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FIRST & FOREMOST ASIAN WEEKLY IN EUROPE

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Let noble thoughts come to us from every side

LABOUR’S ‘HATE-INDIA’ CAMPAIGN UNDER FIRE

5 - 11 OCT 2019 - VOL 48 ISSUE 23

inside: Remembering those forgotten: National Muslim Service of Commemoration SEE PAGE 8

Trump endorses India’s stand on Kashmir SEE PAGE 25

Rupanjana Dutta Labour party has come again under major scrutiny after they have recently passed a unanimous motion on Kashmir at their party conference in Brighton on September 25th. An open letter has been written by the diaspora, condemning this motion and Labour party’s attitude towards India (published in full on page 17). Continued on page 17

80 killed as torrential rain lashes many parts of India SEE PAGE 26


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5 - 11 Oct 2019

WITH KEITH VAZ, MP

Husayn Kassai Husayn Kassai was born in Manchester in 1989, to Ahmad and Sandra Kassai. His family moved to Iran soon after, where Husayn grew up until the age of 10, when he returned to the UK with his mother and 4 siblings. He started an eBay business at 12, and at 16 worked as a teller at Marks and Spencer. He went on to study Economics and Management at Keble College, Oxford. At university, he was particularly active with the Persian Society, Oxford Development Abroad, and the Oxford Entrepreneurs Society. He founded a tech company called Onfido during this time, and following his graduation in 2012 and securing £12k in seed investment from the university, he moved to London to work on the company along with his 2 co-founders - Eamon Jubbawy and Ruhul Amin. Fast forward 7 years and the company has become one of the fastest growing in Europe, having secured over £60M from investors including Microsoft.

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Which place, or city or country do you most feel at home in? "The rainiest city in the UK - Manchester! It’s where I had most of my schooling (1018), my first 3 jobs, and crucially, where I first failed and then on a second attempt passed my driving test. Manchester is home. "

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What are your proudest achievements?

Seeing Onfido grow across 7 offices global-

ly, with such a dedicated team of 260 who work hard every day on the shared mission of fighting identity fraud and helping people across the world seamlessly gain access to digital services.

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What inspires you?

Material and visible impact; sense of teamwork; and most of all, purpose. If an initiative that requires hard and persistent work lacks any of these 3, I

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Who has been the biggest influence on your career to date? It’s probably tough for some parents to get the right balance between being supportive without being controlling, as most of my friends from the subcontinent know well! I’m lucky that my mother unconditionally supported my career choices, however unconventional they may have appeared, even if she still doesn’t know exactly what I do!

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What is the best aspect about your current role? People listen and sometimes show an interest in what I have to say. Growing up in a large family, the novelty still hasn't worn off.

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And the worst?

Raising investment, given how time-con-

An LBC investigation has uncovered a major people smuggling ring that claims French police are helping them get people to the UK. An undercover team for LBC infiltrated the criminal gang, operating out of Dunkirk in the north of France. He covertly filmed the gang, based in Dunkirk, London and Birmingham, who claimed that French police assist them getting people across the Channel. They said authorities tell them not to cross one day, but to come back the next – possibly due to the waters being patrolled by the UK Border Force. Posing as an Indian family wanting to bring a young relative to the UK, they met Farooq in his camp deep in woodland off the beaten

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If you were Prime Minister, what one aspect would you change? "Put all available resources towards developing effective messaging and delivery. Even though the Left broadly seem to have the right policies, without effective messaging, it's pointless. It's like going on a hunger strike for a good cause and not telling anyone! "

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track in Dunkirk. Farooq charges £7,000 for a place on a boat and offers a discount for children and subsequent families members wanting to make the trip. He claims to have sent 300 to 400 people to the UK in boats. The boats are piloted by his team. After being pointed in the direction of the English coastline, they are told not to stop until they cross into UK waters where they will be rescued. The majority of the money for the crossings changes hands in the UK, with a deposit of between £500 and £1000 going straight to Farooq, who has bank accounts in the UK, France and Pakistan. LBC’s undercover team were given three UK address to pay a deposit to secure

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5 - 11 Oct 2019

Modi, India, stand tall Prime Minister Narendra Modi stood tall before the General Assembly of the United Nations in New York. He stood tall, as India stood tall, when he recounted the astonishing success of the five-year Swachi Bharat campaign which had taken modern sanitation and basic healthcare across the country. The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation had bestowed the ‘Global Goalkeeper’ award on Mr Modi for his magnificent effort organizing and arousing society to make this a national cause. Prime Minister Modi, in turn, told UN delegates that Swachi Bharat for cleanliness and hygiene provided a model for other nations with similar problems. ‘The very core of our approach is public welfare through public participation,’ explained Mr Modi. The Prime Minister highlighted the critical measures – financial and technological - taken by India to protect the environment and combat climate change. On the sidelines of the General Assembly summit, India allotted $150 million each to the Pacific Ocean Island states endangered by rising sea levels, and another $150 million in a line of credit for renewable energy and related products to Caricom, the Caribbean Island states off the North and South American coasts in the Western Hemisphere a $14 million as grant for development, including Information Technology, trade and investment. Around 1 million people of Indian descent live in these scattered islands, the bulk on Trinidad, Guyana, Suriname and Jamaica. The IndiaCarricom meeting was co-chaired by Prime Minister Modi and Carricom Chairman Allen Chasstenet. Returning to the General Assembly summit, Prime Minister Modi pointed India’s contribution to UN Peacekeeping ventures, the numbers of Indian lives lost were the highest of any participating nation. Mr Modi turned his sights on terrorism, which he opined, was a menace to global peace and security. ‘It is absolutely imperative that the world unites against terrorism.’ However, wise to the ways of the world, Mr Modi is

aware that this is likely to remain an ideal for reasons of realpolitik. The US needs both Pakistan and China on board, hence routinely expresses anodyne hopes that India and China settle their differences peacefully, even as Beijing issued dire threats of military action over Doklan on the Tibet-Bhutan border in the summer of 2017. The same recipe was given to India and Pakistan. On Iran, Washington was all fire and brimstone. India must thus combat jihadi terrorism on its own terms without fear or favour. Before he left New York , Prime Minister Modi responded vigorously to Turkey’s support to Pakistan at the UN. He met with Greek Cypriot President Nicos Anastasiades to endorse unification of the island, following the Turkish invasion in 1974 and the formation of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus. Mr Modi then met with Greek Premier Kyriakos Mitsotatakis, offered India’s full support to Greece against Turkey in its claims to ownership of islets in the Aegean Sea. Finally, Mr Modi assured Armenian President Nicol Pashiyan of India’s support against Turkey’s continuing refusal to acknowledge its genocide in 1915, during the First World War, in which millions of its Armenian subjects perished. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan will have time and opportunity for reflection. Prime Minister Modi studiously avoided mention of Pakistan, leaving the indecent exposure to Premier Imran Khan, who, true to form, raved and ranted on Kashmir; on the iniquities of Hindu imperialism and its alleged manifold inequities, holding out the spectre of an Indo-Pakistan nuclear war. India’s junior diplomats administered a scorching rebuke to Mr Khan. A nihilist contraption, Pakistan is on the rocks. The once London night club habitué Imran Khan – a born again hotgospelling mullah has to surmount the perils of the Stygian crossing to save his blighted soul.

Scrimmage of British politics The Rugby Union football World Cup with its robust tackles, crafty tries, adroit drop goals and heaving scrums might be pin-ups of the sport, but scarcely less arresting were the scrimmages in the House of Commons between a government without a majority and a raucous Opposition of discordant voices. Prime Minister Boris Johnson played for high stakes when he advised the Queen to prorogue Parliament, which the Supreme Court to his dismay, and the dismay of his ministerial colleagues, declared null and void. Mr Johnson cut short his visit to New York, where he was scheduled to address the annual General Assembly of the United Nations, and hurried returned home to damage control. The brawls in the House of Commons, worthy of a Hogarth reprint, exposed Brixit as an embarrassing national malaise, the gulf between Brussels and London wider and deeper than the Channel. Bit between his teeth, the Prime Minister fought back with prospect of an early general election to break the impasse. But the Labour opposition is equally a house divided, and hence unlikely to form the next government. It will require the wisdom of a Solomon to resolve the gridlock. Across the water, President Donald Trump has his own existential challenges in the White House to consider, hence is unwilling or unable to minister to his friend and alter ego, Boris Johnson. These are clearly troubled times, but the Labour Party has chosen to muddy the waters by passing an egregious resolution on Kashmir, calling for the restoration of Article 370, condemning the perceived human rights violations in the State, and demanding elections on self-determination as

allegedly recommended by the United Nations. It disdainfully abjured consultative conversations with Indian diplomats. Such words and actions were both foolish and counter-productive. India is no coolie state, nor a banana republic to be harried and bullied. Its immediate response was severance of ties with a party captive to jihadi vote banks and a radical chic lunatic fringe. The Labour leadership has little awareness of the historical realities of the Kashmir imbroglio nor of the telling details of the refereed UN resolutions; seemly impervious to the horrors of jihadi terrorism, despite five attacks on British soil. The ethnic cleansing of Hindu Pandits from the Kashmir valley - their ancestral homeland for two millennia - leaves Labour cold, no stirring of conscience here. Terrorist attacks across India, most notably in November 2008, on Mumbai causes no moral outrage. The funding and export of terrorism across international borders as statecraft is beneath Labour’s concern. This is no longer the party of Nye Bevan, Michael Foot, Tony Benn, Fenner Brockway, Reginald Sorensen et al. It is no longer the party of the British working class either, it is an organ for an underclass of jihadi gorgons, groomers and demagogues out for a seasonal India-baiting binge, wherever and whenever comes the call. It is inebriating theatre with a godly, scriptural script. The future of a constructive, fully engaged Indo-British partnership will revolve round business, finance, the professions education, culture, science and technology. The best minds from both countries will participate in this wholesome, visionary exercise - with no place for loquacious feather-brained hypocrites.

Tigers in Himalayan habitats At this stage, no more, India, Nepal and Bhutan are set to engage in a pioneering exercise to track tigers at high Himalayan altitudes. Siberian tigers – the largest of the species – exist in some the world’s coldest regions, as do snow leopards at high altitude Ladakh. Why not tigers? Conservationists and experienced tiger watchers from the three countries are fit for purpose. Camera traps will shortly be set up at strategic locations to track the movements of these magnificent creatures who once glimpsed by the human eye is indelibly recorded in the human brain and thence progresses to the human imagination. There are potentially 52,671 square kilometres in these high altitudes that could be tiger habitats. Of this, 38,915 square kilometres lie in India – home to the world’s

largest tiger population of around 3000 – with the rest locates in similar terrain in Nepal and Bhutan. Camera traps in earlier years have spotted tigers in India’s Arunachal Pradesh, a mountainous area abutting Tibet, Uttarkhand, North Bengal at elevations of 1765 metres, 3274 metres and 2400 metres respectively. Bhutan had its sole sighting at 4200 metres. Cooperation of as part of the high altitude tiger master plan, gathering background information on land attributes, ascertain effectiveness of protection and engagement with local communities. Tiger conservation is a critical imperative in high altitude districts straddling the three countries. It is an exhilarating exercise – as exciting in its way as was the once fabled gold rush.

Music is a moral law. It gives soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination, and charm and gaiety to life and to everything. - Plato

Sadiq Khan

Mayor of London

Attack outside the Indian High Commission unacceptable London has long been a beacon of hope, openness and diversity around the world. We are a proudly outward-looking, global city where people from all cultures, faiths, communities and nationalities are celebrated and can live side-by-side without fear of discrimination or persecution. The British Indian community plays a crucial role in creating London’s vibrancy and ongoing success, an embodiment of how our diversity is not a weakness, but one of our greatest strengths. Over many decades, Londoners of Indian origin have made a huge and invaluable contribution to our city - from helping to power our economy through their entrepreneurial spirit, to being an essential part of our NHS workforce. Whether celebrating Holi or Navratri, Londoners of Indian origin have always welcomed their fellow Londoners into their lives. And at a time of growing divisions, our city's Indian community have played a key role in showing the rest of the world that here in London we don’t just respect and tolerate our differences, we celebrate them. That’s why I was so deeply upset when I heard about the violence, aggression and hostility from some protestors during the Indian Independence Day celebrations, and at subsequent protests outside the Indian High Commission in London. I have condemned these actions in the strongest possible terms. I know, and understand why, many in the British Indian community are shaken. And I absolutely agree that what happened was completely unacceptable. Families celebrating an important community celebration were deliberately targeted and it was frightening. This kind of behaviour goes against everything we stand for in London and the open, liberal values we hold so dear. I understand how profoundly important marking Indian Independence Day is for many Londoners. And whether it is celebrating cultural events, national holidays, using public transport or going about their day-to-day lives, all Londoners – of all faiths and backgrounds - should be able to feel safe living, working and celebrating their culture and heritage in our city. That’s why I immediately raised this matter with the Metropolitan Police and my team have been in touch with the Indian High Commission to offer our support throughout. The right to protest is an important and valued part of our democracy, but it must always be done peacefully and within the law. The kind of threatening behaviour that took place outside the Indian High Commission should never be tolerated, and I can assure Londoners that anyone who is found to have acted unlawfully will be pursued by the full force of the Metropolitan Police so that justice is done. Unfortunately, it appears there has been some misinformation about what I personally could have done to stop this protest. The truth is the power to ban marches and protests rests solely with the British Government and the Home Secretary - and is not within my power. Continued on page 16

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Cambridge's only Hindu place of worship under threat in brief A Hindu community's "right to worship" has been put under threat while the council look to repossess its Grade II listed building, a trustee has said. The former library on Mill Road in Cambridge has been leased to the Indian Community and Culture Association (ICCA) free of charge for 20 years and is known as Bharat Bhavan. But the county council is set to take the group to court after a "significant backlog of repairs" accumulated. The ICCA wanted to reach an "amicable settlement", trustee Rajni Padia said. Mr Padia said if the building was to leave the

association's hands with no alternative offered, the nearest place of worship would be 40 miles away in Peterborough. Cambridgeshire County Council said the tenancy agreement gave the ICCA responsibility to repair and maintain the old library, and the association had been aware of the poor condition of the building at the time it took it over in 1999. Mr Padia said since moving into the central Cambridge building, the ICCA had spent between £200,000 and £250,000 on its upkeep. After concerns over damp were raised, the council said it offered to undertake repairs and The murtis inside

TERROR POLICE CHARGE PAIR WITH CHARITY FRAUD OFFENCES IN BIRMINGHAM

Bharat Bhavan in Cambridge

spread the cost over a 25year lease. But after discussions an agreement could not be reached and the groups are set for a court date in October. "This is not about the ICCA," Mr Padia said. "This is about 5,000 Hindus living in Cambridge to whom [the council] are denying the right to worship. "This is the only place in Cambridge where the Hindus can go and pray." Josh Schumann, chairman of the council's commercial and investment

committee, said the authority had no other vacant buildings to offer as an alternative. "Our issue here is that we have been almost too accommodating to the ICCA, believing repeated assurances that they will be able to keep the building in good order. We have done this in all good faith, but sadly we now have to act to protect the fabric of this building which is an asset which we hold in trust for all of the people of Cambridgeshire."

Indian student 'forced to work 15-hour shifts barefoot at Tube cafe A student claimed she was made to work 15-hour shifts at Tube station cafe after the manager copied her passport and threatened to report her to the authorities. Lina Thakrar, 52, and Praful Thakrar, 55, are said to have made the woman work for just £3.50 an hour in the Espresso cafe on the Jubilee Line concourse at Stratford Station. Blackfriars Crown Court heard that the dire working conditions and the Indian student’s situation were only discovered when police officers spotted the woman behind the counter of the café, barefoot in freezing conditions. Mr Thakrar owned the cafe, however it was his wife Lina who managed the woman, who she met in Otcober 2013 through a friend at a temple they both worshipped at in Upton Park. The woman had first come to the UK in 2012 to

study a master's degree and asked to ‘shadow’ Mrs Thakrar in order to improve her English. It was then that Mrs Thakrar is said to have asked for the woman’s passport in order to take a copy. Claire Robinson, defending, suggested the woman had been working illegally as a carer and was trying to earn more money to pay for her rent, visa application and college application. The student said her father and her cousin’s friend had both given her money and she was not concerned about money when she first met the couple. She denied telling Mrs Thakrar she needed to earn £280 a week to pay for her expenses or previously earning just £2 an hour as a carer covering another person’s shifts. Julian Winship, prosecuting, has said the student agreed to work for two to

three hours a day for free at the Espresso Cafe so she could practice her English with customers in October 2013. After two weeks Mrs Thakrar allegedly suggested she work every day from 10am until 1am for £3.50 an hour. She was told that she would only be given two timed toilet breaks during each 15 hour shift and if she asked to go more than that she would be told to stop drinking water. He said that she took meals while standing at the cafe and the cost of the food was deducted from her wages. Due to working long hours the student lost contact with her college and her visa became compromised. He said the couple held the woman’s immigration status over her to make her continue working in the cafe. Mr Winship said the

Lina and Praful Thakrar

couple set up CCTV in the cafe with a link to the couple’s home to keep watch on her. But the alarm was raised when a police officer saw she was standing at the till barefoot in freezing conditions with only a piece of cardboard between her feet and the floor. Lina Thakrar and Praful Thakrar, of Ilford, both deny forced labour. The trial continues.

Sikh temple set to demolish homes to make way for chapel of rest in Walsall Plans to demolish 12 terraced houses and a shop in Walsall to make way for a new chapel of rest at a Sikh temple are set to be approved. Guru Nanak Gurdwara, in Caldmore, is looking to demolish the terraced properties next to the temple on West Bromwich Street and the adjacent Sandwell Street and replace them with a four-storey chapel which would support funeral services in the area. Six new three-bedroom

semi-detached homes will also be built on the site. But the plans have met with strong opposition from neighbouring residents who have raised a string of concerns including an increase in traffic, noise, disturbance and the loss of shops and housing in the area. Officers have recommended approval and the proposal is set to be discussed at Walsall Council's planning committee meeting on Thursday (October 3). In the application, the

temple said the chapel of rest was needed by its congregation who didn't have the facilities to accommodate mourners. It also said the existing houses, currently used as rental properties, were small and not energy efficient while the shop previously a clothes store had been vacant for a number of years. But the plans have attracted dozens of objections, including an 89-name petition and around 70 individual letters of objection to

the scheme. Residents believe the chapel will result in a huge increase in traffic on the roads in the area and add to the already "chaotic" parking problems in and around West Bromwich Street and Sandwell Street. Others believe the existing temple facilities are sufficient to cope with funeral services while some also objected to the size of the proposed development and feel it would be out of place with the rest of the area.

Counter terrorism officers have charged two people with fraud offences relating to charitable funds. Rajbinder Kaur, 50, is charged with money laundering and six counts of theft amounting to £50,000. Kaldip Singh Lehal, 38, is charged with knowingly or recklessly providing false or misleading information to the Charity Commission. The pair, from Birmingham, were arrested in July in connection with alleged fraud offences. They have been bailed to appear at Birmingham Magistrates' Court on 31 October. Ms Kaur, of Hamstead Road, is also charged with knowingly or recklessly providing false or misleading information to the Charity Commission. Mr Lehal's address was also given as Hamstead Road.

SKEGNESS MOSQUE PLANS SUBMITTED TO COUNCIL Plans for a mosque and community centre in Skegness have been submitted to East Lindsey District Council. Skegness Central Mosque (SCM) group has earmarked a derelict site next to a former Methodist chapel on Roman Bank for the place of worship. There are plans for washrooms, a kitchen and a main hall, as well as four self-contained flats above. The scheme is backed by Skegness Town Council, although objectors have raised concerns about traffic and parking. SCM, which was set up in 2015, has raised more than £150,000 through a fundraising campaign that has a £337,000 target. It is understood the residential accommodation will help pay for the upkeep of the centre, according to the Local Democracy Reporting Service (LDRS).

MANCHESTER ARENA ATTACK CORONER ASKS FOR BOMB DEATHS PUBLIC INQUIRY A coroner has said inquests into the deaths of 22 people killed in the Manchester Arena attack should be converted into a public inquiry. Sir John Saunders ruled earlier this month that evidence from MI5 and the police should be kept secret on national security grounds. He has written to the Home Secretary to confirm he had decided a statutory public inquiry was now necessary. Twenty-two people were killed and hundreds injured in the 2017 bombing. Sir John wrote to Priti Patel on Friday saying that it was of "paramount importance" that inquests, which were due to start in April, should be converted into a public inquiry as "a matter of urgency". He said: "I have reached the view that, in light of my ruling on the PII applications made by yourself and the counter-terrorism police, that such an investigation cannot now be achieved through the inquests and must be done by establishing a statutory public inquiry. No interested persons involved in the inquests, including the families, have made submissions objecting to this proposed course."' Sir John stressed that it was "a matter of vital public importance" that a "full, fair and fearless" investigation be held into the "terrible" events of 22 May 2017. Salman Abedi, 22, blew himself up in a suicide bombing at the end of an Ariana Grande concert. His brother Hashem Abedi, 22, has been charged with murder and attempted murder after being extradited from Libya.

HERO TAXI DRIVER SAVES PREGNANT WOMAN FROM SEX TRAFFICKER A hero taxi driver saved a pregnant woman from sex slavery after her handler ordered a cab. Sex trafficker Robert Enescu, 26, told Tahir Mehmood to drive the woman to a brothel but instead he called police after picking up on the woman's distress when they were left alone in the taxi. Enescu had tricked the married hotel worker to come Tahir Mehmood speaking to to the UK from his Romanian police after saving the woman homeland after offering her work as a "masseuse". She was kept hostage at a brothel in London before being moved to Coventry where she was forced to pose in lingerie on adult websites. The incident happened on February 20, 2018. Police bodycam footage showed the taxi driver interact with officers when they arrived. Hero Mr Mehmood has been put forward for a commendation from West Midlands Police for helping save the woman. Enescu was found guilty of sex trafficking the victim and jailed for nine years in absence after skipping bail. A European arrest warrant has been issued for the trafficker. His victim gave evidence from behind a screen at the trial.


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Is India geared to withstand the global economic storm?

First LGBTQ+ Muslim festival in the UK

Dr. Param Shah The world economy is facing a slowdown and has impacted India as well. The slowdown of the Indian economy is a result of the overall slowdown of the global economies clubbed with internal factors. The Government of India has been open about the economic slowdown. It has taken cognisance and has taken long-term corrective measures for the economy to stabilise in short run and grow in mid to long term. The recent economic reforms that have been initiated are said to drive the next phase of economic growth. The reforms in taxation, labour laws and banking will have a medium to long term positive impact on the economy. Whereas the specific sector reforms like that for MSME and Automobile will help these sectors get back to growth. The announcement by the Finance Minister for tax reforms in the last couple of months have been welcomed positively by the industry and investors. The tax relief for Foreign Portfolio Investment (FPIs) on capital gain has help bring about normalcy in the markets with investors reacting positively to the move. Allaying the concerns of the Startup ecosystem, the Government has now exempted investments made by the domestic investors in companies approved by an inter-ministerial panel from Angel Tax. India Inc. has been long demanding reduction in Corporate Tax rates. The reduction of Corporate tax to 22% gave a fillip to the spirits of corporate India and has reinvigorated the manufacturing sector that has been going through a difficult phase of late. India has now become a competitive market in the region. Industry experts have termed this move as atrigger that will lead to a virtuous cycle of investments, growth and higher employment. New domestic companies incorporated on or after Oct 1, 2019 will have an option to pay income tax at 15%. This will give a huge boost to growth of new industry and entrepreneurship in the country. Another positive move is the announcement of not applying the enhanced rate of surcharge on capital gains arising from sale of equity shares and units of equity funds. This will help stabilise the flow of funds to the capital market. Along with the tax reforms the Government has also come out with a series of much needed labour reforms. Through a constant consultation with the industry and experts the labour laws are being reviewed and updated. Some of the recent announcements like giving businesses the flexibility in hiring with introduction of fixed term employment, reduction in the contribution to ESIC have been progressive moves. On Ease of Doing Business for MSMEs, the Government has made some announcements that will help boost the MSMEs confidence. The move to clear all pending GST refunds to MSMEs within 30 days will help them reduce their working capital cycles. The single consent requirement for setting up a MSME manufacturing unit will make it easier for them to set up units with less hassle. The mega bank consolidation plan, liberalisation of FDI guidelines and the stimulus package announced by the Finance Minister last month is comprehensive and address the key pain areas of the economy. The signalling through these announcements is loud and clear and underlines the government’s intent to go for growth enhancement in all possible manner. With a mix of both broader measures and sector specific interventions, we hope that the Indian economy and industry will come out of this weak patch soon. A mix of policy decisions and demand dynamics will help the Indian economy withstand the economic storm. *** Disclaimer: The views expressed herein constitute the sole prerogative of the author. They neither imply nor suggest the orientation, views, current thinking or position of FICCI. FICCI is not responsible for the accuracy of any of the information supplied by the author.

British Muslims are launching their first ever pride festival at a time when the community is ‘under attack more than ever’. European charity Imaan, which supports LGBTQI+ Muslims, is currently crowdfunding to have the first ever LGBTQI+ Muslim pride

event held in London. The festival hopes to celebrate what it means to be LGTBQI and Muslim and how they do ‘not have to choose’ between both identities. LGBTQI charity Imaan is putting on the event to mark the 20 years it’s spent supporting lesbian, gay, bisexual and

trans Muslims. Imaan Fest, aims to provide a safe-space for LGBTQI+ Muslims who are often subjected to prejudice and even hate crimes. "Often LGBTQI Muslims are caught in the middle of Islamophobia and homophobia, so we want to provide a safe and

inclusive space where people feel like they do not have to choose between identities and that they can be LGBTQI and Muslim without pressure from those who say otherwise,“ said an Imaan spokesperson. The festival is planned for Spring 2020

Teachings of Mahatma The High Commission of India organised a special event to celebrate values and teachings of the Mahatma on Sunday 29 September. This was joined by Smt Shobhana Radhakrishna, an eminent citizen to the Ministry of Rural Development, India, and Chief Functionary of the Gandhian Forum for Good Corporate Governance. Speakers included Lord Jitesh Gadhia, Alpesh Patel along with the High Commissioner of India to UK, Mrs Ruchi Ghanashyam and Deputy High Commissioner Charanjeet Singh. A new statue of Mahatma Gandhi will be inaugurated in the British city of Manchester on November 25th, as a symbol of peace. The 9-foot-high

S. Radhakrishna

bronze sculpture by Indian artist Ram V. Sutar will be installed outside Manchester Cathedral. The Mahatma Gandhi Statue Project, is an initiative of Shrimad Rajchandra Mission Dharampur (SRMD), a worldwide spiritual movement headquartered in India, epitomising the city’s resilience in the aftermath of the suicide bombing at an Ariana

Grande at Manchester Arena in May 2017, an Islamic State (ISIS) claimed attack which claimed 23 lives. The charitable organisation is being backed in its project by Manchester Cathedral, Manchester City Council and the High Commission of India and the costs are to be covered by the Indian-origin Kamani family in memory of their

late scion Bhanji Khanji Kamani. Mahatma Gandhi, known as the Father of the Nation for India, was born on 2nd October 1869 in Porbandar and was the preeminent leader of the Indian independence movement in British-ruled India. His birthday is considered world wide as the International day of Non Violence.

MoneyGram launches their first European awards On November 7, MoneyGram will host their first European awards to

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will be awarded to those supporting local economies and reinforcing integration in Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, and the UK. All companies will be nominated through an online voting system. After an online voting session of four weeks, an international jury will shortlist nine entrepreneurs, three for each category from each country. The prizes are divided in three categoriesinnovation, profit growth, and social responsibility. The entrepreneur who will excel in all the above mentioned three categories will be awarded with the prize for the European Foreign Entrepreneur of the year 2019. The award win-

ners of each country will be invited to Brussels to participate in the final event and gala night and one of them will also be awarded the ‘Immigrant Entrepreneur of the Year’. The MoneyGram Award was established in Italy in 2009, and it is the only national award that recognises the excellence of companies run by foreign entrepreneurs. The European MoneyGram Awards is a recognition project that represents the commitment to migrant communities living and working across Europe.


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Diamond jubilee of Tanzania’s independence and the Settlement of the British Asians in the Great Britain Dear Readers, We are delighted that our Kenya Special magazine has been very warmly accepted and received across all quarters of the community. We are grateful for your support and contribution in coming forward and sharing your personal experiences and journeys as part of this magazine. As a first project of its kind and a rare collaboration of history, it has been a tremendous success, following which we have received numerous letters and valuable suggestions to undertake another such venture. Now, we aim to focus on Tanzania, the largest country in East Africa, known for its vast reserves of minerals and natural resources. Our upcoming issue of Tanzania Special will celebrate 60 years of the country's independence ever since it achieved freedom from the British rule on 9th December 1961. The magazine will feature: 1. Migration stories of individuals from undivided India to East Africa, particularly to Tanzania. 2. It will chart a timeline of the freedom struggle of Tanzania from being a German colony to becoming an independent country. 3. Discuss the formation of the Tanganyika African National Union (TANU) and focus on the contributions of Asians to the Tanzanian economy and society. 4. It will record their contributions to politics, business, entrepreneurship, philanthropy, sports and community services among others. In light of this, 1. We would like to invite you to send us any relevant information or stories; personal and/or their friends' and family's experience in the UK, latest by the earliest possible date. 2. If you have a success story of people in public and political life, and know entrepreneurs and professionals, please send in their narratives. 3. We also seek your participation and support through sponsorship, advertisement and advertorials in this special publication. You can write to us at cb.patel@abplgroup.com or priyanka.mehta@abplgroup.com and we will contact you immediately. Yours Sincerely, CB Patel Publisher/Editor Asian Voice & Gujarat Samachar

Diwali special

5 - 11 Oct 2019

Diwali is the largest celebrated festival for Hindus, Sikhs, Jains and Buddhists all over the world. Celebrated and lauded by the Indian community in the UK, our annual Diwali Special magazine encapsulates the true spirit and jubliant essence of the festival. Our Diwali magazine this year particularly focusses on climate crisis and eco-friendly celebrations. It features: Articles penned by young British Asians who reflect their ideas around community connections, integration and fostering multi-cultural celebrations. Features over sustainable fashion, home décor, food and travel among others. Inter-faith discussions where we encourage and provide a platform for individuals to contribute their illustrations, photographs and other content related materials. Stories around health-care and dietary requirements among several other fitness related tips. This year Diwali will be celebrated on 27th October and following our tradition, we will continue to publish Asian Voice and Gujarat Samachar during the festive season as well as during the Diwali week unlike some other publications. l We invite all our readers, subscribers, advertisers, sponsors and others to send their contributions to us by 11.10.19. l All shopkeepers and stakeholders are requested to kindly inform us well in advance for the delivery of extra copies of the magazine.

This year's ideal Diwali gift for you, l An annual subscription of Asian Voice and Gujarat Samachar for just £36.50 per annum l

Along side the newsweeklies subscribers will be treated with at least eight other special magazines. l

Recently, our readers have received copies of Asian Achievers Awards, Asian Giants, and Kenya special.

Read. Rejoice and start a conversation.

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Sales and Marketing Suite & Showhomes open daily from 10am – 5pm *Terms and conditions apply. Flight offer only accepted at point of reservation, to the total value of £6,500. Offer will be provided post legal completion, and is not available with any other incentive. Images representative only. †From Harrow Station. Journey times approximate. Source: TFL. Eligible applicants will be offered an equity loan of up to 40% of the purchase price at the open market value. Applicants are required to fund at least 60% of the purchase price with a conventional main mortgage and minimum of 5% deposit. For the first five years there is no interest charged on the Help to Buy: Equity Loan. At the start of year six 1.75% interest is payable on the equity loan, which rises annually by RPI inflation plus 1%. The equity loan is provided by the Government’s Homes and Communities Agency, trading as Homes England, and held as a second charge on the Help to Buy home. Terms and conditions apply. Applicants should seek independent financial advice, and get information and guidance on applying for a Help to Buy: Equity Loan at www.helptobuy.gov.uk. This scheme is subject to status and only available on selected developments and properties in England. YOUR HOME MAY BE REPOSSESSED IF YOU DO NOT KEEP UP REPAYMENTS ON YOUR MORTGAGE. Details correct at time of distribution. Images representative only.


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Remembering those forgotten National Muslim Service of Commemoration On 28th September Saturday, National Muslim Service of Commemoration was held at the National Arboretum. The ceremony brought together members of British Muslim communities to remember those who sacrificed their lives while serving Britain in line of duty. Members included Muslim veteran of WWII, Sgt (Retd) Mohammed Hussain and General Officer Commanding London District, Major General Ben Bathurst. “Engaging with British Muslim communities in an intimate event allowed us to celebrate the service and sacrifice from our wider UK communities. “The Armed Forces are proud of the contribution of British Muslims serving today alongside colleagues from many backgrounds. Through this commemoration, in showing our respect alongside local communities, we hope to inspire future generations of Muslim recruits as well as

those of other faiths and none,” said Major Naveed Muhammad MBE, the Army’s National Liaison Officer and former Chair of the Armed Forces Muslim Association (AFMA). Reports indicate that about 400,000 Indian Muslim soldiers had served for Britain in WW1 from Mesopotamia to the Western Front. This Commemoration service was supported by the AFMA. “It’s important that we held a Service of Commemoration to honour and respect those who served for our country. We also wanted the event to reaffirm that being Muslim is absolutely compatible with military life. “It is now more vital than ever that our Armed Forces represent the society we serve and this event allowed us to highlight the scale and history of contribution of British Muslims to this country that goes much deeper than many realise,” said Imam Asim Hafiz.

Members from the Armed Forces at the Service

Punjabi Society of British Isles honors Panesar

Oxford University to start Hindi, Urdu, Bengali family guides Oxford University is planning a new family guide, translated into Hindi, Urdu and Bengali to help ethnic minority households in order to address the challenge of attracting deserving students from all backgrounds. The new guide is a part of a drive which includes a series of events, open days and programmes set to kick of in January 2020 and run throughout the year, to encourage teenagers from low-income house-

The Punjabi Society of the British Isles (PSBI) celebrated their 91st Anniversary dinner dance event at the Riverside Venue in support of The Challenging Behaviour Foundation. Here, Mudhsuden Singh Panesar, famously known as Monty Panesar, UK’s first Sikh/Punjabi to play for the England cricket team was awarded the ‘Pride of Punjab’ certificate. He was awarded for ‘Bringing Honour to the Community & Country through his Outstanding Achievement

of Playing for the England Cricket Team’. Members attending the event included Seema Malhotra MP, also a Patron of the PSBI, Virendra Sharma MP, and Dr. Onkar Sahota member of London Assembly. The General Secretary, Mr Parag Bhargava took the opportunity to discuss about the achievements of the Punjabi diaspora in UK and across the world. Mr Subhash Chander, the Outgoing President of the Society was awarded a plaque in recognition for his

work over the last four years, and Mr. Pritpal Singh Amolak was welcomed as the new incoming President and garlanded by the treasurer, Mr Nirbhai S. Rai. Seema Malhotra MP thanked the PSBI for the hard work the Society does to raise the profile of the Punjabi community and to connect the Punjabi community with other people in the UK. Dr. Onkar Sahota also mentioned about encouraging younger members to join the society. A raffle was also held to

raise funds for the Challenging Behaviour Foundation and over £2000 was raised for the charity on the night combined with the donations also received. Guests were treated to a wonderful Brazilian dance show by Tropicalia, with their beautiful colourful outfits, after which guests danced the night away with music from Ritzy Entertainment. The Punjabi Society of the British Isles was established in 1928 and is the oldest society of this type.

Gina Miller verbally abused, called 'traitor' by strangers The businesswoman who campaigned against Boris Johnson's “illegal” prorogation of Parliament was subjected to “disturbing” verbal abuse while walking with her daughter. According to Miller she was recognised on the street, the day after the Supreme

Court ruling last week when she took her 12-yearold daughter for an eye test. "People were stopping in their cars and rolling their windows down and calling me 'traitor' and saying, 'There's a lamppost over there'. And you just

think, it's extraordinary. You know, I'm with my child and that's disturbing," she told The Times in an interview. Miller also told the newspaper that her teenagers have come across messages disparaging her on social media.

This comes at a time when MPs from theLiberal Democrats, Labour and the Conservative parties, along with an independent, have lambasted the behaviour and theatrics seen recently in House of Commons’ debates in the run up to Brexit.

holds around the UK to apply, the PTI has reported. The drive follows research which found that extended family can play a crucial role in youngsters’ decision making about the university, especially from South Asian backgrounds. Earlier this year Oxford University, in its 900 year history, for the first time said that they will offer places to students with lower grades from disadvantaged background.

Bharat Conclave: Confluence of Sustainable Fashion and Indian Craft

Bharat Conclave, a three day event embarked with a Business Lunch at the High Commission of India UK on 26th September, followed by an Awards ceremony on 27th September at the Palace of Westminster and a Fashion Show at The Millennium Copthorne Tara Hotel. Celebrities from India and the UK and Public Figures from the diverse communities will be attending. The event was attended

by prominent figures such as Lord Rami Ranger, Lord Bhikhu Parekh, Lord Dolar Poppat among others. With Non-violence as their theme, they fundraised to stop Violence Against Women & Girls with the proceeds going to Enfield Saheli. This year special focus was also on adaptation to sustainable fashion and supporting Indian craft clusters to help Indian craft clusters.


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5 - 11 Oct 2019

Naga Munchetty Case: Ace the Race The impartiality dilemma: How would the media call out racism if it cannot call out the racists? Priyanka Mehta Mainstream media and its coverage of political news has become the centre of debate once again. This time a BBC journalist, Naga Munchetty has been reprimanded by the organisation for crossing the obsequious line of impartiality. Earlier in July, American President Donald Trump had issued a statement asking Ilhan Omar, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Ayanna Pressley and Rashida Tlaib- all women of colour to go back to their countries. “Every time I have been told, as a woman of colour, to go back to where I came from, that was embedded in racism. I’m not accusing anyone of anything here, but you know what certain phrases mean,” Munchetty had cautiously told her co-presenter Dan Walker. The original complaint was filed with the subject being “Blatant political bias from both presenters”. The media house had initially defended Munchetty, saying she “made it clear that she was making a general point and not accusing anyone of anything”. However, the complainant issued a second complaint demanding further investigation with reference to both the hosts. The complaint

read, “This could not possibly be construed as the making of a ‘general point’ by any reasonable person. I would like my complaint to be investigated again and a more honest reply sent please. If you are content for your supposedly impartial presenters to make biased political statements, just say so. If you are not, then my complaint should be upheld and words of advice given.” Thus, last week the BBC had ruled that Munchetty had breached editorial guidelines in a conversation with co-host Dan Walker about Donald Trump. Following the ruling, a petition had been circulated which called the BBC to reverse its judgement on Munchetty attracted more than 13,000 signatures. On 27th September Friday, 150 black and minority ethnic public figures wrote to the BBC, protesting that “racism is not a valid opinion on which an ‘impartial’ stance can or should be maintained”. They further asserted, it was outrageous that a person of colour should be “expected to treat racist ideas as potentially valid”. “Over many decades, our public attitudes to race have changed. Today, racist acts are widely condemned, rather than being condoned as they were in the past.

“To be told that this is not actually the case is a worrying prospect. The truth, however, is that racism still very much exists. It has evolved into what psychologists refer to as modern racism, which is more subtle and nuanced than the typical representations of racism. The criticism that Naga Munchetty has received is a clear sign that we are not prepared to look these facts in the face,” said Professor Binna Kandola, senior partner at Pearn Kandola and author of Racism at Work: The Danger of Indifference. Simultaneously, there had been much uproar in the industry that both presenters should have faced flak for the above. Yet, only the journalist of colour is penalised and not her white, male co-host. BBC defends itself by insisting its hands were tied and the complaint was particularly issued against Munchetty. Now, the media house has reportedly crunched down on support for Munchetty within the company and banned staff from protesting in her defense. Trevor Phillips, former chairman of the Equality and Human Rights Commission, claimed in The Sunday Times that the corporation was breaching the 2010 Equality Act by warning employees not to sign the petition supporting Naga. “BBC minority staff are being

told not to sign the letter or any petition and to stay clear of this one,” he had said. However, the BBC claims otherwise. “The BBC is fully committed to complying with the Equality Act, and we are not aware of any failure to do so. Racism is not an opinion and it is not a matter for debate. Racism is racism. Naga has the very clear support of the top of the organisation,” said a BBC Spokesperson. Yet, the bigger question that the media faces is how do you call out racism if you cannot call out racists? While Munchetty had made her general remarks, Piers Morgan had written in a column why in the Daily Mail why Donald Trump was being a racist. Nobody seems to have complained about that, though. And further more, he does not get punished about that either and perhaps, he is one example. BBC director general Lord Hall on 30th September reversed the decision to partially uphold a complaint against Munchetty. He told the staff that Munchetty's words were not "sufficient to

merit a partial uphold" of the complaint against her. The bigger question still remains, how do you call out on racism without calling out the racists?

Naga Munchetty


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Resolution by the Labour party I sent the message underneath to all Harrow Indian Councellors and Navin Shah for your reference: "You know me well as a member of Labour Party and exLabour Councillor in Harrow. But now I will not vote for The Labour Party in the next election as it has become biased against India and believes in feck news of Pakistan. There are many British Indian politicians in the Labour Party like yourself who have kept quiet about this outrage and furthermore, should be shameful to be part of such a resolution passed at the party conference. What are you going to do about it? I for one will be urging British Indian voters and people who believe in human rights not to vote for the Labour Party at the next General, local or any other elections." Dr Pravin Shah By email

International intervention on Kashmir Today is a black day for all Indians and British Indians in the UK. The Labour Party at its annual party conference in Brighton on 25 Sep 2019 passed a controversial emergency motion calling for international intervention on the Kashmir issue and a resolution calling for Jeremy Corbyn to seek international observers to "enter" the region and demand the right of self-determination for its people. This amounts to direct interference in India’s internal matters. It is also important to note that several highly biased, controversial allegations were made against India without presenting any evidence and without any discussions or due diligence to this effect, disregarding long-standing international conventions. The High Commission of India in London has cancelled the annual reception with Labour Friends of India and the Ministry of External Affairs, Government of India has condemned this motion, calling it “uninformed, unfounded and an attempt at pandering to vote-bank interests, ruling out any engagement with the Labour Party”. This puts a big question mark on any future relations between India (the 5th largest and fastest growing economy in the world) and the United Kingdom under a Labour Govt. I would encourage all British Indians, regardless of political affiliations, to come together in unity on this matter, unconditionally condemn this Labour motion, and formally ask Labour to withdraw this motion immediately and apologise unreservedly to India and British Indians. This is about the pride and integrity of our motherland India and there can be no compromise on this matter. Jai Hind. Jai Bharat G Mistry By email

Labour Party's resolution on Kashmir You must be aware of Labour Party's resolution on Kashmir. I have never felt so angry that I have decided to put a pen to paper. Why did Labour MPs of Indian Origins not do any thing? There are six MPs, Keith Vaz and his sister Valery are amongst them. They have betrayed all Indians from India, Africa and British born Indians. They better not come to my door for their vote. All Indians must stay united to stand up for their motherland. They should all resign from Labour Party if they are members of that divisive party. Manju Nagji By email

J&K letter to Keith Vaz As you maybe aware your Labour delegates and colleagues have unanimously passed a controversialist emergency motion on Kashmir at your Labour annual party conference in Brighton last week, leading to India's UK mission cancelling a dinner with Labour Friends of India. The Labour Party has now shown it true colours, and exposed itself, by interfering with the politics of the largest democracy in the world, of which it has the people mandate to the Policy Action by it Government. The abrogation of Article 370 & 35A provided temporary special status to the state of Jammu & Kashmir and the creation of two union territories (J&K and Ladakh). This is a major step that has been taken for the betterment and development of J&K residents, and the State and one that me and fellow Indians living here in the UK wholeheartedly support. The whole of India and the people of J&K in particular have welcomed the action and there is a sense of excitement. Yes, there are troops on the ground and certain temporary restrictions to ensure Pakistan backed terror elements do not succeed in taking any undue advantage from the situation to advance their terror agenda, and to ensure law and order is maintain for the safety of it residents. I hope you and the wider Labour Party, understand that the Indian Community is awaking and rising up to the Labour Anti Hate Stance against India, and therefore to us here in the Uk. Ashwin Golaria By email

Vote-Bank Politics

International day of non-violence

Once Vote-bank politics was domain of India, especially Congress party, it has now been creeping into British politics for a couple of decades. We all know that this devalues so called fair and free elections, yet Labour Party has fallen hook, line and sinker for such cheap politics that divides ethnic minorities like no other issue, fishing in troubled water, paddle in an issue they know nothing about with stunning naivety! It seems Labour Party is unbelievably out of sync with India, liaison severed with 1:5 million strong British Indian diaspora, who filled iconic 70K capacity Wembley Stadium to the brim, on a bitterly cold winter’s day, PM Modi standing side by side with then British PM David Cameron; that dented British Indians traditional loyalty to Labour Party. Last week’s one sided resolution on Kashmir at Labour Party conference, abandoning traditional neutrality has shaken British Indians’ faith in Labour, their sympathy will now move either to Conservatives or to LibDem, under their newly elected dynamic, popular leader Joe Swenson. If Labour Party comes to power after Brexit, when election is already hovering on the horizon, it will need goodwill of every major non EU trading nation, that include USA, Japan, China, South Korea and India to make Brexit an unmitigated success. But instead Labour is losing friends fast; relations with India fractured, with USA under President Donald Trump unimaginable, Indian HC cancelling Diwali party for “Labour Friends of India” who failed to raise a finger. Bhupendra M. Gandhi By email

Mahatma Gandhi's birthday popularly known as Gandhi Jayanti is observed on October 2nd every year to mark the birth anniversary of the Indian freedom fighter and activist, Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi. The day is also observed as the “International day of nonviolence”, encouraging non-violence and harmony among the citizens of India and the world. Jubel D'Cruz, Mumbai, India

Climate change crisis facing the world The immediate danger facing the world at present is speeding climate change, global warming and lack of urgency in facing this imminent danger. Experts have warned that global warming is increasing, carbon dioxide levels are going up, sea levels are rising and ice sheets are melting at a much faster rate. The World Meteorological Organisation report said the world has warmed by 1.1C since pre-industrial times, but it got 0.2C hotter from 2015-2019 compared with the previous five years. Meanwhile, carbon dioxide concentrations in the atmosphere rose at a higher rate than in 2011-2015 and are on track to hit a record high this year. Sea levels rose by an average of 5mm a year from 2015, compared to 3.2mm a year since1993, with much of the water from melting glaciers and ice sheets.   Children from all over the world under the leadership of the 16 year old Greta Thunberg of Sweden held marches to tackle climate change and urged the world leaders - political, corporate and civic not jeopardise their future by their inaction and complacency to tackle this important issue. We can see natural disasters taking place every days in different parts of the world causing immense damage to life and property, yet nothing concrete or preventive is done. In the end to avert the devastation of climate change will rest in our hands and not the governments to take immediate and appropriate action to save this planet of ours.  Baldev Sharma Rayners Lane, Harrow

Could spider venom eliminate Malaria! Africa, once known as “Dark Continent” still suffers from Dark Age illnesses that have been eradicated from rest of the world. It includes tuberculosis, (TB), cholera and deadly yellow fever, rare but visitors to certain African countries need vaccination. But most common, widespread and deadly, in terms of lives lost is malaria. Although anti-malaria tablets have been available for decades and new, more effective ones were made available recently, never the less these tablets causes severe diarrhoea, not preferred precaution for most visitors. In any case who wants to take daily dose of medicine when on holidays! Malaria is more of a medical problem for local people than visitors, especially children, elderly and weak, responsible for more loss of lives than any other illness. It seems permanent eradication of malaria may not be far away. None other than spider’s venom, genetically modified fungus from Australian Blue Mountain funnel-web spiders may provide long-awaited answer. In trial in an African country this fungus killed 99% of mosquitos within two months. Moreover the fungus only targets mosquitos, is safe for other insects. But million dollar question is, how long before mosquitos develop resistance to this fungus, just as humans are getting immune to antibiotics? More effective solution is to stop them breeding. As mosquitoes breed in pools of stagnant water, common only during few monsoon months, it can be easily controlled by spraying these waters with anti-malaria solutions that kills eggs before they can hatch. Kumudini Valambia By email

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Two drivers left with £1,300 repair bill - after hitting the same pothole A taxi driver was left with a £500 repair bill after hitting a road defect - and he's furious. Midlands cabbie is hundreds of pounds out of pocket after having to buy a replacement wheel for his Audi. Ahmmar Mahmud was left with the repair bill alongside another driver who hit the SAME pothole. Mr Mahmud had to replace an alloy wheel and tyre which were damaged by the road defect - two weeks after he reported it to Stokeon-Trent City Council. Now he is lodging a compensation claim with the council, according to StokeonTrentLive.

B u s i n e s s m a n Mohammed Safir says he has also fallen victim to the potholes on the corner of Plex Street and Nash Peake Street, in Tunstall. He was left with a big crack in his tyre and a repair bill of up to £800. Ahmmar says the carriageway is affected by lorries going to and from recycling firm SJ Walchester, on Nash Peake Street. He says his taxi is constantly covered in dust. Councillors recently approved plans for a waste storage building, two portable buildings, a threemetre high concrete boundary wall and car parking at the site.

Pensioner, 81, threatened with knife armed robbers targeting Asian gold Police have launched an investigation after a pensioner in Enfield was threatened with a knife as she lay in bed by armed robbers targeting Asian gold. The 81-year-old woman was in bed at her home in Great Cambridge Road at 9.30pm on Friday (September 20) when two men barged through her bedroom door. The thugs produced a "sharp weapon" which they then held to her face and threatened her before demanding valuables. One of the men then forcibly pulled off four bangles from each of her two wrists as the other man rifled through her belongings in the other rooms. The terrified victim warned that police were on their way and the men fled through a rear garden and climbed over a wall. She suffered bruising to her arms from the force of the bangles being removed but was otherwise not seriously injured. In a separate incident on

Sunday (September 22), which police believe is linked to the first attack, a 53-year-old woman and her 65-year-old husband were at their home in Cartercatch Lane, Enfield, when three men broke into their home. One of the suspects began searching the house for valuables, despite the woman's protests that there were none. She was forced to lead him to the master bedroom and he rummaged through drawers and cupboards - he then slapped her in the face and demanding money. The victim’s husband was in another room; he was confronted by two men armed with hammers and ordered to get to the floor. They too demanded cash and gold and threatened to kill him. The three suspects then made off from the location. They are described as white males, aged between 20 and 35 and were wearing bandanas. No arrests have been made.


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Private schools say abolition Britain's highest paying degrees would be vote-loser Private-school leaders are warning that attempts to abolish their schools will prove to be a "vote-loser". Labour has backed plans for private schools to lose tax benefits and be "integrated" into the state sector. But Fiona Boulton, chairwoman of the Headmasters' and Headmistresses' Conference (HMC), said that shutting down private schools was "based on ignorance and the desire to damage". Labour said children's life chances should not depend on parental wealth. The challenge from the HMC comes as it begins its annual conference in London. It follows Labour's

decision to close down the independent school sector including calls for their assets to be "redistributed". There has been an angry reaction from privateschool leaders - and Mrs Boulton, head of Guildford High School, will tell the conference that Labour has misjudged the public mood. The HMC will publish its own survey findings, a ComRes poll of more than 2,000 people in England, Wales and Scotland, showing 68% support the principle of parents being able to pay for private education. A Labour spokesman rejected the criticism from the private schools, saying: "Of course the establish-

ment will try to defend its privileges." But the party appears to have pulled back from suggestions of seizing private school assets. Shadow chancellor John McDonnell last week played down what he called "draconian measures". Independent schools have argued that if they were put out of business, it would mean state schools would have to find funding and places for those extra pupils. But shadow education secretary Angela Rayner has told private school leaders that a Labour government's first budget would "immediately end the tax breaks gifted to private schools".

The symbolic target of 50% at university reached The proportion of young people in England going to university has passed the symbolic 50% mark for the first time. It comes almost exactly 20 years after then Prime Minister Tony Blair made the call for half of young adults to go into higher education. Figures from the Department for Education, for 2017-18, show 50.2% of people going into higher education. The figures are higher for women, where 57% are going to university. The annual statistics on entry to higher education show the proportion of people set to go to university before the age of 30. These latest figures are only a fraction higher than the year before - up from 49.9% - but after years of steady increases, it means a majority of young adults are

now going on to higher education. It shows a significant social change over the decades. In 1980, only 15% stayed in full-time education after the age of 18, in any kind of training or further or higher education, including universities and what were then polytechnics. By 1990, that had risen to 25% for all forms of post-18 education, according to House of Commons library figures. The target of 50% going into higher education was set in September 1999 in a conference speech by Tony Blair, two years after coming into office. The new figures show 50.2% - but there are significant gender differences. While 57% of women are going into higher education, the proportion is 44.1% for men. It means the participation rate in university for

Tony Blair

men is still lower than that reached by women more than a decade ago. In the graduating cohort of 1980, there were 43,000 men and 25,000 women. Among about 430,000 starting degree courses for the first time this autumn, more than 245,000 are likely to be women. But the Education Secretary Gavin Williamson called on universities to do more to widen access to the disadvantaged. He said pupils from the most advantaged areas were 2.4 times more likely to stay on for higher education than those from the most disadvantaged.

In an age where students have to fork out large tuition fees, the courses - like law, business and economics that result in the highest graduate salaries are becoming increasingly attractive. With the Oxbridge deadline, as well as that for courses in medicine, veterinary science and dentistry, on the horizon in October, it's time to start weighing up universities options. While monetary earnings aren't everything in a degree, it's important to know the sorts of graduate salaries you can expect to earn after graduating - and there are some big discrepancies depending on what you choose. It is certainly true that some courses at top universities can give you

some of the highest paying degrees, adding tens of thousands to the average starting salary. But some of the highest paying jobs actually come from some lesser known institutions, with engineering, computer science and business graduates from a wide variety of universities punching above their weight. Those who graduated from this course after the 2010/11 academic year earned an average £74,100 five years after graduation. Oxford dominates the top three this year with Computing (£67,900) and Law (£67,200) coming second and third respectively. Engineering and technology students from Havering College of Further and

Higher Education command a higher average salary than graduates of any other course in Britain a year after graduating. Medicine has retained its title as the degree subject attracting the highest average graduate salary, according to the figures. While some economics and business courses might bring in the most money individually, the average medicine graduate was earning £46,600 five years after completing their course - the highest of any subject. At the other end of the spectrum people graduating with creative arts degrees had the lowest average salaries, standing at just £20,600 five years after graduation.

Quarter of secondary pupils 'get private tuition' More than a quarter of secondary school pupils in England and Wales have received private tuition, according to research published by the Sutton Trust. The highest levels are in London - with 41% of secondary pupils getting extra lessons outside of school, it says. The social-mobility charity is calling for financial support for disadvantaged families to have access to tutoring. "With costs of at least £25 per session, many parents can't afford it," said charity founder Sir Peter Lampl. The annual report from the Sutton Trust tracks the prevalence of parents paying for tuition. Such extra lessons have been seen as a hidden factor in exam results - but because of the cost, the charity warns this gives rich-

er families an unfair advantage. Based on evidence from the National Foundation for Educational Research and a survey of almost 3,000 families, the report suggests 27% of 11 to 16-year-olds have had some private tuition while at secondary school. This is higher than the 18% who received tutoring in 2005 but has fallen back on a couple of years ago, when 30% had paid for extra lessons, it says. But the use of tutors is skewed towards the affluent, with 34% of better-off families having used tutors compared with 20% of less well-off families. Paying for extra tuition is twice as common in England than Wales - 28% to 14% - and a separate figure for London suggests much higher levels of 41%. The most common rea-

sons given for hiring tutors were helping with a specific GCSE exam and "schoolwork in general". The research suggests almost a quarter of classroom teachers in secondary school have worked as private tutors in the past two years, with most of these providing lessons after being asked by parents. The Sutton Trust says there is evidence such individual tutoring can make a positive difference. But it says there needs to be a way of making it available to the disadvantaged, such as providing meanstested vouchers. Trust founder and chairman Sir Peter Lampl said such a scheme would "enable lower-income families to provide tuition for their children" in an environment in which "private tuition is widespread".

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12 MEDIA WATCH

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SCRUTATOR’S The Modi-Trump rock star summit in Houstan was riveting theatre, enough sound-bites, body language and telling asides, and a baying, swaying 50,000 crowd giving the drama its high octane pitch. The quotes were numerous and varied, hence the print media, much like customers at a Christmas sale, took what attracted their fancy.

Sikh names abroad from a blacklist of anti-Indian activities., following a review by security agencies. They urged him to provide visas and passports to the Sikh diaspora in the US that they could visit India (Hindu, September 23). PM meets Pandits A delegation of US-based Kashmiri Hindu Pandits met Prime Minister Modi in Houston to thank him for taking into account their dispossession and expulsion from the ancestral homeland in the Kashmir valley by Islamist jihadids. They assured the Prime Minister of their full support in ‘building a new Kashmir together that will be for everyone.’ (Hindu, September 23). Suriname backs India

Modi-Trump at Houston, with a cast of thousands

The Times of India (September 25) gave front-page coverage to the US President’s encomia on Prime Minister Modi, of which the following extracts are samples: ‘People love this gentleman...they went crazy, it was as if Elvis [Presley] had come back.’ 2. ‘The message [to Imran Khan] is not for me to give, and he[Modi] gave it loud and clear.’ 3, ‘I remember India before was very torn... he [Modi] brought it all together. Like a father would. We’ll call him Father of India.’ The Statesman (September 25), more sedate in its selection of the quotes the US President on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly session in New York, ‘I really believe that Prime Minister Modi and Prime Minister Khan will get along when they come to know each other. I think a lot of good things will come from that meeting. It will be great if they can work out something on Kashmir.’ Jihadi terrorism So say all of us. But the vexed issue of jihadi terrorism was hammered home to his UN audience by Prime Minister Modi as a shared threat to global peace and security. He said the Financial Action Task Force sanctions against states promoting terrorism should not be politicised, a message surely directed at China and Pakistan. PM Khan’s take Addressing the US Council for Foreign Relations in Washington, Pakistan Prime Minister Imran

Pak Premier Imran Khan

Khan replied: ‘India was pushing to blacklist us ...and we realised they had an agenda.’ (Hindu, September 25). So they have. Countering Pakistani terrorism is the name of the game. Every state has the prime duty to protect the lives and properties of its citizens, or else choose self-liquidation. Chief Minister in drone alarm Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh has urged Union Home Minister Amit Shah to tackle the menace of cross-border drones from Pakistan, two days after an arms cache was recovered by police following a drone drop. Mr Singh said the incident was a sinister design to undermine peace and security in the State (Hindu, September 25).

Ahead of Prime Minister Modi’s meeting the 15-member Caribbean block in New York, the President of Suriname Michael Adhin voiced his country support to India in its recent actions in Kashmir following the revocation Article 370 (Hindu, September 23). Naval Tejas flight-tested

across the Pakistan would receive fitting response beyond air strikes as was the case at Balacot earlier. He said some 500 Pakistani infiltrators were readying to cross into India. Counter measures were in place, he said. Intelligence sources had sounded an alert against the possibility of jihadi assaults on India during the forthcoming festive season (Hindu, September 25). Iran ties under cloud

India’s ties with Iran are closely aligned with its national interest and cannot be bartered to the whims of a third power. But that is what India is in danger of doing by seemingly bowing to US compulsions. President in his Swachi Bharat lauded address to the UN General Assembly proclaimed that national sovereignty should be prized above all else. Did he mean what he said? It is for India to find out. India has invested heavily in the construction of the Chabahar port in the Persian Gulf, a railway hub into western Afghanistan. The subject was discussed lucidly by Sanjay Kapoor on the editpage of Business Line, PM Modi receives Global Goalkeeper Award 2019 from September 24. Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation Congress Young Turks in restive mood

The naval variant of India’s Light Combat Aircraft, Tejas took a major leap towards full operational capability following a test landing on the shore-based facility in Goa. This was the first ever arrested landing on the shore-based facility INS Hansa, which will pave the way for a similar performance on India’s aircraft-carrier INS Vikramaditya (Hindu, September 14).

The Twitter exchange between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and former Mumbai Congress chief Milind Deora has brought into focus the discontents brewing in the party amongst its younger members with leadership ambitions. Pradyot Deb Barman has announced chis resignation as

Targeting China, says Chinese paper of India

A Pakistani Jaish-e-Mohammed hit squad has targeted Prime Minister Narendra Modi and National Security Adviser Ajit Doval, A tip-off from a friendly foreign intelligence agency, which intercepted a coded message from Pakistani handler to its operatives put Indian security agencies on full alert. Meanwhile, the Indian Air Force base at Pathancot has gone on orange alert after receiving information of a possible terrorist attack similar to the one launched in 2016 (Times of India, September 25).

The Global Times, mouthpiece of China’s establishment launched an attack on India, claiming that the Modi government had targeted China as a military threat, and hence the Indian Army and Air Force had held exercises in Ladakh and Arunachal Pradesh along the Tibetan border. India’s militant nationalism had allegedly intensified with the abrogation of Article 370 on Kashmir, a clear reference to the country’s ‘allweather friendship’ with Pakistan.’ Sneering at the slowdown of the Indian economy, The Global Times claimed that posturing on the border was a tactic to avert the gaze of the Indian people on the present distress. Incidentally, China has laid claim to Arunachal Pradesh, a sign of its peaceful intent, presumably. Mercifully, the bhai bhai days are done and dusted. (Statesman, September 24).

US Sikhs laud PM’s wisdom

Rawat warning

Sucking up to China, Swamy imperative

A delegation of US Sikhs met Prime Minister Modi in Houston and thanked him for removing 312

Chief of the Army Staff General Bipin Rawat issued a warning that India’s response to a terrorist from

Subramanian Swamy, BJP enfant terrible, has suggested, following a speech to a select Communist

Jihadi hit squad targeting PM

Party think tank in Beijing, he said it was in India’s best interest to reassure Beijing that the India-US bonhomie was not targeted at China. India must keep away from commenting on the Hong Kong agitation, avoid mention all mention of Taiwan and Tibet(Hindu, September 25) India would be foolish – very foolish indeed – to give Beijing any such assurance. India is not a tributary state. When China declares an issue to be a ‘core interest,’ brooking no denial from any quarter in the neighbourhood, it does so peremptorily. What is sauce for the goose must be sauce for the gander, Message your hosts in Beijing accordingly, Mr Swamy.

Jyotiaditya Scindia and Milind Deora

Tripura’s Congress chief. Deora hailed Prime Minister Modi’s Houston speech on the eve of the Maharashtra State elections; Jyotiraditya Scindia has lauded the governmet over the abrogation Article 370 on Kashmir Deora and Scindia argue that aspects of foreign policy reflecting the national interest desrve bipartisan support. This is likely to ruffle feathers in the Durbar run by matriarch Sonia Gandhi and Veteran courtiers Ghulam Nabi Azad and Ahmed Patel (Hindu, September 25).

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has been awarded the ‘Global Goalkeeper’ prize by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation for his exemplary role in the Swachi Bharat health and sanitation campaign across India, which has yielded game-changing results (Hindu, September 26). Kerala rapes cause outrage Kerala’s Kozikhode district police took no action when a rape complaint of an 18 yerold Christian girl by a 18yera-old fellow student of the same school, was lodged in August. The police moved eventually when the volume of outrage reached embarrassing decibels. The boy, Muhammed Jasin, surrendered to the police. The victim told the police that the perpetrator had drugged her and threatened her with dire consequences if she lodged a complaint. Young Christian girls in the State are being increasing targeted by Muslim jihadis, a development brought to attention of the Home Minister in New Delhi by George Kurien, Vice Chairman of the National Commission for Minorities. Referring to the Kozikhode and other cases involving kidnapping and forcible conversion to terrorism, he wrote thus to Home Minister Amit Shah: ‘It’s been a continuous process...It needs to be taken seriously. Hence my letter to the Home Minister.’ Mr Kurien suggested an investigation by the CBI, the country’s top intelligence agency Hindu, Statesman, September 26).


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5 - 11 Oct 2019

Bank of Baroda: Smart banking for a digitally smarter generation Priyanka Mehta Bank of Baroda (BoB) known as India’s International Bank, is one of the oldest Indian Banks currently operating in UK. Bank is presently catering it’s wholesale banking services through its London Branch and Retail Banking services through it’s UK registered subsidiary, Bank of Baroda (UK) Limited. Now, under the leadership of Mr. Sanjay Grover, it is poised for a digital overhaul at a time when the country's high street banks are challenged by the 'tap-and-go' digital trendsetter Fintech Banks. “Our current target is to 'tap' into the local mainstream customer base with our particular focus on retail business development especially now that we are operating as an independent subsidiary. “Our long term vision comprises building a separate retail asset and liability pool. London continues to be a financial hub of the world- with or without Brexit- and we are designing products to cater to the digital requirements of our customers,” said Sanjay Grover, Managing Director, Bank of Baroda (UK) Limited. In today's Brexit-driven economy, the fever of online banking has not even spared one of the UK registered bank has recently announced the closure of 140 of its branches. In the meantime, fears of a nodeal Brexit has resulted in Sterling slumping to a twoyear low against the Rupee with the exchange rate hovering between Rs.85.00 to Rs.87.00 from a five-year high of Rs.105 and two-year high of Rs.98. But the increasing volatility in the foreign currency market does not flutter Sanjay's financial prudence who has had an extensive career spearheading the depart-

Sanjay Grover

ment of Treasury at the BoB, India. Sanjay Grover has served as Chairman, Forex Association of India (FAI) which is affiliated to Association of Combiste Internationale, Paris during FY 2013-14. He has also served as Board Member of FIMMDA (Fixed Income Money Market & Derivatives Association, India). Serving as the former Dealer Treasury BOB Dubai operations and Head, BoB Mumbai's Specialised Integrated Treasury department for close to half a decade, Grover is optimistic that the Sterling would soon gain its footing with the market already “discounting the negative Brexit factor”. “We offer competitive exchange rates in comparison with the on-going market rates through our remittances schemes such as 'RapidFunds2India’ and Baroda Click Funds2India. We also provide special rates to those customers whose transaction volumes

have crossed a particular threshold,” he said. Apart from their remittance schemes, their Personal Savings and Business Account benefits allow customers to make cash and cheque deposits at all UK branches of NatWest. But the Bank's most distinct feature revolves around the innovative 'Baroda Smart Sweep' savings product. This feature automatically sweeps the customer's spare money into a higher interest earning fixed-term account and then sweeps it back to the current account whenever they need it. 'Baroda Smart Sweep' savings and current account allows customers access to liquidity when they need it and provides higher returns on their money otherwise. Bank of Baroda (UK) Limited has a total of 10 branches across Leicester, Manchester, Birmingham, and London. Through its Wholesale Banking, London Branch, BoB is an active player in Corporate Banking arrangement, participation, and underwriting of Syndicated loan transactions in both the primary and secondary markets. For any further information and may visit our bank website: https://www.bankofbarod auk.com

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Spend, spend and spend: Javid's pitch to outbid Labour

On Monday 30th September, at the Conservative Party conference Chancellor of exchequer, Sajid Javid pledged to raise the National Living Wage to £10.50 in the next five years. He will also lower the age threshold for those who qualify from 25 to 21 in his bid to "help the next generation of go-getters to get ahead". Earlier this year, Labour pledged to raise the National Living Wage to £10 an hour in 2020 and to include all workers under 18 who currently get a minimum wage of £4.35. Highlighting that the

Conservatives were now the “workers party” in the UK Javid inisted that the living wage pledge would make the UK "the first major economy in the world to end low pay altogether". Other announcements include a £220 million funding to improve bus networks, a £5bn fund allocation to digital infrastructure which aims to connect the hardest-to-reach 20% of the country - upping the earlier target of 10%. He has also confirmed pledges made by his predecessor for £25bn to upgrade England's road network. Amidst a raft of

announcements around increased spending the chancellor also proposed an increase in 'The Youth Investment Fund' and proposed £500 for youth services in a climate of increasing knife crime and substance abuse. This will be focused on building up to 60 new centres and refurbishing 360 old ones so that young people have "somewhere to go, something to do and someone to talk to". However, funding for youth services has fallen from more than £870m in 2011/12 to £352m in 2017/18. This means that the pledge still does not return spending to the level of eight years ago.

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Job Description: Responsible to the Chair of the Seva Committee and the Chief Patron HDH PP Goswami 108 Shree Dwarkeshlalji Maharajshree (Kankroli – Vadodara). As Pushtimargiya Vaishnav Mukhyaji must be able to perform the duties as per the scriptures, serve necessary ritual/seva, Shringhar and Bhog within Pushtimargiya principles and traditions. Responsibilities: The individual will be expected to perform ritual Seva, Service, Darshan 6 times a day. The individual will be expected to prepare Bhog and should have experience in making various offerings/samagri in accordance with Pushtimargiya traditions and within strict guidance of scriptures in relation to the time, day, month, and festival during the year. The individual should be able to plan, organise and prepare the Shringhar and Vastra in advance, according to the time, day, month and festival/utsav of the year in keeping with the Tippani (vedic calendar). They should also maintain everything used for Seva. The individual is responsible for the day to day running and care-taking duties of the Haveli. The individual will be required to provide pastoral care to members of the congregation and the wider community. The individual will provide motivation, guidance and training in religious life for the people within the haveli. Experience and qualifications for the role: The individual must have Brahmsambandh. The individual must have knowledge of the Pushtimargiya faith and a good understanding of vedic traditions and experience of religious rituals in accordance with Pushtimargiya Scriptures (Shastras). Experience of Haveli Sangeet/kirtan (music) would be an added advantage. It would be helpful if the individual speaks more than one Indian language including Sanskrit as most of the original scriptures are written in Sanskrit and Vraj bhasha.

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14 COMMUNITY

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Coventry’s Sikhs take to the streets in aid of planting 550 trees Coventry’s Sikh community will take to the streets for this year’s Guru Tegh Bahadur Ji Charity Walk from 10am on Sunday 6thOctober, in aid of planting 550 native trees and shrubs in Longford Park. Now in its 34thconsecutive year, the family-friendly charity walk will cover a route of 15km, starting from Sri Guru Singh Sabha Gurudwara on Cross Road, Folsehill. With hundreds of walkers expected to be cascading through the streets of Coventry, refreshments stations will be provided en route, by local churches, including St. Pauls Church, Mandirs and Gurudwaras. The Lord Mayor of Coventry, Councillor Linda Bigham will be performing the ribbon cutting ceremony to mark the of start the walk, as well as participating in the event herself, along with Lady Godiva, Pru Porretta and Deaconess Sue Fry. Run by a group of dedicated volunteers, this year’s

BAPIO: Medical miracles and collaborations Rohit Vadhwana

Guru Tegh Bahadur Ji Charity Walk aims to raise funds to plant 550 trees in Longford Park by 12th November to mark the 550th birth-anniversary of the first Sikh Guru and founder of the faith - Sri Guru Nanak Dev Ji. Palvinder Singh Chana, Chairman, Sikh Union Coventry said,“We are immensely proud to be

holding the 34th Guru Tegh Bahadur Ji Charity Walk through the streets of Coventry. “This is an amazing opportunity for anyone committed to help tackle climate change and make a major contribution to reduce greenhouse gas emissions for our city. "Climate change is possibly one of the most serious

environmental threats facing our world today.Through His teachings, our first guru, Guru Nanak Dev Ji, explained that the world we humans create around ourselves is a reflection of our own inner state.” To take part in the walk or to make a donation visit www.sikhunion.org. Registration is at 9.00 am; Walk starts at 10.00 am.

Baba Ramdev joins the 86th birthday celebrations of His Holiness Mahant Swami Maharaj The 86th birth anniversary of His Holiness Mahant Swami Maharaj, spiritual leader of BAPS Swaminarayan Sanstha (BAPS), was devoutly celebrated on Saturday 28 September 2019 at BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir, London, popularly known as the ‘Neasden Temple’. Yogacharya Swami Ramdevji (famously known as Baba Ramdev), the popular Indian yoga guru, who was visiting London, also joined the celebrants. He addressed the congregation and paid tribute to the life and work of Mahant Swami Maharaj, saying that “the divine light and virtues of Pramukh Swami Maharaj can be observed today in Mahant Swami Maharaj.” Youth sang bhajans depicting some of Mahant Swami Maharaj’s saintly

LIVING BRIDGE

Baba Ramdev doing 'abhishek' at the Neasden temple

qualities. Swamis then delivered a series of discourses exploring Mahant Swami Maharaj’s profound humility, pure devotion to God, and selfless compassion for humanity. Swamis concluded the festivities with a ritual offer-

ing of flowers to Mahant Swami Maharaj as a mark of reverence and devotion. Mahant Swami Maharaj’s birth celebrations were also held at the Mandir on Tuesday 23 September 2019, the Hindu calendrical day of his birth. A special

evening assembly of discourses and bhajans was held to commemorate the occasion. A cultural programme was held by the Women’s Wing at the Mandir on Saturday 28 September as part of the celebrations. The assembly consisted of an emotive discussion between two women who shared inspiring accounts of faith, courage and conviction by young and senior devotees at various junctures of their lives. The messages were brought together through a powerful speech, a short sketch and a montage of video clips. Young female devotees offered their devotion to Mahant Swami Maharaj with a vibrant and uplifting dance to provide a fitting conclusion to the festivities.

Charity event hosted to raise fund for dementia 21 year old Karishma Raichada has held a musical concert for Dementia UK on 21 September at the Harrow Arts Centre. The event viz. ‘The Golden Hits of Raj Kapoor and Mukesh’ was a social evening with international artist Mukhtar Shah who was the lead singer and entertainer. Raichada set up her company Glitz Events, to bring the community together through social events for all, when she was just 18, while

studying a degree Business and Management at De Montfort University. Karishma said, “We are raising money for Dementia UK because I believe the community are not that aware of dementia and it has not been spoken about it much. This cause is closer to my heart as we have experienced dementia in our family and my grandmother passed away from it.”

Karishma Raichada

Indian professionals are respected and welcomed all over the world for their skills and dedication to work. Similarly, there are a number of Indian professionals who have shifted and settled in the UK. Doctors and medical professionals are one among them. Number of Indian doctors in the National Health Service (NHS) of the UK has grown to over 50,000 today. Some of them have studied in India and joined NHS for professional reasons. Some Indian origin individuals have migrated from Africa and joined NHS. Next-generation of Indian origin people have also contributed tremendously to the health sector of the UK. Indians have contributed not only as doctors but also as paramedics, pharmacists, semi-skilled workers and to other professions in the health sector. In turn, the UK has provided good opportunity for them to grow professionally. British Association of Physicians of Indian Origin (BAPIO) is a membership organisation which endeavours to bring all Indian origin doctors together. Established in 1996, it has grown as an influential platform with regional divisions in the UK. Dr Ramesh Mehta is the Chairman of BAPIO. Recently, South West Division of BAPIO organised an annual conference on the theme of ‘Affordable Healthcare’. The conference was chaired by Prof (Dr) Parag Singhal and included panel discussions, speeches, and experience sharing on various topics related to healthcare. There was a panel discussion on India-UK Collaboration in the sector which was attended by a representative from the High Commission, eminent scholars from India and UK. An evening dinner reception and cultural program were attended by Rt Honourable Member of Parliament Mr Daren Jones, Ms Asher Craig, Deputy Mayor and Mr Stephan Parson, Deputy Lord Lieutenant of Bristol. Awards were presented to achievers at the evening dinner reception. The importance of organisations like BAPIO can be understood by studying its impact on creating an environment for Indian professionals. Such organisations are useful to support Indian professionals in their fields, guiding them through the professional requirements, supporting them in the time of need and giving them a voice. Organisations like BAPIO create a Living Bridge between the people of two great nations.

(Expressed opinion is personal) Do you have a story or suggestion for this column? Email at: livingbridgeasianvoice@gmail.com

Lord Rami Ranger to speak at Wolverhampton University Lord Rami Ranger, pictured, will share his business journey from homeless refugee in India to world-renowned entrepreneur and CEO of multi-million pound distribution company, Sun Mark Ltd, at a guest lecture on Thursday 17th October 2019 at the University's City Campus in Wolverhampton. Lord Ranger came to the UK with a mere £2 in his pocket, and through hard work and business acumen, he now transports goods to countries across the world and has received five Queen’s Awards for Enterprise. He has been awarded a peerage by former Prime Minister Theresa May in recognition of his contribution

to the British economy. After the lecture, Lord Ranger will be signing copies of his book "From Nothing to Everything", available for purchase at the event. Lord Ranger said: "My story shows that one does not need a rich fa ther, an elite education or the old schoolboy network to help one in life. What one needs is selfrespect, ethics, commitment, vision and empathy." The lecture is supported by the RBS Sikh Network and NatWest and will take place from 6.00 pm until 8.15 pm.


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Bhasha Mukherjee What it Means to be Miss England in 2019

Bhasha Mukherjee

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23

-year-old Bhasha made international headlines when she won the title of Miss England, this August. Not least because it was just hours before starting her new day job as a junior doctor. Currently practising at Pilgrims Hospital in Boston, Lincolnshire, the intelligent beauty told Asian Voice: “Growing up, I was a complete boffin. I chose to study to medicine because it allowed me to combine my love of academia with other natural passions such as socialising and connecting with lots of different people.” A legendary beauty competition, solely setting its winners on the path to becoming Miss World, Miss England received somewhat of a record number of applicants, 21,000, this year, under its newly established ethos of promoting career women over the archetypal image of the flirty front-page model. “Actually, I really enjoyed the Miss Beautiful Hair round,” the forthcoming Bhasha stated, “because it allowed me to try something different!” Also, an aficionado of the performing arts from a young age, she continued: “I got to dabble in different hairstyles, and be creative in a novel, hands-on way. It wasn’t just about the curling tongs. I like playing with hair design such as hair doughnuts, and let my imagination run free.”

robust workmanship: “success, for me, came with accepting my shortcomings, and still holding my own. It is important, especially for young women, to understand that they don’t need to tick every box. I took each moment as it came in the competition. I wasn’t the best at everything, but I always did my best with an open mind. You need to keep your composure, learning to gather yourself when you slip. It can be an anxious environment, and you’ve got to learn to give yourself a break.” Indeed, Bhasha’s comment and the inclusive mood of the modernised beauty pageant epitomise the fresh and revolutionary zeitgeist of our recent decade. At a time of increasingly coveted ‘no make-up selfies’, dynamic ideas of femininity, and soulfulness being forwarded as much as material assets, the very concept of beauty is being paradoxically redefined: once equated with achieving precise perfection, what is now truly attractive is letting loose your uncontainable, authentic self. As a corollary to this, Bhasha was asked on the progress reflected in vibrantly representing post-colonial England as an outspoken South-Asian, to which she aptly replied: “the modern change goes beyond the victory of the Indian subcontinent. It speaks for those of every

Miss Beautiful Hair

culture around the world, and more pertinently yet, for a lot young people who’ve lost faith in national politics.” For, of course, the issue of radiance, as is being discussed, is far from superficial, going further than skin colour to the deepest corner of the inner world: personal empower*** ment. “I want to be a symbol 'Brownfor owning your individual Some of the other skinned girls can territory, and starting rounds included in the change on a micro-scale. I transcend gender nationwide competition are: General barriers to do more demonstrate that brownskinned girls, and women Knowledge, which than just work or of other traditional backconsists of twenty stay at home' grounds, can transcend standard questions and gender barriers to do more an extra tie-breaker; than just stay at home or work Beach Beauty, which – they can truly realise ambition.” requires contestants to submit This is a feeling journey, almost a photograph of themselves in existential and bigger than any vocaswimwear upholding a healthy body tion as Bhasha went on to explain: “Just image; and the Ethical Fashion round, surviving is not the human purpose. which asks the participants to create We need to re-establish the why of eco-friendly outfit that then looks good what we wanted as children growing on the catwalk. “I really enjoyed that up. So many youngsters can lose sight latter round,” Bhasha commented, “as of their dreams – what drove them to well as another separate heat: raising study a particular subject at university, awareness for the pageant’s own chariwhat made them choose a particular ty, Beauty with a Purpose, helping job afterwards. They are also told that underprivileged children across the they need a so-called ‘reality check’, world.” However, here, Bhasha made pushed to settle into a one-track way of sure to emphasise the importance of life. This can be crushing. I’ve felt the maintaining a strong spirit, even over

corrosive effect myself. Studying for a medical degree is a long and arduous process.” Applying for Miss England then was Bhasha’s way of keeping her communicative, playful dimension alive. “I’ve always had so many different sides to me – I’ve wanted to be a writer, an orator, an analyst, a spiritualist! I don’t think I could live without honouring the entire picture that I am.” Bhasha also talked about the special value of actualising oneself fully, harking back to her own limitations by contrast in nascent years: “I grew up in a poor immigrant family. We had shared housing, and no access to the internet. It was hard so I had to fight to honour my wants. I'd escape to public libraries and do what I could to celebrate who I was. When you are deprived of any crucial part of yourself, you’ll never feel good enough because that's who you really are. I didn't let any force undercut me.” And so, standing both empathetically and glamorous, as a social influencer and a clear-headed professional, Bhasha turns the conventional notion of ultimate womanhood on its pretty head. Organically expressing herself, she she shows that 2019 welcomes selflove as the striking self-image. No longer based on flimsy external validation, women can then focus on what is best for them where beauty is a virtue that can really liberate. Furthermore, the shiny cult of celebrity which is socially extended from this becomes an uplifting resource accessible to all, with emotional well-being at the core: “Just because someone is a winner does not mean you are a loser. I would have happily carried on doing what I loved had I not won the title. Life should be an ongoing reward: the rest is a bonus”: much like Bhasha’s glittering crown! With the steadily spreading understanding that self-worth should be deep, physical additions to appearance can simply enhance one's happiness: hopefully involving less and less manipulation as more value is placed on the natural and private self.

Do you plan to use your title to raise awareness about medical concerns? My Beauty with Purpose project with Miss England was tied to raising awareness around Diabetes. However, I am doing health education in general for ethnic minority groups, especially enlightening children on the dangers of obesity and diabetes which can be interrelated. I want my focus to be on prevention. I don’t think it’s enough just to treat people once they have developed the condition. In fact, Boston, where I work has been reported to be England’s fattest city! I spend a while fixing issues that have gone too far down the line. I think knowledge shouldn’t just be restricted to doctors. We should give the power over people’s health to them to manage too. Do you have a comment on work/life balance? It’s alright to be ambitious, but remember to feed your heart too – the ego isn’t everything. Give yourself necessary time away from social media, which sometimes gets too superficial. It’s not healthy to be more anxious or more excited a lot of the time – find peace just sitting being you. T: @BhashaM

UK

15

5 - 11 Oct 2019

PLACES OF WORSHIP MUST BE PROVIDED WITH ADEQUATE SECURITY On Monday 23rd September, Faiths Forum for London collaborated with The Mayor’s Office for Policing and Crime (MOPAC) and Community Security Trust (CST) hosted a seminar for London faith communities and leaders on the safety and security of places of worship. The session at the City Hall included a detailed presentation from the CST on the risk to premises and worshipers, providing practical advice on how places of worship can organise to mitigate this risk and signposting to helpful information. The session also included a Q&A session with panelists from each respected organisation. The session also included a Q&A session with panelists from each respected organisation. “London is a great city and faith institutions need to be vigilant around security. It is important that communities are aware of mechanisms on how to stay safe within their community. “Faith institutions play a central role for many, and it is more important than ever to ensure that any knowledge around security is not lost in conversation,” said Mustafa Field OBE from Faiths Forum for London. The event aimed at raising awareness around this issue and using the CST’s experience of mitigating safety and security risks to build confidence and help religious leaders from all faith backgrounds improve their security measures. In light of this year’s tragic attacks on places of worship across the globe, many faith communities are anxious. Religiously motivated hate crime was recently noted as rising by 40% and so this important collaboration was vital in offering tangible advice to address this concern with our communities. “CST is proud to play its part in helping other faiths to best protect themselves against terrorism. We are taking many decades of Jewish experience and using them for the benefit of all our fellow Londoners,” said David Delew, Chief Executive, CST

ISIS BEGUM CAN NEVER RETURN TO THE UK, SAYS PATEL Home Secretary has said that the Bethnal Green schoolgirl who fled the UK in 2015 to join ISIS will never be allowed to return to the UK "Our job is to keep our country safe. We cannot have people who Begum would do us harm allowed to enter our country - and that includes this woman."Everything I see in terms of security and intelligence, I am simply not willing to allow anybody who has been an active supporter or campaigner of IS in this country,” Priti Patel told The Sun on 27th October, Sunday. Begum, fled UK to join ISIS with two school friends in 2015, and has begged to be allowed back in the UK for therapy after all three of her children died in Syria.

LABOUR CONFERENCE OPPOSED IMMIGRATION SYSTEM In their recently concluded conference in Brighton, the Labour members have voted in overwhelmingly majority to give full voting rights to all UK residents. This means that the Party has now proposed to extend the rights to millions of immigrants. As well as extending voting rights, the text proposes that a future Labour government will close all immigration detention centres, end policies around an end to “recourse to public funds” and seeking to extend free movement rights to people around the world. The motion also opposed immigration systems based on a person’s income or “utility to big business”, and any caps or targets on the number of people moving to the UK. “Corbyn’s Labour even wants to extend free movement to more countries and allow potentially dangerous illegal immigrants to roam our streets. The British people voted to take back control. It’s only Boris Johnson and the Conservatives who will deliver Brexit by 31 October and end free movement once and for all,” criticised Home Secretary Priti Patel. “Confronted with attacks on migrants – from the racist hostile environment to the Conservatives’ immigration bill that plans to end free movement and strip the rights of working-class migrants – we stand for solidarity, equality and freedom. “Scapegoating, ending free movement and attacking migrants’ rights are attacks on all workers. They make migrant workers more precarious and vulnerable to hyperexploitation, pressing down wages and conditions for everyone. They divide us, making it harder to unionise and push back,” read the conference motion.


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18 FINANCE - UK

AsianVoiceNews

AsianVoiceNewsweekly

www.asian-voice.com

5 - 11 October 2019

Consultant Editor Financial Voice

Alpesh Patel

Dear Financial Voice Reader, I write to you having been asked by the CEO of Standard Chartered to participate in a panel this week on UK international trade and specifically what more can be done for closer ties between the UK and India. Here are some points I wanted to share with you: The annual 'India Meets Britain Tracker' finds that the number of Indian companies doing business in Britain has increased from 800 in 2018 to 842 in 2019, with a combined turnover of 48 billion pounds. The report, published by business advisory firm Grant Thornton UK LLP and the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII), revealed a more than doubling of the Corporation Tax paid by these companies to hit 684 million pounds, up from 360 million pounds. When the PMs of both countries met in 2018, they focused on technology to solve some of the greatest challenges they face – and these were emphasized: “Artificial Intelligence (AI); the digital economy; health technologies; cyber security; and promoting clean growth, smart urbanisation and future mobility.” I personally have been involved in several of the initiatives announced by the two PMs including the UK Fintech Rocketship Awards which promotes Indian tech companies in Finance to establish in the UK. Regarding Brexit, both Governments have said, ‘We will also ensure continued application to the UK of EU-India Agreements during the Implementation Period following the UK’s departure from the EU, and put in place arrangements to replicate relevant EU-India agreements beyond this period.’ The UK has been the largest G20 investor in India over the last ten years and India has the fourth largest number of investment projects in the UK. The Environment is in focus - The Green Growth Equity Fund (GGEF) created by both governments will help accelerate achieving India’s target of renewable energy capacity by 2022 and also invest in other related sectors such as clean transportation, water and waste management.

The United Kingdom welcomed the pro-active steps taken by India in establishing the International Solar Alliance (ISA). The leaders noted the successful holding of the joint event between the ISA and London Stock Exchange (LSE) and will rely on LSE to raising funding to meet India’s solar targets. The United Kingdom has strengthened its investments in India to become the largest single western investor, while British companies have created over 422,000 jobs in India since the turn of the century, according to the CBI. Said Deputy High Commissioner, Crispin Simon, “They (British companies) Make in India, with over a third of the 400-plus companies here operating in the manufacturing sector. They bring new technologies to India, with 62% of surveyed companies bringing new technologies to market here.” Over half of British firms in India (56%) are in the services sector, and over a third (36%) are in the manufacturing sector. The chemicals sector has received the lion’s share of British investment in India since 2000 at $12 billion, followed by drugs and pharmaceuticals at $8.8 billion and services at $7 billion. In the year ended December 2018, over 55,000 tier 2 (general) work visas were granted to Indian nationals, more than the rest of the world combined. In June 2018, the UK also removed doctors and nurse s from the tier 2 cap due to the demand from the national health service (NHS), which accounts for around 40% of all tier 2 places. Again, what of Brexit? Indian investors continued to operate confidently in the UK—in fact, a record 842 of them by April 2019. Over the past year, these firms paid over £684 million (Rs6,155 crore) in taxes and employed nearly 105,000 people. Only 10% of GB businesses export anywhere in the world however – and that statistic shocked me the most. If you want to see some of my work to use technology to solve some of the world’s biggest problems, see www.tech2great.com

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Households helped to limit damage to UK economy: ONS The Office for National Statistics (ONS) data confirmed the economy contracted at a quarterly rate of 0.2% in the second quarter, a hangover from a stockpiling boom before the original Brexit deadline that was postponed until Oct. 31. The data also showed that households helped to limit the damage to the economy. The new data also showed their financial health was less fragile than previously thought. The new data also showed Britain’s households have been net lenders to the economy rather than net borrowers ever since the second quarter of 2017. While British industry and investment wilted in the escalating Brexit crisis, household spending increased at a quarterly rate of 0.4%, marking the fastest growth in a year. Previous data had shown households were net borrowers nonstop since late 2016. The status change reflected people donating less to charity than previously thought, meaning households held more assets, as well as landlords earning more money, ONS said. Changes to the

measurement of student loans also contributed to change in the status of households to net lenders, although the figures still showed a “significant” deterioration since the 2016 Brexit vote. Lending to British consumers slowed to its weakest rate in more than five years in August, a sign household demand may be softening in the run-up to Britain’s departure from the European Union, Bank of England (BoE) figures showed. Sterling and British government bonds showed little reaction to the new data. The ONS figures showed Britain’s current account deficit in the second quarter narrowed by less than expected, to 25.2 billion pounds from 33.1 billion pounds. BoE Governor Mark Carney described Britain as dependent “on the kindness of strangers” before the 2016 Brexit referendum, and last month the BoE said the current account deficit still posed economic risks. A drop-off in foreign investors’ demand for British assets could trigger a further fall in sterling and make it harder for businesses and consumers to raise finance or borrow.

UK business confidence slumps to lowest point A new survey has shown that businesses have never been as pessimistic about the UK economy as they have been at any point since the June 2016 EU referendum. Lloyds found that optimism among British firms slumped 5 points in September to minus 10 per cent. Its poll subtracts the percentage of firms that have a negative view from the percentage that have a positive view to come to a net score. Firms’ concerns about the expected impact of Brexit intensified, to produce a deeply negative reading of -25 per cent. However, businesses are more positive about their own prospects, with optimism about trading for the year ahead rising 5 points to 13 per cent. Hann-Ju Ho, senior economist at Lloyds Bank Commercial Banking, said: “While overall business confidence this month has remained broadly steady, optimism in the economy has fallen, and both remain significantly below the same period last year and the historic average. This month we are also seeing firms’ concerns about leaving the EU intensify against the backdrop of ongoing economic uncertainty.” The East Midlands was

most optimistic about the UK economy, followed by the West Midlands and Yorkshire & the Humber, while Scotland and Northern Ireland were the least confident, followed by the South West and London. Firms in the manufacturing and service sectors reported the weakest overall business confidence and the highest level of concern about the impact of the UK leaving the EU. The negativity found by Lloyds was mirrored in a warning by business lobby the CBI that businesses are “beyond disillusioned” with the political brinkmanship and impending risk of a nodeal Brexit. Firms “cannot be protected” from the worst impacts of a no-deal Brexit, said Josh Hardie, deputy director general of the CBI, as the Conservatives gath-

ered for a party conference set to be dominated by the UK’s departure from the EU. His comments came after the government’s nodeal planning chief Michael Gove claimed that the automotive and retail sectors are ready for the UK to leave without an agreement with Brussels – claims their industry bodies promptly rejected. Hardie warned that a no-deal exit would leave the UK “mired in a swamp”, facing protracted negotiations with Brussels on trading arrangements. He said: “There can be no room for complacency in no-deal planning – which goes for government and business alike. But while firms can be prepared, they cannot be protected against the worst effects a no-deal exit would bring.” He added that preparations “are already having an effect”.


REAL ESTATE VOICE

PLANNING – A DOUBLE EDGED SWORD

www.asian-voice.com

AsianVoiceNews

AsianVoiceNewsweekly

This morning I heard from our planner, regarding planning permission for a freehold building in Hackney. We have been seeking planning since mid-2016, so over three years. From memory the planning application got refused and then refused again on the second submission. On the appeal planning was allowed. This is hardly something which would have disrupted the street, or the character of the area, if indeed you could say it had one in the first place.

Suresh Vagjiani

Sow & Reap London Property Investment

When successive planning applications are refused, one starts to doubt and lose faith in the planning consultant. As at times, the planning laws at local and national level, and the technical terms used act as a barrier to a full understanding of what is actually going on. One only sees the fees increasing and in the case of a site, this is dead money up until the point of planning permission, at which point there is a strong uplift in value. My experience of planning is, at council level it is very subjective, and almost whimsical. It is often entwined with local politics. Decisions are made by people who have varying degrees of planning knowledge and they have the God like ability to impose their subjective opinions on the fate of planning. The saving grace in this process is when it goes to appeal the decision is depoliticised, and tends to

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on permitted development. This is not simply office to resi conversions. There are many more clauses within this heading which can allow one to change the usage of a building within a 56 day period; that’s less than two months. By using these rules one can come in and out of properties in a more predictable and easier fashion. Only today the Housing Secretary has committed to further increasing the bandwith of permitted development to include a two storey extension to detached houses without the need for planning permission.

l While it can be installed in ‘moist’ places, such as kitchens and bathrooms, it is easily damaged by puddles of water, if they’re left to stand

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On another case, we had to spend nearly two years simply negotiating the S106. This is the amount of housing and money we have to give for social housing. The council started off at 50%, they decided to simply wait until we caved in. This was their strategy for ‘negotiation’.

Wears out easily – especially in hightraffic areas, such as hallways

Pros: l

Often planners will advise the planning application will fail at planning but will pass on appeal, as the forces at local level will be too prohibitive to overcome. This was the scenario of an eight acre site we were looking at in Tring. The village was too conservative to allow something of such a size to pass. The councillors would have backed their constituents and refused planning. However, at national level on appeal they would have passed the planning application, as the council is very behind on its housing supply therefore it cannot refuse any application, unless there is a strong material reason to do so.

l

l

5 - 11 October 2019

be taken more objectively; which was the scenario with this appeal.

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20 FINANCE - INDIA

AsianVoiceNews

AsianVoiceNewsweekly

www.asian-voice.com

5 - 11 October 2019

Sitharaman asks ministries to speed up spending Finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman asked ministries to provide capital expenditure plans for the next four quarters and accelerate payment of dues to micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs), contractors and vendors as she detailed the government’s plans to fast track spending to boost growth. She also said a large chunk of pending dues to MSMEs, contractors and other vendors have been cleared and out of £6 billion dues, £4 billion has been released and remaining £2 billion would be released by the first week of October. The MSME sector had complained about delayed payments and the government has swung into action to get the issue resolved and ensure funds are not a constraint for the sector. FM said the government’s capital expenditure was on track

Nirmala Sitharaman

and budget estimates would be achieved, highlighting the efforts to get engines of the economy roaring again after GDP growth slowed to an over six-year low of 5% in the April-June quarter of the current financial year. The government has unveiled a series of measures, including a sharp

cut in corporate tax rates and is hopeful that growth will revive in the second half of the financial year. The FM said private banks and NBFCS have told her that consumption is good and there is growing credit offtake. She said this should ensure good consumption

buoyancy in the festival season. Expenditure, both revenue and capital, made by the Centre provides a major boost to aggregate demand. During review, the finance minister told the ministries that regular payments must be cleared expeditiously as it spurs investment cycle. She emphasised that all efforts must be made to ensure that outstanding payments are cleared before the festival season. Expenditure secretary G C Murmu said central public sector enterprises (CPSEs) had released payment of £2.02 billion in the last three months. He said that department of expenditure would constantly monitor the progress of large infrastructure projects for the ministries as well as the CPSEs and followup meetings would be held.

Govt must act as enabler to reboot eco: India Inc India Inc’s top heads said the government has to play the role of key enabler to reboot the country’s slowing economy. Lauding the recent major reforms, including corporate tax rate cuts announced by the government to resuscitate the economy, they made a strong pitch for resolving credit and decision-making gridlocks and saving ‘national treasures’, such as the beleaguered Jet Airways. “When a Jet Airways goes out of business, it’s just not one company going out of business. It is a vital national aviation structure that has disappeared overnight. Seven or eight telecom companies have completely gone out of

business,” said Bharti Enterprises chairman Sunil Mittal. During a panel discussion on tackling the slowdown, the leaders said India is going through a period of ‘reset’, whether it is adopting GST or going into digital mode as far as currency is concerned. “There are global headwinds - you look at Europe and other countries. There is a general sign of an economic slowdown. Within India, in the last three to four years, execution has been weak. There has been a general sense of low spending, many projects have been adding inventory. The morale in lending institutions has been low and that needs to kick-start.

Enablement will be the first call of action for the execution to start,” Mittal said. Infosys’s non-executive chairman Nandan Nilekani said the next big thing on the government’s agenda should be to revive credit to small businesses across India. “Only 8% of Indian small businesses get credit from the banking sector. It is due to public sector banks having high NPAs and NBFCs having asset liability mismatch. If we do a new cycle of credit, we should do it very differently...,” Nilekani said, while referring to digital modes of transactions and applications. Echoing his views, Kalpana Morparia, CEO, South & South

East Asia, JP Morgan, said, “In this new digital world, you will see a paradigm shift in the ways banks function.” “Competitive tax rates are fundamental in increasing FDI. The recent tax cuts send a signal that the government has listened to feedback. This makes it encouraging to invest in a market such as India,” said David Sproul, global deputy CEO of Deloitte. Other panelists at the roundtable included, Uday Shankar, chairman of Star & Disney India, Anu Aga, former chairperson of Thermax, and Cyril Shroff, managing partner of law firm Cyril Amarchand Mangaldas.

Mehul Choksi is a 'crook' and will be extradited, says Antigua PM

Tax rate cut will attract more foreign investment: RBI guv

Antigua and Barbuda Prime Minister Gaston Browne described diamantaire Mehul Choksi as a 'crook' who “really brings no value” to the country, and indicated that he Mehul Choksi would be extradited after he has exhausted the process of appeals. "I can assure you that he will be ultimately deported after exhausting all his appeals. He will be extradited back to India to face whatever charges against him. It is just a matter of time," Browne said. He added that the country is not interested in having Choksi as he adds no value to it. Noting that India, Antigua and Barbuda have visa-free arrangements for officials and diplomats, he said, “So they can come and if they wish to interview Choksi, that’ll be based on his willingness to participate, it has nothing to do with my government.” Browne also called it "unfortunate" that Choksi was cleared by Indian officials as a person in "good standing" and the country was later informed that he is a "crook".

Reserve Bank of India governor Shaktikanta Das described the government’s move to slash corporate tax rate as a bold measure and said it has made India a very attractive destination for foreign investment. “It is a very bold measure, and it is a highly positive step. India’s corporate tax now becomes very attractive compared to other emerging market economies in Asean (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) and other parts of Asia. So far as FDI (foreign direct investment) is concerned, I think India stands definitely in a very competitive position and should be able to attract higher investments," Das said days before the monetary policy committee (MPC) meeting. Called as the biggest reduction in 28 years, the government cut corporate tax rate by almost 10

Shaktikanta Das

percentage points as it looked to pull the economy out of a six-year low growth and a 45-year high unemployment rate by reviving private investments with a £14.5 billion tax break. Base corporate tax for existing companies has been reduced to 22% from the current 30%; and for new manufacturing firms, incorporated after October 1, 2019 and starting operations before March 31, 2023, it was slashed to 15% from the current 25%. With regard to domestic

investors, he said, “they now have more cash so they’ll be able to undertake more capital expenditure. They can invest more and some of them can deleverage their liabilities which will add strength to their balance sheets.” he said after meeting finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman. The governor said that the meeting with the finance minister was a customary meeting ahead of monetary policy meeting. “There is a long tradition that the governor meets the finance minister and discusses about the overall macro economic position. So today’s meeting was basically that,” he said. Last week, Das had said the government has limited fiscal space to support growth, but low inflation can help the monetary authority ease policy rates further and boost economy.

in brief ADB CUTS INDIA’S GDP GROWTH FORECAST The Asian Development Bank (ADB) cut India’s growth forecast to 6.5 per cent for the current fiscal, after the GDP growth rate dipping to a six-year low in the first quarter. “India’s growth forecast for fiscal year 2019 (FY20) is lowered to 6.5 per cent after growth slowed to 5 per cent in the first quarter, AprilJune,” said the ADB Outlook 2019 update. The funding agency cut India’s GDP growth estimate to 7 per cent for 2019-20 on the back of fiscal shortfall concerns. Abrupt declines in manufacturing and investment reflect uncertainty ahead of general elections, subdued lending by banks and other financial institutions, stress in the rural economy, and a weakening external outlook, it said. “India is expected to rebound to 7.2 per cent growth in fiscal 2020 (FY21) and join most other subregional countries in performing at or near their ADO 2019 growth forecasts for next year,” the ADB Outlook said.

GUJARAT ATTRACTS 40% OF NEW INVESTMENTS: RUPANI Lauding the central government’s measures to boost economic activity, Gujarat chief minister Vijay Rupani said the steps will provide impetus to Gujarat’s economic prospects, even as the state attracts 40% of all investments made in the country. “The reduction in corporate tax will benefit more companies of Gujarat,” he said. “At present, of the total new investment in the country, 40% of it comes to Gujarat, these are the official figures,” Rupani said, while adding that the CMO, industries department and other bodies are working to safeguard the interests of micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) in the state. He referred to steps like providing financial aid to stalled construction projects and directing banks not to declare borrowings by MSMEs as NPAs till a certain time, saying that these were constructive measures for sustainable economic growth. “These steps will lead to long-term economic growth,” the CM said.

NIRAV MODI OPPOSES MOVE Nirav Modi, a key accused in the $2 billion PNB fraud case, urged a special court to set aside the Enforcement Directorate's (ED) plea to declare him as a fugitive economic offender under the fugitive economic offender (FEO) act. In July 2018, the central agency filed an application to declare Modi a fugitive economic offender. Modi's lawyers claimed that the ED was relying upon evidence and statements recorded under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act to seek a remedy under the FEO Act. This was not permissible under the FEO Act, they said. In a separate plea, Modi claimed that the agency's plea seeking to confiscate his property too did not comply with the FEO Act. Similar applications were also moved by Modi's uncle Mehul Choksi, another absconding accused in the case.

BANK OF AMERICA TO START OPERATIONS IN GANDHINAGAR Bank of America, the second largest US bank, has decided to set up back-office operations in the special economic zone (SEZ) area developed by Gujarat International Finance Tec-City in Gandhinagar. “We recently cleared their proposal in record time of seven days,” said Amiya Chandra, development commissioner, Special Economic Zones. He did not share details of the bank's operations at GIFT City. Bank of America has taken six floors of one of the buildings in the SEZ part of GIFT City, sources added. “They have already been issued an occupancy certificate for an upcoming building. We hope they will move in fully over the next six months,” industry sources said. Sources said that the bank is expected to begin operations in November, with about 100 workers. “At present, there are 234 operational SEZs in India of which 20 SEZs are in the Gujarat zone. With around 10% of the functional SEZs of the country, this zone accounts for 30% of Indian exports from SEZs,” Chandra said.


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in brief SIKH WOMAN HELD FOR TERROR ATTACK PLOT IN MALAYSIA An Indian Sikh woman was among 16 terror suspects arrested by the Malaysian police for allegedly planning to attack leaders of local political parties, a media report said. The suspects, some of whom were linked to the Islamic State, were arrested in a special operation conducted in Kuala Lumpur, Sabah, Pahang, Johor, Penang and Selangor cities. The terror suspects comprised 12 Indonesians, three Malaysians and one Indian national, it said.

PAKISTAN IS A DANGEROUS VIRUS: BALOCH ACTIVIST Shams Baloch, central council member of Free Balochistan Movement in New York said Pakistan is a virus not just for India, Afghanistan or Balochistan, but for the entire world and humanity. Shams Baloch said, "We aim to expose the real face of Pakistan before the world and let the world know that Pakistan is a blot on humanity. Using power, Pakistan gained control over Balochistan. Pakistan is a virus not just for India, Afghanistan or Balochistan, but for the entire world and humanity," he added.

EX-PAK PM ABBASI SEEKS BETTER FACILITIES IN JAIL Former Pakistan Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi has filed an application in the accountability court, seeking better facilities at the Rawalpindi jail where he is currently lodged. Following the application, accountability court judge issued a notice to the superintendent of jail and sought the latter's reply. Abbasi's counsel argued before the court that the former leader had been given a better class during his detention in Malir jail in 1999. The lawyer said that the jail administration was not even permitting Abbasi to meet his close relatives. In the application, the lawyer requested the court to allow friends and family members to meet him in jail. The lawyer told the court that the former PM had some health issues; therefore, he should be allowed prescribed diet and facilities of air conditioner, refrigerator, television, newspapers, bed, books, toaster and oven at his own expense.

PAK SOCIAL MEDIA STAR'S BROTHER FOUND GUILTY OF 'HONOUR KILLING' A Pakistan court convicted the brother of social media star Qandeel Baloch of her murder, a 2016 killing that sparked a change in laws and ignited fierce debate over the prevalence of 'honour killings' of women. A court found Muhammad Waseem guilty of the murder and sentenced him to life imprisonment. "Waseem has been given life in prison," his lawyer said and added that he would file an appeal against the verdict. Six other people, including two of Baloch's other brothers, had been acquitted, he said. Waseem admitted in a 2016 media conference organised by police that he strangled his 26-year-old sister due to her social media activities.

PAK MAN ACQUITTED OF BLASPHEMY CHARGE AFTER 18 YEARS After languishing in jail for 18 years for charges under Pakistan’s controversial blasphemy laws, a death-row convict was finally acquitted by the country’s supreme court due to lack of proof. A case was filed against Wajih-ul-Hassan in 1999 for writing blasphemous letters to a lawyer. A threejudge bench observed that the prosecution failed to prove that the letters were actually written by him and exonerated Hassan.

Act against terror groups: US tells Pakistan NEW YORK: The United States has asked Pakistan to prosecute terrorists like Hafiz Saeed and Masood Azhar, saying the reduction of the Indo-Pak tensions would depend on Islamabad's seriousness in taking action against those who engage in "cross-border infiltration". ".... I think what we would like to see are the conditions whereby India and Pakistan can have a constructive conversation that leads to an improvement in relations between the two nuclear powers. And obviously, that is going to hinge on counter-terrorism, Pakistan's seriousness in ensuring that groups don't take advantage and engage in cross-border infiltration, that there are serious steps to implement the Financial Action Task Force action plan that Pakistan has committed to, and which includes the prosecution of UN-

designated terrorists," said Alice Wells, US Acting Assistant Secretary for South and Central Asia. "So whether it's Hafiz Saeed who currently is in custody and under prosecution, but also leaders of Jaish-e-Mohammed, like Masood Azhar, who long have been able to exploit their presence on Pakistani soil," she added. The JeM is responsible for carrying out many attacks in India. Its terrorists attacked the Parliament building and Jammu and Kashmir State Legislative Assembly complex in 2001, killing nine and eight people respectively. Pathankot terror attack in 2016, Pulmawa attack in February this year was also carried by the JeM. Since the day of his designation by the United Nations as a "global terrorist" in May, Pakistan is reportedly keeping the chief of Jaish-eMohammed underground, preventing him from giving

speeches in mosques or releasing audiotapes. Early this month, the Indian government had also listed Azhar under the new anti-terror law Unlawful Activities ( P r e v e n t i o n ) Amendment Act, 1967. Tensions between Alice Wells India and Pakistan are spiralling since Pulwama attack in India. On February 14, Pakistan-sponsored Jaish-eMohammed terror rammed his explosives-laden vehicle into a convoy in Kashmir's Pulwama, killing over 40 CRPF personnel. The tensions further escalated when India abrogated the special status of Jammu and Kashmir. Following India's action, Islamabad ramped up its rhetoric against New Delhi and downgraded its bilateral ties. Wells said that Washington is hopeful to see "rapid action" in

the lifting of restriction which was imposed by India action of August 5. "...And I think we are interested in knowing the next steps in engagement and encouraging that political dialogue to begin, in which we'll also in the next - we hope to see rapid action in the lifting of the restrictions and in the release of those who have been detained," she said. She also criticised Khan for not speaking out against China, which has detained an estimated one million Uyghurs and other Turkic-speaking Muslims in Xinjiang province.

Pak FM Shah Mahmood Qureshi boycotts Jaishankar’s speech in US over Kashmir NEW YORK: Amid heightened Indo-Pak tensions, Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi, boycotted India's External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar's opening statement at the meeting of the SAARC Council of Foreign Ministers, on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly session in New York. Pakistan said that it will not engage with India "until and unless" it lifts the "siege" in Kashmir. Meanwhile, Jaishankar said "no" when asked to comment on the absence of his Pakistani counterpart during his opening statement. Qureshi "refuses to attend Jaishankar's statement at the meeting of SAARC Council of Ministers," Pakistan Tehreek-eInsaf party tweeted. Qureshi arrived only after Jaishankar left the room after delivering his statement. When asked about coming late for the meeting, Qureshi said he doesn't want to sit with the Indian minister as a protest over Kashmir. The meeting brought Jaishankar and his Pakistani counterpart face to face for the

Shah Mahmood Qureshi and S Jaishankar

first time after the abrogation of Article 370 provisions. Tensions between the two countries have spiked since India effectively abrogated Article 370 of the Constitution to revoke the special status of Jammu and Kashmir in August. With Pakistan's continuous efforts to internationalise the Kashmir issue after India withdrew the special status, New Delhi has asserted that it was its "internal matter". After the meeting, Qureshi claimed that Pakistan had

secured the consent of the group to organise the SAARC summit in Islamabad next year. “If India thinks it is still a member of SAARC, it is most welcome to attend,” Qureshi said, adding that “no country” had objected to Pakistan’s proposal for the summit. What happened last year? Last year, India's then external affairs minister Sushma Swaraj left the room after her statement at the SAARC Council of Ministers' meeting, amid tensions between the two

countries following the brutal killings of three policemen in Jammu and Kashmir and Islamabad releasing postage stamps "glorifying" a slain Kashmiri militant. The 2016 SAARC Summit was to be held in Islamabad. But after a deadly terrorist attack on an Indian Army camp in Uri in Jammu and Kashmir in September that year, India expressed its inability to participate in the summit due to "prevailing circumstances". The summit was called off after Bangladesh, Bhutan and Afghanistan also declined to participate in the Islamabad meet. Maldives and Sri Lanka are the seventh and eighth members of the initiative. The South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) is a regional grouping in Asia comprising India, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, the Maldives, Nepal, and Sri Lanka. The summits are usually held biennially hosted by a member state in alphabetical order. The last SAARC Summit in 2014 was held in Kathmandu.

UNSC panel allows Hafiz Saeed to withdraw money UNITED NATIONS: The United Nations Security Council (UNSC) 1267 Committee has allowed Pakistan-based UN-designated terrorist Hafiz Saeed limited access to his otherwise sanctioned bank account. The anti-terror committee approved Pakistan’s request to let Lashkar-e-Taiba chief Hafiz Saeed to use his bank account for meeting “basic expenses”. “The Chair has the honour to refer to his draft letter to the

Hafiz Saeed

Islamic Republic of Pakistan communicating the Committee’s decision with respect to the intention of the Pakistani authorities to authorise certain expenditures

to the benefit of Hafiz Mohammad Saeed, Haji Muhammad Ashraf, and Zafar Iqbal, to cover basic expenses as specified in the note verbale of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan...” , said a note issued by the 1267 Committee which deals with terror groups like the ISIS, the al-Qaeda and associated individuals, groups, undertakings and entities. The note also states that there were no objections from the committee members or any

other UN members to the Pakistani request to let Hafiz Saeed access his bank account. Saeed is wanted by India in connection with the 2008 Mumbai terror attacks. India has been asking Pakistan to hand him over to face justice in the case. It is significant that the note was issued even as the UNGA session was on where Prime Minister Narendra Modi along with External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar participated.


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Court to hear plea on Gotabaya Rajapaksa’s Lanka citizenship COLOMBO: A Sri Lankan court said that it would hear a petition challenging presidential hopeful Gotabaya Rajapaksa’s citizenship. The court of appeal set a hearing for Wednesday on a petition filed by two civil activists who claim that Gotabaya has not lawfully obtained his Sri Lankan citizenship after living in the US for many years. On Monday, Lanka’s Court of Appeal set up a three-judge panel to hear the case. Wartime Defence Secretary Gotabaya had been a “dual citizen” of Sri Lanka and the US, until he reportedly renounced the latter some months ago, ahead of his

Gotabaya Rajapaksa

presidential bid. Sri Lankan law bars those holding citizenship abroad from contesting for presidency. Early August, the local business newspaper published a report pointing to questions over the validity of Gotabaya’s

Sri Lankan citizenship documentation. Subsequently, activists Gamini Viyangoda and Chandraguptha Thenuwara complained to the Inspector General of Police (IGP), seeking an investigation into the matter. Probing the complaint, the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) recently informed the Colombo Chief Magistrate’s Court that Immigration and Defence Ministry authorities claimed they do not have records substantiating Gotabaya’s dual citizenship. Presidential contest Commenting on the development, Keheliya

Rambukwella, a spokesman for Gotabaya, said their side was certain of winning the case. “This only goes to show that they [ruling party] are really threatened by his candidacy, his reach and popularity. It is hilarious,” he said. Sri Lanka will go to polls on November 16, and Gotabaya, representing the Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna (SLPP), is among the main candidates in the fray, along with the ruling United National Party’s Sajith Premadasa, the leftist Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna’s Anura Kumara Dissanayake and former Army commander Mahesh Senanayake, fielded by a broad civil society coalition.

Lankan police chief arrested over alleged threat COLOMBO: A Sri Lankan court released the country's police chief on bail hours after he was arrested for allegedly threatening a worker at police headquarters two years ago. Pujith Jayasundara has been under suspension for alleged negligence leading to suicide bomb attacks on Easter Sunday that killed more than 260 people. It was unclear why Jayasundara was arrested two

Pujith Jayasundara

years after threatening an

allegedly elevator

operator at the police headquarters. Jayasundara had previously testified before a parliamentary committee that President Maithripala Sirisena asked him to resign to take responsibility for the April 21 bomb blasts at churches and hotels and promised to have his name cleared in any subsequent inquiry. He also told the commission that Sirisena asked him not to attend

National Security Council meetings after a spat between Sirisena and Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe last year. Jayasundara was later suspended and is facing a court case over allegations that he failed to act on nearspecific intelligence before the blasts. The Easter suicide attacks have been blamed on two local Muslim groups inspired by the Islamic State group.

Trump, Saudi Crown Prince want Seven elephants found dead in Lanka me to mediate with Iran: Imran Khan

COLOMBO: Seven elephants were found dead at the Habarana Hiriwadunna Forest Reserve in Sri Lanka. A veterinarian in Lanka’s wildlife department said that it seemed several of the elephants had died of poisoning. Authorities are looking into whether the usual diet of the elephants jungle leaves - had any toxins in the food themselves. Officials have previously said that they suspected the elephants were poisoned by villagers, in retaliation for destroying their crops. The recent expansion of farms and villages has made the elephant population come into frequent conflict with rural communities. Police say that there have been several incidents of wild elephants destroying village crops in the area. Under Lankan law, the killing of wild elephants is illegal and punishable by death. Lanka’s tourism industry forced dozens of elephants into captivity. Many others are made to march in festivals and celebrations. A 70-year-old elephant named Tikiri was pulled from a parade last month after images of the animal - showing it starved and emaciated - sparked outrage after circulating online. The most recent census data on Lanka’s elephant numbers at just under 6,000 were still left in the country.

UNITED NATIONS: Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan said that US President Donald Trump and Saudi Arabian Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman had asked him to be an intermediary with Iran and help defuse tensions between both the nations. He said that had already spoken with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani in an attempt to mediate. Khan met with Trump on the sidelines of the annual gathering of world leaders at the United Nations. "President Trump asked me that if we could de-escalate the situation (with Iran) and maybe come up with another deal," Khan told reporters. “I immediately spoke to President Rouhani after the meeting with President Trump, but I can’t say anything right now more than this except that we’re trying and mediating.” Khan said he had been in Saudi Arabia before New York and spoken with Prince Mohammed bin Salman who also asked him to talk to Rouhani about deescalating the situation. Because of Pakistan's patronage of the Taliban, Khan is being seen as an influential player in Trump's

in brief LANKA’S FORMER ARMY CHIEF IN PRESIDENTIAL RACE

Sri Lanka’s former army commander General Mahesh Senanayake announced his candidacy for the presidential election to be held in November. Senanayake’s presidential bid was announced at a rally by National People’s Movement, a collective of civil organisations. Senanayake, who retired in August, said politics had ruined Sri Lanka and an independent force was needed to bring about change in the country. He said he believed he was that alternative force.

LANKA’S TALLEST TUSKER GETS ARMED ESCORT Nadungamuwa Raja, 65 years old, is a celebrated elephant towering around 10.5 feet in height, the tallest tamed tusker in Sri Lanka. And he has his own armed guards. Raja is an unofficial national treasure because he is one of the few tuskers chosen to carry a casket of Buddha relics in an annual pageant at the most sacred Buddhist shrine on the island, the Temple of the Tooth.

TWO INMATES DIE IN PHILIPPINES PRISON RIOT At least two prison inmates were killed and 34 others suffered injuries during a riot that broke out in an overcrowded jail in the Philippines capital. The police said that the fight between criminal gang members detained in the jail lasted for only 10 minutes. Two inmates died while being treated at a local hospital, police added. In addition, Manila city jail spokesperson was quoted as saying that 34 inmates were also injured in the incident that was triggered by an argument over a bed space in the jail. He said nine inmates who sustained serious injuries were taken to a hospital for treatment while 25 other detainees were treated at the city jail infirmary as they had sustained minor wounds. A temporary lockdown was imposed in the jail in the wake of the incident, he added.

BANGLA GUARDS KILL ROHINGYA REFUGEES Donald Trump, Imran Khan and Hassan Rouhani

attempts to make a deal with the militant group so he could bring back the American troops stationed in Afghanistan as he had pledged during his election campaign. A role with Iran could add to Khan's influence with Trump. Pakistan traditionally has strong relations with Saudi Arabia but also maintains ties with Iran, with Islamabad representing Tehran's consular interests in the United States in the absence of diplomatic relations. Crisis has been brewing in the Gulf region after Trump withdrew from a 2015 nuclear pact between Iran and world powers and reimposed sanctions on Iran as part of a “maximum pressure” policy. In response, Iran has gradually reduced its commitments to

limit uranium enrichment activity under the pact and plans further breaches if European parties fail to keep their promises to shield Iran’s economy from US sanctions. The US also blames Iran for an attack on the world’s biggest crude oil processing facility in Saudi Arabia on September 14 and has said they will present evidence to back that up. Yemen’s Iran-aligned Houthi group has claimed responsibility. Iran denies involvement. In his speech to the UN, Trump said there was a path to peace with Iran while he denounced its leadership for “bloodlust.” When asked about Khan’s remarks, Trump said Khan would like to mediate “and we have a very good relationship and there’s a chance that that could happen.”

Two Rohingya refugees were killed in a gun battle with Bangladeshi border guards as they tried to cross into Bangladesh from Myanmar, officials said. More than 730,000 Rohingya refugees live in Bangladesh, having fled persecution in neighbouring Myanmar where security forces are accused of carrying out killings, gang rape and arson in a crackdown after attacks on police posts by Rohingya insurgents in August 2017. Bangladesh is hosting refugees in cramped conditions in camps in the border district of Cox's Bazar, but wants to move them to a remote island in the Bay of Bengal, citing monsoons and an increasingly deteriorating law and order situation fueled by drug smuggling.

CANBERRA OKS USE OF MARIJUANA Australia’s capital has become the first part of the country to legalise recreational marijuana for personal use. The Australian Capital Territory Legislative Assembly voted to legalise possession by adults of up to 50 grams of dried marijuana and cultivation of two marijuana plants beginning January 31. The law requires that adults not use marijuana near children and to store it out of their reach. Owners cannot sell or supply their marijuana to anyone else. Households are limited to growing no more than four plants, regardless of the number of occupants.


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in brief FLORIDA COP SACKED FOR ARRESTING SIX-YEAR OLDS

Orlando school resource officer Dennis Turner, who arrested two 6-year-old children last week prompting a national outrage has been sacked, Orlando police chief Orlando Rolon said. He said Turner, who had been suspended following the incident at a charter school, did not follow the department’s policy requiring approval from a supervisor for any arrest of a minor younger than 12. Speaking about it Orlando added that on behalf of himself and the entire Orlando Police Department, he apologises to the children involved and their families. He added that as a grandfather of three children less than 11 years old, he can imagine how traumatic it must have been for everybody involved. Earlier in the day, State Attorney Aramis Ayala had confirmed that her office would not prosecute the children and is working to clear their records.

TRANSGENDER MAN LEGALLY A MOM FOR GIVING BIRTH: COURT An individual who is born female but later becomes male and gives birth to a child should be legally regarded as a mother, England’s high court ruled. Fred McConnell, a transgender man, wanted to be recognised as the father of his son, who was born last year, on the official registration of the child’s birth but was told he would have to be registered as the mother. He sought legal action to quash that decision, saying it breached his and his son’s rights but in a landmark ruling, Andrew McFarlane, president of the high court’s family division, dismissed his claim and concluded that McConnell was the mother. “It is now medically and legally possible for an individual, whose gender is recognised in law as male, to become pregnant and give birth to their child,” McFarlane said. “Whilst that person’s gender is ‘male’, their parental status, which derives from their biological role in giving birth, is that of ‘mother’.”

MAN DOUSES FIRE WITH BEER A German motorist is being credited for his quick thinking after his car engine caught fire on the highway near the town of Hoesbach in Bavaria. Pulling over, the man turned to a slightly different foam extinguisher to douse the flames: bottles of beer kept in a case in his car. Authorities say the fire department responded but there was nothing left for them to do.

US ARMY WARNS OF VIOLENCE AT ‘JOKER’ FILM SCREENINGS The US Army has reportedly issued a warning to military commanders over the potential threat of violence during screenings of the film “Joker”. The memo, from US Army Base at Fort Sill Oklahoma, was shared by users on a popular Air Force Facebook page. The film is being criticised for its portrayal of a sympathetic outcast who turns to gun violence.

First turbaned Sikh cop shot dead in Texas HOUSTON: Sandeep Singh Dhaliwal, an Indian-American Sikh police officer who won national attention for gaining permission to wear a turban as part of his uniform, died after being fatally shot multiple times during a traffic stop in the US state of Texas. Harris County Sherrif’s Office Deputy Dhaliwal, 42, was shot while conducting a traffic stop, Sheriff Ed Gonzalez said. “He pulled over a vehicle when someone approached him from behind and opened fire near Cypress city,” Gonzalez said. Dhaliwal, a 10-year veteran of the department, stopped a vehicle with a man and woman inside and one of them got out and shot him "ambush-style" at least twice in a "ruthless, coldblooded way." The shooter was seen running to a shopping centre nearby, officials said. “He was a hero,” Gonzalez said. He was taken by helicopter ambulance to the Memorial

Hermann Hospital, where he died. Authorities detained a possible suspect, the sheriff tweeted. According to the media report, the dashcam video showed Dhaliwal and the suspect, still in his car, having a conversation with no sign of confrontation. A few seconds after Dhaliwal returned to his squad car, the suspect ran up and shot him. Dhaliwal was married and a father of three children. "Deputy Sandeep Dhaliwal was a trailblazer. He was an example for many. He represented his community with respect and pride," said Commissioner Adrian Garcia. "Deputy Dhaliwal is known to everybody as someone with a giving heart," Gonzalez said. Gonzalez recounted Dhaliwal’s efforts after Hurricane Harvey in Texas in August 2017, and how he went to Puerto Rico after the island was devastated by Hurricane

Sandeep Singh Dhaliwal

Maria in September that year. "Post (Hurricane) Harvey, when we needed the help most, he brought an 18-wheeler of people that he gathered together, that came all the way from California to deliver goods to our community." Since 2015, Dhaliwal was the "historymaking" police officer in Texas to serve while keeping his Sikh articles of faith. He was allowed

to wear the turban and beard while patrolling the streets in order to bolster cultural diversity. Four years ago, the then Sheriff implemented a policy to allow Dhaliwal to wear turban and beard for the first time while patrolling Harris County streets. Policy changes like that at the Harris County Sheriff Office and other law enforcement agencies across the country aim to combat this stigma while also giving qualified men and women a chance to serve the community. Since 9/11, misperceptions about Sikhs' religiously mandated turbans and beards have led to an increase in discrimination against the community. Dhaliwal worked with United Sikhs, a global humanitarian relief and advocacy nonprofit, to help organize the donation of truckloads of supplies for first responders after Harvey.

Indian immigrant released from US detention after 70-day hunger strike TEXAS: An Indian asylum seeker who lost a third of his weight during a 70-day hunger strike over the rejection of his asylum claim won temporary release after a year in US detention. Ajay Kumar, 33, walked away from a detainee processing center in El Paso, Texas, with a tracking device around his ankle - a condition of his release. Kumar said he felt "very good," even though he lost nearly 50 pounds during his hunger strike, dropping from 150 pounds at the start of his hunger strike to 107 pounds. Kumar said he has regained about 10 pounds (5 kg) but still feels in pain. "I got my freedom," Kumar said. "I've been waiting a long time for this." He was accompanied by human rights activists, who had been galvanized by medical personnel force-feeding him. The painful procedure involves pumping liquid food into the stomach via a tube through his nose. Kumar told immigration officials he fled India because he feared beatings, torture and death at the hands of Prime Minister Narendra Modi's ruling

Bharatiya Janata Party. He said he was attacked twice by BJP members for his work promoting the opposition Indian National Lok Dal party, including a beating that had him bedridden for more than a month, according to a doctor's note included in his asylum application. Kumar and fellow Indian detainee Gurjant Singh began their hunger strike on July 8 after rejection of their asylum claims and denial of bond. They had spent almost a year in an ICE detention facility in Otero, New Mexico, and hadn't been charged with a crime. They believe the judge did not consider the facts of their cases individually. "This immigration judge said, 'All of these Indian asylum claims are incredulous. I don't believe them,'" said attorney Linda Corchado, who represents Kumar. "It is damning. You expect at least some level of weighing the facts." Singh has not been released but his attorney, Jessica Miles, said she hopes it to happen soon. Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials

Gurjant Singh and Ajay Kumar

agreed to a deal last week in which Kumar and another Indian national resumed eating on a promise that they would be released, according to their lawyers. A few weeks into their hunger strike, Kumar and Singh were transferred from the Otero facility to the El Paso Detention Center, with a medical wing that has become a hub for forcefeeding hunger strikers in ICE custody. At the time, a weak and gaunt Kumar said that he would rather starve to death in custody than be deported back to India. Days later, Kumar and Singh were forced to hydrate through IV drips. By mid-August, they were being force-fed. A recently

filed court document shows Kumar missed 220 meals. ICE declined to comment on their release, or to give an account of how many detainees are currently on hunger strike in Otero and El Paso. According to court documents, an ICE doctor urged local immigration officials to release Kumar, citing his failing health and commitment to continuing the hunger strike. ICE granted his release two days later. The agency is required to monitor Kumar and Singh's health due to a court order that admonished ICE for the detainees' substandard medical care.

49 killed as quake jolts Pakistan, Indonesia ISLAMABAD: At least 49 people were killed and scores of others injured after earthquakes rocked Pakistan and Indonesia's Maluku islands last week. Twenty six people were killed and 300 injured when a 5.8 magnitude quake jolted the northern parts of Pakistan, including Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK) and Islamabad, while 23 people were killed and many others injured when quake hit Indonesia's remote

Maluku islands, destroying homes and triggering landslides. According to US Geological Survey, the epicentre of the quake near New Mirpur in PoK was at a relatively shallow depth of 10 km. Several cities including Peshawar, Rawalpindi, Lahore, Skardu, Kohat, Charsadda, Kasur, Faisalabad, Gujrat, Sialkot, Abbottabad, Mansehra, Chitral, Malakand, Multan, Shangla, Okara, Nowshera, Attock and Jhang felt the

tremor. While tremors were also felt in several parts of North India, no casualties or injuries were reported. People rushed out of their homes and offices in panic in several parts of Jammu and Kashmir, Punjab, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Delhi and Rajasthan. Pakistan Meteorological Department's earthquake centre said the 5.8-magnitude earthquake was located near the mountainous city of Jehlum in

Punjab province. Quake rocks eastern Indonesia Terrified people ran into the streets as buildings fell in around them after the 6.5magnitude quake hit in Maluku Province. “The total number of people who died in the earthquake is 23,” National disaster mitigation spokesman Agus Wibowo said in statement. “At least 100 people were injured and more than 2,000 evacuated,” he added.


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SOUTH INDIA

By-polls to 15 Assembly seats in Karnataka postponed NEW DELHI: The by-polls to 15 Karnataka seats, which the Election Commission (EC) had decided to defer, will now be held on December 5. The counting will take place on December 9. Citing proceedings in the Supreme Court regarding the pleas filed by 17 disqualified MLAs of the state challenging their disqualification, the EC said that after deliberations, it has decided that the nomination process will restart on November 11 as per the new schedule. The poll body, represented by senior advocate Rakesh Dwivedi, orally informed a three-judge Bench led by Justice N.V. Ramana that the elections

to the constituencies would be put on hold till the apex court decides the legality of the disqualification of the dissident Congress and the Janata Dal (Secular) legislators from the Assembly by the former Karnataka Assembly Speaker K.R. Ramesh Kumar. Dwivedi said if the ECI had the authority to announce the by-polls, it was empowered to defer it. The apex court will hear the matter next on October 22 and has expressed its inclination to conclude the issue. As per the new schedule, November 21 will be the last date of withdrawing from electoral battle. As per schedule announced on September 21, the nomination process had started on

September 23. It said nomination papers filed before returning officers between September 23 and September 27 will also be considered for scrutiny on November 19. The EC had told the Supreme Court it would defer the by-polls till it finally decides the pleas filed by the 17 disqualified MLAs. The EC submitted this after Justice Ramana said it would be "better" if the pleas filed by these disqualified MLAs were decided finally as virtually two-third arguments in the matter were already over. "Then I will ask the Election Commission to defer it (by-polls in Karnataka) for sometime," senior advocate Rakesh Dwivedi

told the bench. The MLAs have questioned former Speaker Ramesh Kumar's refusal to accept their resignations and instead disqualifying them on July 26 for the duration of the current Assembly. Their resignations had culminated in the fall of the Congress-JD (S) government and paved the way for a BJP government led by B S Yediyurappa. In Bengaluru, state Congress president Dinesh Gundu Rao questioned the EC's offer to postpone the by-polls. “The byelection has been notified and nominations have started. Why are they now offering to postpone elections? It seems they are being instructed by someone,” he said.

PUNJAB

Four drones used to transport arms from Pak hidden in Punjab CHANDIGARH: Militants of the Khalistan Zindabad Force (KZF) revealed that four drones, from across the border, are hidden in Punjab’s Tarn Taran district and its surrounding areas. Reports had earlier emerged that drones were being sent from Pakistan to drop weapons. The information came to light after the police busted a terror module of the KZF, backed by a group based in Pakistan and Germany. Gurdev Singh, a resident of Hoshiarpur, was nabbed by a team of the state special operation cell (SSOC) of the Punjab police for his alleged involvement in the dropping of arms and ammunition by drones. Singh was brought to India from Thailand but was absconding after he received bail. He is the brother of a Germany-based handler, Gurmeet Singh Bagga, of terror

module, KZF. Gurmeet Singh, alias Doctor, who along with KZF chief Ranjeet Singh, alias Neeta, was involved in the delivery of arms and ammunition from Pakistan by using drones. Gurdev is the sixth person to have been arrested. Four members of the module Balwant Singh, alias Nihang; Akashdeep Singh, alias Akash Randhawa; Harbhajan Singh and Balbir Singh €were arrested from the outskirts of Chohla Sahib village in Tarn Taran. Another person, identified as Sukhdeep Singh, was arrested by police with a pistol. A drone was recovered from Mahawa village, close to the Indo-Pak border in Punjab’s Amritsar. The Special Operations Wing of the Punjab police are still to ascertain whether the drone is among the four that had been indicated in

the KZF militants’ statement to the police. The intelligence unit found another drone after a terror accused, Akashdeep, took them to the location in Punjab's Attari, near the border with Pakistan where the drone had gone down. "This drone couldn't return to Pakistan due to a malfunction, so the accused hid it at a village near the Attari border," senior police officer Balbir Singh of the counterintelligence unit said. The drone was kept hidden beneath the undergrowth of a paddy field at the village. Details of the drone were promptly shared with the central government for facilitating detailed technical investigations by concerned central agencies, a government statement read. The police are trying to establish links of the terror groups involved in sending these drones from

Pakistan, a spokesperson said. The Army and the BSF had even sounded an all-out alert along the Indo-Pak border and Line of Control (LoC) following reports of the drones. The National Technical Research Organisation (NTRO) is conducting a sweep exercise to find out how many phones were functional along the International Border at the time of drone activity. They will also submit a report to National Security Advisor Ajit Doval. Union Minister of State for Defence Shripad Yesso Naik said that India is capable of dealing with any situation and the Indian Army has emerged stronger after fighting terrorism.

in brief AIADMK SELECTS CANDIDATES FOR BY-POLLS The AIADMK (All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam) announced its candidates for byelections on two assembly constituencies in Tamil Nadu, a day after the CPI-M's Tamil Nadu unit announced its support to the DMK. Assembly constituencies Vikravandi and Nanguneri will go to polls on October 21. Muthamizhselvan is the AIADMK candidate from Vikravandi and Reddiarpatti V Narayanan will fight from the Nanguneri constituency, AIADMK coordinator O Panneerselvam and joint coordinator K Palaniswami announced. Sixty three (63) assembly seats in 17 states and Puducherry and one Lok Sabha seat in Bihar will also be voting for byelection on the same date.

CHIRANJEEVI'S ADVICE TO RAJINIKANTH, KAMAL HAASAN Telugu megastar Chiranjeevi in a message urged Rajinikanth and Kamal Haasan to stay away from politics if they are sensitive chiranjeevi human beings. In an interview to popular Tamil magazine Ananda Vikatan, Chiranjeevi said he was "number one in his cinematic career when he took the plunge into politics with the intention of doing good. Politics today is all about money and I was defeated in my own constituency using millions of rupees. Same happened to my brother Pawan Kalyan in the recent elections," Chiranjeevi said. To be in politics you need to face defeat, disappointments and humiliation, the megastar said. He hoped that Rajinikanth and Kamal Haasan were built differently and would be able to face all challenges, disappointments, if they are determined to stay on in politics and work for the people.

BEANT SINGH’S ASSASSIN’S DEATH SENTENCE COMMUTED The union home ministry has decided to commute the death sentence of Balwant Singh Rajoana, who was convicted for the assassination of former Punjab chief minister Beant Singh, to life imprisonment. Beant Singh, credited for ending terrorism in Punjab, was assassinated on 31 August, 1995. “A decision has been taken to commute the death sentence of Balwant Singh Rajoana. The process of issuing a formal notification is underway,” a home ministry official said. On 31 August, 1995, the then chief minister Beant Singh was killed in an explosion outside the Civil Secretariat in Chandigarh. Sixteen others also lost their lives in the terror attack in which Punjab police employee Dilawar Singh had acted as a human bomb.

WEST BENGAL

Panic grips as fears over citizenship mount in Bengal KOLKATA: People have been queuing up to fetch for documents of proof of their citizenship at government offices as the panic over the National Register of Citizens (NRC) seems to be hovering across West Bengal. BJP and Mamata Banerjee are crossing swords over the NRC exercise even before it has been introduced in West Bengal. Some reports attribute over six suicides to NRC-related fear in north Bengal over the previous week. The panic has now reached Kolkata. At the Kolkata Municipal Corporation (KMC) headquarters, large crowds have been gathering each day over the past one week seeking birth and death certificates. KMC officials say there has been a sudden spike in the number of people who visit the centre for certificates, especially from the Muslim community. While police and private security guards struggle to keep the crowd in order, anxiety was palpable on the faces of those waiting at the KMC office.

People standing in queue for documents

While some officials at the Kolkata Municipal Corporation said that the size of the crowds was normal, others claimed otherwise. "There is no reason for such big crowds in the office, given that this is not the season for school admissions. In my entire career, I have not seen such huge crowds applying for birth certificates at the same

time... People are talking about NRC. It is overwhelming, and we are working non-stop," said Swapan Ghosh, who was sitting behind a counter issuing birth certificates. Munshi Musaraff Hossain and his wife Reshma Begum travelled 200 km from Salar in Murshidabad district to the Kolkata Municipal Corporation to secure birth certificates for their two college-going children. "We have come for birth certificates for our children out of fear of NRC. I fear that they will chase us out of the country if an NRC were to happen," said Reshma Begum. Her husband, Hossain, was just as perturbed. "The politicians are playing games with us. Mamata Banerjee is saying no NRC but if the Supreme Court orders it, we will have to show papers. So we must have everything ready," he said. There were many others in the same boat.

The verbal duels between the Trinamool Congress and the BJP on the issue have been relentless, and Amit Shah is set to join the debate at a public meeting in the Netaji Indoor Stadium in Kolkata. "Some people are fearmongering, saying you will need to have a 1971 certificate to figure on the NRC list. There will be no NRC. Don't worry about any NRC," Chief Minister Mamata had said at a meeting in West Midnapore district. But less than 24 hours later, BJP leader Kailash Vijayvargiya said: "Hundred per cent there will be NRC in Bengal. Once the BJP comes to power here, infiltrators will not be allowed to remain in the country. But yes, Hindus will stay. The Citizenship Amendment Bill is coming soon." Union Minister Babul Supriyo also echoed the same saying NRC must be prepared in West Bengal to drive out outsiders, who are infringing on the rights of Indian citizens.


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MODI SPECIAL

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25

5 - 11 October 2019

Trump endorses India's stand on Kashmir US President Donald Trump said that he feels Prime Minister Narendra Modi gave the message on terrorism to Pakistan "loud and clear" through the 'Howdy, Modi!' event. Trump said he expected Modi to “take care” of the terrorism problem in the region and the Kashmir issue, effectively endorsing of New Delhi’s position that bilateral matters with Pakistan brook no third party mediation. “I know that your prime minister will take care of it… you have a great prime minister and he will solve the problem, I have no doubt about it,” Trump said in brief remarks before a bilateral meeting with PM Modi on the sidelines

of the UN General Assembly. Trump, in fact, suggested that Modi be known as the “father of India” because of his success in uniting the nation. He also said the US and India were close to signing a trade agreement that would set the stage for a more comprehensive deal down the road. To a question if he had broached the issue of terror with Imran Khan, Trump hedged and said that he "thinks that it will happen". "I believe these two great gentlemen will sit down and work it out. I believe in Modi and Khan, and that if they get along, and will get along, great things will happen," Trump said. The US president once

again referred to the Houston rally in glowing terms, comparing the response Modi got to an Elvis Presley concert and saying it was “as if Elvis had come back. The US President was referring to what he earlier described as Modi’s “very aggressive” statement on Kashmir that he said was very well received by 59,000-strong crowd at the NRG stadium in Houston. “They love this gentleman… they went crazy.” Trump said. Trump’s remarks were a devastating blow to Pakistan, which only hours before had exulted over the US president’s remarks offering mediation, although he qualified it by saying that would happen

Bilateral meeting between PM Modi and US President Donald Trump on the sidelines of UNGA

only if India consented. Still, he urged India and Pakistan to get together

and talk, saying if these two gentlemen (Modi and Imran Khan) got together

and got to know each other, they could “do something.”

No mention of Pakistan in PM Modi's UNGA speech Prime Minister Narendra Modi asserted that India gave the world “Buddha not Yuddha” along with a message of "peace and harmony" at the United Nations General Assembly, saying terrorism is the biggest challenge before humanity and the world needs to be united against it. “For the sake of humanity… it is absolutely imperative that the world unites against terrorism, and stands as one against it.” In his short address before the UN General Assembly, PM Modi started by highlighting Mahatma Gandhi's 150th birth anniversary, which will be celebrated this year, and was followed by the prime

minister thanking the assembly for its stand on single-use plastic. Modi did not for once referred to Pakistan while making a broad appeal to fight the “evil” of terrorism. “We believe that this is one of the biggest challenges, not for any single country, but for the entire world and humanity,” Modi told world leaders and UN delegates. Instead of engaging in a squabble with his Pakistan counterpart, the Indian prime minister chose to deal largely with broader issues like climate change, renewable energy, poverty alleviation and India’s progress and lessons learned in this regard, which it wanted to channel to other

PM Modi's address at the 74th session of UNGA

countries. The omission of any mention of Pakistan and Kashmir was a straight message to the world that

the nullification of Article 370 is an internal matter and is not a subject to discussion on a global platform, and

PM Modi receives ‘Global Goalkeeper’ award for Swachh Bharat Abhiyan Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who was honoured with the prestigious "Global Goalkeeper" award by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation for his Swachh Bharat Abhiyan, said that the cleanliness campaign played a critical role in helping achieve the United Nations' goals and targets. Microsoft founder Bill Gates presented the award to PM Modi at a ceremony on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly meeting in New York City. "Getting the award in the year of Mahatma Gandhi's 150th birth anniversary is personally significant for me. When 1.3 billion people take a pledge, any challenge can be overcome," the prime minister said as he accepted the award at a special ceremony. "Gandhi ji's dream for swachhata (cleanliness) is now becoming true," PM Modi said. "The World Health

Prime Minister Narendra Modi receives the ‘Global Goalkeeper’ award from Bill Gates, in New York

Organisation has reported that 300,000 people have been saved (from diseases) by the campaign... Such as campaign was never heard of," he said. "Due to lack of toilets, a number of girls had to drop out of schools. Our daughters want to study, but because of lack of toilets, they had to abandon their education midway and sit at home," he added. "The Swachh Bharat

programme has changed this." PM Modi launched the Swachh Bharat Mission in October 2014 as a tribute to Mahatma Gandhi. It is the world's largest behavioural change programme. It seeks to improve cleanliness through solid and liquid waste management and making villages open-defecation free. The inaugural Goalkeepers event in 2017 hosted a diverse group of leaders. Speakers, including Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, former US President Barack Obama and activist Malala Yousafzai had attended it. Started by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the Goalkeepers award seeks to "bring together leaders from around the world to accelerate progress for ending poverty and fighting inequality", according to the organisers.

furthermore, it's a done deal. This is the first time that Pakistan has not been mentioned in an Indian address - by the prime minister or the external affairs minister - in the General Assembly address in eight years. The only time India omitted Pakistan from its speech in the last decade was in 2011. Imran warned of nuclear conflagration In a nearly 45-minute address to the UN an hour after the address by PM Modi, the Pakistan PM Imran Khan launched a ferocious attack on the RSS, including personal attacks on PM Modi. Khan warned of a nuclear conflagration in the subcontinent that would

affect the whole world if the global community did not intervene in the Kashmir issue. “It is not a threat, it is a fear… it is a worry,” Khan told the UN, raising the specter of a nuclear conflagration and arguing that anything could happen when a nuclear country “fights to its death”. Khan’s lengthy diatribe included accusing India of terrorism in Balochistan and claims that India was trying to put Pakistan on the FATF blacklist in an “effort to bankrupt us”, even though the FATF process is multilateral and Pakistan’s financial support for terrorists is a matter of record even in the United Nations.

Gandhi Solar Park opened at UN headquarters Prime Minister Narendra Modi remotely inaugurated the Gandhi Solar Park installed with 193 solar panels, each representing a member of the multilateral body, at the UN Headquarters to commemorate 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi and mark India’s global leadership in renewable energy. “Whether it is climate change or terrorism or selfishness in public life, Gandhiji’s ideals are the guiding light for us when it comes to protecting humanity. I believe the path shown by Gandhiji will lead to a better world,” said PM Modi. India hosted an event called ‘Leadership Matters: Relevance of Gandhi in the

Contemporary World’ in the UN Headquarters, which was addressed by UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres, South Korea President Moon Jae-in, Singapore Prime Minister M Lee Hsien Loong, Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, Jamaica Prime Minister Andrew Holness and New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern. A special UN postage stamp on Gandhi@150 years was released and the Gandhi Peace Garden, which is a crowd-funded project to plant 150 trees adopted by people in the memory of their loved ones at the State University of New York-Old Westbury campus, was in the memory of Mahatma Gandhi.


26 INDIA

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5 - 11 October 2019

80 killed as torrential rain lashes many parts of India Widespread water-logging triggered by incessant rains has thrown normal life out of gear in Bihar and Uttar Pradesh as more than 80 people have been killed in the last few days. The National Disaster Relief Force (NDRF), SDRF, IAF have been pressed into service and they are carrying out round the clock relief and rescue operations. Over 6,000 to 7,000 people have been evacuated from affected areas in Patna after torrential rains hit the state over the weekend. NDRF commandant Vijay Sinha said that boats are being used to rescue stranded residents in the Rajendra Nagar area of the state capital. "Since yesterday (Monday) 6,000-7,000 people including the elderly and patients have been rescued from the area. We are now concentrating on the distribution of relief materials," he said. A meeting of the National Crisis Management Committee chaired by Cabinet Secretary Rajiv Gauba was held to review the flood situation in Bihar. Rescue and relief operations were undertaken on war-footing as the NDRF deployed 19 teams in 14 districts of Bihar and evacuated more than 4,000

people including women, patients, children and elderly. Chief Minister Nitish Kumar and Prime Minister Narendra Modi took stock of the extent of the floods in the state. Modi assured Nitish of "all possible help" by the Centre to tackle the flood situation, in a telephonic conversation. "Spoke to Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar ji regarding the flood situation in parts of the state. Agencies are working with the local administration to assist the affected. Centre stands ready to provide all possible assistance that may be required," Modi tweeted. Nitish Kumar, accompanied by the minister for water resources Sanjay Jha and Chief Secretary

Patna Municipal Corporation officials use a JCB to rescue people from a waterlogged area

Sushil Modi, family rescued Bihar deputy chief minister Sushil Modi and his family were rescued on Monday, three days after being stuck at their home in Patna due to widespread flooding that has thrown life into disarray. Modi and his family were stuck at their home due to waterlogging in the area. They were rescued from their Rajendra Nagar residence. Modi refused to talked to media and left the area soon after being rescued by personnel of the National Disaster Response Force. Unceasing rain has led to a deluge in Patna over the last few days. Photos and videos shared on Twitter showed streets inundated with water and citizens stranded in various parts of Patna. Most areas of the city have been flooded with knee or waist-deep water.

India mocks at Imran’s ‘hate speech’ and ‘medieval mindset’ Strongly hitting back at Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan’s rant at the UN General Assembly, India has said its citizens do not need anyone else to speak on their behalf and “least of all those who have built an industry of terrorism from the ideology of hate.” Fielding a junior diplomat in its right of reply to Imran Khan’s address to the United Nations, India mocked Khan's angry presentation before the General Assembly as “hate speech” coming from a “medieval mindset” from a country that has “monopolised the entire value chain of the industry of terrorism”. India’s reply, given by Vidisha Maitra, a junior diplomat posted as First Secretary at the Permanent Mission of India at the United Nations, conveyed New Delhi’s full fury, virtually denouncing Pakistan a terrorist state using evidence built up by the global community, after Khan had lit into India with a theatrical presentation centring on the Kashmir issue, including overwrought scenarios of massacres leading to nuclear war.

Imran Khan

India said, “Prime Minister Khan’s threat of unleashing nuclear devastation qualifies as brinkmanship, not statesmanship. Even coming from the leader of a country that has monopolized the entire value chain of the industry of terrorism, Prime Minister Khan’s justification of terrorism was brazen and incendiary. For someone who was once a cricketer and believed in the gentleman’s game, today’s speech bordered on crudeness of the variety that is reminiscent of the guns of Darra Adam Khel.” Darra Adam Khel, a town in Pakistan’s Khyber

Pakhtunkhwa province, is infamous for its illegal guns bazaar. Taking up on Khan’s statement that his government has dismantled the terrorist infrastructure in Pakistan, which could be verified by UN observers, India posed the following questions that Pakistan can respond to as a precursor to the proposed verification: Can Pakistan confirm the fact that it is home to 130 UNdesignated terrorists and 25 terrorist entities listed by the UN as of today? Will Pakistan acknowledge that it is the only government in the world that provides pension to an individual

listed in the al-Qaida and Da’esh sanctions list? Can Pakistan explain why here in New York, its premier bank - the Habib Bank had to shut shop after it was fined millions of dollars over terror financing? Will Pakistan deny that the Financial Action Task Force has put the country on notice for its violation of 20 of the 27 key parameters? While affirmative answer to each of the questions is on record, Maitra sneeringly asked the Pakistan PM, dubbed “Taliban Khan” in his own country, whether he would deny to the city of New York that he was an open defender of Osama bin Laden. India also took a dig at Imran on Pakistan’s record on human rights. “Having mainstreamed terrorism and hate speech, Pakistan is trying to play its wild card as the newfound champion of human rights. This a country that has shrunk the size of its minority community from 23% in 1947 to 3% today and has subjected Christians, Sikhs, Ahmadiyas, Hindus, Shias, Pashtuns, Sindhis and Balochis to draconian blasphemy laws, systemic

persecution, blatant abuse and forced conversions. Their newfound fascination for preaching human rights is akin to trophy hunting of the endangered mountain goat - markhor,” India said. “Every word spoken from the UNGA podium carries the weight of history, India said. Unfortunately, what we heard today from Prime Minister Imran Khan of Pakistan was a callous portrayal of the world in binary terms. Us vs Them; Rich vs Poor; North vs South; Developed Vs Developing; Muslims vs Others. A script that fosters divisiveness at the United Nations. Attempts to sharpen differences and stir up hatred are, simply put, ‘hate speech’.” Rarely has the General Assembly witnessed such misuse, rather abuse, of an opportunity to reflect, India said. “Words matter in diplomacy”, India said, and “invocation of phrases such as “pogrom”, “bloodbath”, “racial superiority”, “pick up the gun” and “fight to the end” reflect a medieval mindset and not a 21st century vision.”

Deepak Kumar, conducted an aerial survey of the flooded areas before reviewing the situation across the state at a highlevel meeting where he interacted with district-level officials through video conferencing. "Distribution of relief and rescue of stranded people will pick up as water would be flushed out with the help of pumps being brought here from Bilaspur. We are also gearing up to meet the challenge of infectious diseases that are known to strike water-logged areas", the chief secretary told reporters. More than 350 people have been killed in rainrelated causes in India, Nepal and Bangladesh this monsoon season, which runs from June through September. Pune district inundated after heavy rains Intense rain lashed various parts of Pune district, with 17 people killed in rain and flooding related incidents, police said. “A total of 3,500 people were shifted to safer locations at camps set up in parts of the city, and at least additional 5,000 people have got affected in some or the other way,” said Pune Municipal Commissioner Saurabh Rao.

Ayodhya verdict before Nov 17 ? Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi said that it would be a miracle to write the Ayodhya verdict in four weeks. On Day 32 of the hearing, the bench comprising CJI Gogoi and Justices S A Bobde, D Y Chandrachud, Ashok Bhushan and S Abdul Nazeer said it cannot offer even a day beyond October 18 for Hindu and Muslim parties to conclude arguments in the Ayodhya land dispute case, and that it would still be a miracle if the court could pronounce verdict four weeks thereafter. “There cannot be a single extra day given beyond October 18 for conclusion of arguments by both sides. Even if it concludes on October 18, then too, it will be miraculous to pronounce a judgment in four weeks.” What the bench had in mind was November 17, the scheduled retirement date of CJI Ranjan Gogoi, as it redrew the hearing schedule for the available 10 days and insisted that parties must conclude arguments by October 18 on the vexed 70year-old litigation for ownership of the 2.77 acre disputed Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid land in Ayodhya.


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HEALTH & LIFESTYLE

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27 5 - 11 2019

Growing number of children are eating their veg and opting for trendy superfoods Two third of parents said it was easier to try out food with the entire family It is the dinner table battle that has frustrated generations of parents, but young children may finally be finding an appetite for fruit and vegetables. According to a survey of 1,000 children aged up to nine and parents, a growing number of youngsters like nothing more than munching trendy superfoods such as kale and celeriac. It suggests young foodies are more daring, prepared to try a wide and exotic range of vegetables that would have triggered tantrums among previous generations. Almost a quarter (24 per cent) of children aged four to nine have eaten kale, 22 per cent have tried aubergine, 16 per cent celeriac and one in ten has tackled an artichoke.

A third of parents (32 per cent) say their children will try any vegetable put in front of them â&#x20AC;&#x201C; more than the proportion (29 per cent) who say they struggle to get their offspring to eat their greens. Brightly coloured veg such as carrots, peas, sweetcorn and broccoli are most

popular, the survey for frozen food firm Birds Eye found, followed by peppers, cauliflower and green beans. Some youngsters named cabbage, spinach and even Brussels sprouts as their favourite. More than two thirds (67 per cent) of parents said it was easier to persuade chil-

dren to try new foods when the family sat down together to eat. However, a significant proportion of parents are still wrestling with youngsters who are fussy about their food. Almost a quarter (23 per cent) said their children avoid certain colours of food and more than a third (34 per cent) admit to serving the same small menu of dishes every week. To encourage the comsumption of fruit and vegetables, 31 per cent of parents tricked their offspring into believing they have eaten it before, almost a quarter (24 per cent) used bribes of extra time in front of computers or TV and 12 per cent offered extra pocket money.

Inequalities in heart attack care 'costing women's lives' Women who suffer heart attacks are dying needlessly because they fail to recognise their symptoms and receive poorer care than men, says a British Heart Foundation report. Over 10 years, more than 8,000 women in England and Wales died unnecessarily after a heart attack, it found. Experts say there are inequalities in diagnosis, treatment and aftercare. "Unconscious biases are limiting the survival chances of women," the report warns. It found that some commonly held myths such as heart disease and heart attacks only affecting men - meant women were unaware of their risk, and slow to seek medical help. There is also a misperception that men and women experience completely different heart attack symptoms, but studies suggest that although symptoms can vary from person

to person, chest pain is the most common symptom in both men and women. And younger women do have heart attacks, the report says, which should be taken seriously. There have been significant improvements in how heart attacks are treated. In the 1960s, seven out of 10 heart attacks in the UK proved fatal. Today, seven out of 10 people who have a heart attack will survive. But women are missing out, says Dr Sonya BabuNarayan, associate medical director of the British Heart Foundation (BHF). "Heart attacks have never been more treatable. Yet women are dying needlessly because heart attacks are often seen as a man's disease, and women don't receive the same standard of treatment as men." She said studies had "revealed inequalities at

every stage of a woman's medical journey, and although complex to dissect, they suggest unconscious biases are limiting the survival chances of women". The BHF report says that each year around 35,000 women are admitted to hospital following a heart attack in the UK each year an average of 98 women a day, or four per hour. In the UK, women are twice as likely to die from

coronary heart disease as from breast cancer. Cardiovascular disease, which includes heart attacks and angina, kills around 2,600 women in Scotland each year roughly seven every day. The report found that: - women often delayed seeking help - they were more likely to receive an incorrect diagnosis and substandard treatment compared to men - risk factors, such as smoking and high blood pressure, increase heart attack chances more in women - the quality of aftercare was also substandard Chris Gale, professor of cardiovascular medicine at the University of Leeds, led a study which found that thousands of women's lives were needlessly lost in England and Wales after heart attacks, between 2002 and 2013.

Health secretary 'looking seriously' at compulsory vaccines for schoolchildren The health secretary has said he is "looking very seriously" at making vaccinations compulsory for all children going to school in England. Some experts have suggested it may be necessary to address falling rates of immunisation and a surge in diseases like measles. Matt Hancock told an event at the Tory conference he had taken legal advice this week on how to go about it. Unvaccinated children were "putting other children at risk", he said. The uptake of the MMR (Measles, Mumps and Rubella) vaccine in particular has been declining in many countries.

The reason is not clear. Rates dipped in the 1990s following publication of a report linking MMR to autism, but partly recovered after that research was discredited and disproved. However, the volume of anti-vaccine sentiment on social media has been swelling and in March, the head of NHS England

warned "vaccination deniers" were gaining traction online. The health secretary has said before he was willing to look at "all options" to boost England's vaccination levels, including compulsory immunisation - and while he did not want to "reach the point" of imposing jabs, he would "rule nothing out".

Mr Hancock appeared to firm up his stance at the conference in Manchester on Sunday. Measles is highly infectious and can cause serious health complications, including damaging the lungs and brain. There were more than 82,500 cases in Europe in 2018 - the highest number in a decade and three times the total reported in 2017. In England, the proportion of children receiving both doses of the MMR jab by their fifth birthday has fallen over the last four years to 87.2%. This is below the 95% said to provide "herd immunity", the level considered by experts to protect a population from a disease.

in brief BLOOD TEST COULD DETECT MORE THAN 20 DIFFERENT TYPES OF CANCER A new blood test could pick up on more than 20 different types of cancer, research suggests. Harvard University scientists created a test that looks for genetic changes associated with the development of tumours. When tried on nearly 3,600 blood samples, it correctly identified cancer patients in 99.4 per cent of cases, with just 0.6 per cent being misdiagnoses. The scientists hope their test will allow patients to be diagnosed and treated sooner, boosting their chance of success. It is unclear when it may be available. The test looks for abnormal methylation, a process which occurs when so-called methyl groups are added to a DNA molecule. Methylation controls whether a gene is 'on' or 'off', with certain variations being associated with cancer. Methylated DNA gets shed by cancer cells into the bloodstream when a tumour dies. Existing 'liquid biopsies' detect genetic mutations or other cancer-related changes to DNA. Health ministers have pledged for three quarters of cancer patients to be diagnosed at stage one or two by 2028. Britain ranks bottom of international league tables for cancer survival, two decades behind some countries. This week an independent review of NHS cancer screening is set to warn 'confusion and delays' is costing lives.The review reportedly calls for Public Health England to be stripped of its role in overseeing diagnoses. When diagnosed early, cancer tumours are smaller and have not spread. Once the disease has metastasised, treatment becomes more difficult. When it comes to bowel cancer, nine of 10 patients will survive more than five years if diagnosed at the earliest stage, Cancer Research UK statistics show. And more than 90 per cent of women diagnosed with breast cancer at the earliest stage live for at least five years compared to around 15 per cent diagnosed at the most advanced stage.

TEENAGERS ARE LESS LIKELY TO DO THEIR HOMEWORK IF THEIR MOTHERS TELL THEM TO IN A CONTROLLING TONE 'BECAUSE IT TAKES AWAY THEIR SENSE OF CHOICE' Teenagers are less likely to do their homework if their mothers speak to them in a 'controlling' tone, research suggests. Scientists from Cardiff University analysed how 1,000 adolescents reacted to the same set of instructions when given out by women with varying tones of voice. They found the teenagers were more willing to do their homework when they were spoken to in an encouraging way. Supportive tones are thought to give teenagers a 'sense of choice', even if they are being told to do something. This may coax them into complying during a time when they have an 'increasing desire to act independently' and be 'self-reliant', the scientists said. Parents often try to motivate their children to behave in a certain way, the scientists wrote in the journal Developmental Psychology. Encouraging them to do their homework is a 'common challenge', with research suggesting this can influence how well youngsters do at school. However, 'very little research' has looked into the role tone of voice plays in compliance. To learn more, the scientists analysed 486 boys and 514 girls aged between 14 and 15. The teenagers were put into two groups where they heard identical messages spoken by women with adolescent children. Thirty messages were delivered, including 'it's time now to go to school', 'you will read this book tonight' and 'you will do well on this assignment'. The tone used was either controlling, supportive or neutral. Each of the teenagers were asked how they would feel if their own mother had spoken to them like this. Results revealed those who heard motivational statements in a controlling tone reacted 'undesirably'. In contrast, supportive tones brought about 'positive reactions'. This is compared to motivational messages delivered in a neutral way. Encouraging tones are said to be 'inviting' and suggest a 'sense of choice' for the listener even if they are being told to do something, the scientists wrote. Teenagers may be particularly susceptible to this because they are 'sensitive to feeling controlled given their increasing desire to act independently and become selfreliant'.

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Dadasaheb Phalke award for Amitabh Bachchan Veteran Bollywood actor and mega star Amitabh Bachchan has been selected for Dadasaheb Phalke Award. Wishes poured in as the minister of information and broadcasting Prakash Javadekar made the announcement. The 76-year-old actor took to his social media accounts to express his feelings. “There is a paucity of words searching a response .. for the generosity of words that pour in ..I am but deeply grateful and most humbled .. my sincerest gratitude ..,” tweeted Bachchan. Many Bollywood celebrities, including Lata Mangeshkar, Rajinikanth,

Karan Johar and Anil Kapoor among others congratulated the veteran actor. One of his dear friends and old colleague Shatrughan Sinha who has delivered several hits with the actor, including 'Kaala Patthar', 'Dostana', 'Bombay to Goa', and many more, hailed the star for redefining the industry with his varied roles. “Amitabh Bachchan is already a personality of high calibre in terms of his career, experience, performance, durability, seniority, maturity. Over time, he has given a lot to the cinema with his roles, and films. He is a good friend of mine and also an old colleague. I pray him good luck and wish that he continues to soar the grandeur of success in his life.” Apart from the actor, former Chairman of Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) chairman Pahlaj Nihalani also praised Big B for his contribution to the Indian cinema and

transforming it with his inspirational roles. The award comprises of a Swarna Kamal (Golden Lotus) medallion, a shawl and a cash prize of Rs 10,00,000. Before Bachchan, Vinod Khanna was selected for Dadasaheb Phalke Award in 2017. Kasinathuni Viswanath and Manoj Kumar received the same award in 2015 and 2016 respectively. The first Dadasaheb Phalke Award was given to Devika Rani in 1969. Interestingly, senior Bachchan also made his film debut as a narrator in Mrinal Sen’s 'Bhuvan Shome' in the same year. It was just the beginning of a landmark career for a person who would be known for his baritone voice and exceptional dialogue delivery in coming years. However, Bachchan had to wait for some years after 'Saat Hindustani' to achieve stardom, and that happened with director Prakash Mehra’s 'Zanjeer' in 1973. After that, there was no looking back for the megastar.

Hrithik crosses 20 mn followers on Instagram Hrithik Roshan is basking in the glory as he crossed 20 million followers on Instagram. The actor is having the time of his life with his box office hit 'Super 30' and now, he is gearing up for the release of his most anticipated action flick, 'War.' Hrithik has been much appreciated for his wellexecuted roles, exuberant dance moves and choice of his versatile roles. The star is also known for his extreme hard work for his films and the result is clearly reflected with the amount of love that the audience showers upon him. Just very recently the actor pulled off a role that many were skeptical about. His performance in 'Super 30' stole the hearts of the fans around the world where he imbibed the essence of Anand Kumar in the movie. Hrithik, who recently topped the 'Top 5 Most Handsome Men in the World', portrayed the character of an entirely opposite de-glam Bihari teacher. Hrithik has received a great response and is hailed

for his transformation from Anand Kumar to 'War's' Kabir. In just two months after the release of 'Super 30,' the actor underwent a complete physical transformation to play the role of a chiselled cop in his upcoming film. The film which is touted as high-octane action entertainer of the year will see Hrithik playing the role of Kabir, an Army officer. He will be pitted against Tiger Shroff in a massive action spectacle of all times. Hrithik shared, "If I don't have the challenge and motivation to do something then I won't do anything and I'll just sit and relax". Fans are not only loving Hrithik's glam avatar but also his hook step of the recently released song 'Ghungroo' where the actor has treated the fans with yet another iconic dance step and it is totally ruling as a chartbuster. Helmed by Siddharth Anand, 'War' is produced by Yash Raj Films and will release in Hindi, Tamil, and Telugu on Gandhi Jayanti, October 2, 2019.

Kajol pens foreword of book on Sridevi acting and will forever remain my most favourite icon," said Kajol in a statement. Nayak also said that Kajol is the perfect choice to write the foreword. "Kajol is an industry kid and has had first-hand experience of Sridevi’s glory in the 80s and 90s. Also as one of our finest artistes, Kajol has keenly observed and emulated Sridevi over the years. All this gets beautifully reflected in her foreword. It’s a truly heartfelt piece, symbolic of a generation of actresses who were inspired by the legendary aura of Sridevi, he added. The book tracks Sridevi's journey from the child star to redefining the heroine of Indian cinema, that everyone knows today. The book is expected to hit the stands in November. Sridevi reigned the Bollywood box-office in the eighties. She died at the age of 54 in Dubai, after a case of accidental drowning on February 24.

Actress Kajol has penned the foreword of a biopic celebrating the late actress Sridevi. The book, Sridevi: The Eternal Screen Goddess, has been written by authorscreenwriter Satyarth Nayak, and has the approval of Sridevi's husband, producer Boney Kapoor. Kajol took to Twitter and said that Prabhas and Shraddha Kapoor's actionshe is honoured to pay such a tribute. thriller 'Saaho', which is nearing to the end "Honoured and happy to have the of its theatrical run, has achieved yet another opportunity to pen a foreword for a book milestone at the box office that won't be easy celebrating the iconic Sridevi. It was my for the upcoming films to equal or break. way of paying a personal tribute to India's The mega-budget venture has collected first female superstar. Congratulations around £ 500,000 in the market of Odisha @BoneyKapoor, the author and has become the second-highest Hindi @SatyarthNayak and the @PenguinIndia grossing film in that circuit after 'Baahubali team." Kajol hoped that Sridevi fans 2' (also Prabhas starrer). The film has beaten across the world would love the book, all the biggies like 'Sanju', 'Dangal', 'Tiger that explores the five-decade long Zinda Hai', 'Sultan' and 'Bajrangi Bhaijaan' to journey of the actress from child star to achieve this feat at the box office. the immortal legend she is now. "I have Shraddha Kapoor has started off her year grown up watching Sridevi’s with a bang as she did two great films, superstardom on film-sets and her magic 'Saaho' and 'Chhichhore,' both having done on the big screen. She is an institution of extremely well at the box office. And with

Prabhas' 'Saaho' scales new milestone

that, Shraddha has become the first star to have given back-to-back releases that have done so well. The movie doing so well in Hindi also

proves the growing fan base of Prabhas in the Hindi belt. Despite the record-breaking business of 'Baahubali', Prabhas took a pay cut for 'Saaho.' “Bahubali has set the bar high, but Saaho was a £25 million film, so I knew I couldn’t charge my usual remuneration. I started out with a 20 per cent cut. Then, the film went slightly over and though my friends were ready to pay up, I couldn’t take their money knowing they were putting in so much without thinking of what they’d earn," he said explaining the reason. The actor also revealed that he still feels surreal with the response he got for 'Baahubali.' “I am still wondering if it (franchise) really happened, it’s surreal.’’


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Deepika stuns at Paris Fashion Week in a vintage Avatar Deepika Padukone, who was invited by Dior to their fashion show at Paris Fashion Week, nailed her chic vintage off-shoulder outfit as if she walked straight out of a fashion magazine. Dior Spring-Summer 2020 for Paris Fashion Week 2019, was a visual treat tied to a great cause. Creative Director, Maria Grazia Chiuri pulled off a nature-inspired collection keeping the climate crisis in mind and the show took place at the Paris-Longchamp hippodrome, in the fashion capital. While the models walked through a forest-themed runway, the frontrow was graced with Hollywood Alisters and globetrotter and global dominator, Deepika Padukone. Deepika nailed her debut at PFW

2019 with Parisian chic look in headto-toe Dior couture. Styled by Shaleena Nathani, the look was rounded off with layered necklaces from Misho Designs and knee-high mesh boots, donned with a hair accessory and a shrobed trench. Deepika's strapless maxi featured prints inspired from Africa in hues of brown, bottle green and pops of muted yellow which was a part of the Dior Cruise collection with an oversized bow. On the work front, Deepika Padukone will next be seen in Meghna Gulzar's film 'Chhapaak.' It is the story of Laxmi Agarwal, an acid attack survivor, and the film also stars Vikrant Massey. The film has been an emotional project for Deepika and

portraying an acid attack survivor has been difficult, too. When the film's shooting wrapped up, Meghna Gulzar shared a touching note for the entire team, especially for Deepika and Vikrant. She shared a picture with Deepika and Vikrant on Instagram and wrote, "And we wrapped #chhapaak Malti... Amol... I will carry you with me. Thank you for your faith and for pouring yourself into our film! @deepikapadukone @vikrantmassey87". Deepika will also be seen as Roma Bhatia, Kapil Dev's wife, in the upcoming sports drama '83. Ranveer Singh will play the role of Kapil Dev in the film, which is based on India's first-ever cricket World Cup victory in 1983.

Salman reunites with Prabhudeva for 2020 Eid release

Sanya to play Vidya’s daughter in Shakuntala Devi biopic Sanya Malhotra has been roped in to play Vidya Balan's daughter in the upcoming biopic on “human computer” Shakuntala Devi. “I am very excited to play the iconic Shakuntala Devi's daughter Anupama Banerji. Everyone knows the achievements of the math genius Shakuntala Devi. I'm thrilled to bring on screen this dynamic mother daughter relationship and equally thrilled to work with Vidya Balan. Also looking forward to my first association with Sony Pictures Networks Productions and Vikram Malhotra,” the 'Badhaai Ho' actor said in a statement. Vidya Balan will be playing the role of Shakuntala Devi. When director Anu Menon first met Banerji, she immediately thought of Sanya to be the perfect person for the role. “When I met my namesake Anupama Banerji, Shakuntala's daughter, I went to find the story of a maths whiz, but through spending time with Anupama, I found the story of a woman who was not just a computer but human too. And I can't think of a better person than Sanya who can capture the love of daughter for her indefinable mother,” she said. She added, “Sanya instinctively understood the character and her journey - and I can't wait to start shooting with her. I think the audience will fall in love with both Sanya's and Vidya's characters.” The makers had earlier released the first look of Vidya Balan as Shakuntala Devi sporting a saree and short bob. Sanya is expected to start the shoot for the film by the end of this month. Recently, Vidya shared Shakuntala Devi's first look along with a caption that said, "Excitement is multiplying each day! Time to dig into the 'root' of the mathematical genius."

Salman Khan treats his fans with a new release on Eid. The 'Bhaijaan' of Bollywood is all set to join hands with 'Dabangg 3' director Prabhudeva for his upcoming release on Eid 2020. The actor, who recently assured a film during Eid 2020 after his collaboration with Sanjay Leela Bhansali's 'In-shaa-allah' got shelved, confirmed another project with his 'Dabangg 3' director. “We (Prabhudheva and I) are doing a film together again. But it is not called 'Radhe.' It will come on Eid,” Salman, 53, said. Speculations were rife that 'Radhe', to be directed by Prabhudeva, will be Salman’s next Eid release. As per media reports, the new film is an official adaptation of a Korean film, titled 'Veteran.' This film would mark the third collaboration between Salman and Prabhudheva after 'Wanted' and 'Dabangg 3.' Salman will soon be seen on television hosting reality show Bigg Boss 13. 'Dabangg 3' is slated to be released on December 20. He also has Sajid Nadiadwala’s 'Kick 2' in the pipeline. Gets death threat Salman Khan was threatened by a member of Punjab University’s student union SOPU’s (Student Organisation of Punjab University)

Facebook group. In a post dated September 16, a person named Garry Shooter has threatened to kill Salman. The post, written in Hindi, reads, “Salman you may think that you can escape from the Indian law, but the Bishnoi community and Sopu party have given you a death sentence. You are guilty in Sopu court. Salaam sahid da nu; Respect girls; Save animals; Avoid drugs & help poors; Sukha kahlon Garry.” A photo of the Dabangg actor has also been attached with the post. After the post went

viral, the police said it is investigating the matter. “The police are on alert. We also gave proper security to the celebrity when he came here for hearing previously. An investigation has been initiated,” DCP Dharmendra Yadav said. Khan has been sentenced to fiveyear imprisonment in the blackbuck killing case, but is on bail. At the last hearing, the court had said if Salman Khan failed to mark his presence before it on September 27 his bail could be cancelled.

Varun and Kriti send love to acid attack survivor

Muskan, a 14-year-old student from Nepal was allegedly attacked by two boys of her own school and is now undergoing treatment at a hospital. The teenager had given up on her will to live after the incident and wanted to die. However, she feels much better now after interacting with Bollywood stars Kriti Sanon and Varun Dhawan. Actors Varun and Kriti have reached out to the young acid attack survivor. After learning about the student, Kriti did

a video call with her from a studio, which lifted the spirits of the teenager instantly. In a video of the call shared by the user, the girl can be heard saying "I like you" to Kriti, and the actress replies: "I love you". The actress also advised the girl to take good care of herself and focus on her studies after she recovers. Varun also shared a video message for the teenager and expressed his desire to meet her in person. Varun, reacting to a tweet which detailed the girl’s ordeal, wrote, “Sending Muskan all the love and prayer and would

love to see this angel in person thank you @kritisanon for informing me about her.” In the video, Varun tells Muskan to go back and study, and says that he is sure that she will be back, stronger than ever, very soon. He said that he hopes to meet her in person and sent her good wishes.


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Aishwarya likely to play double role in Mani Ratnam’s 'Ponniyin Selvan' TV Listing

After 'Raavan' and 'Guru', Aishwarya Rai Bachchan is all set to collaborate again with the maverick filmmaker Mani Ratnam for the upcoming mega-budget period drama 'Ponniyin Selvan.' The actor is likely to be seen playing dual roles in the highly anticipated project, according to the latest buzz. Reportedly, she will portray Nandini - wife of Chola Kingdom's Periya Pazhuvettaraiyarr (a role played by Telugu actor Mohan Babu) and Nandini's mother - Mandakini Devi's part, who was a mute queen. Though the primary focus will be on Nandini's life. Aishwarya is said to be excited about the double roles and immediately jumped at the opportunity when she was offered the film. Earlier a source close to the film said, “Karthi, Vikram and Jayam Ravi have been finalised to play the leads. Karthi and Jayam Ravi will start shooting for their portions from the first week of December while Vikram will complete a couple of films before joining the sets. The other cast and crew will be finalised in coming months and an official announcement will be made.” Even Vikram recently confirmed he’s part of the project. At a press interaction ahead of 'Kadaram Kondan’s' release, Vikram said: “I am part of Mani sir’s next, and will be shooting for the project from early next year.” Vikram and Mani Ratnam have previously worked together in 'Aayutha Ezhuthu' and 'Raavanan.' This will be the third time they’ll join forces for a project. Lyca Productions is bankrolling the project on a lavish scale. The principal shooting will begin from next year. The makers are yet to officially announce the cast and crew. It is being speculated that the film also stars Karthi, Jayam Ravi, Amitabh Bachchan, Anushka Shetty, Keerthy Suresh, Aishwarya Lekshmi and Amala Paul among others. The pre-production work on the film has already commenced. The makers are in the process of erecting huge sets to shoot crucial portions of the film. The film tells the story of Arulmozhivarman, one of the kings of the Chola dynasty during the 10th and 11th centuries. Mani Ratnam has been planning to adapt Ponniyin Selvan as a film since many years. He had planned to make the film nearly a decade ago with actors Vijay and Mahesh Babu. The project almost went on the floors but was eventually shelved for unknown reasons.

* Schedule is subject to change

SATURDAY OCT 5, 2019 00:43 FILM: KYA KOOL HAI HUM 3 05:00 FILM: GOOD BUDDY GADBADI 07:27 FILM: GURUDEV 10:45 FILM: HERO 14:04 FILM: NIL BATTEY SANNATA 16:19 FILM: TEEN PATTI 19:17 FILM: ANDAAZ 22:25 FILM: SHAITAAN SUNDAY OCT 6, 2019 00:52 FILM: GRAND MASTI 05:00 FILM: THE PERFECT GIRL 07:00 FILM: HERO 10:18 FILM: AWARA PAAGAL DEEWANA 13:42 FILM: RAMA RAMA KYA HAI DRAMAAA 16:23 FILM: DON - THE CHASE BEGINS AGAIN 19:57 FILM: MAIN TERA HERO 22:38 FILM: KYA KOOL HAI HUM 3 MONDAY OCT 7, 2019 01:03 FILM: OMKARA 05:00 FILM: BEZUBAAN ISHQ 07:33 FILM: JHEEL KE US PAAR 10:21 FILM: AAR YA PAAR 13:29 FILM: TEEN PATTI 16:27 FILM: ANDAAZ 19:40 FILM: COMMANDO 2 22:12 FILM: HAI APNA DIL TOH AWARA

The Mozart of Madras, AR Rahman, who has reigned the music industry for decades had earlier made an announcement that he is stepping into the producer’s and the writer’s shoes for the very first time with '99 Songs'. Rahman had described 99 Songs as "a young, passionate story

GV Prakash to make Hollywood debut soon

Kollywood actor GV Prakash has a lot on his platter with four films already releasing this year, including the recently-released 'Sivappu Manjal Pachai.' The composerturned-actor also has a slew of other films ready for release. With the recent announcement, it has been revealed that GV Prakash will soon be making his Hollywood acting debut in the film, 'Trap City', directed by Ricky Burchell, and starring Brandon T Jackson and Dennis LA White. The film is said to be about a drug peddler turned successful rapper who has to make an important choice between betraying a dangerous crime boss or save his career. This project is bankrolled by Tel Ganesan under the banner KYBA

Films, who had earlier produced two Hollywood films - 'Devil’s Night: Dawn Of The Nain Rouge' and 'Christmas Coupon', that actor Napoleon had starred. GV Prakash was last seen playing one of the leads in director Sasi's action-drama 'Sivappu Manjal Pachai,' which also starred Siddharth, Kashmira Pardeshi, Lijomol Jose and others in lead roles. He will be next seen playing the lead in films such as '100% Kadhal', 'Adangaadhey' and director Vasanthabalan's 'Jail' and is currently shooting for 'Bachelor', 'Aayiram Jenmangal' and 'Kaadhalikka Yaarumillai'. GV Prakash will also be composing music for director Vetrimaaran's 'Asuran', which stars Dhanush in the lead and also in 'Irudhi Suttru'.

MON 7TH OCTOBER - FRI 11TH OCTOBER

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AR Rahman's next goes international! with music in its soul." Rahman’s 99 Songs will be showcased at Busan International Film Festival. Rahman took to his Twitter to make the announcement. The movie has been selected to be screened at the prestigious film festival on October 9. He wrote, “Thrilled to announce, our labour of love #99Songs, directed by @vishweshk starring @itsEhanBhat will be showcased at @busanfilmfest on Oct 9. Gratitude & thanks"

TUESDAY OCT 8, 2019 00:43 FILM: TEJASWINI 05:00 FILM: WAKE UP INDIA 07:21 FILM: TUM HASIN MAIN JAWAN 10:21 FILM: CHINA GATE 13:54 FILM: OMKARA 16:49 FILM: MAIN TERA HERO 19:22 LIFESTYLE : STAR STOP 20:00 FILM: UDTA PUNJAB 22:57 FILM: EK SE BURE DO WEDNESDAY OCT 9, 2019 01:31 FILM: JEET BORN TO WIN 05:00 FILM: BLUE ORANGES 07:15 FILM: HOTE HOTE PYAR HO GAYA 10:00 FILM: YES BOSS 13:25 FILM: AWARAPAN 15:55 FILM: COMMANDO 2 18:29 LIFESTYLE : STAR STOP 19:02 FILM: HAPPY BHAG JAYEGI 21:45 FILM: UDTA PUNJAB THURSDAY OCT 10, 2019 00:36 FILM: FOUR PILLARS OF BASEMENT 05:00 FILM: BAAT BANN GAYI 07:11 FILM: SHIVA SHAKTI 10:00 FILM: RAM BALRAM 13:31 FILM: MR. NATWARLAL 16:51 FILM: ENGLISH VINGLISH 19:41 FILM: KYON KI…ITS FATE 22:51 FILM: HAPPY BHAG JAYEGI FRIDAY OCT 11, 2019 01:12 FILM: THE SHAUKEENS 05:00 FILM: LOGIN 07:04 FILM: RAM BALRAM 10:28 FILM: AAKHREE RAASTA 13:50 FILM: CHEENI KUM 16:48 FILM: 102 NOT OUT 19:00 FILM: DON 2 22:00 FILM: BADLAPUR

Vishwesh Krishnamoorthy, director of MTV's Bring on the Night and The Dewarists, has helmed 99 Songs. The film is backed by his production banner YM Movies, along with Jio Studios and Ideal Entertainment. '99 Songs' features debutants Ehan, Edilsy Varghese and Tenzin Dalha. The film will also feature Lisa Ray, Manisha Koirala, composer-drummer Ranjit Barot and Indian Ocean’s Rahul Ram in the supporting roles.

20:00 * Schedule is subject to change

SATURDAY 5TH OCTOBER TIME TV PROGRAM NAMES 17:30 ZINDAGI KE CROSSROADS 18:30 THE KAPIL SHARMA SHOW 20:00 SUPERSTAR SINGER 21:30 THE KAPIL SHARMA SHOW SUNDAY 6TH OCTOBER TIME TV PROGRAM NAMES 17:30 ZINDAGI KE CROSSROADS 18:30 THE KAPIL SHARMA SHOW 20:00 SUPERSTAR SINGER 21:30 THE KAPIL SHARMA SHOW

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MON 7TH - FRI 11TH OCT 2019 13:00: SWARAGINI 13:30: BHARADWAJ BAHUEIN 15:30: SIRF 30 MINUTES 16:00: THE GREAT INDIAN GLOBAL KITCHEN 2 16:30: RASOI SHOW 17:30: CHHUTA CHHEDA 18:00: TUM KAUN PIYA

* Schedule is subject to change

MON 7TH - FRI 11TH OCT 2019 18:00: MERE HUMRAHI 18:30: VIDYA 19:00: RAM SIYA KE LUV KUSH 19:30: CHOTI SARDAARNI 20:00: SHAKTI ASTITVA KE EHSAAS KI 20:30: KITCHEN CHAMPION 21:30: BIGG BOSS - SEASON 13 22:30: BAHU BEGUM 23:00: BEPANAH PYAARR

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VIGHNAHARTA GANESHA TARA FROM SATARA

ISHAARON ISHAARON MEIN PATIALA BABES

KAUN BANEGA CROREPATI TARA FROM SATARA CRIME PATROL

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19:00 19:00 19:00 19:00 18:30: 19:00: 19:30: 20:00: 20:30: 21:00: 22:00:

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WEDNESDAY BAAZI THURSDAY FRIDAY

KHUBSOORAT BAGHBAN

DIL KA RISHTA JAHAANARA BEPANNAH TERE NAAL ISHQ MOHE RANNG DO LAAL BALIKA VADHU - LAMHE PYAAR KE RED ALERT

SAT 12TH OCT 2019 17:30: DIVINE DESTINATION 18:00: DESI BEAT - SEASON 3 18:30: RISING STAR (SEASON 3) 20:30: RED ALERT 21:30: JAGTE RAHO SUN 13TH OCT 2019 17:30: DIVINE DESTINATION 18:00: DESI BEAT - SEASON 3 18:30: RISING STAR (SEASON 3) 20:30: RED ALERT 21:30: JAGTE RAHO

23:00: CHOTI SARDAARNI 0:00: GATHBANDHAN SAT 12TH OCT 2019 18:00: DUSSEHRA EVENT 21:00: DESI BEAT RESET 21:30: BIGG BOSS (SEASON 13) WEEKEND KA VAAR 23:00: KAWACH MAHASHIVRATRI SUN 13TH OCT 2019 16:00: IIFA WEEKEND WITH STARS 17:00: BIGG BOSS (SEASON 13) WEEKEND KA VAAR 18:30: IIFA ROCKS 20:30: KHATRA KHATRA KHATRA 21:30: BIGG BOSS (SEASON 13) WEEKEND KA VAAR 23:00: KAWACH MAHASHIVRATRI


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5 -11 Oct 2019

BAPS chief Mahant Swami in Nairobi

Diwali to return to Luton town centre

Chain Of Pearls - Poem by Rabindranath Tagore Mother, I shall weave a chain of pearls for thy neck with my tears of sorrow. The stars have wrought their anklets of light to deck thy feet, but mine will hang upon thy breast. Wealth and fame come from thee and it is for thee to give or to withhold them. But this my sorrow is absolutely mine own, and when I bring it to thee as my offering thou rewardest me with thy grace. AJIT NINAN FOR TOI

before.” The word Diwali comes from the Sanskrit word ‘Deepavali’, meaning rows of lighted lamps. The festival traditionally lasts for five days and usually falls in October and November. The Diwali in Luton line-up is as follows: l 12pm: Tommy Sandhu, Asian radio DJ, will open the show l 1.30pm and 3.30pm: Rhythm Arts & Dance Academy, a folk and tribal dance academy l 2.15pm: Dance company, Om Stars Academy, who have performed for both the England Cricket team and the Indian Prime Minister l 2.30pm: Join BhangraBlaze – a fusion of fitness with bhangra l 2.45pm: Jamilah, who was on X Factor 2008 as part of girl group ‘Desire’, will be on stage l 3.30pm Soni’s School of Garba Dance, an award winning Garna Dance group l 4pm: Dhol Bhangra Smash Up, a fusion of mainstream western sounds with traditional bhangra beats, using the Indian dhol and dholak l 4.30pm: JIYA, a fusion of Hindi and English music l 5.30pm: Navin Kundra, a talented singer-songwriter who combines Eastern and Western influences

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A fabulous festival of song, dance and art will bring a blaze of colour to Luton town centre this month. Diwali, the Hindu festival of lights, is the most popular of all South Asian celebrations and is celebrated by Jains and Sikhs as well as Hindus. On Saturday, October 26, the festival will again return to Luton town centre from 12pm to 7.30pm. The free entertainment will include traditional dancing, singing and visual arts along with traditional food and drink. The Diwali parade, being organised by outdoor arts company Festive Road, will start at 6pm at Market Hill, weave its way down George Street and will finish at St George’s Square at around 7pm. This will be followed by a dramatic firework display from the rooftop of The Mall shopping centre. Event manager Furhaad Ahmed said: “The Arts Council like to part fund events so the support from Luton BID was essential to obtaining this funding. “This year we have also had support from The Mall and Revoluton Arts. “It is thanks to all this generosity that our Hindu festival of lights is set to be bigger and better than ever

Navratri Garbas l Harrow Leisure Centre Date: Sunday 29th September to Tuesday 8th October Time: 8pm till 11pm (weekdays) ; 8pm till 12.30am (weekend) Venue: Harrow Leisure Centre, Byron Hall, Christchurch Avenue, Harrow, HA3 5BD Tickets (www.eventbrite.com): £5.98 - £8.14 l Bal Vihar Date: Sunday 29th September Time: 12pm to 3pm Venue: Campion School, Wingletye Lane, Hornchurch, RM11 3BX Tickets: £6.50 for adults and children in advance (masti@balvihar.co.uk) ; At the Door £8 for adults and children ; Under 2s FREE

l SKLPC (UK) Dates: Sunday 29th September to Saturday 12th October Time: 7.30pm till 11pm daily Venue: Grand Marquee, India Gardens, West End Road, Northolt, Middx, UB5 6RE Tickets: www.sklpc.com/navratri l BTCA Bromley Date: Saturday 5th October Time: 7.30pm till 11.30pm Venue: Bishop Justus School Hall, Magpie Hall Lane, Bromley, BR2 8HZ Tickets: £10 Adults and children over 5 ; Senior citizens and children under 5 FREE Email: info@bromleymandir.org l Vijyadashmi Garba & Dandia Night Date: Saturday 12th October

Various programs are being organized in the presence of BAPS chief Mahant Swami in Nairobi. On 24th, Pramukh Swami Shatabdi Din was celebrated. Mahant Swami said, “Even a glimpse of Mahant Swami would give one satiety.” On 26th and 27th, Vachanamrut Dwishatabdi Mahotsav was celebrated. On that occasion, Granth Palkhi Yatra was conducted. Along with that, a dialogue on 'Sadpurush no Mahima' was also presented. Bal Din was celebrated on 28th. Children played Kirtan in the morning assembly and presented a dialogue on 'Brahmavidhya ni College'. On 29th, Ghar Sabha Din was celebrated. Pramukh Swami directed people that if family members gather and conduct assembly, then many conflicts can be resolved.

Coming Events

l Saraswati Poojan, Date: 5 September, Saturday, Time: 6:30 pm, Dussehra Utsav – Ravan Dahan, Date: 8 September, Tuesday, Time: 8:00 pm, Venue: Swaminarayan Temple at Stenmore, Wood Lane, Stenmore HA7 4LF, Contact: 020 8954 0205 l Public program for mental health and well-being Date: 10 October, Thursday, Time: From 11:00 am to 3:30 pm Venue: University of Bolton, Chancellors Mall, University Way, Bolton BL3 5AB. Admission free Contact: 01204 380643 / 07549923201 l Exhibition - Relive the Ideals of Mahatma Gandhi Through Art, Date: 11 October, Friday, Venue: Nehru Center UK 8S, Audley Street, Mayfair London W1K 1HF Contact. 020 7491 3567

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Time: 5pm till 10pm Venue: South Reading Leisure, Northumberland Avenue, Whitley, Reading, RG2 8DF Tickets (www.eventbrite.com): Adults: £3 Under 5s: Free l Bolton Hindu Forum Sharad Purnima Date: Saturday 19th October Time: 7pm till 11.30pm Venue: Market Place, 1st Floor, Knowsley Street, Bolton, BL1 2AL Tickets: £5 Email: pm@boltonhinduforum.org.uk l Diwali Festival at Blackheath Halls Date: 16th-20th October Price: Varies depending on activity Venue: Blackheath Halls, 23 Lee Road, London, SE3 9RQ


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5 - 11 October 2019

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Saha to replace Pant in first test against South Africa Wriddhiman Saha will take over the wicketkeeping gloves from Rishabh Pant in the first Test of the 3-match series against South Africa starting on October 2 in Vizag. Saha had played the last of his 32 Test matches against South Africa in Cape Town before he was sidelined due to an injury. Rishabh Pant, the 21-yearold daredevil batsman from Delhi, played 11 Test matches as Saha's replacement and gave a good account of himself with the bat in England and Australia. In England, Pant scored hundred before he played some gutsy knock in Australia including his Test best of 159 not out. Pant was also involved in several banters with the Australian batsmen from behind the stumps. Between the tours of England and Australia, Pant smashed identical scores of 92 in two Test matches against West Indies at home. However, on the tour of

Wriddhiman Saha

Rishabh Pant

West Indies, Pant scored 24, 7 and 27 in three innings but

that irked the captain and coach. India skipper Virat

it was the way he threw his wicket away across formats

Kohli confirmed India have decided to go back to

Injury rules Bumrah out India's frontline pacer Jasprit Bumrah, recently hailed as the “most complete bowler in the world” by captain Virat Kohli, has sustained a minor stress fracture in his lower back and been ruled out of the upcoming three-Test series against South Africa. The injury, according to BCCI was detected during a routine radiological screening. “Bumrah will now undergo rehabilitation at the National Cricket Academy (NCA) and will be monitored by the BCCI medical team,” the board said. The bowler, incidentally, had been rested for the just-concluded T20 International series against the touring South Africans. “It’s very minor but nobody wants to take any risks with Jasprit. There’s stress in the lower back region and it’s important to monitor it closely in order to assess future repercussions. That’s the reason he has been given a break,” sources said.

Wriddhiman Saha, who is a far better wicketkeeper than Pant and by all means, a reliable middle-order batsman. "Saha's keeping credentials are there for everyone to see. He's played well for us whenever he's got a chance with the bat for us also. It was unfortunate that he was out for such a long period with an injury, and according to me he's the best keeper in the world. In these conditions, and with what he's done for us in the past, he'll start for us," Kohli said. Saha does not have the flamboyance of Pant but he has more often than not got the job done. In 32 Tests, he has scored 1,164 runs including 3 hundreds and 5 fifties. India playing XI for 1st Test: Virat Kohli (Capt), Ajinkya Rahane (vc), Rohit Sharma, Mayank Agarwal, Cheteshwar Pujara, Hanuma Vihari, R Ashwin, R Jadeja, Wriddhiman Saha (wk), Ishant Sharma, Md Shami.

Kohli, Dhawan move up in ICC T20I player rankings India skipper Virat Kohli and left-handed batsman Shikhar Dhawan have moved up in the latest ICC Men's T20I player rankings. Kohli's unbeaten 72 in the second T20I of the threematch series against South Africa that ended in a 1-1 draw, saw him gaining one spot and reach 11th position in the batting list while Dhawan moved up three places to 13th after scores of 40 and 36. The latest rankings update takes into account the India-South Africa

series, Bangladesh tri-series also featuring Afghanistan and Zimbabwe, as well as the Ireland tri-series in which Scotland and the Netherlands were the other teams. F i f t h - r a n k e d Hazratullah Zazai's current 727 points are the highest by an Afghanistan batsman in history while 21st-ranked George Munsey became the first Scotland batsman to reach 600 points after scoring an unbeaten 127 off just 56 balls against the Netherlands before

Virat Kohli

Shikhar Dhawan

dropping to 585 at the end of the series. The series in India also saw South Africa's Quinton de Kock move up from 49th to 30th, his highest position in two years, after scores of 52 and 79 not out. Spinner Tabraiz Shamsi has reached the top 20 in the bowlers' list for the first time while Andile Phehlukwayo has achieved a career-best ranking of seventh. In the Bangladesh triseries Zimbabwe captain Hamilton Masakdza retired from international cricket in

22nd place as their highestranked batsman at the time and Afghanistan spinner Mujeeb ur Rahman has moved into the top 10 with seven wickets in the series. The Ireland series saw the Dutch pair of Ben Cooper and Max O'Dowd achieve their highest rankings at joint 41st among batsmen while Ireland's Kevin O'Brien has achieved a career-high 459 rating points in batting. Andrew Balbirnie has also progressed from 95th to 53rd in the same list.

Hardik Pandya heading for UK CWG is a waste of time, says to treat back injury IOA chief Narinder Batra India all-rounder Hardik Pandya is set to leave for the UK as he will get his back checked by the same doctor who treated him during India's tour of England in 2018 and the 2019 World Cup. This will be his third visit to the UK specialist as Pandya aggravated his back injury during the T20I series against South Africa. A senior board functionary said that Pandya has been consulting the UK specialist for the back issue that he has been facing and the doctor will now sit down with the all-rounder and discuss if they will go in for a surgery or take medicines to help recover from the back problem. "Pandya had tried his best and worked on his fitness after the World Cup. But he aggravated it while playing in the T20I series against South Africa. He is flying off and will sit down with the specialist and decide if he

needs a surgery or medication will do. "The specialist understands him as they have been in touch over the last couple of years. In fact, even when we were playing the World Cup, he paid a visit to the doctor to get his back checked. You have to understand that no athlete at the top level is a 100 per cent. They are always carrying some niggle or the other. The physio is there to help in that. But then, after a point, you need to take a call," the functionary said. In fact, he even cited the example of MS Dhoni and how he has always slept on the floor as he has a bad back. "Take Dhoni's example. For the last 12 years, he has been sleeping on the floor and playing non-stop. You try and figure out ways to tackle situations because at the end of the day, nobody wants to be going under the knife," the functionary said.

Making another strong pitch for India to pull out of the Birmingham Commonwealth Games, Indian Olympic Association president Narinder Batra said that it “is a waste of time.” Birmingham Games are scheduled to be held in 2022. “It’s my strong view that Commonwealth Games have no standard. We get 60 to 70 to 100 medals in Commonwealth but when it comes to Olympics we get one or two. I think we should look at better competitions to prepare for the Olympics and that's where we should go. There may be some events where there is competition (in CWG) but I don't think it is the place to go,” Batra said. “If you need sports to improve then you need to think straight. We are not here to make everyone happy. Once we were part of the British empire but we are not slaves

anymore. We became independent in 1947. There are 30 countries of Commonwealth who do not play in the Games. So we are not obliged to play. Finally, it (participating in the Games) is a political decision but I feel Commonwealth Games is a waste of time,” Batra added. He said the CWG organizers should shut shop if they can’t find sponsors. “If the CWG organizers are saying that they spent 22 million on the last Games and now they don’t have money (to conduct shooting), then please shut your shop. “If you don't have sponsors and you don't have money then why you are wasting everyone's time. If you don't have money to do the Games then don't make it a joke,” the IOA president who is also the president of the world hockey federation (FIH) said.

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AV 5th October 2019  

Asian Voice weekly newspaper (Issue 23 Vol 48)

AV 5th October 2019  

Asian Voice weekly newspaper (Issue 23 Vol 48)

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