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India-Diaspora, Political, Diplomatic and Business Connectivity

Editor’s Desk



here is little doubt that a clean Ganga river will give a billion Indians enough reasons to smile. But we have been talking about cleaning this ancient river for many decades. It has been mostly talk, though, and no tangible action. For much of its course through Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Jharkhand and West Bengal, the Ganga’s pollution has risen to extremely high levels, and not flatteringly it is counted as one of the top-most polluted rivers in the world. It is a shame, really. Its pristine nature and purity remains intact for much of its course in Uttarakhand, the state in which it rises at the foot of the Gangotri glacier (where it is known as the Bhagirathi) before merging with the Alaknanda (formed from snowmelt in high Himalayan peaks like Nanda Devi, Trisul and Kamet)—the hydrological source of the stream—at Devaprayag. Once it enters Uttar Pradesh, though, the Ganga has been made to weather the mindless and unconscionable actions of hundreds of industries that have sprouted in the last few decades, on and around its banks. These industries have spewed millions of litres of effluents, mostly untreated, into the river waters, depriving millions of its pure quality. Out to correct the gross disrespect of this ancient river system which until a few decades ago was a source of inland navigation for pilgrims, is the current NDA Government’s Task Force on Ganga. In charge is Minister for Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation Ms Uma Bharti who promises to show preliminary results of actual cleaning in the next one year. Her task is cut out, for what has taken decades to pollute cannot be undone in a short time. Minister Bharti has been involved with the Ganga abhiyan since 2011, after she joined back the BJP that she had left in early 2006. Even though her party was not in power, she interacted with the heads of seven Indian Institutes of Technology and then prime minister and environment ministers of the day, maintaining that the cleaning of the Ganga was her life’s mission. As destiny would have it, after the NDA’s victory in the 2014 Parliamentary elections, she was allocated the portfolio of Water Resources (among others), and made chairperson of the Task Force to oversee the rejuvenation of Ganga. The National Mission for Clean Ganga, a fully autonomous body will function under the overall aegis of her ministry, and is financially empowered to take decisions to start the cleaning process. Now that the BJP has returned to power in a resounding fashion in Uttar Pradesh after many years, Ms Uma Bharti is certain that things will move forward at great speed. She says that the earlier Government in UP stalled most of the Ministry’s initiatives, and the rejuvenation and cleaning programmes were met with stiff resistance. Having received presentations from many nations on cleaning of river systems, Ms Uma Bharti knows that patience is key. No country has been able to clean its river system in less than three to four decades, especially where rampant industrialization had taken a toll. Also having traversed both ways between Gangotri, the origin, and Ganga Sagar, where the river merges into the Bay of Bengal, she is confident that the people of India will have much to cheer about in times to come. To begin with, inland navigation on the Ganga is being restarted between Ken and Betwa this year. This project aims to transfer surplus water from the Ken river to the Betwa basin through a concrete canal to irrigate India’s drought-prone Bundelkhand region. Many more waterways will be linked in the coming months. They promise to give a fillip to India’s river economy, be they in the form of transportation, tourism, irrigation, drinking water or electricity. Minister Bharti speaks to us on what the cleaning of Ganga entails, and why it is so important to the beating heart of India.

Sayantan Chakravarty (

empire Volume 12 No. 11 April 2017 RNI No.: DELENG/2005/16693

GLOBAL ADVISORY BOARD Mr Inder Singh, Dr Rami Ranger, Dr Kamalanathan Sappani, Mr Mridul Pathak, Ms Priya Tandon Editor Sayantan Chakravarty Consulting Editor Yogesh Sood (Business and Commerce) Sipra Das (Photography) Kul Bhushan Jayant Borkar (Mumbai Affairs) Sanjay Sharma (BJP Affairs) Paras Ramoutar (Caribbean Affairs) Vishnu Bisram (New York) Premchand Ramlochun (Mauritius) Liladhar J. Bharadia (Kenya) Jay Banerjei (Toronto) Head—Art and Print Jaydev Bisht Additional Contributions From G. Ganbold, Yogi Ashwini, Walid Sarhan Registered Office: N-126, II Floor, Greater Kailash I, New Delhi - 110 048. Contact: +91.11.2923.3647, +91.11.2923.1515. Our Associate Offices: Hyderabad: Abhijit Bhattacharjee, Tel: +91.9848033874. Mauritius: 28, Cnr. Jasmins and Lataniers Avenue Résidence Sunsetville, La Caverne, Vacoas 73310 Republic of Mauritius Trinidad and Tobago: 61 Main Road, Caparo, Trinidad, W.I. Canada: Suite 209 885 Progess Ave, Toronto, ON M1H G3G Canada New York: 260, Madison Avenue, 15th Floor, New York, NY 10016 ADVERTISEMENT AND SUBSCRIPTIONS Email: M: +91.9899117477, +91.98116.27971, +91.9953824095 Printed, published, owned by Sayantan Chakravarty. Editor is Sayantan Chakravarty. Published from N -126, II Floor, Greater Kailash I, New Delhi 110 048, INDIA. Printed at Archana Advertising Pvt. Ltd., C-78, Okhla Industrial Area, Ph-1, New Delhi 110020. All rights reserved throughout the world. Any kind of reproduction in any media is prohibited. All disputes are subject to jurisdiction of courts in Delhi.

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Sayantan Chakravarty is in a select group of 12 writers chosen by Scholastic Education to promote advanced English literature for schools worldwide. Included in the group are Nobel Laureate William Butler Yeats, R K Narayan (Padma Vibushan and Sahitya Award winner), journalist and poet Walt Whitman, writer Saki (Hector Hugh Munro), poet Nissim Ezekiel (Sahitya Akademi Awardee), writer Jerome K Jerome (author of Three Men in a Boat), poet Edward Lear, Roald Dahl (16th on Time Magazine’s list of greatest British writers). Sayantan Chakravarty’s stories featured in Best of Indian Express of 25 years and among select stories in Best of India Today’s 25 years.


Union Minister for Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation Ms Uma Bharti

“Within one year we’ll demonstrate results on Ganga cleaning” Union Minister for Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation Ms Uma Bharti has the task of delivering on the BJP’s poll manifesto of giving to India a clean Ganga river, and gradually making it navigable like in times gone by. The National Mission for Clean Ganga that has been set up under the aegis of her Ministry will function autonomously and has been financially empowered, thanks to the visionary thinking of Indian Prime Minister Mr Narendra Modi. Minister Bharti speaks to Editor and Publisher Sayantan Chakravarty at her official residence on the Ganga river

In August 2013, an Interim Report for Ganga River Basin was given by 7 IITs in coordination with various premier Indian Universities and Institutions. How have things been taken forward today by your Government since that August 2013 report? I’ve been associated with the Ganga Abhiyan since 2011. I was in touch with the IITs in Kanpur and Roorkee. At that time I never ever thought that I was one day going to become a Minister for managing Ganga. I came in contact with many of those who had dedicated their lives to saving the Ganga river, and the environment around it. Many of them were drawn by faith. I was meeting everyone those days. I met with the then Environment Minister Jairam Ramesh, and the then PM Dr Manmohan Singh who initiated the National Mission for Clean Ganga. I met the second Environment Minister in the UPA, Jayanti Natarajan. I used to meet Nitin Gadkari (now Union Minister for Road Transport and Highways, and Shipping) and also Sonia Gandhi. Those days I was not in the BJP, but I was working for the Ganga. I can claim that I know Ganga from all sides, from the perspective of spirituality, science, environment, economy. That is also because I’ve done two rounds of the Ganga. One journey started from Gangotri and ended in Ganga Sagar. The other one started in Ganga


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Sagar and took me back to Gangotri. When I was asked to fight the elections by the Sangh (RSS) from whom I eventually take orders, I said if I do so, the impetus of the Ganga movement will be lost. But they ordered me to fight, at that time I did not know that destiny had other plans, and I’d get the portfolio of Ganga Rejuvenation also. We remember a two-page advertisement in national newspapers about two years ago released by the National Mission for Clean Ganga (NMCG). It listed hundreds of industries, the majority in UP, that had violated effluent treatment norms and were polluting this great river. How do you deal with such industries? It is only when you start working towards solving a problem that you realize how deep the problem is. Closing down industries is not the solution. Zero liquid discharge is the solution. A large number of effluent treatment plans need to be set up. But more crucially, what needs to be worked out is where the last discharge point of the chemical effluents is going to be. The industries start from Bijnore and end up in Varanasi. The last discharge is the most dangerous. Once we can enforce the principle of zero-liquid discharge and identify where to dump it, then things will work out. I have had several rounds of talks with the Na-

pictures Š sipra das

POISED TO SWING: If the Ganga becomes cleaner, the fortunes of millions will swing upwards

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WELCOMING IDEAS: Minister Bharti has welcomed ideas on cleaning Ganga from nations across the world

tional Highway Authority of India and wanted to know whether we can dump the treated effluents and then build roads on that. Talks are going on in this area. I had also engaged with the previous UP Government and wanted to know if we can create large pits outside industrial areas, but not within city limits, where the effluents can be dumped. There are a multitude of industries, and there are slaughterhouses too. I experienced that the previous state Government was not cooperative at all. In fact they painted a communal colour to this entire programme. I can tell you that the industries were ready for zero liquid discharge. When I had a meeting with the industry representatives, I did not call them to shut down their premises. I told them that they would only use water from sewage treatment plants, and not water from Ganga. They agreed. I told them that after use, they would be required to recycle that water. They agreed. After that the issue of salt came up, there would be tons of it in the discharge. It would be very dangerous. So we needed to find a solution for dumping it. So where does the matter stand today? I plan to sit down with the UP Government after things have settled down. I’ve asked the NMCG to collect case studies of similar projects on rivers across the world. We want to know how some nations succeeded in keeping industrial pollutants away from their rivers. The previous state Government in UP was not cooperative at all, and you know


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that 1,100 km of the Ganga passes through UP alone. The most dangerous and poison-spewing industries are in UP. We have a sewage discharge problem also. The sewage from big cities in Uttar Pradesh like Kanpur and Allahabad, to name a few, has been indiscriminately finding its way into the Ganga. Do you think Ganga can really be cleaned? Yes. But we need patience. Even I need to remain patient. I’m emotionally attached with Ganga. When I was losing my patience with the way things were going in UP, I received support from the Prime Minister. Also, he helped create an authority for Ganga, not just a society. The NMCG is now an authority. Now the NMCG is empowered to spend Rs 1,000 crore on its own, they don’t need to come to the Ministry for approvals. The authority has people in place where checks and balances can be kept. It will be headed by a Director General who will be an additional secretary-level official. He will work with five joint secretaries. One of them will be the joint secretary (finance). There will also be one representative of the CAG’s office. I insisted upon this representation from the CAG right at the outset. I do not want that after 5 years or 10 years something that the authority did in the past is raked up. If there is any financial issue, the CAG and its representative should deal with it immediately. I’m quite sure that the cleaning part of the Ganga we

pictures © sipra das will be able to demonstrate in two to three years time. Even in the next one year you will see results. So you are saying that the NMCG can take independent decisions? Yes. It is 100 per cent autonomous. But I really wanted this kind of independence for the authority. Else, they were always making rounds of the Water Resources Ministry. The file would come to the desk of the director, then joint secretary, then secretary and then to me. The entire process of approvals would take months. As head of the Task Force of Ministers set up by the Prime Minister, I’ll be able to keep strict vigil on the activities. The only control is mine. So the task force will set the agenda, give the mandate and approve the money. After that the entire implementation needs to be done by the executive council that is headed by the DG. After that we can monitor. Now they don’t have to come to the Ministry unless the expenditure is more than Rs 1,000 crore. So actually the Prime Minister took a revolutionary decision. Namami Gange—please give us a sense of what benefits the people of India can expect, especially those on the Gangetic belt and how it will help investment flows into india? Right now Ganga is economically beneficial for 40 - 50 crore people living on both its sides. Irrigation has made it possible. But there has been a reduction of activities in melas, Kumbhmelas, Ardh Kumbh, Shravanmas, Shivaratri, Makar Sankranti. During these times, all kinds of people come and open their shops. From barbers to pundits, all communities earn their livelihood from the Ganga. One has witnessed a definite reduction in these activities due to pollution. It is very important that the poor are employed. There is also less and less water in the Ganga and its tributaries. The primary reason for this is that the glaciers are moving backward. There is too much silt in the Ganga. So irrigation is eventually going to be affected. We are planning to have ghat repairs, this activity can be economically beneficial. If you remember, I was the first politician to throw a stone at Walmart, because I knew that the small vendors selling ribbons, handkerchiefs, bangles, the poor people and their livelihood would be affected. Also, when we talk about Namami Gange, we are talking of an inclusive package. River Yamuna is included. We are planning a new reservoir in which monsoon water will be stored, and released in the lean period. We are planning to start navigation in Ganga. Mr Nitin Gadkari (Minister for Road Transport, Highways, Shipping) is involved. Ganga was used for navigation in ancient times. Even till about 15 years back, people could come by boat to Allahabad. People from Bihar and Bengal would come to Varanasi and Prayag by navigating the Ganga waters. Once we start opening up inland navigating routes, they will attract markets on both sides. Of course, there will be certain restrictions and regulations that everyone will be asked to follow. We understand various countries are in touch with you to actively participate in the National Mission to

TASK FORCE HEAD: Minister Bharti knows that a clean Ganga will give a billion Indians reason to smile

Clean Ganga. Is our understanding right? That is right. Several countries across the world have offered to be a part of this Mission. Straightaway the names that come to mind are Japan, Israel, Germany, France, England, Holland, Belgium, Spain and Italy. Some have offered their technology. Like England has offered to share their experience with the Thames, Israel has done a lot of water harvesting in rivers. Australia and Germany have similarly worked on their rivers. Some countries are willing to assist financially against low interest rates. Presentations have been made, and for obvious reasons I cannot go into details. I need to maintain secrecy. But we must remember that no matter what technology and assistance we go in for, we have to remain patient. Transforming rivers, cleaning them, making them navigable, having tourism around them are projects that have sometimes taken decades in some countries. But we’ll ensure that we pick up momentum quickly. On the subject of interlinking, some day can we expect heavy movement of cargo through our rivers? Yes. In fact connectivity between two points in UP and MP will start very shortly. Ken-Betwa river linking will help transportation become economical, especially for poor people who find even bus fares are too much to pay for. I have even said that cruise can start on that stretch and it will give ❐ rise to several economic activities.

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PhOTO gALLERy pictures Š sipra das

parliament snapshots

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he World Press Photo Exhibition 2016 was held in New Delhi between March 22 and April 3, 2017 at the Art Gallery, Kamaladevi Complex, India International Centre. This travelling exhibition, unique in its kind, is the result of the World Press Photo Foundation’s worldwide annual contest on photojournalism and documentary photography. It was brought to New Delhi with the financial support of The Embassy of The Netherlands, in cooperation with India International Centre and Adaan Foundation. Besides selecting the World Press Photo of the Year, the contest determines winners in various categories, such as: Spot News, General News, People, Sports, Contemporary Issues, Daily Life, Portraits and Nature. This year's exhibition contains nearly 155 photographs. The fact that hundreds of thousands of visitors around the globe will view this exhibition bears out the power of the photograph to transcend cultural and linguistic frontiers. The World Press Photo aims to increase public interest in press photography and to promote the free flow of information worldwide. World Press Photo also stimulates discussion about aspects of photojournalism through master classes, workshops, seminars and debates in different countries. Speaking on the occasion, Ambassador of The Netherlands, Mr. Alphonsus Stoelinga mentioned, “The press photographers, especially the ones reporting from the challenging zones, are risking their lives to bring the important news to us. We are happy that the World Press Photo Foundation, a Dutch organization, is undertaking significant steps in recognizing the true worth of such photographers, which they truly deserve!” The 2016 World Press Photo Contest The annual photo contest awards photographers for the best images contributing to the past year of visual journalism. It is the world’s leading contest for professional press photographers, photo journalists and documentary photographers, setting the standard in the industry. This year the contest drew entries from around the globe: 5,775 photographers from 128 countries submitted 82,951 images. The jury gave prizes in eight categories to 42 photographers from 21 countries: Australia, Austria, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, Iran, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Portugal, 18 india empire | april 2017

Russia, Slovenia, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Syria, Turkey and USA. The World Press Photo Foundation is a non-profit organization based in Amsterdam, The Netherlands. Established in 1955, it is an independent platform for international press photography. It has been holding annual press photography contests and supporting professional photojournalism on an international scale. This platform manifests itself in organizing annual travelling exhibitions of the prize-winning photographs from all over the world. The World Press Photo Foundation receives support from the Dutch Postcode Lottery and is sponsored worldwide by Canon. The Statesman was the official media partner for the ❐ exhibition in New Delhi.

PhOTO gALLERy pictures Š sipra das

parliament snapshots

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skill Cube launches Cyper security academy To help bridge the huge cyber security skill gap in the country, Skill Cube, a company based in India and the Netherlands, announced its partnership with NASSCOM, a trade association of Indian Information Technology and Business Process Outsourcing Industry, as its Licensed Training Partner (LTP) in Gurugram at their corporate office. The cyber security academy was inaugurated by the chief guest Michiel Bierkens, Head of Economic Cluster, Netherland Embasssy, New Delhi along with the guest of honour, Dr. Sandhya Chintala, VP, NASSCOM and Executive Director, IT-ITes Sector Skill Council. Mr. Bierkens in his inauguration speech said, “Initiatives from the Netherlands and India to make digitally safe world is ongoing”. The two countries are all set to bolster their relations by enhancing cooperation in cyber security. The launch of cyber security academy by Skill Cube is a showcase of their dedication towards making the skill development goal. During her speech, Dr. Chintala mentioned that the “Future digital landscape will be governed by Internet of everything, cloud computing, automation, and artificial intelligence”. To ensure adequate data protection, series of steps need to be undertaken in the cyber security domain, including skill development. I am very happy to announce our partnership with Skill Cube for scaling up cyber security skill development initiatives in the country.”According to NASSCOM report, India will need more than one million cyber security work force by 2020. With a great intention to complement the Digital India and Skill India mission, Skill Cube, founded in 2012, has continu-

ally focused on bridging the cyber security talent gap among various stakeholders – Students, Academia, Industry, and Government. The launch of Cyber Security Academy is a commitment towards cyber security capacity building. Mr. Saurabh Agarwal, Founder and Managing Director said, "Being in the cyber security skilling space for more than four years, we have our targets clear on scaling up business operations at national and international level. The formal launch of CSA reinstates our commitment towards delivering meaningful long term career opportunities to our target audience in the cyber security space. Our partnership with NASSCOM will definitely provide a unique platform to widen our outreach, make people aware of cyber security and fill the required skill gap in the years to come."

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siGniFiCanCe oF

Jal tatVa By Yogi Ashwini

yogi asHwini


lotus emerges in water, lotus is the seat of gods and goddesses. The first avatar of Lord Vishnu, who keeps the Creation going, was the matsya avatar, it emerged in water and guided Manu along with Saptrishis through water, for the Creation to begin. That is, Creation emerged from water and, it will go back into water. Every culture of the world talks about a massive flood which brings the end of Creation, what we call the mahapralay, for a new era to begin. Just like creation, our body too emerged from water. Water is the governing element of the swadishthan chakra in the body, which is responsible the function of procreation. Similarly, when the body perishes, whatever is left of the body, after the last rites, is returned to water. If you look at the globe, you will appreciate that earth is seventy percent water. Similarly, our body too is seventy percent water. Water is the element which has all the other elements in it – prithvi, akash, vayu and agni. Such is the importance of water or the jal tatva in Creation and our body. The journey of the spirit is from the mooladhar, through the swadishthan, manipoorak, anahad, visshuddhi, to the agya, and beyond. The force of the Mother, Kundalini Shakti, lies dormant below the jal tatva. For this force to rise up, one has to still the Jal tatva. Sanatan Kriya, regular practice of which opens certain higher centers in the body facilitating the movement of kundalini and eventually the opening of the third eye, emphasises upon siddhaasan and a straight spine. The siddhasan seals the two lower chakras in the body – mooladhar and swadishthan, while the straight spine paves way for the Kundalini to rise through the Sushumna. For an ordinary being the phenomenal energy of the Kundalini gets consumed at attraction of the Jal tatva. The attraction of the jal tatva is the strongest in our body, this attraction relates to the swadishthan chakra and the desire for sexual gratification. While the pleasure associated with this element

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is phenomenal, the loss of energy (in the form of sukra) that it entails is also proportional. Sukra is the vital fluid in our body. There are in all seven drops of sukra in the body which are essential for our survival. They are like diamonds, which are lost during a sexual act. The book, The Ageless Dimension, details specific mudras and kriyas to conserve this vital fluid. When conserved, these drops turn into ojas and finally tejas, rendering the phenomenal glow and attraction to a being, which is enough to attract any shakti of Creation and also to provide the thrust required to break the pull of gravity (attraction) and go beyond Creation. Any practice for preservation of sukra and rising above the jal tatva, must be practiced under the strict supervision of your Guru, as the heat generated through these practices is immense. When channelized in the right direction by one’s guru, this heat translates as an un-ageing body, radiant complexion, vaakshakti, clairvoyance, clairaudience, ability to manifest one’s thoughts, and other siddhis of yog. In the absence of Guru, an uncontrolled increase in heat of the body can cause damage to the body, since the body is unable to bear it. The key to rising above physical creation, thus, lies in stilling the jal tatva, celibacy being an effective tool for the same. Through celibacy when this tatva is heated, its impurities are left behind and its essence rises through the sushumna and activates the higher senses and through them opens the doorways to the higher worlds. The more active one is sexually, the more his/her potential and hence, the more he/she looses during the sexual act. Such people can go very high if they learn to conserve and can draw prana from the environment ❐ to nourish themselves.

—For questions to Yogiji write to


the stiGma oF mental illness By Dr Walid Sarhan F.R.C. Psych dr walid sarHan


tigma is when someone views you in a negative way because you have a distinguishing characteristic or personal trait that is thought to be, or actually is, a disadvantage (a negative stereotype). Unfortunately, negative attitudes and beliefs toward people who have a mental health condition are common worldwide. People with mental illness have to cope with the suffering of the symptoms of their illness with the difficulties in getting the appropriate care from the mental health professionals, if they are available. Instead of getting support and help from the society, they are looked at in a way that leads to feeling of shame and blame as if they have brought this illness to themselves and they are responsible for being sick. The secrecy surrounding illness and treatment lead to isolation, which complicates mental illness and affect family life so that all the family members are stigmatized. In some cases, the patient is given the role of the black sheep of the family. In many parts of the world, the patient can easily lose his job just because, the employer knows about his illness. Many people will not deal with the patient and his family. So, the stereotypes, social exclusion and discrimination are affecting the quality of life of the patient and his family. Mental health stigma can be divided into two distinct types: social stigma as characterized by prejudicial attitudes and discriminating behavior directed towards individuals with mental health problems because of the psychiatric label, they have been given. In contrast, perceived stigma or self-stigma is the internalizing by the mental health sufferer of their perceptions of discrimination. Perceived stigma can significantly affect feelings of shame and lead to poorer treatment outcomes. The effect of this stigma on the patient from inside and outside could be seen clinically as bigger than the psychiatric disorder. An example: when a man kills several children in a school anywhere in the world, the news spreads around and the comments immediately focus on the possibility of this man being mentally disturbed , even if the man is not yet

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captured by the police. Such media activity stops next day but leave the image worldwide that a mentally disturbed man will kill your children any time at their school. Many of our patients also get terrified that they may not do the same thing. This adds to their suffering in addition to the way people look at them as potential murderers. How could we fight stigma? Is it possible that people will change their views about the subject of psychiatry? The answer is simple: Yes. We can start by ourselves and improve our knowledge and awareness. When we know what is schizophrenia, depression, anxiety, bipolar affective disorder and obsessive-compulsive disorder, the fear from those patients becomes less. Humanity dictates that human beings should help other human beings when they suffer for whatever reason, especially in case of illness whether cancer, depression or diabetes. This should be supported by the media whether classical or social. Sometimes the media worsen the stigma by the way they present psychiatric disorders in news stories, TV series, movies and comments in the social media. What can we do to stop stigma and discrimination? Use the STOP criteria to recognize attitudes and actions that support the stigma of mental health conditions. It is easy; just ask yourself if what you hear: ● Stereotypes people with mental health conditions (that is, assumes they are all alike rather than individuals)? ● Trivializes or belittles people with mental health conditions and/or the condition itself ? ● Offends people with mental health conditions, by insulting them? ● Patronizes people with mental health conditions, by treating them as if they were not as good as other people? If STOP criteria can be spread from schools, universities, workplace and clubs as well as the media, it will help millions of patients, families and societies at large worldwide. ■ —Walid Sarhan F.R.C. Psych WPA Zonal Representative of the Middle East


British sikh


The British Sikh Association hosted its Annual Dinner at the Lancaster Hotel in London on March 23, 2017, to celebrate the festival of Vaisakhi, the occasion when the Order of the Khalso was created by Sri Guru Gobind Singh, the 10th Sikh Guru. The Chief Guest at the grand and glittering event was the Rt. Hon. Sir Michael Fallon MP, Secretary of State for Defence and the Guest of Honour was H.E. Mr Y.K. Sinha, High Commissioner of India to the United Kingdom. Over 650 distinguished guests were in attendance

The Band of the Brigade of Gurkhas performing the National Anthems of India and United Kingdom

LEFT: Mr Matthew Ward of History Needs You speaking about his Special Video presentation. CENTRE: Dr. Sukhbir Kapoor OBE, British Sikh Association General Secretary giving welcome address. RIGHT: Dr. Rami Ranger CBE, British Sikh Association Chairman, speaking about the need for the Sikh contribution in both World Wars to be taught in our schools april 2017 | india empire 53


Limited Edition WW1 Sikh Memorial Fund Bust hand-sculpted by Mark Bibby presented to the Rt. Hon. Sir Michael Fallon MP, Secretary of State for Defence and H.E. Mr Y.K. Sinha, High Commissioner of India to the United Kingdom. (From Left to Right: Dr Sukhbir Kapoor, General Secretary; Mr Amarjit Singh Dassan, President; H.E. Mr Y.K. Sinha, High Commissioner of India to the United Kingdom; The Rt. Hon. Sir Michael Fallon MP, Secretary of State for Defence; Dr Rami Ranger CBE, President and Mr Manjit Singh Chadhok, Finance Secretary)

LEFT: Sikh Jewel Award being presented to Mr Jasminder Singh OBE for Outstanding Contribuion to Charitable Causes and to the Hospitality Industry. RIGHT: Sikh Jewel Award being presented to Khalsa Aid for Outstanding Contribuion to Charitable Causes

LEFT: Sikh Jewel Award being presented to Captain J. Singh-Sohal for Outstanding Contribuion to Journalism. RIGHT: Sikh Jewel Award being presented to Ms Gurinder Chadha OBE for Outstanding Contribution to the Film Industry

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