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Vol 45 | Issue 43




Britain appoints its first female top cop

Let noble thoughts come to us from every side

Photo Credit: James Gifford-Mead

Cressida Dick

Her Majesty the Queen and her husband Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh meet India’s Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, High Commissioner of India HE Y K Sinha, wife Girija Sinha, Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson at the Royal Reception in Buckingham Palace

Palace Gets a Taste of India as UK-India Year of Culture Kicks Off Rupanjana Dutta

On Monday the Queen Elizabeth II hosted a historic reception to launch the UK-India Year of Culture at the Buckingham Palace. Finance Minister Arun Jaitley was joined by an Indian delegation, including the likes of film stars Kamal Hassan, Suresh Gopi, all-rounder Kapil Dev, singer Gurdas Mann, fashion designers Manish Arora, Anita Dongre and Manish Malhotra, sitar maestro Anoushka Shankar with her mother, among others. The Queen


was joined by her husband Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, and grandson Prince William and his wife Kate Middleton. The Duchess of Cambridge wore a sparkling metallic and pink silk dress by Erdem, pairing the outfit with earrings by Indian designer Anita Dongre. She topped the outfit off with matching sparkling heels. The Royals sampled food from both countries at the launch of the UKIndia Year of Culture 2017, prepared in the Palace kitchen by Royal Chef Mark Flanagan and

46 Church Road Stanmore Middx London HA7 4AH

Indian restaurant Veeraswamy Chef Uday Salunkhe. The image of India's national bird, the peacock, was projected across the entire front façade of Buckingham Palace, visible from all approaches to the Palace from 6pm on Monday evening. The projection was designed by Studio Carrom, the Bangalore and Londonbased design studio, which created the eye-catching image of the peacock with dancing figures within its feathers. The peacock is an iconic motif representing both India and perform-

ance, and also reminiscent of Indian fireworks, a symbol of celebration and festivities. ROYAL RECEPTION High-profile guests from various fields were greeted at the main foyer of the palace with a special Indian dance performance on the steps titled ‘Ekam’, presented by Akademi and choreographed by Arunima Kumar. It showcased the cultural diversity of India in the form of dance. Dancers included Arunima Kumar (Kuchipudi), Archna Patel (Kuchipudi), Bhagyalakshmi Thyagarajan (Bharatanatyam), Helene Continued on page 17

Cressida Dick has been appointed Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police - becoming the first woman ever to lead

the force in its 188-year history. The 56-year-old, who retired from the Met Continued on page 6

Dev Patel walks the red carpet with his mother

An adorable photo of Dev Patel, looking lovingly at mother Anita Patel who accompanied him to this Sunday's Oscars. Dressed in a white dinner jacket, the 'Lion' actor was no match to his mother and her black and gold sari that stole the show. The mother-son duo have effectively become the internet's current favourite.

Full Story on page 26


ONE ONE with Keith Vaz, MP

Asian Voice 4th March 2017


Jaydutt "Jimmy" Desai

Jaydutt "Jimmy" Desai is a community Pharmacist practising in Ilford, Essex. His career spans 28 years, all of which has been devoted to active community pharmacy service. During his career He has cared for patients of all ages and believes in the principal of ‘serve and be served'. He is also an avid philanthropist and has been heavily involved with a number of notable diabetes charities. He is also a Special Advisor on Pharmacy to the All Party Parliamentary Group for Diabetes, where he supports and advises the Group on Government policy on community pharmacy. He finds his job as a community pharmacist rewarding and challenging as he is motivated by helping patients to live healthier lives. In 2016 he created the DIMPLE project, designed to bring diabetes testing into pharmacies. Fifty five percent of the pharmacists in the U.K. are of British Asian heritage. 1) What is your current position? I am a community Pharmacist practising in Ilford Essex. I have been a pharmacist since 1988. I spent the first 24 years of my career in the London Borough of Brent practicing in Wembley and I am now based at DP Pharmacy in Ilford in Essex. 2) What are your proudest achievements? I regard myself as being a decent human being working with the community and being with my family. More recently I was

appointed as the Special Pharmacy Advisor to All Party Parliamentary Group for Diabetes. This for me is a proud and thrilling achievement. 3) What inspires you? Since a young age I have always wanted to be involved in saving lives. Now in my role as a community pharmacist I advise patients on making healthier lifestyle choices. Whilst this may not be immediately obvious, this in fact serves my ambitions and motivations to save lives. Just


Upon retirement I wish to dedicate more of my time to charitable causes, particularly in the field of Diabetes. The DIMPLE project is very important to me and I want to personally find all the people who have diabetes and don't know it!

engaging with the public means so much to me. In the current age there is too much dependency on technology to give people answers. I love to be in my pharmacy meeting people face to face. Life is about human contact and human achievement. 4) What has been the biggest obstacle in your career? The role of pharmacists as a frontline healthcare provider has only just been recognised by the National Health Service. Previously, the role of pharmacists was seen as a non-clinical role. This recognition is therefore long overdue, as pharmacists are the centre of the local healthcare service, interacting with hundreds of patients on a daily basis, providing vital services and advice to our communities. 5) Who has been the biggest influence on your career to date? My wife Arpana Desai has always motivated me to perform my duties and has always stood by me 'come what may'. I cannot imagine my life without her. 6) What is the best aspect about your current role? The best part about my current role is playing a clinical role to help my patients to live healthier lifestyles. Promoting healthy

choices for both food and exercise are vital for safeguarding the future health of the nation. 7) And the worst? As I’m sure many pharmacists across the country will agree, the cuts that the Government has just imposed to community pharmacies are making our jobs increasingly difficult. There are problems with morale and services are now being stretched very thin. This is the most worrying time I have had in practice. 8) What are your long term goals? I aim to practise as a community pharmacist until the age of 65.

British and Indian Change-Makers honoured at Indo-UK Thought-Leadership Awards Great Place to Study (GPTS) Research Institute, an international auditing firm commissioned by SkillTree Knowledge Consortium to certify and audit Indian colleges, together with the international business and communications consultancy Sterling Media, hosted the 3rd Indo-UK Thought Leadership awards at a glittering award ceremony at the Mayfair Hotel in London, to honour British and Indian change-makers in the field of education, business and international relations. Hosted as part of the 3rd Great Place to Study India Edition initiative, a two-day delegation of India and UK academics, educationists, public figures and business Jay Varkey, Natasha Mudhar, Rajesh Agrawal and Virendra Sharma MP leaders convened in London, the 3rd Indo-UK Thought Rajesh Agrawal – Deputy Mayor of Leadership Awards were held in London for Business recognition of the 70th anniversary of l Future Herald Award – India and UK’s cultural and business Jay Varkey, Group Executive Director partnership, and the role of eminent GEMS Education thought-leaders in India and UK to l Outstanding Contribution to strengthen bilateral trade, economic, Education Empowerment – cultural and education relations Kate Robinson between the nations. The education l Outstanding Contribution to Indo – sector not only acts as a soft power in UK Academic Relations – cementing the thought leadership of a Dame Asha Khemka country, it also helps to move the neel Outstanding Contribution: Indiadle to create change and inspire a UK Relation – Virendra Sharma, MP nation. l Excellence in Business – Mihir Kapadia, CEO, SunGlobal Attendees included esteemed Investments political and public figures, VIPs, l Centre of Excellence Award – business stalwarts, social contributors UK – Oxford Centre For Hindu and lynchpins of the education and Studies, Shaunaka Rishi Das business sector from the UK and l Youth Icon Award – Sanam Arora, India. The list of eminent awardees President, National Indian Students & included: Alumni Union l Global Icon Award –


l Edupreneur of the Year –

Jesus Lall, CEO Universal Education Group l Education Evangelist of the year – Grace Pinto (Ryan International School) l Outstanding Contribution in Indian Education & Industry – Sushma Paul Berlia, Chairperson & President: Apeejay Svran Group & Apeejay Education Society l Centre of Excellence Award – India – Case Research Center, ICFAI Group, Sudhakar Rao Rajesh Agrawal, Deputy Mayor of London for Business said: “London is a city of dreams, where one can achieve anything. My story is a testimonial to that, I grew up from a small town in India and stepped out for the first time abroad, and landed in Heathrow with £200 in my pocket back in 2001. This is the greatness of the city, and education is one of the greatest exports, making it now only a 3 billion pound strong economy, but giving us a huge soft power. As for the city, this is why we have launched the ‘London is Open’ campaign to attract and welcome some of the world’s best talent.” Speaking about the role of education bridging the two cultures of India and UK, Dinesh Patnaik, Deputy High Commissioner of India to the UK, said “Knowledge changes everything, and it is vital as education acts as a great link between the two countries. However, over the years, the number of Indian students coming to the UK to study has fallen down from 40,000 to 16,000. While this is not a loss to India considering they have other welcome options

9) If you were Prime Minister, what one aspect would you change? If I was Prime Minister I would invest more resources into the National Health Service. The NHS is the pride of Britain, but it is currently being stretched to full capacity. It is a worthwhile investment, and it will safeguard the health and wellbeing of the British population for decades to come. 10) If you were marooned on a desert island, which historical figure would you like to spend your time with and why? Well, the thought of being marooned on a strange island does send shivers down my spine! There is not really a historical figure that I would like to be marooned with, I would much prefer to be there with my wife! However I definitely would like to be on any island with President Trump!

Descendant of Balochistan rulers to approach India for freedom Amir Ahmed Suleman Daud, whose ancestors ruled much of the Balochistan region, now a part of Pakistan, declared in London he will approach India for the independence of Balochistan. Daud is in exile in the United Kingdom. Addressing a seminar entitled “Balochistan Revisited” at the British Houses of Parliament organised by The Democracy Forum, Daud said: “I will go to India (to pursue independence for Balochistan).” In reference to Narendra Modi’s speech on 15 August last supporting Balochi separatism, he added: “I welcomed Mr Modi’s statement.” Speaking to a packed house, he resolutely stated, in course of stormy exchanges with proPakistan elements in the audience, he will go to Afghanistan, Iran and other countries. He disclosed he is actively in touch with Congress in the United States to achieve his goal. He described Balochistan’s accession to Pakistan in 1948 as “annexation”. He argued: “We lost our independence because of geo-politics.” such as the US, Canada, Germany or Australia where numbers seem to swell, it is certainly a setback for working and expanding on the histori-

He explained this by saying Britain wanted to deny the Soviet Union access to warm waters. “This is why they (the British) went back on the treaties (between the Kalat State and the UK). In the centuries-old Kalat Confederacy, the Khan of Kalat was the head, Daud maintained. The British leased various parts of the Kalat State. On 4 August 1947, Lord Mountbatten, the Viceroy of India, the Khan of Kalat and the founder of the incoming state of Pakistan, Mohammed Ali Jinnah, signed an agreement in Delhi recognising the independence of Kalat for negotiation purposes. Kalat, in fact, remained independent until 28 March 1948, when it merged under duress with Pakistan. Daud virtually accused Jinnah of treachery. He explained the latter was Kalat’s lawyer from 1933 to 1947. “He (Jinnah) pleaded our case with the (British) Privy Council,” Daud mentioned. He went on to say the British “persuaded Jinnah to change his mind”. He concluded: “He (Jinnah) had inside information, which undermined us.” cal UK India ties which was based historically over the medium of education as a facilitator for socioeconomic and political relations.”

C MMENTS AsianVoiceNews


Asian Voice |4th March 2017


No gain of an India fearful of its own shadow Decades ago, Sardar Vallabhbhai closest aide, V.P. Menon caution to India about succumbing to fear of its own shadow comes readily to mind. Shortly before his death, Patel himself was sharply critical of K.M. Panikkar, India’s ambassador to China, for the lack of firmness in his presentation of India’s concern at China’s invasion of Tibet in November 1950, of being more anxious to explain the minatory demarches of Beijing to New Delhi. Certain media gurus and retired diplomat more Panikkan than Gandhian in their eye for the main chance – peace prizes and the plums to follow Can India ever be in the right for such folk? To ask the question is not to surrender to mindless jingoism. Perish the thought. No sane or civilized adult would wish to descend to such abject juvenilia. Reading a recent edit-page article in the Kolkatabased Telegraph newspaper by K.P.Nayar, its Diplomatic Correspondent, resident in Washington, warning ‘the Indian political class’ of the perils of baiting mighty China with a ‘two China policy’ and to learn the lesson of US President Donald Trump’s supposed mea culpa when Beijing fired a broadside across his bows. Time was when fact was sacred and comment was free. Clearly, not any longer; neither in the United States and Britain, nor, alas, in the English-language Indian broadsheets, long habituated to taking their cues from Big Brother in the West. Examine, for a start, the Trump case. He had had an amicable telephone conversation with the Prime Minister of Taiwan following his election victory over Hilary Clinton. It was the New York Times and its ilk, and the Democratic party establishment and the Obama White House who put the two-China spin to Mr Trump’s conversation. True, Bejing was offended and went into a deep sulk. But this invariably happens when Bejing takes umbrage at any event involving, say, the Dalai Lama, whether it be an invitation to a cultural event at Rashtrapati Bhavan or his movements within India, or even his stay in India

itself. In this case the charge is splitting China. A mere whisper to a Taiwanese personage ins an invitation elicit similar bolts of fury. Beijing’s recent ire against India arose from the visit of a Taiwanese parliamentary delegation to New Delhi at the invitation of a BJP caucus in Parliament. The BJP caucus, has not pleaded for a two-China policy to the Indian government; neither has the ‘Indian political class.’ Mr Nayar is a name-dropper. Names of the great and good in the Ministry of External Affairs are given a generous airing, from time to time. Amidst such enthusiastic trivia – for such it is – he omits even passing reference to China’s stubborn unwillingness to subscribe to the UN Security black list of Pakistani jihadi Masood Azhar as a terrorist for his role in the Mumbai terror assault of November 26, 2008, in which 167 innocent people lost their lives. In addition to this, China has stubbornly blocked India’s admission to the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG). It takes two to tango, but it takes a solitary state to kowtow to the dictates of the Middle Kingdom. We may expect a warning of dire consequences should the forthcoming high level ministerial visits from Vietnam to New Delhi lead to closer Indo-Vietnam defence ties. The Nayar, based on illogical negativism would possibly argue for a suspension of the visit for fear of upsetting the Chinese leadership. There are siren calls on the pages of the Hindu newspaper arguing for India to sign up to China’s ‘One Road, One Belt’ project, an ambitious attempt to construct a new economic equator encircling the world.. China’s strategic alignment with its ‘all-weather friend,’ Pakistan, targeting India, must be accepted without denur. The Nayar script is integral to the theatre of the absurd. Incidentally, Mr Nayar was a special pleader for Hillary Clinton in his reporting of the US Presidential election. He issued heavy hints at the time on the likely negative impact on Indo-US relations were Donald Trump to enter the White House as president. Best wait and see.

Modi’s appeal to Trump on US visa restrictions We are on the cusp of world disorder following decades of a commonly perceived world order cast in stone by the West. The head of the European Council, Donald Tusk of Poland, in a fit of the vapours listed President Trump, Russia, China and jihadi Islamic State as the greatest threat to Europe. With the Old Order melting faster than the Arctic ice cap, India must surely look to its own interests. Mr Modi has appealed to President Trump to mull over the rumoured US restrictions on H-1B visas to Indian IT professionals seeking to enter the US for short-term contractual employment in local companies. The Prime Minister’s Office issued the following statement: ‘The PM referred to the role of skilled Indian talent in enriching the American economy and society. He urged the (US) to develop a reflective, balanced and farsighted perspective on movement of skilled professionals’ One appreciates the damaging effect on the US economy of the disastrous consequences of the movement of American manufacturing platforms to China and other cheaper locations abroad, leaving the country’s rust belt a scene of dereliction and high unemployment. Working class and middle class America have borne the impact of ill-considered policies deftly packaged for public consumption but now suffering indecent exposure across the republic. But why throw out the baby with the bathwater? The movement of capital and skilled labour between India and the US and UK are surely beneficial for all three parties. The new high-tech revolution is having a deepening, transformative effect on all three par-

ties and is a far cry from uncontrolled immigration, with its litany of social abuses and threats to national cultures and ways of life. Immigration controls are a vital necessity for the maintenance of good order and anxiety-free governance. Unfettered movement of capital and skilled labour within a rational ly considered framework is not argue for some variant of the sort of free trade agreement, to which Mr Trump is understandably opposed. It is a straightforward arrangement with no hidden traps in the small print that have bedeviled free trade deals signed up to by previous US administrations. India’s skilled professionals have a proven track record of blending seamlessly and creatively into Western societies on the basis of shared moral values based on the rule of law. If one may reinforce the argument, let us also examine the Indian footprint in Britain with some telling truths. Indians were the largest group of skilled professionals, at 57 per cent in 2016, according to British Home Office statistics. Work visas were issued to 53,575 Indians in 2016, of which 42 per cent were granted for the IT sector, 19 per cent for science and technology, and 12 per cent for finance and insurance. Americans came second on the list of visa issuance for skills with 9,348. Taken in the round the figures carry a convincing message for America and Britain, in particular, and Europe in general. The Old global order was based on military might, its replacement must be based on multilateral consensus and common sense to be more enduring and enriching.

US Seventh Fleet to be serviced in India The US Seventh Fleet will be serviced by the Anil Ambani-owned company Reliance Defence and Engineering Ltd. The company has signed an agreement with the US Navy for maintenance of vessels of the fleet whose area responsibility include the Western Pacific and the Indian Ocean. The Seventh Fleet, with 100 vessels and auxiliaries, 300 aircraft and 40,000 navy and Marine Corps personnel, is headquartered at Yokosuka, Japan. At present the Seventh Fleet docks at Singapore or Japan for repairs and servicing.

Reliance Shipyard at Pipvav, Gujarat, was selected by the US Navy for such work following a exhaustively detailed site survey of its facilities in October last year. Rajesh Dhingra, CEO of Reliance Defence, said: ‘It’s a great opportunity to work with the US Navy and the agreement will help boost cooperation between the India and the United States The pact is a validation of the hard work put by our team to achieve the best international standards at the Reliance Shipyard.’ Warmest congratulations!

This is what learning is. You suddenly understand something you've understood all your life, but in a new way - Doris Lessing

Manoj Ladwa

Strategic Advisor - Global Business & Government

Economists are wrong to be subdued about India's growth trajectory Reserve Bank of India Governor Urjit Patel is known to weigh his words very carefully before speaking. So, when he says the pace of growth will pick up now that the process of remonetisation is almost complete, it is time to sit up and take notice. Just to recap, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi had, on November 8 last year, announced the demonetisation of all Rs 1,000 and Rs 500 notes. In one stroke, that bold move wiped out 86 per cent of currency in circulation in India and sucked out $210 billion worth of liquidity from the system. With money in short supply, consumption plummeted, hitting a host of sectors ranging from consumer durables, FMCG, cars and twowheelers, jewellery to eating out and travelling. With remonetisation taking longer than anticipated, the demand slump pulled India’s growth rate from an expected 7.6 per cent to a projected 7.1 per cent for the current financial year. The demo-blow hit just as the economy was showing signs of moving into a higher growth trajectory. That was one reason why the move was severely criticised by many economists. But I feel they missed the woods for the trees. The clean-up of the system resulting from demo will bring hitherto unreported economic activity into the formal economy and result in an increase in the size of the economy. There will be other collateral benefits as well, such as an expected rise in tax collections, a reduction in corruption and improvement in the ease of doing business. It should suffice here to say that demonetisation did not kill the uptick in

consumption that was visible in the economy late last calendar year. It only led to its deferment and turned it into latent demand. Now that money is back in circulation, the pent-up demand is expected to find expression, leading to a surge in consumption of the entire gamut of goods and services that had suffered a slowdown over the last three-and-a-half months. Two other positive factors will combine with the above trend to give a huge push to GDP growth. As has been discussed ad nauseam in every financial publication that has written about the Indian economy, one of the factors holding back higher growth rates is the falling investment rate. Stretched balance sheets of the Indian corporate sector and rising bad loans in the banking system have compounded this problem from both sides of the equation – potential borrowers are in no position to borrow and lenders are in no position to lend. Hence, private investment remains low, dragging down growth. If India is still growing at more than 7 per cent – the fastest among the world’s major economies – it is because of high government spending on infrastructure such as roads and highways, railways, ports, etc. Here, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley deserves kudos for allocating $90 billion for building infrastructure in 201718, approx 12 per cent more than the spending for the current year. Of this, $37 billion, or more than 40 per cent, will be spent on building roads and highways, ports and inland waterways. Continued on page 6

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Asian Voice |4th March 2017


Sanger's new Courthouse hotel in a class of its own Rupanjana Dutta Hotelier Joginder Sanger's new swanky Courthouse hotel is a building with class, grandeur and elegance, right in the heart of Shoreditch. It has 128 rooms, 11 event spaces holding up to 800 people, 196-seat screening room, 2-lane bowling alley, luxurious spa with pool and fitness suite, a unique 'historical' restaurant concept and 3 bars, including a rooftop one. Joginder Sanger, one of the most successful Indian entrepreneurs in the UK, owns a few prestigious hotels in London which include the new Courthouse hotel in Shoreditch, The tect, John Dixon Butler, the eastern half Bentley in Kensington, The of the building contained the police staWashington in Mayfair, Courthouse tion, which included accommodation Doubletree by Hilton in West End and for a married inspector on the 1st floor the recently acquired Palms Hotel, varand for 40 single men on the 2nd and ious properties, travel agencies and a 3rd floors, with a kitchen and mess life insurance company. room, and rooms for storing, drying and The Courthouse Hotel in brushing clothes and boots. Shoreditch is steeped in history, includThe western half of the building ing being in an archaeological priority contained two court rooms, with a pubzone. Shoreditch, as an area, is famed lic entrance in the centre of the street for its buzzing nightlife and eccentric front, and a separate entrance for magcharm and this new hotel blends the istrates to the west. The two halves of grandeur of a Grade II listed Baroquethe building were rigorously separated styled building, with a laid-back perinternally. Court No 2 on the 1st floor sonalised service, forming a perfect served as the main juvenile court for alchemy. east London from c. 1909 to 1925. The Shoreditch Courthouse hotel The main internal connection used to be the Old Street Magistrate’s between the two halves was from Court and Police Station in Shoreditch ground-floor cells at the rear of the Conservation Area, designated by the police station (18 for men and 11 for London Borough of Hackney. The women) to Court No 1 at the rear on the unique building now offers a retreat ground floor and Court No 2 on the 1st from the hustle and bustle of the city floor over the central front entrance. into a world of comfort and well-being A large yard at the rear of the buildand retains the original entrance doors, ing, entered by gates to the east, from floors, stained glass and wooden Old Street, and at some distance to the cladding. west, from Hoxton Street, gave access to John Dixon Butler (1861–1920) had the cells and the policemen's parade been appointed Principal Architect and room. Additions and alterations are Surveyor to the documented in 1914, 1935, 1937, when a Metropolitan Police in 1895, and it garage was added in the yard, and in has been noted that he was responsible 1939, 1961 and 1967. for designing many of the police stations A basement area to the rear was and court houses in London, including this one. The architectural influence of John Butler is mostly reminiscent to that of the Edwardian Baroque style. Old Street Police Court was one of the original public offices opened in 1792. It was situated in Worship Street, Shoreditch. Part of its district was taken in 1889 to form the North London Police District. The court was moved to Finsbury Square in 1902 Entrance lobby at the new Courthouse hotel until a new building was opened in Old Street in 1906. The name of the enlarged during construction. court was then changed to Old Street. Subsequent additions and alterations The term 'Police Court' was found to were made over the century, notably in be misleading. It gave the impression 1939, when Second World War civil that the Metropolitan Police controlled defence accommodation was installed and administered the courts, which was in the basement. In 1967 the rear basenever the case. The word 'police' was ment of the police station was protecbeing used in its original meaning of tively enclosed to make a ‘working 'pertaining to civil administration', 'regmuseum’ of firearms. ulating', etc. Did you know? In April 1965 (following the Administration of Justice Act 1964) the As well as holding and sentencing notoLondon Police Courts with their stipenrious criminals the police station also diary magistrates were integrated with held Eric Arthur Blair, author of the lay magistrates to form the modern “Nineteen Eighty-four” and “Animal Inner London Magistrates' Courts. Farm”. Blair is better known by the pen The magistrates court left the buildname George Orwell. ing in about 1999 and the police in In 1965 the Kray twins were held in about 2008. custody at this Old Street Magistrates In and around the building back in Court over demanding money by menthe day aces. Constructed in 1903-05 by archi-

How My Life Films have changed the lives of people with dementia?

A remarkable success story of an industrious Indian Joginder Sanger, one of the most successful Indian entrepreneurs in the UK, has won many awards in recognition of his outstanding and lifelong dedication to philanthropic work in the UK and abroad. Like many, his success too didn't come easy. Hailing from village Apra near Jalandhar in Punjab, Joginder Sanger came to England in 1961 in search of better life and opportunities. After a few months, his father called him back to India when he found out that Sanger worked in a factory. However, going back, working in the farm full time as well as looking after other affairs was not difficult except that sometimes he used to feel that people believed that he was back in India as he failed in England. So he reached a point where he said “Enough is enough, I'm going back to England”, and came back to the UK to fulfil his ambition. After experiencing life in England, where even an ordinary working person can live a decent comfortable life, differences in the lifestyles became very apparent to him. But he worked exceptionally hard to make ends meet. His first job was in a factory and during his first three-four years in England, he worked in various jobs, including as a bus and a train conductor. A person who is shy by nature, Sanger has widely participated in community work and projects. From the 1960s, he helped the Indian Workers' Association as well as Hindu Society in South London. Up until 1993, he was Chairman of the Indian Sports and Cultural Association to promote kabbadi and Punjabi hockey. Today, he is most well-known for his role as Chairman of the Bhartiya Vidya Bhavan, which promotes the rich Indian arts and culture, and as a leading light of Balaji Temple near Birmingham which promotes the Indian Vedic culture and traditions as well as inter-faith harmony. When Sanger joined the Bhavans, the organisation was in severe deficit, but in a short while he raised enough money to last them for a while. He is also a patron and/or trustee/donor of various other cultural/religious/social societies/organisations such as Gujarat Hindu society in Preston, Khalsa College in Hayes, Singh Sabha Gurudwara in Southall, Sanatan Hindu Cultural Society & Temple in Bradford and Indian Gymkhana Club in Hounslow, to name a few. His business is ably supported by his son Girish and daughter Reema. In his public life, Sunita, his wife, plays a very helpful role.

On 20th May 2016, My Life Films was awarded Start-up of the Year at the first Asian Voice Charity Awards powered by Charity Clarity. The award recognised the great impact that the charity makes on a daily basis. Our core work is making films about the lives of people with dementia, which are used to improve their wellbeing and care. The personalised films tell the life stories of individual people with dementia, and improve their quality of life and relationships with carers. Every film package we make is given to the person and their family free of charge. In 2016, we will make over 80 films for people with the condition, and help over 800 people affected by it. Our beneficiaries describe how the films have changed the lives of their loved ones with dementia. Julie, said how the film boosted her father’s selfesteem, “The filmmaking was essential for making my father’s life seem important when he felt like he was losing everything.” Another beneficiary, Tom, describes how the film has improved his wife’s wellbeing, “When my wife becomes forgetful and disorientated, watching the film focuses and relaxes her. When she becomes anxious, it calms her down.” There is an immediate, growing need for our films, increasing the quality of life experienced by people with the condition. The Awards was a brilliant platform to expose our cause and mission to many different organisations and people. It has helped us to connect with some great new donors. The prize package of Charity Clarity training and publicity will no doubt help us to develop our procedures and public presence even more. We are grateful to the Charity Clarity team for their ongoing support for My Life Films. In order to keep fighting dementia, and improving people’s lives, we are always looking for more support. My Life Films has helped many Asian families with a loved one who has been diagnosed with dementia. Diseases like dementia do not discriminate between race, ethnicity, gender or sexuality, and neither does our charity. We are committed to making free films for every person with dementia in the UK, celebrating their unique personality and memories, and making those memories enjoyable for years to come. If you know anyone whose life has been transformed by dementia, please find out more about our work, and consider supporting us in the future. We would heartily encourage charities to apply for the awards. Winning Start-up of the Year has put us in the public eye, and we will be improving the lives of people with dementia as a result. Finally, good luck to all the nominees and prize winners. So what are you waiting for? Nominations are now open for any charity, business, social enterprise or individual until 31 March 2017, submit your nomination today at

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Asian Voice | 4th March 2017

Foreign spouse income limit: Supreme Court declares the minimum £18,600 salary lawful The Supreme Court has ruled the Government's “minimum income” immigration requirement does not breach human rights legislation. In other words, the ban on British citizens earning less than £18,600 from bringing their foreign spouse to the UK does not breach human rights legislation. The mandatory measure requires UK sponsors to have a minimum gross annual income of £18,600, before they can apply for spouses or partners from non-EEA (European Economic Area) states to join them. The Home Office said the income rule was introduced to “ensure that fami-


ly migrants do not become reliant on the taxpayer for financial support and are able to integrate effectively”. Seven justices at the top court announced their decision last Wednesday. Previous rules only required a couple to demonstrate that they

could maintain themselves without recourse to public funds. However, the court did acknowledge that amendments were required in relation to the “rules and instructions” around the duty towards children, and other funding sources available to the couple.

A Tribute to Those, Who Gifted Us Lives Motherhood is a full-time job with no pay, no vacations, and for the most part, not enough appreciation. A lifetime of sacrifices, of putting others before one's own self, of catering to responsibilities. These are just a few things that take to be a "good" mother. We all have a powerful maternal figure in our lives we look up to; that always cheers us and chides us when needed. Mother- The one constant in a life full of changes has often been the muse of several artists and poets. Indian culture has widely revered mothers, putting them on the same pedestal as God. They are considered to possess the proper blend of tyaga, dhyana, and bhakti. Holding in her, the kind of love that could move mountains, one can't help wonder, what did we ever do to deserve her? It is true I was created in you. It is also true That you were created for me. I owned your voice. It was shaped and tuned to soothe me. Your arms were molded Into a cradle to hold me, to rock me. Gujarat Samachar and Asian Voice this year came up with a unique way of paying homage to all the mothers. In a series of programmes scheduled to commence from March 26, Matruvandana will celebrate mothers and motherhood through the exceptional medium of music. Well-known Indian singer Maya Dipak will give tributes in her melodious voice, promising an evening to remember. Readers can too partake in the programme, and/or, give tribute to their mothers in our special Mothers' Day issue. Send in an ode, your mother's profile, photograph, or advert and let this Mothers' Day be special for her. Be a part and give your mother the appreciation she deserves. To those who nursed us when we were born. To those who shed silent tears when we lost our paths. To those who single-handedly raised their children. And to those who defied all odds only for us. We are who we are, because you made us.


Sunday 2nd April 2017, 3.00pm to 7.00pm Shree Hindu Community Centre, 541a Warwick Road, Tyseley, Birmingham, B11 2JP Tickets: £12 (including dinner). Tickets Contact: Anjuben Shah 07814 583 907, Harishbhai Masani 07786 488 051, Jayantibhai Jagatia 07808 930 748, Nisha Ladwa 07779 604 294 Friday 7th April, 2017 8.00pm Shree Lohana Mahajan Hall, Hildyard Road, Leicester LE4 5GG £10 Numbered Seats & £8 First come first seat. Tickets Contact: Vasant Bhakta (Mr B) 07860 280 655 or Radia’s Super Store 0116 266 9409

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Asian Voice |4th March 2017

Britain appoints its first female top cop Continued from page 1

Assistant Commissioner for Specialist Operations, a role in which she was as Assistant Commissioner responsible for leading the three years ago, takes over fight against terrorism and from Sir Bernard HoganHowe, who has retired after extremism and for ensuring the security of the Queen’s five and a half years in the Diamond Jubilee and the post. 2012 Olympic Games. Ms Dick, who first She also led the reinvesjoined the Met as a constatigation into the murder of ble in 1983, beat three Stephen Lawrence and the other shortlisted candipolice response to Lee dates, and was appointed Rigby’s murder, and briefly after a round of interviews served as the force’s acting in front of the Home Deputy Commissioner Secretary, Amber Rudd before leaving policing in and London Mayor, Sadiq Khan. 2015 to become a Director General at A source told a the Foreign and national daily that she Commonwealth had been appointed, Office. not because she was a Sadiq Khan’s woman, but because office has disshe was the best canmissed Green didate, and the Mayor Party's suggestions had been especially and a spokesperimpressed with her son told qualities. MayorWatch: “The In a statement, Ms Mayor’s heart goes Dick said she was out to the family of "thrilled and humAmber Rudd, Cressida Dick and Sadiq Khan Jean Charles de bled" by the appointMenezes. This was a tragic highest standards of proment. This appointment event in London’s history fessionalism, to command means that Britain’s top and no family should have public confidence and ultithree policing positions – to face a tragedy like this.” mately be responsible for the Met Commissioner, the However they insisted ensuring that no police offihead of the National Crime that Dick is “the best candicer acts with impunity, be Agency and the president date to lead the filled by someone that is of the National Police Metropolitan police service clearly tainted by her failChief’s Council – are now and keep Londoners safe,” ure to live up to any of all held by women. In addiand said Khan, who was those requirements.” tion both the Home involved in selecting the Secretary and Justice Mayor supports new Commissioner, was Secretary posts are held by Cressida Dick “proud” of the choice he women. and the Home Secretary Sadiq Khan insisted that Controversy had made. the Metropolitan Police Peter Neyroud, a forMs Dick, was the officer in have learnt “significant lesmer chief Constable at charge of the flawed police sons” from the 2005 shootCambridge University also operation which led to the ing of Jean Charles de said, Ms Dick is a good death of Brazilian man Menezes and reiterated his choice for the job. She is a Jean Charles de Menezes belief that Cressida Dick, clear communicator, so is who was mistaken for a suinamed this week as the well-placed to explain the cide bomber and shot dead force’s new Commissioner, trade-offs involved in cutin 2005 by armed police in was “the best candidate” for ting services, reported The London in a Tube carriage the job. Economist. She used to run at Stockwell underground The Mayor’s comments Trident, The Met Police's station. The de Menezes came after two prominent anti-gang unit, so has expefamily has led a sustained Green Party politicians rience of dealing with viocampaign for justice in the questioned Ms Dick’s lent crime. She was also wake of the shooting and appointment by Home once head of the force's also called for Ms Dick’s Secretary Amber Rudd. counter-terror operations. application for In 2011 Dick became Commissioner to be blocked. They told the Guardian newspaper this week: “We have always felt that those at the highest level, the commissioner and those in operational command, should be held responsible for the mistakes and for the misinformation and lies that were told by the police. “We cannot be expected to accept that the most senior police officer in the country, a post that is expected to uphold the

Economists are wrong to be subdued about India's growth trajectory

Continued from page 3

Empirical evidence proves conclusively that large public expenditure on logistics provides the biggest bang for the buck and spurs growth like no other measure – just look at historical examples from the US, Europe, China and closerhome, at Atal Bihari Vajpayee’s ambitious highway development programme that set off the 2004-2011 boom. The average annual spending on infrastructure for the five best years starting 2007 was $95 billion – including both public and private investment. And since infrastructure spending boosts more than 250 upstream and downstream sectors, a boom in this sector lifts all

boats and boosts GDP growth. Look at the growth rates during that period – it was well over 8 per cent and in some years almost nudged the 9 per cent mark. Now look at the figure Jaitley has allocated for infrastructure. It is only $5 billion less than the average of those heady boom years almost a decade ago. Even after factoring in inflation over this period, this deficit will almost certainly be plugged with private investment –– despite the problems plaguing the private and banking sectors. The World Bank, IMF, the big global I-banks and even the government of India are predicting that India will grow at 7.0-7.6 per cent in 2017-18. I normally avoid gaz-

ing too much at crystal balls, but let me make an exception here. Combining Patel’s statement and Jaitley’s budgetary largesse, I feel growth in the coming financial year will cross 8 per cent – comfortably. That’s the level at which India will begin to generate the millions of jobs sought by the army of youngsters who are entering the work force every year and kick off the virtuous cycle of growth, jobs, demand and consumption leading to even higher growth. To paraphrase Bob Dylan, ... cause good times they are a-comin’ – subject, of course, to one caveat – the rain gods should shower their choicest blessings on Indian farmers this year as well.


Van driver gets away with a slap on the wrist after knocking off cyclist A cyclist who was knocked off her bike by a London van driver has come down heavily on the Metropolitan police for failing to prosecute the man at the wheel for careless driving. The incident happened when 33-year-old Nisha Singh, a King’s College London researcher, was riding from St Thomas’s hospital to the Maudsley hospital in Denmark Hill. A white van, which had up until then been driving behind her, pulled into the side of her. She was left with bleeding, bruising and a black eye. Nisha Singh, of Brixton, said she could have been run over by a black cab but was lucky it had been following at a distance.

Nisha Singh

The London Evening Standard has published a helmet camera clip of the

incident which took place on Lambeth Bridge roundabout on July 22 last year. The van driver got away with a slap on the wrist. He was told to attend a safer driving course. Nisha Singh, as quoted in the media report, said: “The safe driving course is fine but I think there should be more punishment for people who drive badly, not just the ones who cause gratuitous harm. The statement I got back from the police said unless you have lifethreatening injuries or you are dead, we don’t prosecute. That is completely ludicrous.”

Yet another claim of Trojan Horse-style plot Another headteacher has claimed there’s a “Trojan Horse-style plot” at an Oldham school with Muslim governors. The Trojan Horse plot refers to an organised attempt to introduce an Islamist ethos into several state schools in Birmingham three years ago. Rick Hodge has said he also suffered a “campaign of harassment” by the school’s Muslim cofounder. Hodge, who was due to be the principal of the Phoenix Free School in Oldham, told The Sunday Times that he suffered a “campaign of harassment” at the hands of Affan Burki, a former British Army Officer. The paper reported that nearly all of the school’s governors were Muslim, despite the intake being aimed at an even split between white and Asian pupils. Hodge, a former pilot, claimed there was a row over the dress code set for women staff at the school. He said another man connected with the school

Rick Hodge

Affan Burki

“went completely off on one about how not wearing a hijab would effectively turn all Muslim women into whores”. Burki denied any bullying of Hodge and said the claims about the hijab row were concocted.

The row comes a week after Trish O’Donnell, head of Clarksfield Primary School in Oldham, said she received death threats and “harassment and intimidation” from Muslim parents pushing an ultraconservative religious agenda. According to the paper, divisions in the local Pakistani and Bangladeshi communities are also intense. Arooj Shah, a rising star in the local Labour Party, said she had endured years of harassment from a “minority of venomous Asian men” after being elected to the council in 2012. Shah said that influential local Pakistani Labour members spread damaging rumours about her, any male councillor who supported her was said to be her lover and a picture of a nude model with her head superimposed on it was posted to her. Shah eventually lost her seat in last May’s elections.

Thieves cut woman’s necklace off at Ilford house break-in An old couple had a nightmarish experience recently when they were asleep in the ground floor of their home at Ilford. When they woke up they found two thugs standing over their bed and threatening them with a knife. The couple were identiYogarany fied as Jeevaratnam and her husband Murugesu, both 58. One man put his foot on the woman’s chest, pre-

venting her from getting up, while the other stood over her husband and held a knife to his throat. The first man took out a pair of pliers and cut the woman’s necklace off, then indicated for her to hand over her earrings and ring, which she did. The couple’s 39-year-old daughter Shobana Kajnthiran said the thugs had used a screwdriver to break into the house at South Park Drive,

Ilford, last Monday. The burglars decamped with 2,000 pounds in jewellery. The couple’s 20-yearold pregnant granddaughter Kansiga Sharifullah phoned the police at 2.57am. No arrests have been made and police are on the look-out for the masked men. Anyone with any information is asked to call Redbridge CID on 0208 345 1609. Asian Voice | 4th March 2017



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Asian Voice | 4th March 2017

Curbs on EU migrants’ entry to start soon British Prime Minister Theresa May is expected to announce that EU citizens who move to Britain after Article 50 is triggered will be denied automatic right to stay in the UK permanently. Instead they will be subjected to new migration curbs, which could possibly include a new visa scheme and restricted access to benefits. A report in the Daily Telegraph said May is set to announce the end of the free movement of EU migrants on the same day she formally triggers Article 50, which will formally initiate the procedure for Brexit negotiations with the bloc. The “cut-off date” for EU migrants is expected to be around March 15, once the government’s Article 50 Bill sails through the Parliament, the media report said. Ministers believe that the cut-off date is likely to be the same for British citizens living in the EU. Even though Britons voted for Brexit, a number of Europeans still seem keen to move to this great island nation. But are British border forces up to the task of monitoring and recording who arrives before and after the cut-off date? It’s possible we may see an influx of migrants in the near future. It will be interesting to see what other differences, like limited access to benefits, will there be for those arriving afterwards. How will those who “overstay” be removed? May will also hold firm to her earlier stance

that EU migrants who arrived in the UK before the triggering of Article 50 will have their rights to remain protected so long as British citizens living elsewhere in Europe are given the same protection. Given that more than one million Britons are resident in EU nations, the British Premier must now display the same deft talent for calming agitated EU leaders as she has in reassuring Brexiteers concerned that she might not prosecute their cause with the necessary diligence. David Davis, the Secretary of State for Leaving the European Union, has previously said that Britain will not suddenly shut the door on workers coming from the EU. He suggested it would take “years and years” for Britain to fill all the jobs that would otherwise have been done by EU migrants. He said the UK will have to keep admitting EU migrants for several years because of skills shortages. Official figures show that over 215,000 EU nationals work in health and social care, with 59,000 directly employed by the NHS, including one in 10 doctors. Construction employs 210,000 Europeans – 9% of the workforce. Manufacturing employs 311,000 EU nationals, as well as accommodation and food services where the 243,000 EU workers make up 14% of the workforce. However people have worried less about the

economic impact of the government’s post-Brexit immigration policy. This is strange. The impact of cutting the number of foreigners allowed into Britain could be as serious as anything that could happen to trade. In the year to September net migration was under 300,000, split about evenly between EU and non-EU folk. Net migration of family members and refugees is around 70,000. About half of the EU nationals emigrating to Britain move into lessskilled jobs. Cutting that sort might reduce net migration by EU workers to 50,000. Halving net migration of foreign students, say by restricting the growth of universities, might reduce it to 50,000. But that might still leave total net migration at around 150,000. If the government is serious about hitting its tens-of-thousands target, it may have to restrict skilled migration. But how would the economy cope if the target were reached? Companies relying on foreigners are worried. Food manufacturers are vulnerable. 40% of such workers are nonBritish. Skilled industries would also suffer: a quarter of scientific researchers are foreignborn. With low net migration, Britain’s elderly would be more burdensome. Workers would need to be taxed more heavily to pay for care for their elders. Needless to say, taking back control will come at a price.

'Be Bold for Change': Priti Patel says women are key in building post-conflict stability Ahead of the International Women's Day on 8th March, International Development Secretary Priti Patel visited Afghanistan and met the First Lady Rula Ghani, a champion of women's rights in the country. She also visited a HALO Trust training site where funding from the UK has aided their staff in learning to identify and safely remove mines and other unexploded ordnance. The basic indicators of gender equality, however, still remain dismal in Afghanistan with female literacy rates being as low as 17%, and merely 19% women who are employed, and an estimated 87% women experiencing violence, abuse and sexual harassment. The theme for this

and businesses. However, despite some favourable legislations in 2004, more than seven million children in Afghanistan are currently attending school out of which only 39% of them are girls. On the bright side, there has been significant progress in maternal healthcare; and women now hold 28% of parliaPriti Patel meeting Rula Ghani mentary seats in the year's International country. Ms. Patel welWomen's Day is titled 'Be comed the progress Bold for Change'. Afghanistan has made on Furthering this, Priti Patel women’s rights and girls’ urged that countries will education since the only be able to fully recover Taliban’s repressive rule. from conflicts if they She also spoke to involve women in building female students, teachers security and stability. It has and community advocates long been a global mission who benefit from the UKto bring women forward to funding that has helped play a full and active role in provide education to more politics, peace-building, than 300,000 girls from


Asian Lords debate EU withdrawal bill 20 and 21 February were very important days in the calendar of the House of Lords and indeed of British Parliament. The House of Commons had caved in to the Government’s demands for a free negotiating hand and a clean break with the European union. The only hope was the House of Lords. During the two days 187 Peers spoke in the debate. They were even more or less evenly divided and delivered speeches some of which were truly remarkable. Six Asian Peers, including Lord Patel, Lord Kakkar, Lord Alli, Lord Desai, also spoke in the debate and raised different issues from their different perspective. One of the most outstanding among them was by Lord Parekh. It was well received and drew compliments. It was also well structured and sounded almost professorial in its approach.We reproduce it in the hope that it will interest our readers. Lord Parekh said, “The referendum poses three extremely important questions. First, what is its constitutional status? Secondly, what does it commit us to? Thirdly, once we have achieved what it wants us to achieve, what next?” Explaining he said: “The constitutional status of the referendum is that it is largely advisory. Although the Prime Minister and others have said differently, this is not part of the Bill—and only the Bill carries its own meaning. “More importantly, to suggest that it is mandatory is to question the principle of Parliamentary sovereignty, which is the constitutional linchpin of our political system. That means that, as an advisory proposal rather than a mandatory one, it requires every MP not simply to give in to what the referendum says but rather to give it serious thought and to give his best judgment to the question in hand. It is quite important that the MP is never entirely helpless. With an advisory referendum, the MP retains the freedom and responsibility rural and impoverished communities, who have had zilch opportunities to learn under Taliban rule. She visited a UK-funded health centre that provides primary healthcare services including delivering babies, treating child malnutrition, immunisations and family planning services. These initiatives are aimed to fuel the global need for gender equality initiatives.

to make sure that he exercises his mind as wisely as he can and delivers a judgment. “The same applies to your Lordships’ House. Although we are not elected, we are nevertheless representatives...In certain contexts, the Queen repre-

the Brexit debate is immigration, Lord Parekh elaborated that it is quite important that we should not be too obsessed with the question of immigration. “Immigration is bound to remain high, partly because of our labour market situation and partly because

sents us without having been elected. So the fact that we are sometimes threatened with extinction if we exercise our judgment need not worry us,” he added. Concentrating on the second question about what the referendum commits to us, Lord Parekh said, “Some people seem to think that it commits us conclusively and exclusively to getting out of the European Union. I am afraid that it does not. If 52% of the people want to get out and 48% of the people want to stay in, the message of the referendum, as I understand it, is to leave the European Union in such a way that we remain a member—to leave the European Union but not give up the best that it has given us and the gains we have made. That means that we should not do anything to, or settle on terms that, lower the standards that we have come to expect during the past 40-odd years that we have been a member of the European Union. “We should protect workers’ rights, we should not weaken the UK, we should respect human rights and we should respect the rights of EU nationals resident in the UK.” He explained when we are said that we are leaving EU but not Europe it means: “we are saying that we are committed to those (European) values and that they must at all costs remain our guiding star.” While the main issue in

trade deals that we enter into with individual countries will involve clauses about the movement of people,” added Parekh. He then went on to ask the third question, “once the terms of settlement have been reached, what do we do? Obviously they must be approved by the people. Ideally I would have liked this situation to be settled by Parliament on the principle that our system is based on parliamentary sovereignty. But, having conceded a referendum in the first instance, to go back on it or to suggest that there will be no referendum in the future would imply an act of political cowardice as well as being an act of inconsistency.” He concluded by saying, “We are planning to go alone. We can go alone—no one in the world can stop us from doing that—but we should remember that, in wanting to do that, we run risks. We saw that for example when the Prime Minister had to meet the President of the United States. We need Uncle Sam to hold our hand and to make sure that we can get a better deal; we think that he will use his influence in such a way that other countries might give us one. On the one had we chafe against EU constraints; on the other hand we seem only to keen to embrace those offered by Uncle Sam. I do not think that is the way we should behave.”

Whilst in Afghanistan, the International Development Secretary also met President Ashraf Ghani and Chief Executive Officer Abdullah Abdullah. She reaffirmed the UK’s enduring commitment to working with the Afghan Government and civil society to improve rights for women and girls, and underlined that this was a critical part of the UK’s

pledge of up to £750 million, made at the Brussels Development Conference last year. She also spent two days in Pakistan prior to visiting Afghanistan where she met Finance Minister Senator Ishaq Dar, the Chief Minister of Punjab, Shahbaz Sharif and Ahsan Iqbal, Minister of Planning and Development, to discuss the future of women's rights in the country.

UK Asian Voice | 4th March 2017 AsianVoiceNews


Rani Singh, Special Assignments Editor

Binod K Chaudhary - The Only Forbes Billionare from Nepal There are plenty of Indians in annual Forbes Billionaire lists, but only one Nepali made it to consecutive recent editions. Binod K. Chaudhary built an international empire, but it has not been without challenges in one of the poorest countries in the world that also suffers natural disasters. Binod K. Chaudhary is the Chairman of CG Corp Global, a conglomerate with over 100 businesses and 10,000 staff spread over 30 countries including the US, Africa, Dubai, Maldives, Sri Lanka, Thailand, India, Nepal and China. He has controlling shares in Nepal’s largest private-sector bank Nabil, and numerous hotel investments worldwide (including Taj, Alila, Fern, Radisson and The Farm at San Benito). The Man behind Wai Wai noodles is a global player in FMCG. His15 businesses include energy, infrastructure, realty, electronics and education.

Binod K Chaudhary

Background Born in 1955 in the business district of Kathmandu, Nepal, Binod’s father was his inspiration. He says,

“We were a small family from a small country. My biggest early learning was from my frequent visits to Japan. I learned about being  organized and disci-

Are you looking for a more rewarding career?

plined. I come from a business family. My grandfather brought cloths from India, my father modernized by importing clothes and consumer items from Japan. My father wanted me to look after a department store he started. But I loved doing the unconventional. I started a disco. But it was still business -- others went to the disco for entertainment!” Binod’s business aptitude showed at 10 years old. “As a school project, I ran a tuck-shop. That gave me hands-on experience,” he recalls. Turning Point Binod K Chaudhary’s plan to study chartered accountancy in Mumbai after coming fifth in national exams changed when his father developed a heart problem. Doctors advised him to withdraw from business, so Binod took over at 18.  “Father had been preparing to open a biscuit factory. I visited Darjeeling in my college days and somewhat knew about northeast India. I started promoting our biscuits there and they became popular,” he remembers.  Binod considered importing Suzuki cars to Nepal from Japan - before Maruti started in India. “Suzuki did not trust me as I was a young clothes trader. I convinced them. They gave me a trial dealership along with four others to

Serbia, Saudi Arabia, sell Suzuki in Nepal. Kenya, and Bangladesh. Whoever sold most cars in Currently we have 27% six months would get the share of the Indian noodle dealership. market. Wai Wai sells 2.2 I went from door to billion packets worlddoor – neighbours, wide, which is 2.2 % friends, and relaof the global nootives – asking dle market,” he them to buy We were a one car. I small family from a explains. He tells us said I would small country. My that CG partbuy that car biggest early ners with back after learning was from renowned comsix months. I Time sold a small my frequent visits to panies. Japan. management and car of 800cc understanding prifor INR orities are company 50,000.  Later I watchwords. also started Who’s Winning in Nepal, Panasonic in Nepal. China or India? We opened a flour mill Binod observes that China at Biratnagar in eastern has joined India in promiNepal to support our bisnence in Nepal. He finds cuit factory. But not even that China builds cheaper 10 percent of that was used and more efficiently, for biscuits. So I looked for whereas India has a huge a product where I could use market for almost anyflour.” thing. Escalation “They do not compete Thai Air had started to fly as such on the business to Kathmandu. Wealthy scene for Nepal. Nepal’s Nepalis went to Bangkok. external business is preBinod noticed that they dominantly with India due brought back Thai instant to its long cultural and noodles. “I saw cartons of social ties with India. On noodles on the airport bagthe other hand, though gage belt. I got the idea of Chinese investments in starting Thai-style noodles Nepal have been minimal in Nepal. I had plenty of so far, but is increasing.”   flour and Thailand was not Challenges far. I got technical help Binod says, “we always find from Kitty Pong Sri, a Thai it difficult to find the right noodles producer, and team. Building an efficient started Wai Wai in system and  having  a team Kathmandu. That was 35 who can catch up to the years ago. Now Wai Wai is speed at which we want to produced in over a dozen grow are bit of a challenge plants in India and Nepal. for us.” We are opening factories in

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When would EU wake up to China menace?

More praise for Shanti I read the Shanti magazine and I found it extremely useful providing the practical advice in English and Gujarati. Congratulations to the team for putting together an excellent reference book for each household! Jaimini Patel By email I returned from India on Sunday 19th February and opened my pile of newspapers including AV/GS. I was very pleased to see the inclusion of the Shanti magazine. It's an excellent publication and a great initiative. Thanks to Harshad Kothari as well. Manoj Ladwa By email

Life after life

Can we humans hope to attain Moksha (freedom from reincarnation’s cycle of rebirths over several centuries) if we lead good, kind, honest, truthful, helpful and charitable lives? Also, what happens after Moksha? Are our souls, having fulfilled our individually assigned destinies in life after life, simply filed away and forgotten? Or are there more spiritual experiences awaiting us on the horizon after Moksha? Rudy Otter By email

Correct name for CEO I enjoy reading Asian Voice and more importantly enjoy reading the Editorial page 3 and Media Watch page 12. They are both most informative and interesting. In the AV issue of 25th February page 3, Microsoft CEO has been written as Sundar Pichai who is in actuality really the CEO of Google. The correct name should have been Satya Nadella. Upendra Kapadia By email

Don’t take advantage of Christians in India

It’s a pity that the Indian police have failed to arrest the three bikers who have vandalised the statue of ‘Our Lady of Vailankanni’ in the early hours of the morning in suburban Kurla on February 18, 2017, in spite of their motorcycle plate numbers being captured on CCTV. This is not the first time the statue of Our Blessed Mother has been vandalised in Mumbai (India). In the past five years, in Mumbai alone, around 25 to 30 statues of Mother Mary, Jesus Christ or the saints have been vandalised by miscreants and the police have not arrested them because they are known to some politicians or some top leaders. Even consecrated hosts have been stolen from inside the church by breaking the tabernacle for devil worship in the middle of the night. This time, we Christians will not keep quiet as we were keeping quiet all these years. We want justice and we demand that the culprits be arrested immediately no matter what political party they belong to. It’s a pity that Christians in India are treated like dogs, as if they have got no value. Just because we Christians are God fearing people and do not take the law into our own hands, it does not mean that people of other faiths/communities should take advantage of that. Jubel D’Cruz, Mumbai, India

PPI Conmen targeting OAPs

Reading page two article, “Luton pensioners tricked into handing over life savings to PPI conman” is indeed sad reflection on the society we live in. Once this morally mighty country was renowned as fair, safe and law-abiding nation with equally considerate, kind and caring people. So how come we have lost these characteristics hallmark that made “Britain Great!” Perhaps this is world-wide trend for kleptomanias, especially in Europe, Africa and Asia to become rich at any cost, fair or foul. Targeting sick, disable and OAP is indeed sickening. Most worrying aspect is that financial institutions like banks, building societies that are entrusted with our finances, fail miserably to safeguard our wealth entrusted in their care. How come this couple was allowed to draw large sums 30 times in a short period that was clearly against the trend! National papers are full of such depressing stories week in, week out. It is time government establishes special help-line, similar to child protection line that these people can ring. Many, especially young and street-wise people may wonder how come they fell for such an obvious trick. But trusting, carefree people of our generation, brought-up in an era when elderly people with silver hair were indeed respected. They still look at the world through “Ross Tinted Glasses”. Perhaps it is too late for these grandeur Samaritans to adopt selfish, untrusting attitude that would render them safe! Kumudini Valambia By email

Dear Letter Writers

Thank you for your letters to our ‘your voice’ section. As you may recall a few years back we made it mandatory that your ‘letters to the editor’ must not be more than 200 words. Despite that we have allowed people to write upto 250-300 words and have edited them as and when required. However some letter writers continue to send letters worth 400-450 words. Our Editorial team has been editing them every week. However the team and the Editors have decided that from now on, if any letter is more than 250 words, we would unfortunately not be able to accommodate in the paper. Please note: Letters must be written within 250 words. And can be sent via email to by Monday 5pm or by fax to 020 7749 4080 or by post. - AV

While boisterous US President Donald Trump has wisely realized threat China poses to world peace, especially to “South Pacific Rim Countries” like Philippines, Japan, Vietnam, Indonesia and Malaysia, in sharp contrast EU has maintained deafening silence, China ignoring Hague ruling that has termed its policy of expansion, building artificial islands in shallow waters of South China Sea as illegal. Infatuated China has occupied “Subi, Mischief and Fiery Cross Reefs” building dozen islands, in horse show shape with plenty of scope for expansion, some with deep water births for naval ships and air-strips, military fortresses in International waters! American spy satellite has revelled building of surface to air missile silos with retractable roof, made from reinforced concrete that breaks all international rules and UN charter. But belligerent China has raised two fingers at the world, even daring America to interfere in their building programme at their peril, with an all-out war. While self-righteous West’s attention is focused on imaginary Russian threat, mainly due to press propaganda, far sighted Chinese politicians have taken advantage of West’s indifference, building huge trade surplus, war chest of $3 trillion, more than entire reserves of the world, using her financial muscle to dominate and subjugate the world. India is the only nation that could scruple China’s ambition of world domination, thus India has become China’s number one enemy with EU connivance. Wake-up EU before it is too late! Bhupendra M. Gandhi By email

New note

BoE must be taught emphatically about Hindus’ worship of money as Goddess Laxmi. Therefore dead meat and ingredients are incompatible with divinity. Beating vegetarian and vegan drums can fall on deaf ears, because many vegetarians carry leather handbags, wallets shoes, and belts. BoE’s refusal to withdraw £5 already circulating is understandable. To proceed with printing beef-laced £10 notes is defying voice of the people, which is supposed to be voice of God. Would BoE have ignored protests by Muslims against use of pig’s fat? This stubbornness is contra to motto, customer is king. BoE earns interest when customers circulate the notes. Thus BoE bites the very hand that feeds it. Suggestions asked by Kumudini Valambia: All tainted notes do not have to enter holy premises. Boxes may be placed at strategic places away from and outside gates of temple. Notes collected in these boxes may be directly banked. Hoondies or promissory noted may be purchased outside temple boundary. These hoondis may be accepted as offerings or donations. Cashless payment similar to oyster/ credit/ debit cards may be used. Easiest method will be consecration to eliminate aura of dead animal, by performing auspicious yagna/ havan. Ramesh Jhalla By email

Donald’s echo chamber

It has been said that America’s president, Donald Trump, is living in an echo chamber bubble where different or competing views are censored or disallowed. In Donald’s echo chamber, he only listens to people who he agrees with. The most powerful man in the world, with his finger on the nuclear button, has created the world’s most powerful echo chamber bubble in the White House. He refuses to speak to people who he does not agree with and has barred some news paper organisations from his White House Press meetings. The person who has violated basic norms of international diplomacy; has elected individuals with no relevant experience for cabinet posts; is stirring up racial hatred and anti-semitism and is in a position to weild power over not only his own nation, but the world, is now refusing to listen to people he does not agree with and has barred reporters of certain newspapers from his White House press meetings. In a democratic country like the USA, is he right in doing so? If this is allowed to continue, the American democracy could soon turn into a dictatorship. Unless he is challenged, in a way similar to the US district judge who issued a temporary restrainiing order halting a ban imposed by him to restrict the travel to the US of people from several muslim countries, he may continue with his shenanigans to the peril of the rest of the world. Dinesh Sheth Newbury Park, Ilford

Elections and demonetization

Refering to Mr Jubel D’Cruz’s letter dated 18th Feb 17, it reflects his incapability of rational thinking, as his utterences seem stupified with prejudice against BJP policy and PM Mr Modi. Prior to demonetization people were forewarned of harship to bear for sometime. Public could not withdraw their own moeny from banks or ATMs because the new notes were disappeared through some banks, but they did not lose the value of their deposited money, as they could withdraw money by cheques or digital means. At the rate of 7 deaths per 1000 per year in a 1.92 billion population of India, 1,540,000 people died in 2 months of demonetization in the nation against which 130 people died due to lack of sitting accommodation in a long queue for cash from street banks and ATMs, which figure is extremely miniscule comparatively, though sad. ‘Achehe din’ certainly come gradually as election results indicate. Mr Modi does not go abroad on the common man’s hard-earned moeny because their income is so low that it does not bring sufficient revenue in taxes to the government. And he will need to go to foreign countries to make them invest in India to create hobs for increasing population to improve their standard of life. Mr Modi’s mind is healthy, based on reason; and he is capable of thinking of every aspect carefully. Pakistan is Mr Modi’s friendly country. RN Patel Essex

What do you think? We want to know your views on this subject Write to: Asian Voice, 12 Hoxton Market, London, N1 6HW or e-mail:

EDUCATION AsianVoiceNews


Asian Voice | 4th March 2017

Sugary drinks levy will earn schools £415m

The levy on sugary drinks will provide £415m for sports and healthy eating in England's schools, says Education Secretary Justine Greening. Every school will be allocated funds to help with facilities for mental health as well as physical exercise. But schools, which have been warning of cash shortages, will not be able to use the fizzy drink levy to pay for staff. Ms Greening said that such "health and wellbeing benefits can last a lifetime". The soft drinks industry levy, announced in last year's Budget, is going to provide £415m for schools in 2018-19 to promote healthier lifestyles. The idea was to tackle childhood obesity by applying a levy that increased according to the amount of sugar in drinks with the money being spent on improving health in schools.

The government forecast it would raise £520m in 2018-19 - and expected that it would be an incentive for the food and drinks industry to cut levels of sugar. The levy provides capital funding to support facilities for sports, afterschool activities and to encourage healthy eating but it will not pay for PE teachers or other staff. All state-funded primary and secondary schools and sixth forms will receive a slice of the sports levy, but there will also be a bidding process for funding for specific projects. But Gavin Partington, director general of the British Soft Drinks Association, said it was "odd to hinge this investment on a punitive tax against the soft drinks sector which has led the way in helping consumers reduce sugar intake - down nearly 18% since 2012".

India-based ‘contract cheating’ a growing problem for UK varsities

The phenomenon of “contract cheating”, whereby course assignments are contracted to freelancers and others online for a fee, was first reported by academics at Birmingham City University in 2008

The quality of degrees from British universities is being undermined by a large number of online “essay mills” and India-based “contract cheating” that enables students to acquire assignments – from essays to PhD dissertations – for a fee, officials and academics say. Universities minister Jo Johnson on Tuesday called on university and student bodies to do more to deal with the spread of “essay mills” or websites that provide custom written essays for students to submit as part of their degree Academics told Hindustan Times that thousands of students at British universities have also been using Indian expertise in IT in a growing phenomenon called “con-


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tract cheating”, whereby course assignments are contracted to freelancers and others online for a fee. The phenomenon – first reported in academic circles in 2008 by Thomas Lancaster and Robert Clarke at Birmingham City University – has become more sophisticated over the years, making it difficult to detect through usual plagiarism detection software. Lancaster, now at Staffordshire University, told Hindustan Times: “We’ve observed a lot of people from India bidding to complete academic work for students. They make offers that are very appealing to students from the UK, they’ll do the assignment for what is a low price for a UK student, but a good living wage for the worker in India.”


Cambridge staff will now travel to India to interview applicants The University of Cambridge is unveiling a new initiative under which its admission staff will travel to India to conduct interviews so that applicants need not travel to Britain for that part of the admission process. The initiative was announced as the university launched its version of the UK-India Year of Culture, which includes a large number of events and activities in India and Britain throughout the year that marks 70 years of India’s independence. The initiative was somewhat marred by a recent row over senior Cambridge academic Priyamvada Gopal alleging censorship when its alumni magazine removed a reference to “Kashmir” in her contribution, “My wish for the next 50 years of independence”. The allegation was rejected by the university. The university said Leszek vice-chancellor Borysiewicz is in New Delhi for a fundraising event at which he is expected to reconfirm Cambridge's commitment to attract the brightest and best students from India. From this year, university admissions staff will be

travelling to India to visit schools and meet students face-to-face in Mumbai, Bangalore and Delhi. In autumn, a team of academics will visit India to conduct admissions interviews, the university said. The centrepiece of Cambridge’s 2017 celebrations will be India Unboxed, a programme of exhibitions, events, digital engagement and installations organised by the University of Cambridge Museums and Botanic Garden. Rooted in the museum collections, the programme will explore themes of identity and connectivity for diverse audiences in the UK and India. A series of profiles – This Cambridge-Indian Life – will look at the people at the heart of the relationship between Cambridge and India: Indian scholars and students who study at Cambridge, Cambridge researchers working in collaborations based in India, and notable Indian alumni from the university. Notable Indian alumni from Cambridge include three Indian prime ministers Jawaharlal Nehru, Rajiv Gandhi and Dr Manmohan Singh.

Helping disadvantaged children

Hope for Children is delighted to be the charity partner for the 2017 Anand Mela taking place at the Harrow Leisure Centre on 17th and 18th June. We are a Hertfordshire-based charity, founded in 1994, to help those children who fell through the gaps left by both society in general and the larger charitable organisations. We work in 8 countries around the world, supporting projects with local partners to help with access to education and healthcare as well as helping families long-term, by providing small loans. These enable them to set up businesses to generate an income for themselves, whilst developing their confidence and self-esteem. In particular, we have been working with street-connected children in Delhi, where they often lack access to the necessary basics, including education, healthcare, food and shelter. There are an estimated 50,000 such children across the city and we have established a successful system of non-formal education to begin the learning process for street-connected 6-16-year-old children to lead them on to formal school enrolment. Over the next 3 years, we plan to work with some of the most marginalised and disadvantaged groups of children and communities in and around Delhi, Mumbai and Hyderabad. This programme of work will impact over 26,000 children and their families a year. For example, we will be working with groups of children who are at a greater risk of abuse, rape, exploitation, mistreatment, child labour and child marriage. We will also be addressing the absence of toilet and sanitation facilities in certain rural schools which leads to the spread of disease, absenteeism,

drop-outs and hampers educational attainment. In addition, we aim to establish collective farming to produce for the rapidly growing organic market in urban areas, going through bulk suppliers and direct retail outlets. Farmers will be trained on alternative production practices, safe handling, storage and quality control. If you are interested in learning more or helping by joining us on our stand at the event, please contact us at


MEDIA WATCH AsianVoiceNews

Asian Voice | 4th March 2017

A short break from the frenzied whirligig of Indian politics should act as a restorative to sanity and leisured ease whilst there is time before the results of the State Assembly elections start pouring in and political horse trading takes centre stage. Hacks will have to hone their skills in, say, identifying mobsters in the legislature and government from those outside. That is for the issue whose time will surely come as night follows day and day night.

Ben Stokes

Tymal Mills

The lens thus turns to mass sporting entertainment for a change. The pre-monsoon season will be upon us in the next six weeks, hence the prologue to cricket’s Twenty/20 Indian Premier – the most glamorous spectacle, and by the richest – was the fevered bidding for players, most familiar names, stellar reputations among them, compounded by unknown faces hoping to touch the stars and sniff undreamt wealth and fortune. The nation’s top broadsheets had the IPL auction as their frontpage lead stories.

Tymal Mills tweets Thank you

Sweet are uses of adversity, none sweeter than that of speedster Tylon Mills. Prevented by a congenital back condition from fulfilling his ambition to be an England Test bowler of express pace, the 22-year year-old (now 24) decided wisely to ply his trade in the shortest form of the game. And has been snapped up for a massive Rs 12 crore by the starstudded Royal Challengers, Bangalore, captained by Virat Kohli, and includes Chris Gayle and A.B. de Villiars. Mills tweeted:: ‘Seriously crazy morning! Thank you for all the messages… This is where I want to be.’

Ben Stokes in pole position

England all-rounder Ben Stokes fetched the highest price at 14.50 crore from the Rising Pune Supergiants and will play alongside Australian captain Steve Smith, the new Pune captain and former captain Mahinder Singh Dhoni. Its franchise is owned by industrialist Sanjiv. Goenka. Other England names include

Chris Woakes (Kolkata Knight Riders) Eoin Morgan (Punjab) and Josh Butler (Mumbai Indians). Minnows Afghanistan will have legspinner Rashid Khan playing Sunrisers Hyderabad, current IPL champions, led by Australian superstar David Warner. (Hindu, Times of India, Telegraph (February 21)

Big day at Tata Sons

February 21 was a red letter for N.Chandrasekaran, long a Tata Consultancy (TCS) veteran as CEO and MD but now Chairman of the Tata Group, and at the meridian of a distinguished career. The curtain raiser to his arrival was a TCS buy-back of Rs 16,000 crore worth of shares in a bid to improve its returns to its shareholders. Responding to the decision, Tata shares rose 4 per cent valuing the company at Rs 4.94 lakh crore.


Angel Broking said its ‘accumulate’ rating on TCS with a stock price target of Rs 2,700 and said it believes that in the near term, the stock would exhibit significant strength around Rs 2,860.


Rajesh Gopinathan has been appointed TCS CEO in succession to N.Chandrasekaran. Gopinathan has also been appointed Managing Director on the board. N.Ganapathy Subramaniam as Board Executive Director and V. Ramakrishnan, succeeds Gopinathan as Chief Financial Officer (Hindu February 21)

Microsoft-Flipkart collaboration

US Microsoft CEO, Satya Nadella, on what has now become a routine visit to India, announced, a strategic partnership in Bangalore with Flipkart, the Indian e-commerce company in which it would adopt Microsoft’s cloud computing platform, Microsoft Azure. Flipkart said it planned to leverage artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning and analytics capabilities in Azure to optimize its data for innovative merchandising, advertising, marketing and customer service. AI is the simulation of the human intelligence processes by computer systems and machine learning and gives computers the ability to learn without being explicitly programmed.

Challenges ahead Mr Nadella was in conversation with It entrepreneur and Infosys co-founder Nandan Nilekani


this relationship.’ At the signing ceremony, Marshall stated that MPP had been a key supplier during this peiod (Business Line February 18)

Daniel Carmon

Satya Nadella in conversation with Nandan Nilekani, co-founder Infosys in Bangalore

before an audience of business executives, industrialists and startup entrepreneurs. Mr Nilekani said he was excited at the prospect of advanced technologies like AI and cloud. He said the challenge is to take India forward from $ 2,000, per capita income to $20,000 and also to fix sectors like healthcare and financial services. ‘The only way to square the circle is by using AI and cloud to deliver personalized health, education and financial services.’ (Hindu February 21)

India’s tryst with History

Moving onto Delhi, Mr Nadella was asked by a reporter to explain the purpose his current visit to India and how India fitted into Microsoft plans. He replied: ‘For me the trip is all about cloud work that we are doing in India and the impact it having. In the context of India we want to make sure that it’s not just our technology but it is the technology that Indian entrepreneurs and Indian organizations create on top of what we bring.’

State elections

Elections in Uttar Pradesh and Tamil Nadu used cameras to monitor the polling stations where all the data went to a public cloud. After the election they brought down the stakes , in other words to use the tax payers’ money to very efficiently without putting a great deal of expensive capital since elections come after lengthy periods. Similarly in Anhra Pradesh the authorities used data to analyze the cause of student dropouts and could introduce rcorrective measures. ((Mint February 23)

India, UK companies in aerospace tieup

Maini Precision Products (MPP) and Marshall Aerospace and Defence Group, Cambridge, have entered a multi-million dollar deal for structural machined parts and subsub-assemblies for a major aircraft programme. With this contract MPP is positioned as the sole Indian source to support Marshall for the duration of this programme. Gautam Mani, MD at MPP said ‘Marshall has been our strategic customer since 2010. With this agreement, we are poised for further growth in

Aequs facility in Goa

During the Aero India a number other deals, including the one above, were signed, among one that caught the eye was precision and manufacturing company Aequs stated that would be setting up a skills facility at Tuem, Goa for Indian defence production. Aequs entered set up its aerospace manufacturing base in 2013 and has been partnering Research & Development organizations and also Bangalore-based Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd (HAL). Platforms include Tejas and Sukhoi-30MKI aircraft and the Advanced Light Helicopter. ‘This is the first venture in the private sector which will manufacture high-end components and systems for aerospace and advanced technologies in aerospace manufacturing in the defence sector, and support the ‘Make in India’ initiative,’ said Arvind Melligieri Chairman and CEO Aequs

Israeli footprint in agriculture

On a visit to Hyderabad, Daniel Carmon, Israel’s Ambassador to India, said Israeli companies were keen to expand their footprint in India by sharing their country’s expertise with India in irrigation, water technology and

agriculture. Indo-Israeli trade had grown exponentially from an initial turnover of $600 million in 1992, when diplomatic relations were formally established, to over $6 billion in 201415,excluding the defence sector, but this could surge further with the long pending Free Trade Agreement, still stuck on tariff issues, which only the leadership of the two countries could resolve. Referring to the defence sector, the ambassador said these could not be quantified as they go beyond numbers and are much deeper than buying and selling ((Business Line February 24)

India, Israel missile for Indian Army

Ahead of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Israel later this year – the first by an Indian prime minister – the government has approved a Rs 17,000 crore deal to develop a medium range surface-to-air missile. This is the latest variant of this range of missile, with the Indian Navy and Air Force equipped with a similar missile designed for their needs. India’s Defence Research & Development (DRDO) will play a crucial role in the venture, partnering the Israel’s Aircraft Industries (IAI). India has also ordered two further Israeli airborne early warning systems (AWACS), which, like three previous purchases, are to be placed in Russian Ilyushin-76 aircraft, for which orders were placed at the recent Aero India in Bangalore. This involves a threeway partnership between India and Israel at the very highest level of security and trust.(Hindu February 24)

BJP, Shiv Sena, sweep the board

Maharashtra municipal polls have resulted in a clean sweep for Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis and his BJP government, as well as for Uddhav Thackeray, the head of the Shiv Sena which triumphed in Mumbai. Their respective victories carry a political message of the utmost sig- Devendra Fadnavis,Maharashtra Chief Minister, nificance, as Maharashtra is Uddhav Thackeray celebrate BJP, Shiv Sena victory in municipal polls India’s leading industrial state, with Mumbai, India’s financial capital.

Congress demolished

Once a Congress bastion, the party has been booted into touch (to use a Rugby metaphor) and is now irrelevant. The party faithful must surely realize that the Gandhi cabal has little standing with the bulk of the electorate. The more on sees of ranting Rahul Gandhi, the less credible he appears. Dynastic politics is unfit for purpose in 21st century India. ‘All the world is a stage/ And all the men and women merely players: They have their exits and their entrances…’ Take William Shakespeare and leave the stage, Mr Gandhi, in service to the nation.

UK Asian Voice | 4th March 2017 AsianVoiceNews





Nomination deadline 31 March 2017.

Oh America - Lincoln Stands Behind Gandhi Now the statue of Lincoln stands behind Mahatma Gandhi in Parliament Square in Britain. How fitting. Your greatest leader, a man who so loathed slavery and segregation and racism stands behind the man who actually built the largest of democracies and brought about the end of Empires. It was an Indian, who finished the work an American only wished for. It was an Indian who created a country where a Muslim was a President – time and again. So instead of attacking Indians, you should be building statues to them – as the British do. “Did you know that two thousand years ago a Roman citizen could walk across the face of the known world free of the fear of molestation? He could walk across the earth unharmed, cloaked only in the words "Civis Romanis" - I am a Roman citizen. So great was the retribution of Rome, universally understood as certain, should any harm befall even one of its citizens.” So wrote Aaron Sorkin. Where was the protection for the Indian slain in Kentucky, USA? Where is the retribution for the families and where is the warning to the rest of the world that Indians shall walk this earth unharmed, lest the clenched fist of the most mighty democracy in the history of mankind comes crashing down on your house!? Why does there need to be polite diplomatic noises? Proportionality – why? Why does the Prime Minister not pick up the phone? The External Affairs Minister – who to her credit expedites visas via twitter.

Why not a blasting roar to the face of Donald Trump – you shall be held responsible? I don’t mean a surgical strike. Maybe I watch too many movies but we live in surreal times. Why should they not know from Kansas to Kentucky from New York to New Orleans, that you better be damn sure before you take an Indian life. And of all nations, Americans self-proclaiming incessantly their greatness should remember they are a nation borne from genocide. God, how many times do we have to tell them, they are all immigrants, so quick to shed their roots to pledge allegiance and to a flag and ideal yet deny their ancestry – what fickle loyalty is that? What rabid senseless love that brings you to kill others based on nationality alone. Oh and before you say it happens in other countries, then remind me which other country ever self-proclaims its selfgreatness day in and day out – we, the rest of the world know our faults, we do not deny them in delusionqln self-aggrandisement. Oh America, yet again from slavery to segregation to the latest death you have been brought low. It is not the Mexican nor the Indian that harms you or wishes you ill, you do it all yourself. It was not the foreigner who enforced racist segregation within your shores. Have you considered for one moment that the period post-segregation, these past 40 years, were an aberration, not a hope? Lincoln is dead.

Duncan Lewis Chairman wins award and Solicitor named on Sikh Network list Duncan Lewis Solicitors Chairman Syed Rafique received the award for Services to Law at the recent British Muslim Awards. Presented by Al Rayan Bank on 25th January 2017 at the Athena in Leicester these awards aim to acknowledge and honour the achievements of British Muslims throughout the country across various different aspects of society including business, charity, sport, arts and culture. Syed Talha Rafique joined Duncan Lewis as a senior consultant in 1998 and was responsible for setting up the firm’s Property and Commercial departments. In April 2010, he became Chairman of Duncan Lewis, having been integral to the firm’s


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The Awards ceremony will be held on Friday 19th May 2017 at the Hilton, Park Lane , London

Award Categories

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

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


Start-Up of the Year

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

Chairman Syed Rafique

Solicitor Jaswinder Kalsi

strategic development since its creation and having defined the firm’s ethos and moral basis as one with a public conscience. Meanwhile, Jaswinder Kalsi, a Solicitor at

Duncan Lewis has been named on a list compiled by The Sikh Network of 350 Sikh Women to celebrate 350th birthday of Sri Guru Gobind Singh ji – who formed the concept of baptised Sikhs.


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n Outstanding PR Team

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n Most Enterprising

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

n Social Impact Award

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

For Corporate Partnerships: n Excellence in Corporate Social Responsibility

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

For Individuals: n Inspiring Individual

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

n Inspiring Young Person

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



14 COMMUNITY AsianVoiceNews

Asian Voice | 4th March 2017

Hindu Society in Maidenhead gets land to build centre The Council of the Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead has reportedly approved a 125 year ground lease to the Hindu Society of Maidenhead for a Hindu Community Centre. The charity which works to promote "Hindu religion, Hindu culture, and its values in Maidenhead" got the consent for £73,000, conditional on their obtaining planning permission. HSM currently meets in a school, monthly, and celebrates festivals around the year. Its website says, "We organise 12 themed events every year. Each event has a cultural element, social activity and lunch. We are a collective voice for Hindus in the local community and have interfaith representation." The organisation had long been fighting for a centre in Maidenhead Riverside, plans that were opposed be

Rajinder Sharma, HSM President Chander Mohan Malhotra, along with Shashi Vij and Padam Kashyap'

local residents who believed building it would just add to their existing parking woes. President Moham Malhotra, along with members of the

organisation's working committee including Padam Kashyap, Yash Maudgil, Swati Rao, Kailash Ratti, Rajinder Sharma, Seema Sharma,

and Shashi Vij were determined to win the area. The motion was passed with a majority of two thirds, despite opposition from two of the three councillors. Council leader Cllr Simon Dudley who represents Maidenhead Riverside, backed HSM's plans. The one onestoreyed building will include a hall, and a kitchen for the group to hold educational, cultural, and social events. It comes with parking space for 1316 cars.

Conservative Friends of India host Diabetes event for South Asians

Conservative Friends of India recently partnered with Conservative Health and the Conservative Policy Forum to host a panel of experts in Manchester on the topic of Diabetes in the British South Asian community. The South Asian community in Britain is up to 6 times more likely to contract diabetes than other people from the general population. The distinguished panel spoke of the need to properly appreciate the BMI results and discussed whether doctors should consider screening for diabetes in South

Asians from the age of 25, due to their higher risk. Many factors were highlighted, including the importance of a having a proper diet and ensuring that community engagement and education are given greater priority as we move forwards. David Mowat MP, Minister for Community Health and Care was the key note speaker along with Graham Brady MP, chairman of the Conservative Party's 1922 Committee. Other speakers included Dr Mahendra Patel, Board Member of the

Royal Pharmaceutical Society and CEO of the South Asian Health Foundation, Dr Winston Crasto, also from the Foundation and Dr Zubair Ahmad GP. The event was chaired by Dr Ben Spencer from Conservative Health. All the Speaker's emphasised the importance of the subject and also engaged in a question and answer session with members from the audience. Minister for Health David Mowat MP said: “I very much enjoyed the

event, as well as the chance to listen to and contribute to the subject of diabetes in the South Asian community.” Shailesh Vara MP, CoChairman of Conservative Friends of India, commented: “This is an extremely important topic for the South Asian community and I am pleased that members of the Government, medical experts and the public are coming together to learn, think and explore options about how we can best deal with this disease.”

Andy Street takes Lifetime Contribution Award at Midlands Business Awards Andy Street CBE, the former Managing Director of John Lewis and the Conservative Mayoral candidate for the West Midlands was awarded the Lifetime Contribution Award at the annual, glitzy Midlands Business Awards in Leicester last week. Andy Street topped the list of nominations to take the top award at the ceremony founded by Harj Sandher to celebrate the success of the businesses across the Midlands. Andy who started with John Lewis back in 1985 as a trainee graduate, worked his way up through the company to become its Managing Director in 2007. During his tenure as

Managing Director, Andy oversaw a 50% increase in gross sales to over £4.4bn, a doubling in the number of stores and the growth of the company’s online business. Amongst other roles, Andy has been the Chair of the Greater Birmingham and Solihull Local Enterprise Partnership, a non-executive director as well as a member of the Prime Minister’s Business Advisory Group. Andy took the bold move of ending his career at John Lewis last year, to stand as a candidate to become the first Mayor of the West Midlands. Speaking after the event, Lord Popat who presented Andy with the

Lord Popat with winner Andy Street CBE and Harj Sandher founder of the Midlands Business Awards.

award said, “Andy is a hardworking, humble man who has worked his way up to the top in both business and politics and I cannot think of a better candidate than Andy Street to the be

the first Mayor for the West Midlands.” The Mayoral elections in the Midlands will be one of the most tightly contested elections in the region in decades.


Kuwait National & Liberation Day celebrations in Leicester

Vic Sethi pictured with Mohammad Al-Azmi and his award

On Wednesday the 22nd of February almost 80 Kuwaiti Students in Leicester celebrated Kuwait National & Liberation day with a Reception at the DMU (De Montfort University). The president of the DMU Kuwaiti Society Mr Mohammad Al-Azmi along with the members of the society got together and arranged the event. The event was supported by an entrepreneur and a leading businessman of Leicester Mr Kulvinder Singh Sethi also known to many as Vic Sethi. Vic is passionate of promoting Kuwait as he grew up in Kuwait since a child in 70s and migrated to the UK during the invasion of Kuwait by Iraq. His parents still reside between Kuwait and UK. Vic has kept strong ties with the Kuwait Ambassador to London H.E Mr Khaled Al-Duwaisan and with

people of Kuwait. Vic promotes Kuwait not locally and Nationally. He invited the High Sheriff Mr of Leicestershire Surinder Sharma and Mrs Vijay Sharma to attend the reception and meet the students. He also got Manish of KDM Studios to arrange the Pictures of the Amir and the Crown Prince to be installed at the event and cover the photography and videography. Vic also arranged the Indian and Arabic food for the evening. While Mohammad AlAzmi, Yousaf Adnan, Mohammad Al-Adwani and the others arranged Arabic sweets and flags for the event. The students president presented an award of appreciation to Vic Sethi for his support and also to the High Sheriff of Leicestershire for attending and supporting them.

Shree Swaminarayan Mandir helps change over 6,000 lives

On 26th February 2017 the Mandir community hosted its twentieth blood donation session since 2009. To date they have collected 2000 units of blood, attracted 700 new donors, and helped to change over 6000 lives. The Mandir’s blood donation sessions have often included support from local synagogues, churches, gurudwara’s and mosques, bringing faith groups together to perform these selfless acts of true kindness. Bhavesh Varsani a 20 time donor said, “It’s great to be celebrating my 20th donation at the Mandir’s 20th session. There are fantastic nurses, an inspiring community and a stunning venue to visit.” Amit Ghelani, a blood recipient and a NHSBT campaigner spoke to the

donors of his gratitude at the anonymous gift of life he receives every three weeks when he undergoes blood transfusions for the treatment of thalassemia. Sewa Day Trustee, Manoj Ladwa attended the session to promote Sewa Day’s month-long campaign to encourage more people from BAME backgrounds to donate, explained, “These blood donation camps are truly special. By giving blood you are giving people the opportunity of life and all the helpers and nurses here today through volunteering are giving society a very valuable thing – their time.” The Mandir’s next Blood Donation Session will take place on Sunday 18 June 2017. If you would like to donate please sign up at

SP AsianVoiceNews

Bilateral initiative set to inspire with BFI's digitised archives of unseen Indian films

Robin Baker, Head Curator at the BFI with musician Anoushka Shankar and actor Anil Kapoor


The UK India Year of Culture, that celebrates of the long-standing cultural ties between the UK and India, was officially launched by The British Council, the Indian High Commission, and the UK government on Tuesday, 28th of February at the BFI Southbank. The Year of Culture has the India@UK programme which aims to blend artistic traditions from the UK with a wide spectrum of Indian cultural and literary traditions across multiple venues in the UK- including London, Edinburgh, Glasgow, and Birmingham. There will also be screenings and events in India as part of this cultural exchange. The highlight of the launch was the announcement by the BFI about their National Archive's restoration of an Indian/British/German coproduction Shiraz. This silent film, that has rarely been seen in India since 1928, will be screened in Agra with Taj Mahal as its backdrop and renowned Sitar player and musician Anoushka Shankar has composed its soundtrack. This is a part of BFI's digitisation programme that will see a collection of 300 films from late 19th and early 20th century being archived digitally and being available in the public domain for the first time. The launch also saw dignitaries and noted personalities in film and culture. Bollywood actor Anil Kapoor was present and

spoke to Robin Baker, Head Curator at the BFI. Baker also elaborated on BFI's India on Film programme, that will run from AprilDecember 2017. Co-curated by Baker and writer-programmer Meenakshi Shedde, it will kick off with Bollywood 2.0, a focus on 'New Bollywood' films which will combine popular cinema with more realistic stories, tackling issues such as caste, crime, homosexuality, partition of 1947, and feminism. Amanda Nevill CBE (CEO, BFI), Rt. Hon. Matt Hancock MP (Minister of State for Digital and Culture), and Rt. Hon. The Baroness Prashar CBE (Trustee, British Council), addressed the audience and emphasised on the IndoUK cultural ties and how in the current scenario, it is important to move on from the nostalgia of the past and understand the contemporary India and Britain through their active involvement. Darren Henley (Chief Executive, Arts Council England), announced that the ACE has invested over 2.5 million pounds in collaborations between artists in England and India. His Excellency Mr. Y.K. Sinha, the High Commissioner of India, in his address, said, “The Year of Culture assumes special significance in light of the 70th Anniversary of India's Independence and the idea is to renew and revitalise the common threads of our cultural heritage and to enhance our engagement at people-to-people level”.

Freckle tattooing is in vogue It’s time to spot what’s the latest in fashion. Freckle tattooing is turning into one of the fastest-rising beauty treatments. Freckle tattooing is a similar process to the popular eyebrow beautifying trend of microblading, which involves having subtle pigments added to areas of the face. The semi-permanent technique has seen many women get the freckles they have always dreamed of and women are paying about 200 pounds for a sprinkling of pigment-tattooed freckles that will last

up to three years, much longer than the temporary effects from “freckle pencils” sold in shops. Once tattooed, the freckles can last up to two years and will fade slowly over time, unless they are topped up and maintained. However, there are risks with semi-permanent freckles, from a needle puncturing the skin too deeply or using pigment that causes infections to the marks upsetting the appearance of the face, dermatologists, tattooists and experts say, according to a report in The Times.



Shalini Dua: On the Pulse of Contemporary Poetry


Asian Voice | 4th March 2017

Sunetra Senior

Excelling at brand marketing, Dua – an up and coming writer – found herself perfectly poised to make a mark in modern fiction. “Poetry, in particular,” she shared with us, “is undergoing a sort of renaissance, and that’s because of the popularity of social media. The tech age favours pithier and more impactful statements, which welcomes more people into an otherwise underrepresented and stunning form. Verse literature is then fortunately made more accessible.” Indeed, active in the Poetry Society – having recently headlined at their Poems not Bombs night – and a regular contributor to the chic youth-savvy website, Thought Catalog, Dua brings in politics, pop culture and comedy into her poems, in a way that experiments to deeply, rawly connect: “ultimately, it’s your audience that decides if your work is good or not. You can tell from the responses online and the atmosphere at spoken word performances if the content has resonated.” *** And Dua’s trademark emotive writing is democratic in more ways than one. Especially when you consider her mixed American and English-Indian heritage: ‘We sat inside and sipped our tea/ As The World Burned’, begins one of her poems, echoing both the satire of US and Britain-based poet T.S Eliot and the sentimentality of Bengali writer Tagore. The piece embodies the universal power of literature, even as it critiques a global scourge of privileged apathy: “What is happening in the US – including the compromising of women’s rights and censorship of the media – is a problem for the world. As The World Burned is a poem about turning a blind eye to western political atrocities that are changing the international landscape even as we are speaking.” In a crisis of globalisation and politics then, the young poetess shows us that instant and evocative actions can also be the cure. More than reaching people, poetry has crossed cultures, and in our time of new media perhaps even class boundaries, to actually mobilise the masses. This is also lightly reflected in the spirit of Dua’s many short Instagram-style poems – such as ‘All Epic Love Stories Are Built Out of Human Flaws’- which appeal to every soul and draw from the trappings of the everyday. Another dubbed ‘Friends’ reads, ‘I thought we were Ross and Rachel/ But you may have just been my Janice/Oh.My.God’ – and she is also working on a social wanderlust novel called The Secret Lives of Royals. “The book examines the idea of real power being held mostly behind closed doors. The plot is about an unlikely princess who finds out she is part of a secret society and must decide whether to use the new-found influence for good or for ongoing evil. It's a look at a serious subject with a darkly humorous take – there’s a lot of whimsy and wish fulfilment!” Thus being such a passionate lyricist, Dua is able to illustrate the beautiful timelessness of high writing. Please share some more burgeoning writer highlights with us? One of many fond moments has been when I produced a poetry collection for Thought Catalog raising mental health awareness. It’s a subject that deserves more attention and I was honoured to be able to contribute.

You’re a brand marketer by day and a poetess by night – tell us a bit more about how your written word passion has been nurtured and grown: how do you exercise that literary muscle? I write even when I don’t feel like it. Writing creatively can also be part of getting out and clearing your head during a particularly stressful assignment or intense day at work. You need to allow yourself time to daydream. In terms of my career, I’ve always written little bits on the side, even throughout my first job in finance, but never took up creative writing seriously until two years ago. I think the merging of my experience in the commercial and artsy worlds gives me a unique voice What type of poetry do you tend to write; is there an overarching theme? My poetry centres on what I’m immediately experiencing, news in the world and the relationships within it. If I had to summarise the sentiment – it would be emotional heartbreak. Different types of it, from the political to the personal. Tell us more about the novel? I’ve drawn from my life experience and observations to talk about money

public venues.

Who have been some of your greatest poetic inspirations? R.M. Drake who’s a phenomenal Instagram poet. Also the great fifties female icon, Sylvia Plath. And I love the dark humour of Dorothy Parker. Basically people who I am aspiring towards.

and connections and how it affects everyone without them knowing it. I’d say it’s a contemporary women’s fiction fairy-tale. I’m currently looking for an agent to represent it. What are some of your favourite poetic techniques? I’ve never formally studied poetry, but I pay attention to rhythm. I try not to label or labour the process to much. I just love language.

How do you find a way to channel honesty without becoming too melodramatic or appear as if you are venting? It really is about what reaches people. I notice the double meanings, and present words as if they are a puzzle. You work with a concept in a way that’s more mystified. It’s good to then try them out across different

'Poetry is undergoing a social renaissance'

How does your day job inform or help your poetry? Is there an interplay because both entail being very smart with language? The corporate job is actually very different to the creative writing. The latter allows me to colour outside the lines and gives me unlimited scope. In branding and marketing the brief is much tighter and obviously prescribed. There are interesting challenges to both. How has your cross-cultural heritage informed your writing? It’s removed conceptual barriers and makes you sensitive to linguistics and social context.

Is there a certain observation that defines contemporary writing for you? It’s about being relatable above all. That’s reflected in the delivery too. Modern poetry includes performance experimentation, including singing and laughter and open mike nights. It’s community-friendly.

Instagram & Facebook: @ididntmeantofeelanything Twitter: @shalinidua126 Website:




Asian Voice | 4th March 2017

Arun Jaitley visited the UK from Friday 24th till Tuesday 28th, to represent the Indian government and PM Narendra Modi for the launch of UK-India Year of Culture at the Buckingham Palace. He was accompanied by Pankaj R Patel, President, FICCI and CMD, Zydus Cadila Healthcare, leading a CEO’s delegation. Besides attending the reception hosted by Her Majesty Elizabeth II on Monday 27 February, he spoke in a gathering at the London School of Economics, organised by the LSE South Asia Centre and the High Commission of India, as a part of their 100 Foot Journey Club initiative. This discussion was held at George the historical Bernard Shaw room, which had paintings of all LSE directors on their walls, including that of Mr IG Patel who was also the Governor of the Reserve Bank of India. Besides a private dinner with some key personalities at London's famous Gymkhana restaurant on


Minister Arun Jaitley at the UKIBC event on Monday with FICCI delegates, Peers, the High Commissioner and Deputy High Commissioner of India to UK

then attended a Q&A organised by the UKIBC at the St James’s Hotel and launched the 70-year celebrations by the Indian Journalists' Association. He met Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson at a later meeting and then headed off to the gala reception at the Buckingham Palace. On Tuesday he attended an investors' meeting at the JP Morgan

Arun Jaitley meets Chancellor Philip Hammond at his office in No 11 Downing Street on Tuesday. The British Prime Minister Theresa May dropped in to their meeting during which the issue of "certain individuals who have overstayed" here figured. The British Prime Minister's move to drop in during the meeting was described as a "warm gesture" and an indication of the strong focus the UK has on improving relations with India

Saturday night, on Sunday he visited the new Lalit Hotel to an evening hosted by the FICCI, to celebrate the year of culture. This was also attended by MPs, Peers, top businessmen like G P Hinduja and Lakshmi Mittal. The Finance Minister opened Monday trade at London Stock Exchange, followed by a round-table with delegates from the FICCI, FinTech companies and leading investors to discuss London’s significant role as a partner to India, supporting the country to develop its FinTech ecosystem and deliver key Indian priorities like infrastructure development, sustainable energy investment and the growth of smart cities. The Minister


Headquarters, followed by an afternoon with the Chancellor Philip Hammond. He discussed development strategies, relationship between Bank of England and Reserve Bank of India (RBI), demonetisation and other subjects. This was followed by a meeting organised by the Confederation of British Industries (CBI) with CEOs of UK industries who are doing business in India or are interested to do business in India. WHAT DID THE MINISTER SPEAK ABOUT? While interacting with members of audience at various gatherings stated above as well as the press, the Minister touched upon the subject of demonetisa-

tion, Indo-UK relationship post Brexit, Goods and Service Tax (GST), India's open economy v/s other State Protectionism, Competitive Federalism between the States of India, importance of foreign students in the UK, opening up India to foreign universities, freedom of speech in Indian universities and extradition possibility of businessman Vijay Mallya, where Indian High Commission is in talks with the Home Office. Speaking at the London School of Economics about Brexit, he said, "In our discussions with the government of UK what we have understood is that they are keen to send a message that there will be no move towards any form of protectionism. As for expanding the nature of economic relations between our two countries, that can take place after Article 50 is invoked, Brexit negotiations are complete and the UK is legally entitled to enter into other negotiations.” At the Taj hotel press conference, he elaborated, “There is a considerable interest in India after Brexit. Both investors and the government here are looking for expanding trade with India. India has been a very important story to tell, given the slowing economy in the world, unlike in India, so the Indian government has been taking decisions without wavering…” Speaking on the subject of 'Transforming India: Vision for the Next Decade', the minister said India was standing "at a

point of history" where the country as a whole was becoming "more and more aspirational". "The global economy continues to face its own challenges. Any slow growth in the world impacts us also...but 7-8% growth rate is the new Indian norm and if we get the support of the global economy, that figure has a scope of shooting up.” Describing the recent demonetisation the smoothest currency replacement process he stressed that 'digital economy' could be a key to the GDP growth and rural development. "This will help us in not borrowing,

Addressing questions from students, the Minister described India emerging as an important "brain bank". "I am no longer willing to settle for slogans like Indians for India alone. Terms like brain drain were a subject when I was in college. Today Indians are dominating various economies of the world and one of our major points of global discussions today is about the movement of human resource," he said. Speaking about importance of Indian students to the UK economy and the decrease in number coming to the UK, he told the PTI, “They (the UK) have to realise that when interna-

The Minister speaking at the London School of Economics on Saturday

we will not leave the next generation in debt. We aim to electrify villages by 2018, build 'pucca' road by 2019, and aim to finish housing by 2022." The students present in the audience raised a number of questions, including the Director of the South Asia centre, Mukulika Banerjee.

tional students come here (Britain), they subsidise the educational costs here... “We already have a reality where the quantum of students coming into the UK is declining and other jurisdictions are available. The UK also is a part of the competitive market in that area. ”

Mr Jaitley opening Monday trade at London Stock Exchange

Speaking about the visit, Nikhil Rathi, CEO, London Stock Exchange plc said: “Minister Jaitley’s second visit to the UK in a year underlines the success of the business and financial partnership between the UK...2016 was a tremendous year for Masala bonds in London, with the Indian corporate Masala bond market launching in London with HDFC’s landmark bond issuance in July 2016, cementing London Stock Exchange’s clear position as the leading global venue for offshore Rupee denominated fundraising. “India’s growth trajectory is truly remarkable, with the highest growth rate among the G20 economies and the Minister’s Union Budget announced earlier this month will only spur this on. With the depth, liquidity, multi-currency and profile of London’s markets, together with the UK remaining the largest G20 investor in India, London Stock Exchange is ideally suited to partner with India in this extraordinary growth story to deliver key Indian priorities like infrastructure development, sustainable energy investment and the growth of smart cities.” Dr Liam Fox MP, UK Secretary of State for International Trade, said: “The UK-India investment relationship is hugely important. India is now the third largest investor and second largest job creator in the UK; the UK is the largest G20 investor in India and plays an important role in building skills in the Indian workforce. “The UK Government is committed to deepening this relationship further and in my first months as Secretary of State for International Trade, I’ve been lucky enough to visit India twice - most recently accompanying the Prime Minister on her first bilateral visit outside Europe, as well as her first trade delegation. “In the words of Prime Minister Modi, India and the UK are an ‘unbeatable partnership’. And I’m very glad that our Prime Ministers recently committed to ‘building the closest possible commercial and economic relationship’.”

UK-INDIA YEARAsian OFVoice CULTURE | 4th March 2017 AsianVoiceNewsweekly

Image of India's national bird- the peacock projected across Buckingham Palace

Lesage (Bharatanatyam), Showmi Das (Kathak), Shivani Sethia (Kathak), Jesal Patel (Kathak), Elena Catalano (Odissi) and Debanjali Biswas (Manipuri). Musicians from the Bhavan Centre in London performed Indian Balu music, with Raghuraman on the violin and Shri Balachander on the Mridangam. The guests pored over unique displays from the Royal Collection, including ancient Indian manuscripts such as the ‘Shahnama’ and some Persian calligraphy and Indian ornaments. Priti Patel, Minister for I n t e r n a t i o n a l Development, said: “As a member of the diaspora and a member of the British government, it’s amazing to see the depth of

the UK-India relationship. I’ve been able to have discussions with minister Arun Jaitley on the political situation in both our countries and the incredible trade opportunities that we have.” Rajesh Agrawal, London’s deputy mayor for business, said: “UK and India have a shared history on so many fronts. Celebrating 2017 as a UKIndia Year of Culture is a big landmark. In the last 20 years India has progressed a lot and our relationship needs to be constantly refreshed.” Tamil actor-filmmaker Kamal Hassan, visiting the reception, told the PTI: “That my name was recommended by Prime Minister Narendra Modi is a huge honour. This is a great

occasion to celebrate the shared history of India and the UK. The English language is the best example of that and I often refer to it as a great Indian language that unites us all.” World Cup winner allrounder Kapil Dev said: “This kind of celebration of India-UK culture should have happened long ago.” Taking the opportunity Indian High Commissioner to the UK, Y K Sinha, invited the Indian cricket legend back to the UK in June to launch a special cricketing event celebrating IndiaUK ties as part of the UKIndia Year of Culture events, which he accepted. Malayalam superstar and politician Suresh Gopi said, “As we celebrate this 70th year of Indian independence, we remember

Photo Credit: James Gifford-Mead


the soulful soul of Mahatma Gandhi. I am looking forward to having eye contact with the legendary Queen who is the longest reigning British monarch. We were under this regime and we have lots of good things they initiated in India, which we carry on with pride… but we built over that and are zooming into one of the most developed nations.” UK-based Indian-origin filmmaker Gurinder Chadha described the evening as a “perfect combination” of the two cultures. Punjabi singer Gurdas Mann added: “I am ready to do the bhangra if I get the chance.” Actress Ayesha Dharker said: “I am completely overwhelmed and excited about what lies in store.”

Actor Kunal Nayyar said: “I am born in Hounslow, a British kid who grew up in New Delhi and then moved to America and then ended up on this TV show ('Big Bang Theory') and all my dreams came true. So it's really come full circle to be invited by the Queen.”

included in the menu were raj puri, paneer square in herb crust, tandoori prawn cocktail, soya gujjia, strained yoghurt kebab, pineapple and almond Halwa tart and boondi chocolate rock – some of these dishes being classic trademark of the Veeraswamy restaurant.

Royal canapes prepared at the Palace Kitchen There was a lot of hustle and bustle in the Royal Kitchen as a team of around 15 chefs prepared for the reception in the evening. They have been at it since 11am on Monday. Royal Chef Mark Flanagan and Veeraswamy Chef Uday Salunkhe, leading a team of 5 from the famous and one of the oldest Indian restaurants, worked hand in hand to prepare a spread of canapés that were examples of the best of both UK and Indian cultures. The Indian dishes prepared were essentially Anglo Indian, with flavours from different regions of India – very similar to food that is available in Veeraswamy. Uday said, “Today's food is a classic case of amalgamation of the Indian food and British food. Bringing out the Indian flavours in such miniature form was difficult, but after 6 weeks trial and working over the weekend, it has come out perfectly well.” Mark oversaw the preparation of a little less than 5,000 canapés that were to be served to the guests visiting the evening. When asked how they decided on this menu, he said, their aim has been to keep both their own specialities alive – a good mixture of both cultures. The Indian dishes

Changing of Guard to Jai Ho washed out Heavy downpours on Monday morning washed out the planned Changing of the Guard ceremony to A R. Rahman's 'Jai Ho' music in London at 10.40am. The Band of the Grenadier Guards were due to play the Indian-themed music during the traditional ceremony to mark the start of UK-India Year of Culture. Instead, the band was moved to the Guards' Chapel at Wellington Barracks near the palace to perform the music about an hour later. “It is like the monsoon today. We moved the band to the chapel especially for this occasion,” said an official, after it was confirmed that the palace guards will be moving to what is referred to as a “Wet Mount”. The Wet Mount takes place in the event that the ceremonial elements of the Changing of the Guard have to be cancelled due to extreme weather conditions, on average about twice a year. “The important thing is that the music part of the ceremony could go ahead,” a spokesperson said. The band played a few Bollywood tunes, including 'Aaj ki raat' from 'Don' and some Bhangra beats, ending on a grand crescendo of 'Jai Ho' from 'Slumdog Millionaire'.

Veeraswamy Chef Uday and Royal Chef Mark with team preparing canapes for the evening in the Royal Kitchen Cultural programme at the reception

Royal Reception at the Buckingham Palace

Photo Credit: James Gifford-Mead


Prince William and wife Kate admiring the special exhibition

SIGMA 9th ANNUAL CONFERENCE UK Asian Voice | 4th March 2017 AsianVoiceNews


Pharmacists, Suppliers, Manufacturers, Press and Health Professionals filed into the Gavea Conference Hall in the Sheraton Rio Grande Resort Hotel to participate in Sigma’s 9th Annual Conference held between the 13th-17th February 2017. The proceedings were ably chaired by Claire Ward of Pharmacy Voice who has held the role for most of the Sigma conferences.

il z a r B , o ir e n a J e D io in R


he conference was formerly opened by Dr Bharat Shah MD who introduced the conference theme, ‘Raising the Bar’. The event was further acknowledged by Theresa May PM with a letter to all the delegates wishing them well for the conference and to add her support to all that the pharmacists were doing in the independent sector. She wanted to see a ‘thriving community pharmacy service’ and added that ‘the Government is committed to achieving this’. This was followed by video recordings by the past and present Health Secretaries, The Rt Hon. Alistair Burt MP and The Rt Hon.David Mowat MP. Initially, the expectation of many was that the conference programme might once again regurgitate some of those old clichéd messages like ‘the need for change’, ‘working together’, ‘NHS cuts’, ‘thinking outside the box’ etc. However, the conference was taken by surprise with the consistent call to innovate and to use practical, in-pharmacy applications to run a better business model, all from an independent’s point of view. Virtually every speaker had something original and fresh to bring to the conference and was highlighted by notable contributions from speakers like Ian Strachan, who’s heartfelt appeal for a single voice was appreciated by all. Sandra Gidley, the RPS English Pharmacy Board Chair, enlightened us all with a spirited presentation about promoting a ‘New World’ for pharmacy, cleverly using past Olympic sportsmen and women to demonstrate her talk. David Reissner, a senior partner at Charles Russell Speechlys and a regular Sigma conference speaker, laid out the full implications of the forthcoming Judicial Review and the possible legal outcomes of which pharmacy needed to be aware of. After the lunch break, he teamed up with his fellow legal partner Noel

L-R: Nishant Shah, Kamal Shah, Rajiv Shah, Bharat Shah, Hatul Shah Wardle to run a team quiz which was both informative and highly entertaining. Day one closed with the first of two videoconferencing sessions featuring Dr Ethie Kong, the Brent CCG Chair who spoke about Clinical Commissioning Groups, Primary Care and Collaborative Integrated Working. She encouraged the conference to engage with the medical profession and to try and bridge the gap with the crucial role pharmacy can play in the community. She also drew attention to some of the key policy drivers on the road to integration which was greatly appreciated by the conference. Day two was kicked off with the CIG triumvirate of Adrian Wistreich, Richard Thomas and Lesley Johnson who brought forth a panoply of interesting statistics and media linked opportunities to help ‘In a shifting landscape’. The message here was how pharmacy could tap into digital health management using recent innovations in technology. The audience was further captivated by the passionate presentations of the 4 pharmacy

champions on stage: Olutayo Arikawe, Adeyemi Williams, Dushyant Patel and Hatul Shah, who each shared their personal experiences in running their businesses in new and innovative ways. Ade Williams in particular, shared how the introduction of a more ‘tropical’ environment in his pharmacy increased the customer footfall with many children dragging their parents into the pharmacy, just to see the monkey on the tree! Hatul Shah made us all sit up with his unique way in achieving KPI’s within his pharmacy and training staff to ‘raise the bar’ in their customer relations. Tess Fenn who heads up the Pharmacy Technicians UK team spoke about the importance of the pharmacy technician who added real value to every pharmacy and could be utilised to promote new workflows within the pharmacy. Warwick Smith, who heads up the BGMA had an interesting twist on the Judicial Review under the title of ‘Life after the Bill’. He roamed the full length of the conference stage (in customary style) yet delivered a powerful treatise on


what could transpire for the UK drugs market and possible actions that pharmacy could take to soften the blow. He clearly didn’t mince his words and his ‘self-fulfilling prophecy’ from the previous year had been borne out by what faces pharmacy today. His comments were well received by all. Day two was closed by the second videoconferencing session from London where Martin Sawer of SecuMed, joined by his two colleagues, presented the inside story on what was happening in the world of Falsified Meds and FMD Directives. He dwelt a bit on the Brexit implications and how the new packaging guidelines would be implemented together with a legal timeline for pharmacy. The final conference day began with a Sigma presentation from Sales and Marketing Director Rajiv Shah, who launched the new ‘Advantage 82’ and ‘Advantage Academy’ schemes which integrated the new SigConnect online portal together with a customised set of focused schemes that really added value to every pharmacy. This was all linked together with Sigma’s newly formed partnership with American Express giving every pharmacy a huge 114 day credit limit…unheard of in pharmacy and the only pharmacy wholesaler to offer such

generous credit terms. This was followed by an animated and inspiring talk by the ever-popular Trevor Gore who was presented with a lifetime achievement award for ‘Outstanding contribution to the OTC Industry’ at the SMaRT awards 2016. Trevor brought a down to earth pharmacy checklist of positive ways to drive customers into the business under the working title of ‘Mission Possible’. His unique style of mixing hard fact with a liberal dose of levity was so well received and has guaranteed him a place at next year’s conference. The lion’s share of hard facts and industry statistics were mostly taken care of by the presentations made by Tim Nancholas of Kantar World Panel UK and Carol Alexandre the Director of Quintiles IMS. They each had so much carefully researched information for us all to take in and attention was drawn to how shortliners and independents outperformed the markets. Fred Ayling showed us the importance of having a strong social media presence and the value the new digital technologies would add to pharmacy. He demonstrated many practical ways in which every pharmacy could implement such changes and realise the benefits almost immediately. The final session was taken by Claire Ward and

Fin McCaul who homed in on the ‘7 Habits to Gold’. The ever-popular Ward/McCaul duo closed the previous conference in similar style by calling everyone to think of the many ways they could ‘Raise the Bar’ by cultivating the 7 Habits to Gold. They cleverly handled their presentation by seamlessly taking over from each other like an Olympic relay team. One of the notable quotes they used was taken from the Greek philosopher Aristotle who said ’We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence then, is not an act, but a habit’. They used some very powerful mind diagrams that made us all think of how we could all create that habit in our businesses and to try and achieve these ‘golden’ objectives if we are to move forward and survive in the new environment facing pharmacy in 2017 and beyond. The UKTI was also in attendance and was there to help with Import/Export potential to and from Brazil. As a growing economy, the Brazilians are keen to promote their Latin American credentials and would naturally welcome all trading opportunities. The conference was closed by Dr Bharat Shah who spoke about the need to ‘Raise the Bar’ in his own business at Sigma, because of the implications coming out of the conference. He stressed the urgency to recognize the need to do something different by bucking the trend. He spoke passionately about his new initiative in partnership with bath University, to launch a PhD project that would officially place a pharmacist in every CCG body in the UK. He was confident that this would come to fruition in 2025 and be a standard way of running CCG’s. He also quoted Graham Phillips (one of the recorded video presenters) who said that “Pharmacy is an opportunity waiting to happen”. He also encouraged pharmacy to be more proactive by working towards a common end. He thanked all the key workers and team members who made the conference happen not least of all the supporters and conference delegates for their loyal support and help. He then blew everyone away by announcing next year’s conference at Langkawi, Malaysia 2018 with a short video presentation of the resort and venue.



Suresh Vagjiani

Sow & Reap London Property Investment


This weekend’s FT House and Homes front page was headlined “How much will $1m buy?” It claims in Monaco, the world’s most expensive city, this amount will only purchase enough space for a WC. An exaggeration, as this amount will allow you to purchase 17 square metres. I know developers who are building liveable selfcontained studios within this space. This is unsurprising as Monaco attracts the uber wealthy, due to there being no income tax, no capital gains tax and no wealth tax. In London, prices in prime areas have fallen as much as 14% in the last 12 months. When you factor in the collapse in the pound against the dollar, prime London property

AGONY AGENT Each week, we answer a reader’s rental property question, from first-time landlords to experienced owners. Agony Agent, is here to help! This week’s question was picked because hardly nobody asks it, however, to make life a lot easier on ourselves, and to look after our investment, we should all ask ourselves this question.

give them a reason to remain in your property and respect it. 1] DON’T IGNORE YOUR TENANT If your tenant attempts to make contact, don’t be a typical landlord and ignore the reach. Be responsive, it could be important.

Q. Richard, please tell me how to be a good landlord.

If anything needs fixing, FIX IT, and promptly. I guarantee, the one thing that is sure to annoy any tenant is a landlord that is too cheap to maintain their own property. Even if it’s not your legal obligation to make the repair, try to be as accommodating as possible.

A. Why is it important to keep a smile on your tenant’s face? Because replacing tenants costs money and it requires those few things we all hate exerting…time, energy and money. Each time a tenant slips through your fingers, you’re more than likely going to take a financial hit consequently. Who wants that? It’s a strange idea, but you need to think of your tenant as a customer that is always right (even though they might not be most of the time). Keep your tenants happy,


3] GIVE YOUR TENANTS SPACE Tenants don’t want to be hassled by their landlord. You’re not their friend or neighbour, so don’t try and be one. Leave them to enjoy their home in peace. 4] BE COMPROMISING

prices have fallen as much as 36%. It’s no wonder agents are reporting increased activity from foreign buyers. $1m now buys you 30 square metres in the primest parts of London as opposed to 22 square metres last year. This may prove to be titillating reading, however, the figures and the terrain being described here is outside the reach and comprehension of most readers and indeed most of the population. The average property price a household in London can afford is £300,000. This assumption is based on the average household income of £50,000 and a deposit built up for the same amount. An article on the 16th

Asian Voice | 4th March 2017

January this year, in the Evening Standard, talks about the death of the £300,000 home in London. This figure is significant because it is within the realms of affordability. The article mentions the decrease in the number of wards where one can purchase a property for £300k. This has decreased heavily over the last 12 months from 104 right down to 40. This is causing a flight to areas outside of London which are within commuting times to London. There has been no solution which is viable to really tackle this situation of affordability within London. There are only two solutions, one is to introduce policies which

TIGHTFISTED Don’t automatically dismiss every request your tenant makes, even if it sounds totally strange. Listen to what is being said, take every suggestion on board and take appropriate action. Whenever you choose to decline, make sure you give valid and understanding reasoning behind your decision. 5] DON’T BE


If you’re fortunate enough to land yourself with a great tenant, then treat them like a great tenant. A great tenant is priceless, and you may need them more than they need you. Remember, they pay your mortgage. Refusing to repaint, recarpet, or upgrade necessary appliances for a great tenant makes no

will disincentivise foreign and developer investment into property. This will cool down the market and leave the door open to only end users. This, however, would serve to harm London on many different levels, and reduce its appeal globally. The other is to reduce the square footage of new developments, this would in turn reduce the price to within the realms of affordability. The latter is a more practical solution, a welldesigned and

sense. If you don’t do it for the great tenant you already have, you’ll have to do the work when they leave to attract new tenants anyway. 6] THINK BEFORE INCREASING RENT Landlords love increasing rent, and for obvious reasons. Trying to increase rent is a dangerous game and shouldn’t be attempted unless you’re certain it’s

multifunctional property is what is required to again revitalise the bottom end of the market which will then trickle upwards. This is an area which we are focusing on, and we will be kicking off this concept with our development in St John’s Wood. You can find more on the Code Investing website https://www.codeinvesting .com/investmentopportunity/?cbid=10Belgrave-Gardens where you can take part in this exciting project for as little as £1,000.

necessary. If your tenant refuses to pay the new amount, you’ll either a) look stupid for backing down b) spend more money on trying to find new tenants. I hope this helps. Please keep your questions coming in at Richard Bond Lettings Manager





CALL 0207 096 2068 OR




Asian Voice | 4th March 2017

Consultant Editor Financial Voice


Alpesh Patel

Dear Financial Voice Reader I write to you from Dubai where I met one of my hedge fund investor clients. We talked about more people wanting to become entrepreneurs, here and globally. I meet a lot who want to be entrepreneurial through trading and learning from me. These are my top rules for trader/investor entrepreneurs – the new breed who learn from an expert to make side income, ditch their jobs, top up retirement, or look to be full-time. 1. Don’t gamble. You can do trading as a gambler or as a professional. We want to be professional. 2. Professional means patient. It means reading the instruction manual. I have so many apprentices who will do step 3 (downloading my trading indicator) before step 2 (reading the manual) and then will spend time emailing me that they cannot install the indicator. It’s a little test I have for apprentices, so we know which ones need more care. 3. Professional as an entrepreneur means patience through practice. Again, I will have trading apprentices who will just start trading straight away without filling in even my simple 1 page business plan. So they will not set a goal. They will therefore throw away a massive opportunity to create an income because of their premature excitement. 4. Professional as an entrepreneur means seeing the big picture – the business plan, the long term goal. That we will manage and control our risk and our losing trades and trade small and better to do 100 small winning trades than try to make all our money from 10 big ones. The latter is the way of the gambler. 5. Professional as an entrepreneur means knowing not everything always wins. That all you have learnt before which has not made you your fortune was probably wrong which is why it did not make you your fortune. So for instance I will have apprentices hell bent on setting profit targets. I ask them, why do you want to cap profits? Why are you not adding to profitable positions? Did you view my video on that? Did you read my articles on how? Did you read my manual on that? Did you search my knowledge base on that? Everytime the answer is no, because they are too busy repeating the mistakes of the past they learnt from those who never made them the money to begin with. 6. Professional as an entrepreneur means out-performing the master. One of my employees now manages over 1 billion dollars at Newton Investment Management. She manages more money than me – Naomi Waistell. When she joined my company she was just doing mainly administrative tasks and learning about the trading I do in my hedge fund. You should aim to be better than your teacher and I wish all my apprentices that – it’s why I only take on 25 at a time – hope one day you will join me!

Airtel to acquire Telenor India Telecom giant Airtel has announced plans for entering into a "definitive agreement with Telenor South Asia Investments Pts Ltd to acquire Telenor Communications Private Limited." Confirming the news, Telenor said the transaction would not trigger any impairment and

Abhishek Sachdev

The poor guys over at the Bank of England are having a hard time trying to make sense of the ‘Brexit’ effect on the UK economy. They made it no secret that a vote to leave Europe would be devastating for the UK

said it was "expected to close within 12 months". India's largest wireless operator, Airtel has over 269 million subscribers and a revenue market share of over 33 per cent. It will take over Telenor India's spectrum, licenses and operations, including its employees and customer base of 44 million.

India, UK hold discussions over Mallya's extradition

British and Indian officials held consultations under the Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty, to discuss liquor baron Vijay Mallya's extradition. The meeting was set between senior officials from the Crown Prosecution Service, and the Legal Department of the United Kingdom, with officials from India's Ministry of External Affairs. Commenting on the meet, Geoffrey Orden, European Union Delegation Leader, said, "Few particular cases cannot be discussed. They are sensitive. We just want the best agreement between the countries." India had handed over the request for extradition of embattled business tycoon Vijay Mallya,


Vijay Mallya

received from the Central Bureau of Investigation, to the United Kingdom High Commission. "We have handed over the request of extradition of Vijay Mallya as received from the CBI to the UK High Commission in New Delhi," said MEA official


spokesperson Vikas Swarup. Mallya had left for UK last year after defaulting on loans worth £900 million. The Centre had hinted at its intention to frame a law that stops loan defaulters from fleeing the country, and another to seize assets they leave behind. Under the laws of extradition, a host country is expected to ship back a man wanted for crime in his own country. The CBI filed charges against Mallya last month, his now defunct Kingfisher Airlines and nine other executives and bankers, alleging he dishonestly induced the delivery of property and illegally obtained pecuniary advantage.

The Indian government had cancelled Mallya's passport last April, but despite a warrant for his arrest, the UK turned down the request to deport him, on grounds that he had entered Britain with a valid passport. Meanwhile, regarding the recent meet, the MEA said, "Both sides held detailed and fruitful deliberations on the legal processes and procedures in either country. Both (India and UK) reviewed the requests for extradition and mutual legal assistance pending on either side. Both sides reiterated their determination to strengthen legal cooperation and expedite the pending requests."

HSBC being probed for Tata Sons and DoCoMo set helping Indians evade tax to resolve $1.17-bn dispute Global banking giant HSBC has revealed of a probe by tax authorities in India and several other countries, for allegedly helping four Indians and their families evade tax. The bank said investigation also includes its Swiss and Dubai units. It has also been approached by the regulatory and law enforcement agencies of different countries for information on persons and entities named in the leaked 'Panama Papers', where hundreds of Indians are allegedly involved in tax violations through offshore tax havens. In its latest annual report published last week, HSBC disclosed the "tax-related investigations", and said it has set aside $773 million as a provision for various tax and money laundering-related matters. "There are many factors that may affect the range of outcomes, and the resulting financial impact of these investigations and reviews. Due to uncertainties and limitations of these estimates, the penalties could differ significantly from the amount provided," HSBC said. "Various tax adminis-

caught everyone's attention was inflation; producer import prices surged to over 20% as a weak Sterling affected the price of everything from iPhone apps to Toblerone bars. Headline inflation started to move quickly to the BOE's target range of 2%, with commentators predicting a move to over 3%. These inflation worries caused a sizable move in the UK swaps market, as the cost of protecting against higher interest rates rose rapidly, with Interbank 5yr fixes moving from 0.25% to just under

Doom to boom?

economy both immediately after and longer term. The problem is, even though we saw a collapse in Sterling, the economic data kept on showing consumers shrugging off any short-term concern. Threadneedle street acted on their original doomsday forecasts and cut borrowing costs to ¼ of a percent. The problem is, the forecasted weaker numbers never came! Month after month, economic numbers surprised the market, showing no obvious signs of weakness. However, one number that

trations, regulatory and law enforcement authorities around the world, including in the US, France, Belgium, Argentina and India are conducting investigations and reviews of HSBC Swiss Private Bank and other HSBC companies in connection with allegations of tax evasion or tax fraud, money-laundering, and unlawful cross-border banking solicitation." The bank also said that the Indian tax authorities in 2015 had issued summons to an HSBC company in India. "In August 2015 and November 2015, HSBC companies received notices issued by two offices of the Indian tax authority alleging that they had sufficient evidence to initiate prosecution against HSBC Swiss Private Bank and an HSBC company in Dubai for allegedly abetting tax evasion of four Indian individuals and/or families."

Tata Sons and Japanese telecom giant NTT DoCoMo are hammering out an out-of-court settlement on the latter's exit from the Indian joint venture in 2014. DoCoMo is seeking a $1.17 billion compensation - after an arbitration tribunal in London ruled in its favour last year - for its failed investment in Tata Teleservices, the telecom unit of the Tata Group. Both parties are expected to inform Delhi High Court that they have agreed upon a framework to settle the dispute amicably and will file a fresh application before the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) soon. DoCoMo will withdraw all cases against the local partner in US, London and Delhi jurisdictions. Tata Sons will pay compensation, a substantial part of it being routed overseas, within a legal framework permitted by the RBI. “We are honouring the entire commitment in spirit, though there may be some adjustments factoring in the structuring of the settlement,” said sources. This

payment may be routed through the Indian group's funds or assets parked abroad. The dispute resolution was spearheaded by Ratan Tata, who briefly returned as Tata Sons interim chairman following the ouster of Cyrus Mistry in October last year. The settlement will make way for Tata Sons to either merge Tata Teleservices with a rival or shut down the unit. Tata Sons was miffed with Mistry for not finding an appropriate settlement; he claimed RBI directives did not allow him to honour a commitment to the foreign partner. The central bank had objected to the pre-determined exit clause in the joint venture, which DoCoMo sought to enforce three years ago. When Tata Sons and DoCoMo forged the joint venture in March 2009, it was decided that either of the parties could sell their shares to the other at a fair price or half the subscription price of Rs 116 a share, whichever was higher, if the venture did not meet certain performance parameters.

1% in a relatively short period of time. Recently, the Bank of England shocked the market by going from one extreme to the other. The Quarterly Inflation Report released early February revised GDP to 2% from 1.4%, way above most commentators forecast. Inflation concerns were dismissed as temporary and would be ‘looked through’ as far as its 2% CPI Target is concerned. It is now clear that it would take a significant market event to persuade Mark Carney to move rates higher before his retirement. Consequently, we’ve seen UK Swap rates drift

lower over the past few weeks. We now see 5yr rates ¼ of a percent lower than early February (currently 0.69%) showing that the cost of fixing a loan can vary significantly in a short period of time, even though the headline Base rates don't actually change! So are we heading from doom-to-boom? Clearly, the Bank of England is finding it difficult, just like the rest of us. So how then can a business then be prepared for all the uncertainties of Interest Rates and FX rates? By employing a simple but effective hedging strategies, key risks can be

significantly reduced. Short-term currency volatility can be reduced, allowing business owners to focus maintaining price competitiveness for longer than a business that doesn’t hedge. You can keep track of key market rates by subscribing to our FREE market rate sheet. Updated daily, this concise summary covers swap rates, FX rates and more. Visit our website for more details.

Tel: 020 7183 2277

UK Asian Voice | 4th March 2017

Ethnic pay gap report raises pertinent questions AsianVoiceNews


Although 'ethnic minorities' form 14% of the UK population, and it is expected to rise to 21% by 2051, only 1.5% of the 1,087 directors of FTSE 100 companies are non-white UK citizen and fifty-three companies have no ethnic minority directors at all. Baroness Ruby McGregorSmith investigated the ceilings faced in the professional world by people of 'black' and minority 'ethnic' backgrounds. The main claims of McGregor-Smith's report were- (I) GDP could increase by up to 1.3 per cent a year if workers from BME backgrounds progressed at the same rate as their white colleagues, (ii) businesses with more than 50 employees urged to publish breakdown of workforce by race and pay band, and (iii) New Business Diversity and Inclusion Group announced to make sure government and industry work more closely to improve representation, inclusiveness and opportunities in the workplace. The review also found employment rates for people from BME backgrounds are 12% lower than their


white counterparts at 62.8%, with just 6% reaching top level management positions. People from BME backgrounds are also more likely to work in lower paid and lower skilled jobs despite being more likely to have a degree, the report reveals. In a series of recommendations, the review calls for large employers should lead the way in tackling barriers to BME progression, calling on companies with more than 50 employees to (i) publish a breakdown of their workforce by race and pay band, (ii) draw up five-year aspirational diversity targets, and (iii) nominate a board member to deliver on these targets. The Government also announced that a Business Diversity and Inclusion Group will be set up and chaired by Business Minister Margot James. The group will also bring together the leaders of three industry-led diversity reviewsBaroness McGregor-Smith, Sir Philip Hampton and Dame Helen Alexander (who are leading a review aimed at increasing female leadership in FTSE companies), and Sir John Parker, who recently concluded a consultation on recommendations to

increase BME representation in the boardroom. Also invited to participate were organisations such as Confederation of British Industry,Institute of Directors, BITC, Financial Reporting Council, and Equality and Human Rights Commission. As part of the recommendations, Business in the Community (BITC) agreed to publish an annual list of Best 100 Employers to celebrate success and highlight best practice. Sandra Kerr, Race Equality Director at BITC, said, “As this review clearly shows, harnessing the very best of BME talent is the only way forward that makes sense for employers”. Baroness McGregor Smith's review also found that 15.3% of BME workers would like to work more hours compared to 11.5% of white workers. Almost 500 individuals and companies responded to Baroness McGregorSmith’s call for evidence, including a host of FTSE 100 companies. However, in a report by Financial Times on 11th

Ruby McGregor-Smith

February this year, Sir John Parker was quoted as saying, “It’s a challenge to find the skill sets in some of the diverse candidates to match what we actually want, and in some cases you don’t always get what you want but you work with it and develop those people”, and according to him, this process involves “a lot of heavy induction and a lot of heavy teach-ins”. Evidently, even in the diversity inclusion programmes, it is the narrative of 'Otherness' that dominate the skill set of ethnic minority professionals. Reflexively- there is

incompetency and 'ethnic' incompetency. The reality today is not far from the version of racism that is shown in the film Hidden Figures, a recent release that deals with the racism and sexism in w o r k places, as prestigious as NASA, i n 1960s. D r . Chrystal Lobo, a lecturer at a London university, s a i d , “Bigotry manifests itself today in forms that people are unable to pinpoint. It is almost impossible to articulate this everyday discrimination”. This calls for a need to view 'ethnic minorities' not merely as uncontested repositories of political and economic value, but as members of a common society. The conditioning of generations in accepting with continual gratefulness anything that is remotely validating their contribution, has led to a scenario where equality is still a distant dream. The difficulty, as is also evident in Ruby


McGregor-Smith's report, is the denial in which organisations and the administration are living in. The institutional incompetence to deal with subtleties of everyday racism is deep rooted. Is this recognised by any organisation as a failure? Is diversity in workplaces a sham, owing to blatant illusions of equalopportunity? Anitha Karkera, a resident of the UK since 25 years, pointed out, “Even the ministers and officials who head the BITC are not from ethnic communities. How is the system supposed to address a problem they have not had a 'lived' experience of?” This raises pertinent questions on the steps that the government has taken to tackle this burning issue. She further says, “It is in these difficult times that we all need to come together, irrespective of the so-called segregations, and work towards a holistic progressive society.” Among universities, government offices, businesses, there is a scepticism towards anyone who raises the issue of workplace discrimination- they are often accused of playing victim in a fair society. Are we in a better world today, or is it only growing more complicated to make the privileged class understand that the centuries' old oppression has just changed its mask?



Hate crime rears its head once again Asian Voice | 4th March 2017

HOUSTON: Hundreds of people gathered in a peace march and prayer vigil in Kansas City, in light of the murder of Indian engineer Srinivas Kuchibhotla in a senseless triple shooting incident at a pub. Marchers celebrated his life, holding pictures and banners, shouting "We want peace", "Let us not leave our children", "Unity is part of community, together we stand, divided we fall." The march was also attended by Alok Madasani, another Indian who was wounded in the shooting, sisters of American Ian Grillot, who was injured that night when he intervened during the argument with shooter US Navy Veteran Adam Purinton, Lt Governor Jeff Colyer, US Congressman Kevin Yoder, Olathe Mayor Mike Copeland, Olathe Police Chief Steven Menke, and other state officials. The prayer was conducted by priests from different religions at the Hindu Temple and Cultural Centre. Alok fondly remembered Srinivas, and their nine years of friendship. "Srini was the kindest person you would meet, full of love, care, and compassion for everyone. He never

Srinivas Kuchibhotla

uttered a word of hatred, a simple gossip, or a careless comment. He would always make sure everyone is doing fine and taken good care." Adam Purinton opened fire at patrons watching a televised basketball game in Austin Bar and Grills, Olathe, Kansas. A bartender cited that the man used "racial slurs" before opening fire. Witnesses also said that he yelled "get out of my country". The deceased victim was identified as Srinivas Kuchibhotla, 32, and the two injured are Alok R Madasani, 32, and Ian P Grillot, 24. Purinton was drinking at the bar, when he mistook the men of Indian-origin as "Middle Eastern" said a wit-

ness. Addressing a press conference, a local prosecutor said Purinton has been charged with one count of premeditated first degree murder and two counts of attempted premeditated first degree murder. He currently awaits extradition to Kansas from Missouri. It remains unclear if Purinton will be charged with a federal hate crime. He is under a $2 million bond. Kuchibotla and Madasani, both worked as aviation engineers at a GPStechnology company, Garmin, with offices in Kansas. A mutual friend Siva Sattanathan said both of them were Hindus and originally from Hyderabad, India. The company released a statement of condolence saying, "We're saddened that two Garmin associates were involved in last night's incident, and we express our condolences to the family and friends of our co-workers involved. Garmin will have grievance counsellors on-site and available for its associates." The third victim, Grillot who attended high school, was separately located inside the bar, when he "stood up for

two people being mistreated by man who was in the wrong" says a GoFundMe page created by his sister. Another GoFundMe campaign set up to raise money to help Kuchibotla's family raised more than $170,000 by Thursday night. Purinton was arrested by the police at an Applebee's restaurant in Clinton, Missouri, 70 miles away from the scene of the incident. A bartender from the restaurant called the cops when Purinton revealed he had been involved in a shooting. Sources claim he said he had "just killed two Middle Eastern men." The Council on American-Islamic Relations have urged federal law enforcement to file hate crime charges against him. "There is a fear of the other that has been exacerbated during the election," said Adam Hamilton, a pastor in a nearby community. "The diversity is increasing. It's still small but it's growing. A small contingent in my congregation are Indian. So I want people in our church to think about what things must be like for them right now. And to let them know that we are thinking of them."

One-punch killer jailed for six years LONDON: Jobless plasterer Trevor Timon who killed a banker with a single punch in an “unprovoked” attack has been sentenced to six years in prison for the manslaughter of banker Oliver Dearlove. Thirty-one-year-old Timon punched Dearlove, 30, while the victim and his friends were talking to a group of women in Blackheath, south-east London, in August 2016. Timon demanded to

know what they were discussing and told his victim “if you don’t get out of my face I will knock you out”, the court heard. He then punched Dearlove in the side of the head with his left fist, sending him to the ground and knocking him out. He then punched Dearlove in the side of the head with his left fist, sending him to the ground and knocking him out. Dearlove, who worked at Duncan Lawrie Private

Oliver Dearlove

after a jury deliberated for three hours.

Indian embassy in Berlin organises diaspora event BERLIN: A second Diaspora event was organised by the Embassy of India in Berlin, on February 25, at the Embassy, where Indian associations, and prominent members Diaspora participated along with representatives of 16 Student Associations. The meet was organised with an aim to bring Indian

associations representing various states of India in Germany under one umbrella to discuss and deliberate on common issues and construct a suitable mechanism to progress further. Several initiatives undertaken by the Embassy of India were highlighted in the conference along with different programmes of the MEA.

Initiatives like the launching of Indian Professional Forum to leverage the talents of Indian professionals and to engage them in promoting start ups, Make in India Mittelstand (MIIM) programme to bring German companies to invest in India, and launching of Indian Students Germany portal were highlighted to promote

awareness. The Ambassador of India launched a new ebook chronicling all activities undertaken by the Embassy to strengthen the relationship between India and Germany. The conference also saw a guest lecture by Dr Joachim Oestarheld, a prominent researcher and Humboldt scholar, on the contributions of Indians in Germany.

EU ready to take more Indian skilled professionals NEW DELHI: The European Union has said that it was ready to accommodate more Indian IT professionals and has denounced any form of protectionism in global trade. The news comes at a time when the possibility of a potential clampdown on the H1B visa from the Trump administration hovers. A delegation of European Parliament's Committee on Foreign Affairs pushed for deeper trade ties with India, expressing "regret" over failure by both sides to resume the stalled dialogue to

cement the long-pending EU-India trade and investment pact. Head of the delegation David McAllister said, "Europe is open for people with high demand. Indian people are highly skilled. Our IT sector would not have been successful if we did not have skilled professionals from India." He even criticised the new US government's protectionist rhetoric which triggered fears in Europe as well. One of the many changes Trump tried to push in over last month, included overhaul in work

visa programmes like the H1B and L1. On the other hand, McAllister pressed for early resumption of negotiations for the EU-India Broadbased Trade and Investment Agreement. Speaking to the press, he said his delegation urged the Indian leaders to resume the talks as the pact will boost two-way trade. "We deeply regret that we are not being able to move ahead. We will use the visit to call for resumption of talks for the agreement." The delegation is also scheduled to


Kerala nurse stabbed in Kuwait

KUWAIT CITY: An Indian nurse from Kerala was stabbed in Kuwait City and is under treatment at Farwaniya Hospital there. India's External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj, tweeting about the incident, said that India has taken up the issue of security of Indians in Kuwait at the highest level. "Our Embassy has taken up the matter at the highest level in Kuwait to ensure safety and security of Indian nationals there," she said. "I was informed about the stabbing of Mrs. Gopika Shajikumar an Indian national from Kottayam. I asked for an immediate report and we have complete details of the unfortunate incident," Swaraj tweeted.

Iraqi forces capture Mosul airport from IS

MOSUL: US-backed Iraqi security forces captured Mosul airport, state television said, in a major gain in operations to drive out Islamic State terror group from the western half of the city. Elite counterterrorism forces advanced from the southwestern side and also entered the Ghozlani army base along with the southwestern districts of Tal alRumman and al-Mamoun. Iraqi forces hope to use the airport as a launch pad for their campaign to drive the militants from Iraq's second largest city. After the capture, more than 100 civilians fled towards Iraqi security forces from al-Mamoun.

Russian MP skips House session, sends cutout instead

MOSCOW: A Russian MP has reportedly skipped a meeting in regional parliament, and asked his assistant to bring a cardboard cut out of himself instead. Vladimir Petrov, who had a broken leg, wanted to draw his colleagues' attention to the fact that many do not participate in parliamentary life opting to “stay silent and press buttons as they are told.” The event occurred at a parliamentary meeting for the Leningrad region. The action sparked anger among fellow MPs, with some asking for Petrov's assistant to be detained. “Can we all bring cardboard versions of ourselves to meetings or is just him? Does this mean that his vote will still be considered?” MP Andrei Lebdev said, asking for the cardboard cut out to be turned against the wall.

Muhammad Ali Jr. detained at Florida airport

Trevor Timon

Bank, died the next day in hospital. Timon, of Plumstead, admitted manslaughter but was cleared of murder last Wednesday at the Old Bailey

In Brief


hold talks with a number of Union Ministers, National Security Adviser Ajit Doval, the Vice Chairman of NITI Ayog Arvind Panagariya and Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan, among others. Another European Parliament Delegations for Relations with India is also in the country, and it had strongly sought resumption of talks for the trade pact during its meetings with Finance Minister Arun Jaitley and Commerce Minister Nirmala Sitharaman.

MIAMI: Muhammad Ali Jr., son of the late legendary boxer, was reportedly detained for several hours by immigration officials at an airport in Florida. According to the report, Ali Jr. and his mother Khalilah Camacho-Ali were arriving at the Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport from a Black History Month event in Jamaica on February 7 when they were pulled aside by customs and asked if they were Muslims. Ali's lawyer Chris Mancini told the Courier-Journal that while Camacho-Ali was let go, her son was questioned for almost two hours about his origin, where he was born and his religion.

Pakistan returns 252 Afghans in goodwill gesture

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan has returned 252 Afghan nationals to their home country in a goodwill gesture even as it kept the border entry points with Afghanistan shut for security reasons in the wake of a series of bombings. The Afghan nationals, who were returned, spent a week under the open sky as the Torkham border crossing point between two nations remained closed for nearly 10 days. Trade between Islamabad and Kabul has come to a halt as Pakistani authorities closed the Torkham and Chaman crossing points with Afghanistan due to security concerns in the wake of series of terror attacks across the country. People with valid travel documents were allowed to cross the border on foot, a Pakistani official said.

Gunmen fire at Lanka prison bus; seven killed

COLOMBO: Gunmen opened fire on a prison bus in Colombo, killing five prisoners and two warders on their way to court in what was believed to be a gangland dispute. Thushara Upuldeniya, spokesman for the Prison Department, said an armed gang blocked the bus transporting the prisoners, who included an underworld figure. "All five prisoners and two prison officers died.”

INDIA Asian Voice | 4th March 2017 AsianVoiceNews

Pak cancels Hafiz Saeed's weapons' licences

LAHORE: Pakistan has cancelled licences of 44 weapons issued to JuD chief Hafiz Saeed and other members of his organisations. An official of the Punjab home department said the step has been taken in line with the government's action against Saeed, Jamaat-ud-Dawa, and the Falaha-e-Insanyat. He said, "The Punjab Home Department cancelled licences of 44 weapons for security reasons." On January 30, the government had put Saeed and four other leaders under house arrest in Lahore for a period of 90 days. He, along with 37 other members of the two organisations, have also been placed on the Exit Control List, barring them from leaving the country. A notification from the Punjab home department read, "Both JuD and FIF are engaged in certain activities which could be prejudicial to peace and security and in violation of Pakistan's obligations to the UN Security Council Resolution and both organisations have been placed in the 2nd Schedule of Anti-Terrorism Act 1997."

Gurdwara, community service In Brief groups aid San Jose flood victims Pak thwarts terror strike by


SAN JOSE: Over 14,000 people were evacuated from their homes, on February 21, in Rocksprings, near San Jose, California. A local gurdwara and an Indian-American organisation immediately sprung to action after a mandatory order was issued by the City of San Jose to evacuate homes on account of the floods. "Our doors are open to all. We can house and feed about 500 people here. We will provide food and shelter to people for as long as they need it," said San Jose Gurdwara treasurer Sohan Dhanota. Flooding has left several areas of the city standing in at least four feet of water. The situation worsened after waters in nearby Coyote Creek began rising because of a breech on a spillway on the Anderson Reservoir. More than 36,000 people have been placed on a voluntary evacuation order. San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo said the residents were not properly notified to evacuate during the emergency. "If the first time a resident is aware that they need to get out of their home is when they see a firefighter in a boat, that's a failure. We are assessing what happened in that failure. We've got to address the needs of the families who have been displaced first. We'll have a lot of time to

killing six LeJ militants

LAHORE: Six suspected terrorists of the banned Lashkar-eJhangvi (LeJ) terror group were shot dead in Pakistan's Punjab province, police said. The counter-terrorism department (CTD) of Punjab police got a tip-off about the presence of LeJ terrorist Yasin in Muzaffargarh's Patti Sultan. Yasin along with his accomplices was planning to target offices of the law enforcement agencies in south Punjab, a senior officer said.

Death for 5 in Bangladesh for murder of Japanese

analyse what went wrong," he said at a press brief. Several evacuees are set to be homeless indefinitely, until their residences that may have encountered seeping sewage and other toxins from murky water flowing into their homes are de-contaminated. Meanwhile, Dhanota said the gurdwara volunteers spent their own money on Feb 21, to buy $3,000 worth of blankets and children's clothing to donate to James Lick High School, one of the main temporary shelters. He has also called upon people attending Sunday services to bring 10 extra blankets with them. Meanwhile, Community Seva, a California-based non-profit organisation which has been donating backpacks to homeless people in the city since last December, stepped up efforts when the evacuations

Pakistan allows export of Sikh holy water Gurdwara Kartarpur Sahib

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan government has made the well at Gurdwara Kartarpur Sahib functional, and has allowed its holy water to be exported. Chairman Siddiqul Farooq, Evacuee Trust Property Board, said, "The water from this well is like what Aab-i-Zamzam is to Muslims. Now, the well has been shaped and a filtration plant has been set up over it so that Sikh devotees can drink the water." He said the three ancient gurdwaras visited by the founder of Sikhism, Baba Guru Nanak, have also been reopened. "The

doors of these gurdwaras, one in Peshawar, and two in the Nankana Sahib district, were closed after partition, and now they have been handed over to the Sikh community after renovation. The most considerable achievement is the opening to the holy well at Gurdwara Kartarpur Sahib. Its water is called

Amrit Jal by the Sikhs, and the government has allowed for the water to be exported all over the world." Stating the significance, he said Gurdwara Kartarpur Sahib in Nankana Sahib is where Baba Guru Nanak is believed to have spent the final years of his life.

Descendant of Balochistan rulers wants freedom LONDON: Exiled Balochistan leader, Amir Ahmed Suleman Daud said he would approach India for the independence of Balochistan. Addressing a seminar titled 'Balochistan Re-visited', at the British Houses of Parliament, the Khan of Kalat said, "I will go to India." Spending his exile in the United Kingdom, Daud seemed rather determined as he engaged in stormy exchanges with

pro-Pakistan elements in the audience. He said he will go to Afghanistan, Iran, and other countries, and revealed that he is actively in touch with the US Congress. "We lost our independence because of geo-politics," he said. He explained that Britain wanted to deny the Soviet Union access to warm waters. "This is why they (British) went back on the treaties (between the Kalat State and the UK)." Daud said that in the


centuries-old Kalat Confederacy, the Khan of Kalat was the head. On August 4, 1947, Lord Mountbatten, the Viceroy of India, the Khan of Kalat, and the founder of the in-coming state of Pakistan, Mohammed Ali Jinnah, signed an agreement in Delhi recognising the independence of Kalat for negotiation purposes. In fact, it remained independent until March 28, 1948, when it merged with Pak.

began. The American Red Cross and the City of San Jose reached out to the organisation to help with relief efforts. Founded by Nathan Ganeshan, volunteers of Community Seva have so far, taken 160 backpacks to two of the biggest emergency shelters in the city, James Lick High School, and Evergreen High School. Ganeshan said he aims to distribute 1,000 backpacks to people displaced by the flooding. Inspired by Shirdi Sai Baba, he began distributing hot pizzas and peanut butter sandwiches to homeless people living in parks. "But the hunger to feed the hungry grew," he said. Gradually, he founded Community Seva, which holds over 700 volunteers, who serve 1,500 meals per month at homeless shelters in San Jose.

DHAKA: A Bangladesh court sentenced five members of an extremist group to death for killing a Japanese national in 2015. Japanese national Hoshi Kunio, 65, was shot dead near his farm in Rangpur district on October 3, 2015. One year later, authorities charged eight people belonging to the Jamaatul Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB) group - one of whom was later acquitted and two others were killed in police clashes. "The court sentenced five accused to death as the prosecution could successfully prove the allegation against them," Special Public Prosecutor Abdul Malek told Efe news.

Hijab-wearing White House staffer quits in 8 days

WASHINGTON: A bold hijab-wearing Muslim ex-White House staffer of Bangladeshi-origin has said she quit her job after US President Donald Trump announced his controversial travel ban, lasting just eight days in the new administration. Rumana Ahmed was hired in 2011 to work at the White House and eventually the National Security Council (NSC). “My job there was to promote and protect the best of what my country stands for.�



Jaya's nephew backs OPS; ready to pay £10 mn fine In Brief AsianVoiceNews

Asian Voice | 4th March 2017

CHENNAI: In a major setback to Team Sasikala, late Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa's nephew Deepak Jayakumar hit out at TTV Dinakaran, calling him unfit to be AIADMK's deputy general secretary. He said that the party leadership would be in better hands with former chief minister O Panneerselvam. "Dinakaran is not fit to be the party deputy general secretary. My aunt was opposed to family politics. She got Dinakaran MP post, and she threw him out of the party too," he said as he recalled the expulsion of the Sasi clan,

Deepak Jayakumar

14 members including herself, from Poes Garden in 2011. After being reinducted by Jaya in 2012, after her public apology, Sasi brought Dinakaran back into the party on February 15 this year. Jayakumar said the party needs officials like

Cong leader's diary stirs controversy BENGALURU: A couple of month's back, Income Tax sleuths had conducted a series of raids across Karnataka on politicians who had not filed their IT returns or those who they suspected had black money. They were, however, surprised to find a diary with suspicious entries at the residence of Karnataka Congress MLC Govind Raj. Sources from the department said that the diary was allegedly hidden in his bedroom. The secret diary contains initials of individuals, their offices and entities that instantly arouse suspicion that money was collected and paid to them for services. It reportedly mentions the initials of all those who gave the influential legislator money and also those to whom he paid money. The diary contains accounts for a whopping amount of £60 million given to mysterious names like

AICC, AP, M Vora, SG Office, and RG office. It also includes an entry for a 'steel bridge' for which an amount of £6.5 million was marked as received. Another entry shows £700,000 paid to media for Bengaluru Municipal Elections. Govind Raj was called in by the IT department for questioning about the entries when he claimed the handwriting was not his and the signatures were forged. Meanwhile, Congress has called the diary fake and an attempt to malign the leader. BJP, on the other hand, has called for a detailed probe. Raj, is known to be close to top leaders and a party fund raiser. His contacts are not restricted to Karnataka alone, but is known to be associated with several politicians in New Delhi. BJP pointed fingers at Congress chief Sonia Gandhi, saying she should come clean over the allegations.

Pannerselvam, E Madhusudanan, and C Ponnaiyan. "I hope Dinakaran will understand that," he said. Noting that Sasikala was like his mother, Jayakumar said, "My aunt is already there. OPS Anna should be given Dinakaran's post. There will be only one candidate for the AIADMK in Dr Radhakrishnan Nagar constituency. Our goal is to defeat Stalin, not OPS or Deepa (Jaya's niece)." He said the visible split within the party was only a family dispute and would be sorted out amicably. Regarding the

controversy surrounding Amma's Poes Garden residence, he said it was family property and belonged to him and Deepa. He stated that there was no need to evict the current inmates, adding that he was willing to pay the £10 million fine imposed on his late aunt by availing loans. "If they want, let us have a probe. We (Sasikala and himself) are ready to prove our innocence to all, including my sister Deepa. Everything from hospitalisation to treatment was genuine. I was in hospital for 62 or 64 days and I visited my aunt."

Telangana CM fulfils £500,000 vow at Tirupati TIRUPATI: Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao visited Tirumala and offered jewellery worth £500,000 to deity Lord Sri Venkateswara. The visit was a fulfilment of a vow he had taken when fighting for a separate Telangana. KCR had taken a vow during the struggle for a different state, that if they succeeded, he would offer gold ornaments to Lord Venkateswara. He was accompanied by his family and other cabinet colleagues, and the group visited the temple amid heightened security in the ghat roads leading to the temple. Initially, the CM was welcomed by TTD executive officer D Sambasiva Rao, and joint executive officer KS Sreenivasa Raju. KCR offered

prayers, and donated 'Saligrama Haram' and 'Petala Kanthabharanam' to Sri Venkateswara on behalf of the Telangana government. He also offered prayers in the temple of Goddess Padmavathi at Tiruchanoor and presented a nose ring to the Goddess. KCR's family members, including his six sisters, his son and IT Minister KT Rama Rao, his daughter and MP Kavita, his nephew and minister T Harish Rao, and Assembly Speaker Madhusudana Chari, also reached Tirumala. Telangana chief secretary SP Singh, former chief secretary Rajiv Sharma, and Telangana tourism advisor KV Ramanachari were also part of the team.

SYL canal has to be constructed: SC tells Punjab

Police book Jat leader for promoting enmity ROHTAK: A Jat leader and his associates have been booked by the police for promoting enmity and public mischief. Rahul Dadu, who is leading a parallel protest under the banner of Jat Jagriti Sena, was booked for spreading false rumours on social media and promoting castebased enmity. The police picked up two protesters sitting on a hunger strike at the ongoing dharna, after their health deteriorated badly. Ram Singh, 65, and Raj Singh, 56, have been sitting on hunger strike since February 14, pressing for their demands, including withdrawal of cases against Jats registered during violent quota stir last year. The two men had begun vomiting blood, but had refused to accept medical aid. "Based on the doctors' recommendations, we had peacefully picked them up from the spot and admitted them to the Post Graduate Institute of Medical Sciences, where they are being given adequate medical treatment," a police spokesperson

said. However, soon, much to the police's chagrin, several audios and videos were shared on Whatsapp, by the Jat protesters, including Dadu, claiming they were manhandled, and the cops vandalised their property. Denying all claims, the police in return, booked Dadu under Sections 153 A (promoting enmity), 505 (public mischief) and 188 (disobedience) of the Indian Penal Code. Officers said, "The messages claiming police abused and manhandled them are totally false. They even tried to incite the public on their false claims, taking cognisance of which we have booked them." On the other hand, Dadu maintained that they were manhandled. "They abused us, pushed us, tore my clothes, and even snatched mobile phones of our people who tried to record their actions. We did send videos on social media, but only asked for support of people. We have been holding peaceful dharnas, but made no inciting statements," he said.

NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court has made it clear that the state of Punjab would have to comply with its order on construction of Satluj Yamuna Link canal. Stating that the ongoing controversy over the project must be brought to an end at the earliest, a bench of Justices PC Ghose and Amitava Roy said it would not accept any excuse of the state government for not implementing its order. "There are two orders by the court earlier and also a reference on the issue. Canal has to be constructed. The decree has to be executed either through legal process or parties themselves sit together and find out a solution. If Haryana and Punjab fail to sort out then we have to pass order," the bench said. It said that the controversy had been going on for years, and it was time to bring down the curtains. "Enough is enough. We

are keen to finish it. We don't want to keep the matter pending," the bench said as it rejected the plea of the Punjab government to post the case after March 11 when the election result of assembly polls would be declared. Appearing for Punjab, senior advocate Ram Jethmalani, and RS Suri, told the court that the dispute could not be effectively resolved through legal process and the court should asked the Centre to find out political solution. "Centre is duty bound to play the role of a mediator in the inter-state water dispute to uphold the spirit of federalism. In the present case, Union of India has not shown any proactive approach in sorting out the water issues between the states. Centre should convene a meeting to find out solution instead of the court passing order on the issue," Jethmalani said.


Key accused in actor abduction case held

KOCHI: After almost a week, key accused in the abduction and harassment case of a film actress, Vijesh and Pulsar Suni were arrested. A team led by Circle Inspector of Police, Ernakulam Central, dragged the duo out of the Additional Chief Judicial Magistrate Court. They reportedly put up stiff resistance, but were overpowered by the police. Sources said the incident took place soon after the accused's counsel moved a surrender application. "A few policemen in plain clothes were present inside the court, while a police team from the Central Station rushed to the spot to arrest them," a source said. Both men have been taken to Aluva for interrogation, where top officers, including Dinendra Kashyap, Inspector General of Police, Crime Branch, were present.

Watery grave for 9 tourists in TN

MADURAI: At least nine tourists were drowned when the fishing boat there were travelling for a joyride capsized after it was caught in tidal waves near Manapad coast of Tuticorin district of Tamil Nadu. Fishermen managed to pull out 20 people from the sea but nine of them died later. The tourists took the joyride after attending a temple festival nearby. Shortly after the group left in a fibre boat, it was caught in a tidal wave and capsized. Though local fishermen rushed in after hearing screams, many drowned. The fishermen managed to pull out 20 people of which nine succumbed later.

Victim of moral policing in Kerala ends life

PALAKKAD: Harassed by a group of youth for allegedly indulging in indecent behaviour with a female friend, a 23 year old committed suicide. Aneesh and his female friend were assaulted and harassed near a beach in Kollam by a group of five men on Valentine's Day. The lady had moved to a secluded area of the beach to relieve herself due to a lack of toilets when the men allegedly tried to molest her. Aneesh rushed to the spot when she raised a commotion, and was accused of indecency. The police said that the whole incident affected Aneesh deeply who had been depressed ever since. The men have been arrested.

Man kills colleague over affair with wife

BATHINDA: An Indian Air Force corporal was killed and his body hacked to pieces, over an alleged affair with a colleague's wife. Vipin Shukla, 27, a corporal in the Air Force Wives Welfare Association Canteen, was murdered by Sergeant Sulesh Kumar, wife Anuradha Patel, and brother in law Shashi Bhushan. Punjab police found the chopped up body of the victim from Kumar's residence. While the husband and wife have been arrested, Bhushan who works in the Merchant Navy, is found to be absconding. Shukla, who joined the Bhisiana Air Force Station in 2014, soon got involved with Anuradha and impregnated her. "(After discovering she was pregnant), Anuradha asked Vipin to marry her but he refused. He had also been spreading details of their relationship among other employees. Thus, Anuradha, with her husband and brother hatched a conspiracy to murder Vipin," said superintendent of police, Gurmeet Singh.

School drop out hits jackpot

NEW DELHI: Azad Singh, a 24 year old confectioner at Dayyar village, Fatehabad district, won a cash prize of £150,000 after he bought a lottery ticket for the first time. A school drop out who lives in a mud house and runs the small shop, Singh's journey to being a crorepati seems to be his destiny. "I had purchased the ticket expecting to win an assured prize of Rs 400, but I never knew it would make me a crorepati and popular in my village," he said. He added that his friends and relatives began celebrating once they got to know about his win. "When I checked the status of lottery result, my ticket number matched with the top prize. I could not believe my eyes and checked it 10 times to confirm," he said.

HERITAGE - HISTORY Asian Voice | 4th March 2017


Travancore: First to declare Independence AsianVoiceNews


Researchers claim that it was Maharaja’s idea, not of Dewan Sir C P Ramaswami

Dr Hari Desai Unlike the perception of most people in India, the Hindu Maharaja of Travancore Sri Chithira Thirunal Balarama Varma was the first to declare to set itself up as an independent State with effect from the date of withdrawal of the British power from India. Travancore, present-day Kerala, was one of the biggest and well-administered Princely States of British India having the status of 19 gun salute when 21 gun salute was considered the highest in prestige. Soon after the announcement of 3 June Plan by Viscount

Mountbatten of Burma who replaced Lord Wavell as Viceroy, on 11 June 1947, Sir C P Ramaswami, the Prime Minister of Travancore, announced that his State had decided to be an independent sovereign State from the date of the transfer of power. His announcement was not without the consent from the Maharaja who was keen to have his independent nation founded on the American system. Mohammad Ali Jinnah was quick to write to Sir C P, a wire welcoming Travancore’s decision for independence, emphasising keenness in establishing a lasting relationship between Travancore and Pakistan. According to K M Munshi, the announcement came to the country as a veritable bombshell since Travancore was perhaps the oldest State of India whose rulers ruled the State in the name and on behalf of their tutelary deity, Sri Padmanabha. Sir C P’s subsequent announcement to appoint a Trade Agent in Pakistan roused bitter resentment. Sardar Patel was furious and determined, if necessary, to deal severely with Travancore. Even today the Padmanabha temple at Thiruvananthapuram (Trivandrum) is the wealthiest temple in the world. The capital of once the part of Chera empire was

Maharaja of Travancore Sri Chithira Thirunal Balarama Varma

Padmanabhapuram (17291795) and Thiruvananthapuram (1795-1949). When the British Prime Minister Clement Attlee made a declaration in the House of Commons on 20 February 1947 regarding the deadline to transfer power to responsible Indian hands by June 1948, Travancore was the first to question the authority of Congress. In the words of Kiran Koneru, the state was very progressive in the fields

Dewan Sir C P Ramaswami Aiyar with PM Jawaharlal Nehru

of education, trade, political administration and public affairs. It had the most educated populace in India. It was the only Asian state which could inflict a naval defeat upon a European Army (Dutch suffered a loss at the hands of Travancore Army in 18th century.). When Jawaharlal Nehru visited the area in the 1920s, he remarked that the education there was superior to British India. The state had strong presence of Congress and CPI. Travancore was located at southern tip of India and it had naval routes to foreign countries. The state also had recently

Sri Padmanabha Swamy Temple in Thiruvananthapuram

found rich reserves of thorium, used in production of atomic energy. This was point in time when all European countries were looking forward to invest into atomic energy extensively. The Maharaja of Travancore was considered to be a mere puppet in CP’s hands and entire administration was run by CP who was the find of his mother Setu Parvati Bayi. She acted as Regent from 1924 to 1931 during the minority of Sri Chithira. Hence CP’s announcement of 11 June regarding his State being an independent sovereign was seen as his plan. The people of his State were furious and even he was attacked by KCS Mony, a Kerala Socialist Party worker. He was saved by Angavastram wrapped around his neck, but had to be hospitalised. Now since two wellresearched books by Saroja Sundararajan (“Sir C P Ramaswami Aiyar: A Biography”) and A Sreedhara Menon (“Triumph and Tragedy in Travancore: Annals of Sir C

Maharani Setu Parvati Bayi, the mother of Maharaja and Regent of Travancore from 1924 to 1931

P’s Sixteen years”) are published with archival documentations, it has become clear that the independence was the ruler’s idea and not that of CP’s! Even V P Menon records in his book “Integration of the Indian States”: “At first he (CP) was adamant, but after a further interview with Lord Mountbatten, he agreed that Accession was inevitable… he took with him the draft Instrument of Accession and personal letter to the Maharaja from Lord Mountbatten, promising to return on 27 July. Before he could do so, a personal attack was made on him and he was wounded. But the Maharaja telegraphed to Lord Mountbatten his acceptance of the Instrument of Accession and Standstill Agreement.” Sir CP resigned the office of Dewan on 19 August 1947 and was succeeded in that office by P G N Unnithan. On 24 March 1948, the popular Ministry of Travancore consisting of Patton A Thanu Pillai, C Kesavan and T M Vargese

Lord Padmanabha, the patron deity of the royal family

was installed in office. The Thanu Pillai Ministry had to quit office on 22 October 1948, following the split in the Congress Legislature Party and a new Ministry headed by T K Narayana Pillai came to power. It was while this Ministry was in office that the integration of Travancore and Cochin took place on 1 July 1949. The Maharajas of the two States willingly signed the Covenant of Integration, according to A Sreedhara Menon in “A survey of Kerala History”. The Maharaja of Travancore became the Rajpramukh of the new State while Maharaja of Cochin offered “to efface himself completely in order that his people might enjoy a larger life”. It was decided to locate the capital of the State at

Trivandrum and the High Court at Ernakulam. Under the States Reorganisation Act, 1956, Kerala was established on 1 November 1956 with a Governor as the head of the State. Ramchandra Guha, a celebrated historian, quotes a civil servant C.S. Venkatachar, then a high official in the Government of India, justifying India going to United Nations on Kashmir issue, but wrong in choice of a man sent to represent India. Pakistan had deputed Mohammed Zafrullah Khan to argue their case while India deputed “a vegetarian and teetotaller” Gopalswami Iyengar. C P could have been the right choice but because of his Travancore “blunder” he was considered an outcast. An image of C P

as Travancore’s Rasputin was created. Later of course he was appointed the Vice Chancellor of Banaras Hindu University( BHU) and Chairman of University Grants Commission by the Government of India. He continued his contacts with Sri Chithira Thirunal at a personal level till his death on 26 September 1966 in London. Munshi records an interesting postscript episode in “Pilgrimage to Freedom”(Volume-I). After resigning the office of Dewan of Travancore State, Sir C P had come to Delhi. Sardar Patel invited him for lunch and in the invitation wrote,“It is my nature to be a friend of the friendless.” Not to be outdone, Sir C P replied that the “friendless” person had an engagement with a friend for lunch on that day. C P was having lunch with Lord Mountbatten. He ended his reply on an optimistic note: “Hoping for better luck next time.” Next Column: Sarat Bose and Suhrawardy for Bengal Desh (The writer is a Socio-political Historian. E-mail: )



Africa's Youngest Billionaire drags family through dirt


Co-founder of African banking conglomerate Atlas Mara Ltd., Ashish Thakkar who has been in a soup with his divorce case recently lost a ruling over the ownership of his assets, in London. Judge Philip Moor, following testimonies from his family members found him guilty of lying. Calling it "palpable nonsense", he ruled that Thakkar owned 100 per cent of Mara Group Holdings Ltd. along with other companies. A selfacclaimed follower of "Guru" Morari Bapu, Ashish is known to openly endorse his teachings of truth and compassion. A believer of "karma- what goes around comes around", he has always preached 'honesty' as one of the keys to build a successful business. A pragmatic guess is, all those words taste like glass to him now. After a series of evidences and oral testimonies from Ashish, his former wife Meera Thakkar, father Jagdish, and sister Ahuti, Judge Moor effectively construed that Ashish, Jagdish, and Ahuti had lied to the court. Ashish Thakkar declined holding any control over his businesses, claiming that his father, mother Sarla, and sister were beneficiaries of his companies. However, carefully underlining the facts, Judge Moor derived that Ashish, without any doubt, owned the entirety of his corporates. "I regret to say that I consider the whole thing to be palpable nonsense and simply manufactured for this case to attempt to explain why Ashish was listed as a first beneficiary in the Regulations. It follows that I find I have been repeatedly lied to by all three Respondent Thakkar witnesses, which has extremely serious consequences for the rest of their evidence," said Judge Moor. While Sarla Thakkar refrained from giving any oral testimony citing health issues, the Judge said she "could have filed a statement and then applied for it". He concluded saying, "On the balance of probabilities, I find that she did not attend as she was not

preparing to lie to this court. That is to her credit that she has still instructed her lawyers to fight this case on the basis that the interest was held for Ahuti." Calling Jagdish a very "unsatisfactory witness", Moor said, "I find that these falsehoods explain Jagdish's dreadful presentation as a witness. He was simply uncomfortable lying. " 35 year old Ashish has been surrounded with divorce-related woes, as his wife claimed him to be far richer than what he accounts for. While Ashish maintained that his assets were only worth, £445,532, his travel journalist former partner refused to accept it and fought for it in court. Seemingly miffed with Ashish's way of turning the case, Moor called him a very "charismatic and engaging character." "He exudes charm and enthusiasm. He clearly knows Mara's business backwards. I am quite clear that he decides Mara's direction of travel. He will take the decision to buy a business or diversify into another area. He is the entrepreneur and the money maker. I accept that this also means that he could lose money, but that is an occupational hazard for such businesses." The Thakkars are one of the many families to be expelled from Uganda in 1972, by then dictator Idi Amin. Ashish was born in Leicester in 1981, after which the family returned to Africa, Rwanda, where they yet again lost their everything in the 1994 genocide. Ashish dropped school at the age of 15, when he realised his interest in commerce. He soon received a start up money of $5000 from his father, and began flying to Dubai, where he bought cheaper products and sold them in a tiny shop in central Kampala. "In 1996, he founded his first company, an IT business in Uganda called RAPS (U) Ltd. The initials were those of various family members, namely Rona, Ahuti, Prateen (his birth name) and Sarla. A number of other companies were later formed, including

Riley Packaging (U) Ltd, which manufactured cardboard boxes. Although they started in a small way, the businesses grew rapidly to become a very successful African based conglomerate." The court added, "It is clear that the two main trading businesses run at the time by Ashish went into the new structure. These were Riley Packaging, owned as to 25% by Ashish and 25% by Jagdish and RAPS Uganda Ltd (the sale of technology and related products). There is no doubt that Jagdish's business, Exim did not go into Mara. Ahuti's interests in Ashish Thakkar Trio and Computerworld did not go in either. It does equally appear that Ashish's 49% interest in RAPS Middle East, an administrative business, also did not go in. It is unclear what happened to three other businesses, namely Kensington Real Estate LLC (a real estate brokerage in Dubai), Kensington Africa (Uganda) and Kensington Global Investors Ltd." Ashish established the banking venture- Atlas Mara, along with former Barclays Plc head Bob Diamond, after the two got acquainted at a World Economic Forum conference in 2013. The company managed to raise millions of dollars from investors through share offerings. Citing the ruling, the court said, "If I needed any support for the proposition that Sarla and Ahuti hold the shares as nominees/bare trustees, I find it in Jagdish and Ahuti's own evidence. Both said that the shares were split 'between the two households' meaning one half for Ahuti and her daughter whilst the other half was for Sarla, Jagdish and Ashish." When asked "Ahuti if

she was saying that was one-half for the two separate parts of the family and she said that was correct. She added that her half would be for her and her daughter. The other half would be for her mother and father. She was asked if this included Ashish and she said that would depend on her mother. I do not want to be unfair to her but she was essentially confirming this was a trust arrangement, just a different one to the one alleged by Meera. I reject Ahuti and Jagdish's evidence as to this but I find that, in reality, they do not remotely think that the legal title is the end of the matter. " Ashish and Meera married in 2008, and separated in 2013. Ashish already suffered a setback in July last year, after Justice Moor ruled that the two should not finalise a divorce until decisions were made on how much Meera should get. She claims he is the beneficiary of a complex series of companies held offshore. Surprisingly one of the many reasons, their court battle came to light was £160,000 ticket on Richard Branson's futuristic first commercial flight into space, Virgin Galactic. Thakkar was among the those to sign up first. Full amount of the tickets are already paid, but are fully refundable up until the date of the flight.

Modi unveils 112-foot Shiva statue in Coimbatore Prime Minister Narendra Modi unveiled a 112-foot tall Shiva statue in Coimbatore, Tamil Nadu, on the occasion of Mahashivratri, on February 24. The event saw a massive turnout, with Tamil Nadu Governor Vidyasagar Rao and Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami receiving Modi on arrival. Also present was Madhya Pradesh

Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan, Union Minister Pon Radhakrishnan, and Puducherry Lt Governor Kiran Bedi. Modi spoke about yoga and the importance of ideas. "India has given the gift of Yoga to the world, by practising Yoga a spirit of oneness is created. Today whole world wants peace, not only from wars

and conflicts but peace from stress, and for that we have Yoga," he said right after unveiling the statue. The Shiva idol was constructed by The Isha Foundation, and is located in the foothills of Velliangiri mountains in the Western Ghats. Modi was shown around the Isha Yoga complex, including the Dhyana


Death Announcement

Asian Voice | 4th March 2017

Linga, Surya Kund, Nandi statue, and the inner and outer corridors, by Isha Foundation's founder Sadhguru Vasudev. He has claimed that while it took two and a half years to design the 112-foot statue, its construction took just eight months. The whole Shiva structure is estimated to weigh about 500 tonnes. His face, is made of steel.

It is with great sadness that we announce the sudden death of our father Shri Rajnibhai Shivabhai Kuberbhai Patel at the age of 67 on Tuesday 27th Feb 2017. After residing in Kasaka - Zambia - for many years, he moved to Acton, London and then to Worcester Park, Kingston. May his soul rest in eternal peace. Om Shanti, Shanti, Shanti

Dev Patel walks the red carpet with his mother

Continued from page 1

The 89th Academy Awards came to a close, and boy, did it come with a bag of surprises. We saw Mahershala Ali become the first Muslim to ever bag an Oscar, Viola Davis become only the second AfricanAmerican, after Whoopi Goldberg, to win an Oscar, an Emmy, AND a Tony, for her role in 'Fences', and of course, the massive goof up which was easily the most embarrassing moment in Oscar history. Amid all the chaos and the flurry, Indian-origin British actor Dev Patel, who was in contention for Best Actor in a Supporting Role for 'Lion', came as a gentle surprise, and what was even more amazing was his choice of red carpet partner. Dapper and crisp in a white Burberry tuxedo, Dev brought along mother Anita Patel, who looked quite the vision in a black sari with a deserving touch of bling and gold work on it. Her hair tied up in a bun, she completed her look with just a pair of long earrings. While the 'Slumdog Millionaire' actor lost the award to Ali, he managed to win several hearts as he walked alongside mummy dearest. Twitterati soon reacted to the photos, swooning at the star and the ever-so cute Anita. "Oh hi Dev Patel's mom, I see you and you are the worlds cutest person" tweeted actress Mindy Kaling. For several others, it was her outfit that did the magic. It isn't often that you see an Indian sari gliding down its way among Hollywood's finest. By the end of the night, Anita became a star in herself and Twitter can't get over her. Talking about his experience at the Oscars red carpet, Harrow boy Dev said, "It is mind blowing. It is amazing. I am here with my mom... It is a beautiful and special moment and I am absorbing it now." He played the elder Saroo Brierley in the movie, and won the BAFTA recently. The actor said he had to "kind of battle my own resume" and convince people that he could disappear, change skin, and be accepted as Saroo. Faye Dunaway and Warren Beatty pull off a Steve Harvey Reel life Bonnie and Clyde, Faye Dunaway and

Warren Beatty will go down in history for registering the most embarrassing situation at the prestigious Academy Awards. Appointed to present the night's most coveted award, Academy Award for Best Picture, the actors goofed up and gave away the award to Damien Chazelle's 'La La Land' only to correct their mistake later and announce the real winner- Barry Jenkin's 'Moonlight'. When the presenters walked in to announce the winner, Beatty was seen taking his own time, making at least three glances at the winner's name. While it was deemed at the moment, that he was merely playing with people's patience, he showed the card to Dunaway who read the words 'La La Land' and said the name of the movie out loud. Dolby Theatre was filled with cheers, teams came up on stage, people began giving out thank you speeches, however, confusion soon rang across everyone. Jordan Horowitz, producer of 'La La Land', took the mic and clarified that it was 'Moonlight' that had actually won the award. He called the shaken crew from the film on stage, snatched the real Best Picture card from Beatty’s hand and showed it to the cameras. Apparently, Beatty was given the envelope for the Best Actress in a Leading Role, instead of Best Picture. He explained that he opened the envelope and was confused to read 'Emma Stone, La La Land'. He showed it to Dunaway briefly, for her to read it, which she did- out aloud. "It’s one of the strangest things that’s ever happened to me," Beatty said backstage. "Thank God there were two of us up there," Dunaway responded. Internet soon went into overdrive, with people remembering Steve Harvey for announcing the wrong Miss Universe. Even the official Twitter handle of the coveted pageant took a dig at the haunting Oscar situation. "Have your people call our people - we know what to do. #Oscars #MissUniverse" it tweeted. It was Harvey who had the last laugh, as he tweeted the next day, "Good morning everybody! Went to sleep early last night. So... what I miss? #Oscars"




HEALTH & WELLNESS AsianVoiceNewsweekly

To Our Readers

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

Laughter is the Best Medicine

your forehead and massage gently.

Can Treat Indigestion

To Treat a Cold

It is a common home remedy to put a few drops of peppermint oil in a bowl of hot water and inhale the fumes to nurse a cold. The menthol content helps in clearing sinusitis and treating scratchy throats.

Relief from Joint Pain

Joint pain can be quite gruelling and it is a common problem during winters especially for the elderly. Peppermint oil has long been used to treat joint pains. Mix a few drops of the oil along with lavender oil and apply on the affected area. They work magically to soothe the nerves and ease the pain.

Soothes Muscle Pain

Almost all pain relief sprays contain some amount of peppermint oil. It is known to create a burning sensation but at the same time bring relief

A police officer had just pulled over someone for driving under the influence when another car pulled up behind. The policeman stopped what he was doing and ventured back to see if the driver needed assistance. “No, I don’t need any help,” he said, reeking of booze. Then, pointing to the flashing cherry top on the roof of the cruiser, he continued, “I just stopped for the red light.” *** Halfway between New York City and Washington DC the train’s engine fell silent. “I’ve got good news and bad news,” the conductor announced. “The bad news is we lost power.” My fellow passengers groaned. “The good news,” he added, “is we weren’t cruising at 30,000 feet.” *** A woman couldn’t decide whether to go to Salt Lake City or Denver for vacation, so she called the airlines to get prices. “Airfare to Denver is $300,” the cheery salesperson replied. “And what about Salt Lake City?” “We have a really great rate to Salt Lake - $99,” she said. “But there is a stopover.” “Where?” “In Denver,” she said. *** An amnesiac walks into a bar. He goes up to a beautiful blonde and says, “So, do I come here often?” *** A Red Sox fan walks into a Boston pub and spots a guy wearing a New York Yankees cap. “Drinks for everyone here, bartender!” shouts the Ted Sox fan. “Except for Mr Yankees!” The Yankees fan smiles and says, “Thank you!” Infuriated, the Red Sox fan orders another round of drinks for everyone except Mr Yankees, who, again, thanks the man. This goes on for a while, until Mr Red Sox asks the bartender, “What’s the matter with that guy? I’ve ordered rounds of drinks for everyone but him, and all he does is thank me. Is he nuts?” “No, he’s not nuts,” says the bartender. “He owns the place.”

too. No wonder it is known as a natural painkiller. Besides it helps in soothing sore muscles.

Treats Itchy Scalp

Itchy scalp is a common problem. Having to face dust and pollution everyday, all those particles can cause havoc for your hair. Peppermint oil can help treat itchy scalp and bring about a sense of freshness. Add two drops to your shampoo and watch it work its magic.

Rejuvenating Foot Cream After a long day at work, a good foot massage or even a simple scrub and cleaning can work wonders to lift your spirit. It is commonly advised to wash your feet with warm water before going to bed, which can help you get good sleep. Now add a few drops of peppermint oil to your scrub or massaging cream and work it on your feet to relieve tension.

Can Treat Headache

Peppermint oil almost works like a balm, bring about instant relief from headaches. Since it works wonders in relaxing tensed muscles, you can apply a drop or two on

| Asian Voice | 4th March 2017


10 Incredible Uses of Peppermint Oil for Health and Beauty One of the most commonly used ingredients in the cosmetic, Ayurvedic as well as food and beverage industries, peppermint is no less than a superfood. It’s oil comes with a host of health and beauty benefits, right from soothing an upset stomach and treating cold to relieving stress and skin irritation. What makes peppermint also popular is the cooling sensation it leaves behind that is refreshing as well as soothing. This is the reason why it is extensively used in toothpastes, chewing gums, balms and bathing soaps, among others. Although the wild variety is available in certain parts of the world (particularly Europe), it is largely cultivated to yield better oil content and meet the ever growing demand. Peppermint oil has anti-microbial, antiseptic and anti-inflammatory properties, and acts as a mild sedative and natural pain killer. Here are ten incredible uses of peppermint oil:


According to a study done at the University of Maryland, the various oils in peppermint stimulate the gallbladder to produce and release bile that the body uses to digest fat. Peppermint tea is known to treat indigestion, bloating and flatulence. You can also add a drop of peppermint oil to a cup of warm water and have it before meals.

Helps Against Skin Irritation and Allergies

The soothing effect of peppermint helps fight against skin irritants and other allergies. You can add two drops of the oil along with lavender oil and apply it on the affected area. You can also add a few drops in your body lotion and moisturise your body. It also has antimicrobial properties.

Reduces Nausea

Nausea, which is a feeling that instigates vomiting, can be prevented using peppermint oil. A common practise is to rub a few drops of the oil behind your ears. Another way is to add a drop to a glass of water and sip on it.

Soothes Toothache

Toothache can be incredibly painful, making your life come to a standstill. Peppermint oil can help by soothing the muscles, relieving pain and disinfecting the area. Add a few drops on a cotton swab and apply it directly on the affected area.


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Yoga for a Flat Tummy: 4 Poses You Must Try Here are a host of exercises that you can can engage in to make your abdominal muscles stronger. While swimming, running, jogging and aerobics are fun activities that work phenomenally well to attain the perfect bikini body that most people strive for, in recent years, it is yoga that a lot of people have been turning to. We got some simple yoga poses for a flat tummy that can be easily performed at home without the invigilation of an instructor. It is often said, that a well-defined stomach is the representation of a person who is in good control of their health. It is believed that there are two main causes of fat accumulation in the stomach area. The first one is thought to be eating dinner after 9 pm, whilst the second one is sleeping after 11 pm at night. Eating after 9 pm does not give the liver enough time to act upon the food, thus instead of getting digested, the food becomes converted into saturated and dead fat. Getting rid of belly fat can be tiresome and requires consistency, but following these easy yoga poses are believed to help in shrinking your waistline:

1. Kapalbhati

It is the easiest form of pranayama to lose weight around the belly. The simple techniques allow one to do it on your own. Sit with your legs folded, place your right palm on your right knee and left palm on your left knee. Now breathe in slowly and exhale with force so that your stomach gets sucked inside as much as possible. Repeat this cycle 15-20 times for beginners and see the effect it can have on your body.

2. Surya Namaskar

Suryanamaskar is a whole body workout. Doing 20 minutes of the entire 12-step exercise of is magical. It enables the body to become more flexible and reduces fat around the stomach. Breathing is like a capsule that carries life, according to Yoga expert Ajit Tapasvi. "Surya namaskar awakens the sun within the body," he says. This simply means that it energizes you from within and boosts your metabolism that can speed up weight loss. It enables one to open the body and make room for pranic energies to develop.

3. Naukasana

Also known as the boat pose, this is the primary pose for strengthening abdominal muscles. Lie down on your back with your feet together and arms beside your body. Slightly lift your chest above the ground while simultaneously lifting both your feet. Stay in this position while you feel the tension around your abdominal area. Take deep breaths and exhale while in the position. Come back and relax. This effectively helps to reduce belly fat.

4. Shoulder Stand

Doing the shoulder stand enables the stomach to be relieved of all stress. The stomach is relieved of the pressure while the blood circulation of the entire body shifts to the shoulder. The stomach is at peace. Also known as the sarvangasana, it is a 90 degree pose to the ground and ensures over all overall health and wellbeing. These 4 exercises can be conveniently followed at home and one must ensure that they are done when the stomach is empty to witness maximum benefits. Ensure sufficient sleep and a good diet and you’re good to go!


Meet the latest voice of Kollywood

Asian Voice

Pawan Kalyan to follow Chiranjeevi’s formula? AsianVoiceNews

4th March 2017

In the expanding world of South Indian film industry, Toronto-based Sri Lankan singer Luksimi Sivaneswaralingam has become a current favourite. Renditioning the beautiful piece for Imman's latest hit 'Senthoora' for Arvind Swamy's 'Bogan', Luksimi said she had to work on her accent for the song. "It had to be in tune with the film's mood. It's a song where the heroine sheds all inhibitions to express her love. So we added a bit of huskiness to the voice and I'm glad it has worked with the audience," Luksimi said. "The feeling is yet to sink in. Not many people get such a solid start and I thank Imman Sir for that." The singer was just three years old when she began her lessons in music. She is also trained in Bharatnatyam, Veena, Piano, and Western Classical vocals. Where Imman is concerned, he said he stuck to his gut feeling that the song will turn into a chartbuster. "I felt a new voice would suit the song and that's how I narrowed it down to Luksimi. She had sent me her voice clip through Instagram. Later, I met her at a show in Toronto. When the right moment came, I did not have to look elsewhere."

Jallikattu scenes in Murugadoss' next Director AR Murugadoss is currently working on his next Tamil-Telugu bilingual film, with Mahesh Babu and Rakul Preet in the lead. The major news is that sources reveal the film will have a special Jallikattu scene in the movie's climax. It doesn't surprise us as the veteran director had just last month claimed the sport to be his identity, during the ban protests in Tamil Nadu. He had even stopped consuming Pepsi & Coke since his script for 'Kaththi' in 2014. A 30-second teaser for the movie is expected to be released soon.

Ajith's 'Varalaru' to return after 11 years

One of Thala Ajith's biggest blockbusters 'Varalaru' will probably get a Telugu remake this year. Eleven years after the milestone film that lifted Thala from a rough patch of constant flops, the movie will however, see Junior NTR play the lead. The KS Ravikumar directorial garnered heavy praise for Ajith and his stunning performance in three different roles and four different get- ups, including that of an effeminate Bharatnatyam dancer, and a villain. There has been no confirmation on who will direct the remake, but we don't see anyone better placed than Ravikumar to re-create the magic.

As promotions for Pawan Kalyan's 'Katamaraydudu' commences, makers seem to be trying a new but familiar strategy to attract crowds. Reports say the group will skip an audio launch, and instead, hold a grand pre-release event. Apparently, producer Sharrath Marar has convinced Kalyan to follow the new trend at the Tollywood box office. Just a few months back,


Chiranjeevi's 'Khaidi No. 150' saw a prerelease event that became a huge hit, and created the perfect launchpad for the veteran actor whose fans attended in thousands. 'Katamaraydudu has already picked up pace as its teaser become the fastest to record five million views on YouTube in just 24 hours. It is currently in its last leg of shoot, with lead actors Kalyan and Shruti Haasan shooting for a couple of songs. The film's makers intend to release it for Telugu New Year Ugadi, in March.

Trisha bags her third film with Vikram and Hari Trisha has been roped in for 'Saamy 2', her third film with hero Vikram. The petite actress who has been enjoying a steady run in Kollywood for the past 14 years, confirmed the news on micro-blogging website Twitter. She had played the female lead in 2003 blockbuster 'Saamy' directed by Hari, alongside Vikram. 'Saamy 2' will feature the same trio, produced by Shibu Thameens. The film is expected to go on floors by summer this year. The former Miss Madras is still acting as the female lead in multiple projects that include 'Sathuranga Vettai 2' with Arvind Swamy, '96' with Vijay Sethupathi, 'Garjanai' the Tamil remake of 'NH10' and an untitled Malayalm film with Nivin Pauly among others.


Amitabh turns down invite from Queen Elizabeth AsianVoiceNews



reception function. However, Amitabh had to decline as he had "prescheduled commitments" ahead of him. The legendary actor is booked for the coming months, with a trailer launch event of his upcoming 'Sarkaar 3', and shoot for Vijay Krishna Acharya's 'Thugs of Hindostan' with Aamir Khan, and Gaurang Doshi's 'Aankhen 2'. As much as we love Big B, we just hope whatever is worth declining the Queen for, better be worth it.

magine getting an invite from Her Royal Highness Queen Elizabeth II herself. It isn't often that the Queen invites people to the Buckingham Palace, but when she does, it is considered great privilege. However, that does not seem to be the case when you are Bollywood Superstar Amitabh Bachchan. The veteran actor recently received an invitation from Her Majesty to her palace for the India Cultural Year


Priyanka stuns in white at Oscars

Asian Voice | 4th March 2017

Akshay Kumar's near unbreakable record

he three top Khans of the film industry, Salman, Shah Rukh, and Aamir, have never disappointed us and continue to give us hit after hit for the past one decade. However, the one actor to give them all a run for their money, Akshay Kumar has over the years, become one of the most bankable actors at the Box Office. With his latest 'Jolly LLB 2's latest successful

'Housefull 3', 'Rustom', and his latest, that have made £10 million in a span of a mere 13 months. For those who keep score, Salman and Aamir even after earning absurd amounts of moolah through movies like 'Prem Ratan Dhan Payo' (£21.01 million), 'Bajrangi Bhaijaan' (£32.03 million), 'Sultan' (£30.04 million), 'PK' (£34.08 million) and 'Dangal' (£38.71 million), haven't managed to score

four £10 million films in a span of 13 months. Both of them don't even have as many releases in a year, whereas Shah Rukh who has had four releases in one year December 2015 to 2016, could not manage to pull the feat off. Meanwhile, Akshay has four more releases this year, with 'Jolly LLB 2', 'Naam Shabana', 'Toilet Ek Prem Katha', and '2.0'.

Bhatt or Shraddha Kapoor, however, recent reports state that Fatima might be the one to star next to Aamir. In an interview taken a while back, when the actress was asked whether she would want to audition for a role in 'Thugs', she had said, "Of course I would love to. I would love to work with Aamir Sir again in 'Thugs of Hindostan.'" Sources

also reveal that Vaani Kapoor is also being considered for the role. 'Thugs of Hindostan' is based on the similar lines of 'Pirates of the Caribbean'- based on pirates and their adventures. With Amitabh Bachchan and Aamir already in the cast, there isn't a speck of doubt that the movie is a one way ticket to success.

Ranbir's character transformation. Recent bits and photos revealed online show Ranbir with longer hair, and a body posture similar to Dutt's. Also, Sanjay has given around

200 hours of his recordings to Ranbir to help him get his living right. Things were not so great until last year, when Sanjay bashed Ranbir stating he wasn't ready for the

role. "My life might be interesting, that's why a director like Raju Hirani liked it. Ranbir is playing me, but his condition is quite bad. He calls me every day. He wants to spend days and weeks with me, but I can't spend more than half an hour with anybody. I have been trying to avoid him, it is a difficult role for him to play," Sanjay had said in an interview last December. Well, we are just glad they got over their issues and came together for a potential hit.

film with the 'Queen' actress ever again. When asked the reason,

the source said, "The had a constant difference of opinion during the shoot. Things had reached a point where they were barely talking to each other. In fact, Shahid will never work with Kangana again." A little harsh, don't you think? Not just Shahid, another leading actor who is yet to work with the actress, said, "At this rate, Kangana will have to dou-

ble-do movies where she plays both the hero-heroine." Both, Shahid and Kangana have been making constant jibes at each other, and through out the film promotions, they have been giving quotes about each other. While Kangana called working with Shahid "nightmare-ish", the actor said she has a "vivid" imagination. "

'Dangal' girl Fatima to work with Aamir again? run, Akshay now officially has four films- 'Airlift',


ne of the many pros of making a debut with Mr Perfectionist Aamir Khan, you can be sure you have a bright future ahead. If reports are to be believed, Fatima Sana Shaikh of 'Dangal' fame has bagged a role in Aamir's upcoming 'Thugs of Hindostan'. Initially there were rumours that the role was likely to go either to Alia

Sanjay Dutt finds his new drinking partner in Ranbir


emember when Sanjay Dutt was vocally pissed off at Ranbir Kapoor who plays his character in Raju Hirani's biopic on Dutt? Well, sources reveal that both the actors are so fond of each other now, they have become booze buddies. It has been reported that Ranbir, almost every day after shoot, heads to meet Dutt and the two bond over drinks, movies, and life, until wee hours of morning. The difference in their relationship can be seen in

Shahid will never work with Kangana again

Ever since the shooting for 'Rangoon' began, Shahid Kapoor and Kangana Ranaut's growing differences has been talk of the town. Even with Shahid clarifying that all's well between them, contrasting reports keep coming up. For example, just last week, a source when asked about the actors' off-screen rapport, revealed that Shahid will never sign a


ollywood actress Priyanka Chopra slayed at the Oscars 2017 red carpet, with a stunning geometric Ralph and Russo white and silver panel dress. The 'Quantico'

star finished her look with Lorraine Schwartz diamond earrings and bracelets, straight open hair, and minimal make up. Priyanka had made heads turn last year too, with her red carpet appearance at the Academy Awards, in a white Zuhair Murad strapless gown. A presenter last year, Priyanka was among the spectators this time around. She also had a 'Baywatch' reunion with her co-star Dwayne Johnson. Even though Bollywood's reigning queen Deepika Padukone didn't get a pass at the 89th Academy Awards, she managed to cast a spell at the after party. Dressed in a Monique Lhuillier Fall 2017 number, the 'xXx: Return of Xander Cage' actress was quite the sight with smoky eyes and nude lips. Eight-year-old 'Lion' star Sunny Pawar stole the show, throwing thumbs up and flashing his adorable smile. 'Lion' was nominated for six Academy Awards, including best Supporting Actor and Actress for Dev Patel and Nicole Kidman. Sunny, who plays young Saroo in the film, walked the carpet with his translator as he only speaks Hindi. Veteran actor Om Puri, a famous name in the West way before the two Indian beauties made their way, was honoured at the event. He was felicitated in the "In Memoriam" montage, and received a musical tribute by Grammy and Tony-nominated singer and songwriter Sara Bareilles. She delivered a powerful performance of the Joni Mitchell song 'Both Sides Now'. It was a very emotional Jennifer Aniston who introduced the memoriam segment. Puri died of a cardiac attack in Mumbai last month.


UK AsianVoiceNews


Asian Voice | 4th March 2017

Put your mobile in the glove box, says transport minister

Drivers should put their mobile phone in the glove box before starting the engine, the Transport Secretary said last Sunday. Chris Grayling called for a radical change in attitudes, warning that texting, phoning or checking social media at the wheel was as unacceptable as drink-driving. Speaking ahead of a Government crackdown, he warned that offenders could start to face automatic bans. On Wednesday the penalties for using a handheld mobile at the wheel will double. This means drivers face a £200 fine and six points on their licence if they are caught. The six-point penalty effectively creates a ‘two strikes and you’re out’ policy because 12 points usual-

ly leads to a driving ban. The new penalties will be accompanied by a publicity blitz. Using a mobile phone at the wheel was outlawed a decade ago as evidence emerged of the impact it has on concentration. But the ban is widely flouted. A study by the motoring group found that a third of drivers had used a handheld phone to make a call while at the wheel. Half admitted they had used their phones in stationary traffic, which is also illegal. Critics claim that cuts to traffic police numbers mean that drivers can continue using their phones with impunity. Figures last year showed that the number of fines handed out has plummeted by 86 per cent over the past five years.

Coming Events

l National Association of Patidar Samaj has organised a Holi Puja on March 12, Sunday, from 7.00 pm to 9.30 pm, at the NAPS building 26B Tooting High Street, London SW17 0RG. Donations are requested.

l Shri Vallabh Nidhi UK invites all devotees for a Holi celebration on March 12, Sunday, at 5.30 pm at the Wembley Temple. l Leicester Friends of Oxford Centre for Hindu Studies, will hold their 7th annual sponsored Tirth Yatra to all temples in Leicester on March 12, Sunday.

l To celebrate women and womenhood, The Bhavan will conduct #SHECAN- a cultural showcase featuring female performances in the arts by International Women's Peace Group UK, on March 8, Wednesday at 6.15 pm.

ARIES Mar 21 - Apr 20 It's an excellent period for

increased energy and motivation, so that new endeavours, whether they are business or health-related, or personal, fare especially well. You are more decisive and forward-looking now, and you feel that your decisions are right. With Venus and Mars in your sign, love should be blossoming.

TAURUS Apr 21 - May 21 Venus and Mars are the moving force in regard to amorous experience, giving more than just a hint that links between lovers will be rather intense and passionate. Legal or official matters are likely to occupy your time. Saturn, the planet of structure and discipline is transiting your solar 8th house.

Sun and Mercury transit

GEMINI May 22 - June 22 your solar tenth house.

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

CANCER Jun 22 - Jul 22 The fiery planet Mars and Venus continues to occupy your Solar 10th house for some time to come. Its influence will help you to maintain a high energy level and achieve positive results in anything that requires drive and initiative. If you are involved in a fairly competitive field of activity, you will be the one who comes out on top.

Catfished woman wants fake dating profiles banned

The internet is dark and full of terrors. With the boom in the number of online dating apps, your 'soulmate' might seem just a click away. However, what will you do if the 'One' is not really who he/she says they are? A teaching assistant from Canterbury, Anne Rowe, 44, fell for a certain Antony Ray, a businessman who used a picture of Bollywood star Saif Ali Khan on a popular dating app. Rowe, and Ray exchanged several messages, their relationship reaching to the point of marriage, when she realised her lover was in fact, a married lawyer with children. "This man used me like a personal hotel with benefits under the guise of wanting the romantic, loving relationship he knew I craved. He broke my trust, took away my right to choose. I did not consent to having a relationship with a married man, or a man who was actively having relations with multiple women simultaneously,"

Sneh Joshi LEO Jul 23 - Aug 23

Anne said. She also found out that he was having multiple affairs with other women on the internet. After getting her heart broken, the mother of two, now wants the government to make people use their real names on dating websites. After using fake photos on Tinder, Ray eventually did sent Rowe real photos of himself, and the two met in person. She informed that they met twice a week for six months, telling her he often went to Germany and Ireland for work. It wasn't until Ray began to appear distant, and his visits became less frequent that Rowe became suspicious. "I'm a victim of a catfish approach. Using a fake profile and online identity as a platform to lure women or men for sex should be illegal, but it's not. The result is the other party believing they are beginning a real relationship with the hope of future together and having sex is part of that believed relationship."

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VIRGO Aug 24 - Sep 23

Saturn continues to put a spotlight on your solar fourth house. This is a time to recharge yourself, get in touch with your innermost feelings, connect with your roots, and spend more time with your loved ones. Use this opportunity to find ways to improve your family relations and your home environment.

LIBRA Sep 24 - Oct 23 All close ties of love and affection will benefit from the gentle influence of Venus and the fiesty Mars in your opposite sign. If you are married or have a well-founded relationship, it seems that the pattern of events will somehow draw you closer. Some of you will find this to be a good time to make changes in your careers. With Sun and Mercury in your 5th house of romance and creativity, you should enjoy a very popular phase in your life where everyone wants to invite you to parties. You will meet people of your own calibre and pursue any romantic liaisons. Your communications are extremely high making it easy to close those lucrative deals.



The UK’s leading Vedic writer and TV personality

You will feel confident as the week begins. The cosmic energies are decidedly invigorating at the moment. If you are taking a holiday, so much the better ! Not only do you have Venus putting a favourable emphasis on travel but, with Mars you can be sure of deriving the utmost pleasure from adventures and excursions.

SCORPIO Oct 24- Nov 22

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SAGITTARIUS Nov 23 - Dec 21

Currently your sign is hosting taskmaster planet Saturn, which is helping you to define who you really are. This is likely to be a powerful incentive to do what remains to be done and tie up loose ends and think about going in a new direction. It is an excellent time for exercising your mental energies and claryfying your ideas to others

CAPRICORN Dec 22 - Jan 20 Saturn, your ruling planet is transiting your 12th Solar House. This indicates that experience will put you in a deeply reflective mood. This is a favourable time for getting away from usual routines and seeking a retreat for a few days. Meditation, yoga and therapies will help you to get in closer touch with your inner self. AQUARIUS Jan 21 - Feb 19 Venus and Mars are spending some time in your Solar 3rd house. Personal and social contacts will be successful. Sun and Mercury highlight your Solar second house. Security is a driving force for you at the moment, and you might find that you are especially interested in accumulating possessions. PISCES Feb 20 - Mar 20

The Sun and Mercury illuminate your first house now, marking the peak of your physical solar cycle. You are ready to put your past behind you and to start a new personal cycle. Increased energy and a renewed feeling of confidence is with you now, so take advantage. A great time for your personal endeavors.

IPL auction injects a new lease of life in England cricket AsianVoiceNews

The Indian Premier League auction has injected a new lease of life to England cricket. Earlier youngsters were not very enthusiastic in joining cricket because of low pay a cricketer earns. They preferred football over cricket. A good county player can earn around £100,000 a year but majority of them get about £70,000 for slogging throughout the year playing 4-day cricket, 50-over and Twenty20 matches. But all this attitudes will change now after English players made it rich at the IPL auction. At the auction at least six English cricketers were picked for mind blogging figures. Ben Stokes became IPL's most expensive import when Rising Pune Supergiants shelled out £1.73 million on him. Tymal Mills' story is more interesting. Before touring India with England recently, the injury-plagued left arm pace bowler had just one international cap. Yet such was the impression he made in the three-match T20 series that seven of the eight IPL franchises expressed interest in him. He was picked by Royal Challengers Bangalore for £1.4 million. Chris Woakes - £504,000, Eoin Morgan -


Tymal Mills, Ben Stokes, Chris Woakes and Eoin Morgan

£240,000, Jason Roy120,000, Chris Jordan £60,000, were the other cricketers picked in the auction. Jos Buttler and Sam Billings were already contracted. Ben Stokes and Tymal Mills were on the crossroads before the auction. Ben Stokes was on the fourth anniversary of being sent home in disgrace from Lions tour of Australia. Mills was in a dilemma due to a congenital back condition for the last two years. It looked as if he would be forced to retire, but with support from his county Sussex, Mills opted to become a T20 specialist, bowling rapid four-over bursts. Mills has been hugely successful as a free lance cricketer, playing in

Australia, New Zealand, Pakistan and Bangladesh to supplement his £40,000- a- year county deal. He was sold for 24 times the £60,000 price on his head when Mumbai Indians began the bidding. But one thing is certain. The youngsters will now concentrate more on the shorter version of the game. There are just too many great leagues around the world these days where you can earn good money. These leagues are now hugely popular, cricket is good and the events attractive for fans to attend, while international cricket still lacks real context. The younger players now must be thinking more towards making sure their game is geared to the shorter ver-

sion. The very best can play all formats, but that is only a few. The Tymal Mills story is just a reminder that if you go through difficulty as a young player playing the longer version of the game, there is another option. Now the authorities also have a role to play in attracting more and more talent. They have to encourage their players to play league matches so that they can earn a good sum and set an example for others to follow. The England and Wales Cricket Board has to find money to make sure that county players are earning decent amount, otherwise the new generation will be wanting to play the shorter version than the international cricket.

Dhoni joins teammates for his first train ride in 13 years Former India captain M S Dhoni used a train journey to reach Kolkata to play Vijay Hazare trophy after a gap of 13 years. Dhoni, the captain of the Jharkhand side, along with his teammates and support staff boarded the Hatia-RanchiHowrah Express to reach Kolkata. Dhoni was offered flight ticket but the skipper preferred a train ride over a 60-minute flight along with his colleagues. They took the train at around 9.45pm from Hatia. The station had been put on high alert. Top Railways officials were waiting for the special guest. “Our state

association was a bit iffy about Dhoni going to Kolkata by train. We suggested him to take a flight. But he refused. In fact, he said, “it’s better to take a train for Kolkata.” He came to the station in the team bus. He said, “when I’m the captain, I must travel with the team.” He didn’t do train journeys for the last 13

years and, maybe, wanted to revisit his past,” Jharkhand team manger PN Singh said, adding: “No demonetisation effect is involved here, because the team travelled by plane throughout the season.” The Hatia railway station didn’t witness much fan frenzy. Some people requested Dhoni for autographs and selfies before he was ushered into his designated coach and berth, by the Railway Protection Force (RPF). His co-passengers were awestruck but didn’t create trouble. “Obviously, they had been asking for Dhoni’s

autographs and requesting for selfies, but all the passengers were very dignified.” But by the time the train pulled up at Ranchi station, news had spread like wildfire and the platform was overcrowded. Everyone wanted to see their hero but the Railway police and officials managed the situation very well. Dhoni was all smiles. He obliged almost every copassenger. The catering staff and train attendant turned up and requested for pictures with him. It continued till 2’o clock in the morning, but Dhoni never said no,” Singh said.

and Sunrisers Hyderabad. “I have faced a lot of hardships. But I was feeling the heat during the auction. There was so much hype around me. It was an emo-

tional moment. My parents are still daily-wage labourers. Nobody in my house understand cricket. When I was picked, I was talking to my friend and mentor A Jayaprakash. My villagers were celebrating it.” The pacer came into prominence during the Tamil Nadu Premier League, where he was representing Dindigul Dragons. He bowled a Super Over against Tuti Patriots in which he landed four yorkers on the trot to win the match for his team. The money that he will


Cycling from Bhuj to Ahmedabad to raise funds Asian Voice | 4th March 2017

A group of 52 people (47 men and 5 women) will participate in a challenge which sees them cycle 350 km from Bhuj to Ahmedabad in Gujarat. The cyclists are in the age group of 24 to 57 with at least 19 of them being over 40 years of age. The majority of them have no history of cycling. Their aim is to raise funds for two charities in India. They will converge in India from several countries namely Australia, Kenya, India and England to take part in this epic challenge. The idea was the brainchild of three friends - Sanjay Kerai, Prakash Patel and Sailesh Patel. All three had previously completed a cycle challenge riding across the Sahara. Sanjay later in 2016 organised a bike ride. He arranged for a group of cyclists to take a journey of 30 miles to help raise awareness for Haven House Hospice. This helps raise the profile of cycling within a group of youth who were quick to sign up to the notion of a bike ride in India. With the awareness raised and interest peaked, the boys soon went into action and started devising a plan of action to try and actually make this happen. In October 2016 they raised £20,000. The team have been training for several months, having tackled many mini challenges within their preparations

such as Biggins Hill. There have been accidents and injuries throughout their training but that did not discourage the participants and they continue to peddle. This weekend saw the cyclists host a fundraising dinner and dance which helped them raise £100,000. They are still in need of donations and you can make a donation by visiting dir2mandir The funds thus raised will be given to Urja Trust and AAWC (Apne Aap Women’s Collective). Both of these charities are based in India and aim to help young women who have been abandoned, adolescent young girls, women forced into prostitution etc. They help fight against human trafficking and work hard to give these young girls and their children the opportunity to a better standard of life, some dignity and pride. The charities have been specifically chosen for the work they do and Prakash Patel and his wife have even been to India to visit them both. The challenge that these brave men and women have accepted is no mean feat and they have their work cut out, but we have the utmost faith that each and every one of them will make it to their final destination with a big satisfying smile on their face.

TN labourer's son Natarajan becomes IPL sensation

Thangarasu Natarajan of Salem became the latest IPL auction sensation after he was bagged for £ 300,000 by Kings XI Punjab. The son of a dailywage labourer in Chinnappampatti village, 40 km from Salem, Natarajan was “stunned” when his price surged from £10,000 to 300,000 in a matter of seconds. “It hasn't yet sunk in,” Natarajan, who is known for his yorkers and the similarity in action with Bangladesh's Mustafizur Rahman, said soon after he was picked up by Kings XI Punjab. “I'm not com-

paring myself with Mustafizur. He is phenomenal and I need to improve a lot,” a modest Natarajan said. The leftarm pacer started off as a gully cricketer, earning Rs 5,000 every time he helped his team win in the districts of Tamil Nadu. In fact, gully cricket was his only source of income till he made a move to Chennai to play the TNCA league. Natarajan, the eldest of five siblings, said he was left speechless by the bidding war between KXIP, Pune Super Giants, Kolkata Knight Riders


get from IPL will help repay some of the family loans and take care of his brother's education. “I personally don't have any wish. I recently constructed a house for us. Now I would like to repay some of our loans and take care of the education of my brother and sisters,” he said. Even though he has an IPL contract now, Natarajan said he would “never forget” his gully cricket days. “That was my life. I will always remain the same Nattu or leftu Mani that I'm. Whatever I'm today as a cricketer, it is because of gully cricket.

It had taught me cricket and life lessons. I never had a personal coach as such,” he said. Life wasn't a bed of roses for him even after he had made his first-class debut for Tamil Nadu during the 2014-15 season. The 25-year-old, during his first Ranji game, was called for suspect action and had to spend two years on the sidelines remodelling his action. “I couldn't think properly after I was called for suspect action. I couldn't think of anything else as cricket became my life,” he said.


Asian Voice | 4th March 2017

Humiliating defeat for India against Australia

Indians were flying high in the belief that they are invincible. Australians have pricked that bubble and brought the Indians to the reality by defeating the hosts by 333 runs in just 3 days and take 1-0 lead in the fourmatch series in Pune. Chasing 441 on Day 3 of the first Test, India crashed to 107 all out two less than what skipper Steve Smith scored in Australia's second innings - to suffer a 333-run defeat. The crushing loss is India's first at home in 20 Tests. Australian spin twins Steve O'Keefe (6/35) and Nathan Lyon (4/53) combined to end India's misery in 33.5 overs on a surface where the two teams put up contrasting performances. O'Keefe finished with excellent match figures of 12/70 the best by an Australian bowler in India. That Australia were able to subject India to one of their worst defeats in Test cricket was largely the work of O'Keefe and a fighting century from Smith. India were outplayed in every department. They would be more hurt by the fact that it were the visiting spinners who exploited the conditions better unlike their Indian counterparts who constantly beat the outside edge without success. O'Keefe maintained his stranglehold over India with his second five-wicket haul of the match taking his tally to 12 wickets. Chasing 441 was always going to be a herculean task and the abrasive track made it almost an improbable proposition. Murali Vijay and KL Rahul wasted a review each to be out lbw to O'Keefe and Lyon respectively. Virat Kohli then left one that didn't turn as the ball uprooted the stumps. O'Keefe was rightly mobbed by his teammates for that prized scalp. Ajinkya Rahane offered a simple catch in the covers and Ravichandran Ashwin, who came to bat ahead of Wriddhiman Saha, was out lbw to become O'Keefe's 10th victim after Australia successfully reversed the not out decision. Saha (5) fared no better with O'Keefe completing his second five-wicket haul of the Test. Cheteshwar

Pujara was the only one to offer some resistance but was soon out after tea for 31. Lyon wiped the tail with the scalps of Ravindra Jadeja (3), Ishant Sharma (0) and Jayant Yadav (5) as Australia completed a comprehensive win. Smith completed an excellent century in the morning on a rank turner to set the stage. This was his fifth Test century against India in as many games and 18th overall. Smith was handed yet another life, fourth of the innings, when an edge went past Rahane at leg slip. Luck was definitely on his side but that shouldn't diminish the manner in which he applied himself in difficult conditions. He judged the length well and stayed calm despite having to fight the vicious turn every next ball which got the better of him quite often. A late cut off Jadeja for four took him to 98 and a couple to his maiden century on Indian soil. The pumped up celebration that followed made it clear how much it meant to him. That he was able to reach three figures was also because of the support he received from the other end. His overnight partner Mitchell Marsh fell early (31) but not before a 56-run stand for the fifth wicket. Then came Matthew Wade, with whom Smith added a further 35. While India must be ruing their luck, they must have learnt the importance of judiciously using their reviews when Wade clearly edged one to the 'keeper but stayed put


and India couldn't challenge the not out decision having exhausted both their reviews on Day 2 itself. That didn't cost them much as two balls later, he again was caught behind and this time, he walked back for 20. Mitchell Starc continued having fun with two fours and three sixes in an entertaining knock of 30. His 42-run association with Smith broke when Jadeja had Smith lbw for 109 but by that time, he had taken the lead past 400 runs which ultimately pushed India towards a first Test defeat at home in four years. OUR WORST BATTING DISPLAY, SAYS KOHLI Indian skipper Virat Kohli hardly minced words in criticising his team's shambolic show against Australia, saying it was easily the side's worst batting display in the last two years. "We got outplayed in this game. We got to take it on the chin, accept that they outplayed us. It was our worst batting display in the last two years. We were not good enough on any of the three days. It was the case of us not applying ourselves too well. We need to see what we did wrong," said Kohli at the post match presentation. The Indian captain also agreed that the visitors exploited the conditions better. "They exploited it better than us. They put us under pressure throughout and deserved to win this game. Credit to them that they played better than us. We've had two really bad sessions

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and to pull it back against a quality side is very difficult. But there are no excuses. Sometimes, you have to take your hat off and tell the opposition well done," he said. The 28-year-old expressed confidence that his team will bounce back strongly. "I am sure we are going to bounce back strongly. It has been a good run for us (19-match unbeaten streak before this game). Good to see the crowd still supporting us," said Kohli. Australia captain Steven Smith was all praise for manof-the-match Steve O'Keefe, terming his match-haul of 12 for 70 an "incredible" performance. "I'm proud of the way the guys played. O'Keefe bowled beautifully and was outstanding. We've got some good players of spin and good spinners. When he pulled his length back slightly (O'Keefe), it felt he'd get a wicket every ball. He's going to be a key player in the rest of the series," he said. Smith said winning the toss proved to be an advantage on a track like this. Thought it was going to be hard work (after looking at the wicket at the start of the Test match). Winning the toss was a bonus. We had good plans in place. It's been 4,502 days since Australia won a Test in India, I know it to the day. A massive lead in this wicket helped." Brief Scores: India 105 and 107 (Pujara 31; O'Keefe 6/35) lost to Australia 260 and 285 (Smith 109; Ashwin 4/119) by 333 runs

Ashwin breaks Kapil's 37-year-long record

Ravichandran Ashwin brought an end to Mitchell Starc's cameo early on Day 2 of the first Test between India and Australia in Pune as the hosts bowled the visitors out for 260 in the first innings. This was Ashwin's third wicket of the innings and his 64th in cricket's longest format in this home season. As a result Ashwin broke Kapil Dev's long standing record of most Test wickets taken in a season by an Indian bowler, which the ' H a r y a n a Hurricane' had set in the 1979/80 season. Ashwin was the highest wicket taker in the three match Test series against New Zealand with 27 scalps. The spin wizard repeated his feat against England in the fivematch series picking up 28 wickets. A six-wicket haul against Bangladesh in the one-off Test was backed up with a

three-wicket show in the first innings against Australia, which put the record breaking bowler ahead of arguably India's biggest bowling match-winner Kapil Dev. This achievement is just the latest in a series for Ashwin, who is enjoying a purple patch in Test cricket which has seen him become the fastest to reach 250 Test wickets too. Ashwin's rise has coincided with an extended purple patch for Indian captain Virat Kohli with the bat and the duo's form is the primary reason why Team India has reached the number 1 ranking in Test cricket.

Virat Kohli was handed India's Test captaincy immediately after MS Dhoni decided to exit the scene from the longer format of the game. After taking over the captaincy, there was a marked change in his temperament as well as improvement in his batting performance. Kohli successfully inspired his teammates by infusing a new culture in the team. Under Kohli, the Indian team enjoyed a tremendous run that was snapped in Pune during the 1st Test

against Australia. Steve Smith's men annihilated the hosts by 333 runs to end India's 19-match unbeaten run in Tests. In doing so, the Aussies also made sure Kohli will no longer be able to match a unique captaincy record set by former captain Dhoni. Under the wicketkeeper-batsman's leadership, India had never lost a home Test to Australia. Dhoni enjoyed an unblemished record against the team from Down Under, winning 8 matches.

Ravichandran Ashwin

A Dhoni captaincy record that is now beyond Kohli's reach

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AV 4th March 2017  

Asian Voice weekly newspaper (Issue 43)

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