First & Foremost Asian Weekly in Europe
Vol 46 | Issue 10
8th July to 14th July 2017
Let noble thoughts come to us from every side
Must have your say
WARMEST WELCOME FOR MODI IN ISRAEL
“Aapka Swagat Hai, Mere Dost,” (Welcome, my friend) quipped the Israeli Prime Minister as he welcomed Narendra Modi on Tuesday. The first Indian Prime Minister to visit the Jewish nation, Modi reached Israel to an extraordinary welcome as he began his “path-breaking” three-day visit. Counterpart Benjamin Netanyahu broke protocol by being at the airport, an honour which has until now only been accorded to the US President and the Pope. Both the leaders hugged three times, referring to each other as “my friend”. One of the warmest welcomes extended to the Indian leader, Netanyahu hailed Modi as
India goes for GST
The midnight launch of India's biggest tax reform since independence, the Goods and Services Tax instantaneously turned India into a select league of countries with a national sales tax. The new single tax regime has now replaced an array of dozen state and central levies built up over seven decades. The GST has unified the country's $2 trillion economy and 1.3 billion people into a common market, eliminating the compounding effect of the current multi-layered tax system as well as the cross-state tax heterogeneity by fixing the final tax rate. The initial phase before the roll-out had people, Continued on page 17
a “great leader of India and a great world leader.” He said, “we have been waiting for the last 70 years” for a visit by an Indian PM. The entire Israeli Cabinet was present at the airport to receive their guest, and Modi was accorded a Guard of Honour after an Israeli military band played the national anthems of both the countries. “I remember what you told me in our first meeting- when it comes to India and Israel relations, the sky is the limit. But now, Prime Minister, let me add, even sky is not the limit. We are also cooperating in space,” Netanyahu said. In brief speeches, both the leaders vowed to give a push to the bilateral relationship in all aspects and jointly deal with issues like terrorism. Appreciating the special welcome, Modi began his speech with a few words in Hebrew. “Shalom, I am happy to be here,” he said. “I thank my friend Prime Minister Netanyahu for receiving me. It is my honour to be the first ever Indian Prime Minister to undertake this ground-breaking visit to Israel.” He said his visit was “path-breaking”. “Building a strong and resilient relationship with Israel will be my intent and focus... We have to secure our societies against the common threat of terrorism.” Modi said his visit celebrates the strength of centuries-old links between the two societies and “based on these bonds, our partnership has maintained a strong and sustained upswing since the establishment of full relationship, diplomatic relations, 25 years ago.” Continued on page 17
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India's caste system is believed to be among world's oldest surviving forms of social stratification. The UK Government is of the opinion that some British Asians still experience discrimination on basis of their castes in the UK. Hence, they want to introduce the Caste discrimination as an offence under the equality laws. But before that, they would like to know your views on how best to ensure that there could be appropriate legal protection against caste discrimination or if they should at all make this a part of the Equality Act. The Department of Education in their consultation section has stated that a ban could be applied: “by formally making caste an aspect of race in the Equality Act 2010 or through developing case law in the courts and employment tribunals. “In either case, businesses and public authorities would have to consider caste discrimination in the same way they consider other aspects of race discrimination when dealing with employees, customers or service users.
“We want to hear from members of those communities who may encounter caste discrimination in their daily lives as well as the wider public, businesses, service providers educational and other institutions, and public authorities.” Many Hindu leaders like Trupti Patel, from Hindu Forum of Britain have protested against the idea and strongly believe that the caste system was introduced in its current guise during colonial rule in an attempt by the British authorities to classify and better understand the Indian society they were governing. Many Hindu organisations who believe that Indians have started behaving as if they are a part of a caste hierarchy as a result of being taught to, said, “All Hindus do not accept caste is an integral feature of the religion. As a result, there are many who would prefer the issue remain under the radar.” As per the wiki definition, Caste is not an Indian term. The origins of the term 'caste' are attributed to the Spanish and Portuguese casta, Continued on page 16
PLEASE SEE PAGE 3 FOR CB’S COMMENT ON CASTE LEGISLATION IN THE BRITISH PARLIAMENT
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Asian Voice | 8th July 2017
Keith Vaz, MP
Dr Jaswinder Singh Bamrah Dr Jaswinder Singh Bamrah is one of the country's leading doctors. He is a senior consultant psychiatrist in Manchester and an Honorary Reader at University of Manchester. Until recently he was Medical Director at Manchester Mental Health and Social Care Trust. He is a Director and Council member of the BMA. He is also the National Chairman of British Association of Physicians of Indian Origin. He is a trustee of two charitable organisations â€“ LMCP charity for disadvantaged people from the South Asian community and the African and Caribbean Mental Health Services. He has around 40 medical publications and nearly 100 in the tabloid press. He has appeared on several radio shows including Radio 4 and Radio 5 live, and on regional TV. He lectures on a range of subjects nationally and abroad. JS is past Council member and immediate past Director of CPD of Royal College of Psychiatrists. He is past President of the Section of Psychiatry, Manchester Medical Society and past Chair of BMAâ€™s Psychiatry committee. 1) What is your current position? I have a few. I am one of three elected Directors of the British Medical Association (BMA) and Council Member of the BMA. The BMA has over 160,000 members and is a professional organisation and a trade union. I am National Chairman of the British Association of Physicians of Indian Origin (BAPIO), probably the largest ethnic medical organisation in the UK. Other positions are Consultant Psychiatrist, Greater Manchester Mental Health NHS Foundation Trust; Honorary Reader, University of Manchester; Trustee, LMCP registered charity; Trustee, African and Caribbean Mental Health charity. 2) What proudest
are your achieve-
ments? Apart from my three children, I have a sense of achievement whenever I raise the profile of mental health issues or expose the inequalities that exist against mental illness and black and ethnic minority groups. Any recognition I get for these issues helps to raise the profile further, so I have had a lifetime achievement award for my long commitment to Manchester mental health services, I was nominated as one of 100 BME leaders by the Health Service Journal in 2014, and in the same year I was given an award for â€˜Outstanding Contribution to BAPIOâ€™. I am one of few UK psychiatrists to figure in Marquisâ€™ Whoâ€™s Who. In 2013, I was awarded a Special Professional award by Asian Lite for
the causes I represent and in 2010 along came an Association Medal for services to the BMA. In 2001 I was one of 100 doctors invited to Downing Street for providing a â€˜Distinguished Service to the NHSâ€™. 3) What inspires you? I am inspired by causes â€“ and then I look to people who are passionate about these. On the way, there have been a few but I will save them the embarrassment of being named. Many have been my patients who have shown grit and resilience. 4) What has been the biggest obstacle in your career? Attitudes and prejudices would be right up there. As a psychiatrist, I often see how these are played out in public but there again protectionism is another side of that coin that can be equally damaging. Regardless of these, I would say that the real obstacles are within ourselves. I often quote Rabindranath Tagore, an Indian poet, who says â€œI have become my own version of an optimist. If I can't make it through one door, I'll go through another door - or I'll make a door. Something terrific will come no matter how dark the presentâ€?. I remind myself of this to dispel the dark forces! 5) Who has been the biggest influence on your career to date? Without any doubt my parents; my now deceased
father whose organisational ability I have inherited and who was very particular about relationships, and my mother who still has a quest for education and remains the most supremely optimistic character I have ever seen! And of course my wife for providing me with a stability at home which has absorbed many of the stresses of a busy working life. 6) What is the best aspect about your current role? I enjoy a certain flexibility so I can almost chose what I want to do. I now have the time to get into the detail of what I enjoy doing, and in this my two charities, the African and Caribbean Mental Health Services and LMCP figure right up there. And there are other passionate causes such as the NHS, mentoring younger medical colleagues, and education. 7) And the worst? The worst part is seeing the NHS fragmented and dismantled by ideologically-driven politicians who do not understand its core values and commissioners who are, frankly, incompetent. If I could put them on Mars on their own, I would. 8) What are your long term goals? That would be to realise my dream that â€˜there is no health without mental healthâ€™. Stigma of mental illness is widespread amongst the public, and
Acid attacks now being treated as hate crime
Police are now treating the acid attack that targeted a young woman celebrating her 21st birthday and her cousin as a hate crime. Jameel Mukhtar, 37, and his cousin Resham Khan suffered devastating injuries in the attack in east London last week. Officers investigating
the incident have released images of John Tomlin who is wanted in connection with the attack. A crowdfunding page which was set up by Reshamâ€™s friends to help her and her cousin has raised almost ÂŁ20,000 in under two days. Meanwhile a second attack took place in Tower
Hamlets in which a man was rushed to hospital after thugs squirted bleach before stealing his car which was later recovered in a nearby street. The attack happened when a car pulled up alongside the victimâ€™s vehicle before one of the occupants squirted a noxious substance at the driver, police said. The victim was treated by paramedics at the scene in front of a crowd of shocked onlookers. The victim, a 23-yearold man, was then taken to an east London hospital,
where he was treated for minor injuries which are not thought life-threatening. No arrests have been made.
probably the worst offenders are my fellow medical colleagues. Often stigma is more damaging than the illness itself. But this goal is not a pipe dream â€“ I see pockets of change in many places. 9) If you were Prime Minister, what one aspect would you change? Gosh, I am not sure I want to step into Mrs Mayâ€™s Brexit shoes! But seriously, and perhaps this is my own bias, there is a lot of stuff about immigrants that is really unhelpful. As an immigrant from East Africa, I feel that we have become political pawns. There are many services that would collapse without immigrants, and as I see now, the NHS is struggling without recruitment from overseas. I would detoxify that rhetoric about immigration. And I would do something about the growing gap between the filthy rich and the poor.
10) If you were marooned on a desert island, which historical figure would you like to spend your time with and why? I guess that would be two people: the first Sikh Guru, Nanak, who brought an understanding of tolerance and bridging gaps between different communities at a time of atrocities by Moghuls in India, and an ethos of learning â€“ hence the word â€˜Sikhâ€™. And the other person would be Mohammed Ali, whose autobiography â€˜The Greatest: My Own Storyâ€™ really inspired me in my fourth year in medical school. Ali (fighter, poet, lover, provocateur extraordinaire) is probably a generation apart from all of us in being able to push on attitudes and prejudices, and yet remain so admired by many. Iâ€™d love to put him on a couch!
Council refuses to back down after Sikh couple denied chance to adopt white baby A council that denied Sikh couple Sandeep and Reena Mander the chance to adopt a child over their â€œcultural heritageâ€? is refusing to back down, despite the intervention of the prime minister Theresa May and the equality watchdog. British-born Sandeep and Reena Mander said they had wanted the chance to adopt a child of any ethnic background. But they were refused the chance to apply by Windsor and Maidenhead councilâ€™s agency, Adopt Berkshire, basing on their ethnicity, The Guardian reported. They were reportedly told that only white children were in need, and white British or European applicants would be given preference so the couple could not put their names down as potential adopters. Experts expressed astonishment at the case as it appears to clearly disregard the Children and
Families Act of 2014, which ended the practice of allowing only ethnic matches for adopted children. The Mandersâ€™ case was taken up by their MP, Theresa May, in the form of a letter to the council, and the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHCR). However despite the intervention and a round of media interviews given by the Manders on last Tuesday, the council is sticking to its decision. It also refuses to discuss the case. A spokesman said: â€œWe do not comment on ongoing court cases.â€?
Sino-Indian standoff on Sikkim, Bhutan border The simmering border confrontation between India waxes and wanes, as and when China decides to switch off and switch on the reset button. Beijing has opted for the long game and India is best advised to respond accordingly. China’s invasion and occupation of Tibet in November 1950 was timed with its intervention in the Korean War. With American and Allied boots on the ground in Korea, the world’s attention was drawn to developments on the Korean peninsula, understandable since the spectre of a nuclear Armageddon loomed menacingly large. Such was not the case with Tibet, a distant Shangrila, of which very little was known, except in fanciful tales of lamas and lamasaries. India knew a great deal more, then and much before, but chose to accept the ground realities, for in truth a weakened India traumatized by the surgery of Partition and the blood spilled, could do little by way of contesting Chinese military power across the border. There were, of course, diplomatic methods open to the Government of India, such as non-recognition of China’s claims to Tibet, thus leaving country’s position indeterminate in internal law, but it chose to abjure this course, believing that placating China would be wise, hence fruitful. The solace of incantations, of Hindi, Chini bhai bhai became the rage, the sedative being anti-colonial, anti-imperial solidarity, with little understanding of historical truth that China, even in the era of its weakness, was both a colonial and an imperial power just like the Ottoman Empire which straddled the Balkans and most of the Middle East, save Iran. Signing a treaty with Beijing in April 1954,accepting Chinese rule over Tibet without any reciprocal gesture on boundary demarcation was folly. Panch Sheel or the Five Principles of Peaceful Co-existence in the fullness of time turned out be the five shrouds of Tibet’s burial. For China Panch Sheel was licence to China to do what it willed in Tibet, so when the Tibetan rebellion broke out in 1958, and the Dalai fled his country in March 1959 and sought sanctuary in India, he was welcomed and willingly given asylum, China perceived this as interference in China’s internal affairs. Relations with
India deteriorated, leading to the war of 1962. Relations have never truly recovered. The recent crisis in the SinoIndian relationship started with the Dalai Lama’s presence in India. China wanted the right of veto over where he travelled in the country, what he did and what he says as a ‘core’ Chinese interest. If India were to concur, it would be reduced to a Chinese tributary state. The presentd crisis erupted with Chinese roadbuilding in a sensitive area abutting Bhutan, a flatland from where light tanks can operate in a coordinated military assault on Bhutan and on India. Beijing has reacted ferociously to protests from both nations. Bhutan chooses not have diplomatic ties with China, which is its sovereign right. Beijing calculates that it can frighten Bhutan into diluting its close relationship with India with a show of belligerence. India, rightly, has refused to back down. The crisis has reached boiling point. Somewhere, at some time, China has to be faced off, otherwise there will be no end to this cat-andmouse blackmail of threats and blandishments. History has answers to questions seeming remote and incomprehensible. In 1908 W.F O’Connor, a brilliant British frontier official with great local insight into people and events penned a notable minute on the area currently in contention.. O’Connor warned Government against the cession of the Chumbi Valley to China, writing: ‘It is a wedge of foreign territory thrust down to the south of the Himalayas…In the hands of a foreign (and possibly hostile) Power it is always a thorn in our side…a cause of friction in peace and embarrassment in time of war.’ When a Chinese force stormed Lhasa in February 1910, the Morning Post in London reflected presciently ‘…a great Empire, the future military strength of which no man can foresee, has suddenly appeared on the North-East Frontier of India…The problem of the North-West thus bids fair to be duplicated in the long run…The evacuation of the Chumbi Valley was a blunder. The Strategic Line has been lost, and a heavy price may be exacted for the mistake. China, in a word, has come to the gates of India, and the fact has to e reckoned with.’ Enough said.
Realism defines Modi-Trump talks The much awaited meeting between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and US President Donald Trump was cordial, and the overall result positive. They were in accord on the threat to their respective countries. They pointed to Pakistan as a major platform for jihadi terrorism, pointing to Pakistan-based Syed Salahuddin, who operates in Kashmir. Messers Modi and Trump wanted international designation of Salahauddin as a ‘terrorist. ‘ This has set the cat among the pigeons in Hurriyat ranks. President Trump lauded the Indian Prime Minister as a ‘true friend’ and complimented him on India’s economic reforms, acknowledging that the country growth was the fastest in the world. India’s Jet Airways recently purchased 100 Boeing aircraft to service its international and domestic routes. The acquisition of US drones and other defence deals were confirmed. India, the US and Japan will also conduct extensive naval exercises in the Indian Ocean. The Trump Administration and Congress have been increasingly critical of Pakistan’s role in fomenting, funding and training jihadi groups working to destabilize Afghanistan. However, as a global Superpower the US has wide range of strategic interests in each corner of every continent. Indian interests are scaled to its limited ambitions, hence the two countries are unlikely to be in sync on a number of issues. Adding to this mix is
President Trump’s unpredictability and lack of consistency. The US in embroiled in a dangerous military confrontation with Russia. Yet, on his campaign trail, Mr Trump had promised a close cooperation with Russia in the fight against ISIS terrorism. Relations now are near rock bottom. Russians are slow to saddle, but once they do they ride fast. The US President would do well to take pause. Finally, the US-China relationship is complex. China is the largest holder of American debt; in addition their bilateral trade and investment is many times the scale between India and the United States. Democratic Taiwan, to which China has long made claim, is a sticking point. The Chinese people of Taiwan wish to translate their de facto independence into de jure status, but US and its allies have had no qualms in accepting Beijing position. The rest of the world cravenly has followed suit. To sum up, India and the United States will concentrate on what each side can deliver on trade, investment and intellectual property rights and so. Fraught subjects farther afield will be left for general discussion and consultation. This may not sound romantic but statecraft was never perceived as a romance. It is enough to be practical and take from the table items that are digestible. Expecting more is to invite disappointment.
GST celebrated with gusto The landmark Goods and Services (GST) became operational at the midnight hour of July 1. The occasion was celebrated in Parliament with understandable fanfare. The opposition Congress party in a show of juvenile petulance stayed away. President Pranab Mukherjee hailed the occasion with a public display of support with Mr Modi at his side. In the gathering of the great and good were Dr Asim Dasgupta and Ratan Tata sitting next to each other. Dr Dasgupta, a brilliant economist with a doctorate from MIT was the man entrusted by the first BJP pr ime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee to write the original GST draft, a complex and arduous
undertaking which Dr Dasgupta performed with extraordinary skill. That he was the Finance Minister in the Communist Left Front government West Bengal played no part in Mr Vajpayee’s decision. Dr Dasgupta was appointed because he was the best man for the job. His work constitutes the core of the finished GST. GST represents the collective will of the Indian people – the result of close consultation, at every stage, between the Central government and the States. It was an inspiring lesson of federalism at work. The GST is India’s common market. Long may it endure and take India forward.
Asian Voice | 8th July 2017
It is harder to crack a prejudice than an atom
- Albert Einstein (1879-1955)
As I See It
CASTE LEGISLATION IN THE BRITISH PARLIAMENT After deliberations in the House of Commons and the House of Lords, the Parliament has decided July 17 to be the deadline for responses about a very important legislation in front of the august House. In simple terms, caste has been given centre stage in the day to day life of the people of this country. Why now? Promoters, or the government itself has not been able to provide factual data about the perceived discrimination and injustices in our lives in this country based on caste barriers in employment, housing, friendships, or even, in marriage. The powers that rally behind the proposed legislation, must come out clearly and cleanly about the reasons behind tabling the motion. How many incidents were reported? As a matter of principle, even one incident of discrimination or injustice is not acceptable. Since when is a law formulated based on some exceptions where the danger and the damage is clear in implications on the very fabric of the society which it purports to help? One must look at the consequences very carefully. In my experience of living in this country for over 50 years, caste itself has become of little or no significance in public or private employ-
ment including those where the employers are fellow Indians of so-called higher caste. In housing, in public services, at universities, employment, in friendships leading up to marriages, if there was at all any significance of caste, it is almost non-existent now. Vast changes have taken place without any legislation in the evolution of the British Indians increasingly with education, professions, competence, and confidence. Fewer and fewer young persons ask their parents or consider the caste of individuals before meeting them, falling in love, starting relationships leading up to co-habitation or marriage. What would happen if the caste itself is made part of the law? We should consider that very carefully. Even unwittingly then, young persons, boys and girls in the schools will be tempted or encouraged to enquire about the caste before they make friendship at the most innocent stage of their lives. I can also speak from my personal experience. I arrived in this country in 1966. In 1968, I had to give away a Hindu girl, in a wedding ceremony, who wanted to marry an Englishman, but her parents were not willing to endorse the relationship at that time. Continued on page 8
Editor: CB Patel
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Asian Voice | 8th July 2017
Knife robber rips Postmaster's turban off in frenzied attack Shocking footage has been released of an appalling knife attack when a postmaster had his turban ripped from his head. This shocking footage shows the worker from Birmingham tidying his store before he is confronted by a crazed raider. Police have released video of the attack on March 17 at 9.20am in a bid to try and track down the knifeman. The CCTV shows Tarsem Thethy in the post office in Slade Road, Erdington when a white male bursts through the door and lunges the knife towards his throat, cutting his victim in the process. Mr Thethy backs away from the man who then lunges his other arm towards him, ripping his
turban from his head. The man chases Mr Thethy around the store, clutching and pulling on his turban before his wife Kulwant hits the panic alarm. The alarm shocks the attacker, but doesn't stop him from taking one last swipe at the hands of Mr Thethy before running away empty handed. Struggling to move on from the ordeal, the couple agreed to do an appeal with the BBC's Crimewatch Roadshow, to help catch the man people are describing as a "danger to the public". PC Alan Reeves described the attack as frenzied and vicious: "This man is a particular danger to the public and needs taking off the streets. “We want to identify
Postmaster Tarsem Thethy is attacked with a knife
him and arrest him for the protection of the public, given the viciousness and how frenzied the attack was." Describing life after the attack, Kulwant told the show her husband has been hit hard by the assault: "He's been nervous, he's not the same person."
Mr Thethy has run the Slade Road store since 1998 with his wife Kulwant. Anyone with information or who can identify the man in the CCTV is asked to contact West Midlands Police on 101 and can now reach investigators using the Crimewatch Roadshow number of 08000 468 999.
Mortgage fraud gang ordered to repay more than £4 million or face more jail A mortgage fraud gang led by a charity boss and involving his wife and daughter have been ordered to pay back £4.3 million. Nine defendants were this week ordered to repay the huge amount after they netted more than £15 million in a lengthy and elaborate con. The gang was headed by Mehboob Akhtar, also known as Saint Pir Pandariman, a self-proclaimed spiritualist faith healer. He ran the Muslim charity the Darbar Unique Centre, in Stoke-onTrent. Birmingham Crown Court heard Pandariman, 61, used donations from followers to set up a portfolio of 41 buyto-let properties, with the help of his right-hand man,
Mohammed Zabbir Hussain who admitted his part in the huge scam. Pandariman’s wife Kadija Akhtar, 54, and daughter Rushbmmani Akhtar, 29, were also part of the gang who were jailed in April 2016 for what was believed to be a £4.4 million fraud. But it has now emerged the total benefit from the fraud was more than three times higher than the £4.4 million figure. Proceeds of crime hearings for the gang this week heard they actually got away with a staggering £15,569,554. Pandariman, of Farman Close, Meir, and Zabbir Hussain, of Castleton Road, Lightwood, made a total of £10.9 million alone from the
The head of a drugs gang whose members were jailed for more than 200 years over a £3.5 million heroin racket has been ordered to repay over £600,000 of dirty money. Zaheer Hussain is already serving a 20-year sentence, imposed in 2013 after detectives smashed a plot to flood Birmingham’s streets with drugs smuggled in from Afghanistan. Nineteen of his henchmen were also jailed as police untangled the complex crime web, which netted Hussain more than £1.3 million. Detectives also uncovered two guns and hundreds of thousands of pounds in cash linked to his group. Now the drugs kingpan, 33, has been given three months to hand over £605,000 or face another five years
behind bars. He could also be stripped of more cash and belongings in the future to make up the £724,000 shortfall between his crime earnings and the Proceeds of Crime Act (POCA) demand. Hussain’s money will be used for community projects. Det Chief Insp Darren Walsh, of West Midlands Police’s economic crime unit, said: “Hussain had already been handed a very lengthy jail term but it was important for us to pursue him through the courts to recoup his illgotten gains. “Our financial investigators have done a brilliant job, working tirelessly to build a confiscation case against Hussain and prove what money and assets he’d accrued through drug dealing. “It’s important we show to
Holy man Mehboob Akhtar, also known as Saint Pirwali Pandariman, Khajida Akhtar, Rushbamani Akhtar and Mohammed Hussain (bottom row left to right) Alfan Ali, Mohammed Gaffar, Naqiat Akhtar and Graham Lockstone
complex conspiracy. Nine defendants have now been ordered by Birmingham Crown Court to pay back a total of
£4,346,853 - believed to be one of the biggest ever single proceeds of crime recoveries by West Midlands Crown Prosecution Service.
Feared gangster Zaheer Hussain ordered to repay £600k of dirty money
CCTV appeal over robber who rips earrings out of women's ears
Police are hunting a serial Black Country robber who has been terrorising women by tearing earrings off them in the street. West Midlands Police have released a picture of a man they want to speak to in connection with the earring snatches which has left some victims needing medical treatment. Police are searching for the robber who has targeted seven women across the Smethwick, Wednesbury, Great Barr and West Bromwich areas since May 20. The robber walks up to women in the street and rips the earrings from their ears leaving them in pain and traumatised. A West Midlands Police spokesman said: “We need your help to identify this man. We want to speak to him about a series of earring snatches across the Sandwell area.
Boys' school teacher Harleen swaps classroom for catwalk
A teacher will go to the top of the class in the eyes of the boys in her classroom if she achieves catwalk success. Harleen Sidhu, aged 25, teaches at Kings Heath Boys’ School. But the classroom won’t be her focus on Sunday night when she competes against 14 other girls in the Miss Birmingham Great Britain pageant at the city’s Park Regis Hotel. And she is a Miss with a mission. For she hopes that more British Asian women will follow her example. Former Aston University student Harleen leads a busy life, for as well as teaching she is completing an acting course and has done work for several charities including Diabetes UK and the British Red Cross. She is currently raising money for the Queen Elizabeth Hospital Charity.
Promoting British values in school can help fight extremism, says Ofsted chief
Schools can play a "crucial" role in combating extremism in the wake of recent terrorist attacks by promoting tolerance and British values, the head of Ofsted has said. Giving young people "knowledge and resilience" is as important as physical safety, the body's chief inspector Amanda Spielman told an education conference. Ms Spielman replaced Sir Michael Wilshaw in the post in January, having previously been the chairwoman of qualifications regulator Ofqual. In July last year Sir Michael singled out Birmingham, Luton and Bradford as areas of "concern" as he warned that missing pupils could be at risk of exposure to extremism.
City man arrested on suspicion of terror offences after landing at Heathrow
Zaheer Hussain was found to be running the organised crime group who were importing and distributing heroin in Birmingham.
people that crime doesn’t pay. This money will be put into the public purse and can be spent on crime prevention projects and community initiatives.” West Midlands Police and Crime Commissioner David Jamieson, said: “Communities in east Birmingham really suffered from this group’s drug
dealing so I would encourage residents there to apply to my office for POCA money through the Active Citizens Fund. “That fund has been set up to help support good causes and local projects that benefit communities. It is always very satisfying to take money out of criminals’ hands and put it to good use.”
Two men – one from Birmingham – were arrested on suspicion of terror offences after landing on a flight at Heathrow Airport. The pair, both aged 21, were detained by detectives from West Midlands Counter Terrorism after their flight from Turkey landed just after 10am on Saturday. They were being taken to a location in the West Midlands where they were due to be questioned on suspicion of preparing for terrorist acts. Police said the arrests were intelligenceled and there was no immediate threat to the public. The other man was from Leicester.
Asian Voice | 8th July 2017
A rare pencil portrait of the freedom fighter and renowned leader Mahatma Gandhi sitting on the floor and writing, with his signature at the bottom, will be put up for auction on July 11 in London, along with his letters to the family of iconic Indian leader Subhash Chandra Bose. Gandhi was known to be reluctant to sit for any portraits, but this was a rare pencil sketch of the leader by artist John Henry Amshewitz (1882-1942) for which he believed to be have sat through, during his visit to London for the 1931 Round Table conference. The price estimate for the photo with Gandhi’s words, “Truth is God / MK Gandhi / 4.12.’31”, is believed to be between £8,000-£12,000. Auctioneers Sotheby’s, who have their headquarter in New York, in the portrait's description said that
Image Courtesy: Sotheby's
Rare pencil portrait and letters of Gandhi to be auctioned
Gandhi was staying at Kingsley Hall at London’s East End during the visit, at the invitation of one of its founders, Muriel Lester, who had previously stayed in Gandhi’s ashram in India. The portrait, which was inscribed by Gandhi, the day before he left Kingsley Hall, was given to a local resident who was closely associated with the place throughout her life.
It has remained in her family ever since, it added. The most important of letters that will be auctioned are addressed to Sarat Chandra Bose, who was one of the most outspoken critics of partition and had proposed an independent united Bengal. It includes key comments from Gandhi on the partition of Bengal in the months before his assassination, where he wrote: “You should give up the struggle for unity of Bengal and cease to disturb the atmosphere that has been created for partition of Bengal.” The letters have a combined estimate of £23,000£33,000.
Trump may sneak in a snap visit to UK US President Donald Trump, who cancelled his trip to the UK in fear of mass protests against him, is rumoured to be sneaking in a quick stop over at Turnberry, his golf resort in Scotland, during his trip to Europe, between attending the G20 summit in Hamburg and joining celebrations for Bastille Day in France on 14 July. Trump is therefore expected to make a visit to Downing Street in London too, to meet the Prime Minister Theresa May for informal talks as part of any such visit, though it is believed that final confirmation would be likely to be given with just 24 hours’ notice to minimise the risk of disruption. May had invited
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Trump a week after he took on the office, and became the first foreign leader to visit him in the White House. In February activists, MPs and trade unions vowed to hold the largest demonstrations in UK history if Trump made a state visit to the UK. They formed the Stop Trump Coalition and even
hired a permanent staff member. However the Prime Minister's spokesperson from Downing Street has emphasised that they are not aware of any plans for Trump to visit the UK in the coming few weeks, and these are merely speculations from the public.
Child granted citizenship being declared stateless A child who was born to illegal immigrants in the UK of Indian origin, has been granted British citizenship by the Royal Court of Justice, after he was found not registered with the Indian authority. The Times of India (TOI) reported that a Punjabi boy, who is little over 6 years old, was born in the UK, to an Indian 'Sharma' couple, who had overstayed in the UK after their students visa expired. After an 18month-long legal battle, the decision on stateless applications in the UK has been allowed by the Royal
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to the British Nationality Act 1981. The parents of the applicant, who didn't want their first names to be revealed, reportedly said, "We are just glad that the Indian High Commission in the day (six years ago) treated us like trash. We were so hassled because we had come here as students and started living together. When we had our son, getting him registered with the high commission was so painful that we gave up on it. Now, the son, being stateless, is likely to work to our advantage."
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Asian Voice | 8th July 2017
Remembering Indian Soldiers During World War I A highly emotive tribute was paid to the fallen on the occasion of Armed Forces Day (24th June) at Belgrave Neighbourhood Centre, Leicester with a special exhibition showcasing the Role of Indian Soldiers during the First World War and tracing down the Indian contribution over centuries in the making of present day Great Britain. The day long programme organised by the Golden Tours Foundation was a part of the “Remembering Indian Soldiers in World War 1” project supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund. The programme was supported by BBC Radio Leicester, Friends of the Oxford Centre for Hindu Studies and the St Philips Centre Leicester. The exhibition which was housed at the BBC Leicester studios for a week prior to arriving at the Belgrave Neighbourhood centre is a documentation of the
the programme and commended Nitin Palan MBE for his vision and role in ensuring the Indian contribution wasn’t forgotten from the institutional memory of WW1 history.
on behalf of the City Mayor for bringing the exhibition to Leicester and bringing together individuals sharing their personal accounts of this painful history. “My own Mother in law’s father died fighting in the Great War in Baghdad and she was left to bring up her children all alone, living with the pain of the great loss. The sacrifice isn’t just of the soldiers who fought but also their families and villages.” Nitin Palan MBE, Chairman of Golden Tours Foundation sharing the vision states, “All Nations want to instill pride in their people. Often in recognising other Nations’ and their peoples’ contri-
Cllr Manjula Sood, Amit Sharma from Indian High Commisison with Nitin Palan MBE and Lord Mayor Cllr Rashmikant Joshi
Indian contribution during World War 1, otherwise unheard of in reference to history of WW1. The visitors were prompted to question their own personal history and any possible association with the World War 1. Ayesha Sharda, a young visitor recalled vaguely, her great grandfather who fought in the World War 1 and hailed from a village in Punjab (India): “I don’t remember his exact name but will ask my father when I go back. We have heard our grandfather mention a few times how my Great Grandfather fought in WW1.” The programme held in the afternoon was conducted by Kamlesh Purohit, Deputy Editor of BBC Radio Leicester. Lord Mayor of Leicester, Cllr Rashmikant Joshi attended
He also congratulated the GTF for choosing the Belgrave Neighbourhood Centre as the venue for organising this programme as the Centre was a leading example of interfaith congregation and interactions. The programme was also attended by Mr Amit Sharma from the High Commission of India. The High Commissioner of India who was unable to attend the programme himself sent a video message and a letter of appreciation for Golden Tours Foundation congratulating Mr Nitin Palan MBE of his efforts and best wishes for the work. Cllr Manjula Sood MBE Assistant City Mayor joined the commemoration and congratulated Golden Tours Foundation
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bution may interfere with their own sense of pride. The West has traditionally not viewed India as an equal partner and always
Vipula Athukorale with his butter sculpture of soldiers in war
considered it as part of The Third World. On the other hand, India as a Nation has failed to recognise their own Indian soldiers’ contribution during The Great War as it is looked with pain and not relevance.” Among the various presentations were two panel discussions, firstly discussing “How do we use the legacy of conflict to bring about community harmony”, chaired by Tom Wilson, Director of St Philips Centre. Among the speakers were Raj Chauhan from the Friends of OCHS; Dilwar Hussain, Academic and Advisor, New Horizons; and Bobby Singh, Historian and Filmmaker. Discussing arts and their contribution were Vipula Athukorale from The Art of Cuisine
Guests learning more about Indian soldiers in WWI
who also showcased his award winning Butter sculpture of soldiers at war; Ishy Din, Playwright of The Wipers; and Flt Lt Harriet Tadikonda who
paths in warfare. The programme concluded with musical tributes paid on this occasion by locally based artistes Madhu Chauhan of Pukar
Kamlesh Purohit conducting panel discussion- 'Legacy Illustrated'
composed the famous symphony as part of One Voice bringing faiths together in uniform. Among the voices less heard was George Ballentyne who spoke about the Bahai contribution during WW1. Connecting the then to the now was Kishor Chauhan, father of a fallen hero, Flt Lt Rakesh Chauhan who died at the young age of 29 years in Afghanistan in 2014 who spoke about the legacy of this young officer and his immense contribution to creating safe flight
Women’s Group of disabled artistes, Jay Rathod and team, JK Arts and Flt Lt Harriet Tadikonda. The exhibition will be housed at the Peepul centre from 21st July to 28th July before moving back to London towards end of July. Anyone interested in the exhibition may visit it at these locations or may request for this to be displayed in their local areas by e m a i l i n g : firstname.lastname@example.org
Home Secretary launches £1m faith institution protection fund Following the Finsbury Park terror attack Home Secretary Amber Rudd has made an additional £1 million available to protect vulnerable faith institutions, including places of worship and associated community centres. Eligible organisations can now apply for help to provide a range security measures, such as CCTV, cameras, and protective fencing to provide reassurance for their congregations. The scheme will provide security measures to places of worship and associated community centres that are vulnerable to attack on racial, religious or ideological grounds.
The home office said that it will consider bids from places of worship in England and Wales such as Mosques, Gurdwaras, Temples, Churches and associated faith community centres (for example a community centre run by a place of worship or near a place of worship that is faith based). Faith schools, educational institutions, general community centres, NHS establishments (including chapels and prayer rooms) are not eligible to apply. The Jewish community will be exempt from this scheme too as a similar commitment was made to fund Jewish
community sites through a grant administered by the Community Security Trust (CST). Home Secretary Amber Rudd said: “There is no place for hate crime in this country and anyone who commits an attack motivated by race, religion or ideology will meet the full force of the law. “People must feel free to practice their faith without fear of violence or abuse, which is why I launched a £2.4m fund last year to provide protective security to places of worship as part of my Hate Crime Action Plan. “Many groups have already benefited from
funding. But following the tragic attack in Finsbury Park earlier this month I am making another £1 million to provide protection against hate crime to all those who need it.” The new fund, announced by the Home Secretary in the Commons on 22 June, is an extension of the £2.4 million Places of Worship scheme, announced in July 2017 as part of the Government’s Hate Crime Action Plan. In November last year around £400,000 was awarded to 59 places of worship, including 45 churches, 12 mosques, one Hindu temple and one gurdwara.
environment where women can come together to share their experiences and learn from eachg other. I chose the women speakers as they are all passionate about their subjects.” She told the Evening Standard: “I am from South India where it is very much a matriarchal
society so this idea has always interested me.” Men are welcome, but only as a guest of a female ticketholder. More speakers will be booked if the first series of talks is a success. Tickets cost £45 and include a welcome drink, canapes and a threecourse meal.
to remain in the country. In each case Mr Patel charged between £3,300 and £13,000, usually demanding payment in cash. There was no legitimate recruiting company. There were no real jobs. There were no genuine Certificates of Sponsorship. On each occasion, the complainant’s Tier 2 application was refused by the Home Office, because the purported Certificate of Sponsorship was a fake. Each complainant lost thousands of pounds. In its decision, the Tribunal found the conduct of Mr Patel to be “reprehensible” and held that he had played a major role in this deception. It noted that Mr Patel “has sought, serially, to deceive the Commissioner, and the immigration authorities, and to abuse the material immigration procedures, and has deceived all of those clients whose immigration affairs are the sub-
ject of these proceedings and in respect of whom the aforesaid sixty charges have been upheld, and dishonestly deprived each of them of a substantial amount of money”. On 31 May 2017 the Tribunal directed Mr Patel to repay a total of £172,600 to the complainants and £7,460 by way of a penalty to the OISC. The Tribunal also directed that Mr Patel/Aaryas Careers Ltd be prohibited from providing immigration advice and/or services indefinitely. Speaking about the decision, Deputy Immigration Services Commissioner Dr Ian Leigh said, “Alpesh Patel was entrusted to advise vulnerable people who could not handle their immigration cases on their own… they trusted him and he betrayed that trust by his reprehensible conduct. I am delighted with the outcome in this case.”
Death of Indian priest in Scotland remains a mystery The death of the priest Martin Xavier Vazhachira in Scotland has shocked the diaspora, more as the cause remains unknown, nearly 2 weeks after his body was found on a beach in East Lothian. The officials have confirmed that the authorities are giving 'full priority' to investigating the case. His body will most likely be sent to his home in Kerala later this week. A post-mortem on the body has been completed, and some samples have been sent to the Criminal Investigation Department of Police Scotland. Vazhachira, 33, was found dead on June 23 in
I N A S S O C I AT I O N W I T H
Regulated adviser banned indefinitely from providing immigration advice and services In a decision issued on 5 April 2017 the First-tier Tribunal (Immigration Services) found sixty charges brought by the OISC to be proven against Alpesh Patel of Aaryas Careers Ltd following an oral hearing between 23 January and 1 February 2017. Mr Patel had been registered by the OISC to provide immigration advice and services from 16 September 2011 until 2 June 2016 when his registration was cancelled. Over the course of 2015 Mr Patel, operating out of offices in Hayes and Brentford located in West London, made Tier 2 visa applications for at least 16 complainants using a fake Certificate of Sponsorship. Mr Patel acted as an immigration adviser and recruitment consultant, introducing the complainants to companies that he claimed could provide them with employment and a Certificate of Sponsorship to allow them
Indian-origin woman to launch a new women's club in Mayfair A new women's club in Mayfair will be lining up star guest speakers, as it opens its door on July 31. Jamavar Women's Club will be launched in Mount Street, and will include Superchef Florence Knight and ballet star Tamara Rojo as guest speakers. The series of talks will be held at Jamavar, starting with Knight as the first speaker. Mayfair has a number of private members’ clubs only for women, including Grace Belgravia and The University Women’s Club. Members’ clubs in the area with restrictions on women include the Turf Club and Boodle’s. Jamavar co-founder Samyukta Nair, reportedly said that she hoped to provide “an antidite” to Mayfair's gentleman's clubs and “to create an
Asian Voice | 8th July 2017
West Barns, near Dunbar. He was appointed as a priest of the Carmelites of Mary Immaculate in Kerala in 2013, and reached in Scotland in July 2016 for postgraduate studies in the University of Edinburgh. He served in Catholic parishes in Falkirk and several others places in Scotland. Local reports said an alarm was raised after Vazhachira failed to show up to celebrate Mass with the parish community of St John the Baptist, Corstorphine, where he was the administrator. Several priests from Kerala, Nagaland, Mizoram and other states have
moved to Britain in recent years to serve in different parishes. Anju Ranjan, the consul general of India in Edinburgh said that the Scottish authorities will inform the mission about when the body could be taken to India, though the cause of death remains still unknown. All formalities needed to be completed for a thorough investigation before the body could be released, officials said. The mission has been in touch with Vazhachira’s family and the SyroMalabar community here and elsewhere are following the case very closely.
Is there someone you know who has broken boundaries and deserves recognition for their unique contribution to the Asian Community or the Nation
Nominate them for the 17th Asian Achievers Awards
The prestigious Asian Achievers Awards is hosted every year by UK’s leading news weeklies Asian Voice and Gujarat Samachar to honour British Asians par excellence.
Deadline for nomination 31st July, 2017 NOMINATION FORM Please tick the appropriate category Achievement in Community Service In recognition for an individuals service to community.
Woman of the Year The award will recognise and honour a woman who has made a significant mark in any chosen field. Sports Personality of the Year Awarded for excellence in sports. Business Person of the Year Awarded to a business person who is a success in every sense of the word and can demonstrate a genuine passion for social issues. Lifetime Achievement Award To honour those individuals, who during their lifetime, have made immense contributions in any given field. This remarkable individual can be marked as an example for the younger generation. Uniformed and Civil Services For outstanding achievements in uniformed and civil services or contribution to the community through any of the above services. Entrepreneur of the Year Awarded to an entrepreneur with a proven track record of operating a successful business enterprise. Professional of the Year Professionals in the field of medicine, law, education, banking, finance and others, who have scaled the heights of their chosen profession. Achievement in Media, Arts and Culture Someone who has made a mark in media including print and broadcast media; cinema, art and culture.
Details required for filing the nomination Please email/post the below details on a separate sheet I Nominee's Name, Occupation I Nominee's Contact Details (Tel/ Email) I Award Category: (choose from the category above ) I Reason for nomination I Nominees Accomplishments /Awards/Recognitions I Personal background /CV/ Bio (Attach these documents if necessary) I Any other information you would like to include about the nominee I Your Name/ Contact details(Email/Phone) Make sure that you fill in this application form and send it on or before 31st July, 2017 by post, fax or email to Mr. L George, Tel: 020 7749 4013, Fax 020 7749 4081, Email: email@example.com. If you are sending it by post the address is Mr. L George, ABPL Group, Karma Yoga House, 12 Hoxton Market, London N1 6HW. Apply online
Asian Voice | 8th July 2017
Muslims to deliver food hampers to thank London’s firefighters
Political Agony Uncle Dear Alpesh, I’ve recently been elected Head of a rather large country – its’ actually the largest democracy in the world but I won’t name it as I want anonymous advice. Now everyone thinks I can solve everything. They message me daily on Twittter and Facebook and when I don’t reply they get very annoyed. I mean they don’t just don’t want me to do the important stuff like clean rivers, some of them even message me if they are having a bad hair day or problems with their wife or husband. What should I do? Also I’m worried that I’m too popular. I know that must sound odd to a man like you, but seriously, even the people who didn’t like me now want me to visit their house. There is this one guy who keeps calling each week bragging about how big and white his house is in America – I mean #stalker. And then so many of these boring politicians from other countries visit my country and I’m told I have to meet them. They don’t even speak Hindustani. So they blabber on in their own language about wanting closer ties and I just stare at them…until they leave. They bring stupid gifts too. The French brought cheese – blue cheese – that’s cheese that’s gone off right? I’ve decided they are not making any planes for my country – they’ll make them from rusty metal and call it good. Of course the British are my favourite. They keep visiting, but I like it, they must miss their old home anyway. And at least when they come, they always bring Gujaratis like you along #token. They are
looking to move to a better neighbourhood anyway is my understanding. Living downwind of the French, I don’t blame them. I’m trying to get the people of my country to understand I am not the answer to everything, but they are the answer. Please help. Yours, Leader of a Very Big Country Dear ‘Leader of a Very Big Country’ I am sorry to hear about your problems. Although to be fair you did ask for the job. In my country most politicians love the attention. We have one man here who is working on nothing but increasing mango sales from India. He’s a politician. My advice to you is to keep smiling at the foreign politicians who visit and given them autographed photos. It’s all they really want anyway. As for the Americans – yeah skip it, it’s not that big a deal. Make up some excuse, like you’re busy with your British friends. As for people thinking you’re the answer to everything – that’s good. Milk it. Get them to volunteer. The leader of my country created this thing called ‘Big Society’ and the idea was good - it was a good way to try to get people to volunteer for free. But then again no one thought he was the answer to everything like they do in your country. So that’s my advice to you. Get people to do a ‘Big Society’ stuff. And don’t worry so much. Yours, Alpesh Patel
Muslims across London are preparing to deliver food hampers to fire stations as a gesture of gratitude after the Grenfell Tower tragedy, in recognition of the firefighters' efforts to save residents from the devastating blaze. Hampers will be hand-delivered to Whitechapel, Shadwell, Shoreditch and Chingford fire stations. GP Dr Monir Miah, from Tower Hamlets, has raised more than £700 to fund the hampers after setting up a crowdfunding page on JustGiving. A card attached to the gifts is expected to read: “Thank you for all you did, we know you tried your absolute best.” On the other hand contractor responsible for fire alarms at Grenfell tower is being probed by fraud squad police after accusations it installed defective safety equipment in hundreds of London properties, an Evening Standard investigation has revealed. Buildings at three separate NHS trusts have also failed fire safety tests. Regulator NHS Improvement said tests of cladding samples from buildings belonging to King's College Hospital Foundation Trust, Sheffield Children's Foundation Trust and North Middlesex University Hospitals Trust have failed combustibility tests.
Two guilty of manslaughter after fatally stabbing man 13 times
Two members of a group that violently attacked a man in Dagenhem, have been found guilty of manslaughter. Abubaker Omar-Bana, 26, of Rochford Close, East Ham, and Jordon Archambie, 20, of Hesketh Road, Forest Gate were both found guilty at the Old Bailey. They had previously pleaded guilty to violent disorder. Raja Ali, 33, was stabbed 13 times and set upon with a hammer, metal poles, baseball bats and a knife during the attack. Police said, Ali had arrived in Stansgate Road with two friends in his car, on September 25 last year. Shortly after, a Renault
Megane pulled up and blocked his car before a Mitsubishi Shogun arrived and rammed his car from behind. While he is suspected to have arrived as part of a drugs deal, it was in fact a set up. Six men got out of the cars and began assaulting the victims. One of Ali's friends climbed out of the car and was chased into nearby Braintree Road by two of the attackers, while the second friend managed to escape and run to Stansgate Road. Ali did manage to get out of the car, but was chased into Braintree Road by three other men, and killed. CCTV footage showed Bana, Archambie, and three
other defendants arriving. Inspector Dave Whellams of the Met's Homicide and Major Crime Command, said, “This was a pre-planned and orchestrated murder. We believe Raja may have gone to meet these men as part of a drugs deal. However, unbeknownst to him, the meeting was actually a set-up, resulting in him losing his life. Raja was set upon by this group who launched a vicious attack with a variety of weapons which resulted in his death.” He added, “Regardless of what Raja's intentions were that night, when he arranged to meet these men he should not have
lost his life. I hope Raja's grieving family are able to move forward knowing his attackers have now been brought to justice.” Zakir Yunas, 22, of Rokeby Streetm Stratford was found guilty of violent disorder and found not guilty of murder and manslaughter. Mussa Jalo, 21, of Norfolk Road, Dagenham pleaded guilty to violent disorder and was found not guilty of murder and manslaughter. Daniel Paul Welch, 34, of Winstead Gardens, Dagenhem, was found guilty of violent disorder and found not guilty of murder and manslaughter.
CASTE LEGISLATION IN THE BRITISH PARLIAMENT Continued on page 3 Both the spouses were adults and were in love and keen to get married in a proper civil marriage. I am happy to report that the couple are now grandparents to wonderful children, and who knows whom they are going to marry or be friends with. Even in my own close-knit family, several offspring have husbands or wives who are non-Hindus, and some not even Indians. Within my own extended family, there are incidents where marriages took place with the so called 'OBC' caste members. I have attended quite a few marriages where Hindu girls are known to marry Muslim guys in ceremonies attended by thousands belonging to the former community. Of all the wedding invitations I receive today, almost half, if not more, are not only inter-caste, but inter-racial, and inter-religious too. There was no role for law to bring this transformation in the attitudes of the society itself. Caste was never an important criteria. And even if it ever was, it is almost nonexistent now. To bring that in the forefront now, is highly dangerous, derogatory, and not only harmful to the Hindus, but also to core of the society where co-existence and harmony is at its peak. Let's look back at India itself. Yes, in India, in the legal provision, caste has a presence. I would like to elaborate. Untouchability is age-old problem and a shame on the Hindu society. It is a very complex issue. Some blame foreign invaders, rulers, even the Imperial power which accepted, used, and exploited the caste system to suit their interest. Injustice, inhumanity, unfairness resulting from the caste criteria moved several noble souls in 18th and 19th century from high caste Hindus, especially, Maharashtra, Bengal, Tamil Nadu and other parts of British India, to focus on the inequality and inhumanity at hand. Gandhiji, since his return to India in 1915, gave top priority to the problems and pains of the untouchables, whom he termed 'Harijans'. The first major campaign (Satyagraha) Gandhiji launched at Champaran was primarily to protect and help landless labourers of Indigo plantations, who were mainly untouchables- but the farms were owned by the British, English people. Let us also remember the famous court case where MK Gandhi was sentenced for six years in 1922, resulting from the Champaran Satyagraha. Perhaps one
should read Gandhi's statement to the learned Judge. It is a sad part of history that the Imperial power had no qualms using the 'divide and rule' policy prior to its departure from India. In 1915/16 , the Muslim League was established with the help of the Aga Khan and the Nawab of Murshidabad leading up to the demand for a separate country-based on religious divide. We all know the result. How has it helped? At the London Roundtable Conference in 1930, the Imperial power decided to use Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar and Untouchables or Gandhiji's Harijans, now called Dalits, as pawns for their own little game of chess, leading up to Gandhi's fast at Yerwada prison in 1931 and the Gandhi-Ambedkar Pact. So much water has flown under the London Bridge. When Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar was the main co-ordinator for the drafting committee of the Indian constitution, even the Reservation Policy wasn't to his taste. He was very clear that equality will evolve not within the framework of law, but come with the evolution of the society. Remember, he was both, an economist and a lawyer. Above all, he had suffered so much as the scion of a Dalit family. His objections were overruled by other members and reservation was imparted for 10 years only. Today, India has 22 per cent Dalits and while a lot of distance have been travelled, millions of miles are yet to be covered for equality of opportunity and removal of discriminations. Nevertheless, one can justifiably claim that things are changing rapidly now, perhaps much more than ever before. There was a period when Prime Minister VP Singh, to retain his power, used the Mandal Commission Report, which was until then gathering dust in government offices and created rupture in the society, causing violence. So, the inclusion of caste in the legal framework, especially UK of 2017 is neither necessary nor desirable, and is dangerous. Let's not make it a party political matter. People should look beyond their short-term self interest. There is no vote bank like in India who encourage politicians. I don't blame them on that score. I think it was lack of proper understanding based on facts, and all this stress and strain of the last few years was not worth it. Let us for the sake of common humanity, bury this proposal completely.
Asian Voice | 8th July 2017
Rani Singh, Special Assignments Editor
Miranda Brawn Combining Finance, Law and Diversity Miranda Brawn is a Multi-Award Winning Senior Finance, Legal & Diversity Executive in the UK. She has been hailed as a trailblazer and honoured numerous times domestically and internationally. This includes Top 100 Women in European Finance (Financial News), UK's Top 10 inspiring females changing Britain (The Metro) and Top 100 Global BAME Business Executive Leaders Powerlist (Financial Times). Miranda has built a reputation over the past two decades for helping others achieve success. Recognised as a leading world-class diversity leader, she advises some of the worldâ€™s most influential leaders who run multi-billion pound companies where numerous people have attended her speaking events. We had the opportunity to ask her some questions and get some advice.
What is your job title and what doÂ you do?Â I have a portfolio career which means that I have a few job titles. These include investment banker, barrister, social entrepreneur, diversity champion, public speaker, board advisor, patron and writer. I am also Founder and CEO of the Miranda Brawn Diversity Leadership Foundation helping to increase all forms of diversity.
Where were you born and what did your parents do? I was born, raised and educated in London, UK. Both of my parents worked and taught me from a very
putting themselves behind diversity and equality in the workplace while empowering the next generation. Tell us more about your Foundation.
early age about the importance of having a strong work ethic. My mother was a lawyer and my father was an engineer and property developer.
What were your early influences? My early influences spanned across coming from a very diverse family background (i.e. Black, White and Asian). Therefore, I learnt to appreciate and understand different cultures, religions and social backgrounds. This has helped me as an adult where I can social and Miranda Brawn do business with a and be range of people and clients financiallyÂ successful from diverse backgrounds. I was blessed to come from too?Â a loving home where my Financial success is not parents instilled in me at a just a matter of money. It very early age the imporis a state of mind and your tance of education. I was a mindset begins with grativery bright child where I tude. My top three tips are was walking at seven first, every day focus for months and talking shortten minutes on the things ly thereafter. Hence, it was you are grateful for and the expectation that I was visualise your goals. going to be highly educatSecond, give back by ed and successful as an choosing another percentadult. This is key to helpage of your income that is ing the next generation automatically given away succeed. They have to to a charity or a good believe in themselves in cause(s). Third, choose a order to be successful percentage of your income while having the right surthat is automatically roundings to reinforce this saved. Starting early with from an early age. saving and investing is key
Many people are freelance and/or have portfolio careers nowadays. What is your advice to them, how can they follow your lead and get your kind of mindset
for financial success.
You give back a lot to society where one of your passions is to increase diversity in the workforce. Your Foundation has done an amazing job
There are two aspects to creating an extraordinary quality of life; the science of achievement and the art of fulfillment. The secret to living is giving. Anyone can start to give back today whether it is their money or time. In 2016, my non-profit Foundation dedicated to empowering next generation, introduced a new kind of scholarship called the Miranda Brawn Diversity Leadership Scholarship which was focused not just on funding but work experience and mentoring too. The Miranda Brawn Diversity Leadership Annual Lecture, the first
young leaders per week to help them succeed. A donation is also being made to the young people affected by the Grenfell Tower fire. An investment in the next generation is crucial to success. This yearâ€™s scholarship application process is open now and the calibre of applications has been impressive. The deadline date has been extended until 29th July 2017 to allow students who have been studying for exams to apply via http://mirandabrawn.com /wp-content/uploads/ 2017/03/ScholarshipApplication-Form-2.pdf.
of its kind in the UK, is an annual event in London is to laud the countryâ€™s best next generation diversity leaders. This lecture made UK history winning a UK Prime Minister â€˜Points of Lightâ€™ Award and personal praise from HRH Prince Charles of Wales. These ideas were conceived to celebrate and encourage the next generation to work towards a diverse workplace. This year we have some of the UKâ€™s best diversity leaders speaking at the lecture including Shami Chakrabarti (Shadow Attorney General for England and Wales) to help educate and inspire. We are thrilled to be partnering with the University of Law, Hogan Lovells, the Princeâ€™s Trust, Mosaic LGBT Youth Centre and Lambeth Council to make these scholarships and diversity lecture available across a wider spectrum of young people and look forward to all of this year's recipients becoming diversity leaders. My foundation has also launched a mentoring programmeÂ where we mentor several BAME
You can follow Miranda Brawn and the Miranda Brawn Diversity Leadership Foundation on: Twitter: @brawnm https://twitter.com/brawn m and @MBDiversityLead https://twitter.com/MBDi versityLead Facebook: www.facebook.com/MirandaBrawn Esq Website: www.mirandabrawn.com
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All the Black Asian and Ethinic Minority MPs and Peers took part in their customary photolcall at the start of the Parliament. The photograph was organised by Rt Hon Keith Vaz who celebrates his 30th year in Parliament. Those who took part were: Lord Popat, Dawn Butler MP, Rupa Huq MP, Tulip Siddiq MP, Naz Shah MP, Yasmin Qureshi MP, Fiona Onasanya MP, Diane Abbott MP, Rt Hon Keith Vaz MP, Mr Speaker Rt Hon John Bercow MP, The Lord Speaker Lord Fowler, Baroness Lawrance, Valerie Vaz MP, Baroness Howells, Shabana Mahmood MP, Rushanara Ali MP, Baroness Benjamin, Chuka Umunna MP, Chi Onwurah MP, Tan Deshi MP, Khalid Mahmood MP, Lord Suri Afzal Khan MP, Preet Gill MP, Mohammad Yasin MP, Lord Rana, Lord Lumba, Virendra Sharma MP Lord Hastings, Lord Singh, Sajid Javid MP, Marsha De Cordova MP, Nusrat Ghani MP, Seema Malhotra MP, Ranil Jayawardena MP, Shailesh Vara MP, Eleanor Smith MP, Lord Boateng, Imran Hussain MP, Kate Osamor MP, Layla Moran MP and Bambos Charalambous MP. Mr Vaz said: "30 years ago there were only 4 BAME MPs now we have 52. Good work by the parties but much more to be done."
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Asian Voice | 8th July 2017
Amendment To Equality Act 2010
In the British Raj ruled by the British Crown in former British India laws were made against ‘Sati’ (a wife immolating herself on her husband’s pyre) erc, but the evil of untouchability was left untouched, consequently Mahatma Gandhi, committed to freedom, truth, non-violence, equality and eradication of untouchability and class discrimination, taught and inspired peaceful Hindu people in 1992 that untouchability is a social evil; and explained that we all are equal by the same God, and so Dalits are ‘Harijan’ - people of God, and so are not ‘untouchable’; and an enactment is made in the Indian constitution in 1947 against the social evils, and certain reservations are made to raise their status; but the self-centered groups of politicians are trying to keep the class discrimination reviving deepening their roots. Hindu people have not entered Britain for the express purpose of reviving the evil practices, not to circumvent the Indian legislation; and they do not experience the evil social practices among people in Britain. The culture of Britain formed by industrial, economic, legal and social changes is being pursued rapidly by the Indians here and in India. In this situation the existing Equality Act 2010 amongst other laws is sufficient to protect everyone. The envisaged amendment, if passed, will be proved to be a retrograde move legally and soacially; and it will be an insult to Mahatma Gandhi, the inspiration of the world, whose statues are installed with reverence and full faith near the British Parliament, and it will demean Hindu people. RN Patel Essex
Mankind Created In Gods Image
Can an animal be worshipped as God when human beings are put to death under the guise of protecting Gods? Human beings are created in the image and likeness of God and if all human beings can believe in this truth, we can end all the misery and hatred which this world is going through and which threatens to reach a point of no return and destroy the world. Jubel D'Cruz, Mumbai, India
Trump Modi Business Summit Roaring Success
The long awaited business summit between the most powerful nations US and economically most sought after India has just concluded with PM Modi being the first foreign dignitary to have dinner with President Trump, First Lady Melania and his close aids in Whitehouse. Normally President Trump entertains visiting guests and that include Chinese President Xi Jinping and German Chancellor Angela Mercer at his Palm Beach Florida retreat he calls his “Winter Whitehouse”. For PM Modi, the two most important items on his agenda were trade and terror. He succeeded on both counts, as these are also main concerns for business and security minded President Trump. Even before this meeting, American defence firms like Boing and Lockheed Martin have already succeeded in signing contracts with Indian firms like Tata to eventually build 100 F-16 Combat Fighters in India, for Indian Air Force, as well as C-130 wings and parts of Apache helicopters. India is indeed turning into an arms manufacturing hub with keen participation of Japan, US, France, Russia and Israel. With China’s belligerent attitude with India, Japan and South Rim Pacific nations, as well as virtual colonization on South China Sea with illegally built artificial islands, against Hague ruling and China’s ever-rising labour cost, India is in prime position to replace China as work-horse of Asia. In a joint statement, both leaders called upon Pakistan to stop breeding terror in its territory, exact commitment Modi wanted from US. Bhupendra M. Gandhi By email
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Dump It Now
Stop cyber attacks by abolishing the internet worldwide. We could then resort to good old-fashioned manual processes, resulting in greater security, peace of mind and a more sensible pace of life. Rudy Otter by email
Champions Trophy Final
Reader Dinesh Sheth (Asian Voice 1st July) and so many other Indians all over the world, are terribly disappointed at the Indian Team's performance in the Champions Trophy Final Match at the Oval. I however feel that in this time of despair we must still be backing our team. Like so many other sports, Cricket is ultimately a game of chance where the outcome is unpredictable. The best of teams (as also the players) at times perform poorly. This is very unfair to the players that we treat them as gods only if they win otherwise they become villains. Similarly, questioning Virat Kohli for his decision to field first after winning the toss is also baseless. As a captain, he had his own strategy that unfortunately did not work on 18th June. So what? We did not doubt his capabilities when we were constantly winning matches under his able captaincy. Finally, smelling 'match fixing' just because we lost is also totally unfounded and humbug. Bharat Shah Harrow
Human Depravity Beyond Belief
Looking at the beautiful face of twenty one year old Resham Khan, before and after acid attack, one may wonder at human depravity that has engulfed Britain in last decade. During my nursing career, I had never come across a single such incident where acid was used as weapon of hate, jealousy or revenge. Occasionally we may come across such disfiguring, mainly due to car accidents and fire but never an act of deliberate cruelty. It seems these are imported crimes but now adopted and refined here as weapon of hate against some people for their ethnicity, colour of their skin and religious beliefs, as well as in family disputes, so often in divorce cases. These are some of the most heinous crimes against humanity, especially against women. But gravity has yet to sink in corridor of power, with our mundane politicians, living in isolation in their castles with drawbridge raised! As many letter writers in national newspapers suggested, such crimes should be treated as attempted murders and should carry minimum of fifteen years behind bars before being let out on parole, on par with sex crimes against children. We are too civilized to demand public flogging! I hope someone will start online fund so that both can get the best medical care money can buy. Kumudini Valambia By email
Short, Succinct And Subtle
I am glad that veteran writers like Bhupendrabhai and Rameshbhai are on all fours with me and agree that letters in the “Readers’ Voice” column could be more varied and informative. It is the rookies who have little to their credit who are opposed to my, what I call is my ‘cause celebre’. But then all new ideas are at first met with contempt and contuemly. Then the very same people who are opposed to the innovation, jump on the band wagon and ask for a bite at the cherry. Let us therefore stop slagging our fellow contributors and concentrate on wider issues which affect us Indians in this country. Our letters should focus on issues which concern us here in our country of residence and should be interesting and informative and contained within the 250 words limit imposed by the editorial board. They should focus on issues which concern us here in our country of residence, rather than placing too much emphasis on matters relating to our mother land. Be original rather than latching on to other contributors’ ideas. Letters should be short, succinct and subtle. Long winded letters become boring and make me skim through them instead of digesting the contents. There is a tool called “word count” on most computers and I would urge the compulsive long letter writers to make use of that and save us time in going through material which may be of little interest to many. Dinesh Sheth Newbury Park, Ilford
Charity Begins At Home
In the 21st century Britain, G.P. appointment is not available for a month, on the day and next day appointment for urgent cases has vanished and telephone consultation is not possible until after ten days. So, the patient requiring urgent medical advice, ends up in the crippling A & E or `walk in centre`. Even after getting the appointment doctor is in a hurry to meet the target and so can miss serious condition, resulting in the patient visiting doctor repeatedly. Though, `111` service is very useful, which goes through series of questions to establish the type of help the caller needs, it has been reported to be under stress and lacks co-ordination with G.P. service. To overcome the pressure a pharmacist is allocated at the surgery for restricted time to give advice. There are some good improvements i.e. the nurse at the `walk in centre` refers the patients to x Ray or tests rather than the doctor which cuts down waiting time drastically and the facility of requesting on line repeat prescription, or make an appointment. However, the medical services looking after the nation’s health is patchy and life threatening due to lack of funds. I am in support of helping human race but when our basic services are in a dire state, giving hefty foreign aid seems utterly unjustified. Ila Kapadia By email
On top of the recent four terrorist attacks, there has been an increase in knife, gun and domestic violence in England and Wales. This is a worrying trend and has to be tackled head on in order to provide safety and security to the people. The underlying cause are austerity measures imposed on the country for the last seven years by cutting the police force by 20,000 officers and reducing resources for crime prevention. The Met recently issued figures showing a 42 per cent rise in gun crime over the past year, while knife crime was up 24 per cent. Gun crime offences in London surged by 42% in the last year, according to official statistics. The proposal that Barnet’s borough commander Chief Supt Simon Rose was likely to become the triborough Commander of Brent, Harrow and Barnet if proposals go ahead that will see the 32-borough model move to larger units across the city. This is the wrong way to go about to increase police efficiency, because it is blatantly cost cutting exercise and will be opposed by the residents of Harrow. The Harrow borough commander Chief Supt Simon Ovens, has made Harrow the safest borough of London and to remove him at this stage would be undermining the good work done by him. This concept of tri-borough Commander is flawed and need to be shelved. The first and foremost duty of the State is to provide safety and security to its people and not to put it a risk when terrorism. violent crime. knife crime and gun crime are on the increase. Baldev Sharma Rayners Lane, Harrow
Adorable Mahatma Gandhi, and role models mentioned in the letter by Upendra Kapadia last week are our heritage because their efforts benefited whole sub-continent and ultimately world. Thus they deserve fullest and unsolicited appreciation. But these will be disappointed to see that public has not been ennobled to levels expected by them. We do celebrate events named after these role models but pathetically do not emulate their ideals in present day life. After hedonistic festivals, life is just as it was before. Unfortunately, our values of bhakti, samarpan, and tolerance have annihilated all instincts of selfdefense and self-preservation. This resulted in aliens ruling India for about 1000 years. Lately Muslims being assertively aggressive, effectively broke land of Hindus, and is illegally holding to portion of Kashmir till now. The western world harnessed non-spiritual forces which were within their control and gave us most wonderful technology. These groups tackled physical difficulties by physical means, Hindus have chosen spiritual and paranormal means which are not within our control. Thereby we are losing race for leadership, and are playing second fiddle. Due to such misdirected attitude, India shamefully tolerates epithets like “lynchistan,” “rape capital” and “merchant of death” etc. Ramesh Jhalla By email
Asian Voice | 8th July 2017
Parents to be fined up to £240 if child is late for school in strict crackdown Parents could face fines up to £240 if their child is consistently late for school in a strict crackdown. Schools and councils in the West Midlands, Hampshire, and Essex have extended penalties which are handed out for absences – including holidays in term time – to cases of lateness. Wessex County Council states that a Fixed Penalty Notice (FNP) of £120 per parent per child is issued if a child is frequently late. This means some families could face a whopping £240 fine – however the FNP is slashed to £120 if it is paid within 21 days. If parents fail to pay within the time limit they could
face prosecution. Winter Gardens Academy in Essex has also told parents they will be fined £60 if their children consistently turn up to school after 9am, The Times has reported. The fine can rise to £120 if it is not paid within 21 days. Warwickshire County
Council also warned parents they will face fines if their children are regularly more than 30 minutes late or turn up after the register has been taken. Parents could also face fines if they leave their cars running while they drop their kids off at school.
Nursery free hours extra cash worth 'less than a stamp' The funding increase offered to nurseries in England to cover extra free childcare is less than the cost of a second class stamp, say campaigners. From September three and four-year-olds will be eligible for 30 hours' free nursery education if both parents work. But the National Day Nurseries Association says the average extra 40p an hour offered to providers falls short of what they need. Currently, three and four-year-olds in England are eligible for 15 hours of free nursery education per week. This entitlement will double from September under a flagship Conservative pledge in the 2015 election. But nursery operators say the money allocated
has never covered their costs and doubling the hours will make matters worse. Until now, they have been able to offset the shortfall by charging more to families who pay for extra hours over the 15. This source of income will dry up once families are eligible for 30 free hours each week. Meanwhile, higher business rates and the planned rise in the national living wage to £9 in 2020 mean higher costs.
The NDNA sent a funding questionnaire to each of England's 152 education authorities under Freedom of Information law, and received responses from 128. On average, from September local authorities will increase funding for free nursery care for three and four-year-olds by 40p per hour to £4.37. London boroughs will pay an average of £4.97 and councils outside London an average of £4.23.
Limiting time online 'won't protect children' Limiting children's use of the internet will not protect them against the ills of social media, researchers say. UK teenagers have some of the highest rates of internet use in the developed world - something that has a strong link to lower levels of well-being. The Education Policy Institute study said restricting usage can prevent children gaining the digital skills and emotional resilience to keep them safe. The government said it was vital to help children deal with online risks. The report, written by the EPI's Director of Mental Health, Emily Frith, said restricting a child's use of the internet reduces the chances of children meeting difficulties online, but does not give them the skills to deal with problems they may run into at a later
date. "Restriction was also linked to the young person having a lower level of digital skills," it said.
"The research highlighted in this report indicates that restricting a young person's access to the internet could inhibit the development of the skills needed to handle online risk." An Office of National Statistics study quoted in the research suggests that more than half of 10 to 15-year-olds (56%) spend three hours or more on social media on a normal school day. However, a third of UK children of the same age spent no time on social
media during a school day, according to the study from 2013-14. The report said concerns were frequently raised about the potential effect on young people spending a great deal of time online. And according to research from Ofcom in 2016, quoted in the study, it led to nearly eight in 10 (78%) young people (aged 16 to 24) being told off for doing this. Seven out of 10 said they had missed out on sleep because of their online habits and 60% said they had neglected school work as a result. The EPI research highlighted that those spending large amounts of time on social networking sites were more likely to have symptoms of mental ill health, and that excessive internet use has been linked with depression.
Council tax 'should be increased to cover £5.8bn local funding gap' Local authorities are urging the Government to lift the cap on council tax bills in a bid to close a looming funding gap that will leave them billions of pounds short to provide affordable homes, school places and social care. The Local Government Association (LGA) called for the change as it revealed local councils are facing a £5.8bn funding gap by the end of the decade as a result of a 75 per cent drop in core central government funding between 2015 and 2020. Almost half of councils in England – 168 local authorities – will receive no core central government
funding by 2019/20. LGA chairman Lord Porter is expected to use the annual conference to demand that government ministers act to fill the funding void by allowing councils to raise council tax. Under laws introduced by the Coalition government in 2011, councils currently have to hold a local referendum if they want to increase council tax by more than 2 per cent. The LGA also wants councils to be able to keep all of the £26bn they collect each year in business rates – a proposal that was included in the Local Government Finance Bill that was close to being
passed in the last parliament but was thrown out when the general election was called. A survey conducted by the Local Government Information Unit (LGIU) think-tank earlier this year found three-quarters of councils had little or no confidence in the sustainability of local government finances, while more than one in ten said they were in danger of having to breach laws on the core services councils must provide. 40 per cent of all councils said they were having to make “cuts in frontline services, which will be evident to the public.”
The elderly and disabled in England are being told to expect cuts to care services and rises in charges after council chiefs unveiled spending plans. The Association of Directors of Adult Social Services said £20.8bn was expected to be spent on care this year, a cash rise of 5% since last year. It follows a £1bn cash injection announced in the Budget which ministers said would relieve the pressures. But ADASS said £824m of savings were still
having to be made. The group, which represents social care directors, said rising demand meant cuts were inevitable given the current funding levels. The warning comes after ADASS surveyed 151 council care chiefs about their plans for 2017-18. The polling suggested councils would spend £14.2bn of their own money, rising to £20.8bn when the £1bn cash injection - money from the NHS for care projects and the
fees users are asked to contribute - are taken into account. Over 1m people rely on council care services, two-thirds of them older people. The council chiefs also predicted user charges would also rise in places. A Department of Health spokesman said ministers were aware changes were needed to "put social care on a more secure financial footing" and that was why a green paper would be set out in the near future.
Vulnerable told to expect cuts to council care
Asian Voice | 8th July 2017
Enough is enough. This is India, not some jihadi banana state with blasphemy laws and murders of infidels. It is with deep dismay that the good people of India have been watching the horrorscope of lynching – reminiscent of the Ku Klux Klan in America’s south – by mobs seemingly out of control. These acts of savagery have occurred overwhelmingly across the northern states of Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Jharkhand, Haryana and Rajasthan – the Hindi-speaking BJP belt. Prime Minister Narendra Modi tweeted his ID greetings to India’s Muslim community, in which he referred to India’s diversity, with mo word of comfort to the parents of a Muslim youth, 16 year-old Junaid Khan, who was stabbed to death as a ‘cow-eater’on a railway train in Haryana. The Prime Minister is a formidable communicator; he has his finger on the nation’s pulse, hence has won national and State elections with not a rival is sight – not yet, anyway.
Silent majority stirring
Parishad has accused Christians of committing an ‘atrocity’ against Hindus because the community is represented in the government’s Minority Commission. Jains and Sikhs, minorities both, passed muster as genuine Indians, with no mention of the identity of the notorious anti-Sikh rioters in Delhi in 1984. There were no Christians in the mob that horrendous week in November. In the wake of the America’s first Iraq war in 1991, Muslim hoodlums attacked Christians on the street of a well-known Kolkata locality with effigies of Christ garlanded with shoes. The
case stands solved and we are taking measures to ensure that the other accused are arrested at the earliest,’ said Haryana DGP B.S.Sandest. CCTV footage at Asoti railway station had helped identify the suspects. The hunt is on for the man responsible for the stabbing of young Khan. (Times of India, Telegraph June 29)
India’s liberal silent majority – no run-of-the-mill Modi baiters – are stirring, and their voices are resonating across the land. ‘Not in Our Name’ placards were held aloft in a demonstration of people’s power on Facebook. There have been mass demonstrations in Delhi and Mumbai, led by prominent public figures, at attacks targeting Muslims and Dalits. The movement was started by filmmaker Saba Dewan and Rahul Roy, and their message challenges the individual and collective conscience of the nation.. Beef, it would appear, has become the touchstone of Indian patriotism. Next on the list could be a dress code for women, then for men, what thoughts are permissible in the public space and what thoughts are not. What books and papers can be safely read and those that cannot. A kangaroo court system could then regulate this unacceptable way of life.
Left Front government, fearful of losing its Muslim vote banks, remained silent. It’s a seamless narrative of intolerance. Power brings responsibility. Or it should. The BJP leadership must rein in the lunatic fringe of the Sangh Parivar. Their game is India’s shame. (Times of India, Telegraph Hindu, TV channels)
Law takes its course IT Minister Rudi Prasad moved into top gear by denouncing the killers of Junaid Khan and the lynch law applied to suspect beef-eaters. He was followed by Venkiaih Naidu The rule of law as defined in India’s Constitution finally made its presence felt when police arrested the four suspects in the
Unbridled fanaticism The check list of approved sanctities is lengthening by the day. Common decency is fast becoming a scarce commodity. A Khasi lady from Meghalaya in community dress was thrown out of a Delhi club with her local host and hostess because a club official thought their guest was a house maid. What if she were? The abominable Vishwa Hindu
IT Minister Rudi Prasad
Junaid case, among them two Delhi government employees for the death of Junaid Khan. ‘The
Defence Minister (concurrently Finance Minister) Arun Jaitley’s top level talks in Moscow
location will be Noida, a commercial hub in the suburbs covering an area of 3000 hectares, with the first phase taking 1000 hectares and planned handle around 20-25 million to
Air India: Biting the bullet at last It’s goodbye to Air India, the insanely expensive national airline, which for years was inefficiently run, was indecently corrupt with the public purse, yet kept steadfastly kept in the public sector fold. At the merest whisper of its sale, patriotism boiled and bubbled, BJP, sleazy Communist left et al went hoarse screaming abuse at the seeming outrage as the financial losses mounted year-on-year. Having gone through multiple roofs from billions of rupees into trillions and rising.
Protests at beef lynchings
India, Russia defence deal confirmed
Finally, the blessed day of liberation arrived as Finance Minister Arun Jaitley disclosed that blighted Air India would be privatized, and to that end procedures were being worked out. The decision embellishes the government’s reformist reputation, while easing fiscal pressures and reduces the country’s debt burden. The one hopeful feature is Air India’s rage of assets, from fleets of modern aircraft, infrastructure and the availability of its extensive foreign and domestic routes. (Times of India, Hindu, Business Line, Telegraph, Mint, June 29),
India, US trade, Investment talks
Defence Minister Arun Jaitley in talks with Russian Ministers, Moscow
resulted in confirmed defence deals estimated to be worth $10 billion or more. These include the Russia’s advanced S-400 air defence system, 200 Kamov (to be produced in India) Helicopters, two state-of-the art frigates and the lease of a second Russian nuclear submarine plus other items (Economic Times, June 16)
Amazon bets big Amazon online retail giant, with $5 billion invested in India is not lowering its sights, instead it is raising them to new heights. So said company founder and CEO Jeff Bezos in New Delhi. He said Amazon would ‘keep investing and growing in India.’After his meeting with Prime Minister Modi, he tweeted: ‘Terrific meeting … always impressed and energized by optimism and optimism in India. Excited to keep investing and growing.’ (Business Line June 27)
US investors betting long-term
The US-India Business Council President Mukesh Aghi told the Indian media that ‘there is a growing sense of optimism for Following Prime Minister investors about India from where Narendra Modi’s acclaimed visit it was three years ago for to Washington and his fruitful m u l t i p l e reasons. This government has taken up s t r o n g structural reforms such as bankruptcy code, the Goods and Services Tax (GST) and opening up foreign direct investment. So US companies plan to invest more in India as PM Modi with US President Trump the market and its growth story of over 7 per talks with US President Donald cent will remain the fastest Trump at the White House, growing in the world. US Indian and American negotiators companies won’t want to miss are getting down to business out on that.’ US companies have with talks on trade and $2.5 trillion abroad and they see investment and best means to Indian growth at its present rate boost bilateral economic ties. lasting 20 years. (Hindu June 25) Indo-US trade turnover is worth $115 billion, with $30 billion Second airport for surplus to India. The potential to Delhi coming up raise this figure is huge, equally so is the inflow of American investment into India. Mr Modi A second airport in New Delhi, had a most successful meeting sanctioned by the government, is with US business leaders (Mint, expected to be built in five to six June 29) years from now. Its precise
passengers. Noida International Airport will be constructed on a public/private partnership model GMR-led Delhi International Airport Authority Limited, which operates the Indira Gandhi International Airport. Minister of State for Aviation Jayant Sinha said the new airport at Jewar will be ‘like an aerotropolis with an airport at the centre and a whole host of economic activities clustered around it. It will become a hub for the pharmaceutical industry, the educational sector, tourism, and also for the electronics manufacturing. Samsung and others are already building their manufacturing facilities close to the area. This airport will provide a massive boost to economic activity in the Delhi and western Uttar Pradesh area,’ said the minister(Hindu, June 25)
ISRO’s 31 satellites in space India’s Space Research Organization (ISRO) put 31 satellites into space orbits, 29 of which were foreign. The PSLV rocket – tried and tested over decades – accomplished yet another success in a string of notable successes. The launch was conducted from the Satish Dhawan space centre at Sriharikota on India’s east coast. The PSLV flight – 40 th – carried communications Cartosat-2 satellite with a payload of 712 kg, and another satellite weighing a mere 68 grammes, was built by students from the Noorul Islam University in Tamil Nadu. India’s budding scientists are making their mark early in life (Hindu, June 24)
Novel cancer treatment Researchers at Pune’s Indian Institute of Science Education Research have developed a novel cancer drug delivery system using grapheme oxide nano particles. A team led by Dr Sudipta Basu and Dr Nirmalaya Bhallav from the Department of Chemistry discovered that a FDA anti-cancer drug cisplatin added to the graphene oxide sheets selfassembled into spherical nano particles enclosing the drug within. ‘We think the drug is reacting with grapheme oxide and transforming grapheme sheet into a ball-like structure, a kind of molecular structure,’ said Dr Basu (Hindu June 25).
Asian Voice | 8th July 2017
Sickening court outburst revealed the evil at the heart of Rochdale's grooming gang
Shabir Ahmed Adil Khan Abdul Aziz Qari Abdul Rauf four members of a child sex grooming gang from Rochdale The ringleader of the notorious Rochdale grooming gang appeared in court he insisted he had done nothing wrong. But shameless Shabir Ahmed, 59, ran the child sex exploitation operation and forced one young victim to call him "daddy." Ahmed claimed the girls knew what they were doing. In chilling outbursts that exposed the evil at the heart of the gang, he claimed during the trial that the victims of abuse were actually prostitues. Unbelievably he even claimed the girls were the real ringleaders of the scandal. He argued that they had enough 'business acumen' to have won The Apprentice.
Despite his outbursts during the trial at Liverpool Crown Court, he was among nine men that were convicted in May 2012. Jailing them, Judge Gerald Clifton said: “You have all been convicted by the jury after a long trial of grave sexual offences which were committed between the spring of 2008 and 2010. “These involved the grooming and sexual exploitation of several girls, aged in their early teens. “In some cases those girls were raped, callously, viciously and violently. “Some of you acted as you did to satiate your lust, some of you to make money, all of you treated
them as though they were worthless and beyond respect.” Ahmed is now behind bars in Leeds after being named as the leader of a sickening sex ring that preyed on vulnerable young girls, plying them with alcohol, cigarettes and gifts before passing them around for sex in a case that shocked the nation when it was made public in 2012. Those horrifying events in Rochdale have now been dramatised in a BBC series called Three Girls, which was made with the consent of the victims and their families. Ahmed is currently fighting efforts to deport him back to his native Pakistan.
Energy-saving homeowner's shock at £6.2k gas and electric bill for just one month
An energy saving homeowner was stunned when he received a gas and electric bill for a whopping £6,200 - for just one month. Raj Rattu said he was shocked to receive the letter as his bill is normally around £40. The 41-year-old, who lives in Handsworth , said: “I know the bill is inaccurate because there’s two of us and we have got four pet rabbits but they don’t cost that much. We don’t even have a central heating system,” he added. The £6,266 bill allegedly covers the period from April 26 to May
26 this year. Mr Rattu, who works as a community centre manager, added: “We are very energy saving. We have swopped all the light bulbs for energy saving ones, put extra loft insulation in around six months ago when it was cold. We turn off any appliances that we are not using. Our output is very low. We are always at work. At first, I thought someone had done something wrong. I checked the gas and electric metres myself just to make sure and they were fine. Mr Rattu said he switched to GB Energy
Supply, part of Co-op Energy, about one and a half years ago because of their competitive rates. A spokesperson for Co-op Energy said: “We have apologised to Mr Rattu for any confusion caused and are currently working with him to resolve this as soon as possible.”
Drivers who raced at 130mph on dual carriageway could face jail Three drivers clocked at 130mph as they raced each other on a dual carriageway in Birmingham have been warned they face jail. Car horns were started to mark the beginning of the illegal night-time race involving the vehicles on the A38 Sutton Bypass. Tejinder Bhuee, 24, of Fitzroy Avenue, Harborne, Zafar Iqbal, 32, of Victoria Road, Oldbury and Amar Paul, 27, of Berrow Drive, Edgbaston, had previously appeared before city magistrates and pleaded guilty to dangerous driving and racing. They were sent to the Crown Court where the case was today adjourned by Recorder John Edwards, for pre-sentence reports to be prepared. Mercedes drivers hit 130mph on A38 as they raced in formation along Birmingham dual carriageway Mr Edwards said: “This driving was particularly serious. In my judgement unless there is some compelling mitigation this sort of driving calls for immediate custody, good character or not. If I were to sentence you today without a report, each of you would be receiving imme-
Left to right: Zafar Iqbal, Amar Paul and Tejinder Bhuee leaving Birmingham Magistrates Court.
diate custodial sentences.” He allowed all the men bail ahead of sentencing on July 24. A court heard previously the racers had been part of a group of around 10 drivers who had met at
a Tamworth retail park at 9.15pm on March 5. The group split up and a police car followed Bhuee and Iqbal, both driving Mercedes and Paul was at the wheel of a Volkswagen Golf.
Asian Voice | 8th July 2017
1400 ladies walk through the night and raise over £180,000 for St Luke’s! On Friday 30 June, 1400 ladies walked the streets of Harrow and Brent as part of the hospice’s biggest event of the year, the Midnight Walk. Women covered themselves in luminous accessories and plenty of pink as they entered Harrow Leisure Centre to register. They enjoyed a fun warm-up and entertainment kindly given by AK Bollywood, Vincent De Lima and Shree Muktajeevan Swamibap Dhol Academy before setting off on there 5 or 9-mile challenge at the stroke of midnight.
The walk was officially started by one of the Founding Members and Chief Patron of the Hospice, Lord Dolar Popat. The grand launch was marked with Kingsbury Temple’s dhol players group and local Zumba groups to help with the warm up activities. The annual walk first started in 2008 and has been growing in size year on year ever since. Participants came together from all communities, backgrounds, abilities and ages to take part in a specially coordinated 5 and 9 mile walks around Harrow. Speaking at the start of the walk at Bryon Hall, Harrow Lord Popat said, “St Luke’s is a local institution for the residents of Harrow and Brent. It is open to all and over the years activities such as this walk help to bring people of all communities together.” “I am so pleased to see how well the local British Indian community has got involved with the Hospice. Thirty years ago when I helped start the Hospice we had to search for Indians to help us raise awareness. Today the community is at the forefront of supporting
Warm up session
Lord Popat cutting the ribbon
this local asset for the wider benefit of all communities.” “Part of the role of activities like this is not just to fundraise, but to help raise awareness about the services the Hospice offers.” The Hospice is currently open to everyone with an incurable illness, providing invaluable care, not just to patients, but support for family and
also really helpful.” Marcia John-Baptiste, from Team Double Trouble, says “I walked in honour of our close friend, Karen Tighe. St Luke’s is such a good cause and I also support the hospice by using and donating to the charity shops. It was the first time I took part and it was such a great atmosphere. I would encourage others to take part next time –
Lord Popat and Cllr Ameet Jogia with the group of dhol players from Kingsbury Temple and local Zumba group, who came forward to help with the warm up activities
carers. St Luke’s has become a haven for people to die with dignity and is heavily subscribed. Gopika Patel, supporter for St Luke’s, says, “It is my third time I am taking part in the Midnight Walk and I am walking in memory of my sister. St Luke’s supported the whole family and my sister was at St Luke’s for the last 24 hours of her life. The Midnight Walk is an excellent event, it’s fun, happy and we really enjoyed it. Everyone is
life is too short and you should enjoy yourself!” Tracey Ashley, says, “I first saw an advert for the Midnight Walk in the Brent Magazine and decided to take part. I walked with a team call Step in Line. The atmosphere was good and buzzing. I would recommend that people take part as it is lots of fun. St Luke’s looked after my partner’s brother.” Anna Paton, Mary Markley, Karen MacDonald, Louise
Hawkins, Achanda Neal and Amy Raws from the London Ambulance Service North West London formed The Blue Lights team. They say, “We have worked with St Luke’s and in particular with the Single Point of Access Service (SPA). We took part in the walk for the first time last year and it’s a great event that brings the community together. We know how much St Luke’s relies on donations, so took part again. To help towards our fundraising target, we also organised a cake sale last week which raised £125. Everyone should take part as it’s a good cause and a great community spirit.” Shrina Patel, who also took part, says “The Midnight Walk was well organised and had a great vibe. I also support the hospice by donating to the shops. I support St Luke’s as they helped to look after my grandmother at home. If anyone is thinking about taking part next year – just do it!” St Luke’s Director of Fundraising, Pam Russell says, ‘The Midnight Walk is our biggest event of the year and it is great to see people of all ages and all parts of the community coming together to support our patients. We would like to give a big thank you to our ladies who walked through the night and collectively raised an incredible amount for the hospice. We would also like to give a special thank you to all 250 volunteers who have helped with the planning of the event, supported us at Harrow Leisure Centre on the night or marshalled the streets to keep our walkers safe throughout the route.’ The event was kindly sponsored by St George’s Shopping Centre in Harrow.
Duncan Lewis hosts a successful Summer Party and Networking Evening
CEO & Director Shany Gupta (left) and Sarabjit Singh Gupta (right) from Duncan Lewis Solicitors with CB Patel (centre)
Duncan Lewis Solicitors hosted a successful and enjoyable Summer Party and Networking Evening on Wednesday 28th June. The event at Tower Hotel was attended by their staff and several guests that included Mr Justice McCloskey, Immigration & Asylum Chamber President, Barristers from multiple chambers and guests from charities and other organisations. Attendees enjoyed drinks and canapes with a view from Tower Hotel’s Bridge Suite, and there was an exciting musical performance from world class electric string trio and quartet “Silken Strings”. Duncan Lewis is a rec-
ommended leading law firm by the Legal 500 and Chambers & Partners UK, and one of the country’s fastest growing firms of solicitors, serving both corporate entities and private individuals from offices across London and the UK. Duncan Lewis’ Summer Party brought attention to the services offered by the firm, providing guests with information about their different departments such as Immigration, Public Law, Civil Liberties, Human Rights, Action Against the Police, Crime, Family & Childcare, Housing & Litigation and Clinical Negligence.
The 17 year-old Cowley Road Carnival is best known for its themed processions, workshops, and music & dance stages. This year it has attracted over 50,000 providing an incredible atmosphere. Since most of the carnivals are usually dominated by Caribbean, South American, African and European themes, inclusion of traditional Indian dances this year has seemingly set a new precedent. Indian classical dance Bharatanatyam, folk dance Koli and Bollywood themed dance presented by Sanskruti Centre for Cultural Excellence and Sur Bharti women’s group have fascinated the audi-
ences at the Cowley Road Carnival on 2nd July. The Indian flavour covering cultural and entertainment aspects clearly had a captive impact and the Bollywood master class has also enchanted several carnival revellers. Folk and Bollywood dances were presented by Ahana Ghosh Sikka, Moumita Bhattacharjee, Mona Jethwa Patel, Rashi Arora, Rashmi Lakhapate, Shivangi Gokhale, Suvarchala Madireddy and Sweta Kumar. The classical dance was presented by Ragasudha VinjamuriOther organisations, mostly Oxfordshire-based, have participated in this vibrant annual festival.
Indian Dances portrayed at Oxford Carnival
Asian Voice | 8th July 2017
UK Camber Sands: Inquest says 'misadventure' claimed lives Investigating into the deaths of seven men who drowned at a popular south coast beach last summer, an inquest concluded that the unfortunate incident could only be attributed to misadventure. Mohit Dupar, 36, and Brazilian Gustavo Silva Da Cruz, 19, both drowned at Camber Sands on July 24, last year. Five young friends from London, aged between 18 to 27, drowned at the same beach a month later. It is reported that despite recommendations from the RNLI to employ them, lifeguards were not deployed until after the five deaths. Senior Coroner Alan Craze however, in his conclusions following a five-day inquest in Hastings, East Sussex, said it was “not known” whether deploying lifeguards would have prevented the deaths. “The RNLI had recommended, amongst other measures, deploying lifeguards at the beach in 2013 but this had not happened. Of course, it is not known whether such a step would have prevented the deaths, but it has now been implemented.” The inquest heard that all five men were healthy and competent swimmers when they died on a sunny day in August, but beneath the surface at Camber Sands lurked “hidden dangers”. The area was manned by beach patrol staff who reunited lost children with their parents and dealing with lost property.
ISIS poster girl wants to return to UK A British mother who had fled her Chatham home, taking her son along with her to Raqqa in 2014, is reportedly desperate to return to the UK following the death of her Jihadi husband. Sally Jones, 47, was married to Junaid Hussain who was killed in a US drone strike in 2015. In an interview, a woman identified as Aisha, claimed British-born had been heard crying and saying she wanted to return to the UK. “She was crying and wants to get back to Britain but ISIS is preventing her because she is now a military wife. She told me she wish to go to her country,” Aisha, who is believed to be the wife of another ISIS soldier, said. Describing Jones, she said, “She lost her husband in a battle last year. She has one boy. (She is) about 50 years and she's very cute.”
Lord Paul hosts reception remembering Ambika and Angad
Lord Swraj Paul organised a reception 'Remembering Ambika and Angad' at London Zoo on Sunday 2 July. Speaking at the reception Lord Paul said what especially moved him was the interest his son showed in India. He dedicated Caparo plants in India in honour of his late son. Lord Paul noted that Angad, who died on November 8, 2015, was his only son who was not born in India but he loved India the most and said that Angad was always fascinated by the history of India and the vast scope that prevailed for enhancing India-UK cooperation. Stating that his daughter Ambika, who died of leukaemia in 1968 when she was four years old, was “an angel who changed our lives”, he said “she loved the zoo and visited as much as it was possible to do,” the PTI reported. Gordon Brown, former Prime Minister of Britain, complimented Lord Paul and his family for helping in keeping the zoo alive. India’s High Commissioner to the UK Y K Sinha, Lord Karan Bilimoriam, Joginder Sanger, Chairman of the Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan and several leading dignitaries attended the reception.
A DIRECTOR TO WATCH
e were fortunate enough to light-hearted is really what carries catch acclaimed director, Barnes’ suspense-filled story. It’s not Batra, in the midst of cuthard then to understand why the ting his latest film: forthcoming director was asked to take his preserHollywood feature, Our Souls At vative talent all the way to the US. Night, produced by Netflix, and starBatra - a person of South-Asian oriring such tremendous talent as Jane gin, who is rarely seen behind the Fonda and Robert Redford. The story, scenes – has an extraordinary ability based on the book by Kent Haruf, folto perceive. From tapping into the lows an elderly woman who strikes underrepresented canon of the more up a curious relationship with her mature public’s experiences, to confellow widower neighbour. Named juring a narrative from the intimate one of Variety’s top 10 Directors to and everyday – The Lunchbox Watch, the soft-spoken Batra steadily revolves around the erroneous delivrose to prominence after his debut ery of a lunchbox to the desk of a Hindu film The LunchBox - shot in man who isn’t the sender’s husband and around Mumbai - was screened – this is how the director grips us. at the 2013 Cannes Film Festival, Thus, Batra epitomises the art of garnering several, impressive awards. good storytelling as well as a highThis included Filmfare award for Best profile, aspirational career. His Debut Director, the Asian Film Award traversing across different continents for Best Screenwriter, and the Critics reflects his ability to cut across varWeek Viewer’s Choice Award. ied literary mediums. Another accolade, in of itself, was being asked to direct the prestigious You very competently translatUK-based film, The Sense of Ending: ed an award-winning fiction an adaptation of the Man Booker novel to the screen. The plots of Prize winning novel by British great stories are notoriously difficult author, Julian Barnes. “If I had to talk to capture; what parts did you take of an underlying parallel between all particular time to innovate? my works,” the well-travelled Batra It was challenging to get the back told us, “it would be difficult to idenand forth between past and present tify. They have all been so different. right: how much one might rememAs a director, I’m also very ber and how much they won’t at much inside the work and that particular moment. We not in the position of had to find the right observer. But I supmoments for Tony’s pose a recurring story in the present to ‘There isn’t theme is lonelistretch back into the enough diversity ness. I need to feel past too, and while when it comes to close to a story, as keeping the story’s people in I did with Barnes’ momentum – that’s when I first read critical to keep watchpositions of his novel in 2011. It ers engaged. Both the power’ was personal and the timelines were shot sevthemes resonated eral weeks apart. I spent emotionally. In India, I time on those sets honing in shared a room with my grandon journeys that would bring you dad growing up, and that’s had great back to the present smoothly. Max impact on all my work.” Richter also contributed an uncon*** ventional yet dream-like score that Indeed, capturing the plot of The complemented these crucial transiSense of An Ending required a certions. tain sensitivity to the course of growing older, and how it is deftly juxtaWhat was the proudest outposes with a former experience of come of The Sense of an youth: in this case via one’s impetuEnding for You? ous actions. The story centres on a Working with wonderful actors seemingly composed older man, who provided a cross-section of played by Jim Broadbent, who with experience. There were younger and the mysterious arrival of a diary older actors, and such a range of begins a self-interrogative journey ability. It was also great to work with back into a shadowy past. But Batra screen-writer, Nick Payne, and really adds his own humour. As he himself navigate the politics of making a stated, “the tone of a film is impormovie together. The process can be tant. From the costumes to the very clinical at times, but negotiating nuances of the acting and getting that can give you such a feeling, beautiful shots, one inconsistency poetic product. can undermine the whole work.” His masterful blend of the poignant and Celebrities such as Riz Ahmed
are speaking out about Asian representation; I noticed too that Nick Mohammed, one of my favourite comedians, was cast in the role of the postman in The Sense of An Ending. Do you think that more Asian people in roles of respect organically extends to better representation? I’m not sure. I’m always looking for an excuse to write with Riz because a chance to write our stories really matters. I’ve had the opportunity of being able to travel from Bombay to London and New York, and from my personal experience, I have never met another person of colour who’s a filmmaker in the UK. The US is a little different. At the end of the day, if ethnic minorities aren’t being represented in the conference rooms that are deciding to cover stories than you’ll continue to have just conventional perspectives: even conventional expectations. A filmmaker friend of mine was at an event recently, and the indication was; how did you get in here? There is certainly still progress to be made. There isn’t enough diversity when it comes to people in positions of power. Who were some of your favourite film inspirations growing up? They were diverse. My grandad and I watched many films together: of course Satyajit Ray, and the work of Bergman. I loved to read too. Favourite writers were Gabriel Garcia Marquez and Julian Barnes. You mentioned tone: what else is an important element in making good cinema? Having all the actors in your hands. They are the eye of the movie for the viewer. Do you believe in the concept of show and don’t tell, and if so do you have a tip for budding filmmakers? I do agree, but equally if words are going to help than why wouldn’t you use them? Woody Allen’s films do that a lot as words do have their own power. Separately, my advice is to learn how to listen to your instincts in the midst of all the noise and opinion. That’s when you get something great. Finally, do plan to write more of your own material? I find it easier to direct what I write, and hopefully in the future I’ll have more time and space for that. https://twitter.com/riteshbatra
Asian Voice | 8th July 2017
Caste Legislation: Must have your say Continued from page 1 which, according to John Minsheu's Spanish dictionary (1599), means "race, lineage, or breed". When the Spanish colonised the New World, they used Trupti Patel the word to mean a "clan or lineage." However, it was the Portuguese who employed casta in the primary modern sense when they applied it to the thousands of endogamous, hereditary Indian social groups they encountered upon their arrival in India in 1498. The use of the spelling "caste," with this latter meaning, was first used in English in 1613. The NEISER reports on which the entire consultation is based on says in its opening paragraph: “There is little evidence on caste discrimination and harassment in Britain: its existence and nature are disputed." The development of the Equality Act 2010 brought debate on caste discrimination to the fore. According to many Hindu leaders, after reading the first para in the NEISER reports, there is no need to go ahead and read the whole report to confirm that there is no caste discrimination in UK. There is no accepted body of evidence detailing the existence of caste discrimination in the UK. If parliament cannot decide upon the definition of caste, then we cannot expect a judge to interpret "caste". Therefore, there are no benefits to using case law or caste legislation to implement a legal ban on caste discrimination. If anything, the use of the word caste is hateful and discriminatory. The Overseas Friends of BJP in a statement said, “Caste has always been used as a tool to divide and weaken the Hindus for more than hundred years. Unfortunately today British Hindus find themselves at a moment of time where we shall regret that we chose to keep quiet against the unjust, incorrect and unfair legislation about to be rolled out to weaken the timid Hindu once again. It is our future generations, who shall bear the consequence if we choose not to act now.” Satish Sharma, chair of the National Council of Hindu Temples, is firmly against the proposed legislation. While he believes there is no justification for caste-based discrimination, he believes the caste system has nothing to do with his religion and that any new law will present the issue as a Hindu problem. He, along with a number of Hindus, maintains that the caste system as it exists now has more to do with the centuries of British colonial rule than ancient religion. Mr Sharma is concerned about what he says is a lack of evidence for caste discrimination in the UK. According to a BBC report, he believes there is a "Hinduphobic" agenda behind those pushing for caste legislation that is leading to Hindus being unfairly discriminated against. "There has been this assumption that Hindus are casteist and I have recently heard what I think is
an outrageously prejudicial term, where groups who are not dalits are now being referred to as 'caste supremacists'."
Groups representing victims But groups that represent victims of caste discrimination say they are not interested in the origins of the caste system, but instead want a new law to protect people. "The Hindus - they need to actually do some soul searching on this and be honest with themselves and try and confront this thing," says Satpal Muman, from CasteWatch UK, according to BBC. Nevertheless, he believes Hindus that claim the caste system does not originate in their faith have to confront their past. Campaigners calling for caste discrimination legislation estimate there are up to half a million dalits in the UK who could be at risk of caste prejudice. However, caste is not included in the census and there are no precise figures available. Another issue complicating attempts at legislation is the fact many British Indians are unable to identify exactly where they fit in the fourfold hierarchy. The experience of Dina Bhudia, a 42-year-old British Hindu, is typical of many. She recalls learning about the caste system in religious education classes at school but is unable to reconcile it with her personal experience of her religion. "I've never learnt about the caste hierarchy from any priest or temple," she told the BBC. "They are not sitting there saying, 'right, us brahmins are here and you kshatriyas are there.' "Technically I'm at the bottom of the pyramid. My granddad was a farmer, my dad was a bus driver, I'm a financial adviser - where do I fit in?"
Caste and its misconceptions Lakshmi Vyas formulated templates collectively made by 10 Hindu organisations and wrote about Caste and its existing misconceptions. She noted there are many disadvantages of using case law to implement a legal ban on caste discrimination. These include: 1. That we cannot expect a judge to define caste if Parliament cannot. 2. The judiciary have been fed the idea of the validity of “caste” as a negative aspect of Indian culture and religion. As such, they may assume this to be a reality and act on the uninspected prejudice and their own conditioning. 3. Negative portrayal of South Asian culture based on targeting the South Asian community in the explanatory notes of the amendment. 4. Potential to open the South Asian community up to unfair litigation beyond the Equality Act. 5. Inter community friction through creating caste consciousness. Most communities to not know what caste they are and their
children will not even be aware of this concept that has no place in modern British society. 6. Promoting discriminatory towards entire communities (South Asian/Indian/ Hindus) by reinforcing the incorrect stereotype on caste. 7. By singling out these communities in the explanatory notes of the legislation, it is encouraging hate speech and prejudicial conduct towards these communities. 8. The denial of the right to be treated as equal by birth. 9. The creation of a two-tier system one for Indians and one for non-Indians. 10. Damage to Indo-British commercial and cultural ties. None of the options given the Government in this caste consultation are preferred. The template further clarified that Section 9(5) of the Equality Act must be repealed (including reference to the amendment in the Explanatory notes of the Act)and the development of case law must be rejected due to the dangers it poses to Dharmic communities because: • British Hindus want to eradicate caste. • British Hindus do not want “caste” entrenched in law. • We do not want the social misgivings of caste from India to enter the consciousness of communities in the UK. It is divisive and creates inter-community tensions that would not otherwise exist. • This legislation will create caste consciousness amongst future generations of British Hindus • The explanatory notes in the Equality Act singles out Indians/ Hindus and I feel discriminated against as a result. The caste amendment itself is discriminatory • The legislation runs contrary to community cohesion and is fragmenting what is otherwise a wellintegrated community by resurfacing old wounds from another country. • We cannot rely on people who have no understanding of caste to define it – neither in Parliament or in a court of law • This has the danger of opening me up to unfair litigation through no fault of my own. Vyas added, “All these are against equality Act 2010. This only leads to division and disturbing a peaceful community.” Even the Noble Laureate Amartya Sen addressing a special event last year at the London School of Economics (LSE) to mark the 125th birth anniversary of Dalit rights activist Babsaheb Bhimrao Ramji Ambedkar, said: “One issue that keeps coming up in India is people being branded as ‘anti-national’ for not toeing a certain line”. “I would say caste is antinational because it divides the nation. We want to be national, not anti-national, for which it is important to eliminate all divisions,” the 82-year-old economist and philosopher said. TIME IS RUNNING OUT. The last date to 'have your say' in the consultation or inform your local MPs to be your voice in the Parliament is 17th July. Please hurry and log onto https://consult.education.gov.uk/government-equalities-office/caste-ingreat-britain-and-equality-law-1/
Lord Dholakia questions
‘if prisons really rehabilate inmates’ Noting that "£1 billion can buy 10 votes for the length of this Parliament," and, "[t]he same amount could improve our prison system and make it fit for generations to come for a very long time," Lord Dholakia asked "a fundamental question: do prisons really rehabilitate inmates?"during the third day of the Humble Address to the Queen's Speech. Answering his own rhetorical question Lord Dholakia spoke of his dismay that "the Government have certainly sacrificed some key reforming measures that should have been included in the gracious Speech." Highlighting his point, Lord Dholakia stated: "[o]ne such issue, referred to by my noble friend Lord Paddick, is the problems in our prison system." This is an issue Lord Dholakia has championed during many parliamentary sessions and there is, as he pointed out: "[t]he need for greater efforts to promote prisoners’ rehabilitation is clear from even the most cursory look at reoffending rates. Some 44% of adult prisoners, 59% of short-term prisoners and 69% of juvenile prisoners are reconvicted within a year of their release—an unending cycle that continues to repeat itself on a regular basis." Stating how the 'revolving door' sees inmates continually return to prison, Lord Dholakia said: "[a]ll too often their pro-criminal attitudes are unchanged. Imprisonment causes many prisoners to lose their accommodation, their jobs and, sometimes, their families." Asking if the Minister would "look at the Ofsted inspection of prison education provision and
Unlocking Potential, the report produced by Dame Sally Coates?" that recommended improvements to prison facilities Lord Dholakia continued "we know that focused offending behaviour programmes can reduce reoffending. These programmes can change attitudes to reoffending and improve empathy with victims." Lord Dholakia maintained that: "we need to go much further than [the report] and ensure that every prisoner who needs a programme to tackle his offending behaviour or an intensive drug or alcohol treatment programme can get on to one." Showing the difficulties there are Lord Dholakia commented on the importance of domestic violence courses saying: "waiting lists are often far too long. Sadly the wait is not surprising when: "[w]e now have 148 prisoners in England and Wales for every 100,000 people in our general population compared with 101 in France and 76 in Germany." Finishing off, Lord Dholakia urged "the Government to think again about their regrettable decision to drop the prisonrelated elements of their previous Prisons and Courts Bill from the programme for this Session. Those provisions amounted to just 22 clauses."
Cabinet split over spending Fundamental divisions in Tory ranks have emerged over spending, with the cabinet split between the Chancellor and senior ministers over whether taxes should be raised to pay for increased spending on public services. Michael Gove said taxpayers would not foot the bill amid signs the Tories will end the public sector pay cap and put more money into schools, hospitals and the Armed Forces. But his remarks put him at odds with Philip Hammond, who is understood to have privately warned ministers that unpopular tax rises will be required. It has also emerged that Boris Johnson, the Foreign Secretary, also supports
ending the public sector pay cap as long as it is done in a "responsible way". Justine Greening, the Education Secretary, has called for an extra £1billion for school funding amid threats of a Tory back-bench rebellion by as many as 40 MPs if the Chancellor does not end the cap. On the other hand The Times have reported that Theresa May's new chief of staff has allegedly made contact with the Lib Dems to ask for help in getting legislation through the Parlaiment. While they both might flinch from working together, it is believed that the Tory MPs are desperate to avoid an election and want more security in getting key votes through the Commons.
GORKHAS FIGHT FOR SEPARATE HOMELAND AsianVoiceNews
As the strike demanding a separate Gorkhaland entered its 19th day on Monday, sporadic violence continued with groups of people hitting the roads, schools and other institutions remaining shut, and government properties being set on fire. As the indefinite protest gains momentum, call for a separate homeland in the Darjeeling area of eastern India, by people of NepaliIndian Gorkhas saw effects in the UK. With a significant number of Gurkha population living in the country, the UK Darjeeling population held a vigil at the Marble Arch on Sat 24 June at 2pm to voice their opinion in support of a separate Gorkhaland. The Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM) is scheduled
to take out rallies in different parts of the region and the group has demanded that the Centre initiate a dialogue on Gorkhaland. The north-eastern town of Darjeeling remains on a hold as the district extended its ban for another eight days. Shops, restaurants, hotels, schools, and colleges, all but pharmacies remain closed. GJM general
Asian Voice | 8th July 2017
secretary Roshan Giri said, “The Mamata Banerjee government is dealing with it as a law and order problem. But it is not a law and order problem. It is a political problem and should be solved politically.” He added, “We believe in democratic movement. We want dialogue. Why dialogue cannot be opened? I met Union home minister
and some BJP leaders.” A pot waiting to brew, all hell broke lose earlier last month, when the West Bengal government decided to impose Bengali language in all schools from Class I to IX. The move triggered violent protest in Gorkhadominating Darjeeling district. GJM chief Bimal Gurung criticised Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee's
Warmest welcome for Modi in Israel
Continued from page 1 Modi's visit coincides with the 25th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic ties between the two countries in 1992. India had recognised the host country in 1950, almost two years after the Jewish nation declared independence, however, it took New Delhi 67 years to establish diplomatic ties with Israel. From the airport, both the leaders drove to Mosha Mishmar Hashiva, near Beit Dagan, and visited one of Israel's leading floriculture companies, the Danziger “Dan” flower farm. It has approximately 80,000 square meters of state-of-the-art greenhouses specialising in reproduction of plants. Given that Israel holds key interests in closer cooperation with India and its agricultural technology, the visit was one of the highlights. They were also accompanied with Israeli Agriculture Minister Uri Ariel. Modi is slated to travel to Jerusalem's King David Hotel, where he will stay for the duration, before he leaves for Yad Vashem, where he is scheduled to visit the Hall of Names, lay a wreath in the Hall of Remembrance, tour the Children's Memorial, and sign the guest book. He will then proceed to Netanyahu's residence, where he is invited for dinner with the Prime Minister. Indo-Israel Relations Despite old ties, India has maintained questionable discretion regarding its ties with Israel. It is safe to say that Modi's BJP administration was the first among all previous governments to push for closer relations. Ever since the BJP came to power in 2014, Modi has met Netanyahu twice, on previous occasions, in New York and Paris. Both nations maintain high-level military cooperation. India has bought over $10 billion worth of arms from Israel, more than any other country. Modi's Agenda The Indian Prime Minister's trip comes a couple of weeks after India approved a defence deal with Israel worth $2 billion. Modi has been
endorsing defence cooperation with Israel, and attained their approval to collaborate and support his “make in India” initiative. Head of the BJP's foreign policy department, Vijay Chauthaiwale, while speaking to a media source, said, “We already have quite a significant collaboration in defence technology and cybersecurity, but now we need to go to new areas. It may be in the areas of agriculture and water conservation, innovation and start up culture. It coincides very well with the start up action plan of Modi.” Both the countries seemingly agree that agriculture is an excellent area for cooperation. Israel has helped set up nearly 15 centres of excellence across India, lending new technology to farmers in order to enhance crop produce. According to Modi's Facebook page, his trip will focus on “Expanding business and investment collaboration on the ground. In addition, I hope to get insights into Israel's accomplishments in technology and innovation through on-site visits.” Another major highlight is Modi's address to the Indian diaspora community of over 80,000 Jews of Indian origin who reside in Israel. “I am particularly looking forward to interacting with the large, vibrant Indian diaspora in Israel that represents an enduring link between our two people,” Modi wrote on his Facebook. Jews in India pin their expectations on Modiji A lot rides on the trip, especially for the small Jewish community in
India which looks forward to Modi's visit to Israel. They hope that the flourishing bilateral relations will result in them being granted a minority status in India. The community states that while it has never faced any form of discrimination in India because of its religion, a minority status is one of its topmost expectations. There are over 6,000 Indian Jews in the country, spread across West Bengal, Kerala, Gujarat, and Maharashtra. Ezekiel Markel, priest at Judah Hyam Synagogue in New Delhi, said, “We look forward to the PM's visit and hope that a minority status is conferred upon the community.” He said that in Maharashtra, Jews have already been recognised as a minority, and a similar step should be taken at the Central level. Muslims, Christians, Sikhs, Buddhists, Zoroastrians, and Jains are currently notified as minority communities. He added, “For us, India is our motherland. We are Indians first and Jews second. If Israel is in our hearts, India is in our blood.” Jonathan Soloman, chairman of the Indian Jewish Federation, in Mumbai, said Modi's trip should lead to enhanced cultural exchanges between both countries. “We feel honoured that our Prime Minister should take the trouble of visiting a small country. It speaks volumes about his intentions and of the goodwill that the two nations share.” Solomon also said that he expects New Delhi to render “all possible help” in preserving the community's link with Israel. “The next generations should know the rich history that binds Jews in Israel and India.”
“dictatorial” style of politics. He said, “With respect, I say don't do divisive politics. Her (Banerjee) dictatorial politics will find a place in Guinness Book.” The crisis has been long cooking, over several decades, stemming from language. Nepali-speaking people of Darjeeling, Kalimpong, Kurseong and other hilly districts have minimal con-
nection with the Bengali community and are distinctively different in ethnicity, culture, and language. Banerjee seems to have deliberately poked the sentiments of the community. After initially proposing Bengali as a compulsory subject, she conveniently changed her position later by announcing it would exist merely as an optional subject in the hills. Fact to be noted, neither Nepali nor Gorkhali, despite being recognised as one of the national official languages in India, fails to find a place in the list of optional subjects for the West Bengal Civil services examination. It is obvious that when the people are deprived of what they can claim constitutionally, it is seen as threat to their culture.
India goes for GST Continued from page 1 especially small traders nervous about the new tax filing system. Launched in a starry event, attendees included President Pranab Mukherjee, PM Narendra Modi, VicePresident Hamid Ansari, Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan and former Prime Minister HD Deva Gowda. Also present were Bollywood superstar Amitabh Bachchan, Singer Lata Mangeshkar, and industrialist Ratan Tata. The Opposition termed it a “tamasha”, saying it was being rushed in a “half-baked” manner as a “self-promotional spectacle”. GST to be revenue-neutral in short-term A report by Fitch Ratings said GST would support productivity and boost long-term growth prospects, however, it is unlikely to increase tax revenue in the short-term. “GST will unify the indirect tax system and remove domestic barriers to trade, which should support productivity gains and GDP growth over the long term,” Fitch said. Fitch said a benefit of value-added taxes like GST is
President Pranab Mukherjee and Prime Minister Narendra Modi pressing the buzzer to launch the Goods & Service Tax (GST), in Central Hall of Parliament
that retailers are required to show compliance right along the supply chain to claim refunds, adding that large companies will now have an incentive to pressurise their smaller suppliers into tax compliance. The new electronic filing system is also likely to lead to more tax reporting. “Moreover, the tax base will be broadened, as only SMEs with sales up to Rs 200,000 will now be exempt from paying GST, down from £150,000 earlier.” The report said that small informal retailers, which account for over 90 per cent of retail sales, should also find it harder to understate their sales or to avoid filing tax returns altogether in a system where transactions are tracked throughout the supply chain. It also stated that there would be significant shortterm risks involved in the GST implementation, emphasising that late changes to the GST laws and the disruptive roll-out of demonetisation. “High compliance costs for businesses and administrative difficulties have been problems in some emerging economies that have introduced value-added taxes, particularly those that had complex systems, under-resourced bureaucracies and short lead-in periods.”
Asian Voice | 8th July 2017
Debt-hit RCom 100,000 cos lost registration for seeks to give up £34 post-demonetisation 'lapses': Modi mn worth spectrum The companies were allegedly engaged in suspicious transactions post-demonetisation, says Prime Minister
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi disclosed that the registration of over 100,000 companies which had allegedly engaged in suspicious transactions post-demonetisation, were scrapped as he sought to cast the goods and services tax as his second strike against corruption. “Fortyeight hours before the launch of GST, we, by one stroke of pen, cancelled the registration of 100,000 companies which, based on the mining of deposits made in banks after November 8, were found to have engaged in serious irregularities,” Modi said. He added that another 200,000 registered companies were under the scanner for involvement in what looked like dubious transactions following demonetisation. Speaking at a function organised to mark the foundation day of the Institute
of Chartered Accountants in India, Modi said the government had identified 37,000 shell companies which engage in money laundering and help those with black money. “The decision to de-register 100,000 companies in one stroke is reflective of the government's intent as well as a pointer to the will power of the political class. Such decisions are not taken on the basis of political calcu-
lations, they can be taken only by those who love the country,” Modi said. He asked the chartered accountants to help with the successful implementation of GST, and curb tax evasion. “I invite you to join the festival of honesty,” he said. The almost three-hour long function was telecast live by the national broadcaster and chief ministers of BJP-ruled states and Union ministers joined
chartered accountants in state capitals to listen to his speech. Modi said just as his government tries to promote cleanliness through the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan, they were also seeking to clean the economy by acting tough with those who looted the country. Just like his speech in the Central Hall of Parliament on Friday to mark the launch of GST, the PM said the measure will help curb tax evasion and generate resources to help the poor and needy.
Airtel may acquire Tata Tele: UK research firm According to a report published by a Londonbased mobile and wireless market information and intelligence provider, Bharti Airtel will most likely to acquire the struggling Tata Teleservices as the Indian telecom sector consolidates into a four-operator market in the coming three years. Published after a survey with 57 telecom M&A influencers, the 'Halcyon Days Ahead in a FourOperator Market' report also provides details of an “intriguing” alternative in Tata Tele merging with state-run BSNL. About 68 per cent of the experts thought a four-
operator market would prevail by 2020, the survey said. The scenario will have three private providers each with over 300 million subscribers and one stateowned operator with over 100 million. The report comes amid speculations about Bharti Airtel accelerating bolt-on acquisition talks after a merger-in progress between Vodafone and Idea Cellular dislodged it from the top
slot in the Indian market. However, several analysts argued there is “little business sense” for Airtel to buy the loss-making Tata Tele. “The only reason for Airtel to consider a deal with the Tatas will be to maintain leadership in revenue market share. The deal between Vodafone and Idea threatens to take Airtel's leadership here, and thus Sunil Mittal may
counter this through such deals if they come at an attractive price,” a top industry analyst said. Tata Tele has revenues of around £950 million, but these as well as subscribers are fast depleting. On top of this, the annual payout towards debt servicing is around £250 million on total outstanding borrowings of nearly £3 billion. Almost half of the respondents in CCS survey said Tata Tele is likely to be subsumed by Bharti Airtel, 22% said a deal with BSNL was possible and 32% said it could merge with another network operator.
(Morris Garages) brand. The company said that the introduction of the iconic British Sports Car Brand 'MG' in India is an important part of SAIC Motor's global strategy. Originated as an iconic British Racing Sports Brand in 1924, MG has evolved into a modernday innovative brand through the last 93 years. “As a new-age auto company focused on innovation and technology, the company offers various solu-
tions and technological capabilities required in the development of 'New Energy Vehicles', to cater to the changing needs of global customers and the overall ecosystem,” it said. SAIC is the second Asian automaker to announce its plans for a market where SUVs are gaining ground over passenger cars. On 28 April, Kia Motors Corp., a unit of South Korea’s Hyundai Motor Co., said it would invest $1.1 billion on building a manufacturing facility in Andhra Pradesh. It signed a memorandum of understanding with the Andhra Pradesh government for setting up the plant. In a statement, the company said that it would bring a compact sedan and a compact sports utility vehicle (SUV) to the market in 2019.
Troubles for Anil Ambani's Reliance Communications seems to just get worse by the day. Sources said the loss-making company that had earlier sought deferment in debt servicing obligations from banks, has approached the telecom ministry to surrender a part of its spectrum holdings in the 1800-MHz frequency. RCom has also sought a refund of some of the payments which have been made. If approved by the government, the move will also enable the debt-laden company to escape paying the instalments towards the purchase of spectrum that it now wants to surrender. This is probably the first time a company has sought to return the much-coveted airwaves to the government. “RCom has written to the telecom ministry, seeking to surrender small quantities of spectrum in four circles. The spectrum to be surrendered is in Mumbai, Karnataka, Haryana and Punjab, and has been purchased for around £34 million,” an official source said. While the spectrum in Mumbai was purchased in 2014, bids for the other three were won in 2016. The quantity of spectrum in each circle is 0.6 MHz. Spectrum purchase agreement with the government revealed that while 33 per cent of the bid amount has to be paid immediately, rest of the amount has to be paid over a 10-year period following a moratorium of two years. The Mumbai spectrum was purchased for around £16
million, Karnataka for £10.8 million, Punjab for £4.2 million and Haryana for £2.7 million. “The down-payments had been made for the circles at the time of the purchase while for Mumbai, the first instalment has been paid this year. For the other three circles, the instalments start only from next year,” the source said. Meanwhile, analysts said the proposal of RCom only highlights the “industry's pain” as companies confront large payment liabilities at a time when they face financial losses and revenue shrinkages. However, industry analysts said that surrender of airwaves looks highly improbable as there appears to be no clause in the spectrum sale documents for such a measure. The entry of Reliance Jio in the telecom space in September last year has crippled the business model of the industry, especially as the new player began operations by offering lifetime freevoice on its network. Before the launch of Jio, domestic telecom players were realising a little over 70% of their revenues through voice operations.
Kaira District Co-operative Milk Producers Union Limited, popularly known as Amul Dairy, will begin milk procurement in Nepal and Sri Lanka, after commencing operations in the US two years back. “We are expanding our milk procurement and processing base in four states including Assam, Bihar, Odisha and Tamil Nadu. To begin with we will start milk procurement in districts bordering the Indo-Nepal belt whereas we are in talks with the government of Sri Lanka to start procurement there,” said Amul Dairy's managing director Dr K Rathnam. The dairy received approval to start procurement in the two neighbouring countries during its 71st annual general body meeting in Anand last week. “Both Nepal and Sri Lanka have huge potential
in terms of dairy development,” Rathnam said. He added that milk procured through village level societies in Nepal will be processed at Amul Dairy's plant in Sikkim, located 7 km from Nepal border. “Since, we will work in association with the local government's there, we will approach Gujarat government for its nod and also place a formal request seeking permission from Nepal and Sri Lanka.” Milk procured from Bihar, where the dairy has a target to collect 100,000 litres per day, will be processed at the Siliguri plant in West Bengal. At Assam and Tamil Nadu, the dairy will start milk processing through third party operations. Meanwhile, the plant based in Waterloo, New Jersey in US has registered £1.7 million turnover last year.
Amul to procure milk Chinese car maker SAIC to enter India by 2019 from Nepal, Sri Lanka
China's largest automaker, SAIC Motor Corp plans to enter the Indian automobile market and begin operations in 2019, through a fully-owned car manufacturing facility in the country. The company issued a statement last week and shared its plans to create sizeable employment opportunities under the 'Make in India' and 'Skill India' initiatives. SAIC is currently finalising its manufacturing facility and firming up its product strategy for the Indian market, details of which will be announced at a later stage, it said. If all goes well, it will be the first Chinese auto firm to enter India from the world's biggest auto market by volume. The company is yet to disclose the investment planned for the India operations, a market expected
to be the third-largest globally by 2020. An SAIC spokesperson said, the investment would depend on whether the company sets up a greenfield facility or starts operations from General Motor India's Halol facility. It is currently exploring all options to set up a manufacturing plant in India. SAIC Motor aims to deliver environment friendly mobility solutions under the iconic 'MG'
BOOMERANG PROPERTY DEAL AsianVoiceNews
It’s a funny market at the moment. The recent auction results from auctioneers who have a strong presence in the market place shows a drop in sales figures. Savills had a 67% sales rate and Barnard Marcus had 68%. Ordinarily, these figures have previously been in the 80s and even 90s.
Sow & Reap London Property Investment
This shows the market is uncertain at the moment, and sellers are not adapting to this change. An example of this is where we were hoping to achieve a sales figure of £875k for one of our lots, however, the auctioneer advised us to place it in for a mere £800k; which we are happy to do, as we prefer to sell, and we need to give the freedom to the market to dictate the price, and not impose our expectations on it.
AGONY AGENT Each week, we answer a reader’s rental property question, from first-time landlords to experienced owners. Agony Agent, is here to help! Q: I think my tenant has been smoking in the property but I am not sure. What should I do? A: For the majority of landlords, smoking indoors is a big no. In all of our tenancy agreements, smoking is prohibited as the damage and issues it can cause can be high. However, this doesn’t stop some tenants from breaking the rules.
Cigarette smoke tends to linger even if attempts have been made to cover it. In many cases tenants who smoke indoors will do their best to cover their tracks by using candles and strong air fresheners or plug-in diffusers to remove the stench. As we know, cigarette smoke tends to stick very well to clothes and furniture, and more often than not, you will be able to tell if smoking has been taking place in a room as it will be apparent on curtains, carpets, furniture and bedding. What’s more, cigarette stains can be left on walls, curtains and lamps. The stains will
BUY TO LET OPPORTUNITY
The auction is due on the 19th July 2017.
in a well-known block close to Marble Arch.
All you need is two people who want the same property, as was demonstrated by a property we were offered in Hyde Park which we were told we could close for £2.7m. Fierce bidding drove the price to £3.25m, this is in stark contrast to the what’s going on in the market. It seems people want what they cannot have; and this is the psychology which drive prices up in the auction rooms. However, if the guide price is high you cannot whet the investors interest to begin with.
We have been tracking the property for about seven months now; we went for it originally and someone had offered a higher price. We then sat back down again. Funnily enough I happened to meet the buyer who had managed to get himself an option agreement on the property. The option was due to run out and he wanted someone else to step in and do the deal for a couple of reasons. One, he didn’t want to lose face with the agent, and secondly, he wanted to charge a premium for the privilege of ‘buying’ the deal. However, the sand was slipping from his hands, and soon the property would be offered out again.
We too are in the midst of not a bidding war but a contract race. The property in question is a very large flat, laid laterally, generally be yellow or brown and may only be very small but still could be signs of smoking. Smoke stains will generally show up on wallpaper or paintwork, even if the walls have recently been repainted. Nicotine eventually sweats through even the toughest sort of paint – and attempts to cover stains will generally fail in the long-term. There may be evidence of ash trays, or other items being used as ash trays like mugs, bowls and plates – which you may also spot during a routine inspection. Cigarette burns on carpets and furniture are also impossible to disguise, and if drastic efforts have been made to keep certain parts of the property out of view this
should be taken as suspicious. In other words, if smoking has been taking place in a house, it should be fairly apparent, even if drastic steps have been taken to disguise it. If you know the tell-tale signs to look for, then you should be able to work out for sure if smoking has been taking place indoors. In some cases, if you confront tenants about this, they may admit it. In other cases, they may deny it, but flying off the handle wildly accusing them of smoking is not the best approach, especially if your suspicions have no proof. It needs to be made clear to tenants what is stated in the tenancy agreement so there is no confusion or
l Spacious reception room, two double bedrooms and two bathrooms
l Residents' gym and parking
l Share of freehold
l Expected resale value is £1.15M
Crawford Street, London W1 Purchase Price: £749,999
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REAL ESTATE VOICE
Asian Voice | 8th July 2017
Sure enough the property has come back in our laps, although it now comes with a contract race. This means there are two buyers for the deal, contracts are issued at the same time and the one to cross the line wins the deal. We have been in this scenario a few times before, and most of the time have won the race. It takes a commercially minded lawyer, one whose every step is not focused on covering himself but on getting the deal done. It also requires one to take views on various variables, which may not be fully known in advance. Things like the service charge, and any major works due etc. crossed wires. Some tenants may simply be unaware of the rules regarding smoking, and you will need to make this clear to them. Where damage has been caused, and repairs are needed, you must make it clear to tenants that they’ve signed a tenancy agreement which states that smoking was not allowed in the rental property; as a result, their deposit will have to be used to offset any damage caused. As a landlord, there isn’t a great deal you can do to prevent tenants from breaking the rules when it comes to smoking. In the
I was not too worried about the race, rightly or wrongly, as it tends to focus the lawyers to get the deal done; and we have the right lawyer on our team, especially selected for executing fast. The last deal he did for us was exchanged upon within three days of receiving papers. When focus is not there, it’s like a piece of string, it can take as long as you give them. We should exchange on this property within this week, or not as destiny wills. My feeling is that we will grab this deal. It will be a lucrative one for our investor. The property is a clear 35% below market value, and it’s in a very popular block for rentals and resells.
vast majority of cases tenants will adhere to the tenancy agreement, but a small minority may break the rules. Please email the office if you have a lettings question that we might be able to help you with. Richard Bond Lettings Manager Sow & Reap
Asian Voice | 8th July 2017
Consultant Editor Financial Voice Alpesh Patel Dear Financial Voice Reader, I was asked by someone ‘how do you find the time’? I have been asked this since I was 12 when I learnt assembly language on my TRS80, investing in privatisation stocks like BT with my grandmother’s savings, and going to school! So here is a day in the life of a hedge fund manager. PART2 0900: I have a quick call with a Government official. Over a decade ago the British Government noticing my stock picking abilities in the Financial Times, asked me to pick the best technologies for the UK Government to bring to Britain. I am responsible for Asia and like focussing on Fintech because it’s my area of speciality. 0930: Another quick call and an eye on the market. This call is with a great Fintech company working with the UN. I really love companies doing social good. 1000: Emails to our bankers. Our funds are domiciled in Luxembourg and we have Rothschilds as our bankers and they usually have something or other I need to sign because we have 3 funds and the compliance requirements are very onerous. 1030: As brand ambassador for 24option (www.alpeshpatel.com/24) I want to get some trades done through their MT4 forex platform, so am just getting our trading algorithms set up. I am really excited about this relationship. They are so keen to listen to customers and also offer FX trading and CFDs so I want to see if we can make them the best for customer service in the world in their field. 1130: Emails from our auditors, Ernst and Young. Again, we have some forms I need to sign. This is not daily, but unusual to have both. 1145: Liaise with my PAs on when I can fit in BBC paper review in the next fortnight. I reach an audience of 75m worldwide and the BBC is such an amazing brand. It’s great to have such a profile when you are in business and I love speaking my mind. But because I travel so much, I have to plan carefully my appearances. 1200: Barclays Bank are in touch. They want me to be a keynote speaker at a new professional network they are launching and need a biog and pics. 1215: I am just checking the news on stocks showing ‘profit warning’. I am looking at algorithms based on newsflow which can immediately ‘short stocks’ as soon as such announcements are made. We are working on this. I love working on trading developments. 1230: A call with a partner on our new automated trading tech algorithms. I want to have more backup systems in place, and am sorting legal contracts on intellectual property so this takes a bit of time. We look at the markets together. I used to sit in front of a computer all day, then realised that is not a good way to trade, or indeed necessary. You don’t buy a dog then do the barking yourself. So I still like looking at screens, even though trades are in place and it would be inefficient to place more today. We talk about optimisation and efficiencies. We need to invest in more servers! Part 3 next week.
Govt clears privatisation of debt-ridden Air India
A panel headed by Finance Minister Arun Jaitley would decide the modalities of sale The Modi government approved the privatisation of debt-ridden Air India and its five subsidiaries, in one of its boldest reform moves yet. Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, after a Cabinet meeting, said “in-principle approval” for AI's divestment had been secured and now a panel headed by him would decide modalities of the sale. Talking to the media, Jaitley said the Cabinet approval for disinvestment was accorded on the basis of a proposal presented by the civil aviation ministry. The decision came after the government came around to the view that the financially bleeding airline could serve connectivity goals in private hands. Air India has a debt of over £5.2 billion and is surviving on a £3 billion bailout package extended by the previous UPA government in 2012. “How much will be dis-
invested, by which process, its assets and debt, as also its hotel companies, will be deliberated.” A panel will decide whether to go for 100 per cent stake sale in one go, or to remain present in the airline for some time and gradually divest ownership. The department of investment and public asset management has given options of 100 per cent, 74 per cent, and 51 percent stake sale in AI. Founder of AI, Tata Group is seen as a potential bidder. Jaitley-headed “AI-specific alternative mechanism” will decide who can bid for the airline, whether airlines in JV with Indian or foreign partners should be allowed to buy the airline. The current NDA
will now examine if such a model can be allowed for AI. The panel will also decide on the treatment of disinvestment of three profit-making subsidiaries. The subsidiaries whose stake sale will be considered, include four whollyowned ones, AI Engineering Services Ltd, ground handling arm AI Transport Services Ltd, Alliance Air and the low-cost AI Express. The panel will also decide how to make AI attractive enough for bidders. The Maharaja has a working capital loan of £3 billion and £2.2 billion of aircraft purchase
Farm loan waiver may dent state finances: Fitch Fitch Ratings said loan waiver schemes given out to farmers could have a significant impact on State government finances and prove risky for further fiscal slippages. “The farm loan-waiver schemes being discussed and rolled out across an increasing number of Indian states could have a significant impact on State government finances, and might undermine efforts to bring down general government debt,”Fitch said in a statement. Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra, Punjab and Karnataka announced farm loan waivers, undoubtedly giving other states ideas to do the same, especially with the upcoming elections. “There is a risk that farm loan waivers, which we have not precisely factored into our assumptions- will lead to further fiscal slippage at the State level or will reduce the funds available for public investment. The Central government has the authority to block States from borrowing to finance persistently large deficits, but it could be reluctant ahead of approaching elections in some States, with the 2019 Lok Sabha election drawing nearer,” Fitch said. While the Centre has gradually consolidated its fiscal position in recent years, and has indicated that loan waivers will have to be funded from State coffers, the ratings agency said, “The combined
finances of the States - which are included in general government debt and deficits have been under pressure. Public pay hikes, election spending and higher interest costs stemming from the UDAY scheme- under which State governments have taken on debt from power distribution companies, are all likely to add to expenditure.” “Uniform farm loan waivers could lead to moral hazard and weaken the general repayment culture among financially healthy farmers, but they will still have an incentive to repay loans in order to retain access to future funding.” Fitch said, “The combined cost to the states could also become large this time.” While affirming India’s rating at ‘BBB-’ with stable outlook in May, Fitch forecast general government debt to fall to 64.9% of GDP by fiscal 2020-21, from 67.9% in fiscal 2016-17, and highlighted that potential changes to India’s fiscal position are a rating sensitivity. Public finances are a key weakness in India’s sovereign credit profile, with general government debt well above the 'BBB' median of 40.9% and the fiscal deficit of 6.6% of GDP in 2016-17 much higher than the ‘BBB’ median of 2.7%. Fitch said banks could also be affected by the waiver schemes.
loan on its books. It has over 110 planes in its fleet, including 43 widebody aircraft, and flies to 41 international and 72 domestic destinations. Its share in domestic and international air travel is 14 per cent and 17 per cent respectively. AI owns real estate across the world, including almost 32 acres in central Mumbai, apart from the Nariman Point headquarters, which is worth over a whopping £160 million. IndiGo expresses interest: Private airline IndiGo has expressed interest in buying stake in Air India, said Secretary Civil Aviation RN Chaubey, clarifying that offers have also been made informally by other domestic and international airlines. It is unclear if the government would write off any part of the debt.
Kaushik Basu takes over as IEA president Kaushik Basu, former chief economic advisor to government of India, has taken over as president of the International Economic Association (IEA). Basu's three-year term started on June 23. "Basu's leadership kicked off with the closing of IEA's 18th Kaushik Basu World Congress in Mexico, at which Basu spoke, along with Cornell's Ravi Kanbur," the Cornell University said in a statement. Basu has also served as senior vice-president and chief economist at the World Bank from 2012 to 2016 and as the chief economic adviser to the Government of India from 2009 to 2012. He is currently the C Marks Professor of International Studies at Cornell. The IEA is a leading organisation for professional economists and it seeks to shape global economic policy and research. Among IEA's past presidents are Nobel laureates Kenneth Arrow, Robert Solow, Amartya Sen and Joseph Stiglitz.
Seven Brit-Asian companies featured in 'The Top Track 100' league table Seven companies with Brit-Asian connection have been featured in 'The Top Track 100' league table, published by The Sunday Times on July 2, that categorises Britain's biggest private companies by latest sales, which is considered as one of the best indicators of size, though not necessarily based on the basis of the company's performances.
The companies with British Asian connection, listed under the above mentioned league table are as follows:
Rank Rank Company 2017 2016
Electronic products distributor
Prepaid mobile telecoms provider
Euro Garages (Intervias) Fuel Forecourt
2 Sisters Food Group
Cash and Carry wholesaler
% annual growth
Suber Issa & Mohsin Issa and TDR capital (50%)
Baljinder andRanjit Boparan (100%)
Sir Anwar Pervez and family (89.5%), management (10.5%) Joe Hamani (100%)
Brait (80%) Tom Singh & other management (20%)
Dhamecha family (100%)
Subaskaran Aliirajah (98%), others (2%)
Companies are ranked by unrounded sales figures, need to have at least 100 full-time staff but are not required to be in profit. Sources for this report include Bureau van Dijk's Fame and Experian's Market IQ, up-to-date draft accounts, management account extracts, pro forma accounts and accounts filed in overseas territories.
Asian Voice | 8th July 2017
Serious possibility of raising interest rates Paresh Davdra is CEO and Co-Founder of RationalFX
All eyes were on Britain’s election at the start of the month with many polls predicting a wide range of outcomes - from a slim majority for the Conservatives to a hung parliament. In addition, forecasts for UK economic growth were optimistic in early June. As polling day approached, markets began to anticipate a Conservative majority which buoyed the pound. However on the evening before the election, the pound plummeted as exit polls revealed the prospect of Theresa May’s Conservatives falling short of a majority and a hung parliament looking increasingly likely. Overnight, this expectation became a reality as the Conservatives had won only 313 seats and were therefore no longer able to reach the 326-mark needed to command a parliamentary majority. This was a shockingly bad election result for May who was fighting to hold on to her job on Friday as British voters dealt her a punishing blow, denying her the stronger mandate she had sought to conduct Brexit talks and instead weakening her party's grip on power. The surprise result raised questions about how Britain will advance with its plan to leave the European Union, and whether any party can form a stable govern-
ment. The pound initially sank the pound by 2 percent against both the dollar and euro. The result bought humiliation for the Conservatives with May finishing with fewer seats than when she called the election. In the aftermath of the election, May said she would form a government backed by the DUP which is a small Northern Irish party, days before launching talks on Britain's EU departure. The result raised questions about how Britain will advance with its plan to leave the EU. It sent the pound to eight-week lows against the dollar and its lowest levels in seven months versus the euro. However the pound began to strengthen in the week after the election after the UK’s inflation rate hit a four year high, pushing up to 2.9%. Three members of the Bank of England's policy committee then surprised financial markets by voting for a rise in interest rates. As a result, sterling surged to its highest level in a week against the euro. At a time when the BoE has blamed a rise in inflation past its 2 percent target on a weak pound, traders read the split vote as warning that officials could seek to defend the currency with rhetoric or action, even as the economy overall slows. The rally in the pound was
short lived compounded dovish intervention from Mark Carney in an increasingly heated debate over interest rates within the Bank of England. Mr Carney urged caution in any shifts to monetary policy due to concerns of a slowdown in consumer spending and disappointing wage growth, causing sterling to drop to its lowest level since Theresa May called a snap election in mid-April. On June 27, May struck a deal to prop up her minority government by agreeing to at least £1bn in extra funding for Northern Ireland in return for the support of the DUP giving her the parliamentary numbers to pass a budget and a better chance of passing laws to take Britain out of the European Union However later in the month, the BoE Governor indicated that higher interest rates will be "necessary" if UK businesses shrug off Brexit uncertainty and raise investment and wages against a brighter global backdrop. As a result, the pound surged against the dollar and euro. These comments came as a surprise to markets as earlier this month Mr Carney said now was "not yet the time" to start raising rates as he warned that the "reality of Brexit negotiations" were yet to hit the economy. The rally in sterling was further exacerbated by further hawkish
comments from BoE chief economist Andy Haldane saying "We need to look seriously at the possibility of raising interest rates to keep the lid on those cost of living increases, for now we are happy with where the rates are, we need to be vigilant for what happens next". The dollar strengthened later in the month after US Federal Reserve raised its headline interest rate by 0.25 per cent on June 14. As widely expected Janet Yellen announced plans to raise the target range for the federal funds rate to between one and 1.25 per cent. In the run up to the decision markets priced in a near 100% chance of a hike. The Federal Reserve expect that economic conditions will evolve in a manner that will warrant gradual increases in the federal funds rate, after their fourth upwards move in the federal funds rate since before the financial crisis. On June 28, the Euro rose to hit a 10 month high against the dollar after a hawkish speech by ECB chief Mario Draghi at the ECB forum in Portugal yesterday. The euro's rally came after Draghi praised the eurozone's economic recovery on the back of positive data and said that deflationary forces had been replaced by reflationary ones.
As of Tuesday 4th July 2017 @ 2.15pm
GBP - INR = 83.78
USD - INR = 64.81 EUR - INR = 73.53 GBP - USD = 1.29 GBP - EUR = 1.14
EUR - USD = 1.13 GBP - AED = 4.75
GBP - CAD = 1.68
GBP - NZD = 1.77 GBP - AUD = 1.7
GBP - ZAR = 17.12
GBP - HUF = 350.89
Information provided by RationalFX. None of the information on this page constitutes, nor should be construed as financial advice. The exchange rates used are the commercial foreign exchange rates provided by RationalFX. For a live quote or to find out more about how RationalFX can help you, call us on 0207 220 8181.
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Asian Voice | 8th July 2017
India asks UK to stop ‘Burhan Wani Day’ in Birmingham
LONDON: India has strongly protested against the British government for allowing a rally to be held in Birmingham on July 8 to commemorate death anniversary of Hizbul Mujahideen ‘commander’ Burhan Wani who was killed on July 8, 2016. India's deputy high commissioner Dinesh Patnaik in a 'note verbale” asked the British government to stop the rally as it was an anti-Indian act. The July 8 event is billed as ‘Burhan Wani Day’ and ‘Kashmir Rally’. The development came less than a week after high commissioner Y K Sinha delivered an unusually
strong speech at a book release event here, when he said post-Brexit Britain’s eagerness to intensify trade with India cannot happen at the cost of India’s core concerns. Sinha said: “The way the UK permits anti-India activity on its soil, in Delhi people are quite perturbed about that. We are also a democratic society but we do not discuss issues that affect our friends and allies.” “Allowing anti-India elements to flourish here in the name of democracy will not do”, he said that caused ripples and raised eyebrows in diplomatic and political
circles, but was welcomed in Indian quarters. It was conveyed in the ‘note verbale’ that allowing an event to commemorate an individual considered by India as a ‘terrorist’ was not expected of the Theresa May government. Wani was pho-
tographed with an AK-47 rifle, seeking dismemberment of India, it was pointed out. Wani, who was an associate of Syed Salahuddin (recently branded a ‘global terrorist’ by the United States) was killed on July 8, 2016, leading to a prolonged phase of unrest in the Kashmir valley. Posters announcing the event have been circulated across the social media, featuring a photograph of Wani and mentioning figures about alleged human rights violations in Jammu and Kashmir, including injuries caused by pellets fired by security forces.
City, with a handwritten note from Sheikh Tamim, according to the state-run Kuwait News Agency. Kuwaiti and Qatari officials did not respond to questions on what the letter said. Meanwhile, US President Donald Trump spoke with Sheikh Tamim, as well as King Salman of Saudi Arabia and Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the crown prince of the Emirati capital, Abu Dhabi. The White House said Trump urged unity and reiterated the importance of stopping terrorist financing and discrediting extremist ideology. A separate statement carried on the official Qatar News Agency said the emir's discussion with Trump touched on the need to fight terrorism and extremism in
all its forms and sources, and was a chance for the countries to review their bilateral strategic relations. Trump later tweeted: “Spoke yesterday with the King of Saudi Arabia about peace in the Middle-East. Interesting things are happening!” What comes next remains in question. If Qatar doesn't agree to the demands, the nations could push forward with financial sanctions or pushing the country out of the Gulf Cooperation Council, a regional body that serves as a counterbalance to Iran. On Wednesday, the four countries will meet in Cairo to discuss “future steps in dealing with Qatar as well as exchange of points of view and the evaluation of the existing international and regional contacts in this connection,” Egypt's foreign ministry spokesman Ahmed Abu Zeid said. Meanwhile, Qatari officials have said they won't back down either. Al-Jazeera, the satellite news network funded by Qatar that the countries demand be shut down, issued a video message saying: “We too have demands. ... We demand press freedom.”
Qatar gets 48 hours to meet Arab nations' demands
DOHA: Arab nations on Monday extended the deadline for Qatar to respond to their demands by another 48 hours, allowing its top diplomat to carry a handwritten response to Kuwait's ruler in an effort to end the diplomatic crisis. Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Egypt and Bahrain already have plans to meet in Cairo on Wednesday as the deadline expires to discuss their next moves. Meanwhile, Qataris signed a wall bearing a black stencil likeness of their ruler, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, as officials in the host country of the 2022 FIFA World Cup maintain that they won't allow other nations to dictate their foreign policy. The crisis began June 5, as the countries cut off diplomatic ties to Qatar over their allegations that the world's top producer of liquefied natural gas uses it wealth to fund extremist groups and has overly warm ties to Iran. Qatar has long denied the allegations. The quartet of countries first restricted Qatar's access to their airspace and ports, while sealing its only land border, which it shares with Saudi Arabia. They later
issued a 13-point list of demands on June 22 to end the standoff and gave Qatar 10 days to comply. On Monday morning after the deadline expired, the countries said they would give Qatar another 48 hours after a request by Kuwait's ruler, Sheikh Sabah Al Sabah. The emir has been trying to mediate an end to the crisis, as he did in a similar dispute in 2014. “The response of the four states will then be sent following the study of the Qatari government's response and assessment of its response to the whole demands,” the countries said in a statement. Qatari foreign minister, Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani, travelled on Monday to Kuwait
‘Time’ Magazine cover with Trump, not real WASHINGTON: Talk about Fake News! Framed copies of Time Magazine hung in at least four of President Donald Trump's golf clubs are claimed to be fake. The cover, featuring a photo of Donald, along with a big headline that reads “Donald Trump: The 'Apprentice' is a television smash!” Another headline above the Time nameplate reads, “TRUMP IS HITTING ON ALL FRONTS... EVEN TV!” Dated March 1, 2009, while the cover makes for an impressive memento, a
reporter who recently visited one of the properties, observed several small but telling mistakes. The red border is skinnier, and unlike the original, there is no thin white border next to the red. While Trump cover's secondary headlines are stacked on the right side, they would go across the top on a real Time cover. As for the exclamation points, Time headlines don't yell! A spokeswoman for Time Inc. said, “I can confirm that this is not a real TIME Cover.” The
fake cover has is hung in at least four of Trump's 17 golf clubs. After basing an entire
election campaign on accusations of the media producing “fake news” related to him, Trump's hanging of pieces of phony journalism made journalists jeer. The Trump organisation refused to respond to questions about the cover and why it was displayed at Trump clubs. White House spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders declined to say whether Trump had known the cover wasn't real. “We couldn't comment on the décor at Trump Golf clubs one way or another.”
Pak again rejects India's plea for meeting with Jadhav
ISLAMABAD: A day after India sought consular access to Kulbhushan Jadhav for the 18th time, Pakistan turned down the request, with its foreign office spokesman saying that Jadhav is no ordinary prisoner and that India is attempting to deny the fact that he is a spy. The rejection comes after India and Pakistan exchanged lists of prisoners in each other's jails under the 2008 Agreement on Consular Access. Since Jadhav's arrest last year, Pakistan has rejected every Indian request seeking consular access to him. Spokesperson Nafees Zakaria said equating Jadhav's case with civilian prisoners and fishermen is a “travesty of logic.”
US to honour two PIOs as 'Great Immigrants'
NEW YORK: Indian-Americans, Adobe chief Shantanu Narayen and former US surgeon general Vivek Murthy, are among 38 immigrants to be honoured for their role in helping advance the country's society, culture and economy. Murthy, 39, born in the UK and a Harvard and Yale alumnus, was appointed as the youngest surgeon general of the country by former President Barack Obama in 2014. Narayen, 54, a native of Hyderabad, has an undergraduate degree in electronics engineering, a master's in computer science and an MBA from UC Berkeley. He is a board member of Pfizer and US-India Business Council. He was among a select group of CEOs who met PM Modi in Washington during the leader's visit for the first bilateral meeting with Trump last week.
Amitabh, Aishwarya, Aamir invited to join Oscar Academy
LOS ANGELES: Actors Amitabh Bachchan, Aishwarya Rai Bachchan, Aamir Khan, Priyanka Chopra and Deepika Padukone, apart from directors like Mrinal Sen, Buddhadeb Dasgupta and Goutam Ghose are among the Indians invited to be a part of the Oscar Academy's 'Class of 2017'. "We're proud to invite our newest class to the Academy. The entire motion picture community is what we make of it," Cheryl Boone Isaacs, President of the Academy of Motion Pictures, Arts and Sciences, was quoted as saying on the official Oscar website. "It's up to all of us to ensure that new faces and voices are seen and heard, and to take a shot on the next generation the way someone took a shot on each of us," Isaacs added.
Trump picks Indian American to be ambassador to Peru
WASHINGTON: US President Donald Trump has nominated Krishna R Urs to be the ambassador to Peru, the White House announced. The appointment of Urs, a career member of the Senior Foreign Service, would have to be approved by the Senate. He is currently Charge d'Affaires of the US Embassy in Madrid. Urs took over after James Costos, who was appointed by former President Barack Obama, resigned. Urs, a 30-year veteran of the foreign service was earlier the Deputy Chief of Mission in Spain. Urs, who knows Spanish, Hindi and Telugu, has specialised in economic issues and has developed extensive policy experience in the Andean region of South America, the White House said.
Etihad flights exempted from US laptop ban
ABU DHABI: Abu Dhabi-based Etihad said US-bound passengers can now take electronics on board its aircraft as America has lifted the ban on electronic devices on its flights from Abu Dhabi to the country. The US had on March 25 banned electronic devices in passenger cabins of direct flights to the country from 10 airports in the Gulf, North Africa and Turkey. “The US Immigration facility at Abu Dhabi Airport not only enables you to clear US immigration before you fly to the US, but with the additional security checks in place, you can now take all your electronic devices safely on board with you,” Etihad said in a mail.
Asian Voice | 8th July 2017
40 months to go, Trump holds re-election fundraiser
WASHINGTON: The politically incorrect billionaire and US President Donald Trump held a re-election campaign fundraiser barely five months into office. Forty months ahead of the next election, the President entertained guests for about two hours at a $35,000-perplate donor event at the Trump International Hotel, right across the White House. Spokeswoman for the Republic National Committee, Linday Jancek said over 300 people were expected to attend the event which was expected to raise about $10 million. Guests in shimmering evening gowns and crisp suits began to arrive around 5 pm, only to face groups of protesters who were present with slogans reading “Health
care not tax cuts” and chanted “Shame! Shame!” when the President's motorcade arrived. While historically early campaigning came with fundraising benefits, it raised red flags, including government employees inappropriately crossing over into campaign activities, and possibilities of tax dollars subsiding some aspects of campaign events.
Former general counsel to the Federal Election Commission, Larry Noble said the early campaigning creates plenty of “potential tripwires”. “They're going to have to proceed very carefully to avoid violations.” Guests included long time GOP fundraiser-turned television commentator Mica Mosbacher and Florida lobbyist and party financier
Brian Ballard. Trump, breaking tradition, did not allow reporters into the event, despite an announcement earlier in the day that a group of reporters would be allowed in to hear the President's remarks. White House Deputy Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said, “It's political event and they've chosen to keep that separate.” She said there was nothing unusual about raising political cash so early. “He's raising money for the party. I don't think that's abnormal for any president.” The first cut of the money raised would go to Trump's 2020 re-election campaign, the rest will be distributed among the RNC and other Republican entities.
US visas denied to Afghan girls
KABUL: An all-girls robotics team from Afghanistan was denied a week-long travel visa to Washington DC. The inaugural First Global Challenge, to be held in midJuly, will focus on clean water access. While the Afghan team's robot will be there to compete, the six teenaged girls who created it, won't. A report said that the girls travelled 500 miles from their home city of Herat, to the American embassy in Kabul, two sepa-
rate times to secure their visas, only to be rejected both times without a reason. They will, instead, watch the competition via Skype. The Digital Citizen Fund, an organisation co-founded by Afghanistan's first female tech CEO Roya Mahboob, had put together the team. Mahboob said the girls were heartbroken to learn they wouldn't be able to see their hard work come to fruition. “The first time (they were rejected) it was very difficult
talking with the students. They're young and they were very upset,” she said. The US State Department is yet to explain why the requests were denied, even though it did grant visas to teams from Iraq, Syria and Sudan. Of the 164 countries to enter, around 95 per cent will be attending the competition. In their mission statement, Team Afghanistan explained why they chose to compete,
'Laal Batti Express' highlights issues of sex trade in India
'Laal Batti Express', a one hour play that exposes the hopes and fears of girls living inside Mumbai's notorious redlight streets, found support from North Londonbased Asian charity, Sangam – Association of Asian Women. The performance is presented by Mumbai-based NGO Kranti, come ahead of their tour at the Edinburgh Frings in August. A spokesperson
from the NGO said, “It is an honour to be partnering with Sangam for these important and moving performances. We hope to meaningfully highlight the issues of the Indian sex trade and the work we can do to improve the lives of the girls living within this system.” The play shows teenaged girls, children of sex workers, share their first-hand experiences of Kamathipura, an impover-
ished area of Mumbai known for its sex trade and brothels. “We are proud to be supporting Kranti for these special performances, which are hugely complementary to our existing work at Sangam. We hope this influential piece will attract a wide-ranging audience and ensure continued support for Kranti's objectives to help lift these girls out of their harrowing world.”
NEW DELHI: Pakistan has banned terrorist Hafiz Saeed-backed outfit Tehreek-e Azadi-Jammu & Kashmir, a rebranded Jamaat-ud-Dawa (JuD). The country has put the group on the list of proscribed organisations, as of June 8, as per the website of Pakistan's National Counter Terrorism Authority. Mastermind behind the 2008 Mumbai attacks, Saeed was put under 'house arrest' and the JuD
on the 'under watch' list, in late January. The banning of JuD's proxy outfit can be seen as a response to the US administration's hinting of a harder dealing with Islamabad. Recent reports said Trump's administration is contemplating amplified drone strikes on terror camps in Pak. The banning also comes ahead of the intergovernmental Financial Action Task Force (FATF), scheduled to update its assessment of “high-risk
and non-cooperative jurisdictions” next month. The FATF was set up to implement legal, regulatory and operational measures to combat money laundering, terrorist financing and other similar threats. A senior US government official had reportedly conveyed to the country that it would be put on the FATF's blacklist if Islamabad did not take action against JuD and other similar outfits.
“We want to make a difference and most breakthroughs in science, technology, and other industries normally start with the dream of a child to do something great. We want to be that child and pursue our dreams to make a difference in people's lives.”
Probe team summons Sharif's daughter
ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif's daughter Maryam has been summoned to appear before the Joint Investigation Team (JIT) in connection with the Panama Papers probe into the family assets. The JIT has asked Maryam to appear before it. The 43 year old is currently in London, attending her son's graduation ceremony. PM Sharif appeared before the JIT on June 15, becoming the first sitting Pakistani Prime Minister to appear before a probe team. The JIT had also asked his sons Hassan and Hussain Nawaz to appear before it for further questioning. The six-member JIT is due to present its report to the apex court on July 10. The Supreme Court, in its judgement of April 20 in the Panama Papers case, had constituted the JIT, giving it power to summon the PM, his family members, and any other person related, to investigate allegations of money laundering. The Sharifs are accused of having purchased four apartments in London's Park Lane area, through money laundering.
Death toll in Pakistan tanker explosion reaches 206 ISLAMABAD: The number of deaths caused in an explosion of a tanker loaded with petrol in Pakistan a week ago has climbed to 206, officials said. Out of 206 bodies, 125 remain unidentified due to the serious burns following the June 25 explosion, according to the latest data released by authorities of Victoria Hospital in Bahawalpur in Punjab province. Another 65 people remain hospitalised, many of whom are in a serious condition. Hospital spokesperson Amir Bukhari said that "almost all the 26 patients admitted in Lahore and Multan have more than 70 per cent burns and have less chances of survival.
r e w o P r u o Y #Fuel
Pakistan bans Hafiz Saeedbacked terror outfit
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Asian Voice | 8th July 2017
TN emerging as major drug smuggling point Drug smuggling cartels are attracted by its vast coastline and excellent air connectivity CHENNAI: Tamil Nadu is fast emerging as a major transit and shipment point for drug smuggling cartels, attracted by its 1,067-km coastline, excellent air connectivity with Southeast Asian countries, and major national and state highways that link the state to all parts of the country. Reports state the gangs deal in organically-derived drugs like heroin, cocaine, and cannabis, synthetic drugs like lysergic and diethylamide (LSD, widely referred to as acid), and drug precursors such as ketamine and pseudoephedrine. Enforcement agencies say the cartels are smuggling increasingly larger quantities of contraband. Eighty-six kg of ephedrine was seized in the first half of 2017, or three times the amount confiscated in 2016. They seized 115 kg of heroin across Tamil Nadu this year, dwarfing confiscations in the past six years, and registered a 25 per cent increase in amphetamine seizures from 2016. Tuticorin police seized 5 kg of heroin three weeks ago and the Sri
Lankan Navy arrested Ramswaram fishermen for possession of around 13 kg of the drug. “The drug is mainly sourced from two areas: across Afghanistan, and the northern states of Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh, from where the excess poppy is legally cultivated by farmers for medicinal purposes,” Said Narcotics Control Bureau Chennai zonal director A Bruno. A senior Tamil Nadu police officer said consumption in Sri Lanka is on the rise and the country's market is lucrative for those in the trade. “TN coastline is
Karnataka Speaker asked to reconsider arrest of journalists BENGALURU: Two journalists facing the wrath of the Karnataka Legislative Assembly, got temporary relief from the state High Court as it asked Speaker KB Koliwad to convene a session and reconsider the order. During the hearing of a joint petition filed by journalists Ravi Belagere, editor of weekly tabloid Hi Bangalore, and Anil Raj, editor of local publication Yelahanka Voice, the court observed that if the legislators still need to pursue this in court, they can opt for a defamation case. With the decision at an impasse, the HC adjourned the hearing on Sunday. However, Additional Advocate General AS Ponnanna told the court that both the journalists would
have to appear before the Speaker and submit a formal appeal for any reconsideration. It was assured that they won't be arrested if they do so. The Karnataka Assembly, on June 21, had convicted the two editors of breach of privilege for writing defamatory articles that made personal attacks against three MLAs. They were sentenced to one year in jail and a fine of Rs 10,000 was also imposed on them. Two days after the Legislature’s order was passed, the ruling Congress was worried whether this would be seen as a serious infringement on the freedom of the press. This is the first time that the Karnataka Assembly has ordered a jail term for journalists.
2 Delhi govt staffers among 4 held for Haryana killing
GURGAON: The Haryana Police have arrested four people in relation to the brutal killing of a 16-year old Muslim boy by a mob inside a train in Ballabhgarh. The accused include two Delhi government employees, a 31 year old health department inspector and a 50 year old Delhi Jal Board official. Police sources said the two had hurled communal abuses and instigated people against victim, Junaid Khan and his three brothers. Haryana DGP BS Sandhu said, “The case stands solved and we are taking measures to ensure that the other accused are arrested at the earliest.” Authorities said the man who had stabbed the teenager is yet to be arrested even though he has been identified from CCTV footage recovered from Asaoti railway station. The other two arrested are youths in their 20s working in a private company in south Delhi. Kamaldeep Goel, superintendent of police, GRP, Ambala
Cantt, said, “We will not reveal the names of the accused at present since they would have to undergo a test identification parade before the family members of the deceased. We zeroes in on the four after an intensive manhunt with the support of technical investigation, intelligence reports and other inputs. The technical investigations established their presence at the spot. The accused have confessed to their involvement in the violence.” The 16 year old victim, his brother Haseeb and their two cousins were travelling back to their village in Haryana's Ballabhgarh, from Delhi after their Eid shopping when they were attacked with knives. The teenager was later thrown off the train at Asaoti. The fight that erupted over seats got bigger because the boys looked “different,” Haseeb told the police. Religious slurs were yelled at them, his skull cap was pulled off his head.
used to ferry drugs like heroin and ganja to Southeast Asian countries.” The Directorate of Revenue Intelligence busted a small manufacturing facility a week ago, in Red Hills, Chennai, and confiscated 90 kg of heroin, 56 kg of pseudoephedrine, and 11 kg of methamphetamine. While NCB regularly tracks postal and courier networks for packages of LSD stamps after investigators found evidence of this modus operandi in Kancheepuram district. However, one officer admits that the bureau has only been able to identify middlemen in the network and investigators are still trying to identify the kingpins in the multi-state and international drug smuggling cartels. “Enforcement agencies are working together to identify and break up drug smuggling gangs. We have strengthened coastal monitoring networks to intercept drugs on the high seas,” Bruno said. “We have formed special squads in demarcated areas across the state to track drug trafficking by road.”
350 Kerala youth being de-radicalised THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Almost a year after 21 ISIS sympathisers left from Kerala to join the terror group in Afghanistan, around 350 youth are now being de-radicalised in the state. State Intelligence chief Muhammad Yasin said a special de-radicalisation drive has been focusing on 350 people and their families. “Most of these youths are from northern Kerala and are well educated and innocent. They get attracted to unsuspecting Whatsapp messages and social media groups, from where the radicalisation begins gradually,” Yasin said. Called Operation Pigeon, the drive was a joint operation by the state Intelligence, National Investigation Agency or NIA, and other Central Intelligence wings. When asked about the modus operandi to identify the target group, Yasin said, “We are
still undertaking the drive and focusing on nipping this in the bud. Since it is an ongoing process even now, we cannot disclose more than this.” Investigators had found that the main ISIS indoctrinators Abdul Rasheed had created at least two Whatsapp groups and was sending messages to over 200 people in the state. Most of the people being de-radicalised are in their twenties and thirties.
Praise of veil sparks row CHANDIGARH: A controversial cover of a Haryana government magazine has invited unrelenting criticism from the Opposition. The March 2017 issue of Krishi Samvada supplement of Haryana Samvad magazine, published once a month by the government, shows a veiled woman carrying cattle feed on her head, with a caption saying, “Pride of the 'ghoonghat' is the identity of my Haryana.” Leader of the Opposition in the Assembly, Abhay Singh Chautala said the government should be working to empower women, instead of appealing to all to shun the practice of covering their face. “While on the one hand they boast of programmes such as 'Beti Bachao-Beti Padhao' for the betterment of girls, on the other, a government booklet attempts to promote the practice of veils, which is unfortunate. The
government should, in fact, start an awareness drive to discard the veil and empower women,” he said. Congress spokesperson Randeep Surjewala said, “A regressive mindset and objectification of women is the DNA of the BJP. The Manohar Lal Khattar government has failed to realise that Haryana girls and women have excelled in fields such as space science, sports and the armed forces to name just a few.”
Centre approves £79.5 mn for drought-hit Karnataka
NEW DELHI: The Central government has approved £79.5 million in assistance to droughthit Karnataka. A meeting chaired by Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh approved the assistance from the National Disaster Relief Fund (NDRF). The committee examined the proposal based on the report of the inter-ministerial central team that visited the state. Karnataka has stated that the region had suffered a crop loss of £2.5 billion and had asked the Centre for a package of £470.2 million as aid.
Telangana IPS officer gets award from US
HYDERABAD: An IPS from Telangana won an award from the US Department of State for his fight against human trafficking in India. Mahesh Muralidhar Bhagwat, current Rachakonda Police Commissioner, has been conferred with the 2017 Trafficking in Persons Report Heroes Award. As per the report, Bhagwat joins seven other individuals from around the world who were recognised for their tireless efforts in preventing human trafficking. Bhagwat said that he was delighted by the award.
TN govt orders memorials for MGR, Jayalalithaa
CHENNAI: Tamil Nadu government has decided to set up an arch in memory of the late Chief Minister and AIADMK founder MG Ramchandran on the occasion of his birth centenary in Chennai. The government has also decided to create a grand memorial for J Jayalalithaa, who died last year. Chief Minister Edappadi Palaniswami who made the announcement said MGR was hailed by people for his generosity among others. He said a memorial would be constructed for Jaya at the Marina Beach in Chennai, where she was buried.
Presidential poll: Kovind meets Haryana, Punjab legislators
CHANDIGARH: The National Democratic Alliance's presidential candidate Ram Nath Kovind met Haryana and Punjab legislators last week to seek support in next month's Presidential election. Kovind drove to Panchkula from Chandigarh International Airport, where he met the ruling BJP legislators from the state. He also met the opposition Indian National Lok Dal members in the town. Kovind also met senior Shiromani Akali Dal leaders, including former Punjab CM Parkash Singh Badal, and party president Sukhbir Singh Badal, to seek support.
AAP, SAD playing fixed match: Punjab Cong
CHANDIGARH: The ruling Congress in Punjab has accused Opposition Aam Aadmi Party and the Shiromani Akali Dal of playing a “fixed match” in the State Assembly. Punjab Congress president Sunil Jakhar said that both the parties have reduced the assembly to a battleground due to their inter and intra party power struggles. He said the Akalis “looted the state and its people for 10 years” and now it's time for action. “They won't have to wait for long as the Amarinder Singh government is going systematically about initiating inquiries and action against the various mafias that mushroomed during the Akali regime.”
Panjab University to be vehicle-free by July end
CHANDIGARH: Panjab University campus has become vehicle-free from the new academic session. No student will be allowed to enter campus after 5 pm and on university holidays without permission. No outsider vehicle will be allowed, and students studying in the department of evening studies will be allowed in only on twowheelers with a valid identity card. Teaching/nonteaching staff of PU-affiliated colleges will also be required to carry their identity cards. Registrar Col GS Chadha (Retd), said all necessary steps were being taken to make PU a 'no-vehicle zone' from the new academic session.
Asian Voice | 8th July 2017
Dr. Hari Desai
When Jinnah agreed to Jodhpurâ€™s demands Hanwant dreamt of becoming emperor of Rajasthan with the help of Pakistan K.M. Panikkar comments, An ancestor of the Maharaja invited Ghori to India
We cannot forget the historic role of the Rashtrakoots as the allies of the Muslims. It was an ancestor of the Jodhpur Maharaja who invited Mohammed Ghori to India.
t is an era of re-writing history in India. These days the descendents of various Maharajas of the Princely States are busy presenting the history of their ancestors in a fashion that they were not just loyalists of the British rulers but were patriotic who supported the cause of Indian freedom movement in their own right. Maharaja Man Singh Pustak Shodh Kendra, Jodhpur has brought out the biography of the last Maharaja of Jodhpur to clear the doubts about his willingness to join the Pakistan dominion. Surprisingly, the biography â€œLife and Times of Maharaja Hanwant Singhâ€? by Laxman Singh Rathore presents the chapter on â€œThe Accession of the Jodhpur Stateâ€? calling most of the civil servants including V.P. Menon and K. M. Panikkar doing injustice to the personality of Maharaja. Prof. Rathore, who was the Vice Chancellor of Jaynarayan Vyas University, blames the falsification of facts even by K.M. Munshi in â€œEnd of an Eraâ€? and praises only the former diplomat Narendra Singh Sarila, IFS, who was from the Princely State of Sarila and was the ADC of Lord Mountbatten, for recording the correct history of the Jodhpur Maharaja interacting with Mohammad Ali Jinnah giving a blank paper signed by him to put conditions for merging his State into Pakistan. Hanwant Singh was the last ruler of Marwad-Jodhpur State for those crucial two years(August 1947-March â€™49) and he died in an aircrash in January 1952. None can deny the fact that the Maharaja â€œwas prepared to line up with Pakistan.â€? Not only V. P. Menon, the Secretary to the Ministry of States, but even Lord Mountbatten and Sarila recorded these facts in their correspondences and memoires. When the Maharaja of Nawanagar(Jamnagar), Digvijay Singh or Jam Saheb, warned all the Princely States in a meeting of the Chamber of Princes on 25 July 1947 of â€œwithout entering into some kind of an organic relationship with the Central Government, Your
Highnesses would be totally exposed to the Congress Party-inspired agitations with no help to come as until now from the Reserved Crown Police under the Political Department, most were ready to sign up the Instrument of Accession to India. Sarila describes the incident in his book â€œThe Shadow of the Great Game : The Untold Story of Indiaâ€™s Partitionâ€?. He does record Mountbatten notes : â€œBut there were some â€˜sluggardsâ€™ apart from Hyderabad and Kashmir (and Junagadh), the States which gave the most trouble were Travancore, Indore, Bhopal, Rampur, Jodhpur and Baroda.â€? Even Sarila recorded in his book â€œOnce a Prince of Sarila: Of Palaces of Tigers Hunts of Nehrus and Mountbattensâ€? :
Present â€˜Maharaja of Jodhpur, Gaj Singh
â€œHanuwant Singh, the heir of Jodhpur, who was a few years senior to me at schoolâ€Ś by entering into negotiations with Mr. Jinnah to join Pakistanâ€Ś whipped out a revolver concealed in a pen and threatened to shoot V. P. Menon.â€? Menon also describes the incident in â€œIntegration of the Indian Statesâ€?. The House of Jodhpur seems to be furious with K.M. Panikkar since he compared the negotiations of the 23-year old Maharaja of Jodhpur to join Pakistan with his ancestor who invited Mohammed Ghori to India! â€œJinnah had offered to sign a treaty with Jodhpur as an independent sovereign State and also to allow Jodhpur to import arms through Karachi without duty. He had also offered Jodhpur the suzerainty of all Rajasthan if he thus associated himself with
Nawab of Bhopal saying that he would meet him to fix up details in Delhi on 11th August. On 7th August the Maharaja of Jodhpur left for Baroda to persuade the Gaekwad (Pratapsinghrao) not to sign the Instrument of Accession. The same day a telegram was sent to the Maharaja saying that I wanted to see him at onceâ€Ś.it was apparent that Sardar Patel (the Home Minister) was prepared to go to any lengths to prevent this from materializing. After branding the action to whip out a revolver by the Maharaja as â€œa juvenile theatricalâ€?, Menon called Jodhpur terms as â€œfalse hopesâ€? and â€œfalse promisesâ€? on par with those from Jinnah. Menon writes : â€œ I gave him (Hanwant) a letter conceding some of his demands. Thereafter he signed the Instrument of Accession.â€? And rest is the history. Next Column: The Scindia of Gwalior in the Mutiny of 1857 (The writer is a Sociopolitical Historian. E-mail: email@example.com)
Royal Family of Marwar-Jodhpur. Mother of the present â€˜Maharajaâ€™ Gaj Singh, Rajmata Krishnakumari is Dhangradhra Princess
Pakistan. The Maharaja was dazzled with the prospect of becoming a sort of emperor of all Rajasthan with the help of Pakistan. We cannot forget the historic role of the Rashtrakoots as the allies of the Muslims. It was an ancestor of the Jodhpur Maharaja who invited Mohammed Ghori to India. In later times, the family won favour with the Mughals by offering their women in marriage to the emperors. The secret pact with Jinnah was thus quite in character.â€? Col. Kesri Singh was the Maharajaâ€™s secretary and had accompanied him to Jinnahâ€™s residence. â€œâ€Śhe could sense the treasonable nature of the whole conspiracyâ€Śpersuaded him not to sign at once but to consult his mother and other relations.â€? Menon and even Rathore are on common ground. There were four demands put forward by the Maharaja and Jinnah agreed: â€œ(1) the use of Karachi as a free port;(2) free import of arms;(3)jurisdiction over Jodhpur-Hyderabad(Sind) railway; and (4) a liberal supply of grain for the relief of famine in some of the districts of Jodhpur. After the Maharaja was tempted, Jinnah turned to the Maharajkumar of Jaisalmer who was accompanying him and asked him whether he would follow suit. â€œThe Maharajkumar replied that his State would join Pakistan only on condition that if there were trouble between Hindus and Muslims in his State, he would remain strictly neutral. This unexpected question had made Hanwant Singh cautious about the possible problems.â€? Even the Maharaja in his interview to Sarila in 1948 had described the incident in these words : â€œAfter explaining the offer Jinnah pushed across the table a blank paper with his signa-
ture on it asking me to fill in our other terms for acceding to Pakistan. Expecting trouble from the Congresswallas after independence, I was frankly tempted. But the heirapparent of Jaisalmer who was with me suggested we consult my mother, the Dowager Maharani, and the Sardars (the feudal lords) of Jodhpur. So I thanked Mr. Jinnah for his offer and said we would think about it and then return. As soon as I
said this, Jinnah pulled away rather brusquely the blank paper with his signature that I held in my fingers.â€? Mountbattenâ€™s report states: â€œA family Council attended by some headmen ( feudal lords) was held in Jodhpur on 5th August whereat the Majority was against joining Pakistan. The Maharaja still thought that Mr. Jinnahâ€™s offer was the best and telegraphed to the
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Asian Voice | 8th July 2017
Modi welcomes arrival of Narmada water in Rajkot's Aji dam Prime Minister Narendra Modi visited Gujarat last week, to welcome the arrival of Narmada waters in Rajkot's Aji dam. The water reaching the dam, comes as boon to people in the city of Saurashtra region, most of whom are struck by water woes. Facing deficient rains, Aji dam has only overflown 11 times in the last 40 years. Modi formally welcomed Narmada dam Prime Minister Narendra Modi performs ‘Poojan’ on the water, reminiscing his iniinauguration of Aji-3 Dam tial days after taking over as acceptable. This is not something the Chief Minister of Gujarat in 2001. “We Mahatma Gandhi would approve. It is not have filled the dams today... a government the message that Vinobha Bhave’s life which works with right intention to bring would give us. And that is why, on the cenchange in the lives of common man suctenary celebrations of the ashram and the ceeds. We have travelled this far due to birth anniversary of Shrimadji, I want to hard work and good intention,” he said, say that we are a land of non-violence. We crediting the state government for ensurare the land of Mahatma Gandhi. Violence ing 24-hour electricity and water supply never has and will never solve any probto the dried up lands. Modi said the steady lem.” supply of water in dams in Saurashtra “I am talking about the present situaregion connected under SAUNI Yojana tion in the country and expressing my will help farmers reach new heights of anger and pain. A country which believes prosperity. in even feeding an ant, stray dogs and in “Water has reached here but with it, the morning goes to lakes and feeds fish, a the responsibility has also increased. I country which has such a culture, a counwould like to tell people of Gujarat that try in which Mahatma has taught us lesthis is not just water but a source of prosson of non-violence. What has happened perity. This water is like 'prasad' of God. to us?” he said. “If a patient dies due to an We will have to save water. And I would unsuccessful operation, relatives burn beg you to save water,” the PM said, urgdown hospitals and beat up doctors. An ing people to use water judiciously. accident is an accident. When people die “Farmers in Kutch have adopted drip irrior are injured in accidents, a group of peogation and have changed the face of farmple come together and burn vehicles,” he ing in the arid land. Farmers here too said. should adopt drip irrigation so that they At the Ashram, Modi tried his hand at produce more by using less water,” he the charkha, took a tour, and released a added. special postal stamp and commemorative Modi's agenda for the visit included coin to mark the birth anniversary of inauguration of several projects. He also Shrimad Rajchandra. Last Friday, the released a special postal stamp and comPrime Minister inaugurated the three-day memorative coin to mark the birth Textiles India 2017 event, the country's anniversary of Shrimad Rajchandra, at the first ever mega event for the textile indusSabarmati Ashram. Addressing the people try, in Gandhinagar in presence of cappresent to mark the centenary of tains of the textile industry, Union minisMaharma Gandhi's Sabarmati Ashram, ters and state ministers from Gujarat, Modi spoke on the vile attacks carried out Telangana, Maharashtra, Jharkhand, in the name of 'gau raksha'. “Killing peoAssam and Karnataka. ple in the name of gau bhakti is not
VIACOM18 TO LAUNCH MTV BEATS IN THE UK Parent company of successful Indian brands like Colors, Rishtry Europe, and Rishtey Cineplex, is all set to enter the UK with its 24X7 music brand 'MTV BEATS'. The 'Baap of Bollywood Music', the channel will offer its audiences in the United Kingdom, a one-stop destination for all their Bollywood music needs. Sudhanshu Vats, Group CEO, Viacom18, said, “MTV initiated India onto the experience of pop culture, making it a socially and commercially successful phenomenon. Today, the brand is synonymous with being reflective of the country's youth- their preferences, beliefs, opinions, desires et al. This presented us with the unique opportunity to redesign our Youth and Music portfolio to take brand MTV into sharply segmented content buckets within the genre. We now offer differentiated experiences from brand MTV – while the flagship channel focuses on youth and branded content, MTV Beats, our first 24X7 Hindi music channel, takes the MTV brand to a diverse
set of audience which is sure to resonate with Indians and lovers of Bollywood in the UK.” Speaking about the launch, Ferzad Palia, Head, Youth and English Entertainment, Viacom18, said, “Music is an important medium for us to reach out to young people today. Nobody does music better than MTV. With MTV BEATS, we have now created a dedicated 24x7 medium for young people to get their daily Bollywood music fix. After tasting phenomenal success within months of its launch in India, I’m positive the audiences across UK will love the channel as much with all the Bollywood music it has to offer.”
Do Evil and Suffering prove that an all-loving God cannot exist?
This argument is heavily debated all across the globe and has taken prominence since 1755 (November 1st- All Saints’ day), when the Lisbon Earthquake and tsunami struck, unfortunately taking between 10,000 to 100,000 lives. Up until that moment, Christianity was still the dominant religion in Europe. However, after the disaster, philosophers began to ask why God had allowed such a huge loss of life to happen and this led to an age of Enlightenment with the likes of atheism and agnosticism spreading across Western Europe. Before this point God was believed to be (and some still believe He is) omnipotent, omnibenevolent and omniscient, meaning he is all-powerful, all-loving and all-knowing. After the earthquake, the argument of ‘The problem of Evil’ was constructed. Originally developed by the Greek philosopher Epicurus, it argued that evil does exist and therefore God cannot be omnipotent and omnibenevolent. One philosopher in particular who played a major role in advancing this argument in the immediate aftermath of the Great Lisbon Earthquake was Voltaire. Voltaire wrote a heart-felt poem on the Lisbon Earthquake, published in 1756, which heavily attacked the concept of an all-powerful, all-loving and all-knowing God. In his poem,’ Poème sur le désastre de Lisbonne. he excoriated both the Catholics, who claimed that the Lisbon tragedy was God’s wrath towards the sinful residents of Portugal, and the Protestants, who blamed it on the Portugese for being Catholic. It was Voltaire’s attacks on the prevailing religious views for the Lisbon tragedy that kickstarted the argument for a different kind of God. The Lisbon earthquake established the idea of a potentially powerless or not allknowing God. This in turn raised the subsequent question of a suffering God. Maybe He wants to protect us from all these disasters but, as He is powerless, He cannot stop them. He can see them coming as He is all-knowing and is therefore upset and is suffering because He is poweless to prevent them. There are two types of evil: Natural and Human imposed. Let us take the example of World War 2 where tens of millions of people were killed in a 6 year struggle for supremacy. An allknowing and all-loving God who is powerless would of course not be able to stop the war. But, if He was all-powerful and all-loving but not all-knowing He should have still been able to stop the war. Think about it. It was a 6 year war -that is a very long time. If He loved us and was all-powerful, surely He would have interfered and stopped it. All the disgusting torture and painful suffering so many unfortunate humans had to experience could have been stopped but was not. Theologians have naturally asked why an all-loving God does not prevent human-created evil. They have proposed four answers, but none are convincing. First, they argue that God respects the free will of human beings and lets them suffer the consequences of their actions. This is fine but it does not answer why God created such deeply flawed human beings in the first place and why He does not intervene even when their actions have horrendous consequences. Second, it is sometimes argued that evil so-called is only evil from our point of view, not from God’s. This argument is unacceptable because deaths of millions cannot be evil just for us and not for an all-loving God as
well. Thirdly, theologians argue that evil and suffering are God’s ways of reminding human beings of their frailty and countering their natural tendency towards hubris. This argument again cannot explain why God’s reminder should take such brutal forms and result in deaths of millions. Finally, theologians justify evil and suffering as divine punishment for human sins. This argument also makes little sense because the evil is inflicted indiscriminately and extends to innocent people as well new born babies, who could not even have had a chance to sin. Hence we can only assume that this God is only all-loving and neither all-powerful nor all-knowing. But how could he even create such a complicated universe with limited power and knowledge? It would take an extremely intelligent and powerful entity to create such a vast system like the universe with so many intricate and complex details. This questions the argument that God created evolution. A famous Indian, Rabindranath Tagore, used the analogy of God being an artist, a craftsman struggling to make the perfect table, and over time he is able to perfect it. This, in Tagore’s view, is evolution. I disagree with this. Over time, the table should be getting better, but the conflicts in the middle east now and the large-scale humanitarian suffering suggest the world is not being perfected as Tagore’ table analogy would imply. This now brings me to the view that there cannot be a mere all-loving God and I have ruled out the other options that would make a good God. So, there can only be a God who is all-powerful and/or all-knowing but not all-loving. But could this type of God exist? Why would he create us if he was not all-loving? It would be pointless unless he took pleasure out of seeing suffering. Life is still full of pleasant surprises; there are loving and altruistic people and conflict is only in some parts of the world. Surely a God of limited power and limited knowledge still has limited love-otherwise he would not have created us at all. But how does he decide who to love and should we tie ourselves to a God of only limited powers? Therefore there are two possible conclusions: Either there is an all-powerful and/or all-knowing God exists but who is selective in his love. Or there is no such thing as God. There are many arguments for the existence of God , and just as many for His non-existence. In this short essay, I have only been interested in that based on the existence of evil in the natural and especially the human world. From this standpoint God either does not exist, or is not all-loving, or has only limited power. All three are depressing conclusions and we would perhaps be better off not basing our relatively short lives on an immutable belief in God.
Frederick Parekh-Glitsch is a 14 year old boy from Magdalen College School, Oxford.
A young man, born to a biracial family, he has penned a thought-provoking article challenging the normal interpretation of faith. While several may or may not agree with his views, he surely is entitled to articulate his thoughts even in a news weekly where faith is respected and covered almost regularly. To us at ABPL, religion is a personal matter. We also believe in the Vedic philosophy of One Creator, One God, but different names. We wish our readers to read the article, and welcome responses in due course.
Too Many Avocados Can Be Bad for Your Health
If you happen to be one of those who love cooking with creamy, nuttyflavoured avocados, it is about time you read this. According to a recent study published in the journal Cellular and M o l e c u l a r Gastroenterology and Hepatology, 'good fats' derived from avocados and other ingredients like olive oil may lead to fatty liver disease and increase the risk of diabetes and hypertension. Researchers from University of California San Francisco (UCSF) in the US found that a diet high in monounsaturated fat, combined with high
starch content, caused the most severe fatty liver disease, a risk factor for metabolic disorders. They emphasized that simply counting calories does not guarantee a healthy diet. For the study, experts carried out experiments on mice module. They paired fat, saturated or monounsaturated, with carbohydrate, sucrose or starch, to create four different high-calorie diets which were then given to mice. The diets were roughly 40 per cent carbohydrate, 40 per cent fat, and 20 per cent protein by calorie, a ratio on par with the average American diet. Experts divided mice
Osteoarthritis is a condition wherein the cartilage - that provides padding to the joints - begins to wear off. While ageing is one of the primary reasons for the condition, some other perpetrators would include past injury and even obesity. Some of the most common symptoms of osteoarthritis would include pain and soreness in joints, stiffness after a period of inactivity,
swelling or enlargement in joints. A recent study points to the fact that women are more susceptible to osteoarthritis as compared to men. The key trigger is believed to be a type of fluid present in the joints. - Weight bearing exercises is important to maintain the strength of the bones and connective tissues and prevent them from falling weak. - Regular and adequate
into four groups of 10. They were fed the experimental diets for six months and were then compared to mice that were fed regular low-fat mouse chow. It was noted that all mice on experimental diets grew obese by the end of six months and developed some degree of
fatty liver. Experts also saw an unusual degree of fat cell death and signs of inflammation. Perhaps the starchmonounsaturated fat diet somehow induces the fat from these areas to be shuttled into the liver at an abnormally high rate, fattening the liver, researcher said.
calcium and vitamin D consumption is important for bone repair and development. - Weight management is crucial. Excess weight puts pressure on your bones and joints making them prone to damage and even fracturing. - Those who are susceptible to developing bone ailments should keep a check on inflammation in the body. - Food items that cause inf lammation may lead to trouble in people who suffer from or are likely to suffer from bone associated
ailments. - Steer clear of processed food items, sugar and food rich in purines to avoid joint inflammation and pain triggers.
More Women Suffer From Osteoarthritis Than Men
A man asked for a meal in a restaurant. The waiter brought the food and put it on the table. After a moment, the man called the waiter and said: "Waiter! Waiter! There's a fly in my soup!" "Please don't speak so loudly, sir," said the waiter, "or everyone will want one." ******************************* Mike and his pregnant wife live on a farm in a rural area in the west of England. No running water, no electricity, etc. One night, Mikes' wife is begins to deliver the baby. The local doctor is there in attendance. "What d'ya want me to do, Doctor?" "Hold the lantern, Mike. Here it comes!" the doctor delivers the child and holds it up for the proud father to see. "Mike, you're the proud father of a fine strapping boy." "Saints be praised, I..." Before Mike can finish the Doctor interrupts, "Wait a minute. Hold the lantern, Mike." Soon the doctor delivers the next child. "You've a full set now, Mike. A beautiful baby daughter." "Thanks be to..." Again the Doctor cuts in, "Hold the lantern, Mike, Hold the lantern!" Soon the Doctor delivers a third child. The doctor holds up the baby for Mike's inspection. "Doctor," asks Mike, "Do you think it's the light that's attracting them?" **************************** Two men are sitting in a bar. One says to the other, "That window is magic. To prove it, I'll jump out." He jumps, much to the other man's horror, and plummets 20 floors only to stop and float gently back up. "Amazing, huh? Why don't you try?" The other man is dubious, but eventually decides to jump. He plummets 30 floors and smacks into the pavement. The first man is in hysterics. "You know," says the bartender, "you're a real prick when you're drunk, Superman."
Asian Voice | 8th July 2017
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What's Your Child's IQ? Study links child’s IQ to longer life
study confirms that intelligence test scores in childhood are significantly associated with subsequent mortality. Importantly, it shows that childhood IQ is strongly associated with causes of death that are, to a great extent, dependent on already known risk factors." Falkstedt added "Tobacco smoking and its distribution along the socioeconomic spectrum could be of particular importance here. It remains to be seen if this is the full story or if IQ signals something deeper, and possibly genetic, in its relation to longevity." For the study, published in the journal The BMJ (British Medical Journal), the team of researchers from the University of Edinburgh examined the association between intelligence test scores measured at age 11 and leading causes of death in men and women up to age 79. Their findings are based on data from 33,536 men and 32,229 women born in Scotland in 1936, who took a validated childhood intelligence test at age 11, and who could be linked to cause of death data up to December 2015.
IQ or Intelligent Quotient is a series of tests which determines what's an individual's thinking capacity, or how smart he or she is. In standard IQ tests, the system of scoring is such that the raw median score is defined as 100. Most people score between IQ 75 to IQ 125. About 5 per cent people score above IQ 125, are considered to be very intelligent, and 5 per cent score below IQ 75, are less than average. Einstein is said to have had an IQ score of 160190. According to a new study, IQ is also linked to one's long life. Scientists at the Karolinska Institute in Sweden found that higher IQ in childhood is associated with a lower lifetime risk of major causes of death, including heart disease, stroke, smoking related cancers, respiratory disease and dementia. Furthermore, lifestyle, especially tobacco smoking, can be an important component in the effect of intelligence on differences in mortality, the researchers said. Daniel Falkstedt, Assistant Professor at the Karolinska Institute in Sweden said "The
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Asian Voice | 8th July 2017
Kamal Haasan hopeful of making 'Marudhanayagam' All set to host Tamil 'Big Boss' reality show, Kamal Haasan talked about exploring his dream project 'Marudhanayagam' through small screen. When a reporter asked when we can get to watch the project, Kamal said, “Who knows, even small screen may be an option for that. We are considering it.” 'Marudhanayagam' is a historical subject launched as a future film by Kamal Haasan in 1997. A few portions of the film was shot only to be shelved later due to financial constraints. However, Kamal remains confident that the project will come to life some day for sure.
Rajinikanth goes to US for medical check-up Rajinikanth has flown down to the US with daughter Aishwarya for a routine medical check-up, triggering rumours that the 67 year old is unwell. He is expected to return to Chennai on July 10 and will join the sets of his upcoming film 'Kaala' two days later. Produced by Dhanush, the film will see Thalaivar play a slum-lordturned-gangster. It also marks the reunion of director Pa Ranjith and Rajini, who had earlier collaborated in 'Kabali'. Important sequences of the film will be shot in Chennai schedule where the makers have erected a set of Asia's largest slum in Dharavi on a budget of over a £100,000. Given that the film has been mostly shot against the backdrop of Mumbai, the makers have decided to simultaneously shoot the film in Hindi. 'Kaala' will also star Nana Patekar as a politician, Pankaj Tripathi as a cop, and Anjali Patil and Samuthirakani.
Tamil film 'Joker' now goes international! Directed by Raju Murugan, 'Joker', after winning critical acclaim, and a National Award for Best Feature Film in Tamil this year, has now been selected into the Indian Film Festival Melbourne 2017. SR Prabhu of producer Dream Warrior Pictures, said, “'Joker' had started off as a small film. But after it won the National Award this year, the entire scale changed altogether. It started getting critical acclaim from one and all. Now, it has been selected to participate in the Indian Film Festival Melbourne and they were really happy to take 'Joker' into the competition. It is a really happy moment for us.”
Prabhas teams up with Anushka again P
rabhas and his 'Baahubali' costar Anushka Shetty are all set to team up yet again, for actionthriller 'Saaho'. However, sources reveal Anushka wasn't the first choice for the role and in fact, Sonam Kapoor was first approached to play Prabhas' leading lady but things did not work out. A source said that the makers gave a brief idea about the film to Sonam and asked her to meet. The actress, who
Sridevi is shocked and saddened by Rajamouli's comments
was impressed with the script agreed, but later, neither did the meeting happen nor did the makers approach the actress with a concrete script. Prabhas and Anushka's chemistry was loved and appreciated by the audiences in 'Baahubali 2' and it was this popularity that resulted in the actress' casting. Written and directed by Sujeeth, most parts of the film will be shot in Mumbai. 'Saaho' stars actor Neil Nitin Mukesh as an antagonist.
Actress assault case: Dileep, Nadirshah questioned
om' actress Sridevi expressed shock over 'Baahubali' director SS Rajamouli's comments about her not being a part of the epic series. During a recently held interview, Rajamouli apparently stated that even though Sridevi was approached initially for the Rajmaata character, her fees was beyond the film's budget and hence the idea of casting her was dropped. While Rajamouli did not mention anything, it is rumoured that the actress had demanded a salary of £1 million, and an entire floor of a Five Star hotel booked for her and her staff during the shoot. Refuting the allegations, Sridevi said she was saddened by the director's comments and called him a calm and dignified person with whom she will always be happy to work with. She said he must have been misinformed by the film producers on why she could not take a part in the magnum opus. The role of Rajm a a t a Sivagami was seen to be brilliantly played by R a m y a Krishnan.
our months after Sunil Kumar alias Pulsar Suni, the prime accused in the sexual assault case on an actress in the Malayalam film industry, was arrested by the police, the popular actor Dileep has been dragged into the muck. After hours of questioning by the authorities on June 28, the situation has turned murkier and there is no solid proof to implicate any kind of conspiracy. Lying low for months, the ca se took an unexpected twist when Dileep, Apunni and Nadirshah were questioned by the Kerala Police at Aluva Police Club, for over 13 hours. They were only able to return home after political intervention. While Dileep said he was not questioned by the police and was only made to provide a detailed statement in connection with a blackmailing case filed by him two months ago, the truth in the statement is d ebatable. Authorities maintain that he had been interrogated. The popular actor has gained lots of credentials in the industry, and holds close connections with other stars. He is said to have financial deals with leading personalities in Mollywood and has also produced films for the Association of Malayalam Movie Artists. His opponents say his clique has grown to become so powerful recently, it is even making several superstars uneasy. Dileep is accused of destroying careers of those who oppose him and hindering screening of films from producers and artists who didn't bow to his demands.
Soha Ali Khan trolled for wearing a saree
t's the age of internet trolls and memes and celebrities are the worsthit. The latest to fall prey was a very pregnant Soha Ali Khan who posted a picture with husband Kunal Khemu on Eid. Donned in a beautiful Bengali saree (Soha's mother, yesteryear actress Sharmila Tagore is a Bengali) with her hair tied in a bun and adorned with flowers, Soha looked every bit the royal for her baby shower. However, bullies on the internet were miffed with the actress for not mentioning 'Eid' in her posts or wishing the same. While many commented praises of the pictures, several others appeared to berate her for wearing a saree. One of the comments called her “not Muslim enough,” while another read, “Shame on you, you are not Muslim.” Emerging peaceful amid all the hate, the 'Rang De Basanti' actress ignored all negative comments and posted yet another photo from the event where she is surrounded by family and friends and still wearing a saree. “The love of family and friends is reason enough to dress up!”
Srinidhi Shetty is the Most Desirable Woman of 2016
rinidhi Ramesh Shetty surpassed Deepika Padukone and Priyanka Chopra to be placed on top of the list of Times 'Most Desirable Women 2016'. The lead actress in Sandalwood movie 'KGF', the 24 year old established herself at Number 1. Born in Mangalore, the model is also the winner of the Miss Diva-2016, and Miss Supernatural 2016 titles. Jacqueline Fernandez came second on the list, followed by Priyanka Chopra, Deepika Padukone, Katrina Kaif, Sunny Leone, Lopamudra Raut, Amy Jackson, Priyadarshini Chatterjee and Varthika Singh.
Asian Voice | 8th July 2017
to match Taal with Anil Kapoor again A
nil Kapoor-starrer musicaldrama 'Fanney Khan' will mark the reunion of Aishwarya Rai Bachchan with the actor 17 years after Satish Kaushik's 'Humara Dil Aapke Paas Hai'. While they won't feature as love interests, they have only appeared together in two films so far. Co-producing the film with Rakeysh Omprakash, Prerna Arora said, “The team starts building the set in Mumbai next month and Anil will kick off shooting in the first week of August. Aishwarya joins him by the month-end and the film will wrap up in a start-tofinish schedule by October.” About Ash joining the cast, she added, “We took the script to her two months ago and she
immediately gave her nod.” Prerna said the actress was impressed by her “highly stylised” character. Hindi adaptation of 2000 Dutch release 'Everybody's Famous!', 'Fanney Khan' marks the directorial debut of Atul Manjrekar. The original was about a 17 year old aspiring singer whose career takes off after her unemployed father, who also dreams of becoming a musician, decides to kidnap the top singer of the country. “Almost all of Ash's scenes are with Anil. Her character is the complete opposite of her serious turns in 'Jazbaa' and 'Sarbjit'. In our film she is the spunky, enchanting female protagonist,” Prerna said.
Ranbir is my best friend: Katrina W
ith Ranbir Kapoor debuting as producer with his upcoming 'Jagga Jasoos', he admits he doesn't think he will produce another film in the near future. In one of the movie's promotional interviews, along with co-star and ex-beau Katrina Kaif, Ranbir said he thinks Katrina would be better at producing films and he doesn't think he can make for a good producer. Reacting to the statement, Kat was quipped, “Ranbir is not a good producer but he is my best friend.” After a series of unfortunate delays, Anurag Basu's 'Jagga Jasoos' is finally scheduled to release. The film will see Ranbir play a teenager in search of his missing father, with Katrina joining him in the journey. A musical, Jagga (Ranbir) has a speaking disorder. The latest threeminute-long trailer released by the filmmakers show us a refreshing glimpse of actor Govinda, a surprise, especially when fans were holding their breath for a rumoured Shah Rukh Khan cameo.
Attachment of Mamta Kulkarni, boyfriend's property ordered
special court declared former Bollywood actress Mamta Kulkarni and her boyfriend Vicky Goswami, as a proclaimed offenders in a multi-million ephedrine haul case and directed attachment of their properties. Special Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances court judge HM Patwardhan said, “It is pronounced and declared that accused Vicky Goswami and Mamta Kulkarni are proclaimed offenders. The immovable properties belonging to the accused be attached.” The case came to light after Thane police raided Avon Lifesciences in Solapur, last year and seized around 18.5 ton of ephedrine worth £200 million. Police said the ephedrine was being diverted from Avon Lifesciences to a Kenyabased drug cartel headed by Goswami, where it was used to make partydrug Methamphetamine. Over a dozen people have been arrested in the case. Following the court order, special public prosecutor Shishir Hiray said, “Now, the law-enforcing agencies have to act and the police have to file the compliance report within 30 days about the execution of the order. It also gives power to
police to attach the properties of the accused. The order also empowers police to issue a warrant against the accused on the last known address of the accused.” The sale of ephedrine is banned in India. It is popularly used overseas to treat asthma and bronchitis, and its abuse is known to cause euphoria, hypertension, and nausea. It is popularly used to produce methamphetamine. Police said Goswami, son of a retired police officer from Gujarat, began as a bootlegger in the 1980s in Gujarat, and later began smuggling mandrax. In the last two decades, he has reportedly expanded his network to Dubai and Africa. His spouse Kulkarni, was a hit Bollywood actress in the 90s and has starred in films like 'Karan Arjun' and 'Baazi'.
Asian Voice | 8th July 2017
Double Yoga celebrations at Shree Kutch Satsang Swaminarayan Temple
The International Day of Yoga was marked on the 21st of June at the Shree Kutch Satsang Swaminarayan Temple (SKSST) in Kenton – Harrow, as the center also celebrated reaching their 10th anniversary. Also referred to as ‘Yoga Day’, the event embodied: spirituality, a holistic approach to health and well-being, as well as achievement
through community. Over the last ten years, Yoga classes have been held at the temple, with hundreds of regular Yoga enthusiasts alongside devotees in attendance. The event also reflected upon the achievements of the Yoga participants and Temple Trustees who have helped and worked with local charities over the years, including;
l RD Burma : The Man, The Music', a unique
Bollywood musical show to be held on June 15, 6.00
pm onwards, at The Bhavan,
l UKTNCC- 2017 Annual Business Conference to be
held on July 13, 1.30 pm to 10.00 pm, Venue to be
l Motivational Speaker and astrologer Dr Sundeep
Kochar to speak on July 10, 6.30 pm to 8.30 pm at
the Nehru Centre.
l Ladies Wing presents the Big Summer Mela, to be
held on July 16, 12.00 pm to 5 pm, at Kingsbury
High School, Stag Lane, NW9 9AA.
l Sree Sree Anukulchandra's Satsang to be held on July 8, 6.30 pm onwards, at Brent Indian
Association Building, 116 Ealing Road, Wembley,
London HA0 4Th.
ARIES Mar 21 - Apr 20 An exchange of opinions
ought to prove very enlivening at this time. An influence that should help to enjoy the 'nicer' side of others as bring out the best in friends, colleagues and partners alike. As Saturn is retrograde in your Solar 9th house, be extremely careful as an argument over personal philosophies of life can get you into hot water.
Ashiana, Mencap and St. Luke’s Hospice. Yoga Day welcomed over 150 men, women and children, of varying ability. Indeed, the important aspect of the classes is to ensure that people of all abilities can practice Yoga and lead a fulfilled life. The weekly Yoga program has been a huge success due to the committed, patient and determined approach of the lead
teacher, Bharat Mehta, who has served since its inception. As such, the success of the classes has resulted in an everincreasing demand for places and in turn for further resources, space and volunteers. The day concluded with all participants being treated to a sumptuous Prashad dinner and most of the participants yearning for the next gathering.
Police in Brent Borough are appealing to trace a missing man believed to be an injured victim of an assault. Sarbjit Singh, 41 - also known as Gurbinder or Tony from Ilford was last seen around 0350hrs on Sunday, 02 July at a residential address on the North Circular Road, NW2. Officers are concerned for his welfare as it is believed he was injured, possibly a stab or knife wound, during an altercation at the venue. Sarbjit is described as
Asian, around 5ft 8ins tall with and medium build and short brown hair. It is not known what he was last seen wearing. Officers are appealing to Sarbjit, or anyone who knows of his whereabouts, to contact them as a matter of urgency so they can confirm he is safe and well, and check he has received the necessary medical treatment. Anyone that can assist police can contact officers in Brent Borough via 101 or via Twitter @MetCC.
Appeal to trace missing victim of crime
Fraudulent restaurant boss sentenced A Staffordshire-based director of a Manchester restaurant, who changed his name to hide his part in his family’s £1 million VAT fraud, has been sentenced. Sibtain Ali, 35, of Burton on Trent, laundered £32,000 from the £1 million fraud that saw his two sisters, his brother and his brother’s partner make false VAT repayment claims for several companies, including the Popadom and Shawarma Express restaurants in the Trafford Centre. The four fraudsters were sentenced in 2010 after an investigation by HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC). Tasejad Hussain Jeffrey and his partner Bijan Khoshabi were jailed for the VAT fraud. Ali’s two sisters, Fiza and Asmat Hussain, were given suspended jail sentences. Subthain Hussain Jeffrey was named on paperwork as a company officer and a director of the two restaurants. Investigators could not ini-
tially trace him until they discovered Ali had changed his name from Subthain Hussain Jeffrey. The Jeffery family had previously tried to mislead investigators by claiming Tasejad Hussain Jeffrey was dead. Ali admitted laundering £32,000 through the restaurant’s finances. Sandra Smith, Assistant Director, Fraud Investigation Service, HMRC, said: “Ali failed to hide his part in this fraud and is now paying the price. Bizarrely, the Jeffery family was prepared to go to extraordinary lengths to hide their crimes with name changes and claiming to be dead.” Ali was jailed for one year suspended for 12 months on 13 June 2017, ordered to repay £32,000 within seven days to HMRC under a compensation order. He must also do 180 hours unpaid community work, and pay £2,000 court costs at Stafford Crown Court.
Police in Southwark are appealing for information on the whereabouts of a pensioner who has gone missing. Surinder Singh, 83, was last seen in Shaw Road, SE22, East Dulwich, at 11:00hrs on Monday, 3 July. Mr Singh suffers from dementia and diabetes. He is frail, walks with a stick, wearing a black coat and grey shoes. He has no money, phone, travel documents or identification on him.
Anyone with information on his whereabouts is asked to call Southwark CID on 07747 765719, the police non-emergency line on 101 or tweet @MetCC.
Appeal for missing pensioner
020 8518 5500
The UK’s leading Vedic writer and TV personality
With Saturn turning retrograde in your solar 5th house, it's time to realign your thinking and adjust plans accordingly. There may be some waning enthusiasm experienced regarding a romance or a creative project. But once you adjust your expectations you will find the right balance to get on easily with people around you.
LEO Jul 23 - Aug 23
Saturn's Retrograde cycle occurs in your sign. This cycle will affect the personal image you project to others. Because Saturn rules your financial and communications sector, don't jump to conclusions if a loved one is acting a little distant. Wait it out. Your desires from love and relationship may be hard to figure out for the time being.
SAGITTARIUS Nov 23 - Dec 21
occurs in your eighth house of intimacy, shared resources, and personal transformation. Hold onto your money, work on a budget, and avoid arguments with loved ones that revolve around intimacy and sexuality. You could also be dealing with past actions or karma. It's time to redefine what it is that you want out of life.
VIRGO Aug 24 - Sep 23 Saturn's Retrograde cycle occurs in your fourth house of home and family. Relations with your family may be a little strained. You might want to wait until this planet goes direct, before you express your frustrations with family members! This retrograde cycle also affects your health and daily work, so be aware of any pitfalls.
Saturn's Retrograde cycle occurs in your twelfth house. What you want from love and your desires are very ambiguous and obscure during this cycle. Deal with your past so that you can put it behind you, but don't do it at the expense of your present. Relationships with friends and family you will be philosophical.
CANCER Jun 22 - Jul 22 Saturn's Retrograde cycle is in your sixth house of work, health, and daily routines. The social aspect of relationships on the job may be strained for the time being. The desire to get on with people around you is very strong in this period. Do your best not to let people get to you. Make sure you are also up-to-date with your tax affairs.
Saturn's Retrograde cycle occurs in your second house of money and values. Take the time to re-think your sources of income and how you spend your cash during this period, and avoid making any big purchases for a while. Saturn also rules your communications, home and relationships, so tread carefully, and reassess your options.
PISCES Feb 20 - Mar 20 Focus on essentials and establish a solid foundation. The outlook remains optimistic and brings you a sense of real achievement. With Saturn retrograde, transiting your career sector, you will want to re-assess whether you are spending too much time at work. Time to create a better work-life balance. People nearest to you should also be scrutinised.
TAURUS Apr 21 - May 21 Saturn's Retrograde cycle
GEMINI May 22 - June 22 Saturn is retrograde in your solar 7th house for some time to come. This is going to be a time of frustration and re-assessment. It’s all about cultivating patience until planet goes direct. This is evident mainly in the arena of relationships, but it could also flow over into business partnerships and joint ventures. While you wait, don’t waste any time organise yourself.
LIBRA Sep 24 - Oct 23
Saturn’s Retrograde cycle occurs in your third house of communication. People around you may seem insincere. In fact, you may have a hard time getting your ideas across in a warm, genuine manner. As Saturn also rules your home, family, children and romance, all of these things may have to be re-assessed during this retrograde cycle.
SCORPIO Oct 24- Nov 22
CAPRICORN Dec 22 - Jan 20
AQUARIUS Jan 21 - Feb 19
Saturn's Retrograde cycle occurs in your eleventh house of friendships, groups, and aspirations. Your friendships or associations with groups may be a little strained during this period. You must make good use of the energy that is flowing, by channeling it positively! Personal standing and the home are also under scrutiny.
The world's best Tennis player, Serena Willaims flaunted her baby bump on the cover of Vanity Fair's August issue. Engaged to Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanion, Williams confirmed she was expecting, in April, after posting and then deleting a picture of herself on Snapchat, with a caption that read 20 Weeks [12:03] She said she found out she was pregnant merely a week before she won her record 23rd Grand Slam tournament singles title at the Australian Open earlier this year.
Indian bodybuilder Bhumika wins Miss World in Venice
Indian body builder Bhumika Sharma has won the Miss World title in Venice. Bhumika won the maximum points in three categories i.e., individual posing, body posing and fall. This eventually won the gold medal at the world championship. Bhumika has now set her eyes on the Miss Universe Championship that will be held in UK in December. Her mother is also a Dronacharya award recipient from the Uttarakhand government for her contribution to the weightlifting. Her parents were skeptical of her choice of career with women’s bodybuilding being an obscure sport not just in India but around the world as compared to the men’s tournaments. But she eventually won them over and soon, she went on to win state and national honours before winning the Miss India.
Telangana woman selected for US cricket team
Telangana's Sindhuja Reddy has been selected as a member of the US women's national cricket team. The 26-year-old from Amangal village in Nalgonda district will be part of the team going to participate in the World T20 Qualifiers in Scotland in August. The wicketkeeper-batswoman, who had played for Hyderabad in Ranji Trophy, is hoping to be a member of the US team in the ICC World Cup in 2020. Sindhuja, who did her schooling in Hyderabad, also captained Hyderabad's under19 cricket team.
INDIA NEEDS SPORTING CULTURE: MODI
Asian Voice | 8th July 2017
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched the Khel Mahakumbh at TransStadia Arena at Kankaria in Ahmedabad last week. Speaking on the occasion, Modi said that he wants to promote sports culture in India. “We have planned the Khel India (India Plays) initiative across the country,” he said. “I am really impressed that around 3000,000 people were associated with the Khel Mahkumbh in 2016. I wish many more will come forward this year.” Earlier, Modi inaugurated TransStadia, an integrated sports and entertainment arena at Kankaria in Ahmedabad. Modi praised sportspersons such as Srikanth Kidambi - who recently won the Australian Super Series badminton crown - and Gujarat cricketer Parthiv Patel. He said they demonstrated excellence in their fields. He also hailed para-
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched the Khel Mahakumbh at TransStadia Arena in Ahmedabad
lympian Deepa Malik, saying that she has shown what self-confidence can achieve. The Khel Mahakumbh was incubated in 2010 by Modi, when he was the chief minister of Gujarat. The objective of the event is to create a culture of sports, foster health and fitness, and establish a platform for identifying talent at the grass roots level. Modi said he was pleased that Gujarat has been doing well in sports too. “I am happy that the uniqueness of the Khel
Mahakumbh is the integration of the talent-identification process for urban and rural areas,” he said. The Prime Minster expressed satisfaction that India has been improving in every sport. We have been doing well in cricket, he said. When the under-17 Fifa World Cup is held in India this October, we hope to do well in that game as well. Modi said he was happy that girls have been doing much better than boys. Hailing the achieve-
ment of TransStadia Arena, Modi said that it was indeed a matter of pride that the stadium has developed into a world class centre. Gujarat chief minster Vijay Rupani said on the occasion that the stadium has come up because of Modi's vision. TransStadia Arena consists of a football stadium and also courts for other games such as volleyball, basketball, badminton, basketball, squash, table tennis, tennis and few more. Supporting the event with their presence were India's sports superstars and legends - ace badminton coach Pullela Gopichand, Olympians Srikanth Kidambi, Gagan Narang, Sushil Kumar; Paralympian Deepa Malik; Kabaddi captain Anup Kumar, ex-Indian football captain Bhaichung Bhutia and Indian cricketers IrfanPathan, Parthiv Patel, Cheteshwar Pujara and Jaydev Unadkat.
Karun, Manish to lead `A' teams in SA
Senior players Karun Nair and Manish Pandey were named skippers of India A's unofficial Test and one-day teams respectively, for the upcoming tour of South Africa. India A will play a one-day tri-series involving Australia A and South Africa A followed by two four-day matches against the hosts. The tour starts with the first one-dayer of the triangular series in Groenkloof on July 26 between India A and Australia A. Karun and Jayant Yadav are two current India players who are in both the squads, while Pandey needed to be checked after coming from an injury. The squad for the one-day series is packed
with IPL and domestic limited-overs (Vijay Hazare Trophy) performers such as Krunal Pandya, Rishabh Pant, Basil Thampi, Mohammad Shiraj and Siddharth Kaul. On the other hand, the team for the four-day (first class) matches is full of Ranji Trophy performers such as Priyank Panchal, the
top-scorer in the season gone by, Ishan Kishan, Sudeep Chatterjee, Ankit Bawne and Shahbaz Nadeem. Since India's tour of Sri Lanka also starts on July 26, Nair won't be a part of the senior squad for the Test series. One-day sqaud: Mandeep Singh, Shreyas
Iyer, Sanju Samson, Manish Pandey (captain), Deepak Hooda, Karun Nair, Krunal Pandya, Rishabh Pant (wk), Vijay Shankar, Axar Patel, Yuzvendra Chahal, Jayant Yadav, Basil Thampi, Mohammed Siraj, Shardul Thakur, Siddarth Kaul. Sqaud for fourday matches: Priyank Panchal Abhinav Mukund, Shreyas Iyer, Ankit Bawne, Karun Nair (Captain), Sudip Chatterjee, Ishan Kishan (wk), Hanuma Vihari, Jayant Yadav specialist, Shahbaz Nadeem, Navdeep Saini, Mohammed Siraj, Shardul Thakur, Aniket Choudhary, Ankit Rajpoot.
Aussie players threaten to boycott `A' tour of SA There is end in sight to the tussle between Cricket Australia and its players over pay deal. Now the players have threatened to boycott an Australia A tour of South Africa this month unless a new pay deal is agreed. The players' union held an emergency meeting in Sydney where they decided to take action for the tour beginning on July 12 unless a new Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed with CA. ACA chief executive Alistair Nicholson said a “significant breakthrough” was needed for the South Africa tour to proceed. The latest development in the stalled pay row comes after both parties failed to reach an agreement on a new MoU before the deadline after months of protracted negotiations.
It leaves as many as 230 male and female players unemployed and threatens fixtures including this year's prestige home Ashes series. “They don't intend to tour but the reality is they don't fly out of the country until Friday,” Nicholson told reporters of the Australia A tour. So the players are going to go into camp as planned and hopefully we can make some progress with regards to the MoU. There would need to be a significant breakthrough on the key issue of the revenue
sharing model.” CA said that it would never force any players to play for an Australian team. “Australia A is a development tour which gives players an opportunity to perform at a high level,” CA said in a statement. “It is therefore surprising that players would elect not to tour, however, CA has never, and would never attempt to force anyone to play for an Australian team who is unwilling to do so. CA remains ready to negotiate a new MoU and has again called on the ACA to show genuine flexibility and commence negotiations in the best interests of the players and the game.” The players' union decision also includes players who are on
multi-year deals with their respective state teams and who will refuse to play without an MoU. “It's not an easy thing to do...but we are very united,” Australia A captain Usman Khawaja told reporters. “We're still going to be training this week. Hopefully something can be resolved, but if it's not, it's a tough decision that sort of has to be made,” he said. “Not to go is a sacrifice in some respects, but we see the broader picture.” The ACA also warned that upcoming Australian tours to Bangladesh and India were also under threat. “Players expressed a strong desire to tour both Bangladesh and India and urged CA to support them by renewing an MoU on fair terms, allowing the tours to proceed,” the ACA said.
Asian Voice | 8th July 2017
INDIA BEAT PAK BY 95 RUNS IN WOMEN’S WORLD CUP Ekta Bisht shine with the ball as she captured 5 Pakistani wickets for 18 runs
India's women cricketers defeated Pakistan and recorded their third successive victory in the ICC Women’s World Cup on Sunday, while the men's team narrowly lost their fourth ODI against West Indies. For Indian women left-arm spinner Ekta Bisht shine with the ball as she captured 5 Pakistani wickets for 18 runs to defend a meagre total of 169 and to bundle out Pakistan for 74 in 38.1 overs. India now have full six points from three games and is at the top of the table. What looked like a sub-par score turned out to be a challenging one for Pakistani batters, who have never successfully chased more than 134 in a 50over World Cup game. The Pakistani batswomen were all at sea against Ekta’s arm balls. She removed Ayesha Zafar (1), Sidra Nawaz (0) and Iram Javed (0) in her first four overs to wreak havoc. Pakistan never recovered from that setback and opener Nahida Khan (23) and skipper Sana Mir (29) were the only ones to reach double figures for Pakistan. Earlier, the Indians could only manage 169 for nine after electing to bat. The innings never gained momentum once the in-form Smriti Mandhana (2) was dismissed cheaply. Skipper Mithali Raj and deputy Harmanpreet Kaur could not also score too many runs. The final six overs of the innings turned out to be productive for India as Sushma’s attacking display fetched 41 runs during that phase. Pakistan's left-arm spin duo of Nashra Sandhu and Sadia Yousuf inflicted the maximum damage to India, taking six wickets for 56 runs in the 20 overs that they bowled. Smriti guides India to easy victory over West Indies Opener Smriti Mandhana made an unbeaten 106 to guide India to a comfortable seven wicket victory over West Indies on Thursday. Chasing a modest target of 184, Indian eves won with as many as 45 balls to spare. Along with skipper Mithali Raj (46), Mandhana added 108 runs for the third wicket virtually shutting the World T20 champions out of contest. While Mithali was unlucky not to score her eighth consecutive half-century by four runs, Mandhana did not let the second chance go abegging, hitting some delightful strokes all-round the park. When Shanilia Connell dug one short, she rocked to the backfoot pulling it over mid-wicket. She repeatedly found the gaps on the off-side and also hit some glorious shots on the on-side. West Indies seal nail-biting finish The fourth India-West Indies ODI oscillated between mediocrity and downright doltishness and Windies bowlers sealed the deal with a superb finish to their defence. Defending 16 off the last two overs, Jason Holder and Kesrick Williams gave away just four runs while taking three wickets to help their side keep the series alive. They won the fourth ODI by 11 runs and left the series well poised at 1-2. Holder was the star performer for the hosts, taking five wickets for 27 runs and putting a wet blanket over India's hopes of a early finish to the game and the series. Having restricted West Indies to 189 for 9 on a slow pitch
at Antigua's Sir Vivian Richards Stadium, India put in a batting performance that would have put the most ardent cricket fan to sleep. Their reluctance to score quickly during the middle overs cost them badly at the end, when a spur of wickets left them with too much to do. MS Dhoni's much-debated 'take-itto-the-last-over' tactic failed as the hosts put the brakes on the Indians' scoring. Dhoni scored at a rate of less than a run every two balls, but was helped that the required rate never really got out of hand, the highest it came to was around seven and a three quarters an over before the 48th over. He notched up his slowest ever 50, getting there off 108 balls (88 being his previous slowest), and faced the highest number of dot balls ever in an ODI innings (70). That left India needing 55 off the last 43 balls, an equation India still would have fancied considering Dhoni's presence at the crease. A turning point arrived in the 44th over, when Roston Chase was tossed the ball. Dhoni had struggled against the similar off spin of Ashley Nurse and the move seemed to be backed by that logic. But the execution was all awry as Hardik Pandya and Dhoni combined to slam 16 off the over. India had struck
gold. The next over, by Alzarri Joseph saw four wides and India were within touching distance of a win. Once again, however, there was a twist. Pandya fell for a 21-ball 20 while Ravindra Jadeja (11 off 11) followed soon after. India needed 16 off the last two overs, and Kuldeep Yadav could only manage to take a single after eating up three deliveries. Off the last ball of the over, Dhoni holed out to long on as the hosts hammered the nail in the coffin. India's cautious approach came after they had gotten their chase off to a terrible start. Shikhar Dhawan meekly chipped Joseph to be out for five, while
Virat Kohli was once again done in by Holder's short ball. When Dinesh Karthik, one of three changes in the Indian side, fell for two soon after, India were in dire straits at 47 for 3, but Windies still had a determined Dhoni and Ajinkya Rahane to contend with. Rahane notched up another fifty in the series and India looked comfortable as long as he was around, but once he fell, Dhoni and Co. could not complete the job. India cruise to another big win It was a pitch that was far from perfect for the batsmen. India had been playing on pristine batting tracks in England before they ended up in the Caribbean. In Antigua, they were facing a pitch that left their batsmen with all to do, and their experience shone through. Faced with a rare top-order failure, MS Dhoni split his knock into two contrasting halves - cautious at the start and with a trademark finish at the end, while Ajinkya Rahane dropped anchor with another 50-plus score to give India a solid total to defend. In reply to India's 251 for 4, West Indies' batting crumbled as they succumbed to a 93run loss. India's bowlers revelled on a pitch, that although much more batting
friendly than in the first essay, still had something in it for the bowlers. The win meant that India had taken an unassailable 2-0 lead in the series. Having lost the toss for the third straight game, an unchanged India were asked to bat first on a pitch which offered the bowlers significant assistance. Miguel Cummins, Kesrick Williams, making his debut, and Jason Holder all extracted great bounce from the wicket to keep the batsmen on their toes. The wicket had been kept under covers for the past two days due to torrential rains, and that ensured there was enough juice in the track for the bowlers.
Bumrah rises to second spot in T20I rankings Jasprit India's Bumrah has risen to the second spot in the latest ICC T20I for Rankings bowlers. Bumrah managed to take four wickets in the five matches he played in the ICC Champions Trophy. His was, however, in instrumental India reaching the Jasprit Bumrah finals of the tournament which they lost to Pakistan. Meanwhile, South Africa's leg-spinner Imran Tahir lost his number one spot to Pakistan's Champions Trophy-winning side's member Imad Wasim, who took 13 wickets in five matches he played in the tournament. Tahir, slipped two places after he managed only one wicket in two matches in the three-match series against England which Proteas lost 1-2. In the other major movements in the bowlers' table, South Africa's Chris Morris has vaulted 32 places to 29th, while England's Liam Plunkett has jumped 26 places to 38th. In the batting table, India skipper Virat Kohli, Aaron Finch of Australia and Kane Williamson of New Zealand have retained the top three positions. However, AB de Villiers and Jason Roy are the biggest movers following the just-concluded series. De Villiers, who was the leading run-getter in the series with 146 runs, has returned to the top 20 in 20th position after rising 12 places, while Roy's series aggregate of 103 runs has helped him achieve a career-high 25th position after jumping 26 places. There is no change in the top three of the allrounders' table which is headed by Shakib Al Hasan of Bangladesh, who is followed by Glenn Maxwell of Australia and Afghanistan's Mohammad Nabi. Meanwhile, in the ICC T20I Team Rankings, England have moved into outright second position. It had started the series level with Pakistan on 121 points, but have now moved to 123 points to trail number-one ranked New Zealand by two points. In contrast, South Africa have dropped one point to join Australia on 110 points. However, it is ranked ahead of Australia by a fraction of a point, and occupies the sixth position.
ECB to host workshop for S Asian community In order to ensure that cricket is a game for everyone, the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) is planning to run a series of regional consultation workshops, including one at London's Kia Oval Cricket ground on 13th July to help improve its understanding and levels of engagement with South Asian cricket fans across the country. Other venues include Edgbaston Stadium in Birmingham, Old Trafford Cricket Ground in Manchester among others. The ECB wants to get the opinion of the people about cricket. They want to get feedback, ideas and thoughts on how cricket can do this for London's South Asian communities. They want to hear from people such as Afghani, Bangladeshi, Indian, Nepalese, Pakistani or Sri Lankan communities. Whether a cricket fan or not everyone is welcome to attend. Kicking off at London's Kia Oval on Thursday, 13th July, the workshop will continue throughout July and August, and will not only offer guests the opportunity to have their voices heard, but also give them a chance to get a taste for the sport both at a local level through tickets to local NatWest T20 Blast matches as well as being entered into a draw to win four VIP tickets to England vs India or England vs Pakistan in 2018.