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Vol 46 | Issue 23



7th October to 13th October 2017

Let noble thoughts come to us from every side

Good Times to continue for Mallya P5

Gandhi statue unveiled in Wales P4

Durga puja draws to a close P 16

23 killed in Mumbai railway station stampede P 26

59 killed as gunman opens fire in Las Vegas P 26

A race audit by Prime Minister Theresa May shows that unemployment rate for Black and Asian people is almost double of what it is for white people. The Prime Minister said this report would “hold a mirror up to society” next week when it is officially published, and pledges to confront 'uncomfortable truths' exposed in a review on how black and minority ethnic people are treated in Britain. May has been accused by the community of failing to take the issue of racism within public services seriously, after postponing the publication of this “explosive” report to October. Initial findings from the “Race Disparity Audit” show that the unemployment rate for black, Asian and other ethnic minority (BAME) people of working age is 8%, nearly double the

4.6% rate for white British groups. Employment rates overall are far higher for white people, at 75.7%, than BAME groups, where the figure is 63.9%. May had called for the audit when she first entered Downing Street, and it is expected to reveal how people from different backgrounds are treated in areas such as employment, health, education, and the criminal justice system, according to reports. The audit is said to reveal a complex picture, as there are big differences in outcomes for ethnicities in different parts of the country, as well as significant disparities between different ethnic minority groups. While two in three white British householders own their own home, the figure for other ethnic groups is just two in five people. May spoke about

the findings while the Conservatives continued their annual conference in Manchester, as we went to

press. The audit is a part of May’s “fight against justice”, which she pledged in

her first speech before becoming Prime Minister. Continued on page 17

Patel family foundation gives $200 mn to University in Florida In the biggest-ever donation made by IndianAmericans, physicians Pallavi and Kiran Patel have donated $200 million to the Nova Southeastern University, based in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida. The couple are benefactors behind the Foundation for Global Understanding - a charity founded in 2004. NSU President Dr. George Handbury released a press statement announcing the donation. He said, “This gift and additional investment

will enrich NSUs' ability to educate highly-qualified physicians and health care professionals who understand how the medical disciplines can and must work together. These future leaders will represent the cultural diversity of our region, our nation, and our world so that they can better serve their patients and communities.” The University called the donation “transformational” noting that it would advance health Pallavi and Kiran Patel

Continued on page 26


Asian Voice | 7th October 2017





Keith Vaz, MP

Rubina Hussain Rubina Hussain is Senior Optometrist at New Vision Opticians, Harrow and a mother of 2. She has opened 2 completely different businesses, Jack Harvey London and Xpresson Instant Manicure in memory of her sister and father. Her aim is to raise money for cancer research through donating a percentage of sales from events showcasing her products. Born in Harrow, to parents from Uganda, she studied Optometry in 1998 at Aston University. In 2011 Rubina's world drastically changed when her sister, age 39 passed away from breast cancer, followed by her father. In 2014, Rubina decided to create Jack Harvey which specialises in long lasting, designer reed diffusers, candles and stunning fine jewellery. Xpresson has been dubbed the "10 minute Manicure" allowing women to create perfect nails anywhere in minutes. Jack Harvey London is proud to be the signature fragrance in London’s most prestigious hotels, including the iconic London Hilton on Park Lane. Rubina has also raised money for various other charities through her numerous events. 1) Which place or city or country do you most feel at home in? Has to be London! 2) What are your proudest achievements? My parents pride in my Optometry degree, raising my children to be happy and be good human beings, and watching my 2 brands grow into what they are now. 3) What inspires you? This will sound odd… grief is my motivation

and this motivation inspires me; I will not be defined by grief, I will redefine it and make it a positive emotion People ask me do I take and break and rest, my answer to this is... My sister and father have left this world, but my future is still expanding and I intend to make the most of it by helping pave a path to a cancer free world as part of their legacy. One day, with the public’s help and support I will make a difference to this disease. That's when

I will rest. 4) What has been the biggest obstacle in your career? Time, or the lack thereof! Working 6 days a week as a locum Optometrist while simultaneously looking after 2 separate businesses (day and night!) is very challenging, and couple this with motherhood, it’s no wonder I look shockingly tired! I’m still trying to find the happy medium between career, quality time with kids and metime! 5) Who has been the biggest influence on your career to date? My sister Salima Padhani, as Jack Harvey London and Xpresson Instant Manicure were developed as a result from me seeing how she couldn’t smell her home fragrance very well during chemo, and how this treatment made her nails black and blue. After she passed away I decided I wanted to develop beautifully fragrant reed diffusers and candles and sprays that actually lasted and also a beauty item that can be used at home that could make someone who is suf-

Man jailed for kidnapping woman found locked in boot of car in Canary Wharf ing and distressed. However, Abbas still denied the kidnap in court despite the officers wearing bodycams. He was jailed last Friday for 15 months after a jury found him guilty of kidnap following a four-day trial. Detective Constable Chris Bailey said: ‘Body Worn Video evidence has greatly assisted us in securing this conviction. We will not tolerate violence and will do everything in our power to secure a prosecution and to ensure that justice is done.’ Abbas, of Wickford Street, Bethnal Green, had already been disqualified from driving by B r i g h t o n BB gun found Magistrates’ in Abbas’ car Court on June 10,

A kidnapper who was pulled over for driving without insurance has been jailed after police found a woman locked in the boot of his car. Londoner Shafak Abbas, 24, was quizzed by police who grew suspicious due to his evasive answers. They then found a BB gun in the footwell of his car and then he admitted what was in the boot. When officers opened the gold Mercedes boot they found the 26-year-old victim, who Abbas knew, cry-

Shafak Abbas

2016 for two years. Specialist firearms police after they spotted his stationary vehicle in a residential street in Canary Wharf, east London, at midday on April 18. He was arrested on suspicion of kidnap, firearms offences, and driving offences and later charged with kidnap, driving whilst disqualified, no insurance and possession of a firearm. Abbas has been also disqualified from driving until June 8, 2021.

fering so much feel beautiful, so I chose nails as Salima was a dentist and her hands were so important to her work. 6) What is the best aspect about your current role? In my current Optometric role, it has to be the fact I help people see, and have on occasion saved someone’s eyesight by correctly diagnosing and referring appropriately. I love it when a child wears specs for the 1st time! You never get over the “wow it’s so clear!”face! But I also love all my client testimonials on how the Reed diffusers and candles and sprays make their home smell amazing, or how great their hands look with the nails! 7) And the worst? Time! There are not enough hours in the day for what I need to accomplish on a daily basis! 8) What are your long term goals? I hope one day to make my businesses so profitable so I can donate huge amounts to vital cancer research to help find a cure. Big aspira-

tions, but a famous man once said “I have a dream” and this is mine. Cancer can happen to anyone, my loved ones or yours, so I hope to help in some way stop this. 9) If you were Prime Minister, what one aspect would you change? Healthcare; I would recommend yearly scans for everyone over the age of 18. Full body MOT as in most cases of cancer, early

detection improves survival rates. 10) If you were marooned on a desert island, which historical figure would you like to spend your time with and why? Marie Curie - her words inspire me… “We must persevere in confidence and believe we are gifted for something. Our particular duty is to aid those to whom we think we can be most useful.

Drug dealer got a 14-year-old girl drunk and then raped her A Gloucester drug dealer who raped a 14-year-old girl after plying her with alcohol has been jailed for six years. The sentence passed on Nasir Sheikh, from Gloucester, will begin only after he has served an eight-year term he received last year for drugs supply and firearm charges. Sheikh had denied raping and sexually assaulting the girl on June 25 last year but was convicted after a trial at Bristol Crown Court two months ago. The court heard that Sheikh and his friend Khalid Abdelrahman, 29, also from Gloucester, had picked up two girls aged 13 and 14 during a night out in the city and took them back to a friend's flat. Prosecutor Sarah Regan said the men bought alcohol, cigarettes

Nasir Sheikh

Khalid Abdelrahman

and condoms. The girls were given apple vodka to drink and as they sat with the defendants on the sofa they began to feel uncomfortable and scared about the situation. Sheikh put his hand down the 14-year-old's trousers and then took her to the bathroom where he pulled her hair, pushed her against the basin and raped her. She felt sickened by the experience and drank more alcohol afterwards to get herself

drunk. Ms Regan said Sheikh had made 16 previous court appearances for 28 offences but none of them sexual. Most were for violence. He received an eight-year jail term last year for supplying Class A drugs and having a sawn off shotgun which was found concealed in his attic. Abdelrahman who had three previous convictions for drugs offences but none sexual was jailed for two and a half years.

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Asian enterprise, outstanding success and increasing philanthropy In Britain as well as overseas, the names of Hindujas, Mittal, Anil Agrawal and other top entrepreneurs are very well known. Bhikhu and Vijay Patel, Jasminder Singh, Sir Anwar Parvez and several others following their footsteps are also embarking on giant strides. But there are many more, some in the public domains, and some not. The Sunday Times report with Grant Thornton have published about the top 250 mid size firms that are making news, led by outstanding individuals (see report on page 17), and it is a moment of pride. It includes 9 individuals of Indian origin, who have changed the course of history. It is a fact that most of these people had a very humble beginning. But they were visinaries. They had focus, acumen, leadership abilities and with pure hard work, along with their family support, cultural traditions, values and due diligence, they have played great roles in journey of a society's prosperity. Not only their success has left an indelible impact, more praiseworthy has been their sense of social responsibility and willingness to share their wealth in the time of natural calamities as well as growing contributions in the worthwhile human service activities, especially in the areas of health, edu-

cation and communiy development. Naturally our brethren in the USA, have a head start. Physicians Pallavi and Kiran Patel have donated $200 million to the Nova Southeastern University, based in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, They have a track record of generosity, and by donating to a US institution, not only they have established their allegience and integration to the wider American society, but have also set a trend to help humans in need, beyond one's own community. It is an example of true philanthropy. However a grand success like this is not only a credit to their individual profile, but they encourage and inspire others along the way. With our young entrepreneurs, who are developing the technology sectors beyond imagination, they are also creating a success road unknown, yet commendable. We perhaps have still a long way to go. If you look at the track record of the British Jews, what began as a trickle is now grown into a free flowing river. The best is yet to come for us, but we are definitely on the right roads. Today's success stories give us enough hope and confidence for a better tomorrow, for them, for us and for the lands of their aboard as well as their ancestral home land, predominantly India.

Tackling Terrorists Terror attacks around the world are on the rise day-byday. Latest attacks across the globe have claimed more than 60 lives – 58 people were killed in a mass shooting at a music festival near the Mandalay Bay hotel in Las Vegas, USA. Two people were killed in a knife attack at the main train station in the French Mediterranean port city of Marseilles. In another terror attack, a police officer was knifed outside a football game and four other people were injured during the high-speed chase of the culprit in the city of Edmonton, Alberta in Canada. Isis claimed that the Las Vegas attacker is a soldier of Islamic state and carried out the operation in response to appeals targetting coalition countries. India has been a victim of terror attacks for a long time. Kashmir is the hotbed of terrorists now. The terrorists from Pakistan are infiltrating into Kashmir and carry out attacks there. The terrorists are either targeting the security forces or the secular elements in Kashmir. The aim of the terrorists is to create unrest,

communal flare-ups and create anarchy so that they can flourish in the troubled times. What isn't helping, is the neighbouring country's invested motive in harbouring and encouraging such anti-social elements. It appears that the many innocent lives that are destroyed each day aren't as important to them. These increasing number of attacks calls for concerted efforts by nations together. If the nations are alert enough, then the nefarious activities of these misguided elements can be prevented. If we have to live peacefully, then every country has to step up security and vigilance. A slight relaxation in our vigilance is enough for the terrorists to strike. The world as one unit has to join hands to fight terrorists. They have to share information on the suspected elements. If we step up and face them together, we will be able to foil the attempts of trouble makers. As long as we do not join hands and act the terrorists will go on killing innocent people. Ultimately the terrorists and terrorism cannot and shall not prevail.

BJP leader flays govt, Jaitley for 'mess in economy' Veteran BJP leader Yashwant Sinha's attack on the government and finance minister Arun Jaitley in particular over the “mess in the economy” set off a political storm with the opposition claiming that his remarks were a vindication of their criticism and BJP forcefully rejecting Sinha's views. Sinha has criticised the government for the demonetisation of high denomination notes and the faulty implementation of the Goods and Services Tax. Sinha who has published an article in a newspaper titled `I need to speak up now' claimed that he was airing concerns of several BJP leaders worried by a slide in the economy. Sinha also took swipes at BJP chief Amit Shah and indirectly at PM Modi. Sinha warned that the economic situation would not correct itself before the 2019 elections implying that BJP's re-election prospects were in jeopardy. While the Congress has welcomed Sinha's remarks to claim vindication of its stand, the government vehemently rejected Sinha's comments and said India was a pivot of the world economy and the NDA would not flinch in the face of criticism and stick to measures that curbed black money and encouraged ruled-based behaviour such as tax compliance. Sinha's son Jayant, a member of the Modi government, while refuting criticism said that conclusions

drawn from a narrow set of facts simply missed the fundamental structural reforms transforming the economy.“We are creating a robust new economy that will power long-term growth and job creation,” Jayant said. Experts while acknowledging serious problems in the economy, said that big fiscal spending cannot be a solution to the problems and called for deep reforms. They say that the economy has been hit by short-term shocks imposed by demonetisation and the launch of GST. But the shocks will gradually fade away, resulting in a bounce back of growth in 2018. Both, GST and improved tax compliance are long-term goals, despite short-term problems. While Modi and his close aide Shah remain unfazed by the criticism, and for good measure, thing to note is that this is the second time in a week that a senior party leader has gone public with criticisms of the economy. A couple of days back, Rajya Sabha MP Subramanian Swamy revealed he had written a 16-page letter to the PM citing statistics from the Finance Ministry to warn the government of five “storm signals”. He wrote the economy was “in a tailspin, it can crash”. It may be worthwhile to mention, both, Yashwant Sinha, and Swamy have been sulky ever since they were excluded from the Modi government. Some say, “Sour grapes”.

Asian Voice | 7th October 2017


Be brave enough to start a conversation that matters. -Margaret Wheatley

Manoj Ladwa

Sewa Day: Fostering community cohesion, championing organ donation

Garv Pota and his father pictured with Manoj. Garv was one of the youngest volunteers on Sewa Day, 1st October 2017

Sewa, an altruistic concept, lies at the very heart of dharmic traditions of India. It involves performing acts of kindness without an expectation of reward or return. In that spirit, British Indians across the UK celebrated Sewa Day last Sunday by coming together in acts of extraordinary kindness and commitment which took them outside their regular routines. From food collections for the homeless in North London, to home fire safety surveys in West Yorkshire, the range of Sewa Day efforts led by our thriving community organisations this year have been outstanding. Many of the projects involved initiatives to support charities and communities that are relatively unknown, and in real need of volunteers. Here, Veda London's volunteering efforts at a stable where horses are used to help autistic children, and the support

lent by Women Empowered to spend time and bring joy to the elderly Gujarati residents of a small care home come to mind. Other equally significant activities across the UK were led by organisations such as National Hindu Students Forum, the HSS, Young Lohana Society, and City Hindu Network to name just a few from the hundred or so projects registered. The one act of Sewa that stood out for me, and which remains seriously under-represented within in the British Indian community, is that of organ donation. I saw for myself the effort of the dedicated sevaks of Swaminarayan Temple in Kingsbury on Sunday, which, alongside arranging a local food collection for the homeless, also established an NHS blood donation centre and an organ donation signup centre. Continued on page 6

Editor: CB Patel

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Satsang UK celebrates 130th birth anniversary of Sree Sree Thakur Anukulchandra

Satsang UK joyously celebrated the 130th birth anniversary of its founder Sree Sree Thakur Anukulchandra on Saturday the 16th of September. The event was held at the Vishwa Hindu Parishad Temple, Ilford. Over 400 people including followers from across the United Kingdom Europe and India attended this event. The programme started at 2.30 pm, with a Sangeetanjali, in which melodious bhajans were sung by Mrs.Seema Paul and Mrs.Sanchita Sarkar. This was followed by the Stage decoration at the Utsav celebration matrisammelan, in which Mrs.Tapati (inset) Mr. Mike Gapes addressing the gathering Samantara sang the guru vandana, environment. Mrs Pooja Mishra spoke about Sree Sree The last segment of the evening consisted Thakur’s wife Boroma and Mrs Kalpana Prushty of a cultural programme. The highlight of this sang a bhajan. segment was the performance by tabla maestro Then followed the children’s programme, in and guinness world record holder Pandit which sisters Tapasi and Tapaswini Samantara Sudarshan Das and his associates from the sang a bhajan and Shruti Prushty spoke about Tabla and Dhol academy London. Mr. Salim, a Sree See Thakur. Pakistani British and Mr. Amalyen a Srilankan The second half of the celebrations started British rendered beautiful bhajans and Miss at 4.30 pm. Honorable Mr. Mike Gapes, Sanchali Sahoo delivered a Bharatnatyam Member of Parliament, Ilford South, and Mr. S. dance sequence. Mr. S. Mahapatra, Senior Visa Mahapatra from the Indian High Commission officer from the Indian High Commission in were the chief guests of the evening. Mr. Mike London awarded prizes to the participants of the Gapes performed the ritual of lighting a lamp at cultural programme. the start of this session. This was followed by Mr. Naba Kumar Paul from the High the traditional prayers, meditation and readings Commission of India, formally ended the from Satyanusaran and Chalar Saathi, books programme with a vote of thanks. This was written by Sree Sree Thakur. followed by the community dinner. 8 people took Mr. Mike Gapes released this year’s edition initiation or ‘diksha’ with Sree Sree Thakur’s of Satsang UK’s journal Quest. In his address holy name. to the gathering, he expressed his pleasure in Sree Sree Thakur Anukulchandra was a attending the event and extended his best leading spiritual leader, philosopher and thinker wishes to Satsang UK for all its future ventures. in pre-independence India. He established the Mr. Yogesh Joshi, SPR Satsang, Mr. Nihar organisation called Satsang as part of His Mishra, SPR Satsang, Dr. Alka Thakur, Mr. P.D. mission of man making. Joshi, SPR Satsang and Mr. Deepak Rai spoke Today Satsang has millions of members on various aspects of Sree Sree Thakur’s spread across the globe. philosophy. Mr. Alok Upadhyay, secretary of the In the UK, monthly Satsang congregations Vishwa Hindu Parishad Temple addressed the are being held at Reading Hindu Temple in gathering and congratulated Satsang UK for Reading, Brent Indian Association Hall in organising an event which had such a positive Wembley and Vishwa Hindu Parishad Temple social impact. in Ilford. Mr.Piyush Kanti Saha, Mr. Rajanikant Details about Sree Sree Thakur and Samantara, SPR Satsang and Mr. Ramkinkar Satsang can be found on Thakur, SPR Satsang sang kirtans which contributed to the elevating and electrifying

"Forced Marriage Protection Orders still incredibly low" - Lib Dems

Government statistics released last week show the uptake of Forced Marriage Protection Orders and Female Genital Mutilation Protection Orders remains very low, with only 72 and 32 orders made respectively between April - June 2017. Commenting, Lib Dem peer Lynne Featherstone, who brought in Female Genital Mutilation Protection Orders as a minister in the last government, said: “Whilst it is encouraging to see more Forced Marriage Protection Orders and Female Genital Mutilation Protection Orders being made the numbers are still incredibly low.

"More information and training must be made available to school staff so that they can spot the signs of vulnerability and act appropriately. Without better training these horrific practices will continue under the radar and unreported. "We should be empowering teachers to report


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cases but this will only happen if they feel confident in their understanding of the issues at play. The government should ensure the funding is available for this – passing legislation alone will not do.”

BBC News begins huge investment in India

BBC News this week began a major expansion in India, launching news services in four Indian languages – Gujarati, Marathi, Punjabi and Telugu – and relaunching a nightly TV news bulletin in Hindi, BBC Duniya, to be broadcast on India News. The new services are available online and on social media, with a Telugu TV bulletin, BBC Prapancham, also starting tonight. This will be broadcast on Eenadu TV Andhra Pradesh and Eenadu TV Telangana.


Gandhi statue unveiled in Wales A statue of Mahatma Gandhi was unveiled in Cardiff on 2 October by the First Minister Carwyn Jones and the Indian High Commissioner Mr Y.K. Sinha in presence of large number of dignitaries including the Hon Consul General of India Raj Aggarwal OBE. Nearly 1,000 people from all sectors , were present for the ceremony near the Wales Millennium centre which revealed the bronze statue of Mahatma Gandhi on the 148th anniversary of his birth – which is also now the International Day of NonViolence. The Honorary Consul for India in Wales Raj Aggarwal, speaking at the event said: “Today is a great day for Cardiff, Wales , UK and the World. I feel we are truly blessed to have this statue which will bring the presence of the great Gandhi ji on our doorstep. “We are truly touched that some many people came her today for this unveiling ceremony. It is so important to remember this great man and his achievements. His selfless life's work produced a peace loving sovereign democracy in India, but his legacy is even greater than that. He showed that peaceful coexistence and tolerance of others is the only way to live and that all disputes can be resolved without violence.” The 300kg statue is 6 foot high and was created by sculptors Ram Sutar and his son Anil, from Noida, near Delhi. It shows Gandhi standing with a staff in one hand and the Hindu book The Bhagavad Gita in the other and wearing home-spun traditional Indian clothing. The inscription on the marble plaque underneath the statue says in both Welsh and English: “Nonviolence is the greatest force at the disposal of mankind. It is mightier than the mightiest weapon of destruction devised by the ingenuity of man.” All the costs for the creation of the statue had been raised by the Hindu Council of Wales and their Chair Vimla Patel. The

Left to right: High Commissioner Mr Sinha, First Minister Carwyn Jones, Hindu Council of Wales Vimla Patel, Satish Dhupelia (Gandhi's great-grandson) and Honorary Consul for India Raj Aggarwal

fund-raising had taken over three years and the statue now has a permanent position on Lloyd George Avenue, Cardiff, CF10 4QH near to the Wales Millennium Centre in Cardiff Bay The unveiling event was also attended by the great-grandson of Mahatma Gandhi, Mr Satishkumar Dhupelia who has travelled from South Africa for the ceremony.

inspiration to current and future generations to live to together in peace and harmony and to treat each other with love and irrespective of one’s religion, culture or race. It has taken three years of hard work to bring this important project to fruition my sincere thanks go to all of the members of Hindu Council of Wales for all their hard work and in particular the Late Rt Hon Rhodri Morgan for his efforts and support.”

Gandhi Jayanti in London

High Commissioner of India to UK, HE Y K Sinha addressing people at Tavistock Square

Mahatma Gandhi is revered throughout the world as the man who led India to freedom with his campaign of non-violent resistance, and last month (August 15th) India celebrated 70 years of independence. The statue will stand in Cardiff Bay, on Lloyd George Avenue, CF10 4QH, near the Wales Millennium Centre. Vimla Patel the chair of the Hindu Council of Wales said: “Mahatma Gandhi’s statue is an

Like every year, this year as well, the Indian High Commission and India League celebrated the annual Gandhi Jayanti and International Day of Nonviolence at the Tavistock Square, London on Monday 2 October 2017 at 10AM. The event, that was open to public was attended by HE YK Sinha, the High Commissioner of India to UK, India League Chairman CB Patel, Ambassador Dinesh Patnaik, Deputy High Commissioner of India to UK, Councillor Richard Cotton, Mayor of Camden, local Councillors, Asian MPs and Peers, community leaders and organisational heads. The High Commissioner and the Chairman of the India League addressed the gathered audience along with the Mayor of Camden. The statue at the Tavistock Square in London was the first Gandhi statue in the UK.

From left to Right:Commodore Sameer Saxena, Naval Advisor, Air Commodore Anil Sabharwal, Air Advisor, Brigadier Rajesh Kumar Jha, Army Advisor, HE Y K Sinha, High Commissioner of India to UK, Cllr Richard Cotton, Mayor of Camden, Ambassador Dinesh Patnaik, Deputy High Commissioner of India to UK, CB Patel, Chairman, India League and Dr Cyriac Maprayil (Pic courtesy: Raj D Bakrania, PrMediapix)

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Asian Voice |

Jogia and Ranger speak at the Conservative Party Conference Conference season came to an end this week with the annual Conservative Party Conference in Manchester. Following the unprecedented election result, this was the first time Tory Party members and Pariamentarians met to discuss what happen in June. Despite leadership ramblings, the Conference focused on reuniting for the challenges ahead including a renewal of Conservative values. Speakers at this year's Conservative Party included Councillors Ameet Jogia and Reena Ranger, both speaking on Conservative values. Reena, former Conservative candidate for

Reena Ranger

Ameet Jogia

Birmingham Hall Green, mentioned, "We are Conservatives, we do not shy away, with resolute determination we tackle challenges head on and in this changing new world that determination is needed again." Tory rising star and former Conservative candidate for Brent North,

Ameet Jogia spoke on lessons learnt from the election and the role the Conservatives play in fighting social injustices, "it's our Conservative values of aspiration and empowerment that can truly fight social injustices and bring opportunity to every corner of our great country."

Syed Hassan Abbas

stabbing attack outside the Maarif-e-Islam Hussainia Mosque in Herbert Road in Birmingham in the early hours of Saturday. The schoolboy from the Kings Heath area from Birmingham was stabbed repeatedly in the face and neck at around 1am as his horrified brother and father looked on. He was put in an induced coma in hospital.

Man charged with attempted murder of teenager

A jobless man was in court Tuesday charged with the attempted murder of a teenage boy stabbed outside a mosque. Dominic Palmer, 29, appeared at Birmingham Magistrates' Court after last Saturday's stabbing in the same road. The boy's father called the attack an 'act of terrorism' after screaming 'someone help me, my son's about to die' as the

teenager lay with his throat slit. Syed Hassan Abbas was named locally as the victim of the 'ISIS-inspired'

As informed by the UK's Crown Prosecution Service (CPS), embattled Indian liquor baron Vijay Mallya was granted immediate bail following his arrest in London on Tuesday, in a second money laundering case filed by the Indian Enforcement Directorate. Mallya appeared before Westminster Magistrate's Court during the day, denying all allegations against him. Ahead of the hearing, he said he had “done nothing wrongâ€? and that the allegations against him were “fabricatedâ€?. “I deny all allegations that have been made and I will continue to deny them. I have not eluded any court. I've given enough evidence to prove my case,â€? he said. Chief Magistrate Emma Louise Arbuthnot, who has been hearing his extradition case at the court granted him bail on the “same bail conditions as beforeâ€? which he must abide by. Next hearing in the case will take place on November 20. The CBI and the ED had recently discovered that Mallya diverted most of the ÂŁ600 million loan to shell companies across several countries including US, UK, France, and Ireland. The amount was taken from a consortium of 17 banks led by the State Bank of India. The

Mallya outside court on 3 October 2017 (Pic courtesy: Poonam Joshi)

liquor baron owes as much as ÂŁ900 million to banks in India. He fled India in March, last year, and has been living in London since then. He was arrested earlier this year by the Scotland Yard, acting on India's formal extradition request for him. It is speculated that with the fresh allegations, it may become tough for Mallya during his hearing in December. Both, the CBI and the ED have submitted all probe evidence necessary to the British Crown Prosecution Service. A senior official in the know, said, “He can say whatever he wants, but ours is a watertight case.â€? For those interested, Mallya managed to break his previous record by attaining bail in less than 30 minutes. His April 18 arrest saw his lawyers fret for about three hours before he could walk away untouched. While the new

development is a clear indication of Modi government's conviction in bringing the businessman to justice, his speedy bail sets an example on just how difficult it might be for India to bring him back to the country. On the plus side, the case against Mallya is stronger than ever. The ED's fresh affidavit with more evidence about the charges of fund diversion and financial irregularities allegedly conducted by the accused. The UK court has even found merit in the arguments, which prompted his arrest. Bringing home Mallya is much more than a case for the consortium of banks. It has grown to become a big political issue as well. The NDA has been pushing for his extradition and arrest for over a year now, pushing various investigative agencies to plug the loopholes.

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7th October 2017

Good times to continue for Mallya


CGI is indicative only > Not representative of the Ăžnal product



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Asian Voice | 7th October 2017


Mayor of London welcomes all to celebrate light over darkness at Diwali in Trafalgar Square Trafalgar Square will be transformed with a colourful and vibrant mix of music, dance and live performance to mark the Mayor of London’s annual Diwali celebrations on 15 October. Londoners from all communities and visitors to the capital are invited to attend the celebrations, which feature lively music and dance, delicious food and drink, plus activities for the whole family to enjoy. The free event is being organised to mark Diwali, the 'Festival of Lights', which is observed by Hindus, Sikhs and Jains in India and many other countries around the world. It is being staged by the Mayor of London with presenting partner Lebara Mobile and supporting partners UK-India Year of Cultre, BBC Asian Network

and The LaLit Hotel. The Diwali Festival is produced in association with the Diwali in London committee. The festivities will kick off with a colourful procession of flags, taken from Kinetika’s ambitious project Silk River, which explored the unique relationship between London

and Kolkata through a year’s artistic exchange between communities along the Thames Estuary and Hooghly River. All are invited to enjoy traditional garba dancing accompanied by a fullscale garba band before a variety of live music and dance performances take to the stage. Later, BBC Asian Network will be introducing the best of British Asian contemporary music talent, from London based dueo Parle Patel and Pritee Varsani to India based rapper and producer Ra0ol. Throughout the day, an Indian street food market will sell a variety of tasty vegetarian food and nonalcoholic drinks. There will

also be plenty of chances to stock up on Indian essentials including jewellery, spices, rangoli and ayurvedic products. Revellers will have the chance to don a sari, learn a Bollywood dance, participate in yoga and meditation sessions for beginners, get a henna tattoo, pick up top health tips, find out more about Diwali and the faiths behind it, or simply enjoy this year’s illuminations. A comedy line-up featuring Aditi Mittal, one of the first women to do stand-up comedy in India, will also entertain on the day. Children can take part in a range of activities at the festival, including story-telling sessions, games, and arts and crafts all linked to Diwali traditions. The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, said: “As Mayor of London, I want to send my warmest wishes to everyone celebrating Diwali in London and

around the world. “During this wonderful festival of lights, we come together to share the story of Rama and Sita, to light candles in our homes, and to pay tribute to the warmth and generosity of our Hindu, Sikh and Jain brothers and sisters. Friends and families reflect on the past year together, and mark the triumph of good over evil, light over darkness and friendship over enmity. “Diwali’s central message of peace and mutual respect is one that we can all learn from. It reminds us that London succeeds when London is open to all. “From my family to yours, Happy Diwali and a prosperous new year.” Ravi Bhanot, Diwali in London Committee Chairperson 2017, said: “This year we celebrate 16th year of Diwali in Trafalgar Square, London. In this, the UK-India Year of Culture, we invite all to

come, share and enjoy this wonderful festival that is filled with lights, lamps, music, dances, prashad (oblation) and much more. This occasion is of great significance to Hindus, Sikhs, Jains and Buddhists and is increasingly a festival celebrated by people of all walks of life. The underlying theme of peace and mutual respect is relevant and meaningful to all Londoners. On behalf of all diverse organisations of DiL, I wish you a very Happy Diwali.” Dr Jyotsna Suri, Chairperson and Managing Director of The Lalit Suri Hospitality Group said: “We are delighted to be part of the Mayor of London's Diwali festivities at Trafalgar Square. This festival of lights celebrates the triumph of good over evil. The LaLiT London looks forward to welcoming the Londoners with our traditional Namaskar.”

Sewa Day: Fostering community cohesion, championing organ donation Continued from page 3 The issue of organ donation sadly came into the collective conscience of our community recently when a three-and-halfyear-old boy named Aari died in St George’s Hospital after a tragic accident. His family then made the courageous decision to donate their son’s organs to help save others. The inspirational act of this ultimate Sewa occurred against enormous odds – organ donation is still regrettably very uncommon in the Hindu community. After Aari’s death, Aari’s mother addressed this directly, writing in a heartfelt Facebook post, “We realise that our Hindu community is full of myths, but our story has changed this perception in everyone we know. We will continue to promote the kind giving-of-life that organ donation affords everyone regardless of colour, race, gender or religion.”

Last year, there were only 90 organ donors from Black and Asian communities. Contrast that with the 809 patients from the same background who received an organ transplant from a donor. On average, three people die every day in need of an organ transplant because there just aren't enough organ donors. This is why Sewa Day has partnered with the NHS and launched a nationwide campaign to encourage British Indians to register themselves as organ donors. Sewa Day, in the eight years it has been running, has opened minds and doors to various acts of kindness and cooperation, including forging relationships with other communities. It was particularly heartening to see the support leant by the Jewish community given the similarities this community endeavor shares with their Mitzvah Day. It is a joy to see this expression of friendship and collaboration between the Hindu

and Jewish faiths, and I am particularly grateful to Laura Marks and her team for their gesture in joining us on our Sewa Day trail last Sunday. The idea has an unmistakably edifying effect on communities to extend solidarity towards each other in the anxious post Brexit climate. I am convinced that in coming together, the Hindu and Jewish communities can be the best possible example of cohesive co-existence and inspire others to come forward in universal, unifying acts of kindness. To register for organ donation please visit It takes less than 2 minutes to save a life! [Manoj Ladwa is a founding trustee of Sewa Day. He is the chief executive of India Inc, which publishes titles including India Global Business Magazine and the editor of a new study of the UK and India’s partnership, Winning Partnership: India-UK Relations Beyond Brexit.] AsianVoiceNewsweekly

Asian Voice | 7th October 2017

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Asian Voice | 7th October 2017


Rani Singh, Special Assignments Editor

Director Sarmad Masud Debuts with a Feminist Western A group of young women survive a siege on their home by relatives in rural Pakistan. Director Sarmad Masud heard about their true story and immediately decided to convert it into a violent contemporary Western, My Pure Land, grounded in realism and feminism. The young women in the story had to defend their land from a militia of 200 bandits. Ultimately, they became folk heroes.

Background Sarmad Masud was born in Bradford and moved to Nottingham with his family when he was roughly six. He tells us, “I’m currently living in London although I refuse to lose my Nottingham accent! Mum worked full time raising five kids… Father was a Bank Manager, then the Manager of Pakistan Centre, Nottingham, before moving on to work for the City Council.”

Becoming a Filmmaker Sarmad Masud got the film- making bug when he went to university. He remembers; “Prior to that I was on a pre-degree Art &

Sarmad Masud

Design Foundation course where I spent a year working out what I didn’t want to do…” which led to Samad choosing a TV & Film design degree at University. “The course was both theory and practical based, so I really learned by doing. After graduating I

spent a number of years working my way up and crewing on films in any and all capacities. I worked as; a runner, in the sound dept, camera, art dept, editor etc whilst at the same time trying to make a number of short films of my own as a writer/director.”

Goa Beer to sponsor Mango Lounge charity dinner with Indian cookery writer Mridula Baljekar

Vikking Ventures, the importer of award-winning Goa Premium Beer, is to sponsor a charity supper club at Mango Lounge at The Chequers, in Cookham Dean in Berkshire, organised by renowned cookery writer, Mridula Baljekar in aid of Curry for Change. Mridula, has written 27 best-selling cookery books and presented numerous TV cookery programmes. She and executive chef Ashwani Kumar – a winner of the International Indian Chef of the Year – have designed an exquisite menu for the dinner on Tuesday 10th October, starting at 7:30pm. Chef Kumar has previously worked at the Cinnamon Club in London. The fundraiser is part of the 20th National Curry Week (9th – 15th October 2017), founded by the late Peter Grove, to fight third world hunger. The week-long celebration of Indian cuisine is now organised by his widow, Colleen. Commenting on the Groves’ tireless works, Mridula said: “Indian

Cookery writer Mridula Baljekar

restaurants across the country willingly support this worthy cause and raise thousands of pounds each year. I am proud to have been a part of this campaign for many years and would continue to do so in order that Peter's legacy can continue.” Radula’s fellow Guild of Food Writer, restaurant critic, TV and radio presenter, Bill Buckley, will host the occasion. The £35 gourmet menu features a Crab and tiger prawn risotto with truffle oil; Tandoori guinea fowl, marinated in Persian spices. Herb crusted black cod with south Indianstyle crushed potatoes and coconut sauce; a vegetarian version of a Persian-inf luenced

Murtabak made with spiced grated paneer. mild cheddar cheese and beaten egg sandwiched between paper-thin flat bread and griddlecooked, served with kokum sauce; and a Cinnamon spiced hot chocolate mousse with vanilla ice cream. The event is being held in aid of the Curry for Change campaign. with proceeds being matched by Natco Foods, to be utilised by UK charities Find Your Feet and Health Poverty Action, to tackle hunger and malnutrition in Asia and Africa. Viiking Ventures’ MD, Ben Parmer, said, “Supporting restaurants’ charity events and encouraging authentic Indian gourmet dining, are central to our brand strategy – it’s an honour to have been invited to take part.” Goa Premium Beer is produced by the familyrun boutique Impala Distillery & Brewery in Goa, which was acquired in 2015 by Bollywood actor and film producer Sachiin Joshi. The gluten-free beer is a popular accompaniment to spicy foods.

My Pure Land happened when Sarmad Masud pitched the film idea to famous theatre impresario, film producer and Everton Football Club Chairman Bill Kenwright. The latter agreed, immediately, to make it happen. Filmmaking in Pakistan compared to filmmaking in the UK. Sarmad says, “It’s probably unfair to compare them on the basis of one experience. We were working on a tiny budget in remote areas in some pretty extreme circumstances. I would say it’s important to create institutions and a mentality where knowledge can be gained and shared. Within the UK each department has sub departments and people have trained for years to get to where they are. We need to respect the profession, the craft and the discipline required to be good at this or at anything. The good news is that there’s clearly a hell of a lot of passionate filmmakers out there, which bodes well for the future.” In film, TV and radio, projects get made on the strength of a pitch. Enterprising people with connections often raise

their own funds and crews to make their projects happen. Sarmad Masud tells us he is yet to win another pitch, so it is commendable that he created this film with Bill Kenwright.

I wanted the film to have an authentic look. But filming in remote corners of South Asia is a dicey operation, with a high risk for those involved. On this shoot one disgruntled extra opened fire on the whole set, though no one was injured. How did Sarmad Masud ensure security in the making of My Pure Land? “A friend of my Uncle ran a security firm, so through him we had two armed guards with us on set at all times, plus (don’t tell anyone) but our driver also had a pistol under his seat. The truth is you can’t legislate for something crazy happening. We did our best to try and remain under the radar and be respectful to anyone working on the film and the locals in the area we

filmed in.”

The Casting Process Sarmad Masud and his team held numerous casting sessions visiting Universities, Colleges, theatre groups, and film studios. He says, “I was always open to street casting. If we were out filming and I saw someone who looked interesting I would do my best to get them on camera. I really wanted the film to have an authentic and believable look. It made sense if we were filming in a village to then put the local villagers in the film. Easier said than done, but in principle that was always my motto. However making the final choices were always easy – trust your guy, you know when the right person walks in through the door.

The Future Sarmad is currently writing a feel- good, interestingsounding sports film. “Plus I have two more films set in Pakistan I would like to make. I would also like to work more in TV, and of course try and get myself over to Hollywood-land…”


The UNITED NATIONS WORLD FOOD PROGRAMME (WFP) in 2017 Leading rice brand Tilda is supporting the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) once again in 2017 with the launch of its “Mums Helping Mums” campaign, ensuring that vulnerable mothers and children get the proper nutrition. The World Food Programme is the world's leading humanitarian agency fighting hunger worldwide, assisting some 80 million people in around 80 countries each year. Tilda’s “Mums Helping Mums” campaign aims to connect women throughout the world through the shared experience of cooking and feeding their families. This year’s campaign marks the start of a new three-year commitment supporting WFP’s Mother & Child Nutrition programme. Throughout September and October, Tilda will donate nutritionboosting meals to new or expectant mothers in Bangladesh. For every specially-marked pack of Tilda Pure Basmati 1kg and 5kg, and Tilda Steamed Pure Basmati pouch, Tilda will provide at least one nutrition-boosting meal. Tilda’s target is 1.9m nutrition boosting meals in 2017. The campaign will be further supported by a ‘Mums Helping Mums’ cookbook, featuring recipes donated by some of the UK’s favourite mums and foodies and will be available to download

exclusively at Patrick McKenna, Partnerships Manager at the World Food Programme, said: “The Mums Helping Mums campaign is a fantastic initiative which aligns with the World Food Programme’s work to create a Healthy not Hungry world, free from the cycle of under-nutrition.”

Sultan Ara lives with her husband and two children, Taufiqul Islam (aged 3) and Rafiqul Islam (aged 5) in the southern part of Cox’s Bazar District, Bangladesh. WFP provides Sultan with Super Cereal Plus to feed her son through its Maternal and Child Health and Nutrition programme at the Community Clinic. Sultan learned to prepare the Super Cereal Plus porridge, which contains many nutrition-boosting vitamins, so that it is not too thick nor too thin. Tilda’s Mums helping Mums campaign helps support this initiative, making a difference in the lives of mothers and children in Bangladesh.

Disclaimer: “Each pack marked “One Pack=One Meal” funds equivalent to one nutritional supplement (10p) via WFP. Each pack marked “One Pack=One Day’s Meals” funds equivalent to three nutritional supplements (30p) via WFP. Campaign Timing: Sept-Oct 2017. WFP does not endorse any product or service.” AsianVoiceNews



Asian Voice | 7th October 2017




M ums Helping M ums ONE E PACK ONE DAY’S S MEALS SO FAR, O VER 1 MILLION MEALS HAVE BEEN PROVIDED TO O MOTHERS IN NEED Each pack marked ‘One Pack = One Day’s Meals’ funds equivalent to three nutritional supplements (30p) for WFP. Campaign timing: Sept-Oct 2017. WFP does not endorse any product or service.




Asian Voice | 7th October 2017

Going too far?

Thank you, Ramesh Jhalla, for your brilliant letter in Asian Voice headed "Pinnacles of evolution." As you say, "when life on one planet ceases, the birth-deathreincarnation cycle starts on another planet." This is God's plan and has been going on for millions of centuries all over the universe. Yet scientists today are planning to transfer humans from Earth to any other planet deemed suitable to sustain human life. Are scientists trying to make God redundant? Rudy Otter By email

Staffing shortages in the NHS

We are facing a dire situation of staffing shortage in the NHS which results in less and poor patient care and safety, especially of the elderly patients. Below is the report by the Health Foundation clearly outlining position of the nursing staff levels at the NHS, which is very frightening. England could be hit by a shortfall of 42,000 nurses by 2020 and almost half of all nurses are worried that stretched staffing levels mean they may not be able to do their jobs properly, according to a new report. The findings are from a report by the Health Foundation which looked at the 2016 NHS staff survey along with nurse staffing levels and NHS pay policy. The 42,000 shortfall amounts to 12 per cent of the workforce. The report - called In Short Supply also points to falls in NHS staff pay as a worsening problem. It states: "By 2020, NHS staff will have had a decade of falling real pay and little - if any - scope for reform to allow the pay system to respond to wider labour market changes. The 'national living wage' will also have impacted on pay differentials between staff. Half of nurses admit they are worried staffing levels may prevent them from doing their job properly. Moreover, while pay structures and levels have been 'frozen', other aspects of NHS staff reward packages have been subject to significant reform - most notably pensions and bursaries for training." Secretary of Health, Jeremy Hunt warns there'll be less money for the NHS if Brexit goes badly  There is also a serious lack of coordinated workforce planning, according to the report, and the impact of Brexit on international recruitment may also add to the frustrations. This issue of proper staffing at the NHS has to be addressed with urgency as currently patients are suffering through no fault of theirs. Baldev Sharma Rayners Lane, Harrow

Saudi Arabia’s own suffragette success

Recent announcement by Saudi King that Women will be allowed to drive and hold driving licence is big change for an orthodox Islamic country like Saudi Arabia, the last country in the world where women were banned from driving. It is religious police and not Saudi Royal Family that was the stumbling block. Manal Al-Sharif started campaign for women’s right to drive some time back. But she had to sacrifice a lot, was arrested, under surveillance and under great pressure. But now her endurance has won her an honoured place in Saudi history. Perhaps Noble Peace Prize may follow! Her struggle can be compared with our own suffragette movement, led by Emmeline Pankhurst. Princess Sophia Duleep Singh also played an eminent part but her enormous contribution was completely ignored, until popular TV personality Anita Ananda authored a book on her and was given wide publicity on TV and press. Lady Nancy Astor was the first woman to take her seat in HOC when she won Sutton Plymouth by-election in 1919, thus making history and changing the demography of British politics for ever. Saudi Arabia is a staunch monarchy. But elections do take place for local councils and some even allow women to vote, become Councillors. It is a slow but steady progress and once these women have tasted freedom, it would be impossible to put Ginny back in the bottle! But this news may be the end of thousands of jobs, affecting drivers recruited mainly from Indian subcontinent who chauffer these women to work. But in this fast changing world, technological revolution, nothing could be taken for granted. Kumudini Valambia By email

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

TB Sheth Library

It would be most remiss of me if I did not congratulate CB for his viivd description of Dar-es-Salaam in his “Jivant Panth” column entitled “Haraka, Haraka, Hai na Baraka” in last week’s Gujarat Samachar - (GS 30-09-17 to 06-10 17). His reference to T B Sheth library and surrounding areas re-kindled nostalgic memories of the good old days. The very iconic landmark, T B Sheth library, is named after our family, T B Sheth was my uncle, my father’s elder brother. That library, being the only one of its kind in dear old Dar, attracted people from all over the town and surrounding areas. At a stone’s throw from the library is the premises of Shree Jain Sangh, our daily haunt. Both the library and Shree Jain Sangh bear witness to the glorious past and present of our Gujarati and Jain community in Dar-esSalaam. Then there are the picnic spots at Bagamoyo and Khunduchi, not to forget the “Hela thathu” island which you can reach by a ferry and where you can buy basketsfull of mangos and other tropical fruts and vegetables at next to nothing price. The ever warm and clean waters there invited one to take a dip and swim side by side giant tortoises. Those were the carefree days when life was a never ending holiday where the sun always shined in the azure blue skies and the sea lashed its waves in the white sands of Oyster Bay. Dinesh Sheth Newbury Park, Ilford

Religious unity

R. N. Patel’s letter (Asian Voice-30-9-2017), is optimistic, but against ground realities. Peace and unity in India is at the mercy of indigenous traitors/ bigots on one hand: foreign meddlers/ agents in India. Unity and peace in India will only be possible if it courageously asserts collective strength instead of adopting incompatible western values. India is rattled by anti-Indian elements, false sympathizers, liberals and corrupt policy makers who connive with wrong doers. In spite of 80% Hindu majority we cannot remove article 370 between India and Kashmir. This negates statement, “Kashmir is integral part of India”. Some states behave like government within central government. Hindus are openly treated as second class citizens and even Prime Minister is insulted. Though Hindi is declared as National language, it is boldly defied in south India and North eastern area which is dominated by Christian. We boast of 80% Hindu majority, yet cannot overcome negligible handful All India Muslim Personal Law Board, to build Ram Mandir. There is no Hindu religious unity when there is no national God or national religious banner to rally as collective force? Astoundingly, timid Hindus are silent when term “saffron” is used as an insult Hindu religion! Ramesh Jhalla By email

The Swachh Bharat campaign

The Swachh Bharat campaign was launched by the Narendra Modi government on October 2 last year. Why do we require such a mission? Is India a dirty nation? The answer may be somewhat yes, that’s why we are lining up the mission of a clean India. It is a constraint mission for the development of the nation; because without clean and proper sanitation a country cannot develop. India’s public areas, streets, government offices, roads, footpaths, rivers and government hospitals are generally filthy. Almost everyday, we observe the garbage just outside of our home boundaries or public places. But who cares? Apart from a few cities, many villages are often cleaner than the unplanned colonies of big cities, and the more densely populated areas are dirtier, and people feel less of a responsibility to clean them. Another issue in such areas is that they do not have sufficient space and proper drainage system, and thus, those dirty areas attract even more garbage. In India, the major rivers are polluted and the main causes of pollution are that various industries are established on the banks of a river, and people consider the river as their universal drainage. The government should impose strict rules to these industries to treat the garbage before dumping them into the river and ensure that it doesn’t affect the ecological balance of the rivers. Let all of us Indians therefore take up the responsibility to realize the dream of Swachh Bharat (clean India), change our mindset, and learn from the world’s cleanest countries and adopt their techniques to keep our neighborhoods and country always clean. Jubel D’Cruz, Mumbai, India


Gandhi Jayanti

Today is 2nd October, 148th Birth Anniversary of Our Gandhiji. We can not help remembering him for his Love and Sacrifice for India Independence and now it's up to us, all Indians, to enhance the Progress, Prosperity and Prestige of India by Hard Work and Noble Deeds! May God Bless him with His Love and Eternity! Upendra Kapadia By email

Ethnic cleansing

There are not many sympathisers for cleansing ethnic rahtngya Muslims back to their roots in Bangla. It is just political intolerance. International organisations had enough of never ending problems with innocent Muslim community. On the other hand fellow rich Muslim nations like Saudia Arabia spends $60 million on holidaying and bought part of the Maldives island where Yemens are showing an interest and as a strong base for Al Quaida who are a threat to India and possible sectarian violence in the peaceful island. The Saudis donated $2 billion to mosques in every town and preach their faith going to be religious turmoil in Bangla. This large exodus will have a greater impact on India particularly in Budhagaya where enlightenment took place on Buddhist from Burma. Unfortunately under the umbrella of one Allah Islam is divided ilam should come forward help them in spiritual faith. KRN Morothy Handsworth

Labour’s short-sightedness

While Labour’s commitment to increase female representation in HOC to 50% is commendable, if not turned into politically correct manifested obsession. However implementation of this policy lacks foresight. Labour’s intention to declare “Harrow East” as one of 46 all-women shortlisted constituencies, contrary to local Labour wishes, shows bunker mentality, is prime example of how out of touch party is with grass-root opinion. Navin Shah could have won the seat if Labour had not turned Harrow East into den of inequality concentrating their efforts on Harrow West, already Labour stronghold. It is preciously the myopia and ignorance exhibited in the past that has kept Labour in the doldrums. In Uma Kumaran and Cllr Kiran Ramchandani, Labour has two credible candidates to select from. But in Harrow, British Indian community plays crucial part. Labour’s unsavoury, blind obsession with caste legislation, (Please read Lord Popat’s excellent article on page 8) appeasement, paddling an exclusionist politics, perceived indifference towards British Indians and Jewish community, has driven many Labour supporters into the arms of Conservatives, who under David Cameron, successfully established close repertoire with British Indian intelligentsia. Labour’s first and foremost priority should be to win election and for JC to be PM, as without power, Labour could not implement its popular, people friendly policies. While Indian community strongly supported Bob Blackman when opposed by Labour’s Uma Kumaran, they were divided when Navin was the opponent, as Navin is well respected in Asian community, once popular Harrow Council leader and now London Assembly member. Without Navin, Indian community will find it easier to unite behind Bob without hesitation as Bob is indeed darling of British Indians and true friend who has stood by us, time and again, early Christmas present for Bob indeed. Who says politics is boring? Bhupendra M. Gandhi By email


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Theresa May pledges help for young on student fees and housing Theresa May has admitted a change in her party's approach on tuition fees in England, saying she has listened to voters and fees will freeze at ÂŁ9,250. Fee repayment thresholds will also rise, so graduates will start paying back loans once they earn ÂŁ25,000, rather than ÂŁ21,000, the PM said. She said the whole student finance system would be reviewed and did not rule out a move to a graduate tax. Labour, which wants to scrap tuition fees, called the plan "desperate". The prime minister, who is in Manchester for her party's conference, also pledged to extend the Help to Buy scheme which helps people buy newly-built homes, in an attempt to win over younger voters. Mrs May told the BBC's Andrew Marr Show she plans to apologise to Conservative activists for her decision to call a snap election. She said the message she had taken from the election, at which she lost her Commons majority, was that the Conservatives needed to "listen to voters," particularly younger people and those who are "just about managing". She said that when

the government increased student fees it had been expected that there would be a "diversity in the system," with some universities offering shorter and cheaper courses, rather than always charging the maximum amount. The planned ÂŁ250 increase in tuition fees for 2018-19 to ÂŁ9,500 will not go ahead and fees will instead remain at the current maximum of ÂŁ9,250 per year. The overhaul of the higher education sector could also see the introduction of fast-track, two-year degree courses, an idea which has been suggested to limit the costs for young people considering higher education. Other ideas being considered by the government as part of the overhaul are cutting the interest rates on loans and introducing lower fees for students studying certain subjects, such as engineering, where there is a skills shortage. Martin Lewis, founder of the Money Saving Expert website, welcomed the move, saying increasing the repayment threshold from ÂŁ21,000 to ÂŁ25,000 could save many lower and middle earning graduates thousands of pounds.


Asian Voice | 7th October 2017

Tax specialist sues Clifford Chance over excessive workload allegations A tax consultant has brought legal action against Clifford Chance over allegations that managers at the magic circle outfit repeatedly piled excessive workloads onto her. Priti Dhulia, 54, from Hounslow, West London, joined the Canary Wharf-based firm in September 1995 and was, among other things, responsible for preparing partners’ tax returns. According to The Telegraph, Dhulia has now filed a writ with the High Court seeking ÂŁ150,000 in damages, claiming working at the firm left her suffering with “an adjustment disorder and occupational problems as a result of overwork and workplace bullyingâ€?. A spokesperson for Clifford Chance said: “We disagree with the version of events presented in this case, however it would be inappropriate to comment further while legal proceedings are ongoing.â€? Dhulia alleges she worked beyond her contracted 35-hour

Priti Dhulia pictured with her husband Viren

week and often completed tasks at home in the evenings and weekends. Moreover, she claims she was allocated around 50% of partners’ Inland Revenue returns to complete, while her two colleagues were given 33% and 17% respectively. The tax expert (pictured above left) says she complained to Clifford Chance’s human resources department about her workload, but alleges nothing was done to address the situation. Things escalated, according to Dhulia, when colleagues began commenting on the number of private calls she made in her native language of Gujarati. In an internal email quoted in the report, Dhulia’s line manager apparently flagged up the issue to her department head.

'On the run' fraudster busted at the border A housing fraudster, who fled the country with a warrant for his arrest outstanding, has been brought to justice by Harrow Council. Ahmad Al-Masri, who absconded after failing to turn up for a court appearance, had a bumpy landing when returning through Heathrow in June. Far from finding the heat had died down, Al-Masri was immediately detained by UK border officials and held on remand. At Hendon Magistrates Court last month Al-Masri, 34, finally owned up to his crime. He was ordered to repay all ÂŁ2,000 he’d duped from Harrow Council’s Help2Let scheme, and was given a nine month suspended sentence and 200 hours of unpaid work. Cllr Glen Hearnden, who has Cabinet responsibility for Housing, said: “This criminal narrowly avoided having his housing need met by Her Majesty. I’m delighted we’re getting our money back – but the real victim here is his unsuspecting tenant, who thought she’d found a place to call home.â€? Al-Masri’s inept criminal caper started in 2015, when he first claimed to be the landlord of rental accommodation in Wembley. Far from being a property magnate

though, Al-Masri was himself a tenant at the address and claiming housing benefit from Brent Council. That didn’t stop him advertising the flat in the Preston Road area for let on the website Gumtree. A woman registered as homeless with Harrow Council became AlMasri’s unsuspecting victim when she responded to his ad. She was looking for a fresh start using Harrow Council’s Help2Let scheme. It gives homeless people a leg-up, by providing them with the money for a deposit and first month’s rent – getting people into private rented accommodation, and off the council’s waiting lists. Harrow Council’s fraud team quickly rumbled Al-Masri’s flimsy subterfuge. He was evicted by the property’s real landlord and ordered by the council to pay back the money in full. When he failed to do so, he was summoned to appear in court. When he failed to appear, a warrant for his arrest was issued. If you suspect fraud involving council money, you can report it online at, by e m a i l i n g or by calling 020 8424 1834 (24 hour answer machine).

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MEDIA WATCH AsianVoiceNews

Asian Voice | 7th October 2017

Yogi Adityanath took a break from the chief ministership of Uttar Pradesh last week to become the mahant of Gorakhnath temple. Hundreds of people turned up at the temple on Saturday to take part in the tilak utsav of Yogi Adityanath by applying tilak on his forehead and getting prasad from him. “The crowd this year was almost three times that of past years,” a temple staff member said. “This is because Mahantji is now the chief minister, and people, including politicians, who want to develop a bond were in the queue.” Adityanath was in Gorakhnath temple for the last five days to perform the rituals as the temple head priest. He returned to Lucknow on Sunday morning to his role as chief minister. After the tilak utsav, Adityanath led a “Vijay Shobha Yatra” on Dussehra in Gorakhpur city, following the traditions of Gorakhnath temple head priest.

BSF finds tunnel being dug from Pak side in Jammu

Tunnel from Pak side of Jammu

The Border Security Force (BSF) unearthed a 14-feet long tunnel, which was being dug from the Pakistani side along the international border and recovered “war-like” store during sanitisation operation along the international border between Vikram and Patel posts near Damana. Inspector General of BSF Ram Awatar said among the items recovered from the location included, a US-made compass, two magazines, 60 rounds of ammunition, a hand grenade and other items. Most of these items were carrying the markings of Pakistan, he added. Terming the tunnelling activity as a 'nefarious act' of Pakistan, the officer said the timely action by BSF foiled a major attack on Indian soil. The officer said a special drive for the detection of tunnels was launched all along the international border in the wake of recent cross-border shelling by Pakistan which left a jawan and a woman dead and scores of civilians injured.

TN, 4 other states get new Governors

Banwarilal Purohit

Assam Governor Banwarilal Purohit was shifted to Tamil Nadu, which has been witnessing a political crisis and did not have a full-time governor for over a year. Purohit was among five governors appointed by President Ram Nath Kovind last week. While Purohit was moved to Tamil Nadu, Lt Governor of Andaman and Nicobar Islands Jagdish Mukhi was appointed in

his place in Assam. Senior BJP leader and former Union minister Satyapal Malik was made the new governor of Bihar. Former member of Bihar Legislative Council Ganga Prasad was appointed as the Governor of Meghalaya. Brigadier (Retd) B D Mishra, who earlier served with the National Security Guards (NSG) and spearheaded a successful antihijacking operation in 1993, was made the Governor of Arunachal Pradesh. Former Chief of Navy Staff Admiral (retd) Devendra Kumar Joshi was appointed as the new Lt Governor of Union Territory Andaman and Nicobar Islands, succeeding Mukhi. Tamil Nadu was so far without a full-time governor for over a year and Maharashtra Governor Vidya Sagar Rao had the additional charge of Tamil Nadu since September last year

Hafiz Saeed sues Pak foreign minister for calling him ‘US darling’

UAE begins collecting 'sin' taxes on tobacco, energy drinks The United Arab Emirates has begun collecting new "sin" taxes on tobacco products, energy drinks and soft drinks. From Sunday last, tobacco and energy drinks will be taxed at 100 per cent and soft drinks at 50 per cent. Shoppers could be seen stocking up the products day before. The new tax push comes as the UAE and other oil-rich Gulf nations have struggled with low global energy prices. The UAE will start collecting a 5-per cent value-added tax on certain goods from January. All six members of the Gulf Cooperation Council have agreed to begin collecting so-called VAT taxes, though others may begin later than January. The GCC includes Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the UAE.

Retired soldier told to prove that he is Indian

Hafiz Saeed

Mumbai terror attack mastermind Hafiz Saeed has slapped a £1 million defamation notice on Pakistan Foreign Minister Khawaja Asif for calling him the “darling of the United States.” Asif, while speaking at the Asia Society forum in New York last week, acknowledged that Saeed, the Haqqanis and the Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) are “liabilities” for the country but it does not have the required “assets” to get rid of them. The minister had also said that the United States, which was putting pressure on Pakistan to tackle terrorist groups operating from its soil, once used to treat them as “darlings” just 20 to 30 years back. Saeed’s counsel A K Dogar sent the notice to the foreign minister on behalf of his client who heads the Jamaat-ud-Dawah (JuD), a front for the LeT militant group that carried out the deadly 2008 Mumbai attack. “Saeed is respected as a deeply religious and devout Muslim. Saeed has never been near the White House, not to

President Kovind inaugurates the new Shirdi airport

CM Yogi Adityanath

speak of wined and dined,” Dogar said in the notice.

Md Azmal Hoque, who retired as a Junior Commissioned Officer (JCO) in the Indian Army after serving for 30 years, has got a notice from the Foreigners’ Tribunal, asking him to prove that he was an Indian citizen and had not illegally entered the country from Bangladesh after 1971. “I have served the Army for 30 years and was posted several times in the border areas. One year after returning to my home state on retirement I get this notice asking me to explain why I should not be identified as a foreigner under provisions of the Foreigners’ Act of 1946,” Hoque said. Hoque, who settled down in Guwahati after retirement, said a police officer reached his ancestral house in Kamrup district in September with a notice against him from the tribunal. “My younger brother refused to receive it and informed me about it. When I went to the police station to enquire about it, the officer told me it was a notice asking me to prove my Indian citizenship by September 11, which had been sent back,” Hoque said. He has now been asked to appear before the tribunal on October 13. “Have I been rewarded with this notice for serving the country’s defence, during which period I got six promotions?” he said. He said he wept the entire night after getting a copy of the notice.


“What else could I do?” he asked.

President opens Shirdi Airport, first flight to Mumbai Indian President Ram Nath Kovind on Sunday inaugurated the newly-built airport at Shirdi in Maharashtra's Ahmednagar district. Commercial flight operations commenced later with a flight to Mumbai being operated by Alliance Air. The airport secured the aerodrome licence from the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) for commercial operations last month. Located at 238 km from Mumbai, Shirdi has the famous shrine of Sai Baba and is one of the prominent pilgrimage centres in the country. According to an estimate, about 60,000 pilgrims visit Shirdi every day, out of which the airport authorities plan to tap at least 10-12 per cent. This is the centenary year of the death of Sai Baba. Constructed at an investment of around £35 million, the airport with a 2,500 m-long runway, is capable of handling single narrow-body aircraft, such as Airbus A320 and Boeing 737s.

Actor Tom Alter passes away Veteran




Tom Alter

personality Tom Alter passed away at his Mumbai residence last week. He was 67. The actor was suffering from skin cancer. He was admitted to a Mumbai

hospital in September. He returned home on Thursday and breathed his last on Friday night. He was a recipient of Padma Shri. An Indian actor of American descent, Tom made his big screen debut in 1976 with a small role in Dharmendra-starrer 'Charas' and later went on to work in films such as 'Shatranj Ke Khiladi', 'Gandhi', 'Kranti', 'Bose: The Forgotten Hero' and 'Veer Zara.' But it was his sitcom 'Zabaan Sambhalke' (1993-1997) that made him a household name. The series, also starring Kapoor, was the Pankaj adaptation of British sitcom, 'Mind Your Language' (1977). He was also a part of other hit TV shows like 'Shaktiman' and 'Captain Vyom,' both extremely popular with kids. Besides films and television, Alter’s presence in theatre has been noteworthy.

Rs 6,00,000 reward for info on J&K braid choppers The Jammu and Kashmir police have announced a bounty of Rs 6,00,000 for clues about those involved in rising braidchopping cases that have also led to protests and mob justice across the Valley. The scale of alarm can be understood from the fact that the bounty on the heads of "A category" militants in the state is Rs 5,00,000. Cases of hair of women and girls being chopped have led to a law and order problem with residents thrashing suspects in many areas. The Jammu division alone has witnessed 100 cases, while Kashmir recorded 45, including unsuccessful attempts. What, however, have alarmed the government are apprehensions that militants and separatists might use braid chopping as a pretext to whip up passions against security forces in the Valley. Hurriyat hawk Syed Ali Geelani already has pointed fingers at security forces, and asked people to "act accordingly and expose agencies involved in this heinous crime".

Hurriyat leader Syed Ali Shah Geelani|

UK AsianVoiceNews


Asian Voice | 7th October 2017

No I donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t want it: judge quashes professional negligence claim This concerns the decision of the Court of Appeal (COA) in the case of Graham Thomas v Hugh James Ford Simey Solicitors [2017].

Why Couldnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t Kashmir Have Been Like The Falklands? With the birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi this past week, my mind, of course, turns to Independence and the echoes to the present. With the British invasion by Argentine forces of the British Falkland Islands, Britain went in, reclaimed its sovereign territory. End of story. Why wasnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t Kashmir like that for India? Because the British are more adept at the UN than their Indian counterparts. Make no mistake the Falklands conflict was warranted under specific UN resolution. Security Council Resolution 502 demanding the immediate withdrawal of all Argentine forces from the Falklands, had been adopted, with mandatory force. Most UN resolutions matter little. This British sponsored one mattered a lot. How could the British risk taking matters to the UN? How come India, in doing the same over Kashmir, has been in stalemate for 60 years? After all, the Americans, European and the Commonwealth just did not support the British position over the Falklands. If anything the British were in a far weaker position than India in 1948 over Kashmir when it went to the UN. Yet the British did not act unilaterally. They went to the UN. Even at a time when the majority of the 15 member Security Council could barely be counted on to support the former Colonial power. What was critical is that Britain drafted a Resolution which made what Reagan called this â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;bunch of rocksâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; a Chapter 7 security and peace issue and not a Chapter 6 issue (peaceful settlement of disputes). This made the resolution mandatory and legally binding, rather than a weak starting point for endless negotiations. Britain still needed nine Security Council votes, including Spain, Uganda, Jordan and Ireland. (If only the British had not

Fraudster jailed

A man who pretended to be high powered wealthy businessman to defraud a woman out of ÂŁ49,000 has been sentenced. Gopinath Kodandaramappa Setivarahalli, 29, was sentenced this Tuesday to two years and three months in prison. He had pleaded guilty to two counts of fraud at Isleworth Crown Court was sentenced at the same court. The court heard how in February 2016 the victim had been renting properties. She was contacted by Setivarahalli, who over the course of the next few weeks represented himself as a high powered wealthy businessman. He attempted to persuade her that he was a successful technology entrepreneur and successful investor. On or around the weekend of 27 to 28 February 2016 he attended the victim's home address unannounced, he then proceeded to tell her that he had invested a sum of money on her behalf in shares and that she should pay him for them. The victim told him she did not want anything to do with the purchase, but he demanded she pay him

scrapped with or colonized pretty much everyone on the Council at one time or another). Nevertheless their diplomats managed to get the votes. The heritage of Empire has some benefits â&#x20AC;&#x201C; you become very adept at diplomacy and getting your way. UN Security Council Resolution 47 â&#x20AC;&#x201C; of 1948 â&#x20AC;&#x201C; concerning Kashmir, is very different. It is a Chapter 6 Resolution â&#x20AC;&#x201C; therefore without mandatory enforceability and non-binding. So when it required that Pakistan â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;withdraw all nationals who entered the regionâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;, it could be safely ignored by the Pakistanis. Indiaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s error was not that it filed the dispute in the UN, as is commonly thought, after all it sought to be a leading light in the world â&#x20AC;&#x201C; this was a nation in which Gandhiji still lived â&#x20AC;&#x201C; but that it filed it under Chapter 6 â&#x20AC;&#x201C; which simply does not require any mandatory enforcement. If ever you want to know whether the West is going to War â&#x20AC;&#x201C; just ask if it is seeking a Chapter 7 UN Security Council Resolution. Iraq II, was the same in 2003. UN Security Council Resolution 1441 of 1992 was also a Chapter 7, peace and security, Resolution demanding â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;a final opportunity to comply with its disarmament obligationsâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;. It was the breach of this, incidentally, WMD, or not, had nevertheless occurred and military force was legally warranted under the Resolution (and that is the response to all those who say it was an illegal war, or ask why did we go to war). All 15 Security Council members voted in favour of this Resolution â&#x20AC;&#x201C; including China and Russia and Syria. Russia and China have now caught on. They will block such Western resolutions in future. Once bitten, twice shy. Incidentally, China and Russia abstained on the Falklands Resolution. Today, they would veto.

for the investments. He left and then in the following days he attempted to get the victim to pay him for the shares and provided false documents to her showing that the investments had initially increased in value. In early March 2016 the victim felt she had no option but to pay for the investment's, that she never authorised, so she transferred ÂŁ20,000 to him. Not content with his illicit gains, he preyed on the victim further by falsely representing his links with a non-existent firm of solicitors. Convincing the already vulnerable victim, into paying approximately ÂŁ29,000 in fees for services he had not provided in relation to an unrelated legal dispute. Eventually the victim realised that all the investments and the legal firm were fake and she had been deceived and informed police of the fraud. Setivarahalli was arrested and charged with two counts of fraud. DC Dylan Enright from Westminster CID, said: "Setivarahalli deceived the victim and ignored her repeated requests that she


have nothing to do with his schemes. He is a determined and committed fraudster who portrayed himself as an international businessman with a string of successful companies. His lies have been exposed, and his custodial sentence reflects the serious nature of this offending. I would urge any victims of fraud not to hesitate, but call police and report the crime."

Anthony Okumah

In 1999, the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) set up a statutory scheme to handle minersâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; claims for vibration white finger (VWF). Miners who believed they had VWF would make an application, attend a medical examination and have the option to accept general damages or pursue a special damages claim. In 2000, Mr Thomas, instructed Hugh James Ford Simey Solicitors (the Respondent) to pursue a VWF claim. The medical examination supported a claim for general and special damages. The Claimant met with Ms Kinsey, an employee of the Respondent, twice. Firstly, Ms Kinsey explained how the scheme operated and sent a letter explaining how to claim special damages. On the second occasion, t he Claimant said that he did not want to pursue special damages, accepting the general damages offer. In 2008, the Claimant watched a Mellor Hargreaves Solicitors advertisement canvassing miners who had made claims under the scheme that their solicitors could have under settled by not pursuing special damages. The Claimant, brought a negligence claim against the Respondents stating that, had he been properly advised, he would have made a special damages claim. The judge dismissed the claim. The Claimant appealed on the grounds that the solicitors were negligent by: a) Failing to provide a valuation of the claim for services; b) Failing to inform him about interim payments; and

c) Treating â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;cash in handâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; concerns as putting an end to the special damages The appellant lost. The COA held interalia that: 1. In professional negligence claims itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s the Courtâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s duty to concentrate on negligence allegations which constitutes actionable negligence. 2. The Respondent had no duty to pursue a line of enquiry, which the client had shut down.  3. It was not open to the Respondent to persuade the appellant to pursue special damages when he had stated he did not want to. 4. It was necessary for the Court to adopt a realistic standard when assessing the performance of solicitors conducting litigation under a high volume, low cost commoditised scheme. I agree with the COAâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s decision. Lord Justice Jackson, expressed regret that the claim ever reached court. Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s important for claimant professional negligence solicitors to assess a case properly before bringing it to court. This is what we do at Duncan Lewis.

Author, Anthony Okumah,  Director of the Duncan Lewis Civil Litigation and Dispute Resolution Department specialises in dispute resolution, professional negligence claims, debt recovery; insolvency; contractual disputes, leasehold disputes and contentious probate cases. Anthony has in-depth experience of boundary dispute cases and he regularly conducts his own advocacy in the County Court and the High Court. Duncan Lewis is a leading solicitors in England and Wales offering expert litigation and alternative dispute resolution services. Duncan Lewis has acknowledged expertise in advising corporate clients on litigation matters and private individuals in cases where litigation might be possible. If you require assistance on this subject or any other litigation matter, please contact us on 03337720409.

Gang ringleader who laundered ÂŁ107m at foreign exchange outlets stripped of million-pound properties The ringleader of a gang who laundered ÂŁ107 million through their London bureaux de change has been stripped of his properties, including one in Harrow. R a m a n a t h a n Thayaparan, 45, was jailed for nine years in May 2014 following an investigation by HM Revenue and Customs

(HMRC). HMRC found that organised crime associates would convert bags of dirty money into easily

concealable â&#x201A;Ź500 notes at the bureaux de change. The fraud occurred at the two foreign exchange outlets in Victoria.


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Asian Voice | 7th October 2017

Diversity champion receives honorary recognition A former ITV producer has been awarded an Honorary Degree by the University of Wolverhampton. Vidar Hjardeng MBE studied languages at Manchester University before completing a postgraduate journalism course at London’s City University. Diversity consultant for ITV News, he spent 25 years as editor/executive producer for ITV. Vidar is Associate with the Business Disability Forum, a University Guest Lecturer and a Motivational Speaker. He has reviewed audiodescribed theatre, opera/ballet performances and audio books for publications including The Book Magazine, Disability

Vidar Hjardeng MBE

Now and Connect Radio. He is a trustee with P e r f o r m a n c e s Birmingham, The Birmingham Hippodrome, SHAPE Arts, Leonard Cheshire Disability, and currently chairs the Audio

Description Association. Vidar said, "I would like to thank the University of Wolverhampton for this great honour, but this should not be about me but rather about giving special recognition to the issue of Diversity and Inclusion. “Whenever I have visited the University, I have always been impressed by the positive attitude I have found amongst both students and staff when it comes to Diversity, and that means not just talking about it, but doing something positive which can make such a difference to people's lives.

Raj Hansraj with B'ham university students

popular Punjabi songs as well as folk, devotional, gurbani, ghazals, Bollywood and classical. In 2008, Hans Raj Hans was awarded the presti-

gious Padmashri Award, one of India’s highest civilian honours, for his outstanding contribution to the arts. He is a visiting professor of sufi music at a

number of US universities, as well as a life fellow at Punjabi University of Patiala and recipient of the Sangeet Nanak Academy award.

Photo credits: Snapsmith C.K Naidu

Rare dances performed at British Parliament World Tourism Day was celebrated recently at the House of Commons focusing on the role of cultural tourism. The event was hosted by Bob Blackman MP, who in his opening speech emphasised on the significance of cultural diversity in Britain. Organised by Sanskruti Centre for Cultural Excellence, the evening had some rare tribal dances showcased for the first time ever on the UK soil. Aligning with UKIndia Year of Culture, peacock dance was presented symbolising beauty of nature and culture, as peacock is

Speakers and dancers at British Parliament

the national bird of India. Bagurumba dance

(Assam), Pawara dance (Maharashtra), Gondu

SOAS South Asia Institute hosting Durga Puja artists to mark festival in London

“Moreover, although I am clearly extremely flattered to have been awarded this Honour, I believe that it also acknowledges the contributions of all those people with whom I've been privileged to work over the years in both my paid and voluntary roles as it's been very much a team effort!" Vidar also chairs the Wolverhampton Grand and Arena theatres' joint access forum as well as the New Street Station Access Forum. Vidar has chaired the national audiodescription charity VocalEyes, as well as Virgin Train’s Passengers’ Panel and spent over ten years as an RNIB Board Member.

University of Birmingham welcomes Indian music superstar

Indian music superstar Hans Raj Hans visited the University of Birmingham and found out more about University life when he met students from India. The hugely popular Punjabi singer is a national treasure in his home country and has millions of fans throughout the world. One of the finest modern-day performers of Sufi songs, Hans Raj Hansis renowned as folk-revivalist and passionate ambassador for Sufi music. Professor Robin Mason, Pro-Vice-Chancellor at the University of Birmingham, welcomed Hans Raj Hans to a special lunch held in the musician’s honour, following his appearance at the Birmingham Weekender. A versatile and soulful vocalist, Hans Raj Hans’ work spans a wealth of musical styles, including


Gussadi and Lambadi dances (Telangana),

Idol making in SOAS

The SOAS South Asia Institute in London is hosting a series of activities related to Bengal celebrating the popular festival of Durga Puja. The five-day event, Cultural Connects: Durga Utsav, is taking place from 2 till 7 October and will celebrate the religious and cultural diversity of Bengal and the city of Kolkata. The main feature of this week will be centred around idol-making. Potters from the artistic district of Kumartuli, Bengal, will demonstrate the living art that is central to Kolkata's massive city-wide annual Durga Puja festival. Renowned artists Kaushik Ghosh and Sudarshan Das will create and demonstrate the traditional and highly skilled process of clay idol-making over five days. Visitors are invited to watch the in-situ artists creating and displaying their own brand of clay and shola works. Santhali (West Bengal), Hojagiri (Tripura) were presented on Indian theme, while Jheure dance (Nepal) and Kavadi & Kurathi (Tamil) were presented as part of South Asian theme. Interesting speeches on various facets of cultural tourism were presented by Richard Nicholls, Head of Research and Forecasting-Visit Britain, Gangadhar Chilka, Assistant Director-India Tourism, Dr Dirisa Mulindwa, Program Head of Tourism and Hospitality programs at the University of Sunderland

The completed idol will later be displayed in the Paul Webley Wing on 1920 October, as part of the Bloomsbury Festival. The Kolkata British Council has also joined the partnership of the organisers, SOAS and London Sharad Utsav, and will be displaying their interactive digital music platform ‘Mix the City’. The online platform invites people all around the world to discover the sights and sounds of a different region and create their own mix. In addition, a rich ensemble of heritage textiles, jewellery and other artefacts showcasing historical connections in the UK-India Year of Culture 2017, as well as talks, dance and music performances, will also be taking place. The week-long celebration will be followed by three international art and photographic exhibitions in the SOAS Brunei Gallery. in London, Dr Govind Kanegaonkar and Dr Anil Nene from Maharashtra Mandal London and Ravi Bhanot, Chairperson for Diwali in London 2017. Performers on the occasion were Suvarchala Madireddi, Chinu Kishore, Rashmi Lakhapate, Rajanikanth Tadinada, Karthika Kanne, Ahana Ghosh Sikka, Pritidipa Barua, Ragasudha Vinjamuri, Praju Gurung, Swathy Senthil, Anjale Gnanasampanthan and Swetha Senthil. The variety and vibrance of the program were greatly appreciated by the attendees. AsianVoiceNews

Asian Voice | 7th October 2017




Pravasi Bharat pitches for 'Universal Health Care' on Gandhi Jayanti

On the eve of Mahatma Gandhi Jayanti, members of Pravasi Bhart gathered at the Gandhi Statue at Tavistock Square Garden, London and paid tributes to the Mahatma. They also submitted a petition on 'Universal Health Care' to Government of India through the High Commission of India. Citing incidents including the infamous Gorakhpur Hospital tragedy where hundreds of children died due to lack of oxygen, and the tribal man in Kalahandi who carried his wife's body on his shoulders for nearly 12 kms due to lack of money, Pravasi Bharat wrote, “In view of above issues and as health is fundamental aspect of society, we believe there should be centralized system managing our health care equally across the India, like the NHS (National Health Service) in England. We request the Government, to do the centralized universal health care system through an act of law – like centralized tax system (GST) we should also have centralized health care with the engagement of all state governments.” Speaking on the occasion of Gandhi Jayanti, Pravasi Bharat said, “On this auspicious day, we have now committed to work on the subject of 'Universal Health Care'.”

HH Mahant Swami Maharaj blesses CB Patel

Bochasanwasi Akshar Purushottam Swaminarayan Sanstha (BAPS) guru His Holiness Mahant Swami Maharaj met Asian Voice and Gujarat Samachar Publisher/Editor CB Patel and Senior Advertising Manager Kishor Parmar last week. Blessing them, he said, “You forward significant services to the community here and the people. May you continue serving, all of us are with you.” On the occasion of HH Mahant Swami's 84th birth anniversary, CB presented him with a special 24-page souvenir dedicated to his life and philosophies. Also present, well-renowned saint Pujya Atmaswarup Swami and Pujya Brahmavihari Swami spoke about CB, his father, and all the satsang activities and services rendered by his family over the years. HH Mahant Swami expressed happiness at CB's charitable services and his close relations with Pujya Pramukh Swami. CB and Kishor took a moment to praise Nitinbhai Palaan of Golden Tours, for his services and expressed gratitude towards all trustees.




formance opened on an unsure Treya, clad in clinging, feminine lilac-patched garments, attempting the soft and delicate movements of a traditional routine, but tripping up to say the least. As Treya is encouraged to start speed-dating to find herself ‘a life partner’ – a sure fix according to her opiniated mother – we find out more and more about the exact nature of her personal conflict. As the character herself says at one point, though her family and their practices come from abroad, she and her bestie brother ‘grew up here’. As the questions from her potential speed dates grow increasingly inappropriate and bold in equal measure, Treya is slowly forced to confront a tragic family grief: “when I wrote as Treya,” Bhatt commented here, “I did feel as if her relentless humour was a way of running away from the pain. It’s a common social phenomenon. But what’s also wonderful is that if you talk over serious issues enough – humour easing these discussions – you lessen the topical charge and actually break down disruptive boundaries.” This certainly felt the tearSunetra Senior jerking resolution as the show ended with a newly assertive Treya, eing very warm and forthknowingly tying on a shiny, ornate coming herself, it’s not suranklet and finishing with one single, prising that actress/writer reverberating stamp. The strong Bhatt’s performance emerged as beat-laden, cultural fusion music such and more. Part of a series of which follows accentuates this as underrepresented stories – collecthe echo of Treya’s final self-reflectively dubbed the Untold Stories tive freedom from stereotypical Festival – a platform that the restraints. No longer feeling the award-winning Bhatt also co-proneed to perform – or be ‘flowery’, an duced – her own dramatic monoadjective used in the show – about logue, Treya’s Last Dance, formed her identity, she not only honours the final, luminescent vignette, the importance of progressive comlast weekend at SLAM King’s munity values, but one’s complex, Cross. Focussing on the cultural original self. A meta-narrative of stigma of identifying with the LGBT sorts, Bhatt aptly emphacommunity as a British-Asian, sised: “I wrote this piece Treya’s story is both a movas an angry actress who ing journey of emotional 'People aren’t was facing a dearth of introspection, and a suba branding inclusive parts! I’ve tle showcase of Bhatt’s always loved issueexercise – we charismatic stand-up based, political comdon’t go into skills. Dipping delectably edy and, honestly, in and out of local imperone box over one of my proudest sonations, from scathing another' achievements has been Indian relatives to Jamaican touching at least one perpreachers and Brooklyn son in the audience through women, Treya’s character itself is a the universal appeal of Treya’s parportrayal of an outspoken, workingticular experience.” class, second generation immigrant who struggles with cultural reconHow exactly do you feel the ciliation. “The story arc came organtelling of these niche stories ically from my inhabiting of the can help while we fight for equality character of Treya; a personality and better representation overall? type I didn’t think was adequately I’d need to write an essay on represented in society,” Bhatt told this, but speaking very broadly, us. “What I love about her is that there is space for both! There are she is a foul-mouthed British-Asian overarching cultural tropes that run woman. You see uncensored women through every tradition as much as in shows such as Lena Dunham’s each individual, and this is equally Girls, but it’s never been done from valid. With stories such as the an Asian perspective. The opposiUntold Stories series (which also tional aspects of British and Indian includes the story of a frustrated, culture are further explored and wheel chair-bound teenager and an represented through the alternative over-fifties date night), we create lifestyle of Treya’s brother, ‘T’, and little pinpricks of light that provide her relationship with Indian classivaluable insights. The end goal is cal dance. They are elements that that everyone has a voice; this creare at odds with each other.” ates a reliable social framework through which to communicate. And Indeed, this deeper - in many the best part is most people love ways gendered - social discord is hearing these stories. That’s why we beautifully signalled as Bhatt’s pershare anecdotes at the pub, and are


drawn into varying viewpoints. For example, I know I love Salman Rushdie for his rich storytelling. The more stories the better! People aren’t a branding exercise – we don’t go into one box over another. Who have been some of your favourite writing/acting influences? Jim Carrey, Eddie Murphy. Also Jo Brand! Do you have more career highlights? Being so well-received in New York was incredible. That was a lovely bit of artistic validation. I’ve also performed to very flattering reviews in LA where I also trained with The Groundlings. Do you think humour has helped you better access good stories because it’s a mode that’s light and open? Yes, it must have done. I do like to travel to places using humour. Treya is very humorous and loud, and I let her tell me her story. You run The Stick Man Monologue Night too; do you prefer using your own empathy and connection to personas over simply observing and writing down what you see? I am currently doing a project with Kali Theatre, and people are more focussed on the writing. Personally, the words do come more naturally to me by finding a physical way into the character. I think it’s more and more common as people discover the power of writing themselves onto the stage – it’s very immediate and connective and exciting to see. Would you recommend formal training to aspiring actors? Yes, it gives you good acting tools to draw upon and helps a lot with networking. Finally, what’s your advice as a female comic in this particular political climate? Make whatever material you want and take itto open mic nights – this will help you grow the elephantine skin required to succeed. Fail hard; fail better. Twitter: @Bhatt_Shyam





Asian Voice | 7th October 2017

Rupanjana Dutta

With Durga Puja festivities and Dusserah drawing to a close, the diaspora continues with the spirit of celebrations, now preparing for the upcoming Sharad Poonam and Diwali festivities. For the Bengalis in the UK, this year's Durga puja saw a new fervour in its celebration. Most places had gala and elaborate bhog (feast) at absolutely no cost to the visitor, for all the 4 days of the puja, while cultural and culinary activities by members also proved to be a pure delight. One of such pujas was by Milton Keynes Ananda Club (MKAC) in Milton Keynes, outside London that fed almost 800 people on Navami night. Even tycoons and Britain's richest men: the Hinduja brothers set up a big photo of Ma Durga in their residence, to mark the auspicious Navratri celebrations. London Sharad Utsav in Ealing Town hall as usual had a very dedicated

priest, who enchanted visitors with a very disciplined and detailed puja. Pritha Mukherjee's snacks in Victoria hall, besides usual distribution of bhog, cultural activities such as idol making for upcoming Bloomsbury Festival (see page 14), children's fashion show and a film screening on Sunday 1 October- awed everyone. London Durga Puja Dusserah Committee in Camden went an extra mile by creating awards. They organised 6 awards, presented to various other Durga pujas across UK, sponsored by Arcelor Mittal and Punjab National Bank. The best Pandal was awarded to Essex Indians and the Best Ambience in a Puja was given toSpondon, Croydon. The Best Overall New Entrant (Discovery of the Year) was presented to Adi Shakti in Uxbridge. Best Committee Member was awarded to Mainak Roy, the Pride of Bengal award was given to Mahendra Agarwal and Pride of UK was presented


Durga idol in UK Prabashi puja at Hounslow

Vijaya Dasami in London Sharad Utsav

Puja by Milton Keynes Ananda Club

to Varsha Mistry. UK Prabashi Puja in Hounslow attracted a mesmerised audience with its gorgeous idol (protima), while Essex Indians' Durga Puja touched hearts with its creative ambience and decorations. Nirmal Mukherjee's Durga Puja, and other celebrations

across the UK such as in Slough, Cambridge, Peterborough were celebrated with much pomp and gaiety too. Sanskriti (Reading) is organising a Kali Puja and Diwali celebration on 19 October at Trunkwell House Hotel, while MKAC will have their Bollywood

Cultural programme at London Durga Puja Dusserah Committee

night (with Indian singer Debanjali) on 14th October at Shenley Brook End School and Kali Puja at Longueville Hall in Milton Keynes on 21st. The Mayor of London will launch his Diwali cele-

brations to mark the UKIndia Year of Culture on Tuesday 10 October 2017 at the Lalit Hotel in London. Mayor's Diwali on Trafalgar Square in London will be hosted on 15 October.

Let it Burn: The Hindu Festival of Dusshera Gauri das Many years ago I received a hand written note from an acquaintance of ill intention. On reading the note I felt ill and aggrieved. The words were so cruel they tangibly hurt my soul. Dreadfully upset I took the note outside, crouched down and ceremoniously set fire to it. I watched as the golden flames turned the horrid words and the paper on which they were written to charcoal black and then silvery ash. In that pyrogenic act, I recovered something of myself, as if burning out the evil that I allowed to enter me which now took the form of hurt. Once a year Hindus around the world gather together and set fire to the towering effigy of a demon called Ravana. As families look on, enthralled by flames rising high into the sky, the embodiment of evil, Ravana, is burned to ashes. Though according to legend it was Lord Rama, the righteous, who killed Ravana, on Dusshera it is we who set fire to Ravana. The celebration’s name itself, meaning either the tenth day (dashami) of the Hindu month of Ashvin (September/October), or the destroying (hara) of evil (dus), brings focus to the immolation of evil. All that poses threat to love,

togetherness and a shared prosperity, in our personal self or greater community, is ceremoniously burnt to ash. The element of fire fascinated me as a boy. Despite the continued parental warning of ‘don’t play with fire’, the boys on my estate were always playing with matches and magnifying glasses, lighting little fires with whatever combustible material they could get their hands on. We were mischievous and fire fed our fascination. On one such occasion, around age seven, I returned home after play and announced to my dad: ‘I’m just going to put my pyjamas on’. Returning to the sitting room in my

pyjamas, I sat down on the sofa and my dad got up and left the room. Shorty thereafter he returned with my manky clothes in hand, which were rich with the aroma of fire. As it was then, I got a smacked bottom and sent off to bed. When naughty boys play good, dads are quick to pick up the scent, especially of fire smoke. Years later, I watched a teenage friend catch fire as he threw fuel on a bonfire. The element fire is irresistible and pleasing but it has a destructive capacity far beyond the power of humankind. A pyromaniac’s addictive compulsion with lighting fires is driven by a deep-seated need to

relieve amassed tension or stress and the immediate pleasure derived from it. In the pyromaniac that which exists within us is manifested to the extreme, a dangerous and distorted extreme. In each decade, rock or pop songs revisit the theme of ‘let it burn’ in addressing the pain we feel in letting go, or in our base requirement to destroy objects that threaten us, including ourselves. On bonfire night, as a nation we burn Guy Fawkes, who threatened the seat of those that ruled at Westminster. The element of fire reduces its object to an unrecognisable state from which there is no return. Though Ravana was killed by a mystical arrow shot from Lord Rama’s bow, we kill the effigy of Ravana by ritualistic fire. We let him burn, religiously and with gratified hearts. In much the same way as the barbaric public stoning of a criminal, wherein society also project their own deep-seated fear of the potential criminal within, specifically of the sexual type, and through public demonstration exhort themselves against it, we too burn Ravana, an image not a real person. Ravana fell victim to all that is evil in us and to what in turn threatens civil society. His greatest

crime just happened to be the seduction of women. It was only when he abducted Sita, wife of Ram that his demise was assured. We protect ourselves in the communal burning of Ravana, who is none other that our objectified worst self. As football may be a good substitution for warring tendencies, our primitive need to destroy what threatens us—human evil is substituted in the festival of Dusshera. Even the good of Lord Ram is somewhat dwarfed before our fascination with fire and need to burn the evil that threatens us. In the act of burning Ravana, no more than the sublimation of our own human destructiveness, not only do we reconcile and integrate ourselves, the human subject, but also it is upon this act that we bond as a community beyond evil, as civil society. Guy Fawkes or Ravana, the effigy is the substitution of you and me, that is, our worst self. As the dark autumnal night draws close on Dusshera, in the simple religious ceremony handed down through generations, we listen to the timeless narrations of Lord Ram and Ravana, then set fire to our hurt, tension and evil, objectified in the effigy of Ravana. And by that great

and bewitching element of fire, we are purified and live on with relief, gratification and togetherness, beyond evil.

About Gauri das: Gauri dasa has been a member of ISKCON for thirty-five years. He has served both in the UK and India. At present he is the Managing Director at Bhaktivedanta Manor. As an avid student of Gaudiya Vaisnava theology and practice he shares both his knowledge and experience of the teachings with relevance to our contemporary lives. Since its inception he has served as the spiritual commissioner of the Hindu Forum or Britain and is known for his selfless commitment to the broader Hindu community and philanthropic work. Over the last decade he has led campaigns for the religious recognition of Hindus in Russia, Kazakhstan and Hungary.


The Sunday Times has published their Top Track 250 list in association with Grant Thornton, ranking mid-market private growth companies. Collectively these companies have hit a profit record of £5.4bn in their latest year of trading, up by 34% in 2016 from the year before. Among these are 9 companies, owned by Brit-Asian entrepreneurs, mainly of Indian origin. These companies with their details mentioned in the list are as follows: Southall Travels

This West London travel agency was started in 1984, selling flights to British Asians travelling to India. The company is now led by chief executive Kuljinder Bahia, 44, who took over in 1997 at the age of 24. It now arranges flights and package holidays to destinations worldwide, with 365 days and 24 hours service, with growth in markets including the Middle East and Asia.

AsianVoiceNewsweekly Arora Group

Surinder Arora, 59, founded his company in 1999 after running bed-and-breakfast services for Heathrow’s airline staff. The group's activities comprise of property, construction and a portfolio of eight hotels, including two at Gatwick, three at Heathrow and intercontinental hotel and 101 luxury flats, next to London’s O2 Arena, that opened last year, helping boost sales 48% to £260m this year. In July, Arora put forward its own plans to the government for a new runway and terminal at Heathrow. Its profit of £115m represents a margin of 44%, one of the highest on this league table.

Sales £564.3m Operating profit £22.2m Main shareholders Kuljinder Bahia (54%), Raybon (28%) and Geomex Holding (18%) Staff 43 Founded 1984 Day Lewis Pharmacy The Croydon-based group was founded in 1975 by Kirit Patel, who died in July last year, and his brother Jayanti, 71. A pharmacy concession in Harrods, is among more than 250 outlets across southern England run by this familyowned company. It supplies medicines and medical equipment to oil rigs and the shipping industry, and has a wholesale and distribution business.

Kirit Patel

Sales £362.7m Operating profit £21.1m Main shareholders Patel family (100%) Staff 2,388 Founded 1975

Sales £260m Operating profit £115m Main shareholders Surinder Arora (100%) Staff 2,000 Founded 1999 HKS Retail Limited Established in 1984 as a single petrol station in Leicestershire, this forecourt operator now has more than 70 sites across the UK. Since 2015, it has grown its footprint by acquiring seven Shell petrol stations as well as Meltonbased Brobot Group, which had 23 sites and turnover of £120m. Led by chief executive Shane Thakrar, 33, turnover grew 43% to £225m in 2017 helped by the group’s acquisitions.

Shane Thakrar

Sales £225m Operating profit £6.5m Main shareholders Thakrar family (100%) Staff 653 Founded 1984 Lexon The Sodha brothers, Anup, 55, Nitin, 61, and Pankaj, 64, and their nephew Pritesh Sonpal, 48, founded this pharmaceutical whole-

Nadeen Ahmed

Main shareholders Structured International Investments Corp (59%), Ceres Investments (16%), Victoria Park Holidays (14%), Nadeen Ahmed (11%) Staff 2,774 Founded 1991

Nitin Sodha


Sales £200m Operating profit £13.3m Main shareholders Sodha family (77%), Sonpal family (23%) Staff 820 Founded 1995

The Kent based business is owned and run by managing director Rajbir Singh Manak, 50, who first joined the company as a trainee plasterer. Stanmore takes on internal and external finishing projects, such as drywall, facades, glazing and metalwork for building contractors and developers in London and the southeast of England.

Sun Mark Limited

Surinder Arora

Kuljinder Bahia

saler in 1995. It now supplies 6,500 products to more than 2,000 independent pharmacies from its two fully automated warehouses. Turnover at the Redditch group grew 34% to £200m in 2016, which partly reflected a full year of trading from pharmaceutical business Norchem, acquired in 2015.

This wholesaling business, set up in 1995 by Dr Rami Ranger CBE, 69, who is its Chairman, supplies a range of household foods to 130 countries, with Africa, the Middle East and East Asia its largest markets. The west London firm makes its own brands and distributes products on behalf of clients including Unilever, Nestlé and Heinz. Investments in its ownlabel business and expansion into Africa and the Middle East helped profits more than double to £6.3m in 2016.

Rajbir Manak

Sales £123.3m Operating profit £20.5m Main shareholders Rajbir Manak (99%), Harbhajan Manak (1%) Staff 216 Founded 1958 Millenium Group

Dr. Rami Ranger

Sales £161.1m Operating profit £6.3m Main shareholders Ranger family (100%) Staff 73 Founded 1995

Led by Rishi Lakhani, 35, and his brother Shyam, 32, the Essex-based group has a cash-and-carry division and a wholesale branch operating from its 120,000 sq ft warehouse. This family business supplies branded groceries and drinks to UK wholesalers and retailers, and exports to Europe, Africa and the UAE.

Global Tea and Commodities Ltd Global Tea handles more than 55m kgs of tea annually, at its tea trading offices in Kenya, Malawi, India and the UK. It also provides tea and coffee for the private label market, and trades macadamia nuts. The group is led by founder and chairman Nadeem Ahmed, 62 and has its headquarter in London. Sales £123.3m Operating profit £3.4m

Rishi Lakhani

Sales £121.9m Operating profit £5.6m Main shareholders Panna Mashru (90%), Rishi Lakhani (10%) Staff 58 Founded 1999



Asian Voice | 7th October 2017

RACE AUDIT TO EXPOSE BIAS Continued from page 1 May said, “In doing this ground-breaking work we are holding a mirror up to our society.”. “The idea itself is not new, Charles Booth’s maps of rich and poor areas in Victorian London drew attention to hardship that was too often hidden, but this focus on how ethnicity affects people’s lives will present findings that are uncomfortable.” The data from the audit will be expanded over time, allowing people to see how services are performing in individual communities. “Britain has come a long way in my lifetime in spreading equality and opportunity, but this audit will be definitive evidence of how far we must go in order to truly build a country that works for everyone,” she added. To address some of these initial findings, the Prime Minister is to set out targeted action in areas where there are big gaps in employment. They will include expanding successful mentoring programmes to help people into work, and working with employers large and small to help close the employment gap, including in identifying good recruitment practices. Labour MP Seema Malhotra criticised the government for delaying this report not just by months, but several years. She told the Asian Voice, “Anyone with a genuine interest in equality issues will know that we have persistent and structural race inequality in this country. After seven years some will ask about the motivse of the Tories in bringing this forward now – and might question whether this is also driven by the Tories losing BAME votes at the election. “The Tories took away targets to increase ethnic diversity on the boards of our public bodies – so vital for ensuring we design and deliver the best public services. I welcome this audit but the PM needs to do so much more. Her record has been more to unwind our progress than take it forwards. Labour has a strong track record of fighting for change to see greater social and economic equality. To tackle inequality is the job of Government and I hope this will inform better debate and action not words by the Tories.” Liberal Democrat leader Sir Vince Cable has challenged Theresa May to act on the findings of the race audit. He in a statement told Asian Voice, “This audit shows that prejudice and bias based on the colour of someone’s skin continues to blight people’s life chances, and this is utterly unacceptable in 21st century Britain. It is not right that our BAME friends and neighbours are far less likely to have a job or own their home - it is an unfairness that should have ended long ago. "This audit lays out the challenges we face as a society which cross party lines. They will only be overcome if we all work together. Theresa May’s decision to shine a light on this issue means she can't now shy away from tackling the causes of this inequality – cuts to public services and a shrinking state. Tackling inequality will need the devotion of all her ministers. "Where ministers act, they will in turn have our support. Where they hesitate, we will push, cajole and confront them until they do the right thing." Rebecca Hilsenrath, Equality and Human Rights Commission Chief Executive, reportedly said: "No matter how uncomfortable the findings, we must not shy away from them. "Race inequality is entrenched in our society and we need to stop deluding ourselves that it will somehow improve without sustained and coordinated effort on our part. "We urgently need a comprehensive race strategy bringing in all parts of government to face these inequalities head on and ensure black and minority ethnic people are not left behind.” Dawn Butler, Shadow Minister for Diverse Communities, had initially said the delay in publishing the report, indicated that the Government was failing to take the issue of racial disparity seriously, and accused Ms May of “shying away” from “difficult truths”. The London Mayor Sadiq Khan who is aware of the lack of BAME representation and glass ceilings, has called on broadcasting regulator Ofcom to adopt new measures to improve the current lack of diversity in the UK’s broadcasting industry. Sadiq has also recently published his Vision for a Diverse and Inclusive City for consultation, the results of which will inform the development of the Mayor’s new Diversity and Inclusion strategy, due to be published in the New Year. This strategy will ensure that the Greater London Authority promotes equality for groups protected by the Equality Act, as well as other groups that face disadvantage. Khan said: “The creative industries are at the heart of London’s culture and economy and put the UK in a leading position on the global stage. The world looks to the UK as a beacon of diversity and so it’s vitally important that the work of our broadcasting industry truly reflects the lives and realities of our entire population. “More importantly, Ofcom should hold broadcasters to account and ensure that BAME people are properly reflected both on and off-screen through jobs in production and by taking up senior editorial and commissioning positions within the industry. “This year marks the 30th anniversary of Black History Month in the UK. BAME communities contribute so much to the life and soul of London and the whole of the UK. It’s time our broadcasters step up to the plate and redouble their efforts to be properly representative of the UK population as a whole.”



Asian Voice | 7th October 2017


Indian High Commission and UKIBC The silent success of Prax Petroleum launch 'Access India Programme' in UK its kind in the UK, to facilitate investments by small and medium scale enterprises in the UK into India. In the last three years India has received Foreign Direct Investments worth US$ 175 billion. Government of India is committed and focused to improving India’s ranking in ease of doing business. “Through AIP, we aim to take forward the Make in India programme of Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi. I hope that by implementing this programme, we can highlight the latest developments in India in ease of doing business, facilitate initiatives by SMEs and enhance bilateral investment between the two countries.” The Indian High Commission and UKIBC will study and thereafter identify UK SMEs which have considerable potential to succeed in the Indian market. Ambassador Dinesh K Patnaik, deputy high commissioner of India to the UK said, "We will not charge anything. It is a facilitation programme. We want to make sure that SMEs, without the deep

pockets and battery of legal experts at the disposal of bigger companies, are able to access the Indian market.” The AIP will include six annual workshops and mentoring programmes to encourage a flow of SMEs into India. A group of about 50 companies will be initially identified by the end of this year to begin their entry process from early 2018. UK India Business Council CEO, Richard Heald said: “We look forward to working with the High Commission of India on this important initiative. This is further proof that the UK-India economic relationship is everstrengthening at a crucial time for both countries. “As an organization with specific contracts with the UK Government and Indian Government through dialogues such as JETCO, EFD and the UK India CEO Forum, we are well placed to deliver. Once implemented, we’re sure that this partnership will go some way to ensuring UK businesses get the platform they need to succeed in India.”

The High Commission of India in London, and the UK India Business Council (UKIBC), have announced the inception of the ‘Access India Programme’ - a market entry support programme aimed at facilitating investments by UK SMEs in India. This programme builds upon the flagship programme of Government of India, ‘Make in India’ and the first of its kind to implement the ‘Make in India’ concept to facilitate investments from the UK. Launched on September 27 in London at the High Commission of India by High Commissioner Mr Y. K. Sinha, the ‘Access India Programme’ is designed to provide UK businesses with the necessary market entry support critical for market entry decisions and successful entry into the Indian market. Indian High Commission and UKIBC will study and thereafter identify UK SMEs which have considerable potential to succeed in the Indian Market. By using rigorous diagnostics and analysis of SMEs potential, the partnership will look to create

a transformative blended programme, linking SMEs to a strong support networks of prime manufacturers, OEMs, trade bodies and Chambers of Commerce. The programme is farreaching, and will be implemented with the support of not only the concerned Central and State Government Ministries in India, but also by engaging key industry partners who can support UK companies in various aspects of market entry into India. These will include advisory, law, taxation and accounting firms. Some larger UK companies with operations in India will provide mentoring support to the selected AIP SMEs. The UK India Business Council will assist HCI London to plan, structure, implement, coordinate, and monitor the AIP programme with other programme partners, and assist in the entry of selected UK companies into India. The Indian High Commissioner to the UK said; “We are launching the Access India Programme (AIP), a first of

Electric car maker Tesla to enter India

Paul Uppal appointed as the Small Business Commissioner

Electric car maker Tesla has initiated talks with the government to break into India through the singlebrand retail route, which comes with several riders including mandatory sourcing of up to 30 per cent of the value of goods sold in the country. It has written to the government expressing interest in entering the market through the single-brand retail window. Founder Elon Musk tweeted about the high import duty and sourcing requirements. Sources said granting an exemption may not be easy and in any case with duty in excess of 100 per cent, the import route did not make sense. There remains no clarity on how Tesla planned to provide after-sales service in India and develop infrastructure to charge the vehicles. While the plan was to hit the Indian market this summer, Musk had pointed to difficulties in complying with the local sourcing requirement which can be waived for “high-technology goods” due to the absence of a vendor base. The government had responded by suggesting that the local sourcing requirement did not exist for locally manufactured goods.

Secretary of State for Business, Greg Clark, has appointment Paul Uppal to the newly-established post of Small Business Commissioner. The former Tory MP lost his seat in the 2015 election. The appointment marks a step toward ensuring small businesses has the support they need to thrive and grow – a central tenet of the Conservative’s Industrial Strategy. As Commissioner, Mr Uppal will lead an independent office tasked with empowering small businesses. The role will be crucial to supporting small businesses resolve disputes with larger businesses and will help drive a culture change in payment practices. Mr Uppal and his team will provide advice and information to small businesses on matters such as resolving disputes, including signposting small businesses to existing support and dispute resolution services, which will be delivered through the commissioner’s website. His priorities will reflect his 20-year

Paul Uppal

experience as a small business owner in the real estate sector, where he saw how even sound businesses could struggle when faced with a culture of late payment by customers. Uppal said: “Running your own business can be a very lonely experience and my priority will be ensuring small firms feel supported as well as helping to create an overall impression that business isn't necessarily cut throat. “In fact, successful businesses are built on integrity, entrepreneurial spirit and trusting relationships and I want to

highlight that Britain can be the best place in the world for new entrepreneurs to establish and grow their own businesses.” Clark, said: “I am delighted to announce Paul Uppal as the first Small Business Co m m i s s i o n e r. His extensive experience as a small business owner makes him perfectly suited to champion the interests of small business and bring about a change in culture that will create a level playing field for everyone. “Small businesses are the backbone of our economy, providing jobs and opportunities across the country. Supporting Britain’s 5.5 million small businesses is at the heart of this Government’s Industrial Strategy, and his ambition to tackle unfair payment practices will help support our goal to create an economy that works for all. I wish Paul luck in his new role, and I look forward to working with him in the future.”

Even after decades-worth of success, Britain's biggest importers and suppliers of petrol and diesel, Prax Petroleum remains shrouded in mystery. In the last couple of years, it has taken over oil terminals in northeast England and south Wales, and supply business Harvest Energy, growing into a company with a turnover of £1.7 billion. Even with its network stretching till the oil fields of Kazakhstan, Prax remains fairly unknown. People have now begun to question how the company has come so far. Owned by Winston and Arani Soosaipillai, Prax made a head dive into the heart of a complex legal battle over the rights of thousands of barrels of oil in Kazakhstan. Coming from humble beginnings, State Oil was registered in 2000, after which, Sri Lankan accountant Winston joined as director and Arani as secretary. The couple, who were in their late twenties then, were living in a £64,700 maisonette in Weybridge. State Oil's subsidiary Prax was founded in 2002. While the company failed to impress initially,

Arani Soosaipillai

things took a turn in 2009. Don Camillo Emilio Borneo took over as a new director and sales began to take off. The company's turnover rose seven-fold in 2012. Early 2015 saw the company make a deal sending sales soaring above £2 billion. Prax bought Havest Energy and Harvest Aviation in a debt-backed transaction for $22.6 million. Meanwhile, the Soosaipillais have faired well from the growth. They now live in a £4.5 million mansion on the exclusive, gated St George’s Hill estate in Weybridge. The company now reportedly supplies 10 to 15 per cent of the UK's road fuel and has trading offices in Switzerland, Texas and Singapore.

China's SAIC Motor completes takeover of GM's Halol plant SAIC Motor Corporation Limited, China's largest automaker has finally completely taken over General Motor's Halol manufacturing, through its wholly-owned subsidiary MG Motor India. P Balendran, executive director, MG Motor India, said, “The takeover and transfer of the plant was completed last week, the land has already been transferred and it has been registered in the name of the company.” He added, “MG Motor India has received building plan approval and refurbishment of the facility will be immediately kicked off. The company will

invest in excess of £200 million in the plant.” Production capacity at the facility is expected to be 80,000 to 85,000 units per annum initially. SAIC Motor had also signed a memorandum of understanding in July, this year, with Gujarat Government to invest £200 million for setting up an auto plant at Halol, 30 km from Vadodara. While most of the employees and workers of the Halol plant have either accepted voluntary separation scheme or shifted to GM's Talegaon plant in Maharashtra, MG Motor India has absorbed few people who were with GM..

Merger with Idea on track: Vodafone CEO

Vodafone India and Idea Cellular merger is reportedly in the right pace and expected to be completed in 2018. Vodafone India MD and CEO Sunil Sood finds himself positive regarding the pace of the two firms. Speaking on the sidelines of India Mobile Congress, he said the merger process goes through various stages, including approvals

from the CCI, Sebi, the NCLT and the telecom department. “We feel all of them are on track and in fact, we are going ahead on schedule,” he said. Both the majors had agreed to merge operations earlier this year, to create India's largest telecom operator worth over $23 billion, with a 35 per cent market share.



Suresh Vagjiani

Sow & Reap London Property Investment


Asian Voice | 7th October 2017

Everybody likes a free hand out. However, in the realm of property, handouts are getting slimmer and slimmer. On the contrary, many in the industry would argue we are positively facing persecution by the government. The recent changes, which apply to high rate earners, mean that one will be paying tax on money not even being earned. It is a tax applied to the turnover and not on the profit generated by the property; and that’s without going into the numerous back to back hikes in stamp duty. Pre 2007, one could purchase property purely with an intention to do so. Money was not a necessity or even a requirement. In fact, you could purchase a property with no money and even receive a cash back once the deal had been done.

Only ten years on, and the environment has changed considerably. Now, certainly in London, you would need a 30-40% deposit, due to the high rental cover used by BTL lenders. The government has clocked on that the property industry is making too much money, and wants a piece of this pie. The point being is that now, in the property market, it is extremely difficult to find a free handout. However, they do exist, if you know what to look out for. Human nature is such that most of the population go forward whilst looking in the rear view mirror, in life and investment. This applies to property as well. It takes time for people to buy into, and see, the vision.

AGONY AGENT IS HERE TO HELP! Q: I have my EPC and the GSC for my BTL property, but do I need an electrical safety report? A: This question raises an important point in health and safety, to summarise it is highly recommended that this is done, but it is not a legal requirement, unless you have or are looking to have an HMO licence. Having an electrical test is very important as it could bring to light any hidden electrical issues. In one case in St John’s Wood, in London, where the managing agents had recently overseen a refur-

bishment, including updating the fire safety measures in the building, a fire broke out in an individually rented flat as a result of a faulty fridge freezer, causing extensive damage. The Electrical Safety Council (ESC) says that whilst landlords are legally obliged to provide an annual gas safety certificate, there is no equivalent legal obligation for electrical installations. In a further case, a tenant died when an electrical fault in her rental home caused the taps on the bath to become live. The electrical wiring in the property hadn’t been test-


Chiswick, London W4 Purchase Price: £425,000

Specialists in Central London Property Sourcing


ed since 1981, and the ESC said that if an electrical report – known as a Periodic Inspection Report (PIR) – had been carried out, the faults leading to the tragedy could have been rectified and her death prevented. The ESC recommends that agents and landlords should have a PIR carried out by a registered electrician at least every five years, or on change of tenancy. It has also produced a “Tenants’ Checklist” – to provide tenants with essential information to help protect themselves and their families by following a few

The government has various schemes to regenerate areas. This means investment in bringing up whole tracts of areas in a holistic manner, which includes transport. This perhaps being the most important aspect of a regeneration plan, transport connectivity. By identifying these areas, you are in effect using government money to uplift your investment, by riding off the millions and billions they will be pouring into the location. This requires foresight, and a buy in of a vision presented by the planning authorities. Wembley has seen massive regeneration over the last decade. The writing had been on the wall for all to see and react long before any of the plan manifested. Average property prices ten years ago were simple steps. You are also strongly recommended to ensure that you provide tenants with copies of manuals and safety instructions for all electrical items or at least make them available within the property. Not all electrical accidents are caused by faults – some are due to people’s behaviour. To reduce the risk of electrical accidents and fires there are some simple and obvious rules which landlords can remind tenants of at the start of the tenancy and at property inspections: l DON’T overload sockets l DON’T attempt any repairs to the electrical wiring or appliances yourself

£280k, currently the average price is £437k. In 2000 they stood at only £138k. Over the last ten years they have increased by £16k per annum. New build one bedroom flats are currently being sold for £420k, with two bedrooms selling for £535k. They are being advertised as being only 12 minutes away from Baker Street.

A few things have happened here to raise the prices, for example, a

prominent French school has opened up in the old Brent Town Hall. This had the effect of raising prices in Kensington, what to speak of Wembley Park. Also, the station has had a major overhaul and now has the capacity to take 22,000 people per hour. Wembley also benefits from having a forward thinking leader of the council, Mohammed Butt; who wants to ensure it is well known that Brent is open for business, and is actively working with developers to ensure the council is not seen as an obstacle but as a partner.

l DON’T plug adaptors into adaptors l DO tell your landlord immediately if you think there’s a problem with the electrics

l The fuse box has RCD protection. This is a lifesaving device that protects against electric shock and reduces the risk of electrical fires

Also, at the start of the tenancy and during inspections, it is recommended that: l Sockets, switches and light fittings are in good condition with no signs of damage such as cracking or burn marks l Leads and flexible cables on appliances aren’t damaged or frayed l Any electrical appliances provided by you have up to date Portable Appliance Test (PAT) stickers on them (although not a legal requirement but recommended)

Fuse boxes with a wooden back; cables coated with black rubber, lead or fabric; old, round pin sockets, light switches and sockets mounted in skirting boards; and light switches mounted on bathroom walls - all these things show that the electrics are old and the property may not have had sufficient safety checks.

There still seems to be mileage in this location, as the average price for homes is still below the £500k mark, and it has as an enviable closeness to central London, both from Wembley Park and Wembley Stadium Stations.

This is an inexpensive and quick check that could potentially save lives. So, I would personally recommend this to be done by all landlords.

l A beautifully refurbished apartment in the heart of Grove Park, Chiswick l Two large double bedrooms, one bathroom, separate kitchen with spacious communal garden and off street parking l Expected rental yield almost 6% l Share of freehold l Service charges are less than £2 per day l Expected resale is £600,000 Call us now for more information!

0207 993 0103 27 Gloucester Place, London, W1U 8HU SowandReapProperties


Turning land into cash Get in touch about our land opportunities



Asian Voice | 7th October 2017

Consultant Editor Financial Voice Alpesh Patel Dear Financial Voice Reader, A few years ago I wrote “I write to you having returned from India, Dubai, Malaysia and Singapore. I visited our High Commissions in Delhi, Kuala Lumpur and Singapore. On my return I have just done a BBC interview. Let me tell you why I am optimistic and hopeful about being in the UK.” So having just returned from Singapore and KL – am I just as confident? How much from that article is still true? Surprisingly, despite Brexit – almost all of it. There was only one part of one sentence that needs a strikethrough. Have a look: We have in the UK for centuries invested in infrastructure. Infrastructure that is the envy of business persons who want electricity, rail, road, airports, office space, all the things we take for granted. But all the things which if you are a Tata, who invests in the UK, helps you achieve massive profits. You don’t after all pay for this infrastructure. It is historic sunk cost. Written off. Paid by generations long gone. Any businessman will tell you, such assets that you get for free allow your profit and loss to be very healthy. Indeed one way you create wealth is to sweat assets you bought for nothing. Again, just ask Tata. So why do the entrepreneurs I met in these countries want to invest in the UK when opposition parties talk down the country (whichever political party – its job in opposition is to talk down the country sadly.)? Our workers do actually work. They do not siesta. Our workers are well educated and innovative. Our universities are outstanding at innovation. Why? Years of investment. A business wants return on investment. We are part of the EU’s $12trillion GDP market, but not part of the Euro. We are the fifth largest economy in the world. We are a good place from where to export. I know because when I speak to UKTI colleagues in the Embassies and High Commissions around the world – I see it. I am not seeking your vote. So I am not saying this other than it is true. What then of America? Make no mistake America is our competitor and also thankfully our business collaborator. We do best when we work with them and the Chinese or Koreans or Japanese – to tap into outstanding markets and make the best products. As a government, you can spend on investment which fuels future growth or you can spend on consumers. The former is better because it also brings investment from abroad and this too boosts growth in the longer term. But we have to ensure the projects are likely to generate growth. And growth is not just about physical infrastructure but human infrastructure - in other words we have to invest in education and entrepreneurship skills. This is too often overlooked. We want not just foreigners to make profit from being in the UK, and repatriating those profits, but also the domestic population to profit. Because in 40 years time, I will write about how the world still wants to invest in the UK.

Air India ties up with PNB, IndusInd for loan Air India has tied up with public sector lender Punjab National Bank and private lender IndusInd to secure loans to the tune of over £300 million for meeting working capital requirements. The airline expects the two banks to disburse the amount by next week, a source close to the development said. Earlier this month, the disinvestment-bound Air India had floated tenders to avail government backed INR short-term loans totalling up to £325 million in the first phase to meet its

urgent working capital. The source said, “Punjab National Bank and IndusInd bank have won the mandate to lend us loans worth £325 million. They are expected to disburse the amount next week.” They added that the funding will be used for repayment of dues to the airport operators, oil companies, and other vendors. Banks were asked to submit their financial bids by September 19, indicating the amount of government-guaranteed short-term loans they were willing to offer.


Sunil Mittal talks tie-up with ‘friend Mukesh’ Speaking at a public platform in the presence of ministers, government officials, and Mukesh Ambani, Airtel chief Sunil Mittal addressed the need for collaboration with Reliance Jio and other industry players on technologies for the future. The call comes at a time when his company remains headlocked in a bitter battle with Jio over issues including tariffs, interconnect charges, data speed and market share. “Clearly as Mukesh pointed out, none of us can do it alone. We will all have to come together, while we compete headon, for the benefit of customers,” Mittal said. “We have to collaborate among ourselves, create ecosystem, use common towers, hopefully common fibre.” Mentioning Ambani a couple of times, he said, “Mukesh is putting up a lot of investment and I think

Sunil Mittal and Mukesh Ambani

other telcos are doing the same. Overall, £5 to 6 billion is going in one year to build hard digital infrastructure. BSNL is also doing, and so are other smaller companies.” Mittal also spoke about Airtel's £1 billion investment made till September this year, and plans to invest another £1.8 to 2 billion. Ambani who spoke before Mittal, and also referred to him as "my

good friend from the industry". As he lauded the "unparalleled" pace at which the Indian mobile industry has grown over the past one year, Ambani spoke about the need for a greater cooperation between the various industry players and the government to build next-generation technologies. "We must break silos and forge partnerships. No corporate, nor the government,

can do it alone. Together, we can achieve the unimaginable." Ambani said there are plenty of opportunities in India which gives space for companies to work together and grow together. "Let's not forget: India provides a big enough opportunity for all of us to grow and prosper, together." Such was the effect of the bonhomie between the two industry leaders, who walked into the hall while chatting with each other, that COAI director general Rajan Mathews said, "As long as you continue to refer to each other as friends, I think the industry is OK." The Reliance group chairman said that for India to mature into a $7.5-trillion economy over the next decade, the IT and telecom industry needs to play a "foundational role" in creating digital infrastructure. Ambani said that data has emerged as the new oil.

India Ratings slashes GDP growth estimate to 6.7% India's GDP growth estimate for the current financial is expected to drop from 7.4 per cent to 6.7 as the “combined effect of demonetisation and introduction of Goods and Services Tax (GST) proving to be more disruptive for the economy than was expected earlier.” In a brand new report, India Ratings said, “Sucking out the high denomination currency while failing to remonetise the economy quickly has in many cases proved fatal for the unorganised sector/small and medium enterprise where business transactions are heavily cash dependent.” “The destocking by manufactures and the loss of liquidity for exporters due to delayed GST refund have affected business activities in the economy.” The report

said that while the roll out of GST was fairly smooth and the first month revenue collections were encouraging, some stress points have emerged. The report said some of the recently taken initiative/reform measures such as insolvency and bankruptcy code, corporate debt restructuring mechanism, etc., hold the potential to improve the funda-

mentals of the Indian economy, however their impact will be visible only in the medium to long term. “Overall, the current economic landscape is not very encouraging - index of industrial production grew at a dismal 1.2 per cent in July 2017, bank credit is showing no signs of a pickup, consumer price index based inflation at 3.6 per

cent in August 2017 is a five-month high, current account deficit at 2.4 per cent of GDP in IQFY18 is a four-year high,” the report said. “While the introduction of GST cannot be faulted on account of its eventual benefit to the economy, the same cannot be said about the impact of demonetisation.” GDP growth will recover quarter-on-quarter in Q2 of FY18 with impact of demonetisation waning, teething problem arising out of GST implementation being looked into by the government and the festival season round the corner, India Ratings said. “However, it is unlikely to meet the agency's earlier projection of 7.4 per cent and will come down to 6.7 per cent during FY18.”

Exporters meet FM, seek steps to end GST woes India's Finance Minister Arun Jaitley met with exporters for the second time in a little less than two weeks. Topics of discussion included expeditious refund of duties, deferment of filing of GST returns for six months and expansion of the ambit of the composition scheme. The businessmen wanted to resolve problems arising from the implementation of the GST. The Federation of Indian Export Organisations said there should not be any tax burden on export sales and for imparting competitiveness. “In absence of clear refund timelines, the new duty drawback rates notified on September 21 have added

to the woes of exporting and thus effecting their order book position. It is suggested that the transition period of drawback may be extended beyond September 30, 2017 till December 31.” FIEO President Ganesh Gupta said, “The minister gave a sympathetic hearing to our concerns and assured all possible help. He has taken all our points positively.” The organisation also stressed on exemption from GST for merchant exporters, immediate start of the refund process with exporters facing liquidity issues and allowing export benefit scrips for payment of IGST and CGST. Gupta said, “Small exporters are partic-

ularly hit with GST as they have to borrow money to pay GST. Availability and the cost of credit is adversely impacting them.” Industry representatives also brought up matters of compliance on which Jaitley prompted suggestions to improve the GST implementations. Gems and Jewellery Export Promotion Council Chairman Praveenshankar Pandya said the sector faces a huge problem as exports decline. They also demanded exemption from Integrated GST (IGST) on procurement of precious metals from nominated agencies for the purpose of manufacturing and export of jewellery. He said, “Small businesses are

getting impacted more. Some have cut their productions also. We have raised the issue of compliance. We got a positive response from the minister. They would tabulate our demands and put before the GST Council.” Satwinder Singh, council member of the Institute of Company Secretaries of India said concerns related to reverse charge mechanism and refund were raised in the meeting. Assocham said filing of GST return has become nightmare for the taxpayers. “Therefore at least for six months of GST return should be deferred. Composition Scheme should be applicable for small service providers.”



Asian Voice | 7th October 2017

Uganda prepares to extend Museveni’s 31-year rule KAMPALA: Uganda has begun scrapping the last constitutional restriction preventing President Yoweri Museveni from remaining in office for life. Unhappy with the president has been fuelled by a stuttering economy and a crackdown on dissent and protests. The initiative for the amendment banning anyone over 75 from running for president prompted several unprecedented fighting in parliament on two consecutive days. MPs approved a petition to allow a private members bill amending the relevant article of the constitution. Museveni, 73, will be 77 in 2021, year of the next presidential election. The new amendment is expected to pass through the ruling National Resistance

Yoweri Museveni

Movement, and independents who support the concurrent President make up well over more than two-thirds of MPs required to change the constitution. It appears that public opinion scraps the age limit. A survey by Afrobaromter, a pan-African non-partisan organisation, found that three-quarters of respon-

dents opposed the move. Museveni's supporters said the move was nothing to do with the president, but merely seeking to end “unfair discrimination”, according to Privatisation and Investment Minister Evelyn Anite. She said, “There's no upper limit for a person to vote. So the argument is if I have the right to vote I should have the right to be voted for.” Several critics are of the view that the initiative is all about perpetuating Museveni's increasingly authoritarian rule. “It's a matter that's being done in bad faith to promote the interests of one man. In 2005, we amended the constitution to get rid of term limits so President Museveni could say in office. This amendment is coming just to promote his

Trump to continue White House Diwali dinner tradition

interests, too. The country is turning into a monarchy,” said Felix Okot-Ogong, one of the several NRM legislators opposing the move. Meanwhile, Country director of ActionAid Uganda, Arthur Larok said, “If term limits were the handbrake on President Museveni's authoritarianism, the age limit is the footbrake. If we destroy it the country will slide into anarchy because the last effective check on his power will have gone.” Museveni has maintained a silence on the subject, distancing himself from the debate. His spokesperson Don Wanyama said, “The president has his agenda and that's what he's pursuing. Others can focus on what they deem to be crucial but he doesn't necessarily have to join them.”

Japan PM Abe calls for snap election TOKYO: Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe dissolved the lower house of Parliament, making way for a snap election on October 22. He is widely seen as trying to re-consolidate his grip on power within the ruling Liberal-Democratic Party, so he can extend the term of his premiership next year. Dissolution of the more powerful of Japan's twochamber parliament comes over a year before required by law. The ruling party, however, faces a growing challenge from a new party launched by Tokyo Governor Yuriko Koike. Speaker of the house read the statement of dissolution. Lower House members stood up, chanted

Shinzo Abe

“Banzai” three times in a dissolution ritual and later rushed out of the assembly hall. Abe gave fiery speech after, stating he sought a public mandate on his tougher diplomatic and defence policies to deal with

escalating threats from North Korea and that his party members would have to relay his message to gain support from voters during the campaign. “This election is about how we protect Japan, the people's lives and peaceful daily life. The election is about the future of our children,” he said. The upper house does not dissolve, but will remain closed until reconvened after the election. Analysts said they believe Abe's ruling party would retain a majority, though some seats may be pulled by Koike's party. Support

Haqqanis, Hafiz Saeeds and the LeT are liabilities: Pak NEW YORK: Pakistan Foreign Minister has acknowledged that Mumbai terror attack mastermind Hafiz Saeed, the Haqqanis, and the LeT are “liabilities” for the country. However, it does not have required “assets” to get rid of them. Khawaja Asif said the United States, which has been pressurising Pak to deal with terrorist groups operating from its soil, used to treat them as “darlings” 20 to 30 years back. “Don't blame us for the Haqqanis and don't blame us for the Hafiz Saeeds,” he said at the Asia Society Forum. “There were the people who were your darlings just 20 to 30 years back. They were being dined and wined in the White House and now you say

'go to hell Pakistanis because you are nurturing these people'.” President Donald Trump had criticised the country last week for its support to terror groups, saying it continues to harbour militants despite receiving billions in US aid. Asif said it was very easy to say that Islamabad was floating the Haqqani network as well as Saeed and his former Lashkar-eTaiba. “They are liabilities... I accept that they are liabilities, but give us time to get rid of them because we don't have the assets to match these liabilities and you are increasing them further.” Pak is ready to work with the US for effective management of the Afghan border to stop terrorist infiltration and to facilitate a peace


settlement in Afghanistan. “Scapegoating Pakistan for all the Afghan ills is neither fair nor accurate. This will only help forces that we are trying to fight collectively.” He even addressed the country's sour relations with India. Asif said a new initiative was needed to bring both the countries to the negotiating table. “Peace in the neighbourhood is impossible to achieve unless relations with India improve. Pakistan's reached out to India to seek normalisation of relations and resolution of all disputes through dialogue and engagement, but India did not reciprocate. Pakistan is ready to work with India to seek peaceful resolution of all disputes.”

ratings for the current government has dropped to below 30 per cent in July, following repeated parliamentary questions about allegations that Abe helped his friend obtain approval to open a veterinary college.

NEW DELHI: US President Donald Trump has decided to continue with the Obama-era tradition of hosting Diwali dinner in the White House for 200 Indians. The Indian-American community in the US hopes that Trump will address some visa-related issues with community members during this dinner. In fact, the community is hoping Trump will also consider their request that he address a rally in Chicago for around 15,000 Indian Americans, said Shalabh Kumar, Trump supporter and founder of the 'Republican Hindu Coalition'. In June, Trump ended a decades-long White House tradition of celebrating Ramzan with an 'iftar' dinner.

Nirav Patel vying for seat in New Jersey assembly district

NEW JERSEY: Indian American Nirav Patel is running for a seat in the state assembly in New Jersey's 12th Legislative District. Patel, a Democrat, is among six candidates vying for two seats in the General Assembly. Patel and Gene Davis are the Democrats, and Libertarians Anthony J. Storrow and Daniel A. Krause are all attempting to win the seats from Republican incumbents Ronald Dancer and Robert Clifton. Patel promises "a new direction" for the state. "After 8 years of a failed governor, New Jersey is heading in the wrong direction," the candidate said. "I am new to politics, but I plan to help fight to put New Jersey back in the right direction. Among the issues Patel has been campaigning to fix in the district include fiscal responsibility, rebuilding the infrastructure and healthcare. Patel, a graduate of Rutgers University, is a lifelong advocate for increasing access to quality, affordable healthcare, his site said.

Death sentence of 15 Indians commuted by Kuwaiti Emir

NEW DELHI: Death sentences to 15 Indians lodged in a Kuwaiti jail have been commuted to life imprisonment by the Emir of Kuwait, India's External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj said. Sushma said the Emir has also directed that the sentences of 119 Indian nationals be reduced." Sushma thanked the Emir of Kuwait for his "kind" gesture and said the Indian Embassy in that country will extend assistance to the Indian nationals who will be released from jails..

9 - 12 Nov

Darbar Festival 2017

A celebration of classical Indian dance and music

Dance curated by Akram Khan

Sadler’s Wells Theatre 020 7863 8000 Angel



Asian Voice | 7th October 2017

India-origin Jagmeet Singh to lead major Canadian party TORONTO: Jagmeet Singh, a 38-year-old Indian-origin Sikh lawyer who rose to prominence as an upbeat opponent of police carding, was elected to lead Canada's New Democrats Party (NDP) into the next federal election, the media reported. Singh scored a solid victory in the first round of voting for a new NDP leader, with 53.6 per cent of voters placing him at the top of their ranked ballot in results that were unveiled on Sunday, reports The Toronto Star. He will now take over from outgoing

Jagmeet Singh

leader Thomas Mulcair, who headed a caucus of 44 members on Parliament Hill.

Singh is the first minority to lead a major federal party in Canada. "Today is testament to an incredible team and thousands of volunteers and supporters who believed in us across the country," Singh said from the stage at the Westin Harbour Castle, where the results were revealed. "Canadians must stand united to champion the politics of courage over the politics of fear, the politics of love to fight the growing politics of division... This is not my victory, this is all of your victory." "Canadians deserve the

Indian-American in fray to be next health secy

kind of government that only New Democrats can deliver that gets the job done, that keeps its promises. That's why today I'm officially launching my campaign to be the next prime minister of Canada," Singh said. Singh's opponents in the race were MPs Charlie Angus, Niki Ashton and Guy Caron. Out of more than 65,000 votes, Angus got 12,505, Ashton received 11,376 and Caron got 6,164. Singh, who signed up 47,000 members in the race, received more than 35,000 votes in the first round, giving him a solid victory.

China beefs ups security as ruling party gears for CPC meet

BEIJING: As the ruling Communist Party begins preparation for a key national congress next month, China has stepped up security on its borders with India, North Korea, and Myanmar. The Chinese border police forces under the People's Armed Police is the latest government agency to support President Xi Jinping. The forces will tighten monitoring of coastal areas and ramp up counter-terrorism work. The police released a statement saying, “(We will) stick to the highest standards, strictest requirements and strongest measures to ensure absolute border security for the party's 19th national congress.” Meanwhile, restive province Xianjing that shares borders with Pakistan occupied Kashmir, and Afghanistan, has remained absent from the statement. Reports from the

region said police have erected body scanners at road check posts to prevent any violent attacks by the separatist East Turkistan Islamic Movement. Senior analyst and Asian security expert at the Australian Strategic Policy Institute, Malcolm Davis said, “Leading into the party congress, they want to seem to be successful, increasing

their political strength and being proactive in dealing with these security situations.” Chinese politics specialist Zhang Baohui said that even though offshore conflicts were unlikely to pose any real danger to the congress, the police must declare their determination to stamp out risk. “They all have to do something to

show they're doing their best for the 19th national congress. It's a way to show loyalty.” Starting on October 18, the congress is expected to see Xi named the party's general secretary for a second term. Security personnel have been out in force across the country to make sure the highly-choreographed gathering is not disturbed by social unrest. The build-up comes amid ethnic clashes in Myanmar and the nuclear crisis on the Korean peninsula. South Korea expects more provocative acts by North next month. In a meeting with South Korea President Moon Jae-in, national security adviser Chung Eui-yong said he expected Pyongyang to act around October 10 and 18, but gave no details. “Ties between India and China have also been tested by a border row in the Himalayas,” the Post report said.

China to shut all N Korean businesses

BEIJING: Cutting foreign revenue for Kim Jong-Un's isolated North Korea, China has ordered North Korean-owned businesses to close within 120 days of the UN Security Council's September 11 approval of latest sanctions. China is the North's main trading partner, making Beijing's cooperation essential to the success of sanctions aimed at stopping the North's pursuit of weapons technology. According to the Ministry of Commerce, all businesses from the corrupted nation must close soon. North Korean companies operate restaurants and other similar businesses in China, helping provide NK with foreign currency. Labourers from the country work in Chinese factories. The Foreign Ministry of China appealed for dialogue, last week, to defuse the increas-

ingly acrimonious dispute between the US government and Kim. Ministry spokesman Lu Kang said, “The Korean Peninsula nuclear issue is related to regional peace and stability. Breaking the deadlock requires all relevant parties to show their sincerity.” One of the five permanent Security Council members

with power to veto, China supports the latest sanctions imposed by UN, however, it does not want to push North Korea too hard for fear that its government might collapse. N Korea boosts defences Meanwhile, North Korea has boosted defences on its


WASHINGTON: An Indian-American Seema Verma is in the race to fill the vacancy of health secretary in the Trump administration. At present she is the administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. Her main opponent is Scott Gottlieb, the commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration. Both have previously been vetted by the White House, nominated by the President and confirmed by the Senate to their current jobs within recent months, a significant selling point. Trump's selection of a secretary could be a turning point in a healthcare debate that has polarised Washington, as he faces a choice of working with Democrats to fix the current system or continuing his failed efforts to dismantle his predecessor's programme. If Trump picks Verma to succeed Price at the department of health and human services, it would be taken as a sign that he wants to continue vigorous opposition to the Affordable Care Act, with the government doing the minimum required by the law to implement its provisions.

Arrest warrants against Sharif's children

ISLAMABAD: An anti-corruption court in Pakistan issued arrest warrants against the three children and son-in-law of the former Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif after they failed to appear for a hearing. The court also announced that it would indict next week Nawaz Sharif for corruption. "Judge Mohammed Bashir issued arrest warrants with possibility of bail against his children Hasan, Husain and Maryam and her (Maryam's) husband Mohamed Safdar Awan because they did not appear before the court and ordered them to do so," the court's spokesperson Mohamed Irfan said.

Fish fall from sky with rain in northern Mexico

MEXICO CITY: Civil defence officials in northeast Mexico say a light rain was accompanied by fish that fell from the sky. Tamaulipas civil defence says that rain in the coastal city of Tampico included fish. Photos posted on the agency's Facebook page show four small fish in a bag and another on a sidewalk. According the US Library of Congress, it's a phenomenon that has been reported since ancient times. Scientists believe that tornadoes over water could be responsible for sucking fish into the air where they are blown around until being released to the ground.

Over 90% of Kurds vote for independence from Iraq

IRBIL (IRAQ): The Kurdish referendum on independence from Iraq was approved by more than 92% of voters, officials said, as Iraq's prime minister Haider al-Abadi vowed to keep his country united without resorting to the use of force. Even with the strong support, the non-binding vote is unlikely to lead to formal independence, but it has escalated long-running tensions with Baghdad, which has moved to block flights in and out of the Kurds' autonomous region. Iraq and its neighbours, along with virtually the entire international community, are opposed to any redrawing of the map.

Catalan referendum: More than 100 hurt in crackdown

east coast, after the North MADRID: Catalonia's emergency services said that claimed that US President 91 people and 11 police officers were injured in a Trump had declared war and police crackdown at polling stations for an independence referendum banned by Madrid. Thirtythat it would shoot down US five people were lightly injured, while three others bombers flying near the were "more seriously" hurt, they said, adding that nine peninsula. Tensions have had to be taken to health centres. "The injuries were escalated since North Korea mostly bruises, dizziness and anxiety attacks," they conducted its sixth and most added. Police fired rubber bullets in Barcelona as they charged protesters who wanted to go for the powerful nuclear test on independence vote which was banned by Spain's September 3, but the central government and the courts. Catalan leader rhetoric has reached a new Carles Puigdemont lashed out at the action by Spain's level in recent days with national police in dispersing people in Barcelona who leaders on both sides wanted to vote. exchanging threats and insults. North Korean foreign minister Ri Yong Ho said Trump's comments, in I, Rita Rani, residing at 80, Glenister which the US presiPark Road, Streatham Vale, London dent said Ri and leader SW16 5DU hereby give notice of my Kim Jong-un “won't be around much longer” intention to change my name to Rita if they acted on their Rani Banger. So relinquished to the threats, amounted to a intent that I may hereafter be called declaration of war and that Pyongyang had known and identified by the new the right to take counname of Rita Rani Banger. termeasures.


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Asian Voice | 7th October 2017

Nepal names 3-year-old as New 'Living Goddess'

Trishna Shakya has been anointed as the new ‘Living Goddess’

KATHMANDU: A threeyear-old girl has been named the new Kumari of Nepalese capital Kathmandu after her predecessor retired when she reached puberty. Continuing an ancient tradition that sees young girls worshipped as “living goddesses”, Trishna Shakya has been anointed as the new Kumari in a ceremony and been taken from her family home to live in a palace in Kathmandu's ancient Durbar Square. She will be attended to by specially appointed caretakers. Hindu priest Uddhav Man Karmacharya, who attends to the Kumari, said Shakya was selected from four candidates. “She will

take her place on the Kumari's throne after we perform prayers and tantric rituals,” he said. Once she is anointed a living goddess, she will only be allowed to leave her new home 13 times a year on special feast days. Shakya will be paraded through Kathmandu in ceremonial dress and elaborate makeup to be worshipped. Once outside, the Kumari who is considered an embodiment of Hindu goddess Taleju, is carried because her feet are not allowed to touch the ground. Process for selection for aspiring Kumaris is very strict and include a number of specific physical attributes such as an unblemished body, a chest

like a lion, and thighs like a deer. Once a girl fulfils all physical requirements, she must prove her bravery by not crying at the sight of a sacrificed buffalo. Practised by the Newar community, it blends elements of Hinduism and Buddhism, with the most important Kumaris representing each of the three former royal kingdoms of the Kathmandu Valley: Kathmandu, Patan, and Bhaktapur. The tradition is historically closely linked to the royal family and continues despite the end of Nepal's Hindu monarchy in 2008. The outgoing Kumari, Matine Shakya, was anointed in 2008 at the age of three.

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OJ Simpson walks out of Nevada prison NEVADA: OJ Simpson, acquitted of the 1994 murder of his ex-wife and her friend after the "Trial of the Century," was released on Sunday from a prison in Nevada, where he had been held since 2008 for a botched armed robbery at a Las Vegas casino hotel. The state's Department of Corrections posted a seven-second video on Facebook showing the retired American football star and former actor being released. The midnight timing was "to ensure public safety and reduce the potential for incident," the department said in a brief statement. Simpson's lawyer, Malcolm LaVergne, said: "All information related to Simpson's whereabouts is confidential until (Monday) at the earliest." Seventy-year-old Simpson was granted parole in July after nine years behind bars. There was no mention at the parole board hearing of his 1990s trial for the murder of his exwife Nicole Brown Simpson and a friend, Ron Goldman. He was found not guilty in 1995 following the sensational, 13month trial in Los Angeles.

Saudi Arabia to allow women to drive vehicles

RIYADH: It's the year 2017, and the conservative kingdom of Saudi Arabia has finally granted their women the right to drive. The only country in the world to ban the fairer sex from driving, the royal decree came after almost three decades of women protesting for their right to drive. Thousands of women uploaded videos online of themselves behind the wheel of a car during a campaign launched by Saudi rights activists, as recent as 2013. Women will be allowed to obtain licenses without the permission of a male relative. While women in other Muslim nations found more freedom, drivingwise, Saudi's blanket ban garnered negative publicity. Neither Islamic law nor Saudi traffic law explicitly prohibited women from driving. They were not issued licenses and were detained if they attempted to drive. The country's history offers several examples of women being punished simply for operating a vehicle. Over 50

women were arrested for driving and lost their passports and their jobs in 1990. In 2011, a woman was sentenced to 10 lashes for driving, however, the late King Abdullah overturned the sentence. The new decision was praised by the White House. A released said President Donald Trump views the change as a “positive step toward promoting the rights and opportunities of women in Saudi Arabia.” Antonio Guterres, secretary-general of the United Nations called it “an important step in the right direction.” British Prime Minister Theresa May also hailed the decision, saying women empowerment around the world “is key to nations' economic development.” Saudi's ambassador to Washington, and the King's son, Prince Khaled bin Salman said that allowing women to drive is a “huge step forward” and that “society is ready. This is the right time to do the right thing,” he said.


INDIA AsianVoiceNews

Asian Voice | 7th October 2017


Anti-superstition bill gets Karnataka cabinet nod The bill aims to help ‘combat and eradicate inhuman and evil practices propagated in the name of so called supernatural, magical power or evil spirit’ BENGALURU: The Karnataka cabinet has cleared a bill to check exploitation in the name of black magic. The Prevention and Eradication of Inhuman Evil Practices and Black Magic Bill 2017 is the second such initiative in the country after Maharashtra passed the Black Magic Prevention and Prohibition of Exploiting Practices Bill in 2013. The bill aims to help “combat and eradicate other inhuman, evil sinister practices propagated in the name of so called supernatural or magical power or evil spirit commonly known as black magic by conmen with sinister motive of

exploiting the common people in the society and thereby destroying the very social fabric of the society.” It forbids practices that include persuading the performance of inhuman activities for any reason, assault on the pretext of ridding the person of spirits or ghosts, persuading others to parade naked, performing surgeries to change sex of the foetus, indulging in sexual activity in the guise of super natural powers, banning women or others from entering villages, inflicting injuries on oneself, or killing animals among other heinous acts. Narendra Nayak from the

Symbol case: EC rejects Dhinakaran's plea for more time NEW DELHI: The Election Commission has rejected a plea filed by sidelined AIADMK leader TTV Dhinakaran to grant 15 days additional time to submit affidavits in the party symbol dispute case. It announced that the hearing would take place on October 6 as scheduled. An official said, “The EC has rejected the request of Dhinakaran for extension of time for submission of documents and hearing. Therefore, the hearing will be held on October 6 as scheduled.” The EC has directed all involved in the dispute to submit the list of general council members and central executive committee members of the party as on December 5 last year. Both the factions have submitted around 10,00,000 papers so far, as part of affidavits staking claim to the two

leaves symbol and title of the party. Madras High Court had directed the EC earlier this month to bring a conclusion to the matter before October 31. It had asked the EC to decide which faction enjoyed majority in the ruling party in Tamil Nadu and allot the symbol to it before October 31. Prior to the merger, the two faction led by O Panneerselvam and VK Sasikala had staked claim to the symbol. Later, a large group of legislators led by Chief Minister Edappadi Palaniswami revolted against Sasikala and announced merger of the two factions. Resolutions ousting Sasikala as interim general secretary and her nephew Dhinakaran as her deputy were also adopted at the party's general council meeting held on September 12.

HC orders probe into Ram Rahim's properties PANCHKULA: The Punjab and Haryana High Court has ordered the Income Tax and Enforcement Directorate to conduct a probe into the movable and immovable properties of self-styled godman Gurmeet Ram Rahim's Dera Sacha Sauda. Also, the Court Commissioner has been asked to submit a copy of the report to the Government of India. The high court ordered that “there will be two tribunals, one for Punjab and another for Haryana. They will examine if the claims made by people are genuine and if so then how much compensation are they entitled.” Once the report is submitted, the high court will decide as to how much amount has to be paid by the Dera, or the losses suffered in the violence that followed Ram Rahim's conviction. The HC had earlier indicated that all those who suffered losses on August 26 would be compensated and the amount could be recovered from Dera's property. After a Panchkula resident filed a petition raising law and order concerns, it ordered that in a

Gurmeet Ram Rahim

case where “people cause loss to the properties, it will be recorded in a video and the total loss suffered will be recovered from the sect.” Details collected by the Haryana Government said that the sect owns over 1,093 acres across 18 districts of Haryana and the current value of the land is Rs 30,00,000 per acre. It has 48 branches of Dera Sacha Sauda in Australia, Canada, the United Arab Emirates, the United Kingdom, and the United States of America. Meanwhile, a CBI court has posted to October 27 the hearing in journalist Ram Chander Chhatrapati killing case in which Ram Rahim Singh is allegedly involved. CBI counsel H P S Verma said the court heard arguments from the defence and prosecution and posted the hearing to October 27.

Federation of Indian Rationalists Association said, “Even though such legislation cannot totally get rid of superstitions in the society, it will go some way to prevent exploitation of the gullible people. Superstition can be eradicated from the society only by proper education and teaching the children to develop scientific temper and the spirit of enquiry from a young age itself.” Harish Ramaswamy, political analyst, says that socially and economically backward classes - Siddaramaiah’s support base - is especially vulnerable to superstitious practices.

He adds that with the bill, Siddaramaiah has signalled that he is trying to rescue them from the clutches of practices mostly dictated by upper castes. “He is trying to give them leadership and tell them that these are things that are eating into your economy,” Ramaswamy said while adding that Siddaramaiah is appealing to this section. The Karnataka chief minister had even made a trip to Chamrajnagar which was avoided by his predecessors, owing to a belief that any sitting chief minister would lose his chair if he visited this district.

Jaya's death: DMK says 'lie detector' test will bring out truth CHENNAI: DMK working president MK Stalin said if a lie detector test was conducted, “many truths” will come from state ministers on the demise of AIADMK leader J Jayalalithaa. Taking a dig at conflicting AIADMK leaders who have locked horns over access to Jaya during her hospitalisation, Stalin said rationalist outfit Dravidar Kazhagam's chief K Veeramani has given a “beautiful idea of a lie detector test.” “Only if that method is used, many truths will come from the present ministers,” he told reporters when asked about contradictory claims of ministers over Jaya's 75-day hospitalisation and death on December 5 last year. Stalin said, K Veeramani had said truths over her death should be brought out using the lie detector test. Forest minister Dindigul C Sreenivasan and Commercial Taxes Minister KC Veeramani had said none had seen her during her time in the hospital. State Development Minister K Pandiarajan had also said he had never seen her during her hospitalisation. However, leaders Sellur K Raju and

VELLORE: A possible train accident was averted after the loco pilot of a goods train spotted a fracture on the upline near Vaniyambadi railway station in Tamil Nadu, last week. Railway officials said the rail fracture measuring around one foot was found before the first signal at the station. The loco pilot of a goods train who spotted the fault brought the train to a halt. Officials, once informed, detained several Chennai-bound trains at various places. Later the authorities rectified the fault and restored the smooth passage of trains.

Assets worth over £50 mn recovered from civic official

HYDERABAD: The Anti-Corruption Bureau officials arrested one Golla Venkata Raghurami Reddy, Director of State Town Planning in Municipal Administration Department, and recovered assets worth £50 million after a raids in his house and 15 other properties. He was caught just three days before his retirement. ACB sleuths also found a bunch of air tickets booked for Singapore, Malaysia, and Hong Kong. Documents and details related to five infrastructure companies in the names of his family members were also recovered. .

Woman cop, conductor exchange blows over bus fare

J Jayalalithaa

Nilofer Kafeel contradicted them. While Raju said “all ministers saw her”, Kafeel said he had seen her once when she was shifted from one room to another in Apollo Hospital. Stalin stated that only a CBI probe would unearth the truth and not a commission of inquiry. Not only state ministers, but several others who had visited Apollo Hospital here during Jaya's hospitalisation should be inquired on the issue. He said, “Ministers who came from Delhi, doctors of AIIMS Delhi and London doctor (Dr Richard Beale)” should be questioned. “To inquire them and bring out the truth, we have been saying that only a CBI probe will do and we say that now as well.”

Phagwara mayor bought kidney for Rs 40,00,000, say police MUMBAI: Mumbai police, after busting an intercontinental kidney racket, have claimed that alleged kingpin, Suresh Prajapati, 45, and his aide Vruchantala Nizamuddin, 35, had collected at least Rs 40,00,000 from Arun Khosla, mayor of Phagwara, Punjab, to get his daughter the organ from a donor based in Andhra Pradesh. A police team was sent to New Delhi to record Khosla's statement. A source said Prajapati and Nizamuddin connected with Khosla and the donor through social media and made arrangements for the transplant to be conducted in Cairo. Khosla has confirmed that his daughter had undergone a transplant. The accused had trafficked

Alert loco pilot averts possible train accident in TN

four patients and four donors to Cairo for transplants since May. Two other donors who travelled on tourist visas were called back by the police. The racket was busted when immigration officials at Mumbai airport caught Nizamuddin following suspicion over his frequent visits to Cairo. An officer said, “initially, he denied any wrongdoing, but confessed after immigration officials found three passports in his possession.” He was handed over to the police and it was subsequently revealed that he was merely a carrier and worked for Prajapati. The latter was arrested in Andhra after facilitating 58 transplants in Sri Lanka since 2014.

HYDERABAD: An inquiry has been ordered after a female constable and a female bus conductor got into a physical fight over a bus fare of Rs 15. Constable Rajitha Kumari was on her way to the police station in Nawabpet, from Mahboobnagar, when conductor Shobha Rani asked for bus fare. Kumari, who was in her uniform, however, refused to pay, saying she was on duty. Rani in response, pointed out that only a police officer who serves a warrant is allowed to travel on the bus without ticket. This was followed by a sharp exchange, which ended in fisticuffs. The whole incident was recorded on the camera.

Blue Whale addicted boy commits suicide in Haryana

PANCHKULA (HARYANA): Blue Whale claimed yet another victim. Karan Thakur, 17, hanged himself on September 22, at his residence. His mother revealed he was addicted to the suicidal game and had even asked for help before taking the extreme step. Karan's parents found the game on his phone and recovered some drawings supposedly scribbled by him. There were also texts on the drawing that read, “No one likes me, I should just die and I don't deserve to live”.

Ex-Akali minister booked for rape

CHANDIGARH: Former Akali Dal minister Sucha Singh Langah has resigned from all party posts. A core committee member of the Dal, he said he quit all party posts along with his membership of Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee. He has been booked by Gurdaspur police on charges of raping a female constable. “I have full faith in judiciary. Therefore, I am submitting to the process of law by surrendering in the court. I have a firm belief that truth will come out and justice will be done to me,” he said.

Sikh student disallowed to play football for wearing turban

WASHINGTON: A Sikh student in the Pennsylvania, USA, was allegedly removed from a high school-level football game by a referee for wearing a turban. Witnesses said the referee would not allow the player onto the field because he was wearing the turban. He reportedly cited rules of the National Federation of High School Soccer to deny the Sikh student the right to play football. School district attorney Mark Sereni wrote, “Our district is investigating this ruling and has advocated and will continue to advocate for the rights of our student athletes to appropriately wear religious headgear.”




Asian Voice | 7th October 2017

Dr. Hari Desai

Dr. N.B. Khare and his craving for Power Congress President Subhas Bose defended Patel in Khare episode Hindu Mahasabha Leader begged for support of Muslim League

Even during the British regime, the Congress Premiers and prominent leaders had the tendencies to join the rival extreme forces to fulfill the craving for power and positions. After the enactment of the Government of India Act 1935

Dr.Narayan Bhaskar Khare(19 March 1884-24 March 1970), a Nagpurbased physician turned Congressman, with the blessings of Patel. Both Shukla and Mishra were taken in the Khare Ministry. Despite Dr. Khare’s commitment to Patel to follow his instruction as a party loyalist, the rift between the Hindi – speaking leaders and Dr. Khare continued and an insecure Khare moved closer to the Governor, Sir Hyde Gowan. In March 1938, when the Law Minister, Mohammed Yusuf Shareef, unwisely ordered the premature release of four men, all Muslims, convicted in a case of rape of a Dalit girl, the Sardar wrote to Khare asking for Shareef’s explanation. Of course, this lead to Shareef tendering apology to the Congress party in the Assembly and was forgiven, but the Premier Khare did not like Patel’s interference. Patel was the Chairman of the Congress Parliamentary Party(CPP). On his recommendation, the Working Committee of the Congress asked a retired judge of the Calcutta High Court, Sir Manmath Nath Mukherji, to study Shareef’s order. Sir Mukherji found “grave error of judgment” and “miscarriage of justice” in it leading to Khare’s stock going down. Some four colleagues of Khare resigned and there was a political crisis for the Congress Premier. The strength of the CP and Berar Legislative Assembly was 112 of which Congress had 71. A meeting of 68 Congress MLAs was held under the chairmanship of Patel at Pachmarhi. It was agreed by all present including Patel and Khare to clip the wings of the Premier Khare but he would continue to be the


vernight defections and bargaining for power with odd coalition partners is not a new phenomenon in the Indian democracy. Even during the British regime, the Congress Premiers and prominent leaders had the tendencies to join the rival extreme forces to fulfill the craving for power and positions. After the enactment of the Government of India Act 1935, elections were held to the British Indian Provinces in 1937. Since Mahatma Gandhi had advised the Congress to accept office, eight provinces had the Congress ministries. Three prominent leaders, Sardar Patel, Pandit Nehru and Dr. Rajendra Prasad opted out from joining any ministry. C. Rajgopalachari became the Premier of Madras. Gobind Ballabh Pant headed the United Provinces(UP) Ministry, Shrikrishna Sinha the one in Bihar, Dr. N.B. Khare in the Central Provinces(CP) and Berar, Bishwanath Das in Orissa, Gopinath Bardoloi in Assam and B.G. Kher in Bombay. The political rivalry between two Hindi-speaking leaders, Ravi Shankar Shukla and Dwarka Prasad Mishra, paved way for a Marathi-speaking Premier,

Netaji with Mahatma and Sardar

Premier without any portfolio. He would be coordinating his ministers’ work. The ministers withdrew their resignation following the Pachmarhi compromise, but Khare felt humiliated and moved even closer to new Governor, Francis Wylie, and kept Patel in dark about his movements. Wylie while taking advantage of the rift, on advice of the Premier, asked Shukla,

at Wardha Working Committee which met under the chairmanship of the Congress President, Subhas Chandra Bose. It was 10 p.m. and Bose asked Khare to called up the Governor to convey him that he wanted to resign. Khare said : “He must have gone to bed.” At this Patel retorted : “ Don’t forget, Doctor, that your Governor goes late to bed. Didn’t he


Barrister V.D.Savarkar

Mishra and D. K .Mehta to resign as ministers on 21 July 1938 at 2 a.m. and did not grant any extension. He even dismissed the ministers at 5 a.m. and installed a new Ministry led by Khare! Even the acting Viceroy, Lord Brabourne, did not like the hurry in which Wylie dismissed the Ministers and installed the new Ministry. Of course, it was a short lived Ministry since Khare accepted his error and agreed to resign

see your colleagues at 1.50 a.m. to demand their resignations?” The Premier had no other go but to go closer to the phone and convey to the Governor! Khare was replaced by Shukla. Immediately after losing the Premiership, Dr. Khare started attacking Vallabhbhai of hostility and did not even spare Mahatma Gandhi and the Congress. Rajmohan Gandhi records in his biography, “Patel: A Life”: “One

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Alwar-Maharaja, Sir Tej Singh

blessings of Hindu Mahasabha Supremo, Barrister V.D. Savarkar, some other provinces already had the Muslim League and Hindu Mahasabha Governments! Khare used to claim that he was responsible for restraining the Princely State of Alwar from joining the Pakistan Union. He, with pronounced proHindu bias, was considered to be responsible for the communal provocations in Alwar being the Dewan. V.P. Menon visited Alwar without the knowledge of the State authorities. In “Integration of Indian States”, he observed : “ My personal view was that , in order to stabilize the position, Khare should be replaced by a Premier of our own choice. I reported my impression to Sardar.” The assassination of Gandhiji led to the Maharaja of Alwar and his Dewan, Khare, under house arrest in Delhi but later the inquiry exonerated both. Patel hardly kept any illwill or grudge against any. Dr. Khare was also the Member of the Constituent Assembly and Lok Sabha as well. Next Column: Sanskrit, the language of Gazani Durbar (The writer is a Socio-political Historian. E-mail:

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man who ‘fully, lucidly and persuasively’ defended Vallabhbhai’s role in the Khare episode was Subhas Bose, the Congress President.” Bose issued a statement in 1938 saying : “No injustice was done to Dr. Khare, nor has he been dealt with too harshly.” Expelled from the Congress in October 1938, Dr. Khare joined the Hindu Mahasabha. He even was taken into the Viceroy’s Executive Council. Khare’s lust for power and aspiration to regain the Premiership led him to approach the Muslim League Boss, Mohammed Ali Jinnah, seeking his support repeatedly who even humiliated him quite often. One can read the correspondence between the Hindu Mahasabha leader and the Pakistan movement leader in “Jinnah Papers(1 August 1941-31 March 1942)” published by the Government of Pakistan. Even after Jinnah got the Pakistan Resolution passed in the March 1940 convention of Muslim League at Lahore, the Hindu Mahasabha leader, Khare, was desperately trying to have Muslim League support and was keen to enter into a coalition to rule over the CP and Berar. He wrote to Jinnah on 18 January 1942 from Nagpur : “I may inform you that I lead a party of 47 members comprising different groups in the legislature like Ambedkarites, all of Harijans, United Party, Aney group, but excluding the Muslim Leaguers whose number is 10; so that if these ten join in the coalition, the number will be 57 in the house of 112, but at present consisting only of 110 members as there are two vacancies which have not been filled. It is, therefore, a clear majority.” As such with the





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INDIA-WORLD AsianVoiceNews

Asian Voice | 7th October 2017


23 killed in Mumbai railway station stampede Mayanagri (City of Dreams) Mumbai has survived several tragedies in the past couple of years, yet somehow, it found itself unprepared for last week's rush hour stampede that took 23 lives and injured at least 35. As the usual swarm of people crowded Elphinstone Road- Parel station, the unfortunate incident was “prima facie” triggered, as reported by the Western Railway. Officials said a “tremendous push from behind towards the exit” caused the crush to occur on the squeaky, dangerously narrow bridge that held several passengers. There are several theories doing the round, and

while nobody knows the real reason behind the collapse, many know it was expected. Some reports said heavy rain forced commuters to take shelter at the foot overbridge, and when the train arrived, people rushed to board it, leading to the

stampede. Railway Minister Piyush Goyal has reached Mumbai, following the mayhem. Goyal said they have also issued directions for safety and capacity audit of foot over bridges in Mumbai where congestion occurs on a massive scale. He said

59 killed as gunman opens fire in Las Vegas

tIn the deadliest mass shooting in modern US history, over 59 were killed and 500 wounded as a gunman opened fire on concert-goers at a music festival in Las Vegas on Sunday night. Officials have identified the gunman as Stephen Paddock. Petrified country music fans ducked and ran as the shooter launched a barrage of gunfire at them during the ongoing Route 91 Harvest Music Festival. Paddock, 64, began shooting from two windows on the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino. A SWAT team found him dead in his hotel room and believe he killed himself. Authorities said he had as many as 23 firearms in his hotel suite where he had been staying since September 28. They also found another 19 firearms, thousands of rounds of ammunition, explosives, and electronics at his home at a retirement community in Mesquie, Nevada, 75 miles away from Las Vegas. FBI Special Agent in Charge, Aaron Rouse said the bureau had found “no connection with an international terrorist group”. His motive continues to be under investigation. The Las Vegas Police Department said authorities responded to a room of the hotel where Paddock was found dead. Assistant Sheriff for Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department, Todd Fasulo said detectives were working to put the suspect's movements “in chronological order” and will release information when its accuracy is confirmed. “Our homicide detectives are working around the clock to process the scene as soon as they possibly can,”

People run and duck for cover as the gunman showers bullets at the Harvest Music Festival

Fasulo said at a press briefing. “We’re hunting down and tracing down every single clue that we can get in his background.” Former accountant with a massive gambling habit, Paddock reportedly lived with a woman called Marilou Danley who was in Japan and does not appear to be involved in the shootings. Despite the huge cache of weapons found in his home, brother Eric struggles to accept he did what he did. He said he was “in shock, horrified, completely dumbfounded.” He said, “No religious affiliation. No political affiliation. He just hung out. He had a couple of guns but they were all handguns, legal. He might have had one long gun, but he had them in a safe.” He even said his brother was a multimillionaire who made much of his money investing in real estate adding he wasn't aware of him having financial difficulties. Those killed in the massacre include a Navy veteran who had just returned from a tour of Afghanistan, and an off-duty police officer who also coached youth football. President Donald Trump called the shooting “an act of pure evil”, hailing first responders. He said the FBI and the Department of Homeland

Stephen Paddock

Security are working with local officials in the investigation. He failed to acknowledge the attack as an act of terrorism. Meanwhile, the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) claimed responsibility for the shooting, however, did not offer proof. Officials said there are no signs of Paddock having ties to radical Islamic groups, and neither did he show any signs of being radicalised. British Prime Minister Theresa May expressed doubts on whether the massacre will prompt the US to act on gun reform. “I think it's up to America what gun laws they put in place. I think most people would look at this and assume that people in America would be so shocked by this attack that they would want to take some action,” she said. But others, she added, “will take a different view.”

wherever there is a need for foot over bridges to be widened, it will be done immediately on high priority. The minister announced an ex gratia of Rs 5,00,000 to be given by the state government and Rs 5,00,000 by the Railways to families of the deceased people. He promised to bear costs for the injured people, grievously injured to get Rs 1,00,000, minor injured to get Rs 50,000 ex gratia. The station is always known to be jam packed as it is used by people who want to interchange between Central and Western Railway stations. During work hours, there are over hundred com-

muters on the bridge at a time. KEM hospital officials said that some more people have been injured in the incident and the fatalities could go up. Passenger associations have been asking for a bigger railway bridge for more than two decades now. The injured were rushed to Parel's KEM Hospital, where 20 were declared dead on arrival, and two died soon after being admitted and one died later. Dean Avinash Supe said 39 were brought in injured and were admitted. A station official said the number of passengers using both, the Elphinstone Road and Parel stations every day

amounts up to 3 to 3,50,000. However, the foot overbridge that offers interconnectivity to both the passengers is only 5m wide and 32 m in length, and the staircases are even narrower. Survivor, Yukti Marwah, 28, called herself lucky to survive. “People began pushing and shoving. I fell down but managed to get up because a man behind me helped. I don't know who he was and I couldn't even see his face because there wasn't enough space to turn around,” she said. While she was fortunate, her colleague was less so, who was trapped in the stampede and ended up unconscious.

UK doubles donations for people fleeing Myanmar The British government has pledged extra help for victims of the Myanmar military atrocities, doubling donations made by the public. Over half a million Rohingya men, women, and children have fled in the last month alone, making perilous journey to neighbouring Bangladesh to seek refuge. The UK government has already forwarded £30 million and continues to take a leading role in responding to the crisis as the Disasters Emergency Committee launched its emergency appeal for people of the community. International Development Secretary Priti Patel said, “I am appalled that more than half a million Rohingya have been forced to flee their homes

because of the horrific violence in Myanmar. Those who escaped, carrying little or nothing, have had to make the treacherous journey across the border into Bangladesh to seek safety, with countless people dying or losing loved ones. The relentless denial of aid is a matter of life and death for those still in northern Rakhine.” She added, “It is utterly intolerable that the military who are responsible for this inhumane catastrophe have not heeded calls for restraint and pleas to allow those who are no refugees to return safely to their homes. In this time of crisis, the UK will do everything it possibly can to help and is leading the way internationally to save the victims of this tragedy, who

are in desperate need of food, water, shelter and healthcare.” Food for 65,000 of the most vulnerable victims and healthcare for 50,000 people has already been provided though other partners and we are also supporting 7,500 children, many of whom have suffered traumatic ordeals and are at risk of sexual violence and trafficking. For every £5 the British public donates this could provide a family with clean water for a week, £100 could provide two families with food for a month and £30 could provide emergency shelter for a family, and with the UK Government’s further support the impact on the ground will be doubled.

Patel family foundation gives $200 mn to University in Florida Continued from page 1 care in Florida and internationally, with a particular focus on multicultural and underserved communities with a “patients first” approach. The $50 million of the gift is a direct monetary contribution to NSU, while another $150 million will be in the form of real estate and facility investments for a future 3,25,000 square-foot medical education complex that will be part of NSU's new Tampa Bay Regional Campus, in Clearwater, Florida. A brand new campus is set to be made on the former site of Clearwater Christian College, acquired by the Patel's foundation. It will house a

new site for NSU's College of Osteopathic Medicine, along with its existing programs in the Tampa area. The College of Osteopathic Medicine will be named after Kiran Patel, while the College of Health Care Sciences will be named after wife Pallavi. “I feel that it is more important than ever to advance the current state of health care. It is rare for someone to have the opportunity to impact the world in this way, and, as an immigrant to the United States, I am particularly honoured to be able to make a difference in people's lives around the world. I believe that NSU is the future of multi-disciplinary medical educa-

tion,” Kiran said in a press statement. “Together, we will be able to capitalise on an opportunity that will be beneficial to millions of human lives, many right here in Florida and many others across the globe. The Zambia-born Patels are founders of America’s 1st Choice Holdings of Florida Inc., the largest privately owned health plan in the US. Earlier, Kiran Patel – who is trained as a cardiologist – founded WellCare Health Plans, which he sold to a private equity firm for $200 million in 2002. Pallavi Patel is a pediatrician. While Pallavi is from Vadodara district in Gujarat, Kiran is from Mota Fofalia, near Vadodara.



Asian Voice | 7th October 2017

health lifestyle

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...

6 Foods That Contain More Calcium Than a Glass of Milk

When we talk about your daily dose of calcium, what comes to your mind? A tall glass of milk, perhaps? But what if we told you that there are a whole lot of other healthy foods that contain copious amounts of calcium even more than a glass of milk? So, if you have been unwillingly chugging a glass of milk every day to get your calcium dose, you can try turning to these foods instead. You won't be disappointed. A regular glass of milk (250 ml) contains roughly about 300 mg of calcium as per the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). Let's look at foods which can beat that.

1. Chickpeas: As per the USDA, one and a half cup of chickpeas contains

about 315 mg of calcium along with filling fiber and protein. You can roast them and eat them as a snack with lime, onions and tomatoes or use them to make a wholesome soup. 2. Dark leafy greens: There's a reason why Popeye loved his spinach. Dark leafy green vegetables like spinach, bok choy, mustard leaves and turnip greens are all great calcium boosters. Two cups of turnip greens contain about 394 mg of calcium. Use them in your daily meals, bung them in salads, spread them in sandwiches or if you'd like to experiment try a green smoothie with nuts and yogurt. 3. Almonds: Almonds are great brain boosters but did you know that they are packed with calcium too? A 3/4 cup of almonds can give you about 320 mg of calcium. Almonds are also rich in fiber and Vitamin E. 4. Salmon: Seafood lovers, rejoice! One serving of delicate salmon may contain up to 340 mg of

A husband and wife had been married for 60 years and had no secrets except for one: The woman kept in her closet a shoe box that she forbade her husband from ever opening. But when she was on her deathbed—and with her blessing—he opened the box and found a crocheted doll and $95,000 in cash. “My mother told me that the secret to a happy marriage was to never argue,” she explained. “Instead, I should keep quiet and crochet a doll.” Her husband was touched. Only one doll was in the box—that meant she’d been angry with him only once in 60 years. “But what about all this money?” he asked. “Oh,” she said, “that’s the money I made from selling the dolls.” *** After football fans in Philadelphia were treated to a particularly excruciating loss earlier in the season, a man phoned a sports-radio talk-show host to say, “Everyone should call in and give one word for that game.” “What’s your word?” the host replied. “Bored out of my mind,” said the caller. *** A father shows up at his daughter’s home and finds his son-in-law angrily packing his bags. “What’s wrong?” he asks. “I texted my wife that I was coming home today from my golfing trip. And what did I find when I walked through the door? Her making out with Joe Murphy! I’m leaving!” “Now, calm down,” says his father-in-law. “There must be a simple explanation. I’ll find out what happened.” Moments later, he reappears. “I told you there was a simple explanation, and there is,” he says. “She never got your text.” *** My husband was driving home from work when he was pulled over for not wearing a seat belt. Two days later—same ticket, same cop. “So,” the officer said, “have you learned anything?” “Yes, I have,” said my husband. “I’ve learned I need to take a different way home from work.”

calcium. Of course, you can't switch to salmon for your daily needs, but it's good to know what to order next time you're out for a healthy meal at a fancy restaurant.

5. Dried Figs: These lovely sweet treats pack a whole lot of calcium along with a dose of powerful antioxidants. One and a half cup of dried figs will contain about 320 mg of calcium. But remember, figs are high in calories too. You can add a handful to your breakfast bowl or sneak them in an energy bar or

Researchers: Brains aren't fully capable of remembering details until at least 14

a trail mix. 6. Chia Seeds: 100 grams of chia seeds contain a whooping 631 mg of calcium. Let's make this simpler for you - about three tablespoons of chia seeds will have more calcium than a glass of milk. So, don't shy away from these tiny wonders. It is good to include these foods in your diet along with milk to get balanced nutrition daily. Calcium is an important mineral that your body requires and a good diet should take care of all your needs.

We really can't expect children to recall many details until they are in their early teens when the hippocampus is actually fully formed, a new study finds. Previously, scientists thought that the hippocampus, a part of the brain responsible for memory and emotion, was fully developed by around age six. The researchers gave adults and children between ages six and 14 a task to assess how well they remembered details, and found that that ability improved in line with the growth of two particular sub-regions of the hippocampus. Scientists from the Max Planck Institutes in Berlin, Germany and the University of Stirling in Scotland found that significant changes occurred in the areas of the hippocampus responsible for

Bags for life can spread deadly bugs Bags for life can spread deadly bacteria if they are re-used for both raw and 'ready to eat' food, watchdogs have warned. The Food Standards Agency (FSA) advises shoppers to use separate bags to carry their meat to avoid food poisoning. It said they should be colour-coded. Even the outside of raw meat packaging can be contaminated with dangerous bugs that can easily spread onto other foods. Fabric bags for life should be washed regularly to kill any dangerous bacteria which may be lurking inside, the FSA recom-

mends. It also says plastic ones should be replaced when they show signs of wear and tear.

recalling detail well after the age of six. Six-year-old children are in a stage of rapid development. At that age, their vocabularies grow by about ten words a day, their abilities to recognize patterns are improving, and their minds straddle the real and imagined worlds, which they describe in great detail. But until they are about 14, this study reveals, children's ability to recall fine distinctions between two similar objects is still developing. Researchers in Berlin, Germany showed images to children between ages six and 14, as well as adults, then showed them similar images with details slightly altered and asked them to recall general or specific characteristics.



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Asian Voice | 7th October 2017


Amy Jackson

to make debut in Kannada films



Indian adaptation of Jon Favreau's successful 2014 drama of the same name, 'Chef' is a tale of selfdiscovery. Directed by Raja Krishna Menon, it features Saif Ali Khan and Padmapriya Janakiraman in the lead.

Kamal Haasan's request to Vijay

.0' actress Amy Jackson is all set to venture into the Kannada industry after successful stints in Tamil, Telugu, and Hindi movie sectors. If reports are to be believed, Amy will soon make her debut with 'Villain', directed by Prem. The Kannada movie stars Kiccha Sudeep and Shiv Rajkumar as male leads. Makers have already began shooting from April, and it is now being speculated that Amy will join the sets now. An official confirmation on the update is

awaited. In related news, the actress has bagged a role in a popular English superhero series. Amy will play Saturn Girl in Season 3 of DC Comic Television series. She confirmed the news on Twitter, saying, “FINALLY! So now you know what I've been getting up to in Canada over the past couple of weeks #SuperGirl new recruit #SaturnGirl.” The actress will also feature in English movie 'Boogie Man'.

Sold already! Shoot yet to begin though


hen asked what his favourite Vijay film is, veteran actor Kamal Haasan, who is known to voice his opinion, suggested what type of movie he would prefer for the actor to be in. “I have seen many Vijay movies, I like Rajinikanth's 'Mullum Malarum', I am not sure if Rajini fans would like that film, but that is my favourite Rajini film. I want Vijay to act in movies like 'Mullum Malarum',” Kamal said. “I have seen several Vijay films and there is no doubt he has a bag full of victories, but I feel he should act in movies like these as well. It is my small selfish wish as a cinema fan. Every successful actor should work in a good film is my wish. We see Aamir Khan and Shah Rukh Khan doing that, I also want Vijay to do. I did commercial movies like 'Sakalakala Vallavan,' and in the same year, I had 'Moondram Pirai's' release. So I think even Vijay could do that. I know him personally, and he is capable of doing that,” he added. When asked whether Vijay would be tough competitor for him if he joins politics, Kamal said, “That is entirely Vijay's choice, who is he going to support, what agenda will he have? If his choice is going to be against our visions, then we will criticise him for that. If he carries the same vision as we do, we will support him like how brothers do.”

‘Mersal’ makers working round-the-clock


halapathy Vijay's 'Mersal' is currently in its postproduction stages and the makers are working round-the-clock to release it on Diwali. Lead heroine in the film Samantha took to her Instagram to announce that she has begun dubbing for the film. Music for 'Mersal' has been rendered by ace maestro AR Rahman. The teaser and songs have become a massive hit, with 'Aalaporaam Tamizhan' topping the charts. Also, rappers ADK and SriRascol will be working on the background score of the movie. Vijay had already finished his dubbing for the film.


ctor Vijay Sethupathi is on a high after the success of his recent movie 'Vikram Vedha'. He has a

handful of projects - all in different stages of production. He has teamed up with director Gokul for 'Junga', shooting for which

commenced on September 29, in Europe. But the hot news is that even before the film's shoot, A&P Groups are on board to coproduce and distribute the venture. During a press meet for another project, 'Karuppan', Sethupathi was asked if he would accept a National award for the movie, considering its regional flavour. The actor replied, “It is a very advanced question to answer now, but I can

tell it without any doubts or second thoughts. I wouldn't accept the National award. My people and my state are important for me, first of all, I won't do that. We are being squeezed by the Central Government. I am already highly worried that our language Tamil has been removed from the train tickets. It angers me so much. I feel we should concentrate more on the action, than emotions.”

After Kajal, it is now Tamannaah and Manjima for this film!


hile it was reported earlier that Kajal Aggarwal will be seen in the Tamil remake of Bollywood hit 'Queen', it has been brought to attention who will play the lead in the Malayalam and Telugu versions of the film. The Malayalam version will see Manjima Mohan of 'Achcham Yenbadhu Madamaiyada' fame and Telugu version will see Tamannaah. Manjima starrer has been titled 'Zam Zam' and the official launch was conducted on September 28. Meanwhile, Manjima responded to a derogatory comment made on heroines, by an individual recently. The unknown individual has apparently tweeted that people come to theatre to watch only

heroines and their sleazy costumes. Manjima got furious and reacted by

tweeting, "If u think people cme to the theatre to watch heroines naked u r

wrong sir. They come to watch good movies and not to see "dress reduction". AsianVoiceNews



Asian Voice | 7th October 2017

Jacqueline Fernandez:

It’s a girl for Soha Ali Khan and Kunal Khemuu

I have the confidence to do strong roles now


ith 'Judwaa 2' out in theatres, one of Varun Dhawan's lead actors in the movie said she has a certain anxiety playing Karishma Kapoor's character from original 'Judwaa'. “I am feeling a certain kind of anxiety because I have never had the pressure of a remake. 'Judwaa 2' is the remake of a cult film from the 1990s, and getting into Karishma's shoes is very daunting. I met her recently and told her, 'I don't know what to do, I am extremely nervous. You have so much love from your fans and getting into your shoes is really intimidating'. And she replied, 'Don't think too much, just listen to David Dhawan and chill. When we shot for the film, we did not think too much',” Jacqueline said. The actress said she would love to do roles like Shraddha Kapoor's


t's a Girl! Soha Ali Khan and Kunal Khemu are on cloud nine as they welcomed a beautiful baby. “We are over the moon thrilled and delighted to share that we have been blessed with a beautiful baby girl on this very auspicious day. Soha and our gorgeous baby are doing well. We thank you for your kind wishes, love and blessings,” Khemu tweeted as he announced the news. The actors got engaged in Paris in 2014, after which, they had a registered marriage in 2015. Soha had, in an earlier interview, talked about how loving her husband is and how he took care of her during pregnancy. “Kunal and I have been together for nine years now. We feel very blessed and we're ready for this phase in our life. But I have not felt alone at all. I have my family, and Kunal's family with me. Kunal has been a wonderful partner throughout, and this phase can be overwhelming for the mother-to-be and the father. He has taken care of me very well.”

Over protective father caught on camera! Aamir Khan keen to act in ‘Mahabharata’



ollywood's ever-young Anil Kapoor recently reposted a photo on his Instagram account in which he is seen trying to look into daughter Sonam Kapoor's phone while she remains completely unaware of it. He captioned the photo, “Over protective father caught on camera. I guess I'm guilty as charged.” The pic which was originally posted by an account named Instant Bollywood, the original caption read, “Guns don't kill people... dads with pretty daughters do.” The image was taken at Vogue Woman of the Year Awards where Sonam won Vogue & IWC Fashion Icon of the Year. While Sonam is yet to make any comments on the photo, her rumoured boyfriend Anand Ahuja commented, “@anilskapoor @sonamkapoor @kapoor.sunita ... it’s totally allowed.” On the work front, while Sonam is busy with ‘Veerey Di Wedding,’ Anil Kapoor is filming Atul Manjrekar’s ‘Fanney Khan’. However, both Anil and Sonam have refrained from commenting on Sonam’s private life. Senior Kapoor has earlier said that the bond he and Anand share is too private to be talked about in media. Also, Sonam on Karan Johar’s chat show Koffee With Karan has maintained that she likes to keep her private life private and will never talk about it.

hen filmmaker SS Rajamouli announced his plans of making a film on Hindu epic Mahabharata, our beloved 'Amar' Aamir Khan expressed his wish to play either Karna or Krishna in it. While it is natural to want to feature in one of Rajamouli's ventures, Khan recently revealed that Mahabharata is his dream project. “My dream project is to make the Mahabharata but I'm afraid of starting the project as I know it will consume at lease 15-20 years of my life. My favourite character is Karna, but I don't know if I'll be able to play him due to my physique. I may just have to play Krishna. I also liked the character of Arjun. He was the only person who asked Krishna why he had to kill his own people,” he said in an interview.

Praising Rajamouli, he said, “I'm a huge fan of Rajamouli's work and if he ever plans to make Mahabharata, I'd love to play Krishna or Karna. I might actually go with Krishna.” He also said he wishes to work with South Indian superstars Rajinikanth, Chiranjeevi and Pawan Kalyan. Currently, the actor is busy promoting 'Secret Superstar'. Also, his looks from the set of upcoming film 'Thugs of Hindostan' has created quite a frenzy.

character in 'Haseena Parkar' or Taapsee Pannu's role in 'Pink'. “I have been part of great commercial films, and I have worked with best actors and directors. But, if I was offered films like 'Pink' or 'Haseena Parkar', I would have not been able to take them up in the past. I came with a lot of baggage, being a foreigner, and then there was the language barrier, I don't think I would have had the confidence to take those roles. But now, with the roles and the kind of work that I am doing, I think I have the confidence to do such roles. When I look at the stuff that Alia Bhatt or Kangana Ranaut have been doing, I feel that for my growth as an actress, I should take up such roles - content-driven cinema where the female is the protagonist. I can only hope that these roles come my way."

Why is Ranveer asking Sonakshi to ‘shut up’?


anjay Leela Bhansali is creating quite a storm in Bollywood with his upcoming film 'Padmavati' starring Deepika Padukone, Shahid Kapoor, and Ranveer Singh. While Deepika and Shahid's avatars have already hit the headlines, everyone's waiting for eccentric actor Ranveer's look. The actor who plays Alauddin Khilji, recently bumped into 'Lootera' costar Sonakshi Sinha at a studio. Sinha put up a hilarious boomerang on Instagram where she is pretending to sing out loud

in a 'No Silence' zone and the actor is trying to shut her up. “Look WHO's asking WHO to shut up for a change bumping into baba is always eventful!!! @ranveersingh.” the video read. Meanwhile, Ranveer was spotted sporting a clean shave after a long time at the GQ Men of the Year Awards. And he said that this was because he is shooting for the younger version of Alauddin Khilji in ‘Padmavati’. Well, looks like Ranveer is doing everything for making Padmavati the movie of the year.


UK AsianVoiceNews

Asian Voice | 7th October 2017

Shree Swaminarayan Mandir Kingsbury uses festival of lights to kick off season of giving Volunteers from Shree Swaminarayan Mandir Kingsbury spent Sunday 1st October 2017 collecting food items from donors at local supermarkets in support of a local foodbank, Sufra. The volunteers used Sewa Day - an international day of action on which thousands of good-hearted people across the world come together to perform Sewa (literally translated as performing an act of kindness without expectation of reward) – to kick off their charity campaign, which will be at the heart of their Diwali and Hindu New Year festival. The Diwali season is one of the most auspicious for the Hindu community, and the Mandir’s global spiritual leader, Acharya Swamishree Maharaj teaches, “Dedicating one's life to the service of others

is the truest celebration of a festival”. Turning those words into action, the food collection was part of a wider charity campaign that the Mandir is hoping to inspire the community with. The food collections will continue over the Diwali period through to 21st October and people can continue to donate at the Mandir on Kingsbury Road, London. On the festival’s main day of Hindu New Year on Friday 20th October, the Mandir is working with DKMS to help “delete blood cancer” by enrolling the thousands of visitors as stem cell donors. And finally on Sunday 29th October, the Mandir is hosting its eleventh blood donation session, continuing its long-running campaign to inspire donors from the Asian community.

Coming Events

l The Bhavan presents: Artist's Talk- Monali Meher, on October 6, 6.00 pm to 7.30 pm, and Sadhguru Oils and Acrylics by Ayush Sinha from October 6 to 8, 11.00 am to 7.00 pm, at The Bhavan Centre, 4a Castletown Road, West Kensington, London, W14 9HE.

Brahmbhatt Samaj UK hosts their annual Diwali celebrations, to be held on October 21, 6.30 pm to 11.00 pm, at The Compton School, Summers Lane, North Finchley, London, N12 OQG. Oxford Centre for Hindu Studies presents Exploring Diwali- a talk by Shaunaka Rishi Das and Dr Nick Sutton of the Oxford Centre for Hindu Studies, on October 7, 6.30 pm to 9.00 pm, at Jalaram Community Centre, 85 Narborough Road, Leicester LE3 0LF

Croydon Diwali Mela, on October 22, 12.00 pm to 4.00 pm, at Surrey Street, Market Area.

Sneh Joshi

ARIES Mar 21 - Apr 20 You have been feeling dis-

connected for some time and this will be the week you will finally feel a sense of grounding. If unclear about what path to take you will soon realize exactly what you must do to fulfill your plans. Financially you will implement your plans to bring in the cash.

TAURUS Apr 21 - May 21 The pace of everyday life will gather momentum and there may be times when you find it hard to keep your act together. Any obstacles that have stood in the way of your heart's desires should melt into the background soon. Your self-confidence will be extremely high and this will be helped by various encouraging events.

GEMINI May 22 - June 22 This week you will make your best progress by focusing your mental and physical energies on what you want to achieve. The underlying trend seems to be pulling you into a much wider social circle now. This is bound to enrich your life and give you a deeper sense of purpose. The prevailing pattern of planets gives you a marvellous opportunity take advantage.

CANCER Jun 22 - Jul 22

Don't be afraid to act forcefully if your instinct tells you it's time for change. This week the focus is your house of family and home. Besides spending more time tending to domestic affairs, the focus can be on cultivating and nourishing your inner foundations, so to speak.

The Mandir has joined with the Sufra NW London Foodbank to help tackle what can only be described as a crisis. Over 1,182,000 three-day emergency food supplies were given to people in the past year in the UK – 436,000 to children – demonstrating the scale of the growing demand for the services of organisations like Sufra. The Mandir collected over 1,000 tinned food items, some 150 packets of cereal, nearly 400 packets of pasta, 500 packets of biscuits, 35 bags of sugar, as well as tea, coffee, juice,

oil, long-life milk and essential toiletries, from hundreds of generous donors at Sainsbury’s stores in Hendon and Golders Green, and ASDA stores in Wembley and Colindale. One of the youngest volunteers, 10 year old Smit Varsani said, “I really enjoyed asking all the shoppers to make a donation. They were all so generous. It was a long day, and I was tired at the end, but I knew that the little effort that I was making would be filling the tummy of a hungry person.”

Welsh animation studio Winding Snake Productions are in India setting up popup animation studios in Delhi and Jaipur, where the team will ask local people to share their rangoli skills in exchange for animation skills. This is part of a wider project, Rangoli: art that binds. Rangoli is the art form that creates patterns on floors using materials such as coloured sand, rice and petals. Through a series of workshops in Wales and India, the Winding Snake team want to learn about rangoli and associated art

forms mandana and kolam and share some of their own 2D animation skills in return. After their trip, the team will produce a short 2D animated film celebrating the skills and knowledge of rangoli. In addition they will visit schools, universities and Girlguiding groups in India and Wales to share their experiences. They will also collect stories from India, Wales and all over the world about how art and creativity has brought people together and forged or strengthened relationships.

Welsh artists travel to India to swap animation skills for rangoli skills


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LEO Jul 23 - Aug 23

The UK’s leading Vedic writer and TV personality

An exchange of opinions ought to prove very enlivening at this time. An influence that should help to enjoy the 'nicer' side of others as bring out the best in friends, colleagues and partners alike. A wind of change may be in the air; attention should turn to the wider world and benefits come from broadening of horizons and mental stimuli.

VIRGO Aug 24 - Sep 23

There is a definite expansive trend where money is concerned, so do not be surprised if this turns out be a time of fortunate opportunities and lucky breaks. Keep your assertive inclination under control as conflict and disagreement could be sparked off by your short-sightedness. Think carefully about the implications of your actions.

LIBRA Sep 24 - Oct 23 Charm will be your ally in this week' s activities. Others will be responsive to you and your ideas. You are extremely warm and affectionate as a person and you look for just as strong a response from your partner. You will achieve success by being responsible and diplomatic. SCORPIO Oct 24- Nov 22

It is a good time to get away from usual routines and seek a retreat for a few days. All the better if you are interested in such things as meditation, yoga and therapies that help you to get in closer touch with your inner self. This will have a beneficial effect on your physical and psychological well-being.

SAGITTARIUS Nov 23 - Dec 21 Efforts to restructure and transform your lifestyle are more likely to meet with success. Experience you have built up in the past will now stand you in good stead. If you are thinking of investments, then this is an opportune time to go ahead with your plans. Co-operative ventures are likely to generate financial success

CAPRICORN Dec 22 - Jan 20 Your urge towards greater freedom and independence is very strongly accentuated. In intimate affairs, the prospect appears entirely favourable. In work matters you can expect a progressive phase. Efforts to bring about desirable changes in your working life are more likely to be positive. AQUARIUS Jan 21 - Feb 19

Life appears to be focusing your mind on practical matters. So you will need to organise your time carefully if you are to avoid an "all work and no play" situation. Resist making any hasty moves when it come to finances - this is a time to focus on consolidation of current assets rather than attempting to make any new investments.

PISCES Feb 20 - Mar 20 Legal matters are likely to occupy your attention this week. A long-standing problem or disagreement will need to be sorted out before allowing you to restructure both personal and joint financial interests more efficiently. Luck and love form a pleasing combination as Jupiter, the planet of luck and expansion has is still in your solar 8th house.



Jonny Bairstow's careerbest performance and a sparkling 96 from Jason Roy helped England hammer Windies in the final OneDay International by nine wickets to round off the series and the home season in convincing fashion last week. Bairstow once again stamped his authority on the opposition to ensure that Roy's antics at the other end prove to be no threat whatsoever to his hard-earned spot as he remained unbeaten on 141 off just 114 deliveries while chasing 289. The willpower of Bairstow was on display during the chase as he played second foil at the start when Roy was rampaging through with boundaries in the powerplay. Roy himself was a man on a mission after losing out his spot to Bairstow and for the second game in the running, he made the most of the opportunity presented to him by Alex Hales's absence. Roy ferociously cut and pull through the course of his innings as his strike rate continued to be on the ascendency with the Windies's strategy to keep bowling short to him proving to be futile. Roy, who moved into the nineties in quick time, tried to nudge one straight down the ground and missed the ball completely


Jubilant England players celebrating victory

to become the first and eventually, the only victim on the night. Despite falling short of a ton by four runs, the 180 runs he made over the last two games is certain to keep Hales and Bairstow on their toes. With more than half the runs wiped out by the time Joe Root joined Bairstow out in the middle, it was only a formality for the hosts to bat sensibly and close out the chase. They did exactly that as the middle overs were milked for singles and twos. The approach towards pinching those quick runs was stark in contrast between the two sides. While the Windies were happy to be strolling around for those singles, England's top three were always looking to be active

in order to fetch those extra runs. England would have been chasing much lesser though had the Windies not finished off their innings in style. Chris Gayle imposed himself on Jake Ball at the start of the innings after his side was sent into bat, but after smashing 40 off 28 balls, he failed to read debutant Tom Curran's slower delivery and walked back to an applause from the English crowd, who realised that the cameo could have been his final outing in the country in Windies colours. The visitors continued to build on from the momentum before Liam Plunkett's reflexes came to the fore yet again as Kyle Hope hit one back at the bowler that was pouched

one-handed low to his left. Following the departure of the openers, Windies' run rate started to dip slowly as Marlon Samuels found the going tough yet again. Having not gone past 20 even once on the tour prior to this game, Samuels's dot ball percentage was beginning to concern the dressing room. At one stage, he was batting on 9 off 31 deliveries as the spin duo of Moeen Ali and Adil Rashid stifled him. England finished the series with a favouring scoreline of 4-0. Brief scores: Windies 288/6 in 50 overs (Shai Hope 72, Chris Gayle 40; Liam Plunkett 2-54, Moeen Ali 1-36) lost to England 294/1 in 38 overs (Jonny Bairstow 141*, Jason Roy 96; Miguel Cummins 1-70) by nine wickets.

INDIA FINISH SERIES IN STYLE The difference between India and Australia in this series has been the ability to handle pressure. India came out on top every time they were put under pressure. Australia, in contrast, kept losing the initiative throughout. The 5th and last one-dayer on Sunday was no different. Aaron Finch and David Warner again provided a breezy start to the visitors. They added 60 in first ten overs after Steve Smith won the toss and batted again. However, Indian spinners - Axar Patel (10-038-3), Kuldeep Yadav (10-148-0) and Kedar Jadhav (100-48-1) - yet again choked the runs as the Australian middle order succumbed to pressure for the fourth time in the series. Eventually, they ended up scoring 2429 in their 50 overs in the last One-dayer on a relaid Jamtha wicket in Nagpur on Sunday. Indian batsmen - led by Rohit Sharma (125) - then showed their Australian counter parts how to build

the innings and finish off the job. The chase was completed with 43 balls and seven wickets intact. Rohit, who completed his 14th hundred and 6,000 runs in ODIs, hit his sixth hundred against Australia. The opening pair of Rohit and Ajiknya Rahane (61) had their third consecutive century stand (124) of the series. It was also the eighth opening-wicket century stand for India this year - the most by any country in 2017 and Rahane has been involved in five of those. After Rahane's dismissal, Rohit continued the good work in the company of Virat Kohli (39) and added 99 for the second wicket. By the time both

gifted their wickets to Adam Zampa, the match was over. Kedar Jadhav and Manish Pandey completed the formalities. Rohit and Rahane lit up the Jamtha ground with some breathtaking strokeplay. Their driving was of the highest quality. All the eight boundaries they hit in the first ten overs were testimony of their class and form. Rohit took 15 balls to get off the mark. Warner, Oz halt Indians The fourth and penultimate contest in the IndiaAustralia series at M Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bengaluru turned out to be a treat for spectators in which the Australians

scored a morale boosting 21-run win. The victory came a little late though as India had already wrapped up the series 3-0 at Indore. Australian skipper Steve Smith chose to bat and the opening duo of Aaron Finch (94) and David Warner (124) bludgeoned a vastly-changed Indian bowling line-up en route to a record 231 first wicket stand which helped the visitors to 334-5 - a daunting target, but not one that appeared out of reach of India's batsmen. But with wickets falling at regular intervals, India finished their quota of overs at 313-8. Ajinkya Rahane (53) and Rohit Sharma (65) put the team on course with their 106-run opening stand. Rahane, Sharma and skipper Virat Kohli (21) fell within a space of 31 runs thereafter, setting India back briefly. Kohli's dismissal only mirrored his abysmal form at this venue.


Asian Voice | 7th October 2017

A stadium in US named after Gavaskar During the course of his illustrious career, cricket great Sunil Gavaskar has been bestowed with many awards. This, however, is an honour which should make the batting legend's chest swell with pride. In a first for an Indian sportsperson, next month, the 68-year-old will inaugurate a newly-built stadium named after him Sunil Gavaskar in Louisville, Kentucky, in the US. The venue will be called the Sunil Gavaskar Field. The `Little Master' will thus join the club of West Indians Vivian Richards (Sir Vivian Richards Stadium in Anituga) and Darren Sammy (Darren Sammy National Cricket Stadium in Gros Islet, St Lucia), as cricketers who've grounds named after them. The difference here is that Richards and Sammy have stadiums located in their home town, while the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai, Gavaskar's `home,' has only a stand named after the iconic opening batsman.

ECB suspends Stokes & Hales for Bristol brawl

Ben Stokes

Alex Hales

England suspended all-rounder Ben Stokes and opener Alex Hales from international cricket until further notice after the pair were involved in an altercation outside a Bristol nightclub. The announcement came a day after Stokes, England's highest-profile cricketer and vice-captain of the test side, was named in the 16-man squad for the Ashes tour of Australia starting in November. The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) said in a statement that both Stokes and Hales remained on full pay pending further investigation into the incident. Stokes was arrested on suspicion of causing actual bodily harm and then released without charge under investigation, and Hales was with him at the time of the incident. “Ben Stokes and Alex Hales will not be considered for selection for England international matches until further notice,” the ECB said. The immediate effect of the suspension is to rule both out of final one-day international against West Indies in Southampton. “Andrew Strauss, Director of England Cricket, will refer the internal disciplinary procedure for these two players to the Cricket Discipline Commission, chaired by Tim O'Gorman,” the ECB added. “These decisions, fully supported by ECB Chairman Colin Graves, were made following the release of footage viewed by ECB for the first time.” Samit Patel may replace Ben Stokes With Ben Stokes being suspended, England have been left with a 32-yearold spin bowling allrounder to save them from Ashes embarrassment. Excaptain Nasser Hussain and former Test opener Nick Compton have both pushed the case of veteran Samit Patel to fill the void to be left by Samit Patel Stokes in the middle-order. Patel has played six Test matches and averages just 16.77 with the bat, and has given 60 runs for every wicket he’s taken with his left-arm orthodox, which Australia will be licking their lips to exploit on hard, flat pitches.


Asian Voice | 7th October 2017

AV 7th October 2017  

Asian Voice Weekly Newspaper (Issue No.: 23)