a product message image
{' '} {' '}
Limited time offer
SAVE % on your upgrade

Page 1

FIRST & FOREMOST ASIAN WEEKLY IN EUROPE

R

Let noble thoughts come to us from every side

7 - 13 MARCH 2020 - VOL 48 ISSUE 43

CURBING CORONAVIRUS

inside: Pressure mounts on Priti Patel to resign over bullying accusation SEE PAGE - 9

Connecting the dots: How Dotsquares capitalised on the digital boom? SEE PAGE - 13

International Women's Day: Generation Equality SEE PAGE - 16-17 Prime Minister Boris Johnson

Priyanka Mehta Prime Minister Boris Johnson has warned that there can be a “very significant expansion� in the number of cases of coronavirus in the UK. The cases reported due to the

Covid-19, jumped to 51 in the UK as emergency meetings were hosted to chalk out an action plan wherein the government is considering to seek military assistance. The NHS has now declared the coronavirus a level four

incident - the highest category. Amidst such mayhem, how have the British businesses taken a hit and how are community organisations informing and helping the public?

Continued on page 6

Death toll in Delhi violence mounts to 46 SEE PAGE - 26


2 UK

AsianVoiceNews

AsianVoiceNewsweekly

www.asian-voice.com

7 - 13 March 2020

with Keith Vaz always grabbed the oppurtunites that have been thrown my way and created a path for myself. I try and keep all obstacles and negative energy out of focus.

5

Who has been the biggest influence on your career to date? My mum and dad for sure.

Chetna Makan Chetna Makan was born in Jabalpur in Central India. She has a degree in fashion and worked in Mumbai as a fashion designer before moving to the UK in 2004. Chetna was part of 'The Great British Bake Off' in 2014 and since then has written three books. The first book 'The Cardamom Trail' was a celebration of baking with Indian flavours and her second book 'Chai, Chaat & Chutney' was discovering Indian Streetfood from the four corners of India. Her 3rd book 'Chetna's Healthy Indian' is all about Indian food she cooks at home for her family. She also has a very popular Youtube channel 'Food with Chetna' where she shares her creative flair for all things cooking and baking.'

1

Which place, or city or country do you most feel at home in? For me home is Broadstairs, my husband and I moved here 15 years ago and feel settled and at home here. When it comes to a country, I feel like I have 2 homes one England and India and feel very lucky to be feeling like this.

2

What are your proudest achievements?

There are quite a few moments in my life which I feel proud about and I cant really pick one of them. But coming to my life now I do feel immensely proud of my

books and that I am able to introduce Indian food to so many people via my books and Youtube channel.

7

And the worst?

Not much, just that there are not enough hours in the day!

I don't make plans for the future, but I would love to reach out to many more people through my books and Youtube channel.

9

If you were Prime Minister, what one aspect would you change? I would never be the Prime Minister, not even in my dreams.

10

If you were marooned on a desert island, which historical figure would you like to spend your time with and why. Hitler because I would like to know what was going on in his head, the questions would be endless but an insight into his thoughts, so many whys and hows?

Court rules Heathrow third runway illegal over climate change concerns

What inspires you?

My family inspires me, my mum who has this love for food and sharing her knowledge. My husband who is so fair and determined, my kids in whom I can see little bits of creativity developing.

4

What has been biggest obstacle in your career? I cant think of anything really! I have

Solicitor (Principal)

Benefit from very competitive rates, tailored advice & service to suit your specific needs, 24 hour response to all online enquries and our many years of experience.

www.rashidandrashid.co.uk

• Asylum & Immigration • New Point Based System • Settlement Application (ILR) • European Law • Nationality & Travel Documents • Human Rights Applications • High Court of Appeals • Family Matters and Divorce

• Switching Visas • Over Stayers • Legacy Cases • Work Permits • Visa Extensions • Judicial Reviews • Tribunal Appeals • Student Appeals

Immigration - Family - Stateless Child Visa

020 8540 1666 / 020 8672 0666

FREE LEGAL ADVISE 07878 335 000 / 07774 222 062

Southall Office:

What is the best aspect about your current role? I love writing about food, about recipes, about making traditional recipes into modern everyday cooking. Meeting new people who share the same passion for food.

What are your long term goals?

3

Rashid A Khan

Head Office:

6

8

190 Merton High Street, Wimbledon, London SW19 1AX 1 minute walk from South Wimbledon Tube Station

211, The Broadway, Southall, Middlesex, UB1 1NB

RASHID & RASHID SOLICITORS 1 minute walk from McDonald's

Surinder Arora

On Thursday 27th February the court of appeal gave a judgment opposing the plans for a third runway at Heathrow airport. Ruled “illegal” by the court of appeal around climate change concerns, it is seen as a major blow to the project when the Government had given it a go-ahead in 2018 after MPs backed it by a large majority. However, the judge has asserted that the ministers did not adequately take into account the government’s climate change commitments. Now, Boris Johnson, could use the ruling to abandon the project, or the government could draw up a new policy document to approve the runway. Lord Justice Lindblom said, “The Paris Agreement ought to have been taken into account by the Secretary of State. The

National Planning Statement was not produced as the law requires.” He said the government had seen the ruling in advance but did not seek permission to appeal to the supreme court. Johnson had opposed the runway, in 2015 where he had said that he would “lie down in front of those bulldozers and stop the construction”. Heathrow is already one the busiest airports in the world, with 80 million passengers a year. The £14bn third runway could be built by 2028 and would bring 700 more planes per day and a big rise in carbon emissions. Heathrow and proponents of the third runway say it would provide an economic boost and is important for international business, particularly after Brexit. Now, the court of appeal did not overturn the high court’s dismissal of the other chal-

lenges related to air and noise pollution, traffic, and the multibillion pound cost of the runway. But has insisted that the ministers did not take into consideration the Government’s zero net carbon emission drive. The opponents and Heathrow airport are likely to appeal to the Supreme Court on the issue and optimistic of winning the case in their favour. This comes at a time when only recently Arora Group founder Surinder Arora announced stepping down from CEO to executive chairman to focus on developing the group’s Heathrow West new terminal proposal. The court’s ruling is the first in the world to be based on the Paris agreement and may have an impact both in the UK and around the globe by inspiring challenges against other high carbon projects.

Khan backs Starmer for Labour leadership Mayor of London Sadiq Khan, who himself faces a battle to be re-elected in May, said he had known Sir Keir "for decades" as he endorsed the candidate for Labour leadership contest. The former government minister said Sir Keir was the "best person" to unite the party, "take the fight" to Boris Johnson and return Labour to power. It comes as Rebecca Long-Bailey revealed her leadership campaign has had

a significant cash boost from union Unite and campaign group Momentum. Unite, which endorsed the shadow business secretary last month, made two separate donations of £100,000 each last month, according to figures published on the MPs campaign website, as well as a payment of £15,000 towards staff costs. The union was Labour's biggest donor at the 2019 general election, spending more than £3m on the cam-

paign. Khan tweeted, “I will be voting for Keir Starmer to be the next Labour leader. I have known Keir for decades. He is the best person to unite our party, take the fight to the Tories and put Labour in government. #AnotherFutureIsPossible.” Voting in the contest between Sir Keir, Mrs LongBailey and Lisa Nandy began earlier this week, with the result to be announced on 4 April.


www.asian-voice.com

AsianVoiceNews

AsianVoiceNewsweekly

UK

COMMENTS

3

7 - 13 March 2020

British Indians in the Conservatives In the last few decades the Tory party has seen a surge of British Indian MPs. From the establishment of the Conservative Friends of India to the election of the most “Indian cabinet in the UK”, British Indians have come a long way both in their representation at CCHQ and subsequently in successive Tory governments. Yet, The Guardian’s recent opinnion piece dissects and boxes the political careers of these British Indian MPs into categories of religious based far-right politics or worse yet their heritage as East African Indian immigrants. The piece is factually correct in most chunks in re-constructing the historic but unfortunate expulsion of East African Indians from Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania. But, in the process, the columnist’s error happens to be in the observation that these immigrants came affluent to the UK. And hence she notes that they were successful in establishing what is referred to as the country’s “corner-shop empire” under Thatcher’s rule. The first-hand annecdotes chronicled in our Kenya special magazine (published last year) are perhaps the best sources of history that debunk this prejudice. These stories talk of families living in cramped rented rooms, all members working long hours in factories and corner shops to ensure they break bread together at night. However, that is the story of the older first generation of the East African Indian immigrants. While their struggle is an inspirational narrative recalled during family gatherings, it hardly bears resemblance to the life-story of the millenial

British Indian politicians like Priti Patel and Rishi Sunak. Their parents may have settled in the UK as newsagents but that is neither their political identity now nor have these MPs ever capitalised on such an “East African immigrant vote”. Neither do these MPs associate themselves to the politics of religion. Bob Blackman as an MP may or may not have banked on the Kashmiri Hindu vote to re-elect him in Harrow East this general election. But neither have Sunak, Patel as a Home Secretary or for that matter Sharma openly debated, discussed or even issued blatant statements around Kashmir and the recent revocation of Article 370 in India. Have the Labour British Indian MPs or Asian MPs for that matter stayed silent around the subject? Perhaps, the question is best left unanswered especially in light of the resolution passed at their Brighton conference. Now, one may wonder, what incentivises the British Indian MPs to join the Tory Party and how have they jumped through hoops to secure powerful cabinet positions. It is no secret that the Indian community (especially the Punjabis and Gujaratis) strives on its entrepreneurial spirit. These households usually therefore, align themselves with the Conservative Party ideology be it around taxation or social reforms. Socialism or communism is generally perceived as a dead concept with no precendence around its success in the UK. Perhaps, this can be attributed as one of the reasons as to why these MPs prefer the Tories as opposed to the Labour even as the latter has historically opened the doors of both the UK and British Parliament to the Indian community.

Problem brewing at Ministry: Boris Johnson’s failing leadership? Home Secretary Priti Patel is under severe scrutiny, after she has been accused of bullying a civil servant in the UK Home Office. Latest reports have claimed that the government is to investigate whether Ms Patel has breached the ministerial code, amid allegations of bullying. Cabinet office minister Michael Gove confirmed the inquiry after an urgent question from Jeremy Corbyn. Mr Corbyn said he believed Ms Patel - who has denied previously to have mistreated a staff, should be sacked. Sir Philip Rutnam, the Home Office's most senior official, resigned on Saturday citing a "vicious and orchestrated" campaign against him. Patel has not made any public comment since Sir Philip announced his resignation. The BBC reported that a formal complaint about Ms Patel's conduct was made when she was employment minister. In the Commons, Michael Gove said Patel "absolutely rejects these allegations". The Home Office has rarely been a happy ship, as the The Sunday Times reported. These are difficult times. The community is divided. While one group believes that leftists are vilifying Ms Patel, because of her race and gender, another group is alleging there is a pattern in Ms Patel’s behaviour since Theresa May’s government and her ministerial role in that. More importantly this is a time when the Prime Minister Boris Johnson needs to show more integrity and sincerity. The state is currently in chaos. There is flood caused by three consecutive storms, followed by coronavirus outbreak Then came the news of Ms Patel’s row with her senior civil servant- him quitting her department accusing her of bullying. Though Johnson has shown more knowledge than his

counterpart Donald Trump in the US about coronavirus and its effects, the announcement at the same time of his partner Carrie Symonds being pregnant and his wedding has been diversion if not an excuse. Johnson was always a bit aloof and non responsive with national chaos. During London riot in 2011, he was late to return from his holidays. During this outbreak of coronavirus, Mr Johnson is depending on Health Secretary Matt Hancock to deal with this crisis situation. He is late by a month already. The virus outbreak started in China 3 months ago. UK got its first patient a month ago. And Mr Johnson only held his cobra meeting on Monday! Regarding Priti Patel, obviously Mr Johnson is backing her and has openly announced his full faith in her. Downing Street insiders dismissed the suggestion that Ms Patel could be forced to quit and apparently the fall out between Sir Philip and Ms Patel goes back months. Across Whitehall, as FT wrote, Ms Patel is looked at as a disruptive Brexiter pushing for radical reform to implement government agenda. Sir Philip is a classic old-schooled civil servant, described as unimaginative but fiercely loyal – and part of the problem lies there. The row also raises questions if other senior civil servants will find themselves at loggerheads with Johnson’s other ministers. Though civil servants have often said that the row between ministers and senior officials is quite common, but no one is guilty unless proven. The irony is quite apparent. Ms Patel who is the Home Office boss- her colour, gender and the fact that she is daughter of an immigrant shopkeeper remains a visible problem with the predominantly white, classist and conservative British society- whether one admits or not.

Afghan pact will have major impact on India In a significant development for Afghanistan, the US and Taliban have inked an agreement that is being seen as a precursor to peace in the war-ravaged country. The US has announced a troop withdrawal schedule in exchange for Taliban providing guarantees that Afghan soil won’t be used for terror attacks. Plus, things will now transition to intra-Afghan talks between Taliban and various Afghan stakeholders that would have to necessarily include the Afghan government. Although it has been billed as a “peace agreement” it is more a phased withdrawal for the 12,000 US forces currently stationed in Afghanistan. The promise to end America’s “endless wars” in the region was one of the central themes of US President Donald Trump’s election campaign in 2016. He is eager to demonstrate progress on that front in his bid for re-election later this year. In agreeing to withdraw all US forces from Afghanistan over a period of 14 months, Washington has got Taliban’s promise to prevent the use of Afghan soil by any group that threatens the security of America and its allies. The Taliban has also agreed to join talks with various Afghan groups, starting later this month, to discuss a permanent ceasefire and a road map to install a new political regime in Kabul. The US has certainly made its promise of withdrawal conditional upon the Taliban holding up its commitments. This conditionality is unlikely to survive the diminishing political support in Washington for further military

involvement with Afghanistan. The biggest casualty of the US withdrawal is the Kabul government that was kept out of the US talks with the Taliban. Growing internal squabbling in Kabul has further marginalised the government. The imminent intraAfghan talks will involve many Afghan groups but the Taliban will be the most powerful player at the table and is bound to set the terms for the final agreement. The Taliban, whose strength lies among the Pashtuns, is not known for a politics of accommodation with other ethnic groups that constitute more than half of the Afghan population. The return of a unilateral Taliban could set the stage for the next round of civil war that has hobbled the nation since the late 1970s. The lifting of the US military footprint and the uncertain political future of Kabul provide a fertile ground for meddling by other regional actors, especially the Pakistan army, which sees Afghanistan as its backyard. New Delhi must have a fallback plan in case the current Taliban is anything like the old Taliban, and works in concert with Pakistan to support anti-Indian jihadi groups. It’s worth bearing in mind that the deputy leader of Taliban is Sirajuddin Haqqani – a man with close ties to Pakistan’s ISI. After the US withdrawal, Islamabad could exert influence to direct extremists towards India. Either way, Delhi must be prepared for prolonged turbulence in Afghanistan as the curtains fall on Kabul’s moderate political order.

Appreciation is a wonderful thing. It makes what is excellent in others belong to us as well - Voltaire (1694-1778)

Delhi riots expose duplicity of Western Media Sweta Mohanty Certain western media outlets have painted the recent Delhi riots as a “pogrom” against Muslims of India. Even prominent politicians and intellectuals like US Senator, Bernie Sanders and UK Labour MP, Zarah Sultana, were quick to issue statements about the riots being an anti-Muslim mob violence. But, let's look at the facts: A man identified as Shahrukh has been caught on camera firing eight rounds during the riots. Head Constable Ratan Lal was among the initial few who died due to these bullet injuries. A young Intelligence Bureau Officer, Ankit Sharma, was brutally stabbed 400 times as per forensic reports. His body was recovered from a drain close to a municipal corporator’s house, Tahir Hussain. Videos have surfaced where a large mob had gathered on the terrace of Tahir Hussain’s house and were hurling stones and petrol bombs, Ankit had gone unarmed to assess and plausibly dissuade them from engaging in these activities. He, in turn, became a victim of the barbaric mob. A forensic team has further seized petrol bombs, acid, stones and bricks from Tahir Hussain’s house. Both Shahrukh and Tahir Hussain are currently not traceable. A 51-year old man was brutally assaulted with his son and killed for simply carrying a “Jai Shri Ram” sticker on his motorbike. A journalist, Akash Napa, was attacked by a mob of protestors opposing the citizenship bill. A young boy, Vivek, had a machine drilled into his head when he showed the rioters his ID card. Several Hindu houses and shops were handpicked by the rioters and set on fire or vandalised. Schools and petrol pumps were not spared. Acid was thrown on paramilitary forces from the top of houses.

Fake Narrative on CAA As per early reports, equal number of casualties were reported among both communities. Attempts to portray it as a “pogrom” against Muslims is outright false and display sinister intents at play. The fact is left leaning forces worldwide have never given up their attempts of tainting PM Modi and the ruling party’s image to that of an anti-Muslim jibe. Their latest grouse was India’s Citizenship Amendment Act which was also twisted for purposes of suiting their narrative. The Act, which aims to expedite citizenship process for religiously persecuted minorities from three neighbouring Islamic countries has been projected as (a) Indian Muslims losing their citizenship status and (b) human rights violations of persecut ed Muslims in these Islamic countries for failure to grant them the same benefit. India has repeatedly clarified that its doors have never been shut for any immigrant including the Muslims from these countries. They just have to go through the normal process of availing citizenship that any sovereign country entails The support of western media has bolstered the efforts of Indian left intellectuals, ill-informed activists and certain factions of opposition parties who seem to have a single point agenda of opposing PM Modi. The radical faction of Islam has joined hands with them too. They peddle lies on the act and have managed to create an anticipatory fear among the Muslims – when the facts are pointing against the narrative. Continued on page 6 Editor: CB Patel Asian Voice is published by Asian Business Publications Ltd Karma Yoga House, 12 Hoxton Market, (Off Coronet Street) London N1 6HW. Tel: 020 7749 4080 • Fax: 020 7749 4081 Email: aveditorial@abplgroup.com Website: www.abplgroup.com INDIA OFFICE Bureau Chief: Nilesh Parmar (BPO) AB Publication (India) Pvt. Ltd. 207 Shalibhadra Complex, Opp. Jain Derasar, Nr. Nehru Nagar Circle, Ambawadi, Ahmedabad-380 015. Tel: +91 79 2646 5960 Email: gs_ahd@abplgroup.com © Asian Business Publications


4 UK

AsianVoiceNews

AsianVoiceNewsweekly

www.asian-voice.com

7 - 13 March 2020

Birmingham GP wrongly convicted Petition urging to 'stop the inhuman treatment of doctors' of groping patient returns to work launched after medic's suicide A Birmingham GP whose 40-year career was destroyed after he was wrongly convicted for groping a patient has been cleared of charges, and allowed to return to work. Dr Rajeshkumar Mehta told Birmingham Mail that he felt ‘delighted’ after his conviction was ‘quashed’ and he was reinstated by the General Medical Council.

Rupanjana Dutta An Indian-origin anaesthetist took his life after being accused of sexually assaulting a teenage patient whom he gave a sedative that has a side effect of sexual hallucination, an inquest has heard in the UK on last Thursday. A post mortem gave the medical cause of the death of the 50year old doctor as drowning. But the inquest later heard, there were no witnesses to the alleged incident, and the patient's description of the accused differed quite a bit from Dr Sridharan Suresh's actual appearance, the Daily Mail reported. His software architect wife, Visalakshmi, reportedly told Teeside Coroners' Court that her husband felt his character had been 'defamed' by the sex claims, which he 'totally' denied. Dr Suresh who was suspended by his employer, was under the impression that police investigation on him was to be discontinued soon and he was going to be allowed back into work. But when he received an email from the General Medical Council on May 2 saying that it was continuing its investigation and that he should attend a hearing in 3 weeks when his registration may be suspended, he committed suicide on the same day. The inquest heard that Dr Suresh had reportedly sent an email to his wife before killing himself, saying that he 'has done nothing wrong' but he did not want to 'go on like this forever'. His wife said Dr Suresh had been totally 'destroyed' and by the claims as she told the court, 'In our eyes, my husband was being defamed,' the newspaper reported. She added that he wanted to clear his name, resign and move to a different city in the UK. In an impact statement,

The medic, who had an unblemished career of NHS service, was jailed for 15 months after he was convicted of sexual assault following an allegation from his time as a Sparkhill GP. The GP was also struck off by the GMC in May 2019, following a hearing by the Medical Practitioners Tribunal Service. The court had heard how the patient, who was a mum-of-two, had attended

Dr Sridharan Suresh

the wife further said her husband had felt isolated, there has been a lack of support, and that even a reassuring phone call 'would have made a huge difference'. When asked by the coroner if Dr Suresh has ever been suicidal or vulnerable before that, Visalakshmi replied with a firm 'no'.

Petition launched for Dr Suresh After the death of Dr Suresh, petition has been launched by his friends and family to Health Secretary Matt Hancock, saying that doctors are accused of misconduct and are being treated as guilty before any investigation by the employer and GMC. In fact a number of doctors are being investigated by the GMC and have committed suicide and the GMC is 'not accountable' for this loss of life. This must be stopped. The petition that has already gathered 17,500+ signatures and looking for more, went on to say that, “The GMC should be made responsible for the wellbeing of doctors who are under its investigation. They should be held accountable for the loss of life of any doctor they are investigating. The UK Secretary of State for Health should bring about change to the statute to achieve this, so that doctors' lives are protected. “Dr Suresh was an anaesthetist who gave sedation to a patient for a dental procedure. The sedative given occasionally causes sexual

Visalakshmi, wife of Dr Suresh

hallucination. The patient accused the anaesthetist of inappropriate touching but there was no witness to this. The patient's description of the accused person was completely different to that of Dr Suresh. "However, not only did the police commence an investigation, Dr Suresh was also suspended from work by his employer, restricted from being alone with his own son by the social services and reported to the GMC by the police. A month later, the GMC wrote to him advising that they too had opened an investigation and that he should attend a hearing in 3 weeks when his registration may be suspended. At this point Dr Suresh took his own life. The family of this doctor has been left devastated. “As lots of doctors have lost their lives while under GMC investigation, Dr Suresh's family and friends appeal to the Secretary of State for help in protecting other doctors facing similar situation." If you wish to add your signature see http://chng.it/X6ghCn7p.

UK vigilante reveals how Indian call centre fleeced vulnerable victims Footage given to the BBC Panorama show has seen how weeping British victims have been scammed. The evidence saw victims revealing their stories of being ripped off by a call centre fraudsters. A hacker, who goes by the name Jim Browning, from the UK, gained access to an Indian call centre's CCTV video footage in their office in Gurugram, near Delhi, and listened to 70,000 phone calls. One of the victims who had only £90 in his bank account was asked to pay £150 to fix a computer by the scammers that had fake pop up warnings appearing on his computer screen as well as that of such unexpected but really vulnerable victims. The Daily Mail reported that the footage that was obtained by this vigilante, showed how fraudsters in the Indian call centre

laughed at the situation of the poor victims. The scam reportedly brought in around $400,000 (£312,699+) a month for that call centre. Jim Browning, who hacked into the CCTV cameras in May 2019, also called in the call centre himself, asking if the person on the other end was in the UK. When the fraudster responded saying he was located in San Jose, he asked the fraudster to name one restaurant in California. When he faltered at responding, Jim then started making fun of the scammer who he could see googling the answer. Jim however said that he does not attempt to gain access to anyone's computer unless they try to scam him first. He also added that once fraudsters' base of operations are discovered, they will often simply change buildings but continue as before, the Daily Mail reported.

the surgery suffering with anxiety and the possible early symptoms of a heart attack and was allegedly groped during her examination. But on December 13 last year after new evidence came to light showing the patient to have lied on oath, Mehta had his conviction ‘quashed’ by the Court of Appeal. On 25 February it was revealed Dr Mehta had been reinstated onto the medical register which will allow him to practice again. Dr Mehta told the

Birmingham Mail, "I am delighted that my name has been reinstated onto the medical register, which I had joined back in 1978. After three very hard years, which left my career and reputation severely damaged, I can now look forward to the future. "Once again, I want to thank my family and my legal team for their unwavering support." Solicitor Nigel Richardson, who represented Dr Mehta reportedly said, "This is what we were working so hard to achieve and we are elated to see his name restored to the medical register. "Dr Mehta's life had been destroyed on account of these false accusations, and clearing his name was the first step in rebuilding his career that he worked so hard to get in the first place."

Sajid Javid attacks No10 Chief at PMQ The Prime Minister's Question Time on last Wednesday was a very interesting watch, as Boris Johnson's former Minister Sajid Javid made a polite yet powerful attack on the Prime Minister's No10 Chief, saying that the changes to the Treasury planned by Dominic Cummings were 'not in the national interest'. The former minister used a resignation statement in the Commons – which was watched by Boris Johnson with Priti Patel and Rishi Sunak on his each side. Javid said that a semi-merger of No 10 and No 11 behind the scenes teams would be a hindrance to the finance department's ability to 'speak truth to power'. Though Bromesgrove MP did not name Mr Cummings directly, but he joked that there had been a

lot of gossip already about 'comings and goings', and a roar of laughter was heard from the listening MPs in the Commons. He further said, “A Chancellor, like all Cabinet Ministers, has to be able to give candid advice so he is speaking truth to power. “I believe that the arrangement proposed would significantly inhibit that and it would not have been in the national interest. “So while I was grateful for the continued trust of

the Prime Minister in wanting to reappoint me, I am afraid that these were conditions that I could not accept in good conscience.' “It has always been the case that advisers advise, minsters decide and minsters decide on their advisers. “I couldn't see why the Treasury, with the vital role that it plays, should be the exception to that.” “I very much hope that the new Chancellor will be given space to do his job without fear or favour.” But he then he went on to praise the current Chancellor and said, “And I know this Mr Speaker, that my right honourable friend for Richmond (Chancellor to Exchequer Rishi Sunak) is more than capable of rising to the challenge.”

Tan Dhesi MP becomes first Asian member of the Defence Select Committee Tan Dhesi MP has become the first BAME member of the Defence Select Committee. The Defence Select Committee is one of the Select Committee of the House of Commons, having been established in 1979. It oversees the operations of the Ministry of Defence and its associated public bodies, including the Armed forces. As a delegate member of NATO Parliamentary Assembly, the Armed Forces Parliamentary Scheme and the President of the National Sikh War Memorial Campaign, he has had strong involvement in defence issues since his election in 2017. As Parliament has formed after the 2019 General Election, MPs are now joining the new Select Committees. After previously being member of the Housing, Communities

and Local Government Select Committee, Tan Dhesi MP for Slough has been elected onto the Defence Select Committee. Dhesi believes, this will provide an opportunity for him to gain an even greater understanding of UK's Armed Forces and decisions made in Parliament regarding defence. He said, “It is an honour to join the Defence Select Committee, after having been a member during the last 2 years of the Housing, Communities and Local Government Select Committee. I’m looking forward to learning more about our Armed Forces, to strengthen my understanding of our legislation surrounding defence and to make more informed decisions on this important issue.”


www.asian-voice.com

AsianVoiceNews

AsianVoiceNewsweekly

5 7 - 13 March 2020


6 UK

AsianVoiceNews

AsianVoiceNewsweekly

www.asian-voice.com

7 - 13 March 2020

Report highlights BAME youth have less stable work life than white peers A recent report by Carnegie UK Trust, the UCL Centre for Longitudinal Studies and Operation Black Vote has highlighted that millennials from Black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) backgrounds are at a greater risk of being in unstable employment than their white peers. The Race Inequality in the Workforce report launched on Monday 2nd March notes that BAME youth are 47% more likely to be on zerohours contracts and have a 10% greater chance of having a second job. The same report also states that these individuals are also 5% more likely to be doing shift work and are 4% less likely to have a permanent contract than white

workers. It also observes that they suffer from mental health issues and in some cases even depression. The report highlighted that Indian and white workers (89%) were the most likely to be in a stable role, followed by mixed-race (87%), black Caribbean (86%), Bangladeshi (85%), Pakistani (84%), black African (81%) and other ethnicities (80%). Now, it has has urged the government to improve access to good work cultures, and called for employers to carry out internal audits of race disparity. An urgent priority is developing guidance for mental health services on how to improve access for ethnic mi nority groups, it said. It drew on research from more than 7,700 people in

England, born in 1989-90 and who are being followed by a study called Next Steps. Researchers compared the employment status of 25year-olds from different ethnic backgrounds and also examined the mental health of people in different types of employment. Findings showed black African 25-year-olds had lower odds of being in a permanent role – and are more likely to be doing shift work – than white workers of the same age; but mixed-race, Indian and black Caribbean millennials had similar chances of being in these types of jobs. Research also showed millennials from BAME backgrounds were 58% more likely to be unemployed than white peers.

Delhi riots expose duplicity of Western Media Continued from page 3

When their half baked knowledge of CAA was debunked, they resorted to a narrative on CAA in combination with NRC to wreck havoc on Muslims, when the draft for NRC isn't out yet. These can just be viewed as efforts to incite the Indian Muslims and urging them to come out on roads to fight for their rights and survival.

Media silence In addition, many inflammatory speeches have been making the rounds in the past two months by key leaders like Sonia Gandhi, Rahul Gandhi and Mani Shankar Aiyer. Opportunistic Muslim leaders like Amanatullah Khan and Waris Pathan reminded Muslims that they ruled India for thousands of years and soon 15 crore Muslims will overpower 100 crore Hindus. They also remembered the Battle of Badr, Uhd and Karbala where the polytheists were killed or converted. Influential Muslim leaders like Faizul Hasan, former Aligarg Muslim University Student Union’s leader, commented that if they wish they can kill lakhs and destroy any country. Small children at the protests were fed that Muslims will be kept in camp and will be deprived of food and clothes. They were also taught to abuse the Prime Minister and Home Minister. Slogans like “Kafiron se Azaadi” (freedom from infidels) were routinely chanted! Sharjeel Iman who led the Shaheen Bagh protests had plans of cutting off Assam from the rest of India. He had admiration for Jinnah - the creator of Pakistan. He believed Muslims stayed back in India to complete the unfinished job. These were narratives and the ways the minds got groomed and influenced that led to the Delhi riots. The vast population of

Muslims believed they were fighting for their rights and an imaginary future oppression. Media houses have not condemned these speeches and remained silent under the garb of freedom of speech. On the other hand, when a BJP leader Kapil Mishra urged the Delhi Police to take action to relocate the protestors who have been disrupting the daily lives of common people thru road blockages etc., it has been widely publicised by national and international media houses as a speech that instigated the riots. In reality, Trump’s visit to Delhi provided a perfect opportunity to scale up the protests to riots and internationalise the Citizenship issue in the US Congress, European Union parliament and elsewhere. However, it failed to create the required optics, in spite of continued attempts by western media. President Trump considered the Citizenship Act as an internal matter of India. With the devastation brought about by the riots as dozens of lives among Hindus and Muslims were lost and several property and means of livelihood destroyed, the new narrative was to paint them as a “Hindutva” agenda and give a clean chit to the anti-CAA protestors. Whereas the truth is reports have emerged of riots having the backing of Popular Front of India (PFI), an extremist and militant Islamic fundamentalist organisation. Further, a pro-ISIS group had recently launched an India-specific publication, titled — ‘Voice of Hind’ to tap on the volatile emotions/mind-set of Muslims.

Duplicity of media exposed Contrast this to the way the terrorists in London were recently eliminated. The miscreants were imme-

diately gunned down as safety and security of a country cannot be jeopardised. The media equally praised the move. In India, the policemen first try to control things with a lathi or a stick and that too is criticised as excess when the media feels a need to protect the affected like when the riots were emerging in Uttar Pradesh post the CAA. Recently, the Home Secretary of UK has taken measures to contain terrorism and the related outfits. Immigration laws have been modified to a points based system so that the right people can come and contribute to the economy rather than being a burden. These efforts are hailed. But if India decides to take steps for citizenship criteria keeping in mind the security of the land, it's put under the radar. There is an expectation that India shouldn’t distinguish between illegal economic and religiously persecuted migrants and should probably haveopen borders with its neighbours. The duplicity of western media and left intellectuals then stands exposed!

About the author: Sweta was part of the financial and equity research industry. She lives in London and is deeply inspired by Swami Vivekananda’s teachings. She is currently focussing her research efforts towards Indology studies including philosophy, history, politics. She hopes to positively contribute to the society at large through her writings. She is active member of Friends of India Society International in London an organisation that aims to strengthen the Indian diaspora network, arrange events and promote IndiaUK relationship.

A perfect No10 Baby On 29th February Boris Johnson and Carrie Symonds announced that they are expecting a baby and that they have got engaged. The couple have been living together in Downing Street since Johnson became prime minister in July 2019. Symonds has become the first unmarried prime ministerial partner in history, and the couple expecting the birth of the child in the early summer. The prime minister is Continued from page 1

“The loss to our travel business has been catastrophic. Towards the latter end of January, our sales have started declining especially as the news of the virus has come closer to home with places such as Italy having a large outbreak. We can estimate an approximate 10% drop in January, and a further 20% drop in February. However, given there is still no clarity around how the transmission of the virus can be “curbed” and with the surge in the number of cases, and constant government updates around work from home among other things, we believe things will only get worse,” said Deepak Nangla, Managing Director, Brightsun Travel.

Cancelled flights, Umrah and cruise bookings As the global count of the cases reported across Italy, Iran, South Korea and Singapore crossed the benchmark 1000 cases, some governments across the world are forced to close their borders for the fear of “community transmission”. Deepak explained how the largest travel show in the world ITB Berlin due to take place on 4th March, was cancelled on 28th Feb. The ITB facilitates over 10,000 exhibitors from over 200 countries, including some of the largest travel companies in the world. Over 110,000 people attend this show every year. Not only has the show been cancelled but this has meant a massive impact on the airline industry, hotels, and hospitality sector besides the cruise sector. Brightsun Travel conducts bespoke cruise holidays and while Deepak explains that none of his clients have been quarantined, cruise bookings have heavily suffered. He said, “Fortunately none of our clients have been quarantined so far. However one of the largest drops in our business has been on cruise bookings. Cruise bookings are typically taken 12-18 months in advance. As well as passengers being concerned if their sailing is within a month, cruise

Boris Johnson and Carrie Symonds at BAPS Neasden Temple during Diwali

believed already to be the father of at least five children with two women – his second wife Marina Wheeler, whom he married in 1993, and art

consultant Helen Macintyre, with whom he had an extramarital affair. He has always refused to say how many children he has in total.

Curbing Coronavirus companies are reporting drops in sales for 2021. “The other area of concern for us is countries closing their borders. For example, Saudi Arabia has terminated all tourist visas into the country, until the spread of the virus slows. This has effectively crippled the Umrah market.” Other travel agents share a similar grim economic concern and anxiety over dipping business. Manish Sachde at Holidays and More said, “In terms of percentages, we estimate that news around this virus has resulted in a huge drop on our incoming calls resulting in at least a minimum 50% slack of our business. Clients are worried when this is going to come to an end and in the current scenario, we believe it may even near a 100% drop. That is extremely concerning.”

Religious organisation urge individuals not to attend gatherings Even community and religious organizations are now urging people to avoid large gatherings, human contact and communion services. The temples have urged that if individuals have cold and flu-like symptoms, please do not attend any public events, including Satsang gatherings or sabhas. Please stay at home and, if required, seek advice from NHS 111.

Stockpiling, work from home and boost to local manufacturing To curb the human to

human or “community transmission of the disease” the government has proposed it could consider closing schools and universities and encourage individuals to work from home. Health Secretary Matt Hancock has said the UK is currently in the containment phase. However, he stressed that "If the number of global cases continues to rise, especially in Europe, the scientific advice is that we may not be able to contain the virus indefinitely.” Now, retailers worry about stockpiling medicines, food and more importantly sanitary products such as masks, soaps, hand gels, and tissues. Consumers have been flocking to Asda, Lidl, Tesco and Sainsbury’s among other supermarkets and report about empty shelves. Worse in some cases these products are being sold at unreasonably inflated rates as the virus causes huge disruption in supply chains and retailers. However, there is also a flip side to this virus. Over the last few years, retailers across the UK had been cutting costs by ordering their products from Chinese manufacturers. However, Bhavik Masters who has his factory based in Leicester talks about the increase in his business for locally designed knitwear as confidence for the Chinese product dips. He said, "We are seeing an increase in inquiries and confirmed orders coming through. I think it is time for brands to look further afield from China and spread that production risk.”

What is Coronavirus and what are its symptoms? It is caused by a member of the coronavirus family that has never been encountered before. Like other coronaviruses, it has come from animals. Many of those initially infected either worked or frequently shopped in the Huanan seafood wholesale market in the centre of the Chinese city. The virus can cause pneumonia. Those who have fallen ill are reported to suffer coughs, fever and breathing difficulties. In severe cases, there can be organ failure. As this is viral pneumonia, antibiotics are of no use. The antiviral drugs we have against the flu will not work. Recovery depends on the strength of the immune system. Many of those who have died were already in poor health.


www.asian-voice.com

AsianVoiceNews

UK

AsianVoiceNewsweekly

7

7 - 13 March 2020

Lord Loomba gives clarity to India's Citizenship Amendment Act Lord Loomba, speaking during a debate on India's recently enacted Citizenship (Amendment) Act, (CAA), emphasised, "India demonstrates by its actions that it does not discriminate against Muslims. Indian Muslims have occupied the highest positions in the country, not least as the esteemed head of India in President Dr APJ Abdul Kalam. The Indian constitution protects the rights of all minorities, including Muslims, giving special rights in the management of their respective religious and educational institutions." Describing the parameters he said,"The new Act became necessary because Hindu, Sikh, Buddhist, Jain, Farsi and Christian minorities who had entered India over decades, fleeing persecution, discrimination, physical insecurity or threat of forcible conversion, were living precarious lives and deprived of the many benefits of Indian citizenship. This meant that, unfortunately, they did not acquire Indian citizenship and the CAA would address this problem.” Highlighting the largescale exodus of minorities from Muslim-majority coun-

Lord Raj Loomba

tries that neighbour India Lord Loomba cited figures that demonstrate the decline in Hindus and Sikhs in Pakistan and Bangladesh. "Back in 1947," he said, "minorities in Pakistan, mostly Hindus and Sikhs, constituted about 23% of the population, and are now just over 6%". In 1971, Hindus in Bangladesh constituted 19% of the population, but only 8% in 2016". Demonstrating why there is a difference in the ambit of the CAA, Lord Loomba said, "Many migrants to India who have entered illegally, such as Muslims from Bangladesh, have done so for economic reasons and have better life opportunities than in their

own country. They can return to their country of origin without fear of persecution or retribution.” Citing the open, transparent and fully democratic process that the legislation followed, Lord Loomba stated, “The CAA was passed after an intensive debate in both Houses of the Indian Parliament, when all the issues raised by the opposition, including the perceived anti-secular nature of the amendment, were answered by the Government." He said that the Government of India has repeatedly clarified that the CAA grants citizenship on a one-time basis to a group of persons with no alternative options and not to take away the citizenship of anyone, much less an Indian Muslim. The CAA has a cut-off date of 31 December 2014, he explained, after which no illegal immigrant, whether Hindu, Sikh, Buddhist, Jain, Parsi, Christian or Muslim, would be eligible for citizenship under the amendment. "In this larger sense," Lord Loomba emphasised, "the CAA is by no means antiMuslim or discriminatory and affects others too.”

PHE encourages South Asians to look after their mental health It is increasingly recognised that taking care of our mental health is as important as maintaining good physical health. Despite this, a recent survey by Public Health England (PHE), revealed that more than eight in ten (82%) people from an Asian background have experienced early signs of poor mental health such as stress, anxiety, low mood and trouble sleeping in the last 12 months. Poppy Jaman, NonExecutive Board Member at Public Health England said, “Through my work and through my own personal experience of depression as a British Bangladeshi woman, I know that while social and societal stigma attached to poor mental health has become less prevalent over the years, there is still a reticence to seek help when faced with mental illness. All too often things can escalate simply because people don’t know the signs to look out for, where to turn to for information or support or who to talk to.”

Poppy Jaman, Non-Executive Board Member at PHE

Good mental health helps us to live a fulfilled life and helps us to flourish. Positive mental wellbeing is the foundation for healthy relationships, for our ability to think clearly and make good decisions and for job and business prosperity as it helps us to relax more, be more productive, enjoy our lives more, and be better prepared for life’s ups and downs. As such, Public Health England is encouraging everyone, including those from the South Asian community, to look after their own mental health, and notice and guide

Women In

Conversation

friends, family and work colleagues who might be struggling to the Every Mind Matters website. You can all start by completing 5 questions which will generate your personal ‘Mind Plan’. This takes 3 minutes and it is free. The plan recommends a range of evidence-based selfcare actions for each individual, which are designed to deal with stress, boost mood, improve sleep and help people feel more in control, from breathing exercises, reframing unhelpful thoughts to ways to connect with others. Poppy added, “Early intervention can help alleviate the most common mental health concerns, and prevent them from escalating into more serious, clinical conditions. That’s why I’m thrilled to support Every Mind Matters. Whether it’s being more active or making time for friends and family, Every Mind Matters is packed with free, simple and proactive tips to help us have good mental health. So, my message is, if you’re concerned about stress, low mood, trouble sleeping or anxiety, check out Every Mind Matters today.”

in association with

Charting The Unknown - Breaking Stereotypes Programme for the evening Date

24 March 2020 Time 5.30 to 8pm Venue EY 1 More London Place, London SE1 2AF

HELENE PANZARINO FORMER COMMERCIAL BANKER, FINTECH PROGRAMME DIRECTOR, EXITED ENTREPRENEUR, EDUCATOR AND AUTHOR. MD, RAINMAKING COLAB FINTECH PROGRAMME; CEO, BANKING LAB (LONDON) ENABLING COMMUNITY BANKS AND BUILDING SOCIETIES TO ENGAGE WITH THE GLOBAL FINTECH COMMUNITY. DR. JACQUI TAYLOR ONE OF THE 100 MOST POWERFUL UK ENTREPRENEURS AWARDED AN HONORARY DOCTORATE OF SCIENCE IN RECOGNITION OF HER INTERNATIONAL WEB SCIENCE WORK. ONE OF THE 250 FOUNDERS OF TECH CITY IN DEC 2016, SHE PIVOTED HER COMPANY FLYINGBINARY TO MEET THE CHALLENGE OF BREXIT AND THE INTERNET OF THINGS (IOT) WITH SPECTACULAR RESULTS. INDEPENDENT INDUSTRY ANALYST FOR IOT. ONE OF 4 IOT LEADERS ADVISING THE EUROPEAN COMMISSION ON THEIR CITIZEN STRATEGY FOR SMART CITIES. STRATEGIC ADVISOR TO THE UK GOVERNMENT. SIDDHI TRIVEDI MULTI-AWARD-WINNING ENTREPRENEUR WITH 30 YEARS OF BUSINESS INNOVATION. HER PROJECTS HAVE BEEN FEATURED IN TECHCRUNCH, THE ECONOMIST, AND MANY MORE. CURRENTLY DEVELOPING AN AI- ENABLED BLOCKCHAIN PLATFORM FOR IDENTITY MANAGEMENT THROUGH HER OWN START-UP.

SANGEETA WALDRON MULTI AWARD WINNING PUBLICIST, FOUNDER OF SERENDIPITY PR & MEDIA, VISITING LECTURER AT COVENTRY UNIVERSITY IN PR. AUTHOR OF,'THE PR KNOWLEDGE BOOK' A BOOK FOR ANYONE, IRRESPECTIVE OF WHERE YOU ARE IN THE WORLD WHO WANTS TO EMBARK ON THEIR PR JOURNEY.

    

TOPICS FOR DISCUSSION PERSONAL STORIES FROM THE WORLD OF TECHNOLOGY AND FINANCE HOW TO CREATE SUCCESS BREAKING STEREOTYPES HOW TO FUND YOUR PROJECTS WORKING COLLECTIVELY TO UPLIFT OTHER WOMEN Initiated & Organised by


8 UK 7 - 13 March 2020

AsianVoiceNews

AsianVoiceNewsweekly

www.asian-voice.com

As I See It CB Patel

In fond remembrance of a Vaishnav

Khodidasbhai Dhamecha Dear Readers, My absence in the previous three editions of Asian Voice did not go unnoticed... I am glad. My family and I went for three pilgrimages to India but more on it later. I landed in the UK last week. I still find myself processing the news as are other friends from the community. As you read Khodidasbhai's son Pradip Dhamecha and Lords Jitesh Gadhia’s and Dolar Popat’s tribute to the fine gentleman, I genuinely believe what was described by Lord Gadhia – “icon of the British Indian community”. To me, Khodidasbhai was a 'Vaishnav Jan' ; the epitome of humility and everything a person should aim to be.  I attended the prayer ceremony at the Dhamecha Lohana Centre in South Harrow and saw scores of people entering and leaving the hall and later lingering around the main entrances. I was puzzled to say the least, after all, I was well within the allotted time. I was greeted by the former president of the Lohana Community, north London, Vinod Thakrar, who informed me that over 3000 people were expected. What was pleasantly surprising was the consideration of all these people who came, briefly met the family to solicit their condolences, and departed soon to make sure there was enough space for all those who wanted to bid their final farewell.  It was truly a multi-ethnic and multiracial crowd. In the centre of the hall, there was a nice photo of my Icon, Khodidasbhai. Even his picture radiated his inner self. Three musicians on stage played bhajans and hymns with the backdrop featuring Lord Krishna. The whole atmosphere within the hall was sombre, thousands of people were visibly affected by the loss.  Right at 5 PM, Vinoobhai Kotecha, a well-respected spiritual person who conducts such ceremonies regularly, began with the prayers.  As I heard the prayers, an excerpt from the Shrimad Bhagwat Gita played in my mind : 

from this earth is only possible for such a spiritual and high soul. Khodidabhai was a remarkable human being who will be greatly missed. We shall truly never see his like again. Next came Pradip Dhamecha, a worthy son of a worthy father. Paying tribute to someone who gave you the gift of life itself, is not an easy feat. Pradip did a beautiful job immortalising Khodidasbhai with his words. He said, “It's difficult to summarise and pay tribute to papa because he has achieved so much in his lifetime with the support of his loving wife, my mother, Lalitaben Dhamecha, and the help of his brothers, my uncles, Shanti Kaka, and Late Jayanti Kaka.” This was a unique moment for me, as I, along with all other present, got a little glimpse into the unified world of the Dhamecha family. “When I think about papa one thought keeps coming back to me, he was totally selfless and lived with such humility. Family meant everything to him. My wife Veena and our children, Radhika, Ridhi and Anand, and I have been blessed that we have always lived with our parents, both of whom have always had a profound impact on all of us,” Pradip said. The Dhamechas are known for their integrity as a family, so it wasn't surprising to know Khodidasbhai lived with his son and family. While the first generation brothers opened the large-scale cash and carry business, it is now handed over to Pradip and his cousins, who take care of the enterprise and seek to move it forward. A sound entered my mind:

He was followed by Yatinbhai Davda, president of the Lohana Community, north London. He spoke about the Dhamechas, especially the man we all collectively mourned. Next came Lord Dolar Popat, who had visited Khodidasbhai in Jamnagar in the recent days. I was particularly touched by Lord Dolar Popat’s personal tribute, who is a close family friend to the Dhamecha Family. Lord Popat reflected on his own recent experiences of meeting Khodidasbhai in his final days in Jamnagar just last month. He witnessed the withdrawal of Khodidasbhai’s senses one by one. The first withdrawal was that of his tongue, as he began to stop conversing. That was followed by the withdrawal of his hearing, his mind and finally his body. As Lord Popat and others mentioned, Khodidasbhai passed away peacefully and without any pain. Such a gracious departure

Jai Shree Krishna, Jai Jalaram Thank you Dolarbhai and Yatinbhai for your kind tributes for my late father, Khodidasbhai Dhamecha who as you know passed away peacefully at home in Jamnagar on 14th February aged 89. It’s difficult to summarise and pay tribute to papa because he has achieved so much in his lifetime with the support of his loving wife, my mother, Lalitaben Dhamecha and the help of his brothers, my uncles, Shanti Kaka and Late Jayanti Kaka.

This entire world is enveloped by the Supreme Self. nothing really belongs to us. Enjoy with a sense of sacrifice.You are here only as a TRUSTEE. After all whose is this wealth. Do not covet which does not belong to you in reality.

Khodidasbhai had the fortune of dying without any suffering in a country that birthed him. The kind of death God specially reserves for pious souls. He never let money, nor his stature in society, get to his head, which I must say, is a feat in itself. We all have a leaf to take out of his book.

Khodidasbhai was cremated at 5 PM on February 14th in Jamnager. His smashan yatra saw thousands in presence. His demise comes at a great cost to the community. Om Namah Shivay CB Patel

1. In 1968 my parents and 2 of their friends, late Dhanjibhai and late Odhavjibhai, went on a world tour for 5 months, visiting countries in Africa, Europe, North America, Asia, finally going to India before heading back to Kenya. Remember this was when travel was not as easy or as cheap as it is today 2. In 1971, papa decided to move to the UK and establish a base here and then asked his brothers to close the operations in Kenya and join him here

4. In the late 1990s, papa started to step back from the day to day running of the business and divide his time between the UK and India to focus on his philanthropic activities which he was so passionate about. Again, the list is endless..... Papa believed in relationships, and the fact that so many of you are here today, and hundreds more have sent messages, is a testament to his ability to interact with people and to see good in them.

When I think about papa one thought keeps coming back to me, he was totally selfless and lived with such humility. Family meant everything to him.

Papa was not only a father to me, but he has been my mentor and my guru too. What I have achieved and who I am today is because of him. Some of my father’s unique traits stick out to me, let me share a few: 1. Firstly he led by example, he led a simple life living in the same area, around Stanmore, for the last 50 years, always wanting to stay close to his brothers 2. Papa never let anyone down and fulfilled his every obligation. His word was his bond 3. He was extremely loyal to all his friends and extended family members. He strongly believed that as an elder statesmen of the family, it was his duty to sacrifice and compromise for the greater good of the family 4. He was very generous with both time and money for the betterment of society. He loved helping people and communities in need and would lead by example and readily give generously

Without hurting anyone, without pretending to be humble just to score a selfish goal, without leaving the path of the pious and noble whatever one achieves even though it is not a lot in the eyes of others, in reality that is genuinely great.

When I reflect on some of his achievements, they too are truly remarkable, let me again share a few;

3. In 1976, the three brothers, my father and his two brothers, opened the first 10,000 square foot cash and carry warehouse in Wembley which has subsequently expanded significantly over the years.

My wife Veena and our children, Radhika, Ridhi and Anand, and I have been blessed that we have always lived with our parents, both of whom have always had a profound impact on all of us.

To me, Khodidasbhai exemplified this message. His principle of simple living, unity, putting his family first and instilling all these values in not just his brothers, but son and grandchildren as well.

As human beings discard worn out clothes and put on new ones, so does our aatmaa ; it discards the worn out body and goes in search of a new one to continue its journey towards MOKSHA.

My Father, My Guru

5. He was very well read in business and had been reading the FT since the 1970s. He would regularly highlight articles of interest for me to read 6. All his paperwork was properly dated on the top right hand side and immaculately filed 7. He was a very proud and well-dressed independent man, he could always be found in a suit and tie, even in the blistering 30 degree Jamnagar heat 8. Papa was always very disciplined and his moral compass was very high. He always treated everyone equally. The list just goes on....

Papa’s foresight was that our family would always flourish provided we remained united and strong. This we have done.  One of the biggest compliments one can give to my father is the fact that our entire family visited him at Jamnagar in India from the time he fell sick till the very end. In fact I think he was thrilled that my four cousin brothers and I were together in Jamnagar for the first time ever during the Christmas break. More than that, however, was the fact that so many of our extended family and friends, who were visiting India for other purposes, made special trips to Jamnagar to also visit Papa.  This you only do for someone you consider special, and is a huge testament to the love and respect that people had for him.  Papa’s heart was always in India so it was fitting that he was born and died in the country he loved. It’s comforting to know that even in his final stages papa didn’t suffer and was never on any antibiotics or painkillers. He left the world peacefully with his family around him. We are immensely grateful to the various JeJe Shree’s and Santos who came to see papa when he wasn’t well and bless him with their Ashirwaads. We are particularly very grateful to Pujya Vrajrajbava Jeje from Baroda for arranging the final ceremony in Haridwar where papa’s ashes were laid to rest in the River Ganges. My father’s absence, not only for me, but for my children, Veena and my mother is best summarised by lines from W.H. Auden: “He was my north, my south, my east and my west My working week and my rest My noon, my midnight, my talk, my song” Papa, you have left a huge void and we pray you will continue to guide us from the Heavens above. Thank you

Jai Shree Krishna Pradip Dhamecha 1st March 2020 (Lord Jitesh Gadhia’s tribute on page 26)


www.asian-voice.com

AsianVoiceNews

UK

AsianVoiceNewsweekly

9

7 - 13 March 2020

GP Hinduja celebrates his 80th birthday

Pressure mounts on Priti Patel to resign over bullying accusation Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Cabinet Minister Matt Hancock have defended Home Secretary Priti Patel over bullying allegations by senior official Sir Philip Rutnam, who resigned on Saturday and said that he would sue for 'constructive dismissal'. Mr Hancock told the BBC that “Priti is robust and determined and that is what you would expect in a Home Secretary. “I’ve never seen her be anything other than courteous and professional in all the work that I’ve done with her.” But when asked if he thought she would be cleared in the investigation launched by the Cabinet Office, he added that there's a process and he was not going to prejudice that. In Ms Patel's defence, former international Trade Secretary Liam Fox tweeted, “I have worked with [Ms Patel] for almost 20 years. In that time I have always known her to be courteous, diligent and fair.” The BBC also reported that a former aide received a £25,000 government pay out after a threatened lawsuit in which the then employment minister Ms Patel was named. Legal correspondence alleges that the woman took an overdose of prescription medicine following the alleged incident in 2015.

Priti Patel

Labour MPs have therefore called for Ms Patel to step down as the Home Secretary while bullying allegations are investigated. Shadow Home Secretary Diane Abbott told BBC’s Radio 4 Today, “We want a genuinely independent inquiry... to restore confidence in the respect that the Government has for civil servants.” However amidst the controversy of Sir Peter Rutnam, a recent report also claimed that she had tried to have her Director of Communications removed from the job before Christmas. According to The HuffPost, Priti Patel had asked for Andy Tighe, the head of news at the Home Office, to be moved out of

the department last year, and he decided to take retirement. Ms Patel also wanted Philip Rutnam, the department’s Permanent Secretary, to sack Tighe on Christmas Eve and he refused, which led to some of the tensions between the duo. However, the Home Office did not deny the claim that Ms Patel asked for Tighe to be sacked on Christmas Eve, nor that she had wanted him to leave. The row originally blew up when it was claimed that Ms Patel had tried to get rid of Sir Rutnam after he raised complaints about her alleged bullying and belittling of staff. It then further escalated with claims that MI5 had restricted Ms Patel’s access to security

information because it did not trust her. Both the intelligence agency and Home Secretary had strongly denied these rumours. The department has said there have been no formal complaints about Ms Patel’s behaviour. A Home Office spokesperson said, “The home secretary and permanent secretary are deeply concerned about the number of false allegations appearing in the media. They are focused on delivering on the Home Office’s hugely important agenda, which includes creating an immigration system that works for the UK, putting more police on the streets and keeping the public safe from terrorism.”

Gopichand P a r m a n a n d Hinduja, the Indian-origin billionaire celebrated his 80th birthday on 29 February 2020. Born on the leap year day in 1940, is the richest man in the UK, according to the The Sunday Times Richlist 2019. He is the Co-Chairman of the Hinduja Group. Since the 1990s, he has been consistently ranked among the UK and Asia's wealthiest people. GP with his three siblings, Srichand, Prakash and Ashok control multinational conglomeratethe Hinduja Group. Their businesses range from banking to cable television to trucks. They also own many valuable real estates in London, including the historic Old War Office building in Whitehall, which will now house Raffles Hotel.

PROPERTY INVESTORS MEET theme t n e v E tch nt!! a W n Auctoitomiss this Eve Do n

Thursday, 19th March, 2020 6pm to 9pm Everest Abercorn, 78 Stanmore Hill, Stanmore HA7 3BU

Lord Dholakia urges caution during debate on release of terrorist prisoners Lord Navnit Dholakia during a debate on release of terrorist prisoners, has stated that great care must be taken to ensure that in ratcheting up the release mechanism of terrorists, as this legislation is not 'counterproductive to the objective of reducing terrorist activities' in our country. Speaking during Second Reading of the Terrorist Offenders (Restriction of Early Release) Bill, Lord Dholakia stated that, "I accept the Government’s argument that speed is necessary in legislating to prevent the further automatic release of similar offenders in the very near future." He added, “the argument that offenders of this type should be required to undergo a risk assessment by the Parole Board before they can be released.” Recognising the good work that the Parole Board does, he highlighted the Parole Board's effectiveness, and said, "[t]he proportion of offenders of all

types who are released by the Parole Board and who commit a further serious offence is less than 1%. "In any system based on human judgment," he stated, "it would be difficult to improve on that record". In achieving this, "additional measures are in place to ensure that these ca ses are considered by members with expertise and training in terrorist matters". Lord Dholakia supported "the Bill’s replacing automatic release in these cases with release at the discretion of the Parole Board and emphasised that rehabilitation is key to their effective release. He also added "the change in the minimum term which offenders serving sentences for terrorism-related offences must serve before they are considered for release". Lord Dholakia's emphasised that the legislation "must be subject to a formal independent review in the near future," particularly when it is "pushed through the House in haste".

In Association with

Learn the inner workings of executing auction deals. A live panel of experts will guide you through the auction maze from a planning, financing and legal perspective. We will be analysing deals which will be coming up in an auction shortly after our event. This will give our audience a rare 360 degree view point of the auction environment. Panel of experts Ravi Pankhania, Director, Nacropolis Group. London's leading property development company specialising in developing listed buildings, conversions from commercial to residential and new-build projects.

Pragnesh Modhwadia is one of the founding Partners of Axiom Stone Solicitors. Pragnesh specialises in Real Estate. Deals in developments ranging from single-unit prime properties to local regeneration projects.

Suresh Vagjiani, Co-founder, Sow & Reap. Event moderator. London property investment company with expertise in deal making.

Richard Bond HMO and Rental Specialist

Arya Taware, Founder & MD FutureBricks. Technology based peer-to-peer platform, offering alternative finance to small and medium-sized house builders who have limited access to mainstream finance.

Drinks & canapés will be served

RSVP: sales@abplgroup.com Seats are limited so book early to avoid disappointment. An initiative by

Attendance strictly by invitation


10 READERS VOICE

AsianVoiceNews

AsianVoiceNewsweekly

www.asian-voice.com

7 - 13 March 2020

BBC and Kapil's Khichadi Over the last decade or so, I have always felt that the BBC has a politically left leaning bias. Also, that it’s reporting and coverage of India and Hindus tends to reflect an anti-India bias. I thought I was in a minority who felt this way so it was great to read Kapil’s article which means there are many other people who feel the same. As a publicly funded broadcaster, I expect the BBC to be fair in its reporting but, in my experience, that is not always the case. The TV licence fee is a tax so I am glad to hear that the Government wants to review how it is funded in future. We should not be compelled to fund a broadcaster who then uses our funds to engage in unfair or biased reporting on events in India or issues affecting our community in UK. Unfair or biased reporting can be achieved in many different and subtle ways eg by being economical with the truth about certain facts or interviewing a more credible/articulate person to portray one viewpoint and a less creditable/articulate person to portray the other viewpoint depending on the biases of the BBC editors. A non-partisan viewer will most likely be influenced by the more creditable/articulate speaker. There are many such subtle ways of conveying your biases in reporting! I have stopped watching BBC’s news and current affairs output for this reason. Mind you, Channel 4 isn’t any better in this regard but at least I am not paying for that Broadcaster! Dinesh Rai Via Email

Falling number in students In addition to the various crisis in the NHS, EU, Housing, Homelessness, Coronavirus and Crime, we are now also facing an increase in the rate of students dropping out from UK universities which does not augur well for the future. A lot of full-time students taking their first degree under the age of 21 do not continue to study after the first year of their course. Furthermore, the proportion of mature students (over 21 years) taking their first degree their drop out numbers also increased. The rate of drop-outs varies between different universities like Cambridge, Oxford, Bedfordshire, London Metropolitan University from 1 per cent to 18.3 percent. Nicola Dandridge, chief executive of the Office for Students, said the data from the Higher Education Statistics Agency “English higher education enjoys internationally high completion rates, but an increase in the proportion of students dropping out is a concern. “Rates vary significantly between different higher education providers, and a number of providers will need to think seriously about what they can do to reduce these rates.” Where we have concerns about performance at individual providers, we will continue to take action as necessary to ensure that students from all backgrounds are able to fully realise the many life-changing benefits of higher education. Michelle Donelan, the newly-appointed universities minister, said, "With high numbers of students continuing to drop out, this data shows progress is slow from some institutions to tackle the issue.” I think it is time the government upped the ante and addressed the issue of universities dropouts and revisit the question of high tuition fees and students' allowances. Baldev Sharma Rayners Lane, Harrow

Novel Coronavirus The deadly disease, novel Coronavirus is in limelight globally which has created menace for several countries like India, France, China, Indonesia, Canada, USA, Japan, Thailand, Sri Lanka and even Pakistan. The virus is spreading like wildfire engulfing many people around the world. In China, the death toll due to the lethal virus has reached 250 and around 15,000 people have been infected so far. The World Health Organisation (WHO) indulged in taking immediate measures as the virus rang the alarming bells with a sudden rise. The Coronavirus is transmitted person to person through the air by coughing and sneezing, touching or shaking hands, and touching objects surrounded with that virus. However, the severe symptoms include fever, pneumonia, kidney failure and dreadful death. Unfortunately, the authorities and officials saying vaccines will only be available mid next year, but the virus can be controlled through effective and responsive conduct like washing hands with soap. Avoid touching eyes, nose or mouth with unwashed hands. Avoid close contact with people who are sick. Jubel D'Cruz, Mumbai, India

Make Ram Mandir a symbol of peace, progress and harmony As per PM Modi’s sentiment, (AV page 25) Lord Rama’ temple should be constructed with the cooperation, goodwill and blessings of all communities, including Muslims, as it will become a hub of economic regeneration, mainly through pilgrimage, competing with holy city of Mecca, benefiting every one beyond political, cultural and religious divide. Although India was divided on religious ground, vast majority of Indian people (Hindus) chose to adopt secular constitution where everyone has prospered economically, culturally and socially beyond their wildest dreams, both Muslim and Christian population more than doubled since independence, in sharp contrast to neighbouring countries where ethnic cleansing has more or less wiped out minorities while the rest of the world watching this massacre in silence! If India has to progress and prosper, compete against totalitarian China, unity, loyalty, peace and harmony among all Indians is of utmost importance. India has already replaced Britain as the fifth largest economy with higher GDP, only America, China, Japan and Germany towers above India. But for India to progress further will take a herculean efforts, as those four countries above India are in a different league. As there is plenty of land available, give the temple an ever grander exposure beyond religious confine, with vast articulated design, a mini forest, heaven for wild life, especially for local and migratory birds, in line with Lord Krishna’s Vrindavan, all in one development to make it a true hub for religious, cultural, social and environmental enthusiasts that should bring peace, progress and harmony in this long disputed land, fulfilling Mahatma Gandhi’s dream of united, friendly, secular and prosperous India for every citizen who considers India as their homeland. Bhupendra M. Gandhi Via Email

Water wastage on grand scale! One may wonder why I am writing on water wastage when one third of the country is submerged under water, some areas receiving a month’s rainfall in 24 hours, many describing this tragedy as “Biblical Downpour” needing “Noah’s Ark” to rescue riverside residents! People and properties most affected are those living on river banks and flood plains. One may wonder why government allows building residential homes on land that is at risk to flooding. But recent report suggests many more homes will be built on such land at risk to flooding, as demand for houses outstretches land availability. England has now overtaken Netherland as the most densely populated country in Europe; only behind Japan and Bangladesh on world stage, ignoring tiny nations like Singapore, Luxemburg and Monaco! I remember only couple of months ago, we received letter from our Water Company advising us how to save water, as there will be water shortages this summer unless we receive above average rainfall! I hope this advice is now redundant in view of carnage created by abundant rainfall! If this scenario is due to climate change, then perhaps this deluge may be followed by summer draught resulting in water shortages, as after privatisation some reservoirs were emptied, land sold to private house builders at great profit, thus reducing water availability! Moreover one biggest water firm is losing 150 million gallons of water a day through leakage. This is the trend throughout the nation. No wonder Labour wants to nationalize Water, Royal Mail and Energy companies for the good of the nation. Britain is the only nation in EU where every business is open for grab, even by foreign, unfriendly governments! If future homes are to be built on flood plains, government should introduce strict planning regulations to make them flood résistance if not flood proof, learning from countries where heavy monsoon rain is common, houses near river banks built on stilts at least ten feet high, making them flood-proof! Buildings on bank of river Thames in dockland are made flood-proof using the same technique! Kumudini Valambia Via Email

Attack on Priti Patel is a shame! The attack on Priti Patel is a shame. Sir Philip Rutman was willing to implement the Conservatives' 'hostile environment' when the target were us- the immigrants. In fact he was nowhere to be seen as well during the Windrush scandal. But today when a woman of colour has taken on the charge, and demands full efficiency, the 'pale and stale' establishments don't like the change a strong woman is bringing to the civil service. It is quite unfortunate. The role of the civil servant is to provide advice to ministers- whether they take it or not, is their business! Samir Vaswani London

Kapil’s Khichadi The violation of yoga Kapil Dudakia Last week we witnessed a so-called leading ‘Liberal’ politician in Australia go on a rampage in Parliament and openly mock not just our Yogaśāstra, but the very essence of Sanathan Dharma and Hinduism. The apparent dislike coming out of the mouth of Josh Frydenberg (an Australian politician who has been Treasurer of Australia and Deputy Leader of the Liberal Party) was nothing short of a disgrace of yoga and Hinduism. The incident took place when he stood up to undermine his opposition. In doing so he desecrated the faith of billions. Let me set the context, this is what he said: “I was thinking yesterday, as the member for Rankin was coming into the chamber fresh from his Ashram deep in the mountains of the Himalayas barefoot in the chamber, robes flowing, incense burning, beads in one hand, wellbeing budget in the other, I thought to myself: “What yoga position the member for Rankin would assume … to deliver the first wellbeing budget?’” The speech went on and got worse. In fact, a petition that has been set up to get a full apology states: ‘Frydenberg launched into a hideous performance where he showed utter contempt for large sections of the community by denigrating citizens of the Hindu faith and yoga practitioners. In doing so he also mocked the idea of looking after the most vulnerable people in our society. His speech included deriding Ashrams, yoga poses, and stereotyping imagery of "flowing robes, burning incense and meditation mats." LNP ministers around him laughed on hysterically as the MP for Kooyong behaved like a racist comedian from the

1970s. The Speaker allowed this travesty to go on.’ This should not come as a surprise of course. After all, do remember around the world we have got Christians who are now claiming that there is something called ‘Christian Yoga’. Yes you read that correctly, we have a full-blown industry that is repackaging a central element of our faith, mislabelling it for the sole purpose, as far as I can make out, of making fools of followers and making a quick buck. Let’s not stop there, in our own backyard, India – there are claims that some Christian clergy dress up as Hindu priests and perform Aarti in the Church to convert weak minded Hindus to becoming Christians. When a nation like India sits back and allows foreign entities full access to use any and all means to convert the most vulnerable, is it not time to say enough is enough? When will this madness of some faiths, that exist only for the sole purpose of harvesting souls, stop? Going back to Frydenberg, astonishingly he is of Jewish descent. Hindus and Jews have been champions of truth and justice for thousands of years. Hindus in India were there to protect the Jewish community at their time of need. Some would say that Frydenberg has let the whole Jewish community down with his vile exhibition to get a few seconds of fame. I believe that every Indian, every person must demand that Frydenberg comes to Parliament and gives an unreserved wholesome apology not just to the Hindus in Australia, but to the whole Indic community around the world. He has disgraced himself and the office he holds. It’s time for accountability. (Expressed opinions are personal.)

MAKE YOURSELF HEARD

Write to our ‘Reader’s Voice’ section about what you think regarding the various ongoing issues all around the world. Please send your letters to aveditorial@abplgroup.com Make sure they are NOT more than 250 words. Any letter longer than the limit may not be published.

Note that all your letters are subject to being edited by our team for valid reasons.

- Asian Voice


www.asian-voice.com

EDUCATION

AsianVoiceNewsweekly

AsianVoiceNews

11

7 - 13 March 2020

Female students receive coding lesson from Twitter

Indian nationals account for half of UK’s skilled workers Indian student visas up by 93%

Last week, ahead of International Women’s Day, Faiths Forum for London in partnership with Twitter hosted an interfaith twitter coding session for four girls' schools (Barnet Hill Academy, Hasmonean School, Ursuline School and Al Zahra School) from the Muslim, Catholic and Jewish faiths. Running since 2015, the project has brought together over 250 pupils. According to Women in Stem Workforce, just 23% of the people working in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) roles across the UK are female. 28 girls attended to learn basic coding languages delivered by Twitter’s very own female engineers. The session empowered young girls from minority

Indian nationals account for 50% of all skilled workers in the UK, a latest immigration statistics published on Thursday 27 February has revealed. Indian nationals received over 57,000 Tier 2 skilled work visas last year.

faith communities to pursue careers in the tech marketplace. It also allowed the girls to ask the female engineers about their journeys in STEM and any advice to overcome challenges. For many of the girls, it was their first time integrating with girls from other faiths, so, it was a great opportunity to explore and learn about other faiths. The partnership between business and faith sectors is a refreshing model of true collaboration. While the students learn about the tech, they are also learning about each other’s shared values. Aya Bdaiwi of Faiths Forum for London said, “It was wonderful to see the students asking important questions about each other’s communities and gaining an understanding of different faiths. Those who take part

This accounts for over 50% of all skilled work visas granted globally – meaning more were granted to Indians than the rest of the world combined. The latest UK Immigration Statistics published on Thursday also show that over 37,500 Indian students received a Tier 4 (study) visa in 2019 – a 93% increase from the previous year. This represents the largest number of visas issued to Indian students over the last eight years and continues the strong upward trend in student visa numbers since 2016. Indians are currently the fastest growing nationality for student visas. The UK continues to be a popular destination for Indian holidaymakers. More than 515,000 Indian nation-

find there are more similarities between them than differences”. Student from Barnet Hill Academy told Asian Voice, “The twitter coding session was fantastic because I learnt so much and got to work and meet other girls from different religions. I think it is important to encourage young girls like me who already have a passion for science to be more involved in events like this. It has made me more exited for my future, knowing I could be leading groups of girls like this one day”.

als received visit visas last year – an 8% increase compared to the previous year. In 2019, 95% of Indian nationals who applied for a UK visa were successful, an increase of 5% on the previous year. Jan Thompson, Acting High Commissioner to India, said, “This phenomenal increase in student visa numbers is testament both to the UK’s world leading education system and to the exceptional talents of Indian students. We couldn’t be prouder that the best and brightest continue to pick the UK, making the living bridge between our countries stronger each day.” Barbara Wickham, Director India, British Council, said, “It is exciting to see so many Indian students trusting the UK as the destination for their education and furthering their careers. This bodes very well for both countries’ continued focus on realising their knowledge ambitions in a fast changing world.” These statistics follow a series of visa policy

announcements by the UK, including the establishment of a new Graduate route (allowing eligible students to stay in the UK for two years post study) and the introduction of a new points-based immigration system. The new Graduate route, announced last year, will allow eligible international students – including those from India – to stay in the UK for two years after completing their studies to work or look for work. Graduates will also be able to switch into skilled work once they have found a suitable job. It will be introduced from the summer of 2021. Earlier in February, the UK launched a new PointsBased Immigration System – a new single global system that will treat EU and nonEU citizens equally, giving top priority to those with the highest skills and the greatest talents, including scientists, innovators and academics. For more on the new immigration system, which takes effect from 1 January 2021.

Gift your loved ones an Asian Voice & Gujarat Samachar subscription for Birthday, Wedding & Anniversary

Your Voice for 47 years, 200,000 readers

Save lots of money by subscribing for both papers

G Exclusive news, Outstanding columnists G Excelent value for your subscription

G For 50 weekly issues and several special magazines plus Annual Calendar

SUBSCRIBE TO ASIAN VOICE AND GUJARAT SAMACHAR TODAY TO RECEIVE A

FREE CALENDAR 2020 ear One y on for t d rip i subsc amachar an ly n S o t is Gujara oice in UK V n Asia Please tick as appropriate:

Gujarat Samachar & Asian Voice Gujarat Samachar

RATES VALID FROM 1-2-2018

1 Year 2 Years

UK G.S. A.V. Both G.S. £30.50 £30.50 £36.50 £79 £55 £55 £66.50 £147

EUROPE A.V. Both £79 £131 £147 £252

Please Note: Subscriptions are non-refundable after 30 days

G.S. £95 £174

WORLD A.V. Both £95 £154.50 £174 £288

Please detach this form and send it with your payment or credit card instructions to address below

NAME

ADDRESS

POST CODE

Email:

TEL:

I’d like to be kept up to date by email with offers and news from ABPL

I enclose a cheque/ postal order of £................... made payable to Gujarat Samachar

Please charge my £

Card No: Signature

Visa

Mastercard

Card Expiry date

Credit

Debit card for

Date

CALL NOW 020or Email: 7749 4080 support@abplgroup.com

GUJARAT SAMACHAR & ASIAN VOICE Karma Yoga House, Unit 1 12 Hoxton Market, (Off Coronet Street) London N1 6HW

www.asian-voice.com www.gujarat-samachar.com


12 MEDIA WATCH

AsianVoiceNews

AsianVoiceNewsweekly

www.asian-voice.com

7 - 13 March 2020

SCRUTATOR’S UP chief minister Yogi Adityanath said deadly diseases like coronavirus can be eliminated by regularly practising yoga. Inaugurating the International Yog Festival in Rishikesh, Yogi said one who remains fit through yoga need not fear diseases like coronavirus. “The Indian tradition needs to be understood more deeply as it has tremendous things to offer through yoga. The world is

waging a war against mental and physical illnesses. If these are cured, then no one will suffer from blood pressure, heart attack, kidney failure, liver failure or even coronavirus for that matter,” he added. Yogi claimed that Japanese encephalitis has gone down by 60% and mortality due to it dipped by 90% in the last two years. He said, “For the past 40 years, I have noticed that around 1,500 children of ages 1 to 15 die during the monsoon season due to encephalitis. Through my fight against the disease in Gorakhpur and eastern UP for the past 25 years, I have come to the conclusion that prevention is the only cure in such cases.” He added that the central government’s ‘Swachh Bharat’ mission has helped people get easy access to clean drinking water thereby helping in controlling the disease.

23-year-old Kaushal approached the Gujarat high court to shed his old identity and embrace the name and surname of his mother, who belonged to general category. Kaushal told the HC that he wanted to shed the ‘other backward class’ identity attached with his father’s name because it could hamper his job and marriage prospects. The court has directed the concerned authority to make necessary changes in Kaushal’s name from ‘Kaushal Ajaykumar Chavda’ to ‘Kaushal Dakshaben Hedav’ in his birth certificate in eight weeks’ time. Kaushal approached the HC after the registrar at the Rajkor Municipal Corporation refused to change Kaushal’s name upon his request last year. Kaushal is pursuing MBA in an Ahmedabad college. He claimed that his mother committed suicide a year after his birth due to harassment by his father's family. Hence, he was brought up by his maternal grandparents. On why he wanted to embrace his mother’s maiden name and surname, he told the HC that his mother’s family falls under the general/open category and his father’s family comes under the Other Backward Classes (OBC) category.

Teaching English through maths! Gordhan Dihora, a primary school teacher from Bhavnagar in Gujarat, has found a unique way to teach English while he teaches Mathematics to the students of Class VI-VIII. His is one of the 135 teacher-led innovations displayed at DIET Ahmedabad organized by Gujarat Council of Educational Research & Training (GCERT), Gandhinagar as part of three-day Education Innovation Festival. It was participation of his students in finals of Talent Test 2019 organized by All India Ramanujan Maths Club that led him to the innovation. “They were among the top five teams but could not be winners - the deciding factor was their inability to understand English even when they knew the mathematics involved,” said Dihora. “After the event, I started working on a plan to include English in Mathematics - the challenge was not to let the students know that they were learning it!” “There are 22 such exercises designed - some of which have taken me days - which are for different mathematical concepts of class VI to VIII,” said Dihora. Currently, 145 students are learning with this concept, leading them to discover 4,000 English words annually. T S Joshi, director of GCERT, said that the idea of the festival is to promote innovations like Dihora’s. “They are the teachers who have faced problems and have come up with indigenous solutions which are easy to replicate. We are also documenting these innovations and bringing in teachers from across the state so that they can get inspired by the grassroots ideas,” he said.

Major player in Pulwama attack held In a key breakthrough that

will help reconstruct the conspiracy behind the Pulwama terror attack, the National Investigation Agency (NIA) has arrested a Jaish-e-Muhammed worker who not only fitted the IED in the vehicle used for the attack but also drove it, with suicide bomber Adil Ahmad Dar in the front seat, till about 500 metres from the attack site on February 14, 2019. Shakir Bashir Magrey, 22, a resident of Kakapora in Pulwama, is the first accused to be arrested in the case. While Adil had died in the suicide attack, five accused were killed in separate operations by security forces between March 11, 2019 and January 25, 2020. The Pulwama attack, which left 40 CRPF personnel dead, was a turning point in India’s counterterror journey as it led to the first-ever cross-border airstrikes by Indian fighter jets on JeM facilities deep inside Pakistan. The arrest of Magrey, the owner of a furniture shop not too far from the attack site, will help piece together the events leading up to the strike. His initial interrogation revealed that he was with Adil Dar on the day of the attack. “This shows the level of trust the conspirators had in him,” the officer said.

Youth shuns OBC, opts ‘general category’ Shy over identifying with the name and title of his OBC father,

“Therefore, every time the petitioner is facing mental, social difficulties in taking admission in educational institution or applying for any kind of government course or doing official paper work or making new friend circle etc.,” his petition read. Kaushal hopes for better prospects, if general category identity is attached to his name as he put in his petition.

University shuts gates to stall student protest Police locked all the gates of English and Foreign Languages University (EFLU) in Hyderabad

and stopped students from stepping outside the campus to join a protest against Delhi riots and CAA. Students said they were about to take part in a protest at Karachi Bakery in Moazzam Jahi Market in solidarity with Delhi

riot victims and against CAA/NRC when police got wind of it and locked the varsity gates. Some other students of the varsity said police had informed them that they had received intelligence about members of the right wing students’ group planning to attack them if they took part in the protest. Meanwhile, east zone DCP M Ramesh said that they locked the campus gates as no permission was given for the said protest at Karachi Bakery. At Osmania University too, students were allegedly stopped from heading out to take part in the protest.

Cabinet accepts proposals, OKs surrogacy bill Accepting key recommendations from a parliamentary select committee, the Cabinet approved the Surrogacy (Regulation) Bill, 2020 allowing a “willing woman” and not just a “close relative” to become a surrogate mother and proposing that widows and divorced women can also benefit from its provisions, besides infertile Indian couples. The proposed insurance cover for a surrogate mother has also now been increased to 36 months from 16 months earlier. The bill aims to regulate surrogacy while prohibiting commercial surrogacy and allowing altruistic ones, Cabinet minister Prakash Javadekar said after the meeting. Women and child development minister Smriti Irani added that only Indian couple, with both partners being of Indian origins, can opt for surrogacy in the country. The 15 major changes suggested by the 23-member Rajya Sabha select committee, headed by Bhupendra Yadav, included omission of fiveyear wait period before opting for surrogacy, and allowing single women – either divorcee or widow – in the 35- to 45-year age group and Persons of Indian Origin to avail surrogacy. The previous bill was passed by the Lok Sabha on August 5, 2019, but was referred to the select committee by the Upper House after members raised concerns over clauses such as allowing only altruistic surrogacy with a near relative as a surrogate and not allowing single woman or with the definition of infertility in the proposed legislation. The

Rajya Sabha select committee that examined the bill argued that restricting the surrogate mother to a “close relative” potentially affects the availability of surrogate mothers. “A willing woman shall act as a surrogate

mother and be permitted to undergo surrogacy procedures as per the provisions of this Act,” the committee said in its report.

Swine flu hits five Supreme Court judges Work in the Supreme Court has been affected as five judges have been diagnosed with swine flu (H1N1) virus. Chief Justice of India (CJI) S A Bobde issued directions which were communicated to Ministry of Health and Family Welfare Secretary. The CJI asked the government “to augment” the CGHS dispensary, if required, to make available medicines and vaccines to litigants and lawyers. Two judges have been isolated in their respective homes after they were found to have contracted swine flu. Three others who had the same infection and were in isolation, have recently joined back on duty, government sources said. Prophylactic treatment has been given to all those who came in contact with them, including family members. Court rooms and residences are also being sanitised. Sources said that majority of judges who were diagnosed with the virus had fallen ill last week. A senior official tried to allay fears and said “the cases were identified at the initial stage itself and there is no reason for worry”. Sources say this is the second time that swine flu has raised its head in the court in recent years. About four years back, a judge (since retired) had contracted it and the judge who shared the bench with him too fell sick, they said.

Bangladesh judges hail Ahmedabad courts

The civil court in Ahmedabad got a letter of appreciation from a team of judges from Bangladesh, who visited Ahmedabad last year and observed the functioning of the court. They appreciated how litigants are treated as ‘Guests of the Court’. The judges termed their visit as “an experience that would usually seem to be unbelievable to anybody – be it a judicial officer of Bangladesh or even a judge of some other courts of India”. They listed various aspects and initiatives which attracted their imagination and by which the Ahmedabad civil court at Bhadra excels in dispensation of justice. They said that at the civil court, justice seekers (litigants) are being termed and treated as ‘Guests of the Court.’


www.asian-voice.com

AsianVoiceNews

UK

AsianVoiceNewsweekly

13

7 - 13 March 2020

Connecting the dots: How Dotsquares capitalised on the digital boom? Priyanka Mehta The digital revolution around website development and app-based media consumption was at its nascent beginning when Bankim Chandra established Dotsquares. Nearly, two decades later Bankim talks about SEO-driven marketing merchandise, a flourishing videogame industry and the next big thing on the internet. “After working for TCS and American Express I saw a niche market in the IT industry where clients were being charged extortionately for open-ended projects. Through Dotsquares I aimed at pro- Bankim Chandra, CEO & MD, Dotquares viding cost-effective software solunizations build customer relationtions to all such organisations, ships and streamline processes so regardless of size,” says Bankim they can increase sales, improve Chandra, CEO & MD, Dotquares. customer service, and increase profThus, Dotsquares was born, a itability. company which had originally startNow, in recent years, the comed with HTML and Classic ASP pany has mastered the craft of the development to build simple sysInternet of Things (IoT), designed a tems for small businesses. Over the secure key drop solution for next two decades, the company has Keynest and a gamification solution expanded both in its geographical for an auto manufacturer. presence and the bespoke services it provides to its corporate clients. It SEO and voice-activated searches has offered online payment solutions for Shieldpay including their But how has clickbait driven innovative escrow functionality and social media marketing changed the apps, including all processing and modus operandi of businesses? And associated Customer Relationship what assistance does Dotsquares Management (CRM) and support offer to them at a time when Search systems. A CRM system helps orga-

Engine Optimisation (SEO) experts can easily get a website running through domains on WordPress which can generate enough traffic on their portals? Bankim replies, “In the last five years, SEO practices have changed dramatically due to market competition and advanced technology. These days it’s far easier for bots to pick up keywords placed. “People are using voice-activated searches to get the results they are looking for. So, SEO practices need to be efficiently tightened for correct responses to appear for the right terms. Previously content would be generated on specific topics to create valuable backlinks. However, businesses are now exploring new ways of promoting their services indirectly with effective SEO terms without the need for creating SEO specific articles. For example, social media marketing is becoming extremely favourable with business accounts now appearing more frequently in search listings, due to their activity and hashtags.” Dotsquares offers its wide-ranging cost-effective and offshore technical services across the world. With offices across four continents, its 700 colleagues work with different clients in industries as diverse as financial services to travel and Manufacturing. As part of their operations in the USA, they have

First Indian-born businessman promoted to Honorary Captain in the Royal Navy Raj's latest promotion was approved by Her Majesty the Queen and his elavated rank is the equivalent to that of Captain Raj Aggarwal Colonel in the Army. OBE, a prominent In his dutes for the Cardiff-based Royal Navy Raj is entrepreneur who is also affiliated with HMS India’s Honorary Consul Dragon, a Type 45 in Wales was honoured Brigadier Jock Fraser, Captain Raj Aggarwal and D a r i n g - C l a s s with the promotion at a Destroyer based out First Sea Lord ceremony in Birmingham of Portsmouth. on Friday, 28th February. He received his first honorary commission in the Royal Navy in September 2018 Speaking at the ceremony Captain Raj and has since been promoted twice in the said, "During my 18-months in the Service I have had some wonderful experiences meetSenior Service, and was the first ever honing the most committed and wonderful serorary officer for the Royal Navy in Wales. vicemen and women. I want to use my posiRaj emigrated from Kenya to Wales in 1967 tion to create greater diversity in the Navy, and studied Pharmacy at Cardiff to show the community that the Navy are University. supportive and there are amazing careers on offer, with first rate skills training and opportunities to see the world.” Last year's Diwali celeFINANCIAL A SERVICES brations (October 2019) was the first time that a British PROTECTION MORTGAGES naval vessel had been illumiLife Insurance Residential nated in Indian colours, and Critical Illness Buy to Let the commanding officer and Income Protection Remortgages its company enjoyed a traditional indian feast prepared by the chefs on board. Please conta act: His promotional cereDinesh Shonchhatra S mony was attended by the Mortgage Ad dviser head of the Royal Navy, First Sea Lord and Chief of the Call: 020 8424 C 4 8686 / 07956 810647 Naval Staff, Admiral Tony Radakin CB ADC, and Royal Marines Brigadier Graeme 77 High Street, Wealdston ne, Harrow, HA3 5DQ mortgage@majorestate.co om ~ majorestate.com "Jock" Fraser. A UK businessman has become the first Indian-born recipient of the position of Honorary Captain in the Royal Navy.

worked within the media industry, providing development support for the New York Daily News. Additionally, Dotsquares have also designed & developed systems, including CRM & Support, for Ocean Holidays, a £54M Travel Specialist.

Artificial Intelligence and creative trends Besides digital marketing today Bankim stresses that it is important to not overlook offline marketing and tap into networking sessions especially with the leap Artificial Intelligence (AI) has made into the creative industry. He explains, “AI has long been applied to shopping analysis in the shape of analytics, but as capacity improves it will be used across more areas and will eventually revolutionise the complete web development approach taking over analytics tasks and leading to refined systems and practices that benefit users and providers.”

£5.7bn gaming industry and screentime addiction Today, in this digital revolution Bankim identifies the rising gaming industry. The dawn of the broadband internet era has gradually allowed developers to distribute

their games digitally as opposed to the tradition of hiring studios and creating games. The UK gaming market is now worth a record £5.7bn and gaming directly contributes more than £1.35bn to the UK economy, according to Ukie, the trade body for UK gaming which compiles the figures. However, some experts have also raised their concerns around videogame addiction, screentime regulations for children and mental health effects. Now a recent report by investment bank Liberum has found that the impending launch of new consoles like Microsoft’s Xbox One X and Sony’s Playstation 5 can help boost the value of the UK gaming sector to more than £10bn. “Games have been subject to calls of “addiction” for many decades, and the risk is much broader now with social media and general smartphone addiction. “This means that clever game developers are now combining addictive gameplay with real-world activities to create immersive experiences using Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality. Pokemon go is a good example of this. I don’t believe regulations will be necessary because real life and technology are quickly combining, technology will soon be at a point that it enhances real life as opposed to replacing it,” Bankim concludes.


14 COMMUNITY

AsianVoiceNews

AsianVoiceNewsweekly

www.asian-voice.com

7 - 13 March 2020

Indian Jewish Association hosts screening of Shalom Bombay On the evening of Thursday 27th February, a crowd of 100 people gathered for an Indian Jewish Association event at a hotel in Leicester Square, to watch a film about the Mumbai Jewish community and hear a talk by its Director, Alex Hayim. Alex made the film, “Shalom Bombay”, in 1997 when he spent time in India. The audience, which included many people with Bombay Jewish roots were captivated by what they heard. Guests included Lord James Sassoon from the famous family and Atul Kochhar, the first Indian chef to receive a Michelin star. The evening also featured a short address by Minister at the Indian High Commission, Manmeet Singh Narang, who mentioned celebrated Indian Jews Lieutenant General Jack Jacob and Sir Anish Kapoor. During his short address, Manmeet Singh Narang said, “Indian Jews have been small in number but they have contributed immensely to the cultural and administrative landscape of India. I remember when I was young in service to hear about Jack Jacob. That was the first time I realised we had Jews in India. The Jewish community flour-

Rohit Vadhwana

Dr Peter Chadha (Co-Chair, IJA), Zaki Cooper (Co-Chair, IJA) and Alex Hayim

ished when it was in India. In Britain, both communities have been extremely successful and contribute significantly.” Alex Hayim said, "I am very grateful to the IJA for hosting and giving me the platform to dust-off my film and reintroduce the history of this colourful and rich community to a new audience. 'Shalom Bombay' is still incredibly relevant and focuses on the identity

of a small but dynamic community that were able to flourish in an open and tolerant society." IJA Co-Chair Zaki Cooper said, “It was an evening of reminiscing about old times but also making new friends. As Indians and Jews we have so much in common, and our friendship is such a natural one. We are finding a lot of energy and enthusiasm for our charity as we expand our work.”

UK diaspora and students protest against anti-Muslim violence in Delhi Braving snow and rain, more than 200 members of the Indian diaspora and student communities in London gathered outside the Indian High Commission on Saturday 29 January afternoon, to protest the targeted antiMuslim pogrom in Delhi which has claimed more than 40 lives, left hundreds critically injured, and destroyed the homes and livelihoods of many more. On the same day, simultaneous protests against the Delhi pogrom were held by various student and diaspora organisations in more than 15 European cities, including Geneva, Glasgow, Grenoble, Hague, Hamburg, Krakow, Munich, Pisa,

Students Against Fascism (UK); Federation of Redbridge Muslim Organisations (FORMO); Co-ordinating Committee of Malayali Muslims. The gathered protesting groups demanded the Indian Home Minister’s resignation, arrest of BJP instigators and justice for the survivors of Delhi Pogrom. They also demanded for the UK government to immediately issue a strong condemnation of the Narendra Modi government. The SOAS India Society in a statement said, “We stand in solidarity with the survivors of the Delhi Pogrom and with the courageous citizens of Delhi as they fight for justice and peace!”

killed 38 Indian Muslims, with many injured. This is no accident... British Indians will not be silent.” Nirmala Rajasingam from the South Asia Solidarity Group said, “As members of the Indian and South Asian diaspora in the UK, we stand with the survivors of the Delhi pogrom and the courageous antiCAA movement...” South Asian Students Against Fascism told the newspaper, "The violence in Delhi must not be seen as a riot. What has happened is a state-sponsored pogrom against the city's Muslim communities...” Anjum Mouj, London Black Women’s Project added, “We are shocked by the horrific anti-Muslim

occupying these sites like Shaheen Bagh for the past two months in the bitter North Indian winter cold. We in the UK and across the world must learn from their strength and courage in these turbulent times of increasing fascism.”

Nadia Whittome, one of the newest and youngest MPs in UK Parliament, who has a Punjabi father and Anglo-Indian mother with roots in Kolkata said, “The Delhi Pogrom has already

pogrom spearheaded by the Hindutva right this week. But we are truly inspired to see that the women of many areas of Delhi have returned to their sit-in protests. These women have been

India spends most of its foreign exchange on the import of oil and gas and its demand is expected to grow more with India's economic growth. India's crude oil import bill for FY 2018-19 was USD 112 billion as it imported 226 million metric tons of oil during the financial year. India is the world's third-largest energy consumer and this demand is expected to increase to 1,516 million metric tonnes by 2035. Although India's proven oil reserves are 600 million metric tonnes, its production of crude is oil much less than the consumption requirement. In short, India is one of the major importers of crude oil and natural gas and any price rise in these fuel affects India's import bill hugely. India is also the fourth-largest Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) importer in the world after Japan, South Korea and China; and the import of LNG is still increasing. Annual gas consumption of India is about 54 billion cubic meters and it is expected to increase three-fold in the next ten years. By February 2019, India's gas pipeline infrastructure was spanning more than 16,000 kilometers. While India depends heavily on imported crude oil, its industrial capabilities in the oil and gas sectors are very impressive. Due to strong refining and industrial capabilities, India's export of petroleum products in FY 19 was over 61 million metric tonnes which included varieties of petrochemicals and refined products to the world. The oil refining capacity of India is about 238 million tonnes a year and is the second-largest in Asia. Private companies own about 35% of total refining capacity. From April 2000-September 2019, total FDI in India's petroleum and natural gas sector has reached USD 7.2 billion. The industry is growing rapidly and has capabilities of attracting USD 22 billion-plus investment in the exploration and production sector in the next 2-3 years period. This will become possible as the Foreign Direct Investment in this sector is 100% through automatic route in upstream and private sector refining projects. In the public refining sector also the FDI limit has been raised to 49%.

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

Essex Indians celebrate 6th year of the International Mother Tongue Day

Essex Indians has recently become the first Indian organisation in London to celebrate International Mother Tongue Day ('Bhasha Dibosh' in Bengali) for 6 years in a row.

Helsinki, Cologne, Brussels, Frankfurt, Berlin, Paris, Stockholm, Dublin. The protest in London was called by South Asia Solidarity Group; SOAS India Society; South Asian

FDI in India's petroleum and natural gas sector

Essex Indians (EI) proudly run ‘Maitreya Bengali Club’ and ‘Pathshala Hindi club’ for language awareness in the generation next uplifting the roots and values. They celebrated the language day on 22nd February at Laindon Methodist Church hall in Essex. The evening started

with a homage song ‘Ekushe February’ to the martyrs of language day - Dhaka University students. The club's young members delivered talk on the significance of ‘bhasha dibosh’ and the importance of preserving one’s own roots and values. This was followed by talks by members coming from different states of India, such as, Punjab, Assam, Andhra Pradesh and Bengal, their associations with the language and coping strategies in the UK. The evening was filled with songs about language day, potpourri culture of the

Bengali language and its future, language and dance forms such as Bharatnatyam. The cultural part ended with a very thought out language quiz that both adults and children had participated in. The evening concluded with a 3-course meal cooked by EI members. The evening was anchored by Dr Arpita Ray, cultural secretary of EI. Dr Dipankar Mukhopadhyay, Dr Anirban Mandal and Mr Upal Banerjee, trustees of EI thanked all performers and supporters of EI for attending this unique event.


www.asian-voice.com

AsianVoiceNews

AsianVoiceNewsweekly

SP

TLIGHT

Dawinder Bansal: Immersive Storytelling

Sunetra Senior awinder is an award-winning producer, artist and creative director known for her intimate yet fun-loving contemporary focus on underrepresented South Asian stories. As well as creating a myriad of her own spirited projects over the years, she has been responsible for developing and producing Southbank Centre's largest South Asian festival: Alchemy for the Black Country region. Her recent short film, Asian Women & Cars: Road to Independence, was screened at the prestigious V&A Museum in South Kensington as part of their wider exhibition: Cars: Accelerating the Modern World. Asian Women & Cars also won the Creative Media Award at the Asian Media Awards 2019.

D

The notion of a culturally interwoven, powerfully quiet or even rumbling revolution runs through Dawinder’s work. “I enjoy shining the light on stories people wouldn’t normally consider, presenting them in an exciting, sometimes poignant way.” The multidimensional creative has also produced the stage show, Mother Tongues from Farther Lands, for London's Southbank Centre which was a finalist for Best Stage Production 2017 in ITV’s Asian Media Awards. Again, this openly investigated the strong cultural legacy of a diversity of South Asian women, this time exploring the challenging experience of settling in a foreign country more generally: “I spoke to women from a multiplicity of faiths and backgrounds and from different parts of the diaspora too. It was a grass-roots look at community. Interviewees ranged from Hindus and Sikhs to Kenyan-Indians and Pakistani women who were proud of their South Asian heritage. It also included Asylum Seekers and focussed on the stories of the Black Country in the UK.” Dawinder added: “we actually began by asking these women questions on the basic necessities one must acquire to lay down roots, such as food, housing and cloth-

The playful film lovingly explores the impact of firstgeneration Indian women on the thriving of the South Asian community in the UK through their often-overlooked role as the personal driver of the family unit. Dawinder commented on her research: “When looking back through my family photographs, I noticed that there were hardly any pictures of women in cars. It was always men standing proudly next to their automobiles. Any pictures I did find showed women looking bashful. They had more than every right to feel ing. However, this soon turned into the celebratory too.” revelation of just how much they’d had A vibrant documentary, Dawinder’s to overcome to find their place in Asian Women & Cars, interviews differBritain. This included the very controlent passionate women, each talking on ling dictate of patriarchal structure from their unique relationship with driving within the South Asian community too. while examining the motif of the everyThe interviews cut across generations, day vehicle as a symbol of autonomy and and included group discussions where of financial independence particularly. the women shared stories with each “Having a car meant women could comother. The younger women were plete essential chores efficiently as well shocked at the hardships the older genas take on more work to create extra eration had to negotiate. They are income for the home, all the while incredible people: champions of their ensuring their safety in the public minds and leaders in their own commudomain too.” Once a symbol of white nities, but still so incredibly supportupper-class privilege, Dawinder ive.” shows ownership of a drivHere, Dawinder also ing licence being emphasised: “we are essenreclaimed as a vivid “True tially the same, but with marker of individual closeness can subtle differences, and it’s freedom. As opposed change people” this nuance that enables us to a stiff catalogue of all to learn.” In fact, the imperial motor cars, Women & Cars project went Asian women & Cars viral when it launched, not only delights in the detail and eliciting responses from South Asian bright Mini Coopers where one woman women across the world wanting to even recounts the purchase of her first offer their stories about learning to drive vehicle being a commemoration of a “from countries such as Germany and sizeable independent salary. France to as far-flung as Canada and Dawinder elaborated: “It’s common Bangladesh,” but also from different to hear about South Asian men supportmen who felt solidarity with the emotive ing everyone and educating their chilmovement against marginalisation. dren which is great. However, women “There was a Polish man who was have contributed so much too. Their moved to tears upon seeing the film, and small incremental actions have created a another middle-aged British man combigger positive platform for mobility, mented that the story importantly not only for their livelihoods, but also for reminded him of his mother and grandthe functioning of the wider household.” mother based in the North of England.

Even up until the 1950s British women had to get permission from a man to open a bank account, and while the UK saw the Feminist movement explode in the Eighties with women entering into the professional world and power-dressing etc, many still had to marry at a certain age and have children which constituted their life. Their identity was formed secondarily according to those dependent on them, and when the kids left, they had very little of themselves.” In short, Dawinder poses a significant universal question: “who are you to yourself?”, especially in inevitable relation to others? Do you truly understand your subjectivity and its interactive role in feeling whole? In this sense, the artist’s sociological portfolio at once reflects the nature of a multicultural state: not simply a community of different ethnicities physically existing side by side but also groups that are affirmatively emotionally connected, shaping each other in a dynamic, altogether fuller, way. “True closeness can change people,” Dawinder stated. As well as consolidating the South Asian narrative, this is why she believes “it’s important to use creativity to invite people into our world to see who we really are.” Indeed, her immersive spatial style as much distinguishes the work as the penetrative subject matter. This is epitomised through current stirring installation, Jambo Cinema, which is running at the New Art Exchange until 15th March, 2020. Inspired herself by the colourful context of her parents’ Electrical shop, Bansal Electrical, which also doubled up as a corner shop and rented out Bollywood VHS tapes, as Dawinder grew up, Jambo Cinema “draws upon memories of watching Bollywood films with Sikh extended family, pays homage to Kenyan roots, and explores the social history of South Asian home entertainment in 1980s Britain.” Jambo Cinema is then an interactive exhibit which replicates Dawinder’s childhood living room, materialising an accessible nostalgia “I love converting public or ordinary spaces into a personal creative world,” she further commented. “It builds a bridge between people which also highlights an underlying similarity.” Indeed, that of shared overarching humanity. Dawinder aptly concluded by expressing her admiration for the older pioneering generation, particularly of course, the infinitely brave immigrant women: “there’s a saying that when an Asian elder pass away, it’s as if a whole library has burnt down. It’s crucial to preserve their stories. Theirs is a profound sense of purpose and belonging, rooted in spirituality; the complete opposite of the shallow celebrity culture we see today. I’m humbled by their dignity.” Especially important in a divisive socio-political climate then, Dawinder’s sensitive portrayal of individual cultural tales finally demonstrates that coming together need not be an overly technical mission. It is not a political ‘experiment’ as referred to through the Nineties, nor a sterile show of international partnerships. Rather, a phenomenon inherent within us, organically waiting to be seen. W: www.dawinderbansal.com T: @DawinderBansal

INTERNATIONAL WOMEN’S DAY

UK

15

7 - 13 March 2020

Rose McGowan - The woman who brought down Hollywood producer and director Harvey Weinstein. "The soft young woman I was died after being raped by Harvey Weinstein. There wasn’t a funeral for that girl. I had to carry that dead part in me around for years until finally it came time to scream it out by going public.”

Greta Thunberg, climate crusader and Malala Yousafzai, female education and human rights activist at Oxford University. “Since our leaders are behaving like children, we will have to take the responsibility they should have taken long ago,” Thunberg at COP24, Poland. “One child, one teacher, one book, one pen can change the world,” Malala Yousafzai. Indra Nooyiformer CEO, Pepsico, Board of Director, Amazon. “I wouldn’t ask anyone to do anything I wouldn’t do myself.”

Theresa May- former Prime Minister of the UK. "I did my politics a different way from the men. I felt I wanted to do it the way I wanted to do it so I did it my way, I was myself and hey, I became prime minister."

NEW ROLE TO LEAD REGIONAL ENGAGEMENT The University of Wolverhampton has appointed a new Pro ViceChancellor for Regional Engagement. Professor Nazira Karodia, who is of Indianorigin from South Africa, has been appointed to the role which focuses on developing a new regional engagement strategy. This will involve working in partnership with businesses and employers, schools, local authorities, Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEPs) and third sector organisations. Professor Karodia was formerly Dean of the Faculty of Science and Engineering at the University of Wolverhampton, having previously worked at the University of Bradford, University of St Andrews and University of Florida. Professor Karodia, who joined Wolverhampton in 2015, said, “The University of Wolverhampton is committed to the social and economic development of the Black Country and its adjoining communities; and it is in this context that I am very excited to take up the post of Pro Vice Chancellor Regional Engagement at the University.


!

. /

* !

0

1

,

* * $ 2

"

)

) &

!

4

% ! )

! !

9

!

!

" 9 &

?

! !

@

!

!

*

&

)

@

"

!

%

& !

(

"

" &

!

,

&

8

" &

&

C> 3 2

!

&

,

#

$

< <

+

+

&

4

%

/

CD1 1 1 ! *

?

! B

)

0 77+

! *

!

% "

7)

@

&

& 7

&

,

I

&

" @

)

!

!

&

A

7

@

&

!

!

!

$A &

!

"

& ! B

1 1 ! 7)

&

&

&

C> /

@

+

6

! & A

&

!

" "

;

F

31 1

7

"

, $

*

*

C2

* 4&

*

!

?

5

&

!

&

& !

/

!

"

&

& / " !

( &

%

<

!

!

J N

9

F

!

4

"

&

>

9

4

*

&

8

& !

&

"

&

J N

! !

!

$

7)

&

(

@

"

"

! '( )

!

,

!

#

!

&

!

&

!

$

(

*

(

!

& &

" !

)

+

&

&

,

"

!

& * % "

8) / /

!

"

"

, & *

&

9

!

&

"

& &

&

. "

!

, 8 !

! !

- !

! &

+

)

!

& ! )

"

,

4& !

(

/

0 ! 3 111

1 2

! 4

*

! & &

!

&

" !

) ! & &

$

&

: < !

& !

,

9 & " !

!

0 $8

1

7

)

$*

)

"

!

) 8

!

"

)

,

B

" / * 9@ !

& !

11 &

/ * 9@

" 7 &

!

" * 1 3 & ! 879 9 : + 7 , )

,

!

<

&

"

/ * 9@

"

11 <

(

11

D21

&

7 > / * 9@ ! & $% "

"

J N 1

@ !

&

21

&

D21

& 8

+

" (

21 *

& !

D2 / * 9@

!

&

:

- &

&

&

6 % 0 +

*

!

&

&

&

6 7

8

#

9

"

-

$/

!

"

!

0 4

( &

& &

8 D

: ;

+

!

+

F

& ! " $

(

*

&

&

7

<

: &

!

&

1 2

"

& !

& 4

1

8

5 "

&

=

> %

& 21 0% " *

"

/ * 9@ 1 1 & O 2O ) 7) @

/ * 9@

&

&

N

D21 J N " !

! & !

,

!

"

& &

&

/ & "

& !

&

7

F

!

$%

8) /

4

/ "4! )

(?

8

A

!

! &

!

- !

F

;

!

E &

"

!

-

&

, 4

??=

-

&

,

!

%& %&

&

+

!

(

$7

!

)

$

!

&

*

" %

8) /

$< !

!

8) /

$

!

)

(

*

&

! "

" 1O

D1 O

/ 8) /

!

4

*

"

( 77+

9

& !

! :

9

$

%& ' ( ) !

&

!

7 &

#

J N

D1 !

) &

4&

9

-

!

! !

"

+ @ -

#

M " * B & $

!

8) / *

&

( 4

!

!

"

" ! "

-

!

$

)

&

&

!

!

)

% /

&

! "

! &

)

& N < : ! " 8

!

& !

!

&

!

&

!

!

!

"

8) / !

K

& !

!

" " !

"

"

,

J N)

3 !

! &

!

8) / $ &

!

4&

7

"

"

! "

9

&

$%

&

7

A ! "

!

&

!

9

!

J

"

7)

5

)

* B

L &

*

6

8

E

/ 7

"

+

+

@

A

*

&

& !

!

)

0 &

"

!

%

&

$A

$%

*

.

&

77+ 0

A 7)

,

&

!

4

"

! 6!

)

&

"

* B

!

8

/

(

&

! :

&

7 !

"

&

)

7

$) 8) / 0

6! 0 + /

!

8) /

7

$

*

!

&

/ ,

!

! !

!

5

!

/

7

&

!

6!

! L) M CD

! !

"

! +

&

& (

*

!

5 /

"

,

&

!

!

4

4

!

"

/

0 ,

0

$

: < 6

"

&

(

'

!

!

<

&

&

,

!

&

#

! G &

"

&

"

0 !

$

*

(

:

#$ 4 $

"

0

) ! &

!

0

! (

&

!

&

&

)

* &

"

& &

&

H

/

!

&

&

" <

$

!

B

&

77+ F :

77+ 0

9

!

77+ 7

& 77+

&

$%

& ) C> 1 1 1 1 1

&

&

+

"

& !

*

7) "

!

B %

77+

4

$

A " !

@

$ 1

) &

F

77+ !

!

& !

&

*

9

$ "

77+

"(

77+

7)

77+

!

&

!

) &

!

! !

77+

" 7

!

$)

(

!

) 6

" +

)

)

@

DE & ! 77+ < 0 0 ! ! ' )

&

- 7@ "

7

! &

A

!

6!

&

-

!

" & 9

7

/

34

-

6!

? !

7) @ 111

$

6

' < =

1

&

$%

!

%& ' ;

& "

$

*

1

&

$* &

& !

.

,

&

/

,

!

* !

9

:(

%

! & !

&

& ! :

7 7

?

,

8

?

/

!

$% &

% / * 9@ &

"

11 &

4 ! &

&

(


!

. /

* !

0

1

,

* * $ 2

"

)

) &

!

4

% ! )

! !

9

!

!

" 9 &

?

! !

@

!

!

*

&

)

@

"

!

%

& !

(

"

" &

!

,

&

8

" &

&

C> 3 2

!

&

,

#

$

< <

+

+

&

4

%

/

CD1 1 1 ! *

?

! B

)

0 77+

! *

!

% "

7)

@

&

& 7

&

,

I

&

" @

)

!

!

&

A

7

@

&

!

!

!

$A &

!

"

& ! B

1 1 ! 7)

&

&

&

C> /

@

+

6

! & A

&

!

" "

;

F

31 1

7

"

, $

*

*

C2

* 4&

*

!

?

5

&

!

&

& !

/

!

"

&

& / " !

( &

%

<

!

!

J N

9

F

!

4

"

&

>

9

4

*

&

8

& !

&

"

&

J N

! !

!

$

7)

&

(

@

"

"

! '( )

!

,

!

#

!

&

!

&

!

$

(

*

(

!

& &

" !

)

+

&

&

,

"

!

& * % "

8) / /

!

"

"

, & *

&

9

!

&

"

& &

&

. "

!

, 8 !

! !

- !

! &

+

)

!

& ! )

"

,

4& !

(

/

0 ! 3 111

1 2

! 4

*

! & &

!

&

" !

) ! & &

$

&

: < !

& !

,

9 & " !

!

0 $8

1

7

)

$*

)

"

!

) 8

!

"

)

,

B

" / * 9@ !

& !

11 &

/ * 9@

" 7 &

!

" * 1 3 & ! 879 9 : + 7 , )

,

!

<

&

"

/ * 9@

"

11 <

(

11

D21

&

7 > / * 9@ ! & $% "

"

J N 1

@ !

&

21

&

D21

& 8

+

" (

21 *

& !

D2 / * 9@

!

&

:

- &

&

&

6 % 0 +

*

!

&

&

&

6 7

8

#

9

"

-

$/

!

"

!

0 4

( &

& &

8 D

: ;

+

!

+

F

& ! " $

(

*

&

&

7

<

: &

!

&

1 2

"

& !

& 4

1

8

5 "

&

=

> %

& 21 0% " *

"

/ * 9@ 1 1 & O 2O ) 7) @

/ * 9@

&

&

N

D21 J N " !

! & !

,

!

"

& &

&

/ & "

& !

&

7

F

!

$%

8) /

4

/ "4! )

(?

8

A

!

! &

!

- !

F

;

!

E &

"

!

-

&

, 4

??=

-

&

,

!

%& %&

&

+

!

(

$7

!

)

$

!

&

*

" %

8) /

$< !

!

8) /

$

!

)

(

*

&

! "

" 1O

D1 O

/ 8) /

!

4

*

"

( 77+

9

& !

! :

9

$

%& ' ( ) !

&

!

7 &

#

J N

D1 !

) &

4&

9

-

!

! !

"

+ @ -

#

M " * B & $

!

8) / *

&

( 4

!

!

"

" ! "

-

!

$

)

&

&

!

!

)

% /

&

! "

! &

)

& N < : ! " 8

!

& !

!

&

!

&

!

!

!

"

8) / !

K

& !

!

" " !

"

"

,

J N)

3 !

! &

!

8) / $ &

!

4&

7

"

"

! "

9

&

$%

&

7

A ! "

!

&

!

9

!

J

"

7)

5

)

* B

L &

*

6

8

E

/ 7

"

+

+

@

A

*

&

& !

!

)

0 &

"

!

%

&

$A

$%

*

.

&

77+ 0

A 7)

,

&

!

4

"

! 6!

)

&

"

* B

!

8

/

(

&

! :

&

7 !

"

&

)

7

$) 8) / 0

6! 0 + /

!

8) /

7

$

*

!

&

/ ,

!

! !

!

5

!

/

7

&

!

6!

! L) M CD

! !

"

! +

&

& (

*

!

5 /

"

,

&

!

!

4

4

!

"

/

0 ,

0

$

: < 6

"

&

(

'

!

!

<

&

&

,

!

&

#

! G &

"

&

"

0 !

$

*

(

:

#$ 4 $

"

0

) ! &

!

0

! (

&

!

&

&

)

* &

"

& &

&

H

/

!

&

&

" <

$

!

B

&

77+ F :

77+ 0

9

!

77+ 7

& 77+

&

$%

& ) C> 1 1 1 1 1

&

&

+

"

& !

*

7) "

!

B %

77+

4

$

A " !

@

$ 1

) &

F

77+ !

!

& !

&

*

9

$ "

77+

"(

77+

7)

77+

!

&

!

) &

!

! !

77+

" 7

!

$)

(

!

) 6

" +

)

)

@

DE & ! 77+ < 0 0 ! ! ' )

&

- 7@ "

7

! &

A

!

6!

&

-

!

" & 9

7

/

34

-

6!

? !

7) @ 111

$

6

' < =

1

&

$%

!

%& ' ;

& "

$

*

1

&

$* &

& !

.

,

&

/

,

!

* !

9

:(

%

! & !

&

& ! :

7 7

?

,

8

?

/

!

$% &

% / * 9@ &

"

11 &

4 ! &

&

(


18 FINANCE - UK

AsianVoiceNewsweekly

AsianVoiceNews

www.asian-voice.com

7 Mar - 13 Mar 2020

Ryanair CEO says 'lunatic' Green promises will not work

Michael O’Leary

Ryanair Chief Executive Michael O’Leary said he would welcome the “lunatics” of the Green Party entering government in Ireland as part of ongoing coalition talks as this would mean they would be forced to “confront reality”. The Green Party says it is in the interests of business to introduce sharp cuts to carbon emissions to avoid hugely costly disruption to global climate patterns. It is planning the re-introduction of an Irish air passenger travel tax, which was scrapped in 2011. With 12 of 160 parliamentary seats, the Green Party likely to be a kingmaker when it comes to forming a government and is expected to join two of the three big parties - centre-right Fine Gael and Fianna Fail or left-wing nationalist Sinn Fein - which each have just under a quarter of the seats. O’Leary, whose airline Ryanair is one of the biggest carbon emitters in Europe, has in the past called environmentalists “luddites”. “By all means I think you put all the lunatics in government and let them deal with reality. It’s a far better outcome than keeping them on opposition benches where they never have to confront reality,” O’Leary said. “I’ve never been concerned about the Greens entering government in any of the European countries.” “In many respects it’s good to have the Greens in government because you tend to have more sensible polices than the wish-lists they produce in opposition.” O’Leary said he was similarly sanguine about Sinn Fein in government, whose economic policies he described as “nuts”. Sinn Fein stunned the establishment by beating the two centre-right parties that have led every government in Ireland’s history, attracting a new generation of voters with promises on housing, childcare and insurance costs, alongside its historic goal of reunifying the British region of Northern Ireland with the Republic of Ireland. “I think by all means ... let them loose in government and say, right, now let’s see how you do. I think they’ll do particularly badly and they’ll roll back on most of their policy initiatives,” he said “As they say, campaigning is poetry and governing is prose.”

Barclays under pressure to stop lending to fossil fuel firms Barclays is facing increasing pressure over its environmental stance after one of its top 25 investors came out in favour of a shareholder resolution urging the bank to stop lending to fossil fuel companies. Jupiter Asset Management, which holds a 1.2% stake, is the largest shareholder to back the resolution, which will be voted on at Barclays’ annual investor meeting on 7 May. It ratchets up the pressure on Barclays to phase out services to fossil fuel companies that fail to align with Paris climate goals, amid concerns about Barclays role as Europe’s largest financier of fossil fuel companies. The Church of England’s investment arm, Europe’s largest asset manager Amundi, and the largest UK pension fund by members, Nest, have also declared plans to back the resolution, which has been spearheaded by campaign group ShareAction. Jupiter Asset Management’s head of governance and sustainability Ashish Ray said: “As investors, we expect boards and management teams to maintain a long-term mindset and appropriately manage key risks to their business. We see the goals of the resolution as entirely consistent with this approach.” A Barclays spokesman said: “We continue to engage with ShareAction and other shareholders on this issue and will make a further statement at the appropriate time.”

British Steel takeover: Jingye promises 'new chapter' for industry The Chinese firm buying British Steel promised “a new chapter in British steelmaking” as it edged towards the rescue of a company that has been funded by the government since it plunged into insolvency 10 months ago. Jingye, run by a former Communist party official, expects to complete the takeover next week, despite lingering uncertainty over whether France will permit the sale of one of British Steel’s most profitable assets, the Hayange plant in north-east France. Jingye will pay approximately £70m and has agreed to invest £1.2bn to revive the business, whose £1m-a-day losses have been supported by a government indemnity since last May. About 3,200 staff have been offered contracts, while 400 learned this week that they will be made redun-

dant if the sale closes as expected. The sale secures the immediate future of the Scunthorpe steelworks, one of the last two blast furnace operations in the UK steel industry. Jingye was founded 30 years ago by Li Ganpo, a former Communist party official who built the group from scratch in a corner of the Hebei province famed for the role it played in the establishment of the People’s Republic of China. The business secretary, Alok Sharma, said: “Jingye has reached a significant milestone in securing a deal for the future of British

Steel. Work continues towards completing the sale, which will give certainty to British Steel’s dedicated and talented workforce in Scunthorpe, Skinningrove and on Teesside.” Li Huiming, the chief executive of Jingye, said: “These steelworks have existed for around 150 years and we are excited about what we can collectively achieve at British Steel to build a successful future for many years to come.” The Chinese firm said it was happy to go ahead with the purchase of British Steel’s UK and Dutch assets, while waiting for the French government to decide whether it will approve the sale of Hayange.

The plant, in north-east France near Luxembourg, is seen as a strategic national asset because it supplies track for the country’s railways. While Jingye plans to make 400 staff redundant, Roy Rickhuss, the general secretary of the steelworkers union Community, said he still hoped more staff could be transferred to the new company. He also called for further intervention to support the struggling steel industry. “The government took the right approach to support the company through liquidation but it still has a role to play in ensuring a level playing field for the UK industry to compete in a global market,” Rickhuss said. “We will continue to call for further action on energy costs, procurement and business rates, so that British Steel and other steel producers have the best chance of success.”

Peugeot could seek compensation to keep UK factory open Peugeot could demand compensation from the British government to keep its Vauxhall factory in Ellesmere Port open in the event of a bad Brexit deal, its chief executive has said. Carlos Tavares, the head of Peugeot’s owner, PSA, said the carmaker’s European workers should not be forced to bear the costs of “customs barriers” between the UK and the EU when the transition period finishes at the end of the year. Carmakers have voiced concerns about the future trading relationship between the UK and EU, with repeated warnings that tariffs and customs checks could threaten the survival of large parts of the industry. The Ellesmere Port factory in Cheshire, which employs about 1,000 people, is seen as particularly vulnerable because a decision on building a new Vauxhall Astra model is overdue. PSA, which is merging with Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, has already stopped investment in the factory. In a call with journalists, Tavares said: “If we couldn’t find a business case … we would have to ask the UK government to compensate for that, because it is not ethically acceptable that we ask the continental European workers to pay for the customs barriers to enter the UK market. Tavares’s comments came as carmakers arranged phone calls and online launch events to replace the Geneva motor show, which was cancelled because of the coronavirus outbreak that has already rocked the global car industry.

Tavares said coronavirus had been a “wake-up call” for carmakers that they must take control of battery sup-

ply chains that are heavily dependent on China. Peugeot had been forced to step in to help a South

Korean battery producer to increase production at a factory in Poland, with supply chains creaking.

ASIAN BUSINESS ASSOCIATION O (ABA)

SPRING LUNCH Guest Speakers R ick Lowe and Simon Fordham of the Guild of Entrepreneur s Tuesday 24 March 2020, 12.30 pm - 3.0 0 pm Tower Suites by Blue Orchid, 10 0 Minor ies , London EC3N 1JY Sponsored by

In par tnership with

Book places at londonchamberr..co.uk/events


REAL ESTATE VOICE

FINISH BEFORE YOU START

www.asian-voice.com

AsianVoiceNews

AsianVoiceNewsweekly

7 - 13 March 2020

I have just agreed a small commercial deal in North West London. It comprises of about 1,300 sq. ft. It’s a freehold, where the uppers have been sold off on a long lease. The unit is empty, and can probably be extended back even further. There are two points which attract me to this deal; one, it is freehold, the other is PD (Permitted Development).

Suresh Vagjiani

Sow & Reap London Property Investment

Currently, we have just started work on a beautiful duplex flat in Hampstead. The property had been at stand still, for several years. The delay was caused by the co freeholder; the project needed their cooperation to add another floor. The co freeholder and his solicitor were being very difficult, thereby causing this delay.

Humans generally seek to avoid pain and seek pleasure. In doing this deal I aim to avoid the pain of past experience.

You should not be in a situation where you’re held at the mercy of another party.

Not to say there will not be other challenges – but at least not these ones. You nail down what you can.

The other point of Permitted Development is development which is allowed by law. You do not have to go through the rigmarole of a full planning application in order to execute a plan.

So, the attraction of this deal is there is a possibility to make a two bedroom flat to the rear of this unit, the other interesting aspect to this deal is the entrance to the flat will be from the front and is already existing.

Under Permitted Development, as long as you follow certain rules the local authority must allow your application; and that too within a statutory period of 56 days. Therefore, you have the permission within 2 months.

By implementing the above you will make the commercial unit smaller from the front, thereby

AGONY AGENT IS HERE TO HELP! A: Some questions that come to mind are: Where is the garage located? Is the garage an integral part of the building or a separate entity in a block, or a communal row of garages? Regardless of whether the garage is integral or separate, it is important to verbally inform the tenant that the garage is out of bounds at point of viewing, and

then make this clear in a separate specific and detailed addendum in the tenancy agreement. This keeps things nice, easy and clear from the outset. The problem arises when your tenant is currently in tenancy and has been using the garage, and you then decide that you want to take back possession! In this situation the tenant doesn't have to relinquish rights of the garage. If you have not stated that the garage is restricted in the tenancy

BUY TO LET OPPORTUNITY London, NW1 Purchase Price: £370,000 Specialists in Central London Property Sourcing

Again, we have had projects stuck at the mercy of the planning process. Often, you’re completely at the whims of councillors who really don’t have a clue what exactly they are casting their vote on. They often have half knowledge at best and often parrot the sentiment of their constituents. There was one situation where we spent nearly two years just agreeing the S106 agreement.

Therefore, ownership of the freehold is an extremely important card to hold in your hand if you wish to do any development. Or having a clearly defined permission in advance of the purchase.

Q: Does my tenant have right of access to the garage?

19

making it attractive for occupation, as once you’re below the rateable threshold of £15,000 per annum, you become exempt from business rates. This will open up the demand for occupiers. The flat can be refinanced, and most of the funds extracted. The commercial element can be sold back to your own pension fund, bought with tax free money. The beauty of this deal is one can see the finishing line before you have even started the race.

agreement then you might just be stuck. If you need your garage back, we would suggest that you contact your tenant and explain the reason why, who knows, you may be lucky and they might hand this back without any issues. Or, it might simply be worth offering to reduce the tenant’s rent by £50 or £25 a month for example, just to make it more agreeable. If you need any other lettings guidance, please do get in touch.

l A bright and large two bedroom flat l Long lease and low service charges, making an ideal BTL investment

l Close to Camden market and Camden and Kentish Town tube stations

l Excellent yield of 5.3% per annum l £143K cash required to close this deal, subject to mortgage criteria Call us now for more information!

0207 993 0103

info@sowandreap.co.uk www.sowandreap.co.uk 27 Gloucester Place, London, W1U 8HU SowandReapProperties

Sowandreapuk

Interested in investing in property? Do get in touch to see how we can help


20 FINANCE

AsianVoiceNews

AsianVoiceNewsweekly

www.asian-voice.com

7 Mar - 13 Mar 2020

Can’t pay AGR dues sans govt support: Voda Idea Vodafone Idea told the government, the telecom department and the Prime Minister’s Office that it will not be able to pay the Supreme Court-ordered £5.3 billion AGR (adjusted gross revenues) dues if it is not given an immediate bailout. The company, which has so far paid £350 million, has made it clear that its survival now hinges on a government support, which should come in various forms, including a staggered payment option, reduction in licence fee and spectrum charges that telecom companies need to pay. “At this point of time, we do not have the financial strength to pay the balance, self-assessed principal, interest, penalty and interest on penalty. In the present financial situation, we would be in a position to do so only if the DoT and the government can kindly take up the steps we are requesting,” Vodafone Idea’s chief regulatory

and corporate affairs officer, P Balaji said in a letter to the telecom secretary and PMO, which was also marked to the finance minister, cabinet secretary, among other high-ranking officials. Vodafone has claimed that operations of Vodafone Idea, which has over 300 million subscribers in India, have been crippled due to “prolonged predatory pricing, and the recent AGR judgment”. “Vodafone Idea itself has been continually facing loses for the last several quarters.”

The company also said that after mutual discussions, the amount payable under the SC judgment may be frozen to avoid recurring claim of interest, penalty and interest on penalty. The company also requested that the government reduce the license fee on telecom players from 8% to 3%. Also, it said that the spectrum usage charge (SUC), which was fixed at 3% in 2016, be brought down to “zero or a uniform rate of 1%” for all spectrum. Vodafone Idea also said the government should fix a

floor price for data tariffs, which will help boost the revenues of telecom companies and reduce stress. No decision on relief for telcos A relief for beleaguered telecom companies is still some time away. A key meeting of the multi-ministry Digital Communications Commission (DCC) failed to arrive at a solution to help the distressed operators such as Vodafone Idea and Airtel. Top officials said “more details are required for reconciliation of data on statutory dues”, and for this further meetings will be called. In a day of hectic parleys at DoT, Vodafone Idea CEO and MD Ravinder Takkar also met telecom secretary Anshu Prakash but refused to give details of discussions. Telecom companies have been waiting for a bailout package from the government after the Supreme Court order put their liabilities on the AGR matter at £14.7 billion.

Indian economy needs to be opened up for 10% growth: Panagariya Former NITI Aayog Vice Chairman Arvind Panagariya said that India's slowdown has bottomed out and now its economy needs to be opened up if the country wants to realise the ambition of a 10 per cent growth rate. In his keynote address at a discussion on India's Union Budget 2020, he said in the next fiscal year, India's GDP growth is expected to be 6 per cent and then it will get back to 7-8 per cent which has been the case in the last 15-16 year period. 'On the slowdown, my own assessment is that we have bottomed out,' Panagariya, a Professor of Economics at the

Arvind Panagariya

Columbia University, said at the discussion organised by India's Consulate General in partnership with the US-India Strategic Partnership Forum (USISPF). 'In the second half of the current fiscal year, which would be ending on March 31, we should see some bit of recovery, not a big

Merger of 10 PSU banks remains on course: FM India's finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman said there was no uncertainty about the merger of 10 public sector banks to create four large entities and things were moving in line with the schedule. “There are no uncertainties about bank merger. Discussions are going about convenience with which they are doing it... There is a lot of core banking work which they are undertaking... I am on course. There need not be speculation. All of us are at maximum capacity in terms of merging core banking solution,” Sitharaman told reporters after a meeting with public sector bank chiefs. With the April 1 deadline for the new entities to take shape approaching fast, there has been doubt on whether the process will be completed, given that several formalities are yet to be completed. While the bank boards have cleared the proposals, the move has to be cleared by the Union cabinet and regulatory compliance has to be undertaken after that. She also said the government had asked state-run lenders to decide on restructuring of loans to micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) under onetime window opened by RBI.

one but certainly the second half (of the fiscal year) should look better than the first half,' he said. Panagariya noted that since about 2003, India has been growing at an average rate of about 7 per cent and the first five years of the Modi government was characterised by 7.5 per cent growth on an average. Emphasising that the Indian economy 'can do a lot better no doubt', he said that in his assessment, the main factor which led to the slowdown has to do with the financial markets and that translated into weakening of the balance sheets of both the banks as well as the corporates.

'I think you could criticise the government here for being a little slow in beginning the process of cleaning up of the bank Non-Performing Assets (NPAs). The problem was known actually by 2013…' but this particular problem of NPAs never gets solved very quickly,' he said. Sounding an optimistic note, he said as the clean up happens, 'we should see the growth returning'. On the Budget, Panagariya welcomed positive steps taken by the government, including on fiscal consolidation, fiscal deficit, corporate tax reduction, initiation of simplification for the personal income taxation as well as privatisation.

India's GDP growth in Oct-Dec quarter slowed to 4.7% India's quarterly economic growth slowed to a near seven-year-low in the October-December period of 2019-20, dragged down by contraction in manufacturing and electricity, reinforcing the view that more measures are needed to help the economy navigate choppy waters, especially with the coronavirus threat looming. Data released by the National Statistical Office (NSO) showed GDP grew by 4.7% in the December quarter, slower than the upwardly revised growth of 5.1% in the previous quarter and below the downwardly revised 5.6% in the December quarter of 201819. The October-December GDP growth of 4.7% is the slowest in 27 quarters according to official data and slowest since the 4.3%

expansion in the JanuaryMarch quarter of 2012-13. Since the NSO has revised quarterly data for 2018-19 and 2019-20 it may be difficult to do a comparison given the fact that revisions for other quarters are yet to be unveiled. The farm sector was the mainstay of growth, growing by a steady 3.5% during the December quarter compared with 2% growth. The manufacturing sector contracted 0.2%, compared with a 5.2% expansion in the yearearlier quarter but a decline of 0.4% in the previous quarter. The services sector, which accounts for nearly 60% of the economy, grew 7.4% in the December quarter, slightly higher than the 7.3% in the previous quarter and at the same level of the previous year-ago quarter. The government, which

has unveiled a string of measures since last year and in the February budget, said growth may have bottomed out. “We have noted the estimates of growth for third quarter of 2019-20. Sustained improvement in agricultural and services continue to drive the growth. The turnaround in composite eight core industries index in December 19 and January indicates well for the manufacturing sector,” economic Affairs secretary Atanu Chakraborty said. Asked about the impact of the coronavirus outbreak, he said it was an unfolding story. Experts have cautioned that the outbreak could have a significant impact on growth given the country’s strong links to Chinese imports across sectors and the impact on the global supply chain.

in brief BANGA STEPS DOWN AS MASTERCARD CEO Mastercard’s Indian-American president and CEO Ajay Banga will step down from his role and assume charge as executive chairman of the board of directors, as the payments giant announced Michael Miebach as the new CEO. The company said that Banga will take up the new role effective January 1, 2021. Miebach, currently the chief product officer, will become CEO and a board member on January 1as well, as part of the transition, to become president on March 1 this year. The Board unanimously elected Miebach to his new role. As president of the company, Miebach will oversee the sales, marketing, products, services and technology organisations. Banga, 60, who had been Mastercard’s CEO for 10 years, said it has been a “privilege” to be a part of Mastercard’s transformation as a company. The Indian-born top executive said the company has built a growth-oriented mindset and operated with a sense of urgency, delivering a 13 per cent compound annual revenue growth from 2009 through 2019. Banga further added that as Mastercard moves into the next phase of growth, “we have a deep leadership bench with Michael at the helm to take us to the next level.”

INDIANS DIAL UP NEARLY 12GB A MONTH Video consumption using 4G mobile technology drove data traffic in India last year, with an average 70 minutes a day spent on over the-top (OTT) platforms on phones. Monthly data usage also grew to 11.7GB a month from 10GB in 2018. The Mobile Broadband India Traffic Report from Nokia said that 2019 saw a 47% year-on-year (YoY) increase in data traffic, 96% of which was constituted by 4G, up from 92% in 2018. Most telecom operators have switched off their 3G networks in big cities and the consequential impact saw 3G connections witnessing the highest-ever decline of 30% during 2019. In 2018, a mere 1% subscribers surrendered 3G connections. Total data traffic grew by 44 times in 4 years and 2019 saw overall data subscribers grow to 600 million, the report added. The 4G device base grew in parallel by 1.5x, driven by the launch of a variety of models by brands’ aggressive pricing. Despite the growth registered, broadband penetration in India is at around 47%, which is significantly lower compared to China at 95%, and other European nations at 95-115%.

INDIA BAGS $40MN DEFENCE DEAL WITH ARMENIA India has bagged a deal worth $40 million to supply four indigenously-built weapon locating radars to Armenia by beating Russian and Polish firms. “The deal is for supplying four Swathi weapon locating radars developed by the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) and manufactured by the Bharat Electronics Limited (BEL) to Armenia in Europe,” government sources said. The supply of the equipment to Armenia has started and this is being seen as a big achievement for ‘Make in India’ programme in the defence sector, they said. Sources said Armenians had conducted trials of systems offered by Russia and Poland, but they decided to go for the reliable Indian system. The four Swathi weapon locating radars will provide fast, automatic and accurate location of enemy weapons like mortars, shells and rockets in its 50-km range. The radar can simultaneously handle multiple projectiles fired from different weapons at different locations. The Indian Army is also using the same radars for its operations along the LoC in J&K. The system was given for trial to Army in 2018.


www.asian-voice.com

AsianVoiceNews

PAKISTAN

AsianVoiceNewsweekly

21

7 Mar- 13 Mar 2020

in brief INDIANS WILL HAVE TO PAY MORE FOR US INVESTOR VISA Indians wishing to immigrate to America will have to pay an additional $50,000 for the EB-5 or the US investor visa from April 1. Although, this additional tax would impact all visa categories, it will predominantly create a barrier for people investing in the EB-5 visa programme, American Bazaar daily said. In 2019, the EB-5 investor visa programme, for the first time since the 1990’s, increased the minimum investment amount to $900,000. With this increase, the new 5% additional tax would mean that applicants would have to pay the extra $50,000, when they move money to an escrow account in the US to fulfil their application criterion. “The change is a reminder to Indians to carefully plan their tax position before making the move to the US,” Mark Davies of Davies & Associates LLC told American Bazaar.

NET GIANTS PROTEST AGAINST NEW PAK CENSORSHIP RULES Internet giants, including Facebook, Google and Twitter, have threatened to suspend their services in Pakistan over new censorship rules, local media reported. To regulate social media activity, the government announced new rules under which social media firms will have to disclose information or data to a probe agency when sought. Failure to abide by the provisions within three months will entail a fine of up to Rs 500 million. In a letter to PM Imran Khan on February 15, the Asia Internet Coalition (AIC) comprising Facebook, Twitter, Google, Amazon, Apple and others called the new rules “vague and arbitrary in nature” and urged the government to revise them.

FORMER PAK PM ABBASI GETS BAIL IN CORRUPTION CASE Former Pakistan prime minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi who has been in detention for months on graft charges has been granted bail the Islamabad High Court (IHC). Abbasi, who served as the prime minister from August 2017 to May 2018, was arrested by the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) in July for allegedly violating rules and causing a loss to the national exchequer in the Liquified Natural Gas (LNG) case. The IHC granted bail to Abbasi, 61, and ordered him to submit a surety bond of Rs10 million. The court also heard separate bail application of former planning minister Ahsan Iqbal and also granted him bail. The NAB is probing alleged corruption in the award of contract to import LNG from Qatar by Abbasi when he was minister for petroleum and natural resources in the Cabinet of former premier Nawaz Sharif. The probe started in 2015 but made little progress. Iqbal was accused of corruption in the construction of the Narowal Sports City as minister for planning in Sharif’s government. Accepting their pleas, the IHC bench ordered that they should be released on submission of surety bonds.

CHINA TO SEND 'DUCK ARMY' TO HELP PAK FIGHT LOCUSTS China is planning to dispatch a 100,000strong army of ducks to help Pakistan combat a massive locust infestation, a local newspaper said. The legion of lotus-eating waterfowl will be sent from the eastern province of Zhejiang following the earlier dispatch of a team of Chinese experts to Pakistan to advise on a response to the infestation that is being called the worst in 20 years, reports said. China deployed ducks, whose natural diet includes insects, to fight a similar infestation in its northwestern region of Xinjiang two decades ago, reportedly with considerable effectiveness. Their use is less expensive and environment friendly than the use of pesticides, the report quoted officials as saying.

Taliban reject intra-Afghan talks until prisoners freed KABUL: Taliban militants will not take part in intra-Afghan talks until about 5,000 of their prisoners are released, a spokesman said on Monday, presenting a major possible barrier to ending the war. The statement came even as three people were killed and 11 others injured in a bomb blast on Monday at a football match in eastern Afghanistan, as the Taliban announced an end to a partial truce in the country and said that a resumption of operations against Afghan government forces could now take place. Under the “reduction of violence” accord between the US and the Taliban signed last week, the two sides are committed to working towards the release of combat and political prisoners as a confidence-building measure. The agreement calls for up to 5,000 jailed Taliban prisoners to be released in exchange for up to 1,000 Afghan government captives by March 10. Afghan President Ashraf Ghani, not involved in the talks, has rejected that demand. “We are fully ready for the intra-Afghan talks, but we are waiting for the release of our 5,000 prisoners,”

The peace agreement was signed in Qatar''s capital, Doha

Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid said. “If our 5,000 prisoners do not get released there will be no intra-Afghan talks.” The US has said that after more than 18 years of war, it hopes negotiations towards a permanent political settlement and ceasefire can start in coming days, but analysts see stark challenges ahead. Zabihullah said a deal on a reduction in violence in the seven days leading up to the oeace pact had formally ended. “As we are receiving reports that people are enjoying the reduction in violence, we don’t want to spoil their happiness, but it does not mean that we will not take our normal military

activities back to the level that we were before,” he said. Meanwhile, the police chief of Khost province, said that a motorcycle rigged with a bomb exploded during a football match, killing three brothers. No group immediately claimed responsibility for the attack. Two Taliban leaders who declined to be named said that the reduction in violence in practice ended on Monday. According to the US-Taliban deal, up to 5,000 Taliban prisoners should be released by March10 in order to facilitate the intra-Afghan negotiations. March 10 has been slated as a date for commencement of the intra-Afghan dialogue, involving

Taliban, a delegation of Afghan government and representatives of the Afghan society, reportedly in Oslo. The Taliban would release up to 1,000 prisoners. Until recently, the Taliban had refused to speak to the Westernbacked Afghan government, saying it was a “puppet regime”. America has said a planned US troop withdrawal over the next 14 months is linked to the Taliban’s counter-terrorism performance. Addressing a press conference in Kabul, the Afghan president criticised the US-Taliban deal, saying an agreement that was signed behind closed doors will have basic problems in its implementation. Ghani said that Washington was not authorised to speak, discuss or agree with Taliban on release of prisoners. “Any prisoner release is not in the authority of the US. It is the authority of the government of Afghanistan to make any such decision,” Ghani said, adding that there was no commitment to the release of 5,000 Taliban prisoners. Ghani said the release of prisoners cannot be considered a precondition for intra-Afghan talks. It can be part of the negotiations, he remarked.

Anyone targeting minorities will be dealt with strictly: Imran Khan ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan warned that anyone targeting minorities in the country would be dealt with strictly, as he condemned the ongoing violence in India. 'I want to warn our people that anyone in Pakistan targeting our non-Muslim citizens or their places of worship will be dealt with strictly. Our minorities are equal citizens of this country,' he said. Khan also condemned the violence in India and said the world community 'must act' now. 'Now 200 million Muslims in India are being targeted. The

world community must act now,' he tweeted. 'Whenever a racist ideology based on hatred takes over, it leads to bloodshed,' he said. Khan also referred to his address to the UN General Assembly last year in which he warned the international community against ignoring the situation in Kashmir after the abrogation of Article 370 in August last. India has defended its move on Kashmir in August, saying the special status provisions only gave rise to terrorism in Jammu and Kashmir. Pakistan has been trying to internationalise the Kashmir

issue but India has asserted that the abrogation of Article 370 was its 'internal matter'. New Delhi has also asked Islamabad to accept the reality and stop its anti-India rhetoric. The Indian Parliament had passed the CAA last year, resulting in a series of protests across the country. According to the CAA, members of the Hindu, Sikh, Buddhist, Jain, Parsi and Christian communities who have come from Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan till December 31, 2014 following religious persecution there will get Indian citizenship. The Indian government has been

Imran Khan

emphasising that the new law will not deny citizenship rights, but has been brought to protect the oppressed minorities of neighbouring countries and give them citizenship.

Asia Bibi recounts her ordeal in Pakistan over ‘a glass of water’ PARIS: Asia Bibi, the Pakistani Christian who spent eight years on death row on blasphemy charges, spoke anout her new life in a strange country and her dream of returning home. While safe in Canada, which granted her a one-year stay after she was freed from jail, she has yet to taste true freedom. "Well, I haven't visited Canada yet. I have stayed at home, mostly... I don't go out much and basically it is because of the cold and the snow," the 48-year-old said in an interview. Bibi was in France to promote her book "Enfin Libre!" (Finally Free!) co-written with French journalist Anne-Isabelle

Tollet. She does not speak either of Canada's official languages, English or French, and is largely illiterate. She misses her sisters, brother, father and in-laws back home. Bibi said she was hopeful things would change to allow her and her family -- husband Ashiq, 58, and daughters Eisham, 20, and 21-year-old Eisha, who is disabled -- to return to Pakistan one day. "I really hope for it, just the way I kept hope when I was in jail that one day I was going to be free," said Bibi. The allegations against Bibi date back to 2009, when Muslim labourers working with her in the fields refused to share water because she was Christian. An

argument broke out and a woman went to a local cleric to accuse Bibi of committing blasphemy against the Prophet Mohammed, an incendiary charge in Muslim-majority Pakistan. She was sentenced to death the following year, but then dramatically acquitted by the Supreme Court in 2018. In her book, Bibi recounted how she was kept chained in prison and jeered at by other detainees. An ardent Catholic, she insisted that she never committed blasphemy. "No way... I cannot even think of insulting any prophet. I

Asia Bibi

didn't say anything. It was all about a glass of water." In Canada, Bibi lives with her husband and daughters in a three-room apartment in an undisclosed location. She said she had not recently received any direct threats.


22 WORLD

AsianVoiceNews

AsianVoiceNewsweekly

www.asian-voice.com

7 Mar- 13 Mar 2020

Lankan president dissolves parliament; calls for snap poll COLOMBO: Sri Lankan President Gotabaya Rajapaksa dissolved Parliament six months ahead of schedule and called a snap election on 25 April. He signed the Gazette notification dissolving Parliament, the Government Printers Department said. Gotabaya sacked the Parliament after the minimum term of four-and-a-half years necessary to dissolve it was completed on midnight Sunday. According to the notification, elections will be held on 25 April and the new Parliament will have its first session on 14 May. The political parties and independent candidates can file nominations to contest the poll between 12 and 19 March. Over 16.2 million voters are eligible to vote to elect 196 members under proportional representation and a further 29 members on

Gotabaya Rajapaksa

national cumulative votes of each party based on proportional representation. President Rajapaksa, who named his elder brother and former strongman Mahinda Rajapaksa as the prime minister of the caretaker cabinet in December, earlier said he wanted two-thirds seats in the 225-member Assembly. Gotabaya was elected to office last November but has

said he cannot work freely because his powers had been reduced. He has also faced restrictions because the opposition commanded a majority in the 225-member Parliament. The election campaigning period will include the first anniversary of a series of Islamic State-inspired suicide bombings on Easter Sunday last year that killed more than 250 people last year in churches and

tourist hotels. Gotabaya rode to power criticizing the previous government for serious security and intelligence lapses that preceded the bombings. It was the worst violence in Sri Lanka since the country's 26-year civil war ended in May 2009. Constitutional changes initiated by Rajapaksa's predecessor, Maithripala Sirisena, reduced presidential powers, giving them to the Parliament and to independent commissions. The change virtually created two political power centers - the president and the prime minister, with the prime minister in charge of Parliament and government ministers. Rajapaksa's brother, former President Mahinda Rajapaksa, is the prime minister and leads a minority government. Gotabaya needs two-thirds parliamentary support to pass any changes to the constitution.

Lanka skeptical of signing MCC pact with the US COLOMBO: The Sri Lankan government has decided not sign the MCC agreement with the US without Parliamentary approval after a special panel appointed by President Gotabaya Rajapaksa found the deal could open the island nation to security threats and undermine its sovereignty. Under the agreement, the MCC, a bilateral United States foreign aid agency which partners with developing countries, would grant Sri Lanka

USD 480 million to upgrade its transportation infrastructure and improve land management system. The special panel, in its interim report to Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa, said, 'There were clauses and conditions that would negatively affect national goals/objectives, sovereignty as well as the national security along with sections and provisions that would be unfavourable for the constitution of Sri Lanka and the legal frame work of the country.' The government,

Sharif declared ‘absconder’ by Pak govt

citing the committee recommendations, said it was important to obtain public and parliamentary approvals before the agreement could be signed. The government's Information Department said further discussions with the US government were planned for changes to the agreement. Before the presidential election in 2019, the then Maithripala Sirisena government had approved the draft of the MCC agreement. The agreement allotted

funds for agriculture, irrigation, anti-corruption units, education, energy and power, finance and enterprise development, health, land rights and access to land, transportation infrastructure water supply and sanitation. However the then Opposition dubbed it as a sellout of Sri Lanka's sovereignty to the US. After assuming office in November last, President Rajapaksa appointed a panel of academics to review the agreement.

NRC won't affect you, India assures Bangladesh

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan's former prime minister Nawaz Sharif has been declared an “absconder” by the government for violating the bail requirements by not presenting his medical report from his doctors in London, according to a media report.

NEW DELHI: The National Register of Citizens (NRC) exercise is “a process that is entirely internal to India. Therefore, there will be no implications for the government and people of Bangladesh.

Sharif, 70, left for London in November last for treatment after the Lahore High Court allowed him to go abroad on medical grounds for four weeks. According to Sharif's physician, the three-time prime minister is suffering from complex multi-vessel coronary artery disease and substantial ischemic and threatened myocardium for which he is due to undergo surgery. The government has, meanwhile, decided not to extend the bail of Sharif and declared him an “absconder” for violating the bail requirements by not presenting his medical report before a board formed on the order of the Islamabad High Court (IHC), Dawn Newspaper reported. The decisions were taken at a meeting of the federal Cabinet presided by Prime Minister Imran Khan. “After Nawaz Sharif failed to submit his medical report of any hospital in London, the medical board rejected a medical certificate sent by him and (the government) declared him an absconder,” special assistant to the PM on information, Firdous Ashiq Awan, said at a post-Cabinet meeting press conference.

You have our assurance on that count,” India's foreign secretary Harsh Shringla told a highpowered audience in Dhaka, addressing the cause of a lot of disquiet in Bangladesh. Shringla is the seniormost Indian official to visit Bangladesh after the CAANRC controversy broke out here, which saw Bangladesh cancelling the visits of foreign minister A K Abdul Momen and home minister Asaduzzaman Khan to India late last year. In his first visit as foreign secretary, Shringla met PM Sheikh Hasina where they discussed bilateral ties and preparations for PM Modi’s visit to Dhaka later this month. The foreign secretary also met his

in brief 19 KILLED AS TRAIN CRASHES INTO BUS IN PAKISTAN At least 19 people were killed and 28 others injured when a train crashed into a bus carrying passengers at an unmanned railway crossing in southern Pakistan. A police official said that the bus driver was at fault as he began crossing without assessing how close the train was. The dead and injured were on both the bus and the train, he said. The crash took place near the district of Rohri, about 470 km north of Karachi. The bus was torn into three pieces, and the police official said that the rescue workers faced difficulties throughout the night recovering bodies and rescuing the injured, who were strewn along a 400-meter stretch of the track. Women and children were among the dead and injured, and were transferred to two nearby hospitals, he said. Seven people had died in hospital, and some of the injured were in critical condition.

BANGLA POLICE KILL SUSPECTED ROHINGYA ROBBERS Police in Bangladesh killed seven members of a gang of armed robbers during a raid on their hideout on a hillside overlooking a camp for Rohingya refugees in the southeast of the country, a police spokesman said. Crime and violence are rife in the squalid, sprawling camps around the coastal city of Cox's Bazar, where hundreds of thousands of ethnic Rohingya took shelter in recent years after fleeing persecution in neighbouring Myanmar. Police did not say what crime this gang had been engaged in, but some Rohingya gangs are involved in narcotics and human trafficking, and the raid was conducted by a special police unit known as the Rapid Action Battalion (RAB).

MAN ARRESTED FOR HURLING SHOE AT FORMER NEPAL PM A man was arrested in Kathmandu for hurling a shoe at Nepal Communist Party (NCP) cochairperson and country's former Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal during the latter's address at an event in Kathmandu. The shoe fell a few metres away from the podium on which Dahal was making an address at an event marking the death anniversary of Communist Leader Bharat Mohan Adhikari. The person, identified as Ratan Tiruwa, told police he hurled the shoe at the leader as he could not tolerate his statement on 'class struggle'. "I was listening to his (Dahal) address. He talked about the class struggle which I didn't like and hurled shoes at him in twinge," Tiruwa told the Police in custody.

COMPENSATION FOR DOWNGRADING FLYERS India's foreign secretary Harsh Shringla addressing a high-powered audience in Dhaka

counterpart Masud Bin Mamun and Obaidul Qadir, minister for transport and Awami League secretary general. Shringla also offered to sell all military hardware made in India to Bangladesh. “We believe that our ongoing efforts to develop a robust ties between our militaries emphasises trust of a high order. Since we are willing to share with you any and all military hardware being manufactured in India for use by our military. We also welcome the opportunity for our officers to train at your top military institutions, just as we are ready to open military training institutes at all levels - from officer cadet

training to specialised higher command training to Bangladesh.” India has already offered a $500 million defence cooperation assistance to Bangladesh. Asserting that India wanted the “closest possible ties with Bangladesh” Shringla said, “it is entirely in India’s interest to fully support your own efforts to build a strong, prosperous, progressive, peaceful and harmonious Bangladesh; to build a nation that stays true to the extraordinarily inclusive vision of Bangabandhu.” Gowher Rizvi, Sheikh Hasina’s adviser said that Dhaka does not like to see any situation in India that could affect Bangladesh’s secular social fabric.

United Airlines gave passengers $10,000 each to downgrade from business class to premium economy on a flight that was overbooked. The flight, between Newark, New Jersey, and Honolulu, Hawaii, was scheduled on a Boeing 777 aircraft. However, it was changed at the last minute to a Boeing 767-300 - a smaller jet. Due to the last-minute plane change, there were not enough business class seats for the number of passengers who had booked them. As a result, United needed nine passengers to be downgraded. The US carrier gave them all $10,000 each in travel vouchers as compensation.

US: CHINESE SHIP FIRED LASER AT AMERICAN PLANE A Chinese Navy ship fired a laser at a US surveillance aircraft flying over the Philippine Sea west of Guam, the navy said, acknowledging the incident more than a week after it happened. The navy said the People’s Republic of China naval destroyer lased the American P-8A Poseidon aircraft in an act the US deemed unsafe and a violation of international codes and agreements. The US Pacific Fleet said the laser was detected by sensors on the aircraft, but was not visible to the naked eye. “Weapons-grade lasers could potentially cause serious harm to aircrew and mariners, as well as ship and aircraft systems,” the Navy said. The incident took place about 380 miles west of Guam.


www.asian-voice.com

AsianVoiceNews

WORLD

AsianVoiceNewsweekly

23

Trump: India incredible, lot of progress made in ties WASHINGTON: President Donald Trump has described the US’ relationship with India now as “extraordinary” and said a lot of progress was made in bilateral ties during his maiden official visit to the “incredible country” where America is going to do a lot of business. His remarks came even as his likely Democratic Party rival in the November presidential polls, Bernie Sanders, criticised the US President for what he claimed was a “failure of leadership” on the issue of human rights in the light of the Delhi riots. Trump told reporters, “He (Prime Minister Modi) is a great gentleman, a great leader. It’s an incredible country. We were treated very, very well and we really enjoyed it. A lot of tremendous progress was made in terms of relationship - our relationship with India is extraordinary right now,” Trump said. “We are going to be doing a lot of business with India, they are sending billions and billions of dollars now to the United States.” Trump’s daughter Ivanka noted that the President announced that the US International Development Finance Corporation will open an office in India. She thanked Modi for “your warm hospitality as we visited your

w o n y t i r a h c e t i r u o v a f r u o y e t a 2020 n i l i r p A Nom d who line 3r dead ividuals n d o n i i t / a s Nomin charitie f our time, o K based

beautiful country and celebrated the strength, spirit and unity of the US and India!” She added: “Throughout our visit we saw monumental achievements of human creativity & proof of the infinite capacity of the human heart!” First Lady Melania Trump tweeted two pictures of her with Trump facing the Taj Mahal. “One of the Seven Wonders of the World, the breathtaking Taj Mahal!” she said. I may never again be excited over a crowd Addressing a rally in South Carolina, Trump said that he would “never be excited about a crowd again” after his visit to India where he addressed a rally of over 1,00,000 people. During his maiden visit to India on February 24-25, Trump and first lady Melania Trump were given a rousing welcome in the presence of the massive crowd at the Motera stadium in

Ahmedabad. Trump recalled the ‘Namaste Trump’ event at the stadium and said, “In India, I hate to say this to you, they actually have a 1,29,000-seat stadium. Did you see it? The place was packed, and they did better than most.” Trump went on to say: “They gave me credit for 1,00,000. That was not bad. It’s 129 (thousand)... The stadium holds 100 (thousand).” Then he spoke about the venue: “They had a field that’s about three times...it’s cricket. It’s the biggest stadium. And they had 129.” Trump said he shared the stage with Prime Minister Narendra Modi who is a “great guy” and is “loved by the people of India.” Trump said: “We had an amazing thing. And I went in, and here’s the problem. This is a big crowd and normally, I like talking about my crowd because I get the crowds like nobody.”

Saudi Arabia bars entry of foreign pilgrims over coronavirus

f any U l issues o a i c w o o s n g k ly Do you solving pressin in and global a t i Br are both in

Nominate them for the Asian Voice Charity Awards 2020 by visiting our

website w ww.asianvoicecharityawards.com

The Awards ceremony will be held on 15th May 2020 at the Rosewood, Holborn, London

Award Categories

For Charities and Not-for Profit Institutions

I Charity of the Year: This award recognises a UK-registered charity for their outstanding work and contribution to society, as well as demonstrated excellent service and achievement in its work over the last five years. There are no criteria on the annual income, but the charity must demonstrate consistently delivered outstanding service for their size and year-on-year growth.

DUBAI: Saudi Arabia has banned foreign pilgrims from entering the kingdom to visit Islam’s holiest sites over the new coronavirus, potentially disrupting the plans of millions of faithful ahead of the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan and as the annual hajj pilgrimage looms. The decision showed the growing worry across the Mideast about the virus as Iran confirmed that infected cases in the country spiked by over 100, to 254 now. A total of 26 people have died so far, it said. That pushes the region’s overall cases to above 350. Iran’s death toll is highest outside of China, where the outbreak began. Saudi Arabia’s barring of pilgrims from Mecca, home to the cube-shaped Kaaba that the world’s 1.8 billion Muslims pray toward five times a day, and also the holy city of Medina, appeared unprecedented in modern history. The kingdom's ruling family stakes their legitimacy in overseeing and protecting the sites. Authorities also suspended entry to travelers from

2020

In conjunction with

7 Mar - 13 Mar 2020

I Faith-based Charity of the Year: This award is similar to Charity of the Year, but specifically for organisations that consider themselves faith-based.

I Education Charity of the Year: This award is similar to Charity of the Year, but specifically for organisations that primarily have education, training or related charity objects.

I Health Charity of the Year: This award is similar to Charity of the Year, but specifically for organisations that primarily have health and wellbeing related objects.

nations affected by the new virus who hold tourist visas for the kingdom. It appeared Saudi officials worried about the risk of pilgrims spreading the virus as they had in Iran. The virus’ epicenter in the Islamic Republic is the holy Shia city of Qom, where the faithful in reverence reach out to kiss and touch a famous shrine. That shrine and others have remained open, despite Iran’s civilian government calling for them to be closed. There have been no confirmed cases of the new coronavirus in Saudi Arabia amid the outbreak. News of the cancellation shocked the Muslim

world, as many save their entire lives for a chance to see the Kaaba and walk along the path of the Prophet Muhammad and visit his tomb in Medina. Hundreds of faithful deplaned in Pakistan as the ban came into effect, while Indonesia and Turkey had to turn away thousands of pilgrims set to fly. Authorities at Cairo’s international airport said the Saudi decision created “intense confusion” and “extreme anger” among thousands of passengers waiting for flights. Security officials needed to call in reinforcements to control the crowd as news of the ban broke, said the officials.

I Start-Up of the Year: This award is similar to Charity of the Year, but specifically for organisations that have been operational for three years or less.

I Most Enterprising:

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

I Social Impact Award: This award recognises an organisation for the social impact they have created and their contribution to society. They must have clearly demonstrated this impact through a clear report or other information outlining their achievements and value. I Audience’s Choice Award:

In addition to our jury-decided Awards, this category is a special one, where you, the audience, votes for the winners

For Individuals: I Inspiring Individual

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

FOR INFORMATION CONTACT : 0207 749 4085

Email: george@abplgroup.com


24 INDIA

AsianVoiceNews

AsianVoiceNewsweekly

www.asian-voice.com

7 Mar - 13 Mar 2020

SOUTH INDIA

TN govt urges Centre to avoid too many details in 2020 census CHENNAI: Top AIADMK leaders, Chief Minister and party co-coordinator, Edappadi K. Palaniswami and Deputy Chief Minister and party coordinator, O. Panneerselvam have urged the Central government that people should not be asked too many personal details in the 2020 census questionnaire. “Details regarding mother tongue, family head's father, mother, their place of birth, date of birth and details like that, mobile phone numbers, Aadhaar details, voter ID and driving licence details should be avoided in the 2020 census,” the two leaders said, adding, that the Tamil Nadu Government has officially written to the Central government on the need to avoid these prickly details. Both EPS and OPS, in a statement said that the AIADMK government will not allow any act or move that was against the minorities. “Our party and government will always be friends of Muslim society as

O. Panneerselvam and Edappadi K. Palaniswami

always it has been,” the two leaders reiterated. The two leaders also sought the cooperation of the Muslim community to ensure that this traditional bond between AIADMK and the minorities was not undermined due to false propaganda of some of the opposition parties. Both EPS and OPS also stated that no guidelines had been issued to States by the Centre to

implement NRC, except in Assam. Resolution likely against NRC Palaniswami said that aspects like an Assembly resolution against the National Register of Citizens (NRC) were “under the consideration” of the government. He also said the Centre has made optional furnishing of information like parents’ place of birth in the National Population Register

(NPR), and therefore “there is no issue” with NPR. “All that is under the government’s consideration,” Palaniswami said when reporters sought to know if Tamil Nadu will pass an assembly resolution on the lines of Bihar, which had resolved in the House unanimously that there is no need for NRC in that state. Palaniswami did not elaborate on the matter. The Chief Minister, who had earlier said nobody in Tamil Nadu will be affected by the contentious Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA), against which protests are still on in Chennai, said the census exercise was being conducted once in 10 years in the country. He recalled the NPR was “brought” in in 2003 during the BJP-led NDA rule while it was implemented across the country by the Congress in 2010, pointing out that the DMK was a constituent in both coalitions. The then DMK government had in 2011 implemented NPR across Tamil Nadu, he said.

PUNJAB

Uproar in Punjab Assembly over grilling of Kartarpur pilgrims CHANDIGARH: Opposition MLAs created an uprorar in the Punjab assembly, storming the Well of the House and walking out over the questioning by police of some pilgrims returning from the Kartarpur Sahib gurdwara in Pakistan. Punjab Jails Minister Sukhjinder Singh Randhawa told the assembly that some pilgrims were questioned following information from the Intelligence Bureau unit in Amritsar. Opposition MLAs accused the government of harassing pilgrims making use of the visafree Kartarpur Corridor to visit the Sikh shrine, just across the border from Gurdaspur district. The uproar came days after Punjab Director General of Police Dinkar Gupta triggered a row, suggesting in the media that Pakistani agencies could

make overtures to Indian pilgrims to Kartarpur Sahib. Shiromani Akali Dal’s legislative wing leader leader Sharanjit Singh Dhillon raised the issue during the Zero Hour. “Devotees are being questioned by Punjab police,” he said, citing a media report, and sought a reply from the Congress-led government. Aam Aadmi Party legislator Kultar Singh Sandhwan described the questioning of pilgrims as “shameful” and sought the immediate dismissal of DGP Dinkar Gupta over this. Akali leader Bikram Singh Majithia sought the suspension of Gurdaspur’s senior superintendent of police and a station house officer. Jails minister Sukhjinder Singh Randhawa quoted from a letter written on February 17 by an IB official to the Gurdaspur SSP, seeking the questioning of

in brief DMK TO PROBE JAYA'S DEATH IF VOTED TO POWER DMK has promised to probe the mysterious death of late chief minister and AIADMK general secretary J Jayalalithaa if it was elected to power in Tamil Nadu. Speaking at a function, Stalin said it was Deputy Chief Minister O Panneerselvam who said there is mystery in Jayalalithaa's death and there should be a judicial probe. Stalin said chief minister K Palaniswami in 2017 had ordered a probe leading to to Jayalalithaa's hospitalisation. Jayalalithaa died on December 5, 2016 after being in hospital for around 75 days. Panneerselvam who was leading a faction of AIADMK had raised doubts about the circumstances surrounding Jayalalithaa's death. According to Stalin, the Commission was to submit its report in three months time but it is yet to do the same even after three years. The term of the commission was extended seven times, Stalin said.

KARNATAKA MINISTER THREATENS TO QUIT Karnataka Water Resources Minister Ramesh Jarkiholi has threatened quit his ministership as well as the membership of the state assembly if justice is not done to Athani MLA Mahesh Kumathalli. Jarkiholi and Kumathalli were among the 17 rebel Congress and JD(S) MLAs who brought down the coalition government headed by HD Kumaraswamy in July 2019 and helped install the BJP government with full majority in the state. The rebels had claimed that they were promised ministerial berths by the BJP leadership but Kumathalli was not accommodated despite winning the bypolls in December 2019 from the Athani constituency. Since then, he has been sulking and constantly reminding the BJP of its "Vachana Dharma".

CONG, LEFT TO HAVE TIE-UP FOR BENGAL CIVIC POLLS AAP and SAD MLAs protest at Punjab Assembly

some pilgrims. He said the state government will take strict action against the SSP and the SHO if they are found at fault. SAD members stormed the Well of the House facing the Speaker's podium and then staged a walkout. AAP MLAs too entered the Well, before walking out of the House. Waive passport, reduce fee for pilgrims Earlier a resolution was passed in the assembly urging Centre to ask Pakistan to waive the

passport requirement and reduce the $20 fee for pilgrims visiting Gurdwara Darbar Sahib through Kartarpur Corridor. The resolution was moved by Jails Minister Sukhjinder Singh Randhawa in the house. “Many people who want to pay obeisance at the Kartarpur gurdwara do not have passports and that is why they cannot go there,” Randhawa said, suggesting that documents like the Aadhaar could be allowed instead of the passport.

WBPCC president Somen Mitra said the Congress will have a seat-sharing arrangement with the Left Front for the West Bengal civic polls but will not form an alliance with it. Going by the formula, the Congress and the Left Front constituents will field their candidates from their respective strongholds, Mitra said. Reacting to Mitra's remarks, CPI(M) legislature party leader Sujan Chakraborty said, "We have always called for putting up a joint fight to defeat both the BJP and the Trinamool Congress in West Bengal." Mitra said that State Election Commission (SEC) should ensure that civic elections are held in a free and fair manner. He said, the Congress is in favour of using electronic voting machines and not ballot papers. He said that they have no problems about the timing of the polls. However, the dates should be fixed with due consideration about the schedule of different board exams, he said. We have conveyed our stand to the SEC, he said.

WEST BENGAL

BJP will win Bengal with 2/3rd majority: Amit Shah KOLKATA: Union home minister Amit Shah said the BJP would form the next government in West Bengal after the 2021assembly elections and a son of the soil would be the CM, unlike the Trinamol’s “family succession plan.” Launching a strong attack against chief minister Mamata Banerjee, Shah said the Centre would not be deterred from implementing the Citizenship (Amendment) Act. Addressing a public

meeting, he said CAA did not take away anyone Indian’s citizenship. “But our millions of brothers, who have come to India in the face of persecution and

torture, who have lost their everything, whose women faced dishonour and whose temples and gurdwaras were broken, and faced forcible conversion... they do not

have citizenship,” he said. “Modiji focused on vikas during his five-year tenure. For the next five years Modiji is working on the country’s security. He could deliver what Syama Prasad Mookerjee had yearned for: to make Kashmir an integral part of India. The next issue was constructing the temple. Modiji has already laid a hand on temple construction,” he said. Trinamool stance led to violence The home minister accused West Bengal chief minister of supporting CAA’s

objectives while in opposition and adopting “appeasement” policies when in office, and said the Trinamool’s stance had led to violence and destruction of railway property in the state. Ahead of the statewide civic polls scheduled in April, Shah launched a campaign, ‘Aar Noi Anyay (No More Wrongs)’, in a rally at the Shahid Minar grounds in central Kolkata, in an attempt to counter Trinamool’s ‘Didi Ke Bolo’ initiative. Shah also took potshots at the Trinamool by

charging the ruling party with propagating “dynastic rule” although he named neither Mamata Banerjee nor her nephew Abhishek Banerjee who has emerged as the No.2 in Trinamool. Shah said opposition parties were actually instigating riots in the guise of their anti-CAA stance. He launched a no-holds-barred attack on Banerjee, casting aside the restraint he had shown as home minister at the eastern zonal council meeting in Bhubaneswar earlier, when the two came face-to-face.


www.asian-voice.com

AsianVoiceNews

INDIA 25

AsianVoiceNewsweekly

7 Mar - 13 Mar 2020

Holi commemorates the victory of good over evil

Mahant Swami in Anand

The head of the BAPS Mahant Swami is in Anand now. He attended the Pramukh Guru pujan which was organised in memory of Pramukh Swami Maharaj on 1st March at Anand. On 3rd March, Mahant Mahant Swami visited Nadiad to attend the 28th annual programme of BAPS Swaminarayan hostel in Nadiad. The Holi festival commemorates the victory of good over evil, particularly the burning and destruction of a demon woman named Holika. This was made possible with the help of Lord Vishnu. Holi got its name as the "Festival of Colors" from the childhood antics of Lord Krishna, a reincarnation of Lord Vishnu, who liked to play pranks on the village girls by drenching them in water and colors. In parts of India, Holi is also celebrated as a spring festival, to p r o v i d e thanksgiving for an abundant harvest season. When is Holi celebrated? The day after the full moon in March each year. In 2020, Holi will fall on March 10, with Holika Dahan on March 9. The festival takes place a day earlier in West Bengal and Odisha, where it is celebrated as Dol Jatra or Dol Purnima on the same day as Holika Dahan. In addition, in some parts of India (such as Mathura and Vrindavan) festivities commence a week or so earlier. Where is Holi celebrated? Traditional Holi celebrations are the biggest at Mathura and Vrindavan, where Lord Krishna is believed to have grown up. However, safety issues are a concern for women there, due to the rowdy behavior of many local men. So, it's best to travel as part of a guided group tour. Rajasthan is a popular Holi destination for foreign tourists, particularly places such as Pushkar, Jaipur, and

Udaipur. Many backpacker hostels organize Holi parties for guests there. Rajasthan Tourism also holds a special Holi festival in Jaipur. How is Holi celebrated? People spend the day applying colored powder over each other's faces, throwing colored water at each other, having parties, and dancing under water sprinklers. Bhang, a paste made from cannabis plants, is also traditionally

consumed as part of the celebrations. Special Holi events with music, rain dances, and colors are organized in large cities across India - particularly in Delhi and Mumbai. What Rituals are performed? The emphasis of Holi rituals is on the burning of demoness Holika. On the eve of Holi, large bonfires

are lit to mark the occasion. This is known as Holika

Dahan. As well as conducting a special puja (worship ritual), people sing and dance around the fire, and walk around it three times. In some parts of India, people even walk across the hot coals of the fire! Such fire walking is considered to be sacred. One place where it happens is Saras village near Surat in Gujarat. The destruction of Holika is mentioned in the Hindu text, the Narada Purana. Holika's brother, the demon King Hiranyakashyap, apparently wanted her to burn his son, Prahlad, because he followed Lord Vishnu and didn't worship him. Holika sat with Prahlad in her lap, in the burning fire, because it was thought that no fire could harm her. However, Prahlad survived because his devotion to Lord Vishnu protected him. Holika was instead charred to death. Holi in Odisha and West Bengal Similar to Holi, the Dol Jatra celebrations in West Bengal and Odisha are dedicated to Lord Krishna. However, the mythology is different. The festival celebrates the love that Krishna is believed to have expressed to Radha on that day. Idols of Radha and Krishna are carried around in procession on s p e c i a l l y decorated palanquins. Devotional songs are sung during the procession. The idols are also smeared with colored powder. Of course, colors are thrown at people on the streets too! Festivities actually begin six days beforehand, on Phagu Dashami.

Mandir construction begins in Ayodhya Heavy earth moving machines rolled into the Ramjanmabhoomi premises in Ayodhya last week, marking the beginning of construction of the Ram Mandir. The chief priest of the makeshift temple, Acharya Satyendra Das, said, “Machines have begun levelling land and clearing bushes and heavy thickets… It’s a joyous moment for Hindus as we are now free from 500 years of slavery.” The 67.7-acre compound also houses more than 12 ancient temples, including the Ram Janamsthan and the Sita Rasoi, which are in ruins. No rituals have been performed here since 1993, when land was acquired by the Centre. There’s still no word from the Ram Mandir Trust - it will lay out the blueprint of the Ram Mandir - on whether these temples would be renovated or annexed into the greater temple design. Anil Mishra, a trustee, said, “The Trust will decide the fate of these structures and on restarting worship.”

The Vishwa Hindu Parishad has also finalised moving carved and uncarved marble to the Ramjanambhoomi premises. The shifting of stones will take place at night to avoid traffic snarls. “Our new planning will be according to the full satisfaction of security forces, we will try that the walking distance of devotees to reach the temple is reduced to the extent that it does not impact security,” Ram Mandir Trust secretary Champat Rai said. “Before any construction work starts, there will be a meeting of architects and engineers to finalise the plan,” he said.

Ram Lalla darshan at new site The idol of Ram Lalla, currently placed in a makeshift temple at his birthplace on the Ram Janmbhoomi premises, will be shifted to his new temporary abode on March 25, when the auspicious days of Chaitra Navratra commence. The new location is bulletproof and made up of fibre. Meanwhile, as per highly placed sources, the meeting of the board of trustees of Shree Ram Teerth Kshetra Trust, which was to take place in Ayodhya on March 3 and 4, has been deferred. It is now expected to be convened in New Delhi after Holi.

Elections to 55 RS seats to be held on March 26 Elections to 55 Rajya Sabha seats falling vacant in April will be held on March 26, the Election Commission announced. Fifty-one of these 55 seats from 17 states are falling vacant on different dates in April due to retirement of sitting members, while four other seats are already vacant due to resignation of members. The terms of the members who had resigned in the recent past were also ending in April. Prominent among those retiring are Rajya Sabha Deputy Chairman Harivansh (JD-U), Union minister Ramdas Athawale (RPI), Congress veteran Motilal Vora, former union ministers Vijay Goel (BJP)

and Kumari Selja (Cong), and former Madhya Pradesh chief minister Digvijay Singh. The Rajya Sabha seats that have fallen vacant include those of Home Minister Amit Shah, who resigned after his election to the lower House from Gandhinagar, and Arun Jailtley who passed away. While seven vacancies are from Maharashtra, six are from Tamil Nadu, followed by five from West Bengal and Bihar, four each from Odisha, Gujarat and Andhra Pradesh, three each from Assam, Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan, two each from Telangana, Chhattisgarh, Haryana and Jharkhand, one each from Himachal

Pradesh, Manipur and Meghalaya. While notification for the elections has been issued, the last date of filing nominations will be March 13. Counting will be held on the evening of March 26, an hour after conclusion of polls. The ruling BJP and opposition Congress are expected to win most of the seats in the elections but the two will also see their strength diminished marginally. Trinamool Congress and YSR Congress Party are expected to make significant gains in the 245member Upper House. Strength of the NDA is 106, including BJP's 82 members, well-short of the half-way mark in the House.


26 INDIA

AsianVoiceNews

AsianVoiceNewsweekly

www.asian-voice.com

7 Mar - 13 Mar 2020

Death toll in Delhi violence mounts to 46 The death toll in Delhi's violence rose to 46 on Monday as the situation remained tense but peaceful. While 38 have been reported dead at the Guru Teg Bahadur Hospital, three at Lok Nayak Hospital, four at Dr Ram Manohar Lohia Hospital and one at Jag Parvesh Chander Hospital. Four bodies were recovered from the drains in Gokalpuri and Shiv Vihar areas of the violence-affected northeast area on Sunday. Panic had gripped the residents of several parts of the national capital on Sunday evening following false rumours of violence, even as the Delhi Police and AAP leaders denied any incident and appealed people to remain calm. "A rumour has been noticed that there is some tension in Khyala-Raghubir Nagar area of West District. There is no truth behind it. All are requested to keep calm as the situation is absolutely normal & peaceful," Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCP) West Deepak Purohit said. The DCPs of some police districts and station house officers (SHOs) of police stations took to Twitter to assure people that their areas were

peaceful and normal. The Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) also shut down the entry and exit gates of seven metro stations but later reopened them. The violence in Delhi began over a disputed new citizenship law, which led to clashes in which hundreds were injured and houses, shops, schools and vehicles were set on fire. Tensions between Hindus and Muslims protesting against the CAA (Citizenship Amendment Act) and NRC (National Register of Citizens) introduced by the government had been building for months and the violence exploded last week during US President Donald Trump’s state visit

to India. Union home minister Amit Shah has accused opposition parties of inciting the riots by spreading misinformation about the citizenship law, which fast-tracks naturalization for religious minorities from several neighboring countries but not Muslims. The rumors spreading on Sunday included reports of armed groups marching in neighborhoods while chanting slogans, and houses being set on fire. The panic subsided when police reached out to both Hindu and Muslim

India castigates Pakistan at UN for giving lectures on rights Describing Pakistan as world’s leading exporter of terror, the government of India said Jammu & Kashmir “was, is and shall forever” remain an integral part of India. This followed Pakistan’s call for intervention by the international community on the Kashmir issue. Speaking at the 43rd session of the UN Human Rights Council which is being held in Switzerland from February 24 to March 20, Vikas Swarup, secretary (West), described Pakistan as the “epicentre of global terrorism”. He called for decisive action against those who direct, control, fund and shelter terrorists, in an obvious reference to Pakistan, which is accused by its neighbours of providing

safe havens to terror groups. “It is more than a little ironical that a nation that has become the world’s leading exporter of terror and violence seeks to lecture others about human rights.” “Jammu & Kashmir was, is and shall forever remain an integral part of India,” Swarup asserted a day after Pakistan’s minister for human rights Shireen Mazari alleged that India continues to violate the human rights of the Kashmiri people and demanded immediate repeal of all actions by India taken on August 5 last year. India abrogated the special status of J&K under Article 370 on August 5 and bifurcated it into two Union Territories. Pakistan has been trying to internationalise the Kashmir issue but India has asserted

that dilution of Article 370 was its “internal matter”. New Delhi has also asked Islamabad to stop its antiIndia rhetoric. Swarup said the transformative changes “wrought by our Parliament last August were meant to strengthen the integration of the state... It was intended to ensure extension of all progressive legislations passed for the entire country to cover this region, and to resume the pace of socioeconomic development in the UT of Jammu & Kashmir.” The situation on the ground is quite normal, he said. “Most temporary restrictions - imposed solely to ensure safety of the people from Pakistan-trained terrorist attacks - have already been removed,” Swarup added.

Obituary Editor-in-Chief of Garavi Gujarat, Mr Ramniklal Solanki passed away at the age of 89 in Ahmedabad on 1st March 2020. We are deeply saddened by his demise. We have written a separate letter of condolence and prayers to Adarniya Parvatiben, sons Kalpesh, Shailesh and daughter Sadhanaben and family members.

We pray for peace for the departed soul. Shanti, Shanti, Shanti. Om Namah Shivaya CB Patel and the ABPL team.

religious leaders and asked them to help maintain calm in their neighborhoods. Police also issued statements and some lawmakers took to the streets to reassure people that the situation was normal. On Monday, India’s top court agreed to hear cases filed by riot victims accusing some BJP leaders of hate speech. Some of the victims accuse Kapil Mishra, a local BJP leader of stoking the violence. Mishra had demanded at a rally that police shut down a Muslim-led protest in the city or else he and his

followers would do it themselves. Hours later, Hindus and Muslims fought each other with guns and swords, metal rods and axes, leaving the streets where the rioting occurred resembling a war zone. Congress party demanded that Home Minister Shah resign. Authorities are yet to provide an official account of what sparked the violence. Police spokesman Manjeet Singh Randhawa did not respond to repeated questions about how many of the hundreds of people detained in the riots had been charged.

Police looking for AAP councilor The police are looking for AAP councillor Tahir Hussain, booked in the murder case of IB official Ankit Sharma. His mobile phone has been switched off and a man who was coordinating with the media on his behalf claimed he has not been in touch with him as well. A forensic team, along with members of SIT, inspected the drain from where Sharma’s body had been recovered. The police suspect that Sharma was first killed and then his body dumped in the drain. Police have arrested over 130 people, detained over 400 and registered 48 FIRs. SIT to probe larger conspiracy The SIT will also probe a “larger conspiracy”, which cops suspect was hatched over a period. Their suspicion has been strengthened by the recoveries made from the area which include improvised hand grenades tied with rope and “bottle bomb launchers” which resemble a big-size slingshot tied to trees or fences to make it look like swings. These arrangements could not have been made overnight, said a source.

Obituary: Khodidasbhai R. Dhamecha (August 1930 – February 2020)

AN ICON OF HIS GENERATION Personal tribute by Lord Jitesh Gadhia On Valentine’s Day this year, Khodidasbhai Dhamecha, an icon of the British Indian community passed away at his home in Jamnagar, a few months short of his ninetieth birthday, surrounded by his family. Together with his younger brothers, Shantibhai and late Jayantibhai, he founded the eponymous Dhamecha Cash & Carry business in Wembley in 1976, which has since grown to nine depots nationwide. But Khodidasbhai was no ordinary businessman. He was a true pioneer, well ahead of his time, astute in commerce and generous in serving society. For those who knew him, Khodidasbhai was always immaculately dressed and groomed. It was a sharp image which befitted an equally sharp mind. He clearly possessed the Midas touch as an entrepreneur and was prolific across multiple businesses and investments beyond the family’s core wholesaling activities. Infact, I remember visiting his UK home in Stanmore as a young student and being impressed by his

wide knowledge of economics, finance and current affairs. He quoted an article from The Financial Times – which he read avidly – and asked for my opinion. Family unity and proximity was a key objective for Khodidasbhai who “sacrificed and compromised for the greater good of the family”. He led by example, following the Gandhian virtues of simple living and high thinking. It was also clear that he strongly valued relationships and loyalty. He regularly visited my paternal grandfather Nagardasbhai Gadhia, and remained in close touch with my Nana, Girdharbhai Sangani. I can even thank the Dhamecha Family for introducing me to my wife Angeli. Khodidasbhai also attached significant importance to nurturing community networks – not only amongst the Lohana Community – but across the wider Indian diaspora. This philosophy translated directly into his philanthropic deeds, generously sponsoring numerous community centres,

social welfare activities and health facilities across three continents in East Africa, UK and India. It is rare to find such humility and humanity in successful individuals – a trait which Khodidasbhai’s son Pradip also embodies. Indeed, Pradip has described his father as a “mentor and guru” – and will particularly feel the void from his absence alongside his mother Lalitaben, wife Veena and children Radhika, Ridhi and Anand. Thousands of people gathered on Sunday 1st March - appropriately at the Dhamecha Lohana Centre in South Harrow to pay their respects to the family and celebrate Khodidasbhai’s life and legacy. The Dhamecha Family has lost its patriarch, but the wider community has also lost one of its key pillars, a man universally admired and respected as an elder statesman. Khodidasbhai was a true pioneer whose wisdom and inspiration will have an enduring impact for generations to come. We all pray that his noble soul rests in eternal peace.


www.asian-voice.com

AsianVoiceNews

HEALTH & LIFESTYLE

AsianVoiceNewsweekly

27

7 - 13 March 2020

How to prepare for a pandemic: What to do? What to buy? The novel coronavirus has spread across countries and the possibility of a pandemic seems imminent. The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have issued a 'to-do' list in case of an outbreak. What to buy? The US Department of Homeland Security recommends storing a two-week supply of water and food, along with some over-thecounter medication you may need. The department said, “Have any non-description drugs and other health supplies on hand, including pain relievers, stomach remedies, cough and cold medicines, fluids with electrolytes and vitamins.” It added, “In general for emergency preparedness, we encourage all households to have an emergency response kit.” Places to avoid The CDC recommends travellers avoid all non-essential travel to mainland China and South Korea. It has even issued travel alerts for older

people and people with chronic medical conditions urging them to consider postponing non-essential travel to Italy, Iran, and Japan. Health officials recommend to be mindful of avoiding close contact with people who may be sick. On the off chance you are sick, keep your distance from others. Should your children go to school? If your child is even slightly sick, it is important to keep them home from school in order to protect other students. Keep an eye on local school closings. The CDC said widespread transmission of the novel coronavirus could lead to schools, child

care centers and other places for mass gatherings experiencing more absenteeism and even shutting down if that precaution is needed. Director of the CDC's National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases, Dr Nancy Messonnier said one should plan for what to do if their lives were significantly impacted. She added her agency wants people to understand their lives might be disrupted. What about work? Is going to the office safe? The CDC has posted guidance on its website to help businesses and employers plan for possibly including telework or flexible sick

leave policies into operations if there is significant spread of the virus across the country. Sick employees shouldn't return to work until their temperature has stayed below 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit for at least 24 hours, without the help of fever-reducing or other symptom-altering medicine. What about my medications? It is recommended to periodically check your regular prescription drugs to ensure you have a continuous supply in your home if needed. You could also get copies and maintain electronic versions of health records from doctors, hospitals, pharmacies and other sources and store them for personal reference. Do you need a facemask? It is not recommended for people who are well to wear facemasks. In fact, it is only suggested if a healthcare professional recommends it. A facemask should be used by people who have the novel coronavirus and are showing symptoms.

Want to live a longer life? Eliminate these five bad habits How would you feel if you could add a 10 more diseasefree and healthy years to your life? A recent study has revealed your life could significantly better if you completely remove five bad health habits. The department of nutrition at Harvard TH Chan School of Public Health analysed the impact of these major behaviours on the chance of living a longer life free of diabetes, cardiovascular disease, cancer, and other chronic diseases. The habits include overweight, drinking too much alcohol, smoking, not exercising, and eating an unhealthy diet. Senior

author Dr Frank Hu, who chairs the department of nutrition, said, “We found that following a healthy lifestyle can substantially extend the years a person lives disease-free.” He added, “In particular, women who practiced all five habits gained over 10 years of disease-free life, and men who did so gained almost eight years.” The research is based on a study published last year that closely saw over 38,000 men for 28 years and 73,000 women for 34 years. It found women who adopted all five healthy habits at age 50 lived 14 years longer than women who did not. Hu said women who practiced four or five of the healthy habits

over the next 20 to 30 years had an additional 10.6 years of disease-free living compared to women who adopted no lifestyle changes. When broken by disease, the healthier women gained an average of eight years free of cancer, 10 years with no cardiovascular disease and 12 years without diabetes. Men who practiced four to five healthy behaviours gained 7.6 years; longer life expectancy, an average of six more years without cancer, almost nine more years free of heart issues and over 10 years without diabetes. Hu said, “This is a positive

health message because it means healthy lifestyle habits not only prolong life, but also improves the quality of life and reduce sufferings related to chronic diseases.” He added, “It is never too late to adopt these habits. For smokers, the single most important thing that one should do is to stop smoking. For non-smokers, eating a healthy diet and being physically active are important for keeping a healthy weight.”

Exercising before breakfast burns more fat A small study published in the UK has finally answered the seemingly unending debate on whether to eat before or after exercising in the morning. For those who don't know, the eat-first camp says food before exercise boosts blood sugars, giving the body fuel to increase the intensity and length of a workout. The eat-after camp, meanwhile, says you burn more fat if you fast before exercise. The study which was published recently revealed that those who exercised before breakfast burned twice the fat as men who ate

breakfast before they worked out. It its research, it found 30 obese or overweight men, who exercised before breakfast burned twice the fat as men who ate breakfast before they worked out. It revealed exercising with no fuel forces the body to turn to stored carbs, and when

those are quickly gone, to fat cells. Meanwhile, the eat-after group didn't lose more weight than the eat-before group during the six weeks of the study, but it did have “profound and positive” effects on the health of the group that fasted. Skipping the meal before exercise made the men's muscle more responsive to insulin, which controls high blood sugars, thus reducing the risk for diabetes and heart disease. Exercise physiologist Javier Gonzalez said, “The group who exercised before breakfast increased their ability to respond to insulin,

which is all the more remarkable given that both exercise groups lost a similar amount of weight and both gained a similar amount of fitness. The only difference was the timing of the food intake.” In case you choose to work out an empty stomach, there are certain tips to keep in mind. These include, the four 'R's of recovery – rehydrate, replenish, repair, and reinforce. Eat a meal with a 4:1 carb to high quality protein ratio. There are some good choices, including fruit and low-fat Greek yogurt, trail mix, or a banana with peanut butter.

in brief FREQUENT USE OF SOCIAL MEDIA MAY HARM POSITIVE ACTIVITIES IN TEENS

A study published in the journal The Lancet Child & Adolescent Health has found that the frequent use of social media may harm girls' mental health by increasing their exposure to bullying and reducing their sleep and physical exercise. The research involved interviews with almost 10,000 children between the ages of 13 and 16 in England. Study co-author Russell Viner of the UCL Great Ormond Street Institute of Child Health said, “Our results suggest that social media itself doesn't cause harm, but that frequent use may disrupt activities that have a positive impact on mental health such as sleeping and exercising, while increasing exposure of young people to harmful content, particularly the negative experience of cyberbullying.” It means, while social media itself may not be to blame for mental health issues, it rather takes away from girls' sleep quality and exercise while exposing users to cyberbullying and that's what leads to lower well-being and problems with mental health. Lecturer in clinical psychology at the University of Surrey, Bob Patton said this means strategies focusing only on reducing social media use as a tool to improve well-being or mental health might not help. In a statement, he said, “Building strategies to increase resilience to cyberbullying and that promote better sleep and exercise behaviours may well be what is needed to reduce both physical and psychological harm.” The research was conducted by interviewing teenagers once a year from 2013 to 2015. They would report the frequency with which they checked or used social media, including Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp, Twitter, and Snapchat. Any more than three times in a day was considered “very frequent”. Researchers found that very frequent social media use in both sexes, was associated with greater psychological distress. The effect was especially clear among girls. The more often they checked social media, the greater their psychological distress.

CHILDREN WHO GREW UP IN CLEANER HOUSEHOLDS MORE LIKELY TO DEVELOP LEUKEMIA A new study published in the journal Nature Reviews Cancer, finds that germ-free childhoods can very well trigger the onset of childhood leukemia. The most common type of childhood cancer is caused by a two-step process according to the paper. The first step is a genetic mutation before birth that predisposes a child to the risk of developing this form of leukemia. The second step is stated to be an exposure to certain infections later in childhood, after clean early childhoods that limited exposure to infections. The paper revealed that children who grew up in cleaner households during their first year and interacted less with other children are more likely to develop acute lymphoblastic leukemia. Institute of Cancer Research Professor Mel Greaves reviewed over 30 years of research, including his own, on the genetics, cell biology, immunology, epidemiology, and animal modelling of childhood leukemia and reached on the conclusion. Geeaves said he had long wondered “why or how otherwise healthy children develop leukemia and whether this cancer is preventable. This body is a culmination of decades of work, and at last provides a credible explanation for how the major type of childhood leukemia develops.” They added, “The research strongly suggests that (this cancer) has a clear biological cause, and is triggered by a variety of infections in predisposed children whose immune systems have not been properly primed.”

To Our Readers

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


28 BOLLYWOOD

AsianVoiceNews

AsianVoiceNewsweekly

www.asian-voice.com

7 Mar - 13 Mar 2020

Priya

It's all about content for Deepika

The Morning Show

In a recent interview, '83' actress Deepika Padukone talked about female-fronted films, and why she did not hang on to a Hollywood career, among other things. Talking about women taking over the film industry, Deepika said, “My very first film 'Om Shanti Om' was with a female director. We have come a long way, at least in terms of the roles being written for women. Also, there are more female technicians. I think that's also a function of women now being more comfortable with choosing this as a profession. More women want to be independent... and then there's the broadening of the understanding of the film industry. There was a lot of stigma earlier as far as the film industry was concerned, specifically regarding women.” She added, “There’s a lot more open-mindedness today. The kind of roles, even from an actor’s perspective… the roles I am being offered today vis-àvis 10 years ago, definitely things have changed.” When asked why she didn't take up films in Hollywood, Padukone said, “I don't look or evaluate films as Indian or international, but as a medium where I can express myself. If that opportunity is in India, great. If that is out of the United States or another part of the world, I am happy to explore that too. For me, it's always been content. I did 'Xander Cage' because it was an extremely powerful, strong character to play. Eventually, it’s about the character and role, and of course, the film. It’s not like I’m actively seeking something in Hollywood. Whether India or any other part in the world, great content is what I seek.” On the work front, the actress will be next seen in a Bollywood remake of Anna Hathaway and Robert de Niro's 'The Intern'.

Aniston and Witherspoon signal the directors: Beware of #MeToo Priya

Bytes to Binge An in your face look at Genre: Drama and Satire what really goes on Duration: 55 minutes each behind the camera Season: 1 No. of episodes: 10 within a popular TV Where: Apple TV/Netflix/Amazon Network company! Directed: Jay Carson Reece is brilliant for Cast: Reese Witherspoon, me in this, she always Jennifer Aniston is. It’s a great show with smart story lines. The Morning Show is a satirical show that pulls in from real-world scandals for the plotlines. It is one that has been inspired by a book written by CNN’s chief media correspondent, Brain Stelter. This one makes for a refreshing watch with (wait for the drumrolls) female leads that have produced the show as well apart from being the protagonists of the series. Appropriate for us this week, seeing as we are celebrating women. The show deals with some pretty grim topics like sexual misconduct allegations in the truest way one can depict on television without it being crude but making sure it tells the story to make a positive impact.

Akshay talks self-defence with young girls

The character played by Jennifer Aniston, Alex Levy is the anchor of The Morning Show is seen by most Americans as they wake up each morning. It’s a popular program broadcast from Manhattan on the UBA network and has excellent ratings which the network heads play hard to keep, at any cost! In fact, this is exactly the plot of this show. Her on-screen partner and co-host of the show is fired, leaving her to flamboyantly present the show as a one-man band, (ahem, the pun is not intended as it’s a popular idiom and yes it can be considered sexist, take it up with the Dictionary!). This is when the mayhem in her life and in others really begins. A tantalising reveal into a side of the workplace existing for some, but little light shed on it. Reece Witherspoon’s character, Bradley Jackson is a field reporter- an impulsive, reactive and perhaps a true reflection of high-flying ambitious women. Though she saves the day and brings in a ball of energy and rawness to not only her characters story but also to TV journalism. For me it was a little hard to see Jennifer Aniston be this serious but that’s because you’ll still catch me watching ‘Friends’ and therefore, she is deeply embedded into my brain as the hair flicking, funny and gorgeous Racheal. Steve Carell plays Mitch Kessler, the recently fired co-host and is just impeccable and carving out his character. For him to immerse himself into the whole #MeToo mind frame must have been stomach gagging and hard to portray at the best of times. Apart from the strong story line, you’ll love watching this, and I do hope season 2 comes with a vengeance! It’ll have me watching and rooting for equality within the workplace too! The show, blends in Broadcast News alongside entertainment, fact and fiction, opinion and propaganda. But everything reckons with the #MeToo era. Perhaps, it won’t be incorrect to state that it sends a little bit of a warning to the ageing actors and directors who following the Weinstein judgment will be doubly-careful and look over their shoulder for everytime they think about abuse of power.

Actor Akshay Kumar, who is known as Bollywood's face of martial arts, was at an event recently where he talked about selfdefence with a group of young girls. He shared a video from the event, where he can be seen asking a young girl why she chose to learn selfdefence. Sharing the video, he wrote, “WSDC So happy to meet this young little girl at the graduation day of our Womens Self Defense Center today and it is this confidence in her to take on the world which encourages our team to keep going #WSDC

@adityathackeray.” The clip shows Akshay on stage asking questions to a girl. He asks the girl, “Why are you learning self

defence?” She is seen answering confidently, “Because I like to play football. I wanted to get a side but I

could not. Then my mother told me that if you learn self defence, you will be able to get the ball. I don’t fight with them (players) but tell them ‘you don’t fight with me’.” On the work front, the actor will now begin the promotions of his next 'Sooryavanshi', which is set to hit theatres on March 24. The release of the film has been advanced by three days to March 24 following the Maharashtra government’s decision to allow theatres to operate round-the-clock in the city. Sooryavanshi is the third film in Rohit’s cop universe after Ajay Devgn’s 'Singham' and Ranveer Singh-starrer 'Simmba'.

Bachchan calls Alia 'supremely talented' Amitabh Bachchan is an avid social media user, and hey, we are not complaining. Over the weekend, he posted two pictures, one each with his 'Brahmastra' co-stars Ranbir Kapoor and Alia Bhatt, lavishing praises on them. His first picture, a collage with Ranbir shows the young actor help him with his new sound ear plugs, while the second is a warm picture of Alia and him hugging on the sets of the movie. Sharing the collage with Ranbir, he wrote: “T 3455 - .. he teaches and sets up for me the sound ear plugs .. they sound good .. good riddance of the

wires and cables .. !!” On Instagram, sharing a picture with Alia, he wrote: “... she breezed in .. did her shot .. a huddle .. and out .. the effervescent, supremely talented, scintillating Alia ..” The three actors will be seen together in Ayan Mukerji's upcoming 'Brahmastra'.


www.asian-voice.com

AsianVoiceNews

AsianVoiceNewsweekly

BOLLYWOOD

29

7 Mar - 13 Mar 2020

Shruti Haasan opens up about her battle with PCOS

by Vallisa Chauhan

Thappad: When a single slap changes everything

Actress Shruti Haasan is known for being open about her personal life. She has often talked up about her fluctuating weight, and her ongoing fight with Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) and dysmenorrhea. In a recent interview, she opened up about undergoing a nose surgery and lip fillers. She said, “There are a lot of actors who will never admit they have stuff done to their faces, but I am not one of them. I don’t want young girls to think that I woke up looking like this. Being a child of famous people, I grew up in the public eye. Denying things like this seems silly to me.” Talking about the decision to fix her nose, she said, “I had a normal nose but by the time I grew up, it was crooked after two injuries. I never liked the way it looked, and breathing didn’t feel good.” Shruti also confessed getting lip fillers. She said, “I didn’t like how thin my lips were. There was a time when I went crazy with lip fillers. It took me a couple of years of experimenting, but now I have come back a lot closer to my natural look.” Elaborating her struggle with PCOS and dysmenorrhea, she said, “It makes every menstrual cycle really painful for me. We can’t talk about it, because of the stigma attached to it and lack of awareness. There are many women like me, grappling with mood swings, weight gain, excess hair, hair loss, pimples and a lot more, that come with the territory. Every month is a battle.”

Marriage cannot be a patriarchal stranglehold and a slap cannot be shrugged off Thappad is a film about relationships, domestic violence, and social values. Amrita seems to have a simply blissful marriage with her husband Vikram until one day when he slaps her in public and this changes everything between them.

Saif and Bebo shoot an ad; son Taimur in tow One of Bollywood's hottest couple Saif Ali Khan and Kareena Kapoor shot for a recent ad together, and surprisingly, their young son Taimur was a part of the shoot. A picture of the little one looking at his parents as the two pose for the camera has surfaced online. Hairstylist Yianni Tsapatori also shared a new video of the little one doing his bit in helping out the crew during the shoot. Taimur is seen handling the blower to provide some wind in order to make her mom's hair gently sway in the breeze. He captioned the video on Instagram and captioned it “New assistant or...the boss?!” Several social media users reacted to the video, including celebrities. Actress Deepika Padukone reacted to the video “steal him!!!” Alia Bhat wrote “Omg!!!!!!!!” Stylist Anaita Shroff Adajania asked Kareena and Saif to “bring him to all shoots!” The fans of the little one couldn't help showering love

on the post. A fan wrote, “The most beautiful baby ever so adorable and cute baby... love u Tim Tim.” Kareena is currently basking in the success of her 2019 release 'Good Newwz' which went on to collect £20.5 million. She will now be seen in Karan

Johar’s 'Takht' which boasts of an ensemble cast of Ranveer Singh, Alia Bhatt, Vicky Kaushal, Janhvi Kapoor and Bhumi Pednekar. Meanwhile, Saif too delivered the biggest blockbuster of his career, 'Tanhaji: The Unsung Warrior' last month.

'Kaamyaab'

'Kaamyaab' is a Bollywood drama, helmed by Hardik Mehta. The movie stars Sanjay Mishra and Deepal Dobriyal in the lead roles. The movie depicts the story of a seasoned character actor, who decides to come out of his retirement and begin a quest for a record of some sorts.

Genre: Drama Duration: 142 minutes

'Baaghi 3'

It is the story of the unbreakable bond between brothers Ronnie and Vikram played by Tiger Shroff as Ronnie and Riteish Deshmukh as Vikram. Since childhood, Ronnie always comes to the rescue of Vikram whenever he falls in any trouble. Their journey begins when a certain turn in events, leads Vikram to travel abroad to complete some work. On this trip, Vikram gets kidnapped and how Ronnie rescues him from his kidnappers. Shraddha Kapoor and Ankita Lokhande play crucial roles in the film.

The first part of the film starts by showing the loving marriage between Amrita (Taapsee Pannu) and her workaholic husband Vikram (Pavail Gulati). Amrita hails from a family in Delhi where she is trained as a classical dancer and she gives up her dreams to support that of her husband. She now dreams of being the best housewife ever and her whole life revolves around her husband and his needs and wants. Vikram has goals and will do anything to achieve them. Due to office politics, Vikram finds out his dreams may be further away than he thinks. When anger and frustration take over he does the unthinkable, he slaps his wife at a function to celebrate his success. This is the start of an ugly battle that goes beyond domestic violence. This incident makes Amrita rethink her life choices, but husband Vikram lives in denial and cannot understand how one single slap could be such a life-changer. There are no villains in this film, just a couple at its center who are now deciding where their relationship stands and how they are going to move on. The two leads are brilliant in essaying their roles, even as their relationship turns sour their characters are still likeable. Anubhav Sinha has done well not to make Vikram seem like an unlikeable character and not to make Amrita a victim. Although the film is about domestic violence it is more about relationships and how to mend them rather than playing the blame game and passing on the buck. Taapsee Pannu in recent times is often referred to be in the leagues of actresses such as Kangana Ranaut and Vidya Balan who have become the Bollywood models of an empowered woman fighting their way through abuse and prejudiced societal and judicial systems. Carrying on her legacy from Pink where “a no means no” this time the trauma and fear on Pannu’s character is now replaced by an odd blend of sadness and resignation. But, she stands clear in delivering that social message that “even one single slap is too much”. The director touches on the nuances of the cultural norms and “tolerance” levels of understanding and compromise often preached about in an Indian marriage. He does this through the couple’s parents and brother who are shocked to hear about the husband slapping his wife in the middle of a function but advise their daughter to shrug it off and give him another chance. Sinha is also precarious in certain scenes hinting at adultery and highlights the signs of marital rape. There is a particularly poignant scene in the movie where Amrita says “Perhaps I turned myself into the kind of the person who could be slapped,". That in itself is an answer. There are parts of this film that will touch on your heartstrings and in certain scenes with Amrita, especially when she breaks down and explains why one single slap changed her life. Thappad is a must-watch film and it will be wholly appreciated. You can get in touch with Vallisa: djvallisa@gmail.com


30 KOLLYWOOD

AsianVoiceNews

AsianVoiceNewsweekly

www.asian-voice.com

7 Mar - 13 Mar 2020

Samantha thrilled to do a horror-thriller Tamil actress Samantha Akkineni is thrilled for her upcoming horror-thriller. Taking to micro-blogging website Twitter, she acknowledged the yetuntitled project and wrote, “It's going to be much more than just a horror film.” The movie will mark the maiden collaboration

of Samantha and Ashwin Saravanan of 'Game Over' fame. The film also stars Prasanna in a crucial role. The movie is expected to go on floors from March and will be wrapped up in two months. On the work front, Samantha is currently looking forward to the

release of the second season of 'The Family Man', which would mark her Bollywood debut. Reports had recently suggested that Samantha has turned down an offer to star in the Hindi remake of her own film 'UTurn', which had released in Tamil and Telugu last year.

Mahesh Babu to be in Chiranjeevi's upcoming Telugu film? If reports are to be believed, actor Mahesh Babu will most likely be seen in a key role in Chiranjeevi's upcoming yet-untitled Telugu film. Babu will be seen in a powerful cameo of a student leader in the social drama. While the actor is yet to officially sign on the dotted line, he will be seen for 30 minutes in the flashback portion of the film. The role was reportedly to be played by Ram Charan. However, since he is occupied with the shoot of SS Rajamouli's 'RRR', and did not have time till he completes the shoot, forcing the makers to approach Babu instead. The movie will feature Chiranjeevi in dual roles. It will be about middleaged Naxalite-turned-social reformer who launches a fight against the Endowments Department over misappropriation and embezzlement of temple funds and donations. The project was officially launched last October. It is expected to go on the floors from March. Set to be jointly produced by Konidela Production Company and Matinee Entertainments, the film marks the maiden collaboration of Chiranjeevi and Koratala Siva. The makers are reportedly spending £14 million on the project.

TV Listing 13:57 17:29 20:31 23:11

* Schedule is subject to change

SATURDAY MAR 7, 2020

02:01

FILM: WOH LAMHE

06:00

FILM: PRITHIPAL SINGH... A STORY

10:55

FILM: CHAMELI KI SHAADI

08:00 13:47 16:50 20:46 23:43

FILM: JOHNY I LOVE YOU

FILM: DIL NE JISE APNA KAHA FILM: PARDES FILM: MULK

FILM: JUDAAI

SUNDAY MAR 8, 2020

02:43

FILM: ZEHER - A LOVE STORY

08:46

FILM: GULAAB GANG

06:00 11:31 14:02 17:59 21:27

FILM: 15TH AUGUST FILM: RAHASYA FILM: PARDES FILM: JUDAAI

FILM: PARTNER

MONDAY MAR 9, 2020

00:27

FILM: MULK

06:00

FILM: BAAT BANN GAYI

02:56 08:10 10:47

FILM: SHOWBIZ

FILM: NAZAR KE SAMNE FILM: DHADKAN

FILM: INSANIYAT

FILM: YEH ZINDAGI KA SAFAR FILM: MERE DOST PICTURE

ABHI BAKI HAI

FILM: JAHAN TUM LE CHALO

TUESDAY MAR 10, 2020

01:56 06:00 08:37 11:38 14:49 17:57 20:57 23:51

FILM: YEH HAI JUDGEMENT

06:00

FILM: VIKALP

19:31

LIFESTYLE : STAR STOP

11:50

FILM: KALYUG

20:00 22:47

LIFESTYLE : STAR STOP FILM: BLACKMAIL

FILM: HAI APNA DIL TOH AWARA

FRIDAY MAR 13, 2020

01:23

FILM: CHAAR DIN KI CHANDNI

FILM: TEHZEEB

FILM: PARTNER

FILM: EK SE BURE DO

FILM: SABSE BADA MAWALI

FILM: BIWI. COM

08:12

FILM: NYAYDAATA

13:57

FILM: DARAAR

FILM: DAM999

FILM: 16 DECEMBER

08:33 13:57 17:04 20:20 23:49

20:00 21:30 23:00

FILM: TERI KASAM FILM: JAAN SE PYARA

FILM: KYON KI…ITS FATE FILM: MELA

FILM: BLACKMAIL

INDIAN IDOL INDIA’S BEST DANCER DUS KA DUM

MON 9TH MAR FRI 13TH MAR 2020

FILM: JAANE JIGAR

02:19 10:48

FILM: MASTI EXPRESS

19:00

FILM: DEVTA

FILM: PYAAR KE KABIL

Actor Prabhas and 'Mahanati' fame director Nag Ashwin are all set to join hands for a new, yet to be titled Telugu project. The announcement was made through a special vide by the makers. Releasing it on the 50th anniversary of Vyjanthi Films, they called it an epic project and said they take pride in collaborating with Prabhas. Other details of the project are yet to be revealed. While the actor is currently shooting for a project with director Radha Krishna Kumar, the movie stars Pooja Hegde as the leading lady. He will be seen playing a palm reader in the movie. The project was officially launched a year ago in a ceremony in Hyderabad. Pooja had revealed that she and Prabhas will undergo a brief workshop in Mumbai before commencing shooting for the project. “I have not been told what the prep is about but both Prabhas and I will be attempting some unique action and musical sequences for the first time,” she had said.

16:37

HANGED TILL DEATH

WEDNESDAY MAR 11, 2020 06:00

Prabhas and Nag Ashwin to collaborate for upcoming Telugu film

* Schedule is subject to change

SATURDAY 7TH MARCH

16:30 18:00 18:30 20:00 21:30 23:00

SUPER DANCER CHAPTER 3 THE CHEF THE KAPIL SHARMA SHOW INDIAN IDOL INDIA’S BEST DANCER DUS KA DUM

SUNDAY 8TH MARCH

16:30 18:00 18:30

SUPER DANCER CHAPTER 3 THE CHEF THE KAPIL SHARMA SHOW

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

VIGHNAHARTA GANESHA MERE SAI EK DUJE KI VAASTE 2 ISHAARON ISHAARON MEIN PATIALA BABES BEYHADH 2 MERE DAD KI DULHAN CRIME PATROL

MONDAY JAMAI RAJA TUESDAY BAGHBAN WEDNESDAY YEH VAADA RAHA THURSDAY HANSTE KHELTE FRIDAY EK DUUJE KE LIYE

FILM: YES BOSS

23:19

FILM: TUMSA NAHIN DEKHA

8:00:

01:52

FILM: DHOKHA

13:00: SWARAGINI

08:00

FILM: DHADKAN

FILM: JO BOLE SO NIHAAL

THURSDAY MAR 12, 2020

06:00 11:01 13:51

8:30:

FILM: SABSE BADA MAWALI

TERE NAAL ISHQ

BHARADWAJ BAHUEIN

13:30: BIGG BOSS (SEASON 13)

FILM: THE PERFECT GIRL FILM: KRISHNA ARJUN

MON 9TH MAR FRI 13TH MAR 2020

15:00: STRICTLY STREET

* Schedule is subject to change

15:30: RS World match - Ind VS

West Indies Highlights (O)

WEEKEND KA VAAR

16:30: RASOI SHOW

19:30:

DESI BEAT RESET (SEASON 3)

18:00:

TUM KAUN PIYA

21:00:

DANCE DEEWANE (SEASON 2)

19:00:

MERE HUMRAHI

17:30: CHHUTA CHHEDA

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

DIL KA RISHTA

MOHE RANNG DO LAAL BARRISTER BABU

BALIKA VADHU - LAMHE PYAAR KE

SAT 07 MAR 2020 11:00:

MAHAKALI

20:00:

KHATRON KE KHILADI (SEASON 10)

- GRAND FINALE

SUN 8TH MAR 2020

11:00: 15:30:

SHRIMAD BHAGWAT

RS World match - South Africa

VS Sri Lanka Highlights (O)

17:00:

DHARAM THI GUJARATI

DESI BEAT RESET (SEASON 3)

18:00:

BIGG BOSS (SEASON 13) WEEKEND KA VAAR

13:30:

JAWANI NA ZER

19:30:

18:00:

BIGG BOSS (SEASON 13) -

21:00:00 TROLL POLICE

17:00:

DHARAM THI GUJARATI

20:00:00

KHATRON KE KHILADI (SEASON 10)

21:30: MUJHSE SHAADI KAROGE

SAT 7TH MAR2020 18:30: VIDYA

19:00: CHOTI SARDAARNI

MAX2 PRIME

17:29 20:54

16:00: DHARAM THI GUJARATI

20:00: NAAGIN (SEASON 4)

21:00:0 FEET UP WITH THE STARS 21:30: KHATRON KE KHILADI

* Schedule is subject to change

MON 9TH MAR FRI 13TH MAR 2020 18:30: 19:00: 19:30: 20:00:

VIDYA PAVITRA BHAGYAA CHOTI SARDAARNI SHAKTI ASTITVA KE EHSAAS KI 20:30: SHUBHARAMBH 21:00: NAATI PINKY KI LAMBI LOVE STORY

(SEASON 10)

SUN 8TH MAR 2020

11:00:

MOTU PATLU

13:00:

KUCH KUCH HOTA HAI

11:30: 19:30: 20:00: 21:00: 21:30:

PAKDAM PAKDAI FOOD HIGHWAY

NAAGIN (SEASON 4) DESI BEAT RESET

KHATRON KE KHILADI

(SEASON 10)


www.asian-voice.com

AsianVoiceNews

TRAVEL & EVENTS

AsianVoiceNewsweekly

Ideal female bachelorette, trippin’ to

Las Vegas

I

t is called Sin City for a reason. If you are planning for a bachelorette and wondering where on earth can you have the best time with your girls? Then you can’t go wrong with Vegas. As cliché and mainstream as the “club creature culture” may have become, Vegas is the ultimate onestop shop for getting smashed, slotting in money from the casinos and perhaps losing your engagement ring at the Sapphire strip club. But in all this excitement, remember to fill out your ESTA form. An Electronic System for Travel Authorisation (ESTA), visa waiver is mandatory for all British national passport holders to enter or transit the USA as a visitor and is available with a fee of $14 per application. Direct flights operate from London Heathrow airport to Las Vegas Mccarran with a flying journey estimated around 15 hours and round-trip tickets available from £550. Staying on the Strip Vegas is best enjoyed on the strip and by stashing your bags in the plush rooms of any of the MGM hotels. From the Venice themed Venetian Resorts, to the Greek and Roman themed Caesar’s Palace, the choices are replete. Living on the strip is also more convenient as almost everything is located in the 5 mile walkway. However, if your heels can’t handle too much of your alcohol, perhaps you should buy that one day bus pass available from $8. Buses run 24*7 down the Vegas Boulevard and the strip. Passes can be bought from the nearest ticket vending machine.

can become #aboutlastnight instagram stories days can be filled with hangover cures including a lavish lunch at Gordon Ramsay Hell’s Kitchen. Now, if you are a vegetarian then spoiler alert: The portobello mushroom burger, onion rings and loaded fries perhaps might be the only options on the menu. But you can always compensate that with the big scoop of gelatin ice-cream from the sidewalk just outside the restaurant.

Bellagio fountain shows But if you would rather order-in room service and save up all your energy for the nightclub sessions then perhaps, you should forego on appreciating the Greek, Parisian and Roman sculptures and architectures embellishing the interiors of most of the hotels. Perhaps, you could begin

your drinking fest by first admiring the Bellagio dancing fountains. They are organised every fifteen to thirty minutes and the opera styled music playing in the background is a beauty not to be missed. Skip the queues at nightclubs Entering a nightclub can be expensive, especially if you plan to drink- a 300ml bottle of Artisan Water can cost about $9, so be prepared to shell out dollars if you are not acing your pre-drinks game. Depending on how often you party, it is now possible to maximize your dollars with the Hakkasan Group Party Pass which grants access to Hakkasan, Omnia, and the newly renovated Wet Republic, one of the busiest pool parties in Vegas for a total of 10 events over four days. It is available from $99. Pro-tip: Vegas can be both expensive and cheap depending on where you buy your drinks, how you sneak into club nights as guests and how much you win or loose whilst at the poker table. But even if you don’t look like an 18-year-old Hannah Montana straight out of high school, ALWAYS carry your ID with you. Else no alcohol, no Russian Roulette or the club.

And what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas!

Burger and fries at Gordon Ramsays Hell’s Kitchen

m: ble fro Availa 9 at £12n9L.9ewis Joh ners & Part

Editor: CB Patel Chief Executive Officer: Liji George Managing Editor: Rupanjana Dutta Deputy Editor: Urja Patel Journalist: Priyanka Mehta Advertising Managers: Kishor Parmar Head - New Projects & Business Development: Cecil Soans Advertising Sales Executive: Surendra Patel

Leicester Distributors: Shabde Magazine, Shobhan Mehta Mob: 07846 480 220

l WOW – Women of the World festival - This year mark’s the tenth anniversary of Southbank Centre’s WOW – Women of the World festival. Over three days, WOW’s line-up of world-class speakers, activists and performers are joined by thousands to explore the state of gender equality across the globe and tackle the subjects that matter most to women and girls across the world today. This year’s festival features Naomi Wolf, Deborah Frances-White (The Guilty Feminist), Scarlett Curtis, Sandi Toksvig, Emma Dabiri and Shazia Mirza. Day passes are available for Friday and Saturday. Each day features a different line-up, so you can buy passes for both or attend just one. Standard tickets are available to purchase. Date: Friday 6th March to Sunday 8th March Venue: Venues vary depending on event For more info https://www.southbankcentre.co.uk/whats-on/festivalsseries/women-of-the-world# Tickets: https://www.southbankcentre.co.uk/whatson/137871-wow-friday-day-pass-2020

The Long Goodbye Award-winning actor, musician, story teller and activist Riz Ahmed will be performing in an emotional live music show, The Long Goodbye, which will merge rap music and theatre, exploring his complicated relationship with Britain. The Long Goodbye, commissioned by Manchester International Festival, is described as “an electrifying journey into our here and now – a close-up look at the breakup of a toxic relationship with the country we call home,” and will feature new songs from the actor. It is written and will be performed by Ahmed and directed by writer, director and dramaturg Kirsty Housley, with creative direction from Andrea Gelardin. Riz Ahmed will perform The Long Goodbye for three nights only, from 26-28 March 2020 at Manchester’s atmospheric former railway station, Mayfield.

COMPETITION If you want to win a pair of tickets for the 27 March 2020 show of The Long Goodbye, answer this simple question. Which movie did Riz Ahmed star in 2018? a. Venom b. The Avengers: Infinity War c. Aquaman

SMART JEWELLERY FOR A SMARTER YOU

Up until the last few decades, the best perceived gift for a woman was considered to be a piece of jewellery. Perhaps, the idea still stands relevant today only now it is a “touch smarter”. The Bellabeat leaf chakra is a practical and an attractive piece of fashionable tech that does everything from tracking your activity through to calculating your most fertile days. It required you to download the Bellabeat app and then link your Leaf Chakra. From there, you can track your steps, calories burned and even the quality of your

Graphic Designers: Harish Dahya & Ajay Kumar Customer Service: Ragini Nayak Tel: 020 7749 4080 Email: support@abplgroup.com

7 - 13 March 2020

The winner will win 2 tickets of Riz Ahmed's show on 27 March 2020 at the Manchester International Festival. The winner's name will be announced in our 21 March issue. Your answer needs to reach us by 16 March 2020 via email to rupanjana.dutta@abplgroup.com with your full name, phone number and address. The winner will be chosen from the right answer in a lottery basis.

The flamboyant atmosphere of the city during the evening can be attractive but there is little to do during the day. And whilst the nights

Bellabeat leaf chakra

Whats on

31

sleep. Additionally this leaf, also analyses all other data, flagging up anything new and all other things in your lifestyle that may cause stress. The app has guided meditation exercises while the rose quartz stone in the pendant is said to promote a "positive outlook" towards your mental, emotional and psychological health. There’s no screen on the leaf chakra, which you can either wear on a necklace or pin to your clothes, so you’ll need to sync your phone to get your daily stats. And it’s waterproof, so you can even wear it in the shower.

FEATURES l l l l l l

No charging and a coin cell battery lasts for approximately 6 months. Tracking for 24 hours a day Tracks your steps, distance moved, calories burned, sleep patterns, reproductive health, menstrual cycle and stress Compatible with Android &iOS IPX grade 6 water-resistant wood composite with stone-like appeal & hypoallergenic stainless steel clip 1 year warranty

Asian Voice Head Office

Disclaimer

Asian Voice & Gujarat Samachar Switch board: 020 7749 4080 Advertising Sales: 020 7749 4085 www.abplgroup.com

Asian Business Publications Ltd (ABPL) is not in any way responsible for the goods and services rendered by its advertisers. The ABPL management accepts all advertisements in good faith and it is entirely up to readers to verify advertisers’ products and services, should they feel the need to do so.

Karma Yoga House 12 Hoxton Market (Off Coronet Street) London N1 6HW.

© Asian Business Publications


32

www.asian-voice.com

7 Mar - 13 Mar 2020

AsianVoiceNews AsianVoiceNewsweekly

Kohli loses top spot in ICC Test Player rankings India skipper Virat Kohli lost the top spot in the ICC Test Player Rankings after managing only 21 runs in the first Test which his side lost to New Zealand by 10 wickets in Wellington. Kohli, who has 906 points, slipped to the second position in the list which also features Ajinkya Rahane, Cheteshwar Pujara and Mayank Agarwl at the eighth, ninth and 10th place respectively. While India vice-captain Rahane, who scored 75 in the opening Test, gained a spot and Mayank returned to a career-best 10th position after amassing 92 runs, which included a second-innings half-century, Pujara dropped two places after returning with identical scores of 11 in the two innings. Kohli's slump meant Australia's Steve Smith was back on top of the list for the eighth time after first occupying the top position in June 2015. The

last batsman apart from Smith and Kohli to be number one is New Zealand's Kane Williamson, for an eight-day period in December 2015. In bowling chart, offspinner Ravichandran Ashwin, who took three wickets for 99 in the first innings against New Zealand, slipped a place to ninth but

remained the only Indian featuring in the top 10 with 765 points. Fast bowler Ishant Sharma, who took a five-wicket haul on his comeback from injury during the opening Test, gained a place to be at the 17th spot. New Zealand pacers Tim Southee and Trent Boult made big gains after finishing with nine and five wickets,

respectively in the first Test against India. While Southee advanced eight spots to take sixth position, which is his highest since a career-best fifth place in June 2014, Boult moved up four slots to take joint13th position. The all-rounders' list features Ravindra Jadeja and Ashwin at the third and fifth positions respectively. While Jadeja didn't play the first Test, Ashwin scored 0 and 4 in the two innings to lose a place. In the ICC World Test Championship, India continue to be placed at the top with 360 points, followed by Australia (296). New Zealand are on 120 points after gaining 60 points for the Wellington victory. They had won 60 points in a 1-1 draw against Sri Lanka.

Dhoni gets heroes welcome in Chennai ahead of IPL 2020 Wicket-keeper batsman MS Dhoni received a heroes welcome as he arrived in Chennai to prepare for the upcoming Indian Premier League (IPL). Dhoni will start practising for the upcoming edition of the IPL from March 3-4, Chennai Super Kings' CEO Kashi Vishwanathan had said last week. The CEO said that the training camp of CSK will commence only after March 19. IPL 2020 will commence from March 29 and in the first match of the tournament, Chennai Super Kings will take on Mumbai Indians. Thirty-eight-year-old Dhoni is currently enjoying

some time away from the game. He last played competitive cricket during the 2019 World Cup. Dhoni had to face criticism for his slow batting approach during India's matches in the tournament, especially in the games against England and New Zealand (semi-final). He had to bear the brunt of netizens, who deemed him as the reason for the Men in Blue's loss. Earlier this year, Dhoni did not find a place for himself in the BCCI's centrally contracted players list. BCCI had released the list of central contract list of players for the period from October 2019 to September 2020.

Paes included in India's Davis Cup squad The All India Tennis Association (AITA) selection committee has decided to keep veteran Leander Paes in the five-member playing squad for the Davis Cup tie against Croatia. Divij Sharan will be the reserve member. "He has been kept in the squad," a source close to the development said. An official announcement will be made later. The national federation had to submit the final list of players to the International Tennis Federation (ITF). Initially, a six-member squad was announced. The Qualifiers tie will be held in Zagreb on the hard courts on March 67. Croatia is the top-seeded

team in the 24-team Qualifiers. The 12 winners will qualify for the Davis

Cup Finals while the losing sides will be placed in the World Group I.

While Sumit Nagal, Prajnesh Gunneswaran and Ramkumar Ramanathan will play the singles, Paes and Rohan Bopanna will be there for the doubles. Paes and Jeevan Nedunchezhiyan had played in the last tie against Pakistan, in Nur Sultan, Kazakhstan after Bopanna got injured and Sharan was busy with his wedding ceremony. Paes, who will be bidding adieu to tennis at the end of this year, reached the final of the Bengaluru Open Challenger with his Australian partner Mathew Ebden and also beat Sharan in the Tata Open Maharashtra in Pune.

Kiwis outclass clueless India Women's cricket is generating a lot of interest especially the semi-final between India and England. I reckon the team with the best spin bowling department will hold the key to winning. In Australian conditions you don't have to turn the ball much. One just has to bowl wicket to wicket. I believe England have better spinners than India. They have adapted to the conditions very well. England have a good slow left arm and leg spinner too. Heather Knight is having an amazing tournament and she holds the key for England to score big if they bat first. The recent Test series in New Zealand has been dominated by the kiwis. India must be relieved that the series has ended, especially Virat Kolhi. He has had the worst series with the bat. The moving ball is always going to trouble the Indian batsmen. India have always been good at home and yet again the question remains whether they are good enough playing away from home. Virat Kolhi put it down to fear or lack of mental toughness. If India want to become the best team in the world they need to be good in all conditions. Virat Kohli will be judged by his away wins if he wants to be considered as one of the greatest captains. The Indian think tank will have to workout why their players are vulnerable against the moving ball. With the IPL around the corner and India being the leading team in white ball cricket does red ball cricket really matter to them especially when the going gets tough? It is a real dilemma for the players given the amount of money they earn from IPL. England start the Test series with Sri Lanka and it remains to be seen how good England play spin. England have the opportunity to become the number one team if they can play the spinners well. England have inexperienced spinners for the upcoming and they will soon find out how good they are. Moeen Ali will not be available as he will be in Pakistan for the PSL. I can't help but mention the big contest between Tyson Fury and Deontay Wilder. It has been an amazing comeback for Tyson Fury. I have started training at Northampton County Cricket Club and Tyson Fury inspires me to make a comeback to cricket. You can follow Monty Panesar @MontyChannel

Profile for Asian Business Publications Ltd

AV 7th March 2020  

Asian Voice weekly newspaper (Issue 43 Vol 48)

AV 7th March 2020  

Asian Voice weekly newspaper (Issue 43 Vol 48)

Profile for abpl