Tricolour at Parade Ground, sector 5, to mark the 68th Republic Day. The event consisted of a march past, followed by tableaus of the Red Cross, HUDA, DLSA, etc. As many as 380 undertraining women constables also participated in the celebrations. Khattar took the day to launch the Antyodaya Aahar Yojana, under which food will be provided to the needy for Rs 10. The scheme will be run by the Red Cross Society, and Shri Mata Mansa Devi Shrine Board with support from Gaushala Trust, Panchkula, banks, and other organisations.

Pak pumps diluted heroin into Punjab, triggers fear

CHANDIGARH: The potency of heroin drilled into Punjab through the border shared with Pakistan has seen a 43 per cent dip in 2014, to nearly one-fourth or around 12 per cent in 2016. However, this isn't good news. Experts believe smugglers will only dilute heroin if they are assured of a large market. Narcotics Control Bureau zonal director Kaustubh Sharma said the decline in purity of heroin from Pakistan being seized in Punjab has been a steady one. Pure heroin content in every kg caught in 2013 used to be 43 to 44 per cent. It went down to 23 per cent in 2015. Latest seizures have potency of barely 11 to 12 per cent. Sharma said, "It could be that smugglers are trying to make more money and at the same time, less potent drug would probably cause fewer overdose deaths and draw less attention."


HERITAGE - HISTORY Asian Voice | 4th February 2017

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The Benevolent Maharaja Sayajirao Gaekwad of Baroda AsianVoiceNews

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Lost all his four sons during his lifetime; the defiant ruler never gave up his passion to serve his subjects

Dr Hari Desai

Despite Lord Curzon, the Viceroy of British India, issuing circular trying to tame the rulers of Princely States, Maharaja Sayajirao Gaekwad III of Baroda continued to be on tours to Europe for longer periods, did not return evading the Viceroy’s advice and continued to have warm meetings with the King also. He was the ruler who showed guts to resist the highhandedness of Lord Curzon.

“Lokmanya Tilak assigned the responsibility of the external affairs to Sayajirao who had gifted the Gaekwad wada at Pune to Tilak. If the Gadar (Revolution) movement under the direction of Ras

Young Maharaja Sayaji Rao. A portrait by Raja Ravi Varma

Bihari Bose would have been successful during the first World War, Tilak might have become the Prime Minister of the free United States of India with Maharaja as the President and Aurobindo Ghose, who knew so many European languages, would have been the External Affairs Minister, ” notes Dr Damodar Nene, the biographer of Sayajirao in Marathi. Both the grandfather and father of Dr Nene held the position of Private Secretary to the Maharaja. Even Ghose was the Private Secretary before becoming the VicePrincipal of Baroda College. The Maharaja had a meeting with the fascist dictator, Benito Mussolini and a secret contract for support with the German dictator, Adolf Hitler! Sayajirao (March 11, 1863 – February 6, 1939) was adopted on May 27, 1875, by Jamnabai Sahib,

the widow of Maharaja Khanderao who died heirless on November 28, 1870. Fatesinghrao Gaekwad, the great grandson of Sayajirao III, records in the biography 'Sayajirao of Baroda: The Prince and The Man': “As to the next Maharaja, Her Most Gracious Majesty the Queen, as a gesture of recognition of the loyal services of Khanderao in 1857, was pleased to accede to the request of his widow, Her Highness Jamnabai, that she may be allowed to adopt some member of the Gaekwad house, whom the Government of India ‘may select’ as the most suitable person upon whom to confer the sovereignty of the Baroda state.” “A saintly and calm figure” Khanderao was conferred the Grand Commander Star of India (GCSI) title for assisting the British to quell a revolt of 1857 in Saurashtra. The search zeroed in on Kavlane village near Manmad (in present-day Maharashtra), the native village of the Gaekwads. A Regency Council was established to decide upon the adoption of the prince. It comprised Sir Richard Meade, Sir T Madhav Rao and Maharaja Khanderao’s widow Jamnabai. All the three narrowed down their search to Gopalrao, the second child of Prataprao’s great grandson, Kashirao. He was to be established as the ruler of Baroda as Sayajirao III. The Dewan Madhavrao was to play a very important role in the life and reign of Sayajirao. The lectures delivered by Madhavrao are compiled and the book “Minor Hints” is published in English and “Shasanna Sutro” in Gujarati too.

Dewan T Madhavrao who trained the Ruler

Even Prime Minister Narendra Modi has asked the bureaucrats and ministers to read the book. Sir F A H Elliot of the Indian Civil Service arrived in Baroda to set the rigorous curriculum and teaching standards for him. Sir Elliot too turned out to be Sayajirao’s friend, philoso-

pher and guide in the several years that followed. Maharaja Sayajirao III inclined towards the holistic development of his State and the subjects focusing on social reforms and educational facilities even to the Scheduled Castes i.e. Antyaj Schools. He gave scholarship to Dr B R Ambedkar to go abroad to study and even appointed him as a member of Dhara Sabha (Legislative Assembly) of Baroda State, changing the norm which did not allow an “untouchable” to be the member. The Maharaja was a highly respected Ruler of India. As per the British protocol, he was second only to the Nizam of Hyderabad even in the Durbars the British held in Delhi. He never was shy of expressing his sympathy and support to the nationalists and lost no opportunity, of course tactfully, to insult the Viceroys and even the future King. In 1911, when the

F A H Elliot, ICS: Sayajirao's guide, mentor and friend whom he addressed as 'Sir'

Viceroy planned a lavish Durbar in honour of George V, the then heir to the British throne, Maharaja Sayajirao went, but unlike the other Princes, he wore no jewellery, carried a walking stick instead of a bejewelled sword, and wore a plain white Aachkan or long-coat! When Sayajirao’s turn came to pay respects, he got up from his seat, walked up to George, made an aboutturn and returned to his seat. He had committed sacrilege by turning his back on the future Emperor of India. There was a hue and cry demanding his deposition and deportation for insulting the future King. On advice of Gopal Krishna Gokhale, a great nationalist himself, the Maharaja reluctantly sent an apology and avoided further confrontation with the British, records Fatesinghrao. Even according to the long serving and able Dewan, Sir V T Krishnamachary, the

Sayajirao with four of his princes and princess

Maharaja had categorically stated that he had intentionally dressed and behaved in the manner that he did. Even when Viceroy Lord Curzon was to leave, Sayajirao did not go to Bombay for the send-off. Instead he sent a telegram to him: “Bon Voyage, may India never see the like of you again.”

There was a sex scandal involving the Maharaja. Unlike his personal doctor, Dr Sumant Mehta, who accompanied him to Europe, presenting the juicy description of it in his memoirs, Sayajirao’s great grandson Fatesinghrao does put the record straight in his biography. Sayajirao “may or may not have gone to bed with her”, but it was

no more than the conventional trick employed by a husband-and-wife team to extort money. Beatrice Stathan’s husband Ernest Emmanuel Statham threatened to name Maharaja as “one of the lovers” of his wife in the divorce suit he was going to file. Initially the Maharaja ignored it but later agreed that Statham should be paid a sum of £5,700 and the case was withdrawn. The Maharaja, who ruled the Baroda State for more than six decades and loved his subjects like his own children, was himself facing family tragedies as all his four sons died young while he was alive due to various vices and had to train his grandson, Pratapsinghrao, to be his successor who unfortunately was no match to the great ruler of Baroda. Sayajirao III was a nationalist par excellence. Next Column: Deen Dayal Upadhyaya, the Great Indian Thinker (The writer is a Socio-political Historian. E-mail: haridesai@gmail.com)


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INDIA

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World reacts to Donald Trump's Muslim ban AsianVoiceNews

Asian Voice | 4th February 2017

WASHINGTON: For those who were curious to know what a person with zero experience holding a political office would do when handed power, US President Donald Trump signed a new executive order last week sending international governments and activists in a frenzy. In an order that horrified human rights groups, Trump signed to suspend refugee arrivals and imposed tough new controls on travellers from seven Muslim countries. "This is big stuff," he said at the Pentagon after signing the order entitled 'Protection of the Nation from Foreign Terrorist Entry into the United States'. "I'm establishing new vetting measures to keep radical Islamic terrorists out of the United States of America. Don't want them here. We only want to admit those into our country who will support our country and love deeply our people," he said. These new protocols will "ensure that those approved for refugee admission do not pose a threat to the security and welfare of the United States." Trump's decree will suspend the entire US refugee resettlement program for at least 120 days, as new and tough vetting rules are established. It also specifically bars Syrian refugees indefinitely, or until the President himself decides that they no longer pose a threat. In the meanwhile, no visas will be issued for 90 days to migrants or visitors from seven mainly-Muslim countries: Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen. Civil Liberties groups and other counterterror experts blasted against the measures, declaring it inhumane to just dump the victims of conflict with the extremists who threaten them. Anthony Romero, executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union said, "Extreme vetting is just a euphemism for discriminating against Muslims." He said that by choosing countries with Muslim majorities for tougher treatment, Trump's order breaches the US Constitution's ban on religious discrimination. Ahmed Rehab, director of the Chicago chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, said his group would keep mounting legal challenges to fight the order "tooth and nail". "It is targeting people based on their faith and national origin, and not on their character of their criminality," he said.

There are however, people who support the decision as measures necessary to prevent supporters of Al Qaida or the Islamic State group from infiltrating the US homeland disguised as refugees. The State Department, which with the Department of Homeland Security will have to soon implement the measures, and it said it was ready. "We will announce any chances affecting travellers to the United States as soon as that information is available. We take seriously our responsibility to safeguard the American public while remaining committed to assisting the world's most vulnerable people," said spokesman Mark Toner. During the past budget year, the US accepted 84,995 refugees, including 12,587 people from Syria. President Barack Obama had set the refugee limit for this budget year at 110,000. According to Trump's draft of the executive action, he plans to cut that to 50,000. The draft order said that while the program is suspended, the US may admit people on a case-by-case basis "when in the national interest" and the government will continue to process refugee requests from people claiming religious persecution "provided that the religion is a minority religion in the individual's country". This just means, that it would allow Christians from Muslim-majority countries. Illinois Senator Dick Durbin said, "History will judge where America's leaders stood today. Faced with the humanitarian crisis of our time, the United States cannot turn its back on children fleeing persecution, genocide and terror." The United States of America erupted with protests, yet again, courtesy their President Donald Trump, as activists including cab drivers, jammed terminals in New York and Washington airports. Washington became the first state to sue its Prez over the 'Muslim ban'. Tech giants from the Silicon Valley berated the Trump Administration, standing up in support of immigrants. "Apple would not exist without immigration, let alone thrive and innovate the way we do," said Apple CEO Tim Cook. He said he had "made it clear that Apple believes deeply in the importance of immigration- both to our company and to our nation's future."

Tesla's Elon Musk tweeted, "The blanket entry ban on citizens from certain primarily Muslim countries is not the best way to address the country's challenges. Many people negatively affected by this policy are strong supporters of the US. They've done right, not wrong & don't deserve to be rejected." Students, academics, sportsmen, all were immediately affected by the draft. Hollywood has been insanely vocal about it apprehensions of a Trump presidentship, and reacted strongly to reports. Filmmaker Rob Reiner tweeted, "Along with liar, racist, misogynist, fool, infantile, sick, narcissist, with the Muslim ban, we can now add heartless & evil to DT's reportoire." Trudeau welcomes refugees home Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has a special message for refugees rejected by Donald Trump. "To those fleeing persecution, terror & war, Canadians will welcome you, regardless of your faith. Diversity is our strength #WelcomeToCanada," he wrote on microblogging website Twitter. Trudeau also posted a photo of him greeting a Syrian child at Toronto airport in 2015. Spokeswoman for the PM, Kate Purchase said, "The Prime Minister is looking forward to discussing the successes of Canada's immigration and refugee policy with the President when they next speak." He is expected to visit the White House soon.

Trump says India is a 'true friend' US President Donald Trump has invited Indian PM Narendra Modi for a visit sometime later this year. The invitation was made during a phone conversation between the two in which both pledged to stand “shoulder-to-shoulder” in the global fight against terrorism, the White House said. A White House readout on the call was largely anodyne, saying “President Trump emphasised that the United States considers India a true friend and partner in addressing challenges around the world.” The two discussed opportunities to strengthen the

partnership between the US and India in broad areas such as the economy and defence, it added. It said they also discussed security in the region of South and Central Asia, without explicitly mentioning any country, even as the Trump administration's withdrawal from the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), its dossing of NATO, and its general disengagement from global affairs is unnerving many countries that see Washington ceding influence to China. There was a cautious element to the read-out, which contained none of the gushing superlatives

Trump plied on India and Modi during his campaign, and none of the comical hyperbole that was reported by Pakistan in Trump's conversation with Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif after Trump's electoral win. The fact that the Trump administration chose to identify India as a “friend and a partner” suggested continuity, was consonant with the terminology of the Obama and Bush era, and New Delhi's own outlook, despite the desire in some quarters to elevate the relationship to an “alliance.” Calling New Delhi ahead of other capitals also appears to point to the relatively uncomplicated nature of

US-India ties, despite some of Trump's nationalistic campaign rhetoric presaging tough times for New Delhi on the trade and economic front, particularly where it concerns work visas and off-shore manufacturing. The White House did not elaborate on the precise nature of the discussion the readout referred to on “strengthening the partnership... in broad areas such as the economy and defence,” but it is obvious that there will be a lot on the table when the two sides meet- and it will look very different from what was on the table during the Bush-Obama years.

India gave befitting reply to cross-border terror: President Mukherjee India gave "a befitting reply" to repeated incursions (from across the border) by conducting successful surgical strikes on PakistanOccupied- Kashmir (POK) last September, said President Pranab Mukherjee in an address to Parliament at the start of the Budget Session. He also said "it is necessary to have a construc-

tive debate on simultaneous elections to the Lok Sabha and the (State) Assemblies", a proposal the Centre has been talking about instituting, in addition to advancing the annual budget."This is a historic (budget) session heralding the advancement of the budget cycle and the merger of general budget with rail budget for the first

time", he said, referring to the fact that the Centre decided to move the budget presentation from April to February. President Mukherjee was making his office's traditional budget-eve address focussed on the government's achievements in the last fiscal year. One of those achievements was India's

surgical strikes in PoK, conducted as retribution for the terror attack in Uri, Jammu and Kashmir. "Jammu and Kashmir is affected by terrorism sponsored and supported from across the border. Infiltration attempts, terror incidents, loss of lives there is a matter of grave concern," the President said.

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Trudeau has refrained from criticising Trump to avoid offending the new Prez as Canada wants to avoid becoming a target. Conservative premier of the Canadian province of Saskatchewan, Brad Wall offered his support to Trudeau. Toronto Mayor John Tory noted that the city was the most diverse in the world. "We understand that as Canadians, we are almost all immigrants, and that no one should be excluded on the basis of their ethnicity or nationality." White house national security adviser Michael Flynn told Canada's national security adviser that holders of Canadian passports, including dual citizens, would not be affected. Earlier, the US had said that Canadians with dual citizenship from Iran, Iraq, Sudan, Somalia, Syria, Yemen, and Libya would be denied entry for 90 days. Trudeau later posted the statement on Twitter with a hashtag saying "#AcanadianIsACanadian". Meanwhile the ban initiated by Donald Trump has been slammed by German Chancellor Angela Merkel saying it was "not justified" to target people based on background or religion. The government "will now examine the consequences" of the ban for German citizens with dual nationality, Merkel's spokesman said. "The Geneva Refugee Convention calls on the international community to take in war refugees on humanitarian grounds."

BJP promises farm loan waiver, jobs, rakes up triple talaq With the Uttar Pradesh Assembly elections right around the corner, the BJP has sought to woo different sections of the society, making several promises in its election manifesto, including farm loan waiver, round the clock power, 7000,000 employment opportunities, and a final decision on the triple talaq case. The manifesto released by BJP chief Amit Shah, in the presence of senior state leaders, also promised free education for girls till graduation, laptops for the youth, 90 per cent reservation for state domiciles, and other goodies. Slamming Samajwadi Party and Bahujan Samaj Party, Shah said the Bharatiya Janata Party will bring an "era of performing politics." "We will make Uttar Pradesh a developed state in five years," he said. Referring to the triple talaq issue that remains pending with the Supreme Court, Shah said the BJP government will

seek the opinion of Muslim women in Uttar Pradesh, and accordingly approach the SC. The Allahabad High Court had in December, termed the triple talaq as "cruelty against Muslim women." The All India Muslim Personal Law Board differed with the decision, but the concept of triple talaq was attacked by Muslim women activists. Shah also said the government would work towards the construction of the Ram temple, under the "constitutional ambit". He said a special task force would be set up to look into the charges of corruption against the Akhilesh Yadavled government. "Ever since we were voted to power, we have given almost £25 billion to the state government for use in various schemes but nobody knows where the money has gone. I would like to ask Akhilesh Yadavji to explain the whereabouts of these funds," said Shah.


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HEALTH&WELLNESS

AsianVoiceNewsweekly

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Asian Voice | 4th February 2017

Don't be disheartened when you are injured Antibiotic overuse may FOOD

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njuries happen when you are least expecting them. But don't be disheartened. An injury makes you feel like all your progress has been trashed, and your whole motivation gets crushed to bits. But when you fell down from a horse, you get back in the saddle right? Yes, you do! An injury doesn’t mean quitting time. It means it’s time to get tough and smart, so you can heal the injury faster and keep your progress perpetual. When we are injured, we tend to think about what we can’t do. Nature, on the other hand, moves quickly to initiate healing. The self repair process is spontaneous, natural, and seeks no direction from us. Everyone can heal Not everyone heals at the same rate; however, recovery is actually based on action and the time differences are usually because of differences in behaviour (of course, the type and severity of the injury). Our contribution during this time, is incredi-

FITNESS

bly important. Life supporting changes made in response to an injury can strengthen our entire muscular skeleton and often reduce the likelihood of future injuries. Living an Active Life Recovery of your health and wellness depend on your attitude of optimism. That doesn’t mean you don’t become discouraged, it means you let yourself feel the physical and psychic pain and then move past it. As a matter of fact, it is your encounters with trauma; being hurt, experiencing pain, and then recovery, that led you to be able to understand and help people traverse the recovery process. The traumas you experienced enhance your wellness level and your compassionate awareness of how difficult recovering can be. It can be daunting to endure a setback and participate in your healing. As you age, some of your parts don’t necessarily wear out. But older adults do have both an increased

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LIFESTYLE

up superbug infections

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rate of trauma and an increased predisposition to injury from even minimal force. A fracture can be a devastating blow to your health and independence, decreasing functional status and quality of life

p e r m a n e n t l y . Understanding the risk factors for injury, the differences in the type of injuries, and possible injury management strategies are important to optimize care of ourselves.

Lack of sleep is making you eat junk A

new study has suggested that rapid eye movement (REM) sleep loss leads to increased consumption of unhealthy foods, specifically sucrose and fat. REM sleep is a unique phase of sleep in mammals that is closely associated with dreaming and characterised by random eye movement and almost complete paralysis of

the body. The study showed that "the medial prefrontal cortex - brain region that are recruited when thinking about oneself - may play a direct role in controlling our desire to consume weight promoting foods, high in sucrose content, when people lack sleep," said lead author Kristopher McEown from the University of

"Arre! Let Go! I told you my party does not wish to form an alliance with you"

Tsukuba in Japan. In the study, the researchers used a new method to produce REM sleep loss in mice along with a chemical-genetic technique to block prefrontal cortex neurons and the behaviours they mediate. The study showed that blocking these neurons reversed the effect of REM sleep loss on sucrose consumption while having no effect on fat consumption. The prefrontal cortex was found to play a role in judging the palatability of foods

through taste, smell and texture. Moreover, persons who are obese tend to have increased activity in the prefrontal cortex when exposed to high calorie foods, the researchers found.

To Our Readers

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

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study has found that overuse of antibiotics are responsible for superbugs rather than dirty hospitals. Researchers at the University of Oxford, showed that the widespread prescription of fluoroquinolone antibiotics such as ciprofloxacin was the reason behind a serious stomach bug Clostridium difficile (C. difficile), that caused a diarrhoea outbreak in Britain in 2006. Following this the National Health Services ordered thorough cleaning of the hospital to combat lack of hygiene. However, the cases of C. difficile fell only when fluoroquinolone use was restricted and used in a more targeted way as one part of many efforts to control the outbreak, the researchers said. The restricted use of fluoroquinolones resulted in the disappearance in the vast majority of cases and lead to around 80 per cent fall in the number of these infections. "Our study shows that the C. difficile

epidemic was an unintended consequence of intensive use of an antibiotic class, fluoroquinolones and control was achieved by specifically reducing use of this antibiotic class, because only the C. difficile bugs that were resistant to fluoroquinolones went away," said Derrick Crook, Professor at University of Oxford. Meanwhile, the smaller number of cases caused by C. diff bugs not resistant to fluoroquinolone antibiotics remained the same. Infection prevention and control measures such as better hand washing had no impact on the number of C.diff bugs transmitted between people in hospital, the researchers noted. Controlled use of antibiotics is the most important way to control the C. difficile superbug. For the study the team analysed data on the numbers of C. diff infections and amounts of antibiotics used in hospitals and by doctors in Britain.

Laughter is the Best Medicine

A woman noticed her husband standing on the bathroom scale, sucking in his stomach. "Ha! That’s not going to help," she said. "Sure, it does," he said. "It’s the only way I can see the numbers." *** "Has your son decided what he wants to be when he grows up?" a man asked his friend. "He wants to be a garbageman," he replied. "That’s an unusual ambition to have at such a young age." "Not really. He thinks that garbagemen work only on Tuesdays." *** A neighbor finds a young boy sitting on the stairs crying. "What’s the matter, honey?" she asks him. "It’s my father," the boy says, sobbing. "He hit his finger with a hammer." "Then why are you crying?" she says. "Because first I laughed!" he answers.

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28 Asian Voice

Anirudh and Nayanthara voice together V AsianVoiceNews

4th February 2017

Murugadoss made a good precedent 3 years back Director AR Murugadoss is loved for his commercial blockbuster films that often come with a social message. His fans still fondly remember the 2014 blockbuster 'Kaththi' starring Ilayathalapathy Vijay speaking out about the condition of farmers, and bringing to notice the ill effects caused by Coca Cola and Pepsi factories in Tamil Nadu.

Following his voice, several trader associations and trading establishments have announced that they have stopped selling those products and millions of youngsters have vowed to stop consuming them. Murugadoss had stated that he had stopped drinking Pepsi or Coke, when he had begun writing the script for 'Kaththi', and that the products are banned in his shoots.

Yes I am a Tamil 'Porukki': Kamal Haasan

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mong stars who have actively participated in the on-going Jallikattu protests in Tamil Nadu, actor Kamal Haasan's voice has been the loudest. He has been openly supporting the protests to protect the state's identity through the sport. In a recent event to launch the new website for the South Indian Film Cinematographers Association, Kamal launched a war of words against popular BJP leader Subramaniam Swami who has called Tamils 'Porukkis' often. "Someone calls Tamils Porukki. Yes, I am a Tamil Porukki. I make a living here. I did not settle in Delhi like others," he said. When asked if he will participate in the Alanganallur Jallikattu, the actor said, "If required I will go. We actually planned to shot 'Virumaandi' in Alanganallur. But we did not get permission. So we had to recreate the place in Chennai. I have been pro-Jallikattu from a very young age. I have even participated in the sport. I have caught the hump and hugged the bull in real life too."

'Kung Fu Yoga'

World-renowned archaeology professor Jack, and his team are on a quest to locate a lost ancient Indian treasure. However, they have to race against mercenaries to save both, the fortune, and the ancient culture. Watch Jackie Chan, Sonu Sood, Amyra Dastur, and Disha Patani in a neck-break action-comedy.

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Hitesh Jhabak's much-awaited horror thriller 'Dora' is all set for a release. Directed by Doss Ramasamy, with Nayanthara in the lead, the first two single tracks from the film, 'Engapora Dora' and 'Vaazhavudu' have received remarkable response. Next for release is the 'Ra Ra Ra' track, a powerful and intense number describing Nayan's revenge against evil. Leading music composer Anirudh Ravichander composed this number. The song will also feature a special dialogue in Nayan's own voice. The movie album will be the first of its kind - featuring the background score and themes ahead of the film's release.

Dhanush is our son, claims old couple in court

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ctor/producer/multitasker Dhanush moved Madras High Court seeking quashing of a case filed in a lower court by an elderly couple who claim to be his parents. He also sought a stay on the proceedings pending in the judicial magistrate's court at Melur. The old couple in a petition claimed the actor was their third son and also sought maintenance of Rs 65,000 per month from the actor as they could not fend for themselves. They said he was a school boy when he ran away to Chennai to get into the film world, and that they could not trace him then and recognised him while watching his movies. Their efforts to meet him at Chennai had failed. The claims were denied by Dhanush who said their "entire statement is wrong." When his petition came up for hearing, Justice G Chockalingam directed the couple Kathiresan and Meenaksi to file

their counter, and posted the matter to February 8. On the work front, the actor will next be seen in 'VIP 2', along with Bollywood actress Kajol. She will be seen as sophisticated businesswoman in the action-drama, as revealed by a source. "She plays a suave businesswoman, and there will be different shades to her character. She has already joined the sets and has already shot for a week," the source said.

Srusti Dange joins a five language superstar film

Dimpled-beauty Shrusti Dange has scored lead role opposite Allu Sirish in multi-lingual, Mohanlal-starrer '1971Beyond Borders', directed by Major Ravi. She has officially replaced Nikki Galrani in the film based on the Indo-Bangladesh war, which is simultaneously made in Malayalam, Tamil, Telugu, Hindi, and Kannada. Shrusti has a good box office record, with hits like 'Dharma Durai' and 'Achamindri' to her credit.


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Dev Patel ll earns Oscar Ho nomination for 'Lion'

Sunidhi to rock UK this Valentine's

Asian Voice | 4th February 2017

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oo yw

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ritish actor of Indianorigin, Dev Patel, has received an Oscar nomination for his role in 'Lion'. He is up for the best actor in a supporting role at the 89th Academy Awards along with Mahershala Ali, Jeff Bridges, and Michael Shannon. "I would be lying if I say that awards are not amazing. Awards can really change someone's career. You get recognition. You might get scripts that you didn't get earlier. But I never took up a project thinking about a golden statue," Patel said. Based on Saroo Brierley's best-selling autobiography 'A Long Way Home', 'Lion' is a true story about an Indian boy who falls asleep on a train only to wake up and realise he is miles away from home in a strange land

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ollywood's lead female singer Sunidhi Chauhan will be arriving in UK for a smashing show, and the tickets are selling fast! The voice behind 'Sheila ki Jawani' and 'Mehboob Mere', Sunidhi, who won her first Filmfare Award for superhit 'Beedi', is known to be an entertainer and always vouches for mega concerts. After her Bollywood debut at the age of 13, Sunidhi went on to win the first singing reality show on DD National, titled 'Meri Awaz Suno', where she also received the Lata Mangeshkar Trophy for best female singer of India. With a career strongly supported by her parents, her father in particular, the singer realised she needed formal education in music before she decided to venture further into the industry. Her breakthrough 'Ruki Ruki Si Zindagi' saw her accept

where he does not speak the language. He ends up getting adopted by a couple in Australia, and years later, sets out to find his lost family. The movie, directed by Garth Davis, will release in India on February 24. In a refreshing change from last year's evidently "white" Oscars, this year's nominations included seven people of colour, and four out of nine picture contenders told African-American or Indian stories. "I'm sitting here with my mouth wide open figuring out how this happened. The film has opened people to my potential. After 'Slumdog', it was really hard for me to get quality work. You think it would be easy but it is actually a struggle. I felt pigeonholed," Patel said.

No plans to get hitched anytime soon: Deepika

the RD Burman Award, a start for many similar accolades to follow. Sunidhi has several chartbusters in her kitty, including recent ones 'Je T'aime' from 'Befikre' and 'Dilliwali Girlfriend' from 'Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani'. She has always remained an outspoken artist, never yielding to pressure that comes as part of the industry she works in. Sunidhi married wellknown music composer Hitesh Sonik in 2012. He has composed music for the movies like 'Pyaar Ka Punchnama', 'My Friend Pinto' and 'Stanley Ka Dabba'. With four different shows scheduled in London, Leeds, Birmingham and Leicester this month, Rock On Music has made your Valentine's, a day to remember. For tickets, contact Videorama on their 24-hour hotline 0208 907 0116.

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ROCK ON MUSIC gives you the chance to win two tickets to Sunidhi Chauhan's show. Send in your answers to the following question at mitul.paniker@abplgroup.com. Winner will be chosen from correct answers on lottery basis.

Which of these songs is sung by Sunidhi Chauhan?

Aamir's 'Dangal' becomes an all time blockbuster! A) Chikni Chameli B) Beedi Jalai Le C) Jiya Re

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amir Khan's 'Dangal' struck a chord with critics and viewers alike. The sports biopic based on wrestler Mahavir Singh Phogat's life also broke several records and set new benchmarks. Noted film critic and trade analyst Taran Adarsh recently tweeted the latest figures of the film and 'Dangal' continues its triumphant run at the box office since December 23. The Nitesh Tiwari directorial has collected as much as £20.06 million in the overseas circuit. Considering the movie earned £38.11 million in India till January 22, its worldwide collection now has exceeded £58.17 million. The film scored £10 million in just Mumbai, and is said to be the highest grossing film in Bollywood.

Starring Aamir Khan, Fatima Sana Shaikh, Sanya Malhotra, and Sakshi Tanwar, the movie is based on Phogat and his two daughter Geeta and Babita.

Rakesh Roshan wants to bring SRK, Hrithik together S

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irl of the hour, Deepika Padukone is enjoying her time in the limelight as her Hollywood debut 'xXx: Return of Xander Cage' continues to make waves across the world. However, that is not what Bollywood is going ga-ga over. Her alleged relationship has finally seen the light of day as during his promotional tour in India, costar Vin Diesel said her "boyfriend Ranveer" paid him a "sweet compliment." Opening up about her personal life, Deepika said she has "never dealt with a long-distance relationship," and that relationships can be as easy or complex depending on how the involved people deal with it. Speaking at length about marriage, she revealed she has no plans to get hitched anytime soon. The 'Padmavati' actress said marriage has nothing to do with age, but entirely depends on the person's state of mind.

hah Rukh Khan's 'Raees' and Hrithik Roshan's 'Kaabil' opened to divided crowds this week and as the stars expressed no bad blood despite the clash, producer Rakesh Roshan announced he would want to rope both of them for a two-hero project. Roshan Sr insisted there is no clash between the two actors and that he would love to do a 'Karan Arjun' sequel with the two. He added, "I am really close to his (Shah Rukh) family. I remember shooting for 'Krazzy 4' in which Hrithik was supposed to do a special number. But he had to back out at the last moment due to a knee injury. When I discussed the problem with Shah Rukh Khan, he immediately agreed to do the song. Hrithik will also star in my movies. If ever I work on a two-hero film like 'Karan Arjun' where

both male actors have equal roles, I will approach Shah Rukh." The last time the two superstars came together was for Karan Johar's 'Kabhi Khushi Kabhi Gham', in 2001. Meanwhile, when Hrithik was asked if he was up for the sequel with Shah, he said, "I would have to read the script." Rather coy, we noticed.


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Asian Voice |4th February 2017

Coming Events

l Oxford Centre for Hindu studies has scheduled a lecture titled 'Do The Right Thing As a Hindu' by Werner F Menski, on 4th February, at the Belgrave Neighbourhood Centre, Leicester, LE4 6LF. The lecture begins at 6.30 pm to 9.00 pm. l Shree Bharatiya Mandal invites everyone for a bhajan-bhojan programme on 4th February, between 7.00 pm to 9.00 pm, at the Indian Community Centre, 103 Union Road, Ashton-u-Lyne, OL6 8Jn. l Register yourself for dance classes, at Shishukunj Charity's fundraiser Dance-A-Thon. It will open on 12th February, at the London Academy, Spur Road, Edgware, HA8 8DE. l Noor Inayat Khan Memorial Annual Lecture: The Liberté Series - The Struggle for Human Rights in India, Vrinda Grover (Advocate, Supreme Court of India) Date: 7 February 2017, Time: 6:30-9 PM, Venue: Brunei Gallery Room: Brunei Gallery Lecture Theatre, Moderated by Razia Iqbal (BBC) Registration: The event is free and open to the public but registration essential to guarantee a place. Contact: ssai@soas.ac.uk, +44 (0)20 7898 4390 l The Bhavans celebrating The Republic day of India, Wednesday 8 Feb 7pm onwards, Venue: Bhavan, London W14 9HE. Contact: 020 7381 3086/info@bhavan.net Admission by Invitation only l The Noble Sage presents Tradition and Divergence frm India, Venue: Camden Image Gallery, NW1 0SO, 16-19 Feb 2017, Time: 11-6pm RSVP: info@thenoblesage.com

Men convicted of murder over a mop and bucket Following a family feud that broke out over a mop and bucket, two men have been convicted of murdering a father-of-four in Bradford. Sarfraz Khan, 35, pictured, was stabbed to death and his three brothers seriously hurt when a row at the family ice cream business, Rossi's Ices, escalated in April last year. Bradford Crown Court heard there had been tension between two sides of the family and the row over the mop and bucket was 'the straw that broke the camel's back'. Basharat Khan thought his cousin, Amir Ali, was finished using a mop and bucket to clean out his ice cream van and so he began to use it to clean out his own vehicle. A mass fight occurred in an alleyway near the participants' homes about ten minutes later, in which Sarfraz Khan was stabbed three times, dying later that night. Aftab Khan suffered a punctured lung and

other stab wounds and Asad Khan received a deep cut to his face and stab wounds to his chest. Following a trial at Bradford Crown Court, Mohammed Nasar and Tariq Mahmood were found guilty of murder. Amjid Ali, 39, and Amir Ali, 19, were cleared of murder but found guilty of manslaughter and convicted of unlawful wounding. A fifth defendant, 33year-old Sajid Hussain, was found not guilty of charges of murder, manslaughter, inflicting GBH with intent and unlawful wounding.

Man sentenced after attacking cousin with akitchen knife A man has been sentenced to an indefinite hospital order at the Old Bailey after pleading guilty to GBH with intent. The sentencing follows after he attacked his cousin with a long kitchen-style knife repeatedly in the chest as he sat in his car in north London. Forty-nine-year-old Mohamed Sharif Omar, pictured, of Bartholomew Road, Camden, attacked his victim on August 23 last year, the court heard. Police rushed to the spot in Wartlers Road,

Holloway, and found a 47year-old man with stab wounds to the chest and legs.

ARIES Mar 21 - Apr 20 Jupiter goes retrograde on

the 6th February for some time to come. This is going to be a time of frustration and re-assessment. It’s all about cultivating patience until planet goes direct. This is evident mainly in the arena of relationships, but it could also flow over into business partnerships and joint ventures. While you wait, don’t waste any time organise yourself.

TAURUS Apr 21 - May 21 Jupiter’s Retrograde cycle

occurs in your sixth house of work, health, and daily routines. The social aspect of relationships on the job may be strained for the time being. The desire to get on with people around you is very strong in this period. Do your best not to let people get to you. Make sure you are also up-todate with your tax affairs.

GEMINI May 22 - June 22 With Jupiter turning retrograde until June 9th, it's time to realign your thinking and adjust plans accordingly. There may be some waning enthusiasm experienced regarding a romance or a creative project. But once you adjust your expectations you will find the right balance to get on easily with people around you.

Jupiter Retrograde cycle occurs in your fourth house of home and family. Relations with your family may be a little strained. You might want to wait until Jupiter is direct (in June) before you express your frustrations with family members! This retrograde cycle also affects your health and daily work, so be aware of any pitfalls.

CANCER Jun 22 - Jul 22

Passers-by performed first aid on the victim before paramedics arrived and took him to hospital. Omar fled the scene after committing the crime but police arrested him later from his home. Omar, who suffers from paranoid schizophrenia, was charged the following day. Omar was sentenced to a hospital order under Section 37 of the Mental Health Act with an

Sneh Joshi

indefinite time limit. Detective Constable Dean Puzey, of Islington CID, as quoted in Evening Standard, said: “This is a tragic case involving an attacker with a mental illness, and a victim who was a relative of Omar’s. Were it not for the quick medical assistance from passers-by who witnessed this horrific assault, the victim could have died from his injuries. Omar poses a significant danger to the public and will now receive the medical treatment he needs.”

Jupiter Retrograde cycle occurs in your second house of money and values. Take the time to re-think your sources of income and how you spend your cash during this period, and avoid making any big purchases for a while. Jupiter also rules your home and relationships, so tread carefully, and reassess your options.

VIRGO Aug 24 - Sep 23

LIBRA Sep 24 - Oct 23

Jupiter Retrograde cycle occurs in your sign. This cycle will affect the personal image you project to others. Because Jupiter rules your romance sector, don't jump to conclusions if a loved one is acting a little distant. Wait it out. Your desires from love and relationship may be hard to figure out for the time being.

Jupiter Retrograde cycle occurs in your twelfth house. What you want from love and your desires are very ambiguous and obscure during this cycle. Deal with your past so that you can put it behind you, but don't do it at the expense of your present. Relationships with friends and family you will be philosophical.

SCORPIO Oct 24- Nov 22

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Jupiter’s Retrograde cycle occurs in your third house of communication. People around you may seem insincere. In fact, you may have a hard time getting your ideas across in a warm, genuine manner. As Jupiter also rules your partnership and joint resources, both of these things may have to be re-assessed during this retrograde cycle.

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Jupiter Retrograde cycle occurs in your eleventh house of friendships, groups, and aspirations. Your friendships or associations with groups may be a little strained during this period. You must make good use of the energy that is flowing, by channeling it positively! Personal standing and the home are also under scrutiny.

SAGITTARIUS Nov 23 - Dec 21

CAPRICORN Dec 22 - Jan 20 Focus on essentials and establish a solid foundation. The outlook remains optimistic and brings you a sense of real achievement. With Jupiter retrograde, transiting your career sector, you will want to re-assess whether you are spending too much time at work. Time to create a better work-life balance. AQUARIUS Jan 21 - Feb 19

An exchange of opinions ought to prove very enlivening at this time. An influence that should help to enjoy the 'nicer' side of others as bring out the best in friends, colleagues and partners alike. As Jupiter is retrograde in your Solar 9th house, be extremely careful as an argument over personal philosophies of life can get you into hot water.

PISCES Feb 20 - Mar 20 Jupiter Retrograde cycle occurs in your eighth house of intimacy, shared resources, and personal transformation. Hold onto your money, work on a budget, and avoid arguments with loved ones that revolve around intimacy and sexuality. You could also be dealing with past actions or karma. It's time to redefine what it is that you want out of life.


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SC picks former CAG Vinod Rai, 3 others to run cricket in India AsianVoiceNews

The Supreme Court of India on Monday appointed former CAG Vinod Rai to head Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) along with noted historian Ramachandra Guha, former Indian cricketer Diana Edulji and IDFC official Vikram Limaye. SC in its hearing declined Centre's request to appoint secretary of sports ministry as the member of the committee. SC referred to its earlier judgement debarring ministers and govt servants from holding office in BCCI. SC also named Amitabh Chaudhary, Anirudh Chaudhary of BCCI and Vikram Limaye to represent BCCI at the ICC meeting in the first week of February. Earlier on January 24, the apex court rejected all nine names submitted by the (BCCI) counsel, but granted senior lawyer

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Kapil Sabil permission to provide suggestions for an interim panel to run Indian cricket. During the hearing, the SC dismissed the names to be appointed as BCCI administrators, submitted in a sealed envelope, while asserting that any individual over the age of 70 will not be appointed as BCCI administrators. In its order from January 2, during which it had removed Anurag Thakur as BCCI president and disqualified all the board and its state association office bearers who had failed to meet the new norms set by the Justice Lodha Committee, the SC had stated that cricket administrators would be allowed to hold office for a cumulative period of nine years, inclusive of the time they hold office in their respective state associations as well as the BCCI. However, as this

Vikram Limaye

tally resolute, flying over, reaching above. Neither player asks questions, both of them make statements, one with flair and flourish and the other all grit and gumption. The galleries worship at the altar of one and adore the other, shouts of `Vamos Rafa!' then were quickly drowned out by `Let's go Roger, lets go!' chant that has become the anthem of fans. Federer was off the blocks quickly when hostilities began. He played sharp and broke the ninth early, sending out the first signs that he wasn't in a mood for that back-andforth thing his opponent so enjoys. Nadal, not to be outdone, was playing to a plan, keeping Federer waiting, going through his motions -endless routines, testing his patience. Then in the second game, on his second breakpoint opportunity of the game and match, Nadal's forehand broke down Federer's with a wicked repetition drill. The Swiss master had two chances to pull back in the following game, only the Spaniard couldn't be put away, charging to a 3-0 lead which quickly became

31

Australia seal one-day series against Pakistan Asian Voice | 4th February 2017

An insatiable David Warner blasted a career-best 179 and dominated Australia's highest ever one-day partnership with fellow centurion Travis Head to help secure their 57-run victory in the fifth and final match

Vinod Rai

Ramachandra Guha

was in contrast to that of July 18 which stated that the cumulative tenure would be limited to nine plus nine years - that is, nine years within the BCCI and nine in state associations - the SC last week offered further clarification and set the ineligibility clause as "an officebearer of the BCCI for nine years or a State Association for the same period". On January 20, the centre moved the SC

Diana Edulji

against the implementation of the Lodha Committee recommendations on behalf of the Railway Sports Promotion Board, Services Sports Control Board and All India Universities - three sporting bodies that held full membership of the BCCI earlier but now stand relegated to associate member status without voting rights as per the Lodha panel's "one stateone vote" recommendation.

Federer beats Nadal in Melbourne for 18th Grand slam A sobbing Roger Federer embraced his 18th Grand Slam singles title with the unbridled passion of a fiveyear-old. He came into the tournament with nothing to lose, chasing the impossible dream that became his on a brilliantly-lit Melbourne night. The 35-year-old in his 100th Australian Open outing won 6-4, 3-6, 6-1, 3-6, 6-3 in 3 hours and 38 minutes against Spain's Rafael Nadal, taking home $3,700,000. “I'm out of words,” Federer said, holding the trophy presented to him by Rod Laver, the man he idolises and after whom the stadium is named after. “I want to congratulate Rafa on an amazing comeback. I don't think either of us believed we would be here when we saw each other at his academy four/five months ago. Keep playing, Rafa please, tennis needs you. Keep doing everything you do.” “Roger deserved to win more than me today,” the 30-year-old Nadal said. “I worked very hard to be here, I fighted (sic) hard here. I'll keep trying, keep fighting through the whole season. I hope to come back here. I'll let Roger keep the trophy (this time) and see you next year...” The Federer versus Nadal is as much a rivalry as it is a bond. Rafa called it a contrast of styles, play and personalities that transcends the sport. Federer said he was the Spaniard's No.1 fan. It is the story of brothers, where the more physically gifted is the standard, setting the bar and the men-

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4-0. Federer broke Nadal in the fifth game to get on to the scoreboard in the second set, but couldn't stop the Mallorcan from levelling sets. Serena wins record 23rd major with win over Venus Serena Williams has won her record 23rd Grand Slam singles title with a 6-4, 6-4 victory over her older sister Venus in the women's final. With her record seventh Australian title, the 35year-old Williams moved ahead of Steffi Graf for the most major titles in the Open era. Margaret Court won 24 majors, but collected 13 of those before the Open era. The victory at Rod Laver Arena also ensured Serena Williams will regain the top ranking, which she lost in September after 186 straight weeks when Angelique Kerber won the US Open. It was Serena's seventh win in nine allWilliams Grand Slam finals, and the first since Wimbledon in 2009. It was 36-year-old, No. 13seeded Venus Williams' first trip back to a major final in 7 ½ years.

Williams has won 15 majors since last losing to Venus in a Grand Slam final, at Wimbledon in 2008. "This was a tough one - I really would like to take this moment to congratulate Venus," Serena said. "She's an amazing person. There's no way I'd be at 23 without her. She's my inspiration and the only reason I'm standing here today. Thanks for inspiring me to be the best player I can be. "She deserves a round of applause - she's made an amazing comeback." Sania beaten in mixed doubles final Sania Mirza's aim for her seventh major tennis title ended in despair as she and Croatian partner Ivan Dodig were beaten 26, 4-6 by unseeded American Abigail Spears and Colombian Juan Sebastian Cabal in the Australian Open mixed doubles final. The IndoCroatian pair accepted defeat in one hour and three minutes. Sania was bidding for her seventh major tennis title, and first with Croatian partner Ivan Dodig, in the Australian Open mixed doubles final where the second seeds took on the unseeded American-Colombian pair. Sania and Dodig were pushed on the backfoot at the onset of the match, getting broken twice to trail 0-4. Dodig lost his serve in the opening game of the match after a forehand unforced error. Sania too lost her first service game, third of the first set, unable to return a backhand shot.

against Pakistan lasts week. Babar Azam (100) and Sharjeel Khan (79) kept alive Pakistan's hopes of chasing down a 370-run victory target but they collapsed for 312 in the final over as Australia wrapped up the series 4-1. For Pakistan, Shoaib Malik retired hurt after scoring 10, while Umar Akmal made a brisk 46 down the order. With the hosts having already taken an unassailable lead in the series, the contest was of merely academic interest but Warner's hunger for runs was on display in the high-scoring match at the Adelaide Oval again. Warner went into the match with five centuries in his last 10 one-day innings and the diminutive lefthander brought up his sixth of the season in just 78 balls. He was aided by his luck in the process. After Australia elected to bat, Warner could have been dismissed from the first ball of the match but an airborne Azhar Ali spilled the edge at second slip off Mohammad Amir. Some 32 overs later, Amir was the culprit as he floored a simple chance after Warner, then on 130, had gone after Hasan Ali, with the clanger leaving Pakistan coach Mickey Arthur shaking his head in dismay in the dressing room. The 30-year-old set the tempo in the record 284-run stand with stop-gap opening partner Head, who went on to make 128, his maiden one-day century. The previous Australia record was the 260 Warner put on with Steve Smith for the second wicket in a 2015 World Cup match against minnows Afghanistan. Having bettered his previous career-best of 178, made in that match against Afghanistan, Warner was in sight of the 200-mark when he started cramping. The opener was eventually caught at point off Junaid Khan who dismissed home captain Smith in the same over. Warner belted 19 fours and five sixes in his 128-ball assault at the Adelaide Oval.

Australian bowler hit on the head Australian fast bowler Joe Mennie was hit on the head during training and suffered a fractured skull and 'minor brain bleed', Cricket Australia said. Mennie was hit while bowling in the nets session of Twenty20 Big Bash League team, the Sydney Sixers, in Brisbane, when a ball struck the side of his head. Cricket Australia Chief Medical Officer John Orchard said Mennie was initially discharged from the hospital that night but follow-up scans the next day revealed his injures were worse than they first thought. "Joe was reviewed by a Cricket Australia doctor and had some scans performed that revealed a small fracture and associated minor brain bleed," Orchard said in a statement. The medical officer described the injury as serious but said Mennie was "feeling well". "We believe that this is a stable injury and will not require surgery," he added.

BCCI denies NOC to Sreesanth

Controversial fast bowler S Sreesanth’s much hyped out comeback to the game has hit a roadblock as the Board of Control for Cricket in India has denied him a No Objection Certificate (NOC), which effectively ends his hope of turning up for the Scotland Cricket League. “The BCCI has an internal mechanism and it was their disciplinary committee which slapped a life ban on Sreesanth after conducting its own probe in the Indian Premier League (IPL) match fixing case in which he was arrested in 2013,” said a source. The Kerala pacer has been banned for life by the BCCI for being involved in the spot-fixing scandal which hit the Indian Premier League in 2013. He was handed the ban when Delhi police framed him for being involved in such nefarious acts. As there were no opportunities available for him to make a comeback anywhere within the Indian cricket circuit, Sreesanth decided to shift to Scotland to play in the regional league. Ever since his ban, the mercurial pacer who represented India in 27 Tests, 53 ODIs, and 10 T20Is has featured in several reality shows and also forayed into politics when he unsuccessfully contested the Kerala Assembly elections on a Bharatiya Janata Party ticket.


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Asian Voice | 28th January 2017

India pull off stunning death-over win in second T20I

India produced an inspired bowling display to deny England their first limitedovers series in the country by winning the second Twenty20 International (T20I) in Nagpur by five runs. India posted 144/8 after being sent into bat in the Vidarbha Cricket Association Stadium. England, seemingly in control, faltered at the end to be restricted to 139/6. Young pacer Jasprit Bumrah bowled an inspired last over, conceding only two runs, to deny England a victory. He finished the match with figures of 20/2 in his four overs, giving away only three runs in the 18th over. Veteran pacer Asish Nehra (3/28) also contributed to India's win. England won the first match of the three-match series by seven wickets at Kanpur. The third match is at Bengaluru on February 1. Sam Billings (12) got England going in the run chase with two huge sixes of leg-spinner Yuzvender Chahal in the third over. But Nehra struck twice in the next over, having Billings (12) caught by Bumrah at fine leg in the first ball and then induced a leading edge of Jason Roy (10) in the next ball to be caught at mid-on by Suresh Raina. The twin strikes jolted England. They needed time to get back in their run-chasing groove. Skipper Eoin Morgan (17) and Joe Root (38) began rebuilding. Root struck two fours in the ninth over, off leg-spinner Amit Mishra, to

increase the run rate. England reached 65/2 in 10 overs, needing 80 more runs to win in 60 balls. But their ambitions received a blow when Morgan mistimed a lofted shot off Mishra to be caught at deep midwicket in the 11th over. Mishra then bowled Ben Stokes (38) in the third ball of the over but replays showed he overstepped to concede a no-ball. Stokes launched himself to a boundary and a six off Raina in the 14th over to increase the run rate. He continued with a pull shot off Chahal for a six to bring up England's 100 in the 15th over. England were 104/3 in 15 overs, needing 41 runs off 30 balls. The 52-run fourthwicket partnership of Root and Stokes steadily took England on way to a rare series win in India. A desperate Kohli, needing a breakthrough, brought back Nehra, who duly responded, removing Stokes with a slower fuller delivery on middle stump that the left-hander missed and was adjudged leg before wicket. The pressure oscillated towards the English batsmen despite Root anchoring one end. But they needed 24 runs from 12 balls and urgently needed boundaries. Jos Butler (15) whipped Nehra for a four and a six in the 19th over to inch them closer. Root was caught lbw by Bumrah in the first ball of the last over, with England needing eight for victory. Bumrah then castled Butler in the fourth ball, with England still

requiring seven runs off two balls, which proved too much. Earlier, India posted a paltry total. Opener K.L. Rahul (71) was the top scorer for the hosts while Manish Pandey contributed with a crucial 30 runs. Put in to bat, Indian openers Virat Kohli and Rahul started the innings cautiously by playing the ball to its merit. After four overs, Kohli, who slammed 21 runs in 15 balls, failed to continue his aggressive batting as he was dismissed by pacer Chris Jordan. Jordan bowled a slower and wider ball, to which Kohli stepped out for a lofted shot but ended up getting caught at long-on to Liam Dawson. Incoming batsman Raina, who impressed in the last match at Kanpur, was sent back by leg-spinner Adil Rashid after only two overs with seven runs. The recalled left-hander tried to slog sweep but ended up hitting the ball straight to Jordan at long-on. After eight overs, India were struggling at 56/2 with two premier batsmen departing cheaply. Rahul, who seemed to be in good nick, played his regular shots and signalled his return to form while incoming batsman Yuvraj Singh failed to step up to the occasion, being sent packing in the 11th over while trying a sweep to spinner Moeen Ali. The Punjab batsman was adjudged leg before wicket. Unperturbed by the fall of wickets, Rahul went on to slam a quick-fire 50. His 32ball knock was laced with

three boundaries and two sixes. The fall of Yuvraj's wicket brought in Manish Pandey, who along with Rahul helped the hosts to get past 100-run mark in the 14th over. Both batsmen forged a 56-run fourth-wicket partnership before Rahul was caught by Strokes at deep mid-wicket. England take 1-0 lead in first match Finally England's bowlers had the chance to spearhead a victory on this tour. True, none of them picked up more than two wickets, but that only established how good they were as a unit. India were kept to a measly 147 on a Kanpur pitch that wasn't in any way inimical and as icing on the cake Eoin Morgan scored a halfcentury to make sure his team took a 1-0 lead in the three-match series.

India, who had lost the toss and were put in, seemed rather obsessed with powerhitting. They had gone through the entire World T20 playing proper cricket, only to be brutally swept aside by West Indies in the semi-final. From the moment Virat Kohli carved the third ball of the match for four through point, it seemed like they were trying to go for the boundary every single ball. It did not pay off though, as England dashed a little bit of the Republic Day celebrations at a jam-packed Green Park stadium in Kanpur. Admittedly, it doesn't seem the worst strategy to leave your brain behind as a batsman when playing T20. There's 10 wickets to negotiate 20 overs, and while batting first, it even seems logical to do so. But India don't normally play in this fashion

and will need time to catch up with the rest of the world. This evening, for example, they couldn't deal with how they were bleeding wickets, at the worst possible times. Kohli and KL Rahul, who opened the batting, fell within three overs of each other on either side of the Power play. Suresh Raina, Yuvraj Singh and Manish Pandey Nos 3, 4 and 6 - dismissed within three overs as well, between the 11th and the 14th. India couldn't lay a good enough foundation at the start and were running out of batsmen by the end. No one made it past a score of 36. The key for England was in how well they read the pitch. It was both grassy and cracked and lent itself to fast bowlers who were willing to hit the deck and also experiment with cross-seamers and slower balls.

Moeen Ali puts Mecca pilgrimage ahead of IPL riches For Moeen Ali, a devout Muslim, turning down the big bucks of the Indian Premier League for a religious pilgrimage was a no-brainer. "We've played so much cricket lately," he says, tugging at his beard periodically as he talks. "I'd love to go and play [the IPL] at some point, but I've got to manage my own body and schedule. It's not all about the money. Sometimes you have to think about other things. "I've got a family. My parents are getting older, and I want to spend time with them too. It's not always easy to get that downtime, and when you're always on the road it can be mentally tiring, and you get fatigued. There's more to life than cricket." This will be Moeen's second trip to Mecca. It will be a shorter, more relaxed visit, known as the umrah. When he was 22, he did the hajj, the mandatory pilgrimage that all Muslims must undertake if they are financially and physically capable. "It's one of the five pillars of Islam," Moeen explains. "You have to go once in your life." So Moeen flew to Saudi Arabia and joined millions of his fellow pilgrims, slowly circling the Ka'aba, the giant stone block at the centre of the holy site. But Moeen's long TM

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winter is not quite at an end yet. On Thursday England and India will meet in the final Twenty20 game, the last of their 11 engagements across all formats, with the series poised at one apiece. No rest for the wicket-takers. Moeen is one of a handful of players who has been there for the lot: the crushing 4-0 defeat in the Test series, the traumatic first two one-day internationals when England scored 350 and lost both times, and finally the fleeting resurgence that has injected a little of the pride back into English cricket. Moeen has been at the vanguard of England's fightback, going for less than a run a ball in each of their last three matches. "I feel like I'm getting better as a one-day and T20 spinner," he says. "Even at the back of the ODIs, I felt good. I didn't pick up any wickets, but I felt I bowled quite tight. I'm not a mystery spinner like Adil Rashid, with a lot of skill. You're just trying to do one basic thing: keep it as tight as you can and build pressure." The Bangalore surface is expected to be another slow, testing track - during last year's world T20, no team managed to break 160 on it. But England's confidence remains

high after their narrow defeat in Nagpur on Sunday. "We should have won that comfortably," Moeen insists. "It's not easy coming to India against this batting line-up and restricting them twice to 150. If we do the same thing, we'll beat them." England have certainly earned their break. But before that, they will want to seal the series, to leave India with something at least. And so Moeen and his team-mates prepare to go again: one more push.

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Asian Voice weekly newspaper (Issue 39)

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